Tag Archives: tourists

Missing Canada teens now suspects in murder of tourists

Missing Canada teens now suspects in murder of touristsLucas Fowler, 23, an Australian citizen, and Chynna Deese, 24, from Charlotte, North Carolina, were found shot dead on July 15 on a highway in northern British Columbia, 20 km (12 miles) from Liard Hot Springs. Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, have been missing since July 19.



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Six tourists killed by tornadoes and hailstorms in Greece

Six tourists killed by tornadoes and hailstorms in GreeceTornadoes and violent hailstorms killed six tourists in northern Greece late Wednesday, police said. Dozens more were injured when strong winds hit the region of Halkidiki, near the city of Thessaloniki, authorities added. “Six tourists were killed and at least 30 people were injured during this cyclone,” Charalambos Steriadis, head of civil protection in northern Greece, said.



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Chinese tourists look on in amazement as Hong Kong street protesters march through city

Chinese tourists look on in amazement as Hong Kong street protesters march through cityProtesters in Hong Kong took their message to a new audience on Sunday – mainland Chinese tourists – as coverage of the anti-government movement have been heavily censored by Beijing authorities.   Thousands marched peacefully through popular tourist areas, snarling traffic in main thoroughfares, in the first major demonstration since Monday, when a small group of protesters seized the city’s legislature. A traveling band sang songs and hit drums, lifting spirits along the roughly two-mile route, and chanting slogans: “Hong Kong people, add oil!” . Organisers said about 230,000 turned out for the protests, though police said the turnout was 56,000 at its peak. Many chatted with mainland Chinese tourists, explaining freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, a former colony whose freedoms are guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an agreement that went into effect when the British handed the territory back to Beijing. Others detailed why controversy erupted over an extradition proposal that would send suspects to face trial in China, where the ruling Communist Party largely controls the courts. State media coverage of the protests that have roiled Hong Kong for a month – ending in police spraying tear gas and firing rubber bullets – has been heavily restricted in China, largely focused on condemning demonstrators for engaging in violent clashes with the police. Beijing authorities have also said little, scolding the UK and other countries that have urged the government to uphold its end of the Joint Declaration for meddling in Chinese affairs. Censors in China routinely heavily control everything from news to movies available inside the mainland. Waves of people out on the street confounded Chinese tourists, some of whom were visiting Hong Kong for the first time and had never seen a demonstration – ever. “I don’t really understand the issue,” said Miao Yiwen, 20, a university student, who arrived in Hong Kong two days ago and was reading a local newspaper on a street corner half a block from the protests. “When I arrived in Hong Kong, I learned that there would be an event here today, but I don’t get what’s going on. Why is everyone so easily excitable?” she said, as the sound of protesters chanting in unison rose into the air. Another visitor, Summer, 20, said it was “stupid” of Hong Kong people to organise such a demonstration. “If you do this – have a lot of people to come out to demonstrate – then for sure there will be some unforeseen impacts on the economy, on tourism,” he said, declining to give a surname. He thought it would the demonstrations would leave a bad impression on foreigners, and dissuade others from visiting. Others were upset their travel plans had been upended – trains going between Hong Kong and mainland China were cancelled Sunday and some tour groups rescheduled their outings.  Crowds swelled quickly as more joined along the way, quickly reaching the march’s end point – a high-speed rail station that connects mainland China to Hong Kong. The rail station itself was a flashpoint when it opened last September – a physical sign of China encroaching on Hong Kong – mainland law applies to the station and passengers must go through Chinese immigration and customs inside. It’s also part of the “Greater Bay Area” plan to better integrate Hong Kong with its neighbouring Chinese cities, feeding unease of those who fear greater mainland presence in the city. Other changes have been less visible, say residents, with many worried about how a broader crackdown in China against lawyers, activists, journalists and anyone who opposes the government might be felt in Hong Kong as Xi Jinping, the head of the Communist Party, has consolidated power in recent years. Ever since the pro-democracy protests in 2014 Umbrella Movement ended without any concessions by the government, the political environment has completely changed, said Jasmine Fung, 28.  “Even today, people are pretty upset, and pretty disappointed at the government,” said Ms Fung, an office worker. “People are asking now, ‘if I say this out loud, will I get in trouble?” I can see this loss of freedom of speech.” After much violence over the last month between police and demonstrators, those out on Sunday wanted to keep the peace. The most aggressive behaviour came from a handful of protesters cursing at the police, accusing them of being more committed to protecting the rail line – high barricades and rows of police surrounded the station – than the people.  While Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has said the extradition bill will be suspended for the time being, protesters have continued to take to the streets to demand the full withdrawal of the bill, Ms Lam’s resignation and for an independent investigation into police brutality. Protesters plan to keep coming out in force to show the government that they remain united in their demands. More demonstrations are planned for the coming week. “We must protect our freedom, our autonomy,” said Thomas, 25, who declined to give a surname over fears of government backlash. “Otherwise we could lose it overnight.”



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Dominican Republic deaths: What we know, including two more US tourists incidents

Dominican Republic deaths: What we know, including two more US tourists incidentsHere's everything we know about tourist deaths and concerning incidents in the Dominican Republic so far.



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Waves of Chinese tourists invade North Korea

Waves of Chinese tourists invade North KoreaDecades later, the monument is a regular stop for new waves of Chinese going to the North, this time as tourists. Hundreds of soldiers and workers have been sprucing up the obelisk and its grounds in recent days ahead of a state visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. An inscription on it lauds “the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, who fought with us on this land and smashed down the common enemy”.



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Waves of Chinese tourists invade North Korea

Waves of Chinese tourists invade North KoreaDecades later, the monument is a regular stop for new waves of Chinese going to the North, this time as tourists. Hundreds of soldiers and workers have been sprucing up the obelisk and its grounds in recent days ahead of a state visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. An inscription on it lauds “the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, who fought with us on this land and smashed down the common enemy”.



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Christians, hotel workers, tourists among Easter attack dead

Christians, hotel workers, tourists among Easter attack deadCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — More than 350 people were killed in bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.



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Tourists Flee Sri Lanka as Foreigners Targeted in Blasts

Tourists Flee Sri Lanka as Foreigners Targeted in BlastsKishu Gomes, chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, said he couldn’t give an exact count of the number of people leaving, but it could run into the thousands. Tour operators in India, the biggest source market for visitors to Sri Lanka, are also canceling trips for clients. The foreigner death toll rose to 39 on Monday, including nationals from India, Portugal, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. The Sri Lankan government blamed the local group National Thowheed Jamath for the attack after confirming seven suicide bombers carried out the blasts.



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Easter Sunday Bombs in Sri Lanka Target Christians and Tourists, Kill Hundreds

Easter Sunday Bombs in Sri Lanka Target Christians and Tourists, Kill HundredsREUTERS/Dinuka LiyanawatteA series of coordinated bomb blasts at churches and hotels across Sri Lanka killed more than 200 people and left hundreds more injured on Easter Sunday in one of the worst bouts of violence in the island nation since civil war ended a decade ago.Four luxury hotels and three Catholic churches were among the highly populated areas that were targeted, according to the Associated Press. Officials told the AP that at least two of the blasts were carried out by suicide bombers. Late Sunday, Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena said authorities apprehended several people suspected of being involved in the attacks, according to the Associated Press. Three police officers were reportedly killed during operations to arrest the suspects.A further improvised device was found at Bandaranaike International Airport by the Sri Lankan Air Force overnight Sunday. “A PVC pipe which was six feet in length containing explosives in it was discovered,” Air Force Spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told Sri Lanka’s main newspaper the Sunday Times.Two senior intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that a Sri Lankan police official had alerted security officials in an advisory ten days ago about a threat on churches though it remains unseen what, if any, safety measures were taken to protect worshipers. The document, which has been reviewed by The Daily Beast is written in Sinhala, but is dated April 11 and clearly states in English in all caps, “Information of an alleged plan attack.”  Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said he had not been informed, underscoring tensions within the government, the New York Times reported. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the calculated attacks.Both the Associated Press and AFP quoted local Sri Lankan intelligence officials that they had received warnings that “terrorist elements, including the radical Islamic organization NTJ, would carry out a suicide attack in certain churches during Easter.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement Sunday confirming that “several Americans” had been killed in the attacks. “While many details of the attacks are still emerging, we can confirm that several U.S. citizens were among those killed,” he wrote in a statement. “These vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism.”Officials told the Associated Press that at least nine foreigners are among those killed in Colombo, including two people who are dual citizens of the United States and the U.K. At least one American is among those reported missing, the news site said citing the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dead include one Portuguese citizen and two U.K. citizens, the ministry said. Chinese State Media has confirmed death of one of its citizens, per the AP. All of the foreigners were killed in attacks on hotels.Emergency officials were still combing through the bomb sites for victims as night set in Sunday, but more tourists and foreign nationals are considered to be among the dead. The New York Times reports that the deadliest attack occurred at 8:45 a.m. at the St. Sebastian Catholic Church in the city of Negombo about 20 miles from the capital city of Colombo. Survivors posted photos on social media and described seeing bodies blown to bits, with flesh splattered on the church walls. “It was a river of blood,” a witness named N. A. Sumanapala, t0ld the Times. “The priest came out and he was covered in blood.”The Catholic churches of St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern side of the island were also bombed, according to reports. Pope Francis, who visited the country four years ago to minister to the island nation’s Christian minority, expressed his condolences in his Easter Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. “I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” he said. “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”Local media showed images of damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. One report showed the second-floor restaurant of the Shangri-La gutted. Sri Lanka has not seen such violence since the end of a 26-year civil war that ended over a decade ago. Then, rebels from the Tamil Tigers sought independence from the country’s Sinhala Buddhist majority. Sri Lanka’s prime minsiter Ranil Wickremesinghe called for calm on Twitter. “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong,” he wrote. “Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”The BBC reported that British nationals were among the injured. Prime Minister Theresa May called the attacks “truly appalling” adding “no one should ever have to practice their faith in fear”.U.S. President Donald Trump also tweeted his condolences, “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!”The attacks sent officials around the world into high gear taking precautions at churches in preparation for Easter celebrations. A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to The Daily Beast that the department has ramped up domestic security measures in the wake of the attacks, and that officers will be visiting all houses of worship, with a focus Sunday on those offering Easter services. —With reporting from Pervaiz Shallwani and Victoria AlbertRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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Tourists, Easter worshippers lament closure of Notre Dame

Tourists, Easter worshippers lament closure of Notre DamePARIS (AP) — Tourists, devout Catholics and others looked on mournfully at Notre Dame Cathedral Saturday, regretting that they couldn't get inside the magnificent monument on this Easter weekend because of the damage caused by a violent fire.



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