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Voting in France on April 23
Voting in France on April 23
Jillian Deutsch

-Analysis-

Donald Trump makes a lot of noise. In the past week alone, he made headlines for saying he thought being president of the United States "would be easier" and for calling North Korea's Kim Jong-un "a tough cookie." But friends and foes alike have advised us to pay attention to what he does more than what he says.

Well, on Thursday, something got done. In their second attempt, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representative passed a bill to undo the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, and replace it with measures that would cause 24 million people to lose their health insurance by 2026, cut $880 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade, and create measures for denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, according to The Washington Post. The legislation still needs far-but-certain approval in the Senate, but Trump's fulfillment of a key campaign pledge has already left its mark.

All elections were not created equal.

There's a good lesson here for citizens elsewhere: Elections matter. They'll matter in France, where voters go out to the polls — or don't — on Sundayto choose between centrist Emmanuel Macron or far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. They will also matter when the British go vote again in snap parliamentary elections on June 8. And elections will matter again when Germans choose whether to give their longtime chancellor and European Union champion Angela Merkel a fourth term.

But it is also true that all elections were not created equal. Algerians have focused more of their attention on the upcoming elections in France (their former colonizers) than on their own legislative elections this week. Abu Dhabi-based The National reports that Algerian lack of interest in their own elections is explained by a belief that corruption and bribery are so entrenched that a vote wouldn't change anything.

Meanwhile in Venezuela, the death toll is rising in national protests, as democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro looks to be doing everything in his power to stand in the way of allowing a new round of elections.

Even in a healthy democracy like France, such voter cynicism risks becoming a factor in final results. Still, come Sunday night, there will be a new French president who no doubt understands that there is hard work ahead.

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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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