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Rising Afro-Brazilian Politician Marielle Franco Has Died in a Targeted Assassination in Rio

The city council member was known for her social work in Brazil's favelas and critiques of the police.

Marielle Franco, a popular Afro-Brazilian city council member, was killed alongside her driver Anderson Pedro Gomes by two attackers on a downtown street in Rio de Janeiro last night, The Guardian reports.

She was 38 serving her first term in office.


Rio's head of public security, Richard Nunes, says there would be a "full investigation" into the killings, despite the military's takeover of policing in the city last month from the surge in violence.

According to Dr. Keisha-Khan Y. Perry on Twitter, Franco participated in a panel discussion entitled, "Black Women Moving Structures," shortly before she was killed. Franco streamed the conversation live on her Facebook page. You can view it here.

Police officials say two men in a car fired nine shots into the car carrying Franco and Gomes. A press officer was shot in the back seat—but survived. Officials believe Franco was targeted.

READ: The Seeds of Marielle: These Courageous Afro-Brazilian Women Are Running for State Office Despite the Odds

Franco was a proud Afro-Brazilian and an underdog in Rio politics. She won the fifth highest vote count among council members when she was elected in 2016. She was a police violence expert and recently accused officers of being overly aggressive when searching homes in gang-controlled favelas, The Guardian says.

A member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), Franco was known for her social work in the favelas. Her party called for a march on Friday to protest violence in Rio.

Brazil's public security minister, Raul Jungmann, says federal police will help in the investigation of her death.

Mourners have gathered on social media to laud her commitment to the community and for her radical activism.

UPDATE: Thousands have gathered in Brazil to mourn the loss of Franco as the bodies arrive to City Hall. Watch live via teleSUR English here for the first streaming, here for the second, or below.

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Still taken from music video on YouTube.

Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.

Nigerian artist Joeboy has dropped the visuals for his latest track "Lonely". The new song features on his upcoming debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic which is set to be released on February 4th of this year. The debut album is the official follow-up to Joeboy's debut Love & Light EP which he released back in 2019.
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(Photo by Antoine Gyori/AGP/Corbis via Getty Images)

Tunisian Protests Enter Fourth Consecutive Day

Protesters in Tunisia have been holding anti-government demonstrations for the past four days against the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.

Protests in Tunisia have entered their fourth consecutive day. Hundreds of Tunisians are leading protests across various regions of the country in response to the worsening economic and social crisis. The army has since been called in since the protests began and at least 630 arrests have reportedly been made including that of human rights activist, Hamza Nassri Jeridi. International human rights body Amnesty International has called for Jeridi's release in addition to condemning footage of army officials using excessive force.
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1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.