U-turn on roaming fees cap
Hopes of cheaper holiday phone bills have evaporated after European ministers rejected a proposal to abolish mobile phone roaming charges. The European Commission had called for the move by the end of 2015, ending so-called “bill shock” for holidaymakers over high charges for connecting to the internet, making calls and sending texts while away. But a council of national telecoms ministers last week voted instead to allow consumers a daily overseas allowance of 5MB as part of their normal tariff, after which extra charges would be imposed. The watered-down legislation will apply from 2016.
Cape Town blaze
Some of South Africa’s oldest vineyards were among the properties threatened by wildfires that swept Cape Town last week. More than 12,000 acres were destroyed by the blaze, which ravaged popular tourist areas south of the city such as Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Staff at Groot Constantia, which dates from 1684, worked round the clock to stop flames engulfing the wine estate. “Given the speed the fire came down the mountain, it’s a miracle we had only minimal damage,” said Constantia’s chief executive, Jean Naudé.
Genghis Khan castle found
A team of archeologists has discovered what appears to be the ruins of a castle built by Genghis Khan. The 13th-century fortress, surrounded by earth banks, lies 550 miles west of Ulan Bator in Mongolia.
Q What should I do if I find myself on the same plane as an avowed enemy?
A It happened to Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson recently. What did the notoriously combative duo do? Develop a sudden interest in the in-flight literature. That’s certainly one option — squirrel yourself away on your row, using your partner as a human shield. But unless you have a suitcase-sized bladder, some form of eye or aisle contact is likely. Avoid taking a swing: cabin crew are sensitive about that sort of thing. Some airlines let you buy drinks for other seats. If you’re feeling mischievous, maybe do the same with a snack. (Five Mars Bars sends a pretty clear message.) Really want them to suffer? Tell the hostess they’d like a second in-flight meal.
A group of revellers in Jaipur celebrate Holi, the festival of colours. The Hindu tradition, which heralds the start of spring, was marked last week with the customary exchanges of liberal amounts of powder paint and coloured water (as with snowballs, everyone is fair game). Its appeal has seen it transcend Hindu countries, with spin-off events across the world, including a global tour (holifestival.com).
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