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=Current and past=
 
=Current and past=
 +
 +
==January 2013==
 +
{{newsitem| Widespread Fires in [[Australia]]| 9 Jan 2013| More than 130 bush fires continue to burn across [[New South Wales]], including 20 that are out of control as fire crews race to contain blazes before a return to hot and windy conditions later in the week.The biggest threat is currently posed by a grass and shrub fire burning in an easterly direction about 11 kilometers outside Yass in the NSW southern tablelands region. Four months of record-breaking temperatures stretching back to September 2012 have produced what the government says are “catastrophic” fire conditions along the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country, where the majority of Australians live. [http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/firefighters-in-desperate-race-to-contain-fires-ahead-of-more-heat-to-come-20130109-2cgi3.html#ixzz2HVtuydAe]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Ferry Crash in [[New York]]| 9 Jan 2013| A New York passenger ferry has hit a dock during the Manhattan rush hour, injuring 57 people and tearing a hole in the vessel's bow. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has visited the scene of the crash, along with senior police, fire and emergency management officials. Police said the boat's crew passed alcohol breath tests given after the crash. The cause of the accident was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20962553]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Police Fire Rubber Bullets, [[South Africa]]| 9 Jan 2013| South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at striking farm workers who blocked a highway in the grape-growing [[Western Cape]], the first clashes of a year likely to be marked by fractious labor relations. Police said they arrested 44 people and an emergency worker said four were taken to hospital with minor injuries from the rubber bullets. The strike in the Western Cape, home to South Africa's multi-billion-dollar wine industry, follows a similar walk-out in December in which warehouses were set on fire and at least two workers died in clashes with police. [http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/09/world/africa]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Delegation to [[North Korea]] to Urge More Internet Access| 9 Jan 2013| A private delegation including Google’s executive chairman is urging North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens, during its visit to the country, which has some of the world’s tightest controls on information. The members were bringing a message that more openness would benefit North Korea. Most in the country have never logged onto the Internet, and the authoritarian government strictly limits access to the World Wide Web. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/world/asia/delegation-to-north-korea-urges-more-access-to-internet-and-cellphones]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Iran]]ian Captives Freed in Prisoner Exchange in [[Syria]]| 9 Jan 2013| More than 2,000 prisoners incarcerated by the Syrian authorities were being released in return for 48 Iranians freed by rebels after five months in captivity in what appeared to be the biggest prisoner swap since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began almost two years ago. [http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/middleeast/index.html] }}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Brazil]] Police Cannot Help Violent Crime Victims| 9 Jan 2013| Police in Brazil's most populous state can no longer give first aid to victims injured in violent crimes or in shootouts with law enforcement officers. Sao Paulo State Public Safety Department says in a statement posted on its website that only emergency response teams and paramedics can provide treatment to victims at the scene of the crime or shootout with police. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/brazil-police-violent-crime-victims-18172176]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Siberia]] Thick With Wolves| 9 Jan 2013| Wolf packs are prowling at the edges of villages in the remote Sakha-Yakutia region of Siberia, eating livestock that includes horses and domesticated reindeer. They are slinking near towns like [[Verkhoyansk]], far above the Arctic Circle, where the mayor told a regional newspaper that he had organized a hunting party to kill as many as possible. In fact, the wolves have grown so thick in [[Yakutia]] that the governor recently declared a state of emergency, which wildlife experts said was largely symbolic and intended to draw attention to the problem. [http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/europe/index.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Sydney]] Festival 2013| 5- 27 Jan 2013| Celebrations for the festival kick off with Festival First Night – a large scale free event in the parks, streets, and lane-lays of the city, which is an exclusive feast of music, dance, and visual spectacle on the streets. Reaching an audience of more than 200,000 people, the Festival First Night is celebrated on the first Saturday of the Festival while more free concerts await Sydneysiders and visitors on subsequent two Saturdays. The Sydney Festival creates a welcoming and unique global ambience which showcases the striking city of Sydney through a feast of world class performances in theatre, music, dance, fireworks, visual arts, and food. The peak celebrations of the festival are the Australia Day festivities on 26th January with ferry races and tall ship displays at the iconic Sydney Harbour. The festival with its wide range of free events and easy pricing policies for the shows with tickets ensures that everyone can participate in the Sydney Festival celebrations. [http://www.journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/sydney-festival.aspx]}}
 +
{{newsitem| International Kite Festival 2013, [[Gujarat]] |14 Jan 2013| Gujarat’s International Kite Festival is held every year in Ahmedabad. Skies above the city come alive with kites- in a hundred different colours, shapes and sizes, fluttering and darting above the rooftops, triumphantly cutting another kite’s string, and soaring way up above the earth. The Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation organises the International Kite Festival at a local stadium, where kite enthusiasts from all across the world show off their skills. [http://www.journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/international-kite-festival-gujarat.aspx]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Harbin]] International Ice and Snow Festival [[China]] |Jan 2013| The event, held since 1963, can last more than a month, depending on the weather, and attracts visitors from around the world who come to see the elaborate ice and snow sculptures. This year's 'Ice and Snow World' features majestic ice castles and sculptures of fairytale characters equipped with LED lights, bringing a colorful and warm aura to the icy wonderland.  [http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/events/harbin-international-ice-snow-sculpture-festival/articleshowpics/17911634.cms]}}
  
 
==December 2012==
 
==December 2012==
 +
{{newsitem| [[Scotland]] Fire Festival, [[Stonehaven]]|31 Dec 2012| At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, sixty kilt-wearing participants light up the high street of this North Sea fishing port, whirling 16-pound flaming balls, attached to five foot long wire ropes, over and around their heads. The marchers, accompanied by pipers and drummers, make their way through the center of town from the Market Cross to the harbor, where they throw their flaming balls into the sea. [http://thecheaproute.com/12/121/scotland-fire-festival-in-stonehaven-aberdeenshire.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Sunburn Festival, Candolim Beach, [[Goa]]|27-29 Dec 2012| The Sunburn Festival is a non-stop three day celebration of music. The festival also provides the attendee with scrumptious fare, excellent entertainment, and shopping experience.The Sunburn Festival is the time when the atmosphere in Goa gets frenetic with wild beach parties that are being held all around the tropical paradise and various artists performing round the clock. [http://www.journeymart.com/holidays-ideas/festivals/sunburn-festival-goa.aspx]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Burning The Clocks, [[ Brighton]]|21 Dec 2012| Celebrating the winter solstice's longest night of the year, Brighton's annual Burning The Clocks includes a lantern parade that illuminates the darkness of winter. Many of the paper lanterns are burnt too, on the beach next to Madeira Drive. Each year 20,000 or so come to watch the parade of 1000 carrying their lanterns [http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp2/event/495478]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Deer Dance Festival, [[Belize]]|19-21 Dec 2012| A fascinating hybrid of Christian and ancient Mayan culture, Crique Jute's Deer Dance Festival is off the beaten track, but well worth a detour. Obscure ritualistic dances are performed and participants attend to the elaborate preparation of a greasy pole. The ancient deer dance, involving an elaborate and ritualized hunt of a deer, is acted out to the music of homemade harps and violins. One man is dressed as the deer itself and several others as tigers, women and hunting dogs. The hunt procession parades to the village of San Antonio and the "deer" is chased into the forest before being brought back for the ceremonial final attack and killing. [http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp2/event/540477]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Doomsday tourists flock to [[Mexico]]|21 Dec 2012| Thousands of tourists are flocking to Mexico's [[Yucatan]] peninsula to be part of the so-called "Mayan Apocalypse" near the sites of the ancient Mayan cities of Tulum and Coba.The local convention centre in [[Merida]] was crowded with tourists dressed mostly in white, and vendors offering books, souvenirs and white clothing as  well as red and yellow bandanas.On December 21, a major cycle in the 5,125-year-old Mayan Long Count calendar, a period known as the 13th Baktun, ends. [http://travel.einnews.com/article/128915788/Gr3JdnjLVLzX7ipN]}}
 +
{{newsitem| 1st major storm of winter in U.S.|20 Dec 2012| The first major winter storm of the year hit the U.S. [[Midwest]] bringing a blizzard to the Plains and a possible tornado to [[Alabama]] as well as leaving around 400,000 customers in 13 states without electricity. "There are blizzard warnings in effect from southeastern Nebraska through much of Iowa into Wisconsin," said Bruce Terry, a senior National Weather Service forecaster at the HydroMeteorological Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.[http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/usa-weather-storm-idUKL1E8NK4O220121220]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Storm snarls flights in [[Chicago]] Midwest|20 Dec 2012| A major winter storm is snarling flights in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest, a disruption that comes at the beginning of the busy Christmas travel rush. Southwest, the nation's largest low-cost carrier, says it is canceling some of its flights from both the Chicago Midway and Milwaukee airports. [http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2012/12/19/new-winter-storm-could-snarl-christmas-flights/1779441/]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Serious snowfall in the [[Alps]]| Dec 2012| If you are planning to ski in French or Swiss Alps be ready for lots of snow. Across the northern French Alps in particular, the huge amount of snowfall has had people raving that this is the best start to a ski season in recent memory. Of course, all that snow means an increased avalanche risk, so  make sure you’re heeding local weather advisories. [http://www.bbc.com/travel/blog/20121219-serious-snowfall-in-the-alps-this-december]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Delta Air Lines expands Caribbean connections|20 Dec 2012| Delta Air Lines has announced it will offer new and expanded service to five popular destinations in the Caribbean and [[Bermuda]] from John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Delta introduced these additional flights as a response to an increased demand for more connections between [[New York]] and tourist destinations in the [[Caribbean]]. [http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/delta-air-lines-expands-caribbean-connections/]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Soldiers turn hijackers of [[North Korea]] ship in Somali port |19 Dec 2012| A dozen soldiers guarding a North Korean ship impounded in Somalia's autonomous [[Puntland]] region for maritime violations have hijacked the vessel and its 33 crew. Puntland had been the epicenter of Somali piracy but the use of armed guards on ships and a concerted crackdown by international navies has seen the number of successful pirate hijackings fall in 2012. [http://news.yahoo.com/soldiers-turn-hijackers-north-korea-ship-somali-port-114721160.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| New Air Canada Discount Carrier |19 Dec 2012| Air Canada is birthing a brand-new low-cost carrier in 2013. The discount airline, called Rouge, will debut on July 1. Tickets for Rouge, which will operate 14 weekly flights from [[Canada]] to destinations in [[Europe]], [[Central America]], and the [[Caribbean]], are on sale now. Some of the destinations to be served include [[Athens]], [[Venice]], and [[Edinburgh]] in Europe, as well as various Caribbean and Central American spots like [[Punta Cana]], [[Kingston]], [[San Jose]], and [[Puerto Plata]]. The airline will fly from two departure cities: [[Montreal]] and [[Toronto]]. [http://www.smartertravel.com]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Tunisia]]n National Strike Averted |11 Dec 2012| Tunisia's government has reached an agreement with the country's leading labor union to avoid a nationwide strike over economic woes and power disputes.  Disputes between the moderate Islamist-led government and the union have led to rioting. Many Tunisians accuse the ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, of doing too little to reduce unemployment and curb police abuses. Similar complaints drove Tunisia's revolution two years ago, which set off uprisings across the Arab world. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/tunisian-national-strike-averted-deal-17937254#.UMfV6Hd5esk]}}
 
{{newsitem| [[Guatemala]] Burning Devil Festival |7 Dec 2012| This is a religious festival which usually takes place on December 7th across Guatemala, best celebrated in [[Antigua]]. At 6pm piles of rubbish and giant effigies of Devils/Diablos are burnt in an attempt to rid the country of anyevil presence. In traditional South American Festival fashion there are plenty of fireworks and marimba bands will drown out the crackle of burning cardboard. [http://www.festivalpig.com/Guatemalas-Burning-Devil.html]}}
 
{{newsitem| [[Guatemala]] Burning Devil Festival |7 Dec 2012| This is a religious festival which usually takes place on December 7th across Guatemala, best celebrated in [[Antigua]]. At 6pm piles of rubbish and giant effigies of Devils/Diablos are burnt in an attempt to rid the country of anyevil presence. In traditional South American Festival fashion there are plenty of fireworks and marimba bands will drown out the crackle of burning cardboard. [http://www.festivalpig.com/Guatemalas-Burning-Devil.html]}}
 
{{newsitem|Bridgewater Festival of Lights, [[Bridgewater]] |7 Dec- 25 Dec 2012| The festival features an incredible display of 200,000 lights holiday lights, including a huge animated village the entire family can walk through together. You will be able to taste and feel the holiday season, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate while standing beside a roaring fire. Hours of operation are 4:45pm to 8:30pm weeknights and 4:45pm to 9:30pm weekends. This is going to be the last year of the festival. [http://bridgewaterfestivaloflights.com/index.php]}}
 
{{newsitem|Bridgewater Festival of Lights, [[Bridgewater]] |7 Dec- 25 Dec 2012| The festival features an incredible display of 200,000 lights holiday lights, including a huge animated village the entire family can walk through together. You will be able to taste and feel the holiday season, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate while standing beside a roaring fire. Hours of operation are 4:45pm to 8:30pm weeknights and 4:45pm to 9:30pm weekends. This is going to be the last year of the festival. [http://bridgewaterfestivaloflights.com/index.php]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Saint Lucy's Day |13 Dec 2012| This is a Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox Christian holy day that’s celebrated throughout the world, particularly in [[Sweden]], [[Scandinavia]] and [[Italy]]. St. Lucy Day celebrates, with Advent, the start of the Christmas season as well as the winter solstice. In [[Scandinavia]], St. Lucy Day celebrates the “Festival of Lights.” Scandinavia has some of the darkest winters in the world, so a celebration of light holds much meaning. In the [[United States]] it is celebrated with cookies on the mantel in states for a large number of people of Scandinavian ancestry, often centered around church events. [http://www.cafemom.com/group/107447/forums/read/17680448/How_to_celebrate_Saint_Lucys_Day].}}
 
{{newsitem| Samurai Festival [[Tokyo]] |14 Dec 2012| This Asian festival is a A parade of "47 Ronin Warriors" accompanied by enemy lords, floats, folk dancers and traditional Japanese music with a fife band. The parade starts from Ako Castle and passes passing through the city's busiest streets, and reaches the JR Banshu-Ako Sta. [http://www.festivalpig.com/Samurai-Festival-Tokyo.html]}}
 
{{newsitem| Samurai Festival [[Tokyo]] |14 Dec 2012| This Asian festival is a A parade of "47 Ronin Warriors" accompanied by enemy lords, floats, folk dancers and traditional Japanese music with a fife band. The parade starts from Ako Castle and passes passing through the city's busiest streets, and reaches the JR Banshu-Ako Sta. [http://www.festivalpig.com/Samurai-Festival-Tokyo.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Oaxaca]] Radish Festival, [[Mexico]] |23 Dec 2012| This is a Mexican festival, known as Noche de Rábanos in Spanish. Everyone gathers in the Plaza Zócalo and an exhibition of sculptures made from a type of large red radish which can weigh up to 3.00 kilograms ensues. Sculptures are made to look like to Jesus and other regulars to the nativity scene as well as local folklore characters. This event manages to attract thousands of spectators every year, the event builds up from about a week before with local events organized and artists keeping their radishes fresh by spraying them with water. This event manages to attract thousands of spectators every year, the event builds up from about a week before with local events organized and artists keeping their radishes fresh by spraying them with water [http://www.festivalpig.com/Oaxaca-Radish-Festival.html]}}
  
 
==November 2012==
 
==November 2012==
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Revision as of 22:00, 9 January 2013

This is Wikitravel's Travel news section, about issues affecting travelers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see Wikinews.

Please feel free to edit or add to news items below. For instructions on how to use the Newsitem template or how to add news items to the Main Page, please see Wikitravel:How to add travel news.


Contents

Future

The news items in this section refer to future events and have not been displayed on the Main Page yet. They should be copied there when the date approaches and then shifted to the monthly archives below.

Current and past

January 2013

Widespread Fires in Australia

Widespread Fires in Australia

9 Jan 2013

More than 130 bush fires continue to burn across New South Wales, including 20 that are out of control as fire crews race to contain blazes before a return to hot and windy conditions later in the week.The biggest threat is currently posed by a grass and shrub fire burning in an easterly direction about 11 kilometers outside Yass in the NSW southern tablelands region. Four months of record-breaking temperatures stretching back to September 2012 have produced what the government says are “catastrophic” fire conditions along the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country, where the majority of Australians live. [1]


Ferry Crash in New York

Ferry Crash in New York

9 Jan 2013

A New York passenger ferry has hit a dock during the Manhattan rush hour, injuring 57 people and tearing a hole in the vessel's bow. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has visited the scene of the crash, along with senior police, fire and emergency management officials. Police said the boat's crew passed alcohol breath tests given after the crash. The cause of the accident was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. [2]


Police Fire Rubber Bullets, South Africa

Police Fire Rubber Bullets, South Africa

9 Jan 2013

South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at striking farm workers who blocked a highway in the grape-growing Western Cape, the first clashes of a year likely to be marked by fractious labor relations. Police said they arrested 44 people and an emergency worker said four were taken to hospital with minor injuries from the rubber bullets. The strike in the Western Cape, home to South Africa's multi-billion-dollar wine industry, follows a similar walk-out in December in which warehouses were set on fire and at least two workers died in clashes with police. [3]


Delegation to North Korea to Urge More Internet Access

Delegation to North Korea to Urge More Internet Access

9 Jan 2013

A private delegation including Google’s executive chairman is urging North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens, during its visit to the country, which has some of the world’s tightest controls on information. The members were bringing a message that more openness would benefit North Korea. Most in the country have never logged onto the Internet, and the authoritarian government strictly limits access to the World Wide Web. [4]


Iranian Captives Freed in Prisoner Exchange in Syria

Iranian Captives Freed in Prisoner Exchange in Syria

9 Jan 2013

More than 2,000 prisoners incarcerated by the Syrian authorities were being released in return for 48 Iranians freed by rebels after five months in captivity in what appeared to be the biggest prisoner swap since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began almost two years ago. [5]


Brazil Police Cannot Help Violent Crime Victims

Brazil Police Cannot Help Violent Crime Victims

9 Jan 2013

Police in Brazil's most populous state can no longer give first aid to victims injured in violent crimes or in shootouts with law enforcement officers. Sao Paulo State Public Safety Department says in a statement posted on its website that only emergency response teams and paramedics can provide treatment to victims at the scene of the crime or shootout with police. [6]


Siberia Thick With Wolves

Siberia Thick With Wolves

9 Jan 2013

Wolf packs are prowling at the edges of villages in the remote Sakha-Yakutia region of Siberia, eating livestock that includes horses and domesticated reindeer. They are slinking near towns like Verkhoyansk, far above the Arctic Circle, where the mayor told a regional newspaper that he had organized a hunting party to kill as many as possible. In fact, the wolves have grown so thick in Yakutia that the governor recently declared a state of emergency, which wildlife experts said was largely symbolic and intended to draw attention to the problem. [7]


Sydney Festival 2013

Sydney Festival 2013

5- 27 Jan 2013

Celebrations for the festival kick off with Festival First Night – a large scale free event in the parks, streets, and lane-lays of the city, which is an exclusive feast of music, dance, and visual spectacle on the streets. Reaching an audience of more than 200,000 people, the Festival First Night is celebrated on the first Saturday of the Festival while more free concerts await Sydneysiders and visitors on subsequent two Saturdays. The Sydney Festival creates a welcoming and unique global ambience which showcases the striking city of Sydney through a feast of world class performances in theatre, music, dance, fireworks, visual arts, and food. The peak celebrations of the festival are the Australia Day festivities on 26th January with ferry races and tall ship displays at the iconic Sydney Harbour. The festival with its wide range of free events and easy pricing policies for the shows with tickets ensures that everyone can participate in the Sydney Festival celebrations. [8]


International Kite Festival 2013, Gujarat

International Kite Festival 2013, Gujarat

14 Jan 2013

Gujarat’s International Kite Festival is held every year in Ahmedabad. Skies above the city come alive with kites- in a hundred different colours, shapes and sizes, fluttering and darting above the rooftops, triumphantly cutting another kite’s string, and soaring way up above the earth. The Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation organises the International Kite Festival at a local stadium, where kite enthusiasts from all across the world show off their skills. [9]


Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival China

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival China

Jan 2013

The event, held since 1963, can last more than a month, depending on the weather, and attracts visitors from around the world who come to see the elaborate ice and snow sculptures. This year's 'Ice and Snow World' features majestic ice castles and sculptures of fairytale characters equipped with LED lights, bringing a colorful and warm aura to the icy wonderland. [10]


December 2012

Scotland Fire Festival, Stonehaven

Scotland Fire Festival, Stonehaven

31 Dec 2012

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, sixty kilt-wearing participants light up the high street of this North Sea fishing port, whirling 16-pound flaming balls, attached to five foot long wire ropes, over and around their heads. The marchers, accompanied by pipers and drummers, make their way through the center of town from the Market Cross to the harbor, where they throw their flaming balls into the sea. [11]


Sunburn Festival, Candolim Beach, Goa

Sunburn Festival, Candolim Beach, Goa

27-29 Dec 2012

The Sunburn Festival is a non-stop three day celebration of music. The festival also provides the attendee with scrumptious fare, excellent entertainment, and shopping experience.The Sunburn Festival is the time when the atmosphere in Goa gets frenetic with wild beach parties that are being held all around the tropical paradise and various artists performing round the clock. [12]


Burning The Clocks, Brighton

Burning The Clocks, Brighton

21 Dec 2012

Celebrating the winter solstice's longest night of the year, Brighton's annual Burning The Clocks includes a lantern parade that illuminates the darkness of winter. Many of the paper lanterns are burnt too, on the beach next to Madeira Drive. Each year 20,000 or so come to watch the parade of 1000 carrying their lanterns [13]


Deer Dance Festival, Belize

Deer Dance Festival, Belize

19-21 Dec 2012

A fascinating hybrid of Christian and ancient Mayan culture, Crique Jute's Deer Dance Festival is off the beaten track, but well worth a detour. Obscure ritualistic dances are performed and participants attend to the elaborate preparation of a greasy pole. The ancient deer dance, involving an elaborate and ritualized hunt of a deer, is acted out to the music of homemade harps and violins. One man is dressed as the deer itself and several others as tigers, women and hunting dogs. The hunt procession parades to the village of San Antonio and the "deer" is chased into the forest before being brought back for the ceremonial final attack and killing. [14]


Doomsday tourists flock to Mexico

Doomsday tourists flock to Mexico

21 Dec 2012

Thousands of tourists are flocking to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to be part of the so-called "Mayan Apocalypse" near the sites of the ancient Mayan cities of Tulum and Coba.The local convention centre in Merida was crowded with tourists dressed mostly in white, and vendors offering books, souvenirs and white clothing as well as red and yellow bandanas.On December 21, a major cycle in the 5,125-year-old Mayan Long Count calendar, a period known as the 13th Baktun, ends. [15]


1st major storm of winter in U.S.

1st major storm of winter in U.S.

20 Dec 2012

The first major winter storm of the year hit the U.S. Midwest bringing a blizzard to the Plains and a possible tornado to Alabama as well as leaving around 400,000 customers in 13 states without electricity. "There are blizzard warnings in effect from southeastern Nebraska through much of Iowa into Wisconsin," said Bruce Terry, a senior National Weather Service forecaster at the HydroMeteorological Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.[16]


Storm snarls flights in Chicago Midwest

Storm snarls flights in Chicago Midwest

20 Dec 2012

A major winter storm is snarling flights in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest, a disruption that comes at the beginning of the busy Christmas travel rush. Southwest, the nation's largest low-cost carrier, says it is canceling some of its flights from both the Chicago Midway and Milwaukee airports. [17]


Serious snowfall in the Alps

Serious snowfall in the Alps

Dec 2012

If you are planning to ski in French or Swiss Alps be ready for lots of snow. Across the northern French Alps in particular, the huge amount of snowfall has had people raving that this is the best start to a ski season in recent memory. Of course, all that snow means an increased avalanche risk, so make sure you’re heeding local weather advisories. [18]


Delta Air Lines expands Caribbean connections

Delta Air Lines expands Caribbean connections

20 Dec 2012

Delta Air Lines has announced it will offer new and expanded service to five popular destinations in the Caribbean and Bermuda from John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Delta introduced these additional flights as a response to an increased demand for more connections between New York and tourist destinations in the Caribbean. [19]


Soldiers turn hijackers of North Korea ship in Somali port

Soldiers turn hijackers of North Korea ship in Somali port

19 Dec 2012

A dozen soldiers guarding a North Korean ship impounded in Somalia's autonomous Puntland region for maritime violations have hijacked the vessel and its 33 crew. Puntland had been the epicenter of Somali piracy but the use of armed guards on ships and a concerted crackdown by international navies has seen the number of successful pirate hijackings fall in 2012. [20]


New Air Canada Discount Carrier

New Air Canada Discount Carrier

19 Dec 2012

Air Canada is birthing a brand-new low-cost carrier in 2013. The discount airline, called Rouge, will debut on July 1. Tickets for Rouge, which will operate 14 weekly flights from Canada to destinations in Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean, are on sale now. Some of the destinations to be served include Athens, Venice, and Edinburgh in Europe, as well as various Caribbean and Central American spots like Punta Cana, Kingston, San Jose, and Puerto Plata. The airline will fly from two departure cities: Montreal and Toronto. [21]


Tunisian National Strike Averted

Tunisian National Strike Averted

11 Dec 2012

Tunisia's government has reached an agreement with the country's leading labor union to avoid a nationwide strike over economic woes and power disputes. Disputes between the moderate Islamist-led government and the union have led to rioting. Many Tunisians accuse the ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, of doing too little to reduce unemployment and curb police abuses. Similar complaints drove Tunisia's revolution two years ago, which set off uprisings across the Arab world. [22]


Guatemala Burning Devil Festival

Guatemala Burning Devil Festival

7 Dec 2012

This is a religious festival which usually takes place on December 7th across Guatemala, best celebrated in Antigua. At 6pm piles of rubbish and giant effigies of Devils/Diablos are burnt in an attempt to rid the country of anyevil presence. In traditional South American Festival fashion there are plenty of fireworks and marimba bands will drown out the crackle of burning cardboard. [23]


Bridgewater Festival of Lights, Bridgewater

Bridgewater Festival of Lights, Bridgewater

7 Dec- 25 Dec 2012

The festival features an incredible display of 200,000 lights holiday lights, including a huge animated village the entire family can walk through together. You will be able to taste and feel the holiday season, sipping on a cup of hot chocolate while standing beside a roaring fire. Hours of operation are 4:45pm to 8:30pm weeknights and 4:45pm to 9:30pm weekends. This is going to be the last year of the festival. [24]


Saint Lucy's Day

Saint Lucy's Day

13 Dec 2012

This is a Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox Christian holy day that’s celebrated throughout the world, particularly in Sweden, Scandinavia and Italy. St. Lucy Day celebrates, with Advent, the start of the Christmas season as well as the winter solstice. In Scandinavia, St. Lucy Day celebrates the “Festival of Lights.” Scandinavia has some of the darkest winters in the world, so a celebration of light holds much meaning. In the United States it is celebrated with cookies on the mantel in states for a large number of people of Scandinavian ancestry, often centered around church events. [25].


Samurai Festival Tokyo

Samurai Festival Tokyo

14 Dec 2012

This Asian festival is a A parade of "47 Ronin Warriors" accompanied by enemy lords, floats, folk dancers and traditional Japanese music with a fife band. The parade starts from Ako Castle and passes passing through the city's busiest streets, and reaches the JR Banshu-Ako Sta. [26]


Oaxaca Radish Festival, Mexico

Oaxaca Radish Festival, Mexico

23 Dec 2012

This is a Mexican festival, known as Noche de Rábanos in Spanish. Everyone gathers in the Plaza Zócalo and an exhibition of sculptures made from a type of large red radish which can weigh up to 3.00 kilograms ensues. Sculptures are made to look like to Jesus and other regulars to the nativity scene as well as local folklore characters. This event manages to attract thousands of spectators every year, the event builds up from about a week before with local events organized and artists keeping their radishes fresh by spraying them with water. This event manages to attract thousands of spectators every year, the event builds up from about a week before with local events organized and artists keeping their radishes fresh by spraying them with water [27]


November 2012

National Day, Abu Dhabi

National Day, Abu Dhabi

2 Dec 2012

The city will be decked out in shades of red, white and green as the United Arab Emirates marks its 40th National Day. Flags and fireworks galore can be expected [28].


General strike could disrupt European flights

General strike could disrupt European flights

28 Nov 2012

Flights are likely to be disrupted for three days as a result of the Europe-wide general strike to begin on Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) strike action has been backed by unions in Greece, Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands. Passengers booked to fly on all affected European sectors should check the updates on their airline's website.[29]


Protests in Cairo

Protests in Cairo

27 Nov 2012

Waves of protesters poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square today to protest the far-reaching constitutional declaration made by President Mohammed Morsi last week that has essentially granted him unchecked power. Violence immediately broke out with clashes between Morsi opponents, supporters and police leading to more than 500 injuries and at least three deaths. [30]


Syrian Warplanes Bomb Olive Oil Factory

Syrian Warplanes Bomb Olive Oil Factory

27 Nov 2012

Syrian warplanes bombed an olive oil factory packed with farmers, killing at least 20 people in the latest regime strike to rip through a crowd of civilians. The bombing comes as the civil war takes a devastating toll on an already beleaguered population. The conflict in Syria started 20 months ago as an uprising against Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for four decades. The conflict quickly morphed into a civil war, with rebels taking up arms to fight back against a bloody crackdown by the government. According to activists, some 40,000 people have been killed since March 2011. [31]


EasyJet to launch first flights to Moscow outside London

EasyJet to launch first flights to Moscow outside London

27 Nov 2012

EasyJet will launch the first ever scheduled flights from Manchester to Moscow next spring, when it will also start flying to the Russian capital from London Gatwick for first time.The four flights a week service to Moscow will go on sale in the next few weeks. The airline will also launch flights from Manchester to Prague and Thessaloniki in the spring.[32]


Traditional Christmas Markets, Germany

Traditional Christmas Markets, Germany

23 Nov-23 Dec 2012

The events are taking place nationwide with over 2,500 markets that will illuminate Germany's town squares. You would be able to see beautifully decorated stalls that offer handicrafts and gifts, festive baked treats, Glühwein and delicious regional specialities. All the while, choirs and brass-bands provide festive musical accompaniment. Particularly popular with visitors are Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt and the Striezelmarkt in Dresden.[33]


Holiday Folk Fair International, Milwaukee

Holiday Folk Fair International, Milwaukee

16-18 Nov 2012

The three-day event features the All Nations Theater with traditional music and dance, the World Cafe offering traditional dishes, the International Stage where young people perform their ethnic dances, the Music Pavilion with a variety of musical styles, Heritage Lane with unique traditions and customs through interactive exhibits, the International Bazaar where cultural artefacts create a unique shopping experience, and the Callen Construction Cooking Demonstration Stage featuring local chefs preparing traditional cuisine. Holiday Folk Fair International will also host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony on Saturday, 17 Nov at 10:30 and a 5 km Run/Walk on Sun, 18 Nov 2012at 09:00 [34]


Conflict in Gaza

Conflict in Gaza

16 Nov 2012

The conflict between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip has presented the first major test for Egypt’s newly elected president, as he seeks to balance close ties to Gaza’s Islamist rulers and respect for Egypt’s three-decade-old peace treaty with Israel. President Mohamed Morsi condemned Israel’s continuing air offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Thursday, 15 Nov 2012, and ordered his prime minister to visit the embattled enclave, sounding an angrier and more confrontational tone toward Israel than has been evident from Cairo in decades. [35]


Leonid Meteor Shower 2012

Leonid Meteor Shower 2012

16-17 Nov 2012

Every year at this time, the Leonid meteor shower briefly brightens the sky. While Saturday morning is the peak, there can be Leonid meteors several nights before and after. Be alert as most meteors streak by in a second or less, sometimes in clusters. The best way to see them is to find a nice, dark place with no street lights and as few trees as possible, and look up. [36].


Gang violence escalates in Sao Paulo

Gang violence escalates in Sao Paulo

15 Nov 2012

Violence is gripping Brazil's biggest city - at least seven people were killed in Sao Paulo in just one night this week. More than 250 civilians and 100 police officers have died recently as criminal gangs fight the police. It is believed this is a reaction to a crackdown on the operations of the state's largest criminal faction, and to violence used by the police to combat the group. As the battle has spread, innocent people are caught in the crossfire.[37].


Diwali- Festival of Lights

Diwali- Festival of Lights

13 Nov 2012

Diwali represents the start of the Hindu New Year and is celebrated as the victory of light over darkness. Lots of small clay lamps and candles are lit and placed in houses, and fireworks are let off everywhere, giving Diwali its name of "Festival of Lights". The festival is also celebrated in many cities in United States [38].


Hawaii's Coffee Cultural Festival

Hawaii's Coffee Cultural Festival

November 2-11 2012

Hawaii's longest-running food and coffee festival revolves around America's favorite caffeinated beverage. The ten-day Kona Coffee Cultural Festival offers community events such as art exhibits, Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant, cupping competition, a coffee-bean picking contest and parades[39].


Charles Dickens's 200th Birthday Celebration

Charles Dickens's 200th Birthday Celebration

November 4 2012

Portsmouth, a bustling seaport city in England, is celebrating the 200th birthday of its native son Charles Dickens. Dickens 2012 events include the special City Museum exhibition "A Tale of One City" (through November 4) depicting life in Portsmouth circa 1812-1870, and free guided walking tours departing from the entrance to the Historic Dockyard[40].


October 2012

2012 California Theme Park Halloween Events

2012 California Theme Park Halloween Events

October 31

Virtually every major theme parks and amusement parks now offer Halloween-themed events. But the concept began in California when Knott's Berry Farm morphed into Knott's Scary Farm in 1972. That park is celebrating its 40th anniversary hosting its annual Haunt. Moreover, Universal Studio Hollywood organizes Halloween Horror Night and Disney Resort prepares Mickey's Halloween Party [41].


White Truffle Fair in Italy

White Truffle Fair in Italy

October 6- November 18 2012

Northwest Italy's Piedmont region celebrates the Alba International White Truffle Fair, staged every weekend from early October through mid-November. Alba truffle, the world's most prized and pungent tubers are named for Alba, a medieval town located about an hour's train ride southeast of Turin.[42]


Perfect Storm on the East Coast

Perfect Storm on the East Coast

26 October 2012

Forecasters are now warning about a "perfect storm"- a direct hit of Hurricane Sandy, an arctic front and a jet stream- that will crash through the East Coast, specifically New York City and northward. The height of the storm is expected to occur Tuesday but forecasters say that it could take its time, lingering in the atmosphere over the same locations for five or six days. Hurricane Sandy crashed through the Caribbean today, exploding in size and strength as it hit the Bahamas after pounding Jamaica[43].


Ceasefire in Syria

Ceasefire in Syria

26 October 2012

For the past couple of months everybody was observing the fierce fighting happening in Syria. Activists say more than 35,000 people have been killed since then, while the UN estimates that at least 20,000 have died [44]. However, on October 25th 2012 Syria’s government and rebel leaders have agreed a four-day ceasefire to begin on Friday October 26th 2012 for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha [45]. There are many doubts if the agreement holds since previous attempts at ceasefires in Syria had collapsed, and the violence had continued to escalate. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, welcomed the announcement, but his spokesman said the "world is now watching" to see if the guns fall silent on Friday[46].


July 2012

Islamist Rebels Destroy Historic Shrines of Timbuktu—a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Islamist Rebels Destroy Historic Shrines of Timbuktu—a UNESCO World Heritage Site

1 July 2012

Members of the rebel group Ansar Dine called for the destruction of all of the historic shrines of Timbuktu and began carrying out the destruction of several over the past few days. The group has implemented sharia law in areas it controls, including mandatory veils for women, the stoning of adulterers, & mutilation of thieves. The Islamist rebels have now called for the destruction of all shrines in the city, considering them to be a form of idolatry forbidden in their view of Islam (although revered by local Sufis). One shrine was destroyed in May and this past weekend armed men, including many foreigners, surrounded six shrines and began to destroy them using shovels, axes, and smashing objects inside. Thirteen other shrines, dating from as early as the 13th century, are among those composing the World Heritage Site. Mali's government has called the actions a 'war crime' and there has been plenty of outcry from UNESCO members as well. An Ansar Dine spokesperson replied "We are subject to religion and not to international opinion." The group, along with secular Tuareg rebels, captured much of northern Mali in March, and after a short joint rule, the former gained control of the region, forcing over 300, 000 residents to flee, including most of Timbuktu's population. There is also concern for 700, 000 ancient manuscripts kept in the city .BBC article UNESCO WHS listing


Solomon Islands Host Quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts

Solomon Islands Host Quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts

1 July 2012

The Solomon Islands will host the largest cultural festival in the South Pacific, the quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts, which runs from July 1-14. The festival, held every 4 years since 1972, brings together artisans from 27 Pacific nations and territories to showcase crafts, music, dance, literature, and more. The theme for this festival is "Culture in Harmony With Nature". Delegates are selected by their home country/territory and attend the festival to showcase their home rather than compete—a rare cultural exchange between somewhat simmilar cultures that are separated by long distances and few transport options. Events will be held in purpose built a purpose-built village near Honiara, with some festivities held in other locations. The Solomon Islands claim this to be their biggest tourism event ever and are improving tourist facilities and cleaning up the image of Honiara. National airline Solomons Airlines is adding extra flights between Honiara-Brisbane, Australia around the festival. The next FoPA won't be held until 2016 in Guam. [47]


June 2012

California Adventure expands

California Adventure expands

15 June 2012

Disney California Adventure, the little-sister second gate at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, today unveils the largest expansion in its eleven-year history. The entrance area has been re-themed to resemble 1920s-era Los Angeles, the time when a young Walt Disney arrived to begin his storied career. In the back of the park, a new land called Cars Land recreates the Route 66 town of Radiator Springs from the Cars films, with three much-anticipated new rides and truly monumental theming.


May 2012

New low-cost airline in Colombia

New low-cost airline in Colombia

30 May 2012

VivaColombia, the new airline, will use Medellín international airport as the hub, with one-way flights starting at COP 54.000 (USD 30). The maiden flight was from Medellín to Bogotá on May 24th.[48]



Ice hockey world championship kicks off in Finland and Sweden

Ice hockey world championship kicks off in Finland and Sweden

4 May 2012

For the first time the annual world championship in ice hockey will be held in two countries - Finland and Sweden. Half of the matches are to be played in Stockholm and the other half in Helsinki where also the final match takes place on the 20th of May.[49]


April 2012

Earthquake off Indonesia triggers tsunami alert

Earthquake off Indonesia triggers tsunami alert

11 April 2012

An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 8.7, which was felt as far away as India, has struck near Aceh Province of Indonesia. A regional tsunami alert has been issued. [50]


March 2012

Walk About Love starts Walking

Walk About Love starts Walking

20 March 2012

Israel's biggest traveling festival is about to Walk again, Backpackers from all over the world unite with a message to walk in Peace across entire Israel & Palestine, they will start walking from Eilat on the Red Sea in South Israel and cross the entire Negev & Judea deserts and up to Jerusalem than to Tel Aviv and north to Mt. Hermon all through April, May & June. [51]


Japan Introduces New and Cheaper Airlines

Japan Introduces New and Cheaper Airlines

1 March 2012

In order to remain competitive in the airline industry and to encourage travel in Japan, a few new airlines have begun operation in Japan with bases in different parts and even some international flights. The new airlines are Air Asia (Tokyo-based), Jet Star Japan (Tokyo), Peach Aviation (Osaka), SkyMark (Tokyo and Kobe), and Air Do (Tokyo and Sapporo). The list of available flights is currently small but over the next few months new flights are being added, and some will even offer flights to Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and Busan.[52]


February 2012

Kairakuen Reopens for the First Time After Quake

Kairakuen Reopens for the First Time After Quake

7 February 2012

The earthquake that struck Japan last March, nearly a year ago, caused damage to Kairakuen Garden in Mito, one of the official top three gardens of Japan which forced them to close the garden in order to repair and restore the damaged sections. Now, restoration work has finally finished and the garden is open just in time for its famous plum blossom festival.


Floods in Eastern Australia

Floods in Eastern Australia

3 February 2012

Residents of the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland are battling floods that have trapped over 17000 residents after heavy rains. 16 towns in NSW have been declared disaster zones, and the rains are expected to continue. [53] [54]


Deep Freeze in Eastern Europe

Deep Freeze in Eastern Europe

3 February 2012

Eastern Europe has been experiencing extremely cold winter weather during the last days. Over hundred, chiefly homeless persons, have died in Ukraine when the temperature has dropped to -35°C (-31°F). The cold weather together with heavy snowfall is affecting major parts of Eastern Europe all the way down to Bulgaria. Temperatures are also low in other parts of Europe - for instance in UK the temperature has fallen to -11°C (12F), Italy has experienced the coldest week in 27 years and in Finland heavy snowfall has messed up all modes of traffic in the capital region. [55] [56] [57]



Hungarian National Airline Malev Closes Down

Hungarian National Airline Malev Closes Down

3 February 2012

Due to financial problems the national carrier of Hungary, Malev, has closed down its operations. Malev has racked up a debt equal to the revenue of a whole year and after it was ordered to pay back various governmental subsidizes Malev is unable to continue its businesses. There are no more departures after today morning 5 AM (GMT). [58]


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