Transats summer lineup includes lots of direct domestic flights 27 transatlantic routes

first_img Wednesday, March 8, 2017 Share MONTREAL — Air Transat’s direct service from Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal this summer includes daily flights to Vancouver and Montreal, and four flights a week to Calgary, from May through October.Most flights will be aboard B737s. Air Transat will operate its flights between Toronto and Montreal on its A330 aircraft. The Toronto-Calgary route will operate Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.“Canada is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, and we are pleased to offer flights that will allow travellers to explore more of it,” says Annick Guérard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada. “In addition to travelling with the company named Best North American Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat’s clients will also benefit from our inflight entertainment system and will have the option to upgrade to Option Plus or Club Class.”Across the Atlantic, Air Transat’s summer 2017 program offers 27 destinations, now available to more travellers with connecting flight services. The airline also recently announced new service to Tel Aviv.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaFrom Toronto, Air Transat will be increasing the frequency of 13 of its flights. The 27 transatlantic destinations are Tel Aviv, London, Manchester and Birmingham, Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Marseille, Rome, Venice and Lamezia, Lisbon and Porto, Glasgow, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga, Amsterdam, Athens, Dublin, Brussels, Prague, Zagreb and Basel‑Mulhouse. << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Transat’s summer lineup includes lots of direct domestic flights, 27 transatlantic routes Tags: Air Transat, New Routeslast_img read more

Young pianist

first_imgNo related posts. Pam Duarte |Special to The Tico TimesCanadian-Costa Rican pianist, Jonathan Duarte, 19, will give a piano concert July 17 at 8 p.m. at the National Theater. A student of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory college in Moscow, Duarte will interpret the works of Bach, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Liszt.In 2010 and 2011, Duarte received the Manuel Grynspan award in Costa Rica. He has also won eight international competitions and performed in New York, Paris, Rome, Vilnius, Kazan and Moscow.During the intermission of his concert, this year’s Manuel Grynspan Award will be presented to Universidad Nacional students Inés Guanchez and Carolina Ramírez. The award recognizes achievements of young Costa Rican artists. Facebook Commentslast_img

Venezuela stages inauguration rally without Chávez

first_imgNo related posts. CARACAS – With cancer-stricken President Hugo Chávez hospitalized in Cuba, tens of thousands of flag-waving Venezuelans filled the streets of Caracas on Thursday to inaugurate his new term without him.Bands played patriotic anthems from street-side stages as citizens clad in the red of Chávez’s leftist movement poured out of buses to make their way on foot toward the Miraflores presidential palace.There, they staged a symbolic swearing-in of the people, in place of Chávez, who is too sick to re-take the oath of office himself.Shouts of “Chávez, Chávez!” and the anti-opposition “They will not return” could be heard as Chavista militants stoked the crowds with fiery speeches.“I love the president,” said Pedro Brito, a 60-year-old law professor, in a red T-shirt with the slogan “I am Chávez.” Gladys Guerrero, 35, said she traveled by bus from the eastern state of Monagas “to repay love with love.”Vice President Nicolás Maduro hosted a meeting of leftist Latin American presidents and other foreign representatives who have come to show support for the Chávez government in a period of deep uncertainty about the future.Uruguay’s President José Mujica was the first foreign leader to arrive for Thursday’s show of support. Bolivian President Evo Morales, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and foreign ministers Hector Timerman of Argentina and Ricardo Patino of Ecuador were in attendance.As pro-Chávez crowds built outside the presidential palace, the opposition called for counter-demonstrations on Jan. 23, the day Venezuela’s modern democratic era began in 1958 with the ouster of its last military dictatorship.“We want to especially address the people of Venezuela, and summon the entire country to give a massive demonstration of force in the streets,” said Miriam Montilla, a lawmaker speaking on behalf of the parliamentary opposition.The Supreme Court cleared the ailing Chávez to indefinitely postpone his swearing-in and said his existing administration could remain in office until he is well enough to take the oath.Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales, who read out the decision upholding the inauguration delay, also ruled out convening a medical board to assess the health of the president.It was the last legal hurdle to a government plan for resolving the vacuum created by Chávez’s illness that met fierce resistance from the opposition, which had argued it was unconstitutional.Leopoldo López, an opposition leader, said Chávez’s failure to turn up to his own ceremony had created “an indefinite situation in which we can be without a president, and without clear signs that the president is governing.”Henrique Capriles, who ran unsuccessfully against Chávez in the October presidential elections, accepted the Supreme Court ruling as “binding” but said it did not end the uncertainties facing the oil-rich country.But even without an official ceremony Venezuela’s government turned the day into a celebration of Chávez, who won re-election in October by an 11-point margin, despite concerns about his failing health.The government stopped a broadcaster, Globovision, from airing videos about the controversy over Chávez’s non-inauguration, saying they risked inciting political “intolerance.” Globovision, known for being critical of the government, denounced the ban as an act of censorship. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Fares on new train route to Cartago set at ₡550

first_imgThe Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) approved an increase of ₡55 for the fare of a new train route from San José to the province of Cartago. The train is expected to begin service in coming days.The initial fare approved last week was ₡495 ($0.99), but ARESEP set a new fare of ₡550 ($1.10) after accepting an appeal by the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER).Miguel Carabaguíaz, president of INCOFER, rejected the first fare because it would not have covered operating expenses.On Thursday, the regulatory agency said in a press release that the updated fare was set after peforming a recalculation of fuel consumption costs according to data submitted by INCOFER.The new fare will take effect when published in the official newspaper La Gaceta. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

5 questions for a FrenchAfrican painter in Costa Rica

first_img (Courtesy of Delphine Raveau) Related posts:5 question for a Costa Rican painter 5 questions for a U.S. painter and writer in Costa Rica 5 questions for a Honduran artist 5 questions for a U.S. aerial artist Why did you start teaching art?I began a year and a half ago. As I never went to art school… I didn’t think that I was qualified or able to do this, but other people pushed me to try. I had to invent a different way to teach, based more on my desire to share my passion than on the study of techniques… and it worked so well that I still can’t believe it! Not only do I [pass on] my “healthy addiction” of painting to many people, but I also made many new and amazing friends among my students. (Courtesy of Delphine Raveau) How did you become an artist?As a kid, drawing was my favorite thing to do. As I grew up I became more focused on portraits, mainly African kids and seniors. Then I became an adult and got too busy. Every person I showed my drawings to told me that I had a lot of talent, but I didn’t believe them. And anyway, at that time, for me, it was just a hobby that I couldn’ t afford. I was struggling and couldn’t even imagine that I could make money from it.I will never be able to adequately thank all the people who pushed and supported me on this road. The main key came from the advice of an artist friend, four years ago. Like many others, he was trying to convince me to go for it, and I was giving him the same old money-and-time argument.The friend said: “Just buy a few paintings and brushes, even the cheapest ones. Use what you have. And don’t try to achieve a masterpiece. Just find 15 minutes a day to paint or draw. It’s nothing. Everybody can do it, even you. But you have to stick to that discipline for at least two weeks.”The second week the 15 minutes turned into an hour or two, or three… and I got addicted. Instead of thinking “I have to paint,” I began to feel, “I need to paint.” It was making me feel so good. I was learning so much and having so much fun. At the beach in Jacó, painter Delphine Reveau devotes her days to painting positive things, including her favorite subjects: dogs and children.The self-taught artist, 46, who spent the first 30 years of her life living in several different countries in Africa, with a few intervals in Europe, has a strong French cultural influence from her parents. She works as the manager of Tico Pod, an art gallery in Jacó; sells her paintings; and works as art teacher for locals and tourists.The Tico Times talked to the artist about the positive energy she expresses through her art, what pushed her toward the life of an artist, and her journey to Costa Rica. Excerpts follow.How did you come to live in Costa Rica?While I was living on the island of Réunion, near Madagascar, my ex-husband and I decided to leave that area – which we loved but already knew very well – in order to discover South America. He wanted to go to Chile and I wanted to go to Ecuador. We couldn’t make up our mind… until a friend from Africa who had just moved to Costa Rica invited us to check it out.So we came to Jacó 17 years ago to manage a small and charming hotel [La Villa Creole]. My two kids were born here, and even if I know that I will always be a foreigner in this country, I am more than happy to call it my home. (Courtesy of Delphine Raveau)center_img How would you define your art?I am still learning and experimenting, so it is hard for me to define my art, but I can say that it is a fusion between figurative and abstract, always with the intention of expressing an emotion. I am a big fan of the Expressionists because of that. I don’t find any interest in an exact copy of reality; I prefer to express what that reality makes me feel, even if I have to deform or summarize it.Portraits and figures are my “first love” and what I feel is the easiest to paint, because it is the most direct way to express feelings. I enjoy painting surf scenes for the colors and the movement, but also because this is not emotional to me. It is more relaxing and technical, so it pushes me to explore the abstract and textured side of my art.When I paint dogs I feel the same pleasure as with human portraits: I am doing the same deep dive into their soul, but always with a sense of humor. This is why painting dogs is my favorite subject and, yes, a kind of therapy! (Courtesy of Delphine Raveau) Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments What do you want to express through your paintings?I started wanting to express the pura vida, the happiness, the relaxing lifestyle of Costa Rica… but it was also a little bit too commercial. Nowadays I am trying to express peace and hope, because like most of the people in this world, this is what I need the most.I am clearer about what I don’t want to express: any kind of negative vibes. I understand and admire dark art, but I would never buy it or want it on my walls. For me a painting is like a window, and I want that window to illuminate and satisfy my soul. So I want my paintings do the same for the people who look at them.last_img read more

Andrey Amador and Movistar win best team in Tour de France

first_img Facebook Comments The Movistar team, including Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador, received the overall best team award on the podium after the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Houilles and Paris Champs-Elysees, on July 29.Geraint Thomas from Team Sky won the individual category with a time of 83 hours, 17 minutes and 13 seconds, but Team Movistar was the fastest team with a total time of 250 hours, 24 minutes and 53 seconds. They were 12 minutes and 33 seconds faster than their closest competitor, Bahrain-Merida.Team Movistar’s top finisher was Mikel Landa Meana, who finished the race in seventh and Nairo Quintana finished 10th. Costa Rica’s Amador finished 50th overall.While Amador couldn’t make his dream of winning a stage in the Tour de France come true at this event, he was a key part in his team’s victory in France. Aside from strong finishes, Amador stopped and gave his front wheel to his teammate, Nairo Quintana, after Quintana punctured his in the 17th stage. Quintana went on to win that stage. A Movistar mechanic (C) helps Colombia’s Nairo Quintana (R) change a wheel given by Costa Rica’s Audrey Amador (L) after a puncture during the 17th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, between Bagneres-de-Luchon and Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet, southwestern France, on July 25, 2018. AFP Photo / Marco BertorelloHere are some more shots from Amador and Team Movistar’s 2018 Tour de France race. Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador (front) looks for the best aerodynamic position to reduce drag during a counter attack in the 19th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, on July 27, 2018, between Lourdes and Laruns, southwestern France. / AFP Photo / Jeff Pachoud Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador (front) rides in a breakaway group during the 19th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, on July 27, 2018 between Lourdes and Laruns, southwestern France.  AFP Photo / Jeff Pachoud Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador rides during the 16th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon, southwestern France, on July 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jeff Pachoud Related posts:Andrey Amador rises again Amador dreams of making history for Costa Rica in Tour de France You can do it, Andrey! Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s waveslast_img read more

Celebrating our first rebirthday with a new print edition

first_imgToday is the one-year anniversary of our relaunch on Sept. 4, 2018, and we’re celebrating with a new print edition chock full of features, photos and more from the Central Pacific. The free edition will soon be hitting the shelves at a distribution point near you.In recent months, we’ve continued to add new readers, staff members, talented freelancers, distributors and partners to The Tico Times family.Among the highlights of recent months have been the arrival of new Assistant Editor Alexander Villegas and Editorial Intern Alissa Grosskopf; the launch of our new podcast, The Tico Times Dispatch; new contributors from Honduras, Nicaragua, Canada, the United States and Costa Rica; new permanent sections including Costa Rica Pride, our hub for news and features about the LGBTQ community; a new media partner in Nicaragua’s La Prensa, joining our existing partners at Semanario Universidad, Punto y Aparte and Vecinos Activos; and much more.Join us as we:Seek out Costa Rica’s best food, drink and destinations (and maybe even let you in on the secret)Take you behind the scenes of the migrant camps at the Nicaraguan borderDig deep with analysis and opinion on tourist safety, political conundrums and moreShine a light on the people and organizations making a difference in Costa Rican ChangemakersSit down with artists from around the world in our Weekend Arts SpotlightShare the photos and videos that capture Costa Rica’s beautyProvide updated information on visiting, moving to and living in Costa RicaPartner with the country’s leading businesses and organizations to tell more of the stories you love……And that’s just the beginning. Join us today and please contact us with your questions, story ideas and comments – your readership and feedback are what we’re all about. Facebook Comments Related posts:Our Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it Our new Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find it Be a part of our next Print Edition, out next week! The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Dec. 03, 2018last_img read more

No bull San Carlos wins historic Costa Rican soccer championship

first_imgA.D. San Carlos has made history.With Wednesday’s scoreless draw against Saprissa at Carlos Ugalde Álvarez Stadium in Ciudad Quesada, the Toros del Norte (Bulls of the North) captured their first-ever championship in Costa Rica’s top division.Despite a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s first leg, played at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Tibás, the Sancarleños earned the title due to their away goal.With the victory, San Carlos obtained one of the three spots assigned to Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Champions League. The others classified to the regional contest are C.S. Herediano and Saprissa.The Toros del Norte completed an unlikely run after earning promotion into Costa Rica’s first division only a year ago. The team is 54 years old.It was also a remarkable feat for San Carlos’s coach, Luis Antonio Marín, who replaced the Argentine Martin Cardetti and took over the club in January.This is Marín’s first experience as a head coach. He has been an assistant for the Costa Rican national team under Jorge Luis Pinto, Paulo César Wanchope and Óscar Ramírez.The veteran Álvaro Saborío — who came out of retirement to play for his hometown A.D. San Carlos club when it was still in the second division — was the Clausura’s leading scorer with 12 goals.Since the short tournaments were introduced in Winter 2007, San Carlos is the fourth team of the so-called small or non-traditional clubs in Costa Rica to win a title.The previous ones were Liberia in Summer 2009, Brujas in Winter 2009 and Pérez Zeledón in the Apertura 2017.San Carlos achieved the championship in its third attempt at the title after falling in the finals of Summer 2010 and Summer 2011 against Saprissa and Alajuelense, respectively. Facebook Comments Related posts:Weekend soccer roundup: Semifinals begin, Ticos traded in MLS San Carlos defeats reigning champion Herediano, advances to face Saprissa San Carlos strikes first in final, earns 1-1 tie at Saprissa Saprissa Stadium evacuated after bomb scarelast_img read more

Australia court rejects govtfunded chaplain work

first_img(This version corrects misspelling in Nicola Roxon’s name in 4th paragraph.)(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Six of seven High Court judges agreed that the government exceeded its powers by paying Scripture Union Queensland to provide a school chaplain.About 2,700 schools around Australia have similar programs. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said she is examining the ruling’s implications.She said she would examine ways to legally continue the program, such changing the law or paying states to provide the services instead of paying the providers directly.The voluntary programs include support and guidance about ethics, values, relationships, spirituality and religious issues. It costs the government more than 70 million Australian dollars ($71 million) a year.The programs were introduced in 2007, when the conservative Liberal Party led the government, but the center-left Labor Party government currently in power had planned to expand it.“It wasn’t appropriate for a Commonwealth Government to fund such an endeavor in public schools,” Williams told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It’s outrageous; it was always outrageous.”The Australian Christian Lobby, an advocacy group, welcomed the government’s commitment to find a way to maintain the program. Comments   Share   Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s highest court said Wednesday that the government exceeded its constitutional powers by paying for chaplains to run programs in public schools, but the attorney general said she will try to keep the work going.The High Court ruling is a victory for Ron Williams, whose 6-year-old son came home from Darling Heights State School singing gospel songs in 2010. Williams sued over the program at the school in Toowoomba in Queensland state.last_img read more

Groups slam foundations summit in E Guinea

first_imgAly Ramji, spokesman for the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, said each of those governments provided various forms of support to event organizers.The venue in Equatorial Guinea had been offered as a location to host the summit, he said. While others may not agree with the choice of nation, he said the disagreement wouldn’t stop the foundation from hosting its summit there.“If no one is willing to listen to the voice of reform, and to a country that is attempting to make amends and improve its image, then how will a country ever demonstrate to the global community its progress?” he said.___Online:Leon Sullivan Foundation: http://thesullivanfoundation.orgHuman Rights Foundation: http://www.humanrightsfoundation.org “The truth is that President Obiang has modernized his country and has implemented major political reforms,” she said.“If these critics wish, they are more than welcome to attend the summit and see for themselves the advancements made by President Obiang for his country,” she added.Tutu Alicante, executive director of the non-governmental organization EG Justice, said Masters is “living in an alternate universe.” His organization has received reports of at least five extrajudicial killings in the country since June.“Nothing has changed in Equatorial Guinea in terms of people being arbitrarily detained, tortured, killed, and held in prison indefinitely without charge,” he said.Visas to Equatorial Guinea remain difficult to obtain for many foreigners. Journalists also have been detained for attempting to photograph impoverished areas of the capital, and others have been followed around by government minders.Per capita income in Equatorial Guinea has ballooned to more than $27,000 a year, according to World Bank figures. That’s nearly on par with former colonizer Spain and makes Equatorial Guinea the richest nation in sub-Saharan Africa. Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Among the stated objectives is to “create an atmosphere of open dialogue about the state of human rights” in Africa. Activists say that’s unlikely to happen in Equatorial Guinea, which has one of the worst human rights records on the continent.“The Sullivan Foundation is destroying the legacy of its namesake by working hand-in-hand with one of the most repressive, exploitative regimes in Africa’s history,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of the Washington-based Human Rights Foundation.President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled Equatorial Guinea since seizing power in a 1979 coup and is now Africa’s longest-serving ruler. The most recent human rights report from the U.S. State Department notes widespread official corruption, along with the denial of basic political rights and other human rights abuses.Sullivan’s daughter, Hope Sullivan Masters, reacted to the criticism in a series of Tweets this week that were later deleted. One read: “Racism is alive and well. visit EG, don’t rant. Courage over cowardice.”She also issued a statement Monday on the foundation’s website, calling it a “vile assertion” that the event would tarnish her father’s legacy. Yet Equatorial Guinea has the 15th highest infant mortality rate in the world, while Spain placed 213th, according to the latest statistics in the CIA World Factbook.Lisa Misol, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said her organization is not calling for an outright boycott of the event but is encouraging participants to “look behind the curtain of new construction and see the needless poverty and the harsh repression that people are living under every day.”“We see a very serious risk that the event is going to be used by the president to falsely portray himself as a champion of human rights,” Misol said.The Rev. Leon Sullivan, a U.S. civil rights crusader who campaigned against apartheid in South Africa, died in 2001.He was best known for devising an international code of business conduct known as the Sullivan Principles. Companies doing business in South Africa were encouraged to give opportunities to black workers and help local communities.The summit in Equatorial Guinea will be the foundation’s ninth such meeting in Africa since 1991. The group previously has held gatherings in Zimbabwe and Gabon _ countries also criticized for their human rights records _ along with meetings in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania.center_img Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressDAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Human rights groups are calling on a foundation named for a late U.S. civil rights leader to cancel an upcoming summit in Equatorial Guinea, where the government is accused of torturing political opponents and other human rights abuses.The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation has organized an Aug. 20-24 gathering at a lavish complex that includes an 18-hole golf course, a five-star hotel and a spa in a West African country where many lack access to electricity and running water.last_img read more

Nigeria newspaper editor shot in highway attack

first_img Top Stories Security agencies and thugs routinely harass and beat journalists in Nigeria. Eighteen journalists have been killed in Nigeria since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Check your body, save your life LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – The managing director and editor-in-chief of the Nigerian Compass daily newspaper has been shot during an attack in the country’s southwest.The newspaper said in a statement Tuesday that Sina Kawonise was shot in the leg in the attack Monday while traveling through Osun state. The newspaper said a police officer traveling with him also was shot. Both survived.Mohammed Garba, the president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, said he was aware of the attack, but didn’t believe it involved politics as others were violently robbed along the same highway at the same time. However, the newspaper said Kawonise recently received unspecified threats over the Internet. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   last_img read more

Auschwitz survivors mark liberation anniversary

first_imgOSWIECIM, Poland (AP) – A European Jewish leader condemned anti-Semitism as a crime on Monday as Auschwitz survivors and Israeli officials marked 69 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camp.The ceremony at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established by the United Nations in memory of some 6 million Holocaust victims, and some 1.5 million victims of Auschwitz, who were mostly Jews. Some 20 survivors walked through the gate that bares the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) sign and laid a wreath at the former camp’s Executions Wall, where the inmates, mainly Polish resistance members, were shot to death.Around 60 members of the Knesset, or half of the Israeli legislature, joined the survivors for the observances that included visits to the red brick Auschwitz barracks which house a collection of the victims’ belongings and hair, and a list of the names of some 4.2 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.In a special ceremony in Birkenau, also called Auschwitz II, they also heard from one of the survivors, Noah Klieger, about the Death March when some 15,000 died after Nazis fleeing the advancing Soviet army in January 1945 forced inmates still able to walk to march west in freezing weather. They remembered Jan. 27, 1945, when the Red Army entered the camp and freed the remaining inmates, mostly children and sick people.Israeli coalition leader, Yariv Levin, speaking on behalf of Knesset lawmakers, said that people in Israel should rely on themselves and aim to build a safe world.“Walking here, on this soil soaked with blood of our brothers and sisters, we must assure our children and future generations that a different world, full of hope and free of fear can be built.” 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Speaking at the European parliament ceremony in Brussels, European Jewish Congress President, Moshe Kantor, rejected free speech arguments over what he called the worldwide spread of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is “not an opinion _ it’s a crime,” he said.Kantor pointed to the “quenelle,” a gesture invented by the French comedian Dieudonne that some have called an inverted Nazi salute. The comic, who has been convicted more than half a dozen times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism, says it is merely an anti-establishment symbol. The gesture made headlines when soccer star Nicolas Anelka used it to celebrate a goal.“Today we are witnessing the absolute democratization of anti-Semitism,” Kantor said. It is “a symbol invented by a so-called comedian that allows young people out for a drink, soldiers having a laugh and even a footballer scoring a goal, to have their own unique opportunity for Jew hatred.”In Italy, meanwhile, President Giorgio Napolitano condemned as a `’miserable provocation” threats against Rome’s Jewish community in recent days, including the delivery of packages containing pig heads to Rome’s main synagogue.center_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Napolitano said Monday during Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations that recent insults made against the Jewish community are `’comparable only to the repugnant material in those packages.”Italian police also detained two men, ages 33 and 47, on suspicion of instigating racial hatred for anti-Semitic graffiti, including denial of the Holocaust, near the main judicial offices in Rome. Authorities say the men belong to different far-right groups. No arrests have been announced for the delivery of the pig head’s.Also Monday, the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation USA called on Germany’s Allianz to pay aging survivors benefits that their families bought before they died in the Holocaust.“It is shameful that today, Holocaust survivors are not allowed to even bring a lawsuit in a U.S. court to recover these unpaid policies,” they said. Legislation that would allow survivors in the U.S. to sue European insurance companies has lingered in Congress for years.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories last_img

Average US rate on 30year mortgage falls to 404 percent

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, retreating from high levels for the year amid economic turbulence overseas. The lower rates brought an incentive for prospective purchasers toward the end of the spring home buying season.Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.04 percent this week from 4.08 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages eased to 3.20 percent from 3.24 percent. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Markets around the world have been nervously watching tumult and a nearly month-long slide in China’s stock markets, and Greece’s economic crisis as it tries to negotiate a rescue from its European partners. That has pushed investors to seek safety in U.S. Treasury bonds, pushing interest rates lower.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Qantas reuses plastic cutlery on international flights

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1e36c/” 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> It’s true what Kermit the Frog says about being green. It’s not easy, just ask Qantas.The Flying Kangaroo has had to defend one of its recycling policies, after it was discovered that the airline re-uses plastic cutlery on international flights.The carrier reported that  the cutlery is cleaned, sterilised and inspected for any deterioration before being re-used.According to a Qantas spokesperson, plastic cutlery used on international flights, which convey up to 19,000 passengers to and from Australia on weekdays, could be used up to “three, four, five times.”Plastic cutlery on Qantas domestic flights, which carry up to 50,000 passengers on a weekday, where not recycled because of “the sheer volume of passengers and because there’s a higher proportion of economy passengers that in business and first class,” the spokesperson said.Qantas has defended its recycling policy, saying the plastic cutlery used onboard its flights was more robust than the disposable plastic on take-away cutlery.last_img read more

Fire stalls Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery

first_imgAn electrical fire and emergency landing during a test flight of the long-delayed Boeing 787 Deamliner will likely delay deliveries.The first delivery of the Dreamliner, slated for the middle of the first quarter of 2011 is now in doubt following the problems during the test flight, Reuters reported.Already almost three years late, aviation experts have predicted another delay for Boeing.Aviation consultancy Teal Group vice president Richard Aboulafia told the news source that the current problem is not just a production problem or a “predictable hiccup”. “This is something they really need to investigate that’s unexpected,” he said.”It’s not going to be a show-stopper, but it’s going to be a major hassle.”Mr Aboulafia said that while customers awaiting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have faith in the success of the final product, they are questioning the delivery schedule and production rate.Boeing has said that it was too soon to determine if the delivery schedule would be affected by the incident, but the company has halted test flights.”We cannot determine the impact of this event on the overall program schedule until we have worked our way through the data,” Boeing said in a statement.According to Boeing, the onboard electrical fire means that a power control panel will need to be replaced among other repairs, but are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.Cowen and Co analyst Cai von Rumohr said that doubts into the delivery schedule of the new Dreamliner were likely as long as the cause of the electrical fire remains unknown.”Because the longer it takes them [to determine a cause], presumably the more complicated the situation is,” he said. “An electric power system is very complex system.”Boeing reportedly announced eight 787 orders were cancelled in the week that ended Tuesday, the same day of the emergency landing. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

New captain first officer at helm of Cruise New Zealand

first_imgThe new Cruise New Zealand committee The cruise sector is also worth $310.3 million to the economy and accounts for 5,330 jobs. Cruising in New Zealand has recently experienced three major milestones, including New Zealand’s largest cruise season yet, the opening of Auckland’s Shed 10 Cruise Terminal and Cruise New Zealand’s founding Chairperson, Captain Craig Harris stepping down on a high. Captain Harris founded Cruise New Zealand in 1994, with since then, cruise arrivals to New Zealand having grown by more than ten times and today cruise passenger arrivals to New Zealand outnumber arrivals from the UK, New Zealand’s third largest inbound market. The fourth major milestone was announced recently with taking over the helm from Captain Harris at Cruise New Zealand, a new “captain”, Port of Tauranga’s Commercial Manager, Graeme Marshall, with Mr Marshall also supported by “first officer” Kevin O’Sullivan, Environment Southland’s Maritime Manager, as Deputy Chair.last_img read more

Chiang Mai spotlighted in ITE HCMC 2015 workshop

first_imgThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) participated in the workshop of “Route to World Culture Heritages in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: Quang Nam – Siem Reap – Luang Prabang – Chiang Mai – Bagan”, which is a part of the International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC 2015).The event was held on 9 September, 2015, in order to promote travel routes via the World Culture Heritage Sites in the GMS countries.The ITE HCMC 2015 is claimed to be the most important travel trade event in the Vietnamese market. This year’s ITE saw the presence of 24 Thai exhibitors and travel and tourism operators in the Thai Pavilion, which bears the marketing theme “2015 Discover Thainess.”Invited to be a keynote speaker at the workshop, Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department, said that “Chiang Mai is brimming with Lanna culture, a significant foundation of its distinctive way of life and tradition.“In spite of the rapid growth of urban life nowadays, the capital of the Lanna kingdom is still able to represent the trace of cultural identity and heritage dating back more than 700 years.”Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) added the monuments, sites, and cultural landscape of Chiang Mai to its tentative list of World Heritage Sites in the 39th meeting in Bonn, Germany, from 28 June to 8 July, 2015. This is the first step towards upgrading the sites from tentative to full.Vietnam is the fourth largest source market from the ASEAN countries. Vietnamese citizens get a 30-day visa-free entry to Thailand. In 2014, Thailand welcomed 573,184 Vietnamese visitors.During January–July 2015, Vietnamese visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 488,819, up by 48.46% over the same period of 2014. TAT is targeting 880,000 Vietnamese visitors in 2015.As of September 2015, six airlines are operating 140 direct flights per week between Bangkok and two major cities of Vietnam. Discover ThainessSource = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Aleph Hospitality launches in a bid to accelerate growth of Middle Eas

first_imgAleph Hospitality launches in a bid to accelerate growth of Middle EastAleph Hospitality, a pioneering third-party hotel management company founded by industry veteran Bani Haddad and headquartered in Dubai, today marked its official launch with the unveiling of the company’s new website, alephhospitality.com.In addition to providing prospective hotel owners and business partners with an overview of the company’s services, the site seeks to help demystify the concept of third-party management, which, despite being relatively little known in the region today, is widely tipped to fuel significant future expansion within the Middle East and African hotel industry.An established model in the U.S. where in 2014 the top ten third-party management companies alone accounted for more than 260,000 rooms(1), third-party or ‘white label’ hotel management allows a hotel owner to appoint a specialist hotel management company to operate their hotel, in addition to taking a franchise from a major hotel company in order to secure an international brand above the door.An alternative to the most prevalent asset management structures in the region today where hotels are typically operated by a hotel brand under management contract with an owner or are operated independently by the owners themselves, often without an international brand, third-party hotel management presents many benefits to both hotel companies and investors alike.“By establishing a credible third-party hotel management solution for the Middle East and Africa, our aim is to open doors that were previously closed,” explains Bani Haddad, Founder and Managing Director, Aleph Hospitality. “We want to create opportunities both for hotel companies, by providing a trusted intermediary with whom they can grow their franchise portfolios, and for owners of hotels of all shapes and sizes who wish to benefit from a combination of dedicated operational support and the advantages of an internationally-renowned brand.”Having already signed its first management contract and with its first hotel opening, the 116-room Best Western Addis Ababa, just three months away, Aleph Hospitality is already experiencing strong demand for its services.“With some regional owners historically locked out of a market where management agreements were largely the preserve of upscale developments in established destinations, we truly see this as an exciting new beginning for the regional hotel landscape,” said Haddad. “Hotel companies, consultants and owners that we’ve spoken to right across the region have all been extremely positive about the accelerated growth this model could bring.”Founded by industry expert Bani Haddad, whose career history spans all aspects of hotel management and roles at major industry players including Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotel Group and Disney, Aleph Hospitality’s name was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the ancient Phoenicians, widely credited with revolutionising the way the world communicates through the development of the ‘Aleph-bet’, or alphabet. Aleph HospitalitySource = Aleph Hospitalitylast_img read more

Park Hotel Group enters South Korea with Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo Seou

first_imgPark Hotel Group enters South Korea with Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul From left to right: Mr Min Kyung Eun, Managing Director of K2 Group, Mr Min Cho Heung, Chairman of K2 Group , Mr Kang Juhong, Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister & Consul General, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Mr Lee Jeong Chan, Chairman, Nambu Newspaper, Mr Allen Law, Chief Executive Officer of Park Hotel Group, Mr Mohd Rafin, Chief Corporate Officer of Park Hotel Group.Park Hotel Group enters South Korea with Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, SeoulPark Hotel Group is pleased to announce its expansion into South Korea, a new destination in line with its strategic focus to grow its brand presence across Asia Pacific. The hotel management contract was signed with a member of K2 Group to manage Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, scheduled to open in early 2017.“Going into South Korea has always been in the plan and this opportunity comes at a time when the country enjoys double digit year-on-year growth in inbound tourism in the first half of 2016, led by the government’s commitment and investment to boost tourism. There are many reasons to visit South Korea with its intriguing history and culture, traditional cuisine, breath-taking natural scenery, influence of its colourful entertainment industry and more,” said Mr Allen Law, Chief Executive Officer of Park Hotel Group.With its headquarters in Seoul, K2 Group specialises in credit card authorisation and financial transaction systems with over 360 exclusive distributors in South Korea. This partnership marks the company’s first hotel project as it seeks to diversify into new industries.“We are looking for a partner that shares the same growth vision as us and Park Hotel Group has a track record of delivering business and operational excellence for its hotels in Asia Pacific. With Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul added to its portfolio, we have every confidence that the hotel will offer a differentiated experience with its local knowledge matched with top quality service standards. We are very excited about a meaningful partnership to come.” said Mr Min Cho Heung, Chairman of K2 Group.Nestled in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo district and near to the scenic Hangang River, the new build Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul is 45 minutes from Incheon International Airport. Just outside the Seonyudo subway station, the hotel offers easy connectivity to the Yeouido financial hub located just 10 minutes away. Within the Yeouido district, one can explore many landmarks and attractions including the historical National Assembly Building, 63 Square featuring an art gallery, aquarium, performance hall, wax museum and an observatory with panoramic views of Seoul. IFC Mall and duty-free stores are also a stone’s throw away. For some respite from the city bustle, the Seonyudo and Yeouido Parks are also easily accessible from the hotel. Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul offers 150 rooms and suites with three dining outlets including an all-day dining restaurant, gourmet coffee deli and a rooftop restaurant and bar. The hotel also has a gymnasium and function rooms.“The continued upswing in tourism infrastructure and activity in South Korea complements the Group’s plans to build its brand presence in the country and Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo, Seoul shall serve as a launchpad for further planned expansion in the country. The top feeder markets of South Korea also mirror our hotel destinations in Asia Pacific and this is hugely beneficial as we seek to develop synergies to drive interest and footfall to the hotel.” Mr Law added.Park Hotel Group owns and manages 14 hotels in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong,China, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Focused on delivering service with love and passion, the Group extended its service philosophy to resort properties with Park Hotel Nusa Dua, Bali last year. Park Hotel Farrer Park, the Group’s 5th hotel in Singapore is scheduled to open in Q1 next year, followed by its first hotel in Australasia and Malaysia, namely Park Hotel Adelaide and Park Hotel Melaka, slated to launch in 2018 and 2019 respectively.About Park Hotel Group Park Hotel Group is one of Asia Pacific’s best hospitality groups. The Group manages, owns and develops Park branded hotels around the Asia Pacific. Established since 1961, Park Hotel Group grew rapidly from its first hotel in Hong Kong to the current portfolio of 14 properties across 7 countries and 10 cities in the region, with access to over 4,000 rooms.Committed to delivering exceptional service with love and passion, the acclaimed Park Hotel Group has established a track record of operating successful hotels. As it strives to be a world-renowned brand in hospitality, Park Hotel Group continues to focus on its footprint expansion through acquisitions and hotel management services.Park branded hotels include the luxury Grand Park and the upscale Park Hotel. Source = Park Hotel Grouplast_img read more

International Hobbit Day celebrates at first light

first_imgHobbiton in Matamata, New ZealandInternational Hobbit Day celebrates at first lightInternational Hobbit Day also happens to mark the birthdays of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins so, the famous Hobbiton Movie Set – in the beautiful Matamata Waikato countryside – awoke to the inaugural sunrise tour and breakfast birthday banquet in the hobbit village.The birthday party started at 5.30am with guests looking forward to an exceptional other-worldly experience in the 12-acre site and carrying a lantern as they follow their guide along illuminated paths while listening to fascinating stories of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created and the making of the movies.Meanwhile, down at the bottom of the hill in the famed Green Dragon Inn, the fires were burning to welcome party goers for the breakfast banquet feast. It’s the first time the Inn has had such an early opening and, in true hobbit tradition, there were copious servings of delicious hobbit fare, with second helpings guaranteed – even thirds for the Peregrin Tooks of the party.Aussie Hobbit fan David Bhana who travelled to New Zealand for the day said: “It’s my sisters birthday in November, so I thought be the good big brother and take her, but really I wanted to come!.“It was pretty special being at Bag End when the sun came up, you could see right across the horizon, it was breathtaking!”To conclude the special event, guests were taken along the wandering paths of The Shire, across the bridge, past the mill and under the Party Tree.Hobbiton Movie Set fact fileFilm set area: covers approximately 12 acresHobbit houses: 44 Hobbit HolesParty tree: 70 – 80 metres tallConstruction: 70 set buildersCatering: During production, three meals were served daily to cast and crew, plus snacks on demand for 600+ peopleGardens: 2.3km of hedges; 30 – 200 plants around each Hobbit houseGround staff: 7 – 8 gardeners during height of season, 5 in winterTraditional ales, cider and non-alcoholic ginger beer, all brewed exclusively for Hobbiton, are served from barrels behind the bar at the Green Dragon Inn.The set is a two-hour drive from Auckland and within easy access of other North Island tourist destinations including Rotorua, Waitomo, Tauranga and the city of Hamilton.Waikato, North Island, New Zealand Flanking the mighty Waikato River which flows through the heart of the North Island, the prosperous Waikato farming region has been a tourism destination with an international reputation for at least 125 years. First it was the underground lights of glowworm caverns in the famed Waitomo Caves, now it’s the home of hobbits as featured in The Lord of the Rings andThe Hobbit film trilogies.  But long before Europeans were on the trail through the Waikato, Māori were the people of this historically and culturally significant land.  Many Waikato Māori trace their ancestry back 800 years to the arrival of the Tainui waka (canoe). This area was well populated with Māori pa (fortified villages), and an important centre of early Māori commerce.Source = International Hobbit Daylast_img read more