- - - - - - + From the Trip.com
In 1998, none of the 615 million passengers of U.S. commercial and commuter planes died in an accident. Aviation officials cite their continuing focus on safety -- and the Federal Aviation Administration's pledge last April to reduce the accident rate -- as having contributed to the "zero-fatality count." The news comes just two years after a public outcry about the safety of U.S. airlines following the TWA and ValuJet crashes, in which 340 people died.
- - - - - - + From MSNBC
U.S. citizens living in or visiting Egypt were urged to take caution this week, after the U.S. embassy there received information of "imminent, unspecific attacks." Americans are advised to keep a low profile, and to treat this warning as more serious than the general region warnings issued in the past.
- - - - - - + From the International Herald Tribune
It's official. As of Monday, Europe has a brand new currency -- the euro -- and people can now make euro transactions using a check or credit card. Over the next three years, Europe will undergo a transitional period, replacing national currencies with euro bills and coins, while continuing to educate the public -- who clearly need it. The European Commission estimates that many people still don't even know the name of the new currency. For those traveling through Europe right now, the conversion will largely go unnoticed, although that will change in the near future.
- - - - - - + From CNN
While American tourists still cannot legally visit Cuba, President Clinton announced a proposal on Tuesday that eases restrictions to the country. The proposal increases the number of direct charter flights allowed between the two countries, lets Cuban citizens receive more money from Americans and permits Cubans to buy more medicine and food from the United States. The administration says that the new plan is intended to help Cuban citizens and will not affect the 36-year-old embargo.
- - - - - - + From ABC News
Because of the miscalculations of a contractor, a $1 billion airplane navigation system -- which uses satellites instead of ground-based radio signals -- will not be implemented until September 2000. The first part of the Wide Area Augmentation System (known as WAAS) had been scheduled for use beginning in July 1999. Once WAAS is completed, the FAA plans on discontinuing the use of the ground-based system.
- - - - - - + From the South China Morning Post
What is service without a smile? Apparently not much, because that's what Cathay Pacific flight attendants are threatening to withhold if their demands are not met. Employees are upset about the company's plans to get rid of automatic pay increases. While the attendants haven't gone into straight-faced mode yet, they've already begun wearing protest badges. Call it phase one in the great service meltdown.
- - - - - - + From the Times of London
Being saved from crocodile-infested waters in the Australian Outback was enough to woo a backpacker from Great Britain into marriage. After 24-year-old Abigail Wilkinson's canoe capsized and threw her into the dangerous waters, Prince Charming, a cattle worker, pulled her to safety. The two were just married, only four months after the incident.