The world of news is complex - and false stories and visuals are often widely shared on social media. Blasting News’ editorial team spots the most popular hoaxes and misleading information every week to help you discern truth from falsehood . Here are the most shared claims of this week, of which none are legit.

USA

Claim: U.S. House Speaker Pelosi was removed from the House floor for “drunken and disorderly conduct”

Facts: An extract from an article has been shared widely on social media claiming that: “Nancy Pelosi was removed from the House Floor for drunken and disorderly conduct. To make matters worse, this was during the vote count for the stimulus aid bill. Pelosi cares so little for Americans that she would show up drunk to this important vote.” The article adds that the U.S. House Speaker presumably insulted the members of the House.

Truth: As Reuters reports, this claim is coming from a satirical website and therefore is not true. After a Google search, Reuters found that this text comes from Bustatroll.org, a website that describes itself as a “parody, satire and tomfoolery” site and its logo includes the label “Satire Rated”.

USA

Claim: Trump’s inaugural speech was copied from the comedy movie, “Bee”

Facts: A post has gone viral on social media saying: “You know your country is in trouble when your president steals his inauguration speech from Bee movie.” This claim refers to Trump’s inaugural speech made in 2017 when the U.S.

President said: “We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny”. In comparison, the post shares Barry B. Benson’s speech, the main character in Bee movie, which presumably shares the same words as Trump’s.

The post points at the fact that Trump would have used the same sentences except that he would have replaced the words “colony” for “nation” and “hive” for “home”.

Truth: As Reuters highlights, Trump did share this speech during his inaugural speech as a transcript proves. However, nothing similar was said by Barry B.

Benson in Bee movie, as Reuters proves by sharing the film’s transcript.

INDIA - AFRICA

Claim: You can find out if you have COVID-19 by simply holding your breath

Facts: A video presumably shared by an Indian hospital, Ananta Hospital, claims that you can find out if you have COVID-19 by simply holding your breath. The information is shared through a video in which the viewer is asked to hold its breath as a red dot moves from one point of a square to another. According to the post, also shared in Kenya and South Africa, if the person is able to hold its breath as the red dot takes about 25 seconds to move from one point to another, it is proof that its lungs are “healthy and disease-resistant”.

Truth: AFP Fact Check contacted The World Health Organization (WHO) about this supposed COVID-19 test. The WHO replied that the test “does not tell you if you have COVID-19”, reports AFP Fact Check. They gave more information by saying: “This appears to be a simple app that measures time and not airflow. People with lung disease (from smoking, pollution, asthma, COPD or pulmonary infection, including but of course not limited to COVID-19) would have a harder time doing this. It seems harmless, but not very informative, a crude measure of lung function.” Moreover, a representative of Ananta Hospital, who is said to have shared this video, refuted the fact that the hospital shared this information, says AFP Fact Check.

NIGERIA

Claim: Trump rejected the new arms deal with Nigeria

Facts: A claim has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, as AFP Fact Check reports, which reads: “Breaking News: Trump Rejects New Arms Deal with Nigeria.” The text follows by declaring that: “The United States Government has officially declared Nigeria a Terrorist and unstable nation and vowed never to sell weapons to them for violation of human rights against its citizens (sic)”.

Truth: Both of the two claims are false. The United States has never described Nigeria as a “terrorist and unstable nation” and never refused to sell weapons to the African country. As AFP Fact Check reports, Nigeria is not on the official list of state sponsors of terrorism which is updated from time to time.

On another hand, if Obama refused to sell arms to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram, Trump changed that in 2018 when he agreed to sell to Nigeria arms and fighter jets, as AFP reports. In fact, Nigeria paid $496 million to the US for fighter jets.

SINGAPORE

Claim: Video shows Russian healthcare professionals celebrating coronavirus vaccine

Facts: A video shared thousands of times on Facebook claims to show Russian health workers celebrating the launch of a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

The post caption reads: “The vaccine was launched. Russian health professionals are removing their masks. Humans are saved!”

Truth: The claim is false. According to AFP Fact Check, in a reverse search on Google it is possible to find the same video published on 11 August, 2020, by Dr. Khaled Al-Dahmashi, director of the King Saud Medical City hospital in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. The caption of Al-Dahmashi's tweet reads: “The joy of the medical and nursing staff at King Saud Medical City #AlShumaisi by closing the isolation wards designated for #Covid19 in the General Hospital, after a significant decline in the number of injuries and an increase in the rate of recovery, praise be to God." The false claim comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on last 11 August that the country had approved the world's first vaccine against coronavirus.

BRAZIL - USA

Claim: California passes law allowing sex with 11-year-olds

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook and Twitter in Brazil and in the US claim that a bill passed in California allows 21-year-old adults to have sex with 11-year-old children. “California has approved in the two legislative houses that a 21-year-old can have sex with an 11-year-old, as long as there is a 'consensus' between the two people. It is in the hands of Governor Newson to pass the law that can legalize pedophilia,” reads one of the posts.

Truth: According to AP, Reuters and AFP, the claim is false. The SB 145 bill does not 11-year-old children to have sex with 21-year-old adults. The text actually just broadens the criteria to determine whether an adult should be registered as a sex offender.

Under current California law, judges can make this decision in cases of voluntary but illegal vaginal sex between a young person aged 14 to 17 and an adult within 10 years of his or her age. SB 145 would expand this law to include voluntary oral and anal sex within the same age parameters. Therefore, the text does not make it legal for adults to have relationships with children under 18, much less with children under 14.

PORTUGAL

Claim: Lisbon Baixa lost its Unesco World Heritage status

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook claim that "Baixa Pombalina lost the classification of World Heritage attributed by Unesco" due to the fault of Fernando Medina (PS), Mayor of Lisbon.

Truth: According to the Portuguese fact-checking agency Polígrafo, the claim is false. Contrary to what the post claims, Lisbon Baixa is not part of the Unesco World Heritage list. According to the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Tourism, only two places in Lisbon are currently on the list: the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower.

SPAIN

Claim: Illegal immigrants are housed in a hotel with pool

Facts: Posts shared on Facebook and Twitter show a video with a group of people in a swimming pool and the message that those are "illegal immigrants" taken to Maspalomas – a tourist village in the south of the Spanish island of Gran Canaria – and "awarded with a tourist complex where they enjoy the pool and everything."

Truth: According to the Spanish fact-checking agency Newtral, the claim is false.

The video actually shows the Lago Taurito water park, located in Mogán, about 20 km from Maspalomas. The park's management said in a statement that the people registered in the images are customers, not “illegal immigrants.”

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