*There's concern about marked spikes in new daily cases in France, Spain and the Netherlands.
* Switzerland expanded its list of countries from which people arriving must go into quarantine to everywhere outside Europe's Schengen zone, barring a score of exceptions.
* A few European countries including Austria, Norway and Denmark, have introduced "sweetheart visas" that exempt couples from travel bans.
*Face coverings will be mandatory in all public enclosed spaces in Northern Ireland from Monday.
*Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, an early advocate among Republicans of wearing masks and other pandemic precautions, has tested positive for coronavirus just ahead of a planned meeting with President Donald Trump.
* White House health experts are warning of an increase in the percentage of people testing positive in US cities including Boston, Chicago and Washington.
* Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits.
* More than 70,000 medical workers have caught the coronavirus in Mexico, where the death toll is now the third-highest worldwide, behind the United States and Brazil.
* Ministers from a trans-Pacific trade bloc have agreed to cooperate to fight protectionism and maintain supply chains amid the pandemic.
* Australia will make it easier to qualify for wage subsidies following a surge in infections, its prime minister will say on Friday.
* A recent spate of suicides among migrant workers in Singapore has raised concerns over the mental health of thousands of low-paid workers who have been confined to their dormitories because of COVID-19.
* Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing, with ceremonies scaled down due to the coronavirus.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Ten countries account for 80 per cent of the testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries.
* No Turkish hospitals are operating at capacity because of the pandemic, the health minister said after Reuters quoted doctors saying some dedicated intensive care units were full.
* Turkish women did four times as much household and care work as men during lockdowns, research supported by the United Nations Development Program showed.
* US President Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday aimed at boosting American drug manufacturing and lowering drug prices, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said.
* An Israeli research institute overseen by the Defence Ministry intends to begin human trials for a potential vaccine as early as October.
* Stocks slipped on Thursday as investors waited for signs of agreement on a US aid package to counter damage from the pandemic, with poor corporate earnings reports also weighing on European shares.
Australian Associated Press