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REUTERS,

BEERSHEBA - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for seven years, has surprised doctors by showing brain activity and a "certain degree of consciousness" for the first time since his debilitating stroke.

The extent of the 84-year-old's response is still limited as he cannot move any muscle, though he had his eyes open during a visual exam using family pictures. The equipment also detected signs of his brain responding to his son Gilad’s voice, Reuters reported.

Sharon had displayed no sign of brain activity since his Jan 2006 stroke that upended Israeli politics in the midst of an election campaign, after the former hawkish general had vowed to begin pulling Israel out of the West Bank.

Alon Friedman, neurological director at Israel’s Soroka Medical center in Beersheba stated that the exams, which began Thursday, were “encouraging,” but added that “the chances of him getting out of bed are very, very slim,” reported Reuters.

Haaretz noted that the doctors hope that the extensive monitoring of Sharon can be used in research on the different degrees of consciousness of those in long-term vegetative states.

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Ariel Sharon in 2004, Wikipedia

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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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