RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?

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Icon wigo world alt tilted.svg Keep up to date with all the interesting world news and current events that relate to RationalWiki's mission here. The most popular entries are found at Best of the world and the older entries are found in the archives.

Voting is meant to reflect the quality and relevance of a news item — not whether said item brings good or bad news.

What is going on?

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March 2023

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10Australia A company in Australia claims to have grown woolly mammoth meatballs in a lab using DNA.
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12MexicoTop court suspends parts of electoral reform bill in Mexico. The controversial bill was passed by the ruling party's allies in Congress last month, leading to protests by tens of thousands of Mexicans who believe that it undermines democracy and tips the balance of power in favor of the ruling party.
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9China Hong Kong Hong Kong's first legal protest in years took place under heavy police supervision, with protesters having to wear numbered badges, and the event capped to less than 100 people.
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18United Kingdom Nitrous oxide to stop being a 'legal high' in UK, due to the ruling Conservatives wanting to double-down on the scourge of... litter and teenagers being in parks. No, this isn't Drug War 'I'm harder than hard!' shite from a dying government without a clue on what to do on any of the serious problems plaguing the country.
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16United Kingdom Scotland Sturgeonite Humza Yousaf has been voted as the new leader of the Scottish National Party, narrowly beating conservative Kate Forbes and Salmondite Ash Regan. Notably, this would make him the first ethnic minority and Muslim First Minister of Scotland.
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24Israel ‘Israeli democracy is at stake’: Thousands protest against Netanyahu’s government
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28New Zealand Trans flag.svg TERF Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull was allowed into New Zealand - but the people spoke, and they said eff-off - she is fleeing the country after LGBTQI supporters mobbed her rally in Auckland.
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23United StatesFlorida. A principal in Florida is fired after works by Michelangelo were seen by middle-school art students. Parents complained it was "pornographic".
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19Brazil “We may be the last to produce oil in the world.” Head of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company says that Latin America’s largest producer should keep increasing fossil fuel output for decades to come.
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41United States Anti-Obamacare provisions in state constitutions backfire on conservatives; the "right to make [...] health care decisions" is interpreted by courts to cover abortion rights.
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30United Kingdom the World New research from Kings College London has found that antisemitism has more than doubled on Twitter since Elon Musk took over the platform.
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10United Kingdom The BBC has asked its employees to remove the social media app TikTok from their work phones, unless they have a justifiable editorial or business reason to have it.
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-36UgandaGay Pride Flag.svg Uganda passes bill making homosexuality punishable by death.
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6United StatesFlorida. Legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain that's moving forward in the Florida House would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics before grade 6 (11-12 years old). Note that menstruation can begin as early as age 8 (grade 3).
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29United StatesIdaho. One north Idaho city's only hospital can no longer deliver babies. They cite "bills that criminalize physicians for medical care" (e.g. abortion laws) as a reason, and add: "Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult". Can you say brain drain?
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22New Zealand Trans flag.svg After TERF Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull's tour of Australia attracted local members of the far-right at her protest in Melbourne, NZ's prime minister Chris Hipkins has asked Immigration New Zealand to review her entry visa to Aotearoa, where she is planning to do two rallies.
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13Switzerland Switzerland's largest bank UBS has said it is buying its embattled rival Credit Suisse for CHF 3 billion (USD 3.2 billion), together with governmental guarantee of CHF 9 billion (USD 9.7 billion) to avoid collapse of the bank and protect consumer confidence in Swiss banking.
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41United States Ex-President Donald Trump expects to be arrested on Tuesday and urges supporters to protest. Law enforcement has not yet confirmed if this is true.
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63RussiaUkraine The International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they accuse of committing war crimes in Ukraine.
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18United States Gwyneth Paltrow, who has drawn scrutiny in the past for her unconventional health and wellness practices, spoke on the podcast about what it's like to feel misunderstood and judged for her lifestyle choices, like the one where she gets ozone blown up her ass. Therapeutically.
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16Switzerland Switzerland's second largest bank Credit Suisse, has received a CHF 50 billion (US$54 billion) lifeline from the country's central bank, the Swiss National Bank after concerns that the bank may collapse.
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30RussiaUkraine Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in various regions of Ukraine, many of which amount to war crimes, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said in a new report. The war crimes include attacks on civilians and energy-related infrastructure, wilful killings, unlawful confinement, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as unlawful transfers and deportations of children.
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27United Kingdom Leaked texts and whistleblower testimonies demonstrate that BBC News has been extensively influenced by government pressure behind the scenes. For instance, the BBC allowed Conservative Party leaders to "on a very regular basis" direct how they wrote headlines. Additionally, the BBC left out the term "lockdown" in articles about the government's COVID-19 lockdowns, at the Boris Johnson administration's request.
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7ItalyGay Pride Flag.svg The new, far-right Italian government led by Giorgia Meloni rolls back parental rights for gay couples. As a reminder, Meloni was in a neo-fascist party in her youth, and her current party (Brothers of Italy) counts multipleWikipedia descendants of Mussolini as high-profile members.
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33United StatesMichigan. Red flag.svg Michigan will repeal its "right-to-work" law, precluding an unlikely veto on the behalf of Governor Whitmer. The Michigan House and Senate have approved. This would make it the first state in almost 60 years to repeal its right-to-work law.
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21United States Silicon Valley Bank collapses after a failed bank run in the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history since the 2008 financial crisisWikipedia. Tens of thousands are left unable to withdraw money from the bank. Other large technology companies, media companies, and wineries that use the bank have also been affected.
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25United States A new poll released by USA Today offers insight into U.S. culture wars. Americans associate "woke" more with opposing social injustice than being "politically correct". Respondents were even more nonplussed by the GOP's book bans in schools and libraries — even Republican respondents disapprove. All's not rosy, however: people tend to disapprove of singular they usage, and their support or opposition for teaching the effects of racism in schools appears to hinge on framing.
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32TaiwanUnited KingdomChinaThe UK approves increased submarine-related exports to Taiwan, risking angering China.
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29United Kingdom NATO The Green Party of England and Wales has voted in its spring conference to abandon its long-held position of leaving NATO in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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28Moldova Russia Police in little Moldova say they have thwarted a ring of Russian-backed interlopers paid to cause "mass disorder" in the country's capital. The U.S. reckons that Russia wants to topple the Moldovan government.
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8IndiaGay Pride Flag.svg The government of India, headed by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, formally opposes legal recognition for same-sex marriages, it says in a filing to the country's Supreme Court. India decriminalized homosexuality in 2018, repealing a ban on gay sexual relations dating to the British colonial era.
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8Vatican City Pope Francis attacks "gender ideology", says that "it blurs differences and the value of men and women" and is "diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike".
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-16South Korea South Korea proposes a 69-hour workweek, up from an already long 52.
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32United StatesFlorida. Amidst Florida's anti-drag hysteria, the state's Nazis (also known to frequently project gigantic swastikas and far-right propaganda onto large, highly-visible buildings in Jacksonville) see a recruitment opportunity.
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40Georgia Massive pro-EU, anti-Russia protest erupts in Georgia
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2United StatesArkansas. Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signs law allowing for children under the age of 16 to get a job without permission from the state's Division of Labor.
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22Saudi ArabiaIranChinaIsrael Saudi Arabia and Iran have reached an agreement, hosted by China, to restore diplomatic ties after a seven-year split. The countries will reactivate a lapsed security cooperation agreement and older trade, investment, and cultural pacts, and reopen embassies within two months. The agreement follows years of Iranian proxies targeting Saudi Arabia with missile and drone attacks. China’s role in hosting the talks highlights its growing economic and political importance in the Middle East, which has long been shaped by the military and diplomatic involvement of the United States. The Israeli foreign ministry has declined to comment on the news, which complicates Israel's assumption that shared fears of a nuclear Iran would help it forge formal ties with Saudi Arabia.
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19PolandGay Pride Flag.svg Przemysław Czarnek, the education minister in Poland, blames an increase in suicides among Polish children on "LGBT ideology", neoliberalism, atheism, and Marxism. Proposes church attendance and reinforcement of tradition as a solution. He has also previously blamed sex education for child suicides.
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8United Kingdom The European far-right praises the UK's new 'Illegal Migration Bill' as part of the Conservative government's drive to go all-in on 'culture war' shite.
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12United States How/why American far-right terrorists are targeting the power grid.
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45United StatesTrans flag.svg A whole lot of emails leak between conservative activists showing how they collaborated to push anti-trans legislation. Groups involved include the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Principles Project, Liberty Counsel, American College of Pediatricians, and Women's Liberation Front (an increasingly obvious astro-TERF front). Note: the source of the leak is an 'ex-detransitioner'.
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32United StatesGeorgia (U.S. State). Police riot in Atlanta threatens to kill festival-goers with no connection to the protests against the "Cop City" planned to be built in the last parkland in Atlanta. To give context, in January a protestor against the Cop City project was murdered by police. This has sparked riots by outraged protestors. 35 have been arrested by police so far. According to the Defend the Forest collective those who were arrested were peaceful protestors at the aforementioned festival. 23 of those arrested have been charged with domestic terrorism; the police allege the people charged had burned police and construction vehicles, thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails, and shot fireworks at police, although it must be noted that the attacks on the police were on the opposite side of the park from where the festival and accompanying police riot took place.
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52Vatican Citythe World A large survey taken across 140 countries finds that Catholic women overwhelmingly want the church to reform its stances on LGBT issues, contraception, and women's issues. The study's results will be presented at the Vatican on International Women's Day. (Non-Paywall version.)
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53United Nationsthe World After two decades of consideration and talks, a treaty has been finalized to protect the oceans outside of territorial waters.
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6United States Walgreens will refuse to dispense abortion pills in several Republican-controlled states despite its legality there, following GOP and anti-abortion activist pressure.
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50United States US authorities believe it is "very unlikely" that a mysterious illness dubbed "Havana Syndrome" is caused by a hostile foreign power

February 2023

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37United StatesFlorida. A Republican Florida State Senator, Blaise Ingoglia, has just introduced a bill that would ban the Democratic Party from existing in the state. Registered Democrats in Florida would be notified that their party has been “canceled” and they’re now no-party voters.
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28Tunisia Hundreds protest in Tunisia in response to a crackdown by the government against black migrants. Reports that sub-Saharan migrants have been removed from their homes or prevented from using transportation have emerged. The president of Tunisia accused the migration waves of being part of a plot to change the country's demographic makeup and dissociate the country from the Arab world and Islam.
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33Mexico The same president that believes in elves doesn't seem to believe in democracy though as he prepares to weaken the electoral watchdogs from his country.
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16United KingdomNewly released documents reveal that the British government spied on Palestinian refugees
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18Italy Flag of Calabria.svg A migrant boat in Italy has sunk, and 59 migrants, including 12 children, have died.
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24Mexico The president of Mexico believes in elves. At least, something similar to elves, from Mayan folklore. He even has a photo of one!Do You Believe That?
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18United StatesArkansas. North Dakota. Mississippi. Florida. Arkansas, North Dakota, and Mississippi follow in the footsteps of Ron DeSantis: AP African American studies programs are on the chopping block in these states, too. Meantime, the Floridian government has set its sights on gender studies programs as a next target.
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59South KoreaGay Pride Flag.svg In a landmark ruling, a South Korean appeals court has held that government health insurance should offer spousal coverage to same-sex couples. This is the country's first legal recognition of social benefits for same-sex couples.
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39United States James O'Keefe has been removed from Project Veritas due to financial issues.
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15North Korea A serious food crisis is taking place in North Korea.
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40United StatesGeorgia (U.S. State). Former United States President Jimmy Carter enters hospice care
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40United StatesPennsylvania. the District of Columbia. Sen. John Fetterman has checked himself into the hospital for clinical depression. “After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself," Fetterman's chief of staff said in a statement. We here at RationalWiki wish you a healthy recovery, John.
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-32United StatesIdaho. Idaho lawmakers introduce legislation to criminalize those who administer COVID-19 vaccines. Archived
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-32United StatesFlorida. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, thought to be considering a presidential run, may do away with Advanced Placement high school courses and the SAT in his state. Their potential replacement emphasizes "Christian tradition" and "the Western tradition".
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-12United StatesTexas. Kansas. Texas wants to ban Chinese, Russian, North Korean, and Iranian citizens from buying property in the state, including immigrants or dual citizens purchasing homes. The state's governor stated he would sign the bill if given the chance. Kansas has proposed a similar bill, except it bans any foreign nationals from purchasing property in Kansas. That means you, Canada.
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20the World Using an epilepsy drug, scientists suppose they can "cure" autism... in mice. Commenters say: "we don't want to be 'cured'" and "I took this drug; it did not cure my autism". This is not the first time such a claim has emerged.
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23the World Digital bird brains: Pigeons possess the same basic learning processes as AI
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39Spain Spain passes paid menstrual leave, gender self-ID for anyone who is at least 16, and allows 16- and 17-year-olds to have abortions without parental consent, among other progressive reforms.
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16Nicaragua Nicaragua strips 94 political opponents of citizenship.
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25Antarctica "The area of sea ice around Antarctica has hit a record low, with scientists reporting “never having seen such an extreme situation before”. The ice extent is expected to shrink even further before this year’s summer melting season ends."
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29Russia Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko has been jailed for 6 years for reporting on the Mariupol killings – a deadly attack committed by Russian warplanes on a Ukrainian theatre that killed hundreds.
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16United Kingdom Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unexpectedly resigns.
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21New ZealandCyclone Gabrielle is currently ravaging New Zealand. It is apparently the worst storm to hit New Zealand this century, according to the PM. A national state of emergency has been invoked, and thousands have been displaced as the storm devastates large parts of North Island. PM says "this is climate change."
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7United Kingdom 16-year-old trans girl Brianna Ghey was stabbed to death in Culcheth, Cheshire, on the 11th of February. Two 15-year-olds have been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
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23CzechiaGay Pride Flag.svg Czech international Jakub Jankto becomes the highest-profile male soccer player to come out as gay.
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19United Kingdom Boris Johnson has declared an income of nearly £4.8 million, including an advance payment of nearly £2.5 million for speaking events since leaving office last September, demonstrating the significant earning potential for former leaders through book deals and speaking engagements.
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19United StatesAlaska. "Unidentified object" shot down by US Air Force near Alaska.
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63United States The Confederacy loses again: Jan 6 rioter who carried a Confederate flag into the Capitol and used it to assault a Black police officer is sentenced to 3 years in prison.
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-55United StatesIowa. Iowa looks to amend its child labor laws by allowing 14-17-year olds to work in training programs as miners, butchers, dangerous equipment operators, etc. The bill protects involved businesses from liability in the case of the injury or death of the teenagers.
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6United StatesMontana. Montana bill would ban teaching of scientific theories in schools
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29United StatesPennsylvania. Pennsylvania's public school funding system, which has resulted in Pennsylvania being one of the most segregated states in the country when it comes to education, ruled unconstitutional by state judge.
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34TurkeySyria Devastating 7.8 earthquake in southeast Turkey and Syria claims more than 4,000 lives. Update: Death toll increases to over 7,700 lost lives. The WHO estimates that the death tolls from both countries could exceed 20,000. Update: Death toll increases to over 25,000 people. Update: Death toll reaches past 33,000. Contractors are probed by the Turkish government. Update: death toll surpasses 40,000.
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31Brazil Bolsonaro allegedly attended meeting plotting to overturn the October 2022 election results, says Brazilian senator, though these allegations have not been formalized.