Share Travelweek Group Wednesday, July 27, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> HO CHI MINH CITY — “Welcome to Vietnam!” was not the warm greeting one Chinese woman received upon arrival. Instead, she claims the Vietnamese border official scribbled “f**k you” on two pages of her passport, reports several Chinese papers.According to Mashable, the words were written across a controversial map printed on the two pages. The map, which has been printed in Chinese passports since 2012, is a source of much anger against China in Southeast Asia because it outlines a portion of the South China Sea that China says it owns. However, several Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam, are disputing China’s territorial claims.Vietnam even went so far as to have made a formal complaint to Beijing in 2012 when China’s new passports first rolled out. Since then, there have been reports of border officials in Vietnam refusing to stamp Chinese passports altogether.The Beijing News reports that the woman’s passport is now considered invalid since it’s been defaced. She will need to get it replaced upon her return home. Stamp of disapproval: Border official scrawls F-bomb in Chinese passport Posted by
Posted by Tags: Las Vegas, MGM Travelweek Group LAS VEGAS — The upscale Park MGM, the reincarnation of the famed Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, is open and in full swing while NoMad Las Vegas, also part of the reimagination of the storied Monte Carlo hotel, is scheduled to open at the end of this year.MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group teamed up to reimagine and rebrand Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.Cabanas at Park MGM – credit Patrick Michael ChinThe US$450 million transformation touches every element of the property and includes the two distinct hotel experiences: a Las Vegas version of Sydell’s widely acclaimed NoMad Hotel, and the launch of the new Park MGM.In addition to fully redesigned and renovated hotel guest rooms, each hotel will feature innovative food and beverage experiences including the award-winning Chef Daniel Humm and Eataly’s vibrant Italian marketplace. The spa, pool and gaming areas have also been transformed.Park MGM and The NoMad Las Vegas are the final pieces of MGM Resorts’ complete neighbourhood redesign of the central Las Vegas Strip neighborhood which began in 2009 with the introduction of CityCenter and saw the recent unveiling of The Park, a outdoor dining and entertainment district, and the new T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoThe design of Park MGM, an approximately 2,700-room luxury resort, built on the property’s history as the Monte Carlo, incorporating its European design influences while retaining a powerful connection to The Park just next door. The hotel concept brought the park inside, and gave it a light, homey and natural feel –a fresh look compared to the glitz and glam of Las Vegas. Park MGM’s expansive food & beverage program, features a full-scale Eataly marketplace, a new concept for Las Vegas.Park MGM’s Park Queen accommodationThe Park MGM’s Park Queen and Park King accommodation come complete with sitting areas and an expansive picture window, with about 400 square feet. Also available: the Skylark, Nightingale and Nighthawk suites. Some rooms will even feature Murphy beds, great for business travellers needing work and meeting space. The Stay Well program, offered on one floor of the hotel, includes added wellness features like Vitamin C shower water and jet lag lighting.More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJWith its central location Park MGM offers guests direct access to what is quickly becoming the city’s premier entertainment district, featuring T-Mobile Arena and The Park, as well as the new Park Theater, a 5,300-seat entertainment venue, with Cher, Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga as the resident artists, with Bruno Mars doing occasional shows.ParkMGM’s pool daybeds – credit Patrick Michael ChinThe other hotel on site, the NoMad Las Vegas, draws inspiration from the success of the original New York flagship, The NoMad Hotel NYC, and includes 292 rooms on the top floors of the Park MGM. It is essentially a hotel within a hotel, complete with dedicated lobby, restaurant, pool and gaming.The NoMad hotel will benefit from a restaurant by Chef Daniel Humm and restauranteur Will Guidara, the forces behind The NoMad restaurant in New York and the Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park. Two distinct hotels, Park MGM and NoMad, liven up the Las Vegas Strip Share Monday, May 7, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Travelweek Group Friday, June 15, 2018 TORONTO – The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has revamped its travel agent specialist program (SLEx), an online educational and loyalty program that’s open to agents in Canada.Mobile friendly and customizable, SLEx provides resources that will enable agents to better sell the destination in areas like Dive, Romance and Family Travel.Upon completion of the program, graduates will receive a certificate that unlocks features and benefits of being a Saint Lucia Expert. A combination of three status tiers will highlight the best producers and provide additional incentives and support to each tier.SLEx awards agents marketing credits based on room nights within the following tiers: Gold (50-149 room nights); Platinum (150-299 room nights); and Diamond (300+ room nights).Benefits include: three continuing education credits from ACTA or The Travel Institute; personalized certificate; and printable education packet.As an additional incentive, the top recording travel agents and their agencies will be awarded monthly prizes in the sum of US$250 cash for the agent, and $250 marketing credit for the agency (to go towards Saint Lucia business development). The new platform will allow agents to track their progress in real time.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamOther benefits of the program include:Lead generation via website inclusion by zip code, agency name and contact details;Customization of collateral including package flyers and social media resourcesSpecial recognition and awards;Discounted fams and agent rates with Saint Lucia Agent Months (SLAM);Special promotions and offers;Agent’s own SLEx e-newsletter templateSpecial recognition in SLTA press releases and stories ‘Tell us about your client’s vacation experience in Saint Lucia’;Invitation to attend THE PITON INSPIRO AwardsAn SLTA logo for business cards and websiteTravel agents can enroll in the program at http://edu.recommend.com/saintlucia. Current Saint Lucia Specialists are not required to retake the course but will benefit from the new resources and status. Posted by Saint Lucia Tourism Authority revamps travel agent program Share Tags: Agent Incentives, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority << Previous PostNext Post >>
Share By: The Associated Press ORLANDO — There’s a new salvo in Orlando’s theme park wars.Universal Orlando Resort has announced that it is building a fourth theme park to be called Universal’s Epic Universe.Featuring an entertainment centre, hotels, shops, restaurants and more, the park will be located within a larger 750-acre site that nearly doubles Universal’s total available acreage in Central Florida. Its specific location will be just a few miles from the existing resort in Southwest Orange County, south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.An opening date has yet to be revealed.The announcement was made Thursday at an event attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, and Universal executives Tom Williams and Brian Roberts.“Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” said Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.”More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesWilliams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, added: “Our vision for Epic Universe is historic. It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created. It is an investment in our business, our industry, our team members and our community.”Mayor Demings spotlighted Universal’s role in the Kirkman Road extension, a 50/50 public-private project that when finished will add a 1.7-mile, north-south artery between Carrier Drive on the north to Universal Boulevard on the south. Universal is investing US$160 million to extend Kirkman into the area where the new park will be located.“The investment Universal is making in our community and the benefit all of us will see is substantial,” said Demings. “This will benefit nearly every segment of our economy, from tourism to high-tech.”Demings added that the Kirkman extension will improve transportation and open up the entire area for additional development, including an important expansion of the Convention Center.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesConstruction of the new park alone will contribute a total of $11.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefit into the Florida economy. Universal Orlando currently employs 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 team members as part of Epic Universe.Universal already operates Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, as well as the Volcano Bay water park, in Orlando. The company recently has been acquiring hundreds of acres of land near Orlando’s convention centre.Universal’s announcement comes weeks ahead of the planned opening of a Star Wars land at rival Walt Disney World. An identical land opened earlier this summer at sister park Disneyland in California.Earlier this summer, Universal also debuted a new ride based on the Harry Potter property, which had fans waiting for hours to ride it.More details about Epic Universe will be revealed over time. << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, August 1, 2019 Tags: Orlando, Theme Parks & Attractions It’s coming: Universal confirms fourth new theme park
This story was updated at 6:50 p.m. with new turnout estimates and reaction from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. SAO PAULO, Brazil — Huge numbers of protesters demanded Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s resignation Sunday, blaming her and the leftist Workers’ Party for runaway corruption and looming recession in Latin America’s biggest country.Crowds chanting “Dilma out!” and singing the national anthem paraded through the capital Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, the country’s largest city São Paulo, and across Brazil.With the São Paulo demonstration yet to be counted, the G1 news site reported the latest police estimate for turnout to be 866,000 in dozens of cities and towns.Organizers claimed a total of 1.9 million, including a million in São Paulo, where police counted only 350,000.It was the third major anti-Rousseff protest this year, with 600,000 and at least one million demonstrators taking to the streets in April and March, respectively.Less than a year into her second term, Rousseff is all but a lame duck, facing an opposition that smells blood and considering impeachment proceedings.“Our goal is to change Brazil,” said Rogerio Chequer, leader of the Vem Pra Rua (Go on the Streets) group among those organizing the protests.“We can’t take this corruption any longer, these levels of misery and suffering. You can’t have millions of reais siphoned off each year. That’s why we’ve had enough,” he said at the Sao Paulo march, where many in the crowd wore the national football team’s famous yellow shirt.“If Congress has even a minimum of sense, it will decide on impeachment.”Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla, has likened impeachment threats to a coup plot and insists she will not be forced from office.Late Sunday, her spokesman Edinho Silva said “the government sees these demonstrations as part of normal democracy.”Carnival and corruptionThe world’s seventh-largest economy is sliding into recession, its credit rating reduced to near junk status.Austerity measures have replaced the economic go-go years fueled by Chinese demand for commodities, while an ever-expanding bribes and embezzlement probe centered on state oil company Petrobras is ripping through the country’s elite.The boisterous but peaceful crowds in towns and cities across the country pinned the blame on Rousseff, illustrating how Brazil’s “Iron Lady” has become the least popular president in modern times, with single-digit ratings.In Brasilia, retired engineer Elino Alves de Moraes, 77, called for Rousseff and her “gang” to be jailed.“We want things to change and if the people don’t go in the street that’s impossible,” he said.In Rio, there was a carnival-like mood, with samba music blasting, some protesters carrying surfboards, others riding skateboards, and many wearing bikinis or bathing suits.But protesters said they were totally serious about wanting Rousseff and the Workers’ Party out.“They’re looting Brazil, stealing everything,” said Jorge Portugal, 63, who is retired from a job in marketing.At a rally in Belo Horizonte, the man who narrowly lost to Rousseff in her deeply divisive 2014 reelection, Aecio Neves, said the protests show that “Brazil has woken up.”But one of the most popular heroes for the opposition masses was not Neves or even a politician — it was Sergio Moro, the 43-year-old judge handling the Petrobras cases.“We are all Moro,” placards read, and “Power to Sergio Moro!”“Judge Moro is the country’s salvation,” said one Sao Paulo protester, Jose Freitas, 88.Impeachment threat Prosecutors running the Petrobras probe have brought charges against a who’s who of Brazilian movers and shakers, including the billionaire head of the global construction company Odebrecht and a navy admiral once tasked with overseeing a secret nuclear program.Rousseff’s Workers’ Party has been badly shaken by the scandal and she has been tainted by association, even if not directly implicated. Her party’s treasurer was among those arrested in April.Even Rousseff’s presidential predecessor, Workers’ Party hero Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is being investigated in an unrelated influence peddling probe.A key figure in the fragile governing coalition, House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, defected in July and is considering whether to pull the trigger on impeachment proceedings.Analysts say Cunha — under investigation for allegedly demanding a $5 million bribe — is waiting to be sure that Congress would follow his lead, while Rousseff is racing to negotiate a truce.One possible relief for her came earlier this week when she and Senate President Renan Calheiros — under investigation in the Petrobras affair — agreed to market-pleasing reforms.The deal took Rousseff ever further from her socialist roots, but could help lure her right-wing opponents from the cliff edge.“The middle classes want to kick her out of power in any way, but to what end?” asked André Perfeito, head economist at Gradual Investimentos.“In business circles and the elite, there’s an idea that it would be even worse if she left. It doesn’t mean they’re for Rousseff, but that getting rid of her would be even riskier.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Rousseff’s horror movie may only get worse in 2nd half Brazil police arrest Lula aide in widening corruption probe Brazil billionaire Andre Esteves arrested in Petrobras probe The professor at the heart of Brazil’s market meltdown
They also said the lion is eating appropriately every day and that his behavior, rest and activity periods and interactions with zookeepers are within normal parameters.The Simón Bolívar Zoo declined a request from The Tico Times to comment on the agencies’ orders to move the lion. Zoo spokesman Eduardo Bolaños recently told Channel 7 Telenoticias that the organization had filed an appeal against the government’s orders.Bolaños said the orders were “an imposition issued without any technical, scientific or legal foundations” and that they violate the zoo’s 1994 contract with the government.He also said the z00 administration has a renovation plan that it hopes will allow it to keep Kivú at the downtown zoo.Work, he said, is scheduled to begin this year on a new enclosure for the lion that would be “bigger than that recommended by the ministries’ report and in full compliance with international standards.”Recommended: No, Costa Rica is not closing its zoos Facebook Comments Kivú, the lion at San José’sSimón Bolívar Zoo, may soon be moved from his cramped, concrete enclosure. Officials from the Environment Ministry (MINAE) and the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) inspected the lion’s cage in July and concluded that Kivú should be relocated to a better space within two months.The final inspection report, which was sent to the zoo on Sept. 7, orders the 18-year-old, captive-born lion moved to the Santa Ana Conservation Center. The center is a private refuge managed by Fundación Pro Zoológicos, which also runs the Simón Bolívar Zoo in downtown San José where Kivú currently lives.The report states that the 70-square-meter cage is unsuitable for the lion and that several parts of it, including the roof, are destroyed and put Kivú at risk. The report notes that the cage prevents the lion from expressing his natural behavior and lacks features that would allow him to hide from visitors.The report also notes that the lion “has lost opportunities to express his social skills” following the death of his partner Kariva five years ago.Environment Minister Édgar Gutierrez agreed with the report and said the lion’s current conditions “must change radically.”The inspection group included veterinarians, biologists and a lawyer. Their report noted that the zoo’s administration rejected the participation of a veterinarian from the National University.Improvements ordered to future and current cageOfficials gave the zoo administration a two-month deadline for conditioning a new home for Kivú, not a metal cage, in the Santa Ana refuge.The new space in the refuge should meet international standards for keeping wildlife species in captivity, according to the report. Specifically it must comply with all provisions outlined in the Lion Care Manual from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.The enclosure should be at least 115 square meters and should mimic an African Savannah with trees, plants, a pond and trails, the report adds.In the meantime, the lion will remain at the Simón Bolívar Zoo. But Minister Gutiérrez also ordered the zoo to make improvements to Kivú’s current cage, including adding features that resemble a more natural habitat, removing several metal structures and improving the cage’s surface, roof and drainage system.The minister also ordered the zoo to add plants, grass and bushes to create a visual barrier between the lion and the public so that Kivú can hide when he wants to.Officials also recommended improving the lion’s diet by giving him not only meat but also bones, feathers, fur and innards to stimulate his instincts.Recommended: Costa Rica zoo can be a depressing sight, but easy alternatives are fewKivú is skinnySeveral messages on the zoo’s social media sites criticize the lion’s poor health conditions and his visible weight loss. The zoo responded that the lion lost weight as a result of being under full anesthesia during recent physical examinations.Besides individual responses to messages, the zoo last week posted on its website and social media profiles an official statement signed by the zoo’s veterinarian Randall Arguedas and nutritionist Jessenia Vázquez. They said Kivú was recovering his physical condition, “considering his geriatric state,” and showed no signs of pain or apathy. Related posts:Ministries confirm relocation orders for Kivú the lion Officials demand the removal of Kivú the lion from public display Environment officials move Kivú the lion to a new home Kivú the lion recovers at his new home
Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments Share 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Matt Wells, West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the AP that the organization hasn’t confirmed details of the attack but “pro-Gbagbo militants have conducted repeated raids from Liberia into this region of Ivory Coast.”“The Gbagbo camp often resorted to inciting rhetoric against U.N. personnel during the Ivorian crisis, though today’s deadly attack is the first of its kind during the recent Ivorian crisis,” Wells said“Liberian and Ivorian authorities need to quickly work together to bring to account those involved in this heinous act,” he said.At the end of April, the U.N. said there were about 9,400 peacekeeping troops, 200 military observers and 1,350 international police in the mission along with civilian staff. Over 40 countries are contributing military personnel.___Associated Press writers Laura Burke in Accra, Ghana; Germain Ndri in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 treatments for adult scoliosis “This is the first time we have ever had such a type of attack in Ivory Coast. It’s a very tough time for the whole mission here right now,” said Sylvie van den Wildenberg, acting spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast.An Ivorian Cabinet official who was briefed on the matter said President Alassane Ouattara requested helicopter gunships from the U.N. and expected them to arrive by Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.Ivory Coast’s deputy defense minister Paul Koffi Koffi said government forces, along with Liberian and U.N. forces, will launch an operation on June 15 to find the men responsible, whom he described as “militiamen or mercenaries.”Koffi Koffi said they could not respond sooner because it would take time to gather equipment and prepare the forces.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms,” saying he was “saddened and outraged” about the deaths of the peacekeepers, all from Niger. He urged the Ivory Coast government to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.Bert Koenders, the U.N. envoy to the West African nation, said the peacekeepers were part of a patrol south of the town of Tai, an area the U.N. mission recently reinforced because of threats of attacks against the civilian population. The ambush involved a large group of armed men, a U.N. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. Human Rights Watch has said that militants have staged several cross-border attacks from Liberia, leaving at least 40 people dead in the last year. The violence has been blamed on mercenaries and militiamen who fought for ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and then fled across the porous border into Liberia’s forests, following his arrest last year.In a report released Wednesday, the human rights group had accused the Liberian government of failing to respond to the presence of armed groups on the border, or to the recruitment of child soldiers.Liberian Defense Minister Brownie Samukai said efforts were being made to prevent the use of Liberia’s territory as a launching ground for attacks. “We all are surprised by the deterioration of the situation in Tai,” said Samukai, adding that it was difficult to yet establish the nationalities of those involved.Ivory Coast was brought to the brink of civil war when Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing a November 2010 election. The United Nations estimates at least 3,000 people were killed in the six months of violence that followed, and more than 60,000 Ivorian refugees remain in neighboring Liberia.Gbagbo was arrested with the help of U.N. and French forces in April 2011, and is now facing charges of war crimes at The Hague. Friday’s attack marked an unprecedented assault on U.N. peacekeepers, who have been in the country since 2004. “Their colleagues are still in danger,” Ban told reporters. “Even tonight, after the attack, more than 40 peacekeepers remain with the villagers in this remote region to protect them from this armed group.”Van den Wildenberg said several vehicles were on a reconnaissance patrol near the village of Para on the southern axis of Tai to follow up on “rumors of movement of armed people in the area and threats on the security of civilians.”“There were several vehicles on the patrol and the leading vehicles were strongly hit,” van den Wildenberg said. “The area is densely forested and very tough terrain.”Western Ivory Coast has remained particularly unstable following Gbagbo’s arrest, and Human Rights Watch said earlier this week that armed groups in Liberia who supported Gbagbo have killed at least 40 civilians in cross-border raids into Ivory Coast since July. The deaths have all been near Tai, Human Rights Watch said.“In the four cross-border attacks since June 2011, the motivation appears to have been both political vengeance and related to land conflict _ issues that overlap in Ivory Coast’s volatile west. Those killed or whose houses were burned predominantly belong to ethnic groups that largely voted for president Ouattara,” the group said in its report. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) – Ivorian government forces vowed Saturday to hunt down those responsible for an ambush that killed at least seven U.N. peacekeepers, while Liberia sealed its border amid fears that the gunmen had used the country to stage the cross-border attack.Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said the president had ordered the immediate deployment of the armed forces to the border in the wake of Friday’s attack near the Ivorian town of Tai, which also left at least eight civilians dead and sent hundreds of people fleeing the area. Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family
SANAA, Yemen (AP) – Security officials in Yemen say explosions in two marketplaces in different parts of the country killed six people on Friday.In the first incident, a security official said a man on a motorcycle lobbed a bomb into a crowded vegetable market in the southern city of Taiz. The blast that followed left five people dead and seven injured. Authorities are pursuing the attacker following tips by locals. Sponsored Stories Comments Share Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories In the capital Sanaa, another official said an explosion ripped through an Internet cafe in a popular market where the herbal stimulant qat is sold, killing one man.It is not clear who was behind the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The vital role family plays in society
Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Quick workouts for men TORONTO (AP) – Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy the Canadian auto finance and deposit business of Ally Financial.Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization said Tuesday the purchase will strengthen its position as leader in the Canadian auto finance sector. The cost is about $1.4 billion.Ally’s Canadian unit provides financing to nearly 600 auto dealerships across Canada.Ally is the new name for GMAC, formerly the lending division of General Motors. The lender required multiple bailouts after the financial crisis because of the auto industry’s near-implosion and its heavy investments in mortgage bonds. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Ally has strengthened its direct banking franchise, advertising directly to consumers and offering low-cost, online-only accounts. But it remains primarily an auto finance company. The U.S. Treasury Department owns 74 percent of the larger Ally company.(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 Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center
Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The Obama administration at the time faced sharp criticism for allowing Iraqi courts to try the Hezbollah militant. Republican politicians had called for Daqduq to be transferred to Guantanamo Bay; administration officials hoped to try him in regular U.S. military courts.After hearing the news, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the decision an “outrage,” urging the government to take “appropriate actions” with regard to the Iraqi government.___Associated Press writers Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad, and Lolita C. Baldor and Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Analyst Hadi Jalo said Iraqi officials had likely sought to improve their standing among Iraq’s Shiite-majority population by ordering the release, in a sign domestic concerns trumped the need to please Washington over the matter.“This indicates how weak American pressure has become. Iraq is able to take decisions that are no longer in step with the Americans,” Jalo said.Daqduq’s lawyer, Abdul-Mahdi al-Mitairi, said authorities had decided to free his client after U.S. elections, suggesting they had sought to avoid embarrassing President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign.“He was supposed to be released once the court found him not guilty but because of the U.S. presidential elections, he was kept under house arrest,” al-Mitairi said.In the brazen attack Washington accuses Daqduq of masterminding, almost a dozen gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons killed one soldier and captured four at a provincial army headquarters, shooting the prisoners later. The assailants had traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles _ the type used by U.S. government convoys at the time.Daqduq was captured in the southern Iraqi city of Basra months later along with the head of a hardline Shiite militia. The move vastly complicates the Obama administration’s efforts to prosecute Daqduq, as Shiite Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government and the U.S. has no extradition treaty with the country. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was upset with the decision and had made its feelings known to the Iraqi government.“Daqduq should be held accountable for his crimes,” Nuland told reporters, adding that the U.S. would pursue him with all legal means possible, and had been in contact with Lebanon on the issue.Washington believes Daqduq worked with Iranian agents to train Shiite militias to target the U.S. military during the years of sectarian violence that gripped Iraq over the last decade, and that he was behind the raid on a U.S. military base in the holy city of Karbala where the five soldiers were killed _ four of them shot after being kidnapped.U.S. forces held Daqduq for four years, handing him over to Iraqi authorities when American troops left Iraq. Meanwhile, Iran has seen its influence in the country grow.Two Iraqi courts, including the country’s central criminal court, subsequently found him not guilty of the Karbala attack. However, until now he had been held under house arrest in the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad. Associated PressBAGHDAD (AP) – Iraq freed a jailed Hezbollah commander wanted by the United States on Friday, his lawyer said, returning him home to Lebanon in a move that underscores Washington’s waning influence in Baghdad since last December’s troop pullout.The U.S. believes Ali Mussa Daqduq is a top threat to Americans in the Middle East, and had asked Baghdad to extradite him even before two Iraqi courts found him not guilty of masterminding a complex raid that left five American soldiers dead in 2007. But Iraq’s Shiite-led government, which is close to Hezbollah’s top patron Iran, refused to hand him over. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes How men can have a healthy 2019 Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix
PARIS (AP) – A Paris court has convicted nine people for links to a militant group that the U.N. Security Council has described as an al-Qaida affiliate.The trial that began last month came four years after police in France, Germany and the Netherlands rounded up the suspects.The defendants convicted in connection with collecting funds for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the U.N. listed as an al-Qaida affiliate weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Defense lawyers said the funds were for humanitarian uses _ such as paying for sheep for slaughter under Muslim ritual. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean 0 Comments Share Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories The heaviest sentence in Tuesday’s verdict came down on suspected ringleader, Irfan Demirtas, a 53-year-old Turkish-Dutch national, who was given an eight-year sentence, (EURO)20,000 ($26,170) fine and barred from French territory after his sentence is up.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top holiday drink recipes Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of BEIJING (AP) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has vowed to tighten the monitoring of production of milk powder for babies and crack down on safety violators, saying the quality of infant formula affects the nation’s future.Li’s comments appeared aimed at trying to restore public confidence in China’s dairy industry, which has been mired in product safety and image problems.Li told a meeting of Cabinet officials Friday that the quality of infant formula should be tested with the same standards used for medicines and that each step of the production process must be monitored. Sponsored Stories Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Patients with chronic pain give advice Li said the safety of infant formula “concerned the healthy growth of the next generation and concerned the happiness of millions of families and the country’s future,” according to a statement posted on the central government’s website.Concerns about the safety of domestic milk powder have fueled Chinese demand for foreign-made infant formula, leading to bulk-buying in Hong Kong, Britain and some other countries.In 2004, fake Chinese milk powder left at least a dozen babies dead from malnutrition. In 2008, infant formula that was tainted with an industrial chemical, melamine, killed at least six babies and sickened nearly 300,000 others with kidney stones and other illnesses. Melamine was added to watered-down milk to make it appear to have higher protein content.The premier also said a system should be set up to supervise the sale of infant formula on the Internet and improve the monitoring of the quality of imported milk powder.Li said milk producers, transporters or collection stations that fail to meet safety standards must be banned and violators of safety laws must be strictly punished.(Copyright 2013 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 ErrorOK ErrorOK 5 treatments for adult scoliosis PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – The Haitian government has welcomed home 41 engineers and technicians who underwent 10 months of military training in Ecuador.The team is intended to be part of a soon-to-be-created quasi-military force that Haitian officials want to monitor the country’s coasts and its border with the Dominican Republic, fight drug trafficking, raise environmental awareness and respond to disasters. 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 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement President Michel Martelly was eager two years ago to fulfill a campaign goal of reviving Haiti’s national army, which was disbanded in 1995 because of its abusive past. But he backed off under pressure from the U.S. and other governments, and opted to create a smaller force with the help of Ecuador.The National Palace announced the Ecuador training project in a statement Thursday.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories
The two were charged with arranging funds which “they knew, or had reasonable cause to suspect,” would or might be used “for the purposes of terrorism” in relation to Syria.They were remanded in custody Thursday until a further court hearing Jan. 31.Western officials have warned that the civil war in Syria is attracting foreign fighters from Europe.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories LONDON (AP) – Two women have appeared in U.K. court accused of trying to send 20,000 euros ($27,350) to a suspected British jihadi fighting in Syria.Nawal Masaad, 26, was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport on Jan. 16 as she was preparing to board a flight to Turkey. At the time, officers said they had seized a large quantity of cash.Her friend, Amal El-Wahabi, 27, was arrested later that day at her home. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Quick workouts for men Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system
FILE – This Monday, July 15, 2013 file photo shows the American flag and Wall Street street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Stocks are moderately lower in early trading Thursday, May 28, 2015, a day after the Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) The vital role family plays in society Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,116. The Nasdaq composite declined five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,093.The declines were shallow but broad. Nine of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index fell.GameStop rose 8 percent after reporting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are opening slightly lower after the government reported that the domestic economy contracted in the first three months of the year.The revised figures published early Friday, which showed gross domestic product contracting 0.7 percent in the first quarter, was worse than the government’s initial estimate of growth of 0.2 percent in the period.The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,078 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell last month in 21 U.S. states and were unchanged in 17, as widespread job growth and a shrinking workforce reduce the ranks of those out of work.The figures point to widespread improvement in the nation’s job market. There is also evidence that the falling unemployment rates in many states could be boosting wage growth, according to an analyst note, a trend that could emerge at the national level. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In this photo taken Wednesday, July 15, 2015, Luigi Valdivieso, left, talks about job opportunities to Richard Solano at a job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. The Labor Department reports on state unemployment rates for June on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) Smaller workforces helped lower unemployment rates in many states last month, including Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey.Unemployment rates in 31 states are now at 5.5 percent or below, a range that the Federal Reserve considers full health. That suggests employers will have to pay higher wages to attract workers, given the dwindling supply of unemployed.The lower unemployment rates in many states are already starting to push up wage growth, according to research released Tuesday by David Mericle, an economist at the investment firm Goldman Sachs.States with unemployment rates that are at or near full health have seen their average hourly pay levels grow more quickly than other states, according to Mericle. And states with steeper drops in their unemployment rates in the past year have also experienced better wage growth.Some measures suggest paychecks nationwide are growing a bit faster, though the evidence is mixed. Average hourly pay rose just 2 percent in June compared with a year ago. That’s much lower than the 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical for a healthy economy.Goldman Sachs forecasts that wage growth will reach 2.75 percent by the end of this year and reach 3.5 percent next year. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The Labor Department said Tuesday that unemployment rates rose in 12 states. Employers added jobs in 31 states and cut them in 17, with little change in the remaining two states.The figures reflect steady hiring nationwide. Employers added 223,000 jobs in June, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent. Yet last month’s rate decline occurred because some of the unemployed gave up looking for work. The jobless aren’t counted as unemployed unless they are actively searching for work.The proportion of U.S. adults in the workforce — defined as those with jobs or looking for work — declined last month to the lowest level in 38 years, according to the government’s jobs report, released earlier this month. Just 62.6 percent of people 16 and over are in the workforce, the government said. That’s down from 66 percent before the recession.Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.6 percent, while West Virginia has the highest, at 7.4 percent. New York gained 25,500 jobs last month, the most of any state, followed by 23,000 in California and 16,000 in Texas.The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in the Midwest, from 5.1 percent in May, and 5.3 percent in the South, from 5.4 percent. Unemployment in the Northeast declined to 5.4 percent from 5.6 percent. Only the West reported an unchanged rate, at 5.8 percent. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J IT is building the future and according to an Amadeus report, could boost a hotel’s growth over the next three years.Transform Your Growth Strategy Now found that businesses that remove the barrier between technology and marketing “unlock growth”.The report stressed that operators can work in sync with IT by viewing technology through the lens of the guest’s experience. Technology is also key for hotel owners, as an investment that could target any potential dangers and risks with sales.“Following the challenging market conditions of the last three years, now is the time to focus on growth,” report author Robert Cole said. “For most hotel groups the priority is how to deliver this growth by expanding into new territories, attracting new customers and improving service offerings.”A means of bridging the gap between hotelier and technology includes report suggested, IT Pathfinder.IT Pathfinder was described in the report as a system which uses a “common language to unite IT and business needs; focusing on mutual areas of benefit which deliver the greatest economic value”.
:: Beautiful Israel Breakfast Seminar :: Top 5 places to visit in IsraelThe major attractions include Jerusalem, a spiritual experience even for a non believer, is a truly ancient city with 5000 year’s history. The Dead Sea, which is one of the finalists in the “Seven Wonders of Nature” competition, at 400 meters below sea level is the lowest place on Earth. It has a very high salt concentration and can actually make you float. The area is rich in unique minerals making it the world’s largest natural spa area. Tel Aviv, popular for its beaches and night life is a fun place and the culture capital of Israel. Known as the city that never sleeps because places are open around the clock. Two hours north is Galilee, the country-side of Israel has an abundance of holy sites on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and Elat located in the south on the Red Sea is a resort city, sunny all year round with watersports and desert tours.For more information visit http://www.israeltrade.org.au The “Beautiful Israel“ seminar was held at the Amora Hotel in Sydney this morning. The Israel Trade Commission and Israel specialist wholesalers gave presentations on this historical destination.Merav Gonen, Trade & Tourism Manager – Israel Trade Commission Israel says Israel is a growing destination. 2010 was a record year with 3.5 million tourists reflecting a 26% growth compared to 2009. The same trend was reflected in the Australian market with a 38% increase.Israel is a small country, it’s easy to get from one point to another, less than half the size of Tasmania with the major cities Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and the Dead Sea being about one 1 hour’s drive from each other.Australian passport holder’s visas are granted on arrival. English is widely spoken and street signs are in English.Romy Leibler of EL AL said people’s impressions of Israel are influenced by the BBC, CNN effect! That it’s a rough and dangerous place to go. He said people should of course avoid hot-spots such as Gazza. Halina Hussein of Greece & Mediterranean Travel Centre says Israel is a safe country to visit. I’ve never felt safer! Jeremy Heasrt of Tempo Holidays said Israel is ill perceived as an intimidating destination. Overall the wholesalers said agents should feel comfortable selling Israel with tailor-made itineraries for independent travel or book guided/escorted tours for 1st time visitors.Israel has incredible diversity says Merav Gonen. It’s easily accessible with unique places to see. Biblical sites, archaeological sites and has a rich history. Of course the Mediterranean hospitality, markets, food and nightlife make it a must see destination. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.M.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T New security laws as BKK readies for protests this weekend. Image: Gavin Gough Thailand’s capital is preparing for mass protests, with the government adjuring police with new security laws to aid in controlling the predicted tens of thousands expected to hit Bangkok’s streets this weekend.Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that new Internal Security Act will be implemented in three districts throughout central Bangkok from 22 November to 30 November to prevent rising violence, according to The Wall Street Journal.“I stand ready to listen to a diversity of views and offer my explanations,” Ms. Yingluck said. “Being a democracy, is not only about expressing one’s freedoms. “The rule of law must also be observed and obeyed.”Smartraveller has warned Australian’s in Thailand to exercise a high degree of caution and recommend potential visitors do not travel at this time.The motivation behind this weekend’s protests is thought to be a continuation of protests against former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who is the Prime Minister’s older sibling.Shinawatra was removed from power in the military coup 2006.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa fined for flying an unlicensed airline. An Atlantic City casino has been fined for flying high-rolling Canadian gamblers to and from its hotel, free of charge aboard its private jet.The Canadian Transportation Agency tracked the hotel’s private flights in 2008 and 2009 and said the casino was acting as an airline without an airline license, the National Post reported.The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was originally fined US$25,000 for flying patrons on an unlicensed airline; however, an appeal reduced the fine by half to US$12,500.The casino’s two twin-engine corporate jets flew back and forth from Montreal and Toronto to Atlantic City, shuttling wealthy gamblers to their doors, the court heard.“Depending on how much a customer plays in the casino during an earlier stay he may be offered a free flight…. A customer who accepts a free flight is not obliged to play at any particular level … but the amount he does play in the casino on that trip will likely affect any travel offers he may receive on a later trip,” Casino patron Jonathan Gurman of Montreal said in a court affidavit.The Borgata Casino has won a Federal Court of Canada challenge for a new review of the case.Source = ETB News: P.T.