Monthly Archives: August 2019

Jamaican cooperator testifies in NY drug case

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Coke pleaded guilty to U.S. charges last year. The government is trying to persuade a judge to give Coke the maximum 23 years in prison.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Patients with chronic pain give advice NEW YORK (AP) – A former high school track coach in Jamaica says he helped a notorious drug kingpin get fraudulent visas for his crew of smugglers.Anthony Brown testified Wednesday at a sentencing hearing for Christopher “Dudas” Coke in Manhattan. Brown had agreed to testify against Coke after pleading guilty to drug charges.The 32-year-old witness said that for a hefty fee from Coke and others, he would secure visas by falsely claiming the applicants were part of a traveling track team. He testified that when he failed to fill one of Coke’s orders, he fled Jamaica because out of fear. 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Australia AG proposes broader slavery definition

first_imgNo date has been set for Parliament to vote on the bill.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Parents, stop beating yourself up New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “A common factor of contemporary slavery and trafficking _ from forced labor and forced marriage to organ trafficking _ is the misuse and abuse of power,” Attorney General Nicola Roxon told Parliament. “Such an abuse has no place here.”Australian authorities have detected only one case of trafficking for organ transplant. An elderly Sydney woman with kidney disease flew a younger woman from the Philippines with the intention of transplanting her kidney. Police intervened before the transplant took place, alleging that the younger woman had not fully consented to the plan, which was discovered during routine hospital screening interviews.Roxon said that while such conduct was already illegal under exploitation laws, the new organ trafficking offense clarified the circumstances of a crime and increased police powers to investigate. Organ trafficking would be punishable by a 25-year prison sentence under the legislation.Forced labor would be punishable by 12 years in prison. Using coercion, force or deception to persuade someone to marry would be punishable by a seven-year term.Roxon said she did not believe that banning forced marriages would drive the problem underground because it is already hidden. She added that while slavery and trafficking were not common in Australia, the effect on victims is traumatic and could have lifelong consequences. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s attorney general on Wednesday introduced legislation that would broaden the legal definition of slavery to include organ trafficking and forced marriage.Existing slavery laws mainly protect Asian women from being brought to Australia to work as sex slaves in brothels. The proposed amendments would create a new offense of forced labor to address a growing number of men and women who are exploited in other industries. Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

New Dutch king to deliver Cabinets gloomy message

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Dutch media are also expecting new military spending cuts, following the earlier decision to cut one of every six military jobs between 2012-2015. However, the De Telegraaf paper reported Tuesday the government has decided not to abandon participating in the U.S.-led “Joint Strike Fighter” project, despite cost overruns.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationcenter_img AMSTERDAM (AP) – King Willem-Alexander is traveling in a gilded horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for his first official address to Dutch lawmakers but his message is decidedly modern: More budget cuts are coming.Prime Minister Mark Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony will provide a diversion from the gloomy message the king must deliver. Rutte’s government is cutting spending again in 2014, despite this year’s recession. Top Stories Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosis New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

UK police investigate over 1400 suspects for past sex abuse

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Most of the others were said to be offenders who operated inside schools, children’s homes and religious bodies. Of the total, 216 are dead.Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the referrals were “increasing on an almost-daily basis.” He added that revelations about the scale of abuse by late children’s entertainer and charity fundraiser Jimmy Savile “no doubt” had an impact on the unprecedented number of allegations.Britons were horrified to learn after Savile’s death in 2011 that he had been a serial predator, abusing children in places including hospitals for decades.Other well-known figures have since been investigated for or convicted of using their positions to get away with abuse.Home Secretary Theresa May said it was almost certain more allegations are to come.An official inquiry is underway looking into whether British public agencies had neglected or covered up abuse allegations from the 1970s.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies LONDON (AP) — A national U.K. police group looking into potential links between multiple British investigations into past child sex abuse said Wednesday that more than 1,400 suspects have been identified.The National Police Chiefs’ Council, which coordinates separate abuse allegations across Britain, said 261 suspects were “people of public prominence.” They included 76 politicians, 135 people from TV, film or radio, and 43 from the music industry. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories last_img read more

AP Interview Afghanistans first lady breaks taboos

first_imgIn this Monday, May 25, 2015 photo, Afghan first lady Rula Ghani speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Rula Ghani has been quietly breaking conventions since she became first lady in a society that traditionally keeps its women behind closed doors. In the eight months since her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, acknowledged her as his life partner in his inauguration speech, she has spoken out on a range of contentious issues violence against women, the rule of law and the power of religion. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s first lady has broken numerous conventions in a society that traditionally sequesters women behind closed doors — speaking out on issues such as violence against women, the rule of law and the power of religion. But perhaps Rula Ghani’s biggest taboo breaker is simply being the country’s first presidential spouse in decades to be seen and heard in public. The Ghanis returned to Kabul 12 years ago, “so I have some inkling of what is happening” in Afghanistan, she said.She has resisted the expectations of others — such as suggestions she become an advocate for women’s rights in a country regularly labelled as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. Her inclusion in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 was flattering but premature, she said, recalling Andy Warhol’s quote that everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.“What I’ve said from the beginning is that I am going to try to help all the vulnerable populations in Afghanistan — and to a certain extent that’s the majority of Afghanistan,” she said.Inevitably, women are the focus of her work, though she denounces what she says is a Western media portrayal of Afghan women as victims of misogynistic social and religious traditions.“One of my roles is to tell the world that they are very strong women, indeed living in very challenging conditions, showing a lot of resilience, a lot of resourcefulness, and that they need to be recognized for that, not for their weakness, their alleged weakness,” she said. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility When her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, took the helm of the nation eight months ago, he did something unprecedented — he introduced his wife in his inaugural speech.From that moment on, Rula Ghani has done what first ladies often do in democracies, attending public events alongside her husband and speaking before audiences on current issues. But her words have always been soft-spoken, measured and delivered away from the center stage of the Afghan political scene.“I don’t do politics,” she tells The Associated Press. What she does do, she says, is listen.Since September, hundreds of people have streamed through her cool, wood-paneled meeting room to share their problems and seek the first lady’s advice. She says she sees herself as “a counsellor … a listening post” — someone fulfilling a need for a feminine presence close to the heart of the Afghan government.The last time Afghanistan had a first lady with such a public profile was almost a century ago, but few today remember Queen Soraya, who was forced into exile in 1929 after King Amanullah abdicated. Soraya’s modern approach to women’s issues and her refusal to wear a veil shocked many Afghans, and history texts hold her partly to blame for the demise of the monarchy. In her meetings, she says she has seen indications that Afghans might be turning the corner. “I see it from the people who have come here, and how they are starting to raise certain issues that they didn’t raise before — such as whether or not women should be able to walk in the street without being harassed,” she added.It’s about getting back to respect — something she says is “embedded in Afghan culture,” despite the layers of war, poverty and discrimination.“If you have a harmonious society where people within the family are living in harmony … knowing what their responsibilities and duties are, and knowing how to resolve their issues and their conflicts without violence, then violence against women will be reduced, and women will feel they have a voice,” she says.___Follow Lynne O’Donnell on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Zinat Quraishi Karzai, the wife of President Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, was called the “invisible first lady” and in one of her rare interviews, she said Afghanistan wasn’t ready to see a first lady at her husband’s side.Rula Ghani begs to differ and insists that Afghanistan is going through profound change. “I seem to have answered a need that was there. I think previous first ladies were not accessible,” she says. “And I am accessible.”The learning curve has been steep and she learned from her missteps.Early on, she was quoted as approving France’s ban on the all-encompassing women’s veil, known as the burka or niqab — comments that were taken out of context, she says. A ferocious backlash from conservative and religious figures followed, and her husband’s political enemies claimed she and her children were neither Afghan nor Muslim and as such unacceptable to the Afghan people.But she is Afghan, as well as American and also Lebanese by birth — a heritage that has given her fluency in English, French, Arabic and Dari.Born in 1948, she was brought up in a Christian family and met her future husband at the university in Beirut. After they were married, the couple moved to the United States, where they lived for 30 years. She studied journalism at Colombia University and had two children — daughter Mariam, who is an artist in Brooklyn, and son Tarek, an economist who also lives in the U.S. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The overarching problem in Afghanistan, she said, is that after more than 30 years of war, violence has become the norm. And it is the Afghan women — sold into marriage and often beaten or killed with impunity, despite constitutional protections — who are the most vulnerable.“The whole fight to reduce violence against women is within the fight of reducing (all) violence, period. It is within the process of trying to bring back peace to this country,” she said.She cited the “horrible, barbaric tragedy” of Farkhunda, a woman beaten to death in March at a Kabul shrine by a frenzied mob after being falsely accused, by a peddler who portrayed himself as a mullah, of burning a Quran. The attack sparked protests in Afghanistan and reverberated around the world, highlighting the brutality women face in the country’s conservative society. Earlier this month, four defendants in the case were sentenced to death and eight to 16 years in prison each. Eleven policemen charged with dereliction of duty for not preventing Farkhunda’s death were sentenced to one year each in prison.The case has “shaken the nation,” she says. It has also “really opened up the eyes of people … we don’t want to live in a society in which violence is the rule.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Boko Haram offers to swap kidnapped girls for detainees

first_imgIn that infamous abduction, 274 mostly Christian girls preparing to write science exams were seized from the school by Islamic militants in the early hours of April 15, 2014. Dozens escaped on their own in the first few days, but 219 remain missing.Boko Haram has not shown them since a May 2014 video in which its leader, Abubakar Shekau warned: “You won’t see the girls again unless you release our brothers you have captured.”In the video, nearly 100 of the girls, who have been identified by their parents, were shown wearing Islamic hijab and reciting the Quran. One of them said they had converted to Islam.International indignation at Nigeria’s failure to rescue the girls was joined by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. In a radio address in May 2014, she said she and President Barack Obama are “outraged and heartbroken” over the abduction.Jonathan’s government initially denied there had been any mass abduction and delays of a rescue that might have brought the girls home became a hallmark of his other failures. He steadfastly refused to meet with the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners, charging they were politicizing the issue.On Wednesday, President Buhari welcomed those campaigners at the presidential villa in Abuja and pleaded “We only ask for your patience.” He said “The delay and conflicting reaction by the former government and its agencies is very unfortunate.” LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are offering to free more than 200 young women and girls kidnapped from a boarding school in the town of Chibok in exchange for the release of militant leaders held by the government, a human rights activist has told The Associated Press.The activist said Boko Haram’s current offer is limited to the girls from the school in northeastern Nigeria whose mass abduction in April 2014 ignited worldwide outrage and a campaign to “Bring Back Our Girls” that stretched to the White House. 0 Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds more — girls, boys, women and young men. Some have become sex slaves, while others are used as fighters, according to former captives.Nigerian opinion on negotiating with the extremists is mixed. Some say the group’s crimes are too heinous to be forgiven: The 6-year-old Islamic uprising has killed more than 13,000 people and forced about 1.5 million from their homes.“A lot of people take a hard-line stance that you must never negotiate with a terrorist,” said Sen. Chris Anyanwu. She called it a “very complex” issue, balancing the lives of more than 200 girls against the dangers of freeing extremists.The militants last year seized a large swath of northeast Nigeria and declared an Islamic caliphate. Nigeria and its neighbors deployed a multinational army that forced them out of towns and villages this year, but the bloodshed has risen at a fierce rate since Buhari’s May 29 inauguration amid pledges to crush the insurgency.___Associated Press writer Bashir Adigun contributed to this report from Abuja, Nigeria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The new initiative reopens an offer made last year to the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to release the 219 students in exchange for 16 Boko Haram detainees, the activist said. The man, who was involved in negotiations with Boko Haram last year and is close to current negotiators, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters on this sensitive issue.Fred Eno, an apolitical Nigerian who has been negotiating with Boko Haram for more than a year, told the AP that “another window of opportunity opened” in the last few days, though he could not discuss details.He said the recent slew of Boko Haram bloodletting — some 350 people killed in the past nine days — is consistent with past ratcheting up of violence as the militants seek a stronger negotiating position.Presidential adviser Femi Adesina said on Saturday that Nigeria’s government “will not be averse” to talks with Boko Haram. “Most wars, however furious or vicious, often end around the negotiation table,” he said.Eno said the 5-week-old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari offers “a clean slate” to bring the militants back to negotiations that had become poisoned by the different security agencies and their advice to Jonathan. Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img Two months of talks last year led government representatives and Eno to travel in September to a northeastern town where the prisoner exchange was to take place, only to be stymied by the Department for State Service intelligence agency, the activist said.At the last minute, the agency said it was holding only four of the militants sought by Boko Haram, the activist said.It is not known how many Boko Haram suspects are detained by Nigeria’s intelligence agency, whose chief Buhari fired last week.The activist said the agency continues to hold suspects illegally because it does not have enough evidence for a conviction, and any court would free them. Nigerian law requires charges be brought after 48 hours.Thousands of suspects have died in custody, and some detainees wanted by Boko Haram may be among them. Amnesty International alleges that 8,000 detainees have died in military custody — some have been shot, some have died from untreated injuries due to torture, and some have died from starvation and other harsh treatment.In May, about 300 women, girls and children being held captive by Boko Haram were rescued by Nigeria’s military, but none were from Chibok. It is believed that the militants view the Chibok girls as a last-resort bargaining chip. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Campaign leader Oby Ezekwesili said, “The rescue of our Chibok girls is the strongest statement that this government could make to showg respect for the sanctity and dignity of every Nigerian life.”There have been unconfirmed reports that some of the girls have been taken to neighboring countries, and that some have been radicalized and trained as fighters. At least three were reported to have died — one from dysentery, one from malaria and one from a snake bite.Last year, Shekau said the girls were an “old story,” and that he had married them off to his fighters.Lawan Zanna, whose daughter is among the captives, said this week that 14 Chibok parents have died since the mass kidnapping, many from stress-related illnesses blamed on the ordeal.Some of the Chibok girls who managed to escape have been rejected by their community and now live with family friends, tired of hearing taunts like “Boko Haram wives.”The assumption that all girls and women held by the group have been raped is a difficult stigma to overcome in Nigeria’s highly religious and conservative society.Shekau had threatened in 2013 to kidnap women and girls if Nigeria’s military did not release detained Boko Haram wives and children. The government freed them in May of that year as a goodwill gesture ahead of failed peace talks. Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

Obama draws criticism for saying Ethiopia is democratic

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona At the news conference Monday, Obama said: “Our policy is that we oppose terrorism wherever it may occur. And we are opposed to any group that is promoting the violent overthrow of a government, including the government of Ethiopia, that has been democratically elected.”Obama’s comment illustrates how the U.S. is becoming “out of touch with African realities,” such as the seemingly inevitable electoral victories of ruling parties whose power is entrenched, said Angelo Izama, a Ugandan analyst who runs a policy and security research center called Fanaka Kwawote.“It was kind of ironic that Obama was singing the praises of democracy in Ethiopia while ignoring its flaws there,” Izama said.During his visit, Obama urged Ethiopia to widen freedom of expression and other democratic rights.___Associated Press writers Elias Meseret in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “Yesterday he was a tricky and mischievous politician,” Yonathan Tesfaye, a spokesman for Ethiopia’s opposition Blue party, said in a reference to Obama’s comment that Ethiopia’s government was democratically elected.“And today he has become a passionate inspirational human rights activist,” Tesfaye said, citing Obama’s remarks to the African Union. “Which one should we believe? Which one should we go with?”Merara Gudina, a leading opposition figure in Ethiopia, said he was doubtful that the United States would push hard for democratic change in his country and expressed concern that Obama’s visit would end up being “another public relations exercise.”Human rights groups have criticized Obama for visiting Ethiopia, saying his trip lends legitimacy to an oppressive government. Ethiopia is the world’s second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.Hailemariam, the Ethiopian prime minister, has defended Ethiopia’s commitment to democracy and said the country needed “ethical journalism,” not reporters that “pass the line” and work with “terrorist groups.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Some African activists have greeted President Barack Obama’s remarks that Ethiopia has a democratically elected government with scorn and concern.Obama made the comment on Monday during a news conference with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, whose ruling party won every seat in parliament in May elections.On Tuesday, Obama urged African leaders to uphold democratic rights in a speech delivered from the headquarters of the African Union before he departed Ethiopia to end a two-nation African trip that included a stop in Kenya. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories President Barack Obama smiles as he listens to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, left, before Obama delivered a speech to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the continent’s leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene) 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Safety compromised for cheap fares Air Asia Indonesia denies claims

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Air Asia Indonesia has denied allegations that it compromises its passengers safety in order to offer cheap fares. “We want to erase a stigma that as a low cost carrier, we compromise our passenger safety with our cheap tariff,” the company’s Safety Director Moeharjanto Sasono explained at a conference entitled, “Communication Strategy in Indonesian Transportation Safety.” He said the airlines fleet regularly undergoes maintenance checks, pilot training is conducted every six months and flight attendant training is conducted every year.”It’s true that the efforts are very expensive but we have to do that. We don’t want to sacrifice safety just for profit,” said Moeharjanto. He said that the company maximizes efficiency to press its tariff. “We only sell seats, a thing that passengers need most. We sell tickets via Internet so we don’t have to pay to travel agents. “We also maximize time after a plane landed. We only need 25 minutes to check and replace things. That’s why we can sell ticket cheaper,” he said. Widijastoro, the company’s Marketing Director, said the general aim was to increase the airlines profile as a safe low cost carrier. “We are in coordination with the Manchester United, a leading football club, in which we painted some players in our plane’s body,” he said. According to Widi, a number of people thought that this was merely the company’s action as the club’s sponsor.”But, actually it’s a kind of hidden publication as the club surely does not want to damage its reputation by letting its players painted in a carrier’s plane body with bad image. “I want people know that the club has audited our track record. That’s one of our efforts to erase the stigma,” said Widi. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Windstar Cruises Ranked 1 by Celebrated Living for Fourth Year as Top

first_imgIn the Prestigious Publication’s Annual Platinum List Selected by ReadersWindstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbours and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, was selected for the fourth consecutive year as the best small/mid-size cruise line by the discerning readers of Celebrated Living, American Airlines’ publication for first class passengers. The 2010 Platinum List is an annual reader’s choice guide endorsing the top hotels, golf courses, spas and cruise lines in the world. “We are thrilled that the readers of Celebrated Living have selected Windstar Cruises as their top small/mid-size cruise line again,” said Diane Moore, president, Windstar Cruises. “We are committed to ensuring every guest has an unforgettable experience on board our beautiful, luxurious ships.”  Winners are featured in the Summer 2010 issue of Celebrated Living. A full list of winners in every category can be found on the magazine’s website Windstar recently released its 2011 and Winter 2012 season featuring new itineraries in the Baltic, Holy Land, Europe, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean along with its captivating Signature Collection Host Series line-up of distinguished hosts who will lecture on winemaking, culinary arts, photography, gardening and wealth management. Windstar is currently implementing its next phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative adding amenities and enhancements to the fleet in the areas of dining, accommodations, entertainment, spa, fitness and shore excursions which will be completed in the summer of 2010. In addition to Celebrated Living, Windstar has been recognised by some of the most notable names in the travel world. Windstar was selected in 2010 as one of “The World’s Best Cruise Lines” by Condé Nast Traveler on their 15th Annual Gold List along with all three ships selected for the magazine’s “Best Small Ships” list. Windstar was also chosen in 2010 as one the “Top 10 Cruise Lines” by Windstar was voted the “Most Popular” cruise linein the small-ship category by Zagat and received high marks in the categories of Top Overall, Top Cabins, Top Service, Top Dining and Top Facilities. Windstar recently received a “Favourite Small-Ship Cruise Line” award in the U.K.’s Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards and was listed in their “Top 100 of the Best the Travel World has to Offer”. Windstar also earned top honours in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s 2009 Best Awards” and received the “Most Romantic Cruise Line” honour from Porthole Magazine for the fifth time in a row.To make a booking, please contact Travel the World on 1300 766 566 or visit Source = Travel the World (TTW)last_img read more

Qantas yields drop despite growth in passenger numbers

first_imgReporting a marked increase in passenger numbers in May 2010 compared to last year, Qantas yields were down according to Qantas’ May traffic statistics report.Passenger numbers across the Qantas group rose by 5.6 per cent over last year’s results, although with a revenue seat factor of 75 per cent, 2.7 per cent down from 2009, yields remain weak.Yields across the Qantas group, ignoring foreign exchange impact, were 11.4 per cent lower in the year to May than the same period of 2009. Qantas and Jetstar’s international operations fell by 12.2 per cent while domestic yields were 3.4 per cent lower.‘‘Increased competition continues in the low-fare aviation market,’’ Qantas said as strong competitors Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways reported their own growth in passenger numbers.The inventors of Business Class travel, Qantas claim in their report, ‘‘the premium market, including the business travel market, continues to improve demonstrating the positive effect of the portfolio strategy.’’With Virgin Blue reportedly taking steps to introduce business class travel to their services, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas may lose their monopoly on domestic premium travel Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Coalition pledges support to business events tourism

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Shadow Minister for Tourism Steven Ciobo announced the Coalition would commit AUD28 million to Australia’s business events tourism, if elected to government.Rolled out over four years, the AUD28 million would fund initiatives to cement Australia’s place as a top business events destination.Mr Ciobo announced AUD17.5 million would finance the Business Events Bid and Boost Fund, a new industry partnership to not only attract more business events to Australia but to encourage more delegate attendance, optimising event spend.Business events marketing projects would receive AUD10.5 million, a 50 per cent increase of the current funding, said Mr Ciobo.The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), who used the election campaign to request an annual AUD10 million for the industry, welcomed the Coalition’s pledge.“BECA has been briefing both the Federal Government and the Opposition for some time on just how seriously our competitor countries, particularly in Asia, have been investing in attracting major conventions and business events,” BECA chairman Geoff Donaghy said.“Australia is being outspent, out marketed and out performed, and we can only address that if Canberra is able to match and support industry and state government spending.”According to BECA, the Australian business events industry is worth over AUD17.3 billion but the nation’s ranking as a top business events destination slipped from fourth to sixteenth place over the past decade.The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Matt Hingerty congratulated the Coalition, saying the promised funds would “put a spring back in the step” of the business events industry.”The Coalition’s focus on the business events sector is welcome news for a tourism industry which recently has been hit by everything but the kitchen sink,” Mr Hingerty said.”We need announcements such as this to fight back [against overseas competitors] and actually grow our own sector,” Mr Hingerty said.last_img read more

Jetstar adds DarwinManila folder to pan Asia portfolio

first_imgJetstar will soon fly Darwin-Manila as part of its pan Asia strategy Low cost carrier Jetstar is set to deliver Darwin to Manila multiple-weekly services early 2011, as part of its pan Asia strategy.Starting in December 2010, Qantas’ budget offshoot will operate up to nine additional weekly return flights, aiming to boost its flying hub to over 70 weekly return services by 2011, AviationRecord reported.“This announcement is closely aligned to Jetstar’s pan Asia strategy and the continued sustainable expansion of Jetstar with a strong and even better connected route network between Australia and South East Asia,” Jetstar Group CEO, Bruce Buchanan, said.“The proposed future linking of Darwin and Manila will see Jetstar’s fledging Australian operations further connect in with Jetstar brand services from Singapore that operate multi-daily to the Philippines capital via our primary Asian hub at Singapore Changi Airport.”As part of the expansion, Jetstar will extend its direct Darwin to Bali services from daily to 11 times weekly return, starting 16 December.Jetstar chief commercial officer David Koczkar said Darwin, interstate, and international flyers would benefit from more choice and service flexibility and greater access for flights into the Northern Territory capital.“Our intention to operate a future Darwin-Manila service will greatly appeal in the Philippines and importantly locally in Darwin where a new direct link to Asia can support ongoing business investment and where the Filipino-Australian community is amongst the largest in the city,” Mr Koczkar said.Consuelo Jones, spokesperson for the Philippine Department of Tourism – Australia/New Zealand, was buoyed by the new services.“The Philippines totally welcomes the increase in direct services from Jetstar – it will definitely boost our visitor numbers,” Ms Jones told e-Travel Blackboard.“The Department of Tourism certainly sees Australia as one of the major suppliers of inbound tourism to the Philippines. In fact, Australian arrivals to the Philippines ranked sixth in the first half of 2010, posting a 10 per cent increase over the same period last year.” On Monday, Darwin International Airport announced a new pricing agreement with the Qantas Group which will see about $100m injected into the airport over the next ten years. That same day, the national carrier announced plans to reintroduce CityFlyer services between Melbourne and Darwin from May 2011, with an initial three return flights per week. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more

Qantas prepares for looming strike

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J With the possibility of a strike taking place this year, Qantas has commenced ‘plan B’ preparations sending managers into the US to train up ground handling staff.  A Qantas spokesperson said sending managers to the US is something the airline has done over the past ten years during industrial disputes, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.”This type of contingency measure is important to ensure our passengers can continue to fly as normal in the event of union-led strikes,” the spokesperson said. ”We were forced to use this contingency in the past when the TWU took unprotected industrial action.”According to the source, the airline sent its managers to the US before Christmas to train up private contractors at Los Angeles Airport. A source undergoing the training described the course as “very hands-on”. ”You have to drive the trucks out to the aircraft and do the loading and unloading – and lining the trucks up to the aircraft doors and cargo doors.”The carrier has been in talks with Transport Workers Union over issues concerning aircraft engineers and up to 1700 long-haul pilots.last_img read more

Aussies support Wellington growth

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Neighbourly love is boosting Wellington’s tourism recovery to pre-Christchurch quake levels, with visitors from Australia increasing by up to 14 percent for the year ending October.Compared to the corresponding period last year, growth over the trans-Tasman has increased six folds compared to nationwide growth of only two percent.Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) chief executive David Perks explained that Aussie visitors helped reach record breaking tourism figures for the winter with a 6.2 percent increase in commercial visitors guest nights for the year to October compared to last year.“The Australia market has really hit its straps,” Mr Perks said.Launching several marketing invitiatives over the year including There’s No Place Like Wellington in March this year also boosted figures across the trans-Tasman, according to Mr Perks.He explained that since marketing kicked off arrivals increase 20 percent compared to the same 19 months before. “We’d seen how creative and focused marketing – in conjunction with smart development – could transform the perception Wellington had of itself and in turn how New Zealanders felt about it,” he added. “We knew we could do the same thing across the Tasman, which is why early last year we championed a private-public partnership approach to developing the Australia market.”The company’s head added that as well as marketing to Aussie travellers, the region has successfully linked to up to 150,000 fans of the city through new digital media channels.Expecting this year’s achievements to continue through to the coming year, Mr Perks concluded that “there’s so much happening at the moment – last week alone saw the launch of the Handmade festival programme, the Craft Beer Capital guide and the new Embassy Deluxe cinemas”.last_img read more

Carnival Corporation and Chinese shipyard sign MOU

first_imgCarnival Corporation has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to explore the possibility of a joint venture aimed at accelerating the development and growth of the Chinese cruise industry.This is expected to be one of the largest cruise markets in the world with 4.5 million passengers by 2020, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport.At an official signing ceremony at the Ninth China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo in Tianjin, the MOU outlines the framework for exploration of a partnership between Carnival Corporation and the CSSC that includes the possibility of forming a shipbuilding joint venture that could become a three-way arrangement involving Fincantieri of Italy.The agreement support’s the Chinese government’s plans to grow the cruising industry in China and meet demand for cruises from Chinese travelers.Under the joint venture concept, Carnival Corporation would provide its ship design and shipbuilding expertise to create the vision, definition and overall specifications for the China-built cruise ship.CEO of Carnival Corporation Arnold Donald said:“This landmark agreement enables us to work closely with our partners at the CSSC to fully explore the possibility of forming a joint venture to further develop China into a leading cruise market, supporting local economic development and bringing vacation enjoyment to millions.“We look forward to getting to work and lending the expertise of many talented people across Carnival Corporation.”Source = ETB News: Megan Tranlast_img read more

IATA Realizing Indias aviation potential

first_imgIATA : Realizing India’s Aviation PotentialIATA : Realizing India’s Aviation PotentialThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for a renewed look at the results of Indian public-private partnership in airport privatization, a reduction in taxation and for India to join international efforts on sustainability for air transport. These will be key enablers of a vitally important industry to India to be an even bigger catalyst for social and economic development.“Air transport contributes enormous value to India, stimulating growth and development with increasingly accessible air connectivity. India’s air transport industry has been through tough times. While many Indian airlines are now posting profits, the sector is still in loss territory with many challenges. These include a massive debt burden, onerous regulations, expensive airport infrastructure and high taxes. Addressing these will bring huge social and economic benefits to India,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, who is in India for a visit.India’s air transport sector already supports 8 million jobs and contributes $72 billion in GDP. In IATA’s recently released 20-year air passenger forecast, India will displace the UK to be the third largest aviation market with 278 million passengers in 2026. In 2035, the horizon of IATA’s just-published 20-Year Passenger Forecast, IATA expects the Indian market to serve 442 million passengers. “Realizing that growth means that we will need to accommodate the potential of 322 million new passengers in just two decades. That will be a real challenge. Without significant change, the economic and social development potential gains that come with a healthy and growing air transport sector are put at risk,” said de Juniac.Policy Framework: De Juniac congratulated India on publishing its first-ever Civil Aviation Policy which contains some encouraging elements, such as developments on open-skies, code-sharing and foreign direct investment (FDI).  In fact, allowing FDI of 100% in an Indian airline places India among the most progressive states in this respect. But, de Juniac also noted concerns including the mandating of hybrid till for the regulation of airport charges, and the plans for a levy to cross subsidize regional flights.“I look forward to engaging in a comprehensive dialogue with the government on what needs to change once the policy has had time to ‘mature’,” said de Juniac.Airport Privatization: The awarding of airport concessions has contributed to the development of India’s airport infrastructure. While the passenger experience has improved, the impact for airlines has been far less positive.“IATA does not support the privatization of airports. Nor are we officially opposed to it. But looking at the experience of airport privatization – in India and elsewhere – I am hard pressed to find an example where the results, overall, have been positive. A private sector mindset can add value to airport projects with efficiency, cost effectiveness, entrepreneurial spirit, and so on. But we need a stronger regulatory framework than exists today to ensure that there is a balance struck between commercial and national interests,” said de Juniac.Airlines operating in India have faced huge costs increases. This is in part due to the up to 46% concession fee that the private airport operators have to pay to the government. At the same time, the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has been unable to preserve its independence sufficiently and has not been able to implement its own tariff orders, such as the one to reduce Delhi’s charges by 96%.“There is no turning back the public-private partnership in Indian airports. But what can be done is to strengthen the regulatory structure for the airports already privatized in order to defend the public interest,” said de Juniac.Taxation: Airlines face an onerous tax burden in India, including the imposition of service tax to services rendered outside of India, including those for overflight charges, global distribution systems, and international tickets. This is in contravention of international principles established by governments through ICAO.IATA has been working closely with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Secretariat in India to address some of the issues that are of concern to airlines. “The GST regime needs to adhere to international standards and principles. We have called for a zero-rating for international flights when the GST comes into effect next April. This seems unlikely. To limit its damage to the sector’s competitiveness, we would at least hope for an abatement in the rate,” said de Juniac.Sustainability: For India to achieve its aviation potential, the industry needs to be able to grow in a sustainable manner.  Earlier this month, governments reached a global agreement to establish a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). This was a history making achievement that has some 65 states committed to participate in the voluntary period.“It was a huge disappointment not to have India among the initial 65 states. As India had ratified the Paris Agreement in the same week, we were hopeful that the spirit of climate leadership would extend to aviation emissions. We continue to urge the Indian government to come on board with CORSIA and join the voluntary period,” said de Juniac.CORSIA is a mechanism to facilitate growth sustainably. It applies to international operation and the costs of CORSIA will be manageable even for a low-margin industry. IATAfor more information, visitSource = IATAlast_img read more

Emirates to unveil enhanced A380 onboard lounge at ITB Berlin

first_imgEmirates to unveil enhanced A380 onboard lounge at ITB BerlinEmirates to unveil enhanced A380 onboard lounge at ITB BerlinThe multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme includes an enhanced Onboard Lounge for its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 Onboard Lounge is hugely popular with our customers, and has become an iconic feature of Emirates’ A380 offering.  Particularly on long-haul flights, our customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and mingle in the relaxed, yet classy lounge area.“Since we first launched the product in 2008, our A380 Onboard Lounge has gone through small but successive enhancements in line with customer feedback to increase the amount of space for our customers to interact in the lounge. In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service.”The new Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge will make its first public appearance at the Emirates Infinite Possibilities stand during ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs. It is currently being installed onto one of Emirates’ brand new A380 aircraft at Airbus’ facilities, and will make its operational debut in July 2017.Enhanced Emirates A380 Onboard Lounge FeaturesWhile retaining the trademark horseshoe-shaped bar, Emirates’ latest A380 Onboard Lounge will offer more seating space with a new seating arrangement along the windows on both sides of the bar. Inspired by private yacht cabins, each seating area will have a table and window view. Overall, the lounge can comfortably accommodate up to 26 passengers at a time, including 8 seated.The new Onboard Lounge will also feature an airier look and feel. Lighter champagne colours will be used in the cabin and lounge seating, accented by a glossy dark wood trim.Emirates will also introduce soundproof curtains to partition the Onboard Lounge area from the other cabins, put in additional soft ambient lighting options, new window blinds with integrated LED mood lighting, and subwoofers for surround sound. The lounge also features a 55 inch LCD screen so customers can view the latest flight information, or enjoy live TV broadcasts of the latest news or sports updates.All of Emirates’ 93 A380s currently in service feature the Onboard Lounge. The enhanced lounge product will be similarly located on the upper deck of the aircraft, for First and Business Class passengers.At the lounge, customers can enjoy gourmet canapés, handpicked wines from around the world and limited edition fine spirits, as well as signature cocktails prepared by the bartender.Aside from the Onboard Lounge, the Emirates A380 is also renowned for its industry-leading First Class Private Suites and Shower Spas; luxurious lie-flat Business Class pods with personal mini-bars; spacious and quiet cabins; onboard Wi-Fi; and Emirates’ multi-award winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen with more than 2,500 channels of movies, TV programs, music and podcasts.Emirates flies the A380 to 46 cities on 5 continents. It is the world’s largest operator of the A380 aircraft with 93 of these double-decked aircraft in service, and a further 49 on order. Testimony to the popularity of the aircraft amongst travellers, Emirates has carried nearly 70 million passengers on its flagship aircraft since 2008. Source = Emirateslast_img read more

Florida The Sunshine State loose yourself with roomsXML

first_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Florida; The Sunshine State: loose yourself with roomsXMLlast_img

Vietjet offers 1 million tickets at shocking prices

first_imgVietjet offers 1 million tickets at shocking pricesVietjet offers 1 million tickets at shocking pricesVietjet’s irresistible seasonal ticket promotion continues with another price shocker today offering 1 million super promo tickets priced from HKD 0 from January 10 to January 12, 2018. The tickets will be available for booking on the website within the golden hours from 13:00 to 15:00 (GMT+8). These promotional tickets are available for all Vietjet domestic routes flying from the North to the South with the flight period from February 1, 2018 to March 4, 2018 (including national holidays).Besides offering an opportunity for travelers to discover Vietnam in the spring, passengers flying with Vietjet during the promotional period from December 28, 2017 to February 28, 2018 will have the chances to win many attractive prizes with a total value of up to VND1 billion (HKD 344,000). Accordingly, passengers on special flights during the “Enjoy Sky Festival” with Vietjet will have a chance to participate in lucky draws to win free domestic return tickets, “lucky money” prizes worth VND10,000,000 (HKD3,400) as well as a special cash prize worth VND100,000,000(HKD34,000). Passengers playing the online game “Vietjet Sky Fun” will also have an opportunity to win more gifts including a pair of domestic or international return tickets.The promotional tickets are available during Vietjet’s daily “golden hours” from 13:00 to 15:00 (GMT+8) at or at Payment can be easily made with debit and credit cards of Visa/ MasterCard/ AMEX/ JCB/ KCP.Vietjet, as a pioneering airline that is loved by many for its exciting promotional and entertaining programs, especially in the festive season, is continually opening new routes, adding more aircraft, investing in modern technology and offering more added-on products and services to serve the demands of all customers.(*) excluding taxes and feesSource = Vietjetlast_img read more

Mövenpick Hotels Resorts signs new project in Vietnam

first_imgMövenpick Hotels & Resorts Signs New Project in Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamMövenpick Hotels & Resorts signs new project in VietnamOpening in 2020, the 815-key Mövenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City will be the centrepiece of the impressive Kenton Node riverside developmentMövenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of a landmark new property in Ho Chi Minh City, as the Swiss hospitality company continues to expand its portfolio across Vietnam.Mövenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City is an exciting new development that will comprise 815 keys – 288 hotel rooms and 527 serviced apartments – plus an extensive collection of upscale business and leisure facilities.Scheduled to open in 2020, the outstanding project will form the centrepiece of Kenton Node Hotel Complex, a major new mixed-use development currently rising on the Rach Dia river bank, Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Saigon South, just 10 minutes from downtown Ho Chi Minh City.In addition to an extensive, varied inventory of rooms and residences, Mövenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City will feature a choice of stylish restaurants and bars, an outdoor infinity swimming pool, a private spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and extensive conference and banqueting facilities including a ballroom and several meeting rooms.In addition, the surrounding 84,000 square metre Kenton Node complex will boast high-end retail malls, restaurants, a multiplex cinema and other leisure facilities, plus office space, residential units, a marina, riverside promenade and parks. The development will become a major new landmark for Ho Chi Minh City, attracting locals and international visitors alike.The signing of Mövenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City forms a key part of a major phase of expansion for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Vietnam. At present, the company is established in the capital city Hanoi, but the next few years will see the launch of a series of new hotels and resorts in key destinations across the country, including Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Quang Binh, Danang and Lang Co.“Tourism in Vietnam is riding the crest of a wave, with proactive government policies and positive investments leading to record-breaking visitor arrivals and a buoyant economy with strong GDP growth and rising affluence also driving increased levels of domestic and inbound leisure and business travel,“ said Andrew Langdon, Chief Development Officer for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.“With its versatile collection of hotel rooms, residences and world-class facilities, Mövenpick Hotel Ho Chi Minh City will cater to a wide variety of customer profiles in both the short, and extended / long stay segments. This impressive flagship project will take our Vietnam portfolio to eight properties strong and in excess of 3,000 rooms by 2020 and we look forward to further expansion across the country in the coming years.”In the first four months of 2018, Vietnam welcomed 5.5 million international arrivals – 29.5 percent more than the same period last year, according to data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT). This puts the country well on track to exceed the record 12.9 million visitors it achieved last year.The Vietnamese government also recently announced plans to extend its successful visa waiver programme for several European countries. Meanwhile, the expansive new Long Thanh International Airport is due to be completed within the next decade, significantly boosting tourist capacity for Ho Chi Minh City and the entire southern region.Source = Mövenpick Hotels & Resortslast_img read more