<< Previous PostNext Post >> BUENOS AIRES — They say love finds you when you least expect it, and for one flight attendant this couldn’t be more true.According to The Telegraph, Olivia Sievers often travels from Germany to Argentina for work. It was in Buenos Aires earlier this year where she first encountered a street dog who she fed some scraps to just outside her hotel. After that brief encounter, the dog refused to leave Sievers side; he even slept outside the hotel, waiting for her to reemerge.“I tried to change my way because I didn’t want that he follow me back to the hotel,” she told Noticiero Trece. “But it was not possible. He always came back and followed me. I tried one hour, but he always watched me and followed me. He was really happy that somebody gave him attention.”Sievers named her new canine friend Rubio. Shortly after, she returned home to Germany, thinking that was the last she’d see of him. But little did she know that Rubio would be waiting patiently for her outside the same hotel when she returned to Buenos Aires on another trip.More news: Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Every time she came back to Argentina after that, she’d find Rubio waiting outside the hotel. Taking pity on him, Sievers went so far as to make arrangements with a rescue group in hopes that he’d be paired with a loving family.Rubio ended up running away from his newfound home, back to the hotel in search of Sievers.The story ends on a happy note, with Sievers flying back to Germany this past Friday with Rubio to live with her. They’re currently enjoying the German summer together. Stray dog gets adopted by flight attendant after refusing to leave her hotel Tuesday, August 9, 2016 Travelweek Group Posted by
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Posted by Alexandria, VA — An uncertain upcoming U.S. presidential election, sluggish global expansion, low inflation, weak investment and choppy geopolitical conditions continue to shackle business travel volume and spending growth, according to the GBTA Foundation’s latest business travel forecast. The GBTA Foundation is the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).Total business travel volume in the U.S. is expected to rise just 1% in 2016, while spending is projected to fall by 0.6%, according to the GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2016 Q3.In 2017, GBTA predicts spending will increase 3.8% reaching $293.1 billion, largely driven by price inflation. The report also cites three macro-drivers of business travel that continue to provide mixed signals:. Business confidence – In general, indicators of management confidence remain weak, but narrowly positive suggesting a definitive lack of enthusiasm for the near-term outlook.. Corporate Profits – After-tax profits fell for the fifth consecutive quarter in 2016 Q2, and although they appear poised to return to the plus side during the second half of 2016, expect the continuation of tighter expense controls, lethargic capital spending and constrained business travel growth for at least the rest of the year.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North America. International Trade – Weakness among key U.S. trading partners combined with a strong currency continues to plague export performance.Indicators point to a better, but still-modest 2017 for the U.S. economy with 2.4% GDP growth. “Businesses are hiring and paying better wages, but business travel spending is stalled – something we rarely see happen,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “The ongoing global uncertainty and added heartburn from a presidential election unlike any we have ever seen are causing many businesses to stay in a holding pattern, taking an extremely cautious wait-and-see approach bordering on paranoia. This begs the question of whether many of these companies will be ready when growth does re-accelerate. To be prepared for lasting business growth, companies must be ready with the newest technologies, the most productive workforce and the critical customer relationships necessary to take full advantage.” U.S. election year “unlike any other”, global uncertainty stall business travel Tags: Business Travel, GBTA Foundation Thursday, October 20, 2016
Thursday, June 29, 2017 Posted by Cuba expects tourism growth despite Trump’s crackdown on U.S. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Cuba Share Reuters HAVANA — Cuba earned more than US$3 billion from tourism in 2016 and expects to better that this year despite President Donald Trump’s tightening of restrictions on U.S. travel to the Caribbean island, a government official said on Wednesday.“In 2016, revenue reached more than $3 billion in all activity linked to tourism in the country,” Jose Alonso, the Tourism Ministry’s business director, told state-run media.“We think that, given the growth the country is seeing at the moment, we will beat that figure this year,” Alonso said.Tourism revenue totalled $2.6 billion in 2015.The number of foreign visitors to Cuba was up 22% in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period last year, according to Alonso, who said that put it on track to reach its target for a record 4.2 million visits this year.Tourism has been one of the few bright spots recently in Cuba’s economy, as it struggles with a decline in exports and subsidized oil shipments from its key ally Venezuela.More news: Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksA surge in American visitors has helped boost the sector since the 2014 U.S.-Cuban detente under the Obama administration and its easing of U.S. travel restrictions, even as a longtime ban on tourism remained in effect.But Trump earlier this month ordered a renewed tightening of travel restrictions, saying he was cancelling former President Barack Obama’s “terrible and misguided deal” with Havana.Many details of the policy change are still unknown. But independent travel to Cuba from the United States, by solo travellers and families, will likely be much more restricted.Alonso said he was confident “an important number of Americans” would still be able to visit the island. But an announcement by Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) on Wednesday that it was reducing its number of flights to Cuba cast shadow over his upbeat comments.“There is not a clear path to sustainability serving these markets, particularly with the continuing prohibition in U.S. law on tourism to Cuba for American citizens,” Southwest said in a statement.More news: Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsSouthwest joined other U.S. airlines that have cut flights to Cuba over past months or pulled out of the market altogether.
Travelweek Group Tags: Beaches Resorts << Previous PostNext Post >> Beaches treats parents to free gift with fall stays TORONTO — Parents are in for an extra special treat this season, thanks to Beaches Resorts’ new autumn promotion, ‘Fall for Beaches’.For all new bookings of seven nights or longer at any Beaches resort made now and for travel through Nov. 20, parents can enjoy their choice of a complimentary gift of the following: a private candlelight dinner; a 30-minute Couples Massage; or a Sesame Street Tuck-In for Tykes (for children five and under).This offer is valid for fall travel through 2019 between Aug. 14-Nov. 20, 2018 and 2019.There is a limit of one complimentary gift per stay, per family, per room. Additional terms and conditions apply. To be eligible for the free gift, travel agents on behalf of their clients must register their booking within 72 hours at beaches.com/fallintosavings-registration/ Tuesday, October 10, 2017 Posted by
Posted by Share Lovestruck teen asked Air Canada for free ticket to see girlfriend, here’s what he has to do to get it Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Tags: Air Canada The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >> CORNER BROOK, N.L. — The clock is ticking for a lovestruck Michigan teen who’s facing a daunting Twitter challenge in a bid to see his online girlfriend thousands of kilometres away.C.J. Poirier convinced Air Canada to give him free tickets to visit his Newfoundland girlfriend – if he could manage to get 530,000 retweets.So far, he has racked up about 30,000 retweets and has until the end of today to accumulate the rest.The 19-year-old barista from Clarkston met Becca Warren of Corner Brook, N.L., online last year and they decided they wanted to meet in person after six months of texting.So Poirier took to Twitter, asking Air Canada how many retweets it would take for free roundtrip tickets.Air Canada replied by asking what the population of Newfoundland was – and said it would take that many.As a backup plan, Poirier launched a GoFundMe page called #530KforBecca, in hopes of making his dream come true.
Two new hires at TBO Holidays << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by Friday, January 11, 2019 TORONTO — TBO Holidays has named Jennifer Bond as Sales Manager – West Canada and Arun Henry as Sales Manager – East Canada. Bond has 17 years of experience in the travel industry with companies including Travel Bound, Inspyre Solutions and The Travel Corporation.She will be responsible for TBO Holidays’ growth in Western Canada.Meanwhile Henry comes to TBO with 22 years of experience with companies like Miki Travel Ltd. and Lots of Hotels by WebJet.Henry will be responsible for TBO Holidays’ growth in TBO’s East Canada region. Share Tags: New Hires, TBO, TBO Holidays
Tags: Belgium, Strike Share BRUSSELS — A national strike to demand higher pay has paralyzed airports, sea ports and rail traffic in Belgium, while hundreds of factories are shut down for the day.Trade unions are protesting limits on wage increases during times of economic growth and want better conditions for early retirement, minimum wages and better education on the job.The centre-right government of Charles Michel is not in a position to forcefully react to such demands at the moment since it is in a caretaker capacity after the coalition broke down late last year.There were almost no flights landing at or departing from Belgian airports on Wednesday since air traffic controllers could not guarantee safety with a skeleton staff.In anticipation of the national strike Brussels Airlines announced on Feb. 8 that it would be cancelling 100% of its Feb. 13 flights. << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Nationwide strike hits Belgian transport, factories By: The Associated Press
Canadians flown home as Haiti situation escalates Share Tags: Air Canada, Haiti, Travel Advisories Posted by Travelweek Group Tuesday, February 19, 2019 MONTREAL — Air Canada flight AC1815 departed Port-au-Prince, Haiti with 209 customers and 16 crew and support employees onboard a Boeing 767-300ER Air Canada Rouge aircraft yesterday.Craig Landry, Executive Vice President, Operations at Air Canada, thanked Air Canada employees for their round-the-clock efforts to make the flight a success, “including their diligent efforts in challenging circumstances to reach out to Air Canada’s as well as other airlines’ customers seeking to return to Canada.”Landry added: “Our thoughts are with the Haitian people during this period of disturbance. Given the strong ties between our two countries, Air Canada has a long, proud history of serving Haiti and we intend to resume regular service as soon as it is safe to do so.”Air Canada normally operates two flights weekly between Montreal and Port-au-Prince on Mondays and Wednesdays.Following the Government of Canada’s advisory to avoid all travel to Haiti, Air Canada’s next scheduled flight (Wed. Feb. 20) to Haiti is cancelled.Air Canada says it is monitoring this situation closely to determine when it will be safe to resume flights.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoMeanwhile Transat repatriated its 113 travellers on Feb. 16, from the Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort & Spa.Late afternoon on Feb. 15, Transat travellers were informed that they would be leaving the Royal Decameron, located on the Côte des Arcadins, by helicopter the following day. At around 9 a.m. on Feb. 16, the first passengers were transported to the airport, and rotations continued for a few hours. The evacuation was orchestrated by Transat, in collaboration with the local authorities, the Canadian Embassy in Haiti and the Canadian government, to ensure the safety of the passengers.“Our clients, as well as their loved ones, have experienced a trying week, under a lot of uncertainty,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer at Transat, who was on site in Port-au-Prince to accompany the travellers back home with Jean-François Lemay, President of Air Transat. “Since the rise of tensions in Haiti about a week ago, our teams have been mobilized and working hard to return our clients home safely, and as quickly as possible. In Haiti, Transat’s representative also remained at the hotel 24/7 throughout the week to keep our passengers informed of the situation as it unfolded. We are relieved that these travellers are on their way to Canada, but we remain concerned about the current difficult situation in Haiti.”More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaGiven the uncertain accessibility of the road leading to Royal Decameron, Transat says it cannot guarantee safe transfers and has therefore stopped the sale of vacation packages, until the end of April 2019.Transat adds that until the Canadian government reduces its alert level, all customers who have booked a flight to Haiti for the months of February, March and April 2019 are entitled to modify their reservation without penalty.Transat is asking customers to contact their travel agency or Air Transat’s Contact Center to adjust their file.Air Transat says it will continue to operate two flights a week to and from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, on Wednesdays and Sundays, “however the situation may change at any moment and without notice.” << Previous PostNext Post >>
Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox (2000-2006), right, speaks during the opening of the U.S.-Mexico symposium on legalization and medical use of cannabis, at the Fox Center in Guanajuato State, Mexico, on July 19. Alfredo Estrella/AFP During his visit to Brazil this week, Pope Francis I came out strongly against legalization of illicit drugs as a means to curb drug addiction in the Americas. While the Latin American pontiff criticized liberalizing drug laws in the region, a group of Costa Ricans is working to legalize medical marijuana.“A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America,” said the pope as he met crack addicts and inaugurated a rehabilitation ward at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro run by Franciscan monks. Advocates of more liberal marijuana laws, however, believe that the drug has been the victim of misinformation campaigns and could serve as an important treatment option. But first they’ll have to overcome concerns about organized crime as Central America continues to suffer from drug-related violence. “Public health isn’t a religious subject, it should be based in facts and studies not taboos,” Gerald Murray, executive director of the Medicinal Cannabis Costa Rica movement, told The Tico Times in response to the pope’s comments. Murray, who previously worked on California’s defeated 2010 Proposition 19 to legalize some marijuana activities, said that pot could be used as a treatment for various ailments, including migraines, headaches, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and depression, as well as helping terminal patients pass away “with dignity.”The group is planning to present a bill in May 2014 calling for a national referendum to legalize marijuana in Costa Rica for medicinal purposes. The referendum would legalize the production, distribution and sale of pot for medicinal purposes. The group also claims their legalization plan would generate $500 million in tax revenues annually, according to a document provided by the movement. Murray claims that 60 percent of Ticos support medical marijuana and 48 percent support its general legalization.“If we can get it to a referendum we’ll win, no doubt,” Murray said.A study from 2012 reported that illicit drug use was on the rise in Costa Rica, The Tico Times reported. According to another, 2 percent of Costa Ricans reported smoking pot each month.Medical marijuana is one way some Latin American countries are re-thinking their lock-step march with the U.S. led “war on drugs” after decades of mounting violence and the loss of thousands of lives. Some Central American leaders, most notably Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, have floated the idea of legalizing drugs in their countries, which have been ravaged by narco violence for years. No related posts. On July 20, former Mexican President Vicente Fox joined with U.S. businessman Jamen Shively to organize a forum on legalizing marijuana in Mexico and the United States in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico.“The paradigm of prohibition and punishment has failed,” Fox concluded during his closing remarks to doctors, academics, business leaders and policy experts. Marijuana possession is not criminalized in Costa Rica but President Laura Chinchilla has come out against its outright legalization. The president called it “naïve” to think that legalized pot sales would reduce illicit profits, reported The Tico Times.Drug violence is credited with transforming Central America into the world’s most violent region.Murray said that while there were no specifics set for how medical marijuana would work logistically, he foresaw the health, security and agriculture and livestock ministries, along with the Costa Rican Social Security System overseeing the control and regulation of pot.The movement’s director was optimistic that government-regulated marijuana grown in Costa Rica would be cheaper than illegal pot and reduce drug-related violence in the country.Over the last several years, Costa Rica has become a heavily trafficked corridor for the transportation and distribution of illegal drugs from South America to the United States and elsewhere.According to information from the U.S. Embassy, over 5,000 kilograms of cocaine and 2,550 kilograms of marijuana have been seized or recovered when drug traffickers threw their cargo overboard thanks to joint U.S.-Costa Rican patrols between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2013.Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have also decriminalized pot possession in various amounts. In the United States, 19 states have decriminalized or legalized cannabis for medical purposes and another two for recreational use.Uruguay is considering a bill that would make the South American country the first in the world to legalize the production, sale and distribution of marijuana, reported InSight Crime. AFP contributed to this report. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments I just got the news. I gave my best, but I can not be at the World Cup. I know my team are going to do a great job. ¡Thanks for the support!— Bryan Oviedo (@Bryan_Oviedo) May 10, 2014 Costa Rica’s chances of advancing at the World Cup took a huge hit Saturday evening after the team confirmed star Bryan Oviedo would miss the tournament. Oviedo broke his left leg in two places in January, and doctors determined this weekend that the injury would not be healed in time for the World Cup.Oviedo’s absence means head coach Jorge Luis Pinto must replace his team’s best defender and possibly La Sele’s most versatile player a month before the World Cup. Costa Rica plays its first match against Uruguay on June 14.The Costa Rica Football Federation sent out a press release about the “lamentable news.” Oviedo, who is currently in England with his club team, confirmed the verdict through his Twitter account, where he thanked fans for all their support. He will fly back to Costa Rica on Sunday. The left-back suffered the injury while playing for his English Premier League club Everton on January 25. Recent X-rays done by Everton’s medical department showed the bone still had a ways to go before healing completely. Costa Rica’s head trainer Alejandro Ramírez said he agreed with the diagnosis.“Today [Everton] had him do physical work on a hard surface, and he felt discomfort during the activity, which indicated the player will not be in physical shape to attend the World Cup,” Ramírez said.Oviedo, 24, showed a remarkable recovery in the weeks and months following the leg fracture. In early April, Everton manager Roberto Martínez even said Oviedo was likely to make the World Cup. Costa Rica’s national team seemed optimistic as well.Last week, Oviedo had said he wouldn’t play in Brazil unless he felt 100 percent. However, he planned to join the rest of the team for a training camp beginning next week.But by Saturday, Everton and Costa Rica medical staff had seen enough to make a decision on Oviedo’s future. That determination leaves the national team missing an irreplaceable piece of its World Cup lineup. Related posts:Signs point to a World Cup return for Costa Rican star Bryan Oviedo Costa Rican soccer star Bryan Oviedo undergoes successful surgery, recalls grisly leg injury Tico star Bryan Oviedo says he won’t play in the World Cup unless he feels at full strength Argentine Ricardo ‘El Tigre’ Gareca likely will be Costa Rica’s next national football coach
Good news for all those seeking residency in Costa Rica:Correos de Costa Rica, the company that manages the country’s postal service, has opened 35 counters at its branches throughout the country to process residence applications and deliver DIMEX Cards (Immigration Identification Cards for Foreign Persons).Correos offers this services through an agreement with the Immigration Administration and RACSA, a state-owned telecommunications company.The agency started offering services for the Immigration Administration four years ago, but it only handled residency renewals. As of Wednesday, foreign citizens can now apply for a residence permit for the first time at post office branches as well.Immigration spokeswoman Seidy Muñoz told The Tico Times that the agreement is part of a strategy to increase their coverage in the country, and offer more options for both foreigners and nationals. Ticos can request and receive their passports by mail from Correos as well.ProcessThose interested in applying for residency should first request an appointment by calling Correos’ call center at 1311. The call has a flat rate of ₡330 ($0.60) per minute. The call center works all week long from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.Bilingual staff is available and operators will explain the full list of requirements for the application.They also will ask for personal information, including a personal address, in order to arrange the appointment at the nearest Correos branch. Then they will set the date and time for the appointment.On the assigned day applicants should bring all necessary documents including payment receipts — depending on the type of residence requested — as well as proof of Social Security affiliation and other requirements that operators will explain. The full requirement list is also available (in Spanish only) at the Immigration Administration’s website.If Immigration approves the residency, Correos will deliver the DIMEX to the person’s home, “usually within two weeks after filing the request,” Muñoz said.This is the complete list of post offices, by province, currently authorized for processing residence and other immigration procedures:Heredia: Central.Guanacaste: Cañas, La Cruz.Cartago: Central, Paraíso, Tres Ríos.Alajuela: Central, Ciudad Quesada, Guatuso.Puntarenas: Cóbano, Ciudad Neilly, Golfito.Limón: Central, Guápiles, Puerto Viejo, Talamanca.San José: Central, Curridabat, Escazú, Guadalupe, Pavas, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Tibás, Zapote and at RACSA’s headquarters downtown.Correos spokesman Eduardo Valverde told The Tico Times that Correos is working with RACSA to expand the number of branches with Immigration processing counters. He said that they are planning to add at least 13 more branches in the coming months, including Alajuela, Esparza, Grecia, Hatillo, Liberia, Nicoya, Pérez Zeledón, Puntarenas Central and San Marcos de Tarrazú. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica doubles police presence at Panama border to curb illegal immigration Refugee program for Central Americans ‘still on the drawing board’: US official A letter to our readers Carta a nuestros lectores
Associated PressASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) – Much of the world had written off Federico Franco last month when he ascended to Paraguay’s presidency amid doubts about his ability to even stay in power for more than a few days.The country’s Congress had just rushed through the impeachment of his predecessor, and critics both inside and outside Paraguay predicted the vice president would be forever hobbled by questions about his new administration’s legitimacy. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone “In a 15-day period, we handed property titles to 74 people,” Franco said. “Do you know how many were handed in the past six months? It was handed to three people. This means here is the will, the decision to solve the land problem.”Hugo Saguier, a political analyst and president of the Forum of National and International Strategic Analysis in Paraguay, said Franco at least is stabilizing this land-locked, impoverished country after weeks of turmoil leading up to and following the June 22 impeachment.“He wants to leave his name high, move forward a national project, so that the next one who will take over will find an organized country,” Saguier said. “People are now working with more security, in the private and the public sectors.”Lugo’s supporters, however, remain a major obstacle for Franco and vow to continue challenging his government. They accuse Franco of manipulating his way to power, even when the two men were elected on the same ticket in 2008.The pair had led a coalition of Lugo’s leftist base and the center-right Liberals to defeat the Colorado Party, which had held the presidency for 61 years. But the relationship was tense from the start, with the former president leaving his No. 2 out of the administration’s decision-making. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories One Franco move, however, has sparked criticism.He had promised that the “time when family or friends used to occupy public positions is over” but then appointed sister-in-law Mirtha Vergara de Franco as an adviser to the authority running the hydroelectric dam Itaipu.An ex-senator and former ambassador to Uruguay, she earns $13,330 a month, 36 times Paraguay’s minimum monthly salary of $370, or more than three times the president’s salary.When asked about his sister-in-law in a news conference, Franco said it would be the “only case of a family member appointed.” His 29-year-old son Federico, a municipal board member, serves as his right-hand man but doesn’t have an official job with the president’s office.Franco, for one, said criticism of the impeachment hasn’t slowed him down, as he pushes his ambitious agenda.He said he “categorically rejects” characterizations of Lugo’s ouster as undemocratic and claims it was done according to the law. He also said he’s enjoyed “100 percent acceptance” among Paraguayans and that the climate in the country is the best in recent years.Filizzola, however, said Lugo’s supporters will keep fighting to return the ousted president to office. They have filed motions with the Supreme Court, alleging that the impeachment was unconstitutional. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Neighboring countries have also refused to recognize Franco’s new government, calling the impeachment an “institutional coup.” Both the Unasur group of South American nations and the region’s Mercosur trade bloc have suspended Paraguay until it holds a new presidential election.Those countries, however, have stopped short of applying economic sanctions, and Franco joked that Paraguay could save money if it didn’t send its officials to regional gatherings.Sen. Efrain Alegre, who appears likely to become the Liberal Party’s next presidential candidate, believes Franco could help the party win the 2013 election, especially if he continues to get things done.“He doesn’t have much time,” said Alegre, “but I have the confidence that his management will be successful.”(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 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Over the past five weeks, however, with a doggedness characterizing his long political career, Franco has pulled off a minor miracle: He’s actually governed.The trained cardiologist has racked up accomplishments past administrations had tried but failed to implement, such as advancing land reform and pushing the country’s first personal income tax. International opprobrium over the impeachment has led to no sanctions or much in the way of lost trade, although Paraguay has been suspended from some regional groups.To be sure, Franco has benefited from the support of legislators who voted almost unanimously to impeach former President Fernando Lugo and have their eyes on next year’s presidential elections. But the leader, who turned 50 Tuesday, is now trumpeting the accomplishments of his government and promising more to come in his 13 months left in office.“My major joy will be to begin the inauguration of a serious and predictable country,” Franco said in a recent TV interview.In particular, Franco touted the titling of swaths of Paraguayan farmland to poor farmers, an important part of a land reform that Lugo long promised but notably fell short of accomplishing. Many believe that failure, and the violence stemming from land conflicts, ultimately cost Lugo popular support and paved the way for his ouster. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments Share Top Stories Well-groomed and careful with his words and habits, Franco nonetheless placed himself at the heart of an international controversy while insisting on his administration’s legitimacy. Now, he’s doing his best to defy the naysayers, working 15-hour days and cutting out most everything in his personal life except for attending Mass.Franco has already pushed through the Senate a 10 percent income tax for people earning more than $4,000 a month, which counts as a wealthy income in this largely agricultural economy. Paraguay was the only country in the region that didn’t have such a tax.The Senate has also approved a $125 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to build a trolley system in the capital of Asuncion. The lower house is expected to approve the loan shortly, although it rejected the proposal during Lugo’s term.Franco’s administration plans to start negotiations with the Canadian multinational company Rio Tinto Alcan for an aluminum production project that stalled when Lugo was in power. The project is estimated to invest $3.5 billion in Paraguay.Franco says he’ll also tackle one of Paraguay’s most lawless areas, its wild north, where the guerrilla Army of the Paraguayan People has kidnapped civilians, killed a police officer and attacked farms and police headquarters. “He has ignored me,” Franco complained before Lugo’s impeachment. About 3,000 people protested outside the Congress as Franco was sworn into office, just minutes after the impeachment vote.“He was always conspiring and always played the role of opposition despite being part of the government, looking always for a way to confront Lugo,” said Sen. Carlos Filizzola, of a smaller socialist party and one of four senators who voted to absolve Lugo.Franco launched his political career when he was still in medical school but said he long had his eye on the presidency. He later became a municipal board member, then mayor, and Liberal governor. He was a candidate this year in a national poll to choose the party’s presidential candidates but came in third.Now, he’s finally reached the top, only to see his political career likely come to a swift end.Re-election is prohibited in Paraguay, meaning Franco will have to hand over power after the 2013 elections. He’ll also be barred from seeking the job again.“Nobody can say we asked to be in this position,” said Franco’s wife, legislator Emilia Alfaro, with whom he has four children and three grandchildren. “I was so hurt. I told him, crying, that he would miss such an important career as a politician, he would no longer be able to run as president or senator, and I asked him whether he was sure.”
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Chinese paramilitary ships confronted Philippine vessels last year in a monthslong standoff over a disputed shoal. China has effectively controlled the shoal since June, when Manila withdrew its ships as a typhoon approached.There are fears that territorial conflicts in the region, including a dispute between Japan and China in the East China Sea, could spark Asia’s next armed conflict.Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia said del Rosario and other Philippine diplomats told the U.S. delegation that Manila decided to bring its disputes with China to international arbitration after other diplomatic steps failed, including an effort to get the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations involved in finding a solution.In its case against China, the Philippines listed several aggressive moves it alleged were launched by China in recent years to fortify its territorial claims, including the occupation of South China Sea islands and the enactment this month of a Chinese law that allows Chinese patrol vessels to intercept, detain or expel foreign ships passing through vast stretches of waters that Beijing claims.The Philippines specifically sought an end to Chinese occupation and activities on eight reefs and shoals and surrounding waters, including Mischief Reef, which China occupied in 1995, sparking fierce protests from Manila and concern from Southeast Asian nations. Sponsored Stories Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Washington takes no sides in the territorial conflicts but backs an internationally accepted diplomatic solution.“It is best that China joins the process so that we can move forward under international law,” the California Republican told The Associated Press after meeting Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and other diplomats in Manila.“We want to calm the tensions,” Royce said. “We want this approached from the standpoint of diplomacy, and that is what we are conveying because in that way we don’t create crisis which roils the markets or creates uncertainty.”Royce is leading a six-member U.S. congressional delegation in meetings with President Benigno Aquino III and other Philippine officials before traveling to Beijing on Wednesday as part of a tour of Asia, where America has been trying to reassert its presence after focusing on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.China, the Philippines and four other countries have overlapping claims across the vast South China Sea. Beijing claims it has sovereignty over virtually all of the region, which may be rich in oil and gas and is home to some of the world’s busiest shipping sealanes. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments Share Associated PressMANILA, Philippines (AP) – A senior U.S. lawmaker meeting with Philippine officials said Tuesday that China should agree to face the Philippines before a U.N. arbitration tribunal to avoid a possible crisis over their long-raging territorial disputes in the South China Sea.The Philippines took a daring legal step last week when it notified China that it will challenge Beijing’s claims to virtually the entire South China Sea in a case before an arbitration tribunal under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. China has not issued a formal response, but its ambassador to Manila, Ma Keqing, has reiterated Beijing’s “indisputable sovereignty” over the contested region.
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president issued a decree pardoning 165 people on Wednesday, mostly youths convicted of breaking protest laws and misdemeanors ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.Many of the pardons issued by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi were to university students, some of whom were jailed under a draconian law that heavily punishes demonstrations staged without police permits.The move comes amid a state-orchestrated campaign to silence dissent, where courts dispense stiff sentences against both Islamists and secular-minded activists over charges mostly related to violence. Pardons during national and religious holidays are a tradition in Egypt. Rights groups say many of the people were sentenced over the past two years to around three to four years of imprisonment, and that some were arrested at home or on the sidelines of protests in which they were not participating.“It’s not just the new protest law at work here, there’s also a poor judiciary and lack of a credible investigative process, and some are being charged under another 100-year-old law limiting even small assemblies,” said Mohammed Zaree of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.The protest measure became law after the el-Sissi-led military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, part of a sweeping crackdown against his supporters and other dissidents.The clampdown, which left hundreds dead and thousands in prison, some without charges, has sparked a radical backlash and attacks against security forces. It also fanned the flames of a long-running insurgency in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.At dawn in the area’s main city of el-Arish, a bomb destroyed an armored police vehicle, killing an officer and wounding four conscripts, a security official said.No one immediately claimed the attack. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which refers to itself as the Sinai Province of the Islamic State group, regularly claims large-scale assaults in Sinai and last month released a video showing it killing several soldiers. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top holiday drink recipes Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased at a solid clip in April, led by double-digit jumps in Denver and San Francisco.The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 4.9 percent in April from 12 months earlier, roughly the same annual pace as March, S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday.Strong job growth and low mortgage rates have prompted greater demand for housing, boosting home values. The continued gains are at roughly double the pace of wage growth, but current levels appear more manageable than the double-digit home price increases seen during parts of 2013 and 2014. “These gains are probably sustainable,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance. “They’re not so rapid as to cause worry that people won’t be able to afford to buy the average home.”Prices in the Denver metro areas climbed 10.3 percent, while home values in San Francisco rose 10 percent. Values increased more than 7.5 percent in Dallas, Miami, Seattle and Tampa. But price growth was tepid in the Boston, Cleveland and Washington, DC areas, where prices were up by 1.8 percent or less.The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The April figures are the latest available.Other measures are showing faster increased in prices, reflecting a shortage of homes available in the market.May sales figures from the National Association of Realtors found that median home prices increased 7.9 percent over the past 12 months to $228,700, about $1,700 shy of the July 2006 peak.The market has just 5.1 months’ supply of homes, versus an average of six months in a healthy market.Driving much of the growth has been a steady improvement in job growth and relatively low mortgage rates. Comments Share Employers have added 3.1 million workers over the past 12 months, new paychecks that appear to be flowing into real estate.At the same time, the average for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage was 4.02 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Still, that average has been steadily rising from a 52-week low of 3.59 percent, creating more pressure for buyers to close deals now before higher borrowing costs make homes less affordable.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Rajapaksa was credited with defeating minority Tamil separatists in a civil war, but accused of enflaming divisions while sustaining his ethnic Sinhalese voting bloc.He was also accused of autocratic rule and nepotism.“Just as in victory we have also learnt from defeat,” Rajapaksa told his supporters.“I must tell you that we will come before you with fresh thinking, We will think anew on international relations, we will think of new ways to build relationships between communities.”The Rajapaksa administration had strained relations with the United States, India and the Europe because of his heavy pro-China policy and failure to heed requests to investigate allegations of war crimes in the final stages of the civil war in 2009.Rajapaksa’s successor, President Maithripala Sirisena, has changed the heavy China leaning.According to a United Nations report, some 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the final months of the fighting. The U.N human rights body is scheduled to release a report on the allegations in September.If Rajapaksa’s party secures a majority in Parliament, he can become prime minister, a step away from president.Copyright © 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 Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s former president said he has learned from his election defeat and promised a new approach to relations between ethnic communities, as he runs for prime minister in next month’s elections.Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was defeated in January presidential polls, launched his political comeback campaign in the northwestern city of Anuradhapura on Friday.In a speech, Rajapaksa denied allegations of corruption and misrule and said he was a victim of false propaganda. Comments Share 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches
FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014 file photo, Hadi Bahra, a senior member of the Syrian National Coalition, the country’s main political opposition group in exile, speaks during a press conference following his meeting with the Arab League’s Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby at the league’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. Syria’s two main political opposition groups, the Syrian National Coalition and the National Coordination Body for the Forces of Democratic Change, said on Thursday, July 23, 2015 that they have agreed on a unified roadmap for a political solution to the country’s long-running civil war. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File) Sponsored Stories But violence continued on the ground and suspected Islamic State militants fired at a Turkish military outpost from inside Syrian territory on Thursday, killing a Turkish soldier and wounding two others. Turkish troops retaliated to the attack and at least one IS militant was killed, according to Turkish official Suleyman Tapsiz, the governor for the Kilis province.The attack follows a suicide bombing in a Turkish town near the Syrian border on Monday which killed 32 people. Authorities have blamed the attack on militants linked to IS.Meanwhile in Brussels, where the Syrian opposition groups have been meeting, representatives of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the National Coordination Body for the Forces of Democratic Change (NCB) said they would announce details of their agreement at a press conference the following day.Members of the SNC, the main political group in exile, have long accused the Damascus-based NCB, whose leaders have been tolerated by the Syrian government, of being too lenient and even complicit with President Bashar Assad’s government. Members of the NCB, in turn, have often accused the SNC of being bankrolled by oil-rich Arab Gulf countries.Their disagreements have contributed to the notorious divisions within the Syrian opposition. BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified “roadmap” for a political solution to the country’s long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said.The two parties have been trying for years to reach a common understanding on how to end the war in Syria. Their agreement came as the U.N. envoy, Staffan de Mistura, was in Damascus to press efforts to find a political solution to the country’s war. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “Today we are breaking the parable of lack of unity within the opposition,” Khalaf Dawohd, a member of the NCB’s executive committee, told The Associated Press from Brussels.Hadi Bahra, a senior member of the SNC, said the agreement bolsters the unity and position of the opposition.“It is a message to the international community to exert pressure and discuss seriously how to bring this (Syrian) regime to the table for a political transition,” he said.Both groups are accused of being out of touch with the realities in Syria and have almost no following among the myriad of rebel groups fighting on the ground. But a unified political front could strengthen the opposition’s hand at any future peace talks with Assad’s government.Staffan de Mistura, who arrived Thursday in the Syrian capital, has been meeting with Syrian politicians and regional stakeholders, trying to come up with a way to end the conflict in Syria, which has killed around 220,000 people since March 2011.His office says he is working to finalize his proposals to the U.N. chief, Ban Ki-moon, on a way forward to support Syrian parties in their search of a political solution.De Mistura held talks with Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, who said his country supports a regional effort to eliminate “terrorism.” Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Al-Moallem said Syria considers eradicating terrorism a “fundamental priority.” The Syrian government considers all armed groups fighting to topple Assad as terrorist groups.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories
Comments Share Turkey, a NATO member, agreed in principle in 2013 to buy China’s HQ-9 air defense missile system. China reportedly offered the best price and to furnish the technology behind the system.However, the deal has run into controversy over its incompatibility with NATO weapons systems and the possible leak of military secrets to Beijing.Asked about the negotiations, Zhang, the vice minister, said only that the sides have “strong interests in defense cooperation and will strengthen cooperation in this area.”China has also opposed any international intervention in Syria, while Erdogan has been among the toughest critics of Bashar Assad’s regime.The differences come despite growing tourism and surging Chinese exports to Turkey, which has contracted with a Chinese company to build a high-speed rail line.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BEIJING (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with top Chinese officials Wednesday amid tensions over China’s treatment of its Uighur minority and sensitive negotiations surrounding the possible purchase of a Chinese missile system.It wasn’t clear whether progress was made on either issue, although both Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the strength of relations.“The future of China-Turkey relations is very bright and has great potential,” Xi said in remarks before the media at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Check your body, save your life Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home China responded by denying any curbs on religious expression and demanding that Ankara clarify the matter. Despite Beijing’s statements, China has exercised long-standing bans on Uighur Communist Party members, government workers and students joining in religious observances.China has sought to enlist the support of Turkey and others in denying safe havens for Uighur activists, even those advocating peaceful opposition. Last year saw a wave of violence by Uighur extremists opposed to Chinese rule, but China has not implicated Turkey in any of those attacks.Briefing reporters after the signing ceremony, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said Erdogan stressed Turkey’s respect for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and “will not allow anyone to use Turkey’s territory to do anything to harm China’s national interests and security.”He said the sides agreed to strengthen joint efforts against terrorism and people smuggling, but did not directly answer when asked about Uighurs who have left China for Turkey.Earlier, Erdogan met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who affirmed the strength of ties further complicated by Turkey’s closeness with the United States and the ongoing civil war in Syria. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Erdogan responded that ties were advancing and becoming ever-more substantial.“We believe this will help strengthen mutual political trust and the friendship between our two peoples,” Erdogan said.Following a two-hour meeting, the two presided over the signing of agreements on trade, investment and boosting dialogue at the vice prime-ministerial level.While the sides enjoy outwardly friendly relations, Turkish public sentiment has been inflamed by reports that members of the Uighur minority native to China’s northwest have been restricted in practicing their Islamic faith, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended in mid-July.Turks and Uighurs share close linguistic, cultural and religious ties.Hundreds of people marched in Istanbul earlier this month, burning Chinese flags outside the consulate, waving flags representing the Uighurs’ putative homeland and calling for a boycott of Chinese goods. The demonstration was peaceful, but a group of nationalists tried to attack a group of Korean tourists who they mistook for Chinese. Police rescued the tourists.Prior to the protests, the Turkish Foreign Ministry had called in the Chinese ambassador and issued a statement saying the Turkish public was “saddened” by reports of the Ramadan restrictions. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Air New Zealand has indicated that it will not be renewing its membership to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) once its membership expires this year.A spokesperson for Air New Zealand told e-Travel Blackboard that it made its decision to not renew its membership “late last year”.Last week, trans-Tasman neighbours Qantas, also confirmed that it would not be renewing its membership this year.With the 17 member alliance cut to 15 members, some have questioned the strength of the association. Other AAPA members include Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/27aea/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>