News Watch

In northern Mozambique on Aug. 12, a militant Islamist group associated with Daesh (ISIL) took over the strategic port city of Mocímboa da Praia, with a population of about 30,000, killing at least 50 soldiers in the attack. A counterattack was staged within a few hours, but, as of press time, the city had not been retaken.

Islamist groups allied with Daesh have staged attacks in the northeast province of Cabo Delgado since at least 2017. The region, particularly offshore areas near...

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A man rammed his car into multiple vehicles, including several motorcycles, on a motorway near Berlin, Germany, on Aug. 19, seriously injuring three. It was described by authorities as a terrorist attack. The suspect was identified as an Iraqi man who lived in refugee housing nearby.

After stopping his car on the freeway, the man removed a metal box from inside the vehicle and threatened that anyone who came closer would die. Before the attack, he posted photos of his car on social...

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Two major storms passed through the Caribbean in August.

Hurricane Marco struck the island of Hispaniola, comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic, on Aug. 23, killing at least 12 people. It then moved toward Cuba before heading north into the US.

Marco was quickly followed by Tropical Storm Laura, which also struck Hispaniola before increasing to hurricane strength and moving northwest into the US.

Rain and storm surges from both storms caused heavy flooding...

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A commuter train near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, derailed on Aug. 12, killing three people and injuring six. Investigators believe the train hit debris on the tracks from a landslide caused by heavy rains in the area.

 

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Africa was declared free of wild polio (that is, cases of polio caused by nonhuman sources) by the Africa Regional Certification Commission on Aug. 25 after there had been no reported cases in Nigeria, the last country on the continent to have wild cases, since 2016. It is estimated that 95% of children in Africa have been vaccinated for the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, there are still 177 cases of oral-vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV) circulating in Africa. This...

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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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At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 188 countries and territories, with more than 18 million cases and, resulting from those, more than 690,000 deaths. The country with the most confirmed cases was the US, with 4.4 million. It was followed by Brazil (2.5 million), India (1.5 million) and Russia (833,000).

A rise in cases in European countries, such as Spain, Italy, France and Germany, was causing concern that the Continent is facing a resurgence of the...

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Military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia began on July 11 along a disputed border region, Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the deaths of 11 Azeri troops and at least two Armenian troops. Both sides have accused the other of shelling towns near the border, with at least one Azeri civilian killed.

The two countries engaged in a war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory in the 1990s, when both countries achieved independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. The territory...

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