Joanna Kakissis

The Central Asian country of Turkmenistan claims it has no coronavirus cases.

The nationalist government in Hungary passed a law Monday granting sweeping emergency powers that Prime Minister Viktor Orban says are necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Those powers include sidelining parliament and giving Orban the power to rule by decree indefinitely. The law would punish those who spread false information about the pandemic with up to five years in prison.

"Changing our lives is now unavoidable," Orban told lawmakers last week. "Everyone has to leave their comfort zone. This law gives the government the power and means to defend Hungary."

Spring is usually the busiest time of year at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, the world's blossom trade capital.

There are chrysanthemums for Easter. Roses for Mother's Day. Tulips in full bloom for everyone.

Now most of these flowers are being composted. The coronavirus has grounded deliveries and shipments. And now the Dutch government has banned public gatherings of any size until June. People are hardly buying flowers right now.

The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians around the world has ordered churches to halt services and rites until the end of March. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I asked parishioners to stay home for their own safety and the safety of others.

"This trial, too, shall pass," the patriarch said in a televised statement. "The clouds will clear, and the Sun of Righteousness will eliminate the deadly effect of the virus. But our lives will have changed forever."

Ten-year-old Nurzat climbs out of his bunk bed, tiptoes across the room that he shares with three other boys and opens his locker.

It holds his most prized possession: a framed photograph of his father.

His dad has a thick mustache and wears a gray polo shirt and thick glasses. Nurzat, a wispy boy with huge brown eyes and a hushed voice, says he can almost hear him laughing.

"I miss you so much," he tells the photo. "When are you coming?"

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