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Travel Briefing: Protesters and a Torch's Journey

China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, says it’s been “a century-old dream for the nation to host the Olympic Games.” With last week’s lighting of the torch, its 130 day long journey across the planet is surrounded by challenges and unpredictability due to ongoing protests in places like Lhasa.

As reported by the NY Times, “This week, the Olympic flame is actually being split into two torches. One will be flown on Tuesday to Almaty, Kazakhstan to begin an international relay that will cover five continents, including one stop in the United States in San Francisco.” The other torch will begin its trip to Lhasa and then onto Mount Everest where it will be stored until the two parts reunite for their final trip back to Beijing for the opening of the games on August 8.

The Times article mentioned above does a nice job describing the torch’s journey and the varying political perspectives surrounding the Olympic games. Be sure to check it out and the rest of today’s travel headlines. [Photo Credit: J.Wang]

Olympic Torch Begins Its Journey in Beijing

“President Hu Jintao of China waved the Olympic torch at a ceremony in Tiananmen Square on Monday, smiling broadly as balloons, streamers and confetti rose into a mostly blue sky.
Then came the uncertain part. Mr. Hu sent the torch on a journey around the globe where protests and controversy likely await. The first stop on what Beijing is calling a “Journey of Harmony” will be Lhasa, the Tibetan capital still simmering from violent antigovernment protests.”

[Read]

TSA Tries Soothing Screening Process

Next time you go to the airport you might see some changes at the airport security check point. “The Transportation Security Administration hopes to create a kinder, gentler screening process and will test it soon at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Other U.S. airports could see it later this year.”

[Read]

BA Brings in Hundreds of Volunteers to Tackle Baggage Mountain

“British Airways’ desperate attempt to return 15,000 lost bags to their owners saw the airline use hundreds of volunteer staff as part-time baggage handlers at Terminal 5 at the weekend and draft in IT specialists to fix the malfunctioning luggage system. The airline cancelled 37 flights in and out of Heathrow yesterday and will scrap a further 54 today and the same again tomorrow, amid continuing problems with baggage handling at the £4.3bn terminal.”

[Read]

Oil Prices Put Business Travelers over a Barrel

Interesting editorial from business traveler David Grossman. “Once upon a time air travel was a luxury reserved for the rich and famous. With sustained oil prices over $100 per barrel, we may be headed that way again, and the impact on business travel could be enormous, as cash-strapped airlines raise prices, cut capacity and try to squeeze alternative revenue sources out of the flying public…”

[Read]

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