Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is shown standing among lawmakers and wearing a dark suit jacket.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives to attend the plenary session of the Parliament ahead of a vote to grant the government special powers to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis in Budapest, Hungary, March 30, 2020.

Credit:

MTI Zoltan Mathe/Pool via Reuters

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

The number of reported coronavirus cases passed 950,000 worldwide, with some 217,000 cases in the US — nearly double those of Italy. A global response is critical to tackling the challenges posed by the virus — but there is little evidence of effective cooperation as countries retreat behind hardening national borders.

Cambodia is accused of using the outbreak to assert absolute power “over all aspects of civil, political, social, and economic life." And the European Commission was slow to chastise Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has effectively created a "coronavirus autocracy" — hastening the democratic decline pursued throughout his tenure.    

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to downplay the severity of COVID-19, calling on Brazilians to go back to work. But opposition is rife as some call for his impeachment.

From The World: Is coronavirus reshuffling the global power deck?

And: Biden calls for Democratic Convention to be delayed because of virus

Unemployment rises, frontline workers fear for livelihoods

Over a two-week period, nearly 10 million people in the US filed for unemployment. Analysts warn that the pain will spread widely — far beyond the industries initially hit. 

And though medical workers are the heroes of the moment, some have lost their jobs in retaliation for petitioning for desperately needed personal protective equipment.    

In the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered lockdown troublemakers to be shot dead, health care workers face insufficient wages and outright hostility

And: As coronavirus spreads, so do reports of companies mistreating workers

Gaza Strip fears spread of the coronavirus, Palestinian epidemiologist says

In the Gaza Strip, roughly 2 million Palestinians are squeezed into a small, densely populated territory, where social distance is difficult to practice. Smoking, high rates of obesity and stress-related disorders, along with with a blockade and overwhelmed health care facilities, leave Gaza’s population especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

And: US military must recognize civilian deaths in Somali drone strikes, says Amnesty International

Will the US ever mimic Asia’s culture of ‘universal masking’?

Having fended off the first wave of COVID-19 cases, Asian health officials are now looking over at a virus-ravaged US and asking: Shouldn’t more Americans wear surgical masks?

There are studies suggesting masks help prevent an infected person from spreading the coronavirus. A paper published in The Lancet suggests universal masking can be effective “if supplies permit.”

But whether cotton masks are better than nothing is still debated. One study suggests cloth masks — which grow moist from breath — hardly filter out any particles at all and “may result in increased risk of infection.” Yet the CDC is considering urging Americans to wear cloth masks in public; there are too few N95 masks available even for frontline health care workers.

And: Everything you need to know about making your own face mask

Herd of goats takes over deserted resort in Britain amid lockdown

A white goat walks by a parking meter.

A goat is seen in Llandudno, Wales, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues.

Credit:

Carl Recine/Reuters

A herd of Kashmir goats has invaded a Welsh seaside resort after the coronavirus lockdown left the streets deserted.

Like other countries affected by the global coronavirus crisis, the United Kingdom has imposed strict social distancing measures. And with the streets of Llandudno unnaturally quiet, the goats have been free to wander the streets undisturbed.

"Because of the lockdown, there are no people, no cars, no noise, there's nothing to stop them. So they are just exploring places which they haven't explored before," Andrew Stuart of Llandundo tells The World.

Morning meme

If balancing work and home schooling is leaving you exhausted, Dolly Parton is ready to take on bedtime for you. 


In case you missed it

Listen: The USS Theodore Roosevelt faces an outbreak of the coronavirus

A photograph taken from the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier with the ship's tower and several airplanes in the background.

Planes are parked on the flight deck of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Philippine Sea, March 18, 2020.

Credit:

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Richardson/Handout via Reuters

The US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is docked off the island of Guam, a US territory. Onboard, an unknown number of sailors are sick with COVID-19. But Guam itself has its own coronavirus outbreak. And, the government of India has shut down the entire country, to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, millions of Indians have lost their jobs, which has triggered unprecedented mass migration as poor migrant workers return home. Also, a herd of wild goats has taken over the seaside town of Llandudno in Wales, munching on hedges and flowers from gardens. 

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