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Month: August 2019

Virgin joins BA in criticizing long wait times at Heathrow

first_img Monday, August 13, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Virgin joins BA in criticizing long wait times at Heathrow LONDON – Virgin Atlantic has joined British Airways in criticizing long waiting times at passport control at Heathrow Airport, releasing figures showing that the Border Force hit its target for processing passengers from outside the European Economic Area on just one day in July.Virgin says passengers are “frustrated” as waits of more than two hours are becoming the norm. The Border Force target is to process 95 per cent of passengers within 45 minutes.Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye has called on the government to allow visitors from low-risk countries such as the United States and Canada to use the same electronic border gates that European Union citizens can access.The Home Office says delays were caused by a computer failure and the arrival of large numbers of vulnerable adults and children. Tags: British Airways, Heathrow Airport, Virgin Group By: The Associated Presslast_img read more


If you only go to 2 continents in your life go to

first_img Posted by Share Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Travelweek Group “If you only go to 2 continents in your life, go to Africa twice”: Goway makes the casecenter_img TORONTO — Goway’s growth over the past several years has been fuelled by mainstays Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, newcomer Europe and, increasingly, Africa where Goway offers more than 250 independent and escorted travel options.Agents from Toronto and the GTA were out in full force to hear all about Goway’s Africa product, which includes the Middle East, at last night’s ‘G’day to Goway’s Africa – Toronto 2018’ seminar at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel.Goway BDM Sam Cottar; David Timmins, Passenger Sales Manager, Ethiopian Airlines; Birhan Abate Mulate, Area Manager, Canada, Ethiopian Airlines; Kirsty Perring, Goway’s Product Manager, Africa & Middle East; Moira Smith, General Manager – Africa, Middle East and Europe; and Goway BDM Aubrey SchmidtEverything is selling well, with double-digit growth over the past three to four years, says Moira Smith, General Manager – Africa, Middle East and Europe. “Egypt, Morocco, Dubai … they’re all doing great,” said Smith.The Middle East especially is coming back. “Last year our southern Africa product represented 61% of our sales, East Africa was 25% and the Middle East was 12%. This year southern Africa is at 47%, East Africa 29% and the Middle East, 22%.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTShe added to an appreciative laugh from the audience: “If you only go to two continents in your life, go to Africa twice.”Goway’s Africa product extends from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and more in the south, to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and beyond in the east, to Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in the north. Middle Eastern destinations includes Israel, Jordan, Oman and UAE.In places like Kenya and Tanzania, Smith advises agents to help clients make the most of their vacation with a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara or Serengeti. “It’s the experience they’ll remember. The cost will fade, the memory never will.”Gorilla tracking in Uganda, ‘the Pearl of Africa’, is another must-do. “Gorilla tracking is incredible. It can be strenuous – warn your clients – but it’s absolutely the most rewarding thing,” says Smith.In Egypt clients will want at least a nine-day trip, focusing on Cairo with a Nile cruise. At the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, opening later this year or early next year, Goway clients can get a two-hour private guided tour. “It’s wonderful to see how popular Egypt is and how it’s coming back,” says Smith.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backGoway’s Africa and Middle East product runs the gamut, she adds. “We’ve got incredible value-for-money products and we can also do wonderfully high end stuff.”More than two dozen of Goway’s Africa and Middle East partners were on hand last night for round robin sessions with the trade.Jacques Smit, Marketing Director for Sabi Sabi, says the Canadian market is continuously growing for the luxury lodge operator. “Both Canada and the U.S. started to grow rapidly for us about six years ago,” says Smit, adding that the company is working closely with Goway. The preference from the Canadian market is for FIT, with stays of three to four nights, he adds. Sabi Sabi’s portfolio includes four upscale lodges – Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, Sabi Sabi Selati Camp and Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp – all part of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World collection.Another of Goway’s partners, Tsogo Sun, has one of its properties, 54 on Bath, featured in one of Goway’s Stays of Distinction in South Africa. Goway “is one of our biggest partners,” says Tsogo Sun Sales Representative Lorenzo Giani.Other Tsogo Sun properties especially popular with Canadian travellers include the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town, and Southern Sun The Cullinan. Both are four-star-plus hotels offering good value for money – music to the ears of most Canadians. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Africa, Goway, Goway Travel, Statisticslast_img read more


KFC and Quiznos to open 15 new restaurants in Costa Rica

first_imgQSR International, owner of various fast food franchises in the region, announced Tuesday that it will open eight new KFCs and seven Quiznos Restaurants in Costa Rica.Tatiana Rodríguez, QSR development manager, said the company has already scheduled to open three new restaurants in the provinces of San José, two in Cartago, one in Alajuela and one in Limón.Also, the franchisee announced re-openings, involving remodeling and expansion, in three of its current stores in Curridabat (east of San José), Paseo Colón (downtown San José) and in the western province of Heredia.As for Quiznos, Rodríguez said they will be opening two new stores in San José, one in Cartago, one in Alajuela and three restaurants at the Juan Santamaría International Airport, where the company expects to invest $4 million after winning a contract for managing the food court areas for the next eight years.QSR is also the owner of the Teriyaki and Smashburger franchises. Facebook Comments Related posts:Mrs. Fields bakeries expanding Costa Rica, Colombia operations Smashburger opens first Latin American restaurant in Costa Rica Quiznos, KFC opening more Costa Rica locations in $2.5 million regional expansion Johnny Rockets opens third location in Costa Ricalast_img read more


Study looks at Costa Ricas sex tourism industry

first_imgPhoto: Tico Times The study also reveals that most sexual tourists do not frequent museums or purchase artisanal goods, or contract tours. The industry does provide a significant economic boost for sites frequented in the company of sex workers, like thermal hot springs in the north, as well as other bars, restaurants and nightclubs.Many bars, aside from providing sex workers in plain sight for patrons and tourists, “provide free intermediary services between tourists and sex workers,” Mora said. At the Sportsman’s Lodge, in the quiet, upscale neighborhood of Barrio Otoya, it is not unfamiliar to see men contract services from the bar only to retire to a number of back rooms.Does this activity contribute to the illegal trafficking of women? Mora’s study did not focus primarily on this aspect, but he did mention that there was evidence to suggest the laissez faire environment provided by Costa Rican law could lead to cases of trafficking.On May 10, Judicial Investigation Police responded to various complaints by women working at San José club Atlantis, who accused employers of forcing them to offer sexual services to patrons. Three men were arrested on charges of human trafficking.The owner of the club, a U.S. man, was not in the country at the time of the raid, and Interpol has issued an alert for him.The women from Atlantis allegedly were hired as dancers, but forced into prostitution, according to the criminal complaint. The raid, in addition to finding Colombians, Dominicans and Russians, also turned up an assault rifle. Tatiana Vargas, a spokeswoman at the Prosecutor’s Office, said the investigation is ongoing.While the government of Costa Rica has made modest improvements to its law against human trafficking, according to the U.S. State Department, the country still does not comply with the minimum anti-trafficking standards.The office for Care and Protection of Victims of Crime (OAPVD) has begun to provide emergency services as well as basic and psychological health assistance to victims of trafficking. The opening of the OAPVD was a result of a law adopted in 2009 with the purpose of “receiving and assessing requests, and establishing necessary protection levels for witnesses and victims of crimes.”Although the unit for human trafficking and crimes against persons within the OIJ reported investigating 23 human trafficking cases, the numbers of those cases actually prosecuted has not been released, according to the U.S. State Department.However, despite the concerns of human rights groups and foreign governments of Costa Rica’s growing popularity as a sexual tourism destination, little is likely to change.As Mora’s study points out, and as he reiterated via email, the tourism industry in Costa Rica, and its hotels, bars and casinos, “are structured this way in downtown San José to be a center and agent of sexual tourism.” Facebook Comments When Eduardo Mora began his preliminary inquiries into the sex tourism industry in Costa Rica for the National University, he started by outlining five types of tourists who come to Costa Rica: outdoor or rustic tourists, working tourists, medical tourists, students and sex tourists. Concerning the latter, Interpol recently named Costa Rica the fastest-growing capital of sex tourism in Latin America. Mora believes there’s a reason.“The bars and casinos in San José were conceived by their founders and proprietors to work in symbiosis with prostitution,” Mora, author of a recent study on the industry, said. “It has been a successful symbiosis for San José.”At times, the categories overlap, particularly between sex tourists and working tourists. Since the explosion of tourism at the end of the 1980s in Costa Rica, hotels and other late-night establishments proliferated rapidly throughout the capital. More frequent international flights to Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside the capital, saw other Pacific-bound tourists layover in San José for a night.Sex tourists in downtown San José maintain a focus on particular establishments, which is different than most other types of tourists. The establishments are specially geared toward this type of tourism, concentrated in easily distinguishable locales and in discernible areas.“In these areas, there is more English spoken than Spanish, but without excluding nationals as clients, as now in the economic recession they too constitute a small part of the clientele,” Mora said.Between avenues 1 and 11, and between calles 3 and 15, a conurbation of approximately 10 hotels and 10 bars exist, with some 500 independent sex workers who earn a living from sex tourism. Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica.“This does not include the casinos,” Mora said, “because they do not depend solely on sex tourism.”These 500 independent sex workers never concurrently occupy the same locations. On a single night, some 200 sex workers may be inside the Hotel del Rey (the city’s most well-known sex tourism establishment and casino), and some 50 at Key Largo, across the street. Smaller establishments may have no more than five women at a time.According to the study, most sex tourists are North American middle-class men who pay first for sex and later frequent casinos. Clients arrive in downtown San José and stay for two or three nights. Generally, sex tourists undertake their activities at night, although some do so in the afternoon at specialized locations.“Interestingly,” Mora said, “the sexual tourism industry distributes its economic benefits widely.” The approximately 500 providers of sexual services earn up to $40,000 daily. In one day spent in downtown San José, the city sees some 400 sex tourists, with most providers charging $100 an hour.The Hotel del Rey, with its three internal bars and colonnaded lodging, “plays a major role as facilitator for sex tourism in San José,” Mora said. “Various other hotels and bars operate as satellites, and their businesses would be very different without this hotel. Sexual tourism would be unimaginable without the Del Rey, as the world would be unimaginable without the French Revolution,” Mora added.center_img Related posts:Report identifies Costa Rica sex tourism centers Brazilian Police release Tico accused of allegedly paying a minor for sex 5 cases of human trafficking under investigation in Costa Rica this year, says Immigration Administration director #Jailbnb offers stay in Costa Rican prison to deter child sex tourismlast_img read more


President Chinchilla appoints three new ministers

first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rica’s government confirmed Thursday the exit of Labor Minister Sandra Piszk and Housing Minister Irene Campos. Chinchilla also confirmed Pedro Castro as the new Minister of Public Works and Transport.President Laura Chinchilla appointed Olman Segura as new Labor Minister, since Sandra Piszk resigned her post to be with her husband, Jaime Feinzaig, who was named the Costa Rican ambassador to Italy last August. Segura was the National Training Institute executive’s president.Housing Minister Irene Campos also resigned her post but the reasons of her exit were not disclosed. Government officials confirmed that Guido Monge, son of former President Luis Alberto Monge (1982-1986), will take over the post.Monge is a former lawmaker and ex-Housing Ministry vice minister and current board member of the National Housing Mortgage Bank.Castro takes over for Luis Llach who left the role for health reasons. Llach replaced the ousted Francisco Jiménez, who was dismissed in May amid allegations of corruption.While the other two ministers begin their roles immediately, Castro takes over the Public Works and Transport Ministry next Thursday.In addition, the head of the National Women’s Institute, Maureen Clarke, was promoted into a Cabinet position. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Train service to Cartago begins Friday despite fare dispute

first_imgNo related posts. After several delays, train service between San José and Cartago will finally begin on Friday at 5:30 a.m.Conductors will make a total of 30 daily trips between the current capital and Costa Rica’s former colonial capital.Travel time will be 43 minutes, and service will run from 5:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at a fare of ₡550 ($ 1.10) each way, the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) said in a press conference on Monday.INCOFER President Miguel Carabaguíaz said the train will depart from the old Atlantic Train station next to the National Library in San José, and will make five stops: at the University of Costa Rica, Universidad Latina, in Curridabat, the UACA campus, and in the canton of Tres Ríos, with a final destination of Cartago.INCOFER expects some 5,500 people to use the new service every day.Last week, INCOFER said service would start with a fare approved by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP). But that fare is under dispute, as rail officials say it is too low to cover operating expenses.Officials are waiting for a ruling on an appeal filed at ARESEP to hike the fare to ₡565.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more


San Josés Municipal Police increase patrols to remove unlicensed street vendors from

first_imgUnion leaders and a group of street vendors met Tuesday at San José’s Central Park to outline plans for getting permission to keep using the capital’s streets and sidewalks.Alberto Font Related posts:New San José bus terminal for routes to Nicaragua, Nicoya Government has no funds to build road to San Ramón Taxis drivers block capital roads to demand crackdown on ‘piratas’ Porteadores announce more street blockades across Costa Rica next week The meeting was held at the capital’s Central Park, where many vendors continued selling their goods while listening to Zúñiga’s speech.In January 2012 the Sala IV ordered the municipality “to take all necessary measures to clear the capital’s streets and sidewalks of street vendors,” in response to a lawsuit filed by Rafael Ángel Paniagua, a citizen who claimed that street vendors obstruct pedestrian traffic and affect the transit of seniors and people with visual and other disabilities.“Street vendors infringe on the environment, public health and safety of both residents and visitors of the capital,” the court ruling stated.In May, the Sala IV resolved a similar case and ordered the municipality, the Public Security Ministry, the Immigration Administration and the Labor Ministry to take steps to prevent street vendors from blocking traffic in San José. The court also ordered the agencies to take steps to address the social causes of the problem.The court ordered the agencies to present, every six months, a report on all measures implemented to comply with the ruling.Then-mayor of San José and current presidential candidate Johnny Araya said the ruling was “exaggerated, as ordering the municipality to ensure the welfare of the vendors is completely out of [the municipality’s] hands.”On Tuesday, Zúñiga said last October the union sent a proposal to the municipality with a list of possible solutions grouped in a project called the “Rice and beans operation.” The list included 15 proposals that could be implemented mainly during the Christmas period, he added.Among the proposals is the construction of a new market in the capital, as well as small markets in other cantons of San José.Other recommendations included creating “truce zones,” or areas where vendors could use sidewalks and public spaces, allowing special schedules for sales on the capital’s streets, and hosting weekly fairs similar to farmers markets that take place in several locations across the country.The union also asked for permits to sell door-to-door in neighborhoods on the outskirts of San José.Zúñiga acknowledged that many of the proposals were short-term solutions, but they could be “a valid option, especially for this time of the year.”Municipal Police officials, however, said the proposals are not feasible, “as the Sala IV’s rulings are clear and the country’s Penal Code guarantees free transit for people,” Solano said. “The obstacles street vendors cause in streets and on sidewalks are completely outlawed.”Insufficient solutionsFollowing the Sala IV’s 2012 ruling, Araya said the municipality had already implemented solutions for street vendors, but they never accepted them.Araya’s plan involved building markets in downtown San José. But without customers, the vendors abandoned the new markets just a few weeks after their opening.The Paso de la Vaca market and another built in the former facilities of the Civil Registry aimed at removing vendors from the streets, but the idea failed. The only one that remains is located at the Coca-Cola market.Zúñiga said the two markets failed because they were located in high-risk areas with little police presence. Assaults and robberies occurred daily, driving customers away. The director of San José’s Municipal Police, Marcelo Solano, said this week there will be no truce for street vending in Costa Rica’s capital.Solano issued the statement after learning the Union of Street Vendors (SINTRACOPEA) is asking for permission to allow vendors to keep selling on the streets of San José, especially during the holiday season.December traditionally sees the largest number of unlicensed vendors on the streets and sidewalks of Costa Rica’s capital, and the San José Municipality is currently working with other government agencies to remove them, following an order from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV.Municipal Police have been conducting patrols and confiscating merchandise from vendors who do not have a valid permit. Currently only those occupying kiosks on the corners of several street blocks in the capital are authorized.Members of SINTRACOPEA met Tuesday to plan a response to the police actions, including collecting signatures for an appeal at the Sala IV “that would allow them to make a living,” the union’s president, Randall Zúñiga, told The Tico Times.center_img “The government promised to relocate several bus terminals near the markets to increase customers, but it never happened,” the union’s vice president, Rafaela Obregón, said.“For each of us accepting a spot at these new markets, there were two more vendors taking our spots on the streets,” Obregón said. “Municipal officials never were able to control the streets.”Representatives of government agencies appointed by the Sala IV this week presented the new plan to increase security in the capital.Solano said seizures of illegal goods would continue through the holiday season, with the support of the National Police.“We will try our best to comply with the [Sala IV] rulings, despite the fact that we do not have sufficient resources to perform our duties,” Solano said.Last year, Municipal Police conducted some 12,000 seizures of merchandise, but this year’s numbers are expected to be greater.And no new markets will be built anytime soon, Solano added: “There are no funds for that. Besides, two markets were built and they are not using them.” Facebook Comments Kiosks at several corners on the capital are the only ones authorized to sell on the streets.Alberto Fontlast_img read more


Neil Young vows Starbucks boycott over GMOs

first_img Facebook Comments NEW YORK – Rock icon Neil Young has pledged to stop drinking at Starbucks over an industry challenge to laws on genetically modified crops, but the coffee giant says the charges are false.The Canadian songwriter and environmental activist urged his fans to put pressure on Starbucks over a lawsuit filed by an industry group against the U.S. state of Vermont, the first state to pass a law requiring labels on genetically modified products.Young accuses Starbucks of backing the industry group challenging the GMO law.“I used to line up and get my latte every day, but yesterday was my last one,” Young recently wrote on his blog in a post titled “GOODBYE STARBUCKS!!!”“Whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions with strong public backing,” Young wrote.Young was referring to a lawsuit filed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, an industry group that fought a similar ballot initiative in California.The group in June announced a lawsuit against Vermont’s law on constitutional grounds, arguing that only the federal government had the role of “regulating nationwide distribution and labeling practices that facilitate interstate commerce.”Starbucks said that the activists’ charges that it was involved in the lawsuit were “completely false.”“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” it said in a statement, while adding that as a chain it preferred a “national solution” on the issue.Activists have accused Starbucks of involvement as a member of the industry group. Young accused Starbucks of “hiding behind the shadowy ‘Grocery Manufacturers Association.”Young acknowledged that Starbucks has been progressive on other issues including labor conditions and gay rights. The coffee giant has also committed to reducing its climate change footprint.U.S. biotech companies such as Monsanto have been at the forefront of genetically modified crops, which they say can improve agriculture.While common in the United States, genetically modified crops are banned or heavily regulated in many countries, including European Union members and Japan, due to public concerns.And just for the heck of it, here’s a younger Neil Young playing “Heart of Gold” in 1971: Related posts:Hey NFL, are you out of your #$@% minds? The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan to write pro wrestling story lines Santana and Neil Young aren’t coming. Untangling the great, Deadhead acid test mess Apple unveils streaming music, improvements to iPhones, Watch softwarelast_img read more


Arcadios World

first_imgRelated posts:Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Facebook Commentslast_img


Costa Rica tuna decree seems to be working

first_imgRelated posts:Tuna company, fishermen and environmental groups squabble over unpublished fishing decree First sail on a fly Ticos take bronze in first international kayak tournament Fishing for freight trains Statistics are beginning to show what people on the water already knew: Fish stocks are improving in areas where tuna purse seine boats are prohibited.Purse seiner boats are large foreign vessels that fish Costa Rica waters with nets for yellowfin tuna. Often, their bycatch (incidental capture) is marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dorado, sharks, turtles and marine mammals.In 2014 the Federacion Costarricense de Pesca (FECOP) drafted a Tuna Decree — later passed by President Luis Guillermo Solís — that pushed tuna seiners out 45 miles from shore and protected other important areas for a total of 200,000 square kilometers of territorial waters. A 2018 FECOP study analyzed bycatch data from previous observer onboard records of the protected areas and discovered 25 tons of what would have been marlin bycatch were saved.Dr. Marina Marrari, a specialist in marine biology and satellite data who spent part of her career working with NASA analyzing marine conditions around the globe, has recently joined the FECOP team and is beginning an ambitious project in analyzing previous catch data from sport-fishing fleets.She has already received thousands of daily fish reports from Crocodile Bay, Marina Pez Vela, Los Sueños, Club Amateur de Pesca and several private charters. Some of the information goes back 20 years or more, but she welcomes as much as she can get. In science, the more data, the more accurate the results. Specializing in satellite data, she will also look at historic ocean conditions against catch records with a focus on historic El Niño and La Niña periods.The study is just beginning, with only data from the Southern Zone complete. Some very interesting things are starting to appear. For example, fishing for pelagic species is much better without purse seiners in the area. It takes a little time to recover, but with management, fish stocks can recover. Also, preliminary results show El Niño periods affect some species differently. When sailfish numbers are down after an El Niño, marlin numbers are up. Stocks of pelagic species on the rise. (Graph by FECOP.)There will be updates in The Tico Times or on FECOP’s website as Dr. Marina Marrari gets deeper into the project. Anyone wishing to contribute to the program by supplying historic catch data is greatly appreciated. You can do so by contacting Dr. Marina Marrari at:  MMarrari@fecop.org.Tuna Purse Seine Boats Pushed out to 60 Miles in Costa RicaCosta Rican Fisheries Institute Director Moises Mugg, along with President Carlos Alvarado, recently announced a new decree ending of the system of granting free licenses to foreign tuna purse seine boats.The old system allowed seiners to extract nearly 9,000 tons of tuna last year while collecting a fee of less than 2 cents per kilo. Last year ,all the foreign boats legally given licenses were flagged in Nicaragua and Venezuela. There are no Costa Rican-flagged purse seiners.Part of the new decree moved purse seiners 60 miles from the coastline. FECOP helped draft the original decree in 2014 that moved purse seiners out to 45 miles and protected more than 200,000 square kilometers from purse seine activity. The sport-fishing sector has seen a big recovery in that 45 miles, and now 60 will surely help. The commercial fleet claims it is not enough and does not help the national fleet that much.Also included is addressing illegal and unreported fishing by the purse seine fleet. Full details will be available when the new decree is officially published.Todd Staley has run fishing sport operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full-time to marine conservation and is the communications director at FECOP. Contact him at wetline@hotmail.com. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Reports NKorea missile launchers came from China

first_imgTOKYO (AP) – Japan’s government reportedly has evidence that vehicles that could be used to launch missiles were exported to North Korea by a Chinese company in a possible violation of United Nations trade restrictions.Four of the vehicles were shipped from Shanghai to North Korea last August aboard the Harmony Wish, a Cambodian-flagged cargo vessel, according to Japanese reports Wednesday.The reports said Japanese authorities had been tracking the ship by satellite, and searched it when it transited the port of Osaka the following month. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Such vehicles _ called TELs _ became the focus of international attention when they were displayed in a military parade in the North’s capital of Pyongyang in April.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more


Hundreds protest antiIslam film in Nigeria

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The film, “Innocence of Muslims,” has sparked protests around the world. American leaders have denounced the film, which is protected under U.S. free speech laws.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The vital role family plays in society KADUNA, Nigeria (AP) – Hundreds of Muslims march peacefully through the streets of a northern Nigerian city to protest an anti-Islam film that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.The march Monday was in the city of Kaduna, where hundreds were killed in religious violence following Nigeria’s 2011 presidential election. Those protesting burned French, British and U.S. flags.The protest comes after a series of protests in Nigeria, a nation largely split between a Christian south and a Muslim north. All the demonstrations have been peaceful, though one protest was broken up by soldiers firing into the air. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   last_img read more


Buddhists in Myanmar protest OICs visit

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life Several aid workers flying into the state’s capital, Sittwe, have been turned back. International journalists have been told that travel to the area is barred for the time being.Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said that if the Islamic bloc wants to see stability restored to the state, “it’s better that the delegation not visit at all, but provide humanitarian assistance from outside.”__Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories More than 240 people have died and 240,000 others fled their homes in the last year, many of them Rohingya Muslims hunted down by Buddhist machete-wielding mobs, occasionally as security forces looked on.The OIC team _ representing Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Djibouti and Bangladesh _ is expected to meet large crowds of demonstrators when they continue onward Friday to the tense western state of Rakhine, scene of much of the bloodshed, where they will meet victims at crowded, rundown displacement camps.Ark Hananto, part of the Indonesian delegation, said they were assured by government that security would be tight. While they realize there may be a backlash, the group decided it was important to not only offer expressions of concern and condemnation, but to meet directly with those affected.They also want to talk to community and religious leaders.“We want to find a way to help build communication,” he said.Tensions have been soaring in Rakhine state in the last two weeks.Allegations by local Buddhists that international humanitarian organizations operating in Myanmar are biased in favor of Rohingya, something they deny, have resulted in threats to foreigners. Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Dozens of Buddhist monks carrying banners that said “Get Out” and “Don’t interfere in Myanmar’s internal affairs” gathered outside the airport Wednesday to protest the arrival of a delegation from the world’s biggest Islamic political bloc.Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and several ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a grouping of 57 Islamic countries, will head directly to the capital, Naypyitaw, to meet top government officials to discuss sectarian violence that has gripped the predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million. Top Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more


Flooding in New Zealand capital halts trains causes 1 death

first_imgWellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown urged people to find alternative accommodation in the city for the night rather than trying to make it home and even opened the downtown library for those who wanted to stay.Police said they found the body of an 80-year-old man in Petone near Wellington in floodwater near his abandoned car. They said the car was partially submerged with the keys in the ignition.Several areas around Wellington recorded rainfall of over 10 centimeters (4 inches).The region is home to about 450,000 people.Forecasters predict more heavy rain Friday before conditions ease over the weekend.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories center_img WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Heavy rain caused flooding in New Zealand’s capital Thursday that left one man dead, halted train service and blocked highways during the evening commute.Crews struggled to clear highways, and the shutdown of Wellington’s train services delayed travel for many.Elsewhere in the North Island, a small tornado lifted roofs from buildings in the town of Mount Maunganui near Tauranga. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more


Prince Harry shoots winning goal as New Zealand tour ends

first_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Harry’s last official engagement was visiting a sports training center. He was scheduled to fly back to the United Kingdom Saturday evening.Harry told reporters he was thrilled he got to travel to every corner of the country and meet so many New Zealanders during a trip he described as “epic fun.”“I think it’s unfair to put a highlight on such an amazing trip,” the prince said when asked to name one. “It has been fantastic. The welcome that I’ve had has been typically Kiwi I suppose. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception.”Harry said he had been given plenty of gifts to take home to his young niece Charlotte and he hoped to visit New Zealand again, perhaps in 2017 during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.The prince is the grandson of Britain’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Britain’s Prince Harry kicks the ball during a 5-a-side football game at The Cloud, a multi-purpose venue in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Prince Harry is on the last day of his visit to New Zealand. (Michael Craig/Herald on Sunday via AP) NEW ZEALAND OUT, AUSTRALIA OUT 0 Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Britain’s Prince Harry finished a weeklong New Zealand tour Saturday in which he visited remote islands and engaged with indigenous Maori by paddling a traditional canoe and delivering a greeting in the native language.Harry showed off his athletic skills on his final day in Auckland when he scored the winning goal in a friendly 5-a-side soccer game. The game was designed to highlight the upcoming FIFA World Cup for under 20-year-old players which New Zealand hosts later this month. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more


Stunning 36 percent rise in US visits to Cuba since January

first_imgIn this Sunday, May 24, 2015 photo, tourists enjoy cigars, mojitos and live music at the Bodeguita del Medio Bar, frequented by the late American novelist Ernest Hemingway in Old Havana, Cuba. The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to a dramatic 36 percent increase in visits by Americans to Cuba since January compared to the same period last year, along with a 14 percent rise in arrivals from around the world. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories The federal register states that travelers “must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions” for five years, but what those records consist of is not spelled out, and Aral said travel providers are not required to review travelers’ itineraries or receipts.___THE RULES AND THE REALITYBob Guild of Marazul Tours, another charter company, worries that some travelers may be viewing the process of planning a trip to Cuba too casually by claiming that they’re going for a sanctioned purpose when in fact they are going on vacation.But Guild acknowledges that “there’s a disconnect” between what’s on paper and what’s happening. “It’s a foggy land right now,” he said.Attorney Robert Muse, an expert on the legal aspects of Cuba travel, says “there’s been almost no active enforcement” of the tourism ban under the Obama administration. He added that the increase in U.S. visitors to Cuba is “what the Obama administration wants. … They favor engagement. That’s why they take this liberalized approach to travel.”The Cuban government did not respond to a request for comment, but Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero recently said visitors were up by 30 percent and that Cuba was willing to accept the increase. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies As for those rushing to see Cuba “before it changes,” Muse said, they think that in the future “there are going to be Burger Kings on every corner. That’s not going to happen, but people still want to see the end of revolutionary Cuba.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Cuba also has seen a 14 percent rise in overall tourism. Arrivals from 206 counties from Jan. 1 to May 9 rose from 1,349,903 last year to 1,547,104 this year. Visitors from Germany were up 22 percent; France, 25 percent; the United Kingdom, 26 percent and Spain 16 percent.___A LOOSENING OF RESTRICTIONSTravel to Cuba “for tourist activities continues to be prohibited,” said Hagar Chemali, a spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury Department, which publishes the rules on Cuba travel. But in January, after President Barack Obama announced detente with Cuba’s communist government, “we eased the travel regulations,” Chemali said.The new rules make it easier to get the necessary paperwork, and that has led some Americans to flout the restrictions. While many Americans still travel with expensive, organized “people to people” tours that are approved by the U.S. government, it’s not uncommon to encounter Americans who have traveled to Cuba independently to drink mojitos and head to the beach.Charter companies flying travelers from the U.S. to Cuba say travelers now need only “self-certify” that their trip falls under a permitted category. “The person calling us needs to tell me, ‘I’m going in support of the Cuban people, or professional research, or a family visit,’” or any one of the 12 allowed categories, said Tessie Aral of ABC Charters. After that, “all they do is sign a certification.” Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishescenter_img Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories In addition to the boom in American visitors, Cuba has seen a 14 percent jump in arrivals from around the world between January and early May compared to the same period last year.___INCREASED TOURISM BY THE NUMBERSFrom Jan. 1 to May 9, 51,458 Americans visited Cuba, compared to 37,459 over that period last year, according to new statistics provided exclusively to The Associated Press by Jose Luis Perello Cabrera, an economist in the University of Havana’s tourism studies department with access to official figures. The figures also included revealing details on the thousands of Americans who are entering Cuba through third countries, many to sidestep U.S. restrictions on tourism.There were 38,476 visitors who flew directly from the U.S. to Cuba, compared to 29,213 in the same period last year.Another 12,982 Americans came in via third countries, a whopping 57 percent increase over the 8,246 Americans who flew to Cuba from elsewhere in the same period last year.Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are the top choices for Americans entering Cuba from non-U.S. points, Perello said.David Perez, a New Yorker who works in public relations, traveled to Cuba in May through Cancun. “I had just always wanted to go to Cuba and I decided now was the time,” he said. Comments   Share   HAVANA (AP) — The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to a stunning 36 percent increase in visits by Americans to the island, including thousands who are flying into Cuba from third countries like Mexico in order to sidestep U.S. restrictions on tourism.The dramatic rise was seen in the number of Americans with no family ties to Cuba who visited between Jan. 1 and May 9 of this year compared to the same period in 2014, according to statistics provided to The Associated Press by a University of Havana professor. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more


France awaits Vatican word on ambassador said to be gay

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help PARIS (AP) — The French government is expecting the Vatican to decide within days whether to approve the nomination of a respected diplomat who is said to be gay as French ambassador to the Holy See.Paris is hoping that Laurent Stefanini wins approval five months after the French presidential palace submitted his nomination. The French government is awaiting a response via Vatican diplomatic channels within a week to 10 days, a French official told The Associated Press. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The difference between men and women when it comes to pain The French official said Stefanini is gay but has chosen not to come out publicly, and the French presidential palace has said only that his private life should not affect his appointment. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject publicly.Stefanini, 54, is currently chief of protocol at the French presidential palace, held a senior post at the French Embassy to the Vatican from 2001-2005, and served as the French Foreign Ministry’s adviser on religious issues.French President Francois Hollande has refused to consider other candidates for the job, and the French official said Monday that Stefanini is still viewed as the best possible choice.Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See perform the same diplomatic activities as ambassadors elsewhere, representing their governments, relaying information, arranging official visits and, perhaps unique to the Vatican, attending the pope’s public Masses.Stephanie Nicot, president of the French rights group LGBT Federation, described Stefanini as a discreet man who has chosen not to politicize his sexual orientation.“It is really time that things change in the Catholic Church,” Nicot said. “It is inadmissible for a state to refuse a nomination of someone as competent as this for motives linked to his sexuality.” The Vatican spokesman declined to comment.Gay rights groups have accused the Vatican of delaying a decision because of Stefanini’s sexual orientation. Such decisions normally take just a few weeks.The No. 2 official at the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said last week, “The dialogue is still open and we hope that it might conclude in a positive light.” It is the only thing the Vatican has said on the record about the nomination.An approval would be unusual for the Vatican, which is dealing with growing advances for gay rights in many countries. The Vatican traditionally doesn’t approve ambassadors in “nontraditional” family situations, and Catholic teaching holds that gays should be treated with respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”Pope Francis has signaled a change in tone toward the church’s reception of gays by saying “who am I to judge?” in reference to a priest said to be gay but looking for God.In an unusual move, Francis and Stefanini met last month in the Vatican hotel where Francis lives.Stefanini has not commented on widespread media reports in recent months asserting that he is gay. French Catholic newspaper La Croix has reported that the Vatican might see the nomination as a “provocation,” and the delayed response “implicitly resembles a ‘no.’” It said that France’s most senior Catholic official, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, pleaded to the Vatican in support of Stefanini.___Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more


Family shocked by UK suicide bombers reported death in Iraq

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The vital role family plays in society “He looks at peace,” Malik said. “It’s like he’s ready to go and meet his maker. This is a clear indication of just how successful the evil (Islamic State) groomers have been in poisoning and brainwashing Talha and kids like him.”British officials say roughly 700 Britons have traveled to Syria and Iraq in support of extremists there.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LONDON (AP) — Members of the family of a teenage British boy who reportedly killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq say they are devastated by his death.The statement from the family of 17-year-old Talha Asmal was released by police at the family’s request.“Talha comes from a close-knit, hardworking, peace-loving and law-abiding British Muslim family,” the statement read. “The entire family unreservedly condemns and abhors all acts of violence.” His family said he and a close friend had been recruited online and left Dewsbury in northern England in March to link up with the extremists.They said his naive nature was exploited by unidentified people. The family said the Islamic State group commanders who ordered him to conduct a suicide attack were “too cowardly to do their own ‘dirty’ work.”If Asmal’s death is confirmed, he would be the youngest known British suicide bomber to have died in the conflict.Police said Monday they cannot confirm the boy’s death, which was reported by a website associated with IS.The website said Asmal detonated a vehicle laden with explosives in a suicide bombing Saturday. It carried photographs believed to show him before the attack.It was claimed that Asmal’s attack was one of seven carried out in the city of Beiji. Details are sketchy, but IS claimed the attacks led to “tens” of deaths and injuries.Asmal is given the nom de guerre Abu Yusuf al-Britani on the website. Police say the family is convinced their son is the teen in the photograph.Shahid Malik, a family friend and former legislator, said it is “disturbing” to see how relaxed Asmal appears to be in the photographs taken just before his suicide mission. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Top Stories Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more


Detained AlJazeera journalist to remain in German custody

first_imgMansour, 52, a well-known journalist with the Qatar-based broadcaster’s Arabic service, was detained at Berlin’s Tegel airport on Saturday on an Egyptian arrest warrant, his lawyers said. Mansour, who holds dual Egyptian-British nationality, was trying to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, the station reported.Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor’s office, said Sunday that Mansour would be taken to a prison in the city and that further decisions on his future will be made next week.A government judicial official told the AP there would probably be a decision next week on whether Mansour has to remain in custody. In addition, the Berlin Court of Justice would decide — once it gets a request for extradition from Egypt — whether Mansour can be extradited or whether the case is politically motivated.Even if the court rules in favor of an extradition, the German government can still veto that.Mansour’s detention is the latest in a long series of legal entanglements between Egypt and satellite news channels. According to court documents, he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison, alongside two Muslim Brotherhood members and an Islamic preacher, for allegedly torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, a charge both he and the channel rejects. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BERLIN (AP) — A prominent Al-Jazeera journalist will remain in German custody for a second night, prosecutors said Sunday, adding they have not yet decided whether to extradite him to Egypt or set him free.As dozens of supporters protested Sunday in front of the Berlin court building where Ahmed Mansour was being held, his lawyer, Fazli Altin, called for the journalist’s immediate release, saying that Germany was getting involved in a politically tainted case. Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ___Sarah El Deeb in Cairo and Greg Keller in Paris contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Altin said Mansour was accused in the warrant “of having harmed the reputation of Egypt massively” and of having committed torture.“It’s unacceptable for the freedom of press and embarrassing for Germany that Mansour is being held here on these clearly political allegations,” he said.Patrick Teubner, a second lawyer for Mansour, said the journalist had been traveling on his British passport when he was detained. The U.K. confirmed that it was providing consular assistance to him.Both of the journalist’s lawyers expressed surprise that Mansour had been detained at all. They said they thought Interpol had put out a note on Mansour, which would show up at passport controls, but that Interpol had not officially asked for the arrest of Mansour.“According to our knowledge, Interpol refused to initiate an international arrest warrant on Mansour, so it’s not really clear why he was detained at all,” said Altin.The German prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the issue Sunday and the German border patrol refused to say on what allegations Mansour had been detained.Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelattie told the AP, however, that Germany arrested Mansour based on the red flag put for him by the Interpol. He said Egyptian judicial authorities, including the chief prosecutor in Cairo, were speaking with German authorities to clarify what crimes he is wanted for. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Top Stories The lawyer had filed a complaint saying he had been held in a tourist agency office overlooking Tahrir square at the height of protests against former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.Video footage of the incident aired by local media shows the lawyer being kicked to the ground, his hands tied behind his back. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who claims the lawyer was a police agent trying to infiltrate the protests, is seen in the video, but not Mansour. Later, the journalist later interviewed the Islamic preacher about what had happened.His arrest is the result of “Egypt’s terrible revenge against journalists that cross the regime,” press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in a statement Sunday, adding if Germany did extradite him “it will be putting itself at service of a dictatorial regime and will dishonor itself.”The Committee to Protect Journalists also issued a statement calling for Mansour’s immediate release.“Egypt has launched a politically motivated campaign against Al-Jazeera and is now abusing the international system,” said Sherif Mansour, the group’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Interpol didn’t immediately respond to calls and messages seeking a comment.In a video posted on Mansour’s Facebook page after he was questioned, he lashes out at German authorities for detaining him.“Regrettably, they told me that the request to arrest me is a German request and it is not based on Interpol,” he said, accusing Germany of being complicit with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government in Egypt.It wasn’t immediately clear who was posting to Mansour’s Facebook account, or who made the video.Mansour, who is known for his “Without Borders” program, recently conducted an interview with the head of the Nusra Front, the al-Qaida branch fighting in Syria’s civil war, which aired last month from an undisclosed location in Syria. German media reported that Mansour was in Germany for an interview he conducted here for his show.About 80 protesters gathered outside the Berlin courthouse Sunday, holding up his picture and shouting “Free Mansour!”“We don’t understand why Mansour was detained in Berlin,” said Ali Alawady, a member of the German-Egyptian Union for Democracy who helped organize the protest. “He is an innocent journalist who is unrightfully persecuted in Egypt.” FILE- In this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, staff members of Al-Jazeera International work at the news studio in Doha, Qatar. Ahmed Mansour, a prominent Al-Jazeera Arabic journalist, was detained Saturday, June 20, in Germany over an Egyptian arrest warrant, the Qatar-based broadcaster reported. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more


Value Tours explore affordability

first_imgTony Roma’s on Sussex Street, Sydney played host to Value Tours’ new product launch earlier this week. Value Tours, a staple in Australia’s travel industry for almost 40 years, have been distributing brochures and providing competitive rates for consumers in what they say has been a turbulent market. “Families taking a holiday is a right, not a privilege, ” Value Tours chief executive David Ovendale told media at lunch this week. Mr Ovendale and Jenny Hardman, Head of Product and Marketing, answered questions and gave a detailed overview of the offerings available in their new brochure amidst American-sized portions of juicy ribs. “At the end of the day affordability and the realisation that people are searching for active, interactive and cost-effective holidays pushed us to explore this realm of travel for our consumers,” Mr Ovendale said. The company’s new brochure, ‘United States, Canada and Hawaii’, presents consumers with value-added holiday packages and tours. Value Tours usually focus on their primary markets of North America and the New Zealand ski season but have decided to explore more uncluttered sections of the marketplace and focus on affordability. Ms Hardman maintained the new brochure was broad and accessible whilst perpetuating a common denominator, affordability. “We want to bring the long-haul holiday into everyone’s realm of possibilities, while securing trustworthy brand names and value accommodation with comfort,” Ms Hardman said. Targeting an older demographic, families with children and budget travellers, Value Tours new summer brochure displays a wide variety of unique packages to suit its desired audience. “We incorporate a trend on education and experience on holidays. “There’s cruising, camping and an abundance of other accommodations and tours to surprise and excite any willing participant,” Mr Ovendale said. “After a soft launch earlier this month, we’ve experienced very positive feedback from both consumers and trade” Ms Hardman told e-Travel Blackboard.Following the strong American-themed lunch, ‘Elvis’ took centre stage, which made for some rowdy table conversation and a hip-shaking display of dancing. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more