NIGERIA

The fertile world of Nigerian patois

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NO COMPLIMENT was too flowery at the launch in May of “Antidotes for Corruption”, a book by Dino Melaye, a Nigerian senator who has fended off numerous allegations of graft. “What is being launched today is, ipso facto, a new potent Intercontinental Ballistic-cum-Cruise missile—an unassailable Assault weapon against, arguably, Mankind’s Enemy Number One: Corruption,” read the opening sentence of a leaflet handed out at the event. The 43-year-old politician was described as a “unique, strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn, determined, intelligent, prolific and even sexy young man in his prime”. It is not just Nigerian politics that is prone to verbal flourishes. In December Arik Air, an airline, blamed flight cancellations on the “epileptic” supply of aviation fuel (it was bailed out by t

How climate change might affect the Nile

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TO THE untrained eye, the satellite photos of north-west Ethiopia on July 10th may have seemed benign. They showed a relatively small pool of water next to an enormous building site on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile river. But the project under construction is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is more than halfway complete. And the water is why it is so controversial. Since Ethiopia announced its plan to build the dam, it has inspired threats of sabotage from Egypt, which sits downstream and relies on the Nile for electricity, farming and drinking water. Egypt claims that it is entitled to a certain proportion of the Nile’s water based on colonial-era treaties. Ethiopia dismisses those agreements. The pool of water in the photos suggested that it was beginning to

Israeli spy shows are conquering the world

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What’s “Allahu akbar” in Chinese? THERE are only about 9m Hebrew-speakers, yet Netflix, an online video service, now offers a dozen Hebrew-language shows to its subscribers. Most Hebrew-speakers will have already seen them on Israeli television, but Netflix is betting that, subtitled, they will attract viewers around the world. Like other television companies, it is excited about drama from Israel. As well as investing in television series, it is behind a new Israeli film, “The Angel”, based on the life of an Egyptian spy run by Mossad. Most of the Israeli shows on offer deal with terrorism, espionage or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is irony here. While Israeli politicians grumble that their country is unfairly portrayed by the media, its television producers are cashing in