News Watch

Historic rains caused devastating floods in western Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in mid-July. At least 188 people were killed, with more than 170 people still missing at press time. Many millions of people living in the region, including the entire city of Liége, Belgium, were ordered to evacuate.

The floods caused billions of dollars in damage, destroying homes and washing away roads and bridges. Cities and towns damaged by floods are expected to take months to...


Monsoon rains in late July caused major flooding in the state of Maharashtra in western India, killing at least 110 people, with many people still missing at press time. Officials in India said most of the deaths were caused by landslides, which destroyed area villages. In Mumbai, the largest city in the state, transportation services were disrupted due to flooding in low areas of the city.

Heavy rains caused flooding in central China in mid July, killing at least 302 people and forcing hundreds of thousands in Henan province to evacuate. In the city of Zhengzhou, in flooded subway trains where water had reached over head level, 12 people were killed and more than 500 were rescued. A dam outside of the city of Luoyang, which had been partially breached by flood waters, was purposefully destroyed on July 21 to relieve flooding upstream.

An Antonov An-26 turboprop plane carrying 28 people crashed during landing at Palana Airport in Kamchakta, Russia, on July 6, killing everyone on board. The plane lost contact with the tower shortly before landing and crashed into the ocean.

On July 16, an An-28 carrying 19 people disappeared over Siberia after losing contact with air traffic control. Rescuers found the aircraft, which had to make an emergency landing in the wilderness, with all passengers and crew alive. The An-28...


A market in Baghdad, Iraq, in the neighborhood of Sadr City, was bombed on July 19, killing at least 25 people. The market was busy with people shopping for the evening meal of the Eid al-Adha festival.

The bombing was blamed on Islamist militant group Daesh (Islamic State). At one point, Daesh controlled large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria, but it has since lost all of its territory. The group still operates in the shadows throughout the area, however, and has been blamed...


Rare antigovernment protests began occurring in Cuba starting on July 11 as a collapsing economy, stricter government controls on food and medicine and the country’s perceived lackluster response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused frustration and anger.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested, and one died, though, at press time, it was not known under what circumstances. There were reports of looting at state-operated stores as well. Counter pro-government protests also were held....


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


At press time, there had been more than 182.8 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide and, resulting from those, more than 3.9 million deaths.

The Delta variant of COVID-19, which originated in India, is becoming the dominant variant around the world. Delta is more infectious but not necessarily more deadly than other variants. At press time, most new cases of COVID in the UK, Russia and the EU were of the Delta variant, which was also becoming prevalent among new cases in the US. In...