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Six new Air Canada routes to India Asia Africa and Europe start

first_imgSix new Air Canada routes to India, Asia, Africa and Europe start summer 2017 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 MONTREAL — Air Canada is making good on its commitment to international expansion with the addition of six new destinations to its international network.On June 1, 2017 Air Canada will launch service between Toronto-Berlin (four times weekly) and Vancouver-Nagoya (three times weekly, increasing to four times weekly in August and September 2017).On June 8, 2017, Vancouver-Taipei starts with daily service, and on June 9, 2017, Montreal-Marseille with three times weekly service.On June 26, 2017 the airline will introduce Montreal-Algiers flights (four times weekly). And on July 1, Air Canada will add Toronto-Mumbai (three times weekly).Both the Montreal-Algiers and the Vancouver-Taipei routes are subject to government approvals.“Air Canada is pleased to offer customers these new nonstop routes to exciting destinations around the world. While extending our global reach, they also represent a further deepening of our already substantial international network,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Toronto-Mumbai is Air Canada’s third route between Canada and India starting with the launch of Toronto-Delhi service last fall, he added. Nagoya will be the airline’s fourth airport in Japan.“With these new services, we will now operate 21 routes between Canada and Asia, including the Middle East. Berlin and Marseille will bring the number of European routes we serve to 44 next summer, including four cities in France. Algiers will be our second destination in Africa, which makes Air Canada one of only a small number of global carriers flying to all six inhabited continents.”Air Canada will be the only carrier to offer nonstop service between Canada and Mumbai and the only Canadian carrier to operate non-stop service to Taipei. These routes will operate year-round with Air Canada’s B787-9 Dreamliner, featuring 30 International Business Class lie-flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats, with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesThe new seasonal routes to Berlin and Nagoya will be the only nonstop services between these cities and Canada. The service to Algiers will be the only nonstop flight by a Canadian carrier between Montreal and the North African city and the Marseille service will be the only nonstop flight operated by a network carrier between Marseille and North America. All will be operated with an Air Canada Rouge B767-300ER, featuring Premium Rouge and Economy cabins.All flights are available for sale immediately with special introductory pricing, except for Vancouver-Taipei and Montreal-Algiers which will be available for sale in the near future pending government approvals, said Smith. Share Posted bycenter_img Tags: Air Canada Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Canada adds more flights to Delhi Melbourne Zurich and Osaka out

first_img“We are pleased to increase our capacity to these important markets as we continue to strategically broaden our international network from our Vancouver hub,” says Mark Galardo, Air Canada’s Vice President, Network Planning. “Customers have responded positively to our increasing service to Delhi and this flight will now operate daily on a year-round basis to meet demand.”He adds: “The addition of a fourth weekly flight to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, year-round will provide further convenience to business and leisure travellers between North America and Australia, offering seamless connections thanks to the in-transit preclearance facilities at YVR. With Dreamliner service to Osaka and increased frequencies to Zurich, we are further strengthening our convenient network to European and Asian markets from YVR, reflecting demand between Canada and these destinations in the busy summer travel season.”All routes are timed for the best connectivity at Air Canada’s Vancouver hub to and from the airline’s network across North America.All Australia flights are timed to connect to and from Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and to Tasmania with codeshare partner Virgin Australia.Air Canada’s Vancouver-Zurich flights will connect to and from destinations in Europe and Africa.Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner features three cabins of service with high-definition individual on-demand entertainment offering a wide range of movies, short films, TV programs and audio selections at every seat throughout the aircraft.All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges, priority boarding and other benefits.So far this year Air Canada has launched new services from its Vancouver hub to: Melbourne (extended to year-round), Paris (summer seasonal), Zurich (summer seasonal), Sacramento (year-round) and will launch new services to Lihue, Hawaii (seasonal) beginning Dec. 15, 2018.In summer 2018 Air Canada operated an average of 185 daily flights representing up to 23,500 available seats departing YVR every day. Thursday, October 11, 2018 Share Travelweek Group Air Canada adds more flights to Delhi, Melbourne, Zurich and Osaka out of YVR Tags: Air Canada, New Routes, Vancouver Route Frequency  Operating Depart YVRArrive   Destination  Depart Destination  Arrive   YVR YVR-Zurich (ZRH)5 times weeklyJun. 6 – Oct. 13 2019AC802 @ 13:00 Tue/Thu/Fri/Sat/SunZRH @ 07:55(+1 day)AC803 @ 10:05 Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun11:25center_img YVR-Melbourne (MEL)4 times weeklyYear-round as of June 3, 2019AC037 @ 22:50 Mon/Wed/Fri/SunMEL @ 08:05(+2 days)AC038 @ 09:40 Tue/Wed/Fri/Sun07:35 VANCOUVER — Air Canada is expanding its international network out of its Vancouver hub, bumping up its Delhi service to daily year-round and adding more flights to Melbourne, Osaka and Zurich.Air Canada’s daily frequencies to Delhi, offered on a year-round basis, will begin June 2, 2019.Meanwhile Air Canada is increasing its nonstop Melbourne service to four times weekly year-round. Summer seasonal service to Zurich will increase to five flights a week. And Osaka (Kansai) flights ex YVR will be five times weekly from June to October 2019.All flights will be operated with Air Canada’s flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. YVR-Delhi (DEL)DailyYear-round as of June 2, 2019AC044 01:25DEL @ 04:00(+1 day)AC045 @ 06:0007:30 Posted by YVR-Osaka (KIX)Up to5 times weeklyJun. 1 – Oct. 25 2019AC039 @ 13:30 Mon/Tues/Wed/Thu/SatKIX @ 15:45 (+1 day)AC040 @17:15 Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri/Sun10:10 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Meet the new president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority

first_img Travelweek Group Meet the new president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority Tags: Hawaii Tourism Authority, New Hires Posted by TORONTO — After a four-month search for a new agency leader, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has announced Chris Tatum as its new president and chief executive.Tatum, who beat out over 100 candidates, takes over the role previously held by George D. Szigeti, whose term ended in October.Starting at the end of December, Tatum will be responsible for managing tourism for the Aloha State. He currently serves as chairman of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as well as the general manager for Marriott Resorts Hawaii, where he’s enjoyed a 37-year career.He has also served as the opening resident manager of the Kauai Marriott Resort and the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as the opening general manager for the Brisbane Marriott Hotel in Australia. Other posts include chairman of both the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and the Oahu Visitors Bureau.“Chris Tatum has an ideal combination of qualities, experience and dedication to service that is needed to lead the Hawaii Tourism Authority forward, and the ability to guide the future direction of our state’s most important industry in serving the interests of residents on all islands,” HTA board chair Rick Fried said in a statement.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsTatum, who moved to Hawaii as a youth and graduated from Radford High School, added: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a difference in my home by developing a sustainable brand strategy that enhances the visitor’s experience while preserving our way of life.”center_img Wednesday, December 5, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharelast_img read more

FlamingoPotrero News

first_imgNo related posts. As a reminder, Marie’s Restaurant is having a pre-Mother’s Day party on Friday, May 11, from noon-6 p.m. The items on sale are all handmade by local artisans and include clothing, leather bags, jewelry, hand-painted silks, paintings, etc. If anyone would like to participate, call Marie at 2654-4136 or email maricris@racsa.co.cr.At The Village Community Center, upcoming “Hot Topics” will include Costa Rica estate planning, wills and residencies with Gorge Granados starting at 9:30 a.m. on May 5 in the Yoga Studio. On May 9, Heather Allenby will be lecturing on “Feeling Healthy Within” from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Yoga Studio. On May 11, Dr. Jutta Heinz will be lecturing on “Lifestyle and Health” from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Yoga Studio. Call Pam at 8355-9993 or email info@conchalvillage.com to register. The Shack in Surfside/Potrero recently hosted a farewell evening for acoustic guitarist Don Carlos, who will be traveling extensively to promote his new CD. Good luck, Don Carlos.School is back in session this past week as everyone has returned from their Easter holiday vacation.–Babe Hopkinstbabehopkins@gmail.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Chief Prosecutors Office accuses three lawmakers of violating electoral laws

first_imgNo related posts. Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría on Tuesday said he had filed charges against three lawmakers from the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) for alleged offenses committed during 2010 elections.The charges for allegedly receiving illegal donations were filed against lawmakers Oscar Alfaro, Antonio Calderón and Alicia Fournier.In a press conference Chavarría said Costa Rica’s Electoral Code prohibits political parties from accepting donations from corporations (known in Costa Rica as Sociedades Anónimas, or S.A.).According to Chavarría, one of the donations involves a building used as the headquarters of the PLN – known as “Balcón Verde” – which was registered in the name of a corporation.Lawmakers Fournier and Calderón were accused because they belonged to the PLN executive committee at the time the donation was received. Calderón and Alfaro were charged because a corporation they represent donated a rental house that was used as an office for the 2010 presidential campaign.Chavarría said the complaints will be sent to the Attorney General’s Office to assess whether a civil trial will proceed to claim damages against the state, and to the Penal Branch of the Supreme Court to assess whether the lawmakers’ immunity can be revoked in order to face criminal prosecution.President Laura Chinchilla declined to comment on the investigation, until she can read the full document, but requested lawmakers “to offer full cooperation.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Sweet honey wine

first_imgCentro de Investigaciones Apícolas Tropicales (CINAT): http://www.cinat.una.ac.cr/Costa Rica Meadery’s website in progress: http://www.beecotours.com/ Contact info  Keeping bees and making mead isn’t just the couple’s latest passion; it’s also their new business. And they’re in good company as other handcrafted libations gain popularity in Costa Rica. Wine culture is growing, with a greater selection of imports every year and two schools in San José offering sommelier classes. Craft beer brewing is also on the upswing. In July 2011, a handful of microbreweries and a store that sells beer-making equipment banded together to form Costa Rica’s first craft brewing association.Wine culture and craft brewing have been booming in North American and Europe for a while now, but international movements tend to arrive a little later in Costa Rica. The appetite for organic food, locally produced fare and a sort of backyard DIY ethic also hit later here than in places like the U.S. But Costa Rica, with its long growing season and mild climate, turns out to be particularly well suited to such efforts.Year-round nectarBeekeeping in the tropics is different as well. In cold climates, bees visit flowers and make honey during just a certain portion of the year, and the purpose of honey is to feed the hive during winter, when flowers aren’t blooming and little or no nectar is available for harvest. In warm climates, though, bees can collect nectar and produce honey just about year-round, so they don’t need to save honey (or have sugar provided by the beekeeper) for the long, cold winter.Michael and Ale project that each of their hives will produce an average of 30 kilos of honey per year. “We’ve done the math,” says Michael. “With 20 hives we can make about two thousand bottles of wine per year.” They may also buy honey from other beekeepers to augment that number and to experiment with different flavor profiles.Mead tastes of the flowers the bees have tapped for the honey. Coffee flower honey, for instance, produces a brightly flavored mead with mild stimulant properties, while honey from tropical flowers like maracuya (passion fruit) creates mead with a heady fruitiness. Michael explains it in terms of terroir, the French term often associated with wine that can also be applied to any agricultural product; it refers to how the soil and weather of a particular place interacts with the plant’s genetics and is expressed in everything from wine to coffee to chocolate to honey.“The U.S. is so big, they have lots of single-source honeys, whether it’s orange blossom, clover or honey from the tupelo flower in Florida and Georgia. You also get multi-floral honeys like the wildflower honey you see on supermarket shelves. But in Costa Rica, it’s so small and everything’s so diverse and dense, you can’t get a honey that’s just, for example, from mango flowers. The bees travel in a five-mile circumference, they forage.” And in a place as wildly diverse as Costa Rica, the bees encounter many different kinds of flowers. The only single-varietal honey in Costa Rica is from the coffee flower, since this country has so many coffee fields.Taking care of business“It will probably take three years before we make money,” says Michael. Meanwhile, they’re investing in equipment and filing all the paperwork needed to do business in Costa Rica. They’ve got plans for a sparkling mead for weddings; honey wine used to be the traditional drink for both weddings and to keep bride and groom happy during the aptly named honeymoon. They’ll sell their honey and their mead at farmer’s markets, and hope to have a tasting room at nearby Ark Herb Farm, where they keep their bees. Ale also makes goat cheese; Michael says that a little honey drizzled on goat cheese goes remarkably well with a glass of mead.The couple is also launching BeeCo Tours – a play on Ecotours – introducing visitors to that aspect of Costa Rica. Before getting their own hives, Michael and Ale took courses at the local university, visited apiaries all over the country and even attended international beekeeping conferences. Speaking from experience, Michael points out that “there’s a niche group of people who would like to travel to Costa Rica and are beekeepers, who wouldn’t mind doing a day or two of activities related to beekeeping. “There are regional beekeeping associations,” he points out. “Like for Nicoya, Atenas or Jicaral. There are also women’s beekeeping associations” in Costa Rica.How it all startedWhen the couple met back in 1995, neither had bees on the brain. Michael was teaching English at the Costa Rican-North American Culture Center in San Jose; Alejandra was studied English there. “She wasn’t my student,” Michael clarifies with a smile. But the two fell in love, and when Michael had to return to Champagne, Illinois, to finish his ESL degree, Ale went with him.“We arrived in Illinois on a cold, dreary, January day,” Michael recalls, “It was the first time Ale had experienced sub-zero temperatures.” For someone who’d grown up in sunny Costa Rica, it was quite a shock. But Ale adjusted quickly, enrolling in school, earning an engineering degree, and landing a good job with Caterpillar Industries. Michael secured a faculty position at the University of Illinois, now their shared alma mater. About the Author: Erin Van Rheenen is author of Living Abroad in Costa Rica; the fourth edition is due out on Fall 2013. www.livingabroadincostarica.com Facebook Comments Michael Lindeman and Alejandra Arraya of Alajuela are raising bees for honey wine. Photo: Erin Van Rheenencenter_img “Then we had Sofia,” says Michael. “She rocked our world, in a good way.”“We started re-evaluating,” says Ale.After 15 years in the U.S., the couple and their toddler returned to Costa Rica in March 2011, excited to get back to Ale’s homeland and hoping to make a living in something related to sustainable agriculture and organic farms. In the U.S., they’d seen how Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) worked to bring fresh produce to the cities, and how Community Supported Kitchens (CSK) transformed that produce into healthy meals.Their first business idea was a CSK adapted to Costa Rica. They would prepare and deliver gourmet organic meals to Central Valley expats and wealthy Ticos. But somewhere along the way that plan took a hairpin turn.“We decided we hadn’t come back to Costa Rica to spend hours every day in the car,” says Michael. “Also, there was an infrastructure problem: how to get past the gates in gated communities. And there are a lot of expats on fixed incomes, looking to make their colones stretch.”They’d had an interest in beekeeping when they lived in Champagne, but city ordinances prevented them from keeping bees. Once back in Costa Rica, the couple enrolled at the National University’s (UNA) Centro de Investigaciones Apícolas Tropicales (CINAT), the Center for the Study of Tropical Bees, founded in 1988. The couple took a beekeeping course that CINAT offers every fall. “There were about 30 students, mostly Ticos,” says Ale. “The course culminated in visits to local hives,” which they documented in videos now posted on YouTube under Michael’s name. Then they enrolled in a honey winemaking course. “There were 20 or so students, “ says Michael.  “All were beekeepers with between 20 and 200 hives. Some were at the hobby level; some were serious commercial beekeepers, looking for this value-added option. You struggle to make a living as a beekeeper, like any agricultural or farm-related business. We met four times over two months; we basically made mead, went through all the steps. We were the only expats in the class, unless you count students from Mexico and Nicaragua who were in the masters program. The class was in Spanish, and it cost maybe $40 per person.”Soon thereafter, Costa Rica Meadery was born. Michael and Ale’s bees are now buzzing away, their distillery tanks are full, and they’re busy designing labels for their “hidromiel seco” (dry mead). Keep a look out at farmer’s markets and hotels and weddings for a sweet new taste of the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humankind. By Erin Van Rheenen | Special to The Tico TimesMichael Lindeman and Alejandra Arraya sit on their front porch in Alajuela, Costa Rica, singing the praises of honey wine. Their own wine, to be exact, made with honey from their very own bees. Michael’s blue eyes flash with enthusiasm; Ale smiles as she folds her hands across her very pregnant belly. Both seem happy but still a little bemused that after 15 years working demanding jobs in the U.S. that had nothing to do with bees, they’re back in Costa Rica, the proud owners of 20 beehives and a spare bedroom full of fermenting tanks, bottles and a brand new corker.“The old one was like the Pinto or Edsel of corkers,” says Michael. “Our new one isn’t quite a Rolls Royce, but it’s a very nice model.”Though this is a new venture for Michael and Ale, mead itself is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to humankind. All you need is water, honey and yeast. “So let’s say there’s a hive in the hollow of a tree,” Michael says. “Rain blows in, and so does a bit of wild yeast floating around. It all ferments, some caveman dips his hand in and voila:  mead.” No related posts.last_img read more

More protests planned for Thursday over San Ramón Highway

first_imgRelated posts:In a victory for San Ramón residents, Chinchilla annuls highway contract Government has no funds to build road to San Ramón It worked: Lawmakers approve San José-San Ramón Highway construction bill, saving taxpayers $51 million Brazilian company OAS wants Costa Rica to pay $45 million for highway contract suspension Public protests will return next Thursday when residents from San Ramón, Grecia, Zarcero, Naranjo and Palmares take to the streets due to the lack of responses from the government over a project for expanding and renovating parts of the 58-kilometer highway from the capital to San Ramón, in Alajuela.Residents organized under the “Foro de Occidente” (Western Forum) will be joined by students and professional drivers from 9 a.m. in three different locations.Demonstrators will meet in front of the National University in Heredia, in front of the International Mall in Alajuela and at the San Ramón intersection on the Bernardo Soto Highway.Among the group’s demands is a request that government officials draft a bill to build the road using only public funds, instead of granting the project to a private company in a public bid.Following several protests President Laura Chinchilla last month promised not to move forward on a concession with Brazilian company OAS for expansion of the highway, until an agreement is reached. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

President Chinchilla names new communications minister

first_imgNo related posts. Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla on Tuesday appointed Carlos Roverssi as her new communications minister.Roverssi, who served as foreign vice minister until Monday, is a journalist with a background in politics and law.“I know the mission assigned to Roverssi is very complex, but at the same time I trust him and the experience he has gained working in the public sector,” Chinchilla said.“In the most efficient way possible, we will try to inform the public about what the government does in a country that is facing national and international crises,” Roverssi said. “We will try to provide clear answers to the questions this government faces.”The communications minister post was left vacant on May 15 when former minister Francisco Chacón resigned amid a scandal related to a presidential flight tied to a Colombian businessman with suspected drug cartel links.Fifteen ministers have left Chinchilla’s administration since she took office in 2010.As foreign vice minister, Roverssi played an important role in Costa Rica’s geopolitical negotiations with Nicaragua, particularly those related to Nicaragua’s invasion of Isla Calero in the northeastern corner of the country, and the decision by Nicaragua to build an inter-oceanic canal, announced last week.Roverssi will be the third communications minister in Chinchilla’s administration following Chacón and Roberto Gallardo, who is the current planning minister. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Mexico migrant train derailment kills 5 injures 22

first_imgVILLAHERMOSA, Mexico – A cargo train carrying U.S.-bound migrants derailed in a swampy area of southeastern Mexico on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring 22, officials said.Authorities said the death toll could rise after the train known as “The Beast,” which carries Central American migrants who pay smugglers to sit atop freight cars, careened off the track near a river in Tabasco state.“There are five dead up to now, according to the personnel at the site,” Cesar Burelo, director of Tabasco civil protection, told Milenio television after authorities earlier reported four dead.He said 16 people were taken to the regional hospital of Las Choapas in the neighboring state of Veracruz, which is 25 minutes away by boat.The cause of the accident was not yet known, he said, adding that the train was also carrying scrap metal. Mexican media said the train may have been traveling too fast amid heavy rain.The Tabasco civil protection agency said eight of the train’s 12 freight cars overturned at around 3:00 a.m. and that rescuers were using hydraulic tools to cut through the metal to find survivors.Luis Felipe Puente, the national civil protection coordinator, said on Twitter that 22 people were hurt, down from his earlier report of 35 injuries, including 16 in serious condition.He told Formato 21 radio that “we could possibly have more dead.”Local officials said the accident took place far from any road in the municipality of Huimanguillo, near the state of Veracruz, and that the site was only accessible by air or boat.A photo broadcast by Milenio television showed freight cars lying on their side with the wheels detached from the bottom. The tracks are seen in a wooded area and covered with plants.At least two of the injured were transported lying on the wooden flatbed of a handcar – a small four-wheeled railroad vehicle – according to a picture posted on Twitter by Tabasco civil protection.Huimanguillo civil protection and security officials told AFP that between 250 and 300 migrants were aboard the train.At least one of dead is from Honduras, according to Tabasco civil protection. A state public security official said earlier that four were from Honduras before backpedaling and saying their nationalities were unclear.“The Beast” carries Mexican and Central American migrants who pay smugglers upwards of $100 for the right to travel from stations near Guatemala to the north of Mexico.Some 140,000 migrants enter Mexico illegally every year to travel to the United States, according to the National Human Rights Commission.Migrants are exposed to many risks in their trek across Mexico.Traffickers charge them huge sums to help them cross the border and, once in Mexico, gangs extort them for more money. They are often robbed, raped and killed by criminal groups.President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled a $309 billion plan in July to modernize the country’s infrastructure, including by reviving the nation’s moribund passenger train service. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica government defends background check waiver for Syrian antiterrorism experts

first_imgCosta Rica is sometimes criticized for copying the United States too closely and it appears anti-Syrian hysteria is the latest trend to arrive from Uncle Sam.The daily La Nación reported Thursday that Mariano Figueres, head of Costa Rica’s intelligence service, known as the DIS, requested that immigration authorities waive a criminal background check for a group of eight Syrians in October. Under Costa Rican law, Syrians require a restricted visa that includes a criminal background check before they can travel here.The waiver request could seem scandalous — except that the Syrians in question were experts invited to participate in an anti-terrorism symposium organized by the DIS, according to government officials. They say the waiver requests were completely above board.The conference, which was supposed to take place in November, was later canceled because of logistical problems, according to Casa Presidencial. The Syrians’ visas were nullified and they never traveled to Costa Rica.Casa Presidencial issued a response from DIS chief Figueres Friday defending the request to waive the background checks.“We need to be careful with this subject so that we don’t fall into the stereotype that anyone who is Syrian is a terrorist,” Figueres said.Figueres said that DIS verifies the credentials of those for whom it requests expedited visas. When making the request, Figueres told immigration authorities that DIS would be responsible for the Syrian group while they were in Costa Rica.He told local media that it was not uncommon to request expedited visas for foreigners from countries on a restricted visa list.“There’s a human tragedy in Syria — including an exodus of already more than a million people — but that’s not to say that despite what happens there we can generalize,” Figueres said in the statement.This is not the first time in recent months that Syrians traveling, or potentially traveling, to Costa Rica has attracted attention here. A group of five Syrians who traveled through Costa Rica on falsified Greek passports made international news after Honduran authorities detained them on Nov. 18. They were reportedly on their way to the United States. The next day, Costa Rican authorities detained a Syrian woman also traveling with a fake passport.Authorities said they believed the groups took the same route through Central America en route to the U.S.Following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidates, nearly half of all U.S. governors and many Congressional representatives called for an immediate freeze on all Syrian refugees entering the United States or their home states. The Obama Administration has defended the rigor of its review of refugee applicants who want to resettle in the U.S. Facebook Comments Related posts:Honduras to charge Syrians using false documents to get to US Syrian migrants braving Central American smuggling routes NATO ships to combat migrant-smuggling networks in Aegean Mud-soaked migrants fight for food as Greek border blockade drags onlast_img read more

Solís promises rapid rebuilding in Hurricane Ottos wake donation drives continue

first_imgSee also: A small town unites to help Hurricane Otto victims – the Costa Rican wayPresident Luís Guillermo Solís concluded this week’s tour through the areas most affected by Hurricane Otto, lamenting the tragic loss of life but promising continued repairs and a return to normalcy.His travels ended Wednesday in the Barra del Colorado region in northeast Costa Rica, where he was able to take the time to applaud the work of local officials and community members for their bravery during the storm.“More than 4,000 people were evacuated in 48 hours thanks to the instituciones, the firefighters, the Red Cross, and especially the local people that were called to action and helped out,” Solís said. “It was you, the community members, who saved lives and prevented any more deaths than those that unfortunately happened. I guarantee that any continuing problems will be attended with speed and transparency.”He added upon his return to San José that the emergency stage of the disaster has already passed, while reconstruction for many lives and rural communities has just begun. President Solís wrapped up his three-day tour through the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Otto. (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial)Preliminary numbers from government institutions including the Mixed Institute for Social Aid (IMAS) indicate that more than 270 houses suffered significant damage during the worst of the hurricane on Nov. 24. Some of those are being repaired or totally rebuilt through support from IMAS; thousands of families were forced into shelters during the hurricane.IMAS allowed certain families to apply for subsidies to rent housing while repairs are made to their permanent homes. Total housing costs from the storm could cost upwards of ₡1.8 billion (more than $3 million), according to the government.The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) have invested ₡11.59 billion (a little more than $21 million) on road repairs throughout the country. The majority of the affected routes – 350 of the 400 most affected points – have have been fixed and reopened for traffic.Solís said Wednesday that the government has been made aware of the various aqueducts and farms destroyed or harmed by Otto and that officials will work to recover that important infrastructure as soon as possible. According to numbers from the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA), more than 122 water sources have been reestablished already, as 37 more remain in repairs.Still time to make donationsThere’s no denying that during the natural disaster, Costa Ricans, foreign residents and people around the world have rallied around those in need. Donations have been pouring in from seemingly every notable business, nonprofit organization, and even sites beyond Costa Rican borders.The organizations mentioned in our original donation article continue to seek donations for anyone interested in helping reconstruction efforts in the Northern Zone, Caribbean, and Southern Zone communities.Another donation site has popped up at www.hurricaneotto.org where potential donors can provide shelter, water, and new homes to those in Upala and Los Chiles who lost everything to Hurricane Otto. In coordination with the nonprofit Amigos of Costa Rica, a team of business leaders began the fundraiser to invest funds in the immediate needs of these hard-hit communities. According to the site, Atkinson Toyota USA and Purdy Motor Costa Rica will match all donations to $100,000.Those interested can either donate to the GoFundMe page provided or send a tax-deductible check to an address given on the website.See also: Here’s how you can donate to Hurricane Otto relief in Costa Rica Facebook Comments Related posts:PHOTOS: Hurricane Otto leaves behind devastation in northern town PHOTOS: Hurricane Otto begins path of destruction through Central America Here’s how you can donate to Hurricane Otto relief in Costa Rica President Solís: ‘If you want to get through a border, you’ll be able to sooner or later’last_img read more

A look back at our 5 questions for Costa Rican photographer Ivannia

first_imgRelated posts:5 questions for Costa Rican photographer Ivannia Alvarado 5 question for a Costa Rican photographer 5 questions for a Costa Rican photographer 5 questions for a Costa Rican photographer Our Weekend Arts Spotlight feature has profiled a lot of artists and gone through several changes throughout the years.One artist we profiled is now the reporter interviewing others for our Weekend Arts Spotlight. This week we take a look back at the time we profiled Ivannia Alvarado, a photographer who now uses her lens to showcase other artists for The Tico Times.Capturing emotions through the lens of a camera to provoke a social impact: that’s what drives Costa Rican amateur photographer Ivannia Alvarado.She bought her first camera only two years ago, but her love of communication has been a constant: she studied publicity at the Universidad Hispanoamericana and radio production at the National Training Institute (INA), which led her to writing about music for the site 89decibeles.com as well as working for publicity agencies Double Digit, Garnier, Jotabequ, Thrilled and Publimark.More recently, she has traveled throughout the country to photograph last year’s migrant crisis on the border with Nicaragua, the indigenous zone of Conte Burica near the Panamanian border, and a community festival in La Carpio. Her most recent trip was to both help and photograph the community of Cuajiniquil after the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Nate. For this year’s Women’s March, Alvarado photographed a woman with a poster saying “I don’t want to be afraid of traveling alone”. Courtesy of Ivannia Alvarado“I think that [photography] fulfills a social purpose, which transcends the aesthetic or commercial aspect. Its purpose is to generate a change,” Alvarado told The Tico Times.Today, Alvarado works with varioussocial causes and collectives such as De la mano con la calle, Árboles Mágicos, SERPROJOVEN, TECHO and Proyecto F.On a chilly afternoon at El Steinvorth in downtown San José, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Alvarado about her passion to document human interactions. Excerpts follow.What got you interested in photography as a hobby?I wanted to stop being the observed person and became the observer. It’s an obsession with being behind what happens.Ever since 89decibeles and the music part, I was into it. Watching how people react to a concert is totally different from being in the concert. For me it was very valuable to photograph or write about it.It’s about trying to get involved with social initiatives such as De la mano con la calle or the refugees and migrants on the borders as well as what happened recently with Nate. It’s about documenting everything that’s happening that somehow the rest of traditional media let go.It’s about narrating all those stories with photography and documenting what other people are not seeing. Alvarado developed an unforeseen love for the capital, San José. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoWhen you photographed the migrant crisis on the border of Nicaragua, what struck you most about the situation?There was a pregnant woman who had a one year-old baby, and she was running away with her brother. Her husband was in the United States and she came from Africa. Her brother was fleeing because he was gay and they wanted to kill him.  They had tried to kill him several times because he was gay. Migrants play the drums during their stay last year at Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoIt was an entire family fleeing for different reasons. The baby was going to be born in Costa Rica and she was not going to have time to get to the US. She didn’t what would happen.These are very heavy stories. These are people who have been escaping for eight years. Babies that are born on that path. The hardest part is the children: They grow up everywhere. They don’t have an origin and they’re from the whole world. The hardest part is watching them, because they don’t understand. They only know that people come play with them and treat them great, but the don’t know that their mother is crying or that their mother is going through a very tough thing. They don’t understand what it’s like to be in one place or what having a house is like. Migrants on the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border enjoyed other people’s company despite their constant struggles. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoWhat’s the most difficult photo you’ve taken?Maybe the ones related with adventure. When you go to the mountain it’s very difficult. One time we went to Guápiles and we wanted to photograph the Río Blanco waterfall. The river rose and we almost drowned [laughs]. Behind photography there are many stories.That day I had never seen so many bruises on my body before. The waterfall photo didn’t come out as well as I expected because it began raining a lot. It was a real adventure because we were 12 peeople and we had to cross six rivers, which had risen, and the last one was the worst one.The hardest part about photography is… the risk you put yourself into by wanting to go where no one has been before for a photo. Respecting nature is very important. Cerro Pelado. Courtesy of Ivannia Alvarado Alvarado also enjoys photographing the country’s landscapes. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoHow do you use photography to communicate?If you don’t communicate something in an aesthetic way, it probably won’t be seen or it’ll lose its value. I realized that photography has power commercially, but also socially.Sometimes if a photo isn’t taken, then it doesn’t exist. If there weren’t people taking photos of indigenous projects in the Southern Zone or in other parts of the country, then we wouldn’t know they exist. For me that’s what’s very important.That’s also why I started taking photos. I felt that there were certain holes, or you somehow feel unsatisfied with what traditional media publish. If someone isn’t doing it, why shouldn’t I do it? I have various friends who think the same way. If it’s not being done, you invent it. You go there, do it and learn. A joryful clown gets ready for work during a festival in La Carpio. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoWhich parts of the country have you visited through photography?Ohhhh. So many. Conte Burica has been the farthest I’ve been to. I went with SERPROJOVEN to document the project they have with indigenous children in the area of Las Vegas. They’re Gnöbes and it was impressive.I’ve also been to Monteverde, Puerto Viejo, Guápiles, Coronado, La Cruz in Guanacaste, Cuajiniquil. Both borders with Nicaragua and Panama. I’ve also traveled in different sources of transportation such as the back part of trucks, buses, strangers’ cars, as well as with people I know. I think that the most important part of photography is what’s behind it to obtain a photograph, even if it includes climbing a tree and falling from it. It’s awesome to be exposed to everything. The process behind the photo is really fun. A young girl from indigenous zone in Conte Burica. Courtesy of Ivannia AlvaradoTo see more of Alvarado’s photos, visit her Instagram page.Our Weekend Arts Spotlight is brought to you by the Jason Babchuk Gallery/W22 Galería.“Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at alex@ticotimes.net. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Pakistan court delays bin Laden doctor appeal

first_imgPESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) – A lawyer for a Pakistani doctor jailed after he helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden says the first hearing in his appeal was delayed.Samiullah Khan Afridi said the prosecution failed to produce a record of the case filed against his client during the hearing Thursday in the frontier city of Peshawar. He said the hearing was delayed until July 19.The doctor Shakil Afridi was convicted in May of ties to militants but is widely believed to have been targeted by Pakistani authorities because he helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Afridi ran a fake vaccination program designed to get DNA from the al-Qaida leader.His lawyer said the doctor did not attend the hearing, which was not announced ahead of time to the media.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breachescenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   last_img read more

German doctors Constructive talks on Tymoshenko

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The German doctors have examined her and helped supervised her treatment.Einhaeupl said in a statement Wednesday that meetings with local doctors were “positive” and the German team also had “constructive talks” with Ukraine’s health minister.He said there’s been some improvement in Tymoshenko’s condition but experts believe she needs eight weeks of “stress-free treatment” to stabilize her recovery.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Check your body, save your life Comments   Share   center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates BERLIN (AP) – German doctors say they’ve held constructive talks with their counterparts and authorities in Ukraine and will continue helping to treat former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.Karl Max Einhaeupl, the head of Berlin’s Charite hospital, traveled with two colleagues this week to Kharkiv, where Tymoshenko _ sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power _ is being treated for a chronic back ailment at a closely guarded hospital ward. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories last_img read more

PM seeks to name plane after Grenadian Olympian

first_imgBASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Kirani James?The prime minister of Antigua says he wants Caribbean airline LIAT to name one of its planes after an Olympic runner who gave the island of Grenada its first gold medal.Baldwin Spencer says naming an aircraft after James would be a fitting tribute. The 19-year-old won the 400 meters final Monday in London. James also was applauded for his sportsmanship after he traded name tags with South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Spencer made the suggestion while speaking Friday at an assembly of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.Antigua is a major shareholder of LIAT along with other Caribbean islands.LIAT released a statement earlier Friday saying it plans to honor James but did not provide details.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Court upholds Frankfurt airport shooter conviction

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   How do cataracts affect your vision? Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 4 must play golf courses in Arizona It was the first attack in Germany by an Islamic extremist. Uka was convicted of two counts of murder and three of attempted murder in February.People serving life sentences in Germany usually are considered for release after 15 years, but the court ruled Uka shouldn’t be, given his “particularly severe guilt.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s top criminal court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of an Islamic extremist who gunned down two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport last year.The Federal Court of Justice said Tuesday it rejected the appeal of 22-year-old Arid Uka, whose attorneys argued he should be eligible for parole after 15 years.Uka killed two airmen and injured two others in March 2011, apparently inspired by a fake internet video purporting to show American atrocities in Afghanistan.last_img read more

Saudi Egypt downplay reports of discord over Syria

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Cairo is hosting a group of Syrian non-Islamist opposition factions next week. There are also plans for Riyadh to hold a Syrian opposition conference but no date has been set yet.Local media in both countries say the dispute over Syria has caused discord between the two allies.Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who is visiting Cairo for the first time since assuming his post, denied any reports of tension.“There is no disagreement,” he told reporters. “In Syria, we are all seeking to remove Bashar Assad from power after he lost his legitimacy, and we are all seeking to restore peace and stability in Syria. We are seeking to protect the government and military institutions in Syria to be able to deal with the challenges after the Assad regime.”Saudi Arabia has given billions of dollars to Egypt since the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the two countries’ policies complement each other.Shoukry denied reports that Egypt and Russia are working to come up with a new political initiative for a negotiated solution in Syria, but said there was ongoing coordination between Cairo and Moscow. Comments   Share   CAIRO (AP) — Egypt and Saudi Arabia sought Sunday to downplay reports of discord among the close allies over Syria during a visit of the Saudi foreign minister to Cairo.Riyadh is a key backer of Islamist rebels battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. Egypt’s government, which is deeply suspicious of Islamist movements throughout the region, says Assad’s government will have to be part of a negotiated settlement. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top holiday drink recipes 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Shoukry said his government is working with the Russians to convince the Syrian government “of the need to take part in the political process along with different oppositions” supported by Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.He added: “We don’t have to necessarily agree completely with the framework or the output.”Highlighting the divergence, al-Jubeir said the contacts with Moscow are primarily to “convince Russia to give up on Bashar or to exert efforts or use influence in Syria to convince Bashar to give up power as soon as possible.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Australian tourism stays steady against the odds in 2009

first_img5.6 million international travellers were recorded arriving into Australia in 2009, with New Zealand, the UK and the USA still remaining the top travellers source markets.Similar to last year’s results, Tourism Australia has commended the industry in achieving these better than expected results in these economically challenging times.“Despite the headwind of the Global Financial Crisis and the outbreak of the H1N1 virus Australian tourism managed to break even on international tourist numbers, defying the global downturn last year,” Andrew McEvoy, Tourism Australia Managing Director.“Against the odds we saw good growth from a number of our major tourism source markets like the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and China while other markets such as the UK, Germany and New Zealand remained steady.”But it appears that despite international visitor figures remaining steady, Australians travelling overseas are growing in numbers, this year coming in at 6.3 million travellers a difference of 700,000 when compared to this year’s international short-term arrivals.In 2008 the resident departures were higher than visitor arrivals by 200,000.New Zealand, the USA and Indonesia were the top three destinations that Australians travelled to in 2009. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/26e54/” 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: W.Xlast_img read more

Brisbane Airport only Australian airport in Skytrax top 20

first_imgBrisbane Airport is the only Australian airport named in this year’s Skytrax ranking of airports around the world, coming in at number 18, it was the only Australian airport found within the top 20.Within the Southern Hemisphere, Brisbane’s 18th position still lags behind Auckland Airport’s number ninth position, while the best airport in the world went to Singapore’s Changi Airport.Singapore has returned to the top spot of Best Airport in the World, according to Skytrax voters, after slipping to third last year and ousting the 2009 winner of Incheon in South Korea.“This was yet again an extremely competitive survey, and with over 9.8 million completed survey interviews, it was a very close finish with Singapore Changi edging ahead from Incheon International Airport, to take the 2010 title as World’s Best Airport,” said Edward Plaisted, Skytrax Chairman.Of the award, Lee Seow Hiang, Changi Airport Group CEO, remarked, “We are honoured to receive the Skytrax World’s Best Airport award and thank everyone for their vote of confidence.”Asian Airports dominated the top 20, with the top three airports being Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong, and six airports in the top ten were found in Asia.The Skytrax World Airport Awards for 2010: SingaporeSeoul Incheon Hong KongMunichKuala LumpurZurichAmsterdamBeijingAucklandBangkokVancouver KansaiCentrair NagoyaHelsinkiCopenhagenFrankfurt MainTokyo NaritaBrisbaneCape TownSan Francisco Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Singapore Changi Airportlast_img read more

Virgin checks in to Australian hotel market

first_imgVirgin Group is looking into the Australian hotel market, with preliminary plans to build a 4.5 star hotel. Virgin Group global chief executive Stephen Murphy said the group has commenced research in Australia and is hoping to offer customers a boutique experience at a 4.5 star hotel with four star prices, The Australian reported. “We think there is a great space for us to come in and under the Virgin brand deliver a boutique experience but with the basic functionality of the hotel delivered much more efficiently… and with the pricing transparency as well,” Mr Murphy said. Virgin founder Richard Branson said the Australian hotel market is high up on the company’s list. “The Virgin brand is hot as ever in Australia and well respected,” Mr Branson said. “We transport a lot of business people in Australia and will transport a lot more in the future. “If we can get the right sites, we have the concept for an up-market, fun boutique hotel group that will be very Virginesque.”  Earlier this year Virgin Group formed an agreement with the US to purchase up to US$500 million worth of properties over the next three years. The company is hoping to purchase hotel sites in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Los Angeles before expanding globally. Mr Murphy said the company had conducted market research into the type of hotel experiences it could offer Australia. “We certainly would not be doing the ultra-cheap stuff, but we do think that is an interesting model for Asia and the Middle East,” Mr Murphy said. “For Australia… we would like to give you more value for the same price with a fun edge to it.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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