First Russian Grand Prix, Philippines on typhoon alert, US theme park employees convicted of sex crimes and feminist art goes viral in Iran

Get the best travel news here curated by Lonely Planet Destination Editors, who use their expertise to bring you the stories that matter from all over the world. In today’s edition: Sochi to host first Russian Grand Prix of modern era, Philippines on typhoon red alert, investigation reveals child sex crime convictions of US theme park employees and feminist street art goes viral in Iran.

Asia & the Pacific
The Americas
Middle East & Africa
Weird, odd & just plain fun


15 July is…

The birthday of the Sultan of Brunei

The first day of Tammuz, Israel

Elderly Men Day, Kiribati


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo CookeJames SmartBrana VladisavljevicKate MorganAnna Tyler and Gemma Graham.

Lewis leaves the pits
Lewis leaves the pits. Image by ph-stop / CC BY -SA 2.0

F1 comes to Sochi for first Russian Grand Prix
Sochi will host one of two new races on the Grand Prix calendar this year on October 12. The circuit is currently under construction on the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics park.  It will be the first Russian Grand Prix since the start of the F1 world championship, although two Grand Prix races took place in St Petersburg in 1913 and 1914. Read more:

Moscow metro derailment kills and injures many
At least 19 people have been killed, over 100 have been hospitalised and 200 evacuated from a tunnel after three cars of the Moscow metro derailed on Tuesday morning. The crash happened on the metro’s Blue Line between the Park Pobedy and Slavyansky Bulvar stations. According to Moscow’s Emergency Situations Ministry the derailment was caused by a decrease in the electric voltage on the tracks. Read more:

Turkey considers shipwreck tourism
Turkey is considering whether to open its shipwrecks to diving tourism. The seas off Anatolia are apparently rich with sunken ships, some of which are thousands of years old. The waters around the ships are currently forbidden diving zones, but illegal diving still takes place. Experts argue that opening the wrecks up to tourism could help protect them for the future. Read more: hurriyetdailynews

Could Scotland be the next home of new commercial spaceport. Image by Paul Hudson / CC BY 2.0
Could Scotland be home to a commercial spaceport? Image by Paul Hudson / CC BY 2.0

Scotland could host commercial space flights by 2018
The British government has announced plans for a spaceport able to launch commercial flights by 2018. The port would be the first of its kind outside the US. Eight aerodromes have been shortlisted, six of them in Scotland. The space industry is growing rapidly in the UK and now generates over £11 billion annually. Read more:

Spectacular fireworks display ends Bastille Day
The ‘War and Peace’ theme for 2014’s Bastille Day in France on Monday commemorated the centenary of the beginning of WW1. Events were held throughout the day and culminated in a spectacular 35-minute fireworks display in Paris. Watch the video:

Extra pedal power with Copenhagen’s new ‘smart’ bikes
It’s one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities and Copenhagen’s latest bicycle hire scheme is proving so successful that there are plans to expand it. The trial has been running with a fleet of around 200 ‘smart’ bikes which can be booked entirely through a smartphone, each with electrical assistance and built-in sat nav. Watch the video:

Want to see a completed La Sagrada Familia? Head to Finland
A group of post-graduate students from The Netherlands are attempting to build a replica of La Sagrada Familia made entirely out of ice in Juuka, Finland. When completed it will be the largest ice dome in the world standing at 123 feet. The cross on top will add another 16 feet. Building is set to begin in December and it will be open to the public on Jan 18 2015. Read more:


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Asia & the Pacific Destination Editors: Megan EavesSarah ReidJoe BindlossLaura Crawford and Tasmin Waby.

Lake Taal on the Island of Luzon, Philippines. Image by Rain Rannu / CC BY 2.0
Lake Taal on the Island of Luzon, Philippines. Image by Rain Rannu / CC BY 2.0

Philippines on typhoon red alert
The Philippines is bracing for its first typhoon of the season which is expected to batter the main island of Luzon with howling winds and three-metre high storm surges on Tuesday evening. The weather bureau predicts Typhoon Rammasun will lose some of its strength as it moves toward Manila before noon on Wednesday. Read more:

Living souvenirs: coral garden tourism in Vanuatu
Pele Island in Vanuatu has launched a new tourism venture for travellers who want to help to reduce the effects of climate change on coral reefs in the Pacific. Coral gardening, or mariculture, involves snorkelling to re-attach broken pieces of coral to damaged reefs. Read more:

Bras missing from infamous New Zealand attraction
Hundreds of bras have gone missing from Cardrona Valley’s infamous bra fence and despite a national appeal no information has been forthcoming. This unique New Zealand roadside attraction started accumulating bras in 1999 but its fortunes have waxed and waned over the years. Read more:

Singapore declares its first marine park
A 40ha area surrounding Singapore’s Sisters’ Islands, the western reefs of St John’s Island and Pulau Tekukor has been identified as Singapore’s first marine park. From next month guided walks will be available at Big Sister’s Island with plans in the pipeline for downloadable trail guides and live streaming of the islands’ wildlife. Read more:

Nepal feted for wildlife conservation
Nepal has received a special commendation from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for preventing poaching of rhinos for the second year running. Nepal was the only country to be commended for its efforts against poaching this year. Read more

The vast forest canopy in Mizoram. Image by rajkumar1220 / CC BY 2.0
The vast forest canopy in Mizoram. Image by rajkumar1220 / CC BY 2.0

Mapping India’s forests reveals shocking deforestation
A new study has highlighted the areas of India with the most forest cover – and the shocking levels of deforestation in the country’s most populous states. The greenest regions of India lie in the mountainous and undeveloped northeast. Mizoram tops the poll with 90% of its territory covered in forest compared to just 4% for the poorest performing state, Punjab and 5% for Rajasthan. Read more:

Bad weather causes havoc at Shanghai airports
Dozens of flights have been cancelled and delayed at Shanghai’s airports due to bad weather. The city authorities issued an orange weather alert, the second highest, after heavy rain, lightning and flooding hit on Tuesday morning. The weather is expected to continue in the area on Wednesday. Read more:

BMW opens first test drive centre in Asia
German car maker BMW has opened a test drive centre in Yongjeong Island in Incheon, South Korea. The centre is the company’s first in Asia and includes a 2.6-kilometre closed circuit track, training school and car showroom. Visitors can choose from six different driving courses on offer. Read more:


Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Americas Destination Editors: Clifton WilkinsonDora WhitakerAlex Howard and MaSovaida Morgan.

Cinderella's castle, Walt Disney World. Image by Chris Harrison / CC BY 2.0
Cinderella’s castle, Walt Disney World. Image by Chris Harrison / CC BY 2.0

Orlando theme park employees arrested for child sex crimes
Since 2006 a total of 42 employees of Orlando theme parks have been arrested for sex crimes involving children, with 32 convictions and 10 cases pending, according to an investigation by CNN. The arrests involve 35 employees from Walt Disney World, five from Universal Orlando and two from SeaWorld Orlando. None of the cases involve children visiting the parks and Disney has defended its pre-screening process. Read more:

Drought makes for bad neighbours
The continuing drought in California is now leading neighbour to turn against neighbour as water shortages bite. Residents in Sacramento face fines if they water their gardens and some have taken to reporting those next door to the authorities if they flout the law to try to keep their lawns green and flowers from wilting. Read more:

Break up of California could go to a vote
A petition to split California into six separate states has now had enough signatures to allow it to go to a vote. Over 800,000 people have signed up to the proposal to break up the Golden State into what proponents call more manageable, business-friendly pieces and this means that in two years time it could go to a ballot. Opponents say the idea is a waste of time and unlikely to succeed. Read more:

New report warns of blistering Las Vegas summers ahead
A new study from Climate Central, a research and journalism organisation, says that average summer temperatures in Las Vegas will rise to 111 F (44 C) degrees by the end of the century. The report, entitled ‘1,001 Blistering Future Summers’, predicts that carbon emissions will be the cause of high summer temperatures by the year 2100. According to the report summers across the US will increase by an average of 7 to 10 degrees. Read more:

The 'financial burdens of Broadway' get the better of Tupac Shakur musical. Image by Darren Johnson / CC BY 2.0
The ‘financial burdens of Broadway’ got the better of Tupac Shakur musical. Image by Darren Johnson / CC BY 2.0

Tupac Shakur musical to close on Broadway after poor sales
In New York the Broadway musical ‘Holler if Ya Hear Me’, featuring 20 songs by legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, is to close on Sunday after only 38 regular performances. Producers have cited the ‘financial burdens of Broadway’ as the reason for pulling the show early and last week only 17% of the full potential of ticket sales revenue was made. Heavy discounting has made it the cheapest ticket on Broadway. Read more:



Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Middle East & Africa Destination Editors: Helen Elfer and Matt Phillips.

Tourist to Israel encouraged to hold off on cancelling travel plans. Image Zachi Evenor / CC BY-SA 2.0
Tourists to Israel encouraged to hold off on cancelling travel plans. Image Zachi Evenor / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tourists to Israel encouraged to wait before cancelling holidays
The Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association has said it has an understanding with airlines, hotels and tour guides that they will not charge cancellation fees for incoming tourism. The group hopes to encourage travellers to wait before cancelling their holidays  to Israel because of the conflict in the region. An estimated 30% of those who planned trips in July and August have already cancelled. Read more:

Feminist street art goes viral in Iran
A street art painting in Tehran of a woman holding a washing up liquid bottle aloft as though it’s a World Cup trophy has gone viral. The picture by the Black Hand (Iran’s answer to Banksy) is thought to be in protest against Iran’s strict rules preventing women watching sport in stadiums. The painting was quickly covered over, but the image continues to be shared on social media. Read more:

Explosive detection units donated to Kenya’s airports by the USA
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will hand over 20 Desktop Explosive Trace Detection units (ETDs) to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on Tuesday. The donation worth Sh60 million (£400,000) will be made in person by Mr Isiah Parnell, the chargé d’affaires of the US embassy in Nairobi. Read more:



US dad claims kingdom so his daughter can be a Princess. Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0
US dad claims kingdom so his daughter can be a Princess. Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0

New African kingdom claimed by US father
The Kingdom of North Sudan has been claimed (and named) by Jeremiah Heaton, an American father. He told the Bristol Herald Courier that he recently trekked into Bir Tawil, a unique 2000-square-kilometre sliver of mountainous land between Egypt and Sudan that neither country claims, and planted a flag designed by his children. Although he is now king, the efforts were made so his seven-year-old daughter Emily could be a princess. Read more:
Matt Phillips