Travel News: December 30, 2016

Berlin Germany

Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres
New York Times

President Obama designated two new national monuments on Wednesday, protecting 1.35 million acres of federal land surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah and about 300,000 acres around Gold Butte in Nevada, northeast of Las Vegas.

The monuments are Mr. Obama’s latest effort to protect public lands and waters from development and to nail down as much of his environmental legacy as he can before Donald J. Trump assumes the presidency on Jan. 20.

 

Chance of opening long-delayed Berlin airport in 2017 ‘very small’
Reuters

Berlin’s long-delayed new airport is unlikely to open as planned next year, the chief executive told a German newspaper on Thursday, following a report that said completion of the project had been pushed back to 2018.

The international airport, which was originally due to open in 2012, has been under construction since 2006. Despite Germany’s reputation for engineering and organizational prowess, red tape and technical problems have repeatedly delayed its inauguration.

German daily Bild had reported on Wednesday that the opening had been pushed back a fifth time due to problems with electrical systems, citing sources close to the airport and its owners.

 

Phony comfort pets, owners perplex airlines
USA TODAY

With the holiday travel season now here, many air passengers are boarding planes with service dogs and emotional support animals — a practice that critics say is open to fraud.

How do airlines know whether these pets are true service animals and not impostors wearing an official-looking vest bought online for $39.99? The answer is, they don’t. Critics say many travelers claim their pets are service or emotional support animals because they don’t want to pay for them to travel.

 

China To Spend $125 Billion Per Year to Expand Rail Network by 2020
Skift

The Chinese government plans to expand the country’s high-speed rail network to 30,000 kilometers (18,600 miles) by 2020, part of public infrastructure spending aimed at shoring up economic growth.

The network would connect more than 80 percent of China’s major cities, Vice Transport Minister Yang Yudong said. Last year, China’s high-speed railway totaled 19,000 kilometers (11,800 miles).

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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