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March 1, 2021

Cybersecurity
Christina Ayiotis Should Get a Blue Check Mark. So Should Everyone Else

Widespread identity verification on social media platforms would make it harder for malicious actors to impersonate real people.

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo.

December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

October 13, 2021

United States
Happy 246th Birthday to the US Navy!

The U.S. Navy marks 246 years of service.

Navy

July 15, 2020

South Korea
Remembering General Paik Sun-yup

Without Paik’s herculean effort, South Korea as we know it today—a vibrant, capitalist, and liberal democracy—wouldn’t exist.

General Paik Sun-yup, 1950

February 19, 2020

Nigeria
Nigeria Making Its Mark on the English Language

In its February update, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) includes numerous new words of Nigerian origin. Many of the words relate to food preparation, urban transportation, the shortening of conventional English words, and the incorporation of words from indigenous languages. For example, ‘mama put’ refers to female food venders, ‘okada’ are passenger-carrying motorcycles, ‘guber’ refers to gubernatorial, and ‘danfo’ is the Yoruba work for urban minibuses.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks at a podium, effectively a high-table. She is wearing a blouse of varying shades of orange, and is standing in front of a black background speckled with white.

October 13, 2020

International Organizations
Nigerian (and American) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finalist for WTO Director General

The two finalists for the position of director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are Yoo Myung-hee, Republic of Korea, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian and (since 2019) an American citizen.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian woman running for WTO director general, raises her left arm while speaking. She is wearing a traditional headdress.

October 24, 2019

Election 2020
Meet Mark Sanford, Republican Presidential Candidate

Update: Mark Sanford announced on November 12, 2019, that he was ending the campaign.  Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republican voters hovers around 90 percent. Numbers that high normally m…

Mark Sanford

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.

April 18, 2019

Local and Traditional Leadership
South Africa's DA Receives High Marks for Municipal Governance

In the run-up to South Africa’s national elections, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will receive a boost from the Good Governance Africa’s annual Government Performance Index. Good Governance Africa is …

South-Africa-DA-Mmusi-Maimaine

December 4, 2018

South Africa
Mandela Anniversaries Marked by Star-Studded Global Citizen Fundraiser

At the huge FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on December 2, more than one hundred thousand people participated in the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, sponsored by the Motsepe Foundation. The event raised some $7 billion in commitments for the relief of poverty across the African continent, from big corporations, governments, and small donors. Performers included Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Usher, and speakers included a variety of South African political, economic, and traditional leaders, as well as Mandela’s family. In the audience was Oprah, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and numerous other heads of state. The event was hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah.

South-Africa-Global-Citizen-Jay-Z-Beyonce