Briefing: Sweden & Denmark to tackle "fake news", Trump talks tough on Korea, again

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Update

  • Pervez Musharraf, former leader of Pakistani Army, has been declared a fugitive after failing to appear in the trial of the assassination of Benazhir Bhutto. Musharraf is in self-imposed exile in Dubai, United Arab Emirates since 2016
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is due to ask the European Union to fund half of its border defence measures in order to keep out immigrants, a government aide said on Thursday. Migration policy continues to be a cause of divide in Europe since the continent’s largest influx of refugees since World War II.
  • Denmark and Sweden are to work together to tackle so-called “fake news” and misinformation online. A statement on the Swedish government’s website specifically acknowledges “Russian fake news” which it says is a “danger to our countries.”

Earlier

  • Two explosions at a flooded chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, have been confirmed by Arkema, a French chemicals group. Chemicals have been released into the atmosphere, and one police officer has been taken to hospital after inhaling fumes. The plant, following floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, contains large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. Due to high water and no emergency backup power, the “threat of additional explosions remain,” Arkema said in a statement.

First

  • The war of inflammatory rhetoric between a dictator in Pyongyang and a president in Washington escalated with President Donald J. Trump tweeting “talking is not the answer” after North Korea tested an intermediate range missile which overflew Japan. U.S. and South Korean forces concluded annual military exercises and staged a symbolic flight of bombers and fighter aircraft across the Korean Peninsula.
    A Washington Post analysis set out what is at stake in the standoff and how the Trump tone differs from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the efforts to encourage Beijing to rein in Kim Jong-un.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May, seen as on borrowed time after a failed attempt to secure a national electoral majority in a snap vote over leaving the European Union, triggered fevered speculation about her leadership just as she tried to dampen it down. In remarks to the BBC and ITN television on an official visit to Japan, May said “I am not a quitter” and suggested she’d lead her Conservative Party to elections in 2022. The remark, reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher before her ouster, instantly sent her party into a whirl, as The Guardian reported.

What we’re reading

  • In a profile story of Hisham al-Omeisy, a human rights activist and citizen journalist based in Yemen, the Guardian highlights the void in reporting that has been left since he was detained by Houthi rebels over two weeks ago.
  • In a searing commentary the Financial Times‘ Washington correspondent Edward Luce forecast the implosion of the Trump White House in the coming months as the president’s erratic behavior, nativist instincts and fear of investigations over his ties to Russia cornered him.  “It is often tempting to think Donald Trump can do no worse. Yet he keeps finding that extra mile….Nobody — least of all Mr Trump — can halt the disintegration of what we still politely call his administration. To believe Mr Trump will change is to unlearn everything we know about him,” Luce writes in piece which may be behind the FT.com paywall. The Economist recently reviewed Luce’s latest book: The Retreat of Western Liberalism.
  • A Guardian long read looks back on the first social media suicide in 2016 of a French woman who called herself Océane, examining the reasons behind it. The suicide was live-streamed on Periscope, a popular social media app that has been used to film crimes and violence in the past. The piece focuses on mental health, and WikiTribune is expecting more pieces on this topic to coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) from Oct 2-8, 2017. Buzzfeed has put out a call for pitches in anticipation.
  • A Financial Times piece takes a look at the potential for a return of 2008’s subprime mortgage crisis and whether any real lessons have been learned. Subprime loans were one of the main causes of the 2008 financial crash.
  • Former cycling world champion Chris Boardman explains to The Guardian how he found riding a bike in some parts of the UK is dangerous. His mother was killed last year while riding her bike in Connah’s Quay, Deeside in Wales. It took Boardman months to cycle again following the tragedy.

– Peter Bale is the launch editor of WikiTribune. He is a former Reuters news agency correspondent and has held roles in news organisations from CNN to The Times and investigative news service, The Center for Public Integrity. He is @peterbale on Twitter.

– Linh Nguyen is a WikiTribune journalist with a background in the humanities. She’s worked in tech, building communities and writing on design and start-ups across Asia, the UK and the US. Follow her @N_Linhhh on Twitter. 

– Lydia Morrish is a staff journalist at WikiTribune. She joined in June 2017 after two years at Konbini, where she lead the politics content for the 2017 UK General Election. In 2016 she made ‘Building Big’, a documentary about bigorexia. She has also written and reported for Dazed Digital, Refinery29, Vice, Lyra, Banshee and Buffalo Zine. Follow @lydmorrish.

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