The wait is over Baha Mars first property celebrates grand opening

first_img Posted by Tags: Baha Mar The wait is over: Baha Mar’s first property celebrates grand opening NASSAU — After two years of delays and conflict, the long awaited Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas has finally opened its doors.An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on April 21 to mark the opening of Grand Hyatt Baha, the first hotel to open at the prestigious Baha Mar complex. Situated on the shores of Nassau, the hotel will begin accepting reservations for guests arriving as of May 29.When fully operational, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar will offer 1,800 ocean-, fountain- and island-view guestrooms, including 230 luxury suites, and over 20 food and dining outlets ranging from a fresh seafood grill and conch shack to a Pan-Asian noodle bar. It boasts direct beach access to the resort’s Beach Sanctuary, water sports and seven pools, not to mention Bahamian art by local artists, upscale retail shops and nightly live entertainment.“Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has been designed to celebrate all that is iconic in the destination, while still embodying the perfect touch of classic luxury. With an array of multi-cultural dining venues, high-end spa and fitness centers, spectacular entertainment and meeting spaces, and a sophisticated, yet personal, approach, this hotel is set to become a premier resort destination in the Caribbean,” said Scott Allen, general manager, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of services within the expansive Baha Mar Resort, including: a 30,000 square feet ESPA Spa; 100,000 square foot casino that features 1,140 slots, 119 game tables and one-of-a-kind direct ocean views; Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course; state-of-the-art tennis courts and facilities; and The Baha Mar Convention, Art and Entertainment Center. Many of these amenities are operational today.In late 2016, almost exactly two years after its planned launch date, Baha Mar Resort was sold to Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited (CTFE) for a reported US$3.5 billion. Baha Mar was initially scheduled to open in December 2014 but declared bankruptcy in June 2015 following construction delays. Travelweek Group center_img Monday, April 24, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Navigating the northeast Hurtigruten has new coastal itineraries out of Halifax

first_imgNavigating the northeast: Hurtigruten has new coastal itineraries out of Halifax Share TORONTO — Starting in April 2018 Hurtigruten will set sail along the East Coast with a focus on northeastern Canada and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.Best known as the largest cruise operator in Antarctica, and sailing to the most remote destinations as well as year-round along Norway’s coast, Hurtigruten has now added more than half a dozen new North American coastal itineraries. The company’s ships each carry 100 to 646 guests, allowing travellers “to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere”, says Hurtigruten.Highlights of the new 2018 lineup include:Coastal Gems of America – Southbound: North America’s eastern seaboard offers a striking variety of cultures, historic sites, and dramatic natural scenery. A 13-day journey from Halifax to Miami.Coastal Gems of America – Northbound: The reverse trip, starting in Miami and sailing into New York to experience the Big Apple, and discovering Maine’s magnificent coast, before arriving in Halifax.Navigating the Northeast and Atlantic Canada: Inviting explorers to experience the raw beauty of Newfoundland, small-town charm in the state of Maine, and the historic site of Louisbourg, this cruise ends in the Big Apple to cap off an amazing trip. A 16-day trip from New York to St. John’s.Coastal Journey of Down East Maine and Acadia: Start in New York, discover Maine’s peaceful and magnificent coast and hike in the wilderness, enjoy stops in charming small towns and cosmopolitan Boston, and experience an exploration day adventure along the way. Eight days, from New York to Halifax.Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bays of Eastern Canada: 11 days, from New York to Halifax, exploring Newfoundland’s rugged coastline.Discovering the Untouched Beauty of Greenland and Arctic Canada: Discover Newfoundland and Labrador´s towering mountains, massive rock faces, deep forests and an infinite supply of lakes and rivers. A 17-day trip from Copenhagen to Halifax.A Voyage Through Arctic Canada and Iceland: Canada’s Atlantic coastline and its evergreen forests, rolling farmland, breathtaking mountains, and remote settlements. From Halifax, to Reykjavik, 14 days.For more details see Travelweek Group Wednesday, June 21, 2017 center_img Tags: Hurtigruten Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Tough slog for travellers travel agents as ice storm grounds hundreds of

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Toronto Pearson Airport, Travel Alert Share Tough slog for travellers, travel agents as ice storm grounds hundreds of flights << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img TORONTO — Flight delays and cancellations are still rampant out of Toronto, Ottawa and beyond as airports work to clear the backlog of flights from this weekend’s powerful ice storm.The spring storm hit the U.S. Midwest before making its way up to Ontario and on to Quebec with record precipitation. Tens of thousands of people across southern and central Ontario are still without power today as the massive ice storm transitions to drenching rain.Meanwhile Calgary is bracing for a month’s worth of snowfall in a single day.The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has posted an advisory on its website, warning travellers to expect higher than normal passenger volumes early this week as passengers whose flights were cancelled begin travelling out of Toronto.The storm played havoc with air traffic, with more than 600 flights cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and many others delayed, often for hours.Toronto’s downtown Billy Bishop airport cancelled all departing flights on Sunday and received only one arrival all day.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTPorter Airlines has posted a weather advisory on its website for Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Sudbury, Quebec, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Boston and Newark, effective April 16.Air Canada has no fewer than 28 travel advisories for April 16 on its website, for Toronto, Ottawa, Timmins, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal, Quebec City, Boston, New York and more, all for freezing rain, snow and ice storm conditions. “Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings. Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting.” Air Canada also has a travel advisory for Calgary.The Western Alberta snow storm is also impacting WestJet, which has also issued a travel advisory with flexible rebooking optins for Calgary flights as well as flights in and out of Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and New York City (La Guardia). Posted by Monday, April 16, 2018 last_img read more

ACV hosts latest Travel Advisory Board meeting

first_img Share ACV hosts latest Travel Advisory Board meeting Friday, August 31, 2018 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img MISSISSAUGA — It was a meeting of the minds at Air Canada Vacations’ latest Travel Advisory Board meeting, which took place at its Mississauga office.The meeting welcomed travel partners from across the country, representing retail chains, consortia and independent agencies. Sponsored by Sandals and Beaches Resorts, the meeting also included a Caribbean lunch plus news updates about Sandals’ upcoming products for 2018-2019.“It’s inspiring when we meet with our Travel Advisory Board,” said Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales, Groups & Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations. “Our goal is to enhance services for our trade partners. With the different perspectives and constructive feedback shared, we are very definitely progressing towards this goal.“It’s rewarding when we can incorporate all the group’s great ideas into our company vision for the future, and our partners appreciated the opportunity to be heard.” Tags: Air Canada Vacations, travel advisory Posted bylast_img read more

Earn 5X the points with ACV when booking Velas Resorts

first_img Share Travelweek Group Earn 5X the points with ACV when booking Velas Resorts Posted by Tags: ACV&ME, Agent Incentives, Air Canada Vacations, Velas Resortscenter_img Tuesday, February 19, 2019 MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is giving travel agents extra incentive to sell Velas Resorts by offering 5X ACV&ME points.The offer runs from Feb. 18 to March 3, 2019 and includes 5X the points when booking a package or a group to any Velas Resorts for travel until April 30, 2019.Agents earn the following:5X 600 points per room for flight-inclusive packages of seven nights or more5X 400 points per room for flight-inclusive packages of 3-6 nights5X 300 points for every passenger of a groupParticipating resorts include: Grand Velas Riviera Maya; Grand Velas Riviera Maya Grand Class; Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit; Grand Velas Los Cabos; and Casa Velas.In addition, clients will receive a free seat selection (applicable in Economy). Agents must email to have seats added on the booking. This offer is not available to group booking. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Fishing on the upswing countrywide

first_imgNo related posts. Fishing is starting to improve all over the country. Dorado (dolphin fish) are everywhere, keeping anglers busy reeling in the golden-good eating fish. Most fish are running about 25 pounds each, and are great fun because of their acrobatics. Up in Guanacaste, sails and some marlin are taking baits as well as roosters, amberjack and a wahoo here and there inshore.There have been a lot of marlin hanging around floating debris around Los Sueños. Dorado have also moved in and are hanging around debris in current lines. Those who know the spots are scoring grouper while bottom fishing.There have been so many dorado off Quepos that the price at the dock dropped, and commercial boats were running all the way to Playa del Coco to get a better price. There have been reports of a few sails and a marlin popping up.Down south, the water has been green out to 40 miles, and the only offshore action has been dorado. With so many dorado moving in, the marlin fishing should pick up, because marlin like slurping down dorado. The billfish action will pick up in the Central and South Pacific over the next few months.Anglers are hooking 10-15 tarpon per boat over on the Caribbean side. The second leg of the annual Club Amateur de Pesca Tarpon tournament begins Oct. 19, and there should be plenty of fish around to keep the tournament close. Cynthia Brown currently leads halfway through, with eight releases. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Eccentric tech guru McAfee arrested hospitalized in Guatemala

first_imgNo related posts. U.S. Internet security guru John McAfee, on the run from authorities in Belize over a murder probe, has been arrested in Guatemala for illegally entering the country, police said.The arrest of the eccentric 67-year-old entrepreneur-turned-adventurer marks the latest twist in a novel-like tale of intrigue involving a murdered U.S. expatriate and allegations of drug-fueled escapades with guns and prostitutes.Police spokesman Pablo Castillo told AFP late Wednesday that McAfee had been arrested for entering the country illegally and could be deported within hours to either Belize – where he has permanent residency – or the United States. On Thursday, his lawyer said he was rushed to the hospital “with a heart condition.”“His status is illegal and he is being made available to immigration authorities so they can decide whether to deport him to his country of origin,” Castillo said.The arrest came just hours after McAfee formally requested political asylum from Guatemala, with his attorney Telesforo Guerra claiming his client was a “victim of persecution and harassment” from the Belizean government. On Thursday, Guatemalan officials rejected McAfee’s asylum request and said they would deport him back to Belize.“We have decided not to approve the political asylum that Mr McAfee is requesting,” Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said on Thursday.Guatemala’s foreign minister, Harold Caballeros, said that the anti-virus software pioneer would be sent back Belize.“We received a request from Belize asking us to [return McAfee] and we will comply with it,” Caballeros said.Pérez Molina said McAfee’s bid for refuge in Guatemala had been put through the appropriate official channels, but was turned down, although he declined to say why.“The law allows us to decide if we wish to authorize it [the asylum] or not, and we are not required to give an explanation,” the Guatemalan leader said.The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur had been in hiding for more than three weeks until he crossed the border into Guatemala on Monday with his girlfriend Sam Vanegas, 20, after devising elaborate ruses to confuse police.Belizean authorities are seeking to question McAfee as a person of interest over the Nov. 11 killing of his neighbor, fellow U.S. man Gregory Faull, 52, who was shot in the head with a 9-mm and found in a pool of his own blood.McAfee amassed an estimated $100 million fortune during the early days of the Internet in the 1990s, designing the pioneering anti-virus software that bears his name, before opting out to become an intrepid adventure-seeker.He decamped to Belize in 2009 after losing most of his fortune due to bad investments and the financial crisis.According to a raft of profiles in the U.S. media, his lifestyle became increasingly extreme as he descended into a hedonistic binge centered on experimental drug use and young prostitutes.Jeff Wise, a science and adventure writer who has known McAfee for years, told Fox News recently that his increasingly odd behavior earlier this year had alienated much of the U.S. expatriate community in Belize.“He started to get really heavily into this kind of synthetic, hallucinogenic hyper-aphrodisiac,” he said. “Everyone was scared of McAfee. He was walking around the beach carrying a gun.”Police raided McAfee’s home in April and he was briefly incarcerated after he was found to be living with a 17-year-old girl and an arsenal of seven pump-action shotguns, one single-action shotgun, and two 9-mm pistols.McAfee has denied any involvement in Faull’s murder and claims to have been “continually harassed” for several months by Belizean authorities, whom he accuses of being corrupt and out to get him.McAfee says he fears for his life should he be returned to Belize, while Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has described him as “bonkers,” saying he is only wanted for questioning.“Here in Guatemala, he could cooperate with the government and with people. He has had a lot of charities for children and underprivileged kids. He has a very humanitarian spirit,” Guerra said.No charges have been lodged against McAfee, who was embroiled in a bitter neighborly dispute with the deceased and has so far only been declared a “person of interest” in the case.Three of McAfee’s associates have been remanded in custody for alleged firearm offenses and are expected in court in Belize on Dec. 19.This story was updated at 3:42 p.m. on Thursday. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Nirvana with a view at Anamaya

first_imgThe kitchen of one unit at Anamaya. Courtesy of Anamaya Resort By Sam Eifling | Special to The Tico TimesThe raison d’être of Anamaya, a yoga retreat perched on the vertiginous hillside above Montezuma, is the view. Namely, the 400-foot rise above the Pacific Ocean that affords an unimpeded 180-degree view of the southern and eastern skies, within earshot of the waves careening against the rock-studded beaches below. This is the sort of view that harks to Balboa’s quote-unquote discovery of the Pacific, a real stomach-dropper of a vista. You can hardly think words such as “ocean” and “sunrise” without capitalizing them in your mind.So this is the key point when you’re considering whether to drop a few hundred bones on travel and lodging to go to the edge of civilization: If all you want to do is stare godlike across the sea as it bends around the curvature of the earth, then this is your spot. You might match these sightlines elsewhere, but you’re going to have a very difficult time beating them.Anamaya strives to meet the standard set by its setting, and largely acquits itself. The resort is insidiously healthy without foisting anything upon you. As you loiter around the back deck – perhaps lolling in a hammock that looks out onto the (again, transcendent) omni-oceanic view, perhaps sinking into a couch, perhaps sunning yourself on a deck chair beside the infinity pool – you’ll notice people slacking in a variety of ways. They’re reading books, they’re dinking around on iPads. Fine. But they’re also packing onto the deck for yoga sessions, traipsing down through the backyard forest to the local landmark Montezuma Falls cascading through three tiers of swimming holes, heading to the beach for surfing lessons and scuba diving, sweating out civilization’s accumulated gunks via the UV sauna. The Nicoya Peninsula has been identified as one of the world’s Blue Zones, in which residents are prone to unusual longevity, and Anamaya fosters that mentality in the most chill way possible. It’s all wellness without a lick of medicine.Two of the owners, Geoff McCabe and Joseph Mikrut, Americans both, are around the resort for much of the day-to-day operations. The main house used to be McCabe’s home before he surrounded it with the little villas that bring the resort’s capacity to about 30, but it’s Mikrut who leads many of the activities there now. The men want to foster the sense of the resort as an altered state of well-being, and to send people home after a week or two with a sense of innate (rather than prescribed) inner change. The overall effect will probably leave you feeling borderline amazing, without also feeling that you overextended yourself to get there. To that end, the resort stocks its kitchen with local foods and organics, many of which McCabe is cultivating on a former cattle ranch just up the road a piece, where he’s painstakingly rebuilding the soil. He hopes to develop farming techniques that will allow more of the resorts and hotels in the region to grow their own vegetables, fruits and herbs, and to offer farming solutions to the locals. For now, though, the beneficiaries are Anamaya guests who sup on spinaches, chards, kales, basil, tomatoes, sweet basil, dill, peperoncini, endive and the rest. The vegetarian-friendly meals also feature locally caught fish, lots of fruit, whole grains, and that most deceptive element of healthy eating, flavor. It’s all delightful, but it’s not a forced march; there is wine, beer, dessert. Layabouts can wallow in good stead.The quarters range from relatively Spartan, dorm-style rooms to honeymoon-worthy jungle bungalows. Per-person rates at Anamaya also vary accordingly, from under $900 for a weeklong stay on up to more than twice that. About half the year (generally during tourism’s off-peak times) it hosts yoga teacher training sessions. The staff is courteous and responsive; the other guests are in buoyant moods and go out of their way to be inclusive. Paradise has a way of leaving guests in a fine frame of being, even if they couldn’t point to exactly why.Going There:Drive west from Juan Santamaría International Airport on the main freeway (Inter-Americana) until you see an exit for Atenas. Take that exit and cross over the freeway to your left. Drive for approximately 2 km and turn left between a soccer field and a blue school. There is no sign here for the freeway. If you get lost, ask for “La Pista por Caldera.” Drive for 3.5 km the then you’ll see an overpass. Don’t go under it but instead turn left just before the freeway, and that will take you to the on-ramp. Get on that and head west (right) again. It will take you to Caldera, which is the main port next to Puntarenas, and from there, drive north along the coast. You’ll pass a big development called “La Roca” and eventually you’ll pass up and over the top of the road you want to turn right onto. There’s a sign for Puntarenas, but it’s been covered with tree branches for several years, so it’s difficult to see. Loop around to the right and get onto this road, heading west again, and follow that in a straight line all the way to the very tip of the Puntarenas peninsula, and then turn right and it will curve around to the ferry line.The ferry times are shown here: Ferry to Montezuma/Malpais Area. Or better call the Ferry to hear the times: 2661-2084, ext 4. There are two ferries. One is to Paquera and one to Naranjo. Take the Paquera Ferry, and from there, drive to the left and go to Cobano, which takes 45 minutes normally. From Cobano, turn left and head to Montezuma. From Montezuma, head south along the beach road and at Hotel Amor de Mar, you’ll see a paved road up the hill. Drive up about 1/2 km and you’ll see Anamaya’s sign on the right.Another option is to fly. There are two airlines with flights to Tambor, which is a 30 min drive from Montezuma. (Take a taxi for $30 from Tambor to Anamaya).Retreat packages start at $895 for a week and include yoga, three gourmet organic meals per day, transportation to excursions and beaches, use of the guest kitchen and luxury accommodations. Details and discount information can be found on Anamaya’s website, For more info or to make reservations, call 2642-1289. Facebook Commentscenter_img No related posts.last_img read more

Conservation groups tell Costa Ricas Chinchilla Throw out the Fisheries Institute board

first_imgEight Costa Rican and international environmental organizations united under the umbrella group Frente por Nuestros Mares recently sent President Laura Chinchilla a letter with more than 6,500 signatures calling for the reform of the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca), the agency charged with regulating the country’s marine resources.The group continues collecting signatures for the petition online here. That petition calls for, among other things, the elimination of Incopesca’s board of directors, which critics note is loaded with commercial fishing interests, a reality that Chinchilla’s own Cabinet-level National Marine Commission acknowledged last year.Environmental groups accuse Incopesca of “ignoring its mission to protect marine resources and favoring the interests of industrial and semi-industrial fishing fleets,” according to the petition.Incopesca’s charter tasks the agency with “promoting, based on scientific and technical criteria, the conservation and sustainable use of aquaculture and marine biological resources.” Yet its nine-member board includes representatives from fishing organizations in each of the three coastal provinces – Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón – as well as representatives from the commercial fishing export sector and the National Commission on Aquaculture and Fish.“You cannot be judge and jury, and Incopesca flagrantly violates this principle,” the group charges.The campaign lists 10 reasons why Incopesca officials are failing at their jobs, and notes that at least one board member – executive president Luis Dobles – is under criminal investigation for derelict of duty.In addition, in August 2012, the Chinchilla administration fired Incopesca Vice President Álvaro Moreno for ethics violations that included representing the shrimping industry as an attorney while working for the agency tasked with regulating it.A complaint filed by the Public Ethics Office earlier that year stated that Moreno provided legal consul to a group of fishermen who were detained in 2009 for fishing without using Turtle Excluder Devices, which are required by law, while acting as Incopesca’s vice president. He served as acting president of the agency on several occasions when Dobles was out of the country.The NGOs also accuse Incopesca of an “irregular” program to provide subsidized fuel to the fishing industry, failure to prevent overfishing by shrimp and tuna fleets, and inaction on shark-finning. And they say Incopesca has fallen short on efforts to support artisanal fishermen who can’t compete against industrial fleets.Dobles, whose relationship with conservation groups could be described as contentious at best, responded to the campaign by telling The Tico Times that environmentalists’ arguments “are really old.”“They regularly launch these campaigns to keep their presence in the media alive,” he said.The structure of Incopesca’s board “is not my invention, nor the agency’s, nor even the current administration’s. It follows the law that created Incopesca,” he said.Dobles added that Incopesca was created by an executive decree in 1994, and the establishment of the board is outlined in Article 7 of that law.“Only the Legislative Assembly can order a change in the administrative structure,” he said, adding that a similar recommendation was ruled out by a “committee of government officials last year.”In 2011, representatives of five government ministries formed the National Marine Commission at Chinchilla’s request to study and draft new policiesfor the protection of marine resource and the management of Costa Rica’s ports.The commission recommended revising Incopesca’s charter to ensure the agency maintained independence and acted in the public interest.Last January, a blue-ribbon panel also created by Chinchilla issued 95 recommendations to improve the country’s governance. The panel recommended the elimination of the boards of 83 government agencies.“We will accept any decision on this matter, but according to the law, it has to come from the Legislative Assembly, not the executive branch,” Dobles said.The campaignFrente por Nuestros Mares is using its website and Facebook page to highlight the damage caused by industrial fishing to marine ecosystems and to artisanal fishermen in Costa Rica.The campaign includes infographics, memes and two video testimonials highlighting the environmental consequences of commercial fishing, particularly by shrimping fleets “that are sweeping away the seabed.”The spots include testimonies from Central Pacific fishermen who narrate how their catch is insufficient even for personal consumption because of the desolation left by large fishing fleets.The videos also include opinions by experts including Álvaro Morales, director of the University of Costa Rica’s Oceanic Sciences and Limnology Research Center, who said that marine resource exploitation in Costa Rica “has been too severe,” and that he believes “the country’s fishing fleet has been allowed to increase without any planning or consideration for marine resources.”The Frente includes conservation groups Pretoma, Keto, Promar Foundation, International Student Volunteers, Sea Save Foundation, The Leatherback Trust, UESPRA and Widecast.As of Wednesday, the Frente had received no response from government officials. According to Pretoma’s Mariano Castro, the group will meet next week to evaluate the campaign’s response and to plan future actions. Facebook Comments Related posts:President Chinchilla pushes for elimination of Incopesca’s board of directors Tuna company, fishermen and environmental groups squabble over unpublished fishing decree Costa Rica’s dolphin-safe tuna designation under scrutiny Winners of Costa Rica Fishackathon create tool to help track fuel subsidies for fishinglast_img read more

Jump for joy Baseball season begins…

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s major league concern Major League Baseball gets in on US-Cuba thaw Football makes strides in baseball-mad Nicaragua With Obama visit, Cubans hope for home run in baseball diplomacy SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Nicaraguan shortstop Everth Cabrera, center, of the San Diego Padres celebrates next with Yasmani Grandal after scoring during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Night at Petco Park on Sunday in San Diego, Calif. Cabrera, one of the few players from Central America currently in the majors, scored the final run in the Padres, 3-1, victory over the Dodgers. The Nicaraguan speedster was suspended for 50 games at the end of last year’s season for using performance-enhancing drugs. At the time of his suspension, Cabrera was leading the league in stolen bases. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Motorcyclists to protest proposed law prohibiting passengers

first_imgTraffic in downtown San José could get complicated Wednesday evening. TheNational Motorcyclists’ Civic Committee announced they will hold a public demonstration to protest proposed regulations prohibiting more than one person on a motorcycle, among other changes.Motorcyclists say the proposed changes violate their private property and free transit rights. Authorities say they’re necessary to reduce crimes committed from atop two wheels.Criminals riding motorcycles have shot 45 people dead in the past year, officials say.Leaders of the motorcyclists’ committee are calling on all riders to gather starting at 5 p.m. outside the National Insurance Institute (INS) in Barrio Amón. Then they plan to caravan to the Legislative Assembly and the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) to deliver petition letters.OIJ Director Francisco Segura Montero is scheduled to attend Thursday’s session of the Legislative Committee on Public Security and Drug Trafficking to discuss ways to curb crime rates, including the proposed new motorcycle rules.During a press conference last week Segura said it was “urgent for the Legislative Assembly to approve amendments and regulations to reduce crimes committed by motorcyclists, which have spiked in recent weeks.”Broad Front Party legislator José Francisco Camacho Leiva, who chairs the Public Security and Drug Trafficking Committee, said legislators agreed to call Segura to the assembly after reviewing OIJ’s numbers on motorcyclists’ participation in murders and other crimes.Camacho said all modifications will be analyzed with caution, as they involve changes in citizens’ rights.“We know that the vast majority of people use motorcycles to work, to transport relatives or for recreation. In that sense we are willing to dialogue about the reforms,” he said.Along with prohibiting more than one person on a motorcycle, Segura proposes banning motorcyclists from wearing balaclavas or using dark helmet visors. He also wants to make it mandatory to display license plate numbers on vests and helmets, and to increase the size of motorcycle license plates.And he wants stricter regulations on carrying weapons.According to Segura, 45 people have been shot dead by motorcyclists since the beginning of 2014. Last year OIJ received 1,738 complaints of assaults committed by individuals driving motorcycles, and so far this year they’ve received 251 complaints.Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría Guzmán believes changes suggested by Segura must be taken into consideration.“(Segura’s) initiative mostly is aimed at strengthening the prevention of robberies and homicides committed with the help of motorcycles,” Chavarría said following Segura’s news conference last week. He said requiring license plate numbers to be displayed on vests was especially important, and said they should appear on the back and front of vests.On Tuesday afternoon, Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata Vega said he supports most of Segura’s proposals. Regarding the ban on passengers, Mata said it has to be carefully evaluated to avoid violating Constitutional rights.That proposal is motorcyclists’ main complaint. Eugenio Badilla Quesada, who leads the National Motorcyclists’ Civic Committee, told The Tico Times that the rule “would affect thousands of families who only have a motorcycle as transportation.”The group also argues that the proposed ban contradicts most motorcycle specifications, which say the vehicles are for two passengers. Badilla said the two-passenger limit “is even stipulated in the vehicle circulation permit collected by INS every year.”As for the other proposals, the motorcycle leader said they are ineffective “as any hitman can print a fake license plate number on a helmet and a vest.”Honduras, Guatemala and several other Latin American countries prohibit passengers on motorcycles. It’s unclear whether the rule has reduced crime in those countries. Last week in Guatemala — in two separate incidents — three journalists were shot dead and a fourth injured by passengers on motorcycles.Badilla said Wednesday night’s protest “is not intended to affect traffic in the capital. (But) we might drive around San José depending on the responses we get from lawmakers and from Francisco Segura.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Motorcycle duo shoots U.S. businessman in Escazú suburb of San José, Costa Rica Costa Rican student arrested in multi-country cybercrime raid Costa Rica’s Public Security Minister calls for new organized crime unit after spike in killings National Police: Property crime down in Limón from last yearlast_img read more

Putin loyalists win Russian local elections

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Observers from Golos recorded more than 1,000 violations nationwide, including voter roll irregularities and multiple voting.“No one is ashamed of anything anymore,” Golos deputy head Grigory Melkonyants said. “We have open and transparent violations of the law, and nobody in government is doing anything about it.”At a meeting with the head of the Central Election Commission, Putin said the elections were “a serious step toward strengthening Russian statehood and created the conditions for energetic, effective development.”Evidence of election fraud at the parliamentary election last December triggered mass anti-Putin protests in Moscow, empowering marginalized opposition leaders. But the dismal turnout on Sunday indicates a passive electorate with little interest in elections that most Russians assume will be manipulated.The highest numbers of violations were reported in the southern cities of Saratov and Krasnodar, according to Golos. The reported violations included the use of fake absentee ballots and the practice of “carousels” enabling people to vote multiple times.Nikolai Levichev, who heads the opposition Just Russia faction in parliament, said observers from his party caught a schoolteacher stuffing ballots who tried to excuse herself by saying “It’s only five ballots.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img In the Siberian city of Barnaul, Golos observers recorded more than 300 vehicles each ferrying four or five voters to several polling stations, a typical example of “carousel” voting. Golos estimated that as many as half of United Russia’s votes there were falsified.In response to the anti-Putin protests, the Kremlin had promised to ease restrictive electoral laws and re-introduce elections for Russia’s 83 provincial governors. But once the protests abated, it introduced new restrictions, such as requiring gubernatorial candidates to represent a party and have the endorsement of at least 5 percent of lawmakers in their regional legislatures, most of which are under Kremlin control.The Kremlin also moved quickly to appoint many new governors _ in effect delaying direct elections in those regions for five more years.In one of Sunday’s most visible races, award-winning environmentalist and opposition leader Yevgeniya Chirikova came in second with 18 percent in the mayoral election in the Moscow suburb of Khimki against Kremlin-backed Oleg Shakhov, who got 48 percent, early results showed.Chirikova and her supporters alleged voting fraud, claiming that hundreds of voters had been added to the rolls overnight, and said observers had been repeatedly hindered by both officials and hired thugs. However, she also proved unable to inspire younger voters or overcome the fears of older residents over her lack of executive experience. Turnout in the race was only 28 percent. Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – President Vladimir Putin’s loyalists swept to victory in most local election races held across Russia, preliminary results showed Monday, while independent observers said the vote was openly rigged. The independent monitoring organization Golos estimated that as many as half of the votes for the Kremlin party in one Siberian city may have been falsified.The Central Election Commission’s results showed Kremlin-backed candidates and incumbent governors won all five gubernatorial races held Sunday. The Kremlin party, United Russia, also dominated mayoral races and those for local legislatures held in 77 of Russia’s 83 regions. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Quick workouts for men Chirikova also had to deal with two spoiler candidates, one an official known for his environmental activism and the other a heavy metal singer who had pledged to staff the Khimki administration with “efficient” Germans. Golos estimated that spoiler candidates, used to steal votes from genuine opposition candidates, received 8 percent of the vote nationwide.Turnout was highest in the gubernatorial race in the Belgorod region, at 48 percent, while it was lowest in the race for the local legislature in Vladivostok, in the Far East, where only 8 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot.Political analyst Alexander Kynev said the low turnout was a damning indictment of the regime, which had ignored voters’ desires for so long that they simply lost interest. “Society demands new leaders,” he said.Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is also the chairman of the United Russia party, hailed the results.“Everyone was expecting the party’s fiasco after the December election,” he said. “But nothing of the kind happened, and we got this result in a completely different environment.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Opposition cements control of Czech Senate

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Prime Minister Petr Necas’ conservative Civic Democrats won four seats for a total of 15, the lowest number ever.The election was held over Friday and Saturday.Although Parliament’s lower house dominates the legislative process, the Senate can delay approval of spending cuts. It also plays an important role in passing constitutional amendments and approving judges for the Constitutional Court.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories PRAGUE (AP) – The opposition Social Democrats have cemented their position as the dominant force in the Czech Parliament’s upper house as voters punish the government for unpopular austerity measures.With all votes counted by the Statistics Office on Saturday, the left-wing Social Democrats won 13 of 27 seats up for grabs in the 81-seat upper house. Together with the far-left Communists, the two leftist parties hold a majority of 48 seats. Top Stories The vital role family plays in society 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Man who landed gyrocopter at US Capitol pleads not guilty

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida man who landed a gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol said Thursday that he will never pull a similar stunt again — and doesn’t recommend anyone else try it either.Douglas Hughes made the comments after appearing in federal court in Washington where his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea to the six charges Hughes now faces.Speaking outside of court, Hughes said he wouldn’t change anything about his April 15 flight in the bare-bones aircraft, but that he wouldn’t be repeating it. “Let me be clear. I’ll never do anything like this again,” said Hughes, who has said his flight was intended to call attention to the influence of big money in politics.He said he believes that if his flight exposed any security flaws, they have been fixed.“Nobody else could do what I did and get away without at best being forced down, at worst being shot down, and I highly recommend nobody try it,” he said.Hughes, 61, began his flight in Pennsylvania and flew through some of the nation’s most restricted airspace before landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn, where he was arrested.On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted him on charges that carry up to 9 Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, before a House Administration Committee hearing to discuss safety concerns after a gyrocopter illegally landed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol grounds, securing officers handguns, and other issues. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Comments   Share   last_img read more

Myanmars Suu Kyi is missing from global meeting on Rohingya

first_imgFILE – In this Nov. 13, 2014, file photo, Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi participates in a meeting at the Parliamentary Resource Center with U.S. President Barack Obama in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. An international gathering about the plight of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims boasts a star-studded cast, with three Nobel Peace laureates among those calling on the world to wake up to the unfolding tragedy. But fellow winner and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will not be among them. She wasn’t invited. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)n Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies After her release in 2010, when ruling generals handed over power to a nominally civilian government, she won a seat in parliament.The 69-year-old says she is a politician and that she never sought to be a human rights champion. Critics note she is carefully choosing her battles, in part because she has presidential ambitions.In a predominantly Buddhist country of 50 million people, where there is much animosity toward the 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims, Suu Kyi (pronounced “Suu chee”) has opted to remain silent, even as the world watched in horror while more than 3,000 hungry, dehydrated Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants washed ashore in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand this month, according to the U.N. refugee agency.The international gathering at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, was opened Tuesday by former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. His country pledged $1.3 million to help Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine state by improving living conditions, preventing people from fleeing by sea and curbing tensions between ethnic groups.The meeting featured video statements from Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu, Jos Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — An international gathering about the plight of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims boasts a star-studded cast, with three Nobel Peace Prize laureates among those calling on the world to wake up to the unfolding tragedy.But fellow winner and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will not be among them. She wasn’t invited.During her 15 years under house arrest, Suu Kyi won admiration across the globe for her fiery speeches and scathing criticism of the military regime that ruled Myanmar, or Burma, at the time. Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

ProEuropean parties ahead in Moldovas local elections

first_imgCHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Pro-European parties came out ahead of those favoring closer ties with Russia in Moldova’s local elections, an overall vote count indicated Monday, although many cities had no outright winner and will hold runoffs in two weeks.In Chisinau, the incumbent mayor, pro-European Dorin Chirtoaca was ahead but without enough votes to secure a majority.Pro-European parties scored about 51 percent of the votes nationwide in Sunday’s ballot, with pro-Russian parties polling at about 36 percent, the results showed. The remainder of votes went to independent parties. The elections were seen as a test of whether Moldova would remain committed to European integration or choose to move closer to Russia.Pro-European parties won outright in 348 cities, towns and villages, while pro-Russian parties won in 56 others and independent candidates in 34. In some 458 other places runoffs will be held June 28 because no candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote.They include Chisinau, where Chirtoaca had 37.4 percent of the vote and pro-Russian challenger Zinaida Greceanai had 35.9 percent after 99 percent of the vote was counted Monday.Renato Usatii, a pro-Russian businessman, won outright in Moldova’s second-largest city, Balti, taking 73.7 percent of votes. The city in northern Moldova is traditionally pro-Russian.Usatii, who headed the Patria party, fled to Russia in November ahead of parliamentary elections, saying he feared arrest by Moldovan authorities after a court banned his party from taking part in the ballot because it received money from abroad.Pro-Russian businessman Ilan Shor, who is being probed over the disappearance of $1.5 billion from three Moldovan banks before the November elections, won outright in the eastern town of town of Orhei, polling 62 percent of the vote. The local elections in the former Soviet republic came days after pro-European Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici resigned amid questions about the authenticity of his high school diploma and university degree.___Alison Mutler in Bucharest, Romania contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

The Latest At least 5 Britons killed in Tunisia attack

first_img Top holiday drink recipes The Foreign Office is advising Britons in hotels near the attack to remain in their hotels in case more attackers are on the loose, and to contact tour companies and British officials.___7.15 p.mHomeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says his department is encouraging law enforcement “to be vigilant and prepared” ahead of the July 4th holiday in the U.S. following attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.Johnson says people should attend Independence Day events as planned but “remain vigilant” and report any suspicious activity.He says U.S. authorities will adjust security measures, including those unseen by the public, as necessary.A gunman killed at least 37 people and wounded 36 in an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia Friday. In Kuwait, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, while a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals rammed a car into a gas factory in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The severed head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance.___6.50 p.mPresident Vladimir Putin has offered condolences to his Tunisian counterpart in connection with the attack at a beach resort that killed at least 37. How men can have a healthy 2019 TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The latest news from an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia (all times local):___7.20 p.mBritish Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says at least five Britons have been killed in the attack on the Tunisian resort of Sousse.Hammond said the British death toll could rise and a high proportion of the 37 people who were killed by a lone gunman is likely to be British.Hammond spoke after chairing a meeting of the government’s crisis committee, COBRA, on Friday. Interior Ministry Spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said that one of the gunmen was killed and police are pursuing the other.Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, is a popular resort for both Tunisians and Europeans.Aroui said the death toll could rise.Tunisia has been battered by attacks by militants, most recently in March when two Tunisians returning from Libya killed 22 people at the national museum.___This story has been corrected to say there was only one gunman, not two.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Col. Steve Warren says Pentagon condemns “these terrorist attacks” and will continue to work with international partners to fight the Islamic State group and other violent extremist groups.He noted IS has claimed responsibility for one attack, but said Pentagon continues to look into “whether or not these various and far flung attacks were coordinated centrally or whether they were coincidental.”A gunman killed at least 28 people and wounded 36 in an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia Friday. In Kuwait, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, while a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals rammed a car into a gas factory in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The severed head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance.___5.15 p.mA lawmaker says a woman from Ireland has died from gunshot wounds following the terror attack in a beach resort in Tunisia that has claimed at least 28 lives.The politician, Ray Butler, says he has spoken by telephone to the husband of the dead woman. He says the two were vacationing in Tunisia together when she was shot on the beach outside their hotel, and the husband was still inside. ___4.50 p.mThe head of the European Commission, Donald Tusk says that political stability in Tunisia is also vital for Europe and that the attack there was not accidental.“I believe that it is not accidental that Tunisia is among the countries attacked by terrorists,” Tusk told reporters in Brussels Friday.He said Tunisia is one of the few countries in the region that give hope for stability, albeit “very sensitive” stability.For European and regional security “it is important to maintain political stability in the country, also because of the hot issue of migrants,” he said.A gunman killed at least 28 people and wounded 36 in an attack on the beach resort town Sousse on Friday.___4.40 p.mGerman tour operators are offering people booked to Tunisia in the coming weeks the chance to cancel their vacations or change their destination for free, and say they’ll work to bring home people who want to leave the country early.Major tour operator TUI said Friday that people booked to Tunisia this summer can cancel or rebook for free through Sept. 15. The company says it will organize early departures for those who want to leave Tunisia.DER Touristik, the parent company for several other tour operators, says it’s offering customers booked to leave for Tunisia through July 10 free cancelations or rebookings. Nafti said there was a shortage of psychological help for survivors of the attack at a hotel in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse.It was Tunisia’s deadliest such attack.___5.45 p.mThe secretary-general of the United Nations has condemned the suspected terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France.A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said Friday that “those responsible for these appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice.”He said the secretary-general affirms that “these heinous attacks will only strengthen the commitment of the United Nations to help defeat those bent on murder, destruction and the annihilation of human development and culture.”A gunman killed at least 28 people and wounded 36 in an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia Friday. In Kuwait, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, while a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals rammed a car into a gas factory in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The severed head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance.___5.35 p.mA Pentagon spokesman says it is too early to say if the three attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France were coordinated. ___4.05 p.mTunisian state television quotes the Interior Ministry as saying the toll for the beach attack in Sousse has risen to 28 dead and 36 wounded.The Interior Ministry had previously said 27 people died and six were wounded after gunmen attacked the resort town Friday.The Health Ministry said the dead include Tunisians, Britons, Germans and Belgians.___4.00 p.m.Germany’s foreign minister says his government doesn’t yet know whether Germans were among the victims of the attack on a beach resort in Tunisia.Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted in a statement that the Group of Seven nations assured Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi of their support in fighting terrorism when he was a guest at the G-7 summit in Germany earlier this month. He said that “today’s attack can only strengthen us in that.”Steinmeier’s ministry said it was working to clear up whether Germans were affected and a consular team from the German Embassy in Tunis was heading to the scene.At least 27 people died and six were wounded in the attack Friday.___3.30 p.m.The Spanish company that owns the hotel at a Tunisia beach resort which was attacked by gunmen has offered its condolences to the victims and their families. Comments   Share   ___2.35 p.m.A tourist from Ireland says she was on the beach in Tunisia with her two sons when she heard what she first thought were fireworks.Elizabeth O’Brien tells Ireland’s RTE radio she looked about 500 meters away and saw a hot air balloon collapse, then heard rapid firing and saw two people who were going to go up in the balloon running toward her.Authorities say at least 27 people have been killed in the attack on the beach there.O’Brien says she rushed to the sea to get her children and that waiters and security on the beach urged them to run as they raced toward the hotel. They ran to their room and holed up there.She says her travel agent told her to go talk to someone at the reception desk but she’s too afraid to leave the room.___2.20 p.m.Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui says the police operation to catch the second gunman behind the attack on the beach resort is ongoing and the exchange of fire is continuing.He says one gunman behind “the terrorist attack was killed during an exchange of fire with security forces.”“A terrorist infiltrated the buildings from the back before opening fire on the residents of the hotel, including foreigners and Tunisians,” he said. Sponsored Stories ___6.15 p.mWhite House spokesman Eric Shultz says President Barack Obama has been briefed about the three attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France and continues to receive updates.He said U.S. national security staff and intelligence professionals “are in touch with their counterparts in their respective countries and continue to offer help and assistance in those countries.”He said there was no immediate intelligence assessment available on the unfolding situation.“Our law enforcement officials continue to be in touch with our counterparts in France,” he said.A gunman killed at least 37 people and wounded 36 in an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia Friday. In Kuwait, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, while a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals rammed a car into a gas factory in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The severed head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance.___5.45 p.mA Health Ministry spokesman says the death toll following the attack against sunbathers at a Tunisian beach resort has increased to 37.Choukri Nafti said another 36 people were wounded in Friday’s attack and two or three of them are in critical condition. ___1:25 p.m.Tunisian state television says the number of people killed in an attack on a tourist resort is now 19 after two gunmen opened fire on beachgoers.There have been no details on the nationalities of those killed in the resort of Sousse on Friday, but during the holy month of Ramadan, those on the beach tend to be tourists.Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said security forces intervened immediately and killed one of the attackers, the other fled the scene.___1:20 p.m.A British tourist close to the scene of a deadly attack on a Tunisian beach resort has described his experiences.Gary Pine said he was on the beach and heard what “we thought was firecrackers going off” 100 yards away, followed by an explosion from the next hotel complex along.“There was a mass exodus off the beach,” he told Sky News. He said his son said he had seen someone get shot on the beach.He said guests at his hotel were first told to lock themselves in their rooms, and later to gather in the lobby.Tunisia’s Interior Ministry says two gunmen opened fire on a beach in the coastal resort of Sousse Friday, killing at least seven people.___1 p.m.Tunisia’s Interior Ministry says two gunmen opened fire on a beach near two hotels in the coastal resort city of Sousse, killing at least seven people. The Kremlin said Friday that Putin condemned the attack and “confirmed readiness to cooperate most closely with the Tunisian leadership in fighting terror threat.”A gunman killed at least 37 people and wounded 36 in an attack on the beach resort town Sousse in Tunisia on Friday.___6.40 p.mBritish tourists have described the horror they experienced at the beach resort in Tunisia where a gunman killed 37 people and wounded 36.Olivia Leathley, 24, from Manchester in northwest England, told Britain’s Press Association she saw one woman whose husband had been shot in the stomach in front of her.She said the woman was “dragged away by hotel reps trying to get her to safety but she was a complete mess. She was in hysterics.”Leathley said: “All she said was that he’d been shot and that he was there bleeding on the beach and he was just saying, ‘I love you I love you,’ and then his eyes rolled back into his head.”Debbie Horsfall from Huddersfield in northern England told the BBC the gunman had started firing on people at the sandbanks right next to her.“As he began to fire we just got up and ran straight to our hotel,” she said. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall At least 27 people have been killed in the attack near two hotels in the coastal resort city of Sousse.___2 p.m.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has confirmed that one of the two beachside hotels where tourists were shot in Tunisia, killing at least 27 people, is owned by a Spanish company.Rajoy said from Brussels that the attacks Friday in Tunisia and in France were both acts of terror but did not provide more details.Tunisian officials identified the hotel Rajoy referred to as the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in the Port El Kantaoui neighborhood of Sousse. It is owned by Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts, which has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries.The company’s media office said RIU’s board of directors was holding an emergency meeting following the attack.The media office had no immediate comment on what happened or the nationalities of victims but said the company planned to issue a statement.___1:45 p.m.Tunisia’s Interior Ministry spokesman has told the state news agency that the toll in an attack on a beach resort has risen to 27.Mohammed Ali Aroui described the victims as mostly tourists but did not give any nationalities. Local radio has said those killed Friday in the resort of Sousse were mostly German and British. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help “He is absolutely distraught,” Butler says.Butler says the woman was in her 50s and from the village of Robinstown, County Meath, northwest of Dublin.The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs says it cannot confirm whether an Irish citizen is among those killed in Friday’s attack. It says more than 60 Irish holidaymakers are in the country.Another group of Irish holidaymakers due to depart Friday night to Tunisia have had their bookings refunded.___5.10 p.mSpain has raised its terror threat level to the second highest level on its scale as a precautionary measure following the suspected terror attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait.Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters the level was raised from 3 to 4, meaning the country faces a high risk of a possible attack. Spain’s highest terror threat level is 5.Spanish officials have no information suggesting that the country faces an imminent attack, Fernandez Diaz said.A gunman killed at least 28 people and wounded 36 in an attack on a beach resort in Tunisia Friday. In Kuwait, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, while a man with suspected ties to French Islamic radicals rammed a car into a gas factory in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The severed head of a local businessman was left hanging at the factory’s entrance. It says it’s organizing places on planes for people who want to leave Tunisia. Neither company had details on whether cancelations already have been received.___4.35 p.mTunisia’s Interior Ministry says the gunman killed by police was acting alone when he attacked a beach resort, killing at least 28 people and wounding 36.The Interior Ministry had previously said two attackers were involved in the attack at a hotel and beach in the resort town Sousse, including one who had fled the scene.___4.15 p.mA terror expert says the attack at a Tunisian beach resort should “probably be seen as an attempt to destabilize the economy as well as the wider political situation in Tunisia.”Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchins from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London said similar attacks had earlier damaged tourism in Egypt and Kenya.He said Friday’s attack, which left at least 28 dead and 36 wounded, is “really is going to lead to a massive reduction in tourism.”“We have people relaxing on the beach on their holidays being murdered — that is not going to help the attempts by the Tunisian tourist industry to get people to come to the country,” he said. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility At least 27 people died and six were wounded in the attack Friday.RIU Hotels & Resorts said in a statement that it is collecting information about what happened on the beach in front of the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in the Port El Kantaoui neighborhood of Sousse.It said it is in “permanent contact with authorities.”RIU promised to report its findings to the public on its Website and through social media.The company’s statement made no mention of the nationalities of guests killed.___3.20 p.m.Rafik Chelli, one of Tunisia’s top security officials, told Mosaique FM that the gunman shot by security forces after attacking a Tunisian beach resort was unknown to authorities.He said the man, from the city of Kairouan, came from the beach hiding his Kalashnikov under an umbrella before opening fire on the tourists. From there he entered the Hotel Imperial through the pool, shooting people as he went.Chelli said there were many foreigners among the victims but he did not have an exact count of the nationalities.He said authorities had a plan to protect the hotels during the month of Ramadan but this was an isolated operation that is difficult to counter against and there is never zero risk.last_img read more

BA staff Unite after strikes

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J British Airways and its cabin crew union, Unite have reached an agreement that could end over two years worth of disputes. The carrier’s staff are said to have viewed the latest proposal early yesterday morning and have commenced voting on calling off further strikes, Sky News reported. The deal is said to include reinstated travel perks, which were removed and sworn never to return by previous BA chief executive Billie Walsh, according to media. “Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will address British Airways’ cabin crew at a mass meeting planned tomorrow (12 May) to update cabin crew members on the status of talks being held between Unite and British Airways’ management,” an online statement from the union read. Disputes have cost the carrier up to £150m, according to media, with strikes lasting up to three weeks in total over the two years. last_img read more

Melbourne Airport anticipating Emirates A380

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Melbourne Airport chief Chris Woodruff labelled the city “Australia’s global gateway,” ahead of the arrival of Emirates’ A380 daily service, commencing October 2012. Mr Woodruff said Melbourne Airport was the first Australian airport to be A380-ready and will continue to facilitate the support and growth of A380 services in the future.“We have opened two additional international gates and upgraded more of our aerobridges to be A380 capable. We have invested almost $50 million in two additional baggage reclaim units in our international arrivals area which adds to our A380 capability.” Melbourne’s substantial international passenger growth can be attributed to many factors.“Combined with our single terminal precinct, our curfew free status provides airlines and passengers flexibility and convenience.  This is particularly important for markets such as Europe and the Middle East where Melbourne, and Australia, are part of a global network,” Mr Woodruff said.“Emirates is looking forward to further strengthening its commitment to Australia with the launch of its A380 service to Melbourne, which will become the airline’s twentieth A380 destination on Emirates’ rapidly expanding global network,” Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations Far East & Australasia Salem Obaidalla said. Mr Woodruff said the new Emirates A380 services to Melbourne would also positively contribute to the Victorian tourism industry.“As a leading, full service international carrier, Emirates’ decision to introduce a daily A380 service to Melbourne is a great vote of confidence in our city and state as a global destination.”Emirates’ daily A380 Dubai-Melbourne-Auckland service will commence on 2 October, 2012.last_img read more

Africa to prioritise aviation IATA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on industry and government leaders in Africa to work together in making aviation a priority. IATA’s director general Tony Tyler said aviation could play an even bigger role in facilitating Africa’s growth and development. Currently the industry supports 6.7 million high quality jobs and business activity totalling some $67.8 billion. “We need a team effort of government and industry focused on improving safety, adopting a coordinated policy approach and implementing global standards,” Mr Tyler said. At the Aviation Days event in Dakar, Senegal, key issues such as safety, regional cooperation and global standards for infrastructure funding were highlighted as needing to be addressed. With the continent experiencing an average of one accident for every 305,000 flights in 2011, safety was the most pressing problem for the aviation industry in Africa. “It should be as safe to travel by air in Africa as it is in any other part of the world,” Tyler said of the figure that was nine times worse than the global average. The director general said the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan aimed at addressing safety shares the goal to achieve world-class safety levels across Africa by 2015. Key priorities of the plan include adopting and implementing an effective and transparent regulatory oversight system. Focus will be on the implementation of runway safety measures, training on preventing loss of control, implementation of flight data analysis (FDA) and of Safety Management Systems (SMS). In addition to addressing safety issues, Africa faces challenges including inadequate infrastructure, ‘brain drain’ and skills building, finding sources for capital, fleet modernization and building competitiveness, according to Mr Tyler. However the governments of Africa do not see aviation as a priority, as focuses on eliminating poverty, improving health, raising living standards, and generating jobs rank much higher. “My message is not to shift priorities, but to ask governments to see aviation as an economic driver and develop policies to support that important role,” Mr Tyler concluded.last_img read more