Algerian airliner missing with 116 on board, Norway’s chief of intelligence warns of imminent terror threat, China plans extension of controversial rail line and Morocco builds electric fence along border

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: Air Algérie flight disappears from radar en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, Norwegian terror chief warns of ‘imminent’ attack, Morocco builds an electric fence along its Algerian border, China plans  extension of a controversial railway line and Airbnb tenant refuses to leave apartment.

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


24 July is…

Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Destiny, celebrated by Muslims everywhere

Simón Bolívar Day, in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia

Pioneer Day, Utah, USA


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

The Norwegian Flag. Image by Julian-G. Albert / CC BY 2.0
Norway on terror alert. Image by Julian-G. Albert / CC BY 2.0

Terrorist attack against Norway ‘imminent’
Benedicte Bjoernland, the head of PST, Norway’s  intelligence service, has announced they have received ‘reliable information’ that terrorists with links to Islamist groups in Syria are planning an attack on the country ‘within days’. He added that no specific target has been identified. Read more:

Rude grandmother rests before war memorial parade
A giant grandmother who smokes, spits and releases vanilla-scented farts has proved a major attraction in Liverpool. The 7.5m-tall marionette has been ‘sleeping’ in St George’s Hall, but will start to breathe before joining a giants’ parade from Friday to Sunday. The parade is part of the Memories of August 1914 show, which honours Liverpool’s involvement in WWI. Read more:

Loud Americans banned from Kerry cafe
A cafe in County Kerry has sparked outrage by banning coach parties and ‘loud Americans’. Peter’s Place in Waterville, part of the picturesque Ring of Kerry, has a sign in its window reading ‘No bus/coach parties or loud Americans’. The notice has been shared on Twitter but no one from the cafe has commented so far. Almost a million Americans visited Ireland last year. Read more:

New legislation proposes easier long-term visa applications for France
France has unveiled a new legislation that aims to reduce the hassles foreigners face when applying for long-term stays in the country. The bill, if passed, will mean the antiquated sections of France’s immigration system will be overhauled making it easier for people. The key points for expats include a multi-year visa being extended from one to four years and one skilled workers visa, a ‘talent passport’, to replace the various visas currently needed. Read more:

Crowds gather for an outdoor screening, Parc de la Villette. Image by Pascal Terjan / CC BY-SA 2.0
Outdoor screening, Parc de la Villette. Image by Pascal Terjan / CC BY-SA 2.0

Outdoor cinema kicks off in Paris
The annual Cinéma en Plein Air (open-air cinema) in Paris’ Parc de la Villette in the north kicked off its season on Wednesday. This year’s theme focuses on adolescence and the nostalgia of childhood. Check out the full programme on Read more:

WWI documents go online ahead of 100th anniversary
More than 700,000 rare photos, documents and letters relating to WWI have been uploaded to Germany’s Federal Archive, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the conflict, which began on July 28 1914. Access to all personal and military documentation is free, and the collection includes letters written to and from soldiers serving in the conflict. Read more:

Inter-city bus tickets to be sold at kiosks in Croatia
Purchasing tickets for Croatia’s inter-city buses is about to become easier, as they will soon be available to buy from over 1,300 Tisak-branded kiosks located around the country. The kiosks recently began diversifying their business, and offer other useful services such as photocopying, cash withdrawals and car-parking tickets. Read more:

Romania to host first European Fair of Castles
Romania will host the first European Fair of Castles in May 2015 and the fair will be held at Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Transylvania. Museums, palaces, castles and fortresses from around Europe are invited to take part in the event, and so far there are six confirmed participants, from Hungary, Spain and Romania itself. Read more:

Open Street theatre performances held in Moscow during summer
As part of the city government’s initiative called ‘the Best City in the World’, Moscow theatres are offering free street performances during summer. The shows take place on major squares and pedestrian streets in central Moscow. Other free events, such as dance lessons, will also be organised. Read more:

Pilot whales off the coast of Tenerife. Image by Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0
Pilot whales off the coast of Tenerife. Image by Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0

Demands for whale sanctuary off Canary Islands
Conservationist groups have called for a whale and dolphin sanctuary to be created off the Canary Islands just months before oil drilling is due to start in the area. The region is home to close to a third of the world’s cetacean species, environmentalists are pressing the Spanish government to form a protection zone and challenge the start of drilling. Read more:


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

China plans controversial railway extension. Image by Nick Ares / CC BY-SA 2.0
China plans rail extension. Image by Nick Ares / CC BY-SA 2.0

China plans railway link to Nepal, India and Bhutan
China plans to extend its controversial railway in Tibet to reach the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan  by 2020. The line has already reached the Buddhist city of Shigatse, but many Tibetans see the railway as a ploy by the Chinese government to bring non-Tibetan settlers into Tibetan areas. Read more:

Virgin to drop Melbourne-LAX flight move to Brisbane
In response to the news that United Airlines is adding a Los Angeles-Melbourne flight to its schedule in Australia this October, Virgin Australia will abandon this route and increase its Brisbane to Los Angeles schedule to a daily service. Read more:


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

Palm Springs, California. Image by Patrick Nouhailler / CC BY-SA 2.0
Palm Springs, California. Image by Patrick Nouhailler / CC BY-SA 2.0

Airbnb renter refuses to leave
A legal dispute has arisen after an Airbnb guest refused to move out of the apartment he had rented after the agreed time period. The man claims that having spent a month in the Palm Springs property he is now the legal tenant under California law, meaning that the owner may have to take him to court to have him evicted. Read more:

New York is least satisfied city in US
A survey of how satisfied citizens of different US cities are has found that New Yorkers are the least happy with their lives. The Big Apple came bottom of the list, below cities well known for their problems such as Detroit and Pittsburgh, while Richmond, Virginia, came top. Read more:

Vintage train halted after derailment
An Alaskan tourist train company has paused operations after two of its vintage locomotives and four passenger cars derailed on a route between Skagway, Alaska, and Canada. There were nine reported injuries. Jon Finlayson, the railroad president, said the route is popular with tourists, and it takes passengers on a three-hour, 40-mile roundtrip tour along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush. The cause of the derailment is unknown. Read more:


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

Morocco builds electric fence along its Algerian border. Image by Christopher / CC BY-SA 2.0
Morocco builds electric fence. Image by Christopher / CC BY-SA 2.0

Morocco builds 40km electronic fence along border with Algeria
Morocco is tightening its borders by building a fence with electric sensors between it and neighbouring Algeria. The fence currently stretches 40km and will be 70km long when completed, running from Saidia to the province of Jaradah. The aim is to combat the growing terrorist threat related to Isis as well as to prevent smugglers who operate in the area. Read more:

Flight disappears from radar between Burkina Faso and Algeria
An Air Algérie plane, believed to be carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six, disappeared from radar about 50 minutes into a flight early on Thursday morning. Flight AH 5017 took off from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 1.17am GMT but did not land as scheduled at 5.10am GMT in Algiers. It is understood that no contact has been made with the plane. Read more:

FAA lifts ban on Israel flights, US Airways resumes service

US Airways have said they will resume flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport after the Federal Aviation Agency lifted its temporary ban. Many US and European airlines suspended service to Israel after a Hamas rocket landed close to the airport on Tuesday. So far US Airways is the only carrier among them to start running the route again. Read more:

Zimbabwe grounds inaugural Flyafrica flight
Flyafrica, Africa’s newest low-cost carrier, had to cancel its inaugural flight on Wednesday. The move was a result of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe revoking the airline’s South African pilots’ validation to fly at the last minute. Flyafrica has booked its stranded passengers onto an alternate flight from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg with British Airways flight that departs Thursday at 1pm. Read more:


Animal-ripped jeans auctioned in Japan
Three pairs of jeans created from denim ripped and clawed by lions, tigers and bears in Japan have sold for a combined total of around US$3,500. The ‘Zoo Jeans’ label created the jeans by wrapping denim around tyres and putting them into enclosures at Kamine Zoo. Proceeds of the sale have gone to the zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. See how the jeans were made:
Laura Crawford

Indian doctors remove 232 teeth from one patient
Doctors in a suburb of Mumbai have removed an astonishing 232 teeth from a patient who came into hospital with a swollen jaw. The abnormal tooth growth was caused by a rare benign tumour known as a complex composite odontoma, and this is believed to be the most prolific case ever discovered. Read more:
Joe Bindloss