News Watch

The self-declared caliphate of the Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL), which at its peak, in 2015, controlled more than 88,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria, lost its last-held cities, which were in Syria, to US-backed Kurdish soldiers on March 23.

Despite Daesh having lost all of its land, it is believed that up to 18,000 Daesh soldiers are still present in Syria and Iraq, with perhaps thousands more having returned to their countries of origin. The UN Security Council said that...

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Heavy weather stranded the Viking Sky of Viking Ocean Cruises off the coast of Norway on March 23. The head of Norway’s maritime agency said that rough seas may have caused movements in the lubricating oil tanks so large that sensors detected a shortage and shut down the engines.

Of the 1,373 passengers and crew, helicopters and rescue boats evacuated about 500 people, 20 of them injured, one critically. The ship was sailing from Tromsø to Stavanger. Norwegian authorities are...

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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 travel.state.gov and click on “Travel Advisories” at the top of the page.

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More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed in the Pulwama district of India-administered Kashmir on Feb. 14 when a car filled with explosives struck their bus. Islamist militant group Jaish-e Mohammad, based in neighboring Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Feb. 18, nine people, including four soldiers and one civilian, were killed when Indian armed forces engaged in a gun battle with militants in Pulwama.

On Feb. 26, Indian jets targeted a camp inside of...

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A fire swept through the historic district of Chawkbazar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Feb. 21, killing at least 78 people. The fire started in a mixed-use building with a chemical storage unit on the ground floor. The chemicals, along with residents' cooking-gas canisters, caused the fire to spread quickly. The 400-year-old district is made up of closely packed houses on narrow streets, which hindered attempts to extinguish the fire.

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On Feb. 27, a passenger train struck a buffer stop at a platform in Cairo's Ramses Station, the main train station in the city, and burst into flames, killing at least 25 people and injuring 50. The fire spread to nearby buildings before being extinguished.

Authorities arrested the train's engineer, accusing him of leaving the train without first setting the brakes. The engineer claims that the brakes were set before he left but failed due to corrosion.

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Antigovernment protests in Venezuela, which began on Jan. 23, continued through February. The protests were supported by National Assembly and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself president and called for new elections, saying that Venezuela's last election, which acting president Nicolás Maduro won, was fraudulent. Guaidó is supported by the US, EU, and most South American countries.

In order to address a lack of basic goods and medical supplies in Venezuela, a...

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Protests against price increases in France that began in November 2018 continued through February. The protesters, known as "yellow vests" due to their wearing reflective vests, have gathered in cities across the country in the tens of thousands, including in Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

Protests have occasionally become violent. On Feb. 11 in Paris, a protester lost fingers when he picked up a nonlethal grenade filled with plastic pellets and it exploded in his hand.

On Feb. 17...

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