RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/December 2019

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December 2019[edit]

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57United StatesTexas. Connecticut. A judge has ordered Alex Jones to pay $100 000 in a defamation case against the parents of a 6-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook tragedy, which Jones claimed was a hoax.
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37United States Nestlé cannot claim bottled water is "essential public service", court rules
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23United StatesIraqProtesters attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad in retaliation for US airstrikes against Iranian-aligned militias.
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24United StatesNevada. Outrage after Ivanka Trump has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in January on technology and the workplace despite having no background in the tech industry.
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18United KingdomSouth AfricaNigeria The latest declassified files released by the National Archives at Kew, in 1995 the British government rejected a request by then South African president Nelson Mandela to place sanctions against the Nigerian oil industry over the death of environmentalist Ken Saro-WiwaWikipedia. This was due to concerns it would damage the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, which is headquartered in London.
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1New ZealandIt has been reported that there are as many as eight times more communications and PR people than there are journalists in New Zealand.
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14United KingdomCivil partnerships, which offer almost the same legal rights as marriages and have been legal for same-sex couples since 2005, become legal for heterosexual couples too.
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22United StatesMore than 100 Gold Star families are suing several major defense contractors for allegedly making illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban which helped fund the terrorist group's insurgency.
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12United States Tracing your family roots might become a lot more expensive. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to hike the fee to access historical immigration records by 500%, a move which would impact genealogical research as well as millions of people whose families immigrated to the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
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19ChinaChina's ongoing crackdown on religion seems to be expanding to include Christians, as well-known church leader was recently sentenced to 9 years in prison for "subverting state power".
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19United StatesPalestineIsrael Federal colleges are being forced to weigh between unconstitutional censorship of criticisms of Israel and not selling out to AIPAC
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26United Statesthe World World's richest boosted their collective net worth by 25% in 2019 (amounting to $5.9 trillion) and now control more global wealth than any time since 1929
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22United StatesAmerican SamoaAmerican Samoans are US citizens by birth, federal judge rules
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17CanadaTrans-rights activist known for fighting against transphobic bigotry has been found murdered in Toronto.
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9United States Trump proposes Social Security cuts that would strip life-saving disability benefits from hundreds of thousands people by changing the way the SSA determines who's eligible for disability benefits
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12United KingdomSyria Father of British YPG volunteer in Syria charged with terrorism offenses
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31CanadaUnited StatesThe latest thing to anger Trump and subsequently his base, the CBC showing of Home Alone 2 on Christmas Day which they cut his cameo out of to fit in commercials. He has now threatened the Canadian prime minister because of it!
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-32United States The NASDAQ Composite index, it's over 9000!
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23United KingdomIrelandEuropean UnionIn a Trumpian fashion, the Taoiseach has reported that the British prime minister Johnson has told him that Ireland and the EU must assist in paying for his bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Like Trump's wall, builders have pointed it is nearly impossible to build and local politicians have said they would prefer the money to be better spent on rail and road infrastructure on the island.
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14United States US Steel is closing a mill, laying off 1,500 workers, which will be transferred to Indiana, amidst fears of market losses in the final quarter of the year. Also approximately more than 9,300 retail stores closed in 2019 as bankruptcies in the retail sector intensified this year
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21United Arab Emirates A popular calling app in the United Arab Emirates has been used by the government as a spying tool.
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21United KingdomChinaA 6-year-old girl in London finds a message in a box of Christmas cards alleging the cards were made by foreign prisoners in China forced to work against their will.
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24Spain The lost images of anarchist Barcelona are now on show
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30United StatesWashington. Investigations have discovered that Washington State GOP Representative Matt SheaWikipedia was also involved in training young people to fight a "holy war" and wrote a pamphlet advocating for theocracy and "the killing of all males who do not agree". Shea says he will not resign.
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26United States Experts to Congress: US is unprepared for climate damages
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25United StatesVirginia. South Dakota. Alabama. Louisiana. As Democrats prepare to take control of the Virginia state legislature and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, three conservative states sue to block it from being passed, arguing that the time to ratify it has long expired.
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26United States GOP Senate quietly removes white nationalism from new requirements to screen military enlistees
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26United StatesMissouri. Barry Poyner, a church leader and university professor at Truman State University in northeastern Missouri, has been charged with patronizing prostitution after allegedly trying to solicit an 18-year-old man on Grindr with offers of an Arby’s gift card and gas money.
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20United States Wisconsin. Victim of child sex trafficking is facing life in prison for killing her sex trafficker
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19United StatesUnited KingdomAnna Sacoolas, the wife of an American intelligence officer who killed motorcyclist Harry Dunn in a traffic accident and then fled to the U.S. claiming diplomatic immunity, has been charged by prosecutors in absentia of death by dangerous driving. However, it's unlikely she will be extradited to the United Kingdom to face charges.
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13United KingdomThe Independent Group for Change, formerly Change UK has de-registered the party with the Electoral Commission and is being wound-up.
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29United StatesWashington. An investigation by the Washington state house has determined that Republican Matt SheaWikipedia engaged in "domestic terrorism against the United States", by helping plan and taking part in the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife RefugeWikipedia. The report indicated he also took part in other incidents in Idaho and Nevada. He has been suspended, with the Republican house leader calling for his resignation.
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25RussiaIn his annual televised questions-and-answers chat, there is speculation by Kremlin-watchers that Putin after a slip of the tongue wishes to change the constitution to allow him to rule as president without term limits.
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26United StatesDenver conservative radio talk show host Chuck Bonniwell hopes "for a nice school shooting” to interrupt impeachment"
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18United KingdomIn response to today's ruling, JK Rowling comes out of the closet to reveal she is a TERF. (wrote some books you may have heard of) AstroTERF hate group LGB Alliance - featured on our wonderful article on TERFs - is already on the case, kissing the ground she walks upon.
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22United Kingdom A court in London finds that misgendering trans people is not protected speech and it's legitimate for a charity worker to be dismissed for calling transwomen "men"; gender identity can be debated without violating the dignity of others, but the charity worker failed to recognise the legal rights of trans people and the "enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering a person".
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92United States President Donald Trump has been impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
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20Australia This issue affects New South Wales The heatwave that is currently affecting Australia has become so severe that the premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian has declared a state of emergency in the state.
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15United Kingdom Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry is the first to formally put their hat in the ring for the Labour leadership election to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Known possible rivals to her include Corbynite acolytes Rebecca Long-BaileyWikipedia & Lisa NandyWikipedia, outspoken backbenchers David LammyWikipedia & Jess PhillipsWikipedia, and former shadow secretaries Yvette CooperWikipedia & Keir StarmerWikipedia.
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17United KingdomOutrage has been directed at both the writer Melanie Phillips and the Jewish Chronicle newspaper after she wrote an article for it saying that Islamophobia is a bogus claim. She has even received condemnation from the main Jewish organisation in the UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
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23European Union Poland The European Parliament has passed a resolution by 463 against 107, condemning “LGBT+ free” zones in Poland. This resolution could led to the reduction or withholding of regional developement funds from the European budget.
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12United States"We Tortured Some Folks" - The Intercept's Review with former Senator Daniel Jones on the ongoing fight to hold the CIA accountable for war crimes
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22United Kingdom British volunteers who fought against Daesh have been harassed and even arrested accused of terrorism for years
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22GreeceScientists and monks baffled by female skeleton in ancient monastery's graveyard - despite trans people, y'know, existing.
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37United StatesTurkeyIn response to the US Senate voting to recognise the Armenian genocide, Turkey has responded by threatening to recognise the Native American genocide. Uh... oh, no! Don't do it, Erdogan!... Update: Aaannnnd, the Trump administration rejected the Senate resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide.
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17United StatesThe Mormon Church has a $100 Billion investment fund. Oh, and it's from member contributions, and it's tax free. (Paywall) Forbes non-paywall version
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12ItalySerie A anti-racism campaign attracts controversy
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20United States Age of purchasing tobacco expected to rise from 18 to 21 as part of federal spending bill.
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20United StatesNorth Carolina. Video shows school resource officer slamming 11 year old twice into wall before dragging him down the hall. He has been fired from his position.
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22Spainthe WorldAs was to be expected, Failure In Madrid As COP25 Climate Summit Ends In Disarray
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24SudanSudanese court convicted genocidal former-President Omar al-Bashir of money laundering and corruption, sentencing him to 2 years.
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21United StatesKentucky. Former governor of Kentucky Bevin pardons numerous violent, homicidal criminals on his way out as a sort of middle finger to the voters of KY
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45United KingdomIn a result announced on Friday the 13th, British turkeys have voted for Christmas.
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31CanadaHarper mini-me Andrew Scheer has stepped down as leader of the Conservatives. He did this as a direct result of revelations that he was using party money to pay for his children’s private schooling.
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65Sweden Greta Thunberg has been named Time magazine's "2019 Person of the Year"
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46This issue affects the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Papua New Guinea Get ready to create a new country flag: Bougainville will be the world's newest nation!
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3SwedenAustriaSerbiaBosnia and HerzegovinaPeter Handke of Austria, a Bosnian genocide denialist, receives the Nobel Prize in literature.
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20Australia In environmental news, Sydney's air quality ranked 11 times worse than hazardous levels as Australia's bushfires rage on
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4Chile To the delight of UFO cranks everywhere, Chile has lost contact with one of its airplanes over Antarctica in perfectly good weather.
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20BrazilNeo-Pentecostalist drug dealers ("Soldiers of Jesus") are terrorizing religious minorities in Brazil.
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35United StatesAfghanistanNewly leaked documents show the US government has lied about the Afghanistan War for years now, even knowing that it was literally unwinnable and still selling that bullshit to the public. Yes, you can start making those Pentagon Papers and Vietnam War jokes now.
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21United States Sunburn on my asshole makes me ouchy
Sunburn on my ballsack makes it fry
Sunburn on my unit smarts a whole lot
Sunburn on my taint just makes me cry
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21AustraliaFirefighters in New South Wales trying to stop some of the biggest wildfires in generations, exacerbated by high temperatures at 43°C (110°F). They have said that the current mega-fire north of Sydney, larger than Australia’s biggest city is simply too big to put out and would take weeks to stop.
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24United StatesTrump's private border wall construction continues despite court order
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34United StatesMissouri. Kansas City becomes the first major American city with universal fare-free public transit
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19BelarusWhile the Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka is discussing with Putin about further “integration” of the country with Moscow, around a thousand people protested in the capital Minsk against the plan.
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8United StatesThe origin of the Crazification Factor is now selling the Miracle Mineral Solution toxic bleach cure.
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23Israel 52 percent of Israelis say that Benjamin Netanyahu should resign due to being indicted on corruption charges.
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35United StatesBernie Sanders unveils a new plan to increase internet access, while also breaking up companies like AT&T and Verizon.
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14United KingdomEuropean UnionFour Brexit Party MEPs most notably Annunziata Rees-Mogg, have left the party and are asking voters to vote Conservative. This will make the party lose its status as the biggest British party in the European Parliament, and lose important specific parliamentary allowances.
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19Samoa Samoa measles update: Death toll now over 60 - most of them children under 4 years old. Anti-vaxxer arrested and denied bail. Background info on Samoa's extreme vulnerability - Why Samoa?
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21IsraelPalestine Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank costs Palestinians billions
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38United States In case you needed more proof this is the darkest timeline, George Zimmerman is now suing Trayvon Martin's parents, along with the prosecutors of his case for "conspiring to frame him." The lawyer retained for the case is none other than Larry Klayman, the founder of the far-right Judicial Watch.
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28United States Amazon planned to enact huge mass surveillance scheme in cooperation with local police, and were planning to resort to bullshit fear-mongering about ever-elusive "criminals" to sell this to the public.
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47United States Despite the unemployment rate being the lowest in fifty years, almost half of Americans work in low-wage jobs that pay less than a median annual wage of $18,000. And why is that?? According to Forbes - "it's not the economy - it's management", while according to The Guardian it's a conspiracy by management to create an economic system that keeps wages down. All very depressing really!
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28New Zealand The New Zealand government is putting forward a bill aimed for the 2020 general election, which will force transparency in political advertising and ban private foreign donations to political parties.
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14European UnionJean Claude Juncker officially steps down as European Commission President and is replaced by Ursula von der Leyen.
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45United StatesSuicides, overdoses, and other "deaths of despair" are fueling a three-year trend of dropping U.S. life expectancy. The twin trends — an increased probability of death in midlife and a population-wide reversal of longevity — set the United States in stark contrast to every other affluent country in the world.
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33DenmarkGreenlandUnited StatesAfter Trump’s pursuit of Greenland and growing interest in possible mineral exploration, Denmark’s equivalent of the Defense Intelligence Agency the DDIS, has classified the Arctic island-nation the country’s #1 security issue.
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37United States Solidifying his "kill the poor" cred, Trump's proposed cuts to food stamps would cut off food aid to millions of people, as well as over a million children.