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This Is (Banned) In Nigeria

This Is (Banned) In Nigeria

In the months since American rapper, actor, and general polymath Childish Gambino released his chart-topping track This is America – a withering critique of gun violence and racism in the US that went viral as a music video– dozens of local variants have sprung up around the world.

They range from comic parodies (“Eh, This is Canada, snow got us slippin’ up” and “This is Korea, kimchi got us slippin’ up”) to deadly serious remixes about Iraq, which takes aim at the US invasion’s devastating consequences, or This is South Africa, which addresses violence against women in the country.

The more hard-edged adaptations have doubtless rankled local authorities, but earlier this month Nigeria’s state broadcaster became the first – to our knowledge – to ban one of them, ruling that Nigerian rapper Falz’s bold critique of corruption, violence, and abuse of authority in Africa’s most populous country was “vulgar” and risked inflaming social and religious tensions. “This is Nigeria, everybody be criminal,” runs the refrain. Here’s a line-by-line, shot-by-shot breakdown of the video, from Quartz’s Africa team.

Why the ban matters: Early next year, President Muhammadu Buhari will seek re-election, despite concerns about his health, his mediocre stewardship of the economy, and his failure to stem rising sectarian and tribal violence. As the ruling All Progressives Congress struggles with defections to the opposition, Falz’s song addresses precisely the systemic issues that the authorities would rather avoid ahead of the vote.

Why it doesn’t: As of this writing, the video had garnered 13.5 million views on YouTube. How many of those views are domestic as opposed to foreign is impossible to say. But in a country that now boasts more than 100 million internet connections it’s hard to hide the picture of Nigeria that Falz paints.

Microsoft released a new annual report, called the Digital Defense Report, covering cybersecurity trends from the past year. This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware. Given the leap in attack sophistication in the past year, it is more important than ever that steps are taken to establish new rules of the road for cyberspace: that all organizations, whether government agencies or businesses, invest in people and technology to help stop attacks; and that people focus on the basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies, and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication. Microsoft summarized some of the most important insights in this year's report, including related suggestions for people and businesses.

Read the whole post and report at Microsoft On The Issues.

On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

The enormous scale of the coronavirus pandemic was captured earlier this week as the global death toll surpassed 1 million people. As the weight of the grim milestone sunk in, the New York Times noted that COVID-19 has now killed more people this year than the scourges of HIV, malaria, influenza, and cholera — combined. While some countries like Germany and South Korea are models in how to curb the virus' spread through social distancing and mask wearing, other countries around the world have recently seen caseloads surge again, raising fears of a dreaded "second wave" of infections. Here's a look at countries where the per-capita caseload has spiked in recent days.

Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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