More than 3000 flight cancellations as storm hits northeast US

August 19, 2019

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first_img The Canadian Press More than 3,000 flight cancellations as storm hits northeast U.S. BOSTON — A powerful, fast-moving storm swept into the northeast U.S. on Thursday with the potential for more than a foot of snow along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor.Commuters faced windblown snow and slick highways. Forecasters said Thursday’s weather had the potential to be the most powerful storm that some areas have seen in a mostly snow-free winter. Schools were closed in Albany, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston, numerous accidents were reported and more than 3,000 flights were cancelled.The National Weather Service predicted that the Boston area and eastern Maine could get 12 to 18 inches of snow, and a blizzard warning has been issued for all of Long Island until 6 p.m. New York City could see eight to 12 inches and the Philadelphia area four to eight inches. Near whiteout conditions were possible, with the snow expected to fall at a clip of two to four inches per hour at its peak.Airlines scrapped thousands of flights by late Wednesday as a precaution, and FlightAware.com reported 3,323 flights were cancelled Wednesday through Friday, including more than 2,700 on Thursday.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsOfficials also warned of high winds, coastal flooding and possible power outages.Massachusetts activated its emergency management bunker in Framingham, where Gov. Charlie Baker was scheduled to provide updates on the storm at midday. Baker urged people to stay off the roads to allow plows and sanders to do their work.Eastern Long Island braced for up to 16 inches of snow, with a potential for power outages. “The roads are in bad shape … covered and icy,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said. He said snow was falling at up to two inches per hour and was expected to intensify.New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said people should stay home.“If you need to go out, please, don’t use your car,” de Blasio said on NY1 television.In Manhattan, intrepid, bundled-up commuters carefully navigated snow-covered sidewalks and blowing snow stung any exposed skin.New Jersey’s emergency management office reported about 50 accidents before midmorning, and that number was expected to grow. New Jersey Transit trains face delays of up to 15 minute.More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksState offices in New Jersey were closed, as were the courts in Massachusetts. Government offices in the Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties surrounding Philadelphia were also shuttered.Thursday’s storm was expected to last six to 10 hours, said Carl Erickson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather in State College, Pennsylvania.The snow was expected taper off by the early afternoon in the Philadelphia and New York City areas, but New Englanders were bracing for snowfall through the evening commute. << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img Tags: Snow Storm Posted by Thursday, February 9, 2017 last_img read more


Competition heats up on Vancouver – Hong Kong route with arrival of

August 19, 2019

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first_imgCompetition heats up on Vancouver – Hong Kong route with arrival of Hong Kong Airlines Share VANCOUVER — Low-cost carrier Hong Kong Airlines is turning up the heat on pricing after it announced daily lift-offs between Vancouver and Hong Kong with introductory fares that start as low as $750 plus taxes peak season round-trip and dropping as low as $500 plus taxes in the off-peak late summer season.“Competition is good for the customer,” said David Du, Marketing and Sales Manager for the airline. In a decade HKA has grown at a fast clip into 36 countries. Members of the HKA executive team out of Hong Kong joined Vancouver team members to meet with travel agents and members of the Asian community during a special dinner at the upscale Sun Sui Wah seafood restaurant on Vancouver’s Main Street.While HKA is going after the ethic VFR market – where price points are important especially for larger groups – it is not ignoring further tertiary markets as it brings in attractive pricing for those wanting to explore Hong Kong or use the city as a jumping off point to explore Asia.  HKA and Jet Airways recently entered into a codeshare partnership aimed at enhancing connectivity between India and Asia-Pacific.David Du and Benjamin Li, Hong Kong AirlinesOn the YVR route, HKA will butt heads with two major and established carriers: Cathay Pacific, Asia’s largest carrier, and Air Canada.  Neither are lightweights in terms of operations fleet size and marketing. As well, carriers such as Delta are known for coming in with deals. But HKA is still known for landing an eye-catching price even in turbulence.The airline has rolled out special offers. Du quoted prices as low as $750 plus taxes from June 30 to Aug. 14 for a roundtrip between the two cities. From August 15 to Oct. 28, the price drops to $500 plus taxes. However bookings must be made during the month of March to receive the lower fares.Vancouver-based General Manager Benjamin Li said the airline’s decision to enter the North American long-haul market came after it had completed long-hauls such as the Gold Coast. “We realized we have the ability to operate long-haul,” he said. HKA has built a reputation on efficient, low-cost short or mid-distance travel destinations. Vancouver loomed as a natural Pacific West Coast gateway to North America and in Canada was one of two cities with a large Asian population already travelling to Hong Kong and China. Figures indicate that up to half a million Chinese travel between the gateways annually.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesHKA jumps into the market at a time when, despite a tax on foreign ownership, Hong Kong and Chinese investors are buying or have bought homes in B.C.’s Lower Mainland or nearby Seattle.  Resident Chinese are taking advantage of North American schools and universities for their children. The market also includes so-called ‘astronaut’ families where the family lives in the B.C. Lower Mainland, with one parent living in Hong Kong and doing business throughout Asia, with a lot of flying back and forth across the Pacific between family and work.The North American YVR gateway also aligns with HKA’s latest burst of global expansion. During the past decade it has covered a network of 36 major cities across the Asia Pacific region, including Gold Coast, Auckland, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Sapporo, Seoul, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa and has codeshare agreements with 12 airlines and 69 interline partners. It operates 32 aircraft, including A330s and A320s.Chief Operating Officer Ben Wong Ching-ho has been quoted in the Asian business press as saying the airline is now looking at Europe and the U.S. for expansion, as more Chinese want those markets. Wong says that HKA has 15 new A350 passenger aircraft (which lend themselves to long-hauls, with more comforts) on order from Airbus and the $4 billion order is to begin delivery in 2018. By the end of 2018, HKA’s fleet will round out at 50 aircraft in total. By comparison, Cathay Pacific is the largest user of A350s and has 46 alone after taking delivery of a large complement in 2016.Both Du and Li said during a press conference that they are stationed in Vancouver to develop business. Du said there is the potential once rights are obtained to easily use Vancouver as a stepping stone into the U.S. market or to other cities. The airline is also looking for partnerships.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesThe June 30 date start-up date was chosen as it is the day before two national holidays celebrated on July 1, Li said. There’s Canada Day, of course, and in Hong Kong July 1, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the unification of Hong Kong back to China.Li said the 330-200 Airbus will leave Hong Kong at 12:30 p.m., arriving at YVR at 10:20 a.m., while the Vancouver flight leaves at 12:10 p.m. and arrives in Hong Kong at 4:50 p.m. the next day.The aircraft has 18 business class seats and 246 economy class seats.  The business class configuration is 1-2-1 while the economy class configuration is 2-4-2.Du said HKA has similar seats to other carriers but has reduced the number of seats in economy to provide more legroom. The aircraft’s business class has a mini-bar where passengers can fix their own drinks. There is full meal service and the airline has recently introduced new amenity packs.Hong Kong Airlines has its own dedicated VIP Lounge at Hong Kong Airport while it uses the airport lounge at YVR. One of the features it offers is priority boarding for those travelling with children.While HKA will be competing with Air Canada on the long-haul international flight, it is partnering with Air Canada domestically so passengers can easily transfer between the two carriers at both Hong Kong and Vancouver. “It balances out for both of us,” said Ming Chan, General Manager, Corporate Communications.Already HKA is already hard at it marketing in Vancouver with functions. Du and Li say they will meet with any agency members who may have missed their Sun Sui Wah dinner or want more information on HKA. Li can be reached at benjamin.li@hkairlines.com. Friday, March 3, 2017 Jean Sorensen center_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Airlines, Low-Cost Carriers, New Routes, Vancouverlast_img read more


Lawsuit over Trumps 1st attempt to ban travel is settled

August 19, 2019

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first_imgTags: America, Donald Trump NEW YORK — Foreigners who were barred from entering the U.S. during President Donald Trump’s first attempt to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority nations will get government help reapplying for visas under a lawsuit settlement reached Thursday.Civil rights lawyers and the Trump administration announced the deal during a conference call in federal court in Brooklyn, one scene of the legal battle over the treatment of hundreds of travellers who were processed at U.S. airports over a chaotic weekend in January.Under the terms of the settlement, the government agreed to notify an unspecified number of people overseas who were banned that they can reapply for visas with the help of a Department of Justice liaison for a three-month period. In return, the plaintiffs said they would drop all their claims.“We are pleased with the settlement and that this chapter in the fight is done,” said American Civil Liberties Union Attorney Lee Gerlent.Gerlent said it’s unclear how many people will benefit from the settlement because the government has refused to disclose the total.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckA DOJ statement read, “Although this case has been moot since March, when the president rescinded the original executive order and issued a new one that does not restrict the entry of Iraqi nationals, the U.S. government has elected to settle this case on favourable terms.”The ACLU, along with the National Immigration Law Center and the International Refugee Assistance Project, sued on behalf of two Iraqui nationals after the Trump administration implemented a policy Jan. 27 that barred entry of visa-holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. One of the plaintiffs was Hameed Khalid Darweesh, a translator who has done work for the U.S. military, who was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport.A federal judge blocked the ban eight days later in a ruling upheld by a circuit court. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy.In June, the Supreme Court found that the narrower order could be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Friday, September 1, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press Lawsuit over Trump’s 1st attempt to ban travel is settledlast_img read more


TL Network agents reaping the benefits and getting the leads

August 19, 2019

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first_imgTL Network agents “reaping the benefits and getting the leads” TORONTO — TL Network agents came out in droves last night for the Toronto area Fall Regional and Regional Mixer, now branded as P.E.A.K. to emphasize TL Network’s four pillars for the annual multi-city events: Programmes, Education, Agents and Knowledge.The one-day Regionals, complimentary and open to all TL Network agents, draw front-line agents as well as owners and managers. The 2018 fall series kicked off earlier this week in Markham, ON and later head off to Edmonton (Oct. 23) and Vancouver (Oct. 25).Attendees can take advantage of practical training, program updates, networking and informative presentations. A supplier partner trade show and reception are followed by a sit-down dinner.Supplier-hosted seminars included ‘Maximize Your Membership’. Dozens of suppliers took part including sponsors NCL, Sunwing, Manulife, G Adventures, AmaWaterways, Globus family of brands, TravelBrands, Universal Orlando Resorts, TravelBound and WestJet Vacations.Attendees also heard about updates to TL Network’s most popular products including Agent Profiler, Leaders Edge, CruisePRO, Engagement, Hotel Programmes and the Learning Management System.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterTL Network’s Vice President, Canada, Christine James, says Canadian membership is now just shy of 700 locations. And the list continues to grow. “Year to date we have added 28 new members,” says James.Sales are up too, because no matter what’s happening in the world, people are still travelling. “I’ve always said Canadians are pretty resilient,” says James. “We’re seeing really healthy growth year-over-year.”TL Network agents are “reaping the benefits and getting the leads” thanks to having their profiles posted on CanadianTravelAgents.ca, adds Travel Leaders Network President, Roger Block.CanadianTravelAgents.ca, TL Network’s mobile-friendly website for the Canadian market, launched in 2017. TL Network members can post their contact details and specialties on the site as part of TL Network’s Agent Profiler lead generation tool. There are now 600+ agent profiles on the site.Agent Profiler, with recent updates, is now more robust with better SEO to generate quality leads, adds Block. The close rate from consumers connecting with agents via Agent Profiler is 25%, with an average transaction of $5,000. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Friday, October 12, 2018 Tags: Technology, TLN, Travel Leaders Networklast_img read more


Arcadios World

August 19, 2019

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first_imgRelated posts:Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Arcadio’s World Facebook Commentslast_img


Ticas take silver in Barranquilla

August 19, 2019

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first_imgThe U21 women’s soccer team won the silver medal in the Central American and Caribbean games after losing 3-1 against Mexico in Barranquilla, Colombia.The game started well for Costa Rica. Katherine Alvarado gave La Sele an early lead after a foul on Gabriela Guillén in the 12th minute gave Costa Rica a penalty. Alvarado’s kick was good and the Ticas took the lead.The rest of the first half remained fairly even. Mexico possessed the ball for 51 percent of the first half and the Ticas held on to the ball for 49 percent of the time.Then the Mexican team reorganized their squad, came out strong and scored all three of their goals in a four-minute window.Veronica Corral tied the game in the 59th minute and then Kenti Robles followed up in the 61st minute to give Mexico the lead. Then a clearly offside Katie Johnson made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute and that was the last goal of the game.With Amelia Valverde at the coaching helm, La Sele beat their best Central American and Caribbean Games result, a bronze medal in Veracruz, Mexico.Costa Rica is now ranked 15th in these games with 22 medals. Six of them are silver and 12 bronze. Costa Rica is still waiting on gold. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica scores key victory over Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying Keylor: Costa Rica is ready to classify Ramírez announces a National Team lineup with a few surprises Costa Rica announces provisional 40-man roster for Gold Cuplast_img read more


Myanmar president announces Cabinet reshuffle

August 18, 2019

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first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Rumors have swirled for months about a possible reshuffle.The announcement made late Monday on the president’s official website said the overhaul affects nine of several dozen Cabinet posts. Some 15 new deputy ministers are also being appointed.Among the most prominent changes is the replacement of former Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, widely seen as a hard-liner. He was replaced by Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi, who has also acted as a liaison between the government and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.The information ministry oversees local and foreign media and the film industry, and has supervised the approval of visas for foreign correspondents. Kyaw Hsan was kept in government, however, and appointed to head the Cooperatives Ministry.The presidential statement did not name all of the new ministers, but said several outgoing ministers _ most considered reformists _ would be moved to four new ministerial-level posts in the president’s office. They include the ministers of finance, national planning and economic development, and Railways Minister Aung Min, who has played a key role in negotiating cease-fires with ethnic rebel groups. Thant Myint-U, a historian from Myanmar and grandson of the late U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, said in a tweet that the reshuffle is “unquestionably a strengthening of President U Thein Sein’s reformist agenda, with top academics, technocrats brought into (the) Cabinet.” “U” is an honorific in Myanmar.Thein Sein has said in recent comments that he would leave behind anyone who is against reform.Earlier this month, military representatives in parliament appointed the country’s politically moderate naval chief as one of the nation’s two vice presidents. Vice Admiral Nyan Tun replaced a known hard-liner, Tin Aung Myint Oo, who resigned citing health reasons.Over the last year, Thein Sein’s government has spearheaded unprecedented change in Myanmar, relaxing decades of harsh rule and allowing freedoms previously unheard of in the Southeast Asian nation. Media censorship has eased dramatically, the government has signed cease-fire deals with multiple armed insurgent groups, and crucial investment laws are being rewritten.But major challenges remain. Rights groups say the rule of law is weak, corruption is strong, and fighting continues in the north between ethnic Kachin rebels and government forces. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   center_img Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Associated PressYANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s president announced a major Cabinet reshuffle on Monday, a move analysts see as advancing the once-pariah nation’s reformist agenda.The shake-up is the biggest since President Thein Sein’s government took office from the former military junta in March 2011 and launched a wave of dramatic reforms that have surprised the world and prompted Western powers to ease crippling sanctions. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix ___Associated Press writers Aye Aye Win in Yangon and Todd Pitman in Bangkok contributed to this report.(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 Daylast_img read more


Afghan president lashes out at US threats

August 18, 2019

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first_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Sponsored Stories PARIS (AP) – Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States, accusing it of making threats in the dispute over an agreement to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond 2014.In an interview published Tuesday by the French daily Le Monde, Karzai says the U.S. is “absolutely” acting like a colonial power in its attempts to force him to sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year. The paper quoted him as saying: “The threats they are making, `We won’t pay salaries, we’ll drive you into a civil war.’ These are threats.” Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Washington and NATO officials say the pact is critical to the plan to keep thousands of forces in Afghanistan after 2014 for a training and counterterrorism mission.Karzai says he backs the long-delayed security agreement but balks at signing it himself. Although a national assembly of 2,500 delegates known as the Loya Jirga endorsed the deal last month and backed a U.S. request that it be signed by the end of the year, Karzai is deferring that to his successor.Much is at stake if the deal falls apart. Afghanistan could lose up to $15 billion a year in aid, effectively collapsing its fragile economy and making it unable to pay its army and police.In the interview, Karzai said he could “green light” the agreement before presidential elections due next April under two conditions: an end to airstrikes and foreign raids on Afghan homes; and greater U.S. efforts to help broker peace with the Taliban.Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. and allied soldiers have been a key source of contention, exacerbated last month by a U.S. drone strike that killed a child.Karzai called on the U.S. to use “secret contacts” that he’s convinced it has with the Taliban to help advance the peace process. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   The Taliban have refused to talk directly with Karzai, his government or its representatives. U.S.-backed talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban failed in June.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img

Pakistan to push forward on gas project with Iran

August 18, 2019

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first_imgISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistan will push forward with a controversial pipeline to import natural gas from neighboring Iran, Pakistan said Tuesday, a project opposed by the United States.The pipeline will link Iran’s gas fields with energy-starved Pakistan, but by going ahead with the project, Pakistan may incur U.S. and international sanctions imposed on Iran _ or anyone doing business with Iran _ over that country’s nuclear program. Check your body, save your life Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of The U.S. has opposed the project and instead supported an alternative proposal to build a pipeline from the gas fields of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Tuesday that petroleum ministers of the two countries met in Tehran on Monday to discuss the project, which has been beset by repeated delays.The two countries decided to fast track the pipeline and formulate a road map to work out challenges, the ministry said. However, no details were given on how Pakistan plans to overcome the numerous problems associated with the project, such as funding and the risk of sanctions.The ministry said experts from both sides would meet soon to accelerate work on the pipeline.Pakistani officials in the Tehran meeting also reiterated their government’s commitment to fulfill its contractual obligation to the pipeline and stressed that the project is of “immense importance” to meeting Pakistan’s energy needs.Islamabad hopes the pipeline will help alleviate the country’s energy crisis, especially electricity shortages. Gas is used to fire many of the nation’s power plants, but insufficient quantities mean rolling blackouts are common. The vital role family plays in society Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The agreement with Iran stipulates that Pakistan must construct its side of the pipeline by December 2014 but the project has met repeated delays. If Pakistan fails to meet this deadline, it will be liable to pay fines that could run into the millions of dollars per day.Most of the Iranian side of the pipeline is believed to be completed but Pakistan has yet to build the roughly 780 kilometers (500 miles) of pipeline necessary to finish its side of the project. There are serious doubts about how Pakistan could come up with the at least $1.5 billion needed to construct the pipeline.An Islamabad-based advocacy group Sustainable Development Policy Institute in an October report termed the project a “death sentence” for Pakistan because it said the gas sold will likely be several times more expensive than the domestic gas currently used.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories last_img read more


Greek finance minister says bailout deal is very close

August 18, 2019

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first_img Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Monday that he expects an agreement with bailout creditors within the next week, which would save the cash-strapped country from fast-approaching bankruptcy.“I think we are very close,” Varoufakis said. “Let’s say (it’s a matter) of about a week.”For almost four months, Greece’s radical left-led government has been haggling with its creditors from the 19-country eurozone and International Monetary Fund over economic reforms it must make to secure a 7.2 billion euro ($8 billion) cash injection. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Patients with chronic pain give advicecenter_img Comments   Share   Tsipras also faulted Greece’s creditors for the liquidity crunch.“The lack of liquidity is neither the choice nor the responsibility of the Greek government,” he said. “It is a tough negotiating tactic of our partners, and I do not know whether everybody in Europe feels proud of it.”Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said that to honor its debt obligations this summer, Greece needs more financial assistance. As a result, Sakellaridis expects a deal with creditors “by the end of May.”Markets appear to be uncertain about how the latest episode in the Greek debt crisis will pan out. Though uncertainty over Greece caused the interest rate on the government’s two-year bonds — a gauge of default risk — surge about 3 percentage points on Monday to above 24 percent, the Athens Stock Exchange closed 1.6 percent higher.In the talks, Athens is proposing reform measures that might protect Greeks hammered by a six-year recession, but lenders say the proposals are too vague.Varoufakis said the main sticking points include demanded pension and labor reforms, as well as the height of the primary budget surplus — which excludes the cost of servicing Greece’s huge debt — in coming years. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Government officials have suggested that Athens could seek popular approval for the final deal, through elections or a referendum. But Varoufakis said he didn’t expect either, and the agreement would be ratified in parliament.He said it would be “foolish” to hold elections just months after the government came to power, adding that any referendum would effectively be a vote on whether to keep or lose the euro currency.“And it would be unfair for Greek citizens to have to take a position on such a matter, answering with either a yes or a no,” Varoufakis said.Athens has already pooled cash reserves from schools, hospitals and local government to fund the state’s debt payments. And Sakellaridis confirmed the government this month used a reserve account with money in a currency unit used by the IMF to repay a loan to the Fund.Sakellaridis also insisted Greece would not accept a one-off bank deposit levy to resolve the cash crisis — a similar measure had been used in eurozone member Cyprus two years ago.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. That is the final payment due from the country’s 240 billion-euro bailout program, launched five years ago after Greece’s public finances spiraled out of control and it was locked out of international bond markets.In a late-night interview with private Star TV, Varoufakis said creditors also appear to believe that the time is ripe for a deal. But he insisted that he would reject any compromise that the radical left-led government in Athens considers to be “non-viable.”Earlier, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the country has tabled detailed proposals for a viable deal. But he warned that Greece is in a state of “financial strangulation.”Over the past few weeks, Greece has survived by scraping together cash from reserve accounts to pay debts as well as day-to-day commitments like wages and pensions.However, Athens admits it is running out of options as further debt repayments come due next month. If no deal is agreed, Tsipras’ government may be faced with a choice of what to pay, imposing capital controls or even leaving the euro.“I assure you that if we face a dilemma between paying a creditor who refuses to sign an agreement with us and a pensioner, we will pay the pensioner,” Varoufakis said. “I hope we will be able to pay both.”last_img read more


South Sudan accuses Sudan of airstrikes killing 1

August 18, 2019

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first_imgJUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s government on Wednesday accused Sudan of bombing two locations in its territory, killing at least one soldier and wounding others.A suspected Sudanese warplane bombed Maban and Renk counties of Upper Nile state on Sunday and Monday, said Peter Hoth, a state minister for information.Hoth said one soldier was killed in Renk, near the border of Sudan, and others wounded. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like “We do not know the motive why the Sudanese are bombing inside the Republic of South Sudan,” Hoth said by phone from Renk.Hoth said four children and a woman were wounded when two bombs landed in Maban county on Sunday.South Sudan’s army spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, confirmed the death and said nine other soldiers were wounded.Aguer said Sudan is likely responsible because Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more


Governments sign pact to create Chineseled Asian bank

August 18, 2019

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first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Beijing’s proposal for the AIIB attracted unexpectedly wide support from U.S. allies including Britain, New Zealand, France and South Korea despite U.S. opposition. Washington and its ally Japan have refrained from seeking membership.The Beijing-based bank is part of China’s efforts to gain a bigger voice in global financial regulation that is dominated by the United States and Europe.The bank is intended to finance investments in railways, cargo ports and other trade links. The U.S. government had objected that the bank would undercut existing institutions such as the World Bank and might allow looser lending standards.Some 57 governments have expressed interest in joining the AIIB, but not all signed Monday’s agreement. The Philippines said it and six other countries including Thailand and South Africa would not sign immediately and had until December to make a final decision.“This proposal was designed to meet Asia’s infrastructure development and promote Asia’s connectivity and also deepen regional cooperation for the sake of development,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting with the foreign envoys in the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of BEIJING (AP) — Envoys of governments that plan to join a Chinese-led Asian bank endorsed a structure Monday that gives Beijing the biggest voting stake at the start but no veto power.Each member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will receive voting shares in line with its contribution to the bank’s proposed $100 billion in capital, under the proposed structure. As the biggest donor, Beijing would get 26 percent of votes, with India in second-place with 7.5 percent and Russia third with 5.9 percent. “The very fact that representatives from the 57 prospective founding members are gathering in this room today is testimony to this spirit of solidarity, cooperation, openness and inclusiveness.”China’s voting share may be diluted as more members join, Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin told the official Xinhua News Agency.“China is not deliberately seeking a veto power,” said Shi, according to Xinhua.The bank will be led by a president with a five-year term that can be extended once. Its working language will be English.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more


Fatal fire on Japans airtight bullet train exposes lapses

August 18, 2019

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first_imgFILE- In this June 30, 2015 file photo, a passenger, left, talks with a station employee on a platform after getting off a high-speed bullet train where a man set himself of fire, at Odawara station in Odawara, west of Tokyo. A fatal fire on Japan’s bullet train, started by a man who self-immolated this week, has revealed surprising blind spots in a system renowned for its speed, punctuality and safety record. Experts say it was a wakeup call to something more disastrous, potentially terrorist attacks, and it’s time to step up risk management ahead of the G-7 summit in Japan next year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File) A 1964 law on violations related to bullet train safety doesn’t mention arson, and even today, inflammable ceilings and fire-retardant seats on the train are mainly intended to prevent fire caused by glitches, experts say.“The system is based on the view of human nature as fundamentally good, which I think is universal,” Abe said. “Unfortunately, in every society there are some people who do evil, and it is extremely important to take precautions to stop these people.”Police haven’t determined the motive, though Japanese media quoted neighbors as saying Hayashizaki had repeatedly complained that his pension was barely enough to live on.Transport officials met with bullet train operators after the fire to seek ways to tighten security without affecting the efficiency of the trains.Experts say airport-level luggage checks are impractical for the high-speed line, which operates trains every few minutes during busy hours. Instead, they say increased police patrols and random baggage checks could be more effective.Baggage checks for high-speed train passengers are also not required in Germany, France, Taiwan and South Korea. The Eurostar connecting Britain to Brussels and Paris requires a passport and luggage checks, and China has X-ray checks on subways. Yet, in a country with strict gun control and low crime rate, security is lax — no identification or baggage checks required.On Tuesday, Haruo Hayashizaki, a 71-year-old retiree, poured a flammable liquid over himself and lit it while riding a bullet train heading to Osaka from Tokyo. He died on the spot, and smoke filled the coach, choking a female passenger to death.It was the first fire in the train’s 50-year history. Experts say it was a wake-up call to something more disastrous, potentially a terrorist attack, and it’s time to step up risk management ahead of the G-7 summit in Japan next year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.“The incident took advantage of the blind spots on the Shinkansen,” said Seiji Abe, an expert on transportation safety at Kansai University in Osaka. “Fire caused by malicious intentions was not anticipated, and provisions to keep out hazardous materials were not in place.”So far, authorities haven’t found any mishandling by the train operator, but the initial investigation and witness accounts have raised questions, including how quickly crew members grasped the situation and whether there should be a better way to clear smoke from the hermetically sealed cars. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The Tokyo-Osaka leg, the most popular segment with 420,000 passengers every day, is part of a bullet train network spanning most of Japan. The 16-car trains cover the 553 kilometers (343 miles) in 2 hours and 33 minutes.“All these years we were worried but haven’t been able to find effective precautionary measures,” Sone said. “Now that the accident happened, it’s time to take action.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories center_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 TOKYO (AP) — A fatal fire on Japan’s bullet train, started by a man who self-immolated this week, has revealed blind spots in a system renowned for its speed, punctuality and safety record.Riding the Shinkansen feels like being in an airplane: at 300 kilometers (186 miles) per hour, it goes so fast in an out of tunnels that it must be airtight. Windows cannot be opened, and doors open only when the train fully stops, which takes several minutes. A passenger pushed an emergency button, but unlike some newer models, this train was not equipped with an emergency intercom, said Tomoyuki Sano, a spokesman for Central Japan Railway Co., which operates the Tokyo-Osaka segment of the bullet train.That meant that crew members knew something had happened in the area where the button was pressed, but were most likely unaware it was a fire until they arrived at the scene.In a standard emergency procedure, the overhead electric power was cut off for a 20-kilometer (12-mile) stretch to keep the tracks clear for police and rescue workers, also shutting off the train’s ventilation system.Satoru Sone, an expert on railway safety at Kogakuin University in Tokyo, said that the power should never be turned off, because ventilation is crucial to getting smoke out. He also said an emergency button with an intercom should be installed.“In Japan, everyone is so complacent about safety while on a train, unlike overseas,” he said, noting that trains elsewhere have been targeted by terrorists and are often less reliable, so smoke resulting from mechanical troubles is not uncommon.While Japan strives to keep its bullet trains in perfect condition, reducing the risk of fire, arson on the train was little anticipated. 0 Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more


European markets advance amid calmer Greece backdrop

August 18, 2019

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first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall GREEK EASING: Fears over a Greek exit from the euro have abated over the past few week helping markets to drive higher. On Monday, Greek banks reopened for albeit limited business, while the European Union sent Athens the short-term money it needs to pay off a 4.2 billion-euro ($4.6 billion) debt to the European Central Bank and clear arrears with the International Monetary Fund. Still, there are a lot of hurdles to clear in coming weeks before Greece secures its third bailout, but the prevailing view is that so-called Grexit is off the table for now.ANALYST TAKE: “European markets have opened with tempered optimism, as for the first time in over a month we’ve managed to enjoy a weekend uncluttered by European, political and fiscal fireworks,” said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG.CHINA WOBBLES: Alongside Greece, concerns over Chinese stocks have been a key feature in markets over the past few weeks. However, plunging stock markets appear to have stabilized. Analysts say it is unclear, though, whether the market will hold up once restrictions on selling are lifted. “The question is whether this tentative stability will be followed by a rebound or another leg of economic weakness and, potentially, market distress,” analysts at Citigroup said in a report. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility LONDON (AP) — Stock markets across Europe eked out some modest gains Monday as Greek banks opened their doors for the first time in more than three weeks, a development that has further eased concerns over the country’s futures in the euro.KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France’s CAC-40 rose 0.7 percent to 5,161 while Germany’s DAX was up 0.9 percent at 11,779. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.2 percent higher at 6,791. U.S. stocks were poised for a steady open with both Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent. ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9 percent to 3,992.11 while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 5,686.90. Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.2 percent to 2,073.31 and India’s Sensex gave up 0.4 percent to 28,351.01. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed at 25,404.81. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 17 cents to $50.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 3 cents to $56.81 in London.CURRENCIES: Foreign exchange markets were fairly subdued with the euro up 0.1 percent at $1.0844. The dollar rose by the same percentage rate to 124.24 yen.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more


Head of Chinas Hebei province investigated for corruption

August 18, 2019

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first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Zhou is the first serving provincial chief to fall in a crackdown on corruption at all levels of government by President Xi Jinping that’s seen as also targeting threats to Xi’s power.Zhou formerly held key positions in the central government’s Politics and Law Commission headed by Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee who was sentenced to life in prison last month on charges that he took 130 million yuan ($21 million) in bribes and caused 1.4 billion yuan ($229 million) in losses of public money.The two Zhous are not believed to be related.In a further step in the anti-corruption campaign, former President Hu Jintao’s top aide was arrested last week on corruption charges, stripped of his party membership and removed from all government positions.The move came seven months after Hu’s former aide Ling Jihua was placed under internal investigation for disciplinary violations.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories BEIJING (AP) — The head of a major Chinese province and former aide to disgraced official Zhou Yongkang has been placed under investigation as part of a widening probe into alleged corruption.Hebei province Communist Party head Zhou Benshun is suspected of “severe violations of discipline and the law,” the party’s anti-graft watchdog said in a brief statement issued late Friday.No details were given, although the term is a standard euphemism for corruption.last_img read more


Gunman in France takes hostages in supermarket suspect among dead

August 18, 2019

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first_img(Screenshot) A gunman took hostages and killed three people Friday inside a supermarket in southern France before he was shot to death by police.Over a dozen hostages in the small town of Trebes were wounded by a man who claimed to be part of the Islamic State group. The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators had taken over the tense situation at a Super U store, where a police officer voluntarily took the place of a hostage. He then left his cellphone on during the standoff to stay in contact with authorities outside. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   French President Emmanuel Macron, attending a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, said all evidence suggested the hostage-taking and shootings were a terrorist attack.BBC reported hundreds of police officers had rushed to the store and that the area was roped off.Related LinksISIS group claims responsibility in Paris attacks, killing 129, injuring 352Dozens killed, injured in Nice, France after truck plows into crowdThe attacker first fired six shots at police officers on their way back from jogging near the city of Carcassonne on Friday morning, Yves Lefebvre, an official with the police union, said.Interior Minister Gerard Collomb identified the suspect as Redouane Lakdim, 26.He said during the standoff Lakdim asked that the sole-surviving assailant of Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris be released.The French have endured several terrorist attacks in recent years, including Paris and Nice in July 2016. Over 100 died in the Paris in a barrage of violence spread over the city.Most of the Paris suspects died in suicide bombings.A lone suspect killed nearly 90 people and injured 458 when he drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.The Associated Press contributed to this report. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Patients with chronic pain give advice New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more


Virgin Australia unveiled

August 17, 2019

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first_imgVirgin Blue’s new image and “face” landed in Sydney Airport, with the carrier’s Boeing 737-800 and A330 sporting the airlines new name Virgin Australia.The planes flew in from Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, carrying Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson.Mr Branson said the new brand represented a new chapter for the airline and expects it to “shake up the Australian market on an even larger scale than it did ten year ago”.“The new brand, livery, product and service offering will help to transform Virgin Australia into a contemporary dynamic airline with a product to compete with the best worldwide,” Mr Branson said.“Proving an attractive Business Class offering means we can continue to offer the best value airfares in the sky regardless of which class you fly.”Virgin Australia’s first ever chief executive John Borghetti added that the new brand will operate domestically in Australia before its V Australia and Pacific Blue subsidiaries adopt the new look and feel towards the end of the year.“Virgin Australia will be the airline of choice for all market segments,” Mr Borghetti said.“We will do this by bringing the magic back to flying – providing a seamless experience, with excellent service that can be tailored to the individual.“In re-positioning the airline we have kept all the great attributes for which Virgin Blue is renowned – the “can-do” attitude, the competitive pricing and the genuine friendly service – and we have elevated it to a new level.”The carrier’s Boeing 737-800 features Sky Interior, larger overhead lockers, mood lighting and sculpted sidewalls.Virgin Australia said it is also working to upgrade its lounges, with the new look to be launched in Melbourne and Brisbane “shortly” along with the new “look and feel” for Virgin Australia airport terminals.The airline is also looking to re-launch its frequent flyer program Velocity Rewards this year.For more information on the “new face” of Virgin Blue and images of the plane keep an eye on e-Travel Blackboard today and tomorrow.   e-Travel Blackboard attended the press conference at Sydney Airport this morning. The new Virgin Australia B737 in Sydney this morning Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more


Air NZ committed to regional growth

August 17, 2019

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first_imgATR72-600 AirNZ livery Aiming to increase regional passengers by two million, Air New Zealand released plans to spend up to US$270 million to purchase larger seven ATR72-600 aircraft for its domestic network.With the option to place an additional order of five more aircraft, chief executive Rob Fyfe told media during a press conference yesterday that the buy was part of the carrier’s commitment to building its regional network.Mr Fyfe explained that the carrier has seen a five percent year-on-year increase in its domestic network and the purchase would help meet growing demand.“Regional New Zealand is a huge important part of our network and we have seen it grow significantly,” Mr Fyfe said during the conference.“We’ve responded to that and helped thrive that growth replacing our aircraft with larger fleet.”Although the routes for the new aircraft are yet to be determined, Air New Zealand general manager Australasia airline Bruce Parton said they could be based out of Auckland and used on flights between the city and Nelson.“Making this an Auckland based aircraft will tap into the fast growing Auckland customer base that’s really starting to spread its wings to regional New Zealand,” Mr Parton explained during the conference.Two of the ATR72-600 are expected to be delivered by late 2012, followed by two more in 2013 and the final aircraft by 2014. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more


Australian claims his very own piece of Botswana

August 17, 2019

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first_imgSource = Inca Tours This month Inca Tours’ Africa Specialist Hank Holtzhausen received a diamond for the Individual Sales Person Award from Karibu Safari Botswana’s Managing Director, Stuart Bartman. The prize was offered to the top international sales person and included a 10 day Botswana safari from Maun to Victoria Falls. Offering different styles of camping safaris that include the Okavango Delta, Savuti, Chobe and the Kalahari, Karibu Safari Botswana gives guests the chance to discover the real Africa.last_img read more


Australia failing to entice local women

August 17, 2019

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first_imgAussie women would prefer to visit international landmarks over local ones, according to a recent study.A lastminute.com.au report found that 55 percent of women would prefer to head overseas to see London’s Buckingham Palace, 52 percent want to tick off Paris’ Eiffel Tower but only 25 percent want to venture to Uluru.Despite the desire to head overseas, the study of up to 5,000 Australian women revealed of Australia’s domestic destinations, Melbourne was the clear favourite, with one in two women picking it as their number one place for a city break.And when it comes to staying in touch, 43 percent of travelling Australian women said they feel anxious when they travel without their phones, compared to just 29 percent of men. The majority also say no to in-flight calls, with only 18 percent claiming they would like to make phone calls on the plane. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more