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FedEE Global Warnings For Business Travelers

Last updated: 23rd February 2017

UK: Flights have been cancelled and other transport disrupted by the approach of Storm Doris – with winds up to 80 mph.

IRELAND: Long traffic delays can be expected this afternoon and evening in and around Dublin. This morning there were multiple crashes on M50 northbound between J6 Blanchardstown and J5 Finglas. This continues to delay traffic in the right lane.

USA: Up to 25 cm (one foot) of snow will fall in some parts of central USA as far south as Denver on Thursday and Friday, with temperatures as low as -5 centigrade.

USA: A computer problem in American Airlines operations is causing delays Wednesday morning at Philadelphia international Airport.

CHINA: Low temperatures, strong winds and snow are affecting much of northern China.  These conditions will not improve until at least Friday of this week.

SWEDEN: Rioting took place until after midnight in the Rinkeby suburb of Stockholm on Monday night, 20th February. This resulted in several cars being set on fire, looting and some injuries. The police at one time opened fire on rioters with rubber bullets.  Extreme caution should be taken when moving about the city for the next few days.

SOUTH KOREA: The Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has issued a warning concerning a cholera outbreak reported amongst travelers from Cebu, Philippines. This advises travelers who arrived on Feb. 17 on Air Asia flight Z29048 (Cebu – Incheon, Seoul flight) at Incheon International Airport who have cholera symptoms to avoid contact with others and visit the nearest hospital as soon as possible

NEPAL: Torclight rallies across the country, plus mass meetings and other forms of agitation by political groups in the Terai region have been announced. These will be particularly held from 4th to 18th March 2017 and could well end in violence. Visitors should monitor local media and avoid places where mass meetings or processions are being held.

GUINEA: A number of violent protests have rocked the capital city Conakry in the past few weeks, mainly by young people and students who support a teachers’ strike. The unions have said strike will continue to until a pay raise of between 7.5% to 10.3% is met.

COLUMBIA: A bomb in the La Macarena district of the capital Quito has killed one police officer and injured over 20 others. The district is full of restaurants and popular with visitors to the city.

INDONESIA: The rainy season in Indonesia has peaked in February, triggering  floods and landsides in several provinces over the past couple of days.Inland communications on many islands are very difficult and hazardous.

CARIBBEAN: The Dutch government has banned flights of the Caribbean airline Insel Air due to safety concerns. The UK government has also warned its own employees to avoid using the airline.

TURKEY: Two people, including one child, were killed and 15 others wounded in car bomb attack in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa late on Feb. 17.  In the past year, Turkey has suffered a number of attacks from terrorist groups, including Daesh and the PKK. Business visitors should avoid all non-essential trips to the country.

USA: One of the most powerful in a string of heavy storms have swept through California, killing at least 4 people, downing power lines and leaving cars submerged, flooding freeways, triggering mudslides and raising new fears whether the Oroville Dam will hold.

EQUADOR: Presidential elections are to be held on Sunday, 19th February. This is to find a replacement for the former President Rafael Correa. A second round election is likely to be necessary. The event is likely to affect communications, but is unlikely to make the country more liberal as many candidates are closely connected with the outgoing president. Visitors should avoid all political conversations as there is no freedom of speech in the country and criticism can result in arrest.

NEW CALEDONIA: The French pacific overseas territory has long been subject to political tensions and threats over the issue of independence. Because of armed violence following the shooting of an escaped prisoner there is currently an overnight curfew from 7:00pm to 5:30am imposed on the RP1 road through St Louis until further notice.

PAKISTAN:  A suicide bomber killed a large number of worshipers at the shrine of the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan on the 16th February 2017. Further attacks are probably being planned in areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.  Moreover, according to the Pakistani officials, a second key border crossing into Afghanistan has been closed. If a trip to Pakistan is essential, visitors should exercise extreme caution and vigilance when in public places such as markets, restaurants and malls.

BRAZIL:  A police labour relations strike in the state of Espirito Santo has led to increased muggings and street violence, particularly in the city of Vitória.  Tourist police in Rio de Janeiro are also not currently issuing police reports due to a pay dispute.

LEBANON: Due to the threats of terrorism, armed clashes, kidnapping, and outbreaks of violence, especially near Lebanon’s borders with Syria and Israel, the Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon.

GERMANY: There will be a strike of ground crew at Berlin’s two airports between 4 pm and 10 pm today (Thursday). Passengers will experience delays and possible cancellations if they are traveling today.

USA: A weather system approaching southern California is likely to bring the heaviest rains of this winter. Localised flooding and even landslides may occur.

MOZAMBIQUE: Tropical cyclone Dineo has caused widespread damage throughout the country and communications have been disrupted.

GHANA: Recent localised violence and unrest in Bimbilla in the Nanumba-North District of Northern Region has resulted in the deaths of 10 and injured 11. Visitors should remain particularly vigilant, follow local media and the advice of the local authorities.

UK: A further labour dispute will affect travelers on the London underground next week. The strike will suspend services on the Central and Waterloo and City Lines from 9pm on Tuesday, 21st February to 9pm on Wednesday, 22nd February. It will affect 800,000 commuters.

UK: Four-day strikes of British Airways cabin staff in the company’s mixed-fleet business is due to begin on Friday 17th February and a further four day strike to commence later next week. However, the company is leasing alternative aircraft so that both delays and cancellations may not occur.

USA: More than a foot of snow has fallen across parts of New England and winds of up to 60mph are affecting communications in many areas.

CAMEROON: Protests are taking place in across the English-speaking areas of northwest Cameroon. This is resulting in police violence that has recently left 4 dead and ten seriously injured after police opened fire on a crowd.

AUSTRALIA: A number of intense and extensive bushfires are raging across rural areas of New South Wales due to the heatwave in recent weeks. Meanwhile heavy storms in Queensland has resulted in power blackouts in parts of Brisbane.

FRANCE: Demonstrations are taking place in Bobigny on the outskirts of Paris, Marseille, Toulouse and Orleans objecting to police violence. They are generally peaceful, but are highly volatile.

BAHRAIN: In anticipation of the 6th anniversary of the 2011 unrest, there may be an increase to the number of demonstrations and protests on or around 14th February. Visitors should be vigilant and avoid large crowds.

MALAYSIA: Large rallies are expected in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 18 February. Locations may include Padang Merbok and Taman Jaya Park – but this could change. Visitors should avoid crowds and monitor local media for updates. It is illegal for foreign nationals to take part in demonstrations under Malaysian law.

PHILIPPINES: A hot spot for piracy by islamic fundamentalists over the last year is the Sibutu passage separating the Philippines and Malaysia. The seas around Malaysia and Indonesia have also accounted for 62 kidnappings over the last year. Travel by sea in this region is high risk, as kidnappings are almost always for ransom and failure to pay will have fatal consequences for the victim.

AUSTRALIA: A heat wave is expected to affect South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland this coming weekend with temperatures approaching 50 degrees centigade. New South Wales is facing a possible power blackout on Friday as the state’s electricity system struggles to cope with soaring temperatures.

USA: A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana after four tornadoes have touched down in the state causing extensive property damage and 31 injuries.

CANADA: A public warning has been issued over random attacks in Vancouver’s Stanley Park in recent months. Visitors to the city should not venture into the park after nightfall. 

DR CONGO: Visitors to all parts of the country are at risk from street violence, particular during demonstrations ahead of the elections expected in December 2017.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Authorities in Honiara are on alert after a depression hanging over southern Guadalcanal triggered flash flooding in the city. Solomon Islands will be expecting heavy rainfall throughout this week according to the Meteorological Service (SIMS) Office.

NORTH KOREA: The U.S. State Department has just issued a fresh alert warning travelers to avoid North Korea due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention.

INDIA: Travel should be avoided to the NE state of Nagaland due to widescale, violent protests.

PHILIPPINES: A strike of workers on Manila’s metro services has affected some parts of the city. Now the union concerned is planning more widespread strikes.

FRANCE AND NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES: Stricter passport and ticketing checks are being introduced onto Thalys and Eurostar trains, including the drawing up of passenger lists. Travelers should allow more time at ticket desks and ensure that they purchase tickets themselves.

MAURITIUS: Tropical storm Carlos is bringing hazardous sea and weather conditions to Mauritius. This is causing significant travel delays.

KUWAIT: A ban on five muslim countries has been imposed by the government of the gulf state Kuwait – in tandem with a similar US ban. Citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are now restricted from acquiring visitor, tourism or trade visas for Kuwait. However the Pakistan Ambassador to Kuwait has denied the existence of a ban.

ROMANIA: Widespread protests are taking place across Romania in opposition to a decree that decriminalises corruption if the sum involved is below 200,000 lei ($48,000). This move by parliament is to allow many leading politicians to escape charges in a country where corruption is rife. Movement across many urban areas will be severely impeded by the marches.

AUSTRALIA: Health officials in the capital Canberra have warned the public about the dangers of heat exposure during the next few days as temperatures soar towards 40 degrees centigrade.

UNITED KINGDOM: A warning about high winds in many parts of England and Wales has been issued by the UK Met Office. The worst hit areas are likely to be Wales and the south-west of England, with winds up to 70 mph.

USA: A nationwide general strike has been called for February 17th 2017 against the Trump administration. It is not yet a solid movement, but it is gaining much support across the social media.

UNITED KINGDOM: Due to an industrial dispute, London underground services in the central zone of the city will not operate from 6pm on Sunday February 5th until 10am Monday, February 6th; then again from 10am on Tuesday 7th February until 1am on Wednesday 8th February.  A three-day strike by British Airways mixed fleet cabin crew is also due to start on Sunday, February 5th. However, the airline claims that contingency measures it has taken will mean that only 1% of those flying with them will be affected.

ZIMBABWE: Severe flooding has taken place on the Bulawayo-Beitbridge highway and further down into South Africa – with several people marooned and one loss of life. The road is now open again, but the threat of flooding is still present.

VANUATU: There have been over 900 recent cases reported of Dengue fever across this pacific country. This mosquito spread virus can lead to fatalities if it degenerates into its hemorrhagic stage. Medical assistance should therefore be sought if  any of the symptoms are experienced (high fever, vomiting, intense headache, joint pains) .

CANADA: Health authorities are still trying to trace the source of an outbreak of E.Coli stomach infection. There have been 14 cases recently with a matching genetic fingerprint in British Columbia (5), Saskatchewan (4), and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). Travelers should avoid any uncooked or partly cooked meat products.

USA: The New Jersey Department of Health has warned the public about the risks of contracting measles. This follows the discover of a man in Hudson county that contracted the disease whilst traveling abroad.

USA: Temporary immigration restrictions apply to those with passports from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Nationals of these countries, or anyone with ethnic origins in these countries, should check with their local American Embassy before traveling to the USA.

HONG KONG: The immigration authorities have banned the use and import of e-cigarettes containing nicotine. If such items are being carried the holder will have to have a medical certificate prescribing its use.

USA: The Alaskan offshore Volcano, Bogoslof ,  SW of Anchorage  is erupting with plumes going 30,000 feet into the sky. It is an air traffic control hazard code red and will affect the routing of some air traffic across the north pacific.

MEXICO: The Colima volcano near Mexico city has begun to erupt, belching out high columns of ash. Local residents have been warned to stay indoors. Delays in travel plans to the area are advised until the seriousness of the eruption can be evaluated.

CHAD: There has been a sharp rise in the incidence of acute jaundice syndrome and Hepatitus E throughout the country, but particularly in Am Timan. Much of the risk can be overcome if travelers follow strict personal hygiene and are careful about the food they consume.

PAKISTAN: The Balochistan government has declared a state of emergency in seven districts due to heavy rainfall and flooding. So far the adverse conditions have led to five deaths and the main power lines across the area have also failed.

JAPAN: Heavy snow in Japan’s western prefecture of Tottori has blocked roads and disrupted other forms of communication.

UK: A 24-hour strike on the London underground during January 25th will add further misery for rail travelers in the capital. The stoppage will largely affect the Central Line.

USA: There is a heightened risk of contracting both measles and mumps in Los Angeles County. Measles is particularly contagious and travelers on public transport should be aware that it remains a danger up to two hours after an infected person has left a location.

EGYPT: Now is the 6th anniversary of the 2011 revolution. It is likely that demonstrations will occur throughout the country and many may turn violent.

USA: A severe storm complex has been running up the eastern seaboard of the USA killing 21 people in the southern states. Winds have been up to 80 km/hr and heavy rainfall has given rise to flooding. Disruptions in New England can be expected for the next 24 hours and some train cancellations and temporary airport closures may occur.

BRAZIL: Rioting is taking place in the NE town of Natal in Brazil’s state of Rio Grande do Norte. It has also spread to other areas of the state. The incidents were sparked by widescale prison riots between rival drug gangs. Brazil has the highest homicide rate in the world, so this is already a dangerous place to visit even if riots die down.

BARBADOS: Those visiting the island should take precautions about contracting the Zika virus. Care should be taken when swimming, particularly on the east coast – because of exceptionally strong currents.

LIBYA: It continues to be highly dangerous to visit much of Libya, especially the Capital Tripoli where rival militias roam the town. All western embassies have closed – except for the Italian embassy which reopened recently and promptly had a car bomb explode near it. The town of Sirte remains a stronghold of Islamic state.

HONDURAS: Probably the two most dangerous cities in the world are San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. in fact the whole Department of Gracias a Dios in Honduras is so lawless it is too dangerous for foreigners to venture there.

AUSTRALIA: Strong winds and heavy rain in south Australia has led to flash floods and significant damage around the city of Adelaide, with power outages in many areas.

UK: A toxic smog alert is in operation across many London Boroughs. Employees should be advised to wear face masks or avoid walking long distances, especially in the city centre.

SRI LANKA: Bandaranaike International Airport will be closed from 8am to 4:30pm daily until April 6th 2017 due to runway resurfacing work. This will cause some daytime travel delays.

INDIA: Street protests are taking place across the state of Tamil Nadu against the banning Jallikkatu (bull bating). Protests are generally peaceful but especially the area around Marina Beach in Chennai should be avoided if possible.

ITALY: A series of medium-strong earthquakes have taken place in central Italy and led to evacuation of the Rome metro. The most badly affected area is 60kms north of Rome.

NEW ZEALAND: Heavy winds and intense rainfall are making difficult travel conditions in central parts of the country. Gusts of up to 160km/h are likely in exposed places, especially around Canterbury and Wellington.

UGANDA: There is a significant risk of avian influenza (bird flu) in Lutembe Bay near Entebbe and the Masaka District. Trips to the north eastern area of Uganda should be avoided.

ARGENTINA: Heavy rains over several weeks have led to extensive flooding , especially around Buenos Aires. Arroyo Seco, Pueblo Esther and Villa Constitucion are the hardest hit towns.

BRAZIL: A state of emergency has been declared in the eastern part of the Minas Gerais state due to the high incidence of yellow fever. Those travelling to Brazil should ensure that they have vaccinations to prevent the disease.

CHINA: Guangdong’s Health and Family Planning Commission has warned of risks from avian influenza A(H7N9), with deaths recorded so far this year in Foshan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, Meizhou, Dongguan, Qingyuan and Shunde. Consumption of chicken in these areas should be avoided.

GABON: Riots and serious disturbances continue following last year’s presidential election. They can flare up quickly at and time and frequent police checks and road blocks are in operation.

CANADA: Avalanche warnings exist for all those traveling by car or rail through the Rockies over the next week. The risk is greatest in the Sea to Sky corridor through Whistler. Highway 99 in both directions 50 kilometers north of Pemberton in the Duffy Lake Area is subject to closure.

GAMBIA: A state of emergency has been called by Gambia’s outgoing president Yahya Jammeh in a bid to frustrate the inauguration of the incoming president. Nigeria has stationed a warship off the coast and the Economic Community of West African States has assembled a military force in Senegal in case a negotiated solution cannot be achieved.

ISRAEL: The arrest of an ultra orthodox woman and four others by military police for desertion has led to extensive rioting in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. Travel to the area should be avoided for the next week.

SWEDEN: The third city of Sweden Malmö has been hit by an increasingly violent crime wave over the last two years. Grenade attacks have risen from 8 in 2014 to 52 last year. Many of the attacks are associated with organized crime and there is a danger that the violence will spread to other cities.

PAKISTAN: An avalanche warning exists above 2000 metres in Kupwara and Baramula districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Risks also exist to those traveling by road at lower altitudes.

USA: Most parts of California will be hit by a succession of severe storms during the next few days. This will bring flash foods and the danger of landslides in mountain areas.

USA: Widescale protests can be expected across America on Friday to coincide with the swearing in of the new president. The greatest numbers of protesters can be expected in New York, Washington and Los Angeles

TUNISIA: Many of the central and southern small towns of Tunisia are flashpoints for unrest and rioting took place over the weekend in Ben Guerdane, Sidi Bouzid, Meknassi and Gafsa.

MEXICO: Riots continue in some cities after protests led to widescale looking of many retail outlets. The pretext for lawlessness is the government’s tax increase on petrol. Threats by the incoming US president to impose high import tariffs and build a border wall with Mexico are destabilizing the country and greater levels of unrest can be expected.

USA: Another series of storms are expected across the California and Washington Pacific coastal area over the next few days – with heavy rainfall leading to flash floods and possible landslides.

INDIA: There is a hightened risk of terrorist attacks  up until India’s Republic Day on January 26th by terrorist and insurgent groups – including Lashkar-e Tayyiba, Jaish-e Mohammed and the Indian Mujahideen.

IVORY COAST: Government troops are rebelling over pay levels and have taken over the second city of  Bouake as well as many inland towns. Residents are being subjected to weapons fire and travel to the country should be avoided until this situation is resolved.

ISRAEL: A bus strike in Jerusalem is causing chaos in the city centre. Even if a cab can be found, the traffic congestion is so severe that movement around the city is very slow.

UK: A 24-hour strike of London Underground staff at tube stations will begin at 6pm on Sunday 8th January. Travel in the UK capital on Monday will be particularly hard hit. British Airways cabin crew also plan to stage a 48-hour strike from January 10th after rejecting a new pay offer. Southern Rail will also be hit by strikes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday January 10th, 11th and 13th. These disruptions will seriously affect traffic congestion in and around London. Although British Airways clai,s that it will ensure passengers will be offered alternative flights extra time should be allowed to get to destinations.

CHINA: The first ever “red alert” for smog has been issued by the Chinese government. It covers Beijing and nineteen other cities where visibility is down to as little as 50 metres. Many cancellations of flights are taking place, principally across northern China.

GERMANY: Storm Axel has brought extensive flooding and near hurricane winds to parts of Germany. In the next 48 hours there is likely to be extensive snowfalls in the south and east of the country.

USA: A huge storm is expected to affect the west coast during the course of the coming weekend. This is likely to cause difficult driving conditions and widespread, localized flooding.

TURKEY: A further terrorist bombing in Istanbul at New Year has underlined the dangers of travel to Turkey at this time. These threats are unlikely to be reduced this year, in spite of greatly increased security measures across the country.

PERU: Peru’s Sabancaya volcano is becoming highly active with major surges on December 16th and 26th.  the latest emission threw ash and smoke some 3,500m into the sky. The local vicinity should be avoided as a major eruption is possible.

MEXICO: Eruptions of ash from the Colima volcano have been settled onto its neighbouring area. The volcano, located near the west coast, has not fully erupted for over 100 years – but there is a strong chance of a major eruption in coming weeks.

EGYPT AND JORDAN: A high threat of terrorism exists – aimed primarily at westerners and christians. Travel to any parts of these countries is not advised for the next few weeks.

USA: Two fairly strong (5.8 and 5.6) earthquakes have struck Nevada in quick succession. They was felt in Gardnerville, Reno, Sparks, Carson City, rural Nevada and parts of California – but no reports of damage or any fatalities have yet been made.

PHILIPPINES: The U.S. State Department has just issued a travel alert warning travelers to avoid the southern islands of the Philippines due to the threat of terrorism and kidnap..

INDONESIA: Following the shooting of three suspected terrorists by the police the terrorist threat remains very high throughout the country and the Australian government has warned that “Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere at any time in Indonesia, including Bali. Be particularly vigilant during the Christmas and New Year period as gatherings of Westerners could be targeted.”

UK: Dense fog is affecting the south of England. Storm Barbara is expected to hit the UK on Friday evening bringing winds of 90 mph and heavy rain. Severe travel disruptions are likely throughout the country.

GLOBAL: The greatest danger facing travelers, especially over the Christmas and New Year period, is a road accident. 3,300 people die – on average – in road accidents every day and 110,000 are injured. This amounts to 96 deaths per day in the USA, 9 in Germany and 5 in the UK. However, 90% of fatalities occur in low-meddle income countries that collectively have less than 50% of all vehicles. Road accidents are now the biggest fatality risk facing American traveling abroad and last year in the USA fatalities rose by 8% – with the highest increase amongst pedestrians and cyclists. For over one million families this festive period vehicle accidents will make their lives far from merry.

NEW GUINEA: A massive magnitude 7.9 earthquake took place this weekend with an epicentre 29 miles to the east of Taron. There were several strong aftershocks. Although there were no reported fatalities, a high level of instability is affecting locations on the Pacific ‘ring of fire” between New Zealand, Tonga and Indonesia.

TURKEY: A bomb blast in central Anatolian city of Kayseri has killed 13 off-duty soldiers. This is the second incident in Turkey with a week following the bombing outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul. All non-essential travel to Turkey should be avoided until such incidents are effectively prevented.

USA: As winter sets in across the northern half of the country heavy snow, freezing rain and consequent icy roads are making road travel hazardous. The states with the highest road fatalities are Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and Oklahoma.

YEMEN: Terrorist attacks by islamic state group’s Yemen-based affiliate continue with the latest suicide bomb  in Aden taking 52 lives. All travel to this country should be avoided.

16th December 2016

CHINA: Beijing’s city government has issued a red alert for extremely high levels of air pollution in the city for five days from December 17th 2016.

NAMIBIA: travel from the South African side of the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Park to the Namibian side or vice versa, as the Sendelingsdrift pontoon border crossing is currently struggling to operate due to a water crisis. 

SOUTH KOREA: The government has raised the status of its warning about bird flu to its highest level following a rapid spread of the disease throughout the county. Travelers should be vaccinated against it before journeying there.

12th December 2016

EGYPT: The bombing of a Coptic christian church in Cairo during prayer-time underlines how vulnerable those in minorities are in Egypt. Foreign visitors should avoid travel to the country until current social tensions are reduced.

ISTANBUL: A twin bombing outside a football stadium has killed 38 people. Blame has been placed on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party – although it could just as well be IS militants. This latest incident is the latest of many in Istanbul and the capital Ankara this year. All non-essential business trips to Turkey should be postponed for the time being.

JAMAICA: Flooding in Runaway Bay, St Ann is affecting all communications. The area should be avoided until recent heavy rains subside.

NIGERIA: The bombing yesterday of a busy market in Maiduguri, Borno state in the north of the country is likely to be the work of Boko Haram militants. Two young girls were used to carry out the atrocity. All travel in northern Nigeria is dangerous also due to the high incidence of crime in the area.

SOMALIA: A terrorist bomb has exploded near the port area in the nation’s capital Mogadishu. Somalia remains a country for foreign businesses to avoid.

UNITED KINGDOM: Heavy flooding has affected Stoke Newington in North London after the burst of a major water main. The high street is particularly badly affected.

December 9th 2016

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The  remote Solomon Islands in the South Pacific have been hit by a powerful 7.8 category earthquake. Although little damage has been reported, many parts of the islands are suffering from aftershocks.

December 7th 2016

INDONESIA: A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has caused widespread disruption and over a hundred deaths in the province of Aceh. Travel to the province is not advis3d for the next month, particularly because of the possibility of major aftershocks.

December 6th 2016

AUSTRALIA: Several major city centre roads will be closed in Melbourne for the next five years in order that a Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel and a new station can be built.

CONGO: The US state department has asked US citizens to seriously consider leaving the country before the presidential elections on December 19th 2016. This is due to ongoing instability and sporadic violence in parts of the country caused by armed groups, bandits and even some elements of the Congolese armed forces.

KENYA: Travelers with medical conditions should avoid visiting Nairobi and other major Kenyan cities due to a widespread strike by doctors and nurses over a bitter pay dispute.

MEXICO: Popocatepetl volcano, just south of Mexico city has unexpectedly erupted showering local settlements with pumice and ash. Seismologists are warning that earthquakes are likely to follow.

SOUTH AFRICA: Train commuters on Cape Town’s Metrorail have been subject to delays and cancellations due to the theft of copper cabling serving the monitoring and signaling systems. This problem is likely to continue until scrap dealers are prevented from accepting such materials.

SPAIN: Exceptionally heavy rains in recent days on the southern Spanish coast has caused severe flooding in Malaga and nearby towns.

SWITZERLAND: The public service union has warned that strike activity amongst ground staff at Geneva airport is imminent after talks broke down over a pay dispute.

THAILAND: Heavy rains across the southern area of Thailand have caused widespread flooding and trains from Bangkok continue to be subject to possible cancellation beyond Thung Song junction station in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

TUNISIA: A state of emergency has been extended several times and remains in force until January 19th 2017. The threat of terrorism is very high, especially aimed at foreigners.

UNITED KINGDOM: Southern rail services are now expected to be affected by strikes by guards and train drivers on every day until Christmas and beyond. Over 50% of services are expected to be cancelled each day.

UNITED STATES: Flash floods in Hawaii and snowfall at lower than normal altitudes is affecting communications, especially around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Parts of the Pacific Northwest mainland, especially around Seattle and Portland can expect heavy snowfalls later this week and over the weekend.

VIETNAM: Floods brought by torrential rain over the past 10 days have killed at least 13 people in central Vietnam. Transport has been heavily disrupted at a time when the centre of the country has been trying to recover from widespread flood damage in October.

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Comment: The shifting sands of labour

Robin Chater

Secretary General, Fedee

Although the demand for labour in advanced economies is facing a longer-term decline there are significant shorter-term labour shortages in some countries, often due to demographic trends and a reluctance to expand by setting up operations abroad. However, in Japan there are additional factors contributing to the tight labour market.

Japan has embraced globalization in recent decades, but managements remain reluctant to decentralize control to operational centres outside the country. There also remains a strong cultural commitment to lifetime employment and against women working on a full-time basis or gaining … Continue reading