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Editors’ Choice

Shortlisted contenders, from left: Collince Oluoch; Roy Allela; Beth Koiji; Neo Hutiri; Paul Matovu. Photograph: Brett Eloff and James Oatway/Royal Academy of Engineering

Turning air into drinking water: Africa’s inspired young inventors

By | Editors' Choice

Shortlisted contenders for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize reveal their designs, from gloves that translate sign language into speech to smart lockers that dispense medicines. By Kate Hodal, The Guardian — The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize, now in its fifth year, has shortlisted 16 African inventors from six countries to receive funding, training and mentoring for projects intended to revolutionise sectors from agriculture and science to women’s health.…

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‘American carnage’: Donald Trump began his presidency with apocalyptic rhetoric. How has the reality been?

The halfway point: what have two years of Trump’s wrecking ball done to America?

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The republic has undergone a wild stress test but despite new lows, Donald Trump’s presidency has also seen a democratic renaissance By David Smith, The Guardian — It’s nearly half-time and we’re still here. On 20 January it will be two years since the businessman and reality TV celebrity Donald Trump took the oath as president, spoke of “American carnage” and boasted about his crowd size, leaving millions to wonder…

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The Most Successful Ethnic Group in the U.S. May Surprise You

The Most Successful Ethnic Group in the U.S. May Surprise You

By | Editors' Choice

You don’t know what it means to hustle … until you meet a Nigerian-American. By Molly Fosco, OZY — At an Onyejekwe family get-together, you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone with a master’s degree. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors — every family member is highly educated and professionally successful, and many have a lucrative side gig to boot. Parents and grandparents share stories of whose kid just won…

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A Polisario Front official surveys the Moroccan Berm in the Western Sahara. John Bolton and a former German President have helped spur the first negotiations over the disputed desert territory in six years.

Is One of Africa’s Oldest Conflicts Finally Nearing Its End?

By | Editors' Choice

By Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker — For the past forty years, tens of thousands of Moroccan soldiers have manned a wall of sand that curls for one and a half thousand miles through the howling Sahara. The vast plain around it is empty and flat, interrupted only by occasional horseshoe dunes that traverse it. But the Berm, as the wall is known, is no natural phenomenon. It was built…

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White supremacists gather under a statue of Robert E. Lee during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017.

America’s Original Sin

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Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy. By Annette Gordon-Reed, Foreign Affairs — The documents most closely associated with the creation of the United States—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—present a problem with which Americans have been contending from the country’s beginning: how to reconcile the values espoused in those texts with the United States’ original sin of slavery, the flaw that marred the country’s creation, warped its prospects, and eventually…

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A graduating student at Morgan State University cheered Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, during her commencement address this month.

Black Voters, a Force in Democratic Politics, Are Ready to Make Themselves Heard

By | Editors' Choice

By Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times — BALTIMORE — The first “Amen!” rang out after a couple of minutes, as Senator Elizabeth Warren, speaking to an almost all-black audience at Morgan State University’s winter commencement, described how America has “systematically discriminated against black people.” Heads nodded as she mentioned “redlining,” the discriminatory practice of denying mortgages, usually in poor and nonwhite areas. There was applause when the Massachusetts…

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Do America’s Socialists Have a Race Problem?

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Inside a raging debate that has split the country’s most exciting new political movement. By Miguel Salazar, The New Republic — On an afternoon in July, nearly 200 people packed into the ballroom of a local community center in northern Oakland for a general meeting of the East Bay chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). As they settled into folded chairs on the room’s faded wooden floors, the…

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Slum dwellers are fleeing the country because of the lack of food, medicine and work.

The fallen metropolis: the collapse of Caracas, the jewel of Latin America

By | Editors' Choice

Once a thriving, glamorous city, Venezuela’s capital is buckling under hyperinflation, crime and poverty By Tom Phillips, The Guardian — A portrait of Hugo Chávez and a Bolivarian battle cry greet visitors to the Boyacá viewpoint in the mountains north of Caracas. “It is our duty to find one thousand ways and more to give the people the life that they need!” But as Venezuela buckles, Chávez’s pledge sounds increasingly…

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Black Lives Matter activists protest at a Hillary Clinton rally in Atlanta in October 2015.

Russian Trolls and the Trump Campaign Both Tried to Depress Black Turnout

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Two new reports released by the Senate Intelligence Committee underscore how much the Internet Research Agency targeted African Americans—echoing efforts by the campaign. By David A. Graham, The Atlantic — Perhaps the most striking takeaway from a pair of new reports released by the Senate Intelligence Committee is the consistency and persistence with which Russian trolls sought to depress the black vote in the 2016 election. That workers for the Internet…

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To Curb Ghost Workers and Coffee Corruption, Africa Turns to Blockchain

To Curb Ghost Workers and Coffee Corruption, Africa Turns to Blockchain

By | Editors' Choice

From Ethiopia to Tanzania and South Africa to Ghana, African nations are embracing this ledger technology to weed out graft. By Kizito Makoye, OZY — On his first day in office as president of Tanzania in 2015, John Pombe Magufuli made a surprise visit to the Finance Ministry and berated officials who weren’t at work. It was the first in a series of steps Magufuli has taken that have won…

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