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

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January 2019[edit]

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16IsraelPalestine5 Israeli soldiers charged with beating handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian detainees.
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23United KingdomThe Crown Prosecution ServiceWikipedia has stated it would not use the Obscene Publications Act 1959, over pornography between consenting adults, based it on the notion that it is no longer taboo.
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8United KingdomA small study into using e-cigarettes as smoking cession products, has reported it is slightly more effective than regular nicotine replacement products to help quit smoking.
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16United StatesHow the Religious Right gained unparalleled access to Trump
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10United States Eight dead as the polar vortex continues to pummel the Midwest and the Northeast
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8European UnionVenezuelaEU Parliament votes to recognize Guaido as the Venezuelan interim president.
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30United StatesMan who worked as top conversion therapist comes out as gay.
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13United StatesRussiaInvestigative journalists have found another route in the ties between American conservatives and the Russians, the home schooling movement through sanctioned oligarch Konstantin Malofeev.
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21IsraelEthiopian Jews to hold mass protest in Tel Aviv against police brutality and racist violence.
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14RussiaRussia proposes easing laws on corruption, saying it is unavoidable sometimes.
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22New Zealand Australia China A scholar studying China no longer feels safe in her home country, New Zealand, thanks to a series of incidents of harassment. Being able to read Chinese documents in the original language, her work uncovered, for example, Chinese ambitions in Antarctica, a region of vital interest to Australia and New Zealand.
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19PakistanPakistan's Supreme Court has upheld the acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.
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10United StatesCarbon monoxide poisoning kills two residents of public housing in Columbia, South Carolina. All other residents of Allen Benedict Court have been evacuated permanently when fire officials discovered "serious and life-threatening code violations." A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the housing authority. Two reporters from the local CBS affiliate were arrested by housing authority police when they tried to access the building holding publicly released documents. UPDATE: Reporters released, housing authority apologizes.
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12United StatesA measles outbreak in Washington state, has meant that the state has declared a State of Emergency, after 36 confirmed cases. It is also causing concern to nearby state of Oregon as the center of the outbreak is in Clark County which next to Portland.
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11United StatesThe government shutdown cost the US economy $11 billion, $3 billion of which won't be recovered.
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14PolandPolice are asking public prosecutors for assistance in the protest from an ultra-nationalist group in Auschwitz during Holocaust Memorial Day. Protesters declared they want to 'free Poland of Jewishness, to tell these Jewish invaders: enough!'
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10United Arab Emirates Criticism has been made to this year’s Emirati Gender Balance Index awards, which are to celebrate improvements to gender equality in the United Arab Emirates, as all the winners were men.
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14CubaCuba opens its first new church since the revolution.
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13North KoreaSouth KoreaNorth Korea threatens citizens with execution for watching South Korean TV.
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14BrazilA mining dam has burst in Brazil, leaving dozens dead and hundreds missing. This is the second disaster of its kind in 4 years (by the same mining company, too). The disaster could put pressure on incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro's controversial environmental policies.
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9CanadaChinaCanada fires ambassador to China after remarks on Huawei case
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16United StatesArson committed at restaraunt Comet Ping Pong, which had been targeted by the bunk Pizzagate conspiracy theory, though causes for this instance are not clear yet.
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12VenezuelaVenezuela's highest ranking military diplomat breaks with Maduro.
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25United StatesMilitia members get decades in prison for bomb plot to massacre Muslims.
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17Saudi ArabiaSatellite images show that Saudi Arabia has constructed a ballistic missile factory.
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12United KingdomDozens of girls subjected to breast ironing in the UK.
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25United StatesTrump agrees to reopen the government without wall funding until February 15.
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23GermanyBuchenwald Memorial bans German far-right AfD party from Holocaust commemoration
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13GreeceNorth MacedoniaThe Greek parliament has voted narrowly by 153 to 146 for the Prespes Agreement, meaning that the 27-year-long disagreement over the name of “Macedonia” has ended. Now, the country which has the capital of Skopje is going to be recognised as North Macedonia by everyone, and will work towards NATO and EU membership.
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28United States Roger Stone, a political strategist who worked for Donald Trump's Presidential campaign was arrested by the FBI and indicted by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation.
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9United StatesThe White House is reportedly preparing a draft national emergency declaration, with $7 billion in potential border wall funding.
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20BrazilOpenly gay Brazilian congressman leaving his job and the country amid death threats.
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19United States After reports of 200 people, around 15% of its workforce have been laid off at BuzzFeed, there has been suggestions that the digital news content media bubble of Vice, HuffPost as well as BuzzFeed is about to burst.
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13United StatesThe partial shutdown is inflicting severe and possibly unconstitutional delays on the federal court system.
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-1North Korea United States North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un praises progress towards a second meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
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21United StatesNew York passes law allowing abortions at any time if mother's health is at risk.
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15the WorldGum disease bug could play a central role in the development of Alzheimer's.
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7MyanmarGovernment restrictions on foreign aid activities in Rakhine impact 'at least 50,000 people' - U.N.
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4 United KingdomFormer Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has been arrested and charged with attempted rape.
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13AustraliaThe Australian city of Adelaide has hit a record temperature of 46.6 °C (115.9°F), the hottest temperature ever recorded in an Australian state capital city. Already emergency power generators have been switched on for the first time.
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17United KingdomSingaporeBillionaire maker of vacuum cleaners and leading Brexiteer businessman James Dyson has announced that he is moving his business’ headquarters from Wiltshire, UK to Singapore.
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15VenezuelaUnited States Canada European UnionVenezuelan President Maduro gives U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave after U.S. recognizes opposition leader as interim president. Update:The opposition has been recognized by Canada, many Latin American countries, and the EU. The U.S. is considering oil sanctions against Venezuela, a country heavily dependent on oil exports and the U.S. is the leading customer.
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13GermanyAfD lawmakers walk out on Holocaust survivor's speech in Bavaria.
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24the WorldA new addition to Microsoft Edge web browser called NewsGuard, which aims at stopping disinformation, has blocked the MailOnline website on grounds that it "generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”.
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11VenezuelaVenezuala Opposition politician Guiado hosts ceremony swearing himself in as president after refusing to participate in the election. Trump apparently recognizing him as the president of Venezuela.
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7United Kingdom European Union The European Union puts individuals from Russia and Syria linked to the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil on a sanctions list, which includes Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, believed to be in charge of Syria’s chemical weapons program.
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10VenezuelaTens of thousands protest in Venezuela against Maduro.
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16United StatesIowa's "fetal heartbeat" abortion restriction has been declared unconstitutional.
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32Poland Despite (or perhaps because of) an increasingly vocal and active anti-vax minority in Poland, a growing majority of Poles believe vaccinations are beneficial and should be compulsory. According to a new poll, 87% believe vaccinations should be compulsory, compared with 80% in 2017.
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3United StatesSupreme Court narrowly votes to stay a temporary ban transgender people in the military. However, one injunction blocking the Trump administration's ban remains in place, meaning the military cannot enforce the new policy yet.
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18EgyptEgyptian TV host sentenced to a year in prison for interviewing a gay man.
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18North KoreaReport finds another undisclosed North Korea missile site, says there are 19 more.
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8VenezuelaVenezuela captures rogue officers after uprising at military outpost.
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14United StatesShutdown makes government websites more vulnerable to hackers, experts warn
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26the WorldThe 26 richest people own as much as the poorest 3.8 billion.
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15United StatesAid volunteers found guilty of dropping off water and food for migrants in protected part of Arizona desert.
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8SyriaIsraelSyria accuses Israel of rare daylight strike as Israeli Defence Forces downs missile over Golan.
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4United StatesLawsuit claims University of North Carolina admissions process unfairly uses race.
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14United KingdomTwo people have been arrested following a suspected New IRA carbombing.
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17SerbiaMore than 10,000 protest in Belgrade against Serbian president.
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17Democratic Republic of the CongoHuge election fraud revealed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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12United StatesMueller's office disputes BuzzFeed story about Trump directing Cohen's false testimony.
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13RussiaFamilies in Chechnya are being ordered to kill LGBT relatives, with authorities also demanding money for the release of detained ones.
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10United StatesNorth KoreaWhite House announces second Trump-Kim summit in February.
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30Poland The leader of Poland’s anti-vax movement Justyna Socha has been successfully convicted for defamation by a court, against the epidemiologist Dr Paweł Grzesiowski for allegedly suggesting he was in colluding with drug companies.
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21United StatesOne upping other recent "Ten Commandments" laws, Mississippi legislator introduces bill requiring all students and teachers to recite the Ten Commandments every day
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17United StatesMichael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and personal fixer, offered the Liberty University's chief infomation officer $50,000 to rig two online polls for Trump.
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11ZimbabweZimbabwe cuts internet indefinitely amid violent crackdown.
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19United StatesICE almost deported a U.S.-born Marine veteran, says ACLU.
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35United States New York becomes the 15th U.S. state to ban "gay conversion therapy" for minors. California was the first state to do this and has been joined by the District of Columbia and several localities. A number of other states are considering a ban.
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16RussiaFacebook blocks accounts linked to Russian state-owned Sputnik.
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32United NationsThe WHO has declared the anti-vaxx movement one of the top threats to global health.
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11United KingdomThree out of the four government-funded Steiner schools in England have been declared “inadequate” by the schools inspector OfstedWikipedia. Ofsted has listed concerns include; “put pupils at risk of harm”, “physical intervention is used unnecessarily”, safeguarding is “not effective” and high number of exclusions for special needs pupils.
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17SpainIranThe far-right Spanish political party Vox has admitted that it received large amounts of money in the past from the Iranian organisation the People's Mujahedin of IranWikipedia, also known as the MEK.
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6United StatesThe shutdown has meant as many as 80 plus federal government websites like ows2.usdoj.gov and rockettest.nasa.gov are inaccessible, since their website security certificates haven’t been renewed.
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11Democratic Republic of the CongoIntensifying ethnic violence in the Congo killed 900 people in December, UN says.
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11ZimbabweCrackdown on protesters in Zimbabwe results in scores beaten and abducted from their own homes.
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15Isle of ManThe bill which decriminalizes abortion for up to fourteen weeks on the Isle of Man has had its Royal Assent.
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15Canada A Canadian man tried to get out of paying in a bankruptcy case by using documents that said assets he holds belong to someone else. However, it was discovered that the documents he was using were forgeries, because the typefaces used in the paperwork were newer than the stated ages of the documents.
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9United KingdomTheresa May and her government win a 'no-confidence' vote 325 to 306
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12Mexico"El Chapo" paid former Mexican president Pena Nieto a $100 million bribe according to a former associate. In 2012, Nieto ran on a campaign of "reducing corruption" by fighting the national teachers' union.
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33United Kingdom Theresa May's Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament by 432 votes to 202. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has scheduled a confidence vote.
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23United States Congressional liberals dare President Trump to make good on his promise to cut prescription drug prices by backing their legislative proposal do to just that. "We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country," said the President before the 2018 midterm elections.
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7United StatesHondurasAnother migrant caravan heads for the US from the Honduras.
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16European Union Switzerland The European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) is planning a particle accelerator that is four times the circumference of the Large Hadron Collider, currently the biggest of its kind, and ten times more powerful.
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14United StatesTrump's Attorney General pick vows to protect the Mueller investigation
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20ChinaChina Germinates First Seed on Moon
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13United StatesDue to the government shutdown, there is no catering at the White House for presidential functions. So for his guests of the winning Clemson University football team, Trump provided McDonald’s and Wendy’s fast-food. At least he was paying for it out of his own pocket!
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20AntarcticaAntarctic ice melt has accelerated by 280% in the last 4 decades.
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17United States A federal judge blocked Trump's new birth control rules, which would allow employers to decline providing contraception to women if doing so violates their "moral conviction" or "religious beliefs."
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13JapanReports about the treatment of the former boss of Renault-Nissan Carlos Ghosn by his wife Carole, has shown concerns about the treatment of accusers within Japanese criminal justice system. Such examples include forced confessions and having limited access to lawyers, as well as poor treatment of people in detention including unheated cells, poor diet and limited access to medication.
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14Poland The mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz has been murdered at a charity concert by a convicted bank robber angry at the Civic Platform party for his conviction.
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11ChinaCanadaCanadian Robert Schellenberg sentenced to death in China for drug trafficking. He was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison for carrying 200 kg of illegal drugs but prosecutors argued that was too lenient.
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10United StatesIranNational Security Council asked for military options to strike Iran.
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13GermanyAfD has voted in its conference to make itself the UKIP of Germany, by supporting “Dexit” (Germany leaving the EU) in its 2019 Euro-election manifesto.
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12IsraelPalestineRoad with wall separating Israelis and Palestinians opens in West Bank.
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12United StatesGoFundMe is refunding all donations made to the "Fund the Wall" campaign.
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11SyriaIsraelSyrian state media says Israeli warplanes fired missiles at a warehouse at Damascus airport.
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21United States The Supreme Court of the United States announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows "no evidence" of cancer and is recuperating from surgery. She was appointed in 1993 and has signaled she will serve on the bench for as long as possible.
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20the WorldThe global retreat of democracy either stopped or paused in 2018, according to a statistical analysis by The Economist. While civil liberties remain under threat, voter participation has gone up.
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9RussiaRussia's only space radio telescope not responding, Kremlin says.
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14United StatesGovernment shutdown blocks key services but Trump, not having his priorities set straight, expands drilling in the Arctic regardless.
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12the World United States According to the Financial Times, Ivanka Trump is being rumoured to be nominated by President Trump as the next head of the World Bank, replacing Jim Yong Kim. This is despite being banned from New York State for running charitable foundations.
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17United StatesIt is now the longest shutdown in United States history. Also, congress went home for the weekend, so it's going until next week, at the earliest that the shutdown ends.
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11North MacedoniaThe necessary two thirds of the parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have voted to constitutionally change the country's name to North Macedonia. Now they are waiting for a vote from the Greek parliament to accept the deal of the Prespes Agreement.
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11RussiaSeveral gay men and women detained in Chechnya.
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15Saudi ArabiaCanadaSaudi woman who fled her family has been granted asylum in Canada.
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12United KingdomBritish Virgin IslandsParliament has attacked the government for delaying plans to force overseas territories to make their companies registers public. This is because government has retaliated against possible court action or succession by the said territories, noted among which are the British Virgin Islands.
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12United States31,000 Los Angeles teachers prepare to strike
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17ChinaChina broadcasts images from the Far Side of the Moon
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14ChinaAn inside look at China's Muslim-targeted concentration camps
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19the WorldOceans are warming even faster than previously thought.
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10VenezuelaVenezuelan President Maduro sworn in for second term.
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13United StatesThe FDA is halting all food testing and inspections due to the government shutdown. E-coli and salmonella anyone?
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12United StatesThe proposed steel slats for Trump's wall would be useless, as one could easily break them with a domestic saw according to tests.
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14United StatesRising milk yields, falling domestic consumption, changing tastes and falling exports has meant that the American cheese mountain surplus is at its biggest size yet.
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11Democratic Republic of the CongoOutcry as winner of DRC presidential election is declared a "perpetrator of voter fraud" by the runner-up
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14RussiaNew Zealand "Fireball" over New Zealand was satellite, not missile, Russia confirms
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14United States"It's the Last Resort": Federal workers turn to GoFundMe in a desperate attempt to secure funding as government shutdown lumbers on with no seeming end in sight
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16United StatesTrump walks out on shutdown negotiations, reportedly calling them a "waste of time."
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12European UnionIranIran sanctioned by the EU for ordering the killings of two opposition figures.
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21United StatesTrump tells FEMA not to send more money to California for forest fires.
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17ChinaKazakhstanChina to let thousands of ethnic Kazakhs leave Xinjiang as China begins to feel mounting pressure against the mass internment of ethnic Muslims in the Western Regions
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14United States"It's a Nightmare": US Citizens at risk as government shutdown slashes funding for the EPA.
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17VietnamVietnam says Facebook violated its new cybersecurity law by allowing users to post content critical of the government.
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19United StatesRussiaManafort suspected of sharing polling data with associate linked to Russian intelligence.
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18United KingdomThe government's 'no-deal' Brexit preparations have been 'thwarted' by a House of Commons vote.
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25United StatesFlorida’s Amendment 4, which removes the ban on ex-felons from voting, has been enacted.
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9ItalyThe Italian government has pushed through an emergency decree designed to help the troubled Banca CarigeWikipedia with state guarantees, despite pre-election promises of not bailing out troubled banks.
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16United States Due to the shutdown of the federal government innumerable TSA employees are calling in sick, leading to delays in screening and travelers feeling less safe overall.
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12United StatesEuropean Union US downgrades EU in diplomatic importance with regards to relations between the US and the EU.
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8United StatesRussia Russian lawyer charged with obstruction of justice in Trump Tower meeting.
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14United StatesTrump pleads to US populace for his wall on his first prime time address from the Oval Office.
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15United StatesUS carbon emissions spiked in 2018.
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15GermanyAfD politician badly beaten up in "politically-motivated attack".
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17United StatesOnly six immigrants in terrorism database stopped by CBP at southern border in first half of 2018.
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15FranceFollowing seven weeks of protests and riots, the French government announce plans to crack down on unsanctioned protests and punish those who participate in them.
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13the WorldUnited StatesJim Yong Kim will voluntarily resign as president of the World Bank effective 1st February. As traditionally the President of the United States chooses the next head of the World, this is causing some concerns.
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12SwedenSweden’s central bank is warning people not to fall for scams that are based on the cryptocurrency, the “e-krona”. The Riksbank says at the moment is just a proof of concept.
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21GermanyEnormous "Pulse of Death" during Holocaust was far worse than feared.
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20India Some attendants of the annual Indian Science Congress dismiss the physics of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein while promoting Hindu mythology. Some even claim that stem cell research was started by the ancient Hindus.
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16Mexico Pre-Aztec temple dedicated to the "Flayed Lord" Xipe Totec recently uncovered in the Mexican state of Puebla, dated to between 900 and 1150 CE.
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12Afghanistan 30 killed in Afghan gold mine collapse
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10United StatesSyria Bolton states that US won't withdraw from Syria until ISIS defeated and Kurdish freedom is secured
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15GabonCoup attempt in Gabon fails.
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15United StatesAhmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, an American Muslim boys and men's club, organizes to help clean trash out of National Parks that furloughed National Parks Service staff can't do.
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20Saudi ArabiaThailandSaudi woman says she is stranded at Bangkok's main airport after fleeing her family and having her passport seized by a Saudi official. UPDATE: Thailand vows not to deport Rahaf al-Qunun, the aforementioned Saudi woman
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12MalaysiaSultan Muhammad V abdicates as Malaysia's king in historic first.
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17United StatesPresident Donald Trump in "no hurry" to replace his acting Cabinet secretaries; claims they give him "more flexibility."
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15France"Yellow vests" storm French ministry as protests turn violent.
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18United StatesYemenUSS Cole bomber died in Yemen airstrike.
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17United States Devastating wildfires force California's largest utility company to plan huge sale of gas assets
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14United StatesChina As China starts to feel the cold bite of Trump's trade war, a "chill" spreads around the world
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15United States Another mass shooting as California reels from a massacre that has left three dead and multiple people injured
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12UkraineThe Orthodox Church of Ukraine is now recognised as an independent church of the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, as the head of Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has signed the "Tomos of Autocephaly".
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13RussiaUnited StatesCanadaUnited KingdomIrelandComplexity on the case of ex-USMC Paul Whelan case in Russia, after the embassies of Canada, the UK and Ireland were called as it was discovered he is a citizen of all those countries.
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12BrazilBrazil's Bolsonaro begins firing left-wing and centrist public servants.
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18EgyptEgypt demands CBS should not air interview with President Sisi.
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-6United StatesAppeals court sides with Trump on transgender military ban.
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12GermanyMassive data hack targets German politicians.
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21United StatesUnited Nations The United States stopped reporting to the UN on potential human rights violations overseas, thereby setting a dangerous precedent for other countries as well.
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21United KingdomFurther embarrassing revelations about Seaborne FreightWikipedia, the ferry company without any ferries that has been given a government contract to somehow provide ferry services in the event of a no deal Brexit. The terms and conditions on its website were copypasted from those of a take-away pizza restaurant and one of its company directors used to run shipping companies that were compulsorily liquidated.
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18IrelandPsychological or emotional abuse to be made legal offense in Ireland.
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12United StatesThe commission investigating the Parkland shooting recommends teachers be allowed to carry guns.
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23United StatesNancy Pelosi has been voted as the new House speaker, and the first bill to be put through Congress HR.1, would be over federal voter reform include easiness in registering, which includes nationwide same-day voter registration.
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13North KoreaItalyNorth Korea's top diplomat in Italy has become the latest high-profile defector.
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19ChinaChina Lands Probe on the ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon
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15United StatesA former Alabama police chief is now facing charges of raping a disabled relative, after having been recently dismissed for drugs charges.
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19United StatesIsraelUnited NationsThe US and Israel have left UNESCO after accusing it of anti-Israel bias.
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16IndiaProtests break out in India after two women enter temple.
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18ChinaTaiwanXi Jinping says Taiwan "must and will be" reunited with China.
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18United Kingdom Counterterrorism police are investigating a suspected Islamist attack in Manchester, after a man stabbed three people at a train station. He is, however, currently detained under the Mental Health Act rather than the Terrorism Act.
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8BrazilFar-right Jair Bolsonaro sworn in as Brazil's president.
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25United StatesNew Horizons performs the most distant space encounter in history, 4 billion miles from Earth.
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27United States Bill announced in Congress to end shutdown of federal government, without the funding needed for Trump's beloved wall
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35United States Amazon warehouse employees push to unionize, shouting that they "are not robots!"
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18United StatesNorth Korea Kim Jong Un wants a new summit with Trump, but also issues a transparent "warning" to the US, stating that he'll amp up nuclear arms development if the US doesn't end economic sanctions against Pyongyang "immediately"
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21SwedenThe household-based TV licence which pays for public broadcasting has been scrapped from today in Sweden. It has been replaced by an income-based public service fee managed by the tax agency.
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11DenmarkEstoniaDanish bank Danske BankWikipedia has been named by The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project as the 2018 Actor of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption. That was as a result of using its Estonian branch as a funnel for corrupt money to various tax havens.
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12PolandPolish far-right politician Adam AndruszkiewiczWikipedia has been appointed as the country’s secretary of state in the Ministry of Digitization, leading to concerns about censorship in the Polish internet sphere
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18IrelandAbortion services are now available under the 36th amendment, including support by the HSE (Irish public health provider).
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20United States2018 was the worst year for US stocks since the Great Recession.