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Tanzanian President John Magufuli inspects the troops, independence day 2017. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The World Bank has withdrawn a $300 million loan intended for education in Tanzania, citing the country's policy of banning pregnant girls from school.

The bigger picture: The decision comes with Tanzania, as the Economist puts it, "on the descent from patchy democracy towards slapdash dictatorship."

  • "Barely a week passes without brazen displays of arbitrary power" from President John Magufuli.
  • "Opposition members of parliament who refuse to accept bribes (the going rate is 60m shillings, or $26,200) to cross the aisle and join the ruling party are arrested. ... Last year Tundu Lissu, an MP, was shot and injured outside his home."
  • "Tanzania, the third-largest aid recipient in sub-Saharan Africa, has been a darling of donors since the 1990s, when it seemed to be consolidating its democracy and also reducing poverty. Now, after a decade or so during which freedoms began to flourish, Tanzanians are facing both economic hardship and repression."

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

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