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‘Doomsday Clock’ moves closest to midnight since the Cold War

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Responding to current events, the “Doomsday Clock” has moved 30 seconds ahead and is now reflecting that the world is the closest to metaphorical midnight, or the symbolic “point of annihilation,” since 1953.

The metaphorical clock, set every year for more than 70 years by the nonprofit Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, measures the planet’s health and safety based on nuclear threats, climate change and other global threats. 

The U.S.-based group points to rising nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, specifically “hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions on both sides.”

{mosads}The group, which was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, specifically notes “the decline of U.S. leadership and a related demise of diplomacy under the Trump administration” as a global concern and a reason for this year’s leap closer to midnight.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists blamed President Trump’s increased tension with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and apparent willingness to use U.S. nuclear counter-options. 

“Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict U.S. actions or understand when U.S. pronouncements are real, and when they are mere rhetoric,” according to a statement. “International diplomacy has been reduced to name-calling, giving it a surrealistic sense of unreality that makes the world security situation ever more threatening.”

“In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II,” the group continued.

The group also notes the uncertainty of U.S. support for the Iran nuclear deal as a threat and the rise of “nation-state information technology and internet-based campaigns” attacking free elections.

This is the second year in a row that the Doomsday Clock has moved forward 30 seconds after not moving at all in 2016. It has now broken the record set last year for the closest to “midnight” since the height of the Cold War.

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