A baseless rumor about a tragic murder has become the most important story in some corners of the internet—and on Sean Hannity’s show.
Welcome back to Can’t Handle the Truth, our Saturday column looking at the past seven days of fake news and hoaxes that have spread thanks to the internet.
Infowars and Brietbart got a lot of mileage this week out of a conspiracy theory. That’s not exactly news. But this theory broke through to Fox News this week thanks to a confusing local TV news story. Now a very real murder has become a very big fake story.
If you aren’t familiar with the story of Seth Rich, here goes: Last July, in the wee hours of the morning, Rich, a 27-year-old Democratic National Committee employee, was violently accosted near his Washington, DC home, beaten, and shot twice in the back. He later died in a hospital. Neighbors said the murder came during a rash of robberies. Oddly, nothing was taken from Rich.
At least 106 civilians, including 42 children, have been killed in a series of air strikes by the US-led coalition on an ISIL-held town in eastern Syria, according to a monitoring group.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says the deaths resulted from air strikes targeting Al Mayadeen in the province of Deir Az Zor.
“There were two rounds of strikes: one at Thursday night and the second after midnight, targeting buildings housing families of [ISIL] fighters,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the SOHR’s head, told DPA news agency.
Abdel Rahman said most of those killed were Moroccan and Syrian nationals who had fled to Al Mayadeen from ISIL’s de-facto capital, Raqqa, in northeastern Syria.
Swedish prosecutors recently dropped the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has always denied the allegations, which he calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the U.S. to face prosecution under the Espionage Act. Since 2012, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. It’s not clear whether he will emerge any time soon. Last month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed that the U.S. has prepared a warrant for Assange, calling his arrest a “priority.” To talk more about Julian Assange, we speak with two of the founders of The Intercept: Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.Democracy Now
China’s structural reforms will not be enough to arrest its rising debt and another credit rating downgrade for the country is possible unless it gets its ballooning borrowing in check, two officials at Moody’s ratings agency have said.
Doubling down on comments earlier this week that China’s financial strength will be eroded because of huge corporate and household debt, Moody’s said the country’s “vast reform agenda” would not be enough to prevent borrowing from weighing on economic growth.
China may no longer get an A1 rating if there were signs that debt was growing at a pace that exceeded Moody’s expectations, Li Xiujun, vice president of credit strategy and standards at the ratings agency, said in a webcast with his colleague Marie Diron.
Donald Trump offered an insight into his approach to political life during his 30 hours in Belgium while munching “lots of” Belgian chocolates, it has been reported.
Le Soir, a Belgian daily newspaper, reported that the US president acclaimed the chocolates, which were a gift from the Belgian government, during a meeting with the country’s prime minister, Charles Michel.
“These are the best,” he said, before explaining that his ambivalent attitude towards the EU was a consequence of his experiences trying to set up businesses, notably golf resorts, on the continent.