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Terrorist warnings: Is it safe to travel to these long-haul destinations this Christmas? | Travel News | Travel





Christmas holidays are an excellent opportunity to make the most of annual leave ant jet off to far-flung locations in search of warmer weather. Destinations such as  Dubai, Australia and Thailand are popular with Britons – but how safe are they when it comes to terrorism. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues travel advice on all countries with regards to terror attacks. So how safe are these long-haul destinations at this time of year?


The FCO states on their website that terrorists are “likely” to carry out attacks in Australia.

There have been instances of terror in the country. On 5 June 2017, a person was shot dead and another taken hostage in Melbourne.

According to the FCO, “the Australian authorities have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks and made several arrests.”


Terrorists are considered “likely” to carry out attacks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The FCO states: “Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region.

“These include references to attacks on western interests, including residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests as well as crowded places, including restaurants, hotels, beaches, shopping centres and mosques.”

They advise: “You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places.”

South Africa

The FCO says terrorists are “likely” to carry out attacks in South Africa.

The main threat is from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL). The FCO cautions that a number of South African nationals have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Libya and will likely pose a security threat on their return.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in major cities,” stated the FCO.

There is also a very high level of crime including rape and murder in South Africa.

However, the FCO points out: “The most violent crimes tend to occur in townships, remote and isolated areas and away from the normal tourist destinations.”


Terrorists are “very likely” to try to carry out attacks in Indonesia, according to the FCO.

“Terrorist groups have the capacity and intent to carry out attacks at any time and anywhere in the country,” warned the FCO.

“Types of attacks have included suicide bombings and small-arms fire, targeting public and crowded places.”

They added: “The threat from Islamist extremism remains high, though the Indonesian authorities continue to disrupt attack planning, including arresting alleged terrorists reportedly in the advanced stages of preparation.”


Terror attacks in Thailand are classed as “very likely.”

“Bomb and grenade attacks have been indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” according to the FCO.

Tourists are advised to take care in public places, follow the advice of the local authorities and monitor local media reports.

The possibility of attacks to coincide with symbolic dates or holidays has been suggested by Thai authorities.

There are multiple instances of terror attacks in Thailand over the last few years.

According to the FCO, “In August 2016, there were multiple explosions and incidents in tourist areas across Thailand involving improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and incendiary devices.”


Mexico is a relatively safe destination when it comes to terrorism.

According to the FCO: “Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Mexico, attacks can’t be ruled out.”


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Travel & Escape

How to win the lottery — 7-time lottery winner shares 5 important tips





Incredible as it may seem,the odds of matching all the winning Powerball numbers are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. It means you’re much more likely to date a supermodel, get bitten by a shark, become the president of the United States, get struck by lightning, amongst other incredible feats than win the lottery.

However, despite the high odds of winning the lottery once, Richard Lustig has won the seven lottery grand prizes. Due to the rarity of his feat, Lustig wrote a book titled: Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery, where he discusses the do’s and don’ts of playing the lottery and how to better your odds of winning the lottery.

Here are some of the useful tips shared by Lustig to better your chances of winning the lottery.

1.  Avoid “quick-pick” numbers that are autogenerated from the stores

While it might appear like every number carries an equal amount of “luck” in the quick pick method, but according to Lustig, it is advisable to not be lured by this.

“Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game, whatever game you’re playing. In this case, the hype, of course, is all about the Powerball right now,” said Lustig in a Forbes interview.

2.  Exhaust all your options

For many people who play the lottery, they typically limit their choices to “special dates” like anniversaries, birth month and dates and the likes.

While these dates carry precious memories, choosing them means you’re limiting yourself to less than half the numbers available from 1 through 31. Therefore, ensure you exhaust all of your options in terms of picking numbers.

“If you pick your own numbers and only play birthdays and anniversaries, you’re splitting the pot with 20-40 people. If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” said Lustig.

3.  Ensure you stick with your guts

In his book, Lustig recommended a specific way to find the numbers that you’re most comfortable with, but ultimately, never go back on a group of numbers that you believe would win you the jackpot.

“Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” notes Lustig.

Therefore, while it is alright to repeat one or two numbers, it is necessary when playing multiple cards to have enough variety when grouping selected numbers. Doing this helps maximize your odds.

4. Maintain consistency

If you want to increase your chances of winning a particular game, it is important to consistently follow past and future drawings to get an insightinto the winning patterns—if any.

“Never miss a drawing in the game you’re playing. Every Saturday, every Wednesday, every week,” said Lustig.

5.  Know your limits and don’t be carried away

Winning the jackpot can be a life-changing experience for not only you but your loved ones, however, it is important not to invest so much money into lottery tickets than you’re willing to lose.

While buying 100 tickets gives you a better chance that buying 10, but only do this if you’re able to afford a loss—as lottery tickets are not a regular investment.

“One of the things that I preach to people all the time is budget, budget, budget,” Lustig says. “Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called lottery fever”

“Don’t spend grocery money. Don’t spend rent money. Figure out what you can afford to spend. Don’t worry about how much Joe Blow down the street is spending. … Figure out what your budget is, what you can comfortably afford to spend, and stay within that budget,” he continued.

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Travel & Escape

48 hours in . . . Bruges, an insider guide to Belgium’s city on water





Little Bruges, the perfect pocket-sized medieval city, was a Sleeping Beauty. Laced with canals, it was one of the great North European trading ports in late medieval times. The magnificently detailed paintings of its artists, such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, record its wealth in clothing, jewellery and ornament. Then it fell rapidly into decline and slept until rediscovered and restored to glory in the 19th century.

Today its new riches are in tourism, carefully managed and constantly refreshed by year-round cultural events, so that it retains the dynamism of a living city. The best way to appreciate all this is to stay a few days, luxuriating in the dreamily romantic boutique hotels, and visiting the rewarding museums and churches at your leisure. Above all, this is a place to walk and wonder, and there are still plenty of quiet corners to discover, where historic Bruges sleeps on.

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Travel & Escape

Europe’s most incredible cosy cabins for watching the Northern Lights





The Northern Lights are a phenomenon likely to appear on the wish, bucket or to-do list of any intrepid traveller. And what better way to experience them in Europe than by bunking down in cosy cabins, surrounded by miles of forest, still water or the peaks of mountains. They might be pared-back but still boast polished elements, whether it’s a heated hot tub in Sweden, an ‘igloo’ extension in Norway or a glass roof above your bed in Finland. Nothing distracts as the Aurora Borealis flames across the sky – curl up under a blanket and take a look inside. . .

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