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Terror in Europe: US State Department warns of 'heightened risks'

On the day that a late-summer slump in tourism from North America to Britain was revealed, the US government warned American travellers of the risk of terror attacks anywhere in Europe as the festive season gets under way. “The Department of State alerts US citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season,” the travel alert reads.

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If you're travelling by train before Christmas, you need to read this

As pre-Christmas travel accelerates, rail passengers planning inter-city journeys face multiple problems from strikes and engineering works. Christmas markets are getting under way in London, York and Edinburgh this weekend, with those in Birmingham and Manchester already open. But trains will be disrupted on Sunday, with hundreds of miles of the CrossCountry rail network closed because of a strike by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers about rostering and Sunday working.

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The country with the best international image has been announced

Germany has been named the country with the best "brand image" according to a new study of 50 countries. It has leapfrogged the USA, which previously held the title. The National Brands Index, conducted in association with independent policy advisor Simon Anholt, conducts what it says is the world's most comprehensive global nation branding strategy, combining six dimensions: governance, exports, people, culture & heritage, tourism, investment and immigration. 

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Why Soweto's the best place to visit in Johannesburg

“Do you want to play?” our guide Linda asked my two daughters as they dropped their bikes on the dusty pavement and looked longingly towards a group of boys kicking a ball.  They didn’t need to be asked twice – football-mad, they’re always keen to show boys that they’re every bit as good when it comes to dribbling skills. The fact that we were in the middle of Soweto, where once no white person would have ventured, bothered them not the slightest. 

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Top 10: the best luxury Paris hotels

An expert guide to the best luxury hotels in Paris, from five-star grand dames to hotels with palace status, featuring the top places to stay for ornate bedrooms, Michelin-starred restaurants and divine spas, in locations close to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées and the Louvre.

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Top 10: the best design hotels in New York

An expert guide to the best design hotels in New York, including the best for quirky design, Art Deco interiors, colourful and well-equipped bedrooms, Michelin restaurants and trendy bars, in areas including Midtown, Upper East Side, NoMad and the Financial District, and near Broadway, Wall Street, Madison Avenue and Central Park.

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Plane forced to return to terminal after passenger refused to turn on airplane mode

A Qantas plane was forced to abort take off and turn back to the gate when a passenger refused to put his tablet into airplane mode. Flight QF2133 was due to travel from capital city Canberra to Melbourne on Friday when the unnamed passenger refused to cooperate, ignoring requests from airline staff to turn his tablet off as they were starting to taxi. The airline has said in a statement that the plane was turned back because the passenger "did not follow instructions with regards to electronic devices on flights". 

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Prepare for a pre-Christmas strike on Virgin Trains

Rail passengers on the UK’s leading long-distance network face disruption and cancellations after Virgin Trains staff belonging to the RMT union voted to strike by a majority of 10 to one. Train managers, catering staff and station teams working on the line from London Euston to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow are demanding “pay justice”. 

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10 Popular Cities That Can Be Dangerous for Tourists

It’s possible to have your wallet stolen or get food poisoning in any city, but there are places where tourists should be extremely careful. Bright Side decided to tell you about these cities. We should note that there are far more dangerous places in the world, but tourists prefer to steer clear of them. We want to tell you surprising facts about very popular places.

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Now's the time to visit Zimbabwe

Becoming a billionaire can be a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Just choose a country where the economy is imploding, where freshly minted banknotes carry an implausible number of zeroes and start losing their value even before the ink is dry. Nicaragua in 1991 was a good place and time to feel absurdly rich. Just 40 pence bought one million cordobas, so a backpacker arriving with £400 instantly became a local billionaire. 

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Japanese rail firm apologises after train leaves 20 seconds early

Japan is famous for the speed, efficiency and punctuality of its train service. After all, this is the nation that gave us the bullet train, and with over 120 million people, a good train service is a must.    However, after a train left 20 seconds early on the Tsukuba Express line on Tuesday, the train management company issued an official apology to affected commuters.

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