News Watch

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 series of coordinated bombings occurred in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21, killing at least 259 people and injuring more than 500. Suicide bombers targeted three churches celebrating Easter Mass, in Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo, as well as three hotel lobbies in Colombo serving breakfast.

The group responsible for the bombings was identified as National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), an Islamist extremist group that had not committed any acts of terrorism before. Police arrested at...


A division of rebel troops entered Tripoli, Libya, on April 4 with the intent to capture the city. At press time, rocket and artillery fire were still being reported, the clashes between rebel troops and Libyan armed forces having killed at least 220 people, including 18 civilians, and injured more than 900. More than 2,800 civilians fled the city.

A UN-backed government controls Tripoli and much of western Libya, while militias, some allied with the government, control areas of...


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.

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.