The column that gives the global picture

Warning of the week: police go on strike in Brazil

"The city of Salvador, capital of Bahia State, erupted in violence on 12 July as a police strike entered its eighth day", says the US State Department. "Street violence and random robberies of persons, vehicles, stores and banks are occurring in the city."

Brazil's president is sending in 2,000 troops to try to restore order. In the meantime, visitors are urged to avoid the anarchy prevailing in Salvador.

This year, the first charters from Britain began flying to Brazil's north-east coast – but the State Department's strong statement will alarm people planning to visit the region. The Foreign Office warns against visiting the city, but says package holidaymakers should be unaffected: "British nationals travelling to Salvador should only do so if essential, or Airtours or other Tour Operators are making arrangements for immediate travel to coastal resorts."

Destination of the week: the beautiful north

Norway comes to Edinburgh on 11 September, when the Norwegian Coastal Voyage company makes a presentation about its new range of voyages, to Lapland and Spitzbergen, as well as specialist cruises to see the Northern Lights or to study photography. The roadshow continues down the A1 to Newcastle, Doncaster and nine English towns and cities. Admission is free, but you must book in advance on 01443 822242.

Bargain of the week: silly season prices to top cities

During summer holidays, airlines struggle to fill planes on business routes to Amsterdam, Brussels and Frankfurt, so they offload seats for very low fares. Book on www.thomascook.com, and you save a further £10 – which means, in August, paying as little as £69 from Manchester to Amsterdam, the same from Birmingham to Brussels, and £89 from Heathrow to Frankfurt, on good airlines.

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