RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/February 2016

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February 2016[edit]

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24Gerald Ford's administration altered the Rockfeller Commission in order to cover up CIA assassination plots.
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4The problem with BPA-free: Alternatives are just as troubling.
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22McDonald's somehow manages to make kale unhealthy for you.
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56Reformists in Iran win every seat in Tehran parliament. Guess they forgot to rig the vote the way they did a few years ago? Oh, they rigged this one too, but there are limits to how much you can rig while being "subtle".
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35In Iowa, students chant 'Trump! Trump!' after basketball loss to more racially diverse high school. Update: It can always be worse
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22UK energy lobby turns its back on fossil fuels.
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30Three Muslim men are killed "execution-style" in Fort Wayne, IN.
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41Emails from Flint shows that Gov. Rick Snyder's aides were concerned about using the Flint River as a water source a year before the residents found out about its toxicity. Luckily, Ted Cruz is taking it upon himself to hold up the federal relief bill so that he can personally examine it.
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23As Tennessee declares the Barret .50 cal to be its state rifle, Iowa wonders if kids should be allowed to use handguns.
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35The Egyptian military government is facing strong criticism after it turns out that it accidentally sentenced a three-year-old to life in prison for three counts of murder.
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24Well known fact, but the incoming statistics confirm this: Japan's population declines for first time since 1920s.
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223 dead and 18 injured in Kansas after another mass shooting. (Autoplay video)
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33BlackLivesMatter: Three white college students who assaulted an African American student only received a misdemeanor and a South Carolina African American woman died in jail after she was deprived of water.
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37Obama closes a loophole that allowed companies to import slave produced goods. (Autoplay video)
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34Ghost protests in Seoul: decrying the crackdown on free speech and freedom of assembly in recent years, South Korean activists held a rally using holograms in place of protestors.
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20Tulsa Public Schools considers four-day school week, eliminating buses to meet next year's budget cuts.
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22European Parliament calls for Saudi arms embargo. Update: Cameron boasts of Arms sales to the Saudis
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26Nevada's GOP governor being vetted for Supreme Court. Update: he declines.
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22Alcohol exposure during pregnancy affects multiple generations.
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22The US military believes that hijabs are "passive terrorism" and "sexual deprivation" causes terrorism.
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2212 other police agencies want Apple to create a backdoor.
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17The Army blocks articles on prison censorship sent to Chelsea Manning because it "may infringe copyright."
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31The Senate will not consider any nominees to fill Scalia's seat because the president was only nominated to three-fifths of a term the American people need a voice in the process.
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20According to documents published by WikiLeaks, the NSA has been spying on the UN, EU, and individual EU members. They collected info on their diplomatic talks and trade pacts.
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18The US and Russia agree to a ceasefire in Syria, but it won't be official until February 27.
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33Of 15 purported purchases of Palestinian land for settlements by a pro-settler group, a police investigation determines all to be invalid and believes 14 to be instances of fraud. Original source by Haaretz (Paywalled)
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11Your genes may determine how strong of a reaction marijuana gives you. Which isn't surprising at all, really. The news here is that we've found the (or a) specific gene responsible!
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37The Pope has declared that using birth control to avoid pregnancy complications caused by the Zika virus is "the lesser of two evils". (Autoplay video)
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16Albert Woodfox, the last member of the Angola 3Wikipedia, has finally been released after 40+ years of solitary confinement.
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18The UK will hold a referendum on whether to remain in the European Union.
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28Another day, another mass shooting in the US not stopped by good guys with guns.
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20The FCC rules that you can now get cable through Apple, Google, and Amazon.
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17Australian authorities are considering deporting a refugee mother and her baby.
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31The militia that took over the BLM building left behind weapons and explosives. They also filled a trench full of shit on a Native American burial ground.
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64Homeopathy effective for 0 out of 68 illnesses, study finds
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123Antigay bigots buy all tickets to stop a queer-safe high school formal. They fail to realize it's a crowdfunding, each ticket funds 1 young attendee, and that they've accidentally funded the whole thing (in fact, three times the original funding target) which now has to find a larger venue.
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34Global warming is slowly causing global water inequality.
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24Flint residents have been drinking PFCs along with lead.
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18Calls to the VA suicide hotline went to voicemail.
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21 NPR takes a look at Bernie Sanders's plan to make American colleges tuition free.
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31A new quantum model has potential to explain dark matter and dark energy. It also suggests that the Universe has always existed.
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35Most Americans say U.S. economic system is unfair, but high-income Republicans disagree.(Not The Onion)
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22An Anonymous hacker has released 17.8 GB of data from the Turkish national police server. (Autoplay video)
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23Either Russia or the Syrian government has been bombing civilian targets within rebel territory. An MSF hospital and schools have been hit.
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20January breaks even more climate records.
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13Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died
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28Martin Shkreli indulges in some Twitter performance art, claiming he tried to purchase the rights to a Kanye album via bitcoin... only to have lost $15 million to an apparent scammer under the pseudonym 'Daquan'. (No such transaction shows up on the blockchain.)
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16Bahrain has arrested 4 American journalists because they were providing "false information" about their intentions on the island.
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15Hawaii's governor declares a state of emergency over a Dengue fever outbreak and the possibility of a Zika outbreak.
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18Aussie anti-vaxxer seeks treatment advice for son's measles on a "secret" (private) anti-vax Facebook page. Receives "helpful" advice such as giving him cod liver oil, homeopathic remedies, vitamin A and C supplements.
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21Turkey confirms that they have struck both Assad's troops and Kurdish YPG forces.
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98Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been found dead at a West Texas ranch he was visiting. Death was not properly certified and there was no autopsy fueling conspiracy theories. Ted Cruz already wants to delay replacing him until 2017, as does Senate judiciary committee member Conn Carroll.
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26The Porter Ranch gas leak has been temporarily capped.
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39An Oklahoma judge dismisses charges against a cop for molesting a 3-yo girl and instead jails the victim’s father for a year after he said 'offensive' comments in court.
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27Earth's rarest minerals catalogued. Some are so rare that there's only a thimble-full on the entire planet. Worth reading to understand the final joke alone: "Yes, it's true - hazenite happens".
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36South Carolina's second most numerous faith will probably surprise you: it's Baha'i, believe it or not.
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29News about the US police: Cleveland is suing Tamir Rice's family over payment for the transportation of their slain son; ex-LA sheriff, Lee Baca, pleads guilty to lying to federal agents; US police are using a potentially dangerous counter-terrorist tactic to end high speed pursuits whose rules of use largely vary per state. The Mayor of Cleveland has announced that they will not make the family pay for the ambulance after swift outrage.
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18Richard Dawkins had a minor stroke.
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27The ENCRYPT Act, a bipartisan legislation from the House, would ban states' efforts at creating backdoors in encryption.
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23Major nations agree to call on a cease-fire in Syria.
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29PRAZE WHITE JEEZUZ, this shit show is finally over. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Occupation ends. Eventually, we will read about it. Advice given by Nevada Assemblywoman Michele FioreWikipedia to former occupier Sandy Anderson: “Be detailed Sandy, be very, very detailed,” Fiore said. “Like that author did in Fifty Shades of Grey.”
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67Gravitational Waves detected for the first time. The science is complex and exciting.
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18The ACLU has stated that the continued incarceration of Pete Santilli, who live-streamed during the Oregon standoff, is a violation of the First Amendment.
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32Maryland has restored voting rights to felons which gives 40,000 people their voting rights back.
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21Justice Department sues Ferguson after city amends police reform deal
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22Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants. 5-4, of course.
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33Chris Christie has exited the clown car. So has Carly Fiorina.
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31Bishops do not have to report child abuse, Vatican says.
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38The DOJ has found that the FLDS has been harassing non-members and marrying children; the local police were also helping them commit this discrimination while taking their own child brides.
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47A Chicago cop sues an African American family for "emotional trauma" caused by killing their son.
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34A new study finds that sleep deprivation leads to false confessions.
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18Learn about the Guantánamo in New York.
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17The Pentagon releases 198 photos related to the investigation of the Afghan and Iraqi detainees who were tortured by US forces. These are considered the most SFW photos with many more still being held back.
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20Remember that satellite that North Korea sent to orbit; it's tumbling in orbit. (Autoplay video)
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1Review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that: "organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers." "In severe drought conditions, which are expected to increase with climate change, organic farms have the potential to produce high yields because of the higher water-holding capacity of organically farmed soils." Shame they forgot to mention how much land would need to be brought under cultivation.
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40Many US states still prevent felons from receiving food stamps and welfare.
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28"Don't want to hire an Arab for security reasons? Tired of being legal employers and getting sued by any passing worker? There's a solution!" Uproar in Israel because of a cleaning company's racist advertising leaflet.
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23Sheriff in North Carolina decides to put "In God We Trust" on all of the county's patrol cars.
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3The Free State Project has reached its goal of 20,000 signatories. New Hampshire, here they come!
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23Michigan senate passes a bill outlawing sodomy.
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21Maryland's Attorney General believes that the mere act of switching on your phone nullifies your 'reasonable expectation' of privacy.
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27(Insert some witty comment about goats here, please.) “Russian prosecutors have begun considering whether media coverage of the unexpected friendship between a male tiger and goat at a safari park in the country’s far east counts as gay propaganda.”
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24Riots break out in Greece as the government debates about cutting pensions.
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20Oregon militia faces conspiracy charges over 'force, intimidation and threats'.
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62Roosh V cancels his meetings amid a global backlash against bullshit. Then he gets doxxed by Anonymous and makes a police complaint about the "threats" he's received. Bonus: The "King of Masculinity" lives in his mother's basement.
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6A UN panel rules that Julian Assange is being arbitrarily detained in the UK.
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-26Roosh V meetup planned for British Columbia.
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26Weed can actually permanently harm your short term memory, but you have to smoke a lot of it.
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16Boko Haram has been increasing their terrorist attacks in Cameroon.
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23What Donald Rumsfeld knew we didn’t know about Iraq
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38UK health minister Jeremy Hunt advises parents to look up rashes on Google rather than e.g. go to a doctor. Actual doctors: "Every paediatrician I have spoken to has been shocked" and this advice is non-negligibly fatal.
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45In November 2015, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA5) introduced H.R.4057, the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, a bill that would close the emergency situation false reporting loophole against SWATers. Someone, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the best way to express their disagreement with her was to SWAT her.
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45Teenage girl admits making up migrant rape claim that outraged Germany
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26A month has passed since the Oregon standoff started. As a new wave of "Patriots" flood Burns, Oregon after the death of LaVoy, politics and concerns about the future of its businesses continues to strain the small town's kindness.