News Watch

At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 149.8 million cases and, resulting from those, more than 3.1 million deaths.

Numbers of new cases of COVID-19 were rising in nearly every country in the world. During the week of April 11-17, there were 5.2 million confirmed cases worldwide, the most recorded during a one-week period. The number of deaths has also been rising worldwide but at a much slower rate than infections...

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In Northern Ireland, the largest protests and riots in the area since the end of The Troubles in 1998 began in late March. Large gatherings and violent acts had occurred nearly every night up to press time, with nearly 100 police officers injured and multiple cars and buildings damaged by petrol bombs.

While protesters have been aligned with both pro-English (Loyalist) and pro-Ireland (Nationalist) interests, most of the violence has been blamed on Loyalist groups who are unhappy with...

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Nationalist Israeli and Palestinian protesters clashed in East Jerusalem on April 22, causing injuries to at least 100 people. The clashes occurred after days of counterprotests between the groups, who began throwing bottles and rocks at each other as police worked to keep the groups separate.

Tensions have been rising in East Jerusalem, which is occupied by Israel but considered an integral part of any future independent Palestine. In April, there was an uptick in reports of attacks...

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On April 2, a passenger train carrying nearly 500 people from Taipei to Taitung, Taiwan, collided with a maintenance truck that had rolled down an embankment and onto the tracks, causing it to derail. Forty-nine people were killed and more than 200, wounded. The train was capable of traveling at about 90 miles per hour, but it was not reported how fast the train was traveling at the time of the accident.

The truck driver and maintenance crew all were charged with criminal negligence...

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A car bomb was detonated at the Serena Hotel in Quetta, Balochistan Province, southwestern Pakistan, on April 22, killing five people and injuring 12. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Quetta is near the border of Afghanistan, where the Taliban is based.

The Serena Hotel is a luxury property often used by government officials and visiting dignitaries. It is believed that the Chinese ambassador may have been the target of the attack. He was in Quetta but away...

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La Soufrière, a volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, the largest island in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, erupted in a large explosion on April 9, sending an ash cloud 6½ miles into the air. Further explosive events have occurred, and the volcano continued to erupt ash at press time.

On St. Vincent, more than 20,000 people were evacuated from their homes. A thick layer of ash damaged buildings and crops and has caused shortages of clean drinking water. Nearby...

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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 travel.state.gov and click on “Travel Advisories” at the top of the page.

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At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 131.5 million cases and, resulting from those, more than 2.9 million deaths.

On March 29, Mexico revised its count of deaths due to COVID-19, increasing its official number to more than 321,000, 60% higher than the previous estimate. The new number was the second-highest death count in the world, after that of the US.

In late March, even before the numbers were updated...

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