News Watch

In an alert issued June 19 and set to expire Sept. 30, the Department of State wrote of current quarantine measures imposed by the government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic.

These include placing passengers arriving from an area where outbreaks of 2009-H1N1 have occurred and who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms (plus those sitting in proximity) into 7-day quarantine. In some instances, children have been separated from their parents; Chinese medical personnel might...


As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 29 destinations: Sri Lanka, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Mali, Chad, Nepal, Lebanon, Georgia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Madagascar, Algeria, Eritrea, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Philippines, Israel/West Bank/Gaza, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Iran and Afghanistan. 

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit http://travel....


On May 19, the Tamil Tigers conceded defeat and Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, declared victory and an end to the 26-year civil war. Government forces now control all of the island. The recent battles left hundreds of thousands of people displaced.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing campaign in Pakistan stepped up in May. On May 27 a suicide car-bomb attack in Lahore killed more than 23 people and wounded about 100. On May 28 two bombs in a Peshawar market killed at least 11 and wounded dozens. A third bomb went off in Dera Ismail Khan, killing at least three. 

A Taliban spokesman issued a warning of bombings planned for Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Multan. Taliban militants are retaliating for the...


On May 4, Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned his post in protest of the reinstatement of the army chief whom he had fired May 3.

Dahal was a leader of the Maoist rebels and held his post as prime minister as part of a power-sharing agreement after the Maoists won the most seats in the 2008 elections. The Maoists have been seeking the absorption of 20,000 of their forces into the Nepalese military. Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav belongs to the opposite political...


Although Thailand’s prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, lifted the state of emergency on April 24 and in May there was no further violence, some political tensions remain.

The “red shirt” protesters, loyal to the previous prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, have continued demonstrations against the current government. Thaksin is in exile to avoid imprisonment on corruption charges. 

In May the “yellow shirt” protesters (People’s Alliance for Democracy) voted to become a...


In Peru’s Amazon Basin, clashes between Amazonian indigenous groups and police have escalated, and on May 8 the Peruvian government declared a 60-day state of emergency in the regions of Cuzco, Ucayali, Loreto and Amazonas.

After protesters had blocked roads and waterways for weeks, the military was authorized to support the police and keep roads, airports and essential services operating.

The Peruvian government seeks to develop huge reserves of natural gas and oil, but the...


The CDC on May 15 lifted its recommendation that Americans avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. The State Department’s Travel Alert relating to the 2009-H1N1 influenza outbreak is no longer in effect. The risk of severe disease from the H1N1 virus infection now appears to be less than originally thought.