first_imgNo flights in or out of Greece for 4 days if strike proceeds Tags: Greece, Travel Alert ATHENS — More strikes are expected to disrupt travel in Europe, this time in the island nation of Greece.According to the Daily Mail, Greek air traffic controllers plan to walk off the job starting Oct. 9 for four days to protest changes to their job descriptions. Their union confirmed on Wednesday they would stage 24-hour strikes on Oct. 9, 10 and Oct. 12-13 inclusive, and that all flights would be suspended except for emergency and search-and rescue flights, plus those through the Athens Flight Information region.The main issue at hand is draft legislation that seeks to introduce changes to the structure of the civil aviation department, which will act as a watchdog and deal with regulatory issues. The air traffic controllers are demanding that some articles of the draft law be withdrawn.“This was a last chance for a proper reform. Instead, they are pursuing changes which will shut us down in a year or two,” said a member of the air traffic controllers union board. “They are undermining our sector and they never consulted with us.”More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyThe 170-page proposed law will be discussed in parliament on Thursday. Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Share Thursday, October 6, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgBarcelona bans new hotels in the city centre to curb property prices MADRID — Despite fierce opposition from hotel and business owners, Barcelona officials agreed Friday to curb the number of rooms for tourists in the city centre in a move aimed at appeasing residents angry about sky-high property prices.The City Council approved the proposal from Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, a former activist who made herself a name campaigning against evictions ordered by banks when tenants failed to repay mortgages.Soon after she took office in 2015, Colau imposed a moratorium on new licenses for hotels, serviced apartments and other establishments offering tourist accommodations.The new plan grants a limited number of licenses in the outskirts of the city, but no new permits are expected downtown even if current businesses close down.“We have to stop this free-flow that operates without any control in the city,” Janet Sanz, a deputy mayor in charge of urban planning and a close aide of Colau’s, said.Hotel and retail business groups issued a joint statement on Friday criticizing what they consider to be the latest move by the mayor to “demonize” tourism. The industry says tourism accounts for 14 per cent of Barcelona’s GDP and employs over 100,000 people.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backNuria Paricio, director of Barcelona Oberta, an association of more than 6,700 shops and businesses, said tourism was being turned into “a scourge.”“This plan is not going to stop the illegal apartments that are appearing like mushrooms in Airbnb and other platforms and that are responsible for pushing the prices of rentals in apartments,” Paricio said.Colau government has initiated legal battles against online platforms that allow homeowners to rent out their properties without paying occupancy taxes. It also has pledged to increase the number of inspectors combing the city for unlicensed apartments from 20 to 110 in 2018.Barcelona, with 1.6 million permanent residents, received 32 million visitors in 2016, according to local authorities, although more than half of them only made day trips while staying in nearby coastal towns or on cruise ships. Tags: Spain Share By: Aritz Parra Source: The Associated Press Monday, January 30, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Agent Incentives, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, Savings Share Bahia Principe’s Happiness Sale includes newly reno’d Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Posted bycenter_img Tuesday, January 8, 2019 MIAMI — Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts is starting the new year off right with the return of one of its most popular consumer incentives, aimed at ramping up bookings just as the winter weather here at home settles in for the long haul.Today marks the start of Bahia Principe’s Happiness Sale, taking place now through Jan. 22 and offering savings on travel throughout 2019, including peak season and holidays.Clients can pick from 20 of Bahia Principe’s all-inclusive properties located in the D.R., Jamaica and Mexico.Vacationers can also reserve a stay at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, which reopened late last year after an extensive renovation, or at Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine, an adults-only, Punta Cana property which has been rebranded.“As 2019 begins to unfold, potential travellers are looking ahead and planning for their next special getaway,” says Helen Montijano, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the U.S. and Canada. “Our signature Happiness Sale allows for travellers to book in advance, taking advantage of notable discounts for travel throughout 2019 including deep summer deals. Our resorts offer top service, facilities and amenities that create a wonderful experience in the Caribbean for everyone, including snowbirds or those who simply want a quick weekend escape.”Grand Bahia Principe La RomanaThe booking deadline is Jan. 22 and the travel deadline is Oct. 31, including peak season. Bahia Principe says the extended travel window gives vacationers the ability to book far in advance at an attainable price point.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesPunta Cana’s Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, which reopened in November 2018 after US$30 million in renovations, has been upgraded to feature all-new swim up suites and modern interiors. Travellers can also reserve a stay at the rebranded Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine, an adults-only, entertainment-focused property. For families looking for a whimsical setting and a range of activities for guests of all ages, there’s Fantasia Bahia Principe Punta Cana.Bahia Principe reminds agents that they can take advantage of double points for all bookings through the brand’s Bahia Principe Rewards loyalty program.Agents who are new to Bahia Principe Rewards receive 1,000 welcome points when they sign up, which are also doubled during the Happiness Sale booking window.For more information see www.bahia-principe.com << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgDamaged walls, windows and doors at the Legislative Assembly’s main building – which occurred during a student protest that turned violent last Tuesday – could cost Costa Rican taxpayers at least ₡7,000,000 ($14,000) to repair, officials said this week.Some 3,000 students and university professors marched in San José on Oct. 9 to ask lawmakers to reinstate a bill authorizing photocopying of books for educational purposes. President Laura Chinchilla recently vetoed the bill. During the demonstration, a group of self-described “anarchists” with their faces covered began hurling rocks at police and at the assembly. At least eight police officers were injured during the protests.Officials said repairs to the building could be delayed until next year, due to a lack of a budget.One person was arrested, then released the following day. However, Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa on Thursday filed a formal complaint before the Judicial Investigation Police against 11 suspects for participating in the riot. He said officials also are reviewing video footage from security cameras to try identify other suspects. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_img 800 PADILLA 14 1ST 0 600 23 4000 300 900 11 300 4 CLUB AMATEUR de PESCA #1 – COSTA RICA 0 GONZALEZ GEOVANNY 2ND RICKY 100 40200 MANOLO 200 37 8 0 2600 200 300 0 DAY 3 JAVIER CLUB NAUTICO de STE. DOM. – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FERNANDO 7 ROGER HEINSEN 900 2300 0 0 Facebook Comments CLUB AMATEUR de PESCA #4 – COSTA RICA 16 1400 600 2ND 1200 PLACE 1000 400 BORCHERDS 100 TOTAL 300 3600 2400 MANSYLLA 800 100 11 500 DAY 3 ANGLERS EVELIO JAEN 100 24 BRUNO 1100 40 100 10 600 6 300 2ND 13 2100 4 LUIS PEDRO FORTUNY 200 JUAN MANUEL 3700 2500 300 700 200 200 400 RICARDO 500 400 CARLOS 500 ASOC. NACIONAL de PESCA de GUATEMALA – #3 300 MATTHEW 200 700 SAMBA 700 1100 DR. CARLOS 200 200 SOTO 1100 100 30 100 7 0 10 PLAYA GRANDE YACHTING CLUB – VENEZUELA PADILLA MEDEROS 1300 100 700 400 400 35 500 400 200 ALBERTO ALVARO 500 400 600 DOMINGUEZ OCEAN CITY LIGHT TACKLS CLUB – USA DAY 1 300 PRICE LAURENCICH 200 2000 3300 400 CARBONE 400 JORGE N. 900 300 18 1000 100 14 17 200 DONATO 600 3200 300 300 0 600 900 20 300 100 19 10 1200 100 JULIO 400 4 MONTEALEGRE 3100 MICHAEL 300 500 300 800 200 100 900 3RD 1100 MAURICIO 3600 CHOATE 200 200 300 8 RIVAS 100 500 ALVARO 1ST FERNANDO 700 GABRIEL B. FORTUNY 1900 0 700 400 SADSAA – SOUTH AFRICA 500 200 1000 TIM DOMINGO FREDDY CHARLES OLDEMAR 300 200 12 200 700 1600 1600 4400 RODRIGUEZ CLUB AMATEUR de PESCA #2 – COSTA RICA MATIENZO DONATO 200 3RD MONTEROS SEEVERS GUTIERREZ 300 44 600 1700 200 200 200 100 300 100 BARNES ALTERNATE GALINDO 600 PORT ARANSAS ROD & REEL CLUB – USA GUZMAN PUERTO RICO LIGHT TACKLE ANGLERS 800 25 800 27 300 1400 300 400 BOATS 0 100 33 1500 1300 100 PAUL 400 100 1500 3RD DAY 2 200 DE LA HOZcenter_img 300 800 28 2500 0 2500 WIERING TOTAL 36 1300 0 SCHIFTER 34 100 1700 300 39 0 ASOC. NACIONAL de PESCA de GUATEMALA – #2 100 22 600 GUTIERREZ 300 100 100 7 400 400 0 100 1300 600 0 700 700 13 DI BENEDETTO 1800 21 FORTUNY 2600 600 BARRAZOTTO 1100 600 FORTUNY, JR. 200 3100 300 200 DIEGO CABRERA 100 0 300 13 600 400 100 100 100 1ST 1300 SCHOFIELD 200 400 RODRIGO 200 500 STEPHANIE 500 200 200 300 NILS CARLOS 600 7000 500 900 15 41 WALLY 600 0 300 3400 300 100 CARLOS 400 600 300 0 200 800 500 2100 CARLOS ENRIQUE ANTON TOT PTS 0 8 14 JOSE 300 BOOLO DAY 4 LUIS LEOPOLDO 100 300 1700 CLUB AMATEUR de PESCA #3 – COSTA RICA DAY 1 6 CHOATE 200 TOTALS 0 300 2900 43 9 15 WYNAND 300 31 200 BRUNO 29 13500 200 100 300 MCGUINNESS 31 5 200 200 DAY 4 900 100 500 300 6 200 1600 300 4600 42 WILL ALPHA MIKE PLACE 100 500 DAY 2 COBAR 600 KELLY 1300 GERMAN 9 500 0 300 5 JAVIER 100 700 100 11 100 100 LINGENFELDER FRANCISCO 2400 400 100 1000 100 800 0 800 NORA 400 5 0 100 100 100 1000 XIPHIAS 100 MERCK 700 100 100 300 800 1200 0 100 ARRECHO FISHING TEAM – PUERTO RICO 300 100 CHEPE SAILFISH & TARPON CLUB OF MEXICO 2800 45 0 800 JOHN 800 0 1600 9 38 100 1300 800 Did intervention have anything to do with the success of the 73rd International Light Tackle Association Sailfish Tournament hosted this year by Costa Rica at Crocodile Bay Resort and Marina in Puerto Jiménez? I think so.The recent demise of nearly 300 sea turtles in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica has been of officially declared a result of illegal fishing methods. The problem stemmed from the illegal catching of live bait in the protected Golfo Dulce, and then using the bait on long lines in areas where live bait is not allowed.The result was a massive kill of not only sea turtles but sailfish as well, and complaints were filed with various agencies including the new Vice Minister of Oceans José Lino Chaves. Within a week, he was personally in the area and heading a patrol that captured 14 boats from the Golfito and Quepos areas. The boats were fishing bait inside the gulf, and Chaves filed suits against all of them.Within days, many of the boats fishing illegally headed out of the area. INCOPESCA also declared a ban on all commercial longline activity within the boundaries of the tournament during fishing days. The result was some boats getting more than 30 bites a day.Teams from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the United States competed in the four-day catch-and-release event. The results showed that if fishing regulations are followed and enforced, Costa Rica has a chance of reclaiming its former spot as “Sailfish Capital of the World.” The tournament was dedicated to Tia Nora Schofield, who broke down the gender barrier, earning women the right to compete in fishing tournaments nearly 50 years ago.Fifteen boats competed in the event, and the leader board was constantly changing amongst anglers, boats and teams. The format of teammates fishing on separate boats each date but accumulating points for their respective teams eliminated the need for observers. The opportunity for participants to fish with so many different anglers allowed old friendships to be renewed.More than 800 fish were raised, and 406 were caught and released during the four days of fishing. The final results are as follows.   500 PINTO 300 100 0 800 COBAR 500 TEAMS 600 500 200 26 200 400 100 200 MANUEL 1500 700 15500 ASOC. NACIONAL de PESCA de GUATEMALA – #1 100 EDWIN MELVIN 200 12 3400 0 1200 200 HUMBERTO 200 800 1400 ORLANDO 15 200 JOHN 12 500 400 1800 400 No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgU.S. PresidentCommunity organizer Barack Obamafilmed a guest spot on the intentionally awkward Funny or Die web show “Between Two Ferns.” The six-minute clip debuted this morning (it was filmed two weeks ago, and kept under wraps until last night).While comedian/host Zach Galifianakis wasn’t as brash toward Obama as he’s been to other guests (like Justin Beiber, who he spanked for misbehaving), Galifianakis still traded some riotous barbs with the president on the mostly unscripted program.Obama used the opportunity to promote sign-ups for health insurance on HealthCare.gov, prompting Galifianakis to mumble under his breath “Oh here we go, okay let’s get this out of the way, what did you come here to plug?” He also asked Obama, “What’s it like to be the last black president?”Obama, who’s no stranger to comedy, will face some inevitably stupid backlash from critics for “degrading” the position of the president by going on Galifianakis’ crass show. But the move is all part of a plan to encourage young people to register for Obamacare, and right now the clip already has more than 2 million views.Once Luis Guillermo Solís is finally elected president, we hope he does something similar with Tico comedian Hernán Jiménez, perhaps in an effort to save the failing Costa Rican Social Security System.Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama Facebook Comments Related posts:Obama hails US Supreme Court health care ruling as win for ‘hard-working’ citizens US vets hide war injuries from companies in new civilian jobs Costa Rica fought – briefly – in World War I Photos: More than a thousand Cuban migrants in limbo following Costa Rica raidslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Chinchilla meets everybody’s favorite pope, invites him to Costa Rica Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit Pope Francis tells bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated Cuban Americans make pilgrimages to see Pope Francis in their native land Pope Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama share a laugh while exchanging gifts before a private audience on Thursday at the Vatican. The meeting at the Vatican comes as a welcome rest-stop for Obama during a six-day European tour dominated by the crisis over Crimea, and the U.S. leader will doubtless be hoping some of the pope’s overwhelming popularity will rub off on him. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgFilm: “The Mysterious Presages of León Prozak”Art house fans, rejoice: The 2010 film “Prozak” is a surreal mix of film, animation, and fine art. See how Carlos Santa and his collaborators created a cinematic experience like no other.“Los Extraños Presagios de León Prozak” screens at the Joaquín García Monge Museum, Desamparados. Sept. 13. 6:30 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). Info: GAM Cultural.Art: Fausto PachecoA retrospective of the emblematic Costa Rican artist and others inspired by his pastoral landscapes.Exhibit continues through Sept. 28 at the Calderón Historical Museum, Barrio Escalante. Free. Info: Museum website.Exhibit: “Toys, Memories, and Friends”Feel the rush of nostalgia as you peruse vintage toys at the National Gallery.“Juguetes, Recuerdos, y Amigos” continues through Sept. 30 at The National Gallery, downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website. Party: Fifth Anniversary of GAM CulturalFor five years, GAM Cultural has hosted the quarterly Art Tour, published listings of fun things to do, and helped boost culture and civic pride in San José. Celebrate with organizers and volunteers (and fans) at Steinvorth.Celebration takes place Sept. 17 at El Steinvorth, downtown San José. 9 p.m. Free. Info: GAM Cultural.Performance: Broadway Musical TheaterMusical theater students from High Point University in North Carolina strut their stuff during this Broadway cabaret. Proceeds benefit Fundación Ser y Crecer.Performance takes place Sept. 18 at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, Los Yoses. 8 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Cultural Center website.Music: National Symphony Orchestra and Youth OrchestraThe epic compositions of Richard Strauss come alive this weekend, thanks to a special engagement by the National Symphony Orchestra. “Ariadne auf Naxos” is a multilayered retelling of the ancient Greek myth, and the orchestra will present highlights from Strauss’ revered opera. The National Theater will also host the Youth Symphony, whose precocious musicians will perform everything from Mozart to Shostakovich.All concerts take place at the National Theater, downtown San José. The National Symphony Orchestra plays Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 14 at 10:30 a.m. ₡10,000 ($20). Youth Orchestra plays Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. ₡7,000 ($14). Info: National Theater website. Theater: “Shark Smile”Theater company Ex-Ánima performs this kid-friendly “black light” show about marine biodiversity.“Sonrisa de Tiburón” plays Sept. 12-14 at CENAC, downtown San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. 2,000-4,000 ($4-8). Info: RedCultura.Theater: “Sushi’s Journey”In this case, “Sushi” is a cat – whose life is full of adventure. This children’s show by Pedro José Sánchez is an enlivening afternoon excursion.“El Viaje de Sushi” continues through Sept. 14 at the Juan Enrique Acuña Theater, Barrio Escalante. Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: RedCultura.Theater: “The Collection”Did Stella and Bill hook up on their business trip? The National Company presents this classic 1961 play by Harold Pinter, here in Spanish translation.“The Collection” will be performed Aug. 28 – Sept. 21 at Teatro 1887, CENAC building, San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: RedCultura.“House and Street” FestivalFourteen artists present multimedia works at this creative cooperative in Barrio Escalante.“Casa y Calle” continues through Sept. 20 at Casa Batsú, Barrio Escalante. Free. Info: Batsú website.Art: “Dirty Game”Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.Theater: “Amadeus”Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about the life of Mozart (and his bitter rival, Salieri) receives an epic production at Teatro Espressivo.“Amadeus” plays Aug. 7 – Oct. 12 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents ₡1,000 ($2), foreigners ₡1,500 ($3), students ₡500 ($1). Info: MADC website.Enamoráte de tu ciudadYes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website and Facebook page. Facebook Comments Independence DayCosta Ricans are a proud people, and no holiday is more patriotic than the annual Día de la Independencia. The holiday is packed with activity: First, the Torch of Independence will arrive in Cartago, completing a cross-country relay from the Nicaraguan border (Sunday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m.), followed by fireworks (8:15 p.m.)  Throughout Sunday evening, “lantern parades” will take place all across the country, including thousands of children and their homemade lanterns. On Monday morning, President Solís will deliver a speech in Central Park in downtown San José (9 a.m.). Independence Day is also a chance to watch colorful parades and local bands playing favorite standards, including the Band of Cartago, the Band of Heredia, and the Band of Guanacaste, among countless others. Wherever you are in the country, find a central park or plaza and you’ll likely find a parade. Happy 193rd birthday, Costa Rica!Here’s a glimpse of last year’s lantern parade in Alajuela: Related posts:Final World Cup showdown, viral theater, and other happenings around Costa Rica Guitar Festival, French cinema, and other happenings around Costa Rica Flamenco superstars, Soda Stereo tribute, and other happenings around Costa Rica Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Southern Nicaragua communities protest Ortega’s canal plans Activists visiting Washington blast Nicaragua’s $50 billion canal project as ‘illegitimate’ Nicaragua can’t stop dreaming of a canal Daniel Ortega needs to be the center of attention, say Nicaragua’s opposition Recommended: Nicaragua canal survey off to rocky start marked by fear and mistrustMANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan writer and Catholic priest Ernesto Cardenal this weekend blasted plans for the construction of a massive interoceanic canal, calling it a “monstrosity” that would split the country in two and irreversibly damage Lake Cocibolca, the biggest freshwater lake in Central America.Cardenal penned an op-ed column in the local newspaper La Prensa titled “La monstruosidad del canal” – “The monstrosity of the canal” – in which he criticized the favorable conditions that the government of Daniel Ortega granted to Chinese businessman Wang Jing in the canal concession.“We should denounce to the world what is happening in Nicaragua,” Cardenal wrote, accusing Ortega of imposing the project on the country with “power absolute.”Ortega and his Sandinista administration granted the canal concession in June 2013 to the firm HK Nicaragua Development Investment (HKND), whose owner is Wang, for the construction and administration of the canal for 50 years, with the option to renew for an additional 50 years.“Our entire national geography has been handed over so that Wang Jing can carry out construction wherever he pleases, and he’ll have all of the permits he needs for any decision he makes,” Cardenal wrote.See also: Southern Nicaragua communities protest Ortega’s canal plansThe author of “Cántico Cósmico” also highlighted the environmental damage that likely would occur to Lake Cocibolca – also known as Lake Nicaragua, one of Central America’s most important drinking water sources.“We won’t be able to produce food via irrigation; we’ll only be able to watch the passing of ships. … We also won’t be able to drink the lake water. Many people rely on fishing in the lake to survive, and that’s going to come to an end,” he wrote.The canal, which is slated to undergo construction beginning next month, will stretch some 278 kilometers from coast to coast, of which 105 km span the lake, according to HKND plans.Cardenal, who is 89, said the canal would affect 36 cities, as well as several islets that would disappear with the rising of the lake surface level by an estimated two meters.The Solentiname Archipelago, which was declared a national monument and where Cardenal created a “meditative community” in the 1970s, also could disappear, he said.“With this canal, Lake Nicaragua, which for us is a blessing from God, will be converted into a curse,” said the author of “El evangelio de Solentiname,” a key piece of literature in the liberation theology movement.Said Cardenal: “Ruining Lake Nicaragua would be the greatest crime in the history of our country.”Follow all of our coverage of the Nicaragua canal plans here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has opened the door to a new genocide trial against former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, which could begin on Jan. 5.Constitutional Court Secretary Martín Guzmán announced in a press conference that justices of the country’s highest court had agreed with a constitutional appeal filed by the Prosecutor’s Office against a previous ruling by a lower court judge.Judge Carol Patricia Flores had ruled that the process of hearing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity against Ríos Montt should return to an investigative phase in November 2011, when the former dictator and powerful politician had not been linked to the massacre of 1,771 Ixil Mayans between 1982 and 1983.“What the Constitutional Court did is order Flores to reverse that controversial ruling,” Guzmán said.Guatemala’s Justice and Reconciliation Association (Asociación para la Justicia y la Reconciliación, or AJR) and the Center for Legal Action for Human Rights (Centro para la Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos, or CALDH), joined the Prosecutor’s Office in presenting the constitutional appeal.Along with Ríos Montt, former director of military intelligence José Mauricio Rodríguez also faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.Guzmán said Judge Flores now has five business days to issue another ruling that is in line with orders from the Constitutional Court.In a landmark ruling, Ríos Montt was convicted of the charges and sentenced to 80 years in prison, on May 10, 2013. But the conviction was annulled 10 days later by the Constitutional Court, which ordered a new trial. The high court’s annulment of the conviction was based on a technicality, and it generated harsh criticism from rights groups, victims, and victims’ families.See: A landmark genocide case comes to unexpected and dramatic endEdgar Pérez, an attorney for AJR, said he is satisfied with the high court’s ruling and hopes a new trial will quickly move froward. Defense attorney Francisco Palomo said the ruling removes any doubt that a new trial will begin on Jan. 5.Parallel to the genocide trial, Ríos Montt’s defense team hopes that he will be given amnesty, which was applied to both military members and guerrillas in 1986. That amnesty allegedly covers crimes committed after 1982. If the Constitutional Court agrees on amnesty, the trial would not take place.Guatemala’s bloody civil war lasted for 36 years and led to the death or disappearance of more than 200,000 people. Ríos Montt ruled as dictator from 1982-1983. His prior conviction on genocide charges was seen as historical by observers, and it followed years of efforts by human rights groups, victims’ rights groups, and the victims themselves.See also: Guatemalan ex-police officers accused of assassinating Myrna Mack investigator to finally stand trial Facebook Comments Related posts:Guatemalan ex-police officers accused of assassinating Myrna Mack investigator to finally stand trial Former Guatemalan police chief to stand trial for 1980 Spanish Embassy fire that killed 37 Guatemalan police ordered to remove Spanish Embassy protesters ‘dead or alive,’ witness testifies 26 lawyers have been murdered in Guatemala in the past 3 yearslast_img read more

first_imgCosta Rica’s publicly-owned National Power and Light Company (CNFL) is requesting an increase in electricity rates that, if approved, would raise basic rates for its customers by 36 percent. Its customer base includes most of the San José greater metropolitan area.CNFL’s petition was submitted to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP), which must approve rate hikes, on Aug. 30. In its petition, the electricity supplier said 26 percent of the revenue from the proposed rate hike would go to cover energy purchases in 2016. Some 8 percent would cover energy purchased from the Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE) last year and other operating expenses.ARESEP in recent months has rejected two rate change requests from CNFL on the grounds that the firm was unable to properly justify spending on wages and because it failed to explain recent investments.CNFL says those rejections, plus an increase in tariffs on electricity generation approved in March, “are forcing this agency to request compensation for all of its additional expenses.”The request was submitted for review to ARESEP’s Energy Administration. If approved by that office, the petition will be submitted for discussion at a public hearing to allow CNFL customers the chance to present arguments for and against the proposed rates.ARESEP will evaluate the arguments presented during the hearing as well as the Energy Administration’s report before issuing a final decision. If new rates are approved, they would come into effect in December.The latest electricity rate hike — 2.1 percent — for CNFL’s customers was approved in February. Facebook Comments Related posts:No electricity rate hikes, despite ICE request Regulatory Authority approves lower electricity rates starting October Electricity rates: regulator says drop ’em, utility companies say raise ’em Electricity rates to rise 19 percent in Januarylast_img read more

first_imgUnder the gaze of government officials and masked policemen, Nicaraguan indigenous and Afro-Caribbean leaders say they were coerced into signing a document Sunday regarding the planned$50 billion Nicaragua Canal project that would pass through their autonomous territory.“They were intimidated in there so they felt that they had to sign,” Santiago Thomas, a Rama indigenous leader, said of those who signed the document. “They felt like they didn’t have a choice and were under pressure with the police around.”The signing came after three days of unplanned meetings on Jan. 8-10 between canal officials and community leaders from the Rama-Kriol Territorial Government (GTR-K) – the governing body for the six indigenous Rama and three Afro-Caribbean Kriol communities in Nicaragua’s Caribbean region. GTR-K leaders say they were first pressured to sign a contract consenting to the canal’s construction on their territory. After the GTR-K declined to sign, canal officials presented the community leaders with a second document, which, according to canal officials, laid out terms for future negotiations regarding the canal.Six of the nine community leaders signed, but told the Nicaraguan press on Tuesday that they cannot be sure what they agreed to because they were not allowed to review the document. In response to the incident, the GTR-K released a statement Sunday, denouncing intimidation tactics by canal officials.The GTR-K’s complaints are typical of the negotiations surrounding the canal project, which has been saddled with scandals from the beginning. Nicaragua’s legislature unilaterally granted the 50-year renewable canal concession to Chinese billionaire Wang Jing’s HKND Group in 2013 without any public consultations and before completing any feasibility studies. The government and HKND say they will push forward with canal construction at the end of 2016, despite viability concerns raised in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), as well as the sudden decline of Wang’s fortune due to fluctuations in the Chinese stock market.The canal concession granted HKND the right to expropriate land anywhere in Nicaragua, and the planned route would displace between 29,000 and 60,000 people. Unlike the other towns and farms that would be affected by the canal, the Rama-Kriol territory is protected by law. For the canal to pass through these lands legally, the government must obtain “free, prior and informed” consent from the GTR-K.Despite this law, the Rama and Kriol say that they were not allowed legal assistance during their most recent meetings regarding the canal. They were also denied time to review the full results of the ESIA, which were completed in the middle of last year.Lawyers representing the communities filed a complaint with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in June 2014 in response to the alleged entry of canal officials into Rama/Kriol territory. According to Thomas, some members of the GTR-K are considering filing another complaint following the weekend’s meetings.“Human rights have been violated,” Thomas said. “We are not going to allow our people to be taken down this way.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Journalists harassed, detained in latest chapter of Nicaragua canal saga Costa Rican officials: We still have little information about Nicaragua’s Grand Canal plans Activists visiting Washington blast Nicaragua’s $50 billion canal project as ‘illegitimate’ US concerns grow over possible Nicaragua Canal land expropriation, ambassador sayslast_img read more

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   “I think the hardest thing for any political party now is to work out what has really changed since the financial crisis and what hasn’t,” Blair was quoted as saying. “My view is that you still … have to have a strong alliance with business as well as the unions. You have got to be very much in the center ground on things like public sector reform.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated PressLONDON (AP) – Tony Blair said Wednesday that he would love a chance to return as Britain’s prime minister _ but acknowledged a comeback is extremely unlikely.In an interview to mark the fifth anniversary of his departure from office, the 59-year-old suggested how he believed the Labour Party that he led for 13 years could return to power _ urging his successor not to abandon the political center ground. Check your body, save your life Blair, who became Labour leader in 1994 and British chief in 1997, resigned in June 2007 _ hurried out of power by supporters of his restive Treasury chief Gordon Brown, who had long desired to lead the country but lasted less than three years once he captured the post.Asked if he would welcome a return as prime minister, Blair was quoted by London’s Evening Standard as saying: “Yes, sure, but it’s not likely to happen is it, so…”The Labour Party was ousted from office in May 2010, when no party won an overall majority in a national election _ leading the once rival Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats to form an unlikely coalition.Blair said he believes the next election, scheduled for May 2015, will likely see Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives or the Labour Party win outright.“Frankly you can’t tell what will happen, if there will be a coalition or not, but I suspect it will be far more of a two party fight next time,” Blair said.He urged Ed Miliband _ who replaced Brown as Labour Party leader in late 2010 _ not to turn his back on Britain’s financial sector or the business community in response to the global financial crisis. Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

first_img Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Argentina’s government says consumer prices rose 10.9 percent during 2013, but private economic analysts say inflation really was more than twice that.The inflation figure was reported Wednesday by the INDEC national statistics institute, which has been accused by economists of tweaking the numbers.This is the last inflation measurement by the INDEC before a new method to calculate consumer prices under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund is released. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Private analysts say inflation topped 28 percent last year, making it the highest in more than two decades.With consumer prices soaring, Argentines are used to annual labor protests in which workers threaten chaos if they don’t get raises.Union leaders are expected to demand pay hikes of at 30 percent in line with the double-digit inflation rate.(Copyright 2014 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 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) – Angry residents of Guinea’s capital who have been without electricity for a week took to the streets to demand an end to the power cuts. At least two people were killed in the clashes, when security forces intervened to break up the demonstration.Police spokesman Boubacar Kasse said protesters had tried to block the main highway connecting the city’s outlying suburbs with the town center. Kasse said one protester died after being crushed by a police vehicle. A policeman was also killed after being hit in the head by a rock. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Despite its vast mineral resources, Guinea remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Power cuts in the capital are so bad that schoolchildren hike to the international airport to study for their exams under the runway’s floodlights.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system How do cataracts affect your vision?center_img 0 Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories last_img read more

first_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 The ministry said she is to be deported to Russia and that officials are investigating whether she should be charged in Russia with participating in an armed group, which could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.Russian media reports said Karaulova, a student at prestigious Moscow State University, went missing in late May. It was determined that she had flown to Turkey and her cellphone was traced to the border area.The reports said Karaulova had adopted Islam and sometimes wore a hijab. Her father was quoted as saying he feared she had become radicalized.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian university student whose disappearance prompted concerns that she aimed to go to Syria and join ISIS has been detained in a Turkish border town, Russian police said Friday.An Interior Ministry statement said 19-year-old Varvara Karaulova was detained in Kilis while trying to cross the border and was being held by Turkish immigration authorities. It did not say when she was detained or whether she was trying to cross into Syria or into Turkey. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

first_imgAir New Zealand’s new All Black Livery Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe has unveiled a unique livery design for the first A320 aircraft, which will join the airlines new domestic fleet in December. Describing it as a “real show stopper,” Mr Fyfe said the black livery recognizes Air New Zealand’s long time support of the nation’s favourite game. “In celebration of Air New Zealand’s long running support of rugby in New Zealand, our first new A320 will arrive in January sporting a sleek black livery complete with silver fern motif and Koru on its tail,” Mr Fyfe said at the National Aviation Press Club luncheon in Sydney yesterday. In 2011, Air New Zealand’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby Football union – including the All Blacks – will enter its seventeenth year. “Air New Zealand is crazy about rugby and from February this distinctive new plane will be operating on our main domestic New Zealand routes, says Mr Fyfe. “Who knows, the Wallabies might just find themselves on this aircraft one day.” Mr Fyfe added that the domestic fleet of A320 aircraft, combined with Air New Zealand’s new long-haul fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft, which begin arriving from the end of 2010, will ensure the carrier continues to boast one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets.In keeping with the rugby spirit, the innovative carrier also recently updated its award winning “Bare Essentials” in-flight safety video with an equally impressive “Crazy About Rugby” version. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

first_imgLooking up in the world’s largest department store More than just proof of travel or a tangible reminder for the forgetful, shopping while travelling is an act of participation in the nation’s culture, and in Korea’s case, indicative of a merging of tradition and the future.Shopping in Korea is best described with a slight tweaking of an old adage: the country that shops together, has great shopping. Given its popularity as a cultural past time, shopping in Korea has been raised to such heights that travellers to the country are often awed by the sheer number of markets, department stores and goods on offer.It’s hard to look past the many ‘shopping streets’ of Seoul which cater to the tourist searching for antique Korean treasures or someone after the latest ‘it’ designer distraction.Myeong-dong, the commercial centre of Seoul, and wholesale king Namdaemun Market are renowned for busy streets, trendsetting fashion stores, noisy hawkers and flashing lights.The variety of merchandise on offer and the nation’s shopping patterns are, like the rest of Korea, moving forward at dizzying speeds and it can be hard for tourists unused to the pace to keep up.So, with a nod to tradition and a break from the busy-ness, head to Insa-dong, or Korea-on-hold. Once the gallery district of Seoul, Insa-dong served as home to an enclave of those dedicated to the preservation of Korean culture despite global trends.Vehicle-free on weekends, this cultural heart becomes a flea market, where locals peddle artworks, antiques and souvenirs and domestic and foreign tourists alike come to see the old meet the new.Unfazed by the bustle of Seoul’s shopping streets, it was in Korea’s coastal Busan that I had to take a breath, for Busan is the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s largest department store, Shinsegae Centumcity.With over 293,905 square metres of retail space, a spa, a 60-tee golf driving range, a roof garden, an ice rink, an art gallery and a few (hundred) shops, Centumcity is now a travel destination in its own right.“We just had to see it,” American student Julie told me, surrounded by shoes on what can only be described as the shoe floor.“We were only going to stay in Seoul, but heard about this place so here we are,” she said.The journey to Busan from Seoul is now only two hours and 18 minutes on Korea’s high speed rail service, Korean Train eXpress. A quiet moment in Myeong-dong Insa-dong treasures Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

first_imgEtihad Airways has been named Airline of the Year in the 2011 TTG Travel Awards.The award was announced at a gala, black-tie dinner in London in front of 900 invited guests.Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “This award is further recognition of the hard work of all our staff right around the world.”We are determined 2011 will be a watershed year for us as we strive to break even and then move into sustainable profitability.”It is the latest in a series of honours to be bestowed on Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, in recent months.These include Etihad’s Diamond First class being judged the world’s best for the second year running by Skytrax, the aviation industry’s pre-eminent global rankings system, determined by the votes of 19 million travellers from more than 100 different countries.The TTG judges agreed Etihad was a “truly outstanding airline which offered great service and customer experience.” They noted the airline also had a strong business model and had demonstrated innovation and financial success in the past 12 months, along with an effective CSR policy. Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img read more

first_img Over 350 delegates have embraced the “Be the Difference” theme at the recent Travelscene American Express Owners-Managers Conference.On the back of a successful year and winning of the NTIA Best Travel Agency Group Award, the key focus of the conference was to highlight the strength of the Travelscene American Express network to Members and their customers. Travelscene American Express general manager Ms Timmins said over the last 12 months the company has invested in a number of initiatives which reinforce its member’s ability to succeed.Ms Timmins explained the company has launched three major initiatives at the Conference, including ‘DARE’ (Delivering a Relationship Experience) another key initiative unveiled was the implementation of a formalised succession planning programme  and the network-wide release of the Resurg-designed online Sales and Productivity Dashboard.“These are an incredibly powerful tool which will ultimately deliver more clients to Members and positively impact their bottom lines,” Ms Timmins said.Ms Timmins said from the company’s market leading Local Area Marketing kit through to enhancements to the Quantum programme which rewards support for the preferred partners and their Performance Dashboard, the company has continued to deliver tools and systems to enhance productivity.Travelscene American Express chief executive Mike Thompson said 2011 has been an incredible year for the company and the success they have achieved is attributed to working together with their preferred suppliers.“Our support of our preferred suppliers is strong, but it needs to continue to get stronger to maximise the returns to the group and to our Members,” Mr Thompson added.Mr Thompson announced that the 2011 CEO Award was to be awarded to retiring Chairman Ken Hopkins and retiring Board Member Allan Maher.“The CEO award celebrates extraordinary contribution to Travelscene American Express and both Ken and Allan personify that,” Mr Thompson said.Office of the Year Award went to Travelscene Bicton, Manager of the Year went to National Seniors Travel Leanne Mousely and Travelscene Holidays won the Stay Connected Partner Award.The State winners of the Quantum Awards included Suncity Travel, Caloundra (QLD/Northern NSW), Champagne Travel, Mandurah (WA), Travelscene Merrylands (NSW/ACT), Reho Travel (VIC/TAS), and Phil Hoffmann Travel –Norwood (SA/NT). Steve Jacobs, Carole Smethurst, Bicton Travel (Office of the Year), Mike Thompson and Jacqui Timmins. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more