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Spain’s Iberia Airline Pilots to Strike Thumbnail

Spain’s Iberia Airline Pilots to Strike

The pilots from Spain’s national airline announced on January 14th plans to hold three more strikes in January 2012 to protest the launch of a new low-cost airline, reports indicated. The moves are scheduled for January 25th, 27th, and 30th, after two strikes earlier that month and two more in December 2011. The pilots fear that the new low-cost airline would take over the majority of the Spanish airline’s short and medium routes.

US State Department Travel Warning for Norway Thumbnail

US State Department Travel Warning for Norway

Norwegian media have reported a number of violent assaults in the Oslo area over the past several months. These include a daytime knife attack on a tram near Solli plass on January 5th and two stabbings near Oslo Central Station on January 10th. Parks can be especially dangerous, even Slottsparken (The Palace Park) across from the U.S. Embassy, which has been the site of multiple assaults. Read More »

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Emergency Travel Warning for Nigeria

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General issue the following emergency message for U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Nigeria.

International and domestic air travel remain disrupted on day three of a nationwide strike protesting the Nigerian government’s decision to end its subsidy on gasoline. While the international airports in both Abuja and Lagos remain open, most airlines have cancelled incoming and departing flights. All domestic airports nationwide have closed, with all domestic flights grounded. Given the fluid situation, we advise U.S. citizens to confirm flight schedules directly with airlines before they travel to the airport. Read More »

Top Ten Tasks to Do at Home Before You Travel Abroad Thumbnail

Top Ten Tasks to Do at Home Before You Travel Abroad

  1. Put your jewelry and other small valuables in a safe at home or at the bank.
  2. Set timers for both indoor and outdoor lights at your home.
  3. Take out all the garbage and run the disposal.
  4. Unplug major appliances.
  5. Find a way to have your plants taken care of or use a self-watering device in your absence.
  6. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers (or temporarily stop delivery) and any door-hangers that are left in your absence.
  7. Leave a house key with a neighbor or family member.
  8. Leave your itinerary and contact info with a family member or neighbor.
  9. Lock all windows and doors.
  10. Leave a car in your driveway to make it appear as though someone is home.
Fala português? A Language Barrier Won’t Keep You Grounded—Insurance Works Thumbnail

Fala português? A Language Barrier Won’t Keep You Grounded—Insurance Works

I enjoy culture shock from time to time. Traveling abroad is a welcomed interruption in my otherwise ordinary life. New foods, exotic traditions, foreign languages—these are some of the things I love the most about visiting a new country. Whether I travel off the beaten bath or into a thriving metropolis, the adventure of a new place prods me to book my next overseas flight.

A few of my fondest memories include getting lost in the Tahitian rainforest only to stumble upon a picturesque waterfall; sharing a single bus seat with two adults, children, and chickens in Mozambique; and touring underground cities thousands of years old in Istanbul.

Along with fond memories, I’ve also experienced some pretty nerve-wracking situations. Read More »

Featured Country: Brazil Thumbnail

Featured Country: Brazil

Brazil will host the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. The country has launched many large-scale infrastructure projects for these events that offer lucrative business opportunities for foreign companies. Take a look at the US Commercial Service’s special web pages that list opportunities related to these events.

According to the FITA, The Brazilian Ministry of Commerce recently announced that the country had a trade surplus of around 30 billion USD in 2011, an increase of 47.8% over 2010. Exports of goods increased by 26.8% to USD 256 billion, while imports rose 25.7% to USD 226 billion. It is the largest trade surplus since 2007.

In 2011 Brazil became the sixth global economy in terms of GDP, ranking ahead of countries like the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada and Spain. The country has particularly benefited in recent years from strong global demand for soybeans and iron ore, which are among its leading exports. In addition, the Brazilian government has implemented tax incentives to promote exports.

Read More »