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Explainer: Super Tuesday contests offer big rewards, challenges in U.S. Democratic presidential race

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Fourteen states and one U.S. territory host Super Tuesday primaries next week, a flurry that could bring more clarity about which Democratic presidential contender voters prefer to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November.

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Airlines at centre of storm as coronavirus spreads

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European airlines stepped up their warnings over the coronavirus outbreak on Friday, with British Airways-owner IAG and Finnair flagging a hit to profits and easyJet reporting a big drop in demand into and out of a virus-affected region in Italy.

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Turkey opens frontier for Syrian refugees to enter Europe after strike kills troops

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Turkey will no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe, a senior Turkish official said, as Ankara responded on Friday to the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in a strike by Syrian government forces in Syria's northwestern Idlib region.

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On the trail: Biden battles to secure needed victory in South Carolina

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Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to stump hard in South Carolina on Friday, aiming to solidify support in the Southern state where a lead among black voters may give his campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination a needed boost.

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Coronavirus spreads in three continents; $5 trillion wiped off markets

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Countries on three continents reported their first cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the world prepared for a pandemic and investors dumped equities in expectation of a global recession.

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South Korea coronavirus cases surge to 2,337; BTS cancels gigs

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South Korea reported 571 new coronavirus cases on Friday, its biggest daily increase in infections that takes its total to 2,337, the largest outbreak outside China where the epidemic began late last year.

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Pope ill for second day, postpones audiences but working

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Pope Francis is still "slightly unwell" and has postponed all official audiences for Friday but is working from his residence.

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Russia's Putin, Turkey's Erdogan discuss Syria by phone amid tensions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Friday to discuss the implementation of agreements on Syria's Idlib province amid mounting tension, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

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Greta Thunberg to draw thousands at British climate rally

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Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist who has reprimanded governments across the world for failing her generation with climate change, is expected to draw a crowd of thousands on Friday when she leads a protest in Britain.

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Hong Kong tycoon to roll out surgical masks as supplies run short

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A Hong Kong tycoon unveiled plans on Friday to produce 200,000 masks a day from April, to be handed out to residents of the Asian financial hub grappling with scarcity amid a coronavirus outbreak that has killed two people and infected more than 90.

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New Zealand PM Ardern says Australia's deportation policy is 'corrosive'

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Australia's deportation policy is so "corrosive" that it has soured its bilateral relationship with New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday, a rare bust-up between the two historic allies.

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Japan PM triggers uproar with call to close all schools as Hokkaido declares coronavirus emergency

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Angry Japanese parents joined bewildered teachers and businesses on Friday in a rush to find new ways to live and work for a month after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shock call for all schools to close in a bid to stop coronavirus spreading.

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Factbox: Latest on coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

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Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished on Friday as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession.

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Israel confirms second case of coronavirus - health ministry

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Israel's health ministry on Friday confirmed its second case of coronavirus, a person it said had been in close contact with a man who tested positive after visiting Italy.

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Japan minister flying to Lebanon to make case for Ghosn's return

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Japan's deputy justice minister is travelling to Lebanon this weekend to try to make the case that fugitive ex-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn should stand trial in Japan.

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Greece says tightens sea, land borders after Idlib

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Greece has tightened sea and land borders with Turkey after developments overnight in the Syrian region of Idlib, government sources said on Friday.

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Malaysia uncertainty grows as palace rejects Mahathir plan

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Uncertainty grew over the political future of Malaysia and the man who has dominated it for decades on Friday as the royal palace rejected Mahathir Mohamad's plan for a vote to choose a new prime minister.

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NATO envoys to meet to discuss Syria at Turkey's request

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NATO ambassadors will meet in Brussels at Turkey's request on Friday to hold consultations about developments in Syria, the alliance said after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in a Syrian air strike in the Idlib region.

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Afghan officials to meet Taliban ahead of U.S. troop withdrawal agreement

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Afghan officials are set to meet Taliban members in Qatar on Friday ahead of a crucial agreement between the U.S. and Taliban negotiators that will set the timeline for the withdrawal of American troops who have been fighting in Afghanistan for 18 years.

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EU sees risk of slide into major international conflict in Idlib

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The tensions in Syria's Idlib region could escalate into a major international conflict, the European Union's top diplomat said on Friday, adding that the bloc would consider all necessary measure to protect its security interests.

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