Now open for booking Sandals Halcyons brand new suites

first_img Friday, September 9, 2016 Travelweek Group Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Now open for booking: Sandals Halcyon’s brand new suites SAINT LUCIA — Having recently undergone renovations, Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort & Spa’s newly built suites are now open and ready for bookings.The newly renovated rooms are located in the Answe La Raye, Canaries and Gros-Islet buildings, with Oceanview Club Level rooms on the second levels framed by ocean views. Alternatively, the Grande Luxe Club Level rooms on the first or second levels are framed with cascading flowering vines.Guests are treated to a sumptuous stay in the new suites, all of which feature modern hardwood, a king-sized bed, smart TV, private balcony or patio equipped with a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two with privacy curtains, and a bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower. Plus, as an exclusive Club Sandals room, a dedicated concierge is available to handle any special request and reservations, such as spa appointments.For more information go to sandals.com.last_img read more

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Trafalgar adds more capacity on Europe Britain departures

first_img Travelweek Group Share TORONTO — Anticipating a busy season ahead, Trafalgar has added extra capacity on 11 of its Europe and Britain departures, now available to book.“At Trafalgar, our priority is to ensure that our industry partners feel fully equipped and have the confidence to sell our guided vacations with maximum ease and we are committed to helping agents on the journey to sales success, and we’ve listened to valuable feedback from our loyal agents so we are delighted to confirm an extra 11 non-brochured departure dates for the 2017 European summer, said Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada.Paunic also noted that effective next week, the tour operator will be initiating weekly last-minute deals (LMDs) for agent partners to “help them secure their most spectacular sales success to date.” These LMDs will alternate between Trafalgar and CostSaver.Agents are also reminded of Trafalgar’s ‘Spring off to Europe’ flight offer, featuring a $400 per couple air credit and 5% early payment discount. Posted by Tags: Britain & Europe, Trafalgarcenter_img Trafalgar adds more capacity on Europe & Britain departures Tuesday, April 25, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Japanese train leaves 20 seconds early leading to heartfelt apology from rail

first_imgTokyo train company’s apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan https://t.co/chfzE5uZMU— Stan Yee (@stanyee) November 16, 2017 Japanese train leaves 20 seconds early, leading to heartfelt apology from rail company << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Share TORONTO — In a perfect world, trains would never break down, slow down or be late. But Japan has the exact opposite problem, with trains running…too much on time?According to the BBC, a rail company in Japan recently issued a public apology after one of its trains left the station 20 seconds early.Not 20 minutes – 20 seconds. This is how much the Japanese value punctuality.In its apology, the company said its Tsukuba Express line, which runs between Tokyo and Tsukuba, had been scheduled to leave Minami Nagareyama Station at 9:44:40 local time. But in an uncharacteristic departure from perfection, the train left early at 9:44:20.“The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation,” the statement said. It added that the company did not receive any customer complaints about the early departure.Japan has one of the world’s most reliable railway systems, so reliable that a train leaving 20 seconds earlier than planned has caused headlines around the world.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesThis, of course, prompted countless tongue-in-cheek tweets from people poking fun at their own country’s transportation woes in comparison. Here are just a few:”Apology after Japanese train departs 20 seconds early”.Read; weep; read; laugh. @networkrail @SW_Railway @SouthernRailUK— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) November 16, 2017 Zara Martinez Those who have been on a train in Japan will appreciate this story. Somehow I can’t see it happening over in the UK… https://t.co/eNsDefYhhZ— Andy Hayler (@wyahaw) November 16, 2017 Posted by Tags: LOL About Latest Posts Zara Martinez Latest posts by Zara Martinez (see all) New Years Mastermind on AMA Waterways River Cruise – June 6, 2019 Attendance at TPI’s Summit events at an all-time high – April 24, 2019 The 2019 Travel & Vacation Show – June 22, 2018last_img read more

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Liceo de Villareal High School opens Central Americas first school skate park

first_imgBy Suzanna Lourie | Special to The Tico TimesVILLAREAL, Guanacaste – The blistering afternoon sun proved no match for the excitement that captured more than 600 students and community members last Tuesday as they celebrated the inauguration of the new Liceo de Villareal High School Skatepark.“It really seems like we started a craze,” said one crowd member as he watched the students swarm the edge of the park, taking runs, trying tricks and laughing with friends.A craze would be an understatement. Since Liceo de Villareal announced the completion of the new skate park – the first one in a public high school in all of Central America – requests for more have been pouring in from across the country.“The Minister of Education wants to build more parks, and we’re actually meeting tomorrow to discuss ways of getting the funds to build five or six more skate parks all across the country,” said Andrés Valenciano, executive director of the Youth Action Fund (FAJ), one of the nonprofit groups that spearheaded the Villareal project.“The park works as an excuse to get kids more interested in what education is supposed to be. Suddenly school becomes a place where you can not only gain new knowledge and skills, but also make new friends and develop your potential as a human being,” he added.The model of the skate park as an alternative to get kids off the streets and build healthy social relationships in a safe recreational space is catching the attention of the press and other schools around the country for one very important reason – it works. Etnies professional skater Ed Reategui, left, with CEPIA President Laetitia Deweer.  Photo: Suzanna Lourie | Tico Times “It all started three years ago when the [school] director called us in to help with a group of 13 teenagers who were having some trouble in school,” said Laetitia Deweer, president of CEPIA, a Guanacaste-based nonprofit organization that worked with FAJ on the skate park project.Both organizations were called in to initiate discussions with the group of students, who were teetering on the edge of expulsion, in hopes of finding a way to turn their behavior around.“They explained to us they were all facing difficulties in their personal lives that led to them getting into all sorts of problems, fights, drugs, the works, and they told us there weren’t a lot of different alternatives to have fun together or just socialize,” FAJ founder and President Jorge Aguilar Berrocal said.As it turned out, the students shared common interests in sports, including surfing and skateboarding. When asked what would motivate them to come to school, the group unanimously suggested the idea of a skate park – something that would boost the high school’s “cool” factor.From there, the 13 students took on a new identity, and the “Team Riders” of the Liceo de Villareal Skatepark were born.“We immediately figured out they were talented, clever, funny and creative kids,” Berrocal said. “So it was absolutely feasible for them to get good grades and do better, we just needed to figure out how to channel their potential.”With the help of CEPIA and FAJ, the Team Riders made a deal with the principal: They would get a clean slate in exchange for improving their grades, helping with volunteer work and attending class.Inextricably linked to education, the skate park evolved along with the students’ grades. Eventually, CEPIA and FAJ began to search for funding to make the vision a reality, and they found an overwhelming response from the community.The project was made possible with more than $30,000 in materials and services donated by National Community Development, Australian AID, CEMEX, The Pool Store, Fertama, Friends of Education Foundation, Florida Skateboards National, Recordings Destiny and many other individual sponsors. Tamarindo resident and longtime skateboarder Alex Cavaletti – responsible for the nearby Tamarindo Community Skate Park – also donated his design services for the new park and helped oversee the building process. With the help of enthusiastic donors and continued participation in school from the Team Riders, the park began to take form and simultaneously accomplish its educational goals of helping students boost grades and get involved in various volunteer projects.One of the original members of the Team Riders, 20-year-old Keiner López, 20, has since graduated from high school thanks to the skate park program. Today, nearly half the group holds diplomas.“I’m finished with school, so I am just excited to skate all the time,” López said. “But the idea for the other students is to motivate kids in school to make classes more fun; so they don’t just feel like they are going to learn, but also that school can be a fun place to be.”The hundreds of kids aged 4-24 who came out to skate the new park on Tuesday seemed to support López’s sentiments and show just how popular the school will be with its new park.“I think [the skate park] is a good metaphor of how kids, teachers, faculty, civil society and the private sector can all come together behind an idea of giving kids a voice,” Valenciano said.“The kids are willing to do their half if people are willing to listen and take note of their ideas,” he added. “This high school is an example of how education can be transformed into a place for kids to fulfill their potential as human beings.” Facebook Commentscenter_img No related posts.last_img read more

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Costa Ricas Unity party plummets in latest poll as the race for

first_imgNo related posts. Who would you vote for? | Create infographics The Social Christian Unity Party’s (PUSC) poll numbers are stinging from Dr. Rodolfo Hernández’s flip-flop resignation earlier this month, while the race for second place behind National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate Johnny Araya is neck-and-neck, Semanario Universidad reported on Wednesday.But with four months remaining until the Feb. 2, 2014 election, and with more than 47 percent of respondents claiming they’re undecided, the election is still anyone’s race.The University of Costa Rica’s Center for Political Studies and Investigation (CIEP) released its latest voter poll Wednesday morning, showing that many candidates have gobbled up the votes left behind by Hernández, who left the race for good on Oct. 9.Support for the PUSC dropped from 12.9 percent from CIEP’s August survey to 3 percent in October, when Ticos were asked for whom they would vote if the election were held today.Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara and leftist Broad Front Party candidate José María Villalta both significantly raised their support from 1.4 percent and 4.5 percent in August, respectively, to a close race at 9.9 and 9.7 percent.Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís has stalled at 4.2 percent, compared to 4.1 percent two months ago. Meanwhile, Araya rose 4 points from 20.2.“It seems a little exaggerated to me that there would be a drop of this magnitude; there are many people who continue to identify as Social Christians,” Piza told Universidad Semanario, noting that he had only started his campaign on Oct. 12.“It’s normal that there would be a drop, but I’m convinced that party loyalty will hold and that we are the party of second preference for Costa Ricans,” he added, referencing years past when the PUSC and PLN formed a de facto two-party system.Araya said he is glad that his polling numbers had not slipped and that his lead was proof he is the Costa Rican people’s preference.“The two candidates that are fighting for second place don’t reach me combining their votes, which makes me think there is a robust trend in favor of my candidacy,” the PLN candidate said.But Araya doesn’t have the presidency in the bag yet. In Costa Rica, presidential candidates must win at least 40 percent of the first-round vote to avoid a runoff race with the second place finisher.The survey also noted that 79 percent of Ticos say they don’t belong to a political party. CIEP said the poll has a +/- 4.46 percent margin of error.Pollsters surveyed 457 Costa Ricans over the age of 18 between Oct. 14 and 19. Sixty-two percent of people called at home on a landline answered the surveyors’ questions.Candidates looking to improve their ratings will have their chance Wednesday afternoon as they meet for their first debate at the National University in Heredia, north of San José.Follow updates on the debate at ticotimes.net. center_img Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Identifying victims of Argentinas Dirty War

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The lab in Buenos Aires houses row after row of boxes, each containing the unidentified remains of a long-missing son, daughter, father or mother. The neatly-stacked boxes of skeletal fragments are held in a lab belonging to the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team.For nearly 30 years, the group has examined the remains of countless dead from all over the world, including those of revolutionary icon “Che” Guevara, who was executed in Bolivia more than 40 years ago.But its dozens of scientists are at work now on a task closer to home – identifying the remains of hundreds of victims from Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s and 1980s.The bones, retrieved from mass graves, are among the 30,000 Argentines who “disappeared” during the dictatorship, and presumably were murdered by the regime.The work is a joint effort involving anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists and forensic specialists.These scientists over the years have uncovered the identities of some 600 leftists who went missing during the military regime – work they said is at once painful and painstaking.“One identification can take years,” explained Luis Fondebrider, an anthropologist from the University of Buenos Aires.This month marks 30 years since the end of the bloody dictatorship in this South American country, where military rulers reigned from 1976-1983.Written on some of the boxes are the letters, “NN” for “no name.” Each bone fragment is carefully numbered and labeled in red ink.Identifying victims without a nameTwo of the “no names,” examined on a wooden table covered in black cloth have bullets in the skulls, and one of the skulls has multiple fractures, a sign of likely torture.The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo – a rights group of family members whose loved ones disappeared during the dictatorship – praised the work of these scientific experts.“It gives us great pain – first comes the disappearance,” said Nora Cortinas, president of the group.Then, she said, there is the second blow, when the scientist confirm the identity of a deceased loved one.“That is the harsh reality we have to live with,” Cortinas said.The walls of the Argentine lab are covered with pictures of skeletons in various positions – graphic images showing the position of the bodies when they were found in a mass grave in northern Argentina.Their work has led to hundreds of trials and helped lead to the convictions of more than 400 members of the regime. No related posts. The massive effort of identifying the remains has been under way for four years, and has involved collecting blood samples from relatives of the missing, and comparing it with genetic samples belonging to the victims.“We need more relatives to come forward to donate blood,” Fondebrider said, adding that an effort is under way to collect DNA samples in some 60 hospitals throughout the country, as well as at Argentina’s overseas embassies.“We have received many [samples] in Spain, France, Denmark and Norway,” he said.The office next door to the lab houses files pertaining to hundreds of places which functioned as clandestine prisons, and where additional genetic material from the victims might be found.Dental records, which commonly are used to identify missing people in other countries, are less useful here.“Teeth give clues, but in Argentina there is no law requiring dentists to keep the records belonging to their patients,” Fondebrider said.The anthropologist added that one of the hardest parts of his job is returning the remains to the families, after the rigorous job of identifying the bones is completed.“Some take a long time to pick up [the bones] – it’s not easy. It’s an emotional process,” he said.“It’s as if the person died all over again. … It is probably the worst part of our work.” Facebook Commentscenter_img Sara Rus, member of the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights organization and survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, throws flowers into the Río Plata next to the monument to the victims of state terrorism at Memorial Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Aug. 21, 2013. Rus, a victim of the German Nazi occupation in her native Poland during World War II and of the Argentine dictatorship (1976-1983), during which her son was kidnapped and never appeared again, says her goal is not to be silent. Daniel García/AFPlast_img read more

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Top 5 Crime Stories of 2013

first_img5. Costa Rica seizes more cocaine than any other Central American countryCosta Rica likely seized more cocaine than any other Central American country during 2013, estimated to come in at nearly 20 tons. Between 2005 and 2012 the country seized an average of 17 tons of cocaine annually, according to a December 2013 report by the UNODC. During President Laura Chinchilla’s administration, authorities have seized more than 44 tons of cocaine. Only Panama has confiscated more of the narcotic than Costa Rica during the last decade. 4. Mysterious ‘drug camp’ helicoptersDuring October and November, it seemed like every other week brought new revelations about secret camps in Costa Rica’s isolated mountains that were equipped with clandestine helipads, assault rifles – even rocket-propelled grenades – and tens of thousands of U.S. dollars. The Judicial Investigation Police, or OIJ, raided four such camps between Oct. 9 and Nov. 8.The Tico Times also reported claims of other unidentified helicopter flights in indigenous Bribrí territory in the southern Talamanca region.Authorities believe the camps are most likely related to transcontinental drug trafficking, perhaps by the Sinaloa or Knights Templar cartels, as cocaine moves north from Colombia into Mexico and eventually the U.S. in exchange for money, guns and chemical agents used to process narcotics. No related posts. Alberto Font Judicial Investigation Police arrest the owner of Akropolis pizzeria, Dimosthenis Katsigiannis Karkasi, on Oct. 10 for allegedly soliciting people to sell their kidneys to an organ trafficking ring. Masked assailants kidnapped and murdered Jairo Mora on a Caribbean beach while he protected nesting leatherback turtles and their eggs. Courtesy of WIDECAST High profile killings, the corrosive influence of drug money on cops and the communities they police, and those who launder illicit earnings topped the headlines for crime in Costa Rica in 2013.But despite these dramatic, sometimes gruesome stories, 2013 wasn’t necessarily a bad year for law enforcement.Dramatic cases like that of Jairo Mora, a murdered 26-year-old sea turtle conservationist, caught international attention, but nationwide, the number of homicides has been decreasing since 2010, according to the Public Security Ministry and a recent report from the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime. Costa Rica’s homicide rate reached a three-year low of 8.9 homicides per 10,000 inhabitants in 2012, down from 11.5 in 2010.Public Security Minister Mario Zamora said that an apparent increase in the number of drug busts was more a function of successful police work than explosive growth in the drug trade.“The more we fight [against illicit drugs], the more of it we’re going to see,” he said.Scroll down for a rundown of the top five crime stories of 2013: Costa Rican Public Security Minister Mario Zamora, in the green shirt, reviews confiscated cocaine. Courtesy of the Public Security Ministry 3. Organ trafficking claims at least 13 victimsEasily the most gruesome crime of the year, an alleged international organ-trafficking ring was revealed when OIJ frog-marched Dr. Francisco José Mora out of San José’s Calerdón Guardia Hospital on June 17.Authorities accused Mora, the former head of nephrology at the public hospital and alleged ringleader, and eventually several other doctors and a pizzeria owner of soliciting and extracting kidneys, paying victims up to $20,000 for an organ. According to a UNODC report, 13 people fell prey to organ trafficking in Costa Rica during 2013.You can still get a slice (sorry) of pizza from the Akropolis restaurant where the owner allegedly connected victims with the doctors, now that it has reopened in La California neighborhood of San José.2. U.S., Tico authorities bust the ‘largest’ money laundering scheme in historyDigital currency operator Liberty Reserve allegedly moved some $6 billion, much of it laundered money for criminal organizations, gaining the mantle of “bank of choice for the criminal underworld,” according to U.S. prosecutors in New York.U.S. law enforcement said that the unlicensed money transfer business was the “largest” money laundering operation in history.Costa Rican, Spanish and U.S. law enforcement rounded up the firm’s principals, including one-time U.S. citizen Arthur Budovsky, on May 24 in a global sweep that took place in New York, Spain, and Costa Rica.In a sign of her entrepreneurial spirit, Budovsky’s Costa Rican wife, Yessenia Valerio Vargas, who was a street vendor selling empanadas when Budovsky’s attorney paid her to marry the Liberty Reserve founder to gain residency, filed a claim to collect half of her jailed husband’s assets.   1. ¡Jairo Vive!The brutal, fatal beating of Costa Rican turtle conservationist Jairo Mora caught the attention of the nation and the international community – including a U.S. Congressman – leading to questions about the nexus of organized crime, turtle egg poaching and tourism in Moín, Limón, on the northern Caribbean coast.In the early morning of July 31, balaclava-bearing OIJ agents raided several homes in Moín and other nearby towns. Seven suspects received six months of preventive detention as they await trial for Mora’s murder. The suspects are allegedly members of a criminal gang linked to other cases of rape, robbery, and gasoline thefts, according to court documents.Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry is currently exploring options to create a protected area on Moín Beach that would allow park rangers to patrol the area, and a recent executive decree would allow them to be armed.THE TICO TIMES’ YEAR-IN-REVIEW 2013:–The 8 most fascinating Central America stories of the year–The best of Costa Rica in 2013, according to everyone else Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Los Angeles Clippers regroup in aftermath of NBAs decision

first_imgRelated posts:NBA bans Los Angeles Clippers owner for life over racist remarks LeBron James says he still has a lot to prove in his return to Cleveland Warriors win, ending a 40-year gap that ranks as the longest in NBA history US’ all-time top scorer Landon Donovan to retire at end of season LOS ANGELES, California – Doc Rivers’ shell-shocked team was in a film session Tuesday, trying to do the one thing that had proven so difficult in recent days: focus on basketball. Rivers, the Clippers’ fatigued but resilient head coach, decided it was time to break the news: their controversial ownerhad been banned from the NBA for the rest of his life.The room was silent, Rivers said. He said his piece and then they all returned to game-planning. But even the coach conceded later, the Clippers couldn’t return immediately to normalcy. Team owner Donald Sterling had been caught on tape making racist comments, and the Clippers’ early run in the playoffs was knocked off course, perhaps permanently.Rivers called NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s severe punishment “the sigh of relief we needed.” But before catching his breath, he seemed to acknowledge that damage had been done.“Is this over? No, it’s not over,” he said. “But it’s the start of a healing process that we need, and it’s a start for our organization to try to get through this. That’s very important.”Hours after Silver said he would encourage the league’s Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, the team took the court for Game 5 of its first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.There was a strong police and security presence both inside the arena and out, though protester turnout was relatively light. There was, however, a strong entrepreneurial presence outside of Staples Center, where vendors hawked T-shirts featuring a colorful expletive aimed at the Clippers’ embattled owner.Inside the arena, the Clippers logo adorned much of the signage usually reserved for corporate sponsors. Companies such as Virgin America and Mercedes-Benz withdrew their support of the team in recent days, while many other big-name brands suspended their relationship with the team.The team locker rooms were closed to the media, so players were unavailable to comment on Silver’s bold move until the conclusion of Tuesday night’s game. Los Angeles Clippers coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers addresses a press conference prior to Game 5 of the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, April 29, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Robyn Beck/AFPThe Clippers tried to turn the page Tuesday night, subtly at times, awkwardly at others. Sterling’s name was never mentioned — except by occasional shrieking fans — and he was nowhere to be seen. Prior to the game, as the team went through warm-ups, the video scoreboard featured fans’ signs pledging support for players. The public-address announcer hammered home the night’s theme, “We are one.”Rivers had watched in recent days the toll the owner’s recorded remarks had taken on his team. After a listless Clippers team lost, 118-97, Sunday on the road, Rivers cancelled an off-day practice, hoping his players could find some space from the controversy that came to dominate the sports world and office water coolers in recent days.“You learn over and over when something like this happens, with the burden of racism, it always falls on the person who has been offended to respond,” Rivers said. “I’ve always thought that that’s interesting. I felt the pressure on my players. Everyone was waiting for them to give a response. I kept thinking, ‘they didn’t do anything, yet they have to respond?’ ”Point guard Chris Paul issued a statement prior to tip-off Tuesday, applauding Silver’s punishment.“We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support,” he said.Within minutes of the Silver’s announcement Tuesday afternoon, the Clippers’ official website re-directed to a page that had only three words on it: “We Are One.” The curious move raised the question: If Sterling is out of the picture, who’s calling the shots?There wasn’t a clear answer on Tuesday.“If you think about it, I’m coaching a team right now,” Rivers said, “and I actually don’t know who to call if I need something.”He said the next steps for the organization will be an ambiguous process with little precedent. Even Rivers isn’t sure where it will lead. While the coach is confident that Silver’s edict will stand and Sterling will forever be a pariah, he said it was too early to discuss his own future with the organization.“I think we’re just going to let this whole thing run its course, and then we’ll all have better clarity,” the coach said. “I’m not in a position nor do I want to be in position where it sounds like I’m threatening anything. I want my players to be comfortable. Honestly, that’s the most important thing.”In a news conference earlier Tuesday in New York, Silver said in addition to Rivers, he spoke with several Clippers players before rendering his decision.“My message to the Clippers fans is this league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach, any one player,” Silver said. “This institution has been around for a long time, and it will stand for a long time, and I have complete confidence in Doc Rivers, in the basketball management of the club, and the players deserve their support. They’ve just been through an incredibly difficult incident in their lives.”© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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National Theater inaugurates nativity scene

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: San José Children’s Hospital lights up its giant Christmas tree ‘The Nutcracker’ at San José’s National Theater Costa Rica’s one-stop Nativity shop WATCH: Making tamales in Costa Rica The National Theater inaugurated its traditional Nativity Scene on Tuesday evening before a large audience of curious Ticos. The activity featured a performance by the Buenaventura Corrales School children’s choir.“For the National Theater it is a big pleasure to have a choir from one of the iconic schools in San José, loved and respected by all Costa Ricans, in this important inauguration,” said theater director Fred Herrera. The nativity scene has been an important tradition for Costa Ricans since 1974, when then theater director Graciela Moreno started it.Different children’s choirs will perform Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. to continue with the inauguration. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Former Nicaragua Contra leader Adolfo Calero dies

first_imgHe also was the key contact with senior U.S. officials during the Iran-Contra affair, when Reagan administration officials secretly arranged the sale of weapons to Iran to finance the Central American rebels, bypassing Congressional restrictions.Calero attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and told a U.S. congressional committee in 1987 the experience awakened him to the value of freedom.He said he returned home in the mid-1950s as “a knight in democratic armor, in my own country,” opposing first the right-wing Somoza dictatorship that ruled Nicaragua for 43 years and later the leftist Sandinistas, who ousted the Somozas in 1979 with broad public support.“When Somoza was driven from our country, we had a right to expect that our dreams of democracy would be fulfilled. Instead, we got the Soviet totalitarian regime, an oppressive dictatorship operated by the Soviet Union and its proxy, Cuba.”Calero was a prominent figure in Nicaragua’s Conservative Party and worked against Anastasio Somoza, even meeting in 1978 with Sandinista leaders to overcome differences in the struggle against the dictator.But when the Sandinistas pulled the government sharply left, Calero, who had headed the local Coca Cola bottling company, went into exile in Florida. By 1983 emerged as the political head of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, the largest of the Contra groups, organized with U.S. aid. It claimed to have 22,000 men under arms at its height.The conflict killed thousands and added to economic chaos in the country. It eventually led to international mediation and the Sandinistas agreed to accept free elections if the Contras demobilized. The resulting vote removed the Sandinistas from power in 1990, though another election returned Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega to the presidency in 2007.Ortega’s brother Humberto, who led the military during the 1980s, recalled dealing with Calero during peace talks that helped lead to the 1990 election.“We broke the tension with cordiality and then there was fluidity to the negotiations,” Ortega said in an email to The Associated Press. He sent condolences to Calero’s family.Calero denied knowing that any funds donated to the rebels had come from the Iranian weapons sales, but acknowledged in 1987 that three former U.S. military officers had helped them buy more than $18 million in military equipment at a time when direct U.S. arms aid was suspended. Another $14 million in donations were used to buy food, clothing and other supplies, he said. Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Associated PressMANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) – Adolfo Calero, who led the largest force of U.S.-backed rebels against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government in the 1980s and found himself entangled in the Iran-Contra scandal, has died at age 80.Calero died Saturday of lung problems in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, his aide Julio Romero confirmed on Sunday.As leader of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, Calero helped pressure the Marxist Sandinistas toward the elections that pushed them from power in 1990. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Some of that money was turned into travelers checks and he told congressional investigators that he had given then-White House aide Oliver North about $90,000 of that to help in the liberation of U.S. hostages in Lebanon.“I used to tell Col. North, frankly, everything. I had no reservation. I had full confidence and trust in him,” Calero testified.After the Sandinistas left power, Calero returned to Nicaragua, recovering the home the leftist rulers had confiscated from him, and practiced law.Conservative U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida issued a statement of condolences on Saturday, calling Calero “the symbol of a country struggling to regain its freedom.”As he was buried Sunday in Managua, relatives showed a photograph of Calero with Ronald Reagan, who had signed it: “For Adolfo Calero. Our fight for justice and democracy in Nicaragua will prevail.”He is survived by his wife, Maria Ernestina Lacayo de Calero, as well as a daughter and three grandchildren.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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Guyana to probe China company awarded airport deal

first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   Officials with China Harbor Engineering Company issued a statement late last week saying that the company itself has not been sanctioned by the World Bank.Guyana House Speaker Raphael Trotman said Tuesday that Parliament’s economic services committee will decide whether the company should proceed with the $138 million renovation at Cheddi Jagan Airport.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) – Legislators in Guyana will soon hold hearings on whether one of China’s largest state companies should be allowed to renovate the country’s main airport following allegations of corruption.The announcement comes after Jamaica’s government recently alerted Caribbean nations that the World Bank had barred the parent company of China Harbor Engineering Company from bidding on certain bank-funded projects from 2009 to 2017. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

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Police Child porno sweep nets 272 suspects

first_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Police did not say whether investigations, which were conducted over months, were continuing outside of Austria.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates VIENNA (AP) – Austrian police say they have identified 272 suspects in the country as part of an investigation of internet-based child pornography involving 141 nations.Chief Inspector Harald Gremel says Austrian police were alerted by Luxembourg authorities after they found child pornography was being watched worldwide from several Luxembourg-based home pages.Gremel told reporters Wednesday that all the suspects are male and come from all professions, including school and kindergarten teachers. Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner says they range in age from 17 to 70. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

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Thousands in HK protest China patriotism classes

first_imgSunday’s demonstrators carried placards and banners and shouted slogans calling for the government to withdraw its plan to introduce the Moral and National Education curriculum.The government has stood firm and plans to make the subject compulsory in primary schools starting in 2015 and in secondary schools the year after, although schools are encouraged to start using it earlier.According to the curriculum guidelines, students will learn about China’s political leaders, the efforts and contributions they have made and the difficulties and challenges they face, as well as how to “speak cautiously,” practice self-discipline and get along well with others in a rational and respectful manner.Police estimated 32,000 people turned out for Sunday’s protest. Despite blazing heat, many parents were there, pushing infants and young children in strollers. A group of young girls chanted, “We want the truth, we don’t want brainwashing.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths HONG KONG (AP) – Tens of thousands including teachers and parents pushing strollers took to Hong Kong streets Sunday to protest the upcoming introduction of Chinese patriotism classes they fear will lead to brainwashing, the latest sign of growing discomfort over Beijing’s influence in the semiautonomous territory.Students and pro-democracy activists were among those who marched to the Hong Kong government’s headquarters to protest the new curriculum, which authorities are encouraging schools to begin using when classes resume in September. Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Top Stories They fear the classes will be used to brainwash children into supporting China’s Communist Party. The government has denied that and says they are aimed at building Chinese national pride.The controversy flared up after reports emerged that pro-Beijing groups published a booklet for use in classes that extolled the virtues of one-party rule.“China wants Hong Kong’s next generation to know how great it is and not know the bad stuff,” said Chan Yip-Long, a 9-year-old primary school student. “The booklet is very biased, so I am opposing it.”The protest is the latest sign of growing discontent in Hong Kong over mainland China’s increasing influence 15 years after the freewheeling financial center was returned to China by Britain following more than a century of colonial rule. Tensions have also been stoked by growing economic inequality and as well as an influx of free-spending wealthy Chinese, who are seen as driving up property prices and shop rents.Hong Kongers are also angry about stunted democratic development. Beijing has pledged that Hong Kong can elect its own leader in 2017 and all legislators by 2020, though no roadmap has been laid out. On July 1, tens of thousands of people protested over the city’s new leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who was chosen by an elite pro-Beijing committee and is widely suspected of having close ties to the Communist Party. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

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Chile Search grows hopes dim for missing hikers

first_imgLocal university volunteers are now helping park rangers, police and army search teams and an expert Andean rescue squad in the search for Dmitry Sivenkov of Russia, Gillhem Bellon of France and Luca Ogliengo of Italy.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system 0 Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Associated PressPUCON, Chile (AP) – The search for three European hikers on a snowy volcano in southern Chile now has high-tech help and a fresh group of volunteers, but heavy clouds are setting them back.The hikers have been lost for more than a week now on the Villarica volcano.Searchers are using a federal police helicopter as well as the private helicopter hired by Italian’s family, and both are equipped with thermal imaging cameras that can see through the heavy snow that covered the hikers’ tracks after they lost contact on Nov. 7. Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

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Longtime Ugandan leader gets backing for 2016 run

first_imgKAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Uganda’s ruling party chose the country’s long-serving president to be its unopposed candidate for elections in 2016, eliminating the potential challenge of internal rivals who could threaten the leader’s nearly 30-year grip on power.A statement late Tuesday from the ruling party, whose senior officials have been holding a retreat, said President Yoweri Museveni remains the party’s “driver” and that “anybody else can wait.” The statement slammed Museveni’s rivals as a danger to “party cohesion” and urged them to “shelve” their presidential hopes for the sake of party unity, without naming them. The decision to back Museveni is the culmination of months of an apparent power struggle between the president and his ambitious premier who once was one of his closest allies. As secretary-general of the ruling party, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s influence is only eclipsed by Museveni.Museveni, who took power by force in 1986 following a guerrilla war, is now expected to run again in 2016 when his current term expires. But he faces pressure within and outside his party to preside over the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1962. A seasoned politician who has held senior government posts over the years, Mbabazi is seen by his supporters as a viable alternative to Museveni.It now appears Museveni’s allies are trying to remove any threat posed by Mbabazi, one of at least three senior party officials frequently mentioned as potential Museveni rivals in upcoming elections. At the ongoing retreat, ruling party members were asked to sign a resolution endorsing Museveni as the only one qualified to lead the party. More than 200 officials _ including Mbabazi _signed the petition, according to a copy of the document released by the ruling party. That resolution is expected to be later ratified by a larger meeting of ruling party members. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “We are safer with a driver who has not only demonstrated ability as the founding leader of the revolution that liberated Uganda but also managed to keep the country together, given its turbulent political history,” the petition said. “This driver is none other than President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.”Some analysts predict Mbabazi may lead a splinter faction within the party if he is ousted from his post as premier.Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a professor of political history at Uganda’s Makerere University, said the unexpected move to endorse Museveni as sole candidate was “orchestrated to frustrate all possible contenders” for the presidency. That decision now silences internal debate about Museveni’s possible successor, he said.Mbabazi was cited in a letter written last year by a Ugandan military general who warned that high-ranking Ugandan officials who opposed the political rise of Museveni’s son could be targeted for assassination. Gen. David Sejusa, who is now exiled in London, has since launched a political party opposed to what he says is Museveni’s increasingly authoritarian rule.Museveni has denied he is grooming his son, an army brigadier who heads the country’s special forces, to replace him as president. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likecenter_img Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories (Copyright 2014 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 Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

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Hijacked Malaysian oil tanker rescued pirates flee

first_img 0 Comments   Share   The ship is sailing to Malaysia’s northern Kuantan port, escorted by a naval ship, he said.Abdul Aziz said Vietnam had arrested eight men on a life raft who claimed to be from a fishing boat that sank, and that Malaysian authorities are investigating whether they are the hijackers.The tanker, carrying 7.5 million liters (2 million gallons) of gasoline worth 21 million ringgit ($5.7 million), was headed to Kuantan when communications were lost June 11. The crew consists of 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Myanmar national.The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said earlier that the ship was located in waters off southern Vietnam late Wednesday and had been repainted black from blue. Abdul Aziz also tweeted pictures of the tanker, showing some letters of the name of the ship painted over to give it a new name, “Kim Harmon.”Abdul Aziz said the pirates had warned the navy ship tailing the tanker to stay at a distance or they would harm the crew. He said the captain of the tanker waited for five hours to inform the navy ship after the pirates fled because they took his family’s home address and threatened to harm them.He said the pirates were armed with pistols and machetes and spoke with Indonesian accents. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Pirates who hijacked a Malaysian oil tanker last week have fled on the ship’s lifeboat after being pursued by a Malaysian navy ship, an official said Friday.Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the eight pirates, believed to be Indonesians, abandoned the MT Orkim Harmony late Thursday. All 22 crew members are safe except for an Indonesian cook who was shot in the thigh, Abdul Aziz tweeted. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Men’s health affects baby’s health too Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The maritime agency said the hijacking was believed to be the work of a syndicate targeting vessels for their cargos of fuel. It said this was the fifth theft in waters off southern Malaysia this year.It was the second tanker hijacked this month. Another Malaysian tanker carrying diesel fuel was hijacked June 4 in the same area and was released after its fuel was siphoned off.Maritime officials have said it is more difficult to steal gasoline because it is highly flammable and requires special safety equipment.The International Maritime Bureau says attacks against small tankers off Southeast Asia’s coasts have been rising since last year.Pirates have been particularly active near Indonesia’s Bintan island and in the South China Sea, where 11 vessels were hijacked last year, the bureau said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

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Teenage activist wants more money for childrens education

first_imgCOPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai wants world leaders to spend more money, on top of their earlier promises, to secure 12 years of free primary and secondary education for all children across the world.The Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban in October 2012 for asserting her right to an education says she will continue her fight for children’s right to education and ask world leaders to invest an additional $39 billion annually. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “We will not stop. We will continue to speak out and raise our voices until we see every child in school,” she said ahead of an education summit in Oslo, Norway, attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, among others.An estimated 58 million children aren’t going to school. While aid for basic education had doubled from 2002 to 2009, it has since stagnated and fallen in recent years, according to a summit paper. Even though many countries have increased their national budget allocations, progress in getting more children to school has stalled.Universal fee-free primary and secondary education for a 12-year period costs an estimated US$340 billion per year through 2030, according to the Malala Fund, the nonprofit organization she co-founded. Low- and lower-middle-income countries must commit a minimum of 20 percent of their national budgets to education, against the current average of 15 percent.Governments must “start investing in books, education and hope, rather than in weapons, war and conflicts,” Malala said, reiterating that some 100 countries in May committed themselves to provide free primary and secondary education to all children by 2030. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Parents, stop beating yourself up Malala and India’s Kailash Satyarthi were awarded the Nobel prize in 2014 for helping protect children and advance their education.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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Swiss say 1 of 7 FIFA officials agrees to extradition to US

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ErrorOK.. ErrorOK Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home BERN, Switzerland (AP) — One of the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich as part of an American corruption probe has agreed to be extradited to the United States, Swiss authorities said Friday.Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice didn’t identify the official involved, saying in a statement that he “wished not to be named at the moment.”The official, who initially had contested his extradition, agreed to be extradited on Thursday afternoon. The office said it approved his extradition immediately but that, in keeping with its usual practice, it would not give details of when he would be handed over. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Parents, stop beating yourself up Under Swiss law, he must be collected by a U.S. police escort and taken to the United States within 10 days.The seven men arrested in raids on a luxury hotel May 27 in Zurich, where FIFA has its headquarters, included current and former members of FIFA’s executive committee. The United States submitted a formal request for their extradition at the beginning of July.The widening American investigation alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span.The official who has agreed to be extradited is accused of accepting bribes totaling millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to various sports marketing firms and keeping the money for himself, the Swiss justice office said. Those rights were related to the broadcast of World Cup qualifiers, regional tournaments and continental championships in North and South America.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Lower Manhattan to unveil 911 Memorial

first_imgimage credit: Fox News Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J New York is preparing to unveil its 9/11 Memorial to the world, a day after the city mourns the tenth anniversary since the planned attack that brought down the World Trade Centre.Opening on 12 September this year, city planners said they are expecting to see the Memorial, constructed on Ground Zero, attract new visitors into Lower Manhattan.The site was described as being covered by up to 415 trees and with two pools of water occupying the footprints of each of the towers, The Guardian reported.A large bronze strip is also said to surround the cascades and are engraved with the names of the victims that lost their lives on the day of the attack, including those in the Pentagon and the United flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.Access to the memorial is free, however can only be booked through an online times reservation system.According to city figures, Lower Manhattan has quickly become a favourite destination for travellers, attracting up to nine million people last year, a 26 percent increase since 2008. An extra 5,000 hotels rooms were also added to the area to cater to the growing demand into the downtown area.Earlier this month, NYC & Company teamed up with Mayor Bloomberg to launch a ‘Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan’ travel itinerary that offers travellers special deals into the destination that welcomed the first settlement of Dutch explorers.The itinerary includes a complimentary Downtown Culture Pass and admission discounts to attractions including: Andaz Wall Street, Gild Hall, Millennium Hilton and the World Center Hotel.last_img read more

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Virgin Australia strikes pilot crew deal

first_imgVirgin Australia and its long-haul pilots and cabin crew have agreed to an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).The new three year deal was agreed to by up to 85 percent of pilots and 93 percent of cabin crew and will see salaries rise from $37,500 to $40,075, according to The Australian.Virgin Australia group executive people Richard Tanner explained that the airline was “pleased” to have reached a positive outcome with its employees.“Engagement with our staff is a priority for our business,” Mr Tanner said.  “We are looking forward to Fair Work Australia approving the EBAs.  “This outcome is the result of a very good and fair process for Virgin Australia, the unions and our staff.”The announcement comes only days after the carrier’s competition Qantas faces engineer strikes and a shareholders no confidence vote. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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