World News

Mercury mission flies by closest planet to the sun for the first time
ESA/ATG medialab/NASA/JPL

Mercury mission flies by closest planet to the sun for the first time

Smile, Mercury! The smallest planet in our solar system was getting photographed Friday by a European-Japanese space probe making its closest trip past the sphere on its seven-year mission. The BepiColombo mission made its first flyby of Mercury around 7:34 p.m. ET on Friday, passing within 124 miles (200 kilometers) of the planet’s surface. “BepiColombo…

US inks $20 million deal to launch high-tech weather satellites in space
NASA

US inks $20 million deal to launch high-tech weather satellites in space

The United States is aiming to launch a group of small satellites to fill a critical gap in the ability to foresee precipitation dangers, like the deluge that overwhelmed Northeastern cities at the start of September. The US Air Force announced Thursday a nearly $20 million contract with Tomorrow.io to develop and deploy an entire…

All eyes on the Nobel Prizes for science next week. Here’s what to expect
Niklas Halle'n/AP

All eyes on the Nobel Prizes for science next week. Here’s what to expect

The coronavirus pandemic has focused attention on the role of science in society like never before — and the pace of scientific discovery has been blistering. The greatest minds in physics, chemistry and medicine will be honored when the Nobel Prizes, the pinnacle of scientific achievement, are announced next week. The winners (who aren’t told…

Long Covid is a bigger problem than we thought
Al Bello/Getty Images

Long Covid is a bigger problem than we thought

The long Covid problem might be bigger than we thought. A large study has revealed that one in three Covid-19 survivors have suffered symptoms three to six months after getting infected, with breathing problems, abdominal symptoms such as abdominal pain, change of bowel habit and diarrhoea, fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression among the most common issues reported. Researchers…

‘Horned crocodile-faced hell heron’ is one of two new Isle of Wight dinosaur discoveries
Chris Barker/University of Southampton

‘Horned crocodile-faced hell heron’ is one of two new Isle of Wight dinosaur discoveries

While the Isle of Wight may be better suited for tourists these days, it was once “Dinosaur Island.” Its fossil discoveries on the island off the south coast of England has led it to be known as the UK’s dinosaur capital. Now, researchers have uncovered two previously unknown species of predatory dinosaurs called spinosaurids, armed…

Greta Thunberg roasts world leaders for being ‘blah, blah, blah’ on climate action
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg roasts world leaders for being ‘blah, blah, blah’ on climate action

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg mocked world leaders — including US President Joe Biden and the UK’s Boris Johnson — at a youth climate summit in Milan on Tuesday, saying the last 30 years of climate action had amounted to “blah, blah, blah.” Thunberg imitated the leaders by repeating their commonly used expressions on the climate…

How dinosaur stereotypes gave way in the past decade of discovery
Ian Berry/CNN

How dinosaur stereotypes gave way in the past decade of discovery

Dinosaurs loom large in the imagination of many kids and, for some, it’s an obsession they never really grow out of. My passion for dinosaurs arrived much later in life. As a journalist in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to interview some of China’s most eminent paleontologists and marvel at amazing fossils firsthand when…

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
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‘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
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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…