NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

FILE - In this April 28, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump holds up a signed Executive Order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington directing the Interior Department to begin review of restrictive drilling policies for the outer-continental shelf. The AP reported on May 26, 2017, that a story shared by the St. George Gazette website claiming Trump signed an executive order allowing the hunting of bald eagles is a hoax. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez, File)

(AP) — A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. 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.


This new weekly fixture is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.


Find all AP Fact Checks here: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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