News Watch

Tropical Storm Anna hit the eastern coasts of Southern Africa in late January, killing dozens of people in Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi.

In Madagascar, at least 41 people were killed and more than 100,000 were displaced, while Malawi reported 19 dead. In Mozambique, there were 12 reported deaths as of press time, though aid organizations there said the number was likely to rise, as more than 20,000 people had been affected by the storm.

Heavy winds and rain destroyed homes...


Protests in Kazakhstan, which began over a rise in fuel prices, escalated into anti-government protests in early January.

In the city of Almaty on Jan. 5, protesters started fires in municipal buildings, including the mayor’s office. Protesters then took control of Almaty International Airport, the country’s main airport. During those protests, at least eight security personnel were reported killed and hundreds wounded. There were no confirmed deaths among protesters.



The Burkina Faso military entered the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou, on Jan. 23, taking over government buildings and forcing the president, Roch Kaboré, and his cabinet to flee. A military spokesperson said that the presidency and parliament had been dissolved. On Jan. 24, President Kaboré announced he was resigning. No replacement government had been installed by press time.

A prison in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, holding former members of the Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL), including 850 children, some as young as 12, was attacked by at least 300 Daesh militants on Jan. 20 in an attempt to release prisoners.

After storming the prison, the fighters were trapped inside by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led group that is in charge of security in the city. According to the SDF, more than 150 militants were killed before the Daesh...


With Russia having amassed more than 100,000 troops along the border with Ukraine, NATO intelligence was suggesting, at press time, that an invasion was imminent.

On Jan. 23, the US Department of State evacuated the families and nonessential employees of the US Embassy in Kyiv. The UK followed suit the next day. The State Department also recommended that all US citizens in Ukraine consider leaving immediately.

At press time, Russia was insisting that it had no plans to...


Truck drivers protesting a mandate in Canada requiring that freight transporters who cross the border into the US must be vaccinated for COVID-19 caused traffic to come to a standstill by parking their trucks in the street in parts of Ottawa, Ontario, and at a border crossing in Alberta, beginning Jan. 30. The protest was ongoing at press time.

A landslide in Quito, Ecuador, killed at least 22 people and injured 47 others on Jan. 31, with 20 people still missing at press time.

Heavy rains had caused a gorge to fill with water near the working-class neighborhoods of La Gasca and La Comuna, on the eastern edge of the city. Eventually, the gorge overflowed and sent mud and rocks into the neighborhoods.

The US Department of State posts up-to-date travel advisories on every country and many territories, ranking each 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions), 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel). Note: A country’s regions are also ranked and may have different rankings than the country as a whole. Visit and click on “Travel Advisories” at the top of the page.