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A high-speed passenger ferry traveling between Hong Kong and Macau on Oct. 26 hit a significant object in the water, lost power and began to take on water, though it did not sink. At least 124 of the 174 passengers and crew on board were injured, including five who were listed in critical condition. Many passengers had to wait hours to board rescue boats.

The ferry struck the object, which has not been identified, about 30 miles from Macau. 

Released on Oct. 13, a report on the Dutch Safety Board’s investigation into the July 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine blamed a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile for downing the plane and killing all 298 people on board.

The board did not have the authority to assign blame regarding who fired the missile. Ukraine, the US and NATO have blamed Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, while the rebels and Russia have blamed Ukrainian armed forces. Both Ukraine and the rebels have the equipment to fire Buk missiles. 

The investigation also found that...


In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, high winds were blamed for the collapse of a crane into the Grand Mosque, which resulted in 107 people killed and nearly 200 injured on Sept. 11. 

The tragedy occurred just before the annual Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where pilgrims enter the Grand Mosque to walk around the Kaaba, a holy building in its center courtyard, seven times. This year’s Hajj began at the end of September. 

The Grand Mosque has been undergoing construction to expand it by 4.3 million square feet in order to accommodate up to 2.2 million people.

On Sept. 24, at...


A landslide on Oct. 1 in the village of Cambray, Guatemala, just north of Guatemala City, killed at least 131 people, with more than 300 still missing as of press time. Heavy rains as well as erosion along the bottom of the hill are believed to have caused the slide. In the immediate aftermath of the landslide, rescuers managed to save at least 30 people. 

Heavy rains on Oct. 3 caused flooding throughout the French Riviera and the deaths of at least 19 people, with one person missing as of press time. Thousands of homes were left without power. Cities affected by the flood included Mandelieu-la-Napoule and Cannes. The region reportedly received 10% of its annual rainfall over Oct. 2-3.

In Liucheng County, in the Guangxi region of southeastern China, a series of 17 bombs were detonated in the town of Dapu on Sept. 30, killing at least seven people and injuring more than 50. 

The bombs are believed to have been mailed to their targets, which were government buildings, a hospital, a prison and a food market. Authorities have arrested a single suspect and are saying it was not a terrorist action.

On Oct. 1, another explosion in Liucheng occurred in a residential building. No injuries were reported. As of press time, it was not known whether or not this...


The Egyptian military attacked what turned out to be a tour group from Mexico in the Wahat area of the Western Desert, near Libya, on Sept. 14. Eight tourists and four Egyptian guides were killed, and 10 other people were injured.

The Egyptian government apologized for the attack but claims that the group had wandered into a restricted area and had been mistaken for a group of terrorists. The head of the Egyptian Union of Tour Guides said that the group was licensed to travel in the area and had a police escort. 

Egypt has struggled to control terrorist groups along its...


On a small island just off the southern coast of Mindanao, the southernmost state in the Philippine archipelago, gunmen kidnapped two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager and a Filipino woman from the Holiday Oceanview resort in the city of Samal on Sept. 22. The kidnappers and victims left the island by boat. As of press time, no demands had been made.

Kidnappings for ransom by Muslim militant groups are not uncommon in the southern islands of the Philippines, though the number of incidents has been reduced in recent years as the government has attempted to make peace with...



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