WestJet offers bonus benefits to commemorate new SudburyToronto service

first_img CALGARY — WestJet will be launching new daily service between the Greater Sudbury Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport starting Feb. 3, 2017. Operated by WestJet’s regional airline, WestJet Encore, the service will increase to three daily flights in May 2017.“WestJet is enriching lives and liberating Canadians coast to coast from the high cost of air travel,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “As Canada’s low-fare leader, we are offering residents of Greater Sudbury the opportunity to fly more affordably and connect seamlessly into our expanding national and international network.”Glenn Thibeault, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sudbury and Minister of Energy for the Province of Ontario, added: “WestJet’s decision to offer flights in Sudbury will boost economic activity, create jobs and provide consumers with new, affordable choices. Sudbury is a dynamic community – with many people coming and going for work or for leisure – and I know these new options will make things a bit better for everyone.”More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaWestJet Rewards members taking their first flight to or from Sudbury between Feb. 3 and March 31, 2017 can register at westjet.com/sudburybonus to receive a bonus of 25 WestJet dollars just for trying the new service. Minimum redemption rules apply. For details go to westjet.com/rewards.As a further incentive, for the month of November, WestJet invites all business travellers in Greater Sudbury with top-tier status in a travel rewards program to provide proof of status to receive gold flight benefits in WestJet Rewards. For details go to westjet.com/sudburygold. Tags: Toronto, WestJet Posted by Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img WestJet offers bonus benefits to commemorate new Sudbury-Toronto service Wednesday, November 2, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

"WestJet offers bonus benefits to commemorate new SudburyToronto service"

Delta and partners strives to be the airline that you want to

first_imgDelta and partners strives to be the airline that you want to do business with Photos courtesy of Delta Air Lines and taken by James Kachan. Tags: Air France, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, KLM << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Delta Air Lines, KLM, Air France and Alitalia took over the Royal Ontario Museum last week to recognize their top partners with their first-ever Agency Elite Awards.Jennie Ho, Managing Director Specialty Sales & Canada, Delta Air Lines, flew in from Atlanta to attend the event and thanked the Canadian partners, noting “[In Canada] we are not the obvious choice.”“There is a big player in the Canadian marketplace that you all have to do business with. And what we like to earn and what we strive for is we are the other option that you like to do business with, that you choose to do business with.”“We are here to compete for your business,” continued Ho, who brought up examples of when they have lost business due to pricing. She asked Canadian agencies to call their representatives to see what they can do.Jennie Ho, Managing Director Specialty Sales & Canada, Delta Air LinesSteven Larkin, Director, Sales, Delta Air Lines then presented awards to TEH – Canada, Voyages à La Carte, TravelBrands, Huntington Travel / The Fight Network, Flight Centre, Vision Travel, SkyLink Travel Inc., Royal Scenic Holidays, Skylink Voyages Inc., Merit Travel Group, Skyroute Travel Services, Airliners, Worldview Travel (Canada) Inc., Maritime Travel and J.T.L. in recognition of their support.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problem Posted by Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Share Michael Smith last_img read more

"Delta and partners strives to be the airline that you want to"

This secret button will instantly give you more space on a plane

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> This ‘secret’ button will instantly give you more space on a plane Posted by Thursday, June 15, 2017 center_img TORONTO — You’re not imagining it, airplane seats really are getting smaller. Seats have gotten considerably more narrow since the 1980s to add more passengers onboard, hence increasing airline revenue. But did you know that aisle seats come equipped with a ‘secret’ button that, when pushed, gives passengers a bit more wiggle room?According to The Independent, this button – which few people know about – allows you to lift the armrest on the aisle, which instantly provides more legroom and breathing space. It can be tricky to find, though – feel under the armrest until you find a tiny button close to the hinge. Pressing it will release the armrest and allow passengers to move it up to sit flush with the back of their seat.The button was initially designed to allow passengers to escape quickly in the event of an emergency. Flight crews also utilize it to help special assistance passengers into their seats.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaWe can’t wait to try out this hack next time we fly. Let us know in the meantime if you’ve discovered the secret for yourselves! Tags: Did you know Sharelast_img read more

"This secret button will instantly give you more space on a plane"

Toronto FC game perfect backdrop for a look at whats new in

first_img TORONTO — The Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) played host to travel industry professionals at BMO Field, where the crowd watched as Toronto FC faced off against Montreal Impact. ENIT is a proud sponsor of Toronto FC and used last night’s event to showcase everything Italy, especially in destinations outside the country’s very well-known tourist spots.Bologna, Italy has just opened the world’s largest agri-food part named FICO Eataly World – FICO means ‘cool’ in Italian. Guests can discover Italian agriculture in 200,000 square metres of open-air fields and stables, farming factories, restaurants, educations rides, events and classes. Exploration can be done on foot or by bike, solo or guided by FICO’s Biodiversity Ambassadors.Matera, a city in the southern region of Italy and straddling a beautiful valley, has been named Europe’s Capital of Culture 2019. Visitors can wander the old city – it’s 9,000 years old and claims to be the third-oldest inhabited settlement in the world – or visit the cave regions, where thousands of caves dot the stone slopes including churches and homes.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyHeading north, Milan will host the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s 37th Annual Global Conference in 2020, the successful bid supported by the National Tourist Board. This will help put the spotlight on Italy as a gay-friendly destination with great style, restaurants, nightlife and more.ENIT took last night’s event as an opportunity to remind agents that there is much more to Italy than just Rome and Venice. For more information, visit italia.it. Thursday, September 21, 2017 Travelweek Group Toronto FC game perfect backdrop for a look at what’s new in Italy Sharecenter_img Posted by Tags: Italy << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

"Toronto FC game perfect backdrop for a look at whats new in"

New flights to London Paris ex Toronto with Primera Air in 2018

first_img Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: New Routes, Primera Air New flights to London, Paris ex Toronto with Primera Air in 2018 Posted bycenter_img Share COPENHAGEN — Primera Air is launching new year-round routes out of Toronto to London (Stansted), Birmingham and Paris starting next spring.Flights out of Toronto Pearson to Birmingham are scheduled to start May 19, 2018 and to London on June 23, 2018. Both routes will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.The Paris flights are set to begin June 22, 2018 and run four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.Primera Air is Icelandic-owned and based in Denmark and Latvia. It operates flights to more than 70 airports in Europe as part of the Primera Travel Group that operates travel agencies and tour operators companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Estonia.President and Chairman Andri M. Ingolfsson said 2017 “has been a groundbreaking year for Primera Air”, adding that Toronto “will be a great addition” to the airline’s earlier announced New York and Boston routes from London, Birmingham and Paris.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”“With our brand new Airbus A321neo airplanes, we are opening routes that were previously served only by wide-body aircrafts,” said Ingolfsson. “With the efficiency of a new-generation of aircraft, we are now able to offer unprecedented prices to our passengers from France and UK to the U.S. and Canada. At the same time, we are delighted to be offering a low-fare/high quality product and service concept, that will be perfect both for leisure and business travellers.”Primera Air will offer two cabin classes: full-service Premium and low-fare Economy. All passengers get WiFi and can charge their devices on board.Fares for the Toronto flights start at $199. Tickets are on sale and Ingolfsson says the lowest fares will be available on primeraair.com.Daily flights to New York and four weekly flights to Boston were announced earlier this summer. For the next two years Primera Air plans to increase its presence at existing bases, open new bases and open other transatlantic routes to accommodate and utilize the 20 new Boeing Max9-ER aircraft the airline has on order. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

"New flights to London Paris ex Toronto with Primera Air in 2018"

Why Use A Travel Advisor Carnival has plenty of reasons – and

first_imgWhy Use A Travel Advisor? Carnival has plenty of reasons – and WUATA night TORONTO — It wasn’t even supposed to come to Toronto. When the list of dates for Carnival’s WUATA parties was first announced, July 24 was earmarked for Minneapolis. But then Toronto ended up snagging the date and last night local agents – and their clients – showed Carnival why Toronto was the perfect choice for a great WUATA event.WUATA, of course, stands for ‘Why Use a Travel Advisor’ and it’s the name of Carnival’s year-long campaign with special events, incentives and more, aimed at helping agents attract new clients and strengthen ties with existing clients.Launched in March 2019, WUATA features the WUATA parties, social media promotions, contests, exclusive merchandise, giveaways, text alerts and WUATA Word, an crowdsourced word cloud that will grow throughout the year as the movement expands.All the tools are available on GoCCL.com to help travel advisors spread the word to existing and potential clients, says the cruise line. Plus, last month Carnival launched WUATA.com, a WUATA brochure and an exclusive WUATA Facebook page.WUATA builds on a message that Carnival has been promoting for several years now: that it’s always better to book through a travel agent.As Carnival’s Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Trade Marketing, Adolfo Perez, said at last night’s WUATA event: “Why wouldn’t you use a travel agent? It’s like having a personal assistant. People are busy and there’s no time to do all that research.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesBack in 2017 and 2018 Carnival embarked on multi-city Agentpalooza tours, bringing Carnival’s energy and swag to thousands of agents. This year, said Perez, “we thought maybe there’s a way to connect with travel agents in a different way.”Perez adds that Carnival “also wanted to show consumers why travel agents are so important.”Lisa Booth (left), Cruise & Vacation Consultant with Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Toronto, with two of her clients. Agents at last night’s WUATA event were encouraged to bring two clients to the party. One client could be a past Carnival guest, and the other a good prospect for a Carnival cruise.At last night’s party the line premiered the latest WUATA campaign — a five-part video series featuring travel advisors and their clients sharing travel tales that tell the ‘WUATA Story.’ The videos do not promote specific advisors or agencies, but instead focus on the larger message of Why Use a Travel Advisor.“As the WUATA program gains traction we’re looking for even more ways to spread our message on the benefits of using a travel advisor, and there’s no better testimonial than seeing a real connection between a travel agent and their client,” said Perez. “This video series enables us to too add a relatable and personal element to WUATA in a format that we can push across multiple channels to reach more travelers.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”All five videos are available on the WUATA Facebook page and WUATA.com. Agents can use a click-to-share tool to send the videos directly to their clients.Charlie Sylvia, Vice President, Membership and Trade Relations for CLIA, mixes and minglesJustin French, Carnival’s VP, Canada and Northern U.S., says Carnival has always had high support in Canada and it’s just getting stronger. “The past couple of years we’ve seen really great growth from the Canadian market,” he said at last night’s event.Carnival’s Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Trade Marketing, Adolfo PerezCarnival’s long list of North American homeports includes one in Canada (Vancouver) and several in northeastern U.S., like New York City and Boston, that work well for Canadian travellers. That said, the bulk of Carnival’s business is seven-night Caribbean itineraries out of south Florida, and Canadians have no problem making time for a trip to the Sunshine State for a cruise.Ann Chamberlin, Senior Vice President Membership, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships for ASTA, and Charlie Sylvia, Vice President, Membership and Trade Relations for CLIA, also spoke at last night’s WUATA party. The uptick in the number of travellers using travel agents “has nothing to do with price and everything to do with value,” said Sylvia. “And there’s nothing like getting a good value.”Last night’s WUATA party included cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, travel experts sharing the value of using a travel advisor, prizes, giveaways, fun photo-ops, and a Carnival 3 category upgrade offer. Guests could also purchase WUATA t-shirts for $25 with proceeds going to Carnival’s primary charitable partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital based in Memphis, TN. Thursday, July 25, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Carnival, WUATA Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

"Why Use A Travel Advisor Carnival has plenty of reasons – and"

Gay rights groups plan protests

first_imgLeaders of the Diversity Movement, a civil and gay rights organization, will meet this week to define the actions they will take to push for the approval of a bill that grants rights to same-sex couples.Group members do not rule out taking to the streets to demand the discussion in the Legislative Assembly of the draft bill known as “coexistence partnerships.”Last year, the bill received a negative vote from a legislative commission on human rights, which blocked a general vote by  lawmakers.The bill seeks to grant legal protections in terms of taxes, health care decisions or inheritances to same-sex couples.The executive branch convened the bill to be discussed when lawmakers return from their holiday vacations on Jan. 21. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Boko Harams horrendous abduction of 234 teenage girls

first_imgLast Monday marked two weeks since the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has been holding up to 191 teenage girls hostage with total impunity in the Sambisa Forest. The girls, aged mostly between 16 and 18 years old, haven’t been heard from since April 14, the night before their final exam at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok when they woke to the sound of gunmen bashing in windows and setting fire to their classrooms. Within hours, 234 of them were herded into trucks headed for the jungle. As many as 43 managed to escape. Some swung down from trucks in the slow-moving convoy; others ran off when they reached the forest.The fate of the rest remains a mystery. Each passing day makes it more likely that the girls have been raped, and possibly killed, in captivity. Given Boko Haram’s name, which means “Western education forbidden,” and their agenda to wipe out secular society in mostly Muslim Northern Nigeria, it’s hardly a surprise that the group locks students inside schools and sets them on fire. This, to date, is their largest mass abduction. The girls were taken into the jungle to serve as sex slaves. Yet the abduction of these girls is about much more than finding “cooks and wives.” For Boko Haram, it is about dismantling the fragile existing society by attacking its essential institutions: schools.With children as their intended victims, Boko Haram is a terrorist organization of the most vicious order. Since they began in 2002, these militants have grown increasingly aggressive. When I visited their stronghold of Maiduguri in 2007, their members pulled out machetes they called cutlasses and nearly killed a Nigerian reporter, the photographer with whom I was traveling, and me. We escaped only after a courageous local elder got into our car and drove us to safety. Today, the group wouldn’t hesitate to kill or to kidnap us.Boko Haram claims to oppose Western education because it threatens the purity of northern Nigeria’s centuries-old Islamic society. Their atrocities mask a legitimate grievance that most of Nigeria’s 177 million people share. Despite Nigeria’s vast oil wealth, its citizens enjoy few basic government services, including education. Most government schools require tuition, and only those with the means to pay can attend. Schooling is as much a symbol of the hope for a prosperous future as it is a practical means to achieve it. These institutions become easy targets for mobs of disenfranchised young men like the members of Boko Haram.Boko Haram’s tactics aren’t new. The Taliban targets girls’ schools. The echoes in Africa are equally disturbing. In 1996, Joseph Kony, the founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army who has since been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, stole 139 schoolgirls from their dormitories at St. Mary’s College in Northern Uganda. A nun, Sister Rachele Fassera, followed the girls into the bush and negotiated the release of all but 30.Eighteen years later, Kony, who has abducted 30,000 children over two decades, is at large. Despite efforts on behalf of U.S. special operations forces currently helping African militaries to track him, Kony is still somewhere between Central African Republic and Sudan in an area the size of California with roughly 250 followers who were originally his victims. Stolen from home as children, they too were raped and forced to kill family members and fellow children. Boureima Hama/AFPParadoxically, many of the young members of Boko Haram are also victims. They attack the kind of schools that they never had the chance to attend. Boko Haram’s swelling ranks are filled with boys and young men who attended almajiri schools, West African madrassas. An estimated 23 million boys and girls in Nigeria alone are educated in these Islamic schools. Unlike Nigeria’s government schools, which require payment for tuition, almajiri schooling is free, so even the poorest could attend. The northeastern city of Maiduguri, the center of Boko Haram, used to be a seat of some of the finest Islamic education in Africa. The teachers taught students in exchange for the students’ work on their farms.As a result of the expansion of the Sahara Desert and the extreme flooding and drought linked to climate change, these teachers can no longer sustain those farms in northern Nigeria where whole villages have been overrun by sand dunes. Instead, the teachers and students have been forced to move south to the slums at the edges of large cities, including Abuja, where instead of tending crops for their teachers, the students are reduced to begging on their behalf. (On April 14, the same day the Chibok girls were taken, Boko Haram killed 70 people in bus bombings in Abuja.) In the slums, many of these boys sleep with their begging bowls under their heads for safekeeping. To make money, corrupt teachers rent out their students to commit acts of violence. In this way, many have become foot soldiers for Boko Haram. Alleged leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. AFPMuch like the straggling members of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Boko Haram thrives in places where civil society is failing or totally absent. Both inhabit lawless zones where a combination of a failing state and a shifting climate make it nearly impossible for others to live. Both thrive in chaos and rely on fear. Menacing and destroying civil society is more than symbolic; it is a practical weapon of insurgency.Although Kony’s disparate band of wayward stragglers poses no strategic threat to the United States, Boko Haram decidedly does. So far, their attacks have been limited to within Nigeria’s borders. But that’s unlikely to remain so. Already, their ideology, funding, and foot soldiers are bleeding over the border into their northern neighbor, Niger. Boko Haram is already linked to a global network of killers, including offshoots of al-Qaida. There are eight direct flights a day from Nigeria to the United States. This time, we ignore the fate of these some 190 young women at our peril.Griswold’s most recent book is “I Am the Beggar of the World: Contemporary Landays from Afghanistan.”© 2014, Slate Facebook Comments Related posts:Nigerian president orders probe into schoolgirls’ kidnapping Obama not seeking plans for US troops to rescue Nigerian girls Bringing home Nigeria’s missing girls International effort widens for missing Nigerian schoolgirlslast_img read more

"Boko Harams horrendous abduction of 234 teenage girls"

UPDATE Atlantic ports paralyzed after dockworkers go on indefinite strike

first_imgApelamos a la legalidad de los contratos firmados por el Estado Costarricense, esta discusión es jurídica. Hacer cumplir la ley.— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) October 22, 2014 Related posts:Longshoremen suspend strike to protect paychecks Solís administration, striking dockworkers at loggerheads over port concession More than 85 percent of Limón residents support new port terminal, poll claims Dockworkers strike declared illegal after union loses appeal Update Wednesday, Oct. 22, 12:10 p.m.:Traffic at the Atlantic Port Authority’s (JAPDEVA) docks ground to a halt as the public agency’s union, SINTRAJAP, made good on its threat to strike over the terms of a $1 billion dollar port concession to Dutch company APM Terminals.SINTRAJAP leader Ronaldo Blear announced that the docks in Limón and Moín would be closed starting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Costa Rica’s Radio ADN.The union said the strike was a “fight for dignity, to stop a monopoly and avoid serious harm to the people of Limón,” according to a statement.“We want modern ports without monopolies and [with] fair competition,” it continued.Israel Oconitrillo, a spokesman for JAPDEVA, confirmed to the daily La Nación that the ports were closed.Pablo Díaz, general manager of JAPDEVA, told La Nación that when the strike began there was a ship docked in Moín that needed another hour to unload its cargo. The manager said that handling of cargo at two more container ships at the Limón port was also interrupted by the strike Wednesday morning.President Luis Guillermo Solís said Tuesday that a strike by the union was unjustified and he urged union workers to go back to work.center_img “We support the legality of the contracts signed by the Costa Rican state, this is a legal discussion. The law must be followed,” Solís tweeted during a visit to the Reventazón hydroelectric project near the Caribbean slope town of Siquirres.The president said during a press conference Tuesday that National Police would be at the docks to maintain order if protests became violent.Original post continues here:Costa Rica’s proposed $1 billion Moín port expansion is facing another potential setback as the Atlantic Port Authority’s (JAPDEVA) union (SINTRAJAP) threatens a strike in Limón in coming days. SINTRAJAP leaders and some lawmakers believe a provision of the concession grants AMP Terminals a monopoly on handling containers, and therefore threatens stevedores’ jobs.SINTRAJAP leaders announced the strike on Monday, but gave no firm date for when it would take place in Limón.President Luis Guillermo Solís denounced the threat during a press conference on Tuesday, saying a strike was unjustified and Costa Rica would honor the terms of the contract signed in 2011.“A strike in Limón is not justified; it only hurts the interests of many Limón residents,” Solís said. “We’re not going to allow a small group of people who have made statements that appear contrary to the Costa Rican spirit of conciliation and peaceful understanding to jeopardize an entire population who needs real job opportunities, not threats,” he added at Casa Presidencial.The union’s threat to strike is not in vain. A SINTRAJAP strike in 2013 forced a cruise ship bearing 2,000 tourists to pass by Limón, costing the province an estimated $8,000 in lost tax revenue.“The decision of this government continues to be to respect the legality of the contract, as it has been upheld by judges,” Solís added. The 33-year contract gives APM Terminals permission to construct and operate a new port called the Moín Container Terminal on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast.The Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations, an organization that represents over 40 national businesses, condemned the threat of a strike in a statement on Tuesday.Costa Rica has some of the worst port infrastructure in Latin America, according to data from the World Bank. Officials and business leaders have framed the project as essential to revitalizing the Limón port and creating desperately needed jobs in the poorest province in Costa Rica.A statement from the Public Works and Transport Ministry late Tuesday afternoon said the new terminal would quadruple the amount of traffic the port could handle.Conflict over the port expansion has simmered for years. Recently, debate over a clause that would give a monopoly to APM for the loading and unloading of containers sparked the latest confrontation between the government and SINTRAJAP. Jorge Mora, technical secretary for the National Concessions Council, said in a statement that the contract gives APM the right to handle containers only, not small and mixed cargo, which currently makes up 40 percent of JAPDEVA’s workload.Unions have fought the concession since it was first signed. In 2012, a San José administrative court upheld the contract, signed by President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) in 2011.Objections from unions aside, the Moín project is also awaiting environmental approval from the National Technical Secretariat of the Environmental Ministry. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

"UPDATE Atlantic ports paralyzed after dockworkers go on indefinite strike"

No love scenes allowed PDA across borders

first_imgSee also: Save the date – a Costa Rican abroad encounters social calendarsI recently moved back from the United States to a Spanish-speaking country. While walking down the street in my new neighborhood the other day, I caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye that seemed strangely familiar – something reminiscent of home, like a deep voice narrating a soccer match on the radio or the smell of fried plantains coming out of a window at noon. It was the sight of a couple passionately kissing on a bench. I realized that it had been some time since I had seen such a clear and direct example of what my U.S. friends would label P.D.A. (a Public Display of Affection).When I was growing up in Costa Rica, many bars and restaurants had signs in bright red letters saying “No se permiten escenas amorosas” (“No love scenes allowed”). You can still see those signs in some – mostly old – places, where the food tends to be greasy and oftentimes delicious. I remember reading the words and asking my parents about the scope of the “love ban.” Was a kiss OK? Tongue or no tongue? Hands on the thigh? Turns out, the definition was rather vague.Few aspects of life are as fraught with contradictions in Latin America as sexuality. Our culture is simultaneously filled with sensual stimulus and religious censure. We spin in a whirlwind of seduction and shame, of pleasure and guilt. This collective schizophrenia leads to odd rules concerning what we can and cannot do in the eyes of others. There are still many Costa Ricans who would raise their eyebrows at an unmarried couple walking into an apartment late at night, yet French kissing in the park is fairly OK. People can be weirded out by the mention of your birth control method, yet twerking on the dance floor is totally acceptable. If life were a spectrum with a reggaeton video on one end and a string quartet recital on the other, then Costa Rica would be swinging back and forth like a morally confused pendulum.I wish a lot of this would change. I wish Costa Ricans, especially women, were able to express their sexuality without the weight of centuries of anxiety and blame. I wish we would quit passing judgment on the decisions people make regarding their private lives. But can we please maintain our nonchalant attitude towards P.D.A.?To me, there’s something liberating in walking past a couple kissing in a corner or holding hands on the street. It’s a reminder that human beings have been using their bodies to communicate way longer than they’ve been using speech. When we greet our partner with a peck on the mouth, we are not only saying that we are romantically involved with them, we are also saying that our involvement implies physicality – and that that’s natural.  I’m not advocating for people to have sex in the town square, nor am I claiming that there’s anything wrong with those who just don’t feel like smooching on the sidewalk. I’m only saying that public demonstrations of feelings are one of the most innate human activities that some cultures suppress.This is made evident by an important difference between the U.S. (and Europe) and Latin America: P.D.A. among members of the LGBT community. In all my time in Costa Rica, I’ve seen very few instances of same-sex couples holding hands or kissing in a public place. Every time it’s happened, there’s a force that comes with it, a non-apologetic defiance of all the unwritten rules that prevent them from engaging in behavior that is ordinary to others. I can’t help but think that Costa Rica would be a better place to live – certainly a more coherent one – if we allowed LGBT couples the same freedom we grant teenagers in the back of a school bus.Human progress has always been determined by the tensions between the interests and the sensitivities of some, against the wants and needs of others. The balance is never obvious and rarely permanent; it is a moving target, an ever-changing limit. Redefining what is decent is what’s landed us in a world where people can divorce and women can attend school, among countless other achievements. At the same time, one must concede that not every behavior can be permitted in a functioning society, especially behavior that is verifiably harmful to others. Deciding what we deem acceptable, agreeing on what we will allow to see and hear on the street –whether we like it or not – is a much more delicate task than you would first assume.So, think about that the next time you see a pair of fourteen-year-old kids engaged in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (how did we manage to do that, by the way? I remember kissing for hours without getting bored. These days, I’d probably faint from exhaustion).Think how far we’ve come since the times of the chaperones, when women used to walk arm in arm, circling the park in one direction while guys walked in the opposite.Think of that glorious moment in Cinema Paradiso, made up of all the cut-out scenes the local priest had censured, unleashed in one single gasp of nostalgic sensuality.And think about what it feels to stand in a corner, grab the person you love, and not give a rat’s ass about what someone’s grandmother would say if she saw you behaving in such distasteful manner.Read previous Please Send Coffee! columns here.Raquel Chanto is a lawyer and policy wonk trying to survive international bureaucracy abroad. In her monthly column “Please Send Coffee!” she explores aspects of Costa Rican culture and how they contrast with life as an expat. Facebook Comments Related posts:Save the date: A Costa Rican abroad encounters social calendars Food choices, then and now: from Guayabitas to cage-free eggs Roommates: a strange concept for Ticos, but are we missing out? A love letter to Costa Rica’s second languagelast_img read more

"No love scenes allowed PDA across borders"

Love triangle turned deadly in case of slain USCosta Rica family

first_imgA day after police discovered theslain family of a U.S. expat and his Costa Rican wife and children in Matapalo, Guanacaste, details about the couple’s strained personal lives paint a picture of domestic abuse, neglect, poverty and infidelity as the search continues for the police’s main suspect, Adrián Salmerón Silva.The dead include Dirk Beauchamp, 56, his 38-year-old Costa Rican wife, Jessica Durán, and three of the couple’s children, ages 12, 8 and 6. Two girls, ages 4 and 7 months, survived the gruesome attack and were sent to hospitals in Nicoya on Tuesday and later to the National Children’s Hospital in San José.The daily La Nación reported that Beauchamp was physically abused by Durán and her lover, Adrián Salmerón, the prime suspect who lived on the same property as the family. Judicial Investigation Police said that Beauchamp had filed a domestic abuse complaint against his wife. Durán had also filed a domestic violence complaint against her alleged lover, Salmerón.https://twitter.com/seguridadcr/status/699711328861040640/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5EtfwDurán was reportedly working as a sex worker at the Del Rey Hotel in San José when she met Beauchamp, according to interviews Durán’s brother, Gabriel, gave to CRHoy.com and Diario Extra. Neighbors of the couple told La Nación that Durán was a domineering spouse who threw around money in the rural town 15 km north of the popular tourist destination of Tamarindo, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. The couple was married for eight years.Durán was briefly incarcerated in the Buen Pastor women’s prison in Desamparados, San José, between Jan. 28 and Feb. 6, 2015, for failure to pay child support to her mother, who was caring for two older children of Durán, according Costa Rica’s Justice Ministry. After she was released from prison, La Nación reported that Durán returned to the couple’s home in Matapalo pregnant, with Salmerón in tow. Durán and her lover reportedly lived together in a simple zinc-sheet shack behind the main house where Beauchamp lived.The Child Welfare Office (PANI) said it had received two complaints of “alleged abandonment and neglect against four minors” in February and November of last year. The complaint filed in February stated that Durán had abandoned the children. Child Welfare social workers conducted a home inspection and reported that the father, Beauchamp, was taking care of the children as their mother was in prison at the time.“The father did not present any risk indicators and, on the contrary, he was providing proper care and protection considering the events the mother was facing. After analyzing all facts, experts recommended the dismissal of the complaint,” PANI’s press office stated in a written response to The Tico Times on Wednesday.The second complaint in November prompted another inspection, but the father denied any problems with care.“PANI inspectors interviewed neighbors who only reported that the family had serious financial problems and that a local evangelical church was regularly providing them with food,” reads the statement. The Matapalo home where five members of the same family were found stabbed and cut to death by Costa Rican police on Feb. 16, 2016. The Tico TimesThe only one untouchedJudicial Investigation Police Director Walter Espinoza said during a news conference on Tuesday that Beauchamp was listed as the father of the family’s five children, but locals claimed the infant was Salmerón’s. Ana Rosa Guerra, Durán’s mother, also told La Nación that the child was Salmerón’s. The 7-month-old baby was the only one found at the scene of the crime who had no visible injuries besides dehydration, according to police reports.Salmerón is Nicaraguan and police said they believe that he fled Costa Rica for that neighboring country after the crime. Guerra told La Nación that Salmerón’s father called her from Nicaragua to tell her about the killings and that his son was with him there. Costa Rica has requested assistance from Nicaraguan authorities but the country does not have an extradition treaty with Costa Rica. At this writing, Judicial Investigation Police have not confirmed that Salmerón is in Nicaragua.The two surviving children are hospitalized in stable condition at this writing. PANI officials in San José are currently conducting evaluations on the children’s relatives to determine whether any of them is suitable for taking care of the girls after they leave the hospital.Laianer Arias contributed to this story. Facebook Comments Related posts:US man killed in Costa Rica was target of real estate scam; 4 arrested ‘Culture of violence’ behind Costa Rica’s jump in homicides, says OIJ chief Costa Rica man arrested with 400 cloned US credit cards Accused serial killer ‘Wild Bill’ Holbert asks forgiveness for murders of U.S. expatslast_img read more

"Love triangle turned deadly in case of slain USCosta Rica family"

Pakistan negotiates with militants over hostage

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Taseer was abducted last August in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said during a Geo News TV program broadcast Monday that Taseer’s kidnappers are demanding a large ransom and the release of some of their colleagues.Sanaullah said the Inter-Services Intelligence agency previously secured the release of the son-in-law of a former Pakistani army general in similar negotiations.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img Sponsored Stories ISLAMABAD (AP) – A senior Pakistani official says the country’s intelligence agency has been negotiating with militants over the release of the kidnapped son of an assassinated liberal politician.It is the first official confirmation that the government is in talks with the men holding Shahbaz Taseer, whose father was killed by his bodyguard last year for criticizing laws that call for the death penalty for insulting Islam. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

"Pakistan negotiates with militants over hostage"

Miners occupy coal mine in Sardinia in protest

first_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day ROME (AP) – Some 100 miners are occupying a coal mine on Sardinia island to press for state funds for a clean energy project they say will provide new jobs.Miners at the Carbosulcis mine told Sky TG24 TV on Monday that they want the government and Parliament to quickly approve funding for a project to capture and store underground carbon dioxide that otherwise would add to polluting greenhouse gases.Local daily L’Unione Sarda says a parliamentary deputy has joined the protest, which began Sunday night 373 meters (1,230 feet) underground. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The miners say they see a future in clean energy projects.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Check your body, save your life Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

"Miners occupy coal mine in Sardinia in protest"

Moscow missiles in western Russia legitimate

first_img Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies MOSCOW (AP) – Lithuania and Poland expressed concern on Monday about signals that Russia has deployed state-of-the-art missiles in a territory that borders the NATO countries.The U.S. State Department also said that it has urged Russia to avoid taking any steps that could destabilize that region.Russia’s Defense Ministry gave an oblique response Monday to a report in the German daily Bild claiming that Russia has sent the Iskander short-range missiles to its westernmost Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea. The ministry said the missiles had been positioned in an unspecified location in western Russia, and argued that the deployment doesn’t contradict any international treaties. Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img It normally carries a conventional warhead, but some Russian media reports indicated that it can also be fitted with a nuclear one.Thanks to their high accuracy and the capability to dodge enemy’s defenses, the Iskander missiles boost the Russian military capability, but they so far have been deployed in relatively small numbers. Just a few dozen have entered service with the Russian military over the past few years, according to official statements.Izvestia quoted Viktor Zavarzin, a deputy head of the defense committee in the lower house of Russian parliament, as saying the Iskander is needed to counterbalance NATO forces in Europe, including U.S. tactical nuclear weapons.“We aren’t threatening anyone. These are defensive systems,” Zavarzin said, according to the newspaper.____Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, and Deb Riechmann in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone While the ministry was coy about the exact location of the missiles, the Kremlin-friendly daily Izvestia, which reportedly has close links to Russian security agencies, said the missiles had been deployed more than a year ago.Asked about the reported missile deployment, U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Washington has “shared with Russia the concerns that countries in the neighborhood have … regarding Russia’s deployment of the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.”“We’ve urged Moscow to take no steps to destabilize the region,” she said. “We’ve made that point with them.”If true, the reports about the Iskander deployment to Kaliningrad would come as no surprise.President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have talked about such a move for years, casting it as a necessary counterbalance to the development of the U.S.-led NATO missile defense for Europe. Moscow sees the missile shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.While the deployment of the Iskander missiles would have little impact on the military balance between Russia and NATO, it could further damage Russia’s ties with the West, which already have been strained by disputes over the U.S. missile shield, Russia’s human rights record and, most recently, Ukraine. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories “I am worried about signals that Russia is about to modernize missile systems it has deployed in Kaliningrad,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told reporters. “Further militarization of this region, bordering the Baltic states and NATO creates further anxiety, and we will be watching situation there closely.”The Polish foreign ministry said that while it did not have any official information from Russia, it was concerned about the reports.“Deployment of Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad Region would be against the spirit of positive cooperation between Poland and Russia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski said.The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said only that “specific areas of the Iskander missile systems’ location in the Western Military District don’t violate any international agreements.” The Western Military District includes most provinces in western and northwestern Russia, including the Kaliningrad region.The Iskander missile, which has a range of up to 500 kilometers (about 300 miles), travels at hypersonic speeds that make it very difficult to intercept and is capable of hitting targets with a precision of a few meters (yards). It was first used in action in Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia.last_img read more

"Moscow missiles in western Russia legitimate"

Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty

first_img“We appreciate that the Vatican’s basic intention is to promote Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, but believe that this diplomatic recognition will be unhelpful to that end,” the ADL’s Abraham Foxman said.The 2012 U.N. vote recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state, made up of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.The Palestinians celebrated the vote as a milestone in their quest for international recognition. Most countries in Africa, Asia and South America have individually recognized Palestine. In Western Europe, Sweden took the step last year, while several parliaments have approved non-binding motions urging recognition.This isn’t the first time that the Vatican under Francis has taken diplomatic moves knowing that it would please some quarters and ruffle feathers elsewhere: Just last month, he referred to the slaughter of Armenians by Turkish Ottomans a century ago as a “genocide,” prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador.___AP writers Ian Deitch in Jerusalem and Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank contributed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state and had referred to the Palestine state since. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state, giving the Vatican’s former signs of recognition an unambiguous confirmation in a formal, bilateral treaty.“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed.”“This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations,” the ministry said in a text message.The United States and Israel oppose recognition, arguing that it undermines U.S.-led efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of Palestinian statehood. Most countries in Western Europe have held off on recognition, but some have hinted that their position could change if peace efforts remain deadlocked.The treaty was finalized days before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits Pope Francis at the Vatican. Abbas is heading to Rome to attend Francis’ canonization Sunday of two new saints from the Holy Land. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects.The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, is both deeply symbolic and makes explicit that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine. Top Stories Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “This is a very important recognition as the Vatican has a very important political status that stems from its spiritual status,” said Abbas’ senior aide, Nabil Shaath. “We expect more EU countries to follow.”The Vatican has been referring unofficially to the state of Palestine since 2012.During Pope Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine.”The Vatican’s foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, acknowledged the change in status, but said the shift was simply in line with the Holy See’s position.The Holy See clearly tried to underplay the development, suggesting that its 2012 press statement welcoming the U.N. vote constituted its first official recognition. Nowhere in that statement does the Vatican say it recognizes the state of Palestine, and the Holy See couldn’t vote for the U.N. resolution because it doesn’t have voting rights at the General Assembly.The Vatican’s efforts to downplay the move seemed justified given the swift condemnation of the development by Israeli groups: The American Jewish Committee said it was “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” The Anti-Defamation League said it was “premature.” Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

"Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty"

Gunmen try to kill Libyas recognized prime minister

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Gunmen tried to assassinate Libya’s internationally recognized prime minister on his way to the airport in the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday, a spokesman for his government said.Arish Said, head of the government’s media department, said that Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni’s motorcade was attacked and one of his guards was lightly wounded but that there were no fatalities. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “This prime minister must resign, if he doesn’t I will smash his head,” he said, adding that “either he leaves or we won’t let the house of representatives stay in Tobruk.”A national security adviser to the Tobruk government, who declined to comment for fear of retribution, linked the threat to powerful Tobruk businessman and oil magnate Hassan Tatanaki, a member of the same tribe who owns the Libya Awalan television station.“This morning the prime minster spoke with the head of the house of representatives regarding the pressure applied by Libyan tycoon Tatanaki who wishes to be appointed foreign minister.” Tatanaki’s office could not be immediately reached for comment.Earlier Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said civilians, including foreign nationals, are trapped in several neighborhoods in Libya’s embattled eastern city of Benghazi, urging fighters there to let them depart without conditions.In a statement, the U.S.-based group says militias and army units have surrounded the downtown areas, where several hundred people are reportedly trapped and not allowed to leave. Some of those trapped were Syrians, Palestinians, and Asian and African nationals. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson said that all forces involved must take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian property, and that the Libyan army and militias must allow civilians safe passage and facilitate access to badly needed aid.___Associated Press writer Brian Rohan contributed to this report from Cairo.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Quick workouts for men “They managed to escape,” Said said.Prior to the attack, he said armed men who had been protesting outside a session of the Tobruk government’s House of Representatives tried to storm the building, firing shots into the air and demanding al-Thinni be removed from office.They were “threatening to kill the prime minister and force the House to sack him,” Said said. He identified the men as being funded by “corrupted political financiers” linked to powerful Tobruk tribal leaders, without elaborating.The session was postponed until next week before the attempted assassination.Nearly four years after the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is consumed by chaos. The country split is between an elected parliament and weak government, and a rival government and parliament in Tripoli set up by the Islamist-linked militias that took control the capital, forcing the government to relocate to the far eastern cities of Tobruk and Bayda.The turmoil has enabled the rise of an active Islamic State branch, which now controls at least two cities along the country’s coastline.Before the assassination attempt, a leader from Tobruk’s dominant Obiedi tribe, Faraj Abu Alkhatabia, threatened al-Thanni on private broadcaster Libya Awalan. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

"Gunmen try to kill Libyas recognized prime minister"

In quirky Hong Kong voting system fishermen play key role

first_imgLess known outside Hong Kong, however, is the political role of fishermen and farmers, remnant industries in Hong Kong that form a large slice of the 1,200-member committee that selects the southern Chinese city’s pro-Beijing leader. They also have their own representative in the territory’s legislature.Fishing and farming make up less than 1 percent of Hong Kong’s $274 billion economy but command 60 votes in the leadership committee, far more than groups or industries with much greater economic or social significance.Their outsized role is a source of discontent in a city that was rocked by pro-democracy protests over the past year as many Hong Kongers chafed against a rising tide of mainland Chinese influence.“The system is totally unfair,” said Drake Leung, one of an estimated 48,000 people who turned out for an annual pro-democracy march on July 1. Leung said fishermen and farmers served only as “rubber stamps” for Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leadership.“Maybe 30 or 40 years ago there were actually more fishermen or farmers in Hong Kong. Now society has changed so much but they still retain this system, this framework to oppress the views of the people,” he said. Committee members mostly vote according to Beijing’s wishes, although Lai said he didn’t receive instructions in the 2012 selection of current leader Leung Chun-ying. He said he made up his mind after watching two televised debates in which Leung’s rival performed poorly.He wasn’t sure if he would be asked to serve on the committee that will choose Leung’s successor in 2017.“We’ll see if it’s convenient for the fishermen,” he said.___Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanmanCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The prospects for fish farming are also just “so-so,” said Lai, who earns about HK$15,000 ($1,900) a month on average.The quirky election system is a legacy of the British, who in the 1980s introduced legislative elections that gave seats to the business and interest groups, known as functional constituencies.The Chinese liked the system so much they kept it after realizing they could use it to exert influence and keep loyalists in power, said Simon Young, a Hong Kong University law school professor who wrote a book about the city’s elections.Over the past year, it’s become apparent that China’s leaders don’t want to tinker too much. Beijing has “indicated great concerns with adopting too open, too democratic a system that allows the people to choose representatives,” he said.Another complaint is the system’s lack of transparency.In 2011, some 159 registered electors from Lai’s Ma Wan Fisheries Rights Association and 75 other obscure leagues chose their group’s 60 representatives, who all ran uncontested. But little is known about these groups and what they do. Only six people named to the committee left contact information with the election commission. In this July 7, 2015 photo, Lai Tak-chuen, right, 68, a fish farmer, accompanied with his wife, speaks near his fish farm in Ma Wan of Hong Kong. Since China took control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, the city’s billionaires have played a leading role in hewing the Asian financial center to Beijing’s priorities. So too have a dwindling band of fishermen and farmers. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) HONG KONG (AP) — Since China took control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, the city’s billionaires have played a leading role in hewing the Asian financial center to Beijing’s priorities. So too have a dwindling band of fishermen and farmers.The desire of China’s communist leaders to enlist the tycoons’ cooperation is understandable given the influence they have through their control of large swathes of the semiautonomous Chinese city’s economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping last year summoned a group of them for an emergency meeting as political tensions in Hong Kong mounted. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system Pro-democracy activists, who blocked streets for more than two months last year to demand a free election for Hong Kong’s leader, want to modify or eliminate the system, saying it’s opaque and heavily skewed toward pro-Beijing business interests and trade groups.They opposed a government proposal that would have allowed all adults to vote for a leader, but only for candidates that met with Beijing’s approval. In the end, Hong Kong’s feisty legislature vetoed that idea. Pro-democracy lawmakers regarded it as no improvement on a status quo already rigged in China’s favor.Crouching on the wooden decking of a fish farm floating off one of Hong Kong’s small islands, Lai Tak-chuen, whose father was also a fish farmer, poured pellets from a 20 kilogram bag into one of his pens as saba, or mackerel, snapped furiously at the water’s surface.Lai, who has served on three election committees since 2000, reflected on how his business has recovered after the so-called Umbrella Movement protests, which gripped Hong Kong from late September to mid-December.“During those 70-80 odd days, many hotels came to a complete stop. Our brothers and sisters from the mainland didn’t travel down here,” he said. “Business completely stopped, no one was eating fish. If you have fish you can’t sell then it’s a loss. This is the biggest reality. We know what bitterness is like.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Now, he said, “it’s better, people have started coming back to Hong Kong, they’re eating fish, the environment is better.”Lai said he supported the idea of a territory-wide election race among Beijing-approved candidates. But “it was vetoed so there’s nothing you can do,” he said.Sentiments like Lai’s add weight to the pro-democracy camps complaints that the system is stacked heavily in favor of pro-Beijing groups. Fishing and farming are among 38 groups represented on the election committee, but seats are distributed unevenly and arbitrarily, experts say. The 60 seats allocated to fishing and farming are, for example, more than triple the 18 seats allotted to finance, the mainstay of Hong Kong’s freewheeling economy.Hong Kong’s fishing industry relies on access to Chinese fishing grounds and assistance from mainland authorities in case a ship gets into trouble, making it unwise to go against Beijing.Lai, 68, acknowledges that nowadays few young people want to go into fishing, instead opting for more stable jobs.Government figures show Hong Kong had 8,800 fisherman in 2013, down from about 50,000 in 1970 before the city began its transformation into a wealthy Asian financial powerhouse. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

"In quirky Hong Kong voting system fishermen play key role"

Fee hike threatens Victorias outdoor tourism

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Up to 450 Victorian outdoor tourism operators are concerned for the survival of their business following the State Government’s decision to increase licensing fees.Commencing earlier this month, ‘nature-based’ tourism operators saw licensing fees double from $55 to $110 a year as well as their fee per person rise from $1.10 to $2.40, The Herald Sun reported.A local operator owner told the newspaper that he was concerned the fees would jeopardise his business.”Tourism is getting nothing,” Go West Tours director Smit said. “We will have no other alternative other than to increase our fees to customers.”Meanwhile a Victorian Tourism Industry Council chief Todd Blake added that increased fees could prevent bush walking and mountain bike tours from accessing parks and public land.”Nature-based tourism is an under-promoted sector but the regulatory environment isn’t helping,” he concluded.last_img read more

"Fee hike threatens Victorias outdoor tourism"

CTM enjoys significant growth

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Corporate Travel Management Limited (CTM) has today announced that their company has experienced a strong growth performance of 42 percent.According to recent figures the Total Transaction Value (TTV) from July to December 2011 was approximately AUD315.9 million, compared with AUD222.3 million in the same period last year which represents an increase of 42 percent.Amanda Cobb at CTM told e-Travel Blackboard the growth is attributed to a combination of organic growth (winning new business and retaining current business) and successfully transitioned acquisitions. “Destinations like Europe are understandably softer than previous years, but there is more growth from the domestic market in the mining services industry,” Ms Cobb said.CTM offers travel management solutions to the corporate market and currently employs over 500 staff throughout Australia and New Zealand.last_img read more

"CTM enjoys significant growth"

Japan Thank You campaign

first_imgMarking the one year anniversary of the Japan Earthquake, Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Org have launched a new campaign called “Japan. Thank You”The aim of the campaign is to express the people of Japan’s appreciation to people around the world who have given their support to the region since it was severely affected by the earthquake and its aftermath.According to JTA the country’s recovery has been more rapid than previously expected, with international tourist arrivals for January 2012 at about 700,000, representing only a 4.5 percent decrease compared to the same time last year.Through the new design logo “Japan. Thank You”, Japan wishes to show their sincere gratitude to all the tourists from overseas for their continued support.Some of the main activities include a special logo “Japan. Thank You.” and a special poster to be displayed in various parts of the world.“Thank You” displays will be placed at the main international airports and sea ports in Japan and a “Thank You” Origami Crane Campaign held in Marunouchi area of Tokyo.Additionally, “Thank You” banner displays will be put in shopping areas and displayed on buses, taxis and hotel flags in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka, Sendai and New York.“In the year of the Dragon, 2012, the poster depicts our resolution to ascend our way to recovery, while thanking all of you in the world who have given us support,” a JTA spokesperson said. This image depicts Japan’s resolution to ascent to recovery Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

"Japan Thank You campaign"