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South Korean cases jump, China counts 150 more virus deaths

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea reported another large jump in new virus cases a day after the the president called for “unprecedented, powerful” steps to combat the outbreak that is increasingly confounding attempts to stop the spread. The 161 new cases bring South Korea's total to 763 cases, and two more deaths raise its toll to seven. China also reported 409 new cases, raising the mainland's total to 77,150 after a zigzag pattern of increases in recent days. The 150 new deaths from the COVID-19 illness showed a spike after four days. Significant jumps in cases outside China have raised concern of the outbreak getting out of control. Italy and Iran have reported a rapidly increasing number of cases.


Haiti police exchange fire with troops near national palace

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian police officers have exchanged gunfire for hours with soldiers of the newly reconstituted army outside the national palace. Sunday's clash is a dangerous escalation of protests over police pay and working conditions. Police officers tell The Associated Press that at least three of their colleagues were wounded. The army's high command says a soldier was wounded in the back. Intense shooting continued until after 6 p.m., when it devolved into sporadic exchanges of fire. Haiti's raucous three-day Carnival celebration was to have started Sunday afternoon in Port-au-Prince and other major cities but the government announced Sunday night that Carnival was cancelled in the capital “to avoid a bloodbath.”


Moderates hustle to blunt Sanders' momentum after Nevada win

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Any momentum that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gains in South Carolina after his win in Nevada could be devastating to Joe Biden. The former vice president is looking to the state for a commanding victory that can keep his candidacy alive through Super Tuesday. The March 3 contests will unfold in 14 states and award one-third of the delegates needed for the Democratic nomination. Moderate Democrats are growing increasingly nervous that Sanders' call for a political “revolution” will drive voters away from the party, both in the matchup against President Donald Trump and in House and Senate races.


The Latest: Bloomberg delays town hall to prepare for debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Bloomberg’s campaign has delayed a scheduled CNN town hall so that he can spend more time preparing for Tuesday’s debate. Bloomberg was scheduled to appear on CNN on Monday. But he’ll now join the network for the live question-and-answer program on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Bloomberg called the debate “crucial” and said “the country can’t afford to let Bernie Sanders skate by another debate without a focus on his extreme record.” Bloomberg had his debate debut last week _ widely deemed rocky and underwhelming for a candidate who has sought to give off the air of a front-runner. Bloomberg is forgoing the state's upcoming Saturday primary.


Passage to India: Trump ready for warm embrace, adulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is ready for a king's welcome in India when he arrives Monday for a packed two-day visit. The trip will feature a rally at one of the world's largest stadiums with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a stop at the Taj Mahal. India is promising the kind of welcome that has eluded Trump on some of his overseas trips, when the president has run into protests and had icy handshakes from world leaders. Trump's trip comes as India is facing economic turmoil and protests over some of its immigration policies.


US pushes changes to Western land plans that judge blocked

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Department officials are seeking to bolster their case for easing restrictions on energy development, mining and grazing in seven Western states. A federal judge in Idaho blocked the Trump administration plans last year over concerns that they could harm greater sage grouse, a ground-dwelling bird. Assistant Interior Secretary Casey Hammond says a new set of environmental studies published Friday clarifies the steps the government will take to conserve sage grouse habitat. The Interior Department opened a 45-day public comment period on the studies that cover millions of acres of public lands in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and California.


Boys, 13, charged with murder in California library fire

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Murder charges have been filed against two 13-year-old boys suspected of starting a blaze that killed two firefighters at a central California library. Police said the boys were arrested after they were seen running from Porterville City Library shortly after flames erupted. Tulare County prosecutors filed two counts of murder with special circumstances of multiple murders and arson. The boys denied the charges and remain in jail. They are scheduled to return to juvenile court on March 11. Firefighters Patrick Jones and Raymond Figueroa were killed as they battled the flames that gutted the library in the town in the San Joaquin Valley.


Cuomo: Jewish center evacuated; threats sent around country

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the Albany Jewish Community Center was evacuated and searched Sunday morning after it and several other centers around the country received anonymous emailed threats. Cuomo went to the Albany center after police evacuated about 100 people, searched the building and declared it safe. Cuomo's office said similar vague threats were emailed to about 18 other Jewish Community Centers around the country. The centers provide educational, fitness and social programs for children and adults. Cuomo said the FBI is investigating where the threats originated. Cuomo said there have been about 42 anti-Semitic incidents around the state since the beginning of the year.


Israel strikes Gaza, Syria after Palestinian rockets attacks

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military says it struck Palestinian militants in Gaza and Syria after they fired some 20 rockets toward southern Israel. The rockets on Sunday evening came hours after Israel said it killed a Palestinian militant who tried to place a bomb along the Israel-Gaza barrier fence. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Palestinians were furious over the image of the man's lifeless body dangling off the front of an Israeli bulldozer that had crossed into Gaza to retrieve it. There was also criticism in Gaza over the lack of response from the territory's Hamas rulers.


UN study: 1 of every 3 Venezuelans is facing hunger

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A study by the U.N. World Food Program says one in every three people in Venezuela is struggling to put enough food on the table to meet minimum nutrition requirements as the nation's severe economic contraction and political upheaval persist. The nationwide survey published Sunday reveals a startling picture of the large number of Venezuelans surviving off a diet consisting largely of tubers and beans as hyperinflation renders many salaries worthless. It says 9.3 million people – roughly one-third of the population – are moderately or severely food insecure. The U.N. agency says it conducted the study at the invitation of Venezuela's government.

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