News Watch

In Argentina at press time, striking farmers had been blocking hundreds of roads and highways since March to restrict deliveries of agricultural products, leaving supermarkets empty, doubling the price of beef and even affecting tourism, as bus companies stopped selling tickets.

Demonstrators in Buenos Aires on June 16 demanded the government resume negotiations. Counterdemonstrations against the farmers were held as well.

As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 27 destinations: Chad, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Eritrea, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Somalia, Nepal, Haiti, Burundi, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Central African Republic, Kenya, Israel/West Bank/Gaza, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/...

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Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar near the lower Irrawaddy Delta region on May 2-3, 2008, with winds of 120 to 150 mph, then traveled inland to Rangoon. The government declared disaster areas in five central and southern regions: Rangoon, Irrawaddy, Bago, Mon and Kayin.

In the delta region, the damage was widespread and many entire villages were destroyed. There were an estimated 78,000 deaths, 56,000 people missing and millions homeless.

Heavy damage was also reported in Rangoon,...

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A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck China’s eastern Sichuan province on May 12, killing 68,000, leaving  five million homeless and damaging infrastructure. The epicenter of the quake was near Wenchuan County, approximately 55 miles northwest of Chengdu.

Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou airports restricted use to mostly relief and aid missions.

At press time, a major concern was possible flooding from lakes formed behind over 30 dams created by landslides. Thousands of people were evacuated...

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The Department of State reminds travelers that any large-scale public event, such as the upcoming Olympic Games in China, may present an attractive target for terrorists. Consequently, there is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within China in the near future.

Visitors are advised to be alert to their surroundings at all times and to avoid areas of demonstrations.

In Jaipur, India, 80 people were killed and 200 wounded on May 13 when eight bombs detonated within minutes of each other near crowded markets, bazaars and a Hindu temple in the Old City. A ninth bomb found on a bicycle was defused.

A little-known Muslim terrorist organization claimed responsibility and threatened more bombings in tourist areas as retaliation for years of persecution by Indians.

No foreigners were admitted to the hospital after the blast, and a curfew was...

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Nepal lawmakers formally voted on May 28, 2008, to end the 239-year-old Hindu monarchy and begin the process of forming a republic. The unpopular King Gyanendra was given 15 days to vacate the palace and move to his private residence. The interim government is led by former Maoist rebels.

The end of the monarchy was welcomed with general rejoicing by the population, but the governing assembly still has to establish a constitution and elect a president and prime minister.

Nepal continues to experience sporadic incidents of terrorism and politically motivated violence in major urban areas. In the runup to Constituent Assembly elections on April 10, bombings occurred in various locations around the country, including four in Kathmandu on April 4 in which no one was injured.

Travelers should avoid taking public transportation, including microbuses, and be cautious of unattended baggage in public places. Travel via road in areas outside of the Kathmandu...

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