Fake news watch: Armageddon and bogus books

Reports on social media of an asteroid collision at the beginning of February have been dismissed as rumors. (Shutterstock/NASA)
Updated 24 January 2019
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Fake news watch: Armageddon and bogus books

  • The Union of Egyptian Publishers has stated that a viral social media post showing a book cover with an inappropriate title is unreal
  • Alleged reports on social media platforms claiming that an asteroid collision will take place at the beginning of February are mere rumors

1 A post showing a book with a title deemed offensive by some went viral in Egypt. It was apparently published by a fake publishing house.
The Union of Egyptian Publishers has stated that a viral social media post showing a book cover with an inappropriate title is unreal.
A post showing a book cover by a fake publishing house named “Al-Mohazaboon” aka “The Polite,” went viral in Egypt.
The union, headed by Saeed Abdou, denied that such a book exists and that no publishing house was registered at the union under this name.
He added that news about unveiling the book at Egypt’s upcoming international book fair was unfounded.
“We’ve seen on social media posts about this book being the book fair’s upcoming surprise...”
“After looking into the matter we found that no publishing house with this name is registered at the union ... and that we’ve never heard of it.”

2 Reports of end of world greatly exaggerated.
The head of the Jeddah Astronomy Society, Eng. Majid Abu Zahra, said alleged reports on social media platforms claiming that an asteroid collision will take place at the beginning of February are mere rumors.
The rumors claimed that the collision of asteroid NT7 2002 with Earth will take place on Feb. 1, 2019 and cause a “global catastrophe.”
According to the Saudi Sabq website, Abu Zahra added that asteroid NT7 2002 was discovered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on July 9, 2002, and it was observed that, unlike most asteroids orbiting the Sun at the same planetary level, in every 2.29 years, the asteroid sweeps through the inner part of our solar system, not far from Earth’s orbit.
NASA has announced that the asteroid is not considered a danger by the space agency since Aug. 1, 2002. However, conspiracy theorists who remain unconvinced continue publishing online content claiming that the world will end on Feb. 1, 2019.


Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

Viktoria Marinova. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

  • Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet

SOFIA: A 21-year-old man was Monday sentenced to 30 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a Bulgarian television presenter, avoiding a life term after confessing to the crime.
Severin Krasimirov, also Bulgarian, was arrested in Germany where he had fled after assaulting and killing Viktoria Marinova on October 6.
A court in the northeastern Bulgarian city of Ruse also ordered him to pay 450,000 leva (230,000 euros, $259,000) to Marinova’s family.
Prosecutors said the crime was “linked to sexual motives and had no links to the profession of the victim.” They added that Krasimirov was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the “brutal rape.”
The court said Marinova, 30, was killed “in a particularly brutal manner” after being grabbed while jogging in an alley along the Danube.
She was due to present a new program in which she pledged to unveil serious cases of corruption.
Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet.