Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Difference between revisions of "Travel news"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(Update)
(Update)
(8 intermediate revisions by one user not shown)
Line 7: Line 7:
  
 
=Current and past=
 
=Current and past=
 +
 +
==July==
 +
{{newsitem| Statue of Liberty to Reopen Independence Day, [[New York]]| 4 July| The National Park Service announced it will reopen the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island starting July 4.  This will be the first time visitors will have access to the island since Hurricane Sandy devastated the area last October. The Statue of Liberty, built by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi on October 28 1886, is the United States’ iconic symbol of freedom and welcomes immigrants arriving from abroad. It has been restored three times since it opened, namely in 1938, 1986, and most recently in 2012. On the 4th of July visitors will be able to access the statue’s crown, pedestal, observation deck, museum, and grounds. The statue’s torch is not open to the public, a policy that has been in place since 1916 due to safety reasons. [http://www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com/2013/07/statue-of-liberty-to-reopen-independence-day/]}}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| [[Croatia]] celebrates on joining EU| 1 July| Croatia has become the 28th member of the [[European Union]], with crowds joining celebrations in the capital [[Zagreb]]. Celebrations took place in the central square of Zagreb, with fireworks and music including Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the European anthem. "Welcome to the European Union!" European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Croatian to the cheering crowd. President Josipovic said it was "a great and joyful day for our homeland". [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23118035] }}
  
 
==June==
 
==June==
 +
{{newsitem| [[North Korea]] builds nation's first beach resort| 27 June| As part of his plans to turn North Korea into a "world class" tourist destination, Kim Jong-un has ordered the transformation of the industrial port of [[Wonsan]] into a beach resort town. In May, Kim paid a visit to the Masik Pass Skiing Ground to provide "on-the-spot guidance" to "soldier-builders" constructing North Korea's first ski resort. The facility will have 68 miles of ski runs and Kim ordered that work be stepped up so it can be used this winter. Apparently not satisfied with that feat, Kim now wants his army to turn nearby Wonsan into a summer destination for tourists, South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper has reported. A document titled "General blueprint for the Wonsan District," calls for factories and dockyards that presently line the waterfront to be replaced with a series of new districts. Songdowon Beach will be remodeled into a stretch of sand with all the trappings of a resort. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/10145092/North-Korean-leader-Kim-Jong-un-orders-the-creation-of-nations-first-beach-resort.html]}}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| Stunning New [[UNESCO World Heritage List|UNESCO Sites]]| 24 June| 19 new sites have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage list - the top honor for monuments, buildings, sites or natural features "of outstanding universal value". Here's the full list of 19 sites granted UNESCO World Heritage status by the committee:
 +
# Xinjiang Tianshan ([[China]])
 +
# [[Mount Etna]] ([[Italy]])
 +
# El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve ([[Mexico]])
 +
# Namib Sand Sea ([[Namibia]])
 +
# Tajik National Park ([[Tajikistan]])
 +
# Red Bay Basque Whaling Station ([[Canada]])
 +
# Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces ([[China]])
 +
# Historic Monuments and Sites in [[Kaesong]] ([[North Korea]])
 +
# [[Levuka]] Historical Port Town ([[Fiji]])
 +
# Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe ([[Germany]])
 +
# Hill Forts of Rajashtan ([[India]])
 +
# Golestan Palace ([[Iran]])
 +
# Medici Villas and Gardens in [[Tuscany]] ([[Italy]])
 +
# [[Fujisan]], sacred place and source of artistic inspiration ([[Japan]])
 +
# Historic Centre of [[Agadez]] ([[Niger]])
 +
# Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in [[Poland]] and [[Ukraine]] (Poland / Ukraine)
 +
# University of Coimbra - Alta and Sofia ([[Portugal]])
 +
# Al Zubarah Archaeological Site ([[Qatar]])
 +
# Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora ([[Ukraine]]) 
 +
The UNESCO World Heritage List features 981 sites from 160 countries that are party to the World Heritage Convention. Of these, 759 are cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed properties. [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/24/travel/whs-2013]}}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| National Parks Raise Guard Against Virus| 21 June| Near the peak of the summertime tourist season, [[Yellowstone]] and [[Grand Teton]] National Parks are fighting an outbreak of norovirus, the highly contagious gastrointestinal scourge of cruise ships. Park officials said that the virus had so far sickened 150 employees and 50 guests. Employees at the parks’ lodges and restaurants have been scrubbing rooms and sanitizing every surface to try to stop the spread of the virus. Sick employees, and some who might have been exposed, have been quarantined.  So far, park officials said that only a small percentage of visitors had fallen ill. Yellowstone draws more than three million visitors every year, and about 2.5 million people visit Grand Teton.Officials at Yellowstone said the outbreak of norovirus began June 7, when several people on a tour bus complained about feeling ill. [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/us/2-national-parks-fight-a-virus-outbreak.html] }}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| [[Singapore]] Haze: Air Pollution Reaches Hazardous Levels| 20 June| Singapore is covered with haze and some are calling it the worst ever as air pollution fills the sky, forcing people to stay indoors. Forest fires in nearby Indonesia have made matters worse and several public areas have been forced to close. According to the Pollutant Standards Index, Singapore's air pollution measurement, the level reached an unprecedented 371 and reached a "hazardous" classification that can make breathing difficulties even worse. The level has never been so high and the previous record was only at 226 back in 1997. The air pollution levels seem to be caused by raging fires in nearby [[Indonesia]]. The fumes have hit both [[Singapore]] and [[Malaysia]]. Singapore is asking [[Jakarta]] to do more to put an end to the fires on [[Sumatra]] Island, which farmers started to clear their land cheaply. "This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced," Singapore's Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote on Facebook. "No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans' health and wellbeing." [http://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/6676/20130620/singapore-haze-air-pollution-reaches-hazardous-levels.htm]}}
 +
 
{{newsitem| [[Turkey]]'s silent protest spreads|19 Jun 2013|A silent, standing protest by performance artist Erdem Gunduz has been taken up by hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and spread to several Turkish cities. Protests planning goes on now via social media websites and meetings. A total of 883 people have been detained under protest-related charges since May 31, said Emre Cokgezen, a member of the Istanbul Bar Association's crisis desk, which was created to handle detention issues related to the protests.Though most of those have been released, 71 remained in custody facing terrorism charges, 20 facing organized crime charges and 28 facing other charges, he said. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/world/europe/turkey-protests/index.html] }}
 
{{newsitem| [[Turkey]]'s silent protest spreads|19 Jun 2013|A silent, standing protest by performance artist Erdem Gunduz has been taken up by hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and spread to several Turkish cities. Protests planning goes on now via social media websites and meetings. A total of 883 people have been detained under protest-related charges since May 31, said Emre Cokgezen, a member of the Istanbul Bar Association's crisis desk, which was created to handle detention issues related to the protests.Though most of those have been released, 71 remained in custody facing terrorism charges, 20 facing organized crime charges and 28 facing other charges, he said. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/world/europe/turkey-protests/index.html] }}
  
Line 14: Line 47:
  
 
{{newsitem| Floods in North [[India]] |19 Jun 2013|Military helicopters and the army are leading rescue operations in India's flood-hit northern states, where 138 people are now known to have died. About 10,000 people have been rescued in worst-hit [[Uttarakhand]] state over three days. Flood-related deaths have also been reported in [[Himachal Pradesh]] and [[Uttar Pradesh]] states and neighboring [[Nepal]]. The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to the farming output of both countries, but this year the rain in the north of India and parts of Nepal has been heavier than usual. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-22963870] }}
 
{{newsitem| Floods in North [[India]] |19 Jun 2013|Military helicopters and the army are leading rescue operations in India's flood-hit northern states, where 138 people are now known to have died. About 10,000 people have been rescued in worst-hit [[Uttarakhand]] state over three days. Flood-related deaths have also been reported in [[Himachal Pradesh]] and [[Uttar Pradesh]] states and neighboring [[Nepal]]. The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to the farming output of both countries, but this year the rain in the north of India and parts of Nepal has been heavier than usual. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-22963870] }}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| Toxic radioactive isotope found in [[Fukushima]] groundwater|19 Jun 2013|High levels of a toxic radioactive isotope have been found in groundwater at Japan's [[Fukushima]] nuclear plant, its operator says. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said tests showed Strontium-90 was present at 30 times the legal rate. The radioactive isotope tritium has also been detected at elevated levels. The plant, crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has recently seen a series of water leaks and power failures. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22974316]}}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| Budget airline gets green light in [[Africa]] |19 Jun 2013| The low-cost airline Fastjet has been given clearance to begin international flights from [[Tanzania]] to [[South Africa]], [[Zambia]] and [[Rwanda]]. The company, launched last year with the backing of EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was given approval to open the new routes last week. Flights from [[Dar es Salaam]] to [[Johannesburg]] will start from $100 (£63.68) one-way excluding taxes and charges. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10123878/Fastjet-gets-green-light-for-international-flights.html] }}
 +
 +
{{newsitem| [[Paris]] tackles rudeness to tourists with new manual|19 Jun| One of the world's most visited cities but also famous for its rudeness, Paris has embarked on a campaign to improve its reputation and better cater to the needs of tourists. Waiters, taxi drivers and sales staff in the French capital all too often come off as impolite, unhelpful and unable to speak foreign languages say local tourism chiefs, who are handing out a manual with guidelines on better etiquette. A six-page booklet entitled "Do you speak Touriste?" contains greetings in eight languages including German, Chinese and Portuguese and advice on the spending habits and cultural codes of different nationalities. France is the world's top destination for foreign tourists, with Paris visited by 29 million people last year. Some 30,000 copies of the handbook on friendly service is being distributed to taxi drivers, waiters, hotel managers and sales people in tourist areas from the banks of the Seine river up to Montmartre and in nearby [[Versailles]] and [[Fontainebleau]]. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/19/us-france-tourism-idUSBRE95I18G20130619] }}
  
 
{{newsitem| [[Philadelphia]] building collapse  |6 Jun 2013| A vacant building being demolished collapsed onto a thrift store in Philadelphia, trapping more than a dozen people under the rubble, some for hours, city officials said. Mayor Michael Nutter later said officials don't know for certain if anyone else was trapped. Twelve people rescued earlier were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Philadelphia Police described the collapse as an "industrial accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told it was an accident at a demolition site, and it has investigators on the way. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/us/pennsylvania-philadelphia-building-collapse/index.html] }}
 
{{newsitem| [[Philadelphia]] building collapse  |6 Jun 2013| A vacant building being demolished collapsed onto a thrift store in Philadelphia, trapping more than a dozen people under the rubble, some for hours, city officials said. Mayor Michael Nutter later said officials don't know for certain if anyone else was trapped. Twelve people rescued earlier were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Philadelphia Police described the collapse as an "industrial accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told it was an accident at a demolition site, and it has investigators on the way. [http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/us/pennsylvania-philadelphia-building-collapse/index.html] }}

Revision as of 00:20, 4 July 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

July

Statue of Liberty to Reopen Independence Day, New York

Statue of Liberty to Reopen Independence Day, New York

4 July

The National Park Service announced it will reopen the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island starting July 4. This will be the first time visitors will have access to the island since Hurricane Sandy devastated the area last October. The Statue of Liberty, built by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi on October 28 1886, is the United States’ iconic symbol of freedom and welcomes immigrants arriving from abroad. It has been restored three times since it opened, namely in 1938, 1986, and most recently in 2012. On the 4th of July visitors will be able to access the statue’s crown, pedestal, observation deck, museum, and grounds. The statue’s torch is not open to the public, a policy that has been in place since 1916 due to safety reasons. [1]


Croatia celebrates on joining EU

Croatia celebrates on joining EU

1 July

Croatia has become the 28th member of the European Union, with crowds joining celebrations in the capital Zagreb. Celebrations took place in the central square of Zagreb, with fireworks and music including Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the European anthem. "Welcome to the European Union!" European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Croatian to the cheering crowd. President Josipovic said it was "a great and joyful day for our homeland". [2]


June

North Korea builds nation's first beach resort

North Korea builds nation's first beach resort

27 June

As part of his plans to turn North Korea into a "world class" tourist destination, Kim Jong-un has ordered the transformation of the industrial port of Wonsan into a beach resort town. In May, Kim paid a visit to the Masik Pass Skiing Ground to provide "on-the-spot guidance" to "soldier-builders" constructing North Korea's first ski resort. The facility will have 68 miles of ski runs and Kim ordered that work be stepped up so it can be used this winter. Apparently not satisfied with that feat, Kim now wants his army to turn nearby Wonsan into a summer destination for tourists, South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper has reported. A document titled "General blueprint for the Wonsan District," calls for factories and dockyards that presently line the waterfront to be replaced with a series of new districts. Songdowon Beach will be remodeled into a stretch of sand with all the trappings of a resort. [3]


Stunning New UNESCO Sites

Stunning New UNESCO Sites

24 June

19 new sites have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage list - the top honor for monuments, buildings, sites or natural features "of outstanding universal value". Here's the full list of 19 sites granted UNESCO World Heritage status by the committee:

  1. Xinjiang Tianshan (China)
  2. Mount Etna (Italy)
  3. El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)
  4. Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)
  5. Tajik National Park (Tajikistan)
  6. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)
  7. Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China)
  8. Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (North Korea)
  9. Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji)
  10. Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Germany)
  11. Hill Forts of Rajashtan (India)
  12. Golestan Palace (Iran)
  13. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (Italy)
  14. Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration (Japan)
  15. Historic Centre of Agadez (Niger)
  16. Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (Poland / Ukraine)
  17. University of Coimbra - Alta and Sofia (Portugal)
  18. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)
  19. Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (Ukraine)

The UNESCO World Heritage List features 981 sites from 160 countries that are party to the World Heritage Convention. Of these, 759 are cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed properties. [4]


National Parks Raise Guard Against Virus

National Parks Raise Guard Against Virus

21 June

Near the peak of the summertime tourist season, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are fighting an outbreak of norovirus, the highly contagious gastrointestinal scourge of cruise ships. Park officials said that the virus had so far sickened 150 employees and 50 guests. Employees at the parks’ lodges and restaurants have been scrubbing rooms and sanitizing every surface to try to stop the spread of the virus. Sick employees, and some who might have been exposed, have been quarantined. So far, park officials said that only a small percentage of visitors had fallen ill. Yellowstone draws more than three million visitors every year, and about 2.5 million people visit Grand Teton.Officials at Yellowstone said the outbreak of norovirus began June 7, when several people on a tour bus complained about feeling ill. [5]


Singapore Haze: Air Pollution Reaches Hazardous Levels

Singapore Haze: Air Pollution Reaches Hazardous Levels

20 June

Singapore is covered with haze and some are calling it the worst ever as air pollution fills the sky, forcing people to stay indoors. Forest fires in nearby Indonesia have made matters worse and several public areas have been forced to close. According to the Pollutant Standards Index, Singapore's air pollution measurement, the level reached an unprecedented 371 and reached a "hazardous" classification that can make breathing difficulties even worse. The level has never been so high and the previous record was only at 226 back in 1997. The air pollution levels seem to be caused by raging fires in nearby Indonesia. The fumes have hit both Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore is asking Jakarta to do more to put an end to the fires on Sumatra Island, which farmers started to clear their land cheaply. "This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced," Singapore's Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote on Facebook. "No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans' health and wellbeing." [6]


Turkey's silent protest spreads

Turkey's silent protest spreads

19 Jun 2013

A silent, standing protest by performance artist Erdem Gunduz has been taken up by hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and spread to several Turkish cities. Protests planning goes on now via social media websites and meetings. A total of 883 people have been detained under protest-related charges since May 31, said Emre Cokgezen, a member of the Istanbul Bar Association's crisis desk, which was created to handle detention issues related to the protests.Though most of those have been released, 71 remained in custody facing terrorism charges, 20 facing organized crime charges and 28 facing other charges, he said. [7]


Brazil sends national force to control protest trouble

Brazil sends national force to control protest trouble

19 Jun 2013

Brazil's government says it will deploy a national security force to five major cities after a wave of protests which has seen almost a quarter of a million people demand better public services. The national force will be sent to Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza and the capital, Brasilia. All of the cities are hosting games in Fifa's Confederations Cup. The announcement comes after riot police and protesters clashed in fresh protests on 18 June in Sao Paulo. Brazil's ministry of justice said that Recife was the only Confederations Cup host city not to request the support of the National Public Security Force (FNSP). Shops and banks in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, were vandalised by groups of masked activists, who fought other demonstrators trying to stop the violence. [8]


Floods in North India

Floods in North India

19 Jun 2013

Military helicopters and the army are leading rescue operations in India's flood-hit northern states, where 138 people are now known to have died. About 10,000 people have been rescued in worst-hit Uttarakhand state over three days. Flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh states and neighboring Nepal. The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to the farming output of both countries, but this year the rain in the north of India and parts of Nepal has been heavier than usual. [9]


Toxic radioactive isotope found in Fukushima groundwater

Toxic radioactive isotope found in Fukushima groundwater

19 Jun 2013

High levels of a toxic radioactive isotope have been found in groundwater at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator says. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said tests showed Strontium-90 was present at 30 times the legal rate. The radioactive isotope tritium has also been detected at elevated levels. The plant, crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has recently seen a series of water leaks and power failures. [10]


Budget airline gets green light in Africa

Budget airline gets green light in Africa

19 Jun 2013

The low-cost airline Fastjet has been given clearance to begin international flights from Tanzania to South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda. The company, launched last year with the backing of EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was given approval to open the new routes last week. Flights from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg will start from $100 (£63.68) one-way excluding taxes and charges. [11]


Paris tackles rudeness to tourists with new manual

Paris tackles rudeness to tourists with new manual

19 Jun

One of the world's most visited cities but also famous for its rudeness, Paris has embarked on a campaign to improve its reputation and better cater to the needs of tourists. Waiters, taxi drivers and sales staff in the French capital all too often come off as impolite, unhelpful and unable to speak foreign languages say local tourism chiefs, who are handing out a manual with guidelines on better etiquette. A six-page booklet entitled "Do you speak Touriste?" contains greetings in eight languages including German, Chinese and Portuguese and advice on the spending habits and cultural codes of different nationalities. France is the world's top destination for foreign tourists, with Paris visited by 29 million people last year. Some 30,000 copies of the handbook on friendly service is being distributed to taxi drivers, waiters, hotel managers and sales people in tourist areas from the banks of the Seine river up to Montmartre and in nearby Versailles and Fontainebleau. [12]


Philadelphia building collapse

Philadelphia building collapse

6 Jun 2013

A vacant building being demolished collapsed onto a thrift store in Philadelphia, trapping more than a dozen people under the rubble, some for hours, city officials said. Mayor Michael Nutter later said officials don't know for certain if anyone else was trapped. Twelve people rescued earlier were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Philadelphia Police described the collapse as an "industrial accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been told it was an accident at a demolition site, and it has investigators on the way. [13]


Floods sweep through Central Europe

Floods sweep through Central Europe

6 Jun 2013

Surging rivers in the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia caused widespread flooding in the region. Heavy rains had swelled the Elbe, Danube and Vltava rivers, along with smaller rivers and tributaries. The flooding prompted the evacuation of about 25,000 people in Germany and about 20,000 in the Czech Republic, where about half of the country's regions were under a state of emergency, officials said. Eight people have died as a result of the floods in the Czech Republic, fire service spokeswoman Nicole Zaoralova said. [14]


Overly aggressive vendors near Egypt Pyramids

Overly aggressive vendors near Egypt Pyramids

4 Jun 2013

A warning has been issued by the U.S. Embassy about the increasing number of incidents that have occurred in the area surrounding the pyramids, as vendors try to cope with difficult economic times. Some of the vendors are approaching criminal conduct, according to the embassy. The ancient pyramid complex is located approximately an hour outside of Cairo. Visitors are experiencing Egyptians vendors who surround tourist vehicles and pound on them, in what the embassy calls an effort to pressure visitors to ride in their horse-drawn carriages. Some more extreme situations have involved angry vendors trying to force the vehicle doors open, which frightens visitors. The minister of antiquities for Egypt, Ahmed Eissa, insists that the Giza pyramid complex is still safe for visitors, saying that his office hasn't received any complaints, and neither have the tourism police, according to Egyptian newspaper reports. [15]


Central Europe flood waters rise

Central Europe flood waters rise

3 Jun 2013

Thousands of people have fled their homes across central Europe as deadly flood waters continue to rise. Emergency operations are under way in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic to cope with river levels which have reached record heights in some places. Landslides and flooding have led to the deaths of at least seven people. More than eight others are missing. The German army has been drafted in to help reinforce flood defences in the south and east of the country. In the Czech Republic, a nationwide state of emergency is in force. Around 3,000 people have been forced to leave their homes across the west of the country. The authorities in the capital, Prague, are on high alert amid fears that the River Vltava could swamp its historic center. As a precaution the city's metro system has been closed, metal flood defences are being erected and sandbags built up along the banks of the Vltava. No major evacuations are planned in Prague, but tigers at the city's zoo have been tranquilized and moved out of an enclosure thought to be at risk of flooding. [16]


Protests in Turkey

Protests in Turkey

3 Jun 2013

Protesters seething over their treatment by security forces hurled rocks at riot police in Ankara's Kizilay Square, the latest in a string of violent clashes that have punctuated massive anti-government demonstrations spreading across Turkey- leaving thousands injured and at least one dead in the past two days alone. The protests united demonstrators from across the political spectrum against a common foe: security forces who unleashed tear gas and water cannons on them in response to what had been largely peaceful protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [17]


Ethiopian protesters take to streets

Ethiopian protesters take to streets

3 Jun 2013

Thousands of protesters have demonstrated in the Ethiopian capital to demand the release of jailed journalists and activists. It is the first major demonstration on the streets of Addis Ababa since 2005 when hundreds of protesters were killed in violence. Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for freedom and justice. Ethiopia's governing party, the EPRDF, maintains strict control over public life in the East African country. The protests were organised by the opposition Semayawi (blue) party. [18]


May

Clashes at Istanbul park

Clashes at Istanbul park

31 May 2013

Dozens of people have been arrested after Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul. Demonstrators had held a four-day sit-in at Gezi Park, angry at plans to redevelop that part of Taksim Square. An Istanbul court later ordered the temporary suspension of the project to uproot trees in the park. But there is wider anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the unrest has spread to Ankara. Protests have also been reported in other cities, including Bodrum, Konya and Izmir. Earlier this month, riot police clashed with tens of thousands of people attempting to hold a May Day march in Istanbul. [19]


Venezuelans Face Shortages

Venezuelans Face Shortages

31 May 2013

In the past weeks, Venezuelans have struggled to find goods such as toilet paper and staple food items like milk, sugar and cooking oil. Economists say the shortages stem from the socialist government's controls on the prices of some goods and on foreign currency, which makes it hard for producers to pay for things they need to import. President Nicolas Maduro blames the shortages on hoarding and says anti-government forces are trying to destabilize the country. [20]


Biarritz battles beach pollution

Biarritz battles beach pollution

31 May 2013

Local authorities have recently forbidden bathing and nautical activities due to dangerously high levels of pollution. May has been unusually wet, stormy and cold for the southwest of France. Heavy rainfall in the middle of the month has already caused flooding in parts of the Bearn region, inland of Biarritz, and the French meteorological agency has issued flood warnings for the whole area in the upcoming days. This river and rain runoff, combined with strong onshore winds, has led to high levels of sea pollution. The current order affects all the beaches in the suburb of Anglet, which are the most popular with locals, tourists and surfers. For the moment there is no indication how long the ruling will remain in place, but with rain forecast until the start of next week, anyone planning a beach holiday to the Biarritz area should look elsewhere. [21]


Police move in on Kyrgyz protesters

Police move in on Kyrgyz protesters

31 May 2013

About 1,000 people have been camped out for days calling for a bigger share of the profits from the Kumtor mine, owned by Canada's Centerra Gold group. The government has now declared a state of emergency around the gold mine. [22]


US road bridge collapse in Washington

US road bridge collapse in Washington

24 May 2013

A road bridge collapsed into a river in the north-western US state of Washington after a girder was hit by an oversized lorry, officials have said. Vehicles and people were thrown into the water after part of the Interstate 5 highway crumbled the day before. State officials said three people were rescued from the Skagit river and there were no fatalities. The four-lane bridge near Mount Vernon is on the main route between the cities of Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. [23]


Afghan Taliban battle police in central Kabul

Afghan Taliban battle police in central Kabul

24 May 2013

Afghan security forces have fought Taliban insurgents for hours in the centre of Kabul, after a major explosion shook the city. A Nepali guard and an off-duty policeman were killed, along with a number of militants. The attack hit a guesthouse used by the International Organization for Migration, one of whose employees was badly injured. The attack began at about 16:00 local time (11:30 GMT) with a car bombing, and it was late evening in Kabul by the time interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the last of the assailants had been killed. The militants, who officials said numbered five or six, had been holed up in the area, home to a number of buildings used by foreign workers. A Taliban spokesman said the group had targeted CIA trainers instructing Afghans at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency. [24]


Syria tension destabilizing Lebanon

Syria tension destabilizing Lebanon

24 May 2013

An uneasy calm prevailed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on 23 May where days of clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad left 16 people dead and wounded more than 156. Fear of snipers kept people indoors, reported Lebanon's state news agency said. The streets were empty of cars, and schools and universities closed. The clashing sides are residents of the Bab-al-Tibbaneh neighborhood (dominated by Sunnis), and the adjacent Jabal Mohsen neighborhood (which is dominated by Alawites). Tripoli is home to both Alawite and Sunni Muslims, and sectarian tensions have worsened in recent months as the civil war in neighboring Syria rages on. The Alawites support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Sunnis want his ouster. The Lebanese government has remained officially neutral in the conflict. Analysts say the longer the Syrian conflict rages, the more destabilized Lebanon will become. [25]


Swedish suburbs shaken by riots

Swedish suburbs shaken by riots

24 May 2013

Police in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, have called in reinforcements after the city's suburbs were hit by a fifth night of riots. Gangs set fire to two schools and a police station in the city on 23 May. About 30 cars were also torched, with the blaze from one vehicle spreading to a nearby shop. Police and firemen were also attacked again with rocks overnight, but no one was severely hurt. The riots broke out after days of rising tensions following the death of a 69-year-old man who was shot by police earlier this month while wielding a machete in the Stockholm suburb of Husby. However, police say they are not sure what sparked the outbreak of violence. The area is blighted by high unemployment and crime levels. A total of 29 people have so far been arrested in connection with the riots, Stockholm Police said in a statement on their website. [26]


Heathrow runway closed after plane on fire makes emergency landing

Heathrow runway closed after plane on fire makes emergency landing

24 May 2013

The Nigerian army says it has destroyed a number of well-equipped camps used by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, in the north-east of Nigeria. Some 2,000 soldiers were deployed to the region last week, in the biggest campaign to date against Boko Haram. On 14 May, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gave security control to the military after declaring a state of emergency in the three north-eastern states where Boko Haram have been most active - Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. [27]


Nigerian army 'destroys' Boko Haram camps in north-east

Nigerian army 'destroys' Boko Haram camps in north-east

24 May 2013

A road bridge collapsed into a river in the north-western US state of Washington after a girder was hit by an oversized lorry, officials have said. Vehicles and people were thrown into the water after part of the Interstate 5 highway crumbled the day before. State officials said three people were rescued from the Skagit river and there were no fatalities. The four-lane bridge near Mount Vernon is on the main route between the cities of Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. [28]


Raid on Bahrain cleric's home draws thousands to sit-in

Raid on Bahrain cleric's home draws thousands to sit-in

24 May 2013

Tens of thousands of Bahrainis have participated in a sit-in in protest at a raid on a senior Shia cleric's home. The sit-in was called by al-Wefaq, Bahrain's largest opposition political society, after a late night raid on the home of Sheikh Isa Qassim. Last week's raid provoked anger in the Shia Muslim community. Sheikh Qassim is the most senior Shia cleric in the Gulf state. Bahrain has a majority Shia population but the ruling royal family is Sunni Muslim. Shia have long complained of discrimination and formed the largest group when thousands of pro-democracy protesters took over a prominent roundabout in the capital Manama in February 2011. [29]


Iraq violence: Dozens killed in blasts targeting Sunnis

Iraq violence: Dozens killed in blasts targeting Sunnis

17 May 2013

More than 60 people have been killed and dozens hurt in several bomb attacks apparently targeting Sunnis, in Iraq's worst day of violence for months. In the first attack, in Baquba, about 50km (30 miles) north of Baghdad, at least 41 people were killed when two bombs detonated outside a Sunni mosque. Later, police said at least seven died at a Sunni funeral in Madain, and 14 more in two blasts in western Baghdad. The attacks follows a sharp increase in sectarian violence in recent weeks. [30]


Egypt Security Forces Clash With Cairo Protesters

Egypt Security Forces Clash With Cairo Protesters

17 May 2013

Egyptian security forces have fired tear gas at protesters hurling firebombs at them in central Cairo, hours after hundreds of opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi rallied peacefully in the streets denouncing his rule and demanding early presidential elections. [31]


Quake reported in eastern Canada

Quake reported in eastern Canada

17 May 2013

People on both sides of the border felt an earthquake originating around the Quebec and Ontario borders, the Canadian government said. Natural Resources Canada gave it a preliminary magnitude of 5.2; the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 4.4. With an epicenter about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Shawville, in western Quebec, the quake was felt in the Ottawa-Gatineau area and out to Toronto, more than 260 miles away. It hit a nerve in New York State and Cleveland, too. [32]


Nigeria air raids target militants

Nigeria air raids target militants

17 May 2013

The Nigerian military has launched air raids on militant training camps in the north-east of the country, officials say. An army spokesman said jets and helicopter gunships had been used to attack several camps. States of emergency were declared this week in three north-eastern states hit by Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency. Nigerian military spokesman Brig Gen Chris Olukolade said two militant bases in the Sambisa Forest Reserve were destroyed in raids. The reserve is about 70km (45 miles) south of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, where the militants first emerged in 2009. Reports say dozens of militants have been killed, but there has been no independent confirmation. Nigerian forces are trying to regain control in the states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. [33]


Bangladesh rides out weakened storm

Bangladesh rides out weakened storm

17 May 2013

A tropical storm that officials had feared would cause widespread devastation in Bangladesh and Burma lost power quickly as it moved inland. More than a million people had been told to evacuate low-lying coastal areas as Cyclone Mahasen approached. But it weakened as it advanced and a predicted storm surge was avoided because it hit at low tide. However, thousands of homes were damaged and at least 13 people killed in Bangladesh. Mahasen made landfall in Patuakhali district in southern Bangladesh on 16 May. But it spared the ports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, instead heading west of its predicted course. [34]


Venezuela launches massive street security operation

Venezuela launches massive street security operation

13 May 2013

Under operation "Safe Homeland", 3,000 soldiers will patrol the streets of the capital Caracas and other cities. President Maduro said the plan would bring peace to Venezuela, which has one of the highest homicide rates in South America. The opposition has long criticised the government's record on crime, and used it as a campaign issue in recent polls. The government says more than 16,000 people were killed in crimes in 2012, a rate of 54 per 100,000. [35]


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. [36]


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. [37]


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. [38]


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. [39]


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. [40]


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. [41]


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. [42]


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. [43]


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. [44]


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. [45]


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. [46]


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. [47]


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 [48]


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. [49]


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. [50]


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. [51]


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. [52]


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. [53]


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. [54]


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. [55]


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. [56]


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). [57]


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. [58]


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. [59]


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. [60]


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. [61]


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. [62]


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. [63]


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). [64]


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. [65]


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. [66]


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. [67]


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. [68]


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. [69]


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. [70]


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. [71]


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. [72]


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. [73]


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. [74]


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. [75]


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. [76]


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. [77]


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. [78]


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.[79]


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. [80]


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. [81]


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. [82]


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. [83]


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. [84]


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. [85]


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. [86]


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. [87]


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. [88]


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. [89]


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. [90]


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. [91]


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. [92]


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. [93]


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. [94]


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. [95]


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. [96]


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. [97]


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. [98]


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. [99]


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. [100]


Old News

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages