Virtuosos new Hotel Booking Tool keeps clients connected with booking agents

first_img Travelweek Group Share Posted by Thursday, March 16, 2017 Tags: Virtuosocenter_img Virtuoso’s new Hotel Booking Tool keeps clients connected with booking agents NEW YORK — Virtuoso says its new online hotel booking tool puts the access and amenities of its Hotels & Resorts program in the hands of the consumer, “while still ensuring that the booking takes place under the watchful eye of a Virtuoso advisor”.With the booking tool, potential clients visit virtuoso.com to make a reservation at approximately 900 participating luxury hotels available worldwide.A booking made by a traveller that has worked with Virtuoso in the past will be handled by the user’s existing advisor.New client reservations will be assigned to one of the network’s consultants.“As with all Virtuoso bookings, the advisor will oversee the arrangements from start to finish – coordinating exclusive experiences, and providing a safety net to resolve any travel issues that may arise,” says the luxury retail travel group.“Virtuoso’s new Hotel Booking Tool is a revolutionary method of cultivating new business, both for Virtuoso advisors as well as the network’s preferred partners that are participating.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upVirtuoso had a banner year in 2016, adding 39 new agency locations across 23 countries. In total there were 772 member agency locations (up 5%), 15,238 travel advisors (up 33%), 44 countries with Virtuoso member agencies (up 19%), and US$21.2 billion in annual production (up 37%). << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Rocky Mountaineer appeals to solo travellers with new limitedtime promotion

first_imgRocky Mountaineer appeals to solo travellers with new limited-time promotion Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, March 27, 2017 Tags: Rocky Mountaineercenter_img Posted by Share VANCOUVER — Encouraging solo travel, Rocky Mountaineer is offering a last-minute deal that allows single travellers to experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies at the per person double occupancy rate.The ‘Go Solo’ promotion is available now through May 15, on qualifying April or May packages of five days or more. The promotion is available for a limited time and must be requested at the time of booking. This offer has no cash value, cannot be combined with other offers and other restrictions apply.The ‘Canadian Rockies Getaway Circle’ is one of the many vacation packages that are eligible for the ‘Go Solo’ offer. This nine-day journey travels through Vancouver, Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff, and gives guests a glimpse of wildlife while touring the natural wonders of Yoho National Park. Guests will also ride on an Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier while on this itinerary.For more information visit rockymountaineer.comlast_img read more

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First look at Club Med Cancun Yucatans new Aguamarina pool

first_imgFirst look at Club Med Cancun Yucatan’s new Aguamarina pool MONTREAL — Club Med is offering a look at its new Aguamarina expansion opening this summer at Club Med Cancun Yucatan.This is the newest expansion of property – which has been undergoing renovations since 2017 – and a big family-focused addition for the resort.The new Aguamarina extension will introduce 60 new additional family rooms including 30 new oceanfront Family Club Rooms and 30 new oceanfront Family Deluxe Rooms. There will also be a brand new pool dedicated to families plus a brand new bar, ‘La Marina’.Club Med Cancun Yucatan renderingTravelweek was on-site in fall 2017 to see earlier renovations at the Cancun Yucatan property earlier this month.Renovations at that time included the Las Velas bar, outdoor theatre and main pool area. The redesigned Tacos Arte beach lounge restaurant offers Mexican culinary specialties in a trendy, open-concept space designed to make guests feel like they’re in a Mexican marketplace. The Jade 5 Trident luxury space was also renovated including its private lobby, pool and bar. All 58 rooms were updated, including 15 suites and three family suites.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe 60 additional Aguamarina family rooms are slated to open in summer 2018, along with a new pool and bar available to all guests at the resort. Posted by Tags: Club Med, Openings & Renovations Travelweek Group center_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, March 27, 2018 last_img read more

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Avalons booking challenge includes free cruise for four

first_imgTags: Avalon Waterways, Contest, Globus Travelweek Group TORONTO – The Globus family of brands has put forth a new challenge to Canadian travel agents: whoever sells the most 2019 passengers will win a cruise for four.The challenge applies to bookings made between May 22-Aug. 31, 2018, and includes a grand prize of an Active Discovery Cruise for four on his/her choice on the Danube, Rhine or Rhone River in 2019. Avalon will be tracking all sales.“This is a great reason to introduce your clients to our concept of Active Discovery,” said Kim Clarke, director of sales for the Globus family of brands. Clarke notes that while on these cruises, clients have the choice each day of an Active shore excursion like guided biking, a Discovery excursion like a food tour or informal painting classes, or a Classic walking tour with a historic cultural theme. Even better, clients don’t have to choose what they want to do each day until they wake up that morning.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe concept has proven so popular that Avalon has expanded Active Discovery Cruises to include the Danube, Rhine and Rhone Rivers next year, and also added an onboard Adventure Host. Plus, for the first time, the cruise line is making it easier to explore independently by including a self-guided tour app as well as the free use of more bikes (16 per ship) or Nordic poles. Even a picnic can be prepared by the ship’s culinary team, available upon request.For more information go to agentlingo.ca. Avalon’s booking challenge includes free cruise for four Posted bycenter_img Share Wednesday, May 30, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Fall promotion for Cayman Islands takes up to 45 off

first_imgFall promotion for Cayman Islands takes up to 45% off Share Posted by Thursday, August 30, 2018 Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Cayman Islands, Discounts, Promotions, tourism, WestJet Vacationscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — The Cayman Islands’ ‘Fall Only in Cayman’ promotion offers savings worth up to 45% off for travel until Nov. 15.The deals extend to accommodations, attractions, watersports and more, says the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.Packages are available through Air Canada Vacations and WestJet Vacations. Retail partner tripcentral.ca is also taking part. Here’s a list of the ‘Fall Only in Cayman’ deals including resort credits and reduced rates of up to 45% off:ACCOMODATIONSBrac Caribbean Beach VillageThe Ritz-Carlton, Grand CaymanSunset Cove Treasure Island CondosGrand Cayman Marriott Beach ResortComfort Suites Seven Mile BeachColonial ClubGrand Caymanian ResortMargaritaville Beach Resort Grand CaymanHoliday Inn Resort, Grand CaymanWyndham Reef Resort Grand CaymanWestin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and SpaSunset HouseSHOPPINGRocky’s Diamond GalleryWATERSPORTSEden Rock Diving CenterATTRACTIONSPicture This StudiosLocked Inn CaymanRESTAURANTSThe BrasserieFor more information see visitcaymanislands.ca. Travelweek Group last_img read more

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Former WestJet exec joins Rocky Mountaineer as VP Global Human Resources

first_imgFormer WestJet exec joins Rocky Mountaineer as VP, Global Human Resources << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 15, 2019 Share VANCOUVER — Rocky Mountaineer has appointed Tyson Matheson as its new Vice President of Global Human Resources.In his new role, Matheson will be responsible for driving the global human resources strategies, including employee engagement, people recruitment and development, and organizational culture.Steve Sammut, President of Rocky Mountaineer, said the company is excited to have Matheson join the team, adding that “his extensive background in the tourism and travel industry, combined with his exceptional leadership experience, will be valuable as we continue investing in our people and talent.”Matheson began his human resources career at WestJet where he advanced to Vice President, People Relations and Culture, and managed a team of 100 people. He then transitioned to the operations side of the business as Vice President, Inflight Services, where he led a team of 3,500 employees.In 2017, Matheson relocated to Toronto to join Walmart Canada as Vice President, Associate Relations, where he incorporated a technology-driven approach to better alight their employee brand with customer brand.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsOn his new role, Matheson said: “I look forward to joining the team at Rocky Mountaineer as we develop our people programs and modernize our systems to enhance the overall employee experience. It is such a pleasure to join an iconic Canadian travel experience.”center_img Posted by Tags: New Hires, RM, Rocky, Rocky Mountaineer Travelweek Group last_img read more

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US Secretary of State Kerry ends controversial Latin American foreign policy

first_imgNo related posts. Latin America will need to step up to the plate and take more responsibility for solving the region’s problems if it wants to be an equal partner with the United States, Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla said at the Casa Presidencial on Tuesday.The president’s comments followed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech declaring an end to a policy known as the Monroe Doctrine that governed U.S.-Latin American relations for 200 years, delivered to an audience at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., on Monday.The Monroe Doctrine, named after U.S. President James Monroe, declared in 1823 that the United States would interpret further European interference with the independent states of the Americas an act of war and act unilaterally as the “protector of the region,” according to Kerry’s speech.Critics of the doctrine, however, saw the mantle of “protector of the region” as an opportunity to assert U.S. dominance over the Western Hemisphere.“Today, however, we have made a different choice. The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” Kerry said, formally ending the foreign policy.Costa Rica’s president agreed.“For some time now, the state of the relationship between the United States and Latin America has been absolutely different,” Chinchilla told The Tico Times.“In the past [we were] more accustomed to a more vertical dialogue between the United States and Latin America. This has been changing and it seems good to me. It expresses a maturing of relations. Of course, this means greater responsibility for Latin America and working together to solve the region’s problems,” the president added.“There are countries in Latin America that continue using a discourse that blames the United States for all our problems, but at the same time [they] demand that the United States come up with all the solutions. It seems to me that if we’re going to demand the United States look for solutions, we also need to show more maturity. Many of the causes of the problems in our region do not have to do with the United States but with our own failings,” Chinchilla said.Kerry had been roundly criticized earlier this year when he told U.S. lawmakers that “the Western Hemisphere is our backyard,” in comments that triggered anger from some Latin American leaders.Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the aid agency USAID following the speech, and denounced the United States, which he said “probably thinks that here it can still manipulate us politically and economically. That is a thing of the past.”“Secretary Kerry’s speech to the OAS reflected the fact that the United States enjoys strong, respectful bilateral relationships with many countries in the region, including Costa Rica,” Eric Turner, information officer for the U.S. Embassy in San José, told The Tico Times in an email. “As U.S. President Barack Obama noted in his visit to Mexico and Costa Rica last May, there are no ‘senior partners,’ rather equal partners focused on areas of common interest, including enhancing economic prosperity and cooperating on regional security,” he added.Kerry added, “It will require courage and a willingness to change, but above all, it will require a higher and deeper level of cooperation between us, all of us together as equal partners in this hemisphere.”  AFP contributed to this report Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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World Banks IFC criticized over Honduras project

first_imgWASHINGTON — The World Bank’s private finance arm was criticized Friday by an internal ombudsman for its involvement with a controversial Honduras agriculture business accused of grave human rights violations.The ombudsman said the International Finance Corporation was not diligent enough in reviewing questions about fights over land rights and murders of local peasants in supporting the palm oil plantation and processing projects of Dinant Corp. in 2008.The IFC’s agreement to lend $30 million to the $75 million project was not supported by an adequate environmental and social assessment of the project, given the history of conflict between Dinant and local peasants, the Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman said in a report.“In a sector and country where risks of conflict and violence around land were or should have been known to the team, CAO finds that IFC’s review was not ‘commensurate to risk’,” the CAO said.“IFC was or should have been aware of a series of public allegations and negative perceptions in relation to its client that went significantly beyond those that were considered in the course of its integrity due diligence process.”The project, in Honduras’ northern Aguan Valley, has long been criticized by non-governmental organizations due to the land conflicts tied to Dinant plantations.The CAO report cites NGO data that 102 people tied to the Aguan Valley peasant movement were killed between January 2010 and May 2013, 40 of the deaths tied to Dinant or security personnel working for the company.Nine Dinant guards are also reputed to have been killed by people tied to the peasant movement, which contests Dinant’s claim to own the land it used for the palm oil plantations.The CAO said the IFC should have gone much further in examining the project ahead of approving it and should have supervised it better, considering the violence that impacted it in 2009 and 2010.It said that even though the issues and the deaths were very public, the IFC had claimed to it that there was no information pointing to problems with the land tenure or signs of conflict involving Dinant, according to the report.A statement from Oxfam and other NGOs called on the World Bank “to take immediate action to withhold funding to Dinant, to require Dinant to halt all violence directed at local farmers and find a peaceful and sustainable resolution to conflict over land.”The group also called on Kim to hold responsible IFC staff “who failed to adequately identify and address the risks of the project.”“We are deeply disappointed that the World Bank’s response to this investigation has not taken into account the violations of the human rights of poor farmers in the Aguan Valley who have been the direct victims of Corporación Dinant,” said Yoni Rivas of the Movement of Unified Campesinos in Aguan in a statement. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Costa Rica proposes legislation to put a price tag on nature

first_imgRelated posts:Lawmakers give nod to Costa Rica’s manatee with proposal to name it a national marine mammal Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure Costa Rica investigates company’s navigation permits after weekend chemical spill in Nicoya Gulf With COP21 underway, development banks urged to boost ‘green finance’ in Latin America A Costa Rican lawmaker introduced a bill Friday that could change the way development projects are evaluated from an environmental standpoint.A proposed change to the country’s Environmental Law, known as the “Valuation of natural capital and integration of green accounting in development planning bill,” would require developers to assess the value of environmental capital that would be destroyed during a project. This information would be included in the environmental impact evaluation, a requirement for all development plans in Costa Rica.The bill, presented by Alfonso Pérez of the National Liberation Party, is designed to weigh the costs of development before a project begins in order to mitigate possible cleanup costs in the future.“The world today functions on two misguided premises,” Pérez said during the bill’s presentation, “that we will always have petroleum and that nature will always respond to the abuses we commit against her.”The regulations would apply to both the public and private sectors, and would require developers to provide an analysis of the project’s environmental costs against Costa Rica’s gross domestic product. Developers would be required to assume all costs associated with the evaluation.“Not all the logistics have been figured out yet,” Bernardo Aguilar, executive director of Fundación Neotrópica, the bill’s sponsor, told The Tico Times, “But an example would be taking into account increased health costs due to pollution from air contamination.”Damage to soil, water, forests and minerals would all need to be included in the assessment. However the bill does not outline the specific details. According to Aguilar, drafters of the bill are exploring using either the state or an independent investigative board for analysis. The bill’s details will be further developed before it goes to debate.The legislation is part of Costa Rica’s participation in the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) program. WAVES rejects the use of GDP as the sole indicator of a country’s wealth, and promotes the inclusion of natural capital and other capital into a more accurate marker of assets. These programs focus on creating long-term economic development plans by eliminating short-sighted projects that deplete natural resources.Costa Rica is one of eight countries participating in WAVES, and is in the process of valuing the nation’s water and forest resources.“This law would mean that in the near future Costa Rica could make better decisions about the environment,” Pérez said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Weeklong Carnavales de Limón liven up Caribbean

first_imgIn so many ways, the Caribbean Carnaval is unique, both in Costa Rica and around the world. Unlike most “carnivals” in existence, the weeklong festival in Puerto Limón takes place in October instead of February. While the people of Limón celebrate their Carnaval in familiar ways – feathered costumes, glittery masks, parades, drums, and calypso – Costa Rica’s most famous Carnaval has nothing to do with Lent or Easter or overweight Tuesdays.Then there is the city itself: Puerto Limón, a community unlike any other in Costa Rica. The picturesque peninsula, the industrial landscape, the stone walls that frame the oceanfront – the nation’s busiest port is singularly scenic, and its long, wide avenidas make it the perfect setting for a massive street parade. (And with major renovations like the Moín Port project coming up, this will be your last chance to see Limón in its current form.)Most importantly, Puerto Limón is the epicenter of Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean culture, and there is no better excuse to visit the city and relish its food, music, and heritage. For more whole fish, coconut rice, diced fruit, and agua de sapo than you can handle, Carnaval is exactly the right occasion.Carnaval continues throughout the week, but the real party takes place this coming weekend, with a Sunday morning parade, fiestas in the streets, and live music all night long. Stay tuned. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:14 photos of Cahuita’s 2nd International Calypso Festival Fairy tale ballet, Hitchcock films, and other happenings around Costa Rica Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Rica Arts Festival, Star Wars convention, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

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Honduras to charge Syrians using false documents to get to US

first_imgRelated posts:Syrian migrants braving Central American smuggling routes Costa Rica serves as a corridor for Asians, Africans migrating to the US Judge orders hearing for detained Syrians in Honduras Costa Rica government defends background check waiver for Syrian anti-terrorism experts TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras moved Thursday to charge five Syrian men for using falsified Greek passports to try to get to the United States, while Costa Rica arrested a Syrian woman also using a suspect Greek passport.Their arrests in the Central American countries reflected a sense of alarm over undocumented Syrians attempting to enter the U.S. in the wake of last week’s massacres in Paris by Syria-linked jihadists.However, Honduran and Costa Rican authorities said there was no sign the five men or the woman had any ties to the Islamic State group or other extremist organizations. Instead they are being treated as undocumented immigrants.The men arrested Tuesday in Honduras after flying in on stolen Greek passports “will be charged with falsifying public documents and usurping the identity of the passport owners,” Public Ministry spokesman Yuri Mora told AFP. If convicted, the men risk up to nine years in prison.Mora said the men presented themselves as four university students and one professor and gave Greek-sounding names. They initially told police they wanted to go to the United States, using an overland route followed by many Latin American migrants through Guatemala and Mexico. Later they said they only wanted to go to Guatemala, Mora said.In Costa Rica, the deputy chief of the police force, Nils Ching, spoke on national television about the arrested Syrian woman, saying: “There is no indication she has any ties to terrorist groups.”The unidentified woman was detained in a small hotel in the center of Costa Rica’s capital San Jose after a tip-off by the hotel owner.Costa Rican Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata told Radio Monumental that Interpol and the national police were working to determine whether the passport was fake or stolen, and where the woman was headed.In the case of the Syrian men, they told Honduran authorities they had flown from Syria to Lebanon, then to Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and on to Honduras.The issue of Syrian migrants has become a domestic political struggle in the United States. Opposition Republican lawmakers are trying to block plans by President Barack Obama to resettle some Syrian refugees in America.The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United States until tougher screening measures are in place. The bill now heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, but it sets up a clash with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the bill and has criticized Republicans for “hysteria” and falling short of their humanitarian duty to take in the oppressed.Officials in several countries are focusing attention on the flow of Syrian migrants through Greece after one of the gunmen in the Paris attacks was found to be carrying a Syrian passport used to transit through that EU state. Authorities have not confirmed that he was the man in the document, leaving open the possibility that it was forged or stolen.The exodus of Syrian refugees wanting to get to Europe has created a bourgeoning market in fake and stolen identity papers.A European security expert, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said Greek police find up to 200 fake IDs a day at Athens airport and dismantle ID forgery factories at least once a month in the city. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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In crisis Greece rounds up immigrants

first_imgPolice say migrants’ rights are being respected.“Our aim is to deter illegal immigrants and arrest traffickers, but the migrants’ well-being and rights are always a main priority,” said Orestiada police chief Yiorgos Salamangas.The government insists the operation is working, reporting a drop in illegal border crossings by around 90 percent in the first week.“This is a massive operation that is taking place in the country for the first time and it will continue in the long-term,” police spokesman Christos Manouras said.“It is widely accepted that the expulsion of immigrants who are here illegally is a national necessity, an issue of national survival.”Greece is a member of Europe’s passport-free Schengen agreement but shares no borders with any of the other 25 member states. That has meant hundreds of thousands of irregular immigrants have been unable to cross the border into other European countries, trapping them in limbo in Athens and other Greek cities, typically in slum conditions.As the country struggles through a fifth year of recession, illegal immigration and a rise in violent crime have become central issues in the political debate, with mainstream parties blamed by many for the country’s near financial collapse facing opposition from more radical political groups. The extreme right Golden Dawn party, described by political opponents as neo-Nazis, won nearly 7 percent of the vote in June general elections, a 20-fold jump since a national vote in 2009.The party denies any involvement in a recent surge in anti-immigrant attacks, and says police should be more concerned by attacks on Greeks by foreign criminals.In one suspected attack by racist gangs this month, an Iraqi man was stabbed in the street and died hours later in the hospital.Anti-racism campaigners last month said immigrants living in Greece have been targeted in at least 300 violent attacks between early April and late July. The rise in hate crimes is believed to be one of the triggers of the government clampdown.Authorities are using a newly built detention center near Athens and two converted police academy buildings in northeastern Greece to house detainees, while dozens of additional facilities are planned using converted Army bases.Police associations argue that the massive deployment of manpower should have been delayed until more of those new facilities are ready. They cite the lack of detention capacity as a key reason for the country’s inability to deal with illegal immigration. “I’ve come here to work,” Anwar, who declined to give his full name because of his illegal status, said moments after crossing the border. “I know what will happen to me: They might keep me in detention for around three months, but then they’ll let me out and I’ll go to Athens.”Now, however, authorities are determined to swiftly deport illegal migrants they round up.In a recent pre-dawn operation, authorities using thermal imaging cameras spotted a group of around 60 illegal immigrants on the Turkish side of the Evros River. Officers used spotlights, sirens and loud speakers to deter them from crossing, although fifteen immigrants still made it over to a river islet in a no man’s land and were arrested.Uniformed police officers from 25 countries are already helping Greece guard the Evros River as part of the European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex. Greek police figures show more than 21,000 illegal migrants were arrested in the first six months of 2012 after crossing over from Turkey, with nearly all _ 20,841 _ caught along the northeastern land border rather than on one of the many Aegean islands near the Turkish coast. The figures show a nearly 29 percent increase from the same period last year. Afghans currently make up the highest number of people crossing illegally, followed by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and an increasing number of people from war-ravaged Syria, according to the agency.The police operation has faced strong criticism from human rights groups, local officials, and even police officers’ associations _ with criticism focusing on alleged racial profiling and police brutality. Allegations include arbitrary detention, beatings and degrading police treatment.Police video showing riot police and other officers rounding up mostly South Asian immigrants as they got off a train that arrived at Athens’ main station also received condemnation from local rights groups and leftwing opposition parties.Amnesty International called on Greek authorities to stop the roundups immediately.“While Greece has the right to control migration, it does not have the right to treat people like criminals purely because of the color of their skin,” Amnesty’s Jezerca Tigani said in a statement. He warned that many immigrants fleeing war zones and potential persecution from dictatorial regimes were being denied a fair asylum assessment.“Greece may be going through financial difficulties while facing one of the highest migration flows among EU countries,” Tigani said, “but these police operations violate international human rights standards and should stop immediately.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement It’s a concern shared by local authorities in the Evros region, and many residents.“As long as people know they can make it here and eventually live freely, they will keep coming,” said 63-year-old Christos Kyriakidis. “Nothing will stop them.”___Derek Gatopoulos contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Greece launched an aggressive campaign this month to try to seal its 200-kilometer (130-mile) northeastern border, as it faces a debilitating financial crisis that has caused a swell in joblessness and a surge in racist attacks against immigrants with dark skin.The police operation has brought nearly 2,000 additional border guards to the Turkish frontier previously manned by about 500 officers. They fanned out with dogs, night vision equipment and flat-bottomed boats for 24-hour patrols of the Evros River that forms a natural border. At least 21 people have drowned or died of exposure crossing the river this year, while several have been listed as missing.In Athens, the operation is being bolstered by mass roundups of suspected illegal immigrants. They are seen lined up on the streets of the capital every day, many in handcuffs, waiting to be put in detention until they can be deported. In the first week of the crackdown in early August, police said they apprehended nearly 7,000 people for identification checks; nearly 1,700 were slated for deportation.Anwar, a 22-year-old man from Bangladesh, walked across the border near Orestiada, a small town wedged between Turkey and Bulgaria. Unaware of the immigration clampdown, he said he is looking for police so he can turn himself in. It’s a well-worn ploy: Migrants have actively tried to get themselves taken to detention centers near Athens, assuming they will be released due to overcrowding and allowed to blend into the chaotic capital. Patients with chronic pain give advice Associated PressNEA VYSSA, Greece (AP) – Border police jeeps hurtle along hot, dusty tracks past potato fields on their way to the river that marks the Greek-Turkish border. Sirens blaring, the convoys have been repelling wave after wave of migrants.Greece’s remote Evros region has turned into Europe’s main battleground against illegal immigration; more than two-thirds of people making the clandestine journey into the European Union pass through here from neighboring Turkey. Top Stories Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

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BlackBerry service down in Europe Mideast Africa

first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day RIM was once Canada’s most valuable company with a market value of more than $80 billion in June 2008, but the stock has plummeted since, from over $140 share to around $7. Shares traded down 1.5 percent, or 30 cents, to $6.80 in premarket trading on the Nasdaq. RIM’s decline is evoking memories of Nortel, another Canadian tech giant, which declared bankruptcy in 2009.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The outage brought up unpleasant memories of last year’s troubles with emails and chat messages that left many users bereft for up to three days.The timing could not have been worse, coming as lines formed outside of Apple stores in a number of cities as the new iPhone 5 went on sale.RIM spokeswoman Amy Jones said the outage was limited to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Jones did not have details on what caused it.“It’s the worst timing,” Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said. “This is bad publicity and it’s very unfortunate. But frankly the attention is all going to be on Apple today, all the weekend and frankly until the end of the year. Frankly, it’s kind of irrelevant. The only thing that’s relevant is when they are going to come out with their new phones.”Misek said he thinks the transition to the BlackBerry 10 software intended to run their new line of smartphones, could be a cause of the outage. RIM is preparing to launch the new phones early next year, after a series of delays.“We think that switch over is causing the difficulties,” Misek said.The latest outage comes as customers are abandoning their BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressTORONTO (AP) – Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion said Friday it resolved an outage affecting users in Europe, Middle East and Africa that had interrupted service for customers on the very day Apple Inc. unveiled its new iPhone 5.BlackBerry announced the issues in postings on Facebook and Twitter on Friday, and said it fixed the troubles after a few hours. It apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Turkey to block access to antiIslam film

first_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Thousands of other websites, most of them pornographic, have also been banned in the country. The government says it is fighting child pornography, illegal gambling and other cybercrimes.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The move came a day after another government minister said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who heads an Islam-based party, ordered officials to find ways of preventing access to videos of “Innocence of Muslims” movie.Dozens of people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film.“Henceforth, it will not be shown in our country,” said Yildirim, calling the film “disgusting.”“To insult what is sacred, to incite indignation is unacceptable for all religions. It is a hate crime and no crime should go unpunished,” Yildirim said. His office said Tuesday that the ministry has also asked Google Inc. and YouTube to remove the videos.Erdogan has criticized Western nations for not taking steps to prevent insults to Islamic values but also has criticized violent protests against the film saying they harm Islam.Yildirim said the court order is limited to links to the film and that access to websites that carry the links would not be blocked. Turkey banned access to the video sharing site YouTube from 2008 and 2010 because of videos deemed insulting to the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – A Turkish court issued an order on Wednesday allowing authorities in the country to block Internet access to the anti-Islam movie that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, an official said.Binali Yildirim, the minister in charge of transportation and communications, told state-run TRT television that the injunction allows government telecommunications and information technology authorities to prevent access from Turkey to URL links to the film. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

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China concerned over North Korean launch plans

first_img Comments   Share   “We hope all relevant parties will do that which benefits peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, hope all sides will respond calmly and avoid exacerbating the situation,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in the statement.The North Korean launch, set for Dec. 10 to 22, is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul as South Korea plans to hold a presidential election on Dec. 19 and President Barack Obama prepares to begin his second term.It would be North Korea’s second launch attempt under leader Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father Kim Jong Il’s death nearly a year ago. That first launch eight months ago earned North Korea widespread international condemnation, despite ending in an embarrassing misfire.Some analysts have expressed skepticism that North Korea has corrected whatever caused the first failure. North Korea says the rocket will be mounted with a polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite.Despite its close ties to North Korea, previous Chinese statements have had little perceptible effect.China is North Korea’s only major political ally and its main source of food and fuel for keeping the North’s moribund economy from collapsing. However, Beijing has been highly resistant to using any of its leverage to moderate North Korea’s behavior, fearing that could cause an implosion leading to political chaos and a wave of refugees crossing its border. BEIJING (AP) – China expressed concern Sunday over its ally North Korea’s plans to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December.All sides should work for stability and avoid acts that raise tensions, the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement. It acknowledged North Korea’s right to the peaceful use of outer space, but said that had to be harmonized with restrictions including those set by the United Nations Security Council. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Patients with chronic pain give advice Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

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Malaysia orders sea searchandrescue for migrants

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The vital role family plays in society Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Myanmar officials refer to members of the religious minority as “Bengalis,” implying they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived in the country for generations.The U.N. says the Rohingya are one of the most persecuted groups in the world. Neither Myanmar nor Bangladesh recognizes them as citizens.Over the past few years, Rohingya have faced increasing state-sanctioned discrimination in Myanmar. They have been targeted by violent mobs of Buddhist extremists and confined to camps. At least 120,000 have fled to sea, and an unknown number have died along the way.Since the crisis stated unfolding three weeks ago, around 3,000 migrants have washed to shore. The U.N. refugee agency estimates more than 3,000 others may still be at sea.After pushing back several vessels, Indonesia and Malaysia announced Wednesday they would offer temporary shelter to incoming migrants if the international community helps resettle them within a year.They said it was a global, not regional, problem.The United States responded quickly, saying it was prepared to take a leading role in any multi-country effort organized by the U.N. refugee agency to resettle the most vulnerable refugees. An Acehnese fisherman, lower left, help migrants to transfer to his boat on the sea off East Aceh, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Hundreds of migrants stranded at sea for months were rescued and taken to Indonesia, officials said Wednesday, the latest in a stream of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants to reach shore in a growing crisis confronting Southeast Asia. (AP Photo/S. Yulinnas) The announcement Thursday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was the latest in a series of breakthroughs, including an offer by his country and Indonesia to provide temporary shelter to the desperate men, women and children until a more permanent solution is found.He said he had ordered his navy and coast guard to conduct search-and-rescue efforts for other boats.“We have to prevent loss of life,” he tweeted.Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said four vessels had been deployed, and three helicopters and three other ships were on standby.Myanmar, which earlier hinted it would skip a regional meeting in Thailand next week bringing together representatives of more than a dozen nations, changed course Thursday, saying it would attend.Around half the migrants on the boats are Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing persecution and violence in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.“We are ready to cooperate with other governments to resolve the ongoing problems through constructive engagement and on humanitarian grounds,” said Zaw Htay, director of the president’s office.The decision was made after an invitation letter arrived, he said, noting it did not imply Myanmar was solely responsible for the crisis or use the word Rohingya, a term that is not recognized by his government. YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Four Malaysian navy ships began searching the seas for stranded boat people Thursday in the first official rescue operation since desperate migrants started washing onto Southeast Asia’s shores, and a formerly reluctant Myanmar agreed to attend a regional meeting aimed at easing the crisis.Thousands of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis are believed to be trapped on boats with little food or water — some after being pushed back by the navies of at least three countries — and the international community has warned that time to save them is running out. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories The tiny African country of Gambia has also said it is willing to take in Rohingya refugees. “As human beings, more so fellow Muslims, it is (our) sacred duty to help,” the presidency said in a statement.U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, currently visiting Southeast Asia, met on Thursday with senior Myanmar government officials and “shared the U.S. government’s concerns about the migrant crisis in the region and urged the Myanmar government to work with regional partners to address the issue,” the U.S. Embassy said on its Facebook page.___Ng reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

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China cuts import tax on clothes other goods

first_imgThe cuts apply to clothing, shoes, skin care products, baby food and supplies and kitchen utensils.Growth in retail sales declined to 10 percent in April, down from March’s 10.2 percent and below expectations of 10.4 percent. Imports plunged 16.2 percent compared with a year earlier in a sign of weak consumer demand.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BEIJING (AP) — China announced Monday it will cut import taxes on clothing, cosmetics and some other goods by half in a new tactic to spur consumer spending and economic growth.Beijing is in the midst of a marathon effort to reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth by nurturing domestic consumption.Tariff cuts due to take effect June 1 will be “conducive to a reasonable expansion of imports,” said a Finance Ministry statement. “Expanding domestic consumer demand is an important measure for steady growth and structural adjustment.” Comments   Share   Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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Up close Vanuatu volcano puts on a glittering primal show

first_img“But people have to be very careful when they walk up the volcano,” he said. “Because it’s very dangerous there.”For those willing to brave the volcano at night, they can see a display that is both spectacular and elemental, one that creates new terrain and connects to the very origins of the planet.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. In this June 1, 2015 photo, Yasur volcano erupts on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. It’s constantly hissing, fussing and belching, but every half hour or so Yasur volcano sends up a tremendous spurt of lava and a boom so loud it is deafening on the crater rim and can be heard for miles. At dusk, the explosions begin to resemble fireworks, the lava glittering as it falls from the sky. At just 361 meters (1,184 feet) elevation, the volcano on the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu is particularly accessible, and spectacularly active. Some have dubbed it the world’s friendliest volcano, although its primal ferocity and occasionally dangerous eruptions of lava and gas would seem to defy that description. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Getting there is an adventure. Yasur is on Vanuatu’s southern Tanna island, which doesn’t have paved roads and where many of its 30,000 people continue to live as the islanders have for centuries, in simple thatch huts with pigs and chickens running freely.Legend has it that the volcano is a god. Kelson Hosea, who owns the rustic Jungle Oasis bungalows near the base of Yasur, said the story goes that Yasur returned home one day to find his two wives and four sons still at the beach, and in anger turned himself into a pig, before falling asleep.“When the boys came back home with their mother, they saw the pig and they got angry,” he said. “They got angry and they didn’t realize that it was their father. They thought it was a pig. And they killed the pig with a stick. And the pig exploded.”He said the four distinct craters in the volcano represent the four sons.From the Tanna airport, the main transport across the island’s rugged dirt roads is by truck. To enter the volcano grounds, there is a 3,350 vatu ($31) fee.From the base, it’s about a 90 minute hike to the crater rim. There’s also an access road, and, for a fee, local drivers will take tourists up, leaving just a 15-minute walk across a rugged, barren moonscape to the rim. There’s a lonely postal box near the top marked the “Volcano Post” where tourists can mail postcards. Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   TANNA ISLAND, Vanuatu (AP) — It’s constantly hissing, fussing and belching, but every half hour or so Yasur volcano sends up a tremendous spurt of lava and a boom so loud it is deafening on the crater rim and can be heard for miles. At dusk, the explosions begin to resemble fireworks, the lava glittering as it falls from the sky.At just 361 meters (1,184 feet) elevation, the volcano on the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu is particularly accessible, and spectacularly active. Some have dubbed it the world’s friendliest volcano, although its primal ferocity and occasionally dangerous eruptions of lava and gas would seem to defy that description. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top holiday drink recipes Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Authorities periodically close Yasur when the eruptions get too violent and it becomes too dangerous to stand near the crater rim.Yoram Teitler, a geologist who was recently a research fellow at the University of Western Australia, said the volcano has been active for perhaps 2,000 years. It is constantly bubbling, with larger eruptions coming once or twice an hour. Observers can stand about 150 meters (500 feet) from the crater floor.“It’s quite rare to get such a kind of activity in a volcano,” he said. “There are just a few examples in the world, and it’s requiring the combination of very specific conditions. You need to have a specific viscosity of the lava, a specific amount of gases within the magma. And as well, a proper plumbing system to trigger such regular explosions.”Teitler said that once people arrive on the rim, it’s important to avoid the poisonous sulfurous gases coming from the craters and some side vents by taking a position upwind of them. He said that if the lava does explode beyond the rim, rather than running blindly away it’s better to watch where the hunks are falling so you can avoid them.Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale said the volcano has become a popular tourist attraction and a place where locals are able to make some money. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milklast_img read more

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25 million items of luggage go missing annually

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/17cbc/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F The 2010 Air Transport Industry Baggage Report has revealed that more than 25 million items of luggage go missing at major airports every year.   After analysing these figures, Flight Centre has urged Australian holidaymakers to make sure they have the right travel insurance. The baggage report revealed that one in 100 passengers globally at a major airport will experience the sinking feeling of waiting at an empty carousel for luggage that hasn’t reached its intended destination. Flight Centre found that of the 25 million mishandled bags, more than half went astray between transfers, around 16 per cent weren’t loaded onto flights and 13 per cent went missing because of passenger bag switching, poor ticketing and failed security.Flight Centre’s Colin Bowman says it is vital that people check their travel insurance policy because most don’t factor the possibility of having to replace all their clothes into their travel budget.”Most assume it won’t happen to them, but these figures give a strong indication people should ensure they’re covered,” said Mr Bowman.”There are more people flying globally now than ever before, and many airlines are sharing international routes, for example a traveller may fly with two airlines on one trip, so it’s really not worth taking the risk.”Mr Bowman said it was important to keep in mind that some airlines don’t compensate their passengers for lost, stolen or damaged luggage, and even if they do it takes time for the reimbursement to come through.last_img read more

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TA ATE embrace word of mouse

first_imgWith 1.4 million Facebook fans, a figure growing by 5,000 a day, and a “small but growing Twitter site”, Tourism Australia (TA) is providing the “tools and ammunition” for communities to spread the word about the country. “Most media don’t have an audience of 1.4 million, so we almost have a media exclusive to us where we talk to those guys about holidaying in Australia, and they’re telling and getting their friends,” Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said. Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard, Mr McEvoy said social media was “huge and getting bigger”, adding that it was “a way for us [TA] to amplify what it is that we talk about”. “We can tell people ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’, but it’s much better when the world discusses with each other why that is true,” Mr McEvoy said. Talking to advocacy in tourism, Mr McEvoy said that it was “here to stay” and that it had “always been here”. “It was called ‘word of mouth’ … now they call it ‘word of mouse’,” the TA boss told e-Travel Blackboard. “Our job remains great words, great images, great inspiration, great motivation for our country; but let other people tell the story, it’s much more credible.” Working with Tourism Australia on their ATE Twitter page is Holly Galbraith, from Go Future Media, who said it was the first time the event had implemented a “Twitter strategy”. “Last year there was no real plan,” Ms Galbraith told e-Travel Blackboard.“But I am stoked with how well it has been embraced.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Tourism Australia MD Andrew McEvoylast_img read more

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