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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 14 MAR 2019 MARCH 14, 2019

Date 14 Mar 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

Regional

Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should avoid student-led climate rallies to minimize inconvenience. Gatherings are likely to be peaceful but may result in local travel delays. Demonstrations will occur throughout the region, with major protests expected in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Mexico City, and Washington DC.

United States

Yesterday, March 13, Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 aircraft were grounded in the United States in an Executive Order issued by President Trump, reversing an earlier decision by the Federal Aviation Administration. The temporary emergency order comes after safety regulators in more than 40 countries around the world banned the equipment. More than 350 Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 jets are in global fleets, 74 of which are flown domestically in the US.

Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 2 hours and 18 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.

Today, passengers transiting Denver International Airport (DEN) should reconfirm flights after the facility was closed during the passage of Winter Storm Ulmer yesterday. Six runways have since reopened, but travelers should expect residual delays as authorities reposition aircraft and clear passenger backlogs.

Winter Storm Ulmer will continue to bring widespread high, potentially damaging winds, heavy snow and blizzard conditions to the Plains today.

Blizzard Warnings continue for portions of the northern and central High Plains, including parts of eastern Colorado, eastern Wyoming, Nebraska, northern Kansas, South Dakota, eastern North Dakota and far western Minnesota. This includes Cheyenne, WY; Rapid City, SD; and Fargo, ND.

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for other parts of the Plains and West.

High Wind Warnings continue for the Plains and Midwest, including parts of southern New Mexico, west Texas, eastern Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois.

In these areas, occasional wind gusts of 60 mph or more may lead to power outages, some tree damage, potential structural damage, and dangerous travel, especially for high-profile vehicles like trucks.

Today, heavy, wind-driven snow will continue primarily from central Nebraska into South Dakota and central and eastern North Dakota. High winds will persist in the Plains, from North Dakota to western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, and will spread into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. Rain may change to snow in parts of western Minnesota, western Iowa, and eastern Nebraska. While snow will gradually end in the High Plains, blowing and drifting snow will persist. Snow will gradually taper off in Minnesota, Iowa, western and northern Wisconsin, northern Missouri, and northeast Kansas tonight.Winds will persist from the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas east into the Ohio Valley today. Additional snowfall in most areas should be less than 6 inches, with the most falling in the eastern Dakotas or parts of Nebraska through tonight.

Bolivia

Today, travelers in El Alto should avoid a planned demonstration by Public University of El Alto (UPEA) students and staff as a precaution. Participants are due to gather at the main entrance to UPEA’s Edificio Emblematico at 8:30 AM local time. The event has been called in protest of the sentence imposed on a police officer who shot and killed a UPEA student during a demonstration in May 2018. Further rallies may take place in El Alto and neighboring La Paz City.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional

Travelers in Madagascar and Mozambique should exercise caution and maintain flexible itineraries accounting for disruption caused by the passage of Tropical Cyclone Idai. According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), Idai is likely to intensify as it turns south and west over the Mozambique Channel.

The cyclone is likely to make landfall today in Mozambique’s Zambezia province. Local media reports indicate that at least 66 people in northern Mozambique have been killed, and more than 140,000 were severely affected by flooding linked to Idai’s passage

.

Bahrain

Today, travelers should anticipate possible travel and business disruption, and avoid unauthorized demonstrations linked to the eighth anniversary of a regional military deployment to Bahrain. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) sent its Peninsula Shield Force to the country at the request of the government in 2011, during unrest related to that year’s “Arab Spring” uprisings. The anti-government “February 14 Youth Coalition” has called for acts of civil disobedience today, as well as protests on the anniversary itself.

Ghana

Travelers in Winneba should plan routes bypassing the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) campus, following unrest during recent demonstrations by UEW students. Yesterday, security forces dispersed protesting students with tear gas and warning shots, injuring at least ten people. The demonstrators are calling for the reinstatement of recently fired lecturers.

Israel

Today, operations have resumed at Eilat Airport (ETH) after being suspended due to poor visibility caused by severe haze. Passengers transiting the airport should anticipate residual delays and reconfirm schedules before setting out.

Lebanon

Today, travelers in Beirut should avoid a protest in the Hamra neighborhood organized by the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) in support of anti-government protesters in Sudan. The gathering will begin at 2:00 PM local time outside the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Previous similar demonstrations by the LCP have passed off peacefully, but the gathering may cause local travel disruption.

On Saturday, March 16, travelers in Beirut should plan routes bypassing a planned protest outside the French Embassy in Ras al-Nabaa at 4:00 PM local time. A number of groups, including the Communist Party, have called for the gathering to demand the release of Georges Abdallah, a Lebanese National who has been imprisoned in France for 35 years. Although the protest is likely to remain small, a related gathering on March 1 involved participants attempting to block a road near the French Embassy before security forces intervened.

Malawi

Travelers should continue to anticipate flood-related disruption. At least 45 people have died in the Southern region due to heavy rainfall and severe flooding; President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Emergency on March 8 for the region.

Road disruption has been reported on main routes, including the M1 Motorway; power and water continue to be disrupted in affected areas. The situation may be exacerbated, as the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) has forecast rainfall and strong winds today through Sunday, March 17 during the passage of Tropical Cyclone Idai in neighboring Mozambique.

Morocco

Travelers should avoid demonstrations linked to nationwide teachers’ strikes as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience.

Teachers’ unions and activist groups are protesting contractual issues, working conditions, and salaries. The FNE union has called for national strikes today, as well as March 26-28, while a related sit-in on Sunday, March 17 is scheduled for 10:00 AM local time outside the Education Ministry in Rabat. Other flashpoints include Parliament, as well as other federal and regional government buildings. There is potential for local unrest during such gatherings, as well as travel disruption.

Somalia

Today, explosions and gunfire have been reported at the KM4 Junction in Mogadishu. The explosion, which occurred near Banadir Plaza, was reportedly caused by a bomb planted on a security official’s vehicle. A heightened security force presence and road closures can be expected in the area.

United Arab Emirates

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has warned of heavy fog across the country, including in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other coastal and internal areas, with visibility reduced to less than 656 feet in some locations. The NCM forecasts adverse weather conditions through Monday, March 18. Travelers should exercise caution and allow additional time for road travel. Flight delays are also possible; travelers should reconfirm schedules before setting out for the airport.

Zimbabwe

Today and tomorrow, travelers in Harare should anticipate disruption near the Harare International Conference Center during a two-day national youth conference. An increased police presence and temporary road closures are likely around the venue as President Emmerson Mnangagwa will attend the event. Roads that are likely to be affected are Pennefather Avenue, Robert Mugabe Road, and Rekayi Tangwena Avenue.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Azerbaijan

Today through Saturday, March 16, travelers in Baku should anticipate heightened security measures and associated disruption during the 7th Global Baku Forum at the Nizami Ganjavi International Center in the Nasimi area. Dignitaries, including President Ilham Aliyev and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, are expected to attend related events. Traffic restrictions should be expected in Nasimi, particularly around the event venue. Delays are also possible at Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) as foreign dignitaries arrive and depart.

India

Tomorrow, travelers in Delhi should avoid a pro-Dalit rally at the Jantar Mantar Monument as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. The Bhim Army activist organization has called the demonstration in protest of the government’s allegedly unfair treatment of Dalits. The gathering is expected to continue until the late afternoon, accompanied by heightened security. Local traffic disruption is probable in adjacent areas such as Connaught Place, Sansad Marg, and Patel Chowk.

Malaysia

Potentially hazardous gases, possibly related to a chemical spill, have been detected in the Pasir Gudang area of Johor Bahru. Hundreds of people have suffered symptoms requiring hospitalization. All schools in the district have been closed. Travelers should follow the advice of local authorities and avoid clean-up areas or any recreational activities around the Kim Kim River.

Nepal

Today, travelers should expect disruption during a nationwide bandh (shutdown strike). The bandh has been called by the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in protest of the government’s decision yesterday to ban the party on the grounds of its alleged involvement in criminal and violent activity, including bomb and arson attacks. Travelers in affected areas should avoid all protests and ensure routes are clear prior to setting out.

EUROPE

Regional

Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should plan routes bypassing “Global Strike for Future” protests against climate change. The demonstrations are part of an international grassroots movement to demand more effective government action on climate change issues. The gatherings are expected to be peaceful but will cause local disruption.

Cyprus

Tomorrow, travelers in Nicosia should avoid a student-led environmental protest scheduled for 10:30 AM local time outside the House of Representatives. While the demonstration is likely to pass off peacefully, local disruption is possible.

France

Today, travelers in urban centers should avoid nationwide demonstrations at 7:00 PM local time by the so-called “Red Scarves” group. The rallies have been called to denounce violence during previous protests by the “Yellow Vests” movement. In Paris, participants will gather at Place de la Republique. Related gatherings are scheduled in other cities, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, and Toulouse. Heightened security can be expected along the rally routes, while turnouts numbering in the thousands are likely.

Germany

Today, travelers in Berlin should anticipate increased demand for alternative forms of transportation during a strike by bus drivers and plan journeys accordingly. Participating drivers are due to walk out from 3:30 AM until 10:00 PM local time due to a dispute over wages and working conditions. During the action, Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) will be accessible only by private cars and taxis.

Today, passengers transiting Hamburg Airport (HAM) should anticipate disruption during a strike by ground staff and reconfirm the status of flights. The walkout, which is linked to a wage dispute, will take place from 12:30 PM today through 12:00 AM local time tomorrow. The airport has warned that cancellations and delays are likely and recommends that passengers travel with minimum luggage, or carry-on luggage only where possible, to minimize the impact of the strike.

Hungary

Today, travelers should anticipate protests during a national strike by civil servants and public sector workers over a new labor law that increases the amount of overtime that employers can ask their staffs to work. Thousands have joined demonstrations in recent months over the so-called “slave law,” including outside the Parliament building in Budapest. While demonstrations over the issue have been largely peaceful, they have caused disruption. All further gatherings should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize travel delays.

Montenegro

Travelers in Podgorica should avoid weekly rallies on Saturdays as a precaution. Opposition and civil society groups are protesting perceived poor governance. They are demanding the resignation of the President and other government and judicial officials. Protesters have given the government until tomorrow to address their demands. If negotiations fail, they have threatened to hold a protest at 6:00 PM local time on Saturday, March 16 at Independence Square.

Netherlands

Today, travelers in Amsterdam should avoid a planned climate march at Dam Square. Previous related demonstrations have been well attended. While the upcoming rally is expected to pass off peacefully, local traffic disruption is possible.

Ukraine

On February 26, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) confirmed that a Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) patrol stationed near Mykhailivka had come under indirect attack. It was the second such attack on the SMM in recent weeks, with both incidents highlighting the increased tensions between pro-Russian armed separatists and the Ukrainian government during the Presidential Election period. A continued spike in ceasefire violations is anticipated in the coming weeks; all travel to buffer zone and ceasefire line in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces should be deferred.

United Kingdom

Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should anticipate and avoid nationwide climate marches by activists associated with the “YouthStrike4Climate” movement. In London, participants will gather at 11:00 AM local time at Parliament Square. The rallies are expected to be well attended and cause local disruption.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

March 14
Andorra: Constitution Day
Albania: Summer Day St Vincent & the
Grenadines: National Heroes Day

March 15
Belarus: Constitution Day Hungary: 1848 Revolution Memorial Day
Liberia: J. J. Roberts Birthday Palau: Youth Day

March 16
Ecuador: Special working day (compensation for Carnival Tuesday)

March 17
Bangladesh: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birthday Canada, Ireland, Montserrat, United Kingdom,
United States: St. Patrick’s Day
United States: Evacuation Day

March 18
Aruba: National Anthem and Flag Day Canada, United Kingdom: St. Patrick’s Day
Comoros: Cheikh Al Maarouf Day Mongolia: Soldiers’ Day
Montserrat: St. Patrick’s Day (Observed) Mexico: Day off for Benito Juárez’s Birthday Memorial
United States: Evacuation Day (Observed)

March 19
Austria, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Holy See,
Venezeula: St Joseph’s Day Bolivia: Father Day Spain: San Jose Honduras: Father’s Day

March 20
Azerbaijan: Nowruz Congo (DRC): International Francophonie Day
Israel: Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther) Israel: Erev Purim
India: Holika Dahana Iran: Birthday of Imam Ali Sri Lanka: Madin Full Moon Poya Day Turkmenistan: Nowruz Bayram (Spring Festival)
Tunisia: Independence Day

March 21
Afghanistan: Naw Roz Australia, Canada, Israel,
United Kingdom, United States: Purim
Australia: Harmony Day Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka,
Myanmar, Mauritius, Malaysia, Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States,
South Africa: Holi Bangladesh: Doljatra Georgia: Nowruz India: Dolyatra
India: Hazarat Ali’s Birthday Iraq: Nowruz Japan: Spring Equinox K
yrgyzstan: National Holiday “Nooruz” Kazakhstan: Nauryz Lebanon: Mother’s Day
Mexico: Benito Juárez’s Birthday Memorial Namibia: Independence Day
Pakistan: Dulhandi Suriname: Holi Phagwa Syria: Mothers’ Day
Uzbekistan: Nowruz South Africa: Human Rights Day

March 22 Albania: Nevruz Day
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday
Israel: Shushan Purim (Jerusalem)
Kazakhstan: Nauryz (Day 2)
Puerto Rico: Emancipation Day

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