Pilgrims turn to prayer, kinship during coronavirus scare

JERUSALEM — A group of Christian pilgrims from Alabama is turning to prayer and positive thinking as they cope with an open-ended coronavirus quarantine, confined to their West Bank hotel rooms while they wait for clearance to return to the United States.

F1’s Bahrain Grand Prix to run without fans due to virus

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Formula One’s Bahrain Grand Prix will run this month without spectators as the island kingdom fights an outbreak of the new coronavirus, organizers announced Sunday. Mideast stock markets fell sharply amid a plummeting demand for crude oil.

MH17 relatives protest against Russia with 298 empty chairs

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The families of people killed when a missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 set out 298 white chairs outside the Russian Embassy on Sunday in a silent protest against Moscow’s lack of cooperation in the investigation into the downing of the passenger jet.

Tear gas sprayed across migrants at Turkey-Greece border

EDIRNE, Turkey — A group of migrants on Saturday tried to bring down a fence in a desperate attempt to bust through the border into Greece while others hurled rocks at Greek police. Greek authorities responded, firing volleys of tear gas at the youths.

Tensions between Greece and Turkey rise over migrant clashes

KASTANIES, Greece — Greece countered accusations from Turkey Wednesday that it was responsible for the death of a migrant, as its border authorities strove for a sixth day to keep thousands of migrants out by using tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.

Red Cross: ‘Life without fear is overdue in Colombia’

BOGOTA, Colombia — The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Colombia warned Wednesday that ongoing human rights violations and the forced displacement of thousands from their homes because of violence mean many still live in fear.

Virus halts pilgrimages to Mecca, Friday prayers in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — The coronavirus outbreak disrupted Islamic worship in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia on Wednesday banned its citizens and other residents of the kingdom from performing the pilgrimage in Mecca, while Iran canceled Friday prayers in major cities.

In Italy and beyond, virus outbreak reshapes work and play

ROME — Italy closed all schools and universities Wednesday and barred fans from all sporting events for the next few weeks, as governments trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus around the world resorted to increasingly sweeping measures that transformed the way people work, shop, pray and amuse themselves.

Mild now, wild later? UK prepares for severe virus spread

LONDON — British authorities laid out plans Tuesday to confront a COVID-19 epidemic, saying that the new coronavirus could spread within weeks from a few dozen confirmed cases to millions of infections, with thousands of people in the U.K. at risk of death.

France fights mask hoarding; Virus deaths soar in Italy

PARIS — France requisitioned protective masks and sent tens of thousands of students home from school, deaths in Italy soared and Spain isolated dozens of health workers Tuesday as the new coronavirus spread further into Europe.

Virus crisis ebbs in China, spreads fear across the West

PARIS — The coronavirus crisis shifted increasingly westward toward the Mideast, Europe and the United States on Tuesday, with governments taking emergency steps to ease shortages of face masks and other supplies for front-line doctors and nurses.

4 Mexican bishops referred to superiors in sex abuse cases

MEXICO CITY — The Vatican’s representative in Mexico said Tuesday that four Catholic bishops had been referred to their superiors for alleged connections to cases of sexual abuse as part of the church’s efforts to gather information about efforts to cover up abuse.