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Iran's Rouhani warns US that 'war with Iran is the mother of all wars'

Iran's Rouhani warns US that 'war with Iran is the mother of all wars'

(CNN) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is warning the US that war with Iran would be "the mother of all wars" but did not rule out the possibility of a peace agreement.Americans "must understand ... Continue Reading
New photo of Prince George released to mark his 5th birthday

New photo of Prince George released to mark his 5th birthday

(CNN) - An official photo of Prince George was released Saturday to mark his fifth birthday, which falls on Sunday.The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said the photograph, which shows the smiling pr ... Continue Reading
Mysterious sarcophagus opened in Alexandria

Mysterious sarcophagus opened in Alexandria

(CNN) - Egyptian archaeologists have unsealed and opened a mysterious granite sarcophagus discovered on a construction site in Alexandria -- only to find the remains of three mummies in a pool of lea ... Continue Reading
A quadrillion tons of diamonds lie deep beneath the Earth's surface, scientists say

A quadrillion tons of diamonds lie deep beneath the Earth's surface, scientists say

(CNN) - As it turns out, diamonds in the Earth are much more common than we thought. About 1,000 times more common, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.A new study by an interdi ... Continue Reading
Nuclear Nations Fast Facts

Nuclear Nations Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's a look at what you need to know about nuclear nations. Information about nuclear stockpiles varies from source to source. The information below is sourced to the Nuclear Threat Init ... Continue Reading
Protests spread, turn deadly in Iraq: At least 8 are dead, dozens hurt

Protests spread, turn deadly in Iraq: At least 8 are dead, dozens hurt

BAGHDAD (CNN) - At least eight people are dead and dozens injured in weeklong protests over jobs and basic services, Iraq's Ministry of Health spokesman Saif al-Bader said Monday.

The protests started in the southern Iraq port city of Basra and spread to different areas of the country.

At least 56 people have been wounded, seven of them critically, Bader said in a news conference.

Of the eight dead, two were killed in Basra, two in Najaf, three in al-Simawa and one in Karabala. A Ministry of Health worker was killed in a car accident related to the protests and one ambulance worker remains in critical condition, Bader said.

The Ministry of Electricity has taken steps to improve service in Basra, said spokesman Musa'ab al-Mudaris at the same press conference.

Heat, power issues add to unrest

Angry protests over unemployment and the lack of basic services have spread across southern Iraq since last week, as the oil-rich country tries to recover after many years of war.

The protests were exacerbated by issues such as sweltering heat, power cuts, water quality and sanitation problems.

The outpouring on the street spread through other provinces in the country's Shiite heartland in the south, such as Dhi Qar, Najaf, Maysan and Babil. Protests also took place in Baghdad, the nation's capital.

While some protests have been largely peaceful, others included rock-throwing, setting tires and buildings on fire and blocking roads.

Hundreds at oil installations, government buildings

Hundreds demonstrated at oil installations, offices of political parties and government buildings. Internet outages have been widespread except for Irbil and other Kurdish areas in northern Iraq.

Violence raged Friday, with clashes in Maysan province, where demonstrators stormed government offices in Amara. At least nine security forces and 21 protesters were injured, police said.

In the city of Nasiriya in Dhi Qar province, at least six civilians and 36 police officers were injured in protests, authorities said.

Protesters on Friday stormed the main area of Najaf's airport and caused damage, a member of the Najaf City Council and a security officer said. Other protesters stormed government offices and set ablaze political party offices. At least five people were wounded in Najaf, including two security officers.

Some are 'losing hope'

Um Faten, an Amara woman whose son was shot in the protests, said, "Enough is enough."

"We are fed up with the situation -- our sons had no other solution but to go out and protest," said a woman in Amara. "I want my children to live a normal life, but it seems we are losing hope that things will get better here."

Citizens have put up with the broken infrastructure and poor economy since war began in 2003. In chants, many say they have had enough with political parties.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged action by authorities to address complaints and also called for peaceful protests. The ayatollah is the spiritual leader of Shiite Iraqis.

Prime Minister warns against 'aggression'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with political officials and tribal leaders in Basra and with security officials to discuss public unrest spreading through the Shiite heartland.

On social media, Abadi said, "The government is working through maximum efforts to provide services to citizens" and that groups trying to "attack state institutions and private property" will be prosecuted.

"Aggression against Iraqi security forces means aggression against the country and its sovereignty," he warned.

After more violence Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said the security forces are on "high alert."

Mann said security forces did not open fire on the crowds or in any of the protests being held across Iraq on Sunday. This account conflicted with earlier reports that police did fire.

World Cup Fast Facts

World Cup Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's a look at the World Cup football (soccer) tournaments. The World Cup is organized by FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association. Men's and women's tournaments are held ... Continue Reading
CN Tower Fast Facts

CN Tower Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's some background information about the CN Tower, or Canada's National Tower. Standing 1,815 feet (553.33m), it is the world's third-tallest freestanding tower. The CN Tower is locate ... Continue Reading
Kabul suicide bombing leaves at least seven dead

Kabul suicide bombing leaves at least seven dead

(CNN) - At least seven people were killed and more than 15 were wounded in Kabul, Afghanistan in a suicide attack at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, police spokesman Hashmat Sta ... Continue Reading
Israel's Netanyahu says no ceasefire with Gaza if arson attacks continue

Israel's Netanyahu says no ceasefire with Gaza if arson attacks continue

(CNN) - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that Israel will now consider arson attacks from Gaza in the same way that it considers launches of rockets and mortars.Speaking a ... Continue Reading
Which nationalities get rejected the most for US asylum?

Which nationalities get rejected the most for US asylum?

(CNN) - What used to be a long, arduous quest to gain US asylum just got even tougher. The Trump administration's new asylum policy means those claiming a fear of domestic violence or non-governme ... Continue Reading
'Ghost particle' found in Antarctica provides astronomy breakthrough

'Ghost particle' found in Antarctica provides astronomy breakthrough

(CNN) - For the first time, scientists have been able to trace the origins of a ghostly subatomic particle that traveled 3.7 billion light-years to Earth. The tiny, high-energy cosmic particle is cal ... Continue Reading
Flooding and landslides in Japan leave at least 75 dead, authorities say

Flooding and landslides in Japan leave at least 75 dead, authorities say

(CNN) - Dozens of people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides. At least 75 p ... Continue Reading
Start your Monday smart: What's happening this week

Start your Monday smart: What's happening this week

(CNN) - President Trump is readying a big announcement. In four European countries, World Cup mania is reaching a fever pitch. And it's not too soon to be nostalgic about the 2000s.Here's what els ... Continue Reading
Richard Branson Fast Facts

Richard Branson Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's a look at the life of founder and CEO of Virgin Group, Ltd., Richard Branson. Personal:Birth date: July 18, 1950Birth place: Surrey, EnglandBirth name: Richard Charles Nichol ... Continue Reading
Lions kill suspected rhino poachers who sneaked onto South African game reserve

Lions kill suspected rhino poachers who sneaked onto South African game reserve

(CNN) - Suspected poachers sneaked onto a South African game reserve to hunt rhinos, but a pride of lions found them instead.A guide at the Sibuya Game Reserve spotted what appeared to be human re ... Continue Reading
Jean-Bertrand Aristide Fast Facts

Jean-Bertrand Aristide Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's a look at the life of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti.Personal:Birth date: July 15, 1953Birth place: Port Salut, HaitiBirth name: ... Continue Reading
Scientists create 'test-tube rhino' in hopes of saving dying species

Scientists create 'test-tube rhino' in hopes of saving dying species

(CNN) - Scientists have used in-vitro fertilization techniques to develop hybrid rhino embryos -- "test-tube rhinos" -- which could help save the endangered northern white rhinoceros species, according to a new study.

The team was also able to extract stem cell lines from southern white rhino embryos, a closely related subspecies to northern white rhinos, which could be used to make reproductive cells such as eggs and sperm to create embryos.

These techniques could become a valuable tool in the conservation of rhino populations, according to the research published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications.

"It shows for the first time that modern technology can offer some options for conservation when the situation gets very bad, when species become endangered, such as the case of the northern white rhino," said Cesare Galli, who works at Avantea's laboratory of reproductive technologies and was one of the authors of the report.

The northern white rhinoceros is the most endangered mammal in the world. Sudan, the northern white rhino's last male -- once called the "most eligible bachelor in the world" by the dating app Tinder -- died in March. That leaves only two females, Najin and Fatu, to represent the subspecies,

Over the past two decades, attempts at establishing a sustainable northern white rhino population -- including natural breeding programs as well as artificial insemination -- have been unsuccessful, according to Jan Stejskal, director of communication and international projects at the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, who was involved in the study.

Recent efforts to repopulate the northern white rhino have been hamstrung by the fact that both Najin and Fatu are infertile, according to the study.

However, scientists believed that assisted reproduction technologies used on equines could also be transferred to northern white rhinos as a way boosting their reproductive capacity, the study says.

Among horses, assisted reproduction technologies have resulted in pregnancy 50% of the time, according to Galli.

Using similar techniques, the scientists were able to fertilize southern white rhinoceros eggs taken from different females in European zoos with previously frozen northern white rhinoceros sperm, creating hybrid embryos. The procedure had never been attempted among northern and southern white rhinos, according to the study.

The embryos have been frozen for possible implantation.

"What we've done is very similar to what's done to couples with fertility problems," Galli said. "We've made a test-tube rhino."

Embryo transfer -- or the use of a surrogate mother -- has never been accomplished in rhinos, according to Roth. Nonetheless, if successful, the goal is to create a population of hybrid rhinos -- both southern white and northern white rhinos.

Several generations of intensive interbreeding would dilute out the southern white rhino genes, "getting us to the point where we basically have a 99% northern white rhino," says Terri Roth, vice-president of conservation and science and CREW director at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, who was not involved in the study.

Sperm, eggs and Petri dishes

The extraction of stem cell lines from southern white rhino embryos was another outcome of the research, according to the study.

By creating embryo stem cell lines from southern white rhinos, scientists demonstrated what Roth calls "proof of concept," meaning that if you could achieve this outcome with a southern white rhino, you could ostensibly achieve a similar outcome in the northern white rhino.

It's a feat that, in theory, would allow the research team to produce sperm and eggs from the cells, which could then hypothetically be used to create northern white rhino embryos, according to Roth.

In the future, they also hope to use frozen skin cells taken from 13 northern white rhinos to create induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells are adult cells, such as blood or skin cells, that are reprogrammed to act like stem cells. From these, sperm and eggs could be derived, which can in turn be used to create the embryo.

The embryos could then be implanted in a surrogate mother, most likely a southern white rhino, to produce a northern white rhino.

"The beauty of it is that we have a southern white rhino that is very closely related to the northern white rhino, and it's very likely that a southern white rhino could carry a northern white embryo to term," Roth said.

However, because of the complexity around creating pure northern white rhino embryos, Galli estimates that it will take 10 years to accomplish.

The future of conservation

As more species slide towards extinction, the use of assisted reproductive technologies as a conservation mechanism has entered the spotlight.

Many scientists see these technologies as a valuable tool in the repopulation of disappearing species. Artificial insemination -- an assisted reproductive technology -- has been used to produce offspring with 60 mammals, including the giant panda, black-footed ferret and Asian elephant, and 35 non-domestic birds.

Yet the use of assisted reproduction for wildlife conservation is still rare, according to a paper co-authored by Roth, having been met with a lot of resistance from within the animal conservation community.

For Galli, it's a a simple matter of using the best tools at your disposal.

"Many people working in conservation are strongly against using biotechnologies, which seems crazy, because if you have the technology, why not use it for the good?" he said.

Burgeoning new technology -- such as the methods used in this study -- may offer promising alternatives for conservation efforts, but technology is not a panacea for wildlife conservation, according to Roth.

"The concern in the conservation community is that people will hear this and think, 'We can save the rhinos with science and then become more complacent about the other strategies we have in action now,' " Roth said.

Roth doesn't believe that one size will fit all. Rather, she urges for multiple strategies -- including forest conservation, natural breeding programs, the use of rangers to guard against poaching and assisted reproductive technologies -- to be used in wildlife conservation.

"We should be working on all fronts," Roth said.

"It's very unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation. I do think that if there's one thing we should learn from this, it's that we shouldn't allow species to get to such a critical state that these high-tech approaches are the only ways of saving its genes."

Enrique Peña Nieto Fast Facts

Enrique Peña Nieto Fast Facts

(CNN) - Here's a look at the life of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.Personal:Birth date: July 20, 1966Birth place: Atlacomulco, MexicoBirth name: Enrique Peña Nieto Father: Gilbe ... Continue Reading
First confirmed image of the birth of a planet

First confirmed image of the birth of a planet

(CNN) - A planet-hunting instrument has captured the first confirmed image of a newborn planet that's still forming in our galaxy.To the right of the black circle at the center of the image, the r ... Continue Reading

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