News Watch

The Islamist militant group Islamic Jihad fired several rockets from the Gaza Strip toward nearby towns in Israel on Saturday, May 4, damaging a number of homes and killing one civilian. Israel responded with multiple rocket strikes into Gaza.

The conflict escalated, and by the evening of May 5, Islamic Jihad had fired more than 650 missiles into Israel, killing three civilians, while Israeli airstrikes had targeted 350 locations in Gaza, killing at least 25 Palestinians, seven of...


Gunmen attacked a church in the town of Silgadji, Burkina Faso, on April 28, killing seven people. The attackers fled before security forces could arrive at the scene. As of press time, no group had taken responsibility for the attack, but Islamist groups allied with Daesh and al-Qaeda are known to be operating in the country.

Flooding and mudslides in the city of Durban as well as in other coastal parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, killed at least 60 people on April 24 and displaced more than 1,000. After the initial floods, heavy rains and strong winds continued to batter the region.

A little more than a month after the devastating Cyclone Idal hit Mozambique and parts of Southern Africa, killing more than 500 people, Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on Mozambique on April 26, killing at least 41 and causing heavy flooding. More than 90% of the houses on the island of Ibo, home to about 7,000 people, were reported destroyed. It is the first time in recorded history that East Africa was hit by two tropical cyclones in one season.

Though the strength of Kenneth dropped...


A 6.1-magnitude earthquake occurred on the northern Philippines island of Luzon on April 22, killing at least five people. The quake was centered near the city of Lubao, near the capital, Manila. Two buildings were reported to have collapsed, and Clark International Airport was damaged.

On April 23, a 6.5-magnitude quake occurred near the town of San Julian, on the eastern side of the island of Samar, killing 11 people. Samar is roughly 600 miles southeast of Luzon.

An Aeroflot passenger plane caught on fire shortly after takeoff from Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport on May 5, forcing it to return to the airport for an emergency landing. After landing, the rear of the plane became completely engulfed in flames, killing at least 41 of the 78 people on board.

At press time, the cause of the fire was under investigation.

With winds of up to 125 miles per hour, what is reported to be the strongest cyclone to hit India in 20 years, Cyclone Fani, struck the east coast on May 3, killing at least 16 people. More than a million people were evacuated from the coastal state of Orissa before the storm made landfall. It continued up the coast of India, weakening before it reached Chittagong, Bangladesh.

After months of civilian pro-democracy protests, the Sudanese military removed president Omar al-Bashir from office on April 11 in a bloodless coup, declaring that they would oversee a 2-year transition period. Al-Bashir had been president of the country for 30 years.

Though initially celebratory, pro-democracy groups then began to protest military rule, causing the military’s leader to voluntarily step down and appoint a more moderate officer in his stead.

Protests in...