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World News Briefs -- February 18, 2020



Reuters: China sees fall in coronavirus deaths, WHO urges caution, Apple takes hit

BEIJING/GENEVA (Reuters) - China reported its fewest new coronavirus infections since January on Tuesday and its lowest daily death toll for a week, but the World Health Organization said data suggesting the epidemic had slowed should still be viewed with caution.

The head of a leading hospital in China’s central city of Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, died of the disease on Tuesday, becoming one of the most prominent victims since the disease first appeared at the end of last year.

Illustrating the economic impact of the outbreak, European shares dropped on Tuesday after Apple Inc issued a revenue warning due to the disruption the disease is causing to global supply chains.

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MIDDLE EAST

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

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

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

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

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

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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