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

Amazing things that should happen more often

Bullet trains in China running on the world’s longest high-speed railway began transporting passengers this week. The trains zoom along at 300kph between Beijing and Guangzhou and takes about eight hours, the equivalent of riding from New York to Key West, Florida or London to Belgrade. [The New York Times]

Despite mixed support during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and controversy about steep costs, an end-of-year poll shows that the vast majority of Britons -- close to 80% of voters -- think hosting the games was well worth the cost. Those in favour stretch across social classes and regions, as well. [The Guardian]

A 2,000-year-old Roman theatre has been discovered in Kent, very conveniently on grounds where the Kent Archaeological Field School is based. The cockpit-style theatre is the first of its kind to be found in Great Britain. [Daily Mail]

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

Iranian parliament passed a directive that bans planes from flying in the country during Azan, the morning Islamic call to prayers. Planes will be permitted to take off 30 minutes after Azan to allow passengers time “to carry out their religious duties.” [Reuters]

In-flight entertainment        
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week

With more than 100,000 photos, the most popular place from which Instagram users shared photos was Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Bangkok’s Siam Paragon shopping mall and Paris’ Eiffel Tower were the only other locations outside of the US to make the top 10. [Skift]

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

The tension in Egypt is strangling tourism as travellers are becoming the target of taunts, and local tourism operators are being threatened by business owners who want to see more cash flowing their way. [Associated Press]

More than 85% of the record 1,527 guns that the TSA found in 2012 were loaded. Perhaps even more troubling is that screeners confiscated 41 firearms, 40 stun guns, four grenades and a rocket launcher (yes, you read that right — a rocket launcher) in the first week of December alone. [USA Today]

It’s a no-go

A heavy snowstorm stranded scores of travellers as more than 2,000 flights going through the northeast United States were cancelled the two days after Christmas. [CNN]

Like "In brief"? Talk with us on Twitter @BBC_Travel or with the hashtag #bbcinbrief.