LONDON — London’s Heathrow Airport says dozens of flights have been cancelled amid forecasts of snow and strong winds in Britain.Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, said 80 out of about 1,350 flights scheduled Thursday have been cancelled pre-emptively because of the wintry weather.Britain’s weather forecasters have issued warnings for snow for much of the country up until Saturday, with frequent snow showers and gales expected across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England. Sleet or snow may affect southern England as well.Flight delays and cancellations are piling up in OregonA major snowstorm spread Wednesday through Portland and parts of Washington state, toppling trees, closing schools and cutting power to thousands in the city’s heaviest snowfall since 2008.At Portland International Airport, flight delays and cancellations are piling up as the snow continues to swirl. Amtrak has suspended its southbound service between Seattle and Portland. No alternate transportation will be provided for the morning Amtrak Cascades service.Meanwhile, those relying on Portland’s light-rail system continue to face delays because of ice, downed trees and fallen power lines. Shuttle buses are serving some stations.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe Oregon Department of Transportation urges drivers to stay off the road, and motorists appeared to be heeding that message. Many roads were empty Wednesday morning.Extreme cold, high wind chill and dangerous travel in store for PrairiesEnvironment Canada has issued extreme cold mornings for most of the Prairies, saying that wind chill values could reach up to -45C into Thursday morning.In Saskatchewan, RCMP were not advising travel anywhere in the province.Similar warnings were issued in parts of Alberta including the Edmonton area, where the winds were gusting to 60 kilometres an hour at times, though Calgary appeared likely to escape the storm.Europe: heavy snow brings more misery and travel delaysAuthorities dug out stranded residents as heavy snow blanketed Eastern Europe Wednesday. As such, people struggled with travel delays, power outages and sub-zero temperatures. Homeless people and migrants were among those most at risk.The recent cold snap has now been blamed for at least 66 deaths, and seen the lowest temperatures for decades in some parts.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyPoland, the country hit hardest by the deep freeze, reported two more deaths Wednesday as havoc spread to many countries across the region.Greece’s navy sent a ship to the island of Lesbos to house some 500 refugees and migrants. A medical association on the island said conditions at the main camp there were “inhuman” with migrants in tents exposed to freezing temperatures.Swathes of northern and eastern Bulgaria were paralyzed by snowdrifts that blocked roads and left 117 towns and villages without electricity. The main highway linking the capital Sofia with the Black Sea port of Burgas was closed.As temperatures plummeted to -25 Celsius, there were power outages in many areas. Meteorologists said it was the coldest weather since 1963, when the eastern city of Gjilan recorded a low of -32.5 Celsius.In Romania, blizzards closed more than 130 roads and caused huge delays and cancellations on the railways. << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, January 12, 2017 The Canadian Press Share Tags: Snow Storm Snowmageddon continues: Flights cancelled at Heathrow and Oregon, while the Prairies and Europe dig themselves out Posted by
TORONTO — One of Canada’s top-selling travel agents for Sandals Resorts was part of an elite team of retailers flown down to Sandals Montego Bay for a VIP trip marking the resort company’s Chairman’s Royal Club retreat.Travel Time – TPI’s Lois Barbour, based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, was among the more than two dozen travel agents taking part in the annual retreat, held at the recently renovated resort April 20-24, 2018.The Chairman’s Royal Club is made up of the top-selling and most loyal agents for the Sandals brands.During the retreat agents were able to spend quality time with the Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart. Stewart opened the flagship Sandals Montego Bay resort in 1981 to launch the Sandals brand.Other senior executives also in attendance included Gebhard Rainer, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, Tammy Gonzalez, CEO Of Unique Vacations Inc. and Gary Sadler, Sr. Vice President of Sales.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthActivities ranged from tours of Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril to an Island Routes Reggae Catamaran Cruise, as well as a wedding presentation by Director of Romance Marsha-Ann Brown and a Sandals Foundation update from Heidi Clarke, Executive Director.Agents also took part in a round-table discussion with various members of Sandals’ executive management team. Travelweek Group Share Posted by Tags: Sandals Resorts Canadian agent joins Sandals Resorts Chairman’s Royal Club retreat Monday, April 30, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Travelweek Group Friday, June 15, 2018 MSC Cruises signs order for fifth Meraviglia ship Share << Previous PostNext Post >> SAINT-NAZAIRE, FRANCE – A fifth Meraviglia class ship is coming to MSC Cruises, representing an additional investment of over US$1 billion.The cruise line recently signed an order with STX France for the construction of the ship, set for delivery in 2023. It will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas, as well as an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the world’s most stringent regulatory standards. Upon completion, it will accommodate 6,774 guests and span over 1,000 feet.Float-out of the MSC BellissimaThe announcement was made at a ceremony held at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard, where STX France and MSC celebrated three major ship building milestones: the steel-cutting ceremony of the 4th Meraviglia class vessel, the coin ceremony of MSC Grandiosa, and the float-out of MSC Bellissima. MSC Bellissima will be christened on March 2, 2019 while MSC Grandiosa will be christened in November 2019.Steel Cutting CeremonyFor the first time in Saint-Nazaire’s history, three cruise ships belonging to a single cruise brand are under simultaneous construction at the shipyard.More news: Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perks“With the announcement of yet another new vessel, the 13th under our 10-year investment plan, we are affirming our commitment to sustainable growth for our company,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman. “Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of cutting-edge environmental technology to the market, benefitting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines.”MSC BellissimaVago added that the ship will be joined at sea by up to four World Class LNG-powered ships as part of “our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide.” Tags: MSC Cruises Posted by
Jim Gray has informed us that the Hotel Cocal & Casino is in the final phase of a $2.5 million, five-year renovation. The final phase includes a pool bar and a new kitchen serving the oceanfront Latitude restaurant.Hotel Cocal & Casino will have live music Wed.-Sat. from 6:30-10:30 p.m for the rest of the year. The performances will feature two different groups: Scott & Alissa playing Latin music and Alex & Macho, two guitarists, playing American and Latin music. The Cocal is located oceanfront in the center of Jacó Beach. For more information, see www.hotelcocalandcasino.com.–Christina Truittchristina_truitt@yahoo.com Facebook Comments No related posts.
If you want to enjoy a sunset sail, and raise money for Surf for Youth, then here’s your chance. On Jan. 19, you can go out on the Marlin Del Rey Catamaran and your fee will go toward the charity surf program that encourages kids to stay in school while developing and supporting their skills as surfers.The event is organized by Waves Costa Rica, Quiksilver Surf Camps Costa Rica and Grupo C.O.R.E. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8829-4610 or 2653-4523.Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at El Pescador on the beach, enjoy a free music show with Darin Talbot. Called Puravidaville, the show is interactive and free, and you can order dinner or not. Call 2653-2523 to make a reservation or just stop by.Shon Koepeta has revitalized the Garden Plaza commercial center, the mall which houses the Automercado. There are all new stores: clothing for women, men and kids, a Movistar phone outlet, a beauty store, jewelry shop and more. The centerpiece of this revitalization is the great new Middle Eastern restaurant called Gazebo. Try the hummus, falafel and more at lunch and dinner.Tony Tattoo is now located at a new studio next to Le Beach Club. He does great body art with 100 percent sterile equipment. For appointments, call 8856-8922.–Ellen Zoe Goldenellenzoe@aol.com Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. PANAMA CITY – Panama’s Legislative Assembly approved a bill to reinstate the country in the Central American Parliament (Parlacen).With 40 votes in favor, 3 against and zero abstentions, lawmakers approved Panama’s return to the regional forum.Opposition lawmakers accused President Ricardo Martinelli of using Parlacen to protect him from any investigations when he leaves office.Current lawmakers had previously approved in 2010 a bill proposed by Martinelli for the withdrawal of Panama from Parlacen.Martinelli argued at the time that the regional forum was “burdensome,” “useless” and “a den of immunity” for politicians being probed for alleged corruption.Opposition lawakers believe that Martinelli changed his opinion on Parlacen because he is seeking immunity from various alleged acts of corruption that have been made public.“The problem with this government is that they first speak and then think,” said lawmaker Juan Carlos Arosemena, from the Democratic Revolutionary Party. “Martinelli first said [Parlacen] was a den of thieves” and “now we must quickly return,” he added.The treaty that gave birth to the Central American Parliament, which now includes all Central American countries except Costa Rica, granted regional presidents and vice presidents an automatic chair at the end of their term, which also gives them legal immunity from prosecution.Currently Parlacen is conformed by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic, as well as Taiwan, Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico as observer members. Facebook Comments
Google on Wednesday played down its role in a secret government surveillance program, detailing for the first time how it typically hands over data to federal officials.When faced with a court order, the tech giant said, it uses surprisingly simple and low-tech methods, including the delivery of information by hand or by using relatively common techniques to transfer files from one computer to another.“When required to comply with these requests, we deliver that information to the U.S. government — generally through secure FTP transfers and in person,” Google said in a statement.That could include putting data onto a disk or external hard drive, or printing out the requested information for a federal official, Google said. FTP, or file transfer protocol, is a popular method for exchanging information between servers with an extra layer of security.The company’s disclosure of how it handles National Security Agency requests might skirt its obligations to keep data requests secret, experts said. So far in public, the company has fiercely maintained that it has never heard of a secret NSA Internet surveillance program called PRISM, first revealed last week by The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper.Those outlets reported on an NSA document that showed the agency has been tapping directly into the servers of nine major U.S. Internet companies in order to track foreign terrorism suspects.Immediately after PRISM was publicly reported, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and others denied giving the government “direct access” to their servers.Since then, The Post has reported that executives at some of the participating Silicon Valley companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, have acknowledged the program’s existence. According to a NSA inspector general’s report obtained by The Post, PRISM allowed “collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations” rather than directly to company servers.Cybersecurity experts said the news reports put Google and other tech companies in a difficult position because they might not be able to discuss dealings with the NSA.“I think that the tech companies want to assure the American people that they are playing a role blocking excessive demands for their information,” said Susan Freiwald, a professor of cyber-law and information privacy at the University of San Francisco.Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo this week called for the Justice Department to remove gag orders that prevent them from discussing orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They fear that the secrecy of their involvement in government surveillance requests leads the public to imagine the worst, said Freiwald.Revelations about Google’s participation are particularly bruising for a firm that has been touted for protecting users’ data.On Wednesday, Google elaborated on what it is not allowing the government to do.It says it does not allow the NSA to collect information through a secure portal nor does it put information into a “drop box” for government agents to access. It said it has a team of employees who review every FISA order.“The US government does not have the ability to pull that data directly from our servers or network,” the Google statement said.Some technology law experts scoffed at Google’s claims of delivering information by hand. While the government seems to employ various ways of obtaining data, it appears to seek a large amount of information in a format that is searchable, which suggests that its collection from Google, Facebook and others is vast, these experts said.Officials and former staffers at the tech companies said it would be difficult for the government to place equipment on their servers or directly access them in secret. Too many engineers would know, they say.“There is obviously a big disconnect between how the NSA is marketing this capability internally and how different companies respond,” said Alan Davidson, a former director of public policy at Google. “Less secrecy would help everyone.”© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.
Facebook Comments Costa Rican footballers took a total of 10 awards at the annual Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Awards announced on Tuesday, including Tico goalieKeylor Navas, who won Player of the Year.Results came from an equally-weighted vote among member national team coaches and captains, members of the media and fans.The Real Madrid keeper beat Costa Rica’s captain Bryan Ruiz, who took second-place in the Player of the Year category. Navas earlier this year also won Spain’s Best Goalkeeper and was one of three finalists for the FIFA World Cup’s best goalie award in Brazil.Costa Rica’s Women’s National Team captain and Paris Saint Germain star Shirley Cruz took second place as Female Player of the Year, behind the United States’ Abby Wambach. Cruz is part of the Women’s Sele that this year qualified for the FIFA World Cup Canada 2015 for the first time ever.Jorge Luis Pinto, who lead Costa Rica’s National Team known as La Sele in its best performance ever at a World Cup, was named Coach of the Year, and Alajuelense Coach Óscar Ramírez took third.Ticos also scored CONCACAF’s best goals, with Bryan Ruiz’s historic World Cup strike against Italy in June taking Goal of the Year, followed by Herediano’s Esteban Ramírez’s potent kick against Saprissa in second place and Joel Campbell’s World Cup goal against Uruguay in third.Costa Rica’s Walter Quesada took third place for the Referee of the Year category.Here’s a full list of winners in each category:Men’s Player of the YearWinner: Keylor Navas, Goalkeeper (Real Madrid/SPA and Costa Rica)Second: Bryan Ruiz, Forward (Fulham FC/ENG and Costa Rica)Third: Tim Howard, Goalkeeper (Everton/ENG and United States)Women’s Player of the YearWinner: Abby Wambach, Forward (Western New York Flash/USA and United States)Second: Shirley Cruz, Midfielder (Paris Saint Germain/FRA and Costa Rica)Third: Veronica Charlyn Corral (Merilappi United/FIN and Mexico)Goalkeeper of the YearWinner: Tim Howard (Everton/ENG and United States)Second: Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga/SPA and Mexico)Third: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/SPA and Costa Rica)Coach of the YearWinner: Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica)Second: Luis Fernando Suárez (Honduras)Third: Óscar Ramírez (LD Alajuelense/CRC)Referee of the YearWinner: Mark Geiger (USA)Second: Marco Antonio Rodríguez (Mexico)Third: Walter Quesada (Costa Rica)Goal of the YearWinner: Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rica vs. Italy, 44th minute (June 20, 2014)Second: Esteban Ramírez, Herediano vs. Saprissa, 20th minute (November 2, 2014) Third: Joel Campbell, Costa Rica vs. Uruguay, 54th minute (June 14, 2014) Related posts:VIDEO: Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas wins Spain’s Best Goalkeeper award for 2013-2014 season Costa Rican prosecutors, judicial police under investigation for alleged use of police database to probe personal information of superstar goalie Keylor Navas Costa Rican footballer Bryan Ruíz wins CONCACAF Player of the Year Award Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas up for challenge after Madrid move
Related posts:As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives US says next round of Cuba talks to take place in Havana on Monday Cuba won’t abandon communism, Raúl Castro says US, Cuba resume talks amid Venezuela tensions HAVANA, Cuba – The United States and Cuba did not set a date Thursday to reopen their embassies, but the Cold War foes agreed to meet again to overcome deep rifts and work towards normalizing relations.Cuban officials and the highest-ranking U.S. delegation to visit Havana in 35 years said their landmark discussions had been productive as they work to restore ties broken off in 1961.Both sides admitted they had “profound differences” but they decided to see each other again. They must still discuss a date or location for their next meeting.It was the first meeting since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro surprised the world in December when they simultaneously announced plans to normalize ties.Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, said the talks in Havana’s Convention Center had been “positive and productive.”The two sides discussed technical issues that need to be worked out to open embassies but, Jacobson said, “I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen.”The broader goal of normalizing ties will take time, the U.S. official said.“Those issues that are part of the full range of normalization are complex and they reflect profound differences between our two countries and will continue to be discussed,” she said.“We have … to overcome more than 50 years of a relationship that was not based on confidence or trust,” she said after the four-hour meeting, one day after her deputy met Cuban officials on migration policy.Jacobson said she raised human rights concerns during the talks with her Cuban counterpart, Josefina Vidal, and that the communist side’s response was “that they have differences with us on that subject.”But Vidal denied that human rights were discussed during the meeting.“This issue was not discussed during the talks. Today’s meeting was solely and exclusively to talk about the issue of re-establishing relations, opening embassies and the subsequent normalization process,” she said.Vidal said it was difficult to reopen the Cuban embassy in Washington when Havana remains on a list of state sponsors of terrorism and the U.S. embargo has blocked its consulate from accessing banking services.Obama has asked the State Department to review Cuba’s inclusion on the blacklist. He has also urged the U.S. Congress to lift an embargo that Havana blames for its economic woes.Kerry hopes to open embassy The raising of the U.S. and Cuban flags in each other’s capitals would send powerful signals of the new era the two nations want to enter.“When it is timely, when it is appropriate, I’ll look forward to traveling to Cuba in order to formally open an embassy and begin to move forward,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.The two sides negotiated how to turn their “interests sections” into fully functioning embassies with ambassadors in Washington and Havana.The U.S. mission to Cuba, a concrete and glass building along the capital’s picturesque seawall, has been a symbol of the countries’ mutual animosity since it opened in 1977.Across the main entrance, the Cuban government built a vast esplanade to hold anti-U.S. rallies.In 2006, then-President Fidel Castro ordered 138 flagpoles erected to block a giant display screen the mission was using to convey political messages.Now, Washington wants Havana to reaccredit its diplomats; end travel restrictions for them within the island; ease shipments to the U.S. mission; and lift a cap on U.S. personnel.For Cuba, banking restrictions prevented its consulate from issuing passports between February and May last year because it could not find banks to handle transactions.Cuban diplomats also face travel restrictions in Washington.Other differences were on display on Wednesday, as Cuban and U.S. officials remained at odds over U.S. policies that give Cubans who reach U.S. soil quick access to permanent residency.‘Same bed, different dreams’ Arturo López-Levy, an international affairs professor at New York University, said the talks are important for building trust.“Although Havana and Washington differ in the objective that they seek in the long term, today they are in the same bed. It doesn’t matter that they have different dreams,” he said.The dissident community on the island of 11 million has had a mixed reaction, praising Obama while voicing concern that too much was conceded to the regime.In Washington, some Cuban-American lawmakers have criticized Obama, saying the administration had given up too much without securing human rights commitments.Read all of our Cuba coverage here Facebook Comments
Business leaders celebrated a court decision Friday that they say guarantees Costa Rica’s public hospitals, ports and electricity grid will continue to function even if public sector workers are involved in a labor dispute.The ruling, from the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court, is the latest chapter in a legislative saga spanning two presidencies. At issue is a comprehensive labor law which, among numerous other provisions, would allow workers providing essential public services to go on strike.The court, also known as Sala IV, struck down a December 2014 decision by President Luis Guillermo Solís to lift a prior veto of the law. The original veto came from ex-President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) in 2012.Costa Rican law allows the president to reverse a former president’s veto under certain circumstances, but Sala IV ruled against Solís’ veto-lifting in this case on a technicality.When Solís announced last year his intention to let the law go into force, he said the country’s labor laws were obsolete and that the urgency to update them was greater than the threat of strikes that could paralyze essential public services. These services include hospitals, emergency and police services, port operations, telecommunications, water and energy distribution, among others.The reform dealt with a wide range of labor issues that even pro-business lobbies supported. Among the bill’s provisions were protections for pregnant women and employees who have filed sexual harassment complaints. The law also prohibited firing someone based on their religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. It also included reforms to make the country’s labor courts more efficient.Despite Solís’ support for the bill, he said last year that he didn’t agree with the provision allowing strikes that would jeopardize essential services, so he issued an executive order banning such strikes. Opponents weren’t appeased, saying the executive order would be trumped by the law. The court’s decision Friday — in a 4-3 vote — was applauded by the business sector, which had vehemently opposed the labor reform, primarily because of the strike clause.Ex-President Chinchilla also celebrated the court’s decision, calling it a win for legal certainty and guaranteeing essential services in Costa Rica during an interview with Radio Monumental. During Chinchilla’s administration there were several large public sector strikes, including a nationwide doctors strike in 2011 and another healthcare workers strike in 2013.Ronald Jiménez, president of the Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP), an organization that represents more than 40 private business chambers, said in a statement that he hoped lawmakers would take up the provision of the law that dealt with labor court reform.Casa Presidencial released a statement Friday afternoon saying that the executive branch would respect the Sala IV’s ruling. Casa Presidencial said that it would continue to work with lawmakers to improve working conditions and modernize labor dispute resolutions.Despite Solís’ decision to lift the veto, the law never actually came into force. It was set to take effect in May 2016.The reform bill now returns to the Legislative Assembly for consideration. Facebook Comments Related posts:Refusing to hire obese man is not discrimination, Costa Rican court finds Costa Rica regulators order Facebook page removed over advertising it deems sexist and blasphemous Costa Rica IVF decree loses support of public health care system Uber supporters say court case could legalize ride-hailing service in Costa Rica
Related posts:PHOTOS: Costa Rica clinches World Cup 2018 berth Argentine Ricardo ‘El Tigre’ Gareca likely will be Costa Rica’s next national football coach Costa Rica football’s next big stars: 7 players who could shine for La Sele in the future 2017 Gold Cup: Costa Rica’s La Sele draws Canada 1-1 Facebook Comments Marcus Rashford staked his claim to start England’s World Cup campaign with a stunning strike in a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in a friendly in Leeds on Thursday.Danny Welbeck also justified his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad by coming off the bench to seal the win.In England’s last match before their tournament opener against Tunisia in 11 days’ time, Manchester United’s Rashford was the star of a much-changed side. Rashford’s dipping drive at 13 minutes was the highlight of an all-round satisfactory evening for the hosts as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, stretching back nearly a year.A sublime piece of skill down the left forced an early corner from which his United team-mate Phil Jones saw a looping header turned onto the bar by Costa Rica’s star goalkeeper, Keylor Navas. However, Navas, fresh off his third consecutive Champions League title with Real Madrid, was completely caught out moments later as Rashford unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that dipped perfectly over him and into the top corner for his third international goal.Navas was a hero of Costa Rica’s incredible run to the World Cup quarterfinals four years ago in Brazil, helping to knock England out of the group stages on the way.However, there was a gulf in skill between England and Costa Rica, despite the fact that Southgate’s lineup for the match was largely second string.Navas kept his side in the game by denying Jamie Vardy from point-blank range as he latched onto Leicester teammate Harry Maguire’s knockdown. At the other end, Jack Butland was handed a final chance to impress and try and oust Jordan Pickford as Southgate’s first-choice goalkeeper. He wasn’t called into action until 27 minutes when he made a smart save high to his left to turn Johan Venegas’s effort behind.Costa Rica face tournament favorites Brazil as well as Serbia and Switzerland in Group E, and will need to show far more ambition once they get to Russia if they are to replicate their heroics of four years ago.
Kenyan troops are moving toward one of the last major cities that militants control in Somalia, the port city of Kismayo.“May Allah not bring their evils back to here again. They were misinterpreting Islam,” Yusuf Haji said as he held a placard showing a drawing of a dead al-Shabab fighter. “Today, we celebrate under the shade of freedom, and this day makes us recognize that the blood of our army was not spilled in vain.”Somalia has not had a fully functioning government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, but slow progress is being made. The adoption of a new constitution was the first step in a busy month of political change. A new parliament is soon to be seated, and those leaders will vote on a new president by Aug. 20.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Al-Shabab “enslaved our people and exhumed our ancestors’ bones from graves. I give thanks to the army for their ouster,” said Halimo Sheikh Ali, one of the residents at Monday’s rally. “Without them, our city is reclaiming its lost reputation, our people are relieved and the good life is back.”Women in bright yellow and red robes sat in the stadium stands as bright blue Somali flags were waved and the national anthem was sung.“It’s a big day. It’s the day our enemy was ousted and it’s the peace day of Somalia,” President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said at the sun-baked rally inside Konis stadium, which militants once used as a base.Ahmed thanked troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti _ the African Union force _ as well as Ethiopia “for helping us to crush our common enemy. Somalia is really grateful for that.”Al-Shabab fighters were hated by many in Mogadishu for imposing an austere form of conservative Islamic rule where militant “judges” impose punishments like death by stoning or having a hand amputated.Forced to flee last August, al-Shabab fighters have since resorted to bomb attacks. Somali forces shot dead two suicide bombers who tried to enter a meeting of hundreds of Somali leaders last week as they voted to endorse the country’s new interim constitution. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments Share Associated PressMOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Thousands of Somalis gathered in a Mogadishu sports stadium Monday to celebrate the one-year mark since African Union and Somali soldiers forced militants out of the capital, a military victory that ushered in a year of relative peace and progress.The ouster of al-Shabab allowed residents in a war-torn seaside city to live a much more normal life. Sports leagues began. The national theater reopened. New beachside restaurants opened, offering seafood.
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories In recent years, North Korea has turned increasingly to China to provide trade, investment and knowhow in exchange for access to its minerals and labor.Government policy calls for strengthening economic cooperation with other countries while still maintaining North Korea’s “juche” policy of self-reliance, Yun Yong Sok, vice department director of North Korea’s Committee for Investment and Joint Venture, told the state-run Korean Central News Agency in March.“Contracts on joint venture and joint collaboration have been on increase with the investment environment changing for the better,” he told KCNA.The government directive to seek foreign business partnerships is a shift in a policy away from the insularity of past decades.Still, doing business in North Korea is a challenge. Most foreign visitors cannot travel freely in and out of the country, drive their own cars or communicate with their local counterparts by cellphone _ basics for conducting business anywhere else in the world.New rules for Rason were designed to get around some of these restrictions and make it more foreigner-friendly. Still, Rason is working on providing basic infrastructure, said Kim Yong Nam, vice director of the Economic Cooperation Bureau of the Rason City People’s Committee. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Parents, stop beating yourself up RASON, North Korea (AP) – More than a year after construction began, the road from China to North Korea’s special economic zone in Rason is paved. Power substations are being built, railway lines are being linked to routes to Siberia, and piers at the harbor expanded.This week, an international trade fair staged at the exhibition hall in the zone in North Korea’s far northeast offered foreign investors and visitors from China, Britain, Russia and elsewhere, as well as journalists from The Associated Press, a glimpse at the efforts to turn a long-neglected, remote region into a manufacturing, tourism and transportation hub. Xiyang said it invested $37.1 million to set up a joint venture to build a mining facility, and sent 100 workers to North Korea last year. North Korean officials later demanded changes to the contract and when Xiyang refused, they cut off utilities to the plant and deported the workers, Xiyang said in a statement.On the other hand, the Yatai Group, a Chinese conglomerate, announced last week that it signed a 50-year contract with Rason officials to build a sprawling complex around Unsang Harbor to produce cement and mortar.The push to develop Rason moves forward, and an AP reporter found Russian crews working this week on renovating rails to link Rajin and the Siberian city of Khasan, which would provide a link to European markets, and laborers upgrading the tracks between Rajin and the Tumen River at the Chinese-North Korean border.City officials say they are even working on sprucing up tourists sites.Kim Yong Ho, the president of the Kumyong Co., which provides services to restaurants in Rason, said business in the area is booming and he has seen more customers, both North Korean and foreign.___Associated Press photographer Kim Kwang Hyon in Rason and researcher Flora Ji in Beijing contributed to this report. “Right now, the most important thing is to improve the infrastructure, including electricity supply, transport and harbor construction as soon as possible,” he said.The geographic potential of Rason, which encompasses the cities of Rajin and Sonbong, is clear. It sits in the far northeastern tip of North Korea, with Russia on one side and China on the other. Officials told AP the zone is called the “golden triangle” because it has three ports with waters that never freeze, even in winter, offering potential routes into all three countries.It was earmarked in 1991 as a special economic zone, with officials seeing promise in building factories for manufacturing and expanding the Rajin port for shipping. However, little was done to develop Rason until North Korean authorities in recent years gave the area some autonomy from Pyongyang and amended or wrote new laws that make it easier for foreign businesses to set up shop, particularly regarding visas and entry.It also signed a pact with China two years ago to jointly develop the zone.But even longstanding ties with China haven’t guaranteed smooth sailing. Earlier this month, a Chinese firm, the Xiyang Group, warned other companies against investing in North Korea, calling its four-year experience trying to tap into North Korea’s mining industry “a nightmare.” A diorama of the future Rason International Commercial Trade Center displayed at the trade fair showed rows of modern buildings sparkling with lights and cars parked under street lamps along tree-lined streets _ a look at what officials hope the zone will look like in years to come. But whether that vision comes to fruition will depend in large part on whether China comes through with the electricity, supplies and money needed to bring Rason into the 21st century.Over the past two years, North Korea’s leadership has made the bid to transform Rason into an international hub a priority, along with drawing much-needed foreign investment. Last week, Jang Song Thaek, a senior official and uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, led a visit to China to discuss joint cooperation on developing economic zones along the border in an indication that the project has the attention of top officials.North Korea’s economy has languished in sharp contrast to the booming market economies of its neighbors in Northeast Asia. Pyongyang has not publicly released detailed economic data for decades, but the CIA Factbook estimates its per capita GDP at $1,800. Outside the capital, Pyongyang, much of the country remains poor, with buildings and roads in dire need of repair, and the United Nations says two-thirds of North Koreans face some form of chronic food shortage. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments Share 3 international destinations to visit in 2019
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chile’s government is criticizing one of its top generals for discriminating against gays and religious groups in his orders to military recruiters.Army Commander Cristian Chateau had signed a document asking recruiters to be “especially concerned” about finding soldiers who are “morally and intellectually prepared” for military service. He said they should exclude people with physical, mental or socioeconomic problems, criminal behavior, drug use, homosexuals, conscientious objectors and Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Quick workouts for men Comments Share Defense Minister Andres Allemand said Friday that such ideas are completely opposed to government policy, and said he’s asked for a full military review of the matter to eliminate any such guidance.Gay rights leader Rolando Jimenez isn’t satisfied and he wants the general to be forcibly retired.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix
ROME (AP) – A law professor, a botanist, a music historian and a climate expert have won this year’s Balzan Prizes.The Balzans are awarded each year in a variety of subjects and are handed out by a foundation based in Milan and Zurich, Switzerland. Each prize is worth 750,000 Swiss francs (about (EURO)620,000 or $790,000), and half of the amount must be destined for research, preferably involving young scholars. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The winners announced Monday were: Ronald Dworkin, 80, a New York University law professor; Australian Kurt Lambeck, 70, the climate expert; Reinhard Strohm, 70, a German-born music scholar; and David Baulcombe, 60, the head of the plant sciences department at the University of Cambridge.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Men’s health affects baby’s health too
Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The vital role family plays in society 0 Comments Share The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Associated PressJOHANNESBURG (AP) – African leaders joined thousands of Ugandans Tuesday on an airstrip in the capital of Kampala where 50 years ago Uganda announced independence from British rule.The East African country has come a long way from the days when brutal dictators were in charge, but it has not had a single peaceful transfer of power since 1962 and the potential for instability remains as opposition activists intensify their campaigns and authorities clamp down. Uganda’s population has since grown from 7 million to 34 million. The World Bank says Uganda has sustained a record of “prudent macroeconomic management and structural reform.” In 1996, at least 44 percent of Uganda’s population lived below the poverty line. By 2009, according to the World Bank, the figure had fallen to 24.5 percent.Angelo Izama, a political analyst with a Kampala-based think tank called Fanaka Kwawote, said that while Uganda has made progress on issues such as women’s rights, poverty reduction and the rule of law, the country remains in a perpetual state of political crisis.“Unfortunately, Uganda advances through crises,” Izama said. “The next crisis will be the question of succession. The oil resource has upped the ante on what succession means.”In 2006 Uganda discovered commercially viable oil deposits in the Albertine Rift, along the border with Congo, raising expectations in a country that exports mostly cash crops such as coffee and tea. Officials now estimate Uganda’s crude oil deposits at 3.5 billion barrels, the basis for Museveni’s claim last month that the country will achieve middle-income status in about 50 years. But some suspect the discovery of oil may have given Museveni a new incentive to hang on to power as well as a source of money to build and maintain that patronage networks that have enabled him to rule so long.“A number of independent and donor-funded studies have characterized today’s government of Uganda as one of neo-patrimonial rule,” the watchdog Global Witness said of Uganda shortly before Museveni was re-elected last year. “This is a system of government which is dominated by an individual leader whose personal authority is indistinguishable from that of the state and in which political power is maintained through a combination of patronage and the selective use of intimidation and force.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “We are not yet there,” said Nicholas Opio, an independent political analyst, talking about good governance in Uganda. “We are still on the road. There are bigger questions to be asked of this government. There is an aura of paranoia on the part of the state and this paranoia is a result of the increasing unpopularity of the regime.”Henry Kyemba, an author and politician who worked for Ugandan dictator Idi Amin before fleeing to England, said the country had progressed from the days of Amin, who ruled by military decree and whose regime killed thousands of Ugandans. He describes Uganda today as hopeful despite the lack of peaceful political transitions.“That is a most unfortunate situation and we should try and reverse it,” said Kyemba, whose 1977 book about Uganda under Amin is titled “A State of Blood.”.The national celebrations Tuesday were attended by at least 15 heads of state, including two of the longest-serving leaders in Africa: Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Yahya Jammeh of Gambia. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was represented by Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, who in 1962 handed over the symbolic instruments of power to a young Ugandan politician who would be overthrown eight years later by the army chief, Amin. Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day President Yoweri Museveni took power by force in 1986 and has ruled since. He has not said if he intends to run in the 2016 vote, but some in the ruling party are starting to demand his retirement, saying his long stay in power hurts the party’s popularity. For opposition activists, the fact that Museveni has held power for more than half the time Uganda has been independent is reason enough to use the anniversary to demand his unconditional exit.“We have to show the whole world that there is no independence in Uganda,” said Ingrid Turinawe, a prominent political activist. “Why should we celebrate? What is there to celebrate?”Military police surrounded the home of Uganda’s top opposition leader on Monday, effectively putting Kizza Besigye out of circulation. Besigye had threatened to stage a rally in Kampala to spotlight the government’s alleged failures.David Mpanga, a lawyer for Besigye, said his client’s house has been “besieged” by police and his movements restricted. Police last Thursday fired teargas to disperse a rally called by Besigye, who was then taken into a police cell before being allowed to return to his heavily monitored home.
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories BEIJING (AP) – China, which has the world’s largest number of smokers, is making another effort at limiting smoking by banning officials from lighting up in public. This time, the edict is coming from the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party and government.Until Sunday’s notice from the State Council, or China’s Cabinet, and the party’s central committee, efforts to curb smoking in public places were largely limited to city and other local-level measures. The health ministry pushed out guidelines banning smoking in venues including hotels and restaurants in 2011, but these were criticized as having no clear punishments or details on how such bans would be enforced. Smoking, which is linked to an average annual death toll of 1.4 million people in China in recent years, is one of the greatest health threats the country faces, government statistics show. The annual number of cigarettes sold in the country increased by 50 percent to 2.52 trillion in 2012 compared with 10 years earlier, according to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, which is overseen by health authorities.“Smoking remains a relatively universal phenomenon in public venues. Some officials smoke in public places, which has not only jeopardized the environment and public health, but tarnished the image of party and government offices and leaders and has a negative influence,” the circular read, according to Xinhua.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The new rules, which campaigners hope will help bring about a nationwide law banning smoking in public places, call on officials to lead by example by stubbing out their cigarettes. Officials are not allowed to smoke in schools, hospitals, sports venues, on public transport or any other places where smoking is banned, or to smoke or offer cigarettes when performing official duties, the official Xinhua News said. They also cannot use public funds to buy cigarettes, and within Communist Party or government offices tobacco products cannot be sold nor adverts displayed.“This is likely a major breakthrough. For the first time, very high-level attention and support is being given to anti-tobacco efforts,” said Ray Yip, head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s China program. The foundation has been working on smoking cessation campaigns in the country.“This likely will lead to meaningful legislation and enforcement related to smoking,” Yip said.China, with a population of 1.35 billion, has more than 300 million smokers.Experts say huge revenues from the state-owned tobacco monopoly have hindered anti-smoking measures. An order banning party officials from smoking indoors, handed down from the highest levels of power, could help to reduce its influence. Comments Share 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober
Men’s health affects baby’s health too Such terror attacks in Somalia’s capital are typically carried out by the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – A police officer in Somalia’s capital says that a car bomb exploded outside a Mogadishu hotel as senior police officers were meeting inside.The police officer, Capt. Mohamed Hussein, said that at least four people were wounded in the remotely triggered blast on Monday. Hussein said that Mogadishu’s police chief was among the senior officers meeting inside the hotel.Another police officer, Mohamed Abdi, said the hotel blast came a few hours after one person was wounded by a bomb concealed in his car and detonated by remote control. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments Share
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Most victims are women and children among hawkers who sell smoked fish and packets of water at the exit gate to Damaturu Central Motor Park, he said.The attack comes two weeks after Nigeria’s military said it destroyed about 20 insurgent camps and freed some 700 kidnapped women and children in the Sambisa Forest, where they said the main insurgent fighting force was trapped.But hundreds of militants tried to attack the biggest military base in northeastern Nigeria on Wednesday night but were repelled by troops at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and the most populous city in the northeast.On Friday, Boko Haram seized back the border town of Marte, officials said.Maiduguri is some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of the nearest reaches of the Sambisa Forest and Marte is even further north.A week ago, a gunman and suicide bomber attacked a business school in Potiskum, near Damaturu, killing a student and leaving many injured.A multinational offensive by Nigeria and its neighbors has driven the extremists from all northeastern towns in a 14-week-long offensive. But the Nigerians appear to have bogged down in the Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram has laid land mines and booby traps. Thousands have died in the nearly 6-year-old Islamic uprising, about 10,000 last year alone, and more than 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes, some across borders.___Umar reported from Maiduguri, Nigeria and Associated Press writer Michelle Faul contributed from Lagos, Nigeria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Patients with chronic pain give advice Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — A teenage suicide bomber blew herself up and killed seven other people Saturday outside a bustling bus station in the northeast Nigerian town of Damaturu, the state medical director said of the latest in a string of attacks this week by Nigeria’s home-grown Boko Haram extremists.Thirty-three people were seriously injured and are being treated at the hospital, said Yobe state’s medical director Garba Musa Fika. Seven are in critical condition and could die if they are not moved to specialist hospitals, according to a nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to reporters. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share Sponsored Stories Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A top United Nations human rights official expressed concern Friday over the political crisis that has triggered mass protests in Macedonia.UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said he was “deeply concerned by serious challenges to the rule of law and the shrinking of democratic space” in Macedonia.Speaking at the end of a two-day visit, Simonovic said the crisis was hurting efforts to bolster democratic institutions in a country hoping to gain NATO and eventual European Union membership. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories “Far-reaching improvements are needed in areas such as judicial independence, media freedom and the separation of state institutions from party influence, as different UN human rights mechanisms have previously highlighted,” he said.The crisis stems from leaked wiretapped conversations apparently showing government corruption. Opposition leader Zoran Zaev of the Social Democrats claims Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was behind the alleged illegal wiretapping of more than 20,000 people.Gruevski denies wrongdoing, claiming the recordings were the work of foreign spies.Adding to the political tension, a gunbattle earlier this month between police and ethnic Albanian gunmen left 18 people dead. The country of nearly 2.1 million people has a large ethnic Albanian minority.Simonovic praised an EU-mediated initiative this week that brought Gruevski and the opposition to talks held in Strasbourg, France.“I welcome the opening of a dialogue … There is a lot of homework that remains to be done here — a shared responsibility among all actors of this country,” he said.Last weekend, tens of thousands of pro-opposition protesters gathered in the center of Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, to demand Gruevski’s resignation. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic talks to the media during a news conference in Skopje, Macedonia, Friday, May 22, 2015. During his two-day official visit to Macedonia, UN Assistant Secretary-General Simonovic had talks on the current political situation in the country with key government officials, political party leaders, the Ombudsman, civil society representatives and other stakeholders. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The 44-year-old Gruevski, who has won successive elections since 2006, said he will not bow to pressure to step down.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in society Comments Share The difference between men and women when it comes to pain