Intrigue and Anger in Nigeria

With national elections in February, two recent stories suggest Nigeria may be in for a rough ride. Last week, heavily-armed masked men blocked entrances to the country’s parliament building without explanation, preventing lawmakers and journalists from entering. Confronted by angry crowds, the men dispersed when the acting president ordered the arrest of the state’s spy chief for meddling in politics. (The elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, was away for a “vacation” in the UK, a country where he has received medical treatment for an unspecified illness in the past.)

Then on August 12, hundreds of soldiers launched a protest against orders to redeploy to fight Boko Haram jihadists in the country’s northeast. Firing their guns in the air, they disrupted flights at Maiduguri airport for several hours. “We should not have been here for more than a year, but this is our fourth year,” explained one soldier. “We need some rest, we are war-weary and need to see our families.” Africa’s largest economy can expect another wild election season.

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Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, explains the feud between Trump and Twitter and weighs in on Elon Musk's ambitious space plans:

What is happening between Trump and Twitter?

A lot. Twitter decided it had to fact check the president because the president said something that wasn't entirely true, and perhaps was false, about voting. Twitter cares a lot about lies about voting. So, they fact check Trump. Trump got really mad, said he's going to get rid of some of the laws that protect Twitter from liability when people say bad things on their platform. That started war number one.

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Trump promised a statement about China. Today's announcement was not about China. Most significant was about the World Health Organization, which is a distraction for Trump because it's weaker. They're reliant on the US, have no ability to hit back. But announcing they're pulling all funding and pulling out of the World Health Organization, the international governmental organization tasked with responding to pandemics, in the middle of a pandemic, is one of the stupidest foreign policy decisions that President Trump could make.

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The world's worst health crisis in a hundred years might not seem like the best time for the World Health Organization's biggest financial supporter to threaten to pull the plug on its operations, but that's where we are. On Friday afternoon, President Trump announced that the US is withdrawing entirely from the Organization.

The move comes ten days after the White House sent a withering four-page letter to the organization's Director General which accused the organization of ignoring early warnings about the virus' spread and bowing to Chinese efforts to downplay its severity. The letter closed with a threat to withdraw within 30 days unless the WHO shaped up to better serve "American interests." In the end, the Administration had patience only for 10 days after all.

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