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FedEE Global Warnings For Business Travelers

Last updated: 20th January 2017

AUSTRALIA: Strong winds and heavy rain in south Australia has led to flash floods and significant damage around the city of Adelaide, with power outages in many areas.

UK: A toxic smog alert is in operation across many London Boroughs. Employees should be advised to wear face masks or avoid walking long distances, especially in the city centre.

SRI LANKA: Bandaranaike International Airport will be closed from 8am to 4:30pm daily until April 6th 2017 due to runway resurfacing work. This will cause some daytime travel delays.

INDIA: Street protests are taking place across the state of Tamil Nadu against the banning Jallikkatu (bull bating). Protests are generally peaceful but especially the area around Marina Beach in Chennai should be avoided if possible.

ITALY: A series of medium-strong earthquakes have taken place in central Italy and led to evacuation of the Rome metro. The most badly affected area is 60kms north of Rome.

NEW ZEALAND: Heavy winds and intense rainfall are making difficult travel conditions in central parts of the country. Gusts of up to 160km/h are likely in exposed places, especially around Canterbury and Wellington.

UGANDA: There is a significant risk of avian influenza (bird flu) in Lutembe Bay near Entebbe and the Masaka District. Trips to the north eastern area of Uganda should be avoided.

ARGENTINA: Heavy rains over several weeks have led to extensive flooding , especially around Buenos Aires. Arroyo Seco, Pueblo Esther and Villa Constitucion are the hardest hit towns.

BRAZIL: A state of emergency has been declared in the eastern part of the Minas Gerais state due to the high incidence of yellow fever. Those travelling to Brazil should ensure that they have vaccinations to prevent the disease.

CHINA: Guangdong’s Health and Family Planning Commission has warned of risks from avian influenza A(H7N9), with deaths recorded so far this year in Foshan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Zhongshan, Zhaoqing, Meizhou, Dongguan, Qingyuan and Shunde. Consumption of chicken in these areas should be avoided.

GABON: Riots and serious disturbances continue following last year’s presidential election. They can flare up quickly at and time and frequent police checks and road blocks are in operation.

CANADA: Avalanche warnings exist for all those traveling by car or rail through the Rockies over the next week. The risk is greatest in the Sea to Sky corridor through Whistler. Highway 99 in both directions 50 kilometers north of Pemberton in the Duffy Lake Area is subject to closure.

GAMBIA: A state of emergency has been called by Gambia’s outgoing president Yahya Jammeh in a bid to frustrate the inauguration of the incoming president. Nigeria has stationed a warship off the coast and the Economic Community of West African States has assembled a military force in Senegal in case a negotiated solution cannot be achieved.

ISRAEL: The arrest of an ultra orthodox woman and four others by military police for desertion has led to extensive rioting in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. Travel to the area should be avoided for the next week.

SWEDEN: The third city of Sweden Malmö has been hit by an increasingly violent crime wave over the last two years. Grenade attacks have risen from 8 in 2014 to 52 last year. Many of the attacks are associated with organized crime and there is a danger that the violence will spread to other cities.

PAKISTAN: An avalanche warning exists above 2000 metres in Kupwara and Baramula districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Risks also exist to those traveling by road at lower altitudes.

USA: Most parts of California will be hit by a succession of severe storms during the next few days. This will bring flash foods and the danger of landslides in mountain areas.

USA: Widescale protests can be expected across America on Friday to coincide with the swearing in of the new president. The greatest numbers of protesters can be expected in New York, Washington and Los Angeles

TUNISIA: Many of the central and southern small towns of Tunisia are flashpoints for unrest and rioting took place over the weekend in Ben Guerdane, Sidi Bouzid, Meknassi and Gafsa.

MEXICO: Riots continue in some cities after protests led to widescale looking of many retail outlets. The pretext for lawlessness is the government’s tax increase on petrol. Threats by the incoming US president to impose high import tariffs and build a border wall with Mexico are destabilizing the country and greater levels of unrest can be expected.

USA: Another series of storms are expected across the California and Washington Pacific coastal area over the next few days – with heavy rainfall leading to flash floods and possible landslides.

INDIA: There is a hightened risk of terrorist attacks  up until India’s Republic Day on January 26th by terrorist and insurgent groups – including Lashkar-e Tayyiba, Jaish-e Mohammed and the Indian Mujahideen.

IVORY COAST: Government troops are rebelling over pay levels and have taken over the second city of  Bouake as well as many inland towns. Residents are being subjected to weapons fire and travel to the country should be avoided until this situation is resolved.

ISRAEL: A bus strike in Jerusalem is causing chaos in the city centre. Even if a cab can be found, the traffic congestion is so severe that movement around the city is very slow.

UK: A 24-hour strike of London Underground staff at tube stations will begin at 6pm on Sunday 8th January. Travel in the UK capital on Monday will be particularly hard hit. British Airways cabin crew also plan to stage a 48-hour strike from January 10th after rejecting a new pay offer. Southern Rail will also be hit by strikes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday January 10th, 11th and 13th. These disruptions will seriously affect traffic congestion in and around London. Although British Airways clai,s that it will ensure passengers will be offered alternative flights extra time should be allowed to get to destinations.

CHINA: The first ever “red alert” for smog has been issued by the Chinese government. It covers Beijing and nineteen other cities where visibility is down to as little as 50 metres. Many cancellations of flights are taking place, principally across northern China.

GERMANY: Storm Axel has brought extensive flooding and near hurricane winds to parts of Germany. In the next 48 hours there is likely to be extensive snowfalls in the south and east of the country.

USA: A huge storm is expected to affect the west coast during the course of the coming weekend. This is likely to cause difficult driving conditions and widespread, localized flooding.

TURKEY: A further terrorist bombing in Istanbul at New Year has underlined the dangers of travel to Turkey at this time. These threats are unlikely to be reduced this year, in spite of greatly increased security measures across the country.

PERU: Peru’s Sabancaya volcano is becoming highly active with major surges on December 16th and 26th.  the latest emission threw ash and smoke some 3,500m into the sky. The local vicinity should be avoided as a major eruption is possible.

MEXICO: Eruptions of ash from the Colima volcano have been settled onto its neighbouring area. The volcano, located near the west coast, has not fully erupted for over 100 years – but there is a strong chance of a major eruption in coming weeks.

EGYPT AND JORDAN: A high threat of terrorism exists – aimed primarily at westerners and christians. Travel to any parts of these countries is not advised for the next few weeks.

USA: Two fairly strong (5.8 and 5.6) earthquakes have struck Nevada in quick succession. They was felt in Gardnerville, Reno, Sparks, Carson City, rural Nevada and parts of California – but no reports of damage or any fatalities have yet been made.

PHILIPPINES: The U.S. State Department has just issued a travel alert warning travelers to avoid the southern islands of the Philippines due to the threat of terrorism and kidnap..

INDONESIA: Following the shooting of three suspected terrorists by the police the terrorist threat remains very high throughout the country and the Australian government has warned that “Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere at any time in Indonesia, including Bali. Be particularly vigilant during the Christmas and New Year period as gatherings of Westerners could be targeted.”

UK: Dense fog is affecting the south of England. Storm Barbara is expected to hit the UK on Friday evening bringing winds of 90 mph and heavy rain. Severe travel disruptions are likely throughout the country.

GLOBAL: The greatest danger facing travelers, especially over the Christmas and New Year period, is a road accident. 3,300 people die – on average – in road accidents every day and 110,000 are injured. This amounts to 96 deaths per day in the USA, 9 in Germany and 5 in the UK. However, 90% of fatalities occur in low-meddle income countries that collectively have less than 50% of all vehicles. Road accidents are now the biggest fatality risk facing American traveling abroad and last year in the USA fatalities rose by 8% – with the highest increase amongst pedestrians and cyclists. For over one million families this festive period vehicle accidents will make their lives far from merry.

NEW GUINEA: A massive magnitude 7.9 earthquake took place this weekend with an epicentre 29 miles to the east of Taron. There were several strong aftershocks. Although there were no reported fatalities, a high level of instability is affecting locations on the Pacific ‘ring of fire” between New Zealand, Tonga and Indonesia.

TURKEY: A bomb blast in central Anatolian city of Kayseri has killed 13 off-duty soldiers. This is the second incident in Turkey with a week following the bombing outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul. All non-essential travel to Turkey should be avoided until such incidents are effectively prevented.

USA: As winter sets in across the northern half of the country heavy snow, freezing rain and consequent icy roads are making road travel hazardous. The states with the highest road fatalities are Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and Oklahoma.

YEMEN: Terrorist attacks by islamic state group’s Yemen-based affiliate continue with the latest suicide bomb  in Aden taking 52 lives. All travel to this country should be avoided.

16th December 2016

CHINA: Beijing’s city government has issued a red alert for extremely high levels of air pollution in the city for five days from December 17th 2016.

NAMIBIA: travel from the South African side of the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Park to the Namibian side or vice versa, as the Sendelingsdrift pontoon border crossing is currently struggling to operate due to a water crisis. 

SOUTH KOREA: The government has raised the status of its warning about bird flu to its highest level following a rapid spread of the disease throughout the county. Travelers should be vaccinated against it before journeying there.

12th December 2016

EGYPT: The bombing of a Coptic christian church in Cairo during prayer-time underlines how vulnerable those in minorities are in Egypt. Foreign visitors should avoid travel to the country until current social tensions are reduced.

ISTANBUL: A twin bombing outside a football stadium has killed 38 people. Blame has been placed on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party – although it could just as well be IS militants. This latest incident is the latest of many in Istanbul and the capital Ankara this year. All non-essential business trips to Turkey should be postponed for the time being.

JAMAICA: Flooding in Runaway Bay, St Ann is affecting all communications. The area should be avoided until recent heavy rains subside.

NIGERIA: The bombing yesterday of a busy market in Maiduguri, Borno state in the north of the country is likely to be the work of Boko Haram militants. Two young girls were used to carry out the atrocity. All travel in northern Nigeria is dangerous also due to the high incidence of crime in the area.

SOMALIA: A terrorist bomb has exploded near the port area in the nation’s capital Mogadishu. Somalia remains a country for foreign businesses to avoid.

UNITED KINGDOM: Heavy flooding has affected Stoke Newington in North London after the burst of a major water main. The high street is particularly badly affected.

December 9th 2016

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The  remote Solomon Islands in the South Pacific have been hit by a powerful 7.8 category earthquake. Although little damage has been reported, many parts of the islands are suffering from aftershocks.

December 7th 2016

INDONESIA: A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has caused widespread disruption and over a hundred deaths in the province of Aceh. Travel to the province is not advis3d for the next month, particularly because of the possibility of major aftershocks.

December 6th 2016

AUSTRALIA: Several major city centre roads will be closed in Melbourne for the next five years in order that a Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel and a new station can be built.

CONGO: The US state department has asked US citizens to seriously consider leaving the country before the presidential elections on December 19th 2016. This is due to ongoing instability and sporadic violence in parts of the country caused by armed groups, bandits and even some elements of the Congolese armed forces.

KENYA: Travelers with medical conditions should avoid visiting Nairobi and other major Kenyan cities due to a widespread strike by doctors and nurses over a bitter pay dispute.

MEXICO: Popocatepetl volcano, just south of Mexico city has unexpectedly erupted showering local settlements with pumice and ash. Seismologists are warning that earthquakes are likely to follow.

SOUTH AFRICA: Train commuters on Cape Town’s Metrorail have been subject to delays and cancellations due to the theft of copper cabling serving the monitoring and signaling systems. This problem is likely to continue until scrap dealers are prevented from accepting such materials.

SPAIN: Exceptionally heavy rains in recent days on the southern Spanish coast has caused severe flooding in Malaga and nearby towns.

SWITZERLAND: The public service union has warned that strike activity amongst ground staff at Geneva airport is imminent after talks broke down over a pay dispute.

THAILAND: Heavy rains across the southern area of Thailand have caused widespread flooding and trains from Bangkok continue to be subject to possible cancellation beyond Thung Song junction station in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

TUNISIA: A state of emergency has been extended several times and remains in force until January 19th 2017. The threat of terrorism is very high, especially aimed at foreigners.

UNITED KINGDOM: Southern rail services are now expected to be affected by strikes by guards and train drivers on every day until Christmas and beyond. Over 50% of services are expected to be cancelled each day.

UNITED STATES: Flash floods in Hawaii and snowfall at lower than normal altitudes is affecting communications, especially around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Parts of the Pacific Northwest mainland, especially around Seattle and Portland can expect heavy snowfalls later this week and over the weekend.

VIETNAM: Floods brought by torrential rain over the past 10 days have killed at least 13 people in central Vietnam. Transport has been heavily disrupted at a time when the centre of the country has been trying to recover from widespread flood damage in October.


Forthcoming Events

  • London, UK. January 12th 2017: Come along to the Next FedEE Fellowship meeting for an off-the-record round table on important HR issues.

  • Subjects for discussion at the meeting will include: Trends in the level of legal compliance around the world and how HR can prepare for the next economic downturn.

  • Learn about FedEE’s draft Code of Practice on Data Privacy and hear a talk on The Workplace of Tomorrow: The Impact of Artificial intelligence and Robotics By Dr. Gerlind Wisskirchen, CMS, Cologne.

  • Non-members who are HR Professionals or corporate lawyers may attend the meeting on a “one-off” basis to determine if FedEE would be a good organisation to join. Please contact membershipservices@fedee.com for more details.

  • Changsha, Hunan, China: 2017 – Date to be determined. Conference on “Going global – overcoming the barriers to multinational expansion”.

  • Local FedEE branches are being set up around the world. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved.

  • Create your own event on ButN – our free face-to-face business networking community where you can ‘break the ice’ online. http://www.but-n.com

Comment: A case for purpose, not vision

Robin Chater

Secretary General, Fedee

One of the last great mysteries of the commercial world is why companies confuse their vision statements with their primary purpose. It remains an uncomfortable truth for many company boardrooms, but there is only one primary purpose that a company can have – that is maximising ROI. An enterprise serves to make the best return it can on its shareholders’ investments. It is not creating better jobs, nor providing government revenues, nor serving the community – these are but subsidiary aims and a luxury only achieved once profit can be … Continue reading