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US, Taiwan sign pact to hold annual economic talks for 5 years

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The U.S. and Taiwan signed a pact to establish annual economic talks for five years despite objections by China to Washington's support for Taipei.

The memorandum of understanding was signed after an inaugural round of economic talks in Washington on Friday. Future discussions will alternate between the U.S. and Taipei, Brent Christensen, ...Read more

Rommel Canlas/Dreamstime/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Experts weigh in on the best time to book flights for the holidays

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In a year like no other, when indoor gatherings are suspect and family gatherings may be scrapped, who knows what the holidays will bring. Fortunately, people still pondering plans - and yet to buy airline tickets - may not be forced to pay for their delay.

The usual rise in holiday airfare prices may look more like a bunny hill than a black-...Read more

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Still waiting for a cruise refund? Some help may be on the way

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Seasoned travelers know that if they have a problem with an airline, they can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. Have an issue with deceptive hotel pricing, resort fees or timeshares? The Federal Trade Commission is the place to explain your problem.

But if you have a problem with a cruise, you have a problem. "There is no ...Read more

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Commentary: The US should defend Taiwan against threats from China

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Is Taiwan next? That is the increasingly urgent question China observers are asking following Beijing's upending of freedoms in Hong Kong, border clashes with India and escalating saber rattling in the Taiwan Strait.

Many in Washington now fear that China's growing ambition and military capabilities, combined with America's internal ...Read more

Will the cruise industry continue to see mega-ships?

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent cruise history suggested Royal Caribbean International's Wonder of the Seas, slated to debut in 2022 as the company's newest Oasis-class ship, would eventually be eclipsed as the largest cruise ship in the world.

After all, at 225,000 tons and accommodating 5,500 passengers, Oasis-class ships roughly equal...Read more

'A bump in the road': Cruise CEOs confident cruises will resume in US in 2020

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Cruise CEOs say they are confident their companies will rebound after the worst seven months in the industry's history.

At the annual SeaTrade Cruise conference, held virtually this year, the leaders of Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises expressed optimism about the state of the industry....Read more

Norwegian Cruise Line cancels cruises until December after CDC no-sail order extended

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MIAMI - Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has canceled cruises on its three brands - Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas - until December.

The announcement comes just days after the White House overruled a plan by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ban U.S. cruises until February 2021. Instead, the ...Read more

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LAX rolls out contactless food and beverage ordering, pick-up

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Travelers passing through Los Angeles International Airport can now conveniently order, pay for and pick up food and beverages from their favorite restaurants via their mobile device through the newly expanded LAXOrderNow.com.

The collaboration between Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Airports (URW Airports) and Grab...Read more

Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Your passport application might not take so long after all

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After months of near-paralysis and a long climb from a deep backlog, the U.S. State Department said its passport operations are nearing normal. Americans "can now apply for routine service and expect to receive a passport in 10-12 weeks," the agency said this week.

"You also have the option of paying an additional $60 for expedited service to ...Read more

Still struggling to get your airfare refunded? Here are steps you should take

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Garth Follett of Novato, California, planned to travel to the Philippines in March. When he bought his ticket in January, the novel coronavirus was lurking but not yet menacing every country in the world.

What happened to Follett - and, more specifically, Follett's money - has happened to thousands of others as airlines struggle to stay afloat ...Read more

Marjie Lambert/Miami Herald/TNS

Florida-to-Bahamas cruise line now aims for November return to sailing

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which sails out of the Port of Palm Beach on two-night cruises to the Bahamas, has announced its intentions to begin operations on one of its two ships beginning Nov. 4.

The line has been among the first to attempt to begin sailing again several times since the cruise industry shut down in March ...Read more

Alice Short/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Family travel five: Beauty blooms in these gardens

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Awash in color, scent and texture, gardens are a welcome gift from the natural world. Here are five places where beauty is blooming:

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1. Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Families are encouraged to explore the more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows and fountains as well as a 4.5-acre conservatory that comprise ...Read more

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National Rum Day: Sebastian couple travels the world for the love of rum

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ORLANDO, Fla. - How did a pair of hockey fans from Maryland come to own one of the largest private collections of rum in Florida? It started with a single, cheap bottle. "It's called Sunset Very Strong Rum," said Joe Horstkamp, "but the locals just call it 'strong rum.'"

Horstkamp and his wife, Myssi Davis, were on their honeymoon to the ...Read more