first_img Wednesday, September 6, 2017 Share Posted by July was booming but traffic overall has eased, says IATA GENEVA — Global revenue passenger kilomtres grew by a robust 6.8% year-on-year in July, the first summer peak month, says IATA.This was down from 7.7% in the previous month, and just ahead of the five-year average pace of 6.4%. Passenger demand remains on course to grow solidly in 2017 as a whole, however, with stimulus from lower airfares waning, the supportive demand backdrop has moderated.All told, the strong first half of the year and the robust start to the peak summer period means that 2017 is on course to be another year of above-trend revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) growth. But the moderation in demand drivers suggests that the upward trend in H2 2017 and into 2018 is likely to be weaker than was seen in the same period of 2016.Year-on-year growth in RPKs slowed to 6.2% in July, from 7.6% in June. The annual growth rate slowed in all regions except Latin America and the Middle East.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamNorth American airlines’ international RPKs grew by 3.5% in year-on-year terms in July, down from 4.4% in June but still ahead of the five-year average pace of 2.9%. Seasonally-adjusted (SA) passenger traffic has held on to the monthly gains achieved earlier in the year. That said, anecdotal evidence suggests that tourists are being deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to the U.S.center_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: IATA, Trend Watchlast_img read more

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY -– Guatemala’s agriculture vice minister, Mario Marcucci, announced that his country is increasing vigilance along the border with Mexico to prevent the outbreak of bird flu.The Mexican government last week declared an emergency alert following the outbreak, caused by the H7N3 virus, which does not affect humans, officials said. So far, more than 2.5 million chickens have been infected in Mexico, and one million birds died or were euthanized.The outbreak was detected on June 20 on a farm in the state of Jalisco, the region that leads Mexico’s egg production. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgPresident Hugo Chávez returned to Cuba Monday for cancer surgery after naming Vice President Nicolas Maduro his political successor and warning his leadership team to refrain from intrigues.Chávez was shown on Venezuelan television pumping his fist and shouting “Forward to life always” in an emotional predawn farewell before boarding a plane to Cuba surrounded by his closes aides.Cuban President Raúl Castro and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez met Chávez, 58, at the Havana International Airport on his arrival early Monday, the Cuban state news agency reported.Chávez’s health is of paramount importance to Havana’s communist leadership, which relies on Venezuela – a country that sits atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves – for cheap oil, economic aid and international support.The leftist leader, who was re-elected in October after proclaiming himself to be cancer-free, faces his fourth round of surgery in Cuba since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.Forced out of the political fray for the time being, due to his medical condition, Chávez urged Venezuelans to support Maduro and warned against the perils of a struggle over his succession.“I only ask you once again to strengthen your unity … and not fall prey to intrigue,” said Chávez at the swearing-in Sunday of a new defense minister, Diego Molero Bellavia.At the event, broadcast Monday on state television, Chávez expressed confidence in the military’s loyalty, saying “it was in good hands.”But he warned: “The enemy is lurking abroad and within, and they will not fail to take advantage of any possible circumstance to pounce as hyenas on the motherland … and deliver it to imperialism,” Chávez said, speaking to military leaders.In power since 1999, Chávez was briefly deposed in a 2002 coup, only to be restored to power by loyal soldiers 47 hours later. Chávez launched a failed coup himself in 1992 against then-president Carlos Andres Pérez.Chávez’s pre-dawn departure was announced via Twitter by Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas.Chávez has entrusted his care almost exclusively to Cuban doctors over Venezuelans, possibly to better control information about his condition. The type and severity of Chávez’s cancer has never been disclosed.Shortly after returning from 10 days of treatment in Cuba, he stunned the country late Saturday by revealing that his cancer had returned and he needed to undergo another round of surgery.Treatment is “absolutely necessary,” he said on state television, admitting he may have to give up the presidency and that Maduro was his chosen successor.In an indication of the severity of the situation, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa – a close ally – announced via Twitter Monday that he was traveling to Havana to be with Chávez.A firebrand who rose to international prominence as an acerbic critic of the United States, the once omnipresent Chávez has been strikingly absent from view even as he campaigned for re-election.He has missed practically every regional meeting he was to have attended over the past year and a half, including the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, the Mercosur summit in Brazil and last month’s Ibero-American summit.Maduro’s designation as heir in the event that “something happens” to him underlined both the seriousness of Chávez’s condition, and the political uncertainty arising from his illness.Speaking Saturday, Chávez said his Cuban doctors recommended “that I undergo surgery yesterday [Friday] at the latest, or this weekend,” he noted. “But I did not agree and came back home.”He urged Venezuelans to vote for Maduro in the next presidential poll should he become incapacitated.“Choose Maduro as president of the republic,” Chávez said. “I am asking you this from all my heart.”The Venezuelan constitution calls for new elections to be held within 30 days if the president is permanently incapacitated either before his inauguration – scheduled for Jan. 10 – or in the first four years of his six-year term.Maduro, Venezuela’s foreign minister for the past six years, was appointed vice president following Chávez’s re-election in October. He has since held both portfolios.The 50-year-old former bus driver who began his political career in the labor movement belongs to the more moderate wing of the Chávez entourage.Paving the way for his departure, the National Assembly on Sunday granted Chávez permission to travel to Cuba and to leave the country for an indefinite amount of time. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Following strike-ending agreement, public schools (slowly) return to normal Former Education Minister Leonardo Garnier blames old system for backlog in teachers’ salaries Teachers reject pay deal; education minister says get back to work Teachers divided over resuming strike negotiations Hundreds of public educators on Thursday blocked the main access roads to the southeastern San José district of Zapote, where Casa Presidencial is located, in the second week of a nationwide strike over back pay.Thousands of elementary and high school teachers have not received their full salaries from the government, some since February. The Education Ministry has blamed the backlog on problems with a new computer system to process payment information.Teachers’ unions on Wednesday met with Education Minister Sonia Martha Mora, but talks were suspended the next day after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.Mora said the government would make three payments on May 19, 23 and 28, but union leaders rejected the proposal. On Thursday evening, Mora will appear before the Legislative Assembly to brief lawmakers about the situation.“The education sector is maintaing the strike to demand full back pay for thousands of educators. That is the only condition we will accept in order to end our protest. We reiterate our call for parents not to send their children to school until we declare an end to the strike,” the Costa Rican Education Union (SEC) said in a statement.On Thursday, teachers blocked the Garantías Sociales roundabout  at 9 a.m., and long lines of vehicles stretched from the center of Zapote to Casa Presidencial and several surrounding blocks.National Association of Educators (ANDE) President Gilberto Cascante said protests would continue until all teachers are paid. He added that several other protests are taking place throughout the country.Today’s protests mark the ninth day of the nationwide strike, which on Friday will move to the capital’s Central Park, where teachers will gather at 9 a.m. to march along San José’s Second Avenue. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Colombia government, rebels to set up truth commission Colombia, FARC reach agreement on de-escalating conflict An end to Colombia’s war seems close – except in rebel territory Colombia announces cease-fire deal to end 52-year conflict with FARC A Colombian National Police sergeant who was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and held captive for 13 years is now a police attaché working in the Colombian Embassy in Costa Rica.During Colombia’s presidential elections on Sunday, César Augusto Lasso, 47, described being held captive for more than a decade in the Colombian jungle. Lasso was one of several victims kidnapped by the FARC in a famous incident known as the “Toma de Mitú,” in the departmental capital of Vaupés, in southeastern Colombia, in the Amazon basin.On Nov. 1, 1998 at 4:45 a.m., approximately 1,500 FARC guerrilla fighters attacked a police station in Mitú, outnumbering the small town’s squad of 120 police officers.“After several hours of combat, our people were falling. They [the FARC] killed 18 of my compañeros and they kidnapped 61 of us,” Lasso, who was then 34, said in an interview outside the Colombian Embassy in San José.“From then on, it was one continuous hike through the jungles of Colombia waiting to be rescued, or for a chance to escape, or to be traded in a prisoner exchange, or a unilateral release, as the guerrillas did in the end,” Lasso said. Former Colombian Police Sargeant José Libardo Forero, right, hugs his wife next to Sargeant César Augusto Lasso on April 4, 2012. Guillermo Legaría/AFPLasso and the other hostages spent the entire 13 years chained at the neck, in pairs. They endured horrid conditions, including unbearable heat, high humidity, tropical disease, and – most of all – isolation.“We didn’t have direct communication with our family members. We could only hear messages from them, mostly my mother and my children, when our captors allowed us to listen to the radio,” he said.“In all that time, [the FARC] never showed anyone from the outside proof that we were still alive. But thanks to God’s will and the strength he gave us, we were able to make it out alive, although other compañeros didn’t make it,” Lasso said. “Some died, others are still missing.”The FARC released Lasso on April 2, 2012. During those 13 years, Lasso said what he missed most was the chance to see his children grow up, along with “the many things that life gives you, the ability to educate yourself, perfect yourself.“Pero bueno,” he said, “life goes on.”Lasso never got another chance to see his father, who died 10 years after the kidnapping. Former FARC hostage César Augusto Lass, right, arrives in Villavicencio, Colombia, on April 2, 2012, after being freed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). AFP/ICRC/Boris HegerThe FARC is currently engaged in peace negotiations with the Colombian government in Havana, Cuba, one of the central issues in the South American country’s current electoral process.Colombian opposition candidate Óscar Zuluaga led President Juan Manuel Santos in Sunday’s elections, but neither candidate captured enough votes to avoid a runoff. Santos favors continuing his administration’s 18-month negotiations with the Marxist rebels, but Zuluaga, who has the support of former conservative president Álvaro Uribe, has vowed to take a harder line and end the peace talks.Recommended: Colombian leader, rival head to runoff vote After 13 years captive in a Colombian jungle, César Augusto Lasso can still smile. Guillermo Legaria/AFP Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 Aug / 2019

PHOTOS Lantern Parade

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 Even with the rain as a guest, students from the Buenaventura Corrales School in San José celebratedthe traditional Lantern Parade. Demonstrating their creativity, the kids walked outside the school with their parents, lighting up the night before Independence Day with patriotic lanterns they had made in various designs.center_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:PHOTOS: Costa Rica Celebrates 193 Years of Independence PHOTOS: Lantern parade and torch kick off Costa Rica Independence Day festivities PHOTOS: Snapshots of Costa Rica’s Independence Day Parade Costa Rican foreign minister: US independence an ‘inspiration’last_img read more

first_imgChunky-style sauce, rambutan fruit, sugarless candy and even pet snacks are some of the new exports that Costa Rican producers will begin distributing in Chile in coming months.During recent business trips organized by Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), local companies signed contracts to sell their products in Chile. Among them, Productos Agropecuarios VISA will begin sending rambután starting in August. Chilean supermarket chains Tottus and Cencosud will begin distributing the spiky oval-shaped fruit there.The Tico company had already made various shipments to South America, but company execs believe the fruit is still little known there. Commercial manager Erick Villalobos said the firm’s first shipments were very small but contracts signed during the business trip to Chile are signs of bigger opportunities.In September, Alimentos Kamuk will begin exporting the first shipments of chunky-style sauces made with mixtures of tropical fruits and hot peppers. The sauce will also be distributed at Tottus supermarkets.Lila Johnson, PROCOMER’s coordinator of Trade Promotion in Chile, said the strategy to diversify exports to that country is based on identifying suitable market niches and marketing channels for Tico products.“Our current strategy has recently managed to attract Chilean buyers of mostly healthy, zero-calorie, gluten-free, organic and environmentally-friendly products from local companies, including Productos Agropecuarios VISA, Alimentos Kamuk, Central Veterinaria, Roma, Sweetwell, Grupo Zapata and Ampo,” Johnson said.Chile is currently the fourth-largest buyer of Tico products in South America behind Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.In 2014 Costa Rica exported a total of $39 million to Chile. In the first five months of this year exporters sold $14 million, according to PROCOMER data.Currently Costa Rican exports to Chile consist mainly of agricultural products, plastic containers and medical equipment components. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica launches catalog of premium food products Costa Rican food producers look for new buyers at international fairs Medical devices top Costa Rica’s export sales in early 2015 Costa Rican exporters look to increase sales at international fairlast_img read more

first_imgCapturing people’s natural beauty began as a hobby that would later become a passion for the Costa Rican photographer Roberto Delgado Webb. He seeks to portray people’s personality by getting to know them while photographing them; his unique photographic style is defined by seeking for the best equipment, part of his fascination with the parts of the camera. This fascination stems from his studies of mechanical engineering at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).In addition to his studies, he works at Inventoría San Pedro, an integrated technology, science, design, and entrepreneurship center founded by the UCR Foundation and the Costa Rican Innovation Foundation. Delgado Webb, who is 19 years old, is now working as a professional photographer as well. In February, he launched his brand Delgado Webb; one of the brand’s projects, called Chill the F*ck Out, seeks to portray people’s essence in a relaxed environment.The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Delgado Webb on a chilly night about his life and works. Excerpts follow.Why did you choose photography?Photography chose me. No, I’m kidding. [Laughs.] It’s mostly because I like to have a camera in my hands, look for something to photograph and, later, be able to communicate. It’s almost like the scientific method… When I’m on the bus and listen to a certain song, I always imagine a specific scene, a movie or a story. When I’ve got those ideas, I take the song I was listening to and then see if I’m able to convert it into photographs.For this last session I did for [the brand] Plivertees I was watching a lot of movies and one day began listening to music with a lot of mellow, dark synthesizers. I asked myself how I could create photographs like that. I researched a bit and realized that that style is known as neo noir. [The photographs] are born from a song that you really identify yourself with, with a mood that accompanies you daily; it’s something that if you don’t do it’ll bother you. If something bothers me, I’ve got to do it. Delgado Webb’s Plivertees shoot had a neo noir theme. (Courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb)How do you combine photography and mechanical engineering?I built most of the home equipment that I use for my personal projects myself. I’ve made some rails and tools to hold the camera together. I don’t only study: I also work at Inventoría San Pedro, which is a prototyped workshop that has 3D printing machines and laser cutting equipment. Those machines allow me to make a lot of different things. I also studied electronic engineering at a technological high school. I’m a geek… That helps me a lot when I choose the lenses, equipment and lights, and helps me make modifications.This year, my brand Delgado Webb was released. Matti Vandersee, a graphic designer from Pupila Studio, worked with me to design the brand… I never would’ve imagined I’d be generating money as a photographer. It has come out really well. Delgado Webb seeks unique angles to make the composition more interesting while reflecting the subject’s personality. (Courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb)How do you get to know a person through a photographic session?The most important question is what music they like; musical taste says a lot about a person. Afterwards, you ask them what they study, where they come from, and everything flows in a very natural manner. They’ll probably ask me why I like photography, I’ll answer back and from then on lots of questions come out. This will make the photographs way more real because the trust has been built. We’re not strangers anymore. We’re two people who have begun knowing each other, and the best photos are the last ones because they’re the most real. Delgado Webb’s recent photos for Plivertees used classic neon lights in downtown San José to help create vibrant but dark images. (Courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb) With a Petzval lens, Delgado Webb creates a background composed of distinct figures such as these stars. (Courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb)Through that confidence and trust, how do you manage to portray the person?It comes out naturally. The smile that people show when speaking about a topic they love says it all. What you’ve got to do in that moment is search for the correct angle. It’s about being able to give the person various angles and make them look interesting, and allow them to talk about something they enjoy… Those are the moments that you use to adjust the photograph without losing the topic, the conversation, the music or that dance that appeared from the song the person loves. Everything happens very organically.How is the camera a tool to demonstrate your vision of the world?The camera can be either a very useful tool or a limitation. Unfortunately, photography is defined by the equipment’s quality… A good photographer will choose a good lens, camera, camera configuration and edition of the photograph. It’s about all of those factors. The lens can be an old lens that makes the background softer or generates stronger shades. The selection of good equipment is what really makes the magic that you want to communicate. The camera can be something that can either helps you create your idea, or not completely communicate what you want to say. It’ll all depend on what you have in your hands. (Courtesy of Roberto Delgado Webb)Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:5 question for a Costa Rican photographer 5 questions for Costa Rican sculptor José Sancho 5 questions for a Costa Rican designer 5 questions for a Costa Rican painterlast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Arts, culture and Mother’s Day: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Facebook Comments If world news has you weary, let the power of story take you away this weekend as the International Storytelling Festival returns to Alajuela. Storytellers from across Latin America and Spain, children’s shows, music and a closing-ceremony story marathon add up to a whopping 70 events over 10 days, all free of charge. Check out the full agenda here (through Sunday, November 27).The last Art City Tour of the year takes San José tonight with free museum and gallery entries, five routes around east and west San José (walk, bike with Chepecletas or use the hop-on, hop-off shuttles), cultural and culinary offerings, and in this edition, a special projection of photos and other material from the new book “Costa Rica: Greatest Wildlife Spectacles” (Friday, November 18).Get into the holiday spirit and support a great cause at the second annual Christmas concert at the Children’s Museum in north-central San José, featuring patients and former patients of the National Children’s Hospital alongside special guests and a choir of parents, all directed by Sergio Herrera. Entrance is free, or pay the regular museum entrance fee to be able to explore the museum before or after the 11 a.m. show (Sunday, November 20).Stay tuned for our special Thanksgiving preview on Monday, and have a great weekend!last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:The Tico Times Weekly Digest: April 8, 2019 President is safe after confrontation with protesters The Tico Times Weekly Digest: March 18, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: March 25, 2019 The second episode of The Tico Times Weekly Digest is here:Read more about the stories mentioned above:Cats march through streets, rats scared, milk supply runs low: http://www.bit.ly/MARCHADEGATOSEpsy Campbell asks the United Nations to intervene in Nicaragua: http://www.bit.ly/EPSYONUYoung Costa Ricans aim to save the danta through Nai Conservation: http://www.bit.ly/DANTANAIReaching for the stars: http://www.bit.ly/NASACROff the Eaten Path – Bar La Selegna: http://www.bit.ly/LASELEGNA Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Hughes said police needed to learn lessons from not heeding her complaint and that there were a number of “missed opportunities” to stop Miah.“There are lessons to be learned by the police to be ever vigilant to detect signs of the possible exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people, and to take seriously what they say, however chaotic and difficult their lives may be,” he said.Many of the girls in the case were addicted to drugs or came from troubled backgrounds. Prostitutes at his brothel were also asked to find young girls, who he described as “fresh meat.”The judge noted that “parallels are bound to be drawn” between this case and the sentencing last week in northwest England of nine men for luring girls as young as 13 into sex using alcohol and drugs.In that racially-charged case, one of the victims first spoke out in 2008, but prosecutors failed to press charges amid concerns that a jury might have questioned the girl’s credibility. Police and prosecutors have since apologized and the Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating.Miah was jailed for a total of nine years for four counts of paying for the sexual services of a child between 2006 and 2009, one year for keeping a brothel between 2005 and 2011, and five years for five counts of inciting child prostitution. He was cleared of child prostitution allegations relating to two other girls.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates LONDON (AP) – A British judge on Tuesday sentenced a Bangladeshi man to 15 years in prison for paying young girls for sex and trying to recruit some as young as 12 years old into prostitution in northern England.In his sentencing on Tuesday, Judge Peter Hughes chastised Azad Miah for preying on girls from troubled backgrounds and trying to draw them into “a life of drug dependency and sleazy sex for money.”center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements “Your conduct corrodes the foundations of decency and respect by which all right-thinking people live their lives whatever their ethnic or religious background,” the judge said.Miah, 44, was convicted of trying to lure four young girls into prostitution, paying for the sexual services of two teenage girls, and running a brothel from his business, the Spice of India restaurant in the town of Carlisle. He had denied the charges, claiming that his accusers conspired to concoct fake stories because he stopped giving them money “out of kindness.”On Tuesday, Miah’s lawyer, Stephen Meadowcroft, said that his client had expressed “very, very great shame” over his actions.The conviction was the second case in recent weeks that raised questions about how police respond to complaints from vulnerable girls, as one of the victims testified to the court that she had initially spoken to officers about Miah three years before his arrest.The court heard that the 12-year-old complained to police on three occasions about Miah harassing her in 2008, three years before his eventual arrest. He would send her up to 50 text messages a day, demanding sex and telling her that “in his country it didn’t matter about age,” she said, adding that she eventually stopped complaining to police because nothing was done about it.last_img read more

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Sponsored Stories “Tunisia has a bigger middle class,” he said. “There are a lot of people in Morocco and Algeria that would like to be jihadis but don’t have the resources, while in Tunisia there are better networks in Europe and a more open economy.”With many Tunisians working and living outside the country, wannabe fighters could rely on networks of family and friends to make their way to foreign countries.Since Tunisia’s revolution deposed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country’s Islamist current has come into the open and the North African country is in the midst of a struggle to define the role of religion in public life.Ultraconservative Muslim youth, known as Salafis, have repeatedly protested against perceived insults to the religion, attacked art galleries and in recent days, taken on police in pitched battles.Radical preachers are also urging young people to travel to Syria to take up the jihad against what they are calling an illegitimate regime.“It is the duty of all Muslims to support the struggle of the Syrian people against despotism,” said Bilal Chaouachi, a Tunisian student at the Zaytouna religious university who describes himself as a Salafi. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family “Our youth have good intentions, but it is possible they fell into the hands of manipulators,” he told The Associated Press.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The Syrian government maintains that they are fighting foreign jihadis and in mid-May issued a letter to the United Nations giving the name of 26 arrested jihadis and alleged members of al-Qaida. Nineteen of them were Tunisian.Tunisia has long had a reputation for being one of the most secular states in the Arab world, under the iron hand of a regime that savagely repressed Islamists. But underneath a shiny exterior of beach resorts and an espresso-sipping French-speaking elite, there has always been a strong current of ultraconservative Islamists.“The extremism is the fruit of dictatorship,” explained Sami Brahim, who studies such Tunisian Islamic movements and said that many became very religious or turned to jihadi thought amid the despair and repression of the old regime. “These youth are victims of the dictatorship.”A cache of documents discovered by the U.S. military in northern Iraq showed that many Tunisians traveled there to fight alongside al-Qaida.The records of around 600 foreign jihadis found in Iraq’s Sinjar region showed that while the majority of foreign fighters were Libyans and Saudis, per capita, Tunisians came in third.William Lawrence, the North Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the presence of Tunisians in international jihad was something he studied during his time at the State Department. At the time, U.S. officials concluded that their relatively high numbers were due to a greater ability to travel. Comments   Share   The cradle of the Arab Spring, Tunisia also has a long history of frustrated youth heading off to fight in foreign jihads. Now, according to figures released by the Syrian government, they may make up a large percentage of Arabs who have gone to join the struggle against the regime of Bashar Assad. And that has raised alarm both about radicalization in the Syrian rebel movement, and of rising extremism within newly-democratic Tunisia itself.It is an awkward situation for the Tunisian government, which has to rely on international organizations to follow up on the fate of its citizens arrested in Syria, since it was one of the first countries to cut ties in protest of the regime’s brutal crackdown on the opposition.It is not known how many Tunisians have gone to fight in Syria, where the violence has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months. An uprising that began with mostly peaceful protests has now evolved into an armed insurgency.Al-Qaida-style suicide bombings have become increasingly common in Syria, and Western officials say there is little doubt that Islamist extremists, some associated with the terror network, have made inroads in Syria as instability has spread. But the main fighting force looking to oust Assad is the Free Syrian Army, a group made up largely of defected Syrian soldiers. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Hafedh Ghadboun, a lawyer with the Justice and Equity society that is looking for many of Tunisia’s wayward sons, doubts that many of those arrested were real jihadis or part of al-Qaida.He accused the Syrian regime of forcing them to confess, though he did admit that some of the names published had been imprisoned by Ben Ali previously on charges of terrorism.“The Syrian authorities want to justify their pretext that the Assad regime is fighting terrorists,” he said.Tunisian authorities, meanwhile, are trying to crack down on those encouraging people to go fight.Sadik Arfaoui of the religious affairs ministry said that the vast majority of imams who preach at the 4,700 mosques in the country follow a moderate version of Islam.“There exist about 100 imams who don’t recognize the authority of the state, we will take care of them soon,” he said.Tunisia’s government is run by a moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, which was severely repressed by Ben Ali and has since formed an alliance with two secular parties. Al-Qaida has called for its overthrow because it is not aggressively pushing for the implementation of Islamic law.Presidential spokesman Adnan Mancer said the government is attempting to follow up on the fate of Tunisians in Syria with the aid of international organizations like the Red Cross, since the countries no longer have diplomatic ties. He called jihad in Syria legitimate and described Syria as being led by an “unbeliever” regime backed by Iranian and Lebanese mercenaries, supported by Russia and China.Nourreddine Jebnoun, a Tunisian security expert at Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, warned that the radical threat in Tunisia could get even worse if those who fought in Syria one day return home, like those who once fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.“Like the `Arab Afghans’ who went to their countries in the early 1990s, Tunisia can expect a wave of fighters coming home in few years with new combat skills. This while the country is still struggling in its transition would be a big nightmare,” he wrote in a recent article.One of the country’s new Salafi groups, Ansar al-Shariah, is actually led by a Tunisian who once fought in Afghanistan: Seifallah Ben Hassine, also known as Abu Yadh, who was imprisoned by the old regime.Back in May, his group held a rally in the religious city of Kairouan that featured Salafis dressed in the style of Afghan Taliban staging martial arts demonstrations and horsemen brandishing swords, shocking many Tunisians. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressTUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Sometimes it’s a muffled call from Turkey or Lebanon by a son saying he’s off to fight in Syria when the family thought he’d gone abroad to study. Other times it’s just an anonymous phone call to say the son is now a martyr.Some Tunisian families only learn of their son’s fate upon seeing him on Syrian TV, apparently confessing to be part of al-Qaida and seeking to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories Egypt:The 50-year-old, bespectacled Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, also known as Umm Ahmed, is a longtime Muslim Brotherhood member along with her husband, Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi. She has a high school diploma and once worked in the United States as translator. The mother of five does not dress in the coiffed and polished style of Egyptian first ladies before her, instead donning a long, traditional headscarf and black abaya, or robe, worn by many women in Egypt’s impoverished villages and towns. She told The Associated Press she does not want to be called “first lady,” rather Egypt’s “first servant.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Qatar:Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser is the most prominent of the three wives of the Emir of Qatar. The university educated Sheikha Moza has been ranked by Forbes magazine among the world’s 100 most powerful women. She is believed to have influenced policies through the Qatar Foundation, which she heads. The 52-year-old is mother of seven children. Rated in Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List last year, Sheikha Moza is widely known for her elegance and expensive custom-made designer clothes. While she covers her hair with a turban in line with Islamic custom, her form-hugging dresses and lavish jewels stand out among the black robes worn by many women in Gulf Arab countries.Jordan:Queen Rania, born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait and educated at the American University in Cairo, is mother of four children with King Abdullah II of Jordan. She is active on Twitter and has her own YouTube channel to raise awareness about education and other social issues. She has written a children’s book to promote cross-cultural dialogue. The 42-year-old is considered one of the world’s most attractive women, according to Harper’s and Queens magazine. Her Western, high-end style has landed her among the world’s best dressed women. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosis (AP) – A look at the Middle East’s most notable “first wives.”Syria:The 36-year-old, university educated Asma Assad is the British-born wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad. She was born to a prominent Syrian family and grew up in the affluent west London suburbs. Before the uprising that erupted in Syria last year, her image as an attractive and sophisticated woman helped boost Assad’s own as a modernizer. An article in Vogue in March, 2011, published just as protests began, hailed her as a “Rose in the Desert.” EU foreign ministers have since slapped sanctions on her, and she has been criticized for standing by Assad.last_img read more

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Rio de Janeiro’s former archbishop who provided shelter to thousands of people opposed to the military regimes that once ruled Brazil, Argentina and Chile has died at age 91.The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro said Tuesday on its website that Eugenio de Araujo Sales died of a heart attack in his sleep late Monday.Sales was ordained as a priest in 1943 in the northeastern city of Natal. In 1971 he became archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, a position he held until 2001 when he retired. Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Comments   Share   One year earlier, he told the O Globo newspaper that from 1976-1982 he provided shelter to close to 5,000 Brazilian opponents of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime and political refugees fleeing the dictatorships of Argentina and Chile.He said at the time that those he helped were either put up in 80 apartments rented by the archdiocese or received help to travel to other counties, mostly in Europe.“He was present in all of Brazil’s most important events, especially those involving refugees and the defense of the persecuted,” Rio de Janeiro Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta said in a statement.Rio de Janeiro state governor Sergio Cabral decreed three days of mourning.President Dilma Rousseff said Sales will be remembered for “his concern with social issues which was always closely linked to his ecclesiastical work.”Sales’ body will lie in state at Rio de Janeiro’s cathedral, where he will be entombed in a crypt on Wednesday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Quick workouts for men Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

first_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project RABAT, Morocco (AP) – Around 1,000 Moroccan judges have held an unprecedented sit-in in front of the Supreme Court calling for greater independence for the judiciary.The rare demonstration was organized by the Judges’ Club, a group formed in August 2011 to push for judicial reform.Club founder Yassine Mkhelli said Saturday that they were demanding laws guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary.Morocco’s new constitution passed last year does give the judicial branch greater powers and independence but it has yet to be implemented.center_img How do cataracts affect your vision? 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories The Judges’ Club is officially banned, but tolerated. It includes about half of the country’s 3,000 judges.Morocco’s courts have historically been weak and under the control of the king and his Justice Ministry(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

first_img Top Stories North Korea has been upgrading the Sohae launch site on its west coast since mid-2013 after it blasted its first rocket into space in December 2012. It says the space program is peaceful.The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says the North completed an expansion of its launch tower late last year to take larger rockets. Commercial satellite imagery shows that since then, the North has been working on a support building and what appears to be a moveable platform to allow an assembled rocket to be shifted on rails to the launch pad. The institute likens it to facilities in China but says there’s no publicly available evidence to suggest Beijing is providing help.The most recent image is from May 16.“The Sohae facility upgrade program represents a significant investment of financial, material and personnel resources and is another indicator, along with its public statements, that North Korea is determined to pursue its space program,” read the analysis provided to The Associated Press ahead of publication on the institute’s website, 38 North.Satellite imagery analyst Tim Brown writes that the expansion of the launch tower suggests the North wants to field a larger space launch vehicle, which may also contribute to its development of long-range ballistic missiles. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility WASHINGTON (AP) — Satellite imagery shows significant new construction at North Korea’s main rocket launch site in a sign of leader Kim Jong Un’s determination to pursue a space program despite international censure, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.North Korea is barred under U.N. Security Council resolutions from launching rockets as that technology can also be used to launch ballistic missiles. Kim, however, declared this month that its space program “can never be abandoned.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ____Online:http://38north.org/Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Concern is rising over North Korea’s weapons development. The North recently claimed it tested a new type of missile from a submarine and reiterated that it had built a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on a long-range missile. Outside analysts are skeptical about both claims, but they believe the North has built a small but growing nuclear bomb arsenal and advanced its missile program since international nuclear disarmament talks stalled in early 2009.In Seoul on Wednesday, nuclear envoys from South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed on the need to increase pressure on North Korea and urged the country to engage in serious negotiations on its nuclear weapons program.The North’s unpredictable leader, Kim, has closely associated himself with the space program. In early May, state media reported Kim inspected a newly-built satellite control and command center, but didn’t specify the location. Kim was quoted as saying the North would launch satellites into space at the time and locations chosen by the ruling party.The December 2012 launch propelled a satellite into space, but U.S. officials said it soon tumbled out of control in orbit.There is speculation that North Korea could mark the 70th anniversary this October of the ruling Korean Workers Party with a rocket launch. The institute says it would be difficult to complete construction at the launch site by then, but the North could go ahead with a launch by pausing construction and using the existing facilities at Sohae. The vital role family plays in society Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Q: What else will change under the USA Freedom Act?A: The new law gives private companies more leeway to publicly report information about the number of national security surveillance demands they receive. And it requires declassification of FISA Court opinions containing significant legal decisions, or a summary if declassification is not possible. That is designed to prevent secret interpretations such as the one that allowed bulk collection of U.S. phone records.Q: Does this legislation address the concerns raised by the disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden?A: It addresses the most controversial program he revealed, the domestic phone records collection. But it does nothing to affect another major Snowden revelation: the NSA’s collection of foreign Internet content from U.S. tech companies, a program that sweeps up lots of American communications. And it doesn’t address the bulk of Snowden disclosures about foreign intelligence gathering and the NSA’s attempts to exploit technology, such as encryption, for the benefit of U.S. intelligence.Q: Who are the political winners and losers coming out of this legislative fight?A: Winners include Obama, who proposed this idea more than a year ago to assuage public concerns about surveillance, and congressional Democrats, who backed it. Also coming out ahead are libertarian Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a presidential candidate who used Senate rules to box in his own party’s leaders. The biggest loser by any measure is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who opposed the USA Freedom Act and thought he could force the House to accept a last-minute extension of current law. But because of Paul and others, McConnell couldn’t make that happen. He then saw his proposed changes to the USA Freedom Act defeated.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law the USA Freedom Act, which extends three expiring surveillance provisions of the 9/11-era USA Patriot Act. It also overhauls the most controversial provision, which had been interpreted to allow bulk collection of U.S. phone records by the National Security Agency.Questions and answers about the bill the Senate passed on Tuesday and the House approved earlier: Q: What happens with the phone records collection?A: It will resume for six months, provided that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders phone companies to turn over the records and that no court stops it under various pending lawsuits. During that period, the NSA will seek to work with providers to come up with a way to quickly query their records against known terrorist phone numbers, pursuant to a court order. It will be able to collect data for all the numbers in contact with the suspect number, and all the numbers in contact with those numbers. So the NSA will still be rooting around in Americans’ phone records, but it won’t be collecting all of them.Q: What about the American calling records the NSA has been collecting for years?A: Obama administration officials have not said what they will do with those and whether they will continue to search them.Q: What about the other surveillance provisions that expired?A: The roving wiretap provision, which allows the FBI to eavesdrop on espionage and terror suspects who discard cell phones frequently, will go back into effect, as will the lone-wolf provision, which has never been used. The FBI will still be able to use Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect a variety of business records in national security investigations. But the new law requires the government to limit the scope of its collection, prohibiting it from grabbing, for example, all information relating to a particular service provider or area code. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 0 Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. departs in an elevator after speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, calling for the 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report to be declassified. Paul has been voicing his dissent in the Senate against a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency’s collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

first_imgQantas has been accused by an Australian union of underpaying its New Zealand-based crew through a wholly owned subsidiary which operates services on the trans-Tasman routes.The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) say that pilots working for Jetconnect, a wholly Qantas owned subsidiary, are currently being paid 40% less than pilots hired directly under Qantas and has taken legal action in a bid to bring pay parity.Despite Jetconnect operating many of Qantas’ trans-Tasman services, flying planes in Qantas livery and wearing Qantas uniforms, the union is arguing that they are not being paid anywhere near their Australian counterparts.Formally lodging a legal complain with Fair Work Australia, the union says the Qantas group of companies was subverting Australian employment laws and threatening the jobs of pilots in Australia.“Effectively Qantas is off shoring Trans Tasman flying via its offshoot Jetconnect.  It is a deliberate strategy to drive down wages and conditions.  There is not enough work for Qantas mainline pilots to do while at the same time Qantas sends our jobs offshore on lower rates of pay,” said Barry Jackson, AIPA President.“Less than 6 months ago the bulk of Qantas Trans-Tasman flying was being done by Qantas pilots, whereas now the work is being done by Jetconnect pilots on far less money.”If successful, it will bring the wages of the New Zealand-based pilots up dramatically, but on the downside, New Zealand-based jobs may be lost as the competitive advantage of hiring Kiwis does down.Jetconnect co-pilots reportedly earned some AUD65,000 and captains AUD$107,000, while Qantas co-pilots can look forward to some AUD103,000 and captains AUD162,000. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/21c2b/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

first_imgThe report outlines the strong and continued economic growth experienced in the Middle East, compared with the G8 countries.Major investments are planned in the region, specifically within travel industry, including USD86 billion toward airports.These investments in the travel, aviation and hospitality sectors will enable the Middle East to diversify its economy with plans to expand international, intra-region and domestic tourism, according to the report.Antoine Medawar vice president Middle East Amadeus is confident the region is poised to achieve international recognition.“The Middle East already connects more major global destinations via a single flight than any other hub.“The aim of becoming the world’s dominant travel hub by 2025 is within reach, but obstacles remain, the chief one being complacency,” Mr Medawar said. In a report released by Amadeus the Middle East is on track to become the most prolific and dominant international travel hub.The Middle East’s geographic positioning makes it a central port of call, especially for emerging economies such as China, Latin America, Africa and India. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

first_imgWhat attractions do you mention when talking about Australia?Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.N Are you being talked about? Is your attraction ranking up there with the big boys?TripAdvisor has created a list of the most talked about Australian attractions based on the number of reviews submitted in 2012.The top ten were more or less obvious, however the next ten were somewhat surprising.Top ten talked about attractions in Australia:Sydney Harbour (Sydney)Sydney Opera House (Sydney)City Circle Tram (Melbourne)Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney)The Rocks (Sydney)Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk (Sydney)Kings Park & Botanic Garden (Perth)Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (Melbourne)Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne) Some places are worth talking about.Image: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuarycenter_img Other most talked about attractions in AustraliaMelbourne Zoo (Melbourne)South Bank Parklands (Brisbane)Manly Beach (Sydney)Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk (Sydney)MONA (Hobart)Eureka Skydeck 88 (Melbourne)Australian War Memorial (Greater Canberra)Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon (Cairns Region)Block Arcade (Melbourne)Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (Brisbane)last_img read more