RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/November 2017

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November 2017[edit]

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23Riko Muranaka wins the 2017 John Maddox prize for countering HPV vaccine misinformation.
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44President Trump provokes hostility in the United Kingdom by sharing views from a far-right fake news outlet, which the White House defends as a simple promotion of border-security. British Prime Minister Theresa May insists the President was wrong to do so, and is told to mind her own business.
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19Bosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak dies after taking poison in court
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26Turns out that yetis are basically just bears.
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8Matt Lauer fired by NBC due to "inappropriate sexual behavior."
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58The Washington Post busts a transparent attempt by Project Veritas to trip them up in their investigation of Roy Moore's sex abuse scandal. Short version: a woman went to the Post claiming that Moore impregnated her as a teenager, and she was suspiciously interested in seeing to it that Moore lost his campaign for Senate. (Non-paywalled version, though still bitchy about adblock.)
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36Vaccine refusal in the US seems to have stopped increasing. (original study here)
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63Remember how back in July, the South Carolina Supreme Court tried to extend domestic violence protections to same-sex unmarried couples, but then stayed their own order when they realized they accidentally took them away from all unmarried couples? Well, they finally fixed their mistake; now all couples--married or unmarried, same-sex or opposite-sex--are covered equally by the state's domestic violence laws. This is surprisingly progressive news out of the Deep South, especially since all parties involved, even the state's Attorney General, agreed that it should happen; the only dispute was over the best way to do it.
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19Youth pastor arrested for allegedly murdering family on Thanksgiving
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102018 Melbourne atheist convention cancelled due to lack of interest.
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41 Thousands are signing a petition to fire Federal Communications Committee chair Ajit Pai as people protest the possible end to net neutrality. Here is what could happen once Net Neutrality is repealed. Unsurprisingly, a think-tank funded by Google and other private tech companies believes consumers will likely remain safe.
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26Egypt faces its worst terrorist attack in modern history; gunners kill 235 people in a Sinai mosque.
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24Galapagos - the islands that keep on giving: Finches caught in act of speciation... oh you naughty finches!
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20Richard Spencer is reportedly banned from 26 European nations, and it has nothing do with his nonNazi views.Do You Believe That?
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26California Flat Earth believer will launch self in home made rocket on Saturday, 11/25/2017, hoping to take pictures of curvature or lack thereof in a later flight. UPDATE. Cancelled for now due to "bureaucratic" and mechanical problems.
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4Nebraska approves the construction of TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline, albeit choosing a different path.
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25Bosnian Serb military commander and war criminal Ratko Mladic has been sentenced to life in prison for genocide by a UN tribunal.
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16Democratic Congressman John Conyers accused of sexual misconduct.
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48Robert Mugabe, finally, finally, finally resigns.
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2210 of the 12 water companies in the United Kingdom admit to using dowsers to find leaks and buried pipes. (Original source)
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29A homophobic Ohioan lawmaker ironically resigns after a gay sex scandal.
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13President Trump is poised to declare North Korea a state-sponsor of terrorism, in a move that will impose fresh sanctions.
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16After the Chinese state authorities release several UCLA basketball players from jail for shoplifting, President Trump immediately regrets his decision because the families weren't thankful enough.
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7Talks of forming a government between the mainstream German parties have broken down, and a general election may have to be called.
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35Criminal Charles Manson has died at the age of 83.
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10Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has announced his intentions to step down.
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11Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen has been arrested again; this time by the Police Service of Northern Ireland after complaints were made about a speech she made in Belfast.
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17Former president George H.W. Bush has received an eighth accusation of improper behaviour.
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11Following the Daily Telegraph's attempt to smear Conservative MPs as traitors for opposing a fixed Brexit deadline, an MP speaks of death threats she received afterwards.
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9Another US warship in the Pacific has been involved in a collision. This time a Japanese tug was involved.
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14Radioactive cloud detected over Eastern Europe. Signs point to accident in Russia or Kazahkstan.
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18FCC plans in December to vote about killing Net Neutrality rules
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10A judge running for Ohio governor boasted that he had bedded 50 women.
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22The Keystone Pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of crude oil in South Dakota. This comes at the time when the operator, TransCanada, is seeking approval from the state of Nebraska in order to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.
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8A North Korean defector is found to be riddled with parasitic worms.
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14The new Bible museum in Washington, D.C., funded by the Hobby Lobby family, may be displaying fake Dead Sea Scrolls artifacts.
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16Democrat senator Al Franken issues an apology after being accused of forcible kissing and groping a model. Update: Franken is accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman.
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20Alberta woo-meisters' conviction in son's meningitis death upheld as defense lawyer argues judge allowed "too many experts". Crown prosecutors, meanwhile, are appealing seeking stiffer sentences.
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26Yet more trouble in Zimbabwe. Military launches coup, Robert Mugabe under house arrest. Prepare to meet the new boss...
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33Russia's defense ministry posts an image from a video game as "irrefutable proof" that the U.S. is aiding ISIS.
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41In a non-binding national postal survey, Australia votes overwhelmingly in favour of same sex marriage. 61.6% voted yes with a 79.5% response rate. The majority voted yes in 133 out of 150 electorates.
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43To the surprise of absolutely no-one, it turns out WikiLeaks collaborated closely (and secretly) with the Trump family during the 2016 US presidential election. Furthermore, the site requested several favors throughout this collaboration, including asking Donald Trump Jr. to place Julian Assange as Australia's ambassador to the USA.
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18Vault 8: WikiLeaks Releases Source Code For Hive — CIA's Malware Control System
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21Police estimate that 60,000 people took part in a march on Poland's independence day in what was one of the largest gatherings of far-right activists in Europe in recent years. A demonstrator interviewed on state TV said he was marching to "remove Jewry from power" and other demonstrators covered their faces and chanted "pure Poland, white Poland!"
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2Harvard hosted "Sex Week". (Its Facebook page)
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40Republican politician Roy Moore is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Republican responses range from "defending pedophilia, to 'rather a pedophile than a Democrat' (Salon)" to advocating due process and saying he should resign (Daily Wire)
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23Comedian Louis CK acknowledges accusations of sexual misconduct are true - issues apology. In related news, actor George Takei has also been accused of sexual assault.
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32A possible stopped clock moment for Donald Trump: A Trump aide says that Donald Trump thinks that Scientology should not have a tax exemption.
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28The UK's Commons Speaker, John Bercow, vetoes Donald Trump addressing the Houses of Parliament, saying, "he hasn't earned the right."
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38Syria signs the Paris Climate Agreement, a couple of weeks after Nicaragua signed on, leaving the US the only country in the world refusing to sign. (Warning AutoPlay Video). Related: Trump is not invited to Paris climate summit in December. (Warning AutoPlay Video).
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24Juli Briskman, a now former employee of the government contractor Akima L.L.C., was fired following an incident involving her flipping off Trump's motorcade.
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33Another mass shooting in the United States, this time at a Baptist church in Texas on Sunday, 26 worshippers killed (4% of the town) before the murderer appeared to have shot and killed himself following a car chase. The shooter was an atheist as described by his friends and classmates, and others are trying to link him to the Antifa movement without much evidence.
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20A series of misconduct scandals has moved through British politics, with allegations including online hate speech, groping, forced kissing, sexting, and sexual assaults. Three Conservative Secretaries of State are under investigation with one already resigned; a further three MPs are also being investigated with a fourth serious enough to be referred to the police. Labour meanwhile is investigating three party members for groping allegations, including one who has just been fired from the Welsh government. Two party members have reported to have been sexually assaulted by a senior official several years ago. Another MP was also suspended for making offensive online remarks. For the SNP, a Scottish government minister has also resigned. Update: Former Welsh minister kills himself
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26Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has accused the Pentagon of deliberately withholding an official report denouncing the existence of Iraqi WMDs, and argues that Britain's entry in the war would not have otherwise taken place.
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2713.4 million documents relating to backhand business deals and tax-avoiding in the Cayman Islands have been leaked. President Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, was found to be doing business with Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov. Queen Elizabeth's Duchy of Lancaster has been hiding funds for twelve years. Stephen Bronfman, an aid and fundraiser for Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was also implicated.
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28Trump appoints air pollution researcher Robert Phalen at the Irvine campus of the University of California as part of EPA's Scientific Advisory Board, a guy who thinks that "[m]odern air is a little too clean for optimum health" and children need some irritants in their lungs to help them "learn" to ward them off. He's also a lil' "skeptical" of climate change.
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32Climate change science is backed up... again. Humankind is still the primary cause of global warming.
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38Unearthed confidential chat logs from the website of the "anti-communist" (read: Neo-Nazi) organization Anticom reveal that members thereof goaded each other into constructing bombs and committing mass killings. (These are the people that provided security at Spencer's Florida speech; just so you know). Gee, I wonder what we'd call this, and how we'd respond to it, if it were Muslims doing it?
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17Unemployment in the U.S. has fallen to 4.1%, the lowest in 17 years. Furthermore, the U.S. economy gained 261,000 jobs in October.
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16A new GOP bill would allow churches to endorse political candidates and still keep their tax-free status.
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14Note found in truck claims Manhattan attack done for ISIS, source says