The danger of treating body parts like fast fashion

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Omicron collides with a struggling global vaccination campaign

Less than a month ago, the omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, was labeled a “variant of concern.” Since then, the world has braced for another wave of coronavirus, as Covid-19 is spiking across Europe and, now, the United States.

A lot of these countries — particularly the United Kingdom and the United States — are pushing aggressive booster campaigns in response. Three shots, rather than two, is becoming the refrain of many public health experts.

Yet the rest of the world is still woefully under-vaccinated. Not just booster shots, but first doses. Close to 60 percent of the …

Hong Kong Removes ‘Pillar of Shame’ Statue Amid Crackdown

The authorities in Hong Kong on Thursday removed a statue that memorialized those killed in the 1989 government massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, the latest crackdown on political dissent in the Chinese territory.

The 26-foot copper statue, known as the “Pillar of Shame,” was created by the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot in 1996 and shows a pile of naked corpses arranged into what looks like a ghastly obelisk. It commemorates the June 4, 1989, massacre of pro-democracy students and workers around Tiananmen Square by the Chinese government.

The Tiananmen massacre is among the most delicate topics in Chinese politics

‘The World Without Us’: The abandoned sites overrun by nature

Editor’s Note — Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get news about destinations opening and closing, inspiration for future adventures, plus the latest in aviation, food and drink, where to stay, and other travel developments.

(CNN) — The notion of what the world would look like if humans were to vanish has been explored extensively by scientists, as well as many post-apocalyptic movies.

However, French photographer Romain Veillon is making it his mission to capture in pictures the potential result of a planet without people.

The 38-year-old has spent years photographing abandoned places around the world

Fury in China After Li Tiantian, an Outspoken Teacher, Disappears

Chinese social media sites have echoed for days with a question that has been met with silence by Communist Party officials: Where is Li Tiantian?

Ms. Li, an outspoken but previously little known teacher at a rural school in Hunan Province, southern China, disappeared after telling friends that police officers had forced their way into her home and were taking her to a psychiatric hospital. She told them the authorities had accused her of violating the bounds of officially acceptable comment on social media.

In recent weeks, Ms. Li had publicly sympathized with a teacher in Shanghai who was hounded

Judd Apatow and 10 other cultural tastemakers on the books they couldn’t put down this year

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

The literary landscape has never been richer or more reflective of our present moment.

Compassionate depictions of the ongoing refugee crisis won Zanzibar-British novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, while American writer Jason Mott took home the National Book Award for his novel on the racism, police brutality and the Black experience in the United States.

To help readers navigate the inexhaustible list of books published this year, we’ve asked influential tastemakers — including writers, actors, photographers and creative directors — to share their favorite reads of 2021.

Whether hard-hitting ruminations on …

Omicron-Driven Pushes for Boosters Could Prolong Pandemic, W.H.O. Says

As people in wealthy nations snap up booster shots amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the World Health Organization’s leader warned that universal access to extra doses in highly inoculated countries could worsen global vaccine inequality and prolong the pandemic.

That imbalance, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general, said on Wednesday, will give “the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate.”

“It’s important to remember,” he said, “that the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are in unvaccinated people, not unboosted people.” Later, he added: “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic.”

Since Covid vaccines

How to Catch a Polar Bear

From a helicopter, it can be hard to spot a polar bear against the frozen tundra. So when the polar bear biologist Jon Aars heads out for his annual research trips, he scans the landscape for flashes of movement or subtle variations in color — the slightly yellowish hue of the bears’ fur set off against the white snow.

“Also, very often, you see the footprints before you see the bear,” Dr. Aars said. “And the bear is usually where the footprints stop.”

Dr. Aars is one in a long line of polar bear researchers at the Norwegian Polar Institute,

Inflation Forces Parisian Vendors to Raise Prices on Staples

PARIS — At the Marché d’Aligre, a bustling open-air food and antiques market in the Bastille district of central Paris, Mohamed Sharif grabbed a piece of chalk and reluctantly marked up the price of the fragrant Valencia clementines that he sells to throngs of shoppers.

Transport costs for produce imported to France had more than doubled since autumn amid a surge in gasoline prices, he said, one of several factors that have driven up wholesale costs for oranges from Spain, lychee from south China and passion fruit from Vietnam — and the prices he must charge at his fruit stand.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship prevented from entering 2 island nations due to Covid-19 outbreak

(CNN) — A Royal Caribbean cruise ship was denied entry into two island nations after 55 fully vaccinated crew members and passengers contracted Covid-19 only days after the ship had set sail from Fort Lauderdale, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
Odyssey of the Seas was barred from entering Curacao and Aruba, effectively remaining at sea until its planned return December 26 to Fort Lauderdale, according to the Herald.
Health officials in Curacao refused to allow the ship to dock because the percentage of infected people on board was too high, the Curacao Chronicle reported.

There were 51 positive cases on