Adultsonly Desire Resorts and Desire Cruises rebrand under one name

first_img Posted by The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Adults-only Desire Resorts and Desire Cruises rebrand under one name CANCUN — Desire Resorts and Desire Cruises are consolidating to rebrand – and unite – under one brand known simply as ‘Desire.’The company’s branding relaunch involved creating a new distinctive icon inspired by “passion, desire and sexuality.” The new slogan – Beyond Seduction – embodies the sensual vibe of the brand. Both resort and cruise offerings will be available on the launch of its new Mediterranean cruises, Desire is going beyond its all-inclusive resorts: Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort and Desire Riviera Maya Resort in Mexico. Dubbed ‘sensual sanctuaries at sea,’ Desire Cruises will offer provocative luxury and combine relaxation and fantasy with upscale destinations.Onboard, passengers will find the latest in adult entertainment, couples workshops, indoor/outdoor playrooms, gourmet dining, brand name beverage service, and first-class accommodations, all in an erotic, clothing-optional, 21-plus couples-only atmosphere.Desire is a division of Original Group. The company’s offerings are designed for adult couples only. Thursday, October 27, 2016 last_img read more

Saskatoon agent charged with fraud after 250 complaints

first_img KINDERSLEY, Sask. — A woman charged with defrauding hundreds of Saskatchewan travellers is scheduled to appear in court today in Kindersley.Leslie Glauser, who is 44, is charged with fraud.RCMP police got more than 250 complaints from people who planned trips with a Kindersley travel agency, but then the trips fell through.Glauser is scheduled to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty today. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, October 3, 2017 The Canadian Press Posted by Saskatoon agent charged with fraud after 250 complaints Sharelast_img read more

Record growth for The Intrepid Group Zand takes on expanded trade role

first_imgTags: Intrepid Group, Intrepid Travel, People, Trend Watch Posted by Share Thursday, February 8, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Building on double-digit growth in North America and Canada in particular, The Intrepid Group has appointed company veteran Shayna Zand to the role of Head of Business Development for Intrepid Group North America, working with industry partners and developing new partnerships.Her March 1 appointment comes a few months before Leigh Barnes, currently Regional Director of North America for the Intrepid Group, moves into his newly-created role of Chief Purpose Officer on July 1.Shayna Zand and Leigh BarnesIt’s the second year of record growth for multi-brand Intrepid Group, which comes two and a half years after the travel company split from TUI Plc to become an independently-owned company with a ‘purpose beyond profit’.Revenue for The Intrepid Group was up 17% globally in 2017. The company also saw a 40% increase in North America in January 2018.North America has been the fastest-growing region for the Australia-based company, with a recorded 60% growth in the past two years as the demand for sustainable travel and immersive experiences increases.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe Intrepid Foundation, the Intrepid Group’s not-for-profit, also marked a record year in 2017, raising AUD$1 million for local and international charities.“It’s become increasingly evident to us that having a purpose beyond profit can actually be profitable,” said James Thornton, who was appointed as CEO of the Intrepid Group, as well as Chair of The Intrepid Foundation, in 2017. “Growth is nice on its own, but it’s this sense of purpose that has us excited about the future because it means the more we grow, the more we can do.”Aligned with the company’s long-term vision, Thornton created two new senior executive roles on Intrepid Group’s global leadership team to focus on sustained growth in both purpose and profit: Barnes’ appointment to Chief Purpose Officer; and Michael Edwards’ appointment to the role of Chief Growth Officer, which took effect Jan. 1.Thornton said he believes the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) and Chief Purpose Officer (CPO) will help Intrepid Group become the first billion-dollar adventure travel company, while donating $3 million into local communities through The Intrepid Foundation by 2020.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upMeanwhile Zand’s appointment as Head of Business Development for Intrepid Group North America is in direct response to the rapid growth Intrepid has experienced in North America over the past two years, says Barnes.Barnes adds: “We are confident Shayna is the best candidate for this position. She is a great example of the growth possibilities in the Intrepid Group. She started working with the company six years ago as a tour leader, transitioning into a role as Business Development Manager for the past few years and, now, will be responsible for further developing the North America business.”In her role as Head of Business Development, Zand will continue to work with industry partners and develop new partnerships in an effort to continue the record growth Intrepid Group has seen in the region. Record growth for The Intrepid Group; Zand takes on expanded trade role << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Slowed action in the South Guanacaste still the place to be

first_imgNo related posts. Not a whole lot has changed on the fishing scene. On the Pacific side, the slowest action this week was down south. The billfish have been in hiding, and only some really nice roosters in the 40-pound range and some 20-30-pound cubera snapper have been saving the day for boats going out.Further up the coast, Marlon up at Primo Tackle in Herradura reports that sails have been hit and miss but boats are averaging 2-4 sails per trip. Most boats have been splitting the day between sails and bottom fishing for grouper, which has been good but not red hot.As usual for this time of year, Guanacaste is the place to be. Lots of sails and some marlin are being reported as well as some “bull-sized” dorado. Further north, outside Santa Rosa, lots of wahoo are being caught as well as dinner-sized snapper.Tarpon fishing had been red hot until the ocean came up yesterday. Most of the fish are 50-60 pound teenagers, but they are everywhere. Anglers putting in the effort are taking 3-4 snook a day at the police post at Agua Dulce near Barra del Colorado. When the ocean calms down, the fishing should be great again. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Security guard who killed US teen gets 15year prison sentence

first_imgA trial court ordered the hotel La Cangreja, in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica, and a security guard to pay compensation of almost $650,000 to the family of 16-year-old U.S. tourist Justin Johnston. The hotel security guard, Jorge Guevara,shot and killed Johnston after mistaking him for an intruder in June 2011. The San Carlos trial court, also handed down a 15-year prison sentence to Guevara.Johnston, a native of Kansas City, was on a school trip in the San Carlos region. He stayed with several other McLouth High School students in the La Cangreja hotel. On the morning of June 2, 2011, Johnston and another student left the hotel late at night and returned after curfew. When they returned, the pair passed close to an adjoining property with a barbed-wire fence to avoid being noticed, according to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ).Police said the guard fired a warning shot into the air, frightening the teenagers, who began running towards the hotel. The guard fired in the direction of the students and fatally wounded Johnston.  The bullet lacerated Johnston’s heart, causing almost instant death. According to police, Guevara’s gun was unregistered. During the trial, the guard claimed that his intention was not to kill the teenager, but to send another warning shot because he thought the kids were thieves.Johnston’s parents and four younger siblings will receive the compensation ordered by the court. The defendants can appeal the court’s verdict. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Blue magic in northern Costa Rica

first_imgIn Spanish, the saying goes: “Al que quiere celeste, que le cueste” – a prettier version of “no pain, no gain” (literally, “he or she who wants sky blue will have to work for it”).The one exception might be northern Costa Rica’s Río Celeste, where minerals in the water create a dazzling opaque blue shade and gorgeous views available to any visitor. Read more below about one of the country’s loveliest attractions. Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Comments Río Celeste: Don’t it make my brown river bluecenter_img Related posts:A Christmas tamal for your afternoon coffee A piece of paradise Relaxing among Costa Rican cacti Sunset at Corcovadolast_img read more

Costa Rican government approves greenstick licenses for commercial charter fishing fleets

first_imgWhen it comes to fishing regulations, changes in Costa Rica are usually slow and deliberate. The government typically requires extensive technical and scientific support before it considers adding or changing fishing laws or agreements. The studies are also usually conducted in Costa Rica territorial waters.Greenstick fishing, or palo verde as it is known in Spanish, is not a new technique. It has been used successfully for years in Japan and the United States in commercial and sport tuna fishing. The setup, with a tall single center outrigger trailing surface baits behind the boat’s stern, is an effective way to harvest tuna without almost any bycatch.Studies on local greenstick fishing were directed by fisheries biologist Moises Mug of the Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (FECOP), a Costa Rican sport fishing advocacy group; the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA), the government agency in charge of fisheries; and the National Training Institute (INA), the government institution for vocational training including the preparation of students to work in the fishing industry.This joint project on greenstick fishing began in late 2016 with the goal of offering an alternative method for tuna capture by the national fleet, while reducing bycatch at the same time. Last Month, Mug was appointed to head INCOPESCA by new Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado.The required criteria for greenstick fishing were submitted to the government by FECOP in December 2017, approved this past March, and recently published in La Gaceta, the official government daily. Commercially, only yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna, swordfish and dorado (dolphinfish) can be harvested using the greenstick method; all other species must be released alive. People from Fecop with a tuna fish. Courtesy of Johnny Aguilar“The possibility is approved that, for a period of 12 months from the publication of this Agreement, any interested party that holds a longline fishing license, whether commercial or medium-scale commercial fishing, may request that INCOPESCA add to their vessel the Green Stick [method]; or completely change the traditional longline for… Green Stick,” the agreements states. “The interested parties must comply with all the requirements established by INCOPESCA for this purpose.” “These boats will be authorized to carry up to six lures with lines attached to the rod and reel or winch. In no case shall INCOPESCA allow a boat that uses the Green Stick to carry and use other fishing gear in the same boat, except for the traditional longline and the hand rod [rod and reel]. In cases in which INCOPESCA serves as certifier that the catches have been made using Green Stick on a vessel that also has traditional fishing gear, the Institute should require that the vessel carry an observer on board or a technological device that guarantees the traceability of the product. In this case, when the longline vessel has an observer on board, catches of non-target species made with Green Stick should be released alive in the best possible condition.”Recreational fishing in Costa Rica is divided into two categories: sport fishing and tourist fishing, for those who hire for charter. The new agreement allows boats with tourist fishing licenses to fish green sticks, but not boats with regular sport fishing licenses. The charter boats are allowed to pull three lures at a time attached to rod and reel. No type of winch is allowed.Changes to better protect Costa Rica’s marine resources are slow to come, and this one regulating greenstick fishing will need to be fine-tuned. But the country also recently joined Global Fishing Watch to combat illegal fishing, and the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court upheld the ban on shrimp trawling for the second time, outlawing the practice. So FECOP and concerned citizens are hopeful the country will continue in this positive direction.Todd Staley has run fishing sport operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full time to marine conservation. Contact him at Facebook Comments Related posts:A conversation with new fisheries head Moises Mug Reader not fond of ‘torturing fish’ — but sportfishing isn’t the problem Sport fishing in Costa Rica: where to go, what you’ll find Don’t pass on a chance of a fish to crow aboutlast_img read more

Jihadist shift seen in Pakistan fewer Arabs

first_imgAssociated PressPESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) – In the Pakistani tribal regions that harbor al-Qaida and a cauldron of other jihadist groups, militants from Central Asia, China, Turkey and even Germany are growing in number, eclipsing Arabs and possibly raising new challenges not just for the U.S. but for Europe, Russia and China, say intelligence officials, analysts and residents of the area.Al-Qaida, the organization that plotted the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks from Afghanistan, consisted largely of Arabs, who were led by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi. But stepped-up U.S. drone strikes, Pakistani military offensives and dwindling cash reserves have driven out many of the Arabic-speakers in recent years, says Mahmood Shah, a retired brigadier and former security official in the tribal regions. The IJU, like other jihadi groups, seeks the installation, if necessary by force, of Islamic governments and revenge for Western attacks. In 2005 the U.S. State Department designated the IJU a Foreign Terrorist Organization.For the past 30 years, Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Washington’s Georgetown University, has been tracking terrorist groups and studying insurgencies. He said that European governments as well as China and Russia have good reason to keep a close eye on the tribal regions of Pakistan.“The IJU was also strengthened by their access to German converts,” he said, as well as to disaffected members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority, concentrated in Xinjiang, western China, whose radicalization “the Chinese are very concerned about.”Russia too has strong interests in the Muslim-dominated republics that were part of the Soviet Union, and in Chechnya and Dagestan, Hoffman said.The threat from the changing jihadist demographics is “more in the future than immediately. The main threat is that the existing nucleus will attract more and as time goes on the threat will increase. It exists now, but at a lower level,” he said in an interview. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories Ivan Safranchuk, an associate professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, told The AP that the governments of the Central Asian republics also fear instability from neighboring Afghanistan once NATO and U.S. troops leave in 2014Safranchuk, who edits the Great Game, a magazine focused on Central Asia, said training camps in Pakistan have attracted mostly Uighurs and recruits from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.“If a new battle front opens in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, say, these militants will naturally be dispatched there,” he said.Stephen Sestanovich, an expert on Russian and Eurasian affairs at the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, agreed that Russia and the Central Asian republics have a stake in what happens after the 2014 withdrawal.“It’s a reminder to the Russians that the U.S, departure from Afghanistan is going to be a very mixed blessing. That’s why (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has actually been talking up Russia’s stake in American success there. … Putin and Russian intelligence doubtless worry that Central Asia will be destabilized.”While the demographics may be changing, the militant presence in the tribal regions remains strong, despite the drone attacks and the local public’s growing expectation of a Pakistani military sweep, according to Safdar Hayat Khan, head of the Tribal Journalists Union, in an interview in Peshawar. Comments   Share   None of the Central Asian groups figuring in the apparent demographic change are new to the tribal regions. Some were welcomed to Afghanistan decades ago during the 1980s Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Others arrived during the Taliban’s rule of Afghanistan that lasted from 1996 to the American-led invasion of 2001. The breakaway Chechen government even had an embassy in Kabul.The Sept. 11 attacks focused global attention on the Arab militants, but the changing demographics could have implications for Europe as well as Russia and China, analysts say.The arrest in Madrid a month ago of three men who allegedly had explosives and reportedly trained in Pakistan’s tribal areas seems to highlight the changing reality.Two of them, Eldar Magomedov and Mohamed Ankari Adamov, were said to be Russians of Chechen descent while the third, Cengiz Yalcin, is Turkish.Spanish officials allege they were planning an attack in Spain or elsewhere in Europe. There was no identification of the target.Analysts and officials who track militant movements say they believe al-Qaida’s leadership, including Egyptian Ayman Al Zawahri, remains in Pakistan, where its redoubts have shrunk further under Pakistani military assaults, according to Shah, the ex-brigadier, who was interviewed in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar near the tribal regions. But jihadists from outside the Arab world have been getting more attention.A report on extremist trends released last month by Germany’s domestic intelligence said the Islamic Jihad Union, headquartered in Pakistan’s tribal area, is “widening its sphere in the sense of global jihad to include Europe.” Once dominated by ethnic Uzbeks, the IJU has sought to recruit German converts who have embraced a radical form of Islam as well as Germans of Turkish origin, say analysts familiar with the organization.In 2007, German intelligence foiled a terrorist plot planned by ethnic German converts to Islam who belonged to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU).“They (IJU) want to recruit Turkish-origin people but maybe born in Germany, established here and with a German passport … they train them and build them up and send them to Germany as well as to other European countries to commit acts of terrorism,” said Rolf Tophoven, director of the German Based Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy.According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks Islamist extremist messages, the IJU is known as the European affiliate to al Qaida. SITE described the IJU’s rise in prominence as a significant development within the global jihadist movement. Parents, stop beating yourself upcenter_img Sponsored Stories While there are no exact numbers, Shah said intelligence sources in the tribal regions put the number of Arab and African jihadists at about 1,500, compared with 3,500 to 4,000 ranging from Chinese Uighurs and Uzbeks to recruits from Turkey, the Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan as well as native and immigrant Germans.Two senior U.S. officials said the drone war was affecting al-Qaida numbers and morale. The deaths of high-profile al-Qaida figures such as Abu Yahya al-Libi, killed in a drone strike in June, have made others skittish, prompting some to leave Pakistan for other battlefields in Syria, Yemen, Iraq or their home countries, the officials said.In separate interviews, both Americans cited the case of a Saudi named Najam, who lost his legs to a drone at about the same time as al-Libi died. They said Najam, who came from an affluent family, was able to reach an agreement with the Saudi government to return to his wife and children.Intelligence suggests that Najam’s treatment has encouraged other militants to seek similar deals, switch to other battlefields or seek leniency from their governments, both U.S. officials said.They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss information gleaned from on-the-ground intelligence. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “There are still so many foreigners there,” he said. “They keep coming and going.”___Associated Press writers David Rising in Berlin and Peter Leonard in Kazakhstan contributed to this report.___Kathy Gannon is AP special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan and can be followed on Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Report Blast injures several people in south Iran

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Patients with chronic pain give advicecenter_img Iran in the past has blamed explosions in the province on saboteurs tied to Arab and Western intelligence agencies.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An Iranian semi-official news agency is reporting that an explosion has injured several people in a port in the south of the country.The late Saturday report by ILNA did not specify the cause of the blast. It says it also damaged several cars and shattered windows of nearby buildings including a hotel in Imam Khomeini port, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southwest of Tehran.The port, one of Iran’s major import and export terminals, is located in oil-rich Khuzestan province, the scene of occasional protests in recent years by members of Iran’s Arabic-speaking minority seeking more rights. Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Cubans wear yellow ribbons for agents jailed in US

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Students held a demonstration on the steps of the University of Havana, and Cuba’s association of artists and intellectuals marched from its headquarters to the U.S. Interests Section along the Malecon seafront boulevard.“They’ve suffered too much already,” said Jorge Luis Maresma, 50, who took part in the march.The U.S. and Cuba do not have diplomatic relations, so they maintain interests sections instead of embassies in each other’s capitals.The Cuban Five are near-constant fixtures in island state media. Havana calls them national heroes and repeatedly demands their repatriation.Cuba, meanwhile, has held U.S. government development subcontractor Alan Gross in prison for nearly four years, convicted of crimes against the state after he was caught bringing restricted communications equipment onto the island.Talk of a possible swap has so far come to naught.On Wednesday night, President Raul Castro and other top Cuban officials attended a concert in honor of the Cuban Five at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater.And a slick music video featuring an all-star Cuban musical cast singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” in the style of “We Are the World,” has been airing repeatedly on state television. The yellow ribbon has long been a symbol in the U.S. of people waiting loyally for those at risk or held captive. It was widely to show support for U.S. diplomats held captive in Iran in 1979.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   “The symbolism of the yellow ribbon has a strong impact in the mind of Americans. It is a message of love that appeals to emotions,” said Rene Gonzalez, the only one of the Cuban Five who has been released from prison.“We are trying to send a message that we are human too,” added Gonzalez, who has been heading the campaign.The Five were arrested Sept. 12, 1998, and convicted three years later of spying on U.S. military installations in South Florida, as well as exile groups and politicians. Havana maintains that they were only monitoring militant exiles to prevent terror attacks in Cuba, and posed no threat to U.S. sovereignty.Gonzalez was paroled in 2011 after serving most of his sentence. Earlier this year a U.S. judge allowed him to renounce his citizenship and return to Cuba. The other four remain in prison, with one set to walk free in February.Thousands of ribbons could be seen around the Cuban capital Thursday, from government buildings to private homes and small businesses. A huge strip of yellow hung from the iconic lighthouse at El Morro fortress at the mouth of Havana Bay. Many people wore yellow clothing, and young schoolgirls fixed yellow ribbons in their hair. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img HAVANA (AP) – Cubans tied yellow ribbons to homes, trees and lampposts across the capital Thursday, in an organized mass campaign to press for the return of several espionage agents imprisoned in the United States on the 15th anniversary of their arrest.By using a symbol with deeply held cultural significance for many Americans, the campaign aims to raise support for the so-called Cuban Five in the United States where the public is largely unaware of their case, even if it’s a daily cause celebre in Cuba. Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Obama says young entrepreneurs can tackle the worlds ills

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says investing in global entrepreneurs will help counter terrorism, nurture weak economies and “make the world a better place.”Obama spoke to entrepreneurs from more than 20 countries in Washington on Monday as part of his initiative to encourage individuals and companies to support entrepreneurs, especially young people and women with ideas for businesses.Obama says their ideas will tackle challenges no country can meet alone, such as global warming, disease and even terrorism. Obama says violent extremists exploit the frustrations of young people who see no opportunities in their lives. Sponsored Stories Obama says in the most violent and poorest places he’s visited, what people asked about most was how to start a business so they could shape their own destinies.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in society Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Quick workouts for mencenter_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

French court rejects Ubers challenge to legal restrictions

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis PARIS (AP) — France’s highest court has rejected ride-sharing company Uber’s bid to have much of a recent law banning its services declared unconstitutional.Uber had sought to overturn multiple restrictions placed on it and similar services by a law enacted last year after a series of large and sometimes violent protests by taxi companies seeking to ban the upstart challenger.The Conseil Constitutionnel on Friday upheld most limits placed on Uber-style services, including a ban on the popular ride-hailing app that informs users of the location and availability of nearby rides. Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Uber wasn’t completely shut out, though: the court ruled that a part of the law reserving to taxis the possibility of charging by a trip’s time and distance was unconstitutional.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Nigerian senatorelect wanted for US drug deal arrested

first_img Check your body, save your life Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian drug agents Saturday surrounded the house of a senator-elect wanted by the United States in a nearly 20-year-old heroin deal that was the alleged basis for the TV hit “Orange is the New Black.”Buruji Kashamu is under house arrest, according to the chairman of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Ahmadu Giade.But Kashamu’s spokesman, Austin Oniyokor, said, “He has not been arrested but there is a siege to his house and an attempt to forcibly take him.” He said the agents did not have an arrest warrant. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The move comes days before Jonathan is to step down. President-elect Muhammadu Buhari takes office Friday.The U.S. had failed to ask Nigeria to extradite Kashamu before now. In September, Chicago Judge Richard Posner refused a motion to dismiss Kashamu’s case and quoted the U.S. Justice Department as saying that “the prospects for extradition have recently improved.” Posner also noted that “given Kashamu’s prominence … the probability of extradition may actually be low.”A previous request to extradite him from Britain failed in 2003. Kashamu spent five years in a British jail before he was freed over uncertainty about his identity. He was carrying $230,000 when he was arrested there.A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case including American Piper Kerman, whose memoir was adapted for the Netflix hit “Orange Is The New Black.” Kerman’s book never identified Kashamu by name, only citing a West African drug kingpin.Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has chastised Jonathan for his perceived protection of Kashamu and warned that “drug barons … will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power or be in power themselves.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Kashamu has said that Obasanjo did not call him a drug baron when they were allies and while he spent some $20 million ensuring their party’s success at 2011 elections.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Giade said Kashamu, 56, will appear in a federal high court Monday to start extradition proceedings to the United States.He said agents raided Kashamu’s home in Lagos at around 5 a.m., before dawn Saturday. Armed agents were seen surrounding the property Saturday night.Kashamu has already been suing a Nigerian court to prevent attempts to extradite him.He had become a powerful politician and financier of President Goodluck Jonathan’s party. Jonathan lost the March elections but Kashamu was elected a senator in balloting opponents said was rigged.A Chicago grand jury in 1998 indicted Kashamu for conspiracy to import and distribute heroin in the U.S. Kashamu has said it is a case of mistaken identity and that prosecutors really want the dead brother he closely resembles.He said Saturday’s development was a political conspiracy, according to his spokesman.“This latest onslaught is a confirmation of the alleged plot to illegally abduct him in spite of the pending suit against this illegality,” Oniyokor said.It was not clear when the United States filed an extradition request, but the Nigerian drug agency’s spokesman, Ofoyeju Mitchell, said a U.S. extradition request was the reason for Saturday’s action. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Peril promise in Obamas end game on trade health more

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama, an encouraging vote on his trade agenda and a harrowing tragedy in South Carolina showcased the promise and peril of his presidential end game.Hand-wringing over a stinging setback for Obama’s trade package in Congress last week gave way to sighs of relief at the White House on Thursday when the House took the first steps to put the legislation back on track.And the president showed he still can command the national pulpit when he spoke compellingly about the shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead. Yet in his statement on the church shooting, Obama also offered a glum acknowledgment that there was no way he could prod Congress to take action on gun violence, an issue of enormous importance to him.“The politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now,” he said flatly.It turns out the politics of Washington limit the president’s options on all sorts of issues, not just guns, at this stage in his presidency.But on the big issues already in play — trade and an Iran nuclear deal, in particular — Obama still is very much in the game.While the biggest accomplishments of Obama’s presidency came early on, “it would be incorrect at this point to conclude that every important thing was done in the first months of his administration,” said Rutgers political scientist Ross Baker. “The fortunes of the president can turn very quickly, and what appeared hopeless last week would appear a possibility now.”The trade deal that was being written off as near dead last week after congressional Democrats abandoned the president in droves is headed for a showdown vote in the Senate after the White House worked closely with House Republicans to revive it. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies On trade, a 218-208 House vote on Thursday breathed life into Obama’s trade agenda after weeks of negotiation and uncertainty.Might that suggest some lessons learned that could foreshadow more deal-making between the president and the GOP-controlled Congress?House Speaker John Boehner isn’t so sure.“I’d describe most of what’s gone on in the last three weeks as close to bizarre,” the Ohio Republican said. “I don’t think I’ve learned anything from it.”Asked about Obama’s relationship with legislators in his own party after the trade defections, White House spokesman Eric Shultz was quick to point out that the president would spend a good part of his time over the next two days raising money on their behalf in California.“You’re going to see, over the next 48 hours, data that will answer that question,” Schultz promised.Obama, at an evening fundraiser in Santa Monica, acknowledged that there was still “so much that’s left undone” on his wish-list and that some of his supporters had become disillusioned.“Sometimes I feel like people forgot the essence of my pledge when I ran for president,” he said, reminding the audience that he’d said all along that everyone has to work hard for change — not just the president. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 18, 2015, on the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., prior to his departure to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “The good news is we can do it,” Obama assured. But he also talked about handing off the baton to another generation, and of progress measured in decades, not months.___Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   center_img And the president still is in pursuit of a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program that, after nearly a decade of international efforts, would be a key achievement of Obama’s second term if negotiators can overcome lingering differences.Obamacare is a wildcard, as well. The president could win outright in a legacy-clinching decision by the Supreme Court or be dealt a stinging loss. But even if the court votes to remove a vital piece of the 2010 health care law, Obama still could have room to maneuver. Republicans are scrambling to come up with an alternative if millions of Americans suddenly lose their government-backed health insurance. The burden may fall on Republican governors to find a way out of the mess.In coming months, additional areas may surface where Obama can wield influence by finding common ground with congressional Republicans.“At this point, the president’s greatest source of influence comes in those areas where Republicans, for reasons of their own, want to get something done,” says the Brookings Institution’s Bill Galston, mentioning corporate tax reform as one possibility. “They can’t do that without dealing with him to some extent.” Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Industry Gold Award for The Hotel Windsor

first_imgThe Hotel Windsor has won a Gold Circle award for the most popular hotel in Victoria from one of the world’s-largest online travel agencies, Agoda.The Gold Circle award is based on positive guest reviews and is a testament to the continuing popularity of The Hotel Windsor, Australia’s only luxury grand hotel. The hotel has also been recently nominated for the titles of Australia’s Leading Hotel and Australasia’s Leading Hotel in the World Travel Awards 2010, and was included in Luxury Travel Magazine’s 2010 Gold List for Best Australian Hotel. “We are thrilled to be voted the best by our guests,” said David Perry, Hotel Windsor CEO and general manager. “This recognition, along with the hotel’s other industry and consumer-based awards, are what keeps us striving for the highest standards of service and reaffirms the hotel’s stature as one of Australia’s leading hotels.”Agoda is part of the family of companies, one of the three largest publicly traded online travel agencies in the world with headquarters based in North America. Source = The Hotel Windsorlast_img read more

Virgin fills in flight gaps as QF grounds planes

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J As ongoing strikes force Australia’s flag carrier to ground aircraft and cut flights, Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti confirmed the airline will add capacity over the coming months to fill in the gaps.Adding an extra 31,000 seats each week, Virgin’s head said the move was to meet demand left behind by Qantas’ industrial action as well as part of the carrier’s plan to expand its business travel presence in the Perth market.“We have added more than 6,800 seats to Perth (we have 31,000 seats to Perth every week, with the Business Class product available on board all flights from the East Coast),” Mr Borghetti said in a statement.  “We are very committed to this market and believe we have the capacity to support increased demand. “In addition to this, we have already put plans in place to add extra capacity over the next few weeks, including  3,000  additional  seats  each  week  up  to  30  October;  and  the  addition  of  a  fifth  daily  return service from Melbourne to Perth commencing 20 December adding a further 2,300 seats each week.”Mr Borghetti added that the carrier is keeping a close eye on the Queensland land market to meet capacity when needed as it rebuilds after flooding and cyclones earlier this year.Heading into the holiday season, the airlines head concluded that the carrier is working closely with its alliance partners, Etihad and Air New Zealand to add capacity over November, December and January.last_img read more

Tourism Australia Likes Facebook milestone

first_imgShowing the world what Aussies are made of, Tourism Australia has surpassed two million Likes on its Facebook page, topping all other tourism destination Groups across the planet.Launching the page in 2008 and welcoming their two millionth Like shortly after uploading a New Year Eve short film, the milestone has also placed the Group in the list of the largest Facebook pages located in Australia.According to Tourism Australia, the fan base grew by up to 85,000 fans in three days after uploading the video.The Group’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said the milestone is evidence of Australia’s international appeal and plays a critical role in ongoing promotion of the destination.”By having the largest Facebook page located in Australia and, by a considerable distance, the largest destination page on Facebook – with almost three times as many fans as our nearest rival, Las Vegas – we can effectively demonstrate our country’s continuing appeal both to Australians and people overseas,” Mr McEvoy said.He said the achievement was made through engaging closely with followers as well as listening to their feedback and uploading content which inspires fans to share.”To be relevant Tourism Australia has to provide compelling content and to deliver impact we have to use the channels where consumers are researching and booking their holidays – and today, that’s online,” he added.”Through Facebook we get real stories about what people are currently thinking about Australia which influences our marketing and makes the platform a primary interaction point with our global advocates.” Source = e-Travel Blackboardlast_img read more

Dubai Expert acknowledge agents at ATM

first_imgThe Awards Ceremony at ATM Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) played host to an awards ceremony, honouring agents from across the globe, rewarding their achievements in the Dubai Expert online training program. The awards were presented to the hosted delegates at the Dubai Tourism stand on the third day of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Khalid bin Sulayem, general director DTCM and Satish Bhaskaran, executive director administration division DTCM, presented the awards to recipients and congratulated them on their efforts in completing and excelling within the Dubai Expert training program. “Events like these are important in the development and selling of Dubai and encourage agents to take part in the program, ensuring they receive acknowledgement and progress updates,” Mr Bhaskaran said. The ceremony recognised agents from Germany, India, UK, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Nicole Segaro, Corporate Travel Management Australia and Lara Kamionka, Adventure World NZ were homegrown winners in attendance and received awards that resembled a likeness of the Burj Khalifa. With 515 agents in Australia currently registered and participating in the easy-to-use expert program, Shafeeq Hamza, senior specialist information technology DTCM said it’s important to adapt to each market and develop tactics based on research. “What may work for one country, doesn’t necessarily work for another. We realise that there is segmentation and we’ve completed surveys to analyse these differences. “Our expectations of the program are always changing and we understand the need to adapt within different global markets.”Dubai Expert was launched in 2011 and currently has 6738 registered participants throughout 13 countries, with plans to launch in Scandinavia, Russia in the next few months. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Left to Right; Shafeeq Hamza, Julie King, Satish Bhaskaran Left to Right; Carla Walton (DTCM), Nicole Segaro (CTM), Julie King (DTCM), Lara Kamionka (Adventure World NZ), Angelya Vassiliadis-Balaguer (DTCM)last_img read more

Angus Houston assures Razak there are no problems over MH370 search

first_imgMr Razak and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended a briefing with Mr Houston at which he informed the pair that 10 aircraft were searching an area of 230,000 sq kilometres about 1700km west of Perth. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Mr Abbott has also phoned Chinese premier Lie Keqiang that he was saddened by the loss of so many Chinese passengers. Former Australian Defence Force chief, Angus Houston has assured Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the MH370 search is going smoothly. “The task, as I’ve already said, is being approached with the constant support of groundbreaking, worldwide expertise and I want you to know that Australia will provide Malaysia with all necessary assistance with the search and recovery of the missing aircraft,” Mr Houston said.last_img read more

Thailand drills down to drive domestic travel

first_imgThailand drills down to drive domestic travelThailand will boost domestic tourism as part of its objectives to achieve sustainability in tourism, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister, Somkid Jatusripitak, told a press briefing Monday, along with top officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), as well as public and private sectors that involve in the tourism industry.The core discussions touched on how to launch corrective measures and promotional campaigns through cooperation with related organisations, the private sector and airlines to boost the country’s tourism this year. The Deputy Prime Minister concluded that to achieve tourism competitiveness and a sustainable market share, Thailand should place strong emphasis on domestic travel.“The tourism ministry and TAT have been assigned to brainstorm and introduce policies to drive the country’s tourism forward,” the Deputy Prime Minister explained. “One project that needs to be discussed is “One District One Tourist Destination” to add more value to popular destinations as well as create new destinations through a story line to encourage travellers to explore new places.”The policy should also develop tourism and local product quality, he added, noting that particular attention should be given to the quality of souvenirs, tourism activities and walking streets.“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, TAT as well as the Board of Investment of Thailand have been assigned to launch incentive measures to encourage the private sector and communities to invest in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”To strengthen Thailand’s gateway status in regional tourism, the deputy Prime Minister encouraged authorities to tap cooperation with Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam (sometimes referred to as the CLMV market in trade circles). “The emphasis should be on developing joint travel packages, tourism products, air services and transport,” he said.Tourism and Sports Minister, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, told the news briefing the domestic market would be a key economic stimulator this year as campaigns encourage travellers to explore beyond popular tourist destinations. “We are confident that specific campaigns; such as, the 12 Hidden Gems, 12 Hidden Gems Plus and ‘According to Legend …’ will boost the country’s domestic market this year,” she said.To encourage domestic travel, authorities will meet with the airlines to open new destinations and increase the frequencies to major destinations. “We need to study the potential of new routes that build traffic to Pattaya’s U-Tapao, Krabi and Chiang Mai International Airports and link secondary destinations to neighbouring countries particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam. Direct flights are needed to destinations promoted in the 12 Hidden Gems and 12 Hidden Gems Plus campaigns that will be our priority, but we need to estimate the province’s potential to attract traffic and airport capacity.”The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn identified a new campaign “Thai Chuai Thai” (Thai Supports Thai) that will reward Thai travellers through a monthly lucky draw worth 1 million Baht, while adding an even bigger reward quarterly to encourage Thais to travel in the country.The campaign details will be released soon ahead of the campaign’s launch in February. It will extend to December. “We are now discussing with the airlines and hotels to offer discounts to encourage Thais to travel in the country particularly long-weekend holiday offers and specific travel packages to tap niche markets; such as, government officials, corporate incentives, students, retirees and sports enthusiasts.” he added.Thailand’s tourism should generate 2.41 trillion Baht in revenue this year, revised upwards from an earlier projection of 2.3 trillion Baht. Of that total, 1.56 trillion Baht will come from international markets and 0.85 trillion Baht from domestic travel.In 2015, Thailand generated 2.23 trillion Baht of which 1.44 trillion Baht came from international markets and 0.79 trillion Baht from the domestic sector.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

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