A look at what didn’t happen this week


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:

Not real: Retired MI5 Agent Confesses On Deathbed: ‘I Killed Princess Diana’

The facts: A piece on a site called the Anti News Network renews a take on conspiracy theories blaming British agencies or the royal family for the princess’ August 1997 death in Paris. A coroner’s jury ruled in 2008 that Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed were killed by the reckless actions of their driver and paparazzi. Investigators testified that no British government agency was involved in her death. MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, has a policy of not identifying current or past employees. The ANN story cites as its source the website yournewswire.com, which says it makes no representations about the accuracy of the information it posts.

Not real: Sarah Huckabee Blames Clinton For Comey’s Removal: “If She’d Confessed, He Wouldn’t Have Had To Commit All Those Atrocities Against Her”

The facts: The deputy White House press secretary did use the word “atrocities” when explaining the reasoning behind former FBI director James Comey’s May 9 firing by President Donald Trump, but she didn’t put the blame on Hillary Clinton. A story that originated with admitted satire outlet Newslo falsely claimed Sanders said if Clinton confessed to her role in mishandling of emails, Comey wouldn’t have lost his job. Sanders cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into the emails as the reason for his firing.

Not real: FOX HEADLINES British Actor ‘MR BEAN’ Rowan Sebastian Atkinson dies at 62 After CAR-CRASH - TODAY 2017

The facts: Hoaxes on the actor’s death, alternately describing a car crash or a suicide that ended the “Mr. Bean” actor’s life, have been circulating since last summer. Some pieces have listed Atkinson’s age as two years younger than he is – he was born Jan. 6, 1955. Others falsely superimpose reports of his obituary on BBC and Fox News logos, which never ran such reports.

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