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Minneapolis Police Precinct Set On Fire By Protestors Over Death Of An African-American Man Due To Police Brutality

On 28 May, 2020, protestors set alight a police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota on account of the now former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, brutally killing George Floyd.

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A tweet claimed that a police station in Minneapolis was set on fire with a 23-second video showing a building ablaze. 

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Factcheck

We came across many news reports that wrote about a police station being set on fire in Minneapolis last week. On 28 May, 2020, protestors set alight a police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota on account of the now former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, brutally killing George Floyd, according to allegations in these state charging documents.  

Police officer filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck charged with murder

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer captured on video kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old George Floyd as he begged for his life, was charged on Friday afternoon with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The state’s bureau of criminal apprehension took Chauvin, a 19-year veteran, into custody.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck during an arrest on 25 May. Many news reports and videos of the incident show Flyod shouting “I cannot breathe” and “Don’t kill me.” He was “detained for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 dollar bill in a purchase,” reports Scroll. The four police officers involved in the death of Floyd, including Chauvin, were later fired from their jobs. 

In the same week, mounting anger towards Flyod’s death led to massive protests in Minneapolis which later spread to other parts of the country. Here are some visuals from the protests in the United States:

Protesters set Minneapolis police station on fire | AFP

Demonstrators set fire to the Minneapolis police station amid rage in the streets over the shocking police killing of a handcuffed black man. Subscribe to AF…

How the killing of George Floyd has upended America

Cities across the US have been convulsed by protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after being arrested and handcu…

President of the United States, Donald Trump, was under fire from Twitter that accused him of “glorifying violence” in a post that said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

These widespread protests were a sign of reignited fury over police killings of black Americans and continued racial inequality in the United States. Curfews have been imposed in many cities across the country bracing for another week of unrest. People in London, Berlin, and Toronto are taking to the streets as well protesting that Black Lives Matter. 

Conclusion

It’s true that a police precinct in Minneapolis was set on fire by protestors after the shocking death of George Floyd by a police officer last week. 

Tools Used 

  • Google search 
  • Twitter
  • Youtube 

Result: True 

(If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form)

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Fact check

2016 Video Of A Siren Shared With Misleading Claims Related To Ongoing India-China Dispute In Ladakh

The video in context was posted on Youtube in 2016 with the description, “The largest air-raid siren in the world.”

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2016 video of a defender siren shared with misleading claims

A Twitter user claimed that the Chinese army used a loudspeaker at the Indian military camp in Ladakh causing vomiting and injury to the ear drums of Indian soldiers. The tweet is accompanied by a 30-second video which shows a rotating siren with blaring sound. 

Posted from the Twitter handle @ichinaTV on 24 September, the tweet reads, “#china #India The Chinese army uses this super loud speaker to play music at the Indian military camp in Ladakh! A large number of Indian soldiers’ eardrums were injured and vomiting”

The same user retweeted the above tweet on 28 September writing, “Because China and India have signed an agreement to prohibit the use of guns within two kilometers of LAC! Therefore, China has developed this sonic weapon. The video is only a low-power display, and the actual volume and audio are more intense!”

Fact Check/ Verification 

Through a reverse image search on InVid, a video verification tool, we came across a Youtube video titled, “LIONKING Defender Siren” posted in March, 2016. 

InVid search result of "Lion King Defender Siren"
InVid search result of “Lion King Defender Siren”

The video was published by an account named Elsa Chen and has over 47 lakh views till date. It’s description reads, “The largest air-raid siren in the world. Produced by Taizhou LionKing Signal Co.,Ltd. websites: http://www.lionking-firerescue.com. Email: elsa@lionking-firerescue.com

The link in the video’s description led us to a website named Lion King. According to the website, “Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd. is a professional company specialized in making various sirens, rescue air cushions, PPV blowers,Smoke Ejectors and Line throwers.”

Listed in the products section of the website, a product called “Defender Siren” looked similar to the one from the claim. 

Defender Siren, a product by Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd.
Defender Siren, a product by Taizhou Lion King Signal Co., Ltd.

The video from the claim was shared by another user in September, 2017 though with a different audio in the background. 

The claim in context was shared days after Chinese troops played Punjabi songs at their forward posts in Ladakh amid the ongoing territorial dispute. At the time, the Indian soldiers were known to be at Finger 4, a height overlooking the positions of the Peoples Liberation Army. 

On 17 September, Hindustan Times reported that “according to a former Indian Army chief, the PLA used the same loudspeaker tactics in 1962 skirmishes in the western and eastern sectors as well during the 1967 Nathu La skirmish.” 

You can read our Hindi fact check on this claim here

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that the Chinese army did not use a loudspeaker at the Indian military camp in Ladakh recently. The video in the claim is from 2016 and shows a product called Defender Siren.

Result: Misleading

Our Sources

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrSSArQoFWc

Lion King-FireRescue website: http://www.lionking-firerescue.com/


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Fact check

Anarchy For Freedom: A Case Study On First Indian Mainstream Conspiracy Theory

If you have access to the internet, you would have already come across several conspiracy theories around the coronavirus. What if these conspiracy theories go mainstream? In Mumbai, pamphlets with an example of one such theory were inserted in newspapers and distributed in the city.

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Anarchy for Freedom India

If you have access to the internet, you would have already come across several conspiracy theories around the coronavirus. What if these conspiracy theories go mainstream? In Mumbai, pamphlets with an example of one such theory were inserted in newspapers and distributed in the city. 

Where did the Pamphlet come from?

On the pamphlet uploaded with the above tweet, we noticed a website mentioned in the bottom right corner. 

Viral image

On visiting the website mentioned above (anarchyforfreedom.com) we found the same pamphlet published here. 

Viral Pamphlet

What is “Anarchy for Freedom” and who is its founder?

The landing page of the website reads, “WELCOME TO INDIA’S HOME FOR CONSPIRACY RESEARCH & FREE THINKING.” It also includes a section which lists problems categorised under COVID-19, Politics, and Science among others. Adjacent to this, another section on solutions is also listed. The pamphlet in context was found under Problems >> COVID19. 

Anarchy for Freedom Website

This website has been known to proactively spread coronavirus-related misinformation. Many of the hoaxes listed have been debunked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Newschecker.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

We noticed that the website is provoking its visitors against the use of masks. The conspiracy against the use of masks during the ongoing pandemic has been debunked by the WHO.

More such conspiracy theories and interviews can be found on Anarchy for Freedom’s official Facebook page, Twitter handle, YouTube channel, and their Instagram account.

To know more about how the website  functions, we checked its details on Who.is. According to details registered here, the website registrant’s name is “Super Privacy Service LTD c/o Dynadot” and the email address is “anarchyforfreedom.com@superprivacyservice.com

Who.is data

When we searched the registrant’s details on Google, we found that it is a registered company which provides secure domains to its clients. 

Who.is data

Note that details of the domains which are secured by third-party service providers are not revealed by Who.is. We checked contact details of the website and found an email ID that reads “yohan@anarchyforfreedom.in”. We did a Google search of the email address and found multiple articles on various portals which indicate that the website is run by a person named Yohan Tengra.

Google Search Results

Who is Yohan Tengra?

During our search, we came across a blog by Tengra’s mother Nainaz Tengra on steemit.com. In her blog, she introduces him to the platform. Talking about her son’s work she writes: 

“He is into Radical Journalism, talking and exposing the classified information of the Big Organizations, Bodies, Governments, Health and Pharma, Child Trafficking and Abuse, The Vaccination system and a lot more. If you want to know what’s actually happening in the world as compared to what’s portrayed to us by our governments or media, rather paid media and as individuals how our minds have been conditioned into a grind wherein we’re constantly ignorant to a lot that’s happening around us you can follow his website which gives a clear clarity along with supporting videos and interviews.”

NainaTengraz's blog on Steemit

As per Tengra’s mother’s description, he exposes various governments, corporate companies, and others. Through a Google search of his name, we found his profile on various social media platforms. Additionally on his YouTube channel, it said that he attended Saint Mary’s school from 2011-2012. 

We also checked Tengra’s LinkedIn profile, which says that he graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (BAF) from Kishinchand Chellaram College of Arts and Commerce, Mumbai in 2017. 

Yohan Tengra's LinkedIn Profile

His Twitter account shows that he is passionate about Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and has worked as a DJ for several organisations. The same can be found here. Through a Twitter Advanced Search, we found that Tengra performed as a DJ for FullStopEnt in 2015.

Further, Tengra has been associated with The Music Essentials since 2015 and has been writing about music fests for them.

https://themusicessentials.com/artists/review-ultra-resistance-around-the-world-with-nic-fanciuilli/

Interestingly, we also found that Tengra has met with several conspiracy theory believers and alleged ‘free thinkers’ such as David Icke.

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10218322981879143&set=p.10218322981879143

In a video published by Anarchy For Freedom’s official YouTube channel, Tengra has briefly described his work on hidden knowledge, source of knowledge, his contacts, his reasons for believing in these conspiracies, his ideals and so on. He also mentioned his reason for founding Anarchy for Freedom.

Anarchy For Freedom Or Conspiracy Theories? Partners In Crime

On going through videos published on the YouTube channels, we found a series of interviews, podcasts, and discussions where alleged “experts” expressed their views on conspiracy theories propagated by Anarchy for Freedom and others alike. These alleged “experts” are Derrick Broze, Dr Madhusudan Raj, Judith Kwoba, Mark Friesen, Virendra Singh, Jagannath Chatterjee, Ashok Patel and Dr Tarun Kothari.

We further looked for more information on other people associated with this organisation. Twitter users: Vivek, Indian Liberty Report, Delta Exchange – Bitcoin & Altcoin Derivatives, Activist Post, Madhusudan Raj, and Rusty, among others were promoting and interviewing Yohan Tengra of Anarchy for Freedom

We also found that Tengra has been interviewed by several portals and vloggers. A few of them can be read below.

https://altnews.org/2020/09/24/the-truth-about-covid19-censorship-and-lockdowns-in-india-september-2020/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=yohan+tengra

Yohan Tengra: Fresh Destructive Ideas

Tengra’s Twitter account reflects that he has been actively campaigning for various causes such as #BoycottZomato, #FreeRoss, #IStandWithDrBob #LetOrganicGrow #LegaliseBitcoins #saveGaza #AadharSpies and AntiFa. For example, Tengra posted multiple tweets aiming to boycott Zomato.

Apart from this, other tweets by Tengra imply his interest in conspiracy theories, bitcoins, social causes, among other subjects. 

Twitter Deletes Posts After Being Notified By Newschecker

On coming across tweets which included the pamphlets in context, we wrote to Twitter about deleting the same to prevent further circulation of this conspiracy theory. Twitter immediately deleted them.

Archived version of the deleted tweets can be viewed here: https://archive.vn/EO1BD

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Coronavirus

Claim On Pune’s Steam Bar Treating or Preventing COVID-19 Is False

Steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation.

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False claim on Pune's steam bar treating or preventing COVID-19

A social media user claims that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune. The claim is accompanied by a video which shows people seated in front of pipes used as steam inhalers. 

“Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune” the tweet reads. 

Other social media users have shared this claim as well. 

Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune: #corona #Covid19 #fightwithcorona

Posted by LIVE Ahmedabad on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

लो कल्लो बात 😎Latest business in #India: The Steam bar, It is inhalers, which treats or prevents #COVID19 in Pune:

Posted by Sanjieva Shankhdhar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fact Check/ Verification

Different states in India continue to witness a rise in COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, the epicentre of coronavirus in India has 2,75,404 active cases as of 8am on 25 September. It’s followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which have 95,568, 69,353 and 61,300 active cases respectively. 

At a time like this, the claim on Pune’s steam bar with inhalers has been shared by many social media users in the past few days. 

Steam inhalation can thin mucus and help it drain from the nose when experiencing  nasal congestion. “Controlled studies show that these remedies do not kill viruses in the respiratory tract. Besides, there are no studies testing the effect of these remedies on preventing infection by the novel coronavirus,” state the voluntary group of scientists, Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19, in their Hoaxbusters section. 

The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment.
The Hoaxbusters section on the Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 website debunks steam inhalation as COVID-19 treatment

On the other hand, a 2015 study published by the Spanish Pediatrics Association takes note of the burns or scalds that can be caused due to hot water or steam. “Steam inhalation therapy (SIT), which has been used traditionally and is still employed today to treat mild respiratory tract infections despite the lack of evidence to support its effectiveness, can also cause burns indirectly through scalding.”

Also steam inhalation as a treatment or preventive measure of COVID-19 is not listed by the World Health Organisation

“While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease,” notes the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 

On 23 September, Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus, responded to the initial claim saying, “ Let’s not turn fear into business. This is completely useless.”

Note: We were unable to locate the exact steam bar from the claim. 

In the last six months, we’ve also debunked many other claims related to cure and prevention of coronavirus. You can read related fact checks here

Conclusion 

The recent claim which states that a steam bar with inhalers treats or prevents COVID-19 in Pune is false. Currently, there is no known medicine or treatment that can cure COVID-19. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19: https://indscicov.in/for-public/busting-hoaxes/

A study by Spanish Pediatrics Association: https://www.analesdepediatria.org/en-severe-burns-related-steam-inhalation-articulo-S2341287914001343

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public\

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital, Dr FaheemYounus: https://twitter.com/FaheemYounus/status/1308820077324701696?s=20

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/how-do-i-use-steam-for-congestion


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