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europe wants to crack down on fake news. but one person’s fake news is another’s democratic dissent.

brussels — the european union on thursday will unveil a strategy for fighting fake news that could be a model for western nations, but already it has run into trouble defining the line between disinformation and dissent. the new e.u. proposals will encourage voluntary pledges from facebook and others to highlight the sources of information they feature and to promote content from credible media outlets. the e.u. also wants to push news literacy education and to fund private fact-checking organizations that subscribe to standards of political independence and objectivity.other countries, including the united states, are also cooperating with each other to combat fake news. france, germany and italy are working on national plans.but a separate e.u. effort to combat foreign interference...





kim jong un wants you to know that he’s a totally reasonable global leader

anna fifield is the washington post’s bureau chief in tokyo, focusing on japan and the koreas. she previously reported for the financial times from washington, d.c., seoul, sydney, london and from across the middle east. follow @annafifield





after hugging trump, macron tears down trumpism

want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know? sign up for the today's worldview newsletter.before french president emmanuel macron delivered an address at a joint meeting of congress on wednesday, the headlines about his trip to washington centered on his apparent “bromance” with president trump. on tuesday, the duo engaged in a series of physical embraces and celebrated both their personal rapport as well as the “unbreakable” bonds between france and the united states.but on wednesday, as his three-day visit drew to a close, macron shifted the story dramatically. in his speech to american lawmakers, he offered a comprehensive rejection of the main tenets of trumpism, excoriatin...





asaram bapu: indian court issues life sentence for rape of teen

new delhi — a court in india convicted a popular spiritual guru on wednesday of raping a teenager and sentenced him to life in prison. the court said asumal harpalani, known to his followers as asaram bapu, raped a 16-year-old girl at an ashram in the western city of jodhpur in 2013 on the pretext of exorcising her evil spirits. his attorneys said they are deciding whether to appeal the verdict.with his beard and matching white robes, harpalani, 77, preached celibacy and reportedly had about 20 million followers in india and assets worth $750 million.his trial took place inside the jodhpur prison, where he has been held since 2013, out of fear for how his followers might react to the verdict.two of the guru’s aides also were convicted, while two others were acquitted.this saga, just t...





here are the victims of the toronto van rampage

toronto — one was a great-grandmother who loved the toronto blue jays. another was a single mother from sri lanka. and one was a “super happy and energetic young woman” who volunteered to build homes in the dominican republic. the three women were among the 10 people killed on monday afternoon when a white rental van slammed into pedestrians on a busy toronto thoroughfare, in what was one of the deadliest mass killings in canadian history.authorities say that they will not release the names of victims until they have identified all of them — a process that could take several days. [police say 10 dead, 15 injured after van struck pedestrians in toronto]but portraits of some of the dead began to emerge wednesday as friends and family members shared stories about the lives cut short i...





europe want to crack down on fake news. but one person’s fake news is another’s democratic dissent.

brussels — the european union on thursday will unveil a strategy for fighting fake news that could be a model for western nations, but already it has run into trouble defining the line between disinformation and dissent. the new e.u. proposals will encourage voluntary pledges from facebook and others to highlight the sources of information they feature and to promote content from credible media outlets. the e.u. also wants to push news literacy education and to fund private fact-checking organizations that subscribe to standards of political independence and objectivity.other countries, including the united states, are also cooperating with each other to combat fake news. france, germany and italy are working on national plans.but a separate e.u. effort to combat foreign interference...





turkish court sentences 14 journalists and newspaper employees to prison

kareem fahim is the istanbul bureau chief and a middle east correspondent for the washington post. he previously spent 11 years at the new york times, covering the arab world as a cairo-based correspondent, among other assignments. kareem also worked as a reporter at the village voice. follow @kfahim





armenia’s charismatic opposition leader whips up pressure after talks break off

yerevan, armenia — carnivalesque street parties filled the center of yerevan on wednesday as university students went on strike amid fresh protests, after the government scrapped talks with the opposition aimed at resolving the political uprising. the setback in negotiations to form a new government put the onus on the opposition’s charismatic leader, nikol pashinyan, to keep the pressure up.as pashinyan pushed to complete the bloodless revolution that aims to shake off decades of authoritarian rule and widespread corruption in the tiny country, jubilant young protesters danced in triumph before columns of riot police who had closed the main streets. in the blazing sunshine, people clambered on top of honking cars in excitement, while shopkeepers came out on the streets to wave and che...





a u.s. diplomat killed a motorcyclist while driving in pakistan, and it’s adding to bilateral tensions

islamabad — pakistan has barred an american diplomat from leaving the country, the latest escalation in a tense bilateral dispute stemming from a fatal traffic incident in early april. the diplomat, a u.s. military attache, allegedly ran a red light while driving an suv in the capital and hit a motorcycle, killing the driver and injuring a passenger. the father of the dead motorcyclist, identified as ateeq baig, 22, sought to have col. joseph emanuel hall arrested and brought to trial before the islamabad high court, but u.s. officials said he could not be arrested or tried, because of diplomatic immunity. there were reports in pakistani media that hall was drunk, but the u.s. embassy denied them. hall remains at the embassy and has made no public statements. pakistan’s deputy attor...





alfie evans case: parents lose appeal to take their ailing son to vatican hospital

pope francis has been praying for the british toddler alfie evans — and the italian government has granted the child italian citizenship and lined up a transportation plan that could swiftly bring the sick little boy to a vatican hospital.but alfie’s doctors say he cannot be healed and shouldn’t make the trip at all.on tuesday, a british judge sided with the doctors, saying that the family cannot accept the offer to take alfie to the vatican for treatment. an appeals court swiftly re-heard the case and upheld the previous day’s ruling, saying on wednesday that alfie cannot leave the country.the little boy’s case has become a subject of fierce concern for some catholic and other christian activists, who have protested outside the hospital in liverpool where the boy is being treat...





sessions says trump has power to pardon anyone without approval of u.s. pardon attorney

attorney general jeff sessions told a senate panel wednesday that he believes president trump does not need approval from the justice department’s pardon attorney to pardon anyone.“the president of the united states clearly has the constitutional power to execute pardons,” without conferring with the office of the pardon attorney, sessions said.sen. chris van hollen (d-md.) pressed sessions to explain a previous statement sessions made at a congressional hearing that it would be an abuse of power for the president to pardon someone without first going through the justice department’s pardon attorney.“in the obama administration, was there any pardon that didn’t go through the pardon attorney,” van hollen asked, pointing out that trump did not confer with the pardon attorney i...





latin america is the world’s most violent region. a new report investigates why.

friends of 13-year-old maria eduarda alves da conceicao — killed by stray bullets while in a gym class at her school — attend her funeral in mesquita, north of rio de janeiro, on april 1, 2017. (yasuyoshi chiba/afp/getty images)latin america is home to just 8 percent of the world's population, but 33 percent of its homicides. in fact, just four countries in the region — brazil, colombia, mexico and venezuela — account for a quarter of all the murders on earth. of the 20 countries in the world with the highest murder rates, 17 are latin american, as are 43 of the top 50 cities.those startling statistics come courtesy of a new report from the igarapé institute, a nonpartisan think tank focused on latin america.the authors have spent some time trying to trying to understand all t...





here are the victims of the toronto van rampage

toronto — one was a great-grandmother who loved the toronto blue jays. another was a single mother from sri lanka. and one was a “super happy and energetic young woman” who volunteered to build homes in the dominican republic. the three women were among the 10 people killed on monday afternoon when a 25-year-old man rammed a white rental van into pedestrians on a busy toronto thoroughfare, in what was one of the deadliest mass killings in canadian history.authorities say that they will not release the names of victims until they have identified all of them — a process that could take several days. [police say 10 dead, 15 injured after van struck pedestrians in toronto]but portraits of some of the dead began to emerge wednesday as friends and family members shared stories about the ...





europe want to crack down on fake news. but one person’s fake news is another’s democratic dissent.

brussels — the european union on thursday will unveil a strategy for fighting fake news that could be a model for western nations, but already it has run into trouble defining the line between disinformation and dissent. the new e.u. proposals will encourage voluntary pledges from facebook and others to highlight the sources of information they feature and to promote content from credible media outlets. the e.u. also wants to push news literacy education and to fund private fact-checking organizations that subscribe to standards of political independence and objectivity.other countries, including the united states, are also cooperating with each other to combat fake news. france, germany and italy are working on national plans.but a separate e.u. effort to combat foreign interference...





french president macron charms both parties in an impassioned speech to congress

french president emmanuel macron on wednesday delivered an impassioned call for multilateralism and u.s. engagement in the world, saying it was “an essential part of our confidence in the future.”speaking to a joint meeting of congress, amid frequent standing ovations and cheers, macron recalled the long history of u.s.-french relations, and the countries’ shared values and culture in areas as diverse as democracy and freedom, human and civil rights, literature, jazz and the “me too” movement. but, he warned, “this is a time of determination and courage. what we cherish is at stake. what we love is in danger. we have no choice but to prevail. and together we shall prevail.”much of what he said, although couched in stirring and global terms, posed a direct challenge to the tru...





in france, skepticism over the trump-macron bromance

paris — among the memorable images captured during french president emmanuel macron’s state visit to washington is a series showing president trump leading macron along the white house colonnade, their hands clasped. in france, the photographs were hardly seen as the beginning of a beautiful friendship. those who oppose macron’s efforts to engage with trump saw a child following his father on the first day of school.perhaps predictably, the most outspoken critiques came from the political fringes. “the new world: atlantic version,” france’s communist party tweeted. “following, illustrated in an image,” wrote florian philippot, a prominent member of france’s far right.but disdain for trump is not a fringe phenomenon in france, where opinion polls consistently show that the...





armenia’s charismatic opposition leader whips up pressure after talks break off

yerevan, armenia -- carnivalesque street parties filled the center of yerevan on wednesday as university students went on strike amid fresh protests, after the government scrapped talks with the opposition aimed at resolving the political uprising.the setback in negotiations to form a new government put the onus on the opposition’s charismatic leader, nikol pashinyan, to keep the pressure up.as pashinyan pushed to complete the bloodless revolution that is hoping to shake off decades of authoritarian rule and widespread corruption in the tiny country, jubilant young protesters danced in triumph before columns of riot police who had closed the main streets. in the blazing sunshine, people clambered on top of honking cars in excitement, while shopkeepers came out to the streets to wave and ...





a u.s. diplomat killed a motorcyclist while driving in pakistan, and it’s adding to bilateral tensions

islamabad — pakistan has barred an american diplomat from leaving the country, the latest escalation in a tense bilateral dispute stemming from a fatal traffic incident in early april. the diplomat, a u.s. military attache, allegedly ran a red light while driving an suv in the capital and hit a motorcycle, killing the driver and injuring a passenger. the father of the dead motorcyclist, identified as ateeq baig, 22, sought to have col. joseph emanuel hall arrested and brought to trial before the islamabad high court, but u.s. officials said he could not be arrested or tried, because of diplomatic immunity. there were reports in pakistani media that hall was drunk, but the u.s. embassy denied them. hall remains at the embassy and has made no public statements. pakistan’s deputy attor...





younous chekkouri says he was tortured at guantanamo bay and still suffers at home in morocco

safi, morocco — his days in captivity inside the u.s. naval base in guantanamo bay, cuba, where he said he endured different forms of torture, are long over. if only the memories were, too. three years after his release, younous chekkouri says he remains shackled by constant nightmares, flashbacks and insomnia. he takes pills for anxiety, and he has yet to find a job. his future remains so uncertain, his past grips him so tightly, that he often feels as if he hasn’t left the prison where he was held for 14 years.“i am still in gitmo,” said chekkouri on a recent day in this picturesque port city.chekkouri, and other former guantanamo detainees, represent the legacy of the united states’ use of torture as a tool of counterterrorism after the sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. thous...





regrets of an isis midwife

samira al-nasr, 66, in her home in raqqa. (alice martins/for the washington post)[this story has been optimized for offline reading on our apps. for a richer experience, you can find the full version of this story here. an internet connection is required.]raqqa, syria — samira al-nasr has delivered thousands of babies over four decades as a midwife in the city of raqqa, but she says nothing was like the childbirth she attended two years ago as the handpicked doula of the islamic state.moments after an infant was born to a turkish couple — an islamic state fighter and his young wife — they tried to dress their newborn son in a custom-tailored military uniform. the father proudly declared that the child would grow up to become an islamist militant. nasr was revolted. she said she pers...