Signing up for public health care in Costa Rica

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionThe Caja is short for the Costa Rican Social Security System, a government-run health care and pension provider for all Costa Rican residents. The Caja operates health clinics throughout the country that provide primary health care for residents, as well public hospitals that provide advanced medical services. All foreign residents who have applied for or have obtained residency status are required to affiliate with this government agency. So how do residents register with the public health care system? Under Caja regulations, a person registering under the status of pensionado (retiree) or rentista (a person not yet of retirement age who has a substantial enough income or savings on which to live) is required to show a cédula, an ID that shows a visa has been granted, or an approval notice from the Immigration Administration. Foreign nationals who have only filed for temporary residency are technically not allowed to enroll in the Caja.What are the levels of enrollment? There are four levels of enrollment, of which only three are applicable to most expats residing in Costa Rica.1. Salaried and professional workers: This level includes people employed by businesses and whose employers deduct monthly Caja payments from salaries.2. Independent workers: These are usually freelance or self-employed workers who do not have an organization employing them, such as independent contract employees or street vendors.3. Voluntary: This category is designed for retirees, students, homemakers and the unemployed. It provides only the medical portion of the plan on the assumption that the enrollee is either not currently employed (but may work and contribute to the pension plan in the future) or is elderly and will not work the requisite number of years to be eligible for the pension part of the program. How much does it cost?The cost of the first two categories of enrollment ranges from $30-$150 per month, with the final amount being determined using a base figure of 13 percent of stated income minus allowable deductions. The monthly payment covers not only the medical part of the system, but also includes a contribution to the retirement pension portion of the Caja.The Voluntary program is probably the best-suited for most expats; its monthly rates are individually calculated based on a variety of factors including age, employment, income, number of dependents and other criteria. The cost of this category generally is a relatively small, fixed amount. Enrolling under this plan provides only Caja medical services. It does, however, entitle members to use any of the Caja facilities anywhere in the country. Retirees who have no Costa Rica-based income and are members of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR, www.arcr.net) can join the Voluntary classification through the ARCR, and the association has negotiated a fixed monthly rate – currently $49 per month. This amount includes health coverage for a spouse and all legal family members under 18. Regardless of which plan you enroll in, you must make the appropriate monthly payment before the 8th of each month to be issued a payment receipt for the current month. The receipt is a two-inch-wide strip of paper that is the equivalent of an ID. If you like standing in line, you will be given a new carné, or ID, when you make your monthly payment at the local Caja office. If you prefer to avoid lines, the payment can be made online, and a carné can be printed out from the website. ARCR members who have arranged for their payments to be made automatically via credit card can receive their carnés either in person at the Casa Canada offices or have them automatically mailed to local addresses via the Costa Rican postal service. Whichever payment method you choose, timely payment is important, because without a carné for the current month, no regular, nonemergency, services will be provided at the clinics. Where do I enroll?Joining the Caja is not a difficult process and can be accomplished at many locations. One is at the main Caja offices on Ave. 2 in San José, (on the south side of the avenue, across from the Plaza de la Cultura). Enrollees also can visit one of the outlying Caja offices in communities around the country. If you are not fluent in Spanish, it is a good idea to bring someone who can answer questions and help you learn the Caja system. Otherwise, the language barrier may become a source of frustration. What should I bring?As with all things bureaucratic, changes may occur or different offices may have different procedures. Be prepared for variations. Bring with you:1. The original and a copy of your electric bill. (Another utility bill showing your residence address may suffice.)2. If your residency application has been accepted and is in process, bring the originals and copies of your passport and a letter stating that your residency application is en trámite (being processed). If you already have residency and a cédula (DIMEX card), bring it and a photocopy of it showing both sides of the card. What happens next?Be prepared to answer personal questions. You will be interviewed and asked to provide information on such things as your age, employment status, income (amount and source), birth date, address, marital status and cost of living. This information will be entered into a computer and printed out for you to sign as a sworn statement. Based on the above, you will be assigned a monthly payment amount. The first month’s payment is required up front. You will receive a copy of the document and a receipt for the payment. After completing the enrollment process, you will then need to visit your local clinic with all the Caja paperwork. You also can familiarize yourself with the clinic layout and schedule an initial appointment. You will be assigned a doctor at that time.During your first appointment with the doctor, it is a good idea to provide copies of any medical records and recent lab reports you have, plus a list of all medications you take (including dosage.) The doctor will appreciate it and include the information in your file. One of the nice things about the Caja system is that they do not discriminate against “pre-existing conditions” like many commercial insurers do, so there is no reason to hide anything. What else should I know?When the time comes that you need to utilize the Caja’s services, start at your local clinic. If you want an appointment for the same day, plan to arrive at the clinic early (around 5 a.m.) and be prepared to stand in line. Later arrivals may find the day’s appointments already filled.When you see the doctor, be specific and detailed about your complaints – like doctors everywhere, they can do a much better job if they have more information than “I don’t feel well.” If you can describe the problem with details about location, symptoms, etc., you will get better care. The Costa Rican health care system is predicated on the concept of preventive medicine. Therefore, enrollees are advised to have an annual lab test, blood pressure and weight checks, and updated information included in medical files at each new appointment.There are many horror stories floating about regarding the services rendered and drugs provided by the Caja system. However, there are many more patients who report excellent care and treatment. Like any health care system anywhere, services can vary between local facilities.Stay healthy! Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read Full Article

New study links extreme weather to climate change

first_imgRelated posts:Climate change to create unprecedented temperatures in San José by 2037 World Bank turns to hydropower to square development with climate change Tico hikers to trek coast-to-coast to draw attention to climate change Region to pay hefty price of climate change WASHINGTON, D.C. – Scientists said on Monday they have identified a physical mechanism behind the extreme weather that has plagued many parts of the world in recent years – and that it is tied to climate change.Since 2010, for example, the United States and Russia have each suffered scorching heat waves, while Pakistan saw unprecedented flooding.Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have traced the events to a disturbance in the air currents in the northern hemisphere, in a new study out Monday in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions,” lead author Vladimir Petoukhov said in a statement.“During several recent extreme weather events, these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks. So instead of bringing in cool air after having brought warm air in before, the heat just stays,” he said.In an ecosystem ill adapted to long periods of extreme heat, the stress can be disastrous, with high death tolls, forest fires and agricultural losses.For instance, during Russia’s 2010 heat wave – the worst in its recorded history – wildfires spread out of control, killing dozens of people, burning down thousands of houses and threatening military and nuclear installations.Global warming, despite its name, is not uniform across the planet. At the poles the bump in temperatures – amplified by shrinking snow cover and ice – is greater than in the swathes between, the scientists said.This reduces the temperature differences between the Arctic and the middle latitudes, which affects the flow of air around the globe.In addition, continents heat and cool more rapidly than large bodies of water, the scientists said.These two factors “result in an unnatural pattern of the mid-latitude air flow, so that for extended periods the slow synoptic waves get trapped,” Petoukhov said.Fellow author and PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber cautioned that the 32-year period used in the study is too short for definitive conclusions.“The suggested physical process increases the probability of weather extremes, but additional factors certainly play a role as well, including natural variability,” he added.Nevertheless, he called the new research “quite a breakthrough,” that helps explain the relationship between the spate of weather extremes and climate change. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read Full Article

Mexican firm acquires Monteverde dairy company

first_imgNo related posts. The Monteverde dairy company was taken over by Mexican firm Sigma Alimentos, the weekly El Financiero reported.Sigma acquired 100 percent of the shares of Monteverde, which produces milk and other dairy products and is “Costa Rica’s leader in the segment of mature cheeses,” the company said in a press release.The firm entered in Costa Rica in 2002 after buying a charcuterie factory and currently has operations in Mexico, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Perú.Although the amount paid by the company was not disclosed, Sigma said that the former partners of Monteverde will become only milk suppliers of Sigma Alimentos Costa Rica, the new owner.The decision to sell the company was adopted Monday at a meeting of shareholders, after a proposal to sell was presented last December.Mexico is the third largest international investor in Costa Rica. A total of 33 Mexican companies employ 18,856 Costa Ricans who receive annual salaries of $240 million, a report from the Mexican Embassy stated last February.Monteverde has its factory and processing plants in the town of the same name located at the Pacific province of Puntarenas.It started in 1951 when 12 Quaker families from Alabama arrived in that community with the goal of making their home in Costa Rica.In 1953, they founded the company Productores de Monteverde, and a year later, after building the physical plant, the production of cheese began. Monteverde Gouda was the first pasteurized cheese in the country. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read Full Article

Mudslinging campaign overshadows Egypt elections

first_imgIn their sermons, preachers have been drumming up fear of Shafiq’s overtly secular campaign slogans.Videos are circulating with clips from Shafiq interviews in which he advocates including texts from the Bible in school curriculums to balance the presence of Quranic verses. The video depicts the comments as an attack on Islam, proclaiming, “This is a matter of religion. After what you heard you still want to vote for him … What will you tell God on Judgment Day?”In other anti-Shafiq videos, there are pictures of tortured victims under Mubarak’s security agents, many of them Islamists. Clerics have also denounced voting for Shafiq and said a vote for Morsi is supported by God.The polarized atmosphere has strengthened calls among many for Egyptians to boycott the vote or cast spoiled ballots in protest. The campaign has been sharply criticized by Brotherhood supporters, who called it “treason” to the revolution.For Sally Toma, a leading campaigner for the boycott, choosing a new president will not resolve the more serious problems she and thousands others revolted against. Neither Morsi nor Shafiq, she says, have a place in her dream for deeper change. Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – In Egypt’s highly polarizing presidential campaign, both sides have been going for the jugular. Wild accusations have been flying, and Egyptians are seeing a return of old tricks that went on under the table during Hosni Mubarak’s regime, now used without inhibition.The campaign, in its final hours Wednesday ahead of the weekend election, is between Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi. In a long and profane blog post, Ezzat took his friend to task, saying he sold out his ideas by backing a representative of the old regime.“When will you stop whoring yourself out?” he wrote _ echoing the phrase his father used to refuse the ruling party members.Shafiq’s accusations have won some sympathy for the Brotherhood even among leftist and secular revolutionary groups who had grown critical of the group, which they feel sold out hopes for deeper change after Mubarak’s fall and has been more concerned with making political gains.Ezzat, himself disillusioned with the Brotherhood’s performance, is disgusted by how low the campaign has gone, a sign that the post-election era will be equally nasty.“The debased dialogue is a reflection of a debased situation that we are going through _ to accuse the revolutionaries of killing one another?” said Ezzat. “I can’t have a dialogue with that.”But the Brotherhood has also relied on its arsenal of clerics and Islamic leaders and mosques to attack Shafiq. The group denies it is orchestrated. But an activist in a local Cairo neighborhood who is connected to Brotherhood members said the group made plans to retaliate on the war against it by resorting to mosque preachers from their more radical supporters, the Salafis. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The accusations caused outrage and were dismissed as a slander by many supporters of the revolution, who consider the Camel Battle as a symbol of the steadfastness of protesters, including the Brotherhood who played a major role in the defense of the sit-in.A group of 25 former regime officials are on trial, accused of organizing the attack. Shafiq said his claims were based on conversations with military and security and referred to footage from military helicopters from above the square. In a rare move, the intelligence service issued a statement distancing itself from Shafiq’s allegations and saying it accuses no one faction in the violence against protesters.Shafiq was called in to testify in the court hearings following his remarks and is due to appear in court on Thursday.In another twist from security sources that clearly boosts Shafiq, security officials in north Sinai also accuse Palestinian Islamist factions and other jihadi groups of infiltrating into Egypt and occupying mosques to campaign for Morsi. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Security officials in Cairo have not commented on the claims. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Behind them another competition is going on, between the deeply entrenched police state and their traditional rivals, the Islamists. Shafiq has drawn from what he suggested was information from within the security agencies in hopes of discrediting the Brotherhood, accusing it for example of killing protesters during the anti-Mubarak uprising.In support of Morsi, meanwhile, Islamists have been fanning out to mosques, telling congregations Shafiq is against Islam, is cozying up to the Christian minority and is perpetuating corruption.In this foreboding atmosphere, revolutionary groups are escalating calls for a boycott of the election, which they say will only recreate the old regime and do little to resolve the messiness of the transition overseen by the military generals.Ramy Yacoub, a 29-year-old liberal politician who says he will vote for neither in the upcoming elections, said both are “two sides of the same coin. .. They are both shooting bullets.”Yacoub said the campaigning has been marred by mud-slinging typical of the “primitive electoral culture” Egypt is experiencing during the first competitive presidential vote in its modern history.“Neither deserves my vote because neither represents what I stand for,” he said. “We know we lost the short term battle. In the long term, this is all on the record” to use against whoever wins.center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths In the boycott campaign, she sees the creation of an empowered opposition to whoever comes next.“No one will die if Morsi and Shafiq come. They are both just secretaries. One with a beard and another in a military uniform,” she said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Morsi campaigners call such claims “black propaganda” against their candidate driven by the machine of the old regime. Yasser Ali, a campaign manager for Morsi, said they have detected up to 30 different “rumors” a day against their candidate, their group or supporters.Parts of Mubarak’s old political machine have also geared up for Shafiq. Amr Ezzat, a columnist who is also an active campaigner for rights and freedom of expression, said his father _ the head of a public sector company _ was asked by former ruling party figures in his Cairo neighborhood in Imbaba to participate in a pro-Shafiq rally. The father turned them down, Ezzat said.“This is their traditional way of operating,” Ezzat, who is also boycotting the vote, told The Associated Press. “Now people in big posts are feeling threatened, they fear they will be replaced or investigated for corruption. Many of those in high posts who were in close contacts with ministers or the political class are afraid that these corruption files would be opened if the leadership is changed. It is in their interest to have this network return.”In a sign of the election-season bitterness, Ezzat had a falling out with a friend, once a rights campaigner like himself who joined the Shafiq campaign. Shafiq, a 70-year-old former air force commander who served as Mubarak’s last prime minister but was removed in the face of protests not long after Mubarak fell, has made it his main platform to attack the Brotherhood, stoking fears of the group’s lust for power. He accused them of wanting to take Egypt back to the Dark Ages, sidelining Christians and women and trying to reap alone the benefit of a revolution launched primarily by secular youth and later joined by the Brotherhood.His campaign took a higher pitch this month when he accused the Brotherhood of being behind the killing of the protesters in one of the most iconic moments of last winter’s uprising. In a TV interview and later at a press conference, Shafiq claimed “bearded men” on rooftops were the ones firing at protesters during the Battle of the Camels.The worst and deadliest clashes in the uprising occurred on Feb. 2 when pro-regime thugs on camels and horses and armed with swords and whips waded into crowds of protesters who had been holding a sit-in Tahrir Square since Jan. 28. The clashes, which lasted for two days, saw protesters battling off attackers firing on them from nearby bridges and buildings overlooking the square. The Medieval-style battle proved a turning point, winning the protesters wider popular support. Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories last_img read more

Read Full Article

7 Turkish police officers probed for beating man

first_imgANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Officials say seven police officers have been temporarily laid off while being investigated for the severe beating of a man that was captured on video and broadcast on Turkish televisions.The grainy video that has caused outrage in Turkey, shows a group of policemen lashing a man with a belt, beating him with batons and kicking him as he lay on a street.The Istanbul governor’s office said Thursday seven officers are being probed over the incident. Comments   Share   Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Patients with chronic pain give advicecenter_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The victim, Ahmet Koca, told Hurriyet newspaper in an interview published Thursday that he was beaten after a right of way dispute with a police vehicle while rushing a pregnant relative to hospital.The beating was secretly recorded by a witness who has remained anonymous.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Read Full Article

US Military effort needed to oust Mali Islamists

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Carson said Monday that other countries _ such as Algeria, Mauritania and Chad _ also need to be involved in finding a solution to the Malian crisis, along with the United States, the European Union and others.“It is important that what goes on up there have the support of all of the states in the region,” he said. “The ECOWAS states, as well as Mauritania and Algeria and others in the area, must also be a part of this policy. After all, the states in the north have long borders with Mali.”The north of Mali, a predominantly moderate Muslim country, has become increasingly repressive in recent months, according to human rights groups. Islamists even stoned to death a couple accused of adultery.They have banned ring tones on mobile phones that are not Quranic verse readings, and prohibited cigarettes and alcohol. Women who wear jewelry or perfume, or fail to cover their heads can also face punishment.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Associated PressDAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Military action will be needed to push radical Islamists out of northern Mali where they have carried out amputations and public whippings since seizing control of the region earlier this year, a top U.S. official said.Johnnie Carson, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told reporters that Mali must also establish a “strong, credible government” so that its military is capable of leading the effort to liberate the north. Al-Qaida-linked militants took advantage of a power vacuum in the distant capital back in March when mutinous soldiers overthrew the democratically elected government. Over the last six months, the militants have begun imposing their form of strict Islamic law known as Shariah.“They are responsible for terrorism, for kidnapping, and for robbery. This is an issue that must be dealt with through security and military means,” Carson said during a teleconference Monday.“But any military action up there must indeed be well planned, well organized, well resourced, and well thought through,” he added. “And it must, in fact, be agreed upon by those who are going to be most affected by it.”For months, the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS has been calling for military intervention to help Malian forces retake the north from the Islamists.Mali’s transitional government has accepted the presence of a regional military force, though for long officials wavered on whether they wanted boots on the ground in southern Mali as well.The United States has expressed growing concern about the situation in northern Mali. Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called it “a powder keg that the international community cannot afford to ignore.” Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Read Full Article

Libyan protesters disrupt vote on new Cabinet

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The demonstration Thursday reflects the divisive makeup of Libya, where rival groups and tribes all demand government representation.On Wednesday, Abushagur presented his Cabinet, made up mostly of technocrats from Libya’s largest cities. It includes one woman.The country’s liberal alliance, led by former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, is not represented. Talks between Abushagur and Jibril failed to achieve agreement.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Associated PressTRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – Protesters have broken up a session of Libya’s parliament, disrupting a vote of confidence on a new Cabinet, demanding representation for their city.The protesters, from the city of Zawiya, stormed the chamber, chanting slogans against recently elected Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur. Lawmakers left the General National Congress floor, saying they would not vote under pressure, said GNC spokesman Omar Humidan. 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Read Full Article

French nationalists in Paris protest extreme Islam

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The French government has denounced anti-Islam extremists.Saturday’s protest was organized by a nationalist group called the Republican Resistance.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) PARIS (AP) – Hundreds of French nationalists have demonstrated in Paris against Islamist extremism, chanting the French anthem and saying the religion has no place in the country.Protester Romain Cyiril says, “France was always a welcoming country, but for the first time we have to deal with a religion which can’t and doesn’t want to integrate itself.”Three weeks ago, dozens of far-right French activists stormed an unfinished mosque to protest immigration policies that have made France home to Western Europe’s largest population of Muslims. There are an estimated 5 million or more Muslims in this nation of 65 million, although under French law the government does not track religion. Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Read Full Article

Canada to provide 984 million in aid to Jordan

first_imgAMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Canada has pledged an additional $98.4 million to Jordan to help the Arab country cope with the costly fallout from the worsening crisis next door in Syria, its foreign affairs minister said in a statement Monday.The pledge followed a visit by John Baird, who held talks on Syria’s two-year civil war with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, late Sunday in the capital, Amman.“Compassion for Syrians fleeing death and destruction cannot be Jordan’s undoing,” Baird said. Jordan hosts more than half a million Syrian refugees. It has complained that growing numbers of refugees are straining its fragile economy and scarce resources.Baird said the aid, to be dispersed over the next three years, will enhance security at Jordan’s sprawling refugee camps and help keep “terrorists at by.”It will also help protect Jordanians against chemical and biological weapons attacks, he said.Canada said this latest support will also help Jordan address its economic challenges, compounded by the political upheaval of the Arab Spring and the steady stream of Syrian refugees to the country.The fresh funding builds on previous aid of $12.8 million that Canada provided Jordan to bolster its security and assist refugee transportation to camps, as well as $8.4 million to equip and train personnel to deal with chemical and biological weapons threats, according to the Canadian Embassy in Amman.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Read Full Article

Jamaican suspect nabbed in lottery scam probe

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Jamaican authorities have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the island’s lottery scam.Police say the suspect from St. Elizabeth parish in the country’s south is being investigated following a raid at his residence. Officers searching his home allegedly found “lead sheets,” or lists with names, addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens. A laptop and three cell phones were also seized. The suspect’s identify was not immediately released. He is expected to be questioned in the presence of his lawyer later Sunday.The scam often begins with a phone call that informs the targets that they have won an international lottery, but they first need to wire money to cover taxes. Victims who fall for the trick then get harassed for more money.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Read Full Article

Macedonians in protest to demand governments resignation

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the center of the Macedonian capital Skopje to demand the resignation of conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.The Sunday protest follows the release of a massive cache of wiretapped conversations by the head of the opposition Social Democrats, Zoran Zaev. He claims that Gruevski was behind the mass wiretapping of more than 20,000 Macedonians. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Protesters holding a Macedonian flags and banners reading “Resignation” and “Goodbye Nikola” protest against Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski as they march towards the offices of Macedonia’s conservative government, in capital Skopje on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Some thousands of people are gathered in the centre of Skopje to demand the resignation of Gruevski, amid a series of alleged scandals including corruption, wiretapping and cover ups, but Gruevski rejects the accusations. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu) Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 The difference between men and women when it comes to pain The conversations purport to reveal corruption at the highest levels of government, including mismanagement of funds, spurious criminal prosecutions of opponents and even attempted cover-ups of killings.Zaev said those conversations were leaked to him by “patriots” in the domestic intelligence service. He demands the formation of a caretaker government that will organize new elections.Gruevski angrily rejects the accusations.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Read Full Article

Beijing struggles to cut smog with wideranging restrictions

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean In this photo taken May 26, 2015, a worker of a restaurant barbecues meat skewers in Beijing. More than a year since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution across the country, Beijing’s massive anti-smog fight is transforming this 20-million-person metropolis in ways both big and small.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) “The environment has gotten a lot better here,” Dong said at a sidewalk table on a recent smoggy evening. “There used to be so much smoke here, it was hard to even see. This needed to be done.”Despite all the reforms, official figures show Beijing’s average density of PM2.5 — harmful particles that are small enough to enter bloodstreams — was nine times the World Health Organization air quality safety level in the first three months of the year. That still marked a 19 percent drop from pollution levels a year before.The city has shown it can bring back days-long stretches of blue skies for high-profile events such as last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group meeting, but only by wielding the toughest of measures, such as encouraging residents to leave town and closing factories more than 120 miles away. Keeping the skies clean on a daily basis will require more permanent fixes, said Li Xiang, with Beijing’s Environmental Protection Ministry.“Changing air pollution is a long-term project,” Li said. “In other cities, like London and Los Angeles in the U.S., it took about 50 years to reduce air pollution and show significant change. … Beijing has made significant improvements, but meeting people’s expectations will take some time.” Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches The anti-pollution fight has become a particularly sensitive task for image-conscious Chinese leaders as the country becomes known globally as much for its severe pollution as its economic growth.Environmental woes have also become one of the top causes of social unrest in China, as well as a major health hazard. Studies show pollution causes more than a million premature deaths annually in China and shortens life spans by an average of five years.Lax enforcement of the new environmental restrictions is a clear obstacle to cleaning up the capital’s air.For example, although Beijing has banned open-air barbecues within its Fourth Ring Road, clouds of skewer smoke are common sights in the twisting alleyways and roads throughout the city center. Many drivers regularly flout restrictions that require cars to stay off the roads on certain days of the week.The biggest problem, however, is much of Beijing’s smog drifts in from beyond its borders, especially if winds blow in from the south or east.Heavy industry in neighboring provinces, in particular Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, account for 28 to 36 percent of the fine particulate in Beijing’s air, according to Chinese state media. Shutting down those industries would hit one of the most economically vital areas in the country. A Rock Check spokesman said last week the company was considering an interview request, but subsequent phone calls to him rang unanswered.“Why does Beijing have so much pollution?” Hang asked as the factory’s multiple smokestacks puffed smoke high into the sky. “It’s because of the areas around it. It’s all like this. Beijing hardly produces any of its own pollution anymore. We have industry all around us. It doesn’t matter which way the wind blows.”___Associated Press videojournalist Helene Franchineau contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories An analysis by the environmental group Greenpeace showed the five smoggiest parts of China all sit just hundreds of miles from Beijing, with the capital itself suffering the country’s fourth-worst air quality average.“You have to work with the surrounding region and control the heavy industries there,” said Fang Yuan, a campaigner in Greenpeace’s East Asia office.Yet without much of the international media and diplomatic corps watching, like they do in the capital, companies have been much slower shutting down cement, chemical and other industrial factories elsewhere in the northeast.About a three-hour drive from Beijing, on the outskirts of the city of Tianjin, hundreds of angry residents have taken to the streets over the past week to protest what they say are the rising emissions of the giant Rock Check steel plant, which churns about a mile from a teeming housing complex. The protesters say they suspect the plant has caused outbreaks of lung cancer in the area.A neighbor who would identify herself only by her surname, Hang, said she and other protesters have blocked coal-carrying trucks from the plant and wouldn’t leave the streets until the plant either closes or cuts emissions to a tolerable level. Now, more than a year since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution across the country, Beijing’s massive anti-smog fight is transforming this 20-million-person metropolis in ways both big and small. Still, as was evident on several days over the past week, when a thick gray pall filled the streets, the Chinese smog battle is far from won.Authorities in Beijing are shutting down coal-fired power plants within the city limits and have tried to reduce vehicle exhaust by forcing many residents to wait years to win a license plate. The capital last Monday launched the country’s strictest ban on smoking indoors. Officials have even tried to convince people to cut back on the centuries-old tradition of setting off fireworks during Chinese New Year, though booms and crackles still rang out across the city in February.In the predominantly Muslim neighborhood where Dong runs her restaurant, inspectors have become a regular sight as they make sure vendors have installed thousands of dollars’ worth of ventilation and filters. Though Dong doesn’t think her business had much to do with the state of Beijing’s air, she says the extra enforcement in general has made breathing easier. BEIJING (AP) — When Dong Yingli first opened her east Beijing meat skewers restaurant six years ago, her chefs cooked the lamb, chicken hearts and assorted treats over an uncovered grill, with giant fans blowing the clouds of pungent smoke from the sidewalk into the middle of the street.Elsewhere in this sprawling capital city, four coal-fired power plants belched exhaust into the smoggy skies, while countless steel and cement factories in neighboring provinces emitted millions of tons of cancer-causing particles into the air. Top Stories last_img read more

Read Full Article

The Latest Hundreds in London rally for unity with Greece

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The ministry says this is a yearslong request that is now being met.Greece has shut its banks for a week and imposed limits on cash withdrawals and transfers amid concerns the country could fall out of the euro.___4 p.m.Greece’s hotels association has issued a statement warning that Greece’s move to limit money withdrawals is already having an impact on the vital tourism industry.The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said: “These recent developments in our country already have immediate, real negative consequences on tourism. All must understand this.”“We wish and hope that all political forces will assume their responsibilities, restoring the country as quickly as possible to normality and stability, which are absolutely essential requirements to protect Greek tourism and to support one more time the national recovery effort of the Greek economy.”The hotel association says it is working with other tourist industry bodies to “safeguard the country’s international image and to deal with any instances of exploitation of the current situation.”___3:30 p.m.A Greek official says Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has spoken by phone with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and with European Parliament President Martin Schulz. He said British tourists who go to Greece should take more euros than usual.___8:20 p.m.The White House says Greece’s debt crisis poses no major, direct threat to the U.S. economy.White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that’s because the U.S. exposure to Greece’s economy is small.The White House is calling for Greece to remain in the eurozone. Earnest says the parties negotiating over Greece’s debt must develop a package of reforms and financing that will leave Greece with a sustainable debt plan without leaving the eurozone.Earnest is calling attention to “strong statements” from Greek leaders and other eurozone countries for Greece staying in the currency union. He says keeping Greece in the eurozone is in the interests of all parties involved.President Barack Obama spoke about the developments in Greece in a phone call Monday with French President Francois Hollande.___7:55 p.m.Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has criticized Greece’s surprise decision to hold a referendum on the existing bailout offer as unfair to other EU democracies.Kenny says Ireland came close to suffering a Greek-style crisis, but accepted six years of austerity as the price for escaping its own 2010-2013 bailout. He says his government in 2011 was concerned it might have “to restrict capital outflows from banks and indeed to have the army surrounding ATM machines.” “However, one thing should be very clear: if someone says that the government will have a stronger negotiating position with the ‘no’ vote, it is simply not true.”He added: “I’m afraid that which such a result of referendum, there will be even less space for negotiation.”___8:35 p.m.U.K. Treasury Chief George Osborne says a Greek exit from the euro would be “traumatic” and Britain should “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”Britain is not a member of the single currency, but Osborne says the Greek crisis was “one of the biggest external economic risks to the British economy and the situation today shows that these risks remain.”He told lawmakers: “I don’t think anyone should underestimate the impact a Greek exit from the euro would have on the European economy and the knock on effects on us.”He said he had met Monday with Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to coordinate Britain’s response to the crisis.Osborne said several thousand Britons who live in Greece but receive British pensions would continue to get their payments. And customers of Britain’s Alpha Bank, whose parent bank is Greek, will have their deposits covered by Britain’s financial compensation scheme. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall ___9:35 p.m.Waving Greek flags and chanting “take the bailout and go!” thousands of pro-government protesters gathered outside parliament late Monday to back Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ call to oppose a proposed compromise with creditors in a referendum.Police said 13,000 people attended the rally in Athens’ main Syntagma — the largest referendum rally so far– in a generally good natured protest joined by casually-dressed cabinet ministers.“The government tried too hard to get this agreement. But the creditors kept asking for more.I don’t know what else we are supposed to do,” said pensioner Satroula Noutsou, who joined a rowdy group of protesters, singing slogans as one demonstrator banged a drum.“Tsipras is one of us, a regular person. And there are some people who don’t like that.”___9:05 p.m.European Union President Donald Tusk has warned the Greek people that a “no” vote in the referendum won’t give their government more leverage to seek a better deal with Greece’s creditors.Tusk said a news conference in Brussels that “every government has a right to hold a referendum, therefore we respect the Greek decision.” ___6:15 p.m.The Greek association of pharmacies has issued a statement assuring Greeks there are no drug shortages, in an effort to stem concerns on the first day of capital controls.The Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies says there was the same adequacy of medication supplies as before a bank run began over the weekend. The government put limits on cash withdrawals to stem the run.Meanwhile, government officials say they had contacted Greece’s oil companies following complaints that gas stations were refusing to accept credit cards. One official says the companies have assured that all credit and debit card transactions are being accepted.Government officials also contacted the supermarkets’ association, which has said there will be no problems in supplies or commercial transactions.The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules.___4:20 p.m.Greek conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras is challenging Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to a TV debate on the referendum.The conservative leader told his lawmakers that he was seeking a live debate with all the parliamentary party leaders ahead of Sunday’s vote. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies He says Greece’s approach was making economic matters worse for Greek citizens. He is urging Greece to “come back to the table.”Kenny says Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is making an unreasonable demand on other EU members to extend the existing Tuesday deadline for repayment of international loans. He says this would require votes in many parliaments, and Tsipras was wrong to unveil referendum plans only a few days before the deadline.___7 p.m.Cyprus’ president has sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying he supports his request for an extension of a few days to the country’s bailout.The bailout expires Tuesday, and Tsipras asked for it to be extended so Greece can hold a referendum on creditor reform demands on Sunday.The letter by Nicos Anastasiades, which was released by Greek officials, says Cyprus “not only supports but actually considers an extension necessary” for the bailout.Anastasiades points out that Cyprus has already supported to extensions to the bailout, one in December and one in February.Tsipras earlier requested an extension from eurozone country leaders, after finance ministers rejected a similar request on Saturday. Juncker countered by saying “I’d like to ask the Greek people to vote ‘yes.’”“I very much like the Greeks, and I’d say to them ‘You should not commit suicide because you are afraid of death. You should say ‘yes.’”Fears are that if the Greeks vote no and go with their government, the nation might fall out of the eurozone and face financial chaos.___2:30 p.m.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he feels betrayed by Greek Prime Minister’s Alexis Tsipras suprise call for referendum last weekend and says that “playing one democracy against 18 others is not an attitude worthy of the great Greek nation.”After months of good relations with Tsipras as the bailout negotiations dragged on, Juncker turned against the Greek leader on Monday, complaining that “egotism, tactical games, populist games” took over from cool-headed economic analysis.He said: “I feel a little betrayed.”The Greeks will vote on reforms that the country’s creditors had proposed in exchange for loans.Juncker said that ahead of the referendum “it would be advisable to the Greek government to tell the truth to the Greek people instead of simplifying its own message to a ‘no-message.’” He says he wants negotiations to resume, and that France is in favor of Greece staying in the euro.But if Greek voters choose to leave, Hollande says France “has nothing to fear from what could happen” because the French economy is “more robust” than it was when the Greek debt crisis first panicked markets five years ago.He says France is pushing for Greece to stay in the euro not out of fear but out of solidarity and a belief that it would be better for Europe as a whole.___11:30 a.m.The European Union’s executive Commission, which enforces the bloc’s laws, says that Greece’s decision to impose capital controls was “prima facie, justified.”Jonathan Hill, the Commission’s top official responsible for financial stability, says “the stability of the financial and banking system in Greece constitutes a matter of overriding public interest and public policy that would appear to justify the imposition of temporary restrictions on capital flows.”He adds: “Maintaining financial stability is the main and immediate challenge for the country.”But Hill says that the free movement of capital should be restored as quickly as possible and that the Commission will monitor the way any restrictions are imposed. ___1:40 p.m.The Greek government is making public transport in Athens free while the banks are closed.Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis says fares in greater Athens for the capital’s metro, tram, bus and trolley-bus services will be scrapped effective Monday.Fares normally cost 1.20 euros ($1.34) for a 70 minute ride on a city transport service. Spirtzis says the decision would cost the government about 4 million euros per week.Spirtzis says the decision was only effective in greater Athens, where about 40 percent of the country’s population lives.Services in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, are partially privatized, not allowing the government to waive fares.___1:05 p.m.Spain’s economy minister is brushing off suggestions that the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone could economically damage his country.Luis de Guindos said economic contagion is much less likely to happen now than it was in 2011 and in 2012, when many feared a Greek economic implosion could destabilize Spain financially.Spain has the eurozone’s fourth largest economy, but de Guindos said there are no longer fears of contagion that would slam his country and possibly cause the breakup of the zone. Sponsored Stories ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest news on Greece’s financial woes as it closes its banks and limits money withdrawals (all times local):___11:35 p.m.Hundreds of people have rallied in London to show solidarity with Greece and argue that the country’s debt should be forgiven.Protesters in Trafalgar Square held up letters spelling “Drop Greece’s Debt” and included left-wing lawmakers, trade unionist activists and Greeks worried about the crisis in their homeland. Comments   Share   Top Stories In this photo taken from ERT State Television, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a televised address to the nation from his office at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Tsipras says the Bank of Greece has recommended that banks remain closed and restrictions be imposed on transactions, after the European Central Bank didn’t increase the amount of emergency liquidity the lenders can access from the central bank. (ERT State TV via AP) TV OUT – NO SALES “I feel really sorry for the changes that have been made over the past six years, and I don’t think the programs of the IMF will make it any better,” said Chatzikyriakiclis Pencles, a 24-year-old teacher.Green Party legislator Caroline Lucas called for an end to austerity and said the Greek crisis was a human-made disaster “deliberately designed behind closed doors in Brussels.”___11:10 p.m.Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisted late Monday that a “No” vote victory in a referendum would strengthen Athens’ negotiations with creditors.Tspiras defied warnings by European leaders that Greece faced an eventual exit from the euro unless voters backed the proposed bailout deal.“I expect them to respect this democratic process, not to kill democracy in its birthplace,” Tsipras said on state television in a live interview.___9:45 p.m.Standard & Poor’s rating agency has cut Greece’s credit grade by one notch further into junk status amid the country’s deteriorating financial situation.The agency says it now sees a 50-percent chance of Greece leaving the eurozone.In a statement, S&P says it interprets the Greek government’s decision to hold a referendum on the rescue creditors’ proposals for a bailout deal as indication that it “will prioritize domestic politics over financial and economic stability, commercial debt payments and eurozone membership.” Samaras, who lost elections to Tsipras in January, echoed warnings made by a European leaders that a “No” vote would lead to the country’s exit from the euro.He said “it would be an unprecedented catastrophe … If you want to stay in the euro, keep banks open, back Europe, vote Yes, otherwise cast a No ballot.”___4:15 p.m.German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she sees “no compelling reason” to hold a special European Union summit on Greece at present.Merkel said Monday that “we have to be very cautious about what messages we are sending.” She says nearly all governments have a similar position on creditors’ offer to Greece and there’s been no change in that.She says that “if things change” then a summit could make sense “any time,” and she believes there will be a meeting after next weekend’s referendum___4:05 p.m.Greece’s Culture Ministry has announced that individuals and tour groups visiting the Acropolis will be able to pay for their tickets by credit card from now on.It says that while there are cash difficulties in Greece, tour groups can pay by voucher if the group has one. Otherwise, the group agents can give a credit note to the ticket office including their tax ID number, and would be able to settle the cost after the banks re-open. De Guindos told reporters Monday that “we’re much better prepared than we were two, three years ago.”He cited moves that propped up Spanish banks saddled with toxic property and loans, a lower Spanish deficit and relatively strong economic growth.___12:20 p.m.The head of Germany’s main business lobby group says Greece cannot be kept in the euro “at any price” and that the immediate impact on German industry of a possible Greek exit would be limited.Ulrich Grillo, the head of the Federation of German Industries, says that leaving the euro would be “a huge problem for the Greek economy, which is strongly dependent on imports.” But he says the direct impact on German industry would be limited in view of the relatively small trade volume between the countries.He added: “it is hard to calculate the indirect consequences, on the countries of the eurozone, the financial markets and economic expectations in Europe.”___11:55 a.m.French President Francois Hollande says France has “nothing to fear” from an eventual Greek departure from the eurozone.Hollande, speaking after an emergency meeting of top economic officials Monday, told reporters that he regrets Greece’s decision to cut off negotiations “because we were very close to an agreement.” Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The official says Tsipras told Juncker that preventing the Greek people’s democratic expression by shutting down the banks is not within Europe’s democratic tradition. He asked for Juncker to help ensure the Greek bailout can be extended by a few days and liquidity restored to the banks.The official says Tsipras told Juncker that “as a European politician, he must defend the traditions of Europe, so that the Greek people can decide unhindered on Sunday.” He did not say what Juncker’s response was.Tsipras also asked Schulz to support the Greek proposal for a bailout extension of a few days.The official spoke only on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules.___2:50 p.m.The European Union’s top executive has called on the Greek people to vote against their government’s wishes in Sunday’s referendum and back the country’s continued stay in the euro currency union.European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says “It is time for Greeks to speak up and to shape their own destiny.”Months of bailout negotiations went off track over the weekend, when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a surprise referendum on the creditors’ proposal for reforms in exchange for loans. Tsipras advised Greeks to vote ‘No’ to the proposals. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Read Full Article

Rights group South Sudan troops committed war crimes

first_imgThe group said many of the attacks were against villages with no presence of rebel fighters.The study specifically documents the killing 60 people, including some by hanging or burning, and 63 rapes through interviews with 170 survivors — just a fraction of those killed in the April through June offensive.In one case, a survivor described how the soldiers made her watch while they gang-raped her daughter before they burned the girl alive.The rights group called for a probe of Sudan People’s Liberation Army commanders in Unity State.South Sudan’s government has said any alleged abuses were limited to “a few individuals” who will face justice in national courts. But Skye Wheeler, a researcher with Human Rights Watch told The Associated Press the attacks were “far more widespread and systematic to be blamed on a few rotten apples.”A U.N. report released June said there were serious human rights violations by government troops in Unity stateSouth Sudan’s civil war has inflamed the country’s ethnic tensions. The followers of President Salva Kiir, mostly from the Dinka ethnic group, are pitted against the Nuer of former vice president Riek Machar in fight that started in December 2013. Sponsored Stories JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudanese troops committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity by killing and raping civilians during an offensive in rebel-held parts of the country’s Unity State, an international human rights group said Wednesday.The South Sudanese army and their allies in the Bul Nuer ethnic group forcibly displaced tens of thousands of people in Unity by attacking women, elderly, and children, while burning villages and stealing cattle, Human Rights Watch alleges. In Unity state, however, the fighting is mostly between the Bul Nuer, who have remained loyal to Kiir, and other Nuer clans aligned with MacharCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Read Full Article

Biggest challenge for Air NZ is Dreamliner delay CEO

first_imgRob Fyfe, Air New Zealand CEO, has gone on the record saying that the biggest challenge facing Air New Zealand is not lacklustre demand, but rather the delays of the Boeing Dreamliner 787.Achieving a net profit of NZD150 million this past financial year, Mr Fyfe says Air New Zealand is performing relatively well, with demand now stabilising, in a recent interview with Airlines International.But the biggest headache for the carrier is the much delayed Boeing Dreamliner, which Air New Zealand will now receive three years later than scheduled.  Air New Zealand has orders for eight of the B787-900 variation and options for eight more.“We can talk about the economic crisis and other industry issues such the price of oil, the environment and so forth, but the biggest challenge for us—the biggest impact on our business—is the delay of the Boeing 787,” said Mr Fyfe in the interview.“At the moment, there is still such uncertainty about when the program will deliver. It means we have to re-examine all our lease agreements, we can’t commit to any new routes, we can’t access the performance improvements available with a new aircraft, we have higher MRO costs looking after older aircraft … the list goes on.”Interestingly, Mr Fyfe also adds that due to the nature of the industry the carrier no longer has five or ten year plans, instead Air New Zealand is looking at different business scenarios. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/22591/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Read Full Article

South Africa to host first World Sport Destination Expo

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29042/” 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> The first World Sport Destination Expo (WSDE) will be held alongside the final week of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (5-9 July) at the SCC, Johannesburg, South Africa. “Sport, Sport Events and travel and tourism are inextricably linked so the inaugural World Sport Destination Expo is a vital event for those companies involved in this marketplace, and for those serious in procuring a market share of the $600 billion a year industry,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organisation. At a time when some traditional tourism trends are in decline, sport tourism continues to flourish and is set to grow exponentially in the next decade. Experts predict that sport tourism will account for an impressive 14% of the overall travel and tourism industry in 2010.20,000 visitors are expected to attend WSDE as the sport tourism industry congregates in Johannesburg ahead of the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With 10,000 sqm of exhibition space, the landmark 5-day expo promises to be the most important sport tourism event ever staged. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Read Full Article

Aussies will skimp on luxuries to travel Contiki

first_imgContiki Holidays managing director Nicole Moy and outgoing Tammy Marshall Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Young Australians are willing to give up on luxuries and even sell their things in order to save enough for travel according to recent research.In Contiki Holidays’ annual Travel Trends Research Report, titled Dollars & Sense, it found that of the five hundred 18-35 year olds surveyed, 45 percent would give up on luxuries and live on less if it meant being able to travel.And while the majority (47 percent) said they just saved gradually without giving up any luxuries, 39 percent of respondents said they would work overtime for extra dimes. Sixteen percent of young Australians said they would pawn their possessions to raise money.The Dollars & Sense Report, conducted by Galaxy Research, also revealed that 2.7 million young Australians are intending to head abroad in the next three to four years, with 1.6 million actively saving for those plans.Young Aussies haven’t crossed domestic destinations off their lists either, with a third of young Australians saving up for a holiday at home.“What research also revealed, is that these young travellers aren’t just saving hard so they can splurge. They manage their money wisely so they can make the most of their time away” said Contiki Holidays managing director Nicole Moy.“Top of their spending lists is seeing the sights (93 percent) followed by sampling local fare (86 percent), taking in experiences (84 percent) and quality accommodation (78 percent).“This research reveals how highly young Australians value travel.”last_img read more

Read Full Article

British Airways responds to Shane Warnes Twitter rant

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/296e1/” 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> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A In a statement to e-Travel Blackboard, British Airways said they were troubled to hear that Shane Warne experienced poor flight service, but did not offer an official apology.“We pride ourselves on the quality of service we give the 33 million people who choose to fly with British Airways every year [and] are concerned to hear about this apparent lapse on a recent flight,” British Airways said.Infamous for a string of text messaging scandals, the former Australian cricketer once again caused controversy with instant messaging technology.Warne used a barrage of Twitter posts to declare his abhorrence of a British Airways flight from Heathrow to Las Vegas last week.He condemned the captain, the crew, the craft and even the bad breath of his seat mate amid the odd interjection of Wimbledon and World Cup commentary.Travelling to Vegas as representative for online poker site, Triple 8, the former star bowler used his Triple 8 Twitter account to vow he will never travel British Airways again – except for his flight home.“I hate British airways, way to (sic) arrogant and rude towards people,” Warne tweeted.Catching his first headline in a while away from gossip columns, Warne’s controversial tweeting put him and Triple 8 into the spotlight.With tweets every two to twenty minutes, Warne admonished the crew, although mistakenly believed he was travelling first class, a service not available on direct flights from Heathrow to Las Vegas.last_img read more

Read Full Article

Wyndham Surfers Paradise Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

first_imgWyndham Surfers Paradise view Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise has been honoured with a prestigious 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for receiving consistent outstanding traveller reviews.The Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific property was recognised as being one of the best in the business for its exceptional achievement of a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, a result of high praise and recommendations from its guests.The Certificate of Excellence award honours hospitality excellence each year and is only given to businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Only about 10 per cent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive the award each year.“We are honoured that Wyndham Surfers Paradise has received this prestigious award from TripAdvisor. It demonstrates our ongoing dedication to providing an exceptional experience for our guests every time,” said Barry Robinson, CEO and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.“To hear that our guests are enjoying the best possible experience during their stay is truly rewarding for our team and I thank everyone who has helped us achieve this honour,” Mr Robinson added.Officially opened by Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group, in 2010, Wyndham Surfers Paradise is an all-suite hotel, sleek and modern in its design and offers stunning views across Surfers Paradise to the ocean and hinterland. The spacious one and two-bedroom suites feature full kitchen facilities, modern amenities and private balconies and onsite facilities include a resort-style swimming pool, spa, gymnasium, lobby café and bar and ground floor dining precinct.The hotel is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise and within walking distance to the beach, as well as some of the best restaurants, shopping and nightlife that the Gold Coast has to offer. Source = Wyndham Vacation Resortscenter_img WyndhamSurfersParadise_externallast_img read more

Read Full Article

Only Days Left To Nominate For SA Tourism Awards

first_imgThe State’s best tourism operators are encouraged to nominate for the 2012 South Australian Tourism Awards, with the nomination deadline next Friday, 6 July.South Australian Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Ward Tilbrook says the Awards are the pinnacle of excellence within the tourism industry and demonstrates that South Australian tourism has a commitment to quality and continual improvement.“A South Australian Tourism Award win or medal is also a powerful addition to a business’ marketing message – it is a compelling endorsement of the business in the eyes of our visitors,” Mr Tilbrook says.“The tourism industry needs a vibrant tourism awards competition with plenty of businesses walking away with wins and medals if we are able to build our reputation as an industry with plenty of high quality tourism experiences that people can have confidence in.“I encourage all tourism operators to consider entering the 2012 South Australian Tourism Awards to showcase their success and build on the professionalism of their businesses.“For the first time this year, there is also an opportunity for all non-accredited Tourism Awards entrants to become tourism accredited, with the accreditation registration fee included in the Awards nomination fee.“Once the entrant becomes a tourism accredited business they will also be a member of the SA Tourism Industry Council and be T-QUAL accredited.”Entry is open to all South Australian tourism operators. In total, there are 29 categories this year including accommodation, tour and transport operators, wineries, restaurants, events, tourism marketing, attractions and the newest category recognising Excellence in South Australian Food Tourism.The Awards process is submission-based with an onsite assessment. Entrants are required to respond to a number of questions that cover all areas of the business’ operation.Nominations close on 6 July and submissions are due by 20 August. The Awards Gala Dinner will be held on Friday 23 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Source = South Australian Tourism Industry Councillast_img read more

Read Full Article