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Ireland Chooses Love in Historic Referendum on Gay Marriage

By a margin of nearly 2-to-1, Ireland becomes the first country on Earth to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Via YouTube

Around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Ireland started to count votes for its historic referendum on same-sex marriage. While most polls conducted in the past few weeks looked favorable for gay marriage advocates (about 78 percent of polled voters supported legalization), tensions were high and the outcome, uncertain. Thousands of people flew into Ireland on Friday to vote before the polls closed. At 2 p.m. today, the results were announced: over 62 percent of the population voted in favor of the referendum, making Ireland the only country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

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Don’t Freak Out About Beef Trade With Mad Cow Countries

The horrifying disease has caused nations to halt beef imports over as little as a single reported case.

Illustration by Addison Eaton

To anyone who follows the business of red meat in America (beyond shoving it down their maw), 2015 got off to a controversial start, as the U.S. government announced that we’re going to start importing beef from Ireland again. This probably sounds like some minor, niche agricultural issue until you consider why we stopped eating Irish cows back in 1996: mad cow disease. After two decades of closure and paranoia that transformed global agricultural markets, by now opening our meat gates to the Emerald Isle, America is declaring that it’s once again ready to swap meat with the whole of Europe.

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What’s the Detroit Water Brigade Doing In Ireland?

Why they’re taking the fight for water rights to Dublin on October 10.

A march against water charges imposed by the Irish Water company. Photo by Flickr user Maurice Frazer.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take the streets of Dublin tomorrow, and marching among the throngs of demonstrators will be the Detroit Water Brigade. They’re joining the Irish in their clarion call for water rights. The Right 2 Water December 10 protest is a response to recent government austerity measures that will impose additional charges on water usage. Detroiters will be airing their own grievances with the Detroit city government, which in the past year has shut off water service for more than 27,000 homes. Together, activists of Ireland and Detroit will protest in solidarity against the global privatization of water resources and organize to reestablish clean water access as a fundamental human right.

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Irish Students Design Software to Make Drivers Safer

More than  3,000 people die every day because of traffic accidents, and that number is on the rise. The problem's so bad that the World Health...

More than 3,000 people die every day because of traffic accidents, and that number is on the rise. The problem's so bad that the World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, car accidents will be the third leading cause of disease or injury. But what if computer software could help prevent many of them by evaluating a driver's behind-the-wheel behavior and educating her about it?

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Study: Religion Set to Go Extinct in Nine Nations

Citizens in countries from Ireland to Canada to Austria are seeing less "utility" in organized religion.

A new study of census data from nine countries around the world has ascertained that, statistically, religion in those countries is going the way of the pterodactyl.

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Google Doesn't Pay Taxes

Using legal and accounting maneuvering, Google has effectively kept some $3.1 billion dollars from the government since 2007. Is that a good thing?

Despite our applause at its It Gets Better videos, today there is some news about Google that is less applause worthy. Using legal and accounting maneuvering, Google has effectively kept some $3.1 billion dollars in potential tax revenue from the government. The corporate tax rate in America is 35 percent, but Google pays an effective tax rate of 2.4 percent. It manages this by routing its money through its Dublin, Netherlands, and Bermuda offices, in moves that are called "the Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich" (check out an interactive graphic about how it works). It's the lowest tax rate paid by any of the five largest U.S. tech companies. According to Bloomberg, Facebook is preparing a similar tax strategy.

Now, Google hasn't done anything illegal. These are all legitimate tax-abatement strategies. And it's not particularly capitalist to say that a company shouldn't take advantage of a loophole just to be a good citizen. And you could pretty reasonably argue that Google might make better use of that money than the government would.

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