Grasswire Digest: March 9

A round-up of news from Grasswire and elsewhere.

On Grasswire


Macedonia has completely closed its border with Greece to what it says are illegal migrants, following similar restrictions by Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

The decision effectively blocks the Balkan route used by refugees to reach Western Europe. Thousands of people have been stranded for weeks at the Idomeni crossing at Greek-Macedonian border; by Tuesday, about 13,000 people were at the makeshift camp.

Islamic State

According to U.S. officials, senior Islamic State group militant Sleiman Daoud al-Afari is now providing information about IS’ ability to make and deploy chemical weapons, as well as information now being used for airstrikes against the group.


A German court ruled that the transfer of data to Facebook by websites via the “Like” button without user consent infringes German and EU privacy laws.

Seattle explosion

Several buildings were leveled and nine firefighters were injured after an explosion rocked Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood Wednesday.


For the third time in as many months, junior doctors in England have begun a strike as part of their ongoing protest against government threats to impose a new contract.

Puerto Rico

A federal judge has ruled that Puerto Rico is exempt from applying the United States Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling because the island remains an unincorporated territory rather than a state.


Google’s Artificial Intelligence DeepMind AlphaGo program beat human Go champion Lee Se-dol in the first of a series of games in Seoul, South Korea.


Sir George Martin, the record producer who was known as the “fifth Beatle,” died Tuesday at his home at the age of 90.



In other news

In case you missed it

The World Health Organization says reports from several countries suggest that sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than previously thought.

At least two people were killed and at least two others wounded after eight rockets hit the Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border on Tuesday afternoon.


General interestingness

Ever wondered what it’s like trying to read if you have dyslexia? This website tries to show what it’s like.


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