RationalWiki:What is going on in the world?

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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 found in the archives.

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News and government policy (except economics and welfare state policies) related to the coronavirus pandemic go to WIGO:Coronavirus
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What is going on?

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  • WIGO World

April 2020

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23This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Texas. William Neil “Doc” Gallagher, a Christian radio personality from Texas, is sentenced to 25 years in prison after ripping off his elderly listeners for more than US$25 million in a Ponzi scheme
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20This issue affects Canada. Justin Trudeau is facing backlash from critics and labor groups after choosing Amazon to distribute medical supplies in Canada
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12This issue affects Turkey. Bad news for lovers of the hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella as a parasite called stinkbug, is affecting the supplies of hazelnuts in Turkey home of 70% of world’s supply of hazelnuts.
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15This issue affects Antarctica. This issue affects the World. Research suggests that Antartica was once a swampy rainforest, which would imply that the greenhouse gases levels were much higher in the Cretaceous Period than scientists estimated and that the continent did not have glaciers
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14This issue affects Germany. Germany exceeds 50% renewable energy milestone while other countries seek to exploit sea energy
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15This issue affects the United Kingdom. NHS has £13 billion and a half debt written off to help combat the pandemic and that NHS workers will get fully tested by the end of the month
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14This issue affects the United States. The FDA has relaxed the rules for LGBT+ persons on donating blood citing current urgent needs. It would allow gay men to give after three months abstinence rather the current twelve months.
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17This issue affects the United States. The FAA has said that owners of Boeing 787 aircraft must reboot their aircraft every 51 days otherwise, there could be serious problems with the plane’s avionics including possibly "several potentially catastrophic failure scenarios"
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21This issue affects the United States. In a welcome stopped clock moment, Trump's treasury announces that people who had not filed tax returns in 2019 are now eligible for support payments.
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-10This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Iraq. President Trump threatens Iran if they attack troops in Iraq after the IRGC Quds force enter Iraq to aid proxy groups
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31This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Delaware. Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once the largest shale oil company, declares bankrupcy

March 2020

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15This issue affects Australia. Australia approves A$56 billion stimulus bill to support businesses and lend aid to small and medium-sized firms, as well doubling unemployment benefits and allow worst-hit workers to access pension savings earlier as the country goes into lockdown.
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25This issue affects Hungary. Hungarian parliament accepts the government's request to rule by decree during the coronavirus emergency. Dictator Prime Minister Viktor Orbán promises to use these emergency powers proportionally and rationally.
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26This issue affects the United States. Internal documents reveal that Monsanto knew crop system would damage US farms
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35This issue affects Senegal. Man plants 152 million mangrove trees in ten years
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32This issue affects the United States. Amazon, a company owned by the world's richest man, is soliciting donations to pay sick leave for its workers
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18This issue affects the United States. Everything you need to know about the April 1st rent strike
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23This issue affects the United States. The Secretary of the Interior announces that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's reservation is to disestablished and that the land be taken out of trust. This couldn't possibly be because of Trump holding a grudge, right?
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0This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Venezuela. Due to US pressure, the IMF rejects Nicolas Maduro's bid for a $5 billion emergency loan
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18This issue affects the United States. Civil rights leader Joseph E. LoweryWikipedia's W.svg, who cofounded the SCLCWikipedia's W.svg with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, has passed away at age 98. He will be missed.
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34This issue affects the United States. Increased calls for a general strike as Trump pushes for people to return to work amidst global pandemic
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38This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Colorado. Colorado abolishes the death penalty
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2This issue affects the United States. The EPA suspends its enforcement of environmental laws, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak.
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20This issue affects the United States. Republican-controlled Senate passes $2 trillion stimulus bill. The bill is expected to be approved by the House of Representives when it votes on the bill on Friday.UPDATE: Vague language in the bill means that the bill could become a $4.5 trillion bailout for corporations, with purely cosmetic oversight and the promised basic income only applies to people that filed their 2019 tax returns, which could leave up to 30 million working class Americans out of the program
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24This issue affects New Zealand. Some good news for a change. White supremacist who carried out Christchurch terrorist attacks suddenly pleads guilty to all charges: 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism.
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19This issue affects the United States. The Department of Justice asks Congress to suspend various constitutional rights which would include suspending habeas corpus which would allow the government to detain people indefinitely without trial, suspending the statute of limitations on criminal investigations and deny the right of asylum to immigrants who test positive for Covid-19. This policy is being pursued in spite of the fact that Donald Trump already possesses extreme emergency powers
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31This issue affects the United States. Conservatives are jumping on the bizarre "sacrifice the elderly to the Dow" bandwagon. First Fox News' Brit Hume (76) said - on air - that it's an “entirely reasonable viewpoint” to expect that grandparents would be willing to die to protect the economy, then Glenn Beck boldly claimed "I would rather die than kill the country." We assume they'll lead by example.
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13This issue affects the World. This issue affects Saudi Arabia. This issue affects Russia. Falling demand due to COVID-19, a supply war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and now capacity problems as storage space gets full means that experts are pointing to oil markets falling as low as $10 per barrel.
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23This issue affects Poland. This issue affects Ukraine. Three Polish men have been convicted of arson in a Kraków court on a Hungarian community centre in western Ukraine. The men who had links to Russian-backed far-right groups, were trying to create a false flag operation to cause ethnic strife between noted Hungarian minority and the Ukrainian majority.
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20This issue affects Netherlands. The Dutch government is investigating closing all the Netherlands’ coal-fired power stations earlier than the planned date of 2030. This was after being told that it was the most effective way for the country to meet its climate goals.
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12This issue affects Spain. This issue affects the European Union. Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, calls on the European Union for a Marshall Plan to revitalize the continent's economy
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17This issue affects the United States. Democrat Senators block the Republican stimulus bill and Nancy Pelosi introduces her own stimulus bill that would cost $2.5 trillion which would include a $1,500 basic income for all Americans, billions in zero-interest loans to small business, and hundreds of billions to health centers, hospitals, schools, unemployment insurance, food stamps and early voting for primary elections.
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29This issue affects the United States. This issue affects the District of Columbia. Purported fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls on display at the Museum of the Bible are all clever forgeries.
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12This issue affects North Macedonia. This issue affects NATO With the last country Spain voting yes to the the deciding vote in a special parliamentary session, North Macedonia has unofficially become the 30th member of NATO.
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12This issue affects Croatia. If things cannot get any worst for Croatia with nationwide lockdown over COVID-19, this morning the capital Zargeb received an 5.3 Richter scale earthquake. Update: a 15-year-old has died.
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20This issue affects the World. World’s intact tropical forests reached ‘peak carbon uptake’ in 1990s
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35This issue affects the United States. In today's episode of "We're all going die, aren't we?"

Peter Alexander: “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”

Trump: "I say that you are a terrible reporter, that’s what I say. It’s a very nasty question."
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23This issue affects the United States. Republican Senators Richard Burr (Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman), James Inhofe and Kelly Loeffler, as well the Democrats' Dianne Feinstein sold off millions of dollars' worth of stocks, after receiving confidential briefings on the coronavirus epidemic, and whilst telling constituents to have faith in the Trump administration’s efforts to prepare the nation.
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15This issue affects the United States. Republican Senators unveil a massive stimulus bill to aid the economy and workers slammed by the crisis. The bill provides a minimum of $1,200 basic income per individual, as well hundreds of billions in loans to small business and large scale industries.
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26This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Wisconsin. Republican Senator Ron Johnson says it's not worth shutting down the economy over the risk of 11 million Americans dying.
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17This issue affects the World. Flag of Mars.svg Organic compounds discovered on Mars by the Curiosity rover consistent with the presence of early life on Mars.
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14This issue affects the World. Life may very well be common in the universe - just not in our neighborhood, new study says.
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25This issue affects France. This issue affects Italy. This issue affects the United States. In the United States, Amazon is hiring a 100,000 new employees and raising pay by a groundbreaking amount of two dollars to keep up with demand. In Italy, workers go on strike against Amazon for the company failing to implement proper hygiene and social distancing measures. In France, workers go on strike to protest the company endangering workers by refusing to close its warehouses
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16This issue affects France. As the economy slides towards a recession, the French government rejects its own austerity measures and promises billions of euros in economic aid and even nationalization to save its largest companies from the market turmoil
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55This issue affects the United States. Trump 28 Feb 2020: "The coronavirus is the Democrats' new hoax."

Trump 17 Mar 2020: "I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."

UPDATE Trump 18 Mar 2020: "The coronavirus snuck up on us."
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27This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Arizona. Arizona pastor claims his flock are willing to "lick the floor" to prove coronavirus a hoax.
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32This issue affects the United States. This issue affects California. Megachurch cancels faith healing service... because of the coronavirus.
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13This issue affects the European Union. This issue affects Spain. In order to stop the coronavirus outbreak, the European Union will close its borders to all non-essential travel. Spain has also closed its frontiers.
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11This issue affects the United States. To ease market fears, the Fed cuts interest rates to zero and launches a $700 billion quantitative easing program but the stock market continues to plunge. In response, the Fed decided to offer a $500 billion repurchase of financial assets
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28This issue affects Australia. Fraser Anning, an Australian MP who blamed the Christchurch fascist terror attack on the murdered victims, declares bankrupcy
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17This issue affects Israel. Didn't they get the memo? While everybody preaches social distancing. thousands of Jewish believers will gather at the Western Wall to pray the coronavirus away.
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18This issue affects the United Kingdom. Epidemiologist on the UK's "herd immunity" plan to battle Covid-19: "I thought it was satire."
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13This issue affects Ghana. This issue affects Kenya. This issue affects the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This issue affects South Africa. This issue affects Senegal. Even though they have the fewest reported cases worldwide, African nations such as Kenya, Senegal, the DRC, South Africa and Ghana have enacted drastic measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, including school closures; increased quarantine measures for new arrivals; travel bans to and from Europe, China, Iran and the US; deportations;closure of borders and restrictions on non-essential travel and gatherings.
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15This issue affects the United States. Amazon is banning the sale of most editions of Mein Kampf and some other Nazi and antisemitic texts, although some scholarly editions are still on sale.
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19This issue affects the United States. Not one to let a crisis go to waste, the US Congress is trying to pass a bill to end encrypted messages online
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7This issue affects the United States. The House of Representatives passes a bipartisan relief bill which includes a limited paid leave, but this bill exempts big business leaving out millions of workers
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34This issue affects the United Kingdom. Second patient cured of HIV, having remained free of the virus for more than thirty months after stopping treatment
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25This issue affects the World. This issue affects Brazil. This issue affects Spain. This issue affects Portugal. Coronavirus Update: Death toll surpasses 5,000. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus(though Jair claims it's fake news). Meanwhile the Portuguese and Spanish governments declare a state of alert.
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27This issue affects the United States. Federal judge orders Chelsea Manning's release from jail
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15This issue affects the United States. This issue affects the District of Columbia. Due to the coronavirus the U.S capitol building is closing.
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12This issue affects the United States. The Federal Reserve injects US$1.5 trillion of cash into markets to quell growing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic. UPDATE:A second market crash called Black Thursday (2020)Wikipedia's W.svg causes the US to officially enter a bear market (warning: adblock complaint from Forbes)
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18This issue affects the World. Amidst coronavirus outbreak, the super-rich jet off to disaster bunkers
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28This issue affects the United States. This issue affects South Carolina. Good news: Judge strikes down South Carolina law prohibiting discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in sex ed. Better news: the state's Republican superintendent of education didn't even try to defend it, but agreed it should go.
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27This issue affects the United States. The GOP Senate blocks emergency paid sick leave, because fuck you, your employer needs you to work during a pandemic.
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26This issue affects the World. This issue affects the United States. Trump shuts down all Europe-US travel..... except to UK, 'cos it's not part of Europe any more and its coronavirus isn't dangerous....???
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24This issue affects the World. The World Health Organization (WHO)Wikipedia's W.svg has officially declared the new coronavirus strain a pandemic.
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19This issue affects Italy. NOBODY PANIC! Italy has effectively shut down due to coronavirus fears.
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40This issue affects the United States. Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years after sexual assault conviction.
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18This issue affects the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, a court of appeal rules that it's still legal to require all those applying for a British passport to choose either M or F as their gender and deny them the third option of choosing X. The judges did, however, say that refusing to issue gender neutral passports might be considered a breach of human rights one day.
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10This issue affects the United States. In response to Black Monday (2020)Wikipedia's W.svg President Trump proposes cuts to the payroll tax that funds Social Security and a bailout to the heavily indebted fracking industry
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13This issue affects the United Kingdom. UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries has been diagnosed with Coronavirus. At present, 382 in the UK have tested positive for the illness.
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17This issue affects the United States. The NAIJ, the union representing US immigration judges, has revealed that CDC-issued posters in English and Spanish regarding limiting the spread of COVID-19 were ordered to be removed on sight from immigration courts. After backlash, the DoJ has backpedaled, stating, "the signs shouldn’t have been removed. It’s now being rectified."
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8This issue affects Saudi Arabia. This issue affects Russia. This issue affects the World. After failing to negotiate production cuts to increase oil prices in the face of Covid-19, Russia and Saudi Arabia engage in a price war that flooded the market with oil and led to the largest drop in prices since the 1991 Gulf War. As of March 9, WTI Crude was trading close to $30 compared to $60 at the start of the year.
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39This issue affects China. Quarantined Wuhan kids hacked their way out of an app assigning them homework by spamming it with 1-star reviews until it got removed from the app store
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20This issue affects Italy. This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Missouri. In an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Italy, the worst hit European country, the government essentially puts the entire country on lockdown. Meanwhile, in the US, people break quarantine to attend a school dance.
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22This issue affects the United States. This issue affects South Carolina. Tom Turnipseed, perhaps South Carolina's most prominent progressive activist, passed away at the age of 83, after fifty years fighting the good fight.
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25This issue affects China. A 36-year old coronavirus patient died of respiratory failure five days after being discharged from hospital, as China continues to report repeat cases of COVID-19 from people thought to have recovered.
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38This issue affects the United Kingdom. After the publication of yet another transphobic article published by The Guardian, written by TERF writer Suzanne Moore, over two hundred British feminists have signed a letter calling out institutional transphobia within the publication, specifically rejecting the transphobic narrative that trans rights infringe on women's rights. Signatories include Guardian staff, as well as politicians, including Green Party co-leader Sian Berry.
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21This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Washington. This issue affects California. This issue affects the World. Coronavirus: Sixth US death recognized in Washington state while the global casualities surpass 3,000. UPDATE: California declares a state of emergency
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41This issue affects South Korea. The religious cult known as ShincheonjiWikipedia's W.svg, at the heart of the South Korean 2019-20 COVID-19 outbreak required that members come to Sunday services even if they were sick, or to make up time the following week if they were too sick to come in. Church rituals include sitting on the "floor during hours-long services 'packed together like sardines.'" Reportedly, the initial South Korean government official in charge of dealing with the virus was a Shincheonji member who tried to quell the view that the church was responsible; church members have been doxxed en masse and have faced job firings and threats.
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22This issue affects the United Kingdom. In conditions reminiscent of ICE detention centers in America, a Jamaican man with a broken ankle was left in "excruciating agony" in a deportation cell for four days, forced to wet himself as he could not move. He will not be able to walk properly for over a year.
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25This issue affects Israel. Israeli Supreme Court rules in favor of prisoners' rights to unlimited time phone calls.
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37This issue affects Luxembourg. All standard-class public transport (trains, buses and the tram) throughout the 2 586km² Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is now completely free. So you can literately hop-on and hop-off to your heart's content.