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Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, talks to a health official about the latest situation on coronavirus at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Saudi Arabia halted travel to the holiest sites in Islam over fears of the global outbreak of the new coronavirus just months ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage. Photos show Saudi King Salman, right, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Saudi Arabia's founder late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Amid virus, Saudis close Islam's holiest sites to foreigners

Feb. 27, 2020 3:05 PM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Thursday closed off the holiest sites in Islam to foreign pilgrims over the coronavirus, disrupting travel for thousands of Muslims already headed to the kingdom and potentially affecting plans later this year for millions more ahead of the fasting month...

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, Muslim pilgrims pray near Maqam Ibrahim, or the Station of Abraham, the golden glass structure, center, at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia halted Thursday, Feb. 27 travel to the holiest sites in Islam over fears of the global outbreak of the new coronavirus just months ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage, a move coming as the Mideast has over 220 confirmed cases of the illness. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Halt of Muslim pilgrimage over virus brings worldwide dismay

Feb. 27, 2020 12:07 PM EST

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — For years, Ibrahim al-Dabba has been saving up money to make the umrah pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, which for many Palestinians is the only way to leave the impoverished and isolated Gaza Strip. He registered with a tourism agency back in September,...

Indonesian youths play in flood water in a neighborhood in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Overnight rains caused rivers to burst their banks in greater Jakarta sending muddy water into residential and commercial areas, inundating thousands of homes and paralyzing parts of the city's transport networks, officials said. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Thousands caught in floods in Indonesia's sinking capital

Feb. 25, 2020 4:47 AM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Floods that have crippled much of Indonesia's capital worsened Tuesday, inundating thousands of homes and buildings, including the presidential palace, and paralyzing transport networks, officials and witnesses said. Overnight rains caused more rivers to burst their banks in...

Young designers fuel revival of Baltimore's garment industry

Feb. 23, 2020 9:00 AM EST

BALTIMORE (AP) — A floral silk shirt with gold leaf buttons hangs on a rack at the DifferentRegard boutique, along with a “Trilogy” dress that can be worn three ways. Two Baltimore natives designed all the unique fashions sold in the salon-like showroom in the city’s Mount Vernon...

Rescuers look at a flooded river following a flash flood in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Hundreds of schoolchildren and teachers on an outdoor course were hit by the flash flood killing a number of children, a disaster official said. (AP Photo)

Flash flood kills 6 students on Indonesian school trip

Feb. 21, 2020 9:02 AM EST

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A flash flood hit hundreds of students and teachers who were hiking along a river on Indonesia's main island of Java, killing at least six of the students, officials said. Five others were reported missing. The group of 250 junior high students was conducting scouting...

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo provided by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 11th Biennial National Convention and 22nd founding anniversary of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines notified the United States of its intent to terminate a major security pact allowing American forces to train in the country in the most serious threat to the countries'f treaty alliance under President Rodrigo Duterte. (Toto Lozano/Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP, File)

Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea

Feb. 17, 2020 12:41 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. ___...

In this Feb. 10, 2020, photo, Catholic priest Fr. Joseph Arellano, right, looks at a man who forgot to take off his protective mask and tried to insert the host in his mouth during communion at a mass at the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Manila's Chinatown, Philippines. In a popular Catholic church in Manila, nearly half of the pews were empty for Sunday Mass. The few hundred worshippers who showed up, some in protective masks, have been asked to refrain from shaking or holding hands in prayers. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

No handshakes: Viral outbreak spooks Asian places of worship

Feb. 16, 2020 10:21 AM EST

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — In a popular Catholic church in the Philippines, nearly half of the pews were empty for Sunday Mass. The few hundred worshippers who showed up were asked to refrain from shaking others' hands or holding them during prayers to prevent the spread of the virus that started in China....

A worker wearing a protective suit gestures to a driver outside a tumor hospital newly designated to treat COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. The virus is thought to have infected more than 67,000 people globally and has killed at least 1,526 people, the vast majority in China, as the Chinese government announced new anti-disease measures while businesses reopen following sweeping controls that have idled much of the economy. (Chinatopix via AP)

New virus cases fall; WHO says China bought the world time

Feb. 15, 2020 1:19 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China reported 143 virus deaths and a dip in new cases Saturday while the head of the World Health Organization praised the country's efforts to contain the new disease, saying they have "bought the world time" and that other nations must make the most of it. France, meanwhile, reported ...

Indonesia rebels say they took weapons from crashed chopper

Feb. 15, 2020 1:23 AM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Rebels in Indonesia's Papua province said Saturday they had seized weapons and ammunition from a military helicopter that crashed eight months ago in jungle-covered mountains. The cause of the crash that killed a dozen soldiers on board the Russian-made Mi-17 remains under...

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2020, file photo provided by the Anti-Poaching Special Squad, police look at items seized from store suspected of trafficking wildlife in Guangde city in central China's Anhui Province. As China enforces a temporary ban on the wildlife trade to contain the outbreak of a new virus, many are calling for a more permanent solution before disaster strikes again. (Anti-Poaching Special Squad via AP, File)

Virus renews safety concerns about slaughtering wild animals

Feb. 14, 2020 4:14 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China cracked down on the sale of exotic species after an outbreak of a new virus in 2002 was linked to markets selling live animals. The germ turned out to be a coronavirus that caused SARS. The ban was later lifted, and the animals reappeared. Now another coronavirus is spreading through...