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=Current and past=
 
=Current and past=
  
==March==
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==May==
{{newsitem| [[Virginia]] Arts Festival| 17 Mar- 2 jun 2013| Festival offers extraordinary arts experiences not only in theaters, concert halls and historic churches, but in city streets and parks. It will be a season of artistic celebrations featuring a performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, presented on the exact day of its 100th anniversary.  Dance is a signature element of the Virginia Arts Festival, and this year Britain’s esteemed Birmingham Royal Ballet travels for the only US performances in 2013 with its beguilingly danced production of Coppélia. The Festival gets an early start this year on March 17, St Patrick’s Day, as the legendary Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains share the beauty and joy of Irish music and the wearin’ of the green. Fringe events kick off in March as Meow Meow takes the stage for seven extraordinary cabaret performances March 19-24. Virginia Chocolate Festival returns this year and due to popular demand will be two days, March 23 and 24. Vocalists preforming  with the Virginia Arts Festival in 2013 will be  Israeli singing star, Noa, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, Broadway sensation, Audra McDonald, singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, Indigo Girls performing with Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Tierney Sutton with Turtle Island String Quartet give patrons many choices for enjoying beautiful vocals of varied genres. More information here [http://www.vafest.org]}}
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{{newsitem| Nearly uncontrollable [[California]] wildfire grows |3 May 2013| A [[Los Angeles]]-area wildfire exploded from 10 acres to 10,000 acres in about 25 hours and threatened 4,000 homes,  fire authorities said. The fire, which began on the 2 May, damaged 15 homes,15 outbuildings and five commercial properties, but none were destroyed and no one had been injured, authorities said. Energized by dryness and strong winds, the wildfire raged for a second day and threatened 300 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings, authorities said. The so-called Springs Fire was all but out of control in [[Ventura County]]. More than 950 fire and law enforcement personnel were able to contain only 10% of the blaze roaring near upscale houses and through the Santa Monica Mountains, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Evacuations orders were in effect in several areas, but officials lifted such orders for the campus of California State University Channel Islands in [[Camarillo]] and for the Dos Vientos community in [[Newbury Park]], authorities said. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/03/us/california-wildfire/index.html]}}
  
==February 2013==
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{{newsitem| [[Syria]] conflict: 'Dozens executed' in village|3 May 2013| More than 40 people have been killed by government forces in a village in north-western Syria, activists say. The main opposition group accused the government of a "large-scale massacre". The Syrian Observatory, a UK-based activist group that monitors human rights violations on both sides of the conflict via a network of contacts, said the army was bombarding Sunni areas in Baniyas. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22398831] }}
{{newsitem| 2013 Carnival in [[Rio de Janeiro]]| 8-11 Feb 2013| Brazil’s most popular and festive holiday as well as one of the world’s biggest celebrations when the streets of Rio de Janeiro come alive with wild parties, festivals and glamorous balls. The Samba School Parade is the highlight of the four-day event. Performers, clad in ornate costumes embellished with feathers, beads and thousands of sequins, dance down the parade route alongside dazzling floats and into the Sambadrome-a dance stadium built for the event. Judges award a prize to the most spectacular group of dancers. [http://www.rio-carnival.net/index.php]}}
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{{newsitem| [[New Orleans Mardi Gras]] | 12 Feb 2013|}}
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{{newsitem| [[Japan]]'s [[Mount Fuji]] 'set for Unesco listing'|3 May 2013| Japan's near-symetrical snow-topped volcano, Mount Fuji, looks likely to become a Unesco World Heritage site, officials say. A key UN advisory council had recommended it as appropriate for registration, a statement from Japan's cultural agency said. Mt Fuji, at 3,776 (12,460 feet) is Japan's highest mountain. The volcano, which last erupted just over 300 years ago, lies to the south-west of Tokyo and is visible from the Japanese capital on a clear day. It is featured prominently in historic Japanese art work, including wood blocks prints. It is also one of the traditional "Three Holy Mountains" - along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, both in central Japan. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22363161]}}
  
==January 2013==
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{{newsitem| Attack on [[Everest]] climbers|3 May 2013| Sherpas who attacked three European climbers on Everest were angry at the disrespect shown by "luxury adventurers" who demand tea in their tent on the world's highest peak, a British member of the group has claimed. The Sherpas claimed that the mountaineers had ignored their request not to climb over their ropes until they had finished fixing the route for guided expedition groups. [http://www.smh.com.au/world/wheres-my-tea-why-everest-sherpas-have-had-enough-20130501-2iscq.html#ixzz2SGQf3GAE]}}
{{newsitem| Air France-KLM launches low-cost airline|30 Jan 2013| Hop! will operate 530 daily flights to 136 destinations in Europe from March 31 with one-way fares from 55 euros. The launch of the new airline - which has been created through the merger of regional units Brit Air, Regional Air and Airlinair - is part of a reshuffle of the group's loss-making short and medium-haul operations. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/29/uk-airfrance-hop-idUSLNE90S00S20130129]}}
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{{newsitem| Anniversary of [[Egypt]]ian Revolt| 25 Jan 2013| Tens of thousands of Egyptians filled Tahrir Square to observe the second anniversary of the revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak with a massive protest against the political ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood. There were parallel demonstrations in several other cities, and minor clashes between protesters and security forces in [[Alexandria]], [[Cairo]] and elsewhere.Protesters at times seemed to be re-enacting scenes from the 18-day revolt that toppled Mr. Mubarak two years ago. The loudest chants were recycled from the revolution — “Leave, leave” and “The people want the fall of the regime.” Others were adapted slightly to focus on the Islamist Brotherhood, calling for an end to “the rule by the supreme guide,” Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader.[http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/tens-of-thousands-fill-tahrir-square-on-anniversary-of-egyptian-revolt.html] }}
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{{newsitem| [[Iraq]]i Protesters Confront Army| 25 Jan 2013| At least seven protesters and two soldiers were killed in clashes that started after Iraqi Army forces opened fire on demonstrators who had pelted them with rocks on the outskirts of Falluja, west of [[Baghdad]]. It was the first deadly confrontation in more than a month of antigovernment protests by mostly Sunni opponents of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. As a result, a curfew was imposed on Falluja later that day. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/clashes-turn-deadly-after-iraqi-forces-open-fire-on-protesters.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Turmoil in the [[Sahara]]| 25 Jan 2013| Hundreds of battle-hardened nomadic Tuareg rebels storm towns in [[Mali]]’s northern desert, using weapons seized after they fought for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in [[Libya]]. They reinvigorate a longstanding rebellion there, overwhelming the poorly equipped Malian forces with whom they clashed in the 1960s, the early 1990s and again in 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/18/world/africa/mali-algeria-timeline.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Syria]]n Refugees Entering [[Jordan]] in Record Numbers| 25 Jan 2013| Syrians are fleeing into Jordan in record numbers to escape escalating violence and destruction in their country that is making it increasingly difficult for civilians to survive, said the United Nations refugee agency. More than 4,000 Syrians arrived at a camp in [[Zaatari]] in northern Jordan on Jan 24th and another 2,000 people overnight, Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said. The number of Syrian refugees in the region is approaching 700,000, the refugee agency said, with 221,000 registered as refugees in [[Lebanon]], 156,000 in [[Turkey]] and 76,000 in [[Iraq]]. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/syrian-refugees-entering-jordan-in-record-numbers-un-says.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[North Korea]] now turns ire to South| 25 Jan 2013| In its latest bout of saber-rattling, North Korea warned of the possibility of "strong physical counter-measures" against [[South Korea]] after the United Nations imposed tougher sanctions against the North earlier that week. The threat against South Korea came a day after the North said it would carry out a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the [[United States]]. The South Korean Unification Ministry declined to comment specifically on the new threats from [[Pyongyang]]. It reiterated its stance that North Korea should refrain from further provocations. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/25/world/asia/north-korea-threat-south/index.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Japan]] repels [[Taiwan]] activists near disputed islands| 25 Jan 2013|  Several Japanese Coast Guard ships fired water cannon and shouted warnings at a boat carrying Taiwanese activists who were attempting to land on islands disputed by [[Taiwan]], [[Japan]] and [[China]], a spokesman said. Through loud speakers, the Japanese Coast guard urged the activists and four Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels accompanying them, to retreat from waters around the islands, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan, and Diaoyu in China. The deterrent worked and the Taiwanese ships left the area, the Japanese Coast Guard said. According to state news agencies in Taiwan and China, the confrontation occurred about 28 nautical miles from the islands in the East China Sea. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/world/asia/japan-taiwant-diputed-islands/index.html]}}
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{{newsitem| Chinese New Year [[Las Vegas]] Style| January-March 2013| [[Las Vegas]] is hosting multiple events in honor of the year of the snake according to the Chinese calender. Multiple displays and shows will be help all across the vibrant city. [http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/las-vegas-celebrates-chinese-new-year-2013/]}}
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{{newsitem| Controversial x-ray scanners to be removed| 20 Jan 2013| The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has set to remove the privacy breaching full-body x-ray machines from 30 [[USA]] airports. [http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/tsa-remove-controversial-full-body-scanners-1B8038882]}}
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{{newsitem| Extreme snowfall in the UK| 19 Jan 2013|  Harsh snowfall has led to traffic, especially aviation to slow down, or even be cancelled in [[Great Britain]] During Friday the 18th, over 400 flights leaving [[London]] were cancelled and this is expected to continue well into the weekend. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21095132]}}
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{{newsitem| Boeing suspends the dreamliner 787| 19 Jan 2013| Due to technical malfunctions in the airplanes batteries, Boeing, the US based aerospace giant has seized delivering their mammoth planes until they are approved safe| [http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/boeing-suspends-deliveries-of-787-dreamliner/]}}
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{{newsitem| [[India]]n Kumbh Mela festival| 14 Jan- 10 March 2013| Millions of devout Hindus led by naked ascetics with ash smeared on their bodies plunged into the frigid waters of India's holy Ganges River in a ritual they believe can wash away their sins. The ceremony in the northern city of Allahabad took place on the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, one of the world's largest religious gatherings that lasts 55 days. Over 110 million people are expected to take a dip at the Sangam, the place where three rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — come together at the edge of this North Indian city. [http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/01/14/wrd-india-hindu-ganges-festival.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Islamist rebels gaining ground in [[Mali]]| 14 Jan 2013| Islamist militants gained ground in one Malian town even as government troops stepped up their offensive to wrest control from rebels. Word of the rebels' advance came as the U.N. Security Council was set to discuss the conflict in Mali, where Islamist rebels have been seizing territory for months. World leaders from a number of countries have said they'll send troops or provide logistical support for the fight against Islamist militants in the West African nation. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/world/africa/mali-military-offensive]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Cuba]] loosens travel restrictions| 14 Jan 2013|Cubans will no longer need an exit permit and a letter of invitation from someone in another country to travel abroad. Shortly after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, stringent travel laws were put in place to stem an exodus from Cuba. Now Cubans will require only a passport to travel internationally and can stay abroad for two years -- more than twice as long as the previous restriction -- without losing their property or ability to return to the island. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/13/world/americas/cuba-travel-restrictions]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Pakistan]]i 'Tahrir Square'| 14 Jan 2013| Thousands of protesters descended on Islamabad in night's cold weather, filling part of the "blue zone" in the center of the Pakistani capital. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. Much of Pakistan watched in anticipation as thousands of people, led by Qadri, headed toward Islamabad with police and soldiers lining the rally route. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/world/asia/pakistan-qadri-march]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Beijing]] Pollution Hits Highs | 14 Jan 2013|China's capital endured its worst air pollution in recent memory, illustrating the persistent challenge the nation's new leaders face in addressing environmental woes. Officials called for residents to stay home and avoid exercising outside after the murky air darkened the skies over Beijing and surrounding areas. China's government is under pressure to clean up the country's environmental problems, a legacy of more than three decades of untrammeled economic growth. [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324235104578239142337079994.html]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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] }}
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{{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]}}
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{{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 moving 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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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==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|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| [[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==
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==April 2013==
{{newsitem|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 [http://www.cntraveller.com/news/2011/november/events-around-the-world-in-december].}}
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{{newsitem| [[China]] quake: Massive rescue operation in [[Sichuan]]|22 Apr 2013| China is continuing a massive rescue operation in Sichuan province, deploying thousands of workers, after a powerful earthquake on 20 Apr 2013. Rescue workers are using dynamite and heavy equipment to get through roads blocked by landslides to reach remote areas, reports say. But reaching these areas has been a struggle, with bad weather and powerful aftershocks contributing to delays. At least 188 people are known to have died in the quake, says state media. More than 11,500 others have also been reported injured. More than 18,000 soldiers and police have been mobilised in the rescue efforts, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22244805] }}
  
{{newsitem|General strike could disrupt [[Europe]]an 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.[http://www.travelmole.com]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Egypt]] resumes hot air balloon in [[Luxor]]|22 Apr 2013| Egypt resumed hot air balloon sightseeing in the ancient city of Luxor, weeks after a fiery accident led authorities to halt the flights. Mohammed Ibrahim Sherif, head of the civil aviation authority, said the first hot air balloon was launched in the southern city after safety measures required by his office were implemented. He said five out of seven companies have been allowed to resume the flights. Authorities suspended flights after 19 tourists were killed on 26 Feb when their balloon caught fire and crashed in a sugar cane field. Ballooning experts say the accident was the worst in the sport’s 200-year history. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egypt-resumes-hot-air-balloon-sightseeing-in-luxor-suspended-after-19-killed-in-crash/2013/04/21/c960c452-aa71-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html] }}
  
{{newsitem|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. [http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/egyptians-protest-presidents-power-grab/]}}
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{{newsitem| [[New Orleans]] new airport terminal|22 Apr 2013| New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city plans a new $650 million terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in suburban Kenner. New terminal will increase convenience for passengers and provide a more modern, cost-efficient facility to lower costs for airlines. The terminal would be on the north side of the existing terminal structure, which is more than 50 years old. Landrieu said officials hope to break ground early next year and have the new building open by 5 May 2018 - when the city celebrates the 300th anniversary of its founding as a French colony. [http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/04/18/new-orleans-eyes-new-650-million-airport-terminal/2094081/] }}
  
{{newsitem|[[Syria]]n 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. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/syrian-warplanes-bomb-olive-oil-factory-20-killed-17820388#.ULUl7YaGxSE]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Jordan]]: tensions between [[Syria]]n refugees and host community|22 Apr 2013| More than 500,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan since the onset of the conflict in their country more than two years ago, according to the Amman government and the United Nations — a figure equal to nearly one-tenth of Jordan’s population. While 160,000 are housed in refu­gee camps, the vast majority have been living in cities, where their presence is stoking tensions with an increasingly resentful host community and posing what Jordanian officials call one of the greatest crises the country has faced in decades. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-jordan-tensions-rise-between-syrian-refugees-and-host-community/2013/04/21/d4f5fa24-a762-11e2-a8e2-5b98cb59187f_story.html] }}
  
{{newsitem|[[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 [[Russia]]n 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.[http://www.travelmole.com]}}
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{{newsitem| General strike in [[Bangladesh]] |17-18 Apr 2013| Strikes and protests have been taking place across the country in response to the trials of alleged war criminals. Hefajat-e-Islam called a country-wide programme of protests and demonstrations followed by a two day hartal (general strike) from Wednesday, 17 Apr to Thursday, 18 Apr 2013. [http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangladesh] }}
  
{{newsitem|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]].[http://www.germany.travel/en/specials/christmas/christmas.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[China]] to open disputed islands to tourism |12 Apr 2013| Sightseeing cruises to China's newest city, Sansha, located on a disputed island in the South China Sea, are set to commence this month, according to a Chinese official. The move is certain to add to the dispute over sovereignty claims to the area. Woody Island, known as Yongxing Island in Chinese, has a population of about a thousand, including military personnel. It's located 300 km southeast of [[Hainan]] and was established as China's latest prefecture in Jun 2012. The city of Sansha has the smallest land area, but the largest sea area in China. Sansha's government has been set up to administer the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands) and the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands), which include Woody Island. The islands are partly claimed by [[Vietnam]], [[Malaysia]], the [[Philippines]], [[Brunei]] and [[Taiwan]]. [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/08/travel/china-island-tourism/index.html] }}
  
{{newsitem|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 [http://www.folkfair.org/index.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Syria]]n Troops Widen Offensive in Border Areas |12 Apr 2013|Syrian soldiers backed by warplanes battled rebels for control of strategic hilltop villages near the Lebanese border, as government troops step up counterattacks against opposition forces threatening regime supply lines on the country's frontiers. Bomb blasts and shots fired into the air to mourn a fallen Syrian government soldier could be heard on the Lebanese side of the border as fighting raged around Qusair, a contested central Syrian town near a key highway between [[Damascus]] and the coast. The battles there came as government forces launched a second offensive against rebels in the province of Daraa on the [[Jordan]]ian border, where the opposition has been making steady advances in recent weeks. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/syrian-troops-widen-offensive-border-areas-18942813#.UWh9NlesnX8]}}
  
{{newsitem|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. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egyptian-delegation-to-visit-besieged-gaza-strip/2012/11/15/d059d6dc-2f4b-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html]}}
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{{newsitem| [[South Sudan]] border to be opened |12 Apr 2013| President Omar al-Bashir of [[Sudan]] has ordered the border with [[South Sudan]] to be opened. He announced the move on a first visit to the South since its independence. Speaking alongside his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, Mr Bashir also called for peace and normal relations. Tensions between the two countries, strained after they came to the brink of war last year, have eased recently, but disagreements over oil and territory remain. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22119556]}}
  
{{newsitem|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. [http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/leonid-meteor-shower-2012-shooting-stars-saturday-morning].}}
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{{newsitem| Bomb attacks on mosques in [[Iraq]] |12 Apr 2013| At least 11 people have died and more than 30 were wounded in bomb attacks at mosques in Iraq's capital [[Baghdad]] and in the province of Diyala. The highest casualty toll occurred in Kanaan, Diyala, some 75 km (47 mi) north-east of Baghdad. The bomb went off as Sunni worshippers were leaving Friday prayers at the Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque. The attacks come ahead of Iraq's provincial elections on 20 Apr; the first in the country since 2010. Tensions are high between Iraq's Sunni and Shia, amid claims by the majority Sunni Muslim communities that they are being marginalised by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shia-led government. Sunni Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have attempted to destabilise the government by stepping up attacks, mainly on Shia but also Sunni targets this year. In recent weeks more than 11 election candidates have been shot dead [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22128070] }}
  
{{newsitem|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.[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20351971].}}
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{{newsitem| [[Venezuela]] election: massive rallies mark campaign end |12 Apr 2013| The main Venezuelan presidential hopefuls ended their campaigns with massive rallies, ahead of Sunday's election of a successor to President Hugo Chavez, who died last month. Hundreds of thousands of acting president, Nicolas Maduro's, supporters took to the streets of [[Caracas]]. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles spoke to another large crowd in the northern city of [[Acarigua]]. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22118683] }}
  
{{newsitem|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 [http://goindia.about.com/od/festivalsevents/tp/india-in-november.htm].}}  
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{{newsitem| [[Brazil]]ian state of [[Acre]] in illegal immigration alert |12 Apr 2013| The Brazilian state of Acre has declared a state of emergency after a surge of illegal immigrants from neighboring [[Bolivia]] and [[Peru]]. Officials said most of the immigrants originally came from [[Haiti]] but others had come from as far afield as [[Bangladesh]], [[Senegal]] and [[Nigeria]]. They said about 1,700 illegal migrants had arrived during the past two weeks. Acre, in the Amazon region, has asked for additional funding from the federal government to cope with the influx. More than 5,000 Haitians have arrived in Acre since 2010, but in recent months there has been an increase in immigration from Senegal, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh. Officials say the routes through Peru and Bolivia have become popular with people smugglers because dense vegetation makes it difficult for border police to patrol them. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22106284]}}
  
{{newsitem|[[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[http://www.konacoffeefest.com/].}}  
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{{newsitem| [[Korea]] crisis: UN warns of serious implications |4 Apr 2013| UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to [[North Korea]] to change course, saying it has "gone too far" in its rhetoric. He said he was concerned any "unwanted crisis" on the Korean peninsula would have "very serious implications". The warning came hours after South Korea's foreign minister said the North had shifted a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22035531] }}
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{{newsitem| Quake hits off [[Philippines]] shore |4 Apr 2013| A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck offshore in northeastern Philippines, the United States Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages. The quake struck about 100 miles northeast of [[Manila]] and had a depth of 23 miles, the USGS said. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/world/asia/philippines-quake] }}
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{{newsitem| Samoa Air starts charging overweight passengers more|4 Apr 2013| Samoa Air has become the world's first airline to implement "pay as you weigh" flights, meaning overweight passengers pay more for their seats. Under the new system, Samoa Air passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline's website. The rates vary depending on the distance flown: from US$1 per kilogram on the airline's shortest domestic route to about US$4.16 per kg for travel between [[Samoa]] and [[American Samoa]]. Passengers are then weighed again on scales at the airport, to check that they weren't fibbing online. [http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/airline-to-charge-overweight-passengers-more-20130402-2h495.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Fearful female tourists avoid [[India]]|4 Apr 2013| The number of foreign women tourists visiting [[India]] has dropped by 35 per cent in the past three months following a spate of sex attacks that have made global headlines. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) says overall tourist arrivals are down 25 per cent year-on-year, with holidaymakers opting instead to visit other Asian countries such as [[Malaysia]] and [[Thailand]]. The fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old Indian student by six men on a bus in [[New Delhi]] in December sparked outrage over the country's treatment of women, and since then there have been other widely reported attacks. These incidents have "raised concerns about the safety of female travellers to the country", said D.S. Rawat, secretary general at ASSOCHAM, which surveyed 1200 tour operators from different cities. "The situation has been further aggravated by the advisory issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid India," added the release from ASSOCHAM. [http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/fearful-female-tourists-avoid-india-20130401-2h2ue.html] }}
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{{newsitem| [[Jordan]] Aid to Rebels Raises Tensions With [[Syria]] |4 Apr 2013| Jordan tightened security along its border with Syria, doubling the number of soldiers as President Bashar Assad's regime warned the kingdom is "playing with fire" by allowing the US and other countries to train and arm Syrian rebels on its territory. The warning, coinciding with significant rebel advances near the border, plays into Jordanian fears that its larger neighbor might try to retaliate for its support of the opposition fighters. The stepped up security also reflects the kingdom's fears that the chaos from Syria's 2-year-old civil war could lead to a failed state on its doorstep where Islamic militants have a free hand. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/jordan-aid-rebels-raises-tensions-syria-18883373#.UV4J21fgZCU]}}
  
{{newsitem|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[http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-fall-2012].}}
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==March 2013==
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{{newsitem| [[Peru]] Declares Amazon Oil Contamination Emergency |25 Mar 2013|  Peru's government has declared an environmental state of emergency in an Amazon jungle region due to years of contamination from oil drilling it blames on Pluspetrol, the country's biggest oil and natural gas producer.Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal deemed inadequate Argentine-owned Pluspetrol's cleanup of oil spills in the Pastaza river region bordering Ecuador. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/peru-declares-amazon-oil-contamination-emergency-18809753#.UVDoq1fgZCU] }}
  
==October 2012==
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{{newsitem| Magnitude-6.2 Quake Hits Near [[Guatemala City]] |25 Mar 2013| The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude-6.2 earthquake has struck near Guatemala City. Guatemalan authorities had no immediate reports of damage. The USGS said Monday that the earthquake was located 3 miles (6 kilometers) northwest of San Jose Pinula and had a depth of 200 kilometers (124 miles). [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/magnitude-62-quake-hits-guatemala-city-18810268#.UVDoTFfgZCU] }}
  
{{newsitem|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 [http://themeparks.about.com/od/californiathemeparktrips/a/2011-California-Theme-Park-Halloween-Events.htm].}}
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{{newsitem| [[Syria]]n Rebels Advance |25 Mar 2013| A dual picture of Syria's rebellion is emerging: Fighters on the ground make advances, seizing territory in the south and even firing one of the heaviest mortar volleys yet into the heart of Damascus. But at the same time, the would-be opposition leadership is falling deeper into disarray. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/syrian-rebels-advance-oblivious-infighting-18808972#.UVDpAVfgZCU] }}
  
{{newsitem|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]].[http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-fall-2012]}}  
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{{newsitem| FCO warning after increase in attacks on women in [[India]] |25 Mar 2013| Travelers to [[India]] have been warned over increasing sexual assaults against women visiting the country. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice in the wake of the recent rape of a Swiss tourist. “Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group,” the FCO said. [http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2013/03/19/43503/fco+warning+after+increase+in+attacks+on+women+in+india.html] }}
  
{{newsitem|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]][http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricane-sandy-heads-north-east-coast-readies-perfect].}}  
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{{newsitem| Chinese Airline Will Sell Cars On Board |15 Mar 2013| According to Bloomberg, China's Spring Airlines Co., the nation's biggest privately-owned carrier, plans to start selling Chinese-branded automobiles on flights as early as next month. Zhang Wu'An, a spokesman at the Shanghai-based company, said the cars will be priced from about 100,000 yuan ($16,000), but details on makes and models have not yet been publicized. Founded in 2005, Spring Airlines is China's only no-frills, budget carrier. The airline made headlines a few years ago when they considered standing-only flights. The carrier flies to more than 20 cities throughout [[China]], plus to international destinations in [[Hong Kong]], [[Japan]], [[Macau]], [[Thailand]] and [[Cambodia]]. }}
  
{{newsitem|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 [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20087416]. 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 [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20087416]. 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[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9634345/Syria-Bashar-al-Assad-agrees-to-ceasefire-but-rebels-advance-in-Aleppo.html].}}  
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{{newsitem| [[EU]] unveils new air passenger rights |15 Mar 2013| The European Commission says the new rules, which are not likely to become law until 2014, will give a lot more certainty to airlines and passengers. They include rerouting travellers with rival carriers if a flight is delayed for more than 12 hours and clarify what are considered exceptional circumstances for compensation. During the Icelandic ash cloud crisis in 2010, when no flights could take off in Europe for several days, there was much confusion about how much responsibility the airlines should carry for the welfare of its passengers. Some airlines were initially very reluctant to cover passengers' costs, but threats from the European authorities brought them into line. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21767040] }}
  
==July 2012==
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{{newsitem| Hugo Chavez Coffin Parades Past [[Venezuela]]'s Ills |15 Mar 2013| The road from the military academy where Hugo Chavez's body has been lying in state to the hilltop museum where he'll be displayed indefinitely is lined with some of the most dangerous slums on the planet. It runs under bridges in dire need of repair and past grocery stores with few groceries. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans gathered along that route to watch the late president's body cross the city in yet another choreographed show designed to keep Chavez supporters in thrall, at least until an April 14 election to replace him. Afterward, people will have to go on living with the problems that Chavez left behind. This tense, relentlessly gray capital embodies many of Venezuela's problems, with crumbling apartment towers and food lines often sharing the same sidewalk with cheering crowds eager to greet their departed Comandante. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuelans-left-problems-chavez-death-18739451]}}
{{newsitem|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 .[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18665522 BBC article] [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119 UNESCO WHS listing]}}
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{{newsitem|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. [http://www.festivalofpacificarts.com/index.html]}}
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==February 2013==
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{{newsitem| Rocket fired from [[Gaza]] into [[Israel]] |26 Feb 2013| Days after the death of a Palestinian in an Israeli prison, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel, the first such attack since a cease-fire took hold in November. Israeli police said they did not receive any reports of injuries from the rocket. The rocket fire prompted the Israel Defense Forces to close the Kerem Shalom Crossing near the Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian borders. The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel will be open only for medical cases, humanitarian aid or exceptional cases. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/26/world/meast/israel-gaza-rocket/index.html]}}
  
==June 2012==
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{{newsitem| Palestinians Urge Boycott of [[Jerusalem]] Marathon |26 Feb 2013| Palestinians are calling for a boycott of a marathon race in Jerusalem that winds through the city's eastern sector. Palestinians claim it as their capital. The third annual Jerusalem marathon takes on 1 March. Previous races have drawn thousands of runners from around the world and attracted international brands as sponsors. In a statement, the Palestine Liberation Organization called on marathon participants and sponsors to withdraw their support. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/palestinians-urge-boycott-jerusalem-marathon-18599134] }}
  
{{newsitem|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.}}
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{{newsitem| Balloon crash in [[Egypt]] |26 Feb 2013| Tourist balloon exploded over southern Egypt, killing 19, making it the world's deadliest hot air balloon accident in at least 20 years. Two people are hospitalized, including a British passenger and the pilot. It was a gas explosion that caused the balloon to fall about 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet). [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/26/world/africa/egypt-balloon-deaths/index.html]}}
  
==May 2012==
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{{newsitem| [[Macedonia]] Flooding |26 Feb 2013| Extensive flooding has hit Macedonia after three days of heavy rain, leaving one man dead, bridges wiped out and homes and fields inundated. Roughly 300 homes were flooded in the village of Josifovo, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital of [[Skopje]]. Hundreds more houses and commercial buildings were inundated in the southern village of Dabile, where the fire brigade was evacuating elderly residents. The central Pistica dam was described as being in a "critical" situation, with authorities concerned it could collapse. Nearby, thousands of hectares (acres) of fields were flooded and 20,000 people were without electricity in the town of [[Sveti Nikole]], the National Crisis Management Center said. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/macedonian-homes-flooded-villages-cut-off-18597050] }}
  
{{newsitem|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.[http://colombiareports.com/travel-in-colombia/113-general/24252-low-cost-airline-vivacolombia-takes-to-the-skies.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Diamonds heist in [[Brussel]]s Airport |25 Feb 2013| An investigation has been launched after armed robbers broke into Brussels Airport and stole diamonds worth more than £32million. in a meticulously planned heist lasting less than five minutes, eight armed men burst through the airport's security barrier in a fake police car before driving up to a security van parked on the runway next to the Swiss passenger aircraft. A Brussels Airport police spokesman said a full investigation has been launched into the raid, which has seriously thrown into doubt the security of the airport. [http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php]}}
  
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{{newsitem| Earthquakes in central [[Japan]]|25 Feb 2013| A magnitude 5.7 earthquake rattled central Japan, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. A second quake -- magnitude 4.6 quake -- struck several minutes later. The Japan Meteorological Agency said no tsunami alert has been issued. The quake was centered about 143 kilometers (89 miles) north-northwest of [[Tokyo]] at a depth of 9.9 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the USGS. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/25/world/asia/japan-earthquake/index.html]}}
  
 +
{{newsitem| [[North Korea]]n nuclear test|12 Feb 2013| North Korea's nuclear test prompted united condemnation and a vow of tough action from the U.N. Security Council. [[South Korea]]n Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, repeating a statement to reporters outside council chambers, said the test violated council resolutions, and "there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security." The test probably took place near P'unggye and yielded "several kilotons," according to assessments cited by the U.S. director of national intelligence. It drew condemnation from around the globe and prompted the emergency Security Council session. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/11/world/asia/north-korea-seismic-disturbance/index.html]}}
  
{{newsitem|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.[http://www.iihf.com/channels-12/iihf-world-championship-wc12/home/welcome.html] }}
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{{newsitem| Fragile cease-fire, [[Syria]]|12 Feb 2013| In the western town of Tal Kalakh rebel fighters and government forces  have agreed to something remarkable- a cease-fire. While fragile, the agreement could be a blueprint for peace across more parts of the country, which has seen incessant bloodshed for 23 months. If the local cease-fire continues to hold, it would defy failures at the national and international levels to implement a meaningful halt in violence. Tal Kalakh, near Syria's border with Lebanon was one of the first cities to rebel against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It has seen heavy fighting since the uprising began. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/11/world/meast/syria-civil-war/index.html]}}
  
==April 2012==
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{{newsitem| Snow storms in the US|8 Feb 2013|[[New York]], [[New Jersey]], [[Rhode Island]], [[Connecticut]], [[Massachusetts]] and other parts of [[New England]] were hunkered down for blinding snowstorms, heavy winds, power outages and more than two feet of the white stuff in some regions. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for the New York City metro area, Connecticut and Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and coastal sections of New Hampshire and Maine. Some parts of New England should see the heaviest snow, while some coastal areas could be lashed by hurricane-force winds of nearly 75 mph. As part of a new effort to name winter storms, the Weather Channel dubbed the blizzard "Nemo." More than 4,500 flights in the region had been canceled. [http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/02/08/northeast-new-england-blizzard/1900077/]}}
{{newsitem|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. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17675399]}}
+
{{newsitem| The snowiest winter in [[Moscow]] in 100 years|8 Feb 2013|Recent heavy snow has produced major traffic jams in the capital of [[Russia]]. The traffic stopped in queues up to 20 km long. The weather caused bad visibility and icy roads. The airport services were affected, when the authorities had to divert even the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev's plane. The record amount of this winter's snow was confirmed by the Moscow city hall officer Pyotr Biryukov. He said more than two meters of snow have fallen from sky on Moscow since the beginning of the winter. [http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Moscow_experiences_the_snowiest_winter_in_100_years]}}
  
==March 2012==
+
{{newsitem| Rape case in [[Mexico|Mexican]] resort |8 Feb 2013|The allegations grabbed headlines across Mexico and around the globe: Hooded gunmen stormed into a beach bungalow and attacked a group of Spanish tourists, authorities said, raping six women and tying up a group of men with cell phone cables and bikini straps. The high-profile case in the Mexican resort city of [[Acapulco]] was a sharp reminder of significant security problems in a state that has seen violence surge even as homicide numbers in other hotspots across the country have started to dip. And it drew renewed attention to topics that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has steered out of the spotlight since he took office in December. Although still unconfirmed, there are suspicions the spanish tourists had previously bought drugs from the criminals. A reminder that tourists should avoid exposing themselves to dangerous situations.  [http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/06/mexico-acapulco-tourist-rape/1895735/]}}
{{newsitem|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. [http://www.walkaboutlove.org.il]}}
+
  
{{newsitem|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]].[http://www.japan-guide.com/news/0020.html]}}
+
{{newsitem| Pain and protests in [[Tunisia]]|8 Feb 2013| Tens of thousands of mourners and protesters wrapped in national flags crammed on to the leafy hillside of Tunis's historic Jellaz cemetery as assassinated Chokri Belaïd,an opposition leader,was buried. Chokri Belaïd had been one of the most outspoken critics of the post-revolution coalition government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. He appeared on television only this week to criticize a rise in political violence. Chokri Belaïd was shot dead in broad daylight after he had got into a car outside his [[Tunis]] home. In the crowd were teachers, lawyers, shop-owners and the unemployed, women in headscarves and without, many trade unionists, leftist and secular politicians. They said his death was a watermark for post-revolutionary Tunisia, which lit the spark for the Arab spring when its popular uprising toppled the dictatorship in January 2011. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/08/tunisia-general-strike-belaid-buried] }}
  
==February 2012==
+
{{newsitem| [[China]]'s great migration|8 Feb 2013| An unprecedented number of Chinese will travel home this year to be with family and friends during China's Lunar New Year, making it the world's largest annual migration of people. Their yearly homecoming has been repeated over and over for the past two decades, reuniting families in the villages with the workers who have fueled China's economic miracle.But that growth has come at a tremendous personal cost thanks in part to a household registration system called "hukou."The hukou is akin to an internal passport that divides the population into rural and urban residents. As such, migrant workers are prevented from accessing social services in the city they're working in. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/07/world/asia/china-lu-stout-great-migration/index.html] }}
  
 +
{{newsitem| Powerful quake strikes [[Solomon Islands]] region|8 Feb 2013| A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Solomon Islands. There were no immediate reports of a tsunami.The quake comes two days after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the same region, triggering a tsunami that killed five people but didn't threaten the wider region. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/08/world/asia/solomon-islands-quake/index.html] }}
  
{{newsitem|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 [[Japan's Top 3|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.}}
+
==January 2013==
 
+
{{newsitem| French troops in [[Mali]]|30 Jan 2013|French troops seized the airport in Mali's northern town of [[Kidal]], the last urban stronghold held by Islamist insurgents, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern [[Mali]] from rebel hands. [[France]] has deployed some 4,500 troops in a three-week ground and air offensive to break the Islamist rebels' 10-month grip on major northern towns. The mission is aimed at heading off the risk of Mali being used as a springboard for jihadist attacks in the wider region or Europe. The French military plans to gradually hand over to a larger African force, tasked with rooting out insurgents in their mountain redoubts near Algeria's border. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90S0OV20130130]}}
{{Newsitem|Floods in Eastern Australia|3 February 2012|Residents of the [[Australia]]n 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. [http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/residents-trapped-as-floodwaters-isolate-towns-20120203-1qxk6.html] [http://media.smh.com.au/news/environment-news/moree-and-taree-worst-hit-by-floods-2934288.html]}}
+
{{newsitem| Magnitude 6.8 quake shakes [[Chile]]|30 Jan 2013|A strong earthquake hit central-northern Chile, shaking buildings as far away as the capital [[Santiago]], and possibly leading a woman to die minutes later of an apparent heart attack, the U.S. Geological Survey and local officials said. There were no reports of serious damage. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.7, struck at a depth of 28.4 miles, 63 miles southwest of the mining town Copiapo and 364 miles north of Santiago. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/us-chile-quake-idUSBRE90T1BS20130130] }}
 
+
{{newsitem| Air France-KLM launches low-cost airline|30 Jan 2013| Hop! will operate 530 daily flights to 136 destinations in Europe from March 31 with one-way fares from 55 euros. The launch of the new airline - which has been created through the merger of regional units Brit Air, Regional Air and Airlinair - is part of a reshuffle of the group's loss-making short and medium-haul operations. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/29/uk-airfrance-hop-idUSLNE90S00S20130129]}}
{{Newsitem|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 [[Helsinki|capital region]]. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16868194] [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16860872] [http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Massive+delays+in+Helsinki+public+transport+as+accidents+caused+by+snow+and+ice+compound+the+chilly+conditions+/1135270321801]}}
+
{{newsitem| Anniversary of [[Egypt]]ian Revolt| 25 Jan 2013| Tens of thousands of Egyptians filled Tahrir Square to observe the second anniversary of the revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak with a massive protest against the political ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood. There were parallel demonstrations in several other cities, and minor clashes between protesters and security forces in [[Alexandria]], [[Cairo]] and elsewhere.Protesters at times seemed to be re-enacting scenes from the 18-day revolt that toppled Mr. Mubarak two years ago. The loudest chants were recycled from the revolution — “Leave, leave” and “The people want the fall of the regime.” Others were adapted slightly to focus on the Islamist Brotherhood, calling for an end to “the rule by the supreme guide,” Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader.[http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/tens-of-thousands-fill-tahrir-square-on-anniversary-of-egyptian-revolt.html] }}
 
+
{{newsitem| [[Iraq]]i Protesters Confront Army| 25 Jan 2013| At least seven protesters and two soldiers were killed in clashes that started after Iraqi Army forces opened fire on demonstrators who had pelted them with rocks on the outskirts of Falluja, west of [[Baghdad]]. It was the first deadly confrontation in more than a month of antigovernment protests by mostly Sunni opponents of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. As a result, a curfew was imposed on Falluja later that day. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/clashes-turn-deadly-after-iraqi-forces-open-fire-on-protesters.html] }}
 
+
{{newsitem| Turmoil in the [[Sahara]]| 25 Jan 2013| Hundreds of battle-hardened nomadic Tuareg rebels storm towns in [[Mali]]’s northern desert, using weapons seized after they fought for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in [[Libya]]. They reinvigorate a longstanding rebellion there, overwhelming the poorly equipped Malian forces with whom they clashed in the 1960s, the early 1990s and again in 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/18/world/africa/mali-algeria-timeline.html]}}
{{Newsitem|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). [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16866872]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Syria]]n Refugees Entering [[Jordan]] in Record Numbers| 25 Jan 2013| Syrians are fleeing into Jordan in record numbers to escape escalating violence and destruction in their country that is making it increasingly difficult for civilians to survive, said the United Nations refugee agency. More than 4,000 Syrians arrived at a camp in [[Zaatari]] in northern Jordan on Jan 24th and another 2,000 people overnight, Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said. The number of Syrian refugees in the region is approaching 700,000, the refugee agency said, with 221,000 registered as refugees in [[Lebanon]], 156,000 in [[Turkey]] and 76,000 in [[Iraq]]. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/syrian-refugees-entering-jordan-in-record-numbers-un-says.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[North Korea]] now turns ire to South| 25 Jan 2013| In its latest bout of saber-rattling, North Korea warned of the possibility of "strong physical counter-measures" against [[South Korea]] after the United Nations imposed tougher sanctions against the North earlier that week. The threat against South Korea came a day after the North said it would carry out a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the [[United States]]. The South Korean Unification Ministry declined to comment specifically on the new threats from [[Pyongyang]]. It reiterated its stance that North Korea should refrain from further provocations. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/25/world/asia/north-korea-threat-south/index.html]}}
 +
{{newsitem| [[Japan]] repels [[Taiwan]] activists near disputed islands| 25 Jan 2013|  Several Japanese Coast Guard ships fired water cannon and shouted warnings at a boat carrying Taiwanese activists who were attempting to land on islands disputed by [[Taiwan]], [[Japan]] and [[China]], a spokesman said. Through loud speakers, the Japanese Coast guard urged the activists and four Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels accompanying them, to retreat from waters around the islands, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan, and Diaoyu in China. The deterrent worked and the Taiwanese ships left the area, the Japanese Coast Guard said. According to state news agencies in Taiwan and China, the confrontation occurred about 28 nautical miles from the islands in the East China Sea. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/world/asia/japan-taiwant-diputed-islands/index.html]}}
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{{newsitem| Controversial x-ray scanners to be removed| 20 Jan 2013| The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has set to remove the privacy breaching full-body x-ray machines from 30 [[USA]] airports. [http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/tsa-remove-controversial-full-body-scanners-1B8038882]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Extreme snowfall in the UK| 19 Jan 2013|  Harsh snowfall has led to traffic, especially aviation to slow down, or even be cancelled in [[Great Britain]] During Friday the 18th, over 400 flights leaving [[London]] were cancelled and this is expected to continue well into the weekend. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21095132]}}
 +
{{newsitem| Boeing suspends the dreamliner 787| 19 Jan 2013| Due to technical malfunctions in the airplanes batteries, Boeing, the US based aerospace giant has seized delivering their mammoth planes until they are approved safe| [http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/boeing-suspends-deliveries-of-787-dreamliner/]}}
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{{newsitem| [[India]]n Kumbh Mela festival| 14 Jan- 10 March 2013| Millions of devout Hindus led by naked ascetics with ash smeared on their bodies plunged into the frigid waters of India's holy Ganges River in a ritual they believe can wash away their sins. The ceremony in the northern city of Allahabad took place on the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, one of the world's largest religious gatherings that lasts 55 days. Over 110 million people are expected to take a dip at the Sangam, the place where three rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — come together at the edge of this North Indian city. [http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/01/14/wrd-india-hindu-ganges-festival.html] }}
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{{newsitem| [[Cuba]] loosens travel restrictions| 14 Jan 2013|Cubans will no longer need an exit permit and a letter of invitation from someone in another country to travel abroad. Shortly after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, stringent travel laws were put in place to stem an exodus from Cuba. Now Cubans will require only a passport to travel internationally and can stay abroad for two years -- more than twice as long as the previous restriction -- without losing their property or ability to return to the island. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/13/world/americas/cuba-travel-restrictions]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Pakistan]]i 'Tahrir Square'| 14 Jan 2013| Thousands of protesters descended on Islamabad in night's cold weather, filling part of the "blue zone" in the center of the Pakistani capital. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. Much of Pakistan watched in anticipation as thousands of people, led by Qadri, headed toward Islamabad with police and soldiers lining the rally route. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/14/world/asia/pakistan-qadri-march]}}
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{{newsitem| [[Beijing]] Pollution Hits Highs | 14 Jan 2013|China's capital endured its worst air pollution in recent memory, illustrating the persistent challenge the nation's new leaders face in addressing environmental woes. Officials called for residents to stay home and avoid exercising outside after the murky air darkened the skies over Beijing and surrounding areas. China's government is under pressure to clean up the country's environmental problems, a legacy of more than three decades of untrammeled economic growth. [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324235104578239142337079994.html]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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] }}
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{{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]}}
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{{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 moving 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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
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{{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]}}
  
 
=Old News=
 
=Old News=
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* [[Travel news/2012|2012]]
 
*[[Travel news/2011|2011]]
 
*[[Travel news/2011|2011]]
 
*[[Travel news/2010|2010]]
 
*[[Travel news/2010|2010]]

Revision as of 21:04, 3 May 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

May

Nearly uncontrollable California wildfire grows

Nearly uncontrollable California wildfire grows

3 May 2013

A Los Angeles-area wildfire exploded from 10 acres to 10,000 acres in about 25 hours and threatened 4,000 homes, fire authorities said. The fire, which began on the 2 May, damaged 15 homes,15 outbuildings and five commercial properties, but none were destroyed and no one had been injured, authorities said. Energized by dryness and strong winds, the wildfire raged for a second day and threatened 300 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings, authorities said. The so-called Springs Fire was all but out of control in Ventura County. More than 950 fire and law enforcement personnel were able to contain only 10% of the blaze roaring near upscale houses and through the Santa Monica Mountains, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Evacuations orders were in effect in several areas, but officials lifted such orders for the campus of California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo and for the Dos Vientos community in Newbury Park, authorities said. [1]


Syria conflict: 'Dozens executed' in village

Syria conflict: 'Dozens executed' in village

3 May 2013

More than 40 people have been killed by government forces in a village in north-western Syria, activists say. The main opposition group accused the government of a "large-scale massacre". The Syrian Observatory, a UK-based activist group that monitors human rights violations on both sides of the conflict via a network of contacts, said the army was bombarding Sunni areas in Baniyas. [2]


Japan's Mount Fuji 'set for Unesco listing'

Japan's Mount Fuji 'set for Unesco listing'

3 May 2013

Japan's near-symetrical snow-topped volcano, Mount Fuji, looks likely to become a Unesco World Heritage site, officials say. A key UN advisory council had recommended it as appropriate for registration, a statement from Japan's cultural agency said. Mt Fuji, at 3,776 (12,460 feet) is Japan's highest mountain. The volcano, which last erupted just over 300 years ago, lies to the south-west of Tokyo and is visible from the Japanese capital on a clear day. It is featured prominently in historic Japanese art work, including wood blocks prints. It is also one of the traditional "Three Holy Mountains" - along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, both in central Japan. [3]


Attack on Everest climbers

Attack on Everest climbers

3 May 2013

Sherpas who attacked three European climbers on Everest were angry at the disrespect shown by "luxury adventurers" who demand tea in their tent on the world's highest peak, a British member of the group has claimed. The Sherpas claimed that the mountaineers had ignored their request not to climb over their ropes until they had finished fixing the route for guided expedition groups. [4]



April 2013

China quake: Massive rescue operation in Sichuan

China quake: Massive rescue operation in Sichuan

22 Apr 2013

China is continuing a massive rescue operation in Sichuan province, deploying thousands of workers, after a powerful earthquake on 20 Apr 2013. Rescue workers are using dynamite and heavy equipment to get through roads blocked by landslides to reach remote areas, reports say. But reaching these areas has been a struggle, with bad weather and powerful aftershocks contributing to delays. At least 188 people are known to have died in the quake, says state media. More than 11,500 others have also been reported injured. More than 18,000 soldiers and police have been mobilised in the rescue efforts, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday. [5]


Egypt resumes hot air balloon in Luxor

Egypt resumes hot air balloon in Luxor

22 Apr 2013

Egypt resumed hot air balloon sightseeing in the ancient city of Luxor, weeks after a fiery accident led authorities to halt the flights. Mohammed Ibrahim Sherif, head of the civil aviation authority, said the first hot air balloon was launched in the southern city after safety measures required by his office were implemented. He said five out of seven companies have been allowed to resume the flights. Authorities suspended flights after 19 tourists were killed on 26 Feb when their balloon caught fire and crashed in a sugar cane field. Ballooning experts say the accident was the worst in the sport’s 200-year history. [6]


New Orleans new airport terminal

New Orleans new airport terminal

22 Apr 2013

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city plans a new $650 million terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in suburban Kenner. New terminal will increase convenience for passengers and provide a more modern, cost-efficient facility to lower costs for airlines. The terminal would be on the north side of the existing terminal structure, which is more than 50 years old. Landrieu said officials hope to break ground early next year and have the new building open by 5 May 2018 - when the city celebrates the 300th anniversary of its founding as a French colony. [7]


Jordan: tensions between Syrian refugees and host community

Jordan: tensions between Syrian refugees and host community

22 Apr 2013

More than 500,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan since the onset of the conflict in their country more than two years ago, according to the Amman government and the United Nations — a figure equal to nearly one-tenth of Jordan’s population. While 160,000 are housed in refu­gee camps, the vast majority have been living in cities, where their presence is stoking tensions with an increasingly resentful host community and posing what Jordanian officials call one of the greatest crises the country has faced in decades. [8]


General strike in Bangladesh

General strike in Bangladesh

17-18 Apr 2013

Strikes and protests have been taking place across the country in response to the trials of alleged war criminals. Hefajat-e-Islam called a country-wide programme of protests and demonstrations followed by a two day hartal (general strike) from Wednesday, 17 Apr to Thursday, 18 Apr 2013. [9]


China to open disputed islands to tourism

China to open disputed islands to tourism

12 Apr 2013

Sightseeing cruises to China's newest city, Sansha, located on a disputed island in the South China Sea, are set to commence this month, according to a Chinese official. The move is certain to add to the dispute over sovereignty claims to the area. Woody Island, known as Yongxing Island in Chinese, has a population of about a thousand, including military personnel. It's located 300 km southeast of Hainan and was established as China's latest prefecture in Jun 2012. The city of Sansha has the smallest land area, but the largest sea area in China. Sansha's government has been set up to administer the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands) and the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands), which include Woody Island. The islands are partly claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan. [10]


Syrian Troops Widen Offensive in Border Areas

Syrian Troops Widen Offensive in Border Areas

12 Apr 2013

Syrian soldiers backed by warplanes battled rebels for control of strategic hilltop villages near the Lebanese border, as government troops step up counterattacks against opposition forces threatening regime supply lines on the country's frontiers. Bomb blasts and shots fired into the air to mourn a fallen Syrian government soldier could be heard on the Lebanese side of the border as fighting raged around Qusair, a contested central Syrian town near a key highway between Damascus and the coast. The battles there came as government forces launched a second offensive against rebels in the province of Daraa on the Jordanian border, where the opposition has been making steady advances in recent weeks. [11]


South Sudan border to be opened

South Sudan border to be opened

12 Apr 2013

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has ordered the border with South Sudan to be opened. He announced the move on a first visit to the South since its independence. Speaking alongside his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, Mr Bashir also called for peace and normal relations. Tensions between the two countries, strained after they came to the brink of war last year, have eased recently, but disagreements over oil and territory remain. [12]


Bomb attacks on mosques in Iraq

Bomb attacks on mosques in Iraq

12 Apr 2013

At least 11 people have died and more than 30 were wounded in bomb attacks at mosques in Iraq's capital Baghdad and in the province of Diyala. The highest casualty toll occurred in Kanaan, Diyala, some 75 km (47 mi) north-east of Baghdad. The bomb went off as Sunni worshippers were leaving Friday prayers at the Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque. The attacks come ahead of Iraq's provincial elections on 20 Apr; the first in the country since 2010. Tensions are high between Iraq's Sunni and Shia, amid claims by the majority Sunni Muslim communities that they are being marginalised by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shia-led government. Sunni Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have attempted to destabilise the government by stepping up attacks, mainly on Shia but also Sunni targets this year. In recent weeks more than 11 election candidates have been shot dead [13]


Venezuela election: massive rallies mark campaign end

Venezuela election: massive rallies mark campaign end

12 Apr 2013

The main Venezuelan presidential hopefuls ended their campaigns with massive rallies, ahead of Sunday's election of a successor to President Hugo Chavez, who died last month. Hundreds of thousands of acting president, Nicolas Maduro's, supporters took to the streets of Caracas. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles spoke to another large crowd in the northern city of Acarigua. [14]


Brazilian state of Acre in illegal immigration alert

Brazilian state of Acre in illegal immigration alert

12 Apr 2013

The Brazilian state of Acre has declared a state of emergency after a surge of illegal immigrants from neighboring Bolivia and Peru. Officials said most of the immigrants originally came from Haiti but others had come from as far afield as Bangladesh, Senegal and Nigeria. They said about 1,700 illegal migrants had arrived during the past two weeks. Acre, in the Amazon region, has asked for additional funding from the federal government to cope with the influx. More than 5,000 Haitians have arrived in Acre since 2010, but in recent months there has been an increase in immigration from Senegal, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh. Officials say the routes through Peru and Bolivia have become popular with people smugglers because dense vegetation makes it difficult for border police to patrol them. [15]


Korea crisis: UN warns of serious implications

Korea crisis: UN warns of serious implications

4 Apr 2013

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to North Korea to change course, saying it has "gone too far" in its rhetoric. He said he was concerned any "unwanted crisis" on the Korean peninsula would have "very serious implications". The warning came hours after South Korea's foreign minister said the North had shifted a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast. [16]


Quake hits off Philippines shore

Quake hits off Philippines shore

4 Apr 2013

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck offshore in northeastern Philippines, the United States Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages. The quake struck about 100 miles northeast of Manila and had a depth of 23 miles, the USGS said. [17]


Samoa Air starts charging overweight passengers more

Samoa Air starts charging overweight passengers more

4 Apr 2013

Samoa Air has become the world's first airline to implement "pay as you weigh" flights, meaning overweight passengers pay more for their seats. Under the new system, Samoa Air passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline's website. The rates vary depending on the distance flown: from US$1 per kilogram on the airline's shortest domestic route to about US$4.16 per kg for travel between Samoa and American Samoa. Passengers are then weighed again on scales at the airport, to check that they weren't fibbing online. [18]


Fearful female tourists avoid India

Fearful female tourists avoid India

4 Apr 2013

The number of foreign women tourists visiting India has dropped by 35 per cent in the past three months following a spate of sex attacks that have made global headlines. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) says overall tourist arrivals are down 25 per cent year-on-year, with holidaymakers opting instead to visit other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. The fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old Indian student by six men on a bus in New Delhi in December sparked outrage over the country's treatment of women, and since then there have been other widely reported attacks. These incidents have "raised concerns about the safety of female travellers to the country", said D.S. Rawat, secretary general at ASSOCHAM, which surveyed 1200 tour operators from different cities. "The situation has been further aggravated by the advisory issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid India," added the release from ASSOCHAM. [19]


Jordan Aid to Rebels Raises Tensions With Syria

Jordan Aid to Rebels Raises Tensions With Syria

4 Apr 2013

Jordan tightened security along its border with Syria, doubling the number of soldiers as President Bashar Assad's regime warned the kingdom is "playing with fire" by allowing the US and other countries to train and arm Syrian rebels on its territory. The warning, coinciding with significant rebel advances near the border, plays into Jordanian fears that its larger neighbor might try to retaliate for its support of the opposition fighters. The stepped up security also reflects the kingdom's fears that the chaos from Syria's 2-year-old civil war could lead to a failed state on its doorstep where Islamic militants have a free hand. [20]


March 2013

Peru Declares Amazon Oil Contamination Emergency

Peru Declares Amazon Oil Contamination Emergency

25 Mar 2013

Peru's government has declared an environmental state of emergency in an Amazon jungle region due to years of contamination from oil drilling it blames on Pluspetrol, the country's biggest oil and natural gas producer.Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal deemed inadequate Argentine-owned Pluspetrol's cleanup of oil spills in the Pastaza river region bordering Ecuador. [21]


Magnitude-6.2 Quake Hits Near Guatemala City

Magnitude-6.2 Quake Hits Near Guatemala City

25 Mar 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude-6.2 earthquake has struck near Guatemala City. Guatemalan authorities had no immediate reports of damage. The USGS said Monday that the earthquake was located 3 miles (6 kilometers) northwest of San Jose Pinula and had a depth of 200 kilometers (124 miles). [22]


Syrian Rebels Advance

Syrian Rebels Advance

25 Mar 2013

A dual picture of Syria's rebellion is emerging: Fighters on the ground make advances, seizing territory in the south and even firing one of the heaviest mortar volleys yet into the heart of Damascus. But at the same time, the would-be opposition leadership is falling deeper into disarray. [23]


FCO warning after increase in attacks on women in India

FCO warning after increase in attacks on women in India

25 Mar 2013

Travelers to India have been warned over increasing sexual assaults against women visiting the country. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice in the wake of the recent rape of a Swiss tourist. “Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group,” the FCO said. [24]


Chinese Airline Will Sell Cars On Board

Chinese Airline Will Sell Cars On Board

15 Mar 2013

According to Bloomberg, China's Spring Airlines Co., the nation's biggest privately-owned carrier, plans to start selling Chinese-branded automobiles on flights as early as next month. Zhang Wu'An, a spokesman at the Shanghai-based company, said the cars will be priced from about 100,000 yuan ($16,000), but details on makes and models have not yet been publicized. Founded in 2005, Spring Airlines is China's only no-frills, budget carrier. The airline made headlines a few years ago when they considered standing-only flights. The carrier flies to more than 20 cities throughout China, plus to international destinations in Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Thailand and Cambodia.


EU unveils new air passenger rights

EU unveils new air passenger rights

15 Mar 2013

The European Commission says the new rules, which are not likely to become law until 2014, will give a lot more certainty to airlines and passengers. They include rerouting travellers with rival carriers if a flight is delayed for more than 12 hours and clarify what are considered exceptional circumstances for compensation. During the Icelandic ash cloud crisis in 2010, when no flights could take off in Europe for several days, there was much confusion about how much responsibility the airlines should carry for the welfare of its passengers. Some airlines were initially very reluctant to cover passengers' costs, but threats from the European authorities brought them into line. [25]


Hugo Chavez Coffin Parades Past Venezuela's Ills

Hugo Chavez Coffin Parades Past Venezuela's Ills

15 Mar 2013

The road from the military academy where Hugo Chavez's body has been lying in state to the hilltop museum where he'll be displayed indefinitely is lined with some of the most dangerous slums on the planet. It runs under bridges in dire need of repair and past grocery stores with few groceries. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans gathered along that route to watch the late president's body cross the city in yet another choreographed show designed to keep Chavez supporters in thrall, at least until an April 14 election to replace him. Afterward, people will have to go on living with the problems that Chavez left behind. This tense, relentlessly gray capital embodies many of Venezuela's problems, with crumbling apartment towers and food lines often sharing the same sidewalk with cheering crowds eager to greet their departed Comandante. [26]


February 2013

Rocket fired from Gaza into Israel

Rocket fired from Gaza into Israel

26 Feb 2013

Days after the death of a Palestinian in an Israeli prison, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel, the first such attack since a cease-fire took hold in November. Israeli police said they did not receive any reports of injuries from the rocket. The rocket fire prompted the Israel Defense Forces to close the Kerem Shalom Crossing near the Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian borders. The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel will be open only for medical cases, humanitarian aid or exceptional cases. [27]


Palestinians Urge Boycott of Jerusalem Marathon

Palestinians Urge Boycott of Jerusalem Marathon

26 Feb 2013

Palestinians are calling for a boycott of a marathon race in Jerusalem that winds through the city's eastern sector. Palestinians claim it as their capital. The third annual Jerusalem marathon takes on 1 March. Previous races have drawn thousands of runners from around the world and attracted international brands as sponsors. In a statement, the Palestine Liberation Organization called on marathon participants and sponsors to withdraw their support. [28]


Balloon crash in Egypt

Balloon crash in Egypt

26 Feb 2013

Tourist balloon exploded over southern Egypt, killing 19, making it the world's deadliest hot air balloon accident in at least 20 years. Two people are hospitalized, including a British passenger and the pilot. It was a gas explosion that caused the balloon to fall about 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet). [29]


Macedonia Flooding

Macedonia Flooding

26 Feb 2013

Extensive flooding has hit Macedonia after three days of heavy rain, leaving one man dead, bridges wiped out and homes and fields inundated. Roughly 300 homes were flooded in the village of Josifovo, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital of Skopje. Hundreds more houses and commercial buildings were inundated in the southern village of Dabile, where the fire brigade was evacuating elderly residents. The central Pistica dam was described as being in a "critical" situation, with authorities concerned it could collapse. Nearby, thousands of hectares (acres) of fields were flooded and 20,000 people were without electricity in the town of Sveti Nikole, the National Crisis Management Center said. [30]


Diamonds heist in Brussels Airport

Diamonds heist in Brussels Airport

25 Feb 2013

An investigation has been launched after armed robbers broke into Brussels Airport and stole diamonds worth more than £32million. in a meticulously planned heist lasting less than five minutes, eight armed men burst through the airport's security barrier in a fake police car before driving up to a security van parked on the runway next to the Swiss passenger aircraft. A Brussels Airport police spokesman said a full investigation has been launched into the raid, which has seriously thrown into doubt the security of the airport. [31]


Earthquakes in central Japan

Earthquakes in central Japan

25 Feb 2013

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake rattled central Japan, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. A second quake -- magnitude 4.6 quake -- struck several minutes later. The Japan Meteorological Agency said no tsunami alert has been issued. The quake was centered about 143 kilometers (89 miles) north-northwest of Tokyo at a depth of 9.9 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the USGS. [32]


North Korean nuclear test

North Korean nuclear test

12 Feb 2013

North Korea's nuclear test prompted united condemnation and a vow of tough action from the U.N. Security Council. South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, repeating a statement to reporters outside council chambers, said the test violated council resolutions, and "there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security." The test probably took place near P'unggye and yielded "several kilotons," according to assessments cited by the U.S. director of national intelligence. It drew condemnation from around the globe and prompted the emergency Security Council session. [33]


Fragile cease-fire, Syria

Fragile cease-fire, Syria

12 Feb 2013

In the western town of Tal Kalakh rebel fighters and government forces have agreed to something remarkable- a cease-fire. While fragile, the agreement could be a blueprint for peace across more parts of the country, which has seen incessant bloodshed for 23 months. If the local cease-fire continues to hold, it would defy failures at the national and international levels to implement a meaningful halt in violence. Tal Kalakh, near Syria's border with Lebanon was one of the first cities to rebel against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It has seen heavy fighting since the uprising began. [34]


Snow storms in the US

Snow storms in the US

8 Feb 2013

New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and other parts of New England were hunkered down for blinding snowstorms, heavy winds, power outages and more than two feet of the white stuff in some regions. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for the New York City metro area, Connecticut and Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and coastal sections of New Hampshire and Maine. Some parts of New England should see the heaviest snow, while some coastal areas could be lashed by hurricane-force winds of nearly 75 mph. As part of a new effort to name winter storms, the Weather Channel dubbed the blizzard "Nemo." More than 4,500 flights in the region had been canceled. [35]


The snowiest winter in Moscow in 100 years

The snowiest winter in Moscow in 100 years

8 Feb 2013

Recent heavy snow has produced major traffic jams in the capital of Russia. The traffic stopped in queues up to 20 km long. The weather caused bad visibility and icy roads. The airport services were affected, when the authorities had to divert even the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev's plane. The record amount of this winter's snow was confirmed by the Moscow city hall officer Pyotr Biryukov. He said more than two meters of snow have fallen from sky on Moscow since the beginning of the winter. [36]


Rape case in Mexican resort

Rape case in Mexican resort

8 Feb 2013

The allegations grabbed headlines across Mexico and around the globe: Hooded gunmen stormed into a beach bungalow and attacked a group of Spanish tourists, authorities said, raping six women and tying up a group of men with cell phone cables and bikini straps. The high-profile case in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco was a sharp reminder of significant security problems in a state that has seen violence surge even as homicide numbers in other hotspots across the country have started to dip. And it drew renewed attention to topics that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has steered out of the spotlight since he took office in December. Although still unconfirmed, there are suspicions the spanish tourists had previously bought drugs from the criminals. A reminder that tourists should avoid exposing themselves to dangerous situations. [37]


Pain and protests in Tunisia

Pain and protests in Tunisia

8 Feb 2013

Tens of thousands of mourners and protesters wrapped in national flags crammed on to the leafy hillside of Tunis's historic Jellaz cemetery as assassinated Chokri Belaïd,an opposition leader,was buried. Chokri Belaïd had been one of the most outspoken critics of the post-revolution coalition government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. He appeared on television only this week to criticize a rise in political violence. Chokri Belaïd was shot dead in broad daylight after he had got into a car outside his Tunis home. In the crowd were teachers, lawyers, shop-owners and the unemployed, women in headscarves and without, many trade unionists, leftist and secular politicians. They said his death was a watermark for post-revolutionary Tunisia, which lit the spark for the Arab spring when its popular uprising toppled the dictatorship in January 2011. [38]


China's great migration

China's great migration

8 Feb 2013

An unprecedented number of Chinese will travel home this year to be with family and friends during China's Lunar New Year, making it the world's largest annual migration of people. Their yearly homecoming has been repeated over and over for the past two decades, reuniting families in the villages with the workers who have fueled China's economic miracle.But that growth has come at a tremendous personal cost thanks in part to a household registration system called "hukou."The hukou is akin to an internal passport that divides the population into rural and urban residents. As such, migrant workers are prevented from accessing social services in the city they're working in. [39]


Powerful quake strikes Solomon Islands region

Powerful quake strikes Solomon Islands region

8 Feb 2013

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Solomon Islands. There were no immediate reports of a tsunami.The quake comes two days after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the same region, triggering a tsunami that killed five people but didn't threaten the wider region. [40]


January 2013

French troops in Mali

French troops in Mali

30 Jan 2013

French troops seized the airport in Mali's northern town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist insurgents, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. France has deployed some 4,500 troops in a three-week ground and air offensive to break the Islamist rebels' 10-month grip on major northern towns. The mission is aimed at heading off the risk of Mali being used as a springboard for jihadist attacks in the wider region or Europe. The French military plans to gradually hand over to a larger African force, tasked with rooting out insurgents in their mountain redoubts near Algeria's border. [41]


Magnitude 6.8 quake shakes Chile

Magnitude 6.8 quake shakes Chile

30 Jan 2013

A strong earthquake hit central-northern Chile, shaking buildings as far away as the capital Santiago, and possibly leading a woman to die minutes later of an apparent heart attack, the U.S. Geological Survey and local officials said. There were no reports of serious damage. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.7, struck at a depth of 28.4 miles, 63 miles southwest of the mining town Copiapo and 364 miles north of Santiago. [42]


Air France-KLM launches low-cost airline

Air France-KLM launches low-cost airline

30 Jan 2013

Hop! will operate 530 daily flights to 136 destinations in Europe from March 31 with one-way fares from 55 euros. The launch of the new airline - which has been created through the merger of regional units Brit Air, Regional Air and Airlinair - is part of a reshuffle of the group's loss-making short and medium-haul operations. [43]


Anniversary of Egyptian Revolt

Anniversary of Egyptian Revolt

25 Jan 2013

Tens of thousands of Egyptians filled Tahrir Square to observe the second anniversary of the revolt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak with a massive protest against the political ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood. There were parallel demonstrations in several other cities, and minor clashes between protesters and security forces in Alexandria, Cairo and elsewhere.Protesters at times seemed to be re-enacting scenes from the 18-day revolt that toppled Mr. Mubarak two years ago. The loudest chants were recycled from the revolution — “Leave, leave” and “The people want the fall of the regime.” Others were adapted slightly to focus on the Islamist Brotherhood, calling for an end to “the rule by the supreme guide,” Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader.[44]


Iraqi Protesters Confront Army

Iraqi Protesters Confront Army

25 Jan 2013

At least seven protesters and two soldiers were killed in clashes that started after Iraqi Army forces opened fire on demonstrators who had pelted them with rocks on the outskirts of Falluja, west of Baghdad. It was the first deadly confrontation in more than a month of antigovernment protests by mostly Sunni opponents of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. As a result, a curfew was imposed on Falluja later that day. [45]


Turmoil in the Sahara

Turmoil in the Sahara

25 Jan 2013

Hundreds of battle-hardened nomadic Tuareg rebels storm towns in Mali’s northern desert, using weapons seized after they fought for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya. They reinvigorate a longstanding rebellion there, overwhelming the poorly equipped Malian forces with whom they clashed in the 1960s, the early 1990s and again in 2006. [46]


Syrian Refugees Entering Jordan in Record Numbers

Syrian Refugees Entering Jordan in Record Numbers

25 Jan 2013

Syrians are fleeing into Jordan in record numbers to escape escalating violence and destruction in their country that is making it increasingly difficult for civilians to survive, said the United Nations refugee agency. More than 4,000 Syrians arrived at a camp in Zaatari in northern Jordan on Jan 24th and another 2,000 people overnight, Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said. The number of Syrian refugees in the region is approaching 700,000, the refugee agency said, with 221,000 registered as refugees in Lebanon, 156,000 in Turkey and 76,000 in Iraq. [47]


North Korea now turns ire to South

North Korea now turns ire to South

25 Jan 2013

In its latest bout of saber-rattling, North Korea warned of the possibility of "strong physical counter-measures" against South Korea after the United Nations imposed tougher sanctions against the North earlier that week. The threat against South Korea came a day after the North said it would carry out a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States. The South Korean Unification Ministry declined to comment specifically on the new threats from Pyongyang. It reiterated its stance that North Korea should refrain from further provocations. [48]


Japan repels Taiwan activists near disputed islands

Japan repels Taiwan activists near disputed islands

25 Jan 2013

Several Japanese Coast Guard ships fired water cannon and shouted warnings at a boat carrying Taiwanese activists who were attempting to land on islands disputed by Taiwan, Japan and China, a spokesman said. Through loud speakers, the Japanese Coast guard urged the activists and four Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels accompanying them, to retreat from waters around the islands, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan, and Diaoyu in China. The deterrent worked and the Taiwanese ships left the area, the Japanese Coast Guard said. According to state news agencies in Taiwan and China, the confrontation occurred about 28 nautical miles from the islands in the East China Sea. [49]


Controversial x-ray scanners to be removed

Controversial x-ray scanners to be removed

20 Jan 2013

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has set to remove the privacy breaching full-body x-ray machines from 30 USA airports. [50]


Extreme snowfall in the UK

Extreme snowfall in the UK

19 Jan 2013

Harsh snowfall has led to traffic, especially aviation to slow down, or even be cancelled in Great Britain During Friday the 18th, over 400 flights leaving London were cancelled and this is expected to continue well into the weekend. [51]


Boeing suspends the dreamliner 787

Boeing suspends the dreamliner 787

19 Jan 2013

Due to technical malfunctions in the airplanes batteries, Boeing, the US based aerospace giant has seized delivering their mammoth planes until they are approved safe


Indian Kumbh Mela festival

Indian Kumbh Mela festival

14 Jan- 10 March 2013

Millions of devout Hindus led by naked ascetics with ash smeared on their bodies plunged into the frigid waters of India's holy Ganges River in a ritual they believe can wash away their sins. The ceremony in the northern city of Allahabad took place on the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, one of the world's largest religious gatherings that lasts 55 days. Over 110 million people are expected to take a dip at the Sangam, the place where three rivers — the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati — come together at the edge of this North Indian city. [52]


Cuba loosens travel restrictions

Cuba loosens travel restrictions

14 Jan 2013

Cubans will no longer need an exit permit and a letter of invitation from someone in another country to travel abroad. Shortly after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, stringent travel laws were put in place to stem an exodus from Cuba. Now Cubans will require only a passport to travel internationally and can stay abroad for two years -- more than twice as long as the previous restriction -- without losing their property or ability to return to the island. [53]


Pakistani 'Tahrir Square'

Pakistani 'Tahrir Square'

14 Jan 2013

Thousands of protesters descended on Islamabad in night's cold weather, filling part of the "blue zone" in the center of the Pakistani capital. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. But the group was much smaller than organizers of the self-proclaimed "Million Man March" had hoped. Exact figures were unclear, but witnesses estimated around 20,000 people had participated. Much of Pakistan watched in anticipation as thousands of people, led by Qadri, headed toward Islamabad with police and soldiers lining the rally route. [54]


Beijing Pollution Hits Highs

Beijing Pollution Hits Highs

14 Jan 2013

China's capital endured its worst air pollution in recent memory, illustrating the persistent challenge the nation's new leaders face in addressing environmental woes. Officials called for residents to stay home and avoid exercising outside after the murky air darkened the skies over Beijing and surrounding areas. China's government is under pressure to clean up the country's environmental problems, a legacy of more than three decades of untrammeled economic growth. [55]


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. [56]


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. [57]


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. [58]


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. [59]


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. [60]


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. [61]


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 moving 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. [62]


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. [63]


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. [64]


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. [65]


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