News Watch

The Department of State continues to urge Americans to avoid all travel to Lebanon. Recent clashes in the northern city of Tripoli resulted in more than 20 deaths and numerous injuries. Additionally, a bomb exploded next to a city bus in Tripoli on Aug. 13, killing 14 people.

On May 7, Hizballah militants blocked the road to Rafiq Hariri International Airport and entered areas of Lebanon not traditionally under their control, resulting in heavy fighting and a number of casualties....


The Department of State recommends deferring nonessential travel to Yemen. On Sept. 17, terrorists set off a number of explosions near the main gate at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a. Several Yemeni security personnel were killed as were a few individuals waiting to gain entry, including one US citizen.

Embassy employees have been advised to exercise caution when choosing restaurants or hotels or visiting tourist areas in Sana’a so as to avoid large gatherings of foreigners.



The Department of State warns that no part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against Western nationals at any time.

Travel there is unsafe due to military operations, land mines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks. Carjackings and violent crime remain a problem. Riots and incidents of civil disturbance can and do occur.



Following the clash in Georgia between Georgian troops and those of Russia in August, the Department of State warned that unexploded ordnance posed a risk in the areas where fighting took place, including in and around the city of Gori. Travelers are urged not to go to the conflict zones of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to take precautions in case of an increase in violent crime.

At press time, Russian troops were scheduled to withdraw on Oct. 10 from the parts of Georgia where they...


In Thailand, demonstrations and strikes by both anti- and pro-government factions disrupted travel at airports and rail stations in September.

Calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister (over a “corruption” scandal, several months after the previous Prime Minister was pressured out for corruption), protesters took over the Prime Minister’s office buildings in Bangkok. There were street clashes between police and protestors, and a state of emergency was declared for several days...


A Boeing 737 en route from Perm, Russia, to Moscow crashed on Sept. 14 and all 88 people on board died. The flight was operated by Aeroflot Nord, a subsidiary of Areoflot. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Chikungunya fever mainly occurs in areas of Africa and Asia. Countries that have experienced recent outbreaks of chikungunya fever include India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Chikungunya is a virus that is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include sudden fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, joint pain with or without swelling, lower back pain and a rash.

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

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