Editor's note

With millions of people still suffering from chronic undernourishment, the theme of World Food Day this year is zero hunger. Soil could be part of the solution. Frédéric Baudron explains how research in Ethiopia has shown that soil with higher amounts of organic matter produces wheat with more nutrients. Managing soil in ways that makes it healthier is an additional tool in the fight against poor nutrition.

The growing ties between China and Africa have attracted mixed reactions, with some critics slamming what they view as a new form of colonialism by Beijing. They point to the huge discrepancies in power relations amid growing rumours that African leaders are mortgaging their countries’ assets to China, in exchange for investment. But, as Yu-Shan Wu, Chris Alden and Cobus van Staden argue, this narrative is flawed. Instead, African leaders exercise more agency in their relationships with China than they are given credit for.

Economic crises are nothing new to Argentines. That’s why they didn’t hesitate to join foreign investors in dumping their pesos when the telltale signs of yet another crisis began to emerge earlier this year. But with the economy sinking deeper into recession and a severe drought ravaging farmers’ incomes, the government is betting the biggest International Monetary Fund bailout ever – not to mention 60% interest rates – can stabilize the peso. Economist Robert H. Scott III and scholar of Latin American politics Kenneth Mitchell consider whether Argentina can avoid repeating history.

Moina Spooner

Commissioning Editor: East Africa

World Food Day

Farmers in Ethiopia evaluate traits of wheat varieties. Flickr/J.van de Gevel

Study in Ethiopia links healthy soils to more nutritious cereals

Frédéric Baudron, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

More action is needed to increase soil organic matter for the sake of improved nutrition.

Top Stories

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and China’s President Xi Jinping at the 2018 summit in Beijing. EPA-EFE/Andy Wong (Pool)

Ties between African countries and China are complex. Understanding this matters

Yu-Shan Wu, University of the Witwatersrand; Chris Alden, London School of Economics and Political Science; Cobus van Staden, South African Institute of International Affairs

Not enough credit is given to the agency African governments have in their dealings with China.

Argentines protest the austerity measures of the IMF bailout. AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

Argentina bets 60 percent interest rates – and $50B international bailout – will revive its economy

Robert H. Scott III, Monmouth University; Kenneth Mitchell, Monmouth University

A deep recession, a severe drought and a plunging currency have led to the biggest bailout in IMF history. The government hopes it can avoid the meltdowns that followed past crises.

Politics + Society

Migrant money could be keeping Nicaragua’s uprising alive

Benjamin Waddell, Fort Lewis College

Nicaraguan migrants send over US$1 billion home each year. This money has played a changing role in domestic politics – first boosting the Ortega regime and, now, sustaining the uprising against him.

General Pinochet arrest: 20 years on, here’s how it changed global justice

Veronica Diaz-Cerda, Aston University

Two decades ago, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London, putting human rights abuses in the limelight.

Arts + Culture

  • Melania Trump’s pith helmet is not just a hat

    Jacqueline L. Scott, University of Toronto

    When you are the first lady of the United States, your fashion choices are scrutinized. Why did Melania Trump choose to wear a pith helmet, a classic symbol of colonialism?