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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 08 JAN 2019 JANUARY 08, 2019

Date 8 Jan 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

Argentina

Travelers in Buenos Aires should avoid demonstrations by the Argentine Workers’ Union (CTA) and the Truckers’ Federation. The groups are denouncing planned nationwide increases in the price of public services and transportation. Marches have been announced for January 10, 17, 24 and 31, as well as February 7, in various urban centers.

Brazil

Travelers in Ceara state, including the Fortaleza metropolitan area, should continue to exercise caution amid an ongoing security force operation to curb a campaign of violence by organized gangs. More than 153 related incidents, mostly arson attacks, but also shootings and bombings, were reported between January 2 and 7. At least 148 people have been arrested. The national government has deployed around 400 federal officers since January 5 to bolster security, while neighboring Bahia, Piaui, and Pernambuco states have sent an additional 150 military officers to assist in the operations. Checkpoints have been established across Fortaleza in recent days.

Colombia

On Friday, January 11, travelers in Bogota and other urban centers should avoid protests calling for the resignation of Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez over corruption allegations. The demonstrations come amid allegations of corrupt ties between Martinez and Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and its Colombian affiliate. Protests are due to be held at 6:00 PM local time at the Attorney General’s office in Bogota and at Parque de Los Deseos in Medellin. Demonstrations are also possible in other urban centers and are likely to focus on local branches of the Attorney General’s office.

Guatemala

Passengers transiting Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA) should continue to reconfirm itineraries and allow extra time for travel. Law enforcement entities aligned with President Jimmy Morales were employed to impede the entry of an international investigator into the country over the weekend. While he has since been released, law enforcement and protest activity at the airport led to significant, though sporadic, delays in flight operations. Similar disruption is likely in the coming weeks as additional investigators attempt to enter Guatemala.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional

Yesterday, the border crossing between Humera and Oumajir reopened on both sides, having been closed for 20 years; however, the Zalambessa-Serha and Rama-Adi Quala crossings, which had also reopened on both sides after 20 years in September, remain closed to Ethiopian Nationals since December 28. While travel through border posts is possible with enhanced security precautions, journeys should be undertaken only on main roads due to the risks posed by undetonated explosives in border areas of Eritrea.

Benin

Additional cases of Lassa fever have been reported. Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic illness. Transmission to humans mostly occurs through ingestion or inhalation of excretions from infected rodents, especially rats. The disease can also spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection through observing strict hygiene and avoiding contact with sick people.

Egypt

Today and tomorrow, travelers should anticipate disruption caused by poor weather conditions and plan journeys accordingly. On Sunday, January 6, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority warned of a cold wave, strong winds, heavy rain, and rising sea levels in the north of the country, including Cairo. Seven major ports, including Alexandria and Dekheila on the Mediterranean Sea and Ain Sokhna and Suez on the Red Sea, have been closed since Sunday, January 6. Meanwhile, rain and snowfall in Kafr El Sheikh have resulted in flash flooding and disruption to road travel.

Lebanon

Travelers should exercise caution and anticipate disruption from Storm Norma. The storm, which hit Lebanon on Saturday, January 5, will continue to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds and snow through Thursday, January 10 as it moves northeast. The Lebanese Meteorological Department is predicting particularly strong winds in South and Nabatiah governorates, while there has been heavy snowfall in the mountainous areas of Baalbek-Hermel governorate. Thunderstorms are widely forecast, including in Beirut and Batroun, with a possibility of flash flooding.

Liberia

There is an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.

Madagascar

An outbreak of measles has been reported, mainly affecting children. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.

Travelers in urban centers should minimize movement after dark and avoid all gatherings related to the release of provisional Presidential Election results. Final results are due to be announced at 3:00 PM local time today. According to the Electoral Commission, former President Andry Rajoelina won the elections, defeating former President Marc Ravalomanana.

Mali

Tomorrow through Friday, January 11, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption and avoid all rallies during a labor-linked strike. The National Union of Workers of Mali will observe the nationwide industrial action over salaries, among several other issues. While most related rallies are likely to pass off peacefully, they should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize delays.

Nigeria

Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption and avoid all demonstrations related to a planned nationwide day of mobilization by the Nigeria Labor Council (NLC). The action is being staged over the government’s delay in raising the minimum wage, among other issues. Related gatherings are possible in other urban centers. While these are expected to pass off peacefully, scuffles between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Senegal

Today, travelers in Dakar should avoid a protest scheduled for 3:00 PM local time as a precaution. The demonstration has been organized by the C25 opposition coalition to denounce the recent Constitutional Court decision to reject their sponsorships ahead of the February Presidential Election. The rally is also being held in support of Khalifa Sall, Dakar’s former Mayor, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for fraud. A related protest in Dakar on Friday, January 4 passed off peacefully.

Sierra Leone

An outbreak of measles has been reported in areas bordering Liberia and Guinea. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.

South Africa

An outbreak of measles has been reported in areas bordering Liberia and Guinea. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.

Today, travelers along the R44 Highway between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi-Els should plan alternative routes. Authorities have closed the highway due to an ongoing wildfire. Residents have also been evacuated.

Sudan

Today and tomorrow, travelers should avoid planned protests in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Gadarif. Today, anti-government protesters will march to the local Legislative Council building in Gadarif at 1:00 PM local time. Tomorrow, anti-government demonstrators will gather at the National Council building in Omdurman, while a pro-government rally is scheduled for 9:00 AM local time at Green Square in Khartoum. President Omar al-Bashir is expected to address the event in Khartoum, and counter-demonstrations can be expected in the city. Nightly protests may also occur across the country.

Zimbabwe

Travelers in Harare should anticipate and avoid further protests led by the ARTUZ teachers’ union. Teachers and other civil servants, including doctors, have made multiple demands regarding pay and work conditions, including for their salaries to be paid in US Dollars. Yesterday, a meeting between the various unions and the government was unsuccessful. A related protest from Africa Unity Square, towards the Finance Ministry, in Harare led to the arrest of nine teachers. ARTUZ has indicated its intent to hold further protests outside the Finance Ministry today.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Azerbaijan

On Saturday, January 12, travelers in Baku should avoid a planned protest by the opposition Musavat party as a precaution. The gathering will be held at 3:00 PM local time; the venue is yet to be disclosed. The demonstration is being held in support of prominent blogger and activist Mehman Huseynov, who is serving a two-year prison sentence since March 2017. His release is due in March, but fresh charges have been brought against him that could extend his imprisonment. Police detained participants in small related protests on January 3 and 6.

India

Today, travelers in Delhi should plan journeys avoiding a farmers’ protest as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. The ruling Biju Janata Dal party of Odisha state will hold a farmers’ rally at Talkatora Stadium to demand that the federal government increase the minimum price of rice in Odisha. The organizers have stated that 5,000 farmers will be traveling to Delhi to attend the rally. While the event is expected to pass off peacefully, protesters are liable to disrupt travel in the area.

Today and tomorrow, travelers should avoid all protests and expect disruption during a nationwide shutdown strike. The industrial action is being organized by various trade unions to denounce the labor policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led federal government. Several state workers’ unions and banking associations have declared their support for the action. Several unions representing public transportation workers will also observe the strike. Travelers in major urban
centers should expect a surge in demand for alternative forms of transportation and reconfirm arrangements throughout the duration of the strike.

Kyrgyzstan

Travelers in Bishkek should anticipate and avoid further protests linked to concerns over immigration. Around 300 protesters gathered at Ala-Too Square in central Bishkek before proceeding to national broadcaster KTRK’s headquarters. The demonstrators were demanding an expulsion of illegal immigrants, focusing particularly on Chinese Nationals. The protest was held amid an increased police presence and passed off peacefully. A related rally is scheduled for January 17 at Ala-Too Square.

Myanmar

Today and tomorrow, travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to the passage of exCyclonic Storm Pabuk. According to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), the weather system has been downgraded to a deep depression and is expected to weaken further as it continues to move northwest. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected to affect the Coco Islands today. Intermittent rainfall is also forecast over several urban centers, including Naypyitaw, Mandalay, and Yangon.

Papua New Guinea

Today, operations resumed at Kieta Airport (KIE) following the installation of precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights. National carrier Air Niugini subsequently resumed its Tuesday and Friday flights to Port Moresby. Authorities had closed the airport citing a need to improve operational safety.

Philippines

Tomorrow, travelers in Manila should expect significant disruption during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, when a statue of Jesus Christ is carried in a procession through the city’s streets. More than 5 million Roman Catholics from across the country are expected to attend the traditional procession from Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or the Quiapo Church. Several smaller processions will also be held throughout the city. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries for journeys through Metro Manila.

Turkey

Today through Monday, January 14, travelers should plan itineraries accounting for potential disruption due to forecast heavy snow. Ankara and Istanbul will both be affected. Today, schools and roads have been closed in 16 provinces, including Afyonkarahisar, Adiyaman, Agrı, Balikesir, Batman, Bitlis, Bingol, Bursa, Canakkale, Corum, Denizli, Elazig, Isparta, Karaman, Konya, and Tunceli. Travelers should reconfirm the status of road routes and transportation services, including flights, before setting out.

Europe

Belgium

On Thursday, January 10, travelers in Brussels should avoid Place du Luxembourg during a protest from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM local time by truck drivers. The drivers are protesting proposed changes to EU legislation on road transportation. The demonstration is expected to be well attended, with drivers from various countries announcing their intention to attend. Travelers should anticipate disruption around the European Parliament building, adjacent to the protest site.

Finland

Today, passengers of Finnair should reconfirm flights after the airline canceled a total of 14 flights due to inclement weather conditions forecast for Helsinki. Travelers should expect delays as passenger backlogs are cleared.

Italy

On Friday, January 11, passengers transiting Italian airports should anticipate flight disruption and reconfirm schedules during a nationwide strike by air traffic controllers from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time. The industrial action is being organized by the UNICA, UGL-TA, and Assivolo Quadri unions representing employees of ENAV, the company which manages civilian air traffic nationwide. Although the strike is liable to disrupt outbound domestic and international flights, inbound intercontinental flights are not expected to experience disruption; flight paths in Italian airspace should remain unaffected.

Netherlands

Today, authorities at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) have warned of likely delays and cancellations due to unfavorable wind conditions. Flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has already canceled 159 European flights and warned that disruption may continue tomorrow. Gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are forecast.

Spain

On Thursday, January 10 and Sunday, January 13, passengers of Ryanair traveling to, from or within Spain should reconfirm flights due to planned 24-hour strikes by the airline’s cabin crew based in the country. Unions are demanding that the airline employ staff under local contracts as opposed to Irish agreements. A strike previously scheduled for today has been called off.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

January 8
Moldova: Orthodox Christmas Day Holiday
Montenegro: Christmas Day, Day 2 (Orthodox)
Russia: New Year Holiday Week
Sudan: Coptic Christmas

January 9
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Day of the Republika Srpska
Panama: Martyr´s Day
South Sudan: Peace Agreement Day

January 10
Bangladesh: Bangabandhu Homecoming Day
Benin: Vodoun Festival
The Bahamas: Majority Rule Day
Falkland Islands: Margaret Thatcher Day

January 11
Micronesia: Kosrae Constitution Day
Morocco: Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto
Nepal: Prithvi Jayanti

January 12
Turkmenistan: Geok Tepe Memorial Day
Tanzania: Zanzibar Revolution Day

January 13
Cabo Verde: Democracy Day
India: Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
India: Lohri
Myanmar: Kayin New Year Day
Mongolia: Constitution Day
Togo: Liberation Day
January 14
Australia, Canada, Serbia, Ukraine,
United Kingdom, United States: Orthodox New Year
India: Makar Sankranti
Japan: Coming of Age Day
Malaysia: Birthday of Yang diPertuan Besar
Tunisia: Revolution and Youth Day
Uzbekistan: Defenders of the Motherland Day

January 15
India: Pongal
Sri Lanka: Tamil Thai Pongal Day
Malawi: John Chilembwe Day
Nepal: Maghe Sankranti

January 16
Congo (DRC): Anniversary of President Laurent Kabila’s Assassination
El Salvador: Signing of the Peace Accords

January 17
Congo (DRC): Anniversary of Prime Minister Patrice Emery
Lumumba’s Assassination

January 18
United States: Lee-Jackson Day

January 19
Georgia: Orthodox Epiphany
Macedonia: Epiphany (Orthodox)
United States: Robert E. Lee’s Birthday
United States: Confederate Heroes’ Day

January 20
Azerbaijan: Martyrs’ Day
Cabo Verde: Heroes’ Day
Ethiopia: Epiphany
Guinea-Bissau: Heroes Day
Sri Lanka: Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day

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