first_imgTags: Flight Centre Associates, Home Based Agents, Sphere Want to hire sub-contractors for your growing home-based agency? Flight Centre Associates says yes Flight Centre Associates has long been thought as having a ‘department’ that deals with its Independent Contractors when in fact FCA Independents access the same support and infrastructure that supports Flight Centre’s over 150 shops nationwide. The support staff for the FCA ICs is 200+ strong, says Lee Zanello, Brand Leader for Flight Centre Associates, Flight Centre’s host-agency solution.FCA recently hosted a weekend event in Toronto with more than 50 Flight Centre Associates. The event was “an incredible conference that really proved how highly the Independent community within FC is valued,” said Zanello. It was also the largest Canadian gathering of home-based agents the company had ever hosted. FCA now has agents in nearly every province and territory across Canada.“We have a very strong Independent offering with a vibrant culture. To be able to bring so many people together for a weekend like this only helps strengthen the family-feel that we exude in our brand,” said Zanello.It’s been nine years since Flight Centre Associates got its start its own brand within the larger Flight Centre Leisure brand. The Beatles-influenced ‘Come Together’ theme of the weekend was about more than bringing people together from across the country, said Zanello. It was also about bringing agents together with top Flight Centre partners to learn about product, and served as a launch pad for new Flight Centre initiatives designed to provide even more support and inclusion for the Independent brand.Flexibility with branding remains one of FCA’s biggest selling points with agents, says Zanello. “Agents are, and always have been, free to keep their own name and their own branding if they choose. What we are doing moving forward is giving them even more Flight Centre infrastructure to lean on to support their business.”Agents at the event learned about opportunities to grow their business through taking on sub-contractors as well as how to work more closely with Flight Centre’s corporate brands to grow their corporate portfolios.The session launching Flight Centre’s Group Centre and Cruise Centre was one of the highlights of the weekend, added Zanello, offering full support to agents for both group and cruise travel, from enquiry through to close. “We have built an offering that is unmatched in the Canadian marketplace. Where else do you get that combination of a global company with a massive infrastructure and consumer recognition mixed with one-on-one attention around your specific business?”With the Flight Centre Group Centre ICs get direct support and advice for dealing with groups: helping source quotes for groups and incentive travel and help with managing the groups process.The Flight Centre Cruise Centre offers direct support and advice for dealing with cruise enquiries, from product suggestions and systems designed to help ease the booking process to assistance with cruise groups and group management.Flight Centre has three Independent offerings. “Our size and strength in the Canadian travel industry gives us the resources to work directly with each agent or agency on an individual basis,” said Zanello. “We aren’t cookie-cutter and we work hard to ensure we have a host solution that is flexible enough to fit pretty much any arrangement.” Share << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Travelweek Group Wednesday, April 19, 2017 last_img read more

first_imgLuxury Gold ramps up bespoke journeys with dedicated department TORONTO — Customized bookings are on the rise for The Travel Corporation’s Luxury Gold, prompting the upscale brand to add a new Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys team.The designated department will focus on customizing experiences for individuals, small groups or groups of 20 and more.The addition of the new team allows the brand to heighten its focus on offering exclusive itineraries for special groups and Bespoke Journeys to any guest, says Luxury Gold President Brad Ford.“We are very pleased to improve our premium offering for our loyal agents, allowing them to customize journeys and enhance the experiences offered to clients,” says Ford. “Our Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys Department will serve to allow agents and clients alike, to accommodate a variety of needs and interests. Our hope is to offer the most memorable experiences and ensure that guests leave their destinations feeling completely satisfied and accomplished.”Clients and travel agents can now create their own tailor-made Fully Independent Travel (FIT) holidays in Greece which is a new destination offered this year, as well as Ireland, Scotland and Africa, he adds.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaAgents can use the new department to develop customized journeys to attract groups of clients or vice versa – clients can approach agents requesting specialized itineraries.A sample itinerary of a Bespoke Journey to Greece put together this year, ‘Greek Delight including Athens, Mykonos and Santorini’, included leisure time in Athens with local knowledge and a private city tour from their Local Expert, and an overnight at hotels including the King George or Electra Metropoleos. There was also a dinner at a Michelin-listed restaurant located on a rooftop overlooking the Acropolis and the city below. Other highlights included Mykonos’ beaches, a grand feast with dishes following authentic family Greek recipes in a traditional Mykonian home, a trip to Santorini by high speed ferry in business class. Guests also had the option to visit Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement destroyed by a huge eruption during the 17th century BC, burying the city under volcanic ash and preserving the whole city in excellent condition – with their Local Expert and a private tour.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upFor more information on Luxury Gold agents are asked to contact their local Sales Manager or see Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Luxury Goldcenter_img Posted by Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_img Travelweek Group MIAMI — Cruise lines have pulled off the impossible, adjusting the itineraries of dozens of cruises with one day’s notice in the wake of restrictive new U.S. policies for travel to Cuba.Major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland America, Seabourn, NCL and MSC were all impacted by the Trump administration’s June 4 announcement placing further restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, including calls by U.S. cruise lines, effective June 5.The cruise lines have dropped calls in Cuba from their itineraries and are rerouting ships to other destinations.The changes affect nearly 800,000 passenger bookings currently scheduled or already underway, says CLIA.Here’s a look at the latest updates from the cruise lines…CARNIVALAffected itineraries for Carnival include 14 sailings on Carnival Paradise between now and Dec. 7, 13 sailings on Carnival Sensation now through Dec. 16 and one sailing each on Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Victory.Carnival says it is notifying passengers about their new itineraries and their options, in the order of sailing date proximity. Mailings for sailings through the end of December 2019 are now in progress and include the following options:• Remain on the sailing and receive a US$100, per person, onboard credit• Move to another itinerary and receive a US$50, per person, onboard credit• Cancel and receive a full refundCarnival passengers booked to travel on a 2020 sailing that included Havana can remain on the sailing, move to another itinerary (no onboard credit will be offered in either case), or cancel and receive a full refund. Mailings with itinerary details are being sent in the next 2-3 days.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureTwo more Carnival Corp. cruise lines, Holland America and Seabourn, are also affected by the new rules. Both lines have posted notices advising passengers that they’re working to confirm new special pricing and replacement ports of call, with finalized details coming on or before June 15.ROYAL CARIBBEANRoyal Caribbean has secured alternative ports for all 2019 sailings on both Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas. The cruise line is now in the process of communicating the new itineraries to passengers and agents. Guests have the option of remaining on their sailing with the new itinerary and receiving a 50% refund or they may cancel their cruise and receive a full refund.For 2020 sailings on both Majesty and Empress of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is working to secure alternative itineraries and says it expects to be able to communicate to passengers and agents within the next week.RCCL has adjusted its earnings outlook for the year. “While the affected sailings impact only 3% of our 2019 capacity, the extremely short notice period for this high yielding destination amplifies the earnings impact,” said Jason T. Liberty, RCCL’s Executive VP and CFO.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterNCLNCL’s most recent update, posted June 5, says the cruise line has “ceased all calls to the country and are modifying previously scheduled sailings as appropriate.” NCL adds: “We thank our guests and travel partners for their patience as we navigate this unexpected, last-minute change, and we will of course continue to share information with them as soon as additional details become available.”MSCMSC Armonia was scheduled to call at Havana as part of its current Caribbean sailings. MSC says the alternative ports of either Key West, FL; Costa Maya, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; or Cozumel will replace Havana. The remainder of MSC Armonia’s itinerary will remain as originally planned.MSC Armonia passengers and their travel agents have been informed of the change, with passengers offered the following options:. US$400 per stateroom as onboard credit. If this credit is not fully used during the cruise, MSC Cruises will refund the difference upon check out from the ship. Any shore excursions in Havana that were pre-purchased before the cruise, or which are included in the ticket, will be automatically refunded to the guest’s onboard account.. If passengers with to change their ship and itinerary, MSC Cruises will waive cancellation fees and transfer already paid funds to the new booking. Posted by Thursday, June 6, 2019 Tags: Carnival Cruise Line, Cuba, MSC Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean Internationalcenter_img Share Itinerary changes for RCI, Carnival, NCL in wake of new Cuba policy << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_img Tuesday, July 30, 2019 Share Air Canada adjusted earnings soar above estimate, revenue up in each segment MONTREAL — Air Canada’s adjusted earnings for the second quarter soared above analyst estimates as the airline contained costs associated with the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and expanded revenue across market segments.However, the Montreal-based company said the impact of the grounding – now expected to last into January 2020 – will have more of an impact on the third quarter, often the busiest travel period for Canadian airlines.Air Canada said its third-quarter projected capacity – the number of passengers it can fly – is expected to decline approximately 2% from the third quarter of 2018. Originally it was to increase 3%.The Montreal-based airline also reported Tuesday that its adjusted earnings were 88 cents per diluted share during the three months ended June 30, up from 47 cents a year earlier.Second-quarter revenue for the Montreal-based airline was $4.76 billion, up $424 million from the same time last year.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upAnalysts had estimated adjusted earnings of 76 cents per share and $4.71 billion of revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.Net profit was $343 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, a turnaround from the loss of $102 million or 37 cents per share that the airline experienced during the comparable period last year.Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said the Boeing 737 Max grounding did have a negative impact on year-over-year growth of second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but praised employees for creative solutions.“These are impressive results with revenue growth in each market segment and system passenger revenues up 10.7% on capacity growth of 2.3%,” Rovinescu said in a statement.He also noted that Air Canada had concluded a definitive agreement to acquire smaller rival Transat AT Inc., a deal that requires further approvals. Tags: Air Canada, Boeing 737 MAX, Quarterly By: The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgFrom the print editionA major achievement of the Costa Rican economy is that the colón-dollar exchange rate – which has hovered around ₡500 to the dollar since 2007 – is no longer a source of anxiety for Ticos or companies. Once the country’s most important economic indicator, the exchange rate has dropped off the radar for short- to medium-term economic planning. To appreciate how unprecedented exchange rate stability is, observers should take a long-term view by looking at the Central Bank’s exchange rate on Jan. 1 for each of the past 30 years (see graph). Clearly, something happened in 2007. Up to that year, devaluation of the colón averaged 11.18 percent during 23 years. Since 2007, despite a slip to 11.52 percent in 2009, devaluation of Costa Rica’s currency has averaged only 0.71 percent, with the colón actually gaining value against the dollar in 2007, 2011 and 2012. It’s not surprising that the Central Bank’s records only go back to 1983. From 1978-1982, Costa Rica suffered its worst currency devaluation ever, from 8.6 to 45.2, an average of 107 percent per year. These disastrous numbers cannot communicate the chaos they entailed, as the Central Bank ran completely out of dollars, and then defaulted on bonds it issued to pay its dollar debts. Those  who went through those hyper-inflationary times and saw prominent Costa Rican companies go bankrupt, will never forget. But big upheavals enable major change: Costa Rica junked its import-substitution model, nationalization of dollars by the Central Bank was abolished, and the country switched to a modern, open, export-oriented economy. Once things settled down, the long climb from 45.20 colones per dollar in 1983 to 517.90 in 2007 reflects a natural strategy for a country exporting principally agricultural commodities, including coffee, sugar and bananas. The 10 percent or so of devaluation every year helps keep the dollar price of these types of exports competitive in international markets. But the world changes, and Costa Rica has done a pretty fair job of adapting. The original basket of three commodities became much more varied, including ornamental plants, fish, seafood and tourism, among others. As low-cost producers of coffee, such as Vietnam, emerged in commodity markets, Costa Rica was able to brand itself as a premier gourmet coffee producer and command premium prices for its golden beans. Most important of all, Costa Rica managed to diversify away from agricultural commodities as its main dollar earners, towards services and high-tech manufacturing. The change in the devaluation pattern that became evident in 2007 was the result of a change in how the exchange rate was set by the Central Bank, adopted in September 2006. Until then, the Central Bank led the dollar foreign-exchange market under a mini-devaluation strategy, with frequent, very small devaluations, in a predictable pattern that businesses could forecast. The Central Bank would set buy and sell exchange rates, which other exchange- market participants (mostly banks and securities brokerages) then fell in line with. Starting in September 2006, the Central Bank changed its approach. Instead of directly setting an exchange rate, it would now set upper and lower “bands,” or intervention rates at which it would enter the market to keep the exchange rate within reasonable bounds. As long as the exchange rate stayed within the upper and lower exchange rate bands, the Central Bank would stay on the sidelines and let supply and demand between other market players determine the rate. The lower band was set at ₡500 to the dollar, and since 2007, investment flows into the country became big and steady enough so that, together with the much more varied export-revenue mix, the exchange rate under the new, basically free-market foreign-exchange regime, stabilized. This stability proved solid enough for the exchange rate to get through the 2008-2010 world economic downturn with only one slip – the 11.52 percent devaluation in 2009 – followed by immediate recovery, with slight revaluations in 2011 and 2012. Though traditional exporters grumble that lack of colón devaluation hurts their competitive position in the world market, the stable exchange rate since 2007 has been the single biggest factor allowing Costa Rica to finally bring its inflation rate into single digits. This is the biggest contribution that the Central Bank and the government can make to the economic well-being of the poor. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. The Costa Rican government announced Monday afternoon that President Laura Chinchilla would support same-sex unions.After Presidency Ministry officials met with several gay-rights activists, led by the Diversity Movement, a ministry spokesman said the president would propose legislation that would give economic rights to gay couples in Costa Rica.An original bill promoting equal rights for gay couples was voted down by a Legislative Assembly committee earlier this summer. However, gay-rights groups had been meeting with government officials to try to gain the administration’s support for the legislation.The president’s chief of staff, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, told the daily La Nación that the government would support gay unions since the measure does not affect the Family Code, which defines and regulates marriage in the country. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. GUATEMALA CITY – Three earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.4 and 4.8 degrees on the Richter scale rocked southern and western Guatemala but no casualties or damage were registered, officials said.Two earthquakes occurred on Monday, with their epicenter on the South Pacific coast, between 8:21 a.m. and 9:33 a.m., detailed the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conrad).The Seismological Institute also reported that at 19:15 on Sunday, a magnitude-4.8  tremor located 153 km west of the capital, was felt in the provinces of San Marcos and Quetzaltenango (west), Retalhuleu and Suchitepéquez (southwest).Guatemalans are still suffering the aftermath of the 7.4-degree earthquake in November that left 44 dead and losses of $200 million, primarily in eight provinces of the country. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. The International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, Netherlands, on Thursday informed Costa Rica and Nicaragua that it has refused to change precautionary measures issued in 2011 in the case of a border dispute between both countries.The statement was issued after both governments had sought further measures against each other following the world court ruling.Costa Rica had requested the establishment of more restrictive measures against Nicaragua, based on “the constant invasion of organized groups of Nicaraguan citizens to an area located on the border between the two nations,” referring to a small territory known as Isla Calero, along the Caribbean coast in northeastern Costa Rica.Nicaragua had called for measures against Costa Rica for alleged environmental damage caused by the construction of a 160-kilometer road parallel to the San Juan River, which serves as a natural border between the two countries. The court rejected Nicaragua’s request.Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo said “this new chapter of the dispute does not affect the process, and only tells both countries they must clear the area. […] They [Nicaragua] are not allowed to keep civilians in the area, and only Costa Rica has permission to conduct inspections for environmental protection purposes.”The court’s decision was issued by a 15-2 vote, and in their conclusions justices highlighted their concern that “the presence of organized groups of Nicaraguan citizens in the disputed area carries the risk that incidents could aggravate the current dispute.”The world court currently is processing the claims of both countries in a single case of alleged invasion of territory and environmental damage. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. They were known as the “hottest pinups in the ’90s,” broke all sorts of records as Playboy cover models, and are household names in Hollywood. But in the 21st century, Shane and Sia Barbi, known as the Barbi Twins, have become some of the most outspoken animal rights activists in the world.On Wednesday, the identical twins, now 50, will appear on LA Talk Radio’s “Jana of the Jungle,” hosted by Rainforest Radio’s Jani Schulz and guest hosted by your humble servant.The Barbi Twins, who now refer to themselves as the “Kitty Liberation Front” and are forming a new political party in the United States called the Green Tea Party, had so much to say during the pre-recorded interview that the broadcast will be extended into a three-part series on the weekly environmental talk show, which airs Wednesdays at 11 a.m. PST and 12 p.m. in Costa Rica. The program streams live and will be available for download at, and airs locally in Costa Rica on 960 AM .Shane and Sia Barbi seemed everywhere in the 1990s, appearing on numerous top-selling covers of Playboy, in European fashion shows for designers like Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier and on the pages of Redbook, Cosmopolitan and many others. Their names are mentioned in the same breath as people like Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett and Cindy Crawford.Today they use that name recognition in a tireless fight to stop the mass slaughter of animals globally. They volunteer at animal shelters, fight puppy mills and lobby for major legislation to stop horse slaughters and regulate pet food safety. They helped put a notorious kitty-killer-turned-likely-serial-killer behind bars, and rescued animals from natural disasters like the devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the California wildfires.The Barbi Twins also have their eye on Costa Rica, which issued an international arrest warrant that landed their conservationist friend Paul Watson, captain and founder of Sea Shepherd, behind bars in 2012 in Germany on what the twins call “trumped-up charges.” And when they go after an issue, Sia and Shane Barbi don’t mince words.“In every mass slaughter, whether it’s Romanian stray dogs, the U.K. badger call or the Canadian seal hunt, … people are good-hearted and they don’t want this,” Shane Barbi says, cutting her sister off in mid-sentence. “But the grubby government keeps it going because somewhere they get a profit. And anyone who opposes it, they will be instantly arrested or [portrayed as] a domestic terrorist, because it interferes with the government profiting.”“It doesn’t matter if you know Paul Watson or not. Always get skeptical about someone they make such a big deal about, because governments unfortunately … love to profit from and exploit them. It’s very rare that they are out there protecting the real victims,” she adds.The twins can talk for hours about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, or the horse slaughters in the U.S. “Every mass slaughter is cloaked behind culture or tradition,” Sia says, adding that, “Dolphins are intelligent animals, probably more intelligent than my sister.”But one of their main messages is that citizens need to force change by voting. “There is power in votes,” says Sia.And they have a message for Costa Rican voters facing an upcoming presidential election in February 2014: “Forget petitions, start acting, not reacting and see what you can do to participate,” Shane says.Adds Sia: “If we get some of the people in Costa Rica to open up and say, look, you have pride, and you’re embarrassed about these bogus charges, get this guy out [referring to Costa Rican Fisheries Institute President Luis Dobles] and say with your voice that I’m voting for truth, for free speech, for what is right.”Tune in Wednesday for the first of three shows.  Facebook Commentscenter_img The Barbi Twins pose with one of countless animals they’ve helped rescue. Courtesy of Barbi Twinslast_img read more

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Here’s why you shouldn’t miss Costa Rica’s International Book Fair 14 photos of Cahuita’s 2nd International Calypso Festival The Prague Ballet, an international blues festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica PHOTOS: Grinding out the blues over the weekend, Barrio Amón ‘felt like New Orleans’ After a disastrous International Arts Festival (FIA) last year, Costa Rica’s Culture Ministry announced Thursday it would regroup with another festival that will focus exclusively on national artists and performers in the country’s Southern Zone. FIA will resume in 2017 and 2018.Culture Minister Sylvie Durán Salvatierra told The Tico Times the ministry is working to re-establish public confidence in the government’s ability to put on the marquee public arts event and others. The arts festival is scheduled for Aug. 5-14 and has a budget of ₡600 million, roughly $1.2 million.This year’s National Art Festival will be held in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, an area that encompasses the southernmost parts of the provinces of Puntarenas and San José. Durán said the exact locations would be announced in March. She added that President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration sees large culture events as a strategic way to motivate tourism and economic growth in different parts of the country. The Southern Zone has many cultural attractions that are little known and the festival could help awareness and greater interest in the area.Durán said the Culture Ministry is still conducting feasibility studies for the cities in the area that could host events. Specifics are expected in March, she said.Recommended: How Costa Rica’s 2015 International Arts Festival floppedTraditionally the arts festival alternates between national and international offerings, Durán said, but the Solís administration decided to hold two FIA’s back-to-back in 2014 and 2015. “That’s been the traditional logic and it’s the correct one. Last year it fell apart so we need to leave it well organized.”Durán asked people to note that the ministry has hosted several successful events since the “FIAsco” last year.“[Last year’s festival] was an accident. We have to learn everything we can from it, but look at the last 45 years of events,” Durán said. “We should put things in perspective.”Artists interested in participating in the festival should visit after March 8.In addition to the national arts festival, the Culture Ministry announced its schedule for 2016:Enamórate de tu cuidad – various communities between April through June.National Awards – National Theatre, May 25.“Hecho Aquí Fair – Antigua Aduana, July 1-3.International Book Fair – Antigua Aduana, July 22-31.Multiethnic and Plurinational Celebration Week – CENAC and National Theatre, Aug. 24-29.Oxcart Parade – San José, Nov. 26-27.last_img read more

first_imgWhy survivors wait to come forward Larissa Arroyo, a human-rights lawyer and director of non-profit Asociación Ciudadana Acceder, explains that there are multiple reasons why a woman might wait to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. The primary reason, she says, is that survivors might feel shame and expect to be stigmatized. Arroyo says that women will suddenly talk about their cases when they begin to identify their alleged sexual assault as a blameworthy act. Arroyo adds that women often bring their allegations to light is to share their voice. In Arias’s case, she says it can help to know that other women have allegedly suffered similar abuses.“It makes a waterfall effect,” she explains.Her biggest advice is that while it is important to report allegations, what matters most is the survivors’ well-being. Arroyo says it’s important to understand the process of coming forward, realizing that some people may respond with criticism. She asks victims to think about if that process will ultimately help or hurt them in dealing with their situation. Arroyo explains that no matter how big or small the allegation, everyone should have a right to go through a formal process. She hopes current events shine a spotlight on the issues so that everyone becomes more education on women’s rights. Katherine Stanley, Managing Editor of The Tico Times, worked in the Office of the President during Oscar Arias’ second presidency and provided English-language speechwriting services for Arias. She has recused herself from all reporting and editorial decisions for any story involving Arias, including this one.​​​​​​This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.​​​​Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Óscar Arias, Costa Rica’s former president and a Nobel Prize winner, accused of sexual assault, per reports Who is Óscar Arias? Two more women accuse Óscar Arias of sexual misconduct, per reports Former Tico Times publisher recalls Daly’s account of Arias misconduct Óscar Arias Sánchez, 78, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and two-term Costa Rican president, has been accused of sexual assault by nine women. The accounts of the women who have come forward date from the mid-1980s through 2015. In interviews with The New York Times, The Tico Times, The Washington Post, Semanario Universidad and, each woman has explained a question that often circles around survivors who come forward with their alleged assault years after it occurred: “Why now?” To help other women who could be at risk 1. Alexandra Arce von Herold, 34, submitted the first allegation that inspired many of the stories that followed. According to her criminal complaint, which was filed on Feb. 4 and reviewed by The Tico Times, the alleged assault occurred in 2014 when Arce had gone to Arias’s home for her activism work, with an objective to enlist his support against illegal weapons.Arias has “categorically” denied allegations of sexual assault, saying he has “never acted in a way that disrespected the will of any woman,” and has declined to comment on specific allegations on the recommendations of his lawyer.According to The New York Times, Arce decided to come forward after seeing gymnasts testify against United States Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar last year. She said she had not come forward previously because, before the #metoo movement, the notion of making allegations sexual assault against someone in such a powerful position — much less a former president — seemed unimaginable. “All the other women, that did, that helped me. So I thought maybe, maybe, I can help other people too,” Arce said in an interview with The New York Times. She said that helping other young activists who work with Arias was worth the risk.“It’s the right thing to do,” she said, “even if it destroys me.”To let people know no matter who you are or what you are known for, sexual harassment is never okay2. Emma Daly was working as a reporter covering Central America for the Tico Times and Reuters when she was allegedly assaulted by Arias in 1990. According to The Washington Post, Daly did not consider filing a complaint against Arias “because of how common behavior like that was in Central America at the time.” Daly says Arias’s alleged behavior was not a secret, even in the 1990s.“I think they would have laughed at me for complaining about just being touched by some guy,” Daly told The Tico Times. She added that many women in Costa Rica have similar experiences with “men of his age.” Daly, who is now the head of communications for Human Rights Watch, told The Washington Post that she came forward after thinking about the incident during the rise of the #MeToo movement. She felt she was in a privileged position and that it was important for her to speak out.She said that, while it is difficult to balance Arias’s alleged behavior with the positive impacts from his professional work, it doesn’t give him a pass to mistreat people.To keep those in powerful positions accountable for their actions 3. Eleanora “Nono” Antillon was 35 years old and worked in communications for the National Liberation Party as an advisor to Arias when she was allegedly assaulted. Antillion told La Nación that she did not speak publicly on the matter prior to recently “because society is not ready to believe us. […] I would never have been able to make myself heard at that time, and the truth is that now it seems I owed this to myself.”“It gave me fury, impotence, disgust, shame, to see him live on a throne of honesty, of ethics, as a great politician, as a Peace Prize winner.”To inspire other victims of sexual assault to speak out and get support4. Yazmín Morales, a former Miss Costa Rica, was allegedly assaulted by Arias in his study in 2015. She said she decided to come forward with her account after seeing Arce’s story. In an interview with The New York Times, she said she was motivated by Arce and the #MeToo movement. “I thought that I should be brave because I could see that this was habitual behavior,” she said.  Morales said that when she tried to get legal advice for her assault accusation, three lawyers had advised her against it. After the Arce allegations broke, she decided to try again, going through two lawyers before finding someone who would represent her. To stand with other victimsAs other women have come forward, many have cited a desire to stand in solidarity with other survivors.5. Carina A. Black is a 52-year-old political scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno. Arias allegedly tried to grope and kiss her when he visited the University as a speaker in 1998. “I pushed him, and I smacked him in the face,” she said in an interview with The New York Times. She said that because she was not injured, it never occurred to her to file a report. She decided to tell her story now so people would believe Arce, the first accuser. “When I heard about the nuclear physicist’s story last Tuesday, I knew almost immediately that I had to support her in her efforts to make the truth known,” Black said in a statement. “I am adding my voice to what I am certain is rising number of women against Mr. Arias and against sexual violence in general.”She added that the moment represents an opportunity to begin conversation in both our public and private spheres. 6. Marta Araya Marroni worked as a coordinator of editorial projects at Librería Internacional, Costa Rica’s largest bookstore chain. She accused Arias of making multiple unwanted sexual advances over the course of several weeks in 2012 during her employment. She told The Tico Times that she wanted to publicize her story in support of the other women who have come forward. “I have no personal need to [speak out],” she said. “But I think it’s useful to support other women who people aren’t believing. You don’t have to be young or sexy or dress provocatively for this to happen. […] It disgusts me a lot that people always think these are lies.”7. Nuria Badilla, a human rights activist, told the BBC that in 1999, Arias had allegedly groped her while they were sharing a table during a public activity in San Jose. She said she shared her account to stand with other victims. 8. Pilar Baeza Montes de Oca, a real estate entrepreneur, came forward 11 years after her alleged assault in Arias’ home in 2008. She had come to the house with a journalist friend who had wanted her to meet Arias. Like the allegations of many of the other women, she said Arias was kind and charming until he insisted himself upon the woman, groping and touching her. 9. Patricia Volio García, a personal trainer of Arias, said she was harassed by him during their training sessions 15 years ago. She said she also came forward to support the cases of the other women. last_img read more

first_imgPresident Carlos Alvarado delivered a nationwide address Monday evening in response to protests that have disrupted travel throughout the country.Citing Costa Rica’s history as a democratic nation, the President said his administration will continue using dialogue as the primary method of addressing issues.But Alvarado ended with a more forceful message apparently directed at sectors — including truckers and students — that have shut down roads and highways across Costa Rica.“The blockades have to end,” he said. “We are not going to continue to allow them to affect families and national production.“Otherwise, the State will act to clear the roads.”In a Facebook post mirroring his speech, President Alvarado wrote the following:My duty as President is to achieve a balance between peace, stability and economic growth, the generation of employment, and respect for the rights of each Costa Rican, while ensuring public order and respect for the law.Requesting the observation of the Ombudsman’s Office, and the participation of the Catholic Church and other actors as guarantors, I have directed the creation of dialogue sessions with the different sectors to build solutions.The Government has absolute desire for dialogue with the different sectors, but I must be clear, the blockades have to end. We are not going to continue to affect families and national production. Otherwise, the State will act to clear the roads.It is not the first time that we, as a country or as a government, face a difficult situation. But Costa Rica is capable of moving forward, and we will do so.Over the past week, students have demonstrated against policies enacted by the Ministry of Education, prompting Education Minister Édgar Mora’s resignation Monday afternoon.Truckers blocked roads to protest the new value-added tax, which went into effect Monday, and several other groups — including taxi drivers and fishermen — have also voiced concerns over the tax and related government policies. Related posts:Unrest in Costa Rica over Education Ministry, new value-added tax Protests continue to shut down Costa Rican highways, streets Tourism Board launches hotline for visitors affected by protests; Education Minister resigns As he reaches a year in charge, President Alvarado addresses Legislative Assembly Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img“The poisoning of innocent children is against Islamic law. The mujahedeen are not involved in the poisoning of schoolchildren. It is a crime,” Mujahid said in an email.Government officials had previously said it was unclear what caused the series of outbreaks of illness at girls’ schools in the province starting about three weeks ago. In at least one case, doctors in the capital city of Taluqan attributed complaints of illness by 125 students to mass hysteria.But cases continued to mount and seven alleged school poisonings have now been reported in six schools in the province, said Mustafa Rasouli, a spokesman for the provincial government.He said the insurgents confessed to bribing teachers, school workers and even students to sneak toxic chemicals onto school grounds, Rasouli said.In two cases, female students were paid 50,000 Afghanis (almost $1,000) to contaminate water tanks at their schools with a toxic powder, Mashal said.In other instances, conspirators sprayed a sweet-smelling yellow liquid around the grounds of the school, he said.Officials did not identify any of the toxic substances allegedly used.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img ErrorOK ErrorOK 0 Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, girls were banned from going to school and women were only allowed to leave their homes with a male relative as an escort. After their 2001 ouster, Taliban insurgents would attack schoolgirls by spraying their faces with acid. However, the group has appeared to tone down its stance against education for girls more recently.Government officials suggested the alleged plot may also have been aimed at undermining the government’s achievements.President Hamid Karzai called for an investigation and intelligence service spokesman Latifullah Mashal said the intelligence service discovered a conspiracy by militants to try to scare families from sending their children to school.“They want to create terror and fear among students, especially in the education sector and also in the health sector, which are two of the major achievements of the 10 years of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said Mashal.He said 15 people have been arrested in connection with the school poisonings. Those being held include 12 identified Taliban insurgents, a teacher and a school treasurer and his wife, he said.Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied any involvement in the poisonings. Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Afghan government accused the Taliban Wednesday of poisoning schoolgirls by bribing students and workers to sneak toxic chemicals into drinking water or spread it around school grounds, sickening scores. Fifteen suspects have been arrested, officials said.Government officials said six schools were affected in northern Takhar province in the past three weeks, and though they did not give a total number of girls who got sick, they said one school alone had 125 cases. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

first_imgAssociated PressCOLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – Sri Lankan police arrested nine journalists and seized computers and documents from the office of an independent news website Friday, said a media rights group in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.Police said they had a court warrant to act against http://www.srilankamirror.combut did not explain the reasons for the arrests, said Gnanasiri Kottigoda, the president of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, a local media rights group. The vital role family plays in society Quick workouts for men New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Last year, authorities blocked http://www.srilankamirror.comand four other websites over alleged character assassination, and the action is still in effect for the four others.After the website filed a case in the Supreme Court, Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority agreed to unblock http://www.srilankamirror.comon condition that it would not provide links to sites that are blocked or unregistered.The blocking of the websites drew wide criticism from media rights groups and countries, such as the United States.The Committee to Protect Journalists said Sri Lanka was the fourth most dangerous country for journalists in 2010.Amnesty International says at least 14 Sri Lanka media workers have been killed since the beginning of 2006.Media rights groups blame the government for failing to properly investigate several attacks on journalists and media institutions and arrest the culprits.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories The site was among five blocked by the government last year in a move criticized internationally as a violation of media freedom. A court settlement restored access to http://www.srilankamirror.coma month later.Friday’s police action clearly shows that “the government has not stopped its campaign to harass and intimidate the independent media institutions and journalists in Sri Lanka,” Kottigoda said.More than a dozen police officers surrounded the office in Kotte, on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, and searched the premises for about three hours, he said.They seized computers and documents and drove away the nine journalists, including the website editor and four women, in police vehicles, said Kottigoda and an eyewitness who asked not to be named.Even if the website published false information or caused character assassination, Sri Lanka has ways to take legal action and punish them. Without doing so, using police to raid offices of independent media institutions can’t be acceptable, Kottigoda said.“We see this as a move to silence the independent media in Sri Lanka,” he added.A police spokesman did not return calls seeking comment Friday. Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   last_img read more

first_img Sponsored Stories He was arrested in Turkey and extradited to Tunisia in October. But a judge released him in January for lack of evidence.Larayedh also said Wednesday that U.S.-Tunisian relations are “excellent” even after a separate September attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia by radicals who set fire to part of that facility.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 sleep positions for men and what they meancenter_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Tunisia’s new prime minister says there is no evidence to link a Tunisian to the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed the American ambassador and three others.Prime Minister Ali Larayedh told The Associated Press: “May the party who has proof step forward.”Tunisian authorities said last year that they “strongly suspected” that the Tunisian, Ali Harzi, 28, was linked to the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Everest Day, marking the conquest of the world’s tallest peak 62 years ago, was marked quietly by officials, people in the mountaineering business and a few climbers Friday, little more than a month after an earthquake-triggered avalanche swept the base camp and killed 19 people.The low-key gathering in Kathmandu, the capital, reflects worry over mountaineering in Nepal, a vital source of income for guides and for the nation’s economy. The April 25 earthquake, which killed more than 8,000 people across the Himalayan country, cut the spring climbing season short. The 2014 spring climbing season also ended early, after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides. Nepal’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Kripasur Sherpa said Friday that the government would consider renewing those permits once more, but that so far, no one had asked.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 How do cataracts affect your vision? Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain on May 29, 1953.Each year, thousands of foreigners attempt to conquer the country’s soaring peaks. Sherpas can earn up to $7,000 after a successful summit bid, while those who work at Everest base camp can receive half that amount — huge sums in a nation where the annual per capita income is around $700.Both avalanches hit Everest right at the beginning of climbing season, when expeditions had gathered at the base camp and were preparing their summit assaults, which typically take place in May.After last year’s avalanche, which hit April 18, the surviving Sherpas refused to work, resulting in the cancellation of the season.This year, the Sherpas refused to rebuild the route, saying it was unsafe and there was not enough time to transport all the necessary aluminum ladders, tie ropes, dig a path and then finish climbs before the end of the season later this month.The government charges $11,000 per climber and makes an average of $3.5 million in permit fees a year. Many of those who were to climb Everest this year had permits last year that were renewed due to the shortened 2014 season. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

first_imgLisa from Harvey World Travel Noosa this year was named the 13th winner of the Avis Scholarship of Excellence, after submitting an application for the second time round.Avis’ winner was named at a gala dinner hosted at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel after she and five other finalists had progressed past the first two rounds of selection and arrived in Sydney a day earlier for a panel interview.This year’s other finalists Jillian Murray from Southside Business and Leisure Travel, Woree; Angelina Stimson from Globetrotter Corporate Travel, Nedlands; Kylie Afzal Corporate from Travel Management, Brisbane; Leanne Downie from Spencer Travel, Surry Hills; and Carine Ernest from Corporate Travel Management, Sydney, didn’t go home empty handed either enjoying a night or two at the Four Seasons Hotel as well as weekend car hire and a $50 American Express voucher.“We’ve had 13 years of scholarship judging and each year gets tougher.  It’s a cliché, but to all the finalists, you’ve already proven yourself to be a winner – you guys are the best of the best,” said Russell Butler, Avis Travel Industry Manager.“It’s quite unusual for something like this to have this sort of longevity,” adds George Proos, Avis Australia Vice President & CEO.  “But due to the passion shown by Russell and the rest of the Travel Agents Advisory Board I have the confidence to allow it to continue in our planning every year.”Lisa will now embark of a year of new challenges including a trip to New York to Avis headquarters in order to meet the executive team, as well as undertake a week on the road with a Business Development Manager. Flying Qantas in Business Class, Lisa will also be able to take a friend or loved one with her.Other development components of the scholarship include business coaching products from Polonious Resources, Four International Cruise Council Australasia cruise training modules, and an honorary position on the Avis Travel Agents Advisory Board.“I’m looking forward to promoting the Avis Scholarship, because I just think it’s the best thing in the travel industry for reminding us what we’re there to do every day,” she said in accepting her award.Avis has pledged that the scholarship will be back again in 2010 for its 14th year, albeit with a few tweaks.L-R: Russell Butler (Avis), Lisa Upton (HWT Noosa), Angelina Stimson (Globetrotter Corporate Travel, WA), Jillian Murray (Southside Business and Leisure Travel, QLD), Carine Ernest (CTM Sydney, NSW), Kylie Afzal (CTM Brisbane, QLD), and George Proos (Avis)George Proos Avis Australia Vice President & CEO (left) and Russell Butler Avis Travel Industry Manager (right), with 2009 winner Lisa Upton and 2008 Winner Kim Hatherly2009 winner Lisa Upton receiving her award from George Proos Avis Australia Vice President & CEOL-R: George Proos Avis Australia Vice President & Managing Director, David Fellows Polonious Resources Founder, Brett Jardine ICCA General Manager, Geoff Appleton Polonious Resources Founder, Stephen Limbrick Qantas Executive Manager Australia Sales, Jayson Westbury AFTA CEO, and Russel Butler Avis Travel Industry Manager.Peter from Avis, Lyndall Corporate Travel Management, and Lizzie from Corporate Travel ManagementJo from Avis, James from Harvey World Travel, inaugural winner Robin from Excel Travel Melbourne, and 2009 winner Lisa from Harvey World TravelMichelle from Concorde Agency Network, Renee from Jetset Travel World, and Fiona from Stella Travel ServicesHugh from AOT Holidays, Shelley from CTM, Jillian from Southside Business and Leisure Travel QLD, and Andrew from Magellan Travel GroupLeanne from Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Geoff from Polonious Resources, Mike Former AFTA CEO (behind), and Kylie from Corporate Travel Management BrisbaneKim Southside World Travel, David from Carlson Wagonlit, David from Polonious Resources, and Warwick from Jetset Travelworld GroupGeorge from Avis, Steve from Qantas, Jayson from AFTA, and Brett from ICCA ::Second time lucky for QLD agent in Avis Scholarship:: Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

first_imgTo celebrate the World Tourism Day on September 27th, 2010, within the framework of the presentation of The Eleventh Annual Awards Ceremony of The Guide Awards are presented annually to enterprises, companies, organizations, individuals and localities throughout Vietnam that contribute to development of Vietnamese tourism, by The Guide (Vietnam Economic Times), including Luxury Travel ( Guide Awards 2009 – 2010 are expected to held on September 25, 2010, the World Tourism Day, at the Furama Resort in Danang city. The Guide Awards are acknowledged and highly regarded by tourism enterprises and government agencies.Started in 1999, The Guide Awards are sponsored by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, The Vietnam Association of Science and Technology and the Vietnam Economic Association. The Honorary President is Mrs. Truong My Hoa, former Vice State President.The Guide Awards 2009-2010 are the eleventh to be presented, with the theme “Sustainable Tourism Development and Environmental Protection.” Apart from the awards, there will be other activities such as “The Golf tournament for Environment,” the “Environment: Challenges and Community Responsibility” photo contest, a conference on “Climate Change” and other communication activities.This year, organization committees will award and medal for the 120 enterprises of the groups: the vacation accommodation services (hotels, resorts, the apartments for rent), food, beverage and entertainment (restaurants, cafes, bars…), health services, transport services, tour operators and souvenir shops throughout Vietnam.In the category of tour operators, there are 6 winners which have received in 2009 this prestigious awards: Saigon Tourist, Vietravel, Ben Thanh Tourist, Exotissimo Travel, Buffalo Tours and Luxury Travel ( Awards are selected through the nominations from voting by the foreign tourists readers that is a survey of the network of correspondents and the collaborators of The Guide Magazine for their unique products and services, which is sponsored by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.According to the Organizing Committee, the consideration and vote for this award based on the criteria of the quality products, the services, the price, and the customer service. In addition, there are other criteria such as the business environment, the increasing use of natural materials, the sustainable development community, the creative elements, the value of arts and the cultural identities and traditional of the enterprises.This is the 3rd time in consecutive, Luxury Travel has been voted the Best Luxury Tour Operator of Vietnam. Vietnam’s First Luxury Tour Operator and Travel Company, during the past six years, Luxury Travel which continually promotes Vietnam’s image to the world, creates the unique products for the VIP customers and exceed their expectation or even the most difficult customers. The company has served top high ranking officials, ministers, ambassadors and leisure travelers to Vietnam.Luxury Travel also operates in Asean countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Many tours have the cost over 1000 USD per day per package. Every year, the company served more than 10,000 satisfied travelers. Luxury Travel is getting the revenue $30 million USD in 2011, and is growing of the revenue of two figures on sales in the next five years.Mr Pham Ha, Founder and CEO of Luxury Travel ( ) said “This prestigious award which is once again confirmed our luxury brand. As the leader in the luxury tourism industry, we promote Vietnam as an emerging luxury travel destination in the world tourism map.” Source = Luxury Travel Vietnamlast_img read more

first_imgTourism New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIA) have stressed that the country remains “open for business” despite the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch on Saturday.Tourists were warned against all but essential travel to Christchurch, where a state of emergency has been declared, by the tourist board’s chief executive Kevin Bowler.However, he emphasised that the rest of the country had been unaffected and tourism was continuing normally. Tourism NZ and TIA are liaising to ensure existing and intending visitors are receiving consistent, accurate and up to date information. “We are working to get the message out that while parts of Christchurch and Canterbury have suffered major infrastructure damage, many tourism businesses are operating normally and visitors can fly in and out of the airport,” the TIA said in a statement to its members.Tourism New Zealand has stated that most accommodation providers in the city are open; all holiday parks in Christchurch are operating as usual and only one motel has been closed.However, visitors are still encouraged to contact their travel agent or the accommodation provider directly before arriving.Christchurch Airport was closed for a short time this morning (Tuesday, September 7) as a safety precaution following a severe aftershock. However, the airport has since been approved by structural engineers and is now fully operational for domestic and international flights, both incoming and outgoing. Travellers can expect delays, however, and should contact their airline to confirm their travel schedule.Update from Continental Event Catering and Event HireMona Vale is closed today.  The gracious old lady has lost her chimneys, otherwise fortunately additional damage appears to be minimal and we anticipate the Homestead being back in operation very soon.  Extraordinarily, the recently restored Bathhouse next to the Homestead, which has just come through a two-year restoration, is completely in tact – amazing considering it’s virtually all glass.Air Force Museum has advised they have not sustained any damage, but as a public building they remain closed until clearance by structural engineers.  We anticipate this to occur within the few days. The Christchurch Arts Centre has sustained various amounts of damage, including the large chimney of The Great Hall collapsing internally.   We await advice of engineers’ reports of when this will be cleared and stabilised.The International Antarctic Centre is fully operational as a visitor attraction and event venue.Christchurch City Art Gallery is currently the Civil Defence Headquarters and has held up exceptionally well.Although the shock of the quake was felt in Blenheim, the Brancott Winery Restaurant remains in tact and fully operational.Continental’s headquarters, main production kitchen and Event Hire base are located in Rangiora, a township 30km north of the Christchurch CBD.  There has been very little property loss and no obvious structural damage to our offices or our retail Continental Bakery, or damage to the Hires equipment.  Uninterrupted power supply and no water contamination in Rangiora meant we could remain fully operational throughout. The clean up beginsChristchurch was hit by an earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale on Saturday morning, throwing the city into waves of panic and frustration as thousands of residents tried to evacuate. The rocked city was in tatters as infrastructure and supply lines were disrupted. “Parts of the city look like they have been put in the tumble dryer and given a darn good shake,” Prime Minister John Key, who grew up in Christchurch, said.“You can see utter devastation.” Much of the city centre remained sealed off and under curfew for a second night on Sunday, Breaking Travel News reported.More than 500 buildings have been badly damaged. Two men were seriously hurt by falling masonry but there have been no reports of deaths. Bulldozers are heavily involved in the clean-up of fallen masonry, part of a recovery process which is expected to take years and costs billions of dollars. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more

first_imgFred. Olsen Cruise Lines has triumphed in the Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards. The Ipswich-based cruise line – with its Norwegian heritage, and fleet of four smaller, traditional ships – has been voted Best for Seeing the World by the influential cruise website.Fred. Olsen operates cruises all over the world, most of which are ex-UK and sail from a number of convenient regional ports. They range from 2-3 night mini-cruises, to long epic voyages, ‘Around the World’ and ‘Around South America’.  Fred. Olsen’s Marketing Director, Nigel Lingard, said:“We are delighted to win this prestigious award from Cruise Critic, as their editors really know cruising.  The human scale of our ships appeals to many people, who enjoy an informal and friendly experience and, of course, as the judges have recognised, smaller ships have access to some of the more remote and fascinating ports around the world – places that larger ships cannot reach.”This is what the Cruise Critic judges had to say – ‘Wherever in the world you want to go, Fred. Olsen likely has a ship that’ll take you there. Its fleet’s small-to-mid-size ships can also visit exotic ports that the cruise ‘behemoths’ can’t fit into. Even better? Many are ex-UK, at least one way.’ Source = Cruise Abroadlast_img read more