Enter the Crocodile

Meet Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Known as “the crocodile,” Mnangagwa is often described as smart, quiet, and cruel. Thought to be 75 years old, though that’s a subject of some controversy, he proved vigorous enough to bring down political titan Robert Mugabe when the aging ruler fired him as vice president on November 6 to clear a succession path for his wife. Mnangagwa says Mrs. Mugabe recently tried to kill him with poisoned ice cream.


Where did Africa’s newest leader come from? To challenge white rule in his country, then known as Rhodesia, he got his military training in Mao’s China and Nasser’s Egypt. He was captured and tortured by Rhodesian authorities. After ten years in prison, he practiced law in Zambia, served as Mugabe’s bodyguard in Mozambique, and then helped lead his country to independence in 1980. In the decade that followed, he led the security services, helping Mugabe spy on the Zimbabwean people. Mnangagwa has been accused at various times of ordering attacks on opposition leaders and civilians. Like Mugabe, he’s variously described as liberator and murderer. His name is associated with atrocities and blood diamonds. For now, he has the support of the men with the guns.

What sort of president will he be? Most likely a smart, quiet, and cruel one. Sadly, he’s unlikely to make the Zimbabwean 20 trillion dollar note I keep on my desk much more valuable than the paperclips sitting next to it. It takes more than ice cream to kill a crocodile, and more than a change of president to mend a badly broken society.

Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, it has a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. Last week, in furtherance of those commitments, Microsoft shared a grooming detection technique, code name "Project Artemis," by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia for twenty years, but he has a problem: his current presidential term ends in 2024, and the constitution prevents him from running for re-election then.

As a result, the question of what he'll do in 2024 has been on the minds of Russia's oligarchs, spooks, bureaucrats, and a lot of ordinary folks, as well. After all, over the past two decades, Putin has made himself, for better and for worse, the indispensable arbiter, boss, and glue of Russia's sprawling and corrupted system of government. As the current speaker of Russia's legislature once said, "Without Putin, there is no Russia." Not as we currently know it, no.

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Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until last year, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate, and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

It's been nine years since Libya's long-time despot Muammar Qaddafi was killed in a violent uprising, bringing the oil-rich country to the brink of civil war. That conflict entered a new stage last year when violence between warring factions competing for territory intensified around Tripoli, Libya's capital, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 civilians. In recent weeks, fighting has intensified again, and ceasefire talks have failed. Here's a look at who's who and how we got here.

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Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses combating cyberbullying, CCPA and tech "fashion":

What is a "troll score" and is it a realistic way to combat online bullying?

Something that Kayvon Beykpour, head of product at Twitter and I talked about, and the thought was: Twitter doesn't give you a lot of disincentives to be a jerk online. But what if there were a way to measure how much of a jerk someone is and put it right in their profile? Wouldn't that help? I think it's a pretty good idea. Though, you can see the arguments against it.

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