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L'Osservatore Romano, Jan. 27, 2016

The meeting of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Pope Francis was featured on Wednesday's Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, with the front-page headline: "A Political Solution For The Middle East."

At the 40-minute meeting at the Vatican, the first visit between a pope and Iranian president since 1999, Francis and Rouhani discussed the fight against terrorism, interreligious dialogue and arms trafficking.

According to Radio Vaticana, Rouhani gave the pope a hand-made rug from the Iranian holy city of Qom and a book with miniatures. The pope then gave the Iranian leader a medal depicting St. Martin cutting his cloak in two to give one half to a poor man; he also gave Rouhani a copy of his latest encyclical Laudato Si.

At the end of his visit to the Holy See, Rouhani asked the pontiff: "Pray for me."

The Iranian leader is on a four-day visit to Italy and France, which is mostly focused on reestablishing economic ties between Iran and Europe as Western sanctions come to an end.

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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