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World News

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…

China’s Xi Jinping promises to halt new coal projects abroad amid climate crisis

In a rare address to the UN General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made a major new climate commitment on behalf of the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. China will not build any new coal-fired power projects abroad, Xi said in a pre-recorded speech. The vow marks a shift in policy around…

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

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

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…

See the harvest moon shine in the night sky tonight, 2 days before the autumnal equinox

As the fall season approaches and colder temperatures set in, there’s a silver lining to look up to — literally — as the harvest moon makes its debut on September 20, bringing plenty of bright moonlight. The full moon known as the harvest moon, as it traditionally gave farmers more time to harvest their summer-grown…

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

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:…

Woolly mammoth resurrection project receives $15 million boost

We live in a time bookended by extremes. Many believe our future is in space, where one day humans will live across the solar system. Looking back, we see evidence of a wild planet where giant creatures once roamed, only to fall in the face of natural disasters that shaped the Earth we know today.…

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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