Too good to be true: Stay in bed, smoke marijuana and get paid
A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the past two weeks. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. AP checked these out; here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Allowing The Hunting Of Bald Eagles
THE FACTS: The story was shared by the St. George Gazette and attributed to The Associated Press. But the AP never ran such a story because the president gave no such order. A list of executive orders issued by Trump mentions nothing about bald eagles. Congress first outlawed the killing of the national bird in 1918. The St. George Gazette is an outlet of admitted hoax artist Paul Horner.
NOT REAL: George Soros Indicted For Voter Machine Fraud And More
THE FACTS: A search of the federal court system shows no criminal cases pending against the Hungarian-American billionaire known to back liberal causes, despite a story posted by The People's Resistance that claimed Soros was federally indicted. The post included a photo that appeared to show Soros in a courtroom. The picture is actually a doctored image of a hacker being sentenced in June for stealing from a Soros foundation.
NOT REAL: NASA Will Pay You $18,000 To Stay In Bed And Smoke Weed For 70 Straight Days
THE FACTS: NASA has been willing to pay people willing to stay in bed, but there was no marijuana involved in the offer. The space agency's website says bed rest studies give scientists information on how the body adapts to weightlessness. NASA spokesman William Jeffs tells the AP that the story is "absolutely untrue" and the agency hasn't conducted bed rest studies for some time.
NOT REAL: Donald Trump Praises Colonel Sanders for His Service in the Civil War
THE FACTS: The post from admitted satire site The Red Schtick said the president praised the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder as a "tremendous Civil War hero" who once saved an army at Valley Forge from starvation. Sanders was born 25 years after the war's end and died in 1980. The story circulated following Trump's May 1 assertion in an interview that President Andrew Jackson could have prevented the war, which began 16 years after Jackson's death.
NOT REAL: Bill Murray Reveals Why He's Moving to Buffalo, New York
THE FACTS: Fans of Murray, Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon or scores of other celebrities may be upset to know that the stars aren't likely moving to a city near them. A series of stories posted on admitted hoax sites made up to look like local news outlets has celebrities moving to towns across North America, including Buffalo, New York; Janesville, Wisconsin; and Dothan, Alabama. Each story quotes the star mentioning that he or she is getting "a little tired of the L.A. lifestyle" and wants a big change in life.
NOT REAL: Trump's Top Scientist Pick: "Scientists Are Just Dumb Regular People That Think Dinosaurs Existed And The Earth Is Getting Warmer"
THE FACTS: A story on the satirical U.S. Political News website hijacks an actual news story about Sam Clovis, widely reported to be President Donald Trump's pick for a U.S. Department of Agriculture research job, infusing it with made-up quotes expressing skepticism about scientists who believe in evolution and climate change. The fabricated quotes are attributed to KYXL, a non-existent radio station. The original story, by ProPublica, pointed out that Clovis had none of the research, education and economics qualifications specified for the position.
NOT REAL: ICELAND PAYING IMMIGRANTS $5,000 PER MONTH TO MARRY THEIR WOMEN
THE FACTS: A story that began circulating last year claims Iceland is paying foreigners to marry women because women far outnumber men in the island nation. A spokeswoman for the country's embassy in Washington says the story is untrue. Iceland's official statistics agency reported last year that the split between males and females is close to 50/50.
NOT REAL: Scott Baio Killed In Small Plane Crash On His Way To Mar-A-Lago
THE FACTS: Stories claiming the "Happy Days" actor died when his single-engine Cessna crashed into a Louisiana hillside en route to Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida have been circulated by numerous websites. Baio debunked the reports on Twitter by sharing a picture of himself near a private jet and writing, "Fake news. I don't fly in Cessna's."
NOT REAL: Columbus, Ohio School Teacher Loses Eye After Fidget Spinner Breaks In Classroom
THE FACTS: Focus Times declared in a story shared last month that a high school English teacher was trying to confiscate several students' fidget spinners when one of them broke and hit the teacher in the eye. The report cited district officials. Columbus City Schools spokesman Scott Varner tells the AP that "this type of incident did not happen" in the district.
NOT REAL: Taco Bell announcing bankruptcy, all stores closing by 2018
THE FACTS: A hoax first circulating in 2015 has been updated with new dates. It claims the fast food chain's supposed demise is linked to health violations that drove customers away. Sites including feednewz.com directed users who kept clicking to a meme revealing the prank. Taco Bell has not filed for bankruptcy protection, company spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said. Last week, it outlined global expansion plans that would add more than 2,000 restaurants around the world in the next five years.