Lebanon and Israel must do more to achieve permanent ceasefire – UN

“The Secretary-General condemns all violation of resolution 1701, whether in the form of rocket launches, air land or sea violations, the active maintenance of an arms depot or the use of surveillance equipment on sovereign Lebanese territory,” Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams told reporters after briefing the Security Council on the latest developments. Resolution 1701, adopted by the Council in August 2006, called for an end to hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah, respect for the so-called Blue Line separating the Israeli and Lebanese sides, disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling. Hizbollah, which has not disarmed, is part of a new unity government formed in Lebanon yesterday. The rocket launches into Israel, the almost daily Israeli flights over Lebanon, the arms depot maintained by Hizbollah and the apparently Israeli surveillance equipment left on Lebanese territory raise the spectre of a potential escalation. But the cessation of hostilities that followed the adoption of 1701 “has actually held remarkably well,” Mr. Williams said, calling this a tribute to the UN peacekeeping force known as UNIFIL, the Lebanese and the Israelis.“To the best of my knowledge… probably no other country in the world – probably, I may be wrong – is subject to such an intrusive regime of aerial surveillance [as Lebanon],” he noted. “Now we also have other events, the discovery of listening devices which almost certainly seem to have been left by the Israelis. Are these violations? Yes, of course they’re violations of 1701.”He called for more to be done to safeguard what has been achieved in the past three years. “While welcoming the parties’ stated commitment to resolution 1701, which is critical, we also stress the need for more tangible steps to facilitate forward movement in the direction of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution,” he said.“Lebanon, Israel and the international community must be vigilant and undertake greater efforts in the coming period to allow us to move forward.”Asked whether he would categorically say that there was no arms smuggling into Lebanon, he replied: “No I would not say that… it’s an established fact that Lebanon does not have an active border control regime in the way that most countries have on their borders.”He cited UN missions in 2007 and 2008 that called the borders “very, very porous. Now that’s an objective and scientific assessment of what pertains on the borders. What they were not in a position to say is what may or may not come across the borders,” he added.As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did yesterday, Mr. Williams congratulated the new national unity government, noting the challenges facing it in the economic, political and social fields as well as in exercising its authority throughout the whole country. 10 November 2009Despite recent “worrying incidents” in southern Lebanon, where Israel and Hizbollah militants battled fiercely three years ago, talk of a new war is alarmist, but all sides must do more to translate the cessation of hostilities into a permanent ceasefire, a senior United Nations official warned today. read more

UN peace messenger Muhammad Ali encourages Afghan children to prepare for future

The former boxing champ said young Afghans would succeed if they readied their minds for the challenges of life, by studying hard, respecting teachings and following guidance.He also exhorted them to prepare their bodies, by practicing physical activity and sports, and to have faith, which, he said, “will help you through the most difficult days.”Mr. Ali said he had seen in Afghanistan that the humanitarian community had achieved much by working together with the country’s government and people. “To see young girls studying, knowing that they had been denied opportunities to learn for many years, was inspiring.” But above all, his visit showed him not just the Afghanistan of today, but of the future. “That tomorrow will be your tomorrow, and the world must not fail you,” he said.The Peace Messenger also voiced gratitude to the Afghan children. “I want to thank you, my young friends, for showing me how strong you are in spite of the hardships your country still faces,” he said. “You are the life and soul of Afghanistan.” read more

Top UN relief official in Central African Republic urgently appeals for halt

“I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by conflict in the country,” said Humanitarian Coordinator Marc Vandenberghe in a statement issued in Bangui, the capital of the CAR.He strongly condemned the attack against a World Food Programme (WFP) food convoy on 18 July near Baboua, in the north-western part region. The convoy of 20 vehicles escorted by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) peacekeepers, received gun shots that fatally wounded the driver and his vehicle immediately reversed causing injuries to other passengers. “Humanitarian access continues to be hampered by various constraints in the country, particularly violence against civilians and humanitarian workers,” the humanitarian coordinator said. “The upsurge in armed attacks on the Main Supply Route 1 from the west of the country threatens the continuity of humanitarian activities in the country.”He underscored the urgent appeal of the humanitarian community in the country to all parties to the conflict to refrain from attacking humanitarian workers, “and they allow them to do their jobs and save lives safely in the whole country.”More than two years of civil war and sectarian violence have displaced thousands of people in CAR amid ongoing clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka alliance and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian. The United Nations estimates that some 450,000 people remain displaced inside the country while thousands of others have sought asylum across the borders. read more

York 9 FC makes Swedish striker Simon Adjei its first international signing

TORONTO — Simon Karlsson Adjei, a Swedish striker with Ghanaian roots, is York 9 FC’s first international signing.The 25-year-old has ties to York 9 head coach Jim Brennan, having played for him with Aurora FC in League 1 Ontario. Adjei had 19 goals in 19 games in 2016 to rank second in the league.“You kind of knew right away that the kid had something … he was a great talent,” said Brennan.“You just knew he’s got to go back to Europe. Obviously I kept a tab on him. We knew the CPL was coming down the line and I flew over to go watch him in Sweden this year. He scored 30 goals during the season so the guy can score … we’re lucky we got him.”Born in Sweden to a Ghanaian father and Swedish mother, Adjei most recently played for Assyriska IK in a lower Swedish league.The seven-team Canadian Premier League is set to kick off its inaugural season in April.York, which will play out of north Toronto, will be joined by HFX Wanderers FC (Halifax), Forge FC (Hamilton), Valour FC (Winnipeg), FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC (Calgary) and Pacific FC (Victoria).“I’m super-excited,” said Adjei. “This will be a great year, I’m sure.”Adjei believes the time is right for him to join the new league.“For me to come in now with my confidence and my experience, especially confidence from the year that I had in Sweden, I think it’s perfect timing for me to be a part of history.” Adjei originally came to Canada after an intermediary contacted Brennan and said the player wanted a change in lifestyle.“We had him here for a year. He’s a good kid, great to work with,” said Brennan, a Canada Soccer Hall of Famer.Brennan said York 9 beat several Swedish first division teams in signing Adjei this time.“It’s not often you find a guy that’s as clinical as he is. He sure does know how to find the back of the net. He’s a big man — he’s 6-3 — a good target, he’s got good pace, great feet.”Adjei said his time in Canada helped him grow.“As I always say, the more you grow outside the field, the more you will automatically grow on the field as well,” he said. The CPL has yet to divulge its salary cap. Commissioner David Clanachan has said while clubs can sign a maximum of seven international players, the starting roster must be more than half Canadian (six players).———Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter.Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press read more

Box2D creator asks Rovio for Angry Birds credit at GDC

first_imgAsk anyone who plays games on an iPhone for an app they keep coming back to or think is most popular, and Angry Birds is going to be mentioned a lot. It’s one of the biggest hits on the App Store, and is now spreading to multiple other platforms.While developer Rovio is the brains behind the successful game, the physics engine that makes it all possible isn’t. That honor falls to Erin Catto, the creator of the free to use open source Box2D physics engine.AdChoices广告Box2D can be downloaded by any developer and used completely free of charge under the zlib license. That means you can use it as long as the software is not misrepresented. In the case of Box2D you don’t even need to state you are using Box2D if you prefer not to.Armed with that information, Rovio decided not to credit Box2D in the game. They have every right to do that under the license terms, but you’d think Rovio would, seeing as how important physics is in the game’s functionality.Catto felt the same way and decided to ask in a very public manner. At the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week one of the Q&A panels was headed up by Rovio’s own Peter Vesterbacka. Catto was in the audience, and according to his description in the Box2D forums, the exchange went as follows:Erin: “Hi Peter, could you tell me which physics engine Angy Birds uses?”Peter: “Box2D”Erin: “Great. Would you consider giving credit to Box2D in your game?”Peter: “Yes, of course”Erin: “Thank you! By the way, I am Erin Catto the creator of Box2D”Peter: “Great! I would like to talk to you after the session” Catto insists it was done in a very friendly manner and that he really likes the game. He goes on to explain that he didn’t use a license that requires a credit because some developers just wouldn’t use the library for legal reasons. He would rather it get used and no credit be given than them go find an alternative.In the case of Angry Birds it looks as though he had an opportunity to ask, so he did, and now Box2D will have another credit and be known by a few more people who may end up using it one day.If you’re wondering just how good of a solution Box2D is then check out some of the videos showing what it can do on YouTube. Here’s just one example of some basic physics checking:Read more at MobileCrunchlast_img read more

NASAs SPHEREx Mission Will Explore Origins of Universe

first_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Stay on target NASA’s next mission aims to better understand how our universe evolved, and the prevalence of ingredients for life in our galaxy’s planetary systems.The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) program is slated to launch in 2023.“I’m really excited about this new mission,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “Not only does it expand the United States’ powerful fleet of space-based missions dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the universe, it is a critical part of a balanced science program that includes missions of various sizes.”For two years, SPHEREx will survey the sky in optical and near-infrared light, collecting data on more than 300 million galaxies and 100 million-plus stars in our Milky Way.“This amazing mission will be a treasure trove of unique data for astronomers,” according to Thomas Zurbuchen, association administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.The spacecraft’s two-fold objective is to canvas galaxies near and far, as well as hunt for water and organic molecules in so-called stellar nurseries—regions where stars are born from gas and dust—as well as disks around stars. “It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing ‘fingerprints’ from the first moments in the universe’s history,” Zurbuchen said. “And we’ll have new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science: What made the universe expand to quickly less than a nanosecond after the Big Bang?”Using technologies adapted from Earth satellites and Mars spacecraft, SPHEREx will create a map of the entire sky in 96 color bands; it is also expected to identify targets for more detailed study by future missions.This is one of nine proposals submitted to NASA in 2016, and one of two concepts selected a year later for further study. NASA eventually decided the SPHEREx study offered “the best science potential and most feasible development plan.”Now, the California Institute of Technology is working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop the mission payload. JPL will also manage the mission.Additional resources are being provided by Ball Aerospace in Colorado and the Korea Astronomy & Space Science Institute.More on Geek.com:How to See the ‘Super Snow Moon’ on Feb. 19NASA’s InSight Lander Deployed Second Instrument on MarsNASA Says Goodbye to Its Mars Opportunity Roverlast_img read more

USB ASA Present Webinar on Tech Tools to Improve Growing Season Management

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) and the United Soybean Board (USB) are pleased to present the second webinar in a series of three webinars designed to help soybean farmers understand how new technology and effective data management can help improve the sustainability of their operations.On March 29, at 12 p.m. Central Time, learn more about new technology tools that can help improve growing season management practices from precision agriculture experts Ajay Sharda, Ph.D., at Kansas State University and Emmanuel Byamukama from South Dakota State University. Click here to learn more about the webinar presentation and register to participate.last_img

Warrens promise to rural voters Fiber broadband for all

first_imgElizabeth Warren campaigned in Iowa in June and returns this month to talk up her plan to bring high-speed broadband to underserved rural communities. Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has promised $85 million in federal funding to make sure rural Americans get broadband. And she wants to override states that try to prevent local municipalities from building their own broadband networks. Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, unveiled her plan Wednesday ahead of a road trip across Iowa. The broadband initiative is part of a bigger proposal called “My Plan to Invest in Rural America,” which includes ideas for increasing federal investment in rural health care, payments to farmers to go green, and a slew of other programs directed at farming. At the heart of the plan is the $85 billion rural broadband initiative, which would distribute federal grants to build new networks. Warren says the plan would bring “fiber infrastructure necessary to bring high-speed broadband to unserved areas, underserved areas, or areas with minimal competition.”The government already provides billions of dollars in subsidies every year to help bring broadband to rural communities. With broadband becoming as essential as running water and electricity to improving people’s daily lives and providing a standard of living equal to that of urban and suburban parts of the country, politicians from the left and the right see the issue of bringing these services to communities with limited or no access as one that can help them win the hearts and minds of rural America.The problemWarren said in her blog post that roughly 26% of people living in rural areas and 32% of people living on tribal lands don’t have access to broadband, compared to about 2% in urban areas, according to Federal Communications Commission figures for 2017. She also wants to pave the way for local communities to build their own broadband networks. Phone and cable companies have for years lobbied against local community efforts to build their own broadband networks, claiming that using taxpayer dollars to fund such build-outs puts them at a competitive disadvantage. As many as 26 states have passed laws prohibiting such networks. All the while, big telecommunications companies have been accepting federal government subsidies to build networks in underserved areas, but they’ve been doing the bare minimum to comply with requirements, Warren said. The result has been less competition, higher prices and inadequate broadband access in underserved areas, she said. This ends when I’m president,” Warren said. “I will make sure every home in America has a fiber broadband connection at a price families can afford. That means publicly owned and operated networks — and no giant ISPs running away with taxpayer dollars.” Warren’s promises come at a time when the FCC, Congress and President Donald Trump have focused a lot of attention on getting broadband to rural communities. The FCC has mainly focused on cutting regulation to spur investment, encouraging cheaper technology alternatives and finding more efficient ways to allocate subsidies. The agency voted last week on a new method of distributing $20 billion of Universal Service Fund subsidies over the next decade as part of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. But the FCC’s plan doesn’t call for any new money for rural broadband infrastructure. It changes how the FCC awards subsidies to build-out these networks. Instead of providing subsidies only to traditional broadband providers, the FCC’s new fund will allow other, nontraditional service providers, like wireless providers and electric co-ops, to compete in a “reverse auction” to get the subsidies to build new networks.  iowa-farmlandMany parts of rural America, including sections of Iowa, lack broadband internet services. Shara Tibken/CNET The nitty-gritty detailsWarren says what’s needed is an effort like the one in the 1930s to electrify rural parts of the US. She said the issue then was very similar to what rural communities face today.”Prior to the late 1930s, private electric companies passed over rural communities they felt offered minimal profit opportunities, leaving the families living there literally in the dark,” Warren said. “Just like the electric companies 80 years ago, today’s biggest internet service providers (ISPs) have left large parts of the country unserved or dramatically underserved.”As a result, her plan cuts out traditional telecom players entirely. Instead, it would focus on providing funds to some of the same entities that helped build-out the electrical grid in underserved areas, like electric co-ops. Her proposal would also preempt state laws that limit the deployment of local government-owned broadband networks. And her proposed grant program would distribute funds only to electricity and telephone cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, tribes, cities, counties and other state subdivisions. The funds will be used only to build fiber infrastructure, presumably leaving out other methods of connectivity, such as wireless broadband. Warren also promised to appoint as FCC commissioners only people who will restore net neutrality, so that the broadband providers are regulated as “common carriers.” The Obama-era rules, which prevented broadband companies from slowing down or blocking access to the internet, were controversial. The Republican-led FCC repealed the rules in 2017. The heart of the debate centered on the reclassification of broadband as a Title II or common carrier network, which gave the FCC authority to put in stricter requirements on carriers and potentially allowed it to regulate rates.  Democrats in Congress have tried to reinstate the Obama-era rules but have failed. The FCC’s repeal has also been challenged in federal court, and a decision is expected any day. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s also running for the Democratic nomination for president, has made a similar commitment to appoint FCC commissioners committed to restoring net neutrality protections.  Share your voice 8 Comments Tags Internet FCClast_img read more

Remembering Harvey B Marvin

first_imgTlingit elder Harvey B. Marvin has died at the age of 81. Marvin grew up in Hoonah, worked for the public health service in Sitka and was the state of Alaska’s first Native auditor.Download AudioMarvin grew up in Hoonah, worked for the public health service in Sitka and was the state of Alaska’s first Native auditor.Lillian & Harvey Marvin at a Tlingit-Haida Central Council Native Forum luncheon. (Photo courtesy of Jodi Garrison)He was born in 1933 in Excursion Inlet to Lillian Pratt Marvin Smith, who was of the Kaagwaantaan clan, and John Marvin, of the T’ak Dein Taan clan, and a grandchild of the Chookaneidi. He was one of their 12 children.He went to Mt. Edgecumbe High School, business school in Chicago and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Korean War.Native land claimsMarlene Johnson grew up with Marvin in Hoonah.“We were of opposite clans.  He was an Eagle and I was a Raven, but we were good friends,” she says with a chuckle.That friendship came in handy during the years they would work together on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.Marvin and Johnson were among the five members of the Tlingit-Haida Central Council Executive Committee to lobby Congress. When ANCSA passed in 1971, Huna-Totem was created as the Hoonah village corporation.Marvin was appointed corporation treasurer. Johnson was a board member.“He was at every meeting and worked with us as we looked at the history, and doing the land claims and other important things for the corporation,” she says.These were complicated issues. Johnson says Marvin was just the guy to explain them.“He  was very fluent in Tlingit, so he could explain it in Tlingit to the elders that didn’t understand English that well,” Johnson says.As they met with new shareholders in Hoonah and other parts of Southeast, she says Marvin also listened well, so he could tell the board what Huna-Totem members wanted in their corporation.Marvin later transitioned from treasurer to board member, serving 19 years. He was a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and active with Tlingit and Haida. In 2005, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Central Council for what the organization called his “extreme dedication” to the Alaska Native community.“He was with and very loyal to Tlingit-Haida Central Council since the ’60s,” says Edward Thomas, who was Central Council president at the time.Super votersLisa Worl keeps the family tree for her large family. She always called Harvey Marvin great grandfather, though he was actually her great uncle.Worl is on the Juneau School Board. Marvin and his late wife Lillian were there when she was sworn into office.She can recite the work Marvin has done for his people through Native organizations, as a Sitka Assembly member, and other political involvement.Harvey and Lillian Marvin were Democrats and “super voters,” she says.“It was more a matter of civic duty and always making sure the family was aware of the issues and make sure they voted. They never pushed any people but obviously they had their people they were supporting,” Worl says.Former Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula was one of them. Kerttula got to know Marvin when her father, Jay Kerttula, was a state senator and chairman of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. Marvin was the auditor.Years later, when Beth Kerttula ran for Juneau’s downtown seat in the state House, Marvin sat her down for a tutorial on the nuts and bolts of Juneau politics.“He had almost every twist and turn and nuance, and knew the groups I needed to reach out to and knew the people I needed to go talk to,” she recalls.But it didn’t stop there. Both Marvins worked hard on all five of her campaigns and were in the gallery at the state capitol when she took the oath of office.Kerttula calls him an astute politician.“You know I think Harvey would have been governor or U.S. Senator in a different day,” she says. “He just had that kind of talent and ability.”More importantly, she says, the Marvins set a great example of how to be good human beings.Lillian Marvin passed away in February, just after the couple celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.“The two love birds are back together,” Worl says.A memorial service for Harvey Marvin is Saturday at 3 p.m. at Alaska Memorial Park on Riverside Drive. A private family viewing is 1 p.m.last_img read more

Voices of Sitkans mourning Orlando shooting victims

first_imgA crowd of more than 50 Sitkans gathered in Totem Square Monday night, to honor the 49 victims of Sunday’s shooting at Pulse, an Orlando nightclub. Organized by Sitka resident Hannah Guggenheim, the group gathered beneath a blue sky in a big circle and, holding strips of orange paper, took turns reading the forty nine names aloud. KCAW’s Emily Kwong was there and spoke with Guggenheim.Download Audiolast_img

Why is Rise of the Tomb Raider an Xbox One exclusive Updated

first_imgOf all the announcements Microsoft made during GamesCom 2014 today, there was one big surprise: Rise of the Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox One. At first blush, this doesn’t seem to be your typical timed exclusive that Microsoft and developer Crystal Dynamics purposefully forget to mention at an Xbox conference. No, the evidence suggests this is an actual exclusive game only coming to Xbox One.The strongest evidence Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox One forever-exclusive comes not from Microsoft, but from Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios Darrell Gallagher. In a post to the Tomb Raider Community, he states:“This doesn’t mean that we’re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4.”So, Tomb Raider games are still coming to other systems, just not this one — but an Xbox exclusive makes little sense.Right now, the Xbox One is not doing great. It has sold some 5 million units compared to the 9 million PS4s in homes. From Microsoft’s perspective, any exclusive is great news as it potentially helps them close the gap to Sony. But for Crystal Dynamics, it makes no sense. They have agreed not to allow 9 million (or more) gamers have access to the game. Unless Microsoft has set a new record for cash handouts to a developer, there’s no way they can offer something better than that.It could still turn out that this is just an exclusive for Xbox One during the holiday 2015 season — which means a timed exclusive — and for anyone who owns a PS4, I really hope it is. This is still a silly decision for Crystal Dynamics if that turns out to be the case, though. They’ve pissed off a lot of Tomb Raider fans today, and lost at least a few hundred thousand sales in the run up to Christmas.Update: A day after announcing this was an Xbox One exclusive, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has now confirmed the game will also make an appearance on Xbox 360. It still makes little sense for Crystal Dynamics to not let PS4/PS3 and PC gamers have the option to buy and play the game, but at least more than 5 million can now.last_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

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

Third Ramada Suites announced for Auckland

first_imgThird Ramada Suites announced for AucklandWyndham Hotel Group today announced its third Ramada Suites in Auckland – Ramada Suites Victoria Street West, Auckland – which will also be the company’s twelfth property in New Zealand.The hotel’s prime CBD location of 147 Victoria Street West is the site of the historically significant former Cambridge clothing factory, and is within walking distance of the waterfront district, the city’s famous Sky Tower, shopping centres, galleries, parks, SkyCity Casino and excellent restaurants and bars.Construction has begun and is slated to be complete late in 2018. With a mix of hotel and residential accommodation, the property will feature studios, executive suites and one-bedroom apartments, all with kitchen facilities and either harbour or city views featuring the Sky Tower.In Auckland, Ramada Victoria Street West is the third franchise agreement between Wyndham Hotel Group and local developer Safari Group. The 66-room Ramada Suites Albany, Auckland North Shore opened in March this year, and the 42-room Ramada Suites Auckland, Federal Street, opened in 2015. Once complete, Ramada Victoria Street West will be managed by BT Group, which also manages three other Wyndham Hotel Group properties in New Zealand.Safari Group Director Robert Neil said the company has been working with a conservation architect and Heritage New Zealand to appropriately retain the important historic appeal of the site.“Gaining the necessary approvals for our vision required hard work and thorough planning, and we believe the end result will be something that guests will value and the public will see as a respectful and attractive merging of historic and modern Auckland,” he said.During construction, the Cambridge factory’s heritage-listed Graham Street and Victoria Street West facades – which date back to 1901 – will be reinforced and retained, while the interior will be refitted and remodelled for office space. Internal architecture from the building will also feature in the new construction project.“Auckland continues to see strong growth and development thanks to rising visitor numbers,” commented Barry Robinson, Wyndham Hotel Group’s President and Managing Director, South East Asia and Pacific Rim.“This is driving increased interest from developers for globally known brands like Ramada and others offered by Wyndham Hotel Group, which are well positioned to meet the emerging needs of travellers in the region. New Zealand is a key region of focus for Wyndham Hotel Group and to help meet growing demand, we have established a strong partnership with the Safari Group which has opened four hotels opened throughout the country and two more in the pipeline.”Ramada Victoria Street West will participate in Wyndham Hotel Group’s award-winning, market-leading rewards program, Wyndham Rewards®. The world’s simplest, most generous hotel loyalty program, members earn a guaranteed 1,000 points with every qualified stay and can redeem a free night at more than 8,000 hotels worldwide for just 15,000 points per night or any of more than 17,000 vacation condos and homes for just 15,000 points per bedroom, per night.Source = Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Norwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian Breakaway

first_imgNorwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian BreakawayNorwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Cruise Line today announced an update to the line’s 2018/2019 deployment, offering guests an exciting new opportunity to set sail from the Port of New Orleans to their dream Caribbean destinations on one of the line’s newest and largest ships. After returning from her summer  2018 season in the Baltic, the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will reposition from the Big Apple to the Big Easy for her winter 2018/19 season and cruise to the Caribbean, visiting  ports of call including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and the beautiful island destination of Harvest Caye, Belize. Harvest Caye offers a diverse, enriching experience highlighting the natural beauty and culture of Belize along with lush native landscaping, a swim up pool bar, luxury beach villas, private pool cabanas, thrilling aerial activities and water sports. The destination also features the first ever pier in Belize that allows guests to walk straight off the ship and into paradise. Norwegian Gem, a fan favorite Jewel-class ship, will now sail from New York City for the winter 2018/19 season.“Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest and newest ship from Norwegian to sail from New Orleans, and we are thrilled to bring our signature Breakaway-class ship to this important homeport,” said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We want to provide more opportunities for our guests across the country to explore beautiful destinations and enjoy all of the spectacular features of our newest ships, along with the freedom and flexibility that only a Norwegian cruise can offer.”With theWith the overwhelming positive response to Norwegian Bliss’ deployment to the West Coast next year, Norwegian is providing guests another new departure port to experience Norwegian’s signature cruise vacation. By repositioning the 145,655 gross ton Norwegian Breakaway to New Orleans, Norwegian is offering a more convenient departure port along with a newer and larger ship for cruisers sailing from the Crescent City to explore. Norwegian Breakaway will delight cruisers of all ages, as she features a wide variety of accommodations, from Studios for the solo cruiser to the exclusive, all-suite luxurious enclave, The Haven by Norwegian®; more than 25 different dining venues; an exhilarating aqua park with five slides and a thrilling ropes course with zip lines and The Plank; signature Broadway entertainment including Rock of Ages and so much more. Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in 2013, was the first ship in the line’s signature Breakaway class, and features The Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade deck with waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment, along with 678 Ocean Place, a three-story complex at the heart of the ship where guests can enjoy nightlife, gaming and more. The ship will undergo a two-week dry dock next spring, and will receive a full refresh in public spaces, including new flooring, updated furniture, new décor and new carpeting in staterooms. Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her new homeport of New Orleans on November 11, 2018 and will sail a variety of cruises to the Caribbean through April 7, 2019.“The Port of New Orleans values our close partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and appreciates the addition of Norwegian Breakaway to the cruise schedule next year. The passengers who begin and end their Norwegian Breakaway cruise from our historical city will experience Port NOLA’s commitment to high level service and the Crescent City’s vibrant energy,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “Our cruise business contributes significantly to the hospitality industry’s regional economic impact and we are pleased to welcome the largest ship we have ever accommodated.”The recently refurbished Norwegian Gem will remain in New York City and sail a series of cruises to the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida.  She will share her Manhattan homeport with Norwegian Escape, which will reposition for summer 2018 for the first time since she was christened in 2015, sailing from New York City to Bermuda on seven-day cruises every Sunday beginning April 22, 2018. Norwegian Escape features entertainment from the Tony-award winning After Midnight and critically-acclaimed For the Record: The Brat Pack, along with a bevy of food and beverage concepts including the District Brewhouse featuring 25 beers on tap and including a selection of popular craft beers; the upscale food emporium, Food Republic; and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine bar.Guests currently booked onboard Norwegian Gem from New Orleans will have their reservations protected and will be automatically moved to the new vessel and itinerary. Norwegian Breakaway’s new Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans will open for sale on October 24.To book a cruise aboard one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature ships, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.Source = Norwegian Cruise Linelast_img read more

Ramoji Film City promotes itself as a MICE destination

first_imgRamoji Film City provides a unique corporate rendezvous, where the carpet beneath one’s feet is over 2000 acres, and the ceiling – an unending vastness. Ramoji Film City is 30 kilometres (approx) away from Hyderabad City, a destination that truly inspires one to think different. A concept that is informal yet exclusive. Ramoji Film City also promotes itself as a MICE destination and provides all requirements to get a very different treatment, making them the most memorable one. So, be it a conference, a corporate get-together, a seminar, a training programme, a convention or a business meets, the awe-inspiring Ramoji Film City will bring the best out of it.The main aspects to Ramoji Film City are firstly, they cater to the requirements of the Film World, which includes regional, National, Hollywood and in-house productions. Secondly, they have tourism with an average of 4500+ visitors daily, who come to see Ramoji Film City. For these tourists there are planned tours with PR Personnel/Guides who conduct the Guided tours. They also have a massive food-court area with six food & beverage outlets only for the tourists. Last, but not the least they have our own hotels, ‘The Dolphin Group of Hotels’. The hotels, which come under this group, are Sitara and Tara. These hotels are situated in the Ramoji Film City premises.Sitara and Tara at Ramoji Film City have numerous residential conferences, seminars, training programmes, product launches, theme parties, weddings, receptions, etc. They also have additional out location like Mughal garden, sun fountain, majestic garden, amphi theatre.last_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   As unfair as that may be for Fitzgerald, it’s not as ifanyone is ignoring his greatness. The receiver had ninecatches for 149 yards in Sunday’s 23-20 win over theSeahawks, bringing his season totals to 80 receptions and1,411 yards to go with eight touchdowns. That Fitzgeraldhas done this with shaky QB play (his nine receptions cameon 18 total targets Sunday) makes it all even moreimpressive.“What a warrior he is,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhuntsaid. “So glad that, obviously, Larry is with us, what hebrings to the team; he just makes big plays.”Of Fitzgerald’s nine receptions, all but one came in thesecond half, and his three for 46 yards in overtime helpedsetup the game-winning kick. “I’m just fortunate John gave me an opportunity to make aplay and contribute down the stretch,” Fitzgerald said.Yeah, Larry is fortunate the Cardinals gave him a chance.Or, perhaps, the Cardinals are fortunate to have a playerof Fitzgerald’s caliber on the roster.“Larry Fitzgerald,” defensive lineman Darnell Dockettmused, “I’m glad to have him on my team.”Even with the big numbers, Arizona had plenty of chancesto get No. 11 the ball early and failed. Skelton blamedhimself for a couple of overthrows, and Whisenhunt saidhis star could have “had a monster day.” Don’t tell the Seahawks Fitzgerald’s day wasn’t monstrous.“He’s as good as you can get at this game, and he showedit,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, acknowledging thathe can’t help but marvel at some of the things Fitzgeraldcan do on the field.But that’s just it with Fitzgerald, since he may be theonly player who could make amazing catches on the way tohaving a stat line like the one he posted in Sunday’s winstill feel like he could have done more.“I was upset that I didn’t make the one on the sidelinebefore regulation ended, that’s the one I was pissed offabout,” Fitzgerald said of a pass that would have gone fora first down but, in reality, was a pass few would havecome down with. “I wanted to make sure I came back andtried to redeem myself and put our team in a goodposition.”Pick a superlative — any superlative — and chances areit will describe Fitzgerald and his impact on theCardinals. Whisenhunt praised his receiver’s work ethicand leadership abilities, and anyone who watches the guyplay knows where he ranks among the NFL’s greats. “He made some unbelievable catches that only a couple guyson this Earth can make,” Seahawks cornerback RichardSherman said. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation That could work.Or, maybe, the best way to describe what Fitzgerald didSunday – and, really, his entire career – was how Skeltondid after the game.“It’s Larry being Larry,” he said. “He’s done it all yearand his whole career. “It’s just awesome having him out there.”center_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Larry Fitzgerald reached out with his right arm, grabbedthe football and fell to the ground. The reception, which was good for 12 yards, wasFitzgerald’s last of the season, his ninth of the day and,arguably, one of the coolest catches you’ll ever see.Not that his second one-handed grab of the day impressedhis teammates.“We come to expect that from Larry,” quarterback JohnSkelton said. “It’s almost like it’s not even a shockeranymore because he does it so often.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Movies viewed under th

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterMovies viewed under the stars, paired with a specially curated menu of delectable food; freshly redecorated suites; a modernised, fully realised Italian steakhouse… modern luxury travellers need look no further than Celebrity Millennium to find all of these experiences in one place.This month, the 2138-guest vessel will emerge from a dry-dock, reenergised and more luxurious than ever, with the same line-up of stunning enhancements that Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity have received in recent months at a cost of US$8 million each.Guests sailing on Celebrity Millennium in Alaska this summer will be among the first to enjoy her new spaces and experiences, and Australian guests can expect to enjoy the new features a little closer to home in Asia, where Celebrity Millennium sails from Singapore and Hong Kong to Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and more Asian favourites.“Celebrity Millennium is now more stunning than ever before as a result of the US$8 million that we’ve invested in this dry dock,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises.“We have added new elements and experiences that will help open up the world for modern luxury travellers, from our gorgeously updated Suite Class staterooms to the delicious Tuscan Grille menu, and, of course, the new Rooftop Terrace.”The Rooftop Terrace on deck 12, with its large screen, chaises longues, cabanas, soundscape and decorative lighting, is a modern relaxing backdrop for Celebrity’s sumptuous new multi-sensory experience, ‘A Taste of Film’. The film programme presents modern and traditional classics that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, paired with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through taste. The cruise brand’s culinary team, led by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher, has carefully crafted a multi-course tasting menu for each ‘A Taste of Film’ selection.Additional dry dock enhancements will include significant renovations of the ship’s Penthouse and Royal Suites.As part of the US$8 million refresh, Celebrity is investing heavily in its Suite Class experience on Celebrity Millennium, as every Penthouse and Royal Suite will receive new glimmering fixtures, marble surfaces and comfortable seats in the bathrooms. The rest of the suite will get refreshing touches like new carpeting, drapes and bed linens.Conversion of Celebrity Millennium’s Olympic restaurant to the Tuscan Grille, Celebrity’s popular, Italian-inspired steakhouse that debuted on its Solstice Class ships, will include complete refinishing of the space and the introduction of a refreshed menu designed to tantalise, including fresh pasta made in house; an Italian cocktail menu, a first for Tuscan Grille; a wine list focused on the wine-growing regions of Italy; and new foods like artisanal salami and cheeses; crispy crab arancini with lemon pepper aioli; grilled branzino with spinach and olive oil; swordfish with Castelvetrano olives, fennel and white wine; and oven-roasted USDA Prime dry-aged steak.On Celebrity Millennium, the maritime artefacts in the Olympic restaurant will be featured in a special display area in the casino’s entry vestibule. Items include charts, maps, an original place setting, a ship model and more.Additional work taking place on board will include:The addition of an enclosed portrait studio similar to that found on Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity EquinoxThe creation of a new future cruise sales office, where guests can take advantage of special offersA refresh of the Solarium, with new furniture, new floors and refinished pool tops, and a refresh of finishes in the spa caféThe removal of the themed décor in the ship’s casinoCelebrity Millennium entered drydock on 26 April 2016 and will emerge on 12 May 2016. This northern summer, Celebrity Millennium will sail a series of itineraries between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seward, Alaska, before heading to Asia in September.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

BERLIN — German authorities say theyve returned a

first_img BERLIN — German authorities say they’ve returned a painting looted by the Nazis, which surfaced in the collection of a reclusive Bavarian collector, to the heirs of its Jewish owner.Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said Wednesday’s return of “Quai de Clichy,” by French neo-impressionist Paul Signac, contributes “at least a degree toward historical justice” for Gaston Prosper Levy’s family.Experts determined the Nazis seized the painting from Levy in 1940 before he fled France.It was discovered in the possession of the late Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012 by authorities investigating a tax case. He inherited the 1,500-piece trove from his father — an art dealer who traded in works confiscated by Nazis.Many are thought to have been looted from Jews, but only six works have been identified and returned so far.The Associated Press by The Associated Press Posted Jul 3, 2019 8:57 am PDT Germany returns painting looted by Nazis to Jewish heirscenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

The loneliness of the longdistance cat catcher

first_imgBy Gavin JonesDuring our working lives many of us have experienced a rich variety of occupations from week-end newspaper rounds to being the head of a multinational company and with varying degrees of success. My own experiences have been no different: working in the washhouse of the family laundry business, assistant concrete tester for Taylor Woodrow on the M6 motorway, travel agent, business machine salesman, founder of several commercial enterprises. My latest foray into the world of work has entailed an occupation which is unpaid but no less rewarding for that and at times extremely intense. But more of that later.Like many who live in Cyprus, my wife and I have adopted an ever increasing ‘family’ of cats. I say ‘adopted’ as the reality is that they are the ones who choose us and we humans are mere bystanders as to whether or not our ‘hotels’ are given the seal of approval.I’m under no illusion that they actually like us per se and that in all probability it’s simply a question of the quality and quantity of food that we provide which decides whether or not they stick around. However, once bonds are established it soon becomes clear that like humans, each and every one has a distinct character. Some remain feral and display a suspicious tendency while others become home birds who hate being put outside.Little by little one learns the basic elements of cat husbandry such as the season when ticks and fleas are most prevalent and how to counter them, the removing of cereal ears that get caught in eyes and the importance of regular worming.This conveniently leads me onto the emotive topic of the relationship that exists here not only between humans and cats but also dogs and animals in general. Hardly a week goes by but walkers out on a stroll come across dogs tied up with no water under the blazing sun or else living in kennels in conditions of indescribable filth and squalor, often as not emaciated for lack of food. There have even been reported cases of animal carcasses being left in kennels.Understandable howls of anger are levelled not only at the perpetrators of such insufferable behaviour but also equal outrage is launched at the state’s veterinary authorities, whose reaction is rightly or wrongly perceived to be lacklustre at best if not downright non-existent. All too often this goes hand in hand with police inaction as they seem to view animal ‘mismanagement’, or should I say cruelty, as way down their list of priorities.Despite shocking, graphic images being posted on social media which are circulated worldwide, very little concerted action appears to be taken with the same indifference being shown to the trapping of migratory birds. Although this latter ‘pastime’ is illegal, all concerned turn a blind eye, especially politicians who perceive that popularity ratings among their electorate would be affected if they publicly came out to condemn the practice. Yet another example of a law being on the statute book merely for cosmetic purposes with nobody willing to actually enforce it.The cat catcher in the headline happens to be me although the reality is that I’m more of a gopher as my involvement has been very much on an ad hoc basis. The real professional and lead ‘catcher’ who works alone happens to be an American lady called Luanne who, like me, lives in the Paphos district. She prepares her day’s work along the lines of a military operation, loading her estate car with different sizes of cages which have sensitive foot plates which activate the gate at the entrance and ensure the cats can’t escape. In addition, there are cat bowls, tins of food to entice the cats into the cages and additional homemade traps which are meticulously laid and sprung by pulling on a long piece of string once a cat is inside.Touring Paphos and surrounding villages, Luanne makes notes where concentrations of cats, often centred on rubbish skips, are located and prioritises which ones should be attended to along the lines of a hospital triage system. In addition, she receives phone calls from the public with urgent pleas for her services as neighbourhoods are all too often overrun. Once a full complement has been caught, they’re taken to the Paphiakos clinic and shelter where they’re neutered and spayed, given time to recover and Luanne then returns to pick them up and releases them back to their original habitat. For the record, Paphiakos has been offering this service for free since 1992 and relies exclusively on donations to maintain this vital work.The reader may well ask why someone like Luanne does what she does. Quite simply, it’s out of love and respect. Would that more people were responsible and took the time and trouble to have their animals neutered and spayed.On a practical level, the objective is to keep colonies small so that they don’t attract as much attention and are therefore less likely to be poisoned. This is an archaic and brutal method of population control, especially as a humane alternative is available. Cats that have been surgically altered continue to hunt and keep down the snake and general vermin population. Moreover, both males and females live healthier and longer lives. Many question why males require neutering. The fact is that males fight for mating rights and claw and bite and thus spread disease such as the feline version of Aids. Hence surgery saves lives by limiting aggressive contact and helps to ensure that we have a better night’s sleep!Far too many on the island refuse to deal with their own cats let alone strays because they have the misguided notion that by doing so nature is being tampered with. Perhaps it’s more basic and that people simply can’t be bothered. That’s all very well but as a result the island is overrun with hundreds of thousands of emaciated and often injured cats whose very existence depends on scavenging around rubbish bins and restaurants or else relying on people’s goodwill to feed them.Many justify this laissez-faire attitude by professing that as animals don’t have souls, their existence has no value and it therefore follows they should be left to their own devices. It’s also conveniently sidestepped that a cat can produce litter after litter, sometimes with four kittens each time, and in due course they produce in turn.It’s all about education and one can only hope that a sea change in attitudes will ultimately take root, something that remains to be seen.What I’ve encountered from the public on my travels with Luanne is a mixture of appreciation but also on occasion abuse. Many questioned what we were doing, we were confronted with suspicion and foul language and even threatened with the police. And let’s not forget that like Paphiakos, Luanne is doing this for free in her own time as well as paying for cat food and petrol.With over a thousand cats caught by her, spayed and returned to their own environment, hopefully Luanne’s reward will be in heaven if not in this world.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndoEditorChoice.comIf You Have Any Of These 20 Toys Around, You Just Became RichEditorChoice.comUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more