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

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January 2016[edit]

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29An ACLU study finds "driving while black" really is a crime in Florida.
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6Labeling of genetically modified foods draws a packed house to New Hampshire committee
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50Massive amount of news comes out of Israel: The UN condemns the occupation of the Palestinian territories and in response France proposes peace talks and threatens to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state if they fail. There is hope that, according to the UN, that Israel and Iran are likely to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Also the Snowden reveals that the US and UK have been hacking Israeli drones in order to spy on the IDF.
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7EEOC announces proposed addition of pay data. The rules themselves.
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24The Smith Cloud is hurtling towards our galaxy and could trigger the creation of 200 million new stars.
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3580 percent of Chicago PD dash-cam videos are missing audio due to ‘officer error’ or ‘intentional destruction’.
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29It turns out that notoriously homophobic Pastor James Manning's World Atlah Church is up to its spires in debt over unpaid water/sewage bills and federal tax liens, and is ordered to be foreclosed upon in late February. Guess who they blame.Link contains auto-play video.
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16A huge step forward in AI as a computer can reliably beat humans at Go.
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4Another sign of the Apocalypse: Barbie has evolved!
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18The WHO says that the Zika virus is spreading at an explosive rate.
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23Sweden considers rejecting 80,000 refugees.
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8ISIS is spreading in Libya and the US considers bombing them.
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24Lead pollution disproportionately affects poor communities and racial minorities. And poor communities are overwhelmingly affected by extreme polluters.
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10They've won... for now. Answers in Genesis's Ark Encounter wins legal battle over the tax incentive withdrawal. There are currently no plans for the state to appeal the decision.
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28As the poorly thought out ban on legal highs comes into force in the UK, notably banning Poppers, a report concerning one of the substances that required a special exemption is released showing the hypocrisy of the bill.
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21Body cam footage from 2013 captures Oakland man’s final words—begging the cops to get off of him.
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28Denmark will now confiscate refugees' valuables as compensation for allowing them to come stay in Denmark.
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22Heat turned up on Bikram yoga founder and yogi Bikram Choudhury after a jury slams him with $7.396 million in compensatory/punitive damages for wrongful termination and sexual harassment. (Bonus hilarity when he claims under oath that he is also an expert in making brand new Ferraris from parts from "the junkyards")
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15UN report into Saudi-led strikes in Yemen raises questions over UK role.
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10The mathematics of conspiracy theories.
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21Mizzou professor who blocked reporters from protest charged with third degree assault
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13When a cop plays ninja everyone has a bad time.
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261 dead, 5 arrested (including Y'All Qaeda leader Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan) after a traffic stop in Oregon.. Link contains auto-play video.
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18Map: Creationism in schools.
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28CIA declassifies hundreds of UFO documents. (Not that this will slow UFO believers for a moment.)
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17Behold, genetically engineered autistic monkeys! They all laughed at me, they all laughed, but all I need now is a few typewriters and an inter-tube connection...
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20Indiana decides to create even more anti-LGBT laws.
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25SCOTUS rules in favor of alternative energy and denies North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law.
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29Obama bans solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. He outlines further reforms to the use of solitary confinement in a Washington Post op-ed.
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50A grand jury in Texas has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video manufactroversy, and surprisingly indicts two of their accusers.
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24If only they'd had guns... oh wait.
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6Staunch Tory and defender of family values Cecil Parkinson dies
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38In which TERFs are so obnoxious that even Tories are taken aback.
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27Asylum seekers made to wear coloured wristbands in Cardiff leading to outbursts and abuse from local people against those seeking asylum. The wristbands cannot be resealed after being removed and are required to be worn if they want to eat.
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13EU judges convict Kosovo Serb politician Ivanovic of war crimes
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25SCOTUS sides with consumers on class action lawsuit in Campbell-Ewald Co. v Gomez.
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49New study says 0.0% of young Icelanders believe that God created the Earth
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3‘Royal wedding’ of atheist group, Richard Dawkins Foundation launches woman to top post
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22Mass school shooting in Canada kills five, two critically wounded.
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20According to a new report by the CDC, the prevalence of gastroschisis - a severe birth defect in which the infant is born with its intestines outside its body - doubled between 1995 and 2005. The reasons for this are as of yet unclear.
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46In a world filled with moral decline, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti has declared a fatwa against... chess.
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9Teen in Waseca, MN school bomb plot may return home. He's white and not Muslim.
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31Global temperatures in 2015 by far hottest in modern times.
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6Vladimir Putin most likely signed off on the assassination of ex-FSB spy, Alexander LitvinenkoWikipedia.
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26At the U.S. Department of Justice, “prosecution of individual defendants was, on average, nearly seven times more likely than it was for corporations.”
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23The South Carolina state legislature continues to be a bunch of assholes, this time targeting women's rights.
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31Amnesty International has accused Apple, Microsoft and Samsung of using minerals mined by children to make their phones.
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31New evidence suggests a ninth planet lurking at the edge of the solar system.
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16Another Pakistani school has been shot up by the Taliban.
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19The UN suggests that ISIL is responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide and that airstrikes have caused mounting civilian deaths.
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21 Study finds most coverage of reproductive issues in newspapers written by men
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28 Denmark has just broken world records in wind power production.
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16ATM and overdraft fees top $6 billion at the big 3 banks
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33SCOTUS has ruled that Arkansas's ban on abortion after 12 weeks is unconstitutional.
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28In Italy, Religious Objections to Abortion Are Preventing Women from Having Them
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25UK court rules that the Terrorist Acts violates the freedom of press.
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0Islamophobia + the culture of fear = a little boy getting interrogated by the pigs for a spelling mistake.
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20Not the first mention of this, but genetically modified mosquitos to be used to eliminated dengue fever. Dengue infects ~100 million and kills ~25,000 each year, plus it's not fun to have. The GMO mosquitos require special treatment for the males to sire females, otherwise only male mosquitos are sired, and if released into the wild en masse in a few generations there are virtually no more mosquitos left.
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23A new study by Oxfam finds that the richest 62 people have more wealth than half of the Earth's population.
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18George Clooney claims the movie industry is moving backwards in term of diversity.; he notes how there were "20 white actors" as nominees and in "2004, certainly there were black nominees."
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40Paper claiming GMO dangers retracted amid allegations of data manipulation, Retraction Watch.
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21NBC: In Tel Aviv, four-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Dawabseh, still recovering from his wounds, has not been told yet that his parents and baby brother died in the arson-murder committed last summer by Zionist-settler terrorists.
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23Westboro Baptists plan to picket a memorial concert for David Bowie.
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19Former Iran prisoner slams Clinton's call for new sanctions "Whenever I heard Hillary’s voice, my heart would sink. All she ever does with Iran is inflame tensions.”
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27The US lifts sanctions off of Iran after the IAEA confirms that their nuclear program is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of ActionWikipedia. Meanwhile, the US and Iran have agreed upon a prison swap releasing WaPo journalist Jason RezaianBoth links contain auto-play videos.
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25St. Louis Taxpayers Aren't Finished Paying For The Stadium The Rams Abandoned. Found this link to HuffPo on Conservapedia.
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40A Pakistani boy made amends for unintentional blasphemy by cutting off his hand. His parents and other villagers praised him for it as did people from nearby villages. The imam who first called him a blasphemer was arrested for inciting violence. Roughly a week later the boy felt no regret.
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13PrEP might soon be offered on NHS like the pill
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10Charlie Hebdo backlash over 'racist' Alan Kurdi cartoon
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17Church of England suspends the Episcopalians over marriage equality. Update: Not quite, but they're very annoyed.
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12New York anti-encryption bill would force manufacturers into adding a 'backdoor' to every smartphone
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16100,000 school children face daily TSA-style security screening in New York City
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36Planned Parenthood Will Sue Center for Medical Progress Link contains auto-play video.
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47The "97% of climate scientists support anthropogenic global warming" line is bullshit. It's more like 99.9%.
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32For any Marylanders: HB16 is a typical "religious freedom = deny services to gay weddings" bill. Feel free to oppose.
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33Al-Jazeera America is closing down. It will be around until April 30. Al-Jazeera English will continue to operate online normally.
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48In the wake of the Paris attacks, French government considers a law that would outlaw strong encryption. Aside from the usual problems with this, the Paris terrorists actually used unencrypted communications. Do'h! UPDATE: In a rare meeting of politics, IT, and sanity, the bill was rejected.
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30Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for Its “Brain Training” Program
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28Anti-Gardasil anti-vaxx rhetoric disproven.
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16Everything that can be known that was wrong with Sean Penn's operational "security" in protecting his source -- the Mexican (former) fugitive El Chapo -- analyzed.
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47Support For Creationism In U.S. On The Wane, New Poll Indicates
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21Lawrence Krauss suggests that gravitational waves may have been discovered
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15UN aid finally reaches the besieged city of Madaya, Syria after the Pro-Assad and anti-Assad forces agree to a ceasefire.
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49Scientists have found that a single gene mutation, 600 million years ago, caused multi-cellular life.
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16Swedish police are accused of covering up sexual assault cases at a festival.
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35Journalist reflects on the brutal six years he spent as an innocent prisoner -- whom the U.S. knew was just a journalist -- in the US detention camp, Guantanamo.
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44David Bowie dead at 69
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24The European Space Agency wants to send a human team back to the moon by 2030.
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24The EPA confirms that neonicotinoids are responsible for Colony collapse disorder.
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36The word of the year is singular they. They is word of the year. Thanks, Obama!
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28Certain South Carolina State House Representatives don't understand how the federal government works, or marriage for that matter. Here we all thought that debate was dead.
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4A left-wing hero of Brazil, Congressman Jean Wyllys, comes under heavy fire from own party for Israel trip, anti-Palestinian comments. Significant international backlash.
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26John McCain is just concerned about Ted Cruz's citizenship , that's all.
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22With Israel having removed a book about Arab-Jewish romance from the school curriculum (as cited below), TimeOut Tel Aviv produces an interracial version of the 'first kiss' video.
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18With the party in civil war since the ousting of Nick Griffin, the British National Party has been de-listed by the Electoral Commission as a political party six months after failing to send in financial details.
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25Despite being much maligned by right wing opposition, the Californian High speed rail project jugs along and just awarded a construction contract for much cheaper than expected. Again.
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18TransCanada has sued the US for the rejection of the Keystone XLWikipedia project under NAFTA.
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25Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in response to the California methane gas leak.
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27Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
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12There’s almost no evidence that cancer screening saves lives. Naturally, commercial vendors of such services shut down continue business as usual.
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20Vox launches (non-exhaustive) database with dangerous dietary supplements, as "the truth is right now you have no way of knowing for sure what's in your supplement bottle."
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21The drug war in Mexico is making a dent on nation-wide life expectancy.
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25Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues to oppose legalizing marijuana – even as she has courted alcohol PACs as one of the largest sources of her campaign funding.
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25 Roy Moore issues administrative order temporarily banning Alabama judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. *headdesk, sigh*
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22The Saudi-led coalition's latest airstrike campaign in Yemen has damaged a hospital for the blind, wounding three people and making a handful of blind children homeless.
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32Nuclear weapons scare as South Korea detects an earthquake in North Korea's North Hamgyong province, where previous nuclear tests have been known to happen. UPDATE: It's an H-bomb. Maybe. Probably not an actual H-Bomb.
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24President Obama tearfully tries to take away your guns introduce some measures of gun control via executive actions.
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24Germany celebrates New Years with over 1000 men robbing and molesting others in Köln alone groups of men using a crowd of over 1000 as cover to rob and molest others. Sexual abuses by men of Arab or North African origin have also been reported in Helsinki (Finland), Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin (Germany), Zurich (Switzerland) and Salzburg (Austria). May or may not be Ray Guns.
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35"I think we may have been [visited already]. We don't know for sure." Hillary Clinton. Asked about space aliens. We "have to get to the bottom" of UFOs. "Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51."
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28Saudi Arabia has executed prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-NimrWikipedia, leading to Iranian condemnation and widespread Shia protests. Update: In response to the executions the UK has been urged to reveal its role in helping Saudi Arabia join the UN Human Rights Commission.
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22 Seymour Hersh reveals that the White House knowingly allowed Turkey to arm extremist groups and that the Joint Chiefs of Staffs violated presidential orders.
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10The TSA will stop accepting driver's licenses from the nine states that do not comply with the REAL ID Act.
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30 Iceland shows the world an economy based entirely on renewable energy is possible. Yes, this is from Forbes.
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53Armed Oregon militia led by Cliven Bundy's sons takes federal building in support of Hammond ranchers convicted of setting illegal fires on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property. Vow to stay, fight police.
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32A stunning defeat of business Minimum wage hikes are set to take effect starting January 1st across the United States.
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31Remember that Israeli wedding with celebration of the burning-to-death of an Arab baby from a week or two ago? 21-day prison sentence for soldier who let the revelers use his assault weapon in their partying.