Newest member of Virtuoso Maritime Travel

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Share Tags: Maritime Travel, Virtuoso Thursday, November 9, 2017 center_img HALIFAX — Maritime Travel, one of Canada’s largest independent travel agency chains with 116 locations nationwide, has joined the Virtuoso luxury travel network.Gary Gaudry, President, Maritime Travel Inc., says the agency’s membership in Virtuoso means Maritime Travel can now offer a host of rare travel experiences and exclusive values to its clients. Benefits from Virtuoso’s hotel program are worth up to US$450 per stay, he noted, allowing the agency to provide more value to their clients.“Less than 1% of travel agencies are admitted for membership in Virtuoso,” said Gaudry. “This renowned network of luxury travel specialists leverages its annual sales of more than $21.2 billion to negotiate special upgrades, amenities, values and experiences exclusively for the clients of its member agencies.“For the clients of Maritime Travel, this translates into complimentary room upgrades, airport transfers, special dining experiences, exclusive cruise shore excursions and custom itineraries, all offered by the world’s best providers of upscale travel. We are very proud to have been invited to join Virtuoso and to be able to offer these incredible perks to our clients.”More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaMaritime Travel’s membership in Virtuoso also gives its counsellors direct access to the world’s top hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines and tour operators, as well as expanded insider knowledge and insights into the industry’s trends and destinations, said Gaudry. These personal network connections will allow Maritime Travel to secure VIP treatment around the globe for its clients.Maritime Travel has been in business since 1949 and is Platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, and has been awarded as one of Canada’s Best Employers for 2017. Last week Maritime Travel announced it was joining the Radius Travel network.The by-invitation-only Virtuoso network has grown its membership in leaps and bounds in recent years, with agencies in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Newest member of Virtuoso: Maritime Travel << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Trump Slump Canadians are still going but US sees 4 drop overall

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_img WASHINGTON D.C. — Has the Trump slump that the travel industry warned about finally hit?The number of international visitors arriving in the United States declined nearly 4% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2016, according to data released Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Travel and Tourism Office in Washington.Many sectors of the travel industry have been warning that President Donald Trump’s anti-foreigner rhetoric and immigration policies would lead to a drop in tourism here.Fewer visitors came from nearly every region of the world, with declines in arrivals from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.The only region that sent more visitors in the first six months of 2017 compared with 2016 was Canada, up 5%.The overall drop was even higher in June alone than for the six-month period, with a 6.7 per cent decline in June 2017 compared with June 2016, the NTTO data showed.All told, some 33.8 million non-resident international travellers entered the U.S. between January and June of this year, a 3.9 per cent decline from the same period in 2016, the NTTO said.A few numbers stood out. The decline from the Middle East was substantial at nearly 30 per cent, January to June, year over year. Visitors from Mexico in June dropped 16 per cent compared with the previous June, and there was a 9.4 per cent decline in visitors from Mexico in the six-month period. Visitors from Western Europe were down just 1.8 per cent for the six months.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portal“The latest government travel data is deeply concerning not just to our industry, but to anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the United States,” Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, a non-profit representing the travel industry, said in a statement. “Travel is our country’s No. 2 export and supports more than 15 million American jobs. These numbers are an undeniable wake-up call, and correcting this troubling trend needs to become a national priority.”NYC & Company, the tourism marketing agency for New York, also expressed dismay over the data. NYC & Company predicts that New York will lose up to 100,000 international visitors this year, its first drop in overseas arrivals since 2009. “The data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office underscores the concerns we have had this year about the international tourism landscape in the U.S.,” said NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon. The city has launched several promotions around the world to try to counter what Dixon described as the country’s “vulnerability.”More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthOther possible factors in the decline include the strength of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, which makes it expensive for travellers to vacation here, and a series of mass shootings – including the October attack in Las Vegas that left 58 dead – that may lead some travellers to choose other destinations out of fear for their safety.Arrivals data takes about five months for the government to compile, so it’s hard to measure the impact of U.S. policies on tourism in real time. In addition, travellers tend to plan international trips well in advance, so their concerns about a destination may not show up in arrivals data until months later. Travel experts like Arthur Frommer of the Frommer’s guidebook company warned months ago that Trump’s rhetoric and policies would lead to a “Trump slump” in travel, but earlier in the year, the data was mixed, possibly reflecting trips that had been planned by travellers before Trump took office.The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Share Trump Slump? Canadians are still going, but U.S. sees 4% drop overall By: Beth J. HarpazSource: The Associated Press Thursday, November 30, 2017 Tags: America, Donald Trump, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Costa Rica plantation workers sue 3 banana companies over pesticide use

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgNo related posts. More than 1,000 banana plantation workers from Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama are suing Dow Chemical Co., Dole Food Co. and Fresh Del Monte Produce over alleged injuries from pesticide use, Bloomberg reported on Monday.The chemical dibromochloropropane (DBCP) was used until 1977 on banana plantations all over the world. It has been linked to a series of health problems, Bloomberg noted, including sterility, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer and kidney damage, among others. The Bloomberg report cited eight separate complaints filed since May 31 in a federal court in the U.S. state of Delaware.The pesticide, banned in the U.S. in 1979, was used to eliminate invasive worms, but workers wore no protective clothing and were not aware of the health risks, plaintiffs argue.Bloomberg noted that more than 16,000 Latin American workers have sued in U.S. courts over the chemical’s use in the past two decades, but judges dismissed most cases, saying that workers should sue in their home countries’ courts. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Resort near Jacó takes World Traveler Award for leading hotel in Mexico

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgNo related posts. Zephyr Palace, a five-star resort near Jacó on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, has won World Traveler’s leading hotel award for Mexico and Central America.World Traveler announced the award for the resort on July 20 in Lima, Peru. The sales manager for Zephyr Palace, Maria Villavicencio, told World Traveler that she was very happy to receive the award.“We have eight themed residences,” Villavicencio said. “These have special salons for events, but we’ve had a 20-year trajectory. I believe that the experience [and] the service … [are] the most important things.”The luxury resort’s suites cover themes from Asia to Africa to the New World. Nightly prices vary from $330 to $1,700. Events such as weddings cost around $7,500, according to the website.The hotel’s website boasts of a pool, bar service, yoga, fitness classes, wildlife and adventure tours, spa services and transportation to the beach.The World Traveler Awards has been around since 1993, branding its awards as the “Oscars” of the travel industry. The 2013 awards lauded the country of Peru and the city of Quito, Ecuador, as some of the leading destinations for travelers in Latin America. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Ecuadors President Rafael Correa calls the media his greatest enemy during Costa

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgDuring his brief stay in Costa Rica to attend the inauguration of President Luis Guillermo Solís, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador spoke to a packed auditorium at the University of Costa Rica in San José on the accomplishments of his government’s “citizen revolution.”Supporters waved small yellow, red and blue Ecuadorean flags in anticipation of Correa’s speech at the UCR. Outside the building, protesters mounted a demonstration decrying the administration’s perceived bullying tactics toward opposition parties and anti-gay comments made by the president.Correa trumpeted his government’s success reducing poverty, inequality and foreign debt in the oil-rich country while renegotiating contracts to improve the public collection of crude oil produced. Critics allege that his government has concentrated power, while cracking down on his political opponents and the free press.Correa, who won his third term in office in February 2013, has led Ecuador since 2007 through a leftist re-orientation of the country that he has called a “citizen revolution.” The president also popularized the term “buen vivir,” which roughly translates to “well-being” or “living well,” a broad collection of policies that put the well-being and dignity of people before fiscal or commercial concerns addressed in the country’s 2008 Constitution.“Development is a political problem,” Correa said. “Who controls the society? Multinational corporations or human beings?” he asked, referring to Ecuador’s difficult years in the 1990s and 2000s when it had mountains of foreign debt and orthodox fiscal policy sapped funding from education and other public services.“Today, the Ecuadorean people are in control,” he asserted.In August 2013, Ecuador discarded a plan to protect the Yasuni national park in the Amazon rainforest from oil exploration. The decision came after a conservation plan to solicit foreign donations for park preservation failed to generate significant funds. Correa plans to go through with the oil exploration in the park.Protesters outside chanting, blowing horns and whistles could be heard through the walls of the auditorium, calling the president a “fascist.”Demonstrators criticized Correa’s stance against gay marriage. When asked about the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual persons, Correa said, “There is no government [in Ecuador] that has done more for LGBT people,” listing the Communications Law outlawing discriminatory depictions of gay characters and the recognition of civil unions in the 2008 Constitution.“But when they start to talk about gay marriage and the Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman, I don’t have to do anything!” he snapped.During President Solís’ inauguration Thursday morning, a small group of demonstrators gathered outside the National Stadium to protest the attendance of leftist heads-of-state Correa and President Evo Morales of Bolivia, as well as Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza, citing the recent political unrest in Venezuela.Correa has had a testy relationship with the United States, which announced Thursday that it would end anti-drug funding to the Ecuador.When asked what challenges his vision for Ecuador still faced, Correa trotted out his favorite whipping boy: The press.“The media is the greatest enemy” my government faces, he said, “Since they invented freedom of the press, freedom of the press has been the will of those who own the press,” Correa said to applause.AFP contributed to this report Facebook Comments Related posts:Unprecedented oil drilling by Ecuador brings new tensions to country’s Amazon lowlands Pope urges better care for the Amazon, political dialogue in Ecuador World Bank court orders Ecuador to pay $1.8 billion to US oil firm Oxy Mexico to spend $23 billion to cut greenhouse gaseslast_img read more


Virus is solo performance at its finest

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:‘Shark Smile’ illuminates stage and sea Christmas-themed theater warms hearts this month National Museum presents theatrical excerpts by Ana Istarú Film premiere, swing dancing, and other happenings around Costa Rica When people get seriously ill, they rarely suffer alone. Whether it’s cancer or HIV, depression or STDs, their trauma sends ripples of emotion through family and friendships, having an impact on those they meet. This point is simple but powerful, and such an intense social theme is perhaps the last thing you would expect from a one-woman show.“Virus,” now playing at the Vargas Calvo Theater in San José, is a startling feat, not only because Ana Istarú wrote the script and performs the entire play herself, but also because she explores illness – specifically, human papillomavirus – through so many different voices and personas. She plays the central character, Melissa, at several different ages, from rebellious adolescent to remorseful mother. She plays Melissa’s mother, her physician, her motorcyclist boyfriend, and a handful of other folks, making each character vocally and (harder still) physically distinct.There are many ways to perform a solo show, the most common being a first-person monologue that tells an entire story. Surely the most difficult approach is the one Istarú has chosen: a one-person ensemble piece that requires the actor to perform entire scenes of interactive dialogue without assistance. Istarú changes voices as easily as one would flip a light switch. She uses simple costumes and a nondescript bench to build entire environments. By the time a scene ends, we feel rooted in a place – an examining room, a living room – and are winded by the interchange. In “Virus,” playwright and performer Istarú plays a wide range of characters, both male and female. Courtesy Teatro NacionalOn paper, Ana Istarú looks like a creative virtuoso: She has authored numerous books of poetry, some of them controversially erotic, and she has performed widely. Among local cinephiles, Istarú is most recognizable as co-writer of Esteban Ramírez’s “Caribe.” Her CV describes the ultimate Renaissance Tica. Watching Istarú onstage, however, provides much better evidence of her skills. To witness the final scenes is to let a tidal wave wash over you: Istarú’s performance is so unexpectedly powerful, you can only let her current carry you until she lets you up for air.A superlative show requires a competent team, of course, and Istarú wisely collaborated with director Manuel Manolo Ruiz to help her block and refine her performance. “Virus” employs simple technical support, from Eloy Mora’s multimedia to Ruiz’s own sound design, to distinguish one scene from the next. The Vargas Calvo is a very confined performance space, but Istarú and her cohort transform it into an entire world.One caveat: Istarú performs the show in Spanish, and there is no mercy for the remedial speaker. Many of her characters speak in youthful slang, and the dialogue can be very hard to follow. Some of her vignettes are so short and punchy that even fluent Spanish speakers may struggle to keep up. Istarú’s narrative does leave a few questions unanswered. But if you try, your focus will be rewarded. The closing monologue should devastate you, no matter what your language skills, and with any luck, Istarú’s show will go viral.“Virus” continues through Aug. 31 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, Plaza de la Cultura, downtown San José. Info: www.teatronacional.go.cr. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Costa Rican food producers look for new buyers at international fairs

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica launches catalog of premium food products Ticos abroad: Which Costa Rican products do you miss the most? Costa Rica exports down 15 percent in 2015, mostly thanks to Intel exit Costa Rican exporters look to increase sales at international fair Costa Rican food producers are promoting their goods at two international fairs this week in hopes of finding new markets and buyers.Ten Costa Rican agricultural companies exhibited their products over the weekend to 20,000 buyers from 60 countries at the 2014 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit, in Anaheim, California, according to Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER).The PMA fair is the biggest exhibit of agricultural products in the U.S. and promotes networking between suppliers and buyers across the globe, PROCOMER Regional Exports Director Javier Castillo said.PROCOMER said each Costa Rican company would have the opportunity to link up with approximately 30 international buyers.Ten other food companies this week are offering products at the Global Food Marketplace in Paris, an event that brings together 6,300 exhibitors from 105 countries and is expected to draw 150,000 visitors through Thursday.In preparation for both fairs, PROCOMER held workshops for local companies on negotiation techniques and price structuring.The agency also will help prepare another group of food producers for New York Produce 2014, a December fair that focuses on the fresh produce industry.Costa Rica’s agricultural sector last year exported $2.4 billion, mostly to the U.S. – the main destination for Tico produce. Just under half of all agricultural exports go to the U.S., according  to PROCOMER. Those include bananas, pineapples, coffee, ornamental plants, yucca and melon, among others. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Beach races ballet and other happenings around Costa Rica

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:Palmares festival, Allende play, and other happenings around Costa Rica All-day yoga, a chocolate concert, and other happenings around Costa Rica BMX bikers, TEDx lectors, and other happenings around Costa Rica A tattoo convention, Russian ballet and other happenings around Costa Rica Xterra Costa RicaOne of the most hotly anticipated athletic events of the year, Xterra Costa Rica includes both a scenic trail race and epic triathlon. Both events take place along Guanacaste’s spectacular coastline, in and around the sun-bleached crescent of Playa Conchal.XTerra takes place March 28 & 29 in Playa Conchal, Guanacaste. Info: Official website.Middle Eastern Dance and Music WorkshopLearn the art of belly dancing and/or Arab percussion in this one-of-a-kind workshop.Workshop takes place March 28 & 29 at Academia Ámar, Paseo Colón. 10 a.m. $50-180. Info: Ámar Facebook page.Theater: “The Anonymous”Benny Herrera directs this provocative ensemble work about sexuality and alienation, produced by Círculo Onírico.“Los Anónimos” performs March 27-29 at Casa Teatro, Barrio Amón. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. 3,500 ($7). Info: Company Facebook page.Music: Pablo Senabria and Cocoa RedThe soloist-singer-songwriter performs his relationship-driven oeuvre in Tres Rios, sharing the stage with Cocoa Red.Concert takes place at Casa de la Cultura, Tres Rios. 9 p.m. 3,000 ($6).Dance: 30th Anniversary of Estudio Danza LibreThe acclaimed dance studio presents a ballet recital at the Melico Salazar Theater. Celebrate 30 years of dance with the studio’s students.Recital takes place March 27-28 at Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. Fri.-Sun., 7 p.m. 1,000-8,000 ($2-16). Theater: “The Kings’ Dream”A collaborative production between Costa Rican and Chilean artists, “El Sueño de unos Reyes” explores the concepts of nationhood and identity through movement and multimedia.“El Sueño de unos Reyes” performs March 27 at Antigua Aduana, Aranjuez, San José. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡2,500-5,000 ($5-10). Info: RedCultura.Art: “Superheroes and their Fictional Cities”If you were always as intrigued by Metropolis and Central City as you were by Superman and The Flash, this new exhibit by Carlos Llobet Montealegre is sure to fascinate.“Superhéroes y Sus Ficciones Urbanas” displays through May 16 at TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website.Theater: “La Bruta Espera”Three short, darkish comedies by Argentinean dramatist Julio Chávez are performed at the Vargas Calvo black box theater, courtesy of the National Theater. The talented actresses Tatiana y María Chaves won a national award last year for the performance.“La Bruta Espera” continues through April 26 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡2,500-5,500. Info: National Theater website.Art: “Microcosmos”Experimental paintings by Rolando Faba make their debut at the José Luis López Escarré Gallery.“Microcosmos” continues through May 8 at The National Theater, downtown San José. Free. Info: National Theater website.Theater: “Blood Wedding”The classic Lorca tragedy plays at Teatro Espressivo.“Bodas de Sangre” is performed through March 29 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Fri. & Sat., 6 p.m. ₡7,500-10,000 ($15-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Art: Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance GeniusClassical German printer Albrecht Dürer receives a stunning retrospective at the Central Bank Museums.“Alberto Durero: Genio del Renacimiento” is on display through April 26 at the Central Bank Museums, downtown San José. Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museum website.Art: Painting and Photography in San RamónCatch two different exhibits this Saturday in San Ramón: “Transformación,” a series of paintings by artist Jorge Luis Capezas, and “Liquors Were Your Origin, Culture is Your Destiny,” a collection of antique photos.Opening Feb. 21, 4 p.m. Both exhibits will be displayed through March 21 at the José Figueres Cultural Center, San Ramón, Alajuela. Info: Cultural Center website.Theater: “I’m Not Going to Carry This Corpse”Teatro Arlequín presents a deadly new comedy of errors, written by Luis Daell Barth.“Este Muerto no lo Cargo Yo” continues through March 22 at Teatro Arlequín, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Theater Facebook page.Art: “Ricardo Ávila: Urban Observer”See city life in a whole new way through Ricardo Ávila’s unique landscapes.“Ricardo Ávila: Observador Urbano” continues through March 29 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana. Wed.-Sun., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website.Anime ExhibitTo celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations with Costa Rica, the Japanese embassy presents an exhibit on Japanese cartoon art at the National Gallery.“Japan: Kingdom of Characters” continues through March 29 at the National Gallery, former penitentiary, downtown San José. Mon.-Friday, 8 a.m. –4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Let Osa grow green Balancing conservation empowerment and entrepreneurship

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRead more “Doing Business columns” here. Randall Trejos works as a business developer, helping startups and medium-sized companies grow. He’s the co-director of the Founder Institute in Costa Rica and a strategy consultant at Grupo Impulso. You can follow his blog La Catapulta or contact him through LinkedIn. Stay tuned for the next edition of “Doing Business,” published twice-monthly. Facebook Comments See also: Innovation is the new black – 3 pitfalls for businesses to avoidAlthough we arrive more than fashionably late, Mario Torres welcomes us to his finca with the warmth you can only find when you’re far enough from a city. Seven years ago, Mario moved to the Osa Peninsula from the province of Limón with high hopes for a new start, but while the Southern Zone region is one of the most beautiful natural destinations in Costa Rica, times have been tough.Efforts to preserve this natural wonder span 40 years, since Corcovado National Park was created in 1975. However, protecting nature, while a noble cause, cannot be done without taking into account the people who live off the land. Just as in any ecosystem, when you remove one piece (in this case, the right to exploit the resources), the whole system is thrown off balance. The recent Osa Trails graduation. Courtesy Fabiola Kano“I remember when they told us we had to leave,” says Eida Fletes, remembering the moment in 1976 when several families had to be relocated due to the creation of the National Park. “My father was a hunter, and between the meat he brought home and what we could grow in the field, we made our livelihood, but now it was forbidden.”This would be the beginning of decades of tension between the goal of preserving nature, and locals’ need to earn a living. While it was now illegal, many would choose to survive by doing the things they had done all their lives: hunt, mine for gold, cut down trees.“It is not that we don’t care for the environment. It’s just that this is how we have always earned a living,” says Johnny Rodríguez, a former hunter.In case you haven’t heard, the Osa Peninsula is considered the most biologically intense place on earth. According to data from the National Conservation System (SINAC), Corcovado National Park received 48,000 visitors last year alone. This affluence, however, has not necessarily benefited local communities. Due in part to the remoteness of the place and in part to the lack of infrastructure, most tourists stay at one of the medium-sized hotels, leaving only to go to the park. They thereby miss out on the cultural component of the region and deprive the locals of an environmentally friendly source of income.Recommended: Crocodile Bay Marina: Osa destroyer or Golfo Dulce dream?Enter rural tourism. Increasing in popularity across the globe, rural tourism allows visitors to experience the lifestyle, culture and cuisine of local people, enabling those residents to benefit from tourism without having to make huge investments. Although this type of tourist knows he’s not headed to a resort and spa, it is always a challenge to make the expectations of both parties meet, and create a rewarding experience for all.This managing of expectations and experience design is where a project called Osa Trails, or Caminos de Osa, has done its magic. An initiative of several public and private organizations including the Costa Rica U.S.A. Foundation for Development (CRUSA), Stanford University’s Osa-Golfito Initiative (INOGO), Responsible Business for All (RBA) and SINAC, Caminos de Osa is betting on collaboration to pull off a feat no one else has yet accomplished: the delicate balancing act of natural conservation, community empowerment and economic development. Through its bottom-up approach, the program trains local entrepreneurs, supports them through mentorship, connects them with tour operators and helps them organize themselves to strengthen their bonds as a way to make their micro-business grow.The support and the sense of community that Osa Trails has generated are what inspired Mario to completely renovate his property. With his own hands, he has turned his former home into a guesthouse with three rooms, built a small butterfly farm, and created an hour-long hiking path complete with signs. The scene is breathtaking; you can see Corcovado from Mario’s backyard.Of course, a project as ambitious as Osa Trails could only come to life by bringing many actors together. Tour operators train the entrepreneurs in customer service, basic amenities and signage; students from Universidad Veritas help them design their menus and the layout of their cabins; seasoned entrepreneurs mentor them, and staff members from RBA hold workshops on personal growth, teamwork and leadership. Mario looks out at Corcovado. Randall Trejos/The Tico Times“The students helped me with the decoration of the cabinas, and now I’m even learning English to communicate better with tourists,” says Marylin Calderón, who owns and manages Cabinas Lapamar, a three-cabin hostel in Playa Blanca, along with her dad.“We had closed the place down, but we recently reopened and are already seeing the difference,” Marylin adds, while her father cuts the lawn with a lawn mower that looks straight out of a museum. “When we are full, I send the tourists to my neighbor, and she does the same for us.”More than just sparking entrepreneurship and community bonds, Osa Trails is sparking hope. In their recent graduation, 23 local entrepreneurs were recognized for finishing the yearlong program. The group ranged from the owners of small family restaurants, or sodas, to a former gold prospector turned tour guide. At the ceremony, they were recognized and praised for their efforts by the many attendees, including Costa Rican Vice President Ana Helena Chacón. Emotions were high and some of the graduates were even in tears; this was the most anyone had cared about their well-being in a long time.The last thing we did before leaving was visit Mario’s place. The guesthouse is a little rough around the edges and the trails lack security handrails you might find at a National Park, but it doesn’t matter; you’ll never walk through that forest without him. This is what the experience is all about. As you explore one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world, you are connecting with him at a very personal level; he tells you his story with no scripts, and with a humility that disarms you.You let go of the fact that the mosquito nets don’t match and that the term “fully-equipped kitchen” has a broad definition at Mario’s. You let it go because you know all of this is the product of his effort, his hard work and his hope, and somehow you are now part of it. You let it go because the house, the trail, the butterfly farm, humble as they are, show the glow of something that has been made with heart.For more information about any of the Osa Trails entrepreneurs, visit the project website or write info@grupo-RBA.com.center_img Related posts:Wonkblog: What the new U.S.-Cuba travel rules mean for US citizens hoping to visit Cuba Madrid goalie Keylor Navas named Costa Rica tourism ambassador Ecuador tourism stunt featuring Costa Rica sparks international row Costa Rica is the most expensive destination in Central America, says WEFlast_img read more


Our Costa Rica insiders reveal their favorite hidden gems

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:What should I pack on my trip to Costa Rica? Next Tico Times print edition to focus on Central Pacific A hidden gem on the Central Pacific: Boca Barranca The Tico Times’ March print edition: Puerto Viejo, safe travels and more Facebook Comments For our 2017-2018 High Season Print Edition, we brought together a group of long-time Costa Rican residents – and our favorite urban tourism guru – to discuss their tips for a successful visit to Costa Rica during its busiest time of year. This week, we’re presenting more of their do’s, don’ts and secrets. To download our full print edition, pick up a copy, or learn more about distributing or advertising in The Tico Times, click here.Scroll down to the end to read more about our panelists.TT: What’s your favorite underrated or hidden gem in Costa Rica – that you’re willing to share, of course?Ellen Zoe Golden: I absolutely love Tortuguero. The lack of cars, the lodges, the boat trips through the canals. And the deals are great because most of the lodges include the town tour and food in their packages, along with all transportation from San Jose.Roberto Guzmán: It’s difficult to pick one. A terrific hidden gem is the Mercado Borbón. Authentic, sketchy and full of surprises. If you visit Borbón Market you must visit “Dragon Music” (vinyls, cassettes, magazines and more). 3) Food and Drink: “Coconut” (delicious small Hong-Kong homemade style food), “Pop-Pop” (impossible to define, located in the less fancy area of San José, place to hang out, have a beer and meet interesting people on weekends events), “La Bohemia” (old fashion cantina/pub, established in 1936), “Bar Víquez”(neighborhood bar, great for “bocas”/tapas). Mercado Courtesy of Roberto GuzmánKristel Segeren: A stay in a tree house! The idea of having a secret house high up in the canopy is simply very enchanting and attractive. Luckily, in Costa Rica there are ample opportunities to release your inner child and find your perfect fairy tale-like hideout at various exotic places, both on the Pacific and Caribbean side.Of all the tree houses I’ve been in Costa Rica, “The Amazing Treehouse and Nature Observatorio” in Manzanillo was my favorite by far, because of its location. It’s a creative masterpiece hanging in the jungle, without harming the tree since the cabin is suspended on nylon straps that are tied around the branches. Not a single nail has been used, not a single branch cut to create the cabin.It takes a small hike to get there, but once you climb the rope (yes, climb, but that’s actually easier than it sounds!) you really become part of your natural surroundings. Since the cabin is so high up in the canopy, the monkeys and birds are literally swinging and singing next to you. Don’t expect a regular sleepover, but rather a magnificent experience.Marshall Cobb: The Centro for Educacíón Creativa/Cloud Forest School sits most of the way up a steep hill in Cerro Plano, Monteverde. Across from the main gate to the school, in a thick expanse of woods, sits a giant strangler fig tree. I do not know who owns this property. I do not advise anyone to do anything they shouldn’t, but I can say that locals and tourists who are clued-in can climb far, far up within this tree. The fool-hardy can take this a step further and continue their climb on the outside of the ficus (which is what a strangler fig is called here) once they reach the top of the hollowed-out trunk. Courtesy of Marshall CobbThere are several different swimming holes in and around the area. One sits within a private property with a system of walking trails just past the University of Georgia facility in San Luis. Another sits further down the river along the main road in San Luis. A final, my favorite, can be accessed down the mountain in Guacimal; ask the food folks at the Center for Sustainability for directions/access.  All are wonderful, and all but the first are free.Pip Kelly: Although it’s becoming very popular, I still believe Río Celeste in the Volcano Tenorio National park is an incredible gem. A blissful day at Costa Rica’s Río Celeste. Andrés MadrigalAlso, please support the local indigenous groups in Costa Rica who are engaged in rural community tourism. The Maleku in Northern Costa Rica run cultural tours where you can learn about traditional beliefs and sample delicious local cooking.Todd Staley: Sunrises over the Golfo Dulce. You must be on the beach before 5 am to enjoy one.Meet our panelists:Marshall Cobb (Monteverde) moved to the area in 2015.  He recently published his first novel, Will of The Hill, and is busily working on two other novels. He takes breaks by posting blogs on his website and can be reached at marshall@marshall-cobb.com.Ellen Zoe Golden (Tamarindo) is a retired entertainment business publicist living the simple life as a travel agent bringing people down to my adopted country. In my free time, she reads, writes, does yoga and surfs. Read more from here at ticotimes.net.  Roberto Guzmán (San José) is the co-founder of ChepeCletas, interested in urban life and urban dynamics, with experience in tourism, pedestrian life, good food and good conversations.Todd Staley (Puerto Jiménez) has managed sportfishing operations in Costa Rica for 25 years. He was co-recipient of the International Game Fish Association’s Chester H. Wolfe Award in 2015 for his conservation efforts in Costa Rica. Todd now works full-time as director of communications for FECOP, a sport fishing advocacy federation. Learn more here or read more Tico Times content from Todd here.Pip Kelly (Bijagua) is from Australia and recently became a Costa Rican citizen. She owns and operates Casitas Tenorio B&B in the village of Bijagua with her Costa Rican husband, Donald Varela Soto. They believe that tourism can benefit local rural communities if done in a sustainable way.Kristel Segeren (Cahuita) writes about her (and her dog’s) adventures in the tropics and beyond at The Tiny Travelogue, Facebook or Instagram. last_img read more


Pic of the Day The golden hour in Puerto Viejo

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgThis 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 Rough edges and rich culture: Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive Related posts:Gardeners of the forest: The tapir in Costa Rica Covering Santa Teresa Pic of the Day: Punta Uva Tico Times Pic of the Day: Corcovado National Park from abovecenter_img Click on the image above for a full-size view. Because of Costa Rica’s 800 miles of coastline, many communities throughout the country were shaped by the sea.Among them is Puerto Viejo, which The Tico Times editorial team visited recently as part of our “Deep Dive” series.During a Deep Dive, The Tico Times highlights a region’s top attractions, but we also focus on issues locals feel have been underreported.Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive stories (so far): Off the eaten path: Lidia’s PlaceDeveloping safety: The dangers and benefits of road modernization Beginners beware: Surfing Puerto Viejo’s fast waves A town divided: Necessary development or whitewashing for tourist dollars Purging plastic: Costa Rica libre de plasticolast_img read more


At Costa Ricas request Guaidóappointed ambassador temporarily leaves embassy

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:Presidents of Argentina, Uruguay to meet regarding Venezuela crisis Guaidó-appointed ambassador takes possession of Venezuelan embassy in Costa Rica Costa Rica again voices support for new elections, peaceful transition in Venezuela Contact Group pushes for progress on Venezuela impasse Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of State provides a good summary of international relations between an embassy and its host country. It has been lightly modified below:An embassy is the headquarters for Government representatives serving in a foreign country.While the host government is responsible for the security of diplomats and the area around an embassy, the embassy itself belongs to the country it represents. Representatives of the host country cannot enter an embassy without permission — even to put out a fire — and an attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents.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 Guaidó-appointed ambassador takes possession of Venezuelan embassy in Costa Ricacenter_img María Faría, appointed ambassador to Costa Rica by Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, left the embassy Thursday at the request of the Costa Rican government, the Foreign Ministry announced.Faría had taken possession of the embassy on Wednesday.“Faría pledged to abandon today the Embassy’s headquarters, along with her advisors, in compliance with an express request made by Foreign Minister Manuel E. Ventura,” read a statement from the Foreign Ministry published after a meeting between the two.During the conversation with Ventura, “Faría apologized to the president of the republic, Carlos Alvarado, and to the people of Costa Rica” for having taken possession of the premises without waiting for the expiration of the “diplomatic term of 60 days given by Costa Rica to the government officials of Nicolás Maduro to leave the country. ”Faría had entered the diplomatic headquarters on Wednesday morning. Approximately 100 opponents of the Venezuelan government had gathered in front of the premises and prevented access to the three representatives of the Maduro government who are still in office in Costa Rican territory.Costa Rica is among some 50 other countries that recognize the authority of Juan Guaidó.Last week, President Alvarado accepted the credentials presented by Faría but granted Maduro’s representatives 60 calendar days — or until April 15 — to leave the country.last_img read more


SKorea Japan must educate people on colonial past

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_imgAssociated PressNEW YORK (AP) – South Korea’s foreign minister said Thursday that Japan’s wartime past will overshadow relations between the two staunch U.S. allies until Japan educates its people about crimes committed during colonial rule.In an interview with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said: “We are victims of Japanese colonial rule.” Sponsored Stories Kim, speaking a few hours before “serious” talks with Japan’s foreign minister, also said South Korea would not compromise in its dispute over the tiny Dokdo islands, called Takeshima by Japan, which has further strained ties.“When the Japanese government claims Dokdo is their territory, Korean people (take) it as another attempt to invade our country,” Kim said. “So that’s the Korean sentiment and I hope that the Japanese government understands this.”But he said South Korea recognizes its shared interests with fellow-democracy Japan, such as coping with North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. Both Japan and South Korea play host to tens of thousands of U.S. troops.Kim said Seoul wants to expand relations with Japan, including in military cooperation, but only if South Korean public sentiment allows it. In June, they put on hold an intelligence sharing pact after it provoked an outcry in South Korea.“We have to try to overcome these differences. It’s up to the Japanese attitude. While they maintain their attitude … there should be some limit on the scope of cooperation,” he said.Japan occupied the Korean peninsula for 35 years until the defeat of fascist forces in World War II and also occupied much of China. Japan issued a formal apology in 1993 over its use of Korean women as sex slaves by its soldiers during the war, but has failed to convince South Korea it is truly contrite. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Kim and Japan’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba discussed the island dispute and historical issues including “comfort women,” in their 30-minute meeting Thursday, said Japanese ministry spokeswoman Naoko Saiki. She would not disclose the substance of the exchanges but characterized them as “serious.”Saiki said they also discussed North Korea, and that despite the current difficulties between Japan and South Korea, the ministers agreed they have to cooperate and strive for “stable, forward-looking relations.”In the interview, Kim said that South Korea remains open to better relations with North Korea, and that it was disappointed when its offer earlier this month to provide flood relief to North Korea was rebuffed as inadequate by Pyongyang.He also said that since North Korea’s failed attempt in April to launch a satellite, “Trust has regressed.” The unsuccessful launch was deemed by the U.S. to have military implications and to violate prior agreement by North Korea to suspend ballistic missile testing.In spite of North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, setting a somewhat more modern and open style, there has been no practical improvement in relations with South Korea or the United States with Pyongyang. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   The United States, China and South Korea are all going through elections or leadership changes late this year, Kim noted, suggesting that any significant resumption of diplomatic activity with North Korea may have to wait.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How do cataracts affect your vision? Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Kim accused Japanese politicians of denying war crimes and said Japan’s failure to educate its people properly about the past was the root cause of its various territorial disputes over islands in the region _ including with Russia and Asia’s premier power, China.“It’s in sharp contrast with what Germany did to get the support and respect from the neighboring countries” after World War II, Kim said. “If Japan does it, I’m sure they can (get) respect from neighboring countries.”The dispute escalated last month when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made an unprecedented visit to Dokdo, which drew unusually stern criticism from Japan. South Korea has rejected a Japanese proposal for the dispute to be settled in the International Court of Justice.On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stuck by Japan’s stance on the islands, but said it did not want it to adversely affect relations with South Korea.The issue stirs particularly strong nationalist passions among Koreans, as Japan’s takeover of Dokdo in 1905 presaged its annexation of Korea five years later. South Korea took the islands back in the early 1950s and deploys police there. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more


Editor Venezuela government trying to silence us

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The head of one Venezuela’s last two nationally circulating opposition newspapers accused the leftist government on Monday of trying to intimidate and silence it.Miguel Henrique Otero, editor and publisher of El Nacional, was responding to a weekend announcement by Venezuela’s chief prosecutor asking to have his bank accounts frozen.“It is a brazen act” to call for “such a measure against someone via Twitter without me even knowing what I’m accused of,” Otero told The Associated Press by phone. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz used her official Twitter account Saturday to request that Otero’s bank accounts be frozen. Her office issued a press release saying the action was related to a lawsuit by a former Caracas mayor who claims Otero owes him $3.5 million.The former mayor, Alfredo Pena, fled Venezuela a decade ago and his whereabouts are unknown. The release said Ortega wanted to determine how Pena obtained the money and why Otero owed such a sum.Asked whether freezing his bank accounts could affect El Nacional, Otero said, “I don’t think so, but I haven’t seen the court papers.” His lawyers also hadn’t seen the documents, he said.That is not unusual in today’s Venezuela, whose government is accused by international human rights groups of employing a pliant judiciary as a tool of political repression since the late President Hugo Chavez gained firm control of all state institutions.Otero said he considered Ortega’s action an attempt to “silence, intimidate (and) discredit” the newspaper.“They have a policy of besieging, buying up and threatening news media,” he said. “This is clearly part of that process.” How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Pro-government broadcasters now dominate Venezuela’s airwaves, mostly drowning out dissenting voices.Speeches by opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who claims fraud cost him a surprisingly tight April 14 presidential election, are no longer broadcast live by Globovision. So Capriles has taken to broadcasting weekly appearances on the Internet.Flores expects the opposition to increasingly publish online. “The problem is that Internet bandwidth in Venezuela is so poor that streaming video freezes up,” she said.Chavez, who died March 5 after a long battle with cancer, had accused El Nacional of being among news organizations that backed the failed 2002 attempt to overthrow him.___Associated Press writer Fabiola Sanchez reported this story in Caracas and Frank Bajak reported from Lima, Peru.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Patients with chronic pain give advice Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober One of Otero’s lawyers, Juan Garanton, said it was highly unusual for the chief prosecutor’s office to get involved in a private affair between two individuals. He also said the alleged debt doesn’t exist and can’t be confirmed by Pena because the former mayor long ago left the country.The AP sought comment from the chief prosecutor’s press office but was told by a spokesman that he had nothing to add. The spokesman would not identify himself. The AP also sought comment from the communications minister, who did immediately respond to an email request.Maria Fernanda Flores, former general manager of Globovision TV, called Ortega’s action part of a campaign to silence all media critical of President Nicolas Maduro’s government.“Out of panic, out of fear, it’s meant to oblige censorship and self-censorship,” said Flores, whose April resignation from the last remaining opposition TV station was a condition of its sale to businessmen friendly with the government.Globovision’s previous owners were repeatedly sanctioned by the Conatel telecommunications agency, which fined it millions of dollars for purported transgressions such as tax filing errors and running allegedly incendiary reports on a 2011 prison riot. The former owners said they simply could no longer afford to continue broadcasting.last_img read more


ACT to expand testing by computer

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Weeks said online testing could open the door for ACT to offer more modular testing, so that a student doesn’t have to take every subject on the same day.“The best preparation for the ACT has been and continues to be taking rigorous core course,” Weeks said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re testing online or not.”_____Online: http://www.act.org/_____Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter: http://twitter.com/kheflingCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 0 Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too A computer-based practice ACT English test is displayed on a computer monitor Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in Washington. The ACT is announcing May 8, 2015, that computer-based testing of the ACT would be available next year in the states and districts that require students to take the ACT during the school day. About 1 million students could be affected. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Sponsored Stories But don’t throw away those pencils yet.Participating schools provide the computers for testing, and ACT officials say it’s too early to predict how many schools will be ready next year to offer the online testing. Even where computer-based testing is available, ACT officials said the traditional paper test will still be an option.The announcement follows a two-year pilot project that allowed about 10,000 high school students to take the college-placement exam by computer, laptop or tablet.The ACT said it’s not making computer-based testing available on its traditional Saturday morning test dates largely because of the number of computers needed.Paul Weeks, senior vice president for client relations at ACT, said the Iowa City, Iowa-based company is making the transition to online testing “thoughtfully and gradually,” so that all stakeholders can be assured that test scores on the computerized version are comparable to the paper version, which has been offered since 1959.What won’t change? The familiar 36-point scale and the amount of time it takes for students to find out their scores, which is usually between two weeks and two months.“There is no difference between the tests except that it’s online and that was really important to us,” said Kaitlynn Griffith, ACT’s program director. The move to online testing is a reflection of the evolving ways students learn in classrooms and the ease at which they use computers. ACT is far from alone in making the transition to computer-based testing.Next year, the College Board has said it will roll out the new version of the competing SAT college entrance exam and make computer-based testing an option. The SAT was once the dominant college admissions exam, but it was overtaken in popularity in 2012 by the ACT.Computer-based testing, including standardized tests based on the Common Core standards, has led schools to upgrade Internet connectivity, make devices such as laptops or tablets available, and teach more keyboarding.It also brings up new questions in test administration, such as in the area of cheating. While moving to online testing eliminates the ability to erase and change answers by educators, there are new issues such as the need to prevent test takers from taking screen grabs of test questions to share with others.Weeks said the company has been grappling with these issues as it makes the transition. ACT suggests that students take a practice test on computer before taking an online test, and encourages schools that will offer the tests to go through a test preparation checklist. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — ACT test takers take note: The No. 2 pencil is losing its cachet. Greater numbers of high school students will be able to take the college entrance exam on a computer next year.The ACT announced Friday that computer-based testing will be available next year in the 18 states and additional districts that require students, typically juniors, to take the ACT during the school day. About 1 million students could be affected.last_img read more


Kerry heads to Russia in first visit since Ukraine crisis

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_img Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry departed Monday for Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, on his first visit to the country since relations between Washington and Moscow plummeted to post-Cold War lows amid disagreements over Ukraine and Syria.The State Department said Kerry would meet Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. But in a sign of the considerable strains, the Kremlin said Putin’s attendance had yet to be confirmed and the Russian Foreign Ministry previewed the talks by blaming Washington for the breakdown in relations. White House spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged the “complicated” relationship between the former foes, but insisted they could cooperate on “interests that benefit the citizens of both our countries.”Much hinges on violence decreasing in Ukraine, however.The Western-backed government in Kiev continues to be embroiled in a sporadic conflict between government and separatist rebel forces in its eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk despite a cease-fire agreement sealed in mid-February. Russia was party to that deal.Western nations say Russia supports the separatists with arms and manpower, and even directs some battlefield operations — all claims Moscow denies. In return, the Russians bristle at Washington’s provisions to Ukraine of military assistance in the form of hardware and training.In late April, troops from the United States and Ukraine kicked off joint training exercises intended to help bolster Ukraine’s defenses. The exercises, dubbed “Fearless Guardian-2015,” sparked outrage from Russia, which described them as a potential cause of destabilization.During a visit to Moscow on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russia to use its influence to persuade separatists in Ukraine to abide by the oft-violated cease-fire. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ukraine says more than 8,000 people have died in the conflict that began in April 2014.Russia has stuck firmly to the line that the Ukrainian government retains the bulk of responsibility for bringing about a settlement.“We will use all the influence we have on the leadership in Donetsk and Luhansk to ensure the process proceeds at the required pace and attains the necessary level,” Putin told Merkel on Sunday.Diplomats in Moscow and Washington are at odds over a range of other issues.Russia last month announced it would lift a five-year ban on delivery of the S-300 air defense missile system to Iran, drawing a hasty rebuke from the United States.The White House said the missile system would give the Islamic republic’s military a strong deterrent against any air attack. The Kremlin argues that the S-300 is a purely defensive system that will not jeopardize the security of Israel or any other countries in the Middle East.On Syria, Russia has defied a chorus of international condemnation to remain fast to the embattled government of President Bashar Assad.Following his stop in Sochi, Kerry will travel on to Antalya, Turkey, where he will attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday. Kerry will return to Washington that same day to attend meetings between Obama and top officials of the Gulf Arab states, who are concerned by the possibility of a nuclear deal with Iran. Quick workouts for men The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ___Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “The Obama administration chose the path of scaling back bilateral relations, proclaimed a course of isolating Russia on the international arena and demanded that those states that traditionally follow the lead of Washington support its confrontational steps,” it said in a statement.Ukraine’s crisis, it said, “was largely provoked by the United States itself.”The rhetoric hardly augured well for a breakthrough on any of the many issues dividing the U.S. and Russia. Nevertheless, both sides stressed the importance of trying to work through some of the rancor that buried President Barack Obama’s first-term effort to “reset” ties with Moscow.“This just was a time that made sense,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said of Kerry’s scheduled meeting with Putin. She said talks would cover the civil wars in Ukraine and Syria, and ongoing nuclear negotiations between world powers and Iran.The short trip to Sochi will be only Kerry’s second to Russia since taking office. He visited Moscow in May 2013, meeting with Putin and Lavrov before the Ukraine crisis erupted and Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more


Heavy Saudiled airstrikes target Shiite rebels in Yemen

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breachescenter_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition on Friday launched heavy airstrikes against Shiite rebels in Yemen, targeting camps and weapons depots in the rebel-held capital, as a U.N. agency said some 234 children were killed in violence over the past two months.Residents of Sanaa awoke to the sound of explosions early Friday morning as warplanes targeted weapons caches in Noqum mountain, sending up bursts of flames and columns of smoke. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Airstrikes also targeted the rebels, known as Houthis, in their northern home base of Saada province. Witnesses described seeing Apache helicopters flying overhead that appeared to be targeting rebel vehicles.The Houthis have occasionally carried out cross-border attacks from Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia. Yahia al-Qahtani, the spokesman for the Saudi civil defense authority in the southern Saudi border region of Jizan, said on Friday that a child was killed and three other children wounded when missiles from inside Yemen struck their village a day earlier.Yemen’s war pits forces loyal to the country’s exiled president against the Houthis and allied military units. The coalition began conducting air strikes on March 26.Elsewhere, Yemeni security officials said three suspected al-Qaida members were killed in a drone strike on their vehicle in the southern province of Shabwa. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press.In Geneva, C Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more


Israeli military punishes soldier for eating a pork sandwich

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — A U.S.-born Israeli soldier is deep in the mud after pigging out during training.The military sentenced the soldier to 11 days in prison for eating a pork sandwich during a break in his commander’s course. The punishment was replaced with confinement to base after relatives made a stink in the media, and a lawmaker wrote the defense minister on his behalf.As the Jewish state’s military, Israel’s army maintains kosher kitchens on its bases. The soldier, a recent immigrant from Boston who was not named, said he was unaware of the army’s dietary restrictions and was merely snacking on a lunch that his secular grandmother had made him. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like The military said Tuesday that the trainee “violated rules and regulations and his commanders thought it necessary to discipline accordingly.”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 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Top Stories Check your body, save your life Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories last_img read more


NATO commander US weighs placing army equipment in east

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_imgBreedlove said that the possibility of “prepositioning” heavy army equipment was discussed at the NATO summit last year and that now “many nations consider this.”He said the U.S. is “clearly” considering it, although the decisions and announcements haven’t been made yet.“But it is a possibility that we will have this prepositioned equipment,” he said.The move would speed up NATO reaction, as it is faster and easier to ferry troops alone, than troops with tanks, vehicles and howitzers.Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said Sunday that he discussed such plans in Washington last month and was expecting a decision “soon.”Breedlove also said that during the exercises that started earlier this month, NATO vessels have had seven “interactions” with Russian forces, which have a Baltic port in Kaliningrad.“Most of these interactions were completely normal and …their presence brings good training to our exercises,” Breedlove said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies USTKA, Poland (AP) — The U.S. and other NATO members are considering placing heavy military equipment in the alliance’s eastern flank nations, NATO’s commander for Europe said Tuesday.Gen. Philip Breedlove spoke during the large BALTOPS 2015 Baltic Sea exercises, currently held in Poland. They are part of the alliance’s maneuvers in Eastern Europe this month that are intended to reassure the eastern flank nations, concerned about Russia’s resurgence, that the alliance is ready and capable of defending their security. Men’s health affects baby’s health toocenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories last_img read more


Air Asia X adds Perth flights while Air Asia targets youth

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Days after announcing the termination of flights to Christchurch, Air Asia X has unveiled plans to increase its presence down with new services between Kuala Lumpur and Perth.Commencing 24 June this year, the carrier said it would increase its daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Perth to nine flights per week while services between Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan will jump from daily to eleven flights a week from 22 June this year.The carrier’s chief executive Azran Osman-Rani explained the changes in operations were part of a network realignment that will assist meeting the 85 percent passenger load flying between the two regions.“The timings of the new additional frequencies would further provide our guests from Malaysia and the surrounding region flexibility in their travel and better connectivity into Australia and Taiwan and vice versa from the cities into Kuala Lumpur, where guests are able to tap on our vast route network of over 80 destinations across South East Asia and beyond,” Mr Osman-Rani said.The carrier’s parent company, AirAsia also unveiled a new rewards program, the Skyrider Club for youngeons below the age of 14.Unveiled today the program allows the young guests to gain Tune Talk points and redeem them with flights and concerts.The carrier’s chief executive Tan Sir Tony Fernandes said the kid’s club was introduced in time for the airline’s ten year celebrations and would encourage brand loyalty from a young age.last_img read more