Carnivals new Alaskan voyage to include first ever visit to Icy Strait

first_img Share Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Thursday, August 25, 2016 MIAMI — For the first time, Carnival Cruise Line will offer a 14-day Alaskan voyage roundtrip from Long Beach, California in September 2017. This one-of-a-kind voyage is part of the line’s Carnival Journeys cruise enrichment series and will feature the line’s first visit to Icy Strait Point, known for whale and bear watching and home of the world’s longest zipline.The two-week-long adventure will take place aboard Carnival Miracle and depart Long Beach on Sept. 2, returning Sept. 16, 2017. In addition to Icy Strait Point, Alaskan ports include Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia.While onboard, guests can enjoy Alaskan cuisine and a special 1980s-themed ‘Throwback Sea Day.’ A wide range of local entertainment and cultural excursions await at various ports of call, ranging from photography and cooking to arts and crafts.Alternatively, Carnival Legend will also offer 38 seven- and eight-day Alaska voyages in 2017 and 2018, including seven week-long Glacier Bay cruises next year, the most voyages by Carnival to this region.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaFor more information go to << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Carnival’s new Alaskan voyage to include first ever visit to Icy Strait Point Travelweek Group last_img read more

Goways Holidays of a Lifetime return for 2017 led by 20day Waltzing

first_imgTags: Australia, Goway Travel, New Zealand Tuesday, January 3, 2017 Posted by Share Goway’s Holidays of a Lifetime return for 2017, led by 20-day Waltzing Matildacenter_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — Goway has brought back its Holidays of a Lifetime for 2017, combining the best of both Australia and New Zealand to create a one-of-a-kind holiday, the Waltzing Matilda. The 20-day guided experience blends the eight-day Best of New Zealand with the 13-day Best of Australia.The trip starts with three days in Sydney followed by a flight to North Queensland to see the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest. A few days are spent exploring on the reef and with wildlife, then the tour continues through Australia’s famous ‘Red Centre’. Clients can visit Adelaide, the festival city, on the Ghan Train, before the final stop in Melbourne.From there it’s on to New Zealand, first landing in Christchurch and then heading to Queenstown. There’s a cruise on Milford Sound, the glow-worm caves at Waitomo and the Hobbiton set in Matamata (where The Lord of the Rings triology was filmed) with the final stop in Auckland.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaGoway Holidays of a Lifetime include most meals, touring and tips with each departure including a specific theme such as Animal and Wildlife, Food and Wine, or Geography and History.A single traveller will be matched with another single traveller of the same gender, following the Twin Share Guarantee. If no roommate is available, a single room will be provided at no extra charge.The tours are directed for first time visitors, couples and single travellers, and small groups. High commissions and guaranteed departures make for an excellent suggestion for travel agents, says Goway. When surveyed on a recent tour, Goway says a client commented, “it was more expensive than other tour companies but was well worth it.” See << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Condominium Rentals Hawaii goes pink in honour of breast cancer awareness month

first_imgTags: Condominium Rentals Hawaii, Hawaii Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Condominium Rentals Hawaii goes pink in honour of breast cancer awareness month Posted by Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share MAUI — Condominium Rentals Hawaii is tickled pink after donating proceeds gained from online bookings to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.For the fourth consecutive year, CRH is joining in on the fight against cancer by donating and painting its website pink for the entire month of October.For each online vacation rental reservation made at and from Oct. 1-31, the company will donate US$10 toward breast cancer prevention. Last year, it saw significant bookings for the month of October, and if a similar trend continues this year, it will help generate a hefty donation for breast cancer awareness.“We are pleased to be able to support this worthy cause and help raise awareness of the impact this disease has on so many people every year,” said company president Allan Raikes.CRH has been managing vacation rental condos on Maui and Kauai since 1982. The company offers over 375 condos, all featuring full kitchens and private lanais within walking distance to the beach.For more information email Keith DeVey at keith@crhmaui.comlast_img read more

Chinchilla calls Nicaraguas admission over border wetlands incursion a moral victory for

first_imgNo related posts. The International Court of Justice will continue to hear Costa Rica and Nicaragua present their cases through Thursday at The Hague, but Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has already declared a “moral victory.”While the president celebrated Nicaragua’s perceived admission of guilt, the world court also agreed to hear Nicaragua’s countersuit that Costa Rica’s construction of a road caused environmental damage to the San Juan River, which serves as part of the border between the feuding countries.During the hearings, Nicaragua acknowledged that its personnel entered the restricted wetland, Isla Portillos, at the center of the protracted border dispute between the two countries, violating the world court’s precautionary measure for both sides to vacate the area.Nicaragua stopped short, however, of claiming responsibility for the dredging of two more canals, discovered on Sept. 5 by Costa Rica, and accused Edén Pastora, the Nicaraguan former guerrilla leader known as “Comandante Cero” who oversaw the original dredging in 2010, of acting alone. “Costa Rica has not provided any evidence to support its argument of irreparable harm,” said Nicaragua’s representative, U.S. attorney Paul S. Reicher.Nicaragua argued that additional precautionary measures were not necessary because it had already decamped.Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo disagreed: “They said they have left, but we don’t believe them.”Chinchilla said that Nicaragua’s behavior was “misleading” and its actions demonstrated “bad faith” toward the world court.Nicaragua will present its countersuit to the court the first week of November, when it is expected to accuse Costa Rica of committing environmental damage to the San Juan River with the construction of Route 1856. Costa Rica started construction on the frontier road as a defensive measure in 2011 in response to Nicaragua’s first dredging attempts in the Isla Portillos wetland in October 2010.Reicher said that construction of the border road was launched without an environmental impact study, and he then asked the court, ”What is causing irreparable damage: a 150-meter canal or a 160-kilometer road?”Nicaragua’s agent before the world court, Carlos Arguello, added that the alleged damage in the disputed territory “is caused not only by erosion, but by the construction of Costa Rica’s road, which caused significant environmental damage.”Nicaragua’s advisers also contend that Costa Rica failed to provide strong evidence at the hearing, and “there is no certainty that the photos presented on Monday belong to Nicaraguan territory, or that the canals have been artificially built.”Reicher stated that aerial and satellite photographs provided by Costa Rica to Nicaragua in its initial complaint were not the same as those presented to the court during the opening statements on Monday.The Costa Rican president rebuffed the accusation, claiming that the countersuit was a “distraction.”“Nicaragua’s position on the issue is unclear,” Chinchilla said after a weekly Cabinet meeting in San José on Tuesday. She highlighted Nicaragua’s admission of guilt for entering the area and the fact that Pastora was being blamed. Speaking to the daily La Prensa, international law expert Mauricio Herdocia, however, claimed a “Nicaraguan victory” after the first round of hearings, and highlighted that presentations by his country’s legal team “were strong in the sense that there was no real risk of imminent harm,” which he said was supported by reports by the University of Costa Rica and other specialists, who concluded that damage would occur only if Nicaragua had continued the project and reached the [Caribbean].“Nicaragua’s good faith was evident and no further measures are required, as the country already complied with all previous court orders,” he added.Costa Rica remains skeptical. “Can we believe Nicaragua going forward?” Chinchilla asked. “I can’t.”AFP and The Tico Times’ L. Arias contributed to this report. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Art auction raises funds to build teen cancer hospital

first_imgRelated posts:Charity auction seeks to help Costa Rican kids Flamenco superstars, Soda Stereo tribute, and other happenings around Costa Rica Art exhibit shows intersection of printed money, history, and nationalism Design Festival, Marine Corps picnic, and other happenings around Costa Rica An innovative fundraiser this week has the potential to change the lives of young people with cancer – all thanks to a brainstorm by 14-year-old Andrea Lang.Lang came up with the idea for a new cancer fundraiser during a conversation with her grandmother, the painter Ana Wien, and began to put together an auction of 40 different art pieces painted by renowned Costa Rican artists. No canvas here: the works were painted on fiberglass heads. The auction, to be held on Nov. 9 at the National Gallery in the Children’s Museum in San José, will raise funds for the nonprofit Proyecto Daniel Association to help the organization provide further support for cancer patients ages 13-21, and launch their ambitious effort to build a new cancer hospital specializing in adolescents.“As [my grandmother] is a cancer survivor, we were thinking about a project to help the cause,” Lang told The Tico Times, adding that they chose heads as the basis for the artwork to represent the fact that many cancer patients lose their hair. “We thought it was a good idea to involve nationally renowned artists to bring these heads to life for an exhibit and an auction.“The name of the event, ‘Cada cabeza es un mundo’ (‘Every head is its own world’), highlights the fact that every person is different. Even though the artists were given the same base, each one made a completely original piece of art, different from the others,” Lang added. “I also relate this to the cause because these adolescents with cancer are often seen only as a sick person, but each of them is much more than that. They have more to say, more to do and to contribute to the world.”“This is not the first time Andrea has helped Proyecto Daniel. Her contributions in the past have helped us to achieve important goals,” Ligia Bobadilla, founder of Proyecto Daniel, said in a statement. “Her spirit of solidarity is enviable, and teaches all of us that there’s always a space to help.”Artist who painted the heads include Wien, Macia Salas, Leda Astorga, Arturo Santana, Guillermo Conte, Adrián Gómez and Julia Sabah.“[With my art piece I want] to raise awareness of the multiple dimensions of the soul that make each person a bright being, which depends on the confidence in our intuition, creativity and ability to love the creation of which we are part,” Wien said. “My work emphasizes that all women can shine our own light.”“The name [of my art piece] is ‘Vigilante’,” Adrián Gómez to The Tico Times. “It highlights the attitude of female figures protecting a child playing in an idyllic environment. I hope our community art lovers attend this auction, supporting Andrea and her invaluable energy for this foundation.”“My message to all the other children and adults is that while we can, we should take a moment to help someone who is going through a bad situation,” Lang said. “The truth is that helping someone just brings out the best in you.”“Cada Cabeza es un Mundo” takes place Nov. 9 at the National Gallery, Children’s Museum, San José, at 7 p.m. You can find more information about the event on its Facebook page, and about Proyecto Daniel on the initiative’s website.Here are some samples of the art pieces that will be on exhibit and for sale: (Courtesy of Cada Cabeza es un Mundo) (Courtesy of Cada Cabeza es un Mundo) (Courtesy of Cada Cabeza es un Mundo) The sale of unique artwork will help the Proyecto Daniel Association to support teens with cancer. (Courtesy of Cada Cabeza es un Mundo) Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Disfigured Costa Rican toucan stars in Discovery documentary

first_imgImages of the disfigured Costa Rican toucan Grecia, which lost most of its upper beak in an apparent attack, appeared last year in hundreds of news outlets around the world. Now aDiscovery Networks documentary called “Toucan Nation” tells its story and its impact on Costa Rica.The 40-minute feature film directed by Tico-Salvadoran filmmaker Paula Heredia premiered Monday night at a special screening in San José. Discovery will air the documentary worldwide in August on Animal Planet.With a very emotive narrative, the documentary alternates between the uplifting story of Grecia with the national movement it sparked demanding stronger legal protections for animals and harsher penalties for animal abuse.The documentary describes the toucan’s life from the moment it settled on an avocado tree on a farm in the Alajuela canton of Grecia to the life-saving surgery that gave it a 3D-printed prosthetic beak.Farm workers thought the bird, which they first named “Panchito,” likely escaped from captivity on a nearby property since it seemed to be accustomed to humans. Its tameness might have made the bird an easy target for its attackers, one of the farmers speculated in the film.One day in January 2015, those same farmers found the bird covered in blood with a gruesomely wounded beak and reported it to the Environment Ministry. Officials took the bird to ZooAve, an animal refuge that became Grecia’s permanent home. Its caregivers there named the toucan after the town where it was found.The film follows Grecia’s recovery at the refuge along with the outrage sparked in Costa Rica and many other countries by the bird’s story. It also follows the evolution of the animal welfare bill, currently stalled at the Legislative Assembly, which would impose harsher sanctions including prison time for hurting or killing animals.Grecia’s recovery process is mostly narrated by ZooAve’s veterinarians and caregivers, who highlight the toucan’s unbreakable will to survive and heal. The toucan’s will drove ZooAve staff to launch an international crowdfunding campaign to get Grecia a prosthetic beak to allow it to feed itself and live as normal a life as possible.The film includes an interview with Charles W. Hull, known as the father of 3D printing, who joined local efforts to achieve the best design and construction for Grecia’s prosthetic beak. Hull’s California-based company 3D Systems provided the 3D printing of the beak, which was jointly designed by a group of Costa Rican industrial designers, dentists, engineers, ornithologists and other professionals.The documentary’s final scenes show the prosthetic beak being assembled and the toucan’s positive reactions to it. The audience at the premier Monday gave the film a standing ovation.Despite the improvement in the bird’s quality of life, Grecia will remain at the zoo, as experts believe it would not be able to survive in the wild.But the toucan now has a new, bigger cage which the public can visit likely in August, following the international premiere of the documentary. The new cage is 7 meters high, 10 meters wide and 9 meters deep, ZooAve reported. Filmmaker Paula Heredia (right) and former ZooAve veterinarian Carmen Soto attend the premiere of Heredia’s “Toucan Nation” on July 18, 2016 in San José. L. Arias/The Tico TimesProducing ‘Toucan Nation’Heredia is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York. She received an Emmy for the HBO documentary “In Memoriam, NYC 9/11/01” and an ACE Eddie Award for the documentary “Unzipped,” among other accolades.Heredia told The Tico Times that she first heard about Grecia on a radio news report. She immediately called her friends in Costa Rica to find out more about the toucan. Her next call was to Discovery Channel’s executive producer John Hoffman, who also had just heard the radio report. “We immediately agreed that Grecia’s story was something worth telling,” she said.Heredia said that, for her, Grecia is an icon. The bird’s story brought together disparate groups to agreed that something had to be done against animal abuse in Costa Rica.“It was evident for us that Grecia’s story was powerful, it attracted the interest of different sectors, from animal activists and scientists to the executive branch and the Legislative Assembly,” she said.“Grecia is now a symbol,” Heredia noted, adding that there are many “Grecias” of many other species that have suffered abuse. She said for the production group it made perfect sense to tell the bird’s story so that it could become the voice for many other abused animals.Production of “Toucan Nation,” known in Spanish as “El Tucán que Inspiró a una Nación,” took a year and a half, including nearly seven months of filming in Costa Rica and in the U.S.“It was a highly demanding project, but no effort can compare to the one Grecia made to survive,” Heredia said.“Toucan Nation” officially premiered in June at the Sheffield Documentary Festival in England and in the U.S. at the American Film Institute’s documentary film festival.Heredia said the reception at both festivals was great, mainly because the audience empathized with the animal rights issues.The film has also had a limited release in some theaters in Los Angeles. Heredia said she will keep presenting her documentary in other festivals following its TV release.Animal Planet will air “Toucan Nation” in 170 countries starting August 2, while Animal Planet Latin America will broadcast it for Mexico and Central America on August 3 at 8 p.m. (Costa Rica time), the channel reported. Grecia became a symbol for animal welfare groups asking lawmakers to pass a bill that would criminalize animal abuse. (Via ZooAve’s Facebook)Animal welfare bill still pendingNational Liberation Party lawmaker Ronny Monge attended the Costa Rica premiere and added to the evening spirit by confirming that legislators agreed Monday to remove more than 70 motions filed against the animal welfare bill, hopefully easing the stalemate over its approval.The agreement means the bill could be discussed and voted on in a first round as soon as next Tuesday. To become law, the bill needs to pass two separate rounds of voting.Monge said Libertarian Movement lawmaker Otto Guevara, who filed most of the motions against the bill, and Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker Johnny Leiva agreed to remove all of their objections under the condition that the bill be sent to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, to asses whether it is constitutional.Lawmakers also agreed to amend the bill to eliminate the possibility that killing animals for consumption could be deemed cruel under the law, Monge said. If there are no further delays, the bill could be passed by the legislature by the end of August, he added.Watch a video of Grecia produced last year by The Tico Times: Facebook Comments Related posts:Grecia, the toucan with the prosthetic beak, now receiving visitors Toucan dies after being shot with BB gun New cases of animal abuse spark criticism of President Solís, lawmakers President Solís signs new Animal Welfare Lawlast_img read more

AlQaida incites Tunisians against ruling party

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on the Tunisian people to rise up against the country’s Islamist ruling party for accepting a constitution not based on Islamic Shariah law, according to a recording released Sunday.In an audio recording posted on militant forums, al-Zawahri said the leaders of the Ennahda party, a moderate Islamist group that formed a new government after October elections, are violating Islam’s teachings by accepting a constitution that does not consider Shariah the sole source for legislation. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Al-Zawahri said Ennahda favors “an Islam accepted by the U.S. State Department, the EU and the sheikdoms of the Gulf, an Islam that accepts gambling clubs and nude beaches.”“It is strange to see a leadership party that claims to be associated with moderate Islam and at the same time it says it does not call for ruling by Islam,” he said.He said that the moderate Islam meant that an “Islam which accepts Muslims to fight alongside the American army in Afghanistan.”“Rise up to support your Shariah and incite the people for a popular uprising instigating them to defend the Shariah and tell them what about what (plot) is being hatched against Islam,” he said.Al-Zawahri took over as leader of al-Qaida after its founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a U.S. military strike last May. He compared moderate Islam that does not depend on the Shariah to “a hospital that has nothing to do with treatment, or a pharmacy that has nothing to do with selling drugs, or an army which is not interested in fighting.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

How selection of Chinas new leadership works

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories THE LEADERSHIPAfter the congress ends, the Central Committee meets Thursday to select a Politburo, roughly 25 members, and from that group, the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of power. The current standing committee has nine members, though party-connected academics say that may be whittled to seven this time. Two members are considered shoo-ins: Xi and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is expected to be named premier. The Central Committee also appoints the party commission that oversees the military. A critical question is whether Hu will stay as military commission head; a top general said Wednesday Hu would not. His predecessor, Jiang, did so, hanging on for more than two years and casting a shadow over Hu’s efforts to consolidate power.THE BACKSTORYChoosing the new leaders involves fractious bargaining that attempts to balance out factions and interest groups in the party. Two of the next leaders, Xi and Li, were anointed five years ago, inducted into Hu’s leadership to provide continuity. Xi is seen as ex-President Jiang’s man; Li as Hu’s. Deciding the rest of the lineup has seen unexpectedly sharp-elbowed jostling this year. Bo Xilai, a populist politician seen as a rising star, was cashiered after an aide disclosed that his wife murdered a British businessman. He awaits prosecution, and deciding his fate divided the leadership. A Hu ally was also sidelined after his son died in a Ferrari crash, weakening Hu. How weak will be apparent by counting his allies in the new leadership. HIDDEN RULESChina, like most Communist governments, has a history of violent, unpredictable leadership successions. One of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong’s named successors died in an alleged failed coup. Party leaders have instituted informal age and term limits to smooth out power transfers. Party chiefs are limited to two five-year terms, while senior leaders 68 years or older at the time of a congress are considered too old to serve in a new leadership. Jiang’s stepping aside for Hu in 2002 was the first orderly succession since the party came to power in 1949.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Check your body, save your life Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 0 Comments   Share   center_img (AP) – China’s Communist elite are meeting to install a new generation of leaders in a process that is part public show and part backroom politicking.At the center of the spectacle is the Communist Party congress, a gathering held once every five years that ended Wednesday and is the 18th such event in the party’s history. The congress is more interlude than climax. Important decisions are made by current and retired leaders, some of whom are not even on the congress delegates’ roster, in bargaining that began years ago and has largely been already resolved. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Here’s a look at how it works:THE DELEGATESSelecting delegates to the congress began months ago, with recommendations made by the party’s 82 million members, which are then vetted, winnowed and voted on twice. In practice, the selection is controlled by the party’s personnel division, giving the leadership room to make sure the powerful and their key proteges are included. President Hu Jintao, who will retire as party general secretary, is a delegate from Jiangsu province, where he grew up but has not lived for four decades. Most of the 2,268 delegates are chosen to show that the congress is broadly representative. Only the opinions of a small subset matter. One power-broker, retired President Jiang Zemin, is a specially invited delegate, a sign of his continuing influence in the leadership bargaining.THE CONGRESSHeld over seven days, the congress selected the Central Committee, the party’s policy-setting body, naming 376 full members and non-voting alternates drawn from the upper echelons of the party, government and military. The congress also named the party’s internal watchdog agency. Though the powerful hold sway in determining the outcome, there is room for dissent on the margins. Candidates outnumber seats by a tiny percentage. Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu as party chief, barely made it into the committee in 1997 in what was seen as a vote against nepotism. His father was a patriarch of the revolution. This time rank-and-file delegates have been told to “maintain unity” with the leadership. Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Macedonia 38 police 1 protester hurt in overnight clashes

first_imgA man walks in front of a barricade of burning trash containers set up on a street by protesters to block the police during a protest in Skopje Macedonia, late Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Violent clashes broke out late Tuesday at a demonstration in the Macedonian capital Skopje protesting the 2011 death of a 22-year-old beaten by police during post-election celebrations. The violence came hours after Macedonia’s opposition leader accused the country’s prime minister of attempting to cover up the death of Martin Neskoski. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Violent clashes overnight between protesters and police in the Macedonian capital Skopje left 38 officers and one protester injured, while 30 people were detained, authorities said Wednesday.Six of the officers were hospitalized with serious injuries, Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska said.“It was a brutal attack on the police,” she said, adding that protesters threw eggs, bottles and stones and used metal bars to beat police. The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe voiced concern at the violence, urging restraint from police and protesters alike.“The right to peacefully gather and protest is a constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens in the country,” Ralf Breth, head of the OSCE mission to Skopje, said. “However, such protests should not be marred by violence.”More than 1,000 people gathered late Tuesday in front of the government building to protest the 2011 death of 22-year-old Martin Neskoski, who was killed in a police beating during postelection celebrations.The clashes broke out hours after Macedonia’s opposition leader accused the country’s conservative prime minister of attempting to cover up Neskoski’s death.Social Democrat head Zoran Zaev on Tuesday released dozens of audio recordings he says are from illegal wiretaps, in which people purported to be Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the country’s intelligence chief, its interior minister and other officials discuss how to cover up the killing.The recordings are part of a series of wiretaps Zaev has been releasing over the past few months amid Macedonia’s most severe political crisis in years. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The vital role family plays in society Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Jankulovska described Zaev’s claims as “monstrous” and accused him of abusing the death of a young man to achieve his own political goals.Zaev has accused Gruevski of being behind the illegal wiretaps of about 20,000 Macedonians, including journalists, judges, foreign ambassadors and members of the government. He says unspecified people gave him the recordings, which he has been releasing to the public and the media.Gruevski has denied all accusations, countering that the wiretaps were done by unspecified foreign spies and accusing Zaev in turn of plotting a coup.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 academiescenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life Top Stories Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

Corruption scandal ousts Guatemalan vice president

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories People gather near Congress in Guatemala City, Friday, May 8, 2015, after learning that Guatemala’s Vice President Roxana Baldetti resigned amid a customs corruption scandal that has implicated her former private secretary. President Otto Perez Molina announced on Friday that Baldetti will leave office. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 After the announcement of her resignation, hundreds of people celebrated in the streets of the capital, shooting off firecrackers and honking horns.“Roxana’s resignation is a victory for the people!” jubilant protesters chanted in central Constitution Square.Thousands more turned out for another celebratory rally Saturday.A former journalist and businesswoman, Baldetti was one of the founders of Perez Molina’s conservative Patriotic Party in 2001, served as head of its congressional delegation and was its secretary-general until earlier this year.Her resignation adds to disarray for the governing party ahead of the Sept. 6 elections. Its presidential candidate, Alejandro Sinibaldi, quit the party last month, complaining of corruption and of feuds with Baldetti. Perez Molina’s approval ratings have been plummeting.Perez Molina said he would send congress a list of three names from which a new vice president can be selected.At least 50 private citizens and public officials, including Guatemala’s current and former tax chiefs, are suspects in the customs scandal. Prosecutors said 27 are in custody.Earlier Friday, authorities arrested five lawyers who allegedly bribed a judge to free suspects jailed in connection with the case. GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala’s once-powerful vice president formally lost her post Saturday as the congress accepted her resignation, leaving office amid a customs corruption scandal that has implicated her former private secretary.In a letter released late Friday, Roxana Baldetti said the move means she is giving up her immunity from possible prosecution and promised “to collaborate with all investigations” into the graft scheme. She has denied any involvement in the alleged bribery. 0 Comments   Share   Prosecutors and a U.N. investigative commission said the attorneys paid Judge Marta Sierra Stalling to release the three suspects on bail.Authorities revoked bail and were seeking to lift Sierra Stalling’s judicial immunity in order to launch an investigation.In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke expressed support of Perez Molina’s “efforts to address charges of official corruption in Guatemala,” as well as the U.N. panel known as the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. President Oscar Perez Molina called the decision “brave” and said it was a personal decision. Legislators voted 149-0 at a special session to accept her stepping down.A court later issued an order barring Baldetti from leaving the country during the investigation. The order was sought by Guatemalan prosecutors and a U.N. commission formed to investigate criminal networks and fight impunity in the Central American country.Baldetti is the first Guatemalan vice president to step down due to a corruption case, although prosecutors have not implicated her in the scandal and she denies involvement.The resignation shows the continuing impact of the U.N. commission, which has been in Guatemala since 2007. It worked with prosecutors who brought charges in the customs case.Baldetti’s former aide, Juan Carlos Monzon Rojas, is alleged to have been the ringleader of a scheme to defraud the state of millions of dollars by taking bribes in exchange for lower customs duties. Monzon’s last known whereabouts were overseas, and he is currently being sought by authorities.Recent days had seen rising calls for Baldetti’s resignation by protesters and influential business leaders. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that congress would have the power to strip her of the immunity from prosecution that came with her office. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

Boehner Obama should draft second version of new war powers

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The White House pushed back on Tuesday against House Speaker John Boehner who said that President Barack Obama should rip up his draft of new war powers to fight Islamic State militants and send Congress a new one.Early this year, lawmakers asked Obama to send a draft of war powers he would like to see in a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Congress believes a new AUMF is needed because Obama is relying on war authorizations given to President George W. Bush after 9/11. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories “After 10 months of the House avoiding the responsibility to even have any meaningful debate on the current war on IS, the Speaker’s plea for the president to submit a new authorization is clearly an admission that the House cannot initiate discussion of an issue of this magnitude,” Kaine said.He said that means the Senate should take up the issue as soon as possible.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Boehner accused the president of having no strategy to fight IS and lamented the group’s weekend takeover of the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi.“The president’s request for an authorization of the use of military force calls for less authority than he has today,” Boehner said. “I just think, given the fight that we’re in, it’s irresponsible. This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of the use of military force and start over.”White House press secretary Josh Earnest accused Congress of being “AWOL when it comes to the AUMF.”He said the White House sent up its draft of new war powers in February and has held dozens of meetings about it with Democratic and Republican lawmakers and members of their staffs.“At some point, it has to be the responsibility of the Speaker of the House to do his job and for members of Congress to do their job,” Earnest said. “And we have not seen members of Congress, and we certainly haven’t seen the Speaker of the House do his job when it comes to this specific matter.”Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said Boehner’s request is evidence that the House is avoiding a debate on the issue. How men can have a healthy 2019 The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Man refused entry into the UK after 31kg weight gain

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F A British man was denied entry to the UK and forced to spend three months in Amsterdam because he didn’t resemble his passport photo after gaining 31kg. Derrick Agyeman, 37, is now considering taking legal action against the border officials who refused him entry into the UK after spending a weekend with friends in Amsterdam in August 2006. Border officials said his fuller lips and ears did not match his passport photograph — which was taken nine years previously. After the incident occurred, Mr Agyeman was forced to stay in Amsterdam for three months before being granted permission to return to the UK. He lodged an appeal in Britain’s High Court this month regarding his mistreatment but it was dismissed.He is currently considering an appeal.last_img read more

Fuel hurts tourism growth IATA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The rising cost of fuel continues to ‘hurt’ tourism, according to the International Air Transport Association chief executive Tony Tyler, who stressed oil now accounts for up to 34 percent of average operating costs.The aviation Group’s head explained the small 4.4 percent growth in passenger capacity during March this year compared to last year could be pinned to ‘stubborn’ fuel costs which shot up to $147/barrel in July last year.Although having since fallen back to $50/barrel in November, Mr Tyler said the industry had never before “sustained [such] high oil prices”.“Jet fuel prices have risen 8% since January,” he said.  “Considering that fuel now accounts for 34% of average operating costs, it’s an increase that hurts.”For the third month of 2012, international travel almost reached double digit growth with 9.6 percent increase on the same period last year, while the domestic market experienced a slow growth of 4.5 percent. Middle Eastern airlines recorded the strongest traffic growth for the month with a 20.9 percent growth in demand followed by African airlines with 14.3 percent more demand. Europeans and Asia Pacific carriers carried eight percent more travellers during the month while North American and Latin American airlines saw their passenger count increase 5.3 percent and 7.7 percent. last_img read more

Wild weather causes cancellations

first_imgVirgin Australia continues to cancel flights across the country due to extreme weather conditions battering the east coast of Queensland and New South Wales.As of this morning, 19 Virgin Australia services had been cancelled including flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Canberra and the Gold Coast.Severe crosswinds caused 43 Virgin Australia cancellations and numerous delays on Monday, The Australian reported.Most carriers servicing domestic Australian routes have posted major disruption notices on their websites, together with policy details explaining their options.“What we’re really trying to ask guests to do is actually check their particular flight status online because that will let them know whether there have been delays of up to two hours, for example, and hopefully that will minimise the wait time at the airport,” a Virgin spokesperson said.In related news, Qantas customers faced delays and cancellations in North Queensland over the weekend, owing to a Telstra outage which affected the airline’s reservation system. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Australian domestic services delayed due to storms. Image: Richard Hatherlylast_img read more

CEB launches GetGo rewards program

first_imgCebu Pacific Air has rolled out its brand new rewards program GetGo, aimed for frequent flyers as part of the airline’s 19th anniversary on March 8, 2015.Members of GetGo can earn GetGo points when flying with Cebu Pacific, and the GetGo points can earn them free flights.CEB president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei, said that the airline has been fortunate enough to develop a solid base of frequent fliers.“With 1.4 million CEB Club members and 630 corporate accounts, we will be able to serve them with GetGo. Now, our frequent fliers can get rewarded with more benefits and free flights,” Mr Gokongwei said.GetGo general manager Nik Laming, said that GetGo will encourage members to get points and go places.“GetGo encourages members to Get Points and Go Places. We will be introducing more partners in the coming months, so there will be more opportunities to earn points, and fly with Cebu Pacific for free,” Mr Laming said.Those who signed up for CEB Club, CEB’s previous membership program, are automatically GetGo members.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Renaissance Hotels add nineteenth property in China

first_imgRenaissance Suzhou Wujiang HotelRenaissance Hotels add nineteenth property in ChinaMarriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) further expands its business in China with the opening of the Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel in Shengze, an ancient city with a modern and thriving economy. The new hotel is the first international hospitality brand in the area and the 19th Renaissance branded property to open in China.“As one of Marriott International’s leading lifestyle brands, Renaissance Hotels is dedicated to helping guests discover the unexpected wherever they travel,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operation Official, Greater China of Marriott International. “We are extremely proud of the opening of the Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel, marking the 19th Renaissance hotel in China, in addition to five Marriott International brands already flourishing within China.  Our goal is to make Marriott International the most popular global tourism company in Asia Pacific,” added Lee.Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel Guest RoomThe new Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel has 296 well-appointed guest rooms including 15 spacious suites that have their own kitchenettes with refrigerators. Picturesque lake views can be enjoyed by approximately half the rooms, while all guest rooms feature plush bedding, high speed wireless internet, an LED TV and a spacious work area. Guests staying on one of the hotel’s four Club Floors enjoy access to the Club Lounge and exclusive services such as expedited check-in and check-out, complimentary breakfast buffet, in addition to daily tea, coffee and snacks.“We anticipate immediate strong demand due to Renaissance’s exceptional reputation for defying business travel conventions for guests who crave unexpected experiences,” said Mr. Alex Tse Kam Chiu, General Manager of Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel. “Moreover, the area has great potential for further growth as a tourism destination and commercial center.”Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel RestaurantThe Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang brings Shengze its first five-star dining destination managed by an internationally acclaimed Food & Beverage team. General manager Mr. Tse is also a platinum member and gold medal winner of the Les Amis d’Escoffier Society and a Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France. A 26-year veteran of the restaurant industry with years of five-star hotel experience, he will be overseeing food and beverage operations.Guests can enjoy exceptional dining at Wan Li Chinese Restaurant where flavors of Canton, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces are served in a chic and inviting interior within 11 exquisitely designed private dining rooms.A wide range of international specialties are prepared in open kitchens at Food Studio, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant that offers buffet and a la cart dining.Smokimoto Korean Restaurant in the Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel offers delicious traditional Korean dishes including a sumptuous barbeque selection as well as fresh Japanese sashimi.Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel Lobby BarLocals and guests alike have the perfect place to unwind in R Bar, a chic and energetic evening gathering place that offers live music, a variety of canapés, cocktails, craft beers and fresh juices.Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel also boasts a 24-Hour Fitness Center with top-notch exercise machines and an aerobics room, as well as an indoor heated swimming pool boasting magnificent lake views.Impressive conference and meeting facilities make Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel the ideal place for weddings, corporate events and private gatherings of all styles and sizes with total floor space of 3,800 square meters supported by a dedicated and experienced events planning team. The Grand Ballroom offers 1,600 square meters of pillar-less space that can be partitioned into three smaller rooms, and is equipped with a stunning 140 square meter LCD screen and state-of-the-art audiovisual system. The Junior Ballroom is 400 square meters in area and can also be partitioned into three sections. There are also six multipurpose rooms for small groups and meetings.As a major stop along the ancient Silk Road, Shengze was a famously prosperous base for silk production.  Its remaining Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty buildings now draw thousands of tourists each year. Today silk remains the focus of a more diversified local economy for Shengze, which also includes a burgeoning high-tech sector and hundreds of foreign enterprises. Local businesses benefit from the city’s location at the junction of three of the most economically developed administrative divisions of China – Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province and the Municipality of Shanghai.Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotel is a one-hour trip by car from Shanghai Hongqiao International and the Suzhou Railway Station. The hotel is only six kilometers from Shengze Coach Station. Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotelbook and stay Source = Renaissance Suzhou Wujiang Hotellast_img read more

Save up to 12 percent on selected European cities with roomsXML

first_imgAn Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scot walk into a roomsXML booking ?….. Sure – its bad humour, but  what is not funny is the fact that roomsXML is heavily discounting selected properties in the following locations:London – Home of the Gerkin, The Shard and the London Eye.roomsXML has over 4000 Properties across EnglandScotland – Home to the Heilan coo (the shaggy sheep), Hogmanay, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and Haggis.roomsXML has 769 Properties across ScotlandDublin – Beer, Leprechauns and castles just about sums it up.roomsXML has 69 Properties in Northern Ireland roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Save up to 12 percent on selected European cities with roomsXMLcenter_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsXML.comlast_img read more

SWISS reports record in passenger volume for 2016

first_imgSwiss International Air Lines (SWISS) transported 16,517,559 passengers in 2016, a 1.3% increase on 2015, which had itself been a record year in passenger volume terms. A total of 145,868 flights were operated system wide in 2016, some 0.5% more than the previous year. Of these, 127,055 (up 0.3%) were within Europe and 18,813 (up 2.1%) were on intercontinental routes.Annual system-wide capacity was raised 6.6% in available seat-kilometre (ASK) terms. Annual traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), was up 4.0%. On its European network, SWISS raised its ASK capacity by 2.6%, while its RPK traffic volumes saw a 0.2% decline. On its intercontinental services, ASK capacity was raised by 8.5%, while RPK volumes were a 5.7% increase on the previous year.The airfreight business of Swiss World Cargo achieved a cargo load factor (by volume) of 75.2% for 2016, a slight 0.7 percentage points below its prior-year level. Annual cargo sales, by contrast, were raised 7.1% in revenue-tonne-kilometre terms.In December 2016 SWISS carried 1,272,691 passengers, a 5.7% increase on the prior-year period. A total of 11,119 flights were operated in the month, 1.7% fewer than in December 2015.System-wide ASK capacity for December was raised 6.6% from its prior-year level.last_img read more

BofA Citigroup Reveal Troubles in Q4 Earnings

first_img January 17, 2013 429 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Citigroup Fannie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers 2013-01-17 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing BofA, Citigroup Reveal Troubles in Q4 Earningscenter_img “”Bank of America””: and “”Citigroup””: both released their fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, revealing the scars their legacy mortgage issues have left.[IMAGE]BofA reported net income of $732 million, a significant decline from $2 billion in Q4 2011. The bank did better on a year-long scale, coming in at $4.2 billion (well above its $1.4 billion income in 2011).BofA funded $22.5 billion in residential home loans and home equity loans during the fourth quarter, an increase of 41 percent from the same quarter in 2011. That figure excludes correspondent business, which the company exited in late 2011. Credit quality also improved, with the number of 60-plus day delinquent loans declining 17 percent from the third quarter. As such, the company reported a 25 percent drop in provisions for credit losses.For all of that growth, however, BofA’s Commercial Real Estate Services division reported a net loss of $3.7 billion. Most of that hit came from “”settling claims””: over mortgages [COLUMN_BREAK]sold to Fannie Mae. The bank also noted a $1.1 billion provision for its part in the “”recent agreement””: to accelerate the Independent Foreclosure Review of alleged abuses.While those issues proved to be a major drag on BofA’s fourth-quarter earnings, CFO Bruce Thompson said the bank is glad to rid itself of those concerns.””We addressed significant legacy issues in 2012 and our strengths are coming through,”” Thompson said.Legal expenses also weighed down profits at Citigroup, though the company did manage to come out ahead on a yearly basis with a $1.2 billion profit in Q4. Citi’s full net income in 2012 was $7.5 billion.Increased mortgage revenues brought up the Global Consumer Banking division, which posted revenues of $10.2 billion (4 percent up from the prior year).However, Citi suffered from $1.3 billion in legal and related expenses, and its earnings weren’t elevated much by the release of only $86 million from its loan loss reserve (versus $1.5 billion in Q4 2011).While Citi pulled ahead compared to last year, its earnings still fell well short of forecasts, and CEO Michael Corbat (who replaced former executive Vikram Pandit following Citi’s Q3 2012 earnings report) has gone on the defensive.””Our bottom line earnings reflect an environment that remains challenging–with businesses working through issues like spread compression and regulatory changes–as well as the costs of putting legacy issues behind us,”” Corbat said. “”It will take some time to work through the challenges of the current environment but realizing our core earnings potential, as well as improving our returns on assets and tangible equity, are critical goals going forward.”” Sharelast_img read more

Americans More Secure Financially Expect Further Home Price Growth

first_imgAmericans More Secure Financially; Expect Further Home Price Growth in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News As government data points to depreciating home prices in certain areas of the country, a new survey released this week shows more than half of Americans still expect prices to increase over the next 12 months.According to poll results released Tuesday by personal finance site, 53 percent of consumers anticipate home prices will increase over the next 12 months, while 8 percent said prices will drop. Those percentages compare to 55 percent last year who said that prices would rise and 9 percent who (wrongly) predicted a decline.”Housing, like the stock market, is something consumers look to as an indicator for whether things are headed in the right direction,” said Greg McBride, CFA, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “When home prices fall, everyone gets a little queasy—homeowners and renters alike. The expectation of continued home price increases underscores an expectation for continued improvement in the job market, household finances and the overall economy.”In all, consumers expressed more positive feelings regarding their personal financial situation, propelling Bankrate’s Financial Security Index up to 100.4 for September, the first increase in two months. The index topped out for the year in January at 102.6 and has remained above the 100 mark (the level that illustrates improvement over the prior year) for seven of the year’s nine months.For the most part, respondents expressed slightly higher confidence in most of the index categories, with 26 percent saying they feel more secure in their jobs compared to last year (as opposed to 14 percent feeling less secure), 27 percent saying their net worth is higher (20 percent said lower), and 27 percent saying their overall financial situation has improved (compared to 26 percent who said the opposite).On the topics of savings and debt, responses were less positive, with only 19 percent saying they’re more comfortable with the amount of money they have in savings—compared to 35 percent who said they’re less comfortable—and equal shares saying they are either more or less comfortable with the amount of debt they’ve acquired.Breaking down the demographics, Bankrate found a major divergence between responses offered by men and those given by women. While men’s feelings of financial security improved across all five categories, women’s feelings dipped in every one:33 percent of men said they have more job security than they did last year compared to 18 percent of women.39 percent of women are less comfortable with the amount they have saved compared to 31 percent of men.26 percent of men are comfortable with their debt, while only 18 percent of women said the same.34 percent of men said their net worth is higher than a year ago compared with 21 percent of women.All things considered, 30 percent of women said their financial situation is worse. Only 22 percent of men gave the same response. September 24, 2014 459 Views center_img Bankrate Confidence Home Prices 2014-09-24 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more