News Watch

Nepal has increased the length of time on the daily power cuts from 12 to 16 hours due to a lack of electricity. The cuts are likely to continue for the next five to six years. There are not enough power generation plants to keep up with the growth in demand, and, due to civil strife, work has not begun on any new ones.


As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 28 destinations: Israel/West Bank/Gaza, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Nepal, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Chad, Kenya, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Algeria, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Haiti, Syria, Central African Republic and Philippines.

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit


The tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Palestine ended in December, with Hamas firing rockets into Israel and Israel responding late in the month with an intense aerial assault, resulting in hundreds of casualties in the Hamas-controlled area of Palestine. Israel focused on Hamas targets and known smuggling tunnels and blocked food and fuel aid from entering the area. 

On Jan. 3, at press time, Israel invaded Gaza with infantry, tanks and helicopter gunships.

In Athens, Greece, a teenage boy was shot by a policeman on Dec. 6. Demonstrators threw rocks and petrol bombs at the police, who responded with tear gas, and riots spread that lasted for weeks, involving thousands of people in more than 10 cities.

Hundreds of businesses were damaged, burned or looted and many injuries were reported as youths fought running battles with police.

Students claimed to be protesting not only the unwarranted death of the boy but high youth...


A state of emergency was declared in the Marshall Islands, in the Western Pacific, after they were swamped by huge waves three times in two weeks in December. Hundreds of islanders’ homes were destroyed or flooded and plantations were ruined. The capital, Majuro, rises only a meter above sea level.


The Department of State warns against travel to the Northern Province and most of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Since early January 2008, fighting between the Sri Lankan military, paramilitary groups and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has increased, and bombs in densely populated areas have killed dozens of civilians.

A suicide bombing on Oct. 6 killed 28 civilians and injured 80 at a political party office in Anuradhapura. On June 6, 22 were killed and 70 injured by an...


The political instability and economic crisis in Zimbabwe have resulted in small-scale civil demonstrations and riots by military personnel and a general deterioration of government services and infrastructure, including the near collapse of the public health system. 

Authorities may forcefully disband demonstrations.

The State Department urges travelers to Zimbabwe to keep travel documents up to date, avoid all public demonstrations and have contingency plans ready for their...


The Department of State warns against travel to Nigeria.

Rival ethnic groups have clashed violently in Delta state around Warri city and in North-Central Plateau state, and occasionally tension between some Muslim and Christian communities results in violence, though Americans have not been directly targeted; the states of Kano and Kaduna are particularly volatile. In Jos, Plateau state, the first local election in a decade sparked ethnic and religious clashes which left more than 300...