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Shopping in a Whole Foods Market supermarket in New York on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Sipa USA

It's time for a mid-year economic checkup! According to the World Bank, the global economy has improved since the start of the year. Growth increased by 2.6%, and average inflation is at a three-year low – bringing us closer to the “soft landing” economists have aimed for since the end of the COVID-19 shutdown. And experts say we have the strength of the US economy to thank.

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Trust in institutions is at an all-time low, and only 44% of Americans have confidence in the honesty of elections. Distrust and election-related disinformation are leaving society vulnerable to conspiracy theories.

Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, notes that American democracy is in crisis largely because “one thing not in short supply this election season: conspiracy theories.”

As part of GZERO Media’s election coverage, we are tracking the impact of disinformation and conspiracy theories on democracy. To get a sense of how this election may be pulled down a dark and dangerous rabbit hole, click here for our interactive guide to conspiracy theories.

US Capitol under attack on January 6th.

Leslie dela Vega

American democracy is in crisis, says Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer, largely because “one thing not in short supply this election season: conspiracy theories.”

Trust in institutions – from the Supreme Court to public schools – is at an all-time low, and only 44% of Americans have confidence in the honesty of elections. Distrust and election-related disinformation are leaving society vulnerable to conspiracy theories.

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni welcomes European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at Chigi Palace, in Rome, Italy, January 9, 2023.

REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

As the dust settles from last weekend’s EU Parliament elections, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is holding all the cards, and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is preparing to kiss the ring.

The EU undeniably shifted right in the election, with support for Meloni’s right-wing coalition climbing to more than 47%. Meanwhile, for von der Leyen, the center held — but barely. Her coalition of mainstream parties won a narrow 400-seat majority, but with many threatening to defect, so she will need to pull votes from Meloni’s camp to secure the 361 votes she needs to win a second term as commission president on July 18. For Meloni, supporting von der Leyen could further cement her influence in Brussels.

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Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden and U.S. first lady Jill Biden leave the federal court after the jury finds him guilty on all three counts in his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 11, 2024.

REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Hunter Biden was convicted on Tuesday of three felony charges related to a 2018 gun purchase, capping a high-profile trial that could impact the 2024 presidential election.

A federal jury found President Joe Biden’s son guilty of making false statements on paperwork to acquire a handgun while struggling with drug addiction and of illegal possession of a firearm. The verdict followed testimony from several of Hunter’s romantic partners and his daughter Naomi about his substance abuse issues around the time of the purchase.

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The EU parliamentary elections this last weekend were historic, have you been keeping up with all the drama? Test your knowledge with this crossword puzzle.

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the massacre of 643 persons by Nazi German forces, in Oradour-sur-Glane, France, June 10, 2024.

LUDOVIC MARIN/Pool via REUTERS

Following a humbling 17-point defeat to Marine Le Pen’s far-right opposition party in the EU Parliament elections this weekend, France’s President Emmanuel Macron shocked the world by calling for snap elections to be held on June 30.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also suffered defeat to the far-right over the weekend, but he rejected demands for him to follow in Macron’s footsteps and call a snap election.

Macron’s logique: Macron is daring French voters to vote the same way domestically that they did this weekend for the European Parliament – which has long been seen as a protest vote.

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European Union flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels April 12, 2006.

Yves Herman via Reuters

We broke down how voters across the European Union’s 27 member states cast their ballots in European Parliament elections this weekend, but how exactly do these elections work, and why should you care?

The European Parliament is where the European Union writes bloc-wide laws. Members of the European Parliament, or MEPs, selected in this year’s election will determine Europe’s approach to everything from the war in Ukraine and immigration to the green energy transition for the next five years.

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