Monday, March 26, 2018

In Silicon Valley, a tech company valued at $1 billion is called a unicorn. Silicon Valley has spawned herds of unicorns, such as Uber and Airbnb. But Africa hasn’t, despite some fast-growing economies – think Ethiopia and Nigeria – and the world’s fastest-growing population. So what does it take to build a thriving technology company in which black techies, their financial backers and markets can flourish? That’s what we explore in a new VOA documentary, as we go in search of Africa’s Unicorns.
On March 26, 1812, a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term ‘gerrymander,’ which describes oddly shaped electoral districts that are specifically designed to help incumbents or a candidate from a specific party to win re-election. Federalist newspaper editors at the time compared the shape of one newly drawn district to a salamander. The word ‘gerrymander’ was a blend of that word and Governor Elbridge Gerry’s last name. (Image: The newly drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature to favor the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.)
Move over Silicon Valley — Austin, Texas, just might be the next big tech hub. The city currently known as the ‘live music capital of the world’ is evolving and tech leaders like Google and Apple are taking notice. Here’s why more and more tech companies are opening up shop in the city some techies are already calling ‘Silicon Ranch.’
Six teenagers are running for governor of Kansas. There’s no minimum age requirement to run for the state’s top office. The youthful group includes three Republicans, a Democrat, Libertarian and Independent. VOA travels to Kansas to meet the candidates and their parents. 
VIDEO: Shin Soon-kyu knows all about the American Dream. The South Korean immigrant attended Harvard and MIT, and now works as an analyst for a major Wall Street firm in New York City. What makes Shin’s achievements all the more remarkable is that he was diagnosed with glaucoma as a newborn in Seoul and went completely blind by the age of nine.
A transgender TV anchor is making news in Pakistan. Marvia Malik, the country’s first and only transgender news anchor, recently made her debut on a live prime time news show. It’s quite a development in a traditional country where transgender people are often mocked, and are expected to earn their livelihood mainly by dancing, begging or working in the sex trade.
In turbulent political times in Washington, the voice of veteran US Senator John McCain is keenly missed by lawmakers across the political spectrum. The longtime US senator has been gone since December receiving treatment for brain cancer. Known for his fiery floor speeches, McCain’s impact extends far beyond the votes he casts.
The Arctic tundra is slowly reclaiming a city in Russia’s far north. The collapse of the Soviet Union and closure of local mines prompted the exodus of two-thirds of Vorkuta’s population over the past three decades. In one suburb, the shells of former theaters and ice-bound playgrounds hint at happier times. One complex of 80 apartments has one single resident, a 50-year-old retiree. ‘The settlement is dying,” he tells VOA. ‘ You could say it is already dead.’

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