Black panther, Cholera, Babangida: Your Wednesday briefing

Hepatitis E claims a third victim in Namibia
Namibia’s Goreangab residents use contaminated water. Photo: New Era

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Good morning, Here are yesterday’s top stories, and a look ahead – Click on any title to read the complete story.

Feras Fayyad’s Oscar-nominated film has come under attack as ‘western propaganda’. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

THE film-maker behind the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppohas been targeted by a smear campaign that seeks to paint him as a terrorist sympathiser in the run up to the Academy Awards.

Feras Fayyad spent a year following a handful of volunteer rescue workers in the besieged Syrian city as they rushed towards bombed buildings to try and find people in the rubble. The resulting documentary has earned widespread critical praise and won awards including the Sundance grand jury prize.

However, the international recognition has been accompanied by an organized attempt to tarnish the film-maker’s reputation, following a playbook of Russia-backed disinformation and manipulation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to call the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to order.

Human rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, made the call in a statement.

Mr. Ogunye said Mr. Idris decision to declare Kassim Afegbua wanted for releasing a statement on behalf of ex-military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, was improper.

The cholera outbreak in Chegutu is now under control, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said. Speaking after touring health and council facilities in Chegutu and Norton on Saturday, Dr Parirenyatwa said while Government was attending to all suspected cholera cases, no one is admitted to any hospital over the disease at the moment.

Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN

He said there was no need to panic over the disease, while increasing alertness in the communities.

“No one is admitted for cholera across Zimbabwe at the moment. We had 94 cases of suspected cholera and only six were positive. Unfortunately, four of these cases recorded in Chegutu were fatal,” he said.


The pushback against an attempt to lower the superhero movie’s score on Rotten Tomatoes has shown that the culture war’s latest battleground is still raging.

You come at the king, you best not miss. Last week, an attempt to maliciously derail the record-setting rollout of Black Panther – Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster spotlighting the lithe warrior-monarch T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) – was itself promptly derailed. A scurrilous Facebook event page, whose stated purpose was to “give Black Panther a rotten audience score on Rotten Tomatoes” purported to be a grassroots protest against Disney and its “treatment of franchises and its fanboys”. Amid garbled claims that the corporation that owns Marvel had somehow paid off critics to trash the recent crop of superhero movies from their longstanding rival DC, the page organisers encouraged the use of hashtags like #DownWithDisney and #DCOverMarvel as social media rallying points.

Photo: Twitter/Reuters

Israel has started handing out notices to 20,000 male African migrants giving them two months to leave the country or risk being thrown in jail.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is offering the migrants, most of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea, $3,500 and a plane ticket to what it says is a safe destination in another country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The fate of some 37,000 Africans in Israel is posing a moral dilemma for a state founded as haven for Jews from persecution and a national home. The right-wing government is under pressure from its nationalist voter base to expel the migrants, while others are calling for them to be taken in.

  • Today’s recipe: Braised lamb with red wine and prunes
Sam Kaplan for The New York Times. Food stylist: Susan Ottoviano.

Though far less glorified than rib chops or legs, lamb shoulder is explosively delicious and juicy – also, cheap. Like the shoulders of pigs and cows, it is a hardworking muscle rippled with intramuscular fat, which makes it ideal for stewing or braising.

But the shoulder’s not that hardworking, which keeps it tender enough to be subjected to the shorter blasts of heat typically reserved for more elegant cuts. Here, it’s braised in a flavorful mixture of prunes, red wine and spices until tender.

Three games, 15 goals; yes, you’ve got to love the old FA Cup. A great night for Swansea City, Rochdale and Huddersfield Town, one to forget certainly for Notts County. Just the one fourth-round tie remains: can Newport County go to Wembley and knock the eight-time winners Tottenham Hotspur out? Join us tomorrow evening on the MBM to find out.

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