police

Terror alert as armed police evacuate luxury Germany’s Hotel Fuerstenhof in Leipzig

A luxury German hotel popular with celebrities is at the centre of a terror alert this morning after staff received a bomb threat overnight. Guests at Hotel Fuerstenhof in Leipzig in eastern Germany1 were evacuated as armed police moved in to check rooms for explosive devices. Officers say the night porter at the hotel, whose previous guests have included the rock bands AC/DC and Kiss, received an anonymous call from someone using ‘broken German’ with the bomb threat.

Terror Alert As Armed Police Evacuate Luxury Germany's Hotel Fuerstenhof In Leipzig

Armed police descended on the Hotel Fuerstenhof after staff received a bomb threat in the early hours of the morning

Terror Alert As Armed Police Evacuate Luxury Germany's Hotel Fuerstenhof In Leipzig

Guest at Hotel Fuerstenhof (pictured) in Leipzig in eastern Germany, were evacuated as armed police moved in to check rooms for explosive devices

Terror Alert As Armed Police Evacuate Luxury Germany's Hotel Fuerstenhof In Leipzig

A luxury German hotel popular with celebrities is at the centre of a terror alert this morning after staff received a bomb threat overnight. Police are pictured at the scene

Social media pictures from the scene show police with sniffer dogs examining the area and checking under cars. There are also images of police with machine guns standing next to a neighbouring church. The area surrounding the hotel has been closed off while investigations continue today.

Police spokesman Alexander Bertram said the upscale Fuerstenhof hotel received an anonymous phone call around 2.50am local time today.

Terror Alert As Armed Police Evacuate Luxury Germany's Hotel Fuerstenhof In Leipzig

The area surrounding the hotel has been closed off while investigations continue today (file picture of German police)

Terror Alert As Armed Police Evacuate Luxury Germany's Hotel Fuerstenhof In Leipzig

Officers say the night porter at the hotel (file picture), whose previous guests have included the rock bands AC/DC and Kiss, received an anonymous call from someone using ‘broken German’ with the bomb threat

An initial search did not turn up anything suspicious. Police officers have been stationed in front of all hotel entrances. Bertram says the anonymous caller talked about a ‘terror attack’.

He would not give any further details during an ongoing operation. Germany has been on edge since two attacks this summer claimed by ISIS2 in which multiple people were injured and both assailants died. In an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzburg, the 17-year-old attacker was shot dead by police after injuring five people.

A suicide bombing in Ansbach saw 15 people injured after a failed Syrian asylum-seeker detonated an explosive device outside a music festival, killing himself. Germany was also left reeling after a mass shooting in Munich in July in which 18-year-old Ali David Sonboly gunned down nine people outside a shopping centre. More follows.

References

  1. ^ Germany (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ ISIS (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Earthquake Rattles Australia Tourist Towns

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has rocked tourist towns along more than 1,000 kilometres of Australia’s northeastern coastline. It struck off Bowen in Queensland at around 1.30pm local time, according to the United States Geological Survey. The Townsville Bulletin reported that buildings in Townsville city were evacuated, but police said there were no reports of major damage.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology tweeted there was no tsunami warning. Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate told AFP: “It’s been widely felt right up the coast, from Sunshine Coast up to north of Townsville, so quite a lot of the Queensland coast has felt some shaking.

“We haven’t had any reports of damage at this stage.

“The fact that it is 50km offshore is the reason for that, if it was closer to the coast it might have been a different story.

“We would expect to get aftershock activity after an event of this size.”

Workers at Bowen Golf Club said the two-storey timber clubhouse “shook violently” during the quake. Employee Margaret Need told AAP: “It was only for a few seconds and we were more concerned about the ocean.

“If the ocean started sucking out we would have started running because we are right on the beachfront.

“We just watched that for a bit to see if there was any change in the water.

It was very scary.”

She said it’s the second earthquake she has experienced during her time working at the golf club and it was also the most violent.

“We had one about four or five years ago and it was only light, but this shook really badly.”

The tremor followed a 4.6-magnitude quake that struck 126 kilometres off Bundaberg in Queensland, early on Sunday.

According to Geoscience Australia, the strongest recorded quake in Australia was a 6.6-magnitude earthquake that hit the small mining town of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, in January 1988.

Tourico forecasts UK travel growth

LONDON, 29 July 2016: Tourico Holidays, a wholesale travel brokerage company predicts a 30% increase in UK hotel room night bookings during second half of the year. According to company booking data, Tourico has already sold nearly a quarter of a million room nights in the United Kingdom in 2016 led by a 12% year-over-year increase from the United States. The spike in Discount Holidays © holiday bookings to the UK have been linked to a decline in the UK pound, while July and August are summer peak months for UK-bound travellers.

Tourico Forecasts UK Travel GrowthSource markets like China and Germany, that only account for 4% and 6% of inbound UK travel bookings, respectively, have increased their average daily reservations by over 100% since the Brexit vote.

The UK has always been one of Tourico s top revenue earning destinations, but early booking trends since Brexit show the declining UK Pound is actually strengthening the inbound travel market to the UK, said Tourico Holidays vice president of the European region, Mark Redmond.

Not only will international travellers see it as an opportunity to finally book a trip to what was formerly considered a high-priced destination, we anticipate British travellers will also travel more within the UK to avoid exchanging a weak currency.

Secondary markets, like Manchester, have already grown 60% year-over-year in forward bookings since the Brexit vote. As a result of the forecasted growth, Tourico Holidays has increased its resources in the area to prepare for heightened demand. The company has hired a team of new sales employees dedicated to contracting travel suppliers and operators in primary, secondary, and tertiary markets within the United Kingdom.

Tourico currently maintains partnerships with major UK hotel suppliers, such as Park Plaza Hotels, Corus Hotel Hyde Park London, and Hilton Hotel Group including Double Tree hotels and the Conrad St James.

The global wholesaler also pre-purchases massive hotel room blocks each year throughout the UK guaranteeing monthly revenue and industry-leading price points.

We partner with over 1,000 UK-based hotels from London to Glasgow and we expect high-demand at all of them in the second half of 2016, Redmond said.

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