Thursday morning news, February 27, 2020

Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America » Officials in Brazil have confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Latin America. 

MANDETTA: [Speaking in Portuguese] 

At a press conference Wednesday, Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said a 61-year-old Brazilian man who recently traveled to Italy tested positive.

He said “We will now see how this virus behaves in a tropical country in the middle of summer.” 

The Brazilian man spent two weeks in northern Italy’s Lombardy region, where he contracted the virus.

Italy is struggling to contain an outbreak of the virus. As of Wednesday, the country had 323 confirmed cases, and 11 deaths. 

Court sides with Trump admin on funding for ‘sanctuary’ cities and states » A federal appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a lower court decision ordering the administration to release funding to New York City and seven states.

In 2017, the Justice Department said it would withhold grant money from local and state governments that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration laws and authorities. That triggered a years-long court battle, which could wind up at the Supreme Court. 

The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws make clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on state and local governments receiving the money. 

And it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Religious riots escalate in India » More than 20 people have died in three days of fighting between Hindu and Muslim groups in New Delhi. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Many Muslims fled their homes and shops as Hindu mobs armed with iron rods and sticks set fires and destroyed property. The Delhi region’s chief minister had to call in the army to stem the violence. 

At least 24 people died and nearly 200 others were injured. 

Violence surged during President Trump’s visit to India earlier this week. He flew out of New Delhi on Tuesday after a two-day visit. 

Since December, demonstrators have marched against a law that offers Indian citizenship to Christians, Hindus, and other migrants who fled religious persecution, but not Muslims. Trump has shown support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, but has not taken a position on the citizenship law. 

He told reporters, “I want to leave that to India, and hopefully they’re going to make the right decision for the people.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) Indian security officers patrol a street in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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