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Fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil’s National Museum, which has some of the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, was consumed by fire Sunday night.

Why it matters: The 200-year-old institution, located in Rio de Janeiro, has about 20 million items, including Egyptian mummies, dinosaur fossils and the oldest human fossil in the region. It also has exhibitions in biological anthropology, archeology, ethnology, geology, paleontology and zoology, according to its website.

The details: The cause of the fire is still unknown and it's unclear how many — if any — historical artifacts have been saved, The Guardian reports. There were no reports of injuries, and aerial video show fire spreading throughout the building.

  • Brazil's President Michel Temer tweeted: “200 years of work, research and knowledge have been lost. The value of our history cannot be measured by the damage to the building that housed the royal family during the empire. It's a sad day for all Brazilians.”

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.