The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Tuesday March 17)

March 17, 2020

A look at today’s biggest headlines.

Live updates: Coronavirus deaths pass 6,000 worldwide – CNN

The People’s Bank of China on Monday pumped 100 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) into the financial system by offering one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans to banks. On Friday, the central bank announced it would cut the amount of cash banks need to hold as reserves by 50 basis points, injecting around 550 billion yuan ($78.6 billion) into the economy.

More coronavirus cases outside mainland China than inside

For the first time since the novel coronavirus was first identified last year, there are now more reported cases outside of mainland China than inside, marking a new milestone in the evolution of the global pandemic.

Millions across the US wake up to massive shutdowns to curb spread of coronavirus

The end of a weekend spent indoors, away from neighbors, friends, and communities of worship, will not bring relief to Americans Monday as they face a slew of new restrictions designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Multiple cruise ships are left stranded as coronavirus cases increase

(CNN) – Several cruise ships are stranded at sea, some with confirmed coronavirus cases on board, as the pandemic expands around the globe. Some ships have been denied port, leaving them to anchor off the coast of a country. Other cruises have docked with quarantined passengers aboard.

Airbnb further expands its coronavirus response, hosts complain, Vrbo makes no change

(CNN) – As coronavirus spreads across the globe, the vacation rental company Airbnb expanded its extenuating circumstances policy yesterday, allowing almost all travelers to cancel their reservations penalty-free. Now, most travelers who booked with the company will qualify for penalty-free refunds for bookings, and thousands of travelers are canceling their reservations and choosing to stay home.

Luxury perfume makers Dior and Givenchy will produce free hand sanitizer for French health authorities

With the reported cases of novel coronavirus in France nearing 4,500 with 91 deaths, some of the country’s most famous luxury brands are switching from perfume to hand sanitizer.

Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized

New studies in several countries and a large coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts bring into question reassuring assertions by US officials about the way the novel virus spreads.

Pope Francis gives his blessing to an eerily empty St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican is normally swarming with visitors hoping to see Pope Francis deliver his Sunday remarks. But for the second Sunday this month, the square stood eerily empty as Italy remains on lockdown due to the novel coronavirus.

Worried about coronavirus? If your loved one is over 60, read this

There are specific precautions older adults should take to protect their health. We spoke to two geriatricians and pulled guidance from the CDC to assemble what you need to know about the virus and how to stay safe.

Coronavirus updates: Borders close; rates cut; four Chinese cases – BBC News

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio says all bars, restaurants, and other venues must close from Tuesday. “Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” he said. “We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbours.

The mystery of Ethiopia’s kidnapped students

“We are grieving. I can’t stop thinking about her. The entire family can’t eat,” a visibly pained Mare Abebe told the BBC. She is worried about Belaynesh Mekonnen, a first-year economics student at Ethiopia’s Dembi Dolo University, who was kidnapped last December, along with 17 of her colleagues.

Death sentence for killer of 19 disabled people

A Japanese man has been sentenced to death for a stabbing rampage in 2016 which resulted in the death of 19 disabled people at a care home. Satoshi Uematsu said people with disabilities who were unable to communicate well had no human rights, said broadcaster Kyodo.

Biden wants woman VP and other debate takeaways

Nine months after 20 Democratic candidates gathered for the first debate of the 2020 primary season, it has come down to two candidates – Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Given the circumstances, one might expect a sombre mood with respectful disagreements.

Airlines slash more flights as coronavirus hits

Travel restrictions and a slump in demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have forced airlines to cut staff and slash more flights. On Monday, British Airways-owner IAG said it had cancelled 75% of flights over the coming months.

It may be easier to get coronavirus than we thought

First, the obligatory caveat: There’s still so much we don’t know about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease that results from the virus. New genetic developments are coming everyday – so fast that even the CDC can’t keep up.

Chilling Italian obituary pages show the rising dead from coronavirus

European journalist David Carretta posted a grim video Saturday morning that’s getting a lot of attention on Twitter. It shows the stark comparison between obituary pages in an Italian newspaper on Feb. 9 versus March 13. As Carretta’s contrast depicts, the daily paper L’Eco di Bergamo had a page and a half of obituaries on Feb.

Americans are hitting bars and bragging about not social distancing

The nation’s top infectious disease researchers have repeatedly warned, if not begged, Americans to practice social distancing as the contagious coronavirus spreads through the population. That’s because, due to a woeful lack of testing in the nation, no one knows how many Americans are infected – and the resulting respiratory disease (COVID-19) is than the flu.

Everyone’s regretting their ‘2020 will be better’ tweets now

We really thought the shit show was over when 2019 ended. The last decade was rough. When New Year’s Eve rolled around, people posted about how glad they all were to start fresh. But 2020 came at us fast, and nobody’s quite able to keep up.

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