Passenger Data System To Track Religion And Sex Life

The Unites States and the European Commission are close to establishing a system to share passenger data that goes way beyond the usual name, address, etc.

Flight Delays More Common Than Reported

Sitting on the tarmac for hours may be far more common than the airline industry lets on.

Deadline Nears In Seven Wonders Voting

Over 50 million people have voted, but it's not to late for you to join them. The vote is to determine which objects should constitute an updated "Seven Wonders of the World".

Passport Restrictions Eased Temporarily

As the reality sets in that new passport restrictions are seriously inconveniencing travelers this summer, the Bush Administration has temporarily suspended those restrictions. The suspension will last until the end of September and allows Americans to fly to and from Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean without a passport.

Guinea Under Martial Law, Troops Firing On Civilians

Since our last report on Guinea, their president has declared martial law and sent troops out with orders to end the unrest and violence.

A report today comes complete with video of troops opening fire on protesters. Guinea has been surrounded by war for the past few years, and it is feared that rebel fighters from those conflicts have been steadily crossing into Guinea and may be partially responsible for the unrest.

The American State Department has encouraged Americans to forgo travel to Guinea and has pulled non-essential staff from their consulate there.

U.S. To Delay Tougher Border Security Measures (Updated)

This Washington Post article details an effort by Congress to delay new border security measures by as much as 17 months.

It seems that the government's rush to implement tougher security like requiring passports with imbedded RFID-style tags, has run into significant snags in it's implementation:

"Poor planning and premature implementation of this system could clog our borders while making us even less secure," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who backed the delay.

U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Page

Not all unrest in foreign countries makes the news these days. One way to stay aware of these things is to regularly consult the U.S. State Department's Current Warnings page.

Many of the listed countries are ones which seem obvious to anyone who follows international news; but, even when the news fades from the public conciousness, those headline countries remain trouble spots. Here's some examples:

Al-Qaida and Taliban elements continue to operate inside Pakistan, particularly along the porous Afghan border region. Their presence, coupled with that of indigenous sectarian and militant groups in Pakistan, continues to pose potential danger to American citizens.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and Sri Lankan military forces have clashed on several occasions, and this fighting has escalated in recent weeks. While most of the country remains largely unaffected, the Department warns Americans against traveling to areas in the North and East of the country given the dangers caused by the ongoing fighting between LTTE, other armed groups, and Sri Lankan military forces. This Travel Warning expires on November 15, 2006.

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