Terminals at JFK airport resuming operations after scare

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, August 15, 2016 The Canadian Press Terminals at JFK airport resuming operations after scare NEW YORK — Two terminals at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport are resuming normal operations Monday morning after reports of shots fired prompted evacuations and grounded and diverted flights.The reports, which led to some frightening moments for fliers Sunday night, were later determined to be unfounded and the airport was given the all-clear.“At this time, no firearm, rounds or shell casings or other evidence of shots fired has been found,” said Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.Police evacuated Terminal 8 around 9:30 p.m. Sunday as a precaution after receiving 911 calls about shots fired near the departures area.Port Authority police called in officers from the New York Police Department to assist with the investigation.A short time later, police closed Terminal 1 after they said they received additional reports of shots fired in that terminal. A highway approaching the airport also was shut down.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsPassengers posted pictures and videos on Twitter that showed crowds of people gathered outside of the terminals.Demetrius Pipkin told WPIX-TV that he was in Terminal 1 waiting for his Norwegian Airlines flight when the reports of shots fired came in.“We were previously told to get on the floor and take cover behind any and everything we could find,” said Pipkin, who described the terminal as a “madhouse” with panicky passengers eventually bolting for the nearest exists.According to the flight tracking company, FlightAware, all inbound flights were held at their origin until 11:30 p.m. “due to security.” Port Authority police said travellers should contact their carriers. They also warned of a “substantial PAPD and NYPD presence” at JFK and LaGuardia due to the investigation.There were no injuries reported. It was not immediately clear what led to the airport scare.last_img read more

Earn your own Sandals vacation with new Points to Paradise program

first_imgTags: Agent Incentives, Sandals Resorts Posted by Share Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img Earn your own Sandals vacation with new ‘Points to Paradise’ program TORONTO — Travel agents can earn more per booking with Unique Vacations’ “industry-shifting” commission program, Points to Paradise.Unique Vacations, an affiliate of the worldwide representatives of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, launched the program to reward and thank agents for “all of their hard work and loyalty to the Sandals brands”, said Gary Sadler, Senior Vice President of Sales, Unique Vacations Inc. “Travel agents have been the driving force behind Sandals Resorts’ success over the past 37 years, tirelessly helping to grow the business every day.”Effective immediately, the program replaces Sandals’ previous agent reward program, ‘Sell ‘n Go!’ and features a more streamlined process for earning points. With every net room dollar booked, agents earn a corresponding one point towards their own Sandals vacation.All commissionable rooms are eligible for Points to Paradise, no matter the number of guests booked – couple, family or social group.To redeem points, agents simply fill out a short form on Sandals’ Travel Agent Portal (taportal.sandals.com) with a reimagined dashboard showing points progress and other redemption metrics. In addition, as part of the revamped program, all points earned by the agent are completely theirs to use, meaning points can now follow an agent should they change agencies.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesAll Sandals and Beaches Resorts are eligible for redemption, with each one grouped into four different points thresholds ranging from 5,000 to 12,500. Top-level resorts include the newly opened Sandals Royal Barbados and Beaches Turks & Caicos, among others.For more information call Inside Sales at 1-800-545-8283. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Its snowing in Las Vegas and people are losing their minds

first_imgIt’s snowing in Las Vegas and people are losing their minds LAS VEGAS — After the record snowfalls that much of Canada has seen this winter, a measly inch of powder seems almost laughable.But many people in Las Vegas don’t appear to be laughing as the city was hit by its second snowfall in just one week.Yes, you read that right. Snow is falling in Sin City.According to NBC, Henderson, Nevada, located just southeast of Las Vegas, saw a record-setting inch of snow Wednesday night, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.The city first saw snow this year on Feb. 10, and again on Monday of this week. This, of course, is extremely rare for a city that has seen only three snowfall days twice before since 1937 (the last time was in 1949). The last time Vegas saw any measurable snow was on Dec. 17, 2008, when 3.6 inches of white stuff fell from the sky.This year’s weather phenomenon, reports NBC, is all thanks to snow levels dropping to 2,000 feet.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencySay what you will about the cold temps and the slushy commute, but you can’t argue that the snow makes for some captivating (and hilarious) images. Check out some of our favourites:Jackpot on The Strip! The first measurable #snow in #LasVegas since 2008! Officially 0.5″ on Wednesday night making for a rare photo op at the iconic sign. Snow has now fallen on 3 of the past 4 days.#LasVegassnowVideo via IG/thehoodrichcollection pic.twitter.com/8m8SZ18Spo— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) February 21, 2019 Well it’s snowing in Las Vegas now! Supposed to snow until 4 AMpic.twitter.com/w9hqc9dr5I— Daily Hourly (@dailyhourly) February 18, 2019 Friday, February 22, 2019 Palm trees and snow in Las Vegas!! Who would have thought? @CityOfLasVegas pic.twitter.com/9kW2kTNjKP— Linds (@Lindsie_Ellis) February 21, 2019 This is the first time I’ve actually seen snow stick on the ground in Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/yLY0GbyZFJ— Jeremy Le (@JeremyyyLe) February 18, 2019 WHAT!! This doesn’t look like Las Vegas. Check out this video @Wetnwildlv shared of SNOW covering its water slides! →https://t.co/TNbFI1GHiz pic.twitter.com/gQ60aMOKAX— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) February 18, 2019center_img Yes it’s #snow but people forget it’s #LasVegas and we’re in the freaking #desert pic.twitter.com/l8y6Qf5hNl— Christopher Gamboa (@sigamboa) February 18, 2019 Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Las Vegas, Snow, Weather << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Book VIA Rail tickets at 20 off with limitedtime promotion

first_img MONTREAL — VIA Rail Canada is discounting its lowest ticketed fares as part of a new promotion to entice Canadians to discover their own backyard.Running from March 11 to April 7, the limited-time promotion includes 20% off in Sleeper Plus class and Touring class on the following trains:• Toronto-Vancouver (the Canadian)• Montreal-Halifax (the Ocean)• Winnipeg-Churchill• Jasper-Prince RupertTickets must be purchased between March 11 and April 7, 2019, inclusively, and at least seven days prior to departure. The trip must be taken between April 12-Sept. 7, 2019, inclusively.VIA’s Sleeper Plus class includes: access to the Business lounge; priority boarding; comfortable berths that can accommodate one or two people; meal service and snacks; access to different cars, and more.VIA’s Touring Class features spacious, reclinable seats, meal service, access to different cars and more.For more information go to viarail.ca/en/saleviarail.ca/fr/tarifs-et-forfaits/nos-meilleurs-tarifs. Travelweek Group Tags: Sales, VIA Rail << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, March 12, 2019 center_img Book VIA Rail tickets at 20% off with limited-time promotion Posted by Sharelast_img read more

70 years of service KLM celebrates anniversary of first NetherlandsCanada flight

first_img Share Thursday, May 30, 2019 MONTREAL — Today marks the 70th anniversary of KLM’s inaugural flight between the Netherlands and Canada, a milestone occasion that the carrier marked with an official water salute by firefighters at Montréal-Trudeau airport.The ceremonial salute was a touching reminder of how 70 years ago, on May 29, 1949, members of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines crew boarded a Lockheed Constellation 747 to welcome passengers on the first-ever Amsterdam-Montreal flight. The ‘Batavia’ touched down at Dorval airport on May 30, following two stopovers.The passenger list for that inaugural flight included Prince Bernhard of Holland, the husband of Queen Juliana, and Albert Plesman, the president of KLM. Two of the three pilots onboard were Canadian as, at the time, 50 of KLM’s 400 pilots were from Canada.As the inaugural flight approached, it was preceded by three Vampire jet fighters from the Royal Canadian Air Force. Passengers were welcomed at the Dorval airport with a 21-gun royal salute and a 100-man royal guard from the Royal 22nd Regiment, whose marching band performed the Dutch national anthem. Formal receptions were held at the Ritz Carlton and the Windsor hotel.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaPrince Bernhard’s speech underlined the bond that existed between the two countries. He also confided his family had a special attachment to Canada, which hosted the Royal Family for a few years during World War II and was paramount in the liberation of the Netherlands.“This inaugural flight marked the beginning of regular service between Montreal and Amsterdam twice weekly, with stops in Gander, Newfoundland and Prestwick, Scotland, and opened the way for KLM in Canada,” said Vicnent Etchebehere, Vice President and General Manager, Air France KLM Canada. “Since then, KLM has launched routes to Toronto (1974), Vancouver (1986), Calgary (2009) and Edmonton (2014).This summer KLM will operate 36 weekly flights from Canada to Amsterdam: Montreal (7); Toronto (11); Calgary (7); Edmonton (4); and Vancouver (7). The airline also operates a daily shuttle service between Ottawa and Montreal. Its codeshare partnership with WestJet also gives access to KLM flights to residents in many other Canadian cities. Tags: KLM Posted bycenter_img 70 years of service: KLM celebrates anniversary of first Netherlands-Canada flight Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Public works minister temporarily steps aside citing heart problems

first_imgNo related posts. Luis Llach, appointed Minister of Public Works and Transport last May, will step aside indefinitely, citing health reasons, a press release from Casa Presidential said Wednesday.The decision follows a doctor’s recommendation after evaluating the minister’s heart problems in recent weeks.Llach’s health condition was made public less than three months after his appointment as head of the ministry (MOPT) after the dismissal of Francisco Jiménez over a corruption scandal involving the construction of Route 1856, a 160-kilometer road along Río San Juan, a natural border with Nicaragua.Communications Minister Francisco Chacón said that “at the time, Luis Llach is not resigning his post as head of MOPT,” and “the government will wait to see how his health condition evolves.”While the minister is recovering, his charge will be assumed ​​by Vice Minister Rodrigo Rivera. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica is giving away its fishing resources says opposition candidate José

first_imgNo related posts. Concerns over the future of Costa Rica’s aggressive fishing practices were at the center of a discussion with Broad Front Party presidential candidate and lawmaker José María Villalta Wednesday afternoon on LA Talk Radio in the United States and locally on Rainforest Radio.Villalta, who was one of the top three leading candidates in a recent poll, said that water was “Costa Rica’s principle resource,” and accused the government of “giving away” the country’s natural resources to large industrial fishing companies.  Tico Times Editor-in-Chief David Boddiger and Rainforest Radio’s Jani Schulz interviewed the presidential aspirant Wednesday afternoon on Schulz’s LA Talk Radio Show, “Jana of the Jungle.” The lawmaker said that reforming the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA) was needed to protect the country’s marine resources and fight poverty in coastal regions. “INCOPESCA is a mess,” Villalta observed.The 36-year-old Broad Front Party lawmaker and popular opposition candidate said that there was no way for the institute to achieve its stated goals of protecting Costa Rica’s marine resources while also incentivizing the fishing industry. The conflict of interest at the heart of INCOPESCA is further exacerbated by the majority presence of fishing industry leaders on the institute’s board of directors. “They oversee themselves so there’s no oversight. It’s like having thieves run the police,” Villalta said. “The Board of Directors is made up of the biggest industrial fishing operations and they have no incentive to change [the way they do business].”The lawmaker said that reform of the institute and other marine issues would be priorities for his administration.“If there were reform, we could better protect our resources, and make sure the national fishing fleet would benefit, generating more jobs, reducing poverty. It would be a situation where everyone wins: the public, the workers. It’s not just an environmental problem, it’s a social problem.” He recommended the environmental oversight duties tasked to INCOPESCA be passed on to the Environment and Energy Ministry or another government body to avoid the conflict of interest. Villalta also said he hopes to see small-scale fishermen represented on the board.Villalta added that the lack of job opportunities, some displaced by overfishing, in many communities along Costa Rica’s coasts have made fishermen vulnerable to drug traffickers, who have been known to co-opt their vessels to run cocaine and other illegal substances.The candidate said that if the government would charge the actual value of the fishing licenses — especially for tuna — the country would have the financial resources to invest in its Coast Guard to fight illegal fishing and provide extension services to help small-scale fishermen improve their catch and fish sustainably. “This is our fight: a development model that generates well-being for the people but at the same time allows us to protect the beauties of Costa Rica for future generations,” Villalta told the hosts. Listen to the entire interview here and read more about Villalta’s campaign (in Spanish) here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla named Shark Guardian of the Year

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís nominated for ‘Shark Enemy of the Year’ award Judge’s ruling opens the door to legalized shark finning in Costa Rica, conservation groups say Could judicial decisions unravel Chinchilla’s conservation legacy? Could tide finally be turning for shark fin demand in China? In 2006, the private docks in the Pacific fishing hub of Puntarenas served as the clandestine headquarters for some of the world’s largest shark-finning operations. That year, German environmental group Sharkproject named Costa Rica’s then-president Abel Pacheco the “Shark Enemy of the Year.”Today the docks are closed, and on Wednesday, Sharkproject gave out an award to another Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla. The organization called her “Shark Guardian of the Year.”“We are at the starting point for worldwide change against the finning industry,” said Gerhart Wegner, Sharkproject’s president. “This all began here, in Costa Rica.”For Costa Rica, it began with the rise in popularity of the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup at the end of the last century. Unable to meet the demand for fins in Asian waters, foreign fishing fleets turned to Costa Rica’s substantial shark population. Fishermen decimated the nation’s sharks, killing off more than 90 percent of some species and leaving coastal communities that relied on shark meat as a food source with nothing to fish.While the prices of fins soared up to $700 a kilogram, shark meat remained inexpensive. To maximize the space in their holds, fishermen began hacking off the shark’s fins, tossing the still-breathing creature back into the sea, unable to swim.“What we have here is an environmental crime, a social crime and an economic crime, performed in one of the most perverse ways ever before seen,” Environment Minister René Castro said at the ceremony.Though Costa Rica first banned shark finning in 2001, the practice continued through loopholes and illegal operations at private docks. Despite court orders to close private docks to foreign ships in 2006, Chinchilla’s two immediate predecessors (Abel Pacheco and Óscar Arias) left them open.In 2010, her first year as president, Chinchilla ordered all foreign fishing vessels to unload their cargo on public docks. Two years later, Chinchilla signed a blanket ban on shark finning and shark fin imports, further strengthening the country’s anti-finning law.“We went through two presidents, two court resolutions, and Chinchilla was the one who got it done,” Randall Arauz, president of the Marine Sea Turtle Conservation Project (Pretoma), told The Tico Times. “She deserves this award.”The Shark Guardian Award is Chinchilla’s second ocean policy award. In 2011 she also received a Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in National Ocean Administration.This year’s Shark Enemy Award went to Colin Barnett, the premier of Western Australia, for the government’s new plans to hunt and kill sharks that swim close to popular beaches.While environmental groups have been pleased with Chinchilla’s marine protection efforts, many believe that she could do more.On Nov. 19 Chinchilla signed an executive decree establishing size and weight limits for sharks and manta rays caught for sale to go into effect in 2015. In his speech before presenting the award, Arauz applauded the decree, but because of the two-year grace period, accused Chinchilla of passing the buck to the next government.“This new shark decree irresponsibly delegates the enforcement of shark management to the next government,” Arauz said. “We want this government to take responsibility and pass these reforms.”In addition to moving up the decree’s deadline, Arauz encouraged the president to make changes the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca) before the end of her term in May.With Costa Rica’s 2014 presidential race looming, the elimination or restructuring of Incopesca’s board of directors has become a common demand from environmental groups.In her acceptance speech, Chinchilla addressed Arauz’s remarks saying that it “is not [her] style to kick the ball forward to the next government,” and later said that an Incopesca reform bill was currently in progress and should be presented in the next two months.“We haven’t stopped working,” Chinchilla said. “We will keep working until the very last day.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

53 arrested in soccer hooligan brawl at Costa Ricas National Stadium

first_img“Where is the will of these clubs to harshly apply the law and keep these groups out of the games?” Chinchilla asked.“I’ve asked the police to procure the videos shot by the press during the incident and put them on the Internet so we can all see the faces of these vandals,” the president said.In 2013, Costa Rica passed the Prevention and Punishment of Violence at Sporting Events Law, which can ban attackers from attending sporting events for up to four years.Organizers rescheduled the game between Alajuela and Cartago for 3 p.m. Monday, according to CRHoy.com. Facebook Comments Related posts:‘The Classic’ turns violent: A horse-punching teenager and 69 others arrested at Sunday match between rivals La Liga and Saprissa FIFA-Gate: Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li allegedly received 6-figure bribe, says US indictment Blatter wins FIFA vote amid corruption storm Switzerland will rule on FIFA extraditions next month El problema es que son recursos públicos resguardando espectáculos privados. Y que los clubes “consientan” a estos grupos— Celso Gamboa Sánchez (@CelsoGamboaCR) February 16, 2014center_img National Police arrested more than 50 people Sunday when organized soccer fan clubs from Alajuela and Cartago came tofisticuffs in the stands, forcing organizers to cancel the game, according to the daily La Nación.President Laura Chinchilla called the violence “shameful and regrettable” in a Facebook post Monday morning.According to several news sources, member of “La Doce,” an organized fan club for La Liga soccer team, entered the National Stadium in western San José on Sunday and began attacking people wearing the blue and white colors of the Cartago team. The sports daily Al Día reported that some members of La Doce beat and robbed spectators in the stands.The number of arrested fans climbed steadily Sunday, from initial reports of as few as 15 to as many as 53 Monday morning, according to an interview with National Police Director Juan José Andrade on Radio ADN.Andrade avoided taking responsibility for the violence.The police director said that soccer teams are private, for-profit businesses and are responsible for providing security inside the stadium.“It’s obvious that the private security officers contracted did not have a plan to respond” to the outbreak of violence, Andrade said, according to La Nación.Broad Front Party lawmaker and former presidential candidate José María Villalta, who used to belong to La Doce, came down hard on the fan club, saying he left La Doce in 1995 when it became a “violent group.”Chinchilla criticized the stadium’s private security and the strain on officers to police the private sports event. The president wrote that policing sports events comes at “the detriment of public security,” as officers are taken off the streets to patrol the games.Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa tweeted that the problem lies in the use of public resources for private events, and that the soccer teams “consent” to the rowdy fan clubs.last_img read more

US tanker saves Ticos Nicaraguan lost in Caribbean Sea

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica makes first large marijuana seizure of 2015 Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Costa Rica Coast Guard confiscates 810 kilos of cocaine near Quepos Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua The crew of the U.S. oil tanker Texas Star rescued two Costa Ricans and a Nicaraguan in a sinking ship off the coast of Jamaica on Wednesday morning, the Costa Rican Coast Guard reported.The three Central Americans were adrift some 500 kilometers off the Costa Rican coast in the Caribbean Sea after two motors on board their 6.5-meter boat failed. Traveling from Panama to Texas, the Texas Star responded to a distress call from the fishermen who were sinking, according to remarks from Martin Arias, head of the Costa Rican Coast Guard, on Thursday. Several containers of fuel were found on board the boat.The two Costa Ricans, Josué Miguel Mora Garita, 24, and Carlos Villarreal Núñez, 33, hail from Limón. The third crew member, Akdy Francisco Downs, 38, is from the Corn Islands, off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.The shipwrecked crew is set to arrive in Freeport, Texas, on Saturday, June 28, the 249-meter tanker’s original destination. There, U.S. immigration authorities will take custody of the crew and begin the process to repatriate them in coordination with Costa Rica’s consulate in Texas. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Transsexual aliens Halloween parties and other happenings around Costa Rica

first_imgRocky Horror Charity ShowLet’s do the time warp again! This special screening of the 1975 cult horror/science fiction film will incorporate all the makeup, crazy costumes, and (most importantly) audience participantion you can handle – in Spanish. Remember: It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right…Event takes place Oct. 31 at Lobo Estepario, downtown San José. 8 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6).Puerto Viejo Chocolate FestivalUPDATE: The Health Ministry closed the festival. Read all about it here.Original post continues here:Now in its third iteration, the Puerto Viejo Chocolate festival promises music, workshops and, of course, plenty of chocolate. Attendees can help judge a brownie bake-off, try out different restaurants in a chocolate crawl, or just hang out and drink some chocolate beers and cocktails. See our full preview here.Event runs through Sunday. See the full schedule at the festival’s website. Most events are free, but tickets are also available for a chocolate tasting, ₡6,000 ($12).Mascarada más cleteadaNot so into the drunken debauchery of Halloween? Why not spend it on a bike instead? This year is the second-ever Mascarada más cleteada, where participants get decked out in Halloween costumes for a ride through San José.Cyclists leave from the Calle de la Amargura in San Pedro at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31Theater: “Frankenstein”Post-Halloween, Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this London production “beamed” live via satellite to the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center.Live screening takes place Nov. 1 at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, Los Yoses. 11 a.m. ₡5,000-10,000 ($10-20). Info: Cultural Center website. Music: Halloween Party with Los CuchillosThe off-beat indie band releases its new disc, “Isla Macabro,” at this special Halloween concert.Party takes place Oct. 31 at El Sótano, Barrio Amón, downtown San José. 9 p.m. ₡3,500 ($7). Info: AmonSolar website.Art: “Almost Invisible”Thirty-eight artists present 50 different works in this wide-ranging multimedia group show.“Case Invisibles” continues through Nov. 25, 2015, at the National Bank Museum, downtown San José. Open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡1,500 ($3). Info: Official website.Theater: “The Cross”Following a violent shooting in La Cruz de Alajuelita, the community reacts in Fernando Rodríguez’s award-winning new play.“La Cruz” is performed through Nov. 30 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: National Theater website.Art: “A Chronicle of Interventions”Learn about U.S. incursions in Central America, thanks to this provocative group show co-produced with London’s revered Tate Gallery.“Una Crónica de Intervenciones” displays at TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website.Art: 75 Years of PhotosBrowse decades of photojournalism at this striking exhibit, thanks to Spain’s Agencia EFE – the fourth-largest wire service in the world.“EFE: 75 Años de Fotos” continues through Dec. 7 at the National Museum, San José. Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ₡1,500 ($3). Info: Museum website.Dance: This Is Not an EightDrawing together students and choreographers from the National University, this festival, whose idiomatic name roughly translates to “It’s not that complicated,” takes place in three different locales: the Teatro de la Danza, the Central Bank Museums, and the Barva Recycling Center.“Esto No Es un Ocho” takes place Oct. 24 – Nov. 9 at various locations, San José. ₡2,000-4,000 ($4-8). Info: RedCultura. Related posts:The Prague Ballet, an international blues festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica Modern dance, ancient pilgrimage and other happenings around Costa Rica A rainbow run, a pop-up store, and other happenings around Costa Rica Patriotic tunes, Children’s Day theater, and more events around Costa Ricacenter_img Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Southernbloc FARC chief arrives in Cuba to support peace process

first_imgHAVANA, Cuba – Joaquín Gómez, head of the Southern Bloc of the FARC and a member of the rebel group’s Secretariat, arrived in Havana Sunday to join ongoing peace negotiations between the rebel group and the government of Colombia, according to the FARC.According to the guerrilla organization’s peace delegation, the presence of Gómez in Cuba represents “a new gesture of peace from the FARC, expressing our determination to advance toward the signature of the final agreement that will establish a foundation for the Colombia of the future.”The government of Colombia confirmed Gómez’s trip to Cuba in a statement asserting that his departure from Colombia “was carried out according to established protocol and with the express authorization of the President of the Republic.”Founded in 1964, the FARC today counts about 8,000 fighters and is the largest of the guerrilla groups waging Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict, which has left 220,000 people dead and 5.3 million displaced, according to official figures.The FARC has been in dialogue with Colombian government negotiators attempting to broker a peace deal to end the five-decade-long fight.Gómez joins Pastor Alape and Carlos Lozada, FARC leaders who joined the peace negotiations in late October. In total, five of the seven FARC Secretariat members are now in Havana. Achievements of the negotiations have included agreements on issues of rural reform, political participation and illegal drugs.See also: Colombia suspends peace talks with FARC after general kidnapped Facebook Comments Related posts:Colombia and FARC rebels announce major breakthrough in peace talks An end to Colombia’s war seems close – except in rebel territory Victims’ issues come to the fore in Colombia peace talks Colombia frees first FARC rebels under peace processlast_img read more

Charges dropped against Peace Corps man in Ghana

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Patients with chronic pain give advice 0 Comments   Share   center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project ACCRA, Ghana (AP) – Authorities in Ghana say a Peace Corps volunteer who stabbed and killed an alleged robber in July will not be prosecuted and that all charges against him have been dropped.Regional police commander Kofi Adei-Akyeampong said police dropped the case against Andrew Kistler, an American, following the attorney general’s investigation.“The AG has advised against prosecution, so we dropped the case,” said Adei-Akyeampong. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Regional attorney general Robert Beke said, “I advised that (Kistler) acted in self-defense so the case should be dropped.”Police said Kistler used a knife in self-defense and stabbed an attacker in the chest in the northern town of Wa in July.During the attack, Kistler, who was accompanied by a second Peace Corps volunteer, was injured with a machete.One of the two attackers, Eliasu Najat, 22, was found dead the morning after.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Police kill 2 escaped inmates detain 12 others

first_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   The region hosts tens of thousands of Ivorian refugees who fled from Ivory Coast’s postelection violence in late 2010 and early 2011. The militiamen who broke out of jail are mostly supporters of Ivory Coast’s former strongman, and the country fears cross-border attacks.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Check your body, save your life Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) – A Liberian police official says police have killed two inmates who broke out of prison last week and arrested 12 others in the West African nation.State radio and regional officials say more than 60 inmates staged a jailbreak at a maximum security prison in the southeastern city of Zwedru on the border with Ivory Coast. Police, however, put the number at 21.Police spokesman George Bardue said Tuesday the dead were among a group of escapees who seized guns from traditional hunters and opened fire on police before their arrests.last_img read more

Islamic State claims responsibility for Texas cartoon attack

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories The Islamic State did not provide details and it was unclear whether the group was opportunistically claiming the attack. It was the first time the extremists, who frequently call for attacks against the West, claimed responsibility for one in the United States.It was also unclear from the statement whether the group, which holds a third of Syria and Iraq, had an actual hand in the operation, or whether the two suspects had pledged allegiance to the group and then carried it out on their own.The statement was read on Al Bayan radio — a station based in the Syrian city of Raqqa, which the group has proclaimed the capital of its self-styled caliphate.“We tell … America that what is coming will be more grievous and more bitter and you will see from the soldiers of the caliphate what will harm you, God willing,” it said.Two suspects in the attack were shot dead after opening fire at a security guard outside the center. Officials identified them as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi.According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad or other prophets is considered blasphemous. Drawings similar to those featured at the Texas event have sparked violence around the world. An FBI crime scene investigator documents evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center, Monday, May 4, 2015, in Garland, Texas. Two men opened fire with assault weapons on police Sunday night who were guarding a contest for Muslim Prophet Muhammed cartoons. A police officer returned fire killing both men. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) Parents, stop beating yourself up Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a weekend attack at a center near Dallas, Texas, that was exhibiting cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad — though it offered no evidence of a direct link to the attackers.An audio statement on the extremist group’s Al Bayan radio station said that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out Sunday’s attack in Garland and promised the group would deliver more attacks in the future. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona There have been numerous attack in Western countries believed related in some way to the group. In October, Canada was hit by two terror attacks by so-called “lone wolves” believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State group.___Associated Press writers Zeina Karam and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

House lawmaker issues subpoena to Fed in leak probe

first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Details in the newsletter about the private Fed discussions were confirmed when the Fed released its minutes on Oct. 4.Hensarling, a prominent critic of the Fed, has said he understood that that the Fed’s internal probe had been dropped earlier at the request of several members of the Fed’s policymaking body.“Despite the seriousness of this situation, the Federal Reserve has acted in a manner that can only be characterized as resistant to accountability and oversight,” Hensarling said in a statement announcing the subpoena.But Maxine Waters of California, the committee’s senior Democrat, said Hensarling was politicizing the leak issue. That “will likely have a chilling effect” on the Fed inspector general’s investigation by undermining the independence of that probe, Waters said in a statement.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement WASHINGTON (AP) — A powerful congressman is compelling the Federal Reserve to provide documents related to a possible leak in 2012 of market-moving interest-rate information to a financial newsletter.Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who heads the House Financial Services Committee, announced Thursday he had issued a subpoena to the Fed. The central bank has repeatedly failed to adequately respond to the panel’s questions and requests for documents, he said. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life The committee’s Republicans are investigating whether confidential information was deliberately leaked from the Fed’s interest-rate policy meeting in September 2012. The Fed told the committee in March that its own investigation found no evidence that sensitive information was deliberately leaked from the policy meeting.Any disclosure of information on Fed policymakers’ views appeared to have been “unintentional or careless” and did not contain details of policy proposals, the Fed concluded.The Fed inspector general, which is an independent watchdog, and the Justice Department have been investigating the matter.“We have provided the committee with information regarding a potential breach in 2012 of Federal Reserve policies protecting confidential information,” Fed spokesman David Skidmore said Thursday.Fed Chair Janet Yellen disclosed earlier this month that she met once in 2012 with Regina Schleiger, a senior managing director of Medley Global Advisors, which publishes the newsletter. Yellen was the Fed’s vice chairman at the time.But Yellen said the meeting occurred several months before the private Fed discussions at issue took place, and dealt with general economic matters. The meeting was months before the newsletter’s Oct. 3 report that said the Fed policymakers had reached a consensus on launching an additional round of bond purchases to stimulate economic growth, Yellen noted. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

World Bank Gaza economy on verge of collapse

first_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories JERUSALEM (AP) — Gaza’s economy is on the “verge of collapse,” a new World Bank report warned Friday, saying the unemployment rate there is now the highest in the world and calling on Israel and international donors to remedy the situation.It charged that “blockades, war and poor governance have strangled” the economy of the Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.The report said Gaza’s GDP would have been four times higher if not for conflicts and restrictions, including a blockade in place since 2007. Sponsored Stories The report warned that the “status quo in Gaza is unsustainable.” It said the coastal territory’s recovery depends on an easing of the blockade and on donor countries honoring their pledges made at an international conference in Cairo after last year’s war.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade on Gaza after Hamas violently seized the territory from forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas from getting weapons and building militant infrastructure, while critics say it amounts to collective punishment.Since its takeover, Hamas has fought three wars with Israel, including 50 days of fighting last summer in which thousands of Gaza buildings were either destroyed or damaged. Over 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the war. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed.The report said Gaza’s economy was badly hurt as a result of the fighting, especially the agriculture, construction, manufacturing and electricity sectors.It said about 43 percent of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents are unemployed; a figure it said is the highest in the world. Youth unemployment reached about 60 percent by the end of last year, it said.“The current market in Gaza is not able to offer jobs leaving a large population in despair particularly the youth,” Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza, said in the report. “The ongoing blockade and the 2014 war have taken a toll on Gaza’s economy and people’s livelihoods.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Quick workouts for men Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Sunni tribes abandoned by Iraq key to Islamic State fight

first_img HABANIYAH, Iraq (AP) — Parading across a desert base, hundreds of Sunni tribesmen who graduated a crash training course stood ready to take on the Islamic State group on behalf of a government that many believed left them to die at the hands of the extremists.Among them were tribesmen who watched as Iraqi forces abandoned Ramadi a month ago to the Islamic State group. Their suspicions toward the Shiite-led government in Baghdad could be seen as they pushed forward to receive their first government salary in 18 months, with one brandishing a Kalashnikov assault rifle as he neared the front. Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015 photo, Sunni tribal leaders receive their salaries in Habaniyah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. A month after the fall of Ramadi, the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government is working to train and equip Sunni tribesmen from Anbar to fight the Islamic State group. In doing so, they must first repair a breach of trust that emerged from 18 months of neglect, which tribesmen say is the primary reason Ramadi fell into IS control. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed) Yet despite being targeting by the Islamic State group, many of the Sunni tribesmen from Anbar who spoke to the AP said the Baghdad government viewed them as being complicit in the extremists’ advance, solely because they share the same sect.“They blame us for what happened,” said Omar al-Fahdawi. The military tells us “you’re the ones who got us here; you’re the ones who killed us.”Yet on Wednesday, 500 men from some of Anbar’s biggest tribes marched in formation at Iraq’s Habaniyah military base in the province’s western desert, part of a force the Iraqi government is quickly trying to make battle-ready.As many as 80 U.S. advisers are now at Habaniyah, the first of a batch of 450 additional troops that President Barack Obama agreed to send to Iraq last week. The advisers declined to speak with journalists on hand for the ceremony.Hameed al-Zerjawi, Iraq’s secretary-general for national security, said the American advisers will work with Iraqi security forces, which then will train militia fighters. He said the Americans will not engage directly with the militias.That decision comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi summoned the Popular Mobilization Forces to Anbar after the fall of Ramadi. The government-backed fighters, made up predominantly of Iranian-backed Shiite militias, now outnumber Iraqi security forces in all of Iraq and are considered the most effective fighting force on the ground today. “For a year and a half we told them we need weapons, we need salaries, we need food, we need protection, but our requests were ignored until the disaster of Ramadi happened,” said Sheikh Rafa al-Fahdawi, one of the leaders of the Al Bu Fahad tribe of Anbar province.But money and weapons alone won’t be enough to repair the mistrust between Baghdad and the Sunni tribes it now needs to battle the Islamic State group, which holds about a third of the country and neighboring Syria in its self-declared “caliphate.” After Iraqi forces abandoned Ramadi and then turned to Shiite militias for help, both sides remain suspicious of each other, threatening any effort to work together.Iraq’s Sunnis long have complained of discrimination and abuse since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led dictatorship and replaced it with a government dominated by the country’s Shiite majority. But the collapse of Iraqi forces in Ramadi on May 17 crystalized the fears many Sunni tribesmen had when their pleas for help went unanswered.That night, silence fell over Ramadi after weeks of Islamic State-launched suicide car bomb attacks and gun battles, said Sunni tribesmen who spoke to The Associated Press. The Iraqi forces there, including its vaunted special forces units, slipped out of the city, leaving Sunni tribesmen armed only with light weapons and their personal vehicles to battle the extremists, they said. The city quickly fell, forcing the tribesmen to flee. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories But while the Popular Mobilization Forces insist they aren’t sectarian, human rights groups have accused individual Shiite militias fighting within the structure of harassing or attacking Sunni civilians, as well as destroying their homes and businesses.Ali Khalil, a spokesman for the Iraqi national security apparatus and for the Popular Mobilization Forces in Anbar, acknowledged the fear Sunnis have of the militias, but said they were needed for the fight.“The Shiites are stronger and larger than the Sunnis,” he said. “There are some mixed divisions, although none of them are here in Anbar.”For those Sunni tribesmen at Habaniyah, that was little comfort.“They are Iranian militias — nothing more,” said Majeed al-Fahdawi, Omar’s brother. “We’ve communicated our concerns to the government but they don’t listen. We’re seen as traitors if we speak against them.”___Abdul-Zahra reported from Baghdad.___Follow Vivian Salama on Twitter at www.twitter.com/vmsalama.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? The difference between men and women when it comes to pain “We felt there was no hope when the military left,” said Omar al-Fahdawi, a member of the Al Bu Fahad tribe from Ramadi. “For a year and a half we have been begging for government support, for weapons, for help. But we were forgotten.”A senior Iraqi intelligence official and operations commander in Anbar province confirmed that counterterrorism forces were the first to pull out of Ramadi, abandoning 89 Humvees and armored cars, as well as rifles and mortars. The official said that the counterterrorism units were ambushed by some 200 militant fighters, breaking their line of defense and forcing them to withdraw, leaving the army and tribal fighters outnumbered and outgunned. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists. Iraq’s Defense Ministry refused to comment.The al-Fahdawis and many of their fellow tribesmen are now displaced and require government support for their families, most of whom now live in camps or temporary housing in the Anbar town of Khalidiyah.But they are lucky compared to others. The Islamic State group has massacred hundreds of men, women and children with Anbar’s Al Bu Nimr tribe for resisting their rule and cooperating with the Iraqi government.last_img read more

Snow easy solution for Vancouver Winter Olympics

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/234a1/” 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> With the Vancouver Winter Olympics just around the corner, organisers have been working frantically to ensure the event runs perfectly – but they weren’t prepared for the lack of snow! It has been unseasonably warm and no snow has been falling, so organisers have had to get creative and truck tonnes of snow from higher ground.”The snow that we have up on Cypress Mountain is substantial. It’s just on one side of the mountain versus where the competition venues are,” said Tim Gayda, vice president of sport for the Vancouver Organising Committee (VOC).”So we’re actually moving it for the freestyle venue, which is aerials and moguls.”We’re pushing snow down one side of the mountain and trucking it over into that venue.” Moving snow or trucking it from other areas is the least-preferred option, however, the temperature at Cypress Mountain, about 30 minutes from Vancouver, is too warm to make artificial snow.”It’s the El Nino, which does happen in this area where the ocean currents affect the temperature, that we’re seeing in this period,” Mr Gayda said.”Traditionally we do see in a season what we call the pineapple express and that’s the warm winds coming out of Hawaii. We got hit with it in early January.”Typically it does hit once a season, if that, and so the nice thing for us is we’ve kind of put that behind us and we’re able to do what we need to to get everything done.” There is plenty of snow at Whistler and other areas where events are being held. Organisers remain confident all events will take place.The Games begin on February 12. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Fiji Airways to Suva

first_imgSource = ETB News: P.T. Pacific Sun is due to be re-branded as Fiji Link in 2014. Australians and Pacific islanders will benefit from enhanced connectivity, with the commencement of two new international services by Fiji Airways in 2014. The Suva-Apia service will run late on Mondays and Fridays, while the return journey will operate on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, enabling greater connectivity to other international destinations.center_img The new Sydney-Suva flights will be operated by a Boeing 737-700 aircraft, operating on Mondays and Fridays, with a midday departure from Suva and an afternoon departure from Sydney. From May 2014, Fiji’s national carrier will begin flying twice weekly direct between Sydney and Suva, while the airline’s subsidiary, Pacific Sun, will launch the first Suva to Samoa (Apia) service.last_img read more