Dragon dancers celebrate in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 25. Photo: Jes Aznar/Getty Images
Over 1.5 billion people globally are celebrating the Lunar New Year on Saturday and into the weekend, USA Today reports, as participants honor ancestors, exchange gifts of good fortune, and toast to abundance.
The backdrop: Amid the celebrations, major Chinese cities Beijing and quarantined Wuhan are banned from large gatherings and travel that are ubiquitous with the holiday, due to the growing coronavirus crisis.
China is locking down at least three cities with a combined population of over 18 million, Hong Kong has closed all of its schools for two weeks, and Wuhan has reportedly banned the use of cars in downtown areas.
A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries is calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.
The big picture: The WHO has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.
Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.