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People eat in a restaurant in central Rome, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. For at least the next month, people outdoors except for small children must now wear masks in all of Italy, gyms, cinemas and movie theaters will be closed, ski slopes are off-limits to all but competitive skiers and cafes and restaurants must shut down in early evenings, under a decree signed on Sunday by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, who ruled against another severe lockdown despite a current surge in COVID-19 infections. (Cecilia FabianoLaPresse via AP)

Italy sees more than 20,000 new virus cases, many in north

Oct. 25, 2020 1:43 PM EDT

ROME — Italy’s one-day caseload of confirmed coronavirus infections jumped past 20,000 on Sunday, with more than a quarter of the new cases registered in Lombardy, the northern region which bore the brunt of the pandemic in the country earlier this year. According to Health Ministry figures, there...

A worker wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, right, stands watch masked tourists walk by his souvenir shop in Beijing, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. With the outbreak of COVID-19 largely under control within China's borders, the routines of normal daily life have begun to return for its citizens. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Asia Today: Melbourne holds off on easing amid new outbreak

Oct. 25, 2020 8:52 AM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A COVID-19 outbreak in the north of Melbourne has led health authorities in Australia's Victoria state to hold off on any further easing of restrictions in the beleaguered city. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews withheld any announcement on an easing on Sunday as the state awaits...

A policeman checks documents of a driver at central Syntagma square in Athens, Greece, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. Greece's government has imposed a nightly curfew in greater Athens and other areas with high infection rates as well as a mask requirement. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

The Latest: New outbreak delays easing of rules in Melbourne

Oct. 24, 2020 11:40 PM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia — A COVID-19 outbreak in the north of Melbourne has led health authorities in Australia’s Victoria state to hold off on any further easing of restrictions in the beleaguered city. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews withheld any announcement on an easing on Sunday as the state...

A banner showing mandatory mask wearing and social distancing as a precaution against the coronavirus, is seen at a park in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Asia Today: Sri Lanka closes harbors after 609 test positive

Oct. 24, 2020 7:54 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Authorities in Sri Lanka on Saturday closed at least two fishery harbors and many stalls after a surge of 609 cases linked to the country's main fish market. The government also widened the curfew in parts of Colombo, the capital. At least 11 villages were isolated in densely...

FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2020 file photo, pedestrians pass the New York Stock Exchange.  Stocks are mixed on Wall Street, following gains in European markets, as more U.S. companies report encouraging results for the summer earnings period. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

US stocks shake off a wobbly start and end mostly higher

Oct. 23, 2020 4:59 PM EDT

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Friday, though the S&P 500 posted its first weekly loss in four weeks. The benchmark index eked out a 0.3% gain after another day of wobbly trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a small loss. Gains in communication services, health care and other...

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2020, file photo, Pope Francis puts on his face mask as he attends an inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome. Pope Francis has been warned of potential exposure to COVID-19 after a Vatican diplomat was infected, Australian media reported on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Holy See’s ambassador to Australia, had a face-to-face meeting with Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 6, less than two weeks before testing positive to COVID-19 in Australia, Nine News reported. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Media report pope met COVID-19 infected bishop at Vatican

Oct. 23, 2020 7:36 AM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Pope Francis has been warned of potential exposure to COVID-19 after a Vatican diplomat was infected, Australian media reported on Friday. Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Holy See’s ambassador to Australia, had a face-to-face meeting with Francis at the Vatican on Oct....

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, Chloe Esposito of Australia celebrates winning the gold medal at the awards ceremony of the women's modern pentathlon at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Esposito announced in late January that a “wonderful, unexpected surprise” had occurred and that the Australian wouldn’t be able to defend her modern pentathlon gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She was pregnant with her first child. Two months later Esposito and thousands of other Olympic athletes learned that the Tokyo Games would be put off by a year until July 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. While for some it meant more time to recover from injuries or extra time to prepare, Esposito realized it might give her a second chance to be in Tokyo next year. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Rio gold medalist Esposito has 2nd chance to defend title

Oct. 23, 2020 3:14 AM EDT

Chloe Esposito announced in late January that a “wonderful, unexpected surprise” had occurred and that she wouldn’t be able to defend her modern pentathlon title at the Tokyo Olympics. “My husband, Matt Cooper, and I are bringing a mini Cooper into this world in August,”...

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after President Donald Trump and his challenger former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in their second and final debate before the Nov. 3 election. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Asian shares, US futures gain after last Trump-Biden debate

Oct. 23, 2020 1:50 AM EDT

Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after President Donald Trump and his challenger former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in their second and final debate before the Nov. 3 election. Stocks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul but fell in Shanghai. Sydney's benchmark ended flat. In their debate late...

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2020, file photo, Australian Cardinal George Pell waves as he arrives at Rome's international airport in Fiumicino. Australian state police said Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 it was not investigating the transfer of money from the Vatican to Australia, throwing doubt on Italian media speculation that it might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Australian police not investigating Vatican money transfer

Oct. 22, 2020 11:58 PM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian state police said Friday they're not investigating the transfer of money from the Vatican to Australia, throwing doubt on Italian media speculation that it might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse. Italian newspaper...

FILE  - In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, driver Scott McLaughlin, right, jokes with his crew and visitors during IndyCar Series auto racing testing in Austin, Texas. McLaughlin has nothing left to accomplish in Australia after wrapping up his third consecutive Supercars championship last weekend. He boarded a plane immediately after his final race and headed to the United States for his long-awaited IndyCar debut. McLaughlin was supposed to race for Team Penske in May but the pandemic pushed his tryout to Sunday's season finale on the streets of St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

McLaughlin makes long journey for overdue IndyCar debut

Oct. 22, 2020 4:05 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Scott McLaughlin completed the Bathurst 1000 in Australia, collected his third consecutive Supercars championship, then hopped on a plane headed to the United States to start his IndyCar adventure. The grueling itinerary took McLaughlin first to Sydney to catch a connection to Los...