#15
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  • Health and faith (#3)
  • Conspiracies in Germany (#9)
  • India and Facebook (#5)
  • Weeks late to news in US (#16)


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Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Against the royal blue and rich red of the Philippine flag, President Rodrigo Duterte stood behind a podium bearing the presidential seal, eyes focused on the camera as its lens zoomed in slowly, closing in for a tighter shot.


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Daily Sabah

In the academic literature on international relations one of the key concepts is soft power. No matter whether it is a capacity at the disposal of states or a contextual relationship demonstrating the ability of one actor to have an influence on the identity, interests or behaviors of another through the employment of non-coercive instruments, the consensus view is that soft power does emanate from the attractiveness of one actor’s values, policies and institutions in the eyes of others. Whether it is positional, contextual or relational, soft power springs from unintentional state or societal activities automatically in a bottom-up manner. Whereas hard power can be seen, observed and measured, soft power is hard to detect and measure. Whereas hard power is put into use by its practitioners intentionally, soft power is something in the air and in this sense much closer to latent, institutional or structural power.


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The Conversation

While many religious communities have embraced physical distancing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, some still encourage gatherings despite strong public health messages that large groups run a significant threat of disease transmission.


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Some of the most important leaders in many people’s lives are their faith leaders. Here Katherine Marshall of Georgetown looks at the impact of COVID and the necessity for religion to work with science to enhance trust and fight the pandemic.

The Hill

As the United States continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, tensions are rising with China over the origins of the disease, and each side is attempting to blame the other for how it started. After a decade of simmering tensions, the Sino-American relationship may come to be defined by an outwardly adversarial tone — with severe implications for the world economy and global security. Should current relations deteriorate further, increasingly aggressive posturing between the United States and China risks igniting a new Cold War.


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Nikkei

GURUGRAM, India — By the second week of March, India had only recorded around 50 cases of COVID-19, but the country felt on edge, poised for the outbreak to explode. On social media, rumors had begun to fly.


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Stanford Daily

“I think it’s bad for dictators,” said Former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster at a Thursday webinar about the geopolitics of COVID-19. “I think what we’re seeing is the benefit of our free, open, democratic system.


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Business Insider

The app has long been favored by terrorists and criminals. Its CEO has resisted clamping down on dangerous material, citing freedom of speech.


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NY Times

American officials were alarmed by fake text messages and social media posts that said President Trump was locking down the country. Experts see a convergence with Russian tactics.


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Deustche Welle

The rumor starts with a true news story: Angela Merkel is gone.


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This newsletter has looked at conspiracies stretching the whole world, though often times misinformation is very focused. Here DW looks at the rise of right-wing conspiracies in Germany such as those aimed at Angela Merkel.

CNN

Maatje Benassi, a US Army reservist and mother of two, has become the target of conspiracy theorists who falsely place her at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, saying she brought the disease to China.


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Bangkok Post

A sea change in media-government relations stemming from the daily press briefings on the Covid-19 situation has been one huge side effect of the pandemic. Apart from wearing face masks and social distancing, is this the new normal for Thai media?


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The Namibian

Following the elease of the 2020 World Press Freedom Index on 21 April 2020, Namibia spectacularly retained the number one position in Africa in press freedom.


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First Draft News

Project leads Claire Leibowicz and Claire Wardle detail the next steps in new approaches to tackling mis- and disinformation.


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CNBC

ood morning, to you Carl. Thank you so much. We’re joined now by Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap. Evan, thanks so much for talking to us this morning on the better than expected results.


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Des Moines Register

DES MOINES – A pro-gun Iowa family is helping to spur protests in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New York over state-imposed restrictions designed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.


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Columbia Journalism Review

For reporters who are bilingual in Chinese and English, the breaking news stories about COVID-19 that have occupied US media’s front pages aren’t so breaking. They have already seen the same headlines in China weeks, if not months, earlier.


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There is so much information out there, but there remain questions about how to get people the best info, something Deepnews is deeply concerned about. Here Zeyi Yang writes about the phenomenon of outlets in the US discovering information about coronavirus that readers could have known weeks earlier if they had been paying attention to sources in Asia.

Scroll.in

Cases of Indians preventing the cremation or burial of people who died of Covid-19 have been reported from across the country.


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Lawfare

In recent weeks, U.S. federal courts have seen a wave of lawsuits seeking compensation from China for losses incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While experts say that efforts to hold the Chinese government liable in U.S. courts will most likely fail, the suits provide a window into the growing efforts by American officials and private parties to hold China accountable for the crisis


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NY Post

A scattering of protests aimed at coronavirus lockdowns erupted across the country, sparked not by social-distancing guidelines but by politicians’ unilaterally dictating what products citizens are permitted to purchase in box stores, attempting to shut down drive-in Masses at churches and closing parks and beaches, among other ill-conceived and gratuitous intrusions.


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Indian Express

Cybercrime officials in India have been tracking certain apps and websites that produce nude photographs of innocent persons using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. These images are then used to blackmail victims, seek revenge or commit fraud on social networking and dating sites.


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Komando

Have you been getting COVID-19 emails from the Census Bureau, or heard about someone receiving messages with coronavirus-related information? While you may be tempted to chalk these communication attempts up as a scam, don’t be so quick to discount them.


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NY Times

BRUSSELS — Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews.


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The Independent

We are being bombarded with sensationalist articles, each more alarmist than the next. Jeremy Howick and Giulio Ongaro investigate the peculiar ‘nocebo effect’ and whether this has contributed to the death rate


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Dawn

KARACHI: While most technology platforms have stepped up efforts to deal with the proliferation of coronavirus information online, global numbers indicate that users are switching to Wikipedia as a trusted source to share and find Covid-19 updates.


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Christian Science Monitor

A new UNESCO initiative channels artists’ creativity to combat the flood of rumors around COVID-19. Take this seriously, the songs say – but also, remember we’re in this together.


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