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French churches reopen as coronavirus restrictions loosened

Paris - French churches were preparing to hold their first Sunday masses in more than two months after the government bowed to a ruling that they should be reopened -- provided proper precautions were taken.

Coronavirus fails to halt conflict in DR Congo's powder-keg east

Goma - Coronavirus has swiftly gained status as the world's No. 1 threat but in eastern DR Congo, one of Africa's most volatile regions, militia killings and ethnic violence are an older and -- for now -- far greater source of dread.

As pandemic rages, Trump eager to vaccinate America first

Washington - Leaders of China, France, Germany, and the World Health Organization want any coronavirus vaccine to be deemed a "global public good," but President Donald Trump has another idea: vaccinate America first.

Bolsonaro bets big on 'right-wing' drug against virus

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro neatly sums up how thoroughly politics has hijacked the debate over using malaria drugs against the new coronavirus: "Right-wingers take chloroquine.

Europe at odds as US, China fight over pandemic at UN

New York - The clash between China and the United States over COVID-19 has caused a rift between European nations at the UN Security Council over a call for ceasefires in some conflict zones during the pandemic.

Coronavirus test touted by Trump produces many false negatives: study

Washington - A rapid coronavirus test touted by President Donald Trump and used to test White House officials produces false negatives in almost half of all cases, according to new study by researchers at NYU Langone Health.

New resolution on pandemic truce being drafted at UN: diplomats

New York - Germany and Estonia plan to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council on a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic, to replace one drafted by France and Tunisia that the United States has blocked, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

US Supreme Court enters fray over Trump tax documents

Washington - The US Supreme Court takes up Tuesday the most politically charged case of the year -- President Donald Trump's refusal to turn over his tax returns and financial records to Congress and a New York prosecutor, a case that may define the limits of presi...

Italian rice puts pasta in the shade during pandemic

Robbio - Europe's top rice producer Italy has seen consumption of the staple rise throughout the coronavirus pandemic, putting even pasta in the shade.It's not just popular at home either -- China itself has even signed a deal to import Italian rice.

Belarus holds Victory Day parade despite coronavirus threat

Minsk - Thousands of troops paraded before crowds of spectators in Minsk Saturday to mark 75 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany as Belarus held a celebration of Victory Day despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In Brazil, coronavirus hits blacks harder than whites

Rio De Janeiro - The coronavirus pandemic has a color in Brazil, the epicenter of the outbreak in Latin America: black Brazilians are exposed to greater risk than whites and are dying at a higher rate.

Portugal starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdown

Lisbon - Portugal will begin to ease its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, with small shops, hair salons and car dealers resuming operations as a state of emergency was lifted after more than six weeks.

For Haitians, die of hunger today or coronavirus tomorrow?

Port-au-prince - When the novel coronavirus first appeared in Haiti authorities and humanitarian experts panicked, worried about the country's decrepit health system -- but the pandemic's economic consequences could prove yet deadlier for the nation's poor.

Surfers, sunbathers test waters as California closes Huntington Beach

Los Angeles - Sun, sand and surfers, dude: Huntington Beach would have made for a classic postcard Saturday, if it weren't for police tape blocking locals from cramming this famous California haunt amid efforts to curb the coronavirus.

As world opens from virus, borders stay shut

Washington - The world is gradually ending weeks of coronavirus confinement but one area remains firmly shut -- international borders, which few governments are yet daring to open.

Thunberg donates $100,000 to support children during pandemic

New York - Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has donated a $100,000 prize she won from a Danish foundation to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for use against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world body said Thursday.

UN Security Council nears virus resolution, and perhaps a new path

New York - After more than a month of controversy, a UN Security Council buffeted between the United States, China and Russia is finally expected this week to adopt its first resolution on the coronavirus pandemic, amid calls for intensified international coopera...

Macron vows help to keep French restaurants, hotels afloat

Paris - President Emmanuel Macron on Friday vowed measures to keep afloat France's hotel and restaurant sector, one of the mainstays of the economy but also the French way-of-life that is being battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In virus-hit Cuba, the struggle to get food on the table

Havana - Yadira types out a message to her WhatsApp group, with the name of a Havana store where a supply of chicken has just arrived.

No benefit, higher death rate for malaria drug in coronavirus study

Washington - A malaria drug widely touted as a potential cure for COVID-19 showed no benefit against the disease over standard care -- and was in fact associated with more deaths, the biggest study of its kind showed Tuesday.

US failed to block UN virus vaccine resolution

New York - The UN General Assembly has demanded equal access for any future COVID-19 vaccine but its seeming unanimity was a fluke. The United States in fact opposed the resolution but acted too late to stop it, diplomats say.

Women suffer as lockdown worsens Latin America's 'domestic hell'

Buenos Aires - Weeks of confinement imposed by the coronavirus pandemic is taking a chilling toll on women and girls across Latin America, where the number of calls to helplines have soared, made by victims of domestic violence who cannot flee.

What we know about the 'devious' coronavirus

Paris - Will the novel coronavirus leave you short of breath or make you lose your sense of smell? And if you have had it once, can you be confident you are immune? So far, the research on COVID-19 has raised as many questions as it has answered.

Cuba's private sector suffering from a lack of tourists

Havana - Havana is a ghost town. The American convertibles swooned over by tourists are back in the garage, while most restaurants and cafes are closed.

Hungry, jobless Americans turning to food banks to survive pandemic

New York - American families slammed by the coronavirus pandemic are turning more and more to food banks to get by, waiting hours for donations in lines of cars stretching as far as the eye can see.

America's love affair with an elderly epidemiologist

Washington - Move over, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There is a new feisty super senior in Washington who is captivating American hearts.

Study shows Iceland got it right with early, widespread virus testing

Washington - Iceland has provided a textbook example of how to get out ahead of a looming pandemic: per capita, it has tested more people for coronavirus than any other country on earth and it got started a month before the first case was even confirmed in the tiny...

Debt moratorium 'essential' to help Africa fight coronavirus: Macron

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for a moratorium on the debt of African countries as "an essential step" to help the continent get through the coronavirus crisis.

As US hits virus peak, warnings not to ease lockdown too soon

Washington - The US coronavirus epidemic appears to be hitting its peak, but scientists are already warning a second wave is possible if President Donald Trump and others move too fast in easing the nationwide lockdown.

Failures in Ecuador a warning for Latin America's COVID-19 fight

Guayaquil - With hundreds of bodies left decaying in homes for days due to lack of space in the city's overwhelmed morgues and hospitals, the coronavirus has struck a blow to Ecuador's economic capital Quayaquil, now a symbol of the chaos the pandemic can unleash ...
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