WestJet advances global growth with multiyear distribution agreement with Amadeus

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group WestJet advances global growth with multi-year distribution agreement with Amadeus Tags: Amadeus, WestJetcenter_img TORONTO — WestJet’s new multi-year agreement with Amadeus comes as the carrier gears up for international expansion, with new destinations on the horizon and more interline agreements designed to expand its global footprint.Under the new agreement Amadeus subscribers worldwide get continued access via the Amadeus GDS to WestJet content. The agreement also provides continued access to the carrier’s ancillary offerings including options such as seat selection, baggage and priority boarding.“As WestJet evolves as a global carrier, our new agreement with Amadeus will enable us to grow and deliver on the needs of travellers and travel professionals wherever they are located,” said WestJet’s Executive Vice-President, Commercial, Ed Sims.WestJet recently announced the purchase of up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Last month WestJet confirmed that it is looking to add China flights, filing for regulatory approval with Transport Canada. According to reports WestJet has crunched the numbers on some 70 worldwide destinations, including more cities in Europe beyond the routes it already serves, as well as destinations in the South Pacific. Future options on the table for Europe reportedly include Amsterdam and Rome, and in the South Pacific, Tahiti and Fiji.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesScott Alvis, Chief Marketing Officer, Amadeus North America, says WestJet “believes in the value of a multi-channel strategy where travel agents and travellers can count on having access to the broadest range of their content and services.”Earlier this year Alvis said that content is king when it comes to providing travel agents with the best booking solutions via GDS. “We have done a lot of work to make sure we are getting those ancillaries into the platform, for example, seat upgrades and baggage fees. Close to 80% of all airlines booking in the system have ancillaries that could be booked with them.”He added: “We want our Points-of-Sale to serve that traveller as best as possible. We want to make sure we’ve got all that ancillary content, all the fare family content, available to the travel agents. So far we’ve been able to do that at a very nice pace.”WestJet recently evolved its merchandising approach using Amadeus’ ancillary technologies, added Alvis. In 2016 the airline implemented Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, which enables travel agents to book add-on services, as well as Amadeus Airline Fare Families, making its Econo, Flex, Plus Lowest and Plus Flexible bundled fare options available. “This enables travel professionals to best serve their customers by proposing the WestJet fares and options that best match traveller preferences.” Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Sharelast_img read more

Celebrating International Womens Day with new trips from leading tour ops

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by TORONTO — Always a force to be reckoned with in the travel industry, women are in the spotlight today with International Women’s Day. Travel companies including Intrepid, G Adventures, Exodus, Luxury Gold and Trafalgar are marking March 8 with women-only tours, women-focused excursions and ideas for how travel can make a life-changing impact for women around the world.Here’s a look at some of the highlights:INTREPID TRAVELIntrepid Travel has developed a new line of women-only expeditions in Morocco, Iran and Jordan. The limited-edition tours are available to book starting today.Intrepid has already committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the business, with the ultimate goal of doubling its number of female tour leaders globally by 2020.“With all the hallmarks of a classic Intrepid Travel adventure – local leadership, local transport, real life experiences – and an added focus on female travel and female empowerment, this new line of Women’s Expeditions offers a unique opportunity for female travelers from around the world to connect with each other and learn more about Middle Eastern women and their day-to-day lives,” says Jenny Gray, regional product manager for the Middle East and Africa.For more information about the Women’s Expeditions, or to book, visit: TRAVELSExodus has also launched all-female departures, experiences focused on championing and inspiring women in adventure travel.The tours range from an exploration of the strong cultural traditions of Iran to cycling through Central America’s tropical scenery.“We want to connect with females from all cultures and challenge ourselves to go beyond our comfort zones while on vacation, as well as in our day to day lives,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing & PR Manager. “There’s a growing demand for trips that go beyond spa and yoga retreats with girlfriends. Adventure and exploration is not a boys’ club anymore. In 2017, 65% of our travellers were female and we have seen a huge increase in women looking for active adventures such as cycling, walking, trekking and responsible wildlife tours.”More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJWomen will journey with an all-female group made up of 4-16 travellers, led by local female guides, creating more opportunities for women working in a traditionally male-dominated profession in many countries across the globe, adds Brooks.The trips include: the 15-day Journey to Persia (from Can$4,555, March 3 – 17, 2019); the 15-day Cycle Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama (from $4,085, March 30 – April 13, 2018); the 11-day Highlights of China (from $2,945, May 12 – 22, 2019); and the 8-day Walking the Amalfi Coast (from $1,765, Nov. 10 – 17, 2018).LUXURY GOLD & LUXURY GOLD CARESLuxury Gold Cares, in partnership with its non-profit foundation The TreadRight Foundation, is highlighting the power of impactful tourism to the local communities they visit across the globe.Joining these select transformative journeys with Luxury Gold, means clients will have the opportunity to meet and interact with inspirational women and learn more about their daily lives and artistic efforts, says the company.The trips include: the 12-day Treasures of the Incas; the 21-day La Serenissima, where guests can meet expert weaver Marta Cucchia; the 19-day Trans-Canadian Grandeur with Stampede and Via Rail Prestige; and the 16-day Imperial Rajasthan with Me to We Experience where guests have the chance to walk with local women as they collect water, care for livestock and cook for their families before participating in projects to help enhance their community like building schools, enabling mobile health clinics, and agricultural training.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaTRAFALGARNow more than ever clients have the opportunity to see firsthand and interact with inspirational women on a growing list of Trafalgar trips, and experience how the transformative power of tourism across the globe can promote sustainable initiatives and economic empowerment.“As we look to our female forces working in the field, delivering exceptional experiences to our guests, I am delighted to confirm that within our exclusive ‘Be My Guest’ experiences, 48% of these in Europe and Britain are hosted by women,” says Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar Global CEO. “As I look around the world, we are privileged to work with a selected network of inspirational and truly individual women, each with their own tale to tell.”Trafalgar’s trips include the 8-day Best of Devon and Cornwall, where travellers can meet yoga teacher and owner of Trefranck Farm in Cornwall, Gemma Kempthorne. As part of Trafalgar’s ‘Be My Guest’ experience, Gemma hosts guests for lunch and tales of farming heritage at her homely Cornish farmstead which has been in their family since the early 18th century.And new for 2018, Trafalgar’s 11-day Wonders of Italy program, offers guests the opportunity to meet with a former chef who gave it all up to run her family’s Tuscan wine estate. Diana Lenzi is a woman led by her heart, says Trafalgar. Following her mother’s motto, ‘learn as you go’, she threw herself into the business of running the Fattoria di Petroio estate, which produces “the most wonderful Chianti”, says the tour company.G ADVENTURESThe March 8, 2018 issue of Travelweek includes an interview with Adrienne Lee, Director of Development at G Adventures’ non-profit partner Planeterra. Check out the interview here. Share Thursday, March 8, 2018 Celebrating International Women’s Day with new trips from leading tour ops << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Top 5 most instaworthy destinations to get you the most likes on

first_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Instagramcenter_img NEW YORK – Looking for a way to get more ‘likes’ on Instagram? Want to inspire clients to travel – and book – at the same time?According to, travellers are now choosing their vacation destinations based on how well they believe their photos will perform on their social accounts. With this in mind, travel agents can also use social media to their benefit, posting images and travel photos that will create the most buzz, earn them ‘likes’ and followers, and hopefully get clients to book a trip.To help travellers find the next destination that will get them the most ‘likes’ and help to establish them as travel trendsetters, has unveiled its top 5 picks for the most photogenic destinations they’ve likely never considered travelling to:Instead of Singapore, try Hainan. China’s Hainan Island is being called the ‘Hawaii of the East’ and is even starting to garner comparisons to Dubai for its newfound luxury vibe. To promote tourism, the Chinese government recently launched a program granting 30-day visa-free access to the island for tourists from 59 countries, including Canada.Sanya City, Hainan Province, ChinaInstead of Prague, try Wroclaw. Wroclaw is a beautiful city with rich history dating back as early as the 6th century. Don’t miss the city’s main square, which was destroyed during WWII but was rebuilt to honour Wroclaw’s medieval past.Central Market Square, Wroclaw, PolandInstead of Costa Rica, try the Azores. Black sand beaches, lush greenery and volcanic peaks make the Azores the perfect subtropical getaway. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking and surfing.Flores Island, Azores, PortugalInstead of Croatia, try Montenegro. Just across the border from Croatia, Kotor is a medieval town with slightly less exposure than Dubrovnik. The charming town is nestled in a fjord-like bay.Kotor, MontenegroInstead of Dubai, try Marrakech. From the delicately painted tiles to the colourful goods in the souks, to the winding alleys of the Old town, Marrakech is a city just waiting to be photographed.Jamaa el Fna Market Square, Marrakesh, MoroccoFor more information go to Share Top 5 most ‘insta-worthy’ destinations to get you the most ‘likes’ on social medialast_img read more

Collette increases Canadian presence with expanded sales team

first_img Travelweek Group Friday, November 30, 2018 Posted by Share Tags: Collette, New Hirescenter_img MISSISSAUGA — Collette is expanding its sales team throughout Canada.The tour operator says the expansion “will allow for a more cohesive strategic plan throughout all regions and the ability to strengthen relationships with partners and guests through communication and collaboration.” Expanding the team also ensures that requests are met with urgency and support, say the company.The new sales team includes: George Christakis, Head of Sales, Canada; Shane Coupland, BDM, Atlantic Canada; Ryan DeSouza, BDM, South Western Ontario; Meaghan McMahon, BDM, Eastern Ontario & Montreal; Shane Galivan, BDM, Central & Northern Ontario; Brent Jeffrey, BDM, Alberta; Danielle Martins, BDM, Manitoba & Saskatchewan; John Goranson, BDM, British Columbia.“Expansion is key in regards to development, success, and improvement,” says Christakis. “We know that this growth will ensure that we exceed our goals and objectives, while impacting Collette as a whole.” Collette increases Canadian presence with expanded sales team << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Two new sales team appointments for Globus

first_imgTwo new sales team appointments for Globus Share Tags: Globus, New Hires Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Monday, April 29, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Eva Montenegro is the new BDM for Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley in B.C. for the Globus family of brands.She comes to the company with more than 15 years of sales experience within the travel industry, most recently with Travelzoo and Rocky Mountaineer. She can be reached at, 778-239-1833 or 1-888-268-1928. Her BDM colleague in B.C., long-time Globus staffer Peter Ouzounov, will now be responsible for agencies in Vancouver, the Interior and North and West Shore.In other news, Ron James has been appointed to the position of supervisor, inside sales. Most recently involved in event management for the city of Toronto, he can be reached at,  (416) 787-1281 or 1-888-268-1928.  He replaces Alex Mantios who has been promoted to the newly-formed position of business analyst.last_img read more

Panamas Noriega back in prison after hospital stay

first_imgPANAMA CITY – Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega returned to prison Tuesday after weeks in the hospital due to a bout with bronchitis, a government official said.A one-time CIA informant who was overthrown in a U.S. invasion, Noriega has been in and out of the hospital three times since his return to Panama in December. His latest hospital visit began May 9.The 78-year-old was released from Santo Tomas Hospital early Tuesday and returned to prison “because his health has stabilized,” said Government Ministry spokeswoman Vielka Vernaza.Noriega, who has suffered two strokes and has heart disease and a benign brain tumor, is serving three consecutive 20-year sentences for the disappearance of opponents during his years in power, from 1983-1989.Since February, Noriega’s lawyers have been seeking permission for their client to serve out his prison term in a hospital or under house arrest because of his health problems. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Venezuelan opposition wants court ruling on Chávez crisis

first_imgNo related posts. CARACAS – Venezuela’s top opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to rule on whether cancer-stricken President Hugo Chávez’s re-inauguration can be postponed, as his government argues.“I do not know what the judges of the Supreme Court are waiting for. Right now in Venezuela, without any doubt whatsoever, a constitutional conflict has arisen,” Capriles said.Chávez is scheduled to take the oath of office on Thursday following his October re-election win, but he is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, his fourth operation in 18 months, and it’s not clear he will make it to the ceremony in Caracas.Government officials say the presidential swearing-in ceremony is merely a formality that can be delayed, but the opposition says the constitution must be respected.The constitution says new elections must be held within 30 days if the president-elect dies or is permanently incapacitated either before he takes office or in the first four years of his six-year term.Capriles also urged Latin American leaders to stay away from a pro-Chávez rally convened by the government for Thursday in place of the inauguration.So far, Uruguay’s President José Mugica, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño of Ecuador are the only ones to confirm their attendance.Capriles urged regional leaders not to succumb to “a game by a political party” – alluding to Venezuela’s ruling party. He mentioned by name the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia and Ecuador.Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said late Monday that Chávez’s medical condition had remained “stable” since the latest complication from surgery was reported four days ago.Chávez is suffering from a severe pulmonary infection that has resulted in weak breathing, officials have said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Is Costa Ricas antitobacco law encouraging smuggling

first_imgTwo years after Costa Rica passed an aggressive national anti-smoking law, the number of illegal smokes seized by law enforcement has skyrocketed by 89 percent, according to figures from the Finance Ministry.Some might point to the law’s tax increase as a driver for contraband and tax evasion on tobacco products, but Fiscal Control Police (PCF) Director Luis Álvaro Bonilla says better police work has more to do with the record-breaking seizures.“What’s changed is our ability to detect irregularities, both contraband and customs fraud,” Bonilla told The Tico Times in a telephone interview. “During the last four years, we’ve developed better ways of working. We’re more focused on organizations [that import illegal cigarettes] and their distribution networks,” he said.“On a large scale, it’s a very profitable business. It’s a vice permitted by the law. Any drug is profitable, be it legal or illicit,” he added.The director said that the law has had little, if any impact on the quantities of illegal cigarettes entering the country. He acknowledged that contraband cigarettes might account for a small portion of the drop in sales of tobacco products since the law’s introduction, but doubted it significantly impacts the illicit trade.Bonilla said that the new focus on the supply side of the problem has resulted in larger seizures. He noted that in 2013, the PCF confiscated over 21 million cigarettes, but they have already seized some 14 million in the first two months of this year.The PCF director added that the logistical infrastructure of criminal organizations is cause for concern. Bonilla said that criminal organizations that specialize in falsifying import invoices or smuggling cigarettes can become a risk for the movement of other illegal substances across the border, as they offer their transportation networks to other criminal groups.“Price is what makes [smuggling cigarettes] attractive,” Bonilla said, explaining that the market for these products was often marginalized or rural communities where habit smokers without means are pushed to cheap, perhaps illegal tobacco.“Anyone paying anything under ₡700 [$1.40] per pack of cigarettes should think there’s something up,” Bonilla said. Much of the illegal tobacco originates in Eastern Europe, China, Panama and Canada, he said.He said that low quality, off-brand cigarettes were the most common smuggled into Costa Rica. These cheap smokes often lack quality controls and officials have found rat droppings, mold and other items besides tobacco inside.“[Contraband cigarettes] don’t only put the state’s financial interests at risk, it becomes a public health concern,” he said. “If smoking tobacco is already bad for your health, smoking low quality cigarettes is even worse.”Bonilla said that tips from the public are essential to breaking up the criminal organizations. Individuals can share tips anonymously by sending an email to or calling (506) 2539-6800. Facebook Comments Related posts:Police seize more than 10,000 contraband cigarettes in San José raids Smugglers play central role in money laundering, say law enforcement Finance Ministry proposes tougher sanctions to crack down on contraband smuggling Booze bootleggers busted after bribe backfireslast_img read more

Smartphone taxi service hits Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Uber to offer rides in Costa Rica starting under $2 Smartphone app helps locate, review gas stations in Costa Rica Costa Rica app attracts Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban’s attention Snapchat vanishing video viewing hits 6 billion daily Car service mobile apps like Uber have become one of the biggest trends in tech and transportation, and now Costa Rica has its own version:Easy Taxi. While Uber sought to disrupt traditional taxi service by contracting independent drivers with their own cars, Easy Taxi isn’t looking to disrupt the traditional car service so much as improve on it. Screenshot of the Easy Taxi app on an iPhone. The Tico TimesLike other car service apps, Easy Taxi uses the smartphone’s GPS location to signal nearby participating taxis that there’s a fare waiting to get picked up. Once a driver accepts the fare, the rider can track the taxi’s location on the app’s map in real time, along with the driver’s picture, name, phone number, and make of the car.“It does away with a lot of the bad stereotypes of cab drivers, like lying about how far away they are and if their meter has been tampered with,” Easy Taxi Costa Rica press representative Alfredo Martínez told The Tico Times in a telephone interview.Martínez said the app also gives riders an estimated wait time, adding that it should be between two and six minutes, depending on traffic.Easy Taxi only works with certified red taxis, Martínez said, not independent drivers also known less politely as “pirate” taxis. The company conducts a physical review of the vehicles before certifying them, ensuring that they meet their quality standards. Users can indicate if they’re paying with cash or credit on the app along with special requests like wheelchair access or airport service.One of the biggest perks for riders, especially tourists or expats, is the service’s reliance on GPS location instead of the infamously confusing directions used in Costa Rica that make visitors want to pull their hair out. Riders no longer have to guess how many meters down the street they are from the old fig tree, they just tap “call taxi” and wait.Currently, Easy Taxi only offers service in the San José Greater Metropolitan Area, with a specific focus on the capital. Martínez said that in the coming year the company hopes to increase its presence in Heredia, Alajuela and, eventually, Cartago.Martínez did not share specific user or driver numbers for Costa Rica but said that the service has been growing at a rate of 300 new riders every week since August 2014. Globally, the company is present in 170 cities across Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa with some 400,000 drivers. The app is available for Apple’s iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arcadios World

first_imgFacebook Comments Related posts:Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s Worldlast_img

Venezuela court blocks a defiant opposition

first_imgRelated posts:Maduro under pressure as Venezuela opposition claims big win Venezuela arrests three generals for alleged coup plot Former Colombian, Bolivian leaders warn of looming humanitarian crisis in Venezuela Venezuela opposition launches fight to oust government CARACAS,Venezuela — Venezuela’s highest court on Wednesday effectively blocked the two-thirds majority that the opposition won in this month’s landmark legislative elections by suspending the inauguration of three incoming lawmakers.The country’s opposition, however, defiantly insisted its legislators will all present themselves to be sworn in on Jan. 5, setting the stage for a tense political standoff.“With the strength of the Constitution, with the strength of the law and the strength of the people, the 112 MUD lawmakers will be sworn in,” the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition declared, in a statement.It was released shortly after the Supreme Court of Justice granted a request from embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s party to stop the three incoming National Assembly members from taking office Tuesday, pending a legal challenge against alleged vote irregularities.The decision leaves the opposition with a still-powerful three-fifths majority, enabling it to remove cabinet ministers from their posts, among other powers.But it removes, at least temporarily, some powers Maduro’s opponents would have had, including the ability to put legislation to a referendum and to call an assembly to draft a new constitution.Observers have speculated that the opposition could have used those powers to seek to force Maduro from power before the end of his term in 2019.The opposition won 112 of 167 seats in the Dec. 6 elections, a dramatic blow to Maduro and to the “revolution” launched in 1999 by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) filed court challenges contesting the election of nine lawmakers.The court did not grant the ruling party’s petitions to suspend the inauguration of the other six lawmakers. One PSUV lawmaker from Amazonas also had his inauguration suspended, as the suit challenges the vote for the entire state.The court must now hear arguments in the case, for which there is no timetable. If it rules the elections were fraudulent, they will have to be held again in the districts involved.Before the court’s decision, the opposition had denounced the PSUV’s court challenge as a “judicial coup” and asked the international community to stop it.In an open letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and senior international officials, the MUD condemned the legal threat to its two-thirds majority.“The country, the region and the world are facing a procedural coup attempt against the Venezuelan people’s decision,” MUD executive secretary Jesús Torrealba wrote.“The ruling party’s irresponsible behavior is pushing the entire country to the brink of disaster, which would have grave consequences for the entire region.”The letter was also addressed to European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and senior officials of the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations and regional bloc MERCOSUR. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro speaks at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, on Dec. 21, 2015. Presidencia/AFP‘The people’s will’Political analysts warn of a tough political struggle ahead for oil-rich but deeply troubled Venezuela, which is mired in recession and facing a potentially chaotic period of divided government.Maduro alleged Tuesday that the vote was marred by fraud.“Criminals were buying votes … There was a plan,” he said on state TV, adding that authorities were investigating.The Supreme Court of Justice is itself at the center of a political firestorm, after the PSUV last week used an extraordinary session in the final days of its legislative majority to name 13 new judges and 21 substitute judges to the 32-member court.The opposition, which boycotted the session, condemned the move.On Wednesday, the nine opposition politicians targeted in the court challenge responded by filing a motion demanding the judges in the case recuse themselves because of their alleged ties to the PSUV.“We hold the president responsible for whatever happens if (the PSUV) continues with its plan to ignore the people’s will,” said Simon Calzadilla, one of the nine. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

GazaEgypt border a critical point of conflict

first_imgDuring a visit to Gaza, Brotherhood members played up their support for the territory and insisted they remained opposed to Israel.“We came and saw innocent children being injured and killed by the Zionist war machine made in America,” said Saad El-Katatni, a top leader of Morsi’s party.Egypt is at the heart of the mediation effort between Hamas and Israel over a truce. Israeli officials have converged on Egypt and met with security officials under Morsi, who had long refused to even use the name of Israel in public.In a sign of the fine line the Brotherhood is treading, Amr Darag, a senior party member in charge of foreign relations, told the Foreign Policy Blog that if the offensive continued, the Egyptian government may consider opening the Rafah crossing permanently, “to facilitate support coming from any destination to Gaza.”Other officials fear such an open border would leave Egypt responsible for any future attack on Israel.Highlighting the pressure on Morsi, ultraconservative leaders in Egypt’s Sinai desert, which borders Gaza, have been pushing for him to take a more aggressive stance toward Israel. Morsi’s party relies on electoral alliances with some of those leaders, who also play a role in keeping a lid on militancy inside Sinai. That would transform the lives of the 1.7 million people in the impoverished territory and give a major victory to Hamas, the militant Islamic group that governs Gaza.A major obstacle to an open crossing at Gaza’s primary link to the outside world could be Egypt, which fears that easing the restrictions might destabilize the border region and anger its Western allies.In a sign of Egypt’s ambivalence over the crossing, the country’s terminal is a rundown, antiquated hall with broken chairs and a single computer to register travelers.Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ prime minister in Gaza, earlier this week urged Egypt to fling open the border crossing.“I call on Egypt to open the border crossing completely to goods and people and aid,” Haniyeh said in a televised speech. “We want this moment to restore the credibility of Egypt’s leadership, its revolution and its spirit, to end the blockade once and for all.”A few days before the fighting began, Tamer Abu Luli said he spent two hours pleading with Egyptian officials at the border to let him accompany his aging, wheelchair-bound mother on a medical trip to Cairo.Even though the 28-year-old had the necessary travel documents from Gaza officials, Abu Luli was considered a security risk by Egypt because he was under 40. He was forced to undergo extensive checks before eventually being allowed to cross. Abu Luli said he didn’t believe the difficulties would abate.“I wish it would remain open for all. It would be an achievement,” he said as he returned to Gaza with his mother Monday. “But the Egyptians are afraid of us.”Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, is sympathetic to Hamas as a fellow member of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood. But he is trying to balance his Islamist loyalties with a public that is divided between those who want to offer unconditional support for Gazans and those fearful of Palestinians flooding into Egypt.Morsi also has to contend with pressure from Egypt’s main ally, the U.S., not to go too far in supporting Hamas.He is working to maintain his country’s peace treaty with Israel even though his party refuses to recognize the Jewish state.Israel has tightly controlled the flow of goods to and from Gaza since Hamas violently overran the tiny seaside territory in June 2007. It imposed a sweeping land and sea blockade immediately after the takeover in an attempt to put pressure on Hamas.But that tactic only deepened Gazan resentment against Israel, and the Israeli government relaxed the land blockade in 2010 after a deadly raid on a blockade-busting flotilla brought an international outcry and focused international attention on the embargo. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “We don’t care for the peace treaty (with Israel),” Sheik Marei Arar, a Salafi leader in Sinai, told The Associated Press. “We are seeking to unify the ranks of Muslims.”Hossam Sweilam, a retired army general, blamed the Brotherhood for the deteriorating security in Sinai, adding that the Egyptian military has been “paralyzed” in its efforts to chase extremists because of the Islamist alliance.___Associated Press writer Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.___Follow Sarah El Deeb on Twitter on While the embargo crippled the Gaza economy, Hamas deepened its control, in part by smuggling goods and weapons through hundreds of tunnels under the border with Egypt.Exports still make up only about 1 percent of Gaza’s economy. Construction materials, badly needed to rebuild destruction, are restricted to projects coordinated by the U.N. and other international bodies.Israel says it fears a wide-open Rafah would allow foreign fighters and arms to flow into Gaza. As it is, many weapons and even Iranian-made missiles have been smuggled in through the tunnels.Morsi is still trying to feel his way as he consolidates power after the fall of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He spoke strongly in support of Gaza as it came under Israeli airstrikes that killed more than 130 Palestinians. Gaza militants fired rockets into Israel that killed five Israelis.So far, few restrictions on Palestinians leaving Gaza have changed, and only limited medical supplies have made it inside.Statistics from Egyptian border crossing officials show a slight rise in the number of travelers back and forth, but there was no rush on the border from Gaza; no more than 900 Palestinians crossed during the fighting in any given day. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Associated PressRAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) – Computerized passport control points, shiny marble floors and framed photos of beaches greet arrivals at Gaza’s Rafah terminal along the Egyptian frontier.The $1.4 million terminal reflects a sign of Palestinian hopes that the fighting of the past week between militants in Gaza and Israel will end with a deal leading to an easier flow of people and goods into Egypt. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

Red Army Faction terrorists conviction upheld

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Becker was arrested in May 1977 and convicted of armed robbery and attempted murder stemming from a shootout with police that preceded her arrest. She was sentenced to life in prison, but pardoned in 1989 by West Germany’s president.Becker was arrested again in August 2009 after a new investigation was opened into Buback’s murder.(Copyright 2013 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 Comments   Share   How do cataracts affect your vision? Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img BERLIN (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of former Red Army Faction terrorist Verena Becker as accessory to the 1977 murder of West Germany’s chief federal prosecutor.The dpa news agency said the Federal Criminal Court on Wednesday rejected Becker’s claim the lower court made errors in her 2012 conviction.Becker was found guilty of “knowingly and deliberately” influencing other RAF members to kill prosecutor Siegfried Buback and sentenced to four years in prison. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Germany recalls victims of Nazi siege of Leningrad

first_img Top Stories BERLIN (AP) – German lawmakers have honored the victims of the Nazi army’s three-year siege of Leningrad as part of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.Daniil Granin, a 95-year-old Russian survivor, recounted in a speech to the German Parliament on Monday how thousands of people died of starvation each day during harsh winters in Leningrad, now the Russian city of St. Petersburg.The siege began in September 1941, three months after Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober About a million Soviet civilians and a similar number of soldiers died before the blockade was finally broken on Jan. 27, 1944.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Saudiled airstrikes on Yemen army headquarters kill 22

first_img Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top holiday drink recipes Meanwhile Sunday, the Saudi-funded al-Hadath satellite news channel broadcast video of a column of armored vehicles and tanks heading toward the kingdom’s border with Yemen, saying the vehicles would reinforce troops already there. The coalition previously has said it could send ground forces into Yemen, something it so far has yet to do.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 Comments   Share   Associated Press video showed flames rising from the badly damaged complex as a man trapped under the rubble cried out for help. Soldiers carried the wounded and the dead away.The Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes March 26 against the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies in the military and security forces. The Houthis seized Sanaa in September and later captured much of northern Yemen before moving south in March.Their southern advance forced internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country to neighboring Saudi Arabia.Sunday’s airstrikes came a day after the Houthis fired a Scud missile into Saudi Arabia, a dramatic escalation of the conflict. The attack indicated that despite more than two months of coalition airstrikes, the rebels still pose a threat to cities across the border inside Saudi Arabia.The official Saudi Press Agency said two missiles launched from a Patriot missile battery shot down the Scud before dawn Saturday near the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait. The agency did not report any casualties in the attack, the first use of a Cold War-era Scud by the rebels since the airstrikes began. Top Stories center_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi-led airstrikes before dawn Sunday targeted the headquarters of Yemen’s armed forces in the rebel-held capital, killing at least 22 people, officials said.They said the dead were mostly soldiers and that the airstrikes damaged several nearby homes, shaking Sanaa. Residents said at least three airstrikes hit the headquarters, a short distance from the city’s center.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Yemeni children chant slogans during a protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, June 6, 2015. Arabic on banners from left to right read, “Islam is religion of peace,” “Don’t kill my father and mother” and “Don’t kill childhood in Yemen.” (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)last_img read more

Burundi opposition to boycott elections claiming unfair

first_imgAn opposition demonstrator beats a drum as they sing songs against a third term for President Nkurunziza, in the Musaga neighborhood of the capital Bujumbura, in Burundi Thursday, June 11, 2015. A group of 17 political parties have agreed to boycott elections in Burundi because they don’t believe they will be free and fair, an opposition leader said Thursday. (AP Photo/Gildas Ngingo) Burundi has been rocked by unrest since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his plans to run for a third term, which many see as unconstitutional even though the nation’s constitutional court has ruled in the president’s favor.Security forces have used a combination of live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon to break up months of protests in the nation’s capital, Bujumbura. At least 20 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in the clashes.Amid the chaos, which has forced about 90,000 people to flee to neighboring countries, the government is pressing ahead with elections, saying any lengthy delay would lead to a dangerous power vacuum and possibly more violence.Presidential elections are now scheduled for July 15 and parliamentary polls will take place on June 29.United Nations-backed talks between the government and the opposition appear to have stalled after opposition leaders and civic groups rejected U.N. diplomat Said Djinnit of Algeria, who had been facilitating the discussions aimed at creating an environment for credible elections.In a statement Thursday, Djinnit, who remains the U.N. chief’s special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region, urged the parties to continue their dialogue and to avoid violence. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk The spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed Thursday that Djinnit has quit his role as mediator but said no one has yet been chosen to succeed him.Nkurunziza came to power in 2005 and won a second term in 2010. That election was also marred by violence, and he won re-election after running unopposed following an opposition boycott.He maintains he is eligible for a third term because parliament elected him for the first term.___AP reporter Carra Anna contributed to this report from the United Nations.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — A group of 17 political parties have agreed to boycott elections in Burundi because they don’t believe they will be free and fair, an opposition leader said Thursday.The opposition groups are also opposed to the current electoral commission because it isn’t complete after two of its five members fled, said Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, deputy head of a party known by its initials as FRODEBU. Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

Iraq sentences 24 IS militants to death for killing soldiers

first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories At one point in the trial, while the chief judge was questioning the defendants, several relatives of the slain soldiers stormed the courtroom and started throwing shoes and water bottles at the defendants, who were inside a defendants’ cage, which is customary in many Arab courtrooms. The judge who issued the 24 death sentences also acquitted four other defendants for lack of evidence.After the sentencing, the victims’ relatives raised up pictures of their loved ones. Some burst into tears and others chanted “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great” in Arabic, and “Oh, Hussein,” a reference to a revered Shiite saint and the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.Ali Abdul-Hamza, whose brother was among the victims, said “Justice is done” as he was leaving the courtroom.“We are relieved to see these criminals receiving the maximum punishment,” he told The Associated Press.Ahead of the trial, the spokesman for Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, promised that “the trial will be transparent and fair.”He added that some 604 other militants, believed to have taken part in the killing, were still at large. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   BAGHDAD (AP) — A Baghdad court on Wednesday sentenced 24 suspected members of the Islamic State terror group to death for their role in the killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers during the extremists’ blitz across the country last year.The case stems from the horrific killings of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers at the hands of the Islamic State militants who captured the troops after IS overran Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in June 2014. At the time, the soldiers were trying to flee from Camp Speicher, a nearby army base.After Tikrit was captured, IS posted graphic images and video that showed its gunmen massacring scores of the soldiers after loading the captives onto flatbed trucks and then forcing them to lay face-down in a shallow ditch.Iraqi forces, assisted by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, retook Tikrit in April, and arrested dozens of suspects linked to the massacre. Forensic teams exhumed many of the bodies from mass graves believed to contain some of the hundreds of soldiers killed by Islamic State militants.The 24 defendants sentenced Wednesday to death by hanging were charged with the killings and membership in a terror group. All pleaded not guilty, insisting that they never took part in the massacre. They told the court that their confessions were coerced under torture by Iraqi officers.The trial in Baghdad was attended by families of the slain troops — many of whom had filed claims against the defendants.Some of the families told the judge that a day after the fall of Tikrit, they received calls from their relatives in Speicher, telling them that some Sunnis tribal chiefs had arrived at the gate of the air base and told the soldiers that they can go home safely by lorries waiting for them outside the base. Hours later, all contact was lost with the soldiers. Also Wednesday, a bomb went off in an industrial area in the town of Taji, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding five others, police officials said. Also, a bomb blast a commercial street in western Baghdad killed two people and wounded eight.Medical officials confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Men’s health affects baby’s health too Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Gun mishap lands Delta pilot in jail

first_imgA Delta pilot was arrested over the weekend after he was found carrying a concealed weapon while going through security at the Atlanta airport.32-year-old Matthew Lamar McDaniel was going through security at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Saturday when airport officials found a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.McDaniel, who has been a Delta pilot for 13 years, said he had put the gun in his bag after cleaning out his girlfriend’s car and had forgotten about it.Authorities said McDaniel was not on duty at the time of his arrest.A Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott told local media that people were frequently caught with loaded firearms during security checks.”This happens to lots of people,” she told UPI, “They forget to take their guns out of their cases.”McDaniel was freed on $5,700 bail. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Airlines hike up fares in line with demand

first_imgAsia-Pacific airlines are upping ticket prices after growing consumer confidence has travellers return to the air.Airlines have witnessed a 15.6 percent increase in passengers from 2009 and will meet the growing flight demand through increased fares, the AFP reported. Korean Air raised tickets prices for the second time this year by 10 percent in August, while Singapore Airlines are expected to increase prices by at least S$200 for an economy seat early October.  Qantas also increased international and domestic prices in July by three percent. “Air fares are generally a function of market demand and supply and they are adjusted depending on market conditions,” Singapore Airlines spokesperson said, according to the news agency.“Actual changes in fares also vary from route to route, and a range of fares is offered in different booking class.”Despite current fare increases, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said prices are not close to pre-financial crisis levels.“Average one-way economy fares are 15 percent higher compared to the 2009 low, but still five percent below the early 2008 peaks,” IATA spokesperson Albert Tjoeng said.  Mr Tjoengalso noted premium airlines fares have increased by 10 percent since 2009 but is still 20 percent below pre-recession. IATA reported a global passenger traffic surge by 7.1 percent in 2010 “despite a projected easing of the economic rebound in the second half”.  Despite the growing confidence, IATA Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Bisignani said the “slowdown in global economic growth in the second half of 2010″ will affect the industry’s recovery, the news agency reported. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N. Jlast_img read more

How the global travel industry can help Australia and Queensland – an

first_imgI live in Noosa in SE Queensland and yes, we have had a lot of rain with some localised flooding and yes, there are areas in Queensland that have had a really terrible time with massive flooding, but some media reports have tended to be rather generalist and sensationalist and I do wish that they would take the time to get their facts right.The reality on the ground is that there are massive areas of Australia and Queensland that are totally unaffected by the recent flooding, including the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, Tropical North Queensland and many other areas that depend on tourism for their livelihood.The vast majority of roads and airports in Queensland did not close; Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast airports remained open at all times.Roads in the massive state of Queensland are open with exception of some areas in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, some western areas and other badly affected areas. Tourism Noosa chief executive Steve Cooper told me yesterday that heavy rain which caused some minor localised flooding near the Noosa River had no other impact on tourism whatsoever.    “The rain is now gone, we have beautiful blue skies, it is 30 degrees, perfect Noosa weather”, Mr Cooper said. “Business is great, but we encourage more Australians and international visitors to  come and visit Noosa and have a great Noosa holiday.”With some doom and gloom merchants saying Queensland tourism is likely to incur a loss of about $100 million, others like Mr Cooper are saying, in the true Aussie spirit, let’s roll our sleeves up and make sure that visitors continue coming to Queensland.Daniel Gschwind, CEO of Queensland Tourism Industry Council said,  “There are many cancellations taking place, where it is not necessary to cancel trips”.Tourism Australia has also spoken out to reassure overseas travellers that major tourism areas in and outside of Queensland have not been affected by the floods, reminding the global trade that the Australian continent is huge – actually around the size of the USA, and whilst the floods are widespread in affected areas, the reality is that they are restricted to a relatively small part of the country. Tourism Australia are advising travellers to contact their travel agent, tour operator or accommodation providers before cancelling or changing their plans, so it is in our hands to show that it is business as usual in massive parts of Australia, including Queensland; travellers should still travel.The majority of international travel destinations in Australia, including Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne and Uluru are all completely unaffected.So e-Travel Blackboard readers, now is the time to punch out the message to all your friends, colleagues, clients, business contacts, in Australia and globally that it is business as usual in Queensland and Australia!Emails make it so easy to communicate today, so how about spending an hour emailing all your contacts in Australia and around the world with an Aussie and Queensland business as usual message?  I have done just that to my massive contacts database all over the world and have had a fantastic response.Go for it Australia!Our hearts go out to the people affected by the recent flooding. If you want to donate money or even raise money along with your colleagues, friends and clients then you can do so through: Industry Insider Commentary and Opinion by John Alwyn-Jones, e-Travel Blackboard Special Correspondent Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.A.Jlast_img read more