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Americans warned not to travel, Italy death toll surpasses China's

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: A woman walks through the nearly empty Times Square subway station in New York on Thursday.
A woman walks through the nearly empty Times Square subway station in New York on Thursday.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

The U.S. State Department on Thursday warned Americans to no longer travel abroad, and urged those already abroad to return, for fear they may become stranded as other countries increasingly lock down in the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy has surpassed China in total deaths connected to the coronavirus, with the country reporting 3,405 fatalities as of Thursday afternoon Eastern Time.

For the first time since the global coronavirus outbreak began, China has reported no new domestic cases of the illness.

Only eight deaths were reported for Wednesday, all of which occurred in Hubei province, which includes the city of Wuhan where the pandemic started. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has topped 200,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the U.S. and Europe have brought life in many major cities to a standstill, and governments are launching a variety of aid packages meant to alleviate the worst of the economic impact.

Markets were calmer on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing slightly up by around 200 points.

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E.U. asks Netflix to limit high-definition streaming

Many people in Europe are working from home and staying in at night, and that means more internet-based video conferencing and streaming.

In an effort to make sure everything functions properly, E.U. Commissioner Thierry Breton has asked Netflix to limit high-definition streaming. 

Photo: Medical experts wait to screen foreign visitors at Moscow airport

Russian medical experts wait to check passengers arriving from foreign countries Thursday at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow. Pavel Golovkin / AP

400 foreigners stranded in Panama after festival

A health worker checks the temperature of an attendee of the Tribal Gathering festival rock in Cuango, Colon province, Panama on Wednesday.Luis Acosta / AFP - Getty Images

Between 400 and 500 people are stranded in Panama after a “tribal” festival and music event ended with many of them being quarantined at the concert site near the Caribbean beach of Playa Chiquita, an organizer said.

James Baker of Manchester, England, told the Associated Press that those attending the festival included people from countries around the world, including Spain, Canada, the U.S., Denmark, France, Britain, and Hungary.

Authorities in Panama have required that those seeking to leave prove they had been in Panama for at least 14 days. While many attendees have been able to leave, Baker said many of the remaining festivalgoers and staff would need help getting back to their home countries due to flight and transport cancellations. He told the AP that "the mood is generally good" and the group had tents, medial support and food for about a month.

Markets calm amid silent opening bell ahead of switch to all-electronic trading

Markets were calmer on Thursday, just two days before the New York Stock Exchange closes its main trading floor and converts to all-electronic trading due to safety concerns about coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by around 200 points, with the S&P and Nasdaq down by just under 1 percent each.

Newly released data that showed a significant spike in unemployment levels put some pressure on stocks on Thursday, with 281,000 people filing claims, far higher than last week's 211,000.

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Pelosi demands Trump authorize production of critical supplies to fight coronavirus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., implored President Donald Trump on Thursday to use his authorities to force the mass production of critical supplies that the U.S. is lacking in the fight against the coronavirus.

“The president must immediately use the powers of the Defense Production Act to mass-produce and coordinate distribution of these critical supplies before the need worsens and the shortages become even more dire,” Pelosi said in a statement issued from her district in San Francisco.

Pelosi’s statement comes after Trump tweeted Wednesday evening that he signed the Defense Production Act so that he could use it in a "worst case scenario."

Read the full story here.

Cruise ship docks in France with more than 200 Americans on board

The Costa Luminosa cruise ship with more than 200 Americans on board docked on Wednesday evening in Marseille, France, after it was barred from docking in the Canary Island as three passengers diagnosed with COVID-19 disembarked earlier in the trip.

A health inspection has been underway since last night and is still being carried out aboard the Miami-based Carnival Corporation ship, port authorities said. Health officials will make the decision if any non-French passengers can disembark the ship today, or if it will continue to its final destination in Genoa, Italy.

French authorities said that an American plane is on standby to repatriate them to the U.S. French passengers will be taken by health officials in Marseille and immediately put into quarantine.

Queen Elizabeth leaves Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle

Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic, London, Thursday, March 19, 2020.Aaron Chown / AP

Harley-Davidson suspends production

Iconic motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson announced Wednesday that it has temporarily suspended U.S. production. 

“We recognize the unprecedented nature of this global crisis. In order to best support our employees and following the social distancing guidance issued by public health authorities, we are temporarily suspending the majority of production at our U.S. manufacturing facilities,” said Jochen Zeitz, acting CEO and president, Harley-Davidson, in a press release.

U.S auto manufacturers have partially shut down factories as the coronavirus outbreak pushes people to limit social contact but also hampers economic activity.

London to essentially close underground as mayor says city is in crisis

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Thursday that the coronavirus crisis in the country's capital was nowhere near its peak.

In a streamed speech, Khan said the outbreak was the biggest crisis the city had faced "since the Second World War,” noting 41 deaths in London so far. He also said "the normal rules of the game are gone" when asked about flexibility with the government budget.

The deserted area around the Winston Churchill statue in Westminster as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues in London on Thursday.Hannah McKay / Reuters

This came after Transport for London introduced new reduction measures across London's underground in an attempt to contain the spread, urging only essential journeys.

The U.K. will also close all schools starting Friday until further notice. Britain had initially been as one of the few European countries enforcing only minor daily-life restrictions relating to the virus.

'I felt like I had a belt around my chest': Rep. Ben McAdams shares details after testing positive for coronavirus

Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, said Thursday that it feels like "worst cold I've ever had" and that any members of Congress who had close contact with him since Friday should be concerned.

“What I've been told by the House physician is that anyone who had close contact with me from Friday onward should be should be concerned and should probably take precautions,” McAdams said in an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show.

McAdams said there aren’t a lot of members who would be in that category, but the “few members that I had contact with in that period probably should be quarantined.”

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Conan O'Brien's show to return via iPhone