German police arrest Casablanca bombings suspect

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy BERLIN (AP) – German police say they have arrested a 37-year-old French citizen wanted by Moroccan authorities in connection with the 2003 bombings in Casablanca that killed 45 people.A dozen suicide bombers blew themselves up May 16, 2003, in tourist areas of the Moroccan city, killing 33 others.German Federal Police say the unnamed suspect was arrested Monday at Munich airport while transiting from Paris to Dubai with his family.center_img Check your body, save your life Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Police said in a statement Tuesday that the Moroccan-born man is currently being held in detention awaiting extradition proceedings.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Obama salutes Marines in crashed helicopter in Nepal

Obama salutes Marines in crashed helicopter in Nepal

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   Obama addressed the crash victims during remarks at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service outside the U.S. Capitol.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Nepalese army soldiers prepare to leave for a rescue mission to the site where the suspected wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter, that disappeared earlier this week while on a relief mission in the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation, was spotted, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, May 15, 2015. Nepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of the chopper that was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers. The U.S. Marines said they were sending their own rescue team to assess the wreckage and determine if it was the missing helicopter, the UH-1 “Huey.” (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expressing condolences to the families of six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers who were in a helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in an earthquake-ravaged region of Nepal.Obama says the Marines “represent a truth that guides our work around the world: When our friends are in need, America helps.”Nepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of the Marine helicopter. The craft had disappeared earlier this week, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Amnesty accuses Myanmar government of intimidating media

first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The Information Ministry last year sued 11 staff members of the Myanmar Herald weekly journal under a media law for printing an article referring to President Thein Sein as a fool, and five people including the CEO, editor-in-chief, editor and publisher from the influential newspaper “Daily Eleven” are being sued for defamation for publishing a report about alleged irregularities in the purchase of a printing press by the ministry.“The media plays a crucial role in holding a free and fair election,” said Zaw Thet Htway, a former political prisoner under the military regime and editor-in-chief of the weekly “Tomorrow” news journal.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ye Htut said that because Myanmar is still making a transition to democracy, it has to measure freedom based on “the country’s fragile social and political factors, freedom along with responsibility and abidance of media ethics.”Myanmar most serious challenges include placating armed ethnic minorities who for decades have been seeking greater autonomy, and ending often violent communal tensions between Buddhist and Muslims. The upcoming polls are expected to see Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party perform strongly against the current military-backed government, threatening the power of the army, which many see as still pulling the strings in running the country.Amnesty cited the cases since 2014 of at least 10 journalists imprisoned from two to seven years under criminal charges and “vaguely formulated laws” and the killing of a journalist in military custody.The group charged that the authorities are also often dragging the media through lengthy and costly legal processes, or relying on collective punishment where the response to one critical story is prosecuting several people from the same outlet to effectively shut down the whole outlet. YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s government is using threats, harassment and imprisonment to intimidate the media ahead of national elections later this year, Amnesty International said Wednesday.The London-based human rights group said efforts to restrict freedom of expression have intensified over the past year, with at least 10 members of the media currently languishing in prison, all of them jailed in the last 12 months. Such actions belie claims of liberalization since the country started a democratic transition in 2011 from a military regime to an elected civilian government that vowed democratic reforms, Amnesty said in a 22-page report.Significant changes have been made in moving the country to a free-market economy, and Myanmar has a parliament for the first time in more than two decades. Formal censorship has been dropped and the electronic and print media opened to competition, but the government has aggressively prosecuted publications and journalists over stories it has found offensive.“What we are seeing in Myanmar today is repression dressed up as progress,” Amnesty said in a statement that quoted its Southeast Asia research director, Rupert Abbott. “Authorities are still relying on the same old tactics — arrests, surveillance, threats and jail time to muzzle those journalists who cover ‘inconvenient’ topics.”Information Minister and presidential spokesman Ye Htut disputed Amnesty’s criticism.“We usually don’t pay attention to such statements by international organizations because they focus solely on freedom of expression,” he said. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Escape by top drug lord a strong blow to Mexicos government

Escape by top drug lord a strong blow to Mexicos government

first_imgWidely considered the world’s richest and most powerful drug trafficker before his capture last year, Guzman slipped down a shaft from his prison cell’s shower area late Saturday and disappeared into a sophisticated mile-long (1.5 kilometer-long) tunnel with ventilation, lighting and a motorcycle apparently used to move dirt.“All the accolades that Mexico has received in their counter-drug efforts will be erased by this one event” if Guzman is not recaptured, said Michael S. Vigil, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief of international operations.More than anything else, the escape undermined Mexico’s assertion it can deal with top drug lords at home and doesn’t need to extradite them to the U.S. The national pride that appeared to motivate Pena Nieto’s administration to prosecute drug lords like Guzman through its own court system has now turned into a national embarrassment.“This is regrettable, very bad, because it without doubt affects the image of Mexico in the world,” Mexican Sen. Luis Miguel Barbosa told journalists in Paris on Monday. He was part of a delegation traveling with the Mexican president to the French capital. MEXICO CITY (AP) — The capture of drug lord Joaquin Guzman was the crowning achievement of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government in its war against drug cartels, a beacon of success amid domestic woes. That makes the bold escape by “El Chapo” from a maximum security prison all the more devastating.A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman by Monday, more than 24 hours after he got away. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day “You have to completely renew the Mexican prison system. The arrest of all warders and managers is not enough,” he said. “This happened due to collaboration from within the jail at the highest level.”According to a report from the Congressional Research Service in May, extraditions from Mexico to the U.S. peaked at 115 in 2012, the last year of Pena Nieto’s predecessor, Felipe Calderon. There were 66 last year.The escape route apparently was built over the last year right under authorities’ noses into a supposedly escape-proof lockup. Its scale has raised suspicions of corruption that could most discourage the U.S., Mexico’s main ally that has poured more than $1 billion into joint efforts at battling organized crime cartels, much of it focused on reforming the criminal justice system.The United States was already stinging from a court decision in August 2013 to free drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero on procedural grounds, overturning his conviction in the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Caro Quintero hasn’t been seen in public since then.“For the most-wanted criminal to escape from the highest-security prison is going to create conflicts, the first of them with the United States,” Mexican security expert Jorge Chabat said Sunday. Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, said Guzman’s second escape is even worse for Pena Nieto than if he had never captured him.“In the context of the drug war it is the president’s worst failure,” Benitez said.___Associated Press writers Mark Stevenson in Mexico City, Maria Verza in Almoloya, Mexico, Michael Tarm in Chicago, Maggy Donaldson in Paris and Jorge Sainz in Madrid contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Manuel Ballbe, director of School of Risk Prevention at Spain’s Autonomous University of Barcelona, said it was important for the U.S. to push for extraditions.“International pressure is the check and balance against the state’s corrupt powers,” Ballbe said.The bold and well-engineered escape also illustrates that simply capturing such a powerful figure without dismantling his financial network is insufficient, he said.“Holding a drug lord inside the country does not affect his financial capacity,” Ballbe said. “It is very difficult for the state to do something against the size of the bribes that these networks can produce.”U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement that “we share the government of Mexico’s concern regarding the escape of Joaquin Guzman,” adding that “the U.S. government stands ready to work with our Mexican partners to provide any assistance that may help support his swift recapture.”But Peter Bensinger, a former administrator of the DEA, said he expects that U.S. officials have expressed their anger to their Mexican counterparts.“He ought to have been housed in an American prison,” Bensinger said. “Mexican authorities will come in for tremendous criticism, as they should.” Federal police guard a drainage pipe outside of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country’s top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) Sponsored Stories Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   The escape also hurt Pena Nieto domestically. He had campaigned on one main promise — to diminish drug cartel violence — and had claimed success in attacking drug gang capos like no administration before, arresting or killing essentially all the top leadership of the Zetas, Beltran Leyva and Knights Templar cartels.It was a highlight for an administration struggling on other fronts, including a lackluster economy and scandals over the disappearance of 43 college students, and the purchase by the president’s wife of a mansion, known as the “white house,” from a government contractor.“This hurts him a lot. It is an administration that already has a lot of image problems, with the scandals over the students and the ‘white house,’ and now this comes along and paints them as an administration with serious problems of inefficiency and corruption,” Chabat said.Just as painful are memories of the cocksure way officials reacted after they captured Guzman in February 2014, some 13 years after the Sinaloa Cartel boss managed to flee from Mexico’s only other maximum-security prison.Pena Nieto said in a televised interview that allowing him to escape again would be “unforgiveable.” Jesus Murillo Karam, his attorney general at the time, said the possibility of another Guzman escape “does not exist.” Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

Airports attack transTasman alliance

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue have submitted a 59 page report to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, denying rumours that their trans-Tasman alliance will reduce competition and increase fares. The submission comes after New Zealand airports claimed the alliance would not only cut competition but lead to a decrease in passenger numbers The Australian reported. The report argued against the airports claims, accusing their analysis of using “selective data, containing inconsistencies, factual errors, and are misleading”. The report outlined the new alliance “would ease the limits on frequency and connecting services, resulting in increased passenger numbers and providing better schedules likely to produce additional frequencies and more direct routes”.last_img read more

Social media helps KLM passengers choose their seat buddy

Social media helps KLM passengers choose their seat buddy

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) has released a new Meet & Seat program, which allows solo travellers to choose a seat-buddy travelling to the same destination based on their social media profiles.Unveiled this month, the carrier said as well as travellers choosing their own seat they can now choose the person they sit next to through the new service that allows them share their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles through Manage my Booking and search others who have done the same. Once the traveller has located a passenger they would prefer to sit with they will be presented with a map that shows where the other passenger has chosen to sit and they can then select the closest seat.To eradicate privacy fears, those who have selected to upload their profile can choose as much or as little they wish to share and can edit their details at any time. The carrier has also assured it will not use the profile details for any other purpose and all information will be removed 48 hour after the flight has departed. Meet & Greet bookings are available only to bookings with one passenger on flights between Amsterdam and New York, San Francisco and Sao Paulo and can be made from 90 days to 48 hours before departure.The carrier said it hopes to eventually have the service available on many more KLM flights. last_img read more

Evolution of luxury lands in Sydney Luxperience

first_imgMona Tannous (Oman Tourism), Helen Logas (Luxperience) Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Angelya Vassiliadis-Balaguer, Veronica Rainbird (Sunshine Coast Destination), Rodney Muller (Ski Max Holidays), Julie King (Dubai Tourism),Carlah Walton (Dubai Tourism), Rosemarie Sama (Luxperience) Teree George (Jumeriah Hotels & Resorts), Anthony Valeriano (e-Travel Blackboard), Angelya Vassiliadis-Balaguer,Veronica Rainbird (Sunshine Coast Destination) The ‘creme de la creme’ of  luxury and experiential travel providers will be flocking to Australian shores, according to Luxperience co-founder Rosemarie Sama, who said the three day event will expose the country’s luxurious assets on a global platform.Selecting Sydney as the host city for the inaugural exhibition held from 10 – 12 September this year, Ms Sama explained the exclusive event would attract some of the world’s top travel designers for high net worth individuals who would experience Australia’s high-class luxury.“Experiential travel has become the new buzz word with objects of desire available to anybody willing to splash out, people are looking for something more,” she said.“An experience and the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary will take centre stage.“Our vision for Luxperience has been built upon this trend with the evolution of luxury being more than just a physical object.”Speaking last night at the Luxperience Sensory Journey, Louise McAlpine from Destination NSW added that the luxury market was a key sector for NSW and would help the region reach its 2020 goals.“NSW is planning to double our expenditure by 2020 and the luxury market will definitely help us with that,” Ms McAlpine said.As well as pushing luxury and experiential travel over the three day event, Ms Sama noted that Luxperience would also act as a unique 365-day a year community through it’s LuxConnect platform.Commencing from May this year, she explained the service would help facilitate engagement and conversation for buyers, suppliers and media through monthly webinars and continual interaction.“It also allows contracted suppliers to commence online networking and sales opportunities with pre-qualified VIP buyers,” she added.Luxperience will be held in Sydney from 10 – 12  September, 2012.  www.luxperience.com.aulast_img read more

Lonely Planet were still committed to quality content

Lonely Planet were still committed to quality content

first_imgLonely Planet says it has no plans to exit the content business, squashing reports that recent editorial cuts in Melbourne, Australia signified a move away from hardcopy guides and into digital content.Last week, the company, which was recently sold to US based digital development company, NC2 Media, launched a new business structure that resulted in cuts of up to 80 writer, photographer and content creator positions at its Footscray office in Melbourne.As part of the new structure, Lonely Planet will focus on building its online presence as well as support traditional methods of gathering information.In a statement, the company stressed reports of exiting the content business and moving all digital roles into the US are “inaccurate”.“There are currently no plans to reduce our breadth of destination content, or our product offering in digital or print,” the statement read.  “Reports of large-scale cuts to our guidebook publishing list are unfounded and categorically untrue and Lonely Planet is committed to continuing to publish guidebooks.”Lonely Planet chief operating officer Daniel Houghton added that they hope to build on the company’s 40-year heritage and continue to inspire travel.Meanwhile, tour operator, Intrepid Travel has announced it exploring new employment opportunities that could possible create positions for a number of Lonely Planet staff made redundant this week.Click here for more information.  Source = ETB News: N.J. Company stresses it has nointention of cutting content creation.last_img read more

Pilots Association call for second Sydney airport

Pilots Association call for second Sydney airport

first_imgBadgerys Creek has been named as the desired location. Image: AFP Earlier this year, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee called for Badgerys Creek to be named as the site of Sydney’s secondary airport. “Badgerys Creek is by far the best option and we urge Tony Abbott and Barry O’Farrell to now get on and make it happen.” IATA director general Tony Tyler also stressed the imperative requirement of a second airport. “Pilots are forced to carry 20 minutes holding heading into Sydney – more than most major airports – which adds to fuel costs and is generally inefficient. “When pilots can’t land at Kingsford Smith, due to weather or traffic issues, they are forced to use Canberra, Melbourne or Brisbane as alternates,” Mr Safe said.center_img Issues surrounding density can trigger knock-on inefficiencies, such as lengthy gate waiting times, according to newly-elected AIPA president Nathan Safe. In order to relieve the pressure at Kingsford Smith Airport, the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has said the only remaining option is for a secondary airport at Badgerys Creek. Sydney is one of the only major global cities without a second alternate airport and this has caused numerous problems for passengers and pilots, according to the Pilots Association. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Sales open for MSC Meraviglia

Sales open for MSC Meraviglia

first_imgMSC Cruises has announced that sales for the inaugural summer 2017 cruises of MSC Meraviglia, its first next generation of ship, will open today for an exclusive two week pre-sale.Sales for cruises aboard this ground breaking 315-m long ship will first open exclusively to MSC Club members, as befits a programme that rewards and best serves loyalty guests across MSC Cruises’ growing fleet. Then, on the 5th of July, sales will open to the public to meet the already strong demand from other cruise lovers and experienced travellers.Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises, declared: “The opening of sales marks yet another decisive milestone in MSC Cruises’ expansion plan, especially as MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural cruise will take place in two years’ time.“MSC Meraviglia is a true maritime marvel and will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced. We are thrilled to offer MSC Club members the first pick to book their unique holiday experience so far in advance, another way in which we provide best-in-class service,” he added.MSC Meraviglia will be the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line. The cutting-edge 5,700-guest, 167,600-GRT ship — due to be delivered in May 2017—will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.MSC Meraviglia will be a ship full of cutting-edge technology and will feature a range of services ranging from ‘Near Field Communication’ technology to mobile applications and the use of smart devices throughout the ship, thus enabling guests to interact with the ship and the onboard community or select and plan their activities.  Another jaw-dropping feature, and an industry first, will be a 480-square-metre LED screen, which forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade.With such an innovative ship, the Company also introduces new cabins that will enhance the holiday experience, with specially crafted Family and Super Family cabins, duplex cabins and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the wholly self-contained luxury area on the prestigious foredecks, a vast solarium and a private lounge and restaurant.MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022. Explore MSC MeravigliaSource = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

British Airways starts flying its Airbus A380 daily

British Airways starts flying its Airbus A380 daily

first_imgBritish Airways starts flying its Airbus A380 dailyBritish Airways today announced great value fares from Singapore to London to celebrate the beginning of its daily Airbus A380 service from 20 November 2015.From just S$1,257 in World Travel economy class and S$2,316 in World Travel Plus premium economy, passengers from Singapore can now fly in ‘one of the quietest cabins in the sky’ to London every day.Launched on the route one year ago, the A380 is part of the airline’s S$11 billion investment to improve customer experience in the air and on the ground. In addition, British Airways also opened a new and dedicated lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 1 last month as part of this investment.For customers looking for the added comfort of travelling in a fully flat bed, fares to London in Club World business class start from S$6,265 and from S$10,565 in First.The special return fares are available for booking from now until 16 November 2015. The fares are valid for travel for departure from Singapore between 1 November, 2015 until 30 June 2016.Robert Williams, British Airways’ head of Asia Pacific sales, said: “The A380 is the largest aircraft in our fleet that is designed with the modern standard of comfort. Since its inaugural flight on the route last October, it has proven to be really popular with our customers here and we are very pleased to be extending the service to daily.“The start of the daily service also means that all British Airways aircraft departing Singapore will now feature our latest cabin products, ensuring customers travelling from Singapore to both London and Sydney do so in absolute style and comfort.”The A380 service will temporarily serve the route three times a week between 25 December 2015 and 24 February 2016 when the aircraft undergoes scheduled maintenance. The A380 daily service will resume on the route from 25 February 2016.The double decked superjumbo offers customers one of the quietest cabins in the sky, with bigger overhead bins, extra storage space, cleaner air, mood lighting, improved in-flight entertainment and more power sockets for personal electronic equipment. British AirwaysSource = British Airwayslast_img read more

Investment in Queensland based agencies

Investment in Queensland based agencies

first_imgSource = Helloworld Travel Limited Investment in Queensland based agenciesInvestment in Queensland based agenciesHelloworld Travel Limited (ASX: HLO) is pleased to today announce that it has agreed to purchase a minority shareholding in Queensland based company Cooney Investments Pty Ltd, operators of branded network member agencies Helloworld Travel Mackay and Helloworld Travel Mount Pleasant and also the very successful and industry recognized Hosted Journeys Group Travel and Events products.Owned and operated by Managing Director John Cooney, the two multi award winning Queensland based agencies have a highly successful track record and history with the Helloworld Travel group, having been members of the branded network for 31 years.“John Cooney and his teams in Mackay and Mount Pleasant have been among our most successful franchise operators with over thirty years of history with the company” said Helloworld Travel Limited CEO and Managing Director Andrew Burnes.John Cooney echoed the sentiments saying “We have been with Helloworld Travel in its current and previous guises and to take this next step is a demonstration of our strong partnership and commitment. I have no doubt it will bring with it great results for all of us.”About Helloworld Travel LimitedTravel Broker networks, Qantas Holidays, Go Holidays in New Zealand, AOT Inbound, ATS Pacific, QBT, Sunlover Holidays and Insider JourneysHelloworld Travel Limited (ASX: HLO) is a leading Australian & New Zealand travel distribution company, comprising retail travel franchise operations, destination management services (inbound), air ticket consolidation, wholesale, corporate and online operations. This includes “Helloworld Travel”, Australia’s largest network of franchised travel agents, as well as our Corporate, Associate, Affiliate and“Helloworld Travel” is a nationwide network of independently owned and operated retail travel agencies offering Australia and New Zealand outstanding service, and the best value, tailor-made leisure and corporate travel experiencesHLO has over 2000 staff located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, South East Asia, India and UK/EuropeHelloworld Travel is the proud naming rights partner of Volleyball Australia and the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos men’s and women’s national teamsHelloworld Travel is a major sponsor of Basketball Australia and the Australian BoomersHelloworld Travel is a major sponsor of the Carlton Football Club including “Carlton IN Business“last_img read more

PATA launches youth component of food waste campaign BUFFET for Youth

PATA launches youth component of food waste campaign BUFFET for Youth

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) launched the “BUFFET for Youth” – a challenge targeted at the next generation of tourism leaders that builds on the BUFFET initiative – a PATA food waste campaign and is open to PATA  Young Tourism Professional (YTP) student members, PATA Student Chapter members and students enrolled in an educational institution that is a PATA International member. The announcement was made by JC Wong, Young Tourism Professional, Ambassador,  PATA and Veronika Forstmeier, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Associate, PATA, held at the Asia Pacific Youth & Sustainable Tourism Workshop held at the UN Building in Bangkok, Thailand.The challenge was focused on the crossroads of where young tourism students and the issue of food waste meet to create a future of sustainable production and consumption.Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA said, “By giving them the resources, confidence and experience in the subject of food waste reduction and prevention, we are instilling the value of food and providing the appropriate tools that can help make an immediate and tangible impact in our industry and our region.”As part of the challenge, participants will be asked to develop and eventually implement food waste reduction solutions on their campuses. The winning team will be invited to attend PATA Travel Mart 2018 in Langkawi, Malaysia and present their case study during the PATA Youth Symposium. The winning case study will also be published in a PATA report, and showcased on the PATA sustainability website, sustain.PATA.org, for six months.last_img read more

Brazil receives 6588770 international tourists in 2017

Brazil receives 6588770 international tourists in 2017

first_imgThe tourism industry is one of the major economic generators for Brazil and in 2017 Brazil welcomed 6,588,770 international tourists, beating the records of 2016 with 6,546,696 tourists and 6,429,852 tourists in 2014.The increase in Brazil tourism last year can be mostly attributed to visitors from Brazil’s South American neighbours.In 2017, the number of South American tourists in Brazil increased 11%t, rising from 3.7 million in 2016 to 4.1 million in 2017. These 4.1 million visitors from South America represent 62% of the total number of overseas visitors to Brazil last year.Topping the list of countries with the most of the international tourists that visited Brazil in 2017 was Argentina.Brazil’s neighbour to the south accounted for 2,622,327 visitors last year, almost 40 percent of all of Brazil’s international tourists and 14% more than in 2016.The United States had the second most tourists to Brazil in 2017, sending some 475,200 tourists last year, a decrease of 7% from 2016.  The foreign tourists are visiting Brazil in 2017, 4.2 million (64%), travel by airline. The airline companies are marked high while travelling to Brazil. It is about 2.25 million visitors (34%) traveled by car, with the remaining 140,000 traveling by ship.last_img read more

Kerala Tourism to appoint third genders and differently abled

Kerala Tourism to appoint third genders and differently abled

first_imgKerala Tourism will soon hire 1,000 tourism resource persons as part of an initiative to promote tourism in the state at the grass-roots level.With a motive to create equality for all the citizens of the state, the government has taken this step to post the third gender and differently abled for tourism promotions in 14 districts of the State.As far as the qualification is concerned, any 12th pass individual can apply for this job with no previous experiences in the tourism field.P Bala Kiran, Director of Kerala Tourism said, “We want to ensure vibrant participation of the transgender community and the differently abled.”A two-day training session was held last month at Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Wayanad and Kozhikode for hired resource persons and their role would be to ensure 100% increase in foreign and 50% in domestic tourist arrivals by 2022.last_img read more

Fed President Bullish on the US Economy

Fed President Bullish on the US Economy

first_img February 7, 2012 438 Views Share The president of the “”St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank””:www.stlouisfed.org/, James Bullard, made national headlines recently following his strong statements regarding the state of U.S. real estate. Among the revelations included in Bullard’s February speech – the declaration that nation’s housing markets have officially “”hit bottom.””[IMAGE]During his speaking engagement in Chicago, Bullard applied pressure to the “”Federal Open Market Committee””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm, calling the group’s decision to extend ultra-low interest rates until 2014 a “”looming disaster”” for the country. “”If we continue using this [COLUMN_BREAK]interpretation of events, it may be very difficult for the U.S. to ever move off of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates,”” Bullard said of the FOMC’s actions.Bullard cited the decline in U.S. home prices and resulting “”permanent loss of wealth”” as evidence against the FOMC’s argument that the country’s economic slack demanded that rates be kept near zero. He went on to state that the central bank’s policy “”punishes savers in the economy”” and “”hurts older Americans.””””The risks have to be weighed against the rewards,”” Bullard said. “”We shouldn’t do any further QE unless we see deterioration in the economy and especially a threat of deflation that is rising considerably higher than it is today.””Commenting on his current position, Bullard reiterated his endorsement of the Fed’s 2 percent target for inflation. Bullard added that the Fed’s inflation initiatives “”will serve the nation well for years.””Bullard elaborated on his predictions for the nation’s economic picture during 2012, noting that he anticipates unemployment levels in the U.S. will fall below 8 percent. Additionally, Bullard stated that he believes economic improvement around the country will meet or exceed 3 percent. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-02-07 Abby Gregorycenter_img Fed President ‘Bullish’ on the U.S. Economy in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

ICBA Appoints New VP of Marketing

ICBA Appoints New VP of Marketing

first_img August 16, 2012 459 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology ICBA Appoints New VP of Marketing Financial industry organization, “”Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)””:www.icba.org/, is welcoming a new vice president. [IMAGE]ICBA recently announced the appointment of Andrea Bona as VP of marketing for the association.[COLUMN_BREAK]In her new role, Bona will develop marketing initiatives and campaigns to benefit the 7,000-plus members of ICBA. Additionally, Bona will oversee digital and social media marketing strategy for the organization.With more than two decades of experience in multi-channel marketing, branding, and publishing for the trade and consumer sectors, Bona was the founder and managing partner of “”One Orange Feather, Inc.””:www.oneorangefeather.com/, prior to teaming up with ICBA. Bona has also previously served as the VP of strategic marketing for the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:www.mbaa.org/.””Andrea is a seasoned marketing professional whose past experience will no doubt be of tremendous value to ICBA and our members going forward,”” said Chris Lorence, ICBA executive vice president/chief marketing officer. “”Andrea’s vast association and business experience, combined with her knowledge of the banking and publishing industries, will help ICBA as we continue to communicate key initiatives and opportunities with our members.””center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-16 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more

Beige Book Sees Moderate Growth Sequester Threat

Beige Book Sees Moderate Growth Sequester Threat

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Commercial Real Estate Consumer spending Demand For-Sale Homes Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-04-17 Mark Lieberman Despite threats from the federal budget sequester, the nation’s economy expanded “”at a moderate pace”” from late February to early April, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its periodic “”Beige Book””:http://federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/files/Beigebook_20130417.pdf. [IMAGE]Activity in five Federal Reserve Districts–Cleveland, Richmond, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City–was described as growing at a moderate pace, while in five other districts–Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco–growth was notched slightly slower as “”modest.”” In the two remaining districts–New York and Dallas–growth “”accelerated slightly”” since the previous Beige Book seven weeks ago.While most districts reported an increase in manufacturing (specifically in industries tied to residential construction and automobiles) several districts reported “”uncertainty or weakness in defense-related sectors,”” a clear reference to the federal budget sequestration cuts, which began March 1. The previous Beige Book had been issued on March 6, too soon to reflect those cuts.At the same time, the Beige Book said “”consumer spending grew modestly,”” with some districts citing higher gasoline prices, expiration of the payroll tax cut, and winter weather as “”restraining sales growth.””Reports from four districts–Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond and Chicago–specifically cited concerns about the federal sequester cuts. The Richmond report expected a reduction in government-rate hotel bookings and speculated “”that sequestration had put potential [home] buyers on the sidelines.””The Chicago report said “”uncertainty surrounding sequestration had affected their customer’s [manufacturing] orders,”” while in the Philadelphia district, the sequester slowed financial transactions, and the Boston district cited contacts who said “”the federal sequester poses a threat to [Rhode Island’s] defense industry””Indeed, according to the Beige Book, “”numerous districts reported uncertainty or weakness in military or defense-related sectors,”” with the San Francisco district reporting furloughs, layoffs, and plant closures at defense-related manufacturers. Meanwhile, “”military customers in the Chicago District were taking measures to lower costs in anticipation of tighter future defense budgets.””Those concerns were offset by reports of “”strength in residential construction”” increasing manufacturing increases in several districts with an increase in demand for wood products. According to the report, “”a sawmill in Montana restarted production after idling for more than four years”” and “”a Dallas district lumber firm noted a seasonal demand increase for the first time in several years.””At the same time, the Beige Book said, “”automobile sales remained strong or increased moderately”” in most of the country since the last report, with “”a slight decline in sales of used vehicles”” in New York and Cleveland. Residential real estate activity, the report said, “”continued to improve in most districts”” with some–notably Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco–reporting “”increased momentum since the last report.”” New York, the Beige Book summary said, reported “”especially strong improvement in residential real estate-both in for-sale housing and apartment markets.””Home sales continued to rise in most with low home inventories were restraining sales, keeping growth modest in Boston and Richmond. “”Tight inventories and strong sales led to rising home prices in … Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco,”” the report said.The Beige Book also said “”new home construction continued to pick up”” in most areas, “”although the Richmond District said that a low supply of residential building materials had stalled construction.””The report cited improved commercial real estate and construction activity with office vacancy rates declining, for example, in the Boston District as construction of mixed-use projects increased. New York also reported office vacancy rates continued to decline, and rents rose in Manhattan. Commercial construction, the report said, was improving in New York, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. Loan demand, according to the Beige Book, was “”steady to slightly up”” at most of the district banks that commented on lending, though the Philadelphia district said “”loan volumes softened somewhat since the previous report.”” Other districts–New York, Cleveland, and Dallas–described the increase in loan demand as either “”widespread”” or “”broad-based”” for both consumer and business loans. Reports on mortgage lending, the Beige Book said, “”were mostly favorable”” with stronger refinancing activity in New York and Atlanta. The Cleveland and Kansas City districts, according to the report, “”noted a shift from mortgage refinancing to new purchases,”” and New York, Richmond, Dallas, and San Francisco “”reported an uptick in residential mortgage loans.””Preparation of the Beige Book rotates among the 12 Federal Reserve banks. Some analysts believe the tenor of the report changes based on which Bank prepares the summary. Wednesday’s report was compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which last prepared the report in June 2012, when it struck a moderate tone. _Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern time._ Fed,Beige Book Sees Moderate Growth, Sequester Threat April 17, 2013 432 Views center_img in Data, Government Sharelast_img read more

ThirdQuarter Refinancers to Save 6B Over Next Year

ThirdQuarter Refinancers to Save 6B Over Next Year

first_img Despite a steady climb in mortgage interest rates since May, borrowers continued to take advantage of low rates to refinance into lower monthly payments, “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ reported Tuesday.[IMAGE]According to the results of the company’s latest quarterly refinance analysis, the average interest rate reduction among those who refinanced in Q3 was about 1.8 percentage points, representing a savings of about 30 percent ($3,500 over 12 months on a $200,000 loan). For borrowers who refinanced last quarter, the estimated interest savings over the next year will be about $6 billion.For those who refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the average rate reduction in Q3 was 1.9 percent points, representing savings of $3,850 over the next 12 months.[COLUMN_BREAK]The number of borrowers deciding to shorten their loan terms last quarter rose 5 percent to a share of 37 percent, the highest level since 1992, Freddie Mac reported. Out of those who refinanced outside of HARP, 40 percent shortened their term; 32 percent of HARP borrowers did the same.Out of all refinancers, 59 percent kept the same term, and 4 percent lengthened their term.The vast majority–more than 95 percent, according to Freddie Mac–of refinancing borrowers went with a fixed-rate loan in Q3, with fixed rates being preferable regardless of what the original loan product had been. Only 3 percent of borrowers who had a fixed-rate late chose to refinance into an adjustable-rate mortgage.The median age the original loan was outstanding before refinance in Q3 was 6.7 years, an increase from Q2 and the highest age since analysis began in 1985.””With mortgage rates remaining below 5 percent for most of the past four years, relatively few homeowners with loans taken in this period would have much incentive to refinance,”” Freddie Mac said in its report.An estimated $6.4 billion in net home equity was cashed out during third-quarter refinances of prime-credit home mortgages–a low level compared to historical volumes. Cash-out refinance volume peaked at $84 billion during the second quarter of 2006; adjusted for inflation, annual cash-out volumes from 2010-2013 have been the smallest since 1997. in Data, Origination Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Refinance Service Providers 2013-11-12 Tory Barringer refinance,Third-Quarter Refinancers to Save $6B Over Next Yearcenter_img November 12, 2013 429 Views Sharelast_img read more

HighEnd Home Sales Booming as Lower Tiers Fizzle

HighEnd Home Sales Booming as Lower Tiers Fizzle

first_img While home sales have largely struggled so far this year, there’s one market segment that’s actually holding up well, according to Redfin: the very highest price tier.In a look at sales trends, the brokerage found that sales of homes in the uppermost price range are up 21.1 percent compared to last year. While that’s down from a gain of 35.7 percent recorded in 2013, it’s still far ahead of the rest of the market, which has seen a 7.6 percent drop in sales.”For the top 1 percent, the housing market is still booming,” said Redfin analyst Troy Martin in a blog post. “But for the rest of the market, the recovery is running out of gas.”In fact, according to Redfin, 10 of the its surveyed luxury markets have seen sales growth above 50 percent so far this year, and the company reports Oakland and San Jose are on track to nearly double the number of home sales in the most expensive slice of the market.Of the markets examined in Redfin’s analysis, the combined average minimum price for the top 1 percent of homes was $1.66 million, with prices ranging from $5.35 million in San Francisco down to $815,000 in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.Among buyers shopping in that price tier, 44.7 percent made their recent purchases in cash—compared to just less than one-third of shoppers among all home sales.Though banks don’t offer conventional loans for such high-priced homes, Martin describes what it would take to afford one: “In San Francisco, a luxury homebuyer would need a million-dollar down payment and an annual salary of $916,000 to qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, and to afford what would be a $21,369 monthly mortgage payment.”Meanwhile, “In a lower-priced luxury market such as Raleigh, an annual income of just $140,000 could keep a buyer comfortably among the 1 percent in this hypothetical scenario.”In a market in which only 41 percent of homes are within reach of a household bringing in two median incomes, Redfin found that homes in luxury markets nationwide are priced at about 6.2 times the median national price. However, that gap is far higher in sunny, coastal metros—like Miami, where the top 1 percent of homes are 14.9 times the local median. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News May 27, 2014 441 Views Sharecenter_img Home Prices Home Sales Redfin 2014-05-27 Tory Barringer High-End Home Sales Booming as Lower Tiers Fizzlelast_img read more