The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


Brothers and Sisters, Can You Spare a Dime for New Orleans?

And the people in Mississippi and Alabama, too?

Even though some ignorant morons claim that the hurricane is a plague from God to punish the immoral Crescent City, and other idiots say global warming is to blame, I really don't wanna hear it.

Is New Orleans decadent? Hell yeah! I loved it for that reason alone, and it didn't corrupt my Christian soul.

Did God punish it for being that way? Explain why there were so many innocent victims in the city itself who lived perfectly moral lives and now have nothing. I thought that Mississippi and Alabama were part of the Bible Belt, so the hurricane should have spared them by that logic. It didn't.

Personally, I don't think God is that cruel.

If you want to believe in a vengeful God who punishes the innocent along with the guilty, hey.....have at it. You probably still think that AIDS is punishment on homosexual men, ignoring the fact that hemophiliacs and little babies who were born to drug addicts got the disease, too.

If you believe any of that, you make me sick.

Just thought I'd share.

As for the global warming crowd.....tell me just why the planet has to stay the same damn temperature forever? I mean, up until the late 1800's we were in a mini-Ice Age. Even better...remember Al Gore's speech on global warming in New the middle of a blizzard? The planet has been heating up and cooling down in cycles long before the first humanoids padded around on terra firma.

Let's just cut the crap right here. Some things are just weird twists of fate. I learned that when I was 25. I lost my father and uncle in the same week in September, and then my godmother right before Thanksgiving. What were the odds of that happening?

Shit happens, people.

And when it comes in a deluge, we gotta help clean it up.

These are your fellow human beings going through a devastating loss. When we speak about losing "everything", we usually are talking about some financial catastrophe. This is far worse.

Imagine not having any shelter, not being able to find drinking water, and only having the clothes on your back. What once was your house is under 20 feet of water, or has been scattered all over the county. Imagine losing the people you love, the very people who would help you find solace, and the very real possibility that you may never find a body to bury.

That's why I'm asking you to check out one of the charities on FEMA's list, the Humane Society's Disaster Fund, or Catholic Charities and give a donation.

I've been making a little money on the side writing freelance articles about travel destinations that will be posted on a website sometime next year. Weirdly enough, I wrote some articles on New Orleans about a week ago. I'm going to donate that money to the Humane Society, and the money I'm getting for the articles this week on Vancouver will go to the Salvation Army. It's not much, but it's more than some of the victims have right now.

Shake out those piggy banks and check the sofa cushions. Look under the car seat, if you dare.

Go get yourself some good karma and help out people in need.



And Now for Something Completely Different.....

The Ice Hotel? Done that.

Spending a night in a Sri Lankan prison? Done that.

Now, how about some place pleasant for a change?

Hopeless romantics and those with a penchant for the sea can try something different on their next vacations. There are several lighthouses that allow visitors to spend the night. Some are reasonable. Others, well.....hope you have something left on the credit card or socked away in the ol' piggy bank.

This site lists some lighthouses and gives brief descriptions. Most are in the United States, but there are a couple listed for Europe.

But I know that some regular readers are thinking....Ok, Miz Jet Set Chick, but I want to go to...Croatia. Or South Africa.

Never let it be said I didn't rise to that challenge, and then some.

Not all the locations listed are real lighthouses, and not all are anywhere near the sea. (There's a "replica" in Iowa, of all places!) But there are a bunch of genuine lighthouses, ready for your next escape.

Now....go there and listen to the waves until you drift off to sleep. Enjoy!


I Always Liked the Name Katrina Until Now

Please say a prayer tonight. Do it for the City of New Orleans.

One of the first posts I did here on the Jet Set Chick was about my experiences in the Crescent City back in January with the Tsar. He had always wanted to go there, and we went there for his birthday. We hated to leave.

I can't imagine the French Quarter quiet, the Cafe du Monde without the beignets, and the music silenced. No laissez les bon temps roulez tonight.

The Tsar and I have been watching the Weather Channel in silence. I couldn't believe I actually saw the president tell people to get the hell out. I told the Tsar that I have never heard the president give a warning like that before any hurricane in my life.

I'm still having trouble thinking that no one will be able to enjoy New Orleans for a long time if Katrina hits the city as a category 5 hurricane. (Hurricane Andrew was only a category 4. This is as bad as it gets, folks.)

There are literally thousands who could not or would not leave the city. Some of them are going to try to ride it out in the Superdome. Others are going to try to make it through at the airport, apparently.

Heaven only knows what they will find in the morning.

New Orleans avoided Georges.

Maybe the city still has another miracle coming.

I sure hope they do.


Is It Just Me, Or .....

is life starting to imitate the Onion?

Consider these examples for your perusal, gentle readers....

1) Guess who's joining the Cindy Sheehan media circus this weekend? The Reverend Al Sharpton and a group of white supremacists.

They're not going there to protest her, or even each other, but to show support for some of her more ignorant, antisemitic remarks. No word yet on the transgendered Buddhist monks, trained seals, or Bikers For Jee-zus, but I'm sure they're coming soon.

2) The Jews have left Gaza, and the Palestinians have a new reason to bitch. Why, you ask? Because apparently the doctors on their HMO's had names like Shapiro, Goldstein and Fish. Not a single Abbas or Haddad among 'em. So, now they're getting ready to blame a possible healthcare crisis on Israel.

And the Jews have the gall to be reluctant to treat them anyway, ever since some bitch who was getting treated on the Jewish side for burns inflicted by her own kin decided to show her trying to blow the hospital up during one of her appointments.

Anyone out there know the Arabic translation for chutzpah?

and finally.....

3) The London Zoo has a new, temporary exhibit dedicated to a "plague species". Humans. Yes, you can spend big money to watch other homo sapiens mess with their iPods and apply sunscreen.

I am not making any of this up. Ok, maybe the part about the monks, the seals and the bikers....and maybe the Palestinians don't have HMO's....but the rest of it is beyond my powers of imagination.

My advice for this weekend: find a nice place to hide with a sweetie of your choice, flip between Fox News (for the wingnut perspective) and CNN (for the commie/pinko view), and get plastered. Maybe it will all make sense in September.

I'll dedicate this time to come up with a cocktail of the week. I will report on my research Monday. Till then, take care!


EU Preparing to Ban Unsafe Airlines

Let's say you have finally scraped up the cash for a round the world dream trip. On one leg of this epic voyage, you find a smokin' deal on an obscure airline that doesn't fly to the land of the free.

Should you fly on Air Revoltistan, or pay extra to fly on a carrier that's part of your frequent flyer plan?

The EU, of all places, may come to your rescue when they start posting names of airlines to avoid on the internet.

Modeled on the UK's Foreign Airline Permits blacklist, the proposed site will list carriers to avoid when globetrotting. The UK currently usually lists countries that, well, leave a lot to be desired in their governmental aviation oversight authorities. Very rarely do they name specific airlines.

The EU, however, may go the extra mile and award carriers that pay particular attention to safety with a blue label. Expect to see most of the familiar names to end up here.

Until then....maybe you should skip any cheapie fare that includes a complimentary parachute.


So, Who Owns The Sky Over the Jet Set Lounge?

So, let's say for some bizarre reason, you have built your dream home right by an airport, and NOW all of a sudden it hits may get quite noisy.

Ok, I know that's a big duh.....for most people. But every now and then, there is a genius out there who doesn't think about that until they move in.

(Editor's note: My favorite of all time out here in the Valley is a possible brain donor who moved from just outside the Scottsdale Airpark to right next to a landing strip in Chandler, then claimed he had no idea it would actually be used. Apparently he thought all the planes on the tarmac were there for decoration. I pray that he has no kids, I really do.)

You wish to cut down on the noise and vibrations, since, after all, you have an extensive collection of cut lead crystal and delicate bone china. Your elderly cat also startles easily.

Can you declare a no-fly zone over your house?

Or say that I wish I could declare a no-fly zone over the Jet Set Lounge for, say, Lufthansa flights. Can that be done?

Click here for the answer if you didn't know it already.


Another Time Waster From the Jet Set Chick

Got a few spare moments, and nothin' to do? Click here and control the bikini chick with your mouse.

Yes, it's safe for work. Sort of. I mean, your boss is probably gonna yell at you to stop screwing around....if he or she doesn't ask for the link.


NFL Teams to Hate....and Why You Should....

In a weird way, I was hoping that the Arizona Cardinals would have made the cut. But apparently they are too pathetic to hate.

That's almost as painful as the fact that MBNA/American Express sent a credit application to my dog, Cookie. They also offered her a credit line of up to $100,000.

Somehow, American Express always turns me down, even though I have good credit. It's embarrassing to think that the only way I would qualify is to have my dog cosign.

Travel Warnings....Brought to You by Bodrum Airlines

Some of the English on this Snopes page would fit right in on the comments pages on some political blogs & Fark.

The difference is.....this was done by a non-native speaker. I make exceptions for that, but....some of it is still pretty funny. Even the Tsar digs it!

The idiots born here who have no idea about punctuation, spelling or basic grammar have no excuse. (I admit it. I have a personal problem when I see a lot of mistakes by a supposedly native speaker on those webpages, and can't help but laugh when they assume superiority over the opposite side when they have difficulty spelling anything that involves more than two syllables. Yeah...."da Man" is keeping them from making more than $7 per hour, and it's not their fault they live on Mama's couch. Fyght the power, d00D!)

Ok, end of Monday morning rant. I hope you are having a bright, sunny day, and it's the start of a great week.


This Week's Airline Strike Brought to You By.....

Northwest Airlines mechanics!

(Editor's daddy was a Northwest mechanic, once upon a time. But that's a story to be shared in another post....)

The union is set to walk out 12:01 Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow if an agreement cannot be reached. Northwest has arranged for approximately 1000 temporary mechanics to take up the slack if a strike is called. The company has also said that if a strike is called, outside vendors will permanently take over line maintenance functions.

Northwest wanted $176 million in concessions from the mechanics, and their union claims the offer submitted to the company provides that. The company says it's really only $100 million in concessions.

The mechanics look like they are on their own on this strike if it happens. The union that represents ground workers, still torked off that the mechanics left in 1998, has said that they will not honor the strike line. (No one bothered to ask the pilots' union, because, well....everyone in the biz knows the pilots never honor other unions' strike lines.)

Traveling could get real interesting soon. Stay tuned!

Want to Frolic With the Kiwis?

Ok, so you've decided to get out of America and buy a vacation house.

Maybe you fell in love with the scenery of New Zealand when you watched the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and thought that Shania Twain would be a cool neighbor.

Better act quick....New Zealand's Green Party wants to ban foreign ownership of land if you aren't planning on making it your permanent home.

The government has already passed new restrictions on foreign ownership, but these are more comprehensive than what is currently in effect. The Greens also wish to regulate foreign ownership in buildings and businesses to keep foreigners from "bleeding them dry".


Lifestyles of the Rich and Revolting...

Yes, I do enjoy a spot of Brit telly now and then. And one show that I will keep an eye out for is Terrible Tastes of the Great Dictators, featuring an up close look at Saddam's loo. Gold-plated toilet brush, anyone?

But even if you are only the king of your own castle, you too can flush like royalty toilet paper.

I sh@t you not.

(Sorry, couldn't resist...)

Yep, if you are just too good for Charmin, relief may soon be in sight.

No word on who will, um, pioneer this latest status frontier. Any bets out there in the Jet Set Lounge?


ICE in Your Cell Phone?

Maybe you have heard conflicting stories about ICE, or "In Case of Emergency" entries into personal cell phones.

Yes, the idea started in Britain so that people could have emergency contact info available to paramedics in cases where victims are so injured that they cannot speak for themselves.

And, won't somehow trigger a "virus" in your phone by doing so.

What the hell....couldn't hurt. I've already put Tsar Charming's info under ICE. It just takes a minute.


158 Thought Lost in Venezuelan Air Crash

A West Caribbean Airways MD82 went down approximately 20 miles from the Colombian border early today. The flight was enroute from Panama to Martinique.

The pilots told Caracas air control that they were experiencing trouble with their engines. Radio control was lost 10 minutes later, and residents in the area claim to have heard an explosion around 3 am. Venezuela's Interior Minister stated it is very unlikely anyone survived the accident.

All aboard were Colombians.

May all the families of the lost find peace.


Sorry So Late Today!

I promise to do better tomorrow.

It's just that if you know your boss is going to start the morning off with a tantrum, and his little assistant with the Napoleon complex is going to start micromanaging you....well....let's just say my current work environment is a good excuse to start the morning with a big ol' shot of tequila.

Not that I've done it.


But, Sweet Mother Mary, I have been tempted. And I've only had this "promotion" for three weeks. (I have to say that in quotes, because I still haven't gotten any of the training I was promised. And believe me, I probably never will.)

So, if there is a day I'm late on this, it's not that I don't love you guys. I just probably need to go walk a few miles or get a margarita. Or maybe I'm composing my resignation letter one more time.

I've been experiencing major writing block after the opening, which goes something like, "Stop throwing your mail out of your office like a two year old. You're 43 for Chrissakes! I'm off to the beach in Florida. You can't come, I'm not sending you a postcard, and you had best not darken my door. My dogs only have had half their shots. I'm getting a pet gator, who will be trained to bite strangers in the ass on command."

Maybe I need to work on the subtlety.

Let's make this fun.

Friends, if you were resigning from Satan's Call Center, what would you write in your resignation letter?


Now, How Did I Know Tempe Was Going to Like the New Definition of "Eminent Domain"?

Tempe is doing it's damnedest to win the title of "Arizona's Most Annoying City".

Banning smoking in restaurants and bars? Check.

Making waaaay too big a deal about providing benefits to domestic partners, but only after one of their previous mayors came out of the closet? Check.

Bitching about airline noise while campaigning for the headquarters of America West Airlines? Check.

Hopping on the Kelo bandwagon before the ink has dried? Sure looks like it.

This ain't a right wing/left wing thang. If the assholes who want the Tempe Marketplace concept can't manage to buy the current property holders out at fair market value, well, maybe they should try some other deal. Running to the City Council to do your dirty work for you is pathetic.

My Daddy had to sell property under eminent domain when I was a wee tot. That land is now under one of the runways at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport. He didn't want to sell, but at least he had the comfort of knowing that no one else was going to make a fortune off that land. For all I know, many of you reading this have already been to the ol' Bar Z Ranch Norte and didn't even realize it.

Quite frankly, if I have to hear one more damn time about how much money some mega-mall is going to bring in, I'm going to lose my lunch. If retail jobs were so damn desirable, why the hell aren't all of these proponents quitting their jobs to work at Wal-Mart? Why can't their workforce get out of "retail hell" fast enough? And why doesn't Redmond, Washington and Silicon Valley tell the tech sector to pack their bags and hit the road.....Best Buy's coming!!


Look, I don't smoke, and could care less if two men or two women want to get married (go for it, brothers and sisters! Even if you're not doing it for love.). I think Tempe has done the Valley a huge public service by claiming Amateur Worst as their own. God knows Phoenix has enough image problems without having that albatross around our necks.

But for all their smug "superiority" over the rest of the Valley, one would think that they could come up with something better than yet another freakin' mall if they are going to take property away.

I swear, next time my plane takes me over Tempe, I'm shooting that town the bird. And I really, really hope that plane makes a helluva lot of noise going over City Hall. Bastards!

Plane Goes Down in Greece, All 121 Lost

In an accident reminiscient of Payne Stewart's 1999 plane crash, a Helios Airways Boeing 737 has gone down in northern Greece.

Flight 522 was on its way from Larnaca, Cyprus to Athens, and from there was to continue on to Prague. It never landed in Athens, and attempts by the air traffic controllers to contact the plane were unanswered. A F-16 pilot who was sent to intercept the plane could not see any signs of life in the cockpit. The plane crashed about 25 miles north of Athens by the coastal town of Grammatikos.

Right now, the probable cause of the crash is either a failure of the oxygen or pressurization systems. All aboard were Cypriots.

If any of the families of the lost are reading this, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.


A Decidedly Different Fundraiser for an Aquarium, Brought to You by Florida!

Let's pretend that you want to raise money for a local aquarium. What would you do?

If you are in Tampa, apparently you have a Sushi Showdown!

The event has been sold out for a month, and of course, PETA ain't happy.

Then again, neither is the Tsar. He's a big sushi fan and would have loved to be there.

(Note: I am not a fan of PETA, the link does NOT take you to a donation page. Just a truth page....if you really want to help animals, get thee to your local shelter. It has a far better placement rate, and they could use your help in their important mission.)

London is Lovely in the Summertime......

Unless you happen to be one of the 70,000 stranded British Airways passengers at Heathrow.

British Airways cancelled all flights in and out of the airport after their ground crews and bag smashers handlers walked out in support of another union, whose members got fired from one of the carrier's caterers.

Qantas and Sri Lankan Airlines, who also use British Airways ground staff, also had to cancel flights.

It looks like the problem could get even worse, since the union representing BA's check-in staff is encouraging their members to stay home, citing disgruntled passengers taking their ire out on them.

So far, flights out of Gatwick and Manchester have not been affected.

UPDATE: Strike's over, for now. But the delays will go on for a bit longer, of course.

Finnair also apparently uses BA staff at Heathrow, so some of their flights may also be disrupted (I hate Finland, but their airline is a good one).


Signs of Progress for Afghanistan.....Really!

We might just be turning a corner in Afghanistan. Check out this article in the BBC.

22 Afghans, including former mujaheddin, are now training to become mountain guides in Italy. They have passed their basic training, and even though they have a lot more to complete, they are hopeful that they can use their skills in a peaceful (and potentially lucrative) manner.

Afghanistan was becoming a mountain climbing hotspot in the 60's before the constant warfare shut the country down to tourists.

The really cool quote in the article came from Rohina, one of the two chicks in the group (yes, there are some women doing this too...very cool!!):

Three years ago, I couldn't even leave my house....Now I have climbed a mountain.

(Yeah, I choked up a bit about that. If there are any veterans of the Afghan war reading this, thanks for making this possible.)


Now I Have a Reason to Go to Hah-vahrd....

Attention, all fans of the incredibly weird! Tickets to the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony are available for sale.

Get thee to Massachusetts on 6 October! I have no idea what has been inflicted on the scientific world since last year, but past honorees have included "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide" for the Medicine award, The Vatican for outsourcing prayers to India and thereby snagging an Economics award, and a bunch of Canadians who won the Biology prize by proving that herring communicate through farting.

Go ahead.....look it up if you don't believe me. There's even more weirdness at the link.

As soon as the "winners" are declared, I'm posting them here.


The Jet Set Chick Reminds You.....

when hiking around a canyon, don't do it in flip flops, unless you have always wanted to someday snag a Darwin Award (or a dishonorable mention).

UPDATE: The problem is worse than I thought....another goofball just tried the same stupid trick. Oy.

Stoopid Field Trip Tricks......

Two British schoolboys got drunk and one of them gave a hooker his ATM card while in Geneva, Switzerland. He also gave the hooker his PIN.

Now, 400 pounds later, and maybe a bit wiser, they're heading home.

Maybe they should have to write an essay on the following topic:

In the classic movie, Animal House, one of the most memorable lines is, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Discuss.


The Worst Flight of All for On-Time Arrival is....

Air Tran's flight 576 from Atlanta to Newark, late 72% of the time in the past 12 months. That's according to US government data in this article in today's online version of the New York Times.

Six other unnamed flights were late an astounding 100 percent of the time for an entire month.

Of course, everybody is acting mature about the whole blaming everyone else for flights being late.

Meanwhile, until the airlines get it sure to dress comfortably and take a book and snacks the next time you head on out to the airport.

Help is Here for Cartoon Character Muggings!

Summer's slowly winding down, but there's still some time to load up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and head to the closest version of

If that's part of your plan before Labor Day, you may think you have to take out a home equity loan to make it happen. Theme parks haven't yet figured out how to charge your for the air you breathe....but pretty much everything else comes with a hefty price tag.

Check out this article if you are looking to keep a few bucks away from that greedy rodent & his ilk.

(Note: Yes, it's true....not a big fan of theme parks in general. The prices are way too high for what you get, IMHO. If there ever is a Jet Set Chicklet or Tsarevich Charming, we're taking them somewhere else their formative years. Like Washington DC or Gettysburg or London or Moscow or Hawaii.....yep, none of them are cheap, but maybe the kid might LEARN something.....)

I STAND CORRECTED: For those unfamiliar with the movie I'm referring to in the first sentence, click on the link. Rent it, and be one of the cool people, too.


My New Favorite Travel Accessory!

Lately, I've been doing everything I can to get assigned to the emergency exit row when I travel, just for the extra leg room. It's bad enough when you have to suffer through a flight in that tight, cramped passenger seat....and even worse when some self-centered asshole decides to recline all the way back, and pretends he doesn't speak basic English when you ask him to return to the original upright position. (Yes, I did resort to kicking the seat back. Hard. More than once. The bastard deserved it.)

I wish there would have been this product when I took that flight from hell.

But I'll settle for the supposed "back problem" I aggravated (funny how he was still able to carry off a huge duffel bag all the way down the aisle, cursing my family name....).

Got Any of These in YOUR Album Collection?

These are not photoshopped. These are all too horribly real.

These are the kind of album covers that make you think of three letters....WTF??? (No, that doesn't stand for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.)

Click here for a slice o' vinyl hell. Even payola couldn't help these guys.

My personal favorite is the one by Freddy Gage.....done the right way, it has a lot of punk possibility. Too bad the Fredster ain't punk.

But, these are truly shocking. Mylon really shouldn't borrow his girlfriend's blouse...


Worse Than the Average Dorm Room!

What do you call a tiny space that's about 49 sq feet in area, somehow has a toilet, shower, sink and bed, and is splashed with an orange logo?

I call it hotel hell, but in England it's called easyHotel.

What you get....the aforementioned space. You want TV? 5 pounds. Fresh towels and sheets? 10 pounds. (Shudder...) You don't want any of those "frills"? 20 pounds if you book early. Single occupancy, naturally.

And, oh yeah, no windows.

Book it early on the website and save! (Don't bother to use the easyJet website to book them...they have a deal with a competing hotel chain. Hmm. Not a good sign to me, but I am the suspicious sort.)

Perfect for Londoners with revolting in-laws! Soon to come to Switzerland, too, apparently. Get your franchise today!

Art Nude-au?

On the off chance that you are in Vienna, Austria and you can't afford the admission to the Leopold don't have to give them the shirt off of your back.

Just go git nekkid and you can get in free!

The shyer ones can just put on a still get in for free.


Air France Crashes in Toronto, All Survive!

An Air France Airbus A340 attempting to land at Toronto's Pearson International during a thunderstorm slipped off the runway into a ravine and burst into flames.

Amazingly, everyone survived. Some passengers made it to the nearby freeway, where motorists stopped and offered assistance.

At the risk of sounding like your annoying, nagging auntie, every time you get on a plane.....please make a note of where the closest exit is!


Cheapo Vegas

Over this last weekend, I found an entertaining site about travel to Vegas.

The reviews of the casinos at Cheapo Vegas are pretty damn accurate (ok....I haven't been to every one, but regarding the ones I have been to....the descriptions are pretty spot on, especially about the smoke in Harrah's. ICK!)

I'm going to have to check out their sister site, the Value Bum's guide to New York!


Anglosphere World Travel Bulletin Update!

(Can't think of a better term right now to lump all these guys under than "Anglosphere". Besides, it's fun to type "Anglosphere".)

Updated the links at the side to include a very useful page, courtesy of the Kiwis! (AKA New Zealand) This link from their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade takes you to their very comprehensive listing of travel warnings for various countries around the globe, in a table format. Risks are broken down into "some risk", "high risk" and "extreme risk", and countries are listed alphabetically. And just like the Jet Set Chick, they even link to US, UK, Aussie & Canadian travel warnings.

By the way, if any New Zealanders are reading this in Pakistan, your guvmint wants you to get the hell outta

In other warnings....

Canada is warning its citizens to take care if attending the Summer University Games in Izmir, Turkey and the Catholic World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, due to risks of terrorist attacks when large groups of people congregate. No specific threats have been listed.

Australia is warning its citizens in Vietnam to get influenza antiviral treatment, such as Tamiflu, as a precaution due to outbreaks of Avian Flu.

The US State Department has issued travel warnings about traveling to Somalia, Algeria, and Egypt. Somalia is still dealing with a civil war, and now has an additional piracy problem off of its coast. Algeria and Egypt are facing threats from Islamic terrorists who like to kidnap and/or blow up people. Chad has been having problems with refugees from the Central African Republic and border tension with Sudan has increased. Highway bandits have attacked NGO and relief personnel, and three foreigners have been killed.

The UK has no comment.