Norway’s Arctic idyll shivers at oil plans

SVOLVAER, Norway (Reuters) – Oil companies seeking new Arctic areas for exploration face a battle with environmentalists, fishermen and hotel owners over Norwegian islands where jagged snow-capped peaks rise sheer from the sea.

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Cannabis-smoking ascetics light up Nepal festival

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Ringed by an endless stream of pilgrims at an ancient temple in Kathmandu, Hindu holy man Mahant Ramnaresh Giri sat naked and puffed on a pipe filled with cannabis, his body smeared with ash as he took part in Nepal’s biggest annual religious event.

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Europe searches for charms to lure Chinese tourists

BERLIN/MADRID (Reuters) – European countries will need to focus less on beach holidays and more on communist history, rolling landscapes and even poetic trees if they want to take advantage of growing numbers of tourists from China.

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Medical tourism offers travel firms untapped growth

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A dentist’s office may not be everyone’s idea of a perfect holiday destination.

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FAA faces obstacles in approving Boeing Dreamliner fix

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Boeing said this week it can move “really fast” to get its 787 Dreamliner back into the skies once regulators approve a fix for burning batteries on board the plane.

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Air travel demand may bounce back in 2013

GENEVA (Reuters) – Global air travel demand rose 3.7 percent in January from a year earlier and may pick up pace in 2013, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.

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Striking Iberia workers to stage protest at Madrid airport

MADRID (Reuters) – Workers at Iberia were set to protest at Madrid’s Barajas airport at midday on Monday as part of a strike over job and pay cuts at the loss-making airline that will ground nearly 1,300 flights this week.

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48 hours in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Not quite Latin America, not quite Europe, Buenos Aires is a delightful blend of old and new. Heavy on nostalgia yet youthful and dynamic, there is rarely a dull moment in the city known as the Paris of the South.

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Luxor blames Cairo chaos, not balloon crash, for tourism woes

LUXOR, Egypt (Reuters) – Tour guide Abu Ali has seen Luxor come to a halt before. The last time Islamist militants drove foreign visitors away, and now the historic Egyptian city must come to grips with a local tragedy and the fall-out from chaos in far-away Cairo.

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Election violence anxiety puts brakes on Kenya’s tourism hopes

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Many beaches on Kenya’s sun-kissed Mombasa coast are empty and resorts are half-full on fears that the violence that ripped through the East African country after its last election in 2007 will erupt again when it votes on Monday.

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