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Rundown for the Week of June 15, 2001

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A German Elvis in Thailand by Anne Marie Ruff
Today's report takes us to Thailand to answer this puzzling question: What do old Siam and oldies Rock 'n' Roll have in common? Why they both have a king, of course. And what do you get when you put the King of Rock on Thailand's sandy beaches? Well, if you throw a German accent into the mix, you get this story from contributor Anne Marie Ruff.

Why Cuba? by Karen Lowe
It's not actually illegal to go to Cuba as a tourist. It's just illegal to spend any money there. Under the "trading with the enemy act," if you travel to Havana without a US business or academic license, you could face a 250,000 dollar fine and a 10-year jail sentence. But, as Marketplace's foreign editor Karen Lowe found, for the 20-thousand Americans who make the trip anyway, the sense of the forbidden is the allure.

Not Just a High-Tech Compass by Martin Stott
Local knowledge proves a priceless commodity when you're away from home, but sometimes it's hard to come by. Compasses, maps and, later, guidebooks were the original travelers' helpers, and now modern technologists want to do those one better. We're rapidly moving into a world where one handheld device may be able to tell you where you are, where you want to go, call up a movie schedule… even recommend some restaurants along the way. What's more, it may be your telephone too. We wanted to check on the state of this technology for you, so we sent out our top agent, Martin Stott. And, as we suspected, we couldn't have found a better man for the job.

Jambling Tenzing Norgay
The climbing season on the world's highest mountain has just ended. Every June, the jet stream begins battering the 29-thousand foot peak of Mount Everest. Now, the mystique and mortal danger of Everest have been well described, in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and other books. So has the drive of the people who travel half-way around the world to risk their lives to reach its summit. For the Sherpas who guide them, though, Everest isn't meant to be conquered, but to be worshipped - and, maybe ironically, it's a place to make a lot of money. Diana Nyad sat down with one of the world's best-known Sherpas to get a different view of the world's most famous mountain.

Bangor to Bangkok by Fritz Burke
We didn't think it was right to leave off today without a nod to the travels and travails of being a dad. But as our contributor, Fritz Burke, wrote us, sometimes being a dad means realizing that there's one woman whose advice you can never leave behind.

Rudy's View
Not Goodbye

Question of the Week
Brushes With Fame

Deal of the Week
The Least Expensive Exotic Vacation Around

Travelers' Aid
Airline Strikes and Things to Do in Paris

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