Sarkozy: "I cannot stand Netanyahu. He is a liar."

Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy caught on microphone criticising the Israeli PM.

Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy caught on microphone criticising the Israeli PM.

You'd think politicians would have learnt to check whether their microphones were switched off, by now -- but apparently not.

The latest to be caught out are Nicolas Sarkozy, and Barack Obama, who were caught criticising Binyamin Netanyahu in a private conversation at the G20 summit -- unaware that this private exchange was being broadcast to a small group of journalists.

The gaffe took place during a frank exchange where Obama took Sarkozy to task for not warning him that France would backing Palestine's request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency, Unesco. Referring to the Israeli prime minister, Sarkozy told Obama: "I cannot stand him. He's a liar." The US President responded: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."

Apparently, neither leader realised that microphones that had been attached for a press conference were still switched on. The comments initially went unreported, until French website Arrêt Sur Images reported it today. A Reuters journalist, also present, confirmed this account.

 

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.