Coronavirus casts shadow over Everest

by Paavan MATHEMA Pictures by PRAKASH MATHEMA Agence France-Presse KHUMJUNG, Nepal (AFP)  — The Himalayan hilltown of Khumjung should be bustling ahead of Everest’s climbing season, but the coronavirus has forced the shut down of the world’s tallest mountain and threatened the livelihood of the famed local Sherpas. While there are no reported cases in the town — home to many of the ethnic Sherpas who dominate the industry helping climbers — the Himalayas have been closed by […]

Emirates reverses decision to suspend all passenger flights

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Dubai carrier Emirates reversed on Sunday its decision to suspend all passenger flights, shortly after it said it would halt operations from March 25 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The airline said it “received requests from governments and customers to support the repatriation of travellers” and will continue to operate passenger flights to 13 destinations, down from its usual 159. Emirates will continue to fly to the United Kingdom, […]

Finland is again world’s happiest country: UN

HELSINKI, Finland (AFP) — Good cheer may feel in short supply as the world reels under a global pandemic, but experts at the United Nations on Friday declared Finland to be the world’s happiest nation for the third year running. Researchers for the World Happiness Report asked people in 156 countries to evaluate their own levels of happiness and took into account measures such as GDP, social support, personal freedom and levels of corruption to […]

Virus-stricken airlines face bailout or bust

by Andrew BEATTY Agence France-Presse SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Airlines worldwide face an unprecedented existential threat as the coronavirus shuts down global travel, leaving governments with controversial and costly decisions about which carriers to bail out. A toxic mix of fear, crippling travel bans and investor panic have pummeled the sector, with demand collapsing and carriers cutting flight capacity by up to 90 percent. One troubled airline, Britain’s Flybe, has already gone to the wall and […]

Staying positive amid COVID-19 outbreak in Luxembourg

    (Eagle News) — Amid the rising cases of the coronavirus disease worldwide, people in the midst of the crisis are trying to stay positive amid the outbreak. In Luxembourg, virus cases have risen to 140.  These photos show an empty office cafeteria there. The once bustling food center has empty chairs and tables.  Food are packed individually as lunches or snacks, ready just for pick-up by customers to reduce personal contact and prevent […]

After backing HS2 rail, Johnson mulls Heathrow runway

By Ben PERRY Agence France-Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Having backed Britain’s proposed high-speed railway HS2, Boris Johnson is under pressure to keep his pledge to scrap plans for a third runway at London Heathrow airport as climate fears intensify. Prime Minister Johnson, who wants big infrastructure projects to help drive Britain’s post-Brexit economy, said earlier this month that the country would shortly begin full construction work on HS2, dismissing soaring costs. The project, while […]

SpaceX announces partnership to send four tourists into deep orbit

by Ivan Couronne Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — SpaceX announced a new partnership Tuesday to send four tourists deeper into orbit than any private citizen before them, in a mission that could take place by 2022 and easily cost more than $100 million. The company signed the deal with Space Adventures, which is based in Washington and served as an intermediary to send eight space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) via […]

Implications on PHL tourism industry of novel coronavirus crisis

(Eagle News) — In this interview on ASEAN in Focus weekend edition on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, Joyce Alumno, president of Health Core, talks about the implications on the tourism industry in the Philippines of the current novel coronavirus problem that has affected business not only in Asia, but all over the world. Alumno, a medical tourism advocate, noted that the COVID-2019 scare, would have an impact on the country’s economy, considering that about 12.7 […]

Fort Santiago dungeons now open to the public, says Intramuros administration

(Eagle News) — The newest historical attraction to see in Manila are the dungeons of Fort Santiago which the Intramuros administration announced open to the public on Jan. 31, 2020. The historic dungeons, which had served as a storage facility in 1599, and then later as a prison complex for prisoners of war in the 1700s, are now well lighted and beautifully preserved as can be seen in these photos posted by the Intramuros Administration. […]

South Koreans among seven missing in Himalayan avalanche

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AFP) — An avalanche in Nepal’s Annapurna region has left at least seven people missing, including four South Koreans and three Nepalis, officials said Saturday. The incident occurred at an altitude of around 3,230 meters (10,597 feet) close to the base camp for Annapurna, one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas, following heavy snowfall on Friday. “We are getting reports that four South Koreans and three Nepalis are out of contact after […]

‘Damning’ Boeing emails say 737 MAX was ‘designed by clowns’

  by Luc OLINGA Agence France Presse Boeing employees bantered about whether the 737 MAX was safe to fly and joked that the aircraft was “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” according to emails released late Thursday. “Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn’t,” a Boeing employee wrote to a colleague in one newly-released exchange conducted about eight months before the first of two fatal […]