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

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January 2018[edit]

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-31This issue affects the United States. What will Democrats stand for? Democrats sit for the State of the Union address.
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25"A crisis for human rights" as new Rule of law index says 70 of 113 surveyed countries show falls in access to rights.
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30This issue affects Poland. This issue affects Israel. Having attempted to criminalise referring to Nazi concentration camps in Poland as "Polish death camps", the Polish government has been forced to review the bill after accusations from Israel they were effectively denying any Polish involvement in the Holocaust.
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28This issue affects Turkey. More than 300 people have been arrested for criticising Turkey's invasion of Syria on social media in the past eleven days, as criticism of the government effectively becomes a terrorism offence.
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29This issue affects Ireland. Ireland's Taoiseach [prime minister] Leo Varadkar has put down the principles on the proposed referendum this May on the repealing the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution. This is the amendment that effectively bans abortion in Ireland. The proposed vote would abolish the amendment, plus bring a bill to parliament which will legalise abortion in Ireland up to 12 weeks.
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4This issue affects Turkey. This issue affects Syria. Like with Palmyra, the 3300 year old Ain Dara temple has found itself the victim of modern war, as Turkish missiles targeting Kurdish forces around Afrin miss their targets.
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6This issue affects Afghanistan. At least eleven soldiers are dead following a shooting and suicide bombing on a military officer training university in Kabul. DAESH have claimed responsibility.
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23This issue affects the United States. In a stopped clock, Trump may be considering a federally owned 5G data network.
Update: Ajit Pai doesn't like this.
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25This issue affects the United States. A town hall on Medicare for all (universal healthcare) by Bernie Sanders in Washington, D.C., drew over one million live viewers.
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17This issue affects the United States. In a surprising move, Scott Pruitt's EPA undid its earlier decision to reverse protections for the Bristol Bay watershed, one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world and home to an important salmon fishery. Scott Pruitt previously removed the environmental safeguards hours after meeting with the CEO of a mining company.
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12More precise measurements of the muon's magnetic moment could pave the way for physics beyond the Standard Model. The relevant physics is explained in this video.
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19This issue affects the United States. Donald Trump's infrastructure bill pits cities and towns against one another "Hunger Games" style, potentially opening the way for privatization.
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20This issue affects Russia. The Russian government denies it is censoring the media after banning a British film implying Stalin wasn't a nice person and calling police to arrest and prosecute cinema owners who released it.
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15This issue affects the United States. Steve Wynn, the Republican National Committee's finances chairman, has resigned following allegations of sexually assaulting a massage therapist and manicurists and bribing them to keep silent.
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11This issue affects Brazil. At least fourteen people have died following a cartel raid on a nightclub in Fortaleza.
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10This issue affects Afghanistan. At least ninety-five are dead following a Taliban attack in Kabul, which used an ambulance to drive through checkpoints.
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16Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg This issue affects Turkey. Protests have going on the streets of North Nicosia, the capital of Northern Cyprus against the Turkish invasion of Syria, harassment against journalists of a left wing newspaper and increasing domination of the Turkish state over Northern Cyprus.
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19This issue affects South Africa. Residents and prospective visitors of Cape Town are warned that the city will run out of water by April, following a two-year-long drought.
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15This issue affects Turkey. This issue affects Syria. This issue affects the United States. Despite US government calls for Turkey to end its invasion of Afrin, Sultan Recip President Erdogan now threatens to capture Manbij and occupy the 700km long Turkey-Rojava border, as Kurdish pleas for assistance from Assad fall on deaf ears.
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15This issue affects the United Kingdom. As UKIP continues to self destruct under Henry Bolton's leadership, all seventeen UKIP councilors in the few remaining borough councils they have power in have jumped ship.
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17This issue affects France. Discounted Nutella results in riot-like chaos across French supermarkets.
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25This issue affects the United States. Trump asked the Guggenheim for a Van Gogh. The museum offered a gold toilet.
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19The Doomsday Clock has moved 30 seconds ahead. We are now at 2 minutes to "midnight".
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5This issue affects the United States. A high school is shot up in Kentucky, leaving 2 dead and many wounded. The suspected shooter, a 15 year old student, has been apprehended.
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13This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Canada. A magnitude 7.9 earthquake event occurs 175 miles south of Kodiak, Alaska, prompting tsunami warnings and advisories all along the western coast of North America. As of 0810 hours EST, the warnings and advisories were cancelled.
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19This issue affects the United Kingdom. Following last month's sex and racism scandal, UKIP leader Henry Bolton faces a unanimous vote of no confidence, but intends to stay in office as quitting would ruin the party, having already forgotten last year's election. Update: He now threatens to "drain the swamp" of those who doubt his leadership.
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14This issue affects the United States. Despite a federal government "shutdown", the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Robert Mueller investigation are not suspended. Elizabeth Warren proposed the creation of the CFPB while she was still in academia.
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22Two teams of physicists independently proposed an experiment to study the quantum-mechanical nature of gravity, based on an idea first introduced by Richard Feynman. Quantum gravity suffers from a severe shortage of empirical results.
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25This issue affects Norway. After putting a ban on the sale on new cars that have internal combustion engines from 2025, Norway proposes that all short haul flights from its airports should be electric-fueled by 2040. Norway is at present a world leader in electric car usage.
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9This issue affects Afghanistan. At least four gunmen have stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul as Afghanistan struggles to control an increase in terror attacks.
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18This issue affects the United States. Republicans are clamoring for the public release of a memo detailing alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 Presidential elections.
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12This issue affects Uganda. In a shocking move to human rights organizations, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda considers reinforcing capital punishment as the country's increasing murder rate is spotlighted.
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16This issue affects Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban have gunned down a mother and daughter for promoting vaccination to prevent childhood Polio, which hardliners in the country deem to be un-Islamic.
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12This issue affects Czechia. Czechia has removed the right to parliamentary immunity as the wealthy, Euroskeptic Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, is accused of fraudulently claiming EU subsidies for a farm.
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16This issue affects the United States. Despite abandoning a policy change in the election, President Trump has now come out strongly in favour of tougher abortion regulation, though confusingly rallies to ban the already federally-banned late-stage abortion.
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10This issue affects Venezuela. As Venezuela's economy and order continues to spiral out of control from the oil price drop, neighbouring Colombia reports half a million Venezuelans crossing the border.
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8This issue affects Turkey. This issue affects Syria. Turkey is increasing in aggression against the Kurdish-led SDF and has begun shelling around the city of Afrin rather than actually invade. Update: Turkish planes are now firing at Afrin to cover the advance of Turkish-backed rebel groups
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15This issue affects the United States. The US Government fails to avert shutdown.
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15This issue affects New Zealand. New Zealand's new Prime Minister announces she is pregnant. She is not married to her long time partner.
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20This issue affects the United States. Parents of 13 children arrested for torture after child escapes and informs police. The children were malnourished, kept in the house, and some were chained to beds. The grandparents are shocked, describing the the parents as "a good Christian family."
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19This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Palestine. The Trump administration is to hold back half of its donations to the Palestinian Authority due to their refusal to give up claims to Jerusalem's Old City.
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17This issue affects the United Kingdom. Britain's Conservative Party has created a new role for researching ways to appeal to young voters, though their recently-elected MP in this role has been forced a week later to apologise after Buzzfeed reported on his belief that the welfare system has been defrauded by an overbreeding jobless.
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12This issue affects the United States. Several US Navy officers have been charged with negligent homicide over the deaths of seamen in two collisions last year.
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18This issue affects Turkey. This issue affects Syria. Tensions increase even without DAESH as Turkey is poised to invade north Syria and destroy the Syrian Democratic Forces due to its Kurdish paramilitary associations after the US announced its intention to continue supporting them.
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17Snow falls in the Sahara desert. Although temperatures here can fall below 0 degrees Celsius, having enough precipitation for a snow fall is rather rare. (Video link)
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37Electricity from all forms of renewable energy is set to become cheaper than that from fossil fuels by 2020.
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36This issue affects the United States. For nearly 45 minutes, residents of Hawaii expected to die, thanks to an incorrect "THIS IS NOT A DRILL" missile warning. Luckily, Trump carried on playing golf.
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42This issue affects the United States. US states that legalised marijuana report large falls in violent crime.
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18This issue affects Switzerland. Anti-globalization protestors protest President Trump's upcoming visit to Switzerland.
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45This issue affects the United States. The entire continent of Africa is demanding an apology for Trump's "shithole" comment.
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37This issue affects Saudi Arabia. In another wave of reforms, Saudi Arabia now allows women to attend sports matches.
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17This issue affects the United States. Missouri governor Eric Greitens has been accused of blackmailing a hairdresser with nude photographs to prevent her outing an affair.
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14This issue affects the United States. Trump lawyer 'paid porn star $130k to stay silent about sexual encounter with Trump', says report
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36This issue affects Norway. This issue affects the United States. Norwegians tell Trump: We don't want to come to your shithole country.
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19This issue affects Spain. This issue affects Netherlands. It has been revealed that the Dutch think tank that sent observers to the Catalan referendum had been paid to do so by the Catalan government.
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21This issue affects the United States. Bernie Sanders will host a town hall on his universal healthcare proposal, dubbed Medicare for all, on January 23rd.
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16This issue affects Norway. This issue affects the United States. Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg pointed out to U.S. President Donald Trump the economic opportunities provided by environmental friendliness. (Video link)
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19This issue affects China. This issue affects Canada. China's new tough standards on accepting recyclables leave many Canadian cities with piles of plastic and cardboard. Meanwhile, the City of Montreal presses ahead with its ban on plastic bags.
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20This issue affects Canada. Dozens of charges laid against two Canadians selling MMS, i.e. literal poison, as a miracle tonic.
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38This issue affects the United States. Trump referred to Haiti and African countries as "shithole countries". He said, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"
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18This issue affects South Korea. South Korea prepares to ban all cryptocurrency trading.
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26This issue affects Italy. Silvio Berlusconi lures Italian voters with flat tax plan He is back...
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23This issue affects the United Kingdom. The prestigious University College London is investigating how a conference on eugenics and racial differences in intelligence was secretly held on its premises. Also, our friend Emil O. W. Kirkegaard attended the event.
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58This issue affects the United States. Steve Bannon steps down from Breitbart.
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27This issue affects Italy. 169 have been arrested and €50 million (£44.06m; $59.79m) in assets seized in a series of coordinated raids targetting the 'Ndràngheta crime network in Italy.
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-23This issue affects the United States. Freeman on the Land "hero" Cliven Bundy has charges dismissed.
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20Scientists found a way to explain why the atmospheric concentration of methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is rising rapidly.
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24This issue affects the United States. James Damore, a former employee for Google, fired for his advancement of "harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace", is now suing Google for "unfairly discriminating against white conservative men."
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25This issue affects the United States. A megachurch in Memphis is standing by a pastor accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old. The pastor has admitted to doing the act, though he stated he deeply regretted doing it.
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17This issue affects the United States. Sessions terminates U.S. policy that let legal pot flourish
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34This issue affects the United States. Turns out the Jewish lawyer Roy Moore's wife bragged about to deny allegations of antisemitism is a practicing Christian.
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27This issue affects North Korea. This issue affects South Korea. North Korea has now resumed talks with South Korea with the apparent goal of taking part in the Winter Olympics hosted there.
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46This issue affects the United States. Lawyers seek to halt Journalist Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House book release because of its contents, which President Trump insists are lies. In response to the attempts, the book has been published early.
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32Major flaw in millions of Intel chips revealed, and Apple has confirmed its own Intel-produced chips for their iPhones and Macs are vulnerable to spyware.
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41This issue affects the United States. In a major split, Steve Bannon called a 2016 meeting between Trump's campaign team and a Russian lawyer "treasonous" in journalist Michael Wolff's new book Fire and Fury; Trump shot back that Bannon has "lost his mind"
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48This issue affects India. Physicians in India protest a plan to allow Ayurvedists, homeopaths and the like to practice medicine.
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33This issue affects the United States. Houston police don't think the white guy, found with a hotel room full of weapons was planning to use them. He was just worried they'd be stolen from his truck, because he'd been "drunk for days."