Costa Rican officials meet in Limón to discuss Jairo Mora case

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s environment minister promises action in wake of conservationist’s murder Costa Rica environmental groups still raising questions in Jairo Mora case Jairo Mora honored at 50th anniversary of Costa Rica’s National Park System Costa Rican police sweep nets several suspects in conservationist’s murder probe It has been 48 days – not hours – since the murder of 26-year-old Costa Rican turtle conservationist Jairo Mora. In that time there have been vigils, petitions and rewards offered by environmentalists. Officials in San José have responded with statements and assurances by the judicial system, and they have held severalmeetings. A U.S. congressman has even gotten involved. Yet the one thing there has not been is an arrest in the high-profile case.Last week, Costa Rica’s Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría said investigators had identified two suspects in the case, and he promised there would be important “news” this week. Yet instead of an arrest, that news appears to have been yet another meeting.On Wednesday, Environment Minister René Castro and Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa traveled to the prosecutor’s office in Limón to talk with Mora’s friends and family.“We went to Limón because the Environment Ministry wanted to accompany Jairo Mora’s family and because we are working to understand why there hasn’t been justice in this case,” Castro said.The ministers and Mora’s family met with the Limón’s Adjunct Prosecutor Alexander Mora, who, according to an Environment Ministry press release, assured them that the case is being taken  seriously. Authorities are not releasing any additional information on the case.“There is a sense of frustration among members of our organization. First of all we have the environment minister telling us things are going well, that they know who the suspects are. But this is the same thing they have been saying for months,” Didiher Chacón, director of WIDECAST, told on Tuesday.Environmental groups are planning a protest for July 31, the two-month anniversary of Mora’s death. According to, protesters will meet at the Environment Ministry at 5 p.m. and march to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and the Legislative Assembly.The purpose of the march is to keep pressure on the OIJ to make an arrest and to encourage transparency in the government’s process of creating a protected area in Mora’s name on the Caribbean coast.Demonstrators also will pass around a petition that currently has more than 150,000 signatures asking for transparency in the formation of protected areas and the protection of those who care for them.This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. on July 19 to include information about the July 31 demonstration. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arenal Report

first_imgNo related posts. As world adventurer,Merriweather Adam Pleasure is often quoted as saying,“Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.” Just after the temporary one-lane road reopened the collapsed main highway around Lake Arenal, the elation of finally having a connection for vehicles to La Fortuna was crushed by the government’s announcement that it will be closing the post office in Nuevo Arenal.Gringos who once believed the U.S. government to have a lock on ineptness and stupidity are having second thoughts. Why?1. Nuevo Arenal is an actively growing community. The influx of people with money to spend is on the rise as more retirees realize they won’t make it trying to live on what’s left of their gutted retirement portfolios coupled with the horrendous increase in taxes planned for 2014-2016. 2. Presently, there is a growing waiting list for P.O. boxes in Nuevo Arenal, some of which are already shared by more than one family.3. With no post office, people in the Arenal area will have to travel 45 minutes to Tilarán to get their mail. There are no P.O. boxes available in Tilarán. Will they have us wade through a gigantic bin of loose mail to find letters addressed to us?     4. The small building occupied by both the local police and the post officeis owned by Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE), which wants it now for its own use. The police have relocated to another building a few blocks away. As for a new location for a post office, here is the present thinking by the authorities seems to be, “since the Post Office is used mainly by Gringos, Gringos should pay for and maintain the post office in Nuevo Arenal.” So far, no one has stepped up to claim this. The usual response is, “Are you kidding?”Most countries that have emerged from third-world status understand that the postal service usually is a function of the government. If Costa Rica wants to consider itself an emerging country rather than a “demerging” country, this type of thinking must cease.Petitions are being circulated throughout the communities being served by the Nuevo Arenal Post Office. They are being sent to the appropriate offices of the government, including the Chamber of Commerce. Please sign the petition explaining the need to retain a postal facility in Nuevo Arenal.There is more local news, but there isn’t enough space for this issue. Look for it in next Friday’s Arenal Report.-William & Jean Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Police strikers clash in Brazil a week before World Cups opening game

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:World Cup fervor begins winning out over opposition in Brazil as tournament begins World Cup upsets focus fans on football instead of protests Most Brazilians don’t want to host the World Cup Brazilian police crack down on pre-World Cup protest SAO PAULO — Police clashed with striking subway workers in Sao Paulo on Friday as traffic chaos gripped the Brazilian mega-city less than a week before it hosts the World Cup’s opening game.Police fired tear gas and swung batons to beat back the picketing strikers after commuters tried to enter a major metro station amid torrential rain that has added to the traffic misery.The indefinite work stoppage, now in its second day, has raised fears of unrest when the country’s business hub hosts next Thursday’s game between Brazil and Croatia.The clashes came as Brazil’s national team prepared to play its last friendly on Friday night against Serbia in Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium, not the new Corinthians Arena, which has yet to be finished six days from the inaugural match.The Sao Paulo metro is the main link to the Corinthians Arena, and the strike could force organizers to come up with last-minute alternative transportation for tens of thousands of fans.The traffic mayhem has stranded the 4.5 million passengers who use the subway system daily in the sprawling city, while bumper-to-bumper traffic stretched for up to 250 kilometers (155 miles).“I’m going to have to return home. I can’t get to work like this. The metro is not going there and with this traffic, it’s impossible to go by bus,” said Pedro Henrique Rodrigues, who stood in a massive line of people waiting for buses.Another strike by 75 percent of Sao Paulo’s traffic police exacerbated transport problems.The chaos in Sao Paulo is the sort of incident that Brazilian and world football body FIFA want to avoid following the violent protests that marred last year’s Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal.It was in this city of 20 million people that mass protests erupted a year ago as citizens took to the streets to voice anger at rising public transport fares.The unrest ballooned into nationwide demonstrations against the more than $11 billion being spent on the World Cup, with more than one million people taking to the streets to demand that money instead be spent on hospitals and schools.Amnesty International said the police response to the protests had been characterized by violence and abuses, and warned Brazil against cracking down on demonstrations during the World Cup.“Brazil’s deficient policing record, reliance on the military to police demonstrations, lack of training and an atmosphere of impunity creates a dangerous cocktail,” said Atila Roque, Amnesty’s country director for Brazil.On Thursday, frustrated commuters broke entrance gates at the station that serves Corinthians Arena.After some of them jumped onto the tracks, system operators CPTM decided to open the station in a bid to calm the situation.FIFA confidentDespite Sao Paulo’s latest troubles. FIFA president Sepp Blatter predicted on Thursday that tensions would subside once the football began.“We at FIFA, we are confident, it will be a celebration,” Blatter said. “I’m an optimist. After the tournament kicks off I think there will be a better mood.”FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke insisted preparations were on track but acknowledged the opening weeks of the tournament would be the “most challenging.”“We are in control, we have nothing to fear in the coming days,” Valcke said. Unfinished stadiumsThe protest movement has lost momentum since last June, but the transportation chaos risks rekindling anger in the countdown to the opening ceremony.Workers went on strike early Thursday after negotiations on a salary increase fell through. They rejected an offer of 8.7 percent, insisting on at least 10 percent.Talks between union leaders and subway management ended on Thursday with no deal.President Dilma Rousseff has defended her government’s preparations, insisting the money spent will leave a legacy of airports and transport infrastructure that will benefit Brazil for years to come.But the government has also faced criticism for chronic delays and disorganization.Workers are still scrambling to finish several of the 12 host stadiums, while the Corinthians Arena has not received safety clearance from firefighters to operate at full capacity.Eight workers died in construction accidents at the stadiums, including three in Sao Paulo.Much of the other promised infrastructure has been shelved, from roadworks and a high-speed train to subway and monorail lines.Meanwhile, teams continue trickling into Brazil. Chile’s arrival on Thursday followed that of Australia, Croatia and Iran.last_img read more

Job fair to offer 500 posts for professional technical workers

first_imgThe American University (UAM) is organizing a job fair that will offer 500 posts on Wednesday and Thursday.On Wednesday, recruiters from local and international companies will be at UAM’s campus in San Pedro, east of San José, and on Thursday the fair will move to the university’s campus in Cartago.Entrance is free and the fair is open to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. both days.Posts are available at the management level for marketing, human resources, information technology, financial analysis, accounting and business administration. Companies also are looking for systems engineers and industrial engineers.Recruiters also will be hiring technical-level staff for customer service, technical support, bilingual support (various languages​​), bank tellers, account executives, cashiers, and others.Among the companies that will be looking to hire are: Bank of Costa Rica, Let’s Go Internship, Phillip Morris International, Grupo Babel, Hotel Índico, Walmart México & Centroamérica, Western Union, Convergys y Tek Experts.Those interested in applying for a job should bring résumés in both digital and print formats.For more information, including Google maps (in Spanish), visit: Facebook Comments Related posts:Job fairs seeking 1,300 employees Bilingual employment fair to offer 3,800 jobs Employers looking to fill 3,000 vacant jobs at CINDE fair next month US food giant Mondelēz to open shared-services center in Costa Ricalast_img read more

PHOTOS Costa Ricans march against climate change

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Costa Rica joined more than 150 countries around the world that held marches against climate change this past weekend. A march in downtown San José gathered some 100 people on Sunday, a day before the inauguration of major climate change talks in Paris, officially called the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP21.Members of different organizations, like the Central American Regional Association for Water and the Environment (ARCA) and cycling promotion group ChepeCletas, participated in the march.“People from all over the world are getting together today, a day before COP21 starts, to tell world leaders that we want serious decisions and and real compromise to stop the planet’s temperature rise,” said ARCA director Jorge Mora Portuguez.The march started in Parque España in San José, and ended at the University of Costa Rica.center_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:Costa Rica honored at Paris climate talks with message on Eiffel Tower US inflames debate on climate finance with plan for UN talks Costa Rica’s climate pledge: 5 things to know Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres honored for UN climate work Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

PHOTOS Transitarte brings art music to sunny San José streets

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: A glimpse of the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival After vibrant first weekend, International Arts Fest continues through April 15 ‘Urban Sketchers’ draw San José Thousands flock to Barrio Escalante’s La Luz outdoor festival on Sunday This year’s Transitarte festival broughtjosefinos to the parks and streets of the east-central section of Costa Rica’s capital city for activities ranging from shopping, open-air concerts and children’s theater to sidewalk chart depictions of the Old Masters.As in previous editions of the popular festival, standstill traffic and hustling office workers were replaced by happy crowds, hula-hooping families, a special display featuring floats and designs from December’s Festival de la Luz, and much more. Festival-goers snacked on traditional food or the offerings from food trucks next to the Escuela Metálica, listened to music and checked out the work of local artisans.Take in some of the sights from this year’s Transitarte, organized by the Municipality of San José and held primarily in Parques Morazán, España and Nacional. Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times A Festival de la Luz artist’s sketch on display. Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times That’s all, folks! Wine glasses, a wooden spoon and one well-balanced performer entrance crowds at the Parque España. Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Court Zimbabwe premiers wedding to go ahead

first_img Quick workouts for men Top Stories Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – A Zimbabwe judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the country’s prime minister by a jilted ex-lover to stop him marrying another woman this week.High Court Judge Antonia Guvava on Wednesday ruled that a marriage under tribal laws between Morgan Tsvangirai and an ex-lover is not valid under Zimbabwe’s legal system.The 60-year-old Tsvangirai, who is in a three-year shaky coalition with President Robert Mugabe, paid $36,000 and five cattle in traditional bride price for the woman he acknowledged had been his lover. Tsvangirai denies formally marrying her and insists he paid damages to the family for making her pregnant. She then miscarried. His lawyers say he ditched the complainant after 12 days.Tsvangirai plans to marry a 35-year-old daughter of a Mugabe party loyalist in Harare on Saturday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Official Ethiopias ruling party names new leader

first_img“Since the party holds an overwhelming majority the party’s chair is automatically the country’s prime minister,” Bereket said. “So Hailemariam will be the country’s new prime minister.”A 180-member council of the EPRDF appointed Hailemariam unanimously and also selected Education Minister Demeke Mekonnen to become deputy chairman. The ruling party controls 545 of the 547 seats in parliament, guaranteeing swift passage of its resolutions.Hailemariam’s ascension to the ruling party’s top leadership signals that he is not just warming the seat for someone else and that influential party officials are keen to respect the wishes of Meles, who picked Hailemariam from obscurity and made him foreign minister and deputy prime minister.Some analysts say that it was always clear that the ruling party would pick Hailemariam, who promises to continue the domestic and foreign policies favored by Meles.“I think the party bosses have no choice but to go through with appointing Hailemariam,” Jawar Mohammed, an Ethiopian political analyst who is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University in New York, said on the eve of Hailemariam’s selection as party leader. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Associated PressADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Ethiopia’s ruling party on Saturday named as its leader acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who took over after the death last month of longtime leader Meles Zenawi, an official said at the end of a congress of party bosses.As chairman of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF, Hailemariam, 47, will almost certainly be confirmed as the country’s prime minister in an upcoming official ceremony. Bereket Simon, Ethiopia’s communications minister, said Hailemariam would be sworn in soon. It remains unclear exactly when, but Bereket said this might happen early next month. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top holiday drink recipescenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 ___Associated Press writer Rodney Muhumuza contributed reporting from Kampala, Uganda(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mohammed said that the Ethiopian public, anxious for stability after the death of a longtime ruler, had already been “given the impression that (Hailemariam) was groomed to replace Meles in 2015,” when general elections are due in Ethiopia. He added that it would have been almost impossible for the ruling party to find “an alternative replacement that is acceptable to the four coalition members and the various factions within them.”Meles, who died Aug. 20 of an undisclosed illness in a Belgian hospital, ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist since 1991. Some praised him for lifting many Ethiopians out of abject poverty, but others saw him as a tyrant who restricted certain freedoms, including free speech.The International Crisis Group said after the death of Meles that Hailemariam was not likely to be as pivotal and decisive a figure as the man he replaced.“Given the opacity of the inner workings of the government and army, it is impossible to say exactly what it will look like and who will end up in charge. Nonetheless, any likely outcome suggests a much weaker government, a more influential security apparatus and endangered internal stability,” the group’s report said. Comments   Share   last_img read more

In protests Mao holds subtle messages for Beijing

first_imgAssociated PressBEIJING (AP) – The face of dissatisfaction with China’s Communist Party is the face of the man synonymous with it: Mao Zedong.Portraits of the revolutionary leader often led packs of demonstrators in protests over Japan’s effort last week to bolster its hold on islands claimed by China. Many were hoisted by people born after his death 36 years ago.Mao, widely revered by Chinese and praised by Communist Party leaders, is supposed to serve as a unifying symbol, but it often isn’t so. To some he represents a condemnation of corruption and inequality under a government that long ago abandoned his radical policies. More frequently this week, his image was a subtle slap by nationalists who accuse leaders of being too weak in the territorial dispute.“Mao Zedong was tough. He never backed down when it came to the national interests,” said Lu Lei, a Beijing salesman who went to the Japanese Embassy with his friends to protest Tuesday. “Our current government is spineless. If Mao were alive, we would have already attacked Japan.”Mao has become a safe way for Chinese to criticize a government bent on stifling dissent. His giant portrait still looks out to Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, and his name is etched into the country’s constitution and the party’s charter, even if his ideology has been abandoned in practice.His image has rarely been displayed in such numbers as during the protests this week. Rows of his portraits floated through the parades _ often in the company of a sea of red flags _ in an eerie resemblance to the scenes from the fervent days of the Cultural Revolution when Mao was worshipped as a god.Behind the scenes of the angry protests that rippled across more than two dozen cities this week runs an undercurrent of grievances, many of them critical of the government. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Both countries have sent patrol ships to the waters surrounding the islands, and there is no sign of progress in resolving the dispute between the two Asian economic powerhouses.Allowing the protests, however, carries risks for China, as protesters can bend the intended message. They sent a quiet critique with a sign seemingly hard for the government to quarrel with: “Chairman Mao, we are missing you very much.”After his death in 1976, Mao was much criticized for radical excesses in which tens of millions killed and persecuted in mass movements. Laid-off workers, however, eventually began parading his portrait at protests as a plea for more egalitarian policies.Mao first became a protest icon about a decade ago during mass layoffs that accompanied privatization of state industries. Social injustice, corruption and a yawning rich-poor gap have only worsened since and were themes amid the anti-Japan protests.Many Chinese are worried about the chairman’s re-emergence on the scene. His most ardent supporters tend to be stridently nationalistic and advocate an authoritarian populism. Some protesters called for the release of Bo Xilai, the disgraced politician and a populist who was ousted from the leadership in a political scandal. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Protesters held up signs that touched on broader social issues such as corruption, food safety and the widening gap between poor and rich. Some protesters even joked that urban code enforcers _ resented by the Chinese public for their brutality against unlicensed street peddlers _ should be sent to fight the Japanese military.Those messages mixed with anti-Japanese slogans on a rare occasion where the government tolerated and at time abetted public demonstrations.“This movement has multiple purposes. Nationalism is only part of the protests.” said Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore. “More people are angry about the current government, and they wanted to use this opportunity to vent.”The government, normally inclined to crush protests, allowed these of public anti-Japanese fury to gain leverage in its latest tiff with Tokyo over small uninhabited East China Sea islands called the Senkaku by Japanese and the Diaoyu by Chinese.Japan controls the islands and purchased them from their private owners last week, thwarting plans by Tokyo’s nationalistic governor to buy and develop them. China responded with furious rhetoric. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Top Stories Wang Zheng, a Beijing teacher who has been detained for her support of Bo, said the public remembers Mao as a resolute man who showed no ambiguity on sovereignty issues.“Our government has been spineless on many things _ Diaoyu being one of them,” she said. “The diplomatic protests are meaningless when they are not backed with actions. The government has behaved the same year after year, making the public more nostalgic about Mao.”Some protesters employed other methods to use the outrage against Japan as a jumping-off point to deliver other messages.In Beijing, some held up signs saying they would be willing to eat unsafe food to reclaim the islands. Food safety is a big public concern in China.In Changsha, a small group of protesters at an anti-Japan rally held up a hand-written sign calling for the ouster of corrupt officials. Some of them wore mouth covers marked with an “X.”“That means we cannot freely speak our minds,” local protester Wu Qingjun said.Wu said his group did not catch police attention, but the rights group China Human Rights Defenders reported at least three cases when activists were taken away.It said Jiao Guobian, a former college teacher, was arrested on Sept. 12 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” allegedly for saying the government should have kept an eye as close on the islands as it does on dissidents.last_img read more

Greece back as a headache for improving eurozone economy

first_imgA Greek national flag flies in the city of Athens, Friday, May 8, 2015. Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras said Friday he is optimistic his cash-strapped country will soon reach an agreement with its international creditors, averting a potential default. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) LONDON (AP) — It may only account for 2 percent of the eurozone economy but Greece has a habit of punching above its weight when it comes to bruising the currency union.And there are fears it could be once again posing a threat to an otherwise burgeoning recovery.Official figures on Wednesday are expected to show that the 19-country eurozone grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from the previous three-month period. That’s up from the 0.3 percent recorded in last quarter of 2014 and would be the eurozone’s highest growth rate since the second quarter of 2013, when it emerged from its longest-ever recession. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation In the first quarter, Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is expected to have led the way, its export-heavy economy prospering from the fall in the value of the euro — Europe’s single currency has fallen to near a decade-low against the dollar in the wake of the European Central Bank’s decision to launch a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) monetary stimulus. Low oil prices, less stringent budgetary policies around Europe are also helping to shore up the recovery.Other bright lights include Spain, one of the countries at the forefront of the region’s debt crisis over the past few years that has gained plaudits from European policymakers for reforming its economy, particularly the labor market. Economists think those efforts are now bearing fruit.“We think that if you look at the current situation in the eurozone it is about as close to being the dream scenario backdrop as anyone could have realistically hoped a year or more ago to help to kick-start a meaningful recovery,” said Ben May, leading eurozone economist at Oxford Economics. May is predicting growth of 0.8 percent, which would be a four-year high and easily outpace levels recorded in the U.S. or Britain, two of the top-performing developed economies over the past year. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your life Moody’s Investor Services, which last month cut Greece’s credit rating further into junk status, said the risks to the eurozone should not be underestimated.“The direct impact might be limited because of Greece’s limited trade links and lower financial market exposure to Greece in other euro area countries, but its exit could nevertheless cause a confidence shock and disrupt government debt markets,” said Alastair Wilson, Moody’s managing director for global sovereign risk.But we’re not there yet.And if officials from Greece and the creditors are to be believed, progress is being made. Whether there’s enough to secure a deal at a meeting Monday of eurozone finance ministers remains an open question.A deal would allow Greece to meet a debt repayment of about 770 million euros to the IMF on Tuesday. Without the bailout cash, Greece will have to scrape together all its reserves to make that payment and would struggle to meet pensions and salaries due later in the week.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Beyond the first quarter, however, May concedes that Greece’s crisis, on top of slower global growth, could mean this is another “false dawn” for the eurozone.Recent reports suggest that’s possible. Business confidence and retail sales across the eurozone have taken a dent, while surveys of managers suggest business activity has peaked, meaning growth in the rest of the year may not pick up as much as hoped.“While it is encouraging that the recovery is becoming more broad-based across the euro area, there are clearly still pockets of vulnerability, with Greece an obvious source of concern,” said Timo del Carpio, European economist at RBC Capital Markets, who is forecasting eurozone growth of 0.5 percent in the first quarter.The headline growth rate, whatever it is, will mask the likely fall back into recession of Greece barely a year after it emerged from one of the developed world’s deepest downturn since World War II. Last week, the European Union slashed its projection for Greek growth this year to just 0.5 percent from 2.5 percent previously — assuming Greece secures a deal with creditors that will help it pay off debts.The main reason behind Greece’s renewed crisis is the new left-wing government’s pledge to end the hated budget austerity that creditors from the eurozone and International Monetary Fund have insisted upon. For over three months, talks have dragged on as the Greek government tries to come up with a series of economic and budget reforms that will convince the creditors to pay out 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) of bailout cash. With every passing day, the uncertainty has sharpened, to the detriment of the Greek economy. Greeks have been pulling money out of banks and investors have shied away from the country.If the bailout talks fail, the country could default on its debts, have to put limits on the free flow of money and eventually even exit the euro. Most economists think that would cause a massive recession in Greece for at least a year as the country tries to adjust to a new, weaker currency.Though the eurozone has shored up its defenses against such a worst-case scenario, a Greek exit would stoke jitters in the markets about which country could be headed for the door next.Pierre Moscovici, the European Commission’s top economy official, admitted as much last week. “Once you have one country leaving, the next question is who’s next, so you lose status and you lose force,” he said.The repercussions of a so-called Grexit could be far and wide — a hit to confidence could limit investment and consumer spending. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Alexandre Lamfalussy helped found euro currency dies at 86

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Lamfalussy headed the Frankfurt-based European Monetary Institute from 1994-97. The institute laid the groundwork for the creation of a supra-national central bank to manage the new currency.The institute became the European Central Bank in July 1998, under its first president, Wim Duisenberg. The euro was introduced on Jan. 1, 1999, with 11 member countries. It now has 19, after Lithuania joined in January. Member countries have struggled recently to overcome excessive debt and poor growth.As head of the EMI, Lamfalussy helped to define the bank’s monetary policy strategy and to devise the technical means to implement it across multiple countries. The ECB sets interest rates for the countries that use the euro currency.Lamfalussy was born in Hungary in 1929 and studied economics at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and at Oxford University’s Nuffield College, according to a biography on the website of the Catholic University of Louvain. He served as general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, an important forum for the world’s central banks, in Basel from 1985 to 1993.Details on when Lamfalussy died and the cause of death were not provided in the ECB statement. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Belgian economist Alexandre Lamfalussy, who headed the institution that became the European Central Bank and was credited as one of the founders of the shared euro currency, has died at age 86.The ECB said in a statement Monday that “core building stones” of the shared currency were put in place under Lamfalussy’s stewardship. It called him “one of the euro’s founding fathers.” How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

GOP must reckon with Reid in Nevada even on his way out

first_imgReid also has been keeping attention focused on Yucca Mountain, a federal nuclear waste dump planned for 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas that’s been largely mothballed at Reid’s insistence. “Republican presidential candidates must really think Nevada voters are daft,” Reid said to supporters last week in an email that criticized Rubio for supporting the dump and questioned Bush’s stated opposition.And he’s working to help a hand-picked successor, former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, replace him in the Senate, though he denied any role in talking Democratic Rep. Dina Titus out of the race.“She made the decision on her own. I don’t get involved in stuff like that,” Reid said.Reid himself was instrumental in pushing for the Nevada caucus system in the first place, in 2008, which gave Nevada early state presidential voting status with nominating contests held in January, third only to Iowa and New Hampshire. That brought unprecedented attention to the small state during the primary fight between Barack Obama and Clinton, registering tens of thousands of new Democratic voters who would help Democrats win in 2008 and 2012 — and, not coincidentally, help Reid himself to re-election in 2010 when he was being written off as politically dead. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is at it again.Known for meddling in politics at all levels in his home state of Nevada, the Democrat intervened earlier this week to help kill a GOP-backed bill in the Legislature that would have allowed Nevada to trade its presidential caucuses for primaries, seen as friendlier to establishment candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who might be tougher for Democrats to beat. Parents, stop beating yourself up Nevada’s junior senator, Republican Dean Heller, said Reid was “obviously … doing what’s in his best interest, and I was doing what was in my best interest and I was disappointed to see the result.”“Ron Paul did well in the state with a caucus last couple of cycles, and I think that his son will do well also,” Heller added.Reid himself shrugged off a question about whether his move could end up pushing Republicans to nominate a more right-wing candidate.“I didn’t know they had anybody else running. So who else would they nominate?” Reid said.___Associated Press writers Riley Snyder and Michelle Rindels in Carson City, Nevada, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Top Stories At the same time the caucuses proved an embarrassment for the GOP. The 2008 GOP convention was prematurely shut down as activists clashed, while in 2012 the turnout was an anemic 8 percent. With a wide-open primary field and the chance to reclaim the White House in 2016, Republicans saw an opportunity for Nevada to play an important role. Holding primaries would boost participation — since voters would only have to show up to the polls, not attend hours-long meetings — and would require less expense and organizing from candidates.Establishment Republicans also saw a benefit for candidates like Bush, since caucuses tend to be dominated by conservative party activists who might gravitate toward a figure like libertarian-minded Rand Paul. Kentucky’s junior senator already has a network of supporters in the state thanks to candidacies by his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.Legislation to make the change was widely supported by the GOP heading into the legislative session that ended earlier this week, but Reid made a call to a Democratic supporter in the Assembly, Harvey Munford, who promptly had a change of heart. The session ended with no vote on the bill.“Basically, he spelled it out to me,” Munford said later, adding that Reid had warned of the possibility that Nevada could lose its early state role, which was predicated on holding caucuses. The surprise outcome exasperated Republicans from Las Vegas to Washington and served notice that even as Reid heads into retirement, Republicans will have to get around him if they hope to win Nevada in 2016. And it was just the latest move from a masterful tactician who rules his home state’s political scene like no other and is determined to keep the White House and his own Senate seat in Democratic hands though his name will never again be on the ballot.“Harry’s an icon, there hasn’t been anybody in politics like him. Whether you like his politics or not he’s carved out a spot that quite frankly is unique in the history of Nevada politics,” said Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, a former state party chairman. “He’s a results-oriented guy, and until we really hug ‘what are they doing, and how do we compete with that’ there’ll continue to be days where we struggle.”For Reid, 75 and blind in one eye as the result of an accident while exercising earlier this year, working against the primary bill was just one of his recent moves designed to boost Democratic prospects in Nevada.Some of his top lieutenants run the state Democratic Party and will be instrumental in working for presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former secretary of state and first lady surrounded herself with some of Reid’s allies in the immigrant community when she visited the state last month, and she plans another appearance in a couple of weeks. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, following a Senate policy luncheon, as legislation to end the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities is expected to clear the Senate late Tuesday. But House leaders have warned their Senate counterparts not to proceed with planned changes to a House version. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

4 Colombian soldiers die when helicopter lands in minefield

first_imgThe incident, which the military characterized as an “assassination” in violation of international law, was the deadliest in a string of attacks by the FARC since the rebel movement in May lifted a six-month-old cease fire to facilitate the peace talks taking place in Cuba. The decision to resume fighting came in retaliation for a military air attack on a guerrilla camp that killed 26 rebels, including a former FARC envoy to the peace talks.In a clear demonstration of the FARC’s still substantial firepower, rebels in recent days have carried out a string of attacks on police stations, oil tankers and valuable energy infrastructure, including the bombing of a transmission line that left more than 400,000 people in the port city of Buenaventura without power for days.While nobody is expecting the peace talks to be broken off anytime soon, hope for an accord is fading amid the slow progress at the negotiating table and looming legislative elections in October that could give strength to hardliners opposed to the talks.Colombians’ support for the peace process has fallen to around 50 percent, its lowest level since the talks began more than two years ago, according to a Gallup survey in April taken before the latest wave of violence provoked further public anger at the guerrillas. BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Four Colombian soldiers were killed Monday when their helicopter landed in a minefield, the latest attack attributed to leftist rebels as both sides in the country’s long-running conflict harden their positions amid languishing peace talks.The Black Hawk chopper carrying the soldiers flew to the volatile Catatumbo region to escort workers repairing an oil pipeline damaged by a recent bombing by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Six more soldiers were injured, the army said in a statement, without providing more details. Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober ___Joshua Goodman on Twitter: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Air NZ crew snub cuddle class plane

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Air New Zealand cabin crew are unhappy with the airline’s new Boeing 777-300 jet, with claims that they are struggling to prepare and serve food on the aircraft. While passengers enjoy the comfort of the ‘cuddle class’ lie down seats, staff members have said that heating food up and pushing the trolley down the new narrow aisles have slowed down their service, NZ Herald reported. According to the source, Air NZ staff members have urged the airline to replace the casserole dishes because they are facing issues during the heating process. Crew have also said that the smaller aisles limit the number of attendants pushing the trolley to one from two, slowing service down further. The source reported that the carrier has denied any problems and has apparently opted to remove one course, the pre-meal snack and bar service to speed up food delivery. The 777-300 was unveiled last month and has since carried up to 10,000 economy class passengers.The ‘cuddle class’ seats allows couples and families to extend their seats into a bed like platform and lie across them during the flight. last_img read more

Northern Australia to be enveloped by Asian tourism boom

first_img“Boeing has predicted the number of Chinese tourists going abroad in the year 2020 will be around 112 million people, Phil Ruthven is one of Australia’s most prominent economic forecasters.  “The Asia Pacific region now has a larger economy than the European Union or North America (NAFTA), and with its GDP growing twice as fast, is expected to be bigger than both those region,” Mr Ruthven told the North Queensland Register newspaper. Northern Australia is expected to be the beneficiary of a big boom in Asian tourists, according to one of the nation’s leading economic forecasters, IBISworld. “If Australia was able to capture just 10-per cent of that market that would be 11 million tourists, which would virtually treble our current inbound tourist numbers.”center_img Mr Ruthven will discuss the possible growth opportunities and whether government and businesses are prepared. The founder and chairman of IBISworld, Phil Ruthven will deliver the keynote address at the Business Excellence Series in the Tropics on the 15th May in Townsville. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

Qantas reveal new A330 business suites

first_imgQantas customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights from Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet.They are to be progressively introduced from later this year, and are designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of Qantas’ A330 aircraft.In a world first, the first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing, the Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.Qantas Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce, said the airline was excited to unveil the Business Suite, as it will redefine the inflight experience for customers.“We believe this product will deliver the best travel experience between Asia and Australia, and probably the best domestic travel experience anywhere in the world. We can’t wait for our customers to experience it for themselves,” Mr Joyce said.Mr Joyce said they have listened to what matters most to Qantas customers and done extensive ergonomic trials to deliver the highest levels of comfort, privacy and intuitive design.“There’s enough space to eat while continuing to work, which is something our business customers said was very important to them, and plenty of storage room to keep the range of electronic devices that people now travel with,” Mr Joyce said.The work to refresh the aircraft interiors will start at Qantas’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month, the first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December. Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

The Langham Sydney to reopen

first_imgThe Langham, Sydney closed its famous Kent Street doors in July, 2014 to undertake an AUD$30 million grand transformation which will re-deliver this landmark hotel as Sydney’s most exclusive harbourside address, on December 2, 2014.World renowned design firm, GA Design, has worked direct from London with luxury building experts, ICMG and The Langham Executive Team, to ensure every construction accent is enthralled in perfection.The Langham, Sydney General Manager, Ms. Sonia Lefevre said that the new design will work well in the Sydney market.“GA’s vision, in conjunction with The Langham brand power, is set to create a new addition to the Sydney luxury sector that will transcend the market, no expense has been spared in creating this elegant harbourside retreat for our guests,” Ms Lefevre said.This project will see internationally designed spaces paired with eclectic interior furnishings and every corner of this magnificent hotel has been given a grand treatment.One of the biggest developments is the newly exposed harbour views from all aspects of the hotels’ public spaces including guest check-in which will drench the hotel in light and bring the once dark space, into a modern luxe feel.The addition of six ornate bespoke designed fireplaces across the hotel only highlights the level of detail being injected into the project.“The Langham, Sydney arrives into the market place at an exciting time with the development of Barangaroo on the hotel’s doorstep. The Langham, Sydney will be treated to beautiful views over the parklands, with guests being a short stroll from all the action” Ms Lefevre said.“The Langham, Sydney hasn’t just undergone a refurbishment. This is a grand transformation.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok welcomes new GM

first_imgRadisson Blu Plaza Bangkok welcomes GM from down underAustralian native Peter Feran has been named as the new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok. Heran brings to the position extensive hospitality industry experience gained in his home country as well is in the UK and Asia.Peter began his career in 1997 soon after receiving an advanced diploma in Business (Tourism) in South Australia. His path to general manager then proceeded with a number of Room Division positions at major international hotels, before Peter eventually joined Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group for the first time as Rooms Division Manager at Radisson Playford Adelaide. By 2010 he had risen to general manager at another Carlson Rezidor property, Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam. From that Southeast Asia location it was a short trip – but with nearly two decades of experience earned along the way – to Peter’s new appointment in Bangkok.Throughout his career Peter Feran has greatly impressed colleagues with his wide-ranging knowledge of the hospitality industry as well as insights into effective management practices. Co-workers have praised him as a “constantly positive manager,” a “sheer professional,” “brilliant leader,” and as someone who “has a great drive to get things done.”These and Peter’s many additional leadership qualities make him the right person at the right time – indeed a brilliant choice – to take the helm at Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok. The hotel is the first Radisson Blu in the Thai capital and stands as the brand’s flagship property in Thailand.Feran begins his appointment with the Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group starting April 13, 2015.Source = Tourism Executiveslast_img read more

First Adina Apartment Hotel to open in New Zealand

first_imgFirst Adina Apartment Hotel to open in New ZealandOverlooking Queen’s Wharf harbour in the city, TFE Hotels is pleased to announce its newest New Zealand property, the Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland, Britomart opening mid-October 2015.The new Auckland property will offer 128 stylish and modern apartments, located just a short stroll from the waterfront. Contemporary in design; the rooms will be appointed with fully-equipped kitchens, comfortable living space and laundries, with a real focus on comfort and lifestyle, including an on-site gym and undercover parking. The hotel will also operate a lobby bar and café, offering a range of locally sourced food and wine where guests can dine, relax and feel at home. Meeting facilities will include two conference rooms, one catering to 45 people theatre style and the other a boardroom for 12, providing guests with complimentary WiFi and custom food and drink selections.Guests are invited to live like locals and explore Auckland at its finest, right in the heart of the city and only metres from all that’s stylish at the bustling Britomart Precinct. The hotel is also a short walk, less than 200 metres from Auckland’s 12,000-seat sports and events stadium, Vector Arena, which has hosted some of NZ’s biggest celebrity visitors, including Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. The arena has other popular events to come, such as Robbie Williams and Hozier in November.CEO of TFE Hotels, Rachel Argaman says, “We’re so excited to be bringing our first Adina Apartment Hotel property to New Zealand. The thriving Auckland market is a perfect fit for our premium style apartments, as a leading tourism and events destination with wide corporate and leisure appeal. Adina Apartment Hotels offer the modern explorer spacious apartment-living with the added benefit of hotel services, perfect for business travellers, families and longer stays. Whether guests want to stay a night, weekend, or longer, they’ll be able to comfortably make themselves at home at Adina.”TFE Hotels and the Adina Apartment Hotel brand were identified as the ideal candidate to operate the development by Dean Humphries and the Colliers International Hotel team.This hotel opens to a successful market as the New Zealand Tourism Industry continues to grow, with a recorded increase of seven per cent more visitors to New Zealand since April 2014.“We’re seeing a rising trend of bookings for apartment-style accommodation which has fuelled the growth of Adina Apartment Hotels with another 7 hotels announced to date in the TFE Hotels pipeline. Our commitment to great locations, comfortable apartment living and facilities that are both functional and complement our guests’ lifestyle, supports our excellent reputation worldwide and continues to deliver on our philosophy of apartment space, hotel service and Adina style.”“In the lead up to the launch, we will be looking to recruit first class hoteliers in a range of roles and are excited to welcome more skilled individuals into the TFE Hotels team as well as providing new locations and career opportunities for promising internal candidates,” says Rachel.Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland joins the TFE Hotels’ company portfolio of 70 hotels across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Currently, Adina Apartment Hotels are located Australia-wide and in European cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Budapest and Copenhagen. TFE Hotels’ currently operates 3 hotels in New Zealand including Rendezvous Hotel Auckland, Travelodge Wellington and Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch. Stay at TFE HotelsSource = TFE Hotelslast_img read more

Budding little green ambassadors pledge to protect the environment

first_imgBudding little green ambassadors pledge to protect the environmentBudding little green ambassadors pledge to protect the environmentThe pursuit of global environmental sustainability and social responsibility extends to Club Med’s youngest members in conjunction with World Environment Day.A brand that seeks to support green causes, Club Med, the pioneer of Premium All-inclusive holidays, has been successfully undertaking numerous green initiatives over the years. These initiatives include protecting the nests and eggs of endangered turtles in Club Med Cherating Beach and Club Med Bintan Island. These efforts have been rewarded with the Green Globe stamp of approval across resorts in the region since 2011.This year, in conjunction with World Environment Day 2018, Club Med has embarked on a new project to include young G.Ms (Gentil Members) at eight Asia Pacific resorts. The Green Trident Project focuses on early education in their Children’s Clubs, highlighting the importance of sustainability and environmental protection. Club Med has secured close to a 1,000 budding little green ambassadors’ pledges over the past month and with a target to attain 7,000 more pledges by the end of the year.Educating Children through Hands-on ActivitiesAs part of the Green Trident Project, G.Os (Gentil Organisateurs) educated children joining the resorts’ Mini Club on the importance of recycling on a global scale and its impact on the environment, emphasizing on the importance of the 3Rs – Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. The children participated in a myriad of activities including beach cleaning, gardening and using recyclable materials to create artwork.In Club Med Cherating Beach, the children learnt about local wildlife through an educational tour of the Turtle Sanctuary located next to the resort. Club Med Bali engaged the young G.Ms to grow vegetables in a pedagogical garden, allowing them to better understand the farm-to-table process of vegetables. Meanwhile, children in Club Med Phuket participated in nature hunts to learn more aboutthe various flora and fauna and created elephant art using natural elements found within the resort. This was an opportunity to create an open discussion with the children about animal welfare.Children Pledge to Protect the EnvironmentEvery child who participated in the Green Trident Project concluded their stay at Club Med with a pledge to help to protect the environment and they can be as simple as “I pledge to turn off the tap when I brush my teeth”. These pledges were written on leaf-shaped post-its and pasted onto a wall by the children to make a green trident.Hermine, a G.M who participated in Green Trident Project at Club Med Cherating, was keen to share their experience, “I pledge not to throw plastic bags into the sea. Otherwise, the turtles will think it is food and die from eating them. I am also excited to tell my friends what I have learnt here and what we can do to save the environment together.”Club Med will continue to encourage kids of all ages to be aware that the actions and decisions they make every day may have a negative impact on the environment. Club Med’s Mini Club, for children from 4 – 17 years old, educates children about the environment through games outside the constraints of school and develops their green awareness from an early age.Vincent Ong, Vice-President of Marketing for East and South Asia & Pacific (ESAP) further emphasised, “At Club Med, we pride ourselves with our green initiatives and caring for the environment. It is important to engage children in activities that allow them to interact with the environment to help them reconnect with the outdoors. It is an opportune time to help them be aware of green practices while they are young and to understand that every effort no matter how small goes a long way.”Other Notable EffortsClub Med has attained the Green Globe certification for Sustainable Tourism for most of its resorts in the Asia Pacific region. Club Med implemented and managed an action plan for sustainable development including initiatives such as effective management of waste, saving energy and protection of biodiversity. It seeks to limit the amount of food wastage and have reaped the rewards ofexperience gleaned over 60 years. To continuously improve waste management, the company is collaborating with Winnow Solutions, an innovative digital tool that monitors, analyses and helps chefs to reduce food waste in the kitchens in Club Med Phuket and Club Med Bali.In 2008, Club Med and Agrisud International entered into a partnership to improve the contribution of holiday villages to the local economic development. In Bali, Agrisud supports a group of local Balinese farmers “Bukit Mesari” to adopt agro-ecological practices and structure their organization to reach new market channels. Club Med Bali has worked to expand and build a global relationship aligned with Club Med’s CSR strategy. These efforts have led to over 30 types of easily traceable, healthy and environmentally friendly vegetables provided to Club Med’s guests. Local farmers have benefitted from better prices, fairer and more sustainable outlets for their produce in addition to increasing their knowledge and gaining a new skillset for their future.For more information, please visit = Club Medlast_img read more