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BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. Consulate in the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan will evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight Tuesday. A notice Sunday from the embassy in Beijing said there would be limited capacity to transport U.S. citizens on the flight that will proceed directly to San Francisco. It says that in the event there are not enough seats, priority will be given to to individuals “at greater risk from coronavirus," a new respiratory disease has sickened 1,975 people and killed 56, almost all in Wuhan.
BEIJING (AP) — The new virus has accelerated its spread in China with 56 deaths so far in what the country's leader called a grave situation. The government has stepped up efforts to restrict travel and public gatherings while rushing medical staff and supplies to the closed-off city at the center of the outbreak. The figures reported Sunday morning cover the previous 24 hours and mark an increase of 15 deaths and 688 cases for a total of 1,975 infections. President Xi Jinping called the accelerating spread of the virus a grave situation. Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours as millions traveling during the holiday have fueled the spread of the outbreak.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Democratic presidential race in Iowa is heating up and more volatile than ever as the kickoff caucuses approach a week from Monday. Candidates raced back from a break in the impeachment trial in Washington. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts picked up a coveted endorsement from The Des Moines Register. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, showed renewed strength and predicted victory in the state. Joe Biden, collected an endorsement from the Sioux City Journal and got backing from another Iowa member of Congress. And Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, sought to position himself above the partisan fray.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine authorities have lowered the alert level at Taal Volcano, two weeks after it began spewing ash, steam and rocks, a move that will allow many of the more than 376,000 displaced villagers to return home. A popular tourist destination just south of Manila because of its picturesque setting in the middle of a lake, Taal erupted on Jan. 12. It caused no known deaths but delivered an early crisis this year for one of the world’s most disaster-prone nations. The mayor of Agoncillo, a town along the western shores of Taal Lake overlooking the island where the volcano lies, says he's relieved but concerned because its residents could still not return home because of the proximity to the volcano.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department says a 22-year-old soldier from North Carolina has died in a rollover accident in Syria. The department said Saturday that Spc. Antonio I. Moore of Wilmington, North Carolina, died Friday in Deir ez Zor Province, Syria, during the accident while conducting route-clearing operations. The incident is under investigation. Moore was assigned to the 363rd Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, in Knightdale, North Carolina.