The French region with a new currency (BBC Travel)

Bayonne, France -- It didn’t take long after my arrival in Bayonne, France, to realise that this riverside town of meandering medieval alleyways flanked by narrow wooden-framed homes is a different kind of Basque Country. French Basque Country counts a population of just less than 300,000, compared to more than two million Spanish Basques, with …

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Why are the Maltese so competitive? (BBC Travel)

Valletta, Malta -- There is a competitive nature that courses through Malta so raw and unbridled that it’s written into the skyline of its capital, Valletta, and permeates across all walks of life on the archipelago. I’m talking about pika – a Maltese word that roughly means ‘a neighbourly rivalry’, but is one of those terms that feels like a fool’s errand when foreigners try to interpret it.

The tiny nation leading a new space race (BBC Future)

As a new space race gathers pace, many tech executives have sold Mars as humankind’s off-Earth destiny. But they may be looking too far afield. Our most immediate chance for life-beyond-Earth lies much closer, a path likely to be blazed by far lesser-known companies. Building colonies on the Moon will “provide a blueprint to Mars”, …

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