An impressive 13 Canadian agents among Jamaicas 50 topselling retailers

first_imgTags: Jamaica Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in bringing greetings, lauded the group for their significant contribution to the island’s tourist industry. He noted that as a group, they helped the destination achieve what has been a record-breaking year, noting that total room nights booked by the Top 50 agents was nearly 115,000, which earned the island in the region of US$25 million. An impressive 13 Canadian agents qualified for the reward, with 12 attending this year’s event.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesJamaica’s One Love Rewards Program serves as a dedicated training platform for the travel agent community to become certified experts on the destination. The program guides agents through online pages that provide insider knowledge about the island. It also takes the travel agent community into the heart of the destination showcasing the island’s rich history. In addition to learning about the island, travel agents earn valuable rewards points when they record their bookings at the program’s inception more than 18,000 agents have completed the training program. To register for Jamaica’s A One Love Rewards Program, visit Travelweek Group Posted by An impressive 13 Canadian agents among Jamaica’s 50 top-selling retailers MONTEGO BAY — Rewarding top-selling Jamaica Travel Agent Specialists from Canada, the U.S. and the UK for all their hard work, the Jamaica Tourist Board gave 50 agents the royal treatment at Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay as part of a three-night reward getaway that included tours, world-class dining and shopping. The agents were flown to Jamaica and honoured in style as part of the JTB’s One Love Rewards program.The vacation concluded with an ‘All White Affair’ gala where the top selling agents were presented with artwork specially designed by Jamaican artist Everald Powell. Friday, December 16, 2016 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

We want travel agent business and we appreciate travel agent business Flair

first_img“We want travel agent business and we appreciate travel agent business”: Flair Share This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Click here to read Part 1.TORONTO — Ultra-low cost carriers aren’t known for working with travel agents and very few offer commission. But contrary to traditional thinking, Flair Airlines gets “a surprising amount” of its bookings from travel agents.“It’s a fair portion,” says Mirza Smajic, Director of Passenger Sales. “We think travel agents want more than two major players in the market. We will not let them down.”Mirza Smajic, Director of Passenger Sales, Flair AirlinesSmajic adds: “Many airlines see travel agents as competitors because they want as many direct bookings as they can get. [But] travel agents are still playing a huge role in the travel industry. We do want travel agent business and we appreciate travel agent business.”Commission levels are subject to negotiation and are based on volume, he added.It’s been a busy past few months for Flair. In December 2017, with new livery on its 156-seat B737-400s, the airline added Toronto Pearson, Kelowna and Vancouver flights. Flair’s route network also includes Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Abbotsford.Flair also announced it was starting to distribute its content via GDS.Already live with Amadeus, Flair will also go live with Travelport (Worldspan/Galileo) in mid-February and is in final negotiations with Sabre.Flair is adding two new aircraft to its fleet at the beginning of this year. For 2019, Flair said it expects to add four more Boeing aircraft to accommodate the nearly 1.5 million passengers that the airline forecasts will be flying Flair in 2019.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoAnd yesterday Flair announced its new ownership as well as a new CEO, Jim Scott, who said Flair is positioned as a premium ULCC. Scott was one of the co-founders of rival Canada Jetlines and was CEO of that company from 2012 to 2017.Scott’s appointment as CEO comes six months after Flair’s purchase of NewLeaf Travel Company’s assets in June 2017. Flair Airlines founder and former president Jim Rogers has sold his shares, but will remain on the advisory council until 2019.While it now operates primarily as a scheduled carrier, Flair has more than 12 years of experience as a charter carrier.Many in the industry still associate Flair with NewLeaf, the short-lived travel company that operated as a re-seller for Flair fares. NewLeaf was never an actual airline; it used planes chartered from Flair Airlines.Asked about NewLeaf, Smajic has this to say: “Execution is crucial; you need experienced sales people, experienced marketing people. It was just unprofitable.”Many have pointed out that Canada’s size, geography and demographics make it a challenge for ULCCs. “For the ultra low-cost carrier model to work, you need population density and you need it in cities that are about 1.5 to 2 hours apart. Europe is the best example and you can see the ULCC boom in Europe. The U.S. is another example. Although in the U.S. the ULCCs operate on either the West or East Coast,” says Smajic.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochure“I do believe there is room for two ultra-low cost carriers in Canada. As long as it’s divided regionally,” he added.Flair knows it’s facing competition from ultra low-cost carriers Swoop and Canada Jetlines, both aiming for summer 2018 launches. But until those carriers are up and running, they’re not on the radar yet as far as Flair is concerned. “They’re paper airlines. I’m not competing with airlines that aren’t flying yet,” says Smajic.Canadian travel agents have seen airlines come and go. What makes Flair different? “You need an execution plan. You can have an amazing idea but without an execution plan it’s not going to work.”In addition to Flair’s 12+ years in the airline industry, the carrier also has more than 225 employees. “We’re responsible for those employees. We want to make sure this works properly,” says Smajic.What’s next for Flair? Transborder routes. Smajic says the carrier plans to add transborder flights, most likely to the East Coast and potentially into New York or Boston, by June 2018. “We’re also looking at sun destinations.” Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Tags: Commission, Flair Airlines << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Sir Richard Branson visiting Costa Rica to join fight against shark finning

first_imgNo related posts. Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Worldwide and noted environmentalist, will be in Costa Rica on Wednesday as Costa Rica pledges to keep up its fight against shark finning.The Costa Rican government will sign a decree vowing to “ban shark finning and the import, transport and possession of shark fins in Costa Rican waters,” at 10 a.m. in Manuel Antonio National Park, on the central Pacific coast.Costa Rica has imposed some limitations designed to prevent shark finning, but the practice remains common, and the dish is available in many Chinese restaurants in San José. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US DEA agent murdered in Colombia

first_imgNo related posts. BOGOTÁ, Colombia – A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent was stabbed to death Friday in Bogota while fighting off an apparent robbery attempt, Colombian police and U.S. officials said.Agent James “Terry” Watson was a 13-year veteran of the DEA who had served on dangerous counter-narcotics missions in Afghanistan earlier in his career, the DEA said in a statement.Colombian police and U.S. officials said he had dined Thursday night in an upscale area of the Colombian capital, where he watched the NBA basketball finals with friends from the embassy.Early Friday morning he caught a taxi in which he was apparently abducted. Watson put up a fight, but was stabbed five times then dumped out of the car. He died later in a hospital, Colombian Police Chief José Roberto León said.“These are the worst days for anyone in law enforcement and we grieve Terry’s loss,” DEA administrator Michele Leonhart said in a statement.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said, “This crime will not go unpunished.”Acting State Department Deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell said U.S. Embassy security officials were working closely with Colombian authorities to investigate, but stressed it appeared to have been a robbery.“This is really a profound tragedy for our embassy community and indeed for our government. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our fallen colleague,” Ventrell told reporters.Colombian authorities have offered a reward equivalent to $26,000 for information leading to the identification of whoever was responsible for the agent’s death.Watson was assigned to the DEA office in the Colombian city of Cartagena and was in Bogotá on a temporary assignment, the DEA said.Before working for the DEA, he had served with the U.S. Marshals Service and the Army. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Why arent eggs refrigerated at Costa Rican grocery stores

first_imgIf you have any questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in Ask An Expat, email editor Katherine Stanley Obando at Facebook Comments Related posts:Why aren’t eggs refrigerated at Costa Rican grocery stores? Is Costa Rica an affordable option for expats and medical tourists with Alzheimer’s disease? Health Ministry confirms first locally transmitted case of chikungunya virus Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposurecenter_img Walking down the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store you’ll find milk, cheese, and … wait, no eggs?Many expats from the United States are used to finding their favorite breakfast protein in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. However, much of the world doesn’t refrigerate or wash their eggs, Costa Rica included. Both washed and unwashed eggs are safe to eat, as long as they are handled properly.The main concern with proper handling of eggs has to do with avoiding salmonella, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever and abdominal cramps. In some extreme cases, infected people can die from salmonella.The United States is one of the few countries that washes and refrigerates its eggs to deal with salmonella. Eggs come out of the chicken with their own protective coating, but the washing process removes this first line of defense, making the shells more porous. This increased risk for salmonella passing into the eggs is why eggs that have been washed must remain refrigerated until they hit the frying pan. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), washed eggs should be kept at temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the supply chain.William Cardoza, Executive Director of the Chamber of Poultry and Egg Producers, told The Tico Times the main reason Costa Rica does not wash or refrigerate its eggs comes down to cost.“In Latin America and many other countries, there is no washing step because the refrigeration is expensive. In many countries the eggs are cleaned while dry, and transported at room temperature. If the eggs stay dry, they keep their natural protection against pathogens,” Cardoza said.Costa Rica requires eggs to be stored in clean, dry areas, and transported at room temperature out of extreme heat. Any eggs that are wet, broken, or, in the case of any producers who do wash their eggs, unrefrigerated for any period of time after washing, are prohibited from sale, according to Technical Regulation RTCR 397:2006.While unwashed eggs don’t need to be refrigerated before their purchase at the market, Cardoza said that consumers should refrigerate them at home. “Eggs, like any animal product, should be refrigerated to keep them fresh,” he said.The director added that people should only buy eggs from trusted sources, either from the farm or a store where they are properly packaged and dated. Eggs last 21 days before they go bad, Cardoza said.There are no figures in Costa Rica on the number of salmonella cases originating from eating infected eggs but salmonella enteritidis, the variety associated with eggs and poultry, was the most common cause of bacterial infections in 2013, said Elena Campos, coordinator for the National Center of Bacteriology, in an email to The Tico Times. Campos highlighted that homemade mayonnaise was one of the most common ways people got the infection.Hens with salmonella in their ovaries can pass the bacteria into the yolks of their eggs, even if the shell is in good condition and the eggs are properly handled, which leads to the question of whether raw eggs are safe to eat. According to both the FDA and the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute (INCIENSA), the answer is no. INCIENSA recommended cooking eggs through and keeping all egg-based dishes refrigerated. The Institute recommends that during food preparation, cooks avoid cracking eggs on the lip of a bowl to avoid any pathogens passing from the shell into the food. Similarly, INCIENSA warned against using an egg shell to separate the whites from the yolk. Refrigerated or not, as long as fresh eggs are properly handled, cooks should rest easy. Get cracking!More Ask An Expat!–What do U.S. expats need to know about Obamacare?–9 things expats should know about recent immigration rumors–What are the U.S. tax implications of marrying a foreigner?last_img read more

Weekend tourism fair hopes to draw local tourists with special travel deals

first_imgThe National Tourism Board (ICT) on Nov. 1-2 will host a National Tourism Fair 2014 at the Antigua Aduana, east of downtown San José.The event will feature over 100 tourism businesses including hotels, travel agencies, tour operators and car rental agencies, among others. This year 100 small and medium-sized businesses focused on souvenir and artisanal products will participate.The fair is part of ICT’s campaign “Vamos a Turistear” (Let’s go sightseeing!), which hopes to attract local tourists during the last stretch of the country’s green season from August to the third week in December.The ICT this year will invest $630,000 in the campaign, a lower figure than last year when they spent $715,000, according to the agency.Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said the fair is an ideal place for Ticos and Costa Rica residents to plan vacations with special prices and promotions.“This years’ theme will be cultural events that make Costa Rica a distinctive destination,” he said.In order to take advantage of special offers, Tico tourists should present their cédulas, or IDs, while residents “will have to show their DIMEX cards to confirm their status,” ICT’s Promotion Manager Ireth Rodríguez told The Tico Times.Admission to the fair is free. Cultural activities, Tico food and barista exhibitions also are part of the event.Information on promotions and destinations is available on the campaign’s website: (in Spanish only). Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica promoted at tourism fairs this week in France and Brazil Costa Rica’s capital wins ‘Travel Oscar’ Good news for travelers: Costa Rica’s airport exit tax (finally) will be added to ticket prices Costa Rica’s health tourism market topic of upcoming forumlast_img read more

Venezuelan newspapers at risk of closure says press group

first_imgRelated posts:Venezuelan cartoonist fired after sketch slamming health care Quick Venezuela facts on Election Day Opposition coalition wins control of Venezuela’s National Assembly: What that means Former Colombian, Bolivian leaders warn of looming humanitarian crisis in Venezuela Facebook Comments Read our coverage of the Summit of the Americas here MIAMI – Several Venezuelan newspapers are at risk of imminent closure, the Inter-American Press Association warned Thursday, accusing leftist President Nicolás Maduro of impeding access to newsprint and discriminating against publications critical of his government.IAPA, which represents editors and publishers from around the Americas, noted recent announcements that El Correo del Caroni, El Impulso, El Carabobeno, El Nacional and El Regional del Zulia “will stop publishing in the coming weeks.”“Once more we hold President Maduro responsible for restricting the freedom of the press and the public’s right to information, by means of a special mechanism of persecution and discrimination,” IAPA’s president Gustavo Mohme said in a statement.IAPA, which is based in Miami, charged that the Maduro government targets independent newspapers by denying them hard currency to buy newsprint or withholding government advertising.“We are in a very chaotic situation,” said Claudio Paolillo, the head of IAPA’s free press committee. “The media are closing and with them the hopes they keep alive as democratic bastions within the country.”At last week’s Summit of the Americas, IAPA criticized Latin American countries for remaining silent about the situation in Venezuela.The Maduro government in the past has dismissed IAPA’s warnings about the decline of freedom of expression in Venezuela, calling the press group “an instrument of right-wing newspapers.”Read more Venezuela coverage hereFollowing is the full text of IAPA’s statement on Thursday: IAPA alerts all governments about the imminent shutdown of newspapers in VenezuelaIt holds Nicolás Maduro responsible for deterioration in free speech, democracyMIAMI, Florida (April 16, 2015)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today renewed its call to the international community concerning the deterioration of democracy and press freedom in Venezuela, a situation reflected in discriminatory actions and restrictions continuing to be imposed by the government of Nicolás Maduro against the local critical and independent press.As a follow up to an open letter addressed to government leaders during the recent 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama, in which the IAPA complained of “the compliant silence” concerning the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, IAPA President Gustavo Mohme declared, “Once more we hold President Maduro responsible for curtailing press freedom and the public’s right to information through a special mechanism of persecution and discrimination, set in place with the intent of silencing independent and critical voices.”Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, stressed that after this denunciation and those that the IAPA has been making for years now about the deterioration of press freedom in Venezuela “no one can remain indifferent to the announcements by prestigious leading newspapers such as El Correo del Caroní, El Impulso, El Carabobeño, El Nacional and El Regional de Zulia, among others, that in the next few weeks they will cease publishing because the government is not providing them with foreign exchange to import newsprint, or they have to do so through the Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Complex, a state-run company that has a monopoly in the sale and distribution of newsprint and is used as a discriminatory weapon to punish those that maintain a journalism that is independent and true to democratic values.”There are three means of discrimination applied by the government to independent newspapers. They are not provided with foreign exchange to import supplies, they are denied access to newsprint, and they are discriminated against by denying them official advertising that provided to other media, giving rise to an unfair competition in detriment to the plurality of voices. All this, on top of the general economic situation that has caused revenue from advertising and circulation to fall to historic low levels.“They are facing an increasingly chaotic situation,” said Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, “the print media are closing down, along with the few hopes of their being able to continue as democratic bastions in the nation, as was always their function.”Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that what is worse about “this situation is that the government, due to its explicit intent to curtail press freedom, ends up damaging the source of work of hundreds of journalists, employees and indirect workers who depend on that important source of income, thus undermining the freedom of expression of the Venezuelan people, who cannot have access to a wide range of sources of information.”The IAPA officers said that “the shutdown of newspapers in recent years during this Maduro government, and the possibility that others will be closing, is a responsibility that should weigh upon all the intergovernmental institutions and governments of our Americas, because what is at play is democracy. No one should turn its back on the Venezuelans’ plight.”The IAPA remains alert and continues to explore various ways to support the Venezuelan press.El Correo del Caroní, in Ciudad Guayana, explained in an announcement on its Web site on Monday (April 13) that for the first time in 37 years it would be circulating with a different format, due to the crisis in the provision of newsprint that the country was undergoing. It also recalled that the print edition had already been reduced to eight pages since 2014. “We are now forced to migrate to the tabloid format so as to ensure our circulation and the editorial independence that is causing official annoyance,” announced the paper, which given these circumstances will continue to develop its digital platform.Several days before this announcement the newspaper NotiDiario in Tucupita, Delta Amacuro state, announced on its front page that “today, April 7, will be the last print edition after 28 years …. Without supplies there is no newspaper, there is no work, there is no information.” According to the newspaper news will continue to be published on its Web page.Last week the Valencia newspaper El Carabobeño warned that it could stop circulation for lack of newsprint. The paper, founded 81 years ago, explained that in order to be able to extend its circulation for one more month it was considering suspending future issues of its Sunday magazine Paréntesis, which has reduced its number of pages from 48 to 32.The Barquisimeto newspaper El Impulso has also announced that it has enough newsprint for only about eight days. For the same reason in February the daily newspaper Tal Cual turned into a weekly after using up its newsprint reserves, and that December the newspaper El Guayanés stopped publishing.The Caracas daily newspaper El Nacional has enough newsprint for less than three months, and El Regional de Zulia in Ciudad Ojeda, Zulia state, confirmed that it will run out on July 15.The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to read more

France puts 24 climate activists under house arrest ahead of UN talks

first_imgRelated posts:France bans Paris climate rallies due to security concerns With COP21 talks in Paris moving forward after attacks, Latin America climate-change policies remain unclear A Paris climate change talks primer for Costa Rica Latin America hands climate bill to rich world at summit PARIS – French authorities have placed 24 activists under house arrest ahead of majorU.N. climate warming talks starting near Paris next week, using the state of emergency powers declared after the Paris attacks.The Interior Ministry said Friday the measures had been taken to prevent the activists from demonstrating ahead of the COP21 conference, but their lawyers and Amnesty International accused the government of abusing the state of emergency.Three of those concerned, who are in their late 20s, are suspected of belonging to the “radical opposition movement,” according to information obtained by AFP.They are banned from leaving their hometown in western France without special police permission, they must report to a local police station three times a day and remain at their homes between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. until Dec. 12, the day after the talks are due to end.The Interior Ministry says the three individuals have caused “serious disturbances to public order” in the past.The activists’ lawyer, Marie Dose, said the state of emergency was being “misused” in their cases.“This is an attack on the right to demonstrate,” she said.Recommended: Costa Rica climate avenger Christiana Figueres takes questions on Reddit Police officers stand beside riot vehicles during a raid in Le Pre Saint-Gervais, northeast of Paris, on Nov. 27, 2015. Laurent Emmanuel/AFPIn the wake of the bloody jihadist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people on Nov. 13, the government banned all public demonstrations linked to COP21.Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the residency measures were “based on well-documented records” and those subject to them could appeal through the courts. But he denied that the state was overstepping its limits.“The state of emergency does not negate the rule of law,” he told AFP.Stephan Oberreit, head of Amnesty International France, said the measures taken by the government were “disproportionate.”“The systematic banning of all meetings linked to COP21 deprives critical voices of an essential outlet to express themselves,” he said in a statement.France’s Human Rights League (LDH) on Thursday condemned the decision to place Joel Domenjoud, a member of the legal team for the coalition of protest groups, under house arrest.U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping are among more than 140 world leaders due to attend the talks, held in a heavily secured purpose-built conference centre complex at Le Bourget outside the French capital.Negotiators will try to forge a deal to cap average global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Radio Hit celebrates its fifth anniversary tonight at Hoxton Pub

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican band Zòpilot! performs for the last time tonight at Cine Magaly Punk rock band Title Fight to play for the first time in Costa Rica Dub sounds in Costa Rica: Mad Professor and Mad Elaine After three-year hiatus, Blues Festival plays in Guanacaste The Costa Rican radio station Radio Hit (104.7 FM) is celebrating its fifth anniversary tonight at 9:00 PM at the Hoxton Pub in Los Yoses. The station has planned a night full of music, including Costa Rican bandsMagpie Jay, Síndrome de Estocolmo and Bird & Fish. Dirk Stammes will continue the celebration at the after-party with his musical project Funka. Celebrate along with Radio Hit on its fifth anniversary! [Courtesy Radio Hit]A pop-up store will also be part of this celebration, selling clothing, records and other products throughout the night.As part of the activity Radio Hit will communicate its plans for 2016, which include new radio programs, original podcasts, music festivals and other initiatives to be incorporated into the new and improved station.For more information visit Radio Hit’s Facebook event page. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Kiva Viogaz offer microloans for biodigesters in rural Costa Rica

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Restaurant grease turned cooking gas for Guanacaste police station This Oregon company wants to build electric cars in Costa Rica Costa Rica to end year with mostly renewable electricity sources Costa Rica prepared for this season’s harsh weather, energy officials say What if you never had to go to the store to buy one of those unwieldy propane tanks again? Better yet, what if you could make your own clean-burning fuel? San Francisco-based microfinance firmKiva partnered with Costa Rica’s Viogaz in April to help people do just that.The partnership aims to help rural Costa Ricans finance the switch from fossil fuel-based energy to biodigesters, devices that generate clean-burning methane from organic waste, like cow manure. The gas can be used to generate electricity, power hot water heaters and fuel cooking stoves.“In addition to reducing energy costs, farmers will have solutions for waste management, for reducing odors and emissions of greenhouse gases,” Viogaz program coordinator Jesús Jiménez said.Biodigesters use bacteria to break down organic matter and capture methane in a process called anaerobic fermentation. Anaerobic means the micro-organisms digest the matter in the absence of oxygen.The methane, the main chemical in natural gas, is collected and stored in large inflatable bladders and can be burned to generate electricity for lighting, cooking and other household needs, as well as for heating livestock pens. The leftover organic solid waste can be used as fertilizer or further composted.The biodigester financing program is open to anyone in Costa Rican, including expats, but the company is specifically geared toward people who do not have access to typical banking services.Viogaz program coordinator Jesús Jiménez said the company will offer credits up to $2,500 to those who qualify for a loan. Credits are granted in periods ranging from nine to 24 months with a fixed interest rate of 10 percent.After applicants submit their proposal, Viogaz evaluates the project from a technical and socio-economic perspective to assess its feasibility. If the project checks out, the microfinance firm Kiva creates a profile on its online platform and promotes the project for 30 days to raise the funds. Interested individuals can lend small amounts of money to the project and get paid back over time.Since 2005, Kiva has lent more than $850 million to over 1 million applicants in 84 countries, according to a company statement. The firm has 1.4 million lenders and a repayment rate of 98.3 percent.Those interested in applying for a loan can contact Viogaz by phone at: (506) 4702-0574 or by email at: English-speaking staff is available.Watch a video of a biodigester, courtesy of Viogaz.last_img read more

Costa Rican health authorities declare malaria alert

first_imgCosta Rica declared a health alert Wednesday because of various new cases of malaria related to travel and immigration to and from Nicaragua, where the disease has a much broader presence.The Ministry of Public Health announced in a statement that the alert will trigger increased vigilance of all potential cases in the country, particularly in low-lying areas, as well as increased communication regarding malaria symptoms.“Because of the high and constant migration rates between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, mostly for work-related reasons, and taking into account that [Nicaragua] is an area of high endemic [malaria presence] and has recently reported an increased number of cases, we have decided to declare a health alert for increased risk of transmission of malaria in Costa Rica,” the statement indicated.Malaria is transmitted through mosquito bites in areas of less than 500 meters (approximately 1,600 feet) above sea level. Its symptoms include fever, chills, headaches and muscular pain.Costa Rica had no malaria cases between 2012 and 2015, but this year has reported nine cases in different parts of the country. Facebook Comments Related posts:First Zika virus case reported in Costa Rica Tire mosquito trap could boost Zika control Health officials fight to avoid outbreaks of waterborne diseases Cases of microcephaly quadruple in Costa Rica due to Zikalast_img read more

New Zealand signals earlier exit from Afghanistan

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Key said it was “highly likely” the remaining soldiers from the contingent of 145 would be withdrawn in April 2013. He said discussions for the earlier withdrawal began before the five deaths this month. Murray McCully, New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister, had announced in May the troops would be withdrawn “in the latter part of 2013.”Key said he wants to bring home the troops as fast as practicable within a timetable that fits in with the coalition partners.“We’ll do it as fast as we can, and we’ll do it in the way that protects our people as best we can,” he said.The U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan plan to end their decade-long combat mission and withdraw almost all troops by the end of 2014. The U.S. this year has been withdrawing a planned 23,000 troops, which would leave 68,000.Key rejected calls to end New Zealand’s role in Afghanistan immediately.“Yes we need to make it the shortest timeframe we can now logistically, but we have to do it with our partners. If we don’t, then the message we send to the rest of all of Afghanistan is that it’s time to run for the exits,” he said. “And if we do that, then the thousands of people who have lost their lives have been in vain. And I just don’t think that reflects the values and principles that underpin New Zealand.” New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   center_img Associated PressWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Monday that the country will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan earlier in 2013 than planned. He said the move is not prompted by the deaths this month of five New Zealand soldiers, including three who were killed Sunday by a roadside bomb.August’s deaths account for half of all fatalities suffered by the small contingent of New Zealanders in the nine years they have been stationed in central Bamiyan province, which was comparatively stable until a recent upswing in violence. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The move is likely to be popular among many New Zealanders, who have increasingly questioned the country’s role in the conflict. The New Zealand troops were sent there ostensibly as a reconstruction team, with the mission of helping to rebuild and protect Bamiyan province’s infrastructure and social systems. In recent months, however, that role has increasingly given way to combat operations, as violence in the region has increased.The latest incident on Sunday also marked the first time a New Zealand woman has died in the conflict. Lance Cpl. Jacinda Baker, a 26-year-old medic, was killed in the explosion, as were Cpl. Luke Tamatea, 31, and Pvt. Richard Harris, 21.According to defense force officials, the three were traveling in a convoy of four Humvees on Sunday to escort a soldier suffering a medical condition back from a visit to the doctor when a roadside bomb exploded, destroying the vehicle and instantly killing the occupants.Lt. Gen. Rhys Jones, chief of the defense force, said the Taliban have taken responsibility for the attack.Earlier this month, two New Zealand soldiers were killed and another six injured during a gunbattle with insurgents in the same region. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Spanish police arrest 4 suspected terrorists

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories MADRID (AP) – The Interior Ministry says four people have been arrested in northwest Spain on suspicion of belonging to a violent, regional pro-independence group.The ministry said in a statement that two of the arrests were made in the port city of Vigo on Saturday after police discovered two primed explosive devices in the trunk of a car, and two other suspects were arrested early Sunday.It said the “suspected terrorists” belong to “the Galician Resistance” _ a group of which little was known until November 2011 when another member was arrested in possession of explosives. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   center_img Spain has nationalist groups in Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque region, where armed group ETA has killed more than 825 people in a four-decade campaign to carve an independent state in northeastern Spain and southwestern France.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Suspected extremists attack school in northeast Nigeria

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober A second bomb exploded in the college dormitory, but all the students apparently were already in classrooms.Five students were wounded by gunfire and another 45 people are being treated for injuries sustained as they jumped out of windows and over walls to escape the attackers, the hospital worker said.Those injured include schoolchildren from the neighboring Government Science Secondary School, who also thought they were under attack. At least 40 students were killed when Boko Haram attacked that school last year.In Friday’s attack, the gunmen arrived around 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) and opened fire at the gate of the business school, witnesses said. Security guards armed only with clubs ran away, but soldiers and police quickly rushed to the scene, said the witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.The fate of the other attackers is unclear. Military and police spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests for information.It is the first school attack reported since a 3-month-old multinational offensive drove Boko Haram out of towns and villages seized last year where the insurgents, who are allied to the Islamic State group, declared an Islamic caliphate. Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.” Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Troops from neighboring countries joined the fight as Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremist group began attacking across borders.Nigeria’s military says the main fighting force of Boko Haram has fled to strongholds in the vast Sambisa Forest of northeast Nigeria, where Nigerian troops this month rescued nearly 700 girls and women held in captivity by the insurgents and destroyed about 20 camps.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked a business school in northeast Nigeria on Friday with gunfire and two bomb blasts before being overcome by security forces.A suicide bomber died when he blew himself up prematurely in the car park of the College of Administrative and Business Studies in Potiskum, according to a security officer and a hospital worker. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters. Potiskum is the biggest city in Yobe state. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Defense Secretary Carter meeting with Kurds in Iraq

first_imgHe said U.S. ground and air forces could defeat IS on their own, but the success would not last.“We’re trying to get a defeat that sticks,” he told a group of several dozen troops. “And that can be delivered only by the people that live here,” adding, “that’s the secret sauce.”Carter arrived on a military flight from Amman, Jordan, where he spent the night after holding meetings and giving a pep talk to U.S. troops in Baghdad on Thursday.In Irbil, Carter is meeting with Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional government, and other Kurdish government and military officials. The U.S. Is helping train and equip Kurdish armed forces in battles against Islamic State fighters.The Kurdish forces, generally more experienced and more effective on the battlefield than their counterparts in the Iraqi army, have played a vital role in containing the Islamic State in northeastern Iraq.They hold mostly defensive positions across large parts of northern Iraq and would be expected to play a key role in an eventual Iraq campaign to retake Mosul, which fell to IS in June 2014.The U.S. military works closely with the Kurds, providing arms, training and advice. The Obama administration has resisted calls by some in Congress to bypass the Iraqi government in Baghdad and provide weapons directly to the Kurds. The administration instead has sent arms through the central government, reasoning that this preserves the hope of avoiding a final division of the country into sectarian and ethnic enclaves. The Islamic State takeover of much of northern Iraq last year, including the city of Mosul, triggered a Kurdish push south and west to take control of the disputed city of Kirkuk, which is key to Iraq’s northern oil fields.After his Irbil visit Carter was returning to Washington, concluding a weeklong Mideast tour that started Sunday in Israel and included visits to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, and Amman, Jordan.It was Carter’s first visit to Iraq since he took office in February.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter held talks Friday with Iraqi Kurdish leaders in their regional capital of Irbil, seeking insights to their military successes against the Islamic State.Afterward he told U.S. and coalition troops that the Kurdish armed forces, known as the peshmerga, are “the model of what we are trying to achieve” with a strategy of enabling capable and motivated local forces in northern and western Iraq to take the ground combat lead. Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Minister awards young travel talent

first_imgReinforcing the state’s commitment youth and tourism, Tourism Minister George Souris held a ceremony for NSW’s top 15 tourism students.The excelling youth were invited to the Parliament House yesterday, where they were awarded with the 2011 Minister’s Student Achievers Awards.  Earlier this month, Mr Souris and Tourism NSW unveiled its newest and digitally focused campaign, which focuses on boosting the state’s appeal to younger travellers.Up to five videos produced and directed by young talent Matilda Brown, have been uploaded onto the tourism bureau’s website and Youtube channel.The videos capture the various activities for younger travellers to experience in NSW including road trips, surfing, camping, skydiving and more.As part of the youth initiative the tourism bureau has also recruited Guy Sebastian and other young well-known faces to team up with bloggers and write about various locations across NSW.Mr Souris told e-Travel Blackboard last week that the launch of the new campaign was a part of the State’s plan to double tourism by 2020. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

AHA NSW Accommodation Awards For Excellence Winners List

first_imgSource = AHA (NSW) The Hilton Sydney scooped the pool at the 14th Annual AHA (NSW) Accommodation Awards For Excellence last night, winning seven awards in the Hotel Achievement and People Award categories.Sheraton on the Park also won four awards – including the coveted induction into the Hall of Fame for Function Venue of the Year, while the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney won the prestigious Deluxe Hotel Accommodation of the year Award.More than 450 political, business and community leaders – including NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell – filled the ballroom at the Westin, Sydney for the glittering Awards Ceremony.A total of 32 awards were presented to winners from a field of more than 140 finalists. AHA (NSW) Accommodation Division Chair Peter Tudehope said the industry had excelled itself on its night of nights.“To see so many political and business leaders out in force supporting our accommodation industry is an achievement in itself,” he said. “There’s no doubt the annual AHA (NSW) Accommodation Awards For Excellence is the highlight of the industry’s social calendar – we can see from the high quality of all the finalists that the accommodation industry is the real winner here. “I would like to congratulate all winners in each of the categories – they really are world-class venues staffed by the best in the business.”Key winners include: · Hilton Sydney: Seven Awards including Outstanding Achievement in Training, Apprentice/Trainee Employee of the Year (Carol Nazha), Chef of the Year (Gary Johnson) and Employee Excellence in Service (Mamdoh Kiriakos).· Sheraton on the Park: Four Awards including Hall of Fame Function Venue of the Year, Occupational Health and Safety Hotel of the Year and Front of House Employee of the Year (Evan Burns).· Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Sydney: Two Awards including Restaurant of the Year (Bilson’s) and Housekeeper of the Year (Maureen Jolowicz).· Bayview Boulevard Sydney: Outstanding Community Service and Achievement.· Hunter Valley Steakhouse, Mercure Hunter Valley: Regional Restaurant of the Year.· Loxley, Bellbird Hill: Hall of Fame Inductee: Regional Mid-Range Accommodation Hotel of the Year.· Four Points by Sheraton: Superior Hotel Accommodation of the Year.· Lillianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa: Regional Deluxe Hotel Accommodation of the Year.AHA (NSW) CEO Sally Fielke said the Awards night gala capped off a big year for the accommodation industry.“We have seen a new Board chairman elected in Peter Tudehope as well as the establishment of Tourism Accommodation Australia – the nation’s peak accommodation body.“There are great things ahead for the industry and I think we can see that by the calibre of tonight’s winners.”*A full list of AHA (NSW) Accommodation Awards for Excellence 2011 Winners to follow*last_img read more

Jetstar adds NZ capacity

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar has announced the introduction of a ninth aircraft to its New Zealand fleet to help service an additional 36 weekly return flights to the country’s three largest cities. Announced this morning, the carrier said additional flights were in response to customer demand and would see the airline add up to 50,000 extra seats across its domestic and trans-Tasman network as well as introduce a ninth A320 aircraft in the region from15 November this year.Additional services will include 20 extra weekly return flights between Auckland and Wellington as well as seven extra weekly return services between Auckland and Christchurch and between Wellington and Christchurch.Trans-Tasman flights will also get a boost with four direct flights for Melbourne and Queenstown services and three more Sydney to Queenstown flights.Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said the move reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to New Zealand and will help contribute to the local tourism industry.“There will also be new jobs for over 50 Kiwis including pilots, cabin crew and ground crew in our New Zealand team over the coming months as we prepare for the ninth aircraft.”Although the new schedule will deliver 131,000 additional flights to Christchurch, it will also see the cancellation of five weekly services between the city and Queenstown as well as one less flight per week between Christchurch and the Gold Coast and Melbourne.See below for a complete summary of increased capacity commencing 15 November:  Queenstown – Christchurch Market exit of 5 flights pw Melbourne – Queenstown Up to 4 return flights per week (increase of 33 per cent or + 1 flight pw) Auckland – Christchurch Up to 43 return flights per week (increase of 19 per cent or + 7 flights pw) Melbourne – Christchurch 7 per week (decrease of  12 per cent or –1 flight pw) ROUTE NEW FREQUENCY center_img Sydney – Queenstown Up to 3 per week (increase of 50 per cent or + 1 flight pw) Jetstar CEO David Hall moves a ninth aircraft to NZ Gold Coast – Christchurch 3 per week (decrease of 25 per cent or – 1 flight pw) Auckland – Wellington Up to 60 return flights per week (increase of 50 per cent or + 20 flights pw) Wellington – Christchurch Up to 21 return flights per week (increase of 50 per cent or + 7 flights pw) last_img read more

Closed Encounter at LAX

first_imgAustralia’s Westfield Concession Management, owner-operator of the once-popular dining establishment, has been charged with developing new concept ideas and proposals for the space, the LA Times reported. Source = ETB News: P.T. Encounter Restaurant, located in the uniquely-designed Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), has closed its doors to the public forever. “Passengers [now] won’t leave the terminals to have dinner there because it’s unpredictable how long it’ll take them to get through security again.” “The problem is, it was built when bringing your family out to have dinner and watch the airplanes was a cool thing to do,” L.A. World Airports executive director Gina Marie Lindsey said.center_img Airport officials have not yet been informed of any considered or impending developments. Westfield Concession Management won the contract in 2012 to develop and manage a selection of restaurants, bars and retail stores at LAX Airport, including businesses in the Theme Building. The Theme Building’s observation deck remains open to the public from 8am to 5pm on weekends.last_img read more