Valley Forge High School, in the Tibás district north of the capital, is bringing its students into the digital age with a program called “Plataforma Virtual” (“Virtual Platform”). Students and teachers are turning to cyberspace to better their education, with online and digital textbooks and newspapers, classroom blogging, and interactive assignments and presentations.Last week the school celebrated the launch of the virtual platform with a presentation about the program, musical entertainment by students and a dinner. Some 80 students attend the high school.“Virtual Platform is a revolution in our school,” said Valley Forge Director Rosa Soto, speaking to a crowd of teachers, students and parents. “We plan to further student learning by using new technology.”The Tico Times is also involved in the high school’s new program. Alex Villachica, a Valley Forge English teacher, said each of his classes begin with students reading The Tico Times. All students have online subscriptions to the newspaper. “We study The Tico Times to learn new vocabulary and practice reading news stories,” Villachica said. “It’s a way to learn English and lessen our footprint on the Earth.”Throughout the event, Villachica and other teachers spoke about how they plan to use online newspapers, animated PowerPoint presentations and digital interactive textbooks. In one presentation, video demonstrations of how a cell works or how a plane flies were made engaging with on-screen assignments by the school’s science department.“The future is in technology,” Soto said, adding that “we need to understand it the best we can.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
Check this out! @GourmetShawarma and @wildpeeta picking out fresh “tiquisque” at @FeriaVerde earlier today! #SanJose pic.twitter.com/ybaZG26jE0— Peeta Planet TV Show (@PeetaPlanet) February 21, 2014 Last Saturday, shoppers at the Feria Verde in San José’s Aranjuez neighborhood found themselves in the middle of a television shoot.The Emirati television show “Peeta Planet,” the self-described first social travel show that launched last year to 50 million viewers in the Middle East and beyond, landed here last Friday halfway through the filming of their second season to dedicate an episode to one of Central America’s least loved capitals: San José.Brothers Mohammed and Peyman Parham al-Awadhi, founders of the Wild Peeta gourmet shawarma franchise in Dubai and hosts of “Peeta Planet,” take their travel cues from locals interacting with the producers on Twitter and other social media.“We ask our followers on social media where to go, what to do, [and] connect with very cool people who do great things for their communities,” from food, to entrepreneurship and culture, said Mohammed al-Awadhi.San José might seem like an odd focus for a travel show considering the natural wonders outside of the capital that lured many of the 2.4 million tourists who visited Costa Rica in 2013, but al-Awadhi said their travel show avoids touristy spots in lieu of the hidden treasures a city might offer.“It forces us to look beneath the surface and look to things others might overlook,” al-Awadhi said, “For us it’s all about what’s your favorite little restaurant, favorite park, hangout.”Donning traditional ankle-length dishdasha and headscarves, the brothers stood out among the shorts-wearing and dreadlocked clientele at the organic market. But the weather was on their side.“The weather is so awesome and the people are so kind and welcoming,” al-Awadhi told The Tico Times. “This market is amazing. Some of the vendors here have amazing stories and that’s what we like to capture in our show.”Al-Awadhi explained that the show tries to focus on exploring undiscovered parts of well-known, almost cliché, travel spots.“For us, that’s Costa Rica. We come from the UAE [United Arab Emirates], we’re pretty far away from here. We don’t know anything about this place, so it’s very exciting to come and see that.”Despite the distance, al-Awadhi said their time in Latin America hasn’t been the culture shock one might expect.“The culture is very similar here to the Middle East. As we found in our trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, last season,” he said. “In terms of family values and other small things I can relate to, I feel like I’m home.”The second season of Peeta Planet featuring San José airs in April on Dubai One or on YouTube. HOLA #Chepenos! We (and our hats) finally made it to #SanJose! Ready for the action? #Hashtagalong =) pic.twitter.com/Wc25rTYuIX— Peeta Planet TV Show (@PeetaPlanet) February 20, 2014 Yesterday was one of THE BEST days in #SanJose! We went to the beach! What’s your favorite beach activity? pic.twitter.com/U5DXv71yGz— Peeta Planet TV Show (@PeetaPlanet) February 24, 2014 Kicking off the day at @feriaverde organic Farmer’s Market, already stuffing our faces with healthy local produce! pic.twitter.com/kTWyg3kRTj— Peeta Planet TV Show (@PeetaPlanet) February 22, 2014 Facebook Comments Related posts:VIDEO: Barbecuing with Lucas Withington PHOTOS: Grinding out the blues over the weekend, Barrio Amón ‘felt like New Orleans’ Caribbean parade, hot rod workshop, and other happenings around Costa Rica Lonely Planet guide documents a changing Central America
After occupying the top spotin the Group of Champions, this small Central American country is now favored for the first time in the World Cup.ESPN’s data-journalism site 538 has given Costa Rica a 57 percent chance of advancing past Greece. English sports betting sites Paddy Power and Ladbrokes give Costa Rica an edge on its European opposition.The Greeks had the weakest group stage performances of any team left in the World Cup. Greece advanced due to a last-second penalty in its match against the Ivory Coast, scoring only for the second time during the three-game group stage. Greece is the only knockout stage team to have a negative (-2) goal differential. ESPN’s Soccer Power Index ranking scored Greece as the worst team of 16 remaining.The stalwart Tico defense further tilts the match in Costa Rica’s favor. La Sele only surrendered one goal — a penalty shot in the opening half versus Uruguay — in its samba through Group D. In Group C, The Greeks failed to score against Colombia and Japan. They only managed one goal against the Ivory Coast before the penalty that gave Greece the 2-1 victory.“We have to pay a lot of attention to this game, they came out top in the ‘Group of Death,’ Greece coach Fernando Santos told AFP. “As a result we cannot allow ourselves to underestimate them.”Costa Rica and coach Jorge Luis Pinto seem to dread losing their status as underdogs.“I don’t know if we want to be favorites,” Pinto told AFP. “We don’t feel like favorites. We’ll give it our all. Our results have given us confidence and stability, they demonstrate what we’re worth. We’re well prepared physically and we’ll give our all, with the same respect that we confronted the three world champions.” Friday evening predictions from three oddsmakers. Sports books will not add up to 100 percent due to betting interests. 538 did not make a prediction for for the match going to penalties. Corey Kane/The Tico TimesThe Americas’ successful runCosta Rica is one of several teams from the Americas enjoying success in Brazil. The two regions, CONCACAF (North and Central America) and CONMEBOL (South America), sent a total of 10 squads to the 32 team tournament. Eight of those teams are moving on to the knockout round, with arguably the weakest squads from each half of the Americas going home – Ecuador and Honduras.Costa Rica could end up facing its biggest CONCACAF rival in the next round. Mexico draws a tough opponent in the Netherlands, who dominated their group and finished second overall at the 2010 World Cup. Predictors at 538 think there is a 16 percent chance that Mexico and Costa Rica advance to face each other.Prior to the start of the tournament, an aggregation of predictions showed that Costa Rica was the second biggest longshot to make the knockout round. Now they’re one of only 16 teams remaining — and expected to be among the final eight.<a href=’#’><img alt=’Qualification ‘ src=’http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Cu/CupOdds/Qualification/1_rss.png’ style=’border: none’ /></a> Related posts:Can Costa Rica defy the odds and conquer Group D (or at least score a goal)? Seriously? Winless England predicted by oddsmakers to beat Costa Rica The Sloth Kong dance Sloth Kong Reigns: Costa Rica conquers Group of Champions Learn About Tableau Facebook Comments
Candidate Luis Guillermo Solís told The Tico Times in an interview during the presidential campaign that his administration would not be “business as usual.” One of the first things he said Costa Ricans could expect if he were elected was a 100-day report on the state of his governing.This week, President Solís has requested an audience at the Legislative Assembly on Thursday to present that report, which presumably will guide his administration in the years to come.The symbolic milestone has weighed heavy on the minds of many Ticos as the president strives to make good on ambitious campaign promises to root out corruption, fight inequality and reinvigorate the state’s productive capacity.Solís already has faced several setbacks, including a month-long teachers’ strike that began before he took office on May 8. Two months later, Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum submitted her letter of resignation after lawmakers and Judicial Investigation Police announced they would open an investigation into allegations that she had committed tax fraud. Solís’ first days in office also have seen a continued increase in cost of living indexes and a currency mini-devaluation.Despite these early stumbles, many Costa Ricans say the country is on the right track, and have rated the president’s performance well. Others are reserving judgment of the Citizen Action Party president, according to an Aug. 13 survey by the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research and Policy Studies (CIEP) on how citizens view the first 100 days of Solís’ administration.In November 2013, 64.4 percent of those surveyed by CIEP said that the country was going “badly” or “very badly.” In July, that number dropped more than 40 percent to 37.6 percent. Meanwhile, those who felt the country was going “well” or “very well” jumped from 14.3 percent to 33.1 percent during the same period. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said Solís was doing a “good” or “very good” job, a “significant” improvement over the rating of former President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014), according to CIEP’s report.More than 21 percent said that they couldn’t say either way how the president was doing, compared to a scant 2.7 percent who didn’t have an opinion about President Chinchilla last January, or 1.7 percent in November 2013, according to previous surveys from the university.The fractured Legislative Assembly was rated as the least popular government entity and the biggest obstacle to the president’s agenda. Political analyst Constantino Urcuyo told The Tico Times that divisions between the president and his own party in the legislature are proving to be a serious hurdle for the non-career politician turned president.“The main opposition is PAC, not the National Liberation [Party],” Urcuyo said, referring to the former ruling party of President Chinchilla, which has a majority in the Assembly.“When PLN reorganizes itself, it’s going to come back as the opposition,” the analyst warned.Urcuyo, who was a Social Christian Unity Party lawmaker, said the president’s course in office so far seemed to lack direction.“It was a surprise victory. They were left holding the ball, and so the question is, where do I kick it?” he said.The analyst said Solis’ team would have to move out of “campaign mode” and start to pin down their priorities and how they want to accomplish them.“You can design a strategy with objectives that you want to achieve within a year, but you need to say how you’re going to do it, how you’re going to get to this world. This is what they’re missing,” Urcuyo said.The president’s campaign priorities remain roughly in line with the top priorities cited by Costa Ricans who were surveyed, including the high cost of living, inequality and the state of the economy. Unemployment — currently at about 8.5 percent — and corruption rounded out the top three cited by Ticos.Solís has made some moves to address high levels of perceived corruption in the previous administration. He ordered an investigation into the management of the Culture Ministry and asked the Prosecutor’s Office to review an ethics investigation of former Public Works and Transport Minister Pedro Castro to determine if any laws were broken during his term.While many of those surveyed said they are uncertain about the successes or failures of the first 100 days, many more are optimistic about Solís’ ability to fulfill at least some of his campaign promises. More than 48 percent said they believed his government would likely achieve some of his campaign promises, and another 20.3 percent said there is a good chance it would. Some 23.9 percent said there was little chance for the erstwhile ex-professor to succeed.“Give him some more time,” Urcuyo urged. “This guy brought [Costa Rica] joy like the Sele [the Costa Rican men’s national football team], but the happiness has passed, and the worst thing that could happen is that people become disenchanted.”CIEP interviewed 748 people by telephone between July 15 and Aug. 4. The survey has a 95 percent confidence rate. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Solís claims $112 million in losses from corruption in speech highlighting first 100 days of his administration Costa Rica’s first official sign language interpreter has long history of bridging the communication gap Presidential fashion: Best 5 outfits President Solís sported in 2015 Costa Rica’s top 5 political fiascos of 2015
Related posts:Obama, Castro hail ‘new day’ for US-Cuba relations Bolivia’s Evo Morales: Obama should lift the embargo and return Guantánamo Naval base to Cuba Obama administration to further ease travel and business restrictions with Cuba US opens greater channels for trade, air links with Cuba U.S. President Barack Obama’svisit to Cuba reflects a new way of formulating and implementing U.S. policy toward Cuba. This new policy is different not only from the sanctions that had been the long-standing U.S. policy toward Cuba but also from the policies suggested by the leading U.S. presidential candidates. Obama’s new policy toward Cuba starts from a different premise that the United States will make decisions that reflect its values and its interests, independent of what the Cuban government may or may not do.They key to the future of the bilateral relationship, therefore, is whether the government of Cuba will or will not decide to take advantage of Obama’s initiatives. For example, the United States has authorized the direct delivery of mail and the normal functioning of regularly scheduled civil aviation flights between Cuban and U.S. airports. Cuba has decided to agree, and therefore these changes are being implemented. In these instances, the U.S. decision was not preconditioned on Cuba changing its policy, but obviously the change is useful for both sides only if the two governments concur on its utility.Similarly, the United States has authorized important changes that would facilitate universal access to the Internet by ordinary Cubans. The U.S. government now permits trips to Cuba for any rubric of “mental tourism” (education, the arts, religion, journalism, etc.), that is, pretty much everything other than going to the beach. Beach tourism may only be authorized by an Act of Congress. Above all, the United States has now lifted economic sanctions on the new Cuban private sector, permitting trade relations between private entities in both countries. None of these policies had been preconditioned on Cuba changing its policies.These other U.S. decisions will be useful for Cubans only if the Cuban government were to decide to make use of these opportunities. Will it permit any Cuban to access the Internet to read about any topic on any webpage? Will Cuba’s official statistical agency recognize that the United States is already the second most important source of international visitors to Cuba, or will it continue to hide this fact, counting the Cuban-Americans separately as Cubans and including all other U.S. visitors in a category called “Others?” Why is it statistically unmentionable that tourism relations have improved between the United States and Cuba? Will the Cuban government stop “blockading” itself or, more precisely, stop preventing Cuban microenterprises and peasant cooperatives to export to or import from the United States – a business relationship that the United States has already authorized?Obama has thus lifted the embargo on the flow of ideas and citizens, and increasingly on goods and services, between the two countries. Hitherto, U.S. policy had cooperated with Cuban State Security, albeit inadvertently, in blocking access to such sources of information. A politically more open Cuba needs such access.Obama also modeled, subtly but clearly, a way to be the president of a country. He handled himself nimbly and skillfully at a press conference that his Cuban host bungled. Obama had edged Raúl Castro to a press conference state, to which he is most unaccustomed.Obama also reminded Cubans, by his looks and words, that the United States has an African-American as president, while Cuba, with a much larger fraction of its population being Afro-Cuban, does not. He noted in his speech, broadcast nationwide on Cuban radio and television, that two Cuban-Americans have been leading U.S. presidential candidates. And he showed that it is fine for a president to display a sense of humor, through his interview with Cuba’s leading television comedian, contrasting with a humorless Cuban leadership.Ultimately, the success of the trip will be visible only in the future, most likely after Raúl Castro steps down as president in 2018. But, during his Roman Catholic Holy Week visit to Havana, the president of the United States seemed to have become Saint Obama, even in the words of Cubans reported by Granma, the communist party newspaper.Obama has shown a new way to design his policy toward Cuba. Will Cuba design a new policy toward the United States?Jorge I. Dominguez is Chair of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico.Read more of our Cuba coverage© 2016, The Mark News, www.themarknews.com. Facebook Comments
5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories 0 Comments Share Four benefits of having a wireless security system Men’s health affects baby’s health too New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths ACCRA, Ghana (AP) – An official says that more than 170 Ivory Coast ex-combatants being held in a refugee camp in Ghana’s west have escaped.Ken Dzirasah, chairman of the Ghana Refugee Board, said Friday that the ex-combatants likely fled because the board decided to move them to a newly built prison temporarily. He denied that the situation posed a “grave security threat.”It is unknown how many Ivorian ex-combatants are in Ghana. Ivory Coast’s president last year demanded their repatriation to face trial for committing humanitarian and war crimes. Ivory Coast also issued warrants for their arrests, and urged they be handed over. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Thousands of refugees from Ivory Coast remain in Ghana.(Copyright 2012 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 Guirola has been riding tall since 1983, when seeing a tandem bike inspired him to build up instead of out. He said his first tall bike measured 5.3 feet (1.6 meters), and they got progressively taller until five years later he was riding 18 feet (5.5 meters) in the air at Ciego de Avila carnivals.That would put Guirola in the ballpark of the world record.A representative of Guinness World Records told The Associated Press in an email that it currently recognizes as the world’s tallest rideable bicycle an 18-foot, 2.5-inch (5.55-meter) contraption that was ridden more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) in 2004 by Canadian Terry Goertzen.Guirola is nearing completion of another 18-footer to use in Havana, and he’s planning a 26-footer (8 meters) sometime in the future. But he said he was returning to Ciego de Avila this week to work out some residency issues, so he’s not planning an immediate attempt to mount the taller bike.His dream is to earn a living from the bike through tips or performance payments, and along the way honor the memory of his disabled sister, who died two decades ago. Guirola’s sister Eneida had a brain tumor that was operated on when she was in her early 20s, and afterward had problems with balance and was unable to walk without assistance. After living that way for about a decade she died at age 33. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments Share Top Stories “I told her that one day with my giant bike I would make enough money to buy her everything she needed for her disability,” Guirola recalled tearfully. “Eneida is no longer around to see me, but I want to keep my promise. And if one day I win an award, I’ll give part of the money to help disabled children in Cuba like my sister.”For now, the occasional tip isn’t enough to pay the bills, and he lives off savings and the meager income from his wife’s privately run cafeteria.A welder by trade, Guirola has used the proceeds from the sale of his home to buy parts for the new bike he is building. A nearby workshop charges him a nominal fee for a space to store and work on the bike, which he has yet to try out even though it lacks only the finishing touches.“I haven’t ridden the 5.5-meter one yet,” Guirola said, “because I want to do it when it’s painted and all pretty and try to win a Guinness record.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How do cataracts affect your vision? New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – Many people would be leery of cycling through chaotic downtown Havana, sharing its narrow, potholed streets with the darting scooters, incorrigible jaywalkers and hulking 1950s Detroit classics that clog every byway.Felix Guirola does it every day, and not on just any bicycle.Guirola rides 13 feet (4 meters) above the ground atop his homemade super-tall bike, peering over pickup trucks and even buses and without a helmet or other protective gear to break a fall. “I feel good up high. I don’t get nauseated or dizzy, nothing like that,” the 48-year-old Guirola said. “Up there I see the scenery better. I feel relaxed. There’s more of a breeze, I breathe it and I feel freer.”Since Guirola sold his home in the central province of Ciego de Avila and moved to Havana in November, the odd spectacle of him pedaling around town at eye-level with second-story apartments has become a daily occurrence. But neighbors still turn their heads and gawk, and smiling tourists whip out digital cameras.“It’s crazy. It must be difficult to keep his balance up there,” said Rafael Trejo, a 55-year-old motorist. “And when he comes to a stoplight, he must be a ninja to be able to climb down from there.”In fact, Guirola more resembles a daring child on a jungle gym than a deadly assassin. To mount, he has other people stabilize the bike while he scrambles up the metal frame. When a red light looms, he starts lowering himself while the bike’s still in motion, leaps to the ground and grabs the frame before it can topple.“It’s easy. … It’s perfectly normal for me,” said Guirola, an athletic man of medium stature who practiced judo and boxing in his youth. “I never get scared, nor have I fallen, and I obey all traffic laws.” Men’s health affects baby’s health too
Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s deputy prime minister warned Friday that the greatest threat to the U.S. economy are the “cranks and crazies” in the Republican Party, a rare foray into American domestic politics that was blasted by the opposition.Wayne Swan, who also serves as treasurer and is his center-left Labor Party government’s ranking finance minister, took aim at the Tea Party during a speech to a business forum, breaking a convention among Australia’s major parties to steer clear of U.S. domestic political debates. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories “What happens in the U.S. economy matters to the world economy and it matters to us,” she told reporters. “Wayne Swan was making that very common sense point today.”Adam Lockyer, a lecturer at Sydney University’s U.S. Studies Center, described Swan’s speech as “a clumsy political move” that left him open to attack from his political enemies.Lockyer said Swan might have been attempting to link the Tea Party to the obstructionism of the Australian opposition, which has thwarted Labor’s legislative agenda in a finely-balanced Parliament.Australia has long maintained that its close relationship with Washington, and its 61-year-old defense alliance, remains strong regardless of who is in the White House.Former conservative Prime Minister John Howard was widely criticized in 2007 when he claimed Obama, then a Democratic presidential nominee, represented al-Qaida’s interests.Howard, a staunch U.S. ally in the Iraq war who lost elections later that year after 11 years in power, created one of the first controversies of Obama’s presidential campaign by attacking his plan to withdraw troops.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over a part of the Republican Party,” Swan said.He said “the extreme right Tea Party wing” of the Republican Party had held the national interest hostage during last year’s debate over the U.S. borrowing limit despite President Barack Obama’s “goodwill and strong efforts.”He said it was imperative that Congress reach an agreement to support growth and avoid a “fiscal cliff” of deep government spending cuts and higher taxes in January, which he said could push the U.S. economy back into recession.The conservative opposition said Swan’s speech betrayed his “hatred” of Republicans.“The Labor Party is peddling hatred and they’re got to stop,” opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey told reporters. “They hate the Republican Party. I’d like Wayne Swan to say something positive about someone somewhere.”Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who travels to New York next week to address the United Nations General Assembly, defended her deputy’s comments as “appropriate.” How men can have a healthy 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Four benefits of having a wireless security system
This photo released by Brazil’s Federal Police shows Italian Pasquale Scotti, after his arrest in Recife, Brazil, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. A Federal Police statement says Scotti, a suspected boss of the Camorra, the Naples-based organized crime syndicate, was arrested Tuesday morning after almost 30 years on the run, in the northeastern city of Recife. (Brazil Federal Police via AP) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy “It is the most important arrest in the history of Interpol in Brazil,” Urquiza Junior said.He said that Scotti apparently underwent several plastic surgery procedures and told police that he wanted to “forget his past; that Pasquale Scotti no longer existed. Only Francisco de Castro exists.”Police said investigations indicated that Scotti received money from Italian institutions, and that his two companies are being investigated for possible money-laundering operations.”____Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield contributed to this report from Rome.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories SAO PAULO (AP) — A suspected boss of the Naples-based organized crime syndicate known as the Camorra was arrested Tuesday in Brazil after more than 30 years on the run, police said.Brazil’s Federal Police said Pasquale Scotti was arrested in the northeastern city of Recife, where he used false identification, taxpayer and voter registration documents.A police statement said that Scotti has been charged with murder, extortion and the illegal possession of weapons in Italy. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments Share Patients with chronic pain give advice Scotti is in a cell at the Federal Police headquarters in Recife and police said the Italian government is expected to initiate extradition proceedings within the next few days.The Italian Embassy said it would not have immediate comment on Scotti’s arrest.In a statement, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano praised the arrest as an “extraordinary” coup, noting that the 56-year-old Scotti was among the most sought and dangerous fugitives on Italy’s most-wanted list.The ministry said that Scotti has been sought since escaping from a hospital in Caserta near Naples in 1984. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison in 2005.The head of Interpol’s Brazilian operation, Federal Police officer Valdecy Urquiza Junior, told reporters that Scotti arrived in Brazil in 1986, got married and had two sons.He led a discreet life, called himself Francisco de Castro Visconti and owned a real estate firm and a fireworks company, he said.A fingerprint comparison led to Scotti’s arrest, police said without elaborating.Scotti told police that his Brazilian family did not know of his real identity and that he fled Italy to avoid being killed. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities Monday gave a Muslim burial to 21 human trafficking victims, believed to be Rohingya Muslim refugees, found in shallow graves in jungles bordering Thailand.The 21 were among 106 bodies found last month in 28 jungle camps in northern Perlis state, a remote area bordering Thailand that trafficking syndicates used as a transit point to hold migrants and refugees. Most were believed to be from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority and impoverished migrants from Bangladesh. The victims were buried in a village ceremony in neighboring Kedah state, with Islamic officials performing burial rites.Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir said investigations showed the victims died of starvation and illness.The bodies of 19 men were placed in simple wooden coffins each and buried together in a huge grave, while the bodies of two women were laid to rest in an adjacent grave, he said.The bodies of the other victims will be buried once autopsies are completed, he said.The discoveries in northern Malaysia followed similar revelations earlier May in Thailand, where police unearthed 36 bodies from shallow graves in seven abandoned camps on the Thai side of the border.The discoveries have exposed hidden networks of jungle camps run by human smugglers, who have for years held countless desperate people captive while extorting ransoms from their families. Most of the victims were part of a wave of people who fled their homelands to reach countries like Malaysia, where they hoped to find work or live freely.Human rights groups and activists say the area along the Thai-Malaysia border has been used for years to smuggle migrants and refugees, including Rohingya Muslims. Parents, stop beating yourself up Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Malaysian police carries a coffin containing the remains of a Rohingya migrant for a mass burial ceremony in Kedah, Malaysia Monday, June 22, 2015. Malaysian authorities have given a Muslim burial to 21 human trafficking victims, believed to be Rohingya Muslim refugees, found in shallow graves in jungles bordering Thailand. (AP Photo/Gary Chuah) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches In many cases, they pay human smugglers thousands of dollars for passage, but are instead held for weeks or months while traffickers extort more money from their families. Rights groups say some have been beaten to death, and The Associated Press has documented other cases in which people have been enslaved on fishing boats.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories
Once that plan is completed “the contribution required from each of our investors will be made clear,” Acosta said at the New York offices of Citigroup.The live-streamed meeting with bondholders came about two weeks after Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Puerto Rico’s outstanding $72 billion public debt is unpayable given the island’s long recession.Garcia said he is seeking a payment moratorium from bondholders and renegotiations on debt. His administration also is pushing the U.S. Congress to allow Puerto Rico’s government and its public agencies access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy if needed.Acosta told investors the Caribbean island is “committed to developing a comprehensive package of reforms” to reverse more than a decade of persistent economic stagnation.Because the economic recovery plan will take years to implement and span different administrations in the U.S. commonwealth, Garcia’s government will propose establishing a financial control board with the “tools necessary to compel compliance,” she said.The meeting included a presentation by Anne Krueger, a former International Monetary Fund official who co-authored a recent report titled “Puerto Rico – A Way Forward” that the island’s government is using as a kind of blueprint. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican officials and advisers on Monday held the first of what they say will be several meetings with creditors to explain why they believe it is necessary to restructure the U.S. territory’s public debt amid a deepening economic crisis.But specifics for bondholders were few. While saying “sacrifices” will be required by everyone involved, Government Development Bank President Melba Acosta said it was premature to propose details to investors because a credible recovery and fiscal adjustment plan is still being drawn up. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Among other things, Krueger recommends exchanging some of Puerto Rico’s debt for bonds with longer maturities and slashing subsidies to the University of Puerto Rico for savings of up to $500 million annually.She said the Puerto Rican government’s spiraling debt and fiscal situation is unsustainable and its cash balances are critically low. At the same, she noted, the island’s labor force has been steadily falling as people move to the U.S. because the island has had “almost no economic growth for two decades.”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 Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Comments Share
A woman reads a paper in front of a shop selling old stereo systems in Athens, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Banks reopened Monday for the first time in three weeks. But for most Greeks, already buffeted by six years of recession, Monday was all about rising prices as tax hikes demanded by creditors took effect. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) Sponsored Stories Many in Tsipras’ Syriza party, including former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, voted against last week’s austerity measures, which included big increases to sales taxes that took effect on Monday. If more than a handful of others join the dissent in Wednesday’s vote, then Tsipras’ government could be in trouble.At least five Syriza lawmakers said Wednesday they would vote against the draft law — including the firebrand parliament speaker, Zoe Konstantopoulou. In a letter to Greece’s president and Tsipras, Konstantopoulou asserted the measures were a “violent attack on democracy,” arguing that lawmakers were being given very little time to study the nearly 1,000-page bill.Negotiations with creditors are expected to start soon after the vote.The Greek government hopes the new bailout talks can conclude before Aug. 20, when Greece must repay a debt worth more than 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to the ECB.Syriza’s traditional trade union base is angry at what it sees as Tsipras’ betrayal of his electoral mandate.Tsipras has accused party critics of acting irresponsibly.“I’ve seen a lot of reactions and heroic statements, but so far I haven’t heard any alternative proposal,” Tsipras told party lawmakers on Tuesday, according to a senior government official. The official asked not to be named, citing the sensitivity of the parliamentary vote. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The European Union’s statistics agency announced Wednesday that Greece was making some progress on the debt front at the start of 2015, progress that’s going to have been badly impacted by recent events.Following repayments to European creditors and the International Monetary Fund, Eurostat said Greece’s debt fell to 301 billion euros at the end of the first quarter from 317 billion at the end of 2014. That took the country’s debt burden down to 168.8 percent from 177.1 percent.Greece’s debt still remains the highest in the 19-country eurozone by a wide margin.___Nicholas Paphitis in Athens and Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Tsipras also said those supporting the country’s exit from the eurozone or handing so-called IOUs to retirees “should come out and say it, instead of hiding behind the safety of my signature.”The reforms being considered Wednesday are aimed at reducing the country’s court backlog and speeding up revenue-related cases. Lawmakers have also been called to approve reforms related to banking union mechanisms, aimed at reducing the risk for European governments from bank crises.Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said planned pension spending cuts required “further study” before being submitted to parliament.In Brussels, Pierre Moscovici, the European Union’s top economy official, said he’s hoping the bailout deal can be signed by mid-August, while accepting that Greece has to meet a “punishing” schedule. Moscovici said he welcomed the vote even though it did not include all details hoped for on reducing early retirement and farmers’ taxation.Greece has relied on bailout loans totaling 240 billion euros since 2010 after it was locked out of international money markets. In return for the cash, successive governments have had to enact harsh austerity measures to try to get public finances into shape. Though the annual deficit has been reduced dramatically, the country’s debt burden has risen as the Greek economy has shrunk by around a quarter. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s liquidity-starved banks got a new cash injection from the European Central Bank on Wednesday, hours before a key vote in parliament on further economic reforms demanded by international creditors in return for a third bailout.A European banking official told The Associated Press the ECB decided to increase emergency liquidity to Greek banks by 900 million euros ($980 million) — the second such cash injection in just under a week. Fearing a run by depositors flocking to take their savings out of Greek banks, the government imposed capital controls more than three weeks ago, restricting daily withdrawals to 60 euros ($65) per account holder. Extra ECB liquidity means that Greek banks will still be able to hand out cash.Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ radical left-led government faced its second crunch test in parliament in a week later Wednesday. Failure to pass the economic measures could undermine his coalition and trigger fresh fears over the country’s future in the shared euro currency.Hours before the vote, about 9,000 people gathered for two demonstrations outside parliament, organized by the Communist Party and a civil servant union. Demonstrators carried banners and shouted slogans, but there was no sign of the violence that marred a similar protest last week.The vote on changes to Greece’s judicial and banking sectors is one of the requirements that Greece’s European creditors have insisted upon in order for negotiations on a third bailout for Greece worth around 85 billion euros ($93 billion) to begin.After losing the support of a large chunk of his own party’s lawmakers during a vote last week on a creditor-demanded austerity measures, Tsipras has to rely on support from pro-European opposition parties to pass measures. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
A technical issue with a Tiger Airways Airbus A320 saw Sunday services from Melbourne disrupted for the Sunshine Coast, Hobart and Perth delaying passengers for hours.Passengers affected were offered food vouchers and either a refund or a transfer onto another Tiger Airways flight. Many passengers opted to wait for the aircraft to undergo an engineers’ assessment.One service, the Melbourne to Hobart Flight TT566 scheduled to depart at 16:05 eventually departed just before midnight.Another service, the Melbourne to Sunshine Coast TT552 scheduled to depart Melbourne at 07:45 eventually also left just before midnight.The three affected rotations are expected to return to normal today. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25601/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X
American Airlines American airlines have broken a world record after receiving the largest fine ever handed to carriers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have launched a $24.2 million fine against American Airlines after maintenance violations led to the cancellation of thousands of flights two years ago, Reuters reported. Up to 3000 flights were cancelled by American Airlines, delaying over 300 000 travellers. “Planned civil penalty stemmed from inspection and repair lapses flagged in April 2008 that prompted the airline to ground 300 MD-80 series planes, disrupting flights for several days,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We expect operators to perform inspections and conduct regular and required maintenance in order to prevent safety issues. There can be no compromises when it comes to safety.” American Airlines has disregarded the penalty as invalid and “unwarranted” claiming to have “addressed the concerns of safety regulators over problems with wiring in the wheel well before putting the MD-80’s back into service”.”American Airlines has always maintained its aircraft to the highest standards, and we continue to do so,” the airline said.Southwest Airlines came in second for the largest proposed fine of $10.2 million in 2006 and 2007 for “inspection shortcomings on” Boeing Co 737s. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Planes following Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will keep the usual four-to-six-mile safety gap for now. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Planes flying behind the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will have to maintain a four-to-six mile (6.4-9.7 kilometre) distance as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reconsiders a plan to lengthen that gap.Interim guidelines requiring a 10 mile (16 kilometre) distance during the 787 test flight period were revoked this week for further review, a spokesperson for the FAA said in an Airwise report.US aviation regulators will impose the usual gap for planes trailing the Boeing 787 as they consider lengthening it for safety reasons.Separation standards are meant to keep aircraft from encountering the wake, or turbulence, from bigger planes flying ahead.The test-flight requirement could change in coming weeks, the FAA official said.Deliveries of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner have been pushed back until the first quarter of 2011, following a spate of technical and engineering delays, making the carbon-composite 787 almost three years behind schedule.Having first flown in February, there are six aircraft currently in flight tests.
Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa’s Main Homestead and Swimming Pool Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa has been ranked second in the Overseas Leisure Hotel category in the Australasia and South Pacific region at the prestigious 2011 Condé Nast UK Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards. Acclaimed by readers particularly as being great value for money, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa continues to receive international and local accolades for its service and luxury conservation based offering since opening in 2009.“After less than two years in operation, it is gratifying to see Wolgan Valley is recognised as Australia’s best hotel by Condé Nast readers , and we believe this is by offering a world-class luxury experience in one of the country’s most spectacular locations,” said Joost Heymeijer, General Manager, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “The nightly rates provide great value with fresh gourmet meals, most beverages and on-site nature based activities all included within the tariff to deliver a comprehensive Wolgan Valley experience.”“As one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia, Wolgan Valley continues to be a unique highlight experience for both Australian and international travellers. And as we reach our second anniversary, we look forward to continuing setting the benchmark for excellence within the industry,” said Mr Heymeijer.Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa also continued to receive local accolades this month with four awards at the 2011 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence including Winner of the Best Regional Property and Best Environmental Program.Now in its ninth year, the annual HM Awards recognise the leaders in hospitality and honour the achievements of excellence in a wide range of categories in the accommodation industry.With a record 1,600 entries received this year, the highly competitive awards span across Australia, New Zealand and selected South Pacific nations. A scenic three-hour drive from Sydney, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa occupies just two per cent of a 4,000-acre conservancy reserve, and combines the expectations of the high-end traveller with a commitment to conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife, ecological and environmental sustainability.The resort was the first hotel in the world to achieve carbon neutral certification from CarboNZero, an internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme; and has maintained its carbon neutral status for the second year in a row following a CarboNZero recertification. Spa treatment can be arranged on one of several panorama decks located around the 4,000 acre property Source = Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
Aiming to pick up traffic from regional areas, Qantas has added up to 180,000 additional seats on its services flying intra-Western Australia.Commencing yesterday the carrier increased capacity between Perth and Karratha, Newman, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland and Broome through new services and aircraft upgrade.In a statement Qantas Group executive commercial Rob Gurney explained the increase was a response to growing demand within the state.“Western Australia is a very important market for Qantas and we will continue to monitor demand to support regional communities, tourism operators and the resources sector,” Mr Gurney said.Extra capacity includes three new return services between Perth and Karratha as well as an upgrade of four return services from a B717 to a B737 each week, four additional flights between Perth and Newman weekly as well as three new Perth to Paraburdoo services per week.Portland is also expected to see the upgrade of three of its return services to Perth from the B717 to the B737 weekly, while Perth and Broome will see the same upgrade on one of its return services per week.“The changes will see around nine additional return services per week and 3466 seats per week added to the market and include the upgrade of several services from B717 to B737 aircraft,” Mr Gurney added.“On an annualised basis, this equates to more than 180,000 additional seats.”Earlier this month the carrier launched new services between Perth and Geraldton and confirmed that it would increase frequency on the route in January next year from two to 11 return services per week. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
From left to right: Citizen’s Division of Taito City division director Kiyoaki Ota, Taito City Assembly chairman Masayuki Aoyagi, Taito City Mayor Hiroshi Yoshizumi, Manly City Council Mayor Jean Hay Am & Japan National Tourism Organisation Sydney Office executive director Yukio Yamashita As visitor numbers climb back to pre-2011 quake records, Japan’s Sydney-based representatives are set on making 2013 the year for tourism, with plans to launch new promotional activities to entice Aussie travellers.With statistics from May this year indicating an 80 percent jump in the number of Australians visiting Japan compared to the same month last year, the Japan National Tourism Organisation Sydney office executive director Yukio Yamashita told guests at the Hiroshuge’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido exhibition launch last night that the country would launch three new promotions later this year and next year to make 2013 the year more Aussies visit the East Asian country.Along with the launch of the Exhibition, other promotions include; the annual Japanese Film Festival, which Mr Yamashita said will be used to encourage people to visit locations in the films while from 15 December this year, the tourist bureau will hold a Japan Expo in Darling Harbour, Sydney to offer Aussies a taste of Japanese experiences and foods.Mr Yamashita said the initiatives would not only entice Aussies to Japan but also encourage them to step outside the box and see less-trekked locations.“The exhibition is an example of an exchange we can expect to see between Australia and Japan in 2013,” the executive director said. “Many people go to Kyoto without seeing what the inbetween.“But there are still many Japanese museums that are unknown to Australians and we would like to use them and other events to provide as much information to encourage more Australians to go see Japan in 2013.”According to the Japan representative, although visitor numbers to Japan declined by up to 20 percent last year as a result of the major quake, the drop was not “as low as expected”.The Hiroshuge’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido exhibition launched at the Japan Foundation Sydney Gallery as part of celebrations to commemorate the 30 year anniversary between Taito and Manly City (NSW), showcases the 53 stations on the Tokaido Road between Tokyo and Kyoto.It includes up to 20 Japanese woodblock print photos taken during the Taisho era running from 1912-1926. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Brisbane Airport’s new domestic terminal public pick-up area will aid in reducing congestion, according to Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief executive John Lee.Sixteen million people travel through Brisbane Airport annually according to Mr Lee.“It will reduce the number of cars driving around the airport precinct as they wait for arriving passengers, improving road safety and providing more capacity for people dropping off passengers in peak times,” Mr Lee said.“The new pick-up area will markedly improve the passenger experience, giving drivers collecting someone a dedicated waiting area with 20 minutes free parking.”Mr Lee emphasised the need to improve transport links to Australia’s airports.“The improvements will reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience now and into the future, as demand for air travel to and from Brisbane continues to grow,” Mr Lee said. Image Source: Glenn Hunt
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is excited to announce that LUV has officially landed in West Michigan with service to Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR). The Grand Rapids community rolled out the red carpet today as Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan (RAAWM) Founder & Chairman Dick DeVos joined the Gerald R. Ford International Airport officials and community leaders in welcoming Southwest’s first Customers to Grand Rapids. With the introduction of Southwest’s larger Boeing 737 aircraft to the market, passenger seat availability will increase 117 percent, up dramatically from approximately 2,600 seats per week available on AirTran to Southwest’s availability of more than 5,800 seats per week. Southwest’s vast network will provide Grand Rapids Customers with more availability and better options. “Our arrival in Grand Rapids represents one of the true benefits of our integration with AirTran Airways, allowing us to continue to bring low fares and legendary Customer Service to the People of Grand Rapids,” said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President, Ron Ricks. “We’re thrilled to provide West Michigan Customers access to our broad network of destinations; and just as importantly, giving better access to Michigan for our existing Customers across America. This growth is exciting for Southwest Airlines.” Southwest attributes its entrance into the market to the roots planted by its wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways. AirTran served three daily nonstop departures to Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Orlando International Airport. Southwest doubles service options with six daily departures to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver, connecting Customers to more than 70 destinations—a 35 percent increase in cities served. And beginning next spring, the carrier will add daily nonstop departures to Ft. Myers and Tampa Bay. “Today is a special day for West Michigan with the addition of Southwest Airlines in our market,” said Brian Ryks, Executive Director of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. “We appreciate Southwest embracing our community to bring the very best in air service and we are eager to expand our partnership as we promote LUV throughout West Michigan.” Southwest celebrated its inaugural Grand Rapids service today with a press conference and welcome reception at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Southwest showed its dedication to the community by partnering with Make-A-Wish® Michigan to help make a child’s wish come true. Southwest and Make-A-Wish Michigan will help send five-year-old Aryka and her family from Grand Rapids to Orlando to go to Walt Disney World® Resort.