News Watch

A man drove his car into a group of people celebrating Carnival in the city of Volkmarsen, Germany, on Feb. 24, injuring 76, including himself. According to witnesses, the man intentionally drove into the crowd and appeared to target children.

The driver, who is being held on charges of attempted murder, was identified as “Maurice P.,” a German citizen who had previously been charged only with misdemeanors. Any motivation for the attack had not been released by authorities...


Three people, two from China and one from Australia, were stabbed and injured in a knife attack on the island of Hulhumale, Maldives, on Feb. 4. A local group with ties to the Islamist militant group Daesh claimed responsibility. Three men, described by police as “Jihadists,” were arrested for the attack.

Though the Maldives is a Muslim country, Islamic terrorism is rare. A citizen was arrested in 2019 after being identified as a Daesh recruiter by US intelligence. He was...


A Pegasus Airlines plane flying into Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport from İzmir, western Turkey, with 185 people skidded off the runway and split apart while landing on Feb. 5, killing three and injuring 180. The crash was blamed on weather conditions at the time — heavy wind and rain.

The incident was the second within a month to involve a Pegasus flight skidding off a runway at that airport; a Jan. 7 flight overran a runway but caused no injuries.


An Italian high-speed train traveling from Milan to Salerno derailed on Feb. 6 near the city of Lodi, killing two people, both drivers. Two people were seriously injured. According to investigators, the train ended up on the wrong track due to a maintenance error and struck a freight carriage, then hit a building and completely left the track, becoming separated from the rest of the train in the process.

An Australian passenger train traveling from Sydney to Melbourne with 153 passengers derailed on Feb. 20, killing two people, both drivers, and injuring four others. The cause of the accident was being investigated at press time, with all train services suspended on that line until the investigation is completed.

Two significant natural disasters occurred in Turkey in February.

On Feb. 4, an avalanche in Van Province, eastern Turkey, killed at least five people. The next day, as rescuers were on the scene looking for survivors, a second avalanche occurred, killing at least 36 more people. An additional 84 people were injured.

On Feb. 23, in Iran’s far-eastern West Azerbaijan Province near the border with Turkey’s Van Province, an earthquake of magnitude 5.7 occurred,...


As of press time, the number of cases of Covid-19, the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, in January, had reached nearly 90,000 and the number of dead, 3,056. The majority of cases of infection and the majority of fatalities were in China, but infections had been reported in more than 60 other countries.

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention, of the 44,000 cases they studied, 80% were mild, with the elderly and those already sick with other...


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.