Oct 19, 2018

WhatsApp bans Brazilian frontrunner Bolsonaro’s son amid fake news fears

The son of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right frontrunner in Brazil's Oct. 28 presidential runoff, has demanded an explanation after being banned from WhatsApp amid a controversy over fake news on the Facebook-owned platform.

Why it matters: Representatives of Whatsapp told The Guardian that several accounts had been banned to fight the distribution of fake news. Newspaper Folha du São Paulo reports that Bolsonaro backers paid to illegally distribute mass WhatsApp texts. After denouncing WhatsApp's "persecution," Flavio Bolsonaro later said his account had been reactivated.

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Energy deputy secretary nominee in hot water after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."

Exclusive: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

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