Month: August 2019

Officials Drug plane crashes in Honduras

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – Honduran police say a plane carrying a load of cocaine has crashed in eastern Honduras, killing at least one person on board.Authorities say the twin-engine aircraft from Colombia crashed Tuesday while being chased by government helicopters and airplanes.Security Ministry spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia says one pilot died and the other was badly injured. Officials say 1,300 pounds (600 kilograms) of cocaine were found on board, most of it burned in the accident. Top Stories Honduras is a major transshipment point for cocaine heading from South America to the United States. A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot and killed a suspected drug trafficker during a raid in a remote northern area of Honduras last month and a U.S.-assisted government raid in May killed four people.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Check your body, save your life More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

Smoke forces plane evacuation in Turkey

first_img Comments   Share   ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Passengers, some in a panic, were evacuated from a plane at Turkey’s Antalya airport early Sunday after crew members reported smoke inside the cockpit, airline officials and state media said. Three passengers were slightly injured during the evacuation, while 25 were affected by the smoke.The Trondheim, Norway-bound Boeing 737-800 plane, with 189 passengers and seven crew members on board, was readying for take-off around 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) when the crew detected the smoke and the captain ordered the evacuation, according to a statement from the Antalya-based Corendon Airlines. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairycenter_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Three passengers sustained slight hand and leg injuries during the evacuation, while another 25 who were affected by smoke that spread from the cockpit were under observation in a hospital, company spokesman Can Daglioglu told The Associated Press.The state-run Anadolu news agency reported panic among passengers during the evacuation. Most of the passengers were flown to Trondheim aboard another Corendon Airlines-operated plane, but four chose to stay in Antalya, Daglioglu said.It was not known what caused the smoke, Corendon said, adding that Boeing technicians would inspect the plane, which has been withdrawn from service.The Antalya airport serves several resorts along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast that are popular with tourists from northern Europe and Russia.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Romania govt easily wins parliamentary elections

first_img`’Basescu is unpredictable, but he doesn’t have the mandate not to name Ponta as prime minister,” analyst Stelian Tanase told The Associated Press. `’He can’t prolong the political crisis.”Basescu could nominate someone else, but his choice would have to be approved by Parliament. If his candidate was rejected twice, Parliament could be dissolved and new elections called.The government has threatened to move to impeach Basescu again if he refuses to nominate Ponta.Basescu has not spoken since the elections and on Monday was in Norway, along with other European Union leaders, to collect the bloc’s 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for fostering peace on a continent ravaged by war.Election official Marian Muhulet said Basescu’s group won less than 17 percent. A populist party led by a media tycoon scored about 14 percent and an ethnic Hungarian party won just over 5 percent. Other parties did not get the minimum 5 percent.Basescu’s allies in government grew unpopular due to harsh austerity measures and allegations of cronyism. Ponta was appointed prime minister in May after they lost public confidence _ making him the third prime minister this year. Parents, stop beating yourself up Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Many Romanians are fed up with a power struggle between Basescu and Ponta and are desperate for political calm after a year of upheaval. The country has run through three prime ministers and Cabinets this year and endured huge protests against austerity measures imposed in return for a (EURO)20-million ($26-million) bailout to help its foundering economy.Continued political feuding could harm Romania’s reputation as a functioning democracy abroad and create an atmosphere of instability that would deter much needed foreign investment.“We won a clear majority, a majority recognized by our adversaries who have to accept the rules of democracy,” Ponta said after polls closed Sunday. “I assure them we will treat the opposition with the respect that we did not get when we were in opposition.”Ponta attempted unsuccessfully to impeach Basescu this year, describing him as a divisive figure who has overstepped his role as president by meddling in government business. The government was criticized by the European Union and Washington for failing to respect the rule of law in the way it conducted the process.In return, Basescu has threatened to his office’s power of appointing the president _ theoretically a formality _ by withholding his blessing for Ponta. However, it looked unlikely Monday that Basescu had the political capital to stick to his threat, given the strong victory by his rival’s alliance. Ponta restored most pensions and salaries that were slashed as part of the bailout loan agreement, but has largely continued the policies of the previous Basescu-allied governments, including a 24 percent sales tax, one of the highest in the European Union.The job of prime minister entails running the country and distributing public finances, while the president names the chiefs of the influential intelligence services, appoints ambassadors and chairs the country’s top defense body, the Supreme Defense Council.Since his election as president in 2004 and re-election in 2009, Basescu has represented Romania at the EU and other international summits, which has caused friction with Ponta.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Associated PressBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Romania’s government swept to victory in parliamentary elections, near final results showed Monday, but it was uncertain whether the convincing win would bring stability and defuse a rancorous political rivalry between the country’s top two leaders.The center-left alliance led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta won nearly three-fifths of the seats in the legislature, trouncing President Traian Basescu’s allies, with 95 percent of the vote counted. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homelast_img

Dutch sociologist given Spains Asturias prize

first_imgMADRID (AP) – A Dutch sociologist has been awarded Spain’s Prince of Asturias social sciences prize for her work in the field of globalization and urban sociology.The jury said that one of Saskia Sassen’s greatest scientific contributions was “her concept of the `global city’, now accepted and used worldwide.” The concept describes cities that are centers of the world economy.Sassen, a professor at Columbia University, was born in the Hague in 1949, obtained her PhD from Notre Dame University in 1974, and is co-chair of The Committee on Global Thought and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. Quick workouts for men Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   The 50,000-euro ($64,330) Asturias award is one of eight prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named for Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe. Others categories include arts, sport, communications and scientific research.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img

Wary of climate change Vanuatu villagers seek higher ground

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like In this Tuesday, June 2, 2015, photo, a woman weaves a mat in a village on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. Tanna Island was particularly hard hit by Cyclone Pam, which struck in March. Many people in Vanuatu believe the cyclone was the latest manifestation of climate change. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories TAKARA, Vanuatu (AP) — Many people living in this coastal village in Vanuatu believe the March cyclone that sent waves surging through their homes was the latest and most dramatic sign of climate change. They are now considering rebuilding their entire community on higher ground.Cyclone Pam struck the Pacific archipelago three months ago, blasting the islands with winds of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, killing at least 11 people and affecting 180,000 more by destroying their homes and crops. Many residents saw it as part of broader environmental changes they’ve witnessed in recent years, from higher sea levels to trees bearing fruit out of season. “We have seen a lot of changes in our weather patterns. The level of the sea rise. And it is affecting the nation at the moment,” said Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale in an interview with The Associated Press. “The impact of climate change is quite real in Vanuatu.”Parts of Vanuatu are low-lying and are starting to see visible signs of rising sea levels as the earth warms and ice caps melt. The world’s oceans have risen nearly 7 centimeters (nearly 3 inches) since 1992, scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say, and are projected to rise at a faster rate in the decades to come.More damaging than the overall rise, however, are the unpredictable surges brought on by more severe storms. While scientists caution that singular events like the cyclone can’t be attributed solely to climate change, many say there is a link to a general increase in violent weather.“The short answer would be that certainly there is a connection between climate change and extreme weather,” said Debarati Guha-Sapir, a professor at the University of Louvain School of Public Health in Brussels. “The numbers of storms and high wind events have been increasing. So have droughts, in fact, and all of these are very connected to climate change.” Vanuatu has made strides in its rebuilding efforts since the cyclone, and many tourism operators are hoping that the tourists who help power the economy will soon return. But for others, like Vila North School Principal Elina Jaywelson Gilu, the rebuild has been painfully slow.She’s still operating three classes from a tent provided by aid agency UNICEF while she waits for her classroom buildings to get new roofs.“You can just imagine our classes are very noisy, and it’s really, really hard to get the students to concentrate,” she said. “Because they are all under one roof and it’s not been partitioned to separate the classes. And they are all sitting on the floor.”Shirley Laban, the climate change adaptation manager in Vanuatu for aid agency Oxfam, said its time for the world to get serious about tackling climate change.“What more can we show you. Category-5 Cyclone Pam is the real evidence already,” she said. “We need to cut down on this carbon emission. Because as long as we do not cut down, vulnerable individuals, countries, women and children will continue to be impacted.”___Associated Press video journalist Mark Carlson in Brussels contributed to this report. “Staff from the meteorological office and hazard department, they went and assessed the level of sea rise,” said Lonsdale. “And they advised people to move inland. And so they assisted. They assisted the communities and we have moved them further up from the coastal area.”NOAA, NASA, the Japanese weather agency, and the World Meteorological Organization all declared 2014 the hottest year on record, with NOAA putting 2014 at an average of 58.26 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 Celsius).As the world gets warmer, water expands, so the seas rise. But on top of that, ice sheets in Greenland and west Antarctica are melting, as are world glaciers, and scientists worry that meltwater will dramatically increase sea level by about 1 meter by the end of the century.Islanders are also noticing other effects of climate change, said Shadrack Welegtabit, the director of Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office. He said trees are bearing fruit and nuts all year round, instead of in distinct seasons like in the past.“Not only in Vanuatu, but probably in the Pacific as a whole, climate change does have an impact,” Welegtabit said. “We are beginning to see changes in the weather patterns. We are beginning to have more intense weather, more severe cyclones.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies She said there’s likely to be an increase in catastrophic flooding in coming years and people need to better prepare for that.Vanuatu isn’t the only Pacific island nation figuring out how to face climate change. Low-lying Kiribati has purchased land in Fiji, which Kiribati President Anote Tong says is an investment and also a guarantee in case the entire nation needs to move.In Takara, which is on Vanuatu’s main island of Efate, village chief Benjamin Tamata said he wants to move the village of about 200 people inland by about 300 meters (1,000 feet) to move away from the rising seas and to avoid future storm surges.“When the cyclone came to my village, it’s not only the cyclone,” he said. “With the sea level rising, it came through and damaged our houses. And some of the people run away.”He said many escaped to a nearby school, but now it’s time to plan for the long term.“We try to relocate,” he said. “To take all the people from this village and we try to relocate where we can be safe, or where we can survive from the sea.”If Takara does move inland, it won’t be the first village to do so in Vanuatu. A decade ago, dozens of villagers on Tegua Island moved inland in what the U.N. described as one of the first cases of mass displacement triggered by global warming. How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Israeli woman who joined Kurdish militia returns to Israel

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — A Canadian-born woman who served in the Israeli military and later joined a Kurdish militia fighting the Islamic State group has returned to Israel.Gill Rosenberg told Israel’s Army Radio Monday that after eight months of fighting in Syria it was time to come home. She said her Jewish values compelled her to “do the right thing not just by our own people, but by any human being.” Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Rosenberg served in the Israeli military and was previously a pilot in Canada. She spent time in a U.S prison for her part in a phone scam before joining the Kurdish militia last year. She was among the first female volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war. Later, there were false reports that she had been captured by Islamic State group.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

Activists protest Hungarys building of antiimmigrant fence

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Members of the Migration Solidarity Group of Hungary (MIGSZOL) demonstrate in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. The group are protesting against the anti-migrant fence being built along the border with Serbia. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP) Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Activist Amy Rodgers from MigSzol, an organization which assists migrants and refugees, asked the Hungarian government to open more refugee camps and on the EU to create legal ways for refugees to reach Europe.She also criticized the government for its anti-immigrant billboard campaign, which has slogans like “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take Hungarians’ jobs.”“In the middle of the biggest refugee crisis in recorded history, this government has somehow managed to make it sound like they are the ones with the problem,” Rodgers said, who also highlighted how Hungarian volunteers were helping migrants. “In order for this continent to start looking a bit more humane we need many, many things. The one thing we definitely don’t need is a fence.”Around 80,000 migrants and refugees have reached Hungary so far in this year, with around 800 to 1,000 arriving daily in recent weeks. Most request asylum but leave for richer EU countries before their claims are settled.Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is staunchly opposed to immigration from outside Europe and he has said that Europe’s Christian identity is at risk from the large number of migrants. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Protesters on Tuesday called on the Hungarian government to abandon construction of an anti-immigrant fence of the border with Serbia and provide more support to refugees seeking asylum in the European Union.About 800 people took part in the protest, some breaking through a makeshift barrier set up outside parliament as a symbol of their opposition to the 4-meter (13-foot) high fence which the government starting building this week.center_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories last_img read more

Amnesty accuses Israel of possible war crimes

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — A leading international watchdog said Wednesday that the Israeli military may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during last summer’s Gaza war when it carried out four days of intense bombardment in retaliation for an attack by Hamas militants in which an Israeli soldier was captured.Amnesty International’s report said Israeli forces carried out disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks, killing at least 135 civilians over those four days. It says the military failed to independently probe the incident and called on the International Criminal Court to investigate. Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life Top Stories center_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Hamas, the Islamic militant group which rules Gaza, welcomed Amnesty’s report and the group’s spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said the ICC should take “punitive measures” against Israel.Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman denounced the report — one of several the London-based watchdog has released on the Gaza war — as “fundamentally flawed.”Emmanuel Nahshon said “there is almost no mention of the military actions of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations.”The 50-days of fighting in Gaza last year was the third and most devastating war between Hamas and Israel since the Islamic militants seized control of the territory in 2007 from the rival Palestinian Authority, dominated by President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party.Over 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side were killed in the fighting.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

The kiwis are making their mark with NQA purchase

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Cairns and Auckland share a common goal — both cities wish to strengthen their share in Asia’s tourism market. Auckland International Airport recently purchased a $132.8 million stake in North Queensland Airports (NQA) from Westpac Bank. Since this acquisition has been finalised, both cities have considered the possibility of fostering an Asia-Cairns-Auckland flight route. Auckland International CEO, Simon Moutter said Auckland and New Zealand had suffered a tourism downturn similar to Cairns.”There’s a shared intention and recognition that we need to do better in tourism,” Mr Moutter told”In the year to June 2009, there was a 17 per cent fall in Japanese arrivals at Auckland Airport. “New Zealand tourism has been propped up by Australian in-bound tourism and that is not sustainable in the long term.” Mr Moutter said Cairns and Auckland had “shared objectives” in trying to build their presence in the Asian tourism sector, particularly in China.”If you look at the map, Cairns is in a straight line between Auckland and China,” he said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Driving forward more accommodation for Auto Club bookings

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Siteminder and AAA Tourism entered into a partnership this week, signifying a combined membership of almost 7 million, allowing for greater accommodation opportunities for Australian motor club affiliates. The deal encourages a shared database, including thousands of properties that use SiteMinder’s channel management system to sell and manage their room availability on websites around the world. AAA Tourism is the national tourism body of the Australian Automobile Association and Siteminder, a major online accommodation distributor agreed to link in order to bring together a wider variety of travel options for their members. “SiteMinder is the largest channel manager in this region, so we chose them to help us build our hotel inventory so we can compete better as a booking engine for our 6.8 million members around Australia,” AAA Tourism General Manager of Sales, Liz Price said. SiteMinder sales and marketing general manager Gary Fog asserted the partnership was beneficial to both companies’ member bases. “Our new link with AAA Tourism will put our customers’ rooms in front of millions of motor club members who love to travel” Mr Fog said.“Our link with SiteMinder is a major boost for hotels wanting more online bookings and also a bonus for our members seeking a bigger choice of accommodation they can book with us,” Ms Price added.last_img read more

Coalition urges action on poor tourism figures

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Shadow Tourism Minister Bob Baldwin is appealing to the Australian Government to “respond in a meaningful way” to weak arrivals figures and a slump in hospitality trade following the release of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week.With seasonally adjusted resident departures outpacing short-term visitor arrivals to Australia by 175,800 movements, Mr Baldwin is concerned “the tourism and hospitality sector has been ignored by Labor”.“Today’s figures reinforce the need for government to consider new ways to support hospitality sector businesses,” Mr Baldwin said.The Coalition is calling for submissions to its ‘Industries for Australia’s Future’ review in order to “explore ways for Government to ease pressure on the sector”.“[The review] will be looking for ways to promote the tourism industry – such as changes to weekend loadings so that struggling restaurants can open on Sundays,” Mr Baldwin said.Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, July 2011last_img read more

ICCA revamped training gets thumbs up

first_imgAn ever-increasing number of travel agents are signing up to the International Cruise Council of Australasia’s (ICCA) revamped training program ahead of the summer cruise season.Since appointing training and development manager Peter Kollar in February, the ICCA has incorporated eight new or redeveloped modules which have been implemented across Australia and New Zealand. Almost 1,000 new slides have been included as part of the new program which also incorporates strong port content supported by Mr Kollar’s extensive background as shore excursions manager for Crystal Cruises. “We’re trying to make the training as relevant as possible for agents who are dealing with more customer enquiries than ever as demand for cruise holidays surges,” Mr Kollar said.Ninety percent of participants have given the training sessions the highest possible rating with many accredited agents returning to update their knowledge. “For well-trained agents to take time out of their day and make further learning a priority takes a strong level of commitment and to see them walk away with high levels of satisfaction is a great result,” Mr Kollar said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A Peter Kollar joins travel agents at Cruise3Sixty 2012 last_img read more

NZ Iceland friendliest countries for tourists

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H They’re countries of stark beauty, of mountains and volcanoes; and according to a report released by the World Economic Forum, New Zealand and Iceland are the ‘friendliest’ countries in the world for tourists.On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being “very unwelcome” and 7 being “very welcome”, the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranked 140 nations on how they “felt” about foreign visitors.Following NZ and Iceland at the top of the list, who each scored 6.8, were a mix of European and East African countries including Morocco, Macedonia, Austria, Senegal, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland and Burkina Faso.At the other end of the scale, Bolivia finished bottom with a score of 4.1, followed by Venezuela, Russia, Kuwait, Latvia and Iran.The United States was awarded a score of 6.0, coming in at a lowly 102nd.Rather than using crowd-sourced opinions, the report examined economic factors based on a combination of statistics, travel and tourism institutions and experts.Incidentally, the main focus of the report was on how competitive countries were in developing their respective tourism industries.Leading the world in their “attractiveness and ability to develop their travel and tourism industries”, were Switzerland, Germany and Austria followed by Spain, Great Britain, USA, France and Canada.Predictably, propping up the bottom of the list were some of the world’s poorest nations including Haiti, who were recently identified as one of the Americas’ safest destinations, Chad, Burundi and Sierra Leone.  It gets cold in Iceland, but the locals extend a warm welcome to tourists. Image: Holger Leue/Lonely Planetlast_img read more

IATA Premium traffic up Far East traffic down

first_imgAccording to the report, the number of passengers traveling on premium seats grew globally across the board by 4.1 per cent but this is down on the February 2013 increase of 6.1 per cent. In terms of the East Asian market, there was only 1 per cent growth in the numbers traveling on premium seats compared to 7.2 cent growth in January 2014. The report indicates that the slowdown could be due to numbers coming off after Chinese New Year and business activity declining in China.  The IATA has released its February 2014 Premium Traffic Monitor, showing moderate growth in premium traffic. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

Botanicalinspired West Hotel Sydney opens near up

first_imgSource = Curio Collection by Hilton Botanical-inspired West Hotel Sydney opens near upBotanical-inspired West Hotel Sydney opens near upLocated in Sydney’s central business district and next to the new waterfront leisure and commercial Barangaroo precinct, West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton resides in the ideal location for travellers. This property marks the first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Australia. The 182-room new build hotel will be managed by Hilton (NYSE: HLT), under a management agreement with M&L Hospitality.“Opening the first Curio Collection hotel in Australia is a very exciting milestone for us,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “Being such a culturally rich city and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is the perfect location to add to our growing global collection, which now boasts nearly 50 hotels. West Hotel will offer curious travellers seeking an authentic, memorable travel experience the ideal base to discover Sydney.”Designed by Australian Architecture firm Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, the hotel has a modern classic design theme, featuring deep tones with marble and brass accents. A strong botanical theme runs throughout the hotel, most evident in the beautiful open-air garden atrium and white waratah motif in the lobby.The property features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites. Each room is equipped with Bluetooth-enabled audio visual technology and an open work area, with suites offering a separate sleek living area. The hotel also features a fully equipped gym and a private meeting/dining room.Contributing to the lively Sydney dining scene is the on-property restaurant Solander Dining and Bar. Named after the first fleet botanist who arrived in Australia from England and helped discover several plant types, Daniel Solander, the restaurant and bar offer a modern Australian all-day dining experience with a focus on seasonal and botanical produce. Leading the Solander team is executive chef David Vandenabeele who joins the hotel after working as the head chef at a leading hotel in New York. David’s food philosophy is to select the highest quality ingredients to create dishes that are nourishing and mindful of food origins.Jane Lyons, general manager, West Hotel Sydney said, “Our motivated and engaged team members very much look forward to welcoming guests to West Hotel, providing them with exceptional experiences that exude the distinctive spirit of Sydney, and offering them all the hallmarks of Hilton hospitality as part of the Curio Collection.”West Hotel is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app and to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform, such as exclusive artist experiences and hotel concert events with Live Nation®, or race experiences with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team.last_img read more

Amazing Colours of the East come alive for Thailand Travel Mart 2018

first_imgA Nature Trail Boardwalk in Kung Krabaen Bay, Royal Development Study Centre, ChanthaburiAmazing ‘Colours of the East’ come alive for Thailand Travel Mart 2018Attractions in Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat showcase regional diversity and Thai local experiencesThe Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion, scheduled for the first time at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya from 13 to 15 June 2018, invites participants to discover the region’s Amazing ‘Colours of the East’ in the coastal city and beyond.While Pattaya remains the gateway to Thailand’s Eastern Region, its continued popularity strengthens its reputation as the region’s pre-eminent travel hub, there is also much to explore in neighbouring provinces that opens visitors to exciting new Thai local experiences.There are many superb attractions in Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces that are best viewed through the prism of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s latest marketing concept of Amazing Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ highlighting a kaleidoscope of colour through five distinct travel segments.These five main travel sectors include: Gastronomy, Arts and Crafts, Thai Culture, Nature and Thai Way of Life.RayongIn Rayong, visitors can spend time at one of the many orchards that dot the countryside, stopping to pick and taste various kinds of fresh tropical fruits including delicious treats; such as, durian, mango, mangosteen and rambutan. The hairy red fruit of rambutan looks more like something out of a fairytale than anything grown in real life. But while this fruit may seem exotic to some, they’re a common snack throughout Thailand and especially around the country’s Eastern Region. Durians, on the other hand, which hang improbably from the trees like fruity cannonballs, are sought after by connoisseurs all over Southeast Asia and China.In addition to fruit orchards, Rayong also offers numerous quaint seaside fishing villages, Mae Rumphueng Beach, Sunthon Phu Monument, Khao Laem Ya-Mu and Ko Samet National Park, Ko Kloi Floating Market and Thung Prong Thong to name just a few of the province’s many attractions.Tung Prong Thong mangrove field located at Paknam Prasae, RayongChanthaburiCulturally eclectic Chanthaburi remains home to large Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese communities and was also influenced by the French, who ruled the area from 1893 to 1905. This mixed heritage is evident in both the food and architecture that line the city’s narrow streets, and an exploration of the labyrinth of lanes is perhaps the most fascinating way to get a sense for the diversity of Chanthaburi.A stroll through the Chanthaboon Riverside Community is a must for culture-oriented travellers. It’s also the literal home to some of Thailand’s most precious gems, as the city is the centre of Thailand’s lucrative precious stone trade. With its glittering jewels, French-influenced architecture, artsy riverside atmosphere, dazzling temples and churches, plus a delicious mix of local food, the area is truly a living time capsule offering a glimpse of a bygone era.Another non-Thai influence is found across from the Chanthaboon Riverside Community in the form of Thailand’s largest church: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. First built by European missionaries way back in the early 1700s, the Cathedral was rebuilt in its current gothic style mainly by Vietnamese migrants in the early 20th century.On the coast, Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre is the region’s leading research facility dedicated to preserving Thailand’s marine biodiversity. Open daily from 08.00-18.00 Hrs., it allows visitors to view its important preservation work with sea turtles, sharks, giant grouper in addition to educating local fishing communities on crab breeding and oyster propagation.A few other gems of Chanthaburi include Chao Lao Beach, Phlio Waterfall, Oasis Sea World, Noen-Nang Phaya Viewpoint and the landless village of Rai Pandin.Chanthaboon Riverside-Community ChanthaburiTratTrat encompasses numerous islands with white sandy beaches and coral reefs, many of which lie within the Mu Ko Chang National Park. The largest is Ko Chang, known for its dense jungle, waterfalls and offshore coral reefs, while neighbouring Ko Kut is possibly Thailand’s most pristine eco-friendly island.The province also offers authentic Thai local experiences not easily found elsewhere.Ban Tha Ranae Community offers homestays and a glimpse of life in thriving mangrove wetlands. The Community is dedicated to preserving its natural resources and coastal heritage through sightseeing boat tours through the mangrove forests and mud clam breeding.Ban Huai Raeng Community offers homestay experiences rich in Thai food and local handmade products. Visitors are invited to learn how to make mangosteen soap, gel soap and skin masks. There are also cooking demonstrations on local desserts including khanom chak (Nipa palm leaf wrapped glutinous rice cake) and betel leaf wrapped rice packets that use all organic materials.A visit to the Trat Museum is a must. It highlights the province’s rich history including its confrontations with the French in the early and mid-20th century. The Museum occupies an attractive wooden replica of the old provincial hall, originally built in 1922. After the original building burned down in the mid-2000s, a new structure was rebuilt with gingerbread woodcarvings, ceramic shingles and slender pillars that makes visitors think it is an actual heritage building that was restored.Any visit to Trat also offers a chance to experience the narrowest part of Thailand at Khlong Yai sub-district, the mainland’s Sai Khao Beach (white sand beach), Bang Bao fishing village and Wat Buppharam, Trat’s oldest temple first built in 1652.Ban Huai-Raeng Community, TratAll told Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat are three of Thailand’s most underrated provinces. They all boast pleasant natural attractions, national parks and low-key beach towns, with the unsung provincial capitals hosting charming old towns and rich cultural heritage.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Your very own private island

first_imgLiving the easy life on your very own private island is something that almost everyone dreams of. Now it just might be possible as two British property developers are living this dream.Source: CNNlast_img

goimomi announces GreenHajj2019 challenge to promote responsible tourism

first_imgIn a bid to make the holy journey a sustainable one,’s #GreenHajj2019 challenge is urging all pilgrims to practice eco-friendly methods of travel. Some of these include purchasing reusable products like water bottles, plates, spoons, etc. to reduce plastic usage; regulated usage of water for ablution and other activities to avoid wastage; maintaining cleanliness and avoiding public littering; preventing food wastage, choosing public transport over private and travelling in safe health., a premier Islamic travel portal from India has launched the #GreenHajj2019 challenge shortly before the iconic pilgrimage commences this year. The holy journeys of Hajj and Umrah are undertaken by over 1.2 lakh pilgrims from India every year, in addition to a large number of pilgrims from all over the world. The immense traffic of pilgrims often leads to the production of huge volumes of waste, misuse of ecological resources, etc. causing environmental damage. goimomi has invited the government authorities to support this initiative, spreading the word about #GreenHajj2019 Challenge among every group organiser around the world. The company has also urged every Hajj travel group as well as all individual travellers to take up this challenge and promote the eco-friendly practices among their customers and peers respectively.last_img read more

Debt Crises Send Mortgage Rates Plummeting Zillow

first_imgDebt Crises Send Mortgage Rates Plummeting: Zillow Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Debt Crisis Euro European Union Fixed-Rate Mortgage Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Zillow 2012-01-31 Ryan Schuette in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology January 31, 2012 423 Views center_img Share Interest rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plunged to 3.72 percent this week on new concerns about debt crises in Europe, according to real estate company “”Zillow””:[IMAGE]In releasing the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, the Web site found that interest rates for the 15-year loan also fell to 3.01 percent, alongside 2.63 percent for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).””The thirty-year fixed mortgage rate fell late in the day on Monday due to a renewed concern about Greece’s unfinished debt restructuring negotiations,”” “”Erin Lantz””:, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Though strides have been made elsewhere in the EU to implement stricter budget discipline, as long as Greek uncertainty persists, mortgage rates will remain historically low as investors look to Treasury and U.S. mortgage bonds,”” she added.Mortgage rates remain low despite uplifting news from the continent, where 25 eurozone nations signed off on a new fiscal pact Monday, allowing stocks and shares in Europe to snag an updraft.Interest rates for mortgage loans accordingly plummeted by 10 to even 20 basis points in several states. Colorado led the way down with a 20 basis-point plunge, finding a decline in rates for the 30-year fixed-rate loan to 3.7 percent this week from 3.9 percent last week.Spiraling down by 19 basis points, Massachusetts followed with a dip from 3.86 percent last week to 3.67 percent this week.Florida and Illinois each saw their interest rates tick down by 18 basis points, with 30-year loans falling to 3.68 percent and 3.7 percent this week, down from 3.86 percent and 3.88 percent, respectively.Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages in New York meanwhile fell from 3.84 percent to 3.69 percent, reflecting a decline by 15 basis points.last_img read more

Home Sales Prices Continue to Decline in Connecticut

first_img September 30, 2014 434 Views Home Sales, Prices Continue to Decline in Connecticut Home Prices Home Sales The Warren Group 2014-09-30 Seth Welborn Sharecenter_img Single-family home sales declined in Connecticut by nearly 6 percent year-over-year in August, according to the Warren Group.The Warren Group reported Tuesday stating that 2,735 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in August, a decline from 2,898 in August 2013. It was the third month in 2014 in which single-family home sales declined year-over-year in Connecticut, according to the Warren report.Year-to-date, the Warren Group reported single-family home sales of 16,805 in Connecticut for January through August 2014, a drop from 17,128 from the same period in 2013.”The real estate market in Connecticut is slumping a bit at the moment,” said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “Single-family home sales and prices have fallen in the first eight months of the year with each posting declines of 2 to 3 percent. Last year, we saw gains of 6 to 8 percent. The recovery in the real estate market has stalled, and prices remain 12 percent below their highest levels in 2007.”Home sales were not the only category where there was a year-over-year decline in Connecticut, however. The median price of single-family homes dropped by 5.3 percent from $285,000 in August 2013 to $269,000 to August 2014.Median home prices year-to-date were also down in Connecticut for January through August 2014, when a decrease of 3 percent down to $258,000 was reported. The median home price for January through August of 2013 was $265,000, according to the Warren Group.Condominium sales fell 4.2 percent year-over-year in August in Connecticut from 684 to 655, according to the Warren Group. Condo sales year-to-date increased by 1 percent from 4,442 for January through August 2013 to 4,487 for the same period in 2014. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more