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Outbreak from new virus rises to 440 in China, with 9 dead

BEIJING (AP) — China says the number of cases of a new virus has risen to 440 and the death toll to 9. Deputy Director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told reporters all the deaths had been in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the new coronavirus were reported in December. Li says Japan and South Korea have confirmed one case each and Thailand three. The U.S. and Taiwan also have reported one case each. Many places overseas have adopted screening measures out of concern about a global outbreak similar to SARS, another coronavirus that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003.


Asian shares higher after selloffs spurred by Chinese virus

Shares have advanced in early Asian trading after a slide in U.S. stocks overnight as a virus outbreak in China rattled global markets. Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney, while the Shanghai Composite fell slightly. The overnight selloff snapped a three-day winning streak by the S&P 500. Investors worry that the new coronavirus spreading in the world’s second-largest economy could hurt tourism and ultimately economic growth and corporate profits. That led many to shift into less risky assets. On Wednesday, Chinese authorities reported the number of people confirmed infected had risen to 440, with nine deaths.


UN report: 70% of world lives where inequality has grown

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. report says more than 70% of the world’s people live in countries where inequality has grown since 1990, including China and India. But the World Social Report 2020 released Tuesday says increasing inequality is not a universal trend. It points to a decline of income inequality over the last two decades in most countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and in many African countries. The report that says despite such progress, the share of income going to the richest 1% of the global population has increased significantly.


Stay awake: Senators struggle to stay focused on impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some senators are struggling to pay attention to President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. That's in part because they've heard the story before about Trump's pressure on Ukraine to help him politically. And they're banned from doing almost anything besides taking notes and listening. No phones. No coffee. No note-passing. So on Tuesday, as the proceedings wore on, some senators rubbed their eyes. Sen. Bernie Sanders yawned. A few either nodded off or listened with their eyes closed. Keeping them focused will be a key challenge for the White House defense team and the House prosecutors.


Bloomberg calls for Trump's removal in new impeachment ad

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is launching a new impeachment-focused television ad calling on the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office. The ad will run in 27 states, including several with vulnerable Republican senators and a handful that vote on March 3, known as Super Tuesday. Bloomberg is skipping the early voting states and focusing his efforts on a strong showing in the delegate-rich states that come next. He's already spent more than $200 million of his own money on his campaign, by hiring staff and running television ads in several dozen states.


In reversal, Clinton says she'd back Sanders if he's nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an abrupt about-face, Hillary Clinton says she will endorse her 2016 rival Bernie Sanders if he wins the Democratic nomination to face President Donald Trump in November. The former secretary of state had earlier refused to say whether she would endorse Sanders in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, instead telling the outlet: “I'm not going to go there yet.” Clinton tweeted Tuesday night: “The number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee.” The two had a bitter rivalry for the 2016 nomination.


Dispute over rules erupts on impeachment's first full day

WASHINGTON (AP) — A rancorous dispute over rules marked the first full day of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. A proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have imposed a tight two-day schedule for opening arguments by each side. The proposed rules package drew immediate protests from Democrats, and some Republicans made their concerns known in private during a GOP lunch. McConnell quickly added an extra day for opening arguments and agreed that evidence from the House impeachment proceedings will be included in the record. Republicans rejected multiple Democratic requests to alter trial rules. More partisan disputes are expected Wednesday.


GOP congressman who backed Nixon impeachment dead at 87

CHICAGO (AP) — Thomas Railsback, an Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974, has died at age 87. Former Republican congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood confirmed the death on Tuesday. Railback died early Monday in Mesa, Arizona, where he lived in a nursing home in recent years. Railsback represented the 19th Congressional District for 16 years and was the second ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee when it was conducting the impeachment inquiry into Nixon. Railsback credited Nixon with getting him elected to Congress by campaigning for him in 1966.


Ex-drug execs get over 2 years in prison for bribery scheme

BOSTON (AP) — Two former drug company executives have been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison in a bribery scheme that prosecutors say helped fuel the national opioid epidemic. Richard Simon, the former national sales director at Insys Therapeutics, was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in prison in Boston federal court. Joseph Rowan, a former regional sales director for the Arizona-based company, was sentenced to 27 months. Both were also ordered to serve three years of probation, forfeit more than $2 million and pay restitution, which will be determined later. They are among seven former company leaders being sentenced this month.


Honda recalls 2.4M old vehicles to replace air bag inflators

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is recalling 2.4 million older vehicles in the U.S. to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators. The recall covers certain Honda and Acura vehicles from the 1996 to 2003 model years. Honda says that unlike previous recalls, the inflators do not contain volatile ammonium nitrate. Replacement parts aren't yet available and Honda says repairs won't start for about a year. Other versions of Takata inflators used ammonium nitrate to cause a small explosion and inflate air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures and humidity and blow apart a metal canister, hurling shrapnel. At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

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