Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Spain extends coronavirus lockdown, in 'war' to buy medical supplies
Spain extended its coronavirus lockdown on Thursday and said it was fighting a "real war" over medical supplies to contain the world's second-highest virus death toll, turning to China for many critical products, where officials reported fraud and massive price increases. A further 655 people died overnight, pushing Spain's toll from the respiratory disease to 4,089, second only to Italy and further beyond China where the outbreak began.
Canada border towns 'petrified' by prospect of looser U.S. coronavirus measures
Canadian towns along the country's U.S. border fear they will be harmed if the United States eases measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, with some making contingency plans and others appealing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he wants the U.S. economy to reopen by Easter Sunday, April 12, despite the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States and a rising death toll from the disease.
Trump says he plans to speak to China's Xi later on Thursday
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was likely to be speaking with President Xi Jinping of China later in the day and cast doubt on Beijing's figures about coronavirus cases as the number in the United States reached about 70,000. Trump has praised Xi's handling of the coronavirus while also emphasizing that it originated in China and accusing the country of not being transparent enough about it.
Macron told EU leaders 'survival of European project' at stake in virus crisis
French President Emmanuel Macron warned his fellow European Union leaders on Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak risked undoing the bloc's central pillars such as its no-border zone if they failed to show solidarity in this crisis, a diplomat said. "What's at stake is the survival of the European project," he told the 26 other leaders in a conference call, according to a French diplomat. "The risk we are facing is the death of Schengen," Macron added, according to the same source.
U.S. indicts Venezuela's Maduro, a political foe, for 'narco-terrorism'
The U.S. government on Thursday indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and more than a dozen other top Venezuelan officials on charges of "narco-terrorism," the latest escalation of the Trump administration's pressure campaign aimed at ousting the socialist leader. The State Department offered a reward of up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest of Maduro, whose country has been convulsed by years of a deep economic crisis and political upheaval.
Australian federal, state leaders meet to discuss coronavirus pandemic
Australian federal and state leaders will meet on Friday, the country's prime minister said, amid growing expectations the largest states could enforce a wide-ranging lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Further fiscal support measures are also expected to be discussed in the meeting of the prime minister, state premiers and chief ministers, according to local media.
Reserved Britons show love with national cheer for carers
Locked-down Britons all over the country took to their balconies and door steps on Thursday evening to applaud health workers who are battling the spread of coronavirus - an emotional show of solidarity during the nation's worst crisis since World War Two. Clapping, banging pots and pans, cheering and waving at neighbors with whom they are no longer able to shake hands, vast numbers of people took part in the "Clap for our Carers" initiative, which mirrors similar events in other countries.
Canada attacks 'damaging' Trump plan to deploy troops at border
Canada on Thursday attacked a U.S. proposal to deploy troops along the undefended joint border to help fight the spread of coronavirus, saying the idea was unnecessary and would damage relations. The uncompromising comments were a surprise, since Ottawa has enjoyed smooth relations with U.S. President Donald Trump's administration over the past 18 months. Last week, the two nations agreed to close the border to non-essential travel to ease the outbreak's strain on health systems.
Saudi-Led coalition destroys drones launched by Yemen's Houthis towards Kingdom
Saudi-Led coalition intercepted and destroyed drones launched by Iran-aligned Yemen's Houthis towards "civilian targets" in Saudi cities of Abha and Khamis Mushait, state news agency spa said early Friday, citing the coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki. The attack comes after Yemen's warring parties had welcomed a U.N. call for an immediate truce on Thursday to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Brazil's governors press Bolsonaro for more coronavirus support
Brazil's governors pressed President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for more federal support in the coronavirus battle after he blasted them as job-killers and undermined their orders with a decree keeping churches open at evangelical preachers' request. Bolsonaro has increasingly echoed the view of U.S. President Donald Trump that jobs should be prioritized over restrictive measures to slow the outbreak, as world health experts suggest.