US issues travel warning to its citizens heading to South Asia
In a world-wide travel advisory to its citizens, the United States has told those headed for South Asia to avoid Afghanistan altogether, avoid certain parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh, and mentioned “active” extremists in India.
The advisory replaced and updated one issued in September 2016 and with travel warnings already in effect for 41 countries — 16 in Africa, 2 in East Asia and Pacific region, 2 in Europe, 12 in Middle East and North Africa, 3 in South and Central Asia, and 6 in the Western Hemisphere.
“As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, US citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling,” it said.
There is no travel warning for India. It found mention in the advisory among countries the state department would want Americans to be generally aware of the situation — Canada, for instance, was mentioned in the context of “insurgent groups, armed criminal gangs, and terrorists remain active” in the Western Hemisphere.
In South Asia, the advisory said, travel warnings are in effect for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. “The US government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens, and interests.”
“US citizens should avoid travel to Afghanistan, as no region in the country is immune from violence. A number of established terrorist organisations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to US citizens in Pakistan. Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message. Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets in Bangladesh.”
Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh as refugees could turn to extremism, Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said on Saturday, as he sought help from India and other countries in the region to repatriate them. External affairs minister S Jaishankar, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and ambassadors and high commissioners of several southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, attended the session.
Passengers at an airport in Brazil's second-largest city of Rio de Janeiro were in for a shock when electronic displays at the facility began showing pornographic scenes--instead of advertisements and flight information--in an apparent case of hacking. Santos Dumont is the second airport in Rio de Janeiro, after the main Gaelao International Airport. Named after Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos Dumont, it is both a public and military facility.
At least 31 people died in Nigeria on Saturday during a stampede at a church in the southern Rivers state, a police spokesperson said. Hundreds of people who had turned up to receive food at the church early on Saturday broke through a gate, causing the stampede, police spokesperson for Rivers state, Grace Iringe-Koko said.
The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of France and Germany on Saturday that Moscow was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports. Putin spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over the phone.
In the wake of Tuesday's shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two teachers before being fatally shot by the police, the only school in the small town of Utopia, also in Texas, has said its teachers and staff can carry guns on campus to prevent an Uvalde-like tragedy.