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Foreign travel: State Department renews Colombia warning

More foreign news: Travel alerts for North Korea and Kenya; nuclear plant plans in Britain; cat crime; CyArk preservation project.

October 27, 2013

1. The State Department this month renewed its warning on Colombia, noting that people travel safely to the South American country but that "violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities."

2. The State Department also renewed its warning on North Korea, saying "U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. Since January 2009, four U.S. citizens have been arrested for entering North Korea illegally, and two U.S. citizens who entered on valid … visas were arrested inside North Korea on other charges."

3. After the shopping mall attack in September, the State Department reissued its warning on Kenya, saying "U.S. citizens in Kenya, and those considering travel to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas. The levels of risk vary throughout the country."

4. Britain will build a nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point, about 165 miles southwest of London. The $25.9-billion project is the first nuclear plant in Britain since 1995.

5. Sure, blame it on the cat. A news story says a cat was busted for smuggling marijuana into a prison in Moldova. Guards grew suspicious when they noticed its collar; it held two packets of marijuana. This is the second case of cat crime: In June, a cat was nabbed in northern Russia carrying a cellphone into a penal colony.

6. The nonprofit CyArk, based in Oakland, is preserving monuments around the world using digital technology. With 3-D laser scanners and other technologies, it is documenting the world's important sites, including such places as South Dakota's Mt. Rushmore, the pyramids of Chichén Itzá, Mexico, and Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa. It has completed 100 monument scans; it plans 400 more.

Sources: U.S. State Department and the Associated Press

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