Dutch scale back extra security at Amsterdam airport

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> THE HAGUE – Dutch authorities say beefed-up security measures at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport are being scaled back following investigation of an unspecified threat.The country’s National Coordinator of Counterterrorism and Security says in a statement that some of the extra measures, which included military police checking cars approaching the airport to drop off passengers, will end Thursday evening, just under three weeks after they were introduced.The counterterror co-ordination office says “further investigations have led to the conclusion that some of the extra measures are no longer necessary.”The move comes amid busy days at the national airport as the summer vacation period draws to a close.Since March 2013, the threat level in the Netherlands has been at “substantial,” the second highest on a five-step scale. The Canadian Press Share Thursday, August 18, 2016 center_img Posted by Dutch scale back extra security at Amsterdam airport Tags: Amsterdamlast_img read more

Excellence Group announces new luxury resort in Montego Bay

first_img MIAMI — Known for its award-winning luxury resorts in the Caribbean, Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts has announced its newest addition in Jamaica – Excellence Oyster Bay.Opening early 2018 and breaking ground in the next few months, it will be the first adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort of its kind in Montego Bay, and will enjoy prime location in Oyster Bay, just 30 minutes from the international airport. The waterfront property will feature 325 suites, including 800-square foot junior suites and 2,000-square foot upper suites that include expansive living spaces, panoramic ocean views and direct beach access.Excellence Oyster Bay will be in a private peninsula with calm waters on one side and a lagoon on the other. The town of Fallmounth is also nearby for day trips.“Excellence Oyster Bay will be the first resort of the Excellence Group in Jamaica, and will set a new standard in the all-inclusive luxury segment, with its location, facilities and the renowned quality service that guests have come to expect from any Excellence Resort,” said Excellence Group’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Domingo Aznar.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTMore information can be found at excellencegroupluxuryresorts.com Excellence Group announces new luxury resort in Montego Bay Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Tweet Tags: Excellence Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

New learning programs from Nexion Canada aim to train prospective agents

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Tags: Nexion Canada Posted bycenter_img LONDON — Nexion Canada wants to take training for the next generation of travel agents to the next level with two new educational programs: a Virtual Campus and an Independent Learner program.Nexion said each program gives individuals who are new to the travel industry the chance to “thoroughly learn the business – in the way that works best for them”.“Starting a new career in the travel industry, including as a travel agent, is something that appeals to a wide cross-section of individuals, particularly those who have a passion for travel and those who are interested in owning their own businesses,” said Mike Foster, President of Nexion Canada.“With no previous non-degree offerings available, we recognized the opportunity to fill that gap with a program that offered flexibility for busy adults through two distinct options. With Nexion Canada’s experience as a host agency, we are uniquely well-positioned to educate the travel agent professional of tomorrow.”The Virtual Campus offers participants an online version of a traditional travel school, complete with instructors, classmates, study halls and projects. Each individual is placed into a cohort, and Virtual Campus students meet with their cohort for weekly online study groups throughout four learning modules.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJInstructors from Nexion Canada guide these with discussions, along with Q&A sessions on each module. In between study groups, Virtual Campus participants complete online lessons at their convenience and Nexion Canada also arranges guest faculty lectures from experts in all segments of the travel industry. An admissions interview is required for entry into the program.At the end of the Virtual Campus course, attendees present a business or career plan to the group.The Virtual Campus is designed not only to educate participants about the travel industry, but to prepare them to become independent professional travel agents, says Foster. “Business and career planning components provide each Nexion Canada Virtual Campus attendee the chance to focus on a specific niche or specialization they hope to sell, and identify prospective customers.”The Independent Learner program offers more flexibility and does not require an admissions interview. All of the eLearn lessons are included, as well as quizzes for the aspiring travel agents.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaNexion Canada instructors are available via email for guidance, and one coaching session is included. Independent Learners move at their own pace, and the courses are available to them for six months. With no study cohort Independent Learners can learn when and where they want to.“Training the newest generation of travel agents is extremely important,” said Foster. “Nexion Canada’s goal is to provide the education and resources needed for anyone who is serious about seeking a career in travel. Different learning styles and different needs require different programs. We’re confident that participants in our Virtual Campus and Independent Learner programs will have the skills to serve their customers and become leading travel agents.” New learning programs from Nexion Canada aim to train prospective agents Friday, March 31, 2017 last_img read more

Former strip club turned boutique hotel The Broadview Hotel opens in TO

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Toronto 1 2 3 4 5Next Former strip club turned boutique hotel: The Broadview Hotel opens in TO Rooftop drinks next to the ‘No Vacancy’ sign, where guests will find a private rooftop dining spaceTORONTO — It took three years to transform a beautiful but down-at-the-heels Romanesque Revival building in Toronto’s east side – once the highest tower east of the Don River – from Jilly’s strip club into The Broadview Hotel.From its original days in 1891 as a social club, bicycle club, even a curling club – and finally, in its last incarnation, Jilly’s strip club (with a rooming house on the floors above), the building has seen a lot of changes, and changing clientele, at the corner of Queen St. East and Broadview Ave. in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, just west of Leslieville and south of Riverdale.Jilly’s always said they would never sell, but they finally did, and then Streetcar Developments, best known as a condo developer here in Toronto, took on the formidable task of restoring the grand old building to its former glory. Now with 58 rooms, 4 dining and drink venues ranging from the bright and airy Lobby Café to the spectacular rooftop bar and private dining space (there’s also a private event venue), The Broadview Hotel is open for business.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaWith its Queen and Broadview location, the hotel is less than 2 kilometres from Yonge St., a quick hop (at least when it’s not rush hour) on the Queen or King streetcars. Boutique hotels in Toronto’s west end, like the Drake Hotel and the Gladstone Hotel, have seen great success in recent years despite the fact that they’re much further from the downtown core (although they’re right in the centre of the trendy West Queen West scene).“People don’t always want to stay in the urban core,” says The Broadview Hotel’s General Manager, Murray Henderson. “They want to stay local. They want to stay in a neighbourhood.”Henderson comes to the Broadview from his most recent post at Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square. The hotel also boasts John Sinopoli as its Executive Chef, and Erik Joyal, well-known in Toronto’s dining scene for venues including Table 17 and Izakaya.The Broadview Hotel is beautiful, passing on the so-hip-it-hurts décor that works so well for the Drake and the Gladstone, and going instead for a retro 1920s and 1930s vibe, channeling an elegant ambience of grand hotels.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAnd are there remnants of Jilly’s? This hotel is all about history, from the retro rotary telephones in the hallways to the brass fittings to the wallpaper in the Lobby Café, which Henderson says is a replica of the original paper on the building’s walls. “I can’t even tell you how many layers of wallpaper we peeled back,” he said. A pink neon sculpture adorns the ceiling in the Lobby Café, a nod to Jilly’s. And is that a stripper pole in one of the rooms? Check out the hotel yourself to find out.In-room bar selectionJohn Sinopoli, Executive Chef, The Broadview HotelMurray Henderson, General Manager, The Broadview Hotel Wednesday, July 19, 2017 Posted by Sharelast_img read more

Monograms discounts Italy 2019 departures by 15

first_img Posted by Tags: Europe, Monograms Share Tuesday, July 3, 2018 Monograms discounts Italy 2019 departures by 15%center_img TORONTO — Italy will be extra sweet next year now that Monograms is shaving 15% off all 2019 departures of some of its most popular tours.Clients must book their 2019 Italy trip between July 1-31, 2018 to receive the discount on a choice of vacations, including its three-night ‘City Getaways’ to Rome, to Florence or to Venice; a six-night tour combining Rome and Florence, and a nine-night holiday combining Rome with Florence and Venice. Clients can also save 15% on a full week in the Eternal City with the ‘A Week in Rome’ package.The sale is applicable to all departure dates throughout 2019. And when clients book their air to coincide with their tour start and end dates from Monogram’s array of airlines and fares, they’ll also receive free airport transfers in their destination.Each of Monograms’ Europe tours includes centrally located accommodation with breakfast, a half-day sightseeing tour in each city, first-class rail transportation between the cities, and the services of a Local Host. A full day of leisure is also included in each city.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsFor more information go to monogramstravel.ca. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Survey finds Costa Rica hotel occupancy rates less than stellar

first_imgThe main vacation period in Costa Rica, between December and January, showed low income for hotels in the country.A survey by the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) of 152 hosting companies across the country found that 40 percent deemed hotel occupancy during that period as “regular,” while 30 percent considered it “poor,” 12 percent said it was “good,” and only 7.3 percent said it was “very good.”The research also found that most Ticos who traveled during this period opted for one- and two-star hotels.Establishments with fewer than 100 rooms were occupied at a rate of 62.9 percent, while hotels with more than 200 rooms had occupation rates of 15.6 percent.The Pacific provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas were the regions with the highest percentage of local tourism, while the Northern Region, the Central Valley and the Caribbean were the least visited.The beach is the preferred destination of Ticos, and hotels in these areas reported 41 percent occupancy during the period surveyed.The CANATUR study was conducted during the first and second week of February. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rican Facebook user files formal complaint against ruling National Liberation Party

first_imgNo related posts. José González Chacón, who manages a comical Facebook page titled “Humor a lo Tico,” filed a formal complaint on charges of attempted bribery against the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) this week. The complaint was filed with Costa Rica’s Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) on Monday.González, who uses the byline “JoSé,” recently posted a series of accusations, along with audio files, of an alleged conversation in which a PLN campaign worker offered him money in exchange for publishing Internet memes attacking rival presidential candidates. The contact also allegedly tells González to leave PLN presidential candidate Johnny Araya out of the fray.“Since the TSE will not accept my online complaints, as they were made on a social network, I decided to file a formal complaint at the TSE, and I’m also presenting the relevant evidence,” González told reporters at the TSE’s facilities in downtown San José on Monday.González referred to a series of screenshots and recorded telephone conversations with a man identified only as “Rayner,” who presented himself as a PLN campaign representative.In his complaint, González detailed the alleged offer of a monthly fee of ₡100,000 ($200) in exchange for publishing attacks against other candidates.But PLN campaign manager Rolando González last week denied any involvement in the case and called it a “smear campaign aimed at discrediting Araya and his party.”Article 279 of the country’s Electoral Code defines a “crime against a voter’s self-determination” for those who “through the use of gifts, promises of gifts, violence, or threats try to induce or attempt to induce a person to adhere to a particular candidate, to vote in a certain manner or to refrain from voting.”TSE officials on Monday evening forwarded the complaint to the TSE’s General Directorate of Elections and Political Party Financing, which now must determine possible legal responsibility for those involved, TSE lawyer Andrei Cambronero told The Tico Times.If the TSE determines a violation was commited, those involved would face legal charges before a penal court, according to Article 285 of the Electoral Code.If found guilty, perpetrators could serve up to 12 months in prison, or up to six years in prison if the defendants are public employees.In his Facebook posts, José González also said that the PLN has been creating messages and Internet memes on similar comedy pages, which have widely circulated in recent days and mostly target Broad Front Party candidate and current lawmaker José María Villalta. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas Solís presents State of the Nation report to invigorated opposition

first_imgRelated posts:President Solís’ popularity declines as economy worsens, Costa Rica researcher tells Washington panel President Solís laments media criticism; analysts say it’s nothing new Costa Rica will not block Uber, says presidency minister Costa Rica ‘victim’ of US-Cuban immigration laws, says President Solís Elected a year ago on awave of euphoria and following promises of change, President Luis Guillermo Solís addressed Costa Rica Friday night in his first State of the Nation speech with fewer accomplishments to report than he would have hoped for.Facing an historically fractured legislature, divisions from within his own ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC), and squandered political capital from his landslide election in April 2014 following relatively minor but persistent blunders, Solís had few victories to claim. After a coup in the Legislative Assembly wrested power from his party, the first-time politician will have to hope fresh faces in his Cabinet and lessons learned from his first year can be leveraged into a more productive next 12 months.Solís said he wants to focus his efforts in the coming year on shoring up Costa Rica’s fiscal future, job creation and improving infrastructure.When his speech turned to the country’s finances, Solís was not afraid to use hyperbole to make his point.“Public debt is a time bomb that we must diffuse!” Solís said.According to the president, servicing Costa Rica’s public debt has increased to $1.6 billion annually, up from $795 million annually a decade ago.Solís outlined his government’s efforts to slow the growth of the fiscal deficit, including reducing spending by ₡700 billion — $1.3 billion — out of the ₡8.4 trillion budget. He boasted that the government has slowed the increase in spending to its lowest level in six years, at 9.3 percent annually, down from 13.4 percent in 2013.Chronicling his administration’s efforts to curb public spending, Solís urged lawmakers to take up his proposed value-added tax instead of the current sales tax to help close the deficit, as well as measures to fight tax evasion and improve collection of existing taxes.“The government of the republic has stabilized the fiscal situation without approving new taxes,” he said. “What has been achieved so far is fragile.”Solís also focused on his administration’s efforts to address Costa Rica’s stubbornly high poverty rate, especially on outreach to women entrepreneurs. The president also said that an additional ₡180 billion — $342 million — would be made available for small businesses loans. A new jobs program, “Mi Primer Empleo,” will create 30,000 jobs for young people and women, he said.The government invested ₡1.8 billion ($3.4 million) in seed funds to 1,417 women during his first year in office out of an anticipated 5,000 women total. His anti-poverty program, “Puente al Desarrollo,” launched this year with the aim of helping 54,600 families across the country living in extreme poverty.The government will also make a significant investment in improving the country’s agriculture extension services, he said.Following legislative victories for Route 32 and San Ramón highway expansions, Solís said he would prioritize improvements to San José’s roundabouts, repairs to bridges, including the Virilla Bridge over the General Cañas Highway, and the northern stretch of the Circunvalación highway.The bumpy road ahead“A difficult year awaits us,” Solís told lawmakers Friday evening on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.“Difficult” was an understatement. After a newly formed coalition of opposition lawmakers led by Social Christian Unity lawmaker Rafael Oritz won control of the Legislative Assembly from PAC Friday morning, the Solís administration faced a better organized, more forceful opposition.Many of the president’s legislative priorities outlined in his speech — equal rights for same-sex couples, in vitro fertilization and new taxes to reduce the deficit — have already been called non-starters by the new coalition, reported the daily La República.Solís said he is “satisfied” with the Legislative Assembly’s progress but much of the administration’s legislation was moribund for the last 12 months. Some of the most talked about legislation, including financing for the San Ramón and Route 32 highway expansions, originated during the previous administration of President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014).The president recently named a new presidency minister, Sergio Alfaro Salas, as his adminsitration’s envoy to the legislative branch. The fresh start might help motivate lawmakers to find common ground on other bills Solís mentioned during his State of the Nation speech, including animal welfare, tax evasion, anti-contraband, and improving transparency and efficiency in the use of public funds.Despite the setbacks of his first year in office and the challenges that lie ahead, the president did not waver from the transformative message that got him elected.“The fundamental challenge that we face as a nation is to build a new democratic culture that delivers us greater economic prosperity and, in parallel, greater social equality,” Solís said. “As we all know: Saying it is easy; achieving it is far too difficult.”Read the entire speech (in Spanish) here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Mexicans and other Latin Americans carry happiness in their DNA study finds

first_imgPARIS — Happiness is a state of mind, the gurus say. Well, actually, it could be more a function of genes, the authors of an unusual scientific study asserted on Thursday.Nations whose inhabitants boast a certain gene variant, they found, had much higher self-reported happiness levels. And the northern part of Latin America won the genetic lottery — with Mexico at the head.Happiness at the national level was more closely related to this gene variant than factors like wealth, country stability, or even disease prevalence — possibly explaining, for example, why Nigerians rate themselves happier than Germans.“Feeling happy, relaxed and in a good mood does not depend on the prosperity and safety of a country,” study co-author Michael Minkov of the Varna University of Management in Bulgaria, told AFP.“Actually the correlation between happiness and safety seems to be inverse. The highest murder and robbery rates in the world are in northern Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa and that is precisely where the happiest and most relaxed people are.”The study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Happiness Studies, claims to be the first to show a link between genetics and happiness at the national level.Minkov and his colleague Michael Harris Bond from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, relied on the World Values Survey, a ranking based on questionnaires in which respondents have to rate themselves as “very happy,” “rather happy,” “not very happy” or “not at all happy.”They compared this to data on the ethnic prevalence of “A allele,” a variant of a gene involved in regulating anandamide, a substance which enhances sensory pleasure and helps reduce pain.Mexico: happiest place on earthThe country with the highest happiness rating, Mexico, also had the highest estimated prevalence of A allele, the researchers found.Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador also had high ratings for both, as did Ghana and Nigeria.Iraq and Jordan, along with Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Taiwan — all of which had a low prevalence of A allele — were also the least likely to rate themselves as “very happy.”Northern Europeans had a much higher prevalence of the A allele, and rate themselves happier than those in central and southern Europe.The genetic data used corresponded to ethnicity, which meant researchers had to estimate “national” figures by taking into account each country’s mix of ethnic groups.Evolution was one possible explanation for higher A allele prevalence in equatorial and tropical environments, said Minkov. Perhaps “to survive in those stressful societies you need genes that help you cope with the stress,” he said. The same may be true for cold, harsh northern Europe.Genes are, of course, not the whole story, the team emphasised.And there were exceptions: Russians and Estonians, with high A allele prevalence, scored low on the happiness scale.This “may be a lasting effect of the economic and political difficulties that East European countries continue to experience,” the authors wrote. Related posts:Costa Rica, Latin America home to some of world’s happiest people, surveys say Obama calls wave of children across US-Mexican border ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ Mexico turns away cruise ship carrying Texas health worker Absences, again, shine at Ibero-American summit Facebook Commentslast_img read more

A multitasking garden setting up aquaponics at home

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Cassava: tropical staple, drought-friendly… cancer-busting? Give green in 2015: presents that will live on all year Why you should plant this multitasker in your tropical garden today Give green in Costa Rica: holiday gifts that will live on all year If you are looking for more than lettuce greens and tomatoes from your home food garden, this may well be the solution: Over the past decade or so, inventive gardeners have come up with a marriage of horticulture and fish farming. Through aquaponics, or aquaculture, a gardener raises edible fish as part of a hydroponics system that grows vegetables and herbs without soil. Per square foot, aquaponics can be one of the most productive forms of agriculture, and is a perfect example of a a self-sufficient assembly of plants and animals that functions like an ecosystem, producing food for people without creating waste products or pollution.The water from the fish tanks can be used by the plants as a soluble fertilizer, while the plants filter the water for the fish. There are dozens of different kinds of fish that can be used for small or large scale production.  An aquaponics system that is functioning well can produce veggies every three months and a generation of fish in 9 months to a year.Costa Rica’s tropical climate also favors production all year round, and varieties of fish such as tilapia and guapote are available here in the country. As in hydroponics, there is a tremendous savings in water use, since water is recycled again and again.First off, find the right place for your garden. Poor lighting will result in poor growth of the plants, so it’s very important that the site receive good morning sun. The site should receive 6-8 hours of sun daily. This usually means the eastern and southern exposures of the home. One negative aspect of aquaponic systems is that they tend to cost a lot to get started, but you can save money by using recycled plastic contains for growing beds and fish tanks.Hydroponic systems also need careful attention to the quality of water for the fish. So let’s look at some of the different types of do-it-yourself aquaponics systems that gardeners can choose from for the home. There are plenty of tutorial videos and instructions online to help you set up your own aquaponic system.  Here are a few examples:A mini-garden container and aquarium setup is a nice way to start and a great project for the kids. Hook up the tray or container for lettuce or a tomato with a growing media, then connect to the aquarium with a small pump. This simple system helps the family learn how to manage the water quality for the fish. Remember to place the growing unit in a sunny area. See Aquaponics Journal.Vertical wall growing containers and a plastic barrel fish tank. In small areas it’s not top hard to attach containers to a sunny wall and connect them to the fish tank via irrigation tubing and a small pump. Once again, you can save by using recycled containers filled with the appropriate growing media.Plastic barrel fish tanks and growing beds.  These days it’s easy to acquire these reused barrels at Costa Rican estañoneras or barrel depots found in every town.  These blue barrels can be cut in half length-wise to make two garden growing beds and another barrel to raise the fish in. This system is less expensive and works in small areas. PVC pipes connect the growing beds with the fish tank and a pump circulates the water.Greenhouse hydroponics with larger fish tanks for continued food production. As you can imagine, the more fish you want to propagate, the more growing beds you will need to filter the water. In theory, a well-tuned aquaponic system can support one pound of fish per gallon of water. When starting out, however, it’s better to plan on stocking one fish for every 10 gallons of water to make sure the system doesn’t fall out of balance and the fish will have more room to swim.  Open water systems need screening to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the system, like Aedes aegypti, which can carry dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.Finally, there are several enterprises in Costa Rica that offer complete construction and maintenance of aquaponic systems. For example, in our hometown of San Isidro del General, local school Escuela del Valle has just received a donation of an aquaponic system that will act as a living laboratory for the students. Jim Gale of Permacube Revolution is putting the final touches on the project which includes aquaponics and more.It’s good to see that these types of educational programs are being started across the country to help our youth to become highly skilled in the art of home and community food production. When we can save money, eat healthier food, and help improve our environment, it’s a good step toward redesigning the habitats we live in. Here’s a directory of aquaponics supplies and services.RESOURCES FOR AQUAPONICS AND HYDROPONIC GARDENS IN COSTA RICAAquaponics AquacasaOur Aquaponics System In Costa Rica – Survival GardenerNor Cal Aquaponics – Our WorkHydroponics Costa Rica – aquaponics systemsAGROVERDE, 2438-2326, mineral salts, nurseriesAMACIGOS DEL SUR,  8819-8635, hydroponic productsCASAGRI,  2261-0266, seeds, irrigation suppliesEL SEMILLERO,  2221-2983, seedsENCHAPES ORNAMENTALES, 2276-7772, volcanic rockKAF INTERNACIONAL, 2448-4597, materials for greenhousesLABORATORIO DR. OBREGON, 2761-0668, biological controlsLA CASA DE LA SEMILLA, 2223-2501, seedsPRODUCTOS HIDROPONICOS DE CR, 8931-4191, products HIDROPLANTPOLYMER (Francisco Martínez), 2231-4455 /2231-4988, plastic productsSEMILLAS AGRICOLAS DE COSTA RICA, 2227-3208, seedsTRISAN, 2290-0050, seedsYANBER S.A. 2257-9020, plastic productsRead more of Ed Bernhardt’s monthly Home Gardening columns here.For more information on tropical gardening – naturally – visit Ed at http://thenewdawncenter.info/blog.html or contact him at thenewdawncenter@yahoo.com. last_img read more

Carlos Alvarado wins Costa Ricas presidency in a landslide

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:New poll in Costa Rica: another small Fabricio lead, another statistical dead heat 5 keys to understanding Costa Rica as it faces new elections Evangelical Alliance lawyer: Costa Rica should reduce limits on religious propaganda Candidates kick off an unusual Election Day in Costa Rica With 90.6 percent of votes recorded at press time, Carlos Alvarado has won the presidency of Costa Rica with 60.7 percent of the vote, over 39.3 percent for Fabricio Alvarado.The unexpected landslide marks a historic moment for Costa Rica, which has seen itself unusually divided in recent months over marriage equality, an issue on which the two candidates had opposing views and that took center stage following the Inter-American Human Rights Court’s ruling in early January that its member countries, including Costa Rica, must provide equal rights for same-sex couples.Many of the latest polls showed the candidates in a statistical dead heat, with others showing Fabricio Alvarado with the lead.Roberto Delgado Webb captured the scene immediately following the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) announcement. Stay tuned for more on this developing story Roberto Delgado Webb @delgadowebb / The Tico Times Supporters of Carlos Alvarado celebrate in San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica, on April 1, 2018. Roberto Delgado Webb @delgadowebb / The Tico Timeslast_img read more

SKorean party picks Park as presidential candidate

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your life Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The eldest daughter of former authoritarian President Park Chung-hee has been chosen as South Korea’s conservative ruling party’s presidential candidate.The Saenuri Party says Park Guen-hye won in a landslide on Monday.The 60-year-old was widely expected to beat the four other candidates. She is trying to become the country’s first female president.Recent surveys show Park leading other potential candidates for the December elections. Current President Lee Myung-bak ends his term early next year.center_img Top Stories Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Park’s father, Park Chung-hee, ruled for 18 years until he was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979. His supporters respect him for leading South Korea’s meteoric economic rise after the 1950-1953 Korean War.Park’s critics accused him of rewriting the constitution to give himself dictatorial powers and jailing those who disagreed with him.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

2 dead 29 injured in Tunisian protests

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Tunisia’s official news agency says two people have died and 29 others have been injured in protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.State news agency TAP says both people killed were demonstrators, while the injured include protestors and police.TAP cited the health ministry.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ErrorOK ErrorOK Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories last_img read more

House completes Obamas trade items as Pacific pact looms

first_img Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led Congress rounded out President Barack Obama’s trade package Thursday, overwhelmingly passing a worker training program just weeks after it was stymied.The House voted 286 to 138 to renew the program for workers displaced by international trade. Obama had said he wanted to sign that bill alongside the “fast track” negotiating authority that Congress approved a day earlier. Passage of the trade bills mark a huge win for the president, and one paradoxically spearheaded by Republicans. And it’s a defeat for the AFL-CIO and unions and environmental groups that fiercely opposed it. Some have vowed to punish the relatively small number of congressional Democrats who opposed them.But Obama — much like the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton — portrays expanded trade as crucial in a global, high-tech economy. Most Republicans agree, but most congressional Democrats, especially in the House, do not.Trade has opened the most striking breach between a Democratic president and the lawmakers who overwhelmingly backed him on health care and other hard-fought issues.Pelosi and fellow House Democrats dealt Obama a humiliating rebuke on June 12, when they derailed his trade package only hours after he traveled to the Capitol to personally ask for their help. The House voted 302-126 that day to reject the job retraining portion of the package. Nearly half the “no” votes came from Democrats.Republican leaders, with White House support, restructured the legislative package and passed fast track with big GOP margins, plus modest Democratic support. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Usually a Democratic priority, the retraining bill briefly became hostage to Democrats’ failed efforts to block fast track.The House measure also renews the African Growth and Opportunity Act.Obama and his trade opponents are shifting their focus to proposed trade agreements under negotiation for years. The first, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, involves the United States, Japan, Canada and nine other Pacific Rim nations.The fast-track law allows Congress to ratify or reject such agreements, but not change or filibuster them.The president, in a written statement, said the congressional votes “represent a much-needed win for hardworking American families.”He also said he will press lawmakers to send him legislation “that will help us crack down on countries that break the rules.” The House and Senate have passed different versions of the measure, and are expected to hold compromise talks next month.Most House Democrats, along with major labor unions, opposed fast track, saying free-trade pacts send U.S. jobs abroad.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday’s votes mark “the end of phase one” in the trade debate, but “the fight will continue.” The next step, she said, is “to shine a sharp, clear, bright light” on details of the Pacific-rim proposal. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories On Thursday, only six House Democrats voted against the job retraining program. Among Republicans, 132 voted against the program, and 111 voted for it.Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said some Democrats had questioned Republicans’ promises to support the job retraining program even after fast track was secured.To pass the trade legislation, Ryan, R-Wis., told House colleagues before Thursday’s vote, “We needed a little bit of trust. We are here today to keep our word.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Amadeus achieves 38 net profit boost

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Amadeus Group, parent company Amadeus IT holding, experienced a 38 percent increase in its net profit to €246.8m for the six months ending 30 June.The increase in net profit was backed by an 11% growth in revenue up to €1,379.3m and an improvement in EBITDA of 19.9% to €556.7m. As a direct result, the company’s net financial debt as of June 30 was reduced by €472m to €2,816m. David V. Jones, President & CEO of Amadeus, said: “I am pleased to announce that we have delivered strong financial growth in the first half of 2010.  “These results are underpinned by an encouraging growth in distribution bookings compared with the same period last year, coupled with the continuing evolution of our IT business. “Our transaction-based model is both robust and profitable, and has shown that it can quickly benefit from a recovery in travel worldwide.“We look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.”last_img read more

Airline bosses reserved on carbon tax

first_imgThe chiefs of Qantas and Virgin Blue have both asked the Federal Government to provide more detail on its controversial carbon tax.Qantas supremo Mr Joyce told The Australian while a $20 to $30 per tonne cost on carbon emissions would have to be passed onto customers, the amount would be less than the increases caused by rising oil prices.He said the increase in terms of airfares would be in the single digits in dollar terms.”It’s not a significant number and our intention would be to fully pass that on to the customer because there’s no way to digest it,” Mr Joyce said.”Then the question is does it apply to domestic and international, as well, and, again, the devil’s in the detail.”The tax could also apply to Qantas’ domestic operations in New Zealand as well as European-bound flights.Mr Joyce told the newspaper the airline agreed with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) view that emissions trading was best handled by adopting a sectoral approach.”We are happy to have carbon pricing, having the certainty around it, but it should have been a uniform system around the world that applies to every airline equally and doesn’t cause distortions in the marketplace,” he said.Virgin Blue boss John Borghetti the airline could not comment on the tax’s impact until more details emerged to what extent airlines would be affected. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: V.Vlast_img read more

AFTA surplus doubles

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) more than doubled its profits for the year ending 31 March 2011 compared to the prior year, despite membership numbers decreasing by 83 figures.The travel agents group welcomed $26,145 in surplus for the year, over the deficit $11,967 lost during the prior year.While physical membership numbers fell from 2439 to 2356 over the year, interest rose to $61,349 from $34,424 and the national awards saw a profit of $75,322 over the $74,591 made till March 2010.AFTA chairman Mike Thompson recognised the support and engagement of agents, suppliers and distribution partners that allow the organisation to continue informing the industry of the group’s activities. “The solid support of members of AFTA is a testament to the activities and efforts undertaken and I am sure that all AFTA members can see the ongoing benefit of having a well resourced, energetic, capable  and  professional  industry  body  representing  their  interests  across  a  wide  range  of government and other stakeholders,” Mr Thompson added.Membership revenue for the year managed to rise by one percent compared to the year before to $839,561 as total operating expenditure also decreased by one percent to $1,152,779.Chief executive Jayson Westbury added the particularly on a domestic front, natural disasters have ushered the Federation to hold a “number of initiatives to assist” the market. “AFTA  has  maintained  a  rigorous  agenda  on  the  political  front  this  year,” Mr Westbury said.  “The  consumer protection review has dominated this agenda, but AFTA has also made some serious in-roads in  education  regulation  with  changes  to  the  core  subjects  for  travel  course  along  with  the commencement of name changes for some of the qualifications that address the needs of the travel industry.”Earlier this year, AFTA introduced the ‘Without an AFTA travel agent, you’re on your own’ campaign, which urged its members to snap photographs highlighting the benefits of booking with an agent. last_img read more

Flight Centre surveys its online space

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Aiming to “tap into the online space”, Flight Centre has launched a Design Survey to gather feedback and make adjustments to its website.Flight Centre global e-commerce leader Sean Sutherland confirmed to e-Travel Blackboard that the agent’s Group is in the “process of redeveloping” its online appearance and the survey is a minor part of the new design process.“We expect to run many tests, surveys and workshops involving our customers,” Mr Sutherland explained.The e-commerce head added that changes will be made overtime and not re-launched in a “single instance”.“However this will be driven by the results of our process, so this could change our initial assumptions,” he added.“All of this is being run by our growing Usability and design team.”While the company plans the online expansion, a spokesperson told e-Travel Blackboard that the redevelopment will not impact shops and its agents.“We see it as complementary to our shop network, so there are no plans to cut back on shops,” the spokesperson explained.“Our expansion plan has been fairly well documented – 8-10&% shop growth this year globally.”last_img read more

Tourism Australias new ATE format

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Tourism Australia together with Destination NSW today announced a change in format for next year’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), due to be held in Sydney in April 2013. The current format of separate ‘East’ and ‘West’ modules will be combined for a ‘shorter and sharper’ global event after a review of the event and feedback from industry stakeholders and representations from ATE 2013. Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said ATE is and remains a key business to business event for Tourism Australia that supports the industry’s efforts for ongoing market growth. Reducing the existing seven day event to five days will see four days of appointments following a first day dedicated to delegate registration and other activities, including market briefings and media activities.Final details of the event will be confirmed in the following moth with most other aspects of ATE 2013 remaining similar to the current format. Mr McEvoy and Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase said to make the event, which is the largest travel trade show of its kind in the southern hemisphere, more efficient and effective was the key driver behind the new format. Making a more compact format would also reduce costs and the length of time spent out of the office for many sellers.“ATE is and remains a key business to business event for Tourism Australia, supporting the industry’s ongoing market efforts to grow inbound arrivals in what remains a highly competitive sector,” Mr McEvoy said.The changes only apply to next year’s ATE event in Sydney. last_img read more

Virgin Qantas cool their engines

first_imgVirgin has cut capacity by 1.5 per cent in April compared with April 2013 according to its own measure of available seats. Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways have toned down their ongoing battle over domestic market capacity, with Virgin cutting the number of available seats for the third month in a row. However, Virgin’s actions represent a return to normal market conditions. Virgin’s decision comes off the back of Qantas’ earlier decision to freeze capacity after lower consumer confidence and a slowdown in flying by FIFO workers. Previously, the airlines have been increasing their number of routes and furiously adding capacity, with Qantas aiming to protect its market share at the expense of profit, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Virgin Australia chief executive officer John Borghetti said at the Virgin AGM last year that the airline had completed a three year transformation of the network, prioritised regional areas and introduced wider bodied aircraft on some routes.  Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more