WORLD: UK: Heathrow launches probe

UK: Heathrow launches probe

LONDON — Weather-wracked Christmas travel eased in Britain on Thursday after days of snow-related delays, with most services running normally at Heathrow Airport and on cross-Channel Eurostar trains. Across the Irish Sea, heavy snow shut Dublin Airport for several hours.

The Irish airport suspended flights in the morning because heavy snow made the runway unsafe, but reopened in the afternoon. Ireland has been hit by unusually heavy snow and frigid temperatures in recent days, causing widespread delays.

Cleanup efforts in London were aided by a slight rise in temperature that melted much of the ice. Heathrow Airport said both runways were open and about 90 percent of flights were operating.

Heathrow’s Spanish owner, BAA, announced an external inquiry into the airport’s handling of the heavy snowfall which left hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded in the run-up to Christmas.

Mexico tourism up despite drug violence

n MEXICO CITY — Mexico is experiencing its bloodiest year of drug violence yet, but that’s not stopping domestic and international vacationers alike from flocking to Cancun.

The resort city on the Mexican Caribbean coast, the Riviera Maya coastline below it and the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta will be named top destinations this year by Orbitz travel website, based on flights and hotel bookings, said spokeswoman Marita Hudson Thomas.

On the Pacific coast, Acapulco Mayor Jose Luis Avila Sanchez is predicting a huge turnout of Mexican travelers, with hotels expected to be nearly full for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Tourism officials in Mexico and the U.S. say holiday travel to Mexico is up from a year ago as vacationers cash in on low-cost tropical holidays.

Rome embassy blast hurts 2

ROME — Mail bombs exploded in the hands of employees at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Thursday, seriously wounding two people and triggering heightened security checks at diplomatic missions just as holiday deliveries deluge their mailrooms.

Italian investigators suspected the attacks were the work of anarchists.