Tropical paradise Hawaii sees a foot of snow

first_imgTropical paradise Hawaii sees a foot of snow Share Source: The Associated Press Tags: Hawaii MAUNA KEA — More snow is expected to fall on Hawaii mountaintops as a winter storm warning goes into effect through Monday morning.Yes, it snows in Hawaii, Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said he had to explain to some surprised out-of-state callers Friday.“Typically when we get these snow events, it does get a lot of attention,” he said, adding that he explains to curious callers that the snow is falling in a small, remote area where there are mainly telescopes and scientists. “We do have very high mountains here.”Once they realize the heights of the mountains, snow in the island state makes a little more sense, said Ryan Lyman, forecast meteorologist with the Mauna Kea Weather Center. Mauna Kea is nearly 14,000 feet above sea level.Hawaii News Now reports up to a foot more of snow could fall by Monday. A previous warning was lifted Saturday for a storm system that also brought frozen precipitation to higher elevations and heavy rain elsewhere.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyThe summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island are closed amid icy, windy, hazardous conditions.The National Park Service says people can see the deepening layer of snow at 10,000 feet.Hawaii also is under a flash flood watch into Sunday afternoon. Monday, December 5, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Man charged after security breach at Toronto Pearson

first_img Friday, April 7, 2017 TORONTO — A 58-year-old American man was charged Thursday after a security breach at Canada’s busiest airport that caused lengthy delays for a group of passengers.Peel Regional Police Const. Mark Fischer said the incident took place at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and involved a United Airlines flight bound for Chicago.Fischer said officials found what they believed to be an improvised explosive device in the man’s suitcase.Police said tests determined the device was not explosive, but passengers spent hours waiting to continue with their flight.Police said Joseph Galaska is charged with one count of mischief and was being held for a bail hearing at a Brampton, Ont., court.Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Thursday afternoon that Transport Canada will be looking into the incident. Tags: Toronto Pearson Airport Posted by Man charged after security breach at Toronto Pearsoncenter_img Share The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Star Princess sailing again after multimillion dollar upgrade

first_img Share Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Posted by Star Princess sailing again after multi-million dollar upgrade << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: Princess Cruises SANTA CLARITA — Star Princess has returned to service following a two-week renovation, outfitting the ship with many of Princess Cruises’ newest enhancements.The ship will now resume its season of 15-day Hawaiian Island cruises roundtrip from L.A. and Vancouver through April, before summer cruising in Alaska.“Star Princess now offers many of the signature product innovations our guests have come to love, including the Princess Luxury Bed, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and revamped Sabatini’s,” says Princess Cruises President, Jan Swartz. “These enhancements continue our US$450 million multi-year ship renovation campaign, ‘Come Back New Promise’, enhancing our onboard guest experience.”Here’s a look at what’s new on Star Princess:Sabatini’s Italian TrattoriaThis signature specialty restaurant now offers updated décor and a new menu developed in collaboration with Chef Angelo Auriana, Executive Chef and partner at the authentic Italian restaurants, The Factory Kitchen and Officine BRERA, in L.A. Inspired by fresh Northern Italian flavors the menu features handmade pasta dishes from Chef Auriana, as well as family recipes from Italian Princess executive chefs.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJPrincess Luxury BedAvailable in every stateroom aboard Star Princess, the Princess Luxury Bed “offers the ultimate night of sleep at sea”, combining the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design.Camp Discovery youth & teen centreFor cruisers ages three to 17, Star Princess now offers a reimagined youth centre – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications, as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program. Catering to specific age groups, there are three centre themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them discover, play and create.Enhanced boutiquesThe Shops of Princess now offer a branded Effy Fine Jewelry boutique and a modern fragrance and cosmetic shop. There are also new products to choose from such as a new collection of Princess and Under Armour-branded athletic wear and Princess logo apparel featured in a newly designed Logo shop.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthLotus Spa & Fitness CenterIn a space where guests can relax and invigorate, salon and treatments rooms have been upgraded and the latest in fitness equipment is now available.CasinoStar Princess’ onboard casino has also been upgraded with a reconfiguration of machines and tables. More general refurnishing upgrades of carpet and upholstery can now be found throughout Star Princess. Travelweek Group last_img read more

Earn 8X STAR points win trip for two with Sunwings webinars

first_imgEarn 8X STAR points & win trip for two with Sunwing’s webinars Tags: Promotions, Sunwing Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Sunwing is teaming up with Melody Maker Cancun resort for the month of February to give agents the chance to ‘Learn, Earn and Win’.From now until Feb. 28, agents can find out more about this leading resort in Cancun through a series of webinars and training opportunities, while also receiving 8X STAR Agent Reward Points. Points are then converted into cash for each new booking confirmed.In addition to earning extra STAR points, agents will gain a ballot for a chance to win an all-inclusive vacation for two at the resort. The more bookings they make, the more chances they have to win. A seven-day vacation package will be given away each week during the promotion.Centrally located on the beach in Cancun, Melody Maker Cancun boasts spacious accommodations, a pool and various dining options. Shopping and nightlife are all within an easy walk from the resort.The promotion also includes generous savings and value-added perks for clients planning departures until Dec. 21, 2018. Moreover, travellers will receive a resort credit of up to US$250 that can be redeemed for a private dinner, wine or tequila tastings, spa treatments and more. For group bookings, the eighth passenger is free. Friday, February 2, 2018 Posted bylast_img read more

Epcot is getting an overhaul heres whats new

first_imgTags: Disney World, Epcot, Openings & Renovations Share Epcot is getting an overhaul, here’s what’s new Friday, February 22, 2019 LAKE BUENA VISTA — Exciting new enhancements are heading to Epcot, including a play pavilion, reimagined entrance and an Experience Center that showcases the park’s future.“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world that is brought to life through the magic of Disney,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. “The exciting plans we have on the horizon will honour Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests for decades to come.”Here’s an overview of what’s to come:Play Pavilion: Previously known as ‘Wonders of Life’ (and more recently the Festival Center), this innovative new pavilion will be an interactive city filled with games and hands-on activities, where guests can interact with favourite Disney characters. It will debut in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th Travelweek Group Main Entrance: The newly enhanced main entrance will pay homage to the original park entrance but with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a reimagined fountain. Leave A Legacy photos will move just outside the park’s gateway, while additional redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade. More details to come.Experience Center: Doors will open later this year on a new Experience Center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. Guests will enjoy interactive exhibits that showcase the innovation that’s driving the future of the park throughout this period of transformation.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThese new announcements join other projects already underway as part of the Epcot evolution, including: a new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction; Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction in the France pavilion; a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ singalong, also in the France pavilion; a Circle-Vision 360 film for the China pavilion; an updated O Canada! 360-degree show; a space-themed table-service restaurant adjacent to Mission: SPACE; and Epcot Forever, a 2019 limited-time nighttime experience over World Showcase Lagoon. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

A 56year legacy comes to an end

first_imgRead our 50th Anniversary Edition (May 19, 2006) Tico Times history:  The Tico Times, an English-language newspaper started in San José in 1956 and a prominent voice in the region ever since, announced today’s print edition – Sept. 28, 2012 – will be the paper’s last.The paper will shift its attention toward its digital product at, as it begins a reorganization that places a greater emphasis on competing in the 24-hour news cycle, reaching a wider audience and creating profits from online revenue and donations.Over the years, The Tico Times received awards and worldwide readership for its independence in a region marked by turmoil and weak press. Reporters broke stories on secret runways used by the Contras, rampant shark finning in Costa Rican waters and the rise of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua.  No related posts. The latter dealt The Tico Times its worst tragedy. In 1984, reporter Linda Frazier was killed, along with Costa Rican journalists Jorge Quirós and Evelio Sequeira, and several were injured by a bomb set off during a meeting with guerrilla fighter Edén Pastora, the famous “Comandante Cero,” near the Nicaragua border. But the weekly persevered through the decades and the difficulties. In 1995, The Tico Times received the Grand Prize for Press Freedom from the Inter-American Press Association. Veterans at the paper recall how Guido Fernández, the longtime publisher of Costa Rica’s leading Spanish-language daily, La Nación, always credited The Tico Times with teaching the Costa Rican press investigative reporting. “It started as a project of Lincoln School so the students could learn journalism, and it quickly became a sort of binding force in the English-speaking community in Costa Rica,” publisher Dery Dyer said. “For many years, it was a focal point and held the community together.”The paper also was widely read by English-speaking Costa Ricans who appreciated having an alternative viewpoint to news from the Costa Rican press.“It offered the Costa Rican English-speaking population a very interesting perspective, because it was Costa Rica seen on an international scale, through different eyes,” Dyer said. “Also, we pioneered a lot of issues affecting Costa Rica that had never really been looked at before, such as press freedom and the environment.”Environmental reporting in Costa Rica began as early as the 1950s, when The Tico Times published stories about oak forests being burned in the Cerro de la Muerte, in the Southern Zone, she said.Frazier and many others also helped shine a light on a turbulent region and on the ever-changing personality of Costa Rica, the one stable democracy caught in the middle of regional wars. But what the paper could not overcome was the changing journalism industry itself. The same epidemic wiping out newspapers and magazines throughout the world also walloped The Tico Times. In the past decade, tough economic times combined with readers moving to online media signaled the end to the print edition. “This is a decision we were forced to make due to costs of distribution, printing, paper and production. Needs are changing and people want more; they use technology and aren’t interested in the print newspaper,” Tico Times Business Manager Olman Chacón said.“The Tico Times never had the idea of making huge profits; we were always about meeting costs,” he added. “But in order to deliver the print edition to readers, we accumulated an enormous amount of debt. It just became unmanageable.”The symptoms were apparent to any reader: shrinking newspaper size and a dearth of all-important ads, which serve as the lifeblood of the print product. Management observed diminishing revenues. Circulation that once reached 15,000 was cut in half, and then dropped even further. Online hits rose with the launch of a new website at the end of 2010. But a business strategy to marry the two products and create profits from both brands never emerged.The weekly failed to innovate and struggled to keep up with readers’ desire for immediate news. “We can’t forget that we are a weekly paper, and people want news every day,” Chacón said. “We’re not the only newspaper this has happened to; it’s a global problem. I’m surprised we made it this far. And we’ve made it this far because of the efforts of our employees, who during the last four years worked with reduced salaries and under extremely difficult conditions.”According to Chacón, the print edition’s eventual demise became apparent following a crisis in advertising that began in 2008, coupled with an exchange rate that dropped.In the paper’s heyday from 2005-2007, it reached a size of 60 printed pages, thanks largely to a real estate boom that comprised the majority of Tico Times advertisers. That boom, along with the housing crisis in the United States, turned out to be a bubble, and when it burst, the paper faced a double dilemma of advertising flight and the onset of the digital age in Costa Rica.A tough decisionOn Tuesday, publisher Dery Dyer held a meeting in her office inside the two-story downtown building that hosted The Tico Times for nearly three decades. Dyer, 64, told editors and ad managers the business model was no longer sustainable. To keep alive and improve upon a brand that has existed in Costa Rica for more than a half-century, the print product needed to go.The digital world moved too fast for a family-run newspaper with a shrinking staff. A for-sale sign hangs on the façade of The Tico Times’ building. Dyer (see Letter from the Publisher) – whose mother, Elisabeth (Betty) Dyer, founded the paper in 1956 and whose father, Richard Dyer, published the paper from 1972 to 1996 – said the shift in reader and advertiser behavior made the decision inevitable. “In terms of community, I think what has happened in recent years, which is the sad thing, due to the Internet, the community that used to gravitate around The Tico Times as a focal point dispersed,” Dyer said. On Tuesday, The Tico Times laid off its 16-member staff, including veterans of more than a quarter-century, while it restructures and directs its energies toward the online offerings. Six years ago, the paper published its 50th anniversary edition – an expansive history celebrating The Tico Times and its role in Central America over the years (for a free pdf download of the special edition, see above). The downfall came shortly after that anniversary issue. The dominoes tumbled as the global economic crisis eliminated advertiser after advertiser. The paper could not conceive of ways to get back those advertisers nor the revenue streams. The main response was to downsize, but that only created an overworked staff and errors, not profits.  Chacón also noted that faced with the changing times and the flight of advertising, the paper suffered from continuous lack of vision. “It was badly planned and had poor business strategies for years,” he said.Another problem was Dyer’s reputation for resisting technology and change. That opposition was rooted in her love for the print product. In the end, it was the desire to keep The Tico Times alive that led to the historic choice to drop the print edition.Meanwhile, reporters wrote about the most important events of the day up until the final print edition. Features included stories on an anti-gay, evangelical lawmaker’s controversial rise to the head of the Legislative Assembly’s Human Rights Commission, the disappearance of a tourist town’s most popular attraction and the case of fugitive conservationist Paul Watson. These types of stories that connect readers with Costa Rican issues beyond the superficial tourism tales hopefully will continue online, Dyer said.The moment best highlighting the juxtaposition of maintaining a weekly newspaper and an online medium occurred this month, when a magnitude-7.6 earthquake rocked the country. On Sept. 5, that tremor caused minimal damage but garnered worldwide attention.The website received 100,000 page views in the days following the quake (and a third of a million unique page views for the month). However, the small editorial staff encountered repeated dilemmas about whether to funnel all the content online or dig for deeper stories about the earthquake and its significance to fill the print edition – an edition that needed all the content it could get because it was largely devoid of ads.And the website received so many hits that it crashed. The paper seemed unprepared for such a large audience.Three weeks later, Dyer made the reluctant decision to go online only. Online English-language media still lack in the country. Almost flatteringly, many of the English online vehicles received their material from plagiarizing stories in The Tico Times and the country’s Spanish publications. Dyer said The Tico Times will emphasize providing original content at a faster pace online, with an eye to better fulfilling expat needs and continuing to provide fair and honest journalism in the country.In upcoming months, the company will experiment with creating new revenue models and modernizing the online product. The Tico Times also will hold campaigns asking for donations as it attempts to remain a leading voice in the community. Because of the newspaper’s precarious financial situation, the new venture will rely entirely on its ability to attract new funding and generate revenue online.The paper now heads in the direction of so many other former printed publications. The Tico Times moves online-only in an attempt to solve the biggest crisis facing journalism in the 21st century: Providing quality stories while surviving in a digital world.“We had hoped we could save the print edition, but we failed,” Dyer said. “This is now where we’re going to focus our efforts [online]. We want to continue some form of The Tico Times, and we think we still have a lot to offer.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Nicaragua extreme poverty cut in half

first_imgBy David Hutt | Special to The Tico TimesLEÓN, Nicaragua – The Nicaraguan economy has been hitting the headlines for all of the right reasons lately. First came the news that since the Sandinistas returned to power in 2006, the economy has grown by 30 percent, according to a report by the Nicaraguan Central Bank, published last month.The same report noted that in the past year, Nicaragua has seen its gross domestic product increase from $1,239 to $1,582 per citizen.At the same time, the Nicaraguan government signed a lucrative memorandum of understanding with a major Chinese telecommunications company to fund and build an inter-oceanic canal and freight railroad across the country to rival the Panama Canal.Then came further good news from Venezuela that Hugo Chávez will serve another six-years in office, which was received by the Nicaraguan government with optimism and relief by the country’s economists. Nicaragua currently imports Venezuelan oil at “solidarity rates,” meaning the country pays rock bottom prices for half of the oil up front, and then pays back the rest through low-interest loans. According to the Central Bank, which released new trade figures shortly before the Venezuelan elections, 62 percent of Nicaraguan oil revenue goes to fund social programs and macro-business development. To top all of this, Paul Oquist, the presidential secretary for national policy, speaking on the political radio station Radio La Primerisima, reported recently that in the last five years, extreme poverty has fallen from 11.2 percent to 5.5 percent. Extreme poverty is measured by a daily income of less than $1.25. According to Oquist, Nicaragua also recorded an economic growth of 5.1 percent in 2011 – the highest rate in all of Central America. Insufficient Growth?Despite the optimism, most Nicaraguan economists agree that much more needs to be done. Oquist admitted that 5 percent growth is not good enough if the country wants to properly eradicate poverty and move away from being Central America’s poorest nation, and the second poorest in all of Latin America. “We could continue to grow at 5 percent and get good grades, because it is the fastest growing economy in Central America and we are reducing poverty. But we will not achieve a great transformation, eradicate extreme poverty and overcome poverty in Nicaragua by growing at 5 percent,” he said. Oquist said that a transformation of Nicaraguan society would be possible only with an 8 percent growth rate. However, he is confident that in the next few years Nicaragua will be able to reach this lofty target, largely through the projected megaprojects. He added that the government has an investment portfolio of more than $11 billion, including a major oil refinery complex to be funded by Venezuela, and the Chinese-subsidized canal. But not everyone is so confident. Independent economist Néstor Avendaño doubts whether Nicaragua will even be able to match its current growth in the coming year. “I don’t see any possibility of us getting above 4 percent growth next year,” he said. Avendaño predicted a growth rate of 3.1 percent for 2013.Furthermore, Nicaragua is going to have to invest much of its economic windfall back into society if it wants to alleviate poverty that still exists. Currently just under half of all Nicaraguans live in poverty. A walk around any Nicaraguan city makes clear that a great inequality of wealth still exists. A 10-minute stroll can take you from a barrio of broken windows, passed-out glue addicts and littered streets to a barrio with U.S.-styled houses, high wire fences and security guards patrolling the perimeters. A survey by Wealth-X, a firm that surveys global wealth, found that 190 “ultra-rich” people (with wealth greater than $30 million) live in Nicaragua, with a combined wealth of $26 billion, the third highest in Central America. So, while there are positive signs of economic progress and a reduction in poverty, the country is going to have to move a lot quicker if it wants to catch up to its Central American neighbors and alleviate the suffering of many of its citizens. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Tamarindo Talk

first_imgIn addition to planning the annual Have a Heart Charity Golf Tournament each February, the Amigos de la Educación also helps out local schools. They received a donation of $2,080 for 1,000 additional textbooks for six schools in Matapalo, Cartagena, Portegolpe, El Llanita and La Garita Nueva. Right now, the organization is looking for volunteers for their Pedestrian Safety Program for six additional grade schools, as well as people to do service at the 13th Annual Have a Heart event. To volunteer, email or call 2653-1945 Mon.-Fri., from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.Over at Pura Aventura farm, they have added a new tour to the already-popular canopy zip-line and horseback riding tours. Now you can mountain bike on the property. Contact them at 8883-5703.And finally, if you have driven down past the Automercardo recently, you may have noticed that Don Fernando’s meat market is no longer in business across the street. Too bad, they had great cuts of meat for sale.Ellen Zoe Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

FIFA Womens World Cup Costa Rica hopes to fight its way to

first_imgRelated posts:FIFA Women’s World Cup: Brazil’s only goal is enough to eliminate Costa Rica FIFA Women’s World Cup: Costa Rica ties 2-2 with South Korea, makes it to second place in its group Women’s World Cup expanded field nets lopsided scores, but perhaps long-term gains Ms. Sloth Kong does the Gangnam Style (강남스타일) Costa Rica’s National Women’s Football Team, La Sele, will face their third match atFIFA’s World Cup Canada 2015 Wednesday against Brazil from an unexpected second place in their group and with good chances to advance to the knockout stage.The match starts at 5 p.m. Costa Rica time.La Sele will qualify if they win, draw or even if they lose to Brazil by a difference of one goal.The South Americans enter the match relaxed as neither the final score against La Sele will affect their top spot in the group, nor will the outcome of another game in the group. Brazil already clinched the top spot of Group E with six points, while Costa Rica has two, and Spain and South Korea each have one.Costa Rica can finish the group’s stage in second place depending on the results of today’s matches, but they also could make it as one of the four best third place finishers.The best – and most difficult – option for Las Ticas is to defeat Brazil. But unlike the men’s team, the Brazilians have never been World Champions.Costa Rica can also move to the next stage in second place if they draw with Brazil, as long as South Korea and Spain also end with a tie. La Sele would reach 3 points and Spain and Korea would stay at 2.Las Ticas can qualify even if they lose to Brazil as long as the other match also ends tied. In this scenario all three teams would finish with two points and qualifiers will be defined by goal difference.Brazil won both of their matches in Canada although they struggled against South Korea and Spain. Following their tight 1-0 win over Spain, Brazilian head coach Vadao said he was considering benching some of his main players against Costa Rica to allow them rest prior to their round of 16 match.Tica coach Amelia Valverde believes Costa Rica will need to play a nearly perfect match to gain some points against the Brazilians.“We know that we will face a great opponent and we have to play an almost perfect match. The team is realistic and they are fully aware of this, but the dream is alive and we will do everything possible to go for the win,” Valverde said at a press conference on Tuesday.The players are motivated after their two first matches. Midfielder Cristin Granados on Tuesday said her team knows that all other countries are now watching Costa Rica closely.“They saw that we are not the Cinderella of our group. Our only objective Wednesday is to beat Brazil, we don’t want a draw, we want to win,” said the player named by FIFA as “Player of the Match” following the 2-2 draw against Korea.The team’s captain and Paris Saint Germain star Shirley Cruz also said “the dream is still alive.”“We’ve shown that we haven’t come here to make up the numbers, but to compete. We’ve got one final to go and we have to give it our all for the entire 90 minutes. We need to put everything in it – our heart, soul and life,” she added.On her teammates motivation for the match, Cruz said: “The key to this team is that we never stop running, we battle for the very last ball until the very last minute.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Astronauts from 6 space agencies to convene in Costa Rica next week

first_imgRelated posts:Franklin Chang’s VASIMR plasma engine readies for key test Crowdfunding campaign to orbit Costa Rica’s first satellite surpasses goal Photo of Tico astronaut Franklin Chang with Barack Obama among best White House pics of 2015 Costa Rica to host UN meeting on space technology Former astronauts from various international space agencies will share their experiences at a public event at the National Stadium in San José next Wednesday, Mar. 9 from 7-9 p.m.The International Astronauts Forum is part of a workshop on human space technology, sponsored by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which Costa Rica will host from Mar. 7-11.Tico scientist and former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz will join David Saint Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, Marcos Pontes of the Brazilian Space Agency; Kenneth Cameron from NASA, and Takao Doi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and current UNOOSA’s director of the Space Applications Section.Each one will tell attendees about their paths to becoming astronauts and their experiences in space. They also will present videos specially prepared for the event and will take questions from the audience.Astronauts also will answer questions sent through social media using the official hashtag: #AstronauTicos.One of the highlights of the night will be the projection on giant screens of a greeting sent by NASA astronauts from the International Space Station.UN workshopChang said the main goal of next week’s U.N. workshop is to involve developing countries in major global space exploration projects.“Space exploration has to be democratized. Currently the only countries involved in space travel are the powerful and rich countries and that is not good, we need to change that,” Chang said.The workshop on human space technology is organized by local NGO Estrategia Siglo XXI, the Costa Rica-based Central American Aeronautics and Space Administration (ACAE) and Chang’s Ad Astra Rocket Company.It will gather, for the first time in Latin America, some 200 attendants, including experts in space technologies, astronauts and space agency officials from all over the world. They will discuss recent achievements and efforts in human space technology, scientific and research activities, education and international cooperation.ACAE President Carlos Alvarado Briceño said the Astronauts’ Forum will be the only event open to the public. Entrance is free, but limited to 8,000 people. Organizers will distribute some 2,000 tickets among high school and college students.Private sponsors will distribute the remaining tickets among the general public through social media and through sweepstakes, Alvarado said. Sponsors include: GBM Costa Rica, Kölbi, Credomatic, Florida Bebidas, Publitickets and RPMTV.Space Shuttle Columbia AnniversaryPrior to the workshop, on Friday, Chang will join other members of NASA’s STS-61C mission, launched on Jan. 12, 1986 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. It was the first of Chang’s seven space missions.The group decided to use the meeting in Costa Rica to celebrate the mission’s 30th anniversary.Chang will join former Columbia crew members: Robert L. Gibson, commander; Charles Bolden, pilot and current NASA administrator; William Nelson, mission specialist; and Robert J. Cenker, payload specialist and current Florida congressman.Among the celebration activities, astronauts will visit ex president Luis Alberto Monge (1982-1986) at his home. Chang recalled that Monge became the first Latin American president to speak live with the crew of a space shuttle mission. STS-61C crewmembers at the time pledged to visit Monge in Costa Rica upon their return to Earth.“The trip, however, was postponed due to the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. Now we can finally fulfill that promise,” Chang said on Wednesday. STS-61C mission crew (seated left to right) Charles F. Bolden, Jr., pilot; and Robert L. Gibson, commander. Back row, left to right: payload specialists Robert J. Cenker, Bill Nelson and mission specialists Steven A. Hawley, George D. Nelson, and Franklin Chang Díaz. (Via NASA) Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Óscar Ramírez faces first adversity as La Seles head coach

first_img“If we want to be among the world’s best, then we need to take care of the ball,” said starting wing defender Gamboa. “They came in the area three times and got three goals, plus the penalty, and that doesn’t reflect the type of football we’re used to playing.”This tournament is useful for Costa Rica and other CONCACAF teams, like the U.S., to measure themselves against the powers of South America. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Tuesday night after the game that his team watched Monday’s battle between Argentina and Chile in total awe of what the two world powers were able to do on the pitch.“We were exhausted at halftime just watching it,” Klinsmann quipped.But Costa Rica should be better than this once-struggling U.S. team, or at least competitive in a meaningful game. The only thing anyone has learned from Costa Rica in this tournament is that it might be in over its head against top-level competition right now. And, for sure, this team is a far cry from the defensive power that toppled giants like Italy and Uruguay in the World Cup two years ago.“Since I’ve been on La Sele, we’ve had these tough games that wake us up a little bit,” Borges said. “We’ve got to see where we can improve. Right now it’s difficult, of course, because people are going to be disappointed.”Though there should certainly be concerns when looking at this team’s talent pool for the future, the core group that made it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2014 is still around. What’s clearly lacking is creativity on offense and consistency on defense, both problems that Ramírez must solve on this team’s road to Russia.The disappointing blowout has virtually disqualified Costa Rica from the Copa América already, but there are still successes to look forward to if Ramírez can correct problems that the U.S. had no trouble exposing.“I’m a football man and I know that these things happen,” Ramírez said. “I can’t go crazy over it. We can’t start thinking that because of this beatdown, nothing works now.” Facebook Comments The difference between Keylor Navas & someone who’s not Keylor Navas: the US have scored with every shot on target.— Sam Kelly (@HEGS_com) June 8, 2016 CHICAGO, Ill. – Sometimes all it takes is one loss for the heat to start turning up on a coach. Considering that Tuesday’s4-0 debacle against the U.S. in a crucial Copa América match was uglier than any loss in recent memory, doubt has started to surround Ramírez’s role as La Sele’s leader.“I understand there’s going to be a lot of questions coming my way,” he said. “I didn’t want this to happen but it happened and I have to push it out of the way.”Ten months into his tenure as the head coach of the Costa Rican men’s national team, Ramírez has enjoyed a good showing in World Cup qualifying play, where La Sele is well on its way to advancing to the final round. But it’s going to be hard to erase away the glaring stain created when an inconsistent U.S. side going through turmoil dominated Costa Rica on every level.Ramírez, however, said he didn’t see the 4-0 blowout in the same way that most fans are sure to remember it. He called it one of the strangest games he’s ever coached.“I thought in terms of football style we were superior,” Ramírez said. “We had more control. But that’s football and with the goals I thought the U.S. hurt us in a big way. They hit us in the biggest moments.” Ramírez’s team has failed to score a single goal in two games during the Copa América Centenario tournament. Alex Menendez/AFPTo suggest you were the better team when you lost by four goals is one thing. To suggest you were the better team when you lost by four goals with defenders who seemed dizzy from confusion and an offense that couldn’t string together anything resembling an attack seems borderline delusional.Against the U.S., Costa Rica looked like the better team for all of seven minutes. Then, when a questionable call on Cristian Gamboa inside the box led to a Clint Dempsey penalty kick, La Sele became overwhelmed.Stealing an early goal can often turn the fate of games, but it provides little excuse for a team to implode the way Ramírez’s group did. His beloved five-man backline was outpaced again and again by a U.S. attack that Colombia wiped away just days before.Defender Óscar Duarte was slow to react on the second and third goals from the U.S. and the backline lagged consistently near the end of the first half. Costa Rica was lucky the U.S. didn’t score five goals in the first period; forward Gyasi Zardes botched a pair of goal-scoring opportunities.“I apologize to Costa Rican fans for the score, but not for the way we play football,” Ramírez said. “I prefer this result come in this tournament rather than in World Cup qualifying.”It was a horrible game from the front of the field to the back for Costa Rica. And that happens. But what’s most worrisome for the Ticos is that some ugly patterns are starting to form. Offensive catalysts like Bryan Ruíz and Celso Borges have disappeared for long stretches of games, lacking the creativity this team needs if it’s going to score against improved competition.Another bad sign is that Ramírez’s defensive backfield gets beat far more often than it should, which is a trend that became most noticeable in the 1-1 World Cup qualifier tie with Jamaica, where the Reggae Boyz stretched the field on Costa Rica and used their athletes to speed by defenders on long volleys and opportune crosses.Without Keylor Navas, or even usual backup Esteban Alvarado, the defense has to rise to the challenge and realize they don’t have the usual security blanket behind them. Not only did they not respond, they looked lifeless in their most important match in this “group of death.”center_img Related posts:Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Costa Rica humiliates the United States 4-0 in World Cup qualifier Final thoughts from Costa Rica’s short-lived Copa América: Is Ramírez in the hot seat? Costa Rica seeking revenge against the United Stateslast_img read more

Frenchman shot and killed in Cambodia

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Sponsored Stories The website for Cambodia’s Deum Ampil newspaper quoted Mathieu’s 20-year-old girlfriend as saying they had lived together several months. She said she discovered his body in the street as she returned home from a market.A witness told the website he saw three attackers attempt to rob Mathieu. One of them shot Mathieu who refused to hand over what appeared to be a mobile phone.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milkcenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – A Frenchman living in the Cambodian capital has been shot and killed in what police suspect was a botched robbery or a crime of passion.Police say 43-year-old Franck Mathieu was shot early Tuesday while riding his motorcycle in Phnom Penh. He later died in hospital.District police chief Houth Chan Yaran says police are searching for three suspected attackers and investigating Mathieu’s Cambodian girlfriend. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

More than ever Barca more than club for Catalans

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The difference between men and women when it comes to pain “Look, the truth is that ever since the Civil War there has always been tension in Spain,” said Pujol. “Having traveled in Spain, they always look at us as Catalans.”Ahead of kickoff before any “clasico,” Camp Nou traditionally greets Real Madrid players with a huge mosaic of Barcelona’s burgundy-and-blue stripes made up of colored cards. This year, for the first time, they held up cards forming the red-and-yellow striped Catalan “senyera” flag _ an explicit nationalist message. (Barca says it can neither confirm nor deny reports that its away uniform next season will be modeled on the senyera.)Then came the crowd’s collective shout for independence at 1714 hours _ in reference to the year 1714 when Barcelona fell to the troops of Philip V in the War of Spanish Succession. It was organized by a pro-independence group through social media.Barca fan David Fort sees his team as a vehicle to show the world that Catalonia has its own language and culture, which is distinct from what he called the “bulls and flamenco” associated with Spain.“We have this love for Barca because we have the chance to be represented around the world,” said Fort, a 38-year-old architect from the southern Catalan town of Tarragona. “When we travel and they ask me if I am Spanish, I say not exactly, but when I mention Barca they say `Ah! The Catalan team’, and of course since they are champions you feel proud.” Lifelong Barca club member Enric Pujol was at Camp Nou for this month’s game against Real Madrid, the team of Spain’s capital. Wearing his burgundy-and-blue Barca jersey, Pujol also held one of the hundreds of pro-independence “estelada” flags, featuring a white star in a blue triangle, which bristled throughout the stands.“It was a beautiful emotion to see Camp Nou like that,” said Pujol. “Barca is more than a club because of the values it transmits. It is linked to Catalan culture. In this sense it is a club and a social institution that acts like our flag.”Barca has been seen as a bastion of Catalan identity dating back to the three decades of dictatorship when Catalans could not openly speak, teach or publish in their native Catalan language. Barcelona writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban famously called the football team “Catalonia’s unarmed symbolic army.”Barca-Real Madrid matches have a nickname: “el clasico” _ the classic _ and they are one of the world’s most-watched sporting events, seen by 400 million people in 30 countries. But local passions run high. In Spain, where football has deep political and cultural connotations, many see the clashes of Spain’s most successful teams as a proxy battle between wealthy Catalonia and the central government in Madrid. If Barca is a symbol of Catalan nationalism, Real Madrid is an emblem of a unified Spain. Barca, like every institution in Spain, was marked by the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s and resulting right-wing dictatorship that ended after Franco’s death in 1975.Franco’s soldiers killed Barca’s club president in 1936, and the club was forced to change its name from a Catalan to a Spanish version. And while Real Madrid was identified with the regime, Barca, for many, came to represent Catalan anti-fascist resistance.“Under Franco, people could not shout `Long Live Catalonia!,’ but they could shout `Long Live Barca!’ (¡Visca Barca!)” in Catalan, said Ernest Folch, a newspaper columnist who writes about Barca for El Periodico. The chant became a kind of code for expressing Catalan pride.“Barca is an anomaly. There is no other club with its particular history,” said Folch. “It survived the Franco dictatorship, and has always been a focal point for protest and ferment where sport has mixed with politics.”And politics is a very hot topic these days in Catalonia.Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 25 in regional elections sure to be judged as a litmus test of the strength of the pro-independence movement that brought 1.5 million people to the streets of Barcelona on Sept. 11 in the largest rally since the 1970s. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The upswing in separatist sentiment in Catalonia has forced both the club and its players_ many of whom form the backbone of Spain’s world champion national team _ to try a difficult balancing act between supporting their most fervent pro-independence fans without alienating the millions of others who are not.“We are Barca. We represent Catalonia and we will support whatever Catalans want,” said Barca and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez. But he added: “We try to isolate ourselves from everything outside the game. We know the political issue is there, and the people have the right to express themselves however they wish, but we are here to play football and make sure people have fun.”The glaring exception to the moderate tone is former coach Pep Guardiola, a hugely popular figure in Catalonia, who appeared in a video during the Sept. 11 march saying: “Here you have my vote for independence.”Two weeks after the politically charged “clasico,” Barca president Sandro Rosell made his first official visit to southern Spain to cool tensions at a meeting of Barca fan clubs.“I don’t know what information you are receiving here, but I preferred to come here and say on behalf of the club that Barca will never get mixed up in political issues,” Rosell told the 1,000 Spanish fans, promising that Barca would never display a mosaic of the separatist “estelada” flag at Camp Nou. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Catalonia is heavily in debt and has in fact asked Spain for a (EURO)5.9 billion ($7.5 billion) bailout. Even so, regional lawmakers voted on Sept. 27 to hold a referendum on self-determination at a date still to be determined. And although it is still unclear that a “Yes” vote would win, Spain’s central government has called such a referendum unconstitutional and will surely try to stop it from taking place.That all puts Catalonia, and therefore Barca, in the midst of Spain’s struggles to deal with consequences of back-to-back recessions, 25 percent unemployment, and high public debt that has drawn it into the euro crisis along with already bailed-out Greece, Ireland and Portugal.Barca’s appeal, of course, transcends its regional identity. The team is beloved throughout the world, and a poll last year found that it had displaced Real Madrid as Spain’s most popular team. Barca has 546 fan clubs in Catalonia, and 841 in the rest of Spain. Some of these fans_ even in Catalonia _ disagree with what they perceive as the political turn the club has taken in recent years.“It’s surreal to talk about these ideas related to independence,” said fan Jamie Easton, 27, a Spaniard born in Barcelona to a British father and a mother of Catalan descent. “Barca is a Catalan and Spanish club because Barcelona is part of Spain, and fans can feel however they want.” Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Associated PressBARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Nearly 20 minutes into the latest clash between Spain’s most popular football teams, Barcelona’s 98,000-seat Camp Nou stadium erupted into a deafening roar. Tens of thousands of Catalans in the city at the heart of their separatist movement chanted in unison: “Independence!”More than ever, FC Barcelona, known affectionately as Barca, is living up to its motto of being “more than a club” for this wealthy northeastern region where Spain’s economic crisis is fueling separatist sentiment. “This doesn’t mean that this isn’t a Catalan club and that of course we will defend our roots and origins, but one thing shouldn’t be mixed with the other. One thing is politics and the other is identity. Barca unites us all.”___AP Writer Jorge Sainz contributed to this report from Madrid.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img

Merkel pursues ambitious agenda for G7 summit

first_imgA senior German official, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief the press ahead of the summit, said Merkel wants to move the discussion of de-carbonization ahead as a long-term goal, and also to provide momentum for climate talks in Paris later this year.But Tobias Muenchmeyer, of Greenpeace in Germany, worried that Merkel may be more likely to accept something weaker on climate change if she can find successes elsewhere.“I’m realistic enough to see that if she sees that she can’t deliver anything meaningful or significant, I could imagine that she would try to hide this by highlighting other issues more,” he said.Merkel will hold a one-on-one meeting with President Barack Obama on Sunday morning. The two are expected to talk about the negotiations on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States.Obama is also pushing to advance the long-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves Canada and Japan, and the issue seemed likely to come up at the summit.Germany has said that the refinancing of Greece’s debt — a major issue facing the European Union — is certain to be discussed but is not on the official agenda. “In 2007 Merkel was a world leader, no doubt, but now she’s consistently been rated one of the most powerful leaders in the world,” said Sudha David-Wilp, Senior Trans-Atlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund think tank.“The United States and many other countries recognize Germany to be a leader,” she said. “So I think the tone will be different.”Since the 2007 summit, Germany has successfully weathered the global financial crisis and come out stronger than ever. It has been getting increasingly involved internationally, as one of the key countries involved in trying to resolve the Ukraine crisis, helping to arm Kurdish militias fighting the Islamic State group and serving as a key broker in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.Climate change is still at the top of Merkel’s agenda, but for this year’s talks the chancellor says she will pursue an “ambitious agenda” to address a wide range of other issues. These include terrorism, Ukraine, health emergencies like the Ebola outbreak and global economic growth and trade deals.“We are going to use the 24 hours that we’re together for some very intensive talks over a lot of questions that are affecting the world,” Merkel told foreign reporters in Berlin this week. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The Sunday-Monday summit whose motto is “think ahead, act together,” assembles the leaders of Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States in the Schloss Elmau hotel at the base of the Alps, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Munich.Bavarian police say they’re braced for protests, and have mobilized 17,000 police officers from around the country in the biggest operation in their history. Thirty helicopters will patrol the skies and temporary cells have been built out of shipping containers and installed on a nearby former U.S. military base. Austrian police plan to have 2,000 officers on hand across the nearby border.On the climate front, expectations are high. Merkel has indicated that she supports “de-carbonization” — a pledge of zero carbon emissions — and said in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Germany and France would make a joint push at the G-7, but at the moment “there is not yet agreement” among the nations.Canada and Japan are the biggest holdouts, with the U.S. somewhere in between them and the summit’s four European powers. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are the only other two leaders who were also at the 2007 summit in Germany. Going in, Merkel has already weakened her own position by dragging her feet on implementing national measures meant to reduce Germany’s reliance on coal. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Activists of the international campaigning and advocacy organization ONE installed balloons with portraits of the G-7 heads of state in Munich, Germany, Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) Comments   Share   Top Stories BERLIN (AP) — When Germany last hosted a summit of the world’s leading industrialized democracies, Chancellor Angela Merkel was a relative newcomer on the world stage. With less than two years in office she focused on one major theme: the fight against climate change.Heading into this weekend’s meeting of what is now the G-7 — after Russia’s removal from the club over its actions in Ukraine — Merkel is pursuing a much broader agenda, bolstered by Germany’s growing clout and her own increased political prominence. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In terrorism, Germany has invited the leaders of Iraq, Nigeria and Tunisia to tell the G-7 countries about their own first-hand experiences, and also specify their needs.Other security matters include the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the fight against the Islamic State group and maritime security in the South China Sea amid increasingly assertive actions by China.Rounding out the agenda will be discussions on what can be done to end hunger and malnourishment, with the focus on concrete goals and programs.Even though Merkel is now armed with more experience than in 2007 — and is taking on much more — don’t expect a noticeable difference to how she approaches the talks, said David-Wilp.“I don’t think she takes her power for granted, and is still the very pragmatic person who came to power in 2005,” she said. “She’s seen as a steady hand in times of crisis and, let’s face it, Western powers are seeing a lot of crisis right now.”___Frank Jordans in Berlin and Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

AP images of Vietnam War make homecoming in exhibit

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories “They gave the whole world a full picture of what was going on in Vietnam,” President Truong Tan Sang told The Associated Press ahead of an exhibit of the AP’s wartime photographs in Hanoi. “I believe these photos made an enormous contribution to bringing the war in Vietnam to an end.”“Vietnam: The Real War,” a collection of 58 photographs taken by the AP, opens to the public Friday, marking a homecoming that officials say is historic and an emblem of changing times. Forty years after the war ended, it is the first time that the collection is being exhibited in Vietnam, where the conflict is called the “American War.”AP’s Saigon bureau won six Pulitzer Prizes for its Vietnam coverage, including four for photography. All four are on display among prize-winning works by more than 20 photographers, whose images are part of the news cooperative’s archive with tens of thousands of wartime photographs.There was Malcolm Browne’s shocking 1963 photograph of the burning monk, which appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way up to the White House, prompting John F. Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administration’s Vietnam policy. Eddie Adams captured the moment a Viet Cong suspect was shot in the head, point blank, by a South Vietnamese commander in 1968.In 1972, Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut captured the unforgettable image of a screaming 9-year-old girl, after an aerial napalm attack burned the clothes off her body. It is known as “Napalm Girl,” and earned Ut a 1973 Pulitzer and celebrity status in Vietnam.The longtime AP photographer sees the image every day, and remains haunted by it.“I have it blown up big in my living room,” said Ut, who lives in Los Angeles but returned to Vietnam for the exhibit. He said he still wakes up from nightmares about the war. “Sometimes I just look at it and cry.”For many, the photographs helped crystallize the debate Americans had been having for years about the far-off war that left so many dead.More than 58,000 Americans died in the war. An estimated 3 million Vietnamese perished.One of the exhibit’s centerpieces is a gripping close-up by Horst Faas, AP’s veteran Saigon photo editor. It shows a doe-faced American soldier with the hand-scrawled message on his helmet: “War is Hell” — an underlying message of every image at the exhibit. Terrified parents crouch over their children, or desperately clutch their tiny corpses. Soldiers from both sides grimace in pain as they wait in tropical jungles for help. Comments   Share   In this Wednesday, June 10, 2015, photograph, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Nick Ut signs copies of the book “Vietnam The Real War” which features his iconic ‘Napalm girl’ photo, in Hanoi, Vietnam ahead of the opening of an exhibit of AP’s wartime photographs in Hanoi. This month marks the 20th anniversary of restored diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Vietnam. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img “AP presented these images of what was really going on in the war. It was through that lens that people around the world gained a better understanding of the conflict,” said Gary Pruitt, AP’s president and CEO, who was in Hanoi to attend a Thursday night preview and the exhibit’s Friday opening.Hundreds of reporters from around the world covered the more than decade-long conflict, but the AP was especially well represented in both staff size and talent. Their pictures brought the reality of the conflict to the homes of Americans in unprecedented detail and horrifyingly close-up.Part of Pruitt’s message in Vietnam was about the importance of a free press, in a country that still lacks one.Many of the AP pictures led to “serious tensions” with the U.S. government, he said.“There were times when the United States government felt the AP’s work was undermining its military effort,” Pruitt said. There was government pressure at times to change reporters and to change coverage. “AP resisted that pressure … AP is there to report the facts and tell the truth, no matter who it upsets and no matter what happens as a result.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories The exhibit comes amid a flurry of war-related commemorations. This month marks the 20th anniversary of restored diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Vietnam. Major celebrations marked the recent 40th anniversary of defeating the Americans on April 30, 1975, when northern communist forces seized control of U.S.-backed South Vietnam, ending the war.When the photos were published they “helped people around the world understand the meaninglessness of the war in Vietnam,” Assistant Foreign Minister Vu Quang Minh said at Thursday’s preview, attended by government officials, diplomats and a variety of Vietnamese celebrities.Now they can teach the younger generation, he said, “to understand the destruction and suffering war brings to humankind. And therefore to cherish peace.”The exhibit that runs through June 26 is being held at Hanoi’s Exhibition Hall, after previous runs in New York and London.___Associated Press writer Minh V. Tran contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to show that some individual photos have been displayed before.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — They were the images that communicated the horrors of war in ways words could not.They were so much more than just photographs, Vietnam’s president said Thursday, recalling black-and-white images he said he will never forget from the war that ended 40 years ago: A Buddhist monk consumed by flames in a fiery suicide. A screaming Vietnamese child running down a road naked, as her skin burns from a napalm attack.last_img read more

CTM picks up etm

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Departments within the etm group are preparing to adopt a new title, after the Melbourne-based company was acquired by Corporate Travel Management (CTM) earlier today.Effective 1 October this year, the purchase will see etm’s leisure and corporate divisions run under the CTM title while its MICE department will operate nationally with CTM’s existing division but maintain its current title.The acquisition, which is being funded from CTM cash reserves and future cash flow, was made after a year of consideration and according to CTM managing director Jamie Pherous part of the company’s strategic Australian growth. Mr Pherous explained that the travel management company was searching for a business that would add “value” for clientele and whose practise correlated with CTM’s.“The etm group ticks all of those boxes and more – they have a very similar culture to CTM, they have the exact same software platforms to ensure a seamless transition for staff and clients, and we are delighted with the opportunities it presents for our clients, in particular relating to providing quality Event and Conference Management, and high-end Leisure services,” Mr Pherous said. The company’s head added that combined with etm, the two groups will be able to offer Australian and New Zealand corporate markets “award-winning quality and superior expertise across multiple travel segments”. Despite the purchase, a statement from CTM read that etm directors would continue to work in the business and will focus efforts on building up cross-selling opportunities. last_img read more

airberlin targets Polish market

first_imgGermany’s second largest airline, airberlin has set its sights on the Polish tourism market, according to the airline’s senior vice presidnet sales scheduled services Otto Gergye. Responding to growing demand, airberlin this year introduced new non-stop connections between Berlin and Warsaw as well as introduced new flights to Kraków and Gdansk. In a recent interview, Mr Gergye explained Poland was a strategic growth market for the carrier, because of its strong economy and rising demand in flights. “Poland has something to offer for all tastes when it comes to travel.” Mr Gergye explained. “It offers such variety that it is difficult to make a choice.” In total, the airline operates 18 weekly non-stop flights between Berlin and Waraw, three-times weekly flights between Berlin and Kraków as well as two daily non-stop services between Berlin and Gdansk. Poland is a strategic growth market: airberlinlast_img read more

Malaysia Airlines continues Australia New Zealand flights as normal

first_imgMalaysia Airlines has confirmed all scheduled flights to and from Australia and New Zealand will continue to operate as normal, stating the Malaysian Government, the airline’s majority shareholder, is committed to ensuring Malaysia Airline’s long term future as its national carrier.Malaysia Airlines flies to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin and Auckland and will continue with its normal schedule.“We are determined to rebuild trust in Malaysia Airlines as one of the best full-service carriers in the world and we appreciate the support of travel agencies, passengers and our valued employees,” Malaysia Airlines regional senior vice president Australia, New Zealand and South-west Pacific, Poh Kait said.The Australasian region is the airline’s main market outside Malaysia, with the airline having boosted capacity from Australia and New Zealand in February 2014 and invested AUD $800 million in new aircraft, due to an increase in demand.Meanwhile, in light of the recent tragedy, Malaysia Airlines will offer a waiver for flight bookings and tickets, effective immediately, until Thursday 24 July, for travel between 18 July and 31 December.Passengers who wish to postpone or cancel their travel plans can obtain a refund, including for non-refundable tickets, and may contact their nearest Air Malaysia ticketing office or call centre on the numbers below.Australia 13 26 27New Zealand 0800 777 747Malaysia 1300 883 000Outside Malaysia +603 7843 3000Families may contact +603 7884 1234For up to date information concerning Malaysia Airlines, please see www.malaysiaairlines.comSource = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

Carnival Cruise Lines introduce airinclusive bookings

first_imgCarnival Cruise Lines have announced today that local cruises can be booked with flights included, as part of their new Carnival CruiseAir packages.The launch of Carnival CruiseAir packages follows an increase in interstate bookings for the popular Sydney-based Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend, as well as the debut of the cruise line’s new fly-cruise options to Singapore and Hawaii.Announcing the move, Carnival Cruise Lines vice president Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke said CruiseAir would make it easy for agents to book cruises and flights from 63 different cities across Australia and New Zealand.“CruiseAir is a one-stop shop which offers a variety of benefits for agents and their clients, with CruiseAir, guests can choose their airline, class and seat, with the system providing agents with side-by-side pricing options for flexible and restricted fares,” Ms Vandekreeke said.CruiseAir also comes with ‘next port’ protection, which means that if there’s a flight delay or service disruption Carnival Cruises will get guests to their next appropriate port of call.“Plus it offers post-cruise protection – so if a cruise is late into port and a guest misses their return flight, we’ll work with the airline to re-book the flight and ensure our guest gets home,” Ms Vandekreeke said.Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest cruise line in the world with over four and a half million guests travelling every year. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

SA Tourism in safe hands

first_imgATEC managing director Peter Shelley, has said this week that the South Australian Government’s decision to not dissolve an important advisory board was a wise move that would protect the future of tourism in the state. “In this case, the tourism industry took a strong and united stand against plans to disband the South Australian Tourism Commission’s (SATC) advisory Board, which provided a valuable connection to the tourism industry on the ground,” Mr Shelley said. After fierce lobbying by ATEC and its members, the Government listened and realised the plans to remove this board would not be in the best interest of a growing tourism industry. “We are pleased the Government has been receptive to the voice of industry and understands the importance of maintaining a direct contribution from the industry which can support and drive the strategic vision for tourism in the state.” The SATC Board consists of skills based positions from a range of areas including industry and non-industry experts and has been responsible for building the current tourism strategy for 2020.“It is vital they continue their role in helping to ensure commercially focused decision making that will deliver tourism growth and above all tourism jobs for South Australia.” ATEC SA chairman Paul Brown, said tourism has been identified as a key driver for the South Australian economy and a creator of up to 10,000 new jobs.“This week ATEC is holding a series of export industry events where more than 40 international travel buyers are meeting with 40 South Australian tourism experiences giving our SA industry exposure to representatives from the UK, Europe and North America and Eastern markets including India, Singapore, Malaysia and importantly China,” Mr Brown said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more