Hurricanes havent dampened Miamis sunny outlook this winter

first_imgHurricanes haven’t dampened Miami’s sunny outlook this winter Waheeda Harris Posted by Tweet MIAMI — Sunny Miami is ready for visitors. “It’s absolutely business as usual and we’re on the cusp of more business,” said Rolando Aedo, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.September was a tough month for Miami, “but we came out relatively unscathed,” explained Aedo, with the city surviving the most active hurricane season of the Atlantic on record according to the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) Index. “We saw room occupancy jump right back up a few weeks after the storms and we’ve been focused on showing Miami, through our communications campaigns and using our webcams, as back to normal.”Home to the busiest cruise port in North America, and one of the top 10 busiest airports, Miami weathered the effects of the hurricane season. Miami International Airport was closed for four days due to flooding, while the port of Miami sheltered cruise ships, played a key role in redirected itineraries and sustained no damage. Currently nine hotels are closed due to hurricane damage including The Raleigh, The Tides South Beach and The Ritz Carlton South Beach, representing 1,000 rooms out of the 55,000 rooms available. Tags: Floridacenter_img But storms have not stopped the growth happening in south Florida. PortMiami will be welcoming many new ships. In December 2017 MSC Seaside will become the first MSC Cruise ship to be christened in the U.S., with Italian actress Sophia Loren honoured as the ship’s godmother.PortMiami will also welcome Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Horizon debuting March 2018, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, scheduled for May 2018. And in November 2018 Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship with a capacity for 5,494 passengers will arrive. The cruise company has invested US$200 million in a new terminal at the port.There’s hotel news too. The South Beach strip will add 92 rooms with The Greystone Hotel opening in December, while additions for 2018 include The Celino South Beach, a 132-room boutique property, The SLS LUX Brickell, a mixed use property featuring 100 suites designed by Canadian firm Yabu Pushelberg, The Hotel Palomar South Beach, a 96-room Kimpton Hotel, and the Collins Park Hotel, a 296-room project restoring six buildings built between 1938 and 1953.Thanks to Art Basel Miami, taking place Dec. 7 – 10, the international art world has taken notice of Miami. The Bass Museum has just recently re-opened its doors, adding 50% more space and three new galleries for contemporary art. The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, which had a temporary home in the Design District, will open its permanent location in the district in December.Museum Park has flourished with PAMM, the Perez Art Museum Miami and Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, both welcoming a record number of visitors as well as benefitting from the nearby Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. As well, in December, the flourishing Wynwood Arts District will welcome a new mural festival, featuring 60 new murals to the evolving gallery of graffiti and street art. Tuesday, October 31, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> About Latest Posts Waheeda HarrisA traveller from a young age, Travelweek contributor Waheeda Harris is pop culture obsessed, loves spicy food and is happy to wander around our planet with her camera in hand. Latest posts by Waheeda Harris (see all) Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Edge stars of JetSet3 fam – April 23, 2019 Unleash the power of cross-company digital transformation to revolutionize your CX – February 8, 2019 On location: Cabo San Lucas welcomes the stylish Riu Palace Baja California – December 20, 2018last_img

Agents say I do to TDCs Destination Wedding Academy

first_imgAgents say ‘I do’ to TDC’s Destination Wedding Academy Travelweek Group Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Romance & Weddings, Transat The week included site inspections at Transat’s top wedding chains where agents had the opportunity to meet the resort wedding coordinators, visit the onsite wedding locations and learn about their wedding packages.They also experienced a mock wedding including a ceremony, a private group dinner and a reception, all to experience a destination wedding first-hand.There was also dedicated TDC destination wedding in-class training and workshops where agents learned about the ‘groups cycle’.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJTDC participants included a number of Transat Travel agent@home participants. Home-based agent Lori Kennedy attended the training and had this to say: “WOW! The mock wedding – what a surprise, it was so beautiful and you could tell just how much work went into the planning and the whole week.”Kennedy added: “It was so beneficial to actually see the resorts and wedding set-ups in person to get the feel of them you cannot get from pictures alone. It was exactly what I needed to help me focus on what I need to do to get wedding bookings. I received some great tips and ideas by seasoned professionals.”TDC home-based agent Anita Stephens said: “Being able to see the many resorts offered by Transat and getting to speak and ask questions to the wedding planners and staff at each resort was an invaluable learning experience. That, coupled with the in-class training and getting to spend time with colleagues that possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, was a real game changer for me. It has given me the confidence to pursue group wedding business, and has opened my mind and career to new possibilities.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionTo learn more about joining the TDC Agent@home program visit transatagentathome.com. TORONTO — Transat Distribution Canada agents got a first-hand look at some of Mexico’s top-selling destination wedding product with TDC’s recent Destination Wedding Academy in Riviera Maya, Cozumel and Playa Mujeres.The week-long event was “a game changer”, according to one agent, as TDC Academy organizers hosted an intensive week of training on destination weddings and wedding groups.The Destination Wedding Academy combined experiential, product and functional training for the agents, covering every aspect of destination weddings in a 360 learning experience, says TDC. Tuesday, January 9, 2018 last_img

This hotels room service includes dog cuddles proving that dreams do come

first_imgThis hotel’s room service includes dog cuddles, proving that dreams do come true SAN FRANCISCO — For anyone guilty of hugging strangers’ dogs on the streets, or cancelling plans to stay home with their pooch, there’s a hotel in San Francisco that will make their dog-loving hearts melt.Hotel Nikko, a pet-friendly hotel, is offering cuddle time with its resident dog, Buster Presutti Posey, as part of its room service. Hotel guests simply need to call down to reception to see if Buster’s free for a hug.The adorable pooch has been living at the hotel since 2015 as its official COO (Canine Operating Officer). As written on the hotel’s website, Buster knew from the moment he was born that he was destined for a career in hospitality. “I get to spend time with guests doing what I love – making people smile!”, he ‘writes’.Buster is just chomping at the bit to take selfies with guests, and judging by his Instagram account (yes, he has his own account), tons of people have already signed up for some Buster time. Check out some of our favourite photos: Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Travelweek Group Guests are also invited to bring their own lovable pups (60 pounds or less) to the hotel for US$50/night. Four-legged guests will receive dog beds, bowls and treats. The hotel also recently renovated its patio area with a dog-run open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksWe give this hotel four paws up! Tuesday, January 9, 2018 last_img

Intel Marks 15 Years in CR

first_imgNo related posts. In 1995, as Costa Rica faced diminishing foreign investment, the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) decided to chance it all.Around the world CINDE offices had been closed due to dwindling funds, since the association no longer received funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In the mid-1990s, the number of employees at CINDE dropped from 300 to 80. The only foreign office that stayed open was in New York City. And rumors circled that the New York office would be shuttered, and CINDE would be shut down completely.The government insisted to CINDE’s head, Enrique Egloff, that the agency should be focused on attracting investment from apparel and garment makers. Instead CINDE chose to “bet their salaries” on a firm so big that Costa Rica barely had the room to support such a gigantic operation, recalled Armando Heilbron, head of the New York City CINDE office at the time.  After 19 meetings between Costa Rican officials and Intel, the U.S. company based in Santa Clara, California, agreed to build a 52-hectare microchip plant in Belén, a city with tax-free-zone incentives northwest of the capital. The initial investment represented $115 million. “It was so unlikely that it got press around the world,” Heilbron said. “When it gets press around the world you get your little country put on the map.”Heilbron remembered stories that proclaimed “from banana chips to microchips.” Intel’s decision shocked Latin Americanrivals like Mexico, Brazil and Chile. In choosing to invest in Costa Rica, Intel altered the economy of the small Central American country. Costa Rica no longer relied on exporting fruits and coffee to sustain itself. The high-tech computer processor company is the No. 1 exporter in Costa Rica in 2012, a contribution that stands for 6 percent of gross domestic product.On Wednesday night, Intel hosted a gala at the Central Bank Museum in San José, celebrating Intel’s 15th anniversary in the country. President Laura Chinchilla spoke. High-ranking government officials, Intel managers and U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Anne Slaughter Andrew were in attendance. The presentation included two studies demonstrating Intel’s influence on Costa Rica’s growth.“Intel’s arrival can be seen as a bridge between the country’s future and the country’s past,” Chinchilla said. The numbers signified the monumental changes brought to Costa Rica’s economy. Intel has invested $900 million since 1997, and the number of local employees has grown from 500 to 2,800. The company exports an average of more than $2 billion in products per year. Still, the major announcement of the night came when Chinchilla challenged Intel to put more capital into Costa Rica, asking for $500 million over the next five years. She wants the Costa Rican government to work closely with Intel managers to find out what is necessary to make that massive figure a reality. But the force of Intel’s arrival extends beyond the numbers. The computer technology leaders changed the landscape of education, business practices and foreign investment in Costa Rica, the fourth most competitive country in Latin America according to a report this week. Since Intel’s move, more Costa Ricans have graduated with degrees in highly skilled areas like engineering or tech design. Costa Ricans went from knowing almost nothing about electronics to experts. There’s a greater emphasis on the sciences, math and technology in education curriculums, and many students learn English at a young age. One study showed that before Intel came to Costa Rica, 3,000 grade school students participated in the annual science fair. Now 600,000 students take part.Workplace standards, infrastructure and safety measures have been enhanced since 1997. Workplaces are better-regulated in an attempt to stack up to international standards. More than anything, Intel transformed the focus of the economy. After CINDE convinced Intel to invest here, other companies started wondering what the country had to offer. Costa Rica soon became the call center capital of Latin America. IT call centers and support centers for major business have hubs in the Central Valley. The free zones turned into a prime location for U.S. medical supply manufacturers like Boston Scientific. IBM also invested here.One weakness the studies pointed out is the education system needs to keep advancing. Costa Rican schools seem to be falling behind the rapid pace of improving technology. In addition, Costa Rica must cooperate better with Intel to not miss out on the company’s newest projects. In recent years, major investments that could have gone to Costa Rica went to Argentina, Mexico and Vietnam.  During his speech praising the relationship between Intel and the Costa Rican government, Intel Costa Rica General Manager Mike Forrest implored officials in attendance to focus on further developing its education system. “A read more

San José bans genetically modified foods

first_imgIn a unanimous vote Tuesday the Municipal Council of San José passed a motion banning transgenic food from the canton. The new measure prohibits the sale, consumption and growth of genetically modified food within the municipality.The municipality’s decision comes less than a month following the decision from Costa Rica’s National Biosecurity Technical Commission to allow multinational company Monsanto to grow genetically modified corn in the country.Citizen Action Party leader Daguer Hernández introduced the measure last week and expressed his hope that other municipalities will pass similar motions.“These motions show at the Municipal Council level that everyone agrees this should be the national position,” Hernández told members of the press on Tuesday. “This motion declares us free of the consumption and growth of GMOs and shows our support for other cantons who have passed the measure.”Currently 26 municipal governments across the country have adopted the ban. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img

Tico astronaut Franklin Chang reaches first fundraising goal

first_img“Success! We have just crushed our Kickstarter goal! Thanks to all who are supporting us.”That’s the message Tico astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz posted Monday night on social networks to announce he had reached the first fundraising goal to help produce a documentary on the plasma engine developed by his company Ad Astra Rockets.On July 9, Chang launched a campaign via Kickstarter.com with the goal of raising $46,000 to produce a short documentary video. The video will explain how the plasma rocket engine he designed and built, called VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket), will work.The goal was reached “due to a large number of inquiries we received on the project,” Chang said on a video posted on the fundraising page.The documentary will use advanced graphic animation to explain VASIMR.Projects seeking funding through Kickstarter campaigns must reach a minimum amount by a set deadline.Ad Astra set its deadline for Aug. 12, and as of Tuesday morning, the fundraising had received pledges totaling some $54,000.The Tico company now will aim for $60,000, which will allow Chang to produce extra copies of the documentary to be distributed to scientists and universities around the world. If the campaign reaches $100,000, Chang said he would produce a longer version of the documentary.Franklin Chang Díaz was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame in 2012 as one of the astronauts with the most space missions, totaling seven from 1986-2002. He accumulated 66 days off planet Earth.In 1986, he became the first Latin American astronaut, and he retired from NASA in 2005 to pursue his dream of starting his own company to develop the plasma engine. Facebook Comments Related posts:Tico astronaut Franklin Chang raises online funds for upcoming documentary film Tico astronaut Franklin Chang inducted into U.S. hall of fame Costa Rica’s Franklin Chang pushes space agenda in Washington Photo of Tico astronaut Franklin Chang with Barack Obama among best White House pics of 2015last_img

Castaway from El Salvador back home after saying he spent 13 months

first_imgSAN SALVADOR — The Salvadoran castaway who says he spent 13 months adrift in the Pacific returned home Tuesday to his homeland. He landed in El Salvador at 8:30 p.m. local time.José Salvador Alvarenga traveled by plane back to Central America, two weeks after the fisherman washed ashore in the Marshall Islands and told the world he had floated 12,500 kilometers (8,000 miles) in a small boat.Sporting a new haircut and a clean shave, the 37-year-old was heading home to a family that thought he was dead until he emerged, recounting how he ate raw fish and birds and drank urine and turtle blood to survive.“He could have died. But thanks to God my cousin is a warrior, because I don’t know what would have happened to another person,” said Marisol Alvarenga, 35, who had come to the airport with another cousin to wait for his arrival.“We are happy he is coming back after so much time,” she said.His original departure from the Marshall Islands was delayed until Monday due to a health setback. After a stop in Hawaii, he flew to Los Angeles where he underwent a medical examination to decide whether he could board the final flight home, a Salvadoran foreign ministry official told AFP.Alvarenga, who left El Salvador more than a decade ago, was living on Mexico’s southern coast when he says he went on an ill-fated shark fishing trip in late 2012 with a companion who later died.In his home village of Garita Palmera, on El Salvador’s west coast, his parents and 14-year-old daughter, Fatima, decorated their humble brick home with blue balloons and palm leaves for his arrival.“We are preparing to welcome him. It is joy for all of us,” his father Ricardo Orellana told AFP from the fishing and beach village.The fisherman says he lived in a seven-meter (24-foot) fiberglass boat for 13 months, enduring the odyssey by grabbing turtles off the water and snatching approaching birds.He told AFP last week that his crewmate, 24-year-old Ezequiel Cordoba, could not stomach the food and starved to death four months into the voyage.Cordoba’s family in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas say they want Alvarenga to tell them what happened, though they do not blame him for his death.Alvarenga’s miraculous story was met with some doubt when images first emerged of him, his hair shaggy and sporting a bushy beard, but looking plump.But officials have said his story checks out, and survival experts concede living in such conditions is theoretically possible.Fishermen in the Mexican village of Chocohuital backed up his story, saying they went looking for him when he disappeared in late 2012. They say pictures of his boat in the Marshall Islands confirm it is his.The Salvadoran government has disclosed little about his emotional return home, insisting that Alvarenga wanted privacy after giving a flurry of media interviews while in the Marshall Islands.“His family and him say they feel inundated by the constant calls and requests from the media and have asked us to transmit their (privacy) request,” said Foreign Minister Jaime Miranda.Alvarenga was expected to get another medical examination in El Salvador before heading to his village.The fisherman was in and out of hospital in the Marshall Islands, suffering from dehydration and a range of ailments including back pain, swollen joints and lethargy.In Garita Palmera, villagers were looking forward to hearing his story of survival, which some said they believe, including young fishermen.“I would like for him to sit with us here on the beach and tell us about his adventure,” said Tomas Leiva, 17, dragging a fishing net.“For us youngsters, it would help us learn to survive.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Details of Salvadoran castaway’s Marshalls arrival emerge Emotional Salvadoran shipwreck survivor meets dead mate’s kin Hot wheels, cold cash: Police discover more than $1 million hidden in truck tires After 7 months on the run, El Salvador’s ex-President Flores turns himself inlast_img

2 temblors jolt Costa Rica no initial reports of injuries

first_imgRelated posts:Earthquake jolts five provinces in Costa Rica Earthquake in Cartago damaged dozens of houses 23 temblors shake Cartago starting Monday night Costa Rica’s capital to run earthquake drill Thursday A strong temblor with a magnitude of 4.8 shook residents in several communities in the northwestern province of Guanacaste at 7:12 a.m. Four hours later, a magnitude-4.9 was registered near the border with Panama, according to the University of Costa Rica’s National Seismological Network (RSN).The first quake’s epicenter was located 6 kilometers west of Quebrada Honda, in Nicoya, at a depth of 44 kilometers.RSN received reports from residents who said the quake was felt “very strong” in Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Cañas, Sámara, Nosara, Avellanas, Tamarindo and Monteverde in Puntarenas.The second was registered at 10:59 a.m. 11 km east of Pittier, in the southern canton of Coto Brus. It also was felt by residents in the Central Valley.Reports noted it was felt “very strong” in the southern Pacific region of Golfito, San Vito and Boruca, Cuidad Neilly. Central Valley residents reported the temblor as “moderate” in the capital at La Sabana, La Uruca, Desamparados, Hatillo, Montes de Oca, Zapote, Puriscal, Escazú, and also in the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia.The RSN initially stated that no injuries or damage to buildings were reported.The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica reported both quakes with magnitudes of 4.8.A magnitude-7.6 quake struck the Nicoya Peninsula at 8:42 a.m. on Sept. 5 2012, shaking most of the country for some 45 seconds. A 51-year old woman died of a heart attack following the incident, although she was not included in the official quake death toll. The natural disaster caused nearly $45 million in damage. Facebook Commentslast_img

Housing Ministry again postpones relocation of San José slum

first_imgRelated posts:How Solís’ administration plans to turn one of Costa Rica’s biggest slums into a park Desamparados mayor confirms construction in protected area despite cease-and-desist orders Government postpones project to expand Circunvalación beltway Middle-income families still struggle to buy a home in Costa Rica despite more lending Completion of the Circunvalación Norte project (blue lines) involves connecting beltway stretches at La Uruca (West) and Calle Blancos (East) with the highway passing right across the Triángulo de la Solidaridad slum. Map by MOPT/The Tico Times Facebook Comments The deadline to relocate families living on land slated for highway construction in San José was postponed this week for the fourth time in more than six months.The land occupied by a slum known as “Triángulo de la Solidaridad” was supposed to be cleared by March 28, but the Housing Ministry on Tuesday said it would need at least three more months to complete new housing for the families.Some 191 families must be relocated to allow for construction of the northern stretch of the Circunvalación, a beltway around the capital. The 4.1-kilometer stretch of road will connect the community of La Uruca, northwest of the capital, with Route 32, the highway connecting San José with the Caribbean province of Limón.Housing Minister Rosendo Pujol reported this week that only 17 of the 180 homes needed to house the families are ready.“In addition to those 17 houses, 45 are currently under construction, and work on 82 more will begin in the coming weeks,” Pujol said. The minister did not disclose the locations of the new homes. Last year, neighbors in the southern San José canton of Desamparados protested the possible relocation of slum residents there.“I believe we can complete the relocation and all necessary cleanup work on the land by May, so we can move forward with the project,” the minister said.An exact date to launch the highway construction is uncertain.Triángulo de la Solidaridad emerged 14 years ago on a property owned by the Public Works and Transport Ministry. Currently about 525 families live in the slum, including a large number of Nicaraguan immigrants, according to Housing Ministry data.The relocation of families from Triángulo de la Solidaridad was originally scheduled for October but was postponed to December and then again that month. Delays in the construction of new houses for slum inhabitants earlier this year forced ministry officials to postpone the deadline once again to March and now, this week, to May.Housing Ministry officials estimate that some 36 families will have to be temporarily relocated in May to container homes on land adjacent to the slum, at a cost of some $300,000, until permanent homes can be finished.MOPT officials say work on the first stage of the highway project, including measurements and other basic procedures, could begin in late April. The construction of the Circunvalación Norte project is expected to cost $141 million.last_img

Why arent eggs refrigerated at Costa Rican grocery stores

first_imgWalking down the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store you’ll find milk, cheese, and … wait, no eggs?Many people from the United States are used to finding their favorite breakfast protein in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. However, much of the world doesn’t refrigerate or wash their eggs, Costa Rica included. Both washed and unwashed eggs are safe to eat, as long as they are handled properly.The main concern with proper handling of eggs has to do with avoiding salmonella, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever and abdominal cramps. In some extreme cases, infected people can die from salmonella.The United States is one of the few countries that washes and refrigerates its eggs to deal with salmonella. Eggs come out of the chicken with their own protective coating, but the washing process removes this first line of defense, making the shells more porous. This increased risk for salmonella passing into the eggs is why eggs that have been washed must remain refrigerated until they hit the frying pan. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), washed eggs should be kept at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the supply chain.William Cardoza, Executive Director of the Chamber of Poultry and Egg Producers, told The Tico Times the main reason Costa Rica does not wash or refrigerate its eggs comes down to cost.“In Latin America and many other countries, there is no washing step because the refrigeration is expensive. In many countries the eggs are cleaned while dry, and transported at room temperature. If the eggs stay dry, they keep their natural protection against pathogens,” Cardoza said.Costa Rica requires eggs to be stored in clean, dry areas, and transported at room temperature out of extreme heat. Any eggs that are wet, broken, or, in the case of any producers who do wash their eggs, unrefrigerated for any period of time after washing, are prohibited from sale, according to Technical Regulation RTCR 397:2006.While unwashed eggs don’t need to be refrigerated before their purchase at the market, Cardoza said that consumers should refrigerate them at home. “Eggs, like any animal product, should be refrigerated to keep them fresh,” he said.The director added that people should only buy eggs from trusted sources, either from the farm or a store where they are properly packaged and dated. Eggs last 21 days before they go bad, Cardoza said.There are no figures in Costa Rica on the number of salmonella cases originating from eating infected eggs but salmonella enteritidis, the variety associated with eggs and poultry, was the most common cause of bacterial infections in 2013, said Elena Campos, coordinator for the National Center of Bacteriology, in an email to The Tico Times. Campos highlighted that homemade mayonnaise was one of the most common ways people got the infection.Hens with salmonella in their ovaries can pass the bacteria into the yolks of their eggs, even if the shell is in good condition and the eggs are properly handled, which leads to the question of whether raw eggs are safe to eat. According to both the FDA and the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute (INCIENSA), the answer is no. INCIENSA recommended cooking eggs through and keeping all egg-based dishes refrigerated. The Institute recommends that during food preparation, cooks avoid cracking eggs on the lip of a bowl to avoid any pathogens passing from the shell into the food. Similarly, INCIENSA warned against using an egg shell to separate the whites from the yolk. Refrigerated or not, as long as fresh eggs are properly handled, cooks should rest easy. Get cracking!Originally published on Sept. 26, 2014. Ask An Expat: What are the U.S. tax implications of marrying a foreigner? Related posts:Why aren’t eggs refrigerated at Costa Rican grocery stores? Is Costa Rica an affordable option for expats and medical tourists with Alzheimer’s disease? HIV and AIDS patients in Costa Rica struggle to find work amid discrimination Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure Facebook Comments If you have any questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in Ask An Expat, email editor Katherine Stanley Obando at kstanley@ticotimes.net.last_img

Senegal votes to do away with Senate to save money

first_img 0 Comments   Share   DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Senegalese lawmakers, who are divided between a 150-seat national assembly and a 100-seat senate, voted to do away with the senate, passing a law which dissolves the institution in order to save an estimated $15 million.Minister of Justice Aminata Toure explained that the suppression Tuesday of the senate is intended to curb government spending, and will provide the cash needed to help the victims of the yearly rains which have left thousands homeless. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Unlike the national assembly, the senate is a relatively recent institution, and has become a symbol of government waste. It’s been frequently pilloried and described as an instrument of cronyism, a way to reward loyal party workers who did not get elected to the larger national assembly. Around half the senators are directly appointed by the president.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img

Rise of Latino population blurs US racial lines

first_img Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too “The American experience has always been a story of color. In the 20th century it was a story of the black-white line. In the 21st century we are moving into a new off-white moment,” says Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, a global expert on immigration and dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.“Numerically, the U.S. is being transformed. The question now is whether our institutions are being transformed,” he said.The shift is being driven by the modern wave of U.S. newcomers from Latin America and Asia. Their annual inflow of 650,000 people since 1965, at a rate that’s grown in recent years, surpasses the pace of the last great immigration wave a century ago. That influx, from 1820 to 1920, brought in Irish, Germans, Italians and Jews from Europe and made the gateway of Ellis Island, N.Y., an immigrant landmark, symbolizing freedom, liberty and the American dream.An equal factor is today’s aging white population, mostly baby boomers, whose coming wave of retirements will create a need for first- and second-generation immigrants to help take their place in the workforce.The numbers already demonstrate that being white is fading as a test of American-ness: Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project _More U.S. babies are now born to minorities than whites, a milestone reached last year._More than 45 percent of students in kindergarten through 12th grade are minorities. The Census Bureau projects that in five years the number of nonwhite children will surpass 50 percent._The District of Columbia, Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas have minority populations greater than 50 percent. By 2020, eight more states are projected to join the list: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and New York. Latinos already outnumber whites in New Mexico; California will tip to a Latino plurality next year._By 2039, racial and ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the U.S. working-age population, helping to support a disproportionately elderly white population through Social Security and other payroll taxes. More than 1 in 4 people ages 18-64 will be Latino._The white population, now at 197.8 million, is projected to peak at 200 million in 2024, before entering a steady decline in absolute numbers. Currently 63 percent of the U.S. population, the white share is expected to drop below 50 percent by 2043, when racial and ethnic minorities will collectively become a U.S. majority. Hispanics will drive most of the minority growth, due mostly to high birth rates, jumping in share from 17 percent to 26 percent. About 35 percent of Hispanic babies are currently born into poverty, compared with 41 percent of blacks and 20 percent for whites.“How America responds now to the new challenges of racial and ethnic diversity will determine whether it becomes a more open and inclusive society in the future _ one that provides equal opportunities and justice for all,” said Daniel Lichter, a Cornell sociologist and past president of the Population Association of America.The demographic shift has spurred debate as to whether some civil-rights era programs, such as affirmative action in college admissions, should begin to focus on income level rather than race or ethnicity. The Supreme Court will rule on the issue by late June.Following a racially lopsided re-election, Obama has spoken broadly about promoting social and economic opportunity. In his State of the Union speech, he said that rebuilding the middle class is “our generation’s task.” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a rising star of a mostly white Republican party now eager to attract Latino voters, is courting supporters in both English and Spanish in part by pledging programs that would boost “social mobility.” (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Left unclear is how much of a role government can or should play in lifting the disadvantaged in an era of strapped federal budgets and rising debt.The Latino immigrants include Irma Guereque, 60, of Las Vegas, who says enjoying a middle-class life is what’s most important to her.Things turned bad for the Mexico native in the recent recession after her work hours as a food server were cut at the Texas Station casino off the Strip. As a result, she couldn’t make the mortgage payments on a spacious house she purchased and was forced to move into an apartment with her grandchildren.While she’s getting almost full-time hours now, money is often on her mind. Her finances mean retirement is hardly an option, even though she’s got diabetes and is getting older.Many politicians are “only thinking of the rich, and not the poor, and that’s not right,” Guereque read more

Mystery of disappearing holes in Swiss cheese solved

first_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In a series of tests, scientists added different amounts of hay dust to the milk and discovered it allowed them to regulate the number of holes.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 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision? 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean BERLIN (AP) — The mystery of Swiss cheese and its disappearing holes has been solved: The milk’s too clean.A Swiss agricultural institute discovered that tiny specks of hay are responsible for the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller. As milk matures into cheese these “microscopically small hay particles” help create the holes in the traditional Swiss cheese varieties.The government-funded Agroscope institute said in a statement Thursday that the transition from age-old milking methods in barns to fully-automated, industrial milking systems had caused holes to decline during the last 15 years. Top Stories FILE – This undated file photo shows two slices of the famed Swiss Emmental cheese. The mystery of the disappearing holes in the famous Swiss cheese has been solved: the milk is too clean. A Swiss agricultural institute discovered that tiny pieces of hey dust are responsible for the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller as they said in a statement Thursday, May 28, 2015. (Christoph Ruckstuhl/Keystone via AP, File) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img

Islamic State fighters battle militants in northern Syria

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories On Tuesday, the pro-Islamic State Aamaq News Agency released a video showing fighters with the group as they captured the northern village of Umm al-Qura. The video showed the fighters marching in fields near the village, as well others shooting from what appeared to be the roof of a building.“Thank God, with His help the brothers of the Islamic caliphate advanced at several northern countryside villages,” an unidentified Islamic State fighter said in the video. “God has made it easy for us to get hold of their necks and we were able to kill 35 and what is coming is worse for them than this.”The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting of the events.Marea said the reinforcements are being sent from other parts of Aleppo province, as well as the nearby region of Idlib, where rebels recently captured wide areas from government forces, including the provincial capital.The fighting came a day after U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said authorities heard reports that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad launched airstrikes supporting the Islamic State group’s advance.“Beyond that, we have long seen that the regime avoids ISIL lines, in complete contradiction to the regime’s claims publicly to be fighting ISIL,” Harf said, using an alternate acronym for the group. “As we have long said, Bashar Assad has lost legitimacy long ago and will never be an effective counterterrorism partner, despite what he might say publicly.” BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian militants sent reinforcements to fight the Islamic State group in the northern province of Aleppo, where rival factions battled Tuesday near the Turkish border, activists said.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Abu al-Hassan Marea, who is currently in Turkey near the Syrian border, said that the battles raged on the northern edge of Aleppo province.Islamic State fighters captured four villages and a town from al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and its allies over the past days in battles in the area. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The vital role family plays in societylast_img

Partial packing list for rowboat crossing the Pacific

first_imgCHOSHI, Japan (AP) — Most of us have enough trouble remembering our train passes and car keys when we set out each day. Florida-born Sonya Baumstein had to pack everything she needed for an up-to-six-month solo journey across the Pacific by rowboat that she began Sunday. Some highlights of her provisions and equipment:___FOODMore than 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of food in the form of 900 dehydrated meals, 180 drink supplements — the equivalent of 7,000 to 10,000 calories a day, plus olive oil to help control weight loss. Included: supplements, Kit Kats, plenty of peanut butter. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories ___WATERWater, water, everywhere, and with two desalinating machines — one solar-powered and one electric — Baumstein will be generating 30 liters (8 gallons) of water an hour. She is also carrying 60 liters (16 gallons) of spare water, just in case.___CLOTHINGPacked in 20 water-tight baggies. For temperatures from hot to cold.___EQUIPMENTSix oars. Three buckets and a unique system of devices to take seawater samples, measure temperature, depth and wind speed and also the boat’s GPS coordinates. An automated identification system will help pinpoint her location. A lifeboat, solar panels, flares and, of course, a life vest. Other safety equipment include a lifeboat and emergency medical supplies such as IVs, which Baumstein has practiced using on herself.___ENTERTAINMENTPodcasts, audiobooks, music, as rewards for hard days of rowing, she says.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img

European Parliament EU must do more to counter Russia

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Parliament member Gabrielius Landsbergis said Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued “aggression” against Ukraine have brought relations with Europe to a crossroads.Landsbergis said, “It is up to the Kremlin to decide now which way it will go — cooperation or deepening alienation.”EU heads of state and government will discuss the bloc’s policy toward Russia when they hold a summit meeting in Brussels on June 25-26.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Sponsored Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain STRASBOURG, France (AP) — European Parliament members say Russia is no longer acting like a strategic partner of the European Union, and the EU must do more to oppose Russia’s “aggressive and divisive policies.”By a 494-to-135 vote, the parliament called Wednesday on the EU’s executive arm to spend more to counter what it called Russian misinformation and propaganda, and to help independent citizens’ groups inside Russia. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img

WikiLeaks NSA targeted German chancellery Merkel aides

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How men can have a healthy 2019 Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories BERLIN (AP) — WikiLeaks on Wednesday published a new list of German phone numbers it claims showed the U.S. National Security Agency targeted phones belonging to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s close aides and chancellery offices for surveillance.Wednesday’s publication came a week after WikiLeaks released a list of numbers it said showed the NSA targeted officials at various other German ministries and elsewhere. That rekindled concerns over U.S. surveillance in Germany after reports two years ago that Merkel’s own cellphone was targeted. Merkel’s chief of staff last week asked the U.S. ambassador to a meeting and told him that German law must be followed.There was no immediate comment from the German government on the latest publication.The list includes a cellphone number attributed to Ronald Pofalla, Merkel’s chief of staff from 2009-13; a landline number that appears to belong to the leader of Merkel’s parliamentary caucus; various other connections at Merkel’s office; and a cellphone number for the chancellor that WikiLeaks says was used until 2013.It was unclear when exactly the partially redacted list of 56 German phone numbers dates from and it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the accuracy of that and other documents released by WikiLeaks.Those documents, WikiLeaks said, are NSA reports based on interceptions — including one from 2009 that details Merkel’s views on the international financial crisis and another from 2011 summarizing advisers’ views on plans for the eurozone’s rescue fund.According to the secret-spilling site, the list of phone numbers was updated for more than a decade after 2002 and a “close study” of it shows it evolved from an earlier target list dating back into the 1990s. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Consumers overlooked in alliance debate Emirates

first_imgEmirates believes the interests of consumers are being “overlooked” in an aviation landscape that has become increasingly dominated by global alliances. And key to this, according to Emirates international affairs senior vice president Andrew Parker, is an attempt by alliances to stifle competition. “Open skies is more important than ever,” Mr Parker told delegates at an aviation conference in Sydney, calling more competition a “positive thing”.  “We strongly believe there is not enough discussion globally on where the consumer stands in this whole debate on consolidation, alliances, immunity and subsidies.”Although Mr Parker said there was a legitimate case for consolidation in the industry and that he was not “against alliances per se”, he did argue for a continued “re-examination” of the groups by governments and regulatory authorities so the industry didn’t “lose sight of consumer interest in all of this”.        “Consumers must be at the heart of this debate: they want service, they want choice, they want price,” Mr Parker said.Calling independent carriers “a check on alliances”, the Australian went on to say that airline affiliations had “evolved from what they originally intended to do”, which was to offer “more seamless travel, frequent flyer programmes, lounges.”  “Today they are becoming fully integrated large global businesses that work as a single entity, often immunised by governments.”  Although strong competition on the “kangaroo route” put Australian services in good stead, Mr Parker lamented the “many other markets and corridors in the world” that had “a single entry from alliance A, from alliance B and alliance C”.“The more restrictive those markets are, the less opportunities there are for choice.” According to the Emirates executive, the world’s three largest alliances are now responsible for 55 per cent of Available Seat Kilometres worldwide and 90 per cent of Atlantic traffic.   “We try to connect the unconnected,” Mr Parker said of Emirates, “to have a truly global network that can compete against alliances like STAR”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hcenter_img A check on alliances: Emirateslast_img

Travelport Travel Counsellors GDS deal

first_imgThe multi-year partnership will see 1,250 Travel Counsellors agents gain personalised access to the latest version of the Travelport SmartPoint desktop. Travel Counsellors’ agents will be available around the clock, via the innovative Travelport Mobile Agent application, which is ideally designed to suit the group’s flexible working model. Travel Counsellors has signed its first ever global distribution system (GDS) agreement with long-term collaborator Travelport. “The integration of Travelport into our in-house dynamic packaging system has enabled us to offer our Travel Counsellors the most advanced and comprehensive technology in the industry,” Travel Counsellors managing director Steve Byrne said. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img

ANA offers Japans first selfservice baggage drop service

first_imgoffers Japan’s first self-service baggage drop serviceANA today announced the introduction of “ANA Baggage Drop Services,” Japan’s first self-service baggage drop system, available for domestic departures from the airline’s hub at Haneda Airport’s Terminal 2 from July 1, 2015. The introduction is in line with the airline’s ongoing efforts to continually enhance the travel experience for all ANA guests, and is offered conveniently alongside the airline’s automated check-in machines, which contribute to shorter queues for passengers. ANA plans to install a total of 39 self-service baggage drop machines by the end of 2015, which will mark the greatest number of baggage drop systems in one airport in the world.“At ANA, we continuously strive for the highest global standards of service, in order to enhance convenience for our customers,” said Tetsuo Fukuda, ANA Executive Vice President of CS & Products Services, Corporate Planning. “We are proud to offer the first automated baggage drop stations in Japan; this is the latest offering in our mission to create a seamless check-in process for our guests, and we plan to roll out more services in the months to come.”The ANA Baggage Drop Services is available in English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Korean, to accommodate the rising number of foreign residents and visitors to Japan—May 2015[1] saw 49.6% more inbound travelers to Japan than the same period one year ago, with a total of 1.64 million visitors marking a record number for a single month.For added convenience, automated check-in machines will also be available in traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Korean beginning this autumn, and in spring 2016, ANA will introduce a new series of easily identifiable pictograms for passengers to help them locate the appropriate counter and amenities.ANA is the proud winner of the SKYTRAX award for the World’s Best Airport Services”for three consecutive years, and the introduction of ANA Baggage Drop Services and the newly designed airport pictograms, demonstrate the airline’s continued commitment to customer service. Fly ANASource = All Nippon Airwayslast_img