contents
Your weekly briefing on the state of 
humanity
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
The 'other'
NEWS FEATURE 1
Is President Trump on the brink of a new Watergate?
NEWS FEATURE 2
Playing with Greek fire
DIGEST AMERICAS
No Trump bump for Twitter’s profits
DIGEST EUROPE
Fed up with taking the flak, Brussels launches a revamp
DIGEST EUROPE
Martin Schulz’s bid to topple Merkel hits turbulence
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Did Kim Jong-un order his own half-brother’s assassination?
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Kim’s missiles pose a major foreign policy challenge for Trump
DIGEST AFRICA
Former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor phones allies from UK prison
DIGEST AFRICA
The resignation of a general shines further light on the atrocities in South Sudan
DIGEST AFRICA
Armyworms and drought threaten millions of people in southern and eastern Africa
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Siege, chemical weapons and misinformation: How Assad broke Aleppo
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
Is the two-state solution dead and buried?
THE PICTURE
Basking in a purifying golden glow
GOOD NEWS
Testing for Ebola in 15 mins
Malaysian aid for Rohingyas arrives in Bangladesh
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
People in numbers
IN SCIENCE
De-extinction: Not such a mammoth task?
IN MEDICINE
Why are we so bad at remembering details?
IN TECHNOLOGY
A white dwarf star contains the building blocks for life
roadsandkingdoms.com
The Friendliest Border - Roads & Kingdoms
foreignpolicy.com
The Blackwater of Jihad
africanarguments.org
The Strong Breed: The rise and fall of Africa’s great literary leaders | African Arguments

Economic stormclouds roll across southern Africa

Mozambican Politics
See 4 more
Central square in Maputo, Mozambique, 2015.
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
Central square in Maputo, Mozambique, 2015.
F or much of the past decade, Mozambique has been an African success story, with one of the world’s fastest growing economies. However, it is now in the throes of a debt crisis, with money owed now reaching levels that are more than double annual GDP. Consequently, last week, the government in Maputo announced that they would be forced to seek to restructure payments and request aid from IMF.
High commodity prices through the early and mid 2000s meant that many were happy to lend to resource rich Mozambique, but as these prices have fallen since 2014, Mozambique has been unable to keep up, and the value of its currency has crashed. The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) says the “immediate trigger” of the crisis was loans made “irresponsibly” in April by Credit Suisse and VTB, which were not sanctioned by Mozambique’s Parliament. These loans were made in secret, and their revelation has led to the IMF and the World Bank ceasing lending.The JDC warns that Mozambique is not the only African nation facing economic problems due to falling commodity prices, and point to similar situations emerging in Zambia and Ghana.
Across the border in Zimbabwe, things are looking little better. There, they are experiencing a vast cash shortage, with banks running low on US dollars, the de facto currency. The situation is being made worse as people rush to withdraw their savings. This has prompted Robert Mugabe’s government to introduce a new currency, called “bond notes”. These notes will, in theory, have their value tied to American dollars, but many observers fail to see how this is different from the government simply printing money.  Having experienced periods of massive hyperinflation before, this seems like it might be the start of a recurring nightmare for many Zimbabweans.
Luca Tiratelli
31 October 2016 - last edited 31 October 2016