Royal sighting Prince Harry checks into Sandals Grande St Lucian

first_img Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Posted by Royal sighting! Prince Harry checks into Sandals Grande St. Lucian Tags: Sandals Resorts Travelweek Group center_img Share SAINT LUCIA — Sandals has rolled out the red carpet for Prince Harry of Wales, who recently spent two days in Saint Lucia during an official tour of seven Caribbean nations.The charismatic prince arrived at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort on Nov. 24 to a royal welcome from Sandals General Manager Winston Anderson and his team of resort executives. During his stay, Prince Harry dined in the Langara Room, which he later raved about for its food and top-notch service.Prince Harry with Winston Anderson, General Manager, Sandals Grande St. LucianThis marks the second time the prince has visited a Sandals resort. In 2012, he was hosted at an evening reception on the private island at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay during his official visit to Jamaica. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Aimia rejects Grupo Aeromexicos US180 million offer for PLM stake

first_img The Canadian Press TORONTO — Aimia Inc. has rejected an unsolicited US$180-million offer by Mexican airline operator Grupo Aeromexico to buy the Montreal-based company’s stake in their joint loyalty program PLM.The proposed transaction to buy Aimia’s 48.9% stake in Premier Loyalty & Marketing (PLM), a joint venture which owns the Club Premier frequent flyer program, would have given Grupo Aeromexico full control.“The Company has promptly rejected the offer as it believes that its stake in PLM is worth significantly more than the offer price, which reflected no improvement whatsoever to the terms previously proposed by Aeromexico to Aimia in prior discussions between the parties,” Aimia said in a statement Thursday.Aimia noted that PLM generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of US$77.4-million in 2017, and the contract between the two parties runs until 2030.The offer came one day after a group led by Air Canada offered to buy Aimia’s loyalty business Aeroplan in a deal valued at $2.25 billion, including points liabilities they would assume.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedAir Canada told its clients that the proposed transaction, which expires Aug. 2, would allow customers to transfer their points to the airline’s own loyalty program when it launches in 2020.Grupo Aeromexico said Thursday that the US$180 million price tag, including dividends and marketing fees paid to Aimia since its investment, represents an annualized rate of return for the Montreal-based company of approximately 18%. The group also said launching an initial public offering of PLM is not an option.“For this reason it is Aeromexico’s view that the best long-term solution for all stakeholders is for Aeromexico to acquire the equity stake currently held by Aimia,” it said in a statement. Friday, July 27, 2018 Tags: Aimia Inc, Grupo Aeromexico Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Aimia rejects Grupo Aeromexico’s US$180 million offer for PLM stakelast_img read more

Solid traffic growth record load factor for the month says IATA

first_img Thursday, August 30, 2018 Travelweek Group Solid traffic growth, record load factor for the month, says IATA Tags: IATA, Statistics Posted bycenter_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> GENEVA — IATA’s latest stats shows healthy global passenger demand with all regions reporting growth.Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) for July 2018 rose 6.2%, compared to the same month last year.While this was down from 8.1% year-over-year growth in June, it nevertheless marked a solid start to the peak passenger demand season, said IATA.Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.5% and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to a record high for July of 85.2%.“The industry posted another month of solid traffic growth. And the record load factor shows that airlines are becoming even more efficient in terms of deploying capacity to meet demand. However, rising costs – particularly fuel – will likely limit the stimulus we would expect from lower airfares. Therefore, we do expect to see a continued slowing of growth compared to 2017,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.North American airlines’ traffic climbed 4.1% compared to July 2017. This was down from 6% growth in June, but still ahead of the five-year average pace for carriers in the region as strong momentum in the U.S. economy is helping underpin a pick-up in international demand for airlines there.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Capacity for the month was up 2.8% with the result that load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 87.2%, second highest among the regions.last_img read more

Turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval found murdered on Playa Moín in Costa

first_imgRelated posts:Murdered Costa Rican conservationist had been chased by AK-47-wielding poachers Why Jairo died Costa Rica seeks arrest, extradition from US of Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson Did a judge in the Crucitas mine case leak trial information to Industrias Infinito? At around 6 a.m. on Friday, the body of 26-year-old Jairo Mora Sandoval, a young Costa Rican conservationist who monitored and protected turtle nests, was found on Moín Beach, on the northern Caribbean coast.In a statement by the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) on May 31, Mora had been badly beaten and shot in the head, and his hands were tied behind his back. In an updated statement on June 3 the OIJ said an autopsy revealed that Mora was found naked outside of the car he used for patrols and that he died from a hard blow to the head and affixiation from sand. It was unclear whether or not Mora had been shot.Mora had worked as a beach monitor for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) at Moín, said WIDECAST’s Costa Rica Coordinator Didiher Chacón. The program has seen an increase in poachers, Chacón said, and a recent story in a national daily quoted Mora linking the poaching to drug traffickers.“With everything we know about what happened, it seems like it was an act of revenge,” Chacón said. “Jairo didn’t drink. He didn’t smoke. He wasn’t involved in those kinds of things. We think it must have had to do with his work.”On April 23, Mora posted a call for help to authorities on his Facebook page after a night of poaching raids.“Send messages to the police so they come to Moín beach.. tell them not to be afraid but to come armed… 60 turtles lost and there wasn’t even a single nest… we need help and fast,” Mora wrote.According to a press release from the OIJ, Mora was on patrol Thursday night along with four foreign volunteers – three women from the U.S. and one from Spain. At approximately 11:30 p.m., Mora stepped out of the car to move a tree trunk from the road and was grabbed by at least five masked men with guns.The men then drove the car to a nearby abandoned house where they left the four women guarded by two of the assailants, while Mora and the three other men drove off in the car. Once the women realized that their guards had left, they walked to a butterfly farm where Mora had worked and called the police.Mora’s body was found less than a kilometer away from the abandoned house, and an autopsy is pending. The OIJ and local police say that they have not yet determined a motive for the case or a possible link to drug trafficking.Limón police and the Coast Guard began patrolling Moín Beach on May 6 after a number of nests were sacked by poachers. According to Erick Calderón, the Limón chief of police, there were five police officers on duty that night, and they had been in radio contact with Mora an hour before the incident.“The goal of the police patrols was less about protecting volunteers and more about increasing the number of eyes and ears on the beach,” Calderón said. “It’s a large area of 18 km and it’s completely dark. There is no way to monitor every part of it at all times.”The U.S. Embassy in San José called the killing “senseless” in a Facebook posting shortly after the murder Friday.WIDECAST has closed the program following the incident, and has said that they will no longer send staff or volunteers to monitor the beach.“We can’t risk human lives for this project,” Chacón said. “But this is probably the exact result that the killers were hoping for.”This is a developing story, and was last updated at 7:34 p.m. on June 4. Follow for additional updates. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica is losing 30 percent of its ecosystems study finds

first_imgRelated posts:Scientists from 15 countries study deep carbon sources in Costa Rica Climate change threatens human’s and wildlife’s access to water, says new report ‘Vaccinated’ mosquitoes released in Rio to combat dengue Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure Some of Costa Rica’s ecosystems could be on the verge of disappearing, says a new study released at the Mesoamerican Protected Areas Congress, held this week in San José. The report was issued by Costa Rica’s Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in coordination with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).By analyzing environmental degradation in 42 different areas between 1960 and 2010, researchers determined that 30 percent of Costa Rica’s ecosystems are in danger of losing their useful attributes such as providing drinking water or fighting climate change.Researchers found the largest amount of environmental degradation in the country’s northeastern plains, including in the Caribbean tourist hub of Tortuguero. According to researchers, most of these problems can be attributed to the loss of forest cover.The IUCN – which creates the Red List of Threatened Species – initiated the research as part of an initiative to create a Red List of Ecosystems. The IUCN hopes the list will be used as a risk-management tool to protect endangered ecosystems. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Opposition lawmakers maintain control of Legislative Assemblys Directorate

first_imgUPDATE. May 2. 3:44 p.m.Lawmakers from various parties on Tuesday agreed to nominate Libertarian Movement Party’s Natalia Díaz Quintana for the pending Vice President post. A total of 47 lawmakers voted in favor of Díaz. Six blank and null votes were added for a total of 53 votes.President Luis Guillermo Solís will present his State of the Nation speech at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Original story follows:After nine hours of negotiations, including several recesses, evangelical lawmaker Gonzalo Ramírez Zamora became President of the Legislative Assembly Directorate for the last year of the current legislative term.Ramírez, 45, a pastor and lawyer from the Costa Rican Renovation Party, got 26 votes, with 24 going to the ruling Citizen Action Party’s candidate, Ottón Solís Fallas. According to legislative rules, the blank and null votes – a total of seven – were added to the winner’s tally, so the final result presented at approximately 6 p.m. was 33-24.Election mistakeThe voting process, however, was far from over. Shortly after 10 p.m., right after the last vote, outgoing Directorate President Antonio Álvarez Desanti announced that legislators would be forced to annul the election of Silvia Sánchez Vega as Vice President and hold a new vote.Sánchez, 28, does not qualify for the post, because the Constitution establishes that directorate’s President and Vice President should be at least 30 years old, Álvarez said.After a new recess Álvarez confirmed that lawmakers had broken quorum and that they would resume the session at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, holding the election just prior to President Luis Guillermo Solís’s State of the Nation speech. Dip @alvarez_desanti anuncia que se rompió quorúm y que la sesión de mañana incia a las 3:00pm— Asamblea Legislativa (@asambleacr) May 2, 2017 A group of legislators from various parties then left the Assembly’s main floor arguing Álvarez was wrong. They claimed that Álvarez was wrong and that according to legislative procedures, the votes of a candidate who was not eligible for the post should be added to the votes cast for the second-place candidate. Therefore, the Vice Presidency should go to Libertarian Movement Party’s Natalia Díaz Quintana, they claimed.At the end of Monday’s session, the new Legislative directorate for 2017-2018 is:President:  Gonzalo Ramírez Zamora, Costa Rican Renovation Party.Vice President:  —Pending—First Secretary:  Carmen Quesada Santamaría, Libertarian Movement Party.Second Secretary:  Michael Arce Sancho, National Liberation Party.First Pro Secretary:  Lorelly Trejos Salas, National Liberation Party.Second Pro Secretary:  Abelino Esquivel Quesada, Costa Rican Renovation Party.New Legislative PresidentGonzalo Ramírez won the election as a result of an alliance of parties lead by the National Liberation Party, the largest legislative group.President Luis Guillermo Solís will now be forced to negotiate during his final year in office with a directorate formed entirely of opposition lawmakers.Ramírez is one of the most conservative lawmakers and during his term he has adamantly opposed bills to reinstate in vitro fertilization, to approve same-sex marriage and to legalizate therapeutic abortion.Following his election, he told reporters that he maintains his principles and values but “he will not use the directorate’s Presidency to obstruct the democratic vote of any issue.” He said he is open to dialogue.“I know there are many voices in this country and I’ve never been closed off from listening to them. We have never offended anyone and we’ve never closed the door to anyone,” he said, in response to lawmakers who claimed Ramírez’ religious beliefs would interfere with the approval of bills.As Legislative President, Ramírez will be responsible for setting the order in which bills are discussed and voted on. He also manages debates and voting on laws, decrees and appointments.He will be in charge of assigning all 57 lawmakers to legislative committees, which discuss, modify, amend and approve draft bills before they’re passed on — or not — to the full Assembly.The Legislative President is also responsible for receiving bills and proposals submitted by lawmakers, social groups and citizens, and selecting the legislative committee responsible for each bill’s evaluation and approval.Recommended: Why May 1 is much more than Labor Day for Costa Rica’s government Workers’ unions voiced their opposition to the government plans to increase the workers’ mandatory fee for the Social Security System and against raising the retirement age to 70 years. (Via BUSSCO)May Day demonstrationsGovernment plans to increase by 1 percent workers’ mandatory monthly fee for the Social Security System, as well as raising the retirement age to 70 years, were two of the main issues during the traditional May Day demonstration in downtown San José.Hundreds of workers gathered in front of La Merced Park and started marching at 9:30 a.m. along the Avenida Segunda. The first group arrived in front of the Legislative Assembly shortly before noon.In addition to workers’ unions members, demonstrators also included college students, members of various political parties and other citizen groups.Upon their arrival the group started chanting slogans and gave speeches against the proposals with which the government intends to curb the fiscal deficit.Unlike previous years, the march ended without major incidents at around 2 p.m. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Gender equality ruling aims for nearly 50/50 male-female Costa Rican legislature Lawmakers approve Social Security loan, highway fund during extraordinary period Brazil faux pas sparks heated debate in Legislative Assembly UPDATE: Álvarez Desanti maintains in Liberation primary; late-night vote-counting dramalast_img read more

Malis interim president says he trusts army

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Traore left on May 21 for medical treatment in Paris and returned last Friday, a long absence that was seen as a sign that he did not trust the military to guarantee his safety.“I fully trust the Malian security service, specifically the Malian army. to assure the security of the president of the republic and the institutions of the republic,” he told the nation in the Sunday evening newscast on state television.The 70-year-old leader also outlined the shape of the interim government he will lead, an arrangement that comes after junior officers overthrew the nation’s democratically elected president in March, just weeks before a planned presidential election. Traore said the country will be led by a High Council, consisting of himself and two vice presidents. One of the VPs will be in charge of a committee which will reform the army, as well as deal with the country’s northern half, which was overrun by Islamic rebels in the wake of the coup.The radical Islamic group Ansar Dine is now imposing a strict version of Shariah law in the areas under its control. Earlier this weekend, a man and woman accused of committing adultery were stoned to death in the northern town of Aguelhok, said Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Abou Mohamed. Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img Associated PressBAMAKO, Mali (AP) – In his first address to the nation since returning from his two-month-long exile, Mali’s interim president on Sunday said that he “fully trusts” the army to assure his security, and outlined plans for the transitional government he hopes to lead until new elections can be held.In May, the interim president Dioncounda Traore was beaten until he lost consciousness by a mob of protesters allied with the country’s coup leader, who had just days earlier signed an agreement promising to relinquish power. The timing of the attack, and the fact that journalists present saw soldiers waving in the attackers who burst past the security cordon to assault Traore in his office, caused many to believe that the assault was carried out with the military’s tacit approval. Traore said that a committee will also be set up to attempt to negotiate with the armed groups in the country’s north. “This committee will be charged with engaging with the armed groups in the north of Mali, in order to speak of peace … with the aim of finding via dialogue a negotiated political solution to the crisis.”Although Traore did not name Ansar Dine, the main Islamic group controlling the north, his statement appears to indicate that the government of Mali is prepared to engage in a dialogue with the al-Qaida-linked group.His comments also come as the president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, told a French newspaper that Mali’s neighbors would consider a military intervention within weeks to try to rout the Islamists in the north.In the interview published Sunday in the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, Ouattara, who also heads the body representing nations in West Africa, said that military intervention in Mali is “inevitable” within weeks, if the situation in northern Mali doesn’t change.Ouattara said that half the intervention force would be made up of Malian soldiers and would likely include soldiers from Niger, Nigeria and perhaps countries such as Chad _ with logistical help from France and the United States. He defined logistical help as material support and adviserss but added that combat aircraft are needed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk “If the situation doesn’t evolve favorably and rapidly, yes, there will be a military intervention in Mali,” Outtara said. “It seems inevitable.” He added, “I think we can talk in weeks, not in months. There is urgency.”___Associated Press writer Rukmini Callimachi in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Farmers angry at counterterror tactic in Pakistan

first_imgAssociated PressMIR ALI, Pakistan (AP) – Pakistan’s effort to cut off the flow of fertilizer to militants using it to make bombs in this key tribal sanctuary along the Afghan border has outraged local farmers, who complain the policy has cut their crop yields in half.The blowback in North Waziristan could prove costly as the army grapples with how to tackle enemies of the state holed up in the remote, mountainous area, a task that is likely to be more difficult if the government is unable to mobilize support from local tribesmen. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement A bag of calcium ammonium nitrate fertilizer, used by militants in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, can help produce two to four bombs, depending on whether they are targeting vehicles or foot patrols, according to the U.S. military’s Joint IED Defeat Organization.Insurgents either grind or boil the fertilizer to separate the calcium from the nitrate, which is mixed with fuel oil, packed into a jug or box and then detonated. Urea is dissolved in water and then combined with nitric acid to make explosives needed for a bomb.The U.S. has struggled with the challenge of stopping militants in Afghanistan from using fertilizer to make bombs. The problem starts in Pakistan since about 80 percent of the bombs used against U.S. troops in Afghanistan are made with fertilizer smuggled across the border, according to the Pentagon.U.S. forces used to have trouble determining which types of fertilizer to seize in Afghanistan and risked needlessly angering farmers by confiscating more benign varieties. But the military said it has introduced kits in the past couple of years that allow service personnel to test whether fertilizer contains certain chemicals, including urea and nitrate.Militants in Afghanistan mainly use fertilizers that contain ammonium nitrate, which are banned in that country but still legal in Pakistan and often smuggled across the border. The U.S. has pushed Pakistan to regulate the sale of these fertilizers and has encouraged companies that produce them to use dye so that customs officials can more easily spot them at the border. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Pakistani authorities knew that limiting the flow of fertilizer to the tribal region would be hard on farmers but went ahead with the policy because the threat from bombings was so great, said the government official who worked on the ban.Pakistan’s neglect of the poor and underdeveloped tribal region over decades is one of the reasons the Taliban insurgency that flared up there has been so difficult to extinguish. The Pakistani military has conducted a series of offensives in all parts of the tribal region except for North Waziristan.The army plans to step up operations against the Taliban and their allies in North Waziristan in the near future, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.If that happens, the army may not want to count on the support of local farmers.“This fertilizer ban is destroying us,” said Ilyas Khan, a farmer from Mir Ali. “All we can do is pray for the situation to improve so we can resume our normal business.”____Abbot reported from Islamabad. Associated Press writers Zarar Khan in Islamabad and Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “Since then, the smugglers have almost completely stopped bringing in fertilizer,” said Ullah. “They are scared now because they think security forces might kill them.”Hamidullah Khan, a farmer in Mir Ali, said there’s very little fertilizer now on the black market. What is available, he said, is far too expensive for farmers because prices have risen six-fold since before the ban.Khan said he’s tried to use organic fertilizer _ a mix of animal waste and rotten plants _ but that his wheat crop this spring was about half the yield of most years before the ban.“We have heard that this fertilizer is used to make bombs, but we use them for our crops,” said Khan. “Those who use it for bombs can purchase it even at these high prices.”Intelligence officials denied militants were still able to obtain fertilizer in North Waziristan and said the ban has helped reduce the number of bombings in the country. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ahsanullah Ahsan, claimed the ban hasn’t affected the group.Dealers said they still managed to smuggle a few 50-kilogram (110-pound) bags into North Waziristan at a time and sell them for very high rates. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted by authorities. “It’s true that fertilizer is being used to make bombs, but the farmers are not the ones doing it, so why does the ban apply to us?” said Mohammad Daraz, a farmer in Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan.Pakistan has struggled in recent years to avoid offending the population with heavy handed tactics as it battles domestic Taliban militants throughout the northwest.The U.S. has faced this same difficulty in neighboring Afghanistan _ not least in its efforts to keep fertilizer, most of which comes from Pakistan, out of the hands of militants whose bombs have killed hundreds of American soldiers.Pakistan first imposed a ban on certain types of fertilizer in North Waziristan and other parts of the semiautonomous tribal region more than three years ago, officials and farmers said.The government instituted the policy after determining that fertilizer had been used in most of the major bombings in Pakistan, especially those involving vehicles packed with explosives, said a senior government official who worked on the ban.The ban was meant to apply only to urea and other fertilizers that contain ammonium nitrate because they can most easily be turned into explosives, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 But security forces have instead simply tried to prevent all fertilizer from getting into North Waziristan, said farmers and fertilizer dealers.The problem has gotten worse for the thousands of farmers in North Waziristan with each passing year as authorities have increasingly attempted to cut down on fertilizer smuggled into the area, which has become the main sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the country.Most of the farmers work plots of only a few acres terraced into mountainsides or nestled in valleys next to their mud brick homes. These fields are becoming less productive because of the lack of fertilizer.“The ban is affecting farmers, because yield is significantly reduced and crop color is faded,” said Daraz, the farmer from Miran Shah, whose corn and wheat crops have declined more than 50 percent.When the government first imposed the ban, farmers were still able to buy smuggled fertilizer on the black market, although they had to pay higher prices, said Samandar Khan, a farmer in Mir Ali, another major town in North Waziristan.The situation changed last year after security forces opened fire on a vehicle close to the North Waziristan border and wounded two people who were attempting to smuggle in fertilizer, said Rafique Ullah, a driver who has worked as a smuggler himself. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Ukraine gives initial approval to antigay bill

first_imgKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian lawmakers have given tentative approval to a much-criticized bill that envisions jail time for people who disseminate positive information about gays.The bill submitted over the summer has caused outrage among Western rights groups and politicians who have called it a flashback to Soviet times, when homosexuality was a criminal offense.The bill envisages prison terms of up to five years for spreading “propaganda of homosexuality,” which is defined as positive public depiction of gays. The bill’s authors have cited movies like “Brokeback Mountain” as an example of such propaganda. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Despite the criticism, legislators on Tuesday passed the bill in the first of two required readings. President Viktor Yanukovych has refused to say whether he will sign the bill into law.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Cyprus rival leaders attend theatrical play to foster trust

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories It’s the first time opposing leaders in Cyprus have watched a play together in long-standing efforts to reunify the small, east Mediterranean island nation, split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece.“On this island, we committed mistakes, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” Akinci said after the play. “The point is to derive lessons from these past mistakes and build a better future for younger generations.”Akinci said Anastasiades would reciprocate a visit to the breakaway north to attend a similar event.Anastasiades said he would ask his education minister to perform the play in all Greek Cypriot schools in order to convey the message that mistakes were made on both sides from the time the island gained independence from British colonial rule 55 years ago.“We will work tirelessly with my dearest friend Mustafa to bring peace, to give a chance to younger generations to live in peace and prosperity,” Anastasiades said.Anastasiades greeted Akinci on the steps of the historic Rialto Theater with some onlookers clapping their approval.“I want a solution and this is a step forward, things can’t stand still and without bold steps forward you regress,” said 53-year-old Lefki Antoniou, a bystander who was among the crowd to cheer the two leaders on as they arrived at the theater. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Top Stories The play by Turkish Cypriot poet Faize Ozdemirciler is an unbiased lamentation and a lashing out at Cypriots’ collective suffering — and responsibility — for managing to drive a wedge between both sides, said University of Cyprus Turkish studies professor Niazi Kizilyurek who helped translate the work from Turkish to Greek.“The author engages in a dialogue with Cypriots and speaks as a Cypriot to all, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots with empathy, but also critically,” Kizilyurek said.With skepticism widespread among a weary public on both sides of the divide after decades of failed talks, the leaders have chosen novel ways to demonstrate their determination at achieving peace. In another first for rival Cypriot leaders last month, the two men toured both sides of the divided capital and shared local appetizers at Turkish and Greek Cypriot cafes.Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said more such meetings are planned because they help foster a positive climate that he called a prerequisite to fruitful peace talks that resumed last month after an eight-month hiatus.____The Dateline to this story has been corrected to Limassol instead of Nicosia. How do cataracts affect your vision? LIMASSOL, Cyprus (AP) — The rival leaders of Cyprus attended a theatrical play on Monday that implores the divided island’s Greek- and Turkish-speaking communities to confront the wrongs of a tortured history to drive home their shared commitment for a reunification deal.In an added touch of symbolism, Nicos Anastasiades, the 69-year-old president of the internationally-recognized Republic of Cyprus and the 67-year-old leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, Mustafa Akinci, watched the play in their common hometown of Limassol, a bustling, cosmopolitan tourist resort on the island’s south coast. Top holiday drink recipes Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Greek Cypriot President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, center right, and leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akinci, center left, watch a theater play entitled “Saddened in Greek, Hurt in Turkish” at the Rialto Theater in their hometown of Limassol on Monday, June 8, 2015. Divided Cyprus’ rival leaders on Monday took in together a theater play imploring the country’s Greek and Turkish speaking communities to confront the demons of a tortured history to drive home their shared commitment for a reunification deal. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Pavlos Vrionides) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Eritrea calls UN accusations of rights violations unfounded

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   The Foreign Ministry strongly disagreed, calling on all nations and people “who value fairness, justice and human rights to demand an end to the travesty that is being perpetrated by the ‘Commission of Inquiry’.”“Today, despite the vile slanders and false accusations, despite a deafening international silence in the face of the illegal occupation of our land in violation of international law, despite economic pressures and encouragement of illegal migration, our resolve and confidence that we will build a dignified and prosperous nation remains unshaken,” it said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Eritrea’s foreign ministry is calling accusations by a U.N. commission that its government is responsible for systematic and widespread human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity “totally unfounded and devoid of merit.”A statement circulated Wednesday by Eritrea’s Mission to the United Nations called the claims “wild,” ”indecent hyperbole,” and an escalation of a politically motivated campaign to undermine the progress the country is making in the area of human rights. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation The three-member commission of inquiry, set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council a year ago, said in Monday’s report that Eritrea keeps its people in a state of fear through a “pervasive control system” in which dissent is stifled, a large proportion of the population is subjected to forced labor and imprisonment, and hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the country.A former Italian colony on the Horn of Africa, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war. It has been feuding over its border with Ethiopia ever since.Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who has been in power since 1991, has become increasingly authoritarian and repressive, cracking down on political dissidents, closing independent media and limiting civil liberties. Eritrea is under U.N. sanctions for supporting al-Shabab and other armed groups trying to destabilize countries elsewhere in the region.Eritrean refugees are now one of the largest groups trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to seek a better life in Europe.The commission warned against sending them back to a country that punishes anyone who tries to leave without permission.“To ascribe their decision to leave solely to economic reasons is to ignore the dire situation of human rights in Eritrea and the very real suffering of its people,” the report said. “Eritreans are fleeing severe human rights violations in their country and are in need of international protection.” Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

The Latest on Indonesia 2 sisters among plane victims

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories “She looks like she wanted to protect her younger sister,” says the school’s principal, Tarcisia Hermas. “We’ve lost kind and smart students who had so many creative ideas.”Hermas said the sisters were traveling during school vacation to see their parents on the remote Natuna island chain, where the father of the teenagers is stationed with the army.___12:50 p.m.Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says he has ordered the defense minister and the armed forces commander to undertake a “fundamental overhaul of the management of military weaponry.”In the wake of the c-130 plane crash that killed more than 140 people, Jokowi said Wednesday the weapons procurement system should be changed.He says, “we can no longer simply buy weapons, but should think to modernize our weapons systems.”___12:30 p.m.Indonesia’s air force chief, Air Marshal Agus Supriatna, says he expects no survivors from the plane that crashed on Tuesday.The air force initially said there were 12 crew members on the plane. But the figures for the people on board have been repeatedly raised since then, indicating lax controls and raising questions about whether the plane was accepting paying passengers despite previous promises to crack down on the practice. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — The latest on the Indonesian military plane crash (all times local):___2:15 p.m.Among the 122 people aboard Indonesia’s C-130 military transport plane that crashed into a residential neighborhood were two sisters, their bodies locked in an embrace.A group of students from a Catholic high school in Medan screamed hysterically when a body bag was opened, revealing the badly bruised corpse of classmate Esther Lina Josephine, 17, clasping her 14-year-old sister. An investigator walks past the wreckage of the crashed air force transport plane in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The Hercules C-130 plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the country’s third-largest city on June 30. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara) Hitching rides on military planes to reach remote destinations is common in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that spans three time zoneWitnesses said flames and smoke streamed from the plane before it crashed.Supriatna has said the pilot told the control tower that he needed to turn back because of engine trouble and that the plane crashed while turning right to return to the airport.___10:50 a.m.Several rows of wooden coffins are lying outside the hospital in Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, where remains of victims of the C-130 Hercules plane crash are being brought in ambulances.Officers wearing face masks and white gloves are seen carrying the coffins with the bodies that have been identified into trucks for transport to families.The death toll from Tuesday’s crash jumped to more than 140, indicating a growing list of victims from the neighborhood where the plane went down shortly after takeoff.The air force says there were 122 people on the plane including military personnel and their families.A backhoe has been digging at the crash site, which has been turned into a pile of smoldering concrete. The tail of the plane is still standing in the middle of the neighborhood. Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Senate GOP balks at Cuba embassy restrictions

first_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up Graham chairs the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, but he said he didn’t know whether the panel’s Republicans would endorse a House provision to block the construction unless the Castro government fosters democracy.The U.S. government has modest offices in Cuba. Obama has requested $6 million to improve them.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019center_img WASHINGTON (AP) — Fellow Republicans have stopped GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham from using an annual foreign aid funding bill to block work on a U.S. Embassy in Cuba.The Cuban and U.S. governments announced last Wednesday they would reopen embassies in Washington and Havana.Graham said last December that he would use any means to stop the Obama administration from opening an embassy in Havana, but on Tuesday he failed amend a $49 billion foreign aid measure to stop the project. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

NYU student detained in North Korea hopes for quick release

first_img Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The appearance by Joo on Tuesday came as South Korea announced it had sent back two North Korean fishermen who were rescued from South Korean waters earlier this month.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 Joo, 21, who has permanent resident status in the United States, was arrested in April for allegedly entering North Korea illegally across the Chinese border.“I would like to tell my family I’m healthy, I hope to be home soon and to tell them not to worry too much,” Joo said.It is not known whether the North intends to put him on trial or if he could simply be expelled from the country.Joo did not explain why he tried to enter North Korea. North Korean media have reported that he was arrested on April 22 when he illegally crossed the Amnok River from the Chinese border town of Dandong.South Korea’s Unification Ministry released a statement denouncing North Korea for presenting Joo in a news conference after ignoring the South’s demands for his release. The ministry repeated its demand for the quick release of Joo and other South Koreans detained in North Korea, including a pastor who has been held in the country since 2013 and two men who were sentenced to life in prison last month on charges of spying for the South.After Joo’s arrest, a spokesman for New York University confirmed that he was a junior at NYU’s Stern School of Business, but that he was not taking classes this semester and that the university was unaware of his travels. He said the university was in touch with the U.S. State Department and the South Korean Embassy. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Won Moon Joo, a South Korean student at New York University, is interviewed at the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Joo, who is being detained in North Korea says he hopes to be released soon and has told his family not to worry too much about him. Joo was presented to the media in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A South Korean student from New York University who is being detained in North Korea for allegedly entering the country illegally said Tuesday that he hopes to be released soon.Won Moon Joo, who was presented to the media in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, also said he was being treated well and asked his family not to worry too much about him.He acknowledged breaking North Korean laws, but such admissions are often recanted by detainees after they’re set free. Detainees are also often coached ahead of time by North Korean officials as to what to say. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories last_img read more

BAs on track with On Business

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A. Some twelve months since its launch in Australia, British Airways’ On Business programme has received high praise, prompting the airline to encourage more businesses to sign up to the loyalty programme.Rewarding small-to-medium sized businesses for the corporate travel of their employees, the free-to-join On Business was created in recognition of the importance of corporate travel and the subsequent needs of smaller companies.“The On Business programme is all about adding greater value for our small and medium-sized business customers,” British Airways South West Pacific regional commercial manager Nicole Backo said. “We believe the programme can help even more Australian businesses when it comes to corporate travel.”As one of On Business’ 175 members, Sydney’s Reho Travel praised the programme’s scope and accessibility.“Many other corporate travel reward programmes are aimed solely at large companies, with smaller businesses simply unable to afford this sort of expenditure,” Reho Travel manger Hayley Thomas said. ITS Management managing director Jamie Taylor said that in just six months with On Business, the company had accrued considerable savings, equating to “about seven Club World (Business Class) upgrades on the Sydney to London route”.“More importantly, the On Business programme is a great way to reward our employees for their hard work, and make corporate travel more enjoyable for them,” Mr Taylor said.“The fact that individuals earn personal frequent flyer points during corporate travel is an added incentive.”last_img read more

Kiwis fly nonstop to Bali

first_imgBali, Air New Zealand’s newest international route Air New Zealand has just launched its new twice weekly service between Auckland and Denpasar offering Kiwis a non- stop service to the popular destination.The Boeing 767-300 service will operate seasonally over the high season of June to October, however if demand presents itself, it will operate throughout the year.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe said the new service will make the popular destination even more accessible for Kiwis.“Our flight time of eight and a half hours is a significant improvement on the indirect services offered by competitors that can involve long layovers and a total journey time of at least 14 and sometimes more than 24 hours,” Mr Fyfe said. “We’ll be offering our flexible and popular ‘Seats to Suit’ fare structure on the Bali route with great pricing and arrival and departure times to be announced closer to the on-sale date of 23 February.” The inaugural flight will depart on Wednesday June 20, subject to government and regulatory approvals. The Boeing 767-300 has 24 Business Class and 204 Economy Class seats. In addition to its newest international route Bali, Air New Zealand also services island destinations including Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, Niue and Honolulu. The Airline last operated services between Auckland to Bali in the 1990s using a Boeing 767-200 aircraft.  Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Airline in talks to sell cars inflight

first_imgBack in the good ol’ days the best in-flight purchase was a well made coffee or tea, in the early 2000s it was the purchase of an entertaining movie, Wi-Fi, iPads and now fliers can buy a car…Shanghai based carrier, Spring Airlines has announced it will start selling cars on board its aircraft to complement other items on the sale menu, Bloomberg reported.The low-cost carrier is reportedly in talks with several car brands to start selling their products on board, with car prices potentially starting at $16,000.According to the carrier, flight staff will be trained to answer any automobile enquiries and even offer special discounts to particular fliers.Think you’ll make an impulse buy on Spring Airlines? Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Would you like a car with you in-flight coffee?Image: Commons.wikipedia.comlast_img read more

Hawaiian Airlines hovers on Sydney Harbour

first_imgThe 2014 Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge has helped profile the airline’s brand in spectacular style. “We are incredibly proud that the AOCRA has allowed us to lend our support to the staging of the first ever Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge,” Hawaiian Airlines director of advertising and promotions Kevin Yim said. Media and VIP were afforded ideal viewing of the event on-board the Hawaiian Airlines catamaran.  Hawaiian Airlines also assembled their own team for the event, who competed against other teams from other places including New York and Singapore. The event is the first type of event Hawaiian Airlines has sponsored in Sydney. Men and women’s canoe outrigger teams competed in a 20km long race for their chance at winning $AUD 20,000 of prizes. Source = ETB News: T.N.last_img read more

Once is not enough Aussies returning to travel destinations

first_imgWhile the desire to explore new horizons and visit a different destination every holiday motivates many travellers, some people prefer to return somewhere they’ve been before.In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that more than one in five Australian holiday-makers chose their last destination based on having visited before.In the 12 months to September 2015, nearly 13 million Australians 14+ took at least one holiday. For their last trip, 2.8 million people (or 21.2% of travellers) opted to go somewhere they’d already been in the past.In Australia, the holiday destination with the highest proportion of visitors who said they chose it because they’d been there before was the North West Coast in Tasmania. Of all people who visited this region on their last holiday, 42% had chosen it based on their previous experience.Top destinations chosen by Australian holiday-makers because they’d been there beforeSource: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=10,398). Base: Australians 14+ who went on a trip in last 12 monthsOther destinations likely to be chosen on the basis of the traveller having been there before are the Victorian High Country (37.8% of whose visitors had been there before), Southport (36.9%), Eyre Peninsula/Port Lincoln/Ceduna (34.8%) and Noosa (33.5%).Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says: “There’s something to be said for multiple holidays in the same place: they allow the traveller to get to know the destination (and possibly some of the locals) and feel less like a tourist.“Our latest data shows that more than one in five Australian travellers opted to take the familiar route rather than the path less travelled on their last trip, returning to a previously visited destination.“As the chart above indicates, most of the popular repeat destinations are coastal, a timely reminder (given that the holiday season is approaching) that Aussies love a beach getaway.“With a detailed understanding of the kind of person who holidays in the same destination more than once, tourism operators, car hire businesses and holiday rental companies will be better placed to build relationships with these  travellers, benefitting both parties in the long term… ” Roy Morgan ResearchSource = Roy Morgan Researchlast_img read more

Hyatt and San Francisco International Airport announce new plans

first_imgHyatt and San Francisco International Airport announce new plansHyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) officially announced today that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with SFO to brand and manage a 350-room Grand Hyatt hotel. Located on the airport grounds, Grand Hyatt San Francisco International Airport is anticipated to open in mid-2019. Hyatt Hotels Corporation CEO and President Mark Hoplamazian and SFO Airport Director John L. Martin participated in a signing ceremony on January 21 at the SFO Aviation Museum in International Terminal A.In 2014, SFO, an enterprise department of the City and County of San Francisco, announced plans to develop a new airport-owned hotel to enhance the overall offering of the airport. The San Francisco Airport Commission voted to award the contract to the Grand Hyatt brand under Hyatt’s management in September 2015, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved it in December 2015. With this approval, Hyatt is set to bring its hospitality expertise and award-winning Grand Hyatt brand to SFO, one of the most important airports in the United States, which recently achieved a new all-time passenger traffic record of 50 million annual passengers in 2015.“Realizing a brand new hotel at our world class San Francisco International Airport has long been part of SFO’s Capital Plan, and I am pleased with this new relationship with Hyatt,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “The construction and operation of Grand Hyatt San Francisco International Airport is a major economic win for the entire San Francisco Bay Area region, creating jobs, revenue, and an even better world-class experience for travelers at SFO.”“We look forward to working closely with the team at SFO, which shares Hyatt’s passion for quality, innovation, service and the creation of a caring environment for its customers, associates and the community it serves,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt. “The Grand Hyatt project at San Francisco International Airport is consistent with our company’s objective to grow strategically with great partners and in gateway destinations where our loyal guests and meeting planners want us to be.”Grand Hyatt hotels reflect the unique culture of their locations and appeal to both travelers and the local community by delivering “moments of more.” Located at the entrance to SFO, Grand Hyatt San Francisco International Airport will sit on a 4.7 acre site close to terminal buildings and parking garages with direct accessibility via an AirTrain station to the terminals. The hotel is being designed with approximately 350 rooms, 17,500 square feet of flexible meeting space, 24/7 business center, health club and spa, indoor heated pool, whirlpool, and sauna. Additionally, the food and beverage offerings will include both full-service and casual restaurants, wine and sushi bar, and a rooftop cocktail lounge.“We are excited to work with Hyatt, a world-renowned brand in guest hospitality,” said SFO Airport Director John L. Martin. “With this agreement, we take the first step forward in our vision to create the most innovative, luxurious, and environmentally sustainable on-airport hotel in the world.”Grand Hyatt San Francisco International Airport will be uniquely designed to reflect its distinct environment within a backdrop of intuitive service, dramatic architecture and innovative design. During the signing ceremony, the design-build firm for the hotel was also announced. Webcor Builders and Hornberger + Worstell Architects will be spearheading the design work together with SFO and Hyatt’s design team. The design is envisioned to be among the most innovative and environmentally friendly airport hotels in the world. SFO will construct and own the hotel while Hyatt will provide branding and day-to-day management. Construction on the project is expected to begin in the fall of 2016, with completion expected in mid-2019. The facility is being designed to achieve both a four star designation and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Gold” certification for environmentally sustainable design and operation.Source = Hyatt Corporationlast_img read more