Bombings in Sri Lanka

A series of bombings took place in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. The attacks were spread out between multiple cities. Six explosions were initially reported at churches and hotels across the nation, with two more attacks following later in the day.

On April 22, 2019, a ninth detonation occurred as police forces attempted to disarm a device in an attacker’s vehicle. BBC News said that two other devices were found and successfully disposed of, one near another hotel and the other by a major airport.

Sri Lankan authorities initially believed the militant Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath was behind the attacks, but IS has also claimed responsibility. According to BBC News, the terrorist group said that the attacks, which mostly took place on Easter Sunday, were targeting “members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka.” It has not yet been determined if their claims are accurate. Investigations are ongoing, and the Sri Lankan police force has made more than 70 arrests so far. Schools were temporarily closed after the attacks and a curfew was imposed.

The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory due to the possibility of further terrorist attacks. The explosions have also led to heightened tension and harassment toward the Ahmadi Muslim population in the country, The Associated Press reported.

Measles Resurgence Hits Los Angeles Universities

Over 200 Los Angeles university students and staff were quarantined after two cases of measles were confirmed at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) campuses. The quarantine, which went into effect on April 24, 2019, was imposed on those who were potentially exposed to the disease and had either not been vaccinated or were unable to verify their immunity.

According to The Associated Press, the requirements of the quarantine are that individuals remain at home, avoid interacting with others and alert the authorities if they start showing symptoms. UCLA’s statement on the outbreak explained that the quarantine is expected to last one to two days, although some people may need to remain isolated for up to seven days. The statement also said that the school “[has] arranged for students to be cared for at UCLA while they are quarantined.”

There have been almost 700 instances of the disease in the United States this year, about three-quarters of which occurred in New York. This is the highest number of cases in 25 years; just 19 years ago, measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. by public health officials. The Associated Press reports that this resurgence is attributed primarily to misinformation associated with the anti-vaccination movement.

Cyclone Kenneth Makes Landfall in Mozambique

Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique on April 25, 2019 with wind speeds of 140 mph, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, BBC News reported. Hurricane-force winds had never been recorded that far up the north coast before this event. Three deaths have already been confirmed in relation to the storm and 30,000 people have been evacuated, while a total of more than 680,000 people are believed to be at risk from the cyclone as it moves inland. Heavy rain and storm surge are expected in the region.

The storm hit only weeks after Mozambique was struck by Cyclone Idai, which left three million people in need of aid and killed over 900 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.