Italian authorities have announced sweeping closures in the country’s north as they scramble to contain Europe’s biggest outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Italy’s confirmed cases surged from three on Friday morning to more than 200 by Monday. The majority of coronavirus infections are concentrated in mainland China (with more than 77,100 cases), followed by Japan (840) and South Korea (833). Italy’s spike now marks the biggest outbreak outside of Asia.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cemented a budding friendship on Monday with a joint rally in India attended by more than 110,000 people. The two men held hands and heaped praise on each other in front of a noisy, enthusiastic crowd in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Modi’s home state, in what’s claimed to be the largest cricket stadium in the world.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation, paving the way for a possible formation of a new government. In a new development, Mahathir has also reportedly resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. Mahathir’s decision follows a weekend of political wrangling, after it was reported on Sunday night that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.
A vast sandstorm from the Sahara has shrouded Spain’s Canary Islands, disrupting travel plans for tourists flying in and out. Airport operator Aena cancelled, suspended or diverted all flights to and from the islands at the weekend, citing low visibility. Strong winds have carried a dense cloud of sand from the Saharan desert, some 500km (300 miles) across the Atlantic Ocean.
Israeli jets have launched airstrikes against Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip and Syria, killing two militants, in retaliation for several barrages of rocket attacks fired by the group into Israel. The intense violence erupted after an Islamic Jihad militant was shot dead while attempting to plant a bomb at the fence that separates Gaza and Israel, according to the Israeli military.
A daredevil inventor known as “Mad” Mike Hughes has died after launching himself in a homemade rocket which crashed in the California desert. The 64-year-old was attempting to fly 5,000ft (1,524m) into the air in a steam-powered rocket when it crash-landed shortly after take-off near Barstow on Saturday. Footage of the launch was posted on Twitter and showed the rocket flying into the air before plummeting to the ground seconds later.