Coronavirus: Shops remain open as Kabul lockdown begins | AFP

Shops remain open as Kabul goes under lockdown, part of a planned three-week isolation period to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Afghanistan has officially recorded four deaths and 110 cases of coronavirus, but the true figure is feared to be many times higher as the war-torn country struggles to administer tests and screen the influx of people returning from Iran. IMAGES

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Trump: US would help Iran, North Korea fight virus

President Trump said the United States is working with more than 140 countries to fight the coronavirus and that it’s willing to help Iran and North Korea. (March 23)

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AP Top Stories March 23 A

Here’s the latest for Monday March 23rd: NY Gov orders non-essential workers to stay home; Senate, White House work on coronavirus aid bill; Trump offers to help Iran & North Korea; 2020 Olympics may be postponed.

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Paratroopers always prepared for sudden deployment

Amid rising tensions with Iran, 2,800 members of the 82nd Airborne Division remain on standby in the Middle East. The Associated Press was given rare access to see how “American’s Guard of Honor” prepares to deploy at a moment’s notice. (March 16)

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Paratroopers always prepared for sudden deployments

Amid rising tensions with Iran, 2,800 members of the 82nd Airborne Division remain on standby in the Middle East. The Associated Press was given rare access to see how “American’s Guard of Honor” prepares to deploy at a moment’s notice. (March 13)

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See an Empty World Cleared by Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down museums, theaters, and clubs. It’s forcing fashion shows to reschedule and talk shows to play to empty seats. Broadway’s going dark, March Madness is off, and politicians are rallying to audiences made up solely of their own aides. On March 12, an Olympic gold medalist lit the torch for a small, private audience then ran through trees alone.

The virus seems to be showing us what’s important: not sports or glamor, but health and family; not politics, but political action. It’s shutting down events that used to symbolize our connection as citizens and fans, while showing us how connected we have always been. We can see now visualize that what happens to one of us in Wuhan can derail traders in New York and kill leaders in Iran.

But our response is also shutting down services that perform a vital function. It’s pushing an estimated fifth of the world’s students out of classrooms and shutting down the places we need most in times of crisis. Italy’s ban on public gatherings mean a ban on funerals. Saudi Arabia suspended pilgrimages to Mecca, and both the Catholic Church in Rome and the Governor of Kentucky called on churches to close doors that have stood open through flood and famine. The Pope, meanwhile, is holding an audience from the comfort of his plush, private library. We are left to mourn alone.

The mental cost is real. A 2020 report on social isolation by researchers at the National Academies of Sciences found that older people who keep to themselves develop a “significantly” higher risk of dementia. Life won’t be much easier for younger generations kept apart and forced to live on screens, whose affect on mental health we don’t yet understand. The pandemic is forcing our society to take a hard reckoning of what is essential, and what we can do without. But the costs of those cuts can never be tallied.

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Iran doing its best on virus despite lack of equipment: WHO | AFP

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says Iran is doing ‘its best’ in battling the coronavirus outbreak in the country as it struggles to source enough medical supplies to treat patients suffering from the virus. SOUNDBITE

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Migrants Trying to Enter Europe Are About to Be Stuck Between the Greek Army and Turkish Police

EDIRINE, Turkey — Thousands of refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere have been trying to push their way across the Turkish border with Greece to find their way to Europe, only to find themselves forced back with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

On Wednesday, Turkish officials say at least one person was shot dead by Greek security forces, but Greek authorities have denied the killing.

VICE News spoke to half a dozen refugees today who witnessed Greek security forces firing live rounds at migrants rushing the border fence at the Pazarkule crossing early this morning.

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COVID-19 deja 92 fallecidos en Irán

Irán toma medidas para tratar de prevenir que se siga propagando el nuevo coronavirus que ya ha causado 92 muertes en el país

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Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving to airport amid virus fears | AFP

Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving to Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport amid coronavirus fears. More than 90,000 people have been infected and around 3,200 have died worldwide, with Iraq reporting its first death from the disease on Wednesday while dozens have died so far in neighbouring Iran.

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How to was h your hands correctly | AFP

Videographic on how to wash your hands correctly. The death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 on Monday as more people died in China, Iran and the US and Europe raised its state of alert.VIDEOGRAPHIC

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First coronavirus death reported in Wash. state

The U.S. is banning travel to Iran in response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus and elevating travel warnings to regions of Italy and South Korea on a day when a death was reported in Washington state. (Feb. 29)

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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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Mike Pompeo on Iran: ‘They know if we fight, they’ll lose’ | AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington’s deterrence policy toward Iran is working as he appears before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. “They know if we fight, they’ll lose,” Pompeo says in his opening statement. “That’s deterrence. It’s our policy.” IMAGES

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Coronavirus: Pakistan closes Iranian border | AFP

Security forces stand on alert and trucks wait after the closure of the border between Pakistan and Iran as fears grow over a jump in new coronavirus infections. In Iran, more deaths and new infections are being reported, it is now the country with the highest number of fatalities outside China.

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Remaining parties to Iran nuclear deal meet to try to save accord | AFP

In Vienna, the remaining parties to the faltering Iran nuclear deal hold their first meeting since Britain, France and Germany launched a dispute process over Tehran’s successive pullbacks. IMAGES

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Pompeo blasts China, Iran for virus response

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday hit out at China and Iran for their response to the outbreak of coronavirus, accusing the two governments of censorship and of trying to cover up the severity of the spread of the deadly illness. (Feb. 25)

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Pompeo urges Iran to ‘tell the truth about the coronavirus’ | AFP

“All nations, including Iran, should tell the truth about the coronavirus and cooperate with international aid organizations,” says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a news conference at the State Department in Washington. SOUNDBITE

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Iranians fear government cover-up for coronavirus death toll | AFP

Iranians fear government cover-up for the coronavirus death toll amid a shortage in protective face masks after Iran’s government dismissed claims the toll could be as high as 50. The authorities in the Islamic republic have come under mounting public pressure since it took days for them to admit to “accidentally” shooting down a Ukrainian airliner last month, killing 176 people.

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Iran, Italy, S.Korea virus cases ‘deeply concerning’: WHO chief | AFP

The jump in new coronavirus cases in Iran, Italy and South Korea in recent days is “deeply concerning”, says the head of the World Health Organization. SOUNDBITE N°1P97JA

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