News Watch

More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed in the Pulwama district of India-administered Kashmir on Feb. 14 when a car filled with explosives struck their bus. Islamist militant group Jaish-e Mohammad, based in neighboring Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Feb. 18, nine people, including four soldiers and one civilian, were killed when Indian armed forces engaged in a gun battle with militants in Pulwama.

On Feb. 26, Indian jets targeted a camp inside of...


A fire swept through the historic district of Chawkbazar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Feb. 21, killing at least 78 people. The fire started in a mixed-use building with a chemical storage unit on the ground floor. The chemicals, along with residents' cooking-gas canisters, caused the fire to spread quickly. The 400-year-old district is made up of closely packed houses on narrow streets, which hindered attempts to extinguish the fire.


On Feb. 27, a passenger train struck a buffer stop at a platform in Cairo's Ramses Station, the main train station in the city, and burst into flames, killing at least 25 people and injuring 50. The fire spread to nearby buildings before being extinguished.

Authorities arrested the train's engineer, accusing him of leaving the train without first setting the brakes. The engineer claims that the brakes were set before he left but failed due to corrosion.


Antigovernment protests in Venezuela, which began on Jan. 23, continued through February. The protests were supported by National Assembly and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself president and called for new elections, saying that Venezuela's last election, which acting president Nicolás Maduro won, was fraudulent. Guaidó is supported by the US, EU, and most South American countries.

In order to address a lack of basic goods and medical supplies in Venezuela, a...


Protests against price increases in France that began in November 2018 continued through February. The protesters, known as "yellow vests" due to their wearing reflective vests, have gathered in cities across the country in the tens of thousands, including in Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

Protests have occasionally become violent. On Feb. 11 in Paris, a protester lost fingers when he picked up a nonlethal grenade filled with plastic pellets and it exploded in his hand.

On Feb. 17...


Since Jan. 1, 2019, more than 11,000 people, mostly children, have contracted measles in the Philippines, largely in the capital, Manila, and at least 189 people have died from the disease. Officials blame vaccine fears for reducing the number of inoculated children in the country. Officials hope a vaccine drive, focused on Manila, will end the outbreak by April.

Worldwide, cases of measles are increasing. The disease is easily spread via droplets of saliva suspended in the air due to...


The World Health Organization has declared a Lassa fever outbreak in five African countries: Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Togo. At least 213 confirmed cases of the disease have been identified in 2019, with 42 deaths.

Lassa fever is a virus spread via contact with rodents. It causes fever, sore throat, nausea and head, chest and muscle pain. In extreme cases, it can cause bleeding from orifices and death.

A Birman Airlines flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was hijacked by a man wielding a gun (later determined to be a toy). The flight, carrying 148 passengers, was redirected to Chittagong, Bangladesh, where the hijacker was killed by police.

The hijacker, who was later identified as an aspiring actor from Dhaka, had said he was having marital issues and demanded to speak to Bangladesh's prime minister. Security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport...