Bogus cruise ship doctor sentenced to three years in prison

first_img BERLIN — A German court has sentenced a man who falsely claimed to be a doctor and treated patients on a cruise ship to three years in prison.News agency dpa reported that the Berlin state court on Monday convicted the qualified nurse of bodily harm, fraud, abuse of titles and deprivation of liberty. The latter charge referred to the fact that he put 41 patients under anesthetic.The court found that the 41-year-old defendant claimed to be a doctor for five years starting in 2010, using a forged medical license, to enhance his status and because doctors earn more money.At one point, he worked for 10 months on a cruise ship. The court found that no patients were hurt but he wouldn’t have been able to handle any medical complications. Monday, August 8, 2016 Bogus cruise ship doctor sentenced to three years in prison Sharecenter_img Source: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WestJet Vacations ready to launch 201819 brochure WS adds two new routes

first_img Share WestJet Vacations ready to launch 2018-19 brochure; WS adds two new routes Wednesday, April 11, 2018 Tags: Brochures, New Routes, WestJet, WestJet Vacations Travelweek Group center_img CALGARY — WestJet Vacations’ new brochure will be released earlier than ever, at the end of this month, to “support the travel agent community”.Jane Clementino, WestJet Director, Agency Sales, says that the 2018-2019 WestJet Vacations brochure is “the perfect sales tool for travel agents” and that it has “everything they need to help turn their clients’ vacations dreams into a reality.”Along with vacation packages to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and the U.S., the new brochure will also feature more than 850 hotels, new WestJet Vacations properties, flight information, details on WestJet’s in-flight experience as well as destination overviews including maps and valuable travel tips.Travel agents can pick up a copy of the brochure (available in English and French) at any of the 2018 WestJet Travel Trade Expos. It will also be available for order from at the end of April.In other news, two new routes have been added to WestJet’s domestic network, but only for a limited time.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsStarting June 29, the airline will launch service between London, Ontario and Vancouver, as well as between Quebec City and Calgary. These limited-edition flights will be offered only during the peak summer travel season.Quebec City-Calgary will run from June 29 through Sept. 9, four times weekly, nonstop. Service will be reduced to three weekly, nonstop from Sept. 8 through Oct. 26. According to WestJet, the service opens up 18 new destinations via Calgary International Airport, including Saskatoon, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Comox, Nanaimo and its new WestJet Link service to Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Cranbrook.London, Ontario-Vancouver will run from June 29 to Sept. 7, three times weekly, nonstop. The service arrives in London in the evening and departs in the morning, opening up six new WestJet destinations including Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Fort St. John, Prince George and Kelowna via Vancouver International Airport.“WestJet is looking forward to providing London and Quebec City with improved connectivity into the broader WestJet network through Vancouver and Calgary respectively this summer,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “Thanks to these new services, our guests will have more options for travelling to visit friends and family this summer while having a chance to see more of Canada’s history and beauty.”More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more information go to Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Canadas a shining star for Florida amid drop in visitation from other

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: VISIT FLORIDA TALLAHASSEE — Canadian travel to Florida was up in 2018, even as visitor figures from other international markets took a dip.The increases from Canada were slight but they were firmly on the plus side, even as the dollar took a hit and media coverage of red tide gave Canadians a reason to look elsewhere for their holiday.The latest figures show a 1.9% increase in Canadian visits to Florida for 2018, with some 3.5 million Canadians heading to the Sunshine State last year. The strongest quarter, as always, was Q1 with 1.4 million Canadian visits, a 2.5% increase.The 3.5 million visitor stat reflects gains from the Canadian market since 2016, when 3.3 million Canadians headed to Florida. In 2014 and 2015 Canadian numbers to Florida dropped from a high of 4.2 million in 2013.On the flip side of Canada’s gains in 2018, the Sunshine State’s overseas markets were down almost every quarter last year, and ended 2018 with a 1% decrease.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesDomestic visits from within the U.S. were up 7.1%.The 2018 total, some 126 million visitors, was an all-time record for the state, says VISIT FLORIDA, and marked the eighth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida.The 2018 stats continue the trend from 2017, when Canada was up 3%, overseas markets were down 2% and domestic visits to Florida were up 6.6%.“VISIT FLORIDA is known across the world for delivering innovative destination marketing to ensure that we are reaching the right people with the right message,” says Dana Young, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “With today’s announcement of an eighth consecutive record-breaking year, it’s clear that by focusing on value and data-driven campaigns, VISIT FLORIDA and the tourism industry have achieved unprecedented success. We appreciate Governor DeSantis for his support of our organization and Florida’s entire tourism industry. Working together, we will continue to deliver results to Florida taxpayers who rely on VISIT FLORIDA to protect and enhance our iconic tourism industry.”More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesTotal enplanements at 18 Florida airports during 2018 increased 7.6% over the previous year, with a record 93.9 million airline passengers. Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) rose 3%.More Florida visitor data is available at Share Travelweek Group center_img Monday, February 25, 2019 Canada’s a shining star for Florida amid drop in visitation from other international markets Posted bylast_img read more

Gourmet grub at Escazús Le Marché Bistro

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionLe Marché Bistro in San Rafael de Escazú, southwest of San José, opened just over a month ago and generated considerable buzz for its lunches, light suppers and weekend breakfasts. Housed in a former stone and clay-tile roofed residence, the restaurant combines traditional Tico charm and clean, bright, simple decor. White walls and pale stone floor tiles offset bold, red metal tables and spindly bistro chairs. With a nod to an informal Parisian street café, the inside-outside layout of Le Marché encourages customers to linger over the excellent Tarrazú coffee while reading the news or catching up on emails. Given the leisurely pace of service, you certainly don’t want to schedule anything urgent afterwards. Most guests seem to be in no rush, carefully pondering their choices of imaginative salads and paninis and the short but balanced selection of main courses. Desserts beckon from display counters in a back room, making it impossible not to sample.Le Marché was thought up by Andrea Artiñano, a young interior designer who wanted to offer healthy, appetizing meals in a chic but casual setting. She is joined by her sister, who manages the fresh meat and fish counters, because Le Marché is just what its name suggests: a market of fresh, quality produce and delicatessen products. In addition to the kitchen fare, gourmet cheeses, goat yogurt, fresh breads and deli canned goods are also for sale. La Marché also has its own brand of homemade jam, BBQ sauce and pickles.With friends, I have visited for both breakfast and lunch. After delicious mugs of rich coffee, we sampled the rather strange-looking but vitamin-packed “green juices” (₡2,800/$5), with the combination of celery, lime, watercress, kale, green apple and ginger earning top marks. The eggs Benedict (₡5,700/$10.50) was an authentic rendition of this brunch classic, with perfectly poached eggs toppled over thick Canadian bacon on an English muffin, the whole bathed in a delicate hollandaise sauce. The garnish of cherry tomatoes and sweated spinach with some chunky home fries made this a hearty, satisfying dish. The french toast (₡3,600/$7) composed of thick, rustic bread slices came with strawberries, craisins and pineapple with a (very) sweet pineapple sauce. My companion’s cheese and ham omelette (₡4,800/$9) was given an ‘okay but a bit dry,’ and the linguistic curiosity of ordering pancakes only to be presented with crispy waffles (₡3,600/$7) was later taken up with Artiñano’s father, who promised to look into a revision of terminology. The waffles, by the way, were already drenched in syrup, which might annoy those who prefer to retain pouring control.The salads are shining stars on the lunch menu. I ordered Nantes salad (₡5,500/$11), which arrived as a generous bowl of arugula, fresh papaya, pickled red onion and macadamia-crusted goat cheese. That day, the soup was a tasty, thick cream of broccoli but it could have been hotter. The special was eggplant moussaka (₡4,500/$9) in a basil-tomato sauce and fresh goat cheese, which received accolades. Other success stories included the smoked salmon Panini (₡4,800/$9.50) mixing the salmon with herby Boursin cheese and caper aioli, and the burger (₡6,000/$12), a thick beef patty with morel mushrooms, red onion marmalade and blue cheese spread. Entrées vary from ₡7,500-11,000 ($15-22) with tempting arrangements for fish, shrimp, chicken, beef tenderloin and short ribs.Le Marché doesn’t bother with a dessert menu, but you can’t miss the dessert counter. Favorites included light, baked cheesecake and sinfully rich chocolate cake – if you can’t fit one after lunch, takeaway is available. Either way, there’s no escape. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica receives 250 million loan for improving electricity supply

first_imgThe Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $250 million loan to help Costa Rica meet its growing electricity demand.Costa Rica’s electricity capacity in 2011 was 2,650 MW, 77 percent of which was from renewable sources. Although the present installed capacity meets current demands, the country’s electric energy expansion plan foresees 5.1 percent average annual increases in demand.The plan proposes to meet these increases between 2012 and 2024 by adding 1,714 MW of installed capacity, 98 percent of which will be from renewable sources.Nearly $98 million of the bank’s loan will co-finance the Reventazón Hydroelectric Project (PHR), expected to go online in 2016. The PHR will have an installed capacity of 305 MW, including a 13.5 MW mini-generating plant at the base of the dam, and an annual production of 1,407 GWh.The program will help to improve the quality of energy supplied throughout the country’s distribution system, electricity coverage in rural areas and efficiency in consumption. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Manuel Antonio Quepos Tidings

first_imgNo related posts. We have a new dentist in town, Dr.Marcia Serrano. She was raised in Quepos and has returned home to open her practice. You may recognize the name, as her father is Dr. Serrano, our GP in Quepos, who is one of the best doctors around. I have known Marcia for 20 years and she speaks perfect English and is a great person. She does teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, cavities, root canals and more. To get in touch with Marcia, please call 2777-0808 or 8613-9717 or email She is located in Rancho Grande, 100 meters south and 25 meters east of Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New road to Monteverde to be ready in 2014 officials say

first_imgRelated posts:Work to begin on new road to Costa Rica’s Monteverde cloud forest community Residents demand new, better road to Monteverde New road to Monteverde bogged down by delays, red tape Monteverde residents demanding a new road slow traffic on Inter-American Highway The National Roadway Council (CONAVI) on Tuesday promised residents of the cloud forest community of Monteverde that construction of a new road will start in November.The agreement came after a meeting attended by officials from CONAVI, the Comptroller General’s Office and residents of the north-central community, one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations.CONAVI officials agreed to open a public bid for the project no later than September. The ₡7.5 billion ($15 million) project will include an asphalt road to replace an 18-kilometer stretch of deteriorated gravel road. It also will include the construction of ditches and guardrails.If the Comptroller General’s Office approves a public-bid contract, work would begin in November. CONAVI said the project would take 10 months to complete.On Monday, Monteverde residents protested the state of the current road during a demonstration on the Inter-American Highway in the Pacific province of Puntarenas. They said tourism in their community and in the cloud forest reserve has declined significantly in the past year because travel to the area is so difficult. Several hotels, restaurants and other business have closed in recent months, they said. The road is especially dangerous during the rainy season months of May to November.Some 100,000 tourists visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve each year. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

17 arrested during La Seles giant homecoming celebration

first_imgThe Costa Rican Red Cross attended to 220 people during the festivities, where many waited hours in the sun for La Sele’s parade to reach the park. The emergency assistance organization removed 18 for offsite attention.The 17 arrests were far below the 90 apprehended during and after the Netherlands eliminated Costa Rica on Saturday.Fans greeted the team at Juan Santamaría International Airport in the afternoon. Costa Ricans recognized the players and coaches during the five hour trip from the airport to La Sabana — where the closing ceremony took place.Some 500 police officers oversaw Tuesday’s celebration in front of the statue of ex-president León Cortés in La Sabana Park. In another rough estimate, the daily La Nación reported that as many as 500,000 people participated in the event. Police arrest a suspect during welcoming celebrations for the National Soccer Team on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Courtesy National PolicePolice arrested 17 Tuesday during the widespread celebrations in Paseo Colón for the Costa Rica national team’s homecoming.Some 200,000 fans converged to welcome home La Sele, according to estimates from the Costa Rica Football Federation. Authorities trumpeted the relative calm of the celebration despite the huge crowds.Police did interrupt a robbery in progress on the avenue, arresting five. The suspects were taken immediately to a flagrancy court for sentencing. Twelve arrests took place over possession of knives or drugs, or alcohol abuse.The only robbery reported was a stolen cellphone. Facebook Comments Llegada de Selección de Fútbol:Cruz Roja registra la atención de 220 personas y traslada 18 de ellas— Cruz Roja (@CruzRojaCRC) July 9, 2014 Related posts:Soldiers occupy notorious Rio slum ahead of World Cup Swiss prosecutors probe 53 ‘suspicious’ FIFA cases Costa Rica homicide rate hits record high ‘Culture of violence’ behind Costa Rica’s jump in homicides, says OIJ chieflast_img read more

US says next round of Cuba talks to take place in Havana

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. and Cuban diplomats will hold the next round of talks on restoring diplomatic ties and reopening their embassies in Havana, on Monday, the U.S. State Department announced.Roberta Jacobson, the United States’ top diplomat for Latin America, will return on March 15 to the Cuban capital for a third round of negotiations, the department said in a statement.On a conference call with reporters, a senior State Department official clarified later that Jacobson will in fact travel to Cuba on Sunday and the talks will begin Monday.Both sides said progress had been made in their last talks in Washington on Feb. 27 aimed at restoring diplomatic ties severed for more than half a century, but they cautioned that differences remained.Jacobson will again meet with Cuba’s chief negotiator Josefina Vidal on Sunday.“The parties have been in communication since last meeting in February in Washington,” the State Department said.“It is in the interest of both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations and re-open embassies,” it continued.U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba’s President Raúl Castro surprised the world in December with their decision to restore ties after more than a half century of Cold War enmity.The hope is that within the coming months, both nations will agree to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals and appoint full-fledged ambassadors.“A U.S. Embassy in Havana will allow the United States to more effectively promote our interests and values, and increase engagement with the Cuban people,” the State Department said. Read all of our Cuba coverage here Facebook Comments Related posts:No opening date for US, Cuba embassies; more talks set As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives Cuba won’t abandon communism, Raúl Castro says US, Cuba resume talks amid Venezuela tensionslast_img read more

Women elected to 5 of 6 leadership roles in Costa Ricas new

first_imgThe newly elected members of Costa Rica’s 2018-2022 Legislative Assembly began work Tuesday with a clear initial priority: achieving fiscal reform so the country can deal with its massive deficit. The Assembly also elected its six-person legislative directorate, with five women and one man selected for the leadership roles.In their first session, legislators chose Carolina Hidalgo, from the governing Citizen Action Party (PAC, center left), as president of the assembly. The 35-year-old lawyer is the first woman to preside over the Congress since 2000 and emphasized the importance that the fiscal agenda will have under her management.She will be joined by legislative vice president María Inés Solís (Social Christian Unity Party, or PUSC),  first sectretary Luis Fernando Chacón (National Liberation Party, or PLN), second secretary Ivonne Acuña (National Restoration Party, or PRN), with Yorleny León (PLN) and Shirley Díaz (PUSC) as assistant secretaries.Hidalgo said that she plans to “listen to all the sectors of the civil society and build a consensus to move the fiscal reform forward, which is a priority for the country.” Carolina Hidalgo is a 35-year-old lawyer from Alajuela. Legislative Assembly via FacebookCosta Rica has a deficit of 6.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The last four legislatures failed to approve a fiscal reform to address the deficit.Meanwhile, thousands of workers from the public sector marched on May 1 in opposition to tax reform, which, according to unions, threatens their labor stability.“Today, May 1, we say no to the fiscal combo,” read one of the posters during the march rejecting the packet of four projects in discussion to reduce public spending, reducing government hiring and raise taxes.The new assembly is historic in several ways. It has 14 evangelical legislators among its 57 members, unprecedented in this Catholic country; it has the most women in any congress in the country’s history, with 26 out of 57 members; and now, it has five women on its leadership team.The evangelical legislators represent the National Restoration Party (PRN), a group that increased its presence in the legislature thanks to the support that evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado’s presidential candidature garnered, although he ultimately lost to the PAC’s Carlos Alvarado. During the election of the new legislative directorate, PRN legislators refused to join a multiparty agreement behind Hidalgo. Instead, the PRN legislators pushed for their founder, Carlos Avendaño, to run the assembly. Facebook Comments Related posts:Why May 1 is much more than Labor Day for Costa Rica’s government All together, boys A helping hand in La Cruz, Guanacaste How Costa Rica’s 2018 elections moved from street to screenlast_img read more

Rabin killer to leave solitary cell in Israel

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli officials say Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin will be taken out of solitary confinement for the first time since his arrest 17 years ago.Prisons service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman says ultranationalist Jewish extremist Yigal Amir will leave his solitary cell in the next few days in line with a court order earlier this year.The court ruled the reasons for keeping him separate are no longer valid. In the past, Amir was isolated for fear he would disseminate his views to others. Amir opposed Rabin’s efforts at peacemaking with the Palestinians and has never expressed remorse for gunning him down after a peace rally on Nov. 4, 1995.Officials also thought in the past that he should be kept in solitary confinement for fear other prisoners might harm him.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Revenue up but profit down at Akzo Nobel

first_imgAMSTERDAM (AP) – Akzo Nobel NV, the world’s largest maker of paints and coatings, says second-quarter profits fell due to rising raw material costs and the European economic crisis.It says Thursday that profits fell to (EURO)197 million ($241 million) from (EURO)251 million due to falling sales volumes and rising costs.However, Akzo says currency fluctuations helped overall revenue for the quarter to rise 8 percent to (EURO)4.4 billion ($5.4 billion) from (EURO)4.1 billion in the same period last year. Top holiday drink recipes Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Check your body, save your life More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements CEO Ton Buechner calls the performance “solid given the increasingly difficult economic environment.”The company says its concerns for the future center on the risk of a Europe-wide recession, delayed recovery in the U.S. property market and a potential slowdown in Asia.(Copyright 2012 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 Top Stories last_img read more

Drone crashes in Somalias Puntland region

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Puntland, in northern Somalia, has escaped the decades of conflict seen in the country’s south and central regions.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Top Stories MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – An official in the semiautonomous Puntland region of Somalia says a surveillance drone has crashed.Ports and Anti-piracy Minister Saeed Mohamed Rage said Saturday the drone crashed in Qaw village 20 kilometers (12miles) west of the port city of Bossasso.The United States military flies aerial surveillance drones from Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles to monitor piracy off the East African coast, but Rage said it is not clear whose drone crashed. The U.S. also flies drones that occasionally fire at Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels in south and central Somalia. The al-Shabab rebels Tuesday posted pictures on Twitter of what they claimed was a surveillance drone that had crashed. Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Uncertainty over US strike against alQaida leader in Libya

first_imgA Facebook page associated with Libya Dawn, the Islamist militia backing the Tripoli-based government, denied that the airstrikes targeted al-Qaida and instead said they targeted Islamists who are “Libya’s revolutionaries … considered the safety valve for the revolution.” It said U.S. warplanes were allied with the forces led by powerful Gen. Khalifa Hifter and backing the internationally recognized government.The east-based government hailed the U.S. raid as a “piece of the international support that it has long requested to fight terrorism that represents a dangerous threat to the regional and international situation.”It added that the government would like more help fighting terrorism, including the Islamic State group, which controls Sirte, west of Ajdabiya, and is spreading to the west and south.Militants have taken advantage of Libya’s chaos, with fighters flowing into the country’s vast ungoverned spaces.Al-Qaida militants in eastern Libya are battling the Islamic State group for power and resources. But as IS has grown in power, fueled by successes in Iraq and Syria, some al-Qaida fighters have switched loyalties.It was not the first time the U.S. has been involved in the fight against Libyan extremists. U.S. special forces went into Tripoli in 2013 and took Abu Anas al-Libi out of the country. Al-Libi, who was accused by the U.S. of involvement in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, died in January in a U.S. hospital from a longstanding medical condition. ___Associated Press Video journalist Sagar Meghani in Washington and Rami Musa contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CAIRO (AP) — Pentagon officials say they believe they hit their target — the one-eyed, al-Qaida-linked commander who led a deadly attack on an Algerian gas facility in 2013. But uncertainty still surrounds the U.S. airstrike in eastern Libya, and whether Mokhtar Belmokhtar was actually among the militants said to have been killed in the bombing.Libyan officials say Sunday’s airstrike hit a gathering of militants on a farm outside Ajdabiya, a coastal city about 850 kilometers (530 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli, but there were conflicting reports on how many died. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img An initial assessment shows the bombing that targeted Belmokhtar was successful, and “post-strike assessments” were still underway Monday to determine whether the Algerian militant was killed, said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.“But we’re not prepared to confirm that because we haven’t finalized our assessment,” he said, adding that the strike had hit a “hard structure.”Maj. Mohammed Hegazi, a military spokesman from Libya’s internationally recognized government based in the east, also said tests were needed to identify the dead, which numbered at least 17, with their bodies badly burned. Among those killed were three foreigners — a Tunisian and two unidentified militants, he said.Hegazi criticized his own government for rushing to confirm late Sunday that Belmokhtar was among the dead.“I don’t confirm or deny. We are waiting confirmation,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. “It is not easy.”He said the raid was based on solid intelligence that indicated militants forced out of the eastern city of Benghazi by fighting there had taken refuge in Ajdabiya.No civilians were killed, Hegazi said, adding that the militants took the fatally wounded Tunisian to a hospital in Ajdabiya, clashes erupted with local troops that left three soldiers dead. The charges filed against him by U.S. law enforcement officials included conspiring to support al-Qaida, use of a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring to take hostages.U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had said Belmokhtar “unleashed a reign of terror years ago, in furtherance of his self-proclaimed goal of waging bloody jihad against the West.”Intelligence officials said Belmokhtar had essentially built a bridge between AQIM and the underworld, creating a system where various outlaws support each other and enroll youths.He’s been linked to terrorist attacks and the lucrative kidnapping of foreigners in the region.Libya has been plagued by chaos since the civil war in 2011, which drew in U.S. and European airstrikes that helped topple longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He was killed by armed groups, which have since grown to roil the country in violence.Recently, the internationally recognized government, backed by its own militias, has been forced out of Tripoli by Islamist militias and their affiliated politicians who set up their own government and parliament.U.N.-sponsored talks have bogged down as the two sides exchange accusations.The weekend U.S. bombing raid could cause more disarray among the rival Libyan groups. Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean FILE – In this Jan. 21, 2013 file photo, Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing the body of a person killed during the gas facility hostage situation at the morgue in Ain Amenas, Algeria. The U.S. said the military launched an airstrike Saturday, June 13, 2015, targeting an al-Qaida leader in eastern Libya who has been charged with leading the attack on a gas plant in Algeria in 2013 that killed 35 hostages, including three Americans. The Libyan government and U.S. officials said warplanes targeted and likely killed Mokhtar BelMokhtar and several others. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul, File) In the airstrikes, two F-15 fighter jets had launched multiple 500-pound bombs, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details of the attack. Authorities say no U.S. personnel were on the ground for the assault.A Libyan Islamist with ties to militants said the airstrikes missed Belmokhtar, but killed four members of a Libyan extremist group linked to al-Qaida, Ansar Shariah, in Ajdabiya. That group was tied to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.The Islamist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal in Libya, told the AP that Belmokhtar wasn’t at the site of the airstrike.However, a news website that has previously carried statements from Belmokhtar said he was in Ajdabiya, meeting with affiliates. The Mauritanian website quoted informed sources in Libya as saying six people were killed in the raid, and a Tunisian and Yemeni were wounded.Abdel-Basit Haroun, a security adviser to the eastern government, said a total of 29 people were killed in the airstrike, which hit a meeting of al-Qaida affiliates as they tried to “rearrange their ranks.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall If Belmokhtar’s death is confirmed, it would be a major success for U.S. counterterrorism efforts. He is one of the most-wanted militants in the region, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture, and it is not the first time authorities claimed to have killed him.Believed to be 43 years old, Belmokhtar fought in Afghanistan and was reported to have lost his eye in combat. He was one of a number of Islamist fighters who have battled Algeria’s government since the 1990s, later joining al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the group’s North Africa branch.He was also known as “Belaouer the One-Eyed,” ”Abou al-Abbes” and “Mr. Marlboro,” because he was accused of smuggling cigarettes through the Sahara and the Sahel region.He formed his own group and led the January 2013 attack on Algeria’s Ain Amenas gas complex that killed at least 35 hostages, including three Americans. He later emerged in Libya, and is believed to have been based in the western and southern parts of the country.The U.S. filed terrorism charges against Belmokhtar in connection with the Algeria attack. Officials have said they believe he remained a threat to U.S. and Western interests. Belmokhtar had just split off from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb to start his own franchise.last_img read more

Kpop and circumstance Kim Chic big export tourism draw

first_imgIf you don’t know Yoon Eun Hye than you’ve been living under a rock or somewhere other than Asia. Or so I was told when my Korean guide asked me how familiar I was with the series, ‘The First Shop of the Coffee Prince’.One of Korea’s most popular comic-book-come-TV-dramas, ‘The First Shop of the Coffee Prince’ is broadcast in 12 other countries and exported to millions via the internet.Yoon Eun Hye is the star of the series, dressing as boy to get a job in a coffee shop and, like in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, her love interest struggles with his sexuality – or so I was told (again).In a bus full of Malaysians and Thais all well-versed in the plotlines of various Korean dramas, I was clearly the odd one out.“Don’t worry, they even know more than me,” my guide assured.“Often my travellers have seen episodes of the dramas before I have and they are always more aware of the latest gossip about the stars,” she said.The Korean popular culture movement sweeping through most of Asia and even in pockets of South America and Africa is often referred to at Hallyu (Korean Wave) or K-pop.And it’s taking over the world.According to the Global Post, Thais are exposed to about 100 minutes of Korean soap operas daily and travel to Korea from Thailand has more than doubled in the last ten years, after K-pop fever neared a zenith point in 2006.My Malaysian counterparts were hit up with orders to buy the latest K-pop music while the Singaporeans on tour were quick to vouch for the awesome artists Korea produces.Colored Rhythms sales and marketing director Stephanie Loh told me that K-pop themed club parties in Singapore have sold out.“Our last event had 800 people in attendance, and for our next one we’re looking to bring over a Korean artist especially for the event,” she said.Visitors on the trail of their favourite K-pop icons need only hop onto the Korean Tourism Organisation’s (KTO) website, where sandwiched between the Shopping and Culture tabs, Hallyu sits comfortably.In fact, the site even tells visitors where to go to recreate special shot for shot moments.On KTO’s recommendation, I went to Shilla Millenium Park in Gyeongju, a theme park purpose-built for TV series Queen Seondeok of Silla.Open for public viewing, the park features the Silla’s nobleman village, a royal palace, and horse/martial arts shows.And while not ‘authentic’, the site’s beauty amongst the changing hues of an autumn sunset make me think that ‘authentic’ is a concept best left to universities, while I’ll get on with the real living of a gorgeous evening in Korea – K-pop included. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

New head of Jetset retail

first_imgJulie Primmer has taken the reins of the Jetset Travelworld retail network from Warwick Blacker who has been appointed as Senior Advisor for Jetset Travelworld Limited (JTG) this morning.JTG chief executive Peter Lacaze announced the changes in a letter this morning and advised that both Ms Primmer and Mr Blacker will report to him in their new roles.The shift in roles will see Mr Blacker manage “a number of important external customer relationships”, assist the Commercial team with “key supplier relationships” and ensure a smooth transition to Ms Primmer.“Warwick will also remain as a director of AFTA until the Federal Government review of consumer protection and agent regulation in the Australian travel industry is concluded, or at least heading in a clear direction,” Mr Lacaze wrote.Mr Lacaze thanked Mr Blacker for “the very good job he has done” and praised his replacement.“Julie has a real depth of knowledge and experience in the retail travel sector, and has been working at Jetset Travelworld in a number of senior sales roles over the past seven years. “She is well known and trusted by network members, staff and key suppliers and I am confident that she will do a great job.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

AFTA Symposium Training fundamental to industry viability

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Phil Hoffmann managing director Phil Hoffman Travel Jayson Westbury chief executive AFTA and Rick Myatt Director AFTA Education and Training Industry leaders from across Australia united their efforts to highlight the importance of effective training and education for travel agents to ensure they remain as an indispensible sector of service.AFTA Education and Training Symposium 2011, held this week in Sydney, provide travel industry leaders and education providers an opportunity to connect over two day sessions.Spencer Travel general manager Tina Killeen said a strong focus on training and education is essential for their overall agency profitability and offering staff incentives makes for happy staff.  Ms Killeen stressed more agencies should focus on staff training to achieve better outcomes for their clients and their business.Ms Killeen also strongly disagrees that the travel industry is a “dying breed”, stating that travel agents offer invaluable product knowledge and security. “During recent events such as the ash cloud, earthquakes and tsunamis no Spencer Travel client was left stuck at an airport or without accommodation,” Ms Killeen said.Representing the cruise sector, Managing Director Phil Hoffman cited the key to any travel business is having good trained staff and emphasised on the future boom of cruising sector.Mr Hoffman said the Cruise Industry is a young and rapidly growing sector from 1980 to 2010 over 191 million passengers have taken a cruise, 67 percent of that in the last ten years and 39 percent in the last five.He stated Australian cruise passenger numbers in 2010 increased by 27 percent and over the last five years has remained at an average of 22 percent.“Only 2.1 percent of the Australian population has taken a cruise holiday, just think of the future potential of growth in this sector.”Mr Hoffman said good cruise staff are hard to find and providing better training and education is vital.AFTA Education and Training director Rick Myatt said the sessions were designed to generate understanding for both the industry and the educators, to further align training to the workforce development requirements. “This event will fulfill the urgent need to improve the currency of industry knowledge of our educators nationally,” Mr Myatt said. Tina Killeen general manager Spencer Travellast_img read more

Spirit of Tasmania wins two awards for tourism

first_imgSource = Spirit of Tasmania Spirit of Tasmania has been presented with the Major Tour / and or Transport Operator category award at the 2011 Tasmanian Tourism Awards announced in Hobart on Friday 11 November.About 450 industry representatives attended the gala dinner to celebrate the awards, which are designed to promote and reward business excellence in the Tasmanian industry.TT-Line Company Pty Ltd Chief Executive Charles Griplas said Spirit of Tasmania staff, crew and management took “great pride in winning this award”.“The company is focused on assisting Tasmania’s tourist sector and the broader state economy,” he said.“We are a significant investor in destinational marketing interstate and want to keep Tasmania top of mind among potential visitors.  This award recognises the important work we have done and continue to do in this area.”All category winners will go to the national awards being held in north Queensland next year. The Tasmanian Tourism Award follows the presentation of another prestigious award for Spirit of Tasmania’s 2010 travel guide; ‘Tasmania – Choose your own trip to remember, announced on 1 November 2011 in New York City.The travel guide won a gold Eddie Award for Editorial Excellence and a gold Ozzie Award for Design Excellence. Hosted by Folio Magazine, the awards recognise excellence in magazine, digital editorial and design.The Tasmania – Choose your own trip to remember travel guide, launched on 6 August 2010 and was designed to both retain and attract new customers.  The guide was mailed to 17,000 members of Spirit of Tasmania’s Travel Club and distributed to more than 570,000 targeted households on the mainland.Mr Griplas also highlighted recent online tourism achievements for the company;“Our marketing team has launched a new travel tool on our website to assist visitors to plan their next trip to Tasmania,” he said.“Potential travellers can explore recommended travel itineraries using a Google map which is loaded with things to do, attractions and places to visit in Tasmania.“In addition, our website now has an improved booking engine, giving potential travellers greater flexibility and the ability to make changes to their bookings up until the day before they travelSpirit of Tasmania is an Accredited Tourism Australian Business.last_img read more

Try to make me go to rehab … Aussies say yes yes

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Aussies have been known to travel overseas for medical and dental treatments but some are now turning an overseas trip into a stint in rehab in the latest trend “rehab tourism”.While the lure of cheaper facelifts, breast implants and dental enhancements drew many Australians overseas to holiday mixed with medical treatment, the latest trend is for travellers to combine drug and alcohol treatment with holiday activities.According to drug and alcohol treatment facility in Northern Thailand the Cabin Chiang Mai, more Australians are utilising its services and now account for up to a third of its guests.Combining a stint in a drug and alcohol treatment facility with elephant rides, cooking classes and white-water rafting at a third of the price of Australian rehabilitation clinics is attracting Aussies to stay at the Cabin.While the fitness therapy and excursions are considered part of the treatment, the staff are quick to say it is “far from being a holiday”.According to the Cabin Chiang Mai resident psychologist Cameron Brown the Australian guests come from all walks of life, with the resort’s location giving guests anonymity while getting them far away from their usual routine and addiction triggers.last_img read more

Princess Cruises to call Sydney home

first_imgThe new itinerary will offer six different roundtrip cruises from Sydney including two circumnavigations of Australia, a cruise to Tasmania, a five day break to Melbourne and its first roundtrip to New Zealand, catering to the ever increasing popularity for Princess Cruises in the Australian market. “With Aussie cruisers now spending more nights on the cruise line’s ships around the world than on any other cruise line, the new roundtrip itineraries will see the ship carry more Australians than ever before, with a capacity increase of 64 per cent compared to the summer season just been and really affirm its position as the cruise line’s premier homeported ship,” Princess Cruises vice president Australia and New Zealand Stuart Allison said. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Princess Cruises held an exclusive lunch at Sydney’s Rockpool Bar and Grill this week, thanking the industry for their ongoing support and making a few announcements along the way. This new development will follow a AUD $30 million refurbishment which will include special Japanese themed additions such as a new sushi restaurant, Japanese garden and the biggest Japanese bath house at sea, perfectly matched to Princess Cruise’s new branding campaign titled “Come back new”. Aussies never ending love affair with cruise combined with a particular soft spot for Princess Cruises, will see one of the cruise line’s premier ships move into Sydney Harbour next summer Diamond Princess will be calling Sydney home next summer, as she embarks on her first ever series of roundtrip cruises from the city, joining Sun Princess in November to make it the cruise line’s biggest Sydney season.last_img read more