News Watch

In northwestern Nigeria, attacks on villages in Katsina state killed at least 47 people on April 20. The attacks were blamed on groups of armed bandits known to be operating in the area. The motivation behind the attacks was not known at press time.

Nigeria has been fighting the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in its northeastern region for many years. Boko Haram regularly attacks villages, often kidnapping women in the process. However, the bandit groups in the northwest are not...

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In northwestern Syria on April 28, a car bomb set off at a market in Afrin killed at least 40 people and injured 47 others. Afrin is controlled by the Turkish military and allied Syrian opposition forces.

Turkey accused the Kurdish militant group People’s Protection Units (YPG) of carrying out the attack. Kurdish groups want to create an independent state consisting of portions of northern Iraq and Syria along with southeastern Turkey. Some groups have carried out terrorist...

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According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, knife crime in England and Wales was at a record high in 2019, with 45,627 reported attacks. Knife crime statistics include any offense in which a knife was involved, such as a robbery, even if no stabbing occurred.

At press time, the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a decrease in overall crime in the UK, including knife crimes.

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A highway bridge crossing the River Magra in northern Italy collapsed on April 9. The 4-lane bridge is usually heavily trafficked, but, due to COVID-19 quarantines in the area, it was practically empty at the time, with only two cars on the bridge. Both drivers suffered minor injuries.

The bridge was damaged during a storm in November 2019, but it was repaired and had been approved by engineers to reopen. There have been concerns about Italy’s aging bridges ever since the Ponte...

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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, COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 212 countries or territories, with more than 3.2 million confirmed cases and, of those, more than 230,000 deaths.

On March 26, the US became the country with the highest number of confirmed cases, which at press time was more than 1 million. The US also had the highest death toll, more than 61,000, followed by Italy, the UK, Spain and France. At least a third of the world’s total population was under stay-at-home orders issued...

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Two suicide bombers detonated their bombs near the US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, on March 6, killing one policeman and injuring several people. It was the first terrorist attack in the country since a series of Daesh (ISIL) suicide bombings in June 2019.

The group responsible for March’s attack was not known at press time, but authorities believe the two bombers were members of an al-Qaeda-allied group that operates in the south of the country.

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Shortly after the US government agreed on the terms of a peace deal with the Islamist militant group the Taliban in Afghanistan on Feb. 29, Taliban forces began attacking Afghani military targets throughout the country, causing the deaths of at least 20 people, some civilians.

On March 4, the US began conducting air strikes against Taliban positions in Helmand Province, where Taliban forces had been vigorously attacking Afghani military checkpoints.

Though the US and the...

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