People Unique Vacations appoints Associate BDM for Central Eastern Ontario

first_imgTags: People Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Share Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Giselle Williams has been named Associate Business Development Manager, Central and Eastern Ontario, effective immediately, for Unique Vacations Canada.No stranger to the company, Williams previously served as a Reservations/Sales Agent with Unique Vacations Canada since 2015. In her new role, she will work closely with travel agents to grow their business with Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.“Giselle has been a valuable member of our Inside Sales team in Canada for a few years now and I’m excited for her to join our dynamic Outside Sales force. Her in-depth knowledge of our product will serve her well as she develops profitable sales and marketing strategies for agents in her region,” said Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing. [People] Unique Vacations appoints Associate BDM for Central & Eastern Ontariolast_img read more

Robust November giving 2018 a head start in global traffic says IATA

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: IATA, Trend Watch Thursday, January 11, 2018 Posted bycenter_img GENEVA — Global passenger traffic is already gaining momentum in 2018, thanks to a robust month in November 2017 during which revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) saw its fastest growth rate in five months.According to IATA, RPKs in November rose 8.0% compared to November 2016, and up from a 7.3% year-over-year rise in October. Capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.3%, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.2%.“The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper.”All regions showed growth, led for the third consecutive month by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. Total capacity climbed 6.6%, and load factor increased 1.1 percentage points to 78.2%.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsNorth American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.4% in November, with capacity rising 6.1% and load factor edging up 0.2 percentage point to 79.1%. The relatively vigorous economic backdrop is supporting outbound passenger demand, however this appears partly to be offset by a negative impact on inbound travel to the U.S. from its additional security measures.De Juniac went on to predict that 2018 will be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. “In sum, we begin the New Year with confidence.”Challenges, however, remain, such as security threats and infrastructure issues. De Juniac also notes that fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base, and in many cases “airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements.” He suggests governments must recognize the “enormous value” that aviation provides to global economies and the world. Travelweek Group Robust November giving 2018 a head start in global traffic, says IATAlast_img read more

Scotland offers history fine whiskey and ancestral haunts

first_imgTags: Scotland << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Scotland offers history, fine whiskey and ancestral haunts By: Jean Sorensen Thursday, October 11, 2018 VANCOUVER — Canada is a top tier travel market for Scotland and the two countries have a long-standing affinity. For Canadian travellers looking for a taste of home, there’s even a Tim Horton’s now in Glasgow.“Canada is our fourth largest market,” says Keith Campbell, the Canadian marketing representative for Scotland, based in Toronto. The market has been growing. “It is my job to see it continues to grow.”Campbell spoke with travel agents attending a supplier session in Vancouver earlier this week, featuring Scotland product updates from a delegation of Scottish suppliers.Scottish tourism figures show double-digit increases in tourism in 2017 over 2016 with Great Britain the largest market, followed by Europe and then North America, with the U.S. the larger sector.Scotland tourism reps credit the popularity of movies made in Scotland such as the Outlander series, James Bond movies featuring Scotland, Harry Potter flicks and new Mary Queen of Scots movie to be released January 2019.The Scottish delegates, making up the North American Business Development Mission, offered up details about Scotland’s unique accommodations and tours rich history, fine whiskey, ancestral haunts and cruising on Loch Ness, famously home to the Loch Ness Monster.The growing popularity of Scotland as a destination has prompted suppliers to invest.Here’s a look at what’s new:Caledonian Sleeper’s new carsOne of the largest investments involves Serco, which took over operating the Caledonian Sleeper trains from the Scottish government in 2015. Caledonian Sleeper comprises a fleet of overnight sleeper trains with 43 destination in Scotland as well as London.The company announced earlier this year it was receiving 75 new rail cars to replace the aging fleet. Five cars are in service and being tested with the remainder expected to be in place by spring 2019. The new sleeper bedrooms offer private bathrooms, a new feature.“The new fleet represents a £140 million investment (or $240 million in Canadian funds),” said Rhiannon Merritt, BDM for the rail company. The service out of London is popular as travellers find it expensive to stay overnight in the city, she said.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoMerritt can be reached at or visit Ness CruisesCelebrating 50 years in business, Cruise Loch Ness recently rolled out a new 210-passenger catamaran vessel costing £1.5 million ($2.5 million) to cruise the waters known as the haunt of the elusive Loch Ness Monster. “It doubles our capacity,” said Ronald Mackenzie, company director and second generation owner of a family.Cruise Loch Ness owner Ronald Mackenzie recently launched a new boat to mark the 50th anniversary of the cruise company (all photo credits Jean Sorensen)The previous vessel, still operating, carried 108 passengers while the company also has a fleet of 12-man rigid inflatable boards, built for those who enjoy zipping along the 37-kilometre lake. The cruises take in the rugged shoreline, wildlife, and for those who like old ruins, Urquhart Castle.The cruise company can arrange drop-off and pick-up at the shoreline, said Mackenzie. The company also does weddings, with approximately 12 a year on board the larger vessels. Approximately 60% of the business is through partners who are packaged local tours, and the rest from the public and travel agents.The company negotiates rates with agents. Contact Mackenzie at or visit for more information.Dunstane House and Hampton HouseThese two restored houses are a family business and the owners recently updated the boutique luxury property Dunstane House, an 1860s neo-classic five-star property. Hampton House, also updated, is a four star property. The market, said owner Shirley Mowat, is the higher-end client wanting to stay in a property that feels like a catered home. The top international clients come from the U.S., she said, but “Canada is coming up. Word is getting out to come to Scotland.”Shirley Mowat, co-owner of Dustan House and Hampton House, offers luxury establishments that even James Bond would enjoy. The houses are known for their atmosphere, whiskey tastings and freshly prepared food from the Orkney Islands and local suppliersOne of the features of the properties is that there are few rules. Clients can schedule their own meal times and there is a staff member on duty at night to get that nightcap from the vintage cabinet that stocks 90 malt whiskeys. Mowat works with agents, with rates varying according to the client’s needs, but she says commission averages 10%. The properties also work with local tour operators and can book clients.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemContact Mowat at or visit the website at’s MeandersThis company does ancestral tours, fielding queries regarding ancestors and planning itineraries for people. “Sometimes it is just a bit of information (about a family) and sometimes people have a whole book,” director Emma Chalmers, said, adding that the tour company can help research ancestral haunts. It recently brought a visiting family searching its roots to its ancestral castle for a stay, arranged a dinner there, and served food that would have been representative of their ancestral heritage.Emma Chalmers of Mary’s Meanders specializes in ancestral tours, historical tours and visiting the filming locations of movies. The company handles small group tours, private and day toursMary’s Meanders is based near Linlithgow, Mary Queen of Scot’s birthplace and it provides local walking tours of the area. The company also specializes in film tours, visiting filming locations. It has access to self-catering cottages where groups can stay for a week, available themselves of organized events and tours. Contact Chalmers at or visit the website at for further info.Other suppliers on the tour included The Clydeside Distillery which offers daily tours of its single malt scotch whiskey distillery (contact: Andrew Morrison at or Three Contini Restaurants, run by third generation Italian Scots, are located in Edinburgh and offer scenic views and local fare (contact Stephanie Zahra, sales, at or visit website at And fashionistas will want to visit Johnstons of Elgin, established in 1797, which turns raw cashmere into clothing with historic designs and patterns. Contact: Stewart Marshall at s.marhall@johnstonsofelgincom or visit for further information.VisitScotland’s travel trade website is read more

4 ways to be a good traveller in the age of overtourism

first_img4 ways to be a good traveller in the age of overtourism Tags: Travel, Travel Tips Share Thursday, May 30, 2019 By: The Associated Press TORONTO — In Paris, the Louvre Museum closed for a day this week because workers said the crowds were too big to handle. In the Himalayas, climbers at Mount Everest are concerned that the peak has gotten too crowded, contributing to the highest death toll in years.In cities and destinations around the world, from Barcelona to Bali, “overtourism” has become a year-round problem.A mashup of discount airlines, inexpensive Airbnb rooms and social media shares have brought the blessing of tourist dollars and the growing curse of noisy crowds and even dangerous conditions to places once known for off-the-beaten-path charm or idyllic silence.“Tourists are trampling the very attraction they’ve come to witness,” says Joel Deichmann, a global studies professor at Bentley University in Massachusetts.Some communities have begun pushing back with regulations and public service announcements telling tourists to behave.How do you visit these places without doing harm? Four tips from experts:1. REMEMBER, IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.Venturing far from home and experiencing an unfamiliar culture can be transformative, bringing a sense of freedom and even hedonism. But don’t forget: This is already someone’s culture, someone’s home.So beyond simply choosing a hotel, really research the place you want to visit. What kind of behaviour is appropriate there? What are the environmental policies? If you’re booking through a travel service, ask them for guidance.Deichmann, who frequently travels abroad with his students, advises them to be sensitive and take cues from local residents. For example, he says, on a subway or bus in European cities, locals are usually reading or sitting quietly. Follow their lead: Avoid loud conversations or getting up to snap photos.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaThe same goes for late-night partying: If you’re at an all-inclusive resort on a few hundred acres of gated lands, party as you wish. But if you’re staying in an Airbnb apartment, realize that the person on the other side of the wall might need to put their baby to sleep or get up for work early.2. PUT PICTURE-TAKING IN PERSPECTIVEWith phone cameras, we’ve become accustomed to taking pictures constantly. But taking photos of people, their children and their homes can be invasive.Also, respect the physical environment. It may seem obvious, but don’t walk on the wildflowers to get the best photo.And consider the risks: At Kaaterskill Falls in New York’s Catskill Mountains, four tourist deaths in recent years have been attributed to attempts to take dramatic selfies.You’ll probably enjoy your experiences more fully if you spend less time snapping photos, says University of Denver assistant professor Gia Nardini, co-author of a study on the subject.And showing restraint can help protect the place you’re enjoying from overtourism.3. GIVE BACKWhen Rosati was planning a cruise along the Amazon River, she knew she’d be stopping in villages where children needed basics like pencils, crayons and paper. So “one-third of my suitcase was school supplies,” she says. Once there, she gave them away and filled the space in her suitcase with local crafts.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthConsider spending money in the local economy rather than at international hotel chains, and seek out locally owned restaurants and bars.To help the environment, use public transportation as much as possible.Finally, take your packaging with you when you leave a place. And never buy gifts made from endangered animals or other illegal materials.4. SAY HELLOEven in places where many locals speak English, learning a few words in their language – please, thank you, yes, no – will earn you good will and a more authentic experience.Also, be patient and respectful of those trying to manage the crowds. At the Louvre, union representatives had complained that renovation work around the Mona Lisa led to organizational problems, long lines and harassment of staff by tourists. They said staff numbers have diminished over the past decade even as the number of visitors rose 20%.Amid the excitement of even bucket list-level travel, Deichmann says, keep in mind: “What if this were your village?” << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Now open Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa

first_imgNow open: Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa Travelweek Group Tags: Antigua & Barbuda, Royalton Resorts << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img ANTIGUA — The new Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa is officially open and welcoming guests after celebrating its grand debut on May 1 with a champagne reception.Addressing guests, general manager Christian Langlade said: “We’re excited to be bringing a new level of luxury vacations to the island with the opening of Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa. With modern facilities, world-class service and lavish accommodation options – including Antigua’s first-ever overwater bungalows which will be opening later this summer – we’re sure this latest addition to the island’s lineup of luxury properties will be well received by travellers from around the world.”The 294-room resort, situated on a pristine beach in Antigua’s Deep Bay, offers a range of room categories for all group sizes, from suites with bay views to ultra-luxe swimout suites. For added luxury, clients can upgrade to Diamond Club featuring added inclusions such as preferred room locations, butler service, preferential reservations, exclusive beach areas with waiter service and more.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyA wide range of activities can also be found on site, including the famous RoyaltonFit program, mixology courses and dance lessons. Young guests can take advantage of the complimentary kids club featuring popular characters Max & Ruby. Other selling points include unlimited reservation-free dining at a variety of specialty restaurants, 24-hour room service, a casino, brewhouse, teens’ lounge and non-motorized water sports.The adults-only Chairman Overwater Bungalows will be one-bedroom oceanfront villas that come with a private infinity plunge pool, hammock, king size bed, living area, and private ocean entry from a private deck. Bungalow guests also enjoy private transfers, butler service, sunset mixology and personal fitness/yoga classes.For more information go to Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Posted bylast_img read more

New medical procedures available in Costa Rica

first_imgNo related posts. Uriel Vargas has a bunch of gadgets, doohickeys and thingamabobs he wants to show you.These items have complicated medical names, too. But what’s more important is what these devices do. Vargas works for a company called Meditek, a medical treatment facilitator in Costa Rica that promotes the latest medical technology. Vargas peddles in areas like pain management, drug administration and Parkinson’s disease treatment, and the pitch is that these products are cheaper here than in the other countries, where these latest technologies are available.“A lot of the things that you can find in [the U.S. and Europe], we have it here,” Vargas said.As medical tourism flourishes in Costa Rica, the industry is looking to expand into new niches. Dental tourism dominates the market, comprising 40 percent of foreigner medical visits. Plastic surgery also remains one of the top elections. But at the country’s annual Medical Travel Summit from April 23-25, organized by the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED), will emphasize areas of growth like bariatric surgery and orthopedics. Those treatments might not be covered by insurance in the U.S., and cost significantly less to undergo abroad.“These are issues in which we have many advantages and it’s a place where Costa Rica can diversify itself,” said Massimo Manzi, executive director of medical tourism promoters PROMED.Manzi said he believes Costa Rica could have a medical tourism future in addiction rehab and preventative procedures.In addition, Costa Rican companies like Meditek are beginning to promote contemporary treatments that normally only exist in places like the United States, Canada or Europe. Costa Rican doctors are becoming experts in the latest medical technology, training in the U.S. and Canada, and performing operations at private hospitals in the Central Valley for crippling ailments such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and neurological diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Doctors in these fields are few to begin with, Meditek said, and only one doctor offers the Parkinson’s treatment — a surgical device designed to control tremors. Only five doctors perform the pain management operations intended to reduce low body and back pain. Currently, these treatments bring in few medical tourists, and the majority of patients are expats who are veterans or retired and living in Costa Rica. Still, all treatments are FDA-approved, Vargas said. He added Meditek works with doctors back in the foreigner’s home country in regards to follow-ups.  In addition, the procedures do not guarantee 100 percent success. For example, with pain management, statistics show approximately 60-80 percent of patients report an improvement after the implant is placed in the body. However, the lower price in Costa Rica makes the procedures more cost-efficient and worth the trial.The Parkinson’s treatment costs $200,000 in the U.S., and between $60,000-80,000 in Costa Rica. The surgical insertion of an insulin pump for diabetes runs between $4,000-$8,000. Devices designed for pain management have a price tag of between $30,000-$40,000. Vargas said most procedures cost less than half here in Costa Rican than they do in the U.S., and estimates include lodging, excursions and bringing family members. Most of the procedures have a short recovery time of one or two days. Like most medical tourism operations, those who come to Costa Rica to receive one of the country’s most high-tech treatments also are expected to take advantage of the location and enjoy the beach and jungle while they recuperate.“The people that come here [for most of these treatments] can do activities right after,” Vargas said. “Get the operation done and you go enjoy some tourism.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Guatemala tops femicide list in Central America

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – When you open a newspaper in Guatemala you are invariably greeted by a series of numbers: how many people were killed the previous day and how many people have been arrested in conjunction with the crime. The answers are typically: high and zero.During the past decade, the number of women appearing in these articles has been rapidly increasing – so much so that a recent report found that more femicides occur in Guatemala than in any other country in Central America. A study by human rights organizations across the region found that in the past year 707 women have been murdered in Guatemala, followed by 606 in Honduras and 321 in El Salvador.The countries with the least number of “femicide” deaths in the past year were Costa Rica with 50, Panama with 53 and Nicaragua with 76.In 2008, the Guatemalan government passed a law that defined femicide as a specific crime against women, carrying a prison sentence of 25 to 50 years, without parole. Last year a special prosecutor and police units and tribunals were set up to deal exclusively with the gender-related crime, but so far the country’s high femicide rate shows little signs of abating.Mario Polanco, from Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, one of the rights groups that helped carry out the research, said that in 2012 in Guatemala an average of 57 women were violently killed each month; however, this year the figure has increased to 66.“We view with concern that Guatemala is the country that heads up the highest number of women killed in the period that this report was conducted [2012-2013],” Polanco said. “We recognize that the northern region of Central America is the most complicated.”Human rights groups say Guatemala is currently witnessing epidemic levels of violence against women. Raped, murdered and mutilated, their bodies are dumped in rubbish bags and abandoned in public places.In the last decade more than 6,000 women have been murdered in Guatemala and only 2 percent of their killers has been sentenced.In response to the report, Guatemalan Vice President Roxanna Baldetti said that security must be doubled to prevent femicides.At the start of December, two men were sentenced to 180 years each in prison for murdering four women in Guatemala City. It is hoped that over the next year the country’s recently introduced femicide unit will start to see more results like these, bringing the perpetrators of crimes to justice and showing that there is no impunity for crimes against women, even in Guatemala. Facebook Comments Related posts:Ex-dictator Ríos Montt to face genocide charges for 1980s abuses Award-winning documentary portrays a Guatemalan family’s struggle to bring a sister’s killer to justice Guatemala fights to retain favored trade status with Europe Extradited Guatemalan ex-President Portillo due in U.S. court Tuesdaylast_img read more

Matthew Power author of indepth story on slain Costa Rican activist Jairo

first_imgRelated posts:To help save Costa Rican rivers, head to a picnic 3 US Coast Guard officers injured in lightning strike at Costa Rica’s Poás Volcano  Pope Francis calls for climate, migrant action in Congress speech Plastic bag pollution is daunting but has an easy solution, says environmentalist When turtle conservationist Jairo Mora was killed by poachers on Moín beach last year, the horrifying news traveled fast and wide, and journalists from around the world came to Costa Rica to cover the story. One of those journalists was Matthew Power, who worked as a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine but was on the assignment for Outside Magazine.We never met Power and were unaware he had even been here until his story, “Blood in the Sand: Killing  a Turtle Advocate” came out in early January. The long-form piece was deeply researched and well-crafted. Impressively, Power managed to secure the first and only interview with one of the women who was with Mora on the night he died.He also unearthed moving details that others had missed. The scene that stuck with me showed Jairo and the women being kidnapped: “As the driver turned the Suzuki around, Almudena reached behind the seat and felt Mora slip his palm into hers,” Power wrote. “He squeezed hard.”If you haven’t read Power’s story, now’s a good time. This morning it was announced that Power died on assignment for Men’s Journal in Uganda, apparently of heat stroke and exhaustion. He was 39. For those interested in hearing Power talk about his life as journalist, this is pretty inspiring. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

World leaders express outrage over attack on Paris publication

first_imgOSLO — World leaders expressed outrage over the attack on a French magazine office in Paris which killed at least 12 people, with several countries calling emergency meetings of anti-terrorism officials to review security.Witnesses said that two hooded people entered the offices of the weekly satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, shooting at random and at least one shouting “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” in Arabic.“I strongly condemn the horrific shooting,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in White House statement. “France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.”The last major terrorist attacks in France were a series of bombings between July and October 1995, including the Saint Michel metro station in the heart of Paris. Eight were killed and about 200 were injured in the attacks that were blamed on an Algerian rebel group.Obama said the United States is in touch with French officials and “I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”The U.S. embassy in Paris put a profile picture on its Twitter feed with the words “I am Charlie” in French.“Today’s murders are part of a larger confrontation, not between civilizations, no, but between civilization itself and those who are opposed to a civilized world,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Washington.In Costa Rica, President Luis Guillermo Solís released a statement saying, “I emphatically condemn the terrorist attack that this morning caused 12 deaths in Paris. This act is inexcusable, unjustifiable and should be absolutely rejected. I send my condolences to the French people.”In a statement on Facebook, Solís added that, “Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right. Nothing justifies that it be limited, much less that terror is spread to circumvent [that right].” A combination of file photos made on Jan. 7, 2015 shows, from left, French cartoonist of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Georges Wolinski posing in Paris on Nov. 15, 2006; French cartoonist Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, posing in Paris on Oct. 12, 2012; French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s publisher, known only as Charb, posing in Paris on Dec. 27, 2012; and French cartoonist Tignous posing in Cannes on May 17, 2008. AFP/Guillaume Baptiste/Bertrand Guay/Francois GuillotUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the attack a “horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime.”“It was also a direct assault on the cornerstone of democracy, on the media and freedom of expression,” Ban said. “This horrific attack is meant to divide. We must not fall into that trap.”Prime Minister David Cameron told lawmakers Britain condemns the “barbaric” attack and that “this country stands united with the French people in its opposition to all forms of terrorism.”“We must never allow the values that we hold dear, of democracy, of freedom of speech to be damaged by these terrorists,” Cameron said Wednesday in London after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.There’s no change to Britain’s terror threat assessment, Cameron’s spokesman, Jean-Christophe Gray, told reporters in London. “As well as security permanently being under review, if there are any particular lessons that can be learned, they will be,” he said.Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the “cynical crime,” and said his country remains ready to continue active cooperation in combating the threat of terrorism, according to an emailed statement from the Kremlin.Russia believes no single country can effectively fight terrorism and such efforts require a deeper international strategic partnership, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Interfax.Merkel said “this heinous act is not only an attack on the life of French citizens and the internal security of France.”“It also represents an attack on freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, a core element of our liberal democratic culture, that is completely unjustifiable,” Merkel said. French soldiers patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower on Jan. 7, 2015 in Paris as the capital was placed under the highest alert status after heavily armed gunmen shouting Islamist slogans stormed French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and shot dead at least 12 people. Joel Saget/AFPGerman Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere offered to assist France and said there’s “no concrete evidence” of plans for similar terrorist attacks in Germany. “The situation is serious, there is reason for concern and for caution, but not for panic,” he told reporters in Berlin.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the “despicable” attack in Paris on Twitter. “Our solidarity with people of France,” he wrote.Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the world must close ranks in the fight against terrorism.“We must not allow terror and terrorists to terrorize the free world,” Liberman said in a text message. “The Western world must stand united and firm against this danger.”“My firm condemnation of the terrorist attack in Paris and my condolences and solidarity with the French people for the victims. Spain with France,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy commented on Twitter.Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz was scheduled to meet heads of police, the civil guard and intelligence agencies, the government said in an emailed statement. Fernández Díaz will hold a press conference at about 7:30 p.m. local time Wednesday.Italy convened its anti-terror committee to meet Wednesday, the Ansa news agency reported. The committee will examine the terrorist threat in light of the Paris attack, Ansa said.Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said “I interpret this as an attack on Europe’s fundamental values — democracy and freedom of speech.” She spoke at a news conference in Warsaw.Leaders in the Nordic region, home in recent years to the controversy over Muhammad cartoons and the 2011 massacre of 77 people by right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, condemned the shootings.Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the act “tragic and cowardly” and her Danish counterpart, Helle Thorning Schmidt, said defenseless and innocent people have become victims in an attack on “freedom of expression.”Finnish Premier Alexander Stubb said “freedom of expression and a free press are integral elements of European values,” while Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem said that freedom of the press and expression must be “defended in all possible ways” after this “horrific” attack.Contributors: Jeanette Rodrigues in New Delhi, Christian Wienberg in Copenhagen, Macarena Munoz and Esteban Duarte in Madrid, Lenka Ponikelska in Prague, Kevin Costelloe in Rome, Elizabeth Wasserman in Washington, Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg, Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw, Rainer Buergin in Berlin, Svenja O’Donnell and Thomas Penny in London and Sangwon Yoon in United Nations.© 2015, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments Related posts:In the wake of attack on Paris newspaper, extremists take to Twitter to celebrate Publication attacked in Paris has history of bold satire Blood, bodies, bullets turn heart of France into war zone Costa Rica’s President Solís signs condolence book for Charlie Hebdo victimslast_img read more

Armed Jesus nabbed after plotting to kidnap Obamas dog Bo

first_imgRelated posts:In New Hampshire, Clinton pledges to stand up to the gun lobby US President Obama weeps as he pleads for ‘urgency’ of gun control US indicts 17 alleged drug traffickers from Colombia, with ties to Costa Rica El Salvador ex-President Francisco Flores in a coma after stroke WASHINGTON, DC. – A heavily armed man claiming to be Jesus allegedly plotted to kidnap one of the Obama family’s dogs and has been arrested, U.S. media and officials said.Scott Stockert, 49, was arrested at a Washington hotel Wednesday after Secret Service agents found unregistered firearms in his truck, together with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a machete and a club, NBC Washington said, citing authorities in the U.S. capital.Agents went to the hotel after getting a “be on the lookout” alert from the Secret Service’s Minnesota field office about the alleged kidnapping plan, NBC said.It quoted the Secret Service as saying that Stockert, from North Dakota, allegedly planned to take Bo, one of the two Portuguese water dogs owned by President Barack Obama and the first family.Court documents show that Stockert was released on Friday to a “high-intensity supervision program” and ordered not to possess any firearms or other dangerous weapons, either real or imitation.He was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and ordered to stay away from the White House and the Capitol.As well as claiming to be Jesus, Stockert told agents that his parents were John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, NBC said, citing court papers. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arcadios World

first_imgRelated posts:Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Facebook Commentslast_img

Zimbabwe poachers target rare anteaters

first_imgThe body of the anteater was recovered from poachers. The scales appeared to have already been sold, the group said.It was one of three incidents reported this year involving poaching of the endangered nocturnal creature seen by many Zimbabweans as a symbol of power and mystery.The scales are thought to have value in Asian medicine as a traditional remedy for a host of conditions.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – An animal welfare group in Zimbabwe says poachers are now targeting rare anteaters because of a growing demand for exotic animal parts for Asian traditional medicine.The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Thursday that the outer scales of a young male pangolin, a rare type of anteater that is legally protected, were recently removed by poachers in northwestern Zimbabwe. Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

Nuns leader decries church environment of fear

first_imgFarrell said the nuns’ group would decide its next steps in regional meetings that will culminate in a national assembly in August.___Associated Press Writer Nicole Winfield contributed from Rome.____Leadership Conference of Women Religious: “I don’t think this is a healthy environment for the church,” Farrell said in a phone interview. “We can use this event to help move things in that direction _ where it’s possible to pose questions that will not be seen as defiance or opposition.”Farrell’s remarks are her first since she met last week in Rome with the Vatican orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which concluded in April that the group had strayed broadly from church teaching. The Vatican has appointed three American bishops to conduct a full-scale overhaul of the organization, sparking protests globally in support of the sisters.In the Rome meeting, Farrell said she did not ask Vatican officials in to drop their demand for reform. “I think we could clearly see in the tenor of the conversation that that was not an option,” she said. She characterized the meeting as frank and open but difficult, and said she did not leave the talk feeling any more hopeful about what’s ahead.The Vatican has directed the three American bishops to oversee rewriting the statutes of the Leadership Conference, reviewing its plans and programs including approving speakers, and ensuring the group properly follows Catholic prayer and ritual. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) AP Religion WriterNEW YORK (AP) – The leader of the group representing most American nuns challenged the Vatican’s reasons for disciplining her organization, insisting that raising questions about church doctrine should not be seen as rebellion.Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said Monday that Catholics should be able to search for answers about faith without fear. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family “I don’t yet feel that we’re any further than just the initial conversation,” Farrell said.The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, based in Silver Spring, Md., represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 U.S. nuns.After an investigation starting around 2008, the Vatican office concluded that the nuns’ group had failed to emphasize core teaching on abortion, while promoting “certain radical feminist themes” that undermine Catholic teaching on the all-male priesthood, marriage and homosexuality.The Leadership Conference has called the claims unsubstantiated and the investigation flawed. Farrell said the Leadership Conference “cooperated to the best of our ability” with the doctrinal assessment, but said the group was not shown the final report before it was sent to the Vatican.Vatican officials and U.S. bishops have stressed that its report targeted the leadership organization, not individual orders of religious women. But in a statement Monday, the board of the Leadership Conference said the Vatican crackdown had been felt by “the vast majority of Catholic sisters” and lay Catholics globally. At a meeting last week of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Atlanta, protesters presented church leaders with petitions signed by more than 57,000 people condemning the Vatican inquiry. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

ICC staffers held in Libya released fly to Italy

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona “The ICC is grateful to the Libyan authorities for their agreement today to release the Court’s staff members so that they can be reunited with their families,” Song said as the four were released.A special flight arranged by the Italian government and carrying Song and the staffers landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport late Monday. The staffers and Song took off for Rotterdam a few minutes later.The staffers did not speak to the media.“Well, I’m very happy to bring them all back to freedom,” the court president told reporters.“The Libyan government gave me their version of the investigation. We will do our own separately, so the results will be known after some weeks,” Song added.Seif al-Islam was the most senior member of the ousted Gadhafi regime to be captured in last year’s civil war. Long viewed as a likely heir-apparent to his father, he faces charges by the ICC of crimes against humanity. He was captured by a militia in western Libya after his father was taken captive and then killed last October following more than 40 years as Libya’s eccentric, authoritarian ruler.Libya’s new leadership accused Seif al-Islam of torturing and killing rebels, as well as other crimes. Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Aziz said the staffers, which also include a Russia national and a Spanish national, will leave to Tripoli and then Italy later in the day.Al-Jehani, who is also the Libyan prosecutor leading the case against Gadhafi’s son, said they were in good health. He said the case has now been closed in Libya and the staffers will not return.“Definitely they are free and they will not be coming back to Libya,” he said.Al-Jehani said the detention of the ICC staff has further complicated relations with Libya.“The relationship has become more difficult and more unstable,” he said, adding that Libya would likely press ahead with its case against Seif al-Islam after the country’s first nationwide elections this week to choose a parliament.___Associated Press writers Aya Batrawy in Cairo, Frances D’Emilio and Pietro De Cristofaro in Rome and Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressZINTAN, Libya (AP) – Libya released on Monday four International Criminal Court staffers who had been held for nearly four weeks on allegations that they shared documents that could harm national security with Moammar Gadhafi’s imprisoned son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi.As they were released, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song, a South Korean judge, apologized to the Libyan government and people for the incident and promised an investigation into the allegations. Song flew to Libya for the handover. “Not only has it denied them (the ICC staffers) their liberty and stopped them from performing their functions, but it has also undermined Seif al-Islam Gadhafi’s right to an effective defense and delayed the ICC’s decision on the Libyan authorities’ recent application to bring him to trial in Libyan courts,” said Amnesty International’s Marek Marczynski.He urged the ICC to review the impact of the detention and take measures to ensure Gadhafi’s defense team has time to prepare their case.The Libyan lawyer who represents Tripoli’s interests at the ICC, Ahmed Al-Jehani, said the mission staffers were released because they have diplomatic immunity.Libyan authorities say they placed Australian defense attorney Melinda Taylor and her Lebanese translator under house arrest after they visited Seif al-Islam in prison in the western town of Zintan and allegedly shared documents that could harm the country’s national security. Seif al-Islam was captured by Zintani rebels late last year and has been held there ever since.Al-Jehani said state prosecutors accused Taylor of having Seif al-Islam sign three blank pieces of paper, but they could not press charges because she has diplomatic immunity. Al-Jehani said Libyan authorities do not know why she wanted his signature. Patients with chronic pain give advice His trial has been at the heart of a dispute between the ICC and the Libyan government. Libyan authorities have challenged the ICC’s right to try Seif al-Islam, saying the international court is a tribunal of last resort, intended to try suspects from countries that cannot or will not prosecute them.The court had expressed concern that Libya’s judiciary is not yet ready to give Seif al-Islam a fair trial. The ICC judges ruled on June 1 that Libya doesn’t have to hand over Seif al-Islam at least until a ruling on Tripoli’s challenge.Richard Dicker, international justice program director at Human Rights Watch, said the release of the ICC employees was “overdue,” and that if Libya had any concern over their conduct, it should have submitted a complaint to the ICC.“It is unacceptable that the ICC staff would be held for nearly a month when Libya had no right to do so,” he said in an email to The Associated Press.Amnesty International echoed the same sentiment and urged the ICC to investigate the legality of the detention and the allegations made by the Libyan authorities. It also questioned Tripoli’s readiness to offer Gadhafi’s son a fair trial. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Spains indicted princess faces asset block

first_img Sponsored Stories MADRID (AP) — Spain’s indicted Princess Cristina has been ordered to present a list of assets she will be blocked from selling while she awaits trial on tax fraud charges, a court official said Thursday.The Palma de Mallorca court spokeswoman said investigative magistrate Jose Castro has given the princess until Friday afternoon to present the list, which will cover her 2.7 million euro ($3 million) bail fee. Cristina and her husband have repeatedly said through lawyers that they are innocent and the Spanish prosecutor involved with the case recommended that Cristina should not be indicted but face an administrative fine carrying no criminal penalty.Castro decided not to accept the recommendation and issued the indictment — meaning Cristina will tried by a panel of judges.The case was one of several scandals to affect the royal family under former King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favor of Felipe last year.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 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility She said the judge will verify if the assets cover the bail amount and then begin blocking them. The spokeswoman said no property would be seized from the princess but that she would not be able to sell any of it.The court spokeswoman could not immediately say if the list would be made public. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with court regulations.Cristina, 49 — King Felipe’s sister– was indicted last December as part of a four-year probe into her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. The trial is expected to begin before the end of the year.She is the first royal family member in the country ordered to stand trial since the monarchy was restored in 1975. If convicted she could face up to four years in prison.A former Olympic handball medalist turned businessman, Urdangarin is charged with money laundering and fraud and could face up to 19 years.The case centers on allegations that Urdangarin used his Duke of Palma title to embezzle about 6 million euros in public contracts through the Noos Institute, a nonprofit foundation he set up with a business partner.Another 15 people are charged and must present asset lists.Cristina has already put up some 580,000 euros to cover the amount she could have profited from her husband’s dealings, reducing her bail to some 2.1 million euros. Quick workouts for men Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

Giant cross rises in Pakistan home to a Christian minority

first_imgIn this photo taken on Monday, May 18, 2015, a Pakistani Christian couple look at large cross, under construction at a cemetery in Karachi, Pakistan. Towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross. The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians in Pakistan often face discrimination. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Christians have faced mob violence in blasphemy cases, which often turn out to be false allegations over personal disputes. Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting Islam, the Prophet Muhammad or other religious Islamic figures can be sentenced to death.Christians also face extremist attacks. A Taliban suicide attack outside two churches in Lahore in March killed 15 people during services. In 2013, another Taliban suicide attack killed over 80 people at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.The persecution has forced some Christians to flee, though some remain, like businessman Parvez Henry Gill. Gill said he had a dream some two years ago in which God told him to do something for his community.“I want to show the world the Christian community in Pakistan has religious freedom,” he said.Gill said some people have criticized the cross, but “I leave that to God.”Likely to be completed in a few months, the cross stands at the entrance of a Christian cemetery in the center of Karachi. The cemetery, built under British rule, is nearly 200 years old and its administrators will take care of the cross once it’s constructed.The construction of the cross came as a surprise to many living around it, neighbor Adnan Ali said. But Bishop Sadiq Danial of Church of Pakistan, an Episcopal church, said he offered to demolish the cross if it becomes too divisive, though he doubted it would come to pass. Men’s health affects baby’s health too “We spread peace,” he said.___Associated Press writer Asif Shahzad in Islamabad contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross.The cross, being built by a businessman who said the idea came to him in a dream, is rising as Christians here often face discrimination. A tiny minority of Pakistan’s 180 million people are Christians who eke out livings in menial jobs like garbage collection. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Platini declines to say if he will seek FIFA presidency

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober PARIS (AP) — Michel Platini declined to divulge his intentions for the FIFA presidency.Speaking publicly for the first time since Sepp Blatter announced his decision to resign, the UEFA president shied away from questions Wednesday about his plans for the future.“I’m not making any political decision. I know where you want to lead me and I won’t go there,” said Plantini, who had opened the news conference by saying he would not talk about FIFA. “When I know something, I’ll tell you.” “We are here to talk about Euro 2016,” said Platini, who scored nine goals for France when it won the European title on home soil in 1984. “This is an important step toward Euro 2016 and I don’t want the events surrounding FIFA to undermine this.”___Associated Press writer Sylvie Corbet contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The 59-year-old Platini, a former France great and national team coach, is a leading candidate to replace Blatter as FIFA president. He met with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday before attending a news conference about next year’s European Championship, which will be played in France.“This news conference was scheduled way before recent events involving FIFA. Many of you have come here to question me about these events, about FIFA and about my future,” Platini said at the start of the news conference. “I will do that when the time is right. But this is not the time or the place.”FIFA has been plunged into crisis since U.S. authorities indicted 14 people on corruption charges ahead of last month’s FIFA congress. Seven of them were arrested in Zurich.Blatter then won a fifth, four-term as FIFA president on May 29, but four days later announced his decision to resign. He said elections for a successor would be held sometime between December and March.Platini, a former Blatter confidant turned adversary, would need help from outside his European power base to win a FIFA election. But he steered clear of any campaigning on Wednesday.center_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories Top Stories French President Francois Hollande, left, chats with European Soccer Federation UEFA President Michel Platini following their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Tourism Ireland celebrates the harvest

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Tourism Ireland is promoting autumn in Ireland as part of the “Flavour of Ireland” initiative, as our autumn begins to come to a close, and says there’s no better time to book a trip over to the green isle.Recently the Irish economy has seem some steep drops in the pricing of goods and services across a wide range of sectors, and while not so good for the locals, is currently making the destination much cheaper for travellers.Paired with the strong Australian dollar, Ireland is becoming a truly value-for-money destination.“Complimented with that [strong dollar] we’ve had a price adjustment across many sectors, including hotels, restaurants, and other general price reductions,” said Billy Kelleher, Minister for Trade and Commerce. Tourism Ireland team: (L-R) Orla, Caroline, Marie and Donna Billy Kelleher, Minister for Trade and Commerce. “We’re very conscious that previously Australians would have found Ireland very expensive, but that has changed dramatically.”On the back of this, Tourism Ireland is pushing for Australians to begin booking a visit to Ireland in autumn, to coincide with the harvest season in order to experience the gourmet food offerings that the region can produce.“Autumn’s a great time to visit Ireland, during the harvest.  Ireland can be a foodie destination and our cooking techniques can rival the Australians,” adds Orla Saul, Tourism Ireland Manager for Australia/New Zealand.The Irish delegation also goes on to reassure travellers that the current Iceland eruptions are a “temporary” situation and that after this period it is unlikely that travel plans will continue to be disrupted by Eyjafjallajokull.last_img read more