News Watch

At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 198.5 million cases and, resulting from those, more than 4.2 million deaths.

The Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more infectious than other variants, is becoming the dominant variant around the world. Almost every country saw a significant spike in new cases in July. The daily average of new cases over a 2-week period rose more than 100% in most of Europe, Africa and the...


Throughout South Africa, large protests over the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma descended into violence starting on July 8, resulting in the deaths of at least 212 people and the arrest of more than 2,500.

The largest protests were held primarily in the eastern provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province. Protesters blocked roads and highways and committed acts of vandalism in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. There also were reports of widespread...


Historic rains caused devastating floods in western Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in mid-July. At least 188 people were killed, with more than 170 people still missing at press time. Many millions of people living in the region, including the entire city of Liége, Belgium, were ordered to evacuate.

The floods caused billions of dollars in damage, destroying homes and washing away roads and bridges. Cities and towns damaged by floods are expected to take months to...


Monsoon rains in late July caused major flooding in the state of Maharashtra in western India, killing at least 110 people, with many people still missing at press time. Officials in India said most of the deaths were caused by landslides, which destroyed area villages. In Mumbai, the largest city in the state, transportation services were disrupted due to flooding in low areas of the city.

Heavy rains caused flooding in central China in mid July, killing at least 302 people and forcing hundreds of thousands in Henan province to evacuate. In the city of Zhengzhou, in flooded subway trains where water had reached over head level, 12 people were killed and more than 500 were rescued. A dam outside of the city of Luoyang, which had been partially breached by flood waters, was purposefully destroyed on July 21 to relieve flooding upstream.

An Antonov An-26 turboprop plane carrying 28 people crashed during landing at Palana Airport in Kamchakta, Russia, on July 6, killing everyone on board. The plane lost contact with the tower shortly before landing and crashed into the ocean.

On July 16, an An-28 carrying 19 people disappeared over Siberia after losing contact with air traffic control. Rescuers found the aircraft, which had to make an emergency landing in the wilderness, with all passengers and crew alive. The An-28...


A market in Baghdad, Iraq, in the neighborhood of Sadr City, was bombed on July 19, killing at least 25 people. The market was busy with people shopping for the evening meal of the Eid al-Adha festival.

The bombing was blamed on Islamist militant group Daesh (Islamic State). At one point, Daesh controlled large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria, but it has since lost all of its territory. The group still operates in the shadows throughout the area, however, and has been blamed...


Rare antigovernment protests began occurring in Cuba starting on July 11 as a collapsing economy, stricter government controls on food and medicine and the country’s perceived lackluster response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused frustration and anger.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested, and one died, though, at press time, it was not known under what circumstances. There were reports of looting at state-operated stores as well. Counter pro-government protests also were held....