News Watch

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake occurred off the east coast of the Greek island of Crete on Oct. 12. It was felt as far away as Turkey. Aftershocks measuring over 4 in magnitude followed. Multiple homes were destroyed, and landslides were reported, but there were no reports of deaths or major injuries.

In September, one person was killed in Crete when a 5.8-magnitude quake struck near the center of the island.

A protest in Rome against a law requiring evidence of being vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering most buildings turned violent on Oct. 9, resulting in injuries to 38 police officers. Rioters broke into the headquarters of the workers’ union CGIL, which supports the law.

The protest was led by a Neo-Fascist group called Forza Nuova, the leader of which was one of 12 people arrested during the protest. During the protests, members of the group assaulted Policlinico Umberto...


The US Department of State posts up-to-date travel advisories on every country and many territories, ranking each 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions), 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel). Note: A country’s regions are also ranked and may have different rankings than the country as a whole. Visit and click on “Travel Advisories” at the top of the page.


At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 235 million confirmed cases and, resulting from those, more than 4.8 million deaths.

The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID, first identified in November 2020 in India, has been detected in at least 135 countries. Though all approved vaccines currently in use have shown reduced effectiveness in preventing an infection from the Delta variant (39%-76%, depending on the...


Nearly the entire town of Thantlang, with more than 8,000 people, was abandoned in Chin State, western Myanmar, in late September as militia groups and the Myanmar military fought in the area. Artillery strikes from the military destroyed houses and set portions of the town on fire. One person, a Christian pastor, was reportedly killed as he tried to fight a house fire.

According to Indian authorities, at least 5,500 of the residents of the town had sought refuge in India.



An earthquake measuring 7 in magnitude occurred near the city of Acapulco in western Mexico on Sept. 7, killing two people. Aftershocks measuring as high as 5.2 followed. Significant shaking was felt in Mexico City, 230 miles away.

Only minor structural damage was reported, though the Acapulco International Airport was closed while communication issues in the tower were repaired. However, nearly 2 million people were left without power for many hours.

South of the city of Heraklion, a magnitude-6 earthquake occurred near the center of the island of Crete, Greece, on Sept. 27, killing one person and injuring nine. The quake destroyed or damaged multiple buildings across the region, though most infrastructure remained intact.

An earthquake measuring 5.9 occurred northeast of Melbourne, in southeastern Australia, on Sept. 22, causing some structural damage to buildings and rail lines as well as cutting off power to parts of the city. At the time, the city was (and still was at press time) under a COVID-19 lockdown. No injuries were reported.

Australia rarely experiences major quakes. This was the largest earthquake ever recorded in the state of Victoria. It was felt 540 miles away from Melbourne in...