RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?/October 2016

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October 2016[edit]

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91 dead, several severely burned after the Colonial Pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama explodes. The explosion was caused by two massive wildfires that have devasted the South due to the current drought.
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14ISIS militants have spread a toxic, corrosive cloud of sulfur and oil over parts of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.
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11The US had 220 oil pipeline spills in 2016.
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13The police in North Dakota are collaborating with the oil companies as out of state police come to reinforce them. Meanwhile, protestors are also being caged in dog kennels.
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4Montreal police monitored iPhone of La Presse journalist Patrick Lagacé.
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1Videogame publishers have launched a website attacking voice actors' union over strike.
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5US universities use subcontracting to distance themselves from their low-wage employees’ needs.
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2Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of Washington finds racial and gender discrimination by Uber and Lyft drivers.
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5Syrian rebels launch Aleppo counter-attack to break siege. (Autoplay video)
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15Turkey sacks 10,000 more civil servants and 15 more media outlets.
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24Poverty, not race, increases the risk of unintended pregnancy.
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23Mass protests against South Korean President Park Geun-hye over alleged leaked documents scandal.
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22From baby boomers to millennials, American lifespans are shortening.
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12A study by the Yale School of Public Health has found that that many of the chemicals involved and released by fracking can be linked to cancer.
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15Uber has lost the right to classify UK drivers as self-employed while Airbnb is now banned from listing short-term rentals in New York.
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13Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names.
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21Facebook’s advertising system allows advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic, and other “ethnic affinities” from seeing ads.
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12North Dakota police officers have destroyed a protest camp blocking the Dakota Access pipeline and arrested 141 protesters.
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6The Center for American Progress found that LGBT—immigrants are consistently detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite ICE’s own system recommending release.
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4When it comes to court settlements, POC and women are often valued less.
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5Brigham Young University has announced that it will restructure its Title IX Office and grant amnesty to victims who disclose Honor Code violations.
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3Dr. Larry Nassar, an osteopathic doctor working for USA Gymnastics, has been accused of sexually assaulting gymnasts under his care.
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32President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines claims God told him to stop swearing, or He'd crash the plane. Oddly, the voice in his head did not rebuke him for killing drug addicts.
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13Apparently, Anita Hill wasn't the only woman Clarence Thomas sexually assaulted.
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13All defendants of the Oregon standoff have been found not guilty.
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15Pennsylvania lawmakers have approved a law blocking public officials from naming police officers who are involved in fatal shootings.
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10How the U.S. government is helping corporations plunder Native land.
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14A private company which owns Pittsburgh's water system has contaminated it with high amounts of lead.
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11The United States shipped hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia just weeks prior to the Saudi-led coalition’s funeral bombing in Sanaa, Yemen.
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12Over the past decade, more than 800 journalists have been killed in the line of duty, and only 8 percent of these cases have been resolved.
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18Far Right groups all over Europe beg their followers for donations to support Knights Templar International and other militias in Bulgaria and Hungary to 'police' the border for refugees. Nothing possibly could go wrong with that...
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14The British National Party has gained control of a parish council in Essex by luring dejected Conservative voters with a fake name.
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11Australia has cancelled its planned trade negotiations with Brexit Britain when informed that Liam Fox is not legally allowed to negotiate trade deals until after the UK actually leaves the EU.
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25When tech employers are given resume with identifying information and told to choose the best candiates for interviews, they select women 5% of the time. When the data is anonymized it jumps to 54%
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20Saudi Arabia is deliberately targeting Yemeni farms and arricultural infrastructure.
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27World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020.
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22Researchers have found that a gay flight attendant did not cause the outbreak of AIDS in the US. (The report itself)
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14Gambia joins a long list of African countries that are choosing to leave the International Criminal Court. These countries assert that the ICC suffers from a bias against African nations due to its continual failure to prosecute the war crimes committed by Western nations since its creation; critics assert that this is a veiled attempt to prevent further African leaders from being prosecuted for international crimes.
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16Human Rights Watch has found that Turkey's state of emergency facilitates torture.(The report itself.)
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11Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence. (Autoplay video) Meanwhile, AT&T is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement, without a warrant, and earning millions from US taxpayer.
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17New Zealand professor asked to present his work at US event on nuclear physics despite it containing gibberish all through the copy.
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25Iraqi troops have been stealing tents and water given to refugees from Mosul by aid groups.
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22Remember all of those refugees Turkey accepted? Well, they are being coerced into sweat shops in order to make clothing for UK retailers. Keep that in mind as France demolishes refugee camps in Calais.
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12Amnesty International slams Australia's use of Naura as a detention center as an open air prison. (The report itself)
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12Video shows North Dakota cops violently suppressing hundreds of Dakota Access pipeline protestors in a mass arrest. (Autoplay video)
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12How the US federal government's "Countering Violent Extremism" program weaponizes anti-bullying rhetoric.
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8Amnesty International says that the Pentagon ignored civilians casualties from coalition airstrikes aimed against ISIL in Syria.
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10Former Wall Street executive played a significant role in choosing key staff members for Obama administration.
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10Oxford has officially credited English poet, Christopher Marlowe, as the co-author of all three parts of Henry VI.
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7The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, has released a report showing that Social Security spares more than 22 million Americans from deprivation. (The report itself.)
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10Saeed Toosi, a Qur'an reciter in Iran, has been accused of molesting three Iranian men when they were preteens.
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14Thousands of California National Guard soldiers were paid reenlistment bonuses they shouldn't have received (due to fraud by unscrupulous enlistment officials and no fault of the soldiers themselves) to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, nearly ten years later, those veterans are being ordered to pay that money back.
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24Washington police officers kill a pregnant Native American; they allege that she had a handgun.
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19Alabama teenager with IQ of 51 released one year after arrest for alleged terror plot. (Autoplay video)
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9The US government continues its addiction to secret law as the Brennan Center for Justice finds that scores of legal memos, opinions, and letters from several US agencies still being kept from public view. (The report itself.)
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9The Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms has released a report showing that Facebook is deliberately targeting Palestinian accounts after meeting with Israeli government. (The report itself.)
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12Obama's administration has confirmed that Obamacare premiums will go up by double-digit percentages next year.
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12The little-known company that enables worldwide mass surveillance.
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14Congo security forces have killed dozens of anti-government protesters.
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11The Pentagon accounts for more than half of the US federal government’s $1 billion PR budget.
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49Evangelical cartoonist Jack Chick dies in his home at the age of 92. Chick has gone to meet his maker no longer exists and doesn't know there's no maker to meet.
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24And then they came for the Jews: In 2016, people have read anti-Semitic tweets 10 billion times, many from Trump supporters.
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37Deny them your labor: In Argentina, women strike after the fatal rape of a female teenager. In South Korea, workers launch a major strike against a proposed anti-worker law. In California, voice actors strike against video game companies for more compensation. In Pennsylvania, thousands of faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state colleges and universities for higher pay and better wages.
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17Actress Shailene Woodley reveals she was strip-searched after her arrest protesting the Dakota Pipeline.
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14Authorities have confirmed a spike in the number of young offenders who have raised allegations of excessive force over the past few months in Australia.
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18The ACLU finds that when California schools call cops for small infractions it disproportionately hurts minority students. (The study itself)
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22Soon, foreign travelers to the United States will be expected to tell U.S. authorities about their social media accounts.
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13In Somalia, the U.S. escalates a shadow war.
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9Research by the University of Warwick has found that cuts made by David Cameron's Coalition government may have played a significant role in the 'Leave' vote result in the EU referendum. (The research itself.)
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13Hacked DVRs were why half the Internet shut down yesterday. Bruce Schneier warned about such a DDOS attack in September.
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11Philippine President Duterte announces separation from the United States and aligns with China.
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14Prof. Gavin Macfayden, Director of Wikileaks, dead.
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22Scientists in New Zealand found some more evidence that our oceans are indeed getting warmer. It is worth keeping in mind that they have been protecting us from the detrimental effects of global warming and climate change since the 1970s, if not earlier. Now, this layer of protection is finally buckling.
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19European Space Agency successfully tested the most expensive Martian bombardment system discovered so far.
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30As if liberating its power grid from fossil fuels is not enough, Iceland is now tapping into the energy of underground water streams in a "supercritical state" of extreme heat and temperature.
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22Turkey has launched 26 air raids against the Syrian Kurds killing between 160 to 200 "militants".
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15Two dangerous fault lines under San Francisco are connected.
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8Birth.Movies.Death's top editor, Devin Faraci, steps down after sexual assault accusation.
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15The Treatment Industrial Complex: Private prison companies are moving to preserve their profits by seeking contracts to provide in prison medical and mental health care facilities.
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20Feeding cows seaweed could slash global greenhouse gas emissions.
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16DNA testing for jobs may be on its way, warns Gartner.
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11This is what the e-waste mountains look like.
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11New Zealand now tops the IMF list of unaffordable places to live.
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11Philippines police van rams protesters outside US embassy in Manila.
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13Cops are using secret cell phone trackers nationwide to collect cellphone data, especially in poor, black neighborhoods.
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19An NYPD police officer has killed a 66-year-old mentally ill Black woman.
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16A new dwarf planet has been discovered in the Kuiper Belt.
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17A study by Center for Privacy & Technology found that US cops have a database of 117 million faces in their largely unregulated facial recognition databases. (The 150-page paper itself.)
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12Portland, Maine police released mugshots of Black Muslim women without their Hijabs and charged them more heavily than their White counterparts.
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18Bystander video show a Minnesota police officer harassing and arresting a Black man for walking in the street because the side walk was closed for construction.
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13The junk science behind the UK's massive program to "deradicalize" potential terrorists.
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16Ecuador says it cut WikiLeaks founder's internet over US election interference. (Assange, by the way, isn't the only one running Wikileaks)
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15Followers of Harun Yahya may have been responsible for the distribution of anti-gay leaflets in Amsterdam.
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21Conservative councillor wants to make it treasonable to oppose Brexit
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17Shepard Smith has come out as a gay man. (Autoplay video)
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16The US Navy has admitted to using bombs in wargames that have released known chemicals that can cause birth defects in humans.
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14A record number of Central Americans have crossed the US-Mexico border while fleeing the violence in their countries.
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24Native Americans are being killed by police at a higher rate than any other group.
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14Deia Schlosberg, a documentarian, has been arrested while filming the DAPL protests. Meanwhile, Standing Rock protestors have been arrested and stripped searched for minor crimes.
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33Amy Goodman filmed native Americans protesting the construction of an oil pipeline. She only did her job but risked being charged with taking part in a riot.Update:The case has been dismissed. Deia Schlosberg, who filmed protestors taking down a pipeline faces a possible 45 year prison sentence.
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12US vets are still dying from burn-pit illnesses.
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14B'Tselem has urged the UN to take action against Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine.
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18South African students are protesting for free tertiary education.
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11Thousands of declassified documents show FBI anti-Castro and Cuban-American surveillance. (The documents themselves.)
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28Israel collectively loses its mind over UNESCO referring to the Western Wall/Al-Aqsa Mosque location as the "Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif." Netanyahu calls it a "denial of the over 3,000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount."
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18Saudi Arabia hires its 10th US lobby firm.
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263 men in Kansas plotted a terrorist attack against a Somali community.
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16An FBI study found that US military operations abroad were the most commonly cited reason for domestic terrorism.
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13Every 25 seconds, US cops arrest someone for drug possession.
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12Off-duty cop involved in arresting patron and librarian at pro-Israel event received "counter-terror" training in Israel.
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6WikiLeaks has released more draft chapters from TiSA.
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15The US has fired 3 missiles in Houthi-controlled territory after the Houthis apparently fired a missile at a US destroyer off the coast of Yemen. Iran has sent two warships in response.
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22Sacramento County is being ordered to pay to a homeless man after he was beaten with a flashlight by a cop; this same cop has been implicated in two other beatings. In Alabama, charges against a cop who twice shot a man in the back as he laid on the ground; meanwhile, the "suspect" was being charged (charges since dropped) with attempted murder of two officers.
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17There were over 125K complaints against more than 25K Chicago cops over the last five decades; 90% of those complaints were determined by the CPD to be "false" while those determined to be true rarely resulted in a firing. This may seem incredible until you find out that Texas and California police officers failed to report hundreds of cases of use-of-force between 2005-2015.
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17Autism Speaks tries to be slightly less reprehensible, no longer pushing for a "cure".
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11Gender pay gap is widest with workers in their 50s.
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12Mismatch of skills and labor market as university education keeps growing is bad for students and employers.
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14Mustafa al Hawsawi, a Gitmo detainee, will receive corrective rectal surgery for his decades-old injury from being sodomized by the CIA.
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26Rush Limbaugh: thinks lefties are too uptight about consensual sex.
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20Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize For Literature.
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20Video shows pickup truck plowing into Native American rights protesters.
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15Israel's navy has seized a Gaza flotilla and redirected it. Meanwhile, a Palestinian protester was killed by an Israeli soldier in East Jerusalem.
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10Boris Johnson has rejected calls for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria.
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16Thousands of refugee children have gone missing in Europe as criminal networks exploit the migration crisis.
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4The EFF's report on the the state of communications surveillance in Latin America. (The various reports themselves.)
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12In the US, fewer than 10 percent of people in the bottom fifth of the wealth distribution will make it into the top fifth.
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24Mother kills her two young children so “They Can Go to Heaven With God”
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23Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provided data access for a surveillance product marketed to target activists of color.
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212 days after western media said the Syrian government doesn't fight ISIS, the Syrian Army liberates half of a major Palestinian refugees camp from ISIS.
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41GOP Senator Jeff Sessions doesn't think grabbing a woman by her genitals is sexual assault.
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19The surveillance state descends on the Dakota Access pipeline Spirit camp.
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21Germany's post-war justice ministry was infested with Nazis protecting former comrades. of course that was true for very close to every German institution, but now we have a new thoroughly researched report, which is nice
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11As Saudis bombed Yemen, U.S. worried about legal blowback.
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18John Walker, state representative of Arkansas, was arrested by police because he was legally filming a traffic stop.
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10The Deepwater Horizon spill continues to affect the health of Lousiana residents. (Autoplay video)
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13Why so many Puerto Rican drug addicts end up in Chicago.
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14A US Department of Labor report finds that state cuts to workers' compensation leave injured workers in poverty.
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16Yemen's Army launches ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabian bases, and at foreign invaders in Yemen. One missile found its target at a Saudi airbase in Ta'if, near Mecca.
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4An investigation on the Hannibal Directive.
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14RedHack leaks reveal the rise of Turkey's pro-government Twitter trolls.
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17Bees were just added to the U.S. endangered-species list for the first time
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10Ethiopian police violently dispersed an Oromo protest which led to a stampede that killed 100 people.
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17A Sikh man was attacked, had his turban removed and his hair cut, in Richmond, California.
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6In less than two years, 44 Afghan troops have gone AWOL in the US during their military training.
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13An appeals court has rejected Indiana's attempt to prevent state agencies from providing social services to Syrian refugees as national origin discrimination.
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1280 prison guards from a Maryland prison have been indicted in a massive federal racketeering and drug-trafficking case.
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16Flint, Michigan is now suffering from an outbreak of shigellosis, a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease.
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10Thousands of Haitians from Brazil are lined up at the US-Mexico border due to the US's restrictive immigration policies; they will likely be detained and deported to Haiti once they cross the border.
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20The FBI has detained an NSA contractor for several months and accused him of stealing secret files on the NSA's spying software; it appears that he was merely hoarding at his home.
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30A body cam video shows a Franklin County cop shooting an unarmed White man 7 times. A grand jury chose to not indict him.
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10Risk of famine looms in Yemen.
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26Saudi Arabia bombs a funeral in Yemen's capital, killing 155 people including the mayor, and injuring almost a thousand. The Saudi jets conducted a "double-tap" airstrike to kill first responders at the funeral home, with video evidence. Saudi Arabia is bombing the same city even after this airstrike as we speak. Update: Photos showing the fragments of the US-made bombs have emerged.
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20Blacks are still more likely than Whites to be arrested for marijuana even after legalization.
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48Trump makes history. The New York Times prints the expletives "fuck," "pussy" and "tits."
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47"Grab them by the pussy." Just in case you have not already thought of Trump as an awful person. John McCain has accused Trump of sexual assault and will not vote for him.
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17Hurricane Matthews has devastated 20,000 homes and killed 800 in Haiti.
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15The Intercept has published a four-part investigation series on corruption within the Chicago PD.
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9Max Blumenthal has released a two-part series on Syria: Inside the shadowy PR firm that’s lobbying for regime change in Syria. How the White Helmets became international heroes while pushing U.S. military intervention and regime change in Syria.
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13Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child using a flare.
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11A Black man is suing Ohio cops for smashing his face on a police cruiser's windshield.
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11The DOJ is investigating violence and rape inside Alabama men's prisons.
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11Texas ends its record-breaking streak of not executing people, a whole six months.
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17A Jewish man has been indicted after criticizing Israel at a Kansas library Q&A.
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10Harvard's cafeteria workers have gone on strike and are demanding $35,000 a year.
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15A worker freezes to death in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, but it garners little response from the hotel or OSHA.
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5McDonald’s workers file sexual harassment complaint.
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6Lancashire's fracking ban has been overturned.
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5A prison strike organizer is facing retaliation after he spoke with NPR.
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10A Neo-Nazi march has been allowed in Cambridgeshire as a "charity" event.
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5Global debt hits an all-time high of $152 trillion.
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5Fatah Al-Sham, the former Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, continues to grow.
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4The Syrian Army continues its assault on rebel-held East Aleppo, securing several neighborhoods from Islamist groups. Here's an animated map of the recent advances. Update: The US is accusing Syria and Russia of committing war crimes while they try to capture East Aleppo.
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23Perhaps it's because the storm's name caught his attention, but Matt Drudge has decided to ramp up his climate change denialism by introducing "hurricane trutherism" with claims that the Obama Administration is exaggerating the danger of Hurricane Matthew to make climate change seem, you know, real.
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8 Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos is awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for working on a peace deal with the FARC, despite the outcome of the referendum.
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19An Iranian human rights activist got a 6 year prison sentence for writing an unpublished story about a stoning.
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16A study by the World Bank finds that signing up for ISIS isn't necessarily connected to a recruit's level of education as university graduates are more likely to volunteer as "suicide fighters" compared to the illiterate chuckleheads in DAESH's ranks. Other factors conducive to blowing yourself into smithereens for the caliphate were origin from a Islamic country, low level of religious knowledge and unemployment. (Link to World Bank study)
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13The US State Department has condemned Israel's expansion of settlements in the West Bank despite the US giving Israel $38 billion in foreign aid.
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15The audio tapes of John Kerry's meeting with Syrian rebels has been leaked.
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10These are the FBI's recruitment methods of informants near the border.
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9Inuit farmers in Labrador, Canada fear that they will be poisoned with methylmercury when flooding occurs in order to build a dam.
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21The Earth is at its hottest in 115,000 years.
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14Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence. (Autoplay video)
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7Lord Bell ran a $540m covert PR operation in Iraq for the Pentagon. Update: A more indepth look at the operation.
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20Next year's international women's chess championship is planned to be held in Iran and women will be required to wear the hijab. Many international women chess players have decided to boycott the event. There is a petition that readers can sign in hope of changing the venue.
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19The 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to a British man, a Frenchman and a Dutchman for developing molecular machines. PZ Myers is concerned that no woman got a physics Nobel prize in 50 years.
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31A teenager in Singapore was jailed for criticising Christianity and Islam. There are concerns over freedom of expression.
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22The federal Bureau of Prisons has renewed a contract with a private prison in Georgia, despite the supposed ban.
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19Experts decry solitary confinement for Chelsea Manning after suicide attempt.
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21A child rape lawsuit has been filed against Donald Trump (for the third time, having previously been withdrawn for unknown reasons). Witness testimony alleges that there may have been many other victims too.
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23You know who's mostly against banning trans women from women's bathrooms? Women.
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15Politically connected traders cashed in during the 2008 financial crisis. (Autoplay video)
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15Representative John Culberson, a House Republican, wants to freeze US naturalizations.
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18An LAPD officer has killed a Black teenager during a chase on foot.
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10A US airstrike in Somalia has killed 22 civilians.
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17US gasoline consumption is higher than ever.
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27Roseburg Forest Products, an Oregon-based timber company, is demanding that the city of Woods get its water somewhere else since they own the land where the populace gets its spring water from.
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14Israel has approved construction of 98 new settlements in the West Bank.