Editor's note

The Kingdom of Kush was a major power for more than 2000 years in the region where, today, Sudan meets Egypt. Temples and sacred sites were a crucial part of Kushite life - and it was an accepted practice for visitors to these sites to carve graffiti to mark their presence. Suzanne Davis and Geoff Emberling explain what the ancient graffiti meant, and efforts being made to preserve it today.

After years of wrangling, the Indian parliament finally passed a law in July which criminalised talaq-i-biddat – the act of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by pronouncing the word “talaq” three times. Triple talaq can now be punished with a fine and three-year jail term. But the new law has divided Muslim women’s groups in India, writes Justin Jones, with some saying the penalties are unnecessary and others arguing that they are the only real deterrent.

Natasha Joseph

Assistant Editor: News and Research and Science & Technology Editor

Top Stories

Graffiti bullheads carved on the temple walls. RTI: Suzanne Davis and Janelle Batkin-Hall/IKAP, 2016

Temple graffiti reveals stories from ancient Sudan

Suzanne Davis, University of Michigan; Geoff Emberling, University of Michigan

Visitors to these sites had one particular religious ritual that may strike some as strange: they carved graffiti in important and sacred places.

Protests by the All India Democratic Women’s Association in Mumbai against the new law. Divyakant Solanki/EPA

India: why a new law criminalising Muslim ‘instant divorce’ has divided feminists

Justin Jones, University of Oxford

The Indian government’s recent criminalisation of instant 'triple-talaq' divorce has stoked dispute among the very people it purports to protect: Muslim women.

Environment + Energy

Bamboo architecture: Bali’s Green School inspires a global renaissance

Davina Jackson, University of Kent

Bamboo has been used since ancient times for building, but only in recent decades has pioneering work in Bali inspired its wider use for substantial and enduring structures.

Uganda offers lessons in tapping the power of solid waste

Shuaib Lwasa, Makerere University

Residents have come up with solutions to make usable products out of organic waste materials.

En français

Quelle protection juridique pour les forêts ?

Marta Torre-Schaub, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

De la difficulté de protéger à l’échelle mondiale des forêts essentielles à l’équilibre climatique global mais sous la tutelle d’États souverains.

Comment sortir de la crise meurtrière qui déchire le Cameroun ?

Cheryl Hendricks, Human Sciences Research Council; Gabriel Ngah Kiven, University of Johannesburg

Les anglophones du Cameroun souffrent d’une marginalisation flagrante et sont traités comme des citoyens de seconde zone par le gouvernement francophone.

Politics + Society

Why Syrian refugees have no negative effects on Jordan’s labour market

Jackline Wahba, University of Southampton

Jordan has a huge number of Syrian refugees and since 2016 it has let them legally enter the workforce.

The African free trade zone can’t ignore continent’s security issues

Christian Abadioko Sambou, Université de Lille

Given that some states are being asked to increase their presence in border and remote areas, free trade and free movement of goods and people could become a real cause for concern.

En español

El violador que actúa en grupo es más joven y agresivo que el solitario

César San Juan, Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Aunque es difícil conocer la cifra exacta por el carácter social del delito, el número de casos de violaciones en grupo va mucho más allá de las conocidas "manadas". El perfil de estos violadores es, además, completamente distinto al de los violadores solitarios.

Cómo la tecnología digital puede ayudar a los pequeños agricultores de África

Abdul-Rahim Abdulai, University of Guelph; Emily Duncan, University of Guelph; Evan Fraser, University of Guelph

Se han dado pasos positivos para involucrar a los pequeños productores en la agricultura digital en África