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

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November 2018[edit]

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13United StatesFormer US president George H. W. Bush has died at the age of 94.
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15the WorldLarge-scale hydropower projects are found to be less economical and environmentally friendly than previously thought. Europe and the U.S. are removing their dams but developing countries are building a lot more.
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16South Korea North Korea A South Korean train crosses the DMZ for the first time in more than a decade, carrying a team of engineers aboard tasked with inspecting North Korea's rail infrastructure, which Kim Jong-un said is in an "embarrassing" state.
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16United StatesA federal judge has ruled against Trump blocking funding for sanctuary cities.
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18AustraliaProud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has been denied a visa for a speaking tour of Australia on character grounds.
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10United StatesMexicoCanadaThe United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade agreement that replaces NAFTA has been signed in Buenos Aires, by Presidents Trump, Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau.
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17FranceNorth KoreaA civil servant for the French Senate and president of the French-Korean Friendship Association Benoît Quennedey, has been arrested for spying for North Korea.
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23United States Michael Cohen pleads guilty in court about lying to Congress about plans for the proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.
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16United Kingdom After the violent bullying of a Syrian brother and sister at a school in Yorkshire led to police action, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is being sued by the victims' parents for defending their abuser(s) on Facebook.
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24United Nations A United Nations report reveals that Earth's ozone layer is healing.
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17European Union United States NASA receives the powerhouse for its next-generation spacecraft, the Orion, from the European Space Agency (ESA).
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10Venezuela China Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE helps Venezuela create a new ID card that tracks citizens' activities, including voting.
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13FranceEuropean UnionMarine Le Pen has lost her appeal against the misappropriation of expenses totalling over 41 500 euro as a MEP, by employing her bodyguard as a "research assistant".
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19Germany Police raid the offices of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt over money laundering allegations stemming from the Panama Papers.
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13PhilippinesPhilippine leader Duterte threatens to create a death squad to hunt "Maoist assassins".
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20United StatesYemenThe Senate advances a bill to end US involvement in the Yemeni Civil War.
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22United StatesPresident Trump claims he is too intelligent to believe in climate change.
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15European UnionDiscrimination against black people "commonplace" in the EU.
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16UkraineRussiaMartial law goes into effect in 10 Ukrainian provinces after a sea clash with Russia.
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21China The world's first gene-edited babies (twins) were born in China. The scientist involved defends his work.
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29the World'Fury' as Mark Zuckerberg failed to show up at an inquiry attended by 9 countries
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26United StatesPaul Manafort's plea deal has been invalidated, as he has lied to Robert Mueller and the FBI about his behavior during the 2016 presidential elections. Also, he tried to speak to Julian Assange while in London.
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39United StatesTrump's disapproval rating matches its all-time high of 60%.
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20United StatesUS Court of Appeals rules in favor of Schlafly Beer in trademark suit filed by Phyllis Schlafly's heirs.
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17AustraliaFake "wellness" fraudster, Belle Gibson, is facing jail for failing to pay a $410,000 fine imposed on her for faking cancer in order to profit from false claims about curing it with natural therapies and nutrition.
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26United StatesNASA's InSight lander has touched down on Mars.
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11United KingdomChristopher Chope is at it again, and has now come out against a proposed amendment to the Children's Act that would ban Female Genital Mutilation, on the grounds that non-government bills are improper.
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12United StatesJury selection begins for the trial of James Alex Fields Jr.
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17SwitzerlandTwo-thirds of Swiss voters have rejected a popular initiative which would make international treaties unbinding if they contradict the Swiss constitution, which would have potentially invalidated international human rights laws.
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7United StatesMexico US border guards fire tear gas at the migrant caravan at US-Mexican border.
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15United StatesNeo-nazis are organizing secret paramilitary training across America.
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16RussiaUkraineRussian special forces have captured three Ukrainian ships in the Azov Sea, following allegations from both sides of ships illegally crossing the border.
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4European UnionUnited KingdomEU leaders have approved the UK's Brexit deal.
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32United StatesResearchers have reportedly developed a vaccine for Alzheimer's disease that could cut the number of dementia cases in half.
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25the WorldAfrican elephants are evolving to not grow tusks because of poachers.
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17United StatesA federal report on the worsening impact of climate change has been released.
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19United States The homeless crisis is getting worse in America's richest cities
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20GreenlandA 19 mile wide impact crater has been found under Greenland's ice.
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15PakistanChinaThree gunmen attacked the Chinese consulate in Pakistan.
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1United Kingdom With UKIP's national executive ruling that EDL members cannot join the party, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is to be Gerard Batten's new special adviser on Muslim grooming gangs.
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13United StatesProud Boys founder Gavin McInnes distances himself from the organization.
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18the WorldWarming gas concentrations have reached a new record high.
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8United StatesThe White House has approved the use of lethal force at the US-Mexico border.
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15United States U.S. abortion rates plummeted from 2006 to 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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21IndiaAmerican missionary wannabe is killed by members of an isolated tribe in the Andaman Islands.
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14Yemen85,000 children under the age of five have died of starvation due to the Yemeni Civil War.
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12United KingdomUnited Arab EmiratesA British PhD student has been sentenced to life in prison by the UAE on spying charges.
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20United StatesIn lighter news, a different federal judge struck down Mississippi's ban on abortion after 15 weeks.
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11United StatesA federal judge has found the nationwide ban on female genital mutilation to be unconstitutional, legalizing it in the 23 states without bans.
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9South KoreaRussia South Korea’s Kim Jong-Yang has been voted as the next head of InterpolWikipedia, beating Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk by 96 to 39 votes.
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10New Zealand The Police, the New Zealand Defence Forces and two notable sponsors, Westpac NZ and Vodafone NZ have dropped their support for Auckland Pride after the organisers object to New Zealand Police marching in uniform.
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11United StatesSaudi ArabiaTrump says that the US intends to remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia despite the CIA concluding that the Saudi Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi's murder.
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9United States Ohio lawmakers are considering outlawing abortion and making it punishable by death with no exceptions.
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21United Kingdom It has be revealed by the Guardian newspaper, that the right-wing think tank Taxpayers' AllianceWikipedia has receive over $250,000 from various American and offshore sources in the last five years including the Templeton Religious TrustWikipedia and the Atlas NetworkWikipedia. This is potentially illegal, as foreign financing of political groups is forbidden.
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12United StatesA federal judge blocks rules put into place by Trump that bar migrants who enter illegally from requesting asylum.
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7RussiaCriticism over the possibility of a Russian police chief being elected president of Interpol.
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12United KingdomMars Foods has pointed out to the Environment and Food Secretary Michael Gove that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, they would only have production of the iconic Mars bars for two weeks maximum.
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15CanadaUnited KingdomCanadian Tory leader Andrew Scheer has been criticised for advocating a no-deal Brexit, as getting involved in a debate he has no idea about.
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16United StatesMexico The US is to winddown troops on the American-Mexican border, leading to criticism from many including the American Enterprise Institute that it was a mid-term stunt.
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19United StatesBut her emails! Ivanka Trump is alleged to use a private e-mail account to communicate White House business, which is in violation of federal transparency rules.
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27United StatesFBI now classifies far-right Proud Boys as 'extremist group', documents say
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14United StatesThe White House has fully restored Jim Acosta's press pass and implemented new press conference rules.
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11European Union The EU under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), has proposed creating seventeen new defence related organsations including a spy school and a cyber-response team.
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24the WorldMetrologists from over 50 countries voted to reform the metric system (SI) such that the units of measurements will be based on seven constants of nature.
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10CanadaMexicoUnited States Justin Trudeau says he won't negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA
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8United Kingdom Johnston Press, who owns a mixture of regional and local newspapers in the UK has gone into administration (a sort of bankruptcy).
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11FinlandRussia Finland has summoned its resident Russian ambassador Pavel Kuznetsov after Russia was suspected in blocking GPS signals over Finnish Lapland.
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21Saudi ArabiaUnited StatesThe CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination.
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25the WorldLong-lived nuclear waste can be broken down into into shorter-lived isotopes, minimizing a major sticking point for widespread nuclear power.
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28IrelandProtests in Ireland after the woman having worn a thong was used as evidence for consent by the defense in a rape trial.
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12Czechia Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is facing calls to resign. After it was reported that he lured his mentally disabled son Andrej Babiš Jr, and then put him into a sanatorium in Russian-occupied Crimea against his will. This was alleged to prevent investigators from making inquiries to Babiš Jr regarding corruption of EU funds into Babiš Sr’s businesses.
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18United StatesA court filing mistake suggests that Assange has been charged in secret by the Justice Department.
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19the WorldWe have a new definition for the kilogram, to be implemented May 20th, 2019.
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18CambodiaThe last two surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge have been found guilty of genocide.
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16the WorldPotential super-Earth found nearby after decades-long hunt
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35United StatesMan shouts "Heil Hitler, Heil Trump!" during a performance of Fiddler on the Roof in Baltimore, sparking a rush for the exits, as people feared a shooting was about to occur.
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16United StatesSaudi ArabiaThe US announces sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals with alleged roles in the Khashoggi killing as Saudi prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for five allegedly involved.
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26United Kingdom Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has resignedsaying he cannot support the UK's proposed EU deal.
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23the WorldThe ongoing surge in renewable energy is not enough to halt climate change.
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15ColombiaKey witness in the Odebrecht corruption case died of a heart attack on Thursday. His son who came home from Spain for the funeral found a water bottle on his dad's desk, took a drink, and died of cyanide poisoning.
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18United StatesSaudi ArabiaYemen The US will stop refueling Saudi-led coalition jets but progressives in Congress want more
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21United States13 news organizations, including Fox News, release a joint statement supporting CNN's lawsuit against the Trump administration over the revokal of a White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.
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15United States UC Berkley scientists use hurricane simulation software on recent hurricanes with different climactic conditions to estimate the effect of climate change on hurricane strength. Short version: 5-10% more rain and wind now due to climate change, and absolute terror if we ever reach 3° C.
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20United Kingdom The Conservative-DUP pact has collapsed as of Tuesday night due to irrecoverable differences regarding the EU Withdrawal Bill. DUP MPs will no longer receive emails on government planning, and Arlene Foster has not been invited to read and comment on the draft, which will only be approved by the cabinet.
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37United StatesWith no sense of irony, Mitch McConnell wonders if Dems will "work with us, or simply put partisan politics ahead of the country?"
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26United StatesThe FBI reports a 17% jump in hate crimes during 2017, the largest increase since 9/11.
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8United KingdomEuropean UnionUK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement.
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19IsraelPalestineGaza Strip militants announce a ceasefire with Israel in a bid to avoid all-out war.
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14United KingdomUnited States According to conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, Robert Mueller is seeking information about Nigel Farage in the investigation on the Russiagate affair.
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19MalaysiaMalaysia has abolished the death penalty for 32 offenses, including murder.
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18United States CNN is suing President Trump over the banning of Jim Acosta.
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15United States Fox News is boycotting Twitter after its presenter Tucker Carlson's home address was shared, leading to protests outside his house. Fox News continues to report on Facebook.
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11United States Wisconsin's Baraboo High School faces strong criticism after a prom photograph shows the majority of students performing the Sieg Heil salute, with former students revealing a culture of racist bullying.
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16United States Chicago police face a $1 million lawsuit after accidentally killing a security guard that saved his club from a shooter.
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9United StatesUnited Kingdom An attempt by the Middle East Forum to meet with former-EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lenon fails as his Visa is denied.
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18United StatesFresh from snubbing the memory of US soldiers at the Armistice centenary commemoration, Trump skips Veterans' Day at Arlington and calls for military postal ballots to be ignored.
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15United KingdomThirty prominent humanists have petitioned the BBC's director general, demanding non-religious access to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.
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16Vatican CityUnited StatesThe Vatican has ordered US bishops to halt plans for a vote on sex abuse reforms.
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14France Paris is creating its first "eco-neighborhood" as part of its plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
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11United StatesMississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith comes under fire for a joke about attending "a public hanging".
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9Saudi ArabiaIranTop Saudi officials close to the Crown Prince discussed assassinating enemies a year before the Khashoggi killing.
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19United Kingdom Right-wing lobbying think tank TaxPayers' AllianceWikipedia admits to sacking and smearing the whistle-blower Shahmir Sanni, after he revealed that Vote Leave overspent the limit during the EU referendum. Speculation that this a diversionary tactic to prevent TPA from revealing the organisation’s own funding which it keeps hidden.
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9PhilippinesPhilippine authorities say they will file charges of tax evasion against a news source openly critical of Duterte.
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29United StatesThe tech company Riot Games, which focuses on developing the game League of Legends, is being sued for gender discrimination. The suit cites examples such as male employees emailing each other "Riot Games Hottest Women Employees" and engaging in rape threats. It also touches on ongoing white supremacy at the job, such as the supervisor Geoff Chandler claiming "'diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games' products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe-haven for white teen boys."
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12AustriaRussiaA retired Austrian colonel is believed to have spied for Russia for decades.
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13United StatesHealth insurance company Aetna has been ordered to pay $25.5 million to the estate and husband of a woman who was denied a claim for coverage for proton beam therapy.
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6Sri LankaSri Lankan parliament has been dissolved with snap elections scheduled for January.
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18United StatesTrump has signed a proclamation blocking asylum for migrants who cross the border illegally.
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23United StatesAfghanistanIraqPakistanThe War on Terror has killed about 507,000 people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.
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13PhilippinesImelda Marcos, Philippine first lady during the Marcos regime, has been found guilty in multiple corruption cases.
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14United StatesUkraineRussiaThe Treasury Department announces sanctions on several Russian and Ukrainian entities and individuals related to events in Crimea.
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9United States 12 dead in California bar shooting in Thousand Oaks.
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15United StatesA federal appeals court upholds a ruling that Trump does not have the authority to unilaterally end DACA.
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14FranceMacron comes under fire for praising a World War I marshal who later became the PM of Vichy France.
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26United StatesTrump clashes with reporters 7 times during a post-midterms press conference.
UPDATE: The White House used a video doctored by Infowars as justification for suspending one of the journalists Trump clashed with's press pass.
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21PakistanAsia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, has been released from prison.
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14GreeceSome 10 thousand Greek Orthodox clergy have had their status as civil servants removed, but will still be paid by the Greek government.
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20United StatesAttorney General Jeff Sessions resigns after immense criticism from President Trump. His acting replacement, Matthew Whitaker, is a GOP loyalist and Trump supporter.
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21RussiaMonaco A Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev, who attracted attention in the Trump-Russia investigations over his 2008 purchase of a Trump property in Florida, has been arrested in Monaco. He's charged with "corruption" and influence peddling.
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12IraqUnited NationsA UN report says at least 6000 bodies have been dumped in mass graves by ISIS in Iraq.
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13United KingdomA local branch of the Labour Party has voted down motion condemning Pittsburgh synagogue attack. This comes amid accusations of antisemitism from within the Party.
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13United StatesIranThe Trump administration has reimposed all sanctions on Iran removed by the nuclear deal. However, China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey are exempt.
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20United StatesAnother mass shooting: a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, was shot up, with two dead and five wounded before the killer turned his gun on himself. The killer was a self-described incel and misogynist who ranted on YouTube about the "collective treachery" of the women he'd gone to high school with for not sleeping with him, and had been arrested twice and banned from the Florida State University campus for groping women.
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11FranceNew CaledoniaNew Caledonia votes in favor of remaining part of France, by 56.4% to 43.6%
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10United States North Dakota's recent change in voter registration law could theoretically eliminate 35% of native voters due to the street address requirements.
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15United States The US Army response to a migrant caravan, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, presently consists of 7000 personnel, with a Military Police battalion ordered to block off bridges on the US-Mexico border with razor wire. President Trump faces criticism that the operation, using more personnel than presently in Afghanistan, is a mere publicity stunt for the elections, and has walked back from earlier suggestions that migrants caught throwing stones are to be shot.
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14United KingdomAfter being reported to the National Crime Agency, Brexit badboy Arron Banks is now under investigation by the the financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority for financial irregularities.
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23PakistanThe lawyer representing a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has fled Pakistan in fear for his life.
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14North KoreaUnited StatesNorth Korea threatens to restart nuclear weapons development if sanctions aren't lifted.
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20United StatesWashington state representative Matt Shea comes under FBI scrutiny over a how-to guide he wrote on killing non-believers and establishing a Christian theocracy.
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14United StatesRussiaA man who brokered a full-time gig for Radio Sputnik on a Washington, D.C. radio station is suing the Department of Justice because he doesn't want to register as a foreign agent.
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5Netherlands The open source intelligence collective Bellingcat is to expand its operations, by opening an office in The Hague, Netherlands.
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15United KingdomAllegations afoot that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, she prevented the security services from investigating Arron Banks on his financial links during the EU referendum.
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22the WorldScientists plan to map the genomes of the 1.5 million known species of complex life
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14United StatesNASA's Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End
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21United KingdomEuropean Union The Electoral Commission has referred to one of the “Bad Boys of Brexit”, Arron Banks, to the National Crime Agency, essentially the police, on the grounds to suspect "a number of criminal offences have been committed".
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10United StatesWisconsin gets approval to implement work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries.
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16North KoreaHuman Rights Watch releases a report about rampant sexual assault against women by officials in North Korea.