Princess Cruises to offer its biggest Canada New England program ever in

first_imgTags: New England, Princess Cruises Posted by Share Princess Cruises to offer its biggest Canada & New England program ever in 2018 Travelweek Group center_img SANTA CLARITA, CALIF. — Princess Cruises’ 2018 Canada & New England cruise season will be the line’s largest deployment ever along the east coast, sailing onboard two of its newest ships – Regal Princess and Royal Princess.Both ships, carrying a maximum 3,560 guests, will sail for the first time together and depart from New York and Quebec to offer 10 cruise departures on four itineraries. These will visit 12 destinations in New England and Canada.“We’re excited to bring two of our newest ships to Canada & New England in 2018 so that more guests can enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage and famed destinations and landmarks in this region,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.All 2018 Canada & New England voyages are open for sale on Dec. 1. Highlights include:· Royal Princess makes her maiden 10- to 11-day voyages out of Quebec and New York with overnight stays in Quebec on every voyage. These cruises visit Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec, and include an overnight stay in Boston. Cruises depart Sept. 25, Oct. 5 and 16.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise Collection· Royal Princess offers a 14-day ‘Canada & Colonial America’ cruise from Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale, departing on Oct. 26 and featuring calls in Port Saguenay, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York and Norfolk.· Regal Princess sails on seven-day roundtrip cruises from New York, departing Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13 and 20. Stops include Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax.· Regal Princess also offers a five-day ‘Canadian Atlantic Provinces Getaway’ voyage out of New York, visiting Saint John and Halifax, and departing on Oct. 27.· Guests are offered a choice of two cruisetours on the East Coast, including ‘Historic America Cruisetour’, which includes highlights like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate and Colonial Williamsburg, and ‘The Maple Explorer Cruisetour’ in Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Montreal, featuring highlights like the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Rideau Canal.Princess Cruises loyal past guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book before August 31, 2017. Captain’s Circle members purchasing a Canada/New England cruise or cruisetour will receive a savings of $50 per person (does not apply to third and fourth berth guests).More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAll fall 2018 Canada/New England guests sailing aboard Royal Princess or Regal Princess can book a new stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks like Club Class Dining, priority embarkation and disembarkation, and complimentary wine.For more details go to Friday, November 25, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Trafalgars South Central America program now includes Cuba

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Trafalgar’s South & Central America program now includes Cuba Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Tags: Trafalgar TORONTO — There’s more to see and do in South and Central America next year, with Trafalgar’s 2018 program featuring 16 handcrafted trips to the region.Its South & Central America collection includes a number of notable highlights, including the tour operator’s debut in Cuba. The new nine-day ‘From Cuban Cigars to American Cars’ joins other dynamic itineraries that span Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, not to mention pre- and post-extensions to the Peruvian & Brazilian Amazon, Easter Island and a seven-day Galapagos Islands cruise.With the new program launch, clients can book their 2018 experience early and enjoy 10% savings.“There is a boundless energy to South & Central America that is truly intoxicating. Through this collection, we took special care to select experiences that would enable guests be part of that energy and vibrancy, rather than just mere spectators,” says Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada. “The result is a program packed with local experiences helmed by people who personify each destination’s essence such as passionate chef Ignacio, who shares his passion for Peruvian cooking on a gastronomic excursion in Lima.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthOther standout trips include the 11-day ‘Wonders of Patagonia’, which includes a stay at Remota Patagonia Lodge in Chile, an ‘Authentic Accommodation’, and the 10-day ‘Impressions of South America’, during which guests will spend four nights in Rio de Janeiro. The eight-day ‘Highlights of Peru’ is also a must-see, with visits to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Awakancha.To order the 2018 South & Central America brochure go to Travelweek Group Share Posted bylast_img read more

Norwegian Air could be in Canada as early as July 23

first_imgNorwegian Air could be in Canada as early as July 23 Friday, March 9, 2018 Share TORONTO — Norwegian Air is already causing turbulence among U.S. legacy carriers with its low-cost transatlantic flights from the U.S. to Europe. Now comes word that the low-cost carrier has filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency, with an eye to possibly starting transatlantic flights out of Canada starting this summer.According to airline news site Aviator, Norwegian’s filing with the CTA means it could be up and running with flights out of Canada by July 23.Norwegian has more than 500 routes servicing a network of 150+ destinations.While it’s not the only low-cost or ultra low-cost carrier serving U.S.-Europe routes (others include Primera Air and WOW Air, both also serving Canadian gateways), the LCC’s expansion has garnered enough market share that legacy carriers including American and Delta, as well as British Airways, now offer bare-bones basic economy fares on transatlantic flights. Air Canada and WestJet have also added basic economy fares, to and from select gateways. Posted bycenter_img Tags: Norwegian Air Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Curio Collection by Hilton opens new gem in Costa Rica

first_img Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA — Nearly 100 years since its original opening, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton has gotten a modern up-do, complete with a rooftop piano bar and indoor gardens.Originally opened in October 1930, the newly redesigned hotel has opened its doors in the heart of San José, Costa Rica as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton portfolio. As Hilton’s 16th property in Central America, it joins more than 50 other Curio Collection hotels and resorts that have been handpicked for their unique character.Gran Hotel Costa Rica, which overlooks the National Theatre, will be a central focus in San Jose’s dining scene with its on-property Cultura 5 restaurant and world-class piano bar, where guests can sample a wide selection of whiskey and gin from around the world.Its 79 redesigned guestrooms now boast organic bathroom amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi, 49-inch televisions, ergonomic workspaces and walk-in showers. Moreover, guests who opt for a suite can enjoy 24-hour butler service as well as access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge featuring complimentary nightly hors d’oeuvres and spirits.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterFor more information go to Travelweek Group center_img Monday, July 23, 2018 Tags: Costa Rica, Hilton Curio Collection by Hilton opens new gem in Costa Ricalast_img read more

Silverseas new solo promo is unprecedented

first_imgTags: Silversea Cruises Share Travelweek Group MIAMI — Silversea has announced zero single supplement fares on 14 curated voyages, a new promotion that the luxury cruise line calls “unprecedented”.For new bookings made between Feb. 14-28, 2019, guests travelling solo will incur no fare supplement on select sailings to Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Far East, Australia and other destinations in 2019 and 2020. The offer applies to fares for lower suites, on new bookings that are paid in full by Feb. 28, 2019.“These special fares make it easier for solo travellers to discover the advantages offered by our intimate ships,” said Mark Conroy, Silversea’s Managing Director for the Americas. “With welcoming staff, personalized attention and strong senses of community that encourage friendships, our ships provide the perfect settings for our guests to explore the world on their own, accompanied by like-minded travellers.”A sample of the voyages included in the promotion includes:Malaysia and Myanmar: Silver Shadow departs March 21, 2019 on a 12-day, roundtrip cruise from Singapore. Sol fares start from Can$6,700 per person, plus free economy roundtrip air or business class air upgrade for US$2,499 each way is available for flights from select U.S. and Canadian gateways, as well as free one-night pre- and post-voyage hotel stays, free transfers between airport, hotel and ship, and free select shore excursions.Eastern Caribbean: Departing March 22, 2019 from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale, Silver Spirit will spend 11 days sailing to Mayreau Island, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Barts and Puerto Rico. Soo fares start rom Can$5,800, plus free economy roundtrip air is available for flights from select U.S. and Canadian gateways, including free transfers between airport and ship.Australia’s Kimberley Coast: On April 25, 2019, Silver Discoverer departs Darwin for Broome on a 10-day expedition along Australia’s remote northwest Kimberley Coast. Highlights include Wyndham, the regions of the King George River, Hunter River, Buccaneer Archipelago as well as Saumlaki on the Indonesian island of Yamdena. Solo fares start from Can$7,400 per person.Japan: Silver Explorer will set sail on this 11-day expedition cruise from Busan to Kobe on May 21, 2019. Destinations include Niigata, Sado Island, Kanazawa, Sakaiminato, Hagi, Kyushu Island, Moji, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima and Okayama. Solo fares start at Can$8,100 per person, plus free economy roundtrip air or reduced business class air is available for flights from select U.S. and Canadian gateways, including a free one-night hotel stay and free transfers between airport, hotel and ship.South America: This Guayaquil-to-Valparaiso expedition aboard Silver Explorer departs Nov. 9, 2019 and spends 14 days exploring the west coast of South America. Calls in Peru’s Lobos de Tierra Island, Salaverry, Isla Guañape, Lima, Paracas and Matarani are complemented by visits to Chile’s Antofagasta, Isla Pan de Azúcar, Isla Chañaral and Coquimbo. Solo fares start from Can$8,280 per person with Early Booking Bonus. Plus, free economy roundtrip air or reduced business class air is available for flights from select U.S. and Canadian gateways, including a free one-night hotel stay and free transfers between airport, hotel and ship.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaClients can save even more with Silversea’s Bonus Savings Days offer. For a limited time, the 14 voyages in the promotion also feature combinable Bonus Savings Days, providing up to an additional $250 in savings for solo travellers.Plus, with the exception of the South America cruise, the Last-Minute Savings offer is available on the above voyages, providing a one-category suite upgrade and an onboard spending credit of $1,000 per suite. Moreover, there are additional voyages with reduced single supplements available.For more information go to Friday, February 15, 2019 center_img Posted by Silversea’s new solo promo is “unprecedented” << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Transat announces new Account Manager

first_img MONTREAL — A new Account Manager has joined the ranks at Air Transat.Laura Albrow, based in Toronto, is now responsible for managing the portfolio of specialty accounts in Ontario and Western Canada for Air Transat. Prior to her new role, Albrow spent 10 years at Etihad Airways, and 13 years at Qantas Airways as an Account Manager.At Air Transat, Albrow reports directly to Claude-Hélène Faucher, National Sales Manager.Gilles Ringwald, Vice-President Commercial, said the company is pleased to have Albrow join the team.“She is an accomplished sales professional who brings over 25 years’ experience in the airline industry. Her experience and dynamism will be strong assets for business development.”Albrow can be reached at Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Tags: New Hires, Transat Share Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Air Transat announces new Account Manager Posted bylast_img read more

Private sector employees ask for 3 percent salary hike

first_imgNo related posts. The National Union of Workers (UNT) called for a 3.03 percent wage increase for the private sector to be applied during the second half of this year.The request was filed Monday at the National Wage Council.The union said their calculation corresponds to 2.47 percent based on inflation projections by Costa Rica’s Central Bank, plus 0.56 percent inflation registered in the second half of 2012.The UNT also requested an 8 percent increase for workers receiving minimum wage.Next Monday, representatives of the business sector will present a salary-increase proposal to the National Wage Council, and a week later, the government will establish the definitive increase after negotiating with members from both sectors. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas leftist surge isnt new

first_imgRelated posts:The real communist threat in Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís and Johnny Araya head to April 6 runoff after close Costa Rica vote Costa Rica prepares for first visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon So much for dialogue and consensus: Legislative Assembly snubs President Solís’ 100-day report With all due respect toAgence France Presse, the left-right polarization in Costa Rica isn’t altogether unprecedented.In 1948, Communist Party leader Manuel Mora was the head of the government army that faced José “Pepe” Figueres’ National Liberation Army. The alliance between Mora, Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia’s populist Republican Party and Catholic Church Archbishop Victor Manuel Sanabria was an only-in-Costa Rica phenomena that produced the Social Security System and the country’s labor code, but also set up the Civil War with the onset of the Cold War.An orthodox Marxist, Mora didn’t believe that Costa Rica, a nation of campesinos with no industrial proletariat could produce the class-based dictatorship of the proletariat envisioned by Karl Marx.Mora nonetheless seized the opportunity, along with Calderón, to make the reforms against the wishes of Costa Rica’s entrenched plutocracy.One of the most telling questions directed to José María Villalta in the last debates was the one from a journalist who asked how he justified the alliance the Broad Front Party made with other parties from the political right in the Legislative Assembly. Villalta pointed to the Calderón-Mora-Sanabria pact as a precedent for his Broad Front Party alliances.Despite the outcome of the 1948 Civil War, Costa Rica’s communist forebears have the respect of many in Costa Rica. Mora is a Benemérito de la Patria (National Hero), an honor bestowed by the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly, and another communist figure from that era, the writer Carmen Lyra, was also named Benemérita de la Patria and graces Costa Rica’s ₡20,000 note.For several generations Costa Rica’s social peace has been based on the “handshake at Ochomogo,” where Figueres and Mora met to agree to the peaceful surrender of San José to end the Civil War, and where Figueres assured Mora that he planned to expand, not roll back, the social programs initiated by Calderón Guradia.While the Communist Party was banned and its leaders forced into exile for a period, Mora eventually returned and led the party to victories for one or two congressmen per presidential term, who served as a third force that held the governing party to its social justice promises. That proved to be a remarkably stable formula which saw Costa Rica safely through the Cold War with no meaningful armed opposition.Mora stuck to his orthodoxy in opposing armed conflict in Costa Rica following the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua, to the chagrin of some in the Communist Party, which split over the disagreement in tactics. The three-party formula began to come apart once the welfare state began being chipped away little by little, piece by piece, starting with the presidency of Luis Alberto Monge in the context of the Reagan revolution and the assault on big government in climes north and south.But the rise of the Broad Front Party and also the strength of anti-free-trade Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís is evidence that a great many Costa Ricans expect their government to play a large role in securing economic well-being. It just may be as Tico as gallo pinto.And by the way, the ruling National Liberation Party is still a member of Socialist International.After the fall of the Iron Curtain, I interviewed Manuel Mora and asked him if he thought socialism was dead. He replied, “Are poverty and inequality dead? As long as there are poverty and inequality there will be socialism.”José María Villalta may prove him right.Formerly a reporter and assistant editor at The Tico Times, John McPhaul is a freelance writer who lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Adiós Chespirito Latin Americas beloved TV icon dies at 85

first_imgGómez Bolaños — whose nickname “Chespirito” means “Little Shakespeare” for his short stature and prolific writing — created some of the most popular television shows in the history of Latin America.In “El Chavo del Ocho,” Gómez Bolaños played a mischievous orphan who always wore a hat with ear flaps and slept in a barrel in the courtyard of a working-class housing complex. Facebook Comments Mexico’s iconic television comedian Roberto Gómez Bolaños, who enchanted generations of Latin American children by playing an orphan who lived in a barrel and a goofy superhero, died on Friday. He was 85.Gómez Bolaños died in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancún, where he retired years ago due to respiratory illnesses, said the Televisa network, where the actor spent his entire career.The cause of death was not given.“Televisa laments the death of Don Roberto Gómez Bolaños, ‘Chespirito,’ an essential figure of Mexican television,” the broadcaster wrote on Twitter. Another famous character was “Chapulín Colorado,” a red-hooded superhero with antennas and armed with a yellow and red hammer. His shows had millions of viewers from Mexico to the Andes and the tip of South America, as well as in Portuguese-speaking Brazil.Tributes poured in shortly after his death was announced. Falleció Roberto Gómez Bolaños— Noticieros Televisa (@NTelevisa_com) November 28, 2014 México ha perdido a un ícono, cuyo trabajo ha trascendido generaciones y fronteras.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) November 28, 2014 “Mexico has lost an icon, whose work has transcended generations and borders,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted. Related posts:Former Tico Times photojournalist, painter Julio Laínez dies at 76 Robin Williams brought brutal honesty to his best roles Robin Williams, frenetic, fearless actor and comedian, dies at 63 Beyoncé and 4 other celebrities who visited Costa Rica during 2014last_img read more

President Luis Guillermo Solís appoints new Presidency Minister

first_imgRelated posts:Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez steps down at Solís’ request Cabinet appointment of Lutheran bishop is unconstitutional, says Government Attorney’s Office Citigroup announcement sparks hectic week for Costa Rica’s banking sector Costa Rica Supreme Court strikes down ban on clergy holding public office – except Catholics Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís announced Friday that Sergio Alfaro Salas would be the new Presidency Minister starting on May 1.Alfaro, who’s leaving his post as executive president of the National Insurance Institute (INS) to take the job, replaces Melvin Jiménez Marín, who submitted his resignation on Thursday at president Solís’ request.The resignation followed a series of conflicts and public relations scandals blamed on the now ex minister.The new minister is a politician and lawyer who worked in private practice immediately before taking the helm of INS. He served as a lawmaker for the ruling Citizen Action Party from 2007 to 2010.President Solís said he asked Alfaro “to work to improve channels of communication with the Legislative Assembly and other groups.”“He will enforce all necessary changes that support our efforts to reduce poverty, boost economic growth and job creation,” Solís added.Vice Minister Ana Gabriel Zúñiga Aponte will fill in as Presidency Minister for the rest of the month.Alfaro publicly accepted the post at a news conference on Friday, and said he would carry out the job “with total loyalty and total respect for the law, with the help of President Solís.”The Presidency Minister is the Executive Branch’s main liaison to all social and political sectors in the country, akin to the White House Chief of Staff. Among the post’s main responsabilities, the Presidency Minister is required to lead the work of all other ministers and promote the government’s agenda in the Legislative Assembly.While in office, ex minister Jiménez received harsh criticism from legislators and various interest groups for his lack of negotiation skills.Alfaro said he’ll work to improve dialogue, and he promised to promote a closer relationship between the presidency and all the country’s major interest groups.Outgoing Minister Jiménez is the fourth minister and 15th official to leave the administration during Solís’ 11 months in office. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican band Zòpilot performs for the last time tonight at Cine

first_imgRelated posts:Punk rock band Title Fight to play for the first time in Costa Rica Radio Hit celebrates its fifth anniversary tonight at Hoxton Pub Dub sounds in Costa Rica: Mad Professor and Mad Elaine Concert explores roots of traditional Caribbean music The Costa Rican experimental rock band Zòpilot! will be performing for the last time tonight at 8:00 pm at Cine Magaly in San José. The band, created in 2007 by Andrés Araya (bass), David Bolaños (guitar), Marco Alfaro (guitar) and Franco Valenciano (drums), seeks to present its audience with a memorable show at a unique venue.Araya, Bolaños, Alfaro, and Valenciano have been best friends ever since they can remember. The band is breaking up so that the members can pursue their personal, artistic, and professional goals, they said in a statement.“Zòpilot!’s purpose was always to create honest and different music aimed at those people who are tired of mediocrity and want to listen to sounds that are capable of healing the wounds caused by day-to-day experience,” the statement said.The band is currently working on the LP it will release in 2016. Tonight they will be performing all of their new songs along with a great visual show.The entrance fee is of ₡6,000 ($12). For more information, visit Zòpilot!’s Facebook page. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US Navy ship fires on boat off Dubai killing 1

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories A U.S. consular official told The Associated Press that one person was killed and three wounded in the shooting.The official gave no other details, but it appeared that Navy personnel could have seen the boat _ mistakenly or not _ as a threat in Gulf waters not far from Iran’s maritime boundaries. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the incident between the two allies.Tariq Ahmed al-Haidan, political affairs assistant to the UAE Foreign Minister, confirmed the number of dead and injured.He said in a brief statement to the UAE’s official news agency WAM that all were Indian citizens, and they were on board a fishing boat when they came under fire. Emirati authorities are investigating the incident, he added.The white-hulled boat was inspected by dozens of police officers and other Emirati officials after the incident in a small Dubai harbor used by fishermen and recreational sailors.The boat appeared to be a civilian vessel about 30 feet (9 meters) long and powered by three outboard motors. It had no obvious military markings.Similar boats are used for fishing in the region, though Iran’s Revolutionary Guard also employs relatively small, fast-moving craft in the Gulf. Rescue workers were seen carrying one person in a body bag off the boat and placing it in an ambulance as fishermen looked on. Officials moved the boat from the harbor shortly afterward.The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi had no immediate comment, referring all questions to the Navy.U.S. military vessels routinely cross paths with Iranian ships in international waters in the Gulf without incident, but speed boats from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have passed close to U.S. ships in incidents that have raised alarm in Washington.In early 2008, then President Bush accused Iran of a “provocative act” after five small Iranian craft buzzed around the destroyer USS Hopper.Theodore Karasik, a security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, did not rule out Iranian involvement in Monday’s shooting.“There are certain factions within the Iranian political universe who are seeking a fight. And this is one way in which to do it,” he said.Karasik noted there have been no known attacks so close to Jebel Ali, which is seen as a secure port in the region. He suggested that the incident might have been a way for Iranian forces to test U.S. defenses, though he acknowledged it was too early to know for sure. Top Stories Associated PressDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – U.S. Navy gunners aboard a refueling ship opened fire on a small boat racing toward them in broad daylight Monday near the Gulf city of Dubai, killing one person and injuring three.The rare shooting not far from approaches to the Strait of Hormuz comes at a period of heightened tensions between the United States and nearby Iran.A UAE official said the vessel was a fishing boat. It was unclear why it might have veered so close to an armed American vessel. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Tensions are elevated in the Gulf after Iran last week renewed threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz _ the route for one-fifth of the world’s oil _ in retaliation for tighter sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.The U.S. recently boosted its naval presence in the Gulf with additional minesweepers and other warships. The Pentagon said Monday it is sending another aircraft carrier to the Middle East several months early to ensure it has two carriers continuously in the region.___Additional reporting by Associated Press writer Brian Murphy.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona There was no immediate sign of Iranian involvement, or any indication that the incident was a reprise of al-Qaida’s 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. But the incident will likely focus further attention on the risks American vessels face in the Gulf even as the Navy beefs up its presence in the region.Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said a security team aboard the USNS Rappahannock issued a series of warnings before resorting to lethal force about 10 miles (15 kilometers) off the coast of Dubai’s Jebel Ali port.“The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun,” he said.Raelson said the incident, which happened at 2:50 p.m. local time, is under investigation.The Rappahannock is an oiler used to fuel other Navy ships while they are at sea.The United Arab Emirates, which includes the commercial hub of Dubai and the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi, is a key American ally in the Gulf. American warships frequently visit Jebel Ali port, a popular rest stop among U.S. sailors. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Thousands flee Indian villages as clashes kill 18

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The violence has spread to two neighboring districts. Police have discovered bodies hacked by machetes and left in the jungle or along roadsides or river banks.India has sent troops in to quell the clashes, and opened at least a half-dozen shelters for some 30,000 people, mostly women and children, who have fled their villages in search of protection.Animosity and accusations of land-stealing have long simmered between Bodos and the thousands of mostly Bengali Muslim settlers, many of whom came from the former East Pakistan before it became Bangladesh in 1971. The two groups have clashed sporadically since 1990s and burned each other’s homes and property, state officials said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) GAUHATI, India (AP) – Tens of thousands of villagers have fled their homes in fear of rioting that has killed at least 18 people in recent days in the remote northeast Indian state of Assam, police said Monday.An additional 10 people have gone missing since the clashes over land rights erupted in western Kokrajhar district between the region’s ethnic Bodo community and Muslim settlers, Assam’s police chief J.N. Choudhury said. Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 treatments for adult scoliosis The difference between men and women when it comes to pain How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories last_img read more

Romney praises Poland for economic liberty

first_imgWARSAW, Poland (AP) – Mitt Romney is praising the people of Poland for marching toward “economic liberty and smaller government” rather than “heeding the false promise of a government-dominated economy.”In a speech Tuesday in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, the Republican presidential candidate also lauded Poland for its higher living standards and strong military.Romney’s comments fit into his campaign’s themes of smaller government, reduced federal spending and fewer regulations on business. He says Poland is thriving because it sought to “stimulate innovation, attract investment, expand trade and live within its means.” New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Top Stories Romney says Poland’s success is a reminder that “free enterprise can propel an economy and transform a society.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Former official denies Israel poisoned Arafat

first_imgSharon immediately permitted Arafat to seek medical treatment in France so Israel could not be accused of exacerbating his illness, Weisglass said.Arafat, 75, died about two weeks later on Nov. 11, 2004, in a French military hospital outside Paris of what doctors called a massive stroke.According to French medical records, he had suffered inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC.But the records were inconclusive about what brought about the DIC, which has numerous causes including infections, colitis and liver disease.The uncertainty sparked speculation about the cause of death, including the possibility of AIDS or poisoning. Many in the Arab world believe he was killed by Israel.Raanan Gissin, a close confidant to Ariel Sharon, said as the second Intifada raged on, Israeli officials repeatedly raised the option of assassinating Arafat, but Sharon always rejected that route.“The idea was not to kill Arafat, but to change the Palestinian leadership,” Gissin told The Associated Press.Israel “never touched a hair on his head,” he added.Weisglass said medical assessments immediately after his death found no traces of poison on his body. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How do cataracts affect your vision? Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories Sponsored Stories “It sounds to me like Arabian tales from One Thousand and One Nights,” Yaalon said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) JERUSALEM (AP) – A former Israeli official on Wednesday denied suspicions that Israel poisoned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as France prepared to begin an investigation into his possible murder following a Swiss lab’s claim that it found traces of a deadly substance on his belongings.Dov Weisglass, chief of staff to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the time of Arafat’s death in 2004 and a key participant in deliberations surrounding Arafat’s worsening health, said Israel had no reason to physically harm the Palestinian leader. For the last two years of Arafat’s life, Israel confined him to his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, accusing him of encouraging a violent Palestinian uprising at the time. “Israel did not have any hand in this,” Weisglass told Israel’s Army Radio station on Wednesday, even while calling Arafat “one of Israel’s worst enemies.”“We did not physically hurt him when Arafat was in his prime … so all the more so we had no interest in this kind of activity when he was politically sidelined,” he said.Weisglass said that he and another Israeli official were dining in Brussels with the EU’s foreign policy chief at the time, Javier Solana, when the diplomat’s cell phone rang call close to midnight: Then-Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia was on the line saying that Arafat needed immediate medical attention at a Ramallah hospital. Would Israel allow him to leave his compound?Weisglass said he called Sharon at his home and he immediately approved the request.The next morning, Weisglass said, the European diplomat called him to say Palestinian doctors in Ramallah said Arafat was very ill and needed to be evacuated for better treatment in Europe.Weisglass said Sharon consulted with intelligence officials, who believed Arafat was merely suffering from complications related to the flu. But a Palestinian informant close to Arafat’s doctors in Ramallah said Arafat had only days to live. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arafat’s widow, Suha, filed a legal complaint in France _where she is a citizen _ after a Swiss institute detected traces of a rare, lethal substance on objects belonging to the Palestinian leader. Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera approached the Swiss lab on behalf of Mrs. Arafat, who provided the lab with her husband’s clothing and other belongings.On Tuesday, Mrs. Arafat’s French lawyer said that French authorities have agreed to launch a murder investigation into Arafat’s death.Arafat’s successor, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has given the green light for the Swiss experts to exhume Arafat’s remains and conduct an autopsy. Officials say they are still waiting for Mrs. Arafat to give the final go-ahead.“Until now, they did not tell us when they are coming, but we are ready to help them and to insure full cooperation,” said Tawfik Tirawi, the Palestinian official in charge of investigating Arafat’s death. “Our work and theirs will continue until we reach the truth.”Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, who was the army’s chief of staff when Arafat died, also denied involvement Wednesday in an Army Radio interview. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Afghan leader orders changes to womens rights law

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, said the president was “well aware” of the criticism and decided at a Cabinet meeting Monday that the legislation must be changed.“We are not going to allow any such law to come into force unless the necessary amendments are made,” Faizi said, suggesting that there may have been issues with how the area in question _ Article 26 _ was translated into English.While the Ministry of Justice will decide on how to amend the text, Faizi stressed the resulting legislation will be clear.“This law will not bar any relative or any family member to testify against each other or another member of family,” he told The Associated Press. “It will be up to them. They will have the freedom.”Manizha Naderi, executive director of Women for Afghan Women, said she was “absolutely thrilled” by the move.“Our tireless advocacy for the last few weeks paid off,” she said. “This is what we wanted _ for the bill to go back to the Ministry of Justice for revision.”The U.S. Embassy called Karzai’s order a “welcome response” to concerns raised by many.“We look forward to the final passage of a criminal procedure code that protects the access to justice of all Afghans,” it said in a statement. And Heather Barr, a Human Rights Watch researcher, said it was “good news” that the government realized there was a serious problem with the code, but added in an email that she looks forward “to seeing the actual revision and will look closely to see whether it solves the problem.”Women in Afghanistan have won back many of the rights they lost during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, when the Islamic movement was ousted by an American invasion for sheltering al-Qaida militants following the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States.Under the Taliban, girls were barred from attending school, women were forced to stay indoors and cover their heads and faces with burqas.There are fears that many of those freedoms may shrink as foreign forces depart by the end of this year and much of the international aid they brought to Afghanistan goes with them.___Follow Cassandra Vinograd at (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationcenter_img KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday ordered changes to a draft of new criminal legislation in response to an international outcry warning it would severely limit justice for victims of domestic abuse, his spokesman said.Afghanistan’s parliament had passed a new criminal procedure code that would ban relatives from testifying against alleged abusers. While the legislation awaited signature from Karzai, human rights organizations and several of Afghanistan’s Western allies _ including the U.S. and European Union _ voiced strong concerns it would effectively curb prosecutions involving violence against women, where relatives are often the only witnesses. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories last_img read more

TSA seeking to close security gap over workers at airports

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration is still working to close what it described as a security gap that allowed 73 people to obtain federal approval to work in secure areas at airports despite having unspecified connections to terrorism, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general assured Congress on Tuesday.“To the extent that there was a vulnerability, I believe it has been closed,” Inspector General John Roth told members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. But Roth didn’t say whether those workers have been fired or whether their access to secure areas has been revoked. The workers would have been employed by airlines, airport authorities or airport vendors. Sponsored Stories Roth said his investigators found that 73 job applicants for airport jobs had terrorism-related activity codes associated with their names in a government terrorism database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Roth said TSA still does not have access to that information but asked for it last year.“It’s a process that apparently is taking some time,” Roth told Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. “So it isn’t quite there yet, but I think they’re moving quickly on it.”Roth said TSA was provided the 73 names and he believed the agency was “following up on each of those.”The security gap was disclosed in a report Roth released last week. In an unclassified version of that report, TSA acknowledged that would-be employees whose backgrounds included some undisclosed terrorism-related category codes would be considered “a potential transportation security threat.”TSA has been under fire from lawmakers since last week when it was revealed that auditors from Roth’s office were able to sneak mock explosives, weapons and other prohibited items past security screeners in 67 out of 70 attempts at airport checkpoints. In the wake of that disclosure, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson re-assigned the acting TSA administrator, Melvin Carraway, to another job within the department. Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield was selected to lead the agency on an interim basis.Roth told lawmakers that details of that undercover effort were classified and could not be discussed in an open hearing. He said his office is investigating how the information was leaked to the media.___Follow Alicia A. Caldwell on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Rights group says airstrikes in Yemen killed many civilians

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on Saada City in northern Yemen which is controlled by Shiite rebels killed dozens of civilians in an apparent violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday.The rights group said its investigators were able to visit Saada City on May 15-16 during a five-day humanitarian cease-fire and compile the names of 59 people killed in aerial attacks, including at least 35 children. It said satellite imagery showed over 210 impact locations in built-up areas consistent with aerial bombings. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The rights group said a coalition announcement on May 8 that the entire city of Saada was a military target not only violated the laws of war by treating separate military objectives as a single military target but possibly also “the prohibition against making threats of violence whose purpose is to instill terror in the civilian population.”Belkis Wille, a Human Rights researcher, told a news conference that “the city itself is a shell of what it once was,” with bombed out homes, market places and government buildings. She said she and a colleague interviewed 28 people — among the few left in what is now almost “a ghost city” — including a man named Walid al-Ibbi who lost 27 members of his family.Just before the bomb struck his home on May 5, al-Ibbi said in a video shown to reporters that “a family had come to our house to ask for my daughter’s hand in marriage for their son. Now I have lost my wife and all four of my daughters. “Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Human Rights Watch said many airstrikes were directed at legitimate military targets but several “appeared to violate international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war, and resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries.”The rights group said it wrote to the Saudi government seeking information on intended targets of 13 airstrikes in Saada City but has received no response.It called on Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners to observe the laws of war, promptly investigate all alleged violations, and provide appropriate compensation to civilian victims. It also called on the United States, which is providing logistical and intelligence support to the coalition, to press for an investigation.Fighting in Yemen pits Shiite Houthi rebels and allied troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The rebels seized the capital in September and swept south, forcing Hadi to flee to neighboring Saudi Arabia.A Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebel forces on March 26.Human Rights Watch said under the laws of war applicable to the Yemen conflict, civilians and “civilian objects” such as markets and schools may never be deliberate targets of attack — and attacks that fail to discriminate between civilians and combatants or that cause disproportionate civilian harm are prohibited.last_img read more

AFTA dismisses possible glut of tour operators

first_imgThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is unconcerned by a possible “rash” of new tour operators entering the market, with chief executive Jayson Westbury saying the barriers to doing so were too “complicated”.  Speaking to members of the Council of Australian Tour Operators’ (CATO), Mr Westbury said any future wave of new agents flooding an industry regulated by a voluntary accreditation scheme was unlikely.“The barriers by nature of our structure are pretty big,” the AFTA boss said, highlighting such hurdles as store leasing, bank credit and ticketing accreditations.  “If every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to become a travel agent, if they can make a buck out of it, I say good luck to them.”Mr Westbury went on to shrug off a potential increase in business failures, saying that “any new arrangements of voluntary accreditation would carry no more risk that we currently have”.    More concerning for the industry, according to the AFTA boss, is a changing distribution model, with business alliances such as the new Jetstar/Agoda partnership creating an uneven playing field by moving operations offshore. Meanwhile, it was announced that the entire Jetset Travelworld Group had committed itself to AFTA, adding 400 members to the organization and bringing its total membership to more than 2,800. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

SCEC Celebrates Worlds Best Team

first_imgThe Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre is celebrating the talents of its specialist staff after winning the title of Worldwide Convention Centre Team of the Year in the 2011 Convention and Incentive Travel Awards.Announced at a gala event in London at the weekend, the award is among the most prestigious of 10 major accolades bestowed on the Centre this year.The C&IT award recognises the Centre’s vision to offer the most sought-after centre for business events.  It was awarded to Sydney over other international finalists including London & Partners, Malta Tourism Authority, The Mersey Partnership, Visit Scotland and the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre.Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said the award provided welcome recognition for the expertise offered by its own professional team.“We’ve made it our mission to gather our own team of specialists with higher levels of expertise than can be found elsewhere, so it’s very satisfying to have this endorsed at an international level,” Mr van Amerongen said.Award judges considered the Centre’s high customer satisfaction levels which have exceeded targets and increased consistently year-on-year, as well as many of its innovations including its environmental programs and contemporary refurbishments.The C&IT award comes after the Centre was named Australasia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre in the 2011 World Travel Awards announced in September, while in April it was named Best Meeting Venue for 500 delegates or more in the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Awards. In all, the Centre has won 10 major awards this year, celebrating its catering, in-house AV services, corporate social responsibility policies and security services.  They include a best-ever four categories in both the NSW and National MEA awards.C&IT magazine is the UK’s leading publication for the conference and incentive travel industry.  Its annual awards recognise excellence in the creation, planning, production and management of events around the world. Source = SCEClast_img read more