Pope prays at Great Plague church as Italy toll mounts

Rome (AFP) Pope Francis left Vatican City on Sunday to pray in a Rome cathedral for coronavirus victims as Italy's death toll hit a one-day high of 368. The 83-year-old pontiff's unannounced visit to a church with a crucifix from the times of the Great Plague came with Italy's hospitals running out beds and the … Continue reading Pope prays at Great Plague church as Italy toll mounts

France reports biggest jump in coronavirus deaths, says ready to spend tens of billions to help firms

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - France recorded 29 additional coronavirus deaths Sunday (March 15), the biggest one-day increase in the country since the outbreak, bringing the total death toll to 120, Health Minister Olivier Veran said. People wearing face masks use hand sanitiser outside the Louvre museum in Paris, on March 15, 2020.PHOTO: NYTIMES Around 900 more infections … Continue reading France reports biggest jump in coronavirus deaths, says ready to spend tens of billions to help firms

White House urges against ‘hoarding’ as Trump talks to grocery store executives

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The White House on Sunday (March 15) urged Americans against "hoarding" as thousands flocked to supermarkets to stock up on essentials, saying US supply chains were strong and federal and local leaders were working together to ensure food supplies are available. A mostly empty fresh produce section is seen at a supermarket … Continue reading White House urges against ‘hoarding’ as Trump talks to grocery store executives

Trump considering full pardon for ex-adviser Michael Flynn

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump said on Sunday (March 15) he is considering a full pardon for his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about dealings with Russia's ambassador before Trump took office. In a file photo taken on Dec 18, 2018, former US … Continue reading Trump considering full pardon for ex-adviser Michael Flynn

Italy hits one-day record with 368 new coronavirus deaths

ROME (AFP) - Italy on Sunday (March 15) reported a one-day record death toll and leaders warned of a bed and artificial respirator shortage in the European epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. Official data showed the number of fatalities shooting up by 368 to 1,809 – more than half of all the cases recorded outside … Continue reading Italy hits one-day record with 368 new coronavirus deaths

Coronavirus: Vatican cancels public participation at Pope’s Easter events

VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis' Holy Week and Easter services, which normally draw tens of thousands of people, will be held without the public attending because of the coronavirus outbreak, a step believed to be unprecedented in modern times. Pope Francis speaking during the Angelus prayer on March 15, 2020, that was streamed from … Continue reading Coronavirus: Vatican cancels public participation at Pope’s Easter events

S.Africa to close borders to all citizens from high-risk countries

Pretoria (AFP) President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said South African would close its borders from Wednesday to all foreigners from countries highly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Visas will be refused to anyone who has visited a high-risk country in the last 20 days, and 35 of the country's 53 land ports will also be … Continue reading S.Africa to close borders to all citizens from high-risk countries

Pope leaves Vatican City to pray in one of Rome’s basilica: Vatican

Vatican City (AFP) Pope Francis left Vatican City on Sunday to pray in one of Rome's cathedrals for victims of the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican said. The 83-year-old pontiff first visited Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore basilica and then walked "on foot, as if on a pilgrimage" to the San Marcello al Corso church, the Vatican … Continue reading Pope leaves Vatican City to pray in one of Rome’s basilica: Vatican

Deprived of football, players try to fill the ‘big void’

Paris (AFP) Mowing the lawn, playing football with your dog, turning on the TV... footballers around Europe are struggling to fill the "big void" created by the coronavirus shutdown. Many are writing about the unfamiliar experience on social media. Some have already come to the conclusion that "there is nothing to do". Real Madrid players, … Continue reading Deprived of football, players try to fill the ‘big void’

Hit by virus fears, N.America box office near 20-year low

Los Angeles (AFP) Under the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak, the North American box office had its lowest weekend ticket sales in two decades as viewers stayed home and some theaters limited their capacities to ensure patrons could sit near empty seats, industry watchers said. Bloodshot Pixar/Disney's animated film "Onward" retained the top spot for … Continue reading Hit by virus fears, N.America box office near 20-year low

Virus forces closure of key Shiite tomb in Iran’s Mashhad

Tehran (AFP) The tomb of Imam Reza in Iran's holy Shiite city of Mashhad has been closed to pilgrims until further notice in line with measures to stop the new coronavirus, a spokesman said Sunday. "Currently, the porches of the mausoleum and generally all the covered spaces of the holy shrine are closed," the spokesman … Continue reading Virus forces closure of key Shiite tomb in Iran’s Mashhad

Most Malaysia coronavirus cases linked to Islamic gathering

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Malaysia said Sunday that more than half the country's 428 coronavirus cases were linked to an international Islamic gathering held last month. The Southeast Asian nation announced a spike of 190 new infections over the weekend, mostly linked to a global Islamic event attended by almost 20,000 people. "Of the 428 cases, … Continue reading Most Malaysia coronavirus cases linked to Islamic gathering