Uganda's unenforceable social media tax is augmented by a biometric requirement for SIM card purchases

Uganda's social media tax may be an unenforceable mess, but that doesn't make it harmless (it opens the door to selective enforcement and invites programs of censorship and mass surveillance in the name of fighting "tax evasion") but that's only half of dictator Yoweri Museveni's plan to control the internet. Read the rest

We've got to stop turning our backs on Ebola

Remember back in 2014 when everyone thought that an Ebola outbreak in Africa wouldn't be a problem for North Americans and then – and this is the shit and giggle part – four laboratory-confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever showed up in the United States? Everyone, justifiably, freaked out. The panic didn't last, though. As the countries like Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone began to report that the control measures put in place to stem the spread of the disease were starting to have an effect, the notion of Ebola being the big-bad of our time faded from the public eye. But just because you can't see something doesn't mean it can't hurt you.

From the CBC:

Cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in an area of Congo facing an Ebola epidemic as long ago as December and the first deaths were reported in January, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, as four new suspected cases surfaced.

The health ministry said on Tuesday that at least 17 people had died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola, although it did not give a time-frame for the deaths.

Only two confirmed cases: no big deal, right? It's hard to say.

Ebola takes time to show itself. Someone who's contracted the disease can wander around, feeling great and infecting people as they go, for weeks, before any symptoms arise. According to the CBC, this time around, while only two cases of the disease have been confirmed, experts on the ground suspect that four new cases, including two nurses who were treating individuals infected with Ebola, will soon be verified as well. Read the rest

The BBC has a pidgin service

The BBC's pidgin service is aimed at West African audiences; it is a pure delight. Read the rest