Colombian Indians to Santos leave our territory

first_img Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories But it is also involved in cocaine trafficking, and the Cauca region where the Nasa live is major corridor for illegal armed groups that smuggle the drug to the nearby Pacific coast, where it is loaded in boats and semisubmersibles. Illegal armed groups are also involved in unlicensed gold mining in the region.Military analyst Alfredo Rangel says Cauca continues to be a sanctuary for the FARC, which remains potent in Colombia’s hinterlands despite suffering major setbacks over the past decade.Rangel says the FARC’s armed incursions have gradually increased since Santos took office in August 2010.In that year, there were 194 incursions nationwide, followed by 238 last year, he said, with 164 for the first half of 2012.___Associated Press writer Vivian Sequera contributed to this report from Bogota.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family TORIBIO, Colombia (AP) – Indigenous people angry at being forced to live in the crossfire of the Colombia’s long-running civil conflict jeered President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday as he visited their war-ravaged southwestern region.Leaders of the 115,000 Nasa people are demanding government troops and leftist rebels alike go away and leave them in peace.But Santos told residents of Toribio, a town of 35,000, during a tense visit that he would not order the military to quit the nine towns that Nasa leaders want the military to vacate. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “Our military and police are here to protect you,” he said. “They are here and they’re going to stay.”Less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) away on Wednesday, a group of about 50 rebels of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, set up a road checkpoint to demonstrate similar resolve.Nasa leaders, who have gained fame over the years for standing up to Colombia’s heavily armed groups with only wooden staffs to protect them, confronted the rebels and asked them to leave. After several hours, they did.“We don’t want them here. Not them, not the others. War is a bad solution,” said James Yatacue, leader of the Association of North Cauca Indigenous Councils. “Militarization is no guarantee of security.”People in the region have been victims of constant attacks, including a motorcycle bomb explosion Tuesday in the nearby town of Argelia that killed a 9-year-old boy and wounded five other children.Argelia’s mayor, Elio Arada, told The Associated Press that security forces had blamed the FARC, which has been fighting a succession of Colombian governments for nearly half a century.The largely rebel army says it is fighting for more equal distribution of land.last_img read more

Bolivia polls natives on jungle highway

first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 0 Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates OROMOMO, Bolivia (AP) – Bolivian President Evo Morales is taking his campaign to build a highway through pristine Amazon jungle directly to the affected communities, some of which have strongly protested the plan.Officials and international observers came to Sunday’s meeting in the jungle town of Oromomo, one of 69 communities in the TIPNIS reserve that are to decide by Aug. 20 whether they want the 200-mile (310-kilometer) highway, which is funded by Brazil. Each community gets one vote. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img Top Stories Morales government says the project will help the nation’s economy. But Bolivia’s main lowlands Indian federation has bitterly denounced it, saying it will cause environmental damage in a now-undeveloped area believed to hold deposits of minerals and oil.The federation has urged a boycott of the consultation, arguing it is stacked in favor of Morales’ side because it allows voting by recently arrived ranchers, coca farmers and other settlers whose connection to the land is less intense.The controversy has caused a vexing problem for Bolivia’s first indigenous president, setting him against some of the ethnic groups and environmentalists who had been among his strongest backers.The consultation is the result of a new constitution that Morales helped to pass three years ago, which calls for Bolivia’s indigenous peoples be consulted in matters affecting their lives and traditional lands.(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 Four benefits of having a wireless security system 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Guatemalan military evicts dozens squatters camp

first_imgThe disaster agency didn’t return telephone calls from The Associated Press. An AP photographer at the site counted more than 100 families.Escobedo said a judge ordered an eviction on Monday, but the families continued to stay.Such evictions are controversial in the Central American country, where many of the poor live on land with disputed ownership.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – The Guatemalan Defense Ministry says it has evicted about 100 people from government property and has bulldozed their makeshift homes.Ministry spokesman Col. Erick Escobedo said 12 families initially “invaded” the land in January and the encampment had grown to 32 homes.Escobedo said Wednesday that the country’s National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction determined the encampment should be removed because the land was unstable and could cause a human disaster.center_img Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Quick workouts for men The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

China blocks New York Times website after article

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a press briefing that the report “blackens China and has ulterior motives.” He refused to elaborate despite several follow-up questions.Times’ spokeswoman Eileen Murphy says the paper hoped access to the sites could be restored shortly.While Wen is expected to leave his post in the spring, the report is a blow to his reputation as a politician concerned with bettering the lives of ordinary Chinese.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Check your body, save your life BEIJING (AP) – China blocked access to The New York Times website Friday after the paper published a lengthy article claiming the family of Premier Wen Jiabao has amassed assets worth $2.7 billion through a web of investments.The report said most of Wen’s family’s wealth was accumulated after he rose to high office in 2002.Chinese censors also blocked the Times’ Chinese-language site that carried a translated version of the story. Top Stories last_img read more

A look at recent assassinations in Lebanon

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories BEIRUT (AP) – A car bomb on Friday killed a prominent pro-Western Lebanese politician, Mohammed Chatah, in a business district in central Beirut. At least five other people were killed in the blast. Here’s a look at other recent attacks in Lebanon, most of them against opponents of Syria:_Oct. 1, 2004: Former Economy Minister Marwan Hamadeh survives a powerful Beirut car bombing, the first in a string of similar attacks targeting anti-Syrian politicians and journalists. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   _ Sept. 19, 2007: Antoine Ghanem, a pro-government lawmaker from the right-wing Christian Phalange Party, is killed in a blast in the Christian suburb of Sin el-Fil, east of Beirut. Six others are also killed._ Dec. 12, 2007: Brig. Gen. Francois Hajj, the army’s head of operations, and his driver are killed in a car bombing in the Christian suburb of Baabda on the way to work._ Jan. 25, 2008: Car bomb kills senior police intelligence officer, Capt. Wissam Eid, a bodyguard and at least four others in Hazmieh, a Christian neighborhood on the edge of the Lebanese capital._ Oct. 19, 2012: A car bomb kills the chief of Lebanon’s police intelligence department, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, in a Christian neighborhood in east Beirut. At least seven others were also killed.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility _ Feb. 14, 2005: Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is assassinated in a massive bombing in Beirut. Bassel Fleihan, who served as economy minister in Hariri’s government, also died in the blast. Anti-Syrian groups, then in the opposition, blame the Syrian and Lebanese governments, charges both deny._ June 2, 2005: Anti-Syrian journalist and activist Samir Kassir is killed by a bomb placed under his car._ June 21, 2005: Anti-Syrian politician George Hawi, a former Communist Party leader, is killed by a bomb planted under his car._ July 12, 2005: Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Elias Murr survives a car bombing that targets his vehicle as he drives in north Beirut. Although pro-Syrian, Murr later says he was threatened by Syria’s intelligence chief in Lebanon._ Sept. 25, 2005: Prominent anchorwoman May Chidiac of the leading anti-Syrian TV station LBC loses an arm and a leg from a bomb placed under her car._ Dec. 12, 2005: Gibran Tueni, a prominent anti-Syrian newspaper editor and lawmaker, is killed by a car bomb._ Nov. 21, 2006: Pierre Gemayel, the industry minister and a prominent Christian politician, is shot dead by gunmen in a Beirut suburb._ June 13, 2007: Walid Eido, an anti-Syrian member of parliament, is killed along with his son, two bodyguards and six others in an explosion in Beirut. Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Patients with chronic pain give advice 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Chinese PM starts South American investment tour

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — China’s Premier Li Keqiang and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff agreed on Tuesday to embark on studies for an ambitious railway linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast with a Pacific port in Peru, and announced billions in other investments and trade deals.Rousseff emphasized the importance of the project to cut down the time and cost to move commodities to the Asian market.“A new path to Asia will open for Brazil,” said Rousseff. “It will cross our country from east to west, and the South American continent.” The memorandum of agreement to begin feasibility studies on the trans-Andean railway will also involve the Peruvian government. Rousseff invited Chinese companies to participate.The stop in Brasilia is the premier’s first on a four-nation South American tour that includes Chile, Peru and Colombia. It comes as the continent feels the pinch of lessening Chinese demand for its commodities.“We’re moving into a different era, because China’s economy is transforming to being consumer based and it’s slowing down, so commodity prices are going down,” said Kevin Gallagher, professor of international relations at Boston University with expertise in China’s ties to Latin America. “Chinese trade and investment was Latin America’s best friend for a decade, and now everybody is in a panic.”China remains the top trading partner for Latin America and the Caribbean, with $112 billion of the region’s exports heading to China in 2013, according to Gallagher. Li’s trip began in Brazil with the signature of 35 agreements that total a $53 billion investment in infrastructure, energy and mining among other areas over the next six years.center_img Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Chinese banks will back projects of state-run oil company Petrobras for $7 billion, a relief for the firm embroiled in a corruption scandal that has blocked access from credit markets. The kickback investigation has implicated Brazil’s biggest construction and engineering firms, delaying existing petrochemical complexes and key equipment needed to tap offshore fields works.The Chinese government also agreed to buy 40 planes from the Brazilian company Embraer and to build an industrial park for car manufacturing in the state of Sao Paulo.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FILE – In this March 15, 2015, file photlo, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a press conference at the end of the National People’s Congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Li Keqiang will accelerate plans for an ambitious railway linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast with a Pacific port in Peru, and announce billions in other investments and trade deals, when he visits Brasilia on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, kicking off a four-nation South American tour that includes Chile, Peru and Colombia. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

CASA warning grounds Tiger Easter flights

first_imgTiger Airways operates around 100 flights a week in Australia Passengers of budget airline Tiger Airways were left in disarray over the Easter long-weekend following the cancellation of two flights out of Melbourne, as well as lengthy delays to many other services. Although a Tiger spokesperson said the decision to cancel flights had been made for “operational reasons”, the Australian has reported the jets were grounded following a spate of serious safety concerns raised by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). According to the newspaper, the aviation regulator wants urgently addressed, possible shortcomings in the carrier’s pilot training and maintenance procedures, in the most serious action taken by CASA against a major Australian airline since 2001. Since it was issued with a “no show cause” by CASA on 23 March, the airline has been forced to defend its commitment to passenger safety, with Tiger’s management very likely to be dragged before a parliamentary inquiry into pilot training and airline safety. According to the Australian, for the past two years Tiger Airways has come in last in a CHOICE survey of domestic airlines. Meanwhile, company directors at Tiger are at risk of criminal prosecution following a failure by the airline to file its company accounts for last year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. According to the newspaper, under the Corporations Act the accounts should have been filed within the four months following 31 March 2010, the end of Tiger’s financial year. A spokesperson for the carrier said the overdue accounts were being finalised and would be lodged ”shortly”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Tropical Storm Emily plays cat and mouse with cruises

first_imgCarnival MiracleSan Juan, Puerto RicoGrand Turk5 August 20113:00pm11:59pm Oasis of the SeasCozumel, Mexico4 August 2011 Carnival LibertyAt SeaSan Juan3 August 2011N/AN/A In what is considered to be the first severe storm to hit the Western Caribbean this season, Tropical Storm Emily has caused several cruise ships to divert paths in the coming days. e-Travel Blackboard will be following her progress and endeavours to keep you as up to date as possible with itinerary deviations. 5 August 20117:30am5:00pm Carnival ValorSt Thomas, US Virgin IslandsArriving late3 August 201112:00pm7:30pm Carnival LibertyKey West, FloridaGrand Turk4 August 20118:00am4:30pm Image courtesy of The National Hurricane Centre Carnival MiracleSt Thomas, US Virgin IslandsHalf Moon Cay6 August 20117:00am4:00pm The National Hurricane Centre has reported that Tropical Storm Emily is still moving towards Hispaniola and is expected to bring heavy rainfall to the region over the next 2 days. Carnival DreamFreeport, BahamasAt Sea4 August 20117:00am5:00pm Carnival Dream                At SeaSaint Maarten3 August 2011N/AN/A Carnival MiracleGrand Turk, Turks and CaicosNassau, Bahamas7 August 20111:00pm7:00pm Carnival LibertyFreeport, Bahamas Cruise ShipAmended Port/RegionOriginal Port/RegionDateArrival TimeDeparture Time Oasis of the SeasCosta Maya (Majahual)St Maarten3 August 2011 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

CheckIncomau under involuntary administration

first_imgOnline booking site enters involuntary administration. An email from Holzman Associates to property managers has confirmed online travel site, has gone into involuntary administration effective this week.Despite its website claiming it will not be taking new reservations due to website maintenance, the email from the firm read the site had entered involuntary administration and advised property managers to take steps to ensure no additional bookings are made.While the group seems to have put a stop on future bookings, according to the email, properties that still have guests to arrive from Check-In and “are currently on check-in’s merchant model and not provided with the guest credit card”, have been advised to contact guests and “advise that their booking is no longer confirmed”.“They will need to provide an alternative method of payment (MOP) to continue to secure their booking. You can refer the guest to the check-in administrator if they have already paid for their accommodation, to be added to the creditors list if they are not already.Meanwhile, properties with outstanding monies owed to them by have been advised to contact administrators and “creditors will be contacted at the end of next week, however it is suggested to make known your balance outstanding at this time and be put on the creditors register”.e-Travel Blackboard has attempted to contact for comment.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.last_img read more

Qantas raises fuel surcharges in line with Emirates

first_imgQantas will increase fuel surcharges on both domestic and international flights from mid-August.Qantas previously charged a flat fuel fee regardless of seat class, while the new pricing structure will bring the airline into line with Middle East partner Emirates, reported.Domestic base fares will increase between two and three percent, while on some international routes, base fares will rise instead of fuel surcharges.The fuel surcharge on flights to the United States will increase to AU$365 one way for economy and premium economy and to AU$390 one way for business class.On flights to the United Kingdom and Europe surcharges will jump to AU$255 for economy, AU$325 for premium economy and AU$445 for first and business class.Economy prices will rise by AU$25 to the Middle East and South America, AU$10 to Asia and Honolulu and the base fare to South Africa will increase by AU$25.QantasLink, the airline’s regional carrier, will also increase fare prices.International bookings ticketed on or prior to 13 August 2013 will avoid the fare rises, while domestic bookings ticketed before 14 August 2013 will evade the surcharge increases.Earlier this week, a Qantas Dash 8 aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Canberra.Source = ETB News: P.T. Fares ticketed before mid-Augustwill avoid fare increases.last_img read more

Sheraton Hotels expects another year of growth

first_imgStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that its iconic Sheraton brand continues grow across the globe with at least 20 new hotel openings expected by year’s end.Sheraton will enter Sri Lanka and Romania this year, building upon the momentum of its 2014 debut in Tajikistan and last month’s launch in Samoa.Strong demand across Asia Pacific is driving future pipeline growth, putting Sheraton on track to cross the 500th hotel milestone in 2016.Sheraton Hotels & Resorts global brand leader Hoyt Harper, said that Sheraton expects to open more than 50 hotels and enter another 14 countries by the end of 2018.“This continued expansion follows our multi-billion dollar investment to enhance the brand over the past several years. Sheraton has enjoyed phenomenal success with global travelers due to its dynamic brand-led programming and innovative social spaces that engage and inspire guests to connect with what matters most—no matter where they are in the world,” Mr Harper said.Sheraton will open more than one-third of its new hotels in Asia Pacific in 2015, driven by accelerating demand across China.The hotel brand will also expand its footprint in India with the debut of Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel in 2016, and another two hotels in development.Two openings in the Middle East will amplify the Sheraton brand’s presence in the region, where it has another five in the development pipeline.Sheraton Hotels keeps boasting Starwood’s largest development pipeline and in 2015, the global powerhouse will open two new hotels in North America.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

IHG partners with Amadeus to develop new technology

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has today announced it will continue its partnership with technology solutions provider Amadeus to develop a new Guest Reservation System (GRS).IHG will work closely with Amadeus to build a cloud-based community platform, a first in the hotel industry, which will ultimately replace IHG’s current reservation system, HOLIDEX.This announcement follows a recent study conducted by the two companies in order to investigate potential technologies to drive innovation in the industry.GRS, similar to the model developed for the airline industry, will be introduced globally in 2017 and will operate alongside HOLIDEX before the full transition is made.IHG chief executive officer Richard Solomons said technology plays a vital role in driving the experience for guests before, during and after their hotel stay.“IHG has a long track record of innovating through technology to ensure we meet the needs of current and future guests,” Mr Solomons said.“Our collaboration with Amadeus will build on this heritage and will enable IHG to shape the future technological foundations of our industry.“The next-generation guest reservation system we will create with Amadeus will deliver a powerful global platform for hotels to manage guest interaction, will be intuitive for hotel teams, and will help us accelerate our work to revolutionise and personalise the guest experience through technology.”The GRS’s community model is a cost effective solution, with Amadeus taking responsibility for funding and maintenance.Each member will pay for their use of the system through a transaction fee, also managed by Amadeus.Amadeus president and chief executive officer Luis Maroto said technology is essential in delivering the great experience travellers expect.“IHG has exciting ambitions for its hotels and guests and Amadeus is proud that our innovative technology will play a key role in delivering them,” Mr Maroto said.“Our technology partnership with IHG is a watershed moment for the industry.“It will provide a huge leap forward in the flexibility and functionality available to hoteliers, and marks an important step in our journey to deliver our established community technology model into a new industry segment.”Once the system is launched, IHG will continue to work with Amadeus to grow and future-proof the system as time progresses.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Iron Maiden frontman to help relaunch Djibouti flag carrier

first_imgIron Maiden frontman to help relaunch Djibouti flag carrier The lead singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden is helping to relaunch the former flag carrier of Djibouti.Bruce Dickinson, famously known for his role as lead singer of one of the world’s most famous heavy metal bands, is also chairman of Cardiff Aviation, a company that specialises in heavy aircraft maintenance, flight & technical training and aviation parts certification.Dickinson recently visited the east African nation to sign a deal with the country’s government to help relaunch Air Djibouti, which ceased operations in 2002 after years of mismanagement and overstaffing.A qualified commercial pilot on the Boeing 757 and 737, and training instructor on the Boeing 737, Dickinson has spent the past 16 years dividing his time between recording and touring with Iron Maiden and maintaining his second career in aviation.He set up Cardiff Aviation in 2012, which now employs somewhere the region of 70 people, providing maintenance, training and operational support to a number of airlines.Cardiff Aviation, according to media reports, will source aircraft and help operate Air Djibouti, which is due to re-launch later this year.A former French colony, Djibouti is undergoing a renaissance of late, attracting billions of dollars in investment, as it looks to emulate Dubai’s success story.A long-established trading hub and gateway to trillion dollar markets, Djibouti’s strategic access to east Africa and its positioning as a low tax, international trade centre are factors have encouraged global investment in the tiny state.Dickinson, who visited Djibouti as part of a trade visit arranged by the British Embassy in Ethiopia, told BBC News that a strong national airline was crucial in order for the country to develop.“The aviation sector is crucial [for Djibouti], it is like imagining Dubai without Emirates. So if they want Djibouti to become an international trade hub it needs a [thriving] national airline.“A national airline has an ambassadorial role wherever it flies from,” he said.Source = Air Djiboutilast_img read more

MSC Cruises launches MSC Voyagers Club

first_imgMSC Cruises launches MSC Voyagers ClubNew MSC Voyagers Club reinforces company’s commitment to provide its guests with best in class services across its expanding fleet.MSC Cruises has just launched the MSC Voyagers Club, the Company’s new loyalty programme that rewards experienced travellers and reinforces the Company’s consistent commitment to offer guests an exceptional all-around experience before, during, and after their cruise.MSC Voyagers Club rewards passion for adventure and the love of discovering new places. Joining is free of charge and is possible before taking a cruise – all that is required is a confirmed booking. Personalised cruise cards will be made available to MSC Voyagers Club members at the beginning of each sailing.MSC Voyagers Club points are earned according to the onboard experience that guests opt for when cruising with MSC Cruises: Bella, Fantastica, Aurea or MSC Yacht Club. In addition, prepaid onboard services and expenses will earn additional points.The range of privileges extended to MSC Voyagers Club members includes, among others, dedicated events, milestone rewards, and exclusive onboard offers. Exclusive events, complimentary gifts, and a special booklet with onboard offers on every cruise – or priority boarding and late cabin check-out for top tier members – can also be enjoyed by MSC Voyagers Club members.From 20 July 2015, MSC Voyagers Club members have an exclusive 5% discount on all future cruises. In addition, a broad array of selected cruises – called Voyages Selection – will be available to them in advance with additional discounts of up to 15%. When MSC Voyagers Club members book a cruise from the Voyages Selection, Silver, Gold and Black members will also receive €/$50 of onboard credit per person.The loyalty club enhancements are a complement to MSC Cruises’ determination to provide best-in-class cruising experiences while partnering with multiple global brands that are epitomes of excellence in their fields. Indeed, examples are the partnerships with the Lego Group and Chicco that are rooted in the Company’s commitment to creating unforgettable holidays for children and families. A partnership with restaurant brand Eataly adds high-end Italian cuisine made with exceptional ingredients to the fleet’s rich dining offer, while collaborations with Samsung and Expo 2015 – for which MSC Cruises is the Official Cruise Carrier – confirm the Company’s focus on technological innovation. MSC Cruises become a member of MSC Voyagers Club here Source = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

Australian marathon runner begins Spirit of India Run

first_imgImage by Kevin NguyenEarly Tuesday morning, Australia’s marathon running legend and former MP Pat Farmer started his ‘Spirit of India Run’ at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.Kanyakumari, formerly known as Cape Comorin, is the southernmost point of mainland India where the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet.The start of the run on 26 January 2016 is a significant date for both countries, marking Australia Day and India’s Republic Day.Pat Farmer’s epic run along the length of India – from south to north through 10 states – will see him cover over 4,600km in 60 days.Australian Consul-General to South India Sean Kelly said Mr Farmer’s run from south to north through 10 states was another remarkable chapter in the growing Australia- India friendship.“This breathtaking journey will further strengthen the relationship between India and Australia,” he said.“I’m delighted that this run by an Australian known for his endurance abilities will commence from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.”From Kanyakumari, Mr Farmer will run along the west coast of India passing through Kochi and Kasargod in Kerala and then through Karwar in coastal Karnataka before moving on to Goa and Maharashtra.Mr Farmer’s aim is to promote goodwill, friendship and trade between Australia and India.“I am very excited to be running the length of India, never before have I run in a country with such diversity and steeped in such cultural significance,” he said. “I am sure that this will prove to be the most incredible run that I have ever done.”Mr Farmer will raise funds for girls’ education in India through Mahindra’s Nanhi Kali initiative.“Young girls grow up to be the mothers of the next generation. They are the first educators to their children and I believe every girl should have access to basic literacy skills as education is the way to change their world and ours.”A film crew travelling with Mr Farmer will record the entire journey for a film about his marathon undertaking.“This will allow us to share the culture and diversity of India with Australians and the rest of the world,” Mr Kelly said.The Adani Group, which is sponsoring the run, said it was proud to partner with Mr Farmer to support girls’ education.“The Adani Group is committed to improve the quality of education through its programs for free education and other initiatives to improve the girl child enrolment ratio,” said Captain Sandeep Mehta, CEO of Adani Ports, Australia. “With Pat and Adani showcasing India’s diversity, we endeavour to bring both countries closer culturally.”Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director Dr Pawan Goenka congratulated Pat Farmer on the start of his run.“The Mahindra Group is delighted to support Mr. Pat Farmer in his pioneering run across India with our Ssangyong Rexton and Mahindra Scorpio vehicles. Both embody the values of this Spirit of India run, including toughness and durability. We wish him the very best on this incredible adventure.”The former MP, who was Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Science and Training from 2004 to 2007, ran from the North to the South Pole in 2011-12 and raised more than A$100,000 for Red Cross International’s clean water programs.In 2014, he ran more than 1300km in two weeks through the Middle East to raise money and awareness for peace initiatives in the region. Learn more hereSource = Australian Consulate Generallast_img read more

W Hotels Worldwide ramps up Shanghai

first_imgW Hotels Worldwide amps up ShanghaiW Hotels Worldwide amps up ShanghaiW Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), stole the scene in China with the recent premiere of W Shanghai – The Bund. The grand opening party, themed to capture the hotel’s design narrative of ‘Captivating Contrasts’ was attended by over a thousand guests including local and international media, industry influencers and personalities. Taking center stage at the Premiere was Chinese rapper VAVA, who debuted a song specially written for W Hotels from her yet to be released album. Additionally, in celebration of the hotel’s opening, the premiere also kicked off the first stop of the traveling Xiao Long Bao – an iconic Chinese delicacy – cart tour, with stops to be made across Asia, London and New York.“Shanghai is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, fueled by its endless energy and appetite for what’s new/next,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “As an industry innovator, we are thrilled to showcase W Shanghai – The Bund through the W brand’s Premiere tradition, bringing to life the brand’s passion points through pulsating music, edgy performances and bold fashion. The performances have all been designed to reflect the sky high bold ambition of Shanghai, an explosive juxtaposition of modernity and heritage to create a vibe unique to the city.”Sassy street soundsW Shanghai – The Bund owned the night with headlining act Chinese rap queen VAVA, performing ‘Happy Everyday’, which was inspired by the passions of the W brand. VAVA, with close to a million followers on her social platform, is a true trailblazer in the thriving female rap scene in China, sparked a feisty and flirty presence with her skilled vocal range. Risen to fame through The Rap of China TV show, she has been credited with propelling Chinese hip hop mainstream. With daring lyrics and a ‘lust for life’ attitude, VAVA perfectly embodies the bold and spontaneous spirit of W Shanghai – The Bund, always embracing the limitless ambition of the city.“I am pleased to be part of the grand opening of W Shanghai – The Bund, a hotel that takes fashion and music to new levels in Shanghai,” said VAVA. “I have long been a fan of W; and it’s a great privilege to perform in an electrifying new venue bringing people closer through music.”VAVA also performed alongside an energetic dance routine – the brand’s take on China’s signature ‘Square dance’ – set against a backdrop of hi-tech visuals on gigantic screens. Perfectly capturing the design concept of ‘Captivating Contrasts’ in true W Style, the dancers dressed in pajamas – a common scene amongst Shanghai’s elderly – revealed their modern hip hop outfits. The glam party scene continued with local A-list DJ Cara delivering a killer set of tunes to finish on a high.High octane energy and glamour throughout the nightFrom the WOOBAR®, to the hotel’s all-day dining venue, The Kitchen Table, to the WET Deck, guests were treated to a myriad of performances in true W edgy, sassy style served by fun-tastic drag queens and waiters and waitresses in high fashion outfits. WOOBAR® displayed a melting pot of high art and digital technology through a captivating GIF party, while the WET Deck pool party revealed hidden images found under the sun umbrellas and brought to life by performing synchronized swimmers. The daring visuals amidst a gripping light show were accompanied by eclectic soundtracks of acclaimed underground band Cola.Xiaolongbao on the roadIn celebration of the opening of W Shanghai – The Bund, W Hotels debuted a 3-meter-tall Xiaolongbao cart installation, kicking off a tour series that will soon see the installation at select W hotels in Asia, New York and London; eventually returning at the soon-to-open W Suzhou. A nod to Shanghai’s iconic bicycles often stacked sky-high with delivery goods – a scene common on the Shanghainese streets – and Shanghai’s famous soup dumplings, the cart features playful colours such as pink, purple and turquoise intertwined with eye catching acrylic materials. Hotels across Asia will feature special food and cocktail menus inspired by Xiaolongbao and the city of Shanghai, including a specially curated music playlist by W Shanghai’s music curator. Currently on display at W Shanghai’s Electric Laneway, the installation is a stirring photo and epicurean opportunity.Located on the North Bund, W Shanghai – The Bund draws upon colonial glamour and futuristic motifs, with nearly all 374 guestrooms featuring views of the Huangpu River due to the uniquely curved frame of the building’s edifice. Designed by the acclaimed G.A Design, the hotel showcases an exciting combination of historic and modern influences, such as Hai Pai – the art of combining the old and the new, East and West.  This is evident in both the hotel’s location, perfectly positioned between the Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River, as well as the surrounding locale, where Art Deco buildings sit alongside opulent Chinese mansions.For more information or to make a reservation, visit = W Hotels Worldwidelast_img read more

Nanuku throws blackout periods out the window

first_imgSource = Mike Parker-Brown, Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji PR Nanuku Auberge Resort FijiNanuku throws blackout periods out the windowBreaking with Fiji’s long-established school holiday and peak travel period blackouts, Nanuku Auberge Resort has decided to abolish the practice and allow bookings to be made at any time of year on any type of luxury villa accommodation the resort offers its guests.To celebrate the move, Nanuku Auberge Resort has released a two-tiered stay option offering guests the choice of B&B or full board and inclusive of a FJD150.00 per day resort credit.Option one offers a 20 per cent discount on accommodation costs plus complimentary land transfers for stays of between three to six nights.Option two offers a 30 per cent discount on accommodation plus a one-way air transfers and a one-way road transfer for stays on seven nights or more.All stays at Nanuku Auberge resort include complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from in-room minibars, complimentary high-speed internet and 50-plus in-room movies, daily afternoon team, in-room popcorn machines, cookies at turn-down and evening snacks at the resort’s Clubhouse.A busy complimentary activity program includes yoga, a cultural night, the opportunity to join in coral and mangrove planting, arts and crafts plus access to non-motorised water sports.Conditions apply. Valid for sale from 01 April 2018 to 13 December 2018 and valid for travel 01 April to 20 December 2018.last_img read more

Luxury resort in Aruba reopens after USD 25 million renovations

first_imgRiu Hotels & Resorts have reopened its emblematic Riu Palace Aruba after spending USD 25 million in a complete renovation. This Palm Beach resort, that opened its doors for the first time in 2007, now has a luxurious, elegant and modern style combined with new services and facilities, featuring an infinity pool overlooking the waters of the Caribbean.All the interiors of the newly renovated Riu Palace Aruba have been decorated in the modern style that the RIU Hotels chain is introducing in all its new projects. The concept is based on clean, contemporary lines, where fresh, vibrant colours play a leading role.The restaurants and bars of the Riu Palace Aruba have also undergone a complete transformation. For instance, in the Don Nicolás buffet restaurant, which offers international cuisine, lime green colour has been chosen to take centre stage; while the walls of the Nautilus restaurant, located next to the pool area, replicate the sea floor with beautiful images of multi-coloured fish.The renovation of the Riu Palace Aruba updates RIU’s hotel offering in Aruba along with the luxurious Riu Palace Antillas, which is the first hotel on the island exclusively reserved for adults 18 and older, that offers all-inclusive services 24 hours a day.last_img read more

Deccan Odyssey launches Companion Scheme

first_imgDeccan Odyssey, an exclusive luxury train operated by Cox & Kings, is running an exclusive companion offer which has started from January. Travel enthusiasts can book a lavish twin-sharing cabin in Deccan Odyssey and avail flat 50% discount for their companion.The moving palace takes you through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Delhi depending on your choice of itinerary.Luxury train Deccan Odyssey treats each of their guests on wheels with the help of 21 superlatives, luxury coaches. Out of these, twelve are guest cabins.  The train is also home to four resplendent Presidential Suites with exquisite decor and all modern amenities. Differently abled guests can enjoy their journey, with a specially equipped cabin for their comfort.The offer is applicable on bookings made between January 1-April 30, 2017. The exclusive scheme is open to all including Indian citizens, Foreign diplomats/expats resident in India having work/resident permit.last_img read more

Pullman to debut in Singapore by 2022

first_imgAccorHotels and EL Development Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based property developer, have announced they will open a new-build five-star Pullman on a prime site on Hill St, in the civic and cultural heart of the city. The 342-room hotel will be Singapore’s first Pullman and will feature a rooftop bar and executive lounge with sweeping views over Fort Canning, the Singapore River and St Andrew’s Cathedral, along with a vibrant lobby, health and fitness centre and pool. The hotel is set to open in 2022 after a complete redevelopment of the site.Lim Yew Soon, Managing Director of EL Development Pte Ltd said, “We are pleased to appoint AccorHotels to manage our first hotel and we will bring the same high quality that symbolises our residential and mixed-use buildings to what will be our first hotel development. We are confident that the Pullman brand is the perfect fit for the market in Singapore as the brand has really built a strong reputation, especially in Asia.”“Pullman is one of the true success stories of the hotel industry and we are delighted to be able to announce our first Pullman for Singapore,” said Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific. “As the largest hotel operator in Singapore, we believe the new Pullman will fill a gap in the market for a smart, modern hotel that meets the demands of the discerning digital traveller.”Pullman Singapore will join a range of flagship addresses worldwide including Pullman London St Pancras, Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, Pullman Phuket Arcadia, Pullman Park Lane Hong Kong.last_img read more