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Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming three patients were infected by unknown means.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a Koreatown restaurant known for its beef bone broth soup, the lunchtime crowd Friday was half its normal size. The reason was a virulent rumor about a customer with coronavirus.

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TOKYO (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak's impact on the world economy grew more alarming on Saturday, even as President Donald Trump denounced criticisms of his response to the threat as a “hoax" cooked up by his political enemies.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The federal government announced Friday that it won’t try to move dozens of cruise ship passengers quarantined because of coronavirus fears to a facility in densely populated Southern California.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that the federal government is prepared to assist the states if the coronavirus spreads significantly across the country — an eventuality he called unlikely.

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The global spread of infection from the new virus reached a critical stage this week with the number of new cases reported in the rest of the world surpassing the number of new cases in China, where the emergency began.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and the National Academy of Sciences have established a committee of experts on infectious diseases to build on Trump administration efforts to confront the new coronavirus threat. One goal is to discourage misinformation and panic.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials said Friday they're scrambling to get coronavirus testing up and running in every state, as President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser urged Americans not to overreact to plunging financial markets.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As global markets plunged amid growing fears about the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump and his allies pulled from a familiar playbook Friday and blamed others for the slide. It's a challenging sell for a president who has lashed his fate to Wall Street like no other.

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In this week's roundup of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week, we focus on false and misleading reports spreading online around the coronavirus outbreak, a situation the World Health Organization has dubbed an “infodemic.”

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MIAMI (AP) — Being trapped aboard a ship with thousands of people as the new coronavirus spreads around the world isn’t the kind of serene vacation envisioned by most travelers, many of whom are delaying or canceling planned cruises at a time when bookings should be at their busiest.

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DETROIT (AP) — A late University of Michigan doctor accused of sexual abuse by multiple former patients wrote letters certifying students were gay so they could avoid military service during the Vietnam War in exchange for sexual contact, a former student said.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials reported the first U.S. drug shortage tied to the viral outbreak that is disrupting production in China, but they declined to identify the manufacturer or the product.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the Trump administration's response to the spreading coronavirus and faced contentious questions from Democrats about an airstrike that killed Iran's most powerful general.

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PARIS (AP) — Amusement parks, sports events, religious gatherings, even school. More and more things in a growing swath of the world are now affected by the new virus. And that's messing with global financial markets as basic business, trade and tourism suffers from the disruptions.

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BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Malawi has legalized the cultivation of cannabis as the country seeks an alternative to tobacco, its main earner of foreign exchange which is under pressure from anti-smoking campaigns.

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan's schools prepared to close for almost a month and entertainers, topped by K-pop superstars BTS, canceled events as a virus epidemic extended its spread through Asia into Europe and on Friday, into sub-Saharan Africa.

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Fear of the spreading coronavirus has led to a global run on sales of face masks despite medical experts' advice that most people who aren't sick don't need to wear them.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A government whistleblower has filed a complaint alleging that some federal workers did not have the necessary protective gear or training when they were deployed to help Americans evacuated from China during the coronavirus outbreak.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Democratic White House hopefuls are seizing on President Donald Trump’s delayed response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling it the latest evidence of his incompetence and warning that the crisis may only deepen as a result.

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PARIS (AP) — French authorities on Thursday reported twenty new cases of people infected with the new virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total in the country to 38, including two deaths.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence moved Thursday to project calm in the role of chief coordinator of the government's response to the new coronovirus, as the Trump administration rushed to contain mounting public concerns and steep stock market declines.

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With worries growing about the new coronavirus in the U.S., state officials are ramping up efforts to prepare for a possible outbreak while simultaneously trying to assure the public that they are well-positioned to handle it.

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan wrestler from the 1970s said Thursday that he was kicked off the team and lost his financial aid after complaining he had been physically abused by a sports doctor.

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — The cruise ship MSC Meraviglia, turned away by two nations due to fears of a virus outbreak, is being allowed to dock at Mexico's Caribbean island of Cozumel and passengers will be allowed to disembark, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday.

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One by one, more and more countries are reporting cases of the new coronavirus. Governments and doctors on the front lines are scrambling for solutions and everyday life around the globe is being disrupted in a manner that's not been seen in recent times.

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ROME (AP) — With tourism tanking and panic rising, Italy is changing how it reports coronavirus cases and who will get tested in ways that could lower the country's caseload even as an outbreak centered in northern Italy spreads in Europe, officials said Thursday.

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VENICE, Italy (AP) — Still reeling from the effects of major flooding just a few months ago, Venice faces a new emergency: the threat of a new virus outbreak across Italy that is worrying international visitors worldwide and hitting the economy hard.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — It is against state law in South Carolina for public school sex education classes to mention anything other than heterosexual relationships, unless the talk involves sexually transmitted diseases. A federal lawsuit now aims to change that.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that a widespread U.S. outbreak of the new respiratory virus sweeping the globe isn't inevitable even as top health authorities at his side warned Americans that more infections are coming.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Thursday halted travel to the holiest sites in Islam over fears about a new viral epidemic just months ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage, a move coming as the Mideast has over 220 confirmed cases of the illness.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials have confirmed a new case of coronavirus infection in California that could be a sign that the virus is spreading in a U.S. community.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump faces a critical challenge in grappling with the new coronavirus outbreak: Asking Americans to believe him after he and top advisers have contradicted federal scientists in playing down the threat.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential contenders are describing the federal infectious-disease bureaucracy as rudderless and ill-prepared for the coronavirus threat because of budget cuts and ham-handed leadership by President Donald Trump. That’s a distorted picture. For starters, Trump…