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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

  • World News Desk
  • HEALTH ISSUES

The WHO team of international researchers that arrived in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday hopes to find clues to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The visit has been shrouded in secrecy, with neither China nor the WHO revealing exactly what the team will do or where it will go. The search for the origins is likely to be a years-long effort that could help prevent future pandemics.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

The world’s vital insect kingdom is undergoing “death by a thousand cuts,” the world’s top bug experts said.

Insecticides, herbicides, light pollution, invasive species and changes in agriculture and land use are causing Earth to lose probably 1 to 2 percent of its insects each year, said University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, lead author in the special package of 12 studies in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences written by 56 scientists from around the globe.

  • Articles
  • POLITICS

Remember when Donald Trump was impeached? That historic event happened on December 18, 2019, but it might as well be the year 1719. It is ancient history in terms of divisive events plaguing the U.S. throughout 2020.

Of course, the Democratic-led House of Representatives filing two articles of impeachment against the nation’s president—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—initiated a trial in the Senate.

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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  • Articles
  • ANALYSIS

Back in July, The Associated Press published the article “Wait’ til next year: Giving up on 2020, looking toward 2021.” The title perfectly summarized the hopes of many.

In the piece, AP wrote: “Now it’s all about 2021—the year when everything, and maybe nothing, happens.” There was already pessimism bleeding into thoughts about the future. But there was still hope.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

Ugandans voted Thursday in a presidential election tainted by widespread violence that some fear could escalate as security forces try to stop supporters of leading opposition challenger Bobi Wine from monitoring polling stations. Internet access has been cut off.

Long lines of voters snaked into the distance in the capital, Kampala. “This is a miracle,” mechanic Steven Kaderere said. “This shows me that Ugandans this time are determined to vote for the leader they want. I have never seen this before.”

  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Toxic air in India and other South Asian countries could be causing large numbers of miscarriages and stillbirths, scientists said on Thursday.

A study in The Lancet medical journal estimated nearly 350,000 pregnancy losses a year in South Asia were linked to high pollution levels, accounting for 7 percent of annual pregnancy loss in the region between 2000 and 2016.

  • World News Desk
  • HEALTH ISSUES

Southern California is so overwhelmed with coronavirus cases that patients are backed up trying to get into hospitals, and corpses get stuck in another logjam once they leave.

At one hospital in Orange County, ambulances loaded with patients are lining up outside waiting for space in the intensive care unit, and COVID-19 patients fill the emergency room hallway.

  • World News Desk
  • GEOPOLITICS

The United States plans to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, a move that diplomats and aid groups worry could threaten peace talks and complicate efforts to combat the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

“The Department of State will notify Congress of my intent to designate Ansar Allah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” Mr. Pompeo said in a statement late on Sunday.

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

Protecting the world’s biodiversity was on the agenda Monday for world leaders at the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The one-day summit will focus on four major topics: protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting agroecology, a more sustainable way to grow food; increasing funding to protect biodiversity; and identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Gulf Arab leaders signed a declaration Tuesday to ease a rift with Qatar, following Saudi Arabia’s decision to end a 3 1/2-year embargo of the tiny energy-rich country that deeply divided regional U.S. security allies and frayed social ties across the Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Arabia also said it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Qatar, although it was not clear how soon the step would be followed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which had joined the kingdom in isolating the country over its regional policies.

  • World News Desk
  • SOCIETY & LIFESTYLES

On a day when New York’s governor did an about-face and embraced mobile sports betting as a way to deal with financial losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, a company that tracks gambling legislation and performance predicted that revenue from legal sports betting could reach $3.1 billion in 2021 and as much as $10 billion within five years.

VIXIO GamblingCompliance issued a report Wednesday projecting that at least six and as many as 14 additional states will legalize or expand sports betting in 2021. That fits with projections by numerous analysts that nearly half the country may have legalized sports betting by the end of this year.

  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

Hong Kong police arrested 53 people in dawn raids on democracy activists on Wednesday in the biggest crackdown since China last year imposed a security law which opponents say is aimed at quashing dissent in the former British colony.

Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy advocates were arrested in raids on 72 premises as the authorities said last year’s unofficial vote to choose opposition candidates in city elections was part of a plan to “overthrow” the government.

  • Articles
  • AMERICAS

Facebook and Instagram are silencing Donald Trump’s social media accounts for the rest of his presidency. The move, which came following Wednesday’s violent protest at the U.S. Capitol, is a reminder of the enormous power that social-media platforms can wield when they choose.

The two social media giants said Thursday they will bar Mr. Trump from posting at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Twitter had issued a temporary lockdown of Mr. Trump’s account for posts that violated its rules. Late Thursday, he returned to the platform to post a video where he said that “tempers must be cooled and calm restored.” He also said he will now turn his focus to ensure a “smooth, orderly and seamless transfer of power.”

  • World News Desk
  • HEALTH ISSUES

Will COVID-19 vaccines work on the new coronavirus variant?

Experts believe so, but they are working to confirm that.

  • World News Desk
  • INTERNATIONAL

Thomson Reuters Foundation – The world is set to boost efforts to stop children working as 2021 marks the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, amid concerns that COVID-19 has fueled the practice.

The resolution by the 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) aims to increase awareness and spur action to end child labor worldwide by governments and other actors.

  • World News Desk
  • GEOPOLITICS

Iran began enriching uranium Monday to levels unseen since its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and also seized a South Korean-flagged tanker near the crucial Strait of Hormuz, a double-barreled challenge to the West that further raised Mideast tensions.

Both decisions appeared aimed at increasing Tehran’s leverage in the waning days in office for President Donald Trump, whose unilateral withdrawal from the atomic accord in 2018 began a series of escalating incidents.

  • World News Desk
  • EUROPE

The United Kingdom began the New Year outside the European Union’s orbit on Friday after ending a tempestuous 48-year liaison with the European project, its most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of empire.

Brexit took effect in substance on Thursday at the strike of midnight in Brussels, or 2300 London time (GMT), at the end of a transition period that largely maintained the status quo for 11 months after Britain formally left the EU on January 31, 2020.

  • World News Desk
  • PROFILE

Words matter. But numbers tell stories, too.

Presidential historians and others will plumb them as they assess President Donald Trump’s legacy.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East.

One senior U.S. military officer said the flight by two Air Force B-52 bombers was in response to signals that Iran may be planning attacks against U.S. allied targets in neighboring Iraq or elsewhere in the region in the coming days. The officer was not authorized to publicly discuss internal assessments based on sensitive intelligence and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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