Purim is a holiday celebration like no other
Indian shrine filled with billions of dollars in treasures, the cultural importance of coffee in Iraq, a flamingo causes chaos at Manchester Airport and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Flamingo shuts down airport runway
A pink flamingo that refused to leave the runway for about five hours had Manchester Airport officials sending off flares, blasting music and bringing out a 4x4 vehicle. Ringo, as the flamingo was named during the episode, did not ground any planes, though it did cause slight delays. Apparently, no one has reported a missing flamingo, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Indian shrine’s vaults filled with billions of dollars in treasures
India’s Supreme Court ordered the opening of vaults, some untouched for 150 years, in a south Indian temple that turned up $22 billion worth of gold, jewels and statues. The shocking find convinced government officials to deploy two dozen police officers to the (previously) unassuming 16th Century Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. The country’s Supreme Court also will decide the fate of the treasure and temple, the New York Times reports.
Miss Brazil robbed outside her São Paolo home
Miss Brazil Debora Lyra was robbed at gunpoint at the entrance of her gated São Paolo condo on Sunday. The incident provides some less-than-flattering public relations for the country, host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. The Associated Press reports Brazilian law enforcement has been raiding slums in an aggressive effort to eradicate drug gangs.
“In Iraq, coffee isn't merely a matter of ordering a grande to go from Starbucks. Here, in a country where people blend modern and tribal identities freely, the beverage links people to their history, to their ancient hospitality. It serves as an entry to small talk when a man visits his tribal sheik's house, as a way to gather with friends and mourn in times of death, as an excuse to sit and argue and gossip.”
–The Los Angeles Times published a feature on the cultural importance of coffee in Iraq.