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REUTERS, BBC NEWS, AL ARABIYA (Saudi Arabia)

Worldcrunch

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that the conflict between rebels and government forces across Syria will "decide the fate of the nation."

Al-Assad, who has not spoken in public for two weeks, issued a written statement published by the official media agency SANA on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the army, Al Arabiya reports. In his speech, Assad praised soldiers for confronting "criminal terrorist gangs' and also accused "internal agents' of helping foreign enemies "destabilize the country."

The statement comes after an eventful night that saw combat aircraft and artillery pounding Aleppo, as the army battled for control of the country's biggest city (see video below) where rebel fighters said troops loyal to al-Assad have been forced to retreat, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, NGO Amnesty International issued a report entitled "All-Out Repression", accusing Syria's government of being responsible for mass human rights violations that amount to crimes against humanity in Aleppo and surrounding areas, according to BBC News.

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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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