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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 15 MAR 2019 MARCH 15, 2019

Date 15 Mar 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

Regional

Today, 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.

Travelers in the Americas should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights during the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft until at least May. The measure, announced by Boeing on March 13, follows the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 flight. Travelers should monitor developments as investigations into the crash and safety inspections continue.

Canada

Today, travelers in Montreal should avoid a planned demonstration by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality group. Demonstrators will gather at 7:00 PM local time at Norman Bethune Square. A similar event organized by the group in March 2018 resulted in local clashes with police; four people were injured.

Nicaragua

Tomorrow, travelers should avoid nationwide demonstrations called by the opposition Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) coalition to demand the release of anti-government demonstrators. In Managua, participants will march from Rotonda Centroamerica to the Alexis Arguello Monument at 2:00 PM local time. Other protest flashpoints in the city include Metrocentro and Rotonda del Periodista, as well as the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and other university campuses.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional

Travelers in Mozambique and Zimbabwe should continue to exercise caution and anticipate disruption from Tropical Cyclone Idai. Idai made landfall last night near the city of Beira in Mozambique’s Sofala province, bringing winds of up to 110 miles per hour and severely disrupting communications and electrical power. Airlines have canceled a number of flights to and from Beira today. Strong winds and heavy rains are predicted to affect Sofala, Zambezia, Manica Inhambane, Niassa, and Cabo Delgado provinces through Sunday, March 17. In Zimbabwe, heavy rains are also expected in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces, as well as Matabeleland, tomorrow and Sunday, March 17.

Algeria

Travelers should continue to exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from the Presidential Election on March 11. The poll, originally scheduled for April 18, has been postponed indefinitely. Although newly-appointed Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui announced further concessions to protesters yesterday, opposition groups have largely ruled out compromising with the government. The next round of nationwide demonstrations is scheduled for today, with further events planned for Tuesday, March 19. Rallies in major urban centers are likely to be well attended.

Benin

Travelers should avoid further opposition gatherings ahead of the April 28 Legislative Elections due to the potential for unrest. Today, a rally will be held from Rond Point Hubert Maga to the Prefecture building, via the Royal Palace in Parakou. The Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party has organized the march. The FCBE was among those excluded from the polls on March 5 by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENA). Heightened security measures can be expected in major cities in the run-up to the election.

Cameroon

On Sunday, March 17, travelers in Yaounde should avoid anti-government rallies in support of Maurice Kamto, leader of the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC). The politician, at least two journalists, and other key figures from the MRC were arrested on January 28 in Douala, triggering protests. The planned demonstrations will coincide with the arrival of Tibor Nagy, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, in Yaounde.

Congo (DRC)

Travelers should avoid all gatherings ahead of Senate Elections today and Gubernatorial Elections on March 26. Delayed General and Provincial elections will also be held in the three regions of Beni, Butembo, and Yumbi on March 31. Although political tensions have subsided since the December 30, 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary polls, the upcoming elections may cause local unrest, particularly in areas where the Lamuka opposition coalition is strong, and in districts where voting has been delayed. All election-related gatherings should be avoided as a security precaution and to mitigate travel delays.

Israel

Travelers in Tel Aviv should continue to exercise caution after two missiles were fired towards the city from the Gaza Strip at 9:00 PM local time yesterday. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) initially said it had intercepted a missile but later withdrew the statement. No damage or casualties were reported. The city’s air sirens were activated, and shelters were opened to residents. Shortly after the attack, IDF launched retaliatory airstrikes against militant targets in Gaza. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement governing the Gaza Strip, has denied responsibility for the attack. Services at Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) are operating normally.

Today, travelers in Jerusalem should avoid the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound due to the risk of local unrest amid tension over the control of access to the site. On March 12, clashes between Palestinians and security forces broke out after the compound was evacuated and temporarily closed following a grenade attack on a nearby police checkpoint. Demonstrations and possible scuffles with security forces are expected in and around the site today during Friday prayers.

Jordan

On Tuesday, March 19, travelers in Amman should avoid a planned demonstration by regular taxi drivers outside the Parliament building as a precaution. The gathering was called in protest of alleged regulation violations and unfair competition by appbased ride-share services.

Kenya

Today, travelers in Nairobi should plan journeys avoiding State House Road. University of Nairobi students have reportedly blocked the road with burning objects and are throwing stones at passing vehicles. Students are threatening to take the protest onto the A104 Highway. The demonstration follows the killing of a student leader.

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 theInternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Previous similar demonstrations by LCP passed off peacefully, but the gathering may cause local travel disruption.

Libya

Today, travelers in Tripoli should avoid a fresh demonstration calling for the expulsion of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) from the country. Participants plan to gather at Martyrs’ Square at 6:00 PM local time. A related rally on March 8 passed off without incident. Travelers should allow additional time for all journeys.

Mali

On Monday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 19, travelers in Bamako should avoid demonstrations by police officers as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. Several police unions have called for sit-in protests over the non-implementation of a 2018 agreement on working conditions. A gathering at the General Directorate of the National Police building is scheduled to begin at 7:00 AM local time on Monday, March 18, while a related protest at the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection will start at an unspecified time on Tuesday, March 19. Participating unions have threatened further “coercive action” if their demands are not met.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Australia

Travelers in southeastern parts of Queensland state, including Brisbane, should expect significant disruption to travel and power supplies through tomorrow, during the passage of four severe storms across the region. In Brisbane, heavy rain and flash flooding has caused severe road disruption, while flight cancellations and delays have been reported at Brisbane Airport (BNE). Today, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the southeast coast, as well as parts of the Central Highlands and the Coalfields, Wide Bay-Burnett and Darling Downs regions, including the Granite Belt area.

Today, travelers should expect local disruption around a series of climate protests by students. The demonstrations, under the “Youth Strike 4 Climate” banner, are part of an international movement to demand more effective government action on climate change issues. Rallies are planned in Canberra, state and territory capitals, and dozens of other cities. Rallies in major cities may be well attended but peaceful.

India

Travelers in Mumbai should anticipate disruption in the vicinity of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station while clean-up operations are ongoing. A pedestrian footbridge connecting the north end of Platform 1 with BT Lane collapsed at around 7:30 PM local time yesterday. At least six fatalities and 33 injuries have been reported. Traffic diversions are in place in the surrounding area.

Today, 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.

Indonesia

On March 12, a bomb exploded during a raid by the police’s counter-terrorism unit, Densus 88, at the house of a militant in Sibolga. Several people, including a police officer, were injured. The incident follows the arrests of three militants on March 9-12 by Densus 88 in Sibolga, as well as Lampung and West Kalimantan provinces. The militants are linked to the hardline Islamist Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group. The developments highlight the persistent threat of militancy in the country. Travelers should remain vigilant, particularly around sensitive locations, such as security force installations and government buildings.

Malaysia

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

Nepal

Today, travelers in Kathmandu should avoid a political gathering organized by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). The gathering will take place at 12:15 PM local time at Bhrikuti Mandap. The gathering marks the culmination of the Rashtriya Swabhiman Yatra (National Pride March), a 15-day march by RPP members to demand a range of religious and political rights. The event is expected to be well attended.

New Zealand

Today, travelers in Christchurch should exercise caution and follow all official directives following two active shooter incidents at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. At least 40 people were killed, and 20 others injured; four people have been arrested. A lockdown on schools has been lifted. Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is operating normally, though security measures at the facility have been heightened. Flag carrier Air New Zealand has canceled the remainder of regional departures from Christchurch scheduled for today. The National Terror Threat Level has been raised from Low to High.

Today, travelers in urban centers should expect disruption and avoid planned student-led climate rallies. The demonstrations, under the “School Strike 4 Climate” banner, are part of an international movement to demand more effective government action on climate change issues. Protests are planned in Wellington, as well as Auckland, Kapiti, Christchurch, Dunedin and Russell. The gatherings are expected to be well attended and pass off peacefully.

Pakistan

According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), partial airspace restrictions affecting over-flying flights will remain in effect until at least 3:00 PM local time on Monday, March 18. Several airlines have rerouted affected flights. The airspace closure has been extended several times, and further extensions are possible. Meanwhile, limited operations have resumed at 11 airports in Pakistan since the airspace closure on February 27 amid increased tensions with India. Travelers should continue to expect disruption and reconfirm schedules until flight operations over Pakistan fully normalize.

EUROPE

Regional

Travelers in the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border areas in the Fergana Valley should exercise increased caution following recent border skirmishes on March 13-14. Two people were killed, and 11 others injured as a result of skirmishes between residents of Aksai and the Vorukh enclave.

Today, 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.

Today through Monday, March 18, travelers in Russia and Ukraine should anticipate heightened security and local disruption linked to the commemoration of Russia’s 2014 takeover of the self-declared independent Crimean Peninsula. While associated events will be held across Russia, including Moscow, the largest gatherings are expected in Crimea, where a celebratory rally will take place near the Council of Ministers building in Simferopol today. Travelers in mainland Ukraine during this period should exercise heightened caution and avoid sporadic gatherings around Russian diplomatic missions and infrastructure, due to a risk of local unrest.

Cyprus

Today, 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

Travelers should anticipate further transportation disruption at cross-channel hubs due to an indefinite industrial action by customs officials. Disruption has been reported at major rail hubs, airports, and ports. Airport officials have warned passengers of delays to baggage claim. In Calais, long lines of vehicles waiting to access the port or cross the Channel Tunnel have affected travel on the A16 and the A26 motorways. Transportation operator Eurostar has advised passengers to delay all non-essential travel until Monday, March 18 as trains from Paris Nord and Lille Europe are expected to experience major delays and further cancellations.

United Kingdom

Today, 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 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
Kyrgyzstan: 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

March 23
Angola: Southern Africa Liberation Day
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday
Bolivia: Day of the Sea
Kazakhstan: Nauryz (Day 3)
Malaysia: Birthday of the Sultan of Johor
Pakistan: Pakistan Day

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