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World News Briefs -- February 18, 2020 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Coronavirus cases in China's Hubei fall for second day, Apple and markets feel impact

BEIJING/GENEVA (Reuters) - New coronavirus cases in the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak fell for a second straight day, but deaths rose after the World Health Organization had cautioned there was not yet enough data to know if the epidemic had slowed.

Hubei reported 1,693 new cases as of Tuesday, down from 1,807 the previous day and the lowest number in the province since Feb. 11. But deaths rose by 132, up from 93 the previous day. The latest figures bring the total number of cases in China to over 74,000 with about 2,000 deaths.

The head of a leading hospital in China’s central city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, died of the disease, becoming one of the most prominent victims since the novel virus first appeared at the end of last year.

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MIDDLE EAST

Russia and Turkey agree on more talks on Syria amid crisis.

Almost 900,000 Syrians are displaced with nowhere to go amid conflict in north-west, UN says. 'A horrifying new level': UN says 900,000 displaced in northwest Syria since December.

Syria conflict: UN says Idlib displacement 'overwhelming' relief effort.

Turkey deploys 300 military vehicles to Idlib amid conflict with Syria - reports.

Tribal forces in eastern Yemen clash with Saudis.

Khamenei says voting in Iran's election 'a religious duty'. 'No way!': disgruntled Iranians say they'll boycott poll.

UAE: Arab world's first nuclear power plant raises stakes in the Persian Gulf.

Jerusalem: Jordan condemns Israeli Western Wall railway plan.

Jerusalem court sets March 17 start date for Netanyahu corruption trial.

Turkish court acquits defendants in landmark Gezi Park protests trial.

ASIA

New virus cases in China fall for 2nd day, deaths top 2,000.

Mainland China reports 1,749 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Feb. 18.

China's Hubei province reports 132 new coronavirus deaths on Feb. 18.

Decrying 'propaganda,' US tightens rules on China state media.

Afghanistan presidential election: Ashraf Ghani re-elected.

Exclusive: US-Taliban ceasefire to begin on Feb. 22. Peace deal with US to be signed by months' end, Taliban says. Taliban confirms Afghan peace deal 'finalized,' will be signed this month.

China says mainland death toll from coronavirus reaches almost 1,900.

China’s economy won’t be overwhelmed by virus epidemic: Xinhua China takes new steps to help revive coronavirus-hit economy.

North Korea health minister reports 'zero' COVID-19 cases.

Coronavirus: Largest study suggests elderly and sick are most at risk.

Exclusive: China's systematic tracking, arrests of Uighurs exposed in new Xinjiang leak.

Uighur whistleblower: China is 'arresting people without any reason'.

Japan's economy shrinks at fastest rate since 2014.

AFRICA

UN demands 'independent, impartial' probe of Cameroon deaths.

Tripoli government suspends Libya talks after Haftar attacks Tripoli port.

European Union agrees to set up warships to enforce Libya arms embargo.

Libyans mark 9 years since start of uprising that removed Gaddafi.

UN envoy: Impact of long Libya war on civilians 'incalculable'.

Locust swarms: South Sudan latest to be hit by invasion.

Niger aid stampede: At least 20 killed in Diffa.

Pompeo arrives in Ethiopia to finish 3-nation Africa tour. Pompeo touts US investment as alternative to Chinese loans on Africa trip.

Lesotho leader's wife's murder trial to start next month.

EUROPE

Europe resists mounting US pressure on Huawei 5G technology.

Ukraine conflict: Deadly flare-up on eastern front line. Ukrainian soldier killed, several wounded in Donbass flare-up.

Coronavirus: Germany hopes to contain COVID-19.

Slovak far-right leader on trial for hate speech may play election kingmaker.

Dutch appeals court reinstates $50B award against Russia.

Sex video throws Macron's party into turmoil ahead of Paris elections.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's health improving in prison, spokesman says.

Government buildings will not have to fly flag for Prince Andrew's birthday.

AMERICAS

Trump commutes Blagojevich sentence, pardons junk bond king Milken.

Sanders opens 12-point lead nationally: poll.

Bloomberg set to debate in Nevada after qualifying in new poll.

U.S. blacklists unit of Russian oil giant to hurt Venezuela's Maduro.

Dominican Republic poll halted after electronic glitch.

Brazil's gangs: Militias expanding control in Rio de Janeiro.

Costa Rica makes biggest ever cocaine haul.

Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy over sex abuse lawsuits.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Pakistan confirms escape of ex-Pakistan Taliban spokesman.

Suicide bomber kills eight in Pakistan.

China’s ‘war on terror’ pulls apart Uighur families, leaked database shows.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow, S&P 500 decline after Apple's sales warning.

HSBC to cut 35,000 jobs worldwide as profits plunge.

Donald Trump blasts proposed restrictions on China trade, wants China to buy US jet engines.

Apple warns on coronavirus — it won’t meet revenue guidance because of constrained iPhone supply and suppressed demand in China.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change.

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