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This is Wikitravel's '''Travel news''' section, about issues affecting travelers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see [http://en.wikinews.org/ Wikinews].
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{{pagebanner|Wikitravel Travel news Banner.jpg}}
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This is Wikitravel's '''Travel news''' section, about issues affecting travellers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see [http://en.wikinews.org/ Wikinews].
  
{{disclaimerbox|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]]. }}
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{{disclaimerbox|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]].}}
  
=Future=
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==April==
''The news items in this section refer to future events and have not been displayed on the Main Page yet.  They should be copied there when the date approaches and then shifted to the monthly archives below.''
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=Current and past=
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{{newsitem|Troops retake Mukalla in [[Yemen]]|21 Apr| The Yemeni port city of Mukalla, controlled by al-Qaeda militants for a year, has been recaptured by Yemeni and Saudi-led coalition forces. The coalition says 800 militants were killed in the first hours of a joint operation across the south of [[Yemen]]. But Mukalla residents said there had been little fighting in the city, with the militants apparently withdrawing. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36128614]}}
==July 2012==
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{{newsitem|Islamist Rebels Destroy Historic Shrines of Timbuktu—a UNESCO World Heritage Site|1 July 2012|Members of the rebel group Ansar Dine called for the destruction of all of the historic shrines of [[Timbuktu]] and began carrying out the destruction of several over the past few days. The group has implemented sharia law in areas it controls, including mandatory veils for women, the stoning of adulterers, & mutilation of thieves. The Islamist rebels have now called for the destruction of ''all'' shrines in the city, considering them to be a form of idolatry forbidden in their view of Islam (although revered by local Sufis). One shrine was destroyed in May and this past weekend armed men, including many foreigners, surrounded six shrines and began to destroy them using shovels, axes, and smashing objects inside. Thirteen other shrines, dating from as early as the 13th century, are among those composing the World Heritage Site. Mali's government has called the actions a 'war crime' and there has been plenty of outcry from UNESCO members as well. An Ansar Dine spokesperson replied "We are subject to religion and not to international opinion." The group, along with secular Tuareg rebels, captured much of northern Mali in March, and after a short joint rule, the former gained control of the region, forcing over 300, 000 residents to flee, including most of Timbuktu's population. There is also concern for 700, 000 ancient manuscripts kept in the city .[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18665522 BBC article] [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119 UNESCO WHS listing]}}
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{{newsitem|Solomon Islands Host Quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts|1 July 2012|The [[Solomon Islands]] will host the largest cultural festival in the South Pacific, the quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts, which runs from July 1-14. The festival, held every 4 years since 1972, brings together artisans from 27 Pacific nations and territories to showcase crafts, music, dance, literature, and more. The theme for this festival is "Culture in Harmony With Nature". Delegates are selected by their home country/territory and attend the festival to showcase their home rather than compete—a rare cultural exchange between somewhat simmilar cultures that are separated by long distances and few transport options. Events will be held in purpose built a purpose-built village near [[Honiara]], with some festivities held in other locations. The Solomon Islands claim this to be their biggest tourism event ever and are improving tourist facilities and cleaning up the image of Honiara. National airline Solomons Airlines is adding extra flights between Honiara-Brisbane, Australia around the festival. The next FoPA won't be held until 2016 in Guam. [http://www.festivalofpacificarts.com/index.html]}}
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{{newsitem|Police standoff in [[Acapulco]]|25 Apr|Police officers came under attack in a two-hour gunfight in the Mexican city of Acapulco, officials say. Several gunmen attacked a hotel where officers stay, in the tourist area Las Playas on Sunday evening. Dozens of people had to shelter in shops while shooting continued, until after 23:00 local time (04:00 GMT). [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36127224]}}
  
==June 2012==
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{{newsitem|[[Brussels]] station reopens |25 Apr| The [[Brussels]] metro station where 16 people were killed by a suicide bomber last month has re-opened. A bomb was detonated on board a train pulling out of Maelbeek station, close to the European institutions, in the morning rush hour on 22 March. The attack followed suicide bombs at Brussels airport which also killed 16. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36128483 BBC News]}}
  
{{newsitem|California Adventure expands|15 June 2012|Disney California Adventure, the little-sister second gate at [[Disneyland]] in Anaheim, California, today unveils the largest expansion in its eleven-year history. The entrance area has been re-themed to resemble 1920s-era Los Angeles, the time when a young Walt Disney arrived to begin his storied career.  In the back of the park, a new land called Cars Land recreates the [[Route 66]] town of Radiator Springs from the ''Cars'' films, with three much-anticipated new rides and truly monumental theming.}}
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{{newsitem|[[Pakistan]] contaminated sweets kill 23|25 Apr| At least 23 people have died from eating contaminated sweets in central [[Pakistan]], police say. The deaths began last week after a man in [[Punjab]] province bought the treats to celebrate the birth of his son. He and 11 other relatives are among the dead - in all 77 people were affected. Five remain in a serious condition.  [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36127892 BBC News]}}
  
==May 2012==
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{{newsitem|[[Egypt]] president warns against protests|25 Apr| Egypt's president has warned against what he called attempts to destabilise the state, ahead of planned anti-government protests. In a televised address, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said "evil" forces were conspiring against the country but would not succeed. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36126691 BBC News]}}
  
{{newsitem|New low-cost airline in Colombia|30 May 2012|VivaColombia, the new airline, will use [[Medellín]] international airport as the hub, with one-way flights starting at COP 54.000 (USD 30). The maiden flight was from Medellín to Bogotá on May 24th.[http://colombiareports.com/travel-in-colombia/113-general/24252-low-cost-airline-vivacolombia-takes-to-the-skies.html] }}
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{{newsitem|Deadly blast hits [[Mexico]] oil plant|21 Apr| A large explosion at an oil facility in the south-east Mexican state of [[Veracruz]] has killed at least three people and injured 136 more. The blast hit a facility owned by Mexico's state oil company, Pemex, in the port city of [[Coatzacoalcos]]. Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools closed. Footage showed a large fire and vast plumes of smoke. The cause of the blast is unclear. Several explosions have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36098260]}}
  
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{{newsitem|2.2 billion people in at risk Zika areas|21 Apr|More than two billion people live in parts of the world where the Zika virus can spread, detailed maps published in the journal eLife show. The Zika virus, which is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, triggered a global health emergency this year. Last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the virus causes severe birth defects. The latest research showed mapping Zika was more complex than simply defining where the mosquito can survive.
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[http://www.bbc.com/news/health-36090650]}}
  
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{{newsitem|[[India]] says 330 million hit by drought |21 Apr| At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has told the Supreme Court
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Authorities say this number is likely to rise further given that some states with water shortages have not yet submitted status reports. The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India with temperatures crossing 40C for days now. India is heavily dependant on monsoon rains, which have been poor for two years in a row. The government said that nearly 256 districts across India, home to nearly a quarter of the population were impacted by the drought. Schools have been shut in the eastern state of [[Orissa]] and more than 100 deaths due to heatstroke have been reported from across the country, including from the southern states of [[Telangana]] and [[Andhra Pradesh]] which saw more than 2,000 deaths last summer. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36089377]}}
  
{{newsitem|Ice hockey world championship kicks off in Finland and Sweden|4 May 2012|For the first time the annual world championship in ice hockey will be held in two countries - Finland and Sweden. Half of the matches are to be played in [[Stockholm]] and the other half in [[Helsinki]] where also the final match takes place on the 20th of May.[http://www.iihf.com/channels-12/iihf-world-championship-wc12/home/welcome.html] }}
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{{newsitem|Rainfall causes [[Houston]] flooding|18 Apr| More than a foot of rain fell Monday in parts of [[Houston]], submerging scores of subdivisions and several major interstate highways, forcing the closure of schools and knocking out power to thousands of residents who were urged to shelter in place. Sylvester Turner, mayor of the nation's fourth-largest city, told residents to stay home to fend off a weather system he called "stubborn." More rain was projected over the next two to three days. [http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-texas-flooding-20160418-story.html]}}
  
==April 2012==
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{{newsitem|[[Ecuador]] earthquake|17 Apr| At least 235 people have been confirmed dead and over 1,500 people injured after Ecuador was hit by its most powerful earthquake in decades. Some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police are being deployed in the affected areas, as rescue operations got under way. The magnitude-7.8 quake struck early on Saturday evening. Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre and officials say the death toll is likely to rise as information begins to come in. At least 500 people were injured in the quake, which was felt across the country. Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36067380]}}
{{newsitem|Earthquake off Indonesia triggers tsunami alert|11 April 2012|An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 8.7, which was felt as far away as [[India]], has struck near [[Aceh]] Province of [[Indonesia]]. A regional tsunami alert has been issued. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17675399]}}
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==March 2012==
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{{newsitem|[[Japan]] struggles with quake-hit services|17 Apr| Japan is struggling to restore services in the south-western island of [[Kyushu]] after it was hit by two powerful earthquakes. Some 180,000 people are set to spend a third night in temporary shelters, including cars and tents. More than 62,000 homes remain without electricity and 300,000 homes have no water, Japanese media report. At least 11 people are still missing following the quakes which killed 41 people and wounded hundreds. Rescuers used improved weather on Sunday to fly helicopters to the worst-affected areas of [[Kumamoto]] prefecture as tremors continued. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36065334]}}
{{newsitem|Walk About Love starts Walking|20 March 2012|Israel's biggest traveling festival is about to Walk again, Backpackers from all over the world unite with a message to walk in Peace across entire Israel & Palestine, they will start walking from Eilat on the Red Sea in South Israel and cross the entire Negev & Judea deserts and up to Jerusalem than to Tel Aviv and north to Mt. Hermon all through April, May & June. [http://www.walkaboutlove.org.il]}}
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{{newsitem|Japan Introduces New and Cheaper Airlines|1 March 2012|In order to remain competitive in the airline industry and to encourage travel in [[Japan]], a few new airlines have begun operation in Japan with bases in different parts and even some international flights. The new airlines are Air Asia ([[Tokyo]]-based), Jet Star Japan (Tokyo), Peach Aviation ([[Osaka]]), SkyMark (Tokyo and [[Kobe]]), and Air Do (Tokyo and [[Sapporo]]). The list of available flights is currently small but over the next few months new flights are being added, and some will even offer flights to [[Seoul]], [[Taipei]], [[Hong Kong]] and [[Busan]].[http://www.japan-guide.com/news/0020.html]}}
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{{newsitem|Earthquake topples houses in [[Japan]]|14 Apr|An earthquake has struck southern Japan, injuring several people seriously and possibly leaving others trapped beneath collapsed houses, authorities say. No tsunami warning was issued after the magnitude 6.4 quake. It struck at 21:26 (12:26 GMT) east of [[Kumamoto city]], on the island of [[Kyushu]], the Japan Meteorological Agency says. The two Sendai nuclear reactors on Kyushu are reported to be operating as normal. The three Genkai nuclear reactors still in operation on the island were already closed for routine inspection. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36045140]}}
  
==February 2012==
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{{newsitem|Thousands join anti-Mugabe protest in [[Zimbabwe]]|14 Apr| Two thousand Zimbabwean opposition supporters, some holding placards calling for 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe to resign, have rallied in the capital [[Harare]]. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called for countrywide demonstrations against the deteriorating economy. The march went ahead after a ruling by the High Court. Police had initially denied permission. It is the biggest such protest in many years. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36047601]}}
  
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{{newsitem|[[Myanmar]] shaken by earthquake|13 Apr|A strong earthquake has struck [[Myanmar]], the US Geological Survey reports, with tremors in [[India]]] and [[China]] sending residents out into the streets. The 6.9 magnitude quake took place at a depth of 135km (84 miles) north-west of [[Mandalay]]. Casualties have been reported in north-east India. It could be felt in the north-east Indian state of Assam, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36038029]}}
  
{{newsitem|Kairakuen Reopens for the First Time After Quake|7 February 2012|The earthquake that struck Japan last March, nearly a year ago, caused damage to Kairakuen Garden in [[Mito]], one of the official [[Japan's Top 3|top three gardens]] of Japan which forced them to close the garden in order to repair and restore the damaged sections. Now, restoration work has finally finished and the garden is open just in time for its famous plum blossom festival.}}
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{{newsitem|Drought fears grip [[Malawi]] and [[Mozambique]]|13 Apr|Food shortage fears over a drought in southern [[Africa]] have prompted Malawi to declare a state of national disaster and [[Mozambique]] to issue a "red alert". The President of [[Malawi]], Peter Mutharika, warned in a statement some people needed aid for all of this year. [[Mozambique]] raised alert levels for southern and central regions. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36037414]}}
  
{{Newsitem|Floods in Eastern Australia|3 February 2012|Residents of the [[Australia]]n states of [[New South Wales]] and [[Queensland]] are battling floods that have trapped over 17000 residents after heavy rains. 16 towns in NSW have been declared disaster zones, and the rains are expected to continue. [http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/residents-trapped-as-floodwaters-isolate-towns-20120203-1qxk6.html] [http://media.smh.com.au/news/environment-news/moree-and-taree-worst-hit-by-floods-2934288.html]}}
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{{newsitem| Dangerous temperatures arrive early in [[India]]|12 Apr| A heatwave across most of India has led to a hotter than usual summer in much of the country. Dozens of deaths have been reported in the south Indian states of [[Telangana]] and [[Andhra Pradesh]] and the city of [[Bhubaneswar]] in [[Orissa]] experienced its hottest April day on record on Monday, temperatures peaking at 45.8C. The run-up to the Indian monsoon season is always characterised by weeks of strong sunshine and increasing heat but this year, life-threatening temperature levels have set in rather earlier and more widely than normal. The heatwave extends across much of northern India with temperatures having exceeded 40C for several days in a row. And many parts of that interior are baked dry, following a poor monsoon season in 2015 due to the strong El Nino event in the Pacific. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36026171]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Yemen]] clashes rattle shaky truce|12 Apr| A truce aimed at ending more than a year of war in Yemen appears to be largely holding, despite reports of fighting in several places. The UN-brokered "cessation of hostilities" came into effect at midnight (21:00 GMT on Sunday). But soon afterwards, the government accused Houthi rebels of violations in the south-western city of Taiz and in Marib, east of the capital [[Sanaa]]. The truce is supposed to set the scene for peace talks in [[Kuwait]] next week. More than 6,300 people have been killed since the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign to defeat the rebels and restore the internationally-recognised government. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36011794]}}
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{{newsitem| Pirates attack cargo ship off [[Nigeria]]|12 Apr| Pirates have attacked a Turkish cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria kidnapping six of the crew, says the Nigerian navy. The ship carrying chemicals was believed to be travelling from [[Gabon]] to [[Ivory Coast]]. The pirates attacked the ship late at night as it was sailing close to the oil-rich Niger Delta. Analysts say winding down an amnesty to former Niger Delta militants has resulted in an increase in piracy. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36016071]}}
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{{newsitem|Hot weather kills 80 in south [[India]]|6 Apr|At least 80 people have died of heatstroke in the south Indian states of [[Andhra Pradesh]] and [[Telangana]]. Temperatures in the states have risen as high as 45C and customary April rains have been delayed. State officials have said however, that the state was not suffering from a heatwave as there was no "abnormality" in temperature for this time of year. Over 2,000 people are estimated to have died in a heatwave that swept the two states last year. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35994662]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Syria]]n army attacks south of Aleppo|6 Apr|Syrian government forces have launched a counter-offensive to retake a village south of the city of [[Aleppo]] recently captured by jihadist militants. Troops and militiamen from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement began the assault on al-Eis overnight, backed by heavy air strikes, opposition activists say. Al-Eis was seized by the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front on Monday. The fighting was said to be the fiercest in the area since the partial truce declared five weeks ago. The cessation of hostilities has largely held despite both sides accusing each other of breaches and has resulted in a significant reduction in violence across much of Syria. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35979147]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Mississippi]] passes controversial bill|5 Apr|The governor of [[Mississippi]] has signed a controversial bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs. Governor Phil Bryant signed HB1523 into law on Tuesday amid opposition from equal rights groups and businesses. He said the bill "protects sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions". Protesters say the bill would allow for lawful discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35971038]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Greece]] halts deportations to [[Turkey]]|5 Apr|[[Greece]] paused deportations of migrants to [[Turkey]] on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took back 202 people under a controversial EU plan to cut off a migrant route to [[Europe]]. Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35967351]}}
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{{newsitem|Flights resume at [[Brussels]] after attack|3 Apr|Brussels airport has reopened for three "symbolic" flights amid tight security controls, 12 days after an attack by suicide bombers killed 16 people there. Three Brussels Airlines flights were scheduled to depart for European destinations. The first left at 11:40 GMT for [[Faro]] in [[Portugal]].
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Passengers were screened on an approach road and again before check in. Attacks on the airport and a Brussels metro station by so-called Islamic State on 22 March left 32 people dead. Airport workers gathered at Zaventem to watch the first flight take off. Under the new security arrangements:
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* Vehicles and passengers travelling to the temporary departures area will be screened on the access road. Special cameras will check number plates
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* An additional police check and ID and boarding pass check will take place at the entrance to the temporary departures area. Those not flying will not be allowed in.
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* Passengers will then proceed towards the departure gates, undergoing the usual access and security controls. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35951454]}}
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{{newsitem|Azeris call truce in [[Caucasus]] clash|3 Apr|[[Azerbaijan]] has announced a "unilateral ceasefire" in fighting with Armenian forces over the disputed [[Nagorno-Karabakh]] region. A defence ministry spokesman said the Azeris were acting in response to international calls to halt violence. But the Armenia-backed Karabakh forces said this was false and Azerbaijan was continuing to fire shells. Nagorno-Karabakh has been in the hands of ethnic-Armenian separatists since a war that ended in 1994. Fighting had continued into Sunday, after clashes left 30 soldiers dead and caused civilian casualties. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35953916]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Vanuatu]] hit by 6.9 magnitude earthquake|3 Apr|A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Pacific island nation of [[Vanuatu]]. The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 08:23 GMT, 420km (260 miles) north-west of the capital, [[Port Vila]]. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the threat of tsunami waves had now mostly passed. The USGS said the quake was fairly shallow - at a depth of about 35km (21 miles) - but no damage had been reported so far. The quake, originally measured at 7.2, struck in the north of Vanuatu off Espiritu Santo. Quakes are fairly common in the region. Two similar sized tremors last October and December caused no damage. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35953339]}}
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== March ==
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{{newsitem|Casualties in [[Kolkata]] flyover collapse|31 Mar|At least 10 people have been killed and several others injured after a flyover under construction collapsed in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (Calcutta), officials say. Reports suggest as many as 150 could be trapped under the concrete and steel bridge, which fell on a busy road. Images showed residents using their bare hands to help the rescue effort. Construction projects in [[India]] have often suffered from safety issues with frequent collapses. Experts say there is a lack of inspections and substandard materials are used. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35933452]}}
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{{newsitem|EgyptAir hijack ends in surrender|29 Mar|A hijacking that diverted a domestic Egyptian flight to [[Cyprus]] has ended with all hostages released and the hijacker surrendering. EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over by a passenger claiming to be wearing a suicide explosive belt. Airline officials later said they had been told by Cypriot authorities that the belt was fake. The hijacker's motives remain unclear but the Cypriot president said the incident was not terrorism-related. No-one was injured in the hijacking, Cypriot government spokesman Nikos Christodulides tweeted. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35915139]}}
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{{newsitem|WHO downgrades Ebola|29 Mar|Ebola is no longer an "extraordinary health event" and the risk of the virus spreading is low, the World Health Organization says. It means the disease is not thought to be a public health threat to countries outside of those affected in [[West Africa]]. A small cluster of cases are still occurring in [[Guinea]], but [[Sierra Leone]], and [[Liberia]] have not had any in months. [http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35921161]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Australia|Australian]] park to fine trespassers of popular site|29 Mar| A national park in Australia is to fine visitors who disregard warning signs at one of its most popular natural attractions in order to snap social media-worthy photos. A metal safety fence currently blocks access to the spectacular Wedding Cake Rock, a pure white cliff-top platform in Royal National Park near Sydney. But groups of up to 30 people have been spotted clambering over the barrier, apparently unperturbed by warning signs noting that the rock is unstable and "may collapse suddenly without warning", the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Photographs of people wandering around on the rock over the Easter weekend have been posted on Instagram, to the alarm of park authorities. [http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-35916435]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Washington D.C.]] shooter wounds officer|28 Mar|Gunshots have been reported at the visitor centre at the US Capitol in [[Washington D.C.]] and workers have been told to take shelter. The Capitol's Sergeant-At-Arms said the gunman has been caught and one police officer was wounded. The Capitol building is on lockdown due to the security threat, according to an email sent to congressional staffers. Washington's city police called it an "isolated" incident, saying there is "no active threat" to the public. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35911754]}}
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{{newsitem|Storm disrupts [[England]] transport|28 Mar|Storm Katie has battered large parts of [[England]], leaving flights cancelled, property damaged and thousands of people without power. Flights bound for Gatwick and Heathrow were diverted to other airports and dozens were cancelled as gusts of up to 106mph hit the south of the country. More than 200,000 homes were without power at the height of the winds, with thousands still awaiting reconnection. [http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35909651]}}
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{{newsitem|Blast in crowded [[Pakistan]] park|27 Mar|at least 60 killed. A Taliban faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack and said Christians were the target of the blast, Reuters reported. [http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-blast-idUSKCN0WT0HR]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Syria]] government forces enter [[Palmyra]]|26 Mar|Syrian government forces have advanced into Palmyra on several fronts backed by air strikes and artillery, a monitoring group has said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting was the most intense yet seen in the army's campaign to recapture the city from so-called Islamic State (IS). IS seized the Unesco World Heritage site and adjoining modern town in May. It destroyed archaeological sites, drawing global outrage. Two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers were left in ruins. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35903375]}}
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{{newsitem|Zika World Cup theory dismissed|24 Mar|The Zika virus arrived in [[South America]] a year before the 2014 World Cup in [[Brazil]], say British and Brazilian scientists. Their study effectively dismisses one of the most popular theories about the outbreak's origins - that it was brought over by football fans. The findings, published in the journal Science, suggest the virus arrived between May and December 2013.[http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35884431]}}
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{{newsitem|[[India]] celebrates festival of colors|24 Mar|Indians are celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of colours which comes at the end of the winter season and marks the beginning of spring. Some of the biggest celebrations take place in the temples of [[Vrindavan]], a town in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where, according to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha. The festival is celebrated over two days[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35888534]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Brussels]] explosions|22 Mar|Airport and metro hit with 'at least 13 killed. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35869254]}}
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{{newsitem|Flights delayed and cancelled|20 Mar|French air traffic controllers start 3-day strike. Check with your local airport if your flight is affected. [http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/flights-delayed-cancelled-french-air-traffic-controllers-start-3-day-strike-1550616]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Brussels]] manhunt after gunfire|15 Mar|Belgian security forces and French police are hunting for at least two men after shots were fired at police during a counter-terrorism raid in Brussels. Three officers were reportedly hurt, one of them seriously. Streets in the suburb of Forest have been sealed off. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35809974]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Ankara]] car bomb kills at least 27|13 Mar|A car bomb has exploded in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing 27 people and wounding another 75, the city governor's office has said. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35798517]}}
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{{newsitem| At least 16 dead [[Ivory Coast]]|13 Mar|Four Europeans among dead and several injured after attackers launch assault on beach in Grand-Bassam, [[Ivory Coast]]. [http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/13/gunmen-open-fire-in-ivory-coast-tourist-resort]}}
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{{newsitem| US forces raid [[Somalia|Somali]] militants|9 Mar|[[United States|US]] troops took part in a raid on the Islamist al-Shabab group alongside Somali troops, American officials say. Al-Shabab earlier said it had "fought off" an attack by foreign forces but US officials said several militants were killed in the raid early on Wednesday. Several countries have been supporting Somali officials in their efforts to combat al-Shabab's insurgency.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35761891]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Macedonia]] shuts Balkans route|9 Mar|[[Macedonia]] has said it will no longer let any migrants through its border with [[Greece]], effectively blocking the Balkan route north. The decision came after Slovenia barred access to migrants transiting the country. [[Croatia]] and [[Serbia]] then said they would follow suit. Some 13,000 migrants are now stranded at the Macedonia-Greece border. The moves come after the EU and Turkey set out a plan to ease Europe's biggest refugee crisis since World War Two. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35763101]}}
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{{newsitem|Floods disrupt central [[England]]|9 Mar|Severe flooding has caused widespread disruption across parts of central [[England]], with rail passengers stranded and many schools shut. British Transport Police formed human barriers in front of the main concourse at London Euston after trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes were cancelled. Passengers were warned people could be killed as some had fallen from earlier trains on Wednesday. [http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-35769245]}}
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{{newsitem|US strike kills Somali militants|7 Mar|A US air strike has killed more than 150 al-Shabab militants in Somalia, the Pentagon says. Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the strike hit a training camp where a "large-scale" attack was being planned. "We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and [African Union] forces," Captain Davis said. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35748986]}}
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== February ==
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{{newsitem| [[US]] warns of dam collapse in [[Iraq]]|29 Feb|The US embassy in [[Baghdad]] has warned the risk of the Mosul Dam collapsing is "serious and unprecedented" and has urged people to be ready to evacuate. Maintenance work was disrupted after the dam was briefly seized by militants from so-called Islamic State in 2014. If the dam burst, floodwaters could kill 1.47 million Iraqis living along the River Tigris, the embassy said. Iraq's prime minister has said precautions are being taken, but that such a scenario is "highly unlikely". The dam, Iraq's largest has suffered from structural flaws since its completion in 1984, with the water constantly eating away at the soluble gypsum base on which it is built. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35690616]}}
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{{newsitem|Migrants break down [[Macedonia]] fence|29 Feb|Macedonian police have fired tear gas at a crowd of migrants who destroyed a barbed-wire fence on the [[Greece|Greek]] border using a makeshift battering ram. TV footage showed migrants pushing against the fence at Idomeni in Greece, ripping away barbed wire. A section of fence was smashed open with a metal signpost. It is unclear if any migrants crossed the border. About 7,000 people are stuck on the Greek side of the border, as Macedonia is letting very few in. The chaos on Monday erupted as hundreds of people pushed their way past Greek police, shouting "Open the border!", to reach the gate used to let trains through at the border crossing. Some threw stones at Macedonian riot police. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35687257]}}
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{{newsitem| Air strike on [[Yemen]] market kills 30 people|28 Feb|At least 30 people have been killed in an air strike on a market near the Yemeni capital, [[Sanaa]], witnesses say. Residents said at least 30 people were injured, most of them civilians, the Reuters news agency reported. It is not clear who carried out the strike, but Houthi rebels have accused the Saudi-led coalition. The Saudi offensive is aimed at restoring the government and driving back rebels loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Some 6,000 people have been killed since the start of the campaign last March, about half of them civilians, according to the UN. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35678326]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Somalia]] blast kills at least 10|27 Feb|Militants have stormed a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, leaving at least nine people dead, in an attack claimed by al-Shabab. The attackers set off a car bomb outside the heavily fortified Somali Youth League hotel before moving in. An explosion also targeted a popular park known as the Peace Garden. Police say the attack is now over after they shot and killed four attackers. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is waging an armed insurgency in Somalia. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35673533]}}
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{{newsitem|Deadly attack on hotel in [[Kabul]]|27 Feb|A suicide bomber has killed at least 10 people in an attack near a market in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, officials say. The provincial governor's office said the bomber rode up on a motorcycle to the entrance of a government office in the provincial capital Asadabad before detonating his device. In recent months, there has been an upsurge in fighting between the Taliban and government forces. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35677171]}}
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{{newsitem|Tornadoes hit [[South (United States of America)|southern US]]|24 Feb|At least three people were killed as several powerful tornadoes hit the southern [[United States]] on Tuesday. Tornadoes lashed [[Louisiana]], [[Mississippi]], and [[Florida]], destroying homes and businesses. The deaths occurred when mobile homes were destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said. Meteorologists said the storm system could hit [[Alabama]], [[Georgia]], the Carolinas and [[Virginia]] later on Wednesday. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35647901]}}
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{{newsitem|Water partially restored in [[Delhi]]|23 Feb|Water supply has been partially restored in the Indian capital, [[Delhi]], where up to 10 million were affected after protesters sabotaged a key canal. The army took control of the Munak canal in neighbouring Haryana state on Monday after Jat community members, angry at caste job quotas, damaged it. Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra said the "crisis was still not over" and urged people to use water carefully.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35638161]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Peru]] oil spill pollutes Amazon rivers|23 Feb|At least 3,000 barrels of crude oil have been spilled in an Amazonian region after leaks from [[Peru]]'s main oil pipeline, the state oil company said. The oil has polluted two rivers that at least eight indigenous communities rely on for water, the government and indigenous leaders said. Petroperu has promised a full clean-up and is also providing food and water.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35636738]}}
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{{newsitem|Ten million without water in [[Delhi]]|22 Feb|More than 10 million people in India's capital, Delhi, are without water after protesters sabotaged a key canal which supplies much of the city. The army took control of the Munak canal after Jat community protesters, angry at caste job quotas, seized it. All Delhi's schools have been closed because of the water crisis. Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35627819]}}
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{{newsitem|Post-cyclone clean up in [[Fiji]]|22 Feb|A clean-up operation has begun after the most severe cyclone to hit [[Fiji]] in living memory killed at least 20. Rescue workers said that number could rise as some of the worst-hit outlying islands have yet to be reached. Thousands are now in evacuation centres while many parts of the country remain without power. Cyclone Winston, which hit over the weekend, brought winds of over 320km/h (200mph), torrential rain, and waves of up to 12m (40ft). [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35628181]}}
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{{newsitem|Water crisis fears in [[Delhi]]|21 Feb|The Indian capital Delhi is on the brink of a severe water crisis after a key supply was cut during protests over jobs in a neighbouring state. Demonstrators from the Jat community damaged equipment in the Munak canal, a major source of water to Delhi. The city has introduced strict water rationing. Some areas could run dry on Sunday, officials warned, and schools will not open on Monday. Protesters want guaranteed jobs under India's caste quota system. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35624547]}}
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{{newsitem|Huge storm wreaks destruction in [[Fiji]]|21 Feb|Authorities in Fiji are assessing the damage after the most powerful storm left at least five people dead. Cyclone Winston brought winds of over 320km/h (200mph), torrential rain and waves of up to 12m (40ft). It destroyed hundreds of homes and cut electricity lines. There are reports of entire villages flattened. The government has imposed a nationwide curfew and 30-day state of national disaster giving extra powers to police to arrest people without a warrant. The Category-five storm - the highest level - moved westward since making landfall at 18:30 local time (06:30 GMT) on Saturday in the north of Fiji's main island, [[Viti Levu]]. It changed direction at the last minute, sparing the capital [[Suva]] the full force of its winds. The government had opened about 750 evacuation centres. More than 1,000 people were sheltering in one on the second largest island of Vanua Levu, north-east of Viti Levu, the Fiji Broadcasting Company said. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35623944]}}
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{{newsitem|Lion loose in [[Nairobi]]|19 Feb|[[Kenya]]'s capital, [[Nairobi]], is on alert after several lions escaped from a nearby national park overnight and strayed into the city. One lioness and her two cubs have been recaptured, and two other animals are believed to have gone back into the Nairobi National Park on their own accord. But it is not clear whether more lions remain on the loose. Residents have been told to report any sightings to a free telephone line. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35610917]}}
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{{newsitem|Annual [[Yosemite]] fireball returns|19 Feb|A rare phenomenon known as "firefall" has drawn visitors and photographers to [[Yosemite National Park]] in [[California]]. The stunning visual display happens every February when the light hits a waterfall tumbling down El Capitan. But the intensity of this phenomenon depends on the volume of water and the cloud cover. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35617262]}}
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{{newsitem|[[California]] methane leak sealed|18 Feb|A leaking gas well near the US city of [[Los Angeles]] which has been polluting the air for four months has been "permanently sealed," officials say. The Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) had been pumping in heavy fluids and cement to seal the well. The leak began in October in a vast underground storage field in Porter Ranch, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The gas leak, one of the largest in American history, has caused thousands to relocate to temporary housing. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35608703]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Ankara]] explosion kills at least 28|17 Feb|A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials have said. A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor's office. The blast happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey's military headquarters. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called an "act of terrorism". Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city. Some of the victims were civilians. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35599323]}}
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{{newsitem|[[France]] state of emergency extended on slim evidence|17 Feb|France's decision to extend the state of emergency was passed on slim evidence that it would be effective in reducing the "terror" threat, rights groups and activists have said. Widely expected, the French parliament on Tuesday voted for a three-month extension until May 26, allowing authorities to keep carrying out warrantless police raids and putting people under house arrest without prior authorisation of a judge. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve argued in Tuesday's debate that the threat of new "terrorist" violence remains very high. [http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/france-state-emergency-extended-slim-evidence-160217174759408.html]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Kosovo]] protests|17 Feb|Thousands of [[Kosovo]]'s opposition supporters have called for the government to resign on the eighth anniversary of the country's declaration of independence, accusing it of violating the country's constitution in reaching deals with [[Serbia]] and [[Montenegro]]. Opposition supporters came from all over the country to [[Pristina]] for the rally on Wednesday. [http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/kosovo-protesters-demand-resignation-government-160217161330600.html]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Burundi]] bans motorbikes among attacks|16 Feb|Burundi has banned the use of commercial motorbikes from the centre of the capital, [[Bujumbura]], in a bid to end violence in the city. Motorcycle taxis, a common form of transport in the city, are being used by criminals to carry out attacks, Bujumbura's mayor Freddy Mbonimpa said. One person was killed on Monday when men on motorbikes threw three grenades. Burundi plunged into crisis last April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his third-term bid.
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His decision sparked street protests, a failed coup attempt and tit-for-tat killings have become part of daily lives in some parts of the capital. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35587262]}}
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{{newsitem|Cliffs fall in [[New Zealand]] earthquake|14 Feb|Cliffs have collapsed in New Zealand during an earthquake in the city of [[Christchurch]] on the South Island. No serious damage or fatalities were reported in the Valentine's Day quake that struck at 13:13 local time (00.13 GMT). Beaches to the east of Christchurch were busy with swimmers and surfers when rocks began to fall into the sea. The 5.7 magnitude quake occurred days before the anniversary of a deadly one in 2011. That destroyed the city centre and killed 185 people. New Zealand lies on the notorious Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-35572461]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Mexico]] prison riot leaves 49 dead|12 Feb|A battle between rival groups at a prison near [[Monterrey]] in northern Mexico has left 49 inmates dead. Nuevo Leon state Governor Jaime Rodriguez said 12 other people were injured in Topo Chico jail after prisoners fought with "sharp weapons, bats and sticks". A fire was also started in a storage room. Officials say the situation is under control and no inmates escaped. Crowds of relatives outside the jail blocked roads, demanding information. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35551857]}}
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{{newsitem|First Zika case confirmed in [[China]]|10 Feb|A 34-year-old man who recently travelled to South America has become China's first confirmed case of Zika virus infection, reports state media. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said the man was from Ganxian county in the eastern province of Jiangxi, Xinhua said. The virus is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects. But Chinese authorities have downplayed the risk of it spreading there, because of the winter cold.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35538395]}}
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{{newsitem|Storm Imogen batters [[England]] and [[Wales]]|8 Feb|About 15,000 homes are without power after Storm Imogen's heavy rain and high-speed winds battered Britain. The brunt of the bad weather affected south-west England and south and mid-Wales - which is where the majority of homes without electricity are. Waves of up to 19.1m (63ft) have been measured off the Cornish coast, and winds of 70-80mph felt in many areas. Rail services are disrupted, some cross-Channel ferries cancelled and drivers urged to take extra care.[http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35516741]}}
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{{newsitem|Bootleg alcohol kills 24 in [[Central Java]]|8 Feb|At least 24 people have died in recent days in central [[Java]], [[Indonesia]], from drinking illegally-produced alcohol. Most died after buying the black-market spirits, made from ethanol, water and fruit, from a couple in Sleman, north of [[Yogyakarta]] city. Several people were also taken to hospital. The alleged maker and seller of the drink has been arrested.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35490524]}}
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{{newsitem|Zika pregnancy case confirmed in [[Spain]]|4 Feb| [[Spain]] has confirmed that a pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus - the first such case in Europe. The health ministry said the woman had recently returned from [[Colombia]], where it is believed she was infected. Zika, which is spreading through the Americas, has been linked to babies being born with underdeveloped brains. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the microcephaly condition, linked to the mosquito-borne virus, a global public health emergency. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35490524]}}
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{{newsitem|Zika case reported in [[Texas]]|2 Feb| A rare case of the Zika virus being sexually transmitted, not from a mosquito, has been reported in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a patient was infected in Dallas County, Texas. A patient was apparently infected after having sexual contact with someone who returned from a country where the disease is present. Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. It is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35478778]}}
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== January ==
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{{newsitem| Deadly blast near [[Syria]] shrine| 31 Jan| At least 50 people have died in blasts near the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of Syria's capital [[Damascus]].
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A bus station and a building housing military headquarters were hit by the blasts, which mangled nearby vehicles. It happened as the government and opposition groups gathered in Geneva in a bid to start talks aimed at a political solution to the conflict. The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, was aimed at disrupting the talks, the EU said. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35454359]}}
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{{newsitem|Attack on [[Nigeria]] village kills 50| 31 Jan| At least 50 people are reported to have been killed in north-eastern Nigeria in a gun and bomb attack by suspected Boko Haram militants. Pictures from the village of Dalori show burned-out buildings and charred livestock. Fires from the burning village could be seen in the the city of [[Maiduguri]], nearly 10km (six miles) away. One witness reported hearing the screams of children as huts were set on fire. Other survivors say the shooting on Saturday evening continued for hours and left barely any parts of the village untouched. Residents said at least 50 people were killed, although a Reuters reporter counted 65 bodies at a hospital morgue. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35454652]}}
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{{newsitem| Grenade thrown at [[Germany]] asylum hostel |30 Jan|Unidentified attackers threw a live hand grenade at a migrant hostel in south-western Germany, officials say.
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The grenade was found during the night near buildings housing 170 people in the town of Villingen-Schwenningen. Its pin had been pulled out but the explosives failed to detonate. News of the grenade incident came as new figures showed five times more attacks were carried out on migrant hostels in Germany last year than in 2014.
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The total for 2015 was 1,005, compared with 199 in 2014, the police report said. Far-right activists are suspected in 90% of the cases. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35437873]}}
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{{newsitem| Millions battle [[US]] snow travel chaos |25 Jan|Millions of commuters across the eastern US are battling into work as transport systems struggle to recover from a huge blizzard.Slippery pavements, crippled train networks, treacherous roads and cancelled flights are among the problems workers are facing on Monday.
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The US government in Washington, as well as many schools and businesses throughout the region, are shut.As the clean up begins, at least 31 people have been left dead.The fatalities were as a result of car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks suffered while shovelling snow. The storm, dubbed "Snowmageddon" and "Snowzilla", has weakened and headed into the Atlantic Ocean. It is expected to bring heavy rain and gale-force winds to the [[UK]]. It affected some 85 million people, at one point cutting the power to 300,000 people. The heaviest fall was recorded in [[Glengary]], [[West Virginia]], which had 42in. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35394742]}}
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{{newsitem| Suicide blasts hit north [[Cameroon]] town |25 Jan|At least 25 people are reported to have been killed after suicide bombers struck a town in northern Cameroon near the border with [[Nigeria]].A local official said many of those who died had been in the market in [[Bodo]]. At least three suicide bombers were said to be involved. The Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out the attack. Last month, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in Bodo. Cameroon is part of a regional coalition fighting Boko Haram, along with [[Nigeria]], [[Niger]], [[Chad]] and [[Benin]]. Although the militants have been driven from most of the areas they controlled in north-eastern Nigeria, they have continued to carry out suicide bombings and raids into neighbouring countries. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35403263]}}
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{{newsitem| [[NY]] travel ban lifted as snowstorm ends |24 Jan|A travel ban on cars in [[New York City]] has ended as the east coast of the [[US]] begins digging out from the weekend's massive snowstorm. But in [[Washington DC]], the metro is set to remain closed and air travel in the region faces further disruption. As householders dug themselves out of drifts up to 40.5in (103cm) deep, the hazards of shovelling snow were brought home by at least six deaths.A further 12 people have died in other snow-related incidents since Friday.The storm, dubbed Snowmageddon and Snowzilla on social media, is lessening and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. It has affected some 85 million people, cutting power to 200,000 people.
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Some 7,000 flights were cancelled this weekend and disruption is to continue into the working week, with at least 615 cancelled for Monday. States of emergency were declared in [[New York]], [[Tennessee]], [[Georgia]], [[Kentucky]], [[North Carolina]], [[New Jersey]], [[Virginia]], [[West Virginia]], [[Maryland]], [[Pennsylvania]] and the [[District of Columbia]]. In Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, drivers were stranded for hours on snowbound highways.The heaviest fall was recorded in [[Shepherdstown]], [[West Virginia]], which had 40.5in (103 cm). [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35394742]}}
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{{newsitem| Major [[Syria]]n rebel town recaptured| 24 Jan|Syrian government forces say they have seized the last major town held by rebels in western [[Latakia]] province.
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State TV said [[Rabia]], in rebel hands for four years, was overrun by the army and "popular defence" forces. The head of the Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP that President Assad's forces had surrounded the town from three sides in the space of 48 hours by capturing several villages. Rabia had been controlled by different groups including al-Nusra - an al-Qaeda affiliate. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35395328]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Rio]] announces Olympics Zika plans |24 Jan| The Brazilian authorities have announced plans to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games later this year. An outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease - which is being linked to severe birth defects - has caused growing concern in Brazil and abroad.
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Inspections of Olympic facilities will begin four months before the Games to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds. Daily sweeps will also take place during the Games.
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But fumigation would only be an option on a case-by-case basis because of concerns for the health of the athletes and visitors. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35394297]}}
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{{newsitem| Protesters in [[Moldova]] |24 Jan| Thousands of Moldovans are rallying in the country’s capital, [[Chisinau]], demanding the resignation of the newly appointed government and early elections. The protest was organized by two pro-[[Russia]]n parties and a pro-[[EU]] anticorruption movement. A counterrally in support of the government, which was also planned for January 24, has been canceled to avoid possible clashes. Protesters shouted, "We want the country back!" and "Unity, citizens!" in Romanian and Russian.  The Associated Press put the number of protesters at some 15,000. Public anger toward what many Moldovans consider a deeply corrupt political class spiked after the appointment on January 20 of Pavel Filip as prime minister. [http://www.rferl.org/content/moldova-protests-new-government-filip/27507631.html]}}
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{{newsitem|Attacks at Lido beach in [[Mogadishu]]|21 Jan|Popular beachfront restaurants have been hit by car bombs and gunmen in the Somali capital [[Mogadishu]].
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The first car bomb went off in the early evening, followed soon after by as many as five gunmen approaching from the beach. A second car bomb went off half an hour later, BBC Somali reports. One report said at least three people had died. The toll is feared to rise. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35365304]}}
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{{newsitem|Gunmen attack [[Pakistan]] University|20 Jan| Security forces have ended a gun and bomb attack on a university in north-west [[Pakistan]] in which 19 people were killed and 17 injured. Four suspected attackers also died in a battle that lasted nearly three hours at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda. One Pakistani Taliban commander said the group had carried out the assault, but its main spokesman denied this. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35365304]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Kenya|Kenyan]] police kill four terror suspects|20 Jan| Four terror suspects in [[Kenya]] have been killed during a dawn raid on a safe house in the coastal town of [[Malindi]], police in the East African nation say. The officers recovered arms, ammunition and a map of the area detailing future targets for attack, regional police commissioner Nelson Marwa said. Suleiman Awadh, on [[Kenya]]'s most-wanted list, was among those killed, he said. The [[Somalia]]-based al-Shabab Islamist militant group has launched a number of deadly high-profile attacks in [[Kenya]]. These include storming a shopping centre the capital, [[Nairobi]], in 2013 and raiding a university in the north-eastern town of Garissa last year. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35365304]}}
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{{newsitem|Foreigners shot dead at [[Burkina Faso]]|16 Jan| At least 23 people of 18 different nationalities are now known to have died after Islamist militants attacked a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso. Al-Qaeda militants attacked the Splendid Hotel in the West African state's capital, [[Ouagadougou]], as well as a cafe and another hotel nearby. Four of the attackers were killed, two of them reportedly women. The siege at the Splendid was declared over after a joint operation by local and French security forces. The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militant group has said it carried out the attack. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35332792]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Venezuela]] decrees economic emergency|16 Jan| The Venezuelan government has announced a 60-day economic emergency to deal with the country's worsening crisis.
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President Nicolas Maduro will govern by decree for two months. The edict includes tax increases and puts emergency measures in place to pay for welfare services and food imports. The government's move came as official figures released by the central bank showed that the Venezuelan economy had contracted by 4.5% in the first nine months of 2015. The emergency was declared hours before President Maduro delivers a State of the Nation address to Congress for the first time since his centre-right opponents took control of the legislature. The decree also instilled more state controls on businesses, industrial productivity and on electronic currency transactions. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35329617]}}
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{{newsitem|Explosion releases toxic gas in [[Brazil]]|15 Jan|A chemical explosion at a cargo warehouse in [[Brazil]] has spread toxic gas over the country's biggest port. The company owners said the containers in [[Santos]] were full of acid and a disinfectant which came into contact with rainwater, causing a reaction. The area's mayor said at least 66 people were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. Officials said the fire had been controlled but that there is still smoke in the area. The cargo terminal and nearby homes were evacuated and residents were asked to stay inside.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35320083]}}
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{{newsitem|New Ebola case in [[Sierra Leone]]|15 Jan|Sierra Leone officials have confirmed a death from Ebola, hours after the World Health Organization declared the latest West Africa outbreak over.
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The country was declared free of the virus on 7 November, and the region as a whole was cleared when Liberia was pronounced Ebola-free on Thursday.
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Tests on a person who died in northern Sierra Leone proved positive, an Ebola test centre spokesman told the BBC. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35320363]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Jakarta]] attacks kill at least 6|14 Jan|Armed men carried out a series of gun and bomb attacks in the heart of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Four attackers were also killed, police said. A manhunt for more suspects is underway.There have so far been no claims of responsibility. [http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/13/asia/jakarta-gunfire-explosions]}}
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{{newsitem|[[French Alps|Alps]] avalanche kills 3|13 Jan|Two French school children and a Ukrainian tourist have been killed in an avalanche at a ski resort in the [[French Alps]], officials say. Three others - two pupils and a teacher - were seriously injured. The two pupils were found in state of cardiac arrest and the teacher was unconscious. All members of the group have now been accounted for by rescue teams. The avalanche struck the group, their teacher and the Ukrainian on a closed piste in the Les Deux Alpes area. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35303921]}}
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{{newsitem|Explosion rocks square in central [[Istanbul]]|12 Jan|Turkish media report several people killed and wounded by blast in historic Sultanahmet district of city. Ambulances rushed to the scene, close to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, in a major tourist area of Turkey’s most populous city. [http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/12/explosion-istanbul-square-sultanahmet-turkey]}}
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{{newsitem|Gunmen attack [[Baghdad]] shopping center|11 Jan| At least 17 people are reported to have been killed in an attack on a shopping centre in [[Iraq]]'s capital, [[Baghdad]], during which people were taken hostage. About 20 gunmen stormed the al-Jawhara shopping centre in the mainly Shia al-Jadeda area on Monday evening, after a car bomb exploded outside. Security forces sealed off the area and then stormed the building, killing the assailants and freeing their hostages, an interior ministry spokesman said. It is not clear who the gunmen were.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35285605]}}
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{{newsitem|Bushfire eases in [[Western Australia]]|11 Jan|A massive bushfire in [[Western Australia]] that killed two people continues to burn, but milder conditions are helping firefighters bring it under control. The fire engulfed the entire town of Yarloop near [[Perth]] last week, destroying at least 128 homes. Police say the bodies of two men in their 70s have been discovered in the debris of burnt-out houses. More favourable conditions on Sunday allowed firefighters to set up containment lines.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35259733]}}
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{{newsitem|[[Australia]] rains cause rare filling of desert lake|05 Jan| Heavy rains have started to fill [[Australia]]'s vast Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and are bringing the desert to life. Pictures captured by pilot Trevor Wright show water filling dry salt plains that lie 700km (435 miles) north of [[Adelaide]]. The area around the lake has been inundated with rain over the last week, with falls of over 150mm reported. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre fills only a few times in a century. When this happens it is Australia's largest lake.[http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35240509]}}
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{{newsitem|[[California]] braces for El Nino storms |05 Jan| Communities across [[California]] are bracing for two weeks of heavy rains generated by the El Nino system. Northern California could receive up to 15in (38.1cm) of rain over the next 16 days, with parts of the [[Sierra Nevada]] mountains getting up to 24in of snow. The El Nino system, a warming trend in the Pacific Ocean, is expected to spur extraordinary weather across the [[United States|US]] in the coming weeks and months. The phenomenon is prompting warnings of flash floods and mud flows. Light rain began falling across the region on Monday, but stronger storms are expected to hit the area on Tuesday, with at least two more systems expected on Wednesday and Thursday. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35203730]}}
  
{{Newsitem|Deep Freeze in Eastern Europe|3 February 2012|[[Eastern Europe]] has been experiencing extremely cold winter weather during the last days. Over hundred, chiefly homeless persons, have died in [[Ukraine]] when the temperature has dropped to -35°C (-31°F). The cold weather together with heavy snowfall is affecting major parts of Eastern Europe all the way down to [[Bulgaria]]. Temperatures are also low in other parts of Europe - for instance in [[UK]] the temperature has fallen to -11°C (12F), [[Italy]] has experienced the coldest week in 27 years and in [[Finland]] heavy snowfall has messed up all modes of traffic in the [[Helsinki|capital region]]. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16868194] [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16860872] [http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Massive+delays+in+Helsinki+public+transport+as+accidents+caused+by+snow+and+ice+compound+the+chilly+conditions+/1135270321801]}}
 
  
  
{{Newsitem|Hungarian National Airline Malev Closes Down|3 February 2012|Due to financial problems the national carrier of [[Hungary]], Malev, has closed down its operations. Malev has racked up a debt equal to the revenue of a whole year and after it was ordered to pay back various governmental subsidizes Malev is unable to continue its businesses. There are no more departures after today morning 5 AM (GMT).  [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16866872]}}
 
  
 
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Latest revision as of 16:40, 30 April 2016

Travel news

Wikitravel Travel news Banner.jpg

Contents

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.


April

Troops retake Mukalla in Yemen

Troops retake Mukalla in Yemen

21 Apr

The Yemeni port city of Mukalla, controlled by al-Qaeda militants for a year, has been recaptured by Yemeni and Saudi-led coalition forces. The coalition says 800 militants were killed in the first hours of a joint operation across the south of Yemen. But Mukalla residents said there had been little fighting in the city, with the militants apparently withdrawing. [91]


Police standoff in Acapulco

Police standoff in Acapulco

25 Apr

Police officers came under attack in a two-hour gunfight in the Mexican city of Acapulco, officials say. Several gunmen attacked a hotel where officers stay, in the tourist area Las Playas on Sunday evening. Dozens of people had to shelter in shops while shooting continued, until after 23:00 local time (04:00 GMT). [92]


Brussels station reopens

Brussels station reopens

25 Apr

The Brussels metro station where 16 people were killed by a suicide bomber last month has re-opened. A bomb was detonated on board a train pulling out of Maelbeek station, close to the European institutions, in the morning rush hour on 22 March. The attack followed suicide bombs at Brussels airport which also killed 16. BBC News


Pakistan contaminated sweets kill 23

Pakistan contaminated sweets kill 23

25 Apr

At least 23 people have died from eating contaminated sweets in central Pakistan, police say. The deaths began last week after a man in Punjab province bought the treats to celebrate the birth of his son. He and 11 other relatives are among the dead - in all 77 people were affected. Five remain in a serious condition. BBC News


Egypt president warns against protests

Egypt president warns against protests

25 Apr

Egypt's president has warned against what he called attempts to destabilise the state, ahead of planned anti-government protests. In a televised address, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said "evil" forces were conspiring against the country but would not succeed. BBC News


Deadly blast hits Mexico oil plant

Deadly blast hits Mexico oil plant

21 Apr

A large explosion at an oil facility in the south-east Mexican state of Veracruz has killed at least three people and injured 136 more. The blast hit a facility owned by Mexico's state oil company, Pemex, in the port city of Coatzacoalcos. Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools closed. Footage showed a large fire and vast plumes of smoke. The cause of the blast is unclear. Several explosions have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years. [93]


2.2 billion people in at risk Zika areas

2.2 billion people in at risk Zika areas

21 Apr

More than two billion people live in parts of the world where the Zika virus can spread, detailed maps published in the journal eLife show. The Zika virus, which is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, triggered a global health emergency this year. Last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the virus causes severe birth defects. The latest research showed mapping Zika was more complex than simply defining where the mosquito can survive. [94]


India says 330 million hit by drought

India says 330 million hit by drought

21 Apr

At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has told the Supreme Court Authorities say this number is likely to rise further given that some states with water shortages have not yet submitted status reports. The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India with temperatures crossing 40C for days now. India is heavily dependant on monsoon rains, which have been poor for two years in a row. The government said that nearly 256 districts across India, home to nearly a quarter of the population were impacted by the drought. Schools have been shut in the eastern state of Orissa and more than 100 deaths due to heatstroke have been reported from across the country, including from the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which saw more than 2,000 deaths last summer. [95]


Rainfall causes Houston flooding

Rainfall causes Houston flooding

18 Apr

More than a foot of rain fell Monday in parts of Houston, submerging scores of subdivisions and several major interstate highways, forcing the closure of schools and knocking out power to thousands of residents who were urged to shelter in place. Sylvester Turner, mayor of the nation's fourth-largest city, told residents to stay home to fend off a weather system he called "stubborn." More rain was projected over the next two to three days. [96]


Ecuador earthquake

Ecuador earthquake

17 Apr

At least 235 people have been confirmed dead and over 1,500 people injured after Ecuador was hit by its most powerful earthquake in decades. Some 10,000 troops and 3,500 police are being deployed in the affected areas, as rescue operations got under way. The magnitude-7.8 quake struck early on Saturday evening. Coastal areas in the north-west were closest to the epicentre and officials say the death toll is likely to rise as information begins to come in. At least 500 people were injured in the quake, which was felt across the country. Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away. [97]


Japan struggles with quake-hit services

Japan struggles with quake-hit services

17 Apr

Japan is struggling to restore services in the south-western island of Kyushu after it was hit by two powerful earthquakes. Some 180,000 people are set to spend a third night in temporary shelters, including cars and tents. More than 62,000 homes remain without electricity and 300,000 homes have no water, Japanese media report. At least 11 people are still missing following the quakes which killed 41 people and wounded hundreds. Rescuers used improved weather on Sunday to fly helicopters to the worst-affected areas of Kumamoto prefecture as tremors continued. [98]


Earthquake topples houses in Japan

Earthquake topples houses in Japan

14 Apr

An earthquake has struck southern Japan, injuring several people seriously and possibly leaving others trapped beneath collapsed houses, authorities say. No tsunami warning was issued after the magnitude 6.4 quake. It struck at 21:26 (12:26 GMT) east of Kumamoto city, on the island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency says. The two Sendai nuclear reactors on Kyushu are reported to be operating as normal. The three Genkai nuclear reactors still in operation on the island were already closed for routine inspection. [99]


Thousands join anti-Mugabe protest in Zimbabwe

Thousands join anti-Mugabe protest in Zimbabwe

14 Apr

Two thousand Zimbabwean opposition supporters, some holding placards calling for 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe to resign, have rallied in the capital Harare. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called for countrywide demonstrations against the deteriorating economy. The march went ahead after a ruling by the High Court. Police had initially denied permission. It is the biggest such protest in many years. [100]


Myanmar shaken by earthquake

Myanmar shaken by earthquake

13 Apr

A strong earthquake has struck Myanmar, the US Geological Survey reports, with tremors in India] and China sending residents out into the streets. The 6.9 magnitude quake took place at a depth of 135km (84 miles) north-west of Mandalay. Casualties have been reported in north-east India. It could be felt in the north-east Indian state of Assam, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying. [101]


Drought fears grip Malawi and Mozambique

Drought fears grip Malawi and Mozambique

13 Apr

Food shortage fears over a drought in southern Africa have prompted Malawi to declare a state of national disaster and Mozambique to issue a "red alert". The President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, warned in a statement some people needed aid for all of this year. Mozambique raised alert levels for southern and central regions. [102]


Dangerous temperatures arrive early in India

Dangerous temperatures arrive early in India

12 Apr

A heatwave across most of India has led to a hotter than usual summer in much of the country. Dozens of deaths have been reported in the south Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa experienced its hottest April day on record on Monday, temperatures peaking at 45.8C. The run-up to the Indian monsoon season is always characterised by weeks of strong sunshine and increasing heat but this year, life-threatening temperature levels have set in rather earlier and more widely than normal. The heatwave extends across much of northern India with temperatures having exceeded 40C for several days in a row. And many parts of that interior are baked dry, following a poor monsoon season in 2015 due to the strong El Nino event in the Pacific. [103]


Yemen clashes rattle shaky truce

Yemen clashes rattle shaky truce

12 Apr

A truce aimed at ending more than a year of war in Yemen appears to be largely holding, despite reports of fighting in several places. The UN-brokered "cessation of hostilities" came into effect at midnight (21:00 GMT on Sunday). But soon afterwards, the government accused Houthi rebels of violations in the south-western city of Taiz and in Marib, east of the capital Sanaa. The truce is supposed to set the scene for peace talks in Kuwait next week. More than 6,300 people have been killed since the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign to defeat the rebels and restore the internationally-recognised government. [104]


Pirates attack cargo ship off Nigeria

Pirates attack cargo ship off Nigeria

12 Apr

Pirates have attacked a Turkish cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria kidnapping six of the crew, says the Nigerian navy. The ship carrying chemicals was believed to be travelling from Gabon to Ivory Coast. The pirates attacked the ship late at night as it was sailing close to the oil-rich Niger Delta. Analysts say winding down an amnesty to former Niger Delta militants has resulted in an increase in piracy. [105]


Hot weather kills 80 in south India

Hot weather kills 80 in south India

6 Apr

At least 80 people have died of heatstroke in the south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Temperatures in the states have risen as high as 45C and customary April rains have been delayed. State officials have said however, that the state was not suffering from a heatwave as there was no "abnormality" in temperature for this time of year. Over 2,000 people are estimated to have died in a heatwave that swept the two states last year. [106]


Syrian army attacks south of Aleppo

Syrian army attacks south of Aleppo

6 Apr

Syrian government forces have launched a counter-offensive to retake a village south of the city of Aleppo recently captured by jihadist militants. Troops and militiamen from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement began the assault on al-Eis overnight, backed by heavy air strikes, opposition activists say. Al-Eis was seized by the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front on Monday. The fighting was said to be the fiercest in the area since the partial truce declared five weeks ago. The cessation of hostilities has largely held despite both sides accusing each other of breaches and has resulted in a significant reduction in violence across much of Syria. [107]


Mississippi passes controversial bill

Mississippi passes controversial bill

5 Apr

The governor of Mississippi has signed a controversial bill that allows businesses to refuse service to gay couples based on religious beliefs. Governor Phil Bryant signed HB1523 into law on Tuesday amid opposition from equal rights groups and businesses. He said the bill "protects sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions". Protesters say the bill would allow for lawful discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.[108]


Greece halts deportations to Turkey

Greece halts deportations to Turkey

5 Apr

Greece paused deportations of migrants to Turkey on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took back 202 people under a controversial EU plan to cut off a migrant route to Europe. Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.[109]


Flights resume at Brussels after attack

Flights resume at Brussels after attack

3 Apr

Brussels airport has reopened for three "symbolic" flights amid tight security controls, 12 days after an attack by suicide bombers killed 16 people there. Three Brussels Airlines flights were scheduled to depart for European destinations. The first left at 11:40 GMT for Faro in Portugal. Passengers were screened on an approach road and again before check in. Attacks on the airport and a Brussels metro station by so-called Islamic State on 22 March left 32 people dead. Airport workers gathered at Zaventem to watch the first flight take off. Under the new security arrangements:

  • Vehicles and passengers travelling to the temporary departures area will be screened on the access road. Special cameras will check number plates
  • An additional police check and ID and boarding pass check will take place at the entrance to the temporary departures area. Those not flying will not be allowed in.
  • Passengers will then proceed towards the departure gates, undergoing the usual access and security controls. [110]


Azeris call truce in Caucasus clash

Azeris call truce in Caucasus clash

3 Apr

Azerbaijan has announced a "unilateral ceasefire" in fighting with Armenian forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. A defence ministry spokesman said the Azeris were acting in response to international calls to halt violence. But the Armenia-backed Karabakh forces said this was false and Azerbaijan was continuing to fire shells. Nagorno-Karabakh has been in the hands of ethnic-Armenian separatists since a war that ended in 1994. Fighting had continued into Sunday, after clashes left 30 soldiers dead and caused civilian casualties. [111]


Vanuatu hit by 6.9 magnitude earthquake

Vanuatu hit by 6.9 magnitude earthquake

3 Apr

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 08:23 GMT, 420km (260 miles) north-west of the capital, Port Vila. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the threat of tsunami waves had now mostly passed. The USGS said the quake was fairly shallow - at a depth of about 35km (21 miles) - but no damage had been reported so far. The quake, originally measured at 7.2, struck in the north of Vanuatu off Espiritu Santo. Quakes are fairly common in the region. Two similar sized tremors last October and December caused no damage. [112]


March

Casualties in Kolkata flyover collapse

Casualties in Kolkata flyover collapse

31 Mar

At least 10 people have been killed and several others injured after a flyover under construction collapsed in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (Calcutta), officials say. Reports suggest as many as 150 could be trapped under the concrete and steel bridge, which fell on a busy road. Images showed residents using their bare hands to help the rescue effort. Construction projects in India have often suffered from safety issues with frequent collapses. Experts say there is a lack of inspections and substandard materials are used. [113]


EgyptAir hijack ends in surrender

EgyptAir hijack ends in surrender

29 Mar

A hijacking that diverted a domestic Egyptian flight to Cyprus has ended with all hostages released and the hijacker surrendering. EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over by a passenger claiming to be wearing a suicide explosive belt. Airline officials later said they had been told by Cypriot authorities that the belt was fake. The hijacker's motives remain unclear but the Cypriot president said the incident was not terrorism-related. No-one was injured in the hijacking, Cypriot government spokesman Nikos Christodulides tweeted. [114]


WHO downgrades Ebola

WHO downgrades Ebola

29 Mar

Ebola is no longer an "extraordinary health event" and the risk of the virus spreading is low, the World Health Organization says. It means the disease is not thought to be a public health threat to countries outside of those affected in West Africa. A small cluster of cases are still occurring in Guinea, but Sierra Leone, and Liberia have not had any in months. [115]


Australian park to fine trespassers of popular site

Australian park to fine trespassers of popular site

29 Mar

A national park in Australia is to fine visitors who disregard warning signs at one of its most popular natural attractions in order to snap social media-worthy photos. A metal safety fence currently blocks access to the spectacular Wedding Cake Rock, a pure white cliff-top platform in Royal National Park near Sydney. But groups of up to 30 people have been spotted clambering over the barrier, apparently unperturbed by warning signs noting that the rock is unstable and "may collapse suddenly without warning", the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Photographs of people wandering around on the rock over the Easter weekend have been posted on Instagram, to the alarm of park authorities. [116]


Washington D.C. shooter wounds officer

Washington D.C. shooter wounds officer

28 Mar

Gunshots have been reported at the visitor centre at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. and workers have been told to take shelter. The Capitol's Sergeant-At-Arms said the gunman has been caught and one police officer was wounded. The Capitol building is on lockdown due to the security threat, according to an email sent to congressional staffers. Washington's city police called it an "isolated" incident, saying there is "no active threat" to the public. [117]


Storm disrupts England transport

Storm disrupts England transport

28 Mar

Storm Katie has battered large parts of England, leaving flights cancelled, property damaged and thousands of people without power. Flights bound for Gatwick and Heathrow were diverted to other airports and dozens were cancelled as gusts of up to 106mph hit the south of the country. More than 200,000 homes were without power at the height of the winds, with thousands still awaiting reconnection. [118]


Blast in crowded Pakistan park

Blast in crowded Pakistan park

27 Mar

at least 60 killed. A Taliban faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack and said Christians were the target of the blast, Reuters reported. [119]


Syria government forces enter Palmyra

Syria government forces enter Palmyra

26 Mar

Syrian government forces have advanced into Palmyra on several fronts backed by air strikes and artillery, a monitoring group has said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting was the most intense yet seen in the army's campaign to recapture the city from so-called Islamic State (IS). IS seized the Unesco World Heritage site and adjoining modern town in May. It destroyed archaeological sites, drawing global outrage. Two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers were left in ruins. [120]


Zika World Cup theory dismissed

Zika World Cup theory dismissed

24 Mar

The Zika virus arrived in South America a year before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, say British and Brazilian scientists. Their study effectively dismisses one of the most popular theories about the outbreak's origins - that it was brought over by football fans. The findings, published in the journal Science, suggest the virus arrived between May and December 2013.[121]


India celebrates festival of colors

India celebrates festival of colors

24 Mar

Indians are celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of colours which comes at the end of the winter season and marks the beginning of spring. Some of the biggest celebrations take place in the temples of Vrindavan, a town in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where, according to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha. The festival is celebrated over two days[122]


Brussels explosions

Brussels explosions

22 Mar

Airport and metro hit with 'at least 13 killed. [123]


Flights delayed and cancelled

Flights delayed and cancelled

20 Mar

French air traffic controllers start 3-day strike. Check with your local airport if your flight is affected. [124]


Brussels manhunt after gunfire

Brussels manhunt after gunfire

15 Mar

Belgian security forces and French police are hunting for at least two men after shots were fired at police during a counter-terrorism raid in Brussels. Three officers were reportedly hurt, one of them seriously. Streets in the suburb of Forest have been sealed off. [125]


Ankara car bomb kills at least 27

Ankara car bomb kills at least 27

13 Mar

A car bomb has exploded in the Turkish capital Ankara, killing 27 people and wounding another 75, the city governor's office has said. [126]


At least 16 dead Ivory Coast

At least 16 dead Ivory Coast

13 Mar

Four Europeans among dead and several injured after attackers launch assault on beach in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast. [127]


US forces raid Somali militants

US forces raid Somali militants

9 Mar

US troops took part in a raid on the Islamist al-Shabab group alongside Somali troops, American officials say. Al-Shabab earlier said it had "fought off" an attack by foreign forces but US officials said several militants were killed in the raid early on Wednesday. Several countries have been supporting Somali officials in their efforts to combat al-Shabab's insurgency.[128]



Macedonia shuts Balkans route

Macedonia shuts Balkans route

9 Mar

Macedonia has said it will no longer let any migrants through its border with Greece, effectively blocking the Balkan route north. The decision came after Slovenia barred access to migrants transiting the country. Croatia and Serbia then said they would follow suit. Some 13,000 migrants are now stranded at the Macedonia-Greece border. The moves come after the EU and Turkey set out a plan to ease Europe's biggest refugee crisis since World War Two. [129]



Floods disrupt central England

Floods disrupt central England

9 Mar

Severe flooding has caused widespread disruption across parts of central England, with rail passengers stranded and many schools shut. British Transport Police formed human barriers in front of the main concourse at London Euston after trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes were cancelled. Passengers were warned people could be killed as some had fallen from earlier trains on Wednesday. [130]



US strike kills Somali militants

US strike kills Somali militants

7 Mar

A US air strike has killed more than 150 al-Shabab militants in Somalia, the Pentagon says. Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the strike hit a training camp where a "large-scale" attack was being planned. "We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and [African Union] forces," Captain Davis said. [131]


February

US warns of dam collapse in Iraq

US warns of dam collapse in Iraq

29 Feb

The US embassy in Baghdad has warned the risk of the Mosul Dam collapsing is "serious and unprecedented" and has urged people to be ready to evacuate. Maintenance work was disrupted after the dam was briefly seized by militants from so-called Islamic State in 2014. If the dam burst, floodwaters could kill 1.47 million Iraqis living along the River Tigris, the embassy said. Iraq's prime minister has said precautions are being taken, but that such a scenario is "highly unlikely". The dam, Iraq's largest has suffered from structural flaws since its completion in 1984, with the water constantly eating away at the soluble gypsum base on which it is built. [132]


Migrants break down Macedonia fence

Migrants break down Macedonia fence

29 Feb

Macedonian police have fired tear gas at a crowd of migrants who destroyed a barbed-wire fence on the Greek border using a makeshift battering ram. TV footage showed migrants pushing against the fence at Idomeni in Greece, ripping away barbed wire. A section of fence was smashed open with a metal signpost. It is unclear if any migrants crossed the border. About 7,000 people are stuck on the Greek side of the border, as Macedonia is letting very few in. The chaos on Monday erupted as hundreds of people pushed their way past Greek police, shouting "Open the border!", to reach the gate used to let trains through at the border crossing. Some threw stones at Macedonian riot police. [133]


Air strike on Yemen market kills 30 people

Air strike on Yemen market kills 30 people

28 Feb

At least 30 people have been killed in an air strike on a market near the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, witnesses say. Residents said at least 30 people were injured, most of them civilians, the Reuters news agency reported. It is not clear who carried out the strike, but Houthi rebels have accused the Saudi-led coalition. The Saudi offensive is aimed at restoring the government and driving back rebels loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Some 6,000 people have been killed since the start of the campaign last March, about half of them civilians, according to the UN. [134]


Somalia blast kills at least 10

Somalia blast kills at least 10

27 Feb

Militants have stormed a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, leaving at least nine people dead, in an attack claimed by al-Shabab. The attackers set off a car bomb outside the heavily fortified Somali Youth League hotel before moving in. An explosion also targeted a popular park known as the Peace Garden. Police say the attack is now over after they shot and killed four attackers. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is waging an armed insurgency in Somalia. [135]


Deadly attack on hotel in Kabul

Deadly attack on hotel in Kabul

27 Feb

A suicide bomber has killed at least 10 people in an attack near a market in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, officials say. The provincial governor's office said the bomber rode up on a motorcycle to the entrance of a government office in the provincial capital Asadabad before detonating his device. In recent months, there has been an upsurge in fighting between the Taliban and government forces. [136]


Tornadoes hit southern US

Tornadoes hit southern US

24 Feb

At least three people were killed as several powerful tornadoes hit the southern United States on Tuesday. Tornadoes lashed Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, destroying homes and businesses. The deaths occurred when mobile homes were destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi, officials said. Meteorologists said the storm system could hit Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia later on Wednesday. [137]


Water partially restored in Delhi

Water partially restored in Delhi

23 Feb

Water supply has been partially restored in the Indian capital, Delhi, where up to 10 million were affected after protesters sabotaged a key canal. The army took control of the Munak canal in neighbouring Haryana state on Monday after Jat community members, angry at caste job quotas, damaged it. Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra said the "crisis was still not over" and urged people to use water carefully.[138]


Peru oil spill pollutes Amazon rivers

Peru oil spill pollutes Amazon rivers

23 Feb

At least 3,000 barrels of crude oil have been spilled in an Amazonian region after leaks from Peru's main oil pipeline, the state oil company said. The oil has polluted two rivers that at least eight indigenous communities rely on for water, the government and indigenous leaders said. Petroperu has promised a full clean-up and is also providing food and water.[139]


Ten million without water in Delhi

Ten million without water in Delhi

22 Feb

More than 10 million people in India's capital, Delhi, are without water after protesters sabotaged a key canal which supplies much of the city. The army took control of the Munak canal after Jat community protesters, angry at caste job quotas, seized it. All Delhi's schools have been closed because of the water crisis. Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots. [140]


Post-cyclone clean up in Fiji

Post-cyclone clean up in Fiji

22 Feb

A clean-up operation has begun after the most severe cyclone to hit Fiji in living memory killed at least 20. Rescue workers said that number could rise as some of the worst-hit outlying islands have yet to be reached. Thousands are now in evacuation centres while many parts of the country remain without power. Cyclone Winston, which hit over the weekend, brought winds of over 320km/h (200mph), torrential rain, and waves of up to 12m (40ft). [141]


Water crisis fears in Delhi

Water crisis fears in Delhi

21 Feb

The Indian capital Delhi is on the brink of a severe water crisis after a key supply was cut during protests over jobs in a neighbouring state. Demonstrators from the Jat community damaged equipment in the Munak canal, a major source of water to Delhi. The city has introduced strict water rationing. Some areas could run dry on Sunday, officials warned, and schools will not open on Monday. Protesters want guaranteed jobs under India's caste quota system. [142]


Huge storm wreaks destruction in Fiji

Huge storm wreaks destruction in Fiji

21 Feb

Authorities in Fiji are assessing the damage after the most powerful storm left at least five people dead. Cyclone Winston brought winds of over 320km/h (200mph), torrential rain and waves of up to 12m (40ft). It destroyed hundreds of homes and cut electricity lines. There are reports of entire villages flattened. The government has imposed a nationwide curfew and 30-day state of national disaster giving extra powers to police to arrest people without a warrant. The Category-five storm - the highest level - moved westward since making landfall at 18:30 local time (06:30 GMT) on Saturday in the north of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. It changed direction at the last minute, sparing the capital Suva the full force of its winds. The government had opened about 750 evacuation centres. More than 1,000 people were sheltering in one on the second largest island of Vanua Levu, north-east of Viti Levu, the Fiji Broadcasting Company said. [143]


Lion loose in Nairobi

Lion loose in Nairobi

19 Feb

Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is on alert after several lions escaped from a nearby national park overnight and strayed into the city. One lioness and her two cubs have been recaptured, and two other animals are believed to have gone back into the Nairobi National Park on their own accord. But it is not clear whether more lions remain on the loose. Residents have been told to report any sightings to a free telephone line. [144]


Annual Yosemite fireball returns

Annual Yosemite fireball returns

19 Feb

A rare phenomenon known as "firefall" has drawn visitors and photographers to Yosemite National Park in California. The stunning visual display happens every February when the light hits a waterfall tumbling down El Capitan. But the intensity of this phenomenon depends on the volume of water and the cloud cover. [145]


California methane leak sealed

California methane leak sealed

18 Feb

A leaking gas well near the US city of Los Angeles which has been polluting the air for four months has been "permanently sealed," officials say. The Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) had been pumping in heavy fluids and cement to seal the well. The leak began in October in a vast underground storage field in Porter Ranch, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The gas leak, one of the largest in American history, has caused thousands to relocate to temporary housing. [146]


Ankara explosion kills at least 28

Ankara explosion kills at least 28

17 Feb

A large explosion in the Turkish capital, Ankara, has left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured, Turkish officials have said. A vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by, according to the Ankara governor's office. The blast happened in an area close to parliament and Turkey's military headquarters. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called an "act of terrorism". Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area and witnesses said the blast was heard all over the city. Some of the victims were civilians. [147]


France state of emergency extended on slim evidence

France state of emergency extended on slim evidence

17 Feb

France's decision to extend the state of emergency was passed on slim evidence that it would be effective in reducing the "terror" threat, rights groups and activists have said. Widely expected, the French parliament on Tuesday voted for a three-month extension until May 26, allowing authorities to keep carrying out warrantless police raids and putting people under house arrest without prior authorisation of a judge. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve argued in Tuesday's debate that the threat of new "terrorist" violence remains very high. [148]


Kosovo protests

Kosovo protests

17 Feb

Thousands of Kosovo's opposition supporters have called for the government to resign on the eighth anniversary of the country's declaration of independence, accusing it of violating the country's constitution in reaching deals with Serbia and Montenegro. Opposition supporters came from all over the country to Pristina for the rally on Wednesday. [149]


Burundi bans motorbikes among attacks

Burundi bans motorbikes among attacks

16 Feb

Burundi has banned the use of commercial motorbikes from the centre of the capital, Bujumbura, in a bid to end violence in the city. Motorcycle taxis, a common form of transport in the city, are being used by criminals to carry out attacks, Bujumbura's mayor Freddy Mbonimpa said. One person was killed on Monday when men on motorbikes threw three grenades. Burundi plunged into crisis last April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his third-term bid. His decision sparked street protests, a failed coup attempt and tit-for-tat killings have become part of daily lives in some parts of the capital. [150]


Cliffs fall in New Zealand earthquake

Cliffs fall in New Zealand earthquake

14 Feb

Cliffs have collapsed in New Zealand during an earthquake in the city of Christchurch on the South Island. No serious damage or fatalities were reported in the Valentine's Day quake that struck at 13:13 local time (00.13 GMT). Beaches to the east of Christchurch were busy with swimmers and surfers when rocks began to fall into the sea. The 5.7 magnitude quake occurred days before the anniversary of a deadly one in 2011. That destroyed the city centre and killed 185 people. New Zealand lies on the notorious Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim. [151]


Mexico prison riot leaves 49 dead

Mexico prison riot leaves 49 dead

12 Feb

A battle between rival groups at a prison near Monterrey in northern Mexico has left 49 inmates dead. Nuevo Leon state Governor Jaime Rodriguez said 12 other people were injured in Topo Chico jail after prisoners fought with "sharp weapons, bats and sticks". A fire was also started in a storage room. Officials say the situation is under control and no inmates escaped. Crowds of relatives outside the jail blocked roads, demanding information. [152]


First Zika case confirmed in China

First Zika case confirmed in China

10 Feb

A 34-year-old man who recently travelled to South America has become China's first confirmed case of Zika virus infection, reports state media. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said the man was from Ganxian county in the eastern province of Jiangxi, Xinhua said. The virus is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects. But Chinese authorities have downplayed the risk of it spreading there, because of the winter cold.[153]


Storm Imogen batters England and Wales

Storm Imogen batters England and Wales

8 Feb

About 15,000 homes are without power after Storm Imogen's heavy rain and high-speed winds battered Britain. The brunt of the bad weather affected south-west England and south and mid-Wales - which is where the majority of homes without electricity are. Waves of up to 19.1m (63ft) have been measured off the Cornish coast, and winds of 70-80mph felt in many areas. Rail services are disrupted, some cross-Channel ferries cancelled and drivers urged to take extra care.[154]


Bootleg alcohol kills 24 in Central Java

Bootleg alcohol kills 24 in Central Java

8 Feb

At least 24 people have died in recent days in central Java, Indonesia, from drinking illegally-produced alcohol. Most died after buying the black-market spirits, made from ethanol, water and fruit, from a couple in Sleman, north of Yogyakarta city. Several people were also taken to hospital. The alleged maker and seller of the drink has been arrested.[155]


Zika pregnancy case confirmed in Spain

Zika pregnancy case confirmed in Spain

4 Feb

Spain has confirmed that a pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus - the first such case in Europe. The health ministry said the woman had recently returned from Colombia, where it is believed she was infected. Zika, which is spreading through the Americas, has been linked to babies being born with underdeveloped brains. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the microcephaly condition, linked to the mosquito-borne virus, a global public health emergency. [156]


Zika case reported in Texas

Zika case reported in Texas

2 Feb

A rare case of the Zika virus being sexually transmitted, not from a mosquito, has been reported in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a patient was infected in Dallas County, Texas. A patient was apparently infected after having sexual contact with someone who returned from a country where the disease is present. Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. It is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency. [157]


January

Deadly blast near Syria shrine

Deadly blast near Syria shrine

31 Jan

At least 50 people have died in blasts near the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of Syria's capital Damascus. A bus station and a building housing military headquarters were hit by the blasts, which mangled nearby vehicles. It happened as the government and opposition groups gathered in Geneva in a bid to start talks aimed at a political solution to the conflict. The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, was aimed at disrupting the talks, the EU said. [158]


Attack on Nigeria village kills 50

Attack on Nigeria village kills 50

31 Jan

At least 50 people are reported to have been killed in north-eastern Nigeria in a gun and bomb attack by suspected Boko Haram militants. Pictures from the village of Dalori show burned-out buildings and charred livestock. Fires from the burning village could be seen in the the city of Maiduguri, nearly 10km (six miles) away. One witness reported hearing the screams of children as huts were set on fire. Other survivors say the shooting on Saturday evening continued for hours and left barely any parts of the village untouched. Residents said at least 50 people were killed, although a Reuters reporter counted 65 bodies at a hospital morgue. [159]


Grenade thrown at Germany asylum hostel

Grenade thrown at Germany asylum hostel

30 Jan

Unidentified attackers threw a live hand grenade at a migrant hostel in south-western Germany, officials say. The grenade was found during the night near buildings housing 170 people in the town of Villingen-Schwenningen. Its pin had been pulled out but the explosives failed to detonate. News of the grenade incident came as new figures showed five times more attacks were carried out on migrant hostels in Germany last year than in 2014. The total for 2015 was 1,005, compared with 199 in 2014, the police report said. Far-right activists are suspected in 90% of the cases. [160]


Millions battle US snow travel chaos

Millions battle US snow travel chaos

25 Jan

Millions of commuters across the eastern US are battling into work as transport systems struggle to recover from a huge blizzard.Slippery pavements, crippled train networks, treacherous roads and cancelled flights are among the problems workers are facing on Monday. The US government in Washington, as well as many schools and businesses throughout the region, are shut.As the clean up begins, at least 31 people have been left dead.The fatalities were as a result of car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks suffered while shovelling snow. The storm, dubbed "Snowmageddon" and "Snowzilla", has weakened and headed into the Atlantic Ocean. It is expected to bring heavy rain and gale-force winds to the UK. It affected some 85 million people, at one point cutting the power to 300,000 people. The heaviest fall was recorded in Glengary, West Virginia, which had 42in. [161]


Suicide blasts hit north Cameroon town

Suicide blasts hit north Cameroon town

25 Jan

At least 25 people are reported to have been killed after suicide bombers struck a town in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria.A local official said many of those who died had been in the market in Bodo. At least three suicide bombers were said to be involved. The Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out the attack. Last month, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in Bodo. Cameroon is part of a regional coalition fighting Boko Haram, along with Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Benin. Although the militants have been driven from most of the areas they controlled in north-eastern Nigeria, they have continued to carry out suicide bombings and raids into neighbouring countries. [162]


NY travel ban lifted as snowstorm ends

NY travel ban lifted as snowstorm ends

24 Jan

A travel ban on cars in New York City has ended as the east coast of the US begins digging out from the weekend's massive snowstorm. But in Washington DC, the metro is set to remain closed and air travel in the region faces further disruption. As householders dug themselves out of drifts up to 40.5in (103cm) deep, the hazards of shovelling snow were brought home by at least six deaths.A further 12 people have died in other snow-related incidents since Friday.The storm, dubbed Snowmageddon and Snowzilla on social media, is lessening and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. It has affected some 85 million people, cutting power to 200,000 people. Some 7,000 flights were cancelled this weekend and disruption is to continue into the working week, with at least 615 cancelled for Monday. States of emergency were declared in New York, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. In Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, drivers were stranded for hours on snowbound highways.The heaviest fall was recorded in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, which had 40.5in (103 cm). [163]


Major Syrian rebel town recaptured

Major Syrian rebel town recaptured

24 Jan

Syrian government forces say they have seized the last major town held by rebels in western Latakia province. State TV said Rabia, in rebel hands for four years, was overrun by the army and "popular defence" forces. The head of the Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP that President Assad's forces had surrounded the town from three sides in the space of 48 hours by capturing several villages. Rabia had been controlled by different groups including al-Nusra - an al-Qaeda affiliate. [164]


Rio announces Olympics Zika plans

Rio announces Olympics Zika plans

24 Jan

The Brazilian authorities have announced plans to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games later this year. An outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease - which is being linked to severe birth defects - has caused growing concern in Brazil and abroad. Inspections of Olympic facilities will begin four months before the Games to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds. Daily sweeps will also take place during the Games. But fumigation would only be an option on a case-by-case basis because of concerns for the health of the athletes and visitors. [165]


Protesters in Moldova

Protesters in Moldova

24 Jan

Thousands of Moldovans are rallying in the country’s capital, Chisinau, demanding the resignation of the newly appointed government and early elections. The protest was organized by two pro-Russian parties and a pro-EU anticorruption movement. A counterrally in support of the government, which was also planned for January 24, has been canceled to avoid possible clashes. Protesters shouted, "We want the country back!" and "Unity, citizens!" in Romanian and Russian. The Associated Press put the number of protesters at some 15,000. Public anger toward what many Moldovans consider a deeply corrupt political class spiked after the appointment on January 20 of Pavel Filip as prime minister. [166]


Attacks at Lido beach in Mogadishu

Attacks at Lido beach in Mogadishu

21 Jan

Popular beachfront restaurants have been hit by car bombs and gunmen in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The first car bomb went off in the early evening, followed soon after by as many as five gunmen approaching from the beach. A second car bomb went off half an hour later, BBC Somali reports. One report said at least three people had died. The toll is feared to rise. [167]


Gunmen attack Pakistan University

Gunmen attack Pakistan University

20 Jan

Security forces have ended a gun and bomb attack on a university in north-west Pakistan in which 19 people were killed and 17 injured. Four suspected attackers also died in a battle that lasted nearly three hours at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda. One Pakistani Taliban commander said the group had carried out the assault, but its main spokesman denied this. [168]


Kenyan police kill four terror suspects

Kenyan police kill four terror suspects

20 Jan

Four terror suspects in Kenya have been killed during a dawn raid on a safe house in the coastal town of Malindi, police in the East African nation say. The officers recovered arms, ammunition and a map of the area detailing future targets for attack, regional police commissioner Nelson Marwa said. Suleiman Awadh, on Kenya's most-wanted list, was among those killed, he said. The Somalia-based al-Shabab Islamist militant group has launched a number of deadly high-profile attacks in Kenya. These include storming a shopping centre the capital, Nairobi, in 2013 and raiding a university in the north-eastern town of Garissa last year. [169]


Foreigners shot dead at Burkina Faso

Foreigners shot dead at Burkina Faso

16 Jan

At least 23 people of 18 different nationalities are now known to have died after Islamist militants attacked a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso. Al-Qaeda militants attacked the Splendid Hotel in the West African state's capital, Ouagadougou, as well as a cafe and another hotel nearby. Four of the attackers were killed, two of them reportedly women. The siege at the Splendid was declared over after a joint operation by local and French security forces. The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militant group has said it carried out the attack. [170]


Venezuela decrees economic emergency

Venezuela decrees economic emergency

16 Jan

The Venezuelan government has announced a 60-day economic emergency to deal with the country's worsening crisis. President Nicolas Maduro will govern by decree for two months. The edict includes tax increases and puts emergency measures in place to pay for welfare services and food imports. The government's move came as official figures released by the central bank showed that the Venezuelan economy had contracted by 4.5% in the first nine months of 2015. The emergency was declared hours before President Maduro delivers a State of the Nation address to Congress for the first time since his centre-right opponents took control of the legislature. The decree also instilled more state controls on businesses, industrial productivity and on electronic currency transactions. [171]


Explosion releases toxic gas in Brazil

Explosion releases toxic gas in Brazil

15 Jan

A chemical explosion at a cargo warehouse in Brazil has spread toxic gas over the country's biggest port. The company owners said the containers in Santos were full of acid and a disinfectant which came into contact with rainwater, causing a reaction. The area's mayor said at least 66 people were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. Officials said the fire had been controlled but that there is still smoke in the area. The cargo terminal and nearby homes were evacuated and residents were asked to stay inside.[172]


New Ebola case in Sierra Leone

New Ebola case in Sierra Leone

15 Jan

Sierra Leone officials have confirmed a death from Ebola, hours after the World Health Organization declared the latest West Africa outbreak over. The country was declared free of the virus on 7 November, and the region as a whole was cleared when Liberia was pronounced Ebola-free on Thursday. Tests on a person who died in northern Sierra Leone proved positive, an Ebola test centre spokesman told the BBC. [173]


Jakarta attacks kill at least 6

Jakarta attacks kill at least 6

14 Jan

Armed men carried out a series of gun and bomb attacks in the heart of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Four attackers were also killed, police said. A manhunt for more suspects is underway.There have so far been no claims of responsibility. [174]


Alps avalanche kills 3

Alps avalanche kills 3

13 Jan

Two French school children and a Ukrainian tourist have been killed in an avalanche at a ski resort in the French Alps, officials say. Three others - two pupils and a teacher - were seriously injured. The two pupils were found in state of cardiac arrest and the teacher was unconscious. All members of the group have now been accounted for by rescue teams. The avalanche struck the group, their teacher and the Ukrainian on a closed piste in the Les Deux Alpes area. [175]


Explosion rocks square in central Istanbul

Explosion rocks square in central Istanbul

12 Jan

Turkish media report several people killed and wounded by blast in historic Sultanahmet district of city. Ambulances rushed to the scene, close to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, in a major tourist area of Turkey’s most populous city. [176]


Gunmen attack Baghdad shopping center

Gunmen attack Baghdad shopping center

11 Jan

At least 17 people are reported to have been killed in an attack on a shopping centre in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, during which people were taken hostage. About 20 gunmen stormed the al-Jawhara shopping centre in the mainly Shia al-Jadeda area on Monday evening, after a car bomb exploded outside. Security forces sealed off the area and then stormed the building, killing the assailants and freeing their hostages, an interior ministry spokesman said. It is not clear who the gunmen were.[177]


Bushfire eases in Western Australia

Bushfire eases in Western Australia

11 Jan

A massive bushfire in Western Australia that killed two people continues to burn, but milder conditions are helping firefighters bring it under control. The fire engulfed the entire town of Yarloop near Perth last week, destroying at least 128 homes. Police say the bodies of two men in their 70s have been discovered in the debris of burnt-out houses. More favourable conditions on Sunday allowed firefighters to set up containment lines.[178]


Australia rains cause rare filling of desert lake

Australia rains cause rare filling of desert lake

05 Jan

Heavy rains have started to fill Australia's vast Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and are bringing the desert to life. Pictures captured by pilot Trevor Wright show water filling dry salt plains that lie 700km (435 miles) north of Adelaide. The area around the lake has been inundated with rain over the last week, with falls of over 150mm reported. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre fills only a few times in a century. When this happens it is Australia's largest lake.[179]


California braces for El Nino storms

California braces for El Nino storms

05 Jan

Communities across California are bracing for two weeks of heavy rains generated by the El Nino system. Northern California could receive up to 15in (38.1cm) of rain over the next 16 days, with parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains getting up to 24in of snow. The El Nino system, a warming trend in the Pacific Ocean, is expected to spur extraordinary weather across the US in the coming weeks and months. The phenomenon is prompting warnings of flash floods and mud flows. Light rain began falling across the region on Monday, but stronger storms are expected to hit the area on Tuesday, with at least two more systems expected on Wednesday and Thursday. [180]




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