Progress on Malaria – This week saw a potentially important victory in the war against malaria, which kills one child somewhere in the world every two minutes. Children under five are most at risk, especially in Africa. The southern African nation of Malawi began a landmark large-scale pilot program to immunize young children against malaria with the first vaccine that gives partial protection against the disease. The vaccine will protect only one-third of children under two years old from severe malaria, but clinical trials suggest those immunized are likely to have less severe cases of the disease. Smaller trials found that the vaccine prevented four in 10 cases of malaria in babies aged between five and 17 months.

Cuba's Ostrich Obsession – General Guillermo García Frías, a 91-year-old revolutionary comrade of the late Fidel Castro, raised eyebrows recently when he said on Cuban state television that Cubans should eat more ostrich. But it was his suggestion that an ostrich can produce more meat than a cow that pulled viewers out of their seats and onto social media, where they created some hilarious memes at the general's expense. Black comedy aside, this episode should set off alarm bells in the Cuban government. More Cubans now have Internet access, including on mobile phones, and hardships have only sharpened their sense of humor.

What We're Ignoring: Indonesian Hiccups and Scottish Independence

A Hiccup in Prabowo's Strategy – Opposition presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto declared victory following Indonesia's April 17 election. Though official results won't be announced until next month, Prabowo appears to be one of the very few people on Earth who believe he'll be Indonesia's next president. His claim is so dubious, in fact, that his vice-presidential running mate, Sandiaga Uno, did not appear on stage with him during his "victory" speech. When asked to explain his absence, Sandiaga claimed he'd had a debilitating attack of "non-stop hiccups." Sandiaga has since appeared with Prabowo, but he doesn't look happy about it.

Another Scotland Independence Referendum – Scotland will hold another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this week. She intends the vote to be held before May 2021, when the current term ends for Scotland's parliament. A referendum on this question failed in 2014 by a margin of 55-45 percent, but Sturgeon hopes that frustration and fear provoked by Brexit will flip the score. We're ignoring this story (for now) because much will happen over the next two years.

1,600: US-led coalition air and artillery strikes killed more than 1,600 civilians during the offensive to oust ISIS from the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2017, according to Amnesty International and monitoring group Airwars. The coalition has set the number of civilian casualties at 180.

18: A 2018 report from Freedom House, a democracy watchdog, noted that 18 countries (so far) now use Chinese-made intelligent monitoring systems and 36 have received training in topics like "public opinion guidance," a euphemism for censorship. The list of countries includes the UAE, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kenya, and Germany.

94 trillion: The world will need $94 trillion in investment in roads, water systems, and telecom infrastructure by 2040, according to the G20's Global Infrastructure Hub. China's Belt Road Initiative will contribute about $1 trillion in investment, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Hat tip to Fareed Zakaria).

3: Three generals, all of them closely aligned with Sudan's deposed dictator Omar Bashir, have resigned in the face of mounting public protest. This is the latest sign that, at least for now, the balance of power in Sudan remains with demonstrators rather than the military.

Should Sri Lanka have blocked social media following the terror attacks?

That's a hard one. Misinformation spreads on social media and there's an instinct to say, "Wait, stop it!" But a lot of useful information also spreads and people get in touch with each other. So I would say no they should not have blocked it.

Are Tesla cars at risk of exploding?

There was one video from China of a parked Tesla exploding. I don't think you really have to worry about it though. I am curious to know what that video was really about.

Why do tech companies hate the census citizenship question?

Because if you ask people whether they're citizens. A lot of people will answer and you'll get bad data and the card companies need to know where they set up their operations. Good data matter to Silicon Valley.

What happened during the Space X Crew Dragon accident?

We don't know this one for sure either but one of the engines in a SpaceX test exploded. No one was hurt. Let's hope it was something to do with the way it was set up - not something deep and systematic.


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

In post-ISIS Iraq, family members of ISIS fighters are facing death sentences, simply for being related to the former fighters. "It's a 98% conviction rate," says New Yorker's BenTaub.

After the ISIS caliphate fell in Iraq, a question hung over much of the country. What comes next? On today's show Ian talks to Ben Taub, a New Yorker magazine reporter who was recently was on-the-ground in Mosul, Iraq.

What should be a bigger priority for me: saving for my children's education or saving for retirement?

This one hurts me. It hurts me to say this, because I've got children, and I really like 'em a lot. It's gotta be your retirement. I know that doesn't feel right as a parent, but if you have to make a choice, there are scholarships and there are loans for college. Nobody ever got a scholarship for retirement. And so this is one where you need to strap your oxygen mask on before assisting others, and — as much as it hurts me — to put yourself first.

The stock market's had a good year so far. Is now a good time to invest?

Yeah! Wow, what a difference. Remember December? I remember sitting, December 24th, when the market was down like 2.4 or 2.5% and it was just like [choking sound]. And it's up 16% since then. Now it feels like, gosh, maybe this isn't a good time to invest. But let's be perfectly clear: You have no idea. And anybody who says they have an idea has no idea. No one knows where the market is going from one week or one year to the next. There are just too many factors into it. So you want to — for those of you who are familiar with the term — dollar-cost average. For those of you who aren't, you want to invest through up markets and down, a bit out of every paycheck, sometimes it'll be lower, sometimes it'll be higher, and then it evens out over time which doesn't feel sexy, but actually is very sexy. It's very sexy in order to earn market returns, because most folks don't.


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues.


499: Burkina Faso has long been one of West Africa's more peaceful nations, but conflict has spiked in recent months, as anti-government groups and Islamic extremists have expanded. Some 449 civilian fatalities were registered there over the past five months, 70 times the count during the same period last year.

32 million: By the 2020 US presidential election, 32 million Hispanics are expected to be registered to vote, surpassing the number of registered African-American voters for the first time ever. Roughly two-thirds of Hispanic voters have supported Democratic candidates in recent elections.

25: Over the first two months of 2019, the murder rate in Brazil dropped by a sizable 25 percent compared to the same period last year. That could give a boost to President Jair Bolsonaro, who campaigned on a pledge to improve law and order.

90: It can now more expensive to buy a house for the dead in Hong Kong than for the living—with burial plots running from $382,000 to $637,000. Space is so expensive that 90 percent of those who die in Hong Kong opt to be cremated – and finding an affordable spot for ashes ain't cheap either.

Are tensions rising in Northern Ireland?

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