US President Joe Biden has ordered intelligence officials to “redouble” efforts to investigate the origins of Covid-19, including the theory that it came from a laboratory in China. He said the US intelligence community was split on whether it came from a lab accident or emerged from human contact with an infected animal. China has rejected the laboratory theory.
Nine people have died after a public transit employee opened fire on co-workers at a Northern California rail yard on Wednesday, authorities said. The shooter took his own life. The shooter was identified as Samuel Cassidy, an employee of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), law enforcement sources said. He shot and killed himself at the scene, officials said.
Australia’s second city is heading back into lockdown for the fourth time after an outbreak of the Indian Covid variant traced back to a quarantine hotel in a major blow for the country’s strict border closure policy. From midnight tonight, five million residents of Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state will be banned from leaving their homes except to work, exercise or for essential needs after 26 cases of the Indian variant were detected in the city.
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights said on Thursday that Israel’s deadly strikes on Gaza might constitute war crimes and that Islamist group Hamas had violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel. Michelle Bachelet said her office had verified the deaths of 270 Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including 68 children, during violence this month.
There is a 40% chance that global temperatures will reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels in the next five years, UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. Last year WMO said there was a 20% chance of the threshold being breached. In its latest forecast, however, the organization said the worsening of the odds is due to improvements in technology showing that the world had “actually warmed more than we thought already”.