Month: August 2019

Measles warning issued for VancouverEdmonton passengers

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Travel Alert EDMONTON — Health officials in Alberta say people who were on a flight from Vancouver to Edmonton last month may be at risk for measles.Alberta Health Services says a person with measles flew on WestJet flight 186 that departed Vancouver on the evening of Feb. 24.Officials say people who were in Edmonton International Airport shortly after midnight until 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 25 are also at risk.The warning applies to people who were born after 1970 and who haven’t already had measles, or received two doses of the measles vaccine.People born before 1970 are generally considered immune because they were likely exposed to measles that was circulating in the population before that time.The health agency says it is directly contacting people who were on the flight, and it asks that people who were in the airport to stay home and call Health Link at 811 before visiting any health care facility or provider.center_img The Canadian Press Measles warning issued for Vancouver-Edmonton passengers Monday, March 6, 2017 last_img read more

Akkiratourz convicted of failing to hold funds in trust account

first_img Tuesday, July 3, 2018 Share Akkiratourz convicted of failing to hold funds in trust account << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Toronto-based Akkiratourz Ltd. has been ordered by the Court to pay $75,000 in fines after being convicted of three separate counts.After being charged by TICO, Akkiratourz was convicted of two counts of failing to hold customer funds in a designated trust account and one count of failing to deposit customer funds in a designated trust account.Ms. Gukadharsini Packiyanathan, a Director and Officer of Akkiratourz Ltd., pleaded guilty and was convicted of three counts of failing to take reasonable care to prevent Akkiratourz from committing the aforementioned trust accounting offences, contrary to S. 31(2) of the Travel Industry Act.The Court ordered Akkiratourz to pay fines of $20,000 per count on each of the three counts for a total fine, including 25% surcharges, of $75,000.The Court also ordered Ms. Packiyanathan be placed on probation for two years, including supervised requirements, such as 200 hours community service and a fine of $6,500 payable to the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund, paid in full on or before June 26, 2020. Ms. Packiyanathan is also prohibited from being a travel agent or travel wholesaler, or an Officer, director, employee of contractor of a travel agent or travel wholesaler for two years.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthIn June 2017, TICO’s Board of Directors approved a payment of $24,495 to assist 20 consumers who failed to receive travel services following the closure of Akkiratourz.center_img Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: TICOlast_img read more

Costa Ricas 1 billion port renovation project holds up in court

first_imgA Costa Rican administrative court on Monday ruled in favor of a $1 billion port renovation project in Moín, on the northern Caribbean coast.The project, worth an estimated $992 million, will permit Dutch company APM Terminals to modernize the Atlantic coast’s dilapidated ports. The 33-year contract gives APM Terminals permission to construct and operate a new port called the Moín Container Terminal.The 173-page ruling rejected two simultaneous lawsuits filed by the National Banana Workers Chamber and the Atlantic Port Authority union, which attempted to annul the largest private concession contract in Costa Rica’s history. The plaintiffs argued that the contract was granted without the completion of proper economic, technical and environmental studies.  Judges disagreed, stating that the court did not see any violations and the concession would stand between APM Terminals and the government.Paul Gallie, managing director of the project for APM Terminals, said in a statement the ruling “affirms the transparency and legality of the concession process.”President Laura Chinchilla, who signed the contract in August 2011, also praised the verdict.“This is excellent news for the country and for the province of Limón in terms of investment, generating employment and revitalizing the economy,” Chinchilla said in a press release. “This will help us continue working for the development of the province and improving the future for residents. Furthermore, the port will lift Costa Rica from the shameful position that we occupy worldwide for port infrastructure.”The World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report on port infrastructure ranks Costa Rica 137th of 142 countries. Government officials believe the construction and operation of the terminal will lead to thousands of new direct and indirect jobs in Limón, the country’s poorest province. Unions see the project as a threat to their livelihood. The trial concluded July 6, and judges had until Tuesday to rule on the case.Ronaldo Blear, head of the port workers union, said his organization already is preparing new legal measures to stop the project, according to said union lawyers would appeal the ruling. They also have filed a separate lawsuit challenging the concession’s constitutionality.The port renovation will give the port the ability to take in enormous Post-Panamax ships that can hold up to 12,000 containers. The current docks only can accept ships that hold a couple thousand containers.The deadline for completion of the first phase is 2016, with construction set to start in late 2013. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Expotur 2013 trade fair kicks off in Costa Rica

first_imgSome 250 tourism businesses from across the country and the region on Thursday kicked off the 29th edition of Expotur, a trade fair where local and international firms promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination through some 6,000 business appointments scheduled for the two-day event.The fair is organized by the Costa Rican Association of Tourism Professionals (ACOPROT) at the San José Wyndham Hotel, where some 180 wholesalers from 36 countries will be seeking to establish business with local tourism firms.ACOPROT expects that negotiations this year will generate some $15 million, which would exceed the $8.5 million negotiated last year.During the fair local firms have a maximum of 20 minutes to present their tourism products and services to wholesalers, with the goal of closing new deals. Negotiating rounds will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on both days and will be closed to the general public.Public activities will take place over the weekend, when firms will be offering promotions and special prices for local tourists.The fair will be open to the general public 12-6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is ₡1,000 ($2), and entrance for children under 12 and seniors is free.Expotur generates an average of 70,000 new tourists to the country each year, ACOPROT said. For more information, visit: Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

25 photos from Costa Ricas allnightlong celebration after the Ticos beat Greece

first_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The TIco Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Keylor Navasmade the huge stop. Michael Umaña blasted in the all-important fifth penalty kick. And the incredible result set off a celebration throughout Costa Rica.The country of 4.8 million had just stunned Greece 5-3 on penalties. La Sele reached the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in its history. Costa Rica is among the eight best football teams in the world.The Ticos will meet the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon. But the European powerhouse would be something to worry about later in the week. Now it was time to party.Photos from the Tico celebration in San José and Grecia: Alberto Font/The Tico Times AFP Related posts:PHOTOS: Costa Ricans go wild celebrating World Cup upset over Uruguay Costa Rica’s Solís celebrates historic win VIDEO: Even in defeat, Costa Rica celebrates 26 photos from Costa Rica’s tremendous post-victory celebration in San José Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times AFP Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Timeslast_img read more

4 suspects in historic cocaine seizure finally remanded to local authorities

first_imgRelated posts:Explainer: What do Costa Rican authorities do with 4.1 tons of seized cocaine? Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Hot wheels, cold cash: Police discover more than $1 million hidden in truck tires Costa Rica seized record-breaking 26 metric tons of cocaine in 2014 After a month of delays, four suspects arrested in June as part of the largest cocaine seizure in Costa Rican history arrived at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José on Tuesday.The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) apprehended the suspects, most of them under 30 years of age, with 1.9 metric tons of cocaine in a fishing boat approximately 200 nautical miles southwest of Punta Burica on June 10. Authorities believe the cocaine originated in Colombia or Ecuador and was destined for sale in Europe.A U.S. Coast Guard cutter remanded the four suspects to Costa Rican authorities in the southern Pacific port city of Golfito on Monday, after which they were flown to San José on Tuesday. The detainees remained in legal limbo on the high seas for a month, delayed by bureaucratic approvals. The U.S. Coast Guard also handed over 29 kilograms of cocaine found on the fishing boat as evidence. The remaining cocaine has been sent to the United States for destruction.On June 10, Costa Rican authorities carried out three separate operations in coordination with the Public Security Ministry, OIJ, and the U.S. DEA and Coast Guard along the Central Pacific coast resulting in the confiscation of over 4 metric tons of cocaine, the largest single seizure in Costa Rican history. Police arrested seven suspects total. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Former Broad Front Party lawmaker Ronal Vargas Araya wants his job back

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican lawmaker resigns following accusations of sexual harassment Liberation lawmaker claims recent Assembly policies limit press freedom In a hideaway for Brazil’s rich and famous, a new scandal emerges In compelling speech, President Obama announces executive actions on gun safety Former Broad Front Party legislator Ronal Vargas Araya on Tuesday evening filed a request before the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) to annul aresignation letter he submitted last Thursday. Vargas stepped down after an office assistant filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with administrative officials at the Legislative Assembly.In his request, Vargas argued that he had agreed to resign under pressure from Broad Front Party leaders, including the party’s president, Patricia Mora, top legislator Gerardo Vargas Varela and former presidential candidate José María Villalta.“After deep consideration of the circumstances under which I made such an important decision, and the appearance of new evidence and facts, I’ve concluded that my consent was the product of coercion against me by leaders of the party,” Vargas stated.He said he had asked Villalta to grant him 12 hours to seek counsel, but the former Broad Front Party candidate denied that request and demanded his immediate resignation “for the sake of the party.”Vargas also said that Villalta drafted the resignation letter and accompanied Vargas to the TSE.“My clouded conscience at the time prevented me from clearly seeing the transcendental decision I was making,” Vargas claimed.The appeal was filed just one day after Suray Carrillo Guevara was sworn in as Vargas’ replacement.TSE justices agreed to study the request and granted all parties involved three working days to respond to the claims.In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Vargas claimed “the verbal accusation of alleged sexual harassment never became a criminal complaint.” He said he previously had a serious relationship with the alleged victim. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica and Sea Shepherd at odds again over failed turtle conservation

first_imgA failed project that aimed to protect sea turtles has led to another disastrous discord between the provocative conservation group Sea Shepherd and the Costa Rican government.After a month working on the Operation Jairo II campaign, volunteers were booted from Jacó beach on the central Pacific coast when authorities found the group was working without permits.The group’s Central American spokesman Jorge Serendero told The Tico Times the turtle rescue campaign named after murdered Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora was meant to be “low profile,” meaning the government wasn’t supposed to be involved.Authorities said they ordered Sea Shepherd to leave when they found the group hadn’t requested permits through the Environment Ministry (MINAE) or the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) to legally conduct conservation work on public beaches.“In order to conduct this type of work you need to be registered and authorized by SINAC,” a spokesperson from the National Police said via email. “However, instead of completing the necessary procedures to comply with environmental law and regulate their situation, these people opted to not collaborate.”Serendero said Sea Shepherd was told by Garabito police Chief Osvaldo Rodríguez that the permits were taken care of. “It was never official, it was just supposed to be a personal project,” Serendero said.“The error we committed was by not making things clear from the beginning with the government,” Serendero admitted.Sea Shepherd’s short-lived turtle conservation project — which, according to a 2015 news release, originally aimed to rescue sea turtles on infamous Moín Beach in Limón, where the project’s namesake Jairo Mora was killed, but which apparently was moved to the popular Pacific beach of Jacó — was supposed to help repair relations with Costa Rica.Instead, the efforts have led to the latest turmoil in a long history of discord stemming from Costa Rica’s indictment over Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson.On September 23, Sea Shepherd published a news release on their website about the forced end to the Jacó turtle project, but the post has since been taken down. Serendero called his own group’s news release “erroneous” and full of “bad information,” adding that he never had communication with Operation Jairo II group leader María Cristina Cely, who was critical of the government upon Sea Shepherd’s departure from Jacó.“Our presence has made a difference for these eggs and hatchlings, but now, thanks to mediocre minds we have to stop and the only ones who have everything to lose are the turtles,” Cely was quoted as saying in the Sept. 23 news release.Cely declined a request for interview by The Tico Times.Gerardo Chavarría, interim director of SINAC’s Central Pacific Conservation Area, told The Tico Times in a phone interview that the lack of permits was not the only reason Sea Shepherd was booted from Jacó’s shores.He said Costa Rica’s open indictment against Watson makes it impossible for Sea Shepherd to work in the country. The country brought attempted shipwrecking charges upon Watson years ago for a 2002 incident off the Guatemalan coast.“That legal process is still going on in the courts, so MINAE is not going to authorize any agreement with Sea Shepherd until that legal dispute is settled,” Chavarría said.Watson remains on Interpol’s Red List for those charges.Serendero maintains that Sea Shepherd has been working with the government to bring in a ship to monitor marine conservation and also do volunteer work at Cocos Island.Specifically citing both cases, SINAC’s Chavarría said that neither of those projects will happen before Watson’s legal situation is sorted out.Chavarría said MINAE has been in discussions with the National Police over the events in Jacó and the apparent behind-the-scenes deal the Garabito delegation had with Sea Shepherd. However, he could not comment on whether or not police Chief Rodríguez would face any legal consequences for allegedly brokering the deal without going through SINAC.Rodríguez declined to speak to The Tico Times about the incident.Despite the latest breakdown, Serendero said Sea Shepherd has a great future ahead in Costa Rica and that there are just a few “internal things to clear up” in the meantime.“I knew that a lack of permits could present a problem, but I never imagined something this bad would happen,” he said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Marine conservation award to be named after murdered conservationist Jairo Mora Costa Rican Electricity Institute launches construction of artificial reef Meet Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches Costa Rica launches quest to replace most single-use plastic by 2021last_img read more

RECOPE opposes referendum that could break its fuel market monopoly

first_imgRelated posts:Request to raise fuel prices provokes sharp criticism Fuel prices set to rise for the second time this year Two requests to lower fuel prices await Sala IV ruling Motorists get cheaper fuel prices starting this week Officials of the state-owned Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) said breaking the fuel market monopoly would not result in lower prices and, on the contrary, would endanger fuel supply across the country.RECOPE Executive President Sara Salazar said at a news conference on Monday morning that – as one might expect – the organization opposes a referendum promoted by the citizen group “Ya no más RECOPE” (“No more RECOPE”) that would allow citizens to vote on whether to lift RECOPE’s monopoly.The group submitted a request to the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) last year to hold a national referendum in which citizens would weigh in on the issue. In addition, the group has staged public demonstrations asking for the approval of a bill to open the fuel market. That bill is currently at a stalemate at the Legislative Assembly.Salazar said that an analysis on the referendum request conducted by RECOPE’s legal department found that opening the market does not guarantee that fuel prices will drop.“It would actually leave us in a state of vulnerability,” she said, adding that “it would be impossible for us to fulfill our obligation to ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel, all over the country, and at an affordable price.”The citizen group claims that breaking the state monopoly would result in lower fuel prices and would eliminate extra salary benefits from RECOPE workers, which they consider excessive.RECOPE’s news release refutes that statement and said salary perks included in collective bargaining agreements “represent less than 1 percent of the retail prices of fuels.”Not RECOPE’s faultSalazar said the promise of lower prices is a piece of fiction, because the Public Services Regulatory Agency (ARESEP), and not RECOPE, regulates fuel prices.“On the contrary, RECOPE has consolidated a process that guarantees the purchase of fuels with the best import prices,” she said. “We sell at prices set by ARESEP, and we don’t have any control over the methodology they use to set prices.”However, RECOPE sparked an angry response from citizens’ groups earlier this year when it asked ARESEP for three consecutive rate hikes during the first two months of this year.In order to get TSE’s approval for the referendum, the “Ya no más RECOPE” group will have nine months to get the signatures of just over 160,000 citizens, representing 5 percent of registered voters.The group is currently working to fulfill TSE requirements for the approval of the forms for collecting the signatures. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

A holiday filled with color and dance

first_imgRelated posts:To the streets we go, bearing lanterns PHOTOS: Celebrating independence in Limón When you shop in Costa Rica, take a friend A sailfish in the sky From coast to coast, Costa Rica yesterday was awash in red, white, blue, and national pride. In keeping with tradition, children and teenagers played the most essential role, delighting their families with dance, music and pageantry. A young woman in Santo Domingo de Heredia took a moment to collect herself before her moment in the spotlight. Stay tuned for more Independence Day images from photographer Priscilla Mora.Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Manuel Obregón

first_imgOur “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at Facebook Comments Getting lost in music, finding life’s beauty in it and simply enjoying the moment is something that Costa Rican musicianManuel Obregón has loved throughout his life.When he was only three years old, his grandmother taught him to play the piano, the instrument that has always accompanied him in his adventures. In addition, Obregón’s father was always very involved in politics and had many friends who were artists, poets, writers, and musicians, which awakened Obregón’s interests in the arts.“I studied classical music a lot, and the popular music that interested me. That combination is reflected a bit in the pieces I composed later on: the fusion between a more European school, and the search for something more linked to our landscape and climate,” Obregón told The Tico Times. “It was then that I began working with everything related to nature.”Obregón studied at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and in various schools in Spain and Switzerland, then immersed himself in the Costa Rican music scene. He composed for and played in various groups such as Afro Cosmos, Cahuita, el Cuarteto Esporádico de Jazz (the Sporadic Jazz Quartet), Gospel Caribe, Orquesta de la Papaya (Papaya Orchestra), Malpaís and many more.During his solo career, he has created albums such Piano Solo (1992), Concierto del Farolito (1993), Sortilegio (1994), Piano y Ángel Ausente (1995), Sin Ton Ni Son (1996), Simbiosis: Piano and Rainforest (1998), Génesis (2000), OM (2001), Piano Malango (2008), Simbiosis: Piano y Bosque Tropical Seco (2011), and Paz (2015). For his last albums, Obregón merged nature and music to create unique melodies mixed with nature’s rhythms.Obregón served as Costa Rica’s Culture Minister during the administration of President Laura Chinchilla (2010 – 2014) and Costa Rica’s Culture Ambassador in South Korea from 2013 to 2015. He has received various awards from the Costa Rican Composer and Musical Authors’ Associaton (ACAM) as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Law from York University in Canada for his work integrating nature and culture.On a sunny, warm afternoon at Cala Luna in Langosta Beach, Guanacaste, during his visit to the Tamarindo Art Wave Festival, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Obregón, 53, about his life and work. Excerpts follow.Why did you decide to dedicate yourself to music?The truth is that it was a decision based on observing what I was enjoying the most and with what I was more at ease. When I was in high school I was very shy and didn’t even know how to speak to the girl I liked. I didn’t know what to do. When I sat down on the piano, the girl came and I didn’t even have to talk to her. [laughs].So, that was something that helped me decide that that path was good. Undoubtedly, the arts and music are a means of communication. It’s not necessary to speak or say many words; many times with only one note or one phrase, the feeling is communicated. Manuel Obregón enjoying the moment while playing the accordion. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhen did you begin composing? That was actually in Spain. I was in the conservatory and there was a part that was being lost because it was not classical music or any other that I had learned, the [music] that I wanted to play… I had to invent some music that I felt closer to my heart.The composition process is like digging and suddenly saying: well, I like this idea… Sometimes it happens in dreams. I try to wake up and record it when I remember the melodies that I was dreaming.In Simbiosis, it was about listening to a bird singing. With what we’re listening to here [a bird is singing in the background as we talk], I get inspired. With that I began a dialogue with the sound and the rhythm or the ocean, the waves, the wind and all of this. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Adamello Glaciers, Italy. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookCan you tell me more about how that dialogue works?I played at the Monteverde Music Festival and the concerts were at sunset, where there are many bird sounds. I was playing there and suddenly the monos congos (howler monkeys) appeared with all sorts of birds… [someone asked] why didn’t I take my piano to other places and make an album about that, and that was the process for Simbiosis.It was not that easy because with all the technicians and the piano there, it was not very natural. It took me about three days of really listening to nature because we sometimes vibrate on another frequency. Even if we’re in nature, we’re not listening to it. We have to learn to lower those frequencies and suddenly you begin listening. That’s what happened to me on the third day and then I recorded all of it.Since that experience, I felt more sensitive in listening to nature’s breathing. Being able to feel it through the breeze, as the planet expresses it: always breathing. We’re sometimes contaminated by many sounds that hinder us from listening to nature, but we should always listen to it, especially our heart that is always beating. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion at the Amazonas during one of his visits last year. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhy did you decide to work with the Costa Rican government, and what did you learn during your four years of work?In some way I had to give back to the country what I had received. I’ve received a lot from Costa Rica, and I believed in that moment and I still believe that we had a contribution to give. I called a group of artists and people that were on the same frequency to work with me. We were there for four years that were not easy, but I do believe we contributed a change in things when we accepted to get into that enredo (mess).I also got to know a different Costa Rica. Sometimes we believe that Costa Rica is only the place where we are in our comfort zone. I went to get to know that other part that has to do with how to generate alliances to achieve changes, because one person from the Culture Ministry cannot do much if you’re not able to coordinate with the communities, the municipalities and other ministries. It’s about learning to do exchanges, deals and proposals that are beneficial for all. Manuel Obregón playing the accordion for a big audience at the Teatro Nacional. Via Manuel Obregón’s FacebookWhat are Costa Rica’s needs right now regarding culture?Culture is a tool. It can transform a society, and it happens to all of us. If you watch a movie or a good theater play, it can sometimes mark us for a lifetime.Now, imagine that all of that multiplied by the people. I believe that the fact we’re having a window toward culture makes us wake up, be alert, and concentrate much omre on the capacity to create.As for Costa Rica, we have many good things. It’s one of the most active culture ministries. One of the things that I learned at the ministry is that culture is not official. It’s not from a government or a state. Culture is always happening. In each place that you’ll go to, even if there’s no program from the ministry, there’s culture. It exists. That’s what we have to defend and preserve.Watch Manuel Obregón playing the Punto Guanacasteco while paragliding over the Chirripó mountains: Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Karen Clachar 5 questions for a Costa Rican musicologist, composer and writer 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician, dancer and modellast_img read more

3 buses burned as Chilean students stage protest

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   The government has said the previous most recent protest in late June turned out to be the most violent, with 472 demonstrators arrested and 36 police officers injured.Mass demonstrations initially raised hope across Chile for education reform. But more than a year after the first protests, few students have seen any real benefits.Politicians and students have toughened their stance, but the system still fails families with poor quality public schools, expensive private universities, unprepared teachers and banks that make education loans at high interest that most Chileans can’t afford.“I deeply regret what is happening today in the streets of Santiago, but the government is responsible for this because of its indolence and silence to all the proposals of the student movement,” Gabriel Boric, the president of the University of Chile student federation, told local TV. “We’ve tried all ways to reach out and have a dialogue,”President Sebastian Pinera’s approval ratings have plunged with the protests that have focused Chileans’ attention on academic and economic inequality.Pinera has refused to radically change the education system. Instead, he has proposed to spend about $1 billion on thousands of new scholarships and lower student loan interest from an average of 6 percent to 2 percent. He says the plan would allow more promising students to attend the best schools in Chile and cut the financial burden on their families. Student leaders want to change the tax system so the rich pay more. They also want the state back in control of the mostly privatized public universities to ensure quality. They say change will come only when the private sector is regulated and education is no longer a for-profit business.___Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: Associated PressSANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Police used water cannons to break up a protest in Chile’s capital Wednesday by thousands of students demanding free education, and hooded vandals set ablaze three city buses amid violence that left dozens arrested and injured.The crisis over education reform in Chile remains unresolved despite more than a year of demonstrations by students, teachers and families. The marches have mostly been peaceful but often end with clashes between police in riot gear and groups of vandals armed with sticks that loot shops and hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Chile’s government said student leaders cannot be exempt from responsibility for the burning of the Transantiago mass transit system buses in Wednesday’s protest, during which 75 people were arrested and 49 policemen were injured.“The leaders are opening the doors to vandalism and delinquency,” presidential spokesman Andres Chadwick said. “How much more should we put up with these illegal marches that call on school takeovers and that threaten a violent August? What does that have to with education?”Santiago’s municipal government had banned the students from flooding the streets of the capital, fearing the protest would turn violent. The transportation ministry said damages to the public buses would cost Chile’s capital about 400 million pesos ($836,000).“It’s unacceptable,” said transportation minister Pedro Pablo Errazuriz. “There are millions of people who use the Transantiago and these heartless ones are taking the wrong attitude by burning the buses and putting at risk passengers and the driver.”Raw footage shot with a cellphone camera of an attack on one bus showed passengers crawling on the floor while hooded vandals hurled rocks at the windows. Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Toxic spill from zinc mine in Peru

first_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 LIMA, Peru (AP) – Peruvian authorities say wastewater laced with heavy metals from a major zinc mine has spilled into a tributary of the Amazon, contaminating at least six miles of the waterway.Pasco regional mining enviromental engineer Juan Escalante tells The Associated Press that an unknown quantity of toxic wastewater from the Atacocha mine escaped from a sedimentation well Wednesday into the Huallaga River. The mine is owned by the Brazilian company Votorantim. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Peru’s national water authority granted Atacocha a permit in 2011 to remove metals including mercury, cadmium, lead, iron and manganese from the mine’s wastewater and release the treated water into the Huallaga.Escalante said the area where the spill occured is in the Andes mountains at about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).Peru is the world’s No. 2 producer of zinc.(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 Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Grave of assassinated Burkina Faso leader exhumed

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Sankara was believed to have been buried along with 12 others, though some have questioned whether the remains in the exhumed grave are in fact his. Medical experts from Burkina Faso and France are overseeing the exhumation and will conduct DNA tests to identify the bodies.Experts are expected to be able to also determine what kind of bullets killed Sankara and how many hit him, according to family lawyer Benewinde Sankara, who is not related to the slain leader.The lawyer confirmed that human remains were exhumed Tuesday and that the bodies had been buried in the soil without caskets. The first remains were found at a depth of 45 centimeters (1 Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of The vital role family plays in society New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Security forces, top, keep watch near the Dagnoen Cemetery, as the graves of thirteen people including Burkina Faso revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, are exhumed on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Monday, May 25, 2015. Sankara, a widely admired figure across Africa, was killed along with 12 others under unclear circumstances in the 1987 coup that brought his former best friend Blaise Compaore to power. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Authorities exhumed human remains Tuesday from the purported grave of Burkina Faso’s assassinated leader, nearly three decades after the Marxist revolutionary was killed during a coup in this West African country.The family of slain President Thomas Sankara is seeking more answers about his death now that the man who overthrew Sankara back in 1987 has himself been ousted from power. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

4 refugees rejected by Australia start new life in Cambodia

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Four asylum seekers rejected by Australia started a new life in Cambodia on Thursday, becoming the first to be resettled under a deal between the two nations that human rights advocates criticized as misguided and inhumane.Cambodia agreed to accept two Iranian men, an Iranian woman and a Rohingya man from Myanmar under a 40 million Australian dollar ($32 million) four-year agreement to resettle hundreds of asylum seekers who have been living in an Australian-run detention camp on the Pacific island nation of Nauru for years. 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Patients with chronic pain give advice However, the choice of impoverished Cambodia as a new home for asylum seekers has so far attracted little interest among the refugees, and only four among 677 on Nauru had signed up for the package.Cambodia is plagued by poverty, corruption and human rights abuses. Medical care outside main cities is almost nonexistent and jobs are so scarce that more than 800,000 people have left to find work abroad.“Cambodia clearly has no will or capacity to integrate refugees permanently into Cambodia society,” said Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.“These four refugees are essentially human guinea pigs in an Australian experiment,” said Robertson, adding that the Cambodian government had sent dozens of minority Montagnard refugees back to Vietnam and Uighur asylum seekers to China.Australian officials have said they were working with the International Organization for Migration and other groups in Cambodia to provide the four with housing, jobs, transport and education.After arrival, they were taken to temporary accommodation in the capital, IOM said in a statement. The agency said it would begin providing essential support, including language training, cultural orientation, and health and job services. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Journalists talk with airport security personnel, right, as they wait for the transportation of refugees from Australia outside of Phnom Penh International Airport, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, June 4, 2015. Four asylum seekers rejected by Australia have arrived in Cambodia, becoming the first to leave the Pacific island nation of Nauru under a deal that allows refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the Southeast Asian country. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) Australia’s tough policies of turning back and refusing to resettle any refugee who arrives on its shores by boat have stopped them from coming since the conservative government was elected in September 2013, according to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.But the government still has to resettle more than 31,000 of the 52,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat during the six years that the Labor Party was in power.As part of its efforts to deter boats of asylum seekers, Australia made the agreement with Cambodia last September. Cambodia had sent officials to Nauru to meet the four and to make sure their moves were voluntary.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

House votes to kill health care laws medical device tax

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The Republican-led House has voted more than 50 times since 2011 to void all or part of Obama’s health care overhaul, usually along party lines. On Thursday, Republicans were joined by 46 Democrats from states where medical devices are made to erase the 2.3 percent tax.House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he hoped the bill’s bipartisan support “will make the president reconsider.”The vote came as lawmakers prepare for a Supreme Court decision as soon as next week that could remove a more vital piece of the 2010 health care law — federal subsidies that help millions of Americans buy coverage. Eliminating that aid would have a far greater impact on the health law than ending the medical device tax.The tax on medical devices took effect two years ago and was designed to help pay for the health care overhaul, which has expanded coverage for millions of people. It is imposed on equipment like artificial hearts and X-ray machines, but not items used by individuals like eyeglasses, wheelchairs or blood glucose monitors.Opponents of the repeal effort say taxes the law imposed on many branches of the health care industry were outweighed by millions of added customers the law has created. They also object that opponents would pay the $24 billion, 10-year cost of repeal with bigger federal deficits. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Senate GOP leaders also want to continue aid to people for about two more years. Both chambers’ Republicans would like to abolish the health law and let a new president replace it in 2017.Obama would be likely to veto any bills making such changes.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Quick workouts for men The service, which studies issues for Congress, projected that the tax would likely cause job losses ranging from nearly zero to 1,200 jobs.A day after top House Republicans briefed GOP lawmakers on tentative plans should the Supreme Court void many of the health law’s subsidies, House Speaker John Boehner defended the proposal.“Our goal is to provide peace of mind to families who have coverage disrupted through no fault of their own,” said Boehner, R-Ohio. He said Republicans “will focus on protecting the American people — offering new choices for quality, affordable health care — not protecting this failed law.”In the court case, conservatives say the health law only allows subsidies for the handful of states running their own insurance marketplaces. A ruling in their favor could end assistance for over 6 million people in more than 30 states.House leaders want to let states halt the health law’s consumer protections, including lifetime dollar limits on insurance coverage. They’d let existing subsidies to individuals run through this year, then let states receive the money directly and distribute it to people for health care aid in any form they want. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall In its letter threatening a veto, the White House said repeal would “provide a large tax break to profitable corporations” and cut money for “financial assistance that is working to improve coverage and affordability” of health care.Repeal supporters say the tax drives up companies’ expenses, costs jobs and stifles research. They named the bill the “Protect Medical Innovation Act.”The main lobbying organization representing the medical device makers industry says the industry provides over 400,000 U.S. jobs.The group, AdvaMed, says the tax eliminated 4,500 jobs last year and a projected 20,500 more jobs over the next five years. It also says the levy is forcing companies to cut research and investments.“With an aging population and growing incidences of chronic disease, now is the time for more — not less — resources to advance cures and treatments,” Stephen J. Ubl, AdvaMed’s president, said after the vote.In January, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service issued an economic analysis saying the levy’s impact on companies “will likely be minimal because the tax is expected to be passed on in price and the decrease in demand would be negligible.” Sponsored Stories Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Patients with chronic pain give advice WASHINGTON (AP) — The House defied a White House veto threat and voted Thursday to abolish a tax on medical device makers as a group of Democrats uncharacteristically joined Republicans in moving to kill part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.Thursday’s 280-140 House vote was exactly the two-thirds margin that supporters would need to override a presidential veto. The real suspense will come in the Senate, which voted overwhelmingly to repeal the levy in 2013, but in a nonbinding roll call lacking the political pressures of a veto showdown. 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Pope Forgive Catholic persecution of evangelical Christians

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Later Monday, Francis had lunch with and celebrated Mass for around 30 members of his extended family, who hail from Italy’s Piedmont region. The Vatican said the reunion involved six cousins and their families.___Winfield reported from Rome.___Follow Nicole Winfield at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Waldensian church was founded in the 12th century by a wealthy merchant from Lyon, France, Pierre Valdo, who gave up his belongings to preach a Gospel of simplicity and poverty that condemned papal excesses. He was excommunicated and his followers persecuted as heretics by Rome.The Waldensians today are united with the Methodist Church of Italy and claim 45,000 followers, mostly in Italy, Argentina and Uruguay.During a speech to a few hundred people in the Waldensian temple of Turin, Francis decried how Christians over history committed atrocious acts of violence in the name of their faith.“On the part of the Catholic Church, I ask your forgiveness, I ask it for the non-Christian and even inhuman attitudes and behavior that we have showed you,” Francis said somberly from the altar. “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!”His speech, greeted with warm applause, was reminiscent albeit on a much smaller scale of the appeals for forgiveness made by St. John Paul II during the 2000 Jubilee. In several events that year, John Paul asked pardons for the Crusades and Catholic wrongs committed against Jews and others.Francis, an Argentine Jesuit, has continued his strong friendships with leaders of Protestant and evangelical churches that he developed as the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility TURIN, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis asked forgiveness Monday for the Catholic Church’s persecution of members of a small evangelical church in Italy whose leader was excommunicated and followers branded as heretics during the Middle Ages.Francis made the appeal during the first-ever visit by a pope to a Waldensian house of worship, starting the second day of his two-day visit to Turin with a strong ecumenical message of Christian inclusiveness and fraternity. Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with the youths, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Pope Francis earlier prayed in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Hollande calls on Iran to help in Syrian conflict

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande has called on Iran for help in the Syrian conflict during a Bastille Day speech in which he praised a landmark Iranian nuclear agreement.Hollande said the deal shows the “world is moving forward” and that “Iran must show that it is ready to help us end the (Syrian) conflict.”But Hollande also said that world powers must carefully watch how Iran uses the billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions it gets in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Check your body, save your lifecenter_img “Now Iran has a bigger financial capacity, we need to be extremely vigilant on what Iran will be,” Hollande added in the televised speech.Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told newspaper Le Monde that the Iran deal was “sufficiently robust” to last 10 years.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 Sponsored Stories Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

90000 the magic number for Qatar hotels

first_imgRecently announced 2022 World Cup host Qatar has stated its intentions to have at least 90,000 hotel rooms in place for the tournament. In a country that already boasts a plethora of luxury hotels, authorities have said that they will focus on the three to four-star hotel consumer market, local media reported. “We already have a lot of five-star luxury hotels here so we want to develop more and more three and four-star hotels to cater to spectators from different income groups visiting the country for the 2022 event,” Arabian Business reported, quoting industry sources. “Not everyone can afford a five-star hotel,” the industry official added. Despite falling short of their intended 42 new hotel openings in 2010, authorities in Qatar remain upbeat. “All in all, we expect about 40 hotels to open in the next 12 months,” Qatar Tourism Authority chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi told Hotelier Middle East magazine in a recent interview. “We are pleased to say that all of the projects are going ahead…nothing has been cancelled,” Mr Al Nuaimi said. Seven Tides managing director Mike Scully was similarly positive, saying, “This will have a huge impact on tourism in the region”. “ This will be the World Cup of the Middle East as opposed to the World Cup of just Qatar.” Mr Scully is confident Qatar’s hosting of the world’s biggest sporting event will reap a real windfall for tourism in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. “This is such an enormous event,” he added. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Jetstar Japan to rejuvenate Aus inbound TA

first_imgYesterday’s launch of Jetstar Japan will help rejuvenate the Japanese inbound market into Australia, according to Tourism Australia.The first flight from Narita to Sapporo will boost Japanese visitor numbers into Australia by improving flight connections to access Australia’s east coast.Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said Japan was a market that Tourism Australia remained committed to, with growth expected in the near future.”Jetstar’s new Japan-based off-shoot will help rejuvenate the Japanese inbound market, by making affordable travel more widely available to Japanese travellers,” Mr McEvoy said.The managing director said Jetstar’s compelling mix of well established low fares model with its extensive flight network is a key element in rebuilding the Japanese market, Australia’s fifth largest source of international visitors.Japanese travellers will be able to access the Gold Coast and Cairns via Jetstar’s existing international services which then link with Jetstar Japan’s new domestic service to key secondary cities of Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa with the gateway airports of Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka Airports.Tourism Australia last year showed its commitment to the Japanese market by signing a $10 million three year marketing deal with Jetstar, something Mr McEvoy said will now see stretch further with Jetstar Japan up and running.Enabling access to new customers and a bigger share of the market, Tourism Australia plans to further boost marketing activities, seek further industry partnerships and allocate more resources to the new Asia Marketing Fund.Despite the number of Japanese arrivals down 10 percent on last year, Mr McEvoy said there are signs of things turning around, with an expected potential growth of up to $3.3 billion in total visitor expenditure by 2020. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more