RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/November 2015

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November 2015[edit]

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33Robert Dear, the accused murderer at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1992 for allegedly raping a woman at knife-point.
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6New Canadian citizen Prof. Dror Bar-Natan to immediately renounce the oath of loyalty to the Queen that he is required to take.
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17Northern Ireland edges slowly into the 1960's.
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10Europe adds the "big money" carrot to the "vague unspecified progress towards eventual EU membership" one in order to get Turkey to keep the refugees they won't.
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18The Paris climate change summit has started with around 220 people being arrested for clashing with police.
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26US Kurdish allies are most likely torturing their prisoners.
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19Tahir Elci, a Kurdish human rights lawyer, was killed during a press conference in Turkey
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32Ted Cruz speculates that the person who shot people and killed three at the Colorado Planned Parenthood is "a transgendered leftist activist."
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-32Say what you will about Tim Tebow, when he makes a commitment, he keeps it (more worth reading for the hilarious comments section).
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34Bad time to be in the snake oil biz: Federal agencies file criminal, civil cases against more than 100 supplement companies
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37A Wisconsin elementary school has cancelled plans to include a kids' book about a transperson after an anti-LGBT group threatened to sue.
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14Bernie Sanders wants to bring back deported immigrants.
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5 Perhaps this is the key to future ocean-based power generators.
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18 Apparently, Russia really likes global warming.
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29Same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. but frequently not on tribal lands. Navajo Nation expressly bans it.
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15Guilty until proven innocent in the UK: Men must prove a woman said 'Yes' under tough new rape rules.
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36Apparent ongoing shooting incident in Colorado at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
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39Israel meets with Google and YouTube to discuss censoring Palestinian videos. Videos of the IDF executing Palestinians have been going viral since the bombardment of Gaza in 2014.
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44Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget was sued by Warner, Sony, Universal et al, who wanted them to block Pirate bay and similar sites. The verdict is in: Bredbandsbolaget won, and Warner and their cohorts have to pay Bredbandsbolaget's legal costs, 1,4 miljoner kronor (~$160k).
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25Armed mosque protesters publish names and home addresses of Irving, TX Muslims and their supporters. (List now down.)
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28As Anonymous continues to hack and play with ISIS and ISIS-supporting sites, at one such it has now replaced the call to murderous atrocities with a Viagra advert.
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5 Are you tired of standardized testsTM and boring teachers? This is for you.
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44Saudi Arabia will sue any Twitter user who compares the Kingdom’s recent decision to execute a poet to punishments handed down by Daesh. You know what to do.
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20Grand Mosque in Brussels, Belgium faces anthrax scare from discovering envelopes of strange white powder (thankfully just flour and talc).
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14Daraprim's price won't actually decrease, but instead be discounted to hospitals.
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35Salt Lake City, of all places, elects a gay mayor.
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22UK government makes 'Error of law' by excluding atheism from religious studies
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20“The last bastion of humanitarianism has fallen.”
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52Not sure if real or The Onion... Trump puts up a plaque at a golf club he owns near the Potomac river, commemorating the "Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, [that] died at this spot", and that they were so many that the river got called "The River of Blood". Problem is, it never happened. Trump responds: "“How would they know that?” Mr. Trump asked when told that local historians had called his plaque a fiction. “Were they there?”".
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17White phosphorous is being used in Raqqa air strikes.
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12Uganda's Gay Community Has High Hopes For Pope Francis's Visit
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25Teacher suspended after condom demonstration
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14#ExMuslimBecause: Thousands of Former Muslims Are Speaking Out After Paris -- and It's Amazing
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22Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy urge calm as they prepare to release a video of a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager. The released video strongly looks like cold-blooded murder. No one even tries to help the young man afterward.
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15 The City of Montreal, Canada, introduces a plan to adapt to climate change. Don't you want shorter winters?
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46 Federal court declares Wisconsin's abortion law "unconstitutional." The battle shall continue at the Supreme Court.
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46 A computer simulation suggests that conversion to 100% renewable energy is not only possible and desirable, but also more affordable than many expect. Also noteworthy is that each country would be largely, if not entirely, energy independent, thus reducing the chances of conflict.
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22Genesis II Church still leaching off the gullible and the desperate with Miracle Mineral Solution.
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32At a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, three white gunman open fire, injuring five people.
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30Armageddon? The Turks have shot down a Russian warplane.
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35Alabama public school employee hands out literature about the evils of homosexuality. For bonus lulz, some sources have suggested it is a copyright violation.
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1950 analysts accuse CENTCOMWikipedia of fabricating intelligence on ISIL
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32Russian court orders Scientology's Moscow branch dissolved on the argument that the term "Scientology" is a registered US trademark.
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29Now that those dark days are over, Alberta, where the Keystone XL Pipeline would have originated had it been approved, has laid out detailed plans to tackle global warming and climate change.
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26Canadian web design company Vestra Inet posts a "job available" notice on linkedin, for the position of SEO Specialist & Content Writer. The job posting ends with: "Please note that the Position requires filling in the responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.". When asked to comment on it, Vestra Inet's receptionists say they've been instructed "not to comment on the matter or forward calls about the posting to management.". Update: They've now taken to Facebook and explained that "we did not mean to discriminate against any particular gender or group". Commenters seem somewhat unconvinced.
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24Apparently, now welfare makes people work. It must be a conspiracy of welfare queens, I guess.
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33 Good news for sceptics and critics as Youtube steps up defence of Fair Use against malicious copyright claims.
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26 Democrat John Bel Edwards beats David Vitter in the Louisiana governor's race.
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2BSA asked politely to move into at least the 20th century
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27Scientists found part of brain that links to religious beliefs and group prejudice.
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32It's unlikely to pass, but still surprising: A proposal for single-payer healthcare has made it onto the ballot in Colorado.
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12SÄPO, the Swedish Security Service, on Wednesday the 18th arrested a terrorist "in absentia". They caught him Thursday the 19th. And by Sunday the 22nd the "terrorist" was cleared, with SÄPO, as per usual, having shown amazing incompetence (the former suspect having made no effort whatsoever to hide and having been active on Facebook). Bonus: all the major media outlets in Sweden put up his full name and a photograph immediately. Responsible and competent behaviour all 'round!
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39File under "what is this, 2002?": two Southwest Airlines flights see Muslim passengers get kicked off at the gate because bigoted assholes didn't want to fly with them.
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35In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has issued an ultimatum to local non-profits "asking" them to stop providing help to Syrian refugees. Multiple organizations have complied in fear of losing state funding.
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43Saudi Arabian court sentences Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death for apostasy. After appealing his initial jail term sentence, the poor bastard was then sentenced to death
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32Coming soon to an overpriced sushi bar near you, GMO salmon approved for human consumption. And it only took 20 years!
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58Donald Trump looks to make a national database of Muslim Americans. No word yet on demanding they wear green crescents in public.
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26Gunmen in Mali have taken 170 people hostage in the Radisson hotel.
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22The NIH will no longer conduct experiments on chimpanzees and will retire its remaining chimpanzees.
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36The US House of Representatives votes to impose draconian restrictions on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. While Obama is expected to veto the bill, Democrats can't be too smug, as "dozens" of Dems voted for the measure. The 289 votes in favor are one short of being two-thirds of the House.
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32According to a Gallup poll of 148,000 Americans, those who get healthcare plans from their secret Santa the government are the most satisfied while the uninsured are the least satisfied.
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42Gallup's latest poll of 1,000 participants indicate that half (and rising) of Americans now believe in evolution.
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32Analysis of a survey of 800 Texan women indicate an estimated 100,000 to 240,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce an abortion.
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23Australia's stolen generation will be given $11 million in reparations.
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19Antibiotic defences against serious diseases under threat, experts warn
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41Trinity Health, one of the largest US Catholic hospital systems, will refuse women emergency care because of their religious beliefs.
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25Labour MP, Keith VazWikipedia, says he has no problem with reintroducing blasphemy laws.
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18Terrorists from Boston to Paris were already known to authorities, yet Western intelligence agencies claim they need expanded surveillance powers.
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11New Snowden/NSA revelation: NSA collected communications of top officials of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela.
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20Ben Carson tweets a beautiful map of the US. When you see it, you will shit bricks.
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12Catholic bishops revise voter guide after debate over ‘Pope Francis agenda’
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27Up to 240,000 Women Have Tried to Give Themselves Abortions in Texas
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20Kasich Proposes New Government Agency To Promote Judeo-Christian Values
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18Suspected mastermind of Paris attacks a non-religious druggie, petty thief, apparent sociopath.
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23 Not only is the UK behind its own schedule for transitioning to renewable energy, but off-shore wind farms will also be delayed. To make up for that, now it plans to shut down all remaining coal power plants and replace them with those that run on gas and nuclear reactions.
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8The US and China battle for influence at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Philippines. President Obama took the opportunity to promote renewable energy in front of business leaders.
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17More shooting in Paris as police raiders and the French Army fight three suspects in an apartment building.
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26In discouraging news, a new WHO survey found that misinformation about antibiotics is widespread. 64% of respondents thought antibiotics are effective against flu and colds. Note the survey was international and included countries where antibiotic misuse is a severe problem.
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24Jindal gone. 3 down, 13 to go.
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14Incredible face transplant procedure for firefighter at NYU Langone Medical Center. A must see.
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33U.S. government bringing criminal charges against companies that sell bogus dietary supplements; "federal agencies are alleging that companies were either selling dietary supplements that contained ingredients other than what was listed on the label — or products that made claims that weren't supported by scientific evidence."
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8Israel bans Islamic Movement'sWikipedia northern branch by decision of the cabinet.
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30So, remember that time when Cruz, Huckabee, and Jindal appeared at a conference where the organizer talked about executing homosexuals? Don't worry though, he's not that extremist. They'll be given a chance to repent and become Christians first.
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37New from Pew: "[A]theists are more likely than U.S. Christians to say they often feel a sense of wonder about the universe (54% vs. 45%)." They're more liberal, more white, more educated, and younger than population at large.
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18The Senate Chairman is demanding that the NOAA turn over emails that will once and for all prove that climate change is only a myth!
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26Sen. Ted Cruz says he'll be introducing a bill to ban Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. Though Cruz and Jeb Bush have proposed an exception (see the issue?) for Christian Syrians.
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33Wikileaks releases the #SourceAmerica tapes, over three hours worth of tapes and transcripts that implicate the Obama administration in a scandal whereby money meant for disabled employees was fraudulently handed over to defense contractors instead. It is estimated that ten of Obama's Presidential nominees assisted giving federal funds "to corruptly favoured placement organisations that recruit the able bodied or the mildly disabled instead of the mandated 75% severely disabled". Three of Bush's nominees have also been implicated, and Wikileaks claims that the revelations can be linked directly to the current Administration.
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29Fascinating, uplifting account of how Megan Phelps-Roper evolved out of Westboro, hatred and especially anti-semitism. Online and face-to-face interactions with Jews played a large role. She doesn't believe Bible is God's word any longer and is living in sin.
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35The governors of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Arizona, North Carolina and Mississippi 31 states have stated they will refuse to accept Syrian refugees. But they don't actually have authority to do so.
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27Michigan prosecutors and cops are dictating to scientists, "playing politics with science," to make felons out of medical marijuana users.
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35An interesting case study in how wrong information spreads: Numerous news organizations reported that the lights on the Eiffel Tower were turned off as a tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. Except the Tower's lights are turned off every day at 1 AM. Guess who reported this first. Someone saw this and repeated it on their obvious parody Twitter account, and other news outlets then repeated the information, sourced to the tweet.
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36Israel's defense minister says that the Europeans should disregard human rights in order to fight ISIS.
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24Poland will no longer take any refugees according to their new Minister.
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27Goats are fighting crime in Richmond, CA.
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8The new defense spending bill will kill the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat OrganizationWikipedia which works to help create technology that would find and destroy IEDs.
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35"Conspiracy theories originating on the extreme right have invaded American political life". Bullshit makes its way into American politics, as once noted by Richard Hofstadter.
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33Marco Rubio believes that a war with ISIS is a clash of civilizations while Ted Cruz believes we should accept more dead civilians in our airstrikes.
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14The king of oops! wants to use "every resource known to man" to destroy Daesh and friends.
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24No, it's not Roe v. Wade all over again. Yes, it is somewhat important, though.
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36French President Francois Holland was in the stadium that was subjected to 3 suicide bombs; he was safely evacuated. French police have stormed the Bataclan music hall, where multiple witnesses say the gunmen shouted: “Allahu akbar.” AP is tweeting -- and CNN has also reported -- French officials confirm at least 100118 dead in music hall. CNN is reporting the Deputy Mayor of Paris says the attacks appear to be over, but could start again.
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27"Five explosions heard at Bataclan music hall where hostages held after French president says police assault is underway." (Live Reuters reporting at link.) Journalist who fled the hall says unmasked attackers are "very young." Unconfirmed Twitter reports say hostages in hall want police to storm it, because they are being shot one-by-one. CNN just reported yet more explosions and shootings.
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38Shootings, explosions and a hostage situation in Paris. 26 At least 60 dead, attackers shooting with AK-47 automatic weapons, at least six shootings took place and three explosions. 100 people have been taken hostage in 7 different locations. The borders of France have been closed. Associated Press tweets: "French police official confirms 2 suicide attacks, 1 bombing near Paris stadium." No information about who and why yet.
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33Daesh loses Sinjar, Iraq, apparently without putting up much of a fight (large-scale desertion is believed cause).
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40An end to homeopathy on the NHS is being considered. Will big altmed be able to hold back the tide?
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21Daesh claims responsibility for bombing civilians through two suicide blasts in a crowded residential district in Beirut's southern suburbs. Western media sensitively responds to the victims....by calling the suburb a "Hezbollah stronghold" and more or less justifying Daesh's terrorist acts as a legitimate act of defiance against Hezbollah.
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23Welsh town moves 'offshore' to avoid tax on local business. "It’s jolly clever," local business owner says.
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28Israeli commandos stormed a hospital in the occupied West Bank and shot a 28-year-old Palestinian to death, leaving him to bleed out on the floor while while they arrested his cousin, a patient in the surgical ward. Much of the raid is captured on CCTV video.
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38Meanwhile, back in Missouri, a state senator wants to block a Ph.D. student's dissertation about abortion.
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17The US proposes a ban on smoking in public housing.
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2144 oil executives and truck drivers have been arrested for persistent oil heating fraud in New York.
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31Being homosexual apparently disqualifies one from fostering children. Who knew? The law didn't. UPDATE: The order has been rescinded, and the couple expresses forgiveness.
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15If it happens to dogs, why let it happen to humans?
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24Ben Carson hates it when people check those pesky facts contradicting his Bible babble autobiography babble.
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18A 19-year-old sophomore at Missouri Science and Tech and another Missouri college student have been arrested for allegedly making terrorist threats to kill black people. These threats, coming in the face of student protests about campus racism, caused black students to avoid classes, leading to one professor resigning after backlash for refusing to cancel an exam. The university seems to have refused to accept his resignation, however.
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21Massive hack of a major provider of inmate phone service at U.S. prisons and jails. They've apparently been recording confidential and privileged legal communications between prisoners and their attorneys.
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3211-year old girl with same-sex parents who appeared on an American Girl cover fires back at A Few Thousand One Million Morons Moms for attacking the magazine and her family instead of using their energy helping people.
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28The EU wants to label products from Israeli settlements outside the 1967 lines.
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30Scientist have created genetically modified algae that can kill 90% of cancer cells in a petri dish without harming healthy ones.
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14those feminazi SJWs get everywhere.
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21Monkey sues man for copyright infringement. Thanks PETA, this is really the most pressing animal welfare issue at this moment!
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35In case you haven't seen it yet, gaze upon Ben Carson's temple to himself. Come for the misspelled Bible quote; stay for the portrait of him hanging out with Jesus. Probably the worst part is that he allowed the photos to be taken and released, which indicates he thinks this is all totally normal.
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24A physicist stumbles upon a well-known infinite product for pi while solving a problem in quantum mechanics. Do we wait one or two days before checking for "this is proof of God's design" woo?
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32Some fast-food workers simply have too much free time. Now they want higher wages and 'union rights'.
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28As of 2014, half of all new power plants run on renewable energy. There is also a transition away from coal.
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18Boston to ban handguns in public spaces. Replica handguns, that is.
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8During continued protests in University of Missouri, a video of protesters clashing with press goes viral.
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26Rubionomics; how Marco Rubio's math will help the hard-pressed yacht owners.
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24Jeb Bush pledges that if he could, he'd use a time machine to go back and kill Baby Hitler.
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26Finally someone explains the why of conflict in Israel.
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23Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party wins the Burmese elections in a landslide.
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16The Catalan Parliament approves a plan for independence. Madrid says from its cold dead hands.
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30200-Year-Old Homeopathy “Cures” May Face Modern Medical Testing
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38Sen. Ted Cruz: Atheists Aren’t “Fit to Be Commander-in-Chief of This Nation”
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12God hates IHOP!!!
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26Crane, TX high schools are rather suddenly in the process of re-evaluating its abstinence-only sex-ed policy when tests revealed 20 students in a school of 300 tested positive for chlamydia, gaining epidemic status from the CDC.
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26Ben Carson and the failures of black conservatives. On the while, Ben Carson denies the lies he wrote in his autobiography.
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15What's the police doing in schools?
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25Healing Crystal advertorial banned by New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority for "failing to prove any benefits". TV station says "it would appreciate some direction on its problematic areas so they could be addressed" - feel free to give them some direction in the comments!
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16Chelsea Manning has written a bill that would abolish the FISA court system.
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17New York is investigating Exxon Mobil for misleading the public about climate change.
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7A UFO Flew over Los Angeles! Everyone put on your tinfoil hats!
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19New Jersey's State Assembly turns yet bluer; Jon Bramnick, the head elephant in that body, all but quotes Bernie Sanders on the influence of money in elections... minus the actual proposals to do anything about it, of course.
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32Ireland will decriminalize small amounts of heroin, cocaine, and cannabis for personal use.
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41Bernie Sanders has brought two bills into Congress: one that would decriminalize marijuana and another that would ban new energy leases for fossil fuels.
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22California's ongoing drought leaves migrating birds with fewer places to land, and threatens their health as they crowd in on one another looking for food and shelter.
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25Far from bolstering generosity, a religious upbringing diminishes it
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32Ben Carson: Humans walked on the moon because America was founded on God
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19MSF has released their damning report about the hospital bombing in Afghanistan.
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24 World chemical weapons watchdog determines that mustard gas was used over two months ago in Syrian town of Marea. The report does not assign blame for who used mustard gas as a weapon.
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32 US President Obama finally rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is disappointed but looks for a fresh start. Reactions from some other politicians are equally "disappointing but not surprising."
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40Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.
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9The future of sex ed
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22Mexico’s Supreme Court rules that smoking pot is a fundamental human right. Currently the ruling only applies to 4 people, but that may change soon.
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15Police union acts like bullies in a 90s kids movie towards a 90s Hollywood director.
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1811 times God intervened directly in Ben Carson’s life, according to Ben Carson
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30Ben Carson calls many Americans "stupid." If he isn't referring to Democrats he's in deep shit.
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26The full text of the TPP has been released by New Zealand. (See the full text here.) The White House follows suit. Transparency after the fact.
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-22Suspect of university stabbings in California faces the consequences of police brutality
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40Ben Carson is many things, including a major presidential candidate. We can add archaeologist to the list: "The Pyramids were for grain storage and built by Joseph".
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28 Meet the Coywolf - a hybrid canine that may or may not be a new species, but which is certainly transitional and has evolved in quick smart time!
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19Sad and horrific: 19-year old Afghan woman stoned to death for adultery in Taliban-controlled village in central Afghanistan.
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-10Hillary Clinton takes to pages of American Zionist publication to enthuse over Israel, to oppose BDS, and to declare she will be very welcoming of Benjamin Netanyahu.
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27Welcome to the 21st century, Canada! A gender-balanced cabinet looks good on you.
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30 Welcome to the 21st century, Costa Rica! The first gay marriage has happened in Central America. (link in Spanish) Other countries in the region range from wishing to ban gay marriage to having de jure banned male gay sex
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23More women own game consoles than men, according to a survey. Yet, the sexism continues even in e-sports, where women hardly ever make it to the finals; male competitors refuse coaching from a female and disrespect women participants.
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20If you leave your tablet in your unlocked car in New Haven, Conn., the cops will take it -- to "teach you a lesson."
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20Bitcoin price jumps from $250 to $450, because of a Ponzi scheme in China that requires you to buy some Bitcoin to join.
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45Major North American city favours basic math over superstition.
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13We're terribly sorry, but your lamb sacrifice has been rejected.
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-35Uh oh: In an attempt to reconcile quantum theory and relativity, a researcher suggests that black holes do not exist. Nobody tell Andy. In a non peer-reviewed paper on arXiv.
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25Suicide, drugs & alcohol are reversing the longevity trend in the US: Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans
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28Ben Carson is now beating Donald Trump in the Republican competition for stupidity (paywall, dumbed down Yahoo! version here).
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35The president has jokes.
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38The fight to homeschool your kids about the Rapture is being waged in Texas. No word on whether Andrew Schlafly will be a defendant.
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24Ben Carson wasn't actually the first to compare slavery to abortion, but either way he ignores history and insults African American Heritage.
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23Northern Ireland assembly votes to legalise same-sex marriage, but the (mainly Protestant) Democratic Unionist Party have exercised their veto.
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18Headline: Gunman kills student, wounds another at North Carolina university. The guns obviously had nothing to do with this killing of course.
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17Jeb Bush launches retooled 'Jeb Can Fix It' campaign.
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26Fashionable malnutrition for the children of nutcases! Paleo diet for babies book published.
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15Erdogan's AK Party "wins" back their majority in Turkey.