Italy is shutting all schools and universities in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Italian authorities say 107 people have died and 3,089 have been infected, making it by some distance the worst-affected European nation. Announcing the move, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the country’s health service risked being overwhelmed. All sports events will also be played behind closed doors until 3 April.
Fists flew as a fight broke out between lawmakers from opposing parties in Turkey’s parliament Wednesday during a tense discussion about the country’s military involvement in northwest Syria. Dozens of legislators from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party and from the main opposition party were caught on camera pushing and punching each other. Tensions are running high following the deaths of more than 50 Turkish soldiers in Idlib in the past month.
The billionaire Mike Bloomberg has suspended his Democratic presidential campaign after spending more than $500m on a failed attempt to seize the moderate lane from rival Joe Biden. The 78-year-old former New York mayor and media mogul was hit by controversy since entering the race in November. Bloomberg endorsed Biden on Wednesday, the moderate candidate he had come into the race expecting to trounce.
The International Monetary Fund has announced $50bn (£39bn) of support for countries hit by the coronavirus. The organization also warned that the outbreak had already pushed this year’s global economic growth below last year’s levels. The emergency measure came after the virus has spread rapidly outside China to more than 70 countries. This week governments and central banks around the world have taken action to ease the impact of the virus.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, a Peruvian diplomat who played a crucial role in ending the Iran-Iraq war of 1980 to 1988, died on Wednesday at his home in Lima aged 100. Perez de Cuellar was a two-time head of the United Nations, which he led from 1982 to 1991 as some of the iciest years of the Cold War gave way to the end of the Soviet Union and greater efforts at international cooperation.