Fancy a spin on the worlds first motorized luggage

first_imgFancy a spin on the world’s first motorized luggage? LOS ANGELES — Who needs Uber when you can ride your luggage to the airport?Luggage manufacturer Modobag has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the world’s first motorized, rideable carry-on smart luggage. The campaign funding goal of US$50,000 features limited Early Bird specials of 30% off as well as several other rewards for backers.According to the company, Modobag “gets riders to their destination up to 3x faster than walking” and features top speeds of 8mph, a dual wheel braking system, and quick release foot pedals. Aside from the fact that it’s a bag that moves, users will also be impressed with its dual USB charging ports, high strength nylon shell, side-mounted pockets for tablets and phones, and a crushproof laptop pocket for easy access.Made in the USA, Modobag is powered by UL Lithium batteries that last for six miles or 10 full phone charges based on an 180lb commuter. Customers also receive a Lithium Smart Charger that can utilize household outlets to fully charge the suitcase.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?The smart luggage provides an optional “connected” feature that comes with a mobile companion app for iOS and Android users equipped with GPRS and GSM technology that can track Modobag’s location and send consumers “Proximity Alerts,” even if the suitcase is underground in storage (not usually detected by traditional GPS).And at a surprisingly lightweight 19 lbs, it’s also pretty practical and perfectly sized for overhead bins. Just don’t pop a wheelie while taking it out for a spin, not if you want to be stopped by airport security. Share Tags: LOL << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Thursday, July 21, 2016 Travelweek Group last_img read more

Heffron lands at Uplift to lead growth efforts and operations in Canada

first_img Posted by TORONTO — Denise Heffron has been appointed Managing Director at Uplift, tasked with launching and leading the startup in the Canadian market.Heffron is well-known in the industry from her years at Transat. Formerly Transat’s Vice-President, National Sales and Commercial, she announced her retirement from the company in January 2018, after 25 years. Throughout her tenure at Transat she held a number of senior positions in the areas of sales and marketing, and customer care, and was responsible for operations and development in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Western Canada. Her last day at Transat was March 2, 2018.Uplift is a fintech company “that enables travel brands to provide a better way to shop, book, pay and experience travel”. The company enables travel providers to offer installment payments to their customers.“Uplift is purpose-built for travel and we are entirely focused on helping our partners better serve their customers,” says Uplift President Robert Soderbery. “Denise has deep experience in the tourism industry and shares our passion for travel. We are excited to see her accelerate our growth and drive more business for our Canadian partners.”Uplift works exclusively through travel partner relationships and integrates seamlessly into their online booking flows, he adds. The company says it helps travel brands drive increases in conversion rates, average transaction values and ancillary revenues. Uplift also has what it says is an easy to use stand-alone agent tool, ensuring access for both online and offline customers.Says Heffron: “Uplift is a trailblazer, the first of its kind in our industry and has proved that the option to pay over time increases consumer desire and ability to travel. It changes not only how consumers shop and pay but the way they travel, allowing more options and choices, like upgraded rooms and seats – perks that consumers wouldn’t normally consider. I’m proud to be part of a team that is passionate about helping more travellers realize their dreams.”Uplift’s partners in the U.S. include American Airlines Vacations, Spirit Airlines, NCL and Universal Studios. Uplift closed a US$123 million Series C equity financing round.Canadian partnership announcements are expected to follow later this month while integration of Uplift technology will be added for consumer access via top Canadian travel providers starting in April 2019. Share Travelweek Group Heffron lands at Uplift to lead growth efforts and operations in Canadacenter_img Tags: New Hires, Uplift Thursday, March 7, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Ortega in old form after US aid cuts

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionThe political fallout from the U.S. government’s withdrawal of bilateral aid to the Sandinista government has polarized Nicaraguan society to greater extremes and stirred old ghosts in a country that seems to be moving forward by walking backwards.  President Daniel Ortega this week announced his government will block all U.S. aid to Nicaraguan civil society in retaliation for the U.S. government’s suspension of assistance to his government last week. In a fiery speech on June 23, Ortega said if the United States will not support his government, then there won’t be U.S. funding for anyone in Nicaragua – a move that would affect thousands of Nicaraguans working on a wide variety of civil-society projects.“If there is no money for [government] health, if there is no money for environment, if there is no money for the war on drugs, then there won’t be any money for the agents of the empire either,” Ortega said, referring to Nicaraguan nongovernmental organizations that receive funding from USAID. “We will close all their programs here. We will we close the spigot on all these programs.” The president’s saber-rattling came in response to the U.S. government’s decision last week to cancel its fiscal-transparency waiver for Nicaragua, effectively terminating $3 million in bilateral aid, most of which went to funding a government HIV program. Officially, the U.S. transparency waiver was terminated due to concerns over Ortega’s opaque handling of more than $500 million in annual loans and other support from Venezuela. But the timing of the cut is clearly meant to be political pushback after Ortega’s controversial re-election last year.In practical terms, the U.S. has been cutting bilateral aid to Nicaragua since the Sandinistas’ initial ballot mischief in the 2008 municipal elections, when Ortega’s party was accused of stealing 40 polls – a power grab that cost his government $64 million in U.S. Millennium Challenge development funds. Since then, other U.S. programs have been scaled back to the point where last week’s cancelation was more symbolic than stinging.USAID does, however, still give some $27 million to Nicaraguan civil society groups and NGOs working on democracy-building, free-market enterprise and independent media.Those programs and assistance from the U.S. Defense Department for the drug war will not be affected by the suspension of the transparency waiver.Ortega, however, doesn’t trust civil society. The Sandinista leader and his leftist confederates in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) claim all U.S.-supported civil society activity in their countries is aimed at destabilizing their regimes. ALBA’s foreign ministers this week released a statement calling for member countries to oust USAID entirely.“In most ALBA countries, USAID and its different organizations and facades is acting illegally and with impunity, without any legal structure, to finance illegitimate media outlets, political leaders and nongovernment organizations,” the ALBA declaration said. “Our countries don’t need any external financing of any type to sustain our democracies and consolidate the will of the Latin American and Caribbean people.”A return of old tensionsThough Ortega spent his past term (2007-2011) calling for new relations of mutual respect with the U.S., he now seems to be returning to old form. “What moral or social lessons are the yanquis going to come teach us here?” Ortega barked during his speech announcing a freeze on USAID for civil society. The silver-tongued Sandinista strongman went on to blast the “yanqui” government as the “biggest delinquents on our planet.” In Washington, D.C., the feeling is mutual. Strangely enough, Ortega has fewer friends in Washington now than he did during the 1980s when the U.S. funded a counterrevolutionary war against his government.On June 22, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio,  a rising star in the Republican Party, released a statement calling Ortega a “thug” who “illegally stood for re-election and then abused his power to secure a victory.”Rubio called on the Obama administration to “take a hard look” at the actions of the Ortega government before deciding on the property waiver next month. He also called on other Central American nations to take a more active role in demanding democracy and transparency in Nicaragua.“Ortega’s misrule continues to negatively impact the security and prosperity of the Nicaraguan people and that of their neighbors,” Rubio said.Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, also applauded the Obama administration’s cancelation of the fiscal-transparency waiver and called on the U.S. government to “not issue the confiscated-property waiver unless and until the Nicaraguan regime commits to settling these outstanding claims swiftly.”The property saiver ‘A-Bomb’Now that the transparency waiver is history, Nicaragua is holding its breath to see what will happen next month with the property waiver, the far more important of the two waivers needed for the U.S. to give aid to Nicaragua.To circumvent a U.S. law prohibiting bilateral assistance to countries where governments have confiscated U.S. citizens’ properties without compensation, the U.S. government each July issues Nicaragua a property waiver. The conditional waiver allows the U.S. to provide Nicaragua with support in multilateral lending institutions as long as the Central American government continues to make headway resolving pending U.S. citizen claims from the 1980s.Since the waiver program started 19 years ago, Nicaragua has forked over nearly $433 million in compensation to thousands of U.S. citizens whose properties were among the 28,000 confiscated by sticky-fingered Sandinista officials in the ’80s, according to official statistics.Only 193 claimants – mostly Nicaraguans who were naturalized U.S. citizens after the revolution – remain on the list. Nicaragua this year has resolved more than 50 additional cases, and claims it is on track to fulfill its obligations to have the property waiver renewed next month.If the property waiver gets canceled, the U.S. would immediately pull its support for Nicaragua in multilateral lending institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. That would jeopardize the future of $1.4 billion in already-approved development loans over the next five years, depending on how hard the U.S. wants to arm-twist in Washington.While the cancelation of the transparency waiver last week was like a slap in the face, the cancelation of the property waiver next week would be like “an atomic bomb” dropped on the economy, business leaders say.Though Nicaragua’s frustrated private sector hopes Nicaragua is well positioned to get another extension of its property waiver due to continued compliance with the property-confiscation program, some fear Ortega’s politics could trip up the country right at the finish line.The president this week berated the remaining list of property claimants as “thieves who prey upon the people of Nicaragua.” Business leaders in the Nicaraguan-American Chamber of Commerce can only shake their heads and cross their fingers that Ortega’s recent return to old form will not “irreparably harm our country” or return Nicaragua to “unnecessary confrontation with the United States” after several years of sustained economic growth and relative social peace.Tim Rogers is editor of The Nicaragua Dispatch, Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Keeping a watchful eye on that salt

first_imgWe all know that we should be careful with our salt intake, and this is especially true with children. Too much salt can cause water retention and high blood pressure, and it can affect the kidneys’ ability to function properly. Eating too much salt can also impact the overall healthfulness of our diets. Julie Godfrey BSc (Hons) is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). See or email sources:“Is Salt Making Children Fat?” – Daily Mail: “One in three primary school leavers is obese or overweight” – Daily Mail:“Salt, the Facts” – Facebook Comments A study in Australia with children found that the more salt a child ate, the more they drank – logical. But the worrying aspect of this is that participants tended to gulp down sweetened drinks rather than plain water. This additional sugar serves as a double negative. Firstly, it creates more thirst, and secondly, the extra empty calories are usually unnecessary. If unused, they will be converted to fat. Another study from the UK shows a continued increase in overweight and obese primary school children, and this is something parents should pay attention to. Salt comes from a number of sources. Processed foods tend to be relatively high in salt and can contain a significant percentage of daily requirements. Biscuits, breads, cheeses, deli and other processed meats, sauces and soups all contain added salt. Fast food has been much criticised for its high salt content, and like the rest of the food manufacturing industry, these companies are looking at how to cut down. The difficulties they face are twofold. Firstly, salt is a natural preservative and secondly, people have gotten used to the taste. Consumer product tastings tend to show a preference for saltier versions of the foods being tested. This means that the reduction needs to be done across the whole industry and relatively slowly to allow the public palate the readjust. How much salt is safe? When we talk about salt, we actually mean the sodium in salt and sodium is an essential mineral in our diet. While it is possible, if uncommon, to suffer from low levels of sodium, it is all too normal to suffer from an excess. Most adults can safely consume up to 6g (approximately 1 teaspoon) per day and children between 2g and 5g depending on age. Babies should not consume more than 1g and the best advice is not to add any salt at all to food that will be eaten by a child less than one year old. With bought products, more than 1.5g of salt per 100g is considered high, and less than 0.3g of salt per 100g is considered low.  To avoid these salty pitfalls, try to seriously reduce your processed food intake. Making food from scratch at home puts the control back into your hands. Salt does enhance the taste of food, so you can put some in, but try to kick the habit of adding salt to the food once it’s on the plate. Instead add flavor using herbs and spices. If your family starts to complain, cut the salt down gradually. And to avoid the double whammy of the additional sugar, steer clear or at least control the amount of the added sugar drinks and sodas consumed, instead topping up with good old-fashioned water. Julie Godfrey No related posts.last_img read more

Kennedy emerges as judicial champion of gay rights

first_imgRelated posts:US Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal in all 50 states More than 26 million people have changed their Facebook picture to a rainbow flag Gay marriage bill signed into law in Ireland Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote: Pride in Wilde’s shadow WASHINGTON, D. C. – Justice Anthony Kennedy was opposed by gay rights groups when he was chosen for the U.S. Supreme Court, but on Friday he cemented his legacy as the court’s most influential champion for their cause.Kennedy, 78, who was Ronald Reagan’s third choice for his third nomination to the high court, wrote the majority opinion in the landmark decision Friday concluding that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry.It is the latest ruling in which Kennedy has emerged as both the unparalleled and unlikely hero for gay rights, writing each of the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking opinions on the subject.In 1996, it was a decision that said states could not restrict localities from protecting gays against discrimination. In 2003, he led the court in overturning laws criminalizing homosexual conduct. He wrote the court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor that said the federal government must recognize gay marriages performed where they are legal.Kennedy capped that run of rulings with the court’s 5-to-4 decision Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges, writing that “the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.”There was a time when gay rights activists would never have expected such language from Kennedy. As executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Jeffrey Levi testified against the confirmation of Kennedy, a lawyer and judge from Sacramento, California, to the Supreme Court in 1988.The reason was simple, Levi said. As a judge, Kennedy “had voted wrong (on gay rights issues) each time he had the chance. That was the basis for our opposition. . . .“Obviously there is an evolution here that was not something any of us could have predicted,” said Levi, now a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University. “But I think it is reflective of the dramatic change that has happened in American society.”Evolution is a word that comes up often in describing Kennedy.One of his former clerks, Cornell law professor Michael Dorf, wrote on his blog Friday that there has been much speculation about Kennedy’s “absence of animus for gay people.”Some have attributed it to Kennedy’s formative years as a “California Republican,” less concerned with social conservatism than other members of his party. Others wonder about his close friendship with a law school dean in Sacramento that many say was in the closet.But Dorf said: “It’s also fair to say that the process of evolution that he describes the nation undergoing over the last four decades was also a personal process.”“I think it a fair bet that as recently as 2003, when he authored Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Kennedy did not think [as Justice Antonin Scalia warned and as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court would soon say] that the opinion entailed a right to same-sex marriage.”In the Lawrence decision, Kennedy struck down a Texas law that criminalized homosexual conduct and penned one of his most famous lines on the subject of tolerance.“Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,” he wrote.In that case, he was overturning a contrary decision reached by the Supreme Court 17 years earlier, Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the justices had upheld criminal laws against homosexual conduct. Kennedy was unapologetic: “Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent.” A child looks on as people celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision on same-sex marriage during a rally outside the Stonewall Tavern in the West Village in New York, on June 26, 2015. Jewel Samad/AFPEarlier, he had written for the majority in Romer v. Evans, striking down a Colorado constitutional amendment that precluded cities from adopting laws protecting gays from discrimination in housing, employment and other areas.The amendment, Kennedy wrote, “classifies homosexuals not to further a proper legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else. This Colorado cannot do. A state cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws.”Two years ago, in Windsor, Kennedy emphasized “dignity” in denouncing the federal government’s refusal to offer the same government benefits available to heterosexual couples to legally married gay couples. Such actions tell “all the world that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy” and “humiliates” their children.He returned to that theme in Friday’s ruling. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry, he said, “would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood.”In the latest opinion, Kennedy described the plaintiffs in gentle, almost loving terms.“Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” Kennedy wrote. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”Kennedy’s fellow Reagan nominee, Scalia, has also been his longtime adversary on judicial pronouncements that overturn voter-passed limitations on gay rights. Scalia argues that Kennedy’s judicial views on the issue are nothing more than opinions on public policy that under the Constitution must be left to voters or their elected officials, not judges.Scalia also seemed driven to distraction by Kennedy’s prose. Scalia said he would rather “hide my head in a bag” than join an opinion that began as Kennedy’s Obergefell decision did, and compared Kennedy’s writing with the “mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”But their differences are more fundamental than that. Scalia and other conservatives on the court look backward to history and traditions to see if a ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional.Allison Orr Larsen, a law professor at the College of William and Mary, has explained that to Kennedy, “binding ourselves to a static sense of liberty is too stifling and unfaithful to the nature of a charter document like a Constitution that is meant to last forever.”While Kennedy is now a hero to gay rights advocates, his opinions are too eclectic to make him a reliable champion for either the left or the right.Reagan’s compromise candidate — the president said Kennedy “seems to be popular with many senators of varying political persuasions” in announcing his selection — votes most often with conservatives.But his broad view of judicial power and specific stands — for gay rights, limiting the death penalty, his refusal to overturn Roe v. Wade — infuriate many on the right.Liberals find him an unmovable foe on issues such as campaign finance restrictions and affirmative action. He authored the decision upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.Kennedy is known at the court as unfailingly polite and his profile so low that he strolls the Supreme Court grounds unrecognized by tourists. He has not achieved the fandom afforded Scalia on the right or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the left.But at a recent appearance, Ginsburg was thanked by someone in the audience for the court’s decisions on gay rights and same-sex marriage.She demurred. “That’s Tony Kennedy,” she said.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

AlQaida leader Avenge Afghan Quran burning

first_img 0 Comments   Share   The U.S. apologized, saying the Islamic texts were mistakenly sent to a garbage burn pit. Deadly protests raged in Afghanistan for six days afterward.Al-Zawahri said the Americans and their allies commit crimes and then pretend to be sorry. He called that a “silly farce.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img CAIRO (AP) – Al-Qaida’s leader has urged Muslims to take revenge for the February burning of Quran Muslim holy books at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan.Ayman al-Zawahri posted an audio on a militant website on Wednesday.He called on Muslims to avenge the burning by fighting “those aggressors who occupied your countries, stole your wealth and violated your sanctities.”The recording was released by Al-Sahab, al-Qaida’s media arm, and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages. Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Market stalls at heart of fight over old Hebron

first_img“I rented it legally, and no one can take that from me,” said Awawi, whose demand to have the settlers evicted is currently being heard by the Supreme Court.Yosef Ezra, a Jerusalem resident listed as an heir in court papers, declined comment.Orit Struck of Avraham Avinu said that since Palestinians won’t be able to reclaim the market for security reasons, the stalls should be used by Jews, rather than being abandoned.Last month, members of a newly established Israeli ministerial committee on settlements recommended that the stalls be handed to Jews after evicting the settlers living there now, said Danny Danon, a pro-settler lawmaker in the governing Likud Party. Israel’s attorney general expressed concerns about breaking the lease of the Palestinian tenants, according to the Haaretz daily.The government must present its position to the Supreme Court by Sept. 13.Ofran noted that settlers were previously evicted from other market stalls by Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, and that allowing them to stay could pave the way for more takeovers. She also said that if the government allows the Ezras to reclaim property in Hebron, this could open the door for Palestinian claims to recover property in what is now Israel. ___Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah and Nasser Shiyoukhi in Hebron contributed reporting.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Over the years, Israeli governments have maneuvered between the settlers and the Palestinians.Israel transferred 80 percent of Hebron to Palestinian self-rule as part of interim peace deals in the late 1990s, but retained control over the rest, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a shrine sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews as the traditional burial place of Abraham and other biblical figures.More than a decade ago, as the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli military rule erupted, the army boosted protection around the settler compounds. It also carved out a wide path for Israelis into downtown Hebron from the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to the city. Palestinians can’t drive along this route and Palestinians on foot are barred from a small part of it.Hundreds of Palestinian shops in the downtown area were either sealed by the army or had to close for lack of customers kept away by protracted curfews. The streets in the once thriving shopping district are deserted and rows of storefronts are shuttered. Some Palestinians have put up wire mesh to protect against stones hurled by settlers.Palestinian activists are trying to reclaim the ancient old city next to the settler enclaves and have renovated hundreds of apartments with funding from Arab states and the Palestinian Authority. Community organizer Emad Hamdan said several thousand have returned to the old city, lured by rent-free apartments. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ofran of Peace Now said there is concern that “eventually all the closed areas will be for the settlers and that’s what the settlers want,” she said.The stalls of the wholesale market next to the Avraham Avinu settler compound are a prime target for expansion. The market was built on land owned by Jews, Ofran said. After the outbreak of the second uprising in 2000, the army barred Palestinians from entering the market because of its proximity to Avraham Avinu.Two settler families took over four stalls next to the settlement and turned them into homes. These stalls stand on a parcel held by the Ezra family, which left before the city came under Jordanian rule in the late 1940s. Jordan’s Custodian of Enemy Property took over the market and rented the stalls to Palestinian residents, as protected tenants.The Awawi family rented the four stalls now under dispute, selling clothes and shoes. The rental agreement remained in place after Israel captured the West Bank in 1967.Abdel Razek Awawi, 82, said his six sons worked with him in the market and his father and grandfather before him. He said a member of the Ezra family asked him after 1967 to leave the shop so he could rent it to settlers. Awawi said he refused. Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   center_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Such an outcome would boost one of the most controversial endeavors of the Jewish settlement enterprise _ tightening Israel’s hold over the center of the West Bank’s largest Palestinian city.“The fight is over the character of Hebron and the old city area,” said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group.The first group of settlers moved into Hebron in 1968, a year after Israel captured the city, along with the rest of the West Bank, from Jordan. Over the years, the community has grown to about 800 people who live in several heavily guarded compounds, separated from the city’s 180,000 Palestinian residents by barbed wire, blast walls and hundreds of Israeli soldiers.Settler leader Noam Arnon said the community hopes to expand in what he called “Jewish areas” in the center where Palestinian access is limited and which he said make up about 3 percent of the city. This includes real estate owned by Jews who lived in Hebron before Israel’s creation in 1948, he said.Settlers say they are ready to co-exist in Hebron with the Palestinians, but argue that the city _ which looms large in Jewish history but now serves as the center of Palestinian commerce in the West Bank _ must remain under Israeli control. That runs counter to the Palestinian demand for a state in all the lands Israel captured in 1967 _ the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Associated PressHEBRON, West Bank (AP) – Four stalls in a trash-filled, abandoned outdoor market have turned into hotly contested real estate in the center of biblical Hebron where several hundred ultranationalist Jewish settlers are wrestling with Palestinian residents for control, house by house and storefront by storefront.The stalls’ Palestinian tenants want Israel’s Supreme Court to evict settlers who seized the properties a decade ago, but some in Israel’s pro-settler government believe the small shops should remain in Jewish hands.last_img read more

Poles help people of Belarus recalling own past

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement More broadly, Poland wants to see the entire region on its eastern border evolve into a space of stable and prosperous democracies, and has been trying for years to push for democratic change in Ukraine and Georgia. That would have implications on issues ranging from fighting the flow of illegal drugs to boosting trade. And while Polish leaders don’t like to state it publicly, they would also like to see a weakening of Moscow’s influence in the region, with memories of past Russian domination still vivid.The Polish efforts for Belarus are many.The government funds a TV station, Belsat, and a radio station, Radio Racja, which broadcast independent news from Poland into Belarus, giving people an alternative to pro-regime state media. It has opened its universities to hundreds of Belarusians who lost their right to study at home for political reasons. It funds several projects aimed at blunting the effects of repression, including Pisula’s, which helps political prisoners and keeps records on the perpetrators of repression _ judges, police and others _ should a day of reckoning come.Starastsina, the Belarusian TV journalist who flushed her memory card down the toilet, works for Belsat. Last month, she and a cameraman were stopped by secret security, still known as the KGB, as they were reporting in the eastern Belarusian city of Vitebsk. In such cases Belsat reporters usually try to throw their memory cards under a tree or a bush, where they can be retrieved later. Officially, Poland’s aim is not to topple Lukashenko, but to give Belarusians uncensored information and the support they would need should they ever choose to rise up themselves against the regime.“We look at Belarus realistically. We understand that change won’t happen from one day to the next because change, first of all, must take place in the consciousness of Belarusians,” said Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz, Poland’s undersecretary of state for Eastern affairs. “Our role is to support that attitude and to have a role in shaping it.”Many of the Polish projects pushing democracy in Belarus are led by former members of Solidarity or their children. Belsat’s founder and director, Agnieszka Romaszewska, comes from a family that was prominent in Solidarity. She launched Belsat in 2007, hoping to give Belarusians the kind of independent news that Radio Free Europe provided to her parents.She said she is often asked why five years of Belsat broadcasts still haven’t brought about Lukashenko’s fall, and she always answers _ that is not the station’s job.“Lukashenko needs to be toppled by his own nation, if it wants to do it,” she said. She argued that all Belsat can do is offer an independent perspective missing in the state media, including news but also documentaries about Belarusian history and culture. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img “State television opens with Lukashenko and closes with Lukashenko. Twenty minutes of the news is that he went there, visited this man, was at a factory, gave advice to swine breeders on how to best breed pigs,” Romaszewska said. “I don’t think that many people in the West are able to picture that.”Belarusian activists in Warsaw voice gratitude for the help. Many say that if they were to return to Belarus they would be imprisoned, so being able to live and work freely in Poland allows them to keep up the struggle for democratic change back home.“There are people in Poland who remember their history and who have a kind of spiritual mission for promoting freedom. We are absolutely grateful to such people,” said democracy activist Aliaksandr Atroshchankau. “But I want Europe to understand the Belarusian case isn’t just Poland’s responsibility.”Some Belarusians, satisfied with the economic security the state provides, are critical of Poland’s efforts to promote democracy.Dmitry Kuleshov, a 76-year-old pensioner, said he has watched Belsat a few times at the home of a neighbor with a satellite dish, and considers it “propaganda.” Associated PressWARSAW, Poland (AP) – Volha Starastsina saw no choice but to flush her work down the police station toilet.That was the only place the Belarusian journalist could hide TV footage after being detained for interviewing people on upcoming elections in the repressive state.Her risky independent journalism is part of a Polish-funded effort to get uncensored news to Belarusians, one of several projects Poland supports in a drive to encourage democratic change in its troubled eastern neighbor. “Belsat makes fools of Belarusian people, stirs up hatred,” he said.Others have gone out and bought satellite dishes just to get its programming. One is Alla Bandarchik, a 43-year-old entrepreneur who says Belsat’s programing has been an “eye-opener.”“Five state channels are engaged in propaganda,” she said, “and only Belsat shows a true picture.”___Associated Press writers Yuras Karmanau in Minsk and Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed to this report.___Vanessa Gera can be reached at http// Poland has many reasons for wanting Belarus to embrace democracy, but it largely comes down to this: When Poland looks east, it sees its own past. The censorship, secret police spying and harassment of political opponents under authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko remind Poles of what Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement endured in the 1980s. Today’s Polish government is led by many former Solidarity activists, and they want to give Belarusians the same kind of Western help that proved crucial in toppling their former Soviet-backed regime.“It’s emotional. It’s a Polish thing to be anti-regime,” said Tomasz Pisula, a Pole who heads Freedom and Democracy Foundation, a Warsaw-based group working for democratic change in Belarus.Other countries are also engaged in the cause, including the United States and Sweden. But perhaps nowhere is there as much support, both at the grassroots and government level, for the Belarusian democracy movement as in Poland.The solidarity also stems from a cultural kinship and frequent contacts shared by the two Slavic peoples. A complex history of shifting borders in Eastern Europe has left a sizeable ethnic Polish minority in Belarus today that faces harassment, to the great concern of Poland. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation But there was no vegetation in the square where they were detained, and Starastsina still had the incriminating evidence when taken to the police station.“I felt helpless,” Starastsina told The Associated Press from her newsroom in Warsaw. “They could accuse me of anything and put me under arrest.”The Sunday nationwide elections are bound to elect what is essentially a rubber-stamp parliament, with most power in Lukashenko’s hands. Belsat was using its campaign footage to help expose the nation’s sham democracy.Belsat works by engaging dozens of reporters who risk arrest and harassment to gather news. They file it over the Internet to Warsaw from improvised newsrooms in clandestine apartments across Belarus. From Warsaw the news gets broadcast from a studio belonging to Polish state TV back into Belarus by satellite. Another act of defiance is the station’s use of the Belarusian language rather than Russian. That is part of a conscious attempt to revive a language and cultural heritage weakened by decades of domination of Russian, which remains the language of choice of most state media.Poland also has helped a number of Belarusian-run human rights organizations and media sites to set up their activities in Poland, granting political asylum to their activists and helping them financially. Altogether, the various projects have made Warsaw a key center for Belarusian dissidents and intellectuals in exile.last_img read more

China finance officials to skip Tokyo IMF meeting

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   Associated PressTOKYO (AP) – China’s central bank governor and finance minister won’t be attending IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Tokyo this week in an apparent snub to Japan that comes as the two Asian giants remain at odds over a cluster of tiny islands both claim.The International Monetary Fund said that People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan, who was scheduled to give the event’s closing speech on Sunday, had cited scheduling problems for his decision to cancel his Tokyo trip. The IMF said his deputy, Yi Gang, will represent him at the meeting and will deliver Sunday’s lecture. China’s official Xinhua news agency published a report that said China’s delegations to the meetings would be headed by Yi and Zhu Guangyao, a vice finance minister. China’s central bank and Finance Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.Experts said the move shows that China’s government is giving more priority to taking a stand on the territorial flare-up even if it could undermine Beijing’s past insistence that emerging economies should have a greater say in international financial policy-making bodies such as the 188-member IMF.“China is sending a clear signal that this sovereignty dispute is important to China’s top leadership,” said Linda Jakobson, the East Asian program director at the Lowy Institute, a think tank in Sydney. “It definitely overrides the decision-making on global financial matters.”“I think other countries will be surprised by the decision,” she said.Japan’s Finance Minister Koriki Jojima, who took on that role just 10 days ago, said it was “regrettable” that the two men weren’t attending, but added that “from the global perspective, we will continue to have communication with China.” The dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which has triggered widespread protests in China and attacks on Japanese-owned factories and stores, already has spilled over into the economic arena, threatening a shaky economic recovery in Japan after last year’s tsunami and nuclear disasters.Sales of Japanese cars in China plunged in September, with Toyota saying its sales of new vehicles there fell 49 percent from a year earlier to 44,100 vehicles. Honda’s sales sank 41 percent to 33,931 vehicles. Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists have cancelled trips to Japan.China is Japan’s biggest trading partner, and economists warn that the dispute could erode Japan’s economic growth.Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. dealerships were burned down in one Chinese city last month after Tokyo decided to nationalize the islets, called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The purchase from the islands private Japanese owners was meant to block a potentially more inflammatory plan by Tokyo’s nationalistic governor to buy and develop them.The move nonetheless angered China, which warned of “serious consequences” and has sent marine surveillance ships near the islands in recent weeks. The rocky outcroppings are surrounded by potentially large undersea natural gas fields and rich fishing grounds. They are also claimed by Taiwan. Top Stories “This decision (not to attend) was likely made above the heads of these finance officials,” Jakobson said.China, with its growing middle class, was one of the emerging markets that Japanese companies were counting on to boost sales amid a long stagnation in their domestic market and sluggish global growth.Some officials are holding out hope that Japan and China will eventually repair relations.“As an Asian American, I’ve watched with great admiration the economic rise of first Japan and then Korea and China,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. “The more I learn about the integrated economies of this region it strikes me that the nations of this region have much more in common than they have in difference.”___AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Beijing may have also been willing to hold back its top financial officials from the IMF and World Bank meetings because the European debt crisis remains a primary concern _ an issue somewhat removed from China, said Robert Dujarric, a scholar at Temple University’s Japan campus.“Whatever is to be done about the euro crisis isn’t going to be decided in Beijing,” he said.“From the perspective of senior Chinese officials, they don’t want to be seen in Japan or in any way being soft on Japan,” Dujarric said. “This crisis with Japan _ and indirectly with the U.S. _ is more important to them than the IMF,” he said.Under a security pact with Japan, some 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan. While Washington has said it remains neutral in the island dispute, American officials have also said that the islets fall under the security treaty that obliges the U.S. to protect Japanese territory.Chinese central bank governor and finance minister hold important positions, but they generally don’t wield as much power in domestic decision-making as their counterparts in other countries. Most major financial decisions require approval by the communist party leadership. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Liberation theology founder praises Vaticans new climate

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutierrez speaks during a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The founder of the once-criticized liberation theology has praised the “new climate” at the Vatican under Pope Francis that has focused the church’s attention on serving the poor. Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez made his first appearance at an official Vatican press conference Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober VATICAN CITY (AP) — The father of liberation theology, once criticized by the Vatican for its Marxist undercurrents, praised the “new climate” at the Vatican under Pope Francis that has focused the church’s attention on social justice and serving the poor.Peruvian theologian the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez made his first appearance at an official Vatican press conference Tuesday. It was a historic moment given that the Vatican spent much of the past few decades cracking down on the Marxist excesses of liberation theology, a Latin American-inspired theology advocating for the poor, and disciplining some of its most vocal supporters. Gutierrez, who himself was never disciplined, said the upcoming beatification of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, a hero to the movement, signaled that “the wall has fallen.”Some versions of liberation theology are at variance with church teachings because they view Christ as a mere social liberator. The Vatican objected to liberation theology’s basis in Marxist analysis of society — particularly the idea of class struggle in the promotion of social, political and economic justice for the poor.In remarks to journalists, Gutierrez stressed that the liberation theology as a whole was never condemned. But he acknowledged that the Holy See had engaged in “very critical dialogue” with its proponents and that there were “difficult moments.”“I’m happy to be here,” he said wryly.Even before the appearance, liberation theology was undergoing something of a rehabilitation under the first Latin American pope, with Gutierrez appearing at a book launch at a Vatican auditorium last year.“I think in this moment, the climate surrounding this theology is different. That is true,” Gutierrez said. But he said the rehabilitation of the theology wasn’t as important as Francis’ call to put the Gospel into action showing a preferential option for the poor. Top Stories center_img “Talking about the poor, talking about the peripheries, saying we have to go forward: This is what’s important,” he said.___Follow Nicole Winfield at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Sponsored Stories last_img read more

A year on Ukrainian villagers recall horrors of MH17 crash

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — The field outside Hrabove, littered a year ago with bodies and smelling of burnt flesh and plastic, now smells of wild flowers.But the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 still haunts residents, who remember the bodies that fell from the sky above their sleepy village in eastern Ukraine.“People came out of their houses to see a boy without the head, who was lying there” on the street, recalled villager Nadezhda Tsyb. “Then I saw a girl: She was coming down from the sky, whirling in the air, then she fell into my neighbor’s vegetable patch.” The rebel denials have been increasingly challenged by resident accounts, observations of journalists on the ground and the statements of one rebel official. The Ukrainian government has also provided purported communications intercepts that it says show rebel involvement in the downing.Borodai, speaking to AP in his first interview to a Western media organization since returning to Moscow in October, dismissed eyewitness reports and photographic evidence pointing to the rebels’ complicity as fakes. But he seemed to drop his guard in acknowledging that the separatists had no idea that civilian planes were allowed to fly over the war zone.The rebels had shot down several Ukrainian transport jets in the weeks before the MH17 crash, including an Il-76 on June 14, killing 49 people onboard.Borodai, who seems to live a comfortable middle-class life in Moscow after going around Donetsk with a posse of burly Chechen gunmen, said he does not really care about the conclusions of the official probe.“Whether there will be a tribunal or any other official results of the investigation, I have to admit I am already quite indifferent to this story,” he said, sitting in a posh Moscow restaurant. “I just know that it is not our fault that the Boeing went down. It is obvious to me that this is the result of some actions of the Ukrainian side.” Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The West accused the separatists of hampering the investigation by blocking access to the site and tampering with evidence. Aviation experts said at the time that the site was compromised since investigators had no access to it during the first few days after the crash. First, rebel commanders blocked OSCE observers from reaching the area, then clashes along the route to the site made it unsafe to travel there. The first sizeable team of investigators arrived at the scene only two weeks after the crash.Asked about claims that rebels removed or even destroyed some of the bodies, Alexander Borodai, a Moscow spin doctor who headed the rebel government at the time, told The Associated Press that they had to take away bodies because they were decomposing fast in the scorching heat.“There is a moral, human dimension here: You could not leave the bodies for a long time, and many of the bodies were fragmented,” he said. “We could not just leave them there.”Hours before the MH17 went down, AP journalists saw a Buk M-1 launcher moving through the rebel-controlled town of Snizhne, carrying four 18-foot (5.5-meter) missiles. Three hours later and six miles west, the plane was shot down. ___Vasilyeva reported from Moscow. Albina Kovalyova contributed to this report from Moscow.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 All 298 people onboard MH17 were killed when the plane was downed on July 17, 2014, over rebel-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, where government forces and the Russia-backed separatists had been fighting for months. Ukrainian and Western officials said the plane was shot down by a rebel missile, most likely by mistake, and that Russia supplied the weapon or trained rebels to use it. Both the rebels and Moscow denied that.A preliminary report released in the Netherlands last year said the plane had no technical problems in the seconds before it broke up in the sky after being struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” which could have been a missile.A year after the crash, the families of the victims are still waiting for the results of the investigation, while residents of Hrabove keep finding personal belongings and parts of plane in the area. One local resident pointed to a piece of fuselage, the size of a car hood, bearing the blue emblem of Malaysian AirlinesThe body of the boy that fell on the street next to Tsyb’s house was lying there, in the summer heat, for days. Villagers asked rebels who controlled the area to take them away, Tsyb said, because “it was too scary to go out.”center_img Sponsored Stories TO GO WITH STORY Ukraine MH17 Memories – In this photo taken on Friday, July 10, 2015, Alexander Borodai, former head of the rebel government in eastern Ukraine, speaks to the Associated Press in Moscow, Russia. It is now one year since Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 disintegrated and local residents remember the bodies and debris falling from the sky. In his first Western media interview since he left Ukraine in October, Borodai, goes through the motions, dismissing eye-witness reports and photographic evidence as fakes, but he admits the separatists had no idea that civilian planes were allowed to fly over the war zone. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr.) Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories last_img read more

Qantas defends Jetstar Pacific

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Qantas remains “confident” in its 27 % stake in Jetstar Pacific after Vietnamese aviation authorities raised concerns about safety standards at the carrier.Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce said, “We remain confident in our investment in Jetstar Pacific and confident in the airline’s total commitment to safety.” “The CAAV identified some issues and these have already been addressed by the airline. “We will work with our Vietnamese partners on the Jetstar Pacific Board as they continue to liaise with the CAAV.”Mr Joyce said that Qantas had supported a number of routine and independent safety audits by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). “The first of these was undertaken prior to the airline taking on the Jetstar brand and the most recent was finalised in October last year,”Mr Joyce said. “This audit concluded there were no safety concerns with Jetstar Pacific’s operations and that the airline met regulatory requirments.“Audits are a standard practise in the aviation industry and are an important way that we can continue to improve safety in all our businesses.” Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan also confirmed that Qantas has no safety concern about Jetstar Pacific. “Jetstar and Qantas wouldn’t put its brand on any airline that they had any safety concerns about,” he said. “We pride ourselves on having one of the best safety records in the industry… this is an airline that is now operating at a level of safety that’s a 10 or 20-fold improvement over where it was prior to Qantas’s involvement in the airline.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Huka Lodge recipient of Tatler Enduring Excellence Award 2010

first_imgAt a gala awards dinner attended by leading travel editors, writers and hospitality leaders held at The Ritz Hotel in London, Huka Lodge was honoured as the recipient of the Tatler Enduring Excellence Award for 2010. This highly-regarded and prestigious international award honours Huka Lodge, New Zealand for its outstanding consistency in maintaining the highest standards of excellence for the last 25 years. On hand to personally receive this recognition was the owner of Huka Lodge Alex van Heeren. In a memo sent to all the Huka Lodge staff on his return to his hotel room after the event he stated “This award is for you all, for your unflagging efforts to ensure we maintain the highest levels of consistency and excellence in everything we do, every single day”. He then went on to personally thank his staff and further acknowledge their contribution.Alex van Heeren purchased Huka Lodge in 1984 and with his renowned energy and passion shaped it into the internationally recognised exclusive retreat it is today. Huka Lodge has been and continues to be ranked amongst the best in the world and the Tatler Enduring Excellence Award 2010 certainly bears testament to this.Huka Lodge is a sister property to Dolphin Island, Fiji and Grande Provence Estate in South Africa. All three properties comprise The Huka Retreats, all sharing an unrivalled commitment to providing an extraordinary hospitality experience for guests within global locations of great unspoiled beauty. Source = Huka Lodge Alex van Heeren, owner of Huka Lodge, receiving the Tatler Enduring Excellence Award in London.last_img read more

Tourism New Zealand wants YOU

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tourism NZ’s ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ marketing campaign has undergone a makeover to include ‘you’ at the core of its message. Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the evolution will increase the appeal of its already highly successful current campaign. “We have identified people around the world already considering travelling to New Zealand who have the financial means to make the trip. “The addition of ‘you’ to the successful ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ advertising message is a logical next step that will benefit New Zealand’s tourism industry by highlighting the many individual experiences on offer,” he said. The refreshed campaign aims to personalise Tourism NZ’s marketing message and focus on more than stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery. As part of the rollout for the new marketing campaign, which debuts exclusively in Australia today, will be television commercials, online banner advertisements and a new ‘100% Pure You’ tagline that, over time, will be used for all Tourism New Zealand advertising globally. Tourism NZ general manager marketing communications Justin Watson said the new campaign encourages a diverse range of experiences on offer. “The new global campaign will help us take New Zealand to the world in a way that better connects with our target audience. “Authentic and special experiences will become the major draw card, while the beautiful scenery and environment will be a vital part of the story as the backdrop,” he said. Feedback regarding the new campaign has been positive. “We have stayed in close contact with New Zealand regional tourism operators and industry during the development of the ‘100% Pure You’ message and the feedback we’ve received is that this new campaign is sufficiently versatile to effectively promote many aspects of the New Zealand experience,” Mr Watson said. The new ‘100% Pure You’ campaign will be broadcast in Australia via television ads in the core markets of NSW, QLD and VIC in both the metropolitan and regional areas, supported by digital display advertising.The campaign showcases the personal experiences of a young woman jet boating, a middle-aged father taking his children tramping and a young woman horse riding. The outgoing NZ Tourism campaignlast_img read more

Tiger Airways adds extra flight services

first_imgTiger Airways today announced two additional daily return services on routes Melbourne – Brisbane and Melbourne – Gold Coast, as the carrier gradually resumes its domestic services.The new flights are available for sale now for travel in late September 2011 through to March 2012.The additional flight services will mean Tiger Airways will be flying two daily return services between Melbourne and Gold Coast, effective 23 September and three daily return services between Melbourne and Brisbane, effective 22 September.The new flight services between Melbourne and Queensland are in addition to a daily return flight between Melbourne and Perth and up to five daily return services between Melbourne and Sydney.Tiger Airways spokesperson said the carrier is concentrating on flying the popular care routes and delivering operational excellence.“We are keen to reinstate flights to a number of other popular destinations around Australia, which we will announce in due course,” the spokesperson said.“The key to securing the best deals with Tiger Airways is to plan ahead, book early and snap up the lowest fares before someone else does.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

East Coast storm causes flight delays

first_imgLaguardia Airport in New York City The East Coast of America has been hit with a severe snow storm, resulting in United Continental Holdings having to announce travel options for United and Continental passengers.The Airline warned due to the storm, passenger’s flights may be delayed or cancelled at United’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and other cities in the Northeast may also be delayed.The airline has assured passengers on flights through the affected areas are able to reschedule their flights with a one-time date or time change and the airline will waive any date change fees.  Passengers are also able to request refunds in the original form of payment for cancelled flights, passengers can find complete details available on the united and continental websites.The Airline has advised even with the weather easing on the East Coast and flights back to normal, passengers should still check with their airlines to make sure the heavy snow isn’t causing flights to be delayed.Affected passengers are also urged to contact the airline direct to change an existing reservation or check flight status by contacting United or Continental reservations. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Just released Latin America from Abercrombie Kent

first_imgJust released: Latin America from Abercrombie & KentJust released: Latin America from Abercrombie & KentLuxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has released its new collection of journeys through Latin America. Twelve countries are covered with a range of travel styles and focuses from journeys handcrafted for the individual traveller to a range of more off the beaten track hosted small group tours. What each has in common are the quintessential high standards expected from A&K. Each journey is perfectly balanced with seamless flow from start to finish, opportunities for self-discovery and the ‘Design Your Day’ initiative which gives travellers a choice of included excursions or activities at no additional cost.From the icebound realms of southern Chile and Argentina to the flavours and colours of Mexico in the north, from Peru’s rich Inca heritage to the beaches of Brazil, there’s a myriad of natural and cultural attractions to experience.Just some of the new additions for 2018 include the 10-day ‘Flavours & Rhythms of Brazil’ which combines Rio’s magical sights with the mighty Iguazu Falls, Brasilia and Salvador da Bahia. Futuristic architecture is a focus in Brasilia while immersive cooking and performing arts opportunities are included in Salvador da Bahia, and a behind the scenes peek at rare birdlife at Iguazu Falls is an unforgettable wildlife experience. Prices from $8,225 per person.An expanded ‘Buenos Aires to Rio’ is a 12-day journey from the Argentinian capital to cosmopolitan Rio with new experiences including an estancia stay and gaucho interaction, a fun and intimate hands-on dinner party in Buenos Aires and Brazil’s colonial gem, Ouro Preto, a base for visiting the extraordinary outdoor contemporary art installations of Inhotim. Prices from $13,225 per person.A new 12-day adventure in Bolivia reveals the country’s breathtaking scenic wonders, from the salt flats of Uyuni (and optional Airstream camper adventure) to the islands of Lake Titicaca. Travellers are introduced to the old Jesuit heritage at remote missions and settlements, as well as traditional handicrafts at Sucre’s Sunday market and an indigenous tasting menu at La Paz dining sensation, Gustu. Prices from $7,245 per person.Travelling foodies will relish the new 11-day ‘Flavours of Mexico’ which is a journey of culinary discovery savouring the top-notch tequila and tortillas of Mexico City, complete with chocolate tasting, the aromas and flavours of Oaxaca’s street food, and its mezcal, as well as time-honoured family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Prices from $10,395 per person.A private journey in Guatemala brings bygone cultures to life with traditional markets selling handcrafted textiles, colonial cobblestoned streetscapes plus World Heritage listed monuments. A pristine wilderness of volcanoes, lakes, rainforest and beaches is the backdrop for coffee production, wildlife viewing and shaman ceremonies while a trip across the border to Honduras reveals the ancient Maya cultural centre of Copan and a delightful hacienda stay. Prices from $10,165 per person.There is much more to inspire in the new collection with Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Colombia also showcased in a variety of single and multi-country private journeys, hosted small group tours and short add-ons for more in-depth local experiences.For families and multi-generational travellers, cruising in the Galapagos Islands comes highly recommended with a range of vessels available to suit different needs. Costa Rica is another engaging family destination with its variety of ecosystems and wildlife presenting the ultimate stage for outdoor adventure.There are also ideas for special milestone celebrations like booking out an exclusive Argentine country estancia or taking a super-luxe beachside villa in Mexico. The possibilities are endless.The Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) presence, first established in Africa, also extends to South America where it supports the inspirational Children of the Rainbow project in Peru’s Sacred Valley. AKP assistance has enabled the supply of meals, medical care, education and hope for disadvantaged children in the area. A&K guests can visit this project on their way to or from Machu Picchu. A donation to AKP is made on behalf of every A&K guest travelling.Source = Abercrombie & Kentlast_img read more

Latvia the Baltic state promotes tourism in India

first_imgA Baltic state in northern Europe, Latvia is now set to seek footsteps of Indian tourists and some fresh investments in hotels, other businesses from India.Latvia is highlighting its natural beauty, green environment, cultural diversity, lakes, sea, and forests to entice more Indians to come to the Baltic nation.Leaders from the Latvian Asian Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders interacted with the media and potential investors in New Delhi at a seminar to promote Latvia as an attractive investment destination for several areas including real estate, tourism, and green technologies, and also to include Latvia in tour packages to Scandinavian countries, like Sweden.Dana Maksimova, one of the travel agents from Latvia said that the peace and calm of places in Latvia was a major draw, as well as cheaper hotels for the many Russian tourists who come to the country.Deepak Vohra heads the Latvian Asian Chamber of Commerce, who has been Indian Ambassador to several countries, before he retired from the Foreign Service. Leading businessman Virender Bhalla is active in promoting the country in India and said that an office of the chamber will soon be set up in India.last_img read more