BEIJING (AP) — China has reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400. The National Health Commission said Friday that 121 more people had died and there were 5,090 new confirmed cases. The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest hit province changed the way it is counting them Thursday. There are now 63,851 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died. Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician’s diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by lab tests. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States has expressed deep concern about North Korea's vulnerability to the outbreak of a new virus and says it’s ready to support efforts by U.S. and international aid organizations to contain the spread of the illness in the impoverished nation. North Korea has yet to report a case of the virus, but state media reports have hinted that an uncertain number of people have been quarantined after showing symptoms. Experts say an epidemic in North Korea could be dire because of its chronic lack of medical supplies and poor health care infrastructure. North Korea has banned foreign tourists, intensified screening at points of entry and mobilized some 30,000 health workers to prevent the spread of the virus.
BANGKOK (AP) — Police say they have taken into custody a man who fired multiple gunshots into the air in Thailand's capital. They said no one was hurt in the incident, which was related to a personal conflict. Police had cleared the area near the site of the shooting in central Bangkok and were reported to have brought a family member in to convince him to surrender. The shooting came less than a week after a shooting rampage in northeastern Thailand by a soldier who killed 29 people.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has taken a public swipe at President Donald Trump, saying the president’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.” Barr made the comment during an interview with ABC News just days after the Justice Department overruled its own prosecutors. They had initially recommended in a court filing that Trump’s longtime ally and confidant Roger Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison. But the next day, the Justice Department took the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it would seek for Stone.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Culinary Union, the most influential union in Nevada politics, has decided to stay out of the state's Democratic presidential caucuses. The move denies candidates who aggressively courted the group from getting a major leg up in the state's upcoming contest. The casino workers’ Culinary Union is a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who keep Las Vegas’ glitzy casinos humming. The group said Thursday that it will instead use its organizing power to get out the vote for the Feb. 22 caucuses.
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