No, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wakanda is not a real country

An online tool listed the home of the Black Panther as a trading partner of the United States.

  • A USDA web tool designed to list countries who have free trade with the United States listed Wakanda among them this week.
  • Wakanda is a fictional country from the Marvel superhero movies.
  • The error was quickly found and explained away.
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The world now has an Ebola vaccine, in historic EU approval

The vaccine is 97.5% effective in protecting against the Zaire species of Ebola, according to the World Health Organization.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The European Medicines Agency granted special approval for an Ebola vaccine called Ervebo.
  • Ervebo has proven remarkably effective in clinical trials conducted in Africa.
  • An Ebola outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since August 2018.
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How did Africa get its name?

These maps show surprising juxtapositions of ancient and modern toponyms of the Mother Continent.

Image: Hansueli Krapf, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • "Africa" is just one of the ancient names that competed to define the entire continent.
  • Geographical terms like Sudan, Maghreb, and Guinea have remarkably wide and changeable areas of application.
  • Newly independent African nations sometimes adopted names of former kingdoms – even faraway ones.
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Study claims to identify the homeland of all modern humans

A DNA study looks for the home of the earliest modern humans.

Credit: Justin Hall/Wikimedia
  • A DNA study traces the homeland of modern humans to the Makgadikgadi-Okavango wetland.
  • The area is shared by the modern-day countries of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
  • The researchers drew conclusions from the mitochondrial DNA of humans living in that area today, but some scientists question their methodology.
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In historic deal, Gabon to get $150 million to protect its forests

Norway plans to pay Gabon $150 million to protect its vast network of rainforests.

Image source: Axel Rouvin via Flickr
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