While the public health focus in some of the world remains firmly fixed on COVID and its latest variant, in many countries familiar foes have again put immense strain on hospitals and medical staff. Dengue fever is a viral infection carried by mosquitos, and cases in Delhi are now reported to be at a five-year high. Meanwhile, the WHO is reporting an increase in malaria among children in sub-Saharan Africa. 

It is 30 years since the Soviet Union was ushered into the history books. Among those who documented its final phase is James Rogers, a former BBC Moscow correspondent. Now an academic, he here reflects on the events of 1991, and stresses the importance history plays in understanding of the present.

And the latest edition of The Conversation Weekly considers the dramatic advances in astronomy the imminent launch of the James Webb Space Telescope promises. It’s a subject we also cover in our French edition this week.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AAP

After a horrific COVID wave, India’s health system is now overwhelmed by a different virus

GVS Murthy, Indian Institute of Public Health

After health systems collapsed due to COVID, India’s hospitals are once again buckling, but this time due to Dengue.

New age: the flag of the Soviet Union is taken down for the last time as the Russian flag is raised over Moscow for the first time. EPA/ Vassili Korneyev

Writing history: 30 years on, a former Moscow correspondent reflects on the end of the USSR

James Rodgers, City, University of London

Former BBC reporter James Rodgers reflects on the end of the Soviet Union and finds lessons for today.

Dotted Yeti/Shutterstock

James Webb Space Telescope: what astronomers hope it will reveal about the beginning of the universe – podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

Plus, the tactics the food industry is using to boost sales of ultra-processed foods in middle-income countries. Listen to The Conversation Weekly.

Yuma Taru. The spiral of life – the tongue of the cloth (yan pal ana hmali) – a mutual dialogue 2021 Ramie suspended from metal threads / 500 x 250cm (diam.); installed dimensions variable / Commissioned for APT10 Courtesy: The artist and Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Centre

Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art shows how our local differences demand curiosity and care

Chari Larsson, Griffith University

This exhibition highlights the diversity and range of artistic practices across the Asia Pacific region.

No need to ‘iel’: why France is so angry about a gender-neutral pronoun

Albin Wagener, Université de Rennes 2

No one is forcing people to use “iel” with a gun to their head. But paradoxically, by making the pronoun the focus of attention, critics are inevitably making it more popular.

The Conversation in French and Spanish

James Webb Space Telescope : que va-t-il se passer après le décollage ?

Christophe Cossou, Université de Paris; Dan Dicken, Université Paris-Saclay; Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Université de Paris

Le JWST est replié dans Ariane 5. Avant de nous envoyer ses premières données scientifiques, il va se déployer dans l’espace et être testé pour s’assurer que ses instruments fonctionnent.

‘Sexo en NY’ en 2021: ¿y ahora qué?

Talia Rodríguez-Martelo, Universidade de Vigo

Con motivo del estreno de ‘And just like that…’ echamos la vista atrás para ver todo lo bueno y lo malo que tenía la versión original de ‘Sexo en Nueva York’.