Editor's note

Limited access to formal banks as well as nomadic lifestyles have contributed to a huge uptake in mobile money in Somalia. It’s more widely used than cash. But there are dangers, particularly given that operators aren’t tightly regulated. In an interview with Victor Owour, mobile money expert Tim Kelly explains why mobile money has become ubiquitous in the country, and why a lack of regulation makes the system fragile and fragmented.

Speculation is mounting of possible military intervention in Venezuela to topple the country’s president Nicolás Maduro. This follows rising tension in the region following neighbouring Colombia’s alignment with US foreign policy. Louis Monroy-Santander writes that the US has often used indirect means to influence events in South America, using allied forces and governments in the region.

Moina Spooner

Commissioning Editor: East Africa

Top Stories

About nine out of ten Somalis above the age of 16 own a phone. Omar Abdisalan/Amisom/Flickr

Mobile money transfers have taken off in Somalia. But there are risks

Victor Odundo Owuor, University of Colorado

Mobile money transfers have become the norm in Somalia. Transactions total as much as $2.7bn a month.

How do you solve a problem like Maduro? EPA Images

Tensions rise between Colombia, US and Venezuela amid rumours of a military intervention

Louis Monroy-Santander, Durham University

Colombia's new president Ivan Duque has some big issues in his inbox.

Science + Technology

How we solved a centuries-old mystery by discovering a rare form of star collision

Albert Zijlstra, University of Manchester

The 'oldest known nova' (a star explosion) in the sky was actually not a nova, astronomers show.

First Man: a new vision of the Apollo 11 mission to set foot on the Moon

Alice Gorman, Flinders University; Heather L. Robinson, Flinders University

The new film is a down-to-Earth portrayal of astronaut Neil Armstrong and our complex relationship with the Moon.

Health + Medicine

Women with heart disease in sub-Saharan Africa face challenges, but stigma may be worst of all

Allison Webel, Case Western Reserve University; Andrew Chang, Stanford University

Noncommunicable diseases are a growing problem in Africa. Among women, heart disease is a particular concern. Medication to treat it can interfere with pregnancy, making women undesirable partners.

Weight stigma: five unspoken truths

Tara Coltman-Patel, Nottingham Trent University

The results of stigma can be deeply damaging – we all need to show greater sensitivity.