Carnival appoints Adolfo Perez as Senior VP of Sales Trade Marketing

first_img Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line has promoted 36-year veteran Adolfo Perez to the role of senior vice president of sales and trade marketing.Perez, who had been serving as vice president of sales and trade marketing since 2015, has helped roll out several initiatives and programs to fortify relationships with travel agents and various associations. In his new role, he will continue to be responsible for Carnival’s business development teams and trade marketing functions in Canada, the U.S., and international markets.Perez will report to Ken Tate, who has been promoted to executive vice president & chief commercial officer.Adolfo PerezLast year Perez got “Travel Agents Rock” tattooed on his arm.“Adolfo has been critical to driving growth in our travel agent business, both domestically and internationally, and we want to recognize the success of his leadership and the efforts of his team and the results they have delivered,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “We greatly value our relationship with our travel agent partners and all of us at Carnival are committed to continuing to work hard to develop innovative and beneficial programs to support them.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemPerez first joined Carnival in 1982 as an embarkation agent, climbing in the ranks to hold various managerial positions within the company’s sales and reservations departments, including vice president of reservations sales. Prior to joining Sales & Trade Marketing, he launched the company’s international sales and marketing office in London and, upon his return to the U.S., served as Carnival’s vice president of new markets and product marketing.“Working with the sales and trade marketing team for the past two and a half years has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I look forward to forging ahead with even more initiatives in the next phase of this role,” said Perez. “From Agentpalooza to our popular ‘Travel Agents Rock’ program, it’s been gratifying to see the relationship with our valued travel partners grow stronger and this is just the beginning.”Perez is based in Miami Beach, Florida. Tags: Carnival Cruise Line, Peoplecenter_img Carnival appoints Adolfo Perez as Senior VP of Sales & Trade Marketing Travelweek Group Tuesday, January 30, 2018 last_img read more

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Cuba investing in hotels entertainment golf as it banks on Canadians

first_img Posted by Friday, June 15, 2018 HAVANA — Cuba will continue moving forward with its investment plan to add over 100,000 rooms, 47 entertainment facilities and 24 golf courses by 2030 banking on their number one international traveller, Canadians.The move comes despite uncertainty for the potential for American arrivals, uncertainly that has increased under the Trump administration.“After Obama there was this sentiment that people should come visit Cuba before changes with the influx of American tourists, but even under Obama, Americans are prohibited to do tourism in Cuba, so investment will continue as planned for our other valued international guests,” says Eloy Govea, Director of Canada, Cuba Tourist Board.The Cuba Tourist board recently announced a comprehensive blueprint for infrastructure growth and development extending from 2018 to 2030. The plan comes as a response to consistently growing demand for the destination, which typically enjoys over a million visitors from Canada alone each year. Cuba received 4.7 million tourists in 2017, a 16.2% increase over the previous year.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaCuba began intensifying the development of hotel accommodations in 2017. With an annual hotel infrastructure growth rate of 10%, collaborative efforts between the government and international developers have led to the addition of over 2500 hotels room each year.“Actually, the average is about 8,000 hotel rooms on average to be built per year until 2030, ramping up to about 11,000 rooms per year in the future,” says Govea.This growth rate is expected to swell rapidly as the country sets projections for 103,000 new rooms. The Hotel Varadero Internacional, the Prado y Malecón, and the Packard Hotel in Havana are on track to open by 2019.This renewed focus on accommodation capacity is matched by a commitment to invest in infrastructure and attractions in the broader tourism industry. Cuba is on pace to add 23 nautical stations and marinas, 24 golf courses, and 47 entertainment facilities over the next 12 years. These developments are intended to round out the country’s already robust offering of natural attractions, which includes 10 world heritage sites, 14 national parks, and hundreds of national monuments.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“Right now we only have one real golf course of 18-holes in Cuba –in Varadero – but the government is supporting 24 new projects. For example, a new one will be launched shortly in the western part of Cuba, which is the only one in the world that will feature a hole in the ocean,” says Govea.Securing foreign investment is key to the successful realization of Cuba’s goals in the sector. To this end, tourism authorities in Cuba have announced 87 management and development contracts with 19 international companies. These agreements will channel most of the investment from abroad into hotel rooms and theme parks, while domestic investment is funneled toward high-priority regions and provinces including Havana, Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Holguin.For more information visit GoCuba.ca. Tags: Canada, Cuba Cuba investing in hotels, entertainment, golf as it banks on Canadianscenter_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Coco Capsule

first_imgNext Tuesday, May 29, you will have the opportunity to visit Chile without any of the hassles of airport security, delayed flights or wasted hours in transit.That evening, Pacífico Beach Club is hosting “A Journey Through Chile,” with a five-course gourmet meal featuring Chilean specialties, each served with a Chilean wine. Throughout the meal, both the food and wines will be described. The event costs $60 per person (credit or debit cards only) and those interested can get more information by calling 2670-2217.The Presidential Papagayo Cup, an international fishing competition, is scheduled for June 6-9 at the Papagayo Marina.  The event is sponsored by The Presidential Charitable Foundation with proceeds benefiting billfish conservation. Those wanting to participate should contact Joan Vernon in the U.S. at +(305) 361-9258 or +(888) 365-9610.  Information can also be found at www.preschallenge.com.A popular clothing store, Adriana’s Ropa Americana, has moved into a highly visible location facing the lower parking lot at Luperon. Adriana carries a good selection of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. Stop in to say hello to Adriana, and you will also meet the cutest puppy in town.Dr. Stephen Miller of Playas del Coco (and Anacortes in the U.S. state of Washington), just completed a massive distribution of wheelchairs though Rotary Clubs in Puntarenas, Nicoya and Liberia. The chairs, all donated by members in the western U.S., are greatly appreciated by those who have received them. –Kent Cartheykcarthey@aol.com Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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How to make money by protecting forests

first_imgNo related posts. For more about Fonafifo’s programs, see: www.fonafifo.com Facebook Comments From the print editionSANTA MARÍA DE DOTA, San José – Thick forests cover the hillsides of César Vindas’ property. Down the hill a small area of land is cleared for trout ponds, plum orchards and dairy pastures. The remaining 105 hectares are filled with trees the Costa Rican government pays him to maintain.Many residents go the extra mile in Costa Rica to decrease their carbon footprint by recycling or shopping locally, but in the end, to live in today’s world, harmful greenhouse gases will be produced.Trying to make good on Costa Rica’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2021 is the National Fund for Financing Forestry (Fonafifo). Fonafifo is the country’s leading carbon offset provider, creating the means for the country to target carbon neutrality. The organization operates numerous projects to protect and expand the country’s forests, thus increasing carbon sequestration to prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere. The Environmental Services Payment program (PSA) pays landowners $64 per hectare per year to maintain forests. Other programs reimburse farmers to protect water sources on their land or reforest areas that have been cleared.Vindas purchased his farm in Santa María de Dota, a coffee town in Los Santos region in southern Costa Rica, 28 years ago. He built his home from the ground up, living for many years without electricity while he worked on his house and weathered the ups and downs of good and bad harvests. Today, he has a beautiful farmhouse full of his wife’s flowering plants, with temperamental trout ponds nearby. His son lives next door and is starting a pig farm.“This is a good program that has allowed us to keep this land forested,” Vindas said. “It’s part of our family. We hope to give a little back by protecting our trees and encouraging neighbors to do the same.”Seated around Vindas’ kitchen table, Fonafifo employees on a recent visit discuss the program’s progress.“More than 10,000 members are enrolled in the program, with properties ranging from two to 300 hectares,” said Jennifer Hernández, who manages PSA landowner contracts. “This covers 16.7 percent of the country’s territory.”The PSA program is funded by 3.5 percent of Costa Rica’s fuel tax, funding from the World Bank and smaller donations. Contracts to protect forests last 10 years and often are passed from generation to generation, she said.Hernández tells Vindas that with additional Fonafifo projects to protect water sources and reforest land, he could earn more funding.Another Fonafifo program to help Costa Rica advance towards carbon neutrality is EcoMarchamo. Based on the country’s marchamo, or vehicle circulation permit, the EcoMarchamo allows drivers to offset vehicle emissions by buying carbon offsets from the program. EcoMarchamo is available to individuals and companies, and costs approximately $12 a year per vehicle. They are available at Banco Nacional.Eric Smith, a Peace Corps volunteer staying on for a third year in Costa Rica to collaborate with Fonafifo, said companies and individuals should make efforts to reduce voluntarily carbon emissions.“This is how each person can define for themselves how they will be responsible for their emissions,” Smith said. “Otherwise the mandatory restrictions will continue to increase.”He also noted the country’s leading efforts to become carbon neutral: “Costa Rica is trying to write the book on how a country can become carbon neutral,” Smith said. “They have a lot of the pieces in place but are missing the leadership of the government to help pave the way.”For Costa Rica to reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral, he said it needs strong leadership, policies and incentives that create an environment of collaboration and investment. “Right now, large businesses are trying to lead the way, but the government has done little in creating the incentives to move transportation and the public sector in the right direction,” Smith said. “2021 is not that far off.”One way foreigners and tourists can participate during eco-inspired travels is a program called Fly Clean. During a round-trip flight from the United States to Costa Rica, two tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air per passenger. To compensate, travelers can purchase a Fly Clean certificate offsetting their emissions. Offsetting two tons of emissions costs only $10. Since Fly Clean was established in 2007, travelers have offset some 6,000 tons of emissions, according to Fonafifo.Back in the canton of Dota, Vindas’ son, also named César, said he would keep protecting the forest on his father’s property when it passes to him.“Every day there is more and more deforestation around the world,” he said. “Hopefully, if we work hard today there will be less of an environmental catastrophe facing our children.”He hopes his two kids will leave the area, get an education and return to the farm.“Everyone deserves clean air,” Vindas, Jr. said. “To get that, we have to protect the forests.”last_img read more

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Gunmen kill deputy mayor in Guatemala in brazen attack

first_img Facebook Comments The deputy mayor of a town in northern Guatemala was gunned down by unknown assailants, in a brazen attack in front of the municipal building, police said on Saturday.The shooting, which left one other person injured, took place Friday in the town of San Francisco in northern Petén state, which borders Mexico.Authorities said the town’s deputy mayor Hector Pop Andres, 38, was fatally shot as he stood in front of the building by two assailants on a motorbike who dismounted, opened fire, and then sped away.It was the latest in a wave of shootings that sees about 17 people gunned down each day in Guatemala, amid violent turf battles between warring druglords. Related posts:Guatemala Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz battles to serve out her term Guatemala’s 6.8 Palopó makes Buzzfeed’s global list for restaurants with incredible views Malnourished kids sue Guatemalan state and win, but not much has changed Guatemala’s treasured Lake Atitlán is dyinglast_img read more

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The Tico Times presents 2014 in photos

first_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times The year 2014 was a big one for Costa Rica: The country got a new president, shocked soccer fans in the World Cup and celebrated and protested in the streets. The Tico Times photography staff was there to capture it all. Here is our year in photos: Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:The best and worst of Costa Rica in 2014, according to everyone else The Winners and Losers of Costa Rica in 2014 That’s loco! 12 bizarre stories from 2014 The winners and losers of Costa Rica in 2015 Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Timescenter_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times haimeluna/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Timeslast_img read more

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New Hilton hotel opens west of downtown San José group also will

first_imgRelated posts:New beach hotel planned for Cabo Velas, Guanacaste Costa Rica’s capital wins ‘Travel Oscar’ Beach, mountain hotels report 88 percent occupancy for the holidays Renovation of Hotel Costa Rica sparks criticism A new hotel from theHilton Garden Inn franchise on Wednesday officially opened across the street from La Sabana Park, west of downtown San José.The 115-room hotel occupies the top seven floors of La Sabana Business Center, a 20-store tower that also hosts offices, restaurants and other businesses.General Manager Sandor Tupi said the hotel began operating in mid-May with a $40 million investment by Desarrolladora Parque La Sabana S.A., a business group formed by investors from Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.“The group signed a Hilton Worldwide franchise to operate a hotel under its Garden Inn franchise brand,” Tupi said.Another business group currently operates a Hilton Garden Inn in Liberia, Guanacaste, and the groups are holding negotiations to offer hosting packages at both hotels, said Marketing and Sales Manager Ludwing Díaz.The new hotel targets both business and leisure customers. It also aims at attracting executive and other business customers as well as frequent leisure travelers. “These are customers who are already familiar with our hotels, and [our] quality service at a reasonable price,” Díaz said.Hilton will compete against other hotels in the surroundings of La Sabana Park including the Crowne Plaza San José Corobicí, Tryp San José Sabana, Park Inn By Radisson San José and Barceló San José Palacio.Renovation of iconic Hotel Costa RicaThe same investor group last year acquired the Gran Hotel Costa Rica and on Wednesday confirmed the hotel will undergo renovation in coming months.Díaz told The Tico Times that in the past year and a half the group has undertaken studies of the terrain and of the building’s architectural structure.They also are consulting with the Culture Ministry’s Heritage Conservation Center, as the nearly 85-year-old hotel was declared a Historical and Architectural Heritage building in 2005.“We still are in the planning stage of the project, as any renovation must be carefully planned in order to comply with all regulations from the hotel’s historical status,” Díaz said.The Gran Hotel Costa Rica was inaugurated in October 1930, with U.S. architect Victor Lorenz in charge of the project.The hotel’s suites hosted several important visitors including U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter, Hollywood actor John Wayne, Mexican comedian Mario “Cantinflas” Moreno, Panamanian boxing champion Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Durán and Brazil’s biggest football star, Pelé. A Tico Times archive photo from the early 1980s shows tourists at the Grand Hotel Costa Rica, across from another landmark of San José, the National Theater. María Esquivel & Katherine Lambert/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rican prosecutors investigate luxury condominium fraud in Central Valley

first_imgRelated posts:Michigan fugitive John Saatio to be extradited Saturday Costa Rican tourism cop locked up and robbed at police station UPDATE: ‘International con artist’ quickly released after arrest in Puerto Viejo on fraud charge Attempted robbery goes awry when burglar gets caught in window The Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office has opened up an investigation into real estate developer Homes Grupo Inmobiliario after complaints of consumer fraud have surfaced.A press release from the Public Ministry confirmed that prosecutors began the investigation into the real estate company Friday after seeing media reports and receiving personal accusations from clients.The investigation “is based on recent communications and publications made on various national media outlets as well an individual report made by people directly in our offices,” said José Pablo Miranda, who is in charge of fraud cases at the Prosecutor’s Office.Specific complaints regard the following housing projects: Real Garita in Alajuela; Real Boungainvillea in Santo Domingo de Heredia; and Condado del Valle in San Sebastián.Daniel Quesada, a spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office, told The Tico Times in an email that Homes Grupo Inmobilario took deposits for the three development projects from clients looking to reserve a condo. However, after long delays and unfulfilled promises on the part of the company, clients would then make calls and send emails to numbers and addresses that didn’t exist or had been deactivated, the spokesman said.Quesada added that the company was offering clients a discount of up to 20 percent of the property’s value if buyers paid the cost of the property’s premium right away.Would-be homeowners lost as much as $50,000, according to Quesada.The statement from prosecutors urged anyone who has invested with Homes Grupo Inmobilario to fill out a formal complaint with the fraud section of the Prosecutor’s Office, or call the section at 2295-4810.A Feb. 14 article from Spanish-language daily Diario Extra claimed that the company was defrauding its investors by concealing banking info and including unrealistic project completion dates in contracts. The management of Homes Grupo Inmobiliario released a note to clients last week on its Facebook page to address the claims.“All of our projects – contrary to what was indicated today in a nationally circulated news article – do exist and are in process of completing requirements for the corresponding legal institutions,” the memo said. The company’s statement added that it had recently changed offices, and that’s why phone numbers and addresses given to clients appeared to be nonexistent.A YouTube page under the Homes Grupo Inmobiliario name has a handful of videos promoting condominium and model house projects, including the Real Garita and Condado del Valle developments mentioned in the Prosecutor’s Office press release.Luxury homes in Condado del Valle are advertised at a rates starting at $109,900, while Real Garita’s residences are offered at rates starting as $122,700. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Welcome to The Tico Times allday election coverage in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Christiana Figueres: ‘Costa Rica is in danger of losing what it’s gained’ New poll in Costa Rica: another small Fabricio lead, another statistical dead heat What’s it really like to vote in Costa Rica? A new citizen’s perspective BREAKING: Carlos Alvarado wins 60.6 percent of vote with 90.6 of votes recorded in Costa Rica Facebook Comments Good morning and welcome to the day Costa Rica has been waiting for, in various states of excitement, trepidation and discord, ever since the first round of elections on Feb. 4. As Costa Ricans choose between Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration Party (PRN) and Carlos Alvarado of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) at the voting booth, we’ll be chronicling the day’s events every step of the way.Follow our coverage throughout the day  – whether on our website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @TheTicoTimes – for photos, videos and commentary. And please contact us there or at kstanley@ticotimes.net with your own pics, feedback and experiences from the day.Catching up? Read our full election coverage here!Meet our team:Katherine Stanley Obando, Managing Editor: Proud to be experiencing my fourth Costa Rican election, this time at the helm of what we believe is the first-ever all-Costa Rican reporting team in The Tico Times’ 62-year history. Twitter/Instagram @TheTicoTimes, katherinestanley.com.Elizabeth Lang Oreamuno, Assistant Editor: Has a strong passion for culture and its effects on a social change. Enjoys listening to music as well as talking about art. Twitter: @elangoreamunoPaula Álvarez: A couple weeks away from my journalism degree, I like music, books and speaking as much English as I can. Twitter: @PauAlvarez23 / Instagram: @paualvarez23Augusto Bolaños Morales: Strategic Communication Advisor with more than seven years’ experience working for nonprofit organizations on topics such as education, poverty reduction, sustainable communities construction and gender equality. Twitter: @Augus1411 / Instagram: @augustiiiiilloGabriela Brenes: Multimedia journalist with diverse experience in immersive technologies and social media platforms. She works at Rise Up, by Fusion Media Group, and collaborates in VR projects with SeirenFilms. In a Venn diagram with digital strategy, social research and multimedia literacy, she’d be right where the circles overlap. Facebook: www.facebook.com/riseupasone. Twitter: @gabybregRoberto Delgado Webb: Photographer and content creator at his own small business, Visualia. Instagram: @delgadowebb.Gregory Calvo Aguilar: Journalism student at the Universidad Latina of Costa Rica. Passionate about photojournalism. 2017 winner of the European Union’s “Europe through My Lens” contest in Costa Rica. Instagram: @gregorycalagCarlos Andrés Madrigal: Journalist. Lover of music, films and drawing, and collaborator for various media in Costa Rica. Twitter: @charliecamf4 / Instagram: @charliecamfJonathan Jiménez Flores: Photographer and audiovisual producer. Publications include La Nación, Semanario Universidad and La Voz de Guanacaste. Instagram: @jjimenezflJuan Osorno M.: Digital marketing consultant at Coral Agencia de Mercadeo Digital. Editor at the digital media Noticias.CR. Passionate about technology, culture and Asian history. Twitter: @maguz_zealAlexander Villegas: Born in the United States, raised in Costa Rica, and educated in Canada, Alexander Villegas is a freelance journalist and photographer focusing on under-reported issues across Latin America. Alexander’s stories and photographs have appeared in the Guardian, CBC, the Tyee, Bluff, Hakai Magazine and Smithsonian Magazine, and others.last_img read more

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Costa Rica grants asylum to Nicaraguan activist Alvaro Leiva

first_imgThe ANPDH has denounced the “profound crisis” of human rights violations in Nicaragua during the anti-government protests, which started April 18.On that day, students took to the streets of Nicaragua to protest against a social security reform, which transformed into a national movement against the Ortega’s government, after the violent repression against the demonstrators.Human rights organizations say that at least 320 people have died due to government repression, but the ANPDH estimates the number of victims close to 500.Thousands of Nicaraguans have sought refuge in Costa Rica because of the crisis and severe economic decline, which provoked the shutdown of several businesses, especially in the tourism sector. Facebook Comments Costa Rica granted the Nicaraguan human rights activist Alvaro Leiva political asylum last week.Leiva is the secretary of the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), which closed its offices in Nicaragua last August after serious threats and harassment by armed groups.After the shutdown, the human rights defender escaped to Costa Rica.“Leiva went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request protection, due to the social, political and economic crisis that Nicaragua faces, in addition to the risk he faces as a result of his work for the defense of human rights,” the Costa Rican government said in a statement.It said that President Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Epsy Campbell, accepted his request, based on his fear of suffering “political persecution that had taken form in specific actions against his life, freedom, safety and personal integrity,” the statement said. Related posts:President-elect unveils gender-balanced, multi-party Cabinet in Costa Rica Costa Rica’s Epsy Campbell speaks out against Venezuelan elections Costa Rican government seeks agreement with unions to end strike Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.center_img Nicaraguan human rights group closes office after ‘alarming’ threatslast_img read more

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Somali farmers rejoice at end of militant tax

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top holiday drink recipes Associated PressAFGOYE, Somalia (AP) – The farmers in Afgoye, a town on the outskirts of Mogadishu long controlled by Islamist militants, didn’t even wait to clear away the bullet casings from last week’s battles before filling up trucks with produce to drive into the capital.Farmers here are rejoicing at the taking of Afgoye by African Union peacekeepers on Friday after three days of fighting because they will no longer have to pay up to 50 percent of their crops in “taxes” to al-Shabab militants. The military operation marked the AU’s biggest success in Somalia since the peacekeepers pushed the militants from the capital Mogadishu last August. Sponsored Stories Since Afgoye’s fall, dozens of vehicles carrying fresh fruits and vegetables have traveled from the farm town into the Somali capital, which last year experienced the region’s worst famine in 18 years. The famine was declared over in January.Some farmers hope they will be able to produce more crops now that the insurgents have been driven out. Tractors were already out in the fields this week, plowing more land. The farmers say hope has returned and they aim to plant sorghum, maize, bananas, mangos and other items.Mohamed Hussein said he hoped to grow and sell more lemons since he would not have to pay such high taxes anymore. He recalled life under al-Shabab’s strict rule as he supervised lemons being loaded onto vehicles at his store.“We waited for this for a long time because we were the most affected,” he said, looking out of a speeding car carrying bananas. “They took 50 percent. Many of us gave up farming. I hope the army’s presence will soothe the town.”During the years when the town was under militant rule, many people soured on farming or fled the region. Even as crop production fell, hundreds of thousands of Somalis flooded into Afgoye from Mogadishu, seeking an escape from the years of fighting in the capital.center_img Still, many in this agricultural town worry that irregularly paid government soldiers may become the next illegal tax collector.Abdikarim Yusuf Dhagabadan, the chief of Somalia’s armed forces, told reporters he has warned soldiers not to take money from citizens.“We shall arrest any al-Shabab we see but we shall shoot to death any soldier on the spot who is robbing civilians,” he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   The taking of Afgoye is the latest success against al-Shabab militants. After African Union forces primarily from Uganda and Burundi pushed out the insurgents from Mogadishu, Kenyan troops began pressuring al-Shabab from the south and Ethiopian troops pushed in from the west.The three-pronged offensive has given the African coalition the best chance in years of taking back control of Somalia to allow some nascent form of government to begin providing services.Militants have increased bomb attacks as the territory they control shrinks.On Tuesday al-Shabab fighters ambushed the convoy the Somali president was traveling in after he visited Afgoye, said Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesman of the African Union military force. The attack was repelled and the president safely returned to Mogadishu, he said.UNHCR said on Tuesday that 14,000 people fled Afgoye over the last week, and that 10,000 have reached Mogadishu, where the aid community is providing assistance.Nur Saney returned to Afgoye over the weekend after two years of life in Mogadishu. He had fled his farm because of the high taxes and on Sunday he was back on it, clearing weeds.“I hope for better days ahead,” he said.last_img read more

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Part of airport closed due to suspected WWII bomb

first_img Top Stories AMSTERDAM (AP) – Part of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport was evacuated Wednesday after workers unearthed a suspected World War II bomb near the airport’s main terminal _ one of Europe’s busiest aviation hubs.Airport spokeswoman Karin Heldeweg said Schiphol’s Pier C was shut down for arriving and departing flights while bomb disposal experts checked the suspected explosive and decided what to do with it. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centercenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The airport warned passengers that the pier’s closure could lead to delays and cancellations. Around noon (1000 GMT), Schiphol’s website showed many flights to and from the airport delayed and departures to destinations including Glasgow, Scotland, Gothenburg, Sweden, and Frankfurt, Germany, cancelled.The suspected bomb was uncovered early Wednesday by workers digging trenches near the pier to lay pipes. The pier houses many of Schiphol’s departure and arrival gates.Nazi forces who occupied the Netherlands in WWII took over Schiphol and used it as a base for Luftwaffe aircraft. It was repeatedly bombed by Allied air forces.The scare at Schiphol came a day after a World War II bomb was detonated in the German city of Munich, sparking fires in several nearby buildings that had been evacuated after the bomb was discovered Monday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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Cuba experiments with debit cards in dollar stores

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Cubans have long chafed at the system. President Raul Castro’s government has talked about unifying the two currencies, but it is unclear whether the debit-card measure is a step in that direction.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img HAVANA (AP) – Cuba has begun an experimental program letting islanders use debit cards for their peso bank accounts to shop in so-called dollar stores.The measure has not been announced, but the program is being tried out at a state supermarket in Havana that also sells household appliances.Cuba has a unique dual-currency system. Most salaries are paid in pesos, worth about 24 to the U.S. dollar.A separate convertible peso trades at par with the dollar and is used in the dollar stores. To shop at the stores, Cubans have had to convert their pesos at exchange houses. Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Patients with chronic pain give advice How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

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Pope presides over trimmed Easter Vigil service

first_img Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix In his homily Saturday, Francis kept his message simple and tied to the liturgical readings, recalling how Jesus’ disciples found his tomb empty a day after his death and were surprised and confused.“Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness, and that is where death is,” he said. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!”He later baptized four men, part of the Easter Vigil ritual.Just a few hours after the vigil ends, Francis on Sunday will celebrate Easter Mass and deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” speech, Latin for “To the city and the world.” Usually the pope also issues Easter greetings in dozens of languages.In his two weeks as pope, Francis’ discomfort with speaking in any language other than Italian has become apparent. He has even shied away from speaking Spanish when the occasion would call for it, though the Vatican has said he has done so to avoid discriminating against other languages by favoring his native tongue.Italian is the lingua franca of the Vatican and Francis has emphasized his role as bishop of Rome over that of pope of the universal church, making his use of Italian logical. Comments   Share   It’s not clear how Francis will handle the multilingual greetings Sunday.Typically, after the busy Easter week ceremonies, the pope would go to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo for a few days of vacation. Francis can’t do that since the previous pope, Benedict XVI, is currently living there in retirement.The Vatican has said Francis would stay put in the Vatican.___Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service that usually follows _ when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled _ was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.The Vatican has said these provisions were in keeping with Francis’ aim to not have his Masses go on too long. The Easter Vigil service under Benedict XVI would typically run nearly three hours. The new pope has made clear he prefers his Masses short and to the point: he was even caught checking his watch during his March 19 installation ceremony. Saturday was no different: The vigil ended just shy of 2.5 hours.A trimmed-back vigil _ and one that started earlier than usual _ was just one of the novelties of this Holy Week under an Argentine Jesuit pope who just two weeks ago stunned the world by emerging from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election with a simple “Brothers and sisters, good evening.”He riled traditionalists but endeared himself to women and liberals by washing and kissing the feet of two young girls during a Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile detention center in Rome, when the rite usually calls for only men to participate. A day later, Francis reached out with friendship to “Muslim brothers and sisters” during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis celebrated a trimmed back Easter Vigil service Saturday after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he began to put his mark on the Catholic Church.Francis processed into a darkened and silent St. Peter’s Basilica at the start of the service, in which the faithful recall the period between Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.last_img read more

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Iran says producing new air defense missile

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The TV showed the system, involving double missiles mounted on a truck.From time to time Iran announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified.The country, facing a Western military embargo, is pursuing a program for military self-sufficiency, producing weapons ranging from light submarines and jet fighters to torpedoes and missiles.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img TEHRAN Iran (AP) – Iran says it has started mass producing a new sophisticated air defense missile system capable of engaging low-altitude aircraft.The Monday report by state TV quotes Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as saying the new system, dubbed Herz-9 or Talisman-9 in Farsi, is capable of operating at night.He said the system was mobile and could automatically identify and target flying objects at “low altitude.” Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

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Mexico rejails alleged female cartel operator

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 treatments for adult scoliosis She wasn’t seen again, and the Attorney General’s Office later said in a statement that she had been quickly whisked off to a prison in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit to await trial on the money-laundering charge.She was given a quick medical checkup at the airport, where she arrived on a chartered flight that flew in migrants being repatriated to Mexico from El Paso, Texas.Avila, 52, has been in custody since 2007 when she was charged with conspiracy to traffic drugs and organized crime. A Mexican judge acquitted her of those charges in December 2010, but she remained in custody and was extradited to the U.S. a year ago.She pleaded guilty in April to being an accessory after the fact in a criminal organization that included Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez, her boyfriend at the time. Espinosa pleaded guilty in 2009 to cocaine trafficking charges.A statement signed by Avila said she provided money to Espinosa for travel and lodging so he could evade arrest by authorities between 2002 and 2004.Avila was sentenced to 70 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Miami last month and released almost immediately for time served in Mexico.Mexico had used a little-known bilateral agreement that allows prosecutors to suspend local charges, extradite a suspect to the United States for trial, and then reactivate the charges once the suspect returns. MEXICO CITY (AP) – Purported drug cartel operator Sandra Avila Beltran, known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” was returned to Mexico from the U.S. on Tuesday and quickly taken to prison to face money-laundering charges.Avila Beltran, known for her good looks and saucy attitude when she was arrested in 2007, looked haggard and had gray streaks in her once-black hair in a photograph published by local media when she was taken off a plane at the Mexico City airport. Her lawyer, Jorge Alfonso Espino, said Avila Beltran no longer faces organized crime charges.The U.S extradition request had said she belonged to an organization that trafficked cocaine from Colombia to the United States. U.S. prosecutors originally charged that she helped store and move at least 100 kilograms of the drug from Mexico to the United States.At the time of her earlier arrest, prosecutors said Avila spent more than a decade working her way to the top of Mexico’s drug trade, seducing several notorious kingpins and uniting Colombian and Mexican gangs.Avila comes from a family of drug lords. She is the niece of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, “the godfather” of Mexican drug smuggling, who is serving a 40-year sentence in Mexico for drug smuggling and the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico’s western Jalisco state. Another uncle, Juan Jose Quintero Payan, was extradited to the U.S. on drug-trafficking charges.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

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Indian antigraft crusader quits Delhi government

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Kejriwal accused the Congress party, which controls the federal government, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party of colluding with each other and big businesses to pillage the country.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Kejriwal has led protests and hunger strikes against government corruption. They include sit-ins demanding public access to government documents, lower electricity rates and transfer of control of the New Delhi police from the federal Home Ministry.He said Friday he would recommend that new elections be held in New Delhi.Kejriwal formed a political party and assumed power in New Delhi in December with the support of the Congress party, which lost badly in state elections.His party controls 27 of the 70 seats in the state legislature and the Congress party eight. One lawmaker recently quit Kejriwal’s party following differences over implementation of various policies. The remaining seats are held by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Socialist Party legislators.The showdown between Kejriwal and the Congress party came over a 2002 federal Home Ministry order which said that the New Delhi state government could only enact laws with financial implications with its approval.Kejriwal defied the order on Friday and sought to introduce the ombudsman bill in the state legislature, saying the Home Ministry order was arbitrary.Congress party leader Arvinder Singh Lovely said his party supported the creation of a strong ombudsman but Kejriwal should first seek the federal government’s approval. The Congress party voted against introduction of the bill. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Patients with chronic pain give advice NEW DELHI (AP) – Anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal quit Friday as the top elected official in the New Delhi state government after lawmakers blocked the introduction of a bill to create a strong ombudsman in the Indian capital.Kejriwal’s resignation came after the Congress party, which backed his 49-day-old minority government, voted with the opposition to block the bill.He told his supporters that the Congress party was scared that its officials who had ruled the Indian capital for the past 10 years would be prosecuted on corruption charges if the law came into force. Check your body, save your life 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

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Heritage title for Japan industry sites draws mixed reaction

first_img Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday at a regular briefing that “Japan should win trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community with practical actions.”___AP writer Emily Wang contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Though the number of survivors is dwindling, some of those who endured starvation, abuse by their captors and bombardment are still seeking redress, or at least apology.Until recently, Seoul had objected to the listing by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee unless the role of Korean prisoners forced to work at the sites during World War II was formally recognized. The two countries sparred for weeks but eventually reached a compromise that finessed the issue. It is unlikely to entirely finish it, however.“Japan is prepared to take measures that allow an understanding that there were a large number of Koreans and others who were brought against their will and forced to work under harsh conditions in the 1940s at some of the sites,” the Japanese delegation said in a statement.South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the country was pleased that the sites were recognized “in the form that takes account of our legitimate concerns.”“We have achieved our principle and position that historical truths must be reflected as they are,” he said.Japanese officials expressed their delight with the UNESCO listings, which include Gunkanjima, or “Battleship Island,” a former coal mine on a fortress island off Japan’s southwest coast. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Kenji Kitahayashi, the mayor of Kitakyushu, a city where the Yawata steel mill, which used thousands of forced laborers, is located, said the value of places that “became the driving force of Japan’s industrial development has gained global recognition.”Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, said in a statement that Japan would “sincerely address the recommendations by the International Council on Monuments and Sites,” which asked that Japan acknowledge that foreign workers were forced to labor at many of the sites and that its exhibits reflect the entire history of those places.But Kishida emphasized that Japan had not budged in its stance that any issues related to compensation, including forced labor, were settled decades ago.China’s official Xinhua News Agency cited Beijing’s UNESCO envoy as questioning Japan’s recognition of that past.“There still lacks an adequate account from Japan of the whole facts surrounding the use of forced labor,” it cited Zhang Xiuqin, the UNESCO ambassador, as saying. She urged Japan to ensure that “the sufferings of each and every one of the forced laborers are remembered, and their dignity upheld.”center_img 0 Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials Monday celebrated the U.N. cultural body’s approval of world heritage status for 23 historic sites showing the country’s transformation from feudal isolation into an industrial power at the end of the 19th century.Seoul portrayed the decision as a diplomatic win after Japan also agreed to acknowledge its history of forcing tens of thousands of South Koreans, Chinese and World War II prisoners of war to work at dozens of factories, mines and other industrial facilities, conscripted to fill labor shortages especially toward the end of the war. China called for a better accounting from Tokyo on its past forced labor practices. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

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Loyalty program to keep Qantas in black

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/22542/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Qantas expects to rake in a record profit this year from its Frequent Flyer arm, the airline’s chief executive said Tuesday.In a television interview with Bloomberg, chief executive Alan Joyce said the carrier had seen strong performance in its loyalty program and low cost carrier subsidiary Jetstar.”Our Frequent Flyer program . . . is doing very well” he said.”It’s experienced massive growth this year, signing up new partners, and it will have a record year in terms of profitability.”He added that Jetstar, which has recently signed a “non-equity” partnership with AirAsia, was experiencing record profitability, with plans to add 18 aircraft to its fleet this year.Qantas’s domestic and regional operations are also recovering “quite fast”, Joyce said.However, he said international operations were still suffering with average fares having fallen 20 percent during the financial crisis.Despite this, Joyce said he was optimistic the airline would be able to raise international fares soon.”In the domestic market, in particular, we saw airfares increase before Christmas and we were hoping that would occur also in the international markets” “Some of the international markets are still very weak but we expect them to follow the domestic return to strength that we saw before Christmas.”last_img read more

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Protests in Bangkok could get worse

first_imgParts of Bangkok were closed yesterday as anti-government protesters marched on government headquarters at a military base.At least 100,000 people dressed in red shirts demonstrated outside the base while shops and offices on the northern outskirts of Bangkok closed for the day.The demonstrators are demanding that the Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament according to the Associated Press.However, Abhisit said on television that he would not give in to the Red Shirts.“Asking for the dissolution of Parliament before noon in exchange for a halt to the demonstrations, we all agreed it can’t be done,” “However, it doesn’t mean the government coalition parties and I won’t listen to their ideas.” The Red Shirts have since announced they will collect between two and 20 teaspoons of blood from each demonstrator, totalling around 1000 litres, to splash onto the headquarters. “If Abhisit wants to work in that place again, he’ll have to cross our blood,” Nattawut Saikua, one of the protest leaders, told his supporters, the New York Times reported. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28967/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

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