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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: Arizona election equipment was certified before it was used in the midterms. An Arizona county did not ‘lose’ nearly 300,000 votes in the midterm election. A photo does not show a Balenciaga designer wearing a devil-like outfit. U.K. 2021 census data doesn't show that three of the country's largest cities have all become “minority white.” And a photo of beer disguised as Pepsi was taken at a border checkpoint in Saudi Arabia in 2015, not at the current World Cup in Qatar.

AP
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Japanese prosecutors have raided the headquarters of major advertising company Dentsu as the investigation into corruption related to the Tokyo Olympics widens. Dentsu dominates event organizing, marketing and public relations in Japan. The company helped land the 2020 Games for Tokyo and then lined up record domestic sponsorships. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at Dentsu, has been arrested four times in recent months on charges of receiving bribes from various companies that became sponsors for the Games. Japanese media reports say the latest investigation centers around bid-rigging for companies to be picked for test events.

AP
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Investigators say welding work caused a fire that killed 38 people at an industrial wholesaler in central China's Henan province. A district government in the city of Anyang said two other people were injured. More than 200 rescuers and firefighters responded to the fire that took four hours to extinguish Monday evening. The official Xinhua News Agency said sparks from welding ignited cotton fabric in the building but said the investigation was ongoing. China has a history of industrial accidents caused by lax regard to safety measures fueled by rising competition and abetted by corruption among officials. Online listings for the company, Kaixinda, said it wholesaled in a wide range of industrial goods including chemicals.

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Simon & Schuster’s corporate parent has officially ended the agreement for Penguin Random House to purchase the publisher, a proposed merger a federal judge already had blocked early this month. Paramount Global also announced Monday that it still plans to sell Simon & Schuster, a nearly century-old company where authors include Stephen King, Colleen Hoover and Bob Woodward. Penguin Random House, which had planned to appeal the decision, issued a statement Monday saying it would have been “the best home" for Simon & Schuster. “However, we have to accept Paramount’s decision not to move forward,” the publisher’s statement reads.

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Amazon has begun mass layoffs in its corporate ranks, becoming the latest tech company to trim its workforce amid rising fears about the wider economic environment. On Tuesday, the company notified regional authorities in California that it would lay off about 260 workers at various facilities that employ data scientists, software engineers and other corporate workers. The company would not specify how many more layoffs may be in the works beyond the ones confirmed through the filing in California. Some corporate employees in Seattle, Washington said on LinkedIn on Tuesday they were let go, too. In an announcement posted on its website Wednesday, Amazon said impacted employees were notified on Tuesday.

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Kevin Conroy has died at 66. The prolific voice actor's gravely delivery on the “Batman: The Animated Series” was for many Batman fans the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader. Warner Bros. announced Friday that Conroy died Thursday after a battle with cancer. Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992-1996, often acting opposite Mark Hamill’s Joker. Conroy continued on as the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including some 15 films, 400 episodes of television and two dozen video games. In the eight-decade history of Batman, no one played the Dark Knight more.

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Snoop Dogg is getting a big-screen biopic. Universal Pictures announced Wednesday that the studio is developing a film about Snoop Dogg’s life to be produced by the 51-year-old rapper. The film will be written by Joe Robert Cole, who co-wrote the two “Black Panther” films, and directed by Allen Hughes, the filmmaker of “Menace II Society.” In a statement, Snoop said it was a perfect marriage: “holy matrimony, not holy macaroni.” Universal previously turned the story of rap group N.W.A. into the hit 2015 film “Straight Outta Compton” and also released the acclaimed Eminem biopic “8 Mile” in 2002.

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Facebook parent Meta is laying off 13% of its employees as it contends with faltering revenue and broader tech industry woes. The move that comes just a week after widespread layoffs at Twitter under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk. Meta, like other social media companies, enjoyed a financial boost during the pandemic lockdown era because more people stayed home and scrolled on their phones and computers. But as the lockdowns ended and people started going outside again, revenue growth began to falter. An economic slowdown and a grim outlook for online advertising have contributed to Meta’s woes.

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President Joe Biden says he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more willing to negotiate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner now that the U.S. midterm elections are over. He spoke Wednesday afternoon, hours after Griner’s lawyers revealed that she had been sent to a penal colony to serve her sentence for drug possession. U.S. officials have for months tried to negotiate the release of Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Paul Whelan. But there have been no overt signs of progress.