first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionIn Costa Rica, September and October can be the cruelest months for seasonal illnesses. For most of the country, these are the stickiest and wettest months, prime time for viral infections. Certain viruses become more pervasive during Costa Rica’s rainy season, including bronchitis, the flu and the mosquito-borne illness dengue. No dengue epidemics have been reported this year, although several outbreaks affected Costa Rica’s Atlantic coastal region in 2011. The Social Security System (Caja) warns, however, that cases of respiratory illnesses are increasing in the country. According to the Caja, 23 percent of patients who received emergency services in the first half of September were treated for respiratory infections, double the average. In a typical month, respiratory emergencies correspond to 10-13 percent of Caja visits.  From late August to early September, the National Children’s Hospital in San José treated more than 10,000 cases of respiratory illness. Normally the hospital handles fewer than 5,000 a month.The Health Ministry has reported seven deaths from influenza this year. To reduce the frequency of the most severe respiratory illnesses, the Caja is promoting vaccinations against the flu. Many hospitals, clinics and pharmacies throughout the country offer injections for about $12. The World Health Organization recommends immunization for those who are most vulnerable to complications from the flu, National Children’s Hospital doctor José Hurtado said. Hurtado said children 6 months to 3 years old should get vaccinated, as well as parents, caretakers and adults over 65. People with chronic diseases such as immune disorders, asthma and heart problems should also use the flu vaccine. Forty percent of children in Costa Rica are infected by the flu each year, according to the Caja, with at least one in 10 requiring hospitalization. Children under 3 are most susceptible to infections, including bacterial infections that can complicate treatment, such as pneumonia. Hurtado said most deaths from the flu are due to complications that arise when the flu weakens the immune system and a more fatal disease invades the body. At the children’s hospital, a sudden increase in bronchitis infections occurred in the past month, and Hurtado said he’s seeing more flu cases as the rainy season continues. After the vaccine is administered, immunity from the most common strands of the disease circulating in the region takes effect two to three weeks later and lasts eight to 12 months.Hurtado warns against one frequent misconception that the flu and the common cold are the same disease. While some symptoms are similar, such as phlegm and a harsh cough, the flu hits much stronger. Headaches pound and muscles are sore, while fevers shoot above 102 degrees. It’s important to stay hydrated. The virus can knock patients out of commission for up to a week, and sometimes longer. Fatigue from the flu can linger after other symptoms have dissipated.All these worries usually can be assuaged with a simple shot. The vaccine is not effective against every flu strand, just the most prevalent ones in Costa Rica. Still, it sharply reduces the chance of getting sick. Another reason to get vaccinated, the doctor said, is because it’s hard to detect who may be carrying the virus. A person can be contagious at least a day before showing symptoms, and after symptoms disappear, a person remains contagious for another five days.Said Hurtado: “It’s not easy to know which person is infected and who could be a vehicle for the contaminant.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Colombia suspends peace talks with FARC after general kidnapped Victims’ issues come to the fore in Colombia peace talks Q&A: Behind the Colombia-FARC talks Brother of Colombia’s former President Álvaro Uribe arrested for homicide BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian police captured a suspected FARC rebel accused of participating in the kidnapping of three U.S. citizens held hostage from 2003 to 2008, authorities said Saturday.Duverney Ospina, also known as “Giovanny,” allegedly joined the FARC a decade ago and was the confidante of Hernán Velásquez, or “El Paisa,” a leader within the leftist rebel group, a police statement said.Ospina was detained in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.Police said there were 19 warrants and six standing convictions against Ospina for aggravated murder, kidnapping, torture, terrorism, rebellion, drug trafficking, making military weapons for private use and a jailbreak.Authorities accuse him of helping kidnap three U.S. contractors — Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Tom Howes — on February 13, 2003, after their plane was shot down.The FARC said the contractors were U.S. spies and sought to exchange them for captured rebels.However, Stansell, Gonsalves and Howes were rescued on July 2, 2008 in an operation that also saw the liberation of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 11 other hostages.Ospina also stands accused of orchestrating the killings of five council members in a town in Caqueta state in 2005 and of eight more in a town in Huila state in 2006.Colombia has been in talks with the communist rebels in Havana since November 2012, in a push to end the longest-running armed conflict in Latin America, now in its 50th year.Founded in 1964, the FARC today has about 8,000 fighters and is the largest of the guerrilla groups waging Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:The voices of the Supreme Court in division over gay marriage Ireland could become first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote Costa Rica grants first gay common-law marriage in Central America Where is Costa Rica on gay marriage? international community asks WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court in January agreed to decide a historic question about same-sex marriages. On Tuesday, it will hear oral arguments in those cases.The justices have ordered that the parties to the cases address two questions in their legal briefs: whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.Q: Hasn’t the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriages before?A: In June 2013, the court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), allowing legally married same-sex couples to receive federal benefits. The court also cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California by leaving in place a lower court’s ruling overturning the state’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.However, the justices stopped short of a more sweeping ruling that the fundamental right to marry must be extended to gay couples no matter where they live.Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan declared unconstitutional DOMA’s prohibition on federal recognition of legally married couples — enacted when such unions were only theoretical.Q: What happens Tuesday?A: The court will hold 2 1/2 hours of oral arguments. There are two parts to the arguments: The first will focus on whether gay couples have the constitutional right to marry, and the second on whether states must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. Lawyers for both sides will make their cases in oral arguments.The court is hearing four cases, but the title case is Obergefell v. Hodges.Q: How much do oral arguments affect the justices’ rulings?A: Justices say the arguments are a time for them to question the legal reasoning advanced by the parties in their briefs. The justices say that sometimes, but not often, oral arguments will affect the outcome of the decision.Q: What else do the justices consider?A: They consider the court’s precedents on the issue, their own theories of constitutional and statutory interpretation, and friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by interested parties — in this case, more than 150. But, as Ginsburg has said, the case is most often decided based on the written briefs submitted to the justices.Q: What will we know at the end of arguments?A: The justices sometimes reveal their thinking on the case through the kind of questions they ask the lawyers in front of them. It is also the first time the justices discuss the case themselves, so the way they ask questions is sometimes a signal to the rest of the court.Q: What happens next?A: Since this case is being argued on a Tuesday, the court will probably meet privately Wednesday and take a vote. The justices go around the table based on seniority, with Chief Justice John Roberts speaking first. The rule, they say, is that everyone speaks once before anyone is allowed to speak twice. Once they have decided the outcome, it’s time to write the opinions.Q: Who writes the opinions?A: If the chief justice is in the majority, he will either write the majority opinion himself or pick another justice in the majority to write it. If he is not on the winning side, the senior justice in the majority gets to make that decision. (Practically everything at the Supreme Court revolves around seniority.)Writing such an historic decision will require some time, and if there are dissenting justices, they will be working on a dissenting opinion as well. All of the justices will either sign on to the majority opinion or state their own reasons about how the case should be decided.Q: When will we know what the majority opinion is?A: A case as important as this one tends to take some time. The ruling will be issued once the majority has agreed upon an opinion and, if there are dissenters, when those opinions are ready as well. The court’s only deadline is that it tries to finish its work by the end of June.Q: What could happen after the ruling?A: If the court rules against the constitutional right to get married, the ability to decide reverts back to the states. Most state officials, even those opposed to same-sex marriage, say they will follow the ruling if the justices say the Constitution requires the recognition of same-sex marriage.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-07.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-01.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-06.jpg Previous Image No related posts. Price: $549,900COD: 1101Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558Province: San JoséCantón: EscazúConstruction: 340m2Land: 700m2Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 4.5Parking: 4Living in the midst of peace and tranquility in a new luxury estate – The Cocoy is located in one of the most exclusive areas of Escazú in the hills of Guachipelín. The house has been built inside a forest, but at the same time, it’s only minutes to the main road in the city of San José.Located on 700sq.m of land, the house is large and has four bedrooms on the second floor. Two of the bedrooms share a bathroom, the master bedroom is very spacious with large walk in closet and bathroom. All bathroom appliances were imported from Spain and are Deca and Roca. The floor on the second level is bamboo, which gives it a nice warm feeling.On the first floor you will find the kitchen, living and dining room with high ceilings. There is also a good size yard where you can put a playground, a pool and more.Do not miss the opportunity to live in one of the best located communities in Costa Rica.See this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here. Facebook Comments https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-04.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-02.jpgcenter_img https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-09.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-08.jpg Next Image info heading info content https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-05.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1101-03.jpglast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Hoping for a safe haven in Costa Rica Nicaragua police arrest 20, use stun grenades to end protest U.S. government restricts visas for Nicaragua officials over unrest Nicaragua’s Ortega defends parapolice violence as US steps up warning Nicaragua’s primal scream MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Students marched through Nicaragua’s capital Monday, chanting “GET OUT” to demand that President Daniel Ortega and his wife Vice President Rosario Murillo resign after a deadly weekend of clashes.At least 10 people died on Sunday, a human rights group said, after pro-government forces launched an operation in the south to clear opposition barricades mounted in various towns to prevent police and armed forces from entering.“We won’t stop struggling until these criminals resign,” the students chanted on Monday.United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who was visiting Costa Rica for a meeting with President Carlos Alvarado, urged an end to the violence and a resumption of the stalled dialogue with the opposition.“It’s absolutely essential that the violence ceases immediately and that the national dialogue is revitalized, because the only acceptable solution in Nicaragua is a political one,” Guterres said on Monday at Casa Presidencial alongside Alvarado.Costa Rica was one of 13 Latin American countries that signed a declaration Monday calling for the Nicaraguan government to cease all “acts of violence and intimidation” and dismantle all paramilitary groups. Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado (L) and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R) shake hands during the welcoming ceremony at Casa Presidencial as Gutierres visits Costa Rica on July 16. AFP Photo / Ezequiel BecerraOn Saturday, some 200 students were holed up in a parish church next to the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in the capital, Managua, besieged by pro-government militias.The ordeal, which saw students and journalists cowering on the floor of the church as bullets flew overhead, lasted 20 hours and left two people dead and 14 injured before the students were allowed to leave following the intercession of Catholic bishops. A Washington Post reporter who was trapped inside with the students detailed the siege.https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/students-in-nicaragua-trapped-in-church-amid-gunfire-by-pro-government-militias/2018/07/14/c7f04512-86e3-11e8-9e06-4db52ac42e05_story.html?utm_term=.e90286a3b4fb“Even if they kill us and suppress us, we’re going to keep struggling until they go,” chanted students at Monday’s march, in which they also demanded justice for those killed on Saturday.“I’m grieving for the death of my brothers. I couldn’t do anything for them – they had us surrounded,” a crying student, his face covered with a shirt and who survived Saturday’s attack, told AFP. “We won’t take even one step back. Their deaths won’t be in vain!”‘No going back’Some 280 Nicaraguans have been killed in clashes since protests – led mostly by students and young people – against Ortega and his government erupted on April 18, initially in opposition to a pension reform before mushrooming into wider civic discontent.“There will be no going back; the struggle will go on. This government has to leave for there to be a better future,” 22-year-old marketing student Harry Centeno told AFP.Opposition protesters are demanding that former left-wing guerrilla leader Ortega and his wife resign, accusing the pair of establishing a repressive, despotic and nepotic regime.Ortega, 72, was once the heroes of the Sandinista rebels fighting against the US-backed Somoza family dictatorship that ruled Nicaragua for 43 years. Monday’s march ended in front of the El Chipote prison, where hundreds of young people have been detained since the protests began in April.“No to repression. Murderer Ortega, you must go,” read one sign held aloft while students chanted: “Justice! Freedom!”Ortega’s government has accused opposition protesters of being “criminals” and “putschists.” The president has rejected an opposition call to have elections brought forward from 2021 to next year. Facebook Commentscenter_img Fed up: Nicaragua’s uprising Once Anastasio Somoza was toppled in 1979, Ortega assumed power until losing elections in 1990.Since his reelection in 2007, Ortega has become increasingly unpopular amongst many of his former left-wing allies – now his staunchest critics.Sunday’s violence took place in and around the opposition stronghold of Masaya, where once Ortega himself was based while fighting against the Somoza dictatorship.‘Violent repression’Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) chief Paulo Abrao on Sunday denounced on Twitter “the violent repression of towns in Masaya,” accusing the government of “ignoring the dialogue” with the opposition.The United States on Monday reiterated calls for an end to repression, and for early elections to be held.“The Nicaraguan government must heed the Nicaraguan people’s call for democratic reforms immediately,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.Students have taken on the protest baton following three days of anti-government action, including a strike last Friday, led by the opposition.last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Protesters gather at Nicaraguan embassy in San José to rally against Ortega regime More than 60,000 people flee Nicaragua crisis: UN Nicaragua paroles 8,000 convicts to clear prisons Costa Rica seeks $6 million in environmental damages from Nicaragua in border dispute Nicaragua released dozens of prisoners Wednesday who were arrested during protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega, ahead of long-awaited peace talks with the opposition, a human rights group said.Authorities gave no details about the releases, which were announced by the Permanent Human Rights Commission (CPDH) after relatives posted images on social media of busloads of jubilant inmates leaving La Modela prison outside Managua.“We have verified that a couple of minibuses left and some known prisoners were inside,” CPDH president Marcos Carmona told AFP, adding that as many as 100 may have been released.Many of the freed prisoners waved flags, sang the country’s national anthem and shouted “Viva Nicaragua”.Relatives had spent the night outside the prison after rumors circulated that inmates were to be released.Ortega and the opposition were to begin talks Wednesday on easing tensions that began last April with deadly protests over the government’s now-ditched pension reform.The opposition Civic Alliance coalition had called for the release of all opposition prisoners ahead of the talks, which were to take place at the Central American Institute of Administration and Enterprise, around nine miles (15 kilometers) outside the capital.A brutal crackdown by Ortega’s security forces left 325 people dead and more than 750 arrested and accused of terrorism by the time the protests ended in October.The violence has forced tens of thousands of others to flee the Central American country.Independent media outlets have been targeted for harassment, threats and arrests in the crackdown. Nicaraguan journalist Miguel Mora, owner of the 100% Noticias channel shut down by the government, began a hunger strike this week to protest his detention, his lawyer said Tuesday. A political prisoner is pictured after being released from “La Modelo” prison in Managua on February 27, 2019. (Inti Ocon / AFP)Previous talks failurePrevious Catholic Church-brokered peace talks broke down last June after the president rejected opposition demands to step down and bring forward presidential elections.Nicaragua is struggling with an economic crisis and a $315 million deficit. GDP shrank four percent last year and some economists say it could contract 11 percent in 2019.The opposition accuses former guerrilla leader Ortega, in power since 2007, of establishing a corrupt dictatorship with his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo.Murillo, who is also the government spokesman, called for the “full restoration of fraternity and peace in Nicaragua,” in a statement on the eve of the talks.Urging a break with recent violence, she called on all sides to “leave behind us the harsh experiences, learning from them, casting off negative feelings from our lives.”Ortega’s handling of the protests drew international condemnation from the United States, which has imposed sanctions on the president and his wife for rights abuses.Ortega had agreed to resume the talks “because the civil disobedience continues, because of his international isolation and the crisis situation in (ally) Venezuela, and because the economy is in freefall,” said Azahalea Solis, a member of the opposition delegation at the talks.U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that “socialism is dying” across Latin America, pointing to leftist regimes in Venezuela, Cuba and Ortega’s Nicaragua.“When Venezuela is free, Cuba is free, and Nicaragua is free, this will become the first free hemisphere in all of human history,” said Trump.Luis Carrion, a former Sandinista guerrilla commander who is now an opposition figure, said the talks were “a very complex and risky.”Ortega “is not seeking in good faith a real solution to the crisis, his goal is to break his isolation and avoid international sanctions, to preserve his power and to remain in the presidency until 2021.”This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family When South Sudan voted to break away from Sudan last year after decades of war, the people of the Nuba Mountains were caught in the middle. They are black, like those of the south, not Arabs like the northerners of Sudan. Now a full-on war is under way in their homeland.Even once they reach the relative safety of the camp, the threat of war remains. South Sudan’s military is on alert in case border skirmishes with Sudan escalate into a full-scale conflict.The Yida camp is far more militarized than aid workers would like. South Sudan troops move through, as do northern rebel groups fighting Sudan. U.N. and other aid workers quietly say the rebel fighters use the camp for food and rest. International aid groups have dug deep foxholes in their compounds in case Sudan bombs again.New arrivals must walk within 20 yards (meters) of an unexploded bomb dropped by a Sudanese aircraft in November that landed on the road leading to the camp from the north.The rate of new arrivals has risen rapidly in recent days. Aid workers and Nuba leaders say 15,000 or even 30,000 more Nuba could reach Yida in coming weeks.With the rains expected to start around June, WFP is rushing to deliver 5,000 metric tons of food. On a recent day, dozens of Nuba men erected large storage facilities and unloaded sacks of food from the U.S. government’s aid arm, USAID. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Back in their homeland, the refugees have endured bombardment from Sudanese warplanes and a crisis-level food shortage they blame on Sudan’s president. Aid groups say Sudan _ a mostly Arab nation _ is intentionally trying to starve the black residents of the Nuba Mountains.Refugees report the deaths of young and old back home.“There’s no food where we live. People are eating the leaves of trees, said Amira Tia, who arrived at the camp last week after walking in green flip flops for four days with her four children.“Every morning they go to the bush to collect leaves. There is also a root of a tree that if you soak it for five days and then boil it, it is edible,” she said.Sudan does not allow aid from U.N. or international groups to be delivered to Nuba, and no official assessments have been done about the conditions there.Geoffrey Pinnock, the World Food Program’s emergency officer in Yida, fears that unknown.“What we hear from refugees is that things are bad and getting worse,” he said. “Some people haven’t had solid food in two months and then walk five days” to reach the camp.Muniara Kamal walked for six days, carrying her 9-month-old daughter, Safa, who wore a red sweatshirt with white hearts and swatted feebly at flies while getting medical care. Tia said the group she was walking with was attacked by Sudanese Antonov bombers twice. One man was cut in half by shrapnel, she said. Aid workers say the proud Nuba don’t like to take handouts. Conor Lucas-Roberts, the 29-year-old head of Samaritan’s Purse, the largest aid group here, noted that the refugees build their own homes. People are even starting their own churches and businesses, setting up small shops and a “movie theater” _ a tent with a few chairs and a TV.Hussein Algumbulla, the chief representative for the camp’s residents, said the Nuba hate asking for help. “We need only scythes and next year we can say to WFP, you can come buy food from us,” he said.Algumbulla says he expects the camp’s population to swell to more than 60,000 people in coming months, a number the U.N. refugee agency is also bracing for, according to Peter Trotter, the head UNHCR official at Yida, noting that conditions in the Nuba Mountains will only get worse.“They should be preparing land now but are not. There are reports of people eating their seed stock, so they have nothing to plant,” he said.Amjuma Ali Kuku, a 24-year-old teacher, cares for the camp’s unaccompanied children. At first the job was manageable, but there are now 2,000 children without parents. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories Associated PressYIDA, South Sudan (AP) – First they ate leaves. Then they ate roots, soaked for five days and boiled until they were just edible. Now many have eaten the planting seed _ and their future with it.There is no food left in the Nuba Mountains, so the stream of tens of thousands of hungry refugees pouring across the militarized Sudan-South Sudan border has almost doubled in the past two months.The Yida camp now holds 31,000 refugees and is bracing for thousands more, as desperate families rush to make the five-day trek south from Sudan on foot before seasonal rains arrive, turning the rough dirt road muddy and impassable, and choking off food deliveries for months.center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The camp has a dirt airstrip, but the rains threaten to make it unusable. Goods could be parachuted in or dropped by helicopter, but both methods are extremely expensive for a large refugee population.Ibrahim Kallo, the head of the International Rescue Committee in Yida, said he’s not counting on the runway being usable after the rains set in. A recent emergency evacuation of a pregnant woman underscores the danger of being isolated by rain.The group sent the woman to Bentiu, the nearest city, a three to four hour journey by truck over a jarringly bumpy dirt road even when it’s dry. The mother made it to the hospital just before some early rains arrived. But on the way back to the camp the truck got stuck, and the mother and her 3-day-old newborn had to spend the night in the truck without food, Kallo said.At Yida, straw huts covered by blue or white UNICEF tarps sit among trees and towering termite mounds spiraling 12 feet high or more.The stick-thin children wear torn or dusty clothes. Most are barefoot. The women vastly outnumber the men, many of whom stayed behind to fight the Sudanese Armed Forces.The U.N. calls Yida a transit camp and wants the residents to move to two camps farther south, but most refugees prefer to be closer to home _ and to the tree cover in Yida that provides protection from the merciless sun. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 “For some of them, when the war broke out, they ran with the teachers and that is why they are here,” she said as dozens of girls played with a tattered ball nearby. “Some of them don’t know if their mothers or fathers are alive.”Of the hundreds of children Kuku oversees, only 16 have been reunited with their parents. Kuku’s compound of teenage and young girls has no security, and food has disappeared, leaving the girls hungry. The WFP is trying to improve security.But Kamal feels safer in Yida than in Nuba, which she hopes can somehow be annexed by the south, something Sudan President Omar al-Bashir is not likely to allow anytime soon. She plans to stay away until there is peace.That may take a long time.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

first_imgThose convicted of serious crimes are not usually eligible for pardons. Banda’s spokesman, Steve Nhlane, said Sunday that the president was unaware of any serious criminals on her pardon list.Police helped prison guards quell the riot. Prison spokesman Evance Phiri said later that the 34 who had been pardoned were eventually released.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories ZOMBA, Malawi (AP) – Officials say rioting prisoners in Malawi briefly stalled the release of convicts who had been granted presidential pardons.Two days after President Joyce Banda pardoned 377 prisoners to mark the southern African nation’s 48th independence anniversary, prisoners at Zomba Central Prison just outside the commercial hub of Blantyre on Sunday disrupted the release of 34 of those pardoned. Prisoners shouted to reporters outside the prison that one of those pardoned was a rapist and another a murderer. Quick workouts for men Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 0 Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

first_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ErrorOK ErrorOK 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – Zimbabwe’s finance minister forecasts a slower economic growth rate caused by political tensions as the nation prepares for elections next year.Finance Minister Tendai Biti said when presenting the national budget to parliament Thursday that Zimbabweans must brace for a “gnashing of teeth” as economic growth forecast at 9.8 percent for 2012 will decline to 5 percent in 2013. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Biti allocated $3.8 billion to government spending with more than half going to civil servants’ salaries.He warned against violence in the upcoming elections that could lead to a collapse of the “economic foundation” achieved by the four-year-old coalition between Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change. He said political uncertainty has scared away foreign direct investment.Biti is a former opposition politician in the coalition.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

first_imgUNAMA said 561 children were killed and 1,195 were wounded in 2013, a rise of 34 percent in the combined number of casualties. Also last year, 235 women died and 511 were wounded, a rise of 36 percent in combined casualties. The breakdown for deaths and injuries for children in 2012 was not available.On Saturday, another child was killed when a roadside bomb detonated near a high school in the city of Jalalabad. Eight other people were wounded, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nengarhar province of which Jalalabad is the capital.The U.N. reported that a total of 2,959 civilians were killed in the war and 5,656 were wounded last year.By comparison, there were 2,768 civilian deaths and 4,821 civilians wounded in 2012, and 3,133 deaths and 4,706 wounded in 2011.The report blamed insurgents for 74 percent of the civilian casualties. Afghan police and army were responsible for 8 percent of the casualties and international coalition forces for 3 percent, the report said, while 10 percent could not be blamed solely on either side and the responsibility for the remaining 5 percent was unknown.The Taliban condemned the U.N. report, which a spokesman called American propaganda that was “completely upside down” in blaming the insurgency for most of the casualties. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The number of children killed and wounded in Afghanistan’s war jumped by 34 percent last year as the Taliban stepped up attacks across the country and continued to lay thousands of roadside bombs, the United Nations said Saturday.Overall civilian casualties were up by 14 percent, reversing 2012’s downward trend and making 2013 one of the deadliest years of the 12-year war for civilians, the U.N. Assistance Mission for Afghanistan said in a report. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The rising civilian toll underscores mounting levels of violence in Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents have ramped up attacks to try to gain ground and shake the Afghan government’s confidence as international combat troops prepare to complete their withdrawal at the end of the year.The U.N. report also noted an “alarming” new trend for 2013 _ the increasing numbers of civilians being harmed in fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.It recorded a total of 962 battles in which civilians were harmed last year _ an average rate of nearly 20 such battles every week _ and said civilian casualties caused by such fighting rose by 43 percent over the previous year.In terms of deaths and injuries, 2013 was also the worst year of the war for Afghan women and children, with most of the casualties caused by either stepping on or driving over roadside bombs or getting caught in fighting.“It is the awful reality that most women and children were killed and injured in their daily lives _ at home, on their way to school, working in the fields or traveling to a social event,” said Georgette Gagnon, director of human rights for the U.N. mission, calling on all sides to work to protect civilians from harm. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “Very clearly there was an increase in our operations against the Afghan forces and foreign invaders, but also all our holy warriors were very careful to avoid civilian casualties,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahadid said in a statement. He added that “the majority of casualties among civilians are caused by foreign forces trying to get revenge.”The international military coalition, for its part, condemned the insurgents’ “continuing disregard” for human life.“The Taliban continue to attack mosques and health care facilities, they target schools by burning them down, emplacing IEDs (roadside bombs) near them and occupying them for insurgent activities,” the coalition said in a statementAccording to the report, roadside bombs laid by pro-Taliban forces again caused most civilian casualties, accounting for 34 percent of deaths and injuries last year, while crossfire in battle accounted for 27 percent. Suicide attacks accounted for 15 percent of overall casualties, targeted attacks made up 14 percent and pro-government air raids were responsible for 2 percent. Unexploded ordnance detonations and “other” accounted for 4 percent each. Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Insurgent attacks against Islamic clerics and mosques tripled to 27 during 2013, causing the deaths of 18 people.The sum total of 8,615 deaths and injuries in 2013 was the highest number of combined casualties since the U.N. began documenting them in 2009 after a sharp rise in violence.But the deadliest year of the war was 2011, when 3,133 civilians died as the Taliban launched a fierce pushback with roadside bombs and other attacks against the increased number of international forces who wrested back much of the territory controlled by the insurgents.(Copyright 2014 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 painlast_img read more

first_img Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 PARIS (AP) — A mosque won an unusual court battle on Wednesday against an ultraconservative Salafist member of the congregation regarded as disruptive and, in an apparent first for Muslims, used France’s 1905 law guaranteeing secularism to argue its case.A court ruled in favor of the small Oullins mosque on the edge of Lyon. It convicted Faouzi Saidi, 51, and fined him 1,500 euros ($1,640) with 500 euros suspended. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Saidi denied that was his intention, saying he was lending a hand to youth who wanted to visit Saudi Arabia which demands such certificates — and has a strong influence over Salafis.“We’re paying attention to everything now,” said Belhay, who runs the mosque association. “I think other mosques are doing so, too.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Top Stories The action by the mosque was a sign of the growing concern over Salafis who are mostly peaceful, but a minority can veer into extremism.Saidi, contacted by telephone, protested the decision as unjust, saying his only error was to “have a big mouth.”“I don’t understand why I’ve been convicted,” he said, while conceding he considered one man who served briefly as imam as incompetent, saying he could not even speak Arabic. “I practice religion as it is prescribed,” he said.The events occurred in 2014. Saidi said he was banished from the mosque.“We don’t accept someone who gives ideas to others,” said Ahmed Belhay, president of the association that runs the mosque, and filed the complaint against Saidi. “We have an Islam for everyone.”Mosque lawyer Mathieu Allard said the court found Saidi guilty of being disruptive by criticizing the imam, holding parallel prayers and preaching his ultraconservative Salafist brand of Islam to converted Muslims.The 1905 law is the mainstay of French bans on headscarves in classrooms and face-covering veils in streets. But it also provides for legal recourse if the ability to express freedom of conscience is compromised. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Allard he found no instance in which that aspect of the law was invoked in cases involving Muslims. It was apparently last used in court in 1980 after drunkards upset a midnight Christmas Mass, and in 1911 after a priest conducting a funeral service criticized the deceased — causing the shocked family to take their loved one elsewhere for burial.“The feeling of the mosque association is a sense of failure to have to have had to call on justice” to settle the affair, said Allard. A complaint was filed only because a dialogue was impossible, he said.“We know these people (Salafis) will keep saying the same things … outside the official mosque,.” Allard said.France monitors mosques to guard against radical preaching and keeps a watch on the activities of Salafis. It has pressed forward with a program to train imams to guard against outside influence.The mosque claimed Saidi had set himself up as an imam in a period when the mosque had no official prayer leader. However, Saidi contends he held parallel prayers in the mosque only once. But suspicion deepened when Saidi tried to procure attestations for converted youth that they were “good Muslims.” That raised special concern as some French youth head to Syria to join the Islamic State group. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency urged the European Union on Thursday to take in far greater numbers of refugees than planned as the number of desperate Syrians fleeing conflict continues to grow.The EU’s 28 nations resettled around 8,500 people in need of protection last year, according to UNHCR figures, and plans to resettle 20,000 refugees from outside Europe over the next two years.UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Turk told EU lawmakers that “there will be a much greater and more urgent need to increase these numbers.” Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Turk said the numbers of migrants entering the EU via Turkey into Greece had increased significantly recently, and that most of those coming in were Syrians. Some Iraqis, Somalis and Eritreans are using this route too, he said.“We haven’t seen as many arrivals in Greece in previous years as we have now,” he said. “There needs to be a lot of solidarity measures with the countries that are particularly affected,” like Greece and Malta.The conflict there is now in its fifth year and Turk said this means that “a certain sense of hopelessness sets in among the Syrian refugee population” and drives them to more desperate ways of finding sanctuary.Lead EU lawmaker on migration, Roberta Metsola, said the EU could make better use of an existing system of special visas for such people. She called for a fully-resourced “support system to create further capacities for humanitarian visas.”In a separate measure, the European Commission is urging member states to take in 40,000 Syrians and Eritreans arriving in Italy and Greece over the next two years in an attempt to oblige countries to share the migrant burden.A number of states, including influential EU members France and Germany, have complained about the commission’s method for calculating how many refugees each nation should take in under the “relocation” plan. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ErrorOK… ErrorOK A migrant from Syria waits at the port of Kos island, Greece, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, after she and others were rescued by Greek Coast Guard while they were trying to cross from Turkey to Greece on a dinghy. Greece and Italy are the main points of entry into the European Union for refugees and economic migrants from the Middle East and Africa hoping to reach other European Union countries. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) Comments   Share   Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

first_img Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 treatments for adult scoliosis 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies U.S. intelligence officials say China, like the U.S., spies for national security advantage. Unlike the U.S., they say, China also engages in large-scale theft of corporate secrets for the benefit of state-sponsored enterprises that compete with Western companies. Nearly every major U.S. company has been hacked from China, they say.The Office of Personnel Management is also a repository for extremely sensitive information assembled through background investigations of employees and contractors who hold security clearances. OPM’s Schumach has said there is “no evidence” that information was taken. But there is growing skepticism among intelligence agency employees and contractors about that claim.In the Senate on Thursday, Democrats blocked a Republican effort to add a cybersecurity bill to a sweeping defense measure. The vote was 56-40, four votes short of the number necessary.Democrats had warned of the dangers of cyberspying after the theft of government personnel files, but Democrats voted against moving ahead on the legislation, frustrated with the GOP-led effort to tie the two bills together. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the defense legislation over budget changes by the GOP. “The issue of cybersecurity is simply too important to be used as a political chit and tucked away in separate legislation.” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.___Associated Press writers Donna Cassata and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on the incomplete information the union received from OPM, “We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees.”The OPM data file contains the records of non-military, non-intelligence executive branch employees, which covers most federal civilian employees but not, for example, members of Congress and their staffs.The union believes the hackers stole military records and veterans’ status information, address, birth date, job and pay history, health insurance, life insurance and pension information; and age, gender and race data, he said. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.The union, which does not have direct access to the investigation, said it is basing its assessment on “sketchy” information provided by OPM. The agency has sought to downplay the damage, saying what was taken “could include” personnel file information such as Social Security numbers and birth dates. “We believe that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous,” Cox said in the letter. The union called the breach “an abysmal failure on the part of the agency to guard data that has been entrusted to it by the federal workforce.”Samuel Schumach, an OPM spokesman, said that “for security reasons, we will not discuss specifics of the information that might have been compromised.”The central personnel data file contains up to 780 separate pieces of information about an employee.Cox complained in the letter that “very little substantive information has been shared with us, despite the fact that we represent more than 670,000 federal employees in departments and agencies throughout the executive branch.”The union’s release and Reid’s comment in the Senate put into sharper focus what is looking like a massive cyber espionage success by China. Sen. Susan Collins, an intelligence committee member, has also said the hack came from China.Mike Rogers, the former chairman of the House intelligence committee, said last week that Chinese intelligence agencies have for some time been seeking to assemble a database of information about Americans. Those personal details can be used for blackmail, or also to shape bogus emails designed to appear legitimate while injecting spyware on the networks of government agencies or businesses Chinese hackers are trying to penetrate. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, asserting that the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by “the Chinese” without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, right, welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, in Bratislava, Slovakia, Friday, June 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron charged Friday that some British Muslims quietly condone the radical ideology of the Islamic State, prompting accusations that he is scapegoating the large and diverse community.Speaking at a security conference in Slovakia, Cameron urged British Muslims to do more to stop the group from recruiting young Britons. He said disaffected youths are being drawn to an ideology that believes “the West is bad and democracy is wrong, that women are inferior, that homosexuality is evil.”center_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain The vital role family plays in society Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Others defended Cameron’s message. Haras Rafiq, managing director of anti-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation, said he didn’t see the speech as anti-Islam.“He is not saying that all Muslims are the problem,” Rafiq said. “He is saying the Islamist ideology needs to be tackled.”And Kalsoom Bashir, who heads the counter-radicalization group Inspire, said Cameron has a point that some British Muslims have a degree of “sympathy, empathy and envy for the people who are going out to Syria.”“Just as we dismiss the Ku Klux Klan as a loony fringe of Christianity, we need to be back in a place where we can dismiss this ideology as a loony fringe of Islam,” she said. “But unfortunately it’s becoming mainstream. I think that fightback has to come from within the communities as well.”___Lawless reported from London.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Saying this ideology “is quietly condoned” among some Muslims, Cameron blamed radicalization in part on “people who hold some of these views who don’t go as far as advocating violence, but who do buy into some of these prejudices, giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight.”About 2.7 million of Britain’s 64 million people are Muslim. Police say at least 700 of them have traveled to IS territory, including a 17-year-old who blew himself up in Iraq last week and three sisters from northern England believed to have gone to Syria with their nine children.Some Muslim groups reacted to Cameron’s comments with anger. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim think-tank the Ramadhan Foundation, called them “deeply offensive.”“We do not need a lecture about being good citizens from a government that thinks the way to build alliances with the Muslim community is to trash us,” he said.Opposition lawmaker Yasmin Qureshi accused Cameron of conflating religious conservatism with support for extremism.“To make the comparison he has done the way he has done, it is not only unhelpful but actually wrong,” she told BBC radio.last_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28b04/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> United Airlines will introduce an additional nonstop service from Sydney to Los Angeles in December 2010 and January next year.From December 1 until January 9, the carrier will double its capacity on the Sydney – Los Angeles route with two daily services. Between January 10 and January 31, United will offer a second daily flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and from Los Angeles to Sydney on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. United will also continue to offer its daily nonstop service between Sydney and San Francisco.Alison Espley, General Manager Australia and New Zealand United Airlines said: “We are very pleased to be offering our customers an additional nonstop service from Sydney to Los Angeles over the Christmas and New Year period. “This unique service distinguishes United as a leading carrier across the trans-Pacific and provides our customers with increased flexibility.” With nearly 200 daily departures from Los Angeles and more than 230 daily departures from San Francisco, United also offers more convenient connections between the U.S. and Australia than any other airline.Fares are available for purchases immediately.last_img read more

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/24e76/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> AAT Kings and Aussie Adventure Holidays’ exclusive traditional Indigenous experience, Kakadu Culture Camp, has been awarded the Best Indigenous Tourism Experience in the prestigious 2010 Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards. Voted by Australian Gourmet Traveller readers and Getaway viewers and presented to AAT Kings, in Sydney on 27 May 2010, Kakadu Culture Camp claimed victory in the Indigenous category for providing Australian travellers with an outstanding local holiday experience. Tammy Marshall, managing director, AAT Kings and Aussie Adventure Holidays said, “Kakadu Culture Camp receiving this award is a huge coup for us. As the exclusive tour operators in the camp, we take small groups of up to 16 passengers on interactive tours to this traditional area in the depths of Kakadu National Park. “It is fantastic to see Australians are recognising the camp as a culturally enriching way to experience the traditional way of aboriginal life. We applaud all involved in the camp for their commitment in delivering such a high-end, locally produced product”. AAT Kings is Australia and New Zealand’s premier holiday company. AAT Kings’ product range offers travellers freedom and flexibility with a wide range of premium and low cost escorted tours, short breaks, small group adventures, camping adventures and day tour programs. Aussie Adventure Holidays is the small group specialist of the Northern Territory with group sizes ranging from two to 21 passengers depending on the tour. The small group size allows for more individual interaction with guides, the chance to meet unique local characters and the opportunity to explore off the beaten track attractions. Source = AAT Kingslast_img read more

first_imgSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand Florence in Italy, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and Rome, Italy were the other cities that made up the top five. Bangkok returns to the No 1 spot, having last held that ranking in 2008. The capital ranked third last year and Chiang Mai was fifth. A questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with ROI Research Inc, was made available to its readers from Dec 15, 2009, to March 31, 2010. Bangkok  Governor  MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said that he will go to New York next week to receive the award, the ceremony for which will be held next Wednesday. MR Sukhumbhand said he is pleased with the award and it shows that Bangkok’s popularity among tourists worldwide remains good.”It must be noted the survey was completed in March when the political situation and the red shirt protest were not yet critical,” he said. “Bangkok regained the top spot in Travel + Leisure’s 2010 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey, announced last week, closely followed by Chiang Maiin the second. Meanwhile, 10 Asian hotels are placed in the top 100 hotels in the world, with Peninsula Bangkok (named as Asia’s number 1 city hotel) coming in at number 7 and Four Seasons Singapore at 14. Other Asian properties placed in the list’s top 50 include Shangri-La Singapore at number 20, the Four Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai (27), the Hotel de la Paix in Cambodia (29) and the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, also in Chiang Mai (45). Also scoring highly in the poll, voted for by readers of all six editions of Travel + Leisure, are Singapore Airlines (Top International Airline) and Bali (Top Asian Island and fourth in the Top Islands Overall category).” The above is culled from our own T+L SEA press release, but it doesn’t delve into how Bangkok won, what it means, and how it should be interpreted. Some of the livelier forums, at least here in Bangkok, have been buzzing about this “honor,” with many users complaining that it’s inaccurate at best. This is wrong-headed thinking, although it’s clear that some confusion has arisen as to the nature of the results. Well, it is what it is, to be honest. First off, the poll—accessible online by readers of the U.S. and international editions of T+L under stringent U.S. survey/polling regulations—is a reader survey (not a dubiously subjective editors’ opinion piece) of global travelers’ favorites. In the Best City category, readers were asked to rate sights, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping, and value. It is not any sort of “livability” index, or any other imaginative interpretation of “World’s Best City.” It was also conducted from December 2009-March 2010, before the recent problems in Bangkok kicked off. That said, the strong showing of Asian properties and destinations is really no surprise. Asia, and particularly Southeast Asia, continues to offer some of the most attractive world-class properties, located in such varied locations as exotic rain forests, vibrant cities, and even on water; with such a choice, Southeast Asia will remain one of the world’s most popular regions. In addition, the fact that Bangkok has been voted in the top spot this year, as it was in 2008, is testament not only to the myriad attractions on offer and the variety of top-drawer hotels, but also to the Thai people and culture, both of which bring so much joy to travelers. My hope is that this win will further boost Bangkok tourism recovery efforts, which all of us are committed to.The full results will be published in the August edition of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, out August 1.Chiang Mai was the first apperance the World’s Best in year 2005 in to the top ten at the 5th place and 2nd Place for Asia’s Best Cities, year 2006, 2007 & 2009was the 5th Place. Chiang Mai, the “City of Life & Prosperity” of its own unique culture and nature with 715 years old city (Ancient Kingdom of Lanna) used to voted as the following accolades; ASIA’s Most Livable Cities Voted by AsiaWeek Magazine / CNN.com Year 1998 (Ranked 20th) Year 1999 (11th) Year 2000 (13th) Year 2002 (13th) Year 2009 (9th) Here it is – Asiaweek’s urban equivalent of the annual report card. What makes a city a pleasant place to live in? Clean air counts, as does economic vitality. Of course, good looks help too – and a sense of fun. The 40 candidates surveyed can’t parade in front of judges, so we have measured them by allocating points depending on their performance in 23 indicators: – average life expectancy, – hospital beds per 1,000 people, – per-capita state expenditure for education, – average class size in primary school, – university-educated people as a percentage of total population, – sulfur dioxide in the air (ppm), – dust/suspended particles in the air – micrograms per cubic meter (?g/m3) – average monthly rental per sq meter, – ratio of housing price to income, – sq meter of parks and fields per capita, – vehicles per km of city road – existence of a mass transit rail system, – number of movie theaters per 100,000, – unemployment rate, – GDP growth, – annual urban inflation rate – vacation and public holidays per year, – criminal cases for every 10,000 persons, – number of telephones per 1,000 people, – average time taken to commute to work, – number of TV sets per 1,000 people, – percentage of population with sewerage Chiang Mai City would like to give a big applause to the following distinguishers who are work either direct or indirect behind the scene to pick up for this award. 1.    Mr. Amonphan Nimanan, Governor of Chiang Mai City 2.    Mr. Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization 3.    Mr. Tassanai Buraupakorn, Mayor of Chiang Mai City 4.    Mr. Somchai Maichandaeng, Director Office of Chiang Mai Tourism & Sport 5.    Mr. Chalermsak Suranan, Director Chiang Mai Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand 6.    Mr. Narong Kongprasert, President of Chiag Mai Chamber of Commerce 7.    Mr. Sarawut Saetiao, President of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association 8.    Mr. Phunut Thanalhaopanich, President of Thai Hotels Association (Upper North Chaper) 9.    Mr. Somrit Haicome, President of Chiang Mai Guide Association 10  Ms. Sunisa Tuvanont, President of Chiang Mai Restaurant Club 11. Mr. Pakin Plypicha, President of Thailand Spa 12. Mr. Chinarong Yokthongma, President of Chiang Mai Car Rent Club 13. Mr. Thaweewat Thaveephol, President of Chiang Mai Glof Course Club 14. The peoples of Chiang Mai last_img read more

first_imgJetstar launched its first flight from Darwin to Manila earlier this week, carrying Darwin’s Filipino community on board. Tourism Minister, Malarndirri McCarthy said the new service greatly contributed to the government’s 2015 goals. “A key priority of the Aviation Futures 2015 strategy is to grow airline services to the Territory and to expand the Darwin aviation hub,” said Ms McCarthy. “The Northern Territory Government has invested  $8 million over five years to support the establishment of Jetstar’s hub in Darwin and this inaugural flight to Manila marks a significant step in the creation of the hub.” Minister McCarthy said the new airline adds an extra 531 international seats every week, increasing Territorians travel options. The Minister said she expects the new service to add onto the 3,000 Filipinos travelling into the Northern Territory each year. The new service will run three times weekly and is Jetstar’s first flight to the Philippines from Australia. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Boeing is set to make aviation history as the first 787 Dreamliner finally takes off for its new home in Tokyo, Japan, following its departure from Everett Washington, three years behind schedule.The world’s first carbon-composite passenger jet is set to arrive in Tokyo’s Haneda airport today, marking the first delivery of 787 to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA).  Upon landing the aircraft will be greeted by media, employees and Japanese partners. Boeing President and Chief Executive Jim Albaugh said everyone is excited stating that the airline, ANA and Boeing is ready.“This airplane begins a new chapter in aviation history,” Mr Albaugh added.ANA is planning to fly the aircraft on October 28 and 27 from Tokyo’s Narita airport to Hong Kong, marking its first commercial passenger flight.ANA President and Chief Executive Shinichiro Ito said as a customer he is excited to be taking delivery of their first 787 Dreamliner. “This aircraft will enable us to offer new standards of service and comfort to our passengers and will play an important role in our international expansion strategy as we seek to become Asia’s number one airline,” Mr Ito said. ANA launched the 787 series with a record-setting order of 50 airplanes in April 2004 and has played a vital part in the design of the Dreamliner. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a modern state of the art commercial jetliner which provides exceptional fuel efficiency and superior comfort to passengers. Some of the features you can expect on the aircraft include bigger windows, a lower cabin altitude and cleaner air, electro chromatic shades that allow passengers to dim windows with a push of a button, also larger over head bins and more cabin space than your typical twin aisle plane.According to its website Boeing has already taken 821 orders of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft which costs around AUD200 million.last_img read more

first_imgDespite natural disasters affecting travel into Japan earlier this year, Qantas’ head Alan Joyce has reaffirmed the carrier’s commitment to launch Jetstar Japan in the coming year, with expectations it may out-perform Jetstar Australia.Speaking at the ATEC’s 2011 Meeting Plan Conference in Sydney earlier this week, Mr Joyce explained that the low-cost brand has been a “great achievement” for the Aussie airline and expects the cheaper model to perform well in the Asian country.Having already been named one of the top brands in Japan last year, the airline’s head said proved “this [Jetstar] has the potential to be bigger than Jetstar in Australia”.“We’re in a position for an Australian airline to already be recognised as one of the top brands in such an important market,” he told attendees.Working with Japan Airlines to launch the brand next year, Mr Joyce said the low-cost carrier would commence with 24 aircraft and explained international services would commence within the first and will include key destinations including China and Southeast Asia.Mr Joyce stressed that while the “Qantas Group will always call Australia home” the carrier will continue to look for opportunities outside of the country to “attain new customers”.He noted that with 16 percent of the world’s middle class expected to be in Asia within the next 20 years, the region was vital to the carrier’s growth.“Whatever happens in the financial markets over the coming weeks and months we know that Asia will continue to play a large part in global economy and a bigger role in the world,” the Australian flag carrier’s head said. “It is already the world’s largest, fastest growing and most profitable aviation market. “We have a historic opportunity to position Australia’s two great airline brands Qantas and Jetstar in Asia and create a funnel to bring more visitors into Australia and we are increasingly getting invitations from potential Asian partners to bring in our Asian aviation experience into this exciting market place.”Other advancements into the region include the addition of a premium carrier in either Singapore or Malaysia.Mr Joyce said offering both the low-cost and business model in the region would help create “tremendous potential” to attract “premium, business and leisure visitors to our shores”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more