KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Scott Neuman

Updated October 5, 2021 at 5:48 PM ET

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of basic and clinical biomedical research in the world, says he will step down by the end of the year.

Symptoms of COVID-19 persist or recur months after diagnosis for more than a third of all people who get the illness, a new study finds, potentially pushing the number of so-called long COVID cases higher than previously thought.

Najla Bouden Ramadhane, a university engineer with World Bank experience, has been lifted from political obscurity to become Tunisia's — and the Arab world's — first female prime minister.

Ramadhane was named to the post Wednesday after Kais Saied, who became president two years ago, dismissed her predecessor in July and suspended parliament, Reuters reported.

Riding support from Poland's right-wing populist Law and Justice Party and the local Roman Catholic clergy, nearly 100 provinces and municipalities in 2019 passed symbolic resolutions declaring themselves "LGBT-free."

Updated October 2, 2021 at 4:51 PM ET

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story and headline attributed comments made on Twitter to the new head of Kabul University. The account cited in the story has since tweeted that it does not belong to the chancellor, but rather to a student at the university, and the account has been deleted.

Updated September 27, 2021 at 3:51 PM ET

In its first public safety alert in six years, the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning about a dramatic increase in fake prescription drugs being sold on the black market containing a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.

It must have seemed like a sudden about-face to his followers on Facebook: a message from Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan who fled the country in August ahead of a Taliban takeover, calling on the international community to "extend a hand of friendship" to Kabul's new rulers.

After a record-breaking two-decade career in the ring, Hakuho, sumo's greatest champion, says he will retire at age 36, citing injuries and his advancing age.

The Mongolian-born wrestler, whose birth name is Monkhbatyn Davaajargal, announced his decision to retire to the Japan Sumo Association on Monday, according to Hironori Yano, the head of the association's Yokozuna Deliberation Council.

The question of when humans first migrated to North America has long been a matter of hot debate among researchers who have continually uncovered evidence of ever-earlier dates. Now, analysis of ancient fossilized human footprints in New Mexico has pushed the date back once again — to at least 21,000 years ago.

It's neither a bird nor a plane, but a winged microchip as small as a grain of sand that can be carried by the wind as it monitors such things as pollution levels or the spread of airborne diseases.

It's time for the global community to "grow up" and deal with the climate change crisis, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told United Nations representatives, urging nations to "listen to the warnings of the scientists" in remarks at odds with some of his past statements.

Speaking in New York on Wednesday, Johnson said countries need to take responsibility for "the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet, but ourselves."

"Anthropause" is a word scientists have coined to describe the scaling back of human activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it's probably safe to say most people have found it uncomfortably restrictive, a new study published Wednesday suggests the pandemic has allowed many bird species to stretch their wings.

Afghanistan's reclusive new leaders, the Taliban, are asking for a chance to address the United Nations General Assembly, but they are unlikely to get their wish — at least not in the current session.

All evidence points to the fact that Mars once had flowing water, but numerous flybys, orbiters, landers and rovers have confirmed one undeniable fact — any liquid water that was once on its surface is now long gone.

A study out of Washington University in St. Louis might have found the reason: Mars, which is about half the size of Earth, and just over one-tenth the mass of our own watery world, might just be too small.

Updated September 22, 2021 at 7:38 AM ET

The European Court of Human Rights has found the Kremlin responsible for the 2006 assassination by radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence official who defected to the West.

Meanwhile, British police said Tuesday that they have identified a third suspect in a Russian-linked nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent in southern England.

As the Biden administration moves quickly to expel migrants camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, its plan depends on a controversial Trump-era policy put in place in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to speed up removals.

A massive volcanic eruption over the weekend on La Palma that has forced the evacuation of thousands of people hasn't dissuaded Spain's tourism minister from promoting travel to the island.

The eruption of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands, the first eruption in 50 years in the seismically active Spanish archipelago, sent lava hundreds of feet into the sky and spewing down the volcano's face, destroying nearby houses and forests and forcing about 5,000 people, including some 500 tourists, to flee.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 7:57 AM ET

At least eight people are dead and two dozen injured at a university in Russia after a gunman opened fire, and some students jumped out of second-story windows in an apparent effort to escape the attack.

Down at the local pub, die-hard Brexiters will be raising a pint to news that the United Kingdom is eyeing the end of a European Union-inspired ban on selling products in only pounds and ounces. But many others view the move away from the world-standard metric system as pure rubbish.

Since becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson has pledged to usher in an era of "tolerance towards traditional measurements." On Thursday, Brexit minister David Frost clarified what that means — giving shops and supermarkets the option to sell items labeled only in imperial units.

As a group, American children and teenagers have seen a significant increase in weight gain since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with the biggest jumps occurring in younger school-aged children and those who were already prone to obesity, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

France's health minister has said that thousands of health care workers across the country have been suspended without pay for failing to get a required COVID-19 vaccine.

"Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday to employees at health centers and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated," Olivier Véran, the health minister, told France's RTL radio on Thursday, according to a France 24 translation.

The United Nations' human rights chief has called on member states to put a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence systems until the "negative, even catastrophic" risks they pose can be addressed.

The remarks by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet were in reference to a new report on the subject released in Geneva.

California's Gavin Newsom can now count himself among a select group of political survivors — he's just one of two governors ever to face a recall vote and win.

Then again, most recall campaigns flounder before the voters go to the polls.

The unsuccessful vote against Newsom, who angered many in the state by dining at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant in contravention of his own guidance on pandemic gatherings, follows the 2012 effort to recall then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who narrowly turned back an effort by the state's Democrats to oust him.

National Guard troops are used to being activated during times of natural disaster or civil unrest — but in Massachusetts, they're being called out to drive students to school.

The office of Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that as many as 250 Guard members would be made available "to address staffing shortages in certain districts," according to a news release. It said that 90 would be training immediately for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn.

Updated September 15, 2021 at 6:24 AM ET

Using recovered DNA to "genetically resurrect" an extinct species — the central idea behind the Jurassic Park films — may be moving closer to reality with the creation this week of a new company that aims to bring back woolly mammoths thousands of years after the last of the giants disappeared from the Arctic tundra.

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