Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27 at Disneys Animal

first_imgPandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Star Wars lands in 2019 Tags: Disney Travelweek Group LAKE BUENA VISTA — Inspired by James Cameron’s box-office hit, Avatar, the new 12-acre Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Saturday, May 27.Guests will be immersed in the lush world of Pandora about a generation after the film’s human-Na’vi conflict. The magical new land promises to transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees.Two main adventures will beckon Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests. Riding a Mountain Banshee, guests will soar across Pandora on Avatar Flight of Passage. The high-tech adventure will offer a thrilling flight through the jungles and floating mountains, and over the majestic oceans of this colourful world.And on the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey guests will sail down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest. The expedition will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora.Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu or shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more at Windtraders.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthThe expansion completes the transformation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom from a day into nighttime theme park with extended entertainment.In other Disney news, Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company will open its Star Wars-themed lands at California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Walt Disney World in 2019.The 14-acre attractions were announced in 2015 and are under construction at the parks. Disney says the lands will include attractions and entertainment alongside aliens and droids. The attractions represent the parks’ largest single themed land expansion ever. Posted bycenter_img Wednesday, February 8, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

New Latin America 2019 offerings from the Globus family of brands

first_img Posted by Friday, July 20, 2018 Tags: Globus, Latin America New Latin America 2019 offerings from the Globus family of brands Travelweek Group center_img Share TORONTO — The Globus family of brands has released its 156-page Latin America brochure.There are 41 options in all, ranging from four to 20 days and encompassing Mexico, Central America and South America.  Escorted and independent tours as well as cruises are also included.Available year-round, the programs are operated by Globus as well as value-brand sister company Cosmos, plus Monograms, offering packaged holidays for the independent traveller, and Avalon Waterways with cruises to the Amazon and to the Galapagos Islands.There is one Globus tour to Mexico – best-seller ‘Wonders of Mexico’s Yucatan’ – and, in Central America, escorted tours to Costa Rica offered by both Globus and Cosmos.Monograms’ independent tours to Central America are offered to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. Within South America clients can tour several countries on one Globus, Cosmos or Monograms tour, or concentrate on just one such as with Globus’ Peru Splendors or Monograms’ Brazil Highlights.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJUrban travellers will gravitate to Monograms’ three independent Getaway tours to Rio, Buenos Aires or Santiago.  Each four-day package includes hotel with breakfast, a half-day sightseeing tour and the services of a Monograms Local Host to assist with sightseeing, shopping and dining suggestions.When clients book air through Monograms on any of their itineraries, they’ll also receive free private transfers between the airport and their hotel.New to Cosmos is a 14-day Norwegian Cruise Line cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago with including a stop in the Falkland Islands. Including pre- and post-stays in Buenos Aires and Santiago and with an optional extension to the Easter Islands, this trip ranges from 19 to 23 days.Avalon Waterways’ cruises onboard the five-star Delfin III (built 2015) includes immersion learning from expert naturalists. The three-day cruises are combined with visits to Lima, Machu Picchu and Cusco. In the Galapagos, Avalon has chartered the 16-passenger yacht Treasure of Galapagos, which was completely refurbished in 2017.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFor more information see << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Less popular area of Hawaii Volcanoes sees more activity

first_img Monday, August 20, 2018 The closure of the main area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has prompted more people to visit the less-frequented Kahuku Unit, leading to more resources being directed into that area.Most of the Big Island park closed in May because of the Kilauea volcano eruption, so officials extended the operating hours of the Kahuku Unit to five days each week, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Thursday.About 350 people visited the unit in April before the eruption, according to the park. Nearly 4,500 people visited it in June.“It’s actually nice because people are coming in not expecting to see lava,” Kahuku area manager Keola Awong said. “They’re just coming because they want to see the park.”More resources have been directed for maintenance and other projects as a result of the higher visitation. The park has repaired and widened sections of the road leading into the area. It has removed brush from the roadsides and improved ditches. It has installed new gates at park entrances and new wheelchair-accessible ramps at park facilities.A new trail opened and another one is in development, Awong said. The park hopes to complete a walking trail to the Forested Pit Crater by mid-September, she said.Park officials have discussed opening the unit for seven days each week, but such a change will not occur anytime soon, if it’s decided, parks spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said. Share Less popular area of Hawaii Volcanoes sees more activity By: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Hawaii, Kahukulast_img read more

Strike by German airport security staff causes travel chaos

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share BERLIN — A strike by security staff at eight German airports on Tuesday is causing travel chaos for tens of thousands of travellers.The ver.di union called on staff at airports including Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover and Bremen to walk off the job between 2 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time (0100 and 1900 GMT).In Frankfurt alone where more than 1,000 security staff were participating in the strike, 570 flights were cancelled and that across Germany up to 220,000 passengers may be affected.“Air traffic is severely affected,” ver.di’s Benjamin Roscher in Frankfurt told the German news agency DPA.“We hope that the employers will finally be responsive to our demands.”Frankfurt is the main hub for Germany’s biggest airline, Lufthansa. The airline said earlier that passengers with a flight from Frankfurt can rebook for free onto another flight until Jan. 20.Ver.di said it is still waiting for employers to increase the pay of 23,000 security staff conducting checks and is demanding that their hourly rates rises to 20 euros ($23.10).More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksEmployers association BDLS says this could amount to a 30-per cent increase in some cases.“Again, the trade dispute is being carried out on the backs of hundreds of thousands of passengers, the airlines and many other companies belonging to the German tourism industry,” said Michael Rabe, the general secretary of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry.Last week, strikes across Germany resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights. Tags: Aiport, Berlin, Germany, Strike Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Strike by German airport security staff causes travel chaos Tuesday, January 15, 2019 last_img read more

Gah the golden girl from County Clare

first_imgBaptized Deirdre Vandeleur Naomi Geraldine, she was apparently an ugly child, big-boned and awkward but sharp as a tack, being fluent in five languages by the time she was 10. And she was well able to hold her own among the politicians and bankers who flocked to the Fitzgerald table every weekend once the railway from Dublin was in.By 18, the ugly duckling had turned into a graceful if oversized swan, as she stood 6-foot-1. On the death of her mother, she became the hostess of the weekly feasts, in addition to inheriting a sizable fortune of her own. But she had a wild side and conceived a child, my father, by the devastating handsome Dermod, black sheep of the penniless O’Brien family, which subsisted on milk and potatoes in their crumbling Victorian-style castle of Dromoland (now a fancy 5-star hotel) near Newmarket-on-Fergus.This was too much for the straitlaced Fitzgeralds, and after a hasty and very private marriage they were both packed off to Bendigo in Australia, where the family owned a gold mine. Within a month of the delivery, Gah was loading tubs of gold ore into the crushers and manhandling drums of cyanide into the dolly pit. Then, during her regular forays into the Sidney gold market, she realized that the roller-coaster behavior of scarce metal prices was due to the rapid industrialization of the country in the face of irregular supplies.Promptly scraping together every penny she had or could borrow, she successively cornered the market in tungsten, molybdenum and the rare earth kieselguhr, used to stabilize dynamite, reaping a second fortune in the process.At that time, Australian men were rabidly protective of women’s honor but unenthusiastic about women’s rights, and resented Gah’s intrusion into their territory. A group got together and lured her into the infamous Takashi scandal, where she lost the lot. But without missing a beat, Gah went back to the moneylenders, borrowed enough to buy a seat on the developing Sydney Stock Exchange, and in four years had made back every penny of her losses. Then came the first World War, and my father announced that he was going to England to join up. Gah wasn’t going to be separated from her brood, by that time two boys and three girls, and selling out everything she had, she moved them all to London. Dermod, who hadn’t done a stroke of work since their marriage, insisted on staying in Sydney with friends, and history doesn’t relate his subsequent fate.Arriving in London, Gah bought a huge house in the classy Sydenham Hill district, where you could see clean across town on a clear day, and immediately started trying to corner the market in exotic metals.But she misjudged the size and sophistication of the London Exchange and ended up with several warehouses full of tungsten, but no buyers. After holding on for a year, she sold out at a horrendous loss. But Gah was not the kind to go down without a fight. She borrowed enough to buy a boot and shoe factory in Lewisham, submitted to the War Office a bid for 10,000 pairs of army boots, and after a cursory inspection of her factory, received an order for half a million pairs with an advance payment of 25 percent, so that once again she was back in the money.Gah had always been lucky, but she seemed to lose her financial acumen in England. So after the war, she decided to retire to the little seaside resort of Pett in Sussex and quit trying to outsmart the experts. She built a house big enough to sleep a dozen, named it Sans Souci and installed tennis courts and a croquet lawn where her shameless development of the “GahGah Scoop” usually won her the match.Then she sat back to enjoy her grandchildren. Which is were I came in, because I spent many happy vacations there while my folks were abroad. Gah died unwrinkled at 95 with many years still left in her body; accustomed to putting away a full quart of Fremlins Dinner Ale at every meal, this time it proved too much for her, and she fell downstairs to her death. She was mourned by all, and not least by her long-suffering housekeeper Miss Emma Strike, who shortly after birth was left on Gah’s doorstep in a shopping basket. All her life Gah had lived high on the hog, entertaining never less than a dozen guests to lunch and dinner, so that my father doesn’t recall ever sitting next to family except at breakfast. Which is all very well when times are good, but Gah insisted on keeping an open house even when deeply in debt to the moneylenders, which didn’t bother her one little bit.People born to great wealth have a different attitude towards money than the rest of us; to them money is nice, but when it runs low you can always borrow it against the security of your land, so there’s no point in worrying about it.I wish I could think like that. Facebook Comments From the print editionI must tell you about my paternal grandmother, GahGah to us kids and later just Gah, because she was one of those people who live on in memory long after they are gone. Gah was born in 1860 into the wealthy Fitzgerald family, which presided over a large chunk of County Clare from Clevedon, their baronial hall overlooking the Shannon estuary. No related posts.center_img Jack O’Brienlast_img read more

Increase in water tariffs proposed to reduce consumption

first_imgNo related posts. Do you think higher water rates would force people to save water?  Yes. Money is always a good motivation.  No. People will continue to consume just as much water.  No response. Increase in water rates The Regulatory Authority for Public Services proposed a temporary increase in water tariffs as way to conserve water during the dry season, which in Costa Rica runs from December through May.The temporary rate would be applied gradually, starting from a monthly consumption of 15 cubic meters.Records from the National Meteorological Institute (IMN) show a reduction of 10-25 percent in the volume of rainfall in 2012, and IMN forecasts similar figures for this year.The Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) last week began a regulated supply of water in some cantons of the Central Valley, and it does not rule out the possibility of extending the rationing until June.A study released by AyA in 2012 showed that Ticos consume 8 percent more water than the global average.The proposal is still under study and will be submitted to a public consultation in coming days.Tico Times Poll: Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Latin American leaders mourn Chávezs death

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Venezuela bids Chávez farewell Venezuela’s Chávez fighting severe lung infection Absence of Venezuela’s Chávez sparks more rumors Nicaraguan officials unveil flashy new Chávez memorial Was Hugo Chávez a good leader for Venezuela? Yes. He brought his Bolivarian Revolution into the 21st century. No. He was a populist dictator. He was both. Hugo Chávez dies of cancer at 58 HAVANA, Cuba – Latin America mourned the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Tuesday as the United States expressed hope his passing would lead to improved relations with the oil-rich state.Chávez, 58, died after a long battle with cancer, plunging Venezuela into an uncertain future after 14 years of rule by the charismatic former paratrooper, a standard-bearer of Latin America’s “anti-imperialist” left.Ideological allies across the region lined up to salute Chávez, with Cuba leading the plaudits to a man hailed as a “true son” to the communist nation’s retired 86-year-old revolutionary icon Fidel Castro.Cuban officials declared three days of national mourning in honor of the country’s closest regional ally and main economic benefactor.In a statement broadcast on state television, the Cuban government said Chávez had “stood by Fidel [Castro] like a true son” during his presidency.Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hailed Chávez as a “great Latin American.”“We recognize a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all a friend of Brazil, a friend of the Brazilian people,” Rousseff said.Bolivia’s socialist President Evo Morales – whose political priorities and style of leadership have drawn deeply from Chávez – said he was “crushed” by his friend’s death and would soon travel to Venezuela.“We are in pain,” Morales added.Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa, another close ally, said Chávez’s death was an “irreparable loss” for Latin America, saying Venezuelans would proudly carry on his legacy.In Argentina, Vice President Amado Boudou said on Twitter that “all of Latin America” was in mourning.“One of the best has left us: you will always be with us, Comandante,” Boudou said. Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner is to travel to Venezuela for Chávez’s memorial service.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos echoed Correa’s sentiments, saying Chávez’s death was “a great loss for Venezuela and the region, for Colombia and for me personally.”Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica, a leftist and close friend of Chávez, issued a heartfelt tribute.“You are always saddened by a death,” said the 77-year-old, who confirmed he will travel to Venezuela to pay his respects.“But when you are talking about someone who has fought on the front line, and about someone who I remember I once called ‘the most generous leader I have met’, well the pain takes on a whole new dimension.”Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, a conservative billionaire, called Chávez a leader who was “deeply committed to Latin America’s integration.”It was a view shared by Honduras President Porfirio Lobo, who lamented the loss of a “leader who fought for the integration of Latin America.”El Salvador President Mauricio Funes also offered condolences, expressing “deep regret at the loss of this great leader.”While Latin America offered many of the most anguished tributes, there was a more measured response from the United States, whom Chávez had delighted in antagonizing during his years in office.“At this challenging time of President Hugo Chávez’s passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government,” President Barack Obama said.“As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights,” Obama said in a short written statement.U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute Chávez’s work on behalf of his country’s poor and his support of Colombia’s peace process.“President Chávez spoke to the challenges and aspirations of the most vulnerable Venezuelans,” Ban said.French President Francois Hollande meanwhile praised Chávez’s determination “to fight for justice,” saying he had “profoundly marked his country’s history.”In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “saddened” by the death, saying Chávez had left a “lasting impression” on his people.In Nicaragua, the Nicaragua Dispatch reports that President Daniel Ortega paid a short farewell to his close ally and friend: “He raised the sword of [South American liberator Simón] Bolívar in Venezuela, in Latin America, the Caribbean and the world to demand justice and peace, liberty and unity.”last_img read more

Here are photos of a rare white marlin caught off Costa Ricas

first_imgAnglers on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast recently spotted a rare beauty of a fish.Sport fishing out of the Los Sueños Marina in Herradura, Puntarenas, near the beach resort town of Jacó, the men brought in a rare white blue marlin this week, reported The Billfish Report on Tuesday. Capt. Juan Carlos Zamora, Carlos Espinoza and Roberto Salinas of the Spanish Fly caught the fair-skinned fish.The photos of the marlin jumping out of the water near the boat may be one of a kind, the sport-fishing website suggested.One commenter wrote that the blue marlin, usually seen with a dark blue strip along the dorsal side, might not be an albino, as originally reported by The Billfish Report. Instead, it could be leucistic, the report said, noting that true albinos have pink or red eyes. Leucism is a condition where reduced pigmentation in the skin, fur or feathers leaves the animal white.Gizmodo reported that the anglers released the marlin. The white blue marlin thrashes boat side and fishermen reel it in. Courtesy The Billfish Report Facebook Comments Related posts:Offshore World Championship begins with 764 billfish releases Tuna company, fishermen and environmental groups squabble over unpublished fishing decree The Foxi Lady is on fire! 5 US boaters rescued at sea after onboard fire sinks ship Solís signs tuna fishing decree, but will it help Costa Rica’s oceans?last_img read more

Tortuguero business owners form new tourism chamber

first_imgRelated posts:Tourism sector blasts decree charging sales tax to national park entrance fees Singing animals will ‘save the Americans’ (and the Canadians) in a new Costa Rica tourism ad campaign Upbeat outlook for Costa Rica tourism, as visitors, revenue up in 2014 Costa Rica rises in global ranking of travel, tourism competitiveness TORTUGUERO, Limón – Every year, 100,000 tourists visit Tortuguero National Park and its surrounding hotels and restaurants on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast. The park – known for its nesting sea turtles, tranquil canals and lush tropical rain forest – is the country’s fourth most-visited protected area.But Tortuguero also has its challenges, and to address its sustainability, security and popularity as a tourism destination, a group of 23 local business owners this month formed the Tortuguero Regional Tourism Chamber (CATUTOR), officially launched at an inauguration ceremony last Saturday.The new chamber is composed of owners of hotels, restaurants, tour operators, local souvenir shops and other businesses, the Association of Tortuguero Tour Guides and local nonprofit organizations. It is supported by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR).CATUTOR President Roxana Silman said a primary goal of the new chamber is improving the relationship between the tourism sector and the Tortuguero Conservation Area – part of the Environment Ministry’s National System of Conservation Areas – and reducing bureaucratic barriers for future projects.CANATUR President Pablo Abarca Heriberto, who attended last Saturday’s ceremony, said, “We support the formation of this group and their focus on working toward common goals. … It is essential to have an active effort that defends the tourism industry in the region in coordination with us.”In addition to improving relations with administrators of the Tortuguero Conservation Area, CATUTOR board members hope to address several other issues, including sewage treatment, sustainability certification (such as the Blue Flag program), better community relations and sea turtle protection.“The poaching of turtles and eggs still exists in the area, but it has decreased significantly in the past year,” Silman, who is a member of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, said. The conservancy is among a number of scientific groups that monitor sea turtle nests in Tortuguero.Silman said turtle poaching has decreased because of stepped up surveillance at all hours of the day, thanks to joint efforts by the National Police, park rangers, volunteers and environmental groups.“The police presence in the area has increased following recent violence in Limón,” chamber secretary Eugenia Jurado told The Tico Times, referring to last year’s murder of Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora. “This has helped reduce the number of poachers and criminals [who operate] inside the park.”Hotel owners, park rangers and environmental groups have agreed to schedules and group size limits for tourists visiting nesting sea turtles. Turtle watching tours are monitored by National Police officers, park rangers, and NGO staff and volunteers. The Coast Guard helps by patrolling the coast.“Our efforts have helped improve the protection of natural resources, which is needed to help develop the region, Jurado said. “While our work focuses on protecting nature, we also need help protecting tourists and local residents, because the criminal element is coming from outside [the region].”Last December, three armed men wearing black ski masks attacked a tourist riverboat, robbing all 14 people on board. The bandits made off with cash, cellphones, watches and cameras belonging to tourists from the United States, Spain and Switzerland.The new chamber also is promoting a joint effort by the municipality and the Tortuguero Conservation Area to improve access to the region. Currently, access is only possible by boat and plane.Board members also say they will organize a turtle festival and other events to attract more domestic tourists. From left, Tortuguero Tourism Chamber board members Eugenia Jurado and Roxana Silman, CANATUR President Pablo Heriberto Abarca, business owner Eddy Rankin and CANATUR Executive Director Tatiana Cascante. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Chile promotes civil union law for gay couples

first_img Facebook Comments SANTIAGO, Chile  — The Chilean government launched a campaign Tuesday to promote a new civil union law that will go into effect Thursday and apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. The law, long-sought by advocacy groups, is seen as a first step towards allowing gay marriage in the heavily Catholic country.“As Chile has changed, and for the better … this was unthinkable a few years ago,” said government spokesman Marcelo Díaz in launching the new promotional campaign, “A Law For All Families.”The new law enables unmarried heterosexual or homosexual couples living under the same roof to co-own property, receive inheritance and pension benefits, and make medical decisions.And if a child’s biological parent becomes no longer able to care for them, custody decisions will give priority to that parent’s civil union partner, a provision demanded by gay rights organizations.According to government figures, nearly 1,600 couples have registered so far under the civil union law.The government said a special plan would be in place to register civil unions on Thursday, despite an unrelated strike by civil servants.Chile was one of the last countries to legalize divorce, in 2004, and does not allow abortion under any circumstances.center_img Related posts:Costa Rica grants first gay common-law marriage in Central America President of Costa Rica raises LGBT flag over Casa Presidencial Costa Rica archbishop uses annual Catholic pilgrimage to promote church’s anti-gay, anti-IVF agenda Casa Presidencial presents gay common-law marriage billlast_img read more

Mexico defeats Costa Rica 32 in international friendly

first_imgAfter a hopeful start in the 29th minute when Joel Campbell put the Costa Rican Men’s National Team ahead against Mexico, Costa Rica ultimately fell 3-2 to their perennial rival at the Universitario de Nuevo León Stadium Thursday night.Captain Bryan Ruíz also scored in the 44th minute, but that wasn’t enough to defeat El Tricolor, with goals from Víctor Guzmán (33), Henry Martín (56), and Raúl Jiménez (71).La Sele came out strong in the first 15 minutes against an unusual Mexican lineup including only one of the players Mexico took to the 2018 World Cup (defender Edson Álvarez) and none of their stars playing in Europe. Costa Rica had multiple shots on goal leading up to Campbell’s goal following a defensive error by Mexico.Guzmán’s goal to open scoring for Mexico and tie the game at 1-1 was a spectacular volley past Costa Rican star goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Facebook Comments Related posts:The best photos from Costa Rica’s loss to Tunisia – and the afterparty Costa Rica hopes to clinch World Cup berth against a carefree Mexico Keylor: Costa Rica is ready to classify Belgium defeats Costa Rica 4-1last_img read more

Saturday morning quake shakes Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Earthquake jolts five provinces in Costa Rica Earthquakes felt across Costa Rica on Sunday Quake shakes southern Costa Rica Strong earthquake off El Salvador felt in Costa Rica TheNational Seismological Network reported a preliminary magnitude 5.1 quake, 12 kilometers west of Guapiles, at 8:12 a.m. this Saturday.The quake, with a preliminary depth of 8 kilometers, was felt throughout the Central Valley.  Facebook Commentslast_img

What happened to Carla Stefaniak Few new details in case

first_imgWant stories like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Tico Times newsletter Carla Stefaniak was visiting Costa Rica from the United States last November when she went missing. In a case that quickly garnered international attention, authorities soon found Stefaniak’s body near the San Antonio of Escazú property she had rented through Airbnb. An autopsy revealed she had died of stab wounds to the neck and extremities, as well as a strong blow to the head.Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and the Public Security Ministry (MSP) detained a security guard, surname Espinoza Martinez, as a suspect in the death. In late December, Stefaniak’s family sued Airbnb and Villa Buena Vista. ABC News shared part of the lawsuit, which accused the property owners of negligence. “Defendants, AIRBNB and VILLA BUENA VISTA, negligently failed to perform any kind of background check or otherwise take any measures to determine whether Martinez was fit for the officiality and authority and power and control provided to him,” the lawsuit states. “The harm to Stefaniak caused by MARTINEZ was a foreseeable and well-known hazard of the industry.” The property in which Carla Stefaniak, a tourist from the United States, was renting an apartment through Airbnb. Duncan Anderson / The Tico TimesEarlier this month, the Stefaniaks’ attorney, Joseph Rivera, spoke with Teletica and provided further updates on the case. He said the family believes more people were involved in Stefaniak’s death, citing the distance her body was moved and alleging the room was cleaned after her death.“We maintain a hypothesis that between five and seven people [were involved],” Rivera told Teletica. “Because for us, it’s difficult for a rigid body — a dead body — to be moved to where they found the body.” OIJ’s investigation of the case remains ongoing. The organization has not named additional suspects in the crime other than Espinoza Martinez, whom OIJ said is a Nicaraguan citizen who was in the country illegally. “We are waiting for more information from OIJ,” Rivera said.Authorities are still trying to match DNA samples from blood found under Stefaniak’s fingernails, according to Teletica. “In this moment, the investigation remains open,” Marco Carrión, chief of OIJ’s homicide department, said. “We are looking for whatever element, whatever details will help us finalize the investigative phase.“At the moment, what we have established is a single person was responsible.” Stefaniak’s family held a celebration of life for Carla on Jan. 26. Via their Facebook page, Finding Carla, they have asked others to “keep the pressure” on OIJ to prevent the case from being forgotten. “This is a complex case, and it’s a difficult case,”  Walter Espinoza, the Director General of the OIJ, said in December. “The resolution of this case is very important for the country, for the victim’s family, and for society as a whole.” Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Costa Ricans report increasing safety concerns; 2016 is set to become most violent year on record Slaughter of five students in Liberia was likely done by one suspect, says OIJ director Trial of pizzeria owner, Costa Rican doctors begins in organ trafficking case Police officers suspected of robbing tourists under investigation by OIJ, MSPlast_img read more

Rev Sun Myung Moon hospitalized with pneumonia

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) – Unification Church founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is being treated in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Seoul for pneumonia.The Rev. Joshua Cotter, vice president of the Unification Church USA, says Moon entered the hospital on Aug. 13 and is in critical condition. He says church members are praying and fasting for his quick recovery.A memo sent to church officials early Wednesday says the 93-year-old Moon “was pushing his limits in carrying out his schedule” when he fell ill. It says his wife and children are by his bedside. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top holiday drink recipes Quick workouts for men Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   Moon founded the Unification Church in Seoul in 1954. The church gained fame starting in the 1970s for holding mass weddings.Its business empire includes The Washington Times newspaper and the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Senators says US must boost Caribbean security

first_img“Clearly, the countries of the Caribbean do not face the same security crisis as Mexico and Central America. Yet we must be prepared as the `balloon effect’ inevitably moves drug trafficking routes back to the Caribbean,” said the report by the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.The senators argue that Washington should have a “more integrated approach to security assistance in the Americas that does not overly support one sub-region at the expense of others.” It also acknowledges that the U.S. must do “significantly more” to reduce demand for drugs within its borders.The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that Caribbean drug seizures diminished 71 percent between 1997 and 2009 as more contraband shifted to Central American routes. But homicide rates have nearly doubled in a number of Caribbean nations since 1995, partly due to frenzied competition between underworld groups fighting for turf.The U.S. State Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration should assess where “sensitive investigative units” can be established in the region, the report advises, while recommending Jamaica as a top candidate due to its chronically high murder rate. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The senators’ report also says the U.S. must both update and strengthen anti-money laundering laws while continuing extraditions of Caribbean drug barons, such as Christopher “Dudus” Coke, a powerful gang boss who was sentenced in June to 23 years behind bars in a U.S. drug trafficking case after a nine-month extradition battle with Jamaica.More U.S. assistance to Caribbean nations is needed to draft asset forfeiture laws and strong support is needed to counter drug-smuggling networks in Haiti, which the U.S. politicians say is “extremely susceptible to drug trafficking in the near future.”The report also recommends that the U.S. should send detailed histories of all criminal deportees back to their native lands in the Caribbean. As it stands now, the countries are only told why the offender was deported due to rules preventing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency from sharing more details without permission from federal or state entities that have the records.The deportee issue has topped the Caribbean’s diplomatic agenda for more than a decade.The United States has deported thousands of convicted criminals to the Caribbean annually since 1996, when Congress mandated that every non-citizen sentenced to a year or more in prison be kicked out of the country upon release. In all, the U.S. has been responsible for roughly three-quarters of the region’s returning criminal deportees. Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories center_img Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressKINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – A pair of American senators released a new report Thursday detailing their recommendations to prevent a future security crisis in the Caribbean, where numerous unpoliced islets and barely monitored coasts remain near-perfect conduits for drug shipments.California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley argue that Washington must be prepared to counter an uptick in drug trafficking in the Caribbean when, not if, the pendulum swings back a bit from Central American countries and Mexico. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img

South Africas Desmond Tutu admitted to hospital

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu has been admitted to a Cape Town hospital for a persistent infection, his South African foundation said Tuesday.The foundation, which is named after 83-year-old Tutu and his wife Leah, quoted their daughter Mpho as saying the family hopes the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be able to return home in a “day or two.”Desmond Tutu has been treated for prostate cancer for many years. He announced his retirement from public life in 2011 but has still traveled widely and made public appearances. Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1984 for campaigning against apartheid, renewed his wedding vows with Leah earlier this month after 60 years of marriage. The family held ceremonies in Cape Town and Johannesburg to mark the occasion.An Associated Press reporter attended the Johannesburg ceremony in the Holy Cross Anglican Church in the city’s Soweto area, where Tutu used to live. Tutu danced stiffly as choristers sang and was frequently on his feet, thanking the congregants at the end of the three-hour event. At other times, he sat with his eyes closed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Industry unites to form events calendar

first_imge-Travel Blackboard is poised to release a collaborative events calendar, bringing the travel industry together. Together with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and the Association of National Tourist Office Representatives (ANTOR), e-Travel Blackboard will launch a unified industry events calendar tomorrow. e-Travel Blackboard general manager Anthony Valeriano is eager to be a part of this much-needed, free service. “The industry is lacking one source to find out what’s happening and where,” he said. ANTOR, AFTA and e-Travel Blackboard have now combined efforts to provide a more comprehensive, detailed and succinct scheduling system. “There have been numerous occasions in the past where industry events had overlapped and clashed. “No one was winning, no one was benefitting and there was a score of missed opportunities,” Mr Valeriano said. The collaborative calendar aims to solve these issues by offering unique services such as the ability to automatically send events to your email inbox, upload images and make changes to events. The online datebook incorporates new innovations, such as providing users the option to RSVP online as well as pinpoint the locations of an event using the calendars portal to Google maps. “Anyone can gain access to this one of a kind service we’re providing,” Mr Valeriano said.People planning an event can go online, check the calendar first and find out whether other industry members have organised functions or meetings to avoid confusion and clashes. The events calendar is expected to be released on 5 January 2011. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J/P.Tlast_img read more

Manchester united by tourism as visitors flock to the city

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H As the world focuses on London for the upcoming Olympic Games, there is another British city catching the eye of budding travelers to the UK: Manchester. Statistics from UK tourism office VisitBritain show international travelers made 936,000 overnight stays in Manchester last year (compared to the 2010 figure of 811,000) as overseas tourism to the area grew 15 per cent.VisitManchester gateway marketing manager Emma White attributes the “fantastic increase” in visitor numbers to the city to a number of factors.“The ongoing route development at Manchester Airport and an increasing number of international conferences in the city has really made its mark,“ she told e-Travel Blackboard. “Our activity in 2012 will focus on a number of cities across Europe with direct flights into Manchester and we will continue to ‘warm up’ markets on the West Coast USA and China, particularly Hong Kong.”With the city Britain’s third most popular destination, local tourism bosses pointed to events like the 2011 Manchester International Festival (featuring performances by Bjork and Damon Albarn) and the Christmas Markets for boosting the city’s profile.But it is still the city’s shopping and sporting attractions that continue to be Manchester’s major draw cards.  As well as boasting an increasing number of luxury and boutique stores, the city is home to two of Europe’s biggest football clubs: Manchester United and recently crowned English champions Manchester City. And the soccer doesn’t stop there, with the National Football Museum (opening next month) expected to boost overseas visitors numbers by a further 350,000 this year alone. For Americans visiting the Greater Manchester area, New York-based Ms White said there would be a wealth of sporting and cultural events to choose from.“Manchester is a great gateway to the whole of the north of England,” she said, highlighting the recent launch of United Airlines’ inaugural flight from Washington DC to Manchester.“Whether it’s Manchester’s heritage, arts and culture, music, events or indeed soccer, visitors can combine a trip to Manchester with all of the fantastic destinations surrounding it, such as Liverpool, Chester and the Lake District.”According to the Manchester Evening News, the city is set to earn £30 million from Olympic events over the summer as it hosts men’s and women’s football matches (featuring teams from USA, Brazil, Spain and UK) and warm-up games for the US men’s and women’s star-studded basketball teams. “Visitors can take in the drama at an Olympic Football match, see the Olympic Torch Relay and visit events at Manchester’s African-themed festival of music, dance and art, We Face Forward,” Ms White added. “July 2013 will see the biennial Manchester International Festival return to the city, for 18 extraordinary days of world premieres from across a complete spectrum of performance art.” Manchester’s music scene is considered one of the UK’s best (Image VisitManchester)last_img read more

Travelscene Qantas Holidays offer exclusive selections

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T A new program, offering unique amenities to Travelscene American Express customers on Qantas Holidays and Viva! Holidays reservations for selected accommodations, has been launched.The new program, ‘Selections’, was developed by Qantas Holidays in partnership with Travelscene American Express and provides Travelscene customers exclusive offers such as breakfast boons, room upgrades, late check-out and arrival goodies.‘Selections’ will be available for purchase and use from 1 December 2012 and will be bolstered by a micro-website and an 80-page brochure.“The launch of this program is an exciting development for us,” Qantas Holidays general manager wholesale Michael Londregan said. “It takes our relationship to a whole new level, whilst at the same time provides our key supply partners with an opportunity to join us at the table and strengthen their own connection with Travelscene’s retail distribution network.”last_img read more