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15.12.17  /  High  /  Hungary – Security Message


15.12.17 Hungary Security Message

On 13 December 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest issued a Security Message that reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the following demonstrations are expected to take place in Budapest:
  • “Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on December 15, there will be a demonstration against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Budapest Police anticipates there will be approximately 300. The demonstration will take place on Szabadság tér (Budapest, district 5.). There will be a gathering in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, district 5, Széchenyi tér.) followed by a march to the U.S. Embassy.
  • “Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.”

15.12.17  /  Medium  /  Canada – West Wind Aircraft Crashes


15.12.17 Canada West Wind Aircraft Crashes

At 1815 local time on 13 December 2017 (0015 UTC on 14 December), a West Wind Aviation ATR-42 aircraft departing from Fond-du-Lac Airport (CZFD/ZFD) crashed shortly after take-off, approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) north of the airport. The aircraft was carrying 22 passengers and three crew members and was en route to Stony Rapids. There were no fatalities; several people were injured in the crash, but the exact number of casualties is not available. The crash did not affect services at Fond-du-Lac Airport. Fond-du-Lac is a remote town in northern Saskatchewan province, located approximately 1,000 km (600 mi) north of Regina, the provincial capital. West Wind Aviation is the second largest regional airliner in Saskatchewan. Transport Canada is investigating the accident; the cause of the crash remains unknown at this time.

14.12.17  /  Medium  /  Spain – Employees at Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Strike


14.12.17 Spain Employees at Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Strike

Reports from 12 December 2017 stated that employees at Barcelona-El Prat Airport (LEBL/BCN) are expected to strike from 21 to 24 December. The labor action will significantly affect operations at the airport, given that cabin crew, ground workers and check-in staff are set to participate in the strike in three four-hour segments each day. Strikes are often called off at the last minute if employees reach an agreement with the company in question or make headway in negotiations, but travelers planning to fly through Barcelona-El Prat Airport during the dates in question should nevertheless prepare for significant disruptions at the facility.

14.12.17  /  High  /  Philippines – Martial Law Extended


14.12.17 Philippines Martial Law Extended

At a joint session of Congress on 13 December 2017, lawmakers voted 240 to 27 in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law on the island of Mindanao. The extension is slated to last until 31 December 2018, marking the longest period of martial law in the Philippines since the 1970s. Duterte justified the decision by stating that Islamist militants have regrouped on the island since their defeat in Marawi City, and are planning to stage a new wave of attacks. He also cited continued threats posed by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as well as Islamic State-affiliated groups. While martial law will continue to apply only to Mindanao Island, Duterte repeated his past statements that he would consider placing the entire country under martial law if security officials deem this necessary. Analyst Comment: The martial law extension is likely to incite protests from members and supporters of the political opposition in cities across the country. As was the case following the first martial law extension in July 2017, rebel groups, such as the NPA, may increase attacks on security personnel in order to express their opposition to the decision. This, in turn, increases the collateral threat to travelers on Mindanao. Travelers should avoid all protest activity due to their proclivity for violence and should avoid ground travel outside major cities on Mindanao.

14.12.17  /  Medium  /  Ireland – Ryanair Pilots are Planning to Strike in the Coming Days


14.12.17 Ireland Ryanair Pilots are Planning to Strike in the Coming Days

Reports from 12 December 2017 indicated that Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Italy and Germany are planning to strike in the coming days in opposition to current company policies that dictate employee representation. In Ireland, approximately 28 percent of Ryanair's pilots are expected to strike on 20 December. In Italy, the airline's pilots will strike on 15 December for at least four hours. In Germany, Ryanair pilots stated that strikes could take place at any point. While additional strikes are possible and even likely, pilots reportedly promised not to stage any labor action between 23 and 26 December, when holiday travel will peak. Travelers flying with Ryanair in the coming days should keep abreast of announcements and should be prepared to adjust their itineraries accordingly.

14.12.17  /  Extreme  /  Bangladesh – Updated Travel Advice


14.12.17 Bangladesh Updated Travel Advice

On 12 December 2017, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Bangladesh, which includes the following: "Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh. The threat extends across the country. The last terrorist attack, targeting security forces, occurred in March 2017. There is a risk that future attacks could also target public gatherings. In August 2017, the Bangladeshi security forces disrupted a reported plot to target Mourning Day commemorations in Dhaka. There is also a risk that foreign nationals could be directly targeted in future attacks. "Crowded areas and places where foreign nationals are known to gather may be at higher risk of attack. You should minimise your exposure to these areas, consider your movements carefully and follow any specific advice of the local security authorities. "Since July 2016, the Bangladeshi authorities have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks and made a number of arrests; a number of their operations against suspected militants have also resulted in fatalities. The Bangladeshi authorities remain at high alert following previous incidents: there may be increases in security force presence and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice."
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