The world could see annual global temperatures pass a key threshold for the first time in the coming five years, the U.N. weather agency said Thursday. The World Meteorological Organization said forecasts suggest there's a 20% chance that global temperatures will be 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial average in at least one year between 2020 and 2024.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said Thursday, while a South African official said a single province is preparing 1.5 million graves. Just a day after confirmed coronavirus cases across Africa surpassed the half-million milestone the total was over 522,000 and climbing, with more than 12,000 deaths. With testing levels low, the real numbers are unknown.
A small study strengthens evidence that a pregnant woman infected with the coronavirus might be able to spread it to her fetus. Researchers from Italy said Thursday that they studied 31 women with COVID-19 who delivered babies in March and April. They found signs of the virus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and, in one case, breast milk.
The World Health Organization is acknowledging the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions — after more than 200 scientists urged the agency to do so. In an open letter published this week in a journal, two scientists from Australia and the U.S. wrote that studies have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”
Rejecting President Donald Trump’s complaints that he's being harassed, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of a New York prosecutor’s demands for the billionaire president’s tax records. But in good political news for Trump, his taxes and other financial records almost certainly will be kept out of the public eye at least until after the November election.
Louisville police officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor while serving a warrant were told she should be home alone because the main target of the narcotics investigation was elsewhere, according to an interview with one of the detectives who served the warrant.
The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Republican-authored lame-duck laws that stripped power from the incoming Democratic attorney general just before he took office in 2019. The justices rejected arguments that the laws were unconstitutional, handing another win to Republicans who have scored multiple high-profile victories before the court in recent years.
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, including a member of the ruling Politburo, for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic and religious minorities that China has detained in the western part of the country.
The U.S. District Court judge who oversaw the criminal case of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn has requested a full appeals court review after a three-judge panel ordered him to dismiss it. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan made the highly unusual the request Thursday. A three-judge panel last month ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case against Flynn, following the Justice Department's extraordinary decision to drop the prosecution.
The ousted U.S. attorney who was leading investigations into President Donald Trump's allies told the House Judiciary panel on Thursday that Attorney General William Barr “repeatedly urged” him to resign during a hastily arranged meeting that sheds light on the extraordinary standoff surrounding his departure. Geoffrey Berman, the former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, provided the committee with a detailed account behind closed doors of three days in June as he was pushed out, according to his opening statement, which was obtained by The Associated Press.