August 2019

Norwegian Bliss customized for Alaska experience debuts summer 2018

first_img SEATTLE — Norwegian Cruise Line’s next new vessel, Norwegian Bliss, will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities “for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience”. The ship is set to make its debut in June 2018.Norwegian Bliss will cruise to Alaska from Seattle, the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in that city. The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss will weigh in at 167,800 gross tons and accommodate some 4,000 guests.“Norwegian was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination aboard a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska, the first of its kind to ever debut in Seattle.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAfter a transatlantic cruise and a Panama Canal transit through the new locks, the ship will sail north along the West Coast, reaching Seattle for the start of the summer cruising season. Norwegian Bliss will then sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, calling in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C.Continuing Norwegian’s tradition of decorating each ship’s hull with signature art, marine life artist Wyland has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss.  Known for his iconic whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures, Wyland’s design for Norwegian Bliss’ hull art will be revealed later this month.Norwegian’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has entered into a 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest US$30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities. Plans include expanding the guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet, a new VIP lounge with views of Elliott Bay, and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to expedite the boarding process.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthNorwegian Bliss will be available for reservations in January 2017. Travelweek Group Share Friday, October 14, 2016 Tags: Alaska, Norwegian Cruise Linecenter_img Norwegian Bliss customized for Alaska experience; debuts summer 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Are LGBT the most lucrative clients for agents Survey says yes

first_img LONDON — The dream client for any travel agent is the one who keeps coming back. And according to a new survey by LGBT-friendly travel company OutOfOffice.com, no one is more likely to come back than lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers.The results, which were released to coincide with the day everyone goes back into the office after the festive period, showed that 2,570 visitors to the company’s website who identify as LGBT plan to set their Out Of Office notice almost three times more in 2017 than their straight counterparts. As such, LGBT travellers expect to take 4.86 holidays this year versus 1.74 trips for straight travellers.This is likely attributed to the fact that LGBT travellers have 23% more disposable income and are taking multiple shorter duration trips versus one long summer holiday.Based on existing research, there is a clear evidence base that travel is also intrinsically linked to personal well-being and happiness.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backA recent study at Cornell University showed that spending money on experiences rather than material goods led to higher levels of happiness.According to a 2016 study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, paid work is right at the bottom of things that make an individual happy, apart from being sick.Founder of travel company OutOfOffice.com, Darren Burn, said: “It’s clear that people are desperate to have an excuse to set their Out Of Office and the return to work often sees a flurry of holiday bookings as people want something to look forward to.”January is traditionally the peak booking season in the travel industry due to people securing their trips for small deposits and helping them beat the back to work blues. Are LGBT the most lucrative clients for agents? Survey says yes! << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Tags: LGBT Travel, Trend Watch Wednesday, January 4, 2017 Sharelast_img read more


Three Canadians are among the 59 killed in Las Vegas shooting

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Three Canadians are among the 59 killed in Las Vegas shooting Share With file from The Canadian Press LAS VEGAS — Three Canadians are among the dozens killed in the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night.Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., Jordan McIldoon, 23 of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta., were brutally shot down at a country music festival when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino just after 10 p.m. According to CBC, this brings the number of Canadians killed in the massacre to at least three, with several other Canadians remaining in hospital.Klymchuk was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St. Stephen’s School, said the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division. A post on Klymchuk’s Facebook page says she got engaged in April, and was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting with her fiancé. She was also a mother of four.McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday and was a month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic. His parents, Al and Angela, confirmed their son’s death, and said he was attending the music festival with his girlfriend. They wrote that he was their only child, and that he was a “self-described cowboy boot, tattoo-covered redneck who loved the outdoors.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemHeather Gooze, a bartender working at the concert that night, held McIldoon in her arms as he died. “I felt his fingers, like, tighten and then loosen,” she said. His mother called her son’s phone, which Gooze answered. She promised Angela that she would stay with her son, which she did for nearly six hours.Medig, who was in her 20s, was the third Canadian confirmed dead in the attack. Described as a kind-hearted young woman, her death prompted an outpouring of condolences on social media. A former co-worker wrote on Facebook: “Calla was among the kindest and warm-hearted beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to know.”The Jasper Royal Canadian Legion branch lowered its flag Monday in honour of Medig.CBC reports that two Manitoba women and two men from Saskatchewan were injured in the attack and are currently in hospital. One of the men, who was shot in the head, is unresponsive.Jody Ansell, of Stonewall, Man., was among the injured. She said in a Facebook message from her hospital bed that she was recovering.“I was shot in the right arm and the medical staff are taking care of me,” Ansell said.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJAnother Canadian recovering in hospital is Sheldon Mack of Victoria.“Sustained 2 gunshot wounds, a ruptured colon, and a broken forearm,” Mack tweeted from his hospital bed. “My friend used his belt as a tourniquet and cut of the blood, but it all happened crazy fast – it seems not real,” he said.There were also reports that Tara Smith Roe of Okotoks, Alta., was missing after being separated from her husband at the concert.“Tara Smith is a part of the Sophia Models family,” the Calgary-based modelling company said on its Facebook page Monday night. “We pray that she is safe and will return home soon.”Global Affairs, which will be deploying a team of consular officials to Las Vegas to assist Canadians, is working closely with U.S. authorities to identify any Canadians hurt in the attack.By Monday afternoon, officials confirmed that at least 59 people were killed and 527 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Travelweek Group Tags: Las Vegas Tuesday, October 3, 2017 last_img read more


Watch this bridge in China shatter beneath peoples feet

first_imgTags: China Share Thursday, October 12, 2017 Travelweek HEBEI, CHINA – Well, here’s a heart attack waiting to happen.A bridge in Hebei, China is making the rounds on social media not for the fact that it hangs 3,871 feet above sea level, but because it shatters beneath your feet as you walk across it.This past weekend, a video of a tour guide walking on the glass bridge went viral in China. In it, he is seen falling to his knees in fear as glass panels appear to crack under his weight.The scene is extra terrifying considering that in 2015, another glass bridge in China – the Yuntai glass pathway in Henan – reportedly cracked beneath the weight of pedestrians just a few days after opening.But apparently, this latest bridge mishap wasn’t real. The Hebei bridge simply simulates the shattering of glass in a bizarre attempt to shock visitors. After the video went viral, the East Taihang district administration sent out an official apology on WeChat, explaining that the splintering glass was simply an “effect” in order to be “provocative”.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedDespite people expressing their outrage on Weibo (China’s social media site), many concerned about the risk of resulting heart attacks, the administration does not intend to replace the special-effect panels with regular ones because it hopes “people will want to come and experience them”.As for the tour guide? Reports say he was just hamming it up for the camera and knew all along that the bridge doesn’t actually shatter. Give that man an Oscar! Watch this bridge in China shatter beneath people’s feet << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by About Latest Posts Travelweek Latest posts by Travelweek (see all) Another win for The Travel Agent Next Door: RCI Partner of the Year, Canada – March 28, 2019 You’re not imagining it, that waterfall really is coming out of a sksyscraper – July 26, 2018 Israel tourism numbers jumped 25% in 2017 – January 4, 2018last_img read more


Palladium Hotel Group ready to unveil the new TRS Cap Cana on

first_img Share Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Palladium Hotel Group ready to unveil the new TRS Cap Cana on Nov. 1 Tags: Dominican Republic, Palladium Hotel Group, Palladium Hotels & Resorts, TRS Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Palladium Hotel Group is expanding its upscale TRS Hotel brand with the opening of the TRS Cap Cana Hotel, a new adults-only resort property in the D.R.The resort will open Nov. 1 with 115 luxury suites, 39 swim-up junior suites, nine ocean view suites and one ambassador suite. There are also two pools with waiter service, an extensive gym and Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness, as well as a personal butler and 24-hour room service.SuiteThe site is currently undergoing renovations prior to its Nov. 1 opening in order to convey the elegance and cutting-edge design of the TRS Hotel brand, say Palladium Hotel Group reps. The all-inclusive property is about 10 minutes from Punta Cana Airport.Two à la carte restaurants will be on site: Gaucho, offering Argentinian specialties; and an informal Japanese à la carte restaurant offering street food specialties.PoolsTRS Cap Cana will also offer TRS Hotels brands’ Helios beach club, billed as a fresh and stylish dining experience inspired by the famous beach clubs of Ibiza. Other culinary features include two show cooking restaurants, a coffee shop, and four premium bars including the Gaia pool bar and the Gravity Sky Lounge Bar.LobbyNearby diversions include the Jack Nicklaus signature golf course Punta Espada, eco-tourism adventures, international fishing tournaments, luxury yachting charters, polo fields and natural theme park Scape Park.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe TRS Cap Cana Hotel opening announcement comes at a time of growth for Palladium Hotel Group. The company plans to open two new properties in Costa Mujeres, Mexico in November 2018 – TRS Coral Hotel and Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa – as well as two new hotels in the BLESS Collection Hotels, opening in January and Summer 2019 in Madrid and Ibiza.In total TRS Hotels include TRS Turquesa Hotel (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), TRS Yucatan Hotel (Riviera Maya, Mexico), and TRS Coral Hotel (Costa Mujeres, Mexico – opening November 2018). Travelweek Group last_img read more


Eiffel Tower the Louvre to close as Paris braces for more violent

first_img PARIS — France was mobilizing tens of thousands of police officers and closing landmarks – including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre – as authorities warned that anti-government protests on Saturday could be even more violent than the ones that have crippled the country for weeks.“According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow,” Interior minister Christophe Castaner told a press conference on Friday. “Some ultra-violent people want to take part.”Authorities say 8,000 police will fan out across Paris, equipped with a dozen barricade-busting armoured vehicles that could be used for the first time in a French urban area since 2005.At the height of the festive shopping season, many Paris store owners were boarding up their shop fronts and have said they will remain shut Saturday for fear they may be in the line of any unrest between protesters and police.“It’s with an immense sadness that we’ll see our city partially brought to a halt, but your safety is our priority,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. “Take care of Paris on Saturday because Paris belongs to all the French people.”More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backAcross the country some 89,000 police will be mobilized, up from 65,000 last weekend when more than 130 people were injured and over 400 were arrested as protests degenerated into the worst street violence to hit Paris in decades.Since the unrest began on Nov. 17 in reaction to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in accidents.The protesters are collectively referred to as the “yellow vest” movement, in reference to the fluorescent safety outfit French motorists keep in their cars.Amid the unrest, some of the protesters, French union officials and prominent politicians across the political spectrum have urged calm especially as French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike that triggered the movement. However, protesters’ demands have now expanded to other issues hurting French workers, retirees and students.The rioting has also had an economic impact at the height of the holiday shopping season. Rampaging groups last weekend threw cobblestones through Paris storefronts and looted valuables in some of the city’s richest neighbourhoods.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsThe national Federation of French markets said that Christmas markets have been “strongly impacted” and that its members registered “an average fall of their estimated figures between 30 and 40% since the beginning of the movement of the yellow vests.”In addition to the closure of the Eiffel Tower, many shops and museums across France, including the Louvre, Orsay Museum and the Grand Palais, will keep their doors shut on Saturday for safety reasons. By: The Associated Press Share Friday, December 7, 2018 Eiffel Tower & the Louvre to close as Paris braces for more violent protests Tags: Paris, Protests << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


A week of star treatment is right on brand for Planet Hollywood

first_img By: Tim Johnson A week of star treatment is right on brand for Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica PAPAGAYO — I’ll admit it – I’m not quite ready for my close-up. Having landed in Liberia less than an hour ago, I stash my suitcase with the bell staff and, passport in hand, ready for check-in, stride through the front doors of the resort – and, evidently, onto the red carpet. Like, a real, actual red carpet.Despite my less-than-celebrity-grade ensemble – well-worn cargo shorts and a loose-fitting golf shirt – photographers swarm, grabbing some shots as, a little stunned, I mug, just for a moment, the first flash of my week of star treatment, just ahead.I’m at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort in Costa Rica, a brand new (October 2018) property that sits at the base of the Guanacaste Peninsula on the Pacific coast. All-inclusive and all-suite, with 294 keys, the resort is part of Blue Diamond Resorts, Sunwing Travel Group’s resort division, and the first of a series of Planet Hollywood properties planned for other sun destinations. The focus here: make sure guests have the opportunity to ‘Vacation Like a Star.’PH Spa Pool at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa RicaI’ve been awarded STAR Class, a cut-above concierge level of service that guests can purchase, and after proceeding past the Green Room – an exclusive lounge just off the main lobby with snacks, drinks, and private check-in/check-out services – I meet my ‘agent’, Felipe.Having an agent is one of the perks, and he shows me to my junior suite which is snuggled, like the rest of the resort, into a verdant hillside, showing me the room features – the Phabulous bed with its hand-crafted custom mattress, the ceiling-mounted rain shower, the balcony with a sweeping ocean view. All room classes also include the above, plus 24-hour room service, a daily-refreshed minibar, and PH Spa bath amenities.Junior Suite Ocean ViewAnd then, it’s time for the rider – just like a rock star. Rather than requesting that Felipe sort my M&Ms by colour or place a chilled bottle of Crystal by my bedside every night, I make a couple simple requests – a bottle of whiskey (one bottle is included in-room for STARs) and a bucket of ice. And while my rider may not run long, Felipe’s services prove invaluable throughout the week — we connect on WhatsApp, and requests that would have required multiple calls (dinner reservations, small maintenance issues) are resolved with a simple text.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTMy STAR Class status also gives me access to an exclusive pool and bar with upgraded beverages, and I make it a nightly ritual to finish each day by taking a dip then stretching out on a lounger there, a tumbler filled with Tallisker in hand as the long, tropical twilight stretches out.Pool loungers at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa RicaThe Hollywood-glam theme extends throughout the property. The brand owns thousands of pieces of movie memorabilia, and public spaces are adorned with costumes and other items you’ll recognize – a tuxedo worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, whole displays devoted to Karate Kid, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.Cabanas feature private plunge pools and a complimentary bottle of bubbles. And shows and events tend toward the glam, too – foam parties in the main pool, neon-bright ribbon dancers in the evening, as well as white parties down at the beach. Even the kids’ club has a full rack of costumes, and children can spend the week writing, directing and acting in their own little movie.Stars Kids ClubThe entertainment theme extends to the dining, too – Guy Fieri, the host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has a burger joint by the pool, one of six a la carte restaurants on property, from the Sunset Strip Steakhouse to the So Cal Gourmet Food Emporium. The most entertaining, by far, however, is East Sushi and Teppanyaki Bar, where, at individual stations surrounded by a small number of seats, Japanese-trained chefs juggle their knives and put on a show before slicing and dicing your dinner.Costa Rica is an ideal destination to tour around – and the resort encourages guests to get out and explore through Sunwing Experiences and PH Experiences, their curated list of local adventures, of which I take full advantage.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”On one excursion, joining with a group, we visit the flanks of the Miravalles Volcano, and en route our guide, Hoel, explains the essentially magmatic nature of his country. “Costa Rica is divided into two by volcanoes – they form the Continental Divide,” he observes. “We have 200 volcanoes, and five of them are currently active.”We arrive to find plenty of activity, first hiking over gushing waterfalls on swinging suspension bridges, then winding through the dense canopy past orchids, plumeria, strange, strangling ficus.And then we head to the mud pots, popping almost comically, as sulphurous steam rises from deep inside the earth. We slather on the greyish mud, said to have healing powers, and then wash it all off in a series of nearby hot springs pools, at the same time washing down a few cans of Imperial, the light, thirst-quenching lager pairing perfectly with the super-heated water.And I get out onto the water, too, the next day taking a sunset catamaran cruise. Climbing aboard the double-hulled boat moored near the resort, the Imperial soon flows again, the Latin music pumping, and we make slice our way through the waves to a hidden cove for some snorkelling.Joined by a couple others, I jump off the stern, bringing those beers into the tropical seas to float, and sip, simultaneously. Back on board, lounging on the bow, the sunset comes, but it has some competition.Ahead of us, a huge, looping rainbow begins to develop, becoming more vibrant by the moment, turning into a double-rainbow, at one point looking like it will become a triple rainbow. Behind us, descending quickly to the sea, the sun becomes a ball of fire, illuminating the mountainous islands in our wake.A tumbler of Tallisker, then maybe some teppanyaki await. But for the moment, I’m happy to down another Imperial, relax, and watch the all-natural light show on every side, feeling rather like a star. Share Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Tags: Costa Rica, Planet Hollywood, STAR << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


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Hunger on the rise in Costa Rica

first_imgAs the globe celebrates World Food Day today, more Costa Ricans are going hungry than in recent memory. But the problem isn’t a lack of food; it’s people’s ability to afford it.According to a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released on Oct. 1, 8.2 percent of Costa Ricans are “chronically malnourished,” from 2011 to 2013, up from less than 5 percent before 2010.FAO defines undernourishment “as a level of food intake insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements.”The spike in Costa Rica has made it and Guatemala the only two countries in Central America to backslide on their Millennium Development Goal to address hunger this year. Despite the recent uptick, however, Costa Rica’s remains one of the region’s least hungry countries.The growing number of hungry Ticos could be due to several factors – including a new methodology used this year – but FAO Costa Rica Director José Emilio Suadi told The Tico Times that the number should serve as a “yellow light,” a warning to policy makers about access to food in one of Central America’s most developed countries.Suadi noted that food security, one of the 2013 report’s main focuses, looks at the availability of food and the public’s access to it. Costa Rica, he said, like most countries, does not have a self-sufficient food supply but is able to import anything it lacks. The problem is that more Costa Ricans are unable to afford that food, regardless of where it originates.The FAO representative noted that while Costa Rica’s poverty rate has floated around 20 percent in recent years, the actual number of poor continues to rise. With unemployment as high as 18 percent, according to some estimates, falling incomes, and the higher cost of living in Costa Rica conspire to keep food out of the mouths of those who need it most.Suadi added that the blow dealt by the roya fungus to coffee farmers in Costa Rica would also threaten incomes in rural areas and could contribute to more people going hungry.But along with the hungry, an over-abundance of food is just as big a public health threat.According to the 2008-2009 National Nutrition Survey, the most recent carried out by the Public Health Ministry, the number of obese Costa Ricans has risen dramatically over the last 30 years.Childhood obesity was up for both men and women between 1996 and 2009, when the Public Health Ministry carried out its most recent national nutrition survey. The percentage of children five to 12 years old who were overweight or obese also grew from 14.9 percent in 1996 to 21.4 percent in 2009.The numbers are even worse for adults age 20 to 44. The number of obese women ballooned 34.6 percent in 1982 to 56.7 percent in 2009. For men ages 20 to 64, the number jumped from 22.1 percent in 1982 to 62.4 percent in 2009.When people aren’t eating too much food, they’re throwing it away. Suadi added that much of the food people buy ends up in the trash. Globally, nearly 40 percent of the food produced is wasted, the director said.In light of these challenges, FAO is emphasizing sustainable food chains as this year’s World Food Day theme. The U.N. organization stressed that healthy diets are the key to good nutrition, and demand healthy food systems, supported by education, sanitation and support from governments and other policies. Facebook Comments Related posts:Food Bank project to expand to two more Costa Rican provinces Costa Rica meets Millennium Development Goal for hunger reduction The secret of the world’s most delicious chile jar An arugula-growing farmer feeds a culinary revolution in Cubalast_img read more


Cabinet appointment of Lutheran bishop is unconstitutional says Government Attorneys Office

first_imgThe Government Attorney’s Office on Thursday advised Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, that it believes the appointment of Lutheran bishop Melvin Jiménez Marín as presidency minister violates a constitutional prohibition on active religious authorities serving on the presidential Cabinet.Government Attorney Ana Lorena Brenes stated that President Luis Guillermo Solís’ appointment of Jiménez violates articles 75 and 142 of the Constitution.The Sala IV had asked the Attorney’s Office to issue an opinion following a constitutional complaint filed in May by Álvaro Orozco Carballo, a lawyer and a Catholic activist.Paragraph 3 of constitutional Article 142 states that all government ministers must be “members of the secular state” (“ser del estado seglar,” in Spanish), which the complaint interprets to mean that government ministers cannot be active members of religious organizations.Article 75 of the Constitution says that Roman Catholicism is Costa Rica’s official religion, and the State acknowleges the existence of other religions and the freedom to exercise them in the country.Solís and Jiménez responded to the complaint in May by saying the constitutional rule only prevents Catholic clergy from serving on the Cabinet, an argument based on past rulings of the Supreme Elections Tribunal, Solís said at the time. Jiménez said he asked for a sabbatical from his episcopal duties at Costa Rica’s Lutheran Church in order to serve in Solís’ administration.Those statements, argued the Government Attorney’s Office, constitute religious discrimination.“We think [Jiménez’s appointment] may violate the right to equality by interpreting Article 142 to only apply to Catholic priests. This would be an odious discrimination against Catholic clergy,” Assistant Attorney General Alonso Arnesto said Thursday.The Attorney’s analysis is not binding on the Sala IV, whose justices have total independence to rule on Orozco’s claim.Jiménez, 58, resumed his duties this week after a sick leave of seven days. He currently is coordinating the drafting of a report that Solís will present on the first 100 days of his administration.Solís received the latest news in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, where he is visiting to mark the 190th anniversary of the annexation of the Partido de Nicoya on Friday.“We’re not overwhelmed [by the opinion],” Solís responded on Thursday evening. “Firstly, we believe there is a way out, regardless of whether Sala IV justices decide to accept the Government Attorney’s analysis. Secondly, we are confident that we have presented a solid case. However, I’m not going to speculate, we will wait for the ruling.”Jiménez was Solís’ campaign manager and was appointed as presidency minister on May 8. The post is strategic within Solís’ Cabinet, as Jiménez is the coordinator of all other ministers. He also is is the government’s official spokesman and a liaison with the Legislative Assembly. Facebook Comments Related posts:Supreme Court asks Solís to clarify Cabinet post for Lutheran bishop President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís names first half of his Cabinet Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber to evaluate appointment of Lutheran bishop as presidency minister Costa Rica Supreme Court strikes down ban on clergy holding public office – except Catholicslast_img read more


Costa Rica registers 2 new cases of chikungunya virus bringing total number

first_imgRelated posts:Health officials testing first two cases of Ticos who could have the chikungunya virus Double jeopardy: Costa Rica’s Health Ministry reports 2 people were infected with both dengue and chikungunya Costa Rica Health Ministry confirms first case of chikungunya virus Costa Rican health officials seek preventive alert for chikungunya virus Costa Rican Health Ministry officials on Thursday confirmed two more cases of the chikungunya virus. Both were reported in the central Pacific community of Jacó, bringing the total number of cases to 47. Of those, 40 are considered cases that originated from abroad, while seven are classified as local.Health Ministry General Director Priscilla Herrera García at a press conference announced a contingency plan targeting communities in the central and northern Pacific regions, where all local cases were detected.The confirmed local cases originated in the Pacific communities of Parrita, Costa de Pájaros, Chomes, Tamarindo and Manzanillo. Manzanillo, Puntarenas, has registered three cases so far.The ministry’s response includes the suspension of holidays and vacation time for some staff to allow them to monitor the situation and continue fumigation efforts in affected areas into the new year.Herrera called on municipal officials to help conduct inspections and eradicate mosquito breeding sites. She said the ministry also is working with tourism businesses affiliated with the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels. The high tourism season in Costa Rica already has begun, and business owners are concerned reports of a chikungunya outbreak could cause a drop in visits.The ministry’s director of health surveillance, María Ethel Trejos, said officials are monitoring a spike in cases in recent weeks in other Central American countries, particularly Nicaragua. Last month, officials issued a preventive alert prompted by a report of 300 confirmed cases of chikungunya in that country.Thousands of Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica travel home in December for the holidays and return in January.“This situation increases the risk of infected people entering the country in coming weeks, so we will step up our preventive actions at border areas as well,” Trejos said.The chikungunya virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue, and the Aedes albopictus. Both types of mosquito live in Costa Rica.Similar to dengue, chikungunya causes fever, severe muscle and joint pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue and rashes. Symptoms, however, are more aggressive than dengue and can last for up to 10 months. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


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House of Cards renewed for season four

first_imghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NaFt3XcbfwThere is no trailer. There is no release date. There are no plot details. But Netflix has confirmed that “House of Cards” has been renewed for a fourth season.The show’s Twitter account announced the renewal Thursday evening with President Frank Underwood’s signature line: “I will leave a legacy.” © 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments “House of Cards” — headlined by Kevin Spacey as President Underwood, a full-time Machiavellian and occasional murderer, and Robin Wright as his icy first lady — more-or-less reinvented television in 2013. The show won more than its share of Emmys, including one for Spacey, and proved that a series could be incredibly successful without ever being traditionally broadcast.(Do not read the next paragraph if you are not up to date on the show.)Where we last left off, Claire Underwood — realizing, quite belatedly, the limits of a first lady’s power — threatened to leave her husband in the middle of a tough primary campaign. Since the Underwoods have always been united in doing evil on “House of Cards,” it’s unclear how season four will handle this significant rift in their relationship, particularly as the prospect of a first lady abandoning a president on the verge of re-election seems completely unrealistic. Why doesn’t Claire just wait for her husband to serve a full term, then run for the Senate, as one notable real-life first lady has done?(OK: It’s safe to resume reading now.)Deadline Hollywood reported the show will begin filming sometime this summer near Baltimore. The show threatened to move out of Maryland after the show’s producers, Media Rights Capital, had a spat with legislators over tax credits last year.“Spoiler alert: We’re going to keep the 3,700 jobs and more than 100 million dollars of economic activity and investment that ‘House of Cards’ generates right here in Maryland,” Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said at the time. “Media Rights Capital has been a great supporter of the people and entertainment community in Maryland, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership.” I will leave a legacy. #Underwood2016 pic.twitter.com/lEC49fd7X1— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 2, 2015center_img Official – S4 of @HouseofCards announced. But the writers & I have been secretly writing for months hehe. @netflix pic.twitter.com/rmra1rWBlj— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) April 2, 2015 Related posts:Robin Williams brought brutal honesty to his best roles Robin Williams, frenetic, fearless actor and comedian, dies at 63 In ‘Narcos,’ Netflix recreates Pablo Escobar’s world Reggae royalty with a new rhythm: Ky-mani Marleylast_img read more


Peña Nieto administration wants answers after Egypt kills 8 Mexican tourists

first_img‘Trying to be calm’She said she would talk to top Egyptian officials to “clear up the circumstances of this deplorable event.”The sister of Luis Barajas Fernández, one of the dead, said he had been traveling with his wife, Carmen Susana Calderón, who was wounded, and a niece.“We are trying to be calm ahead of what comes next, the repatriation of his remains,” Ana Barajas told Milenio television.President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday called his Mexican counterpart to say Egypt “stood alongside the victims’ families” and was giving “all necessary help” to the wounded, a statement said.The incident has proven embarrassing to the Egyptian security forces which regularly claim to have killed dozens of militants in air strikes, tolls that are difficult to independently verify.Hassan al-Nahla, head of Egypt’s tour guides union, said the tourist group had received all the required permits and set off with a police escort from Cairo to Bahariya oasis, roughly 350 kilometers (220 miles) away.About 80 kilometers from their hotel, they veered two kilometers into the desert for lunch, he said in a statement.The place they chose for their picnic was a regular tourist stop, Nahla said later on television.“I don’t blame anyone, but I ask who is responsible for coordination, and why was it absent?“If the military is dealing with terrorists, why were the authorities who issue permits not notified? Why was the Tourism Ministry not notified so it could coordinate with the tourism companies?” Después de ofrecer conferencia de prensa, hoy por la noche viajaré con familiares de las víctimas a #Egipto.— Claudia Ruiz Massieu (@ruizmassieu) September 15, 2015 Related posts:Elena Poniatowska: Mexican student massacre reminiscent of concentration camps How chocolate cake led to Mexican drug kingpin’s arrest New Generation cartel is Mexico’s latest menace Slaying of Mexican journalist, activist and 3 others a professional hit, says victim’s family lawyer Six other wounded Mexican tourists remain in stable condition at Cairo’s Al-Fouad Hospital.Egypt said the tourists entered a restricted area in the vast Western Desert and were “mistakenly” killed as security forces chased jihadists who had abducted and beheaded an Egyptian.Ruiz Massieu said Monday six Mexican survivors told their ambassador they had “suffered an aerial attack with bombs launched by a plane and helicopters.”“We face a terrible loss of human lives and an unjustified attack that obligates us to make the protection of our citizens the priority,” Ruiz Massieu said before departing accompanied by relatives of four of those killed and doctors.She is expected in Cairo at 2200 GMT, a Mexican official told AFP. CAIRO, Egypt – Mexico’s foreign minister headed for Cairo Tuesday with relatives of some of the eight Mexican tourists mistakenly killed by Egyptian security forces, demanding an urgent inquiry into an “unjustified attack.”Claudia Ruiz Massieu said she wanted answers about the strike that killed 12 people. The bodies of six more Mexican tourists killed in Sunday’s attack were identified Tuesday, raising the number of dead from the Latin American nation to eight.The foreign ministry in Mexico City said Mexican diplomats “had access to the remains of victims” from the attack “and were able to confirm that they correspond to the six Mexicans who were part of the group of tourists.”President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has called on Egypt to conduct a thorough and swift investigation into the attack, confirmed the new death toll.“To all their relatives and loved ones, I give them my solidarity in these difficult moments,” Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter.center_img Mexico’s president says his country is still in shock after Sunday’s tourist deaths in Egypt http://t.co/wVCAsSzI91 pic.twitter.com/oiAmhCYgHb— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) September 15, 2015 A todos sus familiares y seres queridos, les expreso mi solidaridad en estos momentos difíciles.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) September 15, 2015 Government criticizedNahla told AFP the area where they stopped had never been a restricted zone.“There was no notification on the ground, and no coordination,” he said of the security operation.The incident is likely to raise further fears for Egypt’s vital tourism industry, which has struggled to recover from years of turmoil. About 10 million tourists visited Egypt in 2014, down sharply from almost 15 million in 2010.Many Egyptians on social media have criticized the government for suggesting the tourists were at fault for straying into a restricted zone.The Western Desert is popular with tour groups, but is also a militant hideout, with Western embassies warning against non-essential travel there.Last month, Egypt’s branch of the Islamic State group beheaded a Croatian oil worker who was abducted near Cairo, at the edge of the Western Desert.IS in Egypt said on Sunday it had “resisted a military operation in the Western Desert” and published pictures of its fighters apparently engaging the military.Egypt has struggled to quell a jihadist insurgency focused mainly in the Sinai Peninsula in the east since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.The military last week launched a wide-scale campaign to uproot militants in the peninsula, claiming to have already killed more than 200 jihadists.Nine soldiers, including one killed in a roadside bombing Monday, have died in the operation, it said.Cairo says hundreds of police and soldiers have been killed, many in attacks claimed by IS’s Sinai Province affiliate which pledged allegiance to the main group in Iraq and Syria last year. 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Presidents Obama Solís sign historic security donation for Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:President Solís to discuss migration, green energy with US Vice President Joe Biden Costa Rica, Panama ask neighbors to help with stranded migrants President Luis Guillermo Solís to meet with U.S. Vice President Michael Pence Solís’ approval rating at record low Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís, U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden announced an unprecedented donation of security equipment for Costa Rica on Monday during Solís’ visit to Washington.They also agreed on the terms for joint projects aimed at curbing problems related to organized crime, migration and public security.Solís described the aid from the U.S. government as “the biggest assistance granted in the last 30 years” and a reflection of the good relations between the two countries.The extensive donation list includes aircraft, speedboats, biometric equipment for identifying undocumented migrants in the field, equipment and training for the National Police and communication equipment and other resources for park rangers.The list also includes emergency supplies and equipment for attending natural disasters, kits for rape victims, scholarships and funding for education programs, among others. Some of the listed donations are ongoing or had been previously announced.Although Solís initially was scheduled to meet only with Vice President Biden, Obama also met with Solís and members of his entourage.The presidents talked about current challenges that organized crime and drug trafficking pose to both countries, Casa Presidencial reported.Solís said the meeting at the White House increased “as never before, the bilateral cooperation in the fight against organized crime.” Donations will be used primarily to block operations of international criminal organizations.Among the most important actions, the new resources are meant to reduce the amount of drugs passing through Costa Rica bound for the U.S. and also prevent crime in vulnerable communities of the country.President Solís said the U.S. donations will result in a noticeable improvement of resources and training of Costa Rican police officers.The president also expressed to Obama his concerns about the remilitarization of Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega’s government last week displayed part of the new military equipment bought from Russia, including a tank.Solís told Obama that he does not expect these military resources to be used against Costa Rica, but highlighted that his administration “is not comfortable with Nicaragua’s rearmament.”Clean energy, women’s empowermentThe meeting at the White House also included discussions about energy concerns and access to clean and renewable energy sources.The leaders also discussed programs and policies aimed at empowering women. That conversation followed negotiations that began during separate visits to Costa Rica by President Obama and second lady Jill Biden.Solís also took the opportunity to request U.S. support for Costa Rican Christiana Figueres’ bid for the General Secretariat of the United Nations. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Inside the Ocaso Music Festival

first_imgTAMARINDO, GUANACASTE – This place is known as a paradise for many because of its beach and the many activities it offers to tourists and residents. One of those activities we enjoyed last weekend was the Ocaso Music Festival, organized to promote a varied selection of local and international underground electronica DJs.For four days, the festival was hosted at various locations throughout the area. On Thursday, Jan. 4, the party began at midday at the Crazy Monkey Bar restaurant, located right next to the Best Western Villas in Tamarindo.There, the pool party went on for about six hours until the festival was officially inaugurated at El Be! Club which faces Tamarindo beach. The attendees could enjoy the music, dance for a while and listen to the sound of the ocean. Some of the visuals during the Ocaso Music Festival in La Senda. Jordi Louzao / The Tico TimesThat day the headliners were Sacha Robotti, Gene Farris, Josh Billings, Nonfiction, Missy B, Jon Lee, Wardo and Miggz. This was only the beginning of four days fully packed with electronica music for a magical experience.As the night finished, people were eagerly waiting for the next day’s venue at La Senda, a farm located in Tamarindo with a cacti labyrinth and two open auditoriums. Here’s where the party achieved the mystical air organizers seek to create.On the second day, people awaited eagerly in line to enter La Senda to be able to listen to Mikey Lion, Lee Reynold, Marbs, Porkchop, Rybo, Rodrígeuz Jr, Andreas Henneberg, Beth Lydi and Faceblind. Attendees enjoyed a main stage designed with geometric shapes where animated visuals were presented throughout the artists’ performances. People got immersed in the music.The third day was also held at La Senda. The stage was the same, but with different artists such as Claptone, Doc Martin, Jay Lumen, Kenny Glasgow, Carlo Lio, Weiss, The Invisible People, Kevin Knapp, Fredo, Alex Orias, Roberto Duran and Scholar. This day fireworks were set off and the beat heat it up.Finally, to finish the festival on Sunday, the artists Hector, Anthony Middleton, Huxley, Tone of Arc, Mobius Strum and Sidartha Siliceo played at Crazy Monkey Bar. The end of the festival was celebrated with a well-deserved pool party after four joyous days Tamarindo with the varied menu of electronica music.The second edition of the Ocaso Music Festival was held from Jan. 4 -7 in the town of Tamarindo, Guanacaste. For more information visit their website or Facebook page. Facebook Comments Related posts:Tamarindo to host underground electronica Ocaso Music Festival Enjoying the vibes from Ocaso Coming soon: Tamarindo’s Ocaso Music Festival How the Tamarindo Labyrinth was createdlast_img read more


Expresident Cristina Kirchner charged in Argentina corruption scandal

first_imgRelated posts:El Salvador court freezes ex-president’s bank accounts Argentina, ‘vulture’ funds end 15-year debt battle African, Cuban migrant children in limbo at Panama-Costa Rica border Refugee program for Central Americans ‘still on the drawing board’: US official Argentina’s ex-president Cristina Kirchner was charged with corruption on Monday as a judge asked that her legislative immunity be lifted so she can be detained.She is accused of having accepted tens of millions of dollars in bribes in the notorious “corruption notebooks” scandal that has rocked Argentina’s political and business elites.As a senator, Kirchner is protected by lawmakers’ immunity from imprisonment, although not from prosecution.Unless that immunity is lifted, which is highly unlikely, she cannot be jailed, even if found guilty.However, last month the Argentine Senate did vote to partially lift her immunity so that investigators could search her three luxury homes.Kirchner is accused of heading an “illicit association.”She has already been called in for questioning twice by Claudio Bonadio, the judge leading the wide-ranging corruption investigation, and is due to appear again on Tuesday.During her first two hearings she refused to answer Bonadio’s questions, instead submitting a written statement, as is her right.Both Kirchner, 65, and her late husband, Nestor, whom she succeeded as president in 2007, are suspected of having accepted millions of dollars in bribes from businessmen in exchange for public works contracts.‘Collusion’According to Bonadio’s indictment, released on Monday, “between 2003 and 2015, collusion between civil servants and business leaders created a system distributing bribes to civil servants,” in which the company bosses “claimed to have succumbed to official pressure.”In order to gain public works contracts, companies “needed to deliver a percentage of the total amount paid by the state to civil servants designated by Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner,” added Bonadio.The payments were compiled by ministerial chauffeur Oscar Centeno in meticulous records kept in notebooks.More than a dozen former government officials and 30 elite businessmen are implicated in the case first reported by La Nacion newspaper on Aug. 1.Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli has said a total of $160 million in bribes was handed over between 2005 and 2015.At her last court appearance, Kirchner stressed her “categorical and strict denial” that she “committed any crime” or was involved in “any illicit activity.”Also facing trial in several other corruption cases, she has previously accused Bonadio of carrying out “judicial persecutions” aimed at derailing a possible presidential run next year.Kirchner’s immunity will not be lifted, according to Miguel Angel Pichetto, the head of the Federal Argentina group, the most represented in Congress; Kirchner is a member.Pichetto said immunity can only be lifted “in case of a conviction and not for remand.”However, former president Carlos Menem, who served two terms from 1989-1999, has held onto his senate seat, to which the 88-year-old was re-elected in 2017, despite a seven-year conviction for smuggling arms to Ecuador and Croatia.A dozen other ministers have been remanded in custody, though, including deputy Planning Minister Roberto Baratta, whose chauffeur was Centeno.Planning Minister Julio De Vido and another of his deputies, Julio Lopez, did not need to be remanded in custody as they were already behind bars for other offenses.Lopez’s dramatic arrest in June 2016 gripped the nation as he was caught in the act of trying to hide nine million dollars in a Buenos Aires convent. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


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Vienna buries remains of Nazi victims

first_imgAssociated PressVIENNA (AP) – They were starved, tortured, and killed because they were considered inferior to the Aryan ideal set by Adolf Hitler. Then their organs were put in jars and displayed for research by the doctors accused of causing their deaths under the Nazis.Shutting the books on one of Vienna’s darkest chapters, black-clad workers on Wednesday placed a small metal urn into the ground at the city’s Central Cemetery. It contained what municipal officials say were the last known unburied remains of victims “treated to death” on the Austrian capital’s psychiatric wards during the Hitler era. “They were neglected, undernourished, exposed to infectious disease and killed at the very place that they should have been treated, healed and taken care of,” declared Austrian President Heinz Fischer.Because Austria was slow to recognize that it was more a Nazi ally than a victim, some of the doctors suspected of complicity in the killings worked as renowned researchers into the 1970s based in part on their activities during the Hitler era.Typical was Dr. Hans Bertha, the head of Am Steinhof, Vienna’s main wartime psychiatric hospital. Although most of the 3,500 adults and children were found “worthless” and killed by the Nazis under his tenure, he went on to become a professor of medicine in the southern Austrian city of Graz after the war, dying in a 1961 car accident without ever being brought to justice.While some medical personnel were subsequently implicated, few were prosecuted _ formally because of age-related health reasons.Among those escaping legal action was Heinrich Gross. Basing his research on the preserved brains of the children killed at the hospital, he published nearly a dozen articles, received a high state award and served as an expert witness in hundreds of court cases up to the mid-1980s. Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The Nazis called them “unworthy lives” _ those deemed too sick, weak or handicapped to fit the Fuehrer’s image of the master race.More than 70,000 were killed, gassed to death or otherwise murdered between 1939 and 1941. Public protests stopped the wholesale massacres then, but thousands more of those deemed inferior lost their lives at the hands of sadistic doctors and nurses until the end of the war.Of those, about 3,500 died in Vienna institutions, among them nearly 800 children and juveniles. Thousands of brains, uteruses with fetuses and other organs and parts were then preserved in jars and used for medical research until 1978, when they were put under lock and key amid growing Austrian sensitivity to the crimes committed while the country was Hitler’s ally.Hundreds of the children’s remains were already buried 10 years ago, but many adult specimens were kept available until recently for experts trying to trace their histories and identify them. They were successful in linking remains to names in 61 cases. Sixty sets of identified victims were buried along with unidentified ones in a nonpublic ceremony late last month.Under a clear blue sky, the 61st was put to rest Wednesday, accompanied by the mournful music of a string quartet, speeches by dignitaries and the cawing of a lone crow perched on a beech tree near the grave. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Quick workouts for men More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories “Sometimes that took up to two days without food or water,” he said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Accused in the deaths of some of those children, Gross’ trial was broken off in 2000 after an expert witness said he suffered from dementia _ a finding called into question a few weeks later when he lucidly answered questions put to him by journalists. He died five years later.Vienna Mayor Michael Haeupl said he was angered that many perpetrators escaped punishment.“It makes me furious to know that these criminals could work, practice and conduct research after the end of the war,” he told the graveside gathering of about 100 _ a mixture of Austrian and German officials and elderly survivors of the psychiatric wards with a story to tell.The son of an alcoholic father, Friedrich Zawrel, 83, said he was ordered ostracized at school by the Nazis because of his “asocial origins.” Kicked out of the Hitler Youth, he was brought to Am Steinhof in 1940 at age 11 after being accused of homosexuality.Zawrel now walks slowly with the aid of a cane. But the years have not dimmed his memory of his ordeal: torture, humiliation, and bouts of solitary confinement for four years.He spoke of vomit-inducing injections, of orderlies forcing his head under water until he blacked out and the “Wrap Treatment” _ being bound in two sheets dripping with cold water and then two dry sheets, after which he was left until his body warmth dried the sheets. Top holiday drink recipes Comments   Share   last_img read more


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Egyptians in hajj divided over Islam in politics

first_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation “Leave religion to the people,” said Bagnied, a media professor at Ahram Canadian University, in Cairo’s suburbs.The annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest sites offers Muslims a chance to reaffirm their faith and root themselves more firmly in their beliefs. It comes at a time when several Arab nations are facing a similar issue on a political level after uprisings that toppled longtime leaders and brought Islamists to greater power: The question of how much a government should be rooted in Islam.Egypt in particular is struggling with that question. Elections since the fall last year of Hosni Mubarak elevated Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, to president. The Brotherhood was vaulted to become the country’s strongest political force, along with even more conservative Islamists known as Salafis, who follow a strict Saudi-style interpretation of Islam.As pilgrims were making their way around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure in Mecca that observant Muslims pray toward five times a day, and performing an elaborate set of rituals in Saudi Arabia over the past week, Egypt was in a bitter struggle over the writing of the new constitution. For some, it seemed only natural that Islamic law would benefit a Muslim-majority nation, putting aside questions of who would interpret it or implement it.Making his way to midday prayers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, which houses the Kaaba, Abdel-Muntalib el-Fikky said there is no reason to fear Shariah or the Islamists.“Why are we all here? We are all here for God,” he said of the pilgrims. “Our constitution, God willing, will be good. It will move us forward.”Anwar Saad, a 32 year-old teacher from Egypt’s Beheira province, stood on Jabal al-Rahma in Mount Arafat, in the desert outside Mecca during a rite of prayer on Thursday that many feel is the pinnacle moment of hajj.“The Brotherhood have moderate views. They are not conservative like the Salafis. We hope they will apply a moderate form of Shariah for Egypt,” he said. “We want God to help Morsi succeed … There were 30 years of corruption and this will not be fixed in 100 days. Be patient with the president.”Notably, hajj itself shows the variety in interpretations of Islamic rules. For example, in most of the Muslim world, men and women are segregated during prayers. But in the Grand Mosque, the two sexes pray side by side. For most of the hajj rites, women are not allowed to wear the veil that covers the entire face, even though ultraconservative Muslims insist a woman’s face should be hidden from males not related to her. Salafis are pressing for the document to explicitly root Egypt’s laws in Shariah. That has raised liberals’ fears that it will bring stricter implementation of Islamic law and empower Muslim clerics in a political role, limiting women’s rights and freedoms of worship and expression. The assembly writing the constitution is dominated by the Brotherhood and Salafis.The Egyptians who performed the pilgrimage this year may be united in the importance they give to their faith in their lives. But it doesn’t mean they all agree on the mix of religion and politics. More than 90,000 Egyptians were on the pilgrimage, which largely wrapped up on Monday. They hailed from all segments of Egyptian society, the rich and the poor, and from all corners of the Arab world’s most populous nation.Wearing the seamless terrycloth garments worn by male pilgrims to symbolize equality and unity during hajj, Sayid Zeid said Egypt’s constitution should represent all Egyptians _ and, he added, it must be based on the Quran.How can it be both, given the large Christian minority and the sector of liberal Muslims?“Shariah will be applied by God … It should be applied as it came down from God,” said Zeid, who is a reporter with Egypt’s state TV, though he was performing the hajj, not covering it. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Bagnied, the media professor, said she does not fear Shariah but those who would try to interpret and apply it.“What kind of Islam do they want to apply? Afghanistan, Iran or Saudi Arabia?” she said. Bagnied, who does not wear the headscarf that many Egyptian Muslim women don to cover their hair, said she can resist her family’s urging her to start wearing it. But she worries that an Islamist government will start to apply political pressure as well on such personal choices.She said many people voted for Morsi hoping that because he is a pious Muslim and will apply “God’s law” that their lives will improve.“I think many Egyptians don’t know the content of the constitution,” she said. “Egypt is full of people talking about politics, but there is a large amount of ignorance in the country and you can convince people (by using Islam) that they have to obey their leaders, who are sheiks and politicians.”Ihab Abdel-Aal, 47, is among those who voted for the former Mubarak regime-era official who ran against Morsi in the past summer’s presidential race. Morsi won by just over half the vote. Abdel-Aal has performed the hajj more than 25 times, since he’s a tour operator bringing other Egyptians on the pilgrimage. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 0 Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairycenter_img Associated PressMECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Now that she has finished the hajj and is returning home to Egypt, Magda Bagnied says her family will no doubt try to convince her to put on the headscarf to demonstrate her religiosity after a pilgrimage meant to cleanse her of sin and bring her closer to God.She fully expects that from her parents. But she doesn’t want that kind of pressure from her government or leaders. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix He fears Egypt is turning to a theocracy.“Democracy and freedom are new to Egypt,” he said. “There should be no religion in politics and no politics in religion.”Abdel-Aal, like many who work in Egypt’s vital tourism industry that was hard-hit due to political turmoil over the past year, said he believes Shariah cannot be applied in all aspects of life.“This will tank the economy and other sectors and just won’t work.”Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, who runs a Cairo tourism company, says he has performed hajj more than 30 times. He said the number of Egyptians wanting to perform hajj and umrah, the smaller pilgrimage to Mecca, increased this year.“In any crisis, the first thing a person does is pray to God,” he said. “We are in a crisis.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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Zimbabwe Mugabe says life in Gods hands

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober His sister Bridget was 78 years old and had been critically ill for several years.Mugabe returned this month from Singapore, where he has received medical treatment in the past. He is on leave until next month.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone ZVIMBA, Zimbabwe (AP) – President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who turns 90 next month, says he doesn’t have a secret for longevity.Mugabe said Tuesday at the funeral of his sister Bridget that he doesn’t know why he is alive and that it is “all in God’s hands.”The longtime leader, who has outlived his five siblings, was addressing family members, ruling party loyalists and traditional chiefs at the funeral in Zvimba, west of the capital, Harare. Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more


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Applications for US jobless aid rise to stilllow 281000

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the level of applications is still low and points to an improving job market.The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, ticked up 1,000 to 274,750.Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Even with the increase, they remain far below 300,000, a historically low level that indicates companies are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers. That confidence can also cause them to hire more people. Consumers have stepped up spending on clothing, furniture and cars, spurring faster growth. Home sales have also accelerated and are now running at the highest level in eight years.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for mencenter_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   last_img read more


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IATA to introduce central database baggage rules

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Airlines across the globe will soon have a central database for interline baggage rules, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced last week.IATA said it would introduce Automated Carrier Baggage Rules (ACBR) as part of its Simplifying the Business program.The central database will be hosted by the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) and IATA will push carriers to submit their baggage rules to ATPCO by September this year for implementation in early 2011.It will enable airlines, travel agents and passengers to know what baggage rules will apply for any given itinerary at the time of booking.”Baggage rules are becoming increasingly complex and confusing. We must improve transparency so that travellers know what to expect,” said IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani.”Airlines have a variety of different rules and fees depending on the number of bags checked, class of travel, frequent flyer status and routings.”ACBR will put all of that information in one place so passengers can have a complete understanding of baggage fees before they buy their tickets—even for complicated journeys.” <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2a59b/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more