Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries and more than 200,000 deaths.
The United States alone has more than one million confirmed cases – four times as many as any other country.
This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.
How many cases and deaths have there been?
The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
It is spreading rapidly in many countries and the number of deaths is still climbing.
Note: The map and table in this page uses a different source for figures for France from that used by Johns Hopkins University which results in a slightly lower overall total.
The US has by far the largest number of cases, with more than one million confirmed infections, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 60,000 fatalities, it also has the world’s highest death toll.
Italy, the UK, Spain and France – the worst-hit European countries – have all recorded more than 20,000 deaths.
In China, the official death toll is approaching 5,000 from about 84,000 confirmed cases. Numbers for deaths jumped on 17 April after what officials called “a statistical review” and critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.
Note: The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average
The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.
More than three million people are known to have been infected worldwide, but the true figure is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.
While the US and much of Europe has been hit hard by the virus, some countries have managed to avoid similar death tolls.
New Zealand, for instance, says it has effectively eliminated the threat for now after fewer than 1,500 cases and just 19 deaths.
The country brought in some of the toughest restrictions in the world on travel and activity early on in the pandemic but is now relaxing some of these. This week some non-essential businesses will be reopening but most people will still have to stay at home and avoid all social interactions.
While some countries are beginning to ease restrictions, others are only now starting to impose them as cases and deaths begin to rise.
Across Latin America, where many economies are already struggling and millions live on what they can earn day-to-day, there are concerns about the strain the growing number of virus cases could put on health care systems. Of particular concern are Ecuador and Brazil.
Ecuador has already seen its health system collapse – thousands have died from the virus and other conditions that could not be treated because of the crisis. While Brazil has also seen a steep rise in both cases and deaths, with every state in South America’s largest country affected.
Across the world, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – are estimated to be living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency.
Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund saying the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The UN World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.
Europe beginning to ease lockdown measures
The four worst-hit countries in Europe are Italy, the UK, Spain and France – all of which have recorded at least 20,000 deaths.
However, all four countries appear to have passed through the peak of the virus now and the number of reported cases and deaths is falling in each.
Germany and Belgium also recorded a relatively high number of deaths and are now seeing those numbers decrease, though as Belgium has a far smaller population than Germany the number of deaths per capita there has been higher.
How countries across Europe are deciding to move out of lockdown varies, with the EU saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to lifting containment measures.
Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. Children there under the age of 14 are now allowed to leave their homes for an hour a day, after six weeks in lockdown.
In Italy, certain shops and factories have been allowed to reopen and the prime minister says further measures will be eased from 4 May.
In France, the prime minister said this week that non-essential shops and markets will open their doors again from 11 May, but not bars and restaurants. Schools will also be reopened gradually.
Other European countries easing restrictions include Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany, where children’s play areas and museums have been told they can reopen and church services can resume, under strict social distancing and hygiene rules.
In the UK, where there have been more than 170,000 confirmed cases and at least 26,000 deaths, lockdown measures are still in full effect. The prime minister has promised a “comprehensive plan” in the next week on how the government will get the country moving again.
New York remains epicentre of US outbreak
With more than one million cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The country has also recorded more than 60,000 deaths.
The state of New York has been particularly badly affected, with 18,000 deaths in New York City alone, but Governor Andrew Cuomo says the toll “seems to be on a gentle decline”.
Mr Cuomo has suggested some parts of his state could begin to reopen after the current stay-at-home order expires on 15 May.
At one point, more than 90% of the US population was under mandatory lockdown orders, but President Trump has stated that he will not be renewing his government’s social distancing guidelines once they expire on Thursday and some states have already begun to lift restrictions.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have all allowed some businesses to reopen in recent days following official unemployment figures that showed more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.
But public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity could spark a fresh surge of infections just as the number of new cases is beginning to ease off.
White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr Deborah Birx has said social distancing should remain the norm “through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases”.
A man has been charged with murder after a fatal stabbing near the luxury department store Harrods.
Mohammed Abdullah Al Araimi, 20, died at the scene near the Knightsbridge store on 5 December 2019.
Badir Rahim Alnazi, of no fixed address, was charged with murder, attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.
The 23-year-old is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.
Millions of commuters will have to pay an average of 2.7% more for train tickets from today.
The rise, announced by industry body the Rail Delivery Group in November, is lower than the 3.1% increase at the start of last year.
Train companies say it is the third year in a row that average fares have been held below RPI – the inflation measure on which rises are based.
But many commuters face an increase of more than £100 for annual passes.
In Wales, fares have bucked the trend of rising prices in England and Scotland, with an average fall of 1% this year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government was committed to “putting passengers first”, by funding trials for flexible fares, for example.
He said he planned to tackle the “fragmented” system and had begun the process to end the franchise for Northern Rail, whose performance was “completely unacceptable”.
“You can judge me on this at the end of the year,” he told BBC Breakfast. “These changes are going to take time but I think people will see things moving in the right direction.”
But Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said the rise showed passengers were “once again paying more for less under the Tories”.
Independent watchdog Transport Focus says fewer than half of train journeys (47%) are rated as satisfactory value for money by passengers.
The watchdog’s director, David Sidebottom, said: “After a year of pretty poor performance in some areas, passengers just want a consistent day-to-day service they can rely on and a better chance of getting a seat.”
He encouraged passengers to claim compensation for eligible delays in order to “offset” the cost of fare rises.
Some annual passes go up by more than £100
£132Reading to London. Total £4,736
£118Gloucester to Birmingham. Total £4,356
£116Glasgow to Edinburgh. Total £4,200
However, Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for Rail Delivery Group, said rail companies were investing in improving journeys while holding fare increases below inflation.
He said 2020 will see 1,000 extra weekly services and 1,000 more carriages added to Britain’s rail fleet.
“There is a record level of investment going into the railway at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“For people who do suffer from poor punctuality in areas of the country, that could be for a variety of different reasons, we apologise. We are looking at trying to make punctuality much better across the board,” he said.
Official statistics show that just over one in three trains failed to arrive on time in July, August and September 2019, although that figure was an improvement on the previous year.
About 40% of annual rail price rises are regulated by governments in England, Scotland and Wales. They are pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for the previous July. Other fare rises are decided by train companies.
RPI inflation was 2.8% last year.
But RPI inflation is generally higher than the most widely watched measure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
Passenger groups have repeatedly called for the system to be changed since RPI inflation was abandoned by the UK Statistics Authority as a national statistic in 2013.
Emily Yates, a freelance writer from Brighton who co-founded the Association of British Commuters, said the annual rises feel like “Groundhog Day” and a “complete charade”.
“Every year, we ask for a fares freeze, the government says no, and the rail industry defends the decision,” she said.
Protests will be held against the fare increase on Thursday, including a demonstration outside London King’s Cross station.
The rallies come as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) releases research suggesting fares have risen by twice as much as wages in the last 10 years.
The TUC said someone earning an average salary in the UK would have to spend 16% of their wages for a season ticket from Chelmsford to London (£511 a month), but similar commutes would cost 2% of the average salary in France, and 4% in Germany and Belgium.
A man shot dead on Christmas Eve was attacked in front of his family after a night out, police said.
Officers were called to Battersea Church Road in south west London at about 21:00 GMT.
Neighbours described hearing multiple gunshots followed by a woman screaming “desperately” for help.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said the killing which “saw a man losing his life in such a horrific way” had left his family “devastated”.
The 36-year-old who had a wife and young child was pronounced dead at the scene by the emergency services.
Lying in doorway
Neighbour Vittoria Amati, 60, said she heard between “eight to 10” gunshots fired.
“I then heard the screams of the wife. I came out and realised it was one of my neighbours.
“He was lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood. He was still alive. We were really hoping he would make it.
“You have no idea how desperate she [his wife] sounded.”
‘Fled on foot’
A young woman, who identified herself as a nurse, tried to help the man by applying pressure to his wounds, Mrs Amati added.
Det Ch Insp Jamie Stevenson said: “Our investigation is in the very early stages and we are still working to establish what the motive could be that has led to a man losing his life in such a horrific way, on Christmas Eve, in front of his family.
“They have been devastated by this horrible event and are being supported by specialist officers.
“We know that the victim was returning home with his wife and young child following an evening out, when he was shot just yards from his home.”
The officer added the assailant fled on foot in the direction of Battersea Bridge Road.
Supt Richard Smith said: “There is no suggestion that there is any ongoing risk to members of the local community in Battersea.”
The death is the 135th homicide in London in 2019, the highest number in a calendar year since 2008.
England’s Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have all earned six-figure contracts in the Indian Premier League’s player auction.
Morgan, who led England to World Cup success in 2019, was auctioned for £563,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders, who are expected to name him as captain.
Kolkata also made Australia’s Pat Cummins (£1.7m) the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer remain with Rajasthan Royals.
The England trio were not part of the auction after the franchise opted to retain them from last season’s squad. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were also retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.
Jason Roy and Chris Woakes both went to Delhi Capitals for their base price of £161,000, while Sam Curran was bought by Chennai Super Kings for £590,000.
Curran was released from his £800,000 contract by Kings XI Punjab after his debut season in 2019 despite taking a match-winning hat-trick in one game.
Knight Riders pin their hopes on pace of Cummins
Cummins, 26, is number one in the ICC Test bowling rankings and his pace and accuracy marked him out as a standout player in the auction.
Delhi and the Royal Challengers were both in for him, before the Knight Riders made their move.
At £1.7m, Cummins is the fourth costliest player in IPL auction history and the most expensive overseas signing, marginally surpassing the fee commanded by Stokes in 2017
Only Yuvraj Singh in 2014 and 2015 and Gautam Gambhir (2011) have gone for more.
Other big money foreign purchases included Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who joined Kings XI Punjab for £1.15m.
Chris Morris, who was omitted from South Africa’s Test squad for the forthcoming series with England, was bought by Bangalore for £1.1m, along with Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch for £473,000.
West Indies duo Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were also popular and will make their IPL debuts. Left-arm bowler Cottrell was a £914,000 purchase for Kings XI, and Hetmyer will play alongside Roy and Woakes for Delhi after they signed him for £833,000.
Among those who went unsold were South Africa’s Dale Steyn and New Zealand’s Tim Southee while 14-year-old Afghan left-arm wristspinner Ravi Bishnoi also failed to attract a bid.
The 2020 edition, which begins in April, will be the 13th season of the IPL, which was won in 2019 by Mumbai Indians.
More to follow.
Voting is under way to decide who will represent London’s 73 parliamentary seats.
Londoners will decide the fate of hundreds of parliamentary candidates including the prime minister and leader of the Labour Party.
Registered voters will be able to cast their ballots from 07:00 to 22:00 GMT.
Labour represented 46 seats in the city going into the 2019 General Election. The Conservative had 20 London MPs while Liberal Democrats had four.
The BBC, like other broadcasters, is not allowed to report details of campaigning while the polls are open. More details around electoral law and our BBC code of practice is explained here.
“Britain’s most famous Christmas tree” has been branded a turkey over its “sparse” foliage and “anaemic” appearance.
Since 1947, a Norwegian spruce has been installed every year in the centre of Trafalgar Square.
But some have been unimpressed by the 2019 offering, commenting on the festive favourite’s “droopy” look.
Westminster Council said the 69ft (21m) tree was “a generous gift from the people of Oslo to London”.
A spokesman said its height meant it wouldn’t look like smaller ones in people’s homes.
The British Ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood said: “This is what 90-year-old, 25m trees in the wild look like.
“It is important to consider the symbolism of the tree rather than simply how many branches it has.”
‘Thought that counts’
But those arguments haven’t stopped critics from needling the tree on Twitter.
Commenters dubbed it the “most anaemic tree possible”, saying it looked “very poorly and drab”.
One said it looked “sad” while another consoled with: “It’s the thought that counts”.
But some leapt to the tree’s defence, and said it was a gift for which the nation should be grateful.
One said: “It’s a present. You don’t deride a present. You just say thank you and enjoy it in the spirit it was given. Thank you Norway.”
Another pointed out that the decorations had yet to be added, and said the council could “bush it out” with tinsel, lights and Christmas cheer.
When some users said critics of the tree were “trolls”, the tree’s official Twitter account replied: “I thought I’d left them in Norway.”
After one woman called it “sparse”, the tree’s account said she might have meant “spruce”.
The tree is being decorated with the light switch on at 18:00 on Thursday.
It was planted in about 1929 in a forest near a small lake called Trollvann, which is Norwegian for “the water of the trolls”.
The spruce weighs about two tonnes and has been encouraged to grow by foresters talking to it and hugging it, Westminster Council said.
It was felled on 19 November at a special ceremony attended by the mayors of Oslo and Westminster before being shipped from Brevik to Immingham.
The first Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree was 48ft (14.6m) tall and was a thank you from King Haakon VII who was forced to flee Norway and seek sanctuary in Britain with his government as the Nazis invaded his homeland.
Arsenal have identified Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as a potential replacement for Unai Emery if the Gunners decide to sack the Spaniard.
Head coach Emery is under pressure after a winless run of six matches across all competitions.
Arsenal have only won four of 13 Premier League games this season.
BBC Sport understands that if Emery is sacked and Nuno is allowed to speak to Arsenal, then the Portuguese would be a strong contender to take over.
Nuno said it would be “disrespectful” to talk about being linked with Arsenal when asked in a news conference before his side’s Europa League tie against Braga on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t ever mention an issue which is not a reality,” he said. “Speaking about a job which has a manager would be disrespectful and I will not do so.”
Emery said he still has the full support of the club, having been warned results must improve while being offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy earlier this month.
“Really the club is supporting me,” he said. “I feel the club, everyone responsible in that area, is backing me. Really I appreciate it a lot.
“I feel strong with that support and know my responsibility to come back and change that situation.”
The former Sevilla and Paris St-Germain boss added he is only focused on “today and tomorrow” as he prepares for his side’s Europa League match at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
“My job is to prepare for the match, to show the best performance in front of our supporters,” he said.
Arsenal go into Thursday’s game top of Group F, four points clear of both their German opponents and Standard Liege.
On Sunday, a number of Arsenal fan groups called for “urgent action” over the “state of things” at the club.
“My focus is only today and tomorrow, to do all the things that we have worked on here at the training ground,” Emery added.
“We know our supporters were disappointed by the draw against Southampton, but we have the perfect chance to reconnect with our supporters.
“Our wish is that every supporter tomorrow helps the team, we need them.”
Arsenal are also eight points adrift of the top four and 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Young people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME) have described how they feel the 2019 general election has failed so far to take on their views or represent them.
Students at London’s Westminster Kingsway College talked about the issues they care about and the changes they would like to see in politics.
Video by Jamie Moreland
Seventeen people have been arrested in early morning raids across east London in an international human trafficking investigation.
Officers went to 16 addresses after working with Romanian police, who simultaneously raided four addresses in Romania and arrested one man.
In London, police took 29 potential victims – women aged between 20 and 40 – to a “place of safety”.
The suspects – 14 men and three women – remain in custody in central London.
The 17 arrested people, who are aged between 17 and 50, are being held on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, Class A drug offences and firearm offences.
‘One fell swoop’
Det Ch Insp Richard McDonagh, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “The Met recognises the seriousness of modern slavery and the devastation it brings to people’s lives.
“Today’s synchronised operational activity [had] the aim of, in one fell swoop, dismantling an organised crime network and providing support to the victims.”
The London raids were carried out in Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Brentwood and Tower Hamlets.
A spokesman for Romanian police in the UK said: “Romanian police officers working shoulder to shoulder with our British partners is a great achievement, a proof of our mutual permanent support and a great professional reward.
“The Romanian police is committed to continue its efforts in combating all forms of criminality together with the Metropolitan Police.”