News Watch

In Turkey’s capital, Ankara, on Feb. 17, a car bomb detonated next to a military convoy, killing 28 people and injuring more than 60. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a militant Kurdish separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack. TAK was previously allied with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a political Kurdish group, but was disavowed for their extremist actions. On Feb. 18, a second military convoy was hit by a car bomb in southeastern Turkey, killing eight people. Turkish authorities blamed Kurdish separatists for that bomb as well. A TAK spokesperson said that the...

CONTINUE READING »

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck southern Taiwan on Feb. 5, killing 117 people in the city of Tainan. The collapse of a 17-story apartment building in Tainan resulted in 115 of the reported deaths. More than 300 people were rescued from the building, which, it was found, had not been built to code and even included tin cans used as filler in the concrete supports. The building’s developer and two associates were arrested on a charge of negligence leading to death.

Tropical cyclone Winston struck the islands of Fiji on Feb. 21, killing at least 42 people and causing thousands of people to lose their homes. The Fijian government estimated that up to 80% of the population was left without power after the cyclone hit. With wind speeds of more than 200 miles per hour and waves over 40 feet high breaking onshore, Winston was one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recorded history.

In and around the city of Delhi, India, in February, large and occasionally violent protests by people in the Jat caste left at least 16 people dead and hundreds injured. Jat protesters also took over and damaged the Munak Canal on Feb. 18, the main water source for Delhi, leaving more than 10 million people in the city without water until the Indian army secured the canal and restored water service on Feb. 23. In India, members of “lower”-caste communities, known officially as “backward” castes, are offered more government assistance. The Jat community is considered an “upper” caste, and...

CONTINUE READING »

Two suicide bombers attacked a refugee camp in northern Nigeria on Feb. 9, killing 56 people and injuring more than 60. The bombers targeted a group of people, mostly women and children, waiting in a ration line. The camp houses people displaced by Nigeria’s ongoing war with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been blamed for the attack. A third suicide bomber removed her bombs and turned herself in to authorities after realizing that her immediate family was among the people seeking refuge in the camp. The war against Boko Haram has resulted in the deaths of at least 20,000...

CONTINUE READING »

In Angola, an outbreak of yellow fever that began in December 2015 has infected at least 664 people and killed at least 125 of them. Most of the cases have occurred in the capital, Luanda. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), normal symptoms of yellow fever, which is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, include headache, nausea and fatigue. However, in extreme cases, yellow fever can cause internal hemorrhaging and jaundice, resulting in a fatality rate of nearly 50% among untreated cases. Yellow fever cases have also been reported in Mali and Ghana. WHO recommends yellow...

CONTINUE READING »

The US Department of State alerts travelers to the potential for extremist violence in Bangladesh. Since September 2015, the country has experienced a series of violent attacks. These include the murders of two foreign nationals as well as bombings and other attacks against gatherings of religious groups and security forces. Daesh (ISIL) publicly claimed credit for many of these attacks, including the beheading of a Hindu priest on Feb. 22.

The US Department of State warns of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, particularly the eastern regions, due to activities by groups considered to be terrorist groups. Kidnapping and other violent acts have occurred in the border regions of eastern Mauritania (bordering Mali) and in the north (bordering Algeria). The Mauritanian government has designated most of this area as a restricted security zone, and entry into these regions requires permission from Mauritanian authorities.