RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/February 2018

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February 2018[edit]

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4ChinaUnited StatesA Chinese state-owned chemical firm is spending considerable sums of money to influence American elections.
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23United StatesA Pennsylvanian Unification Church plans a congregation with AR-15 rifles, causing an elementary school to relocate students for the day.
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15PhilippinesDuterte says he wants to cede power early.
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11South AfricaA motion in Parliament to take land from white farmers without compensation has passed.
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10United StatesThe Supreme Court has stripped all immigrants of the right to periodic bond hearings, meaning they can now theoretically be held indefinitely.
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20United StatesCPAC speaker lambasts conservatives for ignoring racism and sexual harassment in the movement.
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19United StatesA massive teachers' strike has closed down all public schools in West Virginia.
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12ChinaThe Chinese Communist Party proposes to abolish presidential term limits, which would enable Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely.
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34United StatesMore and more Democrats support universal healthcare.
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19ItalyPakistanColosseum lit red to protest Pakistani blasphemy law.
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24United StatesDonald Trump suggests a video game rating system, even though that already exists.Wikipedia
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22United StatesArizona professor now facing 10 years in prison for giving immigrants food, water and shelter in a part of the desert where hundreds of crossers have died in recent years.
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11JapanRare shooting incident in Japan by right wing activists targeting de facto North Korean embassy.
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20United StatesAfter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, many companies announce plans to sever ties with the NRA.
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16United KingdomBritish lecturers go on strike over pension changes. (Academic commentary on the matter)
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10South AfricaThe new South African president plans to take land from white farmers without compensation. Why does this sound familiar? An alternative explanation also makes sense, and isn't supported by Infowars.
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14Pakistan The FATFWikipedia has put Pakistan back on the terrorist financing watchlist.
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34United States Marco Rubio: "Claiming some of the students on TV after Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency." One of those idiots lost his government job after spreading this conspiracy theory.
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19United States Billy Graham, one of the most famous Christian preachers of the last 100 years, has died aged 99.
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17IsraelNetanyahu's confidant turns against him in the investigation of government’s fraudulent ties with Telecom giant, in return for lighter sentence.
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15VenezuelaVenezuela launches petro cryptocurrency to bypass US economic sanctions, claiming the first sovereign cryptocurrency.
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28A study using data collected by NASA and European satellites for 25 years shows that sea levels are rising faster than expected, and the rate is in fact accelerating.
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26Global climate change could release some 58 million liters (15 million gallons) of mercury locked up in the permafrost of the Northern Hemisphere into the natural environment, in addition to various greenhouse gases and "zombie pathogens". This amount of the toxic metal is about twice that found everywhere else on Earth combined.
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41United Kingdom The world's first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, is performing better than expected.
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37United States Arizona puts forth a proposal to produce 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2050, which would put it ahead of California and New York.
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4United StatesDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has stated that "There is no allegation in this indictment (Russian collusion scandal) that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity," adding there "there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."
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21United StatesSpecial Counsel Mueller indicts thirteen Russian nationals on charges of meddling in the 2016 US elections.
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15SwitzerlandIn Switzerland, it will be illegal to boil a conscious lobster as of March.
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4United StatesTwo New York siblings have been arrested under suspicion of manufacturing a bomb using materials from fireworks. One of whom was a teacher who recently resigned after his school received a bomb threat.
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12A huge step has been made in the development of a silicon-based quantum computer. In equally exciting news, theoretical chemists demonstrated the feasibility of using a quantum computer to accurately calculate the properties of various molecules, paving the way for future progress in quantum chemistry.
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21United StatesCanadaAs various North American cities are trying to be the host of the retail giant Amazon's second headquarters (HQ2), which could mean a multi-billion dollar investment and tens of thousands of jobs, it is important to keep in mind what Amazon does to poor communities.
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20United KingdomUnited StatesDNA analysis reveals that an early Briton from 10,000 years ago, known as "Cheddar man", had dark skin and blue eyes. In related news, DNA tests unveil unexpected complications in the pedigrees of those who self-identify as "whites".
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15A species of fish in the Amazon challenges what we think we know about genetics. Sexual reproduction may not be as advantageous compared to asexual reproduction than previously thought.
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29United StatesIt happened again. School shooting in Florida kills at least 17. (Auto play video.)
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31United StatesWith the new guy in the White House, fall in popularity of hunting especially among the young & minorities and a large lawsuit in the wings over the AR-15, one of America's largest gun manufacturers Remington Arms has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with $950 million of debt
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-18The Quorn revolution: the rise of ultra-processed fake meat
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16RussiaRussia is trying to block a video released last week that has alleged a new link between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Because Russian ISPs don't have the technical ability to block specific URLs, the government might take down YouTube and Instagram entirely if the content is not removed.
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13United StatesDonald Trump Jr.'s wife is taken to hospital after opening an envelope with white powder, which was later determined to be non-hazardous.
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24United StatesWhen Amtrak is involved in accidents, even when they're not at fault, the private railroad companies bully them into paying.
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19United StatesAetna, a private insurance company, is being investigated after a former employee admitted they did not look at patients' medical records before denying care. (Video link)
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20Eleven cities from around the world that could run out of clean water in the near future.
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14China Sweden Chinese media attacks Sweden after Chinese authorities arrested a political dissident of Chinese descent but has Swedish citizenship.
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5Canada Three injured when Canadian PM Trudeau's motorcade crashed.
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18How fiction is outperforming reality on YouTube.
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25South Africa South African preacher Lethebo Rabalago has been found guilty of assault after spraying people in the face with insect repellent as a cure for cancer and AIDS.
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18United StatesUS flu season now as bad as 2009 swine flu epidemic
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27RussiaRussian police have arrested several scientists at a nuclear warhead manufacturing facility for using the on-site computers to mine Bitcoin.
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22UgandaThe Ugandan government has suspended four officials over allegations they exaggerated the number of South Sudanese refugees in the country to profit on donations, with the United States; United Kingdom and the European Union threatening to withhold aid.
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24United StatesThe former head of the American Nazi Party runs unopposed for the GOP for Illinois's 3rd Congressional District.
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25United Kingdom Hopefully for the better, the Trinity Mirror is set to buy out the nationalist and xenophobic Daily Express.
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21MyanmarReuters has accused Myanmar of arresting its journalists on espionage charges to prevent footage of human rights abuses being released.
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12United StatesFranceFilm director Clint Eastwood and Warner Brothers are being sued by a Moroccan terrorist, as their film depiction of his attack on a French train may influence the court.
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16United StatesThe White House has been hit by another scandal among its staff, as Rob Porter quits following allegations of systemic domestic abuse against both his ex-wives with questions raised as to whether other staff knew about it. Update: Speechwriter David Sorensen has also been hit with similar allegations.
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34SyriaUnited Kingdom The two remaining members of a notorious British-born DAESH execution group have been captured by Kurdish forces.
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27United KingdomIn a move almost unheard-of in the UK, the Christian anti-LGBT organization Core Issues Trust is considering legal action after a theatre refused to screen a pro-Conversion Therapy film after the group's inviting of a Pink News journalist got media attention.
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14United StatesThe US federal government again shut down on Thursday night, though a two year budget agreement (with 9% increase on defence) was passed soon after. Among the highlights was Rand Paul speaking out against the apparent hypocrisy of Republicans being fine with a deficit now Obama is gone.
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8United StatesCandidate for Illinois governor caught making racially insensitive remarks.
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19United KingdomGeorge Soros' Open Society Foundation has donated £400 000 for an advertising campaign for the pro-EU organisation “Best for Britain”, and the right-wing newspaper the Daily Telegraph has published a critique of the donation, featuring numerous borderline anti-Semitic dog whistles. Worst still, it was co-written by Theresa May’s former spin doctor Nick Timothy.
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12United KingdomThere is mounting evidence the food on your plate can alter cancer's growth and spread, say Cambridge scientists.
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12BermudaBermuda becomes first country in world to repeal same-sex marriage
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34United StatesIn half of US states, there is no legal minimum age for marriage; a 40-year-old man can, in theory, marry a five-year-old girl. Florida may soon ban the practice for under-18s.
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27United StatesThe launch of SpaceX's Falcon heavy is successful.
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34United States Geothermal power generation, a hitherto forgotten source of renewable energy, heats up in the U.S. Speaking of reducing carbon emissions, Chicago becomes the first American city to tax (possibly unsustainable) ride-sharing services, such as Uber, in order to fund mass transit upgrades.
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27Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is shifting towards renewable energy, especially sunlight, something the kingdom has plenty of.
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6United StatesA tsunami warning was accidentally issued, spanning from the eastern seaboard to the Gulf coast.
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27United Kingdom British neo-Nazi convicted of planning a terrorist attack on a pub hosting a gay pride night in Barrow-on-Furness. The attack was only averted because he accidentally invited an innocent woman to the neo-Nazi group on Facebook where he posted about his plans.
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29United StatesThe Supreme Court won’t let the Pennsylvania GOP delay drawing a new congressional map.
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20United StatesThe Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed down by 1,175 points in the biggest one day fall since the financial crisis.
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11United KingdomSouth AfricaNewspaper columnist Katie Hopkins collapses after taking ketamine in South Africa
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24KenyaRenowned investigator into the illegal ivory trade, Esmond Bradley-Martin, found murdered in Nairobi; environmental campaigners around the world are being killed at an alarming rate.
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12CanadaClaude-Éric Gagné, Justin Trudeau’s Deputy Operations Director, Resigns After Investigation
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-10United KingdomFormer Haringey council chief Claire Kober interview. "The only thing worse in Labour than sexism is the antisemitism".
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8SyriaTurkey Controversy over Olive Branch continues to mount as Turkish-backed rebels are accused of mutilating the body of a young woman tied to the YPJ.
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7SyriaRussia Al-Nusra has shot down a Russian fighter jet over Idlib. Moscow believes the pilot successfully bailed out, but was killed in a firefight after landing. Retaliatory missile strikes have since taken place.
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15Italy Six foreign nationals have been injured in a racially-motivated shooting in the Italian city of Macerata, believed to be revenge over the murder of a young woman by a Nigerian immigrant in January.
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17United StatesTrump-Russia: Republican memo accuses FBI of abusing power
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16United StatesTwo were wounded because of a mishandled firearm in LA school.
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25United StatesWhite supremacists are trying to recruit college students like never before.