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first_img Friday, January 6, 2017 Tags: Caribbean, St. Kitts, Wyndham Hotel Group Travelweek Group Wyndham sets its sights on Nevis with brand new Wyndham Grand resort << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img PARSIPPANY, NJ — Wyndham Hotel Group continues to bolster its robust Caribbean pipeline by bringing ‘approachable luxury’ to the shores of Nevis with the island’s first Wyndham Grand resort.The beachfront Wyndham Grand Nevis will be situated within Northern Pointe Resort, a new 30-acre luxury real estate development being built along Long Haul Bay in the Parish of Saint James. When completed in 2019, the resort will boast 170 suites, condominiums and villas ranging from 900 to 5,100 square feet; a private beach club; five dining areas; infinity pools; more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a spa.“Nevis is known around the world as one of the most desirable yet exclusive vacation spots in the Caribbean, and as more travellers discover this tranquil paradise the demand for more upscale accommodations will grow,” said Paulo Pena, President and Managing Director, Latin America and the Caribbean for Wyndham Hotel Group. “Wyndham Grand’s distinct experiences and understated approach to luxury will bring a unique accessibility to this elite island. Adding Nevis to an impressive growing list of amazing global destinations – including Shanghai, Istanbul, Chicago, Phuket and Barbados – not only positions us to raise the Wyndham Grand flag in even more top-tier locations, but it also expands our managed hotel portfolio here in the region and further solidifies our commitment to providing unparalleled guest experiences to all travellers.”More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongThe 36-square-mile Nevis is the smaller of two islands which make up the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Travel to the island is on the rise with overnight visitors and cruise tourism increasing every year since 2013.Late last year Wyndham Hotel Group opened Puerto Rico’s first TRYP by Wyndham hotel in San Juan and announced plans to manage the five-star Sam Lord’s Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort. The hotel giant currently has 13 hotels operating in the Caribbean under its Wyndham Grand, Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham, Ramada and Howard Johnson flags.More information on the resort development can be found at npnevis.com. Share Posted bylast_img read more

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first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Did you know LOS ANGELES — Going to the bathroom on a plane isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. The quarters are cramped, the toilet paper is horrendous, and there’s often a long queue of irate passengers waiting impatiently outside the door. But according to one former flight attendant, there are two perfect time slots during a flight when you can actually relieve yourself in relative peace and comfort.In an interview with Mel Magazine, Erika Roth said that the best time to ‘go’ is when the seatbelt sign immediately turns off. This is because passengers are just settling in and won’t have any need for the bathrooms yet.However, the problem with this is, of course, is that you may not need to go either. So, the next best window of opportunity is at the start of drinks service, when most passengers are more focused on getting their drink on than visiting the loo. (Just remember, you may be boxed in by the drinks cart on your way back to your seat!)More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaAnother tip from Roth is one she says flight attendants are quite familiar with. To combat the problem of poor ventilation, ask an attendant for packets of coffee grounds then hang them up in the lavatory. “The grounds will soak up the odour.”And there’s your handy tip for the day – you’re welcome! Share These are the two best times to go to the bathroom while on a planecenter_img Travelweek Group Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Posted bylast_img read more

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first_img Thursday, October 12, 2017 Share [People] TravelBrands’ Tanious will now overlook Exotik and Boomerang brands MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands has announced that Vice President Nathalie Tanious will now be overlooking its specialty brands, which include Exotik Tours and Boomerang Tours.Tanious currently manages TravelBrands’ FIT, Sunquest and cruise division, and according to an official statement, she has made “tremendous strides for our company.”For any inquiries regarding the brands, she can be reached at Nathalie.Tanious@travelbrands.com or by calling (514) 905-3699. Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: Boomerang Tours, Exotik Tours, People << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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first_img CALGARY — Good news for WestJetters! Members of WestJet Rewards can now redeem their WestJet dollars on Member Exclusive fares to destinations in the Qantas Airways network, including Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.“We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Qantas and bring even more global travel options to our WestJet Rewards members,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “Offering Qantas’ premium products, service and flight network to our members is a further example of WestJet Rewards taking our guests even more places they want to go.”Member Exclusive fares provide great value and access to more than 450 partner destinations around the world for places like Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Shanghai and Hong Kong.For more information on WestJet Rewards Member Exclusive fares go to westjet.com/here. Share WestJet frequent fliers can now redeem with Qantas Posted by Tags: Qantas, WestJetcenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Travelweek Group last_img read more

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first_img Posted by Travelweek Group Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Exodus launches new Luxury Adventure Collection Sharecenter_img TORONTO — Small-group tour operator Exodus Travels has a new Luxury Adventure Collection that the company says will take travellers “to the farthest reaches of the planet in high style”.Each trip in the collection combines adventure abroad with the extravagance of a five-star getaway and itineraries have been designed to allow curious and discerning travelers to explore the world’s most remote and captivating destinations without compromising on comfort, adds Exodus.“We at Exodus have always believed there is a time and place for all styles of travel,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing Manager. “This carefully curated portfolio has been handcrafted to marry the very best of our 45+ years of global adventure and exploration expertise with special services, elite experiences and luxury properties reminiscent of ‘The Golden Age of travel’.”Trips in the new collection include:A 15-day Kenya & Tanzania Masai Mara Immersion Safari, from US$11,281 per personA 10-day Galapagos Island Voyage – Remote Central and Northern Islands, from $8,331 per personA 10-day Costa Rica to Panama Voyage, from $7,248 per personA nine-day Amazon Rainforest Cruise onboard Exodus’ new eco-cruise ship, the Zafiro, from $6,107 per personA 10-day Galapagos Island Voyage – Darwin’s Enchanted Isle onboard the Evolution, from $10,331 per personA 15-day Kenya & Tanzania Serengeti Survey Safari, from US$9,881 per personA 10-day Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia via Buenos Aires trip from $10,331 per personMore news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Exodus operates in 100+ countries with 600+ tours; see exodustravels.com for more information. Tags: Exodus Travels, New Tours << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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first_img Posted by MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands is giving back to those who need it most – kids.The company has announced that it will donate 1% of all sales made on July 16 to the SickKids Foundation, for the third consecutive year. To date, TravelBrands has raised over $1 million for the Foundation.“This year, our donations will directly support SickKids and their Cardiac Operating Room,” said Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands. “Our goal is to help kids and families in need. We are calling on the entire travel community to come together and support this worthwhile initiative.”This one day of donating profits complements other initiatives TravelBrands participates in to raise money and awareness for SickKids. These include an annual 5-kilometre employee walk, the Mississauga Dragon Boat Race Festival, and the annual TravelBrands Charity Golf Classic.All net proceeds will be donated to the SickKids Foundation, where funds are used to support its goal of being the leading pediatric and congenital heart disease centre in the world.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionTravel agents can also donate their Loyalty Rewards points to the SickKids Foundation, with TravelBrands matching any Loyalty Rewards donation made between July 16-Aug. 13, 2019.Travel partners, suppliers and clients are encouraged to book through TravelBrands on July 16 to contribute to this important cause. To book or donate go to travelbrandsaccess.com. Tags: SickKids, TravelBrands << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img Friday, July 12, 2019 TravelBrands to donate 1% of July 16 sales to SickKids Foundation Sharelast_img read more

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first_imgCosta Rica remains the one country in Central America to not enact a tax reform after the world economic crisis that began in 2008. The current government hopes to remedy that in the near future. However, mounting scandals within President Laura Chinchilla’s administration continue to distract from the dire debt situation.On Wednesday night, Chinchilla tried to steady her reeling government by announcing measures to reduce rising debt. The president’s speech began with an account of how desperate the situation has grown.“My government has had to deal with problems whose solutions were neglected for many years,” Chinchilla said. “One is the serious deterioration of public finances. For a long time, the Costa Rican government spent more than it received and today does not have the resources to meet its obligations.”She said Costa Rican debt finances more than 45 percent of the country’s expenses. If this trend continues, programs such as scholarships, child care and investments in public security could be threatened.Chinchilla’s four proposed measures for heading off the debt are: creating an electronic invoice for sales tax to try to reduce tax evasion; eliminating tax exemptions on many luxury goods; selling of government-owned property; and creating a new fiscal reform bill that would freeze wages and pensions, reduce political party financing and allow public entities to charge for non-essential services.“These actions, coupled with those we have already taken, represent about 0.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product and ensure that the deficit does not exceed 5 percent by the end of my administration,” Chinchilla said. “But half of this figure will depend on the laws that are passed by the Legislative Assembly.”A previous reform bill that emphasized raising taxes was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court last week, ending a contentious battle in the assembly.The new bill appears to include more compromises with the political opposition. Still, Chinchilla disagreed that spending cuts some lawmakers have called for could solve debt woes. A slashed budget would result in thousands of layoffs, among other difficulties, the president said. On Friday, a majority of political parties stated support for the president’s proposal. Only the Libertarian Movement expressed doubt about the plan. The daily La Nación reported that if the bill is approved, funds distributed among political parties after 2014 elections would be reduced ₡23 billion ($45.7 million).Her speech intended on refocusing a government hit by scandal in the past few weeks. Her new finance minister, Edgar Ayales, also released a statement Wednesday, the day after he was named the replacement for displaced ex-minister Fernando Herrero. Herrero resigned on April 2 after the daily La Nación reported he had underpaid his property taxes, while at the same time pushing a bill that raised taxes for Costa Rican residents.Ayales said in a press release, “Costa Rica’s fiscal situation in the near term is tolerable,” but he is concerned about whether agreements could be reached to fix the problem in the long term. He said part of his job as finance minister will be to “build bridges” between opposing party members.Ayales’ experience includes serving as executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank, alternate executive director of the World Bank and the bank’s manager of macroeconomic projects in Brazil, Suriname and Angola.In addition, Carlos Vargas, a Finance Ministry official, will take the helm of the Tax Administration, after former director Francisco Villalobos resigned April 3 when it was discovered that he had failed to pay ₡1.8 million ($3,600) in income taxes in 2008.The bane of Herrero still hangs over the Chinchilla administration. Herrero and his wife are embroiled in scandals involving a public relations firm called Procesos. Opponents have accused the government of nepotism after it was shown that Procesos, directed by Herrero’s wife, Flor Rodríguez, received almost $1 million in contracts from political allies during the previous Oscar Arias administration and the first year of Laura Chinchilla’s government. In the most egregious circumstance, the Costa Rican National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) awarded a $34,000 public relations contract to Procesos. RECOPE – a state-run monopoly – had looked at only three other businesses for the taxpayer-funded concession. The competing companies all specialized in selling construction materials, not public relations. The government has been accused of “influence peddling” since Herrero was finance minister at the time of the bidding.Procesos also received contracts from the Presidency Ministry, Laura Chinchilla’s election campaign, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. The sum of the contracts totaled $830,700. On Thursday morning, Costa Rican police raided RECOPE and Procesos and the Herrero’s home.The Finance Ministry has filed complaints against 12 employees who leaked the tax information about Herrero. The move stirred anger on social media networks. Costa Ricans expressed outrage at the government for trying to cover up its own corruption by going after whistleblowers.The president of the High School Teachers’ Association, Beatriz Ferreto, told La Nación the complaints filed by the Finance Ministry made her “gag.” Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. Catholic radio station Radio Fides began a new campaign Tuesday against legalizing in vitro fertilization (IVF).A station manager said ads come in anticipation of an upcoming lawsuit in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San José, about the government’s decision to ban the practice.This is the second prominent anti-in vitro fertilization campaign by the station in the last year. Previously, Radio Fides started up an ad initiative that likened in vitro fertilization to homicide.Due to the strong influence of the Catholic Church, Costa Rica remains the only country in the Americas that outlaws in vitro fertilization, a medical procedure in which a woman’s eggs are artificially fertilized outside of her body.The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has asked repeatedly for Costa Rica to repeal its ban on IVF. Prohibiting the practice is considered a violation of human rights.Despite threats of sanctions, so far no penalty has come. However, nine couples presented a lawsuit to the international court, and the deadline for the Costa Rican government to present its case for why it has not passed a law legalizing IVF is April 30.Jason Granados Sánchez, director of Radio Fides (93.1 FM), told the daily La Nación these new “informative” ads take a less inflammatory approach than last year’s campaign. They are nine spots by couples who were successful with IVF and instead preferred to adopt.The Public Security Ministry’s Propaganda Control Office demanded the advertisement comparing in vitro fertilization to murder be removed from the airwaves for being “discriminatory.” The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court struck down the ministry’s order last Friday, saying it was unconstitutional and paving the way for the church radio to continuing broadcasting them.The previous controversial radio advertisements included spots that featured the voice of a little girl claiming that seven of her siblings died in a laboratory due to in vitro fertilization.“Hi. I’m Sofi, the third of three brothers and sisters,” the girl said. “Though my parents love me with all of their hearts, I know that for me to enter the world, seven of my siblings died in a laboratory.”The child’s voice was followed by a woman warning listeners about the alleged dangers of in vitro fertilization.Costa Rica has maintained a ban on in vitro fertilization since 2000. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Alajuela’s first vegetarian restaurant missing key ingredients Kid-friendly “Tales of Kings” plays in Alajuela Health Ministry closes industrial park in Alajuela Alajuela Celebrates 228th Anniversary From the print editionThe Juan Santamaría Museum in Alajuela offers guided tours that put the audience right in the action. It’s theater. It’s history. It’s fun. And best of all, it’s free. The action begins at the door, when historian Rodolfo González and two lookalike models, Andrea and Yesenia, start an argument that forces a security guard to abandon post and tell them to quiet down. González and company then invite the audience to follow them around the museum for a look at the history of Alajuela and Costa Rica, enhanced by a theater performance and sound effects.In the first gallery, they take turns telling about how the building went up around 1880 during the time of strongman Tomás Guardia, and served as quarters for the army, when soldiers ran up and down the stairs (clomp, clomp, clomp), and Guardia built the first railroad to the Pacific (chooo-chooo). From there, they tell of Alajuela’s first commerical effort, mule trains, with lots of hee-hawing plus an explanation of what, exactly, a mule is. Next we come to  colonization, where push came to shove between the government and the church, and the first civil war broke out between cities to determine who would have the capital. Obviously, San José won.Passing through the galleries, we learn about the Campaign of 1856 and William Walker’s invasion. When González gives a speech as Walker in English, he is shouted down. When war breaks out, the audience must duck down behind the display cases to avoid what sounds like stray bullets. With the cholera epidemic, museum staff drape themeslves in black shrouds and sulk to mournful music. In the last of the galleries, the audience learns the history of the campaign through pictures and paintings of the battles and the homefront. Yesenia (or is it Andrea?) points to a painting of a dirty, weary, bloody Santamaría, trying to heft a torch before sinking to the ground. She compares this to the pristine statue of the same soldier in the Juan Santamaría Plaza just two blocks away.The final scene takes place in the back garden, where the audience is shown bits and pieces of Alajuela’s past: the early printing presses, the jail cells, the cannons from the war and the second-floor balcony, all that remains of Guardia’s once-elegant house.At last it is time for the TV quiz show in the auditorium. Signs held up by the museum’s public relations director instruct the audience to applaud, make noise or remain silent. The quiz tests the audience with questions on Alajuelan history. The show lasts slightly more than an hour, and not much Spanish is necessary. The free tour runs every Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. No reservation needed. The museum faces the Central Park in the center of Alajuela. For more info, call 2441-4775 or visit www.museojuansantamaria.com. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Guatemala court upholds genocide trial for ex-dictator Ríos Montt Guatemala court strikes down ex-dictator’s genocide conviction Belize urges solution to Guatemala’s long-standing territorial claims How to take kids from a Guatemala dump and turn them into photographers GUATEMALA CITY – The Guatemalan government is revamping the country’s police force in a bid to increase safety levels in the country. Over the next couple of years, it plans to recruit 10,000 more officers and spend $30 million on arming them with weapons. The increase will bring the total number of police officers in the Central American nation to 35,000 – one agent for every 400 citizens.Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. According to the United Nations, in 2011 the country’s homicide rate was 38.5 people per 100,000. Most European countries have a rate of 1.In the past, Guatemala’s police force has been described as underfunded, poorly trained and often outgunned. The recent changes mean that all officers will have access to firearms, as well as the authority to use them. Previous weapons shortages meant that officers were often unwilling to confront armed criminals.In the absence of public security by the state, Guatemala’s private security industry has grown at exponential rates. Analysts estimate that up to 150,000 private security guards operate in Guatemala, outnumbering the country’s current number of police officers – 25,000 – by at least four to one. Many earn minimum wage, carry dangerous weapons and often lack proper training – a lethal combination that at times threatens, rather than protects, the country’s citizens.  In an effort to improve policing, police uniforms have been changed, patrol cars have been equipped with new satellite tracking systems and two new police academies have been opened.The reforms are being modeled on Colombia’s police force after its government implemented various changes that are believed to have contributed to significant reduction of crime in the South American country.“The changes are taking place to improve and dignify the work of the police. It will put them at the forefront and help them do their jobs better,” said Jorge Aguilar Chinchilla, police inspector and a police spokesman.Included in the recently installed technology are strategically positioned cameras that capture license plate numbers and send signals to police to alert them of stolen vehicles.“All police officers used to be trained in Zone 6 [in Guatemala City], but now there’s an academy in Huehuetenango and another in Santa Rosa,” Aguilar said.“The same thing is happening with the police networks: Workshops were all held here in the capital, but now each regional precinct has their own workshops, their own supplies and they don’t have to travel to [the capital] to repair a unit. It’s a decentralization procedure that has sped up the process for a lot of Guatemalans,” he added.It is hoped that these changes will help install more trust in the police and strengthen justice and law enforcement in the Central American country – preventing it from becoming a haven for criminals.However, many Guatemalans believe that arming officers with more weapons could make the situation worse. A recent report by the National Economic Research Center found that Guatemala’s firearm homicide rate is almost twice the global average, with 82 percent of homicides linked to firearms. A surplus of weapons could lead to an increase in the number of illegal arms circulating in the country, which could fall into the hands of gang members, critics say. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:‘Thor’ actor Chris Hemsworth takes Ice Bucket Challenge during Costa Rica vacation ‘Toys’ exhibit at National Gallery oozes nostalgia ‘Vaccinated’ mosquitoes released in Rio to combat dengue Intel cuts 12,000 jobs, forecast misses amid PC market decline If you ever want to make your kids frantically excited, just tell them this: The Children’s Museum in San José now has an enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex that blinks, bares its teeth, and roars.“Mundosaurio” is the latest exhibit to debut at the converted penitentiary, and after the arrival of the animatronic thunder lizards, the Children’s Museum is assured a steady flow of giddy youngsters for years to come. Costing ¢80 million ($150,000), the new dinosaur hall boasts one T. rex, one Stegosaurus, and one Triceratops, and because of their robotic skeletons, they actually seem to come to life.“Thanks to scientific advances, children and the general public can access electronics and applications that allow them to explore the world,” said Cristina Briceño, head of the Department of Museology, in a printed statement. “In the museum we are using these resources in an entertaining and educational manner, to have an impact on our exhibits’ visitors in a positive way.”The dinosaurs are full-sized facsimiles of their Jurassic ancestors, and their pebbled skins are painted in the colors that paleontologists guess real dinosaurs displayed. While guests are not allowed to touch the dinosaurs – a ring of picket fence surrounds each one – children can ogle the giant creatures as they swivel their heads and flex their reptilian tails. In the middle of the room, the T. rex and Triceratops look like they’re sizing each other up and preparing for combat. Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesThe exhibit is also extremely hands-on: There are 15 interactive devices, plus a number of skeletal replicas, spread out among 333 square meters. The exhibit takes its name from the Spanish words for dinosaur (“dinosaurio”) and “world” (“mundo”).Ever since its opening in 1994, the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture has transformed the former prison into a mecca for school field trips. The compound houses the Children’s Museum, the National Gallery, and the National Auditorium. “Mundosaurio” embellishes the Children’s Museum’s many scientific exhibits, including displays on geology, astronomy, and human biology. Smaller dinosaurs are also scattered throughout the museum’s other rooms, including several specimens in the food court and a pterodactyl in a corridor.If the kids aren’t already begging you to take them, there’s also this: The “Jurassic Route” is a labyrinth and obstacle course that snakes through the museum. The route includes a “Tarzan swing,” suspension bridge, and a pendulum. With any luck, the offspring will sleep the entire drive home.“Mundosaurio” takes place at the Children’s Museum, downtown San José. Tue.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Children ₡1,300 ($2.80), general ₡1,500 ($3). Info: Museum website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:National Emergency Commission lifts drought warning for Pacific provinces Costa Rica experiments with aquaponics to fight drought Government approves $1 million in aid to farmers affected by unusual weather conditions Alert: Heavy rain in Costa Rica expected along Caribbean coast, in northern regions On Tuesday, representatives for four public agencies discussed actions they will take to deal with a severe drought in the northern and central Pacific regions of the country.The National Emergency Commission (CNE) issued a yellow alert for the regions this week, which allows for the implementation of specific emergency measures.In the northwestern province of Guanacaste, the lack of rainfall has caused losses of ₡10.5 billion ($19.3 million). According to Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) Minister Luis Felipe Arauz, ₡7 billion ($12.8 million) correspond to agricultural losses and ₡3,5 billion ($6.4 million) are related to livestock damage, .The drought has caused a significant reduction in pasture growth capabilities (75 percent). Losses in local production include some 5.8 million liters of milk, 2.5 million kilos of meat and 2,400 kilos of honey, Arauz added.MAG officials are still counting losses of other products including sugarcane, rice, watermelon, coffee and corn.Arauz spoke about the alert Tuesday in a joint press conference with CNE director Iván Brenes, Water and Sewers Institute (AyA) President Yamileth Astorga and National Meteorological Institute (IMN) director Juan Carlos Fallas.The yellow alert requires local emergency committees to send supplies — like salt and water — to take care of farm animals.  The local committees also will schedule town meetings with local farmers and residents to talk about drought conditions, Brenes explained.Brenes added that a red alert is possible in coming weeks if not enough is done to mitigate the effects of the drought.IMN data confirms that Guanacaste has recorded just 2 liters per square meter of rainfall during July, which is “equivalent to barely 1 percent of the historical average of 155 liters for the region,” said the agency director.“The Central Pacific currently registers a deficit of some 30 percent,” Fallas explained.AyA’s Yamileth Astorga also reported that the country is already struggling to supply potable water to the region. The government is sending water tank trucks as well as equipment to dig new wells in the region.Dry conditions in Guanacaste contrast with those in the Caribbean and the Northern Zone where heavy rains in the past weeks have caused flooding in several communities.More rain is expected in both regions through the end of the week, increasing the possibility of more flooding and landslides.Surging rivers on Tuesday morning left hundreds of people isolated in the Caribbean towns of Guácimo and Pococí, and CNE reported that 50 people remain in shelters. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgTUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Mexico – Mexican authorities have launched operations to block Central American migrants from illegally heading to the United States, stopping them from hitching rides on a freight train known as “The Beast.”The operations came after officials pledged to take action to stem a wave of unaccompanied child migrants who have flooded into the United States in record numbers in recent months.Migrant rights activists and a consular official from a Central American nation said Mexican federal police and immigration agents conducted patrols late Thursday along the train tracks in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala.The train through Mexico is used by migrants who pay smugglers for the dangerous ride. It has been the scene of robberies and falls leading to severe injuries.The authorities also launched raids in bus stations in the town of Tapachula, said Ramon Verdugo, who heads the local migrant shelter known as “Everything for Them.”Several migrants hid in surrounding bushes during the operations, Verdugo told AFP.A consular official from a Central American country, who requested anonymity, said around 150 people were detained by agents who raided small hotels and restaurants frequented by undocumented migrants. They face deportation.“They are grabbing them everywhere,” including roads, said Carlos Bartolo Solís, head of the “Merciful Lord” shelter. He said many of the detainees have been minors.Spokespeople for the federal police and National Migration Institute said they had no information about the operations.Mexico had announced in July measures to stop migrants from hopping on the train as well as a program to handle the surge of migrants, including minors.The number of unaccompanied children illegally entering the United States at its southern border fell by half over the past two months, from 10,628 in June to 5,508 in July.Between October and June, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, about three-quarters of them minors fleeing poverty and gang violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Facebook Comments Related posts:Central American child migrant crisis ‘one of the greatest tragedies,’ says Costa Rica’s Solís US nation-building efforts should be in Central America, not Iraq and Afghanistan Fix the immigration crisis at its root Immigrants find themselves torn between hope, defeat on Obama’s planslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Primate rescue groups go bananas when Justin Bieber says he wants another monkey PHOTOS: Happy Earth Day, Costa Rica Inside Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary: Horror show or a solution to a complicated issue? Wildfire burns more than 1,200 hectares of mountainous areas west of San José A puma that was captured Sunday in a Tibás neighborhood by the Firefighters Corps and the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) has been safely released back into the wild. MINAE said the puma is a young adult male and in good physical condition. The animal was fitted with a GPS-enabled collar before it was set free at an undisclosed location. Watch the puma’s return to the wilderness below: Experts from the National University, MINAE and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) evaluated the puma before determining the animal was healthy enough to release. The Firefighters Corps helped capture the puma Sunday. (Via Bomberos de Costa Rica.)The canton of Tibás, a northern suburb of San José, has a population of more than 80,000 people. But the presence of wildlife isn’t entirely unusual because of the area’s proximity to rural and protected land, MINEA said. The organization explained the puma may have followed riverbanks into more densely populated areas while hunting for armadillos or raccoons. Pumas and jaguars both live in Braulio Carillo National Park, located less than 10 miles north of Tibás. This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “I can tell you that as a commander in Afghanistan in the year 2010, I was able to use my cyber operations against my adversary with great impact,” Mills said. “I was able to get inside his nets, infect his command-and-control, and in fact defend myself against his almost constant incursions to get inside my wire, to affect my operations.”Mills, now a deputy commandant with the Marine Corps, was in charge of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011, according to his official biography. He didn’t go into any further detail as to the nature or scope of his forces’ attacks, but experts said that such a public admission that they were being carried out was itself striking.“This is news,” said James Lewis, a cyber-security analyst with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said that while it was generally known in defense circles that cyberattacks had been carried out by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he had never seen a senior officer take credit for them in such a way.“It’s not secret,” Lewis said in a telephone interview, but he added: “I haven’t seen as explicit a statement on this as the one” Mills made. Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart declined to elaborate on Mills’ comments, saying in an email that “for reasons of security . we do not provide specific information regarding our intentions, plans, capabilities or operations.”The email said that the Pentagon’s cyber operations were properly authorized and that they took place within the bounds of international law and the “confines of existing policy.”U.S. defense planners have spent the past few years debating that policy, asking how and under what circumstances the Pentagon would launch a cyberattack against its enemies, but it’s only recently become apparent that a sophisticated program of U.S.-backed cyberattacks is already under way.A book by The New York Times reporter David Sanger recently recounted how President Barack Obama ordered a wave of electronic incursions aimed at physically sabotaging Iran’s disputed atomic energy program. Subsequent reports have linked the program to a virus dubbed Flame, which prompted a temporary Internet blackout across Iran’s oil industry in April, and another virus called Gauss, which appeared to have been aimed at stealing information from customers of Lebanese banks. An earlier report alleged that U.S. forces in Iraq had hacked into a terrorist group’s computer there to lure its members into an ambush. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Herbert Lin, a cyber expert at the National Research Council, agreed that Mills’ comments were unusual in terms of the fact that they were made publicly. But Lin said that the United States was, little by little, opening up about the fact that its military was launching attacks across the Internet.“The U.S. military is starting to talk more and more in terms of what it’s doing and how it’s doing it,” he said. “A couple of years ago it was hard to get them to acknowledge that they were doing offense at all _ even as a matter of policy, let alone in specific theaters or specific operations.”Mills’ brief comments about cyberattacks in Afghanistan were delivered to the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Aug. 15, but they did not appear to have attracted much attention at the time. Footage of the speech was only recently posted to the Internet by conference organizers.___Online:Mills’ speech: http://slidesha.re/RJHtXkRaphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphae.li/twitter Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated Press (AP) – The U.S. military has been launching cyberattacks against its opponents in Afghanistan, a senior officer says, making an unusually explicit acknowledgment of the oft-hidden world of electronic warfare.Marine Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills’ comments came last week at a conference in Baltimore during which he explained how U.S. commanders considered cyber weapons an important part of their arsenal. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

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first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union’s top official says that Serbia needs to improve its strained ties with its former province of Kosovo if it’s going to make progress in its ambition to join the EU.European Council President Herman van Rompuy says Tuesday that an improvement is the “key requirement” for Belgrade’s EU membership.He praised Serbia’s new, nationalist-leaning government for its decision to remove a key stumbling block in Kosovo’s participation in international forums. But he told Serbia’s visiting Prime Minister Ivica Dacic that a solution to the volatile situation in northern Kosovo was needed. Members of the Serbian minority there reject the authority of the ethnic Albanian-dominated government in Pristina.Belgrade has vowed to never recognize Kosovo’s 2008 secession, but the two sides have been in talks on normalizing ties.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

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first_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Check your body, save your life Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Tensions have grown since April, when Tokyo’s nationalist governor announced he was planning to buy three of the islands from a private family Japan recognizes as their owner. Japan’s government is now also talking about buying them.Last month, a group of activists from Hong Kong were arrested and quickly deported after landing on one of the islands, which are controlled by Japan.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s deputy prime minister says tensions over an island dispute with China have been fanned by activists, but have not hurt official relations between the countries.Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada on Thursday said the two governments are reacting “calmly” to rising emotions over their longstanding dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that Japan calls the Senkaku and China calls the Diaoyu. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   The earlier ruling had provoked widespread outrage in Peru. Most of the 15 had seen their sentences reduced from 25 to 20 years, rendering about half eligible to apply for parole.The men belonged to the so-called Colina death squad created under then-spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Quick workouts for men LIMA, Peru (AP) – Peru’s highest court has thrown out a previous ruling that trimmed the prison sentences of 15 soldiers convicted of 1990s death squad killings.The Supreme Court overturned its own ruling at the request of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.Announcing the decision on Thursday night, court President Cesar San Martin also said an arrest warrant had been issued for Alberto Pinto, the former army intelligence chief released after the July ruling. He had been serving 15 years for aggravated murder. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories center_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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first_img Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Associated PressDUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AP) – A woman in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan says security services held her 12-year-old son for three days and beat him to coerce details on individuals detained on extremism charges.Inobat Yakubova told the respected Tajik newspaper Asia-Plus on Monday that her son was picked up in late August while at the home of his Arabic language tutor, who is suspected of being a member of banned Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Yakubova said she was later visited by the security services official and warned not to go public with the allegations of abuse.Tajikistan, an impoverished nation of 7 million people, lies along the supplies distribution route for the U.S-led military operation in Afghanistan.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The State Committee for National Security could not be reached for comment.Tajikistan, a Muslim nation that assists U.S. military operations in neighboring Afghanistan, has sought to stamp out radical religious movements it says threaten its stability.Rights activists say mistreatment of suspects in custody is commonplace, but a case involving an underage boy will likely still provoke outrage.Yakubova said she had not spoken out about the mistreatment of her son, Nusratullo, earlier for fear of reprisals from the authorities.Her lawyer, Shukhrat Kudratov, said he has petitioned state prosecutors to investigate the security services officer responsible. The General Prosecutor’s office confirmed it had received the request.Yakubova said that she looked for her son in the hospitals of the capital city, Dushanbe, before he finally reappeared at home with bruises and scratches on his face and body.Nusratullo Yakubov told Asia-Plus that he was questioned by several officers.“(One) told he wanted to me say that the teacher was distributing banned literature,” Yakubov said. “He hit me in the face and stomach. He picked me up and threw me to the ground. I was terrified and it hurt.” New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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first_img CANNES, France (AP) — Yorgos Lanthimos has people in Cannes imagining themselves as animals.The Greek director has set the Croisette abuzz with his film “The Lobster,” which puts Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in a couples-dominated world where single people are given 45 days to find a mate, or be turned into the animal of their choice. Farrell’s sad-sack central character chooses a lobster, in part because the crustaceans mate for life. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The films that I made in Greece were extremely small films made with five friends,” he said. “It’s a very different way of working when you enter a film-industry environment and there are very strict rules. People don’t feel comfortable breaking those rules and people are not maybe equally passionate as your friends.”On the positive side, “you have a proper structure and people are very professional and they know what they’re doing.”“You have a little bit more financing, you’re certain you’re going to be able to finish the film,” he said. In Greece — still coping with severe financial crisis — “you don’t even know if you’re going to be able to take your film to a festival, because you barely have enough money to produce the film.”___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawlessCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Director Yorgos Lanthimos attends a press conference for the film The Lobster, at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau) Top Stories Lanthimos’ sharp satirical surrealism has sparked anthropomorphic musing up and down the Croisette. A dog? A cat? What beast is best?“I’d be a bird,” Lanthimos said in response to the inevitable question. “I dream a lot about flying.”Lanthimos can plan to do a lot more flying as a rising star on the international cinema circuit.“The Lobster” has been gobbled up by Cannes critics and audiences. Farrell — unrecognizable behind glasses, moustache and unflattering paunch — is considered a contender for the festival’s best-actor prize when awards are announced May 24.The film’s absurd, disturbing world and deadpan tone will be no surprise to fans of Lanthimos, who made the Oscar-nominated reality-show dystopia “Dogtooth.”“The Lobster” is set in a strange but fully realized world, just far enough away from reality to make viewers question the social rules we accept as normal.Lanthimos thinks reality is an overrated quality in movies.“I don’t find that interesting to do as a film, just to represent real life,” he told The Associated Press.“There is no realism in film anyway. Even if it is pretend realism, it is still pretend.” “The Lobster” is the first film Lanthimos has made outside Greece, and his first in English. It was shot in Ireland with an international cast that includes Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux and John C. Reilly.Farrell told reporters at a press conference that the screenplay “was by far the most unique and particular script that I had ever read. I didn’t understand it either, and I’m not sure that I still do.”The script may be elusive, but Lanthimos said all the cast members instinctively understood where he was coming from.“They all got it immediately,” he said. “They held it together, and it helped a lot. Because even if I’d had the slightest problem with the cast and at the same time I had to cope with making a film in a different country (where) it’s a very different experience and a different way of making films — I’m not sure if I would have gotten through it if I didn’t have such absolute support from them.”“The Lobster” is the most expensive film Lanthimos has made, and should guarantee his next budget is bigger still. For the director, now based in Britain, that prospect is both frustrating and exciting. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories last_img read more