French soldiers patrol in armoured personnel carriers during the Barkhane operation in northern Burkina Faso in 2019. Michele Cattani/AFP via Getty Images

France in the Sahel: a case of the reluctant multilateralist?

More than 20 years after the shift from unilateralism to multilateralism, it is reasonable to wonder how multilateral France’s ‘new interventionism’ really is.
In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., engineers observed the first driving test for the Mars rover, Perseverance. Perseverance will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars’ climate and geology, and collect samples for a future return to Earth. NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s big move to search for life on Mars – and to bring rocks home

This summer, NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is taking the next giant leap in our search for signs of life beyond Earth.
When they suck your blood they can leave behind the parasite that causes sleeping sickness. Patrick Robert/Sygma via Getty Images

Bloodthirsty tsetse flies nurse their young, one live birth at a time – understanding this unusual strategy could help fight the disease they spread

This insect's unique reproductive biology could lead to new ways to control the species in the environment – and prevent the deadly sleeping sickness it spreads to people.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank group president David Malpass have offered debt relief to developing countries.

Why African countries are reluctant to take up COVID-19 debt relief

African countries should tread carefully over the debt relief offered by multilateral institutions and other lenders. It could prove very costly in the medium to long term.
South Africa’s finance minister Tito Mboweni says the IMF loan will limit the country’s economic vulnerabilities which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

The IMF’s $4bn loan for South Africa: the pros, cons and potential pitfalls

The IMF loan does not impose any conditions over and above what is in South African law on how the funds can be used; it only seems to expect the country to implement policies already announced.

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