Normal movement can resume around downtown Davis, CA following a shooting yesterday. Police say an officer was shot and killed at around 7:00 PM local time while responding to a three-car crash between 5th and D streets. Police from several municipalities began a search for the suspect, who was found in a nearby house, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The suspect’s motives are unclear; details are expected to emerge in the coming days as investigations continue.
Tomorrow through Monday, January 14, passengers transiting Miami International Airport (MIA) should reconfirm their departure terminal and expect delays after airport authorities announced plans to close Terminal G at 1:00 PM local time each day due to insufficient staffing at Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints. Several flights will be relocated to adjoining concourses during afternoon hours.
Several cases of hantavirus have been confirmed in Chubut province. Hantaviruses are carried by infected rodents and excreted in their saliva, urine, and feces. People can become infected if bitten by a rat or through contact with rodent excrement that becomes airborne and enter someone’s body through inhalation, contact with broken skin or through their eyes, nose or mouth. Although the disease is not generally passed from person to person, rare cases of person to person transmission have been reported in Argentina. Travelers can prevent hantavirus by avoiding contact with rodents and their environments and practicing good hygiene.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm the status of routes before setting out. Persistent heavy snowfall that has disrupted travel on several national roads, including the N26 near Chellata, the N30 near Boumehdi, the N33 near Tikjda, and various provincial roads outside Jijel.
All inbound travel to Congo (DRC) should be deferred through Friday, January 18. Travelers in country should minimize non-essential movement and stand fast until further notice. Tensions remain high over the December 30 elections, whose provisional results were announced yesterday, naming Felix Tshisekedi of the Cap pour le Changement coalition the winner. Runner-up Martin Fayulu of the Lamuka opposition coalition has rejected the result, and protests over the issue are likely in the coming days.
Travelers in Amman should anticipate and avoid further sit-in protests on Thursday evenings at the Fourth Circle. According to local reports, hundreds of people participated in a related gathering yesterday; several participants were arrested. Weekly protests, largely organized via social media, have been staged in response to a controversial income tax law that came into effect on January 1; however, participants in the latest gathering broadened their appeal by demanding wider political and economic reforms. Related protests are also possible in other urban centers.
Travelers in Nakuru County should exercise caution and anticipate a heightened security force presence following the death of a local resident in a cattle-rustling incident. Yesterday, a man was stabbed to death by members of a neighboring community in the Likia area, near Njoro. The incident triggered clashes, which disrupted traffic on the Narok-Nakuru Road. Additional security force personnel have been deployed to the area as further unrest is possible. Travelers in Nakuru County should exercise heightened caution.
Today, travelers should avoid a planned protest by Bidoon community groups to call for citizenship and improved civil and social rights. The gathering will be held in Taima after Friday prayers at 12:00 PM local time. Unrest is possible, particularly around the al-Shaabi Mosque, as the Ministry of Interior has banned the gathering. Security forces may use tough measures to break up any unruly or violent protests.
Normal movement can resume in urban centers after former President Marc Ravalomanana conceded defeat in the Presidential Election and called for calm yesterday. On Tuesday, January 8, the Constitutional Court confirmed that former President Andry Rajoelina had won the December run-off. Ravalomanana’s concession will likely end widespread protests by his supporters that have been ongoing since he initially dismissed the result as fraudulent; however, further local demonstrations remain possible, particularly during Rajoelina’s inauguration on Saturday, January 19. All demonstrations should be avoided as a precaution.
A case of polio has been reported from Zambezia province. Polio is a contagious viral illness that causes paralysis and death. The infection is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. All travelers are recommended to be fully immunized against polio prior to travel.
Travelers should continue to avoid all protests by Shia Muslims in Abuja and northwestern cities. Intermittent demonstrations demanding the release of Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, the imprisoned leader of the Shia Muslim Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), have been taking place for several years. On Wednesday, January 9, IMN supporters rallied peacefully outside the US Embassy and the British High Commission in Abuja, a new tactic the group is threatening to continue. Further protests are likely until January 22, when the trial is set to resume in the Kaduna High Court. All IMN gatherings could potentially be forcibly dispersed by police.
Today, travelers in Dakar should avoid a sit-in protest by the opposition C25 coalition as a precaution. Participants will gather at 3:00 PM local time at Place de la Nation to denounce apparent discrepancies in the electoral process ahead of the February 24 Presidential Election. These include a recent Constitutional Court decision to reject the candidacy of 20 people during the verification of sponsorship requirements.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Durban should plan routes accounting for road closures around a planned rally by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party as part of its 107th anniversary. Sections of Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, Sandile Thusi Road, Isiah Ntshangase Road, and Battery Beach Road will be closed from 6:00 PM local time today through tomorrow morning, to facilitate the ANC’s launch of its election manifesto at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Today, travelers in urban centers should continue to exercise caution and avoid further anti-government protests. Activists have called for countrywide rallies at 2:00 PM local time following afternoon prayers. In Khartoum, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) will hold a rally on Sunday, January 13 at Bahri Central Station in Khartoum North. On the same day in Wad Madani, a march will begin at 1:00 PM local time from Hospital Street towards the State Government building. Additional nationwide protests are planned on Thursday, January 17.
The C14 opposition parties and civil society groups have postponed a planned protest from tomorrow to January 26. In Lome, participants will gather at the Adidogome Catholic Mission, the Totsi Pharmacy, and the Badohoun building on Boulevard 13 Janvier; all groups will converge in the Tokoin-Casablanca area, in front of the Grignotine on Boulevard 30 Aout. The protests come after the Constitutional Court confirmed the results of the December 20 Legislative Elections. All such gatherings should be avoided due to the potential for local unrest.
Yesterday, authorities announced the arrests of two suspected members of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The suspects were allegedly operating a local ADF cell in Kampala. The development underscores security forces’ capabilities to combat the latent threat of militancy in the country. The ADF wages its insurgency in neighboring Congo (DRC)’s North Kivu province, though it launches periodic incursions into Uganda and recruits fighters from the country.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Tomorrow, travelers in Baku should plan journeys avoiding an unauthorized protest by the opposition Musavat party. Participants intend to gather around the Mehsul Stadium from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time to demand that Mehman Huseynov, a prominent activist and blogger, and other opposition figures be released from prison. Since authorities have not approved the rally, there is an increased risk of local unrest if the protest proceeds. Further demonstrations are possible in the coming weeks.
Beginning Tuesday, January 15, travelers should expect significant disruption and heightened security in and around Prayagraj during the Hindu pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela. Authorities expect around 100 million people to visit the city during the event, which will conclude on March 4. Key dates for Kumbh Mela are January 15 and 21; February 4, 10 and 19; and March 4. An increased demand for and shortage of transportation and accommodation options can be expected during this period. Travelers should book these well in advance and reconfirm existing reservations.
Since the beginning of October, the Air Quality Index in the National Capital Region has been at “poor” to “very poor” levels and has dipped to “severe” levels intermittently. Other northern and eastern states, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal are also affected. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with underlying heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Travelers in northeastern states should avoid all gatherings linked to two controversial bills. Today, a shutdown strike has been called in Asom in protest of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill, which would grant Scheduled Tribe status to six indigenous tribal groups, granting them legal protections and advantages. There is also widespread discontent over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which would grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Previous protests on the issue have led to unrest; travelers should anticipate heightened security.
Travelers on Bali and Lombok islands should maintain flexible itineraries following fresh volcanic activity at Mount Agung yesterday. Mount Agung erupted for four minutes, spewing ash and smoke. The volcano’s alert status remains at Level III (“Standby,” the second highest on a four-tier scale); there is no change in the 2.5-mile exclusion zone around the volcano. An eruption in November 2017 caused airports to close for several days; however, flights are operating normally at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) and Lombok International Airport (LOP).
Travelers in urban centers should avoid all gatherings linked to the presence of a foreign military base in Gyumri. Tomorrow, a rally is planned outside the base to demand its closure. On December 25 and 26, protests demanding the facility’s closure took place in Yerevan and other urban centers. Another gathering supporting the presence of the base was held on December 26 in Yerevan. Low-level unrest could occur between participants and counter-demonstrators during such gatherings, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Today, passengers transiting Rennes Bretagne Airport (RNS) should reconfirm airport status after an Air France flight was diverted to the facility due to a suspicious package onboard. Authorities have indefinitely closed the airport to incoming traffic.
On Tuesday, January 15, passengers transiting Frankfurt Airport (FRA) should anticipate delays and cancellations due to a strike by airport security staff between 2:00 AM and 8:00 PM local time. The industrial action is being organized by the Ver. di union following failed negotiations over higher wages. Staff at other German airports could join the strike. Yesterday, a 21-hour stoppage by security staff at Dusseldorf (DUS), Cologne Bonn (CGN), and Stuttgart international airports led to the cancellation of more than 600 flights.
Today, travelers in Athens should anticipate disruption and heightened security measures due to an ongoing visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Several streets will be temporarily closed, and 2,000 police officers have been deployed for the visit. The Syntagma metro station will be closed from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM local time. Despite a ban on all demonstrations in the city center, protesters gathered near Propylaea yesterday, prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse them.
Today, passengers transiting Italian airports should anticipate flight disruption and reconfirm schedules during a nationwide strike by air traffic controllers from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time. The industrial action is being organized by the UNICA, UGL-TA, and Assivolo Quadri unions which represent employees of ENAV, the company which manages civilian air traffic nationwide. The strike is liable to disrupt both domestic and international flights; flights passing through Italian airspace and inbound intercontinental flights are not expected to experience disruption.
Today, travelers in Milan should bypass an anti-government protest on Piazza della Scala to minimize inconvenience. The rally will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM local time and is being organized by a coalition of civil society groups in protest of the government’s stance on Europe and immigration, among other things. A demonstration in September 2018 by the same groups attracted thousands of people.
Travelers should avoid a series of anti-government demonstrations in the coming weeks over attacks on two politicians and related issues. In Belgrade, a march is expected to start at 6:00 PM local time tomorrow from the University’s Faculty of Philosophy towards Slavija Square. Another protest is scheduled in the city on Wednesday, January 16, which marks the first anniversary of the unsolved murder of one of the politicians, prominent Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic. In Nis, a rally is planned for today at King Milan Square at 6:00 PM local time. Other related protests are likely in major urban centers.
Staff on the Bakerloo Underground rail line have suspended a strike planned for Sunday, January 13 and Monday, January 14 amid ongoing negotiations. The 24-hour industrial action had been organized by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over staffing levels. Normal travel on the Bakerloo Line can continue.