Military officers in full fatigues are shown wearing face masks and standing outside Duomo cathedral.

Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral, closed by authorities due to a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy, Feb. 24, 2020.


Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Top of The World  — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq reported their first cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Iranian officials are disputing a reported death toll of 50 in the city of Qom. And the government has issued lockdowns of at least 10 towns in Italy, as the number of cases spiked from five to more than 150. Meanwhile in South Korea, where the number of cases has soared to more than 340, officials are concerned about the spread through a religious institution many mainstream church-goers consider a cult.

And: Russia denies spreading coronavirus misinformation

Also: China bans trade, consumption of wild animals to counter virus

'America loves India'

US President Donald Trump is in India today, where he announced that the two countries would sign a $3 billion defense deal Tuesday.  

The president, who has shown an penchant for being feted during state visits, was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and more than 100,000 people for the "Namaste Trump" rally, where he touted the deal and the close relationship between the world's two largest democracies — though many left as the two leaders were delivering remarks.

The visit comes at a time when Modi's government is facing widespread criticism over its crackdown in Kashmir and a controversial citizenship law based on religion. US officials said Trump would speak with Modi about religious freedom in private. As Trump arrived in Gujarat, in New Delhi, violent clashes broke out over the citizenship law.

In photos: Trump visits Taj Mahal after massive rally in India

Israel strikes sites in Gaza and Syria after rocket attacks

Just a week before Israelis head to the polls in their third general election in less than a year, clashes have erupted around Gaza. Israeli military jets targeted sites in Gaza and Syria after militant group Islamic Jihad fired rockets into Israeli territory in response to the killing of a member of the group. Graphic footage of the man being dragged by an Israeli army bulldozer was posted by a Palestinian news agency. Human rights groups within Israel have also called for investigations.

Assange fights extradition to US

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been held in Britain’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, was in court Monday to battle an extradition order to the United States. The US is looking to charge the 48-year-old Australian with violating the Espionage Act by helping obtain and disseminate secret military documents. Assange had previously escaped extradition to Sweden over rape allegations by hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy. That investigation was dropped late last year.

In Chile, women use traditional embroidery to urge political change

In Chile, protesters have for months called for economic reform and a new constitution to replace the 1980 constitution written at the height of General Pinochet’s rule.

And many women have turned to a form of artistic protest dating back to the dictatorship era: the arpillera — scenes of tragedy or protest embroidered onto scraps of burlap.

For decades, Chilean women have gathered to stitch political works of art. Today, they are denouncing President Sebastián Piñera and the Chilean state with embroidery specifically responding to the nationwide protests.

Morning meme

Brushing up on your math skills might be a good way to pick up a treat at this New York bodega — and go viral on tiktok.

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