Tauck makes big play for Canadian market share Cdn pricing brochures for

first_img Travelweek Group Tauck makes big play for Canadian market share; Cdn$ pricing, brochures for 2018 WILTON, CT — For the first time in its 92-year history Tauck is pricing its trips in local currency for the Canadian market. The guided tour and cruise operator says it wants to make it easier for Canadian travel agents and vacationers to work with the company, by pricing its 2018 journeys in Canadian dollars.Tauck will also begin publishing dedicated Canadian brochures featuring the company’s 100+ guided tours and cruises, all priced in Canadian currency. The company’s Canadian website tauck.ca has also been updated to display the new pricing.According to Tauck Vice President for Global Sales Steve Spivak, pricing the company’s products in Canadian dollars reflects Tauck’s quest for excellence across all facets of its business. “For 92 years we’ve been dedicated to continually enhancing the travel experiences we provide to our guests, and that same drive for constant improvement extends to every aspect of our business,” said Spivak. “Travelling on a Tauck journey is a seamless and hassle-free experience, and doing business with us should be exactly the same. We’re excited to take our service in the Canadian market to the next level.”More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoWith its journeys priced in Canadian dollars, Tauck will now be able to guarantee prices at the time guests pay their initial deposit, thus eliminating any subsequent pricing adjustments caused by exchange rate fluctuations. Agents based in both Canada and the U.S. will be able to take advantage of Canadian pricing for any clients with a primary address within Canada.The company’s first brochure priced in Canadian dollars will promote Tauck’s 2018 European river cruises. It is set to publish in April. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: Brochures, Tauck Wednesday, February 1, 2017 Sharelast_img read more

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Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria now available with Transat

first_img Thursday, February 9, 2017 MONTREAL — The brand new 4.5-star Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria is now available through Transat.The all-inclusive resort is located on the island of Cayo Las Brujas, about 10 kilometres west of Cayo Santa Maria. Open since January, it has 516 rooms as well as three pools, five restaurants, four bars and a fitness centre. There’s also a Baby Club and a Kids’ Club. Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria’s room categories range from Superior to Deluxe Ocean View, Premium Ocean Front View, Junior Ocean Front View Suites and Premium Ocean Front View Suite.Select non-motorized watersports are available along the 800-metre beach. Beach and pool activities include dance classes, beach volleyball and kayaking.To learn more about the Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria, visit transat.com. Dhawa Cayo Santa Maria now available with Transat Tags: Transat Travelweek Group center_img Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Stop what youre doing and watch this video of an Irish singing

first_img Posted by Share Wednesday, October 24, 2018 CONNEMARA, IRELAND — A night out at the opera in Ireland has taken an unusual twist, with a countryside donkey as its main singing star.Harriet the donkey, who lives in Toureen in the district of Connemara, Ireland, has skyrocketed to Internet fame for having a serious set of pipes. In a video taken by local resident Martin Stanton, the adorable star-in-the-making is seen belting out what sounds like an operatic aria.Her pitch needs a bit of work, to be honest, but her stage presence would rival any prima donna in Italy.With the video now viral, it’s only a matter of time until Harriet gets signed, or at the very least, gets her own Instagram. Travelweek Group center_img Stop what you’re doing and watch this video of an Irish singing donkey Tags: Funny, Ireland << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Romans will crucify Jesus in annual Good Friday parades throughout Costa Rica

first_imgPracticing Catholics will don their ancient Roman garb Friday to reenact the crucifixion of Jesus in the streets of Costa Rica on Friday.The annual procession is held in towns and cities across the country. The largest and most elaborate parade will start in downtown San José starting at 10:30 a.m.Going there: The Virgin Mary and her procession will leave from the Parroquía La Dolorosa (one block east from the southeast corner of the old post office) at 10:30 a.m. and meet up with the procession of Jesus of Nazareth on Second Avenue. The procession will then stop in Parque Central for the final performance. Facebook Comments Related posts:Semana Santa, ‘Marley’, a circus and other happenings in Costa Rica PHOTOS: A Holy Week children’s procession in Heredia ‘Casi Invisibles’ celebrates diversity among Costa Rican artists Christmas cheer, oxcart parades, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

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34 photos from the 2015 Envision Festival

first_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Timescenter_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Related posts:Overheard at Envision 2014 Overheard at Envision 2015 Maori tribesman, sprinting set designer and woman from everywhere and nowhere help prepare for Envision Festival 6 things you need to know about Envision Festival 2015last_img read more

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Indias political fixer set to become president

first_imgAssociated PressNEW DELHI (AP) – India’s political fix-it man is preparing to rise above the fray.Pranab Mukherjee, who whipped coalition partners into shape and quelled scandals as the Congress party’s chief firefighter for years, seems likely to leave all that behind and become India’s figurehead president in an election Thursday.“Eight years he has been under enormous strain. He has been carrying all the burdens of the government,” said journalist Inder Malhotra, who has documented the Congress party leadership. “If he doesn’t go for it now, he knows his time will pass.” Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements When a telemarketer interrupted a negotiating session with the opposition to offer him a sweet deal on a home loan, the government sprang into action, adopting sweeping regulations on an industry that had been annoying ordinary Indians for years.In recent weeks, he has struck a humble pose, apologizing to reporters for his prickly behavior, insisting the government had given him more than he could return, and deflecting praise for his work.Mukherjee finally realized he was never going to be prime minister and opted instead for the next best thing _ taking walks through the splendid gardens at the presidential palace, Malhotra said.___Follow Ravi Nessman on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ravinessman Comments   Share   Mukherjee, 76, has traveled the country for weeks to solidify his support in the 4,896-member electoral college, which includes all national and state legislators. And if Mukherjee can’t corral votes, who can?He appears to have locked a victory against opposition candidate Purno Agitok Sangma, with media reports predicting he will get more than two-thirds of the vote and even opposition party support, despite his widely criticized stint as finance minister.The son of a Congress party official from West Bengal, Mukherjee entered Parliament in 1969 and quickly became a favorite of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. But in a much disputed incident following her assassination, Mukherjee reportedly insisted that he _ not her son Rajiv _ should take over as prime minister.He was sentenced to the political wilderness for years before eventually reclaiming his role as a top party leader. He has been foreign minister, defense minister and finance minister twice. But the top job always eluded him because Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv’s widow and the current Congress leader, never forgave him for his impertinence three decades ago, said Malhotra, who has written extensively about the Gandhi family. Recent signs indicated the party’s leaders felt Mukherjee _ described by the U.S. Embassy in a cable released by Wikileaks as “the ultimate Congress party fixer and operator” _ might have run his course and could be doing more harm than good.As finance minister since 2009, he was unable, or unwilling, to push through proposed reforms. Over the past year, growth has stalled, the rupee’s value has plunged and foreign investment has all but collapsed. His nadir might have been this year’s budget speech, when he announced a huge retroactive tax on overseas acquisitions and new rules to prevent tax avoidance that panicked foreign investors.`’There was a perception that he wasn’t in tune with changing times. He had been a very competent finance minister in the `80s, but the entire ballgame had changed,” said Abheek Barua, the chief economist at HDFC Bank.Mukherjee’s stubborn response to business complaints that he was changing the rules midstream and making it difficult for investors to trust the government made things even worse, he said.`’There was a sense that he was just not in a mood to listen. That proved to be a disaster,” Barua said. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img Top Stories Immediately after Mukherjee resigned last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh _ the architect of the country’s 1991 economic reforms _ took over the finance ministry. He implored top finance officials to `’revive the animal spirit” in India’s economy, implying that Mukherjee had somehow suppressed it.It is also possible Congress wanted a top man in the president’s house for a five-year term as a hedge against a poor showing in 2014 elections. Though the presidency is mainly ceremonial, Mukherjee might find a way to use it to exert some influence. In the event of a hung Parliament after the next elections, he would have the power to choose which party could first try to form a coalition government.In his decades in politics, Mukherjee has developed a reputation as perhaps the only politician in the paralyzed ruling party who can get things done.He has headed more than two dozen Cabinet committees dealing with scandals and potential scandals, including how to conduct a sensitive caste census, what to do with the government’s rotting grain and how to resell cellphone spectrum that courts ruled was sold off illegally.Mukherjee came to the rescue last summer after other ministers fumbled the response to a popular hunger striker demanding sweeping anti-graft legislation that few lawmakers supported. Mukherjee got the activist eating again by using parliamentary maneuvering to make it appear lawmakers had caved in. A year later, the legislation still has not been passed. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Parents, stop beating yourself up Patients with chronic pain give advice Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img
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Palestinians criticize Democrats Jerusalem stance

first_img Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologycenter_img Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The language is at odds with U.S. policy calling for the status of Jerusalem to be resolved through negotiations. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem.Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Thursday the Democrat’s decision might just be “election propoganda.” He said a failure to recognize the Palestinian claim to east Jerusalem will “destroy the peace process” and lead to “endless war.”Israeli officials declined comment.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – The Palestinians are criticizing the U.S. Democratic Party’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.The Democrats on Wednesday restored language in the platform saying Jerusalem “is and will remain the capital of Israel.” A day earlier, the language had been removed from the platform, prompting Republicans to question President Barack Obama’s support for Israel.last_img read more

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AP Interview Palestinian PM warns of cash crisis

first_imgSome $200 million in U.S. aid were held up by Congress last year, a sum the Obama administration hopes to deliver to the Palestinians this year, along with an additional $250 million in aid. “We have made it clear that we think the money should go forward,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last week.The Palestinian Authority has relied heavily on foreign aid since the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000. It has received hundreds of millions of dollars each year since then, but has struggled to wean itself off foreign support, in part because harsh Israeli restrictions on Palestinian trade and movement have hurt economic growth.Only a year ago, Fayyad said he hoped to increase local revenues, including through spending cuts and higher taxes for wealthier Palestinians. He even set 2013 as a target for financing the government’s day-to-day operations with local revenues. However, his tax plan was met by widespread protests and modest economic growth slowed.Now he’s not even sure how he will cover the government payroll, his heftiest monthly budget item.The Palestinian Authority employs some 150,000 people, including civil servants and members of the security forces. About 60,000 live in Gaza and served under Abbas before the Hamas takeover, but continue to draw salaries even though they’ve since been replaced by Hamas loyalists. Comments   Share   Associated PressRAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – The Palestinian self-rule government is in “extreme jeopardy” because of an unprecedented financial crisis, largely because Arab countries have failed to send hundreds of millions of dollars in promised aid, the Palestinian prime minister said Sunday.The cash crunch has gradually worsened in recent years, and the Palestinian Authority now has reached the point of not being able to pay the salaries of about 150,000 government employees, Salam Fayyad told The Associated Press. The number of Palestinian poor is bound to quickly double to 50 percent of the population of roughly 4 million if the crisis continues, he said. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories The U.N. bid gave the Palestinians new diplomatic leverage by affirming the borders of a future state of Palestine in lands Israel captured in 1967, but changed little in the day-to-day lives of Palestinians.In an apparent response to the U.N. move, Israel in December halted its monthly transfer of about $100 million in tax rebates it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. That sum amounts to about one-third of the monthly operating costs of the Palestinian Authority. Fayyad said he now only takes in about $50 million a month in revenues.Israel has said it used the withheld money to settle Palestinian Authority debt to Israeli companies, and it’s not clear whether the transfers will resume. In the meantime, the 22-nation Arab League has not kept a promise to make up for the funds Israel withholds, Fayyad said.The head of the League has written to member states, urging them to pay the $100 million, Mohammed Sobeih, a league official, said Sunday.Fayyad pinned most of the blame for the Palestinian Authority’s financial troubles on delinquent Arab donors, saying they are “not fulfilling their pledge of support in accordance with Arab League resolutions.”European countries kept their aid commitments, he said. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation “The status quo is not sustainable,” Fayyad said in an interview at his West Bank office.The Palestinian Authority, set up two decades ago as part of interim peace deals with Israel, is on the “verge of being completely incapacitated,” Fayyad warned. Only a year ago, he said he expected to make great strides in weaning his people off foreign aid.The self-rule government was meant to be temporary and replaced by a state of Palestine, which was to be established through negotiations with Israel. However, those talks repeatedly broke down, and for the past four years the two sides have been unable to agree on the terms of renewing the negotiations.In late November, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas won U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, overriding Israeli objections to the largely symbolic step. On Sunday, Abbas asked his West Bank-based government to prepare for replacing the words “Palestinian Authority” with “State of Palestine” in all public documents, including ID cards, driving licenses and passports.Israeli officials declined comment, including on whether Israel would prevent Palestinians with new ID cards and passports from crossing borders and checkpoints. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day In recent months, the government has paid salaries in installments.Fayyad said he managed to pay half the November salaries by getting another bank loan, using as collateral Arab League promises of future support. He said he can’t pay the rest of the November salaries, let alone start thinking about December wages.The Palestinian Authority already owes local banks more than $1.3 billion and can’t get more loans. It also owes hundreds of millions of dollars to private businesses, including suppliers to hospitals, some of whom have stopped doing business with the government.The crisis “has put us in extreme jeopardy,” Fayyad said.The malaise has sparked growing protests. Civil servants have held warning strikes. On Sunday, their union called for four days of strikes over the next two weeks.Walid Abu Muhsin, a government employee who makes 4,000 shekels ($1,000) a month, said he received only $500 in November, and his bank deducted 50 percent of that for car and home loans, leaving the father of three with $250 to live on.“I am spending from the few savings I have,” he said.Fayyad said he’s thought about quitting, but won’t leave during a crisis. He was appointed by Abbas in 2007, after the Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza by force. Hamas has received money from Iran, while Qatar last year pledged some $400 million for housing projects in Gaza. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Repeated attempts to heal the Palestinian rift have failed. Meanwhile, recent surveys suggest support for Hamas is on the rise, in part because it extracted what were perceived as Israeli concessions after a round of heavy cross-border fighting late last year.The failure of the Palestinian Authority to deliver on many of its promises, Fayyad said, “has produced a reality of a doctrinal win” for Hamas.He said the international community must decide whether it wants the Palestinian Authority, once seen as key to any Mideast peace deal, to survive.“A weak Palestinian Authority cannot be an effective player if you are all the time preoccupied with making ends meet,” he said.___Associated Press writers Aya Batrawy in Cairo and Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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US businessman gets 15 years in Dubai fraud case

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A Dubai court has convicted an American businessman for fraud and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment after a nearly five-year legal battle that included a hunger strike and a failed attempt to flee.The case against Lebanese-born Zack Shahin also brought diplomatic tensions between the United Arab Emirates and the Unites States, which backed Shahin’s demand for a trial after years in detention. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Washington did not immediately comment on Monday’s sentencing, which also includes fines totaling more than $7.8 million for Shahin and three others.The Dubai criminal court found Shahin guilty of taking nearly $5.5 million in bribes as head of Dubai-based Deyaar Development. He denied wrongdoing.Shahin staged a hunger strike before being granted bail in July 2012. He escaped to Yemen, but was returned to Dubai.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

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Egypt 3 Christians sentenced for killing a Muslim

first_imgSamaan Youssef, one of the Christians’ lawyers in the case told The Associated Press that the prosecution failed to identify any of the suspects in the killing of Christians because local witnesses were afraid to speak out and possibly provoke revenge attacks and renewed violence.The violence later spread to the doorsteps of the country’s main Coptic Cathedral after funerals for the Christian victims. An angry mob of Muslims threw firebombs and rocks at the church forcing a group of Christians, who attempted to march against the government, back into the church.The violence left two dead, including one Christian. Reports at the scene said few police were present.Iskandar Samir, another lawyer and relative of some of the defendants, said he would appeal the verdict. He described it as the “continuation of a series of sectarian rulings,” adding that few Muslims are ever held responsible for violence against Christians.Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said investigations into the attack on the cathedral were never completed and no one stands charged. He lamented what he called selective justice in the case.“This opens the door for more sectarian strife,” he said. “The prosecution neglected the investigation.” 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean In its ruling, the criminal court of Qalubiya province sentenced one Christian man, Hani Farouk Awad, to life imprisonment and two others to 15 years for the killing of a Muslim resident of Khosoos, where the violence took place. Nine Muslims were sentenced to up to five years for vandalizing Christian properties while 32 were acquitted, the official said.He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.Egypt’s Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the country’s population, have long complained of discrimination and sectarian strife _ usually fueled by hate speech from religious extremists, attempts to build new houses of worship or interfaith love affairs.The sense of fear was heightened when Islamists rose to power following the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The Khosoos dispute was the worst violence during the one-year rule of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was removed in a popularly backed coup in July.The fight started when young Muslims drew inflammatory symbols on an Islamic school and the vandalism was blamed on local Christians.Two defense lawyers in the case said a cleric of the local mosque urged revenge for the death of the Muslim man, leading to three consecutive days of violence that also saw a church attacked and private shops and homes of Christians looted and burned. Assailants doused one of the Christians with gasoline and set him on fire. They contend that only two Christians were convicted in the case. The difference with the court’s number of convicted could not be reconciled. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Both the two lawyers and Ibrahim said one of those acquitted has been dead for five years, “raising questions about the prosecution’s handling of the case.”With hundreds of people killed in the past three years of turmoil, rights groups have criticized prosecutors and police for weak evidence collection and shoddy prosecution. The groups say the weak process perpetuates a culture of impunity.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies CAIRO (AP) – An Egyptian criminal court convicted three Christians Saturday of killing a Muslim man, a judicial official and the state news agency said, in a dispute that that left nine people dead in some of this year’s worst sectarian violence.Six Christians died in the clashes, which took place in a small town just outside Cairo in April, but no one was arrested or convicted for their killings, lawyers said. Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

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AP PHOTOS Fleeing Yemen war thousands stuck in Djibouti

first_imgHamda, 55, takes care of her father, Ibrahim Mohamed, who, at 80, is the oldest refugee at the orphanage and who is both blind and deaf. The two share their room with three other families.There are no doors or windows on the tiny buildings and the Yemenis have put up curtains between the rooms for privacy. They spend the day mostly hanging out around the well in the yard but they say it’s still better than the UNHCR-run Markaze camp — some 300 tents in the open desert.Those in the camp have been provided with mosquito nets and blankets, and they get a daily ration of food and water, but there is no wall around the camp like there is around Al-Rahma — and they have seen hyenas and snakes. If they need other supplies, the Yemenis say they walk the 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the city.Another Yemeni refugee, Om Sabreen, who is 29 and pregnant, lives at Markaze with her two daughters, hoping to be reunited with her husband who works in Saudi Arabia.Marie-Claire Sowinetz, with the UNHCR in Djibouti, says the refugee agency is doing everything possible to provide the Yemenis with shelter, food, water and medical assistance in a very challenging environment.“To be able to address all the needs of the vulnerable, we would need more and robust support from the international community,” she said. Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Here is a series of photographs of Yemeni refugees in Djibouti by AP photographer Mosa’ab Elshamy.___Follow Mosa’ab Elshamy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mosaaberizingFollow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter at http://apne.ws/Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility They arrived with just the few belongings they could carry, mostly on small, rickety fishing boats. Others came on bigger vessels crammed with people, reversing a perilous, centuries-old route which countless African migrants have taken in the other direction.The UNHCR says a total of 5,000 Yemeni refugees have made it to Djibouti, including 3,000 in the capital, Djibouti city, and 1,000 in Obock, 300 kilometers (187 miles) to the north — making it currently the biggest Yemeni refugee population.The influx has hiked up local prices, with markets, hotels, and drivers trying to make the most of the situation in an already struggling economy.“We are overwhelming this country, but we have nowhere else to go,” said Amin Nasser, a 45-year-old teacher from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.Said Abu-Saleh, a 28-year-old from the Yemeni city of Taiz, had just arrived with 150 other people by boat. In the stifling heat, he was waiting to be processed by immigration police in the port of Djibouti.“We came on a cattle boat, sitting next to the animals for 19 hours straight,” he said.In Obock, the Al-Rahma orphanage has become home to about 100 families, mostly from the Yemeni town of Bab Al-Mandab — just a 30-minute boat trip from Obock. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In this Tuesday, May 19, 2015 photo, Abo Bakr Mohammed, 12, who suffers from epilepsy, covers himself with a mosquito net in his family’s room, at an orphanage that has been turned into a center for Yemeni refugees, in Obock, northern Djibouti. The UNHCR says a total of 5,000 Yemeni refugees have made it to Djibouti, including 3,000 in the capital, Djibouti city, and 1,000 in Obock, 300 kilometers (187 miles) to the north making it currently the biggest Yemeni refugee population. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy) OBOCK, Djibouti (AP) — Fleeing the war at home, thousands of Yemenis have made it across the Gulf of Aden to find refuge in Djibouti, a sleepy Horn of Africa nation where the United Nations has set up a staging hub for aid for the conflict-torn Arab country.Many of the refugees are relieved to have escaped after two months of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels and fighting on the ground between rival factions that have pushed their country to the brink of collapse. Parents, stop beating yourself up 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Swire Hotels Win Top Hospitality Awards Around the World

first_imgSource = Swire Hotels Swire Hotels has collected a number of prestigious accolades in the past year.The Upper House was awarded Best Overseas Business Hotel – Readers’ Travel Awards and Best Overseas Business Hotel – Readers’ Travel Awards by Condé Nast Traveller UK.Both Quintessentially Asia Pacific and Preferred Hotels applauds The 117 guest rooms with The Best Hotel of the Year.Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) voted The Upper House the Sustainable Hotel Award – Sustainable Project Design for its environmental and innovative service concept.The Upper House was also included in Travel Top 50 2011/2012 Best set-up for in-room entertaining by Monocle , and Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2012 – Top 25 Hotels & Trendiest Hotels in China.The Australian Wish also awarded The Upper House the Best mini-bar award.The Opposite House, Swire Hotels’ first property, has also received a series of international awards from travel, design and Restaurant & Bar areas.Awards include Gold List – Best Hotels for Ambience and Design and The Gold List 2012: Best for food by Condé Nast Traveller.Virtuoso also voted The Opposite House for its Virtuoso Performance Award.EAST, the second property in Hong Kong opened in Jan 2010, has also won The Hot List 2011 by Condé Nast Traveller.It also received the HA+D Award for Design Excellence: Hotel Interior Design by Hospitality Architecture + Design.Brian Williams, Managing Director of Swire Hotels said, “The team is indeed honoured and appreciative of the recognition.  Our goal is to provide natural spontaneous service and create characterful experiences for our guests with innovative restaurants and bars.  We will work extra hard to exceed the expectations created by these fabulous awards.”last_img read more

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Fandom takes TA to new social media heights

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Less than five months after achieving its two million milestone, Tourism Australia has announced an extra million Likes, now sharing with up to three million fans worldwide on Facebook. Pinning the success to word of mouth and advocacy, the Group’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said the Page played a “significant role” in its global marketing push and would continue to be utilised in the next phase of its There’s nothing like Australia campaign.“We are in the business of telling the world about Australia’s incredible tourism experiences but the beauty of social media is that it allows our fans to share their stories about what makes Australia a unique destination to visit in a compelling and authentic way,” Mr McEvoy said.Tourism Australia executive general manager consumer marketing Nick Baker added that the three million plus fans gave the company a “huge potential reach” to showcase Australia and its products. “A key part of our success so far has been to understand what our audience cares about and create social media activity around that,” Mr Baker said. “What we are finding is that the best way to get Australia’s message out there is to encourage them to get their networks involved in telling their story.  “We will continue to evolve our strategy to provide our fans with relevant content that they can be part of and build upon with us.”last_img read more

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Thai protesters persecute Prime Minister

first_img“We can see that the support of Mr. Suthep is declining – when he is doing something against the law, most people do not support that,” Deputy PM Pongthep Thepkanchana said. Source = ETB News: P.T. “If people don’t want this government they should go out and vote,” PM Yingluck Shinawatra said. Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana believes support for the protesters is fading and that the upcoming election will return normality to the capital and country. A general election will be held on 2 February 2014, while Mr Suthep has called for an unelected ‘people’s council’ to be established, completely changing the current electoral system. Anti-government demonstrations in Thailand have spilled over into a third day, however, the protests have been largely peaceful, despite a handful of minor incidents, the ABC reported. Earlier this week, two people were wounded in Bangkok after a series of gunshots, while former Prime Minister and Opposition Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajia’s home was damaged by a small explosive, however, no-one was injured. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said he has plans to next target Prime Minister Shinawatra’s home, as well as more government buildings and insists “people’s revolution has almost succeeded”. Protestors have refused to abandon their cause in the Thai capital of Bangkok, as the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra declined to step down prior to scheduled elections early next month.last_img read more

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Qantas partners with Snap Fitness

first_imgAustralians now have the opportunity to turn their fitness journey into the trip of a lifetime, with Snap Fitness coming on board as the first health brand to offer Qantas Points as part of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.All Snap Fitness members will earn 100 Qantas Points each month, plus new Snap Fitness members will also receive 3,500 bonus points when signing up for a 12 month membership or 1,000 bonus points for new month-to-month plans.Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant said the partnership with Snap Fitness was a ‘first’ for Qantas Frequent Flyer.“We offer over 15,000 opportunities to earn points for activities other than flying, but Snap Fitness joining the program is particularly exciting because never before have we had a gym as part of the program,” Ms Grant said.“If our members like to keep fit, they may as well work-out at a Snap Fitness gym because by doing so their points balance will also get a healthy kick along each month.”Snap Fitness CEO Andy Peat said: “We want our members to feel even more special about being a part of the Snap community and being able to reward their fitness with Qantas Points is a great step.”“Many Australians already have a gym membership but when their membership comes up for renewal, I’d certainly hope they would consider us so they can start earning points,” he said.“I think that being associated with Qantas Frequent Flyer absolutely gives us a competitive edge when you consider the high value that Australians place on collecting Qantas Points – and why wouldn’t they?“We are all about rewarding fitness and we can do that by giving our members something really valuable to them, and that’s Qantas Points,” Mr Peat said. Fly QantasSource = Qantaslast_img read more

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Building a convention capital in Adelaide

first_imgAdelaide Convention Bureau CEO Damien KittonTransforming the city of Adelaide into an events epicentre has been a 41-year journey for the Adelaide Convention Bureau.The organisation posted a record year in 2014/15 including winning the right to host more than 3000 delegates from around the world at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in 2017. It was among 119 future events secured during 2014/15 valued at AUD$150.6m.Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO Damien Kitto said the IAC would be the largest international event of its kind ever held in South Australia and would inject AUD$18 million into the state economy.He said winning large global conferences was a complicated process which took up to a decade and included forming a host bid committee, gaining the support of local, internationally respected industry leaders and winning the Australian bidding rights.“Then it was a process of exhibiting two years out before the decision was made to promote the bid, promote the Australian aeronautical industry and lobby the decision makers,” Kitto said.“More often than not with these bigger events you don’t win it first time round, it becomes a learning process … then hopefully you win it second time round.”Founded by industry in partnership with Adelaide City Council in 1974 as the peak industry body to promote and secure events, the establishment of the Adelaide Convention Bureau was also viewed as a key driver of investment in the meeting, hospitality and services sector in the City of Adelaide.The bureau arrived as a serious player in the events market in 1987 following the completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre – the first purpose-built centre of its kind in Australia.The convention centre is now undergoing a massive extension. Its first stage opened in March while the second stage will be completed in mid-2017, in time for the IAC in September, and will replace the original Plenary Building with a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art facility with plenary capacity of up to 3,500 seats.According to Patrick Robinson from Invest Adelaide, the city’s reputation as a top global convention destination for large-scale business events is being safeguarded through continued investment in local convention infrastructure, said.“The Convention Centre expansion does just that, and confirms Adelaide’s status as one the world’s leading convention locations,” Robinson said.The South Australian Government has also this year announced a $5 million bid fund for use with strategic bids to assist in attracting significant conventions to Adelaide and specifically to the Adelaide Convention Centre.The importance of the events and meetings industry in attracting investment is clearly evidenced in several new city hotels scheduled to open in the next three years, adding about 1400 rooms to Adelaide’s accommodation market.Kitto said about half of Adelaide’s major conferences were related to science, particularly medical science thanks largely to the convention centre being next door to the largest biomedical hub in the southern hemisphere.“With the extension to the convention centre we are now able to bid for larger conferences,” Kitto said.“To have the commercial support from government and to have a large convention centre of absolute world-class quality and to have a compact convenient city we are delivering very good outcomes.”Adelaide also hosted 120 global buyers and media from around the world at Dreamtime 2015 in December.Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said Dreamtime was integral to Australia’s broader Tourism 2020 industry targets to grow the business events sector to $16 billion annually by the end of the decade.“Dreamtime is Australia’s largest business events showcase, which allows us to connect with qualified buyers from key markets including Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, USA and the United Kingdom,” O’Sullivan said.“We believe Adelaide and South Australia provide the perfect gateway for our key international buyers to experience a fantastic array of experiences and destinations on offer in Australia – and it’s an ideal time for the city to showcase its new developments.”The success of the Adelaide Convention Bureau significantly benefits City business across a number of related industry sectors driving economic growth and fostering investment attraction as an integral part of Invest Adelaide.This story was originally published on News Leads.Source = Andrew Spence via News Leadslast_img read more

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Cathay Pacific group enters new era with rebranding of Dragonair

first_imgCathay Pacific group enters new era with rebranding of DragonairThe Cathay Pacific Group today announced a new era of growth and opportunity for its two airlines. Cathay Pacific’s wholly owned sister airline Dragonair is to be rebranded as Cathay Dragon. The two will remain as separate airlines, operating under their own licences.By more closely aligning the two brands, this rebranding will capitalise on Cathay Pacific’s high international brand recognition and leverage on Cathay Dragon’s unique connectivity into Mainland China – one of the world’s fastest-growing business and leisure travel markets. The airlines’ customers will benefit from greater convenience and a more seamless travel experience.Since Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific in 2006, it has added 23 new destinations and the number of passengers travelling across both carriers has grown five times to more than 7 million in 2015. The combined annual passenger number of the two airlines grew from 22 million to more than 34 million last year.This spectacular growth has been made possible by the Cathay Pacific Group’s efforts to channel international passengers to and from Mainland China, regional and long-haul markets through Hong Kong International Airport.Cathay Pacific’s Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “We are very proud of what we have achieved together. Cathay Dragon is a brand that will be recognisably part of the Cathay Pacific Group for our customers from different parts of the world. The rebranding will enable us to capture the fast-growing passenger flows across the two carriers by creating a more seamless travel experience.“We are building on what is a true Hong Kong success story that has made our city a leading international aviation hub and gateway to and from Mainland China markets. This rebranding will sharpen our competitive edge by offering an attractive Cathay-led brand package that carries the assurance of a consistently high-quality customer experience.”The rebranding will see a new livery created for Cathay Dragon that features a Cathay-style brushwing logo. This livery will appear for the first time on one of Cathay Dragon’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft in April and will be progressively introduced to the rest of the airline’s fleet.Cathay Dragon’s Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau said: “We can assure our customers that Cathay Dragon will continue to provide the same high level of products and services that made us a four-time winner of the World’s Best Regional Airline award. We will have the same dedicated team continuing to offer their friendly and caring service style. We will also continue to build on our experience and understanding of what our passengers like and treasure, such as speciality Chinese and Asian dishes as well as popular local Hong Kong snacks.” Cathay DragonSource = Cathay Pacificlast_img read more

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Apricot Hotel wins 2016 World Luxury Award

first_imgApricot Hotel wins 2016 World Luxury AwardApricot Hotel wins 2016 World Luxury AwardApricot Hotel is honored to be announced as the latest winner of the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Award as the best Luxury Boutique Hotel in Vietnam. The awards gala ceremony held in Qatar had paid recognition to hoteliers’ achievement over the past year and provided them an splendid opportunity to celebrate within industry peers.On 29th October, the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Award has named Apricot Hotel as the final winner of Luxury Boutique Hotel category in Vietnam during its unique annual gala ceremony in Doha, Qatar. Kicked off in July 2016 with the participation of major groups and hotel in 5-star segment, the awards are voted for by hotel owners, travelers and industry professions around the world. The successful names achieved their merit by proving excellent service delivery, luxury design and impressive presentation.This Luxury Boutique Hotel Award marked the first international award of Apricot Hotel in its first operating year in Hanoi. “It’s our honor to win such a reputable award only 10 months after our grand opening earlier this year”, said Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Nam, Apricot Hotel’s General Manager. “This award marked Apricot Hotel’s name in the luxury segment and proved our international-level quality of services and facilities”.With 123 luxuriously appointed rooms featured original paintings and sculptures by renowned artists, Apricot Hotel is the first artistic hotel in Hanoi that aims to bring guests refined Vietnamese touches and authentic experience. Earlier this year, Apricot Hotel was honored with TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice Award based on millions of reviews collected from TripAdvisor users worldwide in 2015. Apricot Hotelbook hereAbout Apricot HotelOpening in Hanoi in late 2015, Apricot Hotel locates at a historic location in the heart of the city with sweeping view of the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake. A strong sense of art presents throughout the hotel: from refined dining to the trendy roof-top bar, Apricot Hotel offers the epitome of entertainment and artistic living. By consistently delivering exceptional service quality in its unique design, in 2016, Apricot Hotel has won the Travelers Choices Award and Certificate of Excellence by the famous travel community TripAdvisor. This site also names the hotel as one of the best luxury hotels in Vietnam, recognizing by travelers around the world. Source = Apricot Hotellast_img read more

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Oaks Hotels Resorts takes out top honours

first_imgMr Shankar Kotha, accepted the Ctrip awards on the hotelier’s behalfOaks Hotels & Resorts takes out top honoursLeading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts, a division of Minor Hotels, has taken out two awards at Ctrip’s first Global Hotel Partners Summit in Shanghai overnight, reinforcing its dedication to growing the Chinese market in collaboration with Ctrip – China’s largest online travel agency, and the second largest in the world.Oaks Hotels & Resorts – currently with a 54-strong property portfolio spanning Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and soon to be India – was presented with the Close Cooperation Hotel Group Award, the only hotel group in Australia to receive this accolade from Ctrip.The hotelier’s premier Melbourne property, Oaks on William, was meanwhile the recipient of the Best Business Travel Hotel in Australia Award, based on unbiased guest reviews from Ctrip travellers.Opening its doors in July 2013, Oaks on William offers a contemporary accommodation base for travellers seeking a central Melbourne location, overlooking Flagstaff Gardens and in close walking distance to the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment hubs, and also features spacious, self-contained apartments, superior leisure facilities and myriad modes of transport at its doorstep.Oaks Hotels & Resorts’ General Manager of Revenue Management and Online Distribution, Mr Shankar Kotha (pictured), accepted the Ctrip awards on the hotelier’s behalf, commenting, “To be recognised across two major award categories at Ctrip’s first Global Hotel Partners Summit is extremely significant for Oaks Hotels & Resorts, as we continue to develop our relations with the Chinese travel market.“Since commencing our affiliation with Ctrip in 2014, Oaks Hotels & Resorts’ sales have increased by an incredible 370 per cent, demonstrating the immense growth potential of this influential travel segment.”Oaks Hotels & ResortsOaks Hotels & Resorts is one of Australia’s largest self-contained, accommodation providers, currently incorporating a portfolio of 54 properties spanning Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South and Western Australia as well as New Zealand, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.Source = Oaks Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

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Tourism Industry Aotearoa Discussing Tourism around the country

first_imgTourism Industry Aotearoa Discussing Tourism around the countryTourism businesses around New Zealand are being invited to discuss the big challenges and opportunities facing them and their region at a series of events organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa.Starting in Rotorua on 26 July, TIA will take the one-day Discussing Tourism events to three other locations around the country – Auckland (27 July), Dunedin (2 August) and Christchurch (3 August).“The annual series of regional events provides an important forum to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities facing tourism businesses as well as connecting local businesses with industry leaders. These discussions are focused on business learning, with practical tools and tips for attendees to take away and implement in their organisations,” says TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts.“There’s a real focus on how we can build an industry that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.”Consultant Futurist Phil Tate of Simplicitate will guide discussions on the industry’s future, how to manage growth and work collaboratively towards a sustainable future.With the General Election just months away, representatives of the major political parties have been invited to talk about their tourism policies.“Now is the time for tourism operators to lobby their Parliamentary candidates to ensure they understand the importance of tourism to their community and to introduce tourism-friendly policies,” Mr Roberts says.The programme also includes presentations from successful tourism operators who are developing their businesses to meet new demands.Mr Roberts says attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the big challenges of growth from a local perspective, plus plenty of time for networking.“Discussing Tourism will be a lively and thought-provoking day. With great support from the host regional tourism organisations, we’re looking forward to hearing from grassroots tourism operators around the country.” Discussing TourismLearn more hereSource = Tourism Industry Aotearoalast_img read more

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