China held live-fire military drills around Taiwan as a response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island on Aug. 2. But a video posted on social media made unfounded claims that China had attacked a Taiwanese armory. An expert told us that the claim was false and a majority of the video’s footage did not appear to be from the week of Pelosi’s visit.
FBI agents searched the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida on Aug. 8 looking for presidential records and classified materials that were improperly removed from the White House. Social media posts claiming the FBI search was politically motivated have been swirling online, despite there being no evidence that President Joe Biden “had his department of justice’s FBI raid” Trump’s home, as one viral post claimed.
The House passed a bill on July 29 that would make it a crime to knowingly “import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” Social media posts falsely claim “millions of people will become felons overnight” because of the bill. Under the bill, current owners of such firearms would be allowed to keep them.
The Inflation Reduction Act proposes to raise over $700 billion in new revenues over 10 years to be spent on energy, climate change initiatives, health care and deficit reduction. But not all of those revenues come via higher taxes. More than half comes from health care savings and from beefed up IRS tax enforcement.
The U.S. announced it had conducted a drone strike on July 31 killing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul. But social media posts make unfounded claims that al-Zawahiri had died in 2020 from asthma. The posts cite an unconfirmed story in a British tabloid, which reported a year later that al-Zawahiri was still alive.
Three stimulus payments have been sent to Americans to ease the economic impact of the pandemic. Social media posts are now sharing a false claim about a new, $40,000 federal stimulus loan. But it’s a marketing ploy. The bottom of the web page says, “This is not a government program nor is it government aid, this is an advertorial for a loan service.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate plans to hold its first vote Aug. 6 on the Inflation Reduction Act. An estimated $369 billion over the next 10 years would go toward combating climate change and investing in “energy security.” Here we review some of the climate-focused provisions in the bill.