Travel news: Xinjiang violence, anti-shark anklets and a mesolithic, Spanish Mel Gibson

Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg. Photo: Jim G, CC BY 2.0

Lonely Planet’s Destination Editors have scoured the web and curated the top stories from around the world: today’s edition includes an update on Friday’s violence in Xinjiang, China, ankle bracelets that keep away sharks and the discovery of an ancient Spanish man that resembles Mel Gibson.

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Stories by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan and Gemma Graham.

Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg. Photo: Jim G, CC BY 2.0

St Petersburg celebrates 70 years since end of Leningrad siege
St Petersburg today marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Leningrad (as the city was called then) siege during WWII. The siege lasted 872 days and caused up to 1.5 million deaths. The commemorative events will include a candlelight procession along the main street Nevsky Prospekt, a display of WWII artillery, a public projection of images and videos and a musical program, while original trams from the siege period will operate on Vasilevsky Island. Source

Strong earthquake hits Kefallonia in western Greece
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the western Greek island of Kefallonia yesterday. According to reports it was felt in Athens, and there were several aftershocks. There are no casualties but several people have been injured and buildings damaged, and a state of emergency has been declared on the island. Kefallonia was devastated by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in 1953. Source 1 and source 2

New flights between Manchester & Croatia
Ryanair has announced new twice-weekly flights between Manchester and Zadar in Croatia. It expects to fly over 30,000 passengers from Manchester to Croatia in 2014. Source

Cannes Film Festival to open with Grace of Monaco
It’s been announced that the film Grace of Monaco, the biopic of Grace Kelly starring Nicole Kidman, will open the Cannes Film Festival in May this year. The film is directed by Olivier Dahan, also responsible for La Vie en Rose, the story of French singer Edith Piaf. Source

Jamie’s Italian to open in Stockholm
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has announced plans to open one of his popular Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Stockholm, Sweden. Opening in autumn 2014, the restaurant will be located in the Scandic Anglais hotel in the Stureplan area of the city and will be able to seat 200 hungry diners. The TV chef claims that it will be ‘epic’. Source

Ryanair to expand its Lisbon base
Budget airline Ryanair has announced plans to expand its base in Lisbon, Portugal, with four new routes opening up. Chief commercial officer, David O’Brien, said: ‘Our four new Lisbon routes will allow Portuguese consumers and visitors to escape TAP’s high fares and instead enjoy Ryanair’s lowest fares and industry leading customer service and punctuality’. Source

Norway’s northernmost church is going free
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