This Week in Travel News: An Entire Country is Now Free on Airbnb. Plus: An American court shoots down Trump’s travel ban, and Nicki Minaj is helping to develop India—one water well at a time.
By Michael Fraiman
Sweden wants you to feel at home. In a clever bit of tourism marketing, Visit Sweden has partnered with Airbnb to create a special listings page dedicated to the entire country. The places on offer are all free—”Rocky Island in the Stockholm Archipelago,” for example, has two user recommendations and a 4.5-star rating, and offers such amenities as “Infinity Pools” (the ocean), “Real Air Conditioning” (the wind) and an “Open-plan” room type. It’s a fun way to draw attention to a previously little-known fact that you can camp literally anywhere public in Sweden, because of a concept called allemansrätten—the right of all people to roam freely in Swedish nature. What the listings don’t mention, of course: it’s BYO tent.
Trump’s travel ban trumped again. A federal appeals court rejected the American government’s most recent effort to limit travel to the United States by residents of Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In explaining the court’s decision, Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote that it was clear how Trump, when campaigning, had “expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States.” The ban was ruled as unconstitutional, intolerant and discriminatory. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to appeal it to the Supreme Court. The ban has caused confusion for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, but—as of his first 100 days in office—it hasn’t really affected whether Canadians travel to the States.
This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud. The money I’ve sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS. We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some ppl don’t even have clean water. Blessings to India. Our work is far from done. I’ll tell you guys more about my charity work in the near future in case you’d like to be a part of it. Love🙏🏽
Nicki Minaj helped develop a small Indian village. Pop star Nicki Minaj announced this week she’d been quietly donating money regularly for the past few years to an undisclosed village in India—an effort, she wrote on Instagram, that helped bring to the village a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program and two water wells. Minaj, who’s of Indian-Trinidadian descent and grew up in Queens, New York, donated the money via her pastor, Lydia Woodson-Sloley, whose website describes her as a “poetic prophetic teacher, author, inspirational life coach and music producer.” As the old saying goes: it takes a pop star to raise a village.