World News

World is put on high alert over the Omicron coronavirus variant
Jerome Delay/AP

World is put on high alert over the Omicron coronavirus variant

Europe is frantically imposing travel bans, scrambling to ramp up its coronavirus sequencing abilities after several countries on the continent reported suspected cases of the newly identified Omicron variant. As of Friday, the variant was found in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Belgium, with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said Friday…

A new Covid-19 variant with high number of mutations sparks travel bans and worries scientists
Alissa Eckert/Dan Higgins/CDC

A new Covid-19 variant with high number of mutations sparks travel bans and worries scientists

The discovery of a new and potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant by South African health authorities has sparked a forceful reaction across the world with a number of countries banning travelers from several southern African countries. The newly identified variant, currently known as B.1.1.529, appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of South Africa and…

How US gun culture stacks up with the world
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Small Arms Survey, CNN

How US gun culture stacks up with the world

Atlanta. Orlando. Las Vegas. Newtown. Parkland. San Bernardino. Ubiquitous gun violence in the United States has left few places unscathed over the decades. Still, many Americans hold their right to bear arms, enshrined in the US Constitution, as sacrosanct. But critics of the Second Amendment say that right threatens another: The right to life. America’s…

Amber captures rare plant behavior in an ancient, extinct pine cone
George Poinar, Jr.

Amber captures rare plant behavior in an ancient, extinct pine cone

The first fossil evidence of a pine cone sprouting seeds has been preserved in 40 million-year-old amber. Seed germination typically occurs in the ground after a seed has fallen, but several embryonic stems were captured emerging from the ancient pine cone in a rare botanical feat known as precocious germination, or viviparity, in which seeds…

A new Covid-19 variant could show immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility, South African scientists warn
Alissa Eckert/Dan Higgins/CDC

A new Covid-19 variant could show immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility, South African scientists warn

South Africa’s health minister announced Thursday the discovery of a new coronavirus variant that appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country. “Initially it looked like some cluster outbreaks, but from yesterday, the indication came from our scientists from the Network of Genomic Surveillance that they were observing a new variant,” Minister of…

Politicians are failing to deliver climate justice. Lawyers and scientists could do it in court
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Politicians are failing to deliver climate justice. Lawyers and scientists could do it in court

There were few memorable moments at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow earlier this month, but a video address by the foreign minister of Tuvalu, speaking in a suit while knee-deep in tropical waters, is a hard one to forget. It was simple but strong message — while negotiators made agreements to delay action, island…

This is how astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space
NASA

This is how astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space

The holidays still happen in space, they just look a little bit different. But the sentiments are the same. “I’m going to do whatever I can to show how thankful I am for my crewmates,” said NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei in a NASA video shared from the International Space Station Monday. “It’s wonderful having…

Europe is facing 700,000 more Covid deaths — but masks could prevent many of them, WHO says
CDC

Europe is facing 700,000 more Covid deaths — but masks could prevent many of them, WHO says

Europe could suffer another 700,000 Covid-19 deaths by March, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. It’s the latest in a series of dire warnings for the region, which is in the grip of a devastating fourth wave of cases that has plunged several countries back into lockdown. More than 1.5 million people in Europe…

NASA launches mission to crash into a near-Earth asteroid to try to change its motion in space
Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA

NASA launches mission to crash into a near-Earth asteroid to try to change its motion in space

A NASA spacecraft that will deliberately crash into an asteroid has successfully launched. The DART mission, or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off at 10:21 p.m. PT on November 23 (1:21 a.m. ET November 24) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Live coverage of the event aired…

NASA will launch mission to crash into a near-Earth asteroid to try to change its motion in space
Steve Gribben/Johns Hopkins APL/NASA

NASA will launch mission to crash into a near-Earth asteroid to try to change its motion in space

A NASA spacecraft that will deliberately crash into an asteroid is preparing to launch this week. The DART mission, or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, will lift off at 10:20 p.m. PT (1:20 a.m. ET) on November 23 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Live coverage of the…

If Planet B exists, what might it be like?

If Planet B exists, what might it be like?

Since the first exoplanets were discovered in the 1990s, many have wondered if we might find another Earth out there, a place called Planet B. Natalie Batalha, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has watched the field of exoplanet science grow and change since those initial discoveries. Batalha served…

Webb telescope is about to take an unprecedented look at these intriguing exoplanets
NASA

Webb telescope is about to take an unprecedented look at these intriguing exoplanets

When the James Webb Space Telescope launches in December, astronomers around the world are expecting to find the unexpected, said Sara Seager, astrophysicist and planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The space observatory will be able to look into the distant universe as well as observe objects in our own solar system. But…

Deforestation in the Amazon increased by 33% in first 10 months of 2021, analysis shows
Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Deforestation in the Amazon increased by 33% in first 10 months of 2021, analysis shows

Deforestation in the Amazon increased by 33% in the first ten months of 2021, compared to the first ten months of 2020, a new analysis shows. The analysis published Wednesday by the Institute for Man and the Environment of the Amazon (Imazon), an independent Brazilian research institute, found that the Amazon lost more than 2.4…

You asked, we answered: NASA’s new telescope and the search for clues about our universe explained
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

You asked, we answered: NASA’s new telescope and the search for clues about our universe explained

The most powerful telescope ever built is scheduled to launch on December 18. The James Webb Space Telescope will peer into the atmospheres of exoplanets, some of which are potentially habitable, and look deeper into the universe than we’ve ever been able to before. This mission has been decades in the making. The concept for…

The definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is changing to three Covid-19 doses
CDC

The definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is changing to three Covid-19 doses

You may need up to three Covid-19 vaccine doses to be considered fully vaccinated. Waning vaccine immunity and rising infections due to the Delta variant has prompted wealthy nations to reconsider the definition of “fully vaccinated” — which usually means two Covid-19 jabs. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted as much on Monday, saying boosters…

Why CNN is launching a new series on skin whitening
CNN/Getty

Why CNN is launching a new series on skin whitening

In 2020, the global skin whitening market was reportedly valued at $8.6bn. It is projected to grow to $13.7bn by 2025. If we live in a culture where market size is synonymous with societal importance, then why aren’t we talking about skin whitening? In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests around the world…

Over 50 dead and 12 injured after clashes at same Ecuadorian prison where a riot left more than 100 dead in September
Fernando Mendez/AFP/Getty Images

Over 50 dead and 12 injured after clashes at same Ecuadorian prison where a riot left more than 100 dead in September

At least 58 inmates died and 12 were injured after violence broke out at one of Ecuador’s largest prisons. Dozens of inmates were killed and injured in clashes early Saturday in Litoral Penitentiary, the same prison in the Guayas Province where more than 100 were killed just over a month ago, Guayas Governor Pablo Arosemena…