World News


The coronavirus death toll has reached 811 in China, according to Chinese health officials, more than died across the globe from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic between 2002 and 2003. More than 34,000 Chinese people have been confirmed to be infected. Most of the cases are in the area around Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began, but 288 other cases have been confirmed scattered across other countries, including France and the U.S. The U.S. has imposed travel restrictions on those who have recently been to China. (NPR)

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government worked to convince producers and allies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — a group led by Russia — that oil exporters should agree to a supply cut due to the decreased oil demand from an isolated China dealing with coronavirus in order to prevent oil prices from collapsing. Russian officials have not yet responded to the request to limit oil supply. OPEC has a spotty history of preventing oil price scares which adds to the concerns of those looking to avoid a coronavirus-caused price crash. (Al Jazeera)


In the wake of a devastating series of wildfires, the Australian state New South Wales saw its heaviest rain in 30 years last week. Many fires were extinguished, but the heavy rain onto parched soil led to widespread flooding. Some towns had to evacuate because of the flooding. (CNN)


Researchers have discovered two fossilized skulls of a new species of dinosaur closely related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Alberta, Canada. This cousin of the T. rex, has been named “Reaper of Death.” Officially it has been dubbed the Thanatotheristes degrootorum, named after Thanatos, the Greek god of death, and “theristes,” the Greek word for “reaper.” Estimated to be 79.5 million years old, the Reaper of Death is one the oldest known tyrannosaurs to have been discovered in North America. Its knife-like teeth were almost three inches long and from nose to tail it measured 26 feet. (NBC)


Controversial liberal political party Sinn Fein — best known in Ireland for their association with Irish Republican Army during the violent Troubles between Ireland and Northern Ireland between the 1960s and ‘90s — shocked the Irish political system by winning more seats in Ireland’s Lower House of Parliament than the two incumbent conservative parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, that have dominated Irish politics since Ireland’s independence from England. Analysts speculate that Sinn Fein’s popularity can be traced to dissatisfaction with skyrocketing housing prices across the country, overcrowded hospitals and a homeless population of over 10,000 Irish people. (BBC)