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How The World Sees The US Shutdown

PARIS – The United States woke up Tuesday to a rather expected, but nonetheless stunning government shutdown after Congress failed to agree on a new budget by the midnight deadline in a political standoff over Republican attempts to reverse President Obama's landmark health care reform.

The government is forced to put an end to non-essential services, an estimated 800,000 federal employees face unpaid leave beginning Tuesday, with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over.

Goldman Sachs estimated that the U.S. could lose as much as 0.9% of its GDP this quarter if the shutdown lasted three weeks. This domestic political row from the world's largest economy and, er, temporarily lamest democracy are bound to have reverberations around the world.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC radio: "It is a risk to the world economy if the United States can't properly sort out its spending plans and its deficit reduction plans."

The shutdown is the leading story on many top global news outlets:

Commentators are chiming in:

- In French daily Le Figaro, Pierre-Yves Duguawrites: "The U.S. is being humiliated by the inability of its political system to carry out its primary mission: to pass a budget."

- In Germany's leading business daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Patrick Welter writes: "The failure to reach agreement casts a dark shadow on the next and more important forthcoming round in the fiscal row."

- Andrew Coyne of Canada's National Post adds: "Today’s crisis is driven not by the leadership or even the majority of the Republican party, but by an intense and disciplined minority, itself a product of the changes that have overtaken the country in recent years.

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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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