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This is Wikitravel's Travel news section, about issues affecting travellers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see Wikinews.

Please feel free to edit or add to news items below. For instructions on how to use the Newsitem template or how to add news items to the Main Page, please see Wikitravel:How to add travel news.


Contents

March

Sierra Leone in lockdown

Sierra Leone in lockdown

28 Mar

The authorities in Sierra Leone are enforcing a three-day lockdown to curb the spread of Ebola, with the entire population ordered to stay at home. There is a two-hour exemption on Friday to allow Muslim prayers and a five-hour window for Christians on Sunday. Volunteers are going door-to-door, looking for people with signs of the disease and reminding others how to stay safe. Dozens of new cases are still being reported in Sierra Leone every week. However, the three West African countries worst affected by Ebola - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea - have seen a steep reduction in infections in recent weeks. [102]


US issues Uganda travel warning

US issues Uganda travel warning

28 Mar

The US embassy in Uganda has warned that Westerners - including Americans - may be targeted for "terrorist" attacks in the capital Kampala. It said it had "received information of possible threats" at city locations where Western nationals gather. Uganda's government said the US had warned of a possible suicide bomber trying to enter the country. Uganda was under threat because its troops were fighting militant Islamists in Somalia, a spokesman added. In 2010, Somalia's al-Shabab militants carried out a suicide bombing in Kampala, killing 76 people as they watched the football World Cup final. [103]


Flooding hits Chile deser region

Flooding hits Chile deser region

28 Mar

Flash floods in one of the driest regions in the world - Chile's Atacama desert - have left two people dead and 24 missing, officials say. They say thousands of people are now without electricity or water, as heavy rains in the Andes sent floodwater down into the valleys and towns below. In the city of Copiapo, the river burst its banks. Rescuers have begun evacuating people using helicopters because of fears of mudslides. More rain is expected. Chile's emergency officials said one person was electrocuted on the street, while another died in a mudslide. The government is now describing the situation in the desert town of Chanaral as "critical". [104]


Nigerian army retakes Boko Haram HQ

Nigerian army retakes Boko Haram HQ

27 Mar

The Nigerian army says it has retaken the north-eastern town of Gwoza, believed to be the headquarters of militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The insurgents had now been driven from virtually all the territory they had held, it said. Some militants were now fleeing towards border areas, the military said.[105]


Deadly tornado rips though Oklahoma

Deadly tornado rips though Oklahoma

26 Mar

At least one person has been killed and several others were injured after a tornado roared through Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa police said the death occurred inside a mobile home park near suburban Sand Springs on Wednesday. The park was nearly destroyed in the storm. "It could have been much worse," Sheriff's Capt Billy McKinley said.[106]


Germanwings airliner 4U 9525 crashes in French Alps

Germanwings airliner 4U 9525 crashes in French Alps

24 Mar

The plane, flight 4U 9525, had been en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf with 142 passengers and six crew on board. French President Francois Hollande said: "The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors.[107]


Paris imposes car restrictions

Paris imposes car restrictions

23 Mar

The French authorities have introduced measures to combat a sharp increase in pollution affecting Paris and other cities in northern France. On Monday the number of cars on the road in Paris will be cut in half - only motorists with odd-numbered plates will be allowed to drive. Public transportation will be free as well car-sharing and bike-sharing programmes.[108]


Shia rebels seize Yemen city

Shia rebels seize Yemen city

22 Mar

Yemen's third largest city Taiz and its airport have been seized by Shia Houthi rebels, officials say. Residents took to the streets in protest and one was killed as the rebels fired on them and used tear gas. The insurgents already hold the capital, Sanaa, after overthrowing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in February. He fled to Aden in the south. Instability has been growing in Yemen, where al-Qaeda and Islamic State sympathisers also pose a threat.[109]


Red Sea shark attack kills tourist

Red Sea shark attack kills tourist

22 Mar

A German tourist has been killed in a rare shark attack off an Egyptian Red Sea resort, police say. The shark reportedly bit off the 52-year-old man's leg at the knee. The attack took place on Sunday off the coastal city al-Qusair, the first such incident in five years. The species of shark has not been confirmed. A spate of attacks in 2010 that also led to one death was believed to have been carried out by an oceanic whitetip. Those attacks forced the closure of part of the major resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for a week. The area that saw Sunday's attack witnessed another in 2009 that killed a Frenchwoman. The German embassy in Cairo said it had been informed of the latest death but could not comment further. Egypt is one of the world's leading diving destinations. [110]


Climate change big threat to China

Climate change big threat to China

22 Mar

Climate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission. Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a "serious threat" to big infrastructure projects. He said temperature rises in China were already higher than global averages. China, the world's biggest polluter, has said its emissions of gases that cause climate change will peak by 2030. However, the country has not set a specific target for cutting emissions of the gases, mainly carbon dioxide. [111]


Suspects arrested for links to Tunis attack

Suspects arrested for links to Tunis attack

19 Mar

Nine people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday's gun attack in Tunis that left 23 people dead, including 20 foreign tourists, the Tunisian presidency says. It alleged that four were directly linked to the attack and five had "ties to the cell". The army will also be deployed to major cities, the presidency added. In another development, Islamic State said in an audio message that it was behind the attack.[112]


Riots in Frankfurt target new ECB HQ

Riots in Frankfurt target new ECB HQ

18 Mar

Dozens of people have been hurt and some 350 people arrested as anti-austerity demonstrators clashed with police in the German city of Frankfurt. Police cars were set alight and stones were thrown in a protest against the opening of a new base for the European Central Bank (ECB). Violence broke out close to the city's Alte Oper concert hall hours before the ECB building's official opening. "Blockupy" activists are expected to attend a rally later on Wednesday.[113]


Gunmen kill tourists in Tunis attack

Gunmen kill tourists in Tunis attack

18 Mar

Nineteen people, including 17 foreign tourists, have been killed after gunmen targeted a museum in the Tunisian capital, the prime minister says. Italian, Spanish, Polish and German citizens were among those killed, as well as a Tunisian and a police officer, PM Habib Essid said. Media reports suggest the death toll could be as high as 22.[114]


Boston breaks record for snowiest winter

Boston breaks record for snowiest winter

16 Mar

Boston has broken the record for the snowiest winter in the city's recorded history. The National Weather Service said the city received 108.6in (275.8cm) of snow this winter, beating the 1995-1996 record of 107.6 inches. The record was broken around 19:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Sunday, when 2.9in fell on the city.[115]


Cyclone devastates Vanuatu

Cyclone devastates Vanuatu

16 Mar

Vanuatu is in "immediate" need after Cyclone Pam tore through the country at the weekend, its president says. President Baldwin Lonsdale said the storm had "wiped out" all development of recent years and his country would have to rebuild "everything". Aid has begun arriving in the storm-hit nation - one of the world's poorest - but contact has still not been made with some of its more remote islands. Aid agencies say it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region. [116]


Cuba approves first public wi-fi in Havana

Cuba approves first public wi-fi in Havana

16 Mar

Cuba's state telecom agency Etecsa has granted approval to the artist Kcho to open the country's first public wireless hub at his cultural centre. Kcho, who has close ties to the Cuban government, is operating the hub using his own, government-approved internet connection, and paying approximately $900 (£600) per month to run it. Only an estimated 5% - 25% of Cubans have any type of internet service. That is because internet access is incredibly expensive. [117]


Chile firefighters contain blaze

Chile firefighters contain blaze

16 Mar

Firefighters in Chile say they have managed to control a huge forest fire around the port cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. One person was killed and thousands were evacuated as the fire spread fanned by strong winds. Officials said they would bring charges against the owner of an illegal landfill site, where the fire is believed to have started. [118]


Costa Rica's volcano eruption

Costa Rica's volcano eruption

14 Mar

Costa Rican officials have reopened the country’s principle airport in the capital of San Jose after the eruption of the Turrialba volcano filled the sky with ash. The Juan Santamaria international airport reopened around midday Friday after remaining closed through Thursday night. The Turrialba volcano erupted three times Thursday and state observers recorded a smaller eruption Friday morning. Costa Rica’s air security agency says the ash on the runways could pose a risk, as could the impaired visibility from the plume of ash. The local Tobias Bolanos airport also was closed intermittently. The country’s public education ministry suspended classes Friday at 12 schools near the volcano. [119]


Egypt unveils plans for new capital

Egypt unveils plans for new capital

14 Mar

The Egyptian government has announced plans to build a new capital to the east of the present one, Cairo. Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the project would cost $45bn (£30bn) and take five to seven years to complete. He said the aim was to ease congestion and overpopulation in Cairo over the next 40 years. The announcement was made at an investment conference that aims to revive the Egyptian economy. The gathering, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, has attracted pledges worth $12bn (£8bn) in aid and investment from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Mr Madbouly said the population of greater Cairo, estimated at about 18 million, was expected to double within 40 years. [120]


Dozens feared dead after cyclone hits Vanuatu

Dozens feared dead after cyclone hits Vanuatu

13 Mar

The death toll from a category five tropical storm that has hit islands in the South Pacific could run into the dozens, the UN's relief agency says. Cyclone Pam battered Vanuatu with winds of up to 270kph (170mph) on Friday. Authorities on the islands had earlier issued a red alert to residents after the cyclone changed direction and began moving towards populated areas. It has already caused major damage on other Pacific islands, including Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. [121]


Angola floods kill 62

Angola floods kill 62

12 Mar

Floods caused by torrential rains have killed 62 people - 35 of them children - in the Angolan city of Lobito, local authorities say. The Angop state news agency says the flood water has reached 3m (9.8ft) in some areas of the city since Wednesday. Scores of homes have been destroyed and rescue teams are still searching for missing people. [122]


Colombia explosion injures police officers

Colombia explosion injures police officers

12 Mar

An explosive device has injured five police officers and two other people in the Colombian capital Bogota in the early hours. The device, which was packed with shrapnel, went off as a police convoy was driving through the southern neighbourhood of Quiroga. It is not yet clear who may be behind the attack. Small-scale explosions are not unusual in the capital, but this device seems more complex than previous ones. Bogota's police commander, Humberto Guatibonza, said the attack had been aimed at his officers.[123]


Iraqi troops advance in Tikrit

Iraqi troops advance in Tikrit

11 Mar

Iraqi government forces have retaken a large part of north-western Tikrit as they battle IS militants to recapture the city, security officials say. Soldiers and Shia militiamen have reportedly raised the Iraqi flag at a hospital in the Qadisiya district, two-thirds of which is under their control. But they have so far not made much progress in Tikrit's south and west. The operation to retake the hometown of Saddam Hussein is the biggest offensive yet by the Iraqi government.[124]


Australia braces for two cyclones

Australia braces for two cyclones

10 Mar

Residents in parts of Western Australia and Queensland have been warned to prepare for stormy weather as two cyclones develop offshore. Forecasters say a low-pressure system off Western Australia could cause hurricane force winds along parts of the coast at the end of the week. Another system off the coast of northern Queenslandis expected to bring gale force winds late on Tuesday.[125]


IS kidnaps 9 foreign oil workers

IS kidnaps 9 foreign oil workers

9 Mar

Nine foreign oil workers have been seized by Islamic State militants in an attack on a Libyan oil field, the Austrian foreign ministry says. The workers - from Austria, the Czech Republic and seven non-EU nationals - were taken alive, the statement said. The attack on the al-Ghani field about 700km (440 miles) south-east of Tripoli happened on Friday, a Libyan army spokesman has told the BBC. He said eight guards had been killed in the attack. [126]


Three blasts hit Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria

Three blasts hit Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria

7 Mar

Three blasts hit the northeastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri in the worst attack on the city since suspected Boko Haram militants failed in a bid to seize the state capital at the end of January. Maiduguri is the state capital of Borno, the heartland of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram which has long coveted the city as the capital of an Islamic state they want to carve out of religiously mixed Nigeria. A military source said bombs had caused the explosions, with the first on Baga road near a market and the second at the Monday market. The location of the third blast was not immediately known and there was no word on casualties [127]


Venezuela food crisis

Venezuela food crisis

7 Mar

Foreign ministers from 12 South American nations gathering in Caracas have promised to help Venezuela overcome an ongoing shortage of food, medicine and other products. The regional Unasur bloc agreed with President Nicolas Maduro to provide items that have gone missing from many Venezuelan supermarkets. The shortage of staples has contributed to popular discontent. Unasur highlighted the importance of safeguarding democratic stability. "The idea is to get all the countries to support the distribution of staples," said Ernesto Samper, Secretary-General of Unasur (Union of South American Nations). "We will work together with the Venezuelan authorities to strengthen the distribution networks in our countries so they help Venezuela," said Mr Samper. He criticised recent anti-government protests in Venezuela that descended into violence. [128]


Militants kill 5 in attack in Mali capital

Militants kill 5 in attack in Mali capital

7 Mar

Militants killed five people in a gun attack on a restaurant in Mali's capital, including a French citizen and a Belgian security officer with the EU delegation in the country, authorities said. Mali's desert north, where French forces wrested control of territory from separatist rebels and al Qaeda-linked fighters, is plagued by frequent political violence - but this is the first militant attack for years in Bamako, in the south. Three Malians were killed in the violence in and around La Terrasse restaurant, which is popular with expatriates, the government said. [129]


Last known Liberian ebola patient discharged

Last known Liberian ebola patient discharged

6 Mar

Liberia’s last Ebola patient was discharged on Thursday after a ceremony in the capital, Monrovia, bringing to zero the number of known cases in the country and marking a milestone in West Africa’s battle against the disease. If no new cases emerge, the epidemic in Liberia will be considered over officially on April 4, or 42 days after the last known infection. The 42-day marker is twice the longest incubation period for Ebola, 21 days.[130]


Thousands flee Iraqi advance on Tikrit

Thousands flee Iraqi advance on Tikrit

5 Mar

A military operation to retake the Iraqi city of Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) has caused about 28,000 people to flee their homes, the UN says. Those displaced are headed towards the city of Samarra, the UN said, but many families are stranded at checkpoints. Aid convoys carrying relief supplies are being sent to the area by UN agencies to help those affected. The operation to retake Tikrit, involving some 30,000 soldiers and Shia militiamen, is now in its fourth day. [131]


Chile volcano erupts

Chile volcano erupts

3 Mar

The Villarrica volcano in Southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday morning, spewing ash and lava up to 1,000m (3,300ft) into the air. More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from the volcano's vicinity. The mayor of the nearby town of Pucon said residents had left "calmly". President Michelle Bachelet said she would travel to the area on Tuesday to assess the situation. [132]


Wildfires across Cape Town mountains

Wildfires across Cape Town mountains

2 Mar

More than 100 South African firefighters are battling wildfires on the mountains around Cape Town. Thousands of hectares of vegetation have been reduced to ashes on Chapman's Peak, while several homes and a holiday lodge have been destroyed. More than 50 people - residents of a retirement home - have been treated for smoke inhalation, officials say. [133]


Iraq moves against IS in Tikrit

Iraq moves against IS in Tikrit

2 Mar

Iraq has launched a military operation to recapture Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein, from Islamic State (IS) and its allies. A force of about 30,000 troops and militia were said to be attacking on different fronts, backed by air strikes from Iraqi fighter jets. Fighting is reported in towns to the north and south of Tikrit. [134]


February

Russia opposition politician shot dead

Russia opposition politician shot dead

27 Feb

A leading Russian opposition politician, former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been shot dead in Moscow, Russian officials say. An unidentified attacker in a car shot Mr. Nemtsov four times in the back as he crossed a bridge in view of the Kremlin, police say. He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine. [135]


China sets one-year ban on ivory imports

China sets one-year ban on ivory imports

26 Feb

China has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory, amid criticism that demand among Chinese consumers is fuelling poaching in Africa. The announcement was made by the State Forestry Administration, with officials saying they hoped it would be a first step towards protecting wild elephants. [136]


Afghanistan hit by deadly avalanches

Afghanistan hit by deadly avalanches

25 Feb

A series of avalanches has struck north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, leaving at least 90 dead, officials say. Local governor Abdul Rahman Kabiri said mosques, schools and at least 100 homes had been ruined in Panjshir province. The sudden snowfall after a mild winter surprised many residents, who were reportedly trying to dig out survivors using their bare hands in some areas. [137]


Bolivia flooding displaces thousands

Bolivia flooding displaces thousands

25 Feb

Flooding has forced more than 4,000 people from their homes in the town of Cobija in northern Bolivia after the river Acre burst its banks. Heavy rains have also caused the nearby river Tahuamanu to burst its banks. Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera travelled to Cobija on Tuesday to deliver aid to the town. He said some of the neighbourhoods located closest to the river would have to be moved and promised government help to relocate their residents. [138]


UK to help train Ukraine army

UK to help train Ukraine army

24 Feb

British military personnel are to be sent to Ukraine in the next few weeks to provide advice and training, says Prime Minister David Cameron. As he spoke, pro-Russian rebels said they were pulling back heavy weapons from the front line in eastern Ukraine as part of a ceasefire. However, the government in Kiev has disputed the rebel claims. Mr. Cameron said he would push for more sanctions on Russia if the separatists failed to observe the truce. [139]


IS abducts dozens of Christians in Syria

IS abducts dozens of Christians in Syria

24 Feb

Islamic State (IS) has abducted dozens of Assyrian Christians from villages in north-eastern Syria, activists say. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 90 men, women and children were seized in a series of dawn raids near the town of Tal Tamr. Some Assyrians managed to escape and made their way east to the largely Kurdish-controlled city of Hassakeh. [140]


France seizes passports of six Syria-bound citizens

France seizes passports of six Syria-bound citizens

23 Feb

French authorities have for the first time confiscated the passports of six nationals who were allegedly planning to travel to Syria to join jihadists. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the intelligence services believed the men wanted to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group. The measure is part of new counter-terrorism laws adopted last November. Meanwhile, France has deployed an aircraft carrier off Bahrain to be used against Islamic State (IS) militants. [141]


India struggles with swine flu outbreak

India struggles with swine flu outbreak

20 Feb

Indian health officials are struggling to contain a swine flu outbreak that has killed more than 700 people since it took hold in mid-December. The number of cases has doubled since last week to more than 11,000. Critics have accused the government of failing to distribute medicines, but officials insisted the situation was under control. This year's outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which causes swine flu, is the deadliest in India since 2010.[142]


IS attack kills 40 in al-Qubbah

IS attack kills 40 in al-Qubbah

20 Feb

A bombing by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya has killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens in the eastern town of al-Qubbah. Three bombs exploded, targeting a petrol station, a police station and the home of parliamentary speaker Agila Salah, a security source told BBC News. According to an online statement, IS fighters said they struck in retaliation for Egyptian air strikes. [143]


Tropical cyclone Marcia hits Queensland

Tropical cyclone Marcia hits Queensland

19 Feb

A "very destructive" storm has hit the coast of Queensland, forcing evacuations from coastal communities, Australian officials say. Forecasters warn Category Five tropical cyclone Marcia - with wind gusts up to 285km/h (177 mph) - is bringing heavy rain and "abnormally high tides". The cyclone made landfall between St Lawrence and Yeppoon. [144]


Record-breaking cold in US East

Record-breaking cold in US East

19 Feb

Bitterly cold air from Siberia has brought dangerously frigid and likely record-setting temperatures to the eastern half of the US. Temperatures are 20 to 40 degrees F below normal for February from the Mid-Atlantic to the South. Schools in Chicago have closed and trains in the north-east corridor have been affected by the cold. [145]


Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

18 Feb

Libya has asked the UN Security Council to lift an arms embargo so that it can deal with the Islamic State (IS) group and other militants. Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi said that it would help the government build its army and deal with "rampant terrorism". Egypt said it supported Libya's request at an emergency session of the UN council on Wednesday. [146]


Air strike kills 37 in Niger

Air strike kills 37 in Niger

18 Feb

Thirty-seven people have died in an air strike in southern Niger during military operations targeting Boko Haram, local officials say. They were attending a funeral ceremony in Abadam village on the border with Nigeria when an unidentified plane began dropping bombs. More than 300 militants were killed in north-east Nigeria during the operation, the Nigerian army says. [147]


Egypt seeks UN mandate for Libya intervention

Egypt seeks UN mandate for Libya intervention

17 Feb

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called for a United Nations resolution allowing international forces to intervene in Libya. There was no other choice, he told French radio. "We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children." Egyptian jets bombed IS targets on Monday in response to a militant video of the apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians. Rival militias have been battling for control in Libya since 2011. [148]


Battle rages for Debaltseve despite truce

Battle rages for Debaltseve despite truce

17 Feb

Fierce fighting is reported inside the key Ukrainian town of Debaltseve despite a ceasefire agreed last week. Rebels say they have taken most of Debaltseve, a transport hub, but the government says it is still holding its positions. International observers tasked with monitoring the ceasefire have been unable to enter the town. Meanwhile, Ukraine accused separatists of breaching the ceasefire and said hopes for peace were being destroyed. [149]


Boko Haram militants attack Chad for first time

Boko Haram militants attack Chad for first time

13 Feb

Nigerian Boko Haram militants have carried out an attack on Chad overnight, the first such assault on Chadian soil, officials say. Fighters crossed Lake Chad in four motorboats and attacked a village, an army spokesman told the BBC. The Islamist militants were pushed back by Chadian troops after killing several people, residents said. Chad recently joined Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon in a military coalition against Boko Haram. [150]


Leaders agree peace roadmap for Ukraine crisis

Leaders agree peace roadmap for Ukraine crisis

12 Feb

An agreement aimed at ending the fighting in Ukraine has been reached, following marathon talks in Belarus. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France announced that a ceasefire would begin on 15 February. The deal also includes weapon withdrawals and prisoner exchanges, but key issues remain to be settled. [151]


Over 300 Migrants killed in Mediterranean tragedy

Over 300 Migrants killed in Mediterranean tragedy

11 Feb

At least 300 migrants are feared to have drowned after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa this week in rough seas, the UN says. UNHCR official Vincent Cochetel said it was a "tragedy on an enormous scale". Survivors brought to the Italian island of Lampedusa said they were forced to risk the bad weather on ill-equipped vessels by human traffickers in Libya. They were rescued from two of four dinghies that got into trouble after leaving Libya for Europe on Saturday. [152]


Niger to send troops to Nigeria

Niger to send troops to Nigeria

10 Feb

Niger's parliament has voted to send troops to Nigeria to join the fight against militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The vote took place after Boko Haram attacked a prison and detonated a car bomb on Monday in the town of Diffa, near Niger's border with Nigeria. MPs said parliament unanimously authorised deploying 750 soldiers with a regional force battling Boko Haram. Boko Haram has increasingly drawn in Nigeria's neighbours. [153]


Battles rage ahead of Minsk talks

Battles rage ahead of Minsk talks

10 Feb

Fighting has surged in eastern Ukraine as government forces and pro-Russian rebels try to make gains ahead of expected peace talks on Wednesday. Rebels carried out rocket attacks on a key military base and a residential area in Kramatorsk, officials say, killing at least seven civilians. Meanwhile, Ukraine's volunteer Azov battalion has launched an offensive against separatists around Mariupol. More than 5,400 people have died since the conflict began last April.[154]


Volcano evacuations in Guatemala

Volcano evacuations in Guatemala

9 Feb

Scores of residents have been evacuated from their homes in southern Guatemala after the Fuego volcano erupted, the country's president says. Clouds of black ash belched into the sky, while showers of rock and dust fell on to surrounding towns. The international airport in the capital Guatemala City was closed as result of the explosion, President Otto Perez said. It is expected to reopen later on Sunday, reports suggest. [155]


Boko Haram kidnaps 20 in Nigeria

Boko Haram kidnaps 20 in Nigeria

9 Feb

Suspected militants from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram have hijacked a bus in northern Cameroon, abducting at least 20 people, residents say. Militants reportedly seized a bus carrying market-goers and drove it toward the border with Nigeria. Some reports put the total number kidnapped in Cameroon as high as 30. Boko Haram has escalated its attacks outside Nigeria in recent weeks, targeting neighbouring Cameroon and Niger.[156]


Bangladesh firebomb attacks kill nine

Bangladesh firebomb attacks kill nine

7 Feb

Nine people have been killed after attackers hurled petrol bombs at a bus and truck in Bangladesh, police say. Police reportedly blamed opposition activists for the violence, which also injured 30 others. At least 70 people have been killed in attacks since anti-government protests began last month. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) called for a general shutdown in January, on the anniversary of last year's disputed election. The BNP had boycotted that election, saying it would be rigged, and is now trying to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step down and call new polls. Six people died when petrol bombs hit a packed bus from the northern district of Gaibandha to Dhaka on Friday, police said. A similar arson attack on a truck in the southern district of Barisal killed three people early on Saturday, police added. [157]


Boko Haram in first Niger attack

Boko Haram in first Niger attack

7 Feb

The Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has attacked a town in Niger for the first time, witnesses say. Niger's government said it killed more than 100 of the group's fighters as it repulsed the attack on the border town of Bosso. The group reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the town of Fotokol in Cameroon on Wednesday. The Boko Haram insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced more than a million over the past six years. The militants control a large stretch of land in north-eastern Nigeria. Its neighbours have promised to send troops to help it fight the militants, who are now attacking those countries. [158]


Water pollution concern for Rio 2016

Water pollution concern for Rio 2016

7 Feb

Organisers of the Rio 2016 Olympics admit they are "concerned" about water pollution in the sailing venue, but say the Games will be delivered "on time". About 48% of sewage pumped into the Guanabara Bay is untreated, while illegal dumping is a big problem. Last month government officials stated they would miss their target of an 80% reduction in water pollution by the start of the Olympics next August. "There is a huge problem with garbage," Mario Andrada told BBC Sport. The Rio 2016 director of communications continued: "It [the state of the sailing venue] is a concern because the water is not fully clean, but it will be safe for the Olympics." [159]


New Ukraine peace push launched

New Ukraine peace push launched

5 Feb

Diplomatic efforts are under way to end renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have arrived in the capital Kiev to present a new peace initiative. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is also in Kiev, said the US wanted a diplomatic solution, but would not close its eyes to Russian aggression. Fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels has killed more than 5,000 people since last April. [160]


Jordan jets strike Islamic State

Jordan jets strike Islamic State

5 Feb

Jordan says its warplanes have carried out their first air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets since the militants released a video showing the killing of a captured Jordanian pilot. On their way back, the planes flew over the village of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh. Their flight coincided with a visit to the village by Jordanian King Abdullah II, who was meeting the pilot's family. The king has vowed to the step up the fight against IS. Jordan is part of a US-led coalition bombing the militants. [161]


Boko Haram kill 70 in Cameroon border town of Fotokol

Boko Haram kill 70 in Cameroon border town of Fotokol

4 Feb

Boko Haram militants have reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. The Islamist militants attacked civilians in their homes and in the town's mosque, local officials said, setting many buildings on fire. The attack comes a day after a regional force said it had driven the militants from a Nigerian town near Fotokol. The Boko Haram insurgency has left thousands dead over the last six years. [162]



King of Jordan vows severe response to IS

King of Jordan vows severe response to IS

4 Feb

Jordan's King Abdullah II has promised to fight back hard against Islamic State, saying that the death of a Jordanian pilot at the militants' hands will not be in vain. The remarks were made as the king held a crisis meeting with security chiefs. He cut short a US trip after IS posted a video appearing to show pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive. [163]



Chadian troops kill Boko Haram militants

Chadian troops kill Boko Haram militants

4 Feb

Chad's army says it has killed more than 200 militant Islamists and lost nine men during a battle to recapture a key town in north-eastern Nigeria. Boko Haram militants killed about 30 people after fleeing from the battle to Cameroon, a resident said. It was the most intense battle known to involveChadian troops since they entered the conflict in Nigeria. [164]


Taiwan TransAsia plane crashes into river

Taiwan TransAsia plane crashes into river

4 Feb

A plane carrying mostly Chinese tourists has crashed into a river in Taiwan, killing at least 31 people. Dramatic video footage emerged showing the TransAsia Airways plane clipping a bridge as it came down shortly after take-off from a Taipei airport. The plane, carrying 58 people, broke up as it plunged into Taipei's Keelung River. The fuselage was later salvaged by crane. There were 15 survivors pulled from the wreckage but 12 people remain missing. [165]


New Ukraine clashes catastrophic

New Ukraine clashes catastrophic

3 Feb

Up to 16 civilians have been killed and dozens more injured in the space of 24 hours in fighting in eastern Ukraine, as the UN warns that the fresh surge in violence is proving "catastrophic". Government and rebel representatives reported the latest deaths in locations across the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine's army also said five soldiers had died fighting pro-Russian rebels near the strategic town of Debaltseve. Civilian casualties have risen sharply in recent weeks amid a rebel offensive. The latest deaths were in the city of Donetsk, Debaltseve and several villages under government control in the Luhansk region. The exact numbers could not be independently confirmed. [166]


Chad troops join Nigeria battle

Chad troops join Nigeria battle

3 Feb

Chadian troops have entered Nigeria to join the battle against militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Armoured vehicles and infantry crossed a bridge from Cameroon following air strikes and mortar attacks on Boko Haram positions, officials say. Fighting focused on the key north-eastern town of Gamboru, Nigerian security spokesman Mike Omeri said. Chad's deepening involvement shows how the conflict with Boko Haram is taking a regional dimension. Last week, Chadian troops reportedly moved into Malumfatori, a Nigerian town which lies near the borders of Chad and Niger, after a ground and air assault against the militants. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened to create a caliphate, incorporating parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The African Union has responded by backing plans to establish a 7,500-strong regional force to fight the group. The Chadian contingent of about 2,000 troops crossed the frontier without a shot being fired, AFP news agency reports from the scene. Chad warplanes had earlier carried out air strikes for about an hour. [167]


Most China cities fail air test

Most China cities fail air test

3 Feb

Only eight out of China's 74 biggest cities passed the government's basic air quality standards in 2014, the environment ministry has said. The most polluted cities were in north-eastern Hebei, the province that surrounds the capital Beijing. Beijing and Shanghai both failed the assessment, which was based on measurements of major pollutants. China is attempting to cut pollution but the country still relies heavily on coal for its energy needs. The government shut more than 8,000 coal-burning factories in Hebei last year. But the BBC's Celia Hatton in Beijing says like many places in China, the authorities are struggling to balance factory closures with the demands of the country's slowing economy. The environment ministry's statement published on its website (in Chinese) noted that the 2014 result was an improvement over the previous year, where only three cities met the standards. But it added that "presently, the country's air pollution situation remains serious". [168]


Bangladesh petrol bomb attack

Bangladesh petrol bomb attack

3 Feb

At least seven people have been burned to death and 15 others injured, some seriously, in a petrol bomb attack on a bus in eastern Bangladesh. Police said the bus had been full of sleeping passengers when it was attacked near the town of Chauddagram. It is the latest in a spate of attacks on buses, lorries and cars since anti-government protests began last month. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia called for the protests on the anniversary of last year's disputed election. However, she has denied that her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist allies are behind the firebombings. [169]


Blast hits Nigeria election rally

Blast hits Nigeria election rally

3 Feb

A female suicide bomber has blown up herself in northern Nigeria's Gombe city, minutes after President Goodluck Jonathan left a campaign rally there. At least one person was killed and 18 others were wounded in the blast, police and hospital sources said. Mr Jonathan is standing for re-election on 14 February against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in the run-up to the contest. Explosions have also ripped through court buildings in three towns in oil-rich southern Nigeria in what police described as co-ordinated attacks. [170]


Liberia's Ebola vaccine trial begins

Liberia's Ebola vaccine trial begins

3 Feb

The first large-scale trials of two experimental vaccines against Ebola have begun in Liberia. The potentially preventative medicines were taken under strict security to a secret location in the West African country. Scientists aim to immunise 30,000 volunteers, including front-line health workers. More than 8,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. [171]


January

Egypt military targeted in deadly Sinai attacks

Egypt military targeted in deadly Sinai attacks

29 Jan

At least 26 people have been killed in a series of attacks by Islamist militants in the north of Egypt's Sinai peninsula. A car bomb and mortars hit military targets in the North Sinai capital El-Arish, killing a number of soldiers. Other attacks took place in the nearby town of Sheik Zuwayid and the town of Rafah, bordering Gaza. Militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which pledges allegiance to Islamic State, said it carried out the attacks.[172]


US north-east digs out of heavy snow

US north-east digs out of heavy snow

28 Jan

Residents of the US north-east are digging out after up to 36in (91cm) of snow fell in a day-long blizzard. The storm, which also destroyed part of a seawall and flooded parts of coastal Massachusetts, is being blamed for two deaths in Long Island. Clean-up is being hindered by freezing temperatures in the coming days forecast to be as low as 10F (-12C). But New York City and areas south were spared from an earlier prediction of a "potentially historic blizzard". City officials imposed a driving ban and took the unprecedented step of shutting the subway on Monday evening but less than a foot of snow fell overnight. Portland, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island both set a daily record for snowfall. A 110-ft replica of a Revolutionary War ship in Newport, Rhode Island was damaged after the storm flipped it. Wind gusts were as high as 78mph (125km/h) On Wednesday, Boston's transport system began running again and the first flight since Monday took off from Logan Airport. But snowploughs struggled to clear the roads, and Boston police drove several dozen doctors and nurses to work at hospitals. [173]


Israel-Hezbollah clashes kill 3

Israel-Hezbollah clashes kill 3

28 Jan

Two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish UN peacekeeper have been killed as Hezbollah militants trade fire with Israeli forces on the Lebanese border. A spokesman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) urged "maximum restraint to prevent an escalation". The peacekeeper was killed close to the disputed Shebaa Farms area, where an Israeli convoy was earlier hit by anti-tank missiles, killing two soldiers. The Israeli military responded by firing shells into southern Lebanon. Hezbollah said it carried out the missile attack in retaliation for an Israeli air strike that killed six of its fighters and an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general in the Syrian Golan Heights 10 days ago. [174]


Northeastern United States braced for huge snowstorm

Northeastern United States braced for huge snowstorm

26 Jan

A "potentially historic blizzard" could dump up to 90cm (3ft) of snow on the US north-east coast, the National Weather Service has warned. New York's mayor said the storm could be the city's biggest ever, telling residents to "prepare for the worst". Heavy snowfall is forecast from Philadelphia to Maine, pre-emptively closing many schools and offices. A blizzard warning has been issued across New York and Boston from Monday afternoon until Tuesday.[175]


Syrian Kurds drive Islamic State out of Kobane

Syrian Kurds drive Islamic State out of Kobane

26 Jan

Kurdish forces have driven Islamic State (IS) militants from Kobane, officials say, ending a four-month battle for the northern Syrian town. Fighters from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) were said to have entered outlying areas in the east of the town after the jihadists retreated. However, the US said it was not yet prepared to declare the battle over. Kobane was seen as a major test of the US-led coalition's strategy to combat IS in Syria with air strikes. [176]


Sixteen killed in Egypt protests

Sixteen killed in Egypt protests

25 Jan

At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between police and protesters across Egypt, officials said. One policeman was among the dead and dozens of protesters were also injured, health officials confirmed. The clashes follow the death of an activist in a march in Cairo. The protests were staged to mark the fourth anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising, which toppled long-time leader Hosni Mubarak. Security in major cities was tightened ahead of the anniversary, and key locations in Cairo were blocked off. Dozens of people were killed in similar protests last year. [177]


Ukraine vows to 'calm' fighting

Ukraine vows to 'calm' fighting

25 Jan

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to "calm" fighting with pro-Russia rebels in east Ukraine after 30 people were killed there on Saturday. Speaking after an emergency meeting of Ukraine's security council, Mr Poroshenko said that a peace deal signed in September in Minsk was the only solution to the conflict. Russia's foreign minister also urged "comprehensive political dialogue". Both sides blame each other for the continuing fighting. More than 5,000 people have been killed in fighting since the rebels seized a large swathe of Donetsk and Luhansk regions last April, UN officials say. More than a million people have been displaced. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of arming the rebels and sending its troops into Ukrainian territory. Russia has denied directly arming the separatists, and blames Ukraine for the upsurge in fighting. [178]


Boko Haram assaults Nigerian city

Boko Haram assaults Nigerian city

25 Jan

Nigerian Islamist Boko Haram fighters have attacked the strategically important north-eastern city of Maiduguri, with dozens reported dead. Earlier on Sunday they captured the north-eastern town of Monguno. US Secretary of State John Kerry meanwhile has arrived in Nigeria to call for peaceful elections next month which need to set "a new standard". The vote looks set to be the closest since the end of military rule 15 years ago. [179]


Venezuelans protest over shortages

Venezuelans protest over shortages

25 Jan

Thousands of Venezuelans have attended an opposition march in Caracas, blaming government policies for the country's worsening economic crisis. Saturday's march was the first attempt by the opposition in months to revive the protest movement that rocked the country last year. Many banged empty pots, in reference to the shortage of many staple foods. Riot police blocked the demonstrators' access to the city centre, but there were no major clashes. Opposition politician Maria Corina Machado said Mr Maduro "must step aside now, so the Venezuelan people can stand united again". Demonstrators voiced discontent at high inflation, crime and shortages. [180]


Yemen President and PM resign as rebels tighten hold

Yemen President and PM resign as rebels tighten hold

22 Jan

The president of Yemen has resigned along with his prime minister as Shia Houthi rebels tighten their grip on the capital Sanaa. President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah tendered their resignations to parliament which reportedly refused to accept them. The move came despite a deal to make political concessions to the rebels. Rebel figures welcomed the news with one reportedly proposing the creation of a ruling presidential council. [181]


Japan PM vows to save hostages

Japan PM vows to save hostages

21 Jan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has condemned an apparent threat by the Islamic State group to kill two Japanese hostages. A video purportedly from the group shows a militant threatening to kill two hostages unless a ransom is paid. In the video, which has not been independently verified, the militant also criticises Japan for pledging aid to countries fighting IS. [182]


Nepal violence over new constitution

Nepal violence over new constitution

20 Jan

Scuffles broke out in Nepal's parliament and police arrested protesters in the capital as tensions rose before a deadline to draft a new national constitution. Opposition lawmakers threw chairs and microphones and attacked the parliamentary Speaker early on Tuesday. The Maoist opposition accuse the ruling coalition of trying to push through their proposals without consensus. Nepal's leaders have set 22 January as a deadline for the draft constitution. The country's political parties have been trying to reach agreement on a new constitution since the former kingdom's first Constituent Assembly was elected in 2008. Deadlines have repeatedly been missed. The 2008 elections followed a peace deal with Maoist rebels who had fought a decade-long civil war in which more than 12,000 people died. [183]


Deadly Congo clashes over Kabila

Deadly Congo clashes over Kabila

20 Jan

SAt least four people have been killed in protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down next year. The protests continued on Tuesday in the capital, Kinshasa, and internet connections were blocked following Monday's clashes between opposition supporters and security forces. Demonstrators say government plans for a census are a ploy to delay elections. Mr Kabila is constitutionally barred from running for a third term. The government admits next year's elections could be delayed, but says the census is vital to ensure free and fair elections. [184]


Argentine death sparks protests

Argentine death sparks protests

20 Jan

Thousands of Argentines took to the streets in protest on Monday following the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Mr Nisman was found shot dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires on Sunday. He had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. [185]


Ukraine battles rage in Donetsk and Lugansk

Ukraine battles rage in Donetsk and Lugansk

19 Jan

Dozens of people have been killed or wounded as fighting escalates along the front line in eastern Ukraine and the battle for Donetsk airport continues. Artillery fire was reported in several areas of the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions and a hospital in Donetsk city was hit, reports said.[186]


Niger protesters set churches on fire

Niger protesters set churches on fire

18 Jan

At least three people have been killed and six churches attacked in Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo's cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Protests began outside Niamey's grand mosque and reportedly spread to other parts of the country, a day after five were killed in Niger's second city. Niger's president condemned the violence and appealed for calm. Last week, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo's offices. The cover of the magazine's latest edition, published after the attack, featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad weeping while holding a sign saying "I am Charlie".[187]


Channel Tunnel trains resume with delays

Channel Tunnel trains resume with delays

18 Jan

Passengers using the Channel Tunnel are still experiencing delays after it reopened following a lorry fire. Services resumed on Sunday morning but passengers have reported being held at the tunnels in both UK and France. Eurostar trains started moving through the tunnel again about 11:30 GMT, but at a reduced speed and only one of the two tunnels is open. At least 12,000 passengers were affected when the tunnel was closed for most of Saturday. Eurostar said passengers should expect delays of up to two hours from when they board. Eurotunnel, which operates car and lorry services, said there was a three-hour wait to board shuttles, and the tunnel affected by the fire would remain closed throughout Sunday. [188]


Armenia clashes over Russian soldier

Armenia clashes over Russian soldier

18 Jan

At least 12 people have been wounded in clashes in Armenia between police and protesters demanding the handover of a Russian soldier accused of killing six members of a local family. The violence erupted when thousands of protesters in Gyumri tried to march on the Russian consulate in Armenia's second-largest city. Valery Permyakov, a soldier at a Russian base in Armenia, is suspected of killing the family on Monday. He is being held at the Russian base. Russia has promised to investigate the shootings, but has so far refused to hand the soldier over to Armenian authorities. [189]


Malawi floods kill 170 and leave thousands homeless

Malawi floods kill 170 and leave thousands homeless

16 Jan

The authorities in Malawi say at least 170 people have died in flash floods - a sharp rise on previous figures. Heavy rain over the past month has swept many houses away and caused residents to flee to higher ground, some crossing the border to Mozambique. Vice-President Saulos Chilima said more than 100,000 people had been displaced from their homes, mostly in the south. [190]


Belgian anti-terror raid in Verviers leaves two dead

Belgian anti-terror raid in Verviers leaves two dead

15 Jan

Two people have been killed in an anti-terror operation in eastern Belgium, local officials say. A third person was wounded during the raid in the town of Verviers, according to Belgian TV. A source in the mayor's office told AFP news agency that "an operation is under way". Another official said the raid was "jihadist-related". Witnesses reported hearing heavy gunfire for several minutes and at least three explosions. [191]


New US-Cuba travel and trade rules start on Friday

New US-Cuba travel and trade rules start on Friday

15 Jan

New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba are to take effect on Friday, US officials say. Measures include allowing US citizens to use credit cards in Cuba and for US businesses to export some technologies. Americans will be able to take home up to $100 (£66) in alcohol and tobacco from Cuba. Correspondents say it means the US ban on Cuban cigars is over. [192]


Double sieges in France come to an end

Double sieges in France come to an end

9 Jan

French police have stormed two hostage sites in the Paris area, killing three hostage takers. Two brothers suspected in the Charlie Hebdo magazine shootings died in an assault at a warehouse where they had been holding a hostage north of Paris. In the second incident, anti-terror forces stormed a supermarket in eastern Paris where several hostages were being held by a gunman. Four hostages there were killed prior to the police assault, reports say. [193]


Charles De Gaulle Airport Flights Diverted

Charles De Gaulle Airport Flights Diverted

9 Jan

France’s largest airport is operating a reduced service amid a nearby ongoing siege involving the Charlie Hebdo shooting suspects. Up to two of the four runways at Charles de Gaulle Airport are affected, and at least two planes have been diverted from landing there. [194]


Charlie Hebdo suspects rob service station

Charlie Hebdo suspects rob service station

8 Jan

The two main suspects in the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris are said to have robbed a service station in the north of France. Anti-terrorism police have converged on an area near Villers-Cotterêts where the gunmen were reported by French media to have stolen food and petrol. [195]


France: Gun attack on magazine kills 12

France: Gun attack on magazine kills 12

7 Jan

Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack. Four of the magazine's well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers. A major police operation is under way to find three gunmen who fled by car. [196]


Australia races to control bushfires

Australia races to control bushfires

5 Jan

More than 30 homes are already feared destroyed in the hills behind the city of Adelaide. More than 500 firefighters are tackling the fires, which have been burning since Friday. Officials say the blaze is the worst in the area since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983, which left 75 dead. Temperatures are forecast to hit 34C in Adelaide on Monday before rising to as high as 38C on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology. [197]


Malian town attacked by militants

Malian town attacked by militants

5 Jan

Islamist insurgents have attacked the Malian town of Nampala near the Mauritanian border, killing at least five people in a dawn raid. Witnesses said the militants opened fire on soldiers after arriving in pick-up trucks. Other reports said they came on motorbikes and on foot. One report said Malian soldiers fled the attack; another said troops fought back and clashes lasted several hours. The militants have been fighting the Malian army for a number of years. [198]


Deadly suicide bomb rocks Mogadishu

Deadly suicide bomb rocks Mogadishu

5 Jan

A suicide car bomb attack by Islamist group al-Shabab has killed four people in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials say. Witnesses said the blast was close to the international airport, where African Union troops, UN staff and several Western embassies are based. Plumes of black smoke were seen in the area and the sound of gunfire was heard shortly after the explosion. Security has improved but al-Shabab still attacks Mogadishu regularly. [199]


Italy coastguards board abandoned migrant ship Ezadeen

Italy coastguards board abandoned migrant ship Ezadeen

2 Jan

. Italian authorities have taken control of a ship with 450 migrants, thought to be Syrian, that was abandoned by its crew off Italy's coast. The Italian coastguard said it was now being towed to an Italian port after a rescue team managed to board. The Ezadeen, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, lost power in rough seas overnight off the south-east of Italy. [200]


Cuba arrests protesting activists

Cuba arrests protesting activists

2 Jan

Cuban dissidents say police have arrested a group of political activists who had been protesting outside a jail in the capital, Havana. Dozens of dissidents have been taken into custody in Cuba since Tuesday. The police operation began just a few hours before a planned open microphone protest at Havana's Revolution Square. It comes two weeks after Cuba and the United States announced they had agreed to restore diplomatic and economic relations, severed in the early 1960s. [201]


Kashmir clashes kill five troops

Kashmir clashes kill five troops

2 Jan

Indian forces in Kashmir have killed four Pakistani troops on the border ending a year in which hostilities between the neighbours have escalated. Firing took place on the international border between Samba sector and Pakistan after an Indian soldier was killed in an attack blamed on Pakistan. A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but it is often violated. [202]



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