This week in travel

Wanderlust's select guide to the top travel-related news stories from around the globe

By Susanna Stromberg
Published February 19, 1999 8:00PM (EST)

- - - - - - + From the London Times
A group of tourists, fresh from the warmth of the Canary Islands, were detained in Britain for the odd souvenirs they had picked up in Tenerife -- more than 110,000 smuggled cigarettes. A few of the cigarette-toting travelers had gotten free vacations in exchange for their luggage space. The smugglers failed to declare their tobacco-filled suitcases, so now they have been ordered to pay 6,300 pounds in fines.

- - - - - - + From the South China Morning Post
The Berlin Wall was once a grim symbol of division, but to some it has now become a precious piece of history. A businessman named Erich Stanke is fighting with the city of Berlin to preserve the last remaining authentic section of the wall -- a 960-meter stretch he owns, which stands at the Potsdamer Platz border crossing. The city wants to get rid of the wall so an access road can be built. "The wall must remain; this is my only aim," Stanke said. "I'm broke, but it would be my greatest triumph."

- - - - - - + From ABC News
In its annual roundup of airports with the most delays, the Federal Aviation Administration placed Newark, N.J., at the top of its list for the third year in a row. Last year, Newark had 31,924 delayed flights. A flight is defined as late when it is 15 minutes or more off schedule. San Francisco, with 29,409 delays, ranked second, followed by Chicago's O'Hare Airport, Atlanta's Hartsfield International and New York's LaGuardia.

- - - - - - + From the International Herald Tribune
After Abdullah Ocalan, the commander of the Kurdish Workers Party, was arrested by Turkish authorities in Kenya Tuesday, Kurds stormed embassies throughout Europe in protest. Greek, Kenyan and Israeli embassies were the main targets, for what Kurds saw as their complicity in Ocalan's arrest. In light of Europe's volatility, the U.S. State Department put out a worldwide caution Tuesday to Americans living or traveling abroad.

- - - - - - + From the Globe and Mail
With tourism becoming an increasingly substantial part of Cuba's economy, the country's national assembly passed a new law that proposes tougher penalties against crimes such as murder, prostitution and drug smuggling that may affect the tourist trade. Another new law toughens Cuba's stance against people who "collaborate" with the U.S. government.

- - - - - - + From
Following a decade of losses, Trans World Airlines announced Wednesday that it will be cutting 1,000 jobs. The airline, which lost $120.5 million last year -- $42.6 million in the fourth quarter alone -- will consider other measures to reduce its spending, including closing additional facilities. TWA blamed some of the losses on the closing of its Los Angeles reservation office, the retirement of old 727s and DC9s and the restructuring of some domestic and international operations.

Susanna Stromberg

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