Feb. 28, 2020

REUTERS

Democratic presidential hopefuls spread out across South Carolina on Thursday as the clock ticked down to the state's Saturday primary, the first big test of their appeal with African-American voters.

Fourteen states and one U.S. territory host Super Tuesday primaries next week, a flurry that could bring more clarity about which Democratic presidential contender voters prefer to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November.

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Friday as investors dumped equities amid a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak, which has raised fears of a possible global recession.

Coronavirus panic sent world share markets skidding again on Friday, putting them on course for their worst weekly fall since the 2008 global financial crisis, with almost $6 trillion wiped from their market value so far this week.

Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished on Friday as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession.

Hundreds of migrants in Turkey started arriving on the borders with Greece and Bulgaria on Friday after a senior Turkish official said Ankara would no longer abide by a 2016 EU deal and stop refugees from reaching Europe.

A federal judge is weighing civil contempt charges against a Russian company accused of funding a Russian troll farm's interference in the 2016 U.S. election to boost President Donald Trump's candidacy after prosecutors accused the St. Petersburg-based firm of defying subpoenas to hand over documents.

Somali troops clashed with a regional militia on Friday in one of the most serious outbreaks of fighting yet over political rivalries that Washington says are slowing the war against al Qaeda-linked insurgents.

Mexico's government said on Friday it had detected the first cases of coronavirus infection in two men who had recently traveled to Italy, making the country the second in Latin America to register the virus.

Several key OPEC members are leaning towards a bigger than previously expected oil output cut, as oil prices fell to $50 per barrel on fears the coronavirus outbreak will hit oil demand badly.

Greece will not tolerate any illegal entries of migrants through its borders and will increase its border security, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.

AP Top Stories

A Chinese Navy ship fired a laser at a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying over the Philippine Sea west of Guam, the Navy said Thursday, acknowledging the incident more than a week after it happened.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran's vice president for women and family affairs, is the latest Iranian government official to contract the COVID-19 coronavirus. At least seven officials in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus.

California is monitoring more than 8,400 people who arrived on commercial flights for coronavirus symptoms from "points of concern," but the state lacks test kits and has been held back by federal testing rules, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday.

Connecticut Republicans plan to honor three high school girls who have filed a lawsuit seeking to block transgender athletes from participating in women's sports, alleging trans competitors have a "biological advantage" that has skewed the playing field in their favor.

The death toll from four days of sectarian violence in India's capital has risen to 38, making it the worst religious rioting Delhi has seen in more than three decades. Over 200 people have been injured, dozens of them shot, as mostly-Hindu supporters of a controversial new citizenship law seen as discriminatory against the country's minority Muslim population clash with opponents.

The release of a Somali man on death row for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl after he paid 75 camels undermines a landmark law to curb gender violence and promotes a culture of impunity in the east African nation, women's rights groups said.

President Vladimir Putin inspected Russia's answer to Disneyland on Thursday, the country's first large-scale indoor theme park, called "Ostrov Mechty" - or Dream Island, which Moscow says will be the biggest of its kind in Europe when it opens on Saturday.

BBC

At least 33 Turkish soldiers have died in a Syrian government attack in opposition-held north-western Syria, in a major escalation of the conflict.

A Kenyan judge has suspended flights between Kenya and China and ordered the state to prepare a plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Police in Nigeria have raided what they say is a child-trafficking facility in south-eastern Rivers State. They say they rescued four pregnant teenagers and more than 20 children between the ages of one and four.

WND

As California faces a major homeless crisis, skyrocketing taxes, and serious affordable housing issues, a California state legislator is focused on issues that truly matter: gender-neutral toy aisles. According to KRON-TV in San Francisco, a new California law would require retailers to have gender-neutral sections inside of their stores.

Legislation that would restrict handgun purchases to one per 30 days passed the Virginia Senate on Thursday, but an added provision that exempts private transactions will likely prevent the bill from passing the House and cause the legislation to go to a conference committee to reach a compromise.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that Japan will close its schools until April in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

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