Scientists have said the Doomsday Clock – a metaphor for a global apocalypse – has moved closer to midnight than ever before. It’s now just 100 seconds away. President and chief executive of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Rachel Bronson, said the world has entered into the realm of a two-minute warning – with high danger and little room for error.
China is struggling to contain rising public anger over its response to a spreading coronavirus even as it took unprecedented steps to slow the outbreak, restricting travel for 40 million people on the eve of Lunar New Year. Beyond the restricted area at the epicenter of the outbreak, major closures took place across the country amid the health fears.
A violent storm that has ravaged parts of Spain with heavy rain and violent winds has left at least 13 people dead. Spanish authorities said four people were still missing after Storm Gloria triggered floods and swept away roads. Storm Gloria swept into the Balearic Islands – which include the holiday island of Majorca – last weekend with torrential rain whipped up by winds of 100km/h (62mph).
Mexican authorities on Thursday adopted tougher measures against Central American migrants, detaining 800 of them who had entered Mexico illegally from Guatemala intending to reach the border with the United States. Mexico is under intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to contain mass movements of migrants, most of them from Central America, who have been crossing through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border.
The Horn of Africa has been hit by the worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Friday. The invasion poses an unprecedented threat to food security in the entire sub region, where over 19 million people in East Africa are already experiencing a high degree of food insecurity, the agency said.
Three Americans have died after a water tanker plane crashed in a fireball while fighting bushfires in southeastern Australia. All three of the C-130 Hercules plane’s crew were killed when it went down near Peak View, in Australia’s alpine region, close to a blaze burning out of control in the Wadbilliga National Park, the fire service said.
China on Thursday locked down two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600, as health authorities around the world took action to prevent a global pandemic. Health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.
Harvey Weinstein went on trial Wednesday in a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement, with prosecutors painting him as a sexual predator who used his Hollywood clout to abuse women for decades, while his lawyers sought to portray his accusers as willing participants. Weinstein has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual. He could get life in prison if convicted.
Eight people were shot in Seattle on Wednesday, authorities said, and one of them died from their injuries. The Seattle fire chief, Harold Scoggins, said authorities began receiving calls at about 5 pm warning of multiple gunshot victims. One person was found dead in a heavily trafficked area of downtown and five others were taken to a Seattle hospital, he said.
The number of police killings in Rio de Janeiro reached a record high last year, officials say, amid controversial hardline measures to tackle violence. Police killed 1,810 people, an average of five per day, the highest number since official records began in 1998. Critics blame the rise on policies that include the use of heavily armed agents and helicopter-borne snipers. But officials say the approach has worked, citing a drop in violent crime.