U.S. issues Guadalcanal, Mid East advice

WASHINGTON -- The State Department advised U.S. travelers to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands to stay away from areas outside the capital of Honiara, and to exercise caution in Honiara, due to rising ethnic tensions and crimes. The notice updated a Jan. 20 report that merely advised caution on Guadalcanal.

Separately, the department said it wants to ensure that travelers to Saudi Arabia are aware that tourist visas are issued only for approved tour groups with organized itineraries, require a sponsor and can take several months to process.

Women who travel alone to Saudi Arabia and are not met by sponsors "have experienced delays before being allowed to enter the country or to continue on to other flights," it said.

In another notice, the department said tourists driving in the countryside of the United Arab Emirates should "use extreme caution" in dry river canyons because of the possibility of flash floods.

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