Vienna TB in Toronto Globus offering 25 on all Vienna vacations

first_img Posted by Share Monday, September 19, 2016 TORONTO — When it comes to booking travel to Vienna, it’s either “now or never,” says the Vienna Tourist Board, which hosted an industry lunch in Toronto recently to tell partners that now is the time to book.The event, which was co-hosted by Austrian Airlines, Vienna International Airport, Swarovski Kristallwelten and Globus family of brands, highlighted the plethora of reasons to visit Austria, and specifically Vienna, in 2017. Elke Bachner, Market Management of the Vienna Tourist Board, cited the 25th anniversary of Life Ball, the 150th anniversary of the Blue Danube Waltz, and the 175th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as just three milestone events that may pique the interest of clients.Elke, who recommends any visit to Vienna should be at least three nights, also highlighted the new Vienna Card, available in one, two or three days. It includes free public transportation plus discounts to over 200 outlets in the city.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upThe Vienna Airport, which transported 23 million passengers in 2015, was recently awarded the distinction of being a four-star airport in Europe. It will be investing $500 million throughout 2023 in infrastructure and development. Direct service from Canada is available from Toronto, though Montreal is currently in the works. A total of 150 passengers per day, each way fly from Toronto to Vienna.Globus family of brands is offering its ‘Vienna Now or Never’ agent incentive, which includes a $25 gift card per passenger on all 2017 vacations that include Vienna. Agents must send their invoice number to Inside Sales by Oct. 28, 2016 to receive their gift card.Avalon Waterways, part of Globus’ family of brands, is also offering 15% on ‘Active Discover on the Danube River’ cruises, plus free air on select itineraries/departures. Plus, when clients book and deposit by Nov. 10, 2016 they’ll save 10% (15% when booking as part of a group).More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more information go to For more on travel to Vienna, go to Vienna TB in Toronto; Globus offering $25 on all Vienna vacationscenter_img Tags: Avalon Waterways, Globus, Vienna << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group last_img read more

Delta to bring back free meals in 12 markets

first_imgTags: Delta Air Lines Delta to bring back free meals in 12 markets ATLANTA — Food could be making a comeback in U.S. economy class, where passengers must either schlep their own meals, pay for one on board or make do with pretzels and peanuts.Delta says it will start serving meals to all passengers on 12 long-haul routes over the next several weeks. They have been on Honolulu flights since last August.Airlines took away free sandwiches and similar fare after an industry downturn during the worldwide financial crisis (Delta dropped meals in economy in 2001). The carriers have returned to profitability and went on a spree of buying new jets and hiring more employees. The meals, however, mostly have not come back.Instead, airlines would offer hungry passengers a slightly more interesting snack, like United Airlines’ stroopwafels.Customers loved the free meals when Atlanta-based Delta tested it on some flights last year, said Allison Ausband, the airline’s senior vice-president of in-flight service, and Delta Air Lines Inc. can afford a few sandwiches and cheese plates. It had pre-tax income of $13.8 billion in 2015 and 2016, nearly $5 billion more than its nearest rival, American Airlines Group Inc.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyEven passengers paying the cheapest “basic economy” fare will get free meals. Options include a honey-maple breakfast sandwich, a turkey combo and a veggie wrap.Delta said Thursday that it will offer free meals in the main cabin beginning March 1 on flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.It will expand the service to 10 more cross-country routes on April 24: between JFK and Seattle, San Diego and Phoenix; between Boston and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle; Reagan Washington National Airport-Los Angeles; and between Seattle and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Share Source: The Associated Press Friday, February 17, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Spend from this market is down but Brand USA is still banking

first_img Friday, February 16, 2018 Share TORONTO — Brand USA’s outreach to the travel trade for 2018 will include more MegaFams, open to 60 – 100 travel agents per fam and now with nine airline partners on board, as well as more co-op marketing programs, says Karly Melo, Brand USA’s new Regional Director for Canada.Speaking at yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto, Melo said Brand USA will also push ahead with its USA Discovery Program for the trade, offering specialist badges and perks including MegaFam opportunities to travel agents who complete the USA Discovery Program’s online destination training courses at USA also launched a new travel trade microsite in January, at, with trade resources and sales tools including free videos from Brand USA’s YouTube channel for travel agency and tour operator marketing initiatives.“We want to work with the trade to let them know we are here to answer questions and promote product,” said Melo. “We want to set you up for success any way we can.”Canada is the number one market for inbound visitation to the United States. In a January 2017 interview with Travelweek, Tom Garzilli, Brand USA’s Chief Marketing Officer, said Brand USA will maintain its marketing efforts in the Canadian market in 2018 and beyond, with initiatives including the appointment of Melo to the Regional Director, Canada post.The latest Brand USA statistics show that Canada has dropped to 11th spot when it comes to travel spend in the U.S., for an annual total of US$46 million. Some 88% of Canadians travelling to the U.S. are repeat visitors.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesWhile spend is down, “Canadians are still travelling to the U.S. more than any other international destination,” says Melo.In addition to MegaFams, online training and co-op marketing, Brand USA is also doing a blitz of sales calls to the Canadian travel trade and taking part in trade shows and conferences.A complete audit of bookable / sellable product to the U.S. from the Canadian market is currently underway, says Melo.Meanwhile Brand USA’s ‘America’s Musical Journey’ movie from MacGillivray Freeman Films and narrated by Morgan Freeman just had its world premiere at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum yesterday and at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today. The film rolls out to theatres globally today as well, including several in Canada.Brand USA’s first film project, the 45-minute ‘National Parks Adventure’, has been seen by 7 million people, says Melo. It’s now on Netflix.Last week Brand USA launched GoUSA TV, a first-of-its kind connected TV network, featuring created, curated and licensed video content “to inspire, invite and welcome travellers to visit the USA”. The service is now available on Apple TV, Roku and Amazon. Partnering with Brand USA with a spot on GoUSA TV “is a chance to get your product in front of viewers at home as they’re watching TV online,” says Melo.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM also included some quick-hit Canadian market travel stats from Raina Williams, Senior Account Executive for Expedia – Canada.Comparing Canadian travellers with their American counterparts, Williams says Canadians don’t take as many annual trips as Americans (2.8 vs. 4.4), but when Canadians do travel, they travel for longer, at 8.7 days compared to 6.7 days for Americans.Not surprisingly Canadians are far more likely to travel outside their own country (59% versus 18% for Americans). The study also showed that 68% of Canadian travellers say they may be looking for help or inspiration when it comes to making travel plans and bookings, and 54% said they’re typically deciding between two or more destinations.There was a strong turnout for yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM and the event included voting for four new board members: Cynthia Farrill, Visit Florida – Canada; Denise Graham, Experience Kissimmee / VoX International; Annika Klint, KAI / Colorado Tourism Office; and Susan Webb, VoX International.Membership was at 50 for 2017, a net loss of 3 from 2016. Upcoming events include IPW 2018, taking place May 19 – 23 in Denver, and the Discover America Canada Day Oct. 1, 2018 at Toronto’s Arcadian Court venue. Registration packages will be going out in early March. Travelweek Group Tags: Brand USAcenter_img Spend from this market is down but Brand USA is still banking on Canada Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

People Australis North America hires new sales rep for Western Canada Quebec

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Thursday, April 12, 2018 [People] Australis North America hires new sales rep for Western Canada & Quebec Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Australis, People Fernando L. FlorianMIAMI — Expedition cruise specialist Australis North America is expanding its sales force in the Canadian market with the appointment of Fernando L. Florian to the new role of Sales Representative for Western Canada and Quebec.Florian brings with him 15 years of experience in hospitality and tourism sales and marketing in both Canada and the Caribbean. He has worked in major segments of the travel industry, including incentives, retail agents, adventure and high-end products.Florian’s appointment is in line with the company’s efforts to generate awareness and sales growth in Canada. Australis North America is known for its intimate cruises through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego where passengers view glaciers, penguins, elephant seals and many exotic birds. In addition to small-group excursions, passengers enjoy daily lectures on the ship and on land, as well as cabins with outside views and all-inclusive meals.Florian can be reached at or by phone at 1-778-223-3021.last_img read more

Book four nights pay for three with Dominicas new campaign

first_imgBook four nights, pay for three with Dominica’s new campaign Share Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img DOMINICA – Dominica has launched a brand new campaign featuring discounts to entice travellers back to the island following Hurricane Maria last September.‘ReDiscover Dominica Campaign’ will run in all of Dominica’s major source markets including Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, the Caribbean and French West Indies. The promotion features one free night on a minimum four-night stay at nine participating hotels.To qualify for the free night, visitors must book between May 24 to July 31, 2018 using promo code DOM2018, and travel between July 1 and Dec. 15, 2018. In addition, those over 18 years old will be entitled to US$ 100 spending money in the form of coupon vouchers redeemable at 15 participating vendors and hotels. On-island activities include dining, car rentals, horseback riding, island tours, underwater experiences, spa services and duty-free shopping.The campaign will be promoted digitally on all Discover Dominica Authority online channels and on regional and international trade partners’ platforms.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFor more information go to << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Dominica, Promotionslast_img read more

Jetlines says it will operate 1000 flights in first season

first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Jetlines, YVR Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Posted bycenter_img VANCOUVER — Jetlines has secured its slots at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in anticipation of its inaugural winter season, set to launch Dec. 17.Earlier this year Jetlines announced that it will use YVR as its home airport and primary base of operations.The carrier aims to operate up to 10 flights per day and over 1,000 flights during the first winter season from Dec. 17, 2019 to March 28, 2020. The initial two Airbus A320 aircraft that Jetlines secured through its partnership with SmartLynx will be parked at YVR nightly.Jetlines CEO Javier Suarez says: “I am excited to share that all slots to operate our winter schedule have been awarded. It is significant for Jetlines as we work to commence operations out of Vancouver International Airport. The Airport operates at a very high capacity in the winter season, as travellers plan trips to see family and friends, or to go on a vacation. These slots will allow us to fly our first passengers for these special occasions at incredibly low fares – at a price point that most Canadians have not had the opportunity to fly at.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upJetlines has had its eye on a December launch since April 2019. The launch of the ultra low-cost carrier has been a long time in the works and the airline faces tough competition from LCCs and ULCCs already in the market, including Air Canada Rouge, Swoop and Flair.Back in 2015 Jetlines was aiming to start service in Western Canada. A couple of years later it was touting June 2018 as the start date.Suarez says Jetlines’ ability to sell tickets and launch airline service remains subject to the completion of the airline licensing process, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the completion of financing. << Previous PostNext Post >> Jetlines says it will operate 1,000+ flights in first seasonlast_img read more

Costa Cruises debuts redesigned Costa Extra portal for travel advisors

first_imgCosta Cruises debuts redesigned ‘Costa Extra’ portal for travel advisors MIAMI — Costa Cruises has relaunched Costa Extra (, its travel agent portal exclusively for Canadian, U.S. and Caribbean-based travel advisors.The site provides key information, courses and marketing materials to help agents become Costa Cruises experts, says the cruise line.Updates include a bright and organized homepage with a navigational tool bar, cruise finder, the latest news and videos, a downloadable content search, access to Costa Academy and quick links for simple Costa Extra navigation.“We redesigned Costa Extra with the goal of making it easier for travel advisors to learn everything they need to know about our brand so they can successfully sell Costa cruises,” says Scott Knutson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Costa Cruises North America. “Travel professionals are the core of our business, and with the new and improved portal we’ve provided a go-to hub for agents to use when booking, planning and promoting Costa Cruises in the U.S. and Canada.”The navigational toolbar at the top features four tabs: Booking Tools, News, Academy and Marketing Tools.The Booking Tools tab is organized in four sections: ‘Booking’, ‘Group’, ‘Report’ and ‘Excursion’. The Booking section enables travel professionals to make and manage cruise and excursion reservations for individuals or groups, web check-in, a travel document search and a link to the agent-specific help desk. The Group section is where advisors can request invoices related to group trips, and the Report section allows travel professionals to pull operational reports about agency bookings. The Excursion section provides an easy way to search and book CostaTours for individual clients or groups.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe News tab features press releases, blog posts and videos with the latest Costa developments and brand enhancements. The Academy tab is where travel agents can access online courses. At the Academy, travel advisors have the ability to track their progress and reach training milestones.The Marketing Tools tab features two sections including ‘Marketing Box’, with a design tool where travel advisors can create personalized brochures, flyers, posters, newsletters, vouchers, banners, invitations and social media posts in just a few clicks.At the top of the homepage is a booking tool where travel agents can easily search for cruises by date range, destination, departure port, ship, fare and display prices.The ‘Latest News’ section on the website offers quick access to recent press releases, blog posts, articles and videos that familiarize travel professionals with the Costa brand. In addition, a ‘Library’ menu on the homepage provides easy access to a rich collection of downloadable content that travel professionals can use to learn more about the cruise line, promote the brand and plan cruises for clients, including deck plans, beverage packages, pricing, special needs, the Samsara spa menu and Costa branding.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThe homepage also features an ‘Academy’ area where travel agents can learn more about Costa Academy and browse through FAQs. Posted by About Latest Posts Jason Gouveia Latest posts by Jason Gouveia (see all) Costa Cruises debuts redesigned ‘Costa Extra’ portal for travel advisors – July 24, 2019 You can slide to your gate at this world-class airport – July 10, 2019 Swoop turns one year old today – June 20, 2019 Wednesday, July 24, 2019 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Jason Gouveia Tags: Costa Cruiseslast_img read more

Software pioneer McAfee expects to be freed soon

first_imgLONDON – U.S. anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee said on Tuesday he was “100 percent certain” he would gain freedom from a Guatemalan detention center within 24 hours.The 67-year-old, who was arrested for illegally entering the Central American country on Dec. 5, told Sky News that he expects to be leaving for the United States “soon.”McAfee’s request last week for asylum was denied because he entered Guatemala illegally while fleeing a police murder inquiry in Belize.Authorities in Belize want to question him about the death of 52-year-old Florida expatriate Gregory Faull, who was found by his housekeeper with a 9-mm bullet in his head, lying in a pool of his own blood.When asked what the chances were of being sent to the United States and avoiding extradition to Belize, McAfee replied: “100 percent. I think later today there will be more information about that.”McAfee insists he had nothing to do with the killing on the palm-fringed island of Ambergris Caye, where both men lived, and told Sky News he left “for his own safety.”“I cannot ever return to Belize,” he added. “There is no hope for my life if I am ever returned to Belize.”Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has called McAfee “extremely paranoid, even bonkers.”The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday reported that McAfee secured a deal with Canadian production company Impact Future Media to develop a project based on the software mogul’s life.The website revealed the title of the tentative TV biopic to be “Running in the Background: The True Story of John McAfee,” and will likely encircle the McAfee’s computer programming career and slew of recent legal battles. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Interpol seeks Guatemalan businessman linked to government corruption scandal— CICIG Guatemala (@CICIGgt) May 18, 2015 GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Interpol issued an international warrant for the arrest of a Guatemalan businessman accused of being involved in a tax fraud network that caused the resignation of Vice President Roxana Baldetti, an official source said Monday. The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN entity designated to eliminate illegal structures inside the government, published on Twitter the arrest warrant for 68-year-old businessman Luis Mendizábal.Mendizábal is charged by the CICIG and the Guatemalan Prosecutor’s Office of being the intermediary for a group of lawyers who bribed a judge in exchange for judicial benefits for defendants in the corruption case. Dozens of high level officials are accused of being involved in the case.The businessman’s name came up after the two entities presented some 25 wiretaps as evidence of Mendizábal’s negotiations to secure reduced bail and house arrest instead of jail for the accused.Many Guatemalans remember Mendizábal for his role in a bizarre murder mystery in 2009, which was covered in a story by The New Yorker.The leader of the customs tax evasion network has been identified as Juan Carlos Monzón, who was former Vice President Roxana Baldetti’s private secretary. Baldetti resigned on May 8 in the wake of the scandal. Monzón is currently at large and Interpol has also issued an international warrant for his arrest.The disclosure of the illegal structure caused indignation among diverse sectors of Guatemalan society. Thousands of citizens took to the streets in large demonstrations calling for an end to government corruption and the resignation of President Otto Pérez and ex Vice President Roxana Baldetti, accusing them of knowing about the customs fraud network.Last Saturday, one week after Baldetti’s resignation, tens of thousands of Guatemalans across the country went back to the streets to again demand President Pérez’s resignation. Facebook Comments Related posts:Guatemala’s Alfonso Portillo gets six years in prison in US Guatemalan president sacks 3 ministers amid graft scandal Genocide case against former Guatemalan dictator could be dismissed Guatemalan president faces judgment day in Congresslast_img read more

Blatter says FIFA faces more bad news

first_imgZURICH, Switzerland – FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Thursday that the scandal-tainted football body faces “more bad news” and that officials accused of corruption had brought shame and humiliation on the organization.Blatter did not raise the many calls made for him to resign for Friday’s election, as he opened FIFA’s annual congress one day after seven top football officials were arrested as part of a U.S corruption inquiry.“The next few months will not be easy for FIFA. I am sure more bad news will follow but it is necessary to begin to restore trust,” Blatter told the congress.“We cannot allow the reputation of football and FIFA to be dragged through the mud any longer. It has to stop here,” he added.Blatter called the scandals “unprecedented” and said the “actions of individuals bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all.”“The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this week’s congress.”The football president said FIFA cannot be an “exception” to rules on corruption and added “we will cooperate with all authorities to make sure that anyone involved in wrongdoing — from top to bottom — will be discovered and punished.”In his address, IOC boss Thomas Bach urged FIFA to cooperate fully with U.S. authorities to shed ‘full light’ on the corruption allegations facing football’s governing body.Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), acknowledged these are ‘sad and difficult days’ for FIFA and said Blatter’s organization must cleanse itself of any wrong-doings.“I would very much like to encourage you to continue and strengthen your cooperation with the relevant authorities to shed full light on the concerned methods and to take all necessary measures to address such grave allegations,” Bach said. “The IOC knows from its experience that this fight is challenging and can be very painful.“We also know there is no other way to ensure credibility, we have seen this in business, in politics and society.”Despite the storm, Blatter is favorite to win a fifth term in a vote at the congress on Friday. His only challenger is Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, a FIFA vice president, who has called for widespread reforms.Read all of our “FIFA-Gate” coverage here Facebook Comments Related posts:Blatter wins FIFA vote amid corruption storm FIFA’s Blatter shocked by US anti-corruption tactics FIFA arrests transform Blatter heir into face of football scandal FIFA-Gate: Just days after his re-election, Blatter resignslast_img read more

Marijuana use in the US more than doubles in just 12 years

first_imgThe number of adults using marijuana in the United States more than doubled in recent years, according to new research culling data from two massive surveys.In 2001, just 4.1 percent of adults said they used marijuana. That increased to 9.5 percent by 2013. The findings were published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.Researchers also found that marijuana abuse or dependence increased during that 12-year time frame, likely because the overall number of adults using increased so much.Increased marijuana use came during roughly the same timeframe that U.S. attitudes about legalizing the drug shifted; less than one-third of U.S. citizens were in favor of legalizing marijuana in 2002, while a majority favored legalization in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.Starting in 2012, states began legalizing small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use; it’s now legal in four states and the District of Columbia. And medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Lead study author Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology in psychiatry at Columbia University, said she’s been particularly interested in tracking usage trends “given all the changes in attitudes and changes in laws.”But it’s unclear what’s behind such a dramatic increase in marijuana use. “We showed that it happened,” Hasin said. “Now, the thing that really needs to be researched is the why.”“You can speculate that Americans are increasingly viewing marijuana as a harmless substance, … or laws are changing,” she added. “But we don’t really know until you do good, empirical studies on what factors are really influencing it.”Researchers analyzed two rounds of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions; in the 2001-2002 round, 43,093 people participated, while 36,309 participated in the 2012-2013 round.In addition to marijuana use, participants answered other questions that helped determine whether they also experienced use disorder, such as: did they continue using marijuana despite it causing trouble with friends and family, or physical or psychological problems; did they try and fail to cut down despite repeated attempts; and did they repeatedly drive under the influence.According to the findings, use disorder among users did decrease slightly. About three out of every 10 marijuana users experienced abuse or dependency, representing approximately 6.8 million U.S. citizens.Hasin said it’s important to present information “in a balanced way” about the risks associated with marijuana use.“While many in the United States think prohibition of recreational marijuana should be ended, this study and others suggest caution and the need for public education about the potential harms in marijuana use, including the risk for addiction,” the authors write. “As is the case with alcohol, many individuals can use marijuana without becoming addicted. However, the clear risk for marijuana use disorders among users (approximately 30 percent) suggests that as the number of U.S. users grows, so will the numbers of those experiencing problems related to such use.”© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Big Tobacco need not apply for work in the cannabis market Global drug policy isn’t working. These 100-plus organizations want that to change. A huge new study finds that medical marijuana doesn’t ‘send the wrong message’ to kids Another medical use for pot: Healing broken boneslast_img read more

El Salvador exPresident Francisco Flores to stand trial for embezzlement

first_imgSAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A judge on Thursday ordered El Salvador’s former President Francisco Flores tostand trial for allegedly siphoning off $10 million donated by Taiwan more than a decade ago.Flores will face charges of embezzlement of public funds, money laundering and other illicit activities, Judge Miguel Ángel García told him in a long-awaited ruling.The 56-year-old former head of state, who governed from 1999 to 2004, is accused of misappropriating money Taiwan had given ostensibly to help Salvadoran victims of a 2001 earthquake. He remains under house arrest.The trial also could implicate other members of Flores’ National Republican Alliance party. The allegations against Flores were first publicly made in 2013 by then-President Mauricio Funes. Flores voluntarily turned himself in the following year to respond to the allegations, which he denies. Facebook Comments Related posts:El Salvador graft trial set for ex-President Francisco Flores El Salvador ex-President Francisco Flores in a coma after stroke After 7 months on the run, El Salvador’s ex-President Flores turns himself in Court revokes house arrest for former president of El Salvador, orders him to prison pending triallast_img read more

Costa Rica recognizes Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela Maduro severs ties

first_imgCosta Rica recognized Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela.Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s national assembly, declared himself acting president of Venezuela on Wednesday during a mass opposition rally against Nicolas Maduro. “I swear to assume the national executive powers as acting president of Venezuela to end the usurpation, [install] a transitional government and hold free elections,” Guaidó said to thousands of cheering supporters. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the street today in Caracas to oppose President Nicolas Maduro, the AFP reported. The protest came after four people died during overnight clashes between Maduro supporters and opponents. A masked opposition demonstrator holds razor wire during clashes with the security forces in a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, on the anniversary of the 1958 uprising that overthrew the military dictatorship, in Caracas on January 23, 2019. (Federico Parra / AFP)Venezuela’s Supreme Court quickly launched a criminal probe into the National Assembly, but countries across the Americas recognized Juan Guaidó as the interim president. Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and the United States all backed Guaidó earlier in the afternoon and then President Carlos Alvarado announced his support for Guaidó on Twitter:Costa Rica reconoce la proclamación del señor Juan Guaidó como presidente interino de Venezuela. Abogamos por el diálogo, la paz y nuevas elecciones libres.— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) January 23, 2019Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying “Costa Rica expresses its support for the interim government, which has a mandate to restore constitutional order and attend to its obligations in the framework of international law and, in particular, the human rights of all Venezuelans.The Foreign Ministry also noted that as a nation of peace, Costa Rica reiterates that the solution to the crisis should come through dialogue and peaceful means. The AFP has reported that riot police have already clashed with anti-Maduro protesters. Maduro has also severed diplomatic ties with the United States and has given U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.“I’ve decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist government of the United States,” said Maduro to thousands of supporters in Caracas.“Get out! Leave Venezuela, here there’s dignity, damn it.”This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S. Costa Rica, EU and Latam contact group on Venezuela will meet Thursday Europeans, Latin Americans to meet on Venezuela crisis Venezuela: three months of crisislast_img read more

Gulf group urges Oman to free detained activists

first_imgMUSCAT, Oman (AP) – A Gulf rights group is calling on Oman to free over 30 people including writers and bloggers arrested during crackdowns on protests and pro-reform campaigns in the tightly run Arabian peninsula nation.The Gulf Center for Human Rights says 22 people were taken into custody Monday during a demonstration to demand the release of at least nine activists detained this month.The group’s statement Tuesday says those in custody include poets, writers and social media activists. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 0 Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories center_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories Oman has been hit this month by strikes in its oil industry. Last year, protests inspired by the Arab Spring called for a greater political openness.In response, Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos gave more powers to a council which until then had been advisory.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

Bomb explosion near Indonesian capital injures 6

first_imgAssociated PressJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – A suspected militant was critically injured when a bomb apparently being prepared for a terrorist attack exploded in a house near Indonesia’s capital, police said Sunday. At least three other people living nearby were injured along with two suspects who fled.An elite anti-terror squad was searching for the two men who escaped after the strong blast late Saturday in Depok, a town on the outskirts of Jakarta, said National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Anang Iskandar. The explosion came just days after police raided another home in Jakarta where similar bomb-making materials were found in connection with a terrorist group that allegedly plotted to kill police and bomb the country’s Parliament. “The government strongly deplores and condemns those who caused such an explosion,” Djoko Suyanto, a top security minister, told reporters Sunday, adding that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had been informed while attending a Pacific Rim summit in Vladivostok, Russia. “The president has ordered the hunt for the two suspects who fled the blast scene, and that’s what we are doing.”National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said the two suspects were severely wounded in their hands, and he warned the public to be on the lookout for anyone with such injuries.Iskandar said police at the site found a badly injured man whose left hand had been cut off. Bomb-making devices were found scattered around him.“We suspect he was making bombs when one of them detonated prematurely,” Capt. Agus Widodo, a local police chief in Depok, told reporters at the scene. “His condition is critical. We cannot talk to him.”He said the man also suffered burns over up to 70 percent of his face and body.The house had been rented for the past month and was listed as an orphanage foundation office and herbal clinic, but was never opened to the public.Police questioned five people living near the house, including two injured men and a woman with slight wounds to her head. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Indonesia, a secular nation with more Muslims than any other in the world, has been battling terrorists since 2002, when militants linked to the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah started attacking Western nightclubs, restaurants and embassies.More than 260 people have been killed, many of them foreign tourists.Recent terror attacks in Indonesia have been carried out by individuals or small groups and have targeted local “infidels” instead of Westerners, with less deadly results.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img The vital role family plays in society Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day They said they saw two men flee on a motorbike just after the blast, and that one managed to jump a fence even though he appeared wounded, Widodo said.“It was actually a militant safe house from evidence found there,” Widodo said.Police seized six pipe bombs, three grenades, two machine guns and a Beretta pistol, Iskandar said in a text message. A bomb squad team was investigating the explosives, which were packed with nails to maximize impact.The incident came amid a security crackdown in recent days in which two militants were killed and three others arrested. Last week, police found bomb-making materials at another home in Jakarta where suspected bomb maker Muhammad Toriq lived, but he managed to escape when police raided the house.Iskandar said there was a resemblance between Toriq and the man in critical condition. He said police would conduct a DNA test to determine if the identities matched, adding that explosives found in Depok were similar to the homemade bombs discovered at Toriq’s home.Toriq is believed to be linked to a militant group that planned to shoot police and bomb the Parliament building to wage “holy war” and establish an Islamic state. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Myanmar lawyers push to save colonial buildings

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Sponsored Stories The lawyers also oppose the sale of the former High Court building to a developer who hopes to convert the clock-towered structure built in 1911 into a museum and restaurant.The red-brick High Court, located across from Sule Pagoda at one of the city’s main traffic circles, operates as a regional court and is no longer the country’s supreme court, which was moved to Naypyitaw after the military regime shifted the capital there in 2005.Conservationists have launched a major effort to preserve Yangon’s architecture and held an international conference in Yangon in June to draw attention to the cause. The city currently provides a measure of protection for 188 sites but there is fear that some will deteriorate beyond repair or be bought and demolished by developers.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Associated PressYANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Lawyers in Myanmar vowed Tuesday to fight the sale of Yangon’s 101-year-old High Court and a plan to convert the city’s imposing old police headquarters into a Chinese-owned hotel.The Myanmar Lawyers’ Network said it is searching for legal means to nullify the sale of both buildings, which were auctioned off by the previous military government that ceded power in 2011. The calls for preservation come amid sweeping changes in Myanmar, which has been described as a country frozen in time during the half-century of military rule. One of the only cities in Asia with its colonial heritage still intact, Myanmar is becoming a magnet for economic development as it opens to the outside world.The former British colonial-era Police Commissioner’s Office is a sprawling two-story structure that takes up a square block down the street from the famed Strand Hotel. In recent years it served as a court complex and is filled with courtrooms, judges’ chambers and other legal offices.Renovation started recently and a fence went up around the building, prompting lawyers to band together in an effort to save it, said Aung Thein, a member of the lawyers’ network.“A Chinese company is going to turn the old Police Commissioner’s Office into a hotel,” Aung Thein said. “We have to stop this before it goes any further. The network will find all legal means to stop this privatization deal.”The lawyers are threatening to stage protests after getting no response to letters sent last month to President Thein Sein and the speakers of parliament to halt the privatization, he said. In the letters they called for the preservation of both buildings, which have been designated heritage sites. They cited a 1988 preservation law that carries a five-year prison term for anyone who makes structural changes to landmark buildings. Check your body, save your life Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

India gives man life term for 2009 hijack hoax

first_imgAssociated PressNEW DELHI (AP) – An Indian court has sentenced a man to life in prison for a 2009 hijack scare in a passenger plane, saying it was adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to prevent future incidents that could endanger the lives of other passengers.A New Delhi court on Tuesday ordered Jitender Kumar Mohla, 45, imprisoned for life for threatening the pilot and crew of an IndiGo Airlines plane in February 2009 by saying he was armed with a gun and infected needles. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Mohla plans to appeal the sentence, a relative said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he did not wish to be identified due to the sensitivity of the case.Mohla was convicted last week on charges of endangering the safety of others and intimidating the pilot and crew while the aircraft, which was headed from western Goa state to Delhi, was mid-air with around 160 passengers on board.The threat created panic among the passengers and prompted the pilot to send a hijack alert.The plane made an emergency landing at New Delhi’s airport, where it was kept in isolation for two hours until security personnel confirmed that Mohla was unarmed. It remains unclear why he made the threats.Mohla was arrested a day after the incident and has been in jail since then. He has made several bail attempts, but his applications have been turned down by the courts.District Judge I.S. Mehta also ordered Mohla to pay a fine of 7,000 rupees ($130).After the sentencing, the court said in a statement that it was adopting a “zero tolerance” approach toward offenses that could endanger the lives of other passengers and was in keeping with India’s commitment to international agreements on safety in civil aviation, according to the Hindu newspaper. How do cataracts affect your vision? How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Senate adopts GOP budget targeting Obamacare

first_img Sponsored Stories “Republicans have started talking the talk about issues like inequality and criminal justice reform, but their budget shows they are not walking the walk,” Earnest said.The measure pleases the GOP faithful by setting up a debate this summer that would permit Republicans to finally pass legislation to repeal Obama’s health care law. That’s because Senate Democrats would be unable to filibuster the repeal bill under fast-track budget rules, though Obama is certain to veto it.But Republicans have no plans to follow up the budget document’s call for other spending cuts with binding legislation that would, for instance, curb Medicare payments to providers, tighten eligibility rules for food stamps, or dump poor and disabled people off the traditional Medicaid program.Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both presidential contenders, were the only Republicans who voted against the blueprint. GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, also seeking the White House, voted in its favor, as did Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a potential presidential candidate. All Democrats voted in opposition.Democrats blasted the measure for getting the bulk of its savings from cuts to programs that help the poor and middle class while leaving tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, including a proposal to eliminate taxes on multimillion-dollar inheritances. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday adopted a GOP budget that paves the way for an assault on President Barack Obama’s health care law this summer and a partisan showdown over spending bills this fall.The Senate passed the nonbinding measure by a nearly party-line 51-48 vote. The House adopted it last week.The measure sets a potential path for a balanced budget within a decade. It promises to cut domestic agencies and safety net programs like Medicaid and food stamps, carve up transportation spending and student aid, and curb tax breaks for the poor. Republicans don’t plan to adhere to most of its cuts in follow-up legislation, however.And in the near term the GOP plan promises a $38 billion, 7 percent increase for the Pentagon that is possible only by padding war accounts.Republicans and many economists say balancing the budget helps the economy in the long run and say it’s better to tackle the long-term financial problems of programs like Medicare and Medicaid sooner rather than later. They also promise to relieve the burden of debt that’s being passed on to future generations.“That’s really unconscionable, to keep spending money and then send the bill to our kids and grandkids and say: ‘You pay it. We had a good time. Good luck,’” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.The budget plan does not go to Obama, who has promised to veto follow-up spending bills that he says will shortchange domestic programs like student aid, highway construction and scientific research.White House spokesman Josh Earnest disparaged the budget plan for increasing money for defense but not for non-defense domestic programs.In the wake of racial tensions involving police and low-income communities, Earnest specifically argued the Republican plan would jeopardize programs that provide criminal justice assistance to state and local governments. “This is an absolute disaster for the working families of this country,” said liberal Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination. “In fact, one of the problems that I have had in describing the Republican budget is that it is so bad … that people don’t even really believe you when you talk about what is in this budget.”The budget sets up a battle later this year over the 12 annual spending bills setting agency operating budgets. Republicans have skirted budget rules and are trying to award the Pentagon a 7 percent budget hike while keeping domestic programs frozen at current levels.Obama and his Democratic allies in the Senate say they will block those budget moves and are calling for a negotiation that would replace immediate and automatic budget cuts known as sequestration with longer-term substitute cuts and revenues from closing tax loopholes. Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio say tax increases are out of the question.Under Washington’s arcane budget process, lawmakers first adopt a budget that’s essentially a visionary document that sets goals that politicians are often unwilling to pursue. The GOP document also lacks specifics about which programs would be cut, insulating the Senate’s large crop of vulnerable incumbents from taking a more politically dangerous vote. The measure manages to chart a path toward balance without new taxes, though it assumes Republicans will find about $1 trillion over 10 years to replace “Obamacare” taxes like the 3.8 percent surcharge on investment income paid by upper-bracket earners. It also retains large Obamacare cuts to health care providers such as Medicare Advantage plans even though Republicans criticized the cuts in past campaigns.Senate Republicans prevailed in a debate over a Medicare plan championed by House Republicans that would give people joining the system after 2024 a subsidy to purchase health insurance on the open market rather than a guaranteed package of services. That plan has failed to resonate in the Senate, particularly among incumbents up for re-election next year in states carried by Obama.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Prince Harry tells New Zealand kids he calls Queen granny

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system 0 Comments   Share   The visit came the morning after Harry deviated from his official program by attending a quiz night at the island’s only bar, the South Sea Hotel. His team, called “The Ginger Ninjas” in a nod to his red hair, finished second to a team comprised of his own bodyguards, according to British newspaper The Telegraph.At the school, Harry sat in on an introductory German class. He apologized for not speaking the language, adding that he’d learned some French at school, which he’d mostly forgotten, and he’d love to learn Spanish.In another class, one student asked what he called Queen Elizabeth.“I call her Granny, but I refer to her as the Queen because I’m in the Army and she’s my boss,” he replied.In answer to other questions, the 30-year-old prince said doesn’t live in a castle and doesn’t even own a crown, his favorite food is spaghetti Bolognese, and he loves flying helicopters because “there’s only two of you in the office and no one else can bother you.”Harry plans to visit New Zealand through May 16 and is scheduled to visit Christchurch, Whanganui, Linton and Auckland. He arrived from Australia after a monthlong embedment with the Australian army. Britain’s Prince Harry, center, visits the Stewart Island Community Centre as part of his first visit to New Zealand, Sunday, May 10, 2015. Prince Harry traveled south to the island, population some 300. About half the residents turned out to greet him at a community hall or wave to him from outside. (Robyn Edie/Pool Photo via AP) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober STEWART ISLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Britain’s Prince Harry told schoolchildren Monday on a remote New Zealand island that his favorite food is spaghetti Bolognese, he calls Queen Elizabeth II “granny” and he wishes he could speak other languages.The Prince visited Halfmoon Bay School on the third day of a weeklong tour of the South Pacific nation and answered some tricky questions posed by the children. The primary school has 24 students and is the only one on Stewart Island, population 378. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Thousands attend funeral of killed Burundi opposition figure

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milkcenter_img Sponsored Stories BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Thousands of people in Burundi’s capital on Sunday attended the funeral of an opposition leader killed in a drive-by shooting.Young people singing patriotic songs carried the coffin of politician Zedi Feruzi, stopping traffic as they marched for 90 minutes through Bujumbura, the capital, to a Muslim cemetery.Feruzi and a body guard were killed Saturday night in a drive-by shooting. Feruzi’s killing has caused many of Burundi’s opposition figures to go into hiding, saying that those who oppose President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term are not safe. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Burundi has been rocked by four weeks of street protests, in which at least 20 have died, that started after it was announced Nkurunziza will stand for re-election on June 26. The protests gave rise to an attempted coup on May 13 but army forces loyal to Nkurunziza put down the coup within 48 hours.Opposition politicians, journalists and civic activists are hiding in Bujumbura, the capital, because they do not feel safe after the killing of Feruzi, another opposition figure Agathon Rwasa told The Associated Press.“The life of anyone who opposes Pierre Nkurunziza is in danger,” said Rwasa. “People are being assassinated here and there.”At least 100,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries fearing political violence ahead of the elections.Four independent radio stations and TV station have been attacked with grenades and at least one has been completely burned, leaving the state-owned media as the only source of information for many Burundians who don’t leave in the capital. Some journalists who witnessed the attacks say the perpetrators were government intelligence officials and police.“I am deeply worried by the extremely tense situation in Burundi. We are receiving alarming messages from human rights defenders and journalists fearing for their safety. I urge the Burundian authorities to ensure their protection and to guarantee that there will be no unlawful reprisals following Wednesday’s failed coup,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said last week. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more