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

Breaking stories we're watching closely

In a surprise alert, the US Embassy in Thailand warned American visitors to be wary while in public in Bangkok. Thai authorities arrested a foreign national believed to be part of a terror plot linked to Lebanon's Hezbollah political group. An official told reporters that foreign nationals may have gathered in the capitol with plans to attack the Israeli Embassy or a similar target. [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]

Amazing things that should happen more often

Among the items shared on BBC_Travel's Twitter account this week, the one that was most re-tweeted was a link to the latest issue of Pictory, a user-generated magazine. The free issue spotlights astonishing photo stories under the theme "things worth writing home about", including scenic views from glaciers and helicopters. [Pictory]

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

To entice foreign visitors, Norway's government budgeted about $370 million for constructing prettily designed "nature lookouts", viewing platforms at the country's most scenic locales. About 120 have already been built on national tourist routes, including a gorgeous one made largely from blond wood and glass, rising 2,122ft above a fjord in Aurland. [Fast Company Design]

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

You'll grit your teeth as you watch this amateur video of several Boeing and Airbus planes attempting to land during heavy crosswinds at Germany's Düsseldorf Airport. The Associated Press's aviation reporter David Koenig described it in one word: "Dramamine".  [YouTube]

Many airlines have been taking the "non" out of nonstop transatlantic flights. For example, Continental Airlines, owned by United, had to divert of 43 of 1,100 December flights headed to Newark and Washington's Dulles Airport. That's about three times the rate of a year earlier. The trips all involved Boeing 757s, a small, 170- to 220-seat aircraft that holds less fuel. Given the headwinds, the planes sometimes needed to make refuelling stops in Canada or Iceland. To avoid the problem, opt for flights on large aircraft, like Boeing 777s or A380s. You can see jetliner information listed in the details of a flight before you buy a ticket. [Wall Street Journal]

The world's first "gun lounge" has opened in Las Vegas, encouraging guests to shoot high-powered rifles. The club, Machine Gun Vegas, charges $350 per person. [Daily Mail]

It’s a no-go

Travel writer Tim Leffel became annoyed at seeing two destination advertisements that "represent a black hole of stupidity" for the tourism organisations that paid to create them. One advert from South Africa Tourism has a threatening elephant standing far too close to a young family, presumably intended to encourage people to take safaris. The other is a promotion by tourism officials in Scottsdale, Arizona, which Leffel says makes unbelievable promises. [World's Cheapest Destinations]

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