Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine is sending reinforcements to the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, protests erupt in Greece over the train collision that killed at least 43 and a rare Madagascar bird that was feared extinct is rediscovered. Meanwhile, Brazilian independent journalism agency Saiba Mas looks at how Brazilians can debunk the fake news that spread before Lula's re-election by looking at what’s happened since.
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• Ukraine sends reinforcements to Bakhmut: Ukraine is sending additional troops to Bakhmut, the eastern city where both sides have faced major losses and Russian forces have gradually tightened their grip. Officials in Kyiv did not specify whether the soldiers’ aim is to fight off Russian forces or to evacuate the city.
• Taiwan military gets U.S. arms boost, possible sanctions on China: The United States has approved the potential sale of $619 million in new weapons to Taiwan, including weapons for its F-16 fleet. Meanwhile, in another sign of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, the U.S. is sounding out close allies about the possibility of imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing provides military support to Russia for the Ukraine war.
• Protests erupt in Greece over train collision: Protests have erupted in Greece over the rail crash that killed at least 43 people. Many rioters are blaming Hellenic Train in Athens, the company in charge of Greece’s railways, for the neglected safety of the railways despite several warnings over the past few years.
• Reports of poisoning schoolgirls in Iran: Concerns are rising in Iran after reports emerged that nearly 900 schoolgirls had been poisoned across the country in recent months, according to Iran’s semi-official Mehr News. It remains unclear whether the incidents are linked or whether the students were targeted.
• Vietnam names new president: Vo Van Thuong has been chosen as Vietnam’s new president by the country’s National Assembly on Thursday in a reshuffle of the country’s top leadership amid a thorough anti-graft campaign. He was elected with 98.38% of the votes, according to the parliament’s online portal.
• Fire knocks out half of Argentina's power grid: In Argentina, more than 20 million people in major cities and large swathes of the countryside were left without electricity for several hours on Wednesday, though power has been mostly restored. The cause of the blackout is believed to be a large fire in open fields west of Buenos Aires.
• Rare Madagascar bird feared extinct rediscovered: The Dusky Tetraka, a songbird that had been on the Top 10 most wanted list of "lost birds" for the past 24 years, and feared to be extinct, has been sighted in recent weeks by Ornithologists during an expedition into the remote rainforests of northeast Madagascar.
“The dead of Tempe demand answers,” titles Greek daily I Kathimeriní after protests erupted in front of Hellenic Train in Athens, the company responsible for maintaining the country’s railways, over a rail crash in the Tempe Valley in central Greece that killed at least 43 people. A station master has been charged with manslaughter by negligence but rail union members are pointing fingers at potential safety systems failures and longtime neglect of the railways. Greece’s Transport Minister has resigned over the disaster.
TikTok announced that every user under the age of 18 will soon have their accounts limited to one-hour of daily screen time. This is seen as one of the most aggressive restrictions by a social media company to prevent teens from endless scrolling. This move comes after social platforms including TikTok have faced a lot of scrutiny due to their impact over young users.
On Lula's “gay kits,” marxist plots and the entire Brazilian fake news machine
Before Lula's re-election in Brazil, fake news spread widely online about "gay kits" in schools and Marxism in schools. For Brazilian independent journalism agency Saiba Mas, Cefas Carvalho looks at how Brazilians can use the moment to convince moderate voters of the dangers of disinformation.
🇧🇷❌ It’s been two months since the leftist Luiz Lula da Silva returned as president of Brazil. Despite what fake news and reports online said: No Christian church was closed. No religious leader was arrested or suffered. No public school received “gay kits” and no nursery received bottles with dick-shaped spouts. No one was forced to marry a person of the same sex, and no “gay dictatorship” was installed. Likewise, no woman was forced to have an abortion.
📱 I made this list in such a tone to emphasize the damage of fake news in WhatsApp groups, in the electorate, in the community, in interpersonal relationships, and in the country. More than that, to show how urgent it is to fight fake news at the source. Because all of this above was passed on in WhatsApp groups as absolute truths that would happen if Lula were elected.
💬 When I talk about fighting fake news at the source, I ask exactly for this: to replace the empty indignation in WhatsApp groups of progressive colleagues, the endless debates on Twitter, and epic posts on Facebook, and leave in the comfort zone of those who think like us and then, take advantage of the historic moment to confront fake news disseminators with reality. Getting the truth to those who need it. To the conservative uncle or to the nice aunt who believes in everything.
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“These comments were irresponsible. They were repugnant. They were disgusting.”
— The United States has called out a top Israeli minister for saying that a Palestinian village that had been attacked by settlers needed to be “wiped out.” U.S. Secretary of State spokesperson Ned Price called the comments “repugnant” and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “publicly and clearly” disavow the remarks that his Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich made against the West Bank village of Huwara.
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✍️ Newsletter by Inès Mermat, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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