News Wrap: New novel coronavirus infections declining, WHO says

News Wrap: New novel coronavirus infections declining, WHO says


In the day’s other news: The World Health
Organization is voicing hope that the coronavirus outbreak in China may be slowing. As of tonight,
China has reported 44,600 cases and some 1.100 deaths. But new infections are declining,
as Beijing enforces sweeping public health measures. And WHO officials say the situation elsewhere
is more promising. MICHAEL J. RYAN, World Health Organization:
It is very hard, though, to predict. We definitely see that the behavior of the virus outside
Wuhan and Hubei and the rest of China and outside China doesn’t at this point appear
to be as aggressive or as accelerated. And that’s a good sign. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, China’s President
Xi Jinping promised tax cuts and other measures today to limit damage to the Chinese economy. In Northeastern Syria, government supporters
attacked U.S. troops today, and the troops, in turn, shot and killed one of the Syrians.
State TV showed people throwing stones as a U.S. convoy passed through a checkpoint.
Then, some of the men fired automatic rifles at the Americans. The U.S. military said the troops returned
fire in self-defense. An investigation is under way. The latest negotiations on peace in Afghanistan
may be reaching a crucial point. Taliban officials say they have offered to curtail attacks for
one week, but they threaten to walk away if the U.S. doesn’t respond. The ultimatum comes
as U.S. officials have signaled an agreement to end the 18-year war may be close. Meanwhile, the U.S. military says limits on
money and manpower have curbed its fight against terror groups across West Africa. A report
by three inspectors general finds the focus in the Sahel region has moved from attacking
insurgents to containing their spread. At the same time, the report says that extremist
violence in the region has spiked. Pope Francis refused today to ordain married
men in order to address a shortage of priests in South America’s Amazon region. Bishops
from that area had proposed the move. It would have been a dramatic shift in the Roman Catholic
Church’s centuries-old policies. A top cardinal at the Vatican said that the
pope favors other ideas instead. CARDINAL MICHAEL CZERNY, Vatican Special Secretary:
He looks to the bishops, for example, to send more missionaries. He would like every diocese
to have a good proportion of their priests spending at least some time in the Amazon. Within this range of possibilities, there
will be many ways of responding to the needs for the Eucharist and the sacraments throughout
the Amazon. JUDY WOODRUFF: Pope Francis also dismissed
a recommendation to let Catholic women serve as deacons in the Amazon. Britain has announced that it will give government
regulators the power to sanction social media companies for harmful material on their platforms.
It could mean fines for failing to take down content such as child abuse, cyber-bullying
and terrorist propaganda. Facebook and YouTube said that they support
the proposed regulations. On Wall Street today, solid earnings reports
pushed stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 275 points to close at 29551.
The Nasdaq rose 87 points to a record close, and the S&P 500 added 21, also hitting a new
high. And a standard poodle named Siba is this year’s
top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Show, the nation’s oldest. The 3-year-old poodle
took best in show last night in New York, beating out fan-favorites Daniel, a golden
retriever, and Conrad, the Shetland sheepdog. It’s the first time a standard poodle has
won at Westminster since 1991. Congratulations, Siba. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: crisis at
the Department of Justice, as President Trump appears to exert his personal influence; the
shape of the race for 2020 after Bernie Sanders claims a narrow victory in
New Hampshire; and much more.

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