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Travel Advisory

China Police Gear Up in Hong Kong

June 01, 1997|EDWARD WRIGHT | Wright is a former assistant foreign editor at The Times. His column appears monthly

Asia

China and Hong Kong: Police in Beijing and Hong Kong are gearing up to prevent any possible disturbances from marring the hand-over of Hong Kong from Britain to China at midnight June 30.

Hong Kong police are concerned about a wave of bombings, arson and drive-by shootings in the nearby Portuguese colony of Macau. Hong Kong has seen little terrorism, but protests by pro-democracy groups have become common in recent years.

Europe

Hungary: Acknowledging that rising crime and tourist rip-offs are tarnishing Hungary's image, the nation's interior minister said thousands more police will be put on the streets. The U.S. Embassy in Budapest advised Americans to avoid five restaurants and clubs in Budapest where some customers had been billed excessive amounts and others had been physically intimidated or assaulted.

France: British Airways diverted two flights from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport in late April because of security concerns and pressed French authorities to tighten anti-terrorism measures on Air Algerie flights, the Associated Press reported. The two British Airways flights flew to Orly Airport, south of Paris, to avoid landing at Charles de Gaulle while Air Algerie passengers were checking in. The two airlines' check-in counters are side by side. Air Algerie, Algeria's national carrier, had resumed service to Paris on April 25 after a two-year suspension.

Latin America

Mexico: Federal police in Tijuana are cracking down on illegal sales of the pharmaceuticals that Americans sometimes shop for across the border, according to the U.S. Consulate there. As a result of the crackdown, a Wisconsin man who visited one of the tourist-oriented Tijuana pharmacies in March is facing 10 to 25 years in prison on charges of buying drugs without a prescription and planning to sell them, the Associated Press reports.

Briefly . . .

WS.

Worldwide: In its annual report on world terrorism, the State Department again listed seven countries as perpetrators of terrorism--Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Syria.

Hot spots: The State Department has dropped Tajikistan from its list of places Americans are warned to avoid. Travel warnings remain in effect for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and the former Zaire.

The U.S. State Department offers recorded travel warnings and advisories at (202) 647-5225; the fax line is (202) 647-3000.

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