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

Breaking stories we're watching closely

In Egypt, it's been a week of violence, with more than 70 dead. Today, Cairo is expected to have protests in the afternoon and evening. Visitors to the Egyptian capital should avoid crowds and demonstrations, which may turn ugly, according to a warning updated yesterday by the British Foreign Office. That said, the rest of Egypt has had no political violence, and no tourist has been harmed during the past year's turmoil. [FCO]

The US government's "no-fly" list has doubled in size over one year, according an Associated Press scoop. The growth began after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab plead guilty for attempting to bomb an airline in 2009. Abdulmutallab was a Nigerian national who had been reported to Western officials by his own father as a potential threat, but had not qualified for the no-fly list. Critics of the list point out that it is impossible for innocent people to defend their good names when the government won't reveal if they are on it. [AP]

Amazing things that should happen more often

About 3,000 people clicked on the photo we tweeted of a doorman at London's Belgraves Hotel, a boutique Thompson property that opened in the city's Belgravia neighbourhood. Shot by BBC Travel columnist Chris McGinnis, the photo captured a doorman wearing a post-Millennial chic outfit that's a far cry from the vest, cummerbund and top hat livery of classic British hotels like The Savoy. [Twitpic]

Perks are about to get perkier for elite members of the Starwood loyalty program, which includes W, Westin, St Regis and other hotel chains. Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program who meet certain criteria will now enjoy an industry first: 24-hour flexible check in and check out. For example, a guest could check in at, say 9 am, and could check out at 9 pm the same day, if he or she desired. Reporter Barbara DeLollis notes that an estimated 2% of SPG members will spend and travel enough to earn the benefit. [USA Today]

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

The most re-tweeted news item of our In Brief tweets this week was that Starbucks will open its first 50 outlets in India by year-end. Good news: public bathrooms will be easier for travellers to find. Bad news: one of the world's last great tea-drinking cultures may soon get globalised. [Reuters]

The most favourited of our In Brief tweets this week was about the street art of "Moscow's Banksy", a mysterious Russian male who leaves creative artworks around town under the nom de plume of P183. For instance, he's crafted a large pair of eyeglasses out of a street lamp, as illustrated in a slide show. [Guardian] 

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

The parent company of American Airlines is using the bankruptcy process to cut costs by up to $2 billion a year. One of its proposals is to terminate 13,000 jobs, or about 15% of its workforce, as well as reshape its pension benefits. Writer Megan McArdle points out that the company is taking a hard line at first to be able to negotiate a less severe change with its unions. [The Atlantic]

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