Fact Check: Collage Showing Burning Vehicles Falsely Shared With Context Of Republic Day Violence In Delhi

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On January 26, 2021, farmers held tractor rally to agitate against the three contentious farm laws. This rally led to a massive scuffle between the protesting farmers and the security forces. In the backdrop to this, a collage of three images of the burning vehicle is being shared on social media claiming it is of mayhem that happened on the roads of Delhi on Republic Day.

A Facebook page, The Frustrated Koshur shared the collage with the caption, " Latest images from Delhi."

Another Facebook user, Dz Pranks also shared the same post.

Latest images from Delhi.. Posted by Dz pranks on Wednesday, 27 January 2021


The viral image is of the violence that erupted on Republic Day in Delhi amid the farmers’ tractor rally.

Fact Check:

The Logical Indian did a reverse image search of all the three viral images.

Image 1:

The burning vehicle in the photo has the number starting with JK, which stands for Jammu and Kashmir. On doing a reverse image search, we found that the viral image was published by News 18 on February 18, 2019, in an article that spoke about the aftermath of Pulwama attack. The image was captioned, “Vehicles set on fire by protesters against the killing of CRPF personnel in the Pulwama terror attack, during a shutdown call given by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), in Jammu.”

The same image was also published by The Quint on February 15, 2019.

Image 2:

On doing a reverse image search, we saw the same image was published by the Dawn on February 17, 2019, in an article. It reported, “Fear engulfs Muslims living in occupied Kashmir after Pulwama attack.” The image was attributed to Associated Press and was captioned, “A protestor shouts slogans against Thursday’s attack on a paramilitary convoy in Pulwama.”

The same image was also published in The News Lens, Tehran Times and Abc.net.

Image 3:

On doing a reverse image search, we found that the same image was published by Hindustan Times on February 15, 2019, in an article that reported about the death of a basketball player in Pulwama Attack. The image was captioned, “Satpal Attari said on Friday his son Maninder Singh was an outstanding basketball player and had represented his school and college at the national level. He got a job with the CRPF under sports quota about 15 months ago (PTI)”.

Hence, all the three images were not of the recent row that erupted in Delhi but was of Pulwama attack.

Fact check: No, Biden didn’t say that signing lots of executive orders makes you a dictator

Fact check: No, Biden didn’t say that signing lots of executive orders makes you a dictator

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Washington (CNN) President Joe Biden has signed more than 35 executive orders, actions and memorandums in his first week-and-a-half in the Oval Office. And some of Biden’s critics are saying or suggesting that his frequent early use of the presidential pen contradicts a dramatic statement he made on the campaign trail in October.

“Biden signed off on a record number of executive orders during his first week – but just three months ago, according to Biden himself, that’s something only a dictator would do,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said on air Tuesday.

“As recently as October, now-President Biden said you can’t legislate by executive action unless you’re a dictator. Well, in one week, he’s signed more than 30 unilateral actions, and working Americans are getting short shrift,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday in the Senate.

“By his own definition, Biden is already governing like a dictator,” read a headline on an opinion column in The Hill by commentator Joe Concha. Biden signs more executive orders despite claims he once said they were for dictators," read a headline in the conservative Washington Examiner. “Joe Biden admits he is governing like a ‘dictator,’” said a caption posted on Instagram by Charlie Kirk, founder and president of conservative student group Turning Point USA.

These Biden critics are taking his “dictator” remark out of context. Biden explicitly campaigned on signing various executive orders, including those to rescind some of then-President Donald Trump’s own executive orders, and he didn’t say in October that signing a large number of orders means a president is a dictator. Rather, after Biden rejected the idea of using an executive order to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy people, he said there are “things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator.” In other words, Biden was saying what he had said before and has said since – that executive orders are unconstitutional for some particular purposes.

In an email, McConnell spokesman David Popp forcefully rejected CNN’s conclusion that McConnell had inaccurately characterized Biden’s “dictator” remark. Popp said that given the full text of what Biden said in October, and other campaign comments Biden made about his belief in a consensus-seeking philosophy of governing, “your fact check doesn’t check out.”

We respectfully disagree. Let’s go through some relevant history.

Biden’s comments

Biden argued during the campaign that other politicians, including some of his rivals in the Democratic primary, were proposing to use executive orders in situations where orders could not properly be used. He told the New York Times editorial board in December 2019 that it would be unconstitutional to sign an executive order to ban possession of assault weapons or to make substantial changes to the judiciary.

At an ABC News town hall event in Philadelphia in October 2020, Biden was asked by host George Stephanopoulos if it is wise to carry out his proposals to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy at a time when the economy is weak. After Biden defended his plan, Stephanopoulos said, “So there’s not going to be any delay on the tax increases.”

Biden responded: “No, well, I’ve gotta get the votes. I gotta get the votes. That’s why – you know, the one thing that I – I have this strange notion. We are a democracy. Some of my Republican friends and some of my Democratic friends even, occasionally say, ‘Well, if you can’t get the votes, by executive order you’re going to do something.’ Things you can’t do by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”

This was familiar Biden rhetoric. Like his previous comments to the Times, the “dictator” remark was a criticism of proposals to use executive orders for initiatives that require congressional approval, not an assertion that signing a lot of executive orders is inherently tyrannical.

Popp argued that Biden’s subsequent sentence about the need for “consensus” shows that he was making a broad statement about his philosophy of governing, not just speaking narrowly about executive orders for a change to tax policy. And Popp noted that Biden had repeatedly spoken, including in the Times interview, about the importance of bringing people together and working through Congress.

That’s fair enough. But McConnell still went too far when he implied that Biden signing a bunch of executive orders means he contradicted the “dictator” comment in particular.

There’s also some additional important context.

Biden’s campaign promises

Multiple Biden executive orders simply rescind policies Trump had imposed through his own executive orders without public complaint from McConnell and other Biden critics. And, critically, Biden promised during the campaign that he would sign significant executive orders. In fact, many of Biden’s early-presidency executive orders fulfil explicit campaign pledges.

For example, Biden signed a series of orders aimed at combating climate change – just as his campaign climate plan, which is still on his website , said he would: “On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track.”

Fact check: Oval Office is not ‘permanently closed’ on Apple maps

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Social media users have been sharing posts that say the Oval Office in the White House is permanently closed, using screenshots purportedly from Apple maps that show the Oval Office marked as “permanently closed”. This claim is false: the Oval Office has not permanently closed as President Biden is working there and this notice does not appear on Apple maps.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with new U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R) and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley as Vice President Kamala Harris stands by in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2021. REUTERS

Examples of the posts, dated Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 can be seen here , here and here . Captions include, “As in right now [downwards arrow pointing to screenshot]”; “Screenshot from my phone (Apple Maps). Feel free to call the whitehouse number (202) 456-1111 You will hear: “Oval Office is temporarily closed”; and “A screen shot from my Apple Maps!! That’s EXACTLY RIGHT!!! The US IS NO LONGER FOR SALE!”

In the caption of one post it says, “Remember, the 10 days of Darkness we were told about? Today is day 6” (here) . This is likely linked to the widely debunked QAnon conspiracy, which is based around the idea that former President Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies (here) . QAnon supporters believe that Biden is not president and the military is in power until Trump returns to office on March 4 and exposes the supposed cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophile cannibal elites. Reuters debunked some of these claims here - a U.S. government defense official told Reuters via email that neither martial law nor the Insurrection Act had been declared. The baseless claim of the days of darkness seems to refer to a fictional time when it will appear that the government has shut down but the “new government” will in fact be taking over (here) .

Reuters conducted an Apple Maps search for the Oval Office on Jan. 27 (when some of the posts claimed that their Apple maps showed the Oval Office as closed) and did not see the closed label, as seen in a screenshot ibb.co/FWD9p8h . Another search on Jan. 28 did not show the closed label either (ibb.co/dD99wP1 and ibb.co/tBhmJ4n) . On both searches Reuters did not see any opening hours listed for the Oval Office.

An Apple spokesman told Reuters via email the company was not aware of this office closure on Apple Maps.

President Biden can be seen working in the Oval Office on Jan. 27 in an official White House video here . President Biden and his administration did not stop working on Jan. 26 or Jan. 27: on Jan. 26 Biden announced that United States aims to acquire an additional 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines (here , here) and on Jan. 27 he signed new executive orders to combat climate change (here) . The White House Briefing Room on its website also gives more details of the work that Biden and the administration completed during this time, visible here .

Reuters earlier this week debunked another post that made false claims about Biden’s Oval Office, saying that it is a fake movie set (here) .


False. The Oval Office has not permanently closed and Apple Maps have not shown it to be.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .