Sep 2, 2011, 6:44 a.m.
Flood victims still in the dark, stuck in mud
LUDLOW, Vermont (Reuters) - Residents of several Northeast states approached the Labor Day holiday weekend mired in mud and stuck in the dark on Thursday nearly a week after Hurricane Irene swallowed parts of the region with flooding. About 1.1 million homes and businesses on the East Coast were still without electricity after Irene knocked out power to more than 6.7 million customers on its rampage last Saturday and Sunday.
Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Muscat, Oman
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The capital of the sultanate of Oman stands in stark contrast to the nearby glitzy trade and business hub of Dubai with no high-rise buildings to obscure the beauty of its Arabesque architecture, ancient fortifications and generous corniche. Muscat, where men wear spotless white robes, the traditional woven kuma hat and for festive occasions a khanjar (curved traditional dagger) in their belts, and women long abaya cloaks, has preserved much of its rich history and culture.
Vampire fans to sail off Alaska coast next year
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Hundreds of vampire enthusiasts will sail Alaska's fabled Inside Passage in a summer 2012 cruise tailored to their interests that combines gazing at glaciers with a late-night costume ball, organizers said on Thursday. The "Vamps at Sea" cruise is scheduled for late June, which is a time of near-constant daylight in the far north.
Belgian beer weekend fetes specialty brews
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Microbreweries have rapidly gained popularity in recent years across the globe, but Belgium has been producing specialty and strong beers for centuries. While the major brewers, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev or Heineken, have suffered years of declining volumes in western Europe, smaller operators have discovered there is a growing market for beers with a difference.
North Korea ghost town reflects deeper woes as it woos Chinese
MOUNT KUMGANG, North Korea (Reuters) - Long grass grows around the idle hotels, stores are covered in cobwebs and a big padlock hangs off the front of the bank at the deserted shopping center. This is a modern day ghost town in already poverty-stricken North Korea, even though it is funded by wealthy neighbor and rival South Korea.
Auction house gears up for week of Asian art sales
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Precious jade, modern masterpieces, museum-quality furniture and rare ceramics and porcelain are among thousands of art objects on offer during Christie's Asia week sales in September. The four days of auctions, which are estimated to take in in excess of $50 million, begin September 13 with the South Asian modern and contemporary art and the Indian and Southeast Asian art sales.
China's workers most likely to call in "sick": survey
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese and Indian workers are more likely to skip off work under the false pretence of illness than their French and Mexican counterparts, a new study showed. The Kronos Global Absence survey conducted online in July and released this week found that respondents from countries where there is more paid leave for employees were much less likely to cry off work with an invented illness than those from countries with fewer holiday allowances.