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South African President Jacob Zuma is facing new accusations of influence peddling, in what may be the most perilous scandal of his political career. On its front page Friday, Cape-Town-based Afrikaans-language daily Die Burger asked if this was "The End?" for the South African leader.

Senior public figures accused the Gupta family of close ties to Zuma, and of exerting undue influence. The Guptas, a family of Indian-born businessman, have been accused of offering cabinet posts to two politicians from Zuma's ANC party. Zola Tsotsi, who resigned a year ago as chairman of state power firm Eskom, told the Mail & Guardian daily that his exit was orchestrated by the Guptas.

Zuma's son sits on the boards of at least six Gupta companies. Gupta family members have denied ever trying to influence political appointments, saying they were the victims of a politically motivated plot.

Read more from Reuters.

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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