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US judge dismisses challenge to suspicionless laptop searches at the border

Judge Edward Korman dismissed the ACLU suit, Abidor v. Napolitano, allowing the US Customs and Border Protection program of random border searches and seizures of electronic devices to continue with no requirement of warrants, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. Ned Levi discusses the CPB program, court rulings which have affected it, and advice for international travelers entering the US.
By |January 6th, 2014|Columns|0 Comments|

Can we really enjoy travel without knowing history?

Without a knowledge of history and cultures, can travel be more than merely looking at snapshots of places and things that can be just as easily and often better seen in videos and photos?
By |August 17th, 2012|Today|1 Comment|

Literature adds depth, wonder and understanding to travel

Over vacation week, I took my son on a grand vacation to Ireland. It was a week of castles, forts, churches and a whole lot of green fields and sheep. The trip was also an opportunity to dig deep to pull up those kernels of knowledge gleaned from various books read over the years. My son kept saying, “But how do you know that?” My answer – I read about it once.
By |May 5th, 2012|Today|1 Comment|

Travel by the book, Part 2 — more literature that inspires travel

Here are another six books that have inspired me to travel of the years. Over the years, the one thing guaranteed to hold my attention most in a book is a vivid description of somewhere I want to visit, or better yet a vivid presentation that creates a desire to visit a new place. Simply put, the location is, for me, the best character in the book.

Elegy for an anniversary — 32 years with Ozark

Last week I celebrated what would have been my 32nd anniversary with Ozark Air Lines. Well, perhaps “celebrate” is too strong a word. No corks were popped, no cakes decorated. The only thing I did to commemorate the occasion was watch the very same episode of “The Rockford Files” (“The Prisoner of Rosemont Hall”) that I had watched that Friday evening those many years ago as I packed for my very first trip. I also took some time to reflect on my expectations at the beginning of my career and how different things look now that that career has ended.
By |February 23rd, 2010|Today|3 Comments|

Heaven in Hanoi at the Sofitel Metropole

The The Metropole has always been the place to stay in Hanoi. Legends of the rich and famous, as well royalty, have made it their home. Located in the heart of Hanoi, it’s near the city’s Old Quarter. The hotel opened in 1901, although if the research is correct, the Colonial building was constructed a minimum of twenty years before.

There are many special hotels in the world but the Sofitel Metropole has a unique quality. It was designated the  the Sofitel Group’s first Legend hotel in July 2009. After a four-year-long massive renovation, the hotel now offers another level of service, coupled with every amenity guests could want. Yes, there are flat screen TVs and other electronic gadgets that yell, “up-to-date” but don’t detract from the hotel’s charm and elegance.

Hanoi adventures in Vietnam

If you're someone who craves peace and quiet, don't book a trip to Hanoi or Saigon. But they happen to be cities that have captured my heart. If forced to choose between the two, I'd head north to Hanoi, the country's capital. There's so much to see and learn in addition to seeing dramatic archeological sites and beautiful countryside. Even though more than one million Vietnamese were killed during the war, which many feel should never have been fought, Americans aren't disliked.

10 reasons to visit Annapolis this spring

annapolisthumb1Who needs Paris in the spring? There’s a recession going on. Lucky for me, I’ve got great art, romantic sidewalk cafes, colorful street festivals, beautiful water views, and gorgeous spring flowers galore on this side of the Atlantic.