19 Aug

Princess upgrades group shore excursions with Local Connections

first_img Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Share Travelweek Group SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises has created a new department specially designed for group shore excursions that both travel agents and guests can access.The department centres around Princess Cruises’ ‘Local Connections’ program, tapping the knowledge of destination experts and locals for creative feedback and suggestions for shore excursions. Using ‘Local Connections’ the department can better cater to a group’s interest and personalize excursions for those passengers. Both the onboard team and the shore team will work together to ensure seamless organization and execution, says the cruise line.“Getting out to truly experience the magnificent destinations around the world as a group is one of the many ways Princess can introduce guests to the world’s most memorable destinations,” said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises Vice President of Shore Excursions. “We offer competitive net pricing and a wide array of excursion options through the personal assistance of our destination experts. Through our Local Connections program, we continue to innovate our tour experiences ashore and our groups team will take full advantage of the suggestions and creativity of those partners that know the destination best.”More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJThe department works with both small (six to 15 passengers) and large (16 passengers or more) groups including family reunions, sports, church, special interest groups and more. Private cars, vans, transfers and boats are available and the department can accommodate a variety of budgets. Customized tours arranged through travel agents are commissionable.Sample tours include:A Michelin Restaurant Experience:  A Cooking Class at Kokkeriet – Located on a corner in Nyborder, Copenhagen, Kokkeriet is a gourmet restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in 2006. A modern European cuisine, Kokkeriet uses fresh ingredients of the season with the menu changed monthly. With the chef, guests learn about the techniques used to create Michelin quality food; the raw materials used; their background and personal story; and enjoy the ‘home made’ meal with Michelin wines matching the menu.Phillip Island Penguin Tour by Helicopter – Touring in a ranger, guests explore Melbourne’s bayside coastline and the Mornington Peninsula en route to Phillip Island, with about 45 square miles to view the home of seals, koalas, mutton birds and the largest colony of little penguins in existence. Guests can see the packs, sometimes 300 strong ‘rafts’ of penguins, to protect them from predatory sharks and seals. After, passengers can enjoy a meal at a local restaurant with homegrown ingredients before returning to Melbourne and the ship on a private vehicle.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upFor more details e-mail GroupShoreExcursions@princesscruises.com. Posted bycenter_img Tags: Princess Cruises, Wave Season << Previous PostNext Post >> Princess upgrades group shore excursions with ‘Local Connections’last_img read more

19 Aug

Uniworld releases 2018 brochure with The World is Your Canvas campaign

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Brochures, Luxury Travel, River Cruising, Uniworld Uniworld releases 2018 brochure with ‘The World is Your Canvas’ campaign Share Posted bycenter_img TORONTO — Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has unveiled a new brand strategy as part of its 2018 brochure.‘The World is Your Canvas’ encourages travellers to embark on a Uniworld journey to discover both the world and themselves, says the company.“Uniworld has upheld an unparalleled standard of excellence for more than 40 years,” said Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO, Uniworld. “We continue to deliver this level of quality with the new 2018 brochure, which delves deep into the brand’s history and strategically narrates the story behind the design of each ship. These additions to the brochure reflect a new direction for Uniworld in which we place value on identifying the key elements that set us apart.”Programs and excursions are geared to first-time travellers and experienced river cruisers alike.New for 2018 and outlined in the brochure are Uniworld’s Enchanting Danube & Prague, Remarkable Rhine and Enchanting Danube & Munich itineraries, sailing the Rhine and Danube Rivers and offering coinciding multigenerational departure dates with special family programming.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsThe Remarkable Rhine itinerary will incorporate the exploration of Jewish heritage and culture along the Rhine, as well as offer ‘The Choice is Yours’, giving guests alternative ways to discover Germany, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland.Uniworld says the 2018 brochure is designed to serve the needs of travel agents “by illuminating the Uniworld story”, so agents can educate their clients on the brand’s distinguishing qualities.With a portrait orientation to better fit agents’ display racks, the brochure encompasses all of Uniworld’s products, including ships and itineraries in all 26 countries, as well as the themed cruises and multigenerational programs. Monday, March 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 Aug

Volcano eruption forces 1500 to evacuate in Hawaii

first_img By: The Associated Press Volcano eruption forces 1,500 to evacuate in Hawaii << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Hawaii, Volcano HONOLULU — Nearly 1,500 residents were ordered to evacuate from their volcano-side homes after Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano erupted, sending molten lava to chew its way through forest land and bubble up on paved streets.Volcano officials couldn’t predict how long Thursday’s eruption may last, prompting Hawaii’s governor to activate the National Guard to help with evacuations and provide security to about 770 structures left empty when residents sought shelter.There were no immediate reports of injuries.Hawaii County officials said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.Footage shown on local television showed lava spurting into the sky from a crack in a road. Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking through a forest.The footage of the #Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is extraordinary. It could erupt at any moment now https://t.co/FYahtE2e7S pic.twitter.com/8WBCsw51Zn— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) May 3, 2018Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that there is no way to know exactly how long the eruption will continue.“One of the parameters is going to be whether the summit magma reservoir starts to drain in response to this event, and that has not happened yet,” Miklius said. “There is quite a bit of magma in the system. It won’t be just an hours-long eruption probably, but how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved. And so we are watching that very, very closely.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsCounty, state and federal officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate, as an eruption would give little warning. Officials at the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday raised the volcano’s alert level to warning status, the highest possible, meaning a hazardous eruption is imminent, underway or suspected.Nearby community centres have opened for shelter.The U.S. Geological Survey said new ground cracks were reported Thursday afternoon. Hot vapour emerged from a crack and spattering lava began to erupt.Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, releasing lava into residential neighborhood on the Big Island, prompting evacuation orders. https://t.co/8iUCQK0yCd pic.twitter.com/fce4E74wIV— ABC News (@ABC) May 4, 2018Scientists said areas downslope of the erupting vent were at risk of being covered by lava. Leilani Estates appeared to be at greatest risk, but scientists said new vents and outbreaks could occur and it’s not possible to say where.The eruption comes after days of earthquakes rattled the area’s Puna district. A nearby school was closed due to the ongoing seismic activity and several roadways cracked under the strain of the constant temblors. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake was recorded hours before the eruption began Thursday.The Puu Oo crater floor began to collapse Monday, triggering a series of earthquakes and pushing the lava into new underground chambers.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerThe collapse caused magma to push more than 10 miles (16 kilometres) downslope toward the populated southeast coastline of the island.USGS geologist Janet Babb said the magma crossed under Highway 130, which leads to a popular volcano access point, on Tuesday night.Lava can be seen spewing from a vent in Hawaii’s Leilani Estates community on the Big Island after eruption of Kilauea volcano. https://t.co/DdDqlKmyV2The county has ordered evacuations for all of Leilani Estates, which according to the last Census has a population of 1,500. pic.twitter.com/v8O2poQGPe— ABC News (@ABC) May 4, 2018Hawaii County Civil Defence Agency closed the area to visitors on Tuesday and ordered private tour companies to stop taking people into the region.Most of Kilauea’s activity has been non-explosive, but a 1924 eruption spewed ash and 10-ton (9-metric ton) rocks into the sky, leaving one man dead.Puu Oo’s 1983 eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet (457 metres) high. In the decades since, the lava flow has buried dozens of square miles of land and destroyed many homes.Absolutely stunning drone video of the eruption of Hawaii’s #kilauea volcano. Mandatory evacuations for the Leilani Estates subdivision have been ordered. (: Jeremiah Osuna) pic.twitter.com/Vqxq14ojgX— Nick Dobis (@NickKPIX) May 4, 2018 Share Friday, May 4, 2018 last_img read more

19 Aug

Norwegian Bliss completes first season to Alaska will return next spring

first_img Share Posted by Tags: Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line Wednesday, September 26, 2018 MIAMI — Norwegian Bliss is set to wrap up its inaugural season to Alaska on Sept. 29 when it returns to the Port of Seattle, Washington.From there, the ship will head to Los Angeles for seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Oct. 5-27, before repositioning to Port Miami for the fall/winter season in the Caribbean.Following the most successful ship launch in the company’s history, Norwegian Bliss was christened in Seattle on May 30. On June 2, it commenced its first summer season of seven-day Alaska cruises, welcoming nearly 77,000 guests over 17 voyages calling to Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau in Alaska, as well as to Victoria, B.C.The ship will return to Seattle on May 5, 2019 for a second Alaska season. At that time, it will be joined by Norwegian Joy sailing from Seattle, and Norwegian Jewel cruising from Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.“Norwegian Bliss was one of the most highly anticipated ships in the company’s history and was well received by our loyal guests and travel partners,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Her success surpassed anything we could have imagined, and as a result we are very enthusiastic about our decision to introduce her sister ship, Norwegian Joy, to the U.S. market in April 2019, when she joins Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Jewel in Alaska.”center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Norwegian Bliss completes first season to Alaska, will return next spring Travelweek Group last_img read more

19 Aug

Fun Fast Facts about The Beaches of Fort Myers Sanibel

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, April 4, 2019 Tags: Fort Myers, Fort Myers Spotlight 2019, Spotlight Share Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Consumers often ask “What sets The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel apart from the rest of Florida?” Well, there is a lot actually and here are just some of the fun facts about the area that you can share:Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is an award-winning facility with Air Canada and WestJet providing year-round nonstop service from Toronto (and seasonal service from Ottawa and Montreal).Lee County, Florida, has more than 100 barrier and coastal islands to explore.Edison and Ford Winter Estates is a must-see attraction. Thomas Edison, who spent many winters in Fort Myers, is considered the most inventive man who ever lived, holding 1,093 patents for everything from light bulbs, cement and phonographs to the natural rubber he made from goldenrod.The banyan tree at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, a gift from industrialist Harvey Firestone, is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. The tree’s aerial roots now have a circumference of more than 400 feet.Gifts from the sea – The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is ranked to have some of the best shelling in the world with over 400 species of shells including the rarest of them all, the brown speckled junonia.You will find shell seekers on Sanibel Island in the famous “Sanibel Stoop” position all day looking for treasures.Cape Coral has more canals than Venice, Italy.The area is home to a very high concentration of bottlenose dolphins.Known as the Tarpon Capital of the World, thanks to the best tarpon migration. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel area is truly a fisherman’s paradise.Over 190-miles of canoe and kayaking trails, The Great Calusa Blueway is named after the Calusa Native Americans, the first residents of the area.Seafood – Fort Myers has a shrimp fleet on San Carlos Island which offloads more Florida pink shrimp than anywhere else in Florida.Fort Myers is the spring training home of Major League Baseball teams the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins.Sanibel Island is known for having no buildings taller than the tallest palm tree (three stories), 26 miles of off-road bike paths and restaurants/stores that are all locally owned.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – This wildlife refuge, containing more than 6,400-acres, and nearly half of Sanibel Island, was established in 1945 and is one of the top birding hotspots in the nation.Offshore Sailing School, operating out of South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Beach, is America’s #1 Sailing School.Cabbage Key, one of the many offshore islands, features a historic inn and restaurant where the walls, beams and ceiling are papered in more than $70,000 autographed dollar bills. About $10,000 a year falls off, which goes to charity.For those seeking a secluded spot for a wedding in paradise, who can resist a wedding under a gazebo at Lovers Key, Florida’s most romantic state park.Key West Express – Enjoy the tropical island paradise of Key West in just 3 ½ hours when you travel from Fort Myers Beach to America’s southernmost city with the Key West Express. Modern and spacious jet-powered vessels offer year-round, high-speed service to the vacation spot of pirates, poets, presidents and partygoersFor more information on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com Fun Fast Facts about The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibellast_img read more

19 Aug

Transat Air Canada stay the course as acquisition talks continue

first_img Share Tags: Air Canada, Group Mach, Transat Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Posted by Transat, Air Canada stay the course as acquisition talks continuecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — While it has “taken note” of the announcement from Group Mach, offering $14 per share as part of an acquisition bid that would take the company private, Transat says it remains committed to its 30-day binding period of exclusive negotiations with Air Canada.Group Mach’s bid tops Air Canada’s and includes $15 million from Spain’s TM Grupo Inmobiliario in exchange for a minority equity stake in Transat. TM has three hotels in Mexico, which is would roll over to Transat. Transat expects to open its own first resort in Mexico in 2020.Air Canada’s bid for Transat, announced May 16, offers $13 per share in a $520 million deal. Following Group Mach’s announcement yesterday, Air Canada was quick to reconfirm its commitment to Transat, saying it is in the process of finalizing its binding agreement to acquire the company. Air Canada added that it “has all necessary funding to complete the transaction and therefore it is not subject to financing conditions and does not require government or taxpayer assistance.”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThe statement from Transat said: “Transat would like to reiterate that it has entered into an agreement with Air Canada, pursuant to which it has agreed to a 30-day binding period of exclusive negotiations, beginning upon the commencement of a formal due diligence review. During this exclusivity period it is contemplated that Air Canada will complete its due diligence review and the parties will finalize the negotiation of a definitive agreement regarding the acquisition of all of the shares of Transat. This exclusivity period expires towards the end of June 2019.”Transat also said it won’t be issuing any further updates or comments as the process continues, except as required by law. Transat added: “The operations of Transat continue in their normal course and there will be no change for its clients, suppliers and employees. In particular, travellers and clients of Transat can continue to travel and book their flights and vacation packages with Transat as usual.” Travelweek Group last_img read more

19 Aug

Singer Chavela Vargas dies at 93

first_imgMEXICO CITY – Legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas died Sunday at age 93.Her friend and biographer, María Cortina, said Vargas died at noon in a hospital in the city of Cuernavaca, where she had been admitted for heart and respiratory problems.Vargas was born in San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica, on April 17, 1919. She later immigrated to Mexico at age 14, where she sang in the streets. Later, she established a career as a professional singer.Her doctor, José Manuel Núñez, said Sunday that she had refused to accept breathing tubes or other measures to keep her alive. “She had to have a natural death,” he said.Cortina said Vargas “went with great peace. She never complained.” She was conscious to the end, the writer said. “She sought my hand and her shamanic medallion.”Vargas’ remains will be cremated and in a private ceremony friends will scatter her ashes at Chalchi mountain, outside her house in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico, the daily El Mundo reported. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

19 Aug

Costa Rican economy to see less growth in 2013 World Bank says

first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rica will grow 4 percent this year, a lower figure than the 4.6 achieved last year and the 4.8 expected for 2013 by the Central Bank.The World Bank released this week its annual report of Global Economic Prospects, which forecasts that the country will see the third-best economic performance in Central America, surpassed by Panama, whose economy is expected to grow 7.5 percent, and Nicaragua, expected to register 4.2 percent growth.The analysis notes that the “dependence of Costa Rica on the U.S. and Europe is a factor in the reduction of national growth,”and also that “the fall in the dollar exchange rate caused contraction of growth, especially in the export sector.”The bank forecasts that El Salvador’s economy will experience the least growth in the region, with 2.3 percent.Central America’s economic performance is expected to slow somewhat due to a relatively weak U.S. economy. A modest recovery in the U.S. housing sector will provide some support to remittances, although sluggish improvement in labor markets and lower net migration to the U.S. will keep remittance growth subdued, the report added. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 Aug

Costa Rica joins Pacific Alliance trade bloc

first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rica on Thursday received approval to join the Pacific Alliance, a Latin America trade bloc that represents 36 percent of Latin America’s gross domestic product. Casa Presidencial announced on its website that all member countries – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – voted in favor of Costa Rica’s entry.Chile’s Sebastián Piñera, Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto and Ollanta Humala from Peru approved Costa Rica’s request during the group’s assembly held in Cali, Colombia.Earlier this week, President Santos said that Costa Rica was just “one step” from entering the forum, referring to the signing of a free trade agreement with Colombia that was signed on Wednesday afternoon.With the completion of the trade agreement, Costa Rica met its last requirement of having trade agreements with all four founding countries. Together, the population of member countries totals 210 million people and accounts for 55 percent of all trade in Latin America.President Laura Chinchilla confirmed membership on her Facebook account, saying, “I confirm that Costa Rica has been welcomed to begin the process of joining the Alliance Pacific. First nation [to join] after the founding group,” the president wrote.The Pacific Alliance is a trade forum that seeks to boost business development through the elimination of protectionist trade policies, export quotas and tariffs.The meeting was also attended by Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and officials from Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 Aug

Costa Ricas National Theater mural named one of 10 great ceilings around

first_imgRelated posts:Final World Cup showdown, viral theater, and other happenings around Costa Rica Independence Day, Broadway revue, and other happenings around Costa Rica The National Theater’s birthday, symphonic Beatles, and other happenings around Costa Rica Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Rica Stop and look up. One of the best ceilings to admire in the world is in Costa Rica, according toan article in USA Today.The newspaper spoke with Jennifer Tombaugh of international tour company Tauck about the 10 best ceilings in the world. She included in her list the intricate decorations found inside San José’s National Theater.From USA Today:Teatro NacionalSan Jose, Costa RicaThis lavish theater was one of the first buildings in Central America with electric lighting, but it’s most famous for its ceiling murals. One, a tribute to the country’s coffee and banana crops, is notable for technical errors. Painted by an Italian master who hadn’t visited, it shows coffee growing at sea level (it’s normally cultivated in the mountains). And the bananas? “They’re upside down,” Tombaugh says.The painting known as the Alegoría al Café y al Banano (Allegory of the Coffee and the Bananas) was on the ₡5 bill that is no longer in circulation.The theater, constructed in 1897 and funded by a special coffee tax, has good company on Tombaugh’s list. Other selections include the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburgh, Russia, Washington D.C.’s Library of Congress, and of course, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.The National Theater, or Teatro Nacional, remains one of the capital’s most popular tourist attractions. Patrons attend the theater to see orchestras, operas and other performances. There’s a worthwhile café inside, and theater is home to the National Symphony Orchestra. Tourists can step in during the day and take a self-guided tour through the building’s neo-classical architecture (which uses marble brought over from Italy).The theater is located in the heart of the capital, and any taxi driver will know how to get you there. For more information visit, www.teatronacional.go.cr or call 2221-5341. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 Aug

Court throws out exPresident Chinchillas social media defamation lawsuit

first_imgMi mayor preocupación es por el futuro de las redes sociales y quienes tan sólo las conciben para dañar o amedrentar. #LauraVsBaldi 2/2— Laura Chinchilla M. (@Laura_Ch) July 21, 2014 “Even though the ruling was not favorable to us and I don’t agree with it, the trial demonstrated that it was NOT true what [Baldi] wrote and published about me,” Chinchilla tweeted.In a second tweet, she said, “My greater worry is for the future of social networks and those who only conceive of them to harm or intimidate.” Aunque el falló no nos resultó favorable y no lo comparto,el juicio demostró q NO era verdad lo q se escribió y publicó en mi contra.1/2— Laura Chinchilla M. (@Laura_Ch) July 21, 2014 A three-judge criminal court in San José on Monday tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by ex-President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) against a hotel owner who accused her on Facebook of misusing her public office for personal gain. While the court ruled in favor of the defendant, freedom of expression experts said the preliminary ruling does not necessarily signal a free-for-all when it comes to criticizing public officials.Judges Carmen María Peraza Segura, María de los Angeles Arana Rojas and Max Antonio Escalante Quirós unanimously absolved Alberto Rodríguez Baldi of the crime of defamation, which could have carried a fine of ₡100 million, some $185,000. After a week of testimony, the panel decided that there was insufficient evidence to continue with the hearing.The former Costa Rican president sued hotelier Baldi in June 2013 for defamation based on a Facebook post alleging Chinchilla illicitly benefitted from her public office in order to buy millions of dollars worth of land in Puntarenas and Guanacaste’s Nicoya Peninsula, supposedly slated for a wind power development project.Fittingly, both sides took to social media to voice their opinions of the decision. Baldi posted on Facebook:Infinite thanks to all the Costa Ricans who sent messages of support, which of the hundreds I was unfortunately unable to respond to individually, but in my heart in and my family, my undying thanks to the country’s solidarity. …I invite all citizens to denounce all examples of corruption and that we show that we are not afraid of influence peddlers, of those who abuse their power, and white-collar criminals.We express our outrage at the opacity of the Prosecutor of White-Collar Crimes, and we show with our individual actions that we do not need politicians to save the homeland, because Costa Rica saves itself with each of its children.Chinchilla responded on Twitter:center_img From the documents provided to The Tico Times by the court Monday, it was not possible to verify whether or not Baldi’s allegations were true.Freedom of expression experts agreed that the case had the potential to set a precedent for the limits of freedom of expression on social media in Costa Rica. While the ruling erred on the side of greater expression, experts stressed that there are limits to freedom of expression.Alejandro Delgado, president of the Press and Freedom of Expression Institute, told The Tico Times that the decision suggested a greater tolerance for freedom of expression, adding that “public officials must have a greater tolerance for criticism when it is truly a critique and not defamation.”“This decision does not give license to anyone to use social networks to disrespect other people, much less public officials,” Marlon Mora, president of the Costa Rican Journalists’ Association, told The Tico Times. “Freedom of expression should never be used as a shield to defame someone.”Both experts agreed that the preliminary ruling suggested that speech on social networks carries the same protections and responsibilities as any other media.Baldi still faces another lawsuit from former Public Works and Transport Minister Pedro Castro. Chinchilla’s lawyer has said they plan to appeal the decision.The court’s full ruling will be made public on Wednesday, July 23. Facebook Comments Related posts:Explainer: Why is Costa Rica’s former President Laura Chinchilla suing a hotelier over a Facebook post? Talk of ‘Yankee imperialism’ rankles US Embassy in San José Violence against women in the age of new technology Will we finally be able to dislike something on Facebook?last_img read more

19 Aug

Archbishop minimizes fall in reputation of the Church predicts high participation during

first_imgRelated posts:VIDEO: Costa Rica processions commemorate Good Friday Vatican expels Costa Rican priest from Catholic Church for alleged abuses Costa Rican priest arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a minor Romans will crucify Jesus in annual Good Friday parades throughout Costa Rica Want stories like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Tico Times newsletter The archbishop of San José, José Rafael Quirós, downplayed the fall in the reputation of the Catholic Church after turbulent months during which a priest was arrested at the border, an international arrest warrant was issued to another and authorities raided the buildings of the Metropolitan Curia and the Episcopal Conference.The Church sustained the largest drop in its image over the last six years, according to the latest survey from the Center for Research in Political Studies (CIEP-UCR), after falling from a grade of 6.5 points (out of 10 possible) last November to 5.5 in March.Despite this, the archbishop said he expects to see “many people committed” to the Catholic Church and predicts a broad participation in Holy Week, or Semana Santa, which began April 14.“Our main responsibility as a Church is to continue to evangelize, and as a result of this, we have a great participation in the life of the parish communities, where pastoral agents are still active,” said Quirós through an email. “So, what we can say is that we see many committed people and a lot of participation of the faithful — for example, during Ash Wednesday. We are sure that it will be like this during Holy Week.”Quirós is under ecclesiastical investigation after two people accused him in October of alleged cover-up of sexual crimes. These men denounced Mauricio Víquez for abusing them when they were teenagers and said Quirós had known about the events since 2003.center_img The casesThe accusations against the Víquez — who is wanted by Interpol — and the actions of the Catholic Church in the face of complaints of sexual abuse have been widely questioned in the last five months.The Church, citing the right to a defense, warned Víquez of a criminal complaint against him, which led to his escape from the country Jan. 7.In the same month, the former priest of the parish of San Isidro de Heredia, Sidar Monge, was sentenced to six years in prison for abusing an altar boy in 2009.In March, Semanario Universidad reported on the case of a young man who reported being abused and assaulted by priest Jorge Arturo Morales between 2009 and 2011. Days after telling his story, the student filed a criminal complaint and the priest was arrested in the border of Paso Canoas when trying to leave the country.The student, the victims of Víquez and other young people have alleged the Catholic Church has pressured them to prevent the filing of criminal complaints, and they have spoken of a system that plays against the victims and conceals alleged abusers.Faced with the accusations and questions of the Seminary (the priest training school), the Church said that the Seminary is an “open house” and that “it is unfortunate when any of these ex-seminarians, or any person, disseminates information about it, given his own interpretation.” Semanario Universidad LogoThis story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on April 12, 2019. It was translated and republished with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report at Semanario Universidad here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

18 Aug

Spain French police arrest top Basque ETA leader

first_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Associated PressMADRID (AP) – A member of the Basque separatist group ETA responsible for its arms and explosives caches was arrested in eastern France on Sunday, officials said.Izaskun Lesaka, 37, and another suspected ETA member, 35-year-old Joseba Iturbide Ochoteco, were arrested in the early hours by elite French police in a hotel in Macon, France, Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.The suspects, both armed, were tracked down and arrested by a special operations tactical unit of the French National Police in close collaboration with Spanish counterparts, the ministry said. Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day It said Lesaka was considered one of ETA’s top three leaders and that police also seized “abundant computer equipment and a stolen car with false number plates.”ETA is considered a terrorist organization by Spain, the U.S. and the European Union. It is blamed for the killings of more than 825 people in a campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent Basque state straddling Spain’s border with France.The group has been decimated by waves of arrests in Spain, France and other countries over recent years, and further weakened by declining grassroots support among Basque nationalists who had tolerated its activities in exchange for working toward the goal of independence.ETA announced a definitive cease-fire late last year, but Spain insists it must lay down its arms and dissolve before the government takes such declarations seriously.The group also declared what it called a permanent cease-fire in 2006, but negotiations with the government went nowhere and ETA set off a car bomb at Madrid’s airport later that year, killing two people.The ministry said Lesaka was one of three hooded ETA members present at the announcement of the October 2011 cease-fire, while Iturbide was linked to the commando unit that set off the airport car bomb. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

18 Aug

Spains Repsol accepts 5B for Argentine unit

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Argentina expropriated Repsol’s controlling stake in YPF without paying anything in 2012 just as Spain teetered on the edge of financial collapse.Argentina claimed Repsol did not do enough to develop large fields of unconventional natural gas _ claims vigorously denied by Repsol.Repsol initially demanded $10.5 billion.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober ErrorOK ErrorOK Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement MADRID (AP) – Spain’s Repsol energy firm says its board has accepted a $5 billion (3.6 billion euro) offer from Argentina as compensation for the South American country’s seizure of the company’s YPF petroleum division.The approval marks the end of a bitter dispute that hurt relations between the two countries.Repsol SA said in a statement Tuesday night that Argentina agreed to pay the amount in bonds denominated in U.S. dollars in line with a tentative agreement reached in November.last_img read more

18 Aug

13 people missing in Mexico after vigilantes withdraw

first_imgResidents said they think a much higher number of Chilapa residents have gone missing recently.Jose Diaz Navarro, whose own family has suffered disappearances, said that “there are a lot of disappeared people, but very few complaints are filed.” In the five days that the vigilantes were in Chilapa, at least 16 people, and possibly as many as 30, disappeared, Diaz Navarro said.He also questioned who the vigilantes really are.“We call them gang members, because they never really appeared like community police,” Diaz Navarro said. “They did not show any document, they had high-powered rifles, so we cannot accept that they were community police.”Community police forces exist in some Guerrero towns, but they are designated by community assemblies. They are limited by law to policing their own towns, usually with low-caliber, single-shot rifles or shotguns.Chilapa Mayor Francisco Javier Garcia asked the federal government for more support.“I think Chilapa truly has a very serious problem … It could ignite the whole state,” said Garcia. “We are asking the president … to pay attention to our city.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? MEXICO CITY (AP) — Thirteen people have been reported as having gone missing during vigilantes’ brief occupation of a violence-wracked city in southern Mexico, a human rights official said Tuesday.The disappearances added to confusion surrounding the takeover of the city of Chilapa by so-called “community police” earlier this month.The vigilantes, claiming to be self-defense forces from surrounding towns, took over Chilapa on May 9, purportedly to end violence in a city being fought over by the rival Rojos and Ardillos drug gangs. The vigilantes disarmed local police and forced the police chief out, saying they suspected some officers worked for Los Rojos. The vigilantes later returned the police weapons, a new chief was named and state and federal police were sent in to take charge of security. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility But some residents claim the vigilantes worked for Los Ardillos.Ramon Navarrete, the head of the Guerrero state human rights commission, said 13 people had been reported missing between May 9 and mid-month, when the vigilantes withdrew. He said residents apparently waited for the vigilantes to leave before filing police reports.“There appear to be a number that have gone unreported, because some people are afraid to file complaints … That is something we can understand,” Navarrete said.The Guerrero state prosecutor’s office said in a statement later in the day that it had opened investigations after receiving seven reports of 11 people being kidnapped between May 12 and May 15. It said other families had reported four other people as disappeared.Violence has been so bad in Chilapa that a mayoral candidate was killed there in early May and a candidate for governor was stopped by armed men in April.Ten bodies and 11 severed heads were discovered in clandestine graves in Chilapa in January, with most the bodies having their hands tied and showing signs of torture. In late November, 11 other headless bodies were found in the area. In 2014, a Ugandan missionary priest was kidnapped from the area and later found dead.last_img read more

18 Aug

Cannes red carpet dance is a tightly controlled choreography

first_imgSophie Marceau poses for photographers upon arrival for the screening of the film The Sea of Trees at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “In my youth I never paid attention to glamour,” says Jane Fonda, who co-stars in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth,” which was to premiere Wednesday. “In those days if you came to Cannes or you went to the premiere of a film in the United States, no one would say, ‘What are you wearing?’ You’d think they were crazy! ‘I’m wearing clothes, what you mean?’”The formal ballet of the procession has a surreal, fairy tale-lie fantasy to it. “I felt like I was getting married,” said Mara of her first red carpet trip in Cannes. But it can also feel like a limelight overdose.“It used to make me really, really nervous and upset. I just hated it, hated it. It felt so phony,” said John C. Reilly, a Cannes veteran who attended two premieres this year as a star of “The Lobster” and Matteo Garrone’s “Tale of Tales.” ”Now I’m just used to it. I don’t take it personally. You want to take my picture because I’m in this movie and I have a nice suit on. As soon as they stop screaming my name, they’re going to start screaming somebody else’s name.” The pomp has a bit more substance to it at the Cannes Film Festival than most other red carpets because it’s in the service, ultimately, of celebrating some of the most artistically ambitious films of the year. Cannes rolls its red carpet out for only a highly select few dozen films each festival, and the majority of them come from the most well-regarded directors in international cinema.And yet not everyone is so bowled over by the Cannes red carpet. The comedian Louis Black made his first trip to the festival for the premiere of Pixar’s “Inside Out.” To him, the experience didn’t live up to the billing.“I was a little disappointed,” deadpanned Black.___Associated Press reporters Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Jill Lawless and Louise Dixon contributed to this report.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Patients with chronic pain give advice 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The recent dustup over footwear on the Cannes carpet epitomizes the strangeness of its elevated ecosystem. Several women were turned away from the premiere of the Todd Haynes’ ’50s drama “Carol” for not wearing high heels. When word got out, an outcry spread. The festival insisted the incidents were the fault of overzealous security guards, but even top Hollywood executives have stories of being denied admission from their own premieres for improper shoes or for having a long black tie instead of a bowed one.“There’s a tradition,” says Cate Blanchett, who stars in “Carol” alongside Rooney Mara. “There’s something kind of gentlemanly about it.”Whereas most red carpets are a messy maelstrom of media, fans and stars, Cannes runs like clockwork. Two or three times a day, a lengthy caravan of festival cars chauffer the premiere’s stars down Cannes’ main drag, the Croisette, dropping them at one end of the carpet.They only walk after most other guests have entered, pausing at a few points to pose for tuxedo-clad photographers, who themselves are also held to festival dress code. Then they climb Cannes’ 24 steps, entering the Palais after taking a moment to stand and wave at the top of the steps, where they’re greeted by festival directors. It’s a literal and metaphoric ascension to cinema’s regal firmament. CANNES, France (AP) — Red carpets are all the same color, but they are not alike. And none equals the prestigious red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival, a rigidly organized gauntlet of glamour, a surreal choreography of stage-managed glitz.It’s a world of its own, with strict rules and tradition, and passage through it is dizzying for even the most experienced stars. The Cannes red carpet, along with its companion photo calls in front of a bank of photographers, creates the festival’s flashy French Riviera iconography, a global calling card that rivals the Academy Awards’ famous promenade. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches “You climb the steps of the pyramids,” says Blanchett. “Usually most red carpets have a lot of step-and-repeat. You don’t have to discuss a film before you go and see it. You’re at a film festival, so it’s about a film. It’s not about what we think of the film.”Premieres elsewhere often proceed on the stars’ timetable, but at Cannes even the most famous will be whisked through by the festival’s many protocol guardians and told not to dally or hold things up with their own photographs. Festival director Thierry Fremaux this year clamped down on selfies on the red carpet, calling them “grotesque.”“It’s funny because there are so many rules,” says Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, who premiered his satirical drama “The Lobster,” starring Colin Farrell. “You have to walk in a line. They tell you when to turn around, which way you need to turn around. It’s a very funny, happy, ridiculous, strange awkward situation.”The Cannes carpet has become a much-watched fashion runway. Models typically parade before a film’s participants, and the dresses of celebrities are followed closely around the world. This year’s festival has seen Charlize Theron (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) stroll with beau Sean Penn and Lupita Nyong’o recall her Oscar red-carpet glory. Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Matthew McConaughey and Natalie Portman have all basked in the Cannes glow. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

17 Aug

US carriers likely to fight for space at Haneda

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2500d/” 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> Late last week the governments of Japan and the United States inked a brand new open skies policy after long-spaning negotiations were launched in May, opening expansion opportunities at both Tokyo airports.Despite both Narita and Haneda being opened up, it looks like the battle for slots at Haneda will be the more important, as the new agreement sees guaranteed access to Tokyo’s Haneda airport for the first time in over 30.Previously closed to US carriers, the relaxing of restrictions around Haneda will make it a highly desirable airport in competition to the more expensive and densely packed Narita.Already Continental Airlines has indicated its interest, issuing a statement saying, “the new U.S.-Japan agreement establishes a fair opportunity for them to compete in all the important markets between the two countries.”Part of Star Alliance, Continental also sees the help of current Haneda operator ANA.last_img read more

17 Aug

Holidays with a sprinkle of spice

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Australians are set to embark on a culinary sensation with the launch of Beacon Holidays’ new Masala Trails itineraries, taking passengers on a unique journey through historic India. The Indian based wholesaler, with a regional office in Melbourne for the past 18 months, has released the two itineraries covering the North and South of India, which will cover palaces, desert forts, lakes and capital cities, with clients able to sample, create and learn India’s history through its food. “Indian food is a living cuisine … Masala Trails will present you the real food, from local spice shops to Michelin star restaurants,” Masala Trails, Beacon Holidays, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal said. The two 11 day, 10 night fully escorted programmes departing between September and October this year, includes a variety of activities apart from cooking and eating, ranging from elephant and boat rides to traditional rustic dance performances and sightseeing. “The Masala Trails programmes have been designed so that guests not only visit some of the most captivating cities and regions in India but also savour the many zesty flavours and tastes as our culinary expert, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal reveals the variety of exotic ingredients used in traditional cooking and speciality dishes while weaving in the history and culture of each region,” Beacon Holidays Director, Asia-Pacific, Himanshi Munshaw – Luhar said. Boasting a 9 per cent GDP growth rate for the country, Australians are flocking to India with the Consul General reporting a 150 per cent increase in tourism between 2009 and 2010.  The visa facilitating times for Australian passport holders has also improved with a maximum 3 day wait in most cases. For more information or to book, visit www.beaconholidays.com.au last_img read more

17 Aug

SeaLink buys Captain Cook Cruises

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A The family owned Captain Cook Cruises today announced the well known tourism business is being sold to SeaLink Travel Group.In exchange for an undisclosed sum, SeaLink will get Captain Cook Cruises’ Sydney Harbour vessels (15 in total), an accommodated paddle wheeler cruise operation in South Australia’s River Murray and “the related infrastructure, marina berths and licenses”.The Fijian operations of Captain Cook Cruises are not included in the transaction, a statement from the company read.The 300 or so employees of Captain Cook are expected to be retained as Anthony Haworth is appointed as General Manager and Jackie Haworth-Charlton remains as Director of Sales.“As a family business, we have always placed enormous value on our staff, customer and business relationships. It is very satisfying to know that SeaLink shares these same values,” Captain Cook Cruises founder Captain Trevor Haworth said.“SeaLink is the ideal tourism partner to add further investment and grow this business even further.” With this purchase SeaLink is now one of the largest employers in the tourism industry.For more news as it comes to hand, stay tuned to e-Travel Blackboard.last_img read more

17 Aug

Melb ranked number one business city

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Melbourne has been ranked the number one city in Australia for International conventions and number nine in Asia Pacific, Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher announced.The Country and City Ranking Report 2011, created by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed Melbourne was also ranked at number 31 in the world, up nine places from the year before.Ms Asher said the results were an outstanding success for Melbourne and a true indication of the city’s business events offering.“To be recognised officially by the top congress and convention association in the world is a major coup for the city and one that we are incredibly proud of,” Ms Asher said.“Furthermore, to be ranked ahead of Sydney and Brisbane, our biggest competition in Australia, is perhaps the most important indicator that our city’s facilities and overall international appeal are outstanding.”Melbourne Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB) chief executive officer Karen Bolinger said Melbourne’s status as Australia’s leading business events destination was getting stronger and stronger.“Melbourne is the top choice for many of the world’s major international associations holding regular congresses and conventions,” Ms Bolinger said.“These groups are attracted to Melbourne for a number of reasons, primarily the large pool of intellectual capital the city can offer, as well as the city’s world-class infrastructure.”The city hosted 62 major international meetings during the qualifying period and in the next two years, will continue to strengthen its reputation as a leading business city with the hosting of seven of the world’s largest medical and scientific conferences.last_img read more