Abu Dhabi looks to the trade to promote and sell Expo 2020

first_imgTags: Abu Dhabi, UAE Share << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Abu Dhabi hopes to reach 25 million visits during Expo 2020 and says success for the global event won’t be possible without the help of travel agents around the world.The Abu Dhabi team was at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Montreal on Monday (attended by Travelweek’s sister publication,ProfessionVoyages.com) and in Toronto yesterday to promote the destination and its assets. Front and centre for both presentations was the blockbuster flagship event coming up for the UAE: Expo 2020. It kicks off Oct. 20, 2020 and runs through April 10, 2021 and will occupy a 1,083-acre site between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The event is the perfect occasion to visit the UAE’s beautiful cities, including its capital, Abu Dhabi, say organizers.Abu Dhabi has it all: desert, modernity and authenticity. Abu Dhabi is a city where traditions and modernity mingle together, with a location that’s right next to the desert. The city is less extravagant than Dubai but it still knows how to impress its visitors.The Abu Dhabi palaceIndeed, it’s an “extraordinary destination, with diverse landscapes,” says Natia Kvachadze, of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi. “It’s a city full of culture and history and business opportunities. We have more than 200 islands. A few kilometres away from the city, there are charming villages and authentic hotels such as the Babl Al Qasr, Jumeirah, Qasr Al Sarab and Emirates Palace by Kempinski.”A room with a desert view at the Qasr Al Sarab hotelQasr Al Sarab, part of Anantara Hotels and Resorts and the NH Hotel Group, is two hours away from Abu Dhabi by car or 50 minutes away by helicopter and offers luxury lodging in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. There are sand dunes looming up to 656 feet high all around the hotel.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesAbu Dhabi is not only a big city with lots of cultural and historical attractions, it’s also ideally situated right next to the beauty of the desert. Visitors can have a lot of fun in Abu Dhabi too; it’s the home of the world’s first Ferrari-brand theme park, an award-winning waterpark and the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park, which opened last summer.What’s new in Abu Dhabi? There’s Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace that just opened to visitors. There’s also Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi. It reopened in December 2018.Abu Dhabi is also popular for cruises and boasts a new permanent cruise terminal at Zayed Port.The site for Expo 2020Meanwhile Expo 2020 will offer no less than 60 live events every day for six months, with the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Many Canadians remember Montreal’s ‘Man and His World’ Expo ’67 as one of the defining moments in this country’s history. At Expo 2020 in the UAE, visitors can discover the whole world in one place.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Expo 2020 will have the capacity to welcome up to 275,000 visitors per day. In total, some 25 million visits are expected over the six months of Expo 2020, and 70% of them will be international visitors.With a major event like Expo 2020 comes a lot of infrastructure, and work is well underway. A brand new metro station, Route 2020, will open for the occasion and will connect directly to the site in 20 minutes from Dubai Marina.Some 190 countries are already confirmed to participate in the Expo. Ticket prices are currently pegged at $31. Admission will be free for seniors.How to get there? Etihad Airways, one of the partners taking part in this week’s events with Abu Dhabi, is the national airline of the UAE. Some 18.6 million people flew with the airline in 2017. Etihad has increased its frequency on its Abu Dhabi-Toronto route, from three times a week to five times a week. For people flying from other Canadian cities, Etihad Airways has codeshare agreements with WestJet and Air Canada.A webinar titled ‘Abu Dhabi: Maximizing Experiences and Your Returns’ is scheduled for June 27. For details see https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/18176426012359171. Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Abu Dhabi looks to the trade to promote and sell Expo 2020 in the UAE Wednesday, June 19, 2019 last_img read more

Flamingo Potrero News

first_imgNo related posts. In celebration of Costa Rica’s Independence Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, the Club de Niños Committee of Potrero will sponsor two community events. Following a morning parade by the Potrero elementary school band, the committee will serve typical Costa Rican dishes in the plaza. Costa Rican historical memorabilia will also be on display.At 1 p.m., the committee will host a Bingo game in the Salón Comunal of Potrero. Prizes include small household electronics, gift baskets and cash. Food and beverages also will be available for purchase. The cost is ₡2,000 ($4) per game, and proceeds benefit the Club de Niños of Potrero. For more information, contact Lindsay, director of Abriendo Mentes, at 8704-3830.At the Flamingo Beach Hotel there is a small kiosk on the south side of the hotel, facing the beach by Playa Vida Costa Rica. It now offers local water sports such as paddle boarding, jet skis, boogie boards, kayaking and snorkeling, ATV tours, banana boat rides and beach equipment rentals. For more info, call 2654-4444 ext. 3301.Ever heard of “snooba diving?” It’s a rather new concept that’s all about shallow-water diving. The system was developed to bridge the gap between snorkeling and scuba diving. There is no safer, easier or more enjoyable way to experience the thrill and wonder of breathing underwater. Snooba does not involve the bulky equipment, intensive training, and certification associated with scuba diving. It is a great way to have a safe and fun adventure with the entire family (suitable for 8 years and up). For more info, check out Snoobavida Adventures at 2654-5961 or 8817-8347.Mar y Sol Restaurant in Flamingo is closing Sept. 1 for the green season and will reopen in November. –Babe Hopkinstbabehopkins@gmail.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Seeing stars at the San José Planetarium

first_imgThe San José Planetarium (Planetario de San José), which belongs to the University of Costa Rica, is located 400 meters north from Muñoz y Nanne shopping center or 500 meters east from Radio Universidad, Montes de Oca, San Pedro. The following activities will be held at the planetarium in the coming weeks:Free activitiesSeminars on topics such as the Milky Way, the Sun, the ISON comet, and Gamma Ray Telescopes, Sat., April 20, starting at 11 a.m. (in Spanish) Solar Clocks: learn to build a solar clock with accessible materials, ideal for children and their parents, includes materials, every Saturday, 2-5 p.m., ¢15,000. Star gazing with a telescope every Tues.-Thurs., 6-7 p.m.New 2013 WorkshopsAstronomy: learn about the universe’s spheres in the projection room, includes materials, Mondays and Fridays, 5-7 p.m., ¢30,000. Eclipse: children and their parents learn how and why eclipses occur for both the moon and the sun, includes materials, Saturdays (date to be set), ¢15,000. Telescopes: Have a telescope but don’t know how to use it? Do you want to buy one? This workshop will teach you all about telescopes, from their development to how to use them correctly, includes materials and telescope practice,four-day course (date to be set), ¢15,000.Usual activities(Spanish) documentaries on celestial bodies from Tues.-Thurs., costs ¢2,300. For more informationContact info@planetario.ucr.ac.cr or call 2511-2580Websites: http://planetario.ucr.ac.cr/ & https://www.facebook.com/planetariodesanjose Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Brazils feud with US on spying raises tensions at UN

first_imgNo related posts. UNITED NATIONS — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her role as the first speaker at the United Nations General Assembly to call alleged U.S. spying on her government and citizens an “affront” to Brazil’s sovereignty.“Never can the sovereignty of one country suffer under the sovereignty of another country,” Rousseff, 65, said Tuesday. “Never can the rights to security of the citizens of one country be guaranteed by violating the fundamental human rights of the citizens of another country.”Rousseff spoke immediately before U.S. President Barack Obama and one week after she called off a state visit to Washington — which would have been the first for a Brazilian head of state since 1995. The cancellation stemmed from espionage allegations based on documents from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.As the possibility of a greeting between Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dominates news about the opening of the General Assembly session, tensions with Brazil over alleged NSA spying are among other challenges including Syria confronting Obama and the United States as world leaders gather in New York.“There’s this huge question of Syria and the murder of 120,000 people,” said David Schenker, the director of the program on Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “That’s been overshadowed by the Rohani love fest.”Revelations about NSA surveillance against both Brazil and Mexico, Latin America’s biggest economies, have chilled relations and may prompt a U.S. response, said Carl Meacham, director of the Americas program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington policy group.“These are obviously countries that are influential,” Meacham said in a telephone interview. “A lot of people think the president may actually address some of these concerns” by speaking with Rousseff, or by having Secretary of State John Kerry meet with his Brazilian counterpart.The U.S. also has yet to say whether it will grant a visa for travel to the U.N. gathering by Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir. The International Criminal Court is seeking Bashir’s arrest and trial on charges of war crimes in Darfur.Beyond negotiations with Russia on plans to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and convene peace talks, progress on resolving the Syrian civil war, at this point, requires addressing discontent by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies that back the opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Schenker said.“The Gulf is apoplectic with the U.S. policy on Syria,” he said. “I don’t know how much of it we’re going to see, but there will be side meetings.”Stumbling blocks with Russia persist over whether a U.N. resolution should include a provision allowing the use of force to ensure resolutions are followed, said a U.S. State Department official who asked to not be identified citing policy.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kerry are scheduled to meet today and U.S. officials said they will wait to see what gaps remain after their discussion. Later this week, Kerry is to meet again with Lavrov, U.N. special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, and representatives of other countries that support the Syrian opposition.The absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in New York means there will be “fewer opportunities for leaders to put pressure on Russia and China over their behavior over Syria,” Richard Gowan, associate director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, said yesterday by e-mail.“Leaders will doubtless make many emotional promises to increase humanitarian assistance to suffering Syrians, but experience shows that these high-profile pledges often go unfulfilled,” Gowan added.More than 100,000 people have died since the turmoil in Syria broke out in March 2011, with millions displaced internally and spilling into neighboring Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, threatening their economic stability, according to UN data. UN organizations have appealed for more financial support, saying they have received only 40 percent of the $4.4 billion they need to help the Syrian people.With assistance from Bill Faries in Miami. © 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Details of Salvadoran castaways Marshalls arrival emerge

first_imgMAJURO, Marshall Islands – Fresh details have emerged of castaway José Salvador Alvarenga’s first encounter with other people after months at sea – including how Marshall Islands residents communicated with him in broken Spanish learned from popular children’s television show “Dora the Explorer.”Until now, little has been known about the Salvadoran’s arrival on far-flung Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where he landed two weeks ago after setting sail from Mexico on a fishing trip in December 2012. Only a single telephone services the Pacific outpost.But Ebon Mayor Ione de Brum revealed to AFP that Alvarenga “managed to swim his boat ashore” on the night of Jan. 29 after a 12,500-kilometer (8,000-mile) journey.Exhausted, he fell asleep on a deserted beach to be awoken the next morning by roosters crowing.Unknown to the 37-year-old, he had washed up at the tip of Ebon, the southern-most atoll in the Marshalls.A U.S. study at the University of Hawaii of the prevailing wind and current conditions has supported his tale of survival, with a model tracing a remarkably narrow path across the Pacific to pass within 120 miles of Ebon.“He was at the tip of the island where it’s uninhabited, but from that vantage point he would easily see the single house on the neighboring island across the pass,” said de Brum.The two coconut-forested coral islands are just a stone’s throw away and “people can yell back and forth between these two,” she said.Alvarenga did just that after the sunrise let him see where he was.Holding a knifeAmy Libokmeto and Russell Laijedrik, the only two residents on the tiny island of Eneaitok, said they heard shouting and spotted Alvarenga on the neighboring atoll’s beach.They were likely the first humans he had seen for months. He left southern Mexico on what was supposed to be a one-day fishing expedition with a companion – who, after weeks adrift, died of starvation and was tossed overboard.Alvarenga was frantically yelling in an incomprehensible language and waving his arms in the air while holding a knife, Libokmeto told AFP.“We weren’t scared, just surprised,” she said.“As we approached him, I used broken English and motioned to the knife and told him, ‘put away, put away.’” A man reads a newspaper with the a picture of castaway José Salvador Alvarenga on the front page, in Santa Tecla, El Salvador on Feb. 12, 2014. Johan Ordóñez/AFPWith long hair, a bushy beard and dressed only in his shredded underwear, Alvarenga immediately dropped the weapon.“He gave in to his weakened state and collapsed onto the beach,” Libokmeto said.It was obvious to the couple that he must have washed ashore. The entire atoll has fewer than 700 residents, most of whom are related by blood or marriage to Libokmeto and Laijedrik.They said they took him to their home, where Libokmeto prepared a bucket of fresh water so he could have his first proper wash in over a year, then gave him clothes to wear.Spanish learned from ‘Dora’Unable to communicate verbally as he spoke Spanish and they did not, the couple gave Alvarenga some paper and a black marker while Libokmeto whipped up pancakes, which the hungry man devoured.Laijedrik took his notes and crossed the reef to the main Ebon island, where he sent a young boy to get the local mayor de Brum and then retrieved Alvarenga’s boat.De Brum quickly rounded up the island’s health assistant, her chief of police and Ola Fjeldstad, a visiting Norwegian student anthropologist and the only other foreigner on Ebon.They grabbed some coconuts and bananas and rushed to meet the stranger, giving him a brief health check while checking his 24-foot boat, whose motor had long since died.“In the boat was a live bird tethered by its leg, bird scraps, bones, feathers and a small turtle shell,” de Brum said.The mayor discovered that her son had a few words of Spanish “learned from the ‘Dora the Explorer’ cartoon show his children used to watch”, and with the pictures Alvarenga drew a basic understanding of where he came from emerged.Alvarenga said he survived on a diet of raw bird flesh, turtle blood, his own urine, rainwater and dreams of eating his favorite food – tortillas. The turtle shell was used as a cup to drink.The castaway was starving, but it wasn’t just food he was hungry for.“He was so hungry to give us information he kept talking fast but we couldn’t understand him,” said the mayor, adding that she initially refused to allow him to use the island’s phone.“He wanted to contact his family but I was concerned because we were unsure of who he was, his motives or if he had other friends (on ships nearby) that he would alert – I just did not know and did not want to risk it,” she said.Instead she contacted the police and ministry of foreign affairs in the Marshalls capital Majuro.The Salvadoran remained on Ebon for five days until a government patrol boat took him to Majuro, from where he eventually left for El Salvador and an emotional family reunion.He gifted his boat to Libokmeto and Laijedrik. It is now being used to carry cargo and passengers on Ebon. Facebook Comments Related posts:Castaway from El Salvador back home after saying he spent 13 months in the Pacific Ocean Emotional Salvadoran shipwreck survivor meets dead mate’s kin First death from chikungunya virus reported in Nicaragua Costa Rica to host third International Sustainable Building Congresslast_img read more

Admiring a Caribbean sunset at Playa Negra

first_imgA sunset last week on the southern Caribbean beach of Playa Negra. The beach by the coastal town of Puerto Viejo is an inviting vacation spot during tourist season. Facebook Comments Related posts:14 photos of Cahuita’s 2nd International Calypso Festival Presidents Obama, Solís meet in New York 11 aerial photos from Nature Air’s new flight to Limón Costa Rica’s Supreme Court tells Talamanca: You can’t declare environmentalist expats ‘personas non grata’last_img

Finalists for World Cups Golden Glove award Costa Ricas Keylor Navas Germanys

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica star Keylor Navas will sign with Real Madrid, says Spain’s national sports paper VIDEO: World Cup 2014 Retrospective! Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas up for challenge after Madrid move Costa Rican prosecutors, judicial police under investigation for alleged use of police database to probe personal information of superstar goalie Keylor Navas Costa Rica’s stud goalie Keylor Navas is one of three candidates nominated for the World Cup’s best goalie award. But for him to win, the World Cup final needs to see lots of goals scored.FIFA announced today that Navas and both keepers in Sunday’s championship — Germany’s Manuel Neuer and Argentina’s Sergio Romero — are the finalists for the Golden Glove award.Navas was crucial to Costa Rica reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time in the country’s history. He fended off several close-range shots against Greece in the Round of 16 to force penalty kicks. His stop of Theofanis Gekas’ penalty allowed the Ticos to advance to the quarterfinals. The keeper made several life-saving stops for La Sele against the Netherlands, before the Dutch finally eliminated Navas and Costa Rica.The 27-year-old Tico had 21 saves in five matches, and received the Man of the Match Award three times during the tournament. He only allowed two goals throughout the entire World Cup — one on a penalty against Uruguay and a second in injury time against Greece.However, Germany’s Neuer is the current favorite to take home the Golden Glove. He’s made 25 saves in six matches, though he’s also given up four goals (that’s twice as many goals as Navas). Still, if Neuer earns his fourth shutout of the tournament in the final, he’ll likely earn the Golden Glove.If Argentine Romero can slow down the high-scoring Germans, then he’ll become the leading candidate to win the Golden Glove. Argentina only has given up three goals during the tournament. In the semifinals, Romero made two saves in penalty kicks to take out the Dutch.Navas fans should be rooting for a final where both Argentina and Germany have no trouble finding the back of the net. The more goals scored, the better chance Navas has of overcoming the two talented goalkeepers squaring off Sunday.Many considered Neuer the world’s best goalkeeper at the start of the competition. In an odd twist, Navas’ strong play could lead to the Tico backing up Neuer for Germany’s powerhouse club Bayern Munich. The German champions are in negotiations to purchase Navas’ contract from his Spanish club Levante. The move would give Navas a multimillion dollar pay raise, but also likely would force him to the bench for most of the season since he’d only receive sparing starting opportunities over Neuer. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Obama admits US underestimated IS threat

first_imgRelated posts:Islamic State terrorists talked of entering U.S. through Mexico Obama: Expand effort against Islamic State US expands airstrikes into Syria to hit Islamic State Obama cannot keep ignoring Bashar Assad in Syria WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama admitted Sunday that the United States had underestimated the opportunity that a collapsing Syria would provide for jihadist militants to regroup and stage a sudden comeback.Speaking to CBS News, the president said that former Al-Qaeda fighters driven from Iraq by U.S. and local forces had been able to gather in Syria to form the newly dangerous Islamic State group.A U.S.-led coalition of Arab and Western allies has begun an air campaign to counter the group, hitting targets in Iraq and Syria, which Obama called “ground zero for jihadists around the world.”“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Obama said, referring to his director of national intelligence.Asked whether Washington has also overestimated the ability or will of Iraq’s U.S.-trained military to fight the jihadists on its own, Obama said: “That’s true. That’s absolutely true.”The U.S. leader made his comments in an interview with the “60 Minutes” news show taped on Friday.Obama said IS propagandists have become “very savvy” in their use of social media, and had lured new recruits “who believed in their jihadist nonsense” from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from Muslim majority countries.The U.S. president said that part of the solution would be for Syria and Iraq to resolve their domestic political crises.An enduring solution, Obama said, would require “a change in how not just Iraq, but countries like Syria and some of the other countries in the region, think about what political accommodation means.”He added: “The Iraqis have to be willing to fight. And they have to be willing to fight in a nonsectarian way — Shia, Sunni, and Kurd — alongside each other against this cancer in their midst.”Obama said some countries in the region “have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they’re Shia or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job.”He made his remarks as U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq aimed to deny the IS group vital territory and resources.“We are assisting Iraq in a very real battle that’s taking place on their soil, with their troops,” Obama said.“It is in our interest to do that, because ISIL represents sort of a hybrid of not just the terrorist network, but one with territorial ambitions, and some of the strategy and tactics of an army,” he said.Iraq has remained divided since the departure of U.S. troops, with the Sunni population alienated by the authoritarian Shiite-led government, and Syria has been in full-blown civil war since 2011.“This is not America against ISIL,” Obama said. “This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they are able to take care of their business.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Fight over shrimp trawling continues in legislature

first_imgWith the start of the new legislative session last week, the government has resumed a battle in the environmental commission over a controversialshrimp trawling bill. The bill, which was drafted and submitted by the executive branch, would allow shrimp trawlers to renew their licenses under certain sustainability criteria.In accordance with a 2013 ruling by the Constitutional Court, or Sala IV, shrimp trawling will be phased out by 2019 unless the bill passes.The bill was introduced earlier this year but stalled in commission in March, prompting the government to pull it before it could be rejected. The commission will now hear from fishing experts, environmental groups and biologists before a final vote to either kill the bill or send it to the full Legislative Assembly for discussion.Among the first to appear before the commission were environmental groups opposed to the law. “We are fighting against a government that is determined to reinstate shrimp trawling,” said Jorge Jiménez, the regional director of MarViva, an environmental group that opposes the bill. “We don’t know what is going to happen.”Initially, lawmakers viewed the bill as a direct violation of the Sala IV’s ruling, which found that shrimp trawling violated Costa Ricans’ right to a clean environment. The government asked lawmakers to reconsider the bill, claiming it complies with the ruling by setting sustainability requirements.Gustavo Meneses, president of the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA), said opposition to the bill on environmental grounds is unfounded.“I don’t know if it is because of misinformation or prejudice that environmentalists are so opposed to the bill,” Meneses said. “Environmentalists are saying that this is a law that is going to give out licenses without studies and that is a huge lie. The spirit of the law is to have scientific measures that can’t be changed in the future due to political interests.”While the bill does not set any specific requirements for shrimp trawlers, it creates a basic framework for defining what the government would consider sustainable. According to Meneses, zoning studies are underway to determine which types of fishing, including shrimp trawling, are appropriate for which areas. He said the government has also been working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since July to study ways to reduce bycatch, or species that get unintentionally caught in trawling nets.Despite these assurances, many groups say that no amount of technological advancement could make shrimp trawling sustainable. Friday, the University Committee of Costa Rica’s National University (UNA), submitted a letter to the Legislative Assembly opposing the bill.The University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Sciences Investigation Center (CIMAR) and a number of groups representing small fisherman have also voiced their opposition.Though different sectors remain deeply divided on the question of shrimp trawling’s sustainability — in part because there is not yet an official definition of a sustainable fishery in Costa Rica — these opinions are ultimately subjective. According to Carlos Fuentevilla, the coordinator of an FAO-sponsored project on shrimp trawling, many countries are able to reduce bycatch to a point that they consider sustainable.“Each country is different, but we can get a country to a point that they are using the best practices,” Fuentevilla said. “Ultimately, it will be up to Costa Rica to determine what they consider sustainability.”Whether that determination will fall to the legislature or the courts is yet to be determined. While the Sala IV found that the amount of bycatch and the damage to the ocean floor caused by trawling made it unconstitutional, the ruling did not give specific targets for what the court would consider sustainable.Despite the ambiguity, at the end of last month a lower court interpreted the Sala IV ruling to mean all shrimp trawling is unsustainable. It threw out a 2013 INCOPESCA regulation that allowed trawlers into an environmentally sensitive fishing area.Because of gray areas, even if the shrimp trawling bill passes the Assembly, it will need to go to the Sala IV for review. The court will then decide if the bill violates its previous ruling.According to Meneses, this process could take years. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica declines to vote on shark protections at international convention Fishackathon invites conservation-minded techies to help solve overfishing Winners of Costa Rica Fishackathon create tool to help track fuel subsidies for fishing ICE to create artificial reefs with waste from electrical gridlast_img read more

Guyana rebuffs Venezuela opposition complaint

first_img Comments   Share   Venezuela and Guyana have a longstanding territorial dispute over the mineral-rich Essequibo region, as well as offshore areas where there are thought to be deposits of oil and natural gas. Officials in Guyana say that Exxon Mobil has a 17 million acre (6.9 million hectare) concession where it’s conducting seismic work.Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Table, expressed concern in a statement on Wednesday, rejecting “all the concessions granted by the government of Guyana in areas corresponding to the Atlantic coast of Venezuela.” In particular, it mentioned oil exploration work by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the area.“President Hugo Chavez’s government should state its position,” the opposition said in the statement, which came after a report in a Venezuelan newspaper that oil exploration work had been reactivated in an offshore area known as the Stabroek block.Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment on the matter.“ExxonMobil and Shell have had an active exploration license offshore Guyana for several years,” Exxon Mobil spokesman Patrick McGinn said in an emailed statement. “Exploration is a process that takes many years and has multiple phases. Currently, we are evaluating next steps in the Stabroek Block’s exploration.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) – An offshore oil exploration concession granted by Guyana’s government to Exxon Mobil Corp. is stirring controversy in neighboring Venezuela.Guyana’s government reacted with surprise on Thursday after Venezuela’s opposition coalition condemned such oil concessions and demanded a response by President Hugo Chavez’s government.Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud said Guyana officials believe the Venezuelan opposition’s stance is largely political posturing ahead of the neighboring country’s October presidential election. “There is not a single rig or piece of equipment in the concession now,” Persaud said. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Other companies exploring for oil off Guyana’s coast include Spain’s Repsol, Britain-based Tullow Oil and CGX Energy Inc. of Canada.Last year, Venezuela’s government expressed concerns after Guyana filed a claim with the United Nations for a larger share of the continental shelf to take in offshore areas thought to hold oil and natural gas deposits.Venezuela has maintained a longstanding claim to the vast Essequibo region, which is rich in gold, bauxite and other minerals. Venezuela argues that it was cheated out of the area when the border was drawn in 1899. In recent years, though, Venezuela and Guyana have maintained cordial relations despite the dispute.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Patients with chronic pain give advice More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Human rights activist arrested by Algerian police

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) – A member of a leading human rights organization has been beaten and arrested in a southern Algerian city.The lawyer for Yacine Zaid said Tuesday that his client had been punched and beaten by police when they arrested him at a road block in Ouargla , 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of the capital. The lawyer, Sidhoum Mohamed Amine, said Zaid was arrested Monday on the ground that he had shown a lack of respect for police. The daily El Watan reported that Zaid would go on trial Monday for “humiliating” and “striking a police officer.” The paper quoted an eyewitness, Abdelmalek Aibek Eg Sahli, a representative of a hotel union, as saying that Zaid “wasn’t aggressive and I don’t see why he is accused of that.”Amine said in an interview with The Associated Press that police often use “verbal aggression” to justify an arrest.Zaid, a well-known blogger, is a member of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights. He was detained in Algiers on Sept. 25 after a support rally for another human rights militant on a hunger strike, but later released.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationcenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

At Cannes Michel Francos Chronic looks death in the face

first_imgActor Tim Roth, left, and director Michel Franco pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Chronic, at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau) How do cataracts affect your vision? Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 0 Comments   Share   CANNES, France (AP) — Death is something we’d all like to avoid. But director Michel Franco thinks a reluctance to look at the end of life is unhealthy.The Mexican filmmaker’s Cannes Film Festival entry “Chronic” stars Tim Roth as a homecare nurse to the dying. It’s an unflinching film — no music, sparse dialogue — that plants the camera in bathrooms and bedrooms where Roth’s character, David, shares his patients’ most intimate moments. “Death is the last taboo,” Roth said. “Nobody wants to talk about it. … We have no vocabulary. We do not know what to do. We are helpless, floundering around.”Roth is in almost every shot of the film, and critics have praised the British actor’s intense depiction of a man who has buried layers of emotional pain. He is a strong candidate for best actor at Cannes’ award ceremony on Sunday.The actor and director met at Cannes in 2012, when a jury headed by Roth awarded a prize to Franco’s “After Lucia.” At the time, Franco was writing a script inspired by the nurse who had cared for his grandmother after she had a stroke.“He asked me what was my next movie,” Franco said. “So I told him it’s about a nurse, a female nurse in Mexico. He said, ‘If you change it into a man, I’d love to do it.’”The role is a change of pace for Roth from his work in the high-energy films of Quentin Tarantino. Roth was in “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction,” and has just finished filming Tarantino’s upcoming Western, “The Hateful Eight.”Franco said before he met Roth, “maybe it wouldn’t have occurred to me that Tim was perfect for the role.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “When I watch a film, the minute I sense that I am being manipulated, I step back,” Franco said at a Cannes hotel poolside. “I was avoiding (trying) to manipulate the audience. You just show it. I think that’s the most powerful, the purest, way to approach this material.”Many reviews of the film have included the word “challenging.” Variety noted that the film asks “audiences to do the heavy lifting required to arrive at a meaningful emotional response.”Not everyone will embrace the film, but 35-year-old Franco has the firm loyalty of his crew. Sarah Sutherland, who plays the estranged daughter of Roth’s character, said she knew from her first audition that this would not be a run-of-the-mill job.“Immediately afterwards, I got an email saying ‘We’d like you to come back. Please don’t brush your hair, take off your makeup, wear flat shoes,’” said Sutherland, best known as the daughter of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ politician on the HBO comedy “Veep.”“That’s when I knew that Michel and I would really click,” she added.Roth praised Franco for looking where many others would flinch. But in person, “I sensed something sad in his eyes.”“Chronic” is Franco’s English-language debut, shot in Los Angeles with a mostly American cast. The director said working in the U.S. film industry meant resisting the urge to supersize his small, simple filmmaking style.“I am used to doing things pretty much my own way,” Franco said. “I like working with a tiny, tiny crew. When you’re trying to portray intimacy onscreen, it’s better to have an intimate crew as well.“It was hard to keep it small, but I managed.”___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawlessCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

US Pacific Fleet chief joins surveillance of South China Sea

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Territorial disputes involving China, the Philippines and several others have flared on and off for years, creating fears that the South China Sea could spark Asia’s next major armed conflict. Beijing has asked the United States to stay out of what it says is a purely Asian dispute, but Washington has said that ensuring freedom of navigation in the disputed waters and the peaceful resolution of the conflicts are in the U.S. national interest.The Chinese Embassy in Manila had no immediate reaction to the Pacific Fleet commander taking part in the surveillance flight.The Navy has acquired and plans to purchase more of the versatile P-8A Poseidon aircraft to replace its aging P-3 Orion fleet. The plane can be used for a range of undertakings, including anti-submarine warfare, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.A picture posted by the Pacific Fleet in its website shows Swift intently looking on as U.S. officers demonstrate the P-8A’s capabilities. In another, Swift, wearing headphones with a microphone, looks out the window at the blue sky over the South China Sea.U.S. Navy Capt. Charlie Brown, a Pacific Fleet public affairs officer who flew with Swift on board the P-8A, said by telephone that the admiral “was pleased with the capabilities of the Poseidon.” MANILA, Philippines (AP) — In a move likely to irk China, the new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the disputed South China Sea over the weekend on board one of America’s newest spy planes.Adm. Scott Swift joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft’s full range of capabilities, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img Brown did not provide other details on the flight, like whether the plane flew over disputed areas where China has undertaken massive island-building that Washington has asked Beijing to stop.In May, a U.S. Navy P-8A was shooed away by radio callers, who identified themselves as being from the Chinese navy, when the surveillance aircraft flew over a disputed area where China has been undertaking island-building works. A CNN reporter who was on board the plane, which had taken off from the Philippines, reported the incident.Swift took part in the surveillance mission on Saturday after a visit to Manila, where he met top Philippine military officials. He flew to South Korea over the weekend and will visit Japan before returning to Hawaii, where the U.S. Pacific Fleet is headquartered. He assumed command of the fleet, among the world’s largest, in May.Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin welcomed Swift’s move, saying it showed America’s commitment to come to the aid of allies locked in territorial disputes with China.“Militarily, we are nothing against China,” Gazmin said. “That’s why we have been asking our allies to assist us.” The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   In an interview with reporters in Manila on Friday, Swift assured U.S. allies that American forces are well-equipped and ready to respond to any contingency in the South China Sea.Swift said he was “very satisfied with the resources that I have available to me as the Pacific Fleet commander,” adding, “we are ready and prepared to respond to any contingency that the president may suggest would be necessary.”The U.S., Swift stressed, doesn’t take sides in the territorial rifts but would press ahead with operations to ensure freedom of navigation in disputed waters and elsewhere. “The United States has been very clear that it does not support the use of coercion and force,” he said.___Online:Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet: http://www.cpf.navy.mil/Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories last_img read more

Death toll from Yemen rebel shelling doubles to nearly 100

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Hassan Boucenine of the Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders said that by Monday, his organization reported nearly 100 people dead, twice the casualty toll from the previous day.The shelling also wounded about 200 people, said Boucenine, the head of the organization in Yemen. Of the victims, 80 percent are civilians, including many pregnant women, elderly and children, he added.“Yesterday was the worst day in Aden since (the Saudi-led coalition campaign) started in March,” Boucenine told The Associated Press, adding that he fears “attacks on civilians will continue.”Sunday’s shelling in Dar Saad began after the Houthi rebels lost control of much of the Aden district of Tawahi, according to officials and witnesses. Tawahi is now under a security lockdown, the officials said, as anti-Houthi forces search buildings looking for rebels, some of whom had fled to the nearby mountains.Overnight, the Saudi-led coalition targeted Houthi positions north of Aden and in Dar Saad, killing at least 55 rebels, officials and witnesses said.The coalition also struck the home of Mehdi Meqlawa, a prominent supporter of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in a Sanaa suburb. In the Yemeni capital, it also hit Houthi headquarters near the Souq Aziz market, killing one person. Rebel shelling continued Monday in Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, killing eight residents, while ground fighting raged on in Marib, with six anti-Houthi tribesmen and 10 Houthi fighters killed in clashes. All officials and eyewitnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters or feared reprisals.Houthi officials declined to comment on the fighting.The spokesman of the Yemeni government in exile, Rageh Badie, said they appointed the head of the Resistance Council, Nayef al-Bakri, as governor of Aden. Al-Bakri served as deputy to the former governor, Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, who fled the embattled city earlier this year. Al-Bakri is joined by the exiled deputy minister of health and the transportation and interior ministers, who have flown into Aden two days ago from Saudi Arabia. Other exiled ministers will follow suit over the next few weeks, Badie said.On Monday evening, a car bomb went off near the house of a Houthi rebel leader in the capital Sanaa, killing seven and damaging the gates of the house, according to witnesses and officials.Medical officials said six people were also wounded in the attack. One security official said five were killed. It was not possible to reconcile the difference in casualty figures, common in the immediate aftermath of such attacks. A local affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the car bomb in the western Garef neighborhood, saying it targeted a “den” of the Houthis, according to a statement shared on Twitter accounts of supporters of the IS group. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Comments   Share   SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The death toll in Yemen from the Shiite rebel shelling of a town near the southern port city of Aden rose Monday to nearly 100, the head of an international aid group said, describing it as “the worst day” for the city and its surroundings in over three months of fighting.The rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies started shelled the town of Dar Saad on Sunday after earlier losing control of some of Aden’s neighborhoods. The violence highlighted the bloody chaos of the civil war gripping the Arab world’s poorest country, which also has been the target of Saudi-led, U.S.-backed airstrikes since late March. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 It was not immediately clear if the Houthi leader, Ihab al-Kuhlani, was at home at the time of the attack and whether he was affected by the bombing.The Houthi tv station Al-Masirah reported only that a car bomb went off in the Garef Neighborhood, without offering further details.The area around the house was cordoned off by Houthi security forces after the attack.Yemen’s conflict pits the Iran-allied Houthis and troops loyal to the former president, Saleh, against an array of forces, including southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants as well as loyalists of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed internationally.___Youssef reported from Cairo.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Concordia passengers sue Costa

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Although passengers were offered a compensation package of up to 11,000 Euros, six passengers on board the Costa Concordia the day it hit rocks off the coast of Tuscany have filed a US$460 million lawsuit against Costa Cruises.In the suit filed in a Florida court this week, an American legal team representing the passengers described the €11,000 compensation as ‘insulting’ and stressed the company needs to “be held responsible” for their actions, The Guardian reported.“They intentionally put the passengers at risk,” A New York personal injury lawyer Mitchell Proner said. “We believe we can win in Florida and we are going to go forward, forward, forward without fear until they don’t know what hit them … sort of like the Concordia.”Working with a New York firm, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, Mr Proner explained he and a team of international lawyers would represent up to 500 clients affected by the incident.The case put forth in Florida is seeking up to $10 million in personal damages as well as $450 million in punitive damages on behalf of four Americans, and two Italians.  Meanwhile earlier this week, Costa Conciere issued a statement advising that passengers who had returned home from the ship wreck would receive up to 11,000 Euros in compensation as well as promised to reimburse passengers the value of the cruise, their air and bus transfers included in the cruise package, travel expenses to reach the port and return home as well as medical expenses and expenses on board the cruise.last_img read more

Dubai goes green… again

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The Dubai Tourism Green Awards were held on May 1 at the Al Multaqa Theatre, Dubai World Trade Centre as part of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). The second annual Dubai Green Tourism Awards celebrated the environmental efforts of various tour operators, institutions, hotels and attractions around Dubai, bestowing honours upon deserving candidates. “These awards not only promote tourism, they promote knowledge, sharing and innovation and that is the core of it,” Chairperson Emirates Environment Group Ms Habiba Al Marashi said. “We are seeing more attention paid to environmental issues and sustainability. The benefits are too large and too many to ignore.” Hosted by Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) the ceremony honoured a range of hoteliers through an array of different eco-friendly categories. Some of the notable achievers are included;5 Star Award Category: Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa – 1st PrizeDeluxe Hotel Category: Savoy Suites and Savoy Crest – 1st & 3rd PrizeThe Green Awards received a welcome reception and have promised to continue to promote, support and acknowledge sustainable tourism throughout Dubai for many years to come.last_img read more

RCI Named Among The Best Places To Work In Australia

first_imgCharisse Cox holding Best Places To Work award RCI, the global leader in holiday exchange, proudlyannounced that it was recognised as one of BRW magazine’s 2012 Best Places To Work inAustralia. The magazine honoured the companies named to the prestigious annual list of the top50 most attractive employers in the country at an awards dinner in Sydney, Australia, earlier thismonth.The BRW Best Places To Work survey was conducted in partnership with the world’s experts ingreat workplaces, the Great Place To Work Institute (GPTW), which this year surveyed morethan 68,000 employees.“A top 50 placement among the nation’s Best Places To Work is a testament to both the businessand to staff,” said Charisse Cox, RCI Pacific managing director. “As the only Gold CoastCompany to make the list, RCI is in an elite category with the nation’s best and most productiveworkplaces. Furthermore, all the various philanthropic and staff initiatives that we undertakehave a direct and positive impact on our members who receive excellent service and on staff whomaintain an engaged and healthy work life balance.”RCI Pacific has a unique working environment that encourages staff to not only work hard, butenjoy their time spent in an engaging and rewarding environment. Some of the highlights includemultiple associate celebrations, paid maternity leave, paternity leave, flexible working hours,well-being programs offering an onsite gym, free health checks and flu shots, counselling,referral bonuses and generous training allowances.“We take great pride in the hard work we have put into our staff empowerment, development,and workplace culture,” said Frieda Murphy, human resources manager for RCI Pacific. “From abusiness perspective it will further our employees’ pride in the company as brand ambassadorsand promote the company to prospective employees.”RCI Pacific performed exceptionally well against the best in the country and is the only travelindustry representative to make the list. The accolade helps to solidify the importance of theholiday ownership and greater tourism industries, which continue to perform well alongside thecountry’s top sectors – IT, mining and finance – in the wake of a shaky global economic market.More than 80 employees currently work out of the RCI Pacific regional Gold Coast office, whichservices the exchange and holiday needs of more than 80,000 members throughout Australia,New Zealand and Fiji.Earlier this year, RCI also received similar accolades in other regions. The Mexico office wasnamed one of the Best Places to Work in Mexico for the sixth consecutive year, and theIndianapolis office made the list of Best Places to Work in Indiana for the fourth consecutiveyear. Charisse Cox RCI Pacific Managing Director, Senior management and staffcenter_img Source = RCIlast_img read more

65 mil Hilton development in WAs Karratha

first_imgAn artist impression of the hotel Pilbara region in Western Australia will get a $65 million boost by a Hilton funded development to open a DoubleTree by Hilton in Karratha. The eight-storey building is the first Hilton property in the Karratha commercial area and will feature 144 guest rooms, 20 apartments, an all-day dining restaurant and bar, fitness centre, outdoor pool, three function rooms and car parking facilities. Growth in the Pilbara region’s resource sector has pushed for growth of infrastructure and amenities which according to minister for Regional Development and Lands Brendon Grylls, is currently sub-standard conditions. “It’s an example about how, not the government but the private sector, is embracing the opportunities of the Pilbara,” Mr Grylls said of the announced development. Mr Grylls believes it sends the message to Australia about where WA and the Pilbara region is heading, as a “resource powerhouse”. A Hilton spokesman told Perthnow the hotel will meet the needs of the local community and the resources industry through its design and was confident the property will quickly become a leading full-service hotel in the market.Approximately 100 staff from the Karratha region will be employed by the hotel, sourced from hospitality agencies and Broome’s TAFE. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

NYC is now the sleeping giant

first_imgNY airports remain dormant (Image: Paul Courson/CNN) Tropical Storm Sandy has devastated the east coast of the United States, claiming lives, destroying infrastructure and wreaking havoc on one of the world’s most visited cities, New York.With thousands of vacationers and business travelers still stranded in the city – thanks to a storm that has claimed over 50 lives, caused over US$20 billion worth of damage and triggered widespread flooding, fires and blackouts – the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has estimated the catastrophe would end up costing the city millions of dollars in corporate travel spending.“New York is a critical economic centre and global travel hub, and we are extremely concerned about the ramifications of the city being essentially shut down for business travel,” GBTA spokesperson Meghan Henning said. In an update on the city’s response to Sandy, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg said that even though Hurricane Sandy had officially left the New York area, the path of destruction she has left in her wake will be felt for quite some time.“MTA CEO Joe Lhota has described this as the worst disaster the agency has seen in the 108 years the subways have been running and Con Ed has described the damage done to its power systems as unprecedented in scope,” he said.JFK and Newark airports have reopened with delays while LaGuardia airport remains closed.The New York Stock Exchange resumed business business on Wednesday, while no firm timeline for the reactivation of train services has been announced.The majority of hospitals and schools have been closed and will remain so until further notice.“New York City’s resiliency in difficult times has been proven again and again, and thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our emergency services personnel we are diligently working to resolve all issues and expect to be fully operational again in the coming days,” NYC & Company chief executive George Fertitta said.Although Sandy has passed through New York, US President Barack Obama has warned that the Superstorm is far from over, as the cyclone moves northwards towards Canada. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tcenter_img Abandoned NYC taxi cabs (Image: Barcroft Media)last_img read more

Qantas new A380 arrives to Sydney from DallasFort Worth

first_imgQantas’ inaugural A380 direct service from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney was welcomed this morning at Sydney Airport.Known as the world’s longest route, Qantas says the introduction of the A380 offers travellers from the US the ultimate flying experience and will lead to greater opportunities for both tourism and for trade.“We’ve already carried more than 300,000 passengers on the Dallas/Fort Worth route and we’re confident the introduction of the A380 will attract more travellers and introduce more Americans to Sydney and Australia,” Qantas executive manager international sales Stephen Thompson said.The new service will see an additional seat capacity of more than ten percent each week, while Qantas works with its partners to increase visitor numbers from the US, including American Airlines who connect travellers to Qantas services from more than 100 destinations across North America.The new service means travellers from the US now have access to A380 services from both Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth, with Qantas offering 40 return services between the US and Australia.The service is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.“To create awareness of Sydney and NSW and the new non-stop services that will bring them here, Qantas and Destination NSW have worked together on an integrated marketing campaign, which includes digital and out-of-home media in the US,” Destination NSW chief executive officer Sandra Chipchase said.“The US is one of our top five key inbound visitor markets and in the past financial year, 317,000 visitors from the US contributed approximately AUD $546 million into the NSW economy, so the more we can do to encourage them to visit Sydney and NSW the better.”Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more