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Pre-election violence strikes several areas of Haiti

Chicago Tribune

Haiti: Violent political protests erupted leading up to the now-postponed Dec. 27 presidential elections. At least five regions have been affected, including the North, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and West departments, where roads were blocked and homes and election centers were set on fire. Many protests have resulted in violent clashes with police. Tourists should follow local news and avoid large groups.

Austria: Travelers visiting Vienna during the holiday season are reminded to use extra caution, particularly around busy transport stations, large buildings and other locations that are heavily populated. There are no specific threats suspected, but security concerns have increased across the country, particularly because two people linked to the November terror attacks in Paris recently were arrested in Salzburg.

Cambodia: The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh suggests that travelers use added precautions against mosquito bites, because cases of mosquito-borne viruses continue to climb. Those traveling outside the major hubs of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kep or Sihanoukville should be especially diligent about using DEET and other repellents along with anti-malarial drugs. In addition to malaria, dengue and chikungunya have become fairly widespread.

Indonesia: Police remain on high terror alert across the country after stopping a planned suicide bombing in Jakarta on Dec. 21. Three days of raids led to the arrests of several men linked to the Islamic State who were targeting shopping malls, police stations and minority groups. Officials said that an additional 150,000 police officers and soldiers would be dispatched to sites throughout the nation until Jan. 3.

Sweden: Officials reported that rail service between Copenhagen and Malmo over the Oresund bridge will be suspended as of Jan. 4 due to the inability of train staff to properly check IDs for travelers. The large number of refugees entering the country has made it difficult for security personnel to conduct international background checks, and all trains to Malmo from Denmark will stop until a solution is found.

Compiled from news services and travel sources. For updates, check with the State Department at 888-407-4747, www.travel.state.gov.

Larry Habegger and Dani Burlison are freelance reporters.

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