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Britain And France Warn Against Travel To Somalia And Kenyan Border

The kidnapping of a disabled Frenchwoman by Somali gunmen has resulted in Britain and France issuing travel warnings against travel to or in Somalia, and even travel within 150 km of the borders of Somalia. Great care should be taken at all times in the border areas between Somalia and Kenya. On Sunday, local officials confirmed that a French woman, Marie Didieu, is already in Somalia, having been kidnapped on Saturday by Somali gunmen from her home which is in Ras Gitau in Manda, east Kenya on the archipelago of Lamu. There is great concern because this is the second kidnapping in a month in this area of Kenya. The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, FCO, had already warned travelers to stay away from the Somali borders after David Tebbutt a 58 … Read entire article »

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Washington Monument Closed For Inspection And Repairs After Earthquake In August

The Washington Monument in the District of Columbia has been closed indefinitely after the earthquake on 23 August caused more damage than was originally realized. On Monday the National Parks Service gave more details about the damage to the monument after the East Coast was hit by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake on 23 August. There were no injuries at the monument, but the video taken inside the building shows plaster falling from the ceiling, while visitors try to escape from the building as fast as they can. An inspection of the inside of the building has now been completed, but it still remains for the outside to be inspected. This will begin on Tuesday and is expected to take five days. Engineers will rappel down the monument to inspect the outside for … Read entire article »

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Everest Tourists Killed In Plane Crash

On Sunday it was learned that a plane carrying tourists to Mount Everest had crashed towards the end of its flight killing 18 people immediately. A 19th was treated but also died. Three of the people who died were crew, and among the 16 tourists were two Americans as well as one Japanese and three passengers from Nepal, and the remaining ten were Indian passengers. It has been reported that eight of the passengers were real estate developers who were in New Delhi attending a conference, and from there went to Nepal to view Everest. They were all officials and members of the Builders Association of India, Tiruchirapalli chapter in India, and relatives of the deceased are all in shock on learning of the deaths of the builders. Rescuers have recovered all … Read entire article »

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California Has Power To Millions Restored on Friday

A massive blackout occurred in Southern California that spread south into Mexico, and left people in east Arizona in the dark too on Thursday night. San Diego Gas and Electric supplies the power to most of the region, and it is presently investigating what caused the blackout, although they have said that a transmission failure in western Arizona caused a loss of power in the area it services in San Diego and southern Orange County, and also a major power generating station had also gone off line.. Although power is back, the utility is investigating to ensure this issue is not repeated, but they have asked residents to conserve power as much as possible to ease the load. There were 1.4 million customers reported to be without power at the height of the … Read entire article »

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Flooding Still Changing Travel Plans For Eastern U.S.

With flash flood warnings being issued by the National Weather Service for some large cities and surrounding areas in Albany and Binghamton in New York, and in Philadelphia too, travel in the eastern United States remains an issue for many. There is widespread flooding in Pennsylvania due to Tropical Storm Lee, and thousands have been evacuate, and the remains of Lee is soaking the north east United States on Thursday, which is causing many rivers to flood there too. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued the following statement “I deployed the State Emergency Management Office to Binghamton last night to coordinate the delivery of state resources which might be necessary to protect life and property should serious flooding develop in areas along the flood-prone Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers.” National Guard troops … Read entire article »

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Labor Day Weekend Travel Affected By Flooding And threats Of Tropical Storm

With the eastern United States still cleaning up after the flooding and power outages caused by Hurricane or Tropical Storm Irene,Tropical Storm Lee is now causing more concerns and worries, affecting many people’s plans for this Labor Day weekend. Many people travel on what is considered to be the last day of summer before schools reopen, but with so much flooding in Vermont and New York City, Tropical Storm Lee is now causing flooding in Louisiana, with warnings of flooding having been issued for Alabama and Mississippi as well, where states of emergency have been officially declared. In New Orleans, 20 inches of rain is expected to fall, and by Saturday morning over 5 inches had already fallen and winds were gusting up to 60 mph in the city, according to the … Read entire article »

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Travel Returning To Near Normal In New York After Irene Passes Through

With Tropical Storm Irene now having moved up onto Canada soaking and flooding areas of the Province of Quebec, New York City and other cities in the United States are starting the big cleanup job, and getting transportation systems back up and running. The subway system in New York is now functioning well on all 22 lines, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, although with a reduced number of trains. The airport is expected to reopen by the mid Monday, but flight departures will depend on the destination cities involved, and with many passengers to be accommodated, delays can be expected. Meanwhile the Metro-North Railroad will not be operating any trains on its three lines on Monday because of extensive flood damage to the tracks, as well as fallen trees and mudslides … Read entire article »

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Storm Causes Cancelations In Eastern U.S. and Canada

Many flights have been cancelled this weekend due first of all to the threat of hurricane Irene, and now tropical storm Irene, downgraded from hurricane status. Thousands of flights have been canceled over the weekend, and it is expected to take a while before full service returns to the airports, even when the storm has left the area. According to FlightStats.com which as its name suggests tracks flight details, the greatest number of shutdowns were in the Greater New York area, along with Boston and Philadelphia. Now that hurricane Irene has moved northwards, those airports in the mid-Atlantic are now opening and are beginning to launch their services again. but the U. S. Homeland Security has said that this is a very dangerous storm, and it is not over yet. The death … Read entire article »

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Riots In U.K. Lead To Travel Advisories In Many Countries

This weeks riots in London and other cities in the United Kingdom led to various countries issuing travel advisories urging great care when traveling in England, especially in the troubled areas which include the major cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, but also involves smaller communities. Rioting, fire bombing and looting along with much violence has left Britain shattered and picking up the pieces during the day, with groups from the communities brandishing brushes and shovels to clean up the mess from the night before. Many arrests have been made by the police in various cities. However, travel advisories have been issued and travelers are urged to take extreme care when traveling in the United Kingdom, to avoid all protests and demonstrations and to pay attention to the media for information … Read entire article »

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FAA Bill Approved By Senate For Funding

On Friday the Senate approved a bill which will send thousands of Federal Aviation Administration workers back to work, as well as government contractors. The approval of the bill was made with just two senators present for the vote – the session finished for the summer earlier this week – which both parties agreed to to extend the FAA’s operating authority until next month when the matter can be discussed fully. This bill has to be signed by President Obama for it to become law, and this is expected to be done soon so that workers could be back at work as soon as Monday. The partial shutdown of the FAA has meant that taxes on air tickets has not been collected, costing the government millions of dollars since 23 rd July … Read entire article »

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Flight Safety Not Affected By Partial FAA Shutdown

Officials have reported that the United States Federal Aviation Administration  could lose up to $1 billion in airline ticket taxes, because the agency was forced into partial shutdown on 23 July after its operating authority expired. This has resulted in over $200 million per week already lost because the airlines were not unable to collect the taxes, and as a result close to 4,000 FAA staff, including computer specialists and engineering technicians are on unpaid leave. The House of Representatives which is controlled by the Republicans did pass legislation to keep the operating authority in place until the middle of September, along with some cuts, but the Senate democrats opposed these cuts. The Senate then went into recess on Tuesday until early September without voting on the bill. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood … Read entire article »

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Cholera Outbreak In Haiti – Travel Warning Issued

Since Haiti suffered an earthquake in January 2010, the United States has issued warnings to avoid travel to Haiti unless it is essential, because large numbers of people have been displaced, with more problems being due to recent flooding and a continued outbreak of cholera in Haiti which began last fall. Due to the recent emergencies in Haiti, food is often contaminated, as is the drinking water, and as this disease is most often spread by untreated sewage, or by contamination with the feces of an infected person, the public health system in Haiti is over-strained. The disease had subsided over the drier period, but with the rainy season back, the spread of this disease is expected to be fast. While most travelers will not be at risk for cholera, those traveling … Read entire article »

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Boy Found Alive One Day After Bullet Train Crash In China

In Wenzhou, a city in the province of Zhejiang, China, a boy was discovered unconscious inside the wreckage of a train on Sunday, one day after the a train from Hangzhou to Wenzhou stalled because of being hit by lightning while it was on a bridge, and was then rear ended by a train which was traveling from Beijing to Fuzhou. Firefighters found the 4 year old boy on Sunday afternoon and rushed the boy to hospital. The crash was horrific, forcing a carriage off the tracks onto the ground below. At least 43 were killed and over 200 injured in the accident. There were some 1400 passengers on the trains at the time. As a result at of this accident three senior railway officials are reported to have been fired. China … Read entire article »

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Mount Lokon In Indonesia Erupts Again Causing Travel Concerns

Indonesia’s most volatile volcano Mount Lokon erupted again on Sunday spweing more rocks, ash and smoke high into the air. On the northern island of Sulawesi,Mount Lokon has been dormant since 1991 when it killed a Swiss tourist. Government vulcanologist Kristianto said that this was the biggest eruption since late June when it started erupting again. He said, “We have informed the airport to be on alert as the ash is quite high this time. But so far, flights are not affected yet and the airport is not closed. We can’t predict whether the activity will slow down or if there will more eruptions.” There have been over 5,200 people evacuated from the area to temporary shelters, and the alert status for this area is at the highest level, triggering panic amongst … Read entire article »

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South Sudan Travel Warnings Issued

Warnings are being issued about traveling to the newest country South Sudan, by the United States government, as well as the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, because of major safety concerns. Australia stated that “We advise Australians not to travel to South Sudan due to the extremely dangerous security situation, the risk of armed conflict, the high level of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack.” The U.S. State Department stated that with seven different rebel militia forces there, these forces “frequently engage in violent clashes with SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) forces in various areas of South Sudan. These clashes can flare up with little warning.” It is expected that other countries could add their warning advisories about travel to South Sudan too in the near future. At present, … Read entire article »

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TSA Warns Of New Threat To Airline Safety

The latest threat to airline security and safety is apparently from explosive implants being surgically implanted, the Transportation Security Administration warned on Wednesday. The TSA  informed airlines that they believe that terrorists are currently experimenting with explosives which could be implanted in buttocks or breasts, or on larger people where such an implant would be covered by fatty tissue, thus allowing the terrorist to pass through security screening with the explosives undetected. Were this to happen, explosives would not automatically show up on the scanner, since the airport body scans do not show the blood or bones beneath the skin. A statement from the TSA said, “As a precaution, passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place.” However, Jay Carney, a White House spokesman said … Read entire article »

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Tiger Airways Grounded In Australia Over Risk To Air Safety

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, CASA, has grounded Tiger Airways in Australia until at least 9th July over concerns it has over safety and maintenance concerns. This is the first time that a whole fleet has been barred from flying by the CASA, and it may force the airline out of business in Australia altogether. This means that all 10 of Tiger’s Airbus A320 jets are grounded, which comes at the start of the school holiday period, always a busy travel time. As a result 35,000 people who were booked on Tiger flights this week are now scrambling to find alternate arrangements. But even thought the flights are only stopped until July 9th, the aviation regulator may request this to be extended by seeking permission from the Federal Court, as their … Read entire article »

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Beijing and Shanghai Now Linked By High Speed Train

A high speed train linking Beijing and Shanghai made its debut for passengers on Thursday, on a track which cost the Chinese $33 billion, in the hope that it will help to ease the overloaded transportation system there. At Beijing South rail station, Premier Wen Jiabao declared the link “in operation”, and then he boarded the first white train taking passengers to Shanghai which is the country’s commercial hub 1,318 km away. The trip took less than five hours. The launch was on the eve of celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of the Communist Party in China, and this rail line is expected to be  a key to “improving the modern transport system… and satisfying people’s traveling needs,: Jiabao said. The train cuts in half the rail travel time between these … Read entire article »

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