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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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South Korean activist floats leaflets to North amid tensions

A South Korean group launched hundreds of thousands of leaflets by balloon across the border into North Korea overnight, an activist said Tuesday, despite repeated warnings from the North that it will retaliate against such actions.

European experts accuse Russia of spreading fake virus news

Russian state media and news outlets supporting President Vladimir Putin are waging a fake news campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the ability of European health care systems to cope with the coronavirus, according to a European Union analysis.

Amazon continues to profit from the sale of white-supremacist propaganda, report says

Shoppers can purchase merchandise displaying symbols of white supremacy, such as a swastika necklace, a baby onesie with a burning cross, and a child’s backpack featuring a neo-Nazi meme, all in contradiction of the retail giant’s policy against selling products that promote hatred, according to a new report from two watchdog groups.

Two Koreas dismantle propaganda loudspeakers at tense border

The rival Koreas dismantled huge loudspeakers used to blare Cold War-style propaganda across their tense border on Tuesday, as South Korea’s president asked the United Nations to observe the North’s planned closing of its nuclear test site.

Commentary: Feeding our propaganda addiction

On Wednesday, a nasty piece of character assassination summited YouTube’s trending list. The video spread like a rash, and not just among those sympathetic to its wingnut paranoia. If the comments on YouTube and in the media were any indication, it also fascinated hate-watchers. Culled from a local news segment about a 2017 spat between a lifeguard and a swimmer, it showed a bronzed teen on a beach with the caption “David Hogg the actor.” How could something so basic climb the charts? Hogg is a survivor of the massacre in Parkland, Fla., and one of the newly minted student leaders now calling for tougher gun laws. The video suggested that he is actually a performer, paid by sinister left-wing forces to advocate repeal of the Second Amendment.

Sandpoint racist flyer suspect identified

For more than a year, Sandpoint has been plagued by racist propaganda, from flyers targeting city leaders to CDs left on cars in a high school parking lot. Police now believe they have found a man responsible for some of that, although it’s unlikely the hateful speech will get him charged with a crime.

Facebook exec meets with lawmakers amid Russia probe

One of Facebook’s top executives met Wednesday with House members investigating the company’s Russia-linked ads and told them the social media giant is serious about dealing with the issue.

Past opinions provide perspective

Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history. Teacher qualifications, May 28, 1924

Facebook gearing up to fight political propaganda

Facebook is acknowledging that governments or other malicious non-state actors are using its social network to influence political sentiment in ways that could affect national elections.

Trudy Rubin: Russia taking aim at democracy

With Russia’s economy doing poorly, Putin is looking for cheaper ways to pursue his goal of re-establishing a Russian sphere of influence in Eurasia reminiscent of Soviet glory days. He wants to help right-wing populist candidates and parties in Britain, France, Holland, and Germany that oppose NATO and want to end the European Union.

Obama could enact a U.S. offensive on Russian propaganda this week

A bill on President Barack Obama’s desk this week would authorize U.S. officials to combat propaganda and fake news from Russia and other countries, as well as allow federal money to be used abroad where misinformation “threatens the United States national security.”

Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say

The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.