Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and most interesting travel news stories.

Keep up with our dispatches all week by following @BBC_Travel or tracking the hashtag #bbcinbrief.

Amazing things that should happen more often

Remember the days when water bottles at airport security were of no concern? Sydney International Airport is allowing passengers to carry on liquids of all sizes again, thanks to new technology in place that can detect explosives in liquids. Now how about adopting that technology at all other airports? [CNNGo]

For the US holiday of Thanksgiving, NPR compiled an interactive map to share how travellers, expatriates and service members outside the country are celebrating Turkey Day. [NPR]

Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead

This brave British woman is attempting to cross Antarctica on her own. BBC Travel wishes her the best! [Gadling]

Venezuelans and environmentalists are fearful that President Hugo Chavez’s attention on the Los Roques archipelago might ruin the islands’ ecosystem. On the other hand, the islands’ residents could stand to benefit. [The Economist]

In an effort to offer higher-quality food to travellers to Cuba, officials announced that farmers can now sell directly to businesses that cater to tourists, such as restaurants. “Poor food and service are frequently cited as reasons for tourists coming once and not returning,” Reuters reports. Tourism money talks, even in a Communist country. [Reuters]

Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride

In preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games and the World Cup, Rio de Janeiro officials and police forces are working to pacify the city’s slums. Der Spiegel investigates, and finds some questionable practices. [Der Spiegel]

A pilot landed a plane full of marijuana in Houston, Texas and then disappeared, apparently. Do the police really expect the missing pilot to come forward and discuss the situation with them?  [Gawker]

A “general strike” has prevented all international flights from taking off or landing in Portugal since Thursday. Since the country’s bailout, the government has been implementing “austerity measures,” which the Portuguese are currently protesting against. [CNN]  

It’s a no-go

Beyond just looking for a destination’s top-ranked stays, some TripAdvisor users are leveraging the site’s power for their own gain, by blackmailing hoteliers. Potential or past customers threaten staff with a poor review should they not comply with refund or upgrade requests. The trend is more unbecoming news about how people are misusing the powerful travel review site. [Daily Mail]

A woman is in trouble with the FBI after she allegedly reported her former lover as a terrorist. According to the article, the man had recently rejected her and had unfriended her on Facebook. [Washington Post]

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