Man cuts quartz in factory.

Lungs of stone: How Silica has sickened a generation of quartz cutters

Health & Medicine

Quartz is used for countertops in millions of homes around the world — the manmade stone is popular for its beauty and durability. But for workers who make, cut and install quartz counters, it can be deadly. The World reported from Turkey, Spain and Australia — three stops along the quartz countertop supply chain — to learn more about silicosis, an incurable and often fatal lung disease caused by inhaling dust laden with excessive amounts of a mineral called silica.

Mehray Mezensof with her husband Mirzat Taher

This Uyghur woman was separated from her husband by Chinese authorities. She hasn’t given up hope.

Human rights
A pickup truck is shown flying the white and black Taliban flag in the distance with two people holding rifles in the nearground.

Thousands desperate to be evacuated from Afghanistan

Top of The World
A man is shown laying in a gurney with a medical professional at the head.

Melbourne struggles with second coronavirus spike; Former US Marine sentenced in Russia; UK’s largest pension fund to divest from fossil fuels

Top of The World
A restaurant posts a closed sign in Melbourne

Returning travelers in quarantine hotels may have triggered Melbourne’s latest lockdown

A woman is shown from looking through a window and wearing a shirt with a hood over her head.

Melbourne back under lockdown; Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong; South Korean police are searching for the mayor of Seoul

Top of The World

Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, went back into lockdown for six weeks to try to contain a spike in cases of the coronavirus. Also in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today the country is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. And, South Korean police are searching for Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, after his daughter reported him missing Thursday.

A close up photograph of a woman wearing a white protective face mask with the words, "I can't breathe" written on it.

Citing COVID-19, Australian court bans George Floyd protests in Sydney


Australian authorities moved on Friday stop protests inspired by the death of black American man George Floyd, saying large gatherings risk new coronavirus infections and banning the biggest rally planned for Sydney.

A scene from the video game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Amid pandemic, Animal Crossing gamers create dreamy ‘islands,’ travel and mingle with friendly (and really cute) animal neighbors

Arts, Culture & Media

As the coronavirus continues to upend the lives of people around the world, many are using the simulation game to live out experiences and routines disrupted by the pandemic — and for a sense of normalcy and connection.

A gorilla appears sitting on green grass near a tree

Canadian singer delights his gorilla superfans with Christmas songs


A trio of gorillas that inhabit the Werribee Open Range Zoo exhibited calm behavior while listening to Michael Bublé’s baritone voice.

A car is shown in the distance driving on a road and entirely surrounded by dark yellow smoke.

Thousands flee fires in Australia, navy helps evacuate the stranded

Natural disasters

Tens of thousands of holiday makers fled seaside towns on Australia’s east coast on Thursday as bushfires approached, and military ships and helicopters began rescuing thousands more trapped by the blazes.