French president Hollande  after his speech during the annual gathering of French ambassadors at the Élysée Palace in Paris on August 25th. Photograph:  Philippe Wojazer / EPA/ Pool MaxPPP

When French president François Hollande addressed France’s ambassadors to foreign countries, assembled in the red velvet and gilt reception rooms of t(...)

In India, fertility rates are  down to 2.48 children per woman. Photograph: Reuters/Danish Ismail

For the past 200 years the global population has risen explosively. There were 1 billion humans in 1850. There are 7.3 billion today. Ever since the I(...)

Malian forces patrol through the northern town of Sevare, Mali. Photograph: STR/EPA

Four people held in a hotel in central Mali after an attack by Islamic extremists have been freed following a stand-off with the army and special forc(...)

Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita  reviews troops in Kati, near Bamako, on August 6th, 2015, after visiting soldiers injured in an attack on their camp in northern Mali on August 3rd which left 11 soldiers dead. Photograph: Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images

Suspected Islamist gunmen were holding as many as 10 hostages on Friday after at least eight people died following an attack on a hotel in central Ma(...)

Lefah Ballo with his partner, Caitríona Rodgerson, and their daughter, Nina, in Churchtown, Dublin. The couple met in Africa in 2012. Photograph: Eric Luke

The music of Jingle Bells will always remind Ibrahim Ballo of the first day he stepped on to Irish soil. It was December 2nd, 2012, and Ballo, know(...)

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian militant leader reported to have been killed in an American airstrike, is alive and well according to al-Qaeda. Photograph: FBI/The New York Times.

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch has denied reports that Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and th(...)

French president Francois Hollande speaks to journalists upon his arrival in Algiers. Paris and Algiers are enjoying a period of exceptionally good relations. Photograph: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

The leaders of France and Algeria doubtless rejoiced in the reported killing of Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar when they met in president Abdela(...)

Security officers stand at the site of a suicide bombing in Ndjamena, Chad. At least 27 people have been killed in two suspected attacks by Boko Haram in  Chad’s capital. Photograph: Moumine Ngarmbassa/Reuters

At least 27 people, including four suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants, were killed and 100 others injured in two attacks in Chad’s capital, N’Dja(...)

Emily Dickinson: Miss Emily by Nuala Ní Chonchúir, above, (August, Sandstone) looks at the life of the famously reclusive poet through the eyes of 18-year-old Ada Concannon, her Irish maid. Photograph: Emilia Krysztofiak

Things We Have in Common, Tasha Kavanagh (May, Canongate) Yasmin Laksaris is the obese teenage narrator of the English author Tasha Kavanagh’s (...)

A  handout picture taken on Sunday  and released by the MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) shows migrants waiting aboard a wooden boat during a rescue operation in partnership with Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) off the coast of Sicily in the Mediterranean sea. Photograph: AFP 1:20

Nearly 5,800 migrants were plucked from boats off the coast of Libya and 10 bodies were recovered in less than 48 hours, Italy’s coast guard said, in (...)