Behind the Headlines
Explore our world, one headline at a time.
World Book Editors break down the news in our Behind the Headlines feature allowing for a deeper understanding of the complex events that shape our world today. Behind the Headlines articles are carefully crafted presenting the latest national and world news, science discoveries, current events and other top stories and are simplified for young readers.


Ophelia Harries Ireland

On Monday, October 16, tropical storm Ophelia roared through the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, killing three people in Ireland and causing damage in parts of the United Kingdom. Ophelia, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in that part of the Atlantic, was an unusual occurrence.

Recovering Puerto Rico

On the heels of Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Katia, Hurricane Maria churned through the Caribbean Sea in mid-September 2017. The storm hit the islands of the Lesser Antilles hard, but Maria saved its worst for Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States.

California Wildfires

On Monday, October 9, multiple wildfires swept across northern California, destroying some 2,000 homes and other buildings, killing 17 people and displacing tens of thousands of others. California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties, where the destruction is worst.

The September Equinox

Today, at 4:02 p.m. Eastern Time, the autumnal equinox marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the event is called the vernal equinox and marks the start of spring.

Ice Memory: A Glacier Archive

​Last month, in June, an international team of researchers and scientists braved heavy snows, freezing winds, and thin air to extract ice core samples from the Illimani glacier high in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. The samples were the latest collected by teams from Ice Memory, a project aiming to gather ice samples from endangered glaciers around the world.

A Canadian River’s Sudden End

In Canada’s Yukon territory, increased melting of the vast Kaskawulsh Glacier has caused the nearby Slims River to run dry. The Slims, once a gushing channel of glacial melt water, is now a waterless expanse of mud and dust.

Paris Climate Agreement

Yesterday, November 7, officials from around the world gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 2016 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, or COP22. COP22 is an acronym for the 22nd annual session of the Conference of the Parties. The meetings come on the heels of the Friday, November 4, entry into force of COP21’s Paris Climate Agreement. One hundred countries—including the two considered to be the greatest polluters, China and the United States—have ratified the agreement for nations to report their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Wrath of Hurricane Matthew

This past weekend, Hurricane Matthew ravaged the southeast Atlantic coast of the United States, causing flooding and accidents that killed at least 33 people in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Monster Monday: Sea Spiders

A sea spider is a terrifying beast. It has frighteningly long legs connected to a tiny body. It possesses no teeth or gaping jaws. Instead, it has a long tube called a proboscis, which it uses to suck the fluids out of its prey.

June Solstice

About the photo: When the North Pole has its greatest slant toward the sun, left, summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere and winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere. Credit: WORLD BOOK map Have...