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Book save on Sandals Emerald Bay before it sells out says ACV

Book save on Sandals Emerald Bay before it sells out says ACV

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Sandals Resorts MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is offering exclusive savings on Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa. To avoid disappointment, the company is encouraging clients to book by Feb. 28, before accommodations are sold out.“We don’t want any customer – not our trade partners or their clients – to be disappointed and miss out on these properties,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, Sun Markets, Air Canada Vacations. “Sandals Emerald Bay and Beaches Turks and Caicos are two of Sandals’ most popular resorts and always sell out in advance. Let your clients know about ACV’s incredible offers and encourage them to book as soon as possible.”Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, is offering savings of up to 65%, instant air credits of up to $1,000, one free night and unlimited golf with a minimum seven-night stay.Beaches Turks and Caicos, in Grace Bay, Providenciales, is also offering savings of up to 65%, plus instant air credits of up to $355 and a 30 Minute Couples Massage or Candlelight Dinner with a minimum seven-night stay.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoACV is the only Canadian tour operator offering year-round service to Great Exuma onboard Air Canada.. ACV also operates bi-weekly flights to Turks and Caicos from Montreal and daily flights from Toronto onboard Air Canada. Clients For more information, visit vacations.aircanada.com. Sharecenter_img Book & save on Sandals Emerald Bay before it sells out, says ACV Friday, January 20, 2017 Travelweek Group last_img read more

Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE Egypt Bahrain

Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE Egypt Bahrain

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Qatar, Qatar Airways Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE, Egypt, Bahrain Tuesday, June 6, 2017 DUBAI — Qatar Airways has canceled flights to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from Tuesday until further notice, the airline said on its website, a day after it had suspended flights to Saudi Arabia.The airline said passengers holding a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket to any of the four countries between June 5 and July 6 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current departure date.Qatar Airways said its offices will continue to operate as normal in affected countries until further notice.On Monday, EgyptAir, flydubai and Bahrain’s Gulf Air joined Etihad and Emirates in saying they would suspend all flights to and from Doha.The move came after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran.According to the CAPA Center for Aviation, “Losing Saudi, Bahrain and UAE airspace would effectively ground Qatar Airways.”More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksSince Qatar has very little airspace and is largely surrounded by Bahrain, a permanent ban by the aforementioned countries would be devastating for Qatar Airways. As Business Insider reports, losing access to Bahrainian airspace would force the airline to fly through airspace they are now barred from to reach their base in Doha.Credit: Business Insider With file from Reuters Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Canada kicks off MontrealLima and YellowknifeVancouver service

Air Canada kicks off MontrealLima and YellowknifeVancouver service

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Air Canada kicks off Montreal-Lima and Yellowknife-Vancouver service Tags: Air Canada MONTREAL — This past weekend was a busy one for Air Canada, which launched service between Montreal and Lima, and from Yellowknife to Vancouver.As Montreal’s first year-round link to the southern hemisphere, flight AC1942 arrived at Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport on the morning of Dec. 17, complementing the airline’s existing flights from Toronto and positioning it as an “important player” in the growing market between Montreal and Latin America, said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.“Air Canada is continuing its global expansion with the launch of Montreal-Lima, the first South American route from our Montreal hub that will offer business and leisure travellers as well as freight forwarders from Quebec and Atlantic Canada convenient access to Peru,” he added. “This concludes an exceptional year of growth out of Montreal-Trudeau with the introduction of eight new destinations.”Next year, Air Canada will launch service to Tokyo-Narita (Japan), Dublin (Ireland), Lisbon (Portugal) and Bucharest (Romania). Smith also added that over the past five years, Air Canada has increased capacity from Montreal by 83% and added 29 new destinations.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesMontreal-Lima direct service runs twice weekly and is operated by Air Canada Rouge with 282-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring Premium Rouge and Economy class service.A day earlier on Dec. 16, Air Canada also inaugurated Yellowknife seasonal service from Vancouver, the only nonstop flights between the two cities. The daily service is offered onboard 76-seat Bombardier CRJ-705 jet aircraft and will operate until April. Next year’s seasonal service from Vancouver will kick off on Sept. 5, 2018.“We are pleased to now link Yellowknife to our Vancouver trans-Pacific hub, connecting seamlessly to and from our Asia and U.S. transborder networks to offer time savings and ease for both international visitors travelling to enjoy our country’s spectacular Aurora Borealis and Canada’s northern winter adventures, as well as for local residents. Our seasonal route will begin in early fall next year to meet the growing demand for travel to Canada’s Northwest Territories from Asia,” said Smith.center_img Share Posted by Monday, December 18, 2017 last_img read more

Another two Canadian gateways for Canada Jetlines

Another two Canadian gateways for Canada Jetlines

first_img Travelweek Group VANCOUVER — Canada Jetlines has added another two Canadian gateways to its proposed network: Kelowna International Airport (YLW) and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG).The ULCC, which says it’s on track to launch this summer, has reached agreements to provide flights from both airports. Agreements are subject to the completion of the airline licencing process and the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.CEO Javier Suarez said that he expects Canadians in Winnipeg and Kelowna to travel more often as a result of Jetlines’ low fares.“Similarly, driven by these low fares, both markets should experience an increase in the number of tourists in their regions. The addition of these airports will extend our reach, giving Jetlines future access to more large populations and strong markets.”Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority, added: “The addition of Jetlines to this market gives travellers another low-cost option to explore all this city and province have to offer.”More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaAlso commenting on the new agreements was Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport, who said: “Adding another ultra-low-cost carrier to YLW will give residents more flight options, and visitors more opportunities to experience all that the Okanagan has to offer.”The news comes on the heels of Jetlines’ announcement that it has signed agreements for future service to Puerto Plata, Samana and Santo Domingo. The ULCC has also announced its intentions to offer future service to destinations in Mexico including Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Cancun. Thursday, January 31, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img Another two Canadian gateways for Canada Jetlines Tags: Canada Jetlines, New Routes, ULCC Sharelast_img read more

The classic hamburger gets classier

first_imgBy Stacey Auch |Special to the Tico TimesHaving been disappointed a number of times by hamburgers in Costa Rica (the Tico-Style burger is not my thing), I tried to contain my enthusiasm when I heard of the opening of Hamburgesía – a gourmet hamburger restaurant behind the new Holiday Inn Escazú in Plaza Tempo.But upon entering the small, sleek dining room, I began to get excited. The place could easily have been Don Draper’s hamburger restaurant of choice, with its warm orange interior, metal trimmings and ‘60s retro furniture. All that was missing from this set – thanks to recent anti-tobacco legislation – was the lingering smoke.Upon chosing our seats, the highlight of Hamburgesía – its menu of artistic hamburger creations ranging in price from $10-14 – was promptly delivered, and the difficulty of choosing which gourmet burger to devour cannot be exaggerated. The easy part was to overlook the few salad options, but the six international burger choices had us stuck. The chef’s creations range from the Pura Vida to the eponymous Hamburgesía, a high-protein option topped with prosciutto and fried egg.I finally settled on the French-inspired Parisina featuring Brie Cheese, bacon and a mushroom sauce. My guest went for a little taste of Greece – the Santorini – covered with Feta cheese, red onion, cucumber and a Kalamata Olive aioli.My only mistake was to order my hamburger medium rare. Typically in Costa Rica, this results in a medium to medium well outcome. My burger, however, was served as ordered and actually leaned towards rare. Although it was a little too raw for my preference, I fault cultural nuance rather than the kitchen.That said, the short cooking time did seem to result in my Brie cheese not being very melted and appearing more like two blocks of cheese tossed on as an afterthought. Additionally, the mushrooms were betrayed by a rubbery texture suggesting they may have been canned.My guest had no critiques, however, and could not eat her Santorini fast enough. I barely prevented her from licking the Kalamata aioli off her plate, which would have been embarrassing in this classy joint.To accompany our meals, we each chose the only microbrew on the menu, the imported Acme California IPA. Although neither of us are huge fans of IPAs, this one turned out to be a fabulous pairing with the hamburgers. I would return to Hamburgesía for the beer alone.For dessert, were presented with four options that we easily narrowed to the Nutella brownie cheesecake. The unique creation made for an excellent finish and yet another reason to go back for more.For guests who might like to a more traditional burger, the menu also provides a “gourmet salad bar” of options, in which you can choose the size of your burger, a cheese, four garnishes and two sauces. The prices ranges from $10-18, depending on size. Hamburgesía diverts from the bigger is better mentality that is commonly associated with hamburgers and instead focuses on pairing the right flavors from course to course, leaving you full but not stuffed. In other words, the place keeps it classy. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Justices ruling forces overcrowded San José jail to relocate or release 370

first_imgDue to overcrowding, a San José judge, Roy Murillo Rodríguez, has ordered the Justice Ministry’s prison system to relocate or release 370 inmates at San Sebastián Prison, located south of the capital.If there is no room at other prisons, the judge said prisoners closest to finishing their sentences should be released. San Sebastián Prison houses inmates who are serving preventive detention while awaiting trial, and it has the country’s highest rate of overcrowding (127 percent), with 1,247 prisoners. Following the order, Justice Ministry officials began reviewing inmates’ criminal records and searching for space in other prisons, although most of the country’s prison are severely overcrowded.On average, Costa Rican jails are overpopulated by 40 percent, according the country’s prison system. Government officials are obliged to comply with the ruling in coming days, and Judge Murillo warned he would file charges at the Prosecutor’s Office against all officials involved if his order was ignored.President Laura Chinchilla on Tuesday said her administration “would be strict in applying the court order,” adding that officials would use “restrictive criteria” to determine who would be released.The president of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala III, Carlos Chinchilla, said Murillo has no authority to issue the order, and he is backed by other Sala III justices.Justice Chinchilla said he would appeal to the Supreme Court next week to ask them to throw out Murillo’s ruling. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Emblematic Costa Rican band Cantoamérica is Flying again

Emblematic Costa Rican band Cantoamérica is Flying again

first_imgRelated posts:Envision kicks off with long lines, high spirits, community service The band plays on: “Summer Series” serenades Plaza de la Democracia A passion, not a profession: new orchestra aims to broaden access to music U.S. blues phenomenon to play Barrio Amón Cantoamérica, which is Calypsonian or “Caribbean Fusion,” as they describe themselves, will blow out 35 candles this year. Instead if cekebrating it with a birthday cake, they are releasing a new album named “Vuela Otra Vez” (“Fly again“) eight years after their last release, “Vientos del Caribe.”The Tico Times talked to three of the nine members of the group: singer, guitarrist and songwriter Manuel Monestel, who has been part of the band since the start; trombonist Alfredo Chavarría, who joined the band in 2008; and percussionist José (Momo) Valverde, who joined in 2001.TT: As you, Manuel, have been part of the band sice it was created, where did the idea of Cantoamérica came from?MM: In the 1970s there was a musical movement called “The new Costa Rican song,” part of a larger, regional movement of Latin American identity, which tried to balance U.S. influence on Latin American music. We played Latin American music using Latin American instruments. I was playing with a group called “Tayacan,” directed by the great Nicaraguan musician Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy, who after a while went back to Nicaragua because of the Sandinista Revolution at that time.After he left, the group came to an end, but some of us wanted to continue. That is how Cantoamérica was created in 1980 by Rodrigo Salas, Roberto Salas, Carlos Svedra, Bernal Monestel (my brother) and me.Why Calypsonian music? Why the Caribbean?MM: In 1978-1979 I started questioning what happened with music on the Caribbean side of the country, understanding that we have a Caribbean province populated and influenced by an Afro-descendent culture. We found that approximately 95% of the music heard all around the world has African roots. Without the African Diaspora there would be no jazz, no blues, no salsa, no cumbia, no merengue, no calypso, no reggae. So I thought there must be interesting music in Limón. I started making contacts, getting to know their culture, reading about that region’s music that so few people knew; casually all written by foreigners, because, as you must know, ‘Ticos’ don’t get interested in those things. So, there I discovered Calypso, found musicians such as Walter Ferguson, and understood there was a whole musical culture led by Calypsonians. That is how I decided to bring in that kind of music to Cantoamerica. The group started with a Latin American emphasis; now it is more Afro-American.AC: I would’t like to label it, I mean, I wouldn’t say “we play calypso.” I think it is more like Manuel said, a fusion. I think that is an important and faithful reflection of what Costa Rican culture is: a mixed culture. I would also say that the great legacy of the group is the reinvindication of that mixed heritage which, from my point of view, has been historically invisible.It seems to me that, not only in Costa Rica but worldwide, those fusions are very successful because, at some point, people feel identified with them, unless they don’t quite understand why. I’m sure that when people listen to Cantoamérica they inmediately identify with it. They feel Costa Rican.MM: We are often described as a ‘World Caribbean Music’ group, and it is exactly that. A fusion of roots of our musical identities.How would you describe the trajectory of the group?MM: There are nine members; I am the only one who has been in the group since the start. We have toured through Asia, Africa, Europe and America, with approximately 28 international tours and 13 albums. We have worked with soloists and bands from Limón.JV: For this new album we had the opportunity to visit Africa, where we could see our roots, the roots of the Caribbean. We worked with African musician Eleuthere Gabon Assouramou, who gave a special feel to the new album. You can find some African drums in some songs.MM: A characteristic of the group right now, that I really like actually, is the participation of very young musicians. Most of them are less than 30. I like it because they bring young ideas, young energies. They give the group oxygen.AC: Another thing to highlight about the group today is female participation. They give a very special touch to the group.MM: They make us ‘politically correct’ [laughs].AC: Basically [laughs again]. Well, more than that, I think that the female energy creates a balance, a very important energy in any kind of human group. And the album reflects that female influence.José, can you describe the characteristic percussion of Cantoamérica?JV: We play many rhythms such as Cha Cha Cha and bolero, but we are mainly focused on Calypso, which is a rhythm that does exist in our country and that we must exploit. Thus, our percussion is basically based on drums, timbales, bongo, large conga drums, effects and minor percussion.José and Alfredo, what has your experience been since joining the band?AC: I joined in 2008, and about the experience – I could talk for hours about it. I could easily compare what I learned at university with what I have learned in Cantoamérica. That says quite a lot. Manuel’s guidance have been really important.JV: I started to play in the group in 2001, and I can say that Cantoamérica has given many musicians the opportunity to learn, be creative, and experiment. This has been a school for all of us. This is a group which through the passage of the years always keeps its charisma and joy. Before I joined the group, I used to listen to Cantoamérica and think, “So nice! I’d love to play with them” and, well, here I am.AC: Cantoamérica is an emblematic group within Costa Rican music, and I don’t say that because I’m part of it, but because there are many generations of Costa Rican musicians who has passed through Cantoamérica and have carried all the learning they obtained to other different projects and groups. The most rewarding aspect is all that daily coexistence with musicians.Tell us about this new album, “Vuela Otra Vez.”MM: Most of the music is original, mainly written by me. When we use non-original songs, they are music of Calypsonians authors from Limón. One track, ‘Orire,’ is a mixture of our music with the traditional African song of that name. It expresses both cultural sides, African and Caribbean.The name of the album has a double function. Frst, is the name of one of the songs which tells the story of a girl whose husband cheats on her and abandons her; the song encourages her to get free of her situation, to open her wings and fly, as the chorus says: ‘Vuela otra vez mariposa, vuela otra vez’ [‘Fly again butterfly, fly again’]. And, second, since Cantoamérica had several years of not releasing an album, the message is like: ‘Vuela otra vez Cantoamérica.’ We are back.We received financial support from approximately 100 people to make the album, and we are really thankful to all of them.What does Cantoamérica wants to communicate with its music?MM: Costa Rica is a complex country, and I say complex beacuse it is a country that focuses on the outside instead of the inside. It still doesn’t value its cultural production, our ethnic-cultural roots. The country is still thinking about itself as a ‘white country’ and most of its radio is virtually closed to any national music. The country follows a mainstream which makes invisible all those movements that go against that, and groups such as Cantoamérica must try harder. It is gratifying to me to write my own music, the music we like and we want to play, and not write in function of commercial impositions and opportunism.I don’t critize musicians who play covers, but I think that Costa Rica will not represent itself internationally with its music if we keep that way. You don’t go to the United States or England and play covers. The country must progress, look for its roots and base itself on those roots to create. I’m not talking about folklore. I’m talking about assimilating our real roots and transmitting them along with contemporary music, and relating all this to our history.Cantoamérica is offering a free concert today at the National Cultural Center (CENAC) in downtown San José at 3:30p.m. More info at 2255-3188. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

700 bilingual jobs in Costa Rica

700 bilingual jobs in Costa Rica

first_imgThree foreign companies are expanding operations in Costa Rica and are offering some 700 new jobs for bilingual Spanish-English professionals.U.S. manufacturer of personal and household care products Procter & Gamble (P&G) is offering more than 100 entry level and manager positions for its operations here. Recruiters are looking to hire professional staff with college degrees in business administration, finance, accounting, information technology, industrial engineering, logistics and customs, among other areas.All candidates must have an intermediate to advanced command of the English language, and will be tested. P&G will host a public recruiting event on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the company’s offices in Forum 1 industrial park in Santa Ana, west of the capital San José.The “flash challenge” recruitment event involves applying for a position and completing the full recruiting process on a single day. The hiring process usually takes about two months, the company reported.The first step is to create a profile and fill out an online application and take a test at the company’s website before Aug. 21.Applicants must have strong analytical, problem solving and communication skills. They will also be tested for their abilities in Microsoft Excel, including analytical review of reports, trend analysis, and pivot tables & graphics.Recruiters will contact those who pass the test and inform them about the next steps in the process that will take place during the flash challenge event. Selected candidates will undergo an aptitude test, a test of English proficiency and an interview.Jobs in HerediaTwo companies recently inaugurated shared services centers in Heredia province and announced the opening of some 600 positions.Global business services firm Concentrix opened its new operations center at Mall Real Cariari and is hiring 200 people for its customer service department. The company is looking for candidates with experience in customer service and with at least 85 percent command of the English language, which will be tested.Those interested can apply online at the company’s website or bring their résumé to a recruitment event taking place Aug. 12-19 at the company’s offices in Pavas, west of San José.Applications must include a photocopy of one’s personal ID and of all diplomas, as well as a printout of one’s criminal record.Financial firm Citi also expanded operations at its shared services center in San Antonio de Belén, Heredia. The company began the process last week to hire 400 people.Citi recruiters seek bilingual professionals with college degrees in accounting, economics, finances, financial analysis, human resources, risk and control, internal audit, accounts payable and procurement.They are also looking for candidates for the company’s information technology area. Candidates must be proficient in applications development, databases and IT infrastructure.Those interested in a job at Citi must fill out an online application at Citi’s website. Facebook Comments Related posts:Companies announce job openings in business, engineering and interpretation services Canadian tech firm hiring for new Costa Rica operation Recruiters: Preparation is key to success at upcoming CINDE Job Fair  Microsoft to hire 280 new employees for its Costa Rican operationlast_img read more

A walk in the clouds

A walk in the clouds

first_imgRelated posts:It’s not a proper Costa Rican outdoors adventure unless you’re teetering on a bridge Manuel Antonio’s official greeter Osa acrobatics Three days of mountain biking through Costa Rica From the cloud forest canopy to a sandy beach walk, a Costa Rican weekend holds infinite possibilities. Where will yours take you?Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Commentslast_img

Dozens detained at Russian opposition rallies

first_imgOver the past two years, similar opposition rallies have been held in each month that ends on the 31st. That’s a nod to the 31st Article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly.Russian authorities often deny permission for demonstrations.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologycenter_img Check your body, save your life MOSCOW (AP) – Russian police have dispersed small anti-Kremlin rallies and detained several dozen protesters.Police said 80 people were detained in Moscow and eight in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, on Thursday. They included Eduard Limonov, leader of the outlawed National Bolshevik party, who was detained up in Moscow’s Triumphalnaya Square.At both rallies protesters wore white ribbons _ a common artifact during anti-Kremlin demonstrations _ and chanted “Shame!” and “Russia Without Putin!” in reference to President Vladimir Putin. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

2 Libyan journalists freed after abduction

first_imgErrorOK ErrorOKTheir release defuses tension that could have turned into a battle between Bani Walid and the city of Misrata, whose militiamen deployed forces, threatening to launch an offensive.Bani Walid and Misrata had a history of enmity under Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – A local Libyan TV station manager says two of his journalists have been freed after more than a week being held captive by militiamen from a onetime stronghold of ousted ruler Moammar Gadhafi.Omar Boghada of Misrata’s TV station says the two journalists, held for 10 days by militiamen from the town of Bani Walid, have returned home. The two were covering the country’s general election 10 days ago when they were snatched on their way back to Misrata. Parents, stop beating yourself up Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

Americans tune out Afghan war as fighting rages on

first_img“Those of us who have been at this for a long time continue to think that it’s important, and that we have a chance now of a path forward with a long-term perspective that will produce the results,” said James Cunningham, the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.The U.S.-led coalition’s combat mission will wind down in the next few years, leading up to the end of 2014 when most international troops will have left or moved into support roles.Military analysts say the U.S. envisions a post-2014 force of perhaps 20,000 to hunt terrorists, train the Afghan forces and keep an eye on neighboring Iran and other regional powerhouse nations.Americans aren’t likely to know the number until later this year. But will anyone other than families of service personnel take note?“I have heard others say that the danger that their spouses or children are serving in is just simply not being cared about,” said Fred Wellman, a 22-year Army veteran who did three tours in Iraq. “I think a lot of veterans feel it is just forgotten.”Political satirist Garry Trudeau captured the apathy about the war in a comic strip this year showing a U.S. servicewoman stationed in Afghanistan calling her brother back home. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist “We all laugh about how no one really cares,” he said. “All the `support the troops’ stuff is bumper sticker deep.”Farwell, 29, who is now studying at the University of Virginia, said the war is rarely a topic of conversation on campus _ and he isn’t surprised that it’s not discussed much on the campaign trail.“No one understands how to extricate ourselves from the mess we have made there,” he said. “So from a purely political point of view, I wouldn’t be talking about it if I were Barack Obama or Mitt Romney either.”Ignoring the Afghan war, though, doesn’t make it go away.More than 1,950 Americans have died in Afghanistan and thousands more have been wounded since President George W. Bush launched attacks on Oct. 7, 2001 to rout al-Qaida after it used Afghanistan to train recruits and plot the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.The war drags on even though al-Qaida has been largely driven out of Afghanistan and its charismatic leader Osama bin Laden is dead _ slain in a U.S. raid on his Pakistani hideout last year.Strangely, Afghanistan never seemed to grab the same degree of public and media attention as the war in Iraq, which Obama opposed as a “war of choice.” Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “With millions of veterans home and talking with their families and friends … some knowledge of just how hard this is has percolated down,” said Marlowe, who has traveled to Afghanistan many times.It has also been hard to show progress on the battlefield.World War II had its Normandy, Vietnam its Tet Offensive and Iraq its Battle of Fallujah. Afghanistan is a grinding slough in villages and remote valleys where success is measured in increments.The Afghan war transformed into a series of small, often vicious and intense fights scattered across a country almost as large as Texas.In July, 40 U.S. service members died in Afghanistan in the deadliest month for American troops so far this year. At least 31 have been killed this month _ seven when a helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in what was one of the deadliest air disasters of the war. Ten others were gunned down in attacks from members of the Afghan security forces _ either disgruntled turncoats or Taliban infiltrators.Many argue that bin Laden’s death justifies a quick U.S. exit from Afghanistan. Others say it’s important to stay longer to shore up the Afghan security forces and help build the government so that it can stand on its own. An unstable Afghanistan could again offer sanctuary to militants like al-Qaida who want to harm American and its allies, they say. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Americans show more interest in the economy and taxes than the latest suicide bombings in a different, distant land. They’re more tuned in to the political ad war playing out on television than the deadly fight still raging against the Taliban. Earlier this month, protesters at the Iowa State Fair chanted “Stop the war!” They were referring to one purportedly being waged against the middle class.By the time voters go to the polls Nov. 6 to choose between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the war will be in its 12th year. For most Americans, that’s long enough.Public opinion remains largely negative toward the war, with 66 percent opposed to it and just 27 percent in favor in a May AP-GfK poll. More recently, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 60 percent of registered voters felt the U.S. should no longer be involved in Afghanistan. Just 31 percent said the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting there now.Not since the Korean War of the early 1950s _ a much shorter but more intense fight _ has an armed conflict involving America’s sons and daughters captured so little public attention.“We’re bored with it,” said Matthew Farwell, who served in the U.S. Army for five years including 16 months in eastern Afghanistan, where he sometimes received letters from grade school students addressed to the brave Marines in Iraq _ the wrong war. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – It was once President Barack Obama’s “war of necessity.” Now, it’s America’s forgotten war.The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. It’s not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress _ even though more than 80,000 American troops are still fighting here and dying at a rate of one a day. Unlike Iraq, victory in Afghanistan seemed to come quickly. Kabul fell within weeks of the U.S. invasion in October 2001. The hardline Taliban regime was toppled with few U.S. casualties.But the Bush administration’s shift toward war with Iraq left the Western powers without enough resources on the ground, so by 2006 the Taliban had regrouped into a serious military threat.Candidate Obama promised to refocus America’s resources on Afghanistan. But by the time President Obama sent 33,000 more troops to Afghanistan in December 2009, years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan had drained Western resources and sapped resolve to build a viable Afghan state.And over time, his administration has grown weary of trying to tackle Afghanistan’s seemingly intractable problems of poverty and corruption. The American people have grown weary too.While most Americans are sympathetic to the plight of the Afghan people, they have become deeply skeptical of President Hamid Karzai’s willingness to tackle corruption and political patronage and the coalition’s chances of “budging a medieval society” into the modern world, says Ann Marlowe, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, a policy research organization in Washington. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement After he complains that his children have the flu and how he’s struggling to keep up with their hectic hockey schedule, he asks her where she’s calling from. She tells him she’s in Afghanistan.“Oh, right, right …” her brother replies. “Wait, we’re still there?”___Associated Press Writers Kristin Hall in Nashville, Tennessee and Jennifer Agiesta in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img
Macedonia No progress in talks between political leaders

Macedonia No progress in talks between political leaders

first_imgPeople wave national flags during a protest in front of the Government building in Skopje, Macedonia, on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Macedonian opposition started massive demonstrations Sunday in Skopje protesting against the conservative government of the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, demanding its resignation. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipes SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia’s four main political leaders failed to make any progress in talks Monday aimed at resolving the crisis that has roiled the country for months.Opposition leader Zoran Zaev of the Social Democrats said the impasse will not be solved until the conservative government resigns and a caretaker government is formed to organize a fair, transparent election.The meeting, organized by Western diplomats, was attended by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Zaev and two ethnic Albanian political leaders: Ali Ahmeti, head of a junior governing coalition partner and Menduh Thaci, leader of an opposition party. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Gruevski, who has won successive elections since 2006, rejects the accusations and accuses Zaev of participating in a coup plot backed by foreign spy agencies.Compounding the crisis, a group of armed ethnic Albanians fought a gunbattle with Macedonian police on May 9 in a northern border town, leaving 18 people dead — 10 gunmen and eight police.In Brussels, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said Macedonia should work to de-escalate the conflict.“The important thing is to avoid more violence, to make sure that the democratic institutions are developed and that a rule of law is implemented,” Stoltenberg said.The European Parliament has invited Gruevski and Zaev to Strasburg for talks Tuesday to resolve the crisis.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories Macedonia faces one of its deepest political crises since gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, stemming from opposition claims that the government illegally wire-tapped 20,000 people.On Sunday, tens of thousands of people held an anti-government protest outside the government building in Skopje. Hundreds remained there Monday.“We are not leaving this place until the government falls. Because we love this country (the government) has stolen. Because we want the democracy they killed. Because we love our children, whom they corrupted,” said opposition supporter Pande Josevski.A rival pro-government demonstration has been called for Monday evening in front of the parliament building, 1 kilometer (half a mile) away.“The main goal is to give a chance to citizens who are against this destabilization to have a say,” Ilija Dimovski of the prime minister’s conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, told the Telma TV channel.The political crisis stems from Zaev’s release of a cache of wiretapped conversations that appear to reveal corruption at the highest levels of government. He says the tapes were leaked to him by domestic intelligence agents and claims Gruevski was behind the wiretaps. The vital role family plays in society Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Survey Saudis consider Iran their top enemy not Israel

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center ___Online: www.herzliyaconference.org/eng/Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Although Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official contact they have grown closer in recent years, mostly due to their common concern over Iran. A quarter of the poll’s respondents said Israel and Saudi Arabia should join forces to fight Iran together.Saudi Arabia was the driving force behind the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, offering Israel a comprehensive peace with dozens of Arab and Muslim countries in exchange for a withdrawal from all territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu has said the initiative might be a starting point for discussions but that it is unacceptable as a take-it-or-leave-it offer.Mintz said he hoped the Israeli government would seize on the new information to adjust its traditional policies.“We assume that we know what people in Iran, Gaza and Saudi Arabia think, but guessing and actual empirical evidence is two different things. For example, nobody that I talked to thought that Saudis would say by a margin of 3-to-1 that Iran scared them more than Israel, nobody predicted that,” he said.“This is really a Sunni-Shiite divide and it has nothing to do with Israel and their focus has shifted. There is a commonality of interests between Saudi Arabia and Israel right now that the Israeli government should take advantage of and capitalize because it is unique in the history of the two states,” he said. HERZLIYA, Israel (AP) — An Israeli college has quietly conducted an opinion poll in Saudi Arabia, concluding that the Saudi public is far more concerned about the threats of Iran and the Islamic State group than Israel, and that the vast majority of Saudis support a decade-old peace offer to the Jewish state.The survey conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides Israelis with a rare glimpse inside Saudi Arabia and may change Israeli perceptions about the desert kingdom. The two countries are longtime foes with no diplomatic relations. Top Stories Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “What we think here in Israel about the Saudis is not exactly what they are,” said Alex Mintz, who heads the IDC’s Institute for Policy and Strategy and oversaw the survey. “There is a great identity of interests and threats and agendas … some would even like to join forces with Israel.”The questioners told respondents that they worked for the IDC, though they did not say they or the school were Israeli. Mintz said few people questioned the source of the survey, and those who did raise questions did not make the connection to Israel. He said there were no unpleasant exchanges.The institute, which last year carried out similar surveys of Iranians and Gazans, said it relied on information gathered from the Saudi Arabian directory and bureau of statistics to proportionally sample 13 regions of the country based on their populations. It said Arabic-speaking Israelis called a mixture of mobile phones and landlines and encountered a 22 percent response rate.Mintz said the full results of the poll would be revealed next week at the IDC’s 15th annual “Herzliya Conference,” a gathering of Israel’s military and political elite, but offered The Associated Press the data in advance. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The poll found that 53 percent of Saudis named Iran as their main adversary, while 22 percent said it is the Islamic State group and only 18 percent said Israel. The poll, conducted in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, surveyed 506 Saudis over the phone and had a margin of error of 5 percentage points. It was carried out over the past two weeks, starting in late May.The poll also showed that a majority of Saudis think their country should seek nuclear weapons if Iran acquires an atomic bomb. A whopping 85 percent also support the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for peace with Israel in return for a full Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders.The results indicate significant common ground between Saudi Arabia and Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been outspoken in his criticism of an emerging nuclear deal between Iran and global powers. Netanyahu, who believes Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, says the deal will leave much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact. He has also claimed that unnamed Arab countries, presumably Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf countries, share his concerns. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, insisting its atomic program is for purely peaceful purposes. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Quick workouts for men Parents, stop beating yourself uplast_img read more

Cuban govt is expanding WiFi access making it cheaper

first_imgThere have been hints of the government following through slowly on that promise in recent months. The state communications monopoly, ETECSA, has experimented with a temporary price cut to $2, and the artist Kcho garnered much attention by opening a free, government-sanctioned Wi-F connection for the public at his Havana arts center.Making the price cut permanent, and adding dozens of Wi-Fi hotspotx allowing people to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops at state centers instead of antiquated government computers, would be a notable step in making online life easier in one of the world’s least-connected countries.Many Cubans, particularly young people in the capital, are as technologically adept as their peers in more-connected countries, despite severe limits on their ability to obtain technology. The latest iPhone is a surprisingly common sight in Havana, and there are hundreds of privately run mobile-phone shops where people can buy and repair equipment and get applications installed on their phone directly from technicians’ computers instead of the internet.Outside Havana, the situation is far tougher, with far fewer cellphones in private hands, let alone smartphones, and a mere handful of centers to get online, even in major cities. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall HAVANA (AP) — Cuba says it’s expanding Internet access by adding Wi-Fi capacity to dozens of state-run Internet centers and more than halving the cost that users pay for an hour online.The announcement published in Thursday’s edition of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde is the first significant expansion of the Internet in Cuba since President Barack Obama said on Dec. 17 that the communist government had told him it would give its people more access as part of a historic detente between the Cold War enemies. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   center_img Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories The spokesman for Cuba’s state communications company told the newspaper that 35 government computer centers around the country would have Wi-Fi starting next month, and the price of one hour online would drop to $2 from $4.50 now.That price remains unaffordable for most Cubans but the change would represent a significant improvement in access for many people.Home Internet remains illegal for most of the Cuban population and online access at offices with Internet is highly limited and controlled. Until now, the only Wi-Fi network has been at tourist hotels at hourly prices that represent nearly a quarter of the average monthly salary for Cubans.“The internet space is opening up here and I think this is a significant step,” said Norges Rodriguez, a blogger and telecommunications engineer in Havana. “A year or two ago, we didn’t have anything like this.”Cuba’s lack of internet access remains dire, he pointed out, saying thirty-five new Wi-Fi points would be insignificant in any other country in the hemisphere.Critics say Cuba’s lack of connectivity is due largely to its fear that the internet will catalyze social unrest. The Cuban government blames the U.S. embargo on the island and has publicly expressed its intention to expand access for its citizens. How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Top Pakistani model accused of carrying cash freed from jail

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ISLAMABAD (AP) — A top Pakistani model Ayaan Ali was freed from a high-security jail near the capital Thursday, four months after she was caught trying to fly to Dubai with half a million dollars in cash stashed in her luggage, a defense lawyer said.Ali, 21, has been in the government custody since March when authorities nabbed her at the VIP lounge of Islamabad’s airport.Under Pakistani laws, no one can carry over $10,000 on a flight, but authorities found $506,800 tucked into her luggage at the time. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis On Thursday, Ali’s lawyer, Latif Khosa, said his client was freed from the Adyala Jail in Rawalpindi, a city near Islamabad.“Yes, I can confirm that Ayaan Ali has been freed under an order from the Lahore High Court,” Khosa told The Associated Press.He said the court granted bail to Ali on Tuesday but the model was released on Thursday after her paperwork was completed.Ali has been the focus of intense Pakistani media attention since authorities caught her on March 14.Ali mostly remained tight-lipped during court hearings but her lawyer insisted that she didn’t want to take money outside Pakistan.Khosa said Ali will attend any future court hearings, if she is summoned by the judge.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Men’s health affects baby’s health toocenter_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Jetstar moves in on Pacific Blues future ex

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Within hours of Pacific Blue announcing it will soon cease New Zealand domestic operations, Jetstar released a statement advising its plans to increase its New Zealand domestic presence over the next year.Jetstar announced it will add two A320 aircraft into the country within the next year, a move which will increase its total New Zealand fleet to eight craft. “We plan to further grow our existing domestic NZ routes and will investigate new destinations in line with our strong and expanding market presence,” Jetstar Group Chief Executive Bruce Buchanan said. According to Mr Buchanan, Jetstar’s position in the New Zealand domestic market “will keep fares low through consumer choice”.“Jetstar has embedded itself as one of New Zealand’s two domestic airlines and as the clear low fares leader we will continue to invest in new services and growth,” he said.The airline will aim to add frequencies from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington and expand domestic operations in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, a key tourist event. “Jetstar seeks to offer…low fares to Kiwi passengers to make it easier, more convenient and affordable for them to travel around the country and at the same time connect into our growing international network to and from New Zealand,” Mr Buchanan said.New Zealand flag carrier, Air New Zealand confirmed it will carry passengers disrupted by Pacific Blue’s exit from the New Zealand domestic market and added it will offer each passenger free membership to their Airpoints programme.last_img read more

Drug tests expose Australian aviation

Drug tests expose Australian aviation

first_imgThousands of urine and breath samples were taken over the year-long testing period, including aviation employees such as baggage handlers, cabin crew, engineers, pilots, pit crew and refeullers. “Qantas and Jetstar have a zero blood alcohol level and a drug-free policy for all employees including contractors while at work or on duty,” a Qantas spokesperson said. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act revealed three of the Qantas workers incriminated by the drug and alcohol assessments were terminated, while three others resigned. Source = ETB News: P.T. Jetstar staff, tested under the same conditions, returned zero positive results. Seven Virgin employees recorded positive results for alcohol and four for drugs, with a total of nine staff losing their jobs and one individual resigning.center_img “The number of positive tests results for both CASA’s random testing program and the testing conducted by aviation organisations is very low,” CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson said. Extensive drug tests have revealed that close to fifty airline employees from Qantas Airways and Virgin have tested positive for drugs or alcohol, according to recently released documents. The Centre for Aviation (CASA) also carries out its own random drug and alcohol assessments. Investigations exposed 20 Qantas airside workers that tested positive for drugs and 16 that tested positive for alcohol, between March 2012 and February 2013, the Herald Sun reported.last_img read more

Ethiopian to link Chengdu with Africa

Ethiopian to link Chengdu with Africa

first_imgEthiopian to link Chengdu with AfricaAfrica’s largest airline group, Ethiopian Airlines, is delighted to announce that it has concluded preparations to start new flight to Chengdu, China three times weekly as of June 3, 2017.Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan province and is the 7th-largest city in China.Chengdu is the country’s western center of logistics, commerce, science and technology, as well as a hub of transportation, manufacturing and communication. Source = Ethiopian Airlines Chengdu is also a major hub for Air China, Ethiopian Airlines’ Star Alliance partner. With this new flight, passengers from Ethiopian vast and growing network in Africa will be able to quickly connect to dozens of cities in China partnership with Air China, including Shenzhen, Kunming, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan, Changsha, and Urumqi.Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “We are glad to launch services to Chengdu, our fifth gateway to The Republic of China. Since our first flight 43 years ago, China has been a key market and it is now the largest per country market in our system. Using the geocentric location advantage of our hub in Addis Ababa we are connecting China, the world’s second largest economy and Africa’s biggest trade and investment partner, with 52 cities in the continent of Africa. With the addition of Chengdu, we shall offer the best and fastest connectivity options with a total of 34 weekly flights to China, operated with the latest and most comfortable B787 and B777 aircraft. Our Chinese customers will also enjoy seamless connection on Ethiopian vast intra African network and farther to São Paulo in Brazil.”Ethiopian is investing to make Addis Ababa a Chinese friendly hub airport for the continent. We now have Mandarin translators and signage available at the airport transit area and in the Cloud Nine Business Class Lounge. Chinese New Year is also marked every year at Addis Abba Airport.Ethiopian was the first African carrier and the fourth in the world to fly to China back in 1973. In addition to the three weekly flights to Chengdu to be launched in June, Ethiopian currently operates daily nonstop flights to Beijing, 10 weekly nonstop to Guangzhou, and 6 weekly nonstop to Hong Kong.About Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing airline in Africa. In its seven decades of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787,Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, and Bombardier Q-400 double cabin. Ethiopian was the first airline in Africa to own and operate each of these aircraft.Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers:Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average annual growth of 25% in the past seven years.last_img read more

Sunrise over Sri Lankas Tourism Recovery

Sunrise over Sri Lankas Tourism Recovery

first_imgSunrise of Sri Lankan TourismSunrise over Sri Lanka’s Tourism RecoverySri Lanka enjoyed spectacular growth in international tourism arrivals from the end of the civil war in 2009 (a year in which tourism arrivals numbered about 450,00 people) until the the terrorist bombings of April 21, 2019. In 2018 there were 2.33 million international tourism arrivals. During the first four months of 2019 tourism growth was healthy. Lonely Planet had declared Sri Lanka to be its destination of the year for 2019. Much of the credit for Sri Lanka’s tourism resurgence over the past ten years is due to the outstanding marketing work of the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board which has been supported by Air Sri Lanka and the private sector of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.Hon. John Amaratunga Sri Lanka Tourism MinisterAccording to Bloombergs (04 July 2019), since the April 21 terrorist attacks there has been a decline in tourism to Sri Lanka. This is an experience shared by many countries which have been subject to major terrorist attacks where tourists have been targeted. The June 2019 arrivals of 63,072 are down by 57% compared to the same period in 2018. Tourism arrivals for the first half of 2019 are 13.4% down on the same period in 2018.For any country, the recovery of tourism after a major terrorist incident is a daunting challenge. In recent years Turkey, Egypt, Belguim, Indonesia, Tunisia and Kenya are among countries which have had to face a similar challenge.Sri Lanka has long experience of post-crisis tourism and national recovery. The Civil War (1995-2009) and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami represent two of the greatest challenges Sri Lankan tourism has overcome. The Sri Lankan government and Tourism industry response to the April bombings and its impact on tourism has been truly impressive. The government immediately tightened security on all tourism related infrastucture. Both the tourism ministry and Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board developed a recovery marketing plan.Hon Ranjith Aluwihare Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism DevelopmentShortly after the attack the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board established an emergency site: https://www.sltda.lk/emergency However, a most impressive initiative has been the the development of a national tourism alliance which involves the Sri Lankan tourism ministry, the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board and over 40 private sector firms. They operate under the umbrella of Love Sri Lanka. The website https://www.lovesrilanka.org is full of excellent and frequently updated information for travel industry professionals and consumers alike. The site includes videos of travellers and journalists currently in Sri Lanka discussing their impressions. The site focusses on positive news. Disseminating positive first hand accounts from travellers and independent observers is a proven formula for success in any tourism recovery program. The site does a very good job in addressing safety concerns from travellers and travel industry professionals. To their credit, the Sri Lankans haven’t ducked the hard questions as many countries have done in a similar situation.Under the Chairmanship of Kishu Gomes, the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Board is actively marketing Sri Lanka globally while focussing on its top ten source markets. Sri Lanka’s high profile at tourism marketing expos is being maintained and the Sri Lankan industry has actively promoted new product.The rebuilding of confidence in brand Sri Lanka is helped by the fact that the governments of most of its key surce markets have moderated their government travel advisories. This is international recognition of Sri Lanka’s efforts to address tourism security concerns.Kishu Gomes: Chair Sri Lanakan Tourism Promotion BoardSri Lanka is certainly working hard to rebuild consumer and travel industry confidence in the safety of the destination. Sri Lanka’s Tourism ministers Mr Ranjith Aluwahire and John Amaratunga have supported global best practice risk, crisis and receovery management ideas and backed them with government money.Sri Lanka has a long and impressive history of resilience in its tourism sector. The April 2019 terrorist attacks are clearly a setback but the actions taken by Sri Lanka’s tourism industry leaders are all steps in the right direction to achieve a new tourism sunrise for Sri Lanka.A quick note on Alek Sigley On May 17,2016, ETB Travel News Published an interview I did with Australian travel professional Alek Sigley who has been running tours to North Korea for some years. Alek came across as an idealistic guy who passionately promotes tourism to North Korea. Alek’s brief disappearance and detention in North Korea attracted world headlines and widespread concerm. Along with all of us at ETB Travel News I am delighted to see that Alex is free, well and reunited with his wife and family. Congratulations to the Swedish government who negotiated his release. Hopefully, the North Koreans will have realised they were detaining a person who has only goodwill towards their country and its people. Source = Dr David Beirman Ph.Dlast_img read more