Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. EDT

By The Associated Press | Posted - May. 23, 2020 at 8:20 a.m.



BERLIN (AP) — New coronavirus cases dropped to zero in China for the first time Saturday but surged in India. And they overwhelmed hospitals across Latin America, both in countries lax about lockdowns and those lauded for firm, early confinement. Infections were also linked to a reopened restaurant and church in Germany. The pandemic’s persistence is frustrating authorities struggling to keep people safe and revive their economies. It is disrupting the Memorial Day weekend in the United States and collective celebrations around the Muslim world marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In countries with weak health care systems and impoverished populations, fighting the virus is increasingly difficult.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Health officials are worried that Alabama's coronavirus caseload is increasing and residents aren't guarding against COVID-19 as it opens its casinos, church and more. Parking lots are filling up again outside many businesses, and in many places it's rare to see people wearing face masks. University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban has released a video encouraging people to cover their faces and practice social distancing. But it's unclear whether that will help, and health officials are concerned. Hospitalizations have increased since April, as have the overall number of cases in the state. Officials say it's unclear whether the increase is linked to more testing or more disease.

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has given New Yorkers an unexpected reprieve from cabin fever by easing the state’s restrictions on gatherings in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The governor signed an order late Friday allowing people to assemble in groups of 10 or fewer if they maintain social distance or wear masks when they can't. New York City beaches are also open this weekend. But no swimming is allowed, and masks must be worn. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the swimming ban is to curb the spread of the coronavirus by keeping people off public transportation.

UNDATED (AP) — Several thousand followers of Spain’s far-right Vox party gathered in Madrid and other cities to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Vox called for protesters to come in their cars and motorbikes to skirt the current prohibition on social gatherings. Vox leader Santiago Abascal said "let your desire be heard for the resignation of the government” as he spoke from an open-top bus leading the cars inching down a Madrid boulevard. Most cars were decked with Spanish flags and there were also small groups of people who participated on foot. Some were not respecting the two-meter social distancing rules. More protests were held in Barcelona, Sevilla and other provincial capitals.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — One of the two survivors of the Pakistan plane crash near Karachi said the flight proceeded normally until its descent, when there was a sudden jolt. The pilot warned that the landing would be “troublesome." Moments later, the plane slammed into a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the international airport. Authorities say Friday's crash killed 97 people, all of them passengers and crew members, and injured eight people on the ground. The plane was carrying people returning home for Eid al-Fitr (eed ahl-FIH'-tur), a major holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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