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WestJet disappointed over cabin crew certification plus fare increases likely coming

first_img By: The Canadian Press Wednesday, August 1, 2018 Share Tags: CIRB, CUPE, WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Swoop CALGARY — WestJet says the Canada Industrial Relations Board has issued an interim order to allow the Canadian Union of Public Employees to represent cabin crew members.The union had filed an application with the CIRB on July 10 to represent the flight attendants after a majority signed cards stating they supported joining CUPE, including WestJet’s mainline carrier and low-cost carrier Swoop.But WestJet said Tuesday night that the interim order does not include members of Encore or Swoop cabin crew.The airline also said it has until Aug. 10 to make submissions on which positions to exclude from the bargaining unit.The move by CUPE to sign up flight attendants follows the unionization of the airline’s pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.“We are disappointed by this outcome but respect the rights of our employees to choose their representation,” said WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims in a statement. “We now shift our focus to working effectively with CUPE in the interest of success for WestJet as a whole.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesNews of the CIRB decision comes hours after the airline said it had posted its first quarterly loss in 13 years.WestJet said it lost $20.8 million in the second quarter and warned that passengers should expect to see higher fares later this year to compensate for rising fuel costs that contributed to the loss.“I think this is the way guests now need to think is that airfares will be rising just as they did back in 2010, 2011 when we had the last major fare spike,” Sims said in an interview.The increases will likely be felt this fall after the negative effects on demand from a threatened pilots strike dissipate.“We firmly believe that by the time we get to late September, October we’ll start to see more of those fare increases sticking and more guests understanding that we are passing on the cost of the fuel increase.”Even though the second-quarter results beat analyst expectations, Sims conceded they were “disappointing” and that its 2018 results are “off track”.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”“We are now operating in a very different fuel and competitive environment,” he said during a conference call.The Calgary-based airline said it was forced to offer discounts that partially offset five fare increases this year to stimulate travel and restore passenger confidence.“To build flow-on benefits like ancillary revenues, we had to be aggressive both to recover those guests who would otherwise have booked away or booked with a competitor but also to compete with this almost unprecedented level of peak season capacity,” Sims added.The threat of the strike wiped out tens of millions of dollars in profit in the second quarter that pushed the airline to break a 52-quarter streak of profitability, chief financial officer Harry Taylor said in a conference call.“We start rebuilding from today,” Sims said in an interview. “I think when any sports team breaks their winning streak their first focus is how do you rebuild that streak.” WestJet “disappointed” over cabin crew certification, plus fare increases likely coming << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

JTBs Philip Rose says until next time as he leaves Canadian market

first_img Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — When Philip Rose took over as Regional Director, Canada for the Jamaica Tourist Board seven years ago, he came here from the U.S. “and I had all my big ideas. I quickly learned that Canada is a very unique market with nuances that cannot be overlooked.”Rose is leaving the JTB’s Canadian office for a new post with the tourism board, an appointment he says he’ll be able to announce in the next couple of weeks. He starts his new role in the new year, and meanwhile a new Regional Director will be announced for the Canadian market.Does Rose have any advice for the incoming new Regional Director? “Ask questions. Listen. Trust the team. And trust the partners,” he says.Asked what he’s most proud of, looking back on his 7 years heading up the Canadian market, Rose singles out his Canadian team: “I’m especially proud of how active, how professional my team has been here.” And, he adds, he’s proud of all the extra airlift to Jamaica.When Rose took over the post seven years ago, the Canadian dollar was starting to decline after a run at-par, prices to Jamaica had gone up and capacity had gone down. “It was like ‘Welcome to Canada, Philip’,” he jokes.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“All of our partners rallied together and went to the market and our numbers started to rise.”Over the 7 years, “we’ve done remarkably well,” says Rose.More importantly than the increase in visitor numbers from the Canadian market, Rose and his JTB have also put in place new strategies that will ensure ongoing visitor satisfaction levels with the Jamaica travel experience remain high, and return rates stay high as well. “We’re not only interested in the numbers increasing from Canada, but also customer satisfaction,” he says.He adds: “We firmly believe one of the reasons for our high return rate is that we take the time and invest the resources to ensure our retail partners have the tools to make sure their clients are in the resort that’s right for them.”Rose says he wants to thank everyone in the industry for all the support over the years. “I have made some incredible friends here, both in the industry and in the community. I will miss you all! Canada has been good not only to me, but to my family too. We have been proud to call Canada home for seven wonderful years, and we are truly going to miss it…other than the Toronto traffic and winters, of course,” he jokes.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesRose officially ends his stint as Regional Director, Canada for the JTB on Dec. 15 – “just before the brutally cold temperatures”.Seven years ago Rose arrived in Canada from Texas, where he was in charge of the Western USA market. Is he headed back to the U.S. in his new JTB role? Time will tell but if it’s another cold climate, he’ll be well-prepared, thanks to the lessons he learned here in Canada: “I now wear a toque as opposed to a hat.” Monday, December 3, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group JTB’s Philip Rose says ‘until next time’ as he leaves Canadian market after 7 years Tags: Departures, Jamaica, JTBlast_img read more

He was kind gentle and thoughtful Industry veteran Ed Day dies at

first_img Tuesday, June 25, 2019 “He was kind, gentle and thoughtful”: Industry veteran Ed Day dies at 49 TORONTO — Ed Day was a much-loved and respected travel industry veteran whose sudden passing is generating an outpouring of memories and condolences.His death over the weekend “has come as a massive shock”, says Hayden Yates, Travel Industry Sales & Marketing Director for Disney Destinations.Yates worked with Day for several years, ever since Day joined Disney as DSM, Ontario for The Walt Disney Company (Canada) in 2016.Before coming onboard with Disney, Day was Sales Manager, Canada for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, from 2011 to 2016. Other stints in the industry include Park N Fly Canada as Senior Sales Rep, from 2007 to 2011. Day was also Sales Manager for Jade Tours from 2003 to 2006.“Our deepest condolences go out to Ed’s family. He has a young son,” said Yates. Day was 49 years old.Industry friends are sharing their memories of Day on Facebook, he added. “It just goes to show how big a personality he had in the industry,” says Yates. “He was so kind, gentle and thoughtful.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaFuneral services are taking place Thursday, June 27. Friends and family may visit McEachnie Funeral Home, 28 Old Kingston Road, Ajax (905-428-8488) from 12–3 p.m. Funeral service will follow in the chapel at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to a GoFundMe campaign (, which will be used solely for Braydon’s future education and for sports. Alternatively, donations can also be made to the following account via direct transfer: 06702-003-5396379. Online condolences may be placed at Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted bylast_img read more

Libertarian candidate Otto Guevara could become Costa Ricas next president

first_imgRelated posts:Villalta’s rise and Araya’s fall could upset 50 years of political dominance in Costa Rica In last presidential elections, polls overestimated Libertarian Guevara’s support and underestimated PAC’s The Tico Times to publish live election results starting at 8 p.m. Live Costa Rica election results A second round of voting in April in Costa Rica’s presidential race could turn the dynamics upside-down, as current third-place candidate Otto Guevara would be favored.This is according to the latest poll released by the daily La Nación, the first time a public poll has examined scenarios if no candidate succeeds in getting more than 40 percent of the vote in the first round.The poll ran three scenarios between the top polling candidates – the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) nominee Johnny Araya, the progressive Broad Front Party candidate José María Villalta, and the Libertarian Movement Party’s Guevara.Guevara likely would defeat both Villalta and Araya – if Guevara makes it to the second round – while Araya would lose to Villalta, La Nación’s poll predicted.“I am profoundly grateful for this massive and growing support from Costa Ricans,” Guevara said in a statement. “Our message is honest and transparent and the people have understood it.”Guevara has benefited in recent months from receiving support from former and current members of the formerly dominant right-of-center Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC).Costa Rican elections go to an automatic runoff if no candidate wins more than 40 percent of the vote. This has only happened once, in 2002 when Abel Pacheco of PUSC won 38.6 percent of the vote in the first round. He went on to win 58 percent in the runoff over PLN candidate Rolando Araya.The likelihood of a runoff in this year’s Feb. 2 election has grown if the polls are accurate. No candidate has received more than 40 percent of the likely vote since Araya garnered 45 percent from  a Gallup poll in November. Even that poll has appeared to be an outlier with Araya’s support hovering between 20 percent and 28 percent in multiple polls between September and November.In the hypothetical matchups, between 30.8 percent and 26 percent of respondents either refused to pick a candidate or said they did not know.Polling took place Jan. 6-12 according to La Nación, and had a margin of error of 2.2 percent. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas president criticizes growing military spending in Latin America

first_imgA week after Costa Rica celebrated the66th anniversary of the abolition of its armed forces, President Luis Guillermo Solís criticized growing arms spending in Latin America during a speech at the Ibero-American Summit in Veracruz, Mexico, on Sunday. In his remarks Solís noted a “troubling” tendency in the region toward militarization.“When I look at Latin America I am concerned about too much spending on arms. I believe that while there is a legitimate interest in defending one’s country, there are other productive and social needs that require these resources that are not abundant in our countries,” Solís said.Latin America spends a relatively small amount on arms compared to the rest of the world, with the United States and China as the top two big spenders. But while arms buying might not attract attention internationally, Latin America has seen significant increases in military investment in recent years, according to figures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global military spending. Brazil is the biggest military spender in Latin America, after recently acquiring a nuclear submarine and an air carrier, when it dropped a cool $31.5 billion in 2013, according to SIPRI.Central America as a region has seen the largest relative growth in military spending in Latin America, according to SIPRI. In 2013, Central America and the Caribbean spent $9.6 billion on their armed forces, up 6 percent from 2012 compared to a 1.6 percent increase in South America. In 2012, Central America and the Caribbean saw an 8.1 percent increase in military spending, the largest percentage change in the world that year.Increased military spending by Costa Rica’s northern neighbor, Nicaragua, has rattled officials here. Foreign Minister Manuel González said in September that Nicaragua’s expressed desire to purchase naval and air assets from Russia was a concern for Costa Rica and the region as a whole. In May, ex-Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo accused Russia of trying to set up military bases in Nicaragua.“That’s why I want to use this opportunity to make a call for prudence and reason on this subject that has spread across Latin America. I look with concern at this situation and how these decisions could lead us to undesirable results,” the president said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican veterans reflect 66 years after abolition of army Costa Rica seeks Nobel Peace Prize for abolishing its army Landmark Arms Trade Treaty spearheaded by Costa Rica’s ex-President Óscar Arias goes into effect Costa Rica announces its own international aid policylast_img read more

Keylor Navas breaks another Real Madrid record

first_img once again that he is among the best goalkeepers in the world, Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas has broken another record with his club team Real Madrid. The Tico superstar has not conceded a single goal during the first five games this season at the club’s home stadium Santiago Bernabéu — more consecutive home shutouts than any Real Madrid goalkeeper in history.The historic fifth shutout took place Saturday against Navas’ former La Liga team, Levante. San Keylor managed a spectacular save in the first half, blocking a fast header aimed straight for the net, giving the offense a chance to sink two goals. Navas finished out the game with two more saves and the offense pulled out one more goal bringing the score to 3-0.Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo also had a record-breaking moment, scoring his 324th goal, making him Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer.Accounting for this most recent game, Navas averages 0.25 goals per league game, the best average of any goalkeeper in the Spanish league.Can’t get enough Keylor Navas news? Check out all The Tico Times’ coverage of San Keylor here.  Facebook Comments Related posts:WATCH: Keylor Navas makes two incredible saves, extends historic shutout streak VIDEO: Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas wins Spain’s Best Goalkeeper award for 2013-2014 season WATCH: Keylor Navas records another shutout for Real Madrid Keylor Navas puts on a show in Real Madrid winlast_img read more

Costa Rica detains Syrian woman traveling on falsified Greek passport

first_imgCosta Rican authorities on Thursday detained a Syrian woman with a Greek passport, two days after five Syrian menwere arrested in Honduras while attempting to travel to the United States on fake passports.Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata told The Tico Times the woman is likely connected to the five Syrian migrants arrested in Honduras on Tuesday while carrying falsified Greek passports. Mata said the woman was detained in a hotel in the center of San José, Costa Rica’s capital. She had been staying at the hotel since arriving Tuesday.“We received information today [Thursday] of a woman with the same physical description as a person who entered the country two days ago on a Greek passport. We have her in custody and are transferring her to the Prosecutor’s Office,” the minister told local Radio Monumental.A ministry spokeswoman told AFP that police had been alerted to the woman’s presence here by the owner of the San José hotel. Her name has not yet been released to the press.She will now be questioned by Interpol and Costa Rican authorities to determine if the Greek passport in her possession is fake or stolen. Fuerza Pública detiene en hotel capitalino a extranjera con pasaporte reportado en Interpol como extraviado .— Seguridad Pública (@seguridadcr) November 19, 2015 On Tuesday, Honduran authorities arrested five Syrians intending to make it to the United States with stolen Greek passports, triggering alarm in the wake of the Paris attacks launched by Syria-linked jihadists.“Five Syrian citizens have been detained and will be taken to our offices to be investigated, because it is suspected they are carrying false documents, passports stolen in Greece,” a police spokesman, Anibal Baca, told reporters.The Syrians were arrested as they flew into Toncontín International Airport in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, and failed to make it past airport security checks, Baca said.They arrived in Honduras via El Salvador after spending six days from Nov. 11 to 17 in Costa Rica, Mata said. In Costa Rica, the men arrived on a flight from Argentina via Peru, and departed at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside San José, the daily La Nación reported, citing Immigration Director Kathya Rodríguez.National Police Director Juan Jose Andrade told The Tico Times the woman also entered Costa Rica through Juan Santamaría International Airport on a flight from Peru.Last Sunday, police in Paraguay arrested a seventh Syrian traveler with a falsified Greek passport, at the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport, CNN en Español reported.While investigations continue in all three Latin American countries, as well as Greece, with collaboration from the U.S. and Interpol, officials in both Paraguay and Honduras are treating the detainees as likely refugees fleeing the brutal Syrian civil war. So far, no evidence has been reported linking the seven Syrians to terrorist groups, CNN and news agency EFE reported. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis Somali migrants in ambulance arrested on Costa Rica-Nicaragua border Amid deportation fears, immigrant advocacy groups teach resistance Refugee program for Central Americans ‘still on the drawing board’: US officiallast_img read more

Militants cross into Israel from Egypt 1 killed

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack targeted civilians building the security fence. “Its construction is a paramount national interest,” Netanyahu declared.There was no immediate comment from Egypt on the attack.Israel stepped up construction of a security fence along the 230-kilometer (150-mile) border with Egypt in a bid to keep out both militants and illegal migrants from Africa. The government has said it expects the fence to be completed by the end of the year.In Monday’s attack, two civilian vehicles carrying construction workers were driving toward the security fence when militants activated a roadside bomb and opened light arms and anti-tank fire at them, Leibovich said.One of the vehicles was struck and turned over into a nearby ditch, killing a worker, she said. Israeli troops rushed to the area and engaged in a gunbattle with the militants. One militant, who was carrying a large explosive device, blew up. Another militant, and possibly two others, were also killed, but others may have escaped back into Egypt, she said.There was no word on their identities or membership in any of a wide range of armed groups.Leibovich said Israelis living in five small communities in the area were instructed to lock themselves inside their homes, and two major southern roads were closed to civilian traffic while troops scoured the area for other militants. The military later concluded no other gunmen were in the area. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Two rockets believed fired from Sinai struck southern Israel over the weekend, though Leibovich said it was unclear whether the two events were related.In the most serious incident in recent years, gunmen from Sinai infiltrated Israel and ambushed vehicles on a desert highway last August, killing eight Israelis. Six Egyptian soldiers were killed during Israel’s hunt for the militants, causing a diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors that ended with an Israeli apology.That attack shattered decades of calm along the frontier area, prompting officials on both sides of the border to examine security arrangements and pushing Israel to speed up construction of the border fence.As part of its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, Israel agreed to return the Sinai, captured in the 1967 Mideast war, but insisted the desert triangle separating Asia from Africa be significantly demilitarized.As the frontier area grew more volatile following Mubarak’s ouster, Israel allowed thousands more Egyptian troops to police the area and has beefed up its own military deployment along the border.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories The vital role family plays in society Military spokeswoman Lt. Col Avital Leibovich said the assailants have not been identified but said defense officials suspect Palestinian militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip might have been involved. Southern Gaza borders Sinai, and infiltrators can exit Gaza through tunnels under the border.Several hours after the attack, an Israeli airstrike killed two men on a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border. The Islamic Jihad said the men were members on a “reconnaissance” mission and vowed revenge.Israeli military officials said the incident was not connected to the earlier infiltration from Egypt.The mountainous Sinai desert harbors an array of militant groups, including Palestinian extremists and al-Qaida-inspired jihadists, Egyptian and Israeli security officials say.Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio that there has been “a worrisome deterioration of Egyptian control” over the Sinai.Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz, a former defense minister and military chief, said he hoped Israel could conduct a security dialogue with the Egyptians and demand more forceful policing in the Sinai.“No doubt Sinai has become a security problem,” Mofaz told Army Radio. “(Monday’s) incident ratchets it up a notch.”center_img Associated PressJERUSALEM (AP) – Militants crossed from Egypt’s turbulent Sinai desert into southern Israel on Monday and opened fire, killing an Israeli worker, defense officials said. Two assailants were shot dead in a gunbattle with Israeli troops responding to the ambush.The Israeli was in a crew building a fence along the porous desert border.No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which underscored the growing lawlessness in the Sinai desert since longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising last year. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

Iran speaker cancels Canada trip

first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix To protest the cutting of ties, Iran’s parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani decided not to attend a meeting of legislators from different countries scheduled for late October, Fars news agency said.Tehran’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile said that Ottawa’s five-day deadline for its diplomats to leave was “unwise.” It said Canada cut relations in an “unprofessional, unconventional, and unjustifiable manner while resorting to misusing international law.”The U.S. and its allies are at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at developing weapons technology. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities are aimed at peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment.Washington has not had diplomatic ties with Iran since the aftermath of that country’s 1979 Islamic revolution. Canada’s break with Iran removes another channel for the United States to get first-hand diplomatic assessments of Iranian affairs. Canada and Britain had been main conduits of information for the U.S., but Britain downgraded its diplomatic relations with Iran after a crowd attacked its embassy in Tehran in November. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressTEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s parliamentary speaker canceled on Saturday a visit to Canada to protest Ottawa’s decision to cut diplomatic relations, and Tehran’s foreign ministry called “unwise” a five-day deadline set by Canada for Iranian diplomats to leave the country.Canada shut its embassy in Tehran on Friday accusing the Islamic Republic of being the most significant threat to world peace. The surprise action reinforces the Conservative government’s close ties with Tehran’s arch foe Israel. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird gave a long list of reasons for Ottawa’s decision, including Tehran’s support for Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war.Iran’s Foreign Ministry statement countered that Canada violated the human rights of Canadian Indians.Some Iranian analysts said that Tehran is unlikely to push its feud with Ottawa too far, as Canada is a major place of residence for Iranian expatriates. “Iran has a humanitarian concern in this case,” said Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a professor of politics in Tehran’s Allameh University.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories last_img read more

Morocco king eases restrictions on abortion for incest rape

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Some reform advocates had called for a much wider access to abortion to stem the recourse to illegal procedures.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Moroccan King Mohammed VI has ordered that laws restricting abortion be loosened, allowing it in the case of rape, incest, danger to the mother’s health or fetal malformation.Debate erupted in this North African kingdom earlier this year over reforming the penal code, which banned abortion except in cases of a threat to the mother’s life. The king had his justice minister, religious affairs minister and the head of the state human rights organization study the issue. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories “Their consultations showed that a vast majority of society is for the criminalization of abortion with the exception of a few cases that would have negative medical, psychological and social repercussions on the woman, fetus, family and society,” said a royal statement carried late Friday by the state news agency.With the exception of Tunisia, where abortion is legal, the practice is highly restricted across the region, with occasional exceptions made for rape, incest or fetal malformations.Despite the law, abortion is widespread in Morocco, with non-governmental organizations estimating that 600-800 illegal abortions are performed daily. Bearing a child out of wedlock in a conservative society like Morocco brings shame upon a woman and her family, resulting in women turning to abortion or abandoning infants.The calls for reform were sparked in December when Dr. Chafik Chraibi, head of obstetrics at Rabat’s Maternity hospital, was fired after he condemned the laws that forced abortion underground. His firing led to a debate among intellectuals and political party leaders, culminating in Chraibi’s reinstatement and the king’s launching of a committee in March to reform the law. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Quick workouts for menlast_img read more

Thousands march in Honduras against government corruption

first_imgCarrying torches and Honduran flags, and shouting “JOH out!” — referring to the president’s initials — protesters paralyzed central Tegucigalpa in the march, which was organized through social media.“The Honduran people are awakening from their lethargy … this is just the beginning,” said protest organizer Gabriela Blen. “We want an international commission against impunity to be installed.”A U.N.-backed anti-impunity body has helped uncover corruption in Guatemala, leading to resignations.In Honduras, a new congressional report released Friday said that businesspeople linked to the graft scandal gave $280,000 to Hernandez’s political party during his 2013 campaign.The report said the businesspeople deposited checks into accounts linked to Ricardo Alvarez, Hernandez’s vice president.The investigation by the congressional commission found the amount of dirty money that made its way into the president’s campaign was higher than Hernandez has acknowledged. Hernandez previously said his party had informed him that the funds involved 10 checks totaling around $150,000 in donations.Separate investigations have revealed corruption in the public health system that included kickbacks, diverting money from medicines and purchases of substandard medicine. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Thousands of people marched against corruption in Honduras’ capital on Friday, delivering a letter to the local U.N. office asking for an international commission against impunity to investigate scandals involving top government officials.The protest came after President Juan Orlando Hernandez acknowledged that his election campaign received financing from businesspeople linked to a social security embezzlement scandal that investigators allege involved millions of dollars misspent on marked-up goods and services. Hernandez has denied any personal involvement. FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2013, file photo, then National Party Presidential Candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez, second from right, greets supporters at a polling station in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Now as President of Honduras, Hernandez has acknowledged Wednesday, June 3, 2015, that his election campaign received financing from businesspeople linked to a social security embezzlement and graft scandal that has sparked large protests, but denied any personal involvement. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)center_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Austere brand of Islam on rise in Europe stirring concerns

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility In Germany, there are currently about 7,000 Salafis in the country — nearly double the 3,800 estimated four years ago, the Interior Ministry said last month. About 100 French mosques are now controlled by Salafis, a small number compared to the more than 2,000 Muslim houses of worship, but more than double the number four years ago, a senior security official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. France does not do head-counts by religious practices or origins.In Britain the numbers are on the rise, too. Seven percent of Britain’s 1,740 mosques are run by Salafis, according to Mehmood Naqshbandi, an expert on Britain’s Muslims and counter-extremism adviser to the British government who keeps a database of the various currents of Islam in Britain. He says those numbers are steadily growing, especially among young people — and that a quarter to half of British Muslims under 30 “accept some parts or all of the Salafi theology.”Today, the Internet is largely seen as the main route for youth to quickly radicalize. But radicalization can be cultivated in places where Muslims socialize, like mosques. And there, said the French security official, it is Salafis who are considered the principle purveyors of radical ideology. Comments   Share   Top Stories Critics say police often infringe upon the freedom of worship in their mission to monitor Salafi extremists. “It would be naive to think there is never a risk,” said Samir Amghar, a specialist on Salafism. But to consider that every sign of ultraconservative Islam presents a danger “risks stigmatizing a large majority of Muslims.”And some Salafis say that the common image of their lives as being one of rigid worship — with no enjoyment — is a myth.Olivier Corel, a Salafi who reportedly figured in the religious life of Mohammed Merah — who killed three children, a rabbi and three paratroopers in 2012 — went skiing with his wife in the Pyrenees in January.“We have fun. We have fun. We have fun,” his wife told the AP by telephone, before hanging up.Rachid Abou Houdeyfa, a Salafi imam in the western French city of Brest known for his You Tube sermons of do’s and don’ts, created one video showing himself and a buddy in a pleasure boat and titled it “Can One Have Fun?”“We’re going swimming,” he said before diving into the water.___David Rising in Berlin and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The vital role family plays in society PARIS (AP) — Its imams preach austere piety, its tenets demand strict separation of sexes — and some of its most radical adherents are heeding the call of jihad. Salafism, an Islamic movement based on a literal reading of the Quran, is on the rise in France, Germany and Britain, security officials say, with Salafis sharply increasing their influence in mosques and on the streets.The trend worries European authorities, who see Salafism as one of the inspirational forces for young Europeans heading to Syria or Iraq to do battle for the Islamic State group. Experts, however, point out that the vast majority of Salafis are peace-loving. Experts say Salafis in France have been waging a campaign of stealth to take over mosques. First they develop a following, then begin criticizing the imam in order to win control over the faithful, security officials and moderate Muslims say. Youth and converts to Islam are considered the most vulnerable to such messages.Experts of Islam divide Salafis into three groups: the traditional brand of “quietists” who eschew politics; those who become politicized; and the hardcore worshippers who follow the call of jihad.Today, Salafism has become a buzzword for danger. In Germany, authorities consider all Salafis as extremists, and security officials in Europe believe there is a direct line from the peaceful version to the version that embraces jihad — and risks tempting the fragile into fanaticism.“The bridge is short,” said Alain Rodier, a former intelligence officer who is now a terrorism specialist.Salafism, in principle, should not be a cause for concern, said Naqshbandi, the British expert. But, he said, the very simplicity of its message means anyone can warp it to his own ends.“People who want to pursue militant political Islam have a set of tools available … which they can twist to argue their case,” Naqshbandi said. He called the Islamic State group, which champions Salafism, the prime example of how the theology can be abused. Those who practice Salafism — which comes from the word “salafs,” or ancestors — seek to emulate the Islam of the prophet Muhammad and his early followers, which they consider the purest form of the religion. Salafis, who are Sunni Muslims, are easily identifiable. Men wear beards and robes above the ankle and women often cover their faces.A mosque outside Lyon won an unusual case last week against a Salafi worshipper taken to court after months of tension. Faouzi Saidi, 51, was convicted of troubling public order inside a house of worship and fined. He admitted to criticizing the imam for what he claimed were theological lapses, but claimed he only once held “parallel prayers” in a corner with a group of followers.The case was thought to be the first in France by Muslims against a Muslim invoking a 1905 law to guarantee secularism — used by the government to pass bans on headscarves and face-covering veils.France has worked to put a safety ring around Islam since deadly January terror attacks in Paris, seeking to stifle the spread of extremism in areas considered fertile terrain. Authorities have notably started taking down Internet sites that glorify terrorism and are pressing ahead with a training program to instill imams with French values. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FILE – In this file photo dated Tuesday, May 26, 2015 a man makes a phone call as he walk past a mosque in Oullins outside Lyon, central France. The mosque won an unusual case last week against a Salafi worshipper taken to court after months of tension. The case was thought to be the first in France by Muslims against a Muslim invoking a 1905 law to guarantee secularism _ used by the government to pass bans on headscarves and face-covering veils. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

British Airways union offers 34 pay cut

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Union leaders representing British Airways staff have made a dramatic attempt to end the deadlocked row with the airline by offering to cut cabin crew pay by 3.4 per cent. Sources said Unite had put forward a package which the union believes would save £60m and avert strikes. The union has given BA a week to mull over the proposed pay cut, however, the airline will have to accept the deal by next Tuesday or the union will move to name strike dates. For the past few months, BA has been locked in a bitter battle with its staff over jobs and working conditions and union members have twice voted in favour of industrial action. Discussions have been held under the auspices of the TUC, but there has been little sign that a deal was imminent. The TUC said: “On the initiative of [TUC general secretary] Brendan Barber, both Unite and British Airways have now committed to the objective of completing these negotiations by close of play on Tuesday, 9 March.” The union is believed to have suggested that cabin crew would accept a 3.4% pay cut and two-year pay freeze. In an effort to cut costs, BA has reduced the number of cabin crew on flights and CEO Willie Walsh made it clear this week that the changes would not be reversed.The union has until March 15 to announce industrial action, and will have to give a week’s notice before striking. last_img read more

GOH Top Achievers Weekend TAG Bali 2010′

first_imgNick deacock GOH with Andrew Prins Asia Holidays NZ Travel agents from around Australia and New Zealand gathered in Bali recently for a weekend of indulgence and celebration. Nick Deacock GOH with Cheryl Lee Newtown Holiday The occasion was Garuda Orient Holidays’ 2010 “TAG” (Top Achievers Group) weekend, the annual event recognising outstanding sales achievements during 2009 by Australian and New Zealand travel agents  In what has become a GOH tradition, the venue for the Gala Awards Dinner was the property being featured on the cover of the 2010/11 “Bali on ANY budget” brochure – The Royal Pita Maha – a stunning resort in a secluded valley overlooking the Ayung River in Bali’s cultural capital, Ubud.The awards were presented by the management teams of both Garuda Indonesia and Garuda Orient Holidays.  The Australian Top Achiever award was accepted by Ms Cheryl Lee Newtown on behalf of Holiday Planet, W.A., while the New Zealand Top Achiever award went to Asia Holidays, Auckland, and was accepted by Manager Mr. Andrew Prins. During their stay in Bali the Top Achievers lived it up in some of Seminyak’s finest villas and resorts including the beachfront Anantara Resort, The Amala, the Elysian Bali Villas, and the exclusive Sentosa Private Villas before spending the final night at the stylish new Komaneka Bisma Resort in Ubud. Agents enjoyed a relaxed welcome dinner at Hu’u Bar, lunch at the stunning new Alila Villas, perched on the cliff tops of Uluwatu, and a magnificent dinner at the iconic La Lucciola, Seminyak. “Of course another GOH “TAG“ tradition is pampering our Top Achievers!” said Michael Woods, GOH Marketing Manager. “We invited participants to indulge in a range of fabulous spa treatments, and indulge they did, courtesy of Dala Spa at Villa de Daun, Prana Spa at The Villas, Royal Pita Maha, Pita Maha Resort & Spa, and Maya Ubud Resort & Spa.” Prestige Bali Villas hosted their final indulgence with a magnificent farewell cocktail party and barbecue dinner in two of their stunning Seminyak properties, Villa Ramadewa and Villa Batavia.Supplies of the 2010/11 edition of “Bali on ANY budget”, available next week, can be obtained through TIFS or by contacting your local Garuda Indonesia Sales department.center_img Source = Garuda Orient Holidays TAG GALA Rosy, Karin, Kim, Sam, Annette, Narellelast_img read more

Trendy HBistro Restaurant at Hansar Samui Receives TripAdvisor Certif

first_imgHansar Samui’s trendy beachfront H-Bistro Restaurant is proud to be the recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award. H-Bistro has quickly become popular with both hotel guests as well as locals and visitors to the Island.  Executive Chef, Stephen Jean Dion, A native of Canada, has created a memorable epicurean experience in his sparkling state of the art kitchens, where guests can appreciate the authentic taste of French Mediterranean Cuisine, in addition to a Thai menu at H Bistro.     Chef Stephen focuses on combining the right array of simple textures and flavors with the finest ingredients available which are sourced worldwide, while still ensuring value for money. The Foie Gras comes from the Soulard farm in France in the Perigord region which is famous for providing the best quality. Carefully selected fresh Maine lobsters and oysters are flown from Canada, Japan, and France.  Menu items are complemented by a handpicked list of International wines and champagnes, reflecting the resort’s commitment to creating a truly epicurean experience.    Signature Dishes – Highlights from Chef  Stephen’s menu include Appetizer: – Peach caramelized foie gras with jerez jusMain Courses:Grilled Maine lobster with garlic butter and rocket lettuceSlow cooked Prime Angus beef tenderloin with celeriac baby carrots and puffed quinoa   Hansar Seafood Melody (Maine lobster, Hokaido scallops, Oysters, Australia Mussels, and prawns]Imported Oysters  – Fines Del Claires (France), Kumamoto (USA) and Tatamagouche (Canada) Thai SpecialtiesTom Yum Goong – hot and sour soup with prawnsGaneg Phet Pet Yang – roast duck breast curryDessert: – Warm melted chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream Hansar Samui Infinity Pool with Waiter Source = Hansar Samuilast_img read more

Air NZ no longer target in cartel investigation

first_imgAir New Zealand can breathe easy after the US Department of Justice has ceased its five year long cargo cartel investigation against the carrier.The US Department of Justice federal prosecutors confirmed in a letter that they have concluded their investigations against Air New Zealand, stating the airline “is no longer a subject or target of the ongoing grand jury investigation.”The result follows successful outcomes for the carrier when last year they were not listed among the airlines fined by the European Commission and prior to that, confirmation from regulators in South Korea that the carrier was not among airlines fined at the conclusion of their investigations.“Air New Zealand welcomes this further step as it continues to demonstrate its innocenece in respect of the cartel allegations,” Air New Zealand general counsel John Blair said.“This brings a closure not only for the airline but also, importantly to a few individuals who have had to live for more than five years under the threat of criminal penalties, despite the airline’s confidence in their innocence.“Air New Zealand has conducted and continues to conduct its business affairs in compliance with the laws of the countries that it services,” Mr Blair said.Regulators from across the world commenced investigations into the air cargo industry back in 2005, fines imposed to date on airlines that have been found guilty exceeded US$1billion. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Wellington keen to dissolve intl depature fee

first_imgAiming to boost its appeal to international travellers, Wellington Airport has proposed removing the International Departure Fee.In a pricing proposal to airlines presented earlier this month, the airport’s chief executive John Howarth explained that removing the fee would also remove “passenger frustration”. “Removing the fee will raise the standard of the passenger experience to the level expected of a sophisticated central city airport,” Mr Howarth said.“As part of our continuing efforts to make international travel more competitive and promote new routes and additional services to the Capital, Wellington Airport has proposed reducing international charges and incentivising new growth with a published discount structure available to all airlines.” The year-long proposal was compiled by the airport to determine aeronautical pricing, the cost airlines would pay to continue using its facilities and infrastructure from 1 April next year.As part of the report handed to airlines, Wellington Airport said it would decrease the cost for international service per passenger by up to $7 over the next five years, while domestic services would see an increase between $0.37 and $1.79 each year.The size of the aircraft flying in will also contribute to the overall cost of flying in and out of the airport.“Wellington Airport has a single runway which can accommodate 35 flights an hour in good weather,” Mr Howarth said.“That capacity is now being approached at peak times and even though the charge to land a small regional aircraft is around 20 times less than a domestic jet carrying 180 people, the slot each aircraft occupies is the same. “The pricing proposal explores the potential to provide an incentive for smaller aircraft to operate during off peak times, freeing up the limited capacity for larger aircraft to accommodate growth.”Wellington Airport also proposed an investment of up to $67 million in aeronautical assets and upgrades, including explansion of terminal buildings, enhancing safety systems and airfield improvements. Having received the proposal, the airporth as issued the airlines a 7 October deadline for feedback on proposed changes.New prices will not be implemented until the “open and comprehensive” process of the proposal has been completed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Ukraine Int Airlines PNR passport requirements

first_imgUkraine International Airlines now requires traveller’s passport information to be included in all bookings involving travel to Berlin, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan and London. Effective immediately, failure to insert passport details into the PNRs for the mentioned destinations will result in an ADM. Travel agents are referred to their GDS helpdesk for more details and assistance in adding the information correctly. Should you have any further queries, please contact the airline reservations team. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img

Best Western scores a Perfect Ten

first_imgBest Western scores a Perfect TenBest Western scores a Perfect TenBest Western® Hotels & Resorts has been named as Asia’s ‘Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand’ for an incredible tenth year in a row!The iconic hotel group, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, once again took home the title of ‘Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand’ in the 27th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2016.Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, said he was delighted with the award, which demonstrates the enduring appeal of Best Western.“We are absolutely thrilled to have been honored once again at the TTG Awards,” said Mr. Berrivin. “To be named as Asia’s ‘Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand’ not just once, but for ten years in a row, is a truly staggering achievement for Best Western and one that we are extremely proud of.”“It is also a wonderful testament to our entire Asia-based team, both at our Bangkok head office and all our hotels. To maintain such consistently high standards is an amazing achievement, and reflects their tremendous hard work and professionalism.”As it celebrates its 70th anniversary and its 15th year in Asia, Best Western is currently undertaking an historic period of development. The company recently unveiled its new global branding and launched four new hotel concepts, including the ultra-modern Vīb® and GLō℠. Asia’s first ever Vīb hotels are due to open in Bangkok, Yangon and Vientiane in 2018.“This award shows is that the Asian travel trade is embracing the changes we are making, whilst also recognizing our continued leadership in the midscale sector. This is really wonderful to see.” Mr. Berrivin concluded.Best Western was presented with the award in a glittering ceremony in Bangkok, attended by many leading figures from the Asian travel trade. Best Western Hotels & Resortsbook your stay hereSource = Best Western Hotels & Resortslast_img read more