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NOT REAL NEWS: A Look At What Didn't Happen This Week

June 08, 2018 - 4:23 pm
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By The Associated Press

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:

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NOT REAL: Delta Airline is celebrating their 93rd Birthday by gifting two free tickets to all

THE FACTS: Social media users searching for cheap flight deals this summer beware: a false Delta promotion is again making the rounds, this time claiming the airline is celebrating its 93rd birthday by handing out free tickets. The link circulating online takes users to a survey that it says must be filled out to win two tickets. A Delta spokeswoman said in an email that the promotion is a fake and the airline is not celebrating its 93rd birthday this year.

NOT REAL: Pope Francis orders white women to 'breed' with Muslims

THE FACTS: The pope has not ordered white women to "breed with Muslims," despite reports circulating online from at least two outlets. The stories base the inaccurate claim on a May 2016 interview between Pope Francis and La Croix, a daily French newspaper. In the wide-ranging interview, the pope was asked if Europe can accept refugees. Pope Francis responded Europeans should not isolate migrants, but work to integrate them into society. He also said that migrants will help stabilize Europe's declining birth rate. He did not mention women or breeding during the question-and-answer session. The reports also claim the pope compared Jesus to the leader of "an Islamic terrorist death cult." He did not.

NOT REAL: McCain responsible for 1967 fatal fire on the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier

THE FACTS: A false story claiming that Sen. John McCain was responsible for a 1967 fire that killed 134 sailors began circulating online following the airing of his HBO documentary on Memorial Day. The story on Freedom Daily, a now-defunct website, blamed the fire on the senator trying to perform a "wet start" on his aircraft, which the site said was a "maneuver that makes fuel build up in the engine before the plane is started." A U.S. Navy investigation found that the fire was ignited by the accidental firing of one Zuni rocket that struck the fuel tank of a loaded Skyhawk and released one of its 1,000-pound bombs.

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This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

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Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter

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