Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, April 10, 2017 CHICAGO — Three security officials dragged a passenger from a United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when the man reportedly refused to leave his seat after being asked to deplane because the flight was overbooked.A statement from United says “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.”United said it apologized “for the overbook situation.”One passenger posted the video on Facebook. It shows the guards grabbing then dragging the passenger down the aisle. Screaming is heard and other passengers say “Oh my God” and “Look at what you did to him.”United said airline representatives chose four passengers at random when no volunteers agreed to leave the overbooked flight. They requested law enforcement assistance when one of them refused to leave.The passenger who posted the video said United asked for four passengers to relinquish their seats for airline employees on stand-by. Travelweek Group Share Tags: United Airlines Video goes viral of guards dragging bumped passenger off United flight
Posted by A Hunger Games theme park has just opened in Dubai Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Tags: Dubai, Theme Parks & Attractions Share DUBAI — Remember the movie ‘The Hunger Games’? Remember how miserable everyone looked and how dreary the districts were? It only makes sense then that a new theme park has opened based on the blockbuster film and best-selling books.The ‘World Hunger Games’ theme park has just opened at Motiongate in Dubai, featuring all 12 Districts, the Capitol Bullet Train (it has a vertical loop and a 90-degree reverse spike!), Peacekeepers on the ground and even a presidential welcome from President Snow himself. Guests can also dine at Peta’s Bakery and meet the colourful Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman.Judging by initial photos of the park, it all looks pretty accurate. But don’t worry, unlike the books and movies, there’s absolutely no risk of being murdered or hunted down by a gang of crazed kids. The odds, as they say, are ever in your favour. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Thursday, August 9, 2018 Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Tags: Business, IHG, InterContinental Hotels Group ATLANTA — IHG is giving small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) an edge over the competition with its new IHG Business Edge program.Designed to enhance the corporate travel experience for SME’s, the program helps to streamline the negotiation process, rewards loyalty and consolidates data, content and bookings into one customer portal.Prior to launch, 1,500 companies have already signed up as members. IHG Business Edge has been in development for the past year, and was built based on the insights of 2,100 global SME customers. It was then piloted with 300 companies across 17 countries.“We knew that there was an unmet need for a travel buying program specifically designed for SMEs, a group of customers who can often be underserved by the industry,” said Derek DeCross, SVP, Global Sales, IHG. “We worked together with SME’s to design the program and they told us that a discount program alone is no compelling enough to drive their loyalty and engagement.”More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsWhat they did want, added DeCross, was “a rich discount they could count on, reliable reporting and insight into the latest information.” They also wanted access to a diverse corporate network of other “similar” organizations.Through the customer portal, the corporate administrator can monitor essential travel data including hotel spend, room nights, average daily rate, savings and IHG Rewards Club participation over the previous 12 months.In the future, the portal will also allow administrators to access a content centre with business tools, articles for continuing education and a forum to connect with fellow SME travel administrators.Companies with less than 250 employees and up to US$50 million in revenue, and that spend at least $5,000 with IHG annually, are welcome to join IHG Business Edge. This will give them discounted rates at participating hotels across IHG’s portfolio of more than 5,400 properties across 15 brands.Travel administrators can apply at businessedge.ihg.com. IHG launches Business Edge for small & midsize enterprises
Monday, October 1, 2018 By: The Associated Press MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Rosa neared Mexico’s Baja California on Monday, spreading heavy rains that were projected to extend into a drenching of the U.S. Southwest.The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the centre of Rosa, which was a hurricane until late Sunday, was should hit Baja California and Sonora state late Monday, bringing 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 centimetres) of rain.It’s then expected to move quickly northwestward as it weakens, bringing 2 to 4 inches (5-10 centimetres) of rain to central and southern Arizona and 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 centimetres) to the rest of the desert Southwest, Central Rockies and Great Basin. Some isolated areas might be more.Rosa had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) early Monday and was centred about 105 miles (170 kilometres) west-southwest of Punta Eugenia in Mexico. It was heading northeast at 12 mph (19 kph).The National Weather Service earlier announced flash flood watches through Wednesday for areas including southern Nevada, southeastern California, southwestern and central Utah and the western two-thirds of Arizona.More news: Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksForecasts call for heavy rainfall in the watch areas, which include Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, with possible flooding in slot canyons and normally dry washes and a potential for landslides and debris flows from recent wildfire burn scars.Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Sergio was growing in the Pacific and could become a hurricane force Monday, though it posed no immediate threat to land.Sergio had winds of 70 mph (110 kph) early Monday and was centred about 590 miles (950 kilometres) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. The storm was moving west at 14 mph (22 kph). Tropical Storm Rosa heads for Baja, US Southwest Tags: Mexico, Rosa, Tropical Storm, Weather << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Transat, Europe, sale, Transat Posted by MONTREAL — There’s still time to book Air Transat’s Find Your Seat Sale, with a focus on the company’s 25 European destinations, all offering savings when booked by Feb. 5.Transat’s packages, guided tours, cruises and à la carte getaways throughout Europe cater to all interests, says the company. Numerous connections offer flexibility to build an itinerary tailored to each client’s needs.Here are more details on Transat’s program for some of Canadians’ top vacation spots.With its flights to Zagreb, Air Transat will be giving Canadians easy access to Croatia, one of the most sought-after destinations right now. Transat is offering three direct flights from Toronto and connecting flights from Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. The tour operator is also featuring five packages to Croatia in addition to à la carte visits, including excursions to Krka National Park’s famous waterfalls.Meanwhile getting to Greece is a breeze with Air Transat offering direct flights to Athens from Montreal and Toronto, with four weekly flights each. From there, it’s easy to get to Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. Packages, guided tours and all‑in-one cruise packages are all offered by Transat in Greece.More news: Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backTo Italy, Transat has direct flights to Venice from Toronto (two times a week) and Montreal (three times a week). And to Rome Air Transat will fly direct from Toronto (daily) and Montreal (six times a week). To the south, in the heart of Calabria, lies Lamezia, known for its coastlines. It’s also the gateway to Sicily and Air Transat will fly twice a week to Lamezia from Toronto, and from Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary with a connecting flight. Vacation options include packages, guided tours and a la carte components as well as Med cruises.Meanwhile with direct flights from Montreal and Toronto to Lisbon (five weekly flights from Montreal and four from Toronto) and Porto (three from Toronto and three from Montreal), Air Transat has never offered so many options for exploring these two must-see Portuguese cities.Clients looking to visit one or more of these destinations will have their pick of two‑ and three-city packages, which can be paired with à la carte visits.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongAnd to France Air Transat offers daily direct flights from Montreal year‑round to Paris. The city will also be accessible via direct flights from Toronto (five weekly flights), Vancouver (three weekly flights) and Quebec City (three weekly flights). Transat also offers Bordeaux to Nice, Toulouse, Nantes, Lyon and Marseille.And finally to Ireland and Switzerland Transat has direct flights from Montreal (twice weekly), and departures from Toronto, Quebec City and Vancouver with connecting flights. Travelweek Group Share Transat’s Europe more accessible than ever with Find Your Seat Sale Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Save $150 on small groups and self-guided tours with Exodus Posted by Tags: Exodus Travels Travelweek Group Tuesday, May 21, 2019 TORONTO — ‘Life is good’, says Exodus Travels, especially when it includes savings of $150.With its newly launched ‘Remember Life is Good’ promotion, the tour operator is reminding clients on how travel can improve their overall health and wellbeing. Running from May 20-June 13, the promo includes $150 off any small group of self-guided tours to over 100 countries around the world.The campaign encourages travellers to step out of their comfort zones and appreciate how unpredictable life can be. Experiences with Exodus includes sampling local Thai delicacies at Bangkok’s famed street markets, conquering the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, or spending time in the verdant vineyards of Tuscany.The offer must be booked between May 20, 2019 – June 13, 2019 for travel until Jan. 1, 2021, and applies to new bookings only (one cannot cancel their booking and then rebook). Offer is based upon availability and may not be combinable with other special offers or incentives. Savings are non-transferable, excludes tailormade private groups, further conditions may apply. Quote JuneAdventureCAN at time of the booking.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaFor more information, visit exodustravels.com/spring-sale. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share
The flood of dollars into Costa Rica will accelerate in 2012 and 2013.Private sector direct investment in the country is at $1.5 billion for the first half of 2012, according to the Costa Rican Central Bank, and should easily top the target figure of $2.3 billion for 2012. But added to this will be approximately $2 billion in public sector financing, including $924 million in funds yet to be disbursed to the government and government entities under multilateral loans, and another $1 billion of Eurobonds recently approved by Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly to refinance existing government debt and substitute lower interest rate dollar credit for more expensive colón-denominated government bonds.Some of these dollars will go to refinance existing dollar-denominated Costa Rican foreign debt and will not be changed into colones, but nearly all the foreign direct investment and some of the government Eurobond money will. The Central Bank administers the exchange rate using “bands”: floor and ceiling exchange rates that will trigger the Central Bank’s entering the exchange market to buy or sell dollars to maintain the rate between the bands. Currently, the irrelevant upper band exchange rate is set at ₡700 to the dollar, and the very relevant lower band at ₡500 to the dollar. Because there is an up to ₡10 spread between buy and sell rates, the lower buy rate can fall below 500. On Oct. 9, the Central Bank’s buy and sell rates were ₡492.39 and ₡503.11 per dollar, respectively.Dollars exchanged for colones put downward pressure on the exchange rate. The Central Bank, with dollar reserves of $4.86 billion, has approval to buy up to $1.5 billion to build up a bigger dollar reserve cushion. These dollar purchases also are very useful to defend the ₡500 to the dollar lower band exchange rate. Since September, the Central Bank has purchased $260 million under this facility. At this rate, the Central Bank would fill up its reserve increase target in about five months. After that, if the Central bank wants to keep buying more dollars, it would face a choice between further increasing its dollar reserves (and becoming a bigger creditor of the United States) or issuing colón bonds to buy back the colones it generates when it buys the dollars, to hold down inflation. This latter approach would be inflationary in itself, because the bonds would have to pay high colón interest rates, but less so than putting the colones into the economy.Six months into the future is a long time for exchange rate projections. There are too many economic wild cards – national and international – that make projections educated guesses at best. But it is clear that for the rest of 2012 and into 2013, pressure on the Costa Rican colón’s exchange rate versus the dollar will be downwards. The Central Bank can hold the ₡500 to the dollar exchange rate easily into 2013. But if nothing happens to reduce the flow of dollars into Costa Rica, that exchange rate could come under downward pressure next year, when the Central Bank and the country will have to either keep piling up dollar reserves or pay a colón inflation price to prevent the colón-dollar exchange rate from falling. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Dragons tore their way through the middle of San José Wednesday only to be greeted by an applauding crowd full of flashing cameras and smiles.The dragons, made of ribbons, poles and other decorations, were part of just one of the many performances at the official inauguration of the “Barrio Chino” on Paseo de los Estudiantes, Calle 9, between avenidas 2 and 14, in the central part of the city.“The Chinese people have had a lot to do with the development of this city,” said Francisco Lee, Shifu at the Shaolin Temple, a martial arts school in San José. “This is a recognition of all the people have done for this country.”The first Chinese immigrants came to Costa Rica to work on the Panama Railway in the mid-19th century. Soon after, a large Chinese community emerged in Puntarenas, eventually flowing over into other parts of the country, including San José.The inauguration celebration played host to schools and associations from around the country including the Chinese Associations from Puntarenas, Nicoya and Santa Cruz as well as the national association. Each group contributed some kind of Chinese performance ranging from xylophone music to choreographed martial arts. The pet project of San José’s Mayor Johnny Araya was first proposed in 2009, and with a $1 million donation from the Chinese government, construction began the same year. Three years later, the six-block, $1.4 million pedestrian walkway is done, complete with a Tang Dynasty-style archway overlooking Avenida 2.The Municipality of San José invested an estimated $400,000 in the project in hopes of drawing tourism to the city.“There are many cities around the world with China Towns,” said inauguration organizer Lylian Quesada, with the culture division of the Municipality of San José. “We want to show that San José is a destination with activities for tourists.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
UPDATE, Monday, July 8, 2 p.m. Tico Times reporter Lindsay Fendt is in the conflict area and reported the following on Monday afternoon:Presidency Vice Minister Ana Gabriel Zúñiga is now meeting with the indigenous people who are still occupying the land. The farmers removed their roadblock last night, but they remain at the road at the entrance to the reserve. They are no longer prohibiting the passage of indigenous residents passing through the area.A group of indigenous people put up another roadblock further up the road. It consists of a giant rock guarded by a group of Bribrí residents with sticks and machetes. They let me and police pass, but checked my car for guns and wrote down my name. They said they were not creating a blockade like the farmers, but were ensuring none of the farmers were able to access the area. They turned away a taxi in front of me because they said he was going to pick up an indigenous person further in the reserve who was against the rest of the group. They didn’t want him to get out.When the vice minister, who is acting as a mediator in the conflict, arrived, she urged the Bribrí residents to take down the blockade, but it was still there when I left. Police are stationed every several hundred meters in the first section of the reserve where the conflict has been occurring.At this point, the vice minister is negotiating with indigenous residents about security. The Bribrí say they are vulnerable to attack and want more police officers to guard them.Representatives of the National Registry are here to begin mapping the area under dispute. They are currently demarcating the limits of the protected area to ensure that the land the indigenous residents have reclaimed is in fact within the reserve.Regional police chief Reynaldo González said that police are now patrolling the entire reserve because tensions have spread all the way up through the territory. He said that the house-burning was the height of the violence, and other than that, police have no reports of gunshots fired or physical altercations.The original story continues here:BUENOS AIRES, Puntarenas – Just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, government officials successfully negotiated a peace agreement between indigenous Bribrí residents and local farmers in Costa Rica’s southeastern indigenous reserve of Salitre, where violence broke out Saturday due to a land dispute.Officials from the government’s Ministry of Peace have been in the area since June 28, when a group of indigenous Bribrí set up encampments on farms that had been occupied by non-indigenous people, a legal land reclamation according to Costa Rica’s indigenous law. Officials from the Presidency Ministry and the Ombudsman’s Office have since joined in the negotiations.“The issue is that what the law and the indigenous people see as a reclamation of land is seen as an invasion by the non-indigenous people who had been occupying that territory,” said Presidency Vice Minister Ana Gabriel Zúñiga, one of the agreement’s mediators. A week after the initial reclamation, a group of 80 angry farmers converged on the newly formed encampment, burning down at least one home. The farmers then set up a blockade on the main road into Salitre, building a small wall of stones and dirt that trapped indigenous people inside the reserve.After coming to an agreement with the indigenous group occupying the land, Zúñiga and the other government mediators held a meeting with the farmers to negotiate an end to the blockade. After more than five hours of talks, the farmers agreed to take down the blockade on Tuesday morning.In return, government officials agreed to review the reclamation to see if any of the disputed lands was owned by non-indigenous people before the indigenous law’s passage in 1977. Officials say the evaluation will take approximately three months, during which time the indigenous people still on the land will be permitted to stay. Related posts:Farmers invading Costa Rica indigenous reserve chase out families, burn crops Tensions ease in Salitre indigenous crisis, but the dispute is far from resolved Costa Rica struggles with indigenous land rights Human rights commission ruling gives hope for Costa Rica indigenous autonomy Facebook Comments
Related posts:Costa Rica’s 3-pronged strategy scores high against drug trafficking, says Coast Guard chief Costa Rican cops bust Italian man with 101 cocaine-filled capsules in his stomach Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua In ‘Narcos,’ Netflix recreates Pablo Escobar’s world THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch customs officers confiscated over three tons of cocaine stashed in a container of cassava roots in Rotterdam harbor, the second largest haul to date for Europe’s largest port, prosecutors said Sunday.“The cocaine was in a container with cassava from Costa Rica packed with 3,003 packages weighing a total of 3.5 tons,” the Public Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.The cocaine had a total street value of 120 million euros ($149 million), added the statement, saying the drugs were discovered in a container on a business premise in the massive harbor.The drugs were then destroyed.“The haul is the second-largest ever in the Rotterdam harbor,” prosecutors said.In 2005, law enforcement agents discovered 4.2 tons of cocaine hidden in cable reels in the Rotterdam port.Officials are now trying to track those behind the huge haul, prosecutors said. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments As tons of cocaine pass through Costa Rica’s Caribbean ports undetected, the government is left paying the maintenance bills onX-ray scanners that sit collecting dust, unused, reported the daily La Nación Monday.Soon after the administration of President Oscar Arias (2006-2010) recognized the People’s Republic of China, ending Costa Rica’s longstanding diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the Chinese government donated two X-ray scanners, valued at $6 million each, to Costa Rica to detect drugs hidden in shipping containers leaving the Limón port. La Nación reported that the two truck-mounted scanners require a level concrete surface, Internet, and a three-phase electrical connection to operate, but the devices have sat unused for six years.Meanwhile, literally tons of cocaine have made their way past authorities. More than 80 percent of Costa Rica’s exports pass through the Caribbean ports, and everything from flowers to pineapples have been used to hide significant quantities of cocaine, mostly destined for Europe.On Dec. 1, Dutch authorities in Rotterdam uncovered 3.5 metric tons of cocaine hidden in a shipment of cassava roots that originated in Costa Rica. In May, Spanish authorities found 2.5 metric tons of the narcotic hidden in a shipment of pineapples.Speaking about the Rotterdam seizure, Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora said in a statement that same day that the seizure was an isolated incident but that “it has the potential to harm the image of our country as a safe place and compromise the image of our exporters.”Vice Minister of Revenue Fernando Rodríguez acknowledged that the wait to use the scanners was “absurd” in an interview with La Nación, adding that there are ongoing discussions with the Atlantic Port Authority and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute to implement the equipment. Meanwhile, as the government continues to discuss how to plug in the scanners, the Customs Administration has been paying $400,000 every year to maintain the machines in the event that they are ever put to use. Related posts:Flowers hid cocaine bound for Europe Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Nearly 1.5 metric tons of cocaine seized by joint US-Costa Rica drug patrols in the Pacific Costa Rican cops seize vehicle with 400 kilos of cocaine on Pacific coast
New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Putin has cracked down on the opposition since returning to the presidency, and he seems to be betting that by threatening demonstrators with prison time and harsh fines he can quash the street protests that have posed an unprecedented challenge to his 12-year rule.Putin said that the law is designed to safeguard Russians from “radicalism.”“In guaranteeing citizens’ right to express their opinion, including in street rallies, society must protect other citizens, the general public, from radicalism,” he said in televised remarks. He added, however, that the law may be amended if necessary.His strategy faces a major test on Tuesday when the opposition plans its first mass demonstration since he began his third presidential term on May 7.Some opposition leaders contend that the tough line will help their cause by fueling anger and bringing more people out for next week’s protest. Others say the repression will scare away the middle-class protesters who turned out in the tens of thousands for peaceful demonstrations this winter.Putin, for his part, is refusing any talks with the opposition.“He understands only one language, the language of force, and therefore he perceives any normal discussion and any rational compromise as personal weakness,” said Yevgenia Chirikova, an environmental activist who has campaigned against Kremlin-backed road construction that is destroying a forest outside Moscow. With the election over, the protest movement seemed to fade.But on the eve of Putin’s inauguration, an opposition march and rally drew tens of thousands, far more than either the organizers or the police had expected. The demonstration turned violent after police restricted access to the square where the rally was to be held. Bottles and pieces of asphalt were hurled at police, who struck back by beating protesters with truncheons and detaining more than 400. Some demonstrators were dragged away by their hair. Opposition leaders claim the clash was provoked by pro-Kremlin thugs.In the days that followed, police chased opposition activists around the city, detaining hundreds.Then the crackdown eased, as the authorities allowed the opposition to set up camp on a leafy boulevard. But there were strings attached: The organizers could not put up placards or make political demands, since that would technically turn the camp into an unsanctioned protest.The authorities tolerated the camp for about a week before getting a court to rule that the activists were creating a mess in the neighborhood, giving police the legal right to disperse them.The anti-protest legislation also provides police with new powers against such Occupy-style camps. “Large-scale public gatherings” can be banned and the organizers fined if they disrupt public order. Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – Helmeted riot police round up hundreds of protesters, including some whose only apparent crime is wearing white ribbons of opposition. A teacher who spoke out about election rigging is dragged into court and fined. Now a new law signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday raises fines for participating in unauthorized protests 150-fold, to nearly the average annual salary in Russia. Top Stories Comments Share Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help In a Levada poll released Thursday, 65 percent said they expected the protests to continue, although they differed on how likely the protests were to intensify or spread. The poll, conducted May 25-29 among 1,604 people across Russia, has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.The bill was rushed through the Kremlin-controlled parliament this week in an effort to get it in place before Tuesday’s big protest.Some opposition leaders had held out hope that Putin would refuse to sign it. Others, however, had said they had no illusions, pointing to a comment by Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov after the violence on the eve of the inauguration. Protesters who hurt riot police, he said, “should have their livers smeared on the asphalt.”It was the kind of language that Putin likes.___Irina Titova in St. Petersburg contributed to this report.(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 Chirikova and Ilya Yashin, who recently spent 15 days in jail for leading unsanctioned protests, were among a group of opposition leaders who met Thursday in Moscow to discuss the implications of the new law, which jacks up fines to 300,000 rubles ($9,000).Yashin tried to ease worries, saying protest leaders would collect donations for those punished, as was done within hours when St. Petersburg teacher Tatyana Ivanova was fined 30,000 rubles ($1,000) last week. Ivanova was found guilty of damaging the reputation of an education department official she had accused of pressuring her and other poll workers to falsify the December parliamentary vote.The anti-Putin protests broke out after the December election, which observers said was riddled with fraud in favor of Putin’s party, and continued in the run-up to the March presidential vote. As many as 100,000 people turned out in the frigid cold for demonstrations demanding free elections, and the streets of Moscow rang with cries of “Russia Without Putin” and “Putin Is a Thief.”Although he was denied a majority in Moscow, Putin won the election to return to the Kremlin post he had held from 2000 to 2008 before moving into the prime minister’s office to avoid violating a constitutional ban on more than two consecutive terms. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories
Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday shot back at visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel for raising questions about the imprisonment of the Pussy Riot punk provocateurs, suggesting she was poorly informed about the group’s true nature.The exchange at a Russian-German business forum in Moscow came in the wake of growing German criticism of Russia’s human rights record and its moves to crack down on dissent. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Men’s health affects baby’s health too Top Stories Germany’s foreign minister said prior to the talks that Merkel was taking a balanced approach to relations with Moscow.“On the one hand, we don’t want to hold back on criticism regarding Russia’s internal development, but on the other hand we are very keen for the strategic partnership with Russia to be expanded,” Guido Westerwelle told Deutschlandfunk radio on Friday.Westerwelle said Germany also has foreign policy interests that involve Russia. Despite differences over the civil war in Syria, he stressed that there were areas in which the two countries work closely together, such as in efforts to address concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 0 Comments Share The 2008 demonstration was actually in support of those groups, but Putin interpreted it differently.“We cannot support, with you, people who take an anti-Semitic position,” Putin said. That argument bore echoes of the band members’ convictions on charges that the cathedral performance was hooliganism to debase a religion.The Kremlin has launched a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent since Putin’s inauguration for a third presidential term in May, issuing a series of repressive bills intended to discourage people from taking part in unauthorized protests, re-criminalize slander, impose new tight restrictions on non-government organizations and widely expand the definition of treason.Merkel said after later talks with Putin in the Kremlin that she expressed her concern about Russia’s legislative moves, adding that a frank discussion was essential to improve mutual understanding.Putin, in his turn, lashed out at the European Union’s energy market regulations intended to boost competition in the energy market, describing it as “harmful” and discriminatory against Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom.At the same time, Putin emphasized a desire to forge even closer economic ties with Germany, Russia’s No. 1 trading partner. After the meeting, Russian and German officials signed a series of agreements in energy, transport and other spheres. Germany’s parliament passed a resolution last week that linked Russia’s rollback on democratic freedoms to Putin’s return to the presidency in May and urged the German government to take a tougher stance in dealing with Russia.Asked about German criticism of Russia’s human rights and democracy record, Merkel said it reflected Germany’s sense of engagement and its deep interest in Russia’s development.“It won’t make our friendship better if we sweep everything under the carpet and don’t discuss it,” Merkel said, adding that not all criticism should immediately be viewed as destructive.At the forum, Merkel raised cautious criticism of the two-year prison sentences imposed on two members of the band Pussy Riot for a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral of a so-called “punk prayer” entreating the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Putin.“Having to go to a prison camp for two years for that _ this would not have happened in Germany,” she added.But Putin asked whether Merkel knew that one of the women had previously taken part in a performance-art demonstration where several dolls representing migrant workers and homosexuals, one of them also identified as Jewish, were hung from nooses. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your life 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
Comments Share Quick workouts for men The fire department said the Danish Consulate in Munich had been informed.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BERLIN (AP) – German police say a double decker bus carrying dozens of Danish students slammed into a small railway bridge in Munich and tore off part of the upper deck, injuring 40 people, one of them seriously.Munich police spokeswoman Alexandra Schmeitz said the students, all between the ages of 16 to 19, were hospitalized Sunday. One 17-year-old girl sustained serious head and spine injuries.The Munich fire department said the driver of the double decker bus apparently overlooked a sign saying the bridge had only a height of 11.2 feet (3.4 meters). Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of
Sponsored Stories Authorities are still puzzling over why Andreas Lubitz, who had suffered from suicidal tendencies and depression in the past, locked the captain out of the cockpit on March 24 and sent the Airbus A320 hurtling into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.Lubitz seemed to be toying with the airplane’s settings on the earlier flight from Duesseldorf to Barcelona, programming it for a sharp descent multiple times in a 4 1/2-minute period while the pilot was out of the cockpit before resetting the controls, the report said. Unlike the later flight, he did not lock the pilot out of the cockpit.The plane’s “selected altitude” changed repeatedly and several times was set as low as 100 feet (30 meters) above sea level. The report says Lubitz also put the engines on idle, which gives the plane the ability to quickly descend.On the doomed flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, Lubitz also set a 100-foot altitude before the plane crashed into the Alps.Aviation experts say it would be highly unusual for a pilot to repeatedly set a plane for such a low altitude for no apparent reason. The report said Lubitz did so while air traffic controllers were asking him to bring the airplane down gradually from 35,000 feet to 21,000 feet for its descent to Barcelona. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “If there had been a pilot sitting next to him, of course he would have noticed that. Modern aircraft are built to be flown by two pilots, and one of the reasons for that is that one can watch the other,” Wahl said.Airlines typically download information from planes’ flight data recorders for routine maintenance checks when the planes arrive at an airport where they plan to stay overnight.But that data isn’t monitored constantly, Goglia said. Even if Germanwings had done so, it probably would have taken a while to notice a problem — or such odd readings might have been dismissed as an anomaly, he said. Many airlines have flight data monitoring programs to look for safety trends.“They don’t analyze every recorder every day for every minute it recorded,” Goglia said.“The lag time is about 30 days to analyze it,” he said. “There is no urgency to this. The data goes into a data collection point and at some point somebody says, ‘Let’s look at the approaches into Barcelona.’”A BEA official said information from flight recorders is often erased, and is only systematically drawn upon in cases of air incidents or disasters. PARIS (AP) — The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 appears to have practiced sending the jetliner into a deadly descent on another flight, just two hours before he intentionally crashed it into the French Alps, investigators said Wednesday.The revelation appeared to support the theory that the Germanwings crash was not only deliberate but premeditated. It came in a 30-page interim report from the French accident investigation agency BEA. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement A BEA chart showed the plane didn’t actually descend sharply while Lubitz was repeatedly adjusting the settings, so the passengers and crew might not have noticed any change.“The captain didn’t realize at all, because the co-pilot’s tests during the outgoing flight took place during a normal, preprogrammed descent and it never had an impact on the plane’s trajectory,” said Remi Jouty, the director of BEA.Aviation experts said the BEA findings were clearly unusual.Lubitz changed the setting in the “altitude select” window, although the airplane didn’t move in response to the inputs, said aviation safety expert John Cox, president of Safety Operating Systems.“It’s clear that it’s a very unusual act,” Cox said. “I’ve never seen it done, and it is the same methodology he used to fly the airplane into the ground. Was he practicing? I think that certainly is a possibility.”“He was practicing to see how the airplane behaved,” said John Goglia, an aviation safety expert and former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.Markus Wahl, spokesman of the German pilots’ association, said Lubitz could only have done this when the other pilot was out of the cockpit. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories German authorities say Lubitz researched suicide methods and cockpit door security online in the week before the crash.___Lowy reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, David Rising in Berlin and Scott Mayerowitz in New York contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “We’re not going to verify whether he had tried to select 100 feet (altitudes) in other flights,” BEA spokeswoman Martine del Bono told the AP. With the Barcelona-bound Germanwings flight data, “we have here the previous proof.”Germanwings “welcomed any new information that can help clarify what happened,” but said it would not comment on the ongoing investigation. It would also not say whether it was reviewing other flights involving Lubitz.Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, had no immediate comment.The BEA report didn’t analyze why Lubitz repeatedly tried to descend the plane going into Barcelona. But the agency said it was continuing to look at “systemic failings that may have led to this accident or similar events.”The BEA investigators said they are focusing on “the current balance between medical confidentiality and flight safety” — a reference to whether German rules on patient privacy may have prevented Lufthansa from being fully aware of Lubitz’ mental health issues.The agency is also looking at “compromises” made on security following the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., notably on cockpit door locking systems meant to protect pilots from terrorists. Since the Germanwings crash, several airlines have imposed rules requiring two people in the cockpit at all times. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Activist Than Shwe, center, who protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon against a Chinese-backed copper mine project, is hugged by crying members of his family as he is escorted by Myanmar police officers upon arrival for his trial at a township court Friday, May 15, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. The court imposed new sentences with hard labor for six prominent activists who are already serving prison terms for their political activities. All six faced charges including disrupting public tranquility, deterring a public officer from carrying out his duty and for rioting and violating a peaceful assembly law for protesting outside the embassy last year. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win) The court sentenced all of them to 4 years and 4 months imprisonment with hard labor. Their previous sentences were for violating the peaceful assembly law with their political activities.“The sentences are very unfair and we are dissatisfied with the verdict. This is a violation of citizens’ rights,” said one of the convicted activists, Naw Ohn Hla, who defiantly said that she will continue to fight for the rights of the people when she is freed.“The government deliberately gives a lengthy prison sentence because they want to lock up activists during the election,” Naw Ohn Hla said, referring to general elections coming in November.Myanmar emerged from a half-century of military rule with a new government in 2011 that has implemented several political and economic reforms. It freed many junta-era prisoners but has arrested hundreds of activists anew who are charged with breaking several criminal laws.An independent political prisoner association has tallied 158 prisoners of conscience and 450 others facing trial in Myanmar for their political activities as of May.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A Myanmar court on Friday imposed new sentences with hard labor for six prominent activists who are already serving prison terms for their political activities.All six faced charges including disrupting public tranquility, deterring a public officer from carrying out his duty and for rioting and violating a peaceful assembly law for protesting outside the Chinese Embassy last year.They were protesting the shooting death last year of an opponent of a Chinese-backed copper mine. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 0 Comments Share
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement He said all parties should desist from any action until a court ruling scheduled Wednesday on a previous suit by Kashamu to prevent his extradition.Kashamu’s spokesman had told the AP that the drug agents did not have an arrest warrant. But the agency insists it does have one, according to an email from spokesman Ofoyeju Mitchell.“The extradition move by the NDLEA for Kashamu to answer drug trafficking charges is legal,” he said in a statement. “The Agency has not violated his rights and will continue to work within the confines of the law.”Drug agents surrounded Kashamu’s home on Saturday, days before senators are to be sworn into the new legislature on Friday. The drug agency said he was under house arrest.Kashamu’s spokesman, Austin Oniyokor, said Kashamu is the victim of a political conspiracy.After years of inaction, the United States has requested his extradition, according to Nigeria’s drug agency. Asked for comment, a U.S. State Department official told The Associated Press that the department does not comment on law enforcement matters.The moves come as Kashamu is seen to have lost the perceived protection of outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, who lost March elections. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s federal high court Monday ordered drug agents to release a newly elected senator and suspend its extradition proceedings on 20-year-old drug charges related to the TV hit “Orange is the New Black.”It also ordered the withdrawal of armed agents who have besieged the home of Senator-elect Buruji Kashamu since Saturday.Judge I.N. Buba ordered the federal attorney general and the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to appear in court before noon Tuesday to show why he should not charge them with contempt of court. Comments Share New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories A Chicago grand jury in 1998 indicted Kashamu for conspiracy to import and distribute heroin in the U.S. Prosecutors charge he was the kingpin of a heroin trafficking ring there in the 1990s.Kashamu has said the prosecutors really wanted his dead brother, whom he closely resembled.A previous request to extradite him from Britain failed in 2003. Kashamu spent five years in a British jail before he was freed over uncertainty about his identity. He was carrying $230,000 when he was arrested there.A dozen people long ago pleaded guilty in the case, including Piper Kerman whose memoir was adapted for the Netflix hit “Orange is the New Black.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
“We have cases occurring, not in huge numbers but enough to be very disturbing, in Sierra Leone and in Guinea,” he said, and the situation in Guinea is especially troubling because surprise cases have been popping up that are not part of known chains of transmission.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations’ Ebola chief says he believes it’s only a matter of weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone ends.But Dr. David Nabarro says that stopping the deadly disease in Guinea will take more time because in some areas unsafe traditions still triumph over what’s good for people’s health.Nabarro said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that the Ebola epidemic “absolutely isn’t over” though Liberia has been Ebola free since May 9. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments Share Patients with chronic pain give advice New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019
Parents, stop beating yourself up GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Government-backed experts say former Guatemalan dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt is mentally incompetent, potentially derailing a trial on human rights charges.The July 1 opinion by the National Institute of Forensic Sciences determined the 89-year-old is incapable of understanding the charges against him and of participating in his own defense. It’s up to a three-judge panel to decide if a trial set for July 23 goes forward. Defense lawyers requested the study by the autonomous government agency that provides expert opinions to the court system.Prosecutors say Rios Montt is responsible for the deaths of 1,771 Mayan Indians killed by the army between 1982 and 1983.He was convicted in 2013, but the country’s constitutional court overturned his 80-year sentence and ordered a new trial.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Check your body, save your life Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall FILE – In this May 10, 2013 file photo, Guatemala’s former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt wears headphones as he listens to the verdict in his genocide trial in Guatemala City. In an expert opinion dated July 1, 2015 and sent to the judge overseeing the first stage of Rios Montt’s case, the 89-year-old was determined by Guatemala’s National Institute of Forensic Sciences to be incapable of understanding the charges against him and of participating in his own defense. Prosecutors say Rios Montt is responsible for the deaths of almost 2,000 Mayan Indians, killed by the army between 1982 and 1983. (AP Photo/Moises Castilo, File)