Catalonias tourism faces a 10 hit in fourth quarter

first_img By: Pan PylasSource: The Associated Press Tags: Spain, Trend Watch Tuesday, November 7, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> LONDON — The restive Spanish region of Catalonia faces a potential $500 million financial hit in the fourth quarter as business-related travel dips following the attack in Barcelona and the uncertainty generated by the disputed independence referendum.In an interview Monday with The Associated Press at the World Travel Market in London, Catalonia’s top tourism official Patrick Torrent said the region will likely see a 10-12 per cent fall in tourist numbers during the fourth quarter, which would equate to around 450 million euros. The large bulk of that fall is related to a drop-off in business travel to events such as conventions.Despite the anticipated fourth-quarter decline, the executive director at the Catalan Tourist Board, said Catalonia is set to see revenues this year outstrip those last year and that the expectation is that revenues will rise again next.However, more insight will emerge at the turn of the year when the bulk of pre-reservations are made. His staff, he said, are “on alert” about the impact on the main booking season.The worry among many economists is that deteriorating business environment in Catalonia, which has seen around 1,500 firms move their headquarters out of the region, could worsen further amid all the uncertainty. Credit ratings agency Moody’s has warned that the region’s financial recovery is being jeopardizedMore news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kong“Moody’s believes that the political instability will negatively affect the region’s economy, in particular foreign investor sentiment and the tourism sector, and add pressure to the region’s already weak finances,” it said last week.The Catalan tourism industry, a key income generator in what is Spain’s richest region, has had a difficult few months. After the August attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that saw 16 people killed, the region has been embroiled in a battle of wills with Spain over the disputed independence referendum in early October which prompted Madrid to impose direct rule and seek the arrest of members of the Catalan government, including its leader, Carles Puigdemont, who has fled to Brussels.The impact of the attack in Barcelona on holiday travellers was short-lived, according to Torrent, and “less important” than other cities in Europe, such as Brussels or Paris.“The perception of Barcelona and Catalonia as a safe destination has not suffered any impact,” he said, noting figures showing tourism numbers higher in September.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsTorrent said he met up with Alvaro Nadal, the Spanish minister of energy, tourism and digital matters, on Monday for the first time since the triggering of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution which imposed direct rule on Catalonia.Torrent said the Spanish government has made no requirements upon him or his staff and that it is “business as usual” until an early Catalan regional election on Dec. 21.“It’s not intervention. It’s more a kind of co-ordination,” he said. “It’s easy, it’s not complicated, with good relations without problems, at this moment.”Before direct rule, Torrent would speak with Spanish tourism officials two or three times a month. Now, it’s that amount of times a week.Torrent urged all participants in upcoming demonstrations in Catalonia before the election, including one this Saturday, to remain peaceful and law-abiding.“It’s important to say that our streets are normal, our restaurants are working as usual, our destination is exactly the same situation,” Torrent said. Catalonia’s tourism faces a 10% hit in fourth quarter Sharelast_img read more

Buy 1 get 2nd at 50 off with Sunwings BOGO sale

first_img Posted by Buy 1, get 2nd at 50% off with Sunwing’s BOGO sale Monday, November 12, 2018 Share Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Sunwing is bringing back its popular BOGO sale, but for one week only.With the sale, clients can buy one vacation package and get the second at 50% off when purchasing select vacation packages from a range of resorts across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.Bookings must be made by Nov. 16 for departure dates from January 2019 onwards.Clients can also take advantage of cruise packages with Norwegian Cruise Line departing from select airports throughout February.Moreover, Canadians who book with Sunwing during this promotion can get more value with perks like Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, unlimited specialty dining, discounted spa treatments and exclusive access to private beach and pool areas.Participating resorts include the brand new Grand Memories Punta Cana featuring stylish accommodations that can fit five or more guests as well as access to one of the largest on-site water parks in the Caribbean.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionAlso included in the promotion is the Riu Dunamar on Playa Mujeres beach in Cancun. This family-friendly resort features its own water park, complimentary non-motorized water sports like kayaking, a supervised kids club, the Renova Spa and a host of RIU-topia perks such as in-room liquor dispensers and reservation-free dining at specialty restaurants.There’s also Sunscape Splash Montego Bay located near Dunn’s River Falls, which also includes a pirate-themed water park complete with 250-foot waterslides.All Sunwing packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines. Tags: Sales, Sunwing << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Carnival prioritizes high yield segment with new Carnival Excel suites

first_img Posted by MIAMI — Carnival is offering a sneak peek at its new high-level Carnival Excel suites making their debut on new-build Mardi Gras, slated to enter service in August 2020.Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, Mardi Gras is scheduled to launch in Europe on Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages before shiftomg to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises starting in October 2020. Bookings for Mardi Gras opened in January 2019.Mardi Gras will offer 180+ suites across 11 styles including the new premium category Carnival Excel suites with select amenities and access to a new open-air enclave called Loft 19. Carnival President Christine Duffy says “all of our accommodations have been designed to exceed our guests’ expectations, and the suite offerings will kick that up a notch or two for those who want an extra special Choose Fun vacation.”The new premium suite level on Mardi Gras includes 32 suites in four categories:   Carnival Excel Presidential Suite – Two Presidential Suites – the largest in the fleet – located on Deck 17 that feature living, dining and sleeping areas along with the fleet’s most expansive balconies with sea views, large sunbed and lounging areas, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and shower. These suites also include access to the spa’s thermal suite and the Havana pool area.Excel Presidential SuiteExcel Presidential Suite LoungeCarnival Excel Aft Suite – 12 suites overlooking Summer Landing and boasting separate living rooms and bedrooms with large wraparound balconies offering impressive ocean views, as well as a private outdoor hot tub and areas for al fresco dining and relaxing.Excel Aft. Suite BalconyCarnival Excel Corner Suite – 12 suites on the port and starboard sides of the ship featuring separate sleeping and lounging areas, a wet bar and wraparound balconies with lounging and dining areas.Carnival Excel Suite – Six suites on Decks 10, 11 and 12 with sleeping, dining and relaxing areas. The spacious balconies include loungers and a dining area.Excel SuiteAll suites onboard Mardi Gras will include an amenities package that includes priority boarding and debarkation, priority main dining room seating, plush bathrobes and bottled water upon arrival.Guests in the 32 Carnival Excel suites will enjoy standard suite amenities plus the following:Unlimited access to Loft 19Dedicated concierge phone lineGuaranteed specialty dining times (with the exception of Bonsai Teppanyaki and the Chef’s Table)Complimentary Bottomless Bubbles soda package, room service and laundrySparkling wine and fresh fruit basket upon arrivalUpgraded bathroom amenitiesMore news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthMeanwhile Loft 19, located on the ship’s highest deck, is another new concept for Carnival with full bar service, a private pool surrounded by sun loungers and spacious cabanas available for rent. Cabanas are fully stocked with beverages, plush robes and chilled towels, fresh fruit, lunch delivery and dedicated concierge service. Carnival Excel suite guests will receive priority when reserving Loft 19 cabanas.Loft 19 Cabana ViewLoft 19 Pool ViewIn addition to the Carnival Excel class suites, Mardi Gras will also feature:Ocean Suites – separate sleeping and lounging areas with ergonomically-friendly design.Tropics-inspired Havana Suites – private patios with a swing chair and direct access to The Lanai.Extra-roomy Family Harbor Suites – nautical décor, large-scale windows and toddler benches.Cloud 9 Spa Suites – with special spa privileges such as two fitness classes, access to the ship’s Thermal Suite and a scrub kit.The new suite options are in addition to the Mardi Gras’ accommodations with turquoise hues and enhanced by design touches like floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors; new sofas that flip into beds; more 110V power outlets and USB connections than on any other ship; flexible bedside reading lamps; a larger, more customizable wardrobe with extensive storage options; and spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar. Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Carnival prioritizes high yield segment with new Carnival Excel suites Tags: Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Mardi Gras, Openings & Renovations << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

UNIGLOBE Travel announces new partner agency agency renewal

first_imgUNIGLOBE Travel announces new partner agency & agency renewal Travelweek Group Friday, July 26, 2019 Share TORONTO — UNIGLOBE Travel has added Voyages Concierge Deluxe Travel & Voyages Westmount Travel in Montreal as its newest Partner Agency in Eastern Canada.Owned by Tony Fragapane, who has worked in the travel industry since 1972, and his wife Maria Viviano Urso, Voyages Concierge is comprised of 70% Corporate and 30% Leisure, with a high-end cruise department. It’s also one of Air Canada’s Circle of Excellence agencies.In addition, McTavish Travel has signed a multi-year renewal of its UNIGLOBE partner agency agreement. McTavish, the first agency to join the UNIGLOBE Partner Program back in April, is a full-service Travel Management Company that serves corporate, non-profit, leisure and group travel.On these latest developments, Dean Dacko, Regional President, UNIGLOBE Travel (Eastern Canada), said: “These announcements strongly represent the continued strength of the UNIGLOBE Travel brand in Canada. UNIGLOBE continues to grow and succeed in a very competitive market by providing a leading edge technology solution, combined with highly effective client support tools that exceed customer expectations, and drives the growth of our business in Canada.”center_img Tags: UNIGLOBE, Voyages Concierge Deluxe Travel, Voyages Westmount Travel Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Nicaragua withdraws from OAS defense treaty

first_imgTIQUIPAYA, Bolivia – Nicaraguan officials announced Wednesday that the country is withdrawing – along with Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador – from a regional defense treaty dating back to the Cold War.The treaty calls for Organization of American States (OAS ) members to defend each other if attacked by an outside party.“Our countries have made the decision to bury what deserves to be buried, to throw into the trash what is no longer useful,” Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador’s foreign minister, said in reference to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance.The treaty, created in 1947 under U.S. leadership at the start of the Cold War, was considered an important tool for the United States, which was able to exert influence on Latin America until the 1980s.The pullout was announced at a meeting between members of the OAS in Bolivia. The four countries exiting the treaty have taken issue with the OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. They accused the commission of being too close to the U.S. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Who is jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela – Leopoldo López, a Harvard-trained politician and ardent opponent of Venezuela’s socialist government, is seen by enemies and supporters alike as the face of recent street protests against the regime.López clasped the hand of his wife, Lilian Tintori, and exchanged a few quiet words with her before turning himself in to authorities at a tumultuous rally in Caracas on Tuesday.A former mayor of the wealthy Chacao borough of Caracas, López had been targeted as public enemy number one by the government, as it hit back against the latest round of high-stakes protests this week.President Nicolás Maduro ordered López’s arrest on charges of homicide and inciting violence, holding him responsible for tumultuous street clashes in Caracas last week that left three people dead.López, for his part, said he was turning himself in after several days as a fugitive from authorities in a gesture of sacrifice for the public good.“If my incarceration serves to wake up a people, … my infamous incarceration will have been worth it,” said the 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, minutes before surrendering to the National Guard.Blessed with matinee-idol good looks and an easy smile, López has a strong following in parts of Venezuela, winning his past elections by comfortable, and even overwhelming margins.He has a long history of activism in the country’s anti-socialist opposition, having been at the forefront of demonstrations in April 2002 that led to a coup that briefly ousted then-President Hugo Chávez.A child of privilege, López received a good deal of his education in the United States.He attended the fancy Hun prep school in Princeton, New Jersey, before enrolling at Ohio’s elite Kenyon College.He went on to get his master’s degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Brash, ambitious, now jailedLópez is considered brash and ambitious — dangerous attributes for his foe Maduro, 51, Chávez’s handpicked successor, who is deemed by many Venezuelans to be somewhat charisma-challenged.The Maduro government is grappling with angry student protests orchestrated at least in part by López that began in the interior of the oil-rich country and boiled over into street clashes in Caracas. Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López hold a protest in front of the Justice Palace, on Feb. 19, 2014, in Caracas. Raúl Arboleda/AFPLópez’s staunch opposition to the government dates back to the regime of late firebrand President Chávez, who in 2011 barred him from holding political office for three years.It was the second period of political banishment for López: The government also accused him of influence peddling while working in 1998 as a manager at the Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) state oil company, and in 2008 barred him from holding public office for one year.López served two terms as mayor of Chacao from 2000 to 2008. During that time he was dogged by allegations that he had misappropriated public funds. He has rejected all of the charges against him as political persecution by the Chávez regime.After being expelled as leader of the Un Nuevo Tiempo party (“A New Time”) which he had joined in 2007, López in 2009 created his center-right Voluntad Popular, or “People’s Will” party.The party has been front and center in leading the demonstrations that have roiled Venezuela, which has been deeply divided in the aftermath of Chávez’s death and Maduro’s unsteady stewardship of the economy.The demonstrations have sprung up amid growing public discontent over rising crime and a worsening economy, despite Venezuela having the world’s biggest proven oil reserves.Maduro has accused “right wing fascists” — of whom he considers López the ringleader — for the recent unrest.López and two other opposition leaders — lawmaker María Corina Machado and the mayor of metropolitan Caracas, Antonio Ledezma — advocate using street protests to force Maduro from office.Under the slogan “the way out,” López and other opposition leaders have pushed for anti-government protests to force a “constitutional change.”There is no provision for recall elections until April 2016, and Maduro, who was elected in April 2013, has said he will never resign.The country’s other leading opposition figure, Henrique Capriles — a candidate in Venezuela’s last two presidential elections — although equally opposed to Maduro, has warned that conditions are yet not ripe for a change of government.The protests flared on Feb. 4, when students at a university in the western state of Tachira staged a demonstration against rampant crime after a student was raped. Facebook Comments Related posts:Showdown looms for Venezuela, as protest leader Leopoldo López vows new march Venezuelan opposition wants to free prisoners, push Maduro Venezuela rating cut by Moody’s as oil plunge hits finances Venezuela opposition leader Leopoldo López gets nearly 14 years prisonlast_img read more

Copilot deliberately crashed Germanwings plane prosecutor

first_imgRelated posts:Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace Authorities recover black box in Germanwings crash that left 150 dead in French Alps Murder-suicide by plane: What drove Lubitz to do it? Germanwings co-pilot treated in past for suicidal tendencies SEYNE, France — The young co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps after locking his captain out of the cockpit, but is not believed to be part of a terrorist plot, French officials said Thursday.German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed the pilot had no terrorist background.The 28-year-old co-pilot “deliberately” initiated the plane’s descent, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told a press conference in which he revealed the details of recordings made by the Airbus’ cockpit flight recorder in the final minutes before the crash that killed all 150 aboard.“The co-pilot is alone at the controls,” Robin said. “He voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and voluntarily began the descent of the plane.”There was no immediate clue to the motive of the co-pilot, but investigators appeared to rule out terrorism.“At this moment, there is no indication that this is an act of terrorism,” Robin said, adding that the co-pilot, identified as Andreas Lubitz, had no known terrorist connection. “He was not known to us.”Despite the horrifying scenario of a rogue co-pilot sending the Germanwings crew and passengers to their deaths, Robin said that the passengers on board probably were unaware “until the end.”“The screams aren’t heard until the end,” he said.All six crew and 144 passengers died “instantly,” he added.The co-pilot, who deliberately set the controls “to accelerate the plane’s descent” into the side of a mountain in a region famous for its ski resorts, “was conscious until the moment of impact,” Robin said.Grieving relatives The shocking new information was released as families and friends of victims began arriving in France to travel to the remote mountainous crash site area, where locals have opened their doors in a show of solidarity with the grieving relatives.Two planes arrived in southern France on Thursday from Barcelona and Duesseldorf with families and friends.Tents were set up for them near the crash site area to give DNA samples to start the process of identifying the bodies of loved ones, at least 51 of whom were Spaniards and at least 72 Germans.Meanwhile, the remains of victims, found scattered across the scree-covered slopes, were being taken by helicopter to nearby Seyne-les-Alpes, a source close to the investigation told AFP.A mountain guide who got near the crash site said he was unable to make out recognisable body parts.“It’s incredible. An Airbus is enormous. When you arrive and there’s nothing there… it’s very shocking,” said the guide, who did not wish to be identified.The crash site, which is situated at about 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) altitude, is accessible only by helicopter or an arduous hike on foot.French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew over the site to see the devastation for themselves Wednesday. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also visited a crisis center near the scene.It was the deadliest air crash on the French mainland since 1974 when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed, killing 346 people.Lufthansa said the aircraft was carrying citizens of 18 countries. Three Americans and three Britons were confirmed among the victims.Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Holland, Israel, Japan, Mexico and Morocco also had nationals on board, according to officials.Silent flight to disasterInvestigators say that once the co-pilot locked himself in, he never talked again. After he sent the plane into its fatal last dive, ground control repeatedly tried make contact and the co-pilot did not answer.“He had no reason not to talk to air control,” Robin said, adding that they could hear him “breathe normally.”“He didn’t reply to a thing. He didn’t say a word. In the cockpit, it was utter silence.”A source close to the enquiry said an alarm indicating proximity to the ground could be heard before the moment of impact.The dead on board flight 4U 9525 included two babies and 16 German school exchange pupils. They were flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.A second black box, which records flight data, has not yet been recovered.The New York Times cited a senior military official involved in the investigation as saying the cockpit black box recording indicated the pilot tried unsuccessfully to bash his way back in to the cockpit.“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator told the newspaper. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Thursday rains cause flooding emergencies in 23 cantons

first_imgPersistent rainfall in the capital flooded several streets and homes, mostly south and west of downtown San José in Barrio Luján, La Uruca and Hatillo.Showers also caused some rivers in the capital to overflow, causing bridges, streets and homes to flood in 16 communities, the Municipality of San José reported.The Traffic Police reported at 9 p.m. Thursday that they had attended a total of 95 accidents and other incidents on roads caused by flooding and overflowing rivers.The Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) suspended the train service in Cartago as flooding left rocks and mud along various stretches of the railroad.INCOFER also cancelled all Friday morning trips between Heredia and San José to clean debris from the railroad.The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) estimated cumulative rainfall recorded Thursday was between 30 and 120 millimeters (1 and 5 inches).The agency noted that rainfall levels recorded in the country on Wednesday and Thursday represent 50 percent of the average rainfall during the month of October.More rains comingThe IMN said the influence here of Hurricane Matthew is expected to dissipate on Friday.Rains however will continue over the weekend. An IMN forecast on Friday morning stated that heavy showers with thunderstorms will resume on Friday evening.The IMN stated that these showers are not influenced by Matthew but by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, a band of clouds, showers and thunderstorms that encircles the globe near the equator.The heaviest rains are expected over communities in the Central Valley, the Pacific region, Northern Zone and the mountainous areas of the Caribbean.IMN estimates rainfall levels on Friday will range between 30 and 60 mm (1 and 2.5 inches), although rain could be heavier in some areas.CNE officials recommend that the population remain alert and monitor nearby sewers and rivers. Facebook Comments Heavy rains in Costa Rica caused by the indirect influence of Hurricane Matthew prompted the evacuation of 153 people on Thursday evening in three provinces, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported.Emergency agencies on Thursday attended 100 incidents at homes, public roads and buildings in 23 cantons in the provinces of Cartago, Heredia and the capital San José.The CNE opened five temporary shelters in Cartago to host evacuees from the Cartago cantons of La Unión, Turrialba, Paraíso, El Guarco and Central Cartago. Barrio El Molino en Cartago, completamente inundado! #TraficoCR #TiempoCR pic.twitter.com/infTZaZPwN— Greivin (@Grei_Hernandez) October 6, 2016center_img Related posts:Tropical wave increases rains over Costa Rica Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May Costa Rica’s southern Pacific hit by heavy rains, flooding National Emergency Commission issues preventive alert for heavy rainslast_img read more

Australia rejects proposal to base US carrier

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   “There’s a concern that the more the U.S. builds up its military posture in the Western Pacific as part of President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia, the higher the risk that the U.S.-China relationship will become more competitive, more adversarial, more hostile, and that pushes Australia close to the point of having to make a choice between the U.S. and China, and that’s something we badly want to avoid,” he said.The U.S. in recent decades has had three exclusive military intelligence communication bases in Australia. But they were targeted by protesters, and with pressure from Australian governments became joint U.S.-Australian facilities.The only one remaining is the top secret Joint Defense Space Research Facility at Pine Gap in central Australia.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonacenter_img Check your body, save your life But Defense Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday that while negotiations were under way to increase U.S. navy access to Australia’s Indian Ocean base, HMAS Stirling, it would never become a U.S. military base.“We have made it crystal clear from the first moment _ we don’t have United States military bases in Australia. We don’t see the need for that,” Smith told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.Smith said the think tank’s proposal was not endorsed by the U.S. government.“It’s a suggestion by an independent think tank. It’s not one we’re proposing to take up,” he said.The report said more than $1 billion would need to be spent to make HMAS Stirling capable of becoming a home port to a nuclear carrier that would become the flagship of a carrier strike group.Such a group would typically include two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, two nuclear-powered submarines, a supply ship and up to nine squadrons of aircraft.The Australian base would give the United States a second carrier strike group in the Asia-Pacific, the first with an existing Japanese home port in Yokosuka.Washington has been forging closer military ties with countries in the region and has announced that 60 percent of the U.S. Navy’s fleet will be based in the Asia-Pacific by 2020, up from less than 55 percent now. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Australia is a staunch U.S. ally and the only country to fight alongside the Unites States in every major conflict since the start of the 20th century.Washington and Canberra announced late last year an agreement on closer military cooperation in which up to 2,500 U.S. Marines would rotate through a joint military training hub in the northern Australian city of Darwin. The U.S. Air Force will also make greater use of airfields and bombing ranges in the Australian Outback.China _ Australia’s most important trade partner _ has blasted the closer bilateral military ties as a return the Cold War divisions that risked the peace and security of the region.Hugh White, head of Australian National University’s Strategic and Defense Studies Center, noted that American combat troops had not been based in Australia since World War II and said that was unlikely to change in the future.He said Chinese objections were the major reason why Australia was unlikely to ever allow U.S. bases on its soil.“The government was surprised that China reacted as negatively as it has to the decision to have Marines rotate deployments through Darwin, and I think they’ll be very careful not to risk further displeasure from China by doing anything that suggests they’re supporting a U.S. military buildup in Asia,” White said. Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia on Thursday rejected a proposal by a Washington-based think tank to base a nuclear aircraft carrier strike group on Australia’s west coast as part of a shift of U.S. military might to the Asia-Pacific region.A Pentagon-commissioned report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on repositioning U.S. forces in the region suggested relocating an aircraft carrier from the U.S. East Coast to an Australian naval base south of the city of Perth.last_img read more

Blast at fireworks shop in Pakistan kills 5

first_img Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistani police say an explosion at a fireworks shop in a residential neighborhood has killed at least five people in a city in the center of the country.Multan city police officer Mohammed Aslam said several people were also wounded Saturday, and the roofs of two homes caved in because of the blast.He says it was unclear what set off the explosives and officers were still investigating.Poor safety procedures in handling and storing fireworks and their ingredients often cause such incidents in Pakistan. Firework displays are popular at weddings, religious and cultural celebrations. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories (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 New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

Giant atom smasher back in business after 2year upgrade

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BERLIN (AP) — Scientists successfully restarted experiments at the world’s biggest particle collider Wednesday, after a two-year shutdown and upgrade that allows it to smash together atoms with almost double the energy used in its first run.The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said the Large Hadron Collider will now run around the clock for the next three years, producing vast amounts of data for scientists to scour. “We have seen the first data beginning to flow,” said CERN’s director, Rolf Heuer. “Let’s see what they will reveal to us about how our universe works.”The collider underwent a $150 million upgrade after its first run, which produced results that helped confirm the existence of an elusive subatomic particle, the Higgs boson.Heuer said physicists hope the new run might lead to discoveries that could help “explain remaining mysteries such as dark matter.”The LHC, located in a 27-kilometer (16.8-mile) tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border, is now smashing together protons at 13 trillion electronvolts.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories ErrorOK ErrorOK Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

News guide A look at Greeces financial troubles

first_img Top Stories 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 The risks of default are that it could unsettle confidence among Greeks and cause bank runs. The banks are currently supported with emergency credit allowed by the European Central Bank. If Greece can’t pay its creditors, the government debt lenders use as collateral for their ECB loans would become worthless and the ECB could withdraw its support.Greece would have to then support the banks itself — but it doesn’t have the money to do so. It would theoretically then have to start printing its own money to get cash flowing through the economy again. Doing so, it would effectively be leaving the euro.___LONGER-TERM ISSUESGreece’s problems will not be solved forever with those 7.2 billion euros. The money would only cover its debt repayments for a few months. So Greece and its creditors need to find a longer-term solution.Because most of Greece’s debts consist of bailout loans, the country would be helped if its creditors agreed to make the terms of those loans easier — either by reducing the interest Greece has to pay on them or extending their repayment date.Creditors had promised last year to consider this. But they say a decision can be taken only after Greece has fulfilled the reforms demanded in exchange for the 7.2 billion euros in loans. Greece wants such a decision on lightening its debt terms now. Comments   Share   FILE – A Thursday, June 11, 2015 file photo showing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looking at his watch as he departs the EU-CELAC summit in Brussels. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continued his diplomatic offensive on Thursday to try to convince European creditors to pay out the bailout loans the country needs to avoid default. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men ___NO BOND MARKETGreece needs loans because it cannot borrow on bond markets at affordable rates, as other countries do to finance their spending. Greece’s bond rates — effectively what international investors demand in return for lending the country money — spiked higher in late 2009 when Greece revealed that its public deficit was far higher than expected.___DEAL HURDLESGreece is having trouble reaching a deal with creditors because a new government, elected in January, says it will not abide by the terms that previous governments have accepted for years. Those terms include cuts to pensions, wages, public sector jobs as well as higher taxes.Such budget ‘austerity’ measures aim to reduce the budget deficit but have also hurt the economy by increasing unemployment, making Greeks poorer and reducing the amount of disposable income Greeks have.The current government, led by the radical left Syriza party, says it will not make more such measures. Creditors are insisting it should if it wants more loans, because they are worried that if Greece doesn’t get its public finances back in shape, they’ll never get their money back.___DEFAULT DANGER Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is struggling to get a deal with its financial rescue creditors to get more loans. Without one, it could default on its debts, which could be the first step in a chain reaction that sees the country fall out of the euro currency union.Here is a broad look at the key issues in the crisis:___CURRENT ISSUEThe Greeks must make a 1.6 billion-euro loan payment to the International Monetary Fund this month. They don’t have the money. They’re negotiating with the IMF and the other eurozone countries to get 7.2 billion euros in loans — the last installment in a bailout package expiring this month. Without that money, Greece will likely default on the IMF loan. Even bigger payments come due later this summer. Its creditors are demanding that Greece slash public pensions and reform its tax system before releasing the money. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Blatter French German presidents tried influence WCup vote

first_img Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 BERLIN (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a Sunday newspaper interview that French and German presidents applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.Blatter told Welt am Sonntag that “there were two political interventions” from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German counterpart Christian Wulff before the hosts were announced on Dec. 2, 2010. “Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it,” said Blatter, who said he was tired of taking the blame for something he had no control over.“I act on the leadership principal. If a majority of the executive committee wants a World Cup in Qatar then I have to accept that,” Blatter said.He suggested that the German football federation (DFB) received a recommendation from Wulff “to vote for Qatar out of economic interests.”Former DFB president Theo Zwanziger wrote in his book that Wulff had asked about Qatar’s chances but he denied it had had any influence. Franz Beckenbauer, an executive committee member at the time, has never indicated which country he voted for.Blatter accepted no responsibly for the plight of migrant laborers building stadiums in Qatar amid reports of human rights abuses.“Look at the German companies!” he said before naming railway and construction firms. “Deutsche Bahn, Hochtief and many more had projects in Qatar even before the World Cup was awarded.”Blatter was instead concentrating on saving FIFA, which has been rocked by a widening American corruption probe that alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “Until everything is clarified I won’t take any travel risks,” Blatter said.However, he will be traveling to Russia for the qualification draw on July 25 for the 2018 World Cup.Blatter has found support from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has accused American authorities of meddling in soccer affairs.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “I’m there now to fight. Not for myself but for FIFA,” said Blatter, who added he was on the right path and had no doubts. “Self-doubt is a leader’s greatest enemy.”Blatter announced his intention to leave office on June 2, four days after he was re-elected for a fifth four-year term, as pressure built from the American case and a separate Swiss federal investigation focused on possible money laundering linked to the awarding of the World Cups to Russia and Qatar.But he remains defiant despite the scandal engulfing world soccer’s governing body.“Is FIFA responsible from the top down for everything in football, what happens in some village somewhere around the world?” asked Blatter, also a target of the American investigation.“Everyone has fears, for example of death, but with regard to my work at FIFA I have no fear. I’ve nothing to be afraid of,” said Blatter.“I’m afraid that they want to wreck FIFA, a work that I helped create,” the 79-year-old said.Blatter said he accepts criticism but “what hurts are hateful tirades. They come from envy.”Blatter cannot be extradited from his native Switzerland to the U.S. without his consent but he risks arrest in many countries. He was not travelling to Canada for the Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver on Sunday. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

All industrial action now over Joyce

first_imgThe mighty long weekend is almost over for thousands of Qantas passengers stranded at airports across the globe as the carrier’s chief executive declares that “all industrial action is now over”.Speaking to media this morning Alan Joyce said Fair Work Australia made the decision early this morning to terminate all strikes between the Australian flag carrier and the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Australian International Pilots Association.As a result the carrier’s head said subject to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the airline will resume flights by mid-afternoon today and expects that operations will “return to business as usual over the next 24 hours”.He explained that from here-on-out Qantas will continue negotiations with unions for up to 21 days, after which an extension of another 21 days will awarded or if no agreement is reached the issue will be resolved by “binding arbitration under the control of the industrial umpire”.“The important thing is that all industrial action is now over and we have certainty,” Mr Joyce told media.“Certainty for our employees, certainty for our customers and certainty for our shareholders.”To meet overwhelming demand from the 68,000 passengers disrupted by the cancellation of up to 447 flights over the weekend, Mr Joyce said the carrier would add extra staff at airports to assist customers.“We are assessing our ability to put on supplementary services to clear the backlog,” he said.“We have four international supplementary services ready to go.”Mr Joyce stressed that the carrier remains committed to serving its customers as well as building a stronger and stable carrier.Dispelling reports of issues with the staff, the carrier’s head added up to 35,000 staff stayed on Team Qantas throughout industrial disputes.“We have been a very good employer and we’ll stay that way,” he said.“We now look forward to the conclusion of agreements with the remaining three unions.“Finally I want to say that this industrial relations situation has obviously been a massively consuming issue for Qantas management and for our operations.“Now we can move on with certainty.”Are you ready to fly Qantas or does your faith in the Australian flag carrier stay grounded? Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

India soon to be a topthree aviation market

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H …… India is just 8 years away from becoming one of the world’s top three markets, a report has forecast. Image: The Hinducenter_img Based on recent burgeoning passenger growth, a new report has predicted that India will become one of the world’s largest aviation markets by 2020. According to The Times of India, the FICCI-PxC report claimed that if the nation’s civil aviation sector continued to grow as quickly as it had done in recent times, it would soon be amongst the world’s top three markets. Domestic traffic in India grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent between 2009 and 2011, the paper reported.   Titled ‘Indian Aviation: Spreading its Wings’, the report said that solid market growth “coupled with infrastructure expansion will help the sector back on its feet as the economy recovers”.It also said that now would be a good time for global players to invest in a largely underserved market. Optimism however, was tempered by a warning that “volatility in fuel prices combined with the highest tax on aviation turbine fuel and other national policy related issues” would continue to challenge growth in the sector.last_img read more

Qantas equity holder in liftoff

first_imgThe airline has not updated the public on its structural review, which could involve the sale of its minority stake in its frequent flyer program.  Qantas’ largest shareholder has lifted its equity stake in the airline, in what is a confidence booster among much public discussion about the airline’s future. BEM, as part of the Franklin Group of funds now owns 17.48 per cent of the airline, but consists of fund managers that vote separately. During the time that BEM purchased shares, Qantas was trading between AUD $1.08 and AUD $1.13 per share and are now trading around AUD $1.15.center_img Balanced Equity Management (BEM) has raised its stake in the airline by 0.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent since late March, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

University of Sydney has been transformed into a glittering canvas of

first_imgSource = Destination NSW The University of Sydney has been transformed into a glittering canvas of light, live performance and inspiring ideas as Vivid Sydney continues to amaze visitors with the official launch of Vivid Path to the Future.NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said: “This evening I was delighted to join University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence to launch this year’s Vivid Path to the Future program, which has returned with expanded programming touching on Vivid’s three creative pillars – light, music and ideas.“Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect, and with exceptional academic staff and students across each of these three areas, it is only natural that Australia’s oldest university plays a big role in this year’s festival and I encourage everyone to explore this exciting Vivid Sydney precinct,” he said.Throughout the next week, the university’s Quadrangle façade will come alive with vibrant 3D –mapped light projections, created by more than 40 local and international artists, including staff, students and local collaborators. An impressive light walk features along the main promenade and the Sea of Hands, an interactive installation, will grow throughout the festival.In addition to the light installations and projections, the University’s program features a series of music performances at the Seymour Centre, Musify and Gamify – home for the most innovative new ideas in Australian music.“The University of Sydney is thrilled to be part of Vivid for a second year. This is a wonderful opportunity for our talented staff and students to collaborate and showcase new ideas and directions in art, music and technology. The University looks forward to welcoming and inspiring the Sydney community with a dynamic program of lights, music and ideas over the next seven days,” said Dr Michael Spence.Sydney     Visit NSWlast_img read more

First PARKROYAL property to open in Bangkok

first_imgCurrent room at Phachara Suites, which will be rejuvenated with the refurbishmentFirst PARKROYAL property to open in BangkokPan Pacific Hotels Group signed its first PARKROYAL Serviced Suites in Bangkok, Thailand with Phachara Suites Co. Ltd today. PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will be opening in Q2 2019 and will be the Group’s first property in the market.PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will join Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s portfolio of serviced suites in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ningbo and soon to open in Jakarta and Johor, strengthening the Group’s footprint and offerings in this accommodation category. Pan Pacific Hotels Group was recently named Top 5 Serviced Residences in the region by the readers of DestinAsian, a leading consumer travel publication.The 194-unit PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok is located at Sukhumvit Soi 6, a prime location off Sukhumvit Road, the main artery of Bangkok running through its tourist, commercial and residential areas. The nearest station, Nana BTS skytrain station, is a 3 to 5-minute walk from the property, which is also within walking distance to some of the city’s newest shopping malls, including Central Embassy and Terminal 21 (both 1 km away).Sharing the same Sukhumvit Line as Siam BTS – the largest and busiest station on the BTS, Nana BTS station is a 6-minute train ride to the retail heart of Bangkok. This is where one can find the widest selection of fashionable shops and restaurants in upscale malls such as Siam Paragon, Central World, EmQuartier and Emporium – all easily accessible by elevated walkways from Siam BTS.PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok will be a conversion from the current Phachara Suites and will undergo a thorough refurbishment to meet the brand standards and offerings that PARKROYAL guests are familiar with. When it reopens, the property will offer 194 thoughtfully-designed and spacious suites, featuring Executive Studios (50 square metres) and Two-Bedroom Executive units (130 square metres), which are popular with both solo and family travellers.With an all-day dining restaurant, meeting facilities, fitness facilities including a beautiful swimming pool, PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok is more than a serviced apartment or hotel. True to PARKROYAL’s service philosophy, every guest will be received warmly as an individual, even in a city which receives more visitors than any other city in the world. Guests are welcome to stay longer, whether for business or leisure, and truly enjoy the convenience and comfort of a home as all apartments equipped with a kitchenette, washer and dryer.Thanin and Nuanswat Laohapiengsak, Principals, Phachara Suites Co Ltd, said, “We’re delighted to own the first PARKROYAL-branded property in Bangkok. We love the energy of the brand, which resonates with this city of a thousand smiles. The PARKROYAL brand is about warm and passionate people who genuinely care for others, and to us, this is key to helping our guests feel a sense of belonging. The rebranding to PARKROYAL will breathe new life into the property, and we’re excited to see PARKROYAL Suites Bangkok grow into one of the most people-centric places to stay in Bangkok.”Mr Lothar Nessmann, Chief Executive Officer, , said, “PARKROYAL is rapidly growing in Southeast Asia – besides Singapore, we operate properties in capital cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, and Ho Chi Minh, along with planned openings in Jakarta. We are excited to see the popularity of our brand, which is all about our people and the real connections they forge with our guests. It’s great to return to this city, where we once operated a hugely-successful Pan Pacific serviced suites product, and look forward to creating more joyful experiences for travellers to Bangkok.”Scheduled for opening in 2019, the 205-unit Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Puteri Harbour will cater to the needs of short- and extended-stay professionals and expatriates working in the Iskandar region of Johor, Malaysia. The property is a 10-minute drive from Singapore via Tuas Second Link, with major attractions and developments, including the Ascendas Nusajaya Tech Park, Pinewood Studios, and Legoland in the vicinity. Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Jakarta, comprising 181 units, will open in 2020 in Indonesia 1, the tallest twin tower in the country. It is located along Jalan Thamrin, which runs through the city’s central business district. By 2022,PARKROYAL Hotel Jakarta and PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Jakarta will open as part of a new mixed-use development in Thamrin Nine, a prestigious address in central Jakarta.Source = Pan Pacific Hotels Grouplast_img read more

B P Acharya

first_imgI am very pleased that TTF is happening in Hyderabad. Last year when Telangana was born as a State, we participated in TTF as a Host State in TTF Hyderabad also. We would like to create a brand for Telangana Tourism all over the world. With so many states, nations and private operators under one roof, tourism is bound to develop faster in our State. I hope TTF grows in future and hope to see everyone back next year in Hyderabad.last_img

TAT to host the 37th edition of Thailand Tourism Festival 2017

first_imgThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently announced the 37th edition of Thailand’s largest domestic tourism fair- the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), which will be held at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park.The Festival, which coincides with Chinese New Year 2017, will be held during January 25-29, 2017. It is expected to attract over 650,000 visitors with 90% of these visitors predicted to travel in Thailand in 2017. These trips could generate up to 400 million Baht in revenue.Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT said, “Thailand has so much to offer visitors and domestic tourists, and we want this year’s Thailand Tourism Festival to showcase the unique local experiences and attractions to be found in all parts of the nation. By visiting Lumpini Park, visitors can enjoy a taste of the foods, festivals and culture found in all five regions before they choose where to travel. They can also enjoy live music, cultural shows, lucky draws, and a wonderful holiday atmosphere with the best of Thailand on show in the heart of Bangkok.”Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai, said, “We are delighted to announce the popular TTF which will give all our tourists and travellers something to look forward to in the New Year. The festival will see Lumpini Park transformed into a mini representation of the kingdom with replicas of landmarks and instances of cultural events from all the regions along with musical performances and Thai cuisine.”last_img read more