Take off on amazing trips on a budget. Travel blogger Nomadic Matt shows you how

American blogger Matt Kepnes wasn’t big on travel until he was 23, when he took his first journey abroad. Back then, he had a desk job in health care with two weeks’ vacation a year. He chose to go on a solo trip to Costa Rica and “fell in love with travel.” The next year he went to Thailand and “met five backpackers who were living my dream.” “I grew up in an environment where travel wasn’t a thing for my family, it wasn’t a thing for my friends,” he said in…

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Dallas warning sirens set off by hacker

The sirens are usually used to warn of extreme weather events such as tornadoes. “All 156 sirens in the city were activated last night – it does appear at this time that it was a hack,” a spokeswoman for the city told reporters. The noise “woke up a lot of people”, she added. The sirens were activated at 23:42 local time (04:42 GMT) on Friday and lasted for about 90 minutes. Some posted footage online in which the sirens can clearly be heard. Technicians for the Office of Emergency Management…

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Crackdown on whiplash claims could knock £40 off car insurance bills

Millions of motorists could see their car insurance bills cut by £40 a year, the government says, after it announced a crackdown on the “epidemic” of exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash injury claims. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) proposals would make obtaining a payout much tougher and, according to insurers, will end the UK’s status as the whiplash capital of the world. The proposals are intended to stamp out a “toxic” compensation culture that has pushed up motor premiums, led to consumers being bombarded with nuisance text messages and calls, and…

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Wall Street rises with oil; investors shrug off Italian referendum

Financial shares and strong oil prices bolstered U.S. stocks on Monday while currency and bond investors shrugged off Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s resignation, following voters’ rejection of his constitutional reforms. The Italian referendum stoked worries about Italy’s political stability and its banking system, but U.S. Treasury yields reversed their fall as the initial demand for low-risk U.S. government debt faded with a euro and stock price revival. “The initial reaction was quite negative, but as we have seen recently with other political events, risks will likely be played out…

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Rio 2016: ‘Hands off Caster’ trends in South Africa

More than 17,000 tweets made the hashtag #HandsOffCaster South Africa’s top trend over the past weekend. It sent a clear message – South Africans were ready to defend their middle-distance runner Caster Semenya from persistent questions over whether she should be excluded from racing in Rio. Semenya was made to undergo gender testing after winning gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She was cleared to compete in 2010 after being sidelined for 11 months while the tests were carried out. The tag #HandsOffCaster appears to date back to…

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Man who quit high-flying job to go off the grid and live in a tree house

IN 2011, Foster Huntington quit his successful job in New York City to live in a tree house (two, actually) on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge in the US. In a few months, with the help of friends and a construction crew, Foster created his dream world, complete with treetop homes connected by swinging bridges, an on-site skate bowl, and wood-fired hot tub. Luckily, he captured the whole process on his social media accounts. And as you can imagine, it wasn’t long before he became a sensation….

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Meet the Aussie couple raffling off their tropical oasis

AN AUSTRALIAN couple who spent their existence financial savings constructing a motel on an idyllic Pacific island is giving their tropical oasis away — thru a bet. Doug and Sally Beitz moved their young own family from the Gold Coast to the Micronesian island of Kosrae in 1994 and have spent the beyond many years growing a rewarding waterfront hotel and scuba diving enterprise there. Now looking to return to Australia to turn out to be “expert grandparents” to their young granddaughter, the Beitz plan to hand over their island…

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Jetstar takes ticks off after ticking off

YEP, it’s true, our Kiwi neighbours are doing something better than us. They are refusing to put up with one of the most irritating things about booking flights these days: those pesky preselected boxes that could end up making your ticket a lot more expensive. Jetstar has agreed to drop the use of preselected “opt-out” services when selling airline tickets online after New Zealand’s Commerce Commission concluded there were grounds to prosecute the Qantas Airways subsidiary under the Fair Trading Act. The airline had held out as other companies fell…

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Thousands of sharks teem off Florida beaches

If you were wanting to escape the winter weather by hitting the warm beaches in Florida, you might want to steer clear of the water. Thousands of sharks are migrating right off the coast of some popular beach towns. Florida Atlantic University biological sciences professor Stephen Kajiura, captured video Friday morning of blacktip sharks invading the waters of Palm Beach, on Florida’s Atlantic coast. The majority of shark bites that occur in Florida are attributed to this species, but there has never been a fatal attack credited to the blacktip…

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