Begonia rubrobracteolata / S. Julia

The Guardian's Damian Carrington breaks down the the latest State of the World's Plants report, published Thursday, by scientists at the Royal Botanical Garden Kew in the U.K. The study reveals that more than 1,700 new species were discovered last year, and examines the pests and invasive species that pose a threat to plants across the globe.

Why it matters: The discoveries offer researchers different plants to investigate for medical treatments, food and fuel and provide insights into how species might be protected from pests.

The discoveries, as detailed in The Guardian:

  • Edible plants: 11 new species of cassava were found in Brazil. Wild relatives of capers, ginger, vanilla and sugar cane were also among the new discoveries.
  • "Most striking": A new bamboo was uncovered in Madagascar, which "produces spiky, hedgehog-like flower clusters" that take between 10 and 50 years to develop.
  • Relatives of garden plants: 29 new begonias were found in the forests of Malaysia; new roses and busy-lizzies were discovered in China, and new violets and campions were uncovered in Turkey.
  • Medicinal plants: Climbing vines related to plants that produce compounds used for treating Parkinson's disease were found in Borneo and Ecuador. The authors reported more than 28,000 plant species are now documented as having medicinal uses.
  • A new species of coffee beans in Madagascar

The threats: Pests, diseases and invasive species, including the emerald ash borer beetle that arrived in the U.S. from China via wood packing material and is threatening to kill most of the 8 billion ash trees in the country.

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Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.

Lindsey Graham says he will ask Mueller to testify before Senate

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Sunday that he will grant Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his committee.

The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of Mueller publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that defended the Russia investigation and conviction of Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Trump on Friday.