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

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September 2017[edit]

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18A record number of Americans have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), many of them newborn children who contracted STDs from their mothers, said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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17Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigns after being caught spending some $400,000 of taxpayers' money on chartered flights. He was previously under fire for owning over $100,000 worth of pharmaceutical and medical stocks.
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10In an example of Sunday School environmentalism gone bad, wood burning stoves that were once seen as environmental wonder for heating are being investigated for possible banning by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. This is due to high levels of pollutants coming from the chimneys.
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19Do you want Roko's basilisk? Because this is how you get Roko's basilisk.
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15Evangelicals urge more action from Trump against 'alt-right'
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13Potential members of the scientific advisory board of the EPA consist of numerous people from the fossil fuel industry, including those to reject mainstream climate science.
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14Mimicking the experiences of Anjem Chaudary, British terror group National Action’s latest revivals, Scottish Dawn and NS131, have also been proscribed as terrorist organisations and, since Wednesday, eleven men have been arrested over their continued membership.
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19A wellness blogger in Australia has been found guilty of misleading and deceptive conduct and fined $410,000 after falsely claiming she had brain cancer and was cured through alternative therapies and nutrition.
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22Yet another detection of gravitational waves caused by the collision of two black holes. Now that Virgo, a new detector in Italy, has come online, it is possible to triangulate the source of the waves and to measure their polarization.
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28...aaaaaannnd once again, the Obamacare repeal has been defeated. Somewhere, the Kochs and Mercers are tearing up like in that famous photo of a Frenchman during the Nazi invasion of Paris, whilst the world's littlest violin plays in the background.
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33Saudi Arabia's King Salman decrees that women in the kingdom should be allowed to drive, and from tomorrow they can apply for driving licenses.
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34 Ireland's taoiseach (prime minister) has announced that next year there will be a referendum on whether or not the 8th amendment of the Constitution of Ireland would be repealed. This amendment makes having an abortion illegal in Ireland.
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-38Alejandro Villanueva is NFL's top-selling jersey since standing for anthem.
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6Man opens fire in Nashville church, killing at least one and wounding many.
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25Making public colleges and universities free is not only increasingly popular among Democrats, but is so among Republicans as well.
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18India's minister of education is under fire for attempting to rewrite the history of science and technology.
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21Even Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback and personal friend of Donald Trump, thinks Trump's comments on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem went too far.
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36Pharmaceutical researchers at the US National Institutes of Health and the company Sanofi have engineered an antibody capable of neutralizing 99% of all HIV strains.
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13A giant iceberg (6000 square kilometers in area) leaves the Antarctic ice shelf. On the bright side, fishing (and presumably oil exploration) in the area previously covered by the iceberg is banned for two years.
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19Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos revokes Obama-era rules on the handling of sexual assault cases on college campuses.
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24The President of the USA goes to war with the NFL, using harsher language to attack Colin Kaepernick (Son of a bitch), than he ever did to attack actual Nazis, who actually murdered someone.
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33Neo-Nazis host a "Straight Lives Matter" rally in Sydney in protest of Australia's gay marriage postal poll. (Only a stone's throw away from a monument to LGBT people killed during the Holocaust). The organizer predicted that "hundreds" would show up. 15 actually do, vastly outnumbered by counter-protestors. The organizer boasts that, no, actually, a whopping 30 people turned up, and more people didn't arrive only because they were afraid of violent retaliation from LGBT activists. Yeah, sure.
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20An English Defence League rally has been called off after only six attend.
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10Scott Pruitt, climate change denier and head of the EPA, rescinds an Obama-era plan to protect an ecologically important wetland and fishery in Southwest Alaska from mining activities after a meeting with a lobbyist.
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17NASA opens a new computational research facility in Hampton, Virginia, named after Katherine Johnson, an African-American female mathematician who was instrumental in its space program. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
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24John McCain to vote against Graham-Cassidy.
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-8Gwyneth Paltrow offers Los Angeles sex dust and vampire repellent.
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18 Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, who is pushing for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, is under fire for using a luxurious chartered private jet paid for by tax money in his travels.
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19The U.S. Senate voted to increase the military budget by $80 billion (to around $700 billion), an amount more than enough to make public colleges and universities tuition free, about $47 billion.
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20A large proportion of Canadians apparently think science is a matter of opinion. But over 80% trust scientists and scientific institutions viz ~20-25% social media and word of mouth - so there is hope.
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14Spanish police have arrested the Catalan region's junior economy minister as part of a morning raid on several government offices in the run-up to an independence referendum. The October 1 independence referendum has been dubbed undemocratic and illegal by the central government.
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20Saudi Arabia plans to "accept Israel as a brotherly state", reported by a twitter account believed to be the member of the ruling family.
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2In Brazil., a judge approves gay conversion therapy
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20The real unknown of climate change is human behavior. On the bright side, economic trends indicate that coal can never be great again.
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15At the U.N. Assembly, governors of multiple US states, most notably Jerry Brown of California, indicated that on the topic of global warming and climate change, they will take matters into their own hands, regardless of what the federal government might do. Meanwhile, Gary Cohn, the White House chief economic advisor, reiterates that while the Trump administration intends to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, it remains open to renegotiation, but does not clarify what new conditions are required.
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25 The BBC has reprimanded Adam Rutherford, a radio science presenter for breaking impartiality rules. This is because he tweeted a message calling for a climate-change denying MP, not to be re-elected as a member of the science and technology parliamentary committee.
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15Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to his impoverished countrymen - let them eat cake rabbit..
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12Poland demands a trillion dollars from Germany in reparations for World War II.
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42A judge ordered Martin Shkreli, the notorious Pharma Bro, to be imprisoned early, arguing he posed a danger to the public thanks to one of his Facebook posts, in which he offered money to whoever gets a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair.
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20Cassini Crashes Into Saturn, Its Mission Celebrated and Mourned. In related news, the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL), was inaugurated earlier this month in Hamburg, Germany. Home to the world's most powerful X-ray laser, its mission is to conduct research in materials science, molecular biology and medicine.
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13A terror incident has occurred in London when an IED consisting of chemicals in a paint can was set alight on a train. No deaths have currently been confirmed, and many injuries were from the rush to get out of the cabin rather than the explosion.
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32Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to terminate gerrymandering.
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17Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin is being investigated by his own department after requesting use of a $25,000-per hour government jet to fly him and his wife around Europe for their honeymoon.
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23Bernie Sanders officially announces his Medicare-for-all bill (YouTube link).
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34Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas and fervent opponent of pornography, likes a tweet that shares pornography. He blames the problem on his "staff", who, in turn, blames a "hacker".
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18Thousands take to the streets to protest Macron's labor reforms.
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13Phrenology back in vogue
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26Universal basic income: Half of Britons back plan to pay all UK citizens regardless of employment
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27An IT firm found a way to adapt an algorithm used in experimental high-energy physics to help supermarkets reduce food waste.
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20Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida.
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26Woman who sought to join Islamic State group gets 8 years
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30A new study suggests that (at least) 139 countries worldwide could transition completely to renewable energy by the year 2050 and that in some large countries, such as the United States, the process may be easier than first thought.
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29A Democrat instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act changes his mind on universal healthcare, saying its time has come. He joins at least two other Democrats in supporting Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-all bill.
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17German hackers found security holes in vote-counting software just a few weeks before the German federal election.
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25State Department approves a $3.8 billion arms sale to repressive Bahrain, where dissidents are getting jailed for tweeting.
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30Medical scientists have found a way to re-engineer the Zika virus such that it can be used to treat brain cancer. In equally encouraging news, the FDA approved a gene therapy that treats a form of leukemia. This is the very first gene therapy available in the United States.
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40After telling listeners Irma was a liberal hoax, Limbaugh quietly evacuates South Florida.
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23Equifax doxxes half the population of the United States.
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30Lessons from Germany's push towards renewable energy.
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24Donald Trump nominates a climate "skeptic" who wants to clean up space junk and install a permanent Moon base to head NASA.
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14EPA assigns final financial award decisions to John Konkus, a former Trump campaign aide with, typical of Trump administration asshattery, virtually no qualifications and hostility to climate change researchers.
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22Despite being repeatedly informing that Christmas carols are not banned in South Australian schools by the Department of Education. The local newspaper, commercial talk radio station and two national breakfast TV stations still peddle that line that they are.
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26Trump, or rather racist gnome, Jeff Sessions, gleefully announces he's ending DACA, but tosses the time-bomb to Congress, to pass legislation before March 2018.
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27Four British soldiers have been arrested for being members of the terror group, National Action.
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37What's a bigot to do when those pesky Muslims open up all their local mosques to help out victims of the Texas flooding? Why, invent a mosque that shuts its doors to Christians, of course! Bonus point: the imam in the fake news report lives in Canada and has never even been to Texas.
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24Kenya Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Election
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25A baby gets lead poisoning after chewing on a homeopathic "healing bracelet".
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27Poland: Law and Justice (PiS) introduced lawful segregation of disabled students in schools. Disabled children are to be taught at their homes without an option to opt for individual classes at school. Funny twist of irony is that the party also opposes abortion - including when the child is going to be severely impaired.