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.

An independent probe into WHO’s management during the virus outbreak, how churches in Italy have opened up for public masses, virus cases in French schools days after they opened, local leaders resisting reopening in Mexico and clashes in Hong Kong’s legislature make up this week’s five international stories.


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference Feb. 24, 2020, about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The European Union is calling for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)

WHO bows to calls from countries or independent virus probe

The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent probe into how it managed the international response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy. The “comprehensive evaluation” would stop short of looking into contentious issues such as the origins of the new coronavirus.

Read more: Virus outbreak


Faithful sitting in the benches, following the rules of social distancing, during a mass, the first day the presence of faithful was allowed during masses May 18, 2020, in Turin, Italy. The country is slowly lifting sanitary restrictions after a two-month coronavirus lockdown. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP)

Italy opens churches as virus rules dictate how to eat, pray

Italy and the Vatican allowed the first public Masses to be celebrated since March on Monday as coronavirus restrictions eased further, following a sharp confrontation between church and state over limits on worshiping in the era of COVID-19. Guards in hazmat suits took the temperature of the faithful entering St. Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Francis celebrated an early morning Mass for a handful of people to commemorate the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II.

Read more: Italy


Schoolchildren raise their fingers to answer their teacher Sandrine Albiez, wearing a face masks, in a school May 14, 2020, in Strasbourg, eastern France. Just days after around a third of French schoolchildren went back to school, there has been flare up of about 70 cases with coronavirus in classes. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after re-opening

Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there’s been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools. Some lower grades in schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 junior high students went back to the classroom Monday as further restrictions were loosened. The move initially spelled relief but has put some children in new danger of contamination.

Read more: France


Customers walk through a partially-open public market May 15, 2020, in the Xochimilco district of Mexico City. As Mexico moves toward a gradual reactivation of its economy Monday, the number of new coronavirus infections grows higher every day. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Local leaders resist Mexico President’s push for reopening

Local governments across Mexico pushed back Monday against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s call to reopen the economy in some 300 townships that do not have active cases of coronavirus with leaders saying they preferred to wait until June before resuming normal activities.. Mexico, which has reported nearly 50,000 total cases and some 5,000 deaths, has seen a steep climb in new infections amid fears of a second wave of infections.

Read more: Mexico


Pan-democratic legislator Lam Cheuk-ting, is taken away by security during a Legislative Council's House Committee meeting May 18, 2020, in Hong Kong. Scuffles broke out in Hong Kong's legislature for a second time this month. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong lawmakers clash as pro-Beijing camp elects chair

Clashes broke out in Hong Kong’s legislature Monday for a second time this month as a pro-Beijing lawmaker was elected as chair of a key committee that scrutinizes bills, ending a prolonged struggle for control with the pro-democracy camp. The legislature’s House Committee, which vets bills and decides when to present them for a final vote, had been without a chairperson for more than six months. 

Read more: Hong Kong