Onestopshop Tourico celebrates new office stellar growth in Canada

Onestopshop Tourico celebrates new office stellar growth in Canada

first_img Share Posted by Friday, May 5, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> “One-stop-shop” Tourico celebrates new office & stellar growth in Canadacenter_img TORONTO — Tourico Holidays showed off its new digs in downtown Toronto last night with a cocktail party co-hosted by Visit California. According to the company, the new office was necessary to accommodate its expanded Canadian teams following stellar growth; Canada as a source market for Tourico was up 58% in 2016, while business to Canada as a destination was up 33%.“When we started we had three product people in Canada, and a tiny closet space on Bloor. Since then we have grown very rapidly in the market and now have about 10 staff members, hence the need for an upgraded office,” said Debbie Kenton, VP of Sales, North America at Tourico Holidays.Tourico has been enjoying success in Canada working with tour operator partners, airlines and loyalty programs, most notably TravelBrands and WestJet Vacations. Although Tourico doesn’t typically work with agents (unless they are also large wholesalers), agents can book its product through tour operators and will benefit from its seamless service and competitive pricing.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North America“We are a global travel broker, with more than 30 offices around the world. We offer hotels, attractions, transfers, car rentals and vacation homes, and we are really one of the only players that can offer 16 cruise lines under one API. We consider ourselves a one-stop-shop,” added Kenton. “We sell to TravelBrands and they sell to the agents, so we are very much behind the scenes.”One of the company’s strategies is to outright pre-buy a large pool of hotel rooms in major markets. Because it takes on the risk upfront, it is able to secure the best rates, ensuring more revenue per booking. Tourico has more than 400 such deals globally, making up 40% of its revenue.“Our unique selling point as a company is really our exclusive deal model. We were the very first and are still the largest pre-buyer of rooms globally,” said Kenton. “For example, in New York we have 25 hotels where we go in and buy the rooms outright, in exchange for the best rate in the market.”More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureTourico Holidays is very optimistic about 2017, with Canadian business doing exceptionally well. The market is enjoying a rebound in travel to Europe and strong growth in vacation rentals.Tourico Holidays chose Visit California to help host the cocktail party because Tourico bookings to California grew 40% in the first quarter of this year.  The two will partner again this year on an exciting fam focusing on millennial travel. Travelweek Group Tags: California, Tourico Holidayslast_img read more

We couldnt do it without you ACV rolls out the red carpet

We couldnt do it without you ACV rolls out the red carpet

first_img“We couldn’t do it without you”: ACV rolls out the red carpet for agents at Sun launch WOODBRIDGE — It was a packed house for the launch of Air Canada Vacations’ 2017-2018 Sun Collection last night, with close to 1,000 agents coming out to hear about ACV’s new stand-alone Luxury brochure, the return of a popular Park ‘N Fly promotion, a booking bonus to drive sales post-Irma and ACV’s commitment to the retail trade, not to mention a live performance by JUNO winner Shawn Desman.The Toronto launch, taking place at the stylish Paramount EventSpace in Woodbridge, was the last of ACV’s cross-Canada event schedule which kicked off in Vancouver last week and made its way to Calgary, Halifax and Montreal before arriving in the GTA last night.Just before they cleared the stage for a concert by Vaughan’s own Shawn Desman, ACV’s George Platanitis, VP Sales & Partnerships, and Monique Lalonde, General Manager, Sales and National Accounts – Ontario, told agents just how much they mean to ACV. “We really value your partnership. We couldn’t do it without you,” said Lalonde to cheers from the audience. “You are resilient, you are resourceful and we value your support,” added Platanitis.Shawn Desman at the ACV Sun Collection launchMore cheers were heard for several of ACV’s promotions for fall and winter 2017-2018, including the return of the Park ‘N Fly incentive offering clients 8 free nights of Park ‘N Fly parking, for vacation bookings made by Oct. 31, for travel Nov. 1 through April 30.There are also EBBs plus promotional prices for ACV’s CareFree and StormGuard Coverage.Plus, ACV is offering 15% commission on bookings for Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts made by Oct. 1.“We’ve brought a lot of ancillary products to the table for travel agents, to help drive the sale. And they’re commissionable,” said Nino Montegnese, ACV’s Managing Director.Not only that, but consumer protection programs like CareFree and StormGuard “doesn’t hinder agents from selling insurance. We don’t want to get in the way of those insurance commissions,” he adds.ACV’s winter lineup, its biggest ever, has more than 700 resorts including 60+ new resorts, 19 ACV exclusives, 30 semi-exclusives and 26 with exclusive room categories, sections and/or meal plans.The tour operator is adding capacity out of cities across Canada, including an extra 18% capacity out of Toronto and a whopping 250% out of Calgary. New destinations from Toronto include Cartagena, Belize and St. Vincent. “We’re going to offer your customers more choice, more options and more convenience,” said Platanitis.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Meanwhile ACV’s new Luxury lineup will be ready later this fall, on its own for the first time as a stand-alone brochure. The Luxury brochure will not be a mass-market piece for every client, or for every agent, says Montegnese, who introduced the Luxury line by asking agents in the crowd how many had clients who spend $5,000 per person on a vacation. “It won’t be for everyone, but it will be for some of you,” he said, adding that commissions for ACV’s Luxury product will be higher.Also at the launch, ACV showcased its Top Picks brochure, available since May (“really a great sales tool when you’re looking for something unique with ACV”), and the new Travel Agent Handbook, outlining how to book what with the tour operator. “It tells you where you’ll find our product and what system to book it in,” says Platanitis. “Things are a little convoluted right now. This handbook will help.”ACV’s Europe brochure will be out in early December, he added.Platanitis heads up the tour operator’s Travel Advisory Board and ACV’s collaboration with its travel agent board members has been a huge success, he says. “You let us know what we’re doing well and what we’re doing not so well. We’re very much committed to you and the Travel Advisory Board will continue.”Not surprisingly ACV has received a very high volume of inquiries from agents asking about clients impacted by Hurricane Irma. “They can re-book,” says Montegnese.Montegnese said ACV is deploying more than 20 team members to destinations impacted by the hurricane, and even some that were barely touched by the storm, “just to see everything with our own eyes. We’ll be sending them to Cuba, the D.R., Antigua, Turks & Caicos and more. We couldn’t send anyone until flights resumed.”Montegnese said agents will see a staggered approach to flights and programs coming back into the affected destinations. He said ACV plans to add extra capacity to other popular destinations to make up for the shortfall, “but we’re going to put it where we need it. We’re not just going to throw capacity on everywhere. That would create a whole new problem.”Karen Puebla with the Cuba Tourist Board said Irma first hit Camaguey, then headed west along Cuba’s northern coast. Most tour operators and airlines have suspended their flights into Cayo Coco and other resort destinations in the area until late October. Puebla says the causeway to Cayo Santa Maria is already cleared and damaged resorts will be rebuilt with building supplies already on the island, originally intended for new hotels.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesHere are more product and brochure highlights from the ACV Sun Collection launches:The Sun Collection brochure has its Family Collection (with the Play product); the 18+ Adult Collection (including Costa Rica, Cuba, Antigua and other destinations); the Luxe Collection (five-star properties, gourmet dining, and 24 hour room service); the Spotlight Collection (popular resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean); wedding groups (no deposit for 90 days, storage space for wedding dress on board plane and $500 travel credit for next vacation); incentive groups (new feature is a $500 hotel or excursion credit to use at the destination) and cruises (new feature is no deposit on flights when client books air and cruise up to 30 days before departure and all flights are 100 per cent refundable up to 30 days prior to travel and one name change is permitted prior to travel).Air Canada gift cards can be used to purchase ACV vacation packages as of Oct. 15.Group bookings have been made easier. ACV needs 8 people to make a group and now children can be added to the count. There is also the chance to earn a 2% bonus commission. The group plan features extras such as room upgrades and the ability to have block seating on flights. ACV is also using AC Jetz for larger groups who want a private charter flight.U.S. destinations include California, Florida and Hawaii. Of the 25 largest properties in Las Vegas, 15 are listed in the Sun brochure.‘Go Canada’ will see double the amount of ‘one-stop’ ski packages with popular slopes such as Banff, Jasper and Whistler offering three, five, and seven day packages. All cost from flights through to lift tickets are included in prices.The Travel Agent Handbook sets out the ACV&Me Rewards offered: 600 points per room for all air-inclusive packages of seven nights or more, 400 points for all air-inclusive packages of three to six nights, 600 points per stateroom for every Air & Cruise package of seven nights or more and 300 points per passenger in groups. Thursday, September 14, 2017 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Brochures, Sun Destinations Posted by Share With files from Jean Sorensenlast_img read more

Scenic Eclipse snagged by second delay ship wont sail until April 2019

Scenic Eclipse snagged by second delay ship wont sail until April 2019

first_img Posted by Share Scenic Eclipse snagged by second delay, ship won’t sail until April 2019 Travelweek Group Tags: Scenic Eclipse, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tourscenter_img VANCOUVER — Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has amended the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse following a shipyard workers’ strike.It’s the second time the launch of the ‘World’s First Discovery Yacht’ has been delayed. It was originally set to launch Aug. 31, 2018 but in July the cruise line announced a five-month delay, until late January 2019.The new launch date, for the inaugural cruise, is now April 13, 2019. Scenic says it is providing guests a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans.Travelweek reached out to Scenic this morning and a spokesperson confirmed that travel agent commissions are once again protected.Additionally, the company is providing all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit in the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.A dedicated phone number for affected guests has been created, and the company has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details on refunding and applying the 25% discount to other voyages.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterScenic says this latest snag is due to ongoing financial issues at the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia, which resulted in a strike by specialist engine and systems commissioning workers. “Although the specialist commissioning teams did return to work last week, it will not be possible to catch up the nearly six weeks of lost time due to the strike,” says a statement from Scenic.Scenic says it is in constant contact with the shipyard, the workers’ representatives and the Croatian government to ensure the completion of the ship as soon as possible. Due to Scenic’s efforts, more than 600 employees continue to work on other aspects of the ship every day, which Scenic says “are progressing at a good pace.”For more information go to scenic.ca or call 1-866-689-8611, or email info@scenic.ca. Tuesday, November 13, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Carnival brings back AMP Up with as much as 15 commission

Carnival brings back AMP Up with as much as 15 commission

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tuesday, December 4, 2018 Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Carnival brings back ‘AMP Up’ with as much as 15% commission MIAMI — Agents who opt-in to Carnival Cruise Line’s 2019 ‘AMP Up Commission Challenge’ have the chance to qualify for higher commission rates, up to 15%, following a booking qualification period Jan. 1 — March 31, 2019.Agencies who reach set booking goals during this window will earn the increased commissions on new Carnival bookings made April 1 – through December 2019. Agents can register for the program now through Dec. 23, 2018, on GoCCL.com.“Last year our travel agency partners embraced the AMP Up Commission Challenge and exceeded their goals beyond our expectations, so we brought it back this year to give even more agencies the chance to benefit from this program and earn more commission,” said Adolfo Perez, Carnival’s Senior VP of Sales and Trade Marketing. “Wave is the busiest and most rewarding booking period of the year, and we’re excited to provide our travel partners with additional opportunities to increase their earnings.”More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoOnce registered and confirmed for the 2019 AMP Up Commission Challenge, participating agencies must make from 20 to 125 bookings during the January to March booking period to qualify for higher commission levels between 11 and 15%:15% commission, 125 bookings14% commission, 88 bookings13% commission, 63 bookings12% commission, 38 bookings11% commission, 20 bookingsThe incentive is available to agencies currently qualifying for 10 to 14% commission.To participate, an agency owner or authorized representative must go to GoCCL.com to complete the registration form. Once the agency’s information has been verified, an enrollment confirmation email will be sent by Dec. 28. Only new bookings made and fully deposited or paid in full between Jan. 1 — March 31, 2019 will count towards the goal, with the exception of free staterooms, reduced advisor fares and full-ship charters.Carnival says it’s offering the AMP Up Commission Challenge as part of #thelist, its trade support program. For more information on how to take part in the 2019 AMP Up Commission Challenge, login to GoCCL.com. Tags: Agent Incentives, Carnival Cruise Linelast_img read more

Stunning or stupid Travelling couples Instagram photo causes outrage

Stunning or stupid Travelling couples Instagram photo causes outrage

first_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — You gotta do what you gotta do to get those likes on Instagram, but even if it means risking certain death?A popular Instagram couple, U.S. bloggers Kelly and Kody who go by the name @positravelty, has landed in hot water for posting a photo of them posing over the edge of an infinity pool in Ubud, Bali.Kelly, who is being held by the arms by Kody, is seen hanging on the outside of the pool, which is perched high above the ground.The photo was accompanied by the caption: “Our greatest strength in life, our most important principle, is discernment. Only you can know your body, feel the space around you and understand your capabilities. We would all do well to remember this, knowing that not every action, style or path we witness through others is or should be, replicated. At the end of the day we are to hold ourselves accountable for the decisions that we make.”More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedIt has been liked over 37,000 times by the couple’s 119,000 followers.While many people complimented the photo, including @cruslann who said, “This is honestly a very powerful picture,” and @cluttermarissa who added, “True love, a powerful trust,” many others criticized the couple for putting themselves in danger.”@karan.covai wrote: “Silly stunt. Real couple won’t ever do this stunt. Those who have greatest care for their loved ones won’t ever do this silly stunt.”Another commenter, @pava.patricia, said: “If he sneezed, she could have fallen to her death! Yes, they’re physically beautiful, but risk like this wasn’t smart.”@rhuber65 didn’t mince words, saying: “Vanity and narcissism appears to be your greatest principle. You have done admirably upholding that principle.” And @fidgty07 added: “Your ‘greatest sense of life’ is obviously not common sense.”Kelly and Kody responded to their critics, assuring them that there was another pool below should Kelly had accidentally fallen. How far below the other pool was remains to be seen, however.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulySo what do you think? Is the photo stunning or just plain stupid? Stunning or stupid? Travelling couple’s Instagram photo causes outrage Posted by Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, April 18, 2019 Tags: Instagramlast_img read more

Made in Guatemala Building a dream home

first_imgThe Chesters’ house is decorated with eclectic items the couple has collected over years in the Foreign Service. Courtesy of Gerri and George Chester Related posts:Atelier de Arte: Spreading artistic realism in Guatemala A city girl from the Netherlands packs up and moves to the Guatemalan jungle Guatemala high court orders arrest warrant for former leader Serrano reinstated Guatemalan ex-dictator Ríos Montt denies being ‘genocidal’ as historic trial wraps up “Franklin’s unbelievable,” says George. “He provided the spark; starting with a clear piece of paper he designed everything. We could have got furniture in the U.S., but we only wanted Franklin – the man’s a magician.”To comply with Florida’s building codes, local draftsmen translated Contreras’ initial design, and just over a year later, during Christmas of 2001, the custom-built four-bedroom house was completed.“We prepared most of the construction details here and sent them over to the States,” says Contreras. “We shipped the two corridors [porches] with all their pieces, the wrought-iron balconies and railings, the stone work for the fireplaces, old doors – even the roof tiles were quantified and sent to provide the right exterior look to the house. That was the uniqueness of the project. Gerri and George wanted the real stuff.”With a sunken fountain, grills over the inset concrete windows and gargoyles rather than guttering, the Spanish colonial-style house appears to have been plucked from the streets of Antigua and placed in Yulee, on the coast of Florida.The house is not only Guatemalan on the outside, but also is filled with Guatemalan features on the inside, too.After building the pieces in Guatemala, Contreras took them apart, numbered them and shipped them to Florida in a 40-foot container, which also contained custom-made beds, a Guatemalan Art Nouveau chair and five pairs of antique wooden doors.“I think the real challenge was for the builder in the U.S. to use my design and adapt it to comply with all the regulations, codes and building processes so that it was livable and coherent with the Florida environment,” Contreras says.“I know how difficult it is even to change an outlet in the U.S. if you don’t have the right certified electrician with his license, insurance and so forth. We did our best to send instructions on how to put together all the pieces of the terraza española and other details, but this was a totally different language for the contractor.”With its soaring cathedral ceiling, 26-foot fireplace and outdoor swimming pool, the Chesters’ dream home is a perfect replica of an 18th century luxury Guatemalan home.With careers that have taken the couple all over the globe, the Chesters have accumulated an impressive collection of eclectic items along the way – including Belgian stained glass windows and a 9-foot, 19th century French farm table. Their diverse array of global purchases, which typifies their past, even dictated that the rooms were designed to fit the furniture, not the other way around.The unique abode, which is located on the waterfront in a secluded part of Nassau Valley, is surrounded by oak trees, four miles from the nearest grocery store.Although the initial idea for a Spanish colonial residence in their home country presented them with a few challenges, the finished version bottles the essence of Guatemala – providing Florida with a flavor of Antigua.  Each pillar was designed and made in Guatemala and shipped to Florida in a 40-foot box. Courtesy of Gerri and George Chestercenter_img Facebook Comments GUATEMALA CITY – For most people, home is where the heart is; but for Gerri and George Chester, home is where Guatemala is – whether they’re in Florida or Antigua.The retired U.S. Foreign Service officers had spent their lives moving around every couple of years for work. So when they decided to retire to the U.S. state of Florida over a decade ago, they were ready to settle down and build their dream home. However, since their last placement was in Guatemala, the couple wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the country they had called home for the previous six years.“We fell in love with it here,” admits Gerri. “It was our last overseas assignment, our kids grew up here and we just loved the Spanish colonial-style houses.”Frustrated with what they found in the southern United States housing market, the former diplomats started searching for inspiration for their dream house on the cobbled streets of Antigua, 30 kilometers from Guatemala City.“We went through all these magazines looking for ideas, but couldn’t find anything,” says George. “Then we went over to a friend’s house that was designed by [Guatemalan architect] Franklin [Contreras]. We saw it and immediately wanted one.”The Chesters flew Contreras up to Florida to walk over their lot and see what he could come up with. A couple of days later, he sketched something on the back of an envelope and the project began.last_img read more

Are Nicaraguans working in Costa Rica more generous than those in the

first_imgNo related posts. More Nicaraguan immigrants live in the United States than in Costa Rica, but those in Costa Rica send more money home, according to newly released data from the World Bank.The data indicates that Nicaraguans working in Costa Rica sent $444 million to their home country in 2012, while Nicaraguans in the United States sent $430 million. Nicaragua is the only country in Central America in which the United States is not the primary source of remittances, according to the report.Or, that scenario is wrong. According to the Nicaraguan Central Bank (BCN), 57.6 percent of remittances to Nicaragua come from the U.S. and 23 percent from Costa Rica.Some 348,000 Nicaraguan immigrants live in the United States and 287,000 Nicas live in Costa Rica, according to the Pew Research Center and the 2011 Costa Rican Census. If the World Bank Data is correct, each Nicaraguan immigrant in Costa Rica sent an average of $1,547 dollars to their country in 2012, while each one in the United States sent $1,235 in 2012.On Friday, the Pew Research Center published an analysis on remittances to Spanish-speaking Latina American countries concluding that money transfers to the region recovered from a decline during the 2009 U.S. recession. The exception was Mexico, where remittances continue to show a declining trend. Money sent home by migrants represents 16.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in El Salvador, 15.7 percent of GDP in Honduras, 10 percent of GDP in Guatemala, and 9.7 percent of GDP in Nicaragua, but it is only 1.2 percent of Costa Rica’s GDP. Costa Rica is the only country in the region with a deficit on money transfers. Ticos with relatives living abroad received a total of $522 million in remittances, but immigrants in Costa Rica sent home $561 million in 2012. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Jazz Café to host first annual Costa Rican Women in Music Festival

first_imgOriginal music in Costa Rica has come a long way, but until a couple years ago, that applied mostly to men. But things are quickly changing, according to musician Hazel Marcie.One big step forward, she said, is this Saturday’s Costa Rican Women in Music Festival, the first of its kind in the country, featuring (mostly) all-girl bands. The festival takes place on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Jazz Café in San Pedro, east of downtown San José.Among featured bands are ColorNoise, The Great Wilderness, The Beagirls, Pamela Frank, PontiCello and The Girl Next Door.Proceeds from the door will be donated to the organization Fundamentes, which assists children and adolescents with mental disabilities.Marcie, 30, has played piano since she was 9 and currently is in The Beatles tribute band The Beagirls. She also created the organization Mujeres Músico de Costa Rica. Marcie said she has witnessed firsthand the increasing number of women in bands here, and she told The Tico Times that the Costa Rican music scene has evolved significantly in recent years.“A couple years ago, women were isolated from the music scene. But today, there’s really a lot going on. It’s changed a lot. For women, the national music scene is really starting to take off,” Marcie said. The Beagirls’ Hazel Marcie. (Via Facebook)Women musicians still confront sexism in Costa Rica, but it’s slowly diminishing day by day, she said.In the past, it was common to see women only as vocalists, with the rest of the bands composed of men. Not so much anymore, she said.“The Beagirls or The Great Wilderness and other similar bands are composed mostly of women. Well, there are a few guys. But this really never happened two years ago,” she said.Music in general has progressed in Costa Rica, and the styles of live and recorded music are becoming increasingly diverse.“People are making great music. Bands are polished, they produce videos and make records that are actually interesting to listen to,” Marcie said. “They’re also recording in top-quality studios. I think music in Costa Rica is good, but it could be even better.”Organizers hope the festival also will be an opportunity for musicians to network. For example, participants could find more studio work, join other bands or book other shows together, Marcie said. Rock on!—What: The Costa Rican Festival of Women in MusicWhen: Saturday, Nov. 8, 9 p.m.Where: Jazz Café San PedroEntrance: ₡4,000 ($8)Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/745377805498997/ Facebook Comments Related posts:Singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen makes everyone feel good in Costa Rica debut Kevin Johansen and The Nada to join illustrator Liniers in live art-music show in Escazú Rolling Stones to tour Latin America VIDEO: Rolling Stones promise ‘historic’ Cuba concertlast_img read more

China monitoring animals to predict earthquakes

China monitoring animals to predict earthquakes

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s capital to run earthquake drill Thursday Mag-4.5 earthquake rattles Costa Rica’s Central Valley Earthquake jolts five provinces in Costa Rica Flooding, ashfall, strong winds top Costa Rica’s natural disaster list this year BEIJING, China — Chinese government researchers are using chickens, fish and toads to try to predict earthquakes, media reported.The seismological bureau in the eastern city of Nanjing has transformed seven animal farms into seismic stations, the China Daily newspaper reported last week.Breeders on the farms are asked to update the bureau about the behavior of the animals twice a day, the report said. Possible abnormal behavior that could indicate imminent earthquakes includes chickens flying atop trees, fish leaping out of water or toads moving in a group, it added.Nanjing plans to recruit seven more farms into the scheme this year, it said. Facilities need to house more than three species to be eligible.But some animal keepers seemed reluctant to become involved.“Our zoo is not being transformed into a monitor station because the animals will display abnormal behavior when they are teased by visitors,” the report quoted a local zookeeper as saying.Using animals to predict earthquakes is not new in China. State-run media said last year that the central city of Nanchang was using dogs to predict tremors.China is regularly hit by seismic incidents, with hundreds of thousands killed in major disasters in the past. Three people died in the latest fatal earthquake last week, in the far western region of Xinjiang. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

FIFA ethics tribunal bans Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for 8 years

FIFA ethics tribunal bans Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for 8 years

first_imgZURICH, Switzerland – A FIFA ethics tribunal on Monday banned Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for eight years saying they had abused their positions over a suspect 2 million Swiss franc payment.The court strongly criticized the FIFA president and vice president, saying there was “no legal basis” for the payment that Blatter authorized for Platini in 2011.While full-blown corruption charges were dropped, both men angrily rejected the verdict and vowed to appeal.Sepp Blatter said he felt betrayed and declared: “I will fight to the end.”French legend Platini called the verdict a “masquerade” for an attempt to exclude him from world football.The ban, which starts immediately, could however bring an inglorious end to 79-year-old Sepp Blatter’s four decades with FIFA. It is also a devastating blow to Platini’s hopes of taking over as head of football’s world governing body in an election on Feb. 26.“I think this is punishment enough, because it means they can never come back,” former UEFA President Lennart Johansson told the Swedish daily Expressen.Blatter, FIFA’s president since 1998, was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000) while Platini, the head of UEFA, Europe’s governing body, was fined 80,000 Swiss francs.FIFA suspended the pair and launched an inquiry in October after Swiss prosecutors placed Blatter under investigation for criminal mismanagement over the two million Swiss franc payment that was caught with special software. Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter is surrounded by journalists upon his arrival at a press conference on Dec. 21, 2015 in Zurich. Michele Limina/AFPSepp Blatter and Michel Platini: ‘Abusive execution’A statement by the FIFA tribunal said Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were guilty of “abusive execution” of their powers over the payment the two men said was for consultancy work carried out between 1999 and 2002.The judges said there was a conflict of interest and “no legal basis” for the transfer in any written agreement.“Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr. Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment. His assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.”The court said: “Mr Blatter’s actions did not show commitment to an ethical attitude, failing to respect all applicable laws and regulations as well as FIFA’s regulatory framework.”The judgment was even more damning of the French legend Platini.“Mr Platini failed to act with complete credibility and integrity, showing unawareness of the importance of his duties and concomitant obligations and responsibilities.”Neither Blatter no Platini can go near the FIFA headquarters in Zurich. Blatter cannot speak on behalf of the world body and Platini cannot even act as a television commentator for the European Championships he has helped to organize in France next year.Both strongly deny any wrongdoing. Blatter spent eight hours before a FIFA court last Thursday while Platini boycotted his hearing on Friday saying he had been “condemned” in advance.Blatter told a press conference he felt he had been “betrayed” and used as a “punching ball.”He said he would go to FIFA’s appeal committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sports and the Swiss courts if necessary.“Something that is not true cannot be proven,” he said.Blatter was campaigning for re-election in 2011 but insisted he had not offered a bribe to Platini.“Never in my life I would offer money to get something. This hurts me really in my heart,” he said.Platini said in a statement that the FIFA decision was a “masquerade” intended to “sully” his name. A file photo taken on May 29, 2015 shows FIFA ex-President Sepp Blatter,left, shaking hands with UEFA ex-President Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote to decide on the FIFA presidency in Zurich. Michael Buholzer/AFPFIFA in chaosHe said he would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and civil courts.“This verdict is just a pathetic coverup for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football.”FIFA said that they had 10 days to appeal to its judiciary.Blatter would be fighting for his reputation. For Platini, the ban rules him out of the FIFA election to be held on Feb. 26.The deadline for candidates to be registered and pass an integrity check is Jan. 26.With FIFA’s reputation in tatters after the arrest of several top officials, Blatter announced four days after winning re-election to a fifth term in May that he would stand down and call a new election.Seven FIFA officials were arrested in a luxury Zurich hotel two days before the election congress.Now U.S. authorities have charged 39 football officials and sports business executives over more than $200 million in bribes for football television and marketing deals.See: Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li pleads not guilty in FIFA corruption scandalSwiss prosecutors are in parallel investigating FIFA’s management and the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.Facing pressure from governments and the International Olympic Committee for major reforms, there are currently five candidates to take over FIFA: Asian football head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, South African politician and tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan, UEFA general-secretary Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA assistant general secretary from France.Read all our FIFA coverage here Facebook Comments Related posts:FIFA corruption probe: Michel Platini vows to fight ‘injustice’  Blatter fights ban amid FIFA turmoil Top US sponsors of FIFA urge football body to enact reforms FIFA memo asks would-be president to stick to the scriptlast_img read more

Amid deportation fears immigrant advocacy groups teach resistance

Amid deportation fears immigrant advocacy groups teach resistance

first_imgHYATTSVILLE, Maryland. — There is an urgent conversation going on in Latino neighborhoods around the United States about how to react if confronted by federal agents. Listen:“If they come to the house, do we have to open the door?” asked a mother in the basement community room at CASA of Maryland, an advocacy group based in suburban Washington.“They need an order, a paper signed by a judge,” attorney Paulina Vera replied. “If you open the door, that’s like giving permission to come in. That’s why it’s important for them to pass it under the door.”“They knocked violently at 6 a.m. this morning,” a 33-year-old cook from Mexico said, still stunned and tearful from the experience. “They didn’t slide anything under. After 10 minutes, they went away.”“If I’m in the market with my daughter and they ask for my identification, do I have to do anything?” asked a 36-year-old mother from El Salvador. Her 4-year-old, in a pink jacket, dozed in her arms.“Ask if you are detained,” Vera said. “If not, go calmly.”This is the essence of the resistance campaign being preached by advocacy groups in response to a new effort to deport families from Central America who have entered the country illegally over the past two years.An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in an email that “ICE officers and agents conduct immigration enforcement actions consistent with their authorities under federal law and in accordance with the Constitution.”The raids — which swept up 121 parents and children on New Year’s weekend, primarily in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina — will target only those recent arrivals who have been given final deportation orders, the Obama administration says.But they have triggered an outcry from Democrats in Congress and are provoking panic among a far broader swath of this country’s population of undocumented Central American immigrants, most of whom believed for years that as long as they obey the law, their life in the United States is not at risk.In the Washington area and elsewhere, merchants, advocates and immigrants say people are afraid to work, shop, or visit the doctor. In Prince George’s County, where Hyattsville is located, officials are reporting lower attendance than usual in schools with large immigrant populations. Schools chief executive Kevin Maxwell this week called for federal authorities “to see schools and other public gathering places as areas where no enforcement activities should take place.”Health clinics are “seeing a lot more missed visits, especially prenatal care and children’s visits, and our social workers are getting a lot of questions about whether it is safe to send their children to school,” said Maria Gomez, president of Mary’s Center, which operates in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County.“We are telling people to make sure their kids know where to go in case their parents are detained, and we are trying to reassure them that clinics and schools are safe.”Alicia Wilson, executive director of La Clinica del Pueblo in the District of Columbia, noted that many immigrants from Central America “have survived war, violent gangs and extreme physical hardship” in their homelands. “We are extremely distressed to see the fear that these raids have created in the community,” she said.CASA has held about 30 “know your rights” sessions in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania since Jan. 5 to make sure that people know that in the United States, even undocumented immigrants have civil rights.Organizations in other states are doing the same.The five main pieces of advice, all offered in Spanish, are: Don’t open the door; say nothing; sign nothing; memorize the phone number of an attorney or rights group; and prepare an emergency plan to take care of your family and affairs if you are detained.CASA is handing out packets and wallet cards with the information. Its Facebook page, presenting weekly advice videos and a 24-hour hotline number, has received more traffic and comments this month than ever, one staffer said.At the session in Hyattsville on Tuesday, Vera, the attorney, flashed a 24-hour emergency hotline number on a screen. Nearly every one of the 40 people in attendance entered the digits into their cellphones.The 36-year-old mother who was there said she takes precautions when leaving home and has postponed buying necessities such as food and diapers. Like others at the session, she asked that her name not be published for fear that ICE would knock on her door next.“When I’m out of the apartment, I look on all sides,” she said. “Because you don’t know if they are waiting for you.”The cook from Mexico said she and her family stayed in their apartment for two hours Tuesday morning after the agents knocked on her door. When the coast seemed clear, she took her 13-year-old daughter, a U.S. citizen, to school. The girl was reluctant to say goodbye: “Mami, I’m afraid I won’t see you again!”A father from Guatemala attended the workshop to learn how he can help his daughter, 14, and son, 7, who crossed the border in June 2014 to join their parents and escape gang violence.The children were detained at the border, then released and given a court date later this month. The man, who installs drywall for a living, said he can’t afford the $15,000 or so he would need for an attorney. Pro bono attorneys, he said, have long waiting lists.A devout Seventh Day Adventist, he has faith that God will work things out. He plans to have his daughter bring her straight-A report cards from High Point High School to the hearing and address the judge in the English she has quickly learned.“When there are zero possibilities,” the immigrant said, “that’s when God makes miracles.”– – –The Washington Post’s Arelis R. Hernández contributed to this report.© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Migration is one of the most challenging issues of the 21st century, says UN official Costa Rica serves as a corridor for Asians, Africans migrating to the US US Supreme Court to review Obama’s power on deportation policy Refugee program for Central Americans ‘still on the drawing board’: US officiallast_img read more

Uncle of Calle 13 singer killed in Puerto Rico

first_img Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Officials say 579 killings have been reported this year on the island of 4 million people, compared with 704 killings in the same period last year, when Puerto Rico recorded a record number of homicides.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – The uncle of popular Puerto Rican hip-hop singer Rene Perez has been shot to death in the U.S. territory.Perez is part of the Grammy-winning duo Calle 13. He said Friday in a Twitter message that 49-year-old Roberto Joglar Rios was a victim of a swell in crime in Puerto Rico.Police said Joglar was shot several times late Thursday in front of a school in the San Juan suburb of Rio Piedras. Police said they do not yet have a motive. Comments   Share   center_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The vital role family plays in society Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

Kremlins rights council blasts Pussy Riot verdict

first_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Council members expressed dismay over a decision to keep Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich hand-cuffed in a bullet-proof glass cage during the hearing of the verdict.“We are confident that the civil society has the right to demand that Russian justice be governed by the truth and mercy,” the council said.The council is an independent advisory body appointed by the president and its recommendations are not binding. All of its members were appointed under former President Dmitry Medvedev.The group is up for a reshuffle since some of its most critical members have resigned, saying that they don’t want to work under President Vladimir Putin. The new council could be less critical, but has had very little sway over government decisions.The three women were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred earlier this month after performing a “punk prayer” against Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. The verdict caused protests and outrage both in Russia and abroad.The women on Monday filed an appeal of the verdict which is expected to be heard within the following 10 days. Meanwhile, the band said at least two of its members have fled Russia to avoid arrest. MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian presidential human rights council is questioning the guilty verdict and two-year prison sentences against three members of punk provocateurs Pussy Riot.The council said in a statement late Tuesday that “criminal law was used to deal with actions which entail administrative liability only” in the case. Members also questioned why the court did not impose suspended sentences on two of the three women who have small children. Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How do cataracts affect your vision? The vital role family plays in society Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   last_img read more

Appeals court sides with EPA on air pollution limits

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 0 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency complied with the law in deciding which areas of the country failed to meet federal limits on smog-forming pollution that can cause asthma and respiratory illness.The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected challenges from states, industry and environmental groups that claimed the agency was being either too strict or too lenient in determining which areas satisfied federal ozone restrictions. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories States including Mississippi, Indiana and Texas had challenged the EPA’s finding that certain areas within their borders were violating the standard. A finding of noncompliance means states have to spend money to reduce ozone levels.Connecticut and Delaware argued that the EPA should have designated more than a dozen eastern states in violation, saying their air quality was being hindered by other states.But the court said the EPA’s decisions had not violated the Constitution or any provisions of the Clean Air Act.EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said the agency is pleased with the decision and would continue to work with states “toward implementing ozone standards to protect public health as required by the Clean Air Act.”The Obama administration recently proposed even stricter emission limits on ozone of 65 to 70 parts per billion, below the existing standard of 75 that President George W. Bush put in place in 2008. The EPA has estimated that cutting ozone emissions to 70 parts per billion would cost industry about $3.9 billion in 2025.Business groups say the latest proposal is unnecessary and would be the costliest regulation in history.Ozone, the main ingredient in smog, is a powerful lung irritant that has been linked to a range of health problems. Smog is created when emissions from cars, power plants, refineries and other factories mix in sunlight and heat. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Carter US must boost military exercises to counter Russia

Carter US must boost military exercises to counter Russia

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories Top Stories Comments   Share   Western leaders say Moscow is supplying rebels with manpower, training and weapons. Russia rejects those claims.Still, military and diplomatic leaders in the meeting expressed concern about the tactics they said Russia has used in Ukraine — what Carter described as a mixture of subversion, sophisticated threat making and manipulation of information.“All this cocktail that you saw in Ukraine — is that something we’re worried about them using elsewhere? Absolutely. Was that discussed? Absolutely. It is concerning to the NATO countries for sure,” Carter said.In Ukraine, a fragile cease-fire worked out in February has been repeatedly broken, and a major battle erupted in eastern Ukraine earlier this week. Both sides blamed the other for the latest spike in violence.Carter’s meeting at the headquarters of U.S. European Command involved nearly 40 people, including the heads of the Pentagon’s Africa, Pacific, Middle East, special operations and cyber commands, as well as U.S. ambassadors from across Europe and Eastern Europe. Its aim was to assess how effective the economic sanctions and U.S.-backed military operations have been in deterring Russia and discuss what more the U.S. and allies can do. Carter also said the U.S. and others are worried President Vladimir Putin would use similar tactics elsewhere in the region and is positioning Russia as a U.S. adversary.“There are other things we need to be doing in recognition of the fact that, at the moment at least, Vladimir Putin does not seem to be reversing course,” Carter told reporters traveling with him shortly after leaving the meeting. “Therefore we need to adapt, in a long-term sense, to that reality.”Other U.S. leaders insist the sanctions have worked because they’ve battered Russia’s economy. But Carter made the distinction that they haven’t fostered change.“It’s a sign of how heedless the Russian government seems to be about the long-term welfare of its own people that it has not yet resulted in a change, in a reversal at least of course, which is what we want out of Russia,” he said.Carter’s meeting with his military commanders from around the globe, as well as 14 U.S. ambassadors from the region, came on the eve of the Group of Seven weekend summit in the Bavarian Alps, a meeting to which Putin was disinvited. Western leaders at the G-7 are expected to further condemn Russia for its suspected role in the escalating violence in Ukraine, but stricter punishments are not expected. The more-than-four-hour session came at the end of Carter’s 11-day, around-the-world trip, which focused largely on challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.U.S. officials said no decisions were made during the meeting, but Carter said the group discussed a number of actions the U.S. can take. As an example, he said increased U.S. military exercises and training in the region, including in the Baltics, have been successful.He also repeated his call for allies and partners to do more — from increasing their defense spending to participating more in the military exercises and training,And, he said, it’s “really time to make some progress” on NATO’s long discussed desire to improve its intelligence and information sharing, both in terms of Russia and the escalating threat from Islamic State militants and the growing risk they pose beyond the territories they’ve taken in Iraq and Syria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — The United States needs to increase the number of military exercises and training programs across Europe and strengthen NATO’s intelligence sharing to better counter Russian aggression in the region, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday after a lengthy, closed-door meeting in Germany with top American defense and diplomatic leaders.He acknowledged that the current international economic sanctions against Russia haven’t stopped Moscow’s military support for rebel separatists in Ukraine. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement A Russia-backed rebel guards his position near the division line with the Ukrainian army near Dokuchayevsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, June 5, 2015. As fears persist that eastern Ukraine is about to fall back into full-scale war, a leader of the international monitoring group is urgently calling for resumed negotiations. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov) 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Swiss Austrians conduct spying probes over Iran talks

first_imgThe Swiss government asked prosecutors to open an investigation on May 6 and a Geneva hotel was searched on May 12, during which unspecified information technology was seized, he said in an email. He would not say whether any arrests had been made.Most of the Iran talks over recent months have taken place in Switzerland and neighboring Austria.In Austria, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said “authorities are looking into the accusations and they are being investigated.” She didn’t elaborate.Iran and six world powers — the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — are trying to seal a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program by June 30. The six powers want long-term caps on Iranian nuclear programs that could be used to make weapons. Tehran denies any interest in atomic arms and is seeking an end to sanctions in exchange for nuclear concessions.____George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain BERLIN (AP) — Swiss prosecutors are conducting an espionage investigation amid suspicions that hotels hosting the talks on Iran’s nuclear program have been targeted in a cyber-spying campaign. Austria is also looking into the allegations.Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm, said this week it had uncovered the campaign and that the malware was so sophisticated it must have been created by a government.Switzerland’s investigation is directed against persons unknown and was opened following a report from the Swiss intelligence agency, Andre Marty, a spokesman for Swiss federal prosecutors, said Thursday. Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Opponents of Ecuador president march in biggest city

Opponents of Ecuador president march in biggest city

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Thousands of demonstrators march with the flags of Guayaquil during an opposition march called by Guayaquil’s mayor Jaime Nebot to protest against policies of President Rafael Correa in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Thursday, June 25, 2015. Speaking to a crowd stretching in to the distance, Nebot said the president’s economic policies are harmful and threaten to throw the country into turmoil. He warned of following the path of socialist-government Venezuela, where many goods are in short supply and prices are soaring. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Check your body, save your life “They say that prosperity, the right to prosper, deserves punishment,” Nebot said of Correa’s administration. “This country isn’t ever going to accept that, because that is not Ecuador, that is Venezuela.”Correa, who trained as an economist and describes himself as socialist of the 21st century, has been president since January 2007 and his current term ends in 2017. He Correa is widely popular with many Ecuadoreans because of his government’s generous social spending.A surge of protests by his opponents has been seen in Ecuador’s biggest cities, including the capital of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. The unrest was set off by the introduction of two new tax bills, one of which would take up to 75 percent of inheritances, but the protests have continued after Correa temporarily withdrew the legislation from consideration.Correa is also criticized by foes for his confrontational style in dealing with such sectors of society as the church, the press, banks and traditional political parties. Human rights groups have called him intolerant.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Thousands of Ecuadoreans filled the main downtown avenues in the coastal city of Guayaquil on Thursday to protest against the policies and governing style of populist President Rafael Correa.Led by Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nebot, who is a member of the opposition, demonstrators in Ecuador’s biggest city chanted “Correa out, out!”Speaking to a crowd stretching down a street, Nebot said the president’s economic policies are harmful and threaten to throw the country into turmoil. He warned against following the path of the socialist-government in Venezuela, where many goods are in short supply and prices are soaring. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Royals celebrate Prince Georges 2nd birthday

Royals celebrate Prince Georges 2nd birthday

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day LONDON (AP) — Prince George celebrates his second birthday on Wednesday and while he’s just a toddler, he’s already made an impression as a doting elder brother, a magnet to cameras and even a budding fashion trendsetter.A new official photograph of George, the first child of Prince William and his wife Kate, has been released by Kensington Palace to mark the occasion. It shows George grinning in his father’s arms. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Official pictures released by the palace also show George growing into his role as elder brother. The toddler has been pictured cradling Charlotte in his lap, giving her a kiss on her forehead.___FASHIONISTAHis mother, Kate, is known as a fashion trendsetter — and George is now following in her footsteps.Britain’s newspapers have gushed about the “George effect.” Whatever he wears can sell out in hours. That includes a pair of navy dungarees he wore for one of his first public appearances, and the Crocs shoes he wore at a charity polo match.The toddler even made it into GQ magazine’s “50 best-dressed men in Britain” 2015, together with his granddad, Prince Charles.___MISCHIEF DOWN UNDERGeorge hasn’t always been on best behavior. On a trip with his parents to a Sydney zoo earlier this year, the prince threatened to grab the ears of a bilby, a rabbit-like endangered marsupial. Presented with a cuddly toy bilby, the 9-month-old grabbed it with delight before immediately flinging it onto the floor.George also reportedly grabbed a toy from a baby girl and made her cry when Kate met with other new mothers during the royals’ trip to New Zealand. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home ___THREE GENERATIONS OF FUTURE KINGSGeorge marked an early milestone in June when he made his first appearance at the queen’s official birthday parade, joining royal family members on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The gathering marked the first time the queen appeared on the balcony together with three future monarchs — her son Charles, grandson William and great-grandson George.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FILE – In this Saturday, May 2, 2015 file photo, Britain’s Prince William and his son Prince George wave as they return to St. Mary’s Hospital’s exclusive Lindo Wing, London. William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday morning. Britain’s royals on Wednesday July 22 ,2015 celebrate the second birthday of George, the first child of Prince William and his wife, Kate. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   The royal couple is expected to celebrate his birthday privately at Anmer Hall, their country home on Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandringham Estate.George, who is third in line to the throne, has attracted huge media attention since his birth on July 22, 2013. Here’s a look at some of the future king’s memorable moments:___FIRST WAVEDespite his tender age, George appears to be getting to grips with facing the media — something that will be a huge part of his life.When George visited his mother and newborn sister Princess Charlotte in May, he showed a few nerves and gestured for William to pick him up when he saw the crowd of photographers stationed outside the hospital.But he soon regained his composure, mimicking his father’s wave to the cameras. That moment capturing father and son, dressed in matching blue sweaters, attracted almost as much attention as baby Charlotte.___WHAT’S INSIDE THE BABY CARRIAGE?George again stole the show at Charlotte’s christening ceremony, delighting the gathered crowds as he strolled hand in hand with William to the church. He was pictured standing on tiptoes to take a peek at his sister in her baby carriage after her baptism. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

Tiger returns to third quarter profit

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1ec74/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a238f441″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Tiger Airways have bounced back to profit in the third quarter, announcing today a net profit after tax of SGD$14.1 million for the quarter ending 31 December 2009, compared to a SGD$7.7 million loss for the same period a year ago.The budget carrier said the result, which represented a $22 million turnaround, was driven by a higher load factor.“The growth in passenger numbers was at a faster pace than the increase in seat capacity (+46%) pushing passenger load factor to 88%, a 5 percentage points improvement over the previous year” it said in a statement.Operating profit for the period was SGD$23.5 million versus a loss of SGD$5.1 million for the same quarter last year.“The result demonstrates that we have the right model in the right markets” said Tiger president and chief executive Tony Davis.“Tiger Airways Australia has been profitable for two successive quarters, proving that our Australian business has exited the start-up phase at a faster pace compared to the Singapore business, and is well positioned for growth going forward.Davis said the profit was achieved with a 19 percent reduction in average passenger fares and that the company would continue to focus on reducing our operating costs in order to offer lower fares.Tiger Airways said it would continue its “relentless focus on cost containment” and would introduce leather seats on all future aircraft deliveries to save on ongoing maintenance costs.“We believe that our focus on cost containment and our offer of lower fares to customers will continue to bear fruit heading into the fourth quarter” The carrier added that it would continue to look at opportunities to set up new operating airlines, and to grow its existing businesses.last_img read more

JTG shareholders told to vote yes to merger

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Jetset Travelworld Group (JTG) directors advised JTG shareholders that the proposed merger of JTG and Stella was in the company’s best interests, revealed an Explanatory Memorandum posted yesterday afternoon.“The JTG Directors unanimously recommend that JTG shareholders vote in favour of the merger proposal,” read the document. “[The merger] provides a compelling opportunity to integrate two complementary businesses…[and will] position the enlarged JTG Group to compete more effectively,” JTG Chairman Tom Dery said.Also provided was an Independent Expert’s Report by financial firm Deloitte which found that each company comes into the merger with relatively even equity “and therefore in the best interests of JTG shareholders”.The document advised changes to the share structure should the merger go ahead, its biggest shareholders being: Qantas with a 29 per cent stake; CVC Asia Pacific with 26.9 per cent; UBS with 17.9 per cent; and Spiros Alysandratos with 12.6 per cent.Further detailed were the board and staff appointments and structure of the new JTG Group, Stella’s Peter Lacaze and Elizabeth Gaines acting as chief executive and chief financial officers respectively.Tom Dery will become JTG Non-Executive Chairman as John King and Lesley Grant step down from the JTG board.Shareholders will be asked to vote on the proposed merger on 6 September 2010. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1e1fa/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more