Airlines project soft landing in 2017 after record profits

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> GENEVA — The world’s leading association of airlines is lowering its projection for record industry net profit this year, while predicting a 16 per cent drop next year due to rising oil prices.The International Air Transport Association forecasts profit of $35.6 billion USD this year, down from its previous projections for $39.4 billion due to slower economic growth and rising costs. Profit is expected to be $29.8 billion in 2017.IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said Thursday that such 2017 profits would round out the industry’s best three-year performance: “That’s a very soft landing and safely in profitable territory.”De Juniac cited continued economic, political and security risks, but said the industry’s more resilient after years of restructuring. He cautioned profits are not evenly distributed, with the best performance centred on North America. Share Airlines project ‘soft landing’ in 2017 after record profits Thursday, December 8, 2016 center_img Tags: IATA, International Air Transport Association Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

From moments to memories with Trafalgar

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Trafalgar, Video From moments to memories with Trafalgar Posted by Wednesday, September 26, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — Trafalgar is one of the world’s leading and most awarded travel brands, dedicated to bringing to life the unique moments that inspire you to leave with your own stories to tell. In this new video, Trafalgar explores the moments that make their trips unforgettable.What’s in a moment?Is it the moment you dare to dream of a world less ordinary? The can’t-wait-to-explore moment when you embark on a new adventure? Perhaps it’s the moment you connect with a complete stranger, the moment you find familiarity in a foreign place or the moment you laugh so hard your stomach aches.No matter your magic moment, create it with us. The head-turners, the jaw-droppers the eye-openers, the moment when you grasp what really matters.The Good LifeFrom the hulking fjords in Norway that look as though they’ve been ripped straight from a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, to the quaint neighbourhoods of Spain where sangria flows as freely as the native tongue, Europe is a continent of many wonderful contrasts. See history come to life before your very eyes as you traverse the varied landscapes, marvel at the icons and find your happy place with a collection of real Trafalgar experiences that you can’t find on any other tour. Sharelast_img read more

Drunk baggage handler falls asleep in hold accidentally flies to Chicago

first_imgTags: American Airlines, Funny Travelweek Group Friday, November 2, 2018 CHICAGO — Some people just can’t handle their liquor.Police say a baggage handler told them he was drunk when he fell asleep in a cargo hold and flew from Kansas City to Chicago.American Airlines says the Piedmont Airlines employee was working American Flight 363 on Saturday when the Boeing 737 left Kansas City International Airport with the handler in a heated and pressurized cargo hold.Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says he was found when the flight landed about an hour later at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The spokesman says the handler told police he was intoxicated and had fallen asleep.No charges were filed, and he was sent back to Kansas City.American says it is grateful the handler wasn’t injured and it’s reviewing what happened.The handler’s name wasn’t released. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Drunk baggage handler falls asleep in hold, accidentally flies to Chicago Posted by Sharelast_img read more

Southwest flight attendant melts hearts with the way he gets baby to

first_imgSouthwest flight attendant melts hearts with the way he gets baby to stop crying ORLANDO — A little kindness goes a long way, as one Southwest flight attendant has proven.In April 2017 a mother boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Orlando to Pittsburgh with her two young daughters. At some point during the flight, her youngest daughter started wailing and despite the mother’s best efforts, she just wouldn’t stop.After a while, a flight attendant asked the mother to bring the baby to the back of the plane.Fellow passenger Carrie Jaboor, who witnessed the interaction, told Scary Mommy: “When I saw the flight attendant ask her to step to the back, I could tell the mother (and myself) thought she was going to get in trouble.”Instead, what Jaboor saw next melted her heart: the flight attendant started blowing bubbles for the little girl in an effort to get her to stop crying. It worked.“I looked back and saw him blowing bubbles for the little girl until she stopped crying as he was also giving tissues to the mother and consoling her as she was crying too,” wrote Jaboor on Facebook. “There are some seriously kind people in this world.”More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Her Facebook post was shared over 2,000 times and garnered hundreds of comments, many from mothers who’ve found themselves in similar situations.Kathy West also praised Southwest, saying: “Southwest Airlines is my new favorite airline! They were all amazing and helpful when I traveled with my son whom has cerebral palsy at the beginning of March.”Jan Peterson also wrote: “39 years ago, I had to take my one year old with me from Pittsburgh to Chicago. My had had unexpectedly passed away the night before…My daughter started crying and I was falling apart. The flight attendant pretty much held her the whole time. Never forgot her kindness.”Flight attendant Lyze Lynch commented too on behalf of flight attendants everywhere: “Our job is hard, we work long hours, are constantly tired, and are far away from home. But I think I can speak for my Sky brothers and sisters when I say that we genuinely try to make your travels better.”More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise rates Thursday, May 16, 2019 Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Tags: Cute, Southwest Airlines Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Majority of Costa Ricans approve of US leadership for the first time

first_imgLatin American and Caribbean countries’ approval of U.S. leadership rose from 37 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2013, though results remain below the high point of Barack Obama’s first year in office.Costa Rica had the second highest approval rate of any country surveyed in the region, behind only Haiti, according to a Gallup survey of 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The results were part of a study on worldwide results, which asked residents of 130 countries whether they approved or disapproved of the job performance of U.S. leadership.Costa Rica, which Obama visited in May 2013, had a 55 percent approval rating for the U.S., a large jump from the 41 percent approval received in 2012. Haiti’s approval rating was 71 percent and has consistently remained the highest approving populace in the region. Nicaragua was where U.S. leadership performed the worst in Central America, at 33 percent.Central American countries on average showed a higher approval rating than South American countries. The lowest approval rating was by Argentina, at 23 percent.Dashboard 1 Learn About TableauGallup’s report credited a huge boost in approval in Mexico to the president’s February visit and a similar phenomenon due to his Costa Rica visit. However, U.S. approval saw the largest dip in Colombia, despite having a strong ally in Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Gallup blamed backlash against the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement for the drop. Similar backlashes to free trade policies have sprung up around the region. For example, Costa Rican President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís rose to popularity in his own party after writing articles critical of the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement.Much of the polling of Latin America took place while ongoing revelations were published on the National Security Administration’s (NSA) surveillance programs. Documents leaked by former security contractor Edward Snowden unearthed programs that infuriated some Latin American leaders. In just one example, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a visit to the U.S. and slammed the program in the United Nations last September. According to Gallup, Brazilians were polled during September and October. Though Snowden’s revelations first broke in May, many details of international surveillance programs took months to break. It was unclear if Gallup’s 2013 results captured the effect of this news.Looking at the approval rating over the seven years Gallup has polled the question, a clear trend emerges for the region. Obama’s election and first year in office saw a substantial spike in approval from the majority of countries in the region. Approval has since steadily declined, while failing to hit the low levels during the George W. Bush administration. Nicaragua is a notable exception that bucks this trend, despite having a government that is long-winded on leftist rhetoric (and which maintains strong business ties with the U.S.). Gallup polled a higher approval rating from Nicaragua during the Bush years than the Obama years.A somewhat similar phenomenon occurred in Honduras and Guatemala. Though both of these countries showed a spike in 2009, U.S. leadership approval steadily declined during Obama’s tenure, dropping below Bush levels. Facebook Comments Related posts:US Senate panel approves Venezuela sanctions Inaction presses on: The US immigration crisis Putin’s Russia expands Latin American role, Kelly says Central American leaders offer plan to slow child migrant surgelast_img read more

United Airlines announces more nonstop flights to Houston and New York during

first_imgU.S. carrier United Airlines on Monday confirmed it will increase the number of nonstop flights between Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica and hubs at George Bush International Airport in Houston and Newark Liberty in New York, both in the United States.The increase in flights will coincide with the year-end holiday season, from Dec. 19 to Jan. 4, the company stated in a press relase.On those dates the airline will add four weekly flights from San José to Houston on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, and two San José-Newark flights on Saturdays and Sundays. All flights will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a 152-seat capacity.“These additional flights will allow us to respond to the strong demand of flights to Costa Rica from travelers from the U.S., Europe and Asia during the holidays,” said Salvador Marrero, United’s executive director for Central America.Costa Rican Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said in a press release that the increase in flights demonstrates the country’s continuous efforts to increase the number of visits from major tourism markets.“The U.S. is the biggest source of tourists to Costa Rica. Last year alone we recorded 1,617,442 international arrivals in the country by air, and almost 54 percent of those people came from that country. The increase in the number of flights will help attract more tourists from those U.S. cities,” von Breymann said.Rafael Mencia, CEO of Aeris — the company that manages the Juan Santamaría International Airport outside San José — said they are pleased with United’s decision to respond to the high demand during the holidays. Facebook Comments Related posts:More flights coming: Delta adds Minneapolis and LA routes to Costa Rica JetBlue announces new flight to Costa Rica from Boston starting in November Costa Rica could launch 7 new airline routes and add 2 carriers this year Southwest Airlines confirms nonstop flight from Baltimore to Costa Rica in 2015last_img read more

Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzmán tunnels out of maximum security prison

first_imgMEXICO CITY — Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s most famous drug lord, has escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico for the second time in his drug-running career, a spectacular breach of security that set off a massive manhunt in the early hours Sunday.For the past year and a half, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel had been incarcerated inside the Altiplano, a federal facility set amid farmland west of the capital that holds the top captured drug bosses and has been described as the country’s most impenetrable prison.That all changed late Saturday night, when Guzmán slipped out of the prison through a rectangular passage in the shower area of his cell that led to a nearly mile-long tunnel running underneath the prison, according to Mexico’s national security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido.In a brief morning news conference, Rubido said that Guzmán was last seen inside the prison around 8 p.m. while receiving his daily dose of medication. After guards realized he had disappeared, they found the hatch that led by ladder down to the tunnel, which was illuminated, perforated with PVC piping for ventilation and equipped with an adapted motorcycle-on-rails to whisk the drug lord to freedom.The escape of Guzmán is a staggering blow for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who had been building a strong reputation for arresting top drug bosses from all the major cartels. However, as his administration has succeeded in weakening some cartels, such as the Zetas and the Knights Templar, others are now ascendant, including the New Generation cartel in Jalisco.But the failure to hold the country’s most important drug trafficker reveals the weakness of Mexico’s justice system and will add to the perception that the state has become so riddled with corruption that powerful criminals can in fact exist above the law.The manner of Guzmán’s escape suggests that his rescue operation was well-planned and financed and may have occurred with the complicity of officials inside the prison.Authorities put the Altiplano prison, located in the area of Almoloya de Juárez, in the state of Mexico, on lockdown after Guzmán’s escape. No one was allowed in or out and military and police deployed to the surroundings to search for the fugitive. Flights out of the nearby Toluca airport were grounded, Rubido said, to prevent him from leaving that way.But in the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzmán still has a large and lucrative drug-running operation to welcome him back into the fold.In February 2014, Guzmán was captured by a team of Mexican commandos while he was sleeping in the Miramar condominium in the beach town of Mazatlán. The arrest came after a series of military operations, which relied heavily on intelligence gathered by United States law enforcement officials, that led to houses with their own elaborate tunnel network in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa that Guzmán had used to evade capture for years.Guzmán had risen to be the most-wanted man in Mexico and the leader of a massive drug-running operation with links in dozens of countries. He was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala but escaped from another Mexican maximum security prison in 2001, aided by prison guards.The escape promises to be a major irritant in the relations between the U.S. and Mexican governments. American officials had pressed for Guzmán’s extradition so that he could be prosecuted for drug crimes and held in the type of facility where he would be more secure. But Mexican officials took it as a point of pride and national sovereignty that they could hold even drug traffickers as powerful as Guzmán in prison.When it comes to drug tunnels, Guzmán’s Sinaloa organization is Mexico’s leading engineering firm. Since the 1990s, U.S. and Mexican authorities have discovered more than 100 drug-smuggling tunnels in Tijuana, Nogales and in other border cities, many as sophisticated as the one Guzmán allegedly used to sneak out of his cell.The most sophisticated have their own lighting, ventilation and deploy little motorized carts or railcars to shuttle narcotics, weapons and cash back-and-forth. They typically start in a building on the Mexican side of the border and end in another structure on the other side. The tunnel-builders hide their materials and the earth they excavate within the structure on the Mexican side, or carry it out quietly, delicately charting their course beneath the surface to avoid detection.Even with Guzmán in jail, his Sinaloa organization remained the dominant narcotics smuggling power in Mexico, with trafficking networks that spread across the United States. Guzmán’s cartel sends more cocaine and marijuana than any other into the United States, according to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials, and it accounts for more than half of the heroin surging into U.S. communities as overdose deaths skyrocket.Guzmán’s longtime business partner, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, was believed to have assumed operational control of the cartel after Guzmán’s arrest, though few in Mexico doubted that Chapo continued calling the shots from his maximum security cell. The group’s hideouts, safe houses and drug ranches span a vast area in the rugged northern Sierra Madre mountains, where men like Guzmán and Zambada are viewed by many as Robin Hood-like folk heroes.© 2015, The Washington Post  Facebook Comments Related posts:Lawyer for Mexico’s most-wanted man, ‘El Chapo,’ doesn’t know where client is Undermining Mexico: How ‘El Chapo’ built a criminal empire, and escaped prison, by digging deep Mexico drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán back in jail, betrayed by biopic bid Did Delta Force help capture El Chapo? US role yet to be detailedlast_img read more

Tire mosquito trap could boost Zika control

first_imgOTTAWA,Canada — Researchers said Thursday they have found a way to fashion a cheap mosquito trap out of old tires that can collect thousands of eggs that may carry the Zika virus.The contraption is called an “ovillanta,” and consists of cutout tires and a liquid solution that lures Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which can transmit chikungunya, dengue and Zika.The females lay their eggs on a wooden or paper strip inside the tire trap. The strip can be removed weekly and the eggs destroyed by using fire or ethanol.Health experts are hopeful that the trap could help people in remote areas where screens and air conditioning are rare, to reduce people’s contact with the kind of mosquitoes that spread Zika, a virus that has been linked to a surge of birth defects in Brazil.“We decided to use recycled tires — partly because tires already represent up to 29 percent of the breeding sites chosen by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, partly because tires are a universally affordable instrument in low-resource settings, and partly because giving old tires a new use creates an opportunity to clean up the local environment,” said researcher Gerardo Ulibarri of Laurentian University in Ontario.Researchers tested the traps in the Guatemalan town of Sayaxche over the course of 10 months.They “collected and destroyed over 18,100 Aedes eggs per month using 84 ovillantas in seven neighborhoods,” the study said.This was “almost seven times the roughly 2,700 eggs collected monthly using 84 standard traps (made from one-liter buckets) in the same study areas.”The tire traps were also far cheaper, costing only 20 percent what it would to target adult insects with pesticides, researchers said.The project was funded by the Canadian government.Ulibarri collaborated with Angel Betanzos and Mireya Betanzos of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, and Guatemala’s Ministry of Health.The milk-based solution used to attract the mosquitoes was developed by Laurentian University.Researchers have also released a how-to video for making the traps: Related posts:Vaccine against dengue virus is 100 percent effective: study Zika virus total surpasses 100 cases in Costa Rica World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016 Zika crisis to get ‘worse before it gets better,’ WHO says Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Life in Juan Santamarías Costa Rica A look back

first_imgApril 11 is Juan Santamaría Day, a Costa Rican holiday to remember the Battle of Rivas in 1856 and the heroic action of Juan Santamaría, a common soldier from Alajuela who saved the battle and Costa Rica’s right to be a nation.William Walker, a U.S. southerner, sought to make slave states of the five Central American republics. With his mercenary army, Walker claimed Nicaragua, then turned to Costa Rica. President Juan Rafael Mora Porras called for recruits to chase out the filibusteros, as the invaders were known, and defend the borders. Four thousand Ticos answered the call and set out for the northern zone, routing the North Americans and chasing them north to Rivas, Nicaragua.It was in Rivas that the decisive battle took place on April 11, 1856. As every Costa Rican student learn in school, Santamaría, carrying a torch, set fire to the Mesón de Guerra, Walker’s headquarters.Although the war continued for another year along the river route on the northern border, Walker never regained the upper hand.What was life like in Costa Rica in 1856? How did the soldiers endure the long marches and fierce firefights? By the standards of the day, Costa Rica was a rich country. Coffee production had had a broad impact on society: even the humblest members of the population had a chance to work with the huge crops. Demand for coffee from Europe and North America created jobs and brought in foreign exchange, and that drew merchants from France, Germany and other countries to set up emporiums with imported products.See also: Who was Juan Santamaría? Five (debated) things you should knowCosta Ricans could now buy porcelain dishes, elegant fabrics for clothes, lamps, furniture and even pianos, from Europe. They also imported hats, gloves and crinolines for the ladies and girls, and ropa blanca or white clothes, the euphemism for underwear. Culture flourished: books, music, theater and carriages were part of the social scene. Even in the rural areas, there was a sense of identity within the young nation.The army benefited as well, with rifles from England and military trainers from Germany (Saxony and Prussia). Wearing loose white pants and tunics, broad-brimmed hats, and leather sandals called caites, 4,000 men set out from San José on March 4 for the 300 kilometer route to Puntarenas and north to Santa Rosa. This meant 20 days in the March heat, over rocky roads, high mountains and steep valleys.They passed through La Uruca, Lagunilla, San Antonio de Belén and around Alajuela, through La Garita and El Coyol, Altos de Monte and onward, on roads used to carry the coffee-laden oxcarts to the port. They stopped and rested in flat areas near streams and grass for the oxen and horses. They ate rice and beans and meat with plátanos. And they were not alone. Women – wives, sisters and others interested in helping the men and the country – came along. They cooked the huge pots of food, washed and mended clothes, and even helped the fighters, carrying supplies and loading rifles. National heroine Pancha Carrasco helped save a cannon with her sharp shooting.Although the war in Santa Rosa and Rivas, known as the “first campaign,” were important victories for Costa Rica, an epidemic of cholera hit the army and forced it to retreat. In December, 1856, the “second campaign” to clear the San Juan river of Walker’s troops was also successful, and Costa Rica proved itself as a sovereign nation.The Juan Santamaría Historic and Cultural Museum in the center of Alajuela, on the northwest corner across from the central park, is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with information and displays on the Campaign of 1856. Facebook Comments Related posts:Who was Juan Santamaría? Five (debated) things you should know ‘Monument to the Farmer’ to return to Alajuela Costa Rican history as a rock opera – on a stage near you Costa Rica celebrates Juan Santamaría Daylast_img read more

US names career diplomat Marut to Taiwan office

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – The United States has named a career diplomat to head its de facto embassy in Taiwan.The American Institute in Taiwan announced Tuesday that 27-year State Department veteran Christopher Marut will become its leader in August.AIT was established in 1979 after the U.S. transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. Despite its irregular status, it is one of the larger American diplomatic outposts in Asia. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Marut previously was deputy consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in Washington. He has been posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and in Taiwan as science and technology officer.Marut replaces William Stanton.(This version CORRECTS his previous Taiwan posting.)(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

25nation bloc to end Kosovos supervision

first_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean The Associated PressVIENNA (AP) – A 25-nation group supervising Kosovo’s democratic progress announced Monday that it will end oversight of Europe’s youngest independent nation in September, a move that will bring the ethnically divided country closer to its aspirations of European Union and NATO membership.The decision, announced Monday in Vienna by Pieter Feith of Kosovo’s International Civilian Office, reflected confidence that Kosovo’s leadership could reduce tensions between majority ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs. However, international military and police units will still patrol Kosovo to lower the risk of ethnic violence. Top holiday drink recipes Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 0 Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths While 91 countries have recognized Kosovo’s 2008 independence declaration, Serbia _ backed by Russia, China and others _ has not, although recent meetings between the two sides have narrowed some differences.Russia sees itself as a protector of Kosovo’s Serbs, implicitly backing their refusal to accept the authority of the country’s majority ethnic Albanian institutions and their wish for fusion of their region with neighboring Serbia.Serbia continues to maintain a police presence and other “parallel institutions” in Kosovo’s north and allows Kosovo Serbs to cast ballots in Serbian elections.In the most recent violence linked to ethnic tensions, an explosive device hidden at an apartment in the northern town of Mitrovica killed an ethnic Albanian man and wounded two of his children in April. Three unidentified assailants then beat up a 66-year-old Serb man in what officials said was apparent retaliation.A Steering Group communique issued Monday praised Thaci’s “intention to deepen his government’s engagement with the Serb community in the North … and to continue engaging actively in dialogue with Belgrade.”Thaci acknowledged “uneasy challenges … ahead of us.” At the same time, he declared commitment to “all the necessary reforms … for integration into NATO and the European Union.” Top Stories center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Such violence still occurs, even 13 years after a NATO bombing campaign ended war between the two sides and the former Serbian province was put under international control. Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci _a former ethnic Albanian guerrilla commander _ pledged to work hard for reconciliation.“I will communicate and cooperate with every single Serb leader elected in the North who respects the institutions of Kosovo,” he told reporters in Vienna, referring to the country’s restive northern Serb enclave, which has been at the forefront of defying his government’s authority.Feith said “much remains to be done” in Kosovo’s transformation into a Western-style democracy that meets EU criteria. But he also noted progress, including in the northern Serb region whose people had long seen neighboring Serbia as their lifeline but now in “increasing numbers are asking for services from the Kosovo government. “The mandate of the International Civilian Office, which operates under the 25-nation International Steering Group, was to run out this year. Monday’s announcement affirmed expectations that Kosovo will enact remaining legislation guaranteeing and strengthening democratic institutions and human rights by September. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

AP Interview US secrecy in trade terror riles EU watchdog

first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories “There is a little clash of cultures, yes,” EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly told The Associated Press in an interview.O’Reilly said some of the problems could be rooted in fears emanating from big scandals like the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables or the Edward Snowden revelations about U.S. data spying.The motivation behind the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to create a market with common standards and regulations. The proposed trade pact touches on most aspects of commerce, from farming to health care to cosmetics.O’Reilly is particularly concerned that the opaque nature of the negotiations is depriving people of information affecting their daily lives.The EU Commission, which negotiates for its 28 member nations, is campaigning to have negotiating texts made public but anything that references the U.S. position has yet to make it into the public arena.The U.S. mission in Brussels said in a statement that trade talks “must balance transparency, a principle the United States holds dear, with the confidentiality necessary for negotiators to share the information and have the frank conversations that are essential to concluding trade agreements.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy “For the first time in its 20-year history, the European Ombudsman was denied its right under statute to inspect an EU institution document, even under the guarantee of full confidentiality,” O’Reilly told EU lawmakers.EU Parliament lawyers have been dealing with the issue but the U.S. Treasury insists it is in full compliance on oversight of the agreement.At her office in Brussels — within easy reach of all the main EU institutions — O’Reilly wondered aloud how the EU Commission can handle balancing public demands for transparency on issues that impact citizens’ lives while U.S. authorities seem to keep putting up roadblocks.“We’re in a new era. The younger generation won’t understand the lack of transparency. They won’t tolerate it,” she said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility It also underlined that the U.S. and the EU Commission are making negotiating documents available to European officials in the member countries.“I understand that these are trade negotiations and that people want to protect their negotiating positions,” O’Reilly said. “But there needs to be transparency at the point of draft decisions.”O’Reilly recently walked away from a meeting on transparency with the U.S. ambassador even though the two have good personal contacts.“He didn’t get my role as European Ombudsman and I didn’t get his not getting my role as Ombudsman,” she said. “They weren’t trusting EU institutions and I thought that was a problem.”Another concern stems from the U.S. Treasury’s refusal to allow what she considers to be proper EU oversight of the agreement under which the United States tracks terrorist finances using personal data from Europe. The terror financing agreement has the EU police agency Europol supervise the way things are done on the European side and issue regular reports on the process.Recently, O’Reilly was denied access to a Europol report by the U.S. Treasury. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. government’s restrictions on access to documents and its insistence on secrecy are undermining trust in trans-Atlantic trade talks and anti-terror data exchanges, the European Union’s transparency watchdog said Wednesday.Discussions between the 28-nation EU and the U.S. to create a trade pact that would account for nearly half the global economy have dragged on since their launch in 2013, with the issue of secrecy prompting growing concern in Europe. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Italian premiers Democrats facing loss in key regional race

first_img Top Stories ROME (AP) — Premier Matteo Renzi’s squabbling Democratic Party appeared headed for a stinging defeat in a key race in voting for governorships in several Italian regions, partial counting of ballots indicated Monday.Vote tallies by the Interior Ministry from just over 10 percent of precincts in the northwest region of Liguria, long a left-wing stronghold, indicated the Democrats were trailing a center-right candidate who was hand-picked by Silvio Berlusconi, the scandal-tainted, former conservative premier. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Nuns watch a list of candidates prior to cast their ballots for Italian regional elections in seven of the twenty country’s regions and more than 700 municipalities, at a polling station in Vicenza, Italy, Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Filippo Venezia/ANSA via AP) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Salvini hopes the regional elections will bolster his ambition to be Italy’s main opposition leader, thus outstripping Berlusconi, who was forced out of Parliament by a tax fraud conviction stemming from dealings in his media empire.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Check your body, save your life Draining votes away from Renzi’s candidate for Liguria governor in Sunday’s election was a left-wing candidate who was backed by a rebellious Democratic Party faction chafing at what it calls the premier’s overbearing leadership style.However, the Democrats appeared on their way to winning several other governorships. In all, seven of Italy’s 20 regions voted for governors.Consolidating gains was the anti-immigrant Northern League in its Veneto stronghold in northeastern Italy. In Liguria, the League teamed up with Berlusconi’s candidate, further extending its influence. It also appeared to be headed for a strong second-place showing in Tuscany, a region that has been outside its power base, and where the incumbent Democratic candidate seemed en route to a wide victory.Northern League leader Matteo Salvini had told voters that those who didn’t cast ballots for his party were effectively supporting what he called an “invasion” of Italy by migrants.Straining its coffers, Italy has been rescuing and sheltering a relentless stream of migrants arriving by sea aboard smugglers’ boats launched from Libyan shores. Last year, Italy rescued some 170,000 migrants, and tens of thousands have arrived this year. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

New Chinese law reinforces government control of cyberspace

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BEIJING (AP) — China’s legislature passed sweeping legislation on Wednesday that reinforces government controls over cyberspace, as the nation’s leaders try to address what they see as growing threats to Chinese networks and national security.The vaguely worded National Security Law is one of several new regulatory moves by China that worry privacy advocates and have foreign businesses concerned about potential harm to their operations inside the country. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The National Security Law, passed overwhelmingly by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, replaces a law that focused more narrowly on counter-espionage.In addition to cyberspace, the new legislation covers a wide range of areas including the economy, social stability, territorial integrity, the military, culture, finance, technology, the environment and food safety.Spokeswoman Zheng Shu’na said an overarching legislation was needed to deal with “ever-growing security challenges”.“Externally speaking, the country must defend its sovereignty, as well as security and development interests, and … it must also maintain political security and social stability,” Zheng was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.The new law is an extension of the hard line on security and repeated warnings against foreign ideological subversion issued by the government of President Xi Jinping, who in 2013 established an overarching National Security Commission to coordinate such efforts with him as chairman.A separate anti-terrorism proposal could require network operators and service providers fighting for a share of China’s $465 billion technology market to build in “backdoors” for government surveillance, hand over encryption keys to Chinese authorities and store user data within China. The law calls for strengthened management over the web and tougher measures against online attacks, theft of secrets, and the spread of illegal or harmful information.It said core information technology, critical infrastructure and important systems and data must be “secure and controllable” in order to protect China’s sovereignty over its cyberspace.The law offered no details on how China would achieve the goals, although a vast government Internet monitoring system has been in place for years.China says it is a major target of hacking and other cyberattacks, and the ruling Communist Party has expended vast efforts in blocking online content it deems subversive or illegal.China is also accused of running a state-sponsored effort to hack computers and steal government and commercial secrets overseas, while also spying on and harassing pro-democracy, Tibetan and human rights groups based abroad.Most recently, Beijing was suspected as being behind a massive hack into a U.S. federal government computer server that resulted in the theft of personnel and security clearance records of 14 million employees and contractors. Chinese officials always deny engaging in such actions.center_img Top Stories Companies worry that could undermine their ability to send encrypted emails or operate the kind of private corporate networks commonly used to secure communications.Other new regulations already require Chinese banks to have 75 percent of their IT infrastructure certified as “secure and controllable” by the Chinese government by 2019.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

New push for Incredible India

first_imgTourism representatives from India have emphasised the country’s pull as a tourist destination during Wednesday’s opening of ITB Berlin.Representatives from Air India, Indian Railways and the tourism ministry joined up with about 80 travel agents and hoteliers showcasing the country’s appeal as a destination for both business and leisure.The promotion was made under the proven successful “Incredible India” banner, with the stakeholders’ focus squarely on developing niche markets for wellness, adventure and eco-tourism.Indian representatives told The Hindu newspaper they were confident India’s current appeal would grow in years to come.They also approved the Indian Government’s decision to expand its visa on arrival scheme to six new nations last year had improved numbers of foreign arrivals.The stakeholders also promoted India’s strong recent event-based tourism results, based on last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, and promoted this with view to the country’s first ever Formula 1 race later this year.As part of the promotion, the Ministry of Tourism said foreign arrivals rose in 2010 by eight per cent to more than 5.5 million tourists – a jump from a 3.3 per cent drop in numbers in 2009.The newspaper reported foreign exchange earnings from tourism went up by 8.3 per cent from Rs15.1 crore in 2002 to Rs35.0 crore in 2009. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: V.Vlast_img read more

QLD to benefit from cashed up RV travellers

first_imgQueensland can boost visitor spend if it places priority on the cashed up recreational vehicle (RV) market, according to the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA).CMCA director Ken Kipping said RV travellers currently spend over $5 billion nationally each year, with Queensland receiving over $3 billion of that.“With baby boomers only just hitting retirement age, we are perched on the crest of a tidal wave,” Mr Kipping said. As the mining boom dominates accommodation in many central and south east Queensland regional towns, the reliance on commercial accommodation is less for RV travellers.“RV travellers stay for a long time, spend on high value tours and local services,” Mr Kipping pointed out.Recreational vehicles, such as campervans, motorhomes, caravans and camper trailers are being produced in record numbers and to meet demand there is a need for more non-commercial and other low cost accommodations, according to Mr Kipping.RV travellers will spend up to $20,000 on an average trip of 156 days, resulting in a significant injection of cash into regional and remote towns.“A modest investment by local and state government into rest areas and low cost non-commercial accommodation with waste services will attract significant interstate and overseas RV travellers to regional towns,” Mr Kipping added.CMCA suggests changes to caravan park policies should allow councils to provide accommodation for RVs in country showgrounds, racetracks, local and state reserves when not in use.“RV travellers aren’t looking for a free ride; they are prepared to pay for access to non-commercial accommodation. The bottom line is they are looking for an authentic regional experience.” RV travellers are spending up to $5 billion in Australia each year Source = e-Travel Blackboardlast_img read more

eTravel Blackboard Queens Birthday trading hours

first_imge-Travel Blackboard offices will be closed on Monday 10 June 2013 to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday.While there may not be an edition on the Monday, e-Travel Blackboard will be back on Tuesday 11 June 2013 with all the latest Travel News Your Way.e-Travel Blackboard wishes you a happy and safe long weekend.Source = e-Travel Blackboardlast_img

Etihad named one of the most in demand employers by LinkedIn

first_imgEtihad Airways, has been recognised as one of the world’s most attractive employers on LinkedIn’s ‘Global 100 InDemand Employers’ list.LinkedIn announced the rankings at its 2014 Talent Connect conference held last night in San Francisco and Etihad Airways was ranked as the 82nd most in-demand employer.Joining the likes of other notable companies including Google, Apple and Expedia, Etihad has proven itself as a good employer.Etihad Airways chief people and performance officer, Ray Gammell said being named one of the world’s most in-demand employers is a tremendous accomplishment.“Etihad Airways is an employer of choice because we offer exciting, challenging roles around the world at the fastest growing network carrier in history. We foster a culture of performance and reward with excellent opportunities for career progression,” Mr Gammell said.The ‘Global 100 InDemand Employers’ ranking is a list of the world’s most sought-after employers, chosen based on billions of interactions from LinkedIn’s more than 313 million members.Businesses are ranked according to the number of users who view profiles of their employees, connect with their employees, visit their company pages or follow their company.LinkedIn also recently revealed Etihad Airways is the most influential brand headquartered in the UAE based on engagement among LinkedIn’s worldwide users.Mr Gammell said that 2014 has been a successful year for Etihad and the latest award highlights that.“Being a globally recognised employer naturally helps to attract top quality talent. We have hundreds of jobs currently available and are constantly looking for talented individuals,” Mr Gammell said.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Thailand tourism growth momentum to continue through to the last quart

first_imgThailand tourism growth momentum to continue through to the last quarter of 2016 From left: Mrs. Sukanya Janchoo from Thai Hotels Association, Mr. Manit Boonchim from Tourism Council of Thailand, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, Mr. Charoen Wangananont from Association of Thai Agents, and Ms. Kawalin Wangphitchasook from Kasikorn Research CenterThailand tourism growth momentum to continue through to the last quarter of 2016The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), with the unanimous agreement of some of the biggest players in the kingdom’s tourism industry, has expressed confidence that the growth momentum, recorded over the first nine months of the year, is set to continue into the final quarter of 2016. This means that Thailand will exceed this year’s targets for visitor numbers and looks set to generate over 2.58 trillion Baht (US$73.7 billion) from the tourism sector, up 14 per cent over 2015.Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “This positive outlook is based on the strong confidence that both tourists and the world’s most respected organisations; such as, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), have in Thailand as a safe and enjoyable destination. This faith in the country is a result of TAT’s tireless efforts in constantly communicating with visitors and industry players in times of calm and crisis and sending the message that tourist safety and security is always our priority. In addition, our strong and innovative marketing activities play a huge role in telling the world that Thailand is the perfect destination for a holiday, whether you’re seeking sun, scenery, spas, sports or adventure.”This industry confidence is being expressed by participants at the second “Thai Travel Industry Media Conference” including the representatives from the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and the Thai Hotels Association (THA) as well as Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research) – which is joining event for the first time. The Conference, now scheduled to meet every quarter, was first organised in June of this year with the aim of sharing information as well as exchanging ideas and coordinating strategies among key players in Thailand’s tourist industry. The joint media conference will act as an important platform from which the industry can keep people up to date with the latest developments and coordinate new joint strategies.According to Mr. Yuthasak, in the first nine months of 2016, Thailand’s tourism industry is expected to generate a total of 1.88 trillion Baht (US$53.7 billion) for the Thai economy, representing a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent. Of the total, some 1.25 trillion Baht (US$35.7 billion, up 17 per cent) has been raised by 24.94 million inbound tourists (up 13 per cent) and another 629 billion Baht (US$18 billion, up 6 per cent) has come from domestic tourism with 111 million trips having been taken by locals (up 4 per cent on last year).Thanks to TAT’s aggressive international marketing campaigns, Thailand has continued to record impressive growth in the international tourist markets with Northeast Asia being the largest at 17 per cent, the Americas at 15 per cent, ASEAN, South Asia and Europe at 10 per cent each, the Middle East at 8 per cent, and Africa at 5 per cent each. The Oceania market recorded a 1.25 percent growth in the third quarter, bringing the overall performance up slightly, though there was a 0.7 per cent drop across the 9-month period.Going forward, to the last quarter of 2016, TAT expects Thailand to generate 698 billion Baht (US$20 billion, up 16 per cent), comprising 468 billion Baht (US$13.4 billion, up 19 per cent) from 9.01 million tourists (up 15 per cent) and 230 billion Baht (US$6.6 billion, up 9 per cent) from domestic tourism with 42 million trips expected to be taken by locals (up 7 per cent) as the cooler weather arrives.Other contributing factors to the growth prospects for the October to December period, 2016 include the fact that Thailand is entering the high season with forward bookings for air travels to Thailand already showing an 8 per cent increase. There are also new air links that have been established, including those from Russia (Moscow, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg), the Middle East (Tehran, Dubai and Doha), and Asia (Hong Kong, Mandalay, Luang Prabang and Vientiane). In addition, in the days either side of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China or Golden Week, as it is known, from 1 to 9 October, a total of 39 chartered flights with 7,594 seats have confirmed services to Bangkok and Phuket from nine cities in China.Mr. Yuthasak concluded, “These figures show that recent events haven’t impacted the confidence people have in Thailand as a safe and welcoming place to visit. As always, the kingdom is seen as the ultimate exotic holiday destination and the travel hub of the region. This is why we’ve been chosen to host events; such as, the UNWTO World Tourism Day on 27 September, and the WTTC Global Summit in April 2017, proof indeed that when it comes to travel and tourism, Thailand is as influential and as amazing as ever”. The TAT’s statement of confidence is shared by representatives from the TCT, ATTA, THA and K-Research, and their independent statistics confirm growth in the first nine months of 2016 with several contributing factors signaling that this growth is set to continue in the final quarter of the year. TCT’s tourist confidence index which stood at 98 in the third quarter is expected rise to 102 in the fourth quarter (the normal index is around 100) while ATTA, which handles one sixth of the total tourist arrivals to Thailand is expecting to welcome 6.3 million tourists this year, up from 5.12 million last year. They have cited that Thailand continues to enjoy growth as the kingdom is seen as being resilient and a secure destination, despite recent domestic incidents and other global issues. The links between the public and private sectors when it comes to assisting tourist and the expertise in crisis management are seen as strong factors in the confidence tourists have in Thailand that they will be safe and secure during their stay. Amazing ThailandSource = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more