Beach reno for Cayo Coco’s Memories Flamenco Beach Resort Share Posted by Friday, December 30, 2016 TORONTO — Memories Flamenco Beach Resort in Cuba has completely revamped and expanded its beachfront.“Cayo Coco is known for its stunning beaches, so we are very excited that one of our award-winning resorts now has one of the best on the island thanks to this revamp,” said Sunwing’s President, Tour Operations, Andrew Dawson.Memories Flamenco Beach has also updated a number of other facilities including its ‘ranchon’ dining venue which now serves as a lunchtime buffet or afternoon snack spot. The spa has also undergone a makeover and the resort now also benefits from beachside massage huts.Along with the extended beachfront guests can also take advantage of the extensive pool complex that includes a wading pool for small children and an activity pool for play and watersports. The resort is an ideal property for families as it offers safe and supervised clubs for infants and small children, as well as babysitting services. See sunwing.ca. Tags: Cuba, Sunwing << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Tweet Rovinescu says Air Canada’s pushing more digital initiatives: artificial intelligence, augmented reality By: Ross MarowitsSource: The Canadian Press Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu (Credit: Air Canada)MONTREAL — Air Canada’s plans to develop its own frequent flyer program are one of several digitization initiatives the airline is pursuing to meet the varying needs of its 45 million passengers a year, CEO Calin Rovinescu says.Weeks after Air Canada announced it was ditching Aeroplan, Rovinescu said the decision was part of the company’s broader strategy to become more digital in its operations. That includes looking at working with artificial intelligence specialists to recognize patterns in customer data and employing augmented reality to change how employees learn and collaborate.Using data analytics on information collected from frequent flyers will help the airline better understand their shopping patterns, improve service and build loyalty, Rovinescu said. Air Canada plans to launch its own loyalty rewards plan in 2020.“By bringing it in house, it will enable us to be much, much closer to our customers in terms of the offers that can be made and having the ability to in some respects deal directly with our key frequent flyers,” he said in an interview.More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedMichael Kamel, who advises airlines on business strategy and innovation for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said carriers are feeling pressure to act from tech-savvy passengers and competitors that operate with lower costs.Airlines around the world are using different technologies in an effort to improve passenger service, such as texting flight changes to cellphones. Still, the industry has been slow to adapt.“We are in that pre-evaporation phase where we’re just seeing the bubbles,” Kamel said.The transportation sector as a whole is becoming increasingly focused on technology with the advent of automation. Last week, Canadian National Railway announced it plans to spend $500 million over five years, partly in response to the threat posed by driverless trucks.Air Canada’s focus on its next wave of growth comes after a series of restructuring efforts since 2009 that have helped turn around the financial position of the country’s largest carrier.It has signed long-term labour agreements, spent billions of dollars adding new aircraft, expanded its international network, launched a low-cost travel airline and restored its pension plan to a surplus.More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at sea“This is a totally different company than it was in 2009 in almost every single respect,” said Rovinescu, whose company was selected Tuesday as the best North American airline according to a survey conducted by Skytrax of nearly 20 million passengers around the world.Globally, the Montreal-based airline is ranked 29th, behind mostly Asian and Middle Eastern airlines, which are perennial leaders. Porter Airlines was 55th, WestJet 58th, Air Transat 70th and Air Canada Rouge 99th. Tags: Air Canada, Technology, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>
WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department is demanding that airlines around the world step up security measures for international flights bound for the United States or face the possibility of a total electronics ban for planes, or worse, a ban against flying into the U.S. altogether.New security rules will apply to roughly 180 foreign and U.S.-based airlines, flying from 280 cities in 105 countries, according to Homeland Security. About 2,000 international flights land in the United States daily.Compliance with the new rules could lead to the lifting of a ban on laptops and other large electronics already in place for airlines flying to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa. It could also stave off a much-discussed expansion of the ban to flights from Europe.Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced the rollout of the new rules Wednesday.The changes will be phased in over time and include enhanced passenger vetting, explosives detection and efforts to root out insider threats to airlines.“Security is my No. 1 concern,” Kelly said during a speech at the Center for a New American Security. “Our enemies are adaptive and we have to adapt as well.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Kelly said the changes will be “seen and unseen” and will be phased in over the coming weeks and months.He said airlines that don’t comply or are slow to enforce the new standards could be forced to bar large electronics in both carry-on and checked luggage. They could also lose permission to fly into the U.S. He said he’s confident that airlines will co-operate.The current ban, which affects only foreign carriers flying to the U.S. from 10 cities, allows passengers to travel with larger electronics packed in checked baggage.The original laptop and electronics ban has been in place since March amid concerns about an undisclosed threat described only as sophisticated and ongoing. That ban applied to nonstop flights to the United States from Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The roughly 50 affected flights are on foreign airlines.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe government had considered expanding the laptop ban to include some European airports, though in recent public comments Kelly had suggested the government was looking at alternatives.The ban on laptops in the cabin is based on the belief that a bomb in the cargo hold would need to be bigger than one in the cabin, and capable of remote detonation. Checked luggage already goes through computed-tomography screening while carry-on bags don’t.These security changes were announced a day before partial U.S. travel restrictions come into effect. The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.The new visa rules take effect at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.With files from The Associated Press U.S. tells airlines: Step up security in 4 months, or risk total flight bans Share Thursday, June 29, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: America Source: The Associated Press
Disney World launches new mobile check-in at resorts Travelweek Group Friday, July 28, 2017 Share Tags: Disney, Technology, Theme Parks & Attractions ORLANDO — Walt Disney World has gone mobile, launching its new mobile check-in feature earlier this week.According to The Disney Blog, the My Disney Experience app now allows guests to check-in ahead of time and head straight to their rooms. With only a few clicks, guests can check in to any Walt Disney World resort up to 60 days prior to arrival, completing the process by unlocking their room with their MagicBands.For those who already have MagicBands, the check-in process can be completed without the need to visit the front desk.Disney introduced the My Disney Experience app and MagicBand bracelets in 2013. The app also allows guests to order food in advance at participating restaurants.Watch this video to learn how to use the My Disney Experience app to check-in: << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by
About Latest Posts Alex Keerma Latest posts by Alex Keerma (see all) WestJet adds to network, nonstop flights between Austin and Calgary – May 3, 2019 Senior Travel Advisor – Peterborough Office – April 12, 2019 “I didn’t know she was married”: Kimpton’s social experiment inspires new themed rooms – March 6, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> SANTA CLARITA — Families are in for a real treat when they board the Caribbean Princess this summer.Princess Cruises has announced that when the ship emerges from drydock in June for a season of summer cruises to the Caribbean, it will debut The Reef Family Splash Zone, a playful and relaxing area for adults and kids alike.Located aft on deck 17, The Reef will offer many enticing features, including:A splashpad with a whale feature that ‘rains’ from its flukeGame Zone featuring oversized backyard games, comfy lounge sectionals and a kid-friendly bar where families can sample cocktails and mocktailsNew outdoor furniture ranging from single sun loungers to sectional chairs and couches with tablesShade canopy and wind panels will be installed throughout the area for all-day comfortUpgraded lighting to the pool and steps, as well as wall lighting installations to allow for evening events and activitiesThe existing pool, spa and bar will be updated to match the newly designed space featuring updated signage and contemporary artworkA new water table in the Camp Discovery outdoor area on deck 16 features the many destinations and iconic landmarks that Princess visits, including the Sydney Opera House and Golden Gate BridgeMore news: Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next month“In our latest effort to enhance our family offerings, this newly reimagined space invites families and kids to experience a multi-functional area to engage, play, reconnect,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “The Reef is the ultimate spot for families of all ages to enjoy spending time together with new water features, recreational activities and lounge areas.”Caribbean Princess begins a season of summer Caribbean cruises on May 14, 2019 with alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. Princess Cruises is reminding agents that now is the perfect time to book during the All Aboard Sale, running through Feb. 28.Learn more about The Reef Family Splash Zone and Princess Cruises other family offerings at https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/onboard-experience/kids-and-teens/. Alex Keerma Share Tags: Openings & Renovations, Princess Cruises Posted by Friday, February 8, 2019 New Family Splash Zone coming to Caribbean Princess this summer
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea and Costa Rica agreed Tuesday to explore the possibility of a free trade agreement to build on their growing economic ties, the Costa Rican president’s office said.The agreement came during talks between Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and her South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, Lee’s office said in a statement.“The leaders of the two countries agreed to joint efforts to create an environment [for expanding economic cooperation] to lead to free trade negotiations,” the statement said.The two nations also agreed to expand cooperation in the areas of renewable energy, the environment and green growth.Lee welcomed Costa Rica’s intention to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the statement said.Chinchilla backed Seoul’s policy on North Korea, agreeing that Pyongyang should carry out U.N. Security Council resolutions and international obligations.Chinchilla, the first leader of the Central American country to visit South Korea in 11 years, arrived Sunday for a four-day trip marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.Her visit is focused on boosting trade, investment and other exchanges.Export-dependent South Korea has already signed free-trade deals with the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United States, Singapore, Peru, Chile and other countries. Facebook Comments No related posts.
NICOYA, Guanacaste – Marimbas and the one-two beat of traditionalGuanacasteco music drifted across the city of Nicoya Thursday morning, along with the high-pitched cries of sabaneros, local cowboys, whooping with glee.But the festivities for the Annexation of Guancaste celebration were mixed with protesters carrying signs reading, “No water with arsenic,” “Guanacaste: Victim of bullying for 189 years,” and “Guanacaste does not only exist on July 25.”Some 500 protesters marched from La Anexión Hospital in Nicoya, Guanacaste, Thursday morning to the city’s central park, where the annual celebration of Guanacaste joining Costa Rica on July 25, 1824, became a platform to air the region’s frustrations. The daily La Nación reported a much higher turnout, estimating more than 2,000 protesters were at the park.The march’s demands were varied and covered everything from calls for improved health care services, betters roads, reconstruction funds for last September’s major earthquake on the peninsula, and new aqueducts as part of a “definitive” solution to the high levels of arsenic in the region.Organizers with the People’s Voice Association have been fighting for answers for three years now as to why the water in several cantons across Guanacaste has high levels of arsenic, and what is the cause behind the rates of chronic kidney failure that are estimated to be 18 percent higher than the national average, according to Roy Wong, a researcher with the Costa Rican Social Security System, the country’s public health administration.“We’re looking for someone who can tell us what is killing us, what is in our water and our environment that is killing us. No one has given us an answer and that’s why we’re angry and frustrated and here today,” said Mainor Picado Camareno of the People’s Voice Association of Bagaces, one of the municipalities most affected by the mysterious chronic kidney failure that has claimed several lives. “The president wants people to think that this is a march by the Broad Front Party or another political party. No, there are people from Liberation [the ruling National Liberation Party], PAC [the opposition Citizen Action Party], communists annd Unidad [Christian Social Unity Party]. What has us united is death, the illnesses of our neighbors and families. This is not a partisan issue,” Picado said.Onlookers sympathized with the marchers.Hannia Carrillo grew up in Sámara, Guanacaste, and came back with her mother from Heredia, where they currently live north of the capital, to celebrate the festival.“I agree with the march,” she said, sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch with her mother. “The president’s focus on tourism has left the rest of the province behind,” referencing the region’s famous beaches and luxe hotels.Many protesters blame the government’s preferential treatment of large hotels and landowners on the peninsula, especially when it comes to low tax rates and paved roads, as one of the causes of rising inequality here.According to Salvatore Coppola, an organizer with the Guanacaste Forum, Guanacaste is the most economically unequal province in the country.Luis Guarda, 89, leaned on the metal gate in front of his home to watch the protesters march by. He agrees that the province is “forgotten.”“You see it everywhere, in the poverty,” Guarda said.While many of the protesters were from Guanacaste, others made the long drive from the Central Valley and elsewhere to lend their support. A man who identified himself as “Jorge,” from the Alajuela Forum, a broad coalition of social activists, environmentalists and other groups, said it was important to show solidarity with Guanacaste.“These are the same problems you see everywhere,” he said. Facebook Comments No related posts.
LONDON — Interpol asked police forces worldwide to seek and arrest the widow of a London Underground suicide bomber after Kenya charged her with possession of explosives and conspiracy to a felony.A so-called red notice was issued by the Lyon, France-based international police organization for Samantha Lewthwaite, a British citizen nicknamed the “White Widow” by British tabloids. She had fraudulently obtained a South African passport in the name of Natalie Webb, according to Thursday’s Interpol statement.Newspapers in Africa and Britain have speculated that Lewthwaite was involved in this week’s raid on a Kenyan mall in which at least 67 people and five attackers died. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told U.S. broadcaster PBS that a British woman who has “done this many times before” was involved in the attack. There’s been no official confirmation on Lewthwaite’s involvement.The Somali-based militia al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for Kenya’s deadliest attack in 15 years, which began when gunmen stormed the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21, lobbing grenades and spraying gunfire. Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane warned of “more bloodshed” unless Kenya withdraws its forces from Somalia, where they’re deployed to combat the Islamist group.Lewthwaite, the daughter of a British soldier, was married to Jamaica-born Germaine Lindsay, who like her was a Muslim convert. He was one of the four perpetrators of the July 7, 2005 attacks on London’s transport network, exploding a device on the Piccadilly Line between King’s Cross and Russell Square, killing 26 people.Using Webb’s identity, Lewthwaite traveled in and out of South Africa between July 2008 and February 2011, when the passport was canceled, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters Thursday in Pretoria. Webb’s British family didn’t immediately respond to telephone messages seeking comment.Lewthwaite rented a property in the Muslim-dominated area of Mayfair in Johannesburg, according to publicly available rental records. She leased another property in Bromhof in northern Johannesburg. A man who lives near the house identified her from photographs shown to him by a Bloomberg reporter, saying he’d frequently seen her though they’d only spoken once and he didn’t know her by name. He declined to be identified citing concern about his security.Kenyan authorities said earlier Thursday that they’ve shared a list of suspects in the mall attack with Interpol, without identifying them. Forensic investigators at the scene are being assisted by experts from Israel, the U.S., Germany, Canada and Britain in a probe that’s expected to last at least a week, according to Interior Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku.Interpol said the charges against Lewthwaite in Kenya date to December 2011. It wasn’t immediately clear why the issuing of the international warrant was delayed until now.“Through the Interpol red notice, Kenyan authorities have ensured that all 190 member countries are aware of the danger posed by this woman,” Secretary-General Ronald Noble said in the statement.Kenya’s relative stability in a troubled region has attracted companies including Toyota Motor and Google to set up bases in the East African nation. The United Nations’ African headquarters are also in Nairobi.With assistance from David Malingha Doya and Sarah McGregor in Nairobi, and Amogelang Mbatha and Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg.© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments No related posts.
Related posts:Police raid offices, home of US real estate mogul accused of fraud Cops in Limón nab alleged suspect in mugging of British tourists Nicaraguan man found guilty of raping, killing US missionary Israeli tourist caught smuggling cocaine at Costa Rica airport On Saturday night, assailants robbed three U.S. tourists in Costa Rica’s capital San José in an attack that ended with one of the victims rushed to Calerdón Guardia Hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest.Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) told The Tico Times that the 24-year-old victim, Leah Britton, was in stable condition on Monday.Britton and two other tourists were walking in the Los Yoses neighborhood in eastern San José around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday when they were approached by men traveling in a gray car. Four suspects reportedly in their 20s stepped out of the vehicle and threatened the group with a gun. The attackers stole cash, cellphones and passports before telling the victims to lie on the ground.An OIJ spokesman said Britton, after handing over her belongings, refused to lie down. One of the suspects then shot her. The attackers then fled in the same gray vehicle.Britton was admitted to the Calerdón Guardia Hospital in the capital.Jorge Zúñiga, spokesman for the OIJ, told The Tico Times that the police agency recommends robbery victims follow attackers’ orders and avoid fighting. Zúñiga added that suspects often are armed, and resistance could dangerously escalate a situation.He added that Los Yoses, a neighborhood in eastern San José with many hostels, is not known as a dangerous part of the capital, and although robberies are rare, they do occur.As of this post, OIJ investigators have not recovered any belongings or identified the four suspects. The investigation is ongoing. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments In their penultimate session before leaving office, outgoing lawmakers in Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly passed a bill that if signed into law would ban dog fighting.“We are very pleased that this slipped right under the wire,” Cynthia Dent, the regional director for the Humane Society International-Latin America, told The Tico Times.The Humane Society began work on a draft bill two years ago in hopes of easing the enforcement of dog fighting in court. While dog fighting is already illegal, it relies on animal cruelty legislation to pursue a lawsuit in court.Under the current laws, dog fight organizers usually have their dogs confiscated if caught, but recieve no other punishment. Just last month, a court imposed a $200 fine on a man found guilty of hosting dog fights on his property. This was the first-ever fine levied against a defendant in a criminal case for dog fighting in Costa Rica.The new bill would not only clarify dog fighting as a criminal offense, but also impose stricter fines and penalties of up to three years in prison for people caught in the act of fighting dogs.Along with banning dog fighting outright, the bill would ban any event that could cause aggression, abuse or injury to dogs. Another proponent of the bill, Costa Rica’s American Stafford Association, helped introduce wording that specifically bans competitions where dogs pull heavy weights, and “pole jumping,” where canines are encouraged to leap and hang on to a piece of meat dangling from a pole for several minutes.“It’s a sport that is utilized to train dogs to fight,” said Héctor Valverde with the American Stafford Association. “It entices dogs and makes them nervous and jumpy. It can cause joint problems.”Though not many of these competitions have been known to happen in Costa Rica, a large public event that featured both weight pulling and pole jumping was held last year in Sabana Park.Along with beefing up dog fighting legislation, the bill would also create an offenders list of dog fight organizers. These offenders would be required to register with Costa Rica’s Animal Health Service (SENASA), making it more difficult for them to buy aggressive dogs.The bill could be signed into law by current president Laura Chinchilla at any time, but if she fails to sign it before she leaves office on May 8, it will pass to her succesor, Luís Guillermo Solís.Solís was an avid supporter of animal welfare during his campaign, including ending animal cruelty as part of his platform and mentioning it in his acceptance speech. His party, the Citizen Action Party, sponsored the bill.“We are definitely expecting improvements [with Solís],” Dent said. “We are very excited and hope we can continue working as closely as we have with the government.” Related posts:Costa Rica to crack down on puppy mills Costa Rican man gets $200 fine for organizing dogfights President Solís urges lawmakers to pass animal cruelty bill following ‘barbarous’ attacks Costa Rica’s Solís tables Animal Welfare Bill in favor of highway construction project
Related posts:Franklin Chang’s VASIMR plasma engine readies for key test US Sen. Bill Nelson: Costa Rica has a place in the future of space flight Crowdfunding campaign to orbit Costa Rica’s first satellite surpasses goal Costa Rica makes nuclear fusion history with plasma discharge When it comes to outstanding Costa Ricans in the field of aerospace, many people are familiar with the extraordinary accomplishments ofFranklin Chang and Sandra Cauffman, but not as many are aware that Costa Rica’s NASA talent is actually a much deeper bench.The Tico Times interviewed three Costa Rican space pioneers – Jeannette Benavides, Andres Mora and Fernando Zumbado – about their paths to success, as well as some of their most memorable NASA experiences and hopes for the space program. Excerpts follow.Fernando Zumbado, 37A technical Discipline Lead for the Dynamic Systems Test Branch at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Zumbado joined NASA in 2000. He is the project manager of the team that created the MED-2 exercise device, currently being tested by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. This next-generation exercise device may be used to keep astronauts healthy on the upcoming flights to Mars. He grew up in Tibás and graduated from Lincoln School in San José, then studied Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Costa Rica and then Northwestern University. He also obtained a Master’s in ME from Rice and a Master’s of Science from Georgia Tech in Aerospace Engineering. What are some of your favorite accomplishments and memories from NASA? Meeting the engineers behind the original lunar rover. During the Constellation Program, NASA was trying to develop… designs to go back to the Moon. I was part of the team at Johnson that was looking at designing wheels that could assist a human-tended rover in traversing the lunar surface. We drove to Santa Barbara where we met three of the lead engineers behind my favorite vehicle of all time.After a long day of questions and answers and poring over all our design questions, the engineers pulled out an actual flight spare wheel from the original Lunar Roving Vehicle. They had been keeping it locked up during our visit because they knew that as soon as we saw it we would stop paying attention to what they were saying. And it was true! We started looking at it, playing with it. To this day I still have the picture of myself next to the wheel at my desk to remind me to pursue my engineering dreams and to not rethink new solutions to old problems.What message do you have for young Costa Ricans who would like to follow in your footsteps and work for NASA?You will get a lot of “no”s or “not right now”. The important part is to make sure that you know where you want to get to, and to remember that there is not one way to get there. Sometimes the best route is one that you least expect.What inspired you to choose the career path you took?The Apollo program.What are your thoughts on the future of human exploration of space?I think that we are at a very interesting point in human spaceflight for two reasons. We are at the cusp of making space tourism something of a regular occurrence for some, so Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will be akin to what Antarctica might have been 100 years ago. On the other hand, I think that we have a lot of work to do in order to leave Earth’s womb. It will required formidable engineering efforts and a synchronized international development. Going beyond LEO will no longer be a national endeavor – it will be an international pursuit.I will be sad if we don’t land a human on a different rocky body before I die, but as a pragmatist it’s difficult for me to see the political continuity that is required to develop such a prolonged effort. I am hopeful that we explore, just like all of the great explorers have done before us: Marco Polo, de Gama, Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Amundsen, Shackelton. Andrés Mora. (Courtesy of Andrés Mora)Andres Mora, 36A Robotics & Systems Engineering Lead at the NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, California, Mora joined NASA in 2001. He grew up in La Uruca and graduated from Calasanz High School in San Pedro, then the Universidad Interamericana (B.Sc. in Electronics and Telecommunications), and finaly Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan for his Master’s and Ph.D.At what age did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in the space field? When I was five, I read a story in La Nación about planets and Earth that also detailed the career of Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz. It certainly inspired me to want to become an astronaut.What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome to reach your professional goals and work at NASA?A lot of obstacles, but the funny thing is that you don’t really see them as such until later when you stop and look back. Every single time you have a bad score on a test at school, or some personal problem, or some challenging issue at work, you find obstacles that seem to stop you. But I firmly believe they are there to propel you forward: they give you tools to deal with similar issues later in life, but faster and better.What were the main positions you have held while you were at NASA?I was an international student intern at the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory where I researched and recommended a power supply for implementation in the High Temperature Superconducting magnets of the Variable Specific Impulse Magneto Plasma Rocket (VASIMR). I also developed a Miniature Mass Spectrometer experiment on the VASIMR as a support for a visiting Costa Rican scientist Andrés Díaz. Finally, I designed, tested and implemented a timing control system at the Lagmuir probes, inside of the VASIMR enabling scientists to observe more precisely the flow, temperature and density of the rocket’s plasma.I now lead the design, development, evaluation, and deployment of an unmanned aerial system developed to provide surveillance and monitoring services of underground, unstructured environments. In addition, I developed a prototype arm proposed to facilitate docking and manipulation operations of the Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellite (SPHERES) on board of the International Space Station.Favorite accomplishments and memories from your career? Working with a person I consider a national hero like Franklin Chang-Díaz was simply a dream come true: seeing him coming back from his regular training flights or going to train extravehicular activities at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory as a daily routine was incredibly inspiring.During the deployment of the volcano monitors at Kilauea volcano, the team had to walk a total of about 7 hours. This place, I learned later, could only be accessed by one hour long helicopter ride, or, as we did, a very exhausting hike. In my case, I had to carry all the equipment and monitors, well over 30 kg, and then test them, one by one, in the middle of the day at very high temperatures and humidity in the middle of nowhere – all to find that one worked fine and two did not. I had to inspect the causes of the problem on the faulty monitors and fix them as soon as possible. At the end of the day, after a lot of “McGyver solutions,” I managed to fix one. The other one required more specialized tools and equipment and we brought it back to our hotel where we fixed it that night. Looking at it in retrospective, it makes me feel like a funny version of Mark Watney from “The Martian.”What inspired you, starting out?I have been fortunate to have great role models, starting with my loving parents who always work hard, never give up, and always work as a team. My sister is a person I have always relied on. She is a strong, smart woman who has always been one of my best friends. I have admired Franklin Chang since my childhood, and working with him just made me understand even more how much he has accomplished and yet how humble he is. Sandra Cauffman has taught me what a person can achieve with a lot of tenacity without forgetting where you come from and who you are.How do you see the future of your field?We have accomplished so much in such a very tiny amount of time that it can only make you imagine all the new discoveries we will make in the next few years and decades. In-orbit servicing, asteroid mining, traveling to and back from Mars and the Moon are just a couple of examples that come to mind. And that is just the beginning. The new generation of astronauts that will go where no other human being has gone is probably in primary school or in high school right now.What would you like to pass on to young Costa Ricans?Someone said: “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when we have landed on the Moon.” I think we are as big as our dreams – but anyone can dream big. It is really with a lot of effort, failures, frustrations, and clear understanding of what you want to do that one truly makes those dreams come true. Jeannette Benavides. (Courtesy of Jeannette Benavides)Jeannette Benavides, 64Benavides joined NASA in 1986 and went on to become a Research Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland. She retired in 2006. She grew up in Heredia , graduated from the Liceo de Heredia High School, and earned a BS in chemistry from University of Costa Rica; MS in Biochemistry from American University; and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from American University. She helped establish the National Laboratory for Nanotechnology, Microsensors and Advanced Materials (Lanotec) in Costa Rica.When did you decide to pursue this career?After reading Jules Verne very early in my childhood, around 7 years old. Due to my imagination and curiosity, I started to feel that thirst for scientific knowledge that up to this moment has never quenched. I remember the excitement with which I watched the Moon Landing in 1969. Science and Space Exploration became an internal force that has driven me since then.How did you achieve your goal of working at NASA?Before working for NASA, I worked for Food and Drug Administration for seven years. I didn’t think that an MS in Biochemistry would be enough to [allow me to compete for] a job at NASA, so I started to take courses toward a PhD in Physical Chemistry; I took Solid State Physics, and it happened that my professor, Dr. Henning Leidecker, worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, about 20 minutes from Washington DC.I saw an opportunity, and I studied very hard. After I passed with an A, I asked him if he would recommend me to work for NASA. He told me that he would gladly do so and arranged for an interview with his boss. A year went by and I was resigned to the possibility that I would not be offered a job; I started to think of other strategies to use to achieve my goal, since I would never have given up. However, I received a call from NASA with a job offer.What were the highlights of your career?I enjoyed troubleshooting problems found when building satellites or Space Probes. If a problem with materials involved Physical Chemistry to solve it, it was sent to me. One of those problems involved metal-through-metal diffusion in electrical gold-coated pins used in the Cassini Space Probe that was later sent to Saturn. It was like many others I worked on, like detective work. Years later, I started to do my own research in carbon nanotubes and NASA obtained two patents for this process with me as the inventor.Do you have any recommendations for young Costa Ricans starting out?Become scientists, learn English, study hard and use available search tools to learn more about what is going on in the scientific field. They should read about scientists in many fields to determine what attracts them the most. The most important thing is the drive, the passion and the commitment to themselves to reach their dreams, no matter how high or difficult.How do you see the future of your field?I believe that humans will always be explorers, and now we have Space to explore. Some people ask, “Why are there so many stars in the Universe? We are so small.” The human desire and capacity for discovery and exploration is infinite. So, if the Universe were small and without mystery, we humans would be stagnant and bored to tears!Bruce Callow is a Canadian communications consultant and educator who has resided in Costa Rica since 1992. He was the Communications Officer at the British Embassy for 9 years. A member of the Globe International Scientists’ Network, Bruce collaborates with Dr.Franklin Chang and the Central American Space Association (ACAE), and does space education outreach work on behalf of NASA. Facebook Comments
“This year, we are definitely getting some things unheard of here,” said Javogue. “Tamarindo Art Wave will be a mix of traditional art and the new techniques that are now being used and will be used in the future. A 15-year-old isn’t used to looking at a painting, he’s used to looking at a screen. We are all witnessing a shift in the art world.” Children have a larger role in the 2018 Tamarindo Art Wave than in past editions. Part of the success of the last event can be attributed to the blue line of art work that led participants of the festival from one exhibit to the other. The line was comprised of blue art pieces created by children from the nearby schools. This year, Tamarindo Art Foundation member Ann Vervoort spearheaded an initiative with students from neighboring elementary and high schools to create works on 1 x 2 meter canvasses.“This was a major event for the kids, as some of them had probably never touched a paint brush,” said Vervoort. “Here we offered them all kinds of colors, brushes, sponges. They can even use their hands and feet, all to decorate a canvas that is bigger than themselves.” “The idea [for the Tamarindo Art Wave] is to diversify the cultural offerings of the area and make high-level artistic activities available to the local population,” Javogue said. “That is why we also propose educational workshops for children and adults; the entire event will be free and open to the public.“Tamarindo is a small city that has grown spontaneously with people from many places, which makes it very interesting to host this type of initiative,” he added. “We want to find new ways to exploit the great potential of Guanacaste and for that reason, we decided to gather the artistic expressions of the area together with the art of other countries to put it on the world map.“Tamarindo is not just surfing,” Javogue said.The Tamarindo Art Wave Festival will be held from Jan. 25 – 27. The entrance fee has no cost. For more information visit their webpage or Facebook page. Facebook Comments Tamarindo is preparing for another cultural immersion: the 2018 Tamarindo Art Wave is coming to town on Jan. 25-27.This year’s version of the popular festival will feature a few upgrades to enhance the participants’ experience, including a huge art gallery tent, another tent for video art, and the first-ever use in Costa Rica of the Tilt Brush by Google. In total, the three-day event will display approximately 200 works by national and international artists, and present 15 shows — both art and musical performances and workshops — making these three days the largest art exhibit to take place in Guanacaste. Courtesy of Jonathan CooleySince the close of the 2016 Tamarindo Art Wave, Emmanuel Javogue and the other co-curator Gaby Alvarez, both members of the Tamarindo Art Foundation, have worked to secure artists and activities for this year’s Tamarindo-wide event. The most formidable addition to the program this year is the 400-square-meter tent in the parking lot next to the ABC Realty office. The structure and displays are based on the Art Basel style featured at the popular event by that name in Miami, Florida, and here will house the works from 30 national and international artists.“The tent will be more professional and more museum-like,” explained Javogue. “This structure will permit us to have larger paintings and sculptures.”Directly across the street, hanging from the side of the high-rise Pacific Park condominiums, will be a Damien Hirst fresco mural called Five Blacks lent to the Tamarindo Art Wave by a private collector. The 7.5-9 meter dot painting was created by the artist in 1993, and Hirst, a English artist whose work is usually worth millions, has sold the festival the rights for participants to recreate the painting with his own step-by-step instructions provided beforehand. A Damien Hirst artwork on the High Rise Pacifici Park Condominiums. Courtesy of Tamarindo Art FoundationAnother addition to the festivities will be the eight 36-square-meter awnings of dedicated to video art located in the soccer field across from Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. These will be more experimental installations, “more theatrical than looking at a painting,” Javogue said, adding that a lounge space has been created in the middle of these tents for participants in the event to rest and take in the work. To that end, on the performance stage, which this year moves to the area where the weekly Feria takes place in the old Tamarindo Resort, Miami artist Alissa Christine will hold two 3-D painting sessions. She will wear virtual reality goggles, then use the magic wand apparatus, called a Tilt Brush by Google, to draw what she sees with her eyes, and since it is 3-D, she will be able to walk into it. The audience will view the artwork on a large screen on stage. Christine’s performances will take place on Thursday and Sunday night.Other activities that will take place on the stage include the return of best-selling Tica performer Debi Nova — this year with her guitarist. They will once again be accompanied by pianist Manuel Obregon. Nova is scheduled for Friday night, and the popular Costa Rica indie band Sonámbulo Psicotropical,who fuse Afro, Latin and American rhythms, play on Saturday. “This year we have different forms of art for people to try, including printing, painting, drawing and body expression,” said Javogue. “That last one is with people from the circus who will be teaching other people acrobatics. There will also be a dance teacher.”The live artist congregation includes Eric Lemaire, a French sculptor who will be creating a huge piece of art during the Tamarindo Art Wave. When the 8-meter-wide piece is finished, he will donate it to the town for display in the planned park across from Cabinas Marioles. Korean video artist Lee Kyungho will make his first visit to Costa Rica in order to present a historical selection of his work.In addition, participants to the Tamarindo Art Wave can expect to see the sculpture and paintings of Tica Aimee Joaristi; the video art of Peter Sarkisian of Santa Fe, New Mexico; glass art of Valerie Rey and paintings by Jean Marc Calvet, both of France; and the paintings of Swiss artist Victoire Cathalan. The Costa Rican project UMO will create an interactive inflatable sculpture on the beach, and Alexander Chavez will perform inside his own sculpture at another location.On the local level, Costa Rica’s well known painter/sculptor/engraver Fabio Herrera will exhibit samples of his work from the last 30 years. Emerging national artists include architect Alejandro Rambar; painters Guillermo Tovar, Felipe Keta and Alonso Rubí; erotic illustrator and sex activist Stephanie Chaves; and an exhibition by the sculptor Alexander Chaves who proposes to send his onlookers on a spiritual journey. Related posts:Planet-friendly fusion cuisine: a meal at Cala Luna Inside a Costa Rican microbrewery – at the beach 5 questions for French artist Victoire Cathalan PHOTOS: The annual Oxcart Parade in Atenas, Alajuela The resulting work will be displayed at the festival, surrounding the opening night Gran Cena that kicks off the festival on the each. The meal will feature dishes created by chefs Sebastien Couratier, Francesco Mascarucci, Fabien Mandrea and Hugo Gutierrez, and wine selected by expert Carmen de Aguirre. The Gran Cena the only fundraiser activity for the arts in the town, which according to Vervoort is extremely important because of the lack of art classes in area schools. The goal is to eventually raise enough money from events and sponsors to finance a year-round art teacher, who could visit the schools and offer professional art classes to interested children. The art spaces will be open at noon and the musical platforms will take place from 4:00 p.m. with children’s presentations, while the adult shows will start at 6:00 pm. The Tamarindo Art Wave will have an area dedicated to activities for boys and girls in Selina Garage, starting at noon. The curators estimate that 90 percent of the featured artists in the tents and at the businesses around Tamarindo will be present this year. However, the main goal is to allow participants at the event to interact with artists, an aspect of the 2016 edition that was very successful. As a result, the number of interactive workshops around town has been increased to 14, located, among other places, at El Coconut Restaurant, Pangas Restaurant, Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, La Oveja Negra and Hollie Heller house. These include:– Percussion (drumming) with Messa Riddim– Lettering (design around handwritten letters) with Byron Balmaceda– Illustration with Brian Miranda– Textile art with Buena Nena– Illustration and serigraphy with Mauricio Tiburon Reptil– Drawing with Felipe Jets– Expression through body movement with Los Cabos– Expression though fashion with Monsieur Duran– Eco-impression with Hollie Heller– Performances with Alexander Chaves– Serigraph printing with Alejandra Fournier– Technical illustration with Stephanie Chaves– Textile stamps with Ale Rambar– Painting with Alavaro Gomez
Associated PressPARIS (AP) – Recessions around the world have pushed a growing number of young people out of education and out of the workforce, according to a report Tuesday that warned of growing danger for “the traditional pathway from school to work or family life.”The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development _ which groups the world’s most developed countries _ found that 16 percent of people aged 15 to 29 are neither in school nor working. The report was based on the available latest figures from 2008 to 2010 _ and the OECD says those trends are likely still rising due to more recent economic turmoil. Sponsored Stories The problem is particularly severe in countries most affected by the European debt crisis _ especially Ireland and Spain _ and the report saw little relief in the years ahead for the next generation of young people.The typical 15-year-old looking ahead 15 more years could expect seven years of education, 5.5 years of work, one year unemployed and 1.3 years out of the workforce entirely. Although some in that last category were raising families, the OECD said, the high unemployment figures among young adults, especially in countries with low birthrates such as Spain and Italy, indicate a far graver problem.According to the report, the prospect of unemployment among the young is less dismal for those with more education. It found that higher education reduced joblessness by 8 percentage points among 20-24 year- olds and 6.7 percentage points among 25-29 year-olds.The report found one major reversal: Young women, for the first time, are more likely than young men to finish high school, are outpacing men in entering university-level education, and are catching up even in vocational schools. The gap was most pronounced in Iceland and Portugal, where women’s high school graduation rates were higher than men’s by 20 percentage points or more. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Teenage girls in OECD countries were also more ambitious than boys when it came to their future careers: They were significantly more likely to expect jobs in high-status, professional careers. But relatively few envisioned themselves in engineering or computing, both fields that remain dominated by men.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share
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Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The banner, whose origins some say date back early Muslim conquests in the 7th century, became the symbol of the past week’s protests around the Muslim world against a movie made in the United States that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.Only days after the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, around 200 members of the group drove through Benghazi, brandishing automatic weapons, in a procession of cars to “champion the Prophet” in reaction to the film.“We want Islamic Shariah laws to govern Libya or we will stage a second revolution,” one bearded young member of the group at the event Friday told a reporter. “We will be a threat to America.” He refused to give his name.Over the weekend, Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif told The Associated Press that some members of Ansar al-Shariah carried out the Sept. 11 attack on the consulate, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.“At least some of them, not necessarily the militia as a whole,” he said, suggesting divisions within the group. El-Megarif said the attack had been planned well in advance to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, adding that foreign al-Qaida members were also in Libya and that he couldn’t rule out that they had a role. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories “They want assurances on the nation’s future, the place of Shariah laws in the new Libya,” he said.___Hendawi reported from Cairo.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) In fact, it guards one of Benghazi’s main hospitals.Libya’s militias are a legacy of last year’s bloody civil war that led to the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi _ and their continued power underscores the weakness of the country’s new political leadership nearly a year after the war ended. With a range of ideologies, the militias arose from local groups that took up arms and battled Gadhafi’s forces. Across the country, they still resist integration into the armed forces and remain in many places the sole forces keeping a fragile sense of order.Ansar al-Shariah, which denies it was part of the attack, is not the biggest of Benghazi’s militias. But it is viewed as the most disciplined and feared, with links to other militant groups in Benghazi and eastern Libya. They are also the most forceful in demanding that the new Libya be ruled by a strident and intolerant interpretation of Islam and Shariah law not far removed from al-Qaida’s.Its fighters have paraded through the streets in pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, draped with a black flag with the Islamic profession of faith, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is God’s prophet” in white _ which has also been used by al-Qaida and many ultraconservative Islamists. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressBENGHAZI, Libya (AP) – Suspicion in last week’s attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans has focused on members of a hardcore Islamist militia known for its sympathies to al-Qaida, its fierce animosity to the U.S. and its intimidation of other Muslims who don’t conform to its harsh ideology.That doesn’t mean Libyan authorities will move against Ansar al-Shariah soon. The group is among the most powerful of the many, heavily armed militias that the government relies on to keep security in Benghazi. Rivalries are rife between militias, but other factions are wary of tangling with Ansar al-Shariah.In June, it held a major parade through Benghazi to mark its founding. More than 120 of its “battle trucks” _ the pick-ups with heavy machine guns bolted in the bed _ proceeded through the city. At the city center, some residents pelted them with stones, shouting, “Go home!” The parade turned away to avoid a confrontation.The group’s members have been blamed for a string of recent attacks against Muslim shrines around Libya. The shrines, including tombs of religious figures, are revered by Sufis and other moderate Muslims. But Ansar al-Shariah, which denies responsibility for the attacks, and other hard-liners consider visits to the shrines as tantamount to idol worship and an affront to Islam.Ansar al-Shariah’s prestige was boosted when the militia took over security at the Jalaa Hospital, the city’s main emergency hospital. Its fighters are posted at the hospital entrance and in its halls.“The fact is that things have been going very well in the hospital since Ansar al-Shariah fighters were assigned to be in charge there,” said Mohammed Qaeir, a senior member of the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood in Benghazi. “Previously, the hospital and the doctors worked under the threat of violence by gunmen. This is not happening there anymore.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments Share Sponsored Stories But he fears that the consulate attack signals divisions within the militia and its leadership, between a radical wing and a more moderate faction.One senior figure in Ansar al-Shariah, Youssef Jihani, denied the group took part in the attack. “We never approve of killing civilians, especially those who helped us,” he said the day after the attack.Still, he reflected the group’s deeply anti-U.S. sentiment. “All of America’s policies are hostile to Islam,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “If America is waging war against al-Qaida, then al-Qaida has a right to defend itself.”“We oppose American policies because they are stained in Muslim blood,” he said.Wanis al-Sherif, formerly a senior leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, warns that alienating Islamist militias like Ansar al-Shariah could offer al-Qaida a foothold among their followers. The LIFG was an anti-Gadhafi militant group that once had training camps with Afghanistan, and many of its members have now turned to politics in the new Libya.Decades of brutal crackdowns under Gadhafi, al-Sherif said, have left them “worried that they will live under another dictatorship that will crack down on Islamists. The U.S., which is investigating the attack alongside Libyan officials, says a different scenario may be shaping up. Rather than a plot, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said it appeared that armed gunmen hijacked what had been a spontaneous protest against the anti-Islam movie.In either case, the militia says it did not participate “as an organization” in the protest at the consulate, though that leaves the possibility that members joined on their own. It also says none of its followers have been arrested since.Ansar al-Shariah, whose name in Arabic means “Supporters of Shariah,” broke away last summer from the February 17 Brigade, which was the main militia force in Benghazi in the fight against Gadhafi’s forces. Benghazi was the first city to rebel in early 2011 and became the de facto opposition capital. Militiamen battled fiercely to defend the city from a major regime offensive _ which was halted mainly by NATO airstrikes _ and then they turned the tables and advanced west along the coast.Now the militias, including Ansar al-Shariah, tout themselves as defenders of Libya’s revolutionAccording to its leaders, Ansar al-Shariah numbers about 300 active members, though other factions say they believe it actually numbers as many as 5,000. Some of its leaders are veterans of the numerous wars in Afghanistan.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – The family of a Malaysian man detained for allegedly insulting a state sultan on Facebook is defending his right to free speech and calling for his release.Police arrested 27-year-old Ahmad Abdul Jalil in Kuala Lumpur and took him to southern Johor state late Friday.His sister Anisa Abdul Jalil says the family was told he was being investigated for seditious remarks against the Johor sultan. But she said the family did not know what the offensive postings were. She said Monday the family was worried as Ahmad has been kept incommunicado since his arrest. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.Under Malaysian law, acts that provoke hatred against royal rulers are considered seditious.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments Share Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Patients with chronic pain give advice
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Because when astronomers look farther away from Earth, they are looking back further in time, this is both the most distant galaxy and the furthest back in time. It’s 13.1 billion light-years away, in the constellation Bootes. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.This beats the old record by about 30 million years, which isn’t much, but was difficult to achieve, said astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California Santa Cruz, who co-authored the paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters announcing the discovery.The photo they took was from a crucial time in the early universe, after what was called the Dark Ages, when galaxies and stars were just starting to form and the universe was only one five hundredth the mass it is now, Illingworth said.This galaxy — larger than most of the others from that time, which is why astronomers using the most powerful telescopes can see it now — was probably only about 100 million years old, but it was quite busy, Illingworth said.“We’re looking here at an infant that’s growing at a great rate,” he said. The galaxy was giving birth to stars at 80 times the rate our Milky Way does now. “These objects would like nothing like our sun. It would look much, much bluer.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Comments Share 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Astronomers have discovered a baby blue galaxy that is farther away in distance and time than any galaxy ever seen. It’s among the universe’s first generation of galaxies, from 13.1 billion years ago.Yale and University of California Santa Cruz scientists used three different telescopes to spot and then calculate the age of the blurry infant galaxy. By measuring how the light has shifted, they determined the galaxy, called EGS-zs8-1, is from about 670 million years after the Big Bang. Sponsored Stories Yale astronomer Pascal Oesch was looking through Hubble Space Telescope images in 2013 when he saw a bright object. He then used the Spitzer space telescope to see it again. The hardest work was confirming the age and distance using the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii to separate light waves.___Hubble: http://hubblesite.org/___Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbearsCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How do cataracts affect your vision? Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of
Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Slahi was arrested in 2000. His lawyers say he poses no threat to the United States and can safely return to Mauritania.He attracted attention this year with the publication of “Guantanamo Diary,” a memoir of his experiences in custody.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 must play golf courses in Arizona WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for a man held at Guantanamo Bay for more than a decade are seeking a hearing to review his detention.The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday asked a federal court to order the Defense Department to hold a hearing for Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen who has been held without charges since 2002.The lawyers are seeking a hearing before a Periodic Review Board, which is conducting parole-style hearings for detainees to determine if they can be sent back to their homeland or to another country. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies LAZARAT, Albania (AP) — Hundreds of Albanian police arrested suspects and checked houses Thursday in a southern marijuana-growing village a day after gunmen fatally shot one policeman and wounded two others.Officials in the predominantly Muslim nation played down local media speculation that the gunmen were linked to Islamic State extremists.Police spokesman Ardi Bita said Thursday that 14 out of 21 main suspects had been arrested in Lazarat, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital, Tirana. He said police searched houses “without meeting resistance.” More than a dozen others were being questioned by prosecutors looking for evidence of who fired at the police Wednesday and seeking to uncover a possible criminal network in the village.Local media said some suspects were Islamic State supporters who had posted imagery associated with the group on their social network sites.“The media have exaggerated. It also is not true that one of the suspects has been in Syria. He has been followed for other crimes and has always been in Albania,” Bita said. “For the moment there is no hint that what is happening is linked at all with the Islamic State.”Lazarat came to prominence last year after a five-day police siege in which special police forces with armored personnel carriers came under intense fire from automatic weapons and rocket launchers. The police raid last year destroyed 102 tons of marijuana and 530,000 marijuana plants with an estimated value of 6.4 billion euros ($8.2 billion).Investigators on Thursday found about 100 bullet casings beside a wall in which gunmen had created holes to fire at police 200 meters (yards) away. A masked police officer in a camouflage told The Associated Press that a grenade launcher was also found. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Bita said the police operation would continue “until the last suspect was detained.”In Tirana, slain police officer Ibrahim Basha was buried with full honors in the Martyrs of the Nation cemetery.___Semini reported from Tirana.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories An Albanian police officer takes position on the rooftop of a house during an operation at the village of Lazarat, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Tirana, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Dozens of Albanian police, backed up by two army helicopters, have been deployed to a major illegal marijuana-growing village after gunmen fatally shot one policeman and wounded two others on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Following Qantas’ three mid-air emergencies last week, extensive checks of the engines of Qantas’s grounded A380 fleet have revealed “some issues”, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has said.Speaking to ABC radio, Mr Joyce has admitted that checks over the weekend on the A380 engines showed problems with three of the engines, problems “that we are investigating further.”My Joyce advised that “slight anomalies: oil where it shouldn’t be” was found on the engines and that Qantas is currently looking into the cause of this.“These are new engines on new aircraft and they shouldn’t have these issues at this stage and so it has given us an indication of an area for us to focus into,” he said, reported the ABC.“Our top priority is making sure that we have the continued safe operation of the aircraft and if this takes a bit longer, it will take longer and we are going to give it as much time as possible to ensure that we are comfortable with the safe operation of the aircraft.”According to the ABC, Mr Joyce emphatically denied maintenance was an issue, instead speculating that Rolls Royce engine design or materials could be the cause of last week’s QF32’s engine explosion.As the only carrier who has grounded aircraft, Mr Joyce said Qantas “will leave [our A380s] on the ground as long as it takes in order for us to ensure that the operation is safe.”Qantas are set to advise the Australian Stock Exchange of its losses caused by these events soon, but Mr Joyce has said these are not on par with the losses caused by the Icelandic volcanic disruptions.
AAT Kings Tammy Marshall & JTG Warwick Blacker In what has been described as an ‘epic’ forum, the afta-led post-flood relief effort to assist Queensland’s tourism industry brought together competitive heavyweights from every retail travel group and key wholesalers from across the nation yesterday to discuss how to ensure local industry prospers in coming months.“These are ferocious competitors, and the fact that they are sitting here showing their support, shows it is about an industry that drives the economy in this State and largely in the country,” Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind said.The impressive lineup of speakers included Flight Centre CEO, Graham Turner, Chairman of afta, and Travelscene American Express CEO, Mike Thompson, Harvey World Travel CEO, David Rivers and Deputy afta Chairman and General Manager retail network Jetset Travelworld, Warwick Blacker.“More than 200,000 people that depend on these people driving this business. That they are working together is a strong message. Put down your competitive batons and we are all on the same team, and it’s very important,” Mr Gschwind said. Each member of the panel discussed the importance of showing support for Queensland, and in particular ensuring correct information was provided to the public in areas that were largely unaffected yet are suffering cancellations due to misconceptions.“We’ve got so many very senior people here and getting behind the key message. The message to the travel consultants in Australia – how can I help?” afta CEO, Jayson Westbury said.Mr Westbury said the biggest support from the travel agency community would be to influence or suggest travellers book domestic holidays to Queensland, and for corporate clients, that Brisbane is open for business. “It is important to tell the (Queensland) travel industry they are not alone. Some of the operators see the end of the road and nobody is coming and it’s a very depressing state of affairs. Getting sadder as you go on it can undermine the recovery,” Mr Gschwind said. “We want to maintain the response momentum on all fronts, including from Government and marketing bodies to get the appropriate funds.” TSAX CEO & afta Chairman, Mike Thompson Graham Turner – Flight Centre, Simon Bernardi –Jetset Ltd, Hugh Houston – AOT Holidays, Mike Thompson –Travelscene American Express, Chairman AFTA, Warwick Blacker – Jetset Travelworld, David Rivers – Harvey World Travel, Tammy Marshall – AAT Kings, Juliana Payne –National Tourism Alliance, John Lee –Tourism Transport Forum, Steve Limbrick – Qantas, Liz Savage – Virgin Blue, Felicia Mariani – ATEC, Jayson Westbury – afta Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M