first_imgAir Transat to increase transatlantic flights from Toronto, Ottawa next summer Travelweek Group Share Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Tags: Transatcenter_img MONTREAL — Next summer will be a busy one indeed for Air Transat, which has announced its 2017 transatlantic flight program for Ontarians featuring 26 European destinations in 13 countries.The airline will be increasing the frequency of 13 of its flights to offer 26 destinations next summer, 15 of which will be reachable by direct flight.From Toronto, these include eight weekly flights to London, England, daily flights to Paris and Rome, six weekly flights to Lisbon and five weekly flights to Glasgow, Manchester, Barcelona, Marseille, and Porto (Portugal).In addition, four weekly flights to Amsterdam, Athens, Lyon (France) and Dublin will be launched from Toronto, as will three weekly flights to Venice and Brussels. Plus, there’ll be two weekly flights to Nantes, Nice and Toulouse in France, Malaga and Madrid in Spain, Prague and Zagreb (Croatia), and weekly flights to Bordeaux, Birmingham (England), Lamezia (Italy) and Basel-Mulhouse (Switzerland).From Ottawa, Air Transat will offer six new destinations: two weekly flights to Paris, Rome and Barcelona, and weekly flights to Lisbon, Venice and Brussels.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckMoreover, several other cities in France, Spain, England and Ireland will be available with one flight segment (departure or return) per week. This is especially ideal for travellers from the Ottawa area who are seeking to visit multiple destinations in Europe by landing in one European city and returning from another.This multi-destination option is offered at no extra cost to travellers. A holiday beginning in London, for example, can therefore be combined with a trip to Paris or Scotland.For more information go to airtransat.com. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises is offering free gratuities and deposits for US$1 for select voyages to the Caribbean and Panama Canal.The promotion runs until through 11:59 p.m. PST on Oct. 31. All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy.Examples of cruise fares include:Eastern Caribbean Getaway cruise: 5 days: $349 interior, $399 balconyWestern Caribbean cruise: 7 days: $629 interior, $649 balconyPanama Canal with Costa Rica & Caribbean cruise: 10 days: $599 interior, $799 balconySouthern Caribbean Medley cruise: 10 days: $599 interior, $799 balconyEastern Caribbean cruise: 7 days: $399 interior, $549 balconyPanama Canal Ocean to Ocean cruise: 15 days: $1,399 interior, $2,499 balconyMore information can be found at princess.com/sale. Share Tags: Princess Cruises, Promotions Posted bycenter_img US$1 deposits, free tips on select Princess sailings until Oct. 31 Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_imgSell two Rocky Mountaineer trips and get one for yourself Travelweek Group Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Posted by Sharecenter_img Tags: Rocky Mountaineer VANCOUVER — Rocky Mountaineer is giving travel agents props with an exclusive new offer, a first for the company.Effective immediately, agents who book two reservations on a Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf Service package or rail-only itinerary will receive two complimentary tickets.The offer is available to agents in Canada and the US, on new bookings from May 8 to June 30, 2018. Agents must make two bookings, with a minimum of two people each (four total), to qualify.As part of this first-time offer from Rocky Mountaineer, redeeming agents will get two-day rail tickets in SilverLeaf Service. Tickets will be available for First Passage to the West or Journey Through the Clouds routes on select dates in 2018 and 2019.More details are available on Rocky Mountaineer’s website. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgFrom the print editionStep into the home of an Iranian family. Attend the performance of a gringo mariachi. Witness the birth of psychoanalysis with Freud. And by all means, do it from a theater seat in San José, as these diverse experiences are part of the 2012 International Film Festival in Costa Rica. Made up of workshops, lectures and 80 films under the theme “Peace with the Earth,” there’s entertainment for all interests.“Films reflect the personality and identity of the countries they represent,” said Culture Minister Manuel Obregón. “This festival strives to renew human dignity and contribute to … a collective critical spirit.”Some of the films aim to bring understanding to different forms of violence, such as abuse of natural resources and disrespect of human life, he said. The films were selected by Nicole Guillemet, who was co-director of the Sundance Film Festival for 15 years.The festival’s guest of honor is Mexico, a trendsetter in Latin American film for more than 100 years. Accordingly, a film series entitled “What was seen in Guadalajara” will be included. The films will be judged by a jury panel, and Costa Rica’s Jaguar Prize will go to the top picture. The festival’s epicentre is La Antigua Aduana in San José’s Barrio California, where films, lectures and workshops will take place. Other locations include Magaly Theater, Plaza de Cultura, National Theater, the Children’s Museum and the Central Market, among others.Films will be shown in their original language with Spanish subtitles. General entrance is ₡1,500. The festival will be held in theaters across San José, from July 27-Aug. 5. For schedules, tickets and more info, visit www.costaricacinefest.com. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgPolice in Costa Rica on Tuesday arrested Sewnsen Arthur Pinnace Collins, a suspected drug trafficker from Honduras and one of the United States’ most-wanted criminals in Central America.Pinnace Collins was arrested at the Juan Santamaría International Airport, north of the capital, upon arrival on a flight from El Salvador. The arrest followed a lengthy investigation by Costa Rica’s Department of Intelligence and Security, the Presidency Ministry announced.Pinnace Collins had an international warrant out for his arrest and and an extradition request prepared by U.S. authorities, Costa Rican officials said.Costa Rica’s illicit drug commissioner, Mauricio Boraschi, said Pinnace Collins “directed a broad drug trafficking network that used sea routes to transport illicit drugs to the United States.”His arrest was coordinated by Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and the U.S., and delivered a significant blow to “an important transnational organized crime structure,” Boraschi said.Some 90 percent of the cocaine that reaches U.S. markets is trafficked through Central America and Mexico, U.S. officials said. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Fear spreads as Ebola moves from remote areas into cities First Ebola patient diagnosed in US dies from virus ‘It’s despair on all fronts,’ says Ebola aid worker El Salvador quarantines 2 nuns as Ebola precaution WASHINGTON, D.C. – A mild fever was the first sign that the nurse in Dallas was infected in Ebola. She started feeling ill last Friday. It was alarming but not a surprise. The nurse, 26-year old Nina Pham, knew she was at risk because she’d helped treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with the dreaded disease in the United States.Pham became the first — and so far only — person infected by Duncan. In the wake of her infection, U.S. health officials have pledged to review how future Ebola cases are handled.But the case is also noteworthy for another, potentially positive reason: Nearly 50 people were exposed to Ebola before the nurse, and none of them has been diagnosed with the disease.This group of neighbors, family members and first responders is being watched carefully by health authorities. They had some degree of close contact with Duncan during the four-day period when he was contagious — from when he started showing Ebola symptoms on Sept. 24 to when the hospital finally admitted him on Sept. 28. They didn’t take any Ebola-specific precautions. They didn’t know he was infected. Some stayed in the same apartment as Duncan as his condition worsened. Yet, so far, they have not gotten sick. And their 21-day Ebola incubation period started before Pham’s.“That the casually exposed are not getting sick, it’s reassuring,” said Julie Fischer, an associate research professor of health policy at George Washington University. “What we’ve seen so far, it’s not surprising and it’s not shocking.”That’s a good thing. This entire harrowing episode is playing out as health authorities predicted. Ebola is acting as portrayed in medical textbooks, based on nearly 40 years of research. Experts said the disease is hard to catch, that an infected person is not contagious until symptoms appear and that Ebola is spread by close contact with bodily fluids such as blood, sweat and saliva.No evidence points to anything else.“Ebola is not a terribly infectious disease,” said Joel Selanikio, a former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist. “It’s quite difficult to get.”The fear behind Ebola is massive. But the virus does not appear to be any more virulent than in previous outbreaks, experts say. Doomsday predictions of Ebola mutating and becoming airborne like the flu have not played out. The “airborne” discussion has frustrated many scientists, such as Heather Lander, who holds a doctorate in experimental pathology and worked in high-security labs with Ebola. It led her to start a blog called Pathogen Perspectives, which delves into the myths and realities of the disease.“We know how this is spread,” said Lander of Galveston, Texas, and those paths have not changed. “So far, what we’re seeing absolutely reaffirms what we were expecting to see.”Pham, the nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, was infected despite taking every precaution. But she also cared for Duncan during a hospital stay that included dialysis and time on a ventilator. As the disease progressed, Duncan became increasingly contagious. The viral load grew. Invasive medical procedures are known to increase the hazards to health care workers.“These are high-risk procedures,” Fischer said.CDC director Tom Frieden said Sunday that a “breach in protocol resulted in this infection,” a comment met by criticism because it sounded like he was blaming Pham. But some health officials saw Frieden’s comment as a way of tamping down fear about a novel infection route.“This is not an unknown, inexplicable action by the virus,” Fischer said.Even taking every precaution, things can go wrong. And the margin of error with Ebola is small.All of this confidence, however, is built on the expectation that the virus continues to act like its historical self.Pham now faces a fight against the disease. Other hospital workers will need to monitor themselves for symptoms of Ebola until at least Oct. 29, 21 days after Duncan died.But that window of worry is closing for the group of nearly 50 people who had contact with Duncan before he was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28. Their 21 days are up Oct. 19, less than a week away.Considering that the bulk of infections appear in the first 10 to 12 days after exposure, that’s reassuring.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:92 percent of California patients say medical marijuana works Bob Marley-branded marijuana will soon be available thanks to legalization Cannabis on a high in 2014 Big Tobacco need not apply for work in the cannabis market You may like technology (who doesn’t these days) or the energy sector (where would we be without it) — but if you’re making a long-term bet as an investor, there’s a lot going for Big Tobacco. It’s not just that tobacco boasts the best historical performance of all U.S. industries. The industry’s future seems especially bright. As marijuana gradually becomes a legal drug, Big Tobacco is poised to dominate the market.According to the 2015 edition of Credit Suisse’s Global Investment Returns Yearbook, a dollar invested in tobacco in 1900 would have turned into $6.3 million by the end of 2014, by far the best performance of all the industries that existed at the start of the 20th century.That, of course, reflects the decline of some old industries, like coal, railroads and shipbuilding, and fails to account for the emergence of new ones. (A small investment in “some kind of fruit company,” called Apple Inc., is how Forrest Gump earned his fortune.) So perhaps the last ten years are a better indicator of tobacco’s resilience.Since the beginning of 2005, the MSCI Global Tobacco Index has risen 196.4 percent, providing an 11 percent annual return. It far outperformed the catch-all MSCI World Index, which went up 50.6 percent in the same period. It even did better than the MSCI World Information Technology Index, which rose 94.4 percent in the past decade.Despite governments’ efforts to get people to quit smoking, a lot of them still do, and they represent a stable core market for Big Tobacco. In the U.S., for example, 20.9 percent of adults smoked in 2004 and 19 percent still had the habit in 2011. Markets for addictive products are less susceptible to economic crises than any others, and — in part because they’re so politically toxic — they are less bubbly. So investors tend to get a steady return.Right now, the industry is undergoing a vaping revolution. A Bloomberg Intelligence analytical report from last December predicted sales of vapor products in the U.S. could climb 44 percent to $2.6 billion this year. So far, much of that market has been in vaping liquids and the e-cigarettes that use them, but that technology is growing obsolete. The new cutting edge is in “heat not burn” devices, which, according to the Bloomberg Intelligence report, “may be highly disruptive to the existing tobacco industry” because they use real tobacco.A “heat not burn” vaporizer heats ground tobacco leaves and delivers a nicotine hit to the user without producing much smoke or ashes. This still amounts to using an addictive substance in a slightly different way, but it’s not hard to imagine why smokers might find it appealing to inhale less smoke, none of which contains burned paper. Such “heat not burn” devices are already available from a host of smaller companies, but the bigger tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris and Reynolds, have made it clear they’re intent on catching up. A sign is pictured near police tape, which was used as a prop for a ribbon cutting ceremony, at Cannabis City, a retail marijuana store, on July 8, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder/Getty Images/AFPIt may seem that Big Tobacco is merely cannibalizing its existing sales by putting out such products. Yet it may be something of a bet on the future, too. “Heat not burn” vaporizers can just as easily be used to smoke marijuana as tobacco. And they are already gaining popularity among cannabis users.Tobacco companies have never said publicly that they’d like to get in on the marijuana business. That’s understandable. Selling marijuana is still largely illegal in Europe and in the U.S., and it would be politically suicidal for companies that face as many regulatory barriers as tobacco companies do to suggest that they want to go into soft drug dealing. But they have long watched marijuana as a potential market.In a 2014 paper entitled “Waiting for the Opportune Moment: The Tobacco Industry and Marijuana Legalization”, the political scientist Rachel Ann Barry and her colleagues quoted internal documents from Philip Morris expressing an interest in marijuana as a tobacco competitor. These letters and memos date back to 1969. In 1970, an adviser to the board of British American Tobacco, Sir Charles Ellis, penned a proposal for a marijuana product to the company, claiming that “smoking such a cigarette is a natural expansion of current smoking habits which, if a more tolerant attitude were ever taken to cannabis, would be a change in habit comparable to moving over to cigars.” The discussions and research paused in the 1980s as marijuana legalization prospects became more remote, but resumed in the 1990s.More than 19 million people in the U.S. aged 12 and older reported using marijuana in 2012. If recreational marijuana is ever legalized beyond the four states where it’s currently permitted, the tobacco companies will be perfectly positioned to capture this vast market. They already have distribution systems (licensed tobacco sellers already dispense medical marijuana in a number of states), marketing machines, industrial facilities to make marijuana cigarettes and package cannabis for use in vaporizers, patented designs for the vaporizers themselves, research laboratories (and possibly even a head start on commercial product development) and, last but not least, cash resources.“Marijuana legalization advocates,” Barry and her colleagues wrote, “have not considered the potential effects of the multinational tobacco companies entering the market (or other corporations such as the food and beverage industries), with their substantial marketing power and capacity to engineer marijuana cigarettes to maximize efficacy as drug delivery systems, in the way that modern cigarettes are designed, whose primary objective is maximizing profits through higher sales.” I’m not sure that’s true: The legalization advocates probably wouldn’t mind Big Tobacco’s participation in developing the market.After all, these corporations can do it better than the tiny companies that have attracted the early marijuana investment into their penny stocks. Companies listed on Marijuanastocks.com may survive on the fringes of the post- legalization industry, but many of them will be put out of business or acquired by the big league players who have survived all the upheavals of the last 115 years while producing top returns for their investors. For those not overly worried about the moral strings attached to investing in companies that pander to addictions, a greener future for Big Tobacco may be one of the biggest opportunities of a lifetime.Leonid Bershidsky, a Bloomberg View contributor, is a Berlin-based writer. For more columns from Bloomberg View, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/view© 2015, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgMany Costa Ricans were distraught last week after the country’s national space hero cancelled his firm’s renewable energy deal with the government over what Franklin Chang Díaz said were frustrating and costly delays.“Too long a wait and no action,” said Chang, who made seven space shuttle missions before retiring from NASA in 2005 to start his own aerospace company. Chang spoke with The Tico Times by telephone on March 6 from his company’s Guanacaste headquarters.The Costa Rica subsidiary of Chang’s firm, Ad Astra Rocket Co., has been working with the country’s state-owned Petroleum Refinery (RECOPE) since 2011 to produce and store hydrogen capable of powering the country’s vehicle fleet — with zero emissions.Chang said he’s been waiting for the past seven months for RECOPE to sign off on the project’s final stage: developing a hydrogen pump, like the kind drivers use to fill their cars at gas stations; and testing the whole system out on a demonstration vehicle.“Keeping the project alive costs money,” Chang said. “And who’s paying for that? We are.”Chang said he sent an ultimatum in February — asking RECOPE to sign an immediate letter of intent, seal the deal before May 31 and pay $11,000 in back costs — and got no response. Last week, he threw in the towel.“We basically said enough is enough,” Chang said, adding that he’s currently searching for alternative funders, possibly another Central American country.Hydrogen-powered dreamNASA has used liquid hydrogen to blast its rockets into space since the 1970s. Burning hydrogen in an engine yields no carbon emissions.Developing hydrogen gas as a fuel source for vehicles has long been a dream of renewable energy firms and governments — especially those, like Costa Rica, that are highly-dependent on imported fossil fuels. Cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells are quick to fill up and can travel much longer distances than battery-powered cars.But building a hydrogen-powered vehicle fleet has been hampered by the expense of generating, storing and shipping the gas, and the difficulty of creating the infraestructure to support its widespread use. Some experts feel there are much better options for reducing emissions from cars.Still, many are betting on hydrogen’s future. The U.S. state of Hawaii, which depends on imported petroleum for 90 percent of its energy needs, has committed to developing a hydrogen-based vehicle fleet, though progress has been slower than originally hoped.California is also pushing hydrogen as a clean energy source for the road, by offering subsidies to carmakers and consumers, and to private companies to build hydrogen fueling stations.Major carmakers have been ramping up development and production of models that run on hydrogen fuel cell in recent years.See a video on hydrogen fuel development (sponsored by Toyota): Related posts:Costa Rica’s renewable energy streak is still going, but what does that really mean? A Paris climate change talks primer for Costa Rica Mexico to spend $23 billion to cut greenhouse gases Astronaut Franklin Chang’s Ad Astra to develop hydrogen-fueled transportation in Guanacaste Chang sees hydrogen fuel as the perfect fit for Costa Rica’s small size and its car-loving population.“We have a huge motorized fleet for the size of the country,” he said. “Costa Ricans tend to like big vehicles, so we have a huge job ahead of us to become carbon neutral by 2021, and there’s no real plan, as far as I can see, to accomplish that goal.”Ad Astra Rocket uses wind and solar power to produce hydrogen from the electrolysis of water. When used in a car, Chang explained, “out the tailpipe comes water vapor. Zero pollution. It’s beautiful stuff.”Committed to Costa RicaChang sounds slightly heartbroken when he talks about his company’s breakup with RECOPE.“Being from Costa Rica, my heart is here. I want this country to do this. It’s the right thing to do. It’s exactly what the country needs,” Chang said.But “as the head of a company, I need to be looking strategically which way we’re going to move on this.”After news spread of the breakup, RECOPE circulated a statement emphasizing that the decision was made unilaterally by Ad Astra Rocket.In the statement, and in subsequent media interviews, RECOPE representatives have said they’re waiting for the Government Attorney’s Office to determine whether the state-owned refinery is legally allowed to get involved in energy projects beyond petroleum and petroleum derivatives. (Chang points out that hydrogen is a petroleum derivative, though his company produces hydrogen from renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.)RECOPE’s statement said that its president, Sara Salazar Badilla, considered the state-owned refinery’s role in helping the Costa Rican government achieve its energy goals “extremely important.” Last year President Luis Guillermo Solís reaffirmed the country’s pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2021.RECOPE said it’s willing to continue the project with Ad Astra Rocket but needs to hear from the Government Attorney’s Office first. Franklin Chang Díaz poses with President Luis Guillermo Solís, May 20, 2014. (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial)Chang wrote off the refinery’s legal concerns as “very silly.” He speculated that the new RECOPE board of directors, which was seated last year when President Solís took office, didn’t know enough about the project and was scared to make mistakes.Chang said Solís has been very supportive of the project, despite the president’s public silence on the recent impasse.Following the breakup, former Environment Minister René Castro (2011-2014), who helped broker the original deal with Chang’s firm, took to Facebook to rail against the state-owned oil company for its failure to explore alternative fuels, especially biofuels.“Does RECOPE want to commit suicide?” he began in a March 5 post.“The production of biofuels hasn’t been taken seriously by RECOPE,” Castro wrote. “Rather, there’s been serious opposition from some unions and professional groups, who have continuously boycotted the plan.”Castro noted that incorporating biofuels into Costa Rica’s energy mix has been part of the country’s National Development Plan since 2006.Though the government has initiated some alternative fuel pilot projects, they have thus far had minimal impact, by the government’s own admission.Castro wrote in his Facebook post: “Over and over again, attempts to get [biofuels] to 5 percent of [energy] consumption have been postponed. … Now it’s hydrogen’s turn,” he wrote, referring to the Ad Astro Rocket-RECOPE breakup.Despite the fizzling of Ad Astro Rocket’s principal project with the Costa Rican government, Chang said he has no intention of moving his firm out of the country.“There is no reason why we cannot do rocket research here in Guanacaste,” Chang said, adding that his decision 10 years ago to put a piece of his company in Costa Rica has been a good one.He said his offer to work with RECOPE still stands, if the refinery puts forth a letter of intent to continue with the project.“I’m not going to give up on the government yet,” he said. “Costa Ricans have a way of coming out from behind,” Chang said, setting up for the inevitable World Cup reference.“I still have a lot of hope that in the end, they will score the goals that are needed to win the Cup. I’m just saying that anything’s possible, that’s one of the beauties of this country,” Chang said. “Sometimes reason does prevail.”Still, Chang said, he also has a company to run. “And I can’t just be sitting here waiting for a miracle.”In the meantime, legislators are trying to resolve the impasse by proposing a change to RECOPE’s law. The proposed amendment would make it clear that the traditionally oil-based institution can explore cleaner energy sources. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgThis might be the one time when it really doesn’t matter which line you’re in at the airport, none of them are moving.Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport was choked with lines of passengers on their way in and out of the country Friday as the Immigration Administration reportedly implemented stricter passport controls following news that a Syrian woman entered Costa Rica with a fake Greek passport Tuesday.The movement of Syrians has come under additional scrutiny following the Paris attacks launched by Syria-linked jihadists.Exasperated tourists waited in lines for hours Friday after authorities required all travelers to have their passports checked twice regardless if they were entering or leaving the country. Both the name and the passport number of travelers was being checked.https://twitter.com/JasonSibajaV/status/667804151246548992/photo/1Immigration Administration Director Kathya Rodríguez told the radio program Nuestra Voz Friday that she had ordered airports and land ports of entry to double down on enforcement “even though it takes more time,” news website AmeliaRueda.com reported. The website reported Friday afternoon that some travelers waited up to four hours passing through the tightened controls at the airport.There are no plans to hire additional staff, Immigration Administration spokeswoman Andrea Quesada told the daily La Nación. But customs officers will receive additional training, Quesada said.In addition to the Syrian woman arrested in Costa Rica on Thursday, five Syrians traveling with falsified Greek passports were arrested in Honduras on Wednesday. Facebook Comments @JasonSibajaV @elchamuko 4 horas en fila!!!!! pic.twitter.com/pKJodyHK0s— anonymous_costarica (@anonymous_costa) November 20, 2015 Related posts:Southwest Airlines announces new routes to Costa Rica, Mexico White House travel exemptions to Cuba do not cover tourism Turrialba Volcano briefly closes Costa Rica’s main airport Panama to send 3,800 US-bound Cubans to Mexicolast_img read more

first_imgTEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras is to convert a U.S.-built military airbase northwest of its capital into a civilian airport to replace the city’s current one, considered one of themost dangerous in the world, officials said Tuesday.The work on the Soto Cano base located in the town of Palmerola, 75 kilometers (50 miles) from the capital Tegucigalpa, will begin in mid-2016, take 18 months to complete, and is expected to cost $136 million.A German-Honduran consortium, Inversions Emco, will carry out the project after being the only company to respond to the government’s tender.President Juan Orlando Hernández said on his official Facebook page that the construction of an 11,000-square-meter (118,500-square-foot) passenger terminal on the base will create “more than 1,000 new jobs.”The U.S. military built Soto Cano three decades ago as part of the U.S. strategy to counter Sandinista rebels who took over neighboring Nicaragua, and other left-wing insurgents in Central America.Currently the base is used for U.S. regional operations against drug smugglers and for humanitarian and disaster relief missions. It is jointly run with Honduras, which operates an air force flight school there.It houses 500 U.S. military personnel who are rotated every few months because Honduras’ constitution bars a “permanent” foreign military presence.The airbase already has a runway more than 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) long and with a far easier approach than the current one serving the capital, Toncontín.Toncontín airport, just six kilometers (four miles) from the center of Tegucigalpa, is considered extremely hazardous because of mountains and a short runway unsuitable for anything bigger than midsize passenger aircraft.Watch how crazy it is to land at Toncontín: Related posts:Southwest Airlines announces new routes to Costa Rica, Mexico American Airlines to launch charter flights to Cuba from LA US, Cuba agree to let airlines begin flights United adds early flight from Costa Rica capital to Houston Plans have been mooted for years to convert Soto Cano airbase for civilian use, but they were repeatedly put down.The United States had been investing recently in the base to improve living conditions for its personnel posted there. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system How men can have a healthy 2019 In February last year, several militant groups joined forces in Sinai and nine months later declared in messages posted on militant websites the creation of an Islamic emirate in Sinai and stated their allegiance to al-Qaida.Israeli officials also have expressed concerns about looted weapons from Libya, saying that munitions, including longer-range Scud missiles, are being smuggled from there through Sinai and into the Gaza Strip.In April, two rockets believed to have been smuggled from Libya were fired from Egypt’s Sinai desert toward the Israeli resort town of Eilat. No one was hurt and Egypt denied that the rockets were fired from its territory.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Egyptian security forces seized near the Libyan border on Thursday dozens of heavy weapons allegedly bound for the Sinai Peninsula to stir up trouble ahead of upcoming presidential elections, a police official said.Authorities uncovered the munitions _ including 40 surface-to-surface missiles, 17 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortar rounds, automatic rifles and around 10,000 artillery shells _ in three vehicles near the Mediterranean resort city of Marsa Matrouh, some 430 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of Cairo, the official said. Three Egyptian Bedouin smugglers were arrested, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. Two of the men were from the Egyptian town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip.The official said the men claimed they were transporting the weapons to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to use “against army and police forces securing the borders to create chaos before presidential elections.”Egypt’s first presidential vote since last year’s uprising that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak is scheduled for May 23-24.The confiscated weapons most likely came from Libya, which has become a key source of illicit arms since the civil war there last year, the official said.During the eight-month conflict that led to the toppling and killing of Moammar Gadhafi, Libyan citizens-turned-fighters stormed weapons storehouses and military camps to arm themselves, and the country is awash in everything from machine guns to mortars.A flood of weapons from Libya has added to security concerns in Egypt, where police have yet to fully return to the nation’s streets since disappearing early in last year’s uprising.Authorities fear the weapons most often fall into the hands of Islamist militants in Sinai who have moved swiftly to exploit the security void, carrying out almost daily attacks on security forces. They enjoy near complete control over parts of border towns like Rafah. Elsewhere in Sinai, they have taken advantage of long-standing grievances by the area’s Bedouin inhabitants over services and development to recruit and whip up anti-government sentiment. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

first_img Sponsored Stories Nationwide apologized to customers for what it described as a “one-off incident” and assured them any costs related to the error will be reimbursed in full.Separately, RBS Group _ which owns NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland _ said some of its customers experienced technical difficulties with online banking and debit cards. It did not specify what caused the issue, but said late Thursday that operations had returned to normal.Last month, a weeklong glitch delayed the posting of credits and debits to millions of NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers.RBS said at the time a failed software upgrade caused the issues.Hundreds of branches were forced to open early and close late in a bid to placate customers, who complained of bills and salaries going unpaid and delays in closing home purchases because money was not being credited to accounts.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths LONDON (AP) – Nationwide Building Society said Thursday that human error at the company caused more than 704,000 British debit card customers to have payments taken from their accounts twice, while technical issues hit customers of RBS Group-owned National Westminster Bank for the second time in just over a month.Nationwide said that a human error saw debit card transactions made on Wednesday processed that day and again on Thursday, affecting 704,426 accounts. It said the issue was identified Thursday and will be corrected overnight. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   last_img read more

first_imgAlmazan says Jane Doyle has fled to Canada but that Philippine police will seek her extradition after an arrest warrant is issued.Almazan said Thursday that Jane Doyle had romantic relations with one of the other suspects, the family’s driver-bodyguard, and that she was seen talking with the two other suspects, including the alleged gunman, a week before the killing.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories center_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine police have filed a murder complaint against the Filipino wife of a Canadian man who was gunned down at a beach resort in a southern city last month.Surigao City police investigator Rose Marie Almazan says prosecutors are expected to file a case next week against Jane Doyle and three Filipino men for the Aug. 12 fatal shooting of 62-year-old Harry Doyle of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

first_imgRABAT, Morocco (AP) – Morocco on Thursday announced a government reshuffle on the eve parliament’s reopening that sees the Islamists giving up the key foreign affairs portfolio to a party known for its close ties to the palace.The new government, which keeps the leader of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party Abdelilah Benkirane as prime minister, ends months of haggling and negotiating that at one point looked like it would result in new elections after a coalition partner pulled out over reductions in government subsidies for gasoline and diesel fuel. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The Islamists rode a wave of Arab Spring-inspired, pro-democracy protests to power in 2011, promising political reform and to fight corruption. Their reformist agenda has had to contend with a fractious coalition and the entrenched powers of the country’s hereditary king and court.Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, however, Morocco’s Islamists have shown themselves able to work with the establishment and when the right-wing Istiqlal Party pulled out of the coalition they brought in the National Rally for Independents _ a modernist party close to the palace.Its leader, Salaheddine Mezouar, a former finance minister, was a bitter rival of the Islamists in the election and later was investigated by them for illegally paying himself bonuses.He will now be Morocco’s new foreign minister.The previous foreign minister differed with the palace on certain issues, including the coup in Egypt, which King Mohammed VI and his allies in the Gulf supported but Morocco’s Islamists did not.The PJD, as the Islamists are known, have similar views on the economy, but having a party close to the palace in the government is expected to tarnish the Islamists’ reformist credentials. Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The PJD won the 2011 elections because they offered an alternative to a (pro-palace) alliance of eight parties led by Mezouar, and now he’s part of the same government and that will doubtlessly hurt the PJD’s credibility,” said Ahmed El Bouz, a political analyst.The Cabinet, which has grown from 31 to 39 positions, includes six women, a major increase over just one in the previous government.Technocrats also have taken over key positions that once were held by party members. Rachid Belmokhtar is now minister of the economy and Mohammed Hassad is interior minister.______Associated Press reporter Smail Bellaoualli contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Jimenez works for Notisur and the newspaper El Liberal.Notisur news editor Sayda Chinas says Jimenez had recently published a story about a series of kidnappings in Villa Allende, which is a populous neighborhood in Coatzacoalcos.A Notisur statement calls Jimenez “a hard-working and honest reporter.”(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) – Mexican authorities say gunmen kidnapped a police beat reporter from his home in Veracruz state, where at least a dozen journalists have been slain or gone missing since 2010.Veracruz state prosecutors say police and Mexican marines are searching for reporter Gregorio Jimenez.The newspaper Notisur says Jimenez’s wife and other witnesses reported that at least five masked gunmen broke into his home in the city of Coatzacoalcos on Wednesday, dragged him out and drove him away in a gray SUV. Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement An unidentified person, left, takes a selfie with director Woody Allen, center, and his wife Soon-Yi Previn, right, as they arrive for the screening of the film Irrational Man at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Quick workouts for men Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober CANNES, France (AP) — The organizers of the Cannes Film Festival aren’t going to like these pictures.A guest at the premiere of Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man,” snapped a picture of himself with both Allen and the film’s star, Emma Stone, on the red carpet Friday night — disregarding the wishes of the festival’s director.Although selfies weren’t explicitly banned, festival director Thierry Fremaux had said that they were “ridiculous and grotesque” and pleaded for self-restraint on selfies as guests walked the red carpet. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Stone smiled during the selfie photo, while Allen looked less than amused.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homelast_img read more

first_imgPope calls Palestinian leader “angel of peace” during visitPope France calls Palestinian leader Abbas an “angel of peace” during Vatican audienceBy NICOLE WINFIELDAssociated PressVATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting Saturday at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See’s warm relations with the Palestinians as it prepares to canonize two 19th century nuns from the region.Francis made the compliment during the traditional exchange of gifts at the end of an official audience in the Apostolic Palace. He presented Abbas with a medallion and explained that it represented the “angel of peace destroying the bad spirit of war.”Francis said he thought the gift was appropriate since “you are a bit an angel of peace.” During his 2014 visit to Israel and the West Bank, Francis called both Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres men of peace.Abbas is in Rome for the canonization Sunday of two 19th-century nuns from what was then Ottoman-ruled Palestine. The new saints, Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, are the first from the region to be canonized since the early days of Christianity. VATICAN CITY (AP) — VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a story May 16 about Pope Francis meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, The Associated Press erroneously omitted two words when quoting the pope. Francis told Abbas “you are a bit an angel of peace,” not “you are an angel of peace.” The original Italian quote was, “Lei e un po un angelo della pace.”A corrected version of the story is below: Church officials are holding up the new saints as a sign of hope and encouragement for Christians in the Middle East at a time when violent persecution from Islamic extremists has driven many Christians from the region of Christ’s birth.In a statement Saturday, Abbas praised the two new saints as inspirational models for today’s Palestinians and urged their fellow Christians to remain in the region.“We call on Palestinian Christians to stay with us and enjoy the rights of full and equal citizenship, and bear with us the difficulties of life until we achieve liberty, sovereignty and human dignity,” he said.Abbas’ visit comes days after the Vatican finalized a bilateral treaty with the “state of Palestine” that made explicit its recognition of Palestinian statehood.The Vatican said it had expressed “great satisfaction” over the new treaty during the talks with the Palestinian delegation. It said the pope, and later the Vatican secretary of state, also expressed hopes that direct peace talks with Israel would resume.“To this end, the wish was reiterated that with the support of the international community, Israelis and Palestinians may take with determination courageous decisions to promote peace,” a Vatican statement said. Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   It added that interreligious dialogue was needed to combat terrorism.Israel didn’t comment on Francis’ “angel of peace” compliment but complained that Abbas was using the trip to score political points.“It is regrettable that Mahmoud Abbas uses international forums to attack Israel and refrains from returning to negotiations which is the right way to implement a political vision and a solution of peace,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.Israel earlier had expressed its “disappointment” that the Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in the treaty, which covers the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory.___Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfieldCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28912/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Orient-Express Hotels has won a legal battle for the ‘Cipriani’ brand, and as such as seen a family-owned restaurant in London filing for bankruptcy and fighting to keep its name.The Cipriani family, who owns and runs the Cipriani London restaurant, which names singer Sir Elton John, soccer star David Beckham and supermodel Naomi Campbell amongst its patrons, have been served with papers by a court to change its name after it lost a battle with Orient-Express Hotels.Hotel Cipriani in Venice, part of the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. group, in 2006 had filed a law-suit against the London restauranters for infringing on their trademark.Hotel Cirpiani, founded in 1956 by another Cipriani family currently holds the U.K. trademark for the name which it registered for in 1996.  The restaurant was opened in 2004“We have no wish to cause difficulties for other businesses but Orient-Express Hotels has worked long and hard over many years to build a worldwide reputation for Hotel ‘Cipriani’,” said Paul White, Orient-Express Hotels President and CEO.“We are entitled to protect this famous name in Europe and it was important to us to do so.”To further convolute the issue, the London restaurant which was ordered to publicize the decision, and pay for damages, has since filed for bankruptcy in a bid to “protect its assets” as it works towards launching an appeal.last_img read more

first_imgHKTB Andrew Clark Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M HKTB Steve Barclay Australian travellers are flocking to the fragrant harbour as a destination in its own right instead of a stop-over destination, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board who reported significant increases in both visitation and length of stay in 2010. Leisure travellers increased from 56 to 59 per cent last year, but more importantly according to HKTB Manager, Andrew Clark, length of stay jumped from 3.3 nights to 3.8 in 2010.MICE business also increased, up 12 per cent, with Australians also becoming big spenders in the city, resulting in the highest spenders per capita, which Mr Clark attributed to the strong Aussie dollar.HKTB will continue its Summer Spectacular campaign this year, however it will become 100 per cent digital according to Mr Clark, who also revealed the tourism board will launch a new brand campaign in April. Peter, Brett, Ben, Nick Jetset Travelworld’s Rachelle, Warwick, Chris HKTB Steve Barclay and Andrew Clark with Gannessan, Worldhotels awarded Best Dressedlast_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Sydney is sharing the tourism light with regional New South Wales after State Premier Barry O’Farrell unveiled the ‘biggest ever’ integrated campaign to drive tourism into areas outside the main city.Unveiled this morning at Westfield Bondi Junction and described as “the first of its type and scale”, the Make Some Our Time campaign aims to inspire Sydney-siders to take a short break in regional areas across NSW.Running for four weeks until 12 August this year, the campaign will utilise augmented reality technology to enable Westfield shoppers to ‘interact’ with NSW native wildlife and inspire them to visit the real thing.Accompanied by a promotion with up to $1 million in regional accommodation vouchers up for grabs, Mr O’Farrell said the campaign will push more Aussies to “take advantage” of the state’s “diverse regional areas”, beaches and winter wonderland in the Snowy Mountains.  “Time-poor Sydneysiders are the biggest takers of short breaks – this innovative promotion will help them take advantage of the millions of destinations NSW has for the perfect break,” Minister for Tourism and Major Event George Souris said.  “We all know we are meant to recharge our batteries every now and again, and we always remember how good we felt when we did.  This campaign makes it easy for people to do this.”The promotion running over the same four-weeks of the campaign, will see Destination NSW give away $1 million in accommodation vouchers in eight Westfield centres in NSW.Shoppers who spend $30 in any participating retailer in-centre, they will receive a scratch card that could see them win $200 off any regional accommodation booking over $400. Participating stores include Westfields in Bondi Junction, Parramatta, Miranda, Chatswood, Penrith, Eastgardens, Burwood and Sydney. last_img read more