AP Top Stories Feb. 29 P

Here are the top stories for Saturday, Feb. 29th: U.S. imposes new travel restrictions due to coronavirus; U.S. and Taliban sign historic peace agreement; Primary voters cast ballots in South Carolina; LGBT Mardi Gras parade held in Sydney.

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Trump says he will meet Taliban leaders

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he thought Afghan peace talks would “be successful in the end” and that he would meet Taliban leaders. (Feb. 29)

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France: Demonstration at parliament after pension reform debate cut short | AFP

Police forces surround several hundred people demonstrating peacefully on the Concorde Bridge, in front of the French National Assembly in Paris, after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the government’s decision to use an article of the Constitution (49-3) to shorten the debates over the controversial pension reform. IMAGES

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US expands restrictions on travel from Iran over coronavirus: Pence | AFP

US Vice President Mike Pence tells reporters at a White House briefing that travel restrictions on Iran – already under a travel ban – will be expanded to help contain the coronavirus. Pence also urges US citizens to avoid traveling “to specific regions in Italy and South Korea.” SOUNDBITE

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First coronavirus fatality on US soil was woman in late 50s: Trump | AFP

The first death from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed on US soil, US President Donald Trump tells reporters. The fatality occurred in King County, the most populous in the state and home to Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people. SOUNDBITE

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Trump warns Afghanistan’s Taliban: ‘If bad things happen, we’ll go back’ | AFP

US President Donald Trump warns Afghanistan’s Taliban: “If bad things happen, we’ll go back,” after the United States signed with them a historic accord that Washington hopes will mark the beginning of the end of its longest war. SOUNDBITE

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Trump says will meet ‘personally’ with Taliban leaders | AFP

US President Donald Trump says he will meet “personally” with Taliban leaders, after the signing of a historic deal that Washington hopes will mark the beginning of the end of its longest war. SOUNDBITE

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“I’m not Bernie”: a Bernie Sanders look-alike enjoys his claim to fame | AFP

Jeff Jones, 77, wears a “I’m not Bernie” sweater in Los Angeles, after having multiple people asking if he was the real Bernie Sanders. This unofficial Bernie look-alike says he does this to “lighten things up, because the political atmosphere in this country has been very brutal in the last few years.”

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Voters make choices in US state primary

The Democrats’ 2020 nominating fight turned to South Carolina on Saturday for the first-in-the-South primary. (Feb. 29)

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Thousands march in Moscow for ‘Russia without Putin’ | AFP

Thousands rally in central Moscow to call on President Vladimir Putin not to stay in power indefinitely, in the first major protest by the Russian opposition since the Kremlin chief announced controversial plans to change the constitution. The rally marks five years since the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov but its organisers also want the event to send a message to Putin after he proposed major constitutional changes. Organisers, including the country’s most prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, called for a mass turnout to show Putin that he must not consider staying in power by any means when his current mandate ends in 2024.

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Coronavirus business dip prompts Myanmar’s first melon festival | AFP

Juicy, ripe and plentiful, Myanmar’s melons are ready to eat — but as coronavirus fears reach fever pitch, Chinese buyers are staying away. With the China-Myanmar border closed, producers are holding their first festival for the fruit in the hope of selling their wares so they won’t go to waste.

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Today in History for February 29th

Highlights of Today in History: Leap day adds additional day to calendar; Gone With The Wind wins eight oscars. (Feb. 29)

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Guinea-Bissau: military occupy state institutions under the order of the new president | AFP

Following the postponement of legislative elections and a constitutional referendum by Guinean President Alpha Condรฉ, the military and law enforcement occupy state institutions, including the government palace where the PM’s office is located. IMAGES

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Migrants continue to arrive on Lesbos island | AFP

Migrants continue to arrive on Lesbos, despite the bad weather, after Turkish officials said Ankara would no longer prevent refugees from going to Europe.

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