News Watch

A tsunami caused by the eruption and collapse into the sea of the volcano Anak Krakatau hit sites on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java on Dec. 22, killing at least 430 people and injuring more than 1,500 others. At press time, more than 159 people were still missing. Because the tsunami was not caused by an earthquake, it occurred without warning.

It was recommended that anyone in the region avoid coastal areas during the duration of the eruption, which was ongoing at press...


At least 126 people were killed when Typhoon Usman hit the Bicol Region in southern Philippines on Dec. 29. Officials had underestimated the storm, as it had low winds for a tropical storm, and did not classify it as a typhoon. However, the storm had heavier rains than expected, causing flooding and landslides, and people were unprepared due to the lesser classification. Across the country, the storm displaced more than 40,000 people.

A car bomb was detonated outside of a government building in Kabul, Afghanistan on Dec. 24, and it was followed by an attack on the building by militants, who took civilians in the building hostage during the attack. A 7-hour siege by Afghan security forces ended the attack, during which 43 people were killed, including at least one police officer and three attackers, with 25 people wounded.

At press time, no group had taken responsibility for the attack, but officials believe the...


A tour bus carrying a group of Vietnamese travelers was struck by a roadside bomb near the Giza pyramid complex on Dec. 28. Three people were killed and 11 were injured. Reportedly, the bus had deviated from its assigned route without security forces having been notified.

At press time, no group had claimed responsibility for the bomb. After the attack, Egyptian security forces killed at least 40 militants in Sinai in military raids.

In central Strasbourg, France, on Dec. 11, a man attacked pedestrians with a gun and knife, including some in a Christmas market, killing three people and wounding 10 others. Three of those 10 died from their wounds within the next week.

The gunman was wounded at the scene in a shootout with security forces but escaped. He was found after a 2-day manhunt and was killed in a second shootout with police. The man was identified as a native-born French citizen with a long criminal history...


In December, two Nordic tourists were murdered while camping in Morocco. After the women's bodies were discovered on Dec. 17, police arrested four Moroccan men who had pledged their allegiance to the Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) in a video posted online before the murders. An additional 11 men also were subsequently arrested for involvement in the incident. Moroccan authorities are prosecuting the murders as a terrorist attack.


In Bottrop, Germany, a man drove a car into a group of people celebrating New Year's, some of whom were refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, injuring four people. Before that incident, the same driver had attempted to strike a pedestrian, who dodged the attack, and also attempted to target a group of people at a bus stop in the nearby city of Essen.

When the man was arrested, still in his car, he made racist and xenophobic remarks to police, leading authorities to believe that he...


In Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, Japan, a man drove a van into a crowd of people celebrating New Year's shortly after midnight, Jan. 1, injuring nine, one seriously. A can of kerosene was discovered in the van, and it is believed the attacker had planned to set the vehicle on fire.

The attacker was arrested nearby and initially claimed to have committed an act of terrorism before changing his story and saying that it was in protest of executions, though it was not known at press time if he...