Share Posted by OTTAWA — The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) has named Susie Grynol as its new President. Formerly Vice-President, Federal Government Relations for the Retail Council of Canada, she has more than 10 years of experience managing political affairs and public relations with a track record in overseeing complex industry issues.Grynol takes over from Anthony Pollard who served as President for the past 25 years and retired this past September. She starts in her new role Oct. 17.“We are delighted that Ms. Grynol will be joining the HAC as President and are fortunate to have someone with Susie’s talents, experience and breadth of knowledge join our industry,” said Philippe Gadbois, Chair of the HAC Board. “I look forward to working with Susie to ensure the industry’s needs and goals continue to be reached.”The Hotel Association of Canada represents the more than 8,100 hotels, motels and resorts that make up Canada’s $17.5 billion hotel industry, which employs 288,000 people across Canada. [PEOPLE] Hotel Association of Canada appoints new President Tags: Hotel Association of Canada << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Travelweek Group
Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Limited time offer includes free travel days with Eurail Pass Posted by Tags: Eurail, Promotions, Rail Tuesday, March 6, 2018 UTRECHT — With Eurail’s Extra Days Promotion, passes purchased now through March 31 offer up to five additional free travel days.The limited-time offer is available across Eurail’s entire portfolio of Passes – from the Global Pass to the One Country Pass – and are available for purchase up to 11 months in advance.The Eurail Global Pass gives visitors the flexibility to explore up to 28 European countries at their own pace, while the Eurail Select and One Country Passes provide a number of itinerary options by rail and sea for guests wanting to experience between one and four bordering countries within the Eurail network.The deals can be combined with Eurail’s year-round savings like children travel for free and youth discount for explorers aged 27 years and younger.All Pass holders can also access a suite of different benefits, including up to 20% off City Cards in popular destinations such as Barcelona, Brussels and Salzburg, as well as free or reduced-price entry to top city sights and attractions.More news: Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureA complete list of Pass benefits for each country is available via the Rail Planner App. Agents can also see agent.raileurope.com. Travelweek Group
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Posted by Thursday, January 17, 2019 Winter discounts available now at Chelsea Hotel, Toronto Tags: Chelsea Hotel, Sales, Toronto TORONTO — Chelsea Hotel, Toronto’s new Winter Wanderer Sale takes 20% off the best available rate of the day.The booking window for the sale runs until Jan. 31 for travel through March 31.The hotel’s central location offers quick access to explore all of Toronto’s wintery activities, whether that means skating on one of the many downtown ice rinks in the city, including Nathan Phillips Square and Bentway Skate Trail, or checking out Ontario Place’s Winter Light Exhibition, on now through March 17.As an added perk, guests of the hotel have access to exclusive discounts to some of the city’s top attractions with the Show Your Key and Save program, such as Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum and Ontario Science Centre.For more details see www.chelseatoronto.com/en/offers/winter-sale.
Many thanks go out to all of those who participated in the McKee-Jacó Fundraising Event that was held at the Beach Club Jacó Blue on Feb. 27. Many people were involved in making it such a grand success, and our heartfelt thanks goes to each and every one of you. A big thank you also goes to Los Chupacabras, the band that kept us company for this special event. The fundraiser was a big success, with more than 150 attendants.We were able to raise $2,820 from ticket sales, the raffle and donations received during the event. $1,400 will be used to cover our outstanding bills at two clinics, $1,000 will go toward our education fund and $420 will be used in our castration program.A special thanks also goes out to all the sponsors of this event (we will publish the list on our website and on Facebook) and, of course, to all of you who joined us at this event! If you were unable to attend and want to help out the McKee Foundation, Contact Katja Bader at www.mckee-jaco.com.Stewart Invierno has opened the Tico Pod Art House and Gifts (located one building south of Surf Dogs Bar, across from Mandarina), a new shop offering a great selection of Costa Rican Art, jewelry and leather bags. Manager Delphine Raveau (formerly of Heliconia Gallery) brings great passion and knowledge for the art. Marcelle Bruce comes to us from Studio Metallo, an art gallery and workshop.Come say hello and get inspired. Open daily from 10-6 or longer. For more information, check out www.fb.com/ticopod or call 2643-6090.The reopening celebration of the Los Sueños Wine & Spirits was held March 12, from 3-7 p.m. Wineries from Argentina, Chile and California offered tastings, and participants also sampled micro brews from the Costa Rica Craft Beer Company and some fine spirits. The amazing Kurt Dryer, a.k.a. “The Human Juke Box,” performed, and it was great fun. Los Sueños Wine & Spirits is located inside the Marina Village, across from Dolce Vita; open 7 days a week!The second leg of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series will take place from March 13–16. Approximately 40 teams will once more compete for the title of Series Champion. After a record-breaking first leg in January, with 1,412 billfish releases by 38 boats, we are looking forward to another exciting event. You can follow all the action live by listening to the tournament radio by logging on to lstournaments.com or turn your TV to the Los Sueños Resort channel (66) for updates. For more information, contact Ashley Bretecher at Los Sueños Marina, 2630-4005.Falcon School will host its second annual 5K race on Sunday, March 17. The entry fee is $10 per person and proceeds will benefit the Falcon School scholarship program, through which financially limited families from the community will be enabled to provide their children with an international caliber education. First prize is a round trip ticket to the U.S. on United. For more information, call 2637-7400The British Columbia Girls’ Choir from Canada is here in Costa Rica for the first time ever, and this weekend the choir makes a stop at Teatro Jacó. On March 17, the BC Girls’ Choir will take the stage at Teatro Jacó at 7:30 p.m. This event is public and free.The British Columbia Girls Choir offers joyful music. The singers, who are all girls from Vancouver, go through four levels of training, sometimes starting out at age 5. They participate in concerts, recordings, festivals, camps and numerous community outreach events. Highlights of past seasons have included representing British Columbia at numerous National Music Festivals, guest appearances with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Elektra Women’s Choir, three 2010 Winter Olympic appearances and receiving the Dr. Elmer Iseler Award for the best performance of a Canadian work at the prestigious International Choral Kathaumixw. Performing works of Canada’s composers is an important mandate of the choir; the girls have taken our country’s music to Australia, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and America. This March, the Tour Choir will travel to Costa Rica, where they will be eager to share their music with the Costa Rican children. They will also attend an anti‐bullying event in February and the Vancouver Kiwanis Choral Festival in March, and they will welcome the Wakayama Children’s Choir from Japan in May.Fiona Blackburn has been the Artistic Director of this organization since 2000. She holds three degrees from the University of British Columbia and has worked with conductors Jon Washburn, Bruce Pullan, Dr. Doreen Rao and Dr. Graeme Langager. As a soloist and recording artist, Fiona Blackburn has performed with some of Canada’s leading musicians, orchestras and opera companies. See: www.fionablackburn.com. For more information, contact John Crozman at (519) 474‐2600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. –Christina Truittchristina_truitt@yahoo.com Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Costa Rica on Friday for a Central American summit focused on trade and the drug war after a stop in Mexico highlighting economic and security ties.The seven leaders of Central America, plus the Dominican Republic, are expected to press Obama to step up U.S. assistance against ultra-violent drug cartels that use the region as a stopover for US-bound cocaine.The Costa Rican capital was under tight security for the summit, with a heavy police presence, streets closed to pedestrians and cars, and shops and schools shuttered.Before landing in San José, Obama addressed a young audience in Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology, pledging to forge an equal partnership with his nation’s southern neighbor and put “old mindsets aside.”“A new Mexico is emerging,” Obama said after greeting the crowd with a few words in Spanish – “Mexico lindo y querido” (“beautiful and beloved Mexico”).Turning to a US domestic issue dear to Mexicans, Obama said he was “absolutely convinced” the U.S. Congress would pass immigration reform to bring 11 million undocumented workers – a majority of them Mexicans – out of the shadows.With more than 70,000 people dead so far in a still-raging battle between drug cartels, the US leader acknowledged that “much of the root cause of violence” in Mexico owed to U.S. demand for illegal drugs.“We also recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” Obama said, vowing to do everything in his power to pass gun control reform back home.The flow of guns into the hands of drug cartels has been a constant irritant in Mexico, which has linked the rise in violence to the expiration of the U.S. ban on assault rifles in 2004.On Thursday, Obama met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in December, and the two leaders sought to shift the focus of their relations back to their $500 billion trade ties.But they also discussed their security bond, with Obama backing Peña Nieto’s new strategy, which is focused on reducing the wave of murders, kidnappings and extortion plaguing Mexico.In his speech on Friday, Obama said relations with Mexico must be defined by the prosperity they can generate together, not the threats they face.“Despite all the bonds and the values that we share, despite all the people who claim heritage on both sides, our attitudes sometimes are trapped in old stereotypes,” Obama said.“We are two equal partners, two sovereign nations. We must work together in mutual interest, in mutual respect, and if we do that, both Mexico and the United States will prosper.”Obama will address much of the same issues during his talks in San Jose, including close cooperation in combating drug smuggling at sea.Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters that the US leader “will also be discussing economic and other areas. So security continues to be a pressing problem, but there are other topics on the agenda as well.”The United States has provided $500 million in security aid to Central America since 2008, but the murder rate has soared to 40 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in the region, five times the world average.The U.S. military has sent ships to the Pacific and Caribbean to intercept drugs, deployed 200 Marines in Guatemala and shared radar intelligence with Honduras. But top U.S. generals warned that budget cuts could hamper the mission.“We need resolute support from the U.S. government to attack our common drug enemy, drug trafficking, since regrettably Honduras and other countries of the region see the dead in a war we didn’t start,” said Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. Facebook Comments
No related posts. Some 300 persons marched Saturday in San José against multinational biotechnology giant Monsanto, particularly to draw attention to the company’s presence in agriculture sectors of developing countries.The march was part of a global initiative that took place in more than 400 cities, aimed at drawing attention to the alleged risks of genetically modified organisms, heavy use of agrochemicals, and the multinational company’s virtual monopoly on agricultural biotechnology.“We not only oppose this corporation [Monsanto], but also we oppose the development model that it represents,” said Ignacio Arroyo, a representative of the Costa Rican environmental activist group Bloque Verde.“Farmers become customers of big corporations that sell them patented seeds and agrochemicals. They are no longer the owners of their seeds”, he added.Singing “queremos chicha, queremos maíz, queremos a Monsanto fuera del país” (“We want chicha [a fermented corn-based liquor], we want corn, we want Monsanto out of the country”), protesters began the march at the Plaza de la Cultura in downtown San José at 2 p.m. They walked along Central Avenue, visiting the capital’s two major markets, and then headed to Morazán Park and National Park.Many carried signs saying “Monsanto mata” (“Monsanto kills”), “Seeds are free” and “La naturaleza no nesecita ser modificada” (“Nature doesn’t need to be modified”).Several members of the Bloque Verde, which opposes the introduction of GMOs into the country and is one of the organizers of the march, handed out fliers with information to people who curiously watched the march pass by.The USA Today reported that two million people joined the march around the world. Participating cities included Los Angeles and Portland, in the United States, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bogotá, Colombia, and many others.In January, Costa Rica’s National Biosecurity Technical Commission granted U.S. Company Delta & Pine Land seed Ltda (D&PL), a local subsidiary of Monsanto, permission to grow genetically modified corn in the country.The decision now faces a constitutional challenge by lawmaker José María Villalta of the Broad Front Party and local environmentalists. The case is under review by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.Across the country, 56 cantons have voted to declare themselves GMO-free zones. Facebook Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from among hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to U.S. citizens. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received emails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British counterpart, GCHQ. From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.The infiltration is especially striking because the NSA, under a separate program known as PRISM, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process.The MUSCULAR project appears to be an unusually aggressive use of NSA tradecraft against flagship U.S. companies. The agency is built for high-tech spying, with a wide range of digital tools, but it has not been known to use them routinely against U.S. companies.White House officials and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA, declined to confirm, deny or explain why the agency infiltrates Google and Yahoo networks overseas.In a statement, Google said it was “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity.”“We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links,” the company said.At Yahoo, a spokeswoman said: “We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.”Under PRISM, the NSA already gathers huge volumes of online communications records by legally compelling U.S. technology companies, including Yahoo and Google, to turn over any data matching court-approved search terms. That program, which was first disclosed by The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper, is authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.Intercepting communications overseas has clear advantages for the NSA, with looser restrictions and less oversight. NSA documents about the effort refer directly to “full take,” “bulk access” and “high volume” operations on Yahoo and Google networks. Such large-scale collection of Internet content would be illegal in the United States, but the operations take place overseas, where the NSA is allowed to presume that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner.Outside U.S. territory, statutory restrictions on surveillance seldom apply and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has no jurisdiction. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein has acknowledged that Congress conducts little oversight of intelligence-gathering under the presidential authority of Executive Order 12333 , which defines the basic powers and responsibilities of the intelligence agencies.John Schindler, a former NSA chief analyst and frequent defender who teaches at the Naval War College, said it was obvious why the agency would prefer to avoid restrictions where it can.“Look, NSA has platoons of lawyers and their entire job is figuring out how to stay within the law and maximize collection by exploiting every loophole,” he said. “It’s fair to say the rules are less restrictive under Executive Order 12333 than they are under FISA.”The operation to infiltrate data links exploits a fundamental weakness in systems architecture. To guard against data loss and system slowdowns, Google and Yahoo maintain fortress-like data centers across four continents and connect them with thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable. These globe-spanning networks, representing billions of dollars of investment, are known as “clouds” because data moves seamlessly around them.In order for the data centers to operate effectively, they synchronize high volumes of information about account holders. Yahoo’s internal network, for example, sometimes transmits entire email archives — years of messages and attachments — from one data center to another.Tapping the Google and Yahoo clouds allows the NSA to intercept communications in real time and to take “a retrospective look at target activity,” according to one internal NSA document.In order to obtain free access to data center traffic, the NSA had to circumvent gold standard security measures. Google “goes to great lengths to protect the data and intellectual property in these centers,” according to one of the company’s blog posts, with tightly audited access controls, heat sensitive cameras, round-the-clock guards and biometric verification of identities.Google and Yahoo also pay for premium data links, designed to be faster, more reliable and more secure. In recent years, each of them is said to have bought or leased thousands of miles of fiber optic cables for their own exclusive use. They had reason to think, insiders said, that their private, internal networks were safe from prying eyes.In an NSA presentation slide on “Google Cloud Exploitation,” however, a sketch shows where the “Public Internet” meets the internal “Google Cloud” where their data resides. In hand-printed letters, the drawing notes that encryption is “added and removed here!” The artist adds a smiley face, a cheeky celebration of victory over Google security.Two engineers with close ties to Google exploded in profanity when they saw the drawing. “I hope you publish this,” one of them said.For the MUSCULAR project, the GCHQ directs all intake into a “buffer” that can hold three to five days of traffic before recycling storage space. From the buffer, custom-built NSA tools unpack and decode the special data formats that the two companies use inside their clouds. Then the data is sent through a series of filters to “select” information the NSA wants and “defeat” what it does not.PowerPoint slides about the Google cloud, for example, show that the NSA tries to filter out all data from the company’s “Web crawler,” which indexes Internet pages.According to the briefing documents, prepared by participants in the MUSCULAR project, collection from inside Yahoo and Google has produced important intelligence leads against hostile foreign governments that are specified in the documents.Last month, long before The Post approached Google to discuss the penetration of its cloud, vice president for security engineering Eric Grosse announced that the company is racing to encrypt the links between its data centers. “It’s an arms race,” he said then. “We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game.”Yahoo has not announced plans to encrypt its data center links.Because digital communications and cloud storage do not usually adhere to national boundaries, MUSCULAR and a previously disclosed NSA operation to collect Internet address books have amassed content and metadata on a previously unknown scale from U.S. citizens and residents. Those operations have gone undebated in public or on the floor of Congress because their existence was classified.The Google and Yahoo operations call attention to an asymmetry in U.S. surveillance law: While Congress has lifted some restrictions on NSA domestic surveillance on the grounds that purely foreign communications sometimes pass over U.S. switches and cables, it has not added restrictions overseas, where U.S. communications or data stores now cross over foreign switches.“Thirty five years ago, different countries had their own telecommunications infrastructure, so the division between foreign and domestic collection was clear,” Sen. Ron Wyden, a member of the intelligence committee, said in an interview. “Today there’s a global communications infrastructure, so there’s a greater risk of collecting on Americans when the NSA collects overseas.”It is not clear how much data from U.S. citizens is collected, and how much of that is retained. One weekly report on MUSCULAR says the British operators of the site allow the NSA to contribute 100,000 “selectors,” or search terms. That is more than twice the number in use in the PRISM program, but even 100,000 cannot easily account for the millions of records that are said to be sent back to Fort Meade each day.In 2011, when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court learned that the NSA was using similar methods to collect and analyze data streams — on a much smaller scale — from cables on U.S. territory, Judge John D. Bates ruled that the program was illegal under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and inconsistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.Soltani is an independent security researcher and consultant.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Britain targets Guardian newspaper over Snowden leaks European Parliament wants Snowden, NSA chief to testify on spying Snowden seeks asylum in Russia, meets activists at airport Snowden has not yet accepted Venezuela asylum: WikiLeaks
Related posts:PHOTOS: Despite hiccups, International Arts Festival draws crowds Costa Rica women’s soccer team headed to World Cup for first time Latin Rock Concert, Craft Beer Festival and other happenings around Costa Rica Legendary horror director Wes Craven dead at 76 Facebook Comments Among the many hazards of living abroad is the constant feeling that you are out of touch with what is going on back home.When I lived in the United States, I was a bit of a super nerd. I regularly attended midnight movie premieres, I knew all of the obscure pop culture trivia, and I could hold my own around any water cooler. But now, when I go back to the U.S., I find myself lost in the conversations of my formerly uncool friends. I don’t know what’s on TV, or what music people are listening to, or which young adult book series is being turned into a blockbuster film. A big reason for this is the way movies are translated into Spanish.Most titles, understandably, are not translated literally. “The Rum Diary” in English became “The Diary of a Seducer” in Spanish, and “Despicable Me” was translated to “My Favorite Villain.” While this makes sense for the general Spanish-speaking public, it is confusing for a Gringa waiting to see the movie her friends won’t stop writing about on Facebook.So, it comes as no surprise that when a friend mentioned to me that “Sinsajo” was coming to theaters Thursday, I had no idea what he was talking about. I nodded and feigned excitement, while making a mental note to Google Translate it later. It turns out that Google Translate is much more in tune with pop culture than I am, because it correctly translated the made-up Spanish word, Sinsajo, to its made-up English equivalent, Mockingjay, also known as the third installment of “The Hunger Games.”At least Hollywood has the decency to literally translate made-up words. For those not obsessed with the mega-popular “Hunger Games” movie series or its preceding book trilogy, the mockingjay is a fictional bird in the series, an accidental cross-breed of the repressive government’s genetically engineered “jabberjays” and common mockingbirds. Instead of inventing some nonsensical Spanish word for the title, the translator simply took the Spanish word for mockingbird, sinsonte, and jay, arrendajo.Why can’t all movies do that?Costa Rican “Hunger Games” fans can enjoy not only the perfectly translated title, but also the advantage of catching the movie an entire day before anyone in the United States. For those hoping to see the movie as soon as possible, below are the schedules for theaters featuring the movie on its opening day.CCM Cinemas San PedroSan CarlosLincoln PlazaCinemark*Note some options are dubbedMultiplaza EscazúMultiplaza Curridabat Cinépolis*Note some options are dubbedDesamparadosCartagoTres Ríos NovaAvenida Escazú
Related posts:New hope for Haiti Haiti cholera victims file new lawsuit against UN Strike on UN Gaza school kills 10 as Israel starts troop pullout Behind the scenes at the UN UNITED NATIONS – U.N. peacekeepers routinely trade sex for money, jewelry, cellphones and other items in countries where they are deployed in clear violation of U.N. rules, according to a draft U.N. report.A third of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. personnel involve a minor under 18, according to the report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) obtained by AFP on Thursday.Interviews done with victims in Haiti and Liberia suggest that the United Nations is underreporting cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeeping personnel.In Haiti, 231 people admitted to having “transactional sexual relationships” with peacekeeping personnel in exchange for “jewellery, ‘church’ shoes, dresses, fancy underwear, perfume, cell phones, radios, televisions and, in a few cases, laptops.”Women interviewed in the report said they were hungry, homeless or needed items for their babies or their households.A survey of 489 women aged 18 to 30 in Monrovia showed that over a quarter of the city’s women had engaged in sex with U.N. peacekeepers, usually for money.In Liberia, women who engaged in sex with the peacekeepers were not poorer than others and also viewed the mission “more favorably” than women who did not have sexual relations, the study showed.The report noted that some women in Haiti “withheld the badges of peacekeepers and threatened to reveal their infidelity via social media” if the men refused to pay. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFPUnderreporting of cases “Evidence from two peacekeeping missions demonstrates that transactional sex is quite common but underreported in peacekeeping missions,” said the draft report dated May 15.There were 480 allegations of sexual abuse from 2008 and 2013 with the largest missions registering high numbers of cases, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Haiti, Sudan and South Sudan.The OIOS noted that civilians serving in missions account for 33 percent of all allegations, even though they only represent 17 percent of the mission’s personnel.U.N. peacekeeping officials have pointed to a drop in cases of sexual abuse from 127 in 2007 to 51 last year, but the reductions “are partly explained by underreporting,” said the OIOS.The United Nations began issuing rules 10 years ago to the blue helmets that “strongly discourage sexual relations” between U.N. personnel and the people that they are helping.But the report cited widespread confusion among U.N. peacekeepers on the boundaries that should not be crossed.There was a “general view that people should have romantic rights” and U.N. staff “raised the issue of sexuality as a human right,” it added.The final report to be released on Monday coincides with an outcry over allegations of child sexual abuse by French and African troops in the Central African Republic.Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has ordered an independent external review after the United Nations admitted that those cases were poorly handled.The United Nations has 125,000 peacekeepers deployed in 16 missions worldwide. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet to tee off at Junior World Golf Championships Costa Rica’s golf phenom Paul Chaplet prepares for moment on the sport’s biggest stage Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet misses cut for Round 3 of Masters Costa Rica to host first PGA Tour event in 2017 Chaplet struggled with his putting throughout the first round. He missed a few short puts on par and birdie tries that continued to push him back in the standings. His toughest holes came on the par-5 hole 8, where he finished with 7 strokes, and the notoriously difficult hole 10 where he double bogeyed as well.The 16-year-old nearly birdied on hole 14 but left his third-stroke put a few feet short of the hole before converting the par put. On hole 17 he had another great opportunity to find his first birdie but left the put just one foot right of the hole, settling for another par.The son of French immigrants to Costa Rica, Chaplet never even picked up a club until he was 10 years old, making his rapid ascent to golf’s grandest stage all the more remarkable. He will tee off tomorrow at 6:53 a.m. Costa Rica time alongside group mates Tom O’Meara of the U.S. and Sweden’s David Lingmerth.After the first round, last year’s winner Jordan Spieth tops the leaderboard with a score of 6-under-par. Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet had some understandable hiccups Thursday as he becamethe first Tico to ever take part in the Masters, golf’s most important annual tournament.The 16-year-old high school student from Santa Ana finished in last place in the opening round of competition in Augusta, Georgia with an 11-over-par day. It was a tough showing for the young golfer, with half of his holes ending in bogey or double-bogey.Even still, Chaplet made history Thursday as the second youngest player ever included in the Masters field, and the first Central American in the storied tournament. Wishing 2015 #USKidsGolf Teen World Champion Paul Chaplet (and all our alumni!) all the best in this week’s #Masters pic.twitter.com/PZG6nt2Ty4— U.S. Kids Golf (@USKidsGolfFDN) April 7, 2016
A second round, Holy Sunday and the poor electoral menu If none of the candidates get at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a runoff election in April.“We’re still growing. We’re Costa Rica’s primary political force,” Castro wrote on his Twitter account. The party that nominated him, the National Integration Party (PIN), is a small movement that in the past has put only one legislator in office.In third place in the poll, with 13 percent, is the lawyer Rodolfo Piza from the Social Christianity Unity Party (PUSC), which along with the PLN led Costa Rica’s bipartisan system during the latter part of the 20th century. The other 10 aspirants are polling under 10 percent. The poll also reflects a strong drop in support for President Luis Guillermo Solís. His administration is viewed negatively by 47 percent of those polled and positively by only 27 percent. In contrast, UCR polls carried out between March and October showed a positive evaluation of the current government.Solís’ image has been affected in recent months by a scandal related to loans from public banks for the importation of Chinese cement, a case that revealed traffic of influences in the three powers of the Estate and has affected almost all of the country’s political parties. One third of Costa Rican voters remain undecided just six weeks before the presidential election. According to a poll published Wednesday, the two leading candidates are in a statistical dead heat.The Investigation and Political Studies Center at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) revealed that 34 percent of the sample has yet to choose a candidate. Former Security Minister Juan Diego Castro is the current favorite with 18 percent; Castro is known for his populist discourse and promises to erradicate corruption and crime.Former legislator and Cabinet minister Antonio Álvarez of the National Liberation Party (PLN) is within the 2.5-point margin of error with 14 percent. The poll was carried out from Dec. 4-13 with 1,578 telephone interviews. President Solís: ‘I’ve always told you the truth’ Costa Rica’s elections 2018: a primer Related posts:PHOTOS: Costa Rican candidates wrap up their campaigns Awaiting the final results How Costa Rica’s 2018 elections moved from street to screen New poll: Statistical dead heat in Costa Rica’s presidential elections Facebook Comments
0 Comments Share 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Associated PressLOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) – The dispute over the Falklands Islands reached the G-20 summit in Mexico on Tuesday when the leaders of Britain and Argentina had an uncomfortable talk on the conference’s sidelines.British Prime Minister David Cameron approached Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to talk about banking reform and during the conversation asked her to respect the view of islanders, said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Fernandez responded by trying to hand Cameron an envelope with U.N. resolutions that called for Argentine-British dialogue over the Falklands Islands. But Cameron “refused to take the envelope, turned around and walked off,” Timerman said.A Downing Street spokesman said that Cameron did not actually refuse to accept the envelope, saying it was not clear to him whether Fernandez had really tried to hand it over.The spokesman, who declined to be named in line with department policy, said Cameron told Fernandez: “I am not proposing a full discussion now on the Falklands, but I hope you have noted that they are holding a referendum and you should respect their views.”Fernandez has been campaigning to shore up support for Argentina’s sovereignty claim to the Falklands 30 years after the two countries fought a brief but bloody war over the South Atlantic archipelago.The Falkland Islands government announced plans last week for a 2013 referendum on the territory’s political future.Cameron has said Britain will follow the decision of islanders when they hold their vote.Argentina has been intensifying its campaign to pressure Britain into sovereignty talks, a theme it pushes in every international forum. The Argentine claim to the islands has support across Latin America. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Argentines insist Britain has illegally occupied the islands they call the Islas Malvinas since 1833. Britain accuses Buenos Aires of ignoring the wishes of the island’s population of about 3,000 people.___Associated Press Writers Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s most outspoken and charismatic anti-drugs campaigner accused authorities on Tuesday of trying to close his rehabilitation center by falsely claiming it has abused patients.For more than a decade, businessman and art historian Yevgeny Roizman has been waging a crusade against drug pushers and corrupt police in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg amid a drug epidemic that has made Russia the world’s largest heroin consumer. Sponsored Stories Roizman called the creation of his rehab center in 1998 “a riot against drug pushers, a genuine popular riot.” The crusader owned a thriving jewelry workshop at the time and was writing a book on Russian icons in the Urals region.He and his supporters violently confronted a group of mostly Gypsy and Central Asian drug dealers, driving them out or facilitating their arrest and conviction. Parents of heroin-deprived addicts responded by flocking to Roizman to ask for his help.His rehabilitation methods have involved isolation, strict discipline and such unorthodox punishments as handcuffing addicts, but high recovery rates made Roizman a local hero.“I am not holding pageants to select my patients. They are not Nobel Prize winners, and some parents brought them to me in their cars’ trunks,” he said. “What I am trying to do is to make them human again.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Roizman has alleged that investigators sent from Moscow have tried to force their subordinates to secretly extort bribes from local drug pushers in exchange for immunity from persecution.Dozens of Russian police officers have been convicted and jailed for accepting bribes from drug dealers or selling drugs directly.“I was one of the few who talked about it out loud,” the burly 50-year-old wrestling enthusiast said Tuesday.In May, a senior narcotics officer in Yekaterinburg was sentenced to 17 years in jail for selling heroin.In 2009, two narcotics policemen died of a heroin overdose in their office, although their superiors initially claimed food poisoning was the cause of death.Some 2.5 million Russians are addicted to illegal drugs, and 90 percent of them use the heroin that has flooded into Russia from Afghanistan since the late 1990s, the government says.The U.N. has said Russia, a nation of 142 million people, consumes 70 tons of Afghan heroin annually _ more than a fifth of the drug consumed globally.Yekaterinburg, a grim industrial center of 1.4 million people, has been hit hard by the heroin plague, while new drugs _ such as highly addictive synthetic marijuana and a cheap and lethal concoction made of codeine pills known as “crocodile” _ compete with opiates. The center Roizman founded and partly funds is seen by many Russians as a model of community-driven rehab efforts, and his followers have helped police identify and arrest dozens of drug dealers.But Yekaterinburg officials have accused Roizman’s team of isolating patients without their consent and using violence and forced labor as part of therapy.On Tuesday, a court in the town of Berezovsk near Yekaterinburg charged Roizman’s deputy, Yevgeny Malenkin, with illegally imprisoning patients and issued an arrest warrant for him.Malenkin left Yekaterinburg earlier this week after police tried to question him, Roizman said, adding that the charges against him were initiated after police pressured former patients to file complaints.Roizman has accused police of using this tactic against his center before. He said police pressured former patients to file complaints in 2004, accusing him of illegal imprisonment at the center, but that all of them were dropped by 2007.Roizman has claimed the campaign against him is part of the regional governor’s attempt to boost his own anti-drugs credentials and to challenge the center’s success and Roizman’s allegations of corruption among local police. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How men can have a healthy 2019 Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments Share Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches
In May 2009, the government _ dominated by the ethnic Sinhalese majority _ defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who were demanding an independent Tamil nation after decades of perceived discrimination.The report questioned the government’s commitment to follow through on the recommendations of its own war commission report and urges Sri Lankan authorities to permit international experts to probe allegations of serious human rights violations.“Unfortunately, however, the government has made commitments to only some of the commission’s recommendations, and has not adequately engaged civil society to support this process,” the report said. “The steps taken by the government to investigate allegations of serious violations of human rights further have also been inconclusive, and lack the independence and impartiality required to inspire confidence.”Sri Lanka’s government disputed many of the findings. In a formal response that was released by Pillay’s office, Sri Lanka said it has taken steps to investigate more than 50 instances of civilian killings and all reported cases of alleged disappearances from the end of the war.The report comes as the Geneva-based council prepares to meet and take up the question of how well Sri Lanka has healed itself by uniting opposing factions after a war that the U.N. estimates killed 80,000 to 100,000 people. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments Share Patients with chronic pain give advice GENEVA (AP) – The United Nations’ top human rights official on Wednesday faulted Sri Lanka for failing to investigate reports of widespread killings and other atrocities toward the end of its bloody quarter-century civil war.In her report to the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also said opposition leaders are still being killed or abducted and the government has made no arrests or prosecutions in cases of disappearances. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories The government is expected to face questions from the council in March on its progress in following up on that report, which also recommends investigating alleged human rights violations and giving autonomy to Tamils. The United States has said it will sponsor a resolution at the council for a second straight year on the report’s implementation.Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week ruled out giving Tamils greater political autonomy, appearing to back away from his long-stalled promise to empower the ethnic minority as part of the country’s reconciliation process.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau (AP) – A military tribunal in Guinea-Bissau has convicted an army captain of leading a failed coup last year.Pansau Ntchama was sentenced on Thursday to serve five years in prison after being found guilty of treason and using illegal weapons.Ntchama was the ex-bodyguard of Guinea-Bissau’s former army chief of staff.Authorities say he led gunmen who attacked a military base near the airport in Bissau in October 2012. The army fought back and the coup failed. Troubled Guinea-Bissau has had so many coups and countercoups that no elected leader has been able to complete his term in the nearly four decades since the country won its independence from Portugal.The most recent coup occurred in April 2012, just weeks before the presidential runoff election.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Comments Share 5 ways to recognize low testosterone
SURGE OF PATIENTSThe number of prescriptions filled for hepatitis C drugs has more than doubled, from an average of 20,600 a month during the first three months of last year to a monthly average of 48,000 for the same period this year, according to IMS.“People are coming in who never wanted to be treated before,” said Dr. Douglas Dieterich, director of outpatient liver disease treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “When I started in 1989, I used to have a 3 percent cure rate. Now I have a 3 percent failure rate.”___SIMPLICITY’S APPEALHarvoni, the new pill from California-based Gilead Sciences, accounted for about three-fourths of the prescriptions filled for hepatitis C drugs in the first three months of this year, IMS said.A big part of the reason is simplicity, explained Dieterich. Patients on Harvoni need only take a single pill daily, for 12 weeks in most cases. Previously, patients took combinations of drugs.Harvoni quickly rose to the top after its approval last fall, with monthly sales crossing the $1-billion mark by January.Another new drug, Viekira Pak, is gaining market share but appears to be far behind. It’s an equally effective cure and priced lower. WASHINGTON (AP) — The $1,000 pill for a liver-wasting viral infection that made headlines last year is no longer the favorite of patients and doctors.The new leading pill for hepatitis C is more expensive, and the number of patients seeking a cure has surged.Sovaldi, last year’s wonder drug, has been pushed aside by a successor called Harvoni, made by the same company. The sticker price for Harvoni is $1,350 a pill. The fast-paced changes in hepatitis C treatment are being watched closely amid fears that breakthrough drugs could reignite the rise of U.S. health care costs. Other medications that could turn into cost drivers include a new treatment for melanoma and a cholesterol-lowering drug awaiting approval. More hepatitis C drugs are also headed to market.Hepatitis C affects some 3 million people in the U.S. and claims more lives here than AIDS. With the new drugs, patients finally have a choice among highly effective cures with minimal side effects. Previous treatments were hit and miss, and many patients couldn’t tolerate the side effects. But newfound choice doesn’t seem to have led to widespread price competition.“As a society we need a way of determining what is a reasonable price at the time of introduction of a new drug,” said Stephen Schondelmeyer, a University of Minnesota professor who specializes in pharmaceutical economics. “We have expanded coverage, but we haven’t done anything to control costs on the pricing side.”The Associated Press asked two companies that track the prescription drug market for a hepatitis C update. IMS Health collects data on pharmacy prescriptions and sales, while DRX surveys prices paid by private health plans and prescription benefit managers. What they found: Gilead spokeswoman Cara Miller said the company is working with public programs and private insurers to broaden access. Gilead estimates that 80 percent of insured people with hepatitis C have coverage for its medications.“We are pleased that many payers have recognized the value of our single-tablet regimen for hepatitis C and, in most cases, have chosen to open up broad access on their formularies,” Miller said. The company says its drugs will save the system money in the long run.Hepatitis C is complex, and treatments differ for its subtypes. Patients say it feels like a deep, never-ending fatigue. While the disease advances gradually, it can ultimately destroy the liver, and transplants average $577,000. It’s also a public health concern, since it can be transmitted by contact with infected blood, by drug users sharing needles, and sometimes through sexual activity.Daniel Rosario, a New Yorker who works in retail, said his insurer would not pay for Harvoni because his hepatitis C hadn’t advanced to the point of severe liver damage. He finally got his prescription at no charge through Gilead’s patient assistance program, which took into account his income. Still, Viekira Pak is a four-pill daily combination, and patients have to take another antiviral drug as well. It was introduced late last year by Illinois-based AbbVie.The extent of Viekira Pak’s inroads is hard to discern. The company has not disclosed prescription volumes. And a major pharmacy that promotes the drug does not report hepatitis C data to IMS.___NOT MANY DEEP DISCOUNTSDRX’s analysis of prices paid by private health plans shows the median discount for Harvoni was 13.7 percent between April and June.That reflects a modest price break for most insurers, including those delivering Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, said DRX executive vice president Jim Yocum.“This sets the stage for some of the new cancer drugs coming out, both in terms of a vast improvement in effectiveness and a vast increase in prices,” said Yocum. “This is a concern not only for commercial health plans, but for Medicare.”Medicare is barred from negotiating drug prices.___State Medicaid programs, however, and the federal Veterans Affairs health system are legally entitled to deep discounts.Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, said competition from Viekira Pak has enabled states to win bigger rebates from the manufacturers. But Salo says cost remains a “major, major problem” because of the large number of people with hepatitis C. At the median discounted price, a 12-week treatment regimen of Harvoni costs about $98,000. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall This photo taken Thursday, July 9, 2015, is the headquarters of Gilead Sciences in Foster City, Calif. Harvoni, the newest pill from California-based Gilead Sciences, accounted for more than three-fourths of the prescriptions filled for hepatitis-C drugs in the first three months of this year, according to IMS Health. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “I would have had to basically deplete my entire retirement,” Rosario said. “As much as I wanted to be cured, I would have not gone through the treatment and waited for another option.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona 0 Comments Share Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Bee Gees star, Robin Gibb is still ‘stayin’ alive’ at age 60 – the eccentric singer allegedly became so enraged when asked to submit to extra security checks at Heathrow that he refused to fly. Gibb, who was supposed to fly from Heathrow to Los Angeles, was sitting with his fellow passengers in the British Airways first-class lounge when the incident occurred. He was asked at random to undergo further checks and be patted down by staff but The Sun newspaper claimed he quickly lost his temper. An anonymous witness told the paper: “He went absolutely crazy and was swearing his head off at the check-in team. “It wasn’t their fault – people are selected at random by the computer for extra checks. But he wasn’t having any of it. “He was told by security to calm down or he would not be able to fly. He told them to eff off. “When it became clear to him he could not board without the extra checks he stormed out. “He was spitting feathers and everyone in the lounge was horrified.” After the incident, Gibb is believed to have transferred his £5,000 first class ticket to a later date.A BA spokeswoman told the paper: “A passenger who was due to fly to LA voluntarily chose not to travel because they did not want to be subjected to additional security searches.” Robin Gibb
The Hertz Corporation has acquired car sharing company Flexicar after signing an agreement yesterday. The Australian car company will be integrated into Connect by Hertz car sharing after its scheduled closure on 1 December. Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark P. Frissora said acquiring Flexicar was part of the company’s overall plan to offer customers “mobility solutions”. “The Flexicar acquisition, Connect’s first foray into the Australian market, will further strengthen our global car sharing footprint, enabling us to reach a greater audience and to provide our worldwide members access to car sharing vehicles in a sixth country,” Mr Frissora said. The Melbourne based car sharing company currently operates 90 vehicles and has up to 2,500 members throughout Melbourne and Sydney. “The Australian car sharing market closely mirrors the markets in which Connect serves, including residential, college campuses, and the business community,” Hertz Global Sales Senior Vice President Robert Stuart said. “With a growing membership base and strong car utilization rate, Flexicar provides Connect with immediate access to these key markets.” Despite the integration, Hertz said Flexicar founder Monique Conheady will remain as Director of Australian Car Sharing Operations. “We’re excited that we will be joining the Connect by Hertz family,” she said. “Hertz’s infrastructure will enable Flexicar to tap into a wider array of resourced, including its state of the art technology, while providing members with greater products and services to enhance their overall experience.” Hertz has assured Flexicar members will benefit from the acquisition with new in-car technology as well as increased access to cars and locations.Flexicar was founded in 2005 on the principle to offer Australian’s affordable alternative car ownership. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M A US-bound Qantas flight from Sydney has been diverted to Fiji overnight following a fuel valve fault to its Boeing 747-400 aircraft, adding another incident to its recent spate of safety scares for the airline. Flight QF 107 to New York with almost 400 passengers was forced to land at Nadi airport at 6:20 ADST, with twenty passengers transferred shortly after onto an Air Pacific flight to Los Angeles. The remaining travellers and crew were given accommodation in Fiji overnight, and has since departed to LA this morning after engineers were able to fix the fault, according to a report in SMH today. Recent Qantas safety incidents include Saturday’s delay of QF11 from Sydney to Los Angeles due to engine problems before takeoff, and QF430 from Melbourne to Sydney which was turned back after a possible problem with the Boeing 767’s wingflaps.The airline resumed A380 flights to LA in January, lifting its grounding of the jets following a mid-air explosion in November.
In an exclusive Australian interview with e-Travel Blackboard, Mr Andréen described the new system as a type of “marketplace” designed to meet lacking hotel needs in the industry.After surveying and working with the industry Travelport found that other booking platforms met agency requirements by only 10 to 15 percent.The hospitality head said that the GDS will benefit the industry by providing 700,000 accommodation offerings today and up to 1.2 million before the end of the year. “With one login [agents] get access to multiple hotel providers they wouldn’t necessarily have access to,” Mr Andréen stated.While the platform is available to all agencies across the globe, Travelport subscribers are able to use the platform to combine a customer’s bookings, have quick and easy access to the information and are able to offer clients pay-on-departure. Mr Andréen explained that while Rooms and More is kicking off with hotel bookings, the ‘More’ signifies that the product has an evolving nature which will incorporate other fields in time.“Currently in a lot of countries we have local offers around destination services and chauffer services and they are all areas we are looking to expand into the product as it grows,” he said.“We wanted to make sure we got the right offering out and then we have the capability to expand, we didn’t want to change its name as we go along.”Mr Andréen concluded that Travelport’s decision to double its staff earlier this year in order to develop the hospitality field has already paid itself off. Agents will no longer need to chase their hotel booking commissions following the launch of Travelport’s new hotel GDS, Rooms and More, which localises business into one platform. Rolling out from 4 July, the new system works with up to 20 aggregators to not only offer agents access to some 200,000 hotels across the globe and over 700,000 hotel pricing offers, but also removes agents’ stress in collecting commission, Travelport Group hospitality and partner marketing vice president Niklas Andréen told e-Travel Blackboard.“When agents spread business across multiple aggregators they have to chase and collect commission, so one of the areas we’ve also focused on was to make sure we collected the commissions for the agents,” Mr Andréen explained.According to Mr Andréen agents can focus on their business, secure in the knowledge “they’ll get their commission”.Commission is decided by the aggregator, the vice president of hospitality said and can vary between five to ten percent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.