News Watch

Following the murder of four French tourists in Mauritania in December 2007, two suspects were captured in Guinea-Bissau and returned to Mauritania to face trial and one is still at large. Two of the three are suspected to be Islamic extremists allied with al Qaida. An attack on a military base in northern Mauritania two days after the murders left three soldiers dead.

Violence like this is rare in Mauritania, and it is speculated that it was carried out to gain maximum attention by...


As of Jan. 3, 2008, 148 people had become ill and 37 people had died of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in western Uganda’s Bundibugyo district in an outbreak that may have begun as early as August 2007.

Ebola, a rare, serious viral disease, is spread through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of infected persons. People who have close contact with a nonhuman primate infected with the virus are also at risk.


In the month of January 2008, 150 suspected cases of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, were reported in Paraguay. During 2007 in Paraguay, 27,000 cases were registered, 17 of them fatal.

In Brazil, from Dec. 1, 2007, to Jan. 23, 2008, 18 cases of yellow fever were reported, including nine deaths.

Mostly, inland rather than coastal areas are affected, with expansion recently to the northern part of Espiritu Santo and the western part of Santa Catarina states.

Yellow fever is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

As of Jan. 25, 2008, 11 cases of chikungunya fever had been reported in Singapore. The clustering of cases in a small area suggests local transmission of chikungunya virus through mosquitoes.

Symptoms usually include acute onset of fever and joint pain with or without joint swelling. Deaths are rare.

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

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


The social upheaval in Kenya following the disputed election in January resulted in hundreds of deaths from rioting and possible retribution attacks. Thousands of people were displaced, and at press time the situation remained volatile.

Travelers were advised to expect heavy police presence, possible airport closures, cash shortages at ATMs and banks, sporadic service interruptions to phone and Internet service, food shortages and news blackouts.

In the region of Uttar Pradesh in northern India, three civil courts in the cities of Varanasi, Lucknow and Faizabad were targeted with synchronized blasts on Nov. 23, 2007, that killed at least 13 people.

In the Assam region in December, a bomb planted under the baggage car of a passenger train killed five people.