BRUSSELS (AP) — Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world raced Friday to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fueled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
A World Health Organization panel named the variant “omicron” and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the United States.
Five people, including a young child, were killed in a mass shooting in southwest England on Thursday, authorities said.
The shooter, who was also killed, kicked in the door of a home then gunned down a woman and her young daughter before randomly opening fire on other people in the streets of Plymouth, reports and officials said.
Two women and two men were found dead at the scene as well as another man believed to be the gunman, Devon & Cornwall police said in a statement. A woman was transported to a local hospital and later died, police said.
More people were being treated for their injuries in the hospital, a local member of Parliament said.
“We should prepare ourselves for more grim news tomorrow,” MP Luke Pollard said on Twitter. “Please look out for one another.”
Pollard said he was “utterly devastated” that one of those killed was a child under 10 years old.
The impacts of human-caused climate change are especially pronounced in the Arctic, which is warming three times faster than the global average.
While the number of gigatons lost is not as extreme as in 2019, a record melt year, the overall area of the ice sheet that is shedding mass is actually larger, according to Polar Portal, which represents Danish Arctic research institutions studying the Greenland ice sheet and sea ice.
Researchers warned of a “massive melting event in Greenland” in a tweet, adding that it “would be enough to cover Florida with two inches of water”.
Temperatures in Greenland reached “worrisome” levels on Wednesday, said DG DEFIS, the EU Commission’s directorate-general for defence industry and Space, as Constable Pynt, 70 degrees north, saw highs of 23C.
Biden administration budget chief Shalanda Young refused to say that Joe Biden would stop funding gain of function research at the Wuhan, China research lab. For clarity, the term gain of function is used to describe any field of medical research that alters an organism or disease in a way that increases transmissibility or pathogenesis.
This comes as mounting evidence shows Chinese scientists manipulated bat coronaviruses while increasing their ability to infect humans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Pentagon sub-agency were recently found to be giving money for those risky experiments. This is something Dr. Fauci had previously denied he was aware of regarding the lab in Wuhan.
“And the funds made available by the agency which Fauci heads, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to the tune of $600,000 went to this Wuhan Institute of Virology,” stated Alan Jones, host of Sky News Australia. “This is a lab involved in gain of function research that is creating more dangerous pathogens.
”House Republicans said the remarks by Biden’s budget chief suggest this administration will continue to give taxpayer money to the Chinese lab that evidence increasingly suggests may have played a key role in the emergence of COVID-19 and a pandemic the rocked the entire world.
Security analysts from the University of Minnesota warned the U.S. Agriculture Department in late May about a growing danger — a cyber crime known as ransomware that could wreak more havoc on Americans’ food sources than Covid-19 did.
A week and a half later, the prediction became reality as a ransomware attack forced the shutdown of meat plants that process more than a fifth of the nation’s beef supply in the latest demonstration of hackers’ ability to interrupt a critical piece of the U.S. economy.
The hack of the global meatpacking giant JBS last weekend is also the starkest example yet of the food system’s vulnerability to digital threats, especially as internet technology and automation gain an increasing role across farmlands and slaughterhouses. But federal oversight of the industry’s cybersecurity practices remains light, despite years of warnings that an attack could bring consequences ranging from higher grocery prices to contaminated food.
LONDON (AP) — The Group of Seven wealthy democracies agreed Saturday to support a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15% in order to deter multinational companies from avoiding taxes by stashing profits in low-rate countries.
G-7 finance ministers meeting in London also endorsed proposals to make the world’s biggest companies — including U.S. based tech giants — pay tax in countries where they have lots of sales but no physical headquarters.
Britain’s Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, the meeting’s host, said the deal would “reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age and crucially to make sure that it’s fair, so that the right companies pay the right tax in the right places.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who attended the London meetings, said the agreement “provides tremendous momentum” towards reaching a global deal that “would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world.”
The meeting of finance ministers came ahead of an annual summit of G-7 leaders scheduled for June 11-13 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The U.K. is hosting both sets of meetings because it holds the group’s rotating presidency.
Earth’s tectonic plates have moved continuously since they emerged a whopping 3.6 billion years ago, according to a new study on some of the world’s oldest crystals. Previously, researchers thought that these plates formed anywhere from 3.5 billion to 3 billion years ago, and yet-to-be published research even estimated that the plates are 3.7 billion years old.
The scientists on the new study discovered the onset date of plate tectonics by analyzing ancient zircon crystals from the Jack Hills in Western Australia. Some of the zircons date to 4.3 billion years ago, meaning they existed when Earth was a mere 200 million years old — a baby, geologically speaking. Researchers used these zircons, as well as younger ones dating to 3 billion years ago, to decipher the planet’s ongoing chemical record.
“We are reconstructing how the Earth changed from a molten ball of rock and metal to what we have today,” study lead researcher Michael Ackerson, a research geologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.
Washington (CNN)For years, the US government largely ignored reports of mysterious flying objects seen moving through restricted military airspace but it is now slowly beginning to acknowledge that UFOs, which the Pentagon refers to as unidentified aerial phenomena, are real.While it is certainly premature to speculate as to whether these flying objects come from another world, the US military has recently confirmed the authenticity of several videos and images showing encounters with unidentified flying objects — fueling questions about what the Pentagon knows about such incidents and others like them.
Next month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies are scheduled to deliver unclassified reports on UFOs to Congress.
The Department of Defense’s watchdog is also set to examine how the Pentagon has handled reports of UFOs. A source with knowledge of the subject matter told CNN earlier this month that there will be more inquiries announced in the near future on how these encounters were handled in recent years.
A study suggests that the mysterious, giant blobs hidden in the Earth’s mantle might be the remains of a protoplanet that crashed billions of years ago.
(CNN)The largest asteroid that has been predicted to make a close approach of Earth this year will zip by from a safe distance on Sunday, according to NASA.Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 1,300 and 2,230 feet wide.The near-Earth asteroid, known as 2001 FO32, will be 1.25 million miles, or more than five times the distance between Earth and the moon, during its closest approach.It will also be moving much faster than most asteroids that fly by our planet, rocketing along at 77,000 miles per hour.The asteroid’s closest approach will occur at 12:03 p.m. ET Sunday.
China’s capital city woke up to yellow skies Monday as the biggest sandstorm the country has seen in a decade swept through it, sparking new health fears.
The thick brown dust shrouded Beijing‘s iconic landmarks, including the Forbidden City, and downtown skyscrapers at times disappeared from view, enveloped by clouds of sand.
The visibility in the capital was reduced to less than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), China’s English-language news agency CGTN reported, forcing residents who dared venture outside to wear improvised headgear to protect their faces.
Traffic was snarled and more than 400 flights out of the capital’s two main airports were canceled, The Associated Press reported.
European stocks fluctuated while U.S. futures edged lower a day after reaching record highs as optimism over coronavirus vaccines waned. Yields on Treasuries and German bunds held most of Tuesday’s spike.
Pro-cyclical sectors including autos and chemicals led declines on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Britain’s pound reversed a gain after the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly told envoys the outcome is still too close to call.
Shares traded mixed in Asia, where China’s No. 2 smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. dropped the most ever after disclosing a share sale. The offshore yuan erased gains after president-elect Joe Biden told the New York Times he won’t soon remove tariffs on Chinese goods. Gold rose for a second day.
(CNN)At least five people were killed, including a 9-month-old baby, and several others injured when a man plowed his car into a group of people in a pedestrian zone in the southwest German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said.Officers arrested the driver of the car, a 51-year-old German national. He was being questioned by police and will be prosecuted for murder and manslaughter, police said.The chief public prosecutor said the driver was “severely intoxicated” — with a blood alcohol level of 1.4 — and there are “indications of psychological illness.”Trier police said the motive was unknown, that the suspect has no police record and his background shows an indication of political motivation.
Europe remained the biggest global contributor to new Covid-19 cases and deaths in the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, despite signs that stricter measures against the spread of the virus are starting to have an impact.
(CNN)Europe remained the biggest global contributor to new Covid-19 cases and deaths in the past week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, despite signs that stricter measures against the spread of the virus are starting to have an impact.The European region accounted for 44% of global new cases and 49% of global new deaths in the past week, according to the latest weekly WHO report, released Tuesday.While the number of new cases in the region is declining on a weekly basis, the number of deaths is still rising, with 32,684 new fatalities reported in the previous seven days.This update comes as countries across the continent grapple with how to allow people to celebrate upcoming holidays, including Christmas, and mitigate the economic pain to businesses while countering the pandemic.
- Former Finance Minister Naci Agbal was brought in to replace Murat Uysal, according to a presidential decree announced in the Official Gazette.
- The decision came after the lira lost nearly a third of its value since the start of the year — hitting a record low of 8.58 against the U.S. dollar on Friday — and annual inflation stood at 11.89%.
Oct. 10: What you need to know today
- Russia confirmed 12,846 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing its official number of cases to 1,285,084.
- Russia has carried out more than 500,000 coronavirus tests in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Friday.
- Starting Monday, Moscow employers will be required to transfer 30% of their employees to remote work through Oct. 28 due to the city’s coronavirus situation. Workers over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases will also be required to work remotely. Workers at medical institutions, defense agencies, Rosatom and Roscosmos are exempt from the new rules.
The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows that deaths in the US, Brazil and India make up nearly half that total.
Experts caution that the true figure is probably much higher.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it a “mind-numbing” figure and “an agonising milestone”.
“Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life,” he said in a video message.
“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease.”
The development comes nearly 10 months after news of the coronavirus began to emerge from Wuhan, China.
The asteroid is in a horrible orbit and has a 1% chance of striking Earth in just eight years. And — thank goodness — it doesn’t really exist.
It’s a fictitious asteroid that’s the focus of a realistic exercise devised for scientists and engineers from around the world who are attending the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference being held this week outside Washington, D.C.
A real asteroid of this size, should it ever hit the planet, could wipe out an entire city.
“This is a threat that could happen, even though it’s extremely unlikely,” says Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who created this realistic simulation. “Our goal here is to go through all of the steps that we would have to go through.”
He says a lot has been learned from three previous drills held at past international conferences and from other asteroid exercises that have been separately conducted by officials at NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As the engine-less train with the clueless passengers speeds past a railway station, the helpless onlookers screams and yell their guts out as they try to catch the commuters attention and get them to pull the train’s emergency brake.
The engine-less train moved towards Kesinga in Kalahandi district from Titlagard station so that the engine could be shunted on the other side, but thanks to a downward slope, the coaches rolled on without the engines.
According to railway sources, the coaches started moving around 10 pm and had covered a distance of almost 10 kilometer without the engine before they were brought to a halt.
TOKYO — A strong earthquake hit western Japan early Monday, cracking streets, cutting water and power to a number of homes and injuring five people. The Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 6.1 quake struck 7 miles underground near Ohda city, about 480 miles west of Tokyo.
Five people sustained injuries, but most of them were minor and not life-threatening, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
The quake also rattled nearby Izumo, home to one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. No damage was reported at the shrine.
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck off the coast of southern California today, the strongest one to hit the area in several years. The United States Geological Survey puts the earthquake epicenter 17 miles southwest of Santa Cruz Island off southern California.
The earthquake struck today, on April 5th at 12:29 PM local time at a depth of 10 kilometers. Even though the earthquake struck off the coast of California, shaking was felt as far away as Bakersfield, Palmdale and the city of Orange over 100 miles away. The quake’s epicenter was 85 miles west of Los Angeles and 41 miles southwest of Ventura. Thankfully, the shaking subsided just as quickly as it came, lasting roughly 10 seconds.
Did You Feel the M5.3 EQ that just took place off the Channel Islands, CA? Please let us know here: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/ci37908735#dyfi …