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Good news about vaccines

By these measures, all five vaccines – from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson – look extremely good. Of the roughly 75,000 people who received any of the five in a research trial, not one died from Covid, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. None of them remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving an injection.

To put this in perspective, it’s helpful to reflect on what Covid has done so far to a representative group of 75,000 American adults: it has killed around 150 and sent several hundred more to hospital. . Vaccines reduce those numbers to zero and almost zero, based on research trials.

Zero is not even the most relevant reference. A typical influenza season in the United States kills between 5 and 15 in 75,000 adults and hospitalizes more than 100.

I guess you would agree that any vaccine that turns Covid into something much milder than a typical flu deserves to be called effective. But that’s not the scientific definition. When you read that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66% effective or the Novavax vaccine was 89% effective, those numbers refer to the prevention of all diseases. They view the mild symptoms as failure.

“When it comes to serious outcomes, which is what we really care about, the news is fantastic,” said Dr. Aaron Richterman, infectious disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.

What about the highly contagious new virus variants that have emerged in Britain, Brazil and South Africa? The South African variant appears to make vaccines less effective at clearing infections.

Fortunately, there is no indication yet that this increases the number of deaths among those vaccinated. Two of the five vaccines – from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax – reported results from South Africa, and none of the people who received a vaccine died from Covid. “People are still not seriously ill. They still don’t die, ”Dr. Rebecca Wurtz of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health told me.

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Trump administration politicized some news about foreign electoral influence, report says

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration politicized intelligence on foreign electoral interference in 2020, which resulted in significant errors in its reports last year to Congress and the public, a report by the United Nations Ombudsman concluded. intelligence community.

Barry A. Zulauf, the analytical ombudsman for the office of the director of national intelligence, found that there was a “loss of objectivity” and politicization of intelligence in reports of election threats last year.

“Analysis of foreign electoral interference has been delayed, distorted or obstructed for the sake of reaction from policymakers or for political reasons,” said the report, which was submitted to Congress on Thursday.

The formal validation aligns with widespread perceptions about the Trump administration’s management of intelligence and underscores the challenge facing the Biden administration as it prepares to take control of the country’s spy agencies. The report will go to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Yet, since it was completed under an intelligence director viewed with skepticism by Democrats, it is unlikely to be seen as the last word on what happened.

The Senate committee plans to review the report and will work with the new administration “to stop any politicization of intelligence and rectify the failures of the Trump administration,” said Rachel Cohen, spokesperson for Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who to lead the panel after the inauguration.

Some of the most damaging elements of the report relate to a briefing to Congress in March, shortly after Richard Grenell, then Ambassador to Germany, took over as acting head of national intelligence.

The March Talking Points, an unclassified version of which was released, said the Kremlin was not helping “the re-election of any candidate” – a position at odds with what intelligence agents had previously said in Congress: that Russia favored President Trump.

Mr Zulauf said he had not been able to determine who drafted the talking points for the presentation, but found that they had been “shaped by” Mr Grenell and other officials in his office.

“Analysts point out that there were substantial differences between the talking points and what the IC really thought,” the report said, referring to the intelligence community.

The reluctance of intelligence professionals to deliver the talking points “should have been a wake-up call,” Zulauf wrote, “but did not prevent the statement from being released.”

The report also stated that Mr Grenell had kept a note in May from the National Intelligence Council on threats to electoral security. His office revised a draft that focused on intelligence gaps on what was known about these threats. According to Mr. Zulauf’s report, the revised version “buried the lead”.

Mr. Zulauf said he did not interview Mr. Grenell because he was no longer within his jurisdiction as an ombudsman. Asked for a response, Mr Grenell criticized the ombudsman for not speaking to him.

“I never changed intelligence once,” he said. “Any criticism of the information sharing or the work during my tenure is a criticism of the amazing career leaders in charge of the process.”

The Intelligence Ombudsman, created as part of a post-seven. 11, is responsible for identifying failures in trades and practices. Unlike an inspector general, ombudsmen do not seek waste, fraud or abuse.

Zulauf also discussed how intelligence agencies analyzed Russia and China’s intentions and activities in the 2020 elections for an August assessment of foreign electoral interference. (The August assessment also raised a warning about Iran, but its letter did not mention this category of intelligence.)

Analysts said the final published version of the August assessment – after interventions by John Ratcliffe, the current director of national intelligence, to add the warning on China – was a “scandalous distortion of their analysis.” , he reported.

They believed that during a long review process, senior leaders had “watered down” their findings on Russia to make it appear “not too controversial” while diverting attention to China by reinforcing the perception of Russia. his threat.

Still, some intelligence officials noted on Friday that the August statement – issued on behalf of William R. Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center – accurately treated the two countries differently. He said Russia was taking action to undermine the candidacy of Joseph R. Biden Jr .; While he also said that China hopes Mr Biden wins, he did not claim that China has taken steps to intervene as well.

In his own letter to Mr. Zulauf, Mr. Evanina asserted that he was “accurately conveying what I believed to be” the thinking of the intelligence community, adding: “I never politicized intelligence during my time. career and any suggestion I make is a personal affront to me. “

In another letter, Ratcliffe defended his interventions and argued that intelligence services’ assessment of China’s electoral influence efforts was “below target.”

Even as Zulauf reported that Russian analysts were upset that the political leaders of the agencies appeared to delay and suppress their findings, he also suggested that there was a politicization of intelligence not only from above but also “from below”.

Chinese analysts, he wrote, “appeared reluctant to rate Chinese stocks as undue influence or interference.”

“These analysts seemed reluctant to have their analysis on China presented because they tended to disagree with the administration’s policies, in effect saying, ‘I don’t want our intelligence to be used to support these policies, ”he continued.

But Mr Zulauf did not cite any evidence to support the striking idea that analysts underestimated the analysis of the Chinese threat for political reasons, and he later wrote that the differences between the two “n were not intentional, but the result of different rhythms and interpretations of collection and analysis. by analysts who do not pollinate regional problems. “

Some of the ombudsman’s findings, which focused on allegations that China’s intelligence was not properly investigated, were previously reported by the Washington Examiner.

The ombudsman’s investigation appeared to be narrowly focused on news handling and analysis of Russian and Chinese actions related to the 2020 election, and the letter did not address other cases in which the Trump administration has fired. accusations of politicizing intelligence.

It does not address, for example, a note produced by Mr Ratcliffe’s office over the summer, days after the New York Times reported that the CIA assessed that Russia was secretly offering payments of reward to a network of Afghan criminal militants to incite more frequent attacks. on American troops but that the White House had not followed up on this analysis.

The new memo – a so-called sense of the community memorandum produced by the National Intelligence Council, which reports to Mr Ratcliffe – contained no new information. Instead, he reanalyzed the same data the CIA had previously reviewed and instead focused on the uncertainties and gaps in the available evidence, according to officials with knowledge of it, bolstering the administration’s attempts to justify its inaction on the assessment that is several months old.

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In a desert of news that widens at the border, a tabloid start-up defies all odds

More than 200 men, women and children on horseback, ATVs and in vans climbed the traffic seven miles to Cienegas Terrace, a settlement between Del Rio Airport and the Rio Grande. A ranch meal followed, featuring kegs of beer, homemade tamales, a stringing show, and a band of norteño playing behind a curtain of cigarette smoke.

Diego’s uncle Beto Torez, who grew up in Del Rio, was at the party with his young family. He lives 260 miles east, in Austin, where he works as a church music director. Del Rio is fun to visit for the day, he said, but raising kids here? No way. Austin has a better music scene.

The cabalgata made the news on Noticias Del Rio TV, a local bilingual Facebook page with nearly 85,000 subscribers. The 830 Times has so far 3,000 subscribers on its Facebook page. The disparate numbers suggest the hurdles Mr Langton faces in his attempt to make the 830 Times succeed in a world dominated by Google and Facebook advertising and by competitors with an appeal in Spanish.

“For now, I’m paying the bill,” he said. “Am I playing on the printed product? Yes. I could lose it all.

At 24, Mr. Langton was married, broke and desperate to work in Minnesota. The Air Force was recruiting, so he enlisted.

The military moved him around every three years, a traveling life that reflected his education as a preacher’s son. He worked as a public affairs specialist in Indiana, Maryland, Arkansas, Nebraska, Turkey, and then in Cocoa Beach, Florida, which he called “the perfect place to recover from. a divorce”.

Mr. Langton remarried and moved with his wife to his last post at Del Rio at Laughlin Air Force Base, the largest pilot training facility in the United States.

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Good news about coronavirus vaccine becomes contagious

Since the race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus began last spring, optimistic announcements have been followed by disturbing polls: As encouraging as the news is, a growing number of people have said they will refuse to be vaccinated .

The deadline has been dangerously accelerated, many people have warned. The vaccine was a Big Pharma scam, according to others. A political ploy of the Trump administration, accused by many Democrats. The internet was buzzing with doomsday predictions from longtime vaccine opponents, who decried the new shot as the epitome of all the concerns they had ever expressed.

But over the past few weeks, as the vaccine has turned from hypothetical to reality, something has happened. New surveys show changes in attitude and a clear majority of Americans wanting to be vaccinated.

In surveys from Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center, the proportion of people who say they are now likely or certain to take the vaccine has risen from around 50% this summer to over 60%, and in a poll 73% – a figure that comes close to what some public health experts consider sufficient for herd immunity.

Resistance to the vaccine certainly does not go away. Misinformation and dire warnings are on the rise on social media. At a December 20 meeting, members of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee cited strong indications that vaccine complaints and acceptance are on the rise, so they couldn’t predict whether the public would gobble up limited supplies or accept a pass.

But the improvement in attitude is striking. A similar change on another heated pandemic issue was reflected in another Kaiser poll this month. He revealed that nearly 75% of Americans now wear masks when leaving their homes.

The change reflects a constellation of recent events: the decoupling of the Election Day vaccine; results of clinical trials showing approximately 95 percent efficacy and relatively modest side effects for vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna; and the alarming spike in new coronavirus infections and deaths.

“As soon as it is my turn to get vaccinated, I will be in the foreground!” I’m very excited and hopeful, ”said Joanne Barnes, 68, a retired elementary school teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska, who told the New York Times last summer that she didn’t would not get.

What changed her mind?

“The Biden administration is coming back to listening to the science and the fantastic statistics associated with vaccines,” she replied.

The allure of modest amounts of vaccines also cannot be underestimated as a driver of desire, much like the inescapable frenzy generated by a limited-edition Christmas present, according to experts at the. public opinion.

This feeling can also be seen in the changing nature of some of the skepticism. Rather than just targeting the vaccine itself, eyebrows are raised across the political spectrum as to who will get it first – which wealthy individuals and celebrities, demographics or industries?

But the grim reality of the pandemic – with more than 200,000 new cases and some 3,000 deaths a day – and the anticipation of this holiday season are perhaps among the main factors.

“More people have been affected or infected with Covid,” said Rupali J. Limaye, a vaccine behavior expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “They know someone who has had a serious case or who has died.”

Dr Limaye concluded: “They are tired and want to return to normal life.”

A barrage of wellness media coverage, including sustained attention to leading scientists and politicians when they get tricked, and joyous scrimmages surrounding local health workers who become the first to be vaccinated, has amplified the enthusiasm , according to public opinion experts.

There are still notable differences between demographic groups. The gap between women and men has widened, with women being more hesitant. Blacks remain the most skeptical racial group, although their acceptance is increasing: In September, a Pew Research poll found only 32% of blacks were ready to get the vaccine, while the latest poll shows an increase to 42%. And while people of all political stripes are warming to the vaccine, more Republicans than Democrats view the shot with suspicion.

The association between attitudes towards vaccines and political affiliation is worrying for many behavior experts, who fear that vaccine use will become linked to partisan views, preventing the realization of broad immunity.

“We’ve seen growth among Democrats and Republicans in their intention to vaccinate,” said Matthew P. Motta, a political scientist at Oklahoma State University who studies political opinions and opinions on vaccines. . “But that’s twice the size for Democrats,” which he added had turned out on the vaccine after President Trump admitted it would arrive on election day.

A clearer indication, he said, is that two-thirds of the public say they are at least fairly confident that a coronavirus vaccine will be distributed fairly, up from 52% in September.

The most pronounced pockets of resistance include those living in rural areas and those aged 30 to 49.

Timothy H. Callaghan, a researcher at the Southwest Rural Health Research Center at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, said people in rural areas tend to be conservative and Republicans, characteristics that also appear among vaccine-hesitant. They also include immigrants and day laborers, many of whom do not have a college degree or even a high school diploma and may therefore be more dismissive of vaccine science.

“They seem less likely to wear masks, less likely to work from home, and there is opposition to evidence-based practices,” said Dr Callaghan.

Resistance also comes from their limited access to health care in remote areas. In addition, the need to remove several hours of work from the inflexible demands of agriculture for travel and recovery from vaccine side effects makes the photos even less convincing, he added.

About 35% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 expressed skepticism about the vaccine, according to the Kaiser poll. Dr Scott C. Ratzan, whose New York City vaccine surveys at New York University’s Graduate School of Public Health echo findings similar to national polls, noted that this group does not follow either plus the flu shot. They are well outside the age range of routine vaccines.

“There is no standardization or habit for this age group to get vaccinated,” he said.

Blacks remained the most resistant to taking a coronavirus vaccine, in large part because of the history of abusive research on them by white doctors. But their willingness to consider this is accelerating. In the Kaiser poll, the share of black respondents who believe the vaccine will be distributed fairly nearly doubled, from 32% to 62%.

Mike Brown, who is black, runs the Shop Spa, a large barbershop with a black and Latino clientele in Hyattsville, Maryland. This summer, he told The Times he was happy to sit and watch others get vaccinated, as he bided his time.

It was then.

“The news of its 95% effectiveness convinced me,” said Brown. “The side effects are just like how you feel after a bad night of drinking and it hurts the next day. Well I have had a lot of them and I can handle this to get rid of the face masks.

Yet, he says, many customers remain skeptical. He said to them, “What questions do you have doubts about? Just do your survey and follow the science! Because if you just talk about what you won’t do, you become part of the problem.

He sees progress. “A couple of people who were more militant not to take it are calmer now,” he said. “The seeds are planted.”

Health workers, who generally have high acceptance rates for established vaccines, are another group that is unsure of taking the vaccine. In recent weeks, some hospital executives have said many of their staff are reluctant. ProPublica reported that a hospital in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas had to offer some assigned doses to other medical workers in the area because insufficient numbers of their own workers came forward. A sheriff’s deputy and a state senator lined up.

But other hospitals say staff time slots for the vaccine are becoming a hot commodity.

For months, Tina Kleinfeldt, a surgical nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, a Northwell Health Network hospital, had absolutely no intention of getting the vaccine until the science and side effects were established.

Last week she was randomly offered a rare immunization window. Yet she refused, despite warnings from envious colleagues.

Then she started to think about all the Covid-19 patients she had treated and the new ones she would inevitably meet. She thought of her husband and her three children. She thought: Well, I can always cancel the date at the last minute, right?

Then she realized that the doses were still so scarce that she might not have another opportunity soon. So she said yes. She became the first nurse in her unit to be vaccinated.

Then she felt muscle pain at the injection site. But she also felt elated, excited and relieved.

“I felt like I had done a good thing, for myself, my family, my patients, the world,” Ms. Kleinfeldt said. “And now, I hope everyone gets there. Isn’t that crazy?

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Now airing on Tennessee local news: announcements for candidates from Georgia

He estimated that Georgians made up around 10% of his viewers. His station has seen millions of dollars in political spending anyway.

“In a year where we have had a pandemic, this is certainly unexpected and welcome,” Mr. Ellis said.

The stations earn the most money thanks to super PACs. While applicants are protected from price gouging under federal law, outside groups are not – and some pay four times the price for the same airtime. In Atlanta, for example, applicants pay $ 6,000 for a 30-second ad during “Jeopardy!” and $ 5,000 for a seat on “Wheel of Fortune”; Super PACs are billed for $ 25,000 and $ 20,000 for the same time slots.

“It’s a lot of money,” Acuff said at the Chattanooga station.

Of the non-state media markets, the most effective for campaigns in Georgia is the Tallahassee, Florida market, where approximately 35% of viewers live in Georgia.

At the other end of the scale is the Dothan, Alabama market where only 5% of viewers are in Georgia.

Dothan’s TV stations may seem small enough to be overlooked by even the most ambitious Georgian politicians. The market reaches only one county in southwest Georgia, Early, which is not among Georgia’s top 100 counties in terms of population.

Just over 10,000 people live there, or about 0.1% of the state’s population.

But margins in Georgia were so excruciatingly squeezed in November – Mr Biden, the first Democrat to win the state since 1992, won by less than 12,000 votes – that campaigns are advertising Dothan even though 95% of the market lives outside of Georgia. .

“This election is going to be extremely close,” said Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ossoff, who said reaching all voters “is a top priority for us.”

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Now airing on Tennessee local news: announcements for candidates from Georgia

He estimated that Georgians made up around 10% of his viewers. His station has seen millions of dollars in political spending anyway.

“In a year where we have had a pandemic, this is certainly unexpected and welcome,” Mr. Ellis said.

The stations earn the most money thanks to super PACs. While applicants are protected from price gouging under federal law, outside groups are not – and some pay four times the price for the same airtime. In Atlanta, for example, applicants pay $ 6,000 for a 30-second ad during “Jeopardy!” and $ 5,000 for a seat on “Wheel of Fortune”; Super PACs are billed for $ 25,000 and $ 20,000 for the same time slots.

“It’s a lot of money,” Acuff said at the Chattanooga station.

Of the non-state media markets, the most effective for campaigns in Georgia is the Tallahassee, Florida market, where approximately 35% of viewers live in Georgia.

At the other end of the scale is the Dothan, Alabama market where only 5% of viewers are in Georgia.

Dothan’s TV stations may seem small enough to be overlooked by even the most ambitious Georgian politicians. The market reaches only one county in southwest Georgia, Early, which is not among Georgia’s top 100 counties in terms of population.

Just over 10,000 people live there, or about 0.1% of the state’s population.

But margins in Georgia were so excruciatingly squeezed in November – Mr Biden, the first Democrat to win the state since 1992, won by less than 12,000 votes – that campaigns are advertising Dothan even though 95% of the market lives outside of Georgia. .

“This election is going to be extremely close,” said Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ossoff, who said reaching all voters “is a top priority for us.”

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The wildest animal news of 2020

It was a difficult year for Homo sapiens. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed our vulnerabilities in an ever-changing natural world. Many have been pushed to find new levels of resolve and creativity in order to survive.

While humans are quarantined, birds, insects, fish and mammals showcase their own ingenuity. 2020 was the year the deadly hornets first appeared in the United States, scientists presented us with an octopus as cute as emoji, and researchers discovered platypuses glow in black light.

Here are some articles on animals – and the humans who study them – that surprised or delighted Times readers the most.

In many ways, 2020 seemed to be the longest year. It is also the year scientists discovered the ocean’s potentially longest creature: a 150-foot-long siphonophore, spotted in the deep ocean off Western Australia.

“It looked like an incredible UFO,” said Dr Nerida Wilson, senior researcher at the Western Australian Museum.

Each siphonophore is a colony of individual zooids, clusters of cells that clone thousands of times to produce an elongated, cord-like body. While some of his colleagues compared the siphonophore to silly string, Dr Wilson said the body was much more organized than that.

This year, the amphibian migrations in the northeastern United States coincided with the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders led to a drop in vehicle traffic, which turned this spring into an unintentional large-scale experiment.

“It’s not too often that we have the opportunity to explore the real impacts human activity can have on amphibians crossing the road,” said Greg LeClair, a graduate student in herpetology at the University. from Maine who is coordinating a project to help salamanders cross roads safely.

It was a century-old leaf insect mystery: what happened to the female Nanophyllium?

In the spring of 2018 at the Montreal Insectarium, Stéphane Le Tirant received a clutch of 13 eggs that he hoped to hatch into leaves. The eggs were not ovals but prisms, brown paper lanterns barely larger than chia seeds.

They were laid by a wild female Phyllium asekiense, a leaf insect from Papua New Guinea belonging to a group called frondosum, which was only known to female specimens.

After the eggs hatched, two became thin and stick-shaped and even sprouted a pair of wings. They oddly resembled the leaf insects of Nanophyllium, an entirely different genus whose six species had only been described from male specimens. The conclusion was obvious: the two species were in fact one and the same and received a new name, Nanophyllium asekiense.

“Since 1906, we’ve only ever found men,” said Royce Cumming, a graduate student at New York City University. “And now we have our last solid proof.”

What is found off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea? The region was mostly unexplored and unexplored until a recent expedition excavated its dark waters, discovering an abundance of life, bizarre geological features and spectacular deep corals.

An expedition organized by the Schmidt Ocean Institute mapped the distant seabed with sound beams and deployed captive and autonomous robots to capture close-up images of the ink depths.

Their work captured a video of the Dumbo octopus – which bears a striking resemblance to the octopus emoji – and the region’s thriving chambered nautili population. The team also found the deepest living hard corals in the waters of eastern Australia and identified up to 10 new species of fish, snails and sponges.

The energy needed to stay afloat in 2020 may seem similar to that used by the hummingbird. Floating creatures have the fastest metabolisms among vertebrates, and to fuel their zippered lifestyle they sometimes drink their own weight in nectar each day.

To preserve their energy, Andean hummingbirds in South America found themselves in unusually deep torpor, a physiological state similar to hibernation in which their body temperature dropped to as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the end of the year, it can be an opportunity for us to learn from these little birds and slow down.

The last time we checked out the platypus, it was confusing our expectations of mammals with its webbed legs, duck-like beak, and egg laying. In addition, it produced venom.

Now, it turns out that even his drab-looking coat hides a secret: When you turn on the black lights, he begins to glow.

Shining ultraviolet light on a platypus causes the animal’s fur to fluoresce with a greenish blue tint. Platypuses are one of the few mammals known to exhibit this trait. And we still don’t know why they’re doing it – if there’s a reason. Scientists are also discovering that they may not be alone among the secret luminous mammals.

An international team of scientists, including a prominent researcher from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, analyzed all known coronaviruses in Chinese bats and used genetic analysis to trace the probable origin of the new coronavirus in Chinese bats. Horseshoe.

Researchers, mainly Chinese and American, have conducted extensive research and analysis of coronaviruses in bats, with the aim of identifying hot spots for the potential fallout of these viruses on humans and disease outbreaks that result.

The genetic evidence that the virus came from bats was already overwhelming. Horseshoe bats, in particular, were considered likely hosts because other contagious diseases, such as the SARS outbreak in 2003, originated from viruses originating from these bats.

None of the bat viruses come close enough to the new coronavirus to suggest that it made a direct jump from bats to humans. The immediate progenitor of the new virus has not been found and may have been present in bats or other animals.

“It was as if an umbrella had covered the sky,” said Joseph Katone Leparole, who lived in Wamba, Kenya, a pastoral hamlet, for most of his 68 years.

A swarm of fast-moving locusts blazed a trail across Kenya in June. The size of the swarm stunned the villagers. They initially thought it was a cloud filled with refreshing rain.

Highly mobile creatures can travel over 80 miles per day. Their swarms, which can contain up to 80 million locust adults per square kilometer, eat the same amount of food daily as about 35,000 people.

While chemical spraying can be effective in controlling pests, locals fear the chemicals could corrupt the water supply used for both drinking and washing, as well as for watering crops.

Climate change is expected to make locust epidemics more frequent and severe.

The Danish government slaughtered millions of mink on more than 1,000 farms earlier this year over fears that a mutation in the novel coronavirus that infected mink could interfere with the effectiveness of a vaccine for humans.

Scientists say there are reasons beyond this particular mutated virus for Denmark to take action. Mink farms have been shown to be hotbeds for the coronavirus and that mink are able to transmit the virus to humans. They are the only animal known to do so.

This set of mutations may not be harmful to humans, but the virus will undoubtedly continue to mutate in mink as it does in humans, and overcrowded conditions on mink farms could exert evolutionary pressures on the virus different from those of the human population. The virus could also pass from mink to other animals.

The arrival of the “murderous hornets” in the United States certainly managed to grab the world’s attention this spring.

The Asian giant hornet is known for its ability to wipe out a beehive in a matter of hours, beheading the bees and flying away with the victims’ thorax to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s mighty venom and sting – long enough to pierce a beekeeping suit – is an excruciating combination that victims have compared to the hot metal penetrating their skin.

This fall, after several sightings in the Pacific Northwest, officials in Washington state reported finding and removing the nation’s first known deadly hornet nest. The aggressive hornets’ nest was removed just as they were about to enter their “slaughter phase”.

Even if there are no other hornets found in the area in the future, authorities will continue to use traps for at least three more years to ensure the area is free of hornets.

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News Quiz: Vaccinations, Russian Hackers, Pete Buttigieg

Did you catch the headlines this week? Take our quiz to find out.

Last week, 92% of respondents knew which artist had sold their entire music catalog. Only 36% knew that the country’s space agency had recovered a capsule containing asteroid samples from the Australian outback.

The quiz is released on Friday, but there won’t be any next week. He will be back on January 1. Click here for the other questionnaires of the week. Related article

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Biggest Casting News of Disney Investor Day

Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in the Marvel movies, will also appear, along with Tim Roth, who played the Abomination in the 2008 film – pre-Ruffalo entry in the series – “The Incredible Hulk.”

The stars of a few recent high-profile dramas on HBO will appear in the upcoming “Ant-Man” movie. Jonathan Majors, a “Lovecraft Country” frontman, will appear as the villain in the film, playing the classic Marvel character Kang the Conqueror. Kathryn Newton, who played a rebellious teenager opposite Reese Witherspoon in “Big Little Lies,” will play Cassie Lang, who comic fans know she will become the Stature superhero.

Warwick Davis will play the lead character in a sequel series to the 1988 cult classic “Willow” on Disney +, which airs in 2022.

The original film, designed by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, involved a farmer and future wizard, Willow Ufgood, tasked with helping a baby – the future empress of the kingdom – fulfill her destiny. Val Kilmer helps them. The series will take place years after the events of the film.

Christian Bale, who has donned superhero tights for three Batman films, has officially joined the cast of “Thor: Love and Thunder”, the fourth installment in the “Thor” series and the second from director Taika Waititi. Mr. Bale will play Gorr the God Butcher, a being who wants to kill all gods. Simple stuff, really. The film is scheduled for release on May 6, 2022.

Hailee Steinfeld, who was last heard in “Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse” as Gwen Stacy, will appear alongside Jeremy Renner in Marvel’s “Hawkeye” series, which airs on Disney + l ‘next year. She plays Kate Bishop, who in the comics takes the name Hawkeye for herself.

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News Quiz: Facebook, Universal, Chuck Yeager

Did you catch the headlines this week? Take our quiz to find out.

Last week, 98% of those polled knew which Trump administration official said there was no evidence of fraud that could have tipped the US presidential election. Only 44% knew about the recent protests in India.

The quiz is published on Friday. Click here for the quizzes of the other weeks. Related article