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Bronze heads on bottom of Puppet (Doll) Fountain 
 By Corinna Lothar/Special to the Washington Times

Charlemagne lives — and thrives — in modern Aachen

When we drove from Belgium into Germany for the first time after the end of World War II, a roadside sign announced that we had arrived in the city of Aachen. We drove on until we came upon a sign announcing that we leaving Aachen. Everything between the two signs was a wasteland of rubble, a dark and bleak landscape punctuated only by the spire of a distant cathedral.

In this Nov. 28, 2011, file photo, a boy jumps into the water at the Malecon in Havana. While President Barack Obama announced Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Caribbean island nation, it doesn’t mean globe-trotting American tourists can hop on a plane to Havana anytime soon. It still remains illegal for most U.S. citizens to travel to, and spend money in, Cuba. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File)

U.S. travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

- Associated Press

In a story Dec. 17 about travel to Cuba, The Associated Press reported erroneously the number of Americans who were authorized to travel to Cuba last year. The number was 124,000, not 170,000.

WWII Museum tour 70 years after Battle of Bulge

- Associated Press

A tour connected to the National World War II Museum is taking three dozen people to the battlefields and towns in Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge was fought 70 years ago.

Related Articles

West Virginia hotel also publishes newspaper

- Associated Press

The newsroom of The INNformer is a place of keyboard clicking as stories take shape for the next issue. It is where locals stop by to chat up publisher-owner Charles Winslow, dropping morsels of news about the town of some 1,300 people hugging the Ohio River.

Moran: Obama can ease regulations on wheat exports to Cuba

- Associated Press

President Barack Obama's announcement this week to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease some economic restrictions has been closely followed in Kansas, as the move could open up a major market for winter wheat producers.

FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2014 photo, medical personnel in protective suits stand by an ambulance at the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea, never a country to take the threat of foreign invasion lightly, has been under virtual lockdown since October to keep the Ebola virus from crossing its borders. But two leading travel agencies that specialize in the small but growing North Korea market say they have confirmed the North may be ready to open up its doors again soon. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

Tour agents: N. Korea may soon lift Ebola restrictions

- Associated Press

North Korea, never a country to take the threat of foreign invasion lightly, has been under virtual lockdown since October to keep the Ebola virus from crossing its borders. But two leading travel agencies that specialize in the small but growing North Korea market say they have confirmed that the North may be ready to open up its doors again soon.

Teen's journeys earn him 'Traveler of Year' honor

- Associated Press

On a July evening in 2012, Joe Foley stepped off the Amtrak Acela in Washington, D.C., and into pure freedom. He was 16 and on his own. Parents and teachers were hundreds of miles away.

This architectural rendering image provided by Rush Street Gaming shows an exterior view of the proposed Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, N.Y. The development in the Capital Region was recommended for a casino license on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, by the state's Gaming Facility Location Board. (AP Photo/Rush Street Gaming)

Winners, losers in upstate NY casino decision

- Associated Press

The new casinos coming to upstate New York won't open for at least a few years, but there are already winners and losers as the state expands into Las Vegas-style gambling.

The mansion at Oakley Park is shown on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Edgefield, S.C. The home was owned by a Confederate general and is now a museum run by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to remember the "Red Shirts" who ended Reconstruction in South Carolina through violence, intimidation and political maneuvering. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

Museum remembers controversial SC Red Shirts

- Associated Press

The home of a Confederate officer who helped take power away from blacks and drive Republicans out of South Carolina's government after the Civil War is now a museum honoring the Confederacy and its leaders. They include the "Red Shirts" who used violence and intimidation to end Reconstruction in the state.

Westminster man touring with Osmonds

- Associated Press

After a successful single show, Jeremy Willet of Westminster was recently invited to travel with Donny and Marie Osmond as part of their Christmas tour.

ND park taking public comments on tower proposal

Associated Press

The National Park Service is taking public comments through Jan. 9 on a proposal to replace a communications tower in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Top 20 Concert Tours from Pollstar

- Associated Press

The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.

Group backs plan to turn Astrodome into large park

- Associated Press

An idea to turn the iconic but shuttered Houston Astrodome into a massive indoor park and green space area holds great promise, a nonprofit research group focused on land use said Friday.

Debbie Lin, right, of Windermere Real Estate, speaks Manderin as she shows a home for sale to Amy Hsu, left, a real estate broker who was looking at homes on behalf of a client from China, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Bellevue, Wash., as fellow broker Josh Avery, center, walks behind them. Seattle-area real estate agents are taking note of growing connections linking China and Washington state, which ranks second to California in real estate sales to Chinese buyers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

China's wealth finds home in Washington state

- Associated Press

Savvy Seattle-area real estate agents have gained an advantage by paying attention to the growing connections between China and Washington state.