Good morning, everybody! Here's the latest from the world's islands, airport runways, and vacation rentals.
* RUNWAY FIRE AT O'HARE THROWS DEBRIS NEARLY HALF A MILE (Reuters)
Debris from a fiery runway accident at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last week was thrown as far as nearly a half mile, investigators have revealed.
The incident took place seconds before American Airlines flight 383 was set to take off for Miami with 170 people aboard. As the Boeing 767 headed down a runway, the right-side engine experienced an "uncontained" failure, meaning internal parts somehow breached the protective housing that's supposed to stay intact, even during a breakdown.
Leaking jet fuel then caught fire under the wing, and crew members evacuated passengers by sending them down emergency exit chutes on the plane's left side. Firefighters showed up within minutes; the flames never entered the cabin. Only minor injuries were reported.
Things could have been a lot worse. Since these sorts of uncontained engine failures are extremely rare, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether the problem was due to the engine, the manufacturer, or a freak event.
* TRIPADVISOR TO BEGIN SELLING CUBA TRAVEL (New York Times)
The latest in expanded options for travel from the U.S. to Cuba: Soon you'll be able to use TripAdvisor to book hotels, flights, short-term rentals, and cultural tours for your trips to that Caribbean island nation, thanks to a license granted by the federal government.
The popular travel website expects to begin offering those services within the next few months, but your reason for visiting Cuba will still have to fall into one of 12 government-approved categories, including family visits, academic programs, or religious activities.
TripAdvisor now joins several U.S. hotel companies and airlines that have also been given permission to expand into the Communist-led country. Airbnb is there, too.
These developments have all come about as a result of President Obama's decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2014.
* THE AIRBNB OF CANNABIS TOURISM (Metro)
The growing field of cannabis tourism now has its answer to Airbnb.
It's called Bud and Breakfast, and it lets users search a worldwide network of pot-friendly hostels, private homes, and hotels.
The Colorado-based startup currently has about 100,000 registered users and more than 500 listings in about a dozen countries. There are options for everything from dorm rooms to luxurious estates offering weed-infused cooking classes.
Hosts are allowed to set their own rules about where smoking is allowed. Some, for instance, will make you go outside to light up because they understandably don't want their drapes smelling like doob.
But you can rest assured that every host you find on the site is marijuana-friendly.
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