Flight Centres new HQ gives Google a run for its money

first_img Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Tags: Flight Centre Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Flight Centre’s new HQ gives Google a run for its money BRISBANE, Australia — Flight Centre celebrated Halloween with the opening of its new headquarters in Brisbane’s South Bank, featuring some very impressive features.The office has a Rhine river cruise-themed meeting room, a lunchroom with picnic tables, a kitchen with dining area that looks more like a fine dinning restaurant and a large slide-a-la-Google going down one of the levels.Check out a few Instagram photos posted by the staff: << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Flyersrightscom calls for more airport security

first_img Share Flyersrights.com calls for more airport security Posted by WASHINGTON — Air transportation has become the number one soft target for massacres and violence, as seen from the 9/11 attacks, Lockerbie, and the airport massacres in Brussels, Istanbul and now Fort Lauderdale.TSA and the U.S. Congress were called by FlyersRights.org to provide stronger airport security after a shooting attack at LAX airport in 2013 and again in July 2016 following the attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, but nothing was done.Now, the organization is once again demanding new emergency measures to prevent airport instances from reoccurring. These include: having the National Guard as temporary armed airport security; installing airport perimeter security to detect weapons and explosives in major airports; banning the carrying of live ammunition in checked baggage; increasing canine patrols for explosives; and placing anyone who is considered a threat by any law enforcement on the TSA Watch or No Fly list.“Those victims at Ft. Lauderdale should not have died, and should certainly not have died in vain. Blood on the ground is unfortunately too often the price for government officials to act,” said Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org, former member of the TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee and father of a Lockerbie victim.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesFlyersRights.org also previously supported the claim of the Whistle Blower statute to TSA and Homeland Security Dept. in 2014, and successfully opposed the reintroduction of knives on planes in 2013 by the TSA. More information can be found at FlyersRights.org Tags: TSAcenter_img Travelweek Group Monday, January 9, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

People Peden named President North America for Celestyal Cruises

first_img Share Tags: Celestyal Cruises, People [People] Peden named President, North America for Celestyal Cruises Monday, November 27, 2017 PIRAEUS, Greece — Leslie Peden has been appointed President, North America for Celestyal Cruises.Peden comes to Celestyal with 30-plus years of experience in cruising, tour operations, air and rail travel, including senior management and executive roles for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Holidays Cruises and Island Cruises.Peden held full P&L responsibility for Virgin Holidays Cruises and the integration of this business unit into the wider Virgin Travel Group. He developed and executed Virgin Holidays Cruises’ first fully-integrated marketing campaign with the launch of a new dedicated cruise brochure, press creative and the business entity’s first-ever national TV, digital and social media campaign.“We are excited to bring Mr. Peden on board. He is an industry standout and an innovator who brings decades of travel expertise, with an emphasis on cruising,” says Kyriakos Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises. “We expect he will bring immeasurable enthusiasm to his role and we look forward to him achieving tremendous success in North America.”Celestyal Cruises, with five mid-sized vessels, is the only home-porting cruise operator in Greece and offers Greek Islands cruises as well as Cuba cruises.center_img Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

American Queen Steamboat Company kicks off 2018 season

first_imgAmerican Queen Steamboat Company kicks off 2018 season Wednesday, February 7, 2018 TORONTO — American Queen Steamboat Company is sailing into its seventh season with its American Queen, American Empress and new American Duchess riverboats offering itineraries on the Mississippi, Cumberland, Ohio, Tennessee and Columbia Rivers.Operating the most luxurious riverboat fleet in the U.S., the ships have all-inclusive itineraries with shoreline excursions in each port.“The American Queen Steamboat Company is coming off an incredible year as we expanded our fleet and showcased the beauty of America’s heartland and the Pacific Northwest to more guests than ever before,” says American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO, Ted Sykes.He adds: “We’re moving full speed ahead into 2018 in anticipation of another record breaking season as we showcase our authentic American experience to both returning guests and first timers.”Nine-day sailings on the American Queen begin at US$1,999, American Empress fares begin at $2,399 and American Duchess fares begin at $2,699. All nine-day journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.Highlights of the 2018 season include:Family Suites onboard the American Queen offer respite from a busy day on the river. With an open veranda and private sitting area, guests can watch the river banks of the U.S. heartland drift by from the comfort of their own suite. The amenities of these spacious, single-room suites accommodate a variety of travel needs and are the ideal choice for families and friends vacationing together, says Sykes.New American Duchess itineraries on the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers as well as on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River including a nine-day Kentucky Derby-focused itinerary from Louisville to Cincinnati. Other new itineraries include Cincinnati to Memphis, Louisville to Pittsburgh and vice versa, and Nashville to Chattanooga and vice versa.Pacific Northwest Adventure theme cruises on the American Empress offer soft-adventure activities that appeal to guests of all ages, making it a good option for summer family vacations. Shore excursions include a tandem ride on a kayak or zip-lining through towering trees.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThe first all-suite paddlewheeler on the U.S. rivers, the American Duchess can carry up to 166 guests. The paddlewheeler, whose superstructure was completely built out new in 2017, is being launched as an all-suite vessel, one of the most luxurious in the country, featuring some loft suites, single-seating dining and entertainment venues and high ceilings. With 49 sailings in 2018, the American Duchess will mirror the route of the American Queen, with new stops and overnights in vibrant ports including Nashville and Chicago.The largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi, the 223-guest American Empress, is embarking on her fifth season sailing the Pacific Northwest starting March 17, 2018. Embarking on compelling stops along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, such as Multnomah Falls, Mt. St. Helens and the Walla Walla Wine Trail, the riverboat features 39 departure dates sailing between Portland/Vancouver, WA and Clarkston, WA. Highlights include five-day roundtrip Portland sailings which bookend the 2018 season as well as the newly added Pacific Northwest Adventure Theme cruises taking place in July.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureMeanwhile the historic American Queen steamboat explores the diverse and unique destinations along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Embarking on her seventh season on Feb. 19, 2018, American Queen takes passengers back in time to relive the grandeur of bygone eras such as the Antebellum South, Music of the 50s and 60s, and the Civil War, says Sykes. With 42 total itineraries in 2018, each voyage is steeped in history and culture from pre-cruise hotel stays in New Orleans to tracing the steps of Mark Twain in Hannibal, MO. Tags: American Queen Steamboat Company Posted bycenter_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group last_img read more

Right on time for Valentines Day Trafalgar unveils worlds first travel fragrance

first_imgRight on time for Valentine’s Day: Trafalgar unveils world’s first travel fragrance Travelweek Group TORONTO — How many of us have wished for a way to bottle up our best travel memories? Trafalgar has now found a way to do just that with the release of the world’s first travel fragrance.Launched today in partnership with leading French perfumery Fragonard, ‘La Belle Vie’ is named after Trafalgar’s brand philosophy and encourages guests to reconnect to ‘The Good Life’ long after their travels are done.“When one travels, all five of our senses are used, but for me the sense that stands out the most is smell,” said Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar’s CEO. “It instantly transports us back to moments in time, connects us to places and reignites special memories. Trafalgar wanted to celebrate this core connection.”The fragrance is described to be a “harmonious blend of delicate white petals and a hint of white grapefruit zest”, and is designed for both men and women. It’s available exclusively for Trafalgar guests travelling through France on itineraries that visit Paris, Eze and Grasse.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedFor guests travelling on the eight-day ‘Paris Explorer’ trip, the brand also offers an included Insider Experience at Fragonard’s Parisian headquarters. During this experience, guests will mix and match three components of the fragrance to create their own version, which can be purchased as a memorable souvenir.“When we met with Fragonard to talk about how we would further enrich our guests’ experiences, it quickly became obvious that by co-crafting La Belle Vie we would be able to offer a tangible way to unlock rich travel memories long after their travels were over,” added Tollman. Posted by Sharecenter_img Thursday, February 14, 2019 Tags: Paris, Trafalgar << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Voters head to the polls in El Salvador to elect legislators mayors

first_imgRelated posts:Both candidates claim win in Salvadoran presidential runoff Still no results in El Salvador elections following Sunday’s vote Final election results in El Salvador give ARENA majority in congress El Salvador’s ‘voice of the voiceless’ beatified Salvadorans go to the polls on Sunday to elect new legislators and local officials in a tight contest between theruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, FMLN, and the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, ARENA, for control of the Legislative Assembly.Voters in El Salvador will also elect 262 new mayors, some 3,000 municipal council members and 20 country representatives for the Central American Parliament.For the first time, voters will be able to select individual candidates from any party rather than being forced to vote for a single party with an established list of candidates. Voters can still opt to simply choose a party.Recent polls show the FMLN slightly ahead of ARENA in legislative votes, but both parties have voiced confidence in taking the majority. Eight other parties are also fielding candidates in the elections.The Organization of American States will have 60 observers monitoring the elections. Gustavo Fernández, who heads the observation team, told local media that there are no indications of vote rigging.Fernández noted concern among citizens over how votes under the new system will be counted. He said while there’s a strong possibility of delay in reporting official results, “it’s not a sign of fraud.”Along with the OAS team, the Supreme Elections Tribunal registered over 3,000 national and international observers to monitor the voting process.On the security front, thousands of National Civil Police and soldiers are tasked with keeping Election Day calm. Violence continues to be a top concern for Salvadorans. La Prensa Gráfica reported that the Thursday before Election Day was the bloodiest day yet this year, with 25 people murdered. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arts and culture at a glance the week ahead in Costa Rica

first_imgIf you haven’t checked out theJade Museum since it moved to its new location beside the Plaza de la Democracia in 2014, now is the time – because now you can also catch a new, temporary exhibit featuring petroglyphs from the Turrialba and Caribbean regions, as well as pictographs from Rincón de la Vieja.Just a few blocks away, wander through an outdoor art exhibit: Proyecto Natura, an initiative of Urbana Street Art in conjunction with the Municipality of San José, will display 30butterfly sculptures in the Temple of Music rotunda in Parque Morazán (Friday, May 20-Sunday, May 29, 7 am-7 pm).On the west side, Artflow Galería in Avenida Escazú is exhibiting paintings by Argentinean artist Benjamin Aitala (through June 7).And La Guácima, Alajuela, transforms itself into Little Germany with the Expo Feria Alemana 2016, featuring German cuisine, art, technology, cars and more (Saturday, May 21-Sunday, May 22, 10 am-10 pm). Facebook Comments Related posts:New Year’s kickoffs, Tennis Championship, and other happenings around Costa Rica Comedy homage, massive DJ party and other happenings around Costa Rica Independence Day, Broadway revue, and other happenings around Costa Rica Fairy tale ballet, Hitchcock films, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

La Sele names squad for upcoming qualifiers against Mexico Honduras

first_img Facebook Comments Head Coach Óscar Ramírez announced the list of 25 players who will begin preparing next Sunday for the next two qualifying games of the2018 FIFA World Cup Russia against Mexico and Honduras.Costa Rica’s Men’s National Team, or La Sele, will face Mexico on March 24 in Mexico City and Honduras in San Pedro Sula on March 28.Ramírez chose a group formed mostly of players from European leagues and from Major League Soccer.At a press conference at noon on Friday, Ramírez said he based his list in selecting versatile players who can play in multiple positions and can offer him game alternatives.“I’m also taking precautions with players who already received a yellow card,” he said.There are currently six players who will miss a game if they receive another yellow card: team’s captain Bryan Ruiz, Rónald Matarrita, Marco Ureña, Joel Campbell and Johnny Acosta.New and returning namesRamírez’s most recent list has four new names, three of them from local champion Deportivo Saprissa: goalkeeper Danny Carvajal, defender Heiner Mora and midfielder Ulises Segura. The other is DC United’s forward José Guillermo Ortiz.Mora is the most surprising name on the roster. The defender, who also plays in the midfield, was a regular La Sele player who made the final cut for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. However, he missed that tournament after injuring his heel during a friendly, and had to be replaced just two days before the inaugural match against Uruguay.“I’m very happy, and above all, very thankful to God for this opportunity to make the National Team again,” Mora told reporters shortly after the press conference.Goalie Danny Carvajal is replacing Esteban Alvarado from Turkey’s Trabzonspor. Ramírez said the main reason for excluding Alvarado is the current political situation in his team’s country.“It’s a complicated situation. I worry about him every single time I hear news about Turkey,” the coach said.This the full list of players for the next two games of La Sele:Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Danny Carvajal (Saprissa).Defenders: Giancarlo González (Palermo), Michael Umaña (Alajuelense), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Johnny Acosta (Herediano), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Óscar Duarte (Espanyol), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Ronald Matarrita (New York City), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Heiner Mora (Saprissa).Midfielders: Ulises Segura (Saprissa), Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne), David Guzmán (Portland Timbers), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña), Christian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Club), Johan Venegas (Minnesota United).Forwards: José Guillermo Ortiz (DC United), Joel Campbell (Sporting Club), Marco Ureña (San Jose Earthquakes). Related posts:Óscar Ramírez faces first adversity as La Sele’s head coach Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Costa Rica humiliates the United States 4-0 in World Cup qualifier Costa Rican National Team to face former coach Jorge Luis Pinto at Gold Cuplast_img read more

Monteverde You can get there from here but youll need some pura

first_imgWe’re pleased to introduce a new column from Monteverde resident Marshall Cobb, who will share commentary on this unique and storied community northwest of San José. Eager to a visit to this lush, green tourist draw? Read more on Monteverde in our Travel section.“Excuse me. Could you tell us how much further it is to the Monteverde Reserve?”I stopped my stroll along the dirt road and leaned down to try and see the driver. It was one of the ubiquitous Daihatsu rental cars optimistically advertised as full-sized with four-wheel drive.I smiled past the lady in the passenger seat, who looked nervous, and accidentally locked eyes with the man behind the wheel, who looked frazzled. A bead of sweat trickled down his temple and he tried, and failed, to avoid flinching in response to the kicks that the two small children tethered into oversized car seats in the second row were delivering to the back of his seat.I’d been this exact guy about five years ago on our first trip to Monteverde. It’s a long, hard drive, particularly with your entire family and related luggage squeezed into less space than is typically provided by a mini-fridge. His eyes spoke panic, so I tried to keep my response short and simple.“A little more than three more kilometers that way.” I pointed in the same direction he was already headed down the bumpy dirt road.Read also: Monteverde dazzles – wet, wild, lush and teeming with lifeThe driver leaned towards me so that his head was just beneath his wife’s chin. “That can’t be right. We passed a sign about three kilometers ago that said it was only three more kilometers.”I’d also been there and done exactly that. “You passed through the town of Guacimal on the way here?”The woman, fighting for space, looked past her husband’s head at the directions in her lap. “Yes. And when we got back to the paved part of the road we veered right. That’s where we saw the sign.”I knew the sign. We had often giggled about it and some of the other signage in the neighboring countryside, which, depending on your route, indicates that Monteverde is getting further away as you draw closer. Sometimes three kilometers are not what they seem. (Courtesy of Marshall Cobb)“I understand. The sign is wrong. You’re about three kilometers from the entrance.”“Why wouldn’t they fix the sign? Isn’t this the biggest tourist attraction in the area?He had a good point, but he wasn’t grasping the situation. Pura vida, as I’ve come to find out over the last couple of years, means that you should be happy the sign is pointing the right direction. The fact that somebody might have mixed up which sign should go where from a distance standpoint wasn’t really material.I wanted to say that all the locals know where the Reserve is and, like cat skeletons up trees, permanently lost tourists don’t exist. It was all going to work out. I didn’t say any of this but instead took the advice of comedian Bill Burr, treating the situation like you’d treat a large, nervous rescue dog: slow, calm words and no sudden moves.“Yes, that’s correct. Just keep driving the direction you’re going. Once you cross the bridge stay to the left and you’ll see more signs–”The driver grabbed the directions from his wife. “What bridge? I don’t see a bridge!”Recommended: Dealing with climate change in Costa Rica’s treasured Monteverde cloud forestThe lady, equally tired and cranky but also taking the rescue dog approach, gently pushed him back to his side of the car and took back the now crumpled piece of paper, which she extended out her window towards me“Can you please just show us where we are?”I winced as a large tourist bus full of grey-haired, well-heeled tourists honked at the stopped car and blew by on the wrong side of the dirt road. The honk made the kids stop screaming and kicking, at least for a second. Locals often jokingly refer to the posh tour buses as the “five thousand year buses” due to the collective age of those therein.I bent down and looked at the map. I’d seen a lot of horrible, completely not-to-scale maps produced by the hostels and hotels in the area, but this one looked homemade (criollo, as we now say in our family). (Courtesy of Marshall Cobb)She noticed my hesitation and smiled. “I did some research and put this together.”In the background, the ever-antsy husband rolled his eyes.I took one end of the piece of paper and tried to figure out her map. It mostly made sense, and I pointed to a spot at the beginning edge of what is called Monteverde. “You’re about here.”She frowned. “I don’t understand. I thought we’d been driving through Monteverde for a while already.” She pointed to a spot further back on the map. “See, this is our hotel. And our hotel is in Monteverde.This could have gone a variety of directions. I could’ve said that once the Quakers, who settled here in the 1950s and named their purchase Monteverde, leased a large portion of their land in the 1970s to help create what is now the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Eventually local businesses started cashing in on the tourism angle and hotels and restaurants that weren’t particularly close to the Reserve and had nothing to do with conservation proudly announced that they were located in Monteverde.Further, as I learned from Lucille “Lucky” Guindon (one of those early Quaker settlers), the Costa Rican government got in on the act and eventually named the entire district Monte Verde (though why they made it two words remains an unsolved mystery).I could’ve said all of that, but the driver likely would have resorted to violence. Instead, I smiled and said, “Your hotel is actually in a small town called Cerro Plano. I know it’s confusing but all you have to do is drive about three more kilometers that way.” I again pointed the same direction they were already headed.Read more: Resisting climate change feather by feather in MonteverdeHe wasn’t going for it and again tried to hog the map. “We’re going to have dinner tonight at this nice restaurant with gardens. They said they’re in Monteverde but it’s before our hotel — close to the sign that said three kilometers until the Reserve.”“That’s actually Santa Elena,” I finished for him. “That’s the name of the larger town you first entered when you got back to the paved road.”He looked with disgust at their homemade map. “So that’s not Monteverde?”I gently pushed away from their car, smiling as I went. “Yes, at the end of the day it’s all now Monteverde.”No one looked happy, and the kids began bickering in earnest. The man grumbled under his breath and put the car back in gear, grinding it a bit, like a lot of other folks who aren’t used to a stick shift.She smiled at me and then turned as best she could to address the children. “If you don’t behave we won’t go to the Quaker Cheese factory for the tour and ice cream later on.”I watched them drive off, fighting the impulse to let them know that the Quakers had sold the cheese factory to a Mexican company several years back, and the new owners had eliminated the tours — though you can still buy ice cream.I continued my morning walk back towards our house, which is tucked away in the woods in the hamlet of Cerro Plano. Our move here was an unexpected development that evolved out of what was supposed to be a one-year sabbatical. I had been just like that driver: Type-A, rules-oriented, demanding.Pura vida has not completely changed me, but I suspect the walking and the reduced stress level may gift me a few years I would otherwise not have seen — unless I end up getting run-over by one of the tourist buses flying by in the sidewalk-free portions of the Monte Verde district.Marshall Cobb and his family moved to the Monte Verde district in 2015. He takes breaks from working on his novel by posting blogs on his website and can be reached at: marshall@marshall-cobb.com.Stay tuned for more on Monteverde in Marshall’s new series in The Tico Times. Next up: a look at this region’s unusual history. Facebook Comments Related posts:To pave or not to pave? Monteverde’s ongoing roadway saga Bike rides with Paul Smith – and other dangerous pursuits Monteverde’s community radio station aims to inform and entertain town’s diverse population Dealing with climate change in Costa Rica’s treasured Monteverde cloud forestlast_img read more

Suu Kyi photo exhibit opens in hometown Yangon

first_imgAssociated PressYANGON, Myanmar (AP) – A photography exhibit about Aung San Suu Kyi’s successful campaign for Parliament is showing just how far Myanmar has come since ending a half century of military rule.The works being shown in Suu Kyi’s hometown of Yangon were taken by local photojournalists. Before President Thein Sein’s government began its reforms last year, photos of Suu Kyi were rarely seen in the tightly controlled media. But since then, there has been a flowering of new publications, and her image _ a selling point _ is hard to avoid. Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   The exhibit is part of the ongoing “Yangon Photo Festival” organized by the French Institute. It travels to France for the International Festival of Photography and will be displayed in Arles from July 2-Sept. 23.The photos “are very special because Suu Kyi is special,” said Christophe Loviny, the festival’s artistic director, who said the images captured the special bond she has with the people of Myanmar. “When she meets the people there is a chemical reaction.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements An enthusiastic Suu Kyi attended the vernissage Thursday of “Aung San Suu Kyi: The Burmese Way to Democracy,” which catalogues the historic political campaign that propelled the longtime political prisoner to a seat in Parliament.Touring the exhibit with the photojournalists who took the images, she thanked them for capturing moments of the campaign that she hadn’t originally noticed.“The colors in the photos are really beautiful, especially my umbrellas,” a smiling Suu Kyi said. she is fond of colorful parasols to shade against the strong sun in Myanmar.She paused at a photo taken in her constituency, Kawhmu township, showing her greeting supporters from her campaign van. Dressed in a blue traditional Burmese outfit, Suu Kyi’s red party flag flies in the wind set against a green bamboo umbrella in the background.“This is the photo I liked the most,” she said. “It’s in Kawhmu township and it’s colorful.”The exhibit includes 25 poster-sized photographs taken by Burmese photographers, Aung Pyae, Pyay Kyaw Myint and Min Zayar. Many of the images were published in international publications during the campaign, including Paris Match magazine, Le Monde newspaper and the International Herald Tribune. Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Patients with chronic pain give advice New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

Panetta Use police not military for enforcement

first_imgAssociated PressPUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay (AP) – Latin American nations must try to use their police and not their military forces to enforce the law, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday, telling defense ministers here that the U.S. will help them build their capabilities.Speaking to a conference of defense ministers from the Americas, where militaries are often used to battle drug traffickers and other guerrilla groups, Panetta said the U.S. realizes that it’s sometimes difficult to decide if a threat requires the use of the military or law enforcement. “In some cases, countries have turned to their defense forces to support civilian authorities,” Panetta said in remarks prepared for delivery. “To be clear, the use of the military to perform civil law enforcement cannot be a long-term solution.”Panetta’s comments were aimed at a number of Latin American countries who turn to their militaries to fight crime or help restore order, particularly for counterdrug operations or other instances to quell violent criminal cartels. But countries here have also, at times, been critical of the U.S. for what they see as a similar blurring of the enforcement lines by America _ particularly the detention center at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba, where suspected terrorists have been held since not long after the Afghanistan war began.The U.S., he said can help countries ensure that they improve their abilities while still respecting human rights, laws and civilian authorities.“We can and we will provide a helping hand, but ultimately civilian authorities must be able to shoulder this burden on their own,” he said.In his remarks during the opening session of the 10th Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas, Panetta also encouraged the ministers to approve a new plan to set up a database that will allow the nations to better coordinate their responses to disasters. Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairycenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day In his visit to Colombia, Brazil and Chile earlier this year, Panetta underscored Latin America’s importance as military partners in the Pacific, where China is challenging U.S. influence in a number of countries. As those defense relationships grow, officials say it can only help U.S. economic and political ties across South America.Panetta emphasized again Monday that the U.S. does not want to establish permanent bases in the region or take on any dominant role of defending other countries on the continent.“Our goal is to work with those nations that want us to help them to develop their capabilities so that they can defend and secure themselves. Our interest is to work with you, not against you,” he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix This is Panetta’s second trip to South America this year, as he works to expand U.S military cooperation in the region and build on relationships that also can help shore up America’s interests in the Asia-Pacific region. He stopped in Peru for meetings with leaders there before traveling to Uruguay.The database would be at the core of a new system that will help nations organize humanitarian relief efforts in the event of a disaster. The database would allow countries to list the types of aid they are ready to provide and allow the affected nation to choose, in order to avoid duplication and better meet urgent needs.Officials have said that while there was a lot of assistance sent to Haiti, it wasn’t well coordinated and there was a lot of duplication. Defense officials are hoping that the database would solve some of those problems.“Western Hemisphere nations worked together to provide much-needed help, but we lacked a mechanism to collaborate in real-time and focus our efforts where they were needed most,” said Panetta about the Haiti disaster response. Implementing the new system, he said, will help nations be ready to respond quickly when the next disaster strikes. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Mexico City offers exchange of cash toys for guns

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The borough has been plagued by violent crime and people firing guns into the air during concerts and celebrations.In November, 10-year-old Hendrik Cuacuas was hit in the head by a 9-mm bullet during the Disney film “Wreck-It Ralph.”Prosecutors said the round was fired from outside the theater, and spent bullets were found on the roof.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico City is sponsoring a program offering cash, toys and computer equipment in exchange for guns in a rough neighborhood where a 10-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet as he sat inside a movie theater.The program in the borough of Iztapalapa is dubbed “For Your Family: Voluntary Disarmament.”Borough president Jesus Valencia wrote in his Twitter account Monday that residents had turned in 27 rifles and 65 pistols. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   last_img read more

US concludes airstrike in Syria killed 2 innocent children

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility This is the first of four ongoing U.S. military investigations into allegations of civilian casualties resulting from airstrikes against Islamic State militants and other extremists in Iraq and Syria that began last August. One other probe into an airstrike in Syria and two investigations into airstrikes in Iraq are still pending.According to the report, the strikes on November 4-5, near Harim City, hit their intended targets, but officials said they could not determine if the civilians were killed by those strikes or secondary explosions caused by the bombings.“From the investigation it can be determined that sound procedures were followed and must be followed in the future,” Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of the military operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, wrote in a handwritten note on the report. Terry ordered and approved the investigation.The report added, “Reasonable measures were undertaken to avoid the death or injury of civilians during the strike.” It said that, “nonetheless, the death of any civilians is regrettable,” and that the military will continue to try to mitigate civilian casualties “to the maximum extent possible.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Two children were likely killed during an American airstrike targeting al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria last year, and two other adults were wounded, according to an investigation released Thursday by the U.S. military.The 76-page report concludes that the strikes were designed to destroy Khorasan Group extremists, bomb-making experts, meeting places and facilities where explosives were made and stored. The investigation found that the killed and wounded civilians probably lived near one of the targeted locations. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Human rights groups have estimated that far more civilians have been killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes since operations began.The airstrikes against the Khorasan Group that day marked only the second time, since the bombing campaign in Syria began, that U.S. operations had targeted the group, which officials contend is a Nusra Front cell that has been plotting to attack American and Western interests.According to the report, the airstrikes launched by multiple aircraft destroyed six buildings and damaged two others at two separate compounds. It said initially the compounds were civilian facilities on a “no strike” list, but intelligence assessments concluded they were later converted to military use by the Khorasan Group.The “protected status” of the compounds was lifted, the report said, “after determination that their predominant use was for hostile purposes — a meeting place and safe-house for foreign extremists.” It said “multiple intelligence reports” concluded the facilities were used by known members of the Khorasan Group.It said the intelligence assessments indicated the sites were used for meetings and storage and specific bomb-makers and explosives experts — whose names were redacted — met there. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk The investigation notes that other independent or media reports after the bombings suggested that one of the children killed was the daughter of a Nusra Front fighter.The probe was prompted by numerous reports, photos and video claiming to show a varying number of civilian casualties resulting from the strikes The report said photos showed the bodies of two female children “that were dusty, and which appeared to have sustained injuries to their ear drums, consistent with having been in close proximity to blast overpressure injuries.”The investigation said there had been no indications prior to the strikes that children were present.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Rudd to ramp up airport security with 200 million

first_imgAustralian airports will receive a $200 million boost to security over the next four years, the Rudd government announced yesterday.The $200 million plan was revealed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra yesterday as a response to a review he ordered last month after a foiled terrorist attack on a Northwest jet in the US.Under the plan, full-body scanners will be installed at major international airports by early this year and passenger and baggage screening will be enhanced with multiview X-ray machines and bottle scanners capable of detecting liquid explosives.Funds will also goes towards improving Customs passenger handling technology and installing cargo X-ray screening and explosive trace detection technology at selected locations. There will also be more Australian Federal Police with sniffer dogs trained to detect firearms and explosives according to The Australian. However, travellers will face more than tighter security.”This may mean it takes longer for passengers to pass through security, but the government believes that this inconvenience is a small price to pay for increased security” Rudd told parliament. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1a245/” 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>last_img read more

Inbal Jerusalem Hotel Earns 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence

first_imgSource = The Inbal Hotel The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.“The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Bruno De Schuyter, General Manager at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel. “As a five star deluxe hotel, we strive to offer our guests an authentic Jerusalem experience of luxury, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.” “TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”last_img read more

Thomas Cook India rolls out new TV campaign HolidaySortedHai

first_imgThomas Cook (India) launched its new TV campaign, #HolidaySortedHai, which aims to capture the last minute hassles travellers have to endure and how having a one-stop solution offering end-end holiday services can be such a relief.Thomas Cook India’s hybrid ‘clicks + bricks’ strategy, blends its offline and online services that promises ease and convenience throughout the course of planning and booking a holiday. Thomas Cook(India) is uniquely positioned to offer Indian consumers not merely tickets, but also the entire portfolio of travel related products & services both online via their web and mobile portal and offline.Speaking on the new campaign Abraham Alapatt, Chief Innovation Officer & Head – Marketing and Service Quality, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “Thomas Cook (India) is one of the most trusted brands in India. Over the years we have sustained the image of the brand through quality services and carefully crafted communication strategies that focus on making travel a painless experience. We believe that the speed and simplicity of our online platform and the convenience and reassuring comfort of our extensive offline network – for personal interaction, personalisation and peace of mind helps us to address travel customer’s needs right across the spectrum – from pure online to pure offline – and most significantly for every stage in between, where we believe the real market opportunity today lies!”The campaign ran through May on Hindi & English GEC, News, Infotainment and Movie channels; also at select PVR Cinemas across India (metros and select cities). On the digital platform, Thomas Cook (India) promoted the campaign through Hotstar during IPL match screenings, YouTube and Social Media via Twitter and Facebook contests with contextual content.last_img read more

Wells Fargo Names New NonAgency Home Loan Positions

first_img Share “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ recently announced that company veterans Brad Blackwell and Greg Gwizdz will take up new positions for the lending division responsible for non-agency mortgages.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Blackwell will report to Mike Heid, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, as he helps expand the company’s capacity to produce non-GSE loans and mortgages with jumbo balances.Gwizdz will take responsibility for the company’s centralized sales force, along with a team of divisional managers.Franklin Codel, head of mortgage production for Wells Fargo, said in a statement that the “”announcement is an example of the depth, breadth and confidence that we have in our leadership team.””””The market has changed and we are adapting with it to add more horsepower to help homeowners and home buyers succeed financially,”” Brad Blackwell, now portfolio lending business manager for the company, added in the statement.Blackwell previously served as EVP with Wells Fargo. New,Wells Fargo Names New Non-Agency Home Loan Positions Agents & Brokers Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2012-02-27 Ryan Schuettecenter_img February 27, 2012 464 Views in Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Uneven Recovery Continues with Home Price Acceleration in May

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News July 22, 2014 536 Views Share Uneven Recovery Continues with Home Price Acceleration in Maycenter_img FNC Home Prices Residential Price Index 2014-07-22 Krista Franks Brock While home prices continue to decelerate on an annual basis after reaching peak speed in February, price gains did pick up slightly from April to May, according to FNC’s latest price index.After rising 0.6 percent over the month in both March and April, national home prices rose 1 percent in May, according to FNC’s data, which excludes the sales of distressed properties.On the other hand, the national annual price gain in May was 8.2 percent, down from 8.5 percent in April and 9.2 percent in March.Among the large metros in FNC’s 30-MSA composite, the fastest annual price appreciation took place in Sacramento (24.0 percent), Riverside, California (22.2 percent), and Miami (20.6 percent).Cincinnati (-0.2 percent), Cleveland (-2.5 percent), and St. Louis (-2.8 percent) registered annual price declines in May, according to FNC.In fact, these three metros, along with Columbus, Ohio, “have not shown any measurable improvements since housing began to recover in the past two and half years,” FNC stated in a press release.St. Louis has shown the smallest improvement, with a price gain of just 1.1 percent since the start of the housing recovery, according to FNC. Price gains in the other three cities range from about 4 to about 6 percent.At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix’s home prices have risen 58.7 percent since the start of the housing recovery. Sacramento (53.8 percent), Las Vegas (49.5 percent), and San Francisco (48.0 percent) also fall in line at the top of the list of recovering markets.FNC observed “a widening gap in the state of housing recovery nationwide.”In general home prices in the 30 large metros “show[ed] sizable month-to-month price gains” in May, according to FNC, which recorded price increases of at least 2 percent in New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Riverside, and Sacramento.However, Dallas (-1.4 percent) and Nashville (-2.3 percent) posted price declines over the month. FNC chalks these surprising declines up to “short-term volatility in the data,” stating, “there are no obvious signs of weakening housing fundamentals in those cities.”last_img read more

eMortgage Logic Announces New Director of Sales

first_img eMortgage Logic (EML), a unit of Assurant Mortgage Solutions, recently announced Anthony Di Staulo as its new Director of Sales.Di Staulo’s focus is to establish new client relationships and foster existing client relationships with mortgage lenders and servicers on a national basis.Prior to joining EML, Di Staulo served as VP of Business Development at Claims Recovery Financial Services, LLC for five years and was AVP of Client Relations at ServiceLink, a Black Knight Company and was business development manager for the Prudential Financial Company of America.Di Staulo joined EML in October 2015 as Director of Sales and has extensive experience in the default mortgage space working with various banks, servicers, and mortgage companies. eMortgage Logic Announces New Director of Sales April 29, 2016 500 Views Assurant Mortgage Solutions eMortgage Logic 2016-04-29 Staff Writercenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology Sharelast_img read more

Eliminating Barriers to Homeownership

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share October 29, 2018 587 Views Rising wages could be a counter to higher mortgage rates that are affecting home affordability, according to the First American Real Home Price Index (RHPI) for August 2018.The RHPI, which measures the price changes of single-family properties throughout the U.S. adjusted for the impact of income and interest rate changes on consumer house-buying power over time at national, state, and metropolitan area levels indicated that real house prices increased 0.6 percent month-over-month between July and August 2018. Year over year, the data found, prices increased 11.3 percent. On the other hand, a consumer’s housing buying power (calculated as how much one can buy based on changes in income and interest rates) decreased 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.”When incomes rise, consumer house-buying power increases. When mortgage rates or nominal house prices rise, consumer house-buying power declines,” said Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American explaining the dynamics that influence consumer home-buying power.“Since August 2017, two of the key factors in affordability have risen – mortgage rates increased 67-basis points and unadjusted house prices rose by 6 percent. However, household income growth helps affordability, and household incomes increased by 3.2 percent in August,” Fleming said.Additionally, he said that wage growth had contributed $11,000 to consumer home-buying power, thus helping mitigate the influences of rising mortgage rates and unadjusted house prices on affordability.“Mortgage rates are rising because the economy is growing, the labor market is tightening, and wage growth is increasing. Wage growth translates into rising household incomes, which were 3.2 percent higher in August compared to a year ago,” Fleming said. “That growth in household income contributed $11,000 to consumer house-buying power, which helped mitigate the negative effects of rising mortgage rates. While rising mortgage rates reduced house-buying power by $30,000 over the last year, rising incomes increased consumer house-buying power by $11,000. The net effect? Overall consumer house-buying power fell by $19,000 in August compared with a year ago.”Regionally, five states saw the greatest year-over-year increase in RHPI, with Nevada (22.3 percent increase) leading the way followed by New Jersey (22 percent), Michigan (19.8 percent), Ohio (19.7 percent), and Alaska (18.1 percent).center_img Eliminating Barriers to Homeownership Affordability First American Home price Homebuyers homeowners homes HOUSING 2018-10-29 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more