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Beastly behaviour at London Zoo, American and Dutch citizens arrested in Kuwait for eating in public during Ramadan and Indian tribe hailed as the original tree huggers

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: late-night events at London Zoo come under scrutiny after reports of animal harassment, nineteen arrested in Kuwait for eating in public during Ramadan, India’s Bishnoi tribe hailed as the original tree conservationists and Tokyo launches ‘Samurai and Ninja Safari’.

 

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

YOUR WORLD TODAY

21 July is…

Anniversary of the first moonwalk by Neil Armstrong, 1969

Liberation Day, Guam

National Day, Belgium

EUROPE

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

The penguin enclosure, London Zoo. Image by Karen Roe / CC BY 2.0

Penguin enclosure, London Zoo. Image by Karen Roe / CC BY 2.0

London Zoo night events under spotlight after beastly behaviour
London Zoo’s  Zoo Lates, Friday night events which see the iconic zoo open for food, drink  and comedy performances, have come under fire after reports of animal harassment. Incidents have included a woman hitting a bird, a man pouring beer on a tiger and a visitor stripping off before trying to enter the penguin enclosure. The evenings, which raise £800,000 a year, run from June to August. Read more: dailymail.co.uk

Bulgaria’s new island attraction popular with tourists
The Black Sea island of St Anastasia, near the town of Burgas, is the first Bulgarian island to become a tourist attraction. It was opened to visitors in May and so far it has attacted almost 15,000 tourists, according to officials.  The island has archaeological sites, a monastery and a small guesthouse. It can be reached by three daily boats from Burgas. Read more: novinite.com

Village in Crete looking for new residents
The village of Verekinthos near Chania, Crete, is looking for new residents. It has 35 arts and crafts laboratories and is inviting artists and craftsmen to settle permanently or rent about 10 currently empty workshops. The crafts produced in the other 20 workshops include ceramics, leather, glass, painting, sculpture, masks, traditional knives and more. Read more: greece.greekreporter.com

Cornwall coast awash with Lego. Image by Benjamin Esham / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cornwall coast awash with Lego. Image by Benjamin Esham / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cornwall’s Lego curse
Pieces of Lego are washing up on Cornish beaches, seventeen years after a freak wave deposited 4.8 million of them in the sea off Land’s End. In 1997 the wave knocked 62 containers off a cargo ship – among the cargo were 34,000 plastic dragons, 48,000 flippers and 4,200 octopuses. The plastic does not decompose and can poison birds. While most pieces have washed up in Cornwall, ocean currents mean some could show up anywhere in the world. Read more: bbc.co.uk

Bathing ban for baking beachgoers
Temperatures are soaring in Sweden but beachgoers in the south of the country won’t be able to cool down in the sea: authorities have been forced to stop visitors from entering the water at two of the most popular beaches in Malmö due to high levels of bacteria. Heavy rain in the preceding weeks has been blamed for the increase in bacteria and the waters will remain out of bounds for at least the next few days while further samples are tested. Read more: thelocal.se

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

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

Malaysia airlines. Image by Gordon Werner / CC BY 2.0

Malaysia Airlines. Image by Gordon Werner / CC BY 2.0

Malaysia Airlines passengers offered refunds until Thursday
Malaysia Airlines customers have until Thursday to claim a full refund without financial penalty for travel throughout the rest of the year. The future of the embattled carrier, still reeling from the March disappearance of Flight 370, remains in doubt following the MH17 disaster last Thursday, which claimed the lives of all 298 people on board. Read more: smh.com.au

Open House Melbourne this weekend
Architecture and history buffs should note that Open House Melbourne is on this weekend with many buildings not normally open to the public available for free public viewings. In addition, Nite Art will see a range of art installations on view at various locations on July 23. Unrelated but also worth a look this week in Melbourne is the Gertrude Street Projection Festival at various locations in Melbourne’s inner north. Read more: broadsheet.com.au

Typhoon Rammasun kills scores, Typhoon Matmo on the way
Typhoon Rammasun has killed 112 people in China and the Philippines in the worst storm to hit mainland China in more than 40 years. Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau in Taiwan has issued a warning that Typhoon Matmo may hit the island on Tuesday, with the possibility for high winds and rogue waves. Read more: chinapost.com.tw

China Eastern to trial country’s first in-flight wi-fi
China Eastern Airlines will trial its new in-flight wi-fi service in what would become China’s first commercial airline wi-fi system. The trial will take place aboard an Airbus A330 from Shanghai to Beijing on Wednesday morning. Use of the system will be free during the trial period, but charges will apply once the system is in full use. Laptop – and tablet – users will be able to access the wi-fi, but mobile phones are still banned from use on flights in China. Read more: shanghaidaily.com

India’s original tree huggers
The Bishnoi tribe of Rajasthan has been hailed as the original conservationists because of their philosophy of protecting trees, a sensible measure in the arid Thar desert. Photographer Arindam Mukherjee has produced a photo story on the Bishnoi way of life for the BBC. Read more: bbc.co.uk

No Thai visa needed for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists. Image by J Aaron Farr / CC BY 2.0

Thai visa charge waived for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists. Image by J Aaron Farr / CC BY 2.0

Thailand to waive visa fees for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists
In a bid to boost tourism in the face of political unrest, Thailand will exempt visa fees for both Chinese and Taiwanese visitors from August 1 to October 31. The regular visa entry fee for both regions is 1,000 baht. Read more: ttgasia.com

New study places Nepal at the heart of the settlement of Asia
According to a new study, Nepal was the birthplace of the Tibeto-Burman ethnic group that went on to populate large parts of China and Southeast Asia. It had long been assumed that Tibeto-Burman peoples came to Nepal from Tibet and Mongolia but the new study suggests that migration might actually have been in the opposite direction. Read more: ekantipur.com

THE AMERICAS

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

Chinatown, San Francisco. Image by Shubert Ciencia / CC BY 2.0

Chinatown, San Francisco. Image by Shubert Ciencia / CC BY 2.0

Chinatown redevelopment in San Francisco
One of San Francisco’s most popular areas for visitors is to have its main artery redeveloped. Broadway, the road that cuts through the city’s Chinatown, is a busy and sometimes dangerous mix of traffic and pedestrians, so local planners are drawing up plans to make the street safer. Read more: sfexaminer.com

Arizona couple skydives onto waterslide
A pair of daredevils gave skydiving a summer twist when they each landed on a Slip ‘N Slide in Arizona. The married couple, who are both skydiving instructors, had to jump from just 5,000 feet – instead of the usual 13,000 – in order to get the landing right. They say this isn’t the last stunt they have planned; ‘if we could incorporate fire somehow, that would probably be awesome’, one of them told azfamily.com. Read more: azfamily.com

First Nation members deliver eviction notice to City of Vancouver
A standoff between a homeless camp and the City of Vancouver took an interesting turn when the city itself was the recipient of an eviction notice. After the city issued two eviction notices to a camp at Oppenheimer Park, members of a local First Nation protested the city’s right to issue eviction notices, and then issued one of their own. One First Nation member said they couldn’t stand by and watch as the homeless, many of whom are First Nation members themselves, were kicked out of the park. Read more: cbc.ca

Kennedy Space Station names building after Neil Armstrong
Forty-five years after he stepped on the moon, Neil Armstrong has been honoured at the Kennedy Space Station in Florida by having part of the complex named after him. The Operations & Checkout Building has been renamed after the astronaut, and the anniversary was marked by an event attended by fellow Apollo 11 crew members Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Read more: clickorlando.com

Sightings of great white sharks off Cape Cod draw tourists
Sightings of great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have risen from only one or two a year before 2004, to around 20 in the last couple of years, but instead of putting people off visiting, the sightings are becoming a draw for tourists. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have said sharks are now surging in the area, and in response, local shops are seeing a rush in sales for shark-themed paraphernalia such as t-shirts and caps. Read more: bostonherald.com

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

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

Masked gunmen kill four in Mombasa
Two masked gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed four people and injured several others in Mombasa over the weekend. Reuters news agency reported that the gunmen also dropped leaflets claiming the attack was ‘revenge for our brothers who were killed in Mpeketoni’. It went on to threaten Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and his Luos tribe. Most of those killed in Mpeketoni were Kikuyus, the tribe to which President Kenyatta belongs. Read more: bbc.co.uk

Nine-day Eid Al Fitr holiday announced in UAE
The Eid Al Fitr holiday will be nine days long this year for public sector employees in the UAE according to an official announcement. The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, and runs from Sunday July 27 to Thursday July 31, with weekends each side. Read more: thenational.ae

Nineteen arrested in Kuwait for eating in public during Ramadan
After a surprise campaign by Kuwaiti  police, 19 men and women have been arrested for eating in public during Ramadan. They included American and Dutch nationals who were seen eating at a roadside, and a Lebanese man who was caught smoking. It’s forbidden to break fast publicly in Kuwait between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. Read more: arabianbusiness.com

WEIRD, ODD & JUST PLAIN FUN

Samurai and ninja tour to launch in Tokyo
Visitors to Tokyo will be able to take a ‘Samurai & Ninja Safari’ tour of the city from next month. According to the tour operator, as well as taking in the sights, the new tour option will feature a ‘fight’ between street performers dressed as ninja and samurai. Read more: japantimes.co.jp

Laura Crawford