5 international stories of the week

<p>A woman walks along a park covered in volcanic-ash at a town Jan. 19, 2020, near Taal volcano in Tagaytay, Cavite province, in southern Philippines. Philippine officials said the government will no longer allow villagers to return to a crater-studded island where an erupting Taal volcano lies, warning that living there would be "like having a gun pointed at you." <strong>(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)</strong></p>

A woman walks along a park covered in volcanic-ash at a town Jan. 19, 2020, near Taal volcano in Tagaytay, Cavite province, in southern Philippines. Philippine officials said the government will no longer allow villagers to return to a crater-studded island where an erupting Taal volcano lies, warning that living there would be "like having a gun pointed at you." (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

Prince Harry’s reasons for stepping down from royal duties, a new viral pneumonia in China, Guatemalan migrants attempting to pass through Mexico, wildfires in Australia and the volcano eruption in the Philippines make up this week’s five international stories.

In this Jan. 16, 2020, file photo, Britain's Prince Harry arrives in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in London. Prince Harry said Jan. 19 that he felt “great sadness” but found “no other option” to cutting almost all of his and his wife Meghan’s royal ties in hopes of a more peaceful life. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry has taken aim at the journalists who have dissected his life since the day he was born, as he expressed regret for the way he has had to step down from royal duties. In a personal speech that referenced his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident while being pursued by paparazzi, Harry said Sunday he had “no other option″ but to step away, as he and his wife, Meghan, seek a more peaceful life.

Read more: Royal rift


This Jan. 17, 2020, photo, shows the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China. China reported Jan. 20 a sharp rise in the number of people affected in a pneumonia outbreak caused by a new coronoavirus, including the first cases in the capital. (Kyodo News via AP)

Cases of new viral pneumonia in China surpass 200

China reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak coincides with Lunar New Year holidays, China’s busiest travel period. Health authorities in the central city of Wuhan, where the viral pneumonia appears to have originated, said an additional 136 cases have been confirmed, bringing the total to 198 infected patients in the city. As of the weekend, the death toll is three people.

Read more: Health


Honduran migrants gather at a temporary shelter in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, on the border with Mexico, Jan. 19, 2020. More than 2,000 migrants spent the night in Tecun Uman on the Guatemalan side of the border, uncertain of their next steps. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Migrants marooned in Guatemala plan surge into Mexico

More than a thousand Central American migrants attempting to reach the U.S. were preparing to again walk en masse early Monday across a bridge leading to Mexico in an attempt to convince authorities there to allow them safe passage through the country. Over the weekend, Mexican troops slammed the welcome gate shut on the Rodolfo Robles bridge, as hundreds of migrants pressed forward in an effort to force their way through.

Read more: Guatemala


This 2009 photo provided by Sebastian Pfautsch shows a eucalyptus forest that burned during a 2009 wildfire in Victoria, Australia. As of early 2020, fires have consumed some 40,000 square miles of Australia this fire season and scientists say the effects on the nation’s forests could be long-lasting. (Sebastian Pfautsch via AP)

Fires set stage for irreversible forest loses in Australia

Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times. Scientists say its landscape is being permanently altered, as a warming climate brings profound changes. Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this season torching an area about as big as Ohio. Government officials are making plans to reseed burned areas to speed up forest recovery that could otherwise take decades or even centuries.

Read more: Wildfires


Residents scramble to grab bottled water given by a passing citizen at a town near Taal volcano, Tagaytay, Cavite province, in southern Philippines on Jan.19, 2020. Many poor families living near the volcano have been affected due to loss of income after business closures in the area. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Philippines looks for safer homes for volcano residents

The Philippine government will no longer allow people to live on the crater-studded island that’s home to the erupting Taal volcano. The simmering volcano has ejected smaller ash plumes for days after a gigantic eruption Jan. 12 sent ash drifting north over Manila, the capital, about 40 miles away. While a larger, explosive eruption is still possible and tens of thousands of evacuees remain in emergency shelters, officials have begun discussing post-eruption recovery.

Read more: Philippines

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