Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Thousands march in Spain on women's day despite coronavirus fears

Thousands of women across Spain marched on Sunday against gender inequality to mark International Women's Day, despite concerns the gatherings could help the spread of coronavirus. Bearing flags and banners denouncing gender violence, a crowd of purple-clad women paraded down one of Madrid's main avenues toward the city center, chanting over booming drums.

Taliban declines to mark Women's Day in Afghanistan

Some political leaders joined foreign envoys in Afghanistan in offering assurances of support for women's rights on International Women's Day, but the Taliban did not join in the global commemoration. Just over a week after the Islamist militant group and the United States signed a deal intended to end an 18-year-old war, many Afghan women are worried about what it will mean for their rights.

Saudi Arabia locks down Qatif region, suspends schools over coronavirus

Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on Sunday on the eastern oil-producing province of Qatif, home to all 11 people in the kingdom who have tested positive for the coronavirus, and suspended all schools and universities nationwide. The interior ministry announced the lockdown in Qatif, which has a large Shi'ite Muslim population, after the four latest cases were confirmed in Saudi Arabia. It is not expected to have any impact on Saudi oil production, two industry sources said.

Italy locks down millions as its coronavirus deaths jump

Italy ordered a virtual lockdown across much of its wealthy north, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic new attempt to try to contain a outbreak of coronavirus that saw the number of deaths leap again sharply on Sunday. The unprecedented restrictions, which aim to limit gatherings and curb movement, will impact some 16 million people and stay in force until April 3. They were signed into law overnight by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Erdogan to discuss migrant crisis with EU, urges Greece to 'open your gates'

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan urged Greece on Sunday to "open your gates" to refugees trying to enter the European Union from Turkey and said he hoped to win more help from the EU at talks on Monday. Tens of thousands of migrants have been trying to get into Greece, an EU member state, since Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no longer try to keep them on its territory - as agreed in 2016 with the EU in return for billions of euros in aid.

Guyana court halts release of election results amid fraud accusations

Guyana's top court on Sunday upheld an injunction blocking the elections commission from proclaiming a winner in this month's presidential election, delaying the results of a vote that has been marred by accusations of fraud. A protester was killed and demonstrators took to the streets after diplomats described credible evidence of fraud in the vote, which will decide who leads the former British colony that is at the edge of an oil boom set to transform its economy.

Israel considers broadening entry restrictions for coronavirus

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday Israel might broaden its entry restrictions over coronavirus fears to include visitors from all countries. Israel already requires travelers arriving from more than a dozen countries and territories in Europe and Asia to go into home quarantine for 14 days. The measure has effectively cut off tourism from those countries and led some foreign airlines to suspend flights to Israel.

Fire destroys most voting machines in Venezuela's main elections warehouse

Venezuela's elections council said on Sunday that a fire over the weekend destroyed most of the voting machines stored in its main warehouse in the capital, Caracas, potentially complicating parliamentary elections scheduled for this year. Nearly 50,000 voting machines and almost 600 computers went up in flames as a result of the fire that broke out on Saturday, said elections council chief Tibisay Lucena.

Latin American cities ready for massive Women's Day marches

From Buenos Aires to Mexico City, women across Latin America's biggest cities readied to take to the streets for International Women's Day on Sunday, spurred by a growing outcry over inequality, femicide and strict abortion controls. As Women's Day events unfold worldwide, the Latin American marches are set against a backdrop of broader social unrest in the region.

North Korea fires unidentified projectile: South Korea military

North Korea fired an unidentified projectile on Monday, South Korea's military said. The ministry did not provide details of the projectile.