Stripping down to Speedos lands Aussie group in hot water

first_img Share Stripping down to Speedos lands Aussie group in hot water The Canadian Press Posted by KUALA LUMPUR – A group of Aussies learned the hard way that being cheeky isn’t always the best idea.According to TravelTalk, a group of nine Aussies were arrested during a Formula One race in Kuala Lumpur after stripping down to Speedos emblazoned with the Malaysian flag. The men, reportedly aged between 25 and 29, were celebrating Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 Grand Prix win.Photographs of the scantily-clad revellers have surfaced on social media following the race on Sunday. Images show them standing in a circle, some with their pants round their ankles and others wearing none at all, waving an Australian flag above their heads.They were arrested on site, and were photographed looking despondent in front of a white bus under the watchful eye of Sepang police, reports The Daily Mail. The group is being investigated for ‘intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace’, which is a minor offence under Malaysian law.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthAn assistant police chief said the men will be remanded for four days, and did not rule out further action being taken against them.Malaysian social media users have lashed out against the men, calling their behaviour unacceptable. One Twitter user wrote, “Shame on those Aussies by doing this. So inappropriate.”center_img Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Tags: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Hurricane protection free with ACV until May 14

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Hurricane protection free with ACV until May 14 Posted by Share Travelweek Group center_img MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is offering free StormGuard protection to select destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, for bookings made by May 14.StormGuard allows clients to rebook their vacation package if the US National Hurricane Center declares a tropical storm warning within three days (72 hours) of scheduled departure. Protection typically costs $49 per person but for a limited time ACV is waiving the fee.“In the Caribbean, the summertime is typically known as hurricane season; however, StormGuard gives travellers peace of mind when booking their vacation with ACV,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, Air Canada Vacations. “Plus, the now waived fee will make it even easier for travel agents to add-on this protection plan to client bookings.”More information about StormGuard and applicable destinations is at aircanadavacations.com. Tags: Air Canada Vacations Wednesday, May 3, 2017 last_img read more

Striking Pearson ground crew vote against new offer

first_img Thursday, August 24, 2017 Tags: Toronto Pearson Airport, Travel Alert TORONTO — Striking ground crew workers at Canada’s busiest airport have voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest offer from their employer and will continue a four-week-long work stoppage.A spokesman for Teamsters Union Local 419 says the workers employed by Swissport vote 98% to reject a new contract after turning down an offer by a wide margin in late July.“The first offer was rejected by 95 per cent so this is actually a stronger rejection,” said union spokesman Christopher Monette.“Swissport’s second offer to our members was almost identical to the first one. All they did was change a few details.”About 700 cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, and other ground crew workers employed by Swissport at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport have been on strike since late July.Swissport services 30 airlines at the airport, including Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa. Air Canada and WestJet are not serviced by Swissport.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backThe ground crew strike has not significantly affected passengers, although the airport has been warning travellers that the labour disruption could affect some flights.Terms of the latest offer were not released but the company had said it was optimistic the workers would accept the deal.Their concerns have included pay and benefits cuts, scheduling issues, and what their union calls a lack of respect from Swissport managers.“We’re dealing with a company that is proposing and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results and that’s a slap in the face really to our workers,” said Monette.“This lack of respect was evident in the company’s first and second offers. They wanted to impose a three-year wage freeze on workers at the top of the wage scale. The problem is that’s actually the majority of workers at Swissport.” The Canadian Press Sharecenter_img Striking Pearson ground crew vote against new offer Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

The transaction is in the best interests of WestJet Onex deal will

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Onex Corporation, WestJet “The transaction is in the best interests of WestJet”: Onex deal will take WestJet private TORONTO — Remember back in 1999 when Onex Corporation wanted to merge Air Canada and Canadian Airlines in a $1.8 billion deal, only to have Air Canada emerge victorious with its $92 million acquisition of the struggling carrier? Well, Onex has made aviation headlines again with its proposed acquisition of WestJet in an all-cash deal worth $5 billion.Assuming the deal goes through, WestJet will operate as a privately-held company from late 2019 or early 2020 onwards.Under the terms of the agreement, Onex and its affiliated funds will acquire all outstanding shares of WestJet for $31 per share. The transaction value is approximately $5 billion including assumed debt.Toronto-based Onex is a private equity firm headed up by founder, chairman and CEO Gerry Schwartz.WestJet says it was approached by Onex in March 2019, at which point the WestJet board of directors formed a special committee of independent directors to provide the Board with its advice and recommendations with respect to the proposal from Onex and the transaction, and to supervise the negotiation of the terms and conditions of the transaction.After an extensive review of the proposed transaction, says WestJet, the special committee provided its unanimous recommendation of the transaction to the WestJet board of directors.The WestJet board of directors, having received and considered the recommendation of the special committee, determined that the transaction is in the best interests of WestJet and unanimously recommends that WestJet shareholders vote in favour of the transaction at the special meeting of shareholders to be held to approve the transaction.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThere’s been no shortage of interesting developments in Canada’s airline sector, as the news comes less than two weeks after Transat’s announcement that that it too is in acquisition talks. Transat’s talks are very early stages but speculation is running rampant about who the buyer, if any, will be.WestJet’s WestJet’s Founder and Chairman, Clive Beddoe, said in a statement released this morning: “Since our first flight in 1996, WestJet has been singularly focused on providing better options for the Canadian travelling public and this transaction retains that commitment. I am particularly pleased that WestJet will remain headquartered in Calgary and will continue to build on the success that our 14,000 WestJetters have created. Onex’s aerospace experience, history of positive employee relations and long-term orientation makes it an ideal partner for WestJetters, and I am excited about our future.”Ed Sims, WestJet’s President and Chief Executive Officer, added: “We are delighted to continue the journey of building an airline based on a growing network, providing competitive airfares and more choice to, from and within Canada, for communities large and small. Integral to this relationship is a commitment to our employees, and our unique ownership-driven culture.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTWestJet beat expectations with its latest quarter results, announced last week. While the airline faces challenges from the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max aircraft and slow demand for newcomer Swoop, WestJet’s Q1 revenue was up 5.5% year over year to $1.26 billion. The airline’s first-quarter profit was up more than 30% year over year.The transaction is to be completed by way of an arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta). Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including court and shareholder approval and receipt of certain regulatory approvals, including approval under the Canada Transportation Act.The approval under the Canada Transportation Act involves a determination by the Minister of Transport which entails an assessment of the public interest as it relates to national transportation.“WestJet is one of Canada’s strongest brands and we have tremendous respect for the business that Clive Beddoe and all WestJetters have built over the years. WestJet is renowned internationally for its unparalleled guest experience and employee culture,” says Tawfiq Popatia, a Managing Director at Onex. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with WestJetters and continuing this remarkable Canadian success story.” Monday, May 13, 2019 center_img Posted by Travelweek Group Sharelast_img read more

A Costa Rican touches the top of Mount Everest

first_imgNo related posts. Update:Warner Rojas and the other climbers in his team have all returned safely to Camp 4 on Mount Everest’s south face, after reaching the highest point in the world Thursday. Rojas is climbing with the Jagged Globe expedition company. An update on the company’s website Friday morning read: “At 0600 on 25 May; David Hamilton, Warner Rojas and Cian reach the summit of Mount Everest (8850m). They are accompanied by Mingma and Thundu Sherpa. It took these guys 9 hours and 45 minutes since leaving camp 4 and they climbed nearly 1000m in elevation. Warner becomes the first Costa Rican national to reach the top of the world. For David this is his 6th summit…”The team will rest and begin descending the mountain with aim of reaching Base Camp on Sunday.Warner Rojas is the first Costa Rican to have reached the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, on Thursday according to a Telenoticias 7 report.Rojas’s Facebook page erupted with congratulations after Telenoticias reported that a member of the 7-member expedition team carrying a satellite tracking device had reached Everest’s 8,848-meter-peak. Navsat, the company monitoring the team’s progress, posted on its Facebook page that the team reached the summit at 6:52 p.m. Thursday night, local San José time, which would have been just before 7 a.m. in Nepal. According to the Telenoticias report Rojas reached the peak second, behind team leader David Hamilton of the Jagged Globe expedition company.It remains unconfirmed that Rojas reached the summit, but Everest blogger and climber, Alan Arnette, reported that a climber from a separate party reached the summit at 4:45 a.m., Nepal Time, and that the Jagged Globe team was “close behind” and climbing in “good weather” with “no delays.”After reaching the summit Rojas and the rest of the team still face a long descent – what many consider to be the most dangerous part of the climb. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

White House names Democratic donor as nominee for ambassador to Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Talk of ‘Yankee imperialism’ rankles US Embassy in San José Dueling Anthems: ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ vs. ‘Hermosa Bandera’ Costa Rica not alone as it waits for a new US ambassador US ambassador to Costa Rica talks marijuana legalization, trade S. Fitzgerald Haney, President Obama’s pick for the next U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica. Courtesy U.S. Embassy in San JoséAfter more than a year without an ambassador in Costa Rica, the White House on Tuesday finally announced its choice to head the United States’ diplomatic mission here.The Obama administration named S. Fitzgerald Haney, an international businessman with experience in marketing, financial services and manufacturing in Latin America, as its pick for the next ambassador to Costa Rica. Most recently, Haney has been a principal and director of business development and client services for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Pzena Investment Management in New York City. He has held the position since 2007.Haney and his wife, Rabbi Andrea Haney, are prominent donors to U.S. President Barack Obama and other Democrats. Since 2008, Fitzgerald Haney has donated $84,303. Andrea Haney donated $192,252 to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and other Democratic candidates, according to Federal Election Commission records. Andrea Haney was the only one of the couple who gave directly to Obama, donating $4,506. She also contributed $62,00 to Obama political action committees (PACs).Fitzgerald Haney earned a Bachelor of Science in international economics and a Master of Science from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in international business and diplomacy. Haney has worked in Mexico, Brazil, Israel and Puerto Rico during his career, among other places. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and is conversant in French, according to a biography provided by the U.S. Embassy in San José.The nominee was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up outside Chicago in Naperville, Illinois. Fitzgerald and Andrea Haney live in Englewood, New Jersey, with their four children.Fitzgerald Haney must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee before he can assume the ambassadorship. The U.S. mission in Costa Rica has been headed by Chargé d’Affaires Gonzalo Gallegos since Ambassador Anne S. Andrew left the post more than a year ago. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US woman and 2 Ticos arrested at hydroponic marijuana operation

first_imgA 56-year-old U.S. woman and two Costa Ricans were arrested during a raid of a hydroponic marijuana laboratory in Coyol, Alajuela, the Public Security Ministry reported on Monday.Public Security Vice Minister Gustavo Mata told The Tico Times the pot-growing operation, found in a home near the Catholic Church in Coyol, was in the process of being dismantled when Drug Control Police raided the premises. The Costa Rican suspects were identified with the surnames Rodríguez, 28, and Chamorro, 43. The U.S. woman surnamed Dittrich is a Costa Rican resident.On Twitter, the ministry called the group a “narco clan”: Related posts:Costa Rican police arrest 2 US citizens linked to hydroponic marijuana operation Police arrest 2 US citizens on cocaine possession charges Ann Patton on her new trial: ‘It is my opportunity to finally, hopefully, get true justice’ Motorcycle duo shoots U.S. businessman in Escazú suburb of San José, Costa Rica But police found only one dry marijuana plant and 256 grams of processed marijuana at the lab. Authorities seized about $900 in cash, along with three vehicles, including a white truck purchased in the United States without plates.Besides cash and drugs, police reported the lab still had equipment to grow marijuana, including plant fertilizer, buckets and vacuum cleaners with marijuana residue. Facebook Commentscenter_img PCD decomisa artículos varios a narco clan familiar q tenía laboratorio d marihuana hidropónica en el Coyol, Alajuela pic.twitter.com/cm6F2YST5h— Seguridad Pública (@seguridadcr) September 1, 2014last_img read more

Haiti on the outside looking in at Star Wars delirium

first_imgRelated posts:‘The Salt of the Earth’ focuses on photographer Sebastião Salgado Hollande in Haiti to promise help from resented France The bloody origins of the Dominican Republic’s ethnic ‘cleansing’ of Haitians How the Clintons’ Haiti development plans succeed – and disappoint PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Without a single functioning movie theatre in their country, Haitians have been feeling left out in recent days, whilemuch of the rest of the world swoons over the latest “Star Wars” movie.The debut past this weekend of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a worldwide event — except in remote and impoverished corners of the globe like Haiti, where fans of the epic film franchise are out in the cold.“This is a situation which really brings me down,” said Vladimir Desir, 30, a long time Star Wars fan.“I may have to wait five or six months until they show it on television, since I don’t want to watch a poorly made pirated version,” he said.The seventh episode of this hit series has attained blockbuster status in its first weekend, with an estimated $238 million tickets sold in the U.S. and Canadian — a box office record — and more than a half-billion dollars worldwide.Haiti’s last cinema closed its doors in 2009, after failing to make a profit, in large part because of rampant film piracy.“This is a real problem that I regret on a personal level, but also for all the movie fans in this country, said Emelie Prophete, director of the Haitian Copyright Office, known under the French acronym BHDA.“The piracy problem is not specific to Haiti but pirate DVDs are even sold outside the presidential palace and other state institutions,” Prophete said. Haitian children play ball in the neighborhood of Nanboule, in Cite Soleil 17, Port-au-Prince, on May 30, 2015. Héctor Retamal/AFPThere was hope for a newly renovated theater, the Triumph, which reopened this past summer after being repaired to fix damage sustained in the 2010 earthquake. The theater so far has screen movies only sporadically, all of which have been domestic films.“Screenings of Star Wars at the Triomphe? I doubt it,” Prophete said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

VIDEO Keylor Navas save is Best of the Season in Spain

first_imgTico goalkeeper Keylor Navas continues his winning streak: the Spanish Football League, “La Liga,” has chosen one of his saves for Real Madrid as Best of the 2016-2017 Season.The save occurred during Real Madrid’s 2-0 away win against Málaga CF on May 21, a match where Navas blocked every chance Málaga created.The winning stop was a flying save to block a Sandro Ramírez free kick that seemed destined for the top right corner. Navas’ flight was so risky that after deflecting the ball, he struck the pole and had to receive medical assistance.The win allowed Real Madrid secure its 33th League Title, the first since the 2011-2012 season. Just days later, Navas and Real Madrid also took the UEFA Champions League by defeating Juventus 4-1.In 2014, when Navas was playing for Levante CF, La Liga chose Navas as the “Best Goalkeeper of the Season.” His outstanding work during that season earned him the contract with Real Madrid.Watch Keylor’s amazing Save of the Season 2016-2017:https://www.facebook.com/1887515864850886/videos/1900645480204591/ Related posts:Keylor Navas, Real Madrid clinch La Liga title in Spain Keylor Navas to bolster La Sele lineup for World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica Keylor Navas and Real Madrid beat Wolfsburg to classify for Champions League semifinals Costa Rican National Team to face former coach Jorge Luis Pinto at Gold Cup Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Liechtenstein rejects call to remove princes veto

first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? That would have made Alois the first prince to use his veto since his grandfather, Franz Joseph II, blocked a revision of the country’s hunting laws three decades ago. Hans-Adam II, Alois’ father, never exercised the right of veto.However, he did push through a new constitution in 2003 that gave the monarch greater powers, including to appoint judges and fire the government without reason.Alois rules the Alpine principality, which is wedged between Switzerland and Austria. Hans-Adam II remains head of state but has passed most of his powers to Alois.On Sunday, Hans-Adam said in a statement that the royal family “has taken note with joy and gratitude of the fact that a large majority of the population wants to continue the 300-year partnership between the people and the royal house which has been so successful.”(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 Comments   Share   Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img GENEVA (AP) – Voters in tiny Liechtenstein have soundly rejected a call to take away the ruling prince’s power to veto referendum results.Government figures showed that 76.1 percent of voters, or 11,629 people, rejected the initiative titled “Yes _ So that your vote counts” in a referendum Sunday. Turnout was 82.9 percent.Hereditary Prince Alois threatened to use his veto in September to block a plan to legalize abortion, but a majority voted against the change. The royal family could have vetoed having its power of veto voted down. Top holiday drink recipes Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Mumbai terror suspects taped voice comes to life

first_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ansari’s interrogation is expected to bolster the Indian government’s accusations _ and accepted as a fact by most ordinary Indians _ that Pakistan was behind the attack, the most brazen terrorist operation on India’s soil. His arrest is a rare piece of good news for a government reeling from economic and political troubles.“Clearly there was state support for the 26/11 massacre,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Friday.Indian investigators say Ansari has already told them that Pakistani intelligence officials were in the control room during the 60-hour siege _ corroborating testimony by American terrorist suspect David Coleman Headley, who said during his Chicago trial last year that Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence officials were involved.Ansari has also told investigators he fled India in 2006 across the border to Bangladesh, escaping from a police raid in the western Indian town of Aurangabad on an illegal cache of weapons and explosives intended for future attacks within India, the officials said.Ansari then moved to Pakistan, trained with Lashkar and joined in planning future attacks, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Pakistan insists that the ISI, as its intelligence agency is known, has no links to Lashkar, and denies any connection to the Mumbai attacks.The assault was like no other India had experienced. Bombs and grenades went off at the famed Taj Mahal and Trident hotels. Then, 10 trained Pakistani militants fanned out through the hotels and through the main train station and a Jewish cultural center and gunned down people in their paths.The attack went on for three days, as Indian police scrambled to keep up with the militants who were receiving detailed instructions by cell phone.Eventually all but one of the gunmen were killed. The survivor, Ajmal Kasab, told a special Indian court he and the others were tutored by a man named Abu Jindal on how to speak with a Hindi accent to avoid detection in India and confuse police about their origins.Police are now looking for a second man who is heard on the tape from the Karachi control room. That man, who police believe is Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group commander Muzammil Butt, based on testimony from other suspects, is heard cutting the attackers off as they exclaimed about the size of the television screens and the luxury fittings in the five-star hotels. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories ___You can reach Nirmala George at twitter.com/NirmalaGeorge1(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Associated PressNEW DELHI (AP) – The voice had long haunted Indian police investigating Mumbai’s deadly 2008 terrorist attack.They had repeatedly listened to a tape of cell phone intercepts containing chilling words from one of the men guiding 10 terrorists through the gun-blazing rampage that killed 166 people in India’s financial capital.“Pass this message to the media — `This is just the trailer; the real film is yet to come,’” the voice said. Anti-terror police engaged in one of India’s largest investigations had no idea who the man was, only that he had a Mumbai accent and used Hindi words unusual for Urdu speakers like the attackers on the ground.Police believe they finally have the man behind the disembodied voice after ferreting out the suspect from Saudi Arabia where he was hiding, according to officials close to the investigation. They say he had given himself away to the police by opening a Facebook account under his real name — Syed Zabiuddin Ansari.Ansari _ an Indian citizen whose aliases include Abu Humza, Abu Jindal and Abu Jundal _ was arrested at New Delhi airport on June 21 after Saudi Arabia agreed to hand him to Indian officials and put him on a flight home.Indian investigators told The Associated Press that Ansari was considered a key player in the Pakistan-based Islamic terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s plans for attacks on India. They say he was so central to the Mumbai attack plans he was among those giving orders by the minute to the attackers or directing them on their cell phones from a control room in Karachi, Pakistan during the Nov. 26-28 bloodbath.The investigators spoke on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing sensitive information. Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Indian investigators followed his electronic trail to Riyadh, and this week used voice recognition tests to match Ansari’s voice with the man on the tape. While the Hindi he spoke is similar enough to Urdu that speakers understand each other, there are many words that differ.The man recorded giving instructions to the attackers used a few Hindi words an Urdu speaker would not use, such as “prashasan” for “administration,” officials said. The Urdu word would be “intizamiya.”Investigators have sent the voice samples to a lab for further analysis, newspaper reports said.Saudi Arabia’s decision to hand Ansari over to India, rather than Pakistan, appeared to surprise Indian officials. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have long held close ties.Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin described the arrest as something “rather new” in Saudi-Indian relations. “Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is expanding in a variety of ways.”Analysts said Riyadh’s decision marked a significant shift.“It is a signal to Pakistan that it will get isolated if it thinks state sponsorship of terrorism can be a viable policy option,” said Ajit Doval, former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau. At one point, he is heard saying: “How hard is it to throw a grenade? Just pull the pin and throw it.”Investigators had been looking for Ansari for years after he was implicated by other suspects in the Mumbai attacks, but they never knew his exact role in the attack, said officials close to the investigation.India learned Ansari was living in Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport, officials said.Both India and Pakistan then began lobbying for his release into their custody, but India clinched the arrest by providing DNA samples from Ansari’s Indian family members, who live in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, the officials said.Intelligence agents are now interrogating Ansari in a secret location on the outskirts of New Delhi.Ansari told Indian investigators he had gone to Saudi Arabia on Lashkar’s orders to raise funds and recruit more Indians as militants. Investigators say Lashkar and Islamic militant groups routinely try to recruit Indians from among the two million Indians living in Saudi Arabia or the millions who visit the country to perform the Haj.He might have remained in the shadows had he not opened a Facebook account in his real name to find new recruits, the officials said. The Times of India reported last week that Ansari also used the account to contact Lashkar accomplices, who may have been under global scrutiny by intelligence agencies. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img

Brazil to invest 66 billion in roads railways

first_imgLondon-based consultancy Capital Economics called the measures “good news” in a research note, but added that “any impact will be felt over a period of years rather than months. We remain of the view that growth in the near-term is likely to disappoint.”Brazil’s richest man, billionaire Eike Batista who has direct interests in the infrastructure improvements with his commodity businesses, lavished praise on the project, which he dubbed a “kit for happiness.”O Globo newspaper quoted the steel, mining and energy magnate as saying the “mega-package is spectacular for Brazil.”___Associated Press writers Jenny Barchfield in Rio de Janeiro and Bradley Brooks in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “We’re starting an initial stage from which Brazil will emerge richer and stronger,” Rousseff said at a ceremony announcing the package, which comes as Brazil gears up to step into the world spotlight as the host of the 2014 soccer World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics. “Brazil will finally have an infrastructure that’s compatible with its size.”Brazil’s economy has performed well during the last decade, but that strong growth dropped off last year and the government forecasts growth this year at 2.5 percent. Private economists surveyed weekly by the Central Bank now expect growth around 1.8 percent this. Despite that, the nation has yet to widely feel the brunt of the crises that have hit Europe and the U.S. since 2008 _ Brazil’s unemployment remains at record lows.But experts say that transportation bottlenecks must be solved to assure long-term growth. The hurdles have long made it difficult to move Brazil’s massive amounts of commodities from far-flung fields and mines to foreign markets, stifling the potential of important export sectors. Brazil ranks far behind other big nations when it comes to infrastructure, with a recent global competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum ranking the country No. 104 out of 142 nations on the issue. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “Brazil still suffers from weaknesses that hinder its capacity to fulfill its tremendous competitive potential,” the report stated, adding that the “lagging quality of its overall infrastructure” is an area of “increasing concern.”Under the terms of the new program, the government will award private companies concessions for construction, maintenance and operation of the projects through a competitive bidding process _ an approach that was widely hailed by the business sector here. Officials said calls for offers would go out in the coming months, with projects awarded the lowest bidder.Clesio Andrade, head of the industry group the National Transport Confederation, praised Rousseff’s left-leaning administration for opening the investments up to the private sector.“It’s important that after more than 20 years, the government has left behind ideology and opened the projects to participation by private enterprise,” Andrade said. “That gives a lot of strength to the projects and will help generate more jobs.”Andrade added that his group had called for at least $200 billion in new infrastructure funding.“With these investments and those we’re expecting for ports and airports, we’ll approach that goal,” Andrade said, while forecasting Rousseff would soon announce $125 billion for other transport areas. Many observers cast the investments announced Wednesday as an alternative to the government’s strategy of trying to promote growth by fanning consumption, particularly by the tens of millions of people who have emerged from poverty and into the lower middle class during the past decade. With those consumers increasingly mired in debt, the government is looking to major public works projects instead, they said.Analyst Steven Bipes, a Rio-based senior advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group consultancy firm, also welcomed Rousseff’s announcement, which he said meets “the top-level area of dire need for investment _ logistics and transportation.”“The stimulus spending, because that’s what it is, is excellent, especially when complemented with medium- and long-term measures to address the underlying challenges,” including, he said, Brazil’s onerous tax regime and its expensive pension system. “It’s overall very positive because it takes an integrated approach to these issues, instead of dealing with them in an ad hoc fashion,” as Brazil has been wont to do in the past, he said.Still, some analysts cast doubt over whether the stimulus package would bear fruit in the short term. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Top Stories Comments   Share   Associated PressBRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a nearly $66 billion investment package on Wednesday to beef up the nation’s ailing road and rail systems, part of efforts to solve serious transportation bottlenecks and spur a sputtering economy.The investment includes laying 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of train tracks and building or widening 7,500 kilometers (4,660 miles) of federal highways. Rousseff said the government would soon announce other packages aimed at airports, ports and transportation on waterways, other areas where serious deficiencies are seen as hobbling the South American giant’s growth. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Brazil court upholds US pilots conviction no jail

first_img Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressSAO PAULO (AP) – The conviction of two American pilots for their role in a 2006 airline crash that killed 154 people was upheld by a Brazilian court Monday, but the three-judge panel ruled that the men do not need to spend a day in prison.The judges upheld a lower court ruling from last year that pilots Joseph Lepore of Bay Shore, New York, and Jan Paladino of Westhampton Beach, New York, were negligent for not verifying that anti-collision equipment and a device that would have alerted controllers to their location were functioning in the Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet they were flying. They have both denied that accusation. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Patients with chronic pain give advice 0 Comments   Share   Paladino also denied any responsibility for the crash.In 2010, a military court convicted air traffic controller Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos, an air force sergeant, to 14 months in jail for failing to take action when he saw that the Legacy’s anti-collision system had been turned off. Four other controllers were acquitted for lack of proof.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Last year, a lower court found the men guilty and sentenced them to more than four years in prison _ but that sentence was converted into community service work. Federal prosecutors and a victims’ family group appealed that ruling, arguing the men must serve time in prison because of the number of lives lost in the crash.On Monday, judges at a regional federal court in Brasilia ruled that the men do not need to perform community service. They also shortened their sentence to three years and one month _ but ruled the men could serve their sentence in an “open” regime, meaning under Brazilian law they need not step foot in prison, just occasionally check in with Brazilian authorities. The ruling can be appealed and prosecutors had earlier indicated that was likely if this ruling did not go their way.After hours calls to prosecutors’ offices were not returned. Calls to Theo Dias, a Brazilian lawyer for the American pilots, rang unanswered.The failures that led to the 2006 crash have been bitterly disputed by controllers, pilots, judges and aviation officials.The Americans’ business jet collided with a Boeing 737 operated by Gol Lineas Aereas, Intelligentes SA. The smaller plane, owned by Ronkonkoma, New York-based ExcelAire Service Inc., landed safely while the larger jet crashed into the jungle, killing all aboard.center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories It was Brazil’s worst air disaster until a jet ran off a runway less than a year later in Sao Paulo and burst into flames, killing 199 people.Lepore and Paladino faced charges in Brazil of negligence and endangering air traffic safety for allegedly flying at the wrong altitude and failing to turn on the aircraft’s anti-collision system. Last year, the judge convicted them of impeding the safe navigation of an airplane.Neither Lepore nor Paladino were in Brazil for the ruling. They have not returned to the South American nation since being allowed to leave about two months after the crash.In December 2008, a Brazilian air force report concluded that the U.S. pilots might have contributed to the crash by inadvertently turning off the plane’s transponder and collision-avoidance system. However, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board blamed the collision mostly on shortcomings in Brazil’s military-run air traffic control system.In videoconference testimony at the trial last year, the pilots denied any wrongdoing.“We knew that the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) and the transponder were on, but we had no indication that there was anything out there, no display, no warnings, no pop-ups,” Lepore testified at last year’s trial. “All we knew is that our transponder was working. If there was another plane out there it could have been their equipment that wasn’t working.” 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Obama gets taste of Thailand at Buddhist temple

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 “Yes! I saw him! And he was waving at us!” said 72-year-old American tourist Elizabeth Simon visiting Thailand with her 74-year-old sister. They were at the beach in Pattaya two hours away but rushed to Bangkok just to see him. “I’m so thrilled that he won the election. When we heard he was coming, we decided to get here.”Parts of the temple date to Thai King Rama I in the 1700s. The king’s ashes are kept beneath the pedestal of one of the huge seated Buddha statues in the complex, which is located along the banks of the Chao Phraya river near the Grand Palace. It is in the quiet, historic old quarter of Bangkok, outside the skyscraper-and-traffic clogged downtown.“It’s meaningful that Obama came straight to Wat Pho,” said Pradab Supradit, a 67-year-old Thai grandmother who took a bus, a river ferry and then walked up roads closed for security hoping to glimpse the man or just see his convoy. “It will bring him blessings because temples are at the center of Thai people’s hearts.”“I want to see him with my own eyes,” she said. “I like Obama because of his charisma and personality. He’s a smart guy. I love the way he talks.” ___Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker and Todd Pitman contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Observing traditional custom, Obama took off his shoes as a saffron-robed monk led him and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through the 18th century temple’s stoned paved compound of multi-colored spires and chapels with hundreds of gilded Buddha images.But the main attraction is the reclining Buddha statue that at 46 meters (150 feet) long, and 15 meters (50 feet) high, stretches half the length of a football field. The statue is made of bricks and plaster and covered in gold leaf with mother-of-pearl inlay decorating the feet.The visit was meant to give Obama a taste of Bangkok. But one thing Obama did not get to see as he sped through Bangkok was the city’s infamous traffic jams. All roads leading to Wat Pho and his other destinations were blocked and cleared of cars as part of security measures that included bomb squads and shutting the temple to the public hours in advance.Camera-clad tourists who came to visit the temple or glimpse the American leader were initially dismayed. They were kept hundreds of meters (yards) away as his armored Cadillac pulled to a stop inside a white tent erected at the temple’s entrance, which obscured him from sight.But those who waited an hour for his temple tour to end were elated. A smiling Obama waved from the backseat of his car, which drove slowly alongside cheering crowds as he headed to a royal audience with Thailand’s revered, ailing monarch, 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Sponsored Stories Associated PressBANGKOK (AP) – Leaving behind chants of “Obama, Obama” by adoring crowds on the streets, the president of the United States stepped into the serenity of Thailand’s most famous temple compound to marvel at its centerpiece _ a gigantic, golden statue of a reclining Buddha propped up on one elbow before passing into nirvana.The Temple of Reclining Buddha, formally known as Wat Pho, was the first stop on President Barack Obama’s Asian tour that will also take him to Myanmar and Cambodia. Obama arrived at the temple, one of Bangkok’s most famous tourist sites, straight from the airport after landing in Bangkok on Sunday. Visits to see the king and the Thai prime minister were saved for later.last_img read more

AlQaida leader not listed among dead from US Libya strike

first_img Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 A second statement from an umbrella group for militias called the Shura Council of Ajdabiya and its Surroundings also did not include Belmokhtar among the dead.Neither group directly denied Belmokhtar was killed.U.S. officials initially said they believed they hit their target, but later said assessments were still underway. A Libyan official said tests were needed to identify the dead, who numbered at least 17.Believed to be 43 years old, Belmokhtar fought in Afghanistan and was reported to have lost his eye in combat. He was one of a number of Islamist fighters who have battled Algeria’s government since the 1990s, later joining al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the group’s North Africa branch.He was also known as “Belaouer the One-Eyed,” ”Abou al-Abbes” and “Mr. Marlboro,” because he allegedly smuggled cigarettes through the Sahara and the Sahel region.He formed his own group and led the January 2013 attack on Algeria’s Ain Amenas gas complex that killed at least 35 hostages, including three Americans. He later emerged in Libya, and is believed to have been based in the western and southern parts of the country.The U.S. filed terrorism charges against Belmokhtar in connection with the Algeria attack. Officials have said they believe he remained a threat to U.S. and Western interests. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall This wanted poster from the website of the U.S. State Department’s Rewards For Justice program shows a mugshot of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, charged with leading the attack on a gas plant in Algeria in 2013 that killed at least 35 hostages, including three Americans. The U.S military said on Monday, June 15, 2015 it likely killed the al-Qaida-linked militant leader when it launched airstrikes in eastern Libya over the weekend. (U.S. State Department Rewards For Justice via AP) CAIRO (AP) — Al-Qaida and other militants in Libya on Tuesday released a list of names of those they say were killed in a U.S. airstrike over the weekend that does not include the raid’s main target, al-Qaida-linked commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar.The al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Shariah released a list of seven names of fighters and residents it said were killed in the “crusader American strike” in the eastern town of Ajdabiya. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Top Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipes In the airstrikes on Sunday, two F-15 fighter jets launched multiple 500-pound bombs, a U.S. official said. Authorities say no U.S. personnel were on the ground for the assault.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Afghan court cancels death sentences in mob killing of woman

first_imgNajibullah said quashing the death sentences “is the decision of Afghanistan’s corrupt judicial system.” He said he still had faith in the government, but said that “if justice doesn’t happen then we will leave the judgment to the Afghan nation and to the whole world.”___Associated Press writer Amir Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home A makeshift shrine with a green flag of martyrdom was erected at the spot on the riverbank where her body was dumped. The attack was filmed by many in the mob, and the footage widely distributed on social media.At the murder trial, the four men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Charges against 18 men were dropped for lack of evidence, and eight others were sentenced to 16 years in prison. Of 19 policemen charged with dereliction of duty, eight were acquitted due to lack of evidence, and 11 were sentenced to one year in prison. Last month, the Appeals Court upheld a decision to release 37 defendants ahead of their appeals.Human rights activist Ramin Anwari said the government had given in to conservative clerics, many of whom had said the attack would have been justified if Malikzada had desecrated a Quran.“If these people are sentenced to death in a case that appears to hinge on the burning of a Quran, then people will think twice in the future about taking such actions against people who act against religion — in which case rule of law will have won. They don’t want that,” he said.While Rula Ghani, the wife of President Ashraf Ghani, has said that the case highlights the violence at the heart of Afghan society after more than three decades of war, the government has largely remained silent. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan court has overturned the death sentences for four men convicted of taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine, a judge said Thursday.Three of the men convicted of the murder of Farkhunda Malikzada in March were instead given 20-year sentences, and the fourth was sentenced to 10 years, said Appeals Court Judge Abdul Nasir Murid.The ruling was made in a closed-door hearing on Wednesday and first reported by the independent Tolo TV. Tolo said the court acquitted the peddler at the shrine who allegedly incited the mob by falsely accusing Malikzada of burning a Quran. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Word of the court’s decision outraged her family, which has no legal representation in the case and had not been directly informed of the change in sentencing.“The verdict of 20 years means freedom, it means they will be released. We want the earlier decision for the death penalty,” Malikzada’s brother Najibullah, 37, told The Associated Press.Lawmakers and activists also criticized the decision, saying the court had bowed to the conservative religious establishment and failed to uphold the rule of law.“This is against the constitution. The courts should be open to the public, and this closed-door hearing undermines the credibility of the sentences,” said Shukria Barakzai, a lawmaker and women’s rights advocate.“Farkhunda’s case does not just belong to her family anymore, it belongs to all the people of Afghanistan who need assurance that they can have confidence in the law, in the rule of law.”The mob killing led to calls for reform of the judicial system — long plagued by corruption, partisanship and incompetence — and stronger protection for women from violence.After the peddler at the Shah-Du Shamshira shrine falsely accused Malikzada of burning a Quran, a mob attacked her as police watched. After punching, kicking and beating her with wooden planks, the crowd threw her from a roof, ran over her with a car and crushed her with a block of concrete. They then set her body alight on the bank of the Kabul River. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Four benefits of having a wireless security system Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Sydney big player in business event market

first_imgSydney will see over 211,200 delegate days spent in the harbour city in 2012, as Business Event Sydney (BESydney) secures an estimated $191 million worth of conferences, congress and incentive programs.Ranging from small incentive groups and mid-sized congress to international mega events, BESydney is bracing for a bumper year for the business events industry in Sydney.The strong pipeline of business shows Sydney remains a big player in the global business events market, with BESydney Acting Chief Executive Officer Lyn Lewis-Smith saying the economic and social legacies of these events will be substantial.“Some of these bids were secured by Business Events Sydney over five years ago! Seeing all the cogs in motion – all our Ambassadors, stakeholders, strategic partners and government supporters – working together to make these events a success is going to be fantastic, and an opportunity to profile why the Sydney event experience is like no other,” Ms Lewis-Smith said. March is a popular month with a total of 9,500 delegates spending over 39,700 delegate days in Sydney attending BESydney secured events.Some events include the XVI International Symposium on Atherosclerosis, USANA Asia Pacific Convention and Tupperware Indonesia Manager’s Incentive Trip. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Report Aussie travellers are culture junkies

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Sightseeing holidays outranking beach breaks for Australians. Image: wallpaperswide.com Exploration, understanding and education were identified as important for Australians when travelling at home or abroad, new research has revealed.Guest loyalty program Hilton HHonors’ new travel preferences survey identified that 38 percent of Australians would rather enjoy cultural activities when holidaying while only 22 percent would opt to visit the beach.Exploring the Egyptian Pyramids topped the list as the most appealing travel activity with 43 percent of respondents wishing to explore the mammoth structures.Niagara Falls garnered 37 percent of the vote, while trekking the Great Wall of China amassed 30 percent and summiting the Eiffel Tower took a significant 28 percent.A meagre 5 percent of Australians selected running with the bulls at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain as a must-do lifetime accomplishment.The survey confirmed Australians prefer English-speaking destinations, with the U.S. leading the charge at 36 percent, followed by England and New Zealand as top holiday spots.Gen Y respondents (18-29 years) seemed to agree, voting the U.S. as the most appealing, while Ireland was favoured by baby boomers.Aussies still enjoy a good holiday, 76 percent of survey respondents taking at least one annual holiday and 48 percent snagging two or more trips each year.“As a brand that is passionate about creating experiences worth sharing, it is great to see that Australians see culture as such a priority for their travels” Hilton Worldwide executive vice president Jeff Diskin said.The release of the survey results coincided with the recent launch of Hilton’s ‘Any Weekend, Anywhere’ sale; encouraging travellers to make the most of their weekends in 2013.last_img read more

Holland America Lines new vice president for marketing

first_imgMark Kammerer has been named vice president, international marketing and sales for Holland America Line and Seabourn.In his new role, he will be responsible for the companies’ sales offices in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia, as well as Holland America Line and Seabourn’s growing international business.Holland America Line’s senior vice president, global marketing and sales, Joe Slattery has said that he is excited about the knowledge Mr Kammerer brings to the company.“Mark brings incredible knowledge and experience to this position, and his expertise supports the continued growth in our international presence, Mark has proven himself to be a creative thinker and inspiring leader, and I look forward to working with him,” Mr Slattery said.In his previous positions at Holland America Line, Kammerer was responsible for marketing and North American sales, as well as worldwide cruise marketing and prior to joining the cruise line, Kammerer worked at several leading travel industry organisations.Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to 415 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies and include a wide variety of itineraries.The line currently has a new 2,650-guest ship, ms Koningsdam, on order for delivery in February 2016 from from Fincantieri shipyard.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Travel Counsellors use annual conference as a springboard to go from G

first_imgTravel Counsellors use annual conference as a springboard to go from Good to GreatTravel Counsellors use annual conference as a springboard to go from Good to GreatFocusing on taking the brand from ‘Good to Great’, the annual conference for Travel Counsellors Australia kicks off today. Running from May 20-22, the conference program includes an inspiring mix of influential guest speakers and presenters and will be attended by Travel Counsellors agents from all over Australia, special guests from the Travel Counsellors management team located in both Australia and the United Kingdom, head office staff and trusted suppliers, sponsors and partners, including headline sponsor Travelport.With the Gold Coast’s luxurious Palazzo Versace chosen as the venue for the conference, this highly anticipated event is the biggest event of the year for Travel Counsellors Australia. With Travel Counsellors agents operating from home offices located all over Australia, this conference gives the network of home working agents a chance to connect with each other and head office staff in person. It also gives suppliers and partners a chance to meet and mingle with agents and head office staff, share ideas and celebrate in each other’s continued success.Taking the Travel Counsellors brand from ‘Good to Great’ is the focus of the conference and with inspiring guest speakers sharing their knowledge over the course of the weekend, the team are guaranteed to receive plenty of motivation and inspiration. A gala dinner, awards presentation and range of speeches and workshops ensures the weekend will be a fun, informative one.David Hughes, Managing Director of Travel Counsellors Australia believes that this year’s conference will be Travel Counsellors’ best yet. “I’ve been looking forward to this event for many months now. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the Travel Counsellors family to get together to celebrate our shared success and plan for the future. With directors from the UK visiting, it gives us an opportunity to share with them how well we are performing and introduce them to the incredible team we’ve built in Australia. As the theme of the conference is going from ‘Good to Great’, we’re all keen to learn how to build on the success of what we’ve created. Collectively, Travel Counsellors agents and head office staff want to continue to offer something special to our clients and take our business to new heights in the future. This conference is an important part of our growth plan, as we’ll be celebrating our significant achievements as well as setting clear intentions for where we want to be in the years to come,” comments David.About Travel Counsellors: Travel Counsellors Australia was established in 2007 and currently has over 135 Travel Counsellors. Our head office in Australia is in Melbourne. Travel Counsellors Australia is accredited with ATAS. Travel Counsellors is the world’s largest home-based travel company. Founded in 1994 it currently has 1,500 travel consultants who work from home with the support of over 350 staff at the company’s UK headquarters and overseas offices. The company operates in Australia, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, UAE and Belgium. Become a Travel Counsellorjoin by clicking here Source = Travel Counsellors Australialast_img read more