Alberto Font/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigral/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial) Andrés Madrigal Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Andrés Madrigal/The Tico Times Related posts:Guevara snubbed for Friday forum with leading union and other presidential candidates The Tico Times to publish live election results starting at 8 p.m. Live Costa Rica election results 14 photos from Costa Rica’s election night
Related posts:UPDATE: Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís moves into 1st place in Costa Rica presidential race Costa Rica elections demonstrate country’s democratic stability 3 things that happened this week in Costa Rica’s runoff race Costa Rica ruling party candidate Johnny Araya drops out of presidential race Pacheco said that Solís had run an honest campaign and he supported the PAC candidate not only as a vote against ruling party candidate Johnny Araya.“Our flag is the same: honesty,” Pacheco said.2. Solís wins the recount (barely)In the final recount announced Monday, Solís eked out a win with 629,866 votes to Araya’s 610,634, a victory of less than 20,000 votes.Following the formal recount, the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) officially announced a second round for the 2014 presidential election. The country will go back to the polls to cast votes for either Araya or Solís on April 6, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.The TSE said the electoral rolls for the second round would be the same as the first on Feb. 2. That means any voter not registered by the Oct. 2, 2013 deadline won’t be able to vote in the runoff, either.3. Uncertain allianceAraya has been pushing his business cred this week, including his support for continuing President Laura Chinchilla’s decision to join the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc with some of Latin America’s most important economies.The ruling party candidate has spoken in favor of the free trade alliance but added that he would listen to concerns from groups like the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, who have spoken out against increased foreign competition.Solís previously said he needed more information before he decided to support Costa Rica’s enrollment in the trade alliance, which includes Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile.4. Araya throws down a glove over deficit criticismsDuring an interview with Radio ADN (90.7 FM) on Thursday, Araya lashed out at recent criticisms Solís made against his plan to resolve Costa Rica’s widening fiscal deficit:“I haven’t been [in national office] for the last eight years. Luis Guillermo Solís has been more involved in the National Liberation Party administrations than I have. He has been an official in two Liberation administrations. He has less moral authority than me to talk about this.”Costa Rica’s deficit is 5.4 percent of GDP, according to numbers from the Finance Ministry.Solís served as chief of staff at the Foreign Ministry during the first Oscar Arias administration (1986-1990), and as ambassador for Central American affairs and general director of foreign policy from 1994 to 1998 under President José María Figueres Olsen. Solís left the PLN in 2005 to join PAC.5. Johnny’s brush with ‘tax evasion’Araya has been spinning with anger over the leak of a Tax Administration request for information regarding a $315,000 payment to the National Insurance Institute (INS), among other items, that originally hinted at tax evasion.The PLN candidate was on the warpath Wednesday and Thursday, accusing the Finance Ministry of mishandling the request, which an official delivered to his home with a passel of reporters in tow. The timing was especially bad, since Araya had been pushing his own suggestions for closing the deficit through more effective tax collection, among other recommendations.Araya claimed that the move was a setup to besmirch his name during the campaign and said the PAC could be behind the dirty trick. By Thursday night, though, the damage already had been done, consuming two days worth of the candidate’s media coverage with the seemingly bogus charges.Thursday evening, Araya’s camp claimed that the supposed payment was actually an insurance policy taken out on athletes participating in the Central American Games in San José last March, erroneously made out in Araya’s name.Araya said he’s never been accused of tax evasion. Facebook Comments Didn’t keep up with the runoff campaign this week? Don’t worry, we did. Here are some highlights:1. Former President Abel Pacheco endorses Luis Guillermo SolísOn Saturday, Feb. 15, Abel Pacheco, president from 2002 to 2006 from the Social Christian Unity Party, threw his political weight behind opposition presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís of Citizen Action Party (PAC).
GENEVA – Hollywood star George Clooney’s fiancée Amal Alamuddin is to join fellow human rights experts probing Israel’s Gaza offensive, the United Nations said Monday.The Lebanese-born British lawyer was one of three top experts appointed to a commission of inquiry by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which ordered the investigation last month.Alamuddin’s family, who are from Lebanon’s Druze community, fled to Britain during the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.The 36-year-old, who is fluent in Arabic, French and English, studied at a French school in London and holds degrees from Oxford and New York University.She is reportedly due to wed 53-year-old Clooney — who is known both for his acting and his peace campaigning — in Italy in September.News that she had stolen the heart of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated bachelors caused an international media frenzy back in April.Alamuddin is no stranger to international investigations and conflicts.She worked with the international tribunal examining the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and assisted ex-U.N. head Kofi Annan in efforts to make peace in Syria.Among her legal clients have been Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the controversial founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.The other members of the inquiry team are Doudou Diene of Senegal, who has previously served as the U.N.’s watchdog on racism and on post-conflict Ivory Coast, and Canadian international lawyer William Schabas.In the face of fierce opposition from Israel and the United States, the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council voted on July 23 to create the commission of inquiry.The decision came after a marathon seven-hour emergency session of the top U.N. human rights body, where the Israelis and the Palestinians traded accusations over war crimes.The probe team has been tasked with reporting back to the council by March. Facebook Comments Related posts:How to save Gaza Attack on Gaza school kills 16, sparking West Bank protests Israel, Hamas agree to 72-hour truce Israel, Palestinians accept midnight truce in Gaza
Related posts:Russia OKs imports of Costa Rican beef, milk powder Costa Rica launches catalog of premium food products Costa Rican food producers look for new buyers at international fairs China helps boost Costa Rica’s beef exports Costa Rican exporters take note: Beginning this month, new regulations issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will apply for the entry into that country of tomatoes and gluten-free products.As of Aug. 20, all tomato shipments arriving in the United States must comply with new requirements to prevent the spread of a plague known as the tomato moth (Tuta absoluta), or the tomato leafminer.The moth affects tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and other vegetable crops, according to Costa Rica’s Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG).Among the most important regulations, the FDA will require all tomatoes shipped to the U.S. to be packed without any traces of leaves, stems or other plant parts.“Shipments also must comply with current international standards or be treated with methyl bromide before packing,” said Gina Monteverde, director of MAG’s State Phytosanitary Service.The U.S. agency also eliminated the possibility of shipping tomato samples, as new rules only allow the entry of commercial shipments.On Aug. 5, the FDA also issued new standards for the entry of gluten-free products, Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) reported.As of that date a product only can be labeled or advertised as “gluten-free” if it contains a maximum of 0.002 percent of that substance. The rule also holds foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” to the same standard.Products must not contain any wheat, barley or hybrids, or be derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten.The rule in the U.S. was welcomed by people with celiac disease, who face potentially life-threatening illness if they eat the gluten found in breads, cakes, cereals, pastas and many other foods.Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA’s food labeling and standards department, said “this standard ’gluten-free’ definition eliminates uncertainty about how food producers label their products. People with celiac disease can rest assured that foods labeled ‘gluten-free’ meet a clear standard established and enforced by the FDA.”The U.S. currently is the main destination of Costa Rican exports. That country in 2013 bought 38.7 percent of Tico exports, which represent $4.4 billion, according to PROCOMER. Food products sent to the U.S. accounted for 15.2 percent of total exports from that sector. Facebook Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Costa Rica has been without a U.S. ambassador for a year and a half, but it doesn’t look like Stafford Fitzgerald Haney – whom President Barack Obamanominated for the job back in July – will be relocating to San José anytime soon.Haney isn’t alone. More than a quarter of the 169 countries where the United States has embassies, from Afghanistan to Malawi, are waiting for their designated ambassadors to arrive – a consequence not of federal budget cuts or foreign-policy debacles, but rather partisan feuding in Washington.Of the 55 State Department nominees currently pending confirmation by the slow-moving Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 30 are career diplomats and 25 are political appointees such as Haney.“The vast majority of these remaining nominees could be confirmed quickly en bloc,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at his agency’s Nov. 19 press briefing. “The Secretary [John F. Kerry] has always said there are great public servants up there in the Senate, and he knows that none of them want to see this gridlock continue at the expense of career Foreign Service professionals.” S. Fitzgerald Haney, President Obama’s pick for the next U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica. (Courtesy U.S. Embassy in San José)According to Rathke, nominees on the floor have waited 258 days – eight and a half months – on average.“It’s critical that we get these nominees confirmed before the Senate adjourns for the year to prevent further delay in meeting our foreign policy objectives,” he said. “We know that America is stronger if the backlog is cleared and our nominees are confirmed before Thanksgiving. The Secretary has made a personal plea to his former colleagues in the Senate, and we would ask again for their help.”Deputy Chief of Mission Gonzalo Gallegos has been running the U.S. Embassy in San José ever since the June 2013 departure of Ambassador Anne Slaughter Andrew. That embassy – which Andrew headed for three and a half years – is the largest foreign mission in Costa Rica, a monstrosity compared to Costa Rica’s Embassy in Washington, which has exactly eight staffers including Ambassador Román Macaya.“Mr. Haney will be very welcome in Costa Rica when he’s confirmed, and we hope that’s very soon,” Macaya told The Tico Times last Thursday. “He is one of many ambassadors that have not been able to go through the confirmation process.”But Haney may find himself at the back of the line – even though the international businessman speaks fluent Spanish (not to mention Portuguese and Hebrew) and has extensive experience in marketing, financial services and manufacturing throughout Latin America.“The Senate is trying to use the confirmation process to achieve other objectives,” said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, as quoted by the center’s website, ThinkProgress.org. “They might not be happy with things that the president is doing with Obamacare, for example, or immigration, or not raising the defense budget. So this is one way in which they can express their displeasure.”Haney, a black convert to Judaism, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, grew up in the Chicago area and has, among other things, a master’s in international business and diplomacy from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He’s worked in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil and Israel. Since 2007, Haney has been principal of New York-based Pzena Investment Management.Haney has served on the council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is an active member of Ayecha, a group that provides resources for Jews of color. He lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Rabbi Andrea Haney. Costa Rican Ambassador Román Macaya presents his credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (Courtesy Casa Presidencial)Costa Rica is among more than a dozen countries to which political appointees have been nominated for ambassadorships but not confirmed. These include Argentina, Finland, Hungary, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.Historically, presidents have kept political appointments to a maximum 30 percent of the total, reserving the remaining 70 percent of slots for career diplomats. But according to Bob Silverman, president of the American Foreign Service Association, Obama has exceeded that ratio, with political appointees accounting for 35.2 percent of all nominees.So far in his second term, Obama has nominated 75 career diplomats and 53 political appointees to ambassadorships. That translates into 41 percent of the total, a ratio exceeded only by presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan – and leading to complaints that Obama is rewarding political donors with plum ambassadorships rather than assigning career diplomats to these often-sensitive posts.Yet Haney can hardly be considered a mega-donor in the traditional sense. Soap opera producer Colleen Bell, Obama’s pick for ambassador to Hungary, has raised $2.1 million for Obama and fellow Democrats, The New York Times recently reported. And political consultant Noah Mamet, who’s been nominated to be the next U.S. envoy to Argentina, raised $1.4 million.By comparison, Haney has donated a paltry $84,303 to Obama and other Democratic candidates since 2008, while his wife gave $192,252 to the president’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and $4,506 directly to Obama. Neither could be reached for comment for this story. Costa Rica’s Foreign Vice Minister Alejandro Solano, left, and U.S. Embassy chargé d’affaires Gonzalo Gallegos shake hands after a toast at the U.S. Embassy’s July 4 party at the Hotel Real InterContinental in Escazú. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesRead S. Fitzgerald Haney’s July 29 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee here“The slow crawl of Senate votes stems in part from acrimony over Republican objections to Obama’s nominations for all posts and the change of longstanding rules by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to make it easier to pass some nominations,” according to a recent story in The Washington Post.In protest, the newspaper reported, “Republicans are routinely refusing to give the unanimous consent required to proceed on quick confirmation votes. Without consent, it can take up to eight hours on the floor to confirm a single ambassador.”Korb told ThinkProgress.org that getting political appointments through the incoming Republican-majority Congress is going to be an uphill battle.“Basically, [it seems] like they’re not concerned about diplomatic relations,” he said of current lawmakers, warning that countries without a resident U.S. ambassador might conclude that Washington just doesn’t care about them.Yet Macaya said the Costa Rican government already has approved Haney, and he doesn’t expect the ambassador-designate to face any major issues.“Like any host country, Costa Rica wants to have the U.S. ambassador there. The embassy obviously operates without an ambassador because they have a deputy chief of mission, so it’s somewhat symbolic,” he explained. “But when ambassadors are political appointees, they tend to be the president’s man or woman in that host country, so they’re usually very close to the president. That allows for very fluid communications.”Macaya said he understands why Haney hasn’t been confirmed yet, but “that doesn’t mean we’re indifferent.”“Costa Rica has historically had very close ties with the United States. It’s not because of any specific treaty or agreement,” he said. “It’s because we believe in the same things: a strong democracy, human rights, liberties and the pursuit of happiness.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica to ‘take a hard look’ at its diplomatic missions, foreign minister says after meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry Panama’s US envoy offers upbeat economic outlook for 2015 US says next round of Cuba talks to take place in Havana on Monday PHOTOS: Cuba, US reopen embassies to end 54-year estrangement
In this two-part series, Helene Engler looks at the danger that power lines pose to Costa Rican wildlife, the debate surrounding the issue, and the activists trying to fix the problem.In Costa Rica, monkeys travel across unprotected power lines as naturally as they would the vines and branches of the rainforest — and they often have no other choice. As property developments expand and habitat becomes segmented, primates in search of their feeding and resting trees are frequently left to depend on the wires as a bridge to cross roads or cleared land, or to move between isolated forest patches.It can be a deadly decision. As monkeys thread their way between wires en route, their bodies can form a connection between two parallel wires, completing the circuit and causing a sizzling electrocution. They face additional risk from high voltage transformers attached to the wires.The result can be harrowing: Dead howlers, hanging from an overhead wire, or orphaned infants with electrical burns on their hands, feet, and tails, sometimes with fingers singed entirely off, still clinging to a mother’s corpse.No one knows how many monkeys and other arboreal wildlife are killed by such electrical infrastructure — though some estimates from the National University of Costa Rica and a 2014 study suggest the numbers run in the thousands per year, with mammals having the greatest risk. And experts say the problem is especially notable in Costa Rica, where the vast majority of distribution lines run overhead and where many have been left uninsulated for cost reasons.“Look at where [the monkeys’] home is,” says Vicki Coan, who founded the SIBU Sanctuary in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. “Their home is not on the ground. Their home is in the canopy.”In response to the problem — and to the continued efforts of wildlife activists seeking to force change — Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) met last month to sign a “Guide for the Prevention and Mitigation of Electrocution of Wildlife in Power Lines.” The document is described as “the first national effort to work together in proposing alternatives to prevent electrocution” — and the ministry laid out the problem in comprehensive terms.“In Costa Rica, hundreds of animals die each year from electrocution on power lines, many of them suffering serious injuries that limit their activities, with a significant impact on populations and ecosystems,” the document states. The electrocutions also cause problems for people, including power failures, high costs for repairing damaged equipment, and economic losses related to such events, according to the statement.The official gesture was welcomed by activists — though it is in no way clear that the government shares their sense of urgency. The proposed electrocution protection guide has just been officially released to the public, and some attendees at the meeting, while heralding progress, said that most of the discussion there involved explaining the roles of the agencies and utilities involved in drafting the document.They also expressed concern that while guidelines recognize the electrocution problem and make recommendations for improved protection of live electrical wires and transformers, they do not require it, nor do they provide any means for enforcement.“I do not think that there will be significant changes in wildlife electrocution incidents,” said Rafael Ángel Quesada Rodríguez, a former engineer for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), which owns roughly half of the nation’s power lines.Quesada, who retired from the company in 2012, has since been an outspoken crusader for better protecting the country’s power lines. The problem, Quesada noted, is that power companies are still not obliged to carry out any sort of prevention and mitigation actions.Tune in on Thursday to read about the debate surrounding the issue and what some activists are trying to do to mitigate the problem.Helene Engler is an educator, science writer, and editor, and published author based in Austin, Texas. She received her Ph.D. studying tropical butterflies and has written for Nature, The Journal of Chemical Ecology, and The Refresh, among other publications.This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article. Facebook Comments Related posts:Baby squirrel monkey rescued by Costa Rican police Bagging bat myths with conservation education President Solís urges lawmakers to pass animal cruelty bill following ‘barbarous’ attacks US adds two macaws to endangered species list
Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Mahmoud Abou Adhma’s despair over Egypt’s course the past 16 months has turned him from an avid revolutionary who camped out in Tahrir Square for most of the 18 days of protests demanding the fall of Hosni Mubarak to working for the presidential campaign of the deposed leader’s last prime minister and close friend.The 56-year-old Cairo tailor’s misery over his own turnaround was visible _ his whole body shook with it as he chatted with a circle of young neighbors half his age. It’s not that he didn’t understand the “humiliation” Egyptians felt under Mubarak’s regime, he told them, he’d seen it firsthand. But they had to face facts, the revolution failed. And Abou Adhma has surrendered. He works as a poll representative for Shafiq, the candidate his friends consider certain to preserve the old system but who he has decided can at least keep stability.“It is impossible now to get rid of them. How can we? There is layer after layer of them,” he said to shouts of protest from his friends. “Shafiq will win anyway.”“We might as well just get ourselves used to it again. The country is going down the drain. We should try to save what is left of it,” he said. “There is no revolution and no one will be able to do this again. No one will go to the square again.”Sipping his tea alongside his friends outside the poll station Saturday, the first of two days of voting, Abou Adhma insisted that if anyone had seen the worst of Mubarak’s regime, it was him.“We lived the humiliation his regime put us through,” he said.He worked in Iraq as a laborer for 17 years, one of millions of Egyptians who migrated there in the 1980s for jobs impossible to find at home. For him, the experience underlined how little regard the Mubarak system had for its own people. Hundreds of the migrants ended up in Saddam Hussein’s army fighting and dying in Iraq’s war with Iran. Others were killed in disputes with Iraqis. Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of They spoke sitting outside a polling station in Cairo’s middle class district of Abdeen as Egyptians lined up this weekend to vote on a successor to Mubarak as president, choosing between former prime minister Ahmad Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi.Abou Adhma is emblematic of the confusion many Egyptians have gone through since February 2011 when the leader of three decades finally stepped down. Mubarak’s fall brought an ecstatic sense of accomplishment among millions who joined the mass protests and persevered through violent crackdowns by security forces and regime supporters. As the old regime fought back to retain its powers, that has given way to a wide range of emotions _ despair and disappointment among many, stubborn defiance among others.The generals who took over from Mubarak oversaw a torturous and lopsided transition which they promised would lead to a democratically elected government and president. They proclaimed themselves the defenders of the revolution’s goal: a deep change from Mubarak’s corrupt police state. The protesters summed it up, “Bread, social justice and human dignity.”Instead, the military is as entrenched as ever. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments Share Top Stories “I didn’t lose. I gained myself. I lost fear and I gained strength from my people” _ even from Abou Adhma’s despair, he added. If Shafiq wins, Abdel-Hadi said, a more violent protest movement will follow.“We are a generation that has no fear. We are ready to die for this,” he said.The circle broke up. But the tap of Abou Adhma’s sorrow could not be closed. He broke down in tears, telling his neighbors he feared he would never be able to marry off his three daughters.On Sunday, he did not appear at his post at the polling station.(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 paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Mubarak once dismissed their deaths, saying, “Why did they go there in the first place?” Their returns in coffins were a deeply disturbing moment for the national psyche.“We had to dig our colleagues out of the ground ourselves” to return home for burial, Abou Adham said, because the Egyptian government wouldn’t do it. “All the while, Egyptians officials were begging in the embassy for money to repay Egypt’s debt. Donate for Egypt, they would say.”This is the Egypt he wanted to stomp on. When he returned home, he said, “I saw women eating from garbage piles. I knew this would blow up.”Abu Adhma’s face clenched as he spoke of the 18-days he spent in Tahrir protesting for Mubarak’s ouster. It clenched more as he bitterly recalled how he thought he had found a presidential candidate who could achieve social justice and human dignity.That was Hamdeen Sabahi, a Mubarak era-opposition figure who was one of 13 candidates competing in the election’s first round last month. Sabahi is about Abu Adhma’s age and campaigned on the slogan “One of us” with a lightly socialist platform that also vowed to restore Egypt’s standing in international circles. Sabahi finished an unexpectedly close third, grabbing support among the working class and revolutionary groups as an alternative to either Islamists or regime figures. But his failure to make the runoff left the choice between the two extremes, Shafiq or Morsi, each in their way a holdover from the old system.“We should stop fooling ourselves. This is not a revolution,” Abou Adhma said. The declaration brought friendly cries of protest in the circle.“A revolution meant we should have gotten rid of the entire old regime immediately,” he went on. “We should have hanged those security officers and had revolutionary courts. We did none of this.”As a result, he said, the old regime is restoring its authority.Abou Adham’s small frame shook as he tried to reconcile fading hope with new pragmatism _ and as he tried to keep the respect of his young friends. The group around him, remembering him as a Tahrir comrade, kept their respectful tone. There were no angry cries of “feloul,” or “remnant” of the old regime, no talk of betrayal.But Bilal Abdel-Hadi, a 25-year old lawyer who was shot during anti-military protests late last year, said he and his friends were not falling into the same despair. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like How men can have a healthy 2019
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Russia’s communications minister had warned that authorities would bar access to YouTube if its owner, Google Inc., failed to abide by a court order to block access in this nation to the U.S.-produced film, which mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad.Google in Russia has said it could restrict access to the video, if it received a court order outlawing it, but the company declined to discuss that issue with The Associated Press on Monday evening.Outrage at the film has spiraled into violent protests across several countries across the Muslim world. Some two dozen demonstrators have been killed in protests that attacked vestiges of the U.S. and the West, including diplomatic compounds.The low-budget film, “Innocence of Muslims,” was produced by a U.S. citizen and denigrated the Prophet Muhammad by portraying Islam’s holiest figure as a fraud, womanizer and child molester.Two issues have fueled calls by Russian lawmakers for a new law banning religious offenses: this film and the case of rock band Pussy Riot’s punk performance February in Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral, which saw them be convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to a two-year jail term. Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – A court in Moscow ruled Monday that an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent demonstrations around the world can no longer be shown in Russia.Tverskoi court’s ruling follows a similar local decision taken last week by a court in Grozny, the provincial capital of Russia’s Muslim-dominated province of Chechnya.In Moscow, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film was deemed extremist because it could incite ethnic and religious hatred. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The RIA-Novosti news agency quoted mufti Shafig Pshikhachev, head of the Coordination Center of Muslims in the North Caucasus, as welcoming Monday’s court ruling in Moscow.“This is a positive step in defense of believers,” Pshikhachev said. “Unfortunately, we are witnessing such events regularly, so I think the adoption of a law is good. We need a legal method of protecting the faithful and our holy places.”Some Russian mobile telephone companies took the initiative last week by blocking access to a number of online resources, including YouTube, to its subscribers in the north Caucasus, large swathes of which are inhabited by mainly Muslim populations.(Copyright 2012 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 TORONTO (AP) — Drought conditions and shifting winds in Saskatchewan could lead to more wildfires as soldiers and firefighters battle blazes raging across western Canada, officials said Thursday.Steve Roberts, a Saskatchewan wildfire management official, said warm, dry conditions could cause more trouble in the province that already has 118 wildfires burning.“I know we’re happy when it’s sunny and dry but it’s really sunny and dry and this is having a huge impact in the community,” said Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, after visiting some of the hardest hit areas of Saskatchewan. Temperatures in Saskatchewan rose to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celcius) by Thursday afternoon.Fires also continue to burn in British Columbia and Alberta, putting a strain on Canada’s emergency resources. The provinces have asked for help from across the country, as well as the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.Smoke from the fires have prompted air advisories across western and central Canada, as well as the western United States.The B.C. Wildfire Service predicts about 30 new wildfires will erupt daily based on recent dry conditions. The province is in the midst of its hottest and driest spell since 2003.Kerry Anderson, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, said climate change is responsible for the warmer, drier conditions, a result of the weather pattern known as El Nino, which is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America.He cautioned that fire crews may not actually be able to put out the fires completely until the fall or the first snowfall.The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre reports that there are 592 wildfires so far this season in Saskatchewan compared to 213 at the same point in 2014, and that 2,290 acres (927,763 hectares) have burned so far. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Cpl. Kevin Deng, right, and M.Cpl. Casey Zaharoff, members of the Canadian Forces, put out a hotspot from wildfires near Montreal Lake, Saskatchewan, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Large wildfires raging across Canada have contributed to a smoky haze lingering above the Western U.S., blazes fueled by the familiar hot, and dry conditions that have turned much of the region into a tinderbox. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT Sponsored Stories Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments Share Hundreds of Canadian soldiers have been called in to assist. After a crash course in firefighter training, about 360 troops began working in some of the most urgent areas. They have joined some 600 firefighters that have been struggling to contain the flames.Officials estimate between 10,000-12,000 people have been forced from their homes in the region.Approximately 60 communities in Saskatchewan are under full or partial evacuation due to wildfire threat or smoke, driving thousands out of their homes. A handful of homes and cabins in the area have already been destroyed by fires.“The devastation that I have witnessed here is heartbreaking, but I am uplifted by the spirit of community and resilience they have demonstrated,” said Blaney.No deaths have been reported in Saskatchewan as a result of the fires.British Columbia premier Christy Clark pledged to spend beyond the budget to contain the fires, acknowledging that the yearly allotment of US$49 million (CA$63 million) is now closer to US$70 million (CA$90 million), to fight the 150 plus wildfires burning.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home
JAKARTA JAKARTA New daily nonstop services between Perth and Jakarta. Frequency From Arrival 1740 2130 Departure Source = ETB News: N.J. 1615 DAILY DAILY PERTH PERTH GA724 Garuda Indonesia and Etihad Airways have launched their new codeshare service, with Garuda flights between Jakarta and Perth taking off today.Placing its Etihad code on the daily nonstop Garuda services, the flights to Western Australia will be served by the airline’s B737-800 Next Gen aircraft and will add an extra seven flights and an extra 2.184 seats per week between the two destinations.Garuda president and chief executive Emirsyah Satar said the nonstop services were part of the airline’s expansion program and is expected to boost inbound travel to Indonesia.“This new codeshare flight with Etihad Airways will give passengers the benefit of seamless travel and easy connectivity to both airline’s global networks,” he explained.Flights begin today, Thursday,28 June 2013 on the following schedule: Flight No. 1015 GA725 To
In the book, Cawthorne supports the theory that the plane was shot down shortly after it stopped communicating with air traffic controllers, based on the eye-witness testimony of a New Zealand oil rig worker who claimed to have seen the plane go down in flames in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, in Beijing, more than 100 relatives of the missing passengers got together again last Friday to seek news and information of the search for the missing flight. Cawthorne believes that the plane may have accidentally been shot down during a military drill which involved live-fire exercises in the South China Sea, involving Thailand, USA, China, Japan, Indonesia and others, at the time the plane went missing. Furthermore, the book release comes as a movie in the making about the missing plane, titled “Vanishing Act”, was promoted at the Cannes Film Festival over the weekend, with plans for a cinema release in September. A new book about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, claims the aircraft carrying 239 passengers was accidentally shot down during a joint Thai-US military training exercise, and the search is likely to have been led astray as part of an elaborate cover up. Cawthorne theorises that those involved would have every reason to keep quiet about it, therefore sending search efforts off into other various directions to cover up the truth, adding that the families of MH370’s passengers will “almost certainly” never come to know the truth of what happened to their loved ones. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich “Flight MH370: The Mystery”, which goes on sale today, is the work of Anglo-American author Nigel Cawthorne who has had 150 books published under his name, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
G Adventures names top 5 destinations for 2016As Australian and New Zealand travellers start looking into what adventures to book for the coming year, the experts at G Adventures, the world’s leading small-group adventure tour operator, have predicted the new hotspots along with new ways to see old favourites.Yurt-making in Kyrgyzstan, relaxing in a floating hammock in northern Brazil, and hiking an ancient pilgrimage trail in Japan are just three experiences for adventure travellers being introduced in 2016.Sri LankaVisitor numbers are increasing for this India Ocean gem, up 17% year-on-year according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and G Adventures is expecting its traveller numbers to rise too. It’s launched the Sri Lanka Express, which is full of culture and nature, but can also be combined with a Maldives Dhoni Cruise, for the ultimate twin-centre adventure getaway. Visit a spice plantation and stay in an eco-lodge in the rainforest, and experience a jeep safari in Yala National Park.The ‘Stans – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Visa restrictions have relaxed in Central Asia recently, so it takes the number one spot for those looking for the most unusual passport stamps. Travellers can learn to build a yurt and sleep in yurts and homestays with local families, supporting community-based tourism along the way. G Adventures have introduced five new trips for 2016 in Central Asia.Northern Brazil This South American superstar will once again be in the international spotlight when it plays host to the 2016 Olympics. This time around, G Adventures is encouraging travellers to head north, staying in a jungle lodge then exploring Chapada Diamantina National Park, a hidden gem with flat top mountains and Brazil’s highest waterfall. If relaxing in a floating hammock over crystal clear, teal-coloured water sounds more attractive, stunning Jericoacoara beach is just the cure. G Adventures is launching two new itineraries in northern Brazil.JapanJapan is more affordable than ever and firmly on the comeback track, hosting both the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics. In 2016 G Adventures is encouraging travellers to see the parts of Japan most tourists miss, and to see them a different way. With a first-of-its-kind active trip that has travellers hiking along the UNESCO-listed Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route where Kyoto’s ancient emperors once prayed to deities in the trees and rocks. Then cycling across stunning islands following the world’s largest series of suspension bridges, known as the Shimanami Kaido. Finally travellers will kayak around the Bay of Miyajima to see its main attraction, the floating Itsukushima Shrine.Northwest USA This region is experiencing a tourism ‘it’ moment with its combination of hip cities, quirky small towns, and stunning natural parks, which collectively mark their 100th anniversary in 2016. G Adventures new National Parks of the Northwest US trip takes in all of the above. Visiting Wild West mining town Wallace in Idaho, known as the Silver Capital of the World and spending nights camping in Big Sky Country, Montana, and Yellowstone NP, home to the most wild animals in the US. G AdventuresSource = G Adventures
Queenstown, New Zealand.New figures released by the Expedia group, the world’s largest travel company, reveals that demand from Chinese travellers visiting New Zealand rose by more than 40% in the first half of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, with significant growth in mobile demand.Teresa Matheson, Director of Market Management at Expedia New Zealand, said the continued sustained growth in the number bookings of Chinese international travellers presents huge opportunities for New Zealand hoteliers.“Our group data shows mobile demand by Chinese travellers to New Zealand increased by over 35% in 1H 2016 compared to same period last year. In addition, booking windows on mobile were relatively healthy. We therefore urge our partners to ensure mobile is key to their distribution strategy and, through Expedia Partner Central, New Zealand hoteliers can create specific mobile deals targeted to the tech-savvy Chinese travellers,” she said.China represents one of the fastest-growing international inbound markets for New Zealand. They are highly valuable for hoteliers for the following reasons:Chinese travellers pay one of the highest prices for their stays. The Average Daily Room rate is over a quarter more than that paid by domestic travellers (26%)Their booking window is nearly 2.1 times longer than that of the average domestic touristChinese travellers are more inclined to stay at luxury properties. Almost 70% stayed in 4-5 star hotels compared with just under 60% of domestic travellersChinese travellers fill rooms evenly across every day of the week whereas over half of domestic New Zealand travellers tend to book rooms just for the weekend.To help hoteliers capture more of the Chinese traveller market, Expedia offers the following tips:1. Think mobileAccording to the 2016 Chinese International Travel Monitor, produced by the Expedia group travel brand Hotels.com, 62% of Chinese travellers used a smartphone to book travel, up 10% on 2015.Through Expedia Partner Central, New Zealand hoteliers can create Members Only Deals to highlight their offers to target more Chinese travellers. Hotels which participate in Members Only Deals will be featured to Expedia mobile app users and email subscribers, giving added exposure and greater visibility.2. Know your audienceChinese tourists often make particular requests in order to raise their comfort levels. The 2016 CITM report revealed 25% of Chinese travellers wanted hotels catered specifically for their needs, such as having Mandarin speaking staff and Chinese restaurants on site, UnionPay services or Chinese TV programs.While safety, comfort, star rating, facilities and price are still top of the list of important factors, they dropped each five percent on the previous year.Hoteliers that offer value-adds are encouraged to highlight additional offerings on the hotel content page through Expedia Partner Central. By doing so, these hotels gain a competitive edge in highlighting the best experiences available to Chinese travellers.Some frequent requests Expedia has noted include:Use of UnionPay, which is by far the most preferred means of payment, listed by 66% of Chinese respondents in the latest CITM reportWiFi access, which is the top-ranked hotel facility in the 2016 CITM report (23%) and the first time it’s been in the top spot, followed by in-house restaurants (21%)Mandarin-speaking staffChinese signage and language assistanceAdvice regarding nearby precincts for luxury shopping or food and wine, and/or providing subsidised transport to these areasHot drinking water3. Plan strategic promotionsChinese travellers are always on the go, but periods around Chinese public holidays tend to be particularly busy.During events like the Mid-Autumn Festival (15-17 September), National Day (1-7 October) and Single’s Day (11 November), hoteliers can maximise demand by providing promotions and deals around certain busy periods. Early-bird and last-minute promotions are both likely to drive increased demand around these periods.“We help hoteliers gain access to diverse travellers through our portfolio of travel brands comprising 200+ booking sites that generates 450+ million monthly site visits, crossing 35 languages in over 75 countries.” said Ms Matheson.Source = Expedia
Chief Operating Officer – Grant Campbell TravelManagers procure Ensemble Travel’s Luxury and Experiential ProductTravelManagers procure Ensemble Travel’s Luxury and Experiential ProductTravelManagers is delighted to announce the signing of a new partner supplier agreement with the North America-based Ensemble Travel Group (Ensemble). Established in 1968 Ensemble is one of the world’s leading providers of luxury and experiential travel products and services.“This new partner agreement further highlights TravelManagers’ continual commitment to adding value to its personal travel manager network and market leading dominance in the luxury and experiential holiday market,” says TravelManagers Chief Operating Officer Grant Campbell.TravelManagers through its refined partner status with Ensemble will enhance its current high end and unique product offerings.“Our agreement will incorporate specialist products and experiences providing personal travel managers the ability to offer expertly designed and bespoke luxury holiday experiences that cater to our client’s individual requirements. We know this is what our high value clients are looking for and further strengthens TravelManagers’ position as Australia’s premium travel network,” says Campbell.Ensemble will enable TravelManagers to procure unique luxury holiday components including access to authentic experiences and exclusive elite value added benefits.“As a consequence of being a part of an enhanced global presence our personal travel managers now have access to an increased range of luxury cruising, accommodation, on-location destination management companies and unique specialty programmes around the world. We will also have the opportunity to leverage benefits achieved through higher sales volumes so it’s a real win-win for clients and personal travel managers,” says Campbell.Ensemble’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Trish Shepherd is excited about their new partnership with TravelManagers.“We look forward to working with Australia’s premium travel network and contributing to TravelManagers continued growth in the luxury travel market by providing personal travel managers a wide range of unique and tailor-made products and experiences.”Personal travel managers will receive a full update on the new agreement with Ensemble in the upcoming November round of state meetings.“This will be followed by comprehensive product training to ensure personal travel managers are confident and ready to start selling the products for the 2017 travel season,” says Campbell.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. TravelManagers Australiabecome a Personal Travel Manager todayAbout TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.About Ensemble Travel® Group Established in 1968, Ensemble Travel® Group is a proactive, member-owned organization of approximately 850 top-tier, independent travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada, with new expanded international presence in Australia/New Zealand. With a membership that represents billions of dollars in travel sales each year, Ensemble Travel® Group has achieved a 45+ year record of boosting members’ profits and delivering high-volume sales to its preferred suppliers. Source = TravelManagers Australia
Australian/Italian Captain, Alessandro Zanello to lead inaugural season of Silver MuseThe ship will be led by Australian, Italian Captain, Alessandro Zanello, the youngest officer ever to be appointed Captain on the Silversea fleetSilver Muse’s new top team draws on wealth of experience from across the line’s luxury vessels.Ahead of its Christening on 19 April 2017, Silversea has unveiled details of the first crew that will provide a bespoke service for guests onboard Silver Muse in its inaugural season. Silver Muse will be led by Australian, Italian Captain, Alessandro Zanello, the youngest Officer ever to be appointed Captain on the Silversea fleet.Captain Zanello has been a part of Silversea since 1999 and in that time has worked onboard all ships in the Silversea fleet. Silver Muse will be the second inaugural ship voyage Zanello has worked on during his 18 years with Silversea, having been second-in-command for the launch of Silver Spirit in 2009. The son of an Italian father and Australian mother, Alessandro spent many of his childhood holidays in Sydney, Australia.The galley will be led by Executive Chef Anne-Mari Cornelius, who joined Silversea in 2005 and has worked onboard two Silver Whisper world cruises as Executive Chef. Cornelius will oversee all galley staff and be responsible for maintaining Silversea’s high culinary standards across the eight onboard restaurants.Additionally, Cruise Director Jimmy Kovel will oversee activities and entertainment onboard the ship during its inaugural season. This includes culinary demonstrations and performances by the Voices of Silversea in the theatre, Venetian Lounge, and the smooth jazz and blues entertainment in the intimate Silver Note restaurant. Kovel has worked for Silversea since 2009 onboard Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind.Amber Wilson, Managing Director Asia Pacific, said: “As the launch of Silver Muse draws closer, we are delighted to reveal details of the dedicated and highly experienced crew who will welcome both new and returning Silversea guests on Silver Muse, offering an unparalleled level of personalised and polished service.”Other key members of the Silver Muse team include Staff Captain, Sergio Topazio; Chief Engineer, Michele Barone and Hotel Director, Paolo Percivale.Calling at 34 countries and 130 ports in 2017 alone, Silver Muse will redefine ocean travel, enhancing the small-ship intimacy with spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience. The addition of Silver Muse will expand Silversea’s fleet to nine ships and will, once again significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market.Source = Silversea
Source = Australian National Maritime Museum Australian National Maritime Museum welcomes ATE delegates with exciting free entry offerWinner of the silver award for Major Tourist Attraction at the NSW Tourism Awards in 2016, the Australian National Maritime Museum is opening its doors to all ATE buyers, sellers and media from May 8-28th inclusive.Delegates will have the opportunity to experience all of the museum’s multi-award winning attractions free of charge upon presentation of their ATE lanyard at the ticketing office. This special offer of free entry for the Big Ticket is valued at $32. Delegates will also receive 10% discount on food and beverages at the museum’s Yots Café as well as 10% discount on non-sale items at the museum store.This includes the stunning $12 million permanent attraction, Action Stations which has been translated into simplified Chinese and which now features Chinese sub-titles in its state of the art cinematic experience.Action Stations won the Display category award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards in Berlin in 2016. With the launch of this striking attraction, the museum recruited Mandarin-speaking staff who are available on site seven days a week to complement its team of permanent and volunteer staff who speak over twenty languages including Korean and Japanese.Situated next to Sydney’s International Convention Centre where ATE will be held and open from 9:30 am to 5 pm every day, the museum is leading the charge in tourism for cultural institutions in Sydney. With experience in hosting incentives for up to 4000 delegates and events for up to 3000 visitors, the Museum is an ideal location for business and leisure tourism alike.The museum recently expanded its suite of venues with the opening of its stylish Conference Centre featuring premium views overlooking Pyrmont Bay towards Barangaroo.ATE delegates will be able to learn about Australia’s indigenous maritime history in the museum’s Eora First People exhibition, providing delegates with the opportunity to view precious works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture from Tasmania to the Top End. For those fascinated by Australia’s magnificent pearls, the Lustre – Pearling and Australia exhibition is not to be missed, with its captivating story of Australia’s multi-cultural pearling industry.Escape from Pompeii- the Untold Roman Rescue will also be on display during ATE. This important international exhibition has been developed by the Museum in association with Expona and Contemporanea Progetti.The picturesque waterside setting is perfect for relaxing over a coffee or meal at Yots, the museum’s award-winning café which offers excellent-value inbound meals and also caters for groups. From here, delegates can admire the Museum’s impressive array of historic vessels including the replica of Captain James Cook’s HMB Endeavour, one of the world’s most authentic maritime replicas. Australian National Maritime Museumdiscover more here Australian National Maritime Museum welcomes ATE delegates with exciting free entry offer
Travel Agent Winners of the ‘Relax all the Way’Travel Agent Winners of the ‘Relax all the Way’ Incentive Treated to the Ultimate Maldives Experience with Club Med and Singapore AirlinesClub Med and Singapore Airlines hosted nine top-selling travel agents on the ‘Relax All the Way’ Club Med incentive famil experiencing Club Med Kani and, offered as part of a famil for the first time, a night at the premium Exclusion Collection resort of Club Med Finolhu.The seven day long famil was hosted by Tenneal Baker, Communications & PR Marketing for Club Med AU & NZ. The participants from agencies around Australia were top-sellers of the Club Med and Singapore Airlines Air + Land package, including the chance to fly with Singapore Airlines.The keys highlights of this famil were:Exploring the turquoise playground surrounding Club Med Kani with stand up paddle boarding, seaside sunset yoga, and a 4 hour snorkeling cruise to swim with turtles, manta rays, and a lobster BBQ on an uninhabited islandExperiencing the 5 Trident Manta Exclusive Bar at Club Med Kani. The agents sipped on French champagne and watched the sun set over the Manta Overwater VillasIndulging in an unforgettable night in a private Beach Villa at Club Med Finolhu. The agents trialed the new Fusions Multiverse dining experience, had all needs catered to by their personal butler, and achieved the perfect Instagram photo on the overwater swing and floating breakfast in their private plunge poolSamantha Temple, Personal Travel Manager from Tasmania said her favourite aspects were ‘Finolhu Villas, Seeing the actual resort makes it so much easier to sell, All-inclusive [concept] and the activities ie Yoga, pilates etc, Tenneal the host was amazing and so knowledgeable and wonderful to travel with. Being with a cross section of agents and meeting them – sharing ideas, Size of the group was perfect and GOs are amazing! The Key for the door on your wrist is a GREAT idea and so easy!”Many of the agents were blown away with Club Med Finolhu Villas, Cayla Gibson from Flight Centre First & Business – Melbourne said she loved the “The beach front, sunrise Villa with private plunge pool, the Fusion dinner / the buffet was incredible (especially the lunch) and the paddle boarding and Pilates”Jasmine Johnson from Flight Centre First & Business NSW Platinum highlighted that the ideal clientele for Club Med Finolhu Villas are “Couples who are wanting to relax, if they want to go out for a big night – its great they can transfer over to Kani.”“Probably one of my best famils in 14 years!” remarked Samantha Mylrea from Flight Centre Queenslan and this was echoed Jessica Knowles from Flight Centre Robina saying “Thank you so much for giving me the best famil I’ve ever had!”.Club Med value the contribution of Travel Agents to their overall business and continue to work hard to deliver travel agents with the tools they need to sell Club Med holidays.Do you want to go on a famil trip with Club Med? Check Club Meds dedicated Travel Agent Portal with sales tools and marketing resources as well as details of famils, incentives and agent benefits: https://www.clubmedta.com.au Source = Club Med
To celebrate the first birthday of Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, and the British airport’s associations with the monarchy, Heathrow has unveiled a unique golden luggage trolley modelled on state coaches used by the Queen.Heathrow’s golden trolley is a baggage palace on wheels, complete with gilded frame, ornate sculptures, heraldic lions and baroque cherubs design. Hand-carved oak wheels, gold-plated crystal lanterns, Union Jack flags and an original Heathrow Coat of Arms also feature as part of the design.When the trolley handle is pressed ‘God Save The Queen’ plays from speakers, filling Terminal 2 with Britain’s national anthem. Handcrafted by British designers the trolley uses Her Majesty’s collection of carriages, pantheons, broughams and barouches for design inspiration, including both the famous Gold State Coach and newer Diamond Jubilee Coach. The designers have transformed a regular Heathrow luggage trolley into the golden birthday showpiece.Normand Boivin, Heathrow’s Chief Operating Officer said, “Heathrow is a proudly British airport. Exactly one year ago today, Terminal 2 officially opened its doors. We wanted to commemorate this proud occasion by providing our passengers with an eccentric and quintessentially British addition to the terminal. We have a long association with Her Majesty that stretches right back to our beginnings when the Queen opened the first passenger terminal and we wanted to celebrate the birthday milestone with a symbol of this.”
In line with the ‘Make in India’ programme, Ezeego1 launched ‘Holiday in India’, an offering of domestic packages that celebrate India’s rich heritage and travel opportunities.As part of the ‘Holiday in India’ week, Ezeego1 offered packages that bring out the true essence of India. To avail special discounts, travellers could book tickets till February 18 for the travel period between April and June for packages starting at Rs 23,835.Neelu Singh, Director and CEO, Ezeego1.com said, “Despite India’s diverse tourism offering, most destinations in India have remained untapped. We now see a changing trend where Indian travellers are looking at exploring far off destinations like Ladakh, Andaman and Sikkim that compliment their interest for international destinations.”“The wave of activism and fervour for all things Indian that is sweeping the country reflects in tourism as well. With the launch of this campaign, Ezeego1 is giving travellers a fresh perspective and encouraging them to take roads less travelled, and in turn, be a shot in the arm for domestic tourism,” she added.
Exploring Cuba may just be one of the most exquisite experiences in the World. Travelling through old Havanna and exploring the existing landscape is breathtaking.Source: CNN