World News

Millions of deaths could be avoided under new air quality guidelines, WHO says
Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Millions of deaths could be avoided under new air quality guidelines, WHO says

New air quality guidelines published on Wednesday by the World Health Organization could prevent millions of deaths globally each year, the UN agency said. Fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, is the tiniest pollutant yet also among the most dangerous. When inhaled, it travels deep into lung tissue where it can enter the bloodstream and…

Biden called for diplomacy over conflict at the UN General Assembly. Here’s how world leaders responded
Evan Vucci/AP

Biden called for diplomacy over conflict at the UN General Assembly. Here’s how world leaders responded

In his United National General Assembly debut on Tuesday, United States President Joe Biden declared a “new era” of US diplomacy, making a case for international cooperation as the world stands at an “inflection point in history.” But the President’s call for unity comes as the US is embroiled in a series of global controversies…

‘Giant flying murder heads’ and other creatures that ruled the ancient sky
Ian Berry/CNN

‘Giant flying murder heads’ and other creatures that ruled the ancient sky

One close glimpse of a modern bird, especially around the eyes, and it may feel like you’re looking into the ancient past, when massive creatures walked the Earth and soared across its skies. It’s because birds are dinosaurs — they just happened to survive the mass extinction event that wiped out their large relatives 66…

Taliban request representation at the United Nations, kicking off credentials battle
Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

Taliban request representation at the United Nations, kicking off credentials battle

The Taliban have requested representation at this week’s United Nations General Assembly, a move that is expected to kick off a diplomatic battle with the preexisting Afghan envoy. Afghanistan is currently represented at the UN by Ghulam Isaczai, an appointee of the country’s former democratic government, which crumbled under the Taliban’s advance last month. Rival…

Northern Hemisphere’s summer of wildfires let off record-breaking carbon emissions
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Northern Hemisphere’s summer of wildfires let off record-breaking carbon emissions

The amount of carbon emitted from severe wildfires that tore across many parts of the Northern Hemisphere this summer broke records, according to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service published Tuesday. Intense blazes, including fires in hotspots in the Mediterranean, North America and Siberia, let off more than 2.7 billion metric tons…

What we’ve been getting wrong about dinosaurs
Ian Berry/CNN

What we’ve been getting wrong about dinosaurs

Defined by their disappearance dinosaurs might appear to be evolutionary failures. Not so. Dinosaurs survived and thrived for 165 million years — far longer than the roughly 300,000 years modern humans have so far roamed the planet. They lived on every continent, munched on plants, snapped their jaws at insects, itched from fleas, suffered from…

‘Not counting our chickens’: UK’s Boris Johnson says world is watching for US to commit on climate finance
Getty Images

‘Not counting our chickens’: UK’s Boris Johnson says world is watching for US to commit on climate finance

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday the world would have to wait to hear from US President Joe Biden about whether the country would pay its fair share in climate finance — funds for undeveloped nations to face the climate crisis. Johnson and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres held a closed-door meeting of world…

The mysterious sex lives of dinosaurs
Ian Berry/CNN

The mysterious sex lives of dinosaurs

Dinosaurs must have had sex to reproduce but how they did it — with their neck frills, armored plates and tails tipped with spikes — isn’t exactly clear. No fossil has revealed two dinosaurs caught in the act — the only known vertebrates to be unequivocally preserved mating are a pair of 47 million-year-old turtles…

This is what happens to all the rats when cities flood
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

This is what happens to all the rats when cities flood

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, the pummeling rain that hit cities up and down the East Coast at the start of September overwhelmed storm drains, poured into subway stations and filled basements like bathtubs. The devastating human toll is well known. Less clear is what happened to the denizens of those cities’ subterranean depths:…

The UN General Assembly is about to start. Here’s what to watch for
Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The UN General Assembly is about to start. Here’s what to watch for

Coronavirus be damned, the world’s diplomats are back. New Yorkers who enjoyed the peace and quiet of the United Nations’ all-virtual General Assembly last year will once again face the gridlock of diplomatic motorcades next week, as world leaders and their entourages descend on the international body’s headquarters in Manhattan. The 76th session of the…

These game-changing student experiments could help humans travel across deep space

These game-changing student experiments could help humans travel across deep space

The human body was not designed to live in space, but genetic experiments on the International Space Station are preparing a biological toolkit for the future of long-term spaceflight. And some of the most groundbreaking DNA investigations taking place on the orbiting laboratory were designed by students. The Genes in Space program, a national contest…

Must-watch videos of the week

Must-watch videos of the week

Celebrities hit the red carpet at the Met Gala, Miley Cyrus performs with Metallica and a “megapod” of whales surfaces in Australia. These are the must-watch videos of the week. Strike a pose After a brief hiatus from the pandemic, this year’s Met Gala returned better than ever with an ode to American fashion. If…

The countries that are vaccinating children against Covid-19
Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters

The countries that are vaccinating children against Covid-19

Schools are in session, Covid-19 restrictions are being relaxed en masse and the Delta variant is raging worldwide, creating a maelstrom of confusion for parents on how to best protect their unvaccinated children. Data from earlier in the pandemic showed that children are less likely to become seriously ill. The emergence of Delta has been…

Fossil reveals bird with long, flashy tail feathers that lived 120 million years ago
Wang et al/The Field Museum

Fossil reveals bird with long, flashy tail feathers that lived 120 million years ago

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a bird that lived 120 million years ago, and it definitely had flair, including unusually long tail feathers. These flashy feathers probably didn’t help the bird achieve aerodynamic flight, but they might have helped him find a mate, according to new research. The fossil was discovered in the Jehol…

The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service/ECMWF

The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica

The hole in the ozone that forms every year over the South Pole is now larger than Antarctica, scientists from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service said Thursday. The ozone depletes and forms a hole over the Antarctic in the Southern Hemisphere’s spring, which is from August to October. It typically reaches its largest…

Biden announces global goal to reduce planet-warming methane emissions
Mike Blake/Reuters

Biden announces global goal to reduce planet-warming methane emissions

President Joe Biden announced the United States and European Union have launched a global pledge to reduce emissions of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — nearly 30% by 2020 levels by the end of the decade. Biden made the announcement Friday morning during the Major Economies Forum, a virtual, closed-door meeting with other world…

Not a single G20 country is in line with the Paris Agreement on climate, analysis shows
Ronald Siagian/AFP/Getty Images

Not a single G20 country is in line with the Paris Agreement on climate, analysis shows

None of the world’s major economies — including the entire G20 — have a climate plan that meets their obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to an analysis published Wednesday, despite scientists’ warning that deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are needed now. The watchdog Climate Action Tracker (CAT) analyzed the policies of 36…

Ancient spider caring for her offspring is trapped in 99 million-year-old amber
Xiaoran Zuo

Ancient spider caring for her offspring is trapped in 99 million-year-old amber

Nothing gets between a fiercely protective mother spider and her children. Dripping tree resin trapped adult female spiders and baby spiderlings about 99 million years ago, forever showcasing the maternal care exhibited by these arthropods, according to new research. The Lagonomegopidae family of spiders is now extinct, but spiders have a long history and first…

A 9-year-old girl was raped and murdered in India. Her death is part of a bigger problem facing Dalit women
Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

A 9-year-old girl was raped and murdered in India. Her death is part of a bigger problem facing Dalit women

CNN spoke to several activists from Dalit Women Fight (DWF), which campaigns for the rights of women from their community. While Riya Singh and Mohini Bala are public about their work, the names of the other activists have been changed for their protection. This story is part of CNN’s commitment to covering issues around identity,…

Scientists want to resurrect the woolly mammoth. They just got $15 million to make it happen
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Scientists want to resurrect the woolly mammoth. They just got $15 million to make it happen

Bringing extinct creatures back to life is the lifeblood of science fiction. At its most tantalizing, think Jurassic Park and its stable of dinosaurs. Advances in genetics, however, are making resurrecting lost animals a tangible prospect. Scientists have already cloned endangered animals and can sequence DNA extracted from the bones and carcasses of long-dead, extinct…