Less cancelled flights and lost bags for US airlines

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Less cancelled flights and lost bags for U.S. airlines Source: The Associated Press Thursday, February 16, 2017 Tags: Alaska Airlines, America, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Virgin Group NEW YORK CITY — The government says U.S. airlines cancelled fewer flights in 2016 than any year on record while also posting record-low numbers for lost bags and passengers getting bumped off oversold flights.And it says airlines had one of their best years for on-time arrivals, although it wasn’t a record and December was worse than the same month a year earlier.The Transportation Department reported Tuesday that the 12 leading U.S. airlines cancelled 1.17 per cent of flights last year, the lowest rate among comparable figures going back to 1995. The previous best was 1.24 per cent in 2002, when travel decreased after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.So you might think it’s all upgrades and free snacks in the air. Travelers know better.Airlines have added extra fees for many things that used to be included in the ticket price. Changing a ticket? That will cost you up to $200, depending on the airline, and even more for international flights.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsAverage legroom has been shrinking for years. To squeeze in more seats, the cushions are getting thinner. Air travel is less egalitarian – the biggest airlines boast about fancy new seats and other amenities for passengers in the premium cabins, but they are also introducing “basic economy” fares that in some cases don’t let coach passengers use the overhead bins.Still, air travel is first about getting quickly from one place to another. And the airlines seem to be doing a better job of that.The Transportation Department says 81.4 per cent of domestic flights arrived on-time, which the government defines as within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. That was the fourth-best year since 1995. But December’s on-time rate of 75.6 per cent was down from 77.8 per cent in the previous December.Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines had the best on-time rates for the full year. December’s leaders were Hawaiian, Delta and American Airlines. Spirit Airlines ranked last for 2016, but rival budget carrier Frontier Airlines was last in December.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongThe bad news was that there were more long delays in any year since 2013. There were 84 domestic flights last year that sat on the ground for more than three hours, and 36 international flights that waited at least four hours _ long enough on all those flights that the government could fine the airlines.The airlines reported that one bag was lost, stolen or delayed for every 370 passengers, the best rate since the Transportation Department started tracking the figure in 1987. Virgin America had the lowest rate of mishandled bags in 2016, while ExpressJet mishandled bags most often. Sharelast_img read more

Swoop launches mobile app new uniforms

first_imgTags: Swoop, WestJet CALGARY — Swoop has launched a mobile app in preparation for its first flights starting June 20.“We live in an increasingly digital world, so providing our travellers with a mobile app to make the travel experience more convenient was paramount for Swoop,” said Steven Greenway, President and Chief Executive Officer of Swoop.He adds: “The app also allows us to offer inflight entertainment and WiFi connectivity through Swoop Stream, and that’s a key differentiator for a ULCC.”The app is now available for iOS 10 or newer, and Android 5 or newer, and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.The app has booking capability. It also allows passengers to manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes and track flights. Passengers can also access for-purchase WiFi and entertainment amenities.Using the mobile check-in feature travellers can check-in up to 24 hours prior to the departure time. It gives the option to view and download an electronic boarding pass as well as a last chance to choose flight options, before arrival at the airport.Swoop has also unveiled its new uniforms, described by Swoop’s Kellie Farrer, Sr. Leader, Inflight as a “modern take on classic styles”.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaPilots will sport their choice of short or long sleeved collared grey shirts paired with charcoal pants and an optional black zip-up cardigan with button tabs for their epaulettes and stitched pin-holes for their pilot wings.Swoop reps say that in the spirit of keeping it casual, the pilot uniforms will not include a hat or tie.Cabin crew have several uniform options including a charcoal grey dress or pants that can be paired with a short or long sleeved white collared shirt, with accessories including a black or magenta belt, Swoop neck scarf, cut-away cardigan or zippered cardigan. A custom dress with a mandarin collar is currently in production and will be added and unveiled in the fall.Customer service agents will wear their own black or charcoal pants with the same white collared shirts that cabin crew members wear. The white button-down collared shirts include details like a Swoop rondelle logo embroidered on the sleeve and grosgrain piping on the collar.Swoop’s official uniform collection also includes Swoop-branded crew luggage and insulated lunch kit; a form-fitted black jacket with embossed Swoop rondelle logo on the left chest, thumb hole sleeves, and small magenta accents; a black down jacket “for cold Canadian winters”; a grey and magenta Swoop lanyard; bronze pilots wings; and silver brevet-style name badges for cabin crew and customer service agents.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemEarlier this year Swoop announced a fourth B737-800 aircraft and an increased weekly frequency schedule out of Hamilton beginning Aug. 16. The addition of the fourth aircraft means an increase of 13 weekly flights that will almost double the daily frequency between Hamilton-Edmonton and Hamilton-Abbotsford. Swoop also added one weekly flight to the schedule for Hamilton-Halifax and Hamilton-Winnipeg, which will now be offered daily.The increased service is as follows:Hamilton-Edmonton increases from 7 to 13x weeklyHamilton-Abbotsford increases from 6 to 11x weekly (from Aug. 16-Sept. 5 only, reverting to 6 weekly flights from Sept. 6-Dec. 13, 2018)Hamilton-Halifax increases from 6 to 7x weeklyHamilton-Winnipeg increases from 6 to 7x weeklyThe increases will see Swoop operating 59 weekly flights as of Aug. 16. Share Thursday, June 14, 2018 Swoop launches mobile app, new uniformscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

Interjet promo slashes fares by as much as 70

first_imgInterjet promo slashes fares by as much as 70% Share Tags: Interjet, Mexico City MEXICO CITY — Interjet Airlines is offering special limited-time autumn fares for flights between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, available for purchase until Oct. 21, 2018.The fares, valid for travel until March 31, 2019, offer discounts of up to 70% off regular ticket prices to most international and domestic destinations Interjet serves.“It’s autumn and leaves are falling. So we decided to offer ‘falling fares’ as a thank you to our customers for their loyalty and continued support,” said Julio Gamero, Interjet’s Commercial Executive Director. “These lower fares will also incentivize more leisure and business travellers to experience our unique brand of lower fares with free checked bags with certain fares, more legroom between seats, and our great service that has been embraced everywhere we fly.”Based in Mexico City, Interjet carries more than 12 million passengers annually within Mexico and between Mexico, Canada, the U.S. and South America. It was recently honoured at Skytrax’s World Airline Awards with ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in Mexico’ and ‘Best Cabin Crew in Mexico’.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamFor more information on this promotion go to interjet.com. Travelweek Group center_img Wednesday, October 17, 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Regions leaders call for new social pact

first_img The Tico Times From the print editionBy Diego Urdaneta | AFPWASHINGTON, D.C. – Central America needs a new regional pact to overcome substantial social inequality and to defeat organized crime, according to participants in the Central American Peace Accords in the 1980s, who spoke Tuesday at a meeting of the Organization of American States.“I think the legacy of the peace plan is a fertile but inconclusive one,” said Oscar Arias, winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize and former two-term president of Costa Rica (1986-1990, 2006-2010). “In Central America, we have peace, democracy and development, but what’s lacking is quality in all of those variables.” Vinicio Cerezo. “It will be impossible to consolidate the democracy, plurality and peace achieved 25 years ago if we don’t decide to move forward toward necessary transformations,” said former Guatemalan President Vinicio Cerezo.Arias and Cerezo, two of five Central American presidents who signed the Esquipulas II Peace Accords in Guatemala in 1987, delivered keynote speeches during the OAS forum, which included other participants of the ’80s peace process, such as former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein.“We shouldn’t be satisfied with what the region has accomplished,” Arias said. Cerezo called for a new Esquipulas-type agreement to confront the “demons” of a social “debt” to the majority of Central Americans, as well as the violence and institutional weakness brought on by drug trafficking and organized crime. The new agreement should outline regional policy to confront the problems, the former president said. Continuing to ignore social injustice, Cerezo added, would “only continue undermining our society” and contribute to the “cultivation of future confrontation.”“The state is not functioning well, civil society is very fragmented and weak, and political society is defrauding citizens,” Stein said, adding that the new pact should include “minimum commitments” by countries of the region. Central American presidents met last week in Nicaragua to commemorate the peace accords, which put an end to decades of bloody civil war in the region.During last week’s summit, leaders debated the region’s priorities, including fighting organized crime, which has converted the isthmus into the world’s most dangerous region.Michael Barnes, who headed a subcommittee on Latin America in the U.S. House of Representatives in the ’80, called on U.S. officials to impose restrictions on the sale of weapons that later are trafficked to Mexico and Central America, where they end up in the hands of members of organized crime.OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza acknowledged that Central America’s problems can only be solved through solutions proposed by countries in the region.“The same courage that our leaders demonstrated [in signing the peace accords in 1987] is inspiring for today’s leaders who confront new challenges and threats against stability in the region,” Insulza said. Central America’s peace accords were “substantially important” for Latin America, as they were key elements that marked the process of democratization in the region,” he added.Said Insulza: “We can have discussions, but there are no other alternatives to democracy.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Featured Costa Rican properties

first_imgPlaya Tamarindo, Guanacaste. No related posts. Hollywood actor turned cop Steven Seagal nearly bought this Balinese-style estate located in Tamarindo, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. The word is that the tough-guy Buddhist actor loved the home, but wasn’t too fond of the country’s political leaders. “When Seagal came to our home he was blown away by the natural feeling of the property,” says owner Tony DiMaggio. The home sits on 4.29 acres of secluded countryside and was designed by famous Costa Rican architect Abraham Valenzuela, an expert on Pacific rim architecture. Started in 2008, it took more than four years to plan, design and build.Balinese architecture works well in Costa Rica, which has similar weather to the Indonesian province. Conchal, Guanacaste. From the print editionPlaya Tamarindo, Guanacaste. Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste.center_img Perched on a 2,300-acre golf and resort community, this three-level, Spanish colonial home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms is ideal for a second home or even a bed and breakfast. Built in 2005, Villa Melina spans 4,000 square feet. Its master bedroom occupies the entire third floor, while three guest bedrooms are spread out on lower floors.In addition to its spectacular ocean view and luxury interior, Villa Melina is located in Reserva Conchal, a resort community that has a $12 million beach club, a Robert Trent Jones II designer golf course, a Westin Resort and access to the gorgeous white sand of Playa Conchal, an ideal beach for snorkeling and swimming. In the beach club, homeowners can access a world-class spa, lap pool, kiddie pool, hot and cold water Jacuzzi, two restaurants, bars and a gift shop. Conchal, Guanacaste. Best of all, there are no homeowners’ association dues (Villa Melina is one of only two homes in the community exempt from the dues).For families looking to relocate to Costa Rica, Villa Melina is close to Country Day School, a great educational opportunity for expats, as the school has a top-notch curriculum and excellent teachers.Details: $894,00. Rebecca L. Clower, Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, 8705-1850 (in Costa Rica), (813) 579-3350 (in the U.S.). Facebook Comments DiMaggio decided to name the home Casa Ventana, to highlight its breathtaking multidirectional views of the valley and the Pacific Ocean.Covering 10,000 square feet, Casa Ventana features four bedrooms and six baths, spectacular dining and living areas that open onto a long, covered patio, and a 60-foot infinity pool for sunrise swims.The estate’s seclusion makes it an ideal option for privacy-seekers, and more than one famous rock star has the home on radar. Details: $2.1 million. Tony DiMaggio, Coldwell Banker Tamarindo, 2653-1142, tony@cbtamarindo.com.Playa Conchal, Guanacaste.last_img read more

Venezuelas diplomatic war with US escalates

first_imgNo related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. — The leader of Venezuela’s oil-rich petrocracy has been known to promote conspiracies of Western sabotage of everything from Caracas’ power grid to its toilet paper supply. But in recent days, President Nicolás Maduro has reached new heights of paranoia — expelling U.S. diplomats over charges that they’re threatening to destabilize the country.Late Tuesday night, the State Department told three Venezuelan diplomats to leave the United States in response to Venezuela’s decision to boot the highest-ranking U.S. envoy there and two other U.S. officials. Earlier on Tuesday, Maduro explained that his order came after U.S. diplomats attempted to destabilize his country during meetings with “far-right” members of the Venezuelan opposition.“While the government of the United States does not understand that it has to respect our country’s sovereignty, there will simply be no cordial relations nor cordial communication,” Maduro said from the government palace.Caught off guard, the State Department responded angrily. “It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel U.S. diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action,” State Department spokesman Peter Velasco said. “It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries and not a serious way for a country to conduct its foreign policy.”Even for a handpicked successor to Hugo Chávez, Maduro is raising eyebrows with the frequency at which he doles out claims of sabotage and foreign meddling. “The announcement of conspiracies and assassination attempts followed by sharp diplomatic downturns didn’t begin with Nicolás Maduro,” said Patrick Duddy, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. “It seems, however, to be accelerating with President Maduro, and there may be a correlation with how badly things are going domestically.”Since taking office, Maduro has made at least 11 accusations of alleged plots to assassinate the president or efforts to destabilize his government, according to CNN en Español. These allegations run the gamut.Last month, the government attributed a scarcity of food and toilet paper to a U.S. “economic war” aided by “fascist” co-conspirators in the Venezuelan opposition. As a result, Maduro ordered the national guard to infiltrate a large toilet paper factory on Sept. 20 to check for irregularities in production.That same month, more than half of Venezuela was left without power due to an electrical blackout. Even though the country’s strained power grid has lacked basic upkeep for years, Maduro blamed the opposition and conspiring capitalists. In September, he blamed a refinery explosion in August 2012 on the country’s enemies, including American embassy officials, waging a “war against the economy.”Last week, he canceled his trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting due to alleged plots to harm him. “The clan, the mafia of Otto Reich, and Roger Noriega once again had planned a crazy, terrible provocation that can’t be described in any other way,” Maduro said, a reference to two former U.S. officials.Perhaps most famously, Maduro accused U.S. officials of plotting to destabilize Venezuela hours before he announced the end of Chávez’s losing battle with cancer.The spate of accusations has led experts to look decisively toward the Dec. 8 nationwide municipal elections as evidence of Maduro’s erratic behavior. “Given the political contestation in Venezuela over the outcome of the presidential elections in April, these municipal elections are likely to be seen as a referendum on Maduro’s government,” Harold Trinkunas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Cable. “President Maduro may calculate that accusing the United States of fomenting plots against him still has value as a means to reinforce domestic support for his government.”Duddy — the former ambassador who himself was ousted by Chávez in an epithet-filled speech in 2008 — said the economy can’t be ignored. “It’s important to note just how badly things are going domestically for Maduro,” he said. “Inflation is now running at about 45 percent. The dollar, on the parallel market, is trading at multiples of the official rate. Hundreds of percent higher. Violent crime in the country is extraordinarily high. Caracas may well be the most violent capital city anywhere in a country not at war.”“The government is facing a very, very difficult domestic situation and is inclined to search for scapegoats,” he added.Meanwhile, with respective embassies in Caracas and Washington gutted, the two nations are left without senior representation to engage in the protocol-obsessed world of international diplomacy. Though Maduro is now asking President Barack Obama to address his grievance, the United States is showing no signs of acquiescence.State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki insists U.S. diplomats “were there conducting normal diplomatic engagement, as we’ve said in the past, and [that] should come as no surprise.”In a press conference in Caracas before her 48-hour deadline to leave expired, U.S. Chargé d’affaires Kelly Keiderling denied any attempt in sabotage the government. “It is true. We met with Venezuelans,” she said. “These meetings with civil society can be with [the independent election monitoring group] Súmate, they can be with a group of women, with mothers who have lost children, or with an environmental group that wants to lobby for cleaning a park,” she said. “If we aren’t talking with these people, we aren’t doing our jobs.”Hudson writes The Cable for Foreign Policy.© 2013, Foreign Policy Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Adiós El Chapo

first_imgRelated posts:As Mexico catches cartel boss, others wait in the wings Mexico drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán back in jail, betrayed by biopic bid Did Delta Force help capture El Chapo? US role yet to be detailed Mexico wants to question Sean Penn over meeting with ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is taking a victory lap of sorts after the capture of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel,taking to Twitter to herald his country’s security forces and accepting congratulatory phone calls from an array of world leaders.But Nieto might want to think twice about popping the champagne: If history is any indication, Guzmán’s fall points to a difficult and likely violent time ahead, both in Mexico and the United States.When Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the Medellín cartel was killed in 1993, his demise was widely celebrated. When the competing Cali cartel’s leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, were arrested a few years later there was talk of the end of mass cocaine trafficking. Variants of those optimistic predictions are repeated with every major arrest.Taking out kingpins in transnational criminal organizations has enormous benefits, but also enormous dangers. Chief among them: the violent aftershocks that play out as rival cartels try to move in on a weakened enemy and old scores are settled within the cartel itself. In Guzmán’s case, that could mean sustained bloodshed in both Mexico and the United States.As one recent United Nations report on drug trafficking correctly noted, “The key driver of violence is not cocaine, but change: change in the negotiated power relations between and within groups, and with the state.” Partial view of money seized from an alleged member of the Zetas drug cartel. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFPThe capture of Guzmán is the type of change that upsets all of these relationships and is paradoxically likely to make it harder, not easier, to dent the flood of cocaine that washes into the United States.On the plus side, the cartel’s command and control chain is disrupted and, at least temporarily, delivery services can be disrupted. But this seldom translates into a long-term decline in availability of cocaine on the streets of the United States and Europe.That’s because even though once solid trafficking structures fragment into many smaller organizations, each less efficient than the original, in aggregate they’re able to move enough cocaine to keep the market relatively stable. Even worse, rather than having one main target to focus on, law enforcement is soon faced with five or six new, smaller but lethal organizations.Perhaps the most damaging impact of taking out old, established leaders is that they are almost always replaced by younger, more violent, and less seasoned leaders as drug trafficking structures splinter into smaller pieces. This period, lasting from months to years, usually brings a spike in violence.In Colombia, the Cali cartel leadership, while violent, preferred to buy or negotiate with its potential enemies, and homicides were rare. They were replaced by the Northern Valley cartel, whose young and violent leaders’ preferred method of dealing with enemies was cutting them up with chainsaws and dumping the bodies in the river. Rather than buying policemen or politicians and negotiating with rivals, they killed them and often their families and turned once-tranquil parts of the country into war zones.In Mexico, the Zetas broke away from the Gulf cartel, setting of a bloody war that simmers to this day. There are many other examples of a large corporate drug trafficking structure turning into a series of mid-size companies at war with each other. Zetas founder Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano was killed in October 2012. AFPGiven the size and reach of Guzmán’s organization, this type of violence is likely to play out on both sides of the border now that he is no longer able to call the shots and make executive decisions.While Guzmán has had years to set up a line of succession, such plans seldom play out as planned and can be further disrupted if law enforcement officials can rapidly grab some members of the second tier.Young triggermen, sensing opportunities or mid-level operatives resentful at being passed over for promotions or others with grievances almost always make a violent play for a bigger share of the pie. Old scores are usually settled as rival groups sense weakness and also try to move into new territory, leading to multi-sided violent confrontations that leave many dead. In addition, following a significant arrest there is almost always an internal probe to see who leaked the information to law enforcement, often leading to the killings of scores of suspected informants.Most of that bloodletting will take place in Mexico, but some could spill into the United States, especially in Chicago. Guzmán had made the city one of his biggest distribution hubs in recent years. Guzmán’s organization had embedded in the Chicago Hispanic community, and had also begun widespread heroin distribution as well, according to my law enforcement sources. It is not clear why Chicago, but once senior cartel leaders embed themselves in a community, they bring up family and others they can trust. Some of those former Guzmán allies are likely to turn their guns on each other.The border areas where his organization controls key crossing points are likely to be another focal point of violence between competing cartels or within the remaining fragments of the Sinoloa organization.None of that, unfortunately, is likely to mean a noticeable decline in the amount of cocaine on U.S. streets. There is usually enough cocaine in the pipeline to cover any short-term slowdown in supply. As U.S. consumption has declined, according to Colombian and Mexican law enforcement officials, the surplus production is so great that it often takes a kilo of cocaine four to six months to move from Colombia to the streets of U.S. cities. Central America has turned into a vast warehouse for cocaine waiting to be moved to market.The second is that while smaller structures emerge and each one handles less than the prior cartel, the overall amount of cocaine moving generally stabilizes at its previous level after a few weeks, sparking price hiccups but little permanent change. A Mexican Army soldier stands guard beside a placard with pictures of alleged drug cartel members already arrested. Yuri Cortéz/AFPGuzmán’s arrest is good for the rule of law and good for Mexico because it destroys the myths of the invincible drug baron, much as Escobar’s death did in Colombia. It shows that ultimately a kingpin can be put out of business. What it doesn’t do, though, is suggest that the business itself is going anywhere.Farah, president of IBI Consultants, covered the drug war for two decades at The Washington Post and specializes in organized crime in Latin America.© 2014, Foreign Policy Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Longevity mathematics Why you may not want to retire

first_imgRelated posts:Health officials testing first two cases of Ticos who could have the chikungunya virus Female Alzheimer’s researchers band together 7 things to consider before retiring abroad Is Costa Rica an affordable option for expats and medical tourists with Alzheimer’s disease? I’m currently obsessed with two questions: “How long do I have?” and “How will I use that time?”Not long ago I sat listening to some life advice from “one of the richest men on the planet,” as Forbes magazine describes philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group. At a breakfast talk, Rubenstein, who is 65, told my college’s alumni association to approach the homestretch of our lives as if there were no tomorrow. At a time when others are asking him, “Can you make it up those stairs?” he told us to take them running. “It’s time to accelerate,” he said, “not slow down.”Rubenstein also reminisced about turning 50 and how he had congratulated himself then, with a self-knowing wink, on being “halfway there, with another 50 to live.” Now he says he does the math with a more realistic calculus. “Actuarially,” he said, “I know I’m supposed to live another 20 years, which will take me to 85.”His remark about speeding up through the final innings surprised me because many of my contemporaries in their late 50s and 60s are now choosing to retire. For the record, I’m 57 and counting. A 2014 Gallup Poll reported that the average retirement age is now 62, even though one in four retirees will live past 90, according to the Social Security Administration. Rubenstein clearly has no plans to follow the herd.Nor is he alone in taking this chapter at a full gallop. The recent deaths of “60 Minutes’ ” Bob Simon and New York Times reporter David Carr threw Rubinstein’s comments into stark relief.Simon, one of the most peripatetic journalists of any generation, enjoyed a blockbuster of a final chapter before he was killed in a car accident at age 73. Having crisscrossed the globe repeatedly, Simon completed his final “60 Minutes” assignment just hours before his death. Carr’s death from complications of lung cancer came the day after Simon’s. He was 58, and his footprint was everywhere — on Twitter, in print, even in the documentary “Page One” about the Times. Simon. Carr. Thanks to them, I’ve been running a new algorithm in my head, trying to figure out how many years I probably have left. Call it “longevity mathematics.”I’m just a few months younger than Carr, and there’s no doubt that I’m a lot closer to the finish line than to the start. With that perspective come two looming questions: “How long do I have?” and “How will I use that time?”As for the first query: I’ve been looking to new role models, those who bloomed or rebloomed in midlife. My idiosyncratic list includes novelist Frank McCourt, who taught at my Manhattan high school for decades before publishing the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir “Angela’s Ashes” when he was 66. He lived another 13 years. Swimmer Diana Nyad, 65, finally succeeded in making the 110-mile crossing from Cuba to Florida on her fifth attempt in 2013. Then there’s Ruth Westheimer, now 86, whose energy and drive amazed me when we worked together to produce her Web site; she didn’t become the “Dr. Ruth” we know until her early 50s and is still dispensing sex advice to this very day. None of these individuals would qualify as “retiring,” in the literal or metaphoric sense of the word.Of course, not everyone’s final chapters will be filled with such accomplishments, nor do they need to be in order to be meaningful. My friends Rich and Jim, both septuagenarians, have spent the past decade globe-trotting and have logged visits to six of the seven continents. My former landlady-turned-BFF, 98-year-old Denise Kessler, has lived her last decades with the energy and drive of someone a third her age, involving herself in political campaigns, turning up at parties as one of the “Last Hurrah” cheerleaders, and leading a class in water aerobics.When Denise turned 90 and I feared the end might be near for her, I wrote a letter to let her know how she’d influenced me. “Others might have decided it was time to coast, but not you, my dear. It’s an example I try to emulate — never to rest in the static — but to dig in my roots, deep and wide, even when it’s not easy or when it’s scary or hurts.”But as much as I plan and hope to go cheering into my 90s, Carr’s unexpected death cut awfully close to home. There’s no math I can do, no heroes I can resurrect, to avoid this undeniable lesson about living: It’s finite. And we don’t know when it will end. As it turns out, Carr delivered his own valedictory in a commencement address to Berkeley’s journalism graduates last spring. He gave the students his version of the Ten Commandments, among them this: “Don’t just do what you’re good at. If you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.” Followed by this: “Do not be a bystander in your own life. You’ll miss everything.”This bit of wisdom reminded me of another Rubenstein aphorism: “Persist — don’t take no for an answer. If you’re happy to sit at your desk and not take any risk, you’ll be sitting at your desk for the next 20 years.”Note to self: It’s not too late to gun that engine, put the top down, floor the accelerator — and go.— — —Petrow writes the “Civilities” column for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter: @StevenPetrow© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

WATCH Keylor Navas makes incredible save against Bayern Munich

first_imgThough Keylor Navas’ future with Real Madrid is very much up in the air, the Costa Rican football star continues to show why he’s one of the elite goalkeepers in the world. His latest highlight came with a beautiful save in Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich during the Audi Cup Wednesday.https://youtu.be/J5ps4ftTpscBayern Munich looked to have a sure goal when Douglas Costa broke free and kicked a gorgeous cross pass to a wide-open Mario Götze on the back post. But the ultra-aggressive Navas barreled through another Bayern attacker to make the save.Off the pitch, rumors continue to swirl regarding Navas’ fate with Real Madrid. The club is expected to pursue Spaniard David De Gea, despite his seven-figure buyout clause at Manchester United. That potential move could lead to a switch in goal for both clubs, as British papers are reporting that Man U has heavy interest in signing Navas away from Madrid.Following his dominant 2014 World Cup performance, San Keylor, as he’s affectionately referred to in Costa Rica, moved to Real Madrid after the high-rolling club bought out Navas’ contract at Levante for a reported 10 million euros ($10.9 million). Facebook Comments Related posts:Keylor Navas allows four goals as Barcelona crushes Real Madrid WATCH: Real Madrid star Keylor Navas makes Tico teen’s wish come true WATCH: Keylor Navas makes unbelievable save off set piece strike La Sele announces 23-man roster for Copa América tournamentlast_img read more

He was always respectful until he wasnt Woman accuses Oscar Arias of

first_imgRelated posts:Óscar Arias, Costa Rica’s former president and a Nobel Prize winner, accused of sexual assault, per reports Two more women accuse Óscar Arias of sexual misconduct, per reports Arias and second Costa Rican politician reportedly accused of additional sexual crimes Why Now: Oscar Arias accusers explain why they waited to come forward In an interview with The Tico Times, another woman accused former Costa Rican president and Nobel Laureate Óscar Arias Sánchez of sexual harassment.The accuser, Marta Araya Marroni, told The Tico Times that Arias had made multiple unwanted sexual advances over the course of several weeks in 2012 when they met regarding a book he was writing. Marroni worked as the coordinator of editorial projects at Librería Internacional, Costa Rica’s largest bookstore chain, at the time.Araya says she has not tried to hide what she says transpired between her and Arias in 2012.“He was always respectful until he wasn’t,” Araya said. “What bothered me the most is that he kept trying to make me believe it was normal and that he was worried about me.”Araya says that while her experience was “not as grave” as what other women have alleged, she wanted to share her story “to support other women who people aren’t believing.”Araya said Arias reached out and grabbed her leg one one day when the two were sitting in his home office. He asked if she needed anything, and Araya moved his hand off her body and replied, “No, I’m fine, thanks.”In a subsequent phone conversation, Araya says, Arias asked if she wanted him to give her a sobadita, a Spanish term for massage that has sexual connotations in Costa Rican slang. She says she refused, but that Arias called her a week later with a similar proposition.“‘I want to spoil you. I want to give you a leg massage,’” Araya recalls Arias saying.She says she reminded him that he had a girlfriend, and that he had disrespected her twice already.“No, don’t take it like that,” Arias said, according to Araya. “It happens; everyone does it.“[…] Please, just a massage. It’s what friends do.”Araya says she told several people about the conversations, including her boss at the library and close friends. The Tico Times verified independently with two friends that she had told them about experiencing unwanted verbal advances from Arias.“She told me that he made insinuations that were overtly sexual,” said one friend, who asked not to be named in this story. “I got the impression that she was surprised, and I noted she seemed outraged.”“She called me that day, scared and disgusted by the pass that this man had made,” said Adriana Carabaguiaz, a childhood friend, in a conversation with The Tico Times. “And when the first woman filed the criminal complaint [Monday], I told my friend and my boyfriend that yes, this man is capable of doing that, because I remember what he had told Marta.”Erick Ramos, a lawyer representing Arias, said Tuesday the former president will not have any comments regarding accusations that are not raised officially before any authority, according to La Nación.The Tico Times e-mailed Ramos for comment on Tuesday but did not receive an immediate response.The first major accusation of alleged sexual misconduct against Arias was made on Monday by Alexandra Arce von Herold, a nuclear disarmament activist.In a criminal complaint she provided The Tico Times, Arce says that Arias put his hands under her dress and penetrated her with his fingers.On Tuesday, two more women accused Arias of alleged sexual misconduct in stories run by The Washington Post and La Nación.Through his lawyer, Arias said Tuesday he “categorically denies” accusations of sexual misconduct, adding he “never acted in a way that disrespected the will of any woman.”Arias was president of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990 and again from 2006 to 2010. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his involvement in a Central American peace accord.Araya says her family has a background in politics. Her father was a diplomat, and she says she first met Arias when they lived in Colombia. In Costa Rica, Araya says she was neighbors with an Arias advisor, so she saw him frequently.She says she wanted to publicize her story in support of women who have come forward against Arias, and as a form of empowerment for women everywhere to fight against sexual misconduct.“I have no personal need to [speak out],” she said. “But I think it’s useful to support other women who people aren’t believing. You don’t have to be young or sexy or dress provocatively for this to happen.”Editor’s note: Katherine Stanley, Managing Editor of The Tico Times, worked in the Office of the President during Oscar Arias’ second presidency and provides freelance English-language speechwriting services for Arias. She has recused herself from all reporting and editorial decisions for any story involving Arias, including this one.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 Commentslast_img read more

AP Interview Guatemala prez says legalize drugs

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix “We can’t take unilateral action, it will be gradual,” Perez said, referring to his push for legalization. “Meanwhile, while we’re taking these steps, we’re not going to let Guatemala become an open corridor for trafficking and consuming drugs.”Perez Molina said he may be the first head of state to propose legalizing drugs before the General Assembly, but the Organization of American States already is studying the idea, with a report due in a year.“With cocaine and heroin, for example, they’re substances that are damaging and addictive,” he said. “We would have to regulate the procedures for selling them: a prescription or series of things that would come out of the discussion.”The legalization proposal came just a month after the retired general took office in January with promises of an “iron fist” against crime, and it provoked strong criticism from the United States, as well as intense discussion within Guatemala.The president said the traditional war on drugs had failed over the past half century, and that the United States’ inability to deal with its drug consumption problem left Central America with no option but to promote legalizing drugs in some way. The vital role family plays in society Meanwhile, to battle Mexican drug cartels that have overrun parts of Guatemala, Perez said he needed military equipment, and put a top priority on ending a longstanding U.S. ban on military aid that was imposed over concerns about human rights abuses during the Central American country’s 36-year civil war.Perez Molina has approved the creation of two new military bases and the upgrading of a third to add as many as 2,500 soldiers. He also signed a treaty allowing a team of 200 U.S. Marines to patrol Guatemala’s western coast to catch drug shipments.He says the measures don’t exceed limits imposed on Guatemala’s military under the 1996 Peace Accords, which he helped negotiate.Since the war’s end, the military force has fallen by 60 percent, Perez Molina said, and the growth of the civilian police force has not been sufficient to fight the security threat.“What you saw was an imbalance and parts of the country that were out of control of the state,” he said. “Organized crime took advantage of those areas, as well as drug traffickers and criminals and now we’re trying to take back that territory.”Mexican drug cartels or their local allies have taken over large swathes of Guatemala and other Central American countries, fueling some of the highest murder rates in the world. 0 Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressUNITED NATIONS (AP) – Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is advocating the international legalization of drugs even as he is moving to fight narcotics cartels with the biggest military buildup in the Central American country since its long and bloody civil war.There’s no contradiction, the president said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, a day before he plans to address the U.N. General Assembly. A May 2011 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service said that 95 percent of all cocaine entering the United States flows through Mexico and its waters, with 60 percent of that cocaine first coming through Central America.The new Marine operation is the largest in Guatemala since President Jimmy Carter sharply cut U.S. military aid to the country due to concerns over atrocities committed during the country’s civil war.U.S. law says that Guatemala can regain military aid once Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certifies Guatemala’s military is “respecting internationally recognized human rights” and cooperating with judicial investigations of former military personnel.Since Guatemala’s civil war ended in 1996, the U.S. has spent $85 million fighting drug traffickers in Guatemala. The level of spending was relatively low, less than $3 million a year, until 2007, when it shot up to $14 million. Last year spending peaked at $16 million, and is budgeted to decline to about $9 million in 2013.The new operations fall under the Central American Regional Security Initiative, a multinational U.S. effort to fight crime in the region, so officials do not categorize them as direct aid to the Guatemalan military. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “We continue to uphold the military aid ban as well as the Leahy Act which prevents the US from training people suspected of having committed human rights violations,” said William Ostick, a spokesman for the State Department’s Western Hemispheric Affairs Office.But he added that “narcotics trafficking is of great concern in the region … it is clear that interdiction has demonstrable and measurable effects.”Perez said he plans to increase the national police by 10,000, allowing the military to focus on securing the borders and fighting drug trafficking._________Romina Ruiz-Goiriena on Twitter: http://twitter.com/romireportsAP___Romina Ruiz-Goiriena reported from Guatemala City. Associated Press writer Martha Mendoza contributed from Santa Cruz, California.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

State Department issuing visas again after database glitch

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The U.S. announced the hardware failure June 12, causing delays around the world for foreigners and some Americans needing travel documents.The failure didn’t affect domestic passport issuance.It was the second major glitch in the consular database in a year.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is issuing passports and visas again at overseas diplomatic missions after encountering a significant problem with a computer database earlier this month.Spokesman John Kirby says 45,000 visas were finalized Monday, a third of those in China. He says 33 U.S. embassies and consulates are back online and that visa interviews will restart Wednesday.The department hopes to get all its facilities back online soon and must work through a backlog of hundreds of thousands of applications. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologycenter_img The vital role family plays in society Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

Haiti Dominican deportations causing humanitarian crisis

first_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Paul spoke just days after the Dominican government announced it would start deporting non-citizens who did not submit applications to establish legal residency. Many of those affected are of Haitian descent or from Haiti.The majority of those crossing the border are children and young adults, said Paul, who stressed that the Haitian government needs to establish a social and economic plan to help them. He said that creating camps near the border to house them would only lead to more poverty.Paul called for renewed dialogue with the Dominican government to address the migrant issue, among other things.“It’s time to try and fix everything that needs fixing, to improve relations between both countries, but also for the good of the people, for the respect of the people on both sides of the border,” he said.The Dominican government has said deportations will be a slow and lengthy process, with migration officials saying more than 12,000 people have left the country voluntarily.Dominican officials met Wednesday with several ambassadors to explain the details of the immigration registration program, in which nearly 290,000 people have enrolled. An estimated 460,000 Haitian migrants live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s prime minister warned Thursday that the Dominican Republic is creating a humanitarian crisis with its crackdown on migrants, noting that 14,000 people have crossed the border into Haiti in less than a week.“That is massive,” Prime Minister Evans Paul said during a meeting with reporters to talk about the issue. He said the number included both people being deported and those leaving voluntarily. He said many of them should be considered Dominican citizens. How men can have a healthy 2019 Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Two new German properties make a pretty pretzel for Adina

first_imgAdina Hamburg Adina Apartment Hotels revealed the addition of two new properties in Berlin and Hamburg to their growing European portfolio, proving guests are seeking more than just a room during longer leisure and corporate stays. Operating under the Toga Hospitality umbrella, Adina Apartment Hotels, although Australian owned are quickly establishing their brand throughout Europe, adapting to a niche market for more apartment style spacious and comfortable lodgings. At an event in Sydney to announce the launch, Toga Hospitality Managing Director Allan Vidor and CEO Rachel Argaman, who has recently taken part in the new Australian TV series, Undercover Boss, was ecstatic about Adina’s additions to the European market, which brings a total of three properties in Germany alone. “Both our domestic and international markets are booming. We’re really punching above our weight in Europe and performing incredibly well,” she said. According to Ms Argaman, forward bookings for both new hotels “are extremely promising”.The new apartment hotels are favourably located amongst inner-city attractions, including fashion districts and museums, whilst offering “warm, vibrant and spacious interiors”, according to Ms Argaman. When asked about her experience on Undercover Boss, Ms Argaman said it was similar to the development of the two new hotels. “It was amazing.  We’re really pushing barriers and are committed to understanding what our staff and consumers desire.”  The official opening for the Berlin Hackschermarkt apartments is 9 December 2010, and Ms Argman’s appearance on Undercover Boss will be broadcast on 15 November on Channel 10. The Toga Hospitality Team Toga Hospitality General Manager, Allan Vidor with CEO, Rachel Argamancenter_img Adina Berlin Hackescher Markt Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Happy Australia Day from eTravel Blackboard

first_imgWhether you are sitting by the barbeque or lazing under the sun, e-Travel Blackboard would like to wish all of our readers a fun and safe Australia Day. Our office will be closed on Wednesday 26 January 2010. As we set the day aside to celebrate and enjoy what it means to be Australian, we would also like to take the time to wish our friends and families in Queensland all the best. Their loss and struggles will not be forgotten. If you have any advertising queries during this period please email sales@etravelblackboard.com.See you all on e-Travel Blackboard on Thursday 27 January 2010. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Christchurch earthquake full industry update

first_imgAs more news comes to hand we will continue to update this article.UPDATED 15:36: Value Tours have assured family and friends of visitors in New Zealand that it has touched base with guests travelling with the company and are making sure they are attended to.Value Tours general manager David Ovendale said its coach passengers in New Zealand and staff have all been accounted for and have been in contact with family and friends today. “We are being kept up to date by our suppliers on the ground, and we will continue to monitor the situation as we find out more,” Mr Ovendale concluded.Christchurch Airport is up and running with domestic flights resuming service at 8.00am NZ time today.An airport spokesperson said domestic flights have resumed operations but passengers should check with airlines for revised time tables before proceeding to the airport terminal.The spokesperson added that the airport will reopen international check in at 12.00pm NZ time today.New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said that up to 65 people have been confirmed dead since the earthquake that struck Christchurch yesterday, SBS reported.“We may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day,” PM Key said.“People are just sitting on the side of the road, their heads in their hands.“This is a community that is absolutely in agony.”The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has been called in to manage injuries and fatalities alongside emergency services in the Christchurch, Tourism New Zealand has informed.The 6.3 magnitude quake has also left mass damage around the city, with parts of buildings collapsed onto the streets.Among the damaged structures include the city’s oldest and famous attraction the Christchurch Cathedral which saw the church’s room implode. Other updates:IHG said in a statement that it had evacuated three of its hotels Crowne Plaza Christchurch, Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch and Holiday Inn on Avon Christchurch after experiencing structural damage.The hotel group said while it completes a full damage assessment the hotel chains will remain closed.While Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch said its staff and 105 guests are all safe after the resort suffered minor harm.Peppers Clearwater said it has working phones and has urged its guests to contact loved ones at home.  Tour company APT has confirmed that all its 88 passengers and three crew on its coach tours in Christchurch are safe and accounted for.The company added that it has diverted two tours that were expected to pass through Christchurch but has not cancelled any trip so far.Passengers on board buses due to arrive in Christchurch later this week will run on revised timetables.A Terminal Lake at Aoraki Mt Cook Village collapsed yesterday as two Glacier Explorer boats were travelling around the glaciers with passenger aboard.The tour group’s general manager said it was the first time a quake was felt in the area and fierce waves caused icebergs to start rolling in the lake.“We have procedures to deal with this type of event and for some time have stayed 800 metres away from the Terminal Face as we suspected it was becoming unstable,” he said.Qantas and Air New Zealand were forced to cancel flights yesterday but Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement today that the two airlines are organising extra flights to and from Christchurch today.Air New Zealand said in a statement that it is offering one way flights to and from Christchurch today for $50.Tickets can be purchased online or via Air New Zealand call centre.Adding extra capacity, the airline added that it will be using its Boeing 777-200 on a special flight from Christchurch to Auckland, departing at 3.50pm local time.Qantas said in a statement yesterday that the airline said in a statement that the carrier will waive refund fees for passengers with tickets issued prior to 22 February for travel dates between 22 February 2011 and 23 February 2011.As well Qantas has offered to waive rebooking fees on tickets issued prior to 22 February 2011 for travel between 22 February 2011 and 23 February 2011.Also forced to cancel flight was Jetstar, the airline expects to resume its domestic services from midday today.“We are focused on getting people back home and with family and friends and to play our part in rebuilding confidence and vital access for convenient air travel to and from Christchurch,” Jetstar chief executive David Hall said.“Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch at this time.”Singapore Airlines said the carrier’s Christchurch office has closed until further notice and has urged people to redirect their enquiries to the Auckland office.However the airline has confirmed that it is rescheduling delayed flights which should resume today. The airline added that it will waive fees for refund, rebooking or re-routing from customers with tickets issued on or before 22 February for travel to and from Christchurch from 22 February to 6 March.Earlier today the Intrepid Foundation announced that they are making a donation of up to AU$10,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.The foundation group also said they would match staff donations to the appeal, dollar for dollar. Red Cross New Zealand set up the online credit card donation system for anyone interested in donating to the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.“Donate now for thousands of vulnerable people in New Zealand and overseas, the Red Cross is a sign of hope in crisis, meeting both immediate and longer term needs,” Red Cross New Zealand said in an online statement. “Your generosity means we can continue to help where the need is greatest.” People interested in donating can also send funds through via direct credit/online transfer.For more information visit: www.redcross.org.nz/donate Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Row over inflight entertainment causes flight diversion

first_imgMovie “Alex Cross” deemed inappropriate by parents of young children. A United Airlines flight from Denver to Baltimore’s BWI airport was recently diverted after an on-board confrontation in regards to the in-flight entertainment.On 2 February 2013, two parents and their four and eight year old boys were escorted off the diverted flight in Chicago, after the captain deemed the situation at hand a security concern, according to the passanger report published in The Atlantic.The situation was that of the parents asking flight attendants to either switch off or cover up the screens of the overhead monitors which were screening “Alex Cross”, rated PG-13 in the US (M in Australia) for sex, nudity, violence and gore and has the following summary as per movie database IMDB.com:“A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain”.According to the personal report, the parents made their request after seeing the opening scenes of the film and not being able to “shield” their young children from the “inappropriate content”.Reportedly the flight attendants said that they were unable to resolve this issue, so the parents asked if the captain had the authority to do so and for his name. Both requests were denied.Over an hour after the interaction, the plane was diverted and the family was escorted by various parties, including the police and the FBI, which they say was to their surprise.After being interviewed, the family was rebooked onto the next flight to BWI airport.A United Airlines spokesperson Charles Hobart confirmed the flight had been diverted “after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger”, as reported by The Telegraph, London.Do you think that the pilot was justified in diverting the plane or were the parents right in voicing their concerns over the in-flight movie?Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.Nlast_img read more

Travellers urged to return to Germany postfloods

first_imgAccording to an update from the German National Tourist Board, although clean-up continues in some affected areas, water has evaporated in all but a handful of regions. Traveller have been reassured flooding, which occurred at the beginning of June this year across regions in Europe, have now subsided and the situation in Germany has “largely returned to normal”. Among the completely restored areas include; Bavaria, which has been given the all-clear as well as Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Travellers reassured flooding has subsided. Image: Sturm Demotix Rail travel in Germany is, however, still impacted by the after-effect of the floods, with the closure of a bridge across the Elbe near Schönhausen in Saxony-Anhalt and further disruption can be expected on the Prague-Dresden-Berlin-Hamburg line, and travellers should also expect delays between Berlin and Frankfurt.center_img Source = ETB News: NJ Deutsche Bahn is providing information online about interim timetables in operation on various routes, and has also set up a free information hotline for travellers within Germany. “The best way that they can help flood-affected citizens is to continue to support tourism throughout Germany,” the tourist bureau explained.last_img read more

China sends ships to confirm satellite sighting of MH370 debris

first_imgAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that a civilian plane had also earlier found “a number of small objects very close together within the Australian search zone” including a “wooden pallet”. China has sent ships to the southern Indian Ocean after a Chinese satellite could have spotted debris from Malaysian Airlines MH370. ABC News reported this morning that the ocean current along the southern Indian Ocean could be as fast as 60 km per day, which could move any debris very quickly from where it has originally been seen and make a deep sea search difficult.  As the search goes on, the international community has been pouring over the recently released transcript of the conversation between the MH370 pilots and Malaysian air traffic control. In addition to the sea surface search, Malaysia has also requested assistance with deep sea searching, in order to look for the black box and plane in the southern corridor of the search zone. Strong weather around the Indian Ocean has also hampered search efforts. The images follow a supposed earlier Australian sighting of a floating object in the Indian Ocean which is 24m across which has not yet been found. So far, the search for MH370 has been fruitless, with China, India, Pakistan, Burma, Cambodia and Kazakhstan reporting no sightings. The transcript shows that the flight was fine for the first 54 minutes but that the co-pilot was strangely repeating the flight’s altitude at 1:07am, just before the flight’s communications were shut down.  Chinese satellite images show an object measuring 22 metres by 13 metres floating 1,550 miles south-west of Perth, the Guardian reported. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

ABS Trend annual growth in tourists highest in 14 years

first_imgTrend tourism growth in Australia is the highest in 14 years, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.According to the data, arrival rose 1.7 per cent in May whilst departures fell 4.5 per cent but seasonally adjusted, the tourism deficit fell from 227,000 to 192,300 in May.Chinese tourists have contributed the large amount of the growth, hitting a record of 761,000 in the next 12 months to May, up 11.9 per cent year on year.The number of Australian tourists leaving to go overseas fell 4.8 per cent in May after rising 10.8 per cent in April.Commsec analyst Savanth Sebastian said that China is likely to be the greatest contributor of tourists to Australia in the next five years.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more