Three agency groups now officially the TL Network with US17b in annual

first_img Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Tags: TL Network Share Travelweek Group TORONTO — Vacation.com Canada is now an integral part of TL Network with the group’s merging of Vacation.com, Travel Leaders Associates and Results! Travel on Jan. 1. Plans for the merger were announced in August 2016.Now with nearly 7,000 locations in both the U.S. and Canada, TL Network is offering “innovative solutions depending on each individual agency’s objectives and needs”, says the group.In a New Year’s message to Members, TL Network President Roger Block, CTC, wrote: “As we rang in the New Year, your travel agency organization of choice has officially become TL Network – one powerful force to help you, and each of our Members, compete even more effectively for the hearts and minds of the traveling public. As the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry, we now have unparalleled and cohesive strength within the greater travel industry. This will translate into more opportunities and special promotions for your clients, as we expand our relationships with supplier partners.”More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckChristine James, Vice President, TL Network Canada, said that since the initial August 2016 announcement there has been positive feedback from Members about the change. “The new TL Network will offer various levels of participation including our cutting-edge and award-winning ‘Agent Profiler’, a lead generation program which provides search engine optimization for participating agents,” says James. “Our customer satisfaction is extremely high and this innovative tool enables them to grow their business further while better serving their clientele.”Cindy Hodge, Travel Consultant with Gill & Schmall Agencies in Manitoba says that since joining Vacation.com her agency now has a portfolio that offers more channels to book clients “with increased commissions, fantastic booking platforms and ongoing support from all the support staff in Canada.”Carlton Montaut, CEO of Mississauga’s Centre Holidays Inc. says he’s looking forward to the enhanced technology tools and training at the annual Conference in 2017. “I see nothing but positive energy being injected into this corporation and great things happening in the future,” said Montaut. “Not only are our commissions boosted but our agents now have access to programs that they did not have before which will help to grow the business and give our agents an advantage in the marketplace.”More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalMore details are at tlnetwork.ca.  The nearly 7,000 Canadian and U.S. travel agencies of TL Network bring in more than US$17 billion in annual sales volume.center_img Posted by Three agency groups now officially the TL Network with US$17b in annual sales << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista hotels bring back Disney benefits

first_img Share Travelweek Group Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Tags: Disney World, Orlando, Wyndham Hotel Group Posted bycenter_img LAKE BUENA VISTA — Guests staying at either the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista or Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista in 2019 and 2020 with valid Walt Disney World theme park admission will have access to the Walt Disney World theme park Extra Magic Hours benefit, as well as the opportunity to reserve select FastPass+ experiences up to 60 days in advance of their stay. This marks the third consecutive year that the hotels have been able to offer these benefits to guests, says Jay Leonard, General Manager of the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort Complex. “We are very pleased to offer them more time and the best possible theme park experience when they stay with us.” The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, which is designated as an Official Walt Disney World hotel, has a long-standing relationship with the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests at the Wyndham or Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista who have a valid theme park ticket or confirmation number and a hotel reservation number can link their hotel reservation on MyDisneyExperience.com and, with a linked, valid theme park ticket, these guests can reserve select FastPass+ experiences up to 60 days in advance. More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaThese hotel benefits are available now for travel dates in 2020, and are subject to change without notice. Guests without the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option must use their ticket for admission to the same theme park where they would like to get the Extra Magic Hours benefit. Wyndham Lake Buena Vista hotels bring back Disney benefits << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Sandals announces latest Cash Splash winner August Lets Talk dates

first_img Travelweek Group Share Thursday, August 1, 2019 VANCOUVER — A Vancouver-based travel agent is the latest winner in the ‘Sandals Cash Splash’ incentive, designed exclusively for Canadian agents.Monte Elniski from Travel by Design accepted her prize from Winston Change, Business Development Manager, British Columbia & The Yukon, Unique Vacations Canada earlier this week. She joins a long list of Canadian agents who’ve won since the incentive was launched in October 2018.‘Sandals Cash Splash’ is Sandals’ largest and longest-running cash incentive, now in its final stretch. The hotel company is reminding agents that there are still multiple, monthly cash prizes available by booking directly with Unique Vacations Inc. through Sept. 30, 2019.Each new direct booking of three nights or longer to any Sandals or Beaches resort in any room category, for travel now through Dec. 18, 2019, equals one entry for the following monthly cash prizes:• Can$500 for each booking in any room category• $750 for each Club category booking• $1,000 for each Butler category booking.Each new direct booking equals one contest entry, with no limits on the number of entries per person, so more bookings equal more chances to win. Certain restrictions apply and it is not valid in Quebec.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsIn other news, the August schedule of Sandals’ weekly ‘Let’s Talk’ webinar series has been announced. Conducted exclusively for Canadian agents, the fast-paced online sessions are just 30 minutes long and focus on sales and marketing tips, Canadian-specific booking incentives and product updates directly from the resorts’ management teams in the Caribbean.Sandals Grenada Resort & SpaHere are the August dates:Friday, August 2 – Beaches Turks & Caicos1:30pm – 2:00pm ESTLearn why “The Last of the True Exotics is First for Families”.Friday, August 9 – Sandals Grenada1:30pm – 2:00pm ESTDiscover “The Sandals of Tomorrow, Today” and how this resort defies every convention of traditional design.Wednesday, August 14 – FRENCH – Beaches Turks & Caicos2:00pm – 2:30pm EST Agents in Quebec can register for the monthly French-language webinar which turns the spotlight on the award-winning family resort located in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.Friday, August 16 – Sandals Ochi Beach Resort1:30pm – 2:00pm EST Learn about the most happening resort in Jamaica that’s happening now, including the chic Ochi Beach Club exclusive to Sandals guests.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backThursday, May 22 – Groups12:30pm – 1:00pm EST Join Grant Lawlor, National Groups Manager, Unique Vacations Canada Inc. as he explains the various types of groups available to book at Sandals and Beaches Resorts, as well as the different ways to book a group. It’s easier than agents think.Friday, August 23 – Beaches Negril1:30pm – 2:00pm EST Experience the very first Beaches resort and learn why it’s “Negril’s Ultimate Family Beach Resort”.By simply registering, agents will also receive a recorded version post-webinar that they can play back at their leisure. To register, email webinars@uvisandals.ca with you IATA number.For more information go to taportal.sandals.com or call 1-800-545-8283. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Sandals announces latest Cash Splash winner & August ‘Let’s Talk’ dates Posted by Tags: Prizes, Sandalslast_img read more

ICE blames Internet phone blackout on equipment failure

first_imgFrom the print editionMalfunctioning equipment caused a network failure at the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) Wednesday that prevented more than 2 million customers around the country from using Internet and cellphone services for at least three hours, the company announced Friday.“The root cause of the impairment was due to malfunctioning equipment,” ICE wrote in a report submitted to the Telecommunications Superintendency (Sutel).Sutel is reviewing the reports to try to figure out the best way to compensate ICE customers.According to reports from ICE’s support line (1115), the problem began at 3 p.m., and service was reestablished at about 5:45 p.m. Neither the company’s support staff nor its press office could immediately say what had caused the failure.ICE reported connection failures on Internet, IP and 3G telephone services, both for making calls and sending messages. There also were reports of problems with fixed and GSM lines. The blackout affected some banks too, as customers could not use credit cards or withdraw cash from ATMs. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Puerto Viejo Rundown

first_imgLa Comida Organica Express was sparked to life by Carlos and Milly Duran and is a five-year sustainability program that seeks to generate 85-90 percent of all food consumed in Talamanca from within the local community.As Carlos says, “grassroots organic nutrition grows in Talamanca,” and the Express offers a home and community garden food exchange initiative. Carlos and Milly also offer an organic food order and delivery service, which supports a wide network of organic and family-owned farms in the area. For more info, contact them at OrganicDeliveryCR@gmail.com.The official program for ArteViva 2012 is out and the events are lining up to make for an incredible weekend here in the Caribe, Sept. 28-30. Check it out at http://www.arteviva-puertoviejo.com/. This Saturday, Sept. 22, don’t miss the Parque de Diversiones in Playa Chiquita. Bring your kids or bring out your inner kid.The entrance fee is {1,500 ($3) per person and there will be games, prizes, food, theater, bingo face-painting and even a bouncy house. For more info, contact the Centro Educativo de Playa Chiquita/Punta Uva at 2756-0754, or email asocepp@gmail.com.-Kristin Gilbert Ramírezkristingilbert@gmail.com Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

25 killed so far during Semana Santa according to Red Cross

first_imgAccidents and assaults have claimed the lives of 25 people so far this Semana Santa, according to a report released by the Costa Rican Red Cross. As of Friday, 65 others had been taken to the hospital in serious condition.With so many cars on the highway, driving accidents are the most frequent cause of death during the Easter Holy Week. Eight people were killed in collisions and rollovers. Four people were run over this week.The Red Cross made 20 water rescues from the country’s beach this week and recovered seven drowned bodies, including the body of 18-year-old Felipe Castro Espinoza, the nephew of current Environment Minister René Castro. Three of the drowning victims were children.Three more deaths were attributed to gunshot wounds. Two deaths were unknown, and one was listed as a traumatic emergency, according to the Red Cross.The Red Cross anticipates more road woes as people travel back home from vacation. The organization’s medical teams will remain on high alert through Sunday with 1,200 medics on duty at 162 posts throughout the country. Facebook Comments Related posts:Watch out for riptides during the Easter Holy Week Catholics in Guatemala set sawdust carpet world record Costa Rica’s Holy Week vacation off to a deadly start Romans will crucify Jesus in annual Good Friday parades throughout Costa Ricalast_img read more

Costa Rica recognizes first carbonneutral banana company

first_imgRelated posts:Let the gas prices climb, but give us electric cars Whole Foods’ responsibly grown rating system labels Costa Rican bananas grown at EARTH University as ‘Best’ Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure Ad Astra Rocket’s breakup with the government puts Costa Rica’s hydrogen future on hold A “green” banana never looked so good. Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry (MINAE) recognized Finca San Pablo as the country’s first carbon neutral banana farm during a ceremony Monday.Finca San Pablo’s general manager, Geraldo Mora, told The Tico Times that the company wanted to go carbon neutral to help the environment and serve as an example for other firms in the country’s important banana sector.The Siquierres-based company is a medium-sized operation, exporting 730,000 18-kilogram boxes of bananas annually, Mora said.Costa Rica is one of the world’s largest banana exporters. The country shipped off more than $900 million worth of the fruit in 2014, according to figures from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office.Mora said Finca San Pablo shrunk its carbon footprint mainly by reducing its use of nitrogen-based fertilizers in favor of natural ones; reducing electricity consumption in its packing facility; and improving efficiency in transporting its product to the port in Limón.The 290-hectare farm also maintains a 50-hectare forest and 12-hectare forest reserve to help offset its carbon footprint.The manager said he hoped the farm would serve as an example for the banana industry in Costa Rica. Mora said the industry has become more aware of its environmental impact in recent years.Beyond its own certifications, Finca San Pablo holds workshops through the National Banana Corporation’s environmental commission to show other banana farms how to improve their sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.Along with the MINAE Carbon Neutral stamp, Finca San Pablo holds certifications from Rainforest Alliance and Global G.A.P. The company does not use herbicides on its farm.The banana industry in Costa Rica has a rocky history with pesticide use. Field workers in the 1960s and 1970s were commonly exposed to Nemagon, a pesticide linked to sterility, cancer, miscarriage and genetic deformities. The government came to an agreement to compensate affected workers in 2014.Environmentally-conscious consumers looking for carbon neutral coffee to go with their morning banana could look to Café Britt, one of 32 companies with the Environment Ministry’s carbon neutrality seal as of this week. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Bosques de Doña Rosa Bed and Breakfast For Sale in San Antonio

first_img info heading info content Price: $679,000COD: 1-480Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558Province: HerediaCantón: HerediaConstruction: 490m2Land: 589m2Bedrooms: 12Parking: 8A/C: YesThis newly renovated bed and breakfast is located in the upscale suburb community of Bosques de Doña Rosa within Cuidad Cariari. The property is located only minutes from the Juan Santamaría International Airport, international corporate centers, fine dining restaurants and just a couple of blocks from the Cariari Country Club and Golf Resort.This 12 room bed and breakfast is sold fully permitted and licensed and furnished.The neighboring house is also for sale and currently available, in the event that the buyer would like to expand the bed and breakfast or simply live next to the business.Owner financing is availableSee this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here. https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-07.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-04.jpg Previous Image https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-06.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-01.jpgcenter_img Next Image No related posts. https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-03.jpg Facebook Comments https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-480-02.jpglast_img read more

Keylor Navas leads Real Madrid to another shutout in battle of Europes

first_imgThe top-ranked teams from Spain and France duelled to a 0-0 tie in Paris during Wednesday’s Championship League group stage. Though Real Madrid limped into the match without three of its top offensive threats, Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas and the defense kept another clean sheet for “Los Merengues” against a Paris St. Germain team that’s undefeated in the French Ligue 1.Featuring all-word talents like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and Ángel Di María, Paris St. Germain has one of Europe’s most feared attacks, which averaged nearly three goals per game in its previous five matches.But Real Madrid’s defense looked impressive against one of the world’s best front lines and Navas was rarely challenged. The Costa Rican had an easy save early on, smothering a shot from outside the box. Then in the second period, Navas made another diving save after the ball deflected off of Real Madrid defender Marcelo Vieira’s elbow. Related posts:Keylor Navas’ historic Champions League streak ends in Real Madrid loss Keylor Navas and Real Madrid beat Wolfsburg to classify for Champions League semifinals WATCH: Real Madrid star Keylor Navas makes Tico teen’s wish come true WATCH: Keylor Navas saves another penalty kick Navas has only allowed two goals in 11 games during his record-breaking season and has yet to allow a goal in five career games in the Champions League. The Tico’s stretch ties the Real Madrid club record. Navas also added Wednesday to his impressive save percentage, which, heading into Wednesday’s match, ranked tops among goalkeepers in Europe’s five major leagues at 91.7 percent, according to WhoScored.com.For its part, Real Madrid was without many of its own premiere strikers as Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and James Rodríguez remain out with injuries. Navas and Real Madrid will next take the field on Saturday at 8 a.m. Costa Rican time when they play Celta Vigo, which is ranked second behind Los Merengues in La Liga. Facebook Commentscenter_img .@NavasKeylor is the SECOND keeper (after Moya) to keep a clean sheet in his first 5 matches, in UCL history.— MisterChip (English) (@MisterChiping) October 21, 2015last_img read more

UPDATE Poás Volcano eruption prompts temporary closure of national park

first_imgUPDATE: April 14. 10:34 a.m.Vulcanologists from OVSICORI and the National Seismological Network reported two strong eruptions at Poás Volcano at 7:39 a.m. and 7:57 a.m. on Friday.The new eruptions formed an ash and vapor plume of some 3 kilometers (some 9,800 feet) above the crater, visible from varios locations in the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia and San José.OVSICORI estimates that ash could reach communities in these provinces in areas including: Bajos del Toro, Zarcero, Pocosol, La Tigra, Florencia, San José de la Montaña, Naranjo, San Ramón, Palmares, Sarchí, Grecia, San Luis, Finca Inés, Alto Palomo, Altura, Fraijanes, Carrizal, San Pedro de Poás, Santa Bárbara, Pozo Azul.The National Seismological Network posted a video made of pictures sent to its social media profiles: Related posts:Gas, vapor at Poás Volcano prompts preventive measures Ash from Turrialba Volcano keeps falling on the Central Valley Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Experts document presence of lava in two Costa Rican volcanoes Original story follows:The National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued a Green (Informative) Alert on Thursday following an explosion Wednesday night at Poás Volcano.The tourist entrance to the Poás Volcano National Park is closed Thursday and Friday, as well as some of the roads near the park.The alert applies for residents of seven cantons in the province of Alajuela: Poás, Sarchí, Zarcero, Grecia, San Carlos, Río Cuarto and Central Alajuela, who should remain vigilant of the volcano’s activity, the CNE said.The explosion occurred at around 6:30 p.m. and hurled rocks, vapor, gases and water into the air and towards the southwest of the crater, the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported.Water and sediments fell on the Agrio, Gata and Desagüe rivers and caused a flash flood on the latter.CNE Operations Director Walter Fonseca said in a news release that there is a possibility of similar events, so officials recommend that people stay away from these rivers and nearby areas.OVSICORI and CNE  officials conducted an inspection on Thursday morning and found a large amount of sediment along the Desagüe river, mostly in the Bajos del Toro area.Geologist Blas Enríquez said, following the inspection, that the flash flood did not cause any damage to homes, bridges, roads, or any other structure. The CNE, however, recommended that local residents remain alert.Businesses in areas surrounding the volcano, located 47 kilometers northwest of San José, are open and working as usual, the agency noted.Visitors were forced to evacuate the popular national park last Sunday as a preventive measure due to an increase in the emanation of gases from the crater. (Via Blas Sánchez/CNE) (Via Blas Sánchez/CNE) (Via Blas Sánchez/CNE) (Via Blas Sánchez/CNE) Facebook Commentslast_img read more

NATO invites Pakistan to summit in Chicago

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 It stopped short of saying the supply routes would be immediately reopened but said that talks with the U.S. and NATO over the resumption should be “concluded.” The full Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue.State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was cautious, saying U.S. and Pakistani officials were still negotiating in Islamabad on reopening NATO supply routes. She said a deal before next week’s NATO summit would be a “wonderful signal,” but that the alliance decided that Pakistan should participate regardless of whether an agreement is finalized.Pentagon spokesman George Little said the U.S. was hopeful that “in the very near future” the lines would reopen.Pakistan sought to use the deadly American air strikes in November to extract new terms from the United States in what has always been a tense and largely transactional relationship. Noone expected the blockade to be permanent, so the main question became what concessions Islamabad could receive for reopening them.The government has said it wants more money from the U.S. and NATO for hosting the supply routes, something Washington has indicated it could do. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Pakistan has some bargaining power of its own because its cooperation is seen as important to striking a peace deal with the Taliban and their allies in Afghanistan that would allow foreign troops to withdraw without sending the nation into further chaos.The weak government risks some backlash from nationalist and Islamist groups, as well as militants, by reopening the supply lines. But the powerful army, which has influence over much of the country’s media and some of its most firebrand politicians and clerics, is likely to tamp down the outrage.More than 50 heads of state will attend the meeting in Chicago, including President Barack Obama who will be speaking in his hometown.___Lekic reported from Brussels. Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann in Kabul, Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Lolita Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Associated PressISLAMABAD (AP) – NATO on Tuesday invited Pakistan’s president to the upcoming Chicago summit on Afghanistan, the strongest sign yet that Islamabad is ready to reopen its western border to U.S. and NATO military supplies heading to the war in the neighboring country.Pakistan blocked the routes in November after American airstrikes killed 24 of its troops on the Afghan border. The attack sent ties between Washington and Islamabad to new lows, threatening regional cooperation needed for negotiating an end to the Afghan war. ErrorOK ErrorOKThe developments signal something of a rapprochement between the two countries, but tensions are likely to bedevil what has long been a brittle relationship, scarred by mistrust on both sides. Many in Washington believe Pakistan is supporting the Taliban, making the Afghan War unwinnable.The U.S. expressed regret for the airstrikes and has been quietly pressing Pakistan to reopen the routes over the last two weeks. Washington and NATO stepped up those efforts in recent days, and officials had said Islamabad would not be welcome at the two-day summit beginning Sunday in Chicago unless it did so.NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen phoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday afternoon to invite him to the meeting, according to a statement from the Pakistan government and NATO.“This meeting will underline the strong commitment of the international community to the people of Afghanistan and to its future,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in Brussels, where the alliance is based. “Pakistan has an important role to play in that future.”In Islamabad, Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president would consider the invitation.Pakistani civilian and military leaders later met to discuss the possibility of lifting the supply line blockade. In a statement, the Cabinet’s defense committee endorsed the invitation to Chicago, suggesting that Zardari would accept it. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The country’s parliament also demanded an apology from Washington for the border incident and an end to America’s drone strike campaign against militants in northwestern Pakistan, but neither appears likely, U.S. officials say. Negotiators from both countries have been discussing the drone strikes, which are unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington has said it will not stop them because they are vital to keeping al-Qaida on the defensive.The defense committee only said the country “would remain engaged” with the United States on the question of an apology and the cessation of drone attacks.By maintaining the blockade, Pakistan’s teetering economy risked missing out on millions of dollars in international development and loans, as well military aid. It was also facing the prospect of being left out of discussions on the future of Afghanistan.The blockade forced NATO to reorient its logistics chain to more expensive routes across Russia and Central Asia. While the war effort has not suffered, the Pakistani routes will be more important in coming months as NATO begins to pull out of Afghanistan, with a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of all foreign combat troops. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more

UN drug agency head slams antiJewish Iran remarks

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Sponsored Stories VIENNA (AP) – The head of the U.N.’s drug fighting agency and the U.S. State Department have criticized anti-Jewish remarks made by an Iranian vice president last week.A United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime statement says agency chief Yury Fedotov expressed “his dismay and serious concern” while meeting with a senior unidentified Iranian diplomat in Vienna “about the anti-Semitic comments of Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.” Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Quick workouts for men Rahimi was cited by Iranian media and on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s website as saying at the June 26 anti-drugs meeting in Tehran that “the spread of narcotics in the world emanates from the teachings of the Talmud … whose objective is the destruction of the world.” The Talmud is the Jewish book of laws.Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be wiped off the face of the map in 2005.In Washington on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland issued a statement condemning what she called “Rahimi’s vile anti-Semitic and racist comments.”(Copyright 2012 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 helplast_img read more

Gambia drops indecency charges against 20

first_imgBANJUL, Gambia (AP) – A court in Gambia has dropped charges against 18 men and two women who had been arrested in April and charged with indecency after a dance ceremony for tourists.Director of Public Prosecution S.H. Barkun submitted an application Wednesday to withdraw the case. The defense had no objections.Presiding Magistrate Sheriff Tabally granted the application and then dismissed all charges.Prosecutors charged the defendants with “unnatural offenses” and felony for organizing a dance ceremony for gays. They all pleaded not guilty. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments   Share   The criminal charge is applied toward people who are accused of taking part in homosexual acts in Gambia.In 2008, President Yahya Jammeh told gays and lesbians to leave the country or have their heads cut off.Gays and lesbians face threats of violence and discrimination across the continent.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

US seeks delay of Paris auction of Hopi masks

first_img Sponsored Stories In a statement, the embassy said the sale shouldn’t go through without consultation with the Hopi and San Carlos Apache tribes. Calls to the auction house Saturday were not immediately returned.In April, then-Ambassador Charles Rivkin expressed sadness about a similar mask auction in Paris.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likecenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories PARIS (AP) – The American Embassy in Paris is asking a French auction house to delay the planned sale of sacred objects from two Native American tribes.Saturday’s request to the Eve auction house comes a day after a French judge ruled that the sale of 32 Hopi masks can go ahead starting Monday.The Hopi tribe opposes the use as commercial art of sacred masks that represent their ancestor’s spirits, and has sought to block the sale that also includes and other Native American frescoes and dolls. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Spain to offer free unlimited WiFi in 46 airports

first_img Sponsored Stories AENA said in a statement Thursday that faster speeds will be offered, plus a premium service for passengers willing to pay for it.The authority says it expects the new free Wi-Fi system will be available at airports toward the end of this year.The U.N.’s World Tourism Organization says Spain is the No. 3 international tourism destination after France and the United States.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MADRID (AP) — Spain’s airport authority says it will start providing free and unlimited Wi-Fi in 46 airports across the country by the end of the year.Airport authority AENA says its board has approved a plan that envisions making Spanish airports among Europe’s best for fast and free Wi-Fi service for passengers.Free Wi-Fi is currently available in most Spanish airports but there’s a 30-minute usage limit. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

22 die in ethnic clashes in Algeria president calls meeting

first_imgIt said President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was meeting with the prime minister, defense officials, the army chief of staff and others to discuss the gravity of the latest confrontations more than 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Algiers. APS cited sources close to the president’s office.The daily El Watan reported gunfire during the unrest, and wrote that “masked hordes on big motorbikes were combing neighborhoods of Guerrara and seeding terror among the population.”Riot police moved in to quell the clashes that included fires and vandalism targeting shops, cars and public buildings in the towns of Guerrara, Ghardaia and Berianne, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Ghardaia, the news agency reported.Ghardaia, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been at the epicenter of the unrest. Members of the local Berber community, known as Mozabites, speak their own language and follow a different school of Islam than the majority of Algerians. The two groups compete over limited jobs, land and housing in the impoverished south.Tensions escalated after a Mozabite cemetery was desecrated in December 2013. By October of last year, a dozen people had been killed and hundreds injured in clashes. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Authorities say ethnic clashes over two days have left at least 22 people dead around Algeria’s southern oasis city of Ghardaia, prompting the president to call an urgent security meeting Wednesday.The prefecture put the number of dead in clashes between Arabs and Berbers at 22, raising the death toll by four. Three of the 22 were killed a day earlier.The official APS news agency said most of the deaths were from “projectiles” and occurred in Guerrara, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Ghardaia. One person was fatally wounded in Ghardaia when hit by a rock to the head. Dozens of others were injured, some seriously, APS said. Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   last_img read more

SPIN METER Sketchy claims for hightech health fraud buster

first_img Comments   Share   It’s just that results don’t seem to be as impressive as the administration claims.EDITOR’S NOTE _ An occasional look behind the rhetoric of politicians and public officials.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Fraud costs the health care system tens of billions of dollars each year, and countering it is a top priority. The fraud prevention computer system was meant to elevate Medicare’s game, putting it in the same league as major credit card companies that can freeze accounts proactively.It’s not the first time there’s been less than meets the eye to upbeat health care numbers from the Obama administration. Last year, officials acknowledged they had overcounted the number of people signed up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That discrepancy was uncovered by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as they scrutinized sign-up spreadsheets.“I don’t think there’s anybody misleading the public,” Shantanu Agrawal, Medicare’s director of program integrity, said of the fraud prevention numbers. The administration’s higher figure also serves as an indicator of the system’s preventive potential, he said.The anti-fraud system “is more than paying for itself and is showing improvement year over year,” Agrawal said.But the inspector general also raised questions about whether Medicare’s computer system is getting more credit than it is due for some investigations. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The audit cited a case in which other sources had already identified service providers whose billing patterns appeared suspicious. Then, the computer system came up with an additional two providers linked to that investigation. Medicare identified a total of $16 million in potential savings or recoveries overall. The high-tech system got credit for the entire amount.Medicare pays more than 4 million claims a day, worth about $1 billion. Partly because of a congressional mandate to pay promptly, the agency has often been steps behind the fraudsters, a self-defeating situation that investigators call “pay and chase.” That seems to be changing, with stronger, more coordinated enforcement and heavier penalties.The fraud prevention system is supposed to be a linchpin of the new approach. But it has involved a learning curve.One of the advantages of the system is that it can “see” across different Medicare payment pathways, from hospitals and nursing homes, to doctors and home health providers. It also facilitates booting unscrupulous service providers out of the program.The inspector general’s office is optimistic about the system, saying in its report that it “enhances and should continue to enhance (Medicare’s) efforts to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.” WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare says its computerized fraud prevention system worked like a cybercharm last year, identifying $454 million in problematic payments and generating a financial return for the taxpayer of $10 for every dollar spent.But you can’t take that to the bank: Most of the savings claimed by the Obama administration are unlikely to be realized, the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office said in its own recent analysis. A more realistic estimate, the department’s watchdog said, is that $133.2 million in bogus payments may be recovered or stopped before money goes out. That would put the actual return to taxpayers at about $3 per dollar spent. That return-on-investment calculation is based on the cost of operating Medicare’s high-tech Fraud Prevention System, now in its fourth year.The huge difference between the numbers is because the administration takes credit for all problem payments identified by the system. The inspector general doesn’t dispute the bigger number but calls it “unadjusted,” and only gives credit for payments likely to be recovered or stopped.The higher estimate of $454 million includes actual and projected savings that “may not be recovered,” said the inspector general’s report. The lower estimate of $133 million represents savings that “reasonably can be expected,” based on historical patterns.Such caveats haven’t dampened the administration’s exuberance.“Very few investments have a 10-to-1 return on taxpayer money,” acting Medicare Administrator Andy Slavitt said in a celebratory statement touting the larger figure. A former tech executive, Slavitt has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs health insurance programs for more than 100 million U.S. residents. Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

Landmark trade deal could slash tariffs for tech products

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — Prices for games consoles, home entertainment systems and GPS devices could soon fall after major trade powers agreed Friday to cut tariffs on some 200 technology products.The Geneva-based World Trade Organization said 49 of its members — including the United States, China and the European Union — reached a tentative accord to expand the 1996 Information Technology Agreement following three years of talks. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories “Today’s agreement is a landmark,” said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo. “Annual trade in these 201 products is valued at over $1.3 trillion per year, and accounts for approximately 7 percent of total global trade today. This is larger than global trade in automotive products — or trade in textiles, clothing, iron and steel combined.”In order for the deal to take effect, however, countries signing the accord must account for 90 percent of the global trade in technology products. Taiwan, a big producer of electronics, has faced considerable domestic pressure not to join. Along with four other countries — Thailand, Turkey, Columbia and Mauritius — Taiwan asked Friday for more time to consider the agreement.Final details of the deal will be worked out by December, when trade ministers meet in Nairobi, Kenya.Once implemented, the agreement will require countries to eliminate trade tariffs on most new-generation semi-conductors, satellite navigation systems, medical products that include magnetic resonance imaging machines, machine tools for manufacturing printed circuits, telecommunications satellites and touch screens within three years starting in 2016, the WTO said. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home “This deal will cut costs for consumers and business, in particular for smaller firms, which have been hit especially hard by excessive tariffs in the past,” EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement.___Associated Press Writer Geir Moulson contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

UAE slashes fuel subsidies announces 24 percent price hike

first_imgCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Meanwhile, the price of diesel will be lowered, with drivers paying 2.05 dirhams a liter instead of 2.90 dirhams — a 29 percent decrease.The move is part of a wider strategy to phase out subsidies and offset the effect of a drop in revenues. Moody’s investor service said it expects the UAE’s consolidated revenues to drop 27 percent this year due to lower global oil prices, which have fallen nearly 50 percent in the past year.Energy Minister Suhail al-Marzouei acknowledged in an interview last week with the official WAM news agency that the hike in gasoline prices will likely affect lower-income foreign residents. In the UAE, foreign residents — many of whom are lower-income– by far outnumber locals.Al-Marzouei said lower-income people should take public transport.“Everyone drives a car even if they cannot afford to drive a car,” he said. “We cannot ask the government to subsidize those people when they shouldn’t drive cars.”Despite the move by the Energy Ministry, officials will still have a hand in setting prices. Average international prices will be used as a benchmark to announce prices on the 28th of each month for the following month. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has slashed gasoline subsidies, announcing Tuesday that it will raise the cost of a liter of regular gasoline by 24 percent amid globally low oil prices that have cut into the country’s revenues.Starting Aug. 1, drivers will pay 2.14 dirhams (58 cents) per liter of gasoline at the pump instead of 1.72 dirhams (47 cents), or about $2.21 a gallon instead of $1.78, the government’s new fuel price committee said. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Blues on Broadbeach wins Queensland Tourism Award

first_imgSource = Tourism Queensland Awards The Broadbeach Alliance team is celebrating after the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival was named the winner in the Best Festival and Event category at the 2011 Queensland Tourism Awards.The Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival took out the category against finalists such as Xstrata Mount Isa Rodeo, Cairns Airport Adventure Festival and the Queensland Garden Expo. This is a major achievement for the small team at Broadbeach Alliance with the event now automatically a finalist at the Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Cairns next March. The Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival is one of the largest free events in Australia and saw more than 80,000 people stream into the Broadbeach precinct in May, with in excess of $39 million injected into the local economy. CEO of Broadbeach Alliance Jan McCormick says the award is a special recognition for the small team.“This award is incredible as it recognises how hard the Broadbeach Alliance team works to present world class events for the Gold Coast.”The award was presented at a gala black tie function at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday night. The Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival was one of four Gold Coast winners including the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Sea World and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Broadbeach Alliance was also recently named the August winner at the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards for the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival with the overall winner set to be announced later this month.The team was also recognised at the Gold Coast Community Safety Awards in October taking home the award for Best Not For Profit Group for outstanding contribution to improving community safety and preventing crime. last_img read more

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