Apr 17, 2019

Former president of Peru Alan García dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound during arrest

Alan García. Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Former Peruvian President Alan García shot himself in the head on Wednesday, the New York Times reports, and has been confirmed dead.

Details: García, who was 69 years old, was taken to the hospital in Lima in critical condition. His personal secretary, Ricardo Pineda, verified García's death, explaining to a Peruvian radio station that as authorities arrived at his home with an arrest warrant, García locked himself in his bedroom and shot himself. He was then taken to a hospital shock unit.

Background: García served as president from 1985 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2011, helping the country through economic hurdles in his first term and fostering growth in the early 2000s. He faced charges involving a Brazilian construction firm that admitted to $800 million in payoffs in return for attractive contracts. Per the New York Times, ongoing investigations targeted other Peruvian leaders, including Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was detained last week.

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Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus updates

What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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