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A car burns during clashes between students and police during anti-government protests in Venezuela.
A car burns during clashes between students and police during anti-government protests in Venezuela.

DEADLY CLASHES IN VENEZUELA
At least three people were shot dead and more than 25 were injured in mass youth protests in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas yesterday, during which demonstrators denounced the government’s economic measures and the crackdown on the country’s media, newspaper El Universal reports.

  • According to Correo del Orinoco, Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres said that 70 people had been detained, including one student who allegedly admitted that “ultra right-wing groups” were planning more protests for today and that violent groups in the crowd would wear red to put the blame on pro-government socialist militants.

  • President Nicolas Maduro condemned the protests as being orchestrated by “nazi-fascist” groups that sought to topple him and his government. He announced increased security measures in the country’s main cities to prevent any “attempted coup.”

AFGHANISTAN RELEASES 65 ‘DANGEROUS’ PRISONERS
Afghanistan released 65 prisoners accused of being Taliban fighters, despite objections from the United States. Read more from The New York Times.

SUICIDE BOMB TARGETS POLICE IN PAKISTAN
A suicide bomber killed at least 11 policemen and injured 47 people by crashing his explosive-laden car into a police bus in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, news channel Dawn reports. The government is currently holding peace talks with the Taliban.

SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT TO BEGIN CAMPAIGN
South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to start his campaign during tonight’s State of the Nation speech ahead of the May 7 general election, News24 reports. Despite Zuma’s unpopularity, his African National Congress party is expected to win the upcoming election, which would give Zuma a second term as president.

UK PRESSURES SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENTS
The British government is increasing pressure on those supporting Scottish independence ahead of the referendum that could see Scotland break away from the rest of the United Kingdom later this year. In a speech in Edinburgh, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said there was "no legal reason" why Scotland would keep the British pound as its currency, the BBC reports. This is a major setback for the Scottish National Party, which was hoping to convince voters to back independence by retaining the shared currency, among other British institutions.

VERBATIM
Israel’s extreme right-wing minister Naftali Bennett did not appreciate the speech given to the Knesset by the German President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz. Read why here.

CRIME INT’L
A patient in Belgium is suing a surgeon who left a hook-shaped needle in his rectum for two months after an operation

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD

MORE “SNOW FALL”
If you like the media revolution that was The New York Times’ now-famous “Snow Fall,” you’ll enjoy this new graphic story of slalom champion Ted Ligety just as much.

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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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