As they signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all countries pledged to reach and deliver progress for those who are furthest behind first. People caught in crisis – those living in conflict, and those who are displaced within their own countries or across borders – often fall through the cracks of different authorities’ responsibilities or are explicitly excluded by governments in their national and sectoral plans.

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Air pollution can have a “huge” negative effect on cognitive intelligence – especially amongst older men – according to a recent study. The research is one of the first of its kind to focus on the links between air pollution and cognition in older people. It was undertaken by scientists at Peking University in Beijing, China and Yale University in the U.S. and was published in the Proceedings of the National Arecent Academy of Sciences journal.

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Women live and react to those consequences, but they are hardly passive victims. A new feature by National Geographic, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, breaks open the stereotype of "women as victim" and explores the multiple, complex, sometimes conflicting roles women play in conflict: fighters, humanitarians, mothers, daughters, laborers, community leaders and survivors.

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African governments are battling rumors that they are about to hand over state assets to the Chinese. The debt debate is flawed—not least for underestimating Western contributions to African debt. Nevertheless, it is revealing. In particular, the debate reflects an anxiety that has haunted relations between China and the continent since the beginning of this century: the massive power gap between China and individual African countries.

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A new study on Civil War prisoners adds to the evidence suggesting that our parents’—and even grandparents’—experiences might affect our DNA. It found that the sons of Union Army soldiers who endured grueling conditions as prisoners of war were more likely to die young than the sons of soldiers who were not prisoners. In other words, it seemed like the stresses of war were getting passed down between generations.

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