Xi calls situation grave as China scrambles to contain virus

BEIJING — China’s leader on Saturday called the accelerating spread of a new virus a grave situation, as cities from the outbreak’s epicenter in central China to Hong Kong scrambled to contain an illness that has infected more than 1,200 people and killed 41.

China locking down cities with 18 million to stop virus

BEIJING — Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down at least three cities with a combined population of more than 18 million in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds of people and spread to other parts of the world during the busy Lunar New Year travel period.

Israel PM, election rival invited to US to talk peace

JERUSALEM — The White House said Thursday it has invited Israel’s prime minister and his main political rival to Washington next week to discuss the “prospect of peace” with the Palestinians, who have already rejected the administration’s long-awaited peace plan.

China virus outbreak may wallop economy, financial markets

BANGKOK — News that a new virus that has afflicted hundreds of people in central China can spread between humans has rattled financial markets and raised concern it might wallop the economy just as it might be regaining momentum.

Russia’s Putin remains secretive about his future role

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin remained tight-lipped about his future role Wednesday as he fast-tracks a set of constitutional changes widely seen as an attempt to maintain his dominance over the nation’s political scene after his current term ends in 2024.

Countries around world respond to China virus outbreak

BEIJING — Countries in Asia and elsewhere are checking the body temperatures of arriving airline passengers and adopting precautionary quarantine procedures in response to a new virus that has sickened nearly 300 people and killed six in China. India, Nigeria, Japan and the United States are some of the countries where airport screening procedures were in place.

Mexico begins flying, busing migrants back to Honduras

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Hundreds of Central American migrants who waded across a river into Mexico in hopes of eventually reaching the U.S. were sent back to their homeland or retreated across the border Tuesday after Mexican troops blocked their way.

Police close office of Venezuela opposition leader Guaidó

CARACAS, Venezuela — Security forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday surrounded and closed the building that houses the offices of opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó, who was in London as part of an international tour seeking to bolster support for ousting Venezuela’s socialist leader.