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New York City's once-bustling Times Square. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the lives of people around the world.

The big picture: The first known case outside China was in Thailand on Jan. 13. Since then, governments around the world have responded to surging case numbers with a range of measures designed to curb the spread of the virus. There were more than 723,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections by early Monday, per Johns Hopkins data.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a news briefing with a limited number of journalists allowed placed at a distance to each other, Berlin, Germany. Photo: Markus Schreiber/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
A priest holds Sunday mass as he looks toward photographs sent in by his parishioners, Giussano, Italy. Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP via Getty Images
A woman receives a rose delivered to her via a drone in Lebanon's coastal city of Jounieh. Photo: Joseph EidAFP via Getty Images
A train marked with red crosses to ensure physical distancing, Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Abdul Qodir/AFP via Getty Images
Customers maintain physical distancing as they wait to enter a mall, Ahmedabad, India. Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP via Getty Images
Two women observe social distancing measures as they speak to each other from adjacent park benches, York, England. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images
Pakistan's capital Karachi has designated areas marked on the ground to maintain physical distancing. Photo: Asif Hassan/AFP via Getty Images
An official takes people's temperatures in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, where COVID-19 was discovered and where restrictions have eased after a drop in case numbers. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images
Nuns sing in a church, Barcelona. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty Images
A South African Police Service member makes shoppers hold their hands out in front of them to ensure social distancing outside a supermarket, Yeoville, Johannesburg. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images
The Paddison family updates their roadside isolation countdown sign in Auckland, New Zealand. The country is in the midst of a four-week lockdown, which requires people to stay at home but permits them to exercise outdoors in their neighborhood if they keep 6.5 feet from people who are not members of their household.

Go deeper

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of American and Canadian diplomats affected by a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome," per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.