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Hawaiian Airlines sued for weighing passengers

Hawaiian Airlines faces charges of discrimination after two passengers complained about its policy of weighing passengers before boarding the flight. The complainants, businessmen Avamua Dave Haleck and Daniel King, said the airline weighed them at check-in before being allocated seats in their flight from Honolulu to Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa. Haleck told Radio New Zealand the policy “borders on discrimination” as it only targets Samoans. Hawaiian defended the policy, saying it aims to manage weight distribution across the cabin. It said a six-month study on the flight’s excessive fuel burn revealed passengers’ weight gains are a factor. The airline has since amended the policy. “We will not be weighing passengers at any point during the check-in or boarding process,” said Tara Shimooka, Hawaiian Airlines representative, but added that it will still take charge of seat allocation. The US …

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Historic Cairo to emerge as “bride in new dress” when renovation completes in 2020 — official

By Xinhua CAIRO -- "When all monuments in the Historic Cairo area are restored by 2020, Cairo will become a bride in a new dress," Mohamed Abdel Aziz, manager of Historic Cairo Developing Project (HCDP), said. "We have finished the restoration of 102 monuments out of the 200 on our renovation list, and we are working now on 39 others," Abdel Aziz, also an assistant to Egypt's minister of antiquities for the Islamic and Coptic monuments, told Xinhua in a recent interview. Historic Cairo, also known as Islamic Cairo, is a part of central Cairo noted for historically important mosques, madrasas (schools), fountains and other Islamic monuments dating back to as early as 10th century. With its 600 registered monuments, the 4-square km old city was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979 …

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DOT on the lookout for new PH tourism slogan

The Department of Tourism's "It's More Fun in the Philippines" slogan will be soon replaced, said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. During a media conference on Tuesday, Teo said a new slogan is set to be released in time for the Miss Universe (MU) 2016 pageant which will be held in the country. The DOT official revealed that statistics show the campaign was appealing yet ineffective, particularly in the European and North American markets. A Nielsen survey about the "It's More fun in the Philippines" branding shows, 65% of Europeans like the slogan, but only 26% intend to visit the country because of the said campaign. The same goes for North American countries, with 72% of those surveyed liking it but only 45% would like to visit the islands because of the slogan. DOT Undersecretary Katherine …

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DOT sets Intramuros rehab; informal settlers to be relocated to Cavite

Thousands of informal settlers currently living inside the historical walled city in Manila will be relocated, according to the Intramuros Administration (IA). "By the end of this year, we will be able to resettle some of the IFS [informal settlers] and by next year baka we will be able to resettle most of them," said Merceditas de Sahagun, Intramuros Administration (IA) finance and administrative Division Chief. During the Department of Tourism (DOT) media lunch, de Sahagun revealed that the resettlement of the IFS has actually started early this year. "The resettlement of the [informal settlers] has been going on for the past six months, and we've just signed the memorandum of agreement with the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation which will take charge of choosing the socialized housing developer [of the property where …

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AEDC to bid for NAIA project

Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDC) will submit a bid for the redevelopment of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. The AEDC will have a foreign partner in bidding for the $1.65 billion project that would “improve the operational efficiencies” of the four NAIA terminals, both landside and airside, to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. AEDC President Gen. Salvador Mison said, “We are participating in the bidding because we firmly believe in the growth potential of our country’s premier airport, given our past experience of pushing for Philippine aviation development.” The AEDC is confident it can provide viable solutions to NAIA’s inter-terminal connectivity as well as traffic congestion in the area. AEDC’s foreign partner is expected to provide the technical expertise in its long-term proposal. The National …

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Tourists swamp San Francisco’s famously curvy Lombard Street

SAN FRANCISCO — Lombard Street, the scenic San Francisco thoroughfare known as the "Crookedest Street in the World," has become so thronged with gawkers that residents say it feels more like an overcrowded amusement park than a residential road. City transit leaders are considering possible solutions, including charging a toll, requiring reservations, adding more parking-control officers and encouraging visitors to reach the single-lane street on foot or by cable car. In the summer months, an estimated 6,000 people per day visit the street, which offers views of the city that are as beautiful as the road is winding. "There have been days when you have 250 people at the bottom of the street taking pictures and hundreds of people up and down the sidewalks and another hundred at the top," said Greg Brundage, …

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Japan to develop securer passport to prevent terrorism

TOKYO -- Japan's Foreign Ministry will follow European countries in introducing a passport with a hard plastic page containing identity information, making it harder to forge as part of measures to prevent crime and terrorism, an official of the ministry said Saturday. The ministry aims to add the new security feature in the fiscal year starting April 2023, the official said. Experts have been reviewing ways to improve passport security for the ministry since 2014.

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London’s Tower Bridge closes until New Year

London -- London's iconic Tower Bridge closed to vehicles for three months on Saturday for its first major maintenance works in nearly half a century. The 122-year-old drawbridge by the Tower of London -- whose roadway leaves are lifted to allow tall ships on the River Thames to pass through -- carries 21,000 vehicles and some 40,000 people per day. "This heavy use has had an effect on timber decking of the bridge, which was last refurbished in 1970," said a statement from the City of London Corporation, which owns the Victorian Gothic landmark. "To ensure that the bridge continues to serve as a vital river crossing we need to undertake the essential maintenance works." It will be closed to road traffic until December 30. The bridge's leaves will continue to operate as normal for …

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Construction underway and planned for World War II Museum

NEW ORLEANS  — With eight projects under construction and 16 more on the drawing board, the National World War II Museum is about to take over 3 ½ square blocks in the city's Central Business District. Two new structures are being added to the museum campus to provide additional exhibition space, classrooms, a library offices and retail. The museum has started building the Hall of Democracy, a $33 million three-story pavilion for academic and outreach programs and additional exhibit space. Work is also underway on the nearly $12 million Bollinger Canopy of Peace. The Canopy will symbolize the hope and promise unleashed by the end of WWII hostilities. Museum officials say the 150-foot-tall structure will also unify the diverse campus in the enduring spirit of the wartime slogan, "We're all in this together!" "The second …

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Delightful frights

It was like watching a horror movie, not as scary The Conjuring, Paranormal Activity, or Drag Me to Hell, but enough to make you scream and run. I have never set foot inside a haunted house but I like watching horror films and have a good scare every now and then, especially on Halloween. So when I learned that Halloween at Hong Kong Ocean Park would include entering four haunted houses, I admit I freaked out a little bit inside. But after a day’s worth of screams and spine-tingling experience, we just laughed it all off, realizing none of it was that scary after all. This year, there will be 10 all-new unique experiences at eight haunted attractions and 10 shows that offer guests more immersive, more interactive experiences inside the park. There will be Scare Zones and terrifying Secret Rooms, plus an app that allows you to catch …

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