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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.

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The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simi, Stonebwoy, Riky Rick, Olamide, Wizkid, La Même Gang and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Cyclone Kenneth Could Be the Second Damaging Storm To Hit Mozambique In Over a Month

Tanzanian authorities have also warned those living along the southern coast to move to safer ground ahead of the storm.

Just shortly after Mozambique was ravaged with the devastating Cyclone Idai in March, the country has been warned of another destructive storm that's heading their way very soon.

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Stonebwoy & Beenie Man's 'Shuga' Is a Full Dose of Energy

Ghana meets Jamaica in this impressive new collaboration.

Stonebwoy, one of Ghana's major dancehall names, links up with Jamaican legend Beenie Man for this new single, "Shuga."

"Shuga" is built on stuttering synth hits and beat work produced by Ghana's StreetBeatz. Stonebwoy and the "King of Dancehall" connect over the energetic rhythm, each delivering their own verses—add one more track to the many stellar cross-Atlantic musical collaborations that have been going on for years, in particular between West Africa and Jamaica.

"This collab is legendary," Stonebwoy wrote on his social media pages.

The single comes paired with a new music video directed by BlingBlang which follows the Ghanaian star and Beenie Man to a railroad station as they turn a train car into a dancehall party. Beenie Man even plays the conductor for a few shots.

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