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World News Briefs -- Febraury 14, 2020

Beijing trains were almost empty on the first day 'back to work' for China after the extended Lunar New Year holiday. (ABC: Steve Wang)

ABC News Online: Coronavirus COVID-19 sees 500 million people in China under lockdown

Around 500 million people in China are currently affected by policies put in place restricting movement, to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus.

That's more than the entire population of the United States and is equivalent to roughly 6.5 per cent of the world's population.

As of Friday, at least 48 cities and four provinces in China have issued official notices for lockdown policies, with measures ranging from "closed-off management", where residents of a community have to be registered before they are allowed in or out, to restrictions that shut down highways, railways and public transport systems.

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MIDDLE EAST

IRGC trained militias suffer losses in northwest Syria.

Syrian military helicopter downed as Idlib fighting intensifies.

Israeli attack on Damascus kills 7 fighters: monitor.

‘Maybe it was the Belgians’: Netanyahu claims ignorance after reports of missiles fired over Damascus.

Yemen's Houthis down a tornado warplane belonging to 'enemy forces': Al Masirah TV.

Yemen's Houthis step back on threats to tax aid.

Hundreds of Iraqi women challenge al-Sadr's call for segregation.

Iran says U.S. behind large-scale infrastructure cyberattack.

Defiant, Lebanon's Hariri says deal with Aoun is 'history' .

ASIA

US and Taliban reach truce deal, US official says, paving way for peace talks.

Munich Security Conference: Afghan peace deal 'closer than ever'.

Donald Trump sees 'good chance' for Afghanistan withdrawal deal with Taliban this month.

China's coronavirus death toll surpasses 1,400, but new fatalities half that of previous day.

More than 1,700 health workers infected by coronavirus in China.

Coronavirus: Beijing orders 14-day quarantine for returnees.

Xi Jinping calls for overhaul of China’s health crisis response system.

WHO coronavirus team to arrive in China this weekend.

Cruise from hell finally disembarks in Cambodia amid coronavirus fears.

Coronavirus: economic impact of Covid-19 already worse than Sars, says Singapore PM.

AFRICA

Africa confirms first case of coronavirus.

Fresh clashes in Libya despite UN ceasefire call.

Attack kills 21 in central Mali ethnic flashpoint. Several killed in central Mali village attack, local officials say.

Algerians mark a year of protests with fresh demonstrations.

Locust swarm: UN warns of food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia.

Zambia deploys troops to quell gas attacks by criminal gangs.

No breakthrough yet on Nile dam talks, Ethiopia says.

Ethiopia parliamentary election: Poll announced for August 29.

Pirates attack German container ship off West African coast.

Wave of violence leaves journalists in Somalia 'under siege', says Amnesty.

EUROPE

EU health ministers hold coronavirus meeting — As it happened.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy urged by Putin to stick to peace plan.

Top Russian, US diplomats hold brief meeting in Munich, says source.

Boris Johnson has canceled his planned trip to the White House after Trump slammed the phone down on him in a moment of 'apoplectic' fury.

German economy barely grows at end of 2019.

Fears grow that CDU crisis in Germany could spread across EU.

Paris mayoral candidate quits race amid sex video scandal.

AMERICAS

White House does not have ‘high confidence’ in China’s coronavirus information, official says.

The CDC is preparing for coronavirus 'to take a foothold in the US'.

Coronavirus: US will test people with flu symptoms, in significant expansion of government response.

Amid coronavirus fears, a second wave of flu hits US kids.

Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to curb tweeting.

Justice Department opens inquiry into FBI interview at heart of Flynn's guilty plea.

DOJ won't charge former FBI Deputy Director McCabe.

Venezuela's Maduro says arrest of Juan Guaido 'will come'.

Honduras violence: Gunmen storm court building to free MS-13 leader.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Taliban fighters train at Mullah Mansoor ‘Military Camp’.

Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike.

Benin attack stirs worries of jihadist menace.

UK father and son plead 'not guilty' to terrorism after supporting Anti-Daesh volunteer.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

S&P 500, Nasdaq gain on Nvidia, White House stock incentive report.

Global tourism to take a US$80 billion hit and a year to shake off the effects of coronavirus outbreak.

No need to panic about coronavirus impact on oil markets, US energy secretary says.

Next two weeks will be critical for China in coronavirus outbreak, IMF chief says.

US accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran spy on protesters in latest indictment.

Huawei denounces new US allegations of intellectual property theft and North Korea dealings as ‘political persecution’.

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