Eastern Ukrainian airspace closed, China on red alert for supertyphoon, hoard of gold recovered off South Carolina, auction of Mandela memorabilia on Mandela day

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: The airspace over Eastern Ukraine remains closed after the Malaysia airlines crash, China is bracing itself for the arrival of a supertyphoon, a hoard of gold rush-era gold has been recovered off South Carolina and a charity auction has sold unusual Nelson Mandela memorabilia.


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


18 July is…

Festa Italiana, celebrating Italian heritage at cities across America

Constitution Day, Uruguay

Nelson Mandela Day


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

Malaysia airlines. Image by Alec Wilson / CC BY-SA 2.0
Malaysia airlines. Image by Alec Wilson / CC BY-SA 2.0

Airspace of eastern Ukraine closed to civil aircraft
Ukrainian authorities have closed the airspace of eastern Ukraine to civil aircraft until further notice after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on July 17. Immediately after the crash commercial airlines diverted their flights over Ukrainian airspace while many were already avoiding flying over eastern Ukrainian territory. The crashed Malaysian aircraft was using the most common route for flights between Europe and Southeast Asia. British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France have not cancelled their flights to Kyiv as this destination is not near the affected region. Read more: edition.cnn.com

Paris’ Seine-side beaches open for summer
This weekend the banks of the Seine will be transformed into sandy beaches complete with deck chairs, ice-cream stands and concerts as the annual Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) open. The beaches will be at three spots along the river: Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette and open from 9am to midnight until August 17. Read more: paris.fr

Mont Blanc, France. Image by Olivier Bain / CC BY 2.0
Mont Blanc, France. Image by Olivier Bain / CC BY 2.0

More deaths prompt a call for restrictions on climbing Mont Blanc
France’s Mont Blanc, considered one of the world’s most dangerous mountains, has already claimed three lives just one month into the peak summer climbing season. This has renewed calls for restrictions on climbing the mountain which attracts around 30,000 people a year. Currently there is no permit required or fee charged. Read more: thelocal.fr

Oil spill off Canary Islands
An oil spill is affecting marine life off the coast of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The spill is thought to have originated from a passing boat and scientists are assessing damage to the recently designated nature preserve of Arinaga. Bathing beaches have apparently not been affected. Read more: elpais.com 

Road workers destroy Norwegian monument. Image by Courtney Rhodes / CC BY 2.0
Road workers destroy Norwegian monument. Image by Courtney Rhodes / CC BY 2.0

Bungling contractors sued for destroying ancient Norwegian monument
The culture protection chief of Nordland, Norway, is to sue a construction company after its sub-contractors toppled a 1000-year-old stone when clearing a road in Steigen. The monument on Engeløya island is thought to have marked a burial ground or served as a border between settlements and is a popular attraction in the area. Although the monument is currently in three parts due to the accident, the local mayor has vowed to see the six-metre–tall stone reinstated. Read more: thelocal.no

Falkland Islands’ landscapes and wildlife revealed in new exhibition
The Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic, are best known for the 1982 conflict between between Britain and Argentina – which disputes Britain’s sovereignty and refers to the islands as Las Malvinas. A series of photos by residents on show in London reveals another side to the islands and features albatrosses, penguins, seals, wake-boarders and evocative landscapes. Read more: bbc.co.uk


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

The aftermath of Typhoon Rammasun as it passed through the Philippines. Image by Brian Candy / CC BY 2.0
The aftermath of Typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines. Image by Brian Candy / CC BY 2.0

Supertyphoon headed for southern China
China has issued a red alert, its highest, as Supertyphoon Rammasun bears down on the southern provinces. The typhoon is expected to make landfall on Friday battering Hainan and Guangdong provinces with sustained winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour. Read more: cnn.com

Nepali sherpas denied permission to clean up Matterhorn
Sherpas from Nepal have been denied permission to repair climbing trails on the Matterhorn because of a mix up over immigration paperwork. The sherpas were invited to Switzerland as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations for the first ascent of the Matterhorn and were expected to demonstrate traditional, environmentally-friendly techniques for maintaining mountain trails. Read more: reuters.com

Environmentalists rally against Phuket dolphinarium
Phuket’s local dive community have launched a social media campaign in opposition to a dolphinarium reportedly being built near Phuket Zoo. It’s thought that three wild female Pacific bottlenose dolphins destined for the facility were trapped in Taiji, Japan earlier this year. Read more: phuketwan.com

Heavy snow expected in New Zealand
Travellers crossing alpine passes on New Zealand’s South Island between Canterbury and the West Coast are advised to take care over the weekend as heavy snow is forecast. Motorists using Arthur’s, Lindis, Lewis and Porter’s passes should expect snow showers on Friday night and possibly Saturday morning. Read more: radionz.co.nz


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

Treasure trove discovered on-board 19th century shipwreck. Image by Tom Garnett / CC BY 2.0
Treasure trove. Image by Tom Garnett / CC BY 2.0

Hoard of Gold Rush gold recovered from shipwreck off South Carolina
A hoard of Californian Gold Rush-era gold worth millions has been recovered from a 19th-century shipwreck off the coast of South Carolina. The stash has been lying in the wreck of the SS Central America since it sank in a hurricane in 1857 and includes gold bars, double-eagle gold coins and eagle gold coins. The chief scientist at the site has said the variety and quality of the find is ‘astonishing’. After a court battle, salvage rights were granted last week to a Columbus receivership. Read more: usatoday.com 

Huge bible museum planned for Washington DC
The evangelical Christian family who own the chain of American craft stores, Hobby Lobby, are planning to open a bible museum in Washington DC. The museum will be housed in the former Washington Design Center, a 400,000-square-foot space just south of the National Mall. Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, says he hopes to ‘reintroduce this book to the nation’. The opening is scheduled for 2017. Read more: nytimes.com

Celebrating the watermelon in Texas
The small town of Hempstead, aka the Watermelon Capital of Texas, will be earning its nickname this weekend as it holds its 25th annual watermelon festival. Taking place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th, visitors can enjoy dancing in the streets, seed spitting contests, parades and a live watermelon auction. Read more: mckenzienewsservice.com

Bald Eagles repopulating Californian islands
The Channel Islands off the Los Angeles coast are seeing the gradual return of the Bald Eagle after the species disappeared from there in the 1960s because of the use of DDT insecticide. Populations of the eagle, a symbol of the United States, have now expanded to five of the eight islands and enthusiasts are confident that they’ll soon be found across the chain. Read more: foxnews.com

A view over Puerto Rico. Image by Trish Hartmann / CC BY 2.0
A view over Puerto Rico. Image by Trish Hartmann / CC BY 2.0

Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic
The mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya has reached epidemic levels in Puerto Rico with reported cases now tipping 200. Jamaican health officials reported its first case of the virus, which causes severe fever and joint pain, on Thursday. Read more: abcnews.go.com 

Bolivia law lowers legal working age to ten years old
New legislation in Bolivia is allowing children aged ten and older to work legally as long as they attend school and are “self employed”. They require parental supervision until the age of twelve when the law permits them to be contracted to work for others. Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said the law reflects the needs of the country – one of the poorest in South America – and sets harsher punishment for violence against children. Read more: bbc.com


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

Statue of Nelson Mandela outside the South African Embassy. Image by Ted Eytan / CC BY-SA 2.0
Statue of Nelson Mandela outside the South African Embassy. Image by Ted Eytan / CC BY-SA 2.0

Charity auction of Mandela memorabilia
A collection of particularly unusual items, each signed by Nelson Mandela, has been auctioned in Johannesburg. The lots included a chess set whose pieces are figures from both sides of the apartheid battle. There were also salt and pepper shakers depicting Mr Mandela and FW de Klerk. The sale raised around $160,000 (£93,000) for charity. Read more: bbc.co.uk

Tourist tram suspended in Victoria Falls
Following a collision with a cargo train earlier this month in Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls tourist tram service has announced that it will be suspended to allow an investigation into the cause of the accident. It’s thought that a signal error could be to blame for the crash which resulted in twenty injuries and one fatality. Read more: allafrica.com

A view into the Siq, Petra, Jordan. Image by Paul Stocker / CC BY 2.0
A view into the Siq, Petra, Jordan. Image by Paul Stocker / CC BY 2.0

Petra’s Siq protected by UNESCO project
The Siq, a mile-long gorge leading to Petra’s famous Treasury is being protected by a UNESCO project involving local Bedouin people.The Siq’s slopes are increasingly fragile, and to help sustain them locals have been trained to use a geographic information system (GIS) which monitors changes. The first set of research has now been presented to Jordan’s Department of Antiquities. Read more: jordantimes.com


Marseilles cityscape, France. Image by Martin Fisch / CC BY-SA 2.0
Marseilles cityscape, France. Image by Martin Fisch / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wild boars invade Marseille
The French city of Marseille is on alert as an influx of wild boars has started to move out of the nearby Calanques national park (where hunting is prohibited) and into the city’s outlying suburbs. A 24-year old woman was bitten on the arm prompting a call to cull the animals. Read more: telegraph.co.uk
Kate Morgan