Washington DC, US/Beijing, China

Global markets suffered record falls on Thursday as alarm over the coronavirus intensified, and governments from Ireland to Italy unveiled new measures to try to slow the spread of a disease that has infected more than 126,000 people worldwide.

Travellers in Europe rushed

Canberra, Australia

Australia's highest court on Thursday deferred ruling on an appeal to overturn the conviction of former Vatican treasurer George Pell for sexually assaulting two teenaged choirboys in the 1990s.

After two days of legal arguments, the High Court of Australia said it was still considering

London, UK
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Belief in witchcraft is hampering efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation in Guinea where almost all girls are cut, campaigners said on Tuesday.

Aminata Bah, who underwent FGM at the age of five, said many people in the West African country believed traditional

Washington DC, US/Geneva, Switzerland

US President Donald Trump said the United States will suspend all passenger travel from continental Europe on Friday to limit the spread of the coronavirus after the outbreak was formally declared a pandemic, sending global markets into a tailspin.

Trump announced the travel

Barcelona, Spain
Thomson Reuters Foundation

The global outbreak of coronavirus will impinge on people's freedom and other human rights but steps must be taken to stop "unacceptable behaviour" including discrimination and racial attacks, said the head of a European human rights watchdog.

Michael O'Flaherty, director of the European

New York City, US
Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on track for a new record - having an almost equal number of female and male athletes for the first time, the International Committee announced on Tuesday.

The percentage of female athletes competing at the Olympics


Every week at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, congregants come forward for Communion.

But in light of concerns about the new coronavirus, the church has ordered boxes filled with hundreds of prepackaged Communion cups and wafers.

A family takes communion

Bangkok, Thailand
Thomson Reuters Foundation

The US State Department should downgrade Thailand in its annual report on human trafficking, rights groups said on Wednesday, citing the South-East Asian nation's lack of progress in protecting fishing and garment workers.

Thailand had failed to provide sufficient evidence of increased efforts

Geneva, Switzerland/London, UK

The World Health Organization described the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday as Italy tightened its lockdown, shutting bars, hairdressers and other non-essential businesses.

The virus sent the Dow into a bear market for the first time since the

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Pungent, spiky durian - a fruit banned in many public places in Asia due to its foul smell - has been used by scientists to store electricity, and could one day help power electric vehicles and mobile phones across the region.


Sydney, Australia

Australia announced a $A2.4 billion health package on Wednesday that proposes setting up fever clinics and offering cost-free facilities for people to consult doctors over video calls, as it combats the spread of the coronavirus.

Australia has been struggling to contain the disease, which is

Bangkok, Thailand
Thomson Reuters Foundation

A petition calling for rules on small houses and mobile homes to be eased was submitted to New Zealand's parliament on Tuesday, as residents piled pressure on the government to address a chronic shortage in affordable housing.

The country has the highest rate

Canberra, Australia

Australia's highest court began hearing the final bid on Wednesday by former Vatican treasurer George Pell to overturn his conviction for sexually assaulting two teenaged choirboys in the 1990s when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. 

Cardinal Pell, 78, began serving a six-year prison sentence a

Washington, DC
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Homeless people in the United States are at particular risk of contracting coronavirus, and the systems that care for them are poorly equipped to handle a major outbreak, according to public health experts.

The United States had more than 750 confirmed cases of




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