KTEP - El Paso, Texas

World News

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

As coronavirus prevention and control measures continue in China, new outbreaks of the respiratory disease COVID-19 in South Korea, Italy and Iran have health officials on high alert over the global spread of an illness that has infected nearly 77,000 people in China, with more than 2,400 deaths tied to the virus.

In a meeting with Communist Party leaders on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the epidemic "severely complex," noting that efforts to control the spread of the virus have entered a "crucial stage."

When President Trump arrives on his first official visit to India on Monday, his first stop will be Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western state of Gujarat. It's the place where Indian freedom leader Mahatma Gandhi built his ashram, a place for prayer and communal living, on a riverbank lined with Indian lilac trees.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Hundreds of protesters gathered in London Saturday to demand the release of Julian Assange ahead of a court hearing on Monday over whether the WikiLeaks founder should be extradited to the United States.

The U.S. reportedly formally requested extradition last June to answer a number of charges, including conspiring to hack government computer networks and the unlawful receipt of sensitive information.

More than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in armed conflict in Afghanistan in 2019, continuing a six-year streak and putting total casualties in the past decade over 100,000, a United Nations report said Saturday.

Hope has resurfaced in South Sudan, where two rival leaders shared a landmark gesture Saturday after years of bitter fighting.

Updated at 6:02 a.m. ET, Feb. 23

The number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea had a major spike over the weekend.

By Sunday, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 556.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases was just 31.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump leaves this weekend for India, where he's set to get a warm welcome from the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. The visit is likely to be followed closely by Indian Americans, especially those who consider themselves Hindu. Many American Hindus are big supporters of Prime Minister Modi, in part, because of his embrace of Hindu nationalism. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump leaves this weekend for India, where he's set to get a warm welcome from the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. The visit is likely to be followed closely by Indian Americans, especially those who consider themselves Hindu. Many American Hindus are big supporters of Prime Minister Modi, in part, because of his embrace of Hindu nationalism. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.

In the weeks following Iran's Jan. 8 ballistic missile attack on the Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq, 110 American service members deployed there were diagnosed with what has been the signature, albeit invisible, wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: traumatic brain injury caused by concussive blasts from exploding weapons.

Thailand's top court has dissolved a nascent political party that has rankled the country's military establishment.

The court said the party's leader, 41-year-old Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, violated election law because he gave the new party about $6 million – far more than Thai law allows for political donations. Thanathorn insists the money was a loan.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the barricades that have blocked railways in the country for two weeks must come down, calling the situation "unacceptable and untenable."

Where there was a white ice cap, there are now brown blotches of land; melted snow and ice have created ponds of water. Those are the effects of the recent record high temperatures in Antarctica, according to NASA, which on Friday released stunning before-and-after satellite images of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Horn of Africa, one of the world's most impoverished regions, is being ransacked by billions of tiny invaders.

Farmers look on in horror as desert locusts moving in vast cloud-like swarms darken the sky. The insects blast through fields of crops at an astonishing pace, decimating livelihoods in the process.

A homicide that shocked Lesotho has become more shocking still: Police say Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will be charged in the killing of his estranged wife.

But rather than appear in court as he was supposed to Friday, the 80-year-old leader has gone to South Africa to seek medical treatment. "He's not fled the country," Thabane's son Potlako told Reuters. The prime minister's office says he will go to court when he returns.

On the ground floor of the concrete high-rise that became the headquarters of the protest movement in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, slogans scrawled in black and a mural of a fish dressed in a suit disappear under coats of white paint.

The young Iraqis erasing the murals are followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite Muslim cleric whose support fueled the largely secular protests against government corruption that broke out last October.

The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization is calling an "infodemic" — an overwhelming amount of information on social media and websites. Some of it's accurate. And some is downright untrue.

Iran is holding national elections Friday, as voters choose members of parliament from a list of candidates winnowed down to feature hardliners and conservatives. Midterm elections are also being held for the Assembly of Experts, the clerics who have the power to select the country's supreme leader.

Updated at 8:57 a.m. ET

Afghan forces, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and the Taliban militia will begin a seven-day "reduction in violence" across the country beginning Saturday midnight local time (2:30 p.m. ET Friday) — a possible prelude to a broader peace deal following two decades of war, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

The quasi cease-fire was hammered out during protracted negotiations in Qatar that began in 2018. It could ultimately lead to a significant reduction of the approximately 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pages