People walking in Milan, Italy, on Feb 25. Photo: Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and has begun impacting a slew of international sporting events as the window to prevent a global pandemic narrows.

The state of play: The alpine skiing World Cup Finals and major Italian cycling races were canceled on Friday as the coronavirus continues to spread, AP reports. The Italian government has mandated all sporting events take place without spectators through April 3.

  • Weightlifting: The Asian weightlifting championships, which double as an Olympic qualifier, in Uzbekistan has been rescheduled to April 16-25, AP notes.
  • Basketball: A D-III game between Yeshiva University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute was played this week without spectators over coronavirus fears, possibly the first game in the U.S. to do so.
  • Baseball: Pre-season games in Japan were played with no fans in the stadium, per USA Today.
  • Soccer: Four Series A soccer matches in northern Italy were canceled, and the government wants future games in areas impacted by the outbreak to be played behind closed doors without fans.
  • Athletics: The World Athletics Indoor Championships, set to take place in mid-March in Nanjing, China, has been postponed until next year.
  • Formula One: The Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai, has been postponed.
  • Table tennis: The world championship to be held in late March in South Korea has been pushed back provisionally to late June.

What to watch: Japanese officials insist the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go on as planned, but the coronavirus has already begun to affect preparations, per Intelligencer:

  • "Movement of athletes has been limited, qualifying events have been disrupted, and plans to train tens of thousands of volunteers have been postponed."
  • "There are also emerging questions about how many people will be willing to travel to watch the Olympics. Coronavirus fears have led to a huge drop in tourism to Asia."

Go deeper: Coronavirus outbreak creates hockey stick shortage

Go deeper

Supreme Court won't block Rhode Island's eased absentee voting rules

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court said Thursday that it will not block Rhode Island's move to ease its requirements for absentee voting during November's election.

Why it matters: The decision is a loss for Republicans, who had requested an emergency order as the state is expected to begin mailing out its ballots.

Breaking down Uber and Lyft's threat to suspend services in California

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber and Lyft are ratcheting up the fight with California’s state government over the classification of drivers with a move that would deprive Californians of their ride-hailing services (and halt driver income).

Driving the news: On Wednesday, both companies said that if a court doesn’t overturn or further pause a new ruling forcing them to reclassify California drivers as employees, they’ll suspend their services in the state until November’s election, when voters could potentially exempt them by passing a ballot measure.

Trump announces normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.