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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Commentaries and editorials go in WIGO:Blogs, as do blogs, YouTube videos, social media posts, and articles about any of these. Crazy commentaries, editorials, blogs, videos and social media items go in WIGO:Clogs.

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What is going on?

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  • WIGO World

February 2020

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21This issue affects Germany. A study by University College London and the German Institute for Labour Market Research has found that in the five years since the minimum wage of €8·50 per hour was introduced in Germany, both unemployment hasn’t gone up and productivity has risen.
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22This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Delaware. Youth organization Boy Scouts of America has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, because of the number of pedophiliac abuse cases against the organization.
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10This issue affects the United Kingdom. Following a recent spate of terrorist incidents in Northern Ireland, the New IRA has turned its sights on Sinn Féin, who they see as traitors to republicanism over their support for the police services. That PSNI is now aware of these plans also indicates the organisation has been successfully infiltrated.
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13This issue affects Portugal. This issue affects France. This issue affects the World. Scandal in the soccer world as Porto's Moussa Marega quits match over racist abuse
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23This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Germany. This issue affects Switzerland. It has been revealed that the Swiss specialist communications equipment company Crypto AG who makes secure telephony equipment, which was used by many governments throughout the world including Ireland, Iran, India and Pakistan, was a joint American-German front company.
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4This issue affects Ireland. Despite spending €38 million over the last five years on the nationwide postcode system called Eircode, only 6 in 10 people never or rarely use the codes.
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25This issue affects the United Kingdom. Andrew Sabisky, an advisor to Boris Johnson, calls for enforced contraception for the poor, believes black people are stupider than whites, and compared women's sports to the Paralympics. He's also promoted the use of the drug modafinil which allegedly lets you exist on a couple of hours' sleep. EDIT: he quit.
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18This issue affects the United States. The Washington Post finds a 1990 booklet containing the wit and wisdom of Michael Bloomberg and republishes it online. Non-paywalled coverage is available from The Guardian.
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22This issue affects the United Kingdom. The new Chancellor to replace Sajid Javid has ordered public services to accept a 5% cut to their funding, so their funding could be "re-prioritised on other priorities", seemingly in direct opposition to his predecessor's declarations of the end of austerity in the UK. (although whether he was telling the truth depends on your political perspective) This bodes very badly for public services already on life support after austerity from the Cameron government, which are also about to lose the funding from the European Union keeping parts of the UK like Cornwall afloat.
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26This issue affects the United States. US Justice Department, apparently acting on the will of President Trump, overrules its own prosecutors' recommendation of a 7 to 9 year prison sentence for convicted felon and Trump confidant Roger Stone.
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11This issue affects the United Kingdom. In a move that has surprised everyone, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has resigned. There have been reports of tension between Javid and Boris Johnson for sometime. Javid was reportedly pushed over the edge after being ordered by Number 10 to fire all his advisors.
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24This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Arizona. The Trump Wall project continues, with Native American graveyards being blown up, wildlife displaced, and underground aquifers polluted.
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16This issue affects the United Kingdom. After three prime ministers, outcry from environmental groups and Tory MPs, and a budget that has been more than tripled to a colossal £106 billion, Phase 1 of the HS2 railway network has finally been confirmed. Ironically, what will be Johnson's most expensive project, both monetarily (besides Brexit) and environmentally, will benefit the northern constituencies who gave him his supermajority very little - rather, since Johnson is not expected to raise taxes, it will likely deprive them of even more resources.
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28This issue affects the United Kingdom. The law allowing same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has been enacted, with the first wedding being between Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards in County Antrim. This means now same-sex marriage is now legal in all parts of the United Kingdom.
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27This issue affects China. An extremely gutsy Chinese academic has publicly blamed Xi Jinping for the Coronavirus 'catastrophe' that has now hit over 1000 deaths. This is an overwhelmingly rare occurrence, due to people's fear of the man who looks like iconic children's character Winnie the Pooh, and it's not an understatement to say Xu Zhangrun's life is now in danger.
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8This issue affects the United Kingdom. In another development in the (unfortunately) ongoing Windrush scandal, after being told to stop flights sending 50 people to Jamaica after knowingly depriving them of legal advice, the Home Office deliberately ignored the court ruling and attempted to force them onto the flights anyway - some were fortunately stopped in time, but some others - around 20 - were successfully put on a flight.
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12This issue affects the United Kingdom. We're gonna build a bridge, and we're gonna make Mexico pay for it
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6This issue affects Germany. In the fall-out overusing the support of the far-right AfD in creating Thuringia’s government, Germany’s defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has resigned as leader of the federal centre-right CDU. She has also announced she would not be the party’s candidate for chancellor in the 2021 general elections, leaving a headache for Mutti Merkel.
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31This issue affects Switzerland. 62% of Swiss voters and 23 cantons voted yes in a referendum on whether to include sexual orientation in the country’s hate-crime legislation, clearing the way for its passage..
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15This issue affects Thailand. Thai soldier goes on shooting rampage, kills 21. UPDATE: The suspect was shot dead by the police and the military.
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5This issue affects Afghanistan. The lingering legacy of Daesh in Afghanistan
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34This issue affects Canada. This issue affects Russia. Jordan Peterson won't be active in public life for the foreseeable future, as he's having a terrible time recovering from benzodiazepine addiction, which he went all the way to Russia to get treated the way he wanted (story, statement from his daughter) - going cold turkey on benzos by means of a medically induced coma, a detox method near-guaranteed to cause the serious neurological damage she says he is now showing.
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39This issue affects China. “Good people don’t live long, but evil lives for a thousand years” - Rage and anti-government dissent in China, after 34-year old doctor Li Wenliang, silenced and arrested by police for raising the alarm over coronavirus, becomes a martyr by dying of it.
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21This issue affects Ireland. This issue affects the United Kingdom. Dissident republicans are strongly suspected to have placed bombs discovered by Northern Irish police on a ferry that was due to cross the Irish sea on Brexit day, another event adding to an increasing risk of a 21st century reawakening of the Troubles.
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17This issue affects Yemen. The UN is scaling back food aid to Yemen due to war risk and obstructionism. Yemen is currently the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
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20This issue affects the United States. A 32-year-old United States citizen is the latest person to die in Border Patrol Custody.
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16This issue affects Malawi. Malawi's top court, after widespread and deadly protests, has annulled the results of the May 2019 presidential election, citing an unauthorised use of Tippex/Wite-Out to alter figures.[No, not The Onion]
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21This issue affects the United States. Trump has been acquitted on both charges by the Senate (to no one's surprise), thus ending a historic impeachment trial. Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict.
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34This issue affects the United Kingdom. After one of Boris Johnson's aides stops journalists from The Mirror, The Independent, The i, PoliticsHome, and the Huffington Post from attending a briefing at No. 10 Downing Street, all of the political journalists present, including ones from such diverse organizations as the BBC, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, The Sun, and the Daily Mail, decide to walk out in solidarity.
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24This issue affects the United Kingdom. Boris Johnson's government is seeking to bypass human rights conventions to force through terror laws, because it's the "right thing to do". Where have we heard this before...
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24This issue affects the United Kingdom. This issue affects Ireland. Graham Linehan is compiling a database of 'gender-critical' Irish therapists willing to abuse young trans people. Stonewall, a UK-based LGBT+ charity, has called for a long overdue ban of the washed-up comedy writer from Twitter for his support of conversion therapy, and obsessive harassment of transgender people, through the hashtag #BanGlinner.
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16This issue affects China. This issue affects Hong Kong. The total number of coronavirus deaths have overtaken those of the 2003 Sars epidemic and cases have been spotted in Hong Kong.
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26This issue affects the United States. Rush Limbaugh diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and receiving treatment.
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27This issue affects the United Kingdom. Political journalists in the UK are boycotting Downing Street briefings, after an attempt from government officials to ban journalists from publications critical of the government.
UPDATE: The government has falsely claimed that the reporters "barged in and demanded to be included", contradictory both to testimonials from government-approved journalists, and to the fact that the journalists barred were normal political correspondents.
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14This issue affects the United States. One Million Moms got really pissed at a Super Bowl ad featuring drag queens. Here is GLAAD's response.
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12This issue affects the United Kingdom. Suspected terrorist attack in South London as armed police shoot dead a man after he stabbed several people.
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34This issue affects the European Union. This issue affects the United Kingdom. This issue affects Spain. This issue affects Gibraltar. The EU will back Spain in claims for the territory of Gibraltar, meaning the UK will have to strike a deal with Spain directly in order to keep control. Loss of the territory would be a significant loss for British prime minister Boris Johnson, and would indicate the tone for his premiereship post-Brexit.
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17This issue affects the United Kingdom. The Church of England says that any sex outside of a heterosexual marriage "falls short of God's purpose for human beings." The archbishops of Canterbury and York apologize for any hurt that statement has caused, although the Church has not withdrawn it.

January 2020

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6This issue affects the United States. The United States Senate has voted against calling witnesses in Donald Trump's impeachment trial by 49 - 51. Democrats needed four Republican votes to win the vote, but only senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins voted in favour.
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-7This issue affects the United Kingdom. The UK has left the European Union, stepping into transition twilight zone, and dealing a blow to seventy years of integration.
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29This issue affects the United Kingdom. The chief executive of NHS England says Gwyneth Paltrow's new Netflix series about alternative medicine spreads misinformation and poses a "considerable health risk".
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40This issue affects the United Kingdom. Alt-right motormouth Katie Hopkins's Twitter account (@KTHopkins) has been permanently suspended!
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16This issue affects the European Union. This issue affects the United Kingdom. The European Parliament has approved the UK Withdrawal Agreement by 621-49, meaning the UK will leave with an agreement in place on the 31st of January, at 11pm GMT.
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26This issue affects Australia. This issue affects the United States. In protests, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova call for the name of the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be changed. Former tennis champion Margaret Court is now a Christian pastor who strongly opposes same-sex marriage, has criticized tennis for being "full of lesbians" and thinks transgender children are the work of the devil.
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24This issue affects Australia. This issue affects France. This issue affects the United Kingdom. Israel Folau, who was fired by Rugby Australia in 2019 for saying that hell awaited homosexuals, has been hired by French rugby league club Catalans Dragons. English club Wigan Warriors seek to encourage LGBTQ+ supporters by saying the day they play Catalans Dragons will be Pride Day.
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53This issue affects Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu has just been indicted!
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25This issue affects Germany. The national automotive club, the ADACWikipedia's W.svg has reported that it is "no longer fundamentally" against having a speed limit on Germany's motorways, a traditional third rail of the country's politics. To put this in context, this is akin to the NRA saying its supports some background checks or gun restrictions.
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30This issue affects India. Muslims protesting against Modi's Hindu-nationalist government allege that India's police are targeting them with violence for their religion.
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20This issue affects the United States. The EPA to rollback protections for U.S. waterways affecting wetlands and smaller waterways.
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16This issue affects Kenya. This issue affects Ethiopia. This issue affects Somalia. Massive locust swarm threatens food security in the Horn of Africa.
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19This issue affects the United States. This issue affects California. The Trump administration threatens to cut California's funding if California doesn't stop requiring insurers to provide coverage for abortion.
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26This issue affects Australia. Belle Gibson, who ran a fake fundraising campaign claiming to have cured cancer using woo, has her house raided as the Victorian State Government attempts to force her to pay her $500,000 fine from 2017
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13This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Utah. Utah, you were doing so well: Judge refuses to throw out lewdness charges against woman who was topless in her own home in front of her stepchildren.
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25This issue affects the United States. This issue affects California. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin ends the city's cash bail system
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59This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Utah. Conversion therapy banned in ultra-conservative Utah.
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23This issue affects Thailand. Thai political party acquitted of being part of an Illuminati conspiracy to overthrow the government after a trial many suspect was politically motivated.
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26This issue affects Japan. Gainax president Tomohiro Maki arrested for allegedly sexually abusing an underaged voice actress. Because he was associated with the company, Hideaki Anno speaks out about Gainax's poor business practices.
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35This issue affects the United States. Trump defence team continues the "Abuse of power is not impeachable" line - thereby admitting the abuse of power, and raising eyebrows.
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23This issue affects Netherlands. A coalition of vets and animal welfare organisations in the Netherlands have teamed up to create a quality mark called FairDog to encourage people to purchase dogs from reputable breeders. The aim is to stop people getting pets from illicit puppy farms, which often sell dogs that have major health problems in later life.
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40This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Utah. Catholics in Utah are very angry about a bill that would require priests to disclose reports of sexual abuse. Because forcing Catholic priests to violate the secrecy of the confessional would force them to commit a mortal sin and face excommunication.
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32This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Virginia. Virginia Governor declares state of emergency due threats of armed right-wing militia groups planning to storm state Capitol
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19This issue affects the United States. How a preventable disaster killed six Marines
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18This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Virginia. The Virginia House of Delegates has ratified the ERA, reaching the 38-state threshold needed to amend the Constitution decades after Phyllis Schlafly killed it the first time around. Sadly, opposition against it is coming back, and the Office of Legal Counsel says that the deadline to ratify the ERA has long expired.
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-1This issue affects the United Kingdom. Criticism has been made against Momentum by its members and others against the national coordinating group, after they told members simply to vote yes or no to each of the executive's decision to endorse Rebecca Long BaileyWikipedia's W.svg as leader and Angela RaynerWikipedia's W.svg as deputy, rather than having an open vote.
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21This issue affects the United States. This issue affects New York. The "failing" New York Times has revealed in a recent meeting to its shareholders, that in 2019 that it has got some of the highest digital revenue at $800 million and online subscription figures at 5 million, it has ever received. Also the newsroom at the Times has grown to over 1700 employees, its highest ever.
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23This issue affects India. This issue affects the United States. One of India's most famous emigrants, Hyderabad-born Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaWikipedia's W.svg, has commented on the recent new Indian citizenship lawWikipedia's W.svg. He stated that he wants a situation where anyone can move to India, including people from majority Muslim countries like Bangladesh, and be successful. This is seen by many as a sharp but underhand criticism of the proposed new law.
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16This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Iran. US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he didn't see evidence of an imminent attack planned by Soleimani, but "believes" there would have been one.
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34This issue affects France. After facing mass protests, Emmanuel Macron has scrapped his proposal to raise retirement age from 62 to 64.
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29This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Poland. An Iranian truck driver whose truck broke down in Poland and wasn’t able to get back home, is now back in Khoy, Iran after local Poles acted as Samaritans by crowdfunding the zł 242 000 (~€57 000) to help him fix his vehicle.
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11This issue affects the United Kingdom. Brexiteer John Mappin of Turning Point UK is using his sizeable castle at Tintagel to promote the QAnon conspiracy.
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26This issue affects the United Kingdom. Counter-terrorism police placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities, featured alongside threats to national security such as neo-Nazi terrorism and a pro-terrorist Islamist group. Police now claim the document was recalled.
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11This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Ukraine. Iran's Press TV and CNN are reporting that that human error resulted in the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752Wikipedia's W.svg by Iran. This is also being confirmed by Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran, in a tweet.
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7This issue affects the United States. The Trump administration has plans to roll back provisions on the National Environmental Policy Act including deregulation via narrowing its scope and removing climate change as one of cumulative effects businesses need to consider.
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21This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Ukraine. An investigation shows that Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 may have been shot down by Iran on accident.
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59This issue affects the United States. Ruth Bader Ginsburg announces that she's cancer free!
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36This issue affects China. China bans all foreign textbooks and novels from public schools, stating that "all primary and secondary school teaching materials must reflect the will of the party and the country".
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13This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Ukraine. A Ukrainian Boeing plane crashes in Iran after takeoff, killing 176 on board
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-21This issue affects the United Kingdom. The UK government has voted to strip child refugees of the right to be reunited with their families after Brexit.
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31This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Iraq. Two US airbases in Iraq have been hit by ballistic missiles. Iranian state TV have claimed that this was in response to the death of Qasem Soleimani.
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11This issue affects Netherlands. The warm and dry weather over the Christmas and the New Year period has meant that local hazel and alder trees have sprouted pollen-producing catkins, leading to meteorologists giving hay fever warnings in January.
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5This issue affects Poland. The deputy prime minister Jarosław Gowin has demanded that the Brazilian comedy film A Primeira Tentação de CristoWikipedia's W.svg, known locally as Pierwsze kuszenie Chrystusa, be removed from Netflix in Poland, due to it blasphemously depicting a gay Jesus.
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31This issue affects Australia. This issue affects South Australia Ecologists are worried that some of the unique wildlife on Kangaroo Island in South Australia could be permanently destroyed after the current wildfires have already destroyed a third of the land's vegetation.
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11This issue affects the United Kingdom. This issue affects Hungary. Outrage has been placed after ConservativeHome founder and close Johnson confidant Tim Montgomerie spoke in Budapest at a meeting of the close Fidesz think tank The Danube Institute. He mentioned forging a close “special relationship” between the UK and Hungary, commenting on the limits of liberalism.
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13This issue affects Australia. This issue affects the United Kingdom. Dreams of CANZUK have been dashed, after the Australian government ruled out allowing free movement of labour from the UK.
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11This issue affects the United States. A bi-partisan group of campaign finance lawyers petition the President and Senate to restore a quorum to the Federal Election Commission board Non-paywall link to SFGate.
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30This issue affects the United States. Trump claims his tweets are sufficient notification to Congress for attacking Iran, in direct violation of the War Powers Act of 1973.
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27This issue affects the United States. US manufacturing in the deepest slump in more than a decade as the U.S.-China trade war kept a lid on factory output, orders, and employment
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17This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Iran. Trump tells evangelicals "We have god on our side". Mourners for Soleimani claim the same. We all know that this ends well!
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17This issue affects the United States. This issue affects the World. United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant Christian denomination in the US, set to vote on whether to split the Church over the issue of LGBTQ rights.
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30This issue affects Iraq. This issue affects Iran. This issue affects the United States. Iraq's parliament votes to expel US troops from Iraqi soil in emergency session responding to US assassination of Soleimani.
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34This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Illinois. Illinois legalizes recreational weed.
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3This issue affects the United Kingdom. Derek Acorah, perhaps Britain's most famous spirit medium, has passed to the other side.
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14This issue affects the United Kingdom. Former BBC Newsnight journalist John Sweeney has filed a complaint to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom, over BBC News failure, in his words, "to broadcast investigations between Brexit, Russia and the far-right".
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41This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Russia. A Deutsche Bank whistleblower has revealed to the FBI, that much of Trump's Deutsche Bank loans were secretly underwritten by the Russian state-owned bank VTB.
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16This issue affects the United Kingdom. A employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a 'philosophical belief' under the Equality Act 2010Wikipedia's W.svg, after a man was sacked from organisation the League Against Cruel SportsWikipedia's W.svg. It now rules that such belief means that ethical vegans are entitled to protection from discrimination.
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37This issue affects the United States. This issue affects Iran. Newly revealed documents show how David RockefellerWikipedia's W.svg helped get Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (The Shah)Wikipedia's W.svg into the United states, resulting in the Iran hostage crisisWikipedia's W.svg, and then worked to undercut the Carter administration's efforts to free the hostages, sinking his reelection, and causing the election of Reagan.
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48This issue affects Iran. This issue affects Iraq. This issue affects the United States. Qasem Soleimani, Iranian general, leader of the Quds Force, and one of the most influential people in the country has been killed by an American airstrike in Iraq. Expect the war in Iran to truly begin.
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17This issue affects Israel. Israeli PM Netanyahu asks the country's parliament for immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, despite previously claiming he would not need to do so.
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11This issue affects the United Kingdom. Polling among party members has put the former director of public prosecutions and current shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, in pole position to be the next Labour leader.