Argentina: Thousands of people in Buenos Aires protested rampant crime Oct. 31 by banging pots and pans on street corners, and hundreds gathered at the presidential compound. Carjackings, kidnappings, and daylight robberies have soared in the suburbs surrounding the capital, prompting the governor of Buenos Aires province to order 3,300 more police into the streets to counter crime that one outside observer described as getting out of hand. Most crime that affects tourists is pickpocketing or purse snatching, but aggravated assaults have occurred. Remain especially alert at tourist sites and on buses and trains.
Gabon: A statement from the US Embassy about the many police roadblocks and checkpoints in and around Libreville speaks volumes about what you might experience if stopped: ''Please treat the police with respect and you can hope that they will treat you with the same."
Germany: The US Embassy in Berlin received a series of phone calls Oct. 31 threatening Americans and saying children would be involved. Police notified schools with large numbers of American children and agreed to provide additional support there. Beyond that there is little to go on. Remain alert to your surroundings and remember the phone number for emergencies in Germany is 110. Also consider subscribing to the US Mission Germany e-warden system to receive US government security-related information. Do so by sending your e-mail address to GermanyACS@state.gov.
India: Travel in Kashmir continues to be risky because of ongoing strife, and this month it could be doubly so because a Pakistan-based militant group threatened to intensify attacks during the holy Muslim period of Ramadan. The threat encouraged civilians to stay away from security installations to avoid becoming targets.
Zambia: The recent experience of an American affiliated with the US Embassy in Lusaka is a reminder to keep your car doors locked when driving here, or anywhere in the world where street crime and carjacking are rampant. At about noon, the American was waiting at a red light when someone opened the door and tried to drag him out. At the same time, an accomplice opened the passenger door and grabbed a money belt on the floor filled with cash, passport, and other valuables. Had the victim locked the doors and kept the windows up he would have been a harder target and may not have been assaulted. If driving in a city where this kind of crime is common, keep windows up and doors locked, scan both sides and check the rearview mirror constantly, and leave yourself an escape route around the car in front of you. If you can see the car's rear wheels touching the road you should have enough room to drive around it but not enough to allow another car to pull in and block you.
Editor's Note: Because conditions can change overnight, always make your own inquiries before you leave home. From the United States, contact the State Department via phone (888-407-4747; 317-472-2328; 202-647-5225), fax (202-647-3000), or website (http://travel.state.gov); abroad, check in with the nearest US embassy or consulate.