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Globetrotting

Hiroshima: Streetcar system like taking a step back in time

HIROSHIMA, Japan — My friends and I walked to the streetcar terminus, certain of which trolley to board. An agent approached us to help; he didn’t speak English, and we didn’t speak Japanese. So, we reverted to the international language: We pointed to our destination on the map. Once he realized that the trolley we needed to take was boarding and about to depart, he began excitedly gesturing for us to board. We did, and the

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Seeing America

Antebellum railroad tunnel still a marvel after all these years

TUNNEL HILL, Ga. — Crews building the Western & Atlantic Railroad from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Tenn., faced a number of natural obstacles. None, however, were as foreboding as Chetoogeta Mountain. What workers built was a 1,477-foot-long engineering phenomenon that has stood the test of time. The tunnel was also “the first railroad tunnel south of the Mason-Dixon line,” according to a number of sources. On March 4, 1848, the city incorporated as Tunnelsville. It wasn’t until

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News

Athens, Ga., landmark destroyed in blaze

An Athens landmark was heavily damaged during a fire today. The Georgia Theater, a music institution for 30 years, was gutted in the blaze that started about 7 a.m. The owner plans to rebuild, according to media reports. “If ever there was a landmark central to Athens’ identity, it would have to be the Georgia theatre,” one poster to OnlineAthens.com said. “I grew up watching movies there and progressed to REM and Wynton Marsalis. There

Globetrotting

The souls of Japan’s militaristic past

As prime minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi made a number of official visits to Yasukuni Shrine. After all, the shrine honors those who fought and died for Japan, and what better way for the country’s leader to honor the sacrifices of previous generations?

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News

Northern Iraq travel is safer … kind of, sort of

Anyone looking to travel to Iraq may find solace in the fact that a number of governments in the northern portion of the country are more stable, relatively speaking. That was enough for the Kurdistan Regional Government to issue a news release that “lauded the US Department of State’s updated guidelines for travel to Iraq, affirming the relative safety and security of the Kurdistan Region.” Clearly the Kurdistan Regional Government is in the midst of

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News

Survey: $4 gas is a problem for travelers

Eighty percent of people “plan to take as many or more trips this summer as they did last year” – splitting time close to home and on the road, according to a news survey. The survey from BedandBreakfast.com found that 67 percent of would-be travelers would cut back on travel if gas prices hit $4 per gallon. “With gas prices reaching a 2009 high of $71 per barrel, and prices at the pump rising by

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Seeing America

Fort King George features faithful recreation of important British post

DARIEN, Ga. – South Georgia in the 1720s and 1730s wasn’t a pleasant place to be. The men who settled Fort King George along the Altamaha River near what is modern day Darien learned that during the fort’s rather short existence. Built in 1721 – 12 years before “Georgia’s First City,” Savannah, was founded – Fort King George was both the first English settlement on Georgia’s coast and the British Empire’s southernmost outpost in North