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

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March 2019[edit]

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11United StatesTrump administration awards $1.7 million family planning grant to anti-abortion group called the Obria Group, which considers itself an anti-abortion version of Planned Parenthood.
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8MaltaA report by the Council of Europe paints an alarming worry about processes in the criminal justice system in Malta, especially with corruption and senior officials.
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7United KingdomProtests against gay relationship lessons at primary school in Birmingham.
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14Singapore Singapore introduced legislation to combat fake news. "If we do not protect ourselves, hostile parties will find it a simple matter to turn different groups against one another and cause disorder in our society," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
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25United States President Donald Trump overrides his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and restores funding for the Special Olympics.
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14Hong Kong While public transits in cities worldwide are making losses, Hong Kong's MTR system is making a surplus.
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-33IrelandIn a debate about conversion therapy in the Seanad, conservative independent Senator Rónán MullenWikipedia suggested that individuals should have the option, unless proved to be harmful.
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7Brunei DarussalamBrunei introduces death by stoning as punishment for gay sex and adultery.
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24United KingdomMore Brexit confusion as Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement is rejected…. again
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15United KingdomBangladesh Churchill's policies contributed to 1943 Bengal famine
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19PolandOne of Poland's biggest domestic banks, mBank, has announced it's blacklisting mining or energy companies that are involved in coal. It's doing it in the effort to improve the bank's environmental record and supporting green energy.
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51United Statesthe World Solar and wind costs have fallen enough in the United States that roughly ¾ of of coal capacity is at risk from renewable competition, and by 2025 this is expected to rise to 6/7. Furthermore, while the US acquired nearly half of its electricity from coal just a decade ago, in just another year it's expected to be just a quarter. Wind is also expected to produce more energy than hydro in the US in just a short time as well.
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17United StatesTrump doubles down on opposition to emergency relief aid for Puerto Rico, drawing criticism
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21United KingdomTheresa May to resign before next phase of Brexit
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20United StatesNew York county declares state of emergency over measles outbreak, bars unvaccinated children from public spaces.
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32United States Facebook announces new ban on white separatist and white nationalist content to go along current white supremacist ban, and starts directing searches for certain keywords to resources for leaving hate groups.
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16India India shoots down satellite, becoming the fourth country to have done so behind the United States, Russia, and China. Riding on their success, India declares itself a space power.
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13LithuaniaLithuania jails Soviet defense minister for 1991 crackdown
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5United StatesBetsy DeVos defends Special Olympics budget cuts: 'We had to make some difficult decisions.'
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18AustraliaAn investigation by a journalist from al-Jazeera, found two One Nation activists trying to solicit political donations from the NRA, in return for supporting loosening Australia’s strict gun control laws.
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13United StatesPentagon reallocates one billion dollars to Trump's border wall
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3European UnionEuropean Parliament passes a sweeping law reforming copyright that's opposed by both corporations and human rights activists
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-13United StatesIsraelSyriaTrump recognizes the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, angering Syria.
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23United StatesUS budget deficit hit $234 billion in February, a new monthly record
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13United StatesMueller report finds no collusion, not enough evidence of obstruction
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13IrelandEyebrows were raised across Ireland, after remarks made during a visit by Northern Irish DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson to the Fine Gael's annual conference after he had suggested that [the Republic of] Ireland should join the Commonwealth.
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22IrelandHealth Minister Simon Harris has called for anti-vaxxers be called out, and stop the hypocrisy of the HPV vaccine.
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39United KingdomAccording to the organisers, around over a million people have marched from Park Lane to Westminster in Central London demanding a revocation of Article 50 and having a “People’s Vote”. This is one of the biggest protests that have even happened in the UK, just behind the Iraq War protest in 2003.
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26SyriaIslamic State in Syria defeated, 'caliphate' eliminated
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25United States Special Counsel for the Trump-Russia investigation Robert S. Mueller III submitted his final report to Attorney General William Barr.
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12United Kingdom UKIP is reportedly considering standing Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) as a candidate despite his history of racism and misogyny.
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8United States European Union A U.S. jury unanimously ruled that glyphosate, a commonly used weedkiller, is a cancer factor. While the World Health Organization concluded in 2015 that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Food Safety Authority disagree. E.U. members voted in 2017 to renew the license for this chemical.
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18United Kingdom Researchers at the University of Bath are growing artificial meat in the lab. However, getting people to purchase artificial meat once it becomes commercially available could be difficult due to the naturalistic fallacy.
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44New Zealand New Zealand bans semi-automatic assault riflesAnd it only took 6 days.
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21United States Devin Nunes, perhaps best known for pushing a conspiracy theory about Trump being persecuted by the FBI in a memo, is suing a fictional cow over a parody Twitter account, with inevitable Streisand effect consequences. (Alternative link to a Guardian report which mentions a goat who is not being sued.)
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18United States Bitcoin is not going so well for US neo-Nazis.(self promotion warning)
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23United States US judge temporarily halts oil drilling nationwide in landmark climate change ruling
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17United NationsBosnia and Herzegovina Former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadžić has lost his appeal in the charge of war crimes at the International Tribunal in the Hague. The judge has also increased his sentence from 40 years to life.
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17United States There is anger at Alaska Governor Dunleavy's planned tour of statewide town hall meetings promoting his budget plan which includes cuts to Medicare and education after it was revealed that Americans for Prosperity were sponsoring and managing the events.
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21RussiaRussia has passed two laws that block websites and hand out punishment for "fake news" and material deemed insulting to the president, state or the public.
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33United Kingdom Citing 17th century procedure on resubmitting failed bills, Parliament cannot vote on the Brexit deal again unless the terms are changed.
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23United Kingdom A 50-year old man in Surrey is being held for suspected terrorism offences after a rampage of car-smashing and racist chanting concluded with the stabbing of a teenager of Southern European heritage.
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20Netherlands Three people have died and five have been injured in a shooting on a tram that has happened in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Police are saying they are treating the incident as act of terrorism and that officers are wishing to speak to 37-year-old Turkish-born Dutchman Gökman T., who is the possible suspect of the incident. Update: Police have arrested the man in question. Update: According to Dutch television, the man has psychological problems and has domestic issues which could be the cause.
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31United StatesNative Americans on the Pine Ridge ReservationWikipedia are expressing doubts and worries about Christian-backed charities on the reservation, fearing that these Christians will attempt to proselytize in an attempt to stamp out the tribal religion of the reservation.
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33United KingdomA bill to legalise mixed-sex civil partnerships has passed the lower chamber of the House of Commons. Currently only same-sex civil partnerships are legal in the UK.
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37the WorldStudents in more than 100 countries skip school to protest against inaction on climate change.
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19United StatesThe "Tragedy of the Commons" was written by a white supremacist based on false history and eugenics.
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42United StatesUS House votes to make Mueller Report public 420-0.
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44New ZealandAustralia An Australian senator is facing international backlash over comments shifting blame to the New Zealand government for the Christchurch attack for allowing Muslim immigration.
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60DenmarkThe far-left Red–Green Alliance has changed its long-held demand for a Danish referendum on European Union, in favour of reforming it for its 2019 Euro-election manifesto. Party spokesperson Pernille Skipper saying “It was a mistake. Brexit has been an eye-opener for us as a party."
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46New ZealandA mass shooting takes place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Death toll has reached 40, with perhaps 27 injured. Update: 23:37 NZT - 49 Dead, 48 in hospitals as of 9pm. Death toll now 50 as additional body found inside mosque.
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32United StatesSenate passes resolution to overturn Trump's national emergency declaration
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22United KingdomEuropean UnionBritish Parliament has voted 412 to 202 to seek a delay on leaving the EU.
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22PolandPolish newspaper runs front page list on "how to spot a Jew".
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19United StatesSouthern Poverty Law Center is filing a lawsuit against a decision by Betsy DeVos to divert federal finance from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant which is used to make schools healthy and safe, to purchase firearms for teachers.
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33United StatesJacob Wohl Faked Death Threats Against Himself
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28United StatesCalifornia governor signs executive order stopping state's death penalty for now
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34United StatesDemocrats reintroduce Equality Act to ban LGBTQ discrimination
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31European UnionAfter the crash of one of them in Ethiopia several days ago, the European Union grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 jets as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it sees "no basis" to do so joining several other countries that have done the same. Update: Boeing decided to ground all of its 737 Max 8 jets after the FAA found new evidence at the crash site "out of an abundance of caution." U.S. pilots have complained that the aircraft is difficult to control after takeoff.
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41United Kingdom For a second time, the UK Parliament has voted against Theresa May's Brexit plan by 391 votes to 242.
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38NetherlandsA bill banning discrimination on the grounds of gender identity such as intersex and transgender, has passed both chambers of the Dutch parliament. All the parties voted for it, apart from the fundamentalist Reformed Political Party and the anti-immigrant Party for Freedom. Now it just needs signing by King Willem-Alexander.
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14AlgeriaAlgerian president Bouteflika announces he will not seek a fifth term amid massive protests against his reelection bid.
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19United StatesDozens have been charged in a multimillion-dollar college admission bribery scandal.
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45ItalyItaly bans sending unvaccinated children to school.
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43IsraelNetanyahu draws criticism for saying that Israel is "the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people."
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26European UnionMember states approve EU-wide protections for whistleblowers who expose crimes
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12ChinaChinese lawmakers urge scrapping family planning laws as birth rates plunge
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35United StatesA massage parlor has been selling political access to Donald Trump at Mar a Lago to Chinese business executives.
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24North KoreaMalaysiaIndonesiaIndonesian woman accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un, has been acquitted of any wrong doing.
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41CanadaHondurasThe Canadian government will stop funding homeopaths to go to Honduras.
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1GermanyOn International Women's Day, a group of German academics are proposing that the German language scrap the grammatical gender and make all nouns neuter.
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13Ethiopia157 people have died after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed.
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55United KingdomUgandaA Ugandan-born woman becomes the first person in the UK to be found guilty of the crime of female genital mutilation for harm she did to her 3-year-old-daughter and is sentenced to 11 years in jail.
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10MalaysiaMalaysian jailed for more than 10 years for insulting Islam.
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7United StatesThe Trump administration is considering asking U.S. allies hosting U.S. military bases to pay more for them, though Trump has not decided on any burden-sharing option. South Korea recently agreed to pay more. Trump and previous presidents have been pushing for NATO allies to pay more for their own defense while critics say overseas bases are costly.
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6VenezuelaMassive power outage affects most of Venezuela.
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38United StatesTrump inauguration took money from foreign shell companies new report reveals
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36United StatesPaul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months for fraud, while federal guidelines recommend 19 to 24 years.
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-3United StatesFinlandThe U.S. State Department has rescinded an award for female journalism to Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro, due to the journalist's personal criticism of Trump.
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52FranceFrench cardinal convicted of child sex abuse cover-up.
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52Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia criticized by 36 countries over human rights.
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32United StatesUS officials made a list of 59 mostly American reporters, lawyers and activists to question at the border.
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34RussiaRussia passes law to jail people for 15 days for "disrespecting" government.
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25United StatesCynthia Newman, a dean of Rider University in New Jersey, resigns because a campus ban on homophobic restaurant chain Chick-fil-A was "an affront to my Christian values", insisting "Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement is to glorify God, to be faithful stewards of all that’s entrusted to them and have a positive influence on everyone who comes into contact with them."
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20United KingdomBriton Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) livestreams himself doorstepping journalist Mike Stuchbery's home, not once, but twice in one night. He also threatened to dox other reporters during the livestream.
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39United Kingdom The Conservative Party has suspended 14 members in response to a growing problem of members posting racist material and comments on social media.
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12United Kingdom Counterterrorism police are investigating letter bombs sent to two airports and a major railway station in London.
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-5United StatesCubaPompeo announces tightening of Cuba embargo.
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2GermanyThe current leader of the German CDU party Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer came under fire after joking in a televised carnival show, about Berliner cafés having “third-sexed bathrooms". Saying, "It's for the men who can't decide if they want to sit or stand when they pee.", which were seen as being anti-LGBT+.
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9United KingdomA £1.6 billion government fund has been launched to boost less well-off towns in England after Brexit, which some see as a bribe to get MPs to vote for May's Brexit deal.
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19United StatesUS coal plants are contaminating groundwater with toxins, new analysis finds
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13United StatesPalestineIsraelThe US has closed its consulate to Palestine, merging it into the embassy to Israel.
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-5United States Officers who shot man eight times will not be charged
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11United StatesUnited KingdomThe US ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson, has come under fire in an interview by suggesting that the UK open up its market to American farmers post-Brexit.
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25United KingdomAn influential group of MPs are proposing that the smoking age should be raised from the current age of 18 to 21.
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40United States The University of California system has canceled its $10 million annual subscription to Elsevier's scientific journals. This comes amidst a growing movement of scientists fed up with the business model of academic publishing, and calling for the expansion of open access publication.
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13Syria The OPCW'sWikipedia final report on chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria finds reasonable grounds for the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon, likely molecular chlorine. The OPCW's mandate did not include identifying who is responsible. The joint investigative mechanism between the UN and OPCW was responsible for apportioning blame but was disbanded after Russia vetoed an extension of its mandate.