Just got this email from the US Embassy; a little more intense than usual:
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT – WORLDWIDE CAUTION
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated April 21, 2003.
It is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of the
continuing threat of terrorist actions that may target U.S.
citizens, and to update these potential threats. The U.S.
Government remains deeply concerned about the security of
U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens are cautioned to
maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to
take appropriate steps to increase their security
awareness. This Worldwide Caution expires on
January 26, 2004.
Tensions remaining from the recent events in Iraq may
increase the potential threat to U.S. citizens and
interests abroad, by terrorist and other groups. Terrorist
actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide
operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may
also involve commercial aircraft. Other potential threats
include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices, or
non-conventional weapons, such as chemical or biological
agents. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and
civilian targets. These may include facilities where
American citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit,
including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of
worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or
resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a
heightened state of personal security awareness when
attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened
state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or
suspend public services from time to time to assess their
security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and
consulates will make every effort to provide emergency
services to U.S. citizens. Americans are urged to monitor
the local news and maintain contact with the nearest
American embassy or consulate.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.