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In this Feb. 2, 2013 photo provided by the Nobu Hotel, actor Robert De Niro, left, poses with his business partner, chef Nobu Matsuhisa at their new Nobu Hotel and Restaurant in Las Vegas. Japanese classically trained Matsuhisa's Nobu Hotel and Restaurant opened Saturday at Caesars Palace. (AP Photo/Nobu Hotel, Eric Kabik)

AIRLINES

Skirts-only rule stirs debate in South Korea

South Korea's human rights commission has recommended that the country's second-largest airline allow its female cabin crew to wear trousers, adding weight to a union campaign to ease strict dress rules.

The commission's ruling is nonbinding, but it represents a small victory for the 3,400 female flight attendants at Asiana Airlines, which is the only South Korean airline with a no-trouser rule. Since last year, the flight attendants have been asking the company to relax appearance requirements that range from how many hairpins they can wear to the length of their earrings.

South Korea’s human rights commission has recommended that the country’s second-largest airline allow its female cabin crew to wear trousers,
South Korea's human rights commission has recommended that the country's second-largest airline allow its female cabin crew to wear trousers, adding weight to a union campaign to ease strict dress rules. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, FILE)

Asiana said that its skirt-only policy was meant to emphasize the company's brand of "high-class Korean beauty." It said aesthetic elements, such as the appearance of female flight attendants, are part of its service for passengers and an essential tool for staying competitive.

Still, the company said it will review trouser options in future uniform redesigns. It did not say when the next one is scheduled.

UNITED STATES

World's first Nobu Hotel opens on Vegas Strip

A Japanese celebrity chef with restaurants in Beverly Hills, New York and London has added "hotelier" to his résumé with launch of the world's first Nobu Hotel Restaurant and Lounge.


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The opening of the 181-room boutique hotel inside the Roman-themed Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip was three years in the making. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa launched the venture with longtime U.S. business partner Robert De Niro. Five more hotels are in the works.

Following a trend on the construction-shy Strip, the new hotel opened in an existing building: Caesars' 40-year old Centurion Tower.

The hotel within a hotel aims to delight sophisticated foodies. It features minibar Pocky pretzels, a room service menu prepared by the famous chef, and the world's largest Nobu Restaurant.

Grand Canyon lottery for 2014 river trips

Anyone wanting to guide a noncommercial river trip through the Grand Canyon can apply from now through Feb. 26.

The National Park Service says 450 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day trips on the Colorado River. The permits will be for specific launch dates in 2014. Additional draws will be held for trips that are canceled or left over after the Feb. 26 deadline.

The main applicant must be 18 or older, and at least one person on the trip must be experienced in whitewater rafting.

AIRPORTS

Atlanta airport retains title as world's busiest

Atlanta's airport is keeping its title as the world's busiest.

Airport officials said passenger traffic increased by more than 3.1 million passengers in 2012 -- making it the busiest year ever for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Authorities said the 2012 total of 95.5 million passengers is 3.35 percent higher than the previous record of 92.4 million, set in 2011.

Louis Miller, the aviation general manager, says the airport remains the world's busiest in terms of passengers and operations. However, its annual air cargo numbers decreased, which reflects a global decrease of consumer purchases and reduced manufacturing.

-- Compiled from Associated Press reports