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In our news wrap Monday, at least three people died and dozens were wounded after new battles broke out between anti-government protesters and security forces in Iraq. Demonstrators clogged Baghdad’s streets and threw rocks at security forces, who fired live rounds and tear gas back. Also, health officials in China confirmed an outbreak of viral pneumonia there poses the risk of spreading quickly.
In the day's other news: Tens of thousands of gun rights demonstrators flooded the streets around Virginia's state capitol in Richmond today. Many carried military-style rifles as they protested gun control measures proposed by the state's Democratic leadership.
Police maintained tight security, but no major incidents were reported. We will have an on-the-ground report from Richmond right after the news summary.
In Iraq, at least three people have died and dozens more were wounded today after new battles broke out between anti-government protesters and security forces. Demonstrators clogged Baghdad's streets and threw rocks at security forces, who returned fire with live rounds and tear gas.
Hours later, three rockets fell inside Baghdad's Green Zone. Two landed near the U.S. Embassy. No casualties were reported.
Health officials in China today confirmed an outbreak of viral pneumonia there can be transmitted by humans, raising the risk that it could spread quickly. This weekend, the number of coronavirus infections tripled to more than 200 people. Three patients have died.
Travelers across China are being screened amid the world's largest annual human migration for the lunar new year holidays.
Geng Shuang (through translator):
Since the outbreak of corona virus, China has taken a serious, earnest and professional attitude to actively deal with it, worked out a strict prevention and control plan, spared no effort in treating patients, and properly managed those who had close contact with the patients.
Officials believe the outbreak started last month at a fresh food market in Central China.
China is banning certain single-use plastics in major cities by the end of the year, and phasing them out nationwide by 2025. The move, announced Sunday, is aimed at tackling the country's severe pollution problems.
In Beijing today, many residents welcomed the ban, which ranges from plastic bags to utensils.
Chen Su (through translator):
There is some inconvenience, but the environmental pollution is so serious right now. Our food and our health are both affected. So I feel the ban on plastic is good, and I support it.
Other plastic items will be phased out in three waves, first in larger cities and then in smaller towns.
Meanwhile, in Thailand, pollution levels soared today as toxic smog shrouded its capital city. The haze has blanketed the area for more than a week. It's largely caused by vehicle emissions and smoke from the burning of farm fields. Volunteers cleared dry leaves from those areas to prevent bushfires. And children in Bangkok wore face masks to school, out of precaution.
Hundreds of Central American migrants tried to cross into Southern Mexico by river today after officials denied them at a border bridge. Throngs waded from Guatemala to the Mexican border, where Mexican police in riot gear met them. Mexico has cracked down on migration after President Trump threatened sanctions and tariffs.
And back in this country, the nation commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, more than 50 years after his death. President Trump and Vice President Pence visited a Washington memorial honoring the late civil rights icon.
And communities across the country, from Colorado to Texas and South Carolina, held marches and parades.
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