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Top 10 Best European Cities for Solo Travelers

Europe is a big place full of monuments and museums that can make your head spin. The sheer amount of things in Europe can get overwhelming, especially for a solo traveler. And while you should definitely check out the historical sites, you should also take some time to do some real exploring. It’s the day when you get lost on a city that lead to the most exciting adventures and to the most memorable stories.

So when you go to Europe make sure to choose some destinations that are bound to lead to adventure and wonder. Here is a list of our 10 favorite cities for you to explore on your solo trip abroad.

10. Paris

There is no greater place to get lost than in the City of Lights. Paris’s winding roads and old walkways are there to lead you to some of the most beautiful sites in the world. It is a city of artists and tramps. When you go there be sure to check out English Shakespearean Bookstore where you can become a Tumbleweed and stay in Paris for free.

9. Bruges

Charter the canals and swim under ancient bridges where trees dip into the water. It is literally like a city out of a fair tale.

8. Dublin

Dublin is Ireland’s most famous city. Here you can take in some real Irish pride at any local pub or brewery. Of course the city isn’t just all about drinking. It is an ideal city to walk around and explore some castles. It is also ranked as the safest city in the world

7. Vienna

The City of Music is truly a musical place. In this Austrian city you can sip coffee by day at traditional cafes and go to operas by night.

6. Bergen

Norway is a solo traveler’s dream and is ideal for backpacking. Look out for the NESCO Heritage wooden houses of Bryggen, the outdoor fish market, and Fløibanen funicular.

5. Berlin

Germany is a country full of both new and old. It has survived many wars and tumultuous history that you can see in every city and town. But there is no better city to check out than Berlin. The city is constantly altering itself and changing with the times. Stay in a hostel when you’re take a take tours with your fellow travelers. Sights to see for any backpacker are the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate.

4. Reykjavik

Iceland is a far greener than the name lets off. This island nation is known as one of the world’s most peaceful countries and has one of the lowest crime rates. During the summer months daylight can last up to 21 hours and flying there can cost as little at. are as low as $442. The city, Reykjavik, offers free walking tours, cheap hostels, and is home to a hot dog stand you must eat at. Baejarins Beztu Pylsur served hot dogs to both Billl Clinton and Kim Kardashian.

3. Lucerne

Lucerne is a beautiful getaway for young solo travelers. There you can walk in the footsteps of Mark Twain and check out Lake Lucerne. The central town is highly walkable and tourist friendly.

2. London

London is known as a world class city for a reason. It’s easy to navigate trains and airports make traveling effortless for any young solo traveler. Take a Harry Potter tour, see Windsor, say hello to the queen — it’s all possible in this magical city.

1. Prague

This historic city in the Czech Republic is one of the best cities in the world for travel. It is a walkable size and has some of the best sights around. Here you can see from the city’s rooftops, chapels, palaces, and gothic cathedrals. You’ll also find it to be remarkably affordable, which is a plus for any traveler wandering the country on their own.

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Comey defends himself after DOJ watch-dog report faults him

Former FBI Director James Comey defended himself from a critical report from the Justice Department’s (DOJ) inspector general which looked into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, saying the conclusions were “reasonable” but that nothing in the report “makes me think we did the wrong thing,” The Hill reports.

“I respect the DOJ IG office, which is why I urged them to do this review. The conclusions are reasonable, even though I disagree with some,” Comey tweeted, minutes after the report was released Thursday afternoon. “People of good faith can see an unprecedented situation differently. I pray no Director faces it again. Thanks to IG’s people for hard work.”

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz condemned Comey for poor judgement during the course of the 2016 presidential race in the report, but noted there was no evidence that political bias impacted his actions during the probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State, according to The Hill.

The report criticized Comey for his conduct in the probe, saying that his decision to not inform Justice Department officials of his plan to publicly exonerate Clinton in the investigation was “extraordinary and insubordinate.”

Comey told investigators that he didn’t tell DOJ officials because he feared they would advise him against it, according to the DOJ report.

Horowitz wrote that Comey’s reasoning was not “a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by Department leadership over his actions.”

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Comey used personal email to conduct FBI business, report says

A report released Thursday from the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general says that former FBI Director James Comey used personal email accounts to conduct government business, The Hill reports.

The use of personal emails marks a seemingly ironic breach of protocol from Comey, given he oversaw the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his anticipated report Thursday afternoon about the FBI’s handling of the investigation in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

“We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account to conduct unclassified FBI business,” the report states.

In November 2016, Comey forwarded an email with the subject line “Midyear thoughts” to his personal account from his government account. The email detailed Comey’s reasoning for informing Congress that the FBI had restarted its Clinton investigation after originally finding no wrongdoing.

A month later, he forwarded another email to his personal account that proposed responses to two requests for information from the office of special counsel.

Comey told the inspector general he did not use his personal email or laptop for sensitive or classified information and had no security concerns about the practice of using a personal account.

“It was incidental and I was always making sure that the work got forwarded to the government account to either my own account or [Jim] Rybicki, so I wasn’t worried from a record-keeping perspective,” he told investigators.

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Comey would have been investigated over handling of Clinton email probe if he hadn’t been fired

FBI Director James Comey’s October 2016 announcement of a re-opened investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails landed him in legal trouble of his own. Documents obtained Friday under a Freedom of Information Act release indicate that the federal government’s Office of Special Counsel was investigating Comey for potential Hatch Act violations in early 2017 and only halted because he was fired.


The Hatch Act restricts federal government employees from politically “partisan” activity while on the job. The documents show dozens of complaints accusing Comey of a Hatch Act violation on account of his letter to Congress in October 2016, 11 days before the election, in which Comey said that the FBI was re-opening its Clinton email because of newly discovered emails on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop.


This letter was inappropriate and may have swayed the election, many of the complaints said. The special counsel opened an investigation, but Comey’s firing on May 9 of this year stopped it in its tracks. Erica Hamrick, the deputy chief of the special counsel’s Hatch Act unit, notified Comey in a May 17 letter that the investigation was shutting down, but only because Comey was no longer with the agency.

“As you know, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has been investigating allegations that you violated the Hatch Act when you made public statements and other communications about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigation into former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server,” Hamrick wrote.

She continued: “However, you are no longer employed as Director of the FBI” and her office’s policy is “not to continue investigations once an employee leaves federal service.” Accordingly, the special counsel will “close its file in this matter without further action.”

The FBI released the documents to Ty Clevenger, a lawyer who is pursuing bar sanctions against Comey.

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McCabe and Comey accused each other of lying in DOJ investigation

Ex-FBI Director James Comey publicly sided with Andrew McCabe, his former deputy director, when McCabe was fired earlier this year. But the two privately attacked each other’s credibility last year during a Justice Department investigation into the leak of a private conversation between McCabe and an unnamed official regarding an investigation.

The issue at hand was a phone call that McCabe received in August 2016 from a Justice Department official who asked that the FBI slow down its Clinton Foundation investigation. According to a Justice Department inspector general’s report, McCabe refused and instructed his own special counsel in October 2016 to anonymously tell the Wall Street Journal about the phone conversation.

Disclosing the story to the Journal went against FBI rules prohibiting leaking information about ongoing investigations, however. DOJ investigators sought out the source of the leak and asked McCabe several times if it was him, and he insisted three times under oath that it was not.

Later, after the investigators concluded that it was McCabe after all, McCabe testified that Comey thought the leak was a good idea, according to a DOJ inspector general’s report released Friday. Comey strongly disputed this claim, however, leaving the investigators with “starkly conflicting accounts” from McCabe and Comey, according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

McCabe asserted that he explicitly told Comey during that conversation that he authorized the disclosure and that Comey agreed it was a ‘good’ idea,” the report said.

Conversely, “Comey described how McCabe gave Comey the impression that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure about the call, was not involved in the disclosure and did not know how it happened.”

Horowitz ultimately believed Comey’s account and concluded that McCabe had lied.


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GoFundMe page for Andrew McCabe raises $187,000 and counting

A crowdfunding page for Andrew McCabe, the recently fired FBI deputy director, garnered more than $200,000 within a few hours of going live Thursday afternoon. The page, which is on GoFundMe and is authored by “friends of the former FBI deputy director,” says that it is raising money for legal bills that McCabe may face in months ahead.

The page initially set a goal of $150,000. After surpassing that amount in its first five hours, it set a new goal of $250,000.

“The support for Andrew #McCabe has been overwhelming, humbling & deeply appreciated,” Melissa Schwartz, a spokesperson for McCabe, tweeted Thursday. “Unfortunately, the need for a legal defense fund is a growing reality.”

McCabe was fired earlier this month less than two days before he was due to retire with full pension benefits. The reasons for his firing are under debate, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that McCabe displeased him by authorizing FBI agents to talk to reporters about an ongoing Hillary Clinton probe and lacking “candor” when internal investigators asked him about it.

The GoFundMe page says that it is not a retirement fund, however. It states that it is funding a legal defense team that will be headed by Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general.

The page says that the legal fees may pay for responses he may have to give to congressional inquiries and the Office of the Inspector General’s ongoing investigation, along with potential lawsuits that McCabe might choose to file. The Inspector General’s office had recommended that the FBI fire him, according to Sessions.

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Tearful Martin Shrkeli sentenced to 7 years in prison

Martin Shrkeli, also known as ‘Pharm Bro,’ was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds.

Shrkeli is a former pharmaceutical executive who became notorious for increasing the price of a drug known as Daraprim by 5,000 percent. That episode is unrelated to his conviction involving the hedge funds.

Shrkeli compounded his legal problems with his cocky demeanor, remorse-free defense of his actions, and his offer of a bounty for one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs.

His attitude appeared changed, however, as he faced U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto on Friday. He tearfully told the court that he hopes to make amends and apologized to investors.

“I was never motivated by money,” Shrkeli said tearfully before the judge handed down the sentence, as reported by The New York Times. “I wanted to grow my stature and reputation. I am here because of my gross, stupid and negligent mistakes I made.”

As she passed sentence, Judge Matsumoto said Shrkeli seemed truly remorseful, but added that he “repeatedly minimized” his actions, including by statements he made after his conviction.

Shrkeli also must forfeit $7.36 million to the government and was separately fined $75,000. If he is unable to cover the restitution, the judge authorized the government to seize his assets, including a Picasso and the sole copy of a Wu Tang album.

Arguing for a short sentence, Shrkeli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the court
“There are times when I want to hug him. There are times I want to punch him in the face because he’s made my job more difficult by some of the things he’s said.”

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Noise pollution is causing birds extreme amounts of stress

Human-triggered noise pollution may be causing birds extreme amounts of stress, according to new research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This finding comes from scientists at multiple U.S. universities, who discovered that adults and nestlings from three different bird species showed multiple signs of chronic stress linked to noise pollution. That included skewed stress hormone levels that may be the result of increased anxiety, distraction, and hypervigilance.

Researchers discovered that constant noise could be acting as an “acoustic blanket” that muffles the audio cues birds use to detect predators and objects in their environment. As they cannot tell if their surroundings are safe, mother birds need to choose between staying to protect their young at the nest and going out to find food.

The data showed that nestlings from nosy environments tend to have small body sizes and reduced feather development. In addition, some species also showed large declines in hatching rates as a result of noise.

“These birds can’t escape this noise. It’s persistent, and it completely screws up their ability to get cues from the environment,” said study co-author Rob Guralnick, associate curator of biodiversity informatics at the Florida Museum of Natural History, according to”They’re perpetually stressed because they can’t figure out what’s going on.”

The team in the study set up 240 nesting boxes staggered at precise distances from loud gas compressors and then recorded nesting bird’s stress responses in relation to different noise levels.

Once they recorded that information, the scientists tested levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in three bird species: western bluebirds, mountain bluebirds, and ash-throated flycatchers. While researchers expected to see high corticosterone levels, they found the noise from gas compressors lowered the birds’ baseline corticosterone levels.

To explain that trend, researchers compared their results to lab studies on chronic stress. That showed low corticosterone can be a sign of stress that is so intense the body dials down baseline levels of the hormone as a means of self-protection. When the scientists tested how chicks responded to sudden threats, they discovered that the birds’ corticosterone skyrocketed compared with typical high-stress levels. The chicks also took a long time to return to baseline levels.

The study is the first to test the relationships between noise, stress hormones, and fitness in animals that breed in natural areas with unrelenting, human-made noise. It also sheds new light on how noise affects wildlife and reveals that such pollution reduces animal habitat and makes it harder for them to survive.

Researchers hope the new information will help scientists gain a better understanding of noise pollution in relation to different animal populations.

“Hearing is the universal surveillance system across vertebrates, including humans,” said study co-author Clinton Francis, assistant professor of biology at California Polytechnic State University, in a statement. “Hearing is also the sense that remains active even during sleep and other instances of unconsciousness. Because we and other animals rely on hearing in these capacities, it may not be too much of a stretch to expect similar physiological impacts on humans.”

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‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli goes to jail for threatening Hillary Clinton

Martin Shkreli, also known as Pharma Bro, has been slapped in jail — not for his securities fraud conviction, but for encouraging his followers on Facebook to obtain a strand of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hair in exchange for $5,000.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted in August of three counts of securities fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 16, according to a report by Bloomberg. He could be incarcerated for 20 years on each count, although most observers do not expect the court to impose the maximum penalty.

Prosecutors argued that in offering a bounty for a strand of Clinton’s hair, Shkreli ran afoul of state and federal laws prohibiting threats against the immediate family members of ex-presidents. They noted that his Facebook post triggered an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, which also had to increase security for Clinton.

Shkreli wrote a letter to the judge apologizing for his conduct.

“Some may have read my comments about Mrs. Clinton as threatening, which was never my intention,” he wrote. “I used poor judgment but never intended to cause alarm or promote any act of violence whatsoever.”

Benjamin Branfman, Shkreli’s lawyer, argued that his client had just been engaging in political satire when he offered cash for Clinton’s hair.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto was not impressed, however.

“What is so funny about this?” the angry judge asked. “He’s soliciting an assault on another person in exchange for $5,000. Under the facts and circumstances, I’m going to respectfully deny your request to change my mind. I can’t say with any certainty that the threats have not been taken seriously by anybody.”

Shkreli was taken into custody immediately and will be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

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Prosecutors seek to revoke Martin Shkreli’s bail after threatening comments

Federal prosecutors on Thursday asked the judge who presided over Martin Shkreli’s trial for securities fraud to revoke the $5 million bond posted by the so-called ‘Pharma bro’ and lock him up.

Prosecutors accuse Shkreli, who was convicted last month by a Brooklyn federal jury of three counts of securities fraud and is currently awaiting sentencing, of engaging in “a pattern of threats and harassment,” including asking Facebook followers to “grab” some hair from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for $5,000.

“So on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her,” Shkreli posted on Sept. 4, according to Bloomberg. “I must confirm the sequencing I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton. Payment after the sequence matches. Good luck patrollers.”

Shkreli became notorious in 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of a life-saving, anti-parasitic drug called Darapim by more than 5,000 percent.

The government says Shkreli appears to have violated laws prohibiting threats against immediate family members of former presidents, adding that his Facebook posting triggered an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service that has “expended significant additional resources to ensure Secretary Clinton’s protection.”

Clinton is scheduled to appear at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City’s Union Square on Sept. 12.

Prosecutors argue that Shkreli has harassed Hillary Clinton before when in Sept. 2016 he stood outside Chelsea Clinton’s Manhattan apartment building, where the former secretary of state was recuperating after becoming ill during a memorial service at the World Trade Center, and heckled her during a two-hour live-streaming marathon.

“Shkreli’s own prior actions, and his influence over others who have previously acted in reliance of his statements, demonstrate why the government view his latest actions with concern,” prosecutors told the court.