AP Top Stories March 16 A

Here’s the latest for Monday March 16th: Coronavirus headlines Democratic debate; Asian markets dive; Germany partly closes border; White House protecting Trump and staff from virus.

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Markets in free fall over virus fears | AFP

The Dow plunges ten percent – its worst session since 1987, with Asian markets opening sharply down on Friday. It comes as emergency measures by central banks have failed to stem recession fears due to the coronavirus.

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US: Asian Americans warn of ‘xenophobia’ over coronavirus outbreak | AFP

As the usually bustling streets of Chinatown in Los Angeles are mostly deserted amid fears about the coronavirus outbreak, Asian Americans say they are being unfairly associated with the disease. “The thing that I am actually most concerned about is kind of the racial profiling and xenophobia that’s been happening,” says Tiffany Yu, the CEO of a disability advocacy organization. “I think there is still a lot of research that’s being done around coronavirus but the fact that people within the Asian community, people who look Asian, people who look Chinese are being identified as having the virus, I think is a little bit more concerning of a reaction that’s happening.”

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Cambodia: Passengers of US cruise ship blocked over virus fears disembark | AFP

Passengers begin disembarking a US cruise ship at a Cambodian pier, after the vessel had been blocked from several Asian ports over concerns that a passenger could have been infected with the new coronavirus. IMAGES

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US cruise ship blocked over virus fears docks in Cambodia | AFP

A US cruise ship docks at a Cambodian pier after being blocked from several Asian ports over concerns that a passenger could have been infected with the new coronavirus.

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US cruise ship arrives in Cambodia waters, waits to dock | AFP

A US cruise ship that was rejected at Asian ports over coronavirus fears arrives in Cambodia and waits to dock in Sihanoukville. The scheduled arrival on Thursday will bring an end to what was meant to be a dream 14-day cruise across Asia. IMAGES

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Motorcross meets Eastern flare at Namilia fashion show

Namilia sought to deconstruct Asian stereotypes of demure, submissive women by showing “strong, powerful” looks on the runway at New York Fashion Week. (Feb. 12)

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Technology helps to contain invasive Asian carp

Wildlife officials are using loud noises and electricity in a massive roundup of invasive Asian carp on Kentucky Lake. At the same time, companies are trying to find new markets for the fish that is popular overseas, but not in the U.S. (Feb. 12)

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Coronavirus stokes fears and racism in Paris’s Chinatown | AFP

In Belleville, Paris’s second Chinatown, Asian restaurants, herbalists and supermarkets are all half empty because of the coronavirus. Even though the six French cases are in isolation in the hospital, fear of the epidemic is creating fears and racism.

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Christmas tree feast for animals at Berlin Zoo | AFP

Like every year, the caretakers of one of Berlin’s zoos give unsold Christmas trees to Asian elephants, dromedaries and porcupines: a feast for some and an unexpected distraction for the others.

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Still hand-crafted, French Petitcollin dolls standing the test of time | AFP

They have been on the market since 1912 and, despite the onset of time and competition from Asian manufacturers, Petitcollin hand-crafted dolls are still going strong. Around 15,000 dolls are shipped annually from the factory in Etain, in the Meuse region, along with a further 20,000 collectors editions which are made by subcontractors. About 30% of the production is exported, the rest sold in toy stores in France, the shop adjoining the cultural centre and by mail order. Petitcollin remains the only manufacturer of hand-crafted dolls in France.

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Single use plastics | AFP Animé

Videographic on single-use plastic pollution. Britain has agreed to take back 42 containers of plastic waste illegally exported to Malaysia, officials said Monday, as several Asian nations push back against becoming the world’s trash dump.VIDEOGRAPHICS

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Pope Francis meets with Japan’s Abe during Tokyo visit | AFP

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Pope Francis in his official residence during the penultimate day of the pontiff’s Asian tour. IMAGES

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High spirits at Singapore’s school for gin | AFP

In this gin school in Singapore, the smell of pine, citrus and flowers fills the air as students crush juniper berries, blending them with their own choice of ingredients to make custom gin with an Asian twist.

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Pope Francis meets Thai Prime Minister in Bangkok | AFP

Pope Francis meets Thailand’s prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha. The pontiff arrived in the country on Wednesday, the first leg of an Asian visit which will also take in Japan. +IMAGES CONTAIN THAI COMMENTARY FROM HOST BROADCASTER+ IMAGES

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Pope Francis lands in Thailand | AFP

Pope Francis arrives in Thailand, the first leg of an Asian tour that will also take in Japan and carry a message of interreligious dialogue and nuclear disarmament. +COMPLETES VIDI1MF01O_EN+

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Pope lands in Thailand, start of two-country Asian tour | AFP

Pope Francis arrives in Thailand, the first leg of an Asian tour that will sweep in Japan and carry a message of interreligious dialogue and nuclear disarmament. IMAGES

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Romania, Hungary recruit in Asia to fill labour shortage | AFP

Sporting yellow helmets, some 30 men are busy on a construction site south of Bucharest, exchanging a few words in Vietnamese. Faced with a growing labour shortage, which threatens their economies, Romania and Hungary alike are courting Asian workers, belying Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration rhetoric.

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Flying taxi on show in Singapore ahead of test launch | AFP

German firm Volocopter has brought its drone-like flying taxi to Singapore this week as it eyes a push into the Asian market. The 18 propeller vehicle flew for about two minutes and 30 seconds during a test flight on Tuesday.

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Fit Tiger Woods ready to go in Japan | AFP

Tiger Woods says his fitness is ahead of schedule after arthroscopic knee surgery. Woods is in Japan this week to play in the US PGA Tour’s inaugural Zozo Championship, a $9.75 million event that is the second tournament of an almost $30 million Asian swing.

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