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Delta, SkyTeam Announce Deep Capacity Cuts

USA Today |  The busy summer travel season is not even upon us yet and Delta Air Lines and its major SkyTeam partners—Air France, KLM and Alitalia—announced trans-Atlantic capacity cuts today for this fall.

Capacity will decline by 7% to 9% over the same time period in 2010, according to these airlines, which operate with antitrust immunity in the trans-Atlantic market, allowing them to legally coordinate schedules and collude on prices.

The airlines say that the capacity cuts are due to "fluctuations in seasonal demand," but it is also likely that the airline industry is bracing for a decline in international travel after the usually busy summer vacation season due to the inflated price of oil, which has been hovering in the $100 per barrel range for some time.

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US Casino Mogul Says Wynn Now 'Chinese Company'

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Breibart | American casino mogul Steve Wynn said Tuesday that his US-based gaming firm has become a "Chinese company" as it held its first annual meeting in Macau, now the world's biggest gaming hub.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. was splitting its headquarters between Las Vegas and Macau, the billionaire executive said, with the company's revenue increasingly tied to soaring growth in the former Portuguese colony.

Macau posted $23.5 billion in gaming revenues last year, outpacing the Las Vegas strip by at least four-fold. Much of the eye-popping figure is tied to high-roller gamblers from mainland China flooding into the southern territory—the only place in China that allows casino gambling.

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Photo Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

New York Reveals Plan To Become America’s Next Top Digital City

TechCrunch |  Through new official partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, and NY-based startups Foursquare and Tumblr, New York City aims to become America’s next, top digital city.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city’s first, chief digital officer, Rachel Sterne, presented their Road Map for the Digital City, today.

Before formulating the plan, Sterne led a comprehensive 90-day review of the city’s current use of web, social media and mobile technology, and surveyed thousands of public and private sector organizations, and residential users in New York to understand what was missing, and what’s working well so far.

In light of her findings, and according to a public statement from her office, New York City has committed to:

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A Royal Honeymoon in the Seychelles

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BBC Travel
|  After months of secrecy, the news of where Prince William and Kate would spend their honeymoon finally leaked this week. Sources say the royal newlyweds are currently in the Seychelles for a 10-day trip.

Back in February, we named "Renting a private island in the Seychelles" as one of our "Five best getaways for a royal honeymoon". It appears we were prescient, since that's exactly what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did. Vladi Private Islands has said that it rented the secluded North Island to the royal family. Photo: Martin Harvey / Alamy.

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LUCKYRICE: Get Your Asian Food On in NYC!

201104-b-luckyricelogojpgWhen I was growing up in the white-bread hinterlands of Maine, a pu-pu platter at the Golden Fan (a Chinese restaurant) at our local Holiday Inn was as exotic as food got. But, it gave me taste for something more than bologna sandwiches.

Today, my world is a much bigger—and tastier—place, one filled with bánh mì, congee, unagi maki, and bibimbap. I now keep a bottle of Sriracha sauce in my desk drawer, and am pretty sure Momofuku’s Berkshire pork buns are the secret to happiness.

I know I am not alone in this ever-expanding obsession/love/appreciation of Asian cuisines. In the words of Danielle Chang, the savvy founder of the LUCKYRICE Festival: “Asian food is having a moment. But when isn’t it?!”

201104-b-luckyricemktjpgIn its second year, the ultra-popular Asian food festival, LUCKYRICE, runs from May 2-8 in NYC, and includes another exciting tongue-tickling line-up of culinary events—from an Omakase Dinner with Iron Chef Morimoto to a buzzy Night Market in Brooklyn featuring over 50 restaurants serving Asia's best street food. Will I be there? Pho-getaboutit.

You can purchase tickets here. (They’re going fast, but there's still availability for the Grand Feast at the Mandarin Oriental; Opening Cocktails hosted by Opening Ceremony; and the Talk + Taste events with cooking demos.)

And check out my video Q&A with LUCKYRICE Festival visionary Danielle Chang:

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Hotel Opening: Oberoi's Delhi Alternative

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If you find yourself heading to Delhi in the future, but are overwhelmed by the populous metropolis that it is, consider staying at the newly opened Oberoi, Gurgaon, located just outside of the city in a self-described “urban oasis.”

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For Love and Lobster: Chef Migration Continues in Maine


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Ridiculously fresh seafood. Check. Farms and farmers markets galore. Yup. Great scenery. You bet. Real estate deals. Indeed. Locals and visitors who are serious about good food. Definitely. For these reasons and more, a growing number of chefs are decamping Downeast.

Geoffroy Deconinck is latest chef to trade in his fancy toque for a new start in Maine. Having worked side by side with Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, and Alain Ducasse, the 38-year-old Belgian is the newly named executive chef at Natalie’s restaurant at the Camden Harbour Inn.

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DOT Enacts Sweeping New Air-Passenger Protections

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It has been 12 years since the air-passenger rights movement first got off the ground, but now it's positively soaring, thanks to a new set of consumer protections announced today by the Department of Transportation. Among other things, provisions in the new rule would close a loophole that exempted international flights from the tarmac delay limits enacted last year; require airlines to prominently list all fees a passenger might face on a flight; increase maximum compensation paid to involuntarily bumped passengers from a range of $400-$800 to $650-$1,300; allow passengers to cancel or change a reservation within 24 hours with no penalty (if the reservation is made at least a week before departure); and force airlines to refund baggage fees when they lose a customer's luggage. Most of the provisions will go into effect 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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Grand (Re-)Opening: SFO's Terminal 2!

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SFO's long-awaited Terminal 2 opened last week after a $383 million upgrade and renovation. Designed by global architecture powerhouse Gensler, the new terminal is home to American Airlines and Virgin America and is remarkable for its strong public art program and commitment to sustainability (it's anticipated to achieve LEED Gold Certification). It's also the first airport dining program in the country to have a 'slow food' food court: they recruited and prioritized vendors, like the Plant Cafe Organic, Pinkberry, and Lark Creek Grill, that offer healthy food from local, organic sources. Find more info here.

Jaime Gross is Travel + Leisure's San Francisco correspondent.

Image courtesy of Gensler. Photographer: Bruce Damonte

Will the French Veil Ban Hurt Tourism?

BBC News - Passport Blog |   Starting 11 April, it will be illegal in France for any woman, citizen or tourist, to wear a full-faced veil.

That means no niqab in the Louvre, no niqab while shopping in the Marais, no niqab while walking the Champs-Élysées. Although the French law has gotten the most notice, Belgium was actually the first country to enact a ban last April. There are rumbles of similar laws in Italy, but other European countries have largely shot down similar attempts.

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