Travel risks, warnings and odd news from around the world

The U.S. State Department continues to warn travelers to defer all non-essential visits to Pakistan and strongly warns travelers about venturing to the Gaza Strip. A short-term alert has also been issued to Americans attending the Olympic Games in Russia. The State Department urges U.S. citizens there to be extra-attentive to their personal security and belongings. More info at (888) 407-4747 toll-free in the United States or, outside the country, (202) 501-4444.


Balkan unrest

Anti-government violence appears to be spreading in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the nation struggles economically. Demonstrators are venting their fury over the Balkan nation's almost 40% unemployment and its rampant corruption.


Stormy Britain

Two months of rain and storms have drenched Britain. In the latest flooding, Royal Marines helped evacuate homes in southwest England after flood defenses were breached.


Park poaching

One by one, the bushy-tailed residents of Moscow's parks have been disappearing. The problem: Russians have gone nuts for pet squirrels. City officials have beefed up patrols after multiple reports of squirrel poaching. The crime carries a fine of up to 20,000 rubles ($573).


Bubble trouble

Just when it seemed that Austria survived Europe's financial crisis unscathed, austerity has hit — in the form of a tax on sekt, the country's version of Champagne. Though only about $1 a bottle, and only one of several recent tax hikes, the fee is causing the most furor.


It's triplets!

The owner of a private zoo in central Poland is celebrating the birth of white lion triplets. Andrzej Pabich, head of the zoo in Borysew, said white lions often have defects that prevent giving birth, or mothers may reject the cubs. So far, the 2-year-old mother has been patiently caring for and feeding the cubs. The zoo, opened in 2008, has 80 species, including white tigers and white camels.

Sources: U.S. State Department, Associated Press, Bloomberg

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