We’re Jammin’

NEED TO KNOW KENYA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/042c2340-7f46-4be6-b8d2-b99757193837.png"] Everywhere in Kenya these days, people are jamming, on corners, at gas stations, and even on buses. That’s because there’s a presidential election Tuesday and appealing to the youth vote – 40 percent of the electorate – is critical for a win. But...

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Floating On

NEED TO KNOW Floating On EGYPT [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/180d3d63-0093-422e-a6d2-b3d9896f0053.png"] The houseboats of the Nile River in Egypt have a storied past. Many believe the pharaohs used them thousands of years ago for long river voyages, the BBC explained, while in the 19th and 20th centuries Ottoman and British military leaders used...

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The Great War, Redux

NEED TO KNOW The Great War, Redux DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ed507180-9c5f-4223-b88c-6f054c876a9f.png"] The Great African War, or the African World War, took place in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. As many as six million people...

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Do Not Pass Go

NEED TO KNOW Do Not Pass Go SUDAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/224b0e8f-5be6-4e44-b799-a1b865717c98.png"] A court in Sudan recently sentenced a woman to death by stoning on adultery charges. The cruel decision, the first in a decade, is bad enough, the Guardian reported. But some Sudanese worry that it heralds a new era...

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Make Some Noise

NEED TO KNOW Make Some Noise SENEGAL [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3676cf10-2f23-4295-b085-c86147830390.png"] The leader of Senegal’s opposition, Yewwi Askan Wi, asked his fellow citizens to bang pots and pans in the streets to show their displeasure with the regime of President Macky Sall. The result was a lot of banging. “I'm here to...

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Country First

NEED TO KNOW Country First SOUTH AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5516b8d6-0af4-46a7-8454-a3339ff1009f.png"] At a recent demonstration against foreigners in South Africa, Mary Lowe said she was marching because an undocumented immigrant killed her nephew. "We are basically fighting against all the crime committed by foreigners who are illegally in the country," Lowe,...

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No Place Like Home

NEED TO KNOW No Place Like Home AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8aca45b-1687-4d5b-b62c-09186470d8a2.png"] Khady Sene, 53, has a problem – rising seawater claimed her ancestral home in Saint-Louis, Senegal four years ago. It happened to be located on the Atlantic coast of the country, a place the United Nations has determined is...

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Too Many Cooks

NEED TO KNOW Too Many Cooks MALI [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1f6bfc52-cbc4-4acf-9a51-d98604de3d93.png"] Armed men riding motorcycles shot and killed two Red Cross workers in western Mali recently, according to the international humanitarian organization. Their killers were not identified. Still, for the past decade, Islamist militants with ties to Al Qaeda and also...

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The Old Malignancy

NEED TO KNOW The Old Malignancy WEST AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/8bda180e-c600-c3ec-d2fb-e8dfad709a2d.png"] Sixty alleged terrorists on motorcycles attacked a military checkpoint in Kpinkankandi on the Togo side of the border with Burkina Faso recently, killing eight soldiers and wounding 13. The troops were there to stop al Qaeda, Islamic State and...

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A Faustian Bargain

NEED TO KNOW A Faustian Bargain CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/c7e5325a-3ac2-4df5-8925-90bdfbdaf0d9.png"] Soldiers with links to Russia recently beat, tortured and executed civilians in the Central African Republic. The soldiers included mercenaries employed by the Wagner Group, a Russian private military security contractor, said Human Rights Watch. The United Nations...

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When the Show Doesn’t Go On

NEED TO KNOW When the Show Doesn't Go On SOUTH AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5516b8d6-0af4-46a7-8454-a3339ff1009f.png"] Environmentalists on the Wild Coast, a region of South Africa, are demonstrating and litigating against a proposed seismic survey that would help Shell’s oil offshore explorations. The activists said the survey will include loud sound waves...

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No Free Lunch

NEED TO KNOW No Free Lunch ANGOLA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e580f12f-c318-4898-ba82-0cb1373117e3.png"] Angolans traditionally offer meals of cornmeal or cassava porridge and beans with palm oil in honor of a recently departed loved one. Now hunger and high unemployment have led desperate Angolans to hang around cemeteries and then follow the families...

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Looky, Looky

NEED TO KNOW Looky, Looky SOMALILAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3acb250d-c8fb-ab06-e014-2db36946b098.png"] Though technically part of war-torn Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, has governed itself for 30 years as a democracy and avoided the bloodshed that has plagued the rest of Somalia. Now Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi thinks it's time for...

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Shopping Around

NEED TO KNOW Shopping Around AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8aca45b-1687-4d5b-b62c-09186470d8a2.png"] Around 45 percent of the European Union’s gas comes from Russia. In the next few months, EU officials expect to unveil a plan to phase out those and other fossil fuel imports over the next four years in response to Russian...

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A Long, Crooked Road

NEED TO KNOW A Long, Crooked Road SOMALIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/15cd6f05-9c0c-4887-86f7-20dad73138cf.png"] Al-Shabab terrorists recently killed five people, including two children, in an attack in the Darussalam neighborhood in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, a newly developed district that has received much investment in recent years. The violence came on the...

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The Sentiments of Coups

NEED TO KNOW The Sentiments of Coups BURKINA FASO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/0c0197a8-9ef4-4935-9656-24fbfbb32b2e.png"] A series of coups have rocked West Africa in recent weeks. The latest, Burkina Faso, provides a picture as to how unstable governments in the region are falling as military leaders come to believe nobody else can take...

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Easy Come, Easy Go

NEED TO KNOW Easy Come, Easy Go MALI [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1f6bfc52-cbc4-4acf-9a51-d98604de3d93.png"] Leaders in Mali recently ordered Danish troops out of the country, saying they never received permission to operate there with a French-led counterterrorism force. Danish officials said they had a “clear invitation” to deploy to the West African country,...

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Class is Sort Of in Session

NEED TO KNOW Class is Sort Of in Session UGANDA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/eae01c28-7782-4a11-9e2b-886217499c6a.png"] More than half of Ugandan students stopped attending school at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. Only recently did schools reopen, ending the longest school shutdown in the world. But few experts believe the...

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No More Mr. Nice Guy

NEED TO KNOW No More Mr. Nice Guy ETHIOPIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bf55b5d2-7db8-404a-b87b-c88a42597d29.png"] Air strikes have become a routine part of life in northern Ethiopia. The strikes are part of the ongoing 14-month-long civil war between Ethiopian central government forces and the Tigray People's Liberation Front, a group that once held power...

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Falling From Grace

NEED TO KNOW Falling From Grace BENIN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2f9461ee-c4e6-4b8e-a1ae-3fd929fd2dfa.png"] Benin’s former justice minister, Reckya Madougou, had been planning to run for president against cotton magnate Patrice Talon in April. She would have been the country's first female presidential candidate. And she had a good chance at unseating the incumbent. Instead,...

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