A special Tico guest at the State of the Union

first_imgRelated posts:Tico hero Carlos Arredondo back at the Boston Marathon Michelle Obama invites Costa Rican Carlos Arredondo to the State of the Union Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s Carlos Arredondo, left, holds Jeff Bauman’s crutches while U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address. Last April, Arredondoushered Bauman to medical treatment during the Boston Marathon terrorism attack, in which Bauman lost both his legs. Arredondo, 53, and Bauman, 27, have become close friends, and visited Costa Rica together last year. First Lady Michelle Obama invited the pair as special guests to the State of the Union in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night.last_img

This is why the euro is collapsing

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – For those in the United States, the next summer is looking like the best time to take that European vacation you’ve been thinking about. That’s because the euro has already fallen to a 12-year low of $1.06, and should keep falling for at least another year. In fact, it shouldn’t be long until the dollar is worth more.A brief history The last time the dollar was worth more than the euro was all the way back in December 2002, just three years after the common European currency came into existence. But in the years after that, the euro gained strength as the continent imported less and exported more. The euro soared to an all-time high of $1.59. It was enough that, in 2007, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan wondered if the euro would replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency — in other words, the benchmark that everyone uses in case of emergency. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly insisted on being paid in euros rather than dollars. That’s quite a consensus. But it turns out that these reports of the dollar’s death were greatly exaggerated. Since then, the euro has fallen 24 percent against the dollar in less than a year, and made everyone forget its grand ambitions. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly insisted on being paid in euros rather than dollars. Timothy A. Clary/AFPWhat happened? Robert Frost can help us here. Two monetary policies have diverged in, well, not a wood, and Europe has finally taken the path well traveled by. Specifically, to boost Europe’s extraordinary weak economy, the European Central Bank (ECB) is buying bonds with newly printed money, aka quantitative easing, while the Federal Reserve is far enough along that it’s getting ready to raise rates. That means interest rates are falling, sometimes into negative territory, in Europe, and, at least on the short end, rising in the U.S.Think about it like this. Would you rather buy a German 10-year bond that pays 0.25 percent or a U.S. 10-year bond that pays 2.1 percent? Investors, especially big European ones, are answering that by moving their money out of euros and into dollars. And voilà, the euro has fallen from $1.39 last year to $1.06 today.The simpler way to think about this, though, is that the U.S. economy is in a lot better shape than Europe’s. Unemployment is 5.5 percent here and falling fast, while it’s 11.2 percent there and barely falling at all. Now a stronger economy should mean a stronger currency, because it needs higher interest rates to keep inflation in check — which should make it a more attractive place to put money.But, as Europe has found out, the opposite isn’t true. Higher rates don’t make your economy strong if it’s actually weak. And even though that will push your currency up in the short run, it will make it fall even more in the longer one. That’s the mistake the ECB made — twice, actually! — in 2011, when it raised rates to fight some fleeting oil inflation. The result was a double-dip recession that almost tore the common currency union apart, and has only just ended. To make up for that, the ECB has had to do more than it otherwise might have, cutting interest rates into negative territory and buying €60 billion of bonds a month. The euro, in other words, is falling so much more today, because it didn’t fall like it should have yesterday.The U.S., meanwhile, has been printing money like it should have, at least most of the time. It started Quantitative Easing in 2008, expanded it in 2009, restarted it in 2010, and re-restarted it in 2012 with a promise to keep going until unemployment came down. It worked. Now all these starts and stops are why the dollar kept going up and down and up again these past few years, but now that it’s over, it’s only going up. Indeed, the Fed is done buying bonds, and, unlike almost every other central bank, is preparing to raise rates. That’s pushed the dollar up against every currency, but especially the euro now that the ECB is printing them. The Fed is done buying bonds, and, unlike almost every other central bank, is preparing to raise rates. Brendan Smialowski/AFPHow low will the euro go?That depends on how much, if at all, the Fed raises rates, and how long the ECB buys bonds. On the one hand, there’s no sign of any inflation or bubbly behavior that would force the Fed to raise rates. But on the other, the Fed has been pretty clear that it wants to start normalizing policy in June because unemployment is already normal-ish. And on top of that, New York Fed President William Dudley has even said they might have to hike rates in quick succession if long-term rates don’t go up too — which seems pretty likely with Europe’s low bond yields pushing ours down. The ECB has promised to keep buying bonds until at least September 2016, and even longer than that if inflation is still too low. Now Europe’s inflation numbers are already picking up a little bit, but, as The New York Times’ Paul Krugman points out, markets seem to believe it will be a good while longer before Europe’s economy — and by extension, its monetary policy — is anywhere close to normal. Add it all up, and Deutsche Bank expects the euro to keep falling to $0.90 by the end of 2016 and $0.85 by the end of 2017.So now you know when to buy those plane tickets.O’Brien is a reporter for Wonkblog covering economic affairs. He was previously a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Recent exchange rate stability offers relief to businesses Most Mexico policymakers warn against raising rates before US US Fed officials emphasize gradual tightening China’s slowdown, financial mayhem cast long shadow across worldlast_img read more

Costa Rican cupper wins World Coffee Tasting Championship

first_imgRelated posts:Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee Costa Rica’s best coffee comes from this hillside in Alajuela Morning caffeine fix gets cheaper as rains boost Brazil supplies Costa Rica’s best coffee hails once again from Naranjo A 29-year-old Costa Rican was named the world’s best coffee taster in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Thursday.Juan Gabriel Cespedes beat out 36 other coffee tasters from around the world to become the first Latin American to win the 2015 World Cup Tasters Championship, an annual challenge hosted by World Coffee Events.“I believe that my experience helped me manage it very well and not let me get down at any time during the quarterfinals, semifinals or the final. Thanks to this, and God, today I’m World Champion,” Cespedes said, according to a statement from the Costa Rican National Coffee Institute (ICAFE).Competitors must use their sense of smell and taste to pick out slight differences in the coffees they taste as quickly as possible to win the championship. Eight sets of three coffees are presented to each cupper, two of which are the same. The taster must identify the most “odd” cups of the coffee faster than their rivals to advance, according to the WCE rules.Cespedes won the final round with a perfect score, beating out Mateusz Petlinki of Germany, Krisse McGregor of New Zealand, and Yoeri Joosten from the Netherlands.This was Cespedes’ third appearance at the competition. In 2013, Cespedes reached the semifinal round but did not advance.Cespedes got his start in coffee as a quality control taster at ICAFE’s research center in Barva, Heredia. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

HewlettPackards split will not affect Costa Rica operation company says

first_imgHewlett-Packard’s (HP) decision to split into two companies on Sept. 1 will not involve any staff cuts at its operations in Costa Rica, the company said in a statement.HP will split its enterprise-facing hardware and service business and its consumer-facing computer and printer segments, with both companies trading publicly. The business-oriented company will be called Hewlett-Packard Enterprise while the PC focused business will be called HP Inc.The change only will apply at the operational level and will not have any impact on the company’s staff in the country, currently at over 6,000 employees, HP reported.Eighty percent of the local staff will work for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will focus on ​​corporate services and software. The remaining 20 percent will work at HP Inc., which will manage the printing and personal computers divisions.The company in October 2014 officially announced the move and explained that the strategy will provide both of the companies with the focus, financial resources and flexibility to quickly get used to changing market and customer dynamics.The split will be effective in all 150 countries where HP currently has operations and responds to a global strategy of CEO Meg Whitman.Human Resources Manager for Central America María Luisa González said there will be little change for Costa Rica employees, and while some will have increased responsibilities, they also will see improvements in their careers. HP launched operations in Costa Rica 13 years ago. Facebook Comments Related posts:Bank of America, Intel announce thousands of layoffs in Costa Rica Costa Rica to cash in on 2014 World Cup with TV, print publicity around the world Tourism sector extends ad buy during World Cup quarterfinals Some members of Costa Rica’s business sector alarmed over ‘historic’ jump in unemploymentlast_img read more

Surfing year in review 2015 a historic year for Costa Rica surf

first_imgA historic 2015 for Costa Rican riders put the tiny Central American country on the map of world surf yet again. With their first ever International Surfing Association (ISA) World Games title and a national best, eighth-place finish at the highly competitive World Junior Surfing Championships in October, the future looks bright.Led on the world tour by 22-year-old Carlos “Cali” Muñoz, 19-year-old Noe Mar McGonagle, and his sister, 16-year-old Leilani McGonagle, Costa Rica’s golden generation of surfers has arrived. Muñoz and Noe Mar both finished in the top 50 of the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series, and young Leilani finished 80th on the women’s side of international qualifying, while dominating the national circuit.Costa Rica’s biggest stars, along with other budding young talents proved that 2015 is just the beginning of Costa Rica being a consistent producer of talented surfers who can be competitive on the world stage.“These kids aren’t intimidated anymore,” said Costa Rica Surf Federation spokesman Carlos Brenes. “They’re friends with the best surfers in the world.”Here are some of the biggest highlights from a phenomenal year by Costa Rica’s young surfers: Cali Muñoz, left, and the championship-winning “Dream Team” were honored by President Luís Guillermo Solís after their 2015 world title. (Courtesy of Casa Presidencial)2015 ISA World TitleCosta Rica’s aptly-named “Dream Team” came up big at June’s World Sufing Games in Nicaragua, where some of the country’s best surfers came together to top the sport’s best, like the United States, Brazil and Australia.On the heels of Noé Mar McGonagle’s stellar, 9.93-point ride, which also earned him the individual gold medal, Costa Rica won its first team world title.The members of Costa Rica’s championship team, which also included Muñoz, Leilani McGonagle, Anthony Fillingim, Lisbeth Vindas and Jason Torres, became national celebrities, as they were invited to Casa Presidencial by President Luís Guillermo Solís.Despite not receiving much funding from the government like other countries, Costa Rica’s riders came through in the biggest moment.“These surfers are another example of this extraordinary talent that shines in many tough conditions,” Solís said. Illustration by Haimeluna/The Tico TimesEmergence of a golden generation of surfersNearly every one of Costa Rica’s top surfers are under 23 year old, and much of this year was defined by a rising swell of teenage surfers that look to lift Costa Rica to even further heights.Behind “elder statesmen” like Muñoz, Noé Mar McGonagle and Fillingim, an even younger group of riders proved in 2015 that they’re on track to supersede the country’s current top surfers in coming years.Malakai Martínez, who Brenes says is better at his age than Muñoz or McGonagle were when they were 14, is the country’s next big star in the waves, as he showed on the national and international circuits this year. Along with Óscar Urbina and Aldo Chirinos, the boys’ 2015 national champion (15 and under), the talent is there for years to come.“These are the guys who are going to be world champs in four years,” Brenes said.For her part, Leilani McGonagle is already the best women’s surfer in the country and will only improve on the world tour. In 2015, she helped Costa Rica win its world championship while also having a big year individually at the national events, where she earned a third junior (17 and under) national title. Young Malakai Martínez from Tamarindo is a star in the making. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesImpressive display at Junior World ChampionshipsWith those impressive youngsters in tow, Costa Rica made history later in the year with its eighth place finish at the ISA Junior World Championships, which are considerably more competitive than the ISA World Games.While the top surfers in the world usually decide to opt out of the World Games in favor of their World Surf League tour events, they always surf in the Junior World Championships as young riders. Kelly Slater. John John Florence. Gabriel Medina. Promising young names like these are always at the Junior World Championships as they blossom into the sport’s best.The eighth place finish at this year’s games was validation that Costa Rica is growing into one of the better surfing countries, despite not having the enormous amount of public support that countries like Brazil and the U.S. give to their surfers.“You have an enormous amount of young talents who have the oceans as their courts, but they’ve been overlooked in favor of other sports,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre of the current state of Costa Rica surf.And even without much backing, these young surfers like Leilani McGonagle, Martínez, and Chirinos helped prove that Costa Rican surfers can compete, and win, on the world’s most competitive stages. Related posts:New generation of Costa Rican surfers puts sport in the spotlight Costa Rica surf squad will bring out its brightest stars for World Surfing Games World Surfing Games in Jacó: 5 things to know about attending Leilani McGonagle wins national surf championship Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The 5 greatest moments in Costa Rican soccer history

first_imgWant to put a smile on any Costa Rican’s face? Just bring up the Aztecazo, Costa Rica’s World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico. While Mexico opened the scoring, Rolando Fonseca’s free kick found the back of the net (around 1:25 in this video), followed by Hernán Medford, cleaning up a rebound from a safe (around 1:40). This David-and-Goliath moment was the first time Mexico had ever lost a World Cup qualifying match at the Azteca Stadium.A world-class save… What’s that – a penalty kick on a list of the greatest plays? You’ll understand once you watch this video (which may induce tears. Not that we would know. Sniff). Watch as fans around the world tune in to see Michael Umaña take his turn in the Costa Rica-Greece penalty shootout. The result of his kick would determine whether Costa Rica made history, and defy all the odds, by making it to the World Cup quarterfinals.Ahh – it’s good to be a soccer fan, and it’s great to be a soccer fan in Costa Rica. What’s your favorite Costa Rican soccer moment? Share it with us.See also: VIDEO – Even in defeat, Costa Rica celebrates Facebook Comments This article was originally published by Costa Rica Soccer Tours and is republished with their permission. Visit their Inside Costa Rica blog for more reflections on the Costa Rican international soccer scene.Recommended: What I’ll tell my daughter about La Sele, 2014Lists like these are made to be debated, fiercely criticized, and passionately revised. Still, we couldn’t resist sharing our list of the five most earth-shattering, spine-tingling, crowd-thrilling moments Costa Rica’s Men’s National Team have experienced in international play. (Women’s Team, we’re coming for you next!)The goal that took Costa Rica to its first-ever World Cup Keylor Navas is now practically the patron saint of all the land, and is a household name for many soccer-loving families around the globe thanks to his starring role between the posts for Real Madrid. But one moment at the 2014 World Cup when he caught the world’s eye – and helped Costa Rica make history – was when he made this unbelievable save on a penalty kick from Theofanis Gekas, of Greece. The save, during the penalty shoot-off, set up our Greatest Moment #5. …And a penalty that made history In many ways, Costa Rica’s soccer history on the world stage began with this goal against El Salvador in 1989. In a moment no Costa Rican then alive will ever forget, in Costa Rica’s old National Stadium in Sabana Park, a free kick found Pastor Fernández, who headed it into the goal during a match against El Salvador. Interesting fact: Fernández, though the hero of the hour, did not make the cut to continue on the National Team that represented Costa Rica at the World Cup the following year. (Learn more about this historic goal here.) La Sele’s first goal in Italy In 1990, Costa Rica’s Men’s National Team took to the field in Italy for the World Cup – and became the first Central American team ever to make it past the group phase. In this match against Scotland, at the 1:00 mark, Juan Cayasso converts a pass off the cleats of Claudio Jara and finds the back of the net. Listen to the joy in the voice of famed announcer Pilo Obando and imagine an entire nation rising to its feet back home. The Aztecazo Related posts:Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Costa Rica tops Russia 4-3 in road friendly Costa Rica scores key victory over Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying Costa Rica humiliates the United States 4-0 in World Cup qualifierlast_img read more

Sleepy Taiwan isles face dicey 2 billion makeover

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix But Weidner gave Matsu islanders an offer they couldn’t refuse _ at least not lightly. His company offered Matsu’s 7,000 permanent residents an annual stipend of US$32,000 for the rest of their lives, once the casino is up and running.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Parents, stop beating yourself up Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Associated PressMATSU, Taiwan (AP) – Cheng Yu-lan tends a deserted tea shop on a tiny Taiwanese island within sight of China and frets about the flood of gamblers from the mainland that will change this serene backwater forever.Cheng recently joined the majority of her fellow islanders in the scenic Matsu archipelago in voting to endorse $2 billion plans by a Las Vegas businessman to turn the islets into the latest world-class casino resort. However, she embodies the ambivalence of many residents with her concerns about vices that haunt many of Asia’s existing gambling hubs. Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

Syria siege on Aleppo alarms antiquities experts

first_img Top Stories The images, taken from amateur video filmed inside Aleppo, were shown at a gathering of antiquities experts from across the Middle East, who warned that Syria’s 18-month-old conflict is wiping out its archaeological treasures.“Syria is a museum of Islamic history,” said Walid al-Akhras, professor of Islamic History and Archaeology at Aleppo University. “That who fires a gun at history is as if he has fired a cannon at the future.”Aleppo, where there have been settlements for more than 10,000 years, has been the site of fierce battles for more than two months between regime troops and rebels fighters that have brought relentless shelling and gunbattles. Over the weekend, a fire sparked by fighting tore through the city’s centuries-old covered market. At 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), it is the Middle East’s longest souk. The fire burnt 500 shops, burning through wooden doors and scorching stalls and vaulted passageways.The experts Monday, however, said the true extent of the damage in Aleppo and at historic sites around the country is still unknown because experts have not been able to get in to assess the damage.The Syrian conflict has killed more than 30,000 people, according to activists. Hundreds of thousands are seeking refuge outside the country and entire towns have been destroyed by shelling. Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – The pictures shown Monday at a gathering of Arab antiquities experts gave a glimpse into the damage Syria’s civil war has wreaked on the heritage of one of the world’s most ancient cities.The wooden gates of Aleppo’s medieval Citadel are gone, a stone engraving above it damaged. A bomb crater now marks the entrance, and its walls are pockmarked with bullet holes. A stump is all that remains of the minaret of the 14th century al-Kiltawiya school. A rocket has crashed into el-Mihmandar Mosque, also built some 700 years ago. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “People haven’t stopped crying over the lives lost and the bloodshed to begin crying over our lost heritage,” said al-Akhras, who fled Aleppo.Monday’s emergency conference organized by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) at Cairo University aimed to raise alarm bells over the destruction of antiquities around Syria. The Saudi-based ISESCO, comprises 50 Middle Eastern, African and Asian nations.Participants said that ultimately the regime of President Bashar Assad is to blame for the destruction.“The government is responsible first and last for the protection of antiquities,” said al-Akhras.Participants expressed concern over looting that has already taken place at museums and the continued shelling of ancient sites, including in Aleppo. Some of the country’s most significant sites have been turned into bases for soldiers and rebels, including historic citadels and Turkish bath houses known as hamams.Egypt’s antiquities minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the world “wants to avoid an Iraq scenario” when looters made off with some of that country’s finest treasures during the U.S.-led military invasion in 2003. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories ISESCO representative Abdel-Aziz Salem said saving Aleppo amounts to protecting not just a city and its people, but “Islamic and Arab identity.”Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has been a crossroads of civilizations for millennia. It has been occupied by the Greeks, Byzantines and multiple Islamic dynasties. As one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, Aleppo’s old center was added in 1986 to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, and the city was named by ISESCO as the capital of Islamic culture in 2006.Cairo University Antiquities Professor Mahmoud al-Banna said he is in disbelief at what the Syrians are doing to their own heritage.“What Syrians are doing to their city is no different than what the Tatars or Mongols did,” he said, referring to invasions in the 13th and 14th centuries that devastated the region.“We are talking about the history of all people, of humankind and not just of Islam,” he said. “The war has been going on for 18 months, but you _ the world_ where have you been?”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Saudi religious police losing some powers

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – The director of Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious police says his forces are losing some of their key powers, including arrests, investigations and raiding houses.Abdul-Latif al-Sheikh was quoted Wednesday by the Saudi pan-Arab online newspaper Al-Hayat as saying some powers will be reassigned to regular police or to judicial authorities. He admitted that there have been complaints about his force’s behavior. The religious police enforce a ban on mingling by unrelated men and women, and they patrol public places to ensure women are dressed modestly and that men go to mosques for prayers.Saudi authorities instructed the religious police, run by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, to draw up guidelines to keep individual officers from imposing their personal interpretations of Islamic rules.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your life Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Seized Argentine navy ship arrives back home

first_imgThe United Nations’ International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered the ship’s release last month after Argentina argued that warships are immune from seizure.“I came to join our president in this important moment for all Argentines,” said Andrea Zapata, 43, a teacher from Buenos Aires province. “It’s not only important for those who support her political project but also because the Libertad ship is a symbol of our country and something all Argentines must defend from those who want to impose their own interests.”Argentina, currently Latin America’s third-biggest economy, engaged in the biggest sovereign debt default in history a decade ago. The government has restructured about 92 percent of its world record $95 billion debt default since then.But Fernandez refuses to pay the holdouts, calling NML Capital and others “vulture funds” for buying debt for pennies on the U.S. dollar in 2002, when Argentina’s economy was in its worst crisis, and now trying to collect in full.The fiery, center-left leader says it was their loss for refusing two opportunities to swap defaulted bonds for new, less valuable bonds that the state has reliably paid since 2005. When the vessel docked after its long journey, they broke into cheers and claps, many waving Argentine flags and snapping pictures with cameras. Three planes soared over the ship’s masts spewing smoke in the white and blue colors of the Argentine flag.President Cristina Fernandez arrived two hours later in a helicopter that landed on the ship. She greeted the sailors and called the Libertad a symbol of Argentina’s sovereignty and hailed its return as a victory.“Ladies and gentlemen, officers from the Libertad ship, welcome to the homeland!” Fernandez said in a nationally televised speech.“You’re witnessing what might come to symbolize the unlimited defense of Argentina’s rights and the respect of its sovereignty.”Ghana courts ordered the ship held in October on a claim by a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund, NML Capital Ltd. Its owner, American billionaire Paul Singer, leads a group demanding payment in full, plus interest _ about $350 million _ for dollar-based Argentine bonds bought at fire-sale prices after Argentina’s 2001-2002 economic collapse forced a sharp devaluation of its currency.The conflict over the ship reached an especially tense moment in November when Argentine sailors brandished weapons to block Ghanaian officials from moving the vessel to a less busy dock. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressMAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) – An Argentine naval ship detained for more than two months in Ghana because of a billion-dollar international debt dispute returned home to a triumphant welcome Wednesday.Thousands of Argentine government sympathizers traveled to the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, some 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the capital, to celebrate the return of the ARA Libertad.Crowds flooded the streets of Mar del Plata braving the Southern Hemisphere’s scorching temperatures to reach the port and catch a first look of the white-flagged tall ship.center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “There were vultures there and here there were buzzard caws,” Fernandez said at the ceremony, which ended with fireworks. “But we didn’t listen to any of them. We listened to our people.”Members of the political opposition called the welcoming ceremony an effort to boost support for Fernandez at a time when Argentines are frustrated by high inflation, violent crime, allegations of high-profile corruption, and government currency controls that make it difficult to buy dollars.Critics say Argentines were humiliated by the government’s failure to foresee that the ship would be seized in Ghana and other ports where it docked during training exercises.Anti-government activists handed out fliers in Mar del Plata encouraging people to join a pot-banging protest in the evening. “Stop the insecurity, the corruption and inflation for an independent justice,” the fliers read.___Associated Press writers Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Luis Andres Henao in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Lufthansa loses money in H1 stands by outlook

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – German airline Lufthansa AG recorded a net loss of 204 million euros ($270.01 million) in the first six months of the year as restructuring costs, fuel prices and slower business in Asia and the Middle East sapped earnings.The company made a profit of 50 million euros in the year-ago period.Nonetheless, Lufthansa said it was working to restructure and control costs and that it expected to meet its profit goal for the year.center_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Lufthansa shares fell 3.9 percent to 14.86 euros in morning trading in Europe.Total revenue slipped 0.3 percent to 14.46 billion euros. The number of passengers fell 0.4 percent to 49.5 million but the number of flights fell by 5.1 percent as the company made more efficient use of capacity. Fuel prices rose 1.3 percent after hedging measures the company uses to shield itself from price swings.“The restructuring of the Lufthansa Group is gaining speed”, chief financial officer Simone Menne said in a company statement.Lufthansa has struggled with competition from low-fare airlines within European and from Middle Eastern carriers on long-haul routes.For the second quarter, net profit fell 43 percent to 255 million euros as the company endured strike action from its employees. Revenue fell 0.7 percent to 7.83 billion euros.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Maine Sen Angus King discloses prostate cancer surgery

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Angus King of Maine said Monday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery on Friday.The 71-year-old independent said the cancer was discovered early, during a routine annual checkup. It has not spread and he said he expects to make a full recovery.King says Maine residents should expect to see him back on the Senate floor within weeks and back on the campaign trail when he runs for re-election to a second term in 2018. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywallcenter_img “I’m looking forward to a full recovery and to continuing my service in the Senate,” King said. “And no, this does not my affect my intention to run for re-election, except my poor little prostate won’t be along for the ride.”King also said that as a young man 40 years ago he was successfully treated for malignant melanoma. He said that outbreak and the prostate cancer are unrelated.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Obama to announce highspeed Internet help for homes

first_imgConnectHome will begin in 27 cities and one tribal nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which stretches across much of southeastern Oklahoma and is headquartered in Durant.It’s the second dose of special attention that Obama has given the Choctaw Nation, which has about 200,000 members and is the third-largest Native American tribe in the United States.Last year, the president designated the Choctaw Nation as a federal “Promise Zone,” making it eligible for tax incentives and grants to help fight poverty.The White House said Obama’s school-based Internet program is on track to make sure that 99 percent of K-12 students can use the Web in their classrooms and libraries by 2017. The new program aims to help less privileged students access the Internet and continue learning when they get home from school.The 27 cities the Department of Housing and Urban Development selected for ConnectHome are: Albany, Georgia; Atlanta; Baltimore; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Boston; Camden, New Jersey; Cleveland; Denver; Durham, North Carolina; Fresno, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles; Macon, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Meriden, Connecticut; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Rockford, Illinois; San Antonio; Seattle; Springfield, Massachusetts; Tampa, Florida; and the District of Columbia. Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Comments   Share   Obama was spending the night in Oklahoma and continuing a weeklong focus on making the criminal justice system fairer.He planned to meet Thursday with law enforcement officials and inmates during a historic tour of the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility west of Oklahoma City that holds about 1,300 male offenders. “I will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison,” Obama said Tuesday as he addressed the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia.El Reno once housed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.___Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The difference between men and women when it comes to pain WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama set a goal of bringing high-speed Internet to most schools by 2017, and now he’s promoting a new program to help close the digital divide even further by bringing that faster Internet to more people.During a visit Wednesday to Durant, Oklahoma, he planned to announce a pilot program that brings together communities, the private sector and the federal government to make high-speed Internet available to more families, the White House said. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Tragedy at Perisher

first_imgA male guest at Perisher ski resort died shortly after colliding with a tree on the morning of Sunday 8 August 2010.The small Perisher community is shocked and saddened by the tragic death, which occurred as the guest was skiing with his family on an intermediate blue run in the resort’s Guthega area.The scene was promptly attended by staff from Perisher Ski Patrol, NSW Ambulance and Perisher Medical Centre.”Everyone at Perisher is so deeply saddened by this horrible accident and we extend our sincere condolences to family and friends,” Perisher’s CEO, Peter Brulisauer said.”Over 10,000 visitors were enjoying Perisher today under a brilliant blue sky. Skiing together as a family in such great weather is a truly wonderful activity, but in this instance it has unfortunately ended so tragically.”A report for the Coroner will be prepared by the police. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2aa79/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more

Thats Gold 1bn spent by internationals on Coast

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C. C The Gold Coast raked in over AU$1bn frominternational tourists in the year to June 2010. International visitors to the Gold Coast spent a little over AU$1 billion in the 12 months from July 2009 to June 2010, with a five per cent increase in visitor number s from the year prior.The positive gain was made even more satisfying with the achievement of increases in Japanese (up by five per cent), Chinese (up by 15 per cent), and United Kingdom (up 18 per cent) visitors, three markets which have been the focus of increased efforts by the destination marketing organization, Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter said.“The Gold Coast really is Australia’s number one tourism destination, our ability to attract a five per cent increase in international visitors, well above state and national trends, is a credit to the city’s wide popularity and the positive work of our tourism businesses as they are out there fighting for every tourist,” he said.The International Visitor Survey (year ending June 2010), run by Tourism Research Australia, reported that the top three international source markets by visitor number were: New Zealand, down two percent at 200,000; Japan, up three per cent at 114,000; and China, up a whopping 15 per cent at 107,000 visitors.last_img read more

Siam Hotels Resorts Awarded TripAdvisors Certificate of Excell

first_imgUnsurpassed amenities and services recognised at two Siam propertiesSiam Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce that two of its top properties have been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2011 – Siam City Hotel, Bangkok and Siam Bayshore Resorts & Spa, Pattaya. The award is given to establishments who consistently receive an “excellent” rating review from guests. Both properties have been constantly ranked amongst the top 10 hotels in their respective destinations. Siam Hotels & Resorts is honoured to have received this recognition and is proud that the hotel group’s gracious warm Thai hospitality has satisfied its valued guests.”We are immensely proud that two of our premier hotels have received such a prestigious honour,” said Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, executive vice president for Siam Hotels & Resorts. “As we always strive to offer our customers a memorable experience and superlative service, it is nice to know that our guests notice and appreciate these efforts and take the time to acknowledge us. This accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into happy travellers which is the most important thing.”This prestigious certificate is awarded to member properties of TripAdvisor who consistently receive excellence ratings from travellers around the world. To qualify, the property is expected to maintain an average rating of 4 or higher out of the possible 5, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews and how recent these reviews are submitted by TripAdvisor travellers. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel community site, enabling travellers to plan their perfect holiday by offering trusted advice from travellers who have experienced the properties and services reviewed first-hand. SBS Tropical Deluxe Room SCH Deluxe – Ayuthaya Wing Club Room Source = Siam Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

Luxurious city haven The Langham Melbourne named Australias best h

first_imgThe Langham, Melbourne continues to charm travellers around the world with its enchanting hospitality, tailor-made touches and service with poise. The elegant Melbourne counterpart of Europe’s original grand hotel was recently bestowed the coveted accolade of Australia’s best hotel by American travel bible, Travel + Leisure, in the 10th Anniversary edition of its 500 World’s Best Hotels. Of particular note to Travel + Leisure was The Langham, Melbourne’s new Club Terrace rooms – the first of its kind in Melbourne. Seven exclusive rooms within the hotel were exquisitely redesigned earlier this year to include elegant 50m² outdoor terraces. Furnished with luxurious sun lounges and a matching outdoor dining set, the timeless terraces offer guests a private open-air oasis, against the backdrop of Melbourne’s sparkling skyline.The Langham, Melbourne’s Managing Director, Mr. Ben Sington, was delighted by the prestigious recognition.“We, at The Langham, Melbourne, are incredibly proud and honoured to receive this accolade from Travel + Leisure – especially so as it is the magazine’s 10th Anniversary edition. It is gratifying to know that our continuous strive for excellence is recognised by readers throughout the world, and by one of America’s most respected publications,” Mr Sington said.“The foundation of our success can only be attributed to the efforts of our staff, who are dedicated towards bringing the tenets of our brand – enchanting hospitality, service-with-poise, and tailor-made experiences – to life every day. We are extremely grateful for the support and recognition from Travel + Leisure’s readers, and will continue to bring them The Langham, Melbourne’s legendary service as they have come to expect for many more years to come,” Mr Sington added.  It is the second time this year that The Langham, Melbourne has been recognised by the prestigious publication. In July this year, the hotel took home the top city hotel award (Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific) in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. The latest accolade is the fourth for the hotel from Travel + Leisure in three consecutive years – a testament to The Langham, Melbourne’s continued innovativeness and commitment to excellence. The Langham, Melbourne was ranked amongst the best hotels from around the globe as selected by readers in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards Survey. The results of Travel + Leisure’s 10th Anniversary edition of 500 World’s Best Hotels 2011 will appear in the January 2012 issue of the magazine. The Langham, Melbourne View from the Club Terrace Roomcenter_img Source = The Langhamlast_img read more

Domestic market needs investment TTF

first_imgAustralia’s travel industry needs to consider “significant investment” in its accommodation and attraction offerings, according to the Tourism and Transport Forum’s (TTF) head, to help boost domestic travel.Responding to a December 2011 National Visitor Survey that found a 3.5 percent increase in overnight trips, TTF chief executive John Lee said trends show more Aussies are preferring to travel overseas, a tendency that can be resolved through renewed focus on the country’s appeal.“With the Australian dollar tipped to remain strong for some time, significant investment in new accommodation and attractions is required to give Australia’s tourism industry a competitive boost,” he explained. “While we welcome the federal government’s investment in small-scale tourism projects through the T-Qual grants program, we need a renewed focus on facilitating major projects as demand drivers to kickstart the growth required to reach the Tourism 2020 targets.”Although international arrivals and spending would continue to boost Australia’s tourism industry, Mr Lee said domestic visitors make up to 70 percent of tourism spending and is a sector that needs more “state government support for tourism development.”According to the National Visitor Survey, domestic spending increased by 1.6 percent in 2011 compared to the prior year, while visitor nights swelled by 1.4 percent.Earlier this month Mr Lee said China is another key market to boost Australia’s tourism industry, describing the market as a “massive opportunity” if capitalised upon. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

TA hoping to bowl over Indian agents

first_imgBrett LeeImage Source: Reuters Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee has joined Tourism Australia’s ‘Friends of Australia’ program, in an effort to help capture the growing Indian tourism market.More than 70 Indian travel agents arrived in Melbourne this week to participate in a six-day India Mega Famil and Workshop (IMFW).Mr Lee will welcome the delegates with a personalised tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and an exclusive dinner at the famous stadium where he will share details of his career highlights, according to Tourism Australia.“India is a market that continues to deliver steady growth for Australian tourism and we are delighted to have someone of Brett Lee’s calibre to further raise the profile of Australia in India and to help us best align to our year 2020 target to secure higher visitor growth from this rising market,” Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said.“India has great long term potential for Australian tourism and we continue to support its development via our recently launched India Strategic 2020 Plan to grow the Indian visitor market to Australia to more than AU$2 billion and up to 300,000 potential annual visitors by the end of the decade.”Although recently retired from international cricket, Brett Lee plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has an established music foundation, Mewsic, in India.“Brett Lee has a huge profile in India, but also possesses deep credibility by demonstrating a high level of engagement and embracing Indian culture, as a result of his stellar cricketing career and ambassadorial and charity work in country,” Mr McEvoy said.As one of 160 ‘Friends of Australia’, Brett Lee emphasised his willingness to be a part of TA’s campaign.“Having travelled to India some 60 plus times, I now look forward, as a Friend of Australia ambassador, to encouraging Indians to visit this wonderful country and experience all that Australia has to offer,” Mr Lee said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Canberras Human Brochure creates social media frenzy

first_imgSharing their experiences in Canberra as part of the Human Brochure Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W. Canberra’s world-first advocacy campaign ‘The Human Brochure’ has seen 250 people tweet, post and share their experiences in the Australian Capital city to an audience of approximately 4.2 million. For 250 lucky ‘Humans’ the weekend in Canberra was a social media frenzy with 4000 tweets, 1000 Facebook posts, numerous Instagram pictures and Foursquare check-ins.The Human Brochure campaign will bring 500 social media savvy Australians to Canberra for a free ultimate weekend getaway with the condition being attendees had to share their experiences via social media.   Last weekend saw the first half of the group of Humans take on Canberra, resulting in an onslaught of #HumanBrochure across all social media channels. The hash tag trended in the top five for most of the weekend, beating the Windows 8 launch, Halloween and for a short time, even Justin Beiber. Australian Capital Tourism director Ian Hill said the campaign that was designed to broaden the appeal of the ACT on the weekend was a big success. “Whether they were an adventurer pedalling up and down Mt Stromlo, a foodie enjoying their seven-course degustation menu, one of the arts and culture group gathering in the gallery or one of our fun families that met Lauren Jackson at the AIS, everyone had a great story to tell and a fabulous experience in Canberra”. The next group of 250 Humans will visit Canberra in February next year. For more information, visit www.humanbrochure.com.au. last_img read more