EU chief ‘concerned’ about Hungary virus emergency law | AFP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expresses concern over a coronavirus emergency law in Hungary that has given nationalist premier Viktor Orban sweeping powers.

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Coronavirus: EU chief proposes Europe-wide unemployment guarantee | AFP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces that the EU will propose a bloc-wide guarantee that could raise 100 billion euros ($109 billion) to aid strained national unemployment schemes as millions of jobs are hit by efforts to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

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EU warns virus-era political reforms must be ‘limited’ | AFP

The European Commission says that coronavirus emergency measures by EU countries must be “limited”, after Hungary’s nationalist leader Viktor Orban took on sweeping powers.

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Coronavirus: shops closed in London but people still out in streets | AFP

Shops were closed Saturday in London’s neighrbourhood of Dalston, but people were still out in the streets, after Britain, falling in line with its EU neighbours, announced Friday tougher restrictions to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, telling pubs, restaurants and theatres to close. IMAGES

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EU to suspend budget rules to help face virus crisis | AFP

The European Commission says that the EU will suspend its strict rules on public spending to allow governments to open the money taps to face the coronavirus pandemic. SOUNDBITE

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China to provide EU ‘two million surgical masks’ to help fight COVID-19: EU Commission | AFP

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces that China will provide “two million surgical masks and 50,000 testing kits” to help the European Union cope with the coronavirus pandemic. SOUNDBITE

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AP Top Stories March 16 P

Here’s the latest for Monday March 16th: Stocks plunge as White House sees recession risk; Millions holed up at home in the U.S.; EU mulls 30-day travel ban due to coronavirus; Conservation center welcomes rare baby bearded vulture. (March 16)

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Von der Leyen proposes 30-day EU travel ban

The president of the European Union’s executive body on Monday proposed a 30-day travel ban on people entering the EU for non-essential reasons, in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (March 16)

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EU chief proposes ban on ‘non-essential’ travel into the bloc | AFP

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen proposes that the bloc close its borders to non-essential travel, as Europe scrambles to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease. “We propose to introduce a temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the European Union,” she says. IMAGES

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EU promises ‘whatever Italy needs’ to fight virus | AFP

The European Commission promises to provide Italy with whatever support it needs to overcome the challenge of the coronavirus, after complaints that Brussels had been slow to react. SOUNDBITE

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EU chief warns against unilateral virus travel bans | AFP

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen warns against imposing unilateral travel restrictions to fight the coronavirus epidemic, as some member states have done. “General travel bans are not seen as being the most effective by the World Health Organization,” she says, calling instead for health screening at borders. SOUNDBITE

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Coronavirus: Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as US bans flights from EU | AFP

Images from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport with passengers trying to change flights in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s air travel ban for European countries. IMAGES

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The EU ‘disapproves’ of US ban on travel from Europe | AFP

The EU “disapproves” of Trump’s “unilateral” decision to impose a ban on travellers from Europe, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer tells a news briefing, reading from a joint statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel. SOUNDBITE

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EU to use ‘all tools’ to protect economy from virus impact: von der Leyen | AFP

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen pledges to mobilise “all the tools” available to the bloc to lessen the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic, which has roiled markets across the globe. “We will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure the European economy weathers this storm,” von der Leyen says, after the 27 EU leaders held crisis talks on the virus by videoconference. IMAGES

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Coronavirus: Erdogan avoids handshakes on Brussels trip | AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan avoids shaking hands with EU and NATO officials during a one day trip to Brussels and instead puts his hand on his heart as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

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EU backs Italy’s ‘bold measures’ to fight virus | AFP

The EU praises Italy for taking “bold” steps to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, adding that Brussels would do all in its power to help. SOUNDBITE European Commission vice-president in charge of the Euro, Social Dialogue, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

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Coronavirus: Erdogan avoids handshakes on Brussels trip | AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan avoids shaking hands with EU and NATO officials during a one day trip to Brussels and instead puts his hand on his heart as a precaution against the coronavirus outbreak.

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Greta Thunberg takes part in a demonstration in front of EU institutions | AFP

Young climate activist Greta Thunberg joins dozens of young activists from Fridays For Future to demonstrate in front of the European Commission, calling for more concrete action against climate change from the European Union.

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