News Watch

At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 101 million cases and, resulting from those, more than 2.2 million deaths. The country with the most confirmed cases was the US, with 25.8 million. It was followed by India (10.7 million), Brazil (9.0 million) and Russia (3.8 million). At least 19 countries had recorded more than 1 million cases at press time.

Multiple vaccines were made available around the world starting in...


Two suicide bombers targeted an outdoor market in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 21, killing at least 32 people and injuring more than 100. It was the first major terrorist attack in Baghdad in three years. The previous terrorist attack, in January 2018, occurred in the same market and killed 27.

Islamist militant group Daesh (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the bombing. Daesh, considered a terrorist group by the US and EU, controlled much of Iraq as well as parts of Syria. By 2017, it had...


Militants attacked the town of Mozogo in northern Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria, on Jan. 8, culminating in a suicide bomber’s killing at least 15 people. According to witnesses, the militants fired their guns into the air and herded locals into a park, where the suicide bomber, a young girl, then detonated her bomb.

The group responsible was identified as Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group based in Nigeria. The group has been known to attack locations in neighboring...


A Sriwijaya Air flight to Borneo crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan. 9, killing all 50 passengers and 12 crew. No distress calls were issued by the pilot or copilot before the plane disappeared from radar.

At press time, investigators suspected that the crash was caused by an issue with the autothrottle, which had been reported to be malfunctioning days before the crash. The plane’s black boxes were recovered and investigations were...


A magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Jan. 15, killing at least 90 people and injuring hundreds of others. Many thousands of people were displaced, particularly in the city of Mamuju, which suffered serious damage, including the partial collapse of a hospital.

A second powerful earthquake, measuring 7.1, occurred in the ocean between Sulawesi and Mindanao, Philippines, on Jan. 21, though no damage or tsunamis were reported.

Heavy rains and flooding caused two landslides to occur in Cihanjuang, West Java, Indonesia, on Jan. 10. As rescuers were attempting to save victims from the first landslide, the second occurred, burying them. At least 40 people were killed and 25 injured, with many more still missing at press time.

Thousands of Tunisians rioted on multiple nights, starting in mid-January, over COVID-19 policies, clashing with police, vandalizing property and looting. More than 600 people were arrested, most ages 14 and 15.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Tunisia was already suffering from high unemployment and a poor economy. A third of its youth is unemployed. One of Tunisia’s largest industries is tourism, which shrunk dramatically in 2020.

Multinight protests against a COVID-19 curfew in the Netherlands became violent in cities across the country starting in late January, with protesters clashing with police, setting cars and bikes on fire and vandalizing and looting stores. More than 450 people had been arrested as of press time.