travel

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It’s the time of year when many schools offer student trips that involve international travel. With the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris, and concerns about student safety, some school leaders in Connecticut have had to make hard choices about whether to move forward with their travel plans.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines has struck a deal to buy Virgin America, creating a West Coast-focused airline. If approved by regulators and Virgin America's shareholders, the combined airline will be the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, according to Alaska Air Group.

"By bringing them together, we're creating the premier airline for people who live anywhere on the West Coast," Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement.

A Beijing-based banking and insurance company has lost the fight for Starwood Hotels, leaving Marriott as the prospective new owner of the company that operates the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains.

Announcing its exit from takeover talks Thursday, the Anbang Insurance Group cited "various market considerations." The withdrawal came days after Starwood said there was a good chance the Chinese firm would make a "superior proposal" to Marriott's.

Starwood

The drama involving Stamford’s Starwood Hotels and Resorts continues. It now looks as if the company will go with its original merger partner after all. 

Bad weather is seen as a possible cause for the crash of a small passenger plane in Nepal that was navigating between mountains in an area that's popular for treks and sightseeing. The plane, with a crew of three and 20 passengers, reportedly flew into the side of a mountain.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For his latest book, Michael Robinson journeyed to the mountains of East Africa with a particular mission in mind: to search for explorer Henry Morton Stanley's so-called "white tribe." This hour, Robinson talks about his experience, and how it helped inform The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent

Horia Varlan / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's a riddle for you: What's green and yellow, but most often red?

Give up? It's a traffic light -- you know, those things you hit on your way into the office each morning. But how do they work? And why don't they ever seem to be synced up? 

Anne / Creative Commons

Connecticut will miss the brunt of the winter storm affecting the mid-Atlantic region, but not all parts of the state will be untouched. The worst will be along the shoreline with the possibility of six to ten inches in some parts. Meanwhile, northern Connecticut may see no accumulation at all.

An hours-long attack by militants on a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso's capital has left approximately 20 victims dead. An early-morning assault by security forces killed four attackers and freed 126 hostages, officials say.

Among the victims killed was an American, identified by the U.S. State Department as Michael James Riddering, according to Reuters.

Owen Byrne flickr.com/photos/ojbyrne / Creative Commons

Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend.

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Transcript

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Mohegan Sun is showing off progress on its new hotel development in Uncasville, a project that tribal chairman Kevin Brown said proves its commitment to its roots. 

Eric Westervelt of the NPR Ed team is guest-hosting for the next few weeks on Here & Now, the midday news program from NPR and WBUR.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The effort to revive the neighborhood around downtown Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is gaining some big name support -- and a new hotel.

Hard Rock Hotel Hartford will open near the Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the new home of the Hartford Yard Goats, the developers said. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Metro-North riders may notice an increase in security during their commute this month as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut beef up law enforcement presence at stations in response to the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. 

The Obama administration has announced some changes to the visa waiver program, which allows travelers from some 38 countries including France, Belgium and other European countries, to come to the U.S. without a visa.

The White House announced several steps, including attempting better tracking of past travel, fines for airlines that don't verify passport data, assisting other countries on the screening of refugees and with border security.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is beginning to offer more ways for customers to receive real-time information about buses.

Riders of CTfastrak, the bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, can obtain information about bus arrival and departure predictions, service disruptions and vehicle locations on Google Maps.

A Russian aircraft carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members has crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, according to Egyptian authorities. The Airbus A321 lost contact with both Egyptian and Russian officials after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on a flight to St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Russian Aviation Agency says the airliner was a charter flight carrying tourists back from a popular Russian vacation spot, NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit. The plane was operated by Metrojet, a small airline formerly called Kolavia.

NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Atlas Obscura considers itself a "friendly tour-guide to the world's most wondrous places" -- a number of which can be found right here in Connecticut. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

After eight years without transatlantic flights, Bradley International Airport is expanding its international boundaries beyond Canada and Mexico. Starting next September, Connecticut travelers will once again be able to jet over the Atlantic Ocean without first driving to New York or Boston.

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Bradley International Airport is once again to get a transatlantic flight. Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to announce on Wednesday that Irish carrier Aer Lingus will add service between Hartford and Dublin soon. 

Snow on the mountain tops causes mixed feelings among Vermonters. For some, it's a nudge toward getting the winter tires back on. For others, it's a sign that the ski and snowboard season is about to begin. But while you can't ski or ride just yet, you should already be strategizing how to get the best time on the slopes for your buck. 

After a 15-month probe, investigators with the Dutch Safety Board have concluded that a Russian Buk missile took down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last year.

The crash in July 2014 killed all 298 people on board, most of whom were from the Netherlands.

Amtrak: Pets Welcome Aboard Northeast Regional, Downeaster

Oct 12, 2015

Amtrak says it will now allow passengers on some Northeast routes to bring along their pets. Under the program, passengers can take a cat or small dog on trips up to seven hours long.

Ski resorts across the state are gearing up for the winter ski and riding season. But many resorts have seen a pleasant uptick in summer and fall business thanks to recent multi-million dollar investments in lodging and non-skiing activities. 

Dan Schultz / WNPR

Widening highways can be a controversial topic. Some say it just encourages congestion, but the governor said it’ll improve the state's bottom line.

It’s October, and it’s supposed to be foliage season. But the splendor of the foliage in Northern New England isn’t what it used to be. Climate change, local pollution, invasive species, disease and development have all conspired to change the multicolored landscape to make it less so. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with David Brooks, a reporter for The Concord Monitor and writer at GraniteGeek.org

Doreen Cooney has owned the Deerfield Valley Inn in West Dover for 17 years and she is ready to try something new.

She put the property on the market last year, and after a pending deal with a potential buyer fell through she decided she would try something different to help her get out of the bed and breakfast business:

Cooney wants to give away the historic Deerfield Valley Inn.

Foliage season is always a busy time in Stowe but this season the town may see even more leaf peepers, after landing on top of TripAdvisor's top 10 list of U.S. fall foliage destinations.

The Adirondack Council has released its annual report assessing actions by governmental leaders and agencies toward the Adirondack Park. 

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