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Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

People wearing masks in the street in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries and more than 200,000 deaths.

The United States alone has more than one million confirmed cases – four times as many as any other country.

This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.

How many cases and deaths have there been?

The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

It is spreading rapidly in many countries and the number of deaths is still climbing.

Confirmed cases around the world

3,200,322 cases

230,043 deaths

955,586 recoveries

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Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated

30 April 2020, 18:29 BST

Note: The map and table in this page uses a different source for figures for France from that used by Johns Hopkins University which results in a slightly lower overall total.

The US has by far the largest number of cases, with more than one million confirmed infections, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 60,000 fatalities, it also has the world’s highest death toll.

Italy, the UK, Spain and France – the worst-hit European countries – have all recorded more than 20,000 deaths.

In China, the official death toll is approaching 5,000 from about 84,000 confirmed cases. Numbers for deaths jumped on 17 April after what officials called “a statistical review” and critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.

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This information is regularly updated but may not reflect the latest totals for each country.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies

Figures last updated: 30 April 2020, 18:29 BST

Note: The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average

The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.

More than three million people are known to have been infected worldwide, but the true figure is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.

While the US and much of Europe has been hit hard by the virus, some countries have managed to avoid similar death tolls.

New Zealand, for instance, says it has effectively eliminated the threat for now after fewer than 1,500 cases and just 19 deaths.

The country brought in some of the toughest restrictions in the world on travel and activity early on in the pandemic but is now relaxing some of these. This week some non-essential businesses will be reopening but most people will still have to stay at home and avoid all social interactions.

While some countries are beginning to ease restrictions, others are only now starting to impose them as cases and deaths begin to rise.

Across Latin America, where many economies are already struggling and millions live on what they can earn day-to-day, there are concerns about the strain the growing number of virus cases could put on health care systems. Of particular concern are Ecuador and Brazil.

Ecuador has already seen its health system collapse – thousands have died from the virus and other conditions that could not be treated because of the crisis. While Brazil has also seen a steep rise in both cases and deaths, with every state in South America’s largest country affected.

Across the world, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – are estimated to be living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency.

Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund saying the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The UN World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.

Europe beginning to ease lockdown measures

The four worst-hit countries in Europe are Italy, the UK, Spain and France – all of which have recorded at least 20,000 deaths.

However, all four countries appear to have passed through the peak of the virus now and the number of reported cases and deaths is falling in each.

Germany and Belgium also recorded a relatively high number of deaths and are now seeing those numbers decrease, though as Belgium has a far smaller population than Germany the number of deaths per capita there has been higher.

How countries across Europe are deciding to move out of lockdown varies, with the EU saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to lifting containment measures.

Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. Children there under the age of 14 are now allowed to leave their homes for an hour a day, after six weeks in lockdown.

In Italy, certain shops and factories have been allowed to reopen and the prime minister says further measures will be eased from 4 May.

In France, the prime minister said this week that non-essential shops and markets will open their doors again from 11 May, but not bars and restaurants. Schools will also be reopened gradually.

Other European countries easing restrictions include Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany, where children’s play areas and museums have been told they can reopen and church services can resume, under strict social distancing and hygiene rules.

In the UK, where there have been more than 170,000 confirmed cases and at least 26,000 deaths, lockdown measures are still in full effect. The prime minister has promised a “comprehensive plan” in the next week on how the government will get the country moving again.

New York remains epicentre of US outbreak

With more than one million cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The country has also recorded more than 60,000 deaths.

The state of New York has been particularly badly affected, with 18,000 deaths in New York City alone, but Governor Andrew Cuomo says the toll “seems to be on a gentle decline”.

Mr Cuomo has suggested some parts of his state could begin to reopen after the current stay-at-home order expires on 15 May.

At one point, more than 90% of the US population was under mandatory lockdown orders, but President Trump has stated that he will not be renewing his government’s social distancing guidelines once they expire on Thursday and some states have already begun to lift restrictions.

Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have all allowed some businesses to reopen in recent days following official unemployment figures that showed more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.

But public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity could spark a fresh surge of infections just as the number of new cases is beginning to ease off.

White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr Deborah Birx has said social distancing should remain the norm “through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases”.

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Walthamstow gang jailed for mistaken identity murder

Joseph Williams-Torres

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Metropolitan Police

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Joseph Williams-Torres was shot on the evening of 14 March 2018

Three gang members have been jailed for murdering a man who was shot in east London in a case of mistaken identity.

Joseph Williams-Torres was sitting with a friend in a van when he was attacked in Walthamstow on 14 March 2018.

The Old Bailey heard the 20-year-old had been killed “by mistake” as part of a turf war between rival youths.

Hamza Ul Haq, 21, of Manor Park, Loic Nengese, 19, of Walthamstow, and a 16-year-old boy were handed life sentences at the Old Bailey earlier.

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Met Police

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Hamza Ul-Haq (l), Loic Nengese (r) and a 16-year-old boy all denied murder

Ul-Haq was jailed for a minimum term of 28 years, and seven years for attempted aggravated burglary, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Nengese was told he must serve at least 21 years in jail. The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was detained for a minimum term of 18 years.

Mr Williams-Torres’s killers had mistaken him for someone else who wore the same beanie hat as him, jurors were told.

The jury was told Mr Williams-Torres was targeted by three hooded youths who shot him in the chest and legs while he sat in a van with his friend.

As the defendants appeared to be sentenced, Mr Williams-Torres’s father Anthony Williams told of the heartbreak at losing a “kind and caring” young man.

‘Targeted hit’

The attack had been part of a series of retaliatory acts of violence between rival gangs, and the three defendants were associated with a group known as the Mali Boys, the court heard.

Mr Williams-Torres’s killers had been out to avenge the murder of one of their own, 17-year-old Elijah Dornelly, in May 2017.

Prosecutor Allison Hunter QC said the Mali Boys had been involved in a bloody turf war with the Higham Hill or Priory Court gang as they tried to “assert their supremacy and control” of the area.

Before the shooting, Ul Haq had tried to break into the home of one of Elijah’s killers, while Nengese was part of a group looking for a second killer that fired shots into an amusement arcade.

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Met Police

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The murder weapon was found dumped along with a knife and a face mask

The killers of Mr Williams-Torres were identified on CCTV fleeing the scene and the 16-year-old dropped his phone, enabling police to trace him.

Ul Haq and Nengese claimed they were not the figures captured on CCTV, while the 16-year-old admitted being at the scene but failed to say who he was there with. He also said he thought the attack was going to be a robbery.

Devi Kharran, from the CPS, said: “This was a targeted hit by three ruthless gang members who sought out the wrong victim.

“Joseph was just a couple of weeks short of his 21st birthday and had great plans for his life.

“His family have been left devastated at the loss of their beloved son and brother, but I hope these sentences go some way in providing them with a measure of comfort.”

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Ethical veganism is philosophical belief, tribunal rules

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Media captionJordi Casamitjana says he’s “really really satisfied” with the judge’s ruling

Ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and so is protected in law, a tribunal has ruled for the first time.

The landmark legal case was brought by vegan Jordi Casamitjana, who claims he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.

His former employer says he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

The judge ruled that ethical vegans should be entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold religious beliefs.

He is yet to rule on Mr Casamitjana’s dismissal – which is due at a later date.

Mr Casamitjana, 55, who lives in London, said he was “extremely happy” with the ruling – which is ongoing – adding that he hopes fellow vegans “will benefit”.

The tribunal centres on his claim that he was sacked by the animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.

Mr Casamitjana says when he drew his bosses’ attention to the pension fund investments, they did nothing so he informed colleagues and was sacked as a result.

The League Against Cruel Sports says it is “factually wrong” to link Mr Casamitjana’s dismissal to his veganism. The charity did not contest that ethical veganism should be protected.

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PA Media

A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products.

Some people choose to simply follow a vegan diet – that is, a plant-based diet avoiding all animal products such as dairy, eggs, honey, meat and fish.

But ethical vegans try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation from their lifestyle. For instance, they avoid wearing or buying clothing made from wool or leather, or toiletries from companies that carry out animal testing.

“Religion or belief” is one of nine “protected characteristics” covered by the Equality Act 2010.

The judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 by satisfying several tests – including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.

At the tribunal in Norwich on Friday, the judge said in his ruling that ethical veganism was “important” and “worthy” of respect in a democratic society.

He said: “I am satisfied overwhelmingly that ethical veganism does constitute a philosophical belief.”

Analysis: Far-reaching effects

By BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman

Though a ruling from an employment tribunal does not amount to binding legal precedent, this one will have important and far-reaching effects.

Employers will have to respect ethical veganism and make sure they do not discriminate against employees for their beliefs.

So, for example, could a worker on a supermarket checkout refuse to put a meat product through the till?

The implications are considerable, not least because the legal protection will apply beyond employment, in areas such as education and the supply of goods and services.

It could also encourage others to seek similar protection for their philosophical beliefs.

While this is the first case concerning ethical veganism, a previous tribunal ruled that a strongly held belief in climate change amounted to a philosophical belief capable of protecting someone against discrimination in their employment.

Speaking to the BBC outside the tribunal, Mr Casamitjana said he was “extremely happy”.

“I’m really, really satisfied and I hope all the vegans out there that have been supporting me – there have been many helping me in my crowdfunding – I hope they now feel their little donation has been properly used and all the vegans will benefit.”

He added: “Veganism is a philosophical belief and when you look at my life and anybody else’s life who is an ethical vegan, you will see it.

“This is a positive belief, it’s not a negative belief. And therefore a positive belief is bound to be protected.”

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Jaysee Costa

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Mr Casamitjana supports a range of ethical and animal rights causes

He added that he is “passionate” about veganism, which “gives you hope”. Mr Casamitjana also said he was feeling “optimistic” for the ruling on his dismissal.

Mr Casamitjana describes himself as an ethical vegan and campaigns to get his message to others.

His beliefs affect much of his everyday life. He will, for instance, walk rather than take a bus to avoid accidental crashes with insects or birds.

Peter Daly, the solicitor for Mr Casamitjana, said the ramifications of this judgement for companies that employ vegan staff are “potentially significant”.

He said any abuse directed at ethical vegans “might be seen to be harassment in the same way a racist or sexist slur might be discriminatory action”.

Acting for the League Against Cruel Sports, Rhys Wyborn, from the law firm Shakespeare Martineau, said: “Although an interesting point of law, this hearing was preparation for the real crux of the matter: why Jordi Casamitjana was dismissed.

“In view of its animal welfare value, the League did not contest the issue of whether ethical veganism itself should be a protected belief, with the League maintaining that it’s irrelevant to the core reason for the dismissal.”

The tribunal will next consider whether Mr Casamitjana was treated less favourably because of his ethical veganism belief.

Religion and belief is one of nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act. The others are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex and sexual orientation.

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Jonathan Leko: West Brom forward and Charlton loanee out for season with ACL injury

Jonathan Leko injured his anterior cruciate ligament in innocuous fashion during Charlton’s 2-2 draw at QPR on Saturday

Charlton loanee Jonathan Leko faces a long absence after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament, and has gone back to parent club West Brom.

Forward Leko, 20, returned to Albion to begin treatment having scored five goals in 21 games during a loan spell which was meant to last all season.

He suffered the injury only 11 minutes into the Addicks’ 2-2 Championship draw at QPR on Saturday.

“Jonathan is out for the rest of the season,” Charlton boss Lee Bowyer said.

“It came from nothing – he jumped, landed, jolted his knee a bit and has done his ACL.

“He’ll be out for the rest of the season, going into next season as well.”

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Prince Philip taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure”

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The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”, Buckingham Palace has said.

Prince Philip travelled from Norfolk to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition on Friday morning.

In a statement, the palace said it was “on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor”.

The duke, 98, retired from public life in August 2017.

He spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

Since retiring from official solo duties, he has appeared in public alongside the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at events and church services.

The palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh travelled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition.

“The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor.”

The duke is expected to be in hospital for a few days. He was not taken by ambulance and it was a planned admission.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

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Caroline Flack: Love Island host charged with assault by beating

Caroline Flack

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Caroline Flack is due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 23 December

Love Island host Caroline Flack has been charged with assault by beating following an incident at her north London home.

Police were called to the 40-year-old’s home in Islington, where she lives with her partner, tennis player Lewis Burton, at 05:25 GMT on Thursday.

Officers attended after reports of a man being assaulted. The man was not seriously injured, police said.

Ms Flack will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 23 December.

She was bailed until that date.

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Joseph McCann guilty of sex attacks on 11 women and children

Joseph McCann

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Met Police

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Joseph McCann was found guilty of 37 offences against 11 victims

A man who carried out a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children across England over two weeks has been found guilty of 37 offences.

Joseph McCann’s victims were aged between 11 and 71 and included three women who were abducted off the street at knifepoint and repeatedly raped.

The 34-year-old also raped a mother in her home and then tied her to a bed as he molested her son and daughter.

McCann, of Harrow, was found guilty of offences including rape and kidnap.

Afterwards the jury wrote in a note to the judge that it wished to acknowledge the bravery of the victims and the hard work of the police forces involved.

The Old Bailey heard how McCann’s “spree of sex attacks” started in Watford before moving to London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire over two weeks in April and May.

On 21 April, he grabbed a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint off a street in Watford as she walked home from a nightclub.

She was bundled into a car and taken to a house where she was raped until being released later that morning in a “state of great distress”, prosecutors said.

A 25-year-old woman was then abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight on 25 April.

She was driven off in car then raped “many times” by McCann in a number of locations over 14 hours, including outside a school where he told her he “wanted to make her rape a child”, prosecutor John Price QC said.

While she was still being held prisoner, he snatched a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister.

The court heard she “suffered a similar fate” to the 25-year-old woman. The pair finally managed to escape when McCann drove to Watford where he had booked a hotel room.

They hit him over the head with a vodka bottle and fled to get help from nearby workmen.

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Tim Murtagh: Ireland bowler retires from international cricket

Murtagh acknowledges the crowd at Lord’s after taking five wickets against England

Ireland bowler Tim Murtagh has retired from international cricket after making 97 appearances.

The London-born 38-year-old has signed a two-year contract extension with Middlesex and will play red-ball cricket for the county side in 2020.

His final Ireland match was July’s historic Test against England at Lord’s when he got on the honours’ board with a superb 5-13 on the opening morning.

“I’ve had eight great years playing international cricket,” Murtagh said.

“This is a day that I have known has been coming for a few years since the ECB changed their regulations, but it hasn’t made the decision any easier. It’s sad that it has come to an end but a decision that I have made my peace with.”

He added: “A Test match at Lord’s against England is a great way to finish my international career and a game I will always cherish.

“I wish the lads all the best for the winter tours and very much hope to help out and be involved in some capacity in the future.”

Murtagh made his international debut for Ireland in 2012 after a conversation with Ed Joyce about his Irish ancestry led to the Middlesex man declaring for Ireland.

He claimed 142 wickets across all formats at an average of 25.54 and had his best year with Ireland in 2018, when he took 28 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 16.32.

That year also saw Murtagh have the honour of delivering the first-ever ball for Ireland in Test cricket at Malahide against Pakistan.

“It’s sad to see such a great player leave our ranks, but Tim has been a model professional and a great asset to have in the dressing room,” said Ireland head coach Graham Ford.

“Irish cricket made the right call when it signed Tim up back in 2012, and he can be proud of the positive impact he has had on Irish cricket. I wish Tim well in his next couple of seasons for Middlesex.”

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Sana Muhammad crossbow death: Ex-husband guilty of murder

Sana Muhammad

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Sana Muhammad, formerly known as Devi Unmathallegadoo, was nine months pregnant when she was killed

A man who shot dead his heavily pregnant ex-wife with a crossbow has been found guilty of murder.

Sana Muhammad was shot through the abdomen by Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo at her home in Ilford, east London, on 12 November 2018.

He hid in a shed in his ex-partner’s garden armed with two crossbows, bolts, a knife, duct tape, cable ties and a hammer, the Old Bailey heard.

Mrs Muhammad’s son survived after being delivered by Caesarean section.

The court heard the couple’s relationship ended in 2012 after an incident which led to her jumping out of an upstairs window.

At a trial in 2013, a judge directed jurors to acquit Unmathallegadoo of attempted strangulation.

The mother-of-five then successfully filed for an emergency non-molestation order which barred the defendant from coming within 100 metres of the family home.

The order was still in place at the time of her attack.

Jurors heard Unmathallegadoo plotted the attack – buying two crossbows which were discovered near his ex-wife’s home by a neighbour in March 2018.

After they were removed, he replaced the weapons and organised surveillance on the house in Applegarth Drive.

‘She just screamed’

Mrs Muhammad’s second husband Imtiaz told the court he was in the garden and thought he was “dreaming” when he saw the defendant step out of the shed with two crossbows.

He shouted to his wife to run as Unmathallegadoo chased him into their home.

“When she got an arrow she just screamed. I was thinking, ‘what is happening?’, I was screaming for her.”

Mr Muhammad said the defendant had a second crossbow on his shoulder and he thought: “The second one might be for me.”

Unmathallegadoo later claimed Mr Muhammad was his target but that his ex-wife got in the way.

The court heard Unmathallegadoo’s children tried to take the crossbow away from him.

Unmathallegadoo, who denied murder, claimed he went to the house to talk to Mr Muhammad about his daughter’s religion and said he had bought the weapons for a hunting holiday.

But the prosecution said Unmathallegadoo had planned to kill the couple and their unborn child.

Susan Krikler, from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was a cold-blooded and calculated execution.

“This devastating attack has left six children without their mother,” she added.

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Ultra-long haul flight non-stop from London to Sydney

Australian carrier Qantas has completed a test of the longest non-stop commercial passenger flight as part of research on how the journey could affect pilots, crew and customers.

The tests included monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness as well as exercise classes for passengers.

The BBC’s Luke Jones was on board the flight.

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