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Legend Travel News Alert – December 13, 2018 Highlights

Date 13 Dec 2018 | Posted by admin

THE AMERICAS

United States

Today, travelers in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia should expect significant disruption and maintain flexible itineraries during the passage of Winter Storm Diego. The storm has brought freezing rain and accumulating snow and ice to most of North Carolina and Virginia, and parts of South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. At Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), more than 800 scheduled flights were canceled yesterday. The storm has caused significant power outages and rendered driving nearly impossible in the worst-affected areas.

Belize

Two attacks on expatriates were reported in early December, both in the morning near the victims’ homes. A Canadian man was attacked by armed men early on Saturday, December 1 while leaving his home in Hope Creek. He was shot, beaten,and tied up while the assailants ransacked his possessions and stole his vehicle. An American woman was robbed and raped after being held at gunpoint as she left her house in Ladyville on Thursday, December 6. These incidents highlight the risks posed by violent crime, including sexual assault, armed robbery and carjacking.

Jamaica

Travelers are reminded of the high murder rates and need for precautions in the country, following the recent killing of three female expatriates in separate incidents.The bodies of two British women were discovered in Boscobel and Santa Cruz on Monday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 5. On November 28, a US National was found murdered in Orange Bay.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Palestinian Territories

Travelers in the West Bank should maintain vigilance and plan journeys accounting for disruption around the settlement of Ofra following a drive-by shooting. The attack occurred at a bus station last night, injuring seven people. The assailant fled the scene; raids by the Israeli security forces are ongoing in Ramallah and surrounding areas to capture the suspect. The Beit El checkpoint north of the city has reportedly been closed in both directions as part of the operation.

Somalia

Travelers in the West Bank should maintain vigilance and plan journeys accounting for disruption around the settlement of Ofra following a drive-by shooting. The attack occurred at a bus station last night, injuring seven people. The assailant fled the scene; raids by the Israeli security forces are ongoing in Ramallah and surrounding areas to capture the suspect. The Beit El checkpoint north of the city has reportedly been closed in both directions as part of the operation.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

India

Travelers in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana should expect heightened security and avoid all gatherings linked to the release of State Assembly Election results tomorrow. Large crowds are likely to assemble outside political party offices, causing disruption in their vicinity. Isolated scuffles may occur between rival party supporters, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Travelers in Kochi should anticipate disruption during an indefinite strike by appbased ride-share drivers, which began on Friday, December 7. Participating drivers may stage protests around the app-based ride share services Ola and Uber offices, causing disruption and possibly unrest. The strike was organized by the Kerala Online Driver’s Union and is joined by other taxi unions to demand an increase in wages for drivers and increased government regulation for app-based ride-share service companies. Drivers conducted similar strikes in November, with nearly 10,000 drivers participating.

New Zealand

Passengers of Air New Zealand should monitor developments related to a dispute between the airline and the aviation engineers’ union regarding the union’s plan for a strike on Friday, December 21. Talks between the two sides began today to settle a pay dispute.

Pakistan

Today, travelers should expect disruption on the M9 Highway, which links Karachi and Hyderabad, due to an ongoing protest near Bahria in northeast Karachi. Local government workers and contractors have blocked the road, in the second demonstration since Saturday, December 8 over delayed salaries. Significant traffic delays have been reported, and security is likely to be heightened in the vicinity. Travelers should not proceed through the affected area and should ascertain the feasibility of journeys along the M9 before setting out.

Sri Lanka

The opposition United National Party has postponed a demonstration in the Galle Face area of Colombo from Thursday, December 13 to Monday, December 17. The protest will start at 1:00 PM local time. The rally has been delayed in anticipation of a Supreme Court judgment on the legality of the President’s dissolution of Parliament amid an ongoing power struggle. While the gathering is expected to be peaceful, it is likely to be well attended. Travelers should anticipate traffic disruption due to large crowds and increased security measures such as road closures.

Europe

Armenia

The political bloc led by acting Prime Minster Nikol Pashinyan has won a resounding victory in Snap Elections held yesterday, according to preliminary results. The My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party, received 70.4% of the vote, though turnout was low at 49%. The widely anticipated outcome is unlikely to prompt post-election protests by supporters of parties that failed to enter Parliament; however, low-level gatherings cannot be ruled out. All related gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.

Cyprus

Tomorrow, passengers transiting Larnaca International Airport (LCA) should anticipate a heightened security force presence and local disruption during an emergency exercise. The initiative, which is due to start at 8:00 AM and end at 10:00 AM local time, will focus on an “aircraft crash” scenario. Security forces, civil defense and emergency response services, airlines, and all relevant airport agencies will be involved. No flights will operate during the exercise.

France

Tomorrow, travelers in Paris and other urban centers should avoid planned protests by students against educational reforms and in support of the “Yellow Vests” movement. The National Union of Secondary Students (UNL) has called for a “Black Tuesday” nationwide, urging students to take action with blockades and sit-ins. A related march is due to start at 12:00 PM local time at Place Saint-Michel in Paris. These events are likely to exacerbate disruption caused by the ongoing “Yellow Vests” protests.

On Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14, travelers in Paris should anticipate local disruption and avoid protests by energy sector workers outside the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. The General Workers Central (CGT) union is staging the demonstrations in support of the “Yellow Vests” movement and in protest of energy sector reforms. A heightened police presence should be expected at all “Yellow Vests”-related events, which may lead to temporary road closures and diversions.

Georgia

Today, travelers in Tbilisi should avoid an ongoing protest outside the House of Justice government building. Demonstrators are condemning a decision temporarily lifting restrictions on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners. Although the protest has so far been peaceful, this is an emotive issue and could lead to local disturbances.

On Friday, December 7, Georgia’s Myway Airlines suspended most of its scheduled flights through March 2019. The only destination the airline will continue to serve during this period is Tel Aviv. The airline said the decision was due to by multiple factors, including maintenance of its fleet and the introduction of changes to its ticket sales system.

Germany

Today, travelers in Dusseldorf should plan journeys accounting for traffic disruption due to a planned human rights demonstration. The rally will be held at Graf Adolf Platz between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM local time.

Montenegro

On Wednesday, December 12, travelers in Podgorica should avoid a planned protest by the Democratic Front (DF) opposition coalition. Details have not been announced, but the gathering is likely to take place in the vicinity of the Parliament building, where a related peaceful rally occurred yesterday. DF is protesting the arrest of Parliamentarian Nebojsa Medojevic and an attempt to detain fellow opposition leader Milan Knezevic on November 30. Further daily rallies are planned through Saturday, December 15, with participants coming from across Montenegro.

Netherlands

Travelers should continue to exercise caution and avoid further demonstrations over living costs and other socio-economic grievances. Such events have been inspired by the “Yellow Vests” protest movement in France. Related rallies on Saturday, December 15 are due to take place at 11:30 AM local time at the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam and at 1:00 PM local time at the Binnenhof complex in The Hague. Similar gatherings are also due to take place in Amsterdam and other urban centers; specific details are not yet available.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

December 10
Equatorial Guinea: Human Rights Day
Israel: Hanukkah VIII
Cambodia: International Human Rights Day
Moldova: International Human Rights Day
Mongolia: Human Rights Day
Namibia: International Human Rights Day
Turks & Caicos Islands: International Human Rights Day
Thailand: Constitution Day

December 11
Canada: Anniversary of the Statute of Westminster
Kiribati: Human Rights and Peace Day
Madagascar: Republic Day
Malaysia: Birthday of the Sultan of Selangor

December 12
Kenya: Jamhuri Day
Mexico: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Turkmenistan: Day of Neutrality
United States: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 13
St Lucia: National Day
Malta: Republic Day

December 15
Guernsey: Homecoming Day
Hungary: Extra Work Day for December 31

December 16
Bangladesh: Victory Day
Bahrain: National Day
Germany, Norway, Sweden: Third Advent Sunday
Kazakhstan: Independence Day
South Africa: Day of Reconciliation

December 17
Bahrain: National Day (Second Day)
Bhutan: National Day
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (Day 2)
South Africa: Day of Reconciliation (Observed)
December 18
Israel: Asarah B’Tevet
Kazakhstan: Independence Day (Day 3)
Niger: Nigerien Republic Day
Qatar: National Day

December 19
Anguilla: Separation Day
Bangladesh: Fateha-i-Yajdaham
Ukraine: St. Nicholas Day

December 20
Macau: Macau S.A.R. Establishment Day
Reunion: Abolition of Slavery

December 21
Macedonia: Turkish Language Day

December 22
Sri Lanka: Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day
Nigeria: Sambisa Memorial Day
Ukraine: Special Working Day
Zimbabwe: Unity Day

December 23
Germany, Norway, Sweden: Fourth Advent Sunday
Japan: Emperor’s Birthday

December 24
Christmas Eve
Argentina: Bridge Public Holiday
Micronesia: Yap Constitution Day
Japan: Emperor’s Birthday (Observed)
North Korea: Birth Date of Kim Jong Suk
Libya: Independence Day
Philippines: Additional Special Non-Working Day
Ukraine: Catholic Christmas Holiday
United States: Washington’s Birthday

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