News Watch

On March 16, the Government of Chad announced that the state of emergency and night curfew had been lifted. Airlines that normally service N’Djamena resumed limited commercial operations.

Nevertheless, the political situation remains fluid and potentially dangerous, and all travel should be deferred, says the Department of State. Visa services at the embassy remain suspended until further notice.

The embassy strongly recommends that U.S. citizens be prepared to implement their...


In Tunisia, two Austrian tourists driving a 4-wheel-drive vehicle in the southern desert were kidnapped in late February 2008. A U.S.-designated terrorist organization claimed responsibility and, at press time, was demanding the release of jailed militants in Tunisia and Algeria.

The Department of State has warned against travel to Thailand’s southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla due to attacks by Muslim insurgents and a bombing March 15 at the tourist-frequented C.S. Pattani Hotel that left two dead and 14 injured.

In Calahorra, northern Spain, in March, the Basque separatist group ETA set off a car bomb in front of a police station and also assassinated a former politician, raising fears of attacks on tourist areas this summer. It is believed ETA is trying to pressure the government into a peace deal.

In Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state, in the first three months of 2008 about 33,000 people had contracted dengue fever and 48 had died, more deaths than in all of 2002, the last year that Rio had a dengue epidemic.

Most have been in urban areas, not rural. While the incidence of Dengue is down throughout Brazil, it is up in Rio.

Since late 2007, emerging yellow fever disease has been reported in monkeys and humans in many South American countries. On March 3, 2008, the Argentina Ministry of Health reported their first official human case of yellow fever for 2008 in Misiones Province, Argentina.

People who do not have proof of valid yellow fever vaccinations have been denied boarding by airlines flying to Bolivia recently, according to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz. The disease is has been found in neighboring countries.

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

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