News Watch

Having begun in early January, protests over the prices of goods in Zimbabwe continued at press time. In Zimbabwe, the cost of staples such as rice and gasoline more than doubled within the first week of the year.

The Zimbabwean military has been accused of human rights abuses against the protesters, including unlawful detentions, systematic beatings and torture. At least eight people were killed, with reports that many more were treated for gunshot wounds.

A car bomb was detonated outside of a police academy in Bogotá, Colombia, on Jan. 17, killing 20 people and injuring 38. Colombian authorities blamed the National Liberation Army (ELN), a rebel group that was engaged in peace talks with the government. Those talks were then suspended.

This was the first car bombing since Colombia made peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. The war with FARC had been the longest-running conflict in the world at the time...


In Changchun, northeastern China, on Jan. 25, one person was killed and another was injured when a number of explosions were set off at a combined shopping center and apartment building. Videos show blasts occurring inside the building, itself, as well as on the street, with at least 15 explosions being recorded. Reports from the scene also indicate that explosives were thrown into crowds of pedestrians.

At press time, Chinese authorities were investigating the incident as a "criminal...


A group of Taliban militants attacked an Afghani National Directorate for Security (NDS) base southwest of Kabul on Jan. 21, killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 50 others. The attack included at least two car bombs and multiple suicide bombers. Most of the fatalities occurred in one building that collapsed due to a car bomb.

According to reports, the base was used for training pro-government militias.

In northwestern Mali on Jan. 20, a UN base was attacked by members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an Islamist militant group, resulting in 10 peacekeepers being killed and at least 25 being wounded. The peacekeepers all were Chadian.

Islamists allied with Tuareg militias seized most of northwestern Mali in 2012 before being beaten back by French and Malian troops. However, there still is very little government presence in northwestern Mali, which makes it difficult to...


An earthen dam holding back mining-waste water collapsed on Jan. 25 in Minas Gerais state, southern Brazil, flooding the surrounding countryside. At press time, at least 110 people were confirmed dead, with more than 200 people still missing and presumed dead. Investigations into the dam's failure were ongoing.

The iron mine is owned and operated by Brazil's largest mining company, Vale. Vale stated that the dam had met the guidelines of safety engineers.


At least three people were killed and more than 600 were injured when two passenger trains collided head-on in Pretoria, South Africa, on Jan. 8. Investigators believe that one train entered Wolmerlon Station in Mountain View on the wrong track due to a communication error, causing the accident. Speed is not believed to have been a factor.

A tour bus carrying 40 passengers, including Americans, overturned on the highway between Guantánamo and Baracoa, Cuba, on Jan. 11, killing seven people and injuring 33. Those killed were three Cubans, two Argentinians, a German and a Frenchman.

The bus was being operated by the state-run company Viazul. Witnesses said the bus was trying to overtake another car at the time of the accident. The driver told investigators that a wet road caused him to lose control of the vehicle.