WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose a better-than-expected 1.9% in September with a key category that tracks business investment showing a solid gain as well. The rise in durable goods orders followed a smaller 0.4% increase in August and was the best gain since an 11.8% surge in July, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment spending rose 1% in September after bigger gains in July and August. The pace of durable goods orders has slowed since an initial burst in demand as the country re-opened after the spring shutdown. Analysts are worried that this slowdown could worsen in coming months as virus cases surge again and the boost from government stimulus fades following the failure of Congress to quickly renew support programs. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
MADRID — Spanish doctors are staging their first national walkout in 25 years to protest what they say are poor working conditions and the weakened state of the national public health system. The 24-hour strike was called by the State Confederation of Medical Unions, which wants health authorities to negotiate changes in the sector. The confederation says the coronavirus pandemic has exposed a lack of investment public health system in recent decades. The protest came as the government said its proposed 2021 state budget includes a 151% increase in spending for the public health sector. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Spanish doctors stage 24-hour walkout to protest weak public health system — Russia issues nationwide mask requirement amid surge of cases — Iran hits record single-day virus death toll — Coronavirus cases increasing in states Trump needs the most - the Midwest. — European nations enact sweeping restrictions like curfews to try to slow surging infection rates — World Series played at a neutral site in front of smallest crowds in a century, but Dodgers and Rays are just happy that some fans are there ___ — Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian health authorities reported a surge in coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, pushing the number of daily deaths to a new record. The government data shows 63 deaths the past 24 hours, up from 47 deaths a day earlier. The number of new confirmed cases, reported at 2,079 on Tuesday, has been above 2,000 for the sixth consecutive day. Hungary’s Parliament passed new legislation on Monday that tightens the rules governing home quarantine and stipulates the fines for breaching these rules. Authorities in the country of nearly 10 million have conducted about one million tests so far. The totals have reached 63,642 infections and 1,535 deaths. ___ TEHRAN — Iran has reached another single-day record with 346 deaths. That brings the country’s total virus deaths to 33,299, the highest coronavirus toll in the Mideast. Iran Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari says daily coronavirus cases have also hit a record, with 6,968 reported. That brings Iran’s total number of infections to 581,824. She says 4,995 COVID-19 patients are in serious condition. ___ JERUSALEM — Israel has appointed a new coronavirus czar as it slowly emerges from a second nationwide lockdown amid widespread criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic. Dr. Nachman Ash, a retired brigadier general and former surgeon general of the Israeli military, will take over from Dr. Ronni Gamzu, a leading public health expert whose three-month tenure was marred by political infighting and public anger at the government’s response to the outbreak. Israel imposed a second nationwide lockdown in mid-September after a surge in new cases threatened to overwhelm the health system. The rate of new cases has declined since the lockdown was imposed. Authorities have lifted restrictions on movement, but most schools and businesses remain closed. Israel hopes to avoid repeating its experience last spring, when an earlier lockdown largely succeeded in containing the outbreak before authorities abruptly lifted most restrictions. Cases shot up while the economy failed to recover, stoking public anger and weekly protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel has reported more than 300,000 cases and 2,452 virus deaths ___ MADRID -- Spain’s Canary Islands aim to pass a law this week demanding a negative COVID-19 test result from tourists wanting to visit the archipelago off northwest Africa. Canary Islands President Ángel Víctor Torres says the measure will apply to both Spaniards and foreigners. New infections have been soaring across Spain except for the Canary Islands, a popular tourist destination that is 1,800 kilometres (1,120 miles) southwest of Madrid. He said the law was being prepared even before the U.K. and Germany recently lifted travel restrictions to the Canary Islands. Those two countries account for more than half the archipelago’s 13 million annual visitors. Any tourist without a certified document confirming a negative test result between 48 and 72 hours before their arrival won’t be allowed inside any accommodations on the island. The visitor will be asked to go to a local testing centre at their own expense. Officials in the Canary Islands have officially recorded almost 17,000 cases of coronavirus and 272 deaths. ___ BERLIN — A second German district has gone into a de facto lockdown as new coronavirus infections surge in the country. The restrictions in Bavaria’s Rottal-Inn county, on the border with Austria, began Tuesday, news agency dpa reported. Rottal-Inn follows Berchtesgaden, another Bavarian county in Germany’s southeastern corner, which introduced similar restrictions last week. Schools and kindergartens will be closed and events cancelled, and people have been told not to leave their homes without good reason. Rottal-Inn has recorded more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days. In Germany, measures are required once new infections top 50 per 100,000. On Tuesday, the country’s national disease control centre reported 11,409 new infections. Another 42 people died, bringing the country’s overall virus death toll to 10,098. Hospitals and intensive units are filling up again and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed grave concern, saying the current restrictions are not strong enough to slow down the spread of the virus. Merkel will meet with the state governors on Wednesday. ___ PARIS — France’s government is holding emergency virus meetings Tuesday and warning of possible new lockdowns, as hospitals fill up with new COVID patients and doctors plead for backup. President Emmanuel Macron is convening top ministers and Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting with lawmakers, unions and business lobbies as the government weighs its next steps in the fight against surging infections. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France-Inter radio that “we should expect difficult decisions.” Among possible new measures for the hardest-hit areas are lengthening existing curfews, full confinement on weekends or all week and closing non-essential businesses. Doctors describe growing pressure on emergency services and intensive care wards, where COVID patients now take up 54% of beds nationwide. France is reporting more than 350 new cases per 100,000 people each week, and nearly 18% of tests are positive. It has reported Europe’s third-highest virus death toll, at more than 35,000 lives lost. ___ MOSCOW -- Russian authorities on Tuesday have issued a nationwide mask requirement amid a rapid resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak. Health authorities registered 16,550 new cases and 320 new deaths on Tuesday, the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic. Russia’s public health agency, Rospotrebnadzor, ordered all Russians to wear masks in crowded public spaces, on public transport, in taxis, at parking lots and in elevators starting on Wednesday. The agency also recommended regional authorities put a curfew on entertainment events, cafes, restaurants and bars from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Russia has the world’s fourth largest tally of over 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The government’s coronavirus task force has been reporting more than 15,000 new infections every day since last Sunday, which is much higher than in the spring. In total, Russia has reported more than 26,000 virus-related deaths. Despite the sharp spike in daily new infections, Russian authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea of imposing a second national lockdown or shutting down businesses. Most virus-related restrictions were lifted during the summer. ___ BRUSSELS — Former Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes remained hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19 but her condition is improving, her spokeswoman said Tuesday. In a message to The Associated Press, Elke Pattyn said Wilmes “is getting better every day” although she will stay in intensive care until further notice. Wilmes, who as Belgium's leader led the country’s fight against the coronavirus, was hospitalized last Wednesday. The 45-year-old Wilmes handed the reins to Alexander de Croo this month and is now Belgian’s foreign minister. She was in charge when the first wave of infections hit the country this spring. Wilmes says she thought she got infected within her family circle. ___ NEW DELHI — Authorities in India are reporting 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections, the lowest one-day tally in more than three months. In its report Tuesday, the Health Ministry also listed 488 deaths from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 119,502. India’s overall total of cases for the pandemic is nearing 8 million, trailing only the United States, which has over 8.7 million. The case number reported Tuesday is the lowest since India had 35,065 confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day. ___ FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor is urging people in the state’s counties hit hardest by the pandemic to take stricter steps to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Andy Beshear stressed Monday that he is only offering recommendations — not mandates. Beshear says people should avoid hosting or attending gatherings of any size. He says employers should allow employees to work from home when possible, and noncritical government offices should operate virtually. Also, he says, in-person shopping should be reduced, with people opting to order online for pickup. The recommendations are aimed at the 55 counties — nearly half of all Kentucky counties — with the highest infection rates. Those counties have a daily average of at least 25 new virus cases per 100,000 residents. ___ SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is again imploring people in his state to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. During his daily briefing Monday, delivered from the OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Pritzker said there is a “COVID storm on the rise, and we have to get prepared.” Pritzker spoke two days after Illinois officials reported 6,131 coronavirus infections, which was a new single-day high for the state. His public health director reported another 4,729 fresh cases Monday, with 17 deaths from COVID-19. ___ JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is expanding a mask mandate to seven additional counties to try to control the spread of the coronavirus as cases increase rapidly in some areas. His new order takes effect Wednesday and lasts until at least Nov. 11. Sixteen of Mississippi’s 82 counties will require people to wear face coverings when they are indoors away from their homes. Social gatherings in those 16 counties also will be limited to 10 people indoors or 50 people outdoors. Reeves says the restrictions are in counties that have had at least 200 confirmed virus cases or at least 500 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents during a recent two-week period. ___ WASHINGTON — The White House coronavirus response co-ordinator says North Dakota’s capital city had the worst COVID-19 protocols she’s seen in her travels around the country. Dr. Deborah Birx, whose tour has taken her to nearly 40 states, says she found the absence of face coverings and the lack of social distancing in Bismarck “deeply unfortunate” and a danger to public health. North Dakota continues to rank first in the country for virus cases per capita in the last two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The Bismarck area has in recent months been a hot spot. North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has not ordered a statewide mask mandate, instead urging people to wear masks out of personal responsibility and care for others. Burgum says he and Birx “have been in complete agreement since the beginning of this,” local media reported. ___ The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Mary Pope Osborne is preparing her million-selling “Magic Tree House” series for a new adventure. She is teaming with playwright Jenny Laird and the illustrators-sisters Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews to adapt her work for graphic novels. The first release will be an adaptation of the first “Magic Tree House” book, “Dinosaurs Before Dark," and is scheduled for May 4. Future editions are to come out every six months. “I’m so excited for Jack and Annie’s time travel adventures to reach a new generation of readers who are drawn to the thrilling visual experience that graphic novels provide,” Osborne said in a statement Tuesday. “As with all of my books, I hope these adaptations will inspire children to learn more about world history and instil in them a lifelong love of reading.” According to Random House Books for Young Readers, Osborne's series has sold more than 140 million copies worldwide since it began in 1992. The Associated Press
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint with Turkish authorities against prominent Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders saying that he had insulted him on social media, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday. Wilders is one of Europe's most prominent far-rightists and has been a key figure in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands over the past decade, although he has never been in government. On Saturday Wilders posted a cartoon picture of Erdogan and captioned it "terrorist".
Belgium's former King Albert has met his daughter Delphine for the first time, after she won a seven-year legal battle to prove that he is her father, earning recognition as a princess. The two met Albert's wife, Queen Paola, last Sunday at their royal residence, the Belvedere castle, in the Brussels suburb of Laeken, the royal household said on Tuesday. "Our meeting took place at the Belvedere Castle, a meeting during which each of us was able to express, calmly and with empathy, our feelings and our experiences."
People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain ageing by 10 years, researchers warned on Tuesday. A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a doctor at Imperial College London, found that in some severe cases, coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months. "People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits."
Frustrated with a months-long political power struggle during the coronavirus pandemic, Malaysians have praised King Al-Sultan Abdullah for rejecting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's request on Sunday to impose emergency rule. "He saved our People, Country and Democracy," Twitter user @Kushfein said in one of many positive responses to the king's decision posted on social media. Holding a largely figurehead role, Malaysian monarchs rarely make headlines for their role in the country's political affairs, but Al-Sultan Abdullah has made several big calls since February, when an elected coalition government suddenly splintered.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on Tuesday for an end to mass protests over abortion rights, saying those attending were disregarding "massive risks" from the resurgent coronavirus pandemic. Five days of nationwide protests have followed a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal last week that amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation. Once the decision goes into effect, pregnancy termination will only be legal in Poland in the case of incest, rape or a threat to the mother's health.
European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic. More than 43.4 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,158,056 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States leading the way in the number of infections and deaths. The United States, Russia, France and other countries have registered record numbers of infections in recent days as autumn turns to winter in the Northern Hemisphere and people congregate indoors where the risk of infection grows.
France warned its citizens living or travelling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions on Tuesday as anger surged over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. In a sign that some countries want to limit the fallout, Saudi Arabia condemned the cartoons but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for a boycott of French products or other actions. The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.
More than 1,000 yellow-shirted Thai royalists demonstrated in support of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Tuesday, close to where thousands of people marched a day earlier to demand reforms of the monarchy. Youth and student-led protests began in Thailand in July to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha - a former army ruler - and a new constitution, but have increasingly sought curbs on the monarchy's powers. "We want to show support and encouragement to his majesty," said Thatchapan Boriphet, 57, at Lumphini Park in central Bangkok.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Around 10,000 people in Bangladesh rallied in the South Asian nation's capital on Tuesday to protest France's president and his staunch support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech. Protesters from the conservative Islami Andolon Bangladesh group, which supports the introduction of Islamic law in the Muslim-majority country, carried banners and placards reading: “All Muslims of the world, unite” and “Boycott France.” It was the largest protest yet against the cartoons in recent days. Some carried portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron with an “X” on his face. One protester carried a cutout image of the French president with shoes around his neck as a sign of insult. The issue has once again come to light in recent days following a gruesome beheading near Paris of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. The 18-year-old Chechen refugee who carried out the attack was later shot dead by police. The teacher, Samuel Paty, has been heralded as a symbol of France's staunch secular ideals and its rejection of religious intrusion in public spheres. Macron and members of his government have vowed to continue supporting such caricatures as protected under freedom of expression. Muslim politicians, religious scholars and everyday people have condemned such depictions as a form of hate speech and view them as sacrilegious and insulting to Islam. Muslims have been calling for both protests and a boycott of French goods in response to France’s stance on caricatures of Islam’s most revered prophet. Five years ago, French-born al-Qaida extremists killed 12 employees of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in response to its publication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Those cartoons also sparked mass protests in Muslim-majority countries, with some turning deadly. Elsewhere, Iran summoned a French diplomat to protest France's stance on the caricatures. A report by state TV on Tuesday said an Iranian official in the country’s Foreign Ministry told the French diplomat that Paris’ response in the aftermath of Paty's killing was “unwise" and that France was permitting hatred against Islam under the guise of support for freedom of expression. A powerful association of clerics in the Iranian city of Qom also urged the government to condemn Macron. Iranian hard-line newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz depicted Macron as the devil and called him Satan in a cartoon on its front page Tuesday. Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution condemning the publication of cartoons of the prophet. In Saudi Arabia, the country’s state-run Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday put out a statement from the Foreign Ministry saying the kingdom “rejects any attempt to link Islam and terrorism, and denounces the offensive cartoons of the prophet.” Saudi clerics have too condemned the caricatures, but have also cited the prophet’s “mercy, justice, tolerance”. Another prominent sheikh called on Muslims not to overreact. The Arab Gulf state of Qatar also condemned what it described as “the dramatic escalation of populist rhetoric” inciting religious abuse. In a statement, the government said inflammatory speech is fueling calls for the repeated targeting of nearly 2 billion Muslims around the world through the deliberate offending of the Prophet Muhammad and has led to an increase in hostility toward Muslims. Bangladeshi protesters gathered in front of the main Baitul Mokarram Mosque in downtown Dhaka Tuesday morning. The group walked toward the French Embassy, but police intercepted the march, which ended without violence. Protests have also been held recently in Iraq, Turkey the Gaza Strip and in opposition areas of northwestern Syria controlled by Turkey-backed rebels. Rezaul Karim, the head of the Islami Andolon group in Bangladesh, called on France to refrain from displaying caricatures of the prophet. “We, the Muslims, never did caricatures of other religious leaders," he said. "Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad as an ambassador of peace ... Macron and his associates did not learn anything from history,” he added, before calling on Muslims to boycott French goods. Karim also said Macron should be treated for his “mental illness,” remarks similar to those made days earlier by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who's been the most vociferous in his criticism among political leaders in saying Macron needed his head examined and had lost his way. France has since recalled its ambassador to Turkey and other European nations have defended Macron. Bangladesh's leadership, however, has not come out in criticism of France, as Turkey, Pakistan and other Muslim-majority nations have done. Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million mostly Muslim people, is governed by a secular constitution. In the Middle East, Kuwaiti stores have pulled French yogurts, cheese and bottles of sparkling water from their shelves, Qatar University cancelled a French culture week, and calls to stay away from the French-owned Carrefour grocery store chain were trending on social media in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. ___ Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, and Jon Gambrell and Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report. Julhas Alam, The Associated Press