CORONAVIRUS: All eyes are on the coronavirus. We’ll give you the rundown. Millions of students are out of school, including all of New York - the largest school system in the US. Some state govs are placing restrictions on restaurants and bars or even closing them. Flights worldwide are being cancelled. The US expanded its travel ban to the UK and Ireland - while Germany is partially shutting down its borders. There are now more reported coronavirus cases outside of China than within China. Plus 6,500 deaths. The economy’s not doing all that well, either. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to...zero. Not a typo. In response, the stock market fell, triggering another circuit breaker. Panic button, hit.
MIDDLE EAST: Recently, three Americans and two Iraqis were injured after rockets struck a military base in Iraq where American troops are stationed. That marks the second rocket attack in a week there. The first one, on Wednesday, was reportedly launched by an Iranian-backed militia group. No word yet on whether they’re responsible for this attack, too - but it’s raising concerns about increasing conflict in the area. Speaking of which, the Syrian civil war has now entered its 10th year. Yes, really. Reminder: the war pits the Syrian gov - backed by Russian - against rebels - some of which are backed by the US. It’s left millions of Syrian civilians displaced and over a hundred thousand dead.
POLITICS: Everyone’s talking about Israel. We’ll refresh your memory. Last year, Israel headed to the polls - and handed the win to current-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Problem, since his political party didn’t snag the majority. Meaning it was up to Netanyahu to get a group of parties together in a coalition. Whiiiich he wasn’t able to do. Intro election number two - except after multiple attempts, neither candidate was able to form a majority gov. So a couple weeks ago, Israel had its third election in eleven months. Netanyahu took the win - but his opponent, Benny Gantz, was backed by a sliiiiim majority of lawmakers, so it looks like he’ll be given the chance to form a new coalition gov. Suspense, thick.