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Move over Love Boat Carnival looks to expand market with three original

first_imgMove over Love Boat: Carnival looks to expand market with three original TV series Posted by MIAMI — Carnival Corporation & plc has announced it has created three original TV programs that will air on major networks in the U.S. beginning October 1st. Representing a first in the cruise industry, the approach builds on the company’s strategy to highlight why traveling by ocean to experience global destinations has become one of the best ways to see and learn about the world and other cultures.Carnival Corporation’s three initial TV series will air on ABC, NBC and The CW on Saturday mornings, reaching viewers during the large family-oriented programming blocks, established to educate and entertain families and people of all ages.With almost 80 original episodes that will rotate over a span of the next 12 months, the new experiential series will use ‘compelling and authentic’ storytelling to share the way travel by sea connects people, places and cultures around the world.The company also has produced a fourth series that is expected to air on a mid-week evening on cable in early 2017.The content is designed to engage viewers by showcasing exciting adventures, exotic cultures and popular global destinations. Ships from all 10 of the company’s cruise line brands — Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) – serve as the platform for engaging and emotional experiences, and each of the company’s brands will be featured in at least one of the episodes during the inaugural season.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backCarnival Corporation’s three original new TV series launching on Oct. 1 include:Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin“Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” will broadcast nationally as part of the sixth season of the Daytime Emmy-winning block Weekend Adventure, a three-hour programming block airing Saturday mornings on 98 percent of the country’s ABC affiliate channels. The show follows Emmy-winning host Jeff Corwin as he embarks on adventures in some of the world’s most exciting destinations, such as repelling down cliffs, flight-seeing to glacier landings, mountain climbing in a national park and zip lining through a rainforest.The Voyager with Josh Garcia“The Voyager with Josh Garcia” follows video journalist and world-traveler Josh Garcia as he goes off the beaten path in fascinating seaside ports to meet locals who share their rich history, life stories and exotic foods, and introduces viewers to the hidden beauty, cultural diversity and amazing flavors native to each destination. The program will air as part of NBC’s all-new, three-hour programming block that extends the network’s “The More You Know” brand with inspiring stories on NBC stations throughout the country.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongVacation Creation“Vacation Creation,” featuring “In Living Color” star and comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko as hosts, goes beyond the typical travel show by personalizing vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, in need of hope or seeking much-needed time together. From bringing three generations of women together to visit Russia for the first time since their grandmother escaped a war to giving a father whose life was threatened by illness a trip to remember, the show follows Davidson and Feczko as they tell inspiring stories and surprise guests with a dream vacation. The series will air as part of The CW’s “One Magnificent Morning” Saturday morning block.Carnival Corporation’s original TV programming will be initially distributed across major broadcast and cable networks and extended to major digital Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms to maximize audience exposure. Monday, September 19, 2016 Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Air Canada will fly to Iceland starting in June

first_imgTags: Air Canada, Iceland, New Routes Air Canada will fly to Iceland starting in June << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, February 1, 2017 MONTREAL — Air Canada has announced the addition of Iceland to its summer flight schedule, with flights operating four times and three times weekly from Toronto and Montreal, respectively.Subject to government approvals, the daily seasonal service to Reykjavik will launch with special introductory fares starting at $698 roundtrip, all in. Flights will be operated by Air Canada Rouge starting in June with 136-seat A319 aircraft featuring premium and economy classes.“Iceland is an emerging and exciting vacation destination growing in popularity with its array of outdoor leisure and cultural adventures, and we’re looking forward to flying to the Land of Fire and Ice this summer,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “As the only Canadian airline and only Star Alliance carrier in North America to fly to Iceland, customers from across Canada and the United States can connect seamlessly and easily to these new non-stop flights from our Toronto and Montreal hubs.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesIn 2017, Air Canada continues its global strategic expansion and will launch new international services between Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto- Reykjavik, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers, Montreal-Marseille, Montreal- Reykjavik, Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, and Vancouver-London Gatwick.In 2016, the airline started new services between Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Glasgow, Montreal-Casablanca, Montreal-Lyon, Vancouver-Delhi, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.center_img Travelweek Group Share Posted bylast_img read more

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PEOPLE Grenier joins TRAVELSAVERS team

first_img Wednesday, March 8, 2017 TORONTO — TRAVELSAVERS is adding to its local team of business development and support services for its Quebec travel agents.Michelle Grenier has been named Business Development Director at TRAVELSAVERS, responsible for the growth, retention and engagement of the licensees in the province of Quebec, effective immediately. She will be educating these agencies about TRAVELSAVERS programs, products and services, as well as analyzing their business and recommending applicable programs for better utilization and revenue opportunities.Grenier has had a high profile career in Quebec most recently as Sales & Product Manager with The Travel Corporation, and previously with Signature Vacations.“We are delighted to have Michelle join our Quebec organization,” said Marylène Lupien, Business Analyst, Québec. “Michelle joins us with a proven performance of 15 years in sales success, both on the agency and supplier side of the business, so we know she’ll be an asset to the TRAVELSAVERS family and our agencies.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamShe added: “We are committed to maintaining a strong regional presence in the Canadian market. Our service to our agents, along with our innovative technology, marketing programs, supplier relationships and corporate programs are what makes TRAVELSAVERS stand apart from other travel marketing companies.”Grenier can be contacted by e-mail at mgrenier@travelsavers.com or by phone at 1-866-231-0579. Tags: People, TRAVELSAVERS Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by [PEOPLE] Grenier joins TRAVELSAVERS team Sharelast_img read more

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British Airways travellers credit card details hacked

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: British Airways, Security, Technology Friday, September 7, 2018 LONDON — Hackers obtained the credit card details of some 380,000 British Airways travellers during a two-week data breach this summer that leaves the customers vulnerable to financial fraud, the airline says.BA chief executive Alex Cruz said Friday that enough data was stolen to allow criminals to use credit card information for illicit purposes, and that police are investigating.“We know that the information that has been stolen is name, address, email address, credit card information; that would be credit card number, expiration date and the three-letter code in the back of the credit card,” he told the BBC.He added that no passport data had been obtained in what he called a “very sophisticated, malicious criminal attack,” but that British Airways is “100 per cent committed” to compensating customers.The airline serves four Canadian cities – Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver – but a spokeswoman told The Canadian Press that the airline isn’t breaking down the breach by country.British Airways assured customers that it would reimburse them for losses directly because of the breach but advised them to contact their credit card suppliers if they made a booking or change to their booking through BA’s website or mobile app between 22:58 BST on Aug. 21 (5.58 p.m. Eastern Time) and 21:45 BST (4.45 p.m. ET) on Sept. 5.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyThat time period overlapped a two-day period when Air Canada detected unusual login activity on its mobile app between Aug. 22 and Aug. 24. The airline said last week that about 20,000 customers may have had personal information compromised before all 1.7 million accounts were locked down.Air Canada has said credit card data was encrypted and protected from a breach but Aeroplan numbers, passport numbers, birth dates, nationalities and countries of residence could have been accessed if users saved them in their account profile.Consumer advice website MoneySavingExpert says customers should monitor bank and credit card statements closely for signs of possible fraudulent activity.It also warns of possible “phishing scams” in which hackers would try to trick affected consumers into revealing personal information like pincodes or banking passwords.Some angry travellers complained to Britain’s Press Association that they had already noted bogus activity on credit cards that had been used to make British Airways bookings during the time when the breach was undetected.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthThe hack once again puts the spotlight on the strength of the IT systems at major companies as they expand their digital services.British Airways experienced an IT-related crisis in May last year when roughly 75,000 passengers were stranded after the airline cancelled more than 700 flights over three days because of system problems.In the U.S., Delta Airlines said in April that payment-card information for several hundred thousand customers could have been exposed by a malware breach months earlier. The same breach also hit Sears Holdings Corp., which operates Kmart stores.British Airways revealed the new hack Thursday evening and began notifying customers.“British Airways is communicating with affected customers and we advise any customers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their recommended advice,” the company said in its statement. The hack was not discovered until Sept. 5 and has now been resolved, officials said.Britain’s National Crime Agency says it is investigating.Shares in BA’s parent company, IAG, were down 3 per cent on Friday. By: The Canadian Press British Airways travellers’ credit card details hackedlast_img read more

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first_imgFrom the print editionThe rain begins outside. Carlos Cordero knows what the next morning will do to him.He’ll feel stuffy. Co- workers will ask him if he’s upset. But he’s not feeling gloomy – Cordero just has allergies; awful, awful allergies that worsen during Costa Rica’s soggy rainy season, which typically lasts through late November. “You are always the guy with the red eyes or the red nose,” says Cordero, 25, who works as a training specialist at medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical in Alajuela, north of the capital. While not crippling, allergies can be a frustrating condition to cope with in Costa Rica. The country has diverse climates and plant life, meaning allergens present problems no matter where one goes. During these wet, humid months, allergy sufferers like Cordero spend many mornings waking up to daily irritations that almost never go away.Alicia Marín, a doctor for health products company GNC, sees all types of patients ravaged by Costa Rica’s allergy season. In reality, the season doesn’t have an end point in the country since plants bloom all year around here – casting pollen into the atmosphere throughout the day. But the situation worsens with the start of the rainy season in May. The climate shifts from sunny and warm to rainy and sticky hot. Rainfall lifts up dust, pollen and mold, and residents inhale it. The swirl of materials in the air can cause congestion, rashes and rhinitis in those sensitive to the contaminants. For asthma patients, the effects can be more severe.Marín says pollution in the city from industrial smoke and vehicle exhaust also makes the situation worse. Heading to the beach is not an assured escape plan either. Different plant and flower species thrive on the coasts, and that means one’s body will have to adjust to those types of spores. “People who live in the forest [or] at the beach are already accustomed to those types of particulars and they don’t produce big problems,” Marín says.However, Costa Rica residents living by the ocean or in the jungle especially will feel the harshness of smog when entering the Central Valley. Fighting allergiesMarín says another reason sickness and allergies worsen during the latter half of the year is that people get lazy. Rainstorms can ruin a healthy lifestyle, forcing locals inside all day. Idleness can lead to depression and lethargy and a weakened immune system. Eating habits tend to fall apart during this part of the year, Marín says.“They forget those resolutions they made at the beginning of the year,” Marín says, “to exercise, to maintain their well-being.”She recommends reevaluating diet. Preventative measures are key for reducing the effects of aggravating allergens. In addition to regular exercise, Marín suggests eating organic fruits and vegetables instead of foods treated with agrochemicals, which can have an adverse effect on people prone to allergies.The best anti-allergenic food includes yogurts with probiotics (containing live bacteria) and foods that contain a compound known as a flavonoid. Research shows flavonoids act as a natural anti-allergen.The compounds are also considered antioxidants and beneficial in fighting heart disease. Foods that can help relieve symptoms include cranberries, citrus fruit, blackberries, vegetables like onions and spinach, black and red beans, red wine, teas and dark chocolate.For those who suffer the worst effects of allergies, pills also are available over-the-counter in Costa Rica. Marín still encourages a doctor’s appointment since some pills do nothing depending on the patient’s type of allergy.Cordero needed a prescription for helping his own case of allergies.  Some days – the ones after a rain – can be troublesome. Cordero has given presentations where it seems like he’ll never stop sneezing, turning his talks into a discussion about whether he’s “all right.”But he’s learned to control the problem. Cordero can take a trip to the beach and not suffer under the exotic flora. He can go out at night and have a great time. The new anti-tobacco law, banning smoking inside of bars and restaurants, has served as a huge boon for his health. “I’ve been visiting doctors and everything,” Cordero said. “They have done all types of studies on people. There’s nothing they can do [to cure the disorder]. They can only control the allergies.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. BRASILIA, Brazil – The Brazilian official in charge of indigenous affairs resigned Friday amid protests by indigenous residents locked in land feuds with white farmers and opposed to construction of a huge dam in the Amazon.Marta Azevedo, president of the National Indigenous Foundation, or FUNAI, decided to step down, saying she needed to undergo medical treatment and could not carry out her duties, a government statement said.Azevedo, who had taken up her post in April 2012, quit as President Dilma Rousseff faces the most violent protests by the country’s indigenous groups since she came to power two and a half years ago.The violence has been sparked by a spate of disputes in central Mato Grosso do Sul. An indigenous Terena man died last week during a police operation ordered to expel 1,000 protesters who occupied a white-owned farm in the state.One percent of the Brazilian population controls 46 percent of the cultivated land.Armed with bows, arrows and spears and wearing face paint, feathers and straw clothing, 200 indigenous people amassed Thursday in central Brasilia, where they aired their complaints outside Rousseff’s office.“We demand an end to the violence against indigenous people, we want the return of our ancestral lands occupied by landowners,” said Gilma Veron, an ethnic Terena from the hamlet of Buriti in Mato Grosso do Sul.The federal government has deployed a 110-strong contingent of the National Force, a special police unit, in the Mato Grosso do Sul town of Sidrolandia, where indigenous Terena are occupying the white-owned farm to demand the return of their ancestral lands.Rousseff has said her government will respect any decision made by judicial authorities on the land dispute, but she favors negotiations “to prevent conflicts, deaths and injuries.”Indigenous Mundukuru opposed to construction of the huge Belo Monte dam in the Amazon also traveled to Brasilia this week to air their own grievances, insisting that they were not consulted before the work began as required by law.The $13 billion project is expected to flood a 500-square-kilometer (200-square-mile) area along the Xingu River, displacing 16,000 people, according to the government.The dam, expected to produce 11,000 megawatts of electricity, would be the third-biggest in the world, after China’s Three Gorges and Brazil’s Itaipu dam in the south.Indigenous groups say the dam will harm their way of life. Environmentalists have warned of deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.And Brazil’s powerful landowners scheduled their own protest in Mato Grosso do Sul next week against invasions of their ranches by area indigenous groups, the Agriculture and Livestock Confederation of Brazil said.Indigenous people represent less than one percent of Brazil’s 194 million people and occupy 12 percent of the national territory, mainly in the Amazon. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Venezuelas crackdown on sales of everyday goods risks alienating loyalists

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela — The sprawling street market that radiates outward from the metro station in Petare, Caracas’ largest slum, is the retail equivalent of an anti-Target.There’s no organization to it. Tube socks and school supplies are sold beside giant pyramids of pineapple and piled yucca. Leopard-print hot pants stretch over mannequin buttocks next to the stinky stalls of fishmongers.The bazaar was known until this month as one of the city’s biggest open-air black markets, the place to find all the scarce items that shoppers must queue up for hours to get in supermarkets, or can’t find at all. Earlier this year, toilet paper and cornmeal were scarce; lately it’s diapers and deodorant that have “gotten lost,” as Venezuelans say.Authorities mostly turned a blind eye to the informal commerce, but late last month Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro went on TV to decree a ban on street sales of coffee, eggs, shampoo and some 50 other “regulated” items whose prices are capped by the government. He ordered the National Guard to police market stalls for such items as mayonnaise and powdered milk, and threatened to prosecute recidivist violators. Shoppers visit a supermarket in Caracas on Oct. 29, 2014 after a list of products that have weekly restrictions per person was published, following a presidential decree to fight chronic shortages of basic goods. Juan Barreto/AFPThe crackdown is tricky for Maduro. In Petare and elsewhere, it risks alienating some of the poor Venezuelans who had long been loyal to Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, but are increasingly unhappy with his understudy.“Maduro ya se maduró,” quipped vendor Maribel Nieble, with a play on the president’s last name that meant “Maduro has turned rotten.”She had a sorry-looking pile of bananas on her stand, but it was really just a facade. Hidden underneath in a dirty fruit crate were several illicit bottles of Downy-brand laundry detergent and cooking oil. When a bus pulled up and Nieble didn’t see any troops, she quickly set out her wares, concealing them again once the crowds thinned.“I feel like a drug dealer,” she said.In stores, the detergent’s price was capped at the equivalent of about 60 cents, if using the government’s highest official exchange rate of 50 bolivars per dollar. Nieble was selling her Downy for twice that.“I have six kids and two grandchildren,” she said. “I’m just trying to survive.”Maduro says this standard type of markup is tantamount to “theft.” He blames Venezuela’s scarcities and soaring inflation on an “economic war” waged by business owners, shopkeepers and others allegedly trying to undermine Venezuela’s socialist government by hoarding, price-gouging and sneaking goods across the border for sale in Colombia.“These right-wing contraband groups are still at work, with their anti-national and parasitic spirit, riding on the backs of the people and sucking their blood,” Maduro said Tuesday, assuring TV viewers that the government “had neutralized the perverse effects of the economic war” in 2014.In recent months, Maduro’s Twitter feed has been a rotating gallery of seizure photos showing contraband captured along the border. The foodstuffs, which are worth far more on the Colombia side, are often arranged in the style of a narcotics bust, even though the sacks are filled with flour and sugar. One photo last week showed a pickup truck jammed with so much beef that the meat was practically falling out onto the highway. En sector Guarero, en la Guajira, GNB incauta 530 pipas y 70400 lts de combustible. La lucha continúa! pic.twitter.com/qmhg6RJmkT— Vladimir Padrino L. (@vladimirpadrino) November 13, 2014 Related posts:Venezuela rating cut by Moody’s as oil plunge hits finances Venezuela struggles with getting basic goods under Chávez’s successor Showdown looms for Venezuela, as protest leader Leopoldo López vows new march Venezuelan cartoonist fired after sketch slamming health care This oil-rich country has the world’s largest petroleum reserves but also one of its highest inflation rates, at 63 percent, and shoppers have long been accustomed to store shelves stocked with imported goods. But with hard currency scarce, oil prices falling and the government more dependent on crude exports than ever, a kind of consumer psychosis has set in here.The supermarket lines can make camping out for an iPhone look like a breeze. Outside one holiday appliance sale in Caracas last week, some shoppers said they had been waiting for two days.Well-to-do Venezuelans shield themselves from inflation by putting their money in U.S. dollars in accounts abroad, but the poor have turned to trading in items such as cooking oil, shaving cream and hair conditioner, the stuff that often gets “lost.”The government now requires shoppers to give their names and identification card numbers to cashiers in the checkout aisle, and Maduro has ordered the installation of fingerprint scanners to make sure Venezuelans don’t exceed their purchase limits.Related: As oil plummets, Venezuela goes from bad to worseMaking matters worse is an endemic culture of corruption that puts an additional squeeze on the few remaining forms of local industry and legitimate commerce.Pedro Zambrano, a trucker, said he delivers 6,000 pounds of cheese every week to the capital from his home state of Tachira, along the border with Colombia. About half of his would-be profits are eaten up by bribes to inspectors and police along the highways, he said. “All that’s left over goes toward keeping my truck on the road and my kids fed.”Zambrano had come to Petare for a few bottles of cooking oil, which he said cost nearly twice as much along the border. He said Maduro’s complaints about contraband are legitimate, but he scoffed at the claim that the government is trying to stop it.“Until they fix the corruption in the National Guard, nothing will change,” he said.Zambrano said Venezuela’s problems would be fixed when supermarket supplies met consumer demand, but not through escalating enforcement.Those who were taking Maduro at his word in the Petare market already seemed to be paying the price. The president’s decree had prompted Carmen Velasquez to stop illegally selling cooking oil and cornmeal, but no one was buying the tomatoes and cucumbers she was trying to sell instead. Her produce was spoiling in the hot sun.“I’ve already had to throw away one crate, and now the rest of it is going bad,” Velasquez said. “I’m 73 years old. Where else am I going to find a job? How will I eat?”The more-canny vendors, like Nieble, the Downey dealer, weren’t waiting to find out.Nieble had a partner waiting in line at a supermarket a few metro stops away, and they were in touch by cellphone. A new truckload of laundry soap had arrived, and the limit was four bags per person. Her friend would hold a place for her.Nieble didn’t appear to be in any hurry to get there.“There are still 40 people ahead of us in line,” she said.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments GNB retiene chatarra, gasoil y arroz en Táchira por irregularidades. http://t.co/ITwQEkLie9 #CiudadCCS pic.twitter.com/YNttT1HY7r— Ciudad CCS (@CiudadCCS) November 11, 2014last_img read more

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Global Peace Index Violence costs Costa Rica nearly 4 billion every year

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica ranks 83rd in the world for doing business Energy prices and politics weigh down business confidence, Costa Rica private-sector survey notes World Bank: Doing business in Costa Rica has never been easier Costa Rica coffee cashing in despite drop in exports Violence costs Costa Rica nearly $4 billion annually, according to a new report. The2015 Global Peace Index sought to quantify the economic impact of violence around the world and ranked nations by how peaceful they are. Costa Rica ranked the third most peaceful country in the Americas after Canada and Uruguay. Costa Rica scored 34th in the world.Costa Rica spent an estimated $3.9 billion on violence-related expenses and lost productivity in 2014, roughly 6 percent of its GDP, according to the index. Published by the think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, the index said the cost of violence around the world has risen $1.9 trillion between 2008 and 2014 to $14.3 trillion.The index based its findings on the idea that violence destroys human and physical capital along with social and political institutions. The results of that damage ultimately have a direct and indirect economic impact. Military expenditure, crime and interpersonal violence, conflict and internal security are the four main categories used to quantify the costs each country incurs. The categories covered items like incarceration costs, loss of capital costs from crime and homicide, and indirect costs like loss of productivity, among other variables.Several Latin American nations are among those that pay the most per capita for their safety, according to the index. Honduras, for example, spends more than 20 percent of its GDP on violence containment. Colombia and El Salvador spend 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively, of their GDP on violence-containment expenses.Central America and the Caribbean saw improvements in its score between 2013 and 2014, but the region remained less peaceful than the global average. Costa Rica and Jamaica saw the greatest improvement in their scores. Meanwhile, increases in El Salvador’s “political violence” and violent crime in Nicaragua dragged down the scores of those countries.Iceland was the most peaceful country in the world while Syria ranked as the least. A chart ranking Central American and Caribbean countries on how peaceful they were in 2014. Costa Rica was ranked the most peaceful in the region, according to the 2015 Global Peace Index. (via the Institute for Economics and Peace’s website) Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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The fate of thousands of Cuban migrants will be determined at a

first_imgForeign ministers from across Central America, Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador are set to meet in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Tuesday to hammer out an action plan for an estimated 3,000 Cuban migrants blocked from entering Nicaragua on their way to the United States. Cuba was invited to participate but had yet to confirm on Monday.Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González, along with Immigration Director Kathya Rodríguez, will travel to San Salvador Tuesday morning to meet with counterparts at an airport Quality Inn to hash out a plan for what to do with the thousands of Cubans stuck at the Costa Rican-Nicaragua border since Nov. 15.“This is not just a problem for Costa Rica or even Central America – it’s a problem for all the countries on this migratory corridor,” González said during a news conference Monday.Costa Rica has proposed a “humanitarian corridor” through Central American that would allow the migrants — who are arriving in Costa Rica at a rate of nearly 300 daily – to pass freely through the region with temporary transit visas. González said Costa Rica would present this option but was open to hearing solutions from other countries.Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez has yet to confirm his attendance at the meeting Tuesday but previously had met with representatives from Nicaragua and Ecuador.“I hope – and not naively – that these contacts between Cuba and Ecuador and Cuba and Nicaragua could facilitate a possible solution, what with the influence Cuba has with Nicaragua,” González said.Cuban migrants have been leaving the island in exponentially larger numbers during the last several years and especially this year, amid loosened travel restrictions and fears that rapprochement between the U.S. and the island’s government could lead to a change in the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy. Under current U.S. law, Cubans who reach U.S. soil can declare asylum and apply for permanent residency after one year.After facing a first migrant overflow on its southern border with Panama, Costa Rica started issuing seven-day transit visas for Cuban migrants with the intention that they would quickly pass through Costa Rica and on to Nicaragua. On Monday, Casa Presidencial announced that the visas would be extended to 15 days.Besides extending the temporary visas for Cuban migrants, Costa Rica has continued to establish shelters, provide food, water, health care and even music and other forms of entertainment for the waylaid migrants. According to the National Emergency Commission, 1,996 Cubans are staying in 11 different shelters in La Cruz, Upala and Liberia, in northern Costa Rica. Another three have been set up in anticipation of 470 more migrants. Costa Rica renueva visa temporal a migrantes cubanos por 15 días más. Personal de Migración facilita este proceso. pic.twitter.com/A59z9yURBa— Casa Presidencial CR (@presidenciacr) November 24, 2015 Foreign Minister González said he is cautiously optimistic about the meeting but that the “humanitarian crisis” must be resolved as soon as possible.“All of these countries have been aware of this problem for years, have signed documents and resolutions. But this has stayed on paper, not in actions,” González said. “The time has arrived.” Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:President Solís, church leaders discuss Cuban migrant crisis Cuban migrants spend a month in camps as regional leaders fail to reach solution Central American countries agree to safe passage for Cuban migrants marooned in Costa Rica Costa Rica declares ‘success’ after first airlift of Cuban migrantslast_img read more

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This week in the Peace Corps Cacao in Talamanca

first_imgRelated posts:This week in the Peace Corps: Celebrating English learning This week in the Peace Corps: Sports for Costa Rican youth This week in the Peace Corps: Brick to Bread ovens This week in the Peace Corps: Building sustainable recycling projects ​Cacao is a plant that can be found in various regions of Costa Rica. Some Peace Corps Volunteers get the chance to work alongside chocolate cooperatives, seeing the process from start to finish. Pictured here, members of a chocolate cooperative from the southern Caribbean region of Talamanca are prepping the ingredients for their final product, fresh chocolate bars. Peace Corps Volunteer Billy gets the opportunity not only to help with the hands-on work, but also to provide support through business coaching and marketing for the budding business venture. Courtesy of Peace Corps Costa RicaThe Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page.  Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.Connect with the Peace Corps Costa Rica on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Associated PressBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Israel expressed deep concern Friday about Argentina’s efforts to work with Iran to solve the South American country’s worst terrorist attack.Prosecutors believe Iranians bombed a Buenos Aires Jewish center in 1994, killing 84 people. But 18 years of effort have failed to advance the case, and Iran says it’s innocent. In the highest-level talks since the bombing, Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi agreed at the United Nations on Thursday to work together to satisfy both countries’ legal systems. Top Stories Timerman said countries that already have nuclear weapons should dismantle them. “The best way of assuring that nuclear weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands is their total elimination,” he said.The Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association, whose Buenos Aires headquarters was bombed in 1994, said in a statement Friday: “Experience teaches us that Iran doesn’t come with clean hands to dialogue about its responsibility for terrorist acts around the globe, such as that of AMIA. Neither does it do so when it comes to its nuclear program.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad initiated the meeting, saying at the U.N. that he hoped it would lead to normalized relations with Argentina.After the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires warned Friday that Iran can’t be trusted and Argentine Jewish leaders expressed “great disappointment” at the meeting, Timerman quickly met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, assuring him that Argentina won’t be fooled.Argentina “has always kept at the center of its decisions the victims and their families, seeking a court ruling that takes into account Argentina’s legal system,” Timerman said, according to a foreign ministry statement.But also on Friday, Timerman defended Iran’s nuclear energy program, joining Venezuela in a show of support for the Iranian government, which is suspected by the United States, Israel and other nations of trying to build atomic weapons in violation of treaty commitments. Iran insists its program is aimed solely at using nuclear power to generate electricity.“Actions demanded by the fight against nuclear terrorism, which we support and which we actively participate in, should not become indirect means of limiting countries’ rights to technological autonomy and the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” Timerman said at the U.N. nuclear security conference that followed this week’s General Assembly session.last_img read more

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first_img(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “We can’t get (the world economy) out of first gear,” said Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the organization, a think tank for the world’s most developed economies. While it has no policymaking power, the OECD’s forecasts are closely watched and its recommendations are influential in government circles.Just as the economy of the 17-country eurozone is emerging from its longest-ever recession brought on by a debt crisis, other economies are beginning to slow.Emerging markets, which have helped shore up global growth in recent years, are beginning to lag, partially over fears that a pickup in the U.S. economy will spell the end of cheap credit.“The BRIICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, South Africa) have been big machines of growth, they were pulling the world, and they are decelerating,” said Gurria.Among those economies, Indonesia, for instance, is projected to grow 5.2 percent this year and 5.6 percent next. In May, the OECD was predicting at least 6 percent growth for both years. In India, the growth projection for this year has slid from 5.7 percent to 3.4 percent.The Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy in an attempt to keep interest rates low and get money flowing. The stimulus, which has been going on in various guises for years, has also helped sustain growth in emerging countries. Now businesses there are bracing themselves for the policy’s end. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Parents, stop beating yourself upcenter_img PARIS (AP) – Global growth is expected to lag this year and next, but for the first time in a long time, it’s not all Europe’s fault.That’s the view of a leading international economic body, which said Tuesday that a slowdown in emerging economies and the potential for another U.S. budget crisis are the main sources of concern for the global economy.In its half-yearly forecast, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lowered its forecast for global growth this year to 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent for next. In May, it had predicted 3.1 percent and 4 percent growth, respectively. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too The OECD also cautioned about the impact of another damaging fight over the U.S. budget. A little over a month ago, the U.S. narrowly avoided technically defaulting on some of its debts following a protracted and often dysfunctional battle in Congress over the budget and the raising over the debt ceiling.“Brinkmanship over fiscal policy in the United States remains a key risk and uncertainty,” Pier Carlo Padoan, the OECD’s chief economist, wrote in a commentary accompanying the report.The OECD recommended that the U.S. scrap its policy of capping borrowing with a debt ceiling and instead come up with a more reasoned plan to reduce debt.But with the risk that the U.S. won’t come up with such a plan in mind, the OECD slightly lowered its expectations for U.S. growth, saying GDP would rise 1.7 percent this year and 2.9 percent next.The eurozone, on the other hand, is beginning to improve, the OECD said, although risks remain. It predicted that, overall, the eurozone will shrink 0.4 percent this year, as compared with the 0.6 percent slide forecast in May.But the report warned that the recovery is uneven, and unemployment won’t begin to fall _ from very high levels _ until next year.last_img read more

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first_imgKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban representatives have held unprecedented meetings with a large delegation of Afghan women in Norway’s capital this week, an apparently incremental step in efforts to end a bitter 14-year war that has killed thousands, officials said Friday.Though striking, it remains unclear whether such meetings can bridge the chasm between rhetoric and reality as insurgents continue to threaten and kill women seeking education and employment as a constitutional right in Afghanistan. “They come out with great rhetoric which some people are willing to accept because they want to see a ‘changed’ Taliban in terms of a victory after so many years of war,” she said. But she also noted the Taliban use of vague language, terms such as “principles of Islam” when referring to women’s rights.The Islamic militant group, during its 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan, banned women and girls from education and work, and ruled they could not go outside unless wearing an enveloping burka and accompanied by a male relative.In modern-day Afghanistan, prominent women are regularly targeted by the insurgents, and some have been killed in attacks or shot dead in the street. Women health workers, policewomen, female soldiers, women who run their own businesses — they all have stories to tell, stories of family members kidnapped, homes bombed, suicide bombings or fatal street shootings.Barakzai, who survived a November attempt on her life, said it was her outspokenness on women’s issues that riled her attackers. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Her fellow lawmaker, Koofi, has said in the past that she has fled her home to escape threats against her and her family. The Taliban representatives to the talks were Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former senior official of the Taliban regime, and Mohammad Zahid Ahmadzada, who was a junior diplomat in that regime, one of the Afghan officials said.He said that along with Barakzai and Koofi, other women lawmakers at the Oslo talks included Nilofar Ibrahimi, Farkhunda Naderi and Suraya Dalil. The women members of the High Peace Council who travelled to Norway were Siddiqa Balkhi, Gulalai Noor Safi and Awa Alam Nuristani. The head of the Afghan Women’s Education Council, Hasina Safi, also participated, he said. None of the women could be immediately reached for comment.___Associated Press writers Karl Ritter in Stockholm and Amir Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Afghan officials told The Associated Press that the talks took place on June 3 and 4 as part of a long-term Norwegian initiative for Afghan peace. Norway’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said the meetings would conclude on Friday.At least five female lawmakers, including prominent women’s rights advocates Fawzia Koofi and Shukria Barakzai, took part, attending as “independent representatives” from parliament, one of the Afghan officials said.“They are not part of any (Afghan) government initiative, and were invited to an unofficial meeting, not as official delegates,” he said.At least three of the women are members of the government’s High Peace Council negotiating body, and one is a women’s education activist, the other Afghan officials said.The Taliban position on women’s rights is mired in an extreme interpretation of Islam.Their recent statements have been perceived as a softening of opposition to women learning and working, though Heather Barr, a senior researcher on women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, said actions continue to speak louder than words and that there is a “massive disconnect between what the Taliban” say and what they do. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies President Ashraf Ghani and his often outspoken wife Rula have said there will be no roll-back of hard-won constitutional protections for Afghan women as part of any peace deal.Nevertheless, rights to equality and protection from violence are widely regarded as vulnerable to demands from Taliban and other extremist groups. Those concerns spiked in 2013 when some conservative lawmakers seized upon an attempt by Koofi to have parliament ratify the Elimination of Violence Against Women act, decreed by former President Hamid Karzai. Efforts to remove some protections ultimately failed, but women’s groups were shaken.In their statement on Friday, the Taliban said that the “Afghan government should include the Taliban when making policy. Both sides should be ready for an Islamic system and anyone who does not want this has no role” in Afghanistan.The Oslo meeting is the most recent in a series hosted by the Norwegian government and comes a month after another round of informal talks in the Gulf state of Qatar. The meetings are seen as ice-breakers, attempts to build trust between the warring sides, and a step on a long road toward ending to the war. Formal peace talks are seen by diplomats and other observers as being years away. How men can have a healthy 2019 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipes Barr said Taliban participation displays the group’s need to be seen as “a legitimate political force rather than a group of terrorists.”Unlike the Islamic State group fighting in Iraq and Syria and which has made no overtures to governments as it cuts an uncompromisingly extremist stance across the Middle East, the Taliban are “playing hard to get, but not impossible to get, even though every sign is that they are winning on the battlefield,” she saidGhani’s office said all Afghan citizens have the right to “work for peace where and whenever they want.”“We appreciate these are non-government talks, they are not representing the government of Afghanistan,” the office said in a statement.Ghani has prioritized bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table and ending their insurgency, which has battled Kabul for 14 years, since being ousted from power by a U.S.-led invasion in December 2001.In the meantime, each side is fighting for supremacy on the battlefield, as the Taliban’s summer offensive has spread across the country and Afghan forces are taking huge casualties — fighting for the first time alone following the departure last year of most international combat troops. Top Stories At least nine prominent Afghan women, including five lawmakers and high-profile rights advocates, travelled to Oslo for the talks with Taliban men — members of a failed regime notorious for its brutalization of women.The talks are not likely to have been a meeting of the minds — at least two of the women participants have survived assassination attacks by militants and most of the women at the Oslo meetings are likely to have experienced threats and harassment by men.While the meetings were informal, they signal a potential for the Taliban to shift on hard-line positions to facilitate an eventual dialogue with the Afghan government. They also highlight fears among Afghan women about just what the Kabul administration might be prepared to sacrifice to end the war, once a formal dialogue begins.The talks were part of the Norwegian government efforts to broker peace in Afghanistan. Both Taliban members and Afghan officials confirmed the talks but offered little details, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the nature of the meetings.“This meeting with the opposition is not a formal peace dialogue,” the Taliban said in a statement distributed to media.last_img read more

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first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk At the same time, Collins said, the measure preserves $500 million in funding for transportation grants that have roots in President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus bill. The measure rejects House-sought cuts to Amtrak and actually would add $53 million above its current budget to lift the passenger system’s funding to almost $1.7 billion.Collins touted provisions to require the Transportation Department to quickly finalize rules to require truckers to use electronic logging devices to record their hours on the road and to force it to propose rules requiring devices known as speed governors to prevent trucks from flouting the speed limit.“These rulemakings will go a long way to increasing the level of safety on our nation’s roadways,” Collins said.Democrats praised Collins for her efforts but said the transportation and housing bill simply doesn’t contain enough money.“Neglecting transportation and public housing responsibilities at the federal level overburdens states and local communities and leads to more congestion, pollution and job losses,” said top Appropriations Committee Democrat Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.The measures are the latest of the 12 annual spending bills to begin their advance in the Senate but, like the others, are caught in crossfire between Republicans controlling Congress and Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill. Senate Democrats are using their filibuster power to hold up the spending bills hoping the impasse will drive Republicans to the negotiating table and agree to increases for domestic programs matching those for the Pentagon. Top Stories The sweeping labor, health and education bill is among 12 annual spending measures funding agency operating budgets for the upcoming budget year. The measure is $3.6 billion below current levels, which forced Blunt to make large cuts. He would cut the agency responsible for running the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid by 28 percent, impose a $400 million cut to community health centers, and cut the Centers for Disease Control by $251 million, or 4 percent.“This bill would make deep cuts to middle-class priorities like health care, education, job training, worker protection programs, women’s health, and more,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.Earlier Tuesday, another appropriations panel moved to slash almost $1 billion from a program that helps state and local governments provide affordable housing even as it spared Amtrak from cuts recommended by House Republicans.The sponsor of that $56 billion legislation funding transportation and housing programs, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the cuts to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program were necessary to prevent reductions to a housing rental voucher program for the poor that serves 4.5 million individuals and families. Only $66 million would be available for the HOME program for the upcoming budget year, which Democrats said could result in about 40,000 fewer units being made available in the upcoming budget year. Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall House Democratic leaders Tuesday sent Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, a letter requesting bipartisan budget talks. Instead the GOP-dominated House is going ahead with a floor debate on a deeply partisan measure that slashes the Environmental Protection Agency and tries to curb its moves on global warming, clean water rules and other environmental initiatives.Copyright © 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 sobercenter_img WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans Tuesday proposed cuts to community health centers, national service, and grants to help children from low- and moderate-income families attend preschool as they unveiled the largest domestic appropriations bill, a $153 billion measure that’s sure to attract a veto threat from President Barack Obama.The author of the bill, Roy Blunt of Missouri, instead boosted the budget for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion while awarding small increases to large programs giving grants to states for low-income school districts and special-needs children. Democrats said the measure, which cuts almost $15 billion from Obama’s budget request for programs covered by it, is woefully inadequate and has no chance of advancing far until a budget deal provides more money. Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

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first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall BERLIN (AP) — A prominent member of Germany’s main center-left party is questioning whether it has any chance of unseating Chancellor Angela Merkel in the country’s next election, and even whether it needs a candidate for the top job.The Social Democrats have supplied three of Germany’s eight post-World War II chancellors but are currently the junior partners in a “grand coalition” of Germany’s biggest parties led by Merkel’s conservative Union bloc. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories The Social Democrats have pushed through popular policies such as a national minimum wage. However, opinion polls have barely moved since 2013 elections: they show the Social Democrats trailing the popular Merkel’s conservatives by 15 points or more.Merkel is widely expected to seek a fourth term in 2017 though she hasn’t yet said whether she will. Her Social Democratic vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, is considered a likely challenger but polls regularly show that Germans would prefer Merkel as chancellor by a wide margin.“She is doing an excellent job, she is a good chancellor — a chancellor Germans clearly like,” Schleswig-Holstein state governor Torsten Albig, a Social Democrat, said in an interview with NDR television broadcast Thursday“It is difficult to win an election against this chancellor,” he said, and argued that simply participating in a government could be a legitimate election aim.“We need a strong candidate for that who leads us into a government — whether the title ‘chancellor candidate’ is right or not, we will see,” Albig said.A deputy party leader quickly rejected those comments. Ralf Stegner wrote on Twitter that he agrees with Albig on most questions — but “not as far as Chancellor Merkel is concerned!” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

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Qantas Group pilots FlyPink for breast cancer research

first_imgQantas Group pilots FlyPink for breast cancer researchQantas Group pilots will FlyPink from 1 October, swapping out their normal gold epaulettes (shoulder stripes) for pink epaulettes, to show their support during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.The Australian-first initiative was started by QantasLink Captain Susan McHaffie whose aunt was diagnosed and beat breast cancer. Joining the airline in 2013, Susan was inspired by the National Breast Cancer Foundation-branded pink QantasLink aircraft to find a way to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research that would encourage airlines around the world to join together for the cause.QantasLink Captain Susan McHaffie said she hoped her small idea would encourage other airlines to show their support.“Together with Qantas, it is my goal to raise $20,000 for breast cancer research. I hope by next year I’ll walk past a pilot I don’t know in an international airport wearing pink epaulettes in support of breast cancer research,” said Captain McHaffie.QantasLink Chief Pilot, Captain Nathan Miller said Qantas was proud to get behind all its pilots and the FlyPink initiative, which will see pilots donate money to don the pink epaulettes when they sign on for flying duty.“Qantas is really proud to show our support for breast cancer awareness, and most importantly help raise vital funds for research,” said Captain Miller.“As a global carrier, we hope we can help our pilots take the FlyPink initiative from Australia to the world and are challenging other airlines to join us.”National Breast Cancer Foundation Chair, Elaine Henry, welcomed the initiative and said the proceeds from the Qantas FlyPink campaign would go directly to life-changing breast cancer research projects around Australia.“Every day in 2015, 42 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is still the biggest cause of cancer-related death in women globally. We believe that research is the key to eradicating the disease, and credit research with the many advances that have been made in breast cancer care and treatment over the past few decades,” she said.Pink epaulettes will be available to all 3,300 Qantas Group pilots who are encouraged to donate $5 and wear pink with pride in October.Qantas Group pilots will use the month of October to raise money through a number of other activities including National Breast Cancer Foundation collection tins in crew rooms and Qantas airports, and hold Pink Ribbon Breakfasts around the country.QantasLink will serve food items in FlyPink branded boxes and brownies in support of the campaign.Customers and other Qantas employees can support FlyPink by donating to www.flypink.net #WeFlyPink #showyoursupportQantas Group pilots who will wear pink epaulettes include Qantas, QantasLink, Jetstar, JetConnect, Cobham, Network Aviation and Express Freighters Australia.Source = Qantas Grouplast_img read more

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Wyndham Launches Super Vacation Sale in Asia Pacific

first_imgWyndham Launches Super Vacation Sale in Asia PacificWyndham Launches Super Vacation Sale in Asia PacificWyndham Hotels & Resorts has revealed an enticing group-wide sale, offering great savings at hotels and resorts across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim.Under the Super Vacation Sale campaign, guests making reservations from now up till 10 October 2018, and completing their stay before 30 June 2019, will be offered up to 40% off the hotel’s Best Available Rate plus 3,000 bonus Wyndham Rewards points!This seasonal promotion is available at 93 hotels and resorts in 15 countries and territories, covering eight distinct brands: Wyndham®, Wyndham Grand®, Wyndham Garden®, TRYP by Wyndham®, Ramada Worldwide® by Wyndham, Howard Johnson® by Wyndham, Days Inn® by Wyndham, and Microtel® by Wyndham.Properties participating in the Super Vacation Sale include Ramada Suites by Wyndham Wailoaloa Beach Fiji, a brand new beachfront hotel that opened its doors in Fiji in July 2018. This impressive all-suite property offers a mix of studios and suites, plus a spa, gym, pool and restaurant, all in an idyllic island setting.Alternatively, guests can enjoy discounted stays in Melaka, Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Melaka. This stylish hotel offers modern accommodation, a choice of restaurants, a club lounge, fitness centre, a swimming pool, and meeting rooms overlooking the Melaka River.TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia Manila provides savvy and stylish stays in the capital of the Philippines. With 191 rooms, this vibrant new hotel offers easy access to world-class gaming complexes, convention centres, live arenas and SM Mall of Asia, one of the world’s largest shopping precincts.Guests seeking a city break in Singapore can choose from two stunning properties, co-located in the bustling Novena district. Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park is a modern upper-midscale hotel that captures the area’s authentic local charm, just moments from the city centre. Guests will appreciate park-side dining, an outdoor pool, gym and business centre.Immediately next door, Days Hotel by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park is a colourful midscale hotel that promises comfortable, convenient stays and smart amenities for both leisure and business travellers, including a halal-certified all-day restaurant.Visitors to Seoul can take a break at Howard Johnson by Wyndham Incheon Airport. Located just minutes away from South Korea’s main international gateway, this sleek upscale hotel features a full collection of facilities for every type of stay, including two restaurants, meeting space and The Island 7 health and fitness zone.Guests seeking a luxurious experience in Thailand can select Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay, a spectacular hotel with a choice of rooms, suites and stunning pool villas. In a grand setting overlooking the Andaman Sea, guests can unwind and enjoy extensive facilities, including two restaurants, ocean-facing swimming pools and a sublime spa.To take advantage of Wyndham’s exciting Super Vacation Sale and to book your next stay in South East Asia and the Pacific Rim, please visit https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/hotel-deals/super-vacation-sale.All Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties in South East Asia and Pacific Rim participate in Wyndham Rewards, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty program from Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Consistently named a best travel rewards program by U.S. News and World Report, Wyndham Rewards® is the world’s most generous loyalty program offering members a simple earning structure of a guaranteed 1,000 points for every qualified stay, along with a flat, free night redemption rate of just 15,000 points per room per night – the first of its kind for a major rewards program. Wyndham Rewards members can enjoy the benefits of the program at nearly 9,000 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties, as well as thousands of homes and condos in partnership with Wyndham Destinations.Join for free today at www.wyndhamrewards.comSource = Wyndham Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

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Travel guide to Lima Peru

first_imgLima, the capital of Peru, gives access to the mystical city of Machu Picchu in the Andes, Lake Titicaca in the highlands, the lush Amazon jungle and Peru’s coastal desert. Just like Peru’s landscapes, Lima is a city of contrasts: rich and poor, ancient and modern, practical and elegant, fascinating and entertaining. Source: Expedialast_img

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Oman Air launches new firstclass seats

first_imgExpands to new destinations in India, Russia, Morocco and European countriesKathryn Kannampuzha | MumbaiOman Air launched 787 new Boeing first class seats at ATM 2018 as one of the strategies to expand to new destinations in India, Russia, European countries and Morocco.“We are expanding a lot in India as we all know that India is one of the areas where there is a lot of potentials. India today is one of the topmost source markets for travel and tourism. We launched in China last year, this year we announced Russia and new destinations to Europe. We also announced to Morocco. We increased our frequencies to Europe and also regionally,” informed Maitha Saif Majid Al-Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, Minister of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman. Previously, people just used Oman as a stopover connecting hub from Asia to Europe or vice-versa and other destinations but, Oman has seen an average of 15-20% increase in Indian tourists every year, said Al-Mahrouqi.Another major development in Oman is the new airport. Opened last month, Muscat International Airport has a capacity to accommodate 3 million passengers at a time, highlighted Al-Mahrouqi.Oman caters to not only leisure but also a large number of business tourists and this destination is also one of the most preferred locations for weddings especially by Indians. Oman has all that is needed for an Indian wedding, averred Al-Mahrouqi.Oman is also closely working with film producers and few films are in the pipeline to be shot in the country.last_img read more

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Bidding Wars Ease in May as Inventory Rises

first_imgBidding Wars Ease in May as Inventory Rises Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Demand For-Sale Homes Home Prices Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Redfin Service Providers 2013-06-11 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing June 11, 2013 455 Views center_img Competition among buyers continued to cool in May but remained fierce overall, according to “”Redfin’s””:http://www.redfin.com/ Bidding War Report for the month.[IMAGE]Redfin agents reported 69.5 percent of offers written in May faced competition, a decrease from 73.3 percent in April. Year-over-year, competition was mostly flat, rising 0.2 percentage points from 69.3 percent.According to Redfin analyst Rachel Musiker, April’s monthly inventory increase–the largest since March 2010–was “”the reason for the easin'”” in bidding wars.California markets are still the most competitive, with Redfin’s San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County homebuyers dealing with competition on more than 80 percent of offers made. However, even the Golden State is cooling off: San Diego and Orange County each posted double-digit monthly percentage drops in the number of offers facing bidding wars.Still, Musiker noted some buyers have had to go to extreme lengths to put their offer above everyone else. According to reports from Redfin agents about the country, some buyers have been willing to vastly expand their price cap, offering as much as $100,000 more than the asking price (only to lose to bidders who went even higher).As far as winning offers go: 49 percent of Redfin’s winning offers were higher than the asking price (a drop from 51.9 percent in April), and 5.5 percent were all-cash bids (up from 5.1 percent). The four most common components of a winning offer were a conventional loan (68.3 percent), a personal cover letter (29.4 percent), a waived inspection contingency (11.0 percent), and a waived financing contingency (8.9 percent).Finally, the prevalence of government-backed loans dropped from April to May. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made up 8.5 percent of winning offers, while those insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made up 6.6 percent of winning offers. Sharelast_img read more

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