Carnival Corp has its eye on Dubai with new cruise terminal deal

first_img Posted by DUBAI — Carnival Corporation has signed a strategic partnership to develop the Dubai Cruise Terminal, in an effort to grow maritime tourism in the region and transform Dubai into a major regional maritime tourism hub. Set to open in October 2020, the terminal will serve as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai and will become Carnival Corporation’s primary hub for its homeporting and transit operations in the region. The cruise company says Dubai is set to become central to Carnival Corporation’s operations in the region.Dubai-based holding company Meraas and Carnival Corporation signed the strategic agreement at a ceremony with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in attendance, who approved the terminal as the main hub for cruise tourism in Dubai. Under the agreement, signed by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald and His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, the deal will see  the companies collaborate across several strategic areas including port development, terminal management and new cruise development opportunities at Dubai Harbour and the broader region.‘Dubai Tourism Vision 2020’ aims to attract 20 million visitors a year to the emirate.“We have a long history in Dubai with our world-leading cruise brands,” says Carnival Corp. CEO Donald. “We are excited to be part of this important venture that will drive new tourism opportunities for Dubai and the region through cruising.”Dubai Harbour will be home to two cruise terminal buildings, spanning a total of 30,000 square metres, joined by a single quay of about one kilometre, capable of accommodating up to three cruise ships concurrently, including Carnival Corporation’s newest and most advanced cruise ships, as well as up to 13,200 passengers at a time. In anticipation of an upsurge in cruises Meraas has planned for the addition of two more terminal buildings that will increase capacity to six cruise ships at the same time. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Carnival Corporation, Dubaicenter_img Carnival Corp. has its eye on Dubai with new cruise terminal deal Share Tuesday, May 15, 2018 last_img

Club Med Cancun Yucatan doubles size of Aguamarina family oasis

first_img Monday, July 16, 2018 Share Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: Aguamarina, Cancun, Club Medcenter_img MIAMI — Club Med is showing off the new expansion to its family-centric Aguamarina concept at its all-inclusive resort in Cancun.With the new expansion the Aguamarina family oasis area is now more than double the size and offers new experiences and accommodations, says the company.Expansion OverviewThe new Aguamarina expansion introduces 60 all-new oceanfront family rooms – 30 Club Rooms and 30 Deluxe Rooms – with two-bedroom accommodations to create a comfortable experience for both parents and children while still keeping them connected.New RoomsThis expansion increases the Aguamarina capacity to 120 family accommodations. Additionally, the new rooms are outfitted with upgraded safes that can be opened directly with the guests’ wristbands.Room ViewOutside of the family accommodations, Aguamarina also now features a new dedicated reception area and concierge service.The reimagined area boasts a new pool dedicated to families with water games, lounge areas and outdoor activities for all-day entertainment.PoolThe pool area also plays host to La Marina, a new family bar that features a dedicated kids’ corner with a beverage and snack menu specially for children and their taste buds. During the afternoon, La Marina will “surprise and delight” families daily with special treats and surprises that change from day to day.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problem“As Club Med continues to stay on the pulse point of consumer trends and the changing demands of families, we’re thrilled to unveil the Aguamarina expansion, which has adopted unique elements specifically with families in mind,” shared Xavier Mufraggi, CEO of Club Med North America.  “As the original resort to open on Cancún’s most pristine stretch of beach at the tip of the iconic Riviera Maya, the Aguamarina family oasis is yet another way the property sets itself apart from the rest.”Club Med Cancún Yucatán underwent a full resort enhancement at the end of 2017, including upgrades to the 5-Trident Jade area; a full renovation of all rooms; a refresh to the meetings and events spaces; all-new wellness experiences and new and refreshed dining concepts. << Previous PostNext Post >> Club Med Cancun Yucatan doubles size of Aguamarina family oasislast_img

Revenge Never Looked So Good 17 photos from Costa Ricas trouncing of

first_imgFans of the Costa Rican national team built an electric atmosphere at the Estadio Nacional last Friday.The impressive Tico crowd welcomed the U.S. men’s team with rowdy chants and boisterous support for the home team. In the end, Costa Rica got revenge for the snow game last March in Denver, Colorado. La Sele thrashed the United States, 3-1, in a crucial World Cup qualifying match. The win moved Costa Rica atop the Concacaf regional standings, and one step closer to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.There was no snow in this rematch between Costa Rica and the U.S., but there still were plenty of stunning images.THE PRE-GAMEThe Tico Times attended the final warm-up for the U.S. men’s team. A big thanks to US Soccer for being so accommodating (while certainly other organizations were not so friendly). U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley walks off the bus for practice Thursday at the National Stadium. Bradley injured his ankle in pre-game warm-ups and missed the Costa Rica match. The star midfielder also is out for Tuesday’s match against Mexico. AFP U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando warms up with a coach at practice Thursday. AFP Lindsay Fendt U.S. Soccer Coach Jürgen Klinsmann talks to the press before practice Thursday. Lindsay Fendt La Sele celebrates their victory of the United States. The Costa Rican squad travels to Jamaica for a Tuesday night match. If the Ticos win, they’ll be the first team in the region (Concacaf) to clinch a spot in the World Cup. Via @bryanruizcr Lindsay Fendt NO HAY PROBLEMA Lindsay Fendt Supporters of the United States cheer their team before the start of the match against Costa Rica. AFP Costa Rica fans put up their hands during a U.S. penalty kick. Lindsay Fendt Costa Rican footballers celebrate after defeating the United States, 3-1. When there’s no snow… AFP Lindsay Fendt A U.S. soccer fan cheers on his team with an Amercan flag bandana. A U.S. soccer fan makes his way into the U.S. fan section guarded by police. Costa Rica fans go crazy after “La Sele,” as the national team is known, scores their first goal last Friday. A U.S. fan yells out after a foul is called. No related posts. AFP Footballer Geoffrey Cameron of the United States trips while going after the ball. CUANDO NO HAY NIEVE Johnny Acosta #2 celebrates scoring the first goal against the United States with Christian Gamboa #16 during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Nacional on Friday in San José. Costa Rica schooled the U.S. team 3-1. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP The crowd celebrates Costa Rica’s third and final goal in the world cup qualifying match against the U.S. Costa Rica won 3-1 moving them to first place in the region. Costa Rican player Joel Campbell celebrates after scoring against the United States. Lindsay Fendt Lindsay Fendt Christian Gamboa #16 of Costa Rica and Jermaine Jones #13 of the United States battle for the ball. THE GAMEOn the pitch, Costa Rica jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes and never looked back. A Clint Dempsey penalty kick moved the visitors to back within one goal, and the Stars and Stripes had several chances to tie the game. With 20 minutes remaining, La Sele’s Joel Campbell turned on his jets to race past the U.S. defense and score the final goal of the game. THE FANSThousands of Costa Ricans showed their colors. So did many Gringos. (And they both share the same colors). Most United Stats supporters, known as American Outlaws, were easy to identify. The Outlaws section, ironically, received police protection on all sides from neon-clad officers. Tico fans, meanwhile, went wild as La Sele boasted a decisive victory. Lindsay Fendt AFP Carlos Arias Muñoz, 71, is a fanatic of “La Sele,” Costa Rica’s national football team. He has been driving a cab for 53 years, and decided to deck out his car in Costa Rican flags for Friday’s game against the U.S. Costa Rican could book a ticket to Brazil with a victory Tuesday night in Jamaica.Tuesday’s Fixtures:At KingstonJamaica v Costa Rica 8 p.m.At Columbus, OhioUnited States v Mexico 8 p.m.At TegucigalpaHonduras v Panama 9 p.m.Concacaf Standings (W-L-D; 3 matches remain)Costa Rica 4-1-2 14 pointsUnited States 4-2-1 13 pointsHonduras 3-3-1 10 pointsMexico 1-1-5 8 pointsPanama 1-2-4 7 pointsJamaica 0-4-3 3 points(Top 3 teams advance to World Cup; 4th team plays New Zealand for berth) Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendtlast_img

Germany overwhelms shorthanded Brazil in semifinal 71

first_imgKlose claims record as Germany maul Brazil via @YahooNews @KieranCanning #WorldCup #Bra #Ger— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 9, 2014 Was today’s loss Brazil’s most embarrassing defeat in history? @warrenbarton2 weighs in:— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 9, 2014 Kroos linked with Müller, who criss-crossed with Klose inside the box before leaving the ball for the veteran striker. Cesar stopped the first attempt but left the rebound for Klose to slot into the lower right corner.Brazil was in shambles, but the worst was still to come. Barely a minute had passed when Philipp Lahm crossed from the right side. Müller scuffed on his attempt, but the ball rolled into Kroos’s path for a wicked blast from 17 yards to the lower left corner.The onslaught continued. A dreadful giveaway by Fernandinho in his own end led to a Kroos-Sami Khedira combination and Kroos’s second strike, a 10-yarder past the helpless keeper for a 4-0 lead.This was kid’s stuff, not a World Cup match.There was more in the 29th minute, Khedira and Mesut Özil exchanging the ball before Khedira finished without breaking a sweat.Brazil showed spirit after the badly needed intermission, but no goals. German substitute Schuerrle added to the misery in the 69th and 79th minutes, pounding in Lahm’s cross and beating Julio Cesar to the top near corner.Oscar’s 89th-minute strike was barely consolation on an infamous day in Brazilian history.After the final whistle, Brazil’s players gathered at midfield and applauded the spectators. It was almost a plea for forgiveness. None was offered.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL – It’s been said Brazil has never fully recovered from its greatest sporting tragedy, the 1950 home loss to Uruguay in the World Cup final. Despite proceeding to win a record five global crowns and injecting beauty into the beautiful game, for blessing the sport legends such as Pele, Romario and Ronaldo, Brazil remains haunted by the ghosts of “Maracanazo” — a term symbolizing heartbreak that day at Rio’s Maracana stadium.After what unfolded Tuesday, a 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals, Brazil will have to coin a new idiom to pass through the generations, an expression to capture what it looked and felt like at Estadio Mineirao, what it meant to concede four goals in six minutes of the first half, to suffer one of the most humbling setbacks in World Cup annals and the worst loss in the great history of Brazilian soccer. This was supposed to be a galvanizing occasion for Brazil, which had drawn emotional strength after superstar Neymar was ruled out with a fractured vertebra and captain Thiago Silva was suspended for yellow-card accumulation.The match did not kick off until 5 p.m., but this city of 2.3 million about 270 miles north of Rio was buzzing with activity when the sun rose.Many businesses did not bother opening. Roads around the stadium were blocked to all but official vehicles. Under a bright winter sky, fans walked about a mile along Avenida Antonio Abrahao Caran, mixing with supporters arriving from other directions to form a river of yellow and green.A TV helicopter tracked Brazil’s bus leaving the team hotel, beaming live images of a motorcade fit for a presidential visit. Fans chased alongside, as if the bus were the Tour de France leader. When it pulled into the stadium tunnel, 94 minutes before kickoff, those watching on large video screens inside the arena roared.Scolari was first to step off the vehicle, sporting a baseball cap with a “#ForcaNeymar” message of support for his fallen star.Scolari made three lineup changes, two mandated by his absent stars: Predictably, Dante — who like many Brazilian soccer stars goes by one name — replaced Silva in the heart of defense and defensive midfielder Luis Gustavo returned from suspension.The surprise came in the attack as Scolari summoned Bernard, not the more experienced Willian, to fill Neymar’s slick shoes. Bernard, 21, had made just two appearances totaling 67 minutes, but he is a Belo Horizonte native who rose through the local Atletico Mineiro system and played three seasons with the first team before moving to Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk last year.German Coach Joachim Loew did not alter what had worked with understated efficiency in the quarterfinal against France. The lineup included striker Klose, 36, who, 12 years ago, started against Brazil in the World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan.Deafening chants and roars during pregame activities shook the oval stadium. The stadium holds about 60,000. During the Brazilian national anthem, “Hino Nacional Brasileiro,” it sounded like 200 million.Brazil rode the emotion of the moment, but Germany returned fire. The match sizzled with energy and pace, both sides flying end to end.The Germans seized on Brazilian sloppiness to launch counterattacks. On one of many forays, in the 11th minute, they earned a corner kick. Kroos provided the service. Thomas Müller waited on the back side. Brazilian defender David Luiz, wearing the captain’s armband and enjoying a superb tournament, lost Müller in the mix.By the time he realized the problem, it was too late. Müller drove an eight-yard volley past goalkeeper Julio Cesar for his fifth goal of the tournament and 10th in two World Cups.Unleash the hounds.center_img Oscar anotó gol de honor en el min 90 del #BRA #GER, que acabó con humillante 7-1 #Brasil2014— Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) July 8, 2014 Related posts:Most Brazilians don’t want to host the World Cup Brazil tops Croatia in World Cup opener behind Neymar and a suspect call In Costa Rica, one big party following spectacular World Cup win Costa Rica can go far, says coach Pinto While 1950 was pure heartbreak — a late goal in a game that Brazil only needed to tie to claim the title – this was a calamity. Fans were not just sad — some were in tears after the third goal — but confused and angry. Derisive whistles and chants pierced the cool evening. Security was reinforced around the merry German cheering sections.“To the people, please excuse us for this negative mistake,” Brazil Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said through an interpreter. “I am sorry we will not be able to get to the final.”When the halftime whistle sounded, several Brazilian supporters rushed toward the edge of the tunnel to curse the players and coaches. As the margin grew, fans mockingly applauded. And when the Germans passed the ball without interruption, the crowd sarcastically saluted the display.Make no mistake: The Germans were awfully good, reinforcing their newly inherited status as the favorites to raise the trophy Sunday at Maracana, regardless of whether Argentina or the Netherlands opposes them.Toni Kroos and substitute Andre Schuerrle scored two goals apiece, and adding to Brazil’s misery, Miroslav Klose broke a tie with Ronaldo for the World Cup scoring record, his 16th.As the goals piled up, “We had trouble believing it,” Kroos said.last_img

4 ways San José excels in urbanism – no thats not a

first_imgRelated posts:Expat advice: What to do on Thanksgiving Costa Rican health officials worry that children traveling to US will bring back measles 4,500 runners prepare for Tamarindo Beach Marathon First Ebola patient diagnosed in US dies from virus A car runs a stop sign, almost taking a mother and her small child along for a ride on the hood. People walk alongside a highway because it’s where the bus dropped them off. Pedestrians stare at the ground in order to avoid a sudden fall into a meter-deep ditch.These are some of the images that come to mind when I ponder Costa Rican urbanism, or lack thereof. Others have vented their frustrations to me throughout my brief three months of living in Ciudad Colón, west of San José; there is a tendency to simply shake your head and wonder, “What can you do?” As for the capital itself, any prospective visitor who reads a travel guide will have dismal expectations at best. Guidebooks all but guarantee petty crime, if not worse, should one dare to cross the city. The Coca Cola bus station is described as a crime haven for anyone who masochistically wishes to part with a passport or wallet. This, added to my initial perceptions of vehicular hostility toward pedestrians, made my first trip to “Chepe” feel obligatory more than anything else.However, the Costa Rican capital is far from an urbanism black hole. I was positively surprised by San José. Sure, much of the architecture leaves something to be desired, but the city excels in modern urbanism in ways I had never seen in many U.S. cities. Here are four examples:1. Pedestrian boulevardsCreating space solely for pedestrians is a defeating, uphill battle in many parts of the United States. In my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, closing one block of one street from traffic was considered a monumental win, and cars are still able to pull onto the street for valet parking. So, needless to say, I was floored when I came upon the Avenida Central boulevard, which, like the parallel east-west boulevard in the southern half of the city, features block after block of storefront businesses accessible only to pedestrians in the heart of San José. San José’s La Sabana Park. Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times2. La SabanaAfter just two visits to San José, my preconceived notions fundamentally broken down, I began to notice another recurring theme: parks. Simply put, San José nails public spaces when it feels up to the task. On just one Saturday morning, I came across a marching band practicing in a large park space, hula hoops spinning furiously, shoppers at an organic fair, markets brimming with life, and yoga practitioners finding their inner Zen underneath an impressively designed gazebo with musicians playing along on a set of bongos and a xylophone. Again, these are all rare feats in many U.S. cities where suburban sprawl drains downtown areas of morning activity on the weekends, and keeps area residents segregated into their respective communities where driving is a requirement to do just about anything.Most impressive of all is La Sabana. With obvious exceptions, such as New York City’s Central Park and Chicago’s lakefront, for example, I wonder if there are other similarly sized, high-quality urban park spaces in U.S. cities. The running, the ponds, the skating rink and race track with the National Stadium towering in the background easily makes La Sabana an urban gem. If the city can fulfill the long-held dream of a bike path to connect La Sabana to the University of Costa Rica, east of the capital, San José will stand out in a way that some supposedly more “developed” cities cannot currently fathom. La Cuesta de Moras, in front of the Legislative Assembly. Alberto Font/The Tico Times3. Absence of parking cratersA brief look back at a half-century of U.S. urban renewal: Once the Highway Act was approved by Congress in the 1950s, high-speed thoroughfares quickly began gutting urban areas and becoming the foundation of younger, western cities. Highways separated well-established neighborhoods, and downtowns were hollowed out to make space for cars in the form of lifeless surface lots or parking garages. While cities are trying desperately to remedy these errors, the legacy of U.S. parking craters continues to hurt local economies and social life.To the contrary, parking craters seem nonexistent in San José. Its private parking lots are tiny in comparison to U.S. parking craters that can stretch for blocks in any direction. Fortunately, Costa Rica has never come close to matching the United States in cars per capita, so the demand for demolishing buildings for parking lots has been relatively limited thus far. Residents of many U.S. cities are regretting ceding so much space to cars. San José is all the more attractive as an urban destination because it has maintained its structural integrity. Enamórate de tu ciudad brings urban residents into public spaces on weekends. Alberto Font/The Tico Times4. Variety of public eventsAny Tico Times reader knows that there are no shortage of public events in San José. The attributes above make these public events possible. That is, infrastructure dedicated to pedestrians instead of cars brings people to urban areas, and the powers that be have given them something to do while they are here. From the aforementioned yoga and markets to live music and theater, San José has a little bit of everything for everyone. Again, many U.S. cities would kill for the kind of activity and vibrancy on a Saturday morning that you can find in Chepe.Of course, the four achievements I’ve listed do not change the fact that San José is in dire need of a cultural shift when it comes to people and cars, but this city is hardly alone in that regard. Broadly speaking, and this goes for the world at large, drivers and governments that fund transportation need to accept that humans are more valuable than cars. That might sound obvious, but countries and cities that truly embrace this as a priority show a measured shift in drivers’ mentality as soon as they get behind the wheel. In Switzerland, for instance, pedestrian culture runs so deep that cars will stop on a dime for a pedestrian crossing the street. They will then wait patiently, seemingly well aware that time is not more valuable than life. No pedestrian in her right mind would expect the same treatment here.More specifically, there are steps San José (and any Costa Rican town, for that matter) can take to set such a shift in motion. Proven examples from other countries include adding more speed bumps to slow down cars, increasing penalties and enforcement for driver negligence, lowering speed limits, and improving infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians that will get people out of cars and off their motorbikes.This is doable. It may sometimes feel that San José or other parts of Costa Rica are far behind in terms of modern urbanism, but the gap is not as broad as it might seem. To the contrary, San José clearly has a great deal to offer an urban soul, and plenty of reason to hope.Joe Baur is an author, writer and filmmaker who has worked for a variety of publications, including Matador Network, Yahoo! Travel, National Geographic and BBC Travel. He lives in Ciudad Colón. Follow him at @BaurJoe and Facebook Commentslast_img

Urban bus tour celebrates San José

first_imgRelated posts:Once Mexico’s booze of ‘drunks,’ mezcal earns respect Art City Tour to celebrate half-decade of GAM Cultural New guidebook helps visitors appreciate Costa Rica’s capital Costa Rica’s capital San José the next big tourist destination? Ultimately, Oreamuno hopes that more of his compatriots will climb aboard and learn about their capital.“We are concerned about our social responsibility,” says Oreamuno. “There are some people who don’t value what Costa Rica is. We have to change the mentality of Costa Ricans as well. The more time I spend in San José, the more I like it.”Tours take place daily, 8:15 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. $25. Info and schedule: Official website. Facebook Comments “When you’re on vacation,” says Andrés Oreamuno, “you want to take the most advantage of your time. You don’t want to waste a minute.”So Oreamuno came up with an idea: Since thousands of travelers end up in San José, why not show them the sights? Most people end up lost and bored in Costa Rica’s capital, because they don’t know where to go or what they’re looking at. But what if they could jump on a bus and learn about the city’s sights and history in a comprehensive two-hour jaunt?The result is Costa Rica City Square Tours, a two-month-old business that attracts between six and 16 intrepid tourists per day. Oreamuno came up with the idea during a visit to Chicago, when he watched his older brother run the Chicago Marathon. Because the Oreamunos didn’t have much time to explore the city, they took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Andrés was inspired, and when he returned to Costa Rica he developed the idea.Such tours are common in the United States and other parts of the world, where companies drive people around in buses and explain important landmarks. Some brands use eccentric vehicles, like vintage double-decker buses and DUKW wheeled watercraft. Many companies allow guests to get off the vehicle at certain stops, walk around, then return whenever they like, riding an ongoing loop around a city.Having grown up in Moravia and Escazú, Oreamuno has watched the city transform, and he feels that now is the best time to start an urban tour of San José.“When I was younger, I wouldn’t go [downtown],” he says. “Now it’s much safer. There are more police. I walk in the middle of San José, talking on my cellphone, and don’t worry about anything.”Oreamuno has his own experience in unfamiliar places: He studied marketing and management at Manhattan College in New York City, and he spent a semester in Australia. A diminutive and gentle young man, Oreamuno feels strongly about the importance of San José.“Most of the history and culture of Costa Rica is in San José,” he asserts.Supporting Oreamuno in his endeavor is his mother, Roxana Echeverría, an energetic 50-year-old and owner of EO Comercializadora, a distribution company based in La Asunción de Belén. In conversation, it is obvious that Echeverría is ecstatically proud of her son, and she has gone to great lengths to help him, setting aside office space in her company and advising him along the way.According to Echeverría, Oreamuno has always had a creative and entrepreneurial spirit: As a child, he would place room numbers above the doors of his house and pretend that it was a hotel, then care for his parents as if they were guests.“It was wonderful,” exclaims Echeverría with a nostalgic laugh.Today, Oreamuno manages two rented minibuses and three tour guides. After months of rigorous study, Oreamuno is also a guide certified by the Tourism Ministry, and he often leads tours himself. The buses make a slow circle around San José, allowing riders to move freely around the city from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Stops include the Children’s Museum, the Plaza de la Cultura, and the Mercado Central. Oreamuno has slowly cultivated a network of hotel owners, and he has forged relationships with community organizations like GAM Cultural and Chepecletas. As business continues to accumulate, he hopes to start a third route from La Sabana to Avenida Escazú.While the vast majority of patrons are mature travelers from Europe and the United States, Oreamuno is seeing a growing number of Latin Americans as well. To publicize the fledgling business, Oreamuno cut together a video himself, starring Spanish language students from Veritas University. The students agreed to appear in the video in exchange for a free ride around town.last_img

Heavy rains cause flooding in Costa Ricas southern Pacific region

first_imgHeavy rains in recent days have caused flooding in Costa Rica in some 20 communities in the country’s southern Pacific region, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported Wednesday.Communities in the cantons of Corredores, Golfito, Osa and Buenos Aires have been severely hit by floods, prompting the intervention of Municipal Emergency Committees.Floods broke the main aqueduct in Buenos Aires, cutting off the drinking water supply to most of the population. Staff from the Water and Sewer Institute is distributing water in tankers while the aqueduct is repaired.A total of 11 communities have been affected by flooding in Corredores. Heavy showers hit Los Castaños, Coto 44, Pangas, Central Campesina, Estrella del Sur, La Chanchera, La Campiña, El Barrido, Vereh, Cuatro Bocas and Altos de San Antonio, which is currently stranded due to severe damage to all major roads.Five communities are facing flooding in Golfito: Coto 63, La Esperanza, Río Lagarto, Palo Seco and Puerto Jiménez.CNE officials also reported some problems in Osa, mostly due to the Térraba River overflowing its banks.CNE officials are coordinating emergency measures, including distribution of food and other basic supplies. They are also scouting locations for potential temporary shelters and conducting daily inspections of rivers in the region.The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) forecasts continued rains in the southern Pacific region in coming days.IMN experts say heavy rains are unusual for November, and that by now the country should be transitioning to the dry season.Despite the extended rainy season, IMN reported that only the Caribbean region will end the year with a surplus of rainfall. All other regions of the country are expected to record a deficit. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May Heavy rains flood several communities in three provinces More heavy rains over Costa Rica expected starting Thursday night High tides expected along Pacific coast this weeklast_img

Where to watch the Super Bowl in Costa Rica

first_imgWill the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles win? Will candidates Carlos Alvarado, Fabricio Alvarado, Antonio Álvarez, Juan Diego Castro or Rodolfo Piza take the presidency in Costa Rica? There are a couple of major clashes going on this Sunday.While it will be a busy day around the country as voters head to the polls, NFL fans shouldn’t despair: there are a number of places to tune in to Super Bowl LII. The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles kick off at 5:30 p.m. We’ve compiled a list of prominent sports bars in the country that plan on showing the big game. If you notice we’re missing a venue, email us or leave it in the comments and we’ll update the story.Winners may be crowned in both events between 9 and 10 p.m. (unless the election goes to a second round, which is likely).We’ve included links to the Facebook page or website of each sports bar. Many of these locations have their own game day food and drinks special. Fortunately, most of the country is not enforcing the once-traditional Election Day dry law. However, Hooters in Cartago and San Pedro – where the dry law is in effect – have the saddest Super Bowl special: buy 20 wings and get a free pitcher of…soda. Oh.Remember: Vote first. Then watch football.Places to watch Super Bowl LII (Kickoff: 5:30 p.m.)CENTRAL VALLEYAlajuelaHooters Plaza Mango, 2519-9099FacebookCartagoHooters, 2573-3880FacebookDowntown San JoséChubbs Bar: 2222-0835, personal reservation with ₡1,000FacebookEscazúChubbs BarFacebookHooters, Plaza Itskatzú, 2588-2340Hooligans, Multiplaza 2201-8261Facebook Hooligans, Trejos Montealegre, 2289-0908FacebookTGIF, 2228-8443FacebookChichi’s, 2661-1281 Santa AnaFacebookHerediaHooters, Plaza Bratsi, 2237-9957Hooligans, Paseo de las Flores, 2262-5757Facebook C lounge Cariari, 2239-7415FacebookChichi’s, 2661-1281FacebookHard Rock Cafe San José, 2239-2828FacebookLa SabanaMac’s American Bar: 2231-3145MoraviaHooligans, Lincoln Plaza, 2519-9506Facebook Hooters, 4036-3742Pinares, CurridabatHooters, 2271-1183Chichi’s, 2661-1281FacebookOrosiPuente Negro Bar, 2533-2269FacebookSan PedroHooters, 2234-0317OUTSIDE THE CENTRAL VALLEYTalamanca, LimónThe Point Beachfront Sport Bar & Grill, 2756-8491FacebookDominicalBar Jolly Roger, 8706-8438FacebookJacóBar Claritas, 2643-2615WebsiteLos Amigos, 2643-2961FacebookChichi’s, 2661-1281FacebookManuel AntonioBillfish Sports Bar & Lounge, 2777 0411Playas del CocoCoconutz Sports Bar & Grill, 2670-1982FacebookTamarindoBest Western Tamarindo Vista Vista Villas – Crazy Monkey Bar, 2653-0114FacebookSharky’s, 2653-4705WebsiteClub Mar Vista, 8648-1728WebsiteLos Sueños Marina Village Hook up Los Sueños, 2630-4000Facebook Facebook Comments Related posts:American Colony to host 56th annual U.S. Independence Day picnic on Sunday PHOTOS: A glimpse of the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country Quilt exhibition scheduled for this weekend in Pérez Zeledónlast_img

CRUSA Foundation creates competition to strengthen nonprofit organizations

first_imgCosta Rican nonprofit organizations seeking to jumpstart their fundraising, outreach, or overall capacity can now apply for support from a new source.The Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a nonprofit based in San José, will issue grants of up to $10,000 to organizations with notable, scalable and innovative plans in Costa Rica.From Jan. 23 until March 1, legally registered nonprofits interested in receiving support from the CRUSA Foundation may apply here to receive funds through the “Catalyst Donations Program.”“The CRUSA Foundation recognizes the important work done by many non-profit organizations in communities across the country,” said Flora Montealegre, Executive Delegate of the CRUSA Foundation. “We want to support those innovative and impactful initiatives so that they are sustainable long-term, and for that we need to strengthen organizations.”CRUSA will target nonprofits whose applications accomplish one or more of the following:Improve skill development for the nonprofit’s staffIncrease the nonprofit’s resource-generating capacityCreate internal resources for generating capacities or models that can be scaled or shared with other Costa Rican nonprofit organizations.Because the Catalyst Donations Program finances the development of a nonprofit organization so it can increase its impact over time, recurrent expenses will not be financed.The proposals will be reviewed by the CRUSA team according to the following criteria: innovation, scalability potential, clarity of objectives, feasibility and justification of the budget, the organization’s capacity for execution, and measurable impact on organizational capacity.Although grants are not limited to a geographical area or thematic focus, additional consideration will be given to the initiatives of nonprofit organizations that work outside the Greater Metropolitan Area and those that are aligned with the thematic priorities of CRUSA in 2019. These include climate change and sustainable development, and human capital, knowledge and innovation.The organizations selected to receive grants through the Catalyst Donations Program will be announced in April.Those interested in participating can visit the website: article was sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is a sponsored partnership between The Tico Times and CRUSA. Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA Facebook Comments Related posts:Kids Saving the Rainforest: the Costa Rican initiative that’s gone global Textiles for change: La Carpio enterprise sews with a purpose Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s waves Benefit concerts for Guatemala to take place in Costa Rica, Mexicolast_img

Costa Rica defeats Jamaica 10 in friendly

first_imgRelated posts:2019 Gold Cup field finalized; Costa Rica will host two matches Legendary Radio Columbia sportscaster Mario McGregor dies at 59 Costa Rica’s Sele out of Korea U-20 World Cup Costa Rica to face Peru in Gold Cup warmup The Costa Rican soccer team defeated Jamaica 1-0 on Tuesday, in a match that served both squads in preparation for the Gold Cup.The Ticos beat the Reggae Boyz with the lone goal scored by right-back Keysher Fuller in the 29th minute.¡Gooool de #LaSele ! Jugadón y Fuller con la anotación.— Teletica Deportes (@TeleticaTD7) March 27, 2019For La Sele, the result was a vindication before its home fans after an unexpected defeat last Friday in Guatemala.And perhaps it was due to that discouraging result that attendance at the National Stadium was far below capacity. Costa Rica started the match slowly, with missed passes and few dangerous actions with its only striker, Mayron George, who battled alone in the line of attack in the absence of midfield services.His most dangerous partner in the attack was Joel Campbell, the talented midfielder for the Mexican club Tigres, who became the game’s most prominent player. The Ticos took about 20 minutes to start controlling the pace of the game.Jamaica, with less control of the ball, had attacking opportunities thanks to the actions of the speedy and skilled Brian Brown and Maalique Foster. But Costa Rica opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a Fuller shot after a filtered pass from Campbell. The score allowed the locals to take confidence and begin to control the actions, with quick combinations of Ruiz, Campbell and Rónald Matarrita.Early in the second half, the Reggae Boyz tried to regain control of the match, but it rarely challenged goalkeeper Keylor Navas’ goal.Subsequently, the two coaches made numerous changes and Costa Rica coasted to victory. Lineups:Costa Rica: Keylor Navas – Keysher Fuller (Ian Smith, 72nd minute), Giancarlo González, Kendall Waston (Juan Pablo Vargas, 76), Francisco Calvo – Celso Borges, Allan Cruz (José Mora, 64), Bryan Ruiz (José Ortiz, 83), Joel Campbell (Ronaldo Araya, 76), Ronald Matarrita (Ariel Lassiter, 64) – Mayron George. DT: Gustavo MatosasJamaica: A. Knight (J. White, 61) – Michael Hector, Ladale Richie, Alvas Powell, Dever Orgill – Junior Flemmings, Maalique Foster (J. East, 61), Shaun Francis, Damion Lowe – Brian Brown, Kevon Lambert. DT: Theodore Whitmore This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img

Babies in trafficking case returned to mothers

first_img Top Stories The vital role family plays in society Associated PressMEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican authorities have returned to their biological mothers all but one of the babies ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring providing children to Irish couples, the women’s lawyers said Monday.Attorney Yuri Marquez said Jalisco state authorities returned 10 of the 11 babies to their families last week. The children had been in the custody of the state’s protective services since January, when prosecutors opened an investigation after detaining a 21-year-old woman who was accused of “renting” one of her children. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories People working for the lawyers would take the children to a hotel in Guadalajara where they met with Irish couples who believed they were going to adopt the babies. The couples then took the children to the town of Ajijic, a lakeside resort popular with American and Canadian retirees, where they were staying while the adoptions were finished.A lead investigator told reporters in January the illegal adoption ring may have been operating for years. In this case, the Irish couples apparently paid the lawyers to search for a baby, to get the custody and to pay for the biological mother’s prenatal care. It’s not clear whether previous adoptions by Irish people with the same firm followed the pattern.Cruz Guadalupe Gutierrez Moreno, 20, says she agreed to have her baby girl, who was born with weak lungs, take part in the alleged anti-abortion campaign so she could pay for the girl’s medical attention.“I was filled with joy when they told us our nightmare was over,” Gutierrez said in a telephone interview about regaining custody. “She knows me and seems happy. The only problem now is that I don’t have money for her medicine.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Prosecutors are still running DNA tests on the remaining baby to confirm who her mother is, Marquez said.The state restored custody to the parents after determining the mothers were tricked into believing their babies were being photographed for an anti-abortion ad campaign, while in reality the children were really being shown to Irish couples looking to adopt.“The judge was able to see that far from being members of organized crime they are victims, they were tricked,” Marquez said.Federal prosecutors took over the case, but would not comment Monday on the status of the charges. Marquez said seven people are still in federal custody, among them two women who the mothers said scoured a poor neighborhood in the outskirts of the western city of Guadalajara looking for babies.The 21-year-old woman first detained in the case and the grandmother of another baby, who was accused of knowingly taking part in the scheme, were released from prison six weeks ago for lack of evidence, Marquez said.Police are also looking for at least two lawyers with the Guadalajara law firm of Lopez Lopez y Asociados who were allegedly processing the adoptions in neighboring Colima state.The mothers said they signed contracts with a law firm to allow their children to be photographed in different places in Jalisco state for advertising purposes. They told investigators that the babies were taken for up to 15 days at a time and that they received 500 pesos ($36) a day as payment. Patients with chronic pain give advice Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img

Clinton to China Russia Syria needs change

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Clinton spoke to reporters Tuesday in the Georgian city of Batumi, after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Tuesday the countries oppose “regime change by force.” They’ve twice blocked the U.N. from imposing sanctions on Syria.Clinton is meeting Wednesday in Istanbul and with U.N. mediator Kofi Annan in Washington Friday.(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 Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Associated PressBATUMI, Georgia (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is inviting China and Russia to “be part of the solution in Syria” but says that must include a political transition from the Assad regime.Clinton says the transition “has to be the main focus of our diplomacy.” She says violence over the last 10 days shows “peace and human dignity will not be possible in Syria without change.” Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img

Import tax deadline has Cuba entrepreneurs on edge

first_img Sponsored Stories Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – A sudden jump in import taxes on Monday threatens to make life tougher for some of Cuba’s new entrepreneurs and will mean higher prices for many of their customers by raising the cost of goods ranging from jungle-print blouses to jewelry.The new measures steeply hike duties on cargo shipments, as well as on many bulk goods brought in by airline passengers, a crucial supply line for many of the small businesses the government has been trying to encourage as it cuts a bloated workforce in the socialist economy. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Officials insist the taxes are similar to those in other countries, but many small-business owners view the change as an ominous sign.While the published official description seems aimed at items such as clothing, soap, food and other personal-use goods, it is so complex it leaves importers of other products unsure if they will be affected, now or in the future.Some of the entrepreneurs, such as Javier Ernesto Matos, say they have prepared for the blow by stocking up on parts before the tax takes effect.He also has prepared for a worst-case scenario if supply dries up entirely: “It’s pretty shocking, but the strategy we have in mind is to consolidate in a single shop and leave prices the same to recoup what we can from our investment,” said Matos, who together with two business partners operates three mobile phone repair shops called the Cellphone Clinic.Others say they’ll have no choice but to raise prices. That, along with the higher taxes on goods brought in by friends, has worried consumers in a country where the average monthly wage is about $20.“For our family these are important items, from a little soap to a backpack for school,” a woman identified as Loraine wrote on the state-run Cubadebate website. “We all make sacrifices to help them. Nothing falls from the sky. Why are they turning their backs on reality? Knowing how many shortages there are in the country, why be so strict?” (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement While President Raul Castro has tried to expand the private sector, the government has done little to provide wholesale outlets where businesses can buy parts and materials for the goods they sell, so many supplies are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive due to high government retail markups.Arturo Lopez-Levy, a Cuban-born economist at the University of Denver, said it’s not unusual for countries to levy high customs duties, but Cuba has exceptional circumstances that make it inadvisable right now.“The right timing was to create the wholesale market first and then try to crack down on this type of activity,” Lopez-Levy said. “If you don’t have a wholesale market, then you are implementing the measures without the proper sequence, especially if you really want to promote the small- and medium-size nonstate sector.”“In the long term, this resolution was necessary,” he said. “Right now, it’s a mistake.”The new duties seem primarily targeted at so-called “mules,” who make frequent shopping trips to places such as Ecuador, Panama and Miami and bring back duffel bags bulging with food, underwear, shoes and electronics. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Starting Monday, Cubans who travel abroad more than once a year not only will pay higher tariffs, they’ll pay in hard currency rather than the more-easily obtainable national peso, which trades at 24 to the U.S. dollar and is used for most salaries.Cubans will also begin paying dollar-based sums of $4.55 a pound ($10 per kilogram) above a certain weight to receive packages shipped by air and sea. That rate doubles if they bring in large shipments.The impact is already being felt by people like Rafael, a 50-something who imports clothes to Havana. Before, he paid the equivalent of $65 in the local currency to import 550 pounds (120 kilograms) of clothing. Under the new, progressive duty schedule, that would apparently cost between $1,300 and $1,800.“This idea of raising taxes is crazy. … I don’t know where this decision came from, because it hurts everyone,” Rafael said. “But it hurts the people the most, because we have to raise our prices.”Already costly for Cubans _ a pair of jeans costs an average month’s wage _ Rafael’s prices stand to rise an initial $2-3 per garment and could go up even more, he said.He declined to be identified by his full name because his business license only authorizes him to make clothing, but he essentially resells imported garments. Comments   Share   But it did little to ease concerns, judging by the dozens of exasperated reader complaints posted in the comments section.“Why should a Cuban citizen have to pay the taxes in a currency in which they themselves are not paid?” said a poster identified as Roberto Suarez. “That’s not fair. I don’t travel, but I don’t see the logic in that.”Some said the regulations could force entrepreneurs to turn to black-market goods pilfered from state-run concerns.Others, however, predicted that Cubans, famous for their knack for finding a make-do solution to any problem, will figure a way to sidestep the duties.“Something will be found to get around this,” said Maria, another clothing vendor who also would not give her last name because her business activities exceed the scope of her license. “It always happens in this country. It’s like they say: `He who creates the law, also creates the cheat.’”___Associated Press writer Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana contributed to this report.___Follow Peter Orsi on Twitter at Top Stories The new rules will mostly affect clothing stands and boutiques, but could also hurt the supply of things such as artificial nails to beauty salons, or fabric, buttons and zippers to dressmakers.It could also make it harder for some Cubans to visit family abroad. Trips are often funded by agreeing to bring back large bags on behalf of someone who pays the airfare.The Cellphone Clinic’s Matos said he began doubling his normal purchases this summer and has stockpiled enough parts like fragile electronic ribbons to stay in business for two more years, no matter what.“If buying pieces becomes more expensive, if people are bringing in less, you have to reevaluate and prices will have to rise,” he said. “It’s a bad thing, because if you raise the price not everyone will come like before. It’s not worth it, you know?”It’s not clear that any state-run operation would offer some of the Clinic’s services, such as unblocking an iPhone 4.Separate tax rates cover food and electronics, including 400 pesos (or $17) for a Cuban to import a 32-inch or larger flat-screen TV on a first trip, and $400 on subsequent travels.Authorities insist they’re just trying to improve service at Cuban airports, where excess baggage clogs conveyor belts in passenger terminals. In mid-August, state-run website Cubadebate published Customs officials’ explanation of the tariffs along with several examples. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img

Jobs report could help clarify a muddy US economic picture

first_imgYet a survey of manufacturing companies, also by the ISM, saw little improvement in April. That is evidence that the strong dollar is still weighing on U.S. exports.And the trade deficit widened in March, creating a drag on the nation’s gross domestic product. Imports climbed after the West Coast ports dispute was settled. U.S. exports barely nudged up. The trade gap shot up 43 percent from February, the government said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Analysts have forecast that job growth rebounded in April to 222,500, according to a survey by FactSet, from 126,000 in March. The March gain was the weakest in 15 months. Economists have also forecast that the unemployment rate dipped last month to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March.The dollar has appreciated about 15 percent in the past year against other currencies, such as the euro and Japanese yen. That trend has made U.S. goods more expensive overseas and could slow export sales this year.And the roughly 50 percent drop in oil prices from last June through January has led to sharp cutbacks in oil and gas drilling by energy companies. That trend has reduced investment in steel pipe and other equipment and slowed growth. Most economists expect that pattern to continue until summer.Employers have added more than 3 million jobs over the past 12 months, a healthy pace. But some of the fastest-growing sectors involve mainly low-paying work, such as restaurants, retail and home health care.The economy would benefit from more jobs in higher-paying sectors. But positions in the oil and gas industry dropped in the first three months of this year. And manufacturing jobs declined in March for the first time in nearly two years. WASHINGTON (AP) — The government’s April jobs report being released Friday could bring some clarity to a fuzzy picture of the U.S. economy.The economy likely shrank during the first three months of the year. And hiring slowed sharply in March.Economists have pointed mainly to temporary factors, especially harsh winter weather that kept consumers away from shops earlier this year. A labor dispute at West Coast ports also delayed shipments of parts and contributed to a sharp drop in exports. Sponsored Stories April’s jobs report should shed light on whether the first quarter’s slump was temporary or whether a more persistent weakness is holding back the economy.Recent economic indicators have provided support to both views.Home sales staged a big comeback in March, a possible sign that more Americans are eager to make expensive purchases. People bought existing homes at an annual pace of 5.19 million, the National Association of Realtors said. Those gains are expected to extend into April based on figures on signed contracts released by the Realtors. This would help spur additional growth in the construction sector as builders seek to meet demand.And service firms, such as restaurants, retailers and banks, grew at a faster pace in April than in March, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers. That suggests that Americans stepped up their spending as the weather improved.In addition, the average number of people seeking unemployment benefits each week over the past month fell to its lowest level in 15 years, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the very low level suggests that companies haven’t been spooked by slower growth and are retaining their staffs. That typically suggests that hiring is healthy.center_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img

Cancer specialist Arthur Porter dies in Panama

first_img Sponsored Stories Sikora said in a statement that Porter’s death was sudden, and that doctors thought the oncologist would live for another two or three weeks. He died alone.Todd said Porter, who had been battling the disease since December 2012, was released from detention in the Central American country six weeks ago to undergo treatment.He was the former head of the McGill University Health Centre and was once appointed by the prime minister to head the Security Intelligence Review Committee, a CSIS watchdog group.In joining SIRC, Porter was also sworn to the Privy Council. He was elevated to SIRC’s chair two years later but resigned in December 2011 following published reports of his business links to an international arms dealer.After moving to the Bahamas, he was arrested along with his wife, Pamela, during a flight layover in Panama. Porter had been detained since May 2013 in Panama as he fought extradition to Canada.Police allege that he accepted a bribe of several million dollars from former executives of SNC-Lavalin for awarding the firm the contract for a hospital project, but Porter denied committing any fraud.The McGill health center issued a brief statement on Wednesday extending condolences to Porter’s family. He leaves behind his wife and three daughters. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Pamela Porter was sentenced in December to 33 months in jail after she pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering in connection with her husband’s case.Todd called Porter’s death on Canada Day “stranger than fiction” because of his highly publicized standoff with the Canadian authorities for extradition.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 Parents, stop beating yourself up TORONTO (AP) — Arthur Porter, a cancer specialist who was facing fraud charges related to a $1.3 billion hospital project in Montreal, died Wednesday in Panama after a lengthy battle with lung cancer, his biographer said. He was 59.Jeff Todd, who helped Porter write “The Man Behind the Bow Tie,” said Porter died at a hospital in Panama, where he was fighting extradition to Canada. Todd said he was informed of the death by Porter’s friend and physician Dr. Karol Sikora. Top Stories The vital role family plays in societylast_img

Military site shootings crystallize FBI terrorism concerns

first_imgThe president of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga said Saturday that Abdulazeez’s father called and apologized to him and said that he had not seen any recent changes in his son.Bassam Issa said Youssuf Saed Abdulazeez told him he felt blindsided.“He told me that he had never seen it coming, and did not see any signs from his son that he would be that way and do something like that,” Issa said.GOP Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Friday that officials are looking into whether Abdulazeez was what some at intelligence agencies consider among the “losers to lions,” meaning a young person who is looking “for a cause greater than himself” and commits a terrorist act in the process.Federal officials have warned over the last year that today’s terrorist sympathizers can be difficult to track and predict, in part because their plans are often spontaneous, poorly formed and lack the sophisticated execution that has defined al-Qaida and its operatives.Officials also have expressed concern that potential recruits are using encrypted forms of online communication as a way to evade detection from law enforcement, an issue the Justice Department raised before Congress last week. WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly shootings at military sites in Tennessee illustrate the threat that FBI officials have warned about: violence directed against a vulnerable government target by a lone gunman with apparent terrorist aspirations.The FBI has not detailed a motive, but Thursday’s attacks that killed four Marines and one sailor are under investigation as a potential act of terrorism, with authorities combing through the gunman’s past to look for travel, contacts and online writings. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean In turning away from the grandiose bomb plots of al-Qaida, IS has encouraged followers to carry out smaller-scale gun attacks that cause less carnage but require less planning and are harder to detect.The organization can survive as long as it is able to spread propaganda and find willing recruits, said McCants of the Brookings Institution.“Inspiring people to do it on their own is almost a greater feat than training an operative,” he said.___Associated Press writer Tamara Lush in Tampa, Florida contributed to this report.___Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Law enforcement officials describe an ongoing challenge in distinguishing those who merely consume and share messages and those actually motivated to commit violence. Authorities say there’s no question that social media platforms, coupled with the small-scale plots being devised, have made terrorist ideology more accessible than a decade ago. It can be easy for those who read messages, but do not post their own thoughts, to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.“They have now spent a year, maybe a little longer, investing in this strategy,” Comey told reporters last week, in a reference to IS. “And what you’re seeing now is proof that it works. Americans all over the place responding to this constant push and feed and buzz.”The Kuwait-born gunman, who was killed by police, was not under investigation and was not on the radar of federal law enforcement before the shooting, officials have said. He had visited Jordan last year, a U.S. official said Friday, and investigators will review those overseas travels for potential worrisome contacts with militants.Abdulazeez received an engineering degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2012 and worked as an intern a few years ago at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Those who knew him described a typical suburban upbringing, though court documents allege an abusive and sometimes turbulent household.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The rampage unfolded as the federal government has raised alarms about the online spread of terrorist propaganda, including repeated exhortations by groups such as the Islamic State for sympathizers to target police officers and military installations.It came two months after two men opened fire outside a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas before being killed by police, and during a year when several dozen people in the United States have been charged with supporting terrorism, with more than 10 arrested in the month before the July 4 holiday.“This is the new normal,” said Will McCants, a terrorism expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. If a terrorist group is looking to influence public opinion and generate fear, he said, “this kind of tactic has a lot going for it.”One federal law enforcement official said investigators did not immediately find an extensive online presence involving the gunman, 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, or evidence that he was directly influenced or inspired by the Islamic State. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.But the line between inspired and directed is blurred in an age of pervasive social media, where anyone with a computer or smartphone can be exposed to what FBI Director James Comey has called “poison” propaganda from terrorist organizations. Top Stories FILE – In this July 17, 2015 file photo, an FBI investigator investigates the scene of a shooting outside a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. The deadly shootings of Marines at two Tennessee military sites illustrate the threat FBI officials in recent months have warned about: violence by a lone gunman with apparent terroristic aspirations against a vulnerable government target. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img

Air India crash becomes Indias worst air disaster in decade

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Officials have confirmed that 158 people have died after Air India Express IX812 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway and plunged over a cliff upon landing at the airport on Saturday.Carrying 160 passengers and six crew members, the disaster has now made its mark in India’s history as the worst air disaster in a decade.  Earlier confusion over the number of survivors have now been confirmed as eight not seven.  Those who survived are understood to have been sitting in the middle of the plane.  They were believed to have been able to jump free from the Boeing 737-800 before the plane burst into flames.“The accident occurred after the aircraft landed at Mangalore airport and overshot the runway,” confirms Air India, parent company of Air India Express.Nearly all of the 156 bodies have now been recovered, identified and relatives contacted, adds Air India.Both black boxes of the Boeing aircraft have now been recovered by investigators who will now probe the cockpit recorder as well as the flight data recorder for more information on how the aircraft overshot the runway.India’s air traffic control has since confirmed that visibility was good the morning of the crash, though there had been a light drizzle it was not raining at the time.  Nothing appeared to be at fault during the descent and initial touch-down.Eye-witnesses on scene have reported that a wheel may have burst on the runway, but no reports have yet been handed down by air crash investigators. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img

AAAT TXA form partnership

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H AAA Tourism (AAAT) and Tourism Exchange Australia (TXA) have formed an alliance aimed at increasing the availability of live real-time Australian tourism product, the organisations announced in a joint statement. “We’re delighted to be working with TXA as the open booking exchange technology will allow us to offer tourism businesses who advertise with us a greater range of distribution options,” AAAT chief executive Peter Blackwell said. “By teaming up with TXA we’ll also be able to offer our consumers access to book a huge range of Australian products live and in real time.”The initiative will see the AAAT booking engine connected to TXA as both a supplier of inventory to the booking exchange and as a distributor of the products already connected to TXA, with suppliers to be sold live through the AAAT distribution network, which includes RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC and RACT. Shane Crockett, chief executive of V3, joint providers of TXA with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), said the alliance would further emphasise “TXA’s position as a unique and genuinely neutral exchange”.    “AAAT is one of Australia’s key tourism organisations and this alliance continues the explosion of opportunities for industry suppliers and distributors delivered by TXA,” Mr Crockett said. “Suppliers can display and sell products to the combined network and Distributors can present their customers with an incredible range of Australian product.”Calling AAAT a “very important player in Australian tourism”, ATDW chief executive Liz Ward said she was looking forward to the collaborative marketing initiatives the partnership would yield. “We are convinced they will provide another invaluable, TXA driven contribution to all Australian tourism suppliers and to the Government tourism organisations utilizing the TXA technology to support their digital marketing initiatives,” Ms Ward said. Aussie tourism will benefit from the new alliancelast_img

New cruise guide sets sail

first_imgFind out which ships will be calling Australia home, when lines will be launching their new ships and even get some packing tips in e-Travel Blackboard’s first ever OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide.Based on an independent survey of the cruising habits of both consumers and the travel trade, the OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide reveals your ports of choice, your top three loyalty schemes and offers some insight into cruising trends.“We are extremely excited to launch our first ever OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide for travel agents to use and consumers to peruse,” e-Travel Blackboard Anthony Valeriano said.“As the weather gets chilly in the Southern Hemisphere, Australians are either planning future cruises out of Australia in our summer, or are taking advantage of a strong Aussie dollar to cruise from overseas ports.“This guide is perfect for agents to have cruise information at their fingertips or to give to those travelling to (or even considering) a cruise – you can email it or print it and include with travel documents, Mr Valeriano said.Download the OBrochure Cruise Experience Guide here. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img

Million Dollar Memo enters final round

first_img20 companies from up to 11 countries could see themselves spending up to AU$1 million in Australia’s sunshine state’s incentive experiences after making it through to the final round of Tourism Queensland’s MICE campaign.Delivering the good news earlier this week, Minister for Tourism Jan Jaratt said the Million Dollar Memo campaign has already generated up to $12 million worth of publicity for Queensland to the world and reached an audience of up to five million people.The Minister said even though the final group will experience the AU$1 million incentive, shortlisted companies have undertaken “creative promotional activity”.”These promotional activities have in effect been fantastic mini-campaigns for Queensland and the overall aim to promote Queensland as a leading incentive travel destination is certainly being achieved,” Ms Jaratt explained.The finalists range from small and larger businesses and include companies from Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, China, Germany, Korea, India, UK, US and New Zealand.  Moving on to the next round, Tourism Queensland chief executive Anthony Hayes explained that the finalists will work off previous methods used to promote Queensland’s message including social media and cinema ads.He said the final 20 will participate in an Incentive Challenge Event from 24 August this year, which will be used to showcase key incentive experiences, destination and products to a global audience. “The eight day Incentive Challenge Event will involve the 20 finalists travelling to amazing locations on the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, the Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland,” he highlighted.”We envisage that the finalists will be accompanied by a domestic and international media contingent who will cover the event and broadcast images of our amazing Queensland destinations and incentive experiences around the world.” After eight days of trekking around the state, the winning company will be announced on 31 August this year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img