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World News Briefs -- February 19, 2020

CNBC: Iran says two test positive for coronavirus, global death toll tops 2,000

* China’s National Health Commission said there was a total of 74,185 confirmed cases as of Feb. 18, and 2,004 people have died so far.
* South Korea confirmed 15 additional cases, bringing the total number of affected patients to 46.
* A second person, a 70-year-old man, has died in Hong Kong from the infection, a spokeswoman at the Princess Margaret Hospital told CNBC.

Iranian authorities reported two suspected cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to the country’s semi-official ISNA news agency.

A health ministry spokesperson said both cases were in the city of Qom ad the patients had been put into isolation.

“The next stages of testing are underway and the final results of these tests will be released to the public once they have been determined,” Kiyanoush Jahanpour, a spokesperson at Iran’s health ministry, said in a statement, ISNA reported.

Iran has not previously confirmed any cases of the coronavirus.

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Erdogan: It's only 'matter of time' before Turkish forces fight in Idlib.

Pompeo warns Iran must be held accountable for Baghdad attacks.

Iran reports two coronavirus deaths, becoming 28th country or territory to report infections.

US sanctions ‘targeting’ patients, say doctors at Iranian cancer hospital.

Apathy runs high in Tehran as Iran gears up for parliament vote.

Turkey ramps up Gulen crackdown with nearly 700 arrests.

Egypt building new wall along Gaza border.


Coronavirus: China receives protective gear from US as death toll passes 2,000.

Coronavirus: Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers disembark as deaths hit 2,000.

South Korea confirms record number of COVID-19 patients.

Afghan election challenger Abdullah declares himself president, announces parallel government.

Indonesian military say Papuan separatist killed in shootout.

North Korea slams Japan for U.S. drills.

India is now the world’s 5th largest economy.


WHO sends coronavirus test kits to African nations after first coronavirus case confirmed.

Egypt, Algeria, South Africa at 'high risk' for coronavirus, analysis finds.

East Africa braces for more locusts. Desert locust plague spreads across East Africa. Locusts swarm into crisis-hit South Sudan as plague spreads across east Africa.

UN-backed govt in Libya suspends talks after Haftar forces attack Tripoli port.

Libya: LNA says Tripoli port attack targeted Turkish weapons.

CAR says 12 rebels killed in clash with UN troops.

Longtime leader Gnassingbe seeks fourth term in Togo's election.

US warns South Africa over land seizures.


Brexit deal 'a different ball game' to Canada agreement, warns EU.

Emmanuel Macron vows to 'win the battle' against Muslims creating separate communities in France. Macron unveils curbs on foreign imams in France to combat ‘separatism’.

Angela Merkel says she won't interfere in search for CDU successor.

Britain to close borders to unskilled, non-English speakers.

UK cash economy close to collapse, campaigners tell chancellor.

Westminster Abbey bells sound to mark Prince Andrew's 60th birthday.

Reports: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle may be ordered to give up 'Sussex' brand.


Poll: Sanders now leading 2020 Democrats by 15 points.

Senate Health Committee announces hearing on U.S. coronavirus response.

SPECIAL REPORT-Convicted criminals are among the special police terrorizing Venezuela.

Mexican national held in Florida, accused of spying on US for Russia.

More protesters block train tracks in Wet'suwet'en pipeline fight.

EU puts Cayman Islands on tax haven blacklist.

Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy in step towards sexual abuse compensation fund.


Somalia: Al-Shabab fighters attack military bases.

Judge weighs how to keep Guantánamo’s 9/11 trial on track.

Caliphate wives share their stories year after ISIS defeat: Reporter's Notebook.


Coronavirus 'could cost global economy $1.1tn in lost income'.

Facebook expresses 'deep concern' after Singapore orders page block.

Boeing finds debris in fuel tanks of grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

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