Heres a look at the newly opened Grand Solmar at Rancho San

first_imgHere’s a look at the newly opened Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Friday, February 16, 2018 Travelweek Group LOS CABOS — Newly released images of Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa show off the newest property in Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ collection of all-suite properties.The new resort is part of the first phase of Rancho San Lucas, an 834-acre resort community.“At Solmar Hotels & Resorts, we continuously strive to elevate the experience for our guests and residents. Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa and Grand Solmar The Residences at Rancho San Lucas certainly do that and more, presenting an all-encompassing experience of resort, residential and golf in the most envied location of all Baja California Sur,” says Ricardo Orozco, Solmar Hotels & Resorts VP Operations.Resort amenities include two adults-only infinity pools and one kids pool with a mini waterpark; fitness centre with Life Fitness equipment; a full-service beauty salon; laundry services; health clinic; concierge services and more. There will also be a signature spa offering a menu of healing massages and body therapies.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upThe first phase of Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas opened in December 2017 with 70 oceanfront suites spread among the two properties. Guests have three options for accommodations, all with views of the Pacific Ocean: the Grand Studio, One-Bedroom Master Suite and Two-Bedroom Presidential Suite.Dining venues include Anica featuring an international menu highlighted by freshly-caught seafood, homemade breads and authentic Mexican flavours. The Las Olas Poolside Bar is a casual, outdoor option with numerous culinary selections and hand-crafted tropical cocktails. Guests can also visit the Deli Café to revive with Oaxaca coffee, freshly made salads, wraps and sandwiches. Brisas Grill Bar is another alfresco option where guests can indulge in sushi creations, salads, wraps and low-fat smoothies made with exotic fruit and vegetables. Finally, the poolside Tide Bar offers a broad range of cocktails, snacks and treats.As part of the 834-acre Rancho San Lucas experience, guests will soon be able to play an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course, slated for completion in Winter 2018-2019, and a Mexican village shopping and entertainment centre.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoUpon completion Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa will have 594 suites of which 105 will be part of the Grand Solmar The Residences at Rancho San Lucas. The resort is located 30 minutes away from the San Jose Del Cabo (SJD) Airport.Opening rates for Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa start at US$429. Sharelast_img read more

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Skypride Travel director pleads guilty after being charged by TICO

first_img Thursday, June 21, 2018 Skypride Travel director pleads guilty after being charged by TICO << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Skypride Travel & Tours, TICO Posted by MISSISSAUGA — Sakthivel Suppiah, an officer and director of Skypride Travel and Tours, has pleaded guilty on one count of failing to hold customer funds in a designated trust account.Mr. Suppiah’s actions were contrary to Section 31(2) and Section 31(1)© of the Act, and in respect of Section 27(6) of Regulation 26/05 to the Act.He was sentenced by the Court to probation for two years, including 200 hours of community service to be completed on or before June 12, 2020, as well as a restitution order of $25,142 to the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund. The total amount is to be paid on or before June 12, 2020.last_img read more

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Bahia Principes new Romantic wedding package available as of Dec 23

first_img Share Monday, May 27, 2019 Tags: Bahia Principe, Destination Weddings Posted by MIAMI — Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts has announced a new wedding package, Romantic, available as of Dec. 23 and perfect for intimate ceremonies of up to 10 guests.All Bahia Principe wedding packages provide couples with a dedicated wedding planner to assist with every detail. The Romantic package includes wedding location set-up and a floral centerpiece, a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, music for the ceremony on a portable device, a wedding cake, and a semi-private sit-down dinner reception at a specialty restaurant with a set menu.Special perks for the couple are also included such as chef’s specialty served in the room on the wedding night, breakfast in bed the morning after, late check-out and complimentary room upgrades, subject to availability.The rate for the package is US$450 and for an additional fee, couples will also have access to witnesses for a legal wedding.In addition to Romantic, Bahia Principe has five other wedding packages with perks such as Moet Chandon celebratory toasts, a mani/pedi for the bride, Romantic VIP Spa massages and 20 per cent discounts on spa treatments. Available themes include Vintage, Glamour and Blue Marine.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFor more information, visit bahia-principe.com/en/weddings/packages/.center_img Travelweek Group Bahia Principe’s new Romantic wedding package available as of Dec. 23 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Art City Tour offers free admission to citys museums

first_imgRelated posts:Art City Tour to celebrate half-decade of GAM Cultural Delicious new gastropub El Gaff already becoming a thing ‘Elvis’ and ‘Sinatra’ descend on San José New guidebook helps visitors appreciate Costa Rica’s capital If you spend a lot of time in San José, you have probably thought:I should visit the Jade Museum. Or: I wonder what’s going on at that gallery on the corner. Seems like a neat place. What’s it called again?The Art City Tour is the perfect excuse to visit all those museums and exhibits you’ve been meaning to see. The displays are striking, the people are cool, and admission is free – what could be a better diversion on a Wednesday night? Organized by the arts advocates at GAM Cultural, Art City helps residents and visitors see San José in an invigorating new way.The best way to enjoy Art City is to use our handy itinerary (below), and hop the free shuttle from one hotspot to another. Not only can you visit these venues, but you’ll find a host of galleries, bars, and restaurants nearby.CENAC Guided TourMost Art City patrons will want to take a gander at “The Day We Became Contemporary,” a massive group exhibit that showcases daring multimedia art. But while you’re already visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design for this exhibit, consider learning about the unusual history of the building that houses the museum, the National Cultural Center (CENAC). The guided tour of the Center is a theatrical journey entitled “CENAC: From Liquor Factory to Cultural Complex.” During the excursion, an actor guides his guests through the former distillery, playing eight different historical characters.Tour starts at 5 p.m. in CENAC’s amphitheater. Info: Culture Ministry website. Reservations for tour: 2221-2154 visitaguidacenac@gmail.comCentral Bank MuseumsBeneath the Plaza de la Cultura, you’ll find the Museo del Banco Central, where you’ll discover gold, historical dioramas, and a chronicle of downtown San José. You can also see “Juego Sucio” (“Dirty Game”), a series of paintings by José Miguel Rojas González.Info: Central Bank Museums website Courtesy the National MuseumNational MuseumOne of the most distinguished buildings in Costa Rica, the Museo Nacional is a former fort that now houses indigenous sculpture, historical exhibits, and a butterfly garden. Be sure to visit “A Tres Bandas” (“Of Three Bands”), an exhibit about multicultural music in Latin America, and “Sitio Finca 6” (“Farm Six Site”) about the mysterious stone spheres of Costa Rica.Info: National Museum websiteMuseum of Costa Rican ArtFar from the hubbub of downtown San José, the Museo de Arte Costarricense is the perfect place to start or finish your Art City experience. The gorgeous colonial-style building on the edge of La Sabana Park was Costa Rica’s first international airport. It now houses paintings, sculpture, and the famous “Golden Salon,” a room whose walls display bronze murals that illustrate the history of Costa Rica. Bonus: Visitors can enjoy the symphonic arrangements of the National Music Center.Info: Museum of Costa Rican Art website.Jade MuseumIf you haven’t visited the Jade Museum in its new location on the Plaza de la Democracia, this is your chance. The museum is said to hold the largest collection of pre-Colombian jade in the world.Info: Jade Museum website. Courtesy TEOR/éTicaTEOR/éTicaThis plucky little venue in Barrio Amón opens its latest exhibit, “Entre Concreto” (“Among Concrete”) about the livability of urban spaces. The gallery opens its doors at 7 p.m.Info: TEOR/éTica website.The Art City Tour takes place Wed., July 16, throughout central San José. 5-9 p.m. Free. Info: GAM Cultural website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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San José business group including former fugitive Luis Milanés closes 103yearold hotel

first_imgOwners of San José’s Europa Hotel & Casino and Hotel Radisson’s Casino – including the former head of the defunct “investment” scheme Savings Unlimited, Luis Milanés Tamayo, aka “The Cuban” – announced they would close the businesses and lay off 250 staff members due to high operating costs, the group’s attorney, Hugo Navas, said.The closure of the three businesses – including the 103-year-old Europa Hotel – is due to “high operating costs, high obligations for social security payments and high utility bills that have affected our finances in recent months,” Navas said. He said that last month, for example, owners received a ₡100 million ($185,000) electricity bill. He also cited low occupancy rates.“The reasons [for closing] are simple – they’re the same reasons that Intel left, Bank of America closed, the same reasons why the daily newspaper Al Día closed, [and] why [the daily] La Nación fired 100 employees: There’s a financial crisis in the country,” Navas said on Wednesday evening, following a meeting at the Labor Ministry with employee representatives.Two months ago, the group to which Milanés belongs closed the Royal Dutch Hotel’s casino, also located in the capital, and fired 100 workers.During Wednesday’s meeting, representatives of the businesses agreed to pay pending salaries and Christmas bonuses, or aguinaldos, next week. On Nov. 27, the parties will meet again to seek an agreement on severance pay.According to Navas, the owners hope to conclude negotiations for all outstanding payments in less than two months. He said the hotel and casinos would be used as collateral to meet payment obligations. After the meeting, Labor Minister Víctor Morales Mora said the ministry “pledged to assist employees during the process.”For the past two days, former employees have been picketing in front of the hotel and at Milanés’ home near La Sabana Park, west of San José.Milanés’ name has been in the news for more than a decade, and he was among several operators of “investment” schemes investigated by The Tico Times over the years. Milanés eventually was accused of defrauding hundreds of “investors” in his Savings Unlimited operation, which was a copycat of another infamous scheme known as “The Brothers.” At Savings Unlimited, Milanés promised monthly returns of 3-4 percent on deposits starting at $5,000. He fled Costa Rica in 2002 after an estimated $200 million of victims’ money disappeared. Authorities finally arrested Milanés in 2008, but he was released after reaching an agreement to pay back the funds.However, as La Nación’s David Delgado reported in September, authorities are now accusing Milanés of failing to pay back more than half a million dollars of that settlement, and he will face a criminal trial that begins in July 2015.In other hotel closings, last month the Heredia-based La Condesa Hotel closed its doors and fired 140 employees. Hotel owners at the time blamed a ₡266 million ($498,000) debt with the Costa Rican Social Security System. Facebook Comments Related posts:Faced with a $500,000 Caja debt, La Condesa Hotel closes, firing 140 workers Tech support company Motif closes operations in Costa Rica, laying off 90 workers Bank of America, Intel announce thousands of layoffs in Costa Rica President Solís seeks meeting with Intel reps during US triplast_img read more

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Peoplerating app sparks firestorm

first_imgRemember when the worst thing today was #peeple?— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) October 1, 2015 Subjects being rated are not asked for permission. Raters must log in using Facebook accounts with their real identities, and need only a name and matching mobile phone number of the person they are judging.Those targeted with unflattering commentary at Peeple are held for two days to give the involved parties time to work matters out.Twitter erupted with vitriol aimed at Peeple. A barrage of tweets condemned the idea of an app for rating humans as a nightmare that would be used as a weapon by bullies or stalkers with potentially tragic real-world results. Related posts:Now you can watch Periscope streams directly in your Twitter feed Uber to offer rides in Costa Rica starting under $2 Why the dream of the flying car hasn’t panned out Intel’s Vince Guglielmetti wants more Costa Rican engineers “At least, I signed up to have the world judge and grade me publicly,” model Christine Teigen said in a tweet from @chrissyteigen.“I f—ing hate this app and the boardroom table it was created around.”“In an age where both truth and gossip on the Internet can literally ruin lives, this peeple app is horrible and scary,” Teigen said in a separate tweet.In a move critics pounced on as hypocritical, Peeple’s founders blocked or condemned some of the unsolicited online criticism being fired their way.This tweet came after the Oregon community college shooting that left as many as 13 people dead: SAN FRANCISCO — Creators of an app that will let people assign ratings to those they know vowed to launch as planned next month despite online outrage at the idea.Peeple has been likened by critics and supporters alike as a Yelp-style review service at which people are rated, without their consent, the same way a person might give a grade to a restaurant or an airline.Yelp was quick to make it clear it was not associated with the Peeple startup, which some reports valued at $7.6 million based on investment funding raised.Peeple is an app for rating and commenting about those who one interacts with in daily life personally, professionally, or romantically, according to the forthepeeple.com website.Founders and close friends Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough defended their creation on Thursday as an online venue for praise and constructive feedback.A firestorm of criticism at Twitter, Facebook and other online venues countered that the creators of Peeple were either naively or intentionally downplaying how nasty commentary can get on the Internet.“Innovators are often put down because people are scared and they don’t understand,” read a message from chief executive Cordray at the Peeple website.“We are bold innovators and sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that. ”Cordray referred to Peeple as a “positivity app” that will launch in November.“Whether you love us or our concept or not; we still welcome everyone to explore this online village of love and abundance for all,” the website message said.Peeple lets people rate friends, family, dating partners, or others with one to five stars.center_img In an age where both truth and gossip on the Internet can literally ruin lives, this #peeple app is horrible AND scary #yelpforhumans???— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 1, 2015 Facebook Comments Is it me, or does @peepleforpeople sound like the social media version of gang rape? #Peeple— RJ AAAHHHHguiar (@rj4gui4r) October 1, 2015last_img read more

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Is Costa Ricas gender wage gap really among the worlds lowest

first_imgRelated posts:Kölbi marks International Women’s Day with ill-conceived ad campaign Costa Rica ranks fifth in gender gap in Latin America RECOPE opposes referendum that could break its fuel market monopoly Employment outlook among industrial sector shows no improvement Analysis websiteFiveThirtyEight published an article last month about the progress of women’s rights since the 1970s, including a finding that Costa Rica is second in gender pay equity in a country list led by Belgium.The publication noted that the list is composed of 37 countries that are “either members or partners of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).”Belgium showed a gender wage gap of 3.3 percent, followed by Costa Rica with 3.7 percent. Luxembourg, Slovenia and Italy followed at 4.1, 5.0 and 5.6 percent respectively.Canada ranked 29th with 18.6 percent and the U.S. was 31st with 18.9 percent.The analysis followed OECD’s definition of a gender wage gap, which “is unadjusted and is defined as the difference between median earnings of men and women relative to median earnings of men.” That means that the calculations did not take into account differences in, experience, schooling, or specific professions, among other factors.But is Costa Rica really on the forefront of gender pay equality?Local approachThe Costa Rican weekly El Financiero published a report in 2015 on the wage differences between men and women. Their reporters’ approach consisted of a wage comparison using an analysis tool developed by the newspaper. The online tool uses a linear regression model that calculates the effect that seven variables have on local wages.The Wage Calculator allowed El Financiero to find the effects on average montly wages of age, gender, region of residence, region of work, work area, schooling and weekly working hours.The calculator’s results when comparing two people with the same values in all these variables — except for gender — showed that a Costa Rican woman earned up to 27 percent less than a man.The analysis also found that a woman in a small business earned a maximum monthly wage of ₡1.4 million per month ($2,460), while a man in the same post, and with the same values in all other variables, could get up to ₡1.9 million ($3,340).At a large company, the maximum monthly wage for a woman on average was ₡1.9 million ($3,340), while for a man it was ₡2.6 million ($4,571), the newspaper found.The pay gap was bigger among public-sector workers. A professional woman in the government earned an average of ₡2.3 million ($4,044) that year, while a man in the same post could make up to ₡3.2 million ($5,626).Unemployment by genderThe disparity between men and women is also evident in local employment indicators.The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) earlier this year reported that unemployment during Q4-2016 was 6.9 percent for men and 13.8 percent for women. That means that of an estimated 218,000 unemployed people in Costa Rica, 98,000 are men and 119,000 are women.INEC noted that an interannual comparison of data “do not show significant changes” from the same quarter in 2015.Results in both cases came from INEC’s Employment Survey for that quarter released last Feb. 9. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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China hails bus driver who saved passengers

first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Check your body, save your lifecenter_img Dramatic security camera footage broadcast Sunday on state television showed the object hitting Wu and his calm handling of the situation, despite being in obvious pain. Wu died Friday.China has a history of praising acts of selflessness and courage to inspire responsibility in an increasingly competitive and sometimes callous society.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk BEIJING (AP) – Chinese are hailing a bus driver who maintained control of his vehicle and ensured passengers’ safety despite being struck by a chunk of iron that smashed through his windscreen.Wu Bin ultimately died of his injuries from Tuesday’s freak accident, but not before braking, shifting gears and telling passengers not to wander onto the highway. His hometown of Hangzhou in eastern China has praised him as a hero and a role model.last_img read more

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US scrutiny prods UN agency to tighten flow of aid

first_imgGENEVA (AP) – The U.N. intellectual property agency has vowed to improve cooperation with U.N. sanctions officials in the face of scrutiny over computer equipment provided to Iran and North Korea.The U.S. State Department says it is reviewing World Intellectual Property Organization aid to North Korea and Iran. WIPO legal counsel Edward Kwakwa says the agency provided “standard IT equipment” to the patent and trademark offices in those nations. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements He says none of it included technology or training prohibited under U.N. Security Council sanctions.But he said in a statement Thursday that because of U.S. concerns WIPO will “systematically refer relevant cases of technical assistance” to sanctions officials.U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters in Washington the U.S. is working with the agency to ensure future projects are “properly reviewed.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories last_img read more

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Planned march shows cracks in Venezuela opposition movement

first_img Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men The Harvard-educated Lopez, who represents the more radical wing of the opposition, has been jailed for 15 months in connection with a bloody street protest movement that swept Venezuela in the spring of 2014.On Tuesday, the coalition that includes Lopez’s party said it would not endorse the rally because it had been unable to reach a consensus under the circumstances. The statement suggested the difficulty of coordinating with an imprisoned leader, though even when he was free, Lopez clashed with other opposition politicians about the wisdom of big street protests.Lopez and fellow jailed former mayor Daniel Ceballos say they launched a hunger strike last weekend to protest what they see as creeping authoritarianism. Government officials have said Lopez is still eating, but the men’s families affirmed Tuesday that they really have stopped.“Their hunger strike represents the suffering of all Venezuelans,” Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, said.Lopez has been kept almost mostly out of public sight since his arrest in February 2014. It’s a striking contrast to the two years the late President Hugo Chavez spent in prison after a failed coup in 1992. The socialist leader regularly received guests and gave television interviews. Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez speaks during a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Tintori said her husband who is imprisoned at the Ramo Verde military prison started a hunger strike last Sunday to demand the release of political prisoners and the definition of the date for parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Despite the coalition stand, moderate opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who came close to beating Maduro in the 2013 presidential election, said Wednesday that he planned to attend.“In support of freedom for our companions who are political prisoners, I’m going to participate without seeking to divide,” he wrote on his Twitter account.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — One of Venezuela’s most high-profile politicians has called an anti-government march on Saturday, but the main opposition coalition is not endorsing the protest, underscoring fissures among critics of the country’s socialist government.In a recording leaked from his prison cell over the weekend, former Mayor Leopoldo Lopez asked people unhappy with the administration of President Nicolas Maduro to take to the streets for a massive, peaceful demonstration to demand releasing political prisoners and scheduling a legislative election.center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

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Chinese media slam human rights lawyers as rabblerousers

first_imgBEIJING (AP) — China’s state media on Tuesday accused more than two dozen human rights lawyers rounded up in recent days of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism, as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the crackdown.The human rights watchdog Amnesty International said 25 human rights lawyers and civil activists have been detained or have disappeared since last Thursday. Another 123 people — mostly lawyers and activists — have been warned not to speak out or act on behalf of those detained, it said. Many of those warned were detained briefly themselves. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories The crackdown targets Chinese lawyers who have joined with civil activists in publicizing alleged unlawful practices by police and courts, drawing public attention to unjust cases, disputing official descriptions of controversial events and challenging authorities to follow the letter of the law.Human Rights Watch researcher Maya Wang said the human rights lawyers had helped build a civil society in China over the past decade to hold authorities accountable, and that the crackdown was part of a “methodological dismantling” of that civil society since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power.The U.S. State Department condemned the detentions earlier this week and called for the release of the lawyers, who it said were “seeking to protect the rights of Chinese citizens.”The nationalist newspaper Global Times responded Tuesday by calling the U.S. criticism uncomfortable but inconsequential — like having “chewing gum stuck to your shoe” — and said it was up to Chinese courts to decide whether the lawyers acted illegally.State media reports have depicted the lawyers as self-promoters intent on spreading half-truths and arranging illegal protests outside court venues. The official Xinhua News Agency said lawyers should uphold the law, not engage in “rabble-rousing” and “mob rule.” Many of the detained lawyers belong to Beijing law firm Fengrui, which has defended human rights activists and practitioners of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Its office was raided by police on Friday.The Public Security Ministry accused the lawyers of disrupting public order, seeking illicit profits, illegally hiring protesters and trying to unfairly influence the courts, Xinhua said, saying more than 40 such incidents had occurred since July 2012.The group of human rights lawyers and civil activists has been labeled a major crime gang, which the ministry claimed to have destroyed through a coordinated operation, Xinhua said.Authorities have considered human rights lawyers a thorn in the side of the state for some time. Last year, state media began to question the reputations of many of the lawyers, saying they were more interested in seeking publicity than practicing their trade inside the courtroom.A trigger for the crackdown may have been a police shooting in May in which members of the Chinese public questioned whether an officer acted properly in drawing a gun and fatally shooting an unarmed but irate man inside a train station in northeastern China.Wu Gan, an activist with ties to the Fengrui firm who is known for his raucous but effective methods, obtained a video clip showing the police officer beating up the man before he was shot. Rights lawyers offered legal opinions, and liberal intellectuals wrote commentaries demanding that the authorities be held accountable in conducting an investigation. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   center_img To defend the police officer, authorities released an earlier video highlighting the erratic and violent behavior of the man prior to the shooting. Still, public doubts lingered, showing the power of activists to thwart the official narrative.Wu was detained on May 20 when rallying public support for a separate case in southern China. He has been arrested on charges of inciting to overthrow state power as well as provoking trouble.Wu was nominally an employee of Fengrui, as an administrative assistant, though it’s unclear what work he did for the firm and how he was paid. Such an arrangement for activists by people who are sympathetic with their causes is not unheard of in China.Zhou Shifeng, the firm’s head, praised Wu for his effectiveness just one day before Zhou himself was forcibly taken away by police. The Xinhua report said Zhou was being investigated over “severe violations of law.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Four benefits of having a wireless security system Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

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Pilots association rejects Qantasia

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J “Australians want Qantas not Qantasia”, according to the Australian and International Pilots’ Association’s (AIPA) president in response to the carrier’s “tactic admission” that it is moving its operations offshore.Mr Barry Jackson said despite the airline’s tough situation “aiming to base much of the airline in Asia” would not benefit the public or the carrier’s pilots. “Pilots accept that Qantas is facing a tricky point in its history, but packing up and moving to Asia is not the only option,” Mr Jackson said in an online statement.“If Alan Joyce and his execs sit down with pilots and other workers, there are any number of ways to achieve productivity gains without scrapping Qantas’s 90 year history and shifting overseas.“This is not the right time to be stripping our national airline back and selling the carcass off to Asia.”e-Travel Blackboard is awaiting comment from Qantas. In other news, Qantas launched its four times weekly service from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth airport yesterday. Tying in with the carrier’s code share partnership with American Airlines, the new route will offer business and leisure travellers access to 54 other destinations in the US including Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Washington, Toronto, Vancouver, Cancun and Mexico City.“This new service takes Qantas customers into the heart of the United States, with a wide range of options for onward travel,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.   “Dallas and Fort Worth are attractive destinations in their own right, combining rapid economic growth with Texas’ rich heritage.”The new route could also open up tourism into Australia, Mr Joyce added “particularly in Queensland and NSW”.  last_img read more

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JTG divides wholesale Bernardi steps down

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J In a sudden move, Jetset Travelworld has announced the restructuring of its wholesale operations that will see the division of business and the departure of current group general manager Simon Bernardi.Releasing plans earlier this morning, Jetset Travelworld Limited chief executive Peter Lacaze said effective immediately Mr Bernardi will step down from his post and wholesale businesses Travel Indochina, ATS Pacific and the FIT would be divided and managed as separate divisions. Relocating from Los Angeles to Australia over the coming months, current president of Stella Travel Services USA, Michael Londregan will run the FIT division which includes; Qantas Holidays, VIVA, Harvey’s Choice, Wholesale Australia, USA and Global Product Purchasing.Wholesale business Travel Indochina will continue to operate under current managing director (MD) Paul Hole as ATS Pacific will operate under the leadership of Col Hughes.  With the three MDs reporting directly to Mr Lacaze, the head added that although Mr Bernardi would leave the company he “has generously agreed to work closely with… [the team] to achieve a smooth transition”.Meanwhile as Mr Londregan moves to Australia, Stella Travel Services USA current chief financial officer Gary Goeldner will replace the head as Acting President.Stella Travel Services USA includes Qantas Vacations, Travel2, Islands in the Sun and Travelscene.last_img read more

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Las Vegas hits jackpot with Prince Harry scandal

first_imgLas Vegas cashes in on the publicity boom with campaign, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ Las Vegas tourism hit the jackpot with Prince Harry’s recent naked scandal, with a tongue in cheek campaign reminding visitors of the city’s unofficial code: ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’, the Vegas Sun reported.According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) the value of publicity that came from news coverage of the scandal and an online campaign, viewed by an estimated 154 million people, is approximately USD$23 million.The campaign condemned the leak of the naked pictures, urging visitors to keep hush-hush about wild Sin City weekends.LVCVA board chairman Tom Collins said “God bless Prince Harry, he made us a bunch of money.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

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African lion barks at zoo patrons

first_imgChinese zoo replaces exotic animals with common species. A Chinese zoo has attempted to disguise common house pets as exotic animals. “They should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf,” an online social commentator said. The chief of the park’s animal department Liu Suya said that while the zoo does have a lion, it had been taken to a breeding facility and the dog – which belonged to an employee – had been temporarily housed in the zoo over safety concerns. The zoo was exposed when the animal in the cage labelled ‘African lion’ began barking. “The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” zoo customer Ms Liu said. The zoo, located in the People’s Park of Luohe in the central province of Henan, was displaying a Tibetan mastiff in its lion exhibit, the Beijing Youth Daily reported. Three other species housed incorrectly included two coypu rodents in a snake’s cage, a white fox in a leopard’s den, and another dog in a wolf pen. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

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Tourism Australia appoints first agents to China ATeam

first_imgTourism Australia has chosen the first  31 China- based agents to participate in its Key Distribution Partners (KDP) program, to encourage high net worth visitors to come to Australia.The program is based around the Tier 1 cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and Tier 2 cities of Nanjing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing.Tourism Australia chief executive John Sullivan said that the new strategy will attract higher spending Chinese tourists to Australia. “The vast majority of international travel out of China is still booked through travel agencies, and under this program we believe we’ve identified the best of the best, who have the commitment and capability to help us engage with this new breed of more sophisticated Chinese traveller seeking to build a much richer and higher quality holiday experience,” Mr Sullivan said.“The agents we have selected already have a solid understanding of the Australian tourism market, as well as established relationships with exactly the type of high yield consumer we want to engage with as part of our Chinese marketing activities.“Under this new program, we’ll be developing joint marketing activities with these agents and strongly encouraging them to develop new and innovative Australian tourism products which will appeal to higher yield Chinese travellers.”The new distribution strategy will be supported by increased advertising spending and new programs will be developed through Tourism Australia’s new Australia.CN website.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

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Air China marks 30 years connecting East with West

first_imgSource = ETB News: Megan Tran The original flight (Beijing to Sydney) was launched on 7 September 1984 in partnership with Qantas, and three decades and over 4.5 million passengers on, the carrier is presently the only airline operating direct services between Australia and Beijing.General Manager Air China Melbourne Yan Han, said combining the airline’s history as well as its modern outlook was the airlines forte.“Over the past 30 years our countries have become increasingly interlinked through our business and cultural exchange, and we’re honoured to have been involved in the development of this relationship,” Mr Han said.Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Chris Woodruff said he was looking forward to continuing the partnership with the airline.“As the relationship between Australia and China strengthens and with Australians increasingly looking to China for investment opportunities, we expect to see continued growth in popularity for Air China with Australian business,” Mr Woodruff said.An anniversary event was held last week in Melbourne to celebrate this milestone, which was attended by dignitaries of both countries.Key addresses were given by Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher MP and Chris Woodruff.The carrier, who operates 15 weekly services, announced a net profit of US$184 million in 2014.last_img read more

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Helloworld names Travelport as preferred GDS partner

first_imgHelloworld Limited has announced Travelport as its premium preferred global distribution system (GDS) service partner for helloworld branded agents in Australia and New Zealand.Helloworld chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the agreement comes after an extensive review process and will be beneficial to their agents.“Whilst we continue to have commercial arrangements across the GDS providers throughout the various channels of our business, Travelport is our premium preferred partner for the retail networks,” Ms Gaines said.“Travelport’s commitment to and investment in technology innovation, breadth of global travel content and service support delivers an important advantage to our agents and our business.“A key driver in our decision was the additional benefits for our agents that flow from choosing Travelport as their GDS services partner including financial returns, competitive product pricing, greater transparency and market-leading technology and support.”helloworld agents will gain access to Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform, as well as Travel Smartpoint, a desktop solution that provides upselling and cross-selling opportunities.Travelport general manager pacific Kaylene Shuttlewood said the company looks forward to continuing the partnership and assisting helloworld with its growth strategy.“Travelport has been a Helloworld preferred partner for nearly 30 years, working closely to build innovative, customer-driven solutions to drive productivity through Travelport technology,” Ms Shuttlewood said.“This renewal demonstrates Helloworld’s recognition of Travelport’s continued investments and expertise in terms of the content and technology we bring to the agency desktop.”Helloworld Limited is an Australian travel distribution company that offers convenient, tailor-made holidays and boasts over 40 years experience in the industry.At the 2014 National Travel Industry Awards, helloworld was awarded Australia’s Best Travel Agency Group.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

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NSW remains the home of major events

first_imgSource = Destination NSW NSW remains the home of major eventsNSW continues to lead the nation when it comes to attracting new major events, Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase announced today, with the State hosting a comprehensive range of world class sporting, cultural and lifestyle events.Destination NSW supported 136 events in 2014, which contributed $510 million in visitor spending to the State’s economy and led to NSW being named Best Event State at the 2014 Australian Event Awards for the second year in a row.“NSW is the number one destination for major events, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world each year to take in our world class calendar. The latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) figures confirm this position, with NSW attracting a record number of international visitors in the year end December 2014,” Ms Chipchase said.“After a bumper 2014, Destination NSW has continued to work to secure top quality major events for NSW. Already in 2015 we have secured exclusive visits from international football giants Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur, the opening match of the State of Origin series, the Touch Football World Cup in Coffs Harbour and the Sydney International Art Series to name just a few.“We have also just concluded Vivid Sydney, which experienced a record number of visitors equating to a 19 per cent increase on 2014’s attendance figures. Of the 1.7 million people who attended Vivid, 26,000 came on international travel packages, with 11,000 packages sold to people from China alone. These outstanding results have been achieved thanks to innovative promotional campaigns and partnerships with domestic and international partners,” she said.Destination NSW also continues to support a wide range of events and festivals in Regional NSW each year, such as the Tamworth Country Music Festival, the Deni Ute Muster, the Parkes Elvis Festival and the IRONMAN Australia Port Macquarie.The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency has also engaged in innovative campaigns to market the State to a global audience, including securing the top rating US breakfast show, NBC’s TODAY, to televise live from Sydney to 5.6 million viewers, showcasing the State to the third largest source market of visitors to NSW.“Destination NSW will continue to work to attract world class events to our State, and ensure we remain as Australia’s number one destination. We have a bumper few months ahead, featuring the Australian Premiere of Matilda: The Musical, the Bledisloe Cup, NRL Grand Final, Netball World Cup and many more,” Ms Chipchase said. Destination NSWlast_img read more

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Carnival Cruise Line celebrates 5 years in Australia

first_imgCarnival Cruise Line celebrates 5 years in AustraliaCarnival Cruise Line celebrates 5 years in AustraliaCarnival Cruise Line celebrated its fifth anniversary in Australia today with the world’s longest conga line at sea, marking the first ever World Conga Day™. Over 60,000 guests took part in the Carnival Conga over the past week, which travelled across 25 Carnival ships, via 13 countries, 7 time zones, spanning over 16,000 kilometres.Carnival has also commissioned ‘Carnival Conga’, a song released especially for the occasion with all proceeds from the sale of the catchy tune going to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The release of Carnival Conga is a first for any cruise line globally and can be downloaded from all leading platforms, including, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play.Carnival Spirit sailed into the iconic Sydney Harbour this morning at 6.30am with over 1,500 guests and crew ‘conga-ing’ on the top deck at sunrise – five years to the day since she arrived through the heads for the first time in 2012. Captain Vittorio Marchi and on-board characters, Dr Seuss’ Cat In The Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, also joined in on the fun.This global event started in Florida on October 10 and from here, the Carnival Conga island hopped through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, before traveling over to the Pacific. From the Pacific, the Conga then passed from the Mexican Riviera to Carnival Legend in the Coral Sea, with the Conga craziness arriving onto Carnival Spirit this morning.From this year forward, Carnival Cruise Line want World Conga Day™ to be enjoyed not just by everyone onboard their ships but in Australia and around the world, as an excuse for people to leave their troubles behind – a holiday from all the worries of the world.Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia and NZ, Jennifer Vandekreeke, said “We’re delighted that Carnival guests and crew from around the globe have joined together for a bit of fun to celebrate our five year anniversary in Australia. Since the arrival of Carnival Spirit in 2012, more than 750,000 Australians and Kiwis have enjoyed the fun of a Carnival Cruise. We’re excited by what the next five years will bring, especially given by 2020, we will have two ships sailing year-round from Australia.”Australia is Carnival Cruise Line’s first international home-port outside of the U.S, with Carnival Spirit sailing year-round and Carnival Legend sailing seasonally. In 2020, the brand will have two ships sailing year-round from Australia.Fun Facts On Five Years Of Carnival Cruise Line In Australia:· 10,272 Comedy Shows performed· 37,101 guests saw a turtle at Amadee Island· 138,133 rides down Green Thunder· 11,511 Green Eggs and Ham Eaten· 1,218,800 little umbrellas in poolside cocktails· 719,368 kilos of Australian Watermelon served· 209,483 kilos of Australian Pumpkin served· 40,625 Olives served in Martinis· 750,000 guests onboardVisual Assets:Please click on the below links to download vision:· Carnival Conga Imagery· Carnival Conga Onboard B-Roll· Carnival Conga Helicopter AerialsFor more information and bookings call 13 31 94 or visit www.carnival.com.auAbout Carnival Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise line in the world with more than four and a half million guests travelling every year. The cruise line has two ships deployed in Australia, Carnival Spirit – the largest and newest cruise ship to be based in Sydney year-round – and sister ship Carnival Legend, sailing from Sydney each summer. With 45 activities to enjoy each day, both ships offer fun-loving families and couples memorable and great value holidays.Source = Carnival Cruise Linelast_img read more

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