ACV debuts Sun Collection brochure plus 5 product launch dates

first_img Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Travelweek Group ACV debuts Sun Collection brochure plus 5 product launch dates Tags: Air Canada Vacations Posted bycenter_img MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations’ new 2018/2019 Sun Collection brochure is hitting the stands with 700+ hotels – most offering all-inclusive packages – plus 13 ACV exclusive resorts, 35 semi-exclusive resorts and 100+ cruises.Destinations include Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, California, Florida and Las Vegas. Clients can choose from short and long stay options, additional guided excursions, and new destinations of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Belize.Extra capacity comes in the form of 58 additional new flights to ACV’s sun destinations.“At Air Canada Vacations, we’re always looking to enhance our Sun Collection, year after year, so we can continue to offer our customers more choice and convenience. With our exclusive advantages, huge hotel repertoire, and flights aboard Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, it’s easy to turn travel dreams into reality,” says ACV’s Managing Director Nino Montagnese.The brochure arrives just two weeks after ACV revealed its 2018-19 winter sun highlights.The brochure news also arrives along with dates and cities for ACV’s fourth annual Dream Makers product launch, returning this fall.Agents are invited to join ACV to celebrate the new Sun Brochure 2018/2019 Collection. “We’re thrilled to present another great Dream Maker tour to launch our exciting new Sun Brochure and all it has to offer to our valued industry partners, travel agents and their customers,” said Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales, Groups & Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations. “The travel agency community is a key component in making travel dreams come true. This tour is really our way of saying thank you to our trade partners.”Here are the dates and cities, with further venue details and registration to follow in the coming weeks:More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthSept. 10: VancouverSept. 11: CalgarySept. 13: MontrealSept. 18: HalifaxSept. 20: TorontoAll #ACVDreamMakers events will take place 5 – 9 p.m. with cocktails, prizes, and live entertainment as well as a presentation from Air Canada Vacations’ senior executives, focusing on the 2018/2019 Collection.Here are more updates about the season to come with ACV:One new route has been announced as part of the 2018 winter flight schedule. Vancouver (YVR) to Lihue, Hawaii (LIH) will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting on Dec. 15.Vancouver and Calgary flights to Hawaii, Vancouver flights to Mexico, and Calgary flights to Cancun will be serviced on Air Canada’s new 737 MAX aircraft.New addition St. Vincent & the Grenadines comes with seven hotels in the ACV brochure. Air Canada Rouge will also be offering nonstop Toronto to St. Vincent flights on Thursdays and Sundays.Also new, Belize is featured in the ACV brochure with four hotels. Air Canada Rouge will also be offering nonstop Toronto-to-Belize flights on Mondays and Fridays.In addition to Mexico and the Caribbean ACV’s new Sun Collection also includes trips to Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas and California. Air Canada Vacations offers savings of $100 per couple all year long when booking a package 90 days prior to departure to one of these sunny destinations.With Air Canada Vacations’ Early Booking Bonus, bookings made by Sept. 9, 2018 mean savings of $600 per family ($200 per adult and $100 per child ages 2 to 12) and include an additional eight free days of airport parking.Clients can also take advantage of ACV’s new CareFlex Plan, priced at $49 per person. CareFlex allows travellers to change their booking, transfer their package, and cancel with a full refund up to three days before departure.More news: Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemNew this year, Air Canada Vacations will honour the original contract price for any additional passengers if their group size increases by up to 20%. Clients who book a group of eight adults pay a $300 deposit while getting $2,000 in savings. The offer is valid for packages made by Oct. 31, 2018 and for departures between Nov. 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019.Couples who tie the knot with a destination wedding can get a $500 flight credit per group for bookings made by Oct. 31, 2018. Newlyweds also get extra perks like a complimentary site inspection, free seat selection, two free upgrades, including access to the Maple Leaf lounge, and a $500 future travel credit for their next vacation.Other group booking perks include: fly and stay free, block seat selection on flights, Group Price Drop, Group Price Match, no deposit for 90 days, private transfers, dedicated group coordinators, and access to the Maple Leaf lounge with Business class or Premium Rouge.With ACV’s Cruise Promise, if clients find a flight with Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge at a lower price, ACV pay for the flight. “That’s right, if you find a lower price for your cruise airfare at the time of booking with us, we’ll pay the entire cost of the flight for all passengers on the booking!” says the tour operator. A new exclusive addition for ACV’s Cruise product lineup is Martinique and the Antilles sailings onboardthe Costa Magica, starting Dec. 27, 2018.Air Canada Vacations’ program collections include Spotlight, Luxe, Family, Boutique, Adults Only and Spa. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Club Med manages its new Iframe tool agents reap the rewards

first_img MONTREAL — Club Med’s new ‘I-frame’ online tool gives all travel agencies the opportunity to showcase Club Med’s offerings at all times on third party websites.The all-inclusive pioneer says the I-frame is the latest addition to Club Med’s arsenal of trade sales tools, aimed at helping travel agents fulfill their clients’ bucket lists, boost their business and provide efficient information to their clients.Club Med says the I-frame is a vertical content block that any travel agency can incorporate into their website on a dedicated page of their choice.The content of the block is managed by Club Med, “guaranteeing constant upscale branding, as well as up-to-date and relevant information about Club Med offers and resorts”. It is hosted on the travel agency’s website, with its own call to action.Travel agent Laurent with Voyages Paradis tells Club Med: “I-frame is truly a great tool. It’s modern while still remaining very user-friendly. All of Club Med’s latest offers and promotions are available with one click, alongside presentations of the resorts, and much more. This feature is ergonomic, has a great aesthetic and we are confident it will help us increase our sales.”More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upI-frames can be incorporated by a travel agency’s webmaster at any time, says Club Med. A step-by-step installation guide is available on ClubMedAgents.ca.Once installed the I-frame does not require any work or maintenance from the agency, however Club Med recommends that there be a simple path with a direct link from the homepage or the website’s navigation bar to the I-frame, to ensure the Club Med I-frame is easily accessible for the customer.“It is very important for us to invest in tools that help our indirect travel partners grow their business,” says Jacinda Lowry, National Sales Director. “With online distribution channels at the centre of the customer booking journey, it is key that travel agencies always have up-to-date and engaging Club Med content on their website. The I-frame is a win-win solution, with no extra work for the agency and user-friendly content for their customers. We hope that numerous travel agencies will take this opportunity and implement this tool that we developed specifically for them.”More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe I-frame’s design also allows the client to navigate from any platform: desktop, tablet or mobile phone, adds Lowry. Tags: Club Med, Technology Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Club Med manages its new I-frame tool, agents reap the rewards

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Goway has a new Downunder Specialist

first_img TORONTO — Goway has added a new specialist to its Destination Downunder team.Vaneeta Michie is the newest member of the company’s Wholesale South Pacific reservations department, bringing with her over 20 years of travel industry experience.Born in Fiji, Michie moved to Canada with her family when she was a child, and later embarked on a 20+ career in selling the South Pacific.“We are pleased to welcome Vaneeta to the team at Goway. Her enthusiasm, industry experience and expertise will be greatly beneficial to our South Pacific specialist division,” said Shirley Rourke, Goway’s General Manager for Downunder.Michie can be reached at (416) 322-1034 or 1-800-387-8850 ext. 6951, or via email at vaneeta@goway.com. Posted by Share Travelweek Group Thursday, November 1, 2018 center_img Tags: Australia, Goway << Previous PostNext Post >> Goway has a new Downunder Specialistlast_img read more

Air Italy welcomes TorontoMilan service

first_imgTo learn more about Air Italy see airitaly.com. Travelweek Group Share Air Italy welcomes Toronto-Milan service Posted by TORONTO — Building on the success of its U.S. gateways, Air Italy has launched its new Toronto-Milan nonstop flights.The first flight took off yesterday, adding Toronto to the airline’s North American network along with New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Air Italy announced the new service back in December 2018.At a luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto yesterday, representatives of Air Italy discussed the new service and future plans for the airline. Operating six times weekly (daily excluding Thursday) seasonally until Oct. 25, the Airbus A330-200s will provide 24 flatbed seats in business class and 228 seats in economy. When discussing the importance of the integration of Milan and Toronto, Rossen Dmitrov, COO of Air Italy, said: “Toronto is a global and diverse city where you can learn about each others’ backgrounds and culture. In Italy, apart from dining, shopping and everything else, it is easy to fall in love being there.”The Milan Malpensa hub features 28 Air Italy desks, 3 VIP lounges and 110 stores. Transfers in and out of this airport are made easy with bus connections, taxis and car hires all available to travellers. Onboard the Toronto-Milan service, business class customers can enjoy free inflight WiFi service, extensive inflight entertainment, and a concept new as of last month, Air Italy’s dining-on-demand service. Guests will be able to choose from an à la carte menu at any time, to create their own unique dining experience.Featuring menus created by experienced chefs, entirely new tableware, and gelato created from natural ingredients, Air Italy says it hopes to have its guests experience products, service and delivery that will meet their expectations. Air Italy’s business objective is to transport 10 million passengers per year by 2022 travelling to, from and via Italy. Dimitrov believes this year is a real opportunity for Air Italy “to showcase who we are and what we offer,” focusing on Air Italy as “a completely different type of brand, and we have invested very heavily into our people and training our people and services.” The employees of Air Italy have been trained in not only service and delivery training, but also emotional intelligence to ensure a positive experience for those who choose to fly with Air Italy and come back for future journeys, he added. Air Italy’s loyalty program is a tiered benefits program. Further announcements are to come soon. As an additional celebration, Air Italy announced its partnership with Pride Toronto and Milano Pride to sponsor Sofia Bulgaria Pride. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Obama finishes trip to Central America reaffirms hopes for immigration reform

first_imgPresident Barack Obama on Saturday completed a three-day visit to Mexico and Costa Rica and now returns to Washington with hopes of finishing what could become the biggest accomplishment of his second term: an overhaul of immigration laws.Obama has said repeatedly during his trip to Mexico City and San Jose that he strongly supports a bipartisan Senate bill that rewrites immigration laws, even if it does not precisely match his vision. The Senate Judiciary Committee is accepting proposed amendments to the bill through Tuesday before taking it up on Thursday. A full Senate vote is expected in June.“This bill is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted — including me,” Obama said Saturday in his weekly address. “So there’s no reason that immigration reform can’t become a reality this year.”Even as many Republicans say they support an overhaul of immigration laws, it is still expected to be a long process, with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a leader of the effort, saying last week that the current Senate agreement would not make it through the Republican-controlled House.But during the trip, Obama expressed confidence that a final bill would not only gain his support by including a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States but also ultimately pass Congress.“I would expect that not only will I be supportive, but also I think we can get it through the House,” Obama told Univision in Mexico on Friday before leaving for Costa Rica. “It’s the smart thing to do.”In comments later Friday at a news conference in Costa Rica, the president reaffirmed that he believes the gay and lesbian partners of U.S. citizens should be treated in the same way as straight people under immigration laws.Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee chairman, has suggested he would introduce an amendment to the bill to accomplish this goal, but Republicans have said it would be a poison pill, and there is little expectation it will be in the final version.“I’ve said in the past that the LGBT community should be treated like everybody else,” Obama said. “That’s, to me, the essential, core principle behind our founding documents.”He did not say the LGBT component was critical.“I think that this comprehensive immigration bill has the opportunity to do something historic that we have not done in decades,” Obama said. “But I don’t expect that, after we’re finished with it, that people are going to say, there’s not a single problem that we have with our immigration system, any more than is true after any piece of legislation that we pass.”Before leaving Costa Rica on Saturday morning, Obama said that tough border security would remain a key element of his approach to immigration and policy in the region.“You can’t separate out the dangers and challenges and concerns of the border from the enormous opportunities that a well-managed, well-regulated border presents,” Obama told a business conference in San Jose.Obama spent most of his time in Mexico and Costa Rica speaking to local leaders and citizens, but the trip had a backdrop of domestic U.S. politics — a point Obama acknowledged in Mexico City.“Without the strong support of Latinos, including so many Mexican Americans, I would not be standing today as president of the United States,” Obama said in a speech in Mexican City on Friday. “That’s the truth.”Obama began his trip Thursday in Mexico City, where he met with the new Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto.There, he pushed for deeper economic ties at a time when the Mexican economy is increasingly a source of growth in the United States and a buyer of American-made goods and services.“Right now, over 40 percent of our exports go to the Americas. And those exports are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world,” Obama said in his weekly address. “That’s why I visited Latin America this week — to work with leaders to deepen our economic ties and expand trade between our nations.”But the focus was also on security, where Obama acknowledged that the relationship between U.S. and Mexican law-enforcement and intelligence agencies is changing under Pena Nieto, who has sought to scale back the United States’ role in confronting drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico.The new posture is raising concerns among some U.S. officials who worry it will hurt years of efforts to stem the flow of drugs over the border. But Obama accepted the new approach, saying the Mexican people have the right to conduct internal security as they desire.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Montezuma woman launches campaign to make movie pave road

first_imgSome years ago, Kelly Mason, a filmmaker from Canada, received a “mystical message.” The message told her to move to Montezuma, a remote beach town on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Mason is not one to ignore mystical messages, so she did move to Montezuma, and she brought her two children with her.Mason expected to land in paradise, and in some ways she did. But as soon as she arrived, the unpaved roads became a problem. Mason and her family quickly grew ill from the dust, and so did others in the community, especially the children, Mason says. She decided to try to change things with film and fundraising.“There are more than 500 children inhaling massive amounts of toxic bacterial road dust daily,” says a statement in the trailer for the film, “Pave the Road.” According to Mason, this statement is based on doctors’ opinions gathered at the local Cóbano clinic, the Children’s Hospital in San José and a doctor at a private clinic.The “Pave the Road” trailer is part of Mason’s Indiegogo campaign in which she is trying to raise $250,000 to finish the film and pave the roads in front of seven schools on the Nicoya Peninsula. The seven schools are: Escuela Futuro Verde, Hermosa, Santa Teresa, Cabuya, Delicias, San Isidro and Malpaís.The trailer is full of interviews with locals from the community who tell stories of their children getting sick: some with asthma, some have been hospitalized and hooked up to IVs, and some have even been pulled out of school by their parents who have made the decision to sacrifice their children’s education for the benefit of their health.“In the pharmacy, we notice when summer comes how the possibility of asthma increases for the people. The children have more respiratory infections or skin allergies from the excess dust,” says one pharmacist. Government officials, such as the director of the National Roadway Council, as well as doctors from around Costa Rica, are also expected to appear in the film.Twelve days in, and with 35 to go, the campaign has only raised $1,205. On July 31, the deputy mayor of Cóbano gave her approval of the project and offered the use of the town’s machines for paving the roads.When asked where the money goes, Mason said, “the nonprofit organization we are partnered with (From the Heart Productions) and Indiegogo combined take approximately a 10 percent commission on the total funds raised. We have allocated $50,000 for the film and $175,000 for the road. The first $25,000 goes to paving a road in front of one of the schools, the next $5,000 goes toward the film, the next $25,000 goes to another road, the next $5,000 to the film, and it works with that rhythm for the budget of $250,000. If we raise less than $25,000, then no roads get paved and the money goes towards completing the film.”Donations to the “Pave the Road” campaign are tax deductible in countries that permit deductions for contributions to verified nonprofits. Like many other crowdfunding campaigns, there are several perks being rewarded for different levels of contributions. For more information, visit the “Pave the Road” website: http://www.pavetheroad.net/. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Service dogs welcomed in most Costa Rican restaurants

first_imgNo related posts. When Sarah and her poodle Ashley arrived at a popular steakhouse in La Fortuna, in northern Costa Rica, they were hoping to satisfy their hunger and get some relief from the sun’s heat. But as soon as they took a seat at a table under the shade of the restaurant’s front awning, they were asked to leave.Sarah asked to speak with the manager, who said they were welcome to stay, but they had to sit at a picnic table behind the restaurant, which was in direct sunlight. Disappointed, they left.It shouldn’t have happened. Ashley the poodle was trained and certified in the United States to recognize if her owner, Sarah, is going to have a seizure. Sarah is accustomed to traveling everywhere with Ashley.“Up to the point of the La Fortuna restaurant, and one other restaurant in San José, near the airport Holiday Inn, I’ve had a very accepting, and welcoming experience in Costa Rica,” Sarah, who asked that we not use her last name, said.The rejection came as a surprise, considering the permissiveness of a law regarding service animals in the U.S. Costa Rica hasn’t quite caught up.In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. This U.S. federal law allows people with disabilities to take their service animals anywhere, and it does not require the service animal to wear a vest or a tag or other identification. All the owner has to do is say, “It’s a service animal,” say what work or task it performs, and the animal must be admitted.The 2010 U.S. ADA legislation defines a service animal as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” Some state and local laws define service animal more broadly. In some areas of the U.S., snakes, lizards, chickens, pigeons and rodents have been declared service animals, allowing them to ride public transportation, live in apartments and enter private businesses.In Costa Rica, the laws have yet to define “service animal.” In fact, up until 2008, the term “perro guía” (“seeing-eye dog” or “guide dog”) was the only animal written in to legislation concerning disabilities. The 2008 legislation, Law 8661, introduced a broader term than guide dog: “assistance must be offered through humans or animals or intermediaries, i.e. sign language professionals, guides or readers, to facilitate access to public places.”While the language seems extremely vague, the government-appointed National Council for Special Education and Rehabilitation (CNREE) states that this law allows for broader definition of animal than “guide dog.”“This law … refers to the use of animal assistance in general, and not specifically for people with visual disabilities, but for people with disabilities who require animal assistance,” the CNREE states.So the La Fortuna steakhouse was in the wrong, acting against Costa Rican law by not permitting Sarah and Ashley to eat in the restaurant. Curious about whether this was a singular incident, I called a few more places around Costa Rica to ask whether a service animal would be permitted. At each restaurant, the person who answered the phone put me on hold to consult with someone else. The answer was always the same though: There would be no problem at all.Many restaurants in Costa Rica are seemingly accepting of service dogs. I wonder, though, how accepting they would be of service iguanas or snakes? Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The Prague Ballet an international blues festival and other happenings around Costa

first_imgMusic: International Blues FestivalChicago blues legend Steve Arvey plays acoustic blues at El Sótano, along with special guest David Scott. Other acts include MG and the Blues Burners, JR Blues Band, Navil Garcia, and others.Festival takes place Aug. 21 & 22 at El Sótano, Barrio Amón. 7:30 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: El Sótano Facebook page.Dance: The Prague BalletDirect from the Czech Republic, the famed Prague Ballet presents classical choreography for two nights at the National Theater.The Prague Ballet performs Aug. 17 & 18 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Sun., 5 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m. ₡16,500-46,000 ($33-92). Info: National Theater website.Music: Limón Roots Festival of African CultureJazz, piano, and the Trinidad and Tobago Dance Company – this festival and awards ceremony celebrates the African diaspora at the National Theater. Produced by “Limón Roots,” the magazine of the Greater Caribbean.“Festival Afro Cultural Limón Roots” takes place Aug. 20 at the National Theater, downtown San José. 7 p.m. ₡8,000-25,000 ($16-50). Info: Event Facebook page.Sports: NCCWMA 2014 ChampionshipSeasoned athletes from around the world converge on San José to compete in the 2014 North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics Championship. None of these track-and-field stars is younger than 30, and the majority are older – but they still sprint like champions.The NCCWMA Championship takes place Aug. 21-24 at the National Stadium, La Sabana. Info: Offical website.Dance: Mediterranean CelebrationSeveral dance shows explore the unique culture and movement of Mediterranean peoples, from Greece to the Levant. The show is a collaboration between The National Dance Company, the group Luna del Desierto, and others.“Fiestas del Mediterraneo” presents Aug. 17 at the Teatro de la Danza, CENAC building, downtown San José. 7 p.m. ₡6,500 ($13). Info:Teatro de la Danza Facebook page.Film: “Ten Days Without Love”Miguel is having the worst time of his life, and not just because his wife is having an affair and his wallet’s been stolen. Catch this free screening of the 2001 comedy by Miguel Albaladejo at the Spanish Cultural Center.“El Cielo Abierto” screens Aug. 21 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Cultural Center website. Related posts:Dinosaurs, The Elephants, and other happenings around Costa Rica 30 Seconds to Mars concert, short film festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica Final World Cup showdown, viral theater, and other happenings around Costa Rica Guitar Festival, French cinema, and other happenings around Costa Rica Tribute to José JoséThe Philharmonic Orchestra and singer Manuel José pays homage to José José, the beloved Mexican crooner and musician.Concert takes place Aug. 16 at the Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. ₡15,000-29,000 ($30-60). Info: Philharmonic Facebook page.Art: “Dirty Game”Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.Theater: “Amadeus”Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about the life of Mozart (and his bitter rival, Salieri) receives an epic production at Teatro Espressivo.“Amadeus” plays Aug. 7 – Oct. 12 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Theater: “Virus”What is the nature of sickness? Costa Rican playwright Ana Istarú explores this theme in “Virus,” her new drama at the Vargas Calvo Theater. Read our review here.“Virus” plays through Aug. 31 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: National Theater website.Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents ₡1,000 ($2), foreigners ₡1,500 ($3), students ₡500 ($1). Info: MADC website.Enamorate de tu ciudadYes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website and Facebook page.Art: Paintings by Fabio RojasThe artist presents a series of landscapes at the University College of Cartago.The exhibition will display Aug. 8-29 at the University College of Cartago. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free. Info: University website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Dylans restored basement tapes with The Band set for debut

first_img© 2014, Blomberg News Facebook Comments Related posts:Hey NFL, are you out of your #$@% minds? Leonard Cohen announces new album for 80th birthday Stevie Wonder revisits landmark album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ Selena died 20 years ago – why we’re still talking about her LOS ANGELES, California — Bob Dylan’s famous recording from 1967 with the group that became The Band will be released in a newly restored CD set in November.“Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11” was compiled from restored original tapes, many found only recently, Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings said Tuesday in a statement. The collection will include a six-CD set and a separate two-CD collection dubbed “Raw.” Both will be released on Nov. 4.The recordings were made following the singer’s 1966 motorcycle accident, according to Columbia. Dylan, now 73, joined the future members of The Band, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and later Levon Helm, in the basement of a small house in West Saugerties, New York, and taped more than 100 songs.Hudson worked with producer Jan Haust to restore the tapes, which had deteriorated over time and include some recordings that have only recently been discovered.The Basement Tapes first began appearing as a bootleg album called “Great White Wonder” in 1969. The music was commercially unavailable until 1975, when Columbia released 16 songs on “The Basement Tapes” album, which also also included eight numbers by The Band.The six-CD main set includes Dylan classics such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” along with The Band’s “I Shall be Released.”Columbia, part of Sony, also plans to issue “The Basement Tapes Raw” as a three-LP set on 180-gram vinyl, Columbia said.The package will compete with “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes,” a 20-song collection of songs Dylan hadn’t finished at the time of the original Basement Tapes recordings.Produced by T. Bone Burnett and due to be released by Universal Music Group on Nov. 11, it will feature the work of contemporary singer-songwriters including Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford.last_img read more

Costa Rica court suspends fraud trial against Luis The Cuban Milanés citing

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica court hands Luis Milanés, aka ‘The Cuban,’ 15-year prison sentence Citigroup pays $180 million to settle hedge fund fraud case Shooting evokes some of the darkest days from the United States’ past Alcatel-Lucent makes $10 million payment to Costa Rica’s ICE in corruption settlement A fraud trial in Costa Rica against 63-year-old Cuban-American businessmanLuis Angel Milanés Tamayo was suspended Monday morning following a request by a defense attorney who said his client suffers health problems.A criminal court in San José granted attorney Hugo Navas’ request based on medical reports stating that Milanés’ heart condition prevented him from attending the trial. Milanés was scheduled to attend court at 8 a.m., but he arrived with his lawyer at about 10 a.m. to file the request.Milanés, aka “The Cuban,” is facing a fraud trial for the sudden closure in 2002 of his “investment” company, Savings Unlimited. That same year he fled Costa Rica after a group of about 500 victims – mostly U.S. and Costa Rican citizens – denounced him for allegedly making off with $46 million of their money. After six years on the run, Milanés was arrested on June 19, 2008 at an airport in El Salvador, where local police nabbed him with someone else’s Costa Rican passport.In May 2011, he reached an agreement with plaintiffs and pledged to begin paying them by using nine properties with an estimated value of $12 million. He also promised to give them $1.8 million in cash by November 2012.A criminal court last September ordered Milanés to be brought to trial and prosecuted after he failed to pay back more than half a million dollars of that settlement.Last November the owners of a San José business group that included Milanés closed a hotel and two casinos and laid off 250 employees. Attorney Hugo Navas, also the group’s attorney, at the time said the closure was due to high operating costs.Milanés was ordered to undergo health evaluations by Judicial Police forensic experts on Monday afternoon in order to reschedule his appearance in court. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica TV spot competes in World Tourism Organization contest

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican sloths promote tourism at Los Angeles building 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 The singing sloths and sea turtles from the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT)’s TV spot are attracting not only tourists but also international recognition. The ad is a finalist in a first-ever international competition held by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).The “Save the Americans”/“Save the Canadians” spot is part of ICT’s ad campaign aimed at promoting Costa Rica as a holiday oasis and the ideal place to take a break from daily stress in these countries. Canada and the U.S. are two of the main sources of tourists to Costa Rica.The spot was produced in Costa Rica and includes the participation of Tico vocal group Master Key, which performed the voices of a singing sloth, a bird, turtles, scarlet macaws and a howler monkey who invite overworked Americans and Canadians to come to Costa Rica.Videos were submitted from 51 countries and the winner will be chosen by popular vote. The winner will be announced during the 21st General Assembly of the UNWTO to be held in Medellín, Colombia, Sept. 12-17.The video already won a “Webby” for Best Online Film & Video in the “Travel & Adventure” category.Destination Marketing Association International also chose the campaign as a success case in promoting a destination, during its international forum last July.ICT Promotions Director Ireth Rodriguez said the promotional spot is an invitation for those who have not visited the country to consider Costa Rica as their next vacation destination.The $3.3 million campaign began in December 2014 and will continue through January 2016. The singing animals spot is being shown on TV, in movie theaters. In the coming days, it will also be projected on buildings in the U.S. and Canada.You can vote for Costa Rica’s spot here. The deadline for voting is Sept. 10.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM4kdy39ZIY Facebook Commentslast_img read more

PHOTOS Nicaraguans in Costa Rica on protests in their home country

first_imgSandinista stronghold calls for Nicaraguan leader to end repression María Chavarría Hernández migrated from Matagalpa, Nicaragua 45 years ago and now lives in La Carpio. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosMaría Chavarría Hernández María, 57, was born in Matagalpa. She’s a widow and migrated to Costa Rica with her children. Once she arrived in Costa Rica, she had to play both role of father and mother and says she is thankful to Costa Rica for providing her opportunities for her children, who now work and study. She now works at a soda (restaurant) at the Sector San Vicente in La Carpio. She has various family members living in Matagalpa and is saddened and worried about the situation of Nicaragua and how it endangers her family.“I fear for my family because with this situation people die, whether it’s someone who is doing bad things or someone who just happens to pass by. As they say: in a war, a bullet does not ask if it’s a good or bad person who’s in front of it. I’m very afraid because I have my mother and my brothers over there.” Josefa Torres Chavarría, 83, migrated from Chontales. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosJosefa Torres ChavarríaJosefa, 83, was born in Chontales. She migrated to Costa Rica because one of her sons was killed and she was then persecuted. She now lives in the San Vicente Sector of La Carpio, where her granddaughter has a small soda and sells food. Josefa says she really does not want to know much about Nicaragua because she has an established life her.e“We listen to the news, which tell us how the people are doing. I heard that the water was going to be taken away and that things are really bad as well as a lot of matacinga (killing) of people.” Irania Ayudid Molina migrated from Nicaragua one year ago and now lives in the San Vicente Sector of La Carpio. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosIrania Ayudid MolinaIrania, 21, was born in Estelí. One year ago she migrated to Costa Rica and now lives in the San Vicente Sector of La Carpio, where she works at a soda. She has various family members living in Nicaragua and she’s mostly worried about one of her brothers who’s a college student in Managua.“My brother’s in college. You really feel bad because you wouldn’t wish for him to have those things happen to him just for going outside to demand his rights. To just go outside to march peacefully for a right that’s ours. We’re doing really badly.”This photo story was possible thanks to a collaboration between journalists Augusto Bolaños from Vecinos Activos, La Carpio’s local digital news site, and Elizabeth Lang, Assistant Editor of The Tico Times. Marisol Quezada is the director of SIFAIS’s entrepreneurship project Entre Costuras, located at the Cueva de Luz building. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosMarisol Quezada Marisol, 43, was born in Chinandega, Nicaragua. When she was only 19 years old, she migrated to Costa Rica in search of a better life. In recent years, she led a tailoring workshop at the community organization SIFAIS and became the director for the Entre Costuras initiative. She has family members living in Managua, Chinandega, León and Estelí. Her main worry right now is that she can’t send money to her family members and that there’s no peace in her home country.“The situation in Nicaragua is very critical. It even affects us because those of us who are here can’t even send things over there because the banks are closed. I’d always ask God… to look for a way to mediate the situation in peace. Our national hymn is so nice. I’m Nicaraguan and I always say it. There’s a part of the hymn that says: ‘nor is it stained with brothers’ blood.’” Alexander Ariel Amador García is a Nicaraguan who was born in León and migrated 5.5 years ago to Costa Rica. He now works at a barbershop in the Sector Central of La Carpio. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosAlexander Ariel Amador GarcíaAlexander is 28 years old and was born in León. He migrated to Costa Rica five years ago and found a job working with his cousin in a barbershop. He says he’s very grateful for the opportunities that Costa Rica has provided him, and that he has had a good experience in the country. He has family members living in Corinto, Chinandega, León, Villanueva, Managua and León. His main worries and concerns for his country right now are that Nicaragua won’t be able to progress; he just wants peace.“It’s time for everything to end and for someone else to come and govern. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone from the same party or from a different party, but it has to be someone who governs and has good initiatives for the country to go forward.” Alicia Avilés is Nicaraguan teacher who migrated to Costa Rica because of the harsh economic and political conditions she experienced in her home country. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosAlicia AvilésAlicia is 53 years old and was born in Managua. When she lived in Nicaragua she worked as a teacher; after she protested against the government, she was politically persecuted. Due to those harsh conditions she migrated to Costa Rica and is now a community leader and activist, as well as a cornerstone of the SIFAIS organization. Her wishes right now for her home country is for human rights and freedoms to be respected.“These people are persecuted for protesting, for exercising their freedom of expression. I beg the international human rights’ [institutions] to allow me to make a formal complaint and for that man [Daniel Ortega] to be given the incarceration he deserves, because this persecution did not begin now.” La Carpio, on the western outskirts of San José, is the largest binational community in Central America. Its Nicaraguan population makes up 50.2 percent of the shantytown’s total, according to sociologist Karina Hernández and researcher Carlos Sandoval.The Tico Times joined forces with Vecinos Activos, a community news site focused on La Carpio, to explore the neighborhood on a sunny morning and speak with Nicaraguan citizens living in Costa Rica about the recent protests and violence in their home country. Excerpts follow. Víctor Manuel Castillo has been living in Costa Rica for about 20 years and works at the Panadería y Repostería Habacuc near La Carpio’s main street. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosVíctor Manuel CastilloVíctor, 48, was born in Granada. He has been living in Costa Rica for about 20 years. in Costa Rica. In Nicaragua he was a soldier, but says he decided to leave because he had no interest in violence. He currently works at the Panadería y Repostería Habacuc, located near La Carpio’s main street. He has family members living in Granada and his main concern for his home country is the fact that he believes the country won’t be able to re-emerge.“If the country will re-emerge, it’s [because of] the students. Otherwise, the country won’t generate anything else. It will always live in poverty. Supposedly one studies in order to progress; if you marginalize students, you take everything away from them. The country will live in poverty.” Quxa Zárate migrated from León and owns a pulpería in the Sector Roble Norte of La Carpio. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosQuxa ZárateQuxa, 55, was born in León. Thirty years ago she left Nicaragua in order to be able to provide a good life for her six daughters. She owns a small grocery store with her husband in the Roble Norte Sector of La Carpio. Some of her family members live in León. She says she’s worried for her country because of all the suffering that they’ve endured historically, and because of current threats to young people’s freedoms.“We just want him [Daniel Ortega] to leave. We want him to allow young people to work. We want him allow them to progress and for him to allow others to have opportunities. We want peace and not more of this. It’s too much. Nicaragua has suffered too much.” Santos Delgadillo works as a shoemaker at the Zapatería Sadera in the Sector Roble Norte of La Carpio. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos ActivosSantos DelgadilloSantos is 54 years old and was born in Managua. He arrived in Costa Rica in 1984 after fleeing from obligatory military service. After settling down in Costa Rica he became a shoemaker and works at the Zapatería Sadera, a place which has given him the chance to earn a living in a country. He says he is grateful to Costa Rica for receiving him. His three sons live in Juigalpa, Chontales, and he says that what he hears and sees from his home country causes him great pain.“For me it’s very painful. I see that they’re deaths in vain because of a president who suppresses the citizenry. From 1980 until now, it has been repression. I’m even one of those who came to this country because of the obligatory military service that he implemented in Nicaragua. He basically obliged Nicaraguans to kill Nicaraguans.” Facebook Comments Related posts:PHOTOS: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica gather to support their country during hard times Sandinista stronghold calls for Nicaraguan leader to end repression Truth Commission calls for support to investigate violence in Nicaragua Nicaraguan crisis leaves vital street market with economic bruiseslast_img read more

China urges Iran to show flexibility pragmatism

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Iran is expected to head into the next round of talks, on June 18-19 in Moscow, with the same general demands that fell flat last month in Baghdad, the first main negotiating session since the effort was revived in April.Before moving forward in the talks, Iran wants an easing of sanctions targeting its critical oil exports and blackballing the country from international banking networks.Iran insists it has no intention of making nuclear arms and says its reactors are only for energy and medical applications.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Top Stories Sponsored Stories BEIJING (AP) – China urged Iran on Friday to show flexibility and pragmatism in international talks over its nuclear ambitions, in a sign of Beijing’s desire to help end tensions despite its opposition to tougher sanctions on Tehran.In a Beijing meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China’s leader Hu Jintao said progress had been made in talks last month in Baghdad that kept a dialogue going but still left huge gaps between Tehran and the six world powers with which it is negotiating, among them China. “China hopes the Iranian side can weigh up the situation, take a flexible and pragmatic approach, have serious talks with all six related nations, and enhance dialogues and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency so as to ensure the tensions can be eased through negotiations,” Hu told Ahmadinejad, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.China, Hu said, will “continue to play a constructive role in settling the issue through peaceful means.”The statement said Ahmadinejad spoke about Iran’s nuclear policies, but gave no details. It cited him as saying Iran hoped to ease tensions through talks and would maintain contact with all sides.China, along with Russia, has been criticized at times for maintaining warm ties with Tehran and opposing stiffer sanctions to compel it to shut down its highest-level uranium enrichment and meet other demands. Along with opposing new U.N. Security Council sanctions, Beijing says it is against unilateral measures aimed at pressuring Tehran and is adamantly opposed to any use of force over the issue.That stance is an outgrowth of Beijing’s strictly noninterventionist foreign policy, although China is also a major customer for Iranian oil and gas and Chinese companies are involved in major projects there such as road building and electricity production. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Mexico City man dies after falling in storm drain

first_imgMEXICO CITY (AP) – A Mexico City man who abandoned his car and tried to walk to safety on a flooded street has been found dead in a subterranean storm drain several blocks away.City civil defense spokeswoman Macarena Quiroz says the body of Gerardo Ortiz Gutierrez has been identified by relatives. He was apparently sucked into an open manhole cover last week.Quiroz said Wednesday that workers traced the drain route to the nearest grating meant to filter out refuse. They found the body there but had to break open the drain pipes to recover the corpse. Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The 53-year-old man’s car stalled late Thursday during rains that flooded city streets.Mexico City has uncommonly large and complex storm drainage because the city sits in a closed mountain valley with no natural outlet.(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 Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Top US regulators warn of new threats to financial system

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share It said that greater attention must be paid to developing ways to combat computer hackers and it urged greater collaboration among financial institutions and government agencies to share data that could help thwart a growing threat.“Over the past year, financial sector organizations and other U.S. businesses experienced numerous cyber incidents, including large-scale data breaches that compromised financial information,” the panel said in its report.The council was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act which Congress passed in the wake of the worst financial crisis in seven decades. It is chaired by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and includes representatives from other government financial regulatory agencies including the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.Lew was critical of legislation being pushed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, which Lew said would put the country at greater risks of another crisis.“Senator Shelby’s bill … contains changes to our financial regulatory framework that would roll back the clock and leave us with weakened oversight, fewer consumer protections and less effective tools to address risks in the system,” Lew said. “It would also needlessly tie this council in knots with delays and hurdles that would significantly impair our ability to identify and mitigate threats to financial stability, while leaving potential risk unchecked.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img WASHINGTON (AP) — The panel created to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis said Tuesday that banks and other financial institutions are stronger now but regulators must remain alert to new risks including the danger posed from cyberattack.In its annual report to Congress, the Financial Stability Oversight Council said recent cyberattacks have heightened concerns about the potential of even more destructive attacks that could significantly disrupt the workings of the financial system. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaks during a Financial Stability Oversight Council meeting at the Treasury Department in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, on the Council’s 2015 annual report and a discussion of charters for the Council’s committees. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Shelby’s bill would raise the asset threshold for banks whose failure would present the greatest risks to the financial system from $50 billion to $500 billion. These banks are subject to greater regulatory oversight. The measure also gives regulators greater oversight powers over the Federal Reserve.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who did not address the pending legislation in her remarks, said that the largest and most complex banking firms have made “great strides” in building up their capital cushions. But she said more work is needed to understand new threats posed by rapidly changing markets.“While we have made considerable progress in recent years in reforming the financial system, our job is not done,” Yellen said. “We must continually look ahead to new risks to build and maintain the resilient financial system that can support economic growth.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

AP PHOTOS Bolivia festival merges Catholic native culture

first_imgIn this May 30, 2015 photo, revelers of the Los Tinkus dance troupe perform during the annual parade in honor of “El Senor del Gran Poder,” or “The Lord of Great Power” in La Paz, Bolivia. The weeklong celebration is the city’s largest festival and a major showcase of Andean folklore. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia’s mix of Roman Catholic and indigenous traditions are on display across La Paz as thousands of costumed dancers perform during the annual feast of the Great Power, a raucous street party that celebrates a rendering of Jesus Christ with native features and outstretched arms.Brass bands marched and onlookers cheered over the weekend as the dancers performed elaborate routines in their quest for prizes. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments Share The individual troupes are often financed by a single leader. This year, Jose Gabriel Nina sponsored a group of men who wore giant masks and heavy handmade suits covered in pearly beads. They paraded down the street performing a traditional dance that is supposed to evoke the slaves who toiled in Andean mines under Spanish masters.“The Lord of Great Power has given me blessings. I’ve spared no expense here because this is an act of faith,” Nina said.In the poor neighborhood where the festival was born, street vendors compete for attention, offering food as well as herbs, potions and llama fetuses to be used as offerings to the Pachamama, a pre-Colombian native Earth mother figure revered in Bolivia.The festival rumbles on until Sunday.___Carlos Valdez on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cvaldezmJuan Karita on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juankaritaAP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6joCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The gathering of faithful fun-seekers traces its origins to a religious painting from the 17th century that depicts the Christian savior — El Senor del Gran Poder, or The Lord of the Great Power — with indigenous Andean features.Religious believers began parading the image through poor neighborhoods in the upper reaches of Bolivia’s capital in the 1930s. The quiet, candle-lit processions eventually morphed into a full-blown dance festival that spilled into the wealthier valley below.Today, the weeklong celebration is the city’s largest festival and a major showcase of Andean folklore. It has become so big that Bolivia is offering the Carnival-like event as a candidate for recognition by UNESCO.The 62 dance troupes that began performing last weekend reflect Bolivia’s mix of traditions. Women in traditional bowler heats pounded down the street alongside people dressed as conquistadors, men prancing in brightly colored ponchos, and dancers with painted faces performing ceremonial Inca steps. The most prestigious troupes boast foreign diplomats and local politicians as members.As many as 20,000 performers prepare for months, practicing moves, searching for flashy jewelry and embroidering elaborate outfits worth as much as $20,000 apiece. After the festival begins, hired bodyguards watch over the dancers to prevent robberies.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

EPA No widespread harm to drinking water from fracking

first_imgThe EPA assessment tracked water used throughout the fracking process, from acquiring the water to mixing chemicals at the well site and injecting so-called “fracking fluids” into wells, to collection of wastewater, wastewater treatment and disposal.The report identified several vulnerabilities to drinking water resources, including fracking’s effect on drought-stricken areas; inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below-ground migration of gases and liquids; inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources; and spills of hydraulic fluids and wastewater.Congress ordered the long-awaited report in 2010, as a surge in fracking fueled a nationwide boom in production of oil and natural gas. Fracking rigs have sprouted up in recent years in states from California to Pennsylvania, as energy companies take advantage of improved technology to gain access to vast stores of oil and natural gas underneath much of the continental U.S.Fracking involves pumping huge volumes of water, sand and chemicals underground to split open rock formations so oil and gas will flow. The practice has spurred an ongoing energy boom but has raised widespread concerns that it might lead to groundwater contamination, increased air pollution and even earthquakes. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “The Obama administration is now zero for four,” Inhofe said. “EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey and others have said that hydraulic fracturing is indeed safe.”But Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said fracking and related activities have the potential to severely impact the nation’s drinking water and endanger public health and the environment.“While the number of cases (where fracking has contaminated drinking water) may be small, the impacts to public health and safety are large,” Markey said. “EPA must ensure that these activities occur appropriately with robust safeguards to ensure clean and safe drinking water.”__Follow Matthew Daly: http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDCCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. But Lauren Pagel, policy director of the environmental group Earthworks, said: “Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years: Fracking pollutes drinking water.”“Now the Obama administration, Congress and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe,” she said.EPA officials said the report was not intended to prove whether fracking is safe, but instead was aimed at how state regulators, tribes, local communities and industry can best protect drinking water and reduce the risks of fracking. The report has cost $29 million since 2010, the EPA said, with another $4 million expected this year.“It’s not a question of safe or unsafe,” Tom Burke, deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development, said in a conference call with reporters.The issue for the EPA is “how do we best reduce vulnerabilities so we can best protect our water and water resources?’” Burke said.Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the report was “the latest in a series of failed attempts” by the Obama administration to link fracking to systemic drinking water contamination. 0 Comments Share 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img ErrorOK ErrorOK Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 new wells were drilled annually from 2011 to 2014, the report said. While fracking took place in at least 25 states, most of the activity occurred in four states: Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania and North Dakota.About 6,800 public drinking water sources serving more than 8.6 million people were located within 1 mile of a fracked well, the report said.The report identified 151 cases from 2006 to 2012 in which fracking fluids or chemicals spilled on or near a drilling well. The spills ranged from 5 gallons to more than 19,000 gallons, with equipment failure the most common cause. Fluids reached surface water in 13 cases and soil in 97 cases, the report said. None of the spills were reported to have reached groundwater.Industry groups hailed the EPA study as proof that fracking is safe, while environmental groups seized on the report’s identification of cases where fracking-related activities polluted drinking water.“After more than five years and millions of dollars, the evidence gathered by EPA confirms what the agency has already acknowledged and what the oil and gas industry has known: hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry-best practices,” said Erik Milito, upstream group director of the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s top lobbying group. Sponsored Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday in a report that also warned of potential contamination of water supplies if safeguards are not maintained.A draft study issued by the agency found specific instances where poorly constructed drilling wells or improper wastewater management affected drinking water, but said the number of cases was small compared to the large number of wells that use hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.last_img read more

Trade deal wipes out tariffs on more than 200 tech products

first_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home American companies sell $100 billion a year in products covered by the deal. U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman called the agreement “great news for the American works and businesses that design manufacture and export state-of-the-art technology and information products.”Froman’s office says the deal will support 60,000 American jobs.Not all 161 WTO member countries signed on to the expanded deal; 49 did. But all will benefit because it eliminates the tariffs on dozens of tech products no matter which WTO country they come from. Tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods.In order for the deal to take effect, however, countries signing the accord must account for 90 percent of global trade in technology products. Taiwan, a big producer of electronics, has faced considerable domestic pressure not to join. Along with four other countries — Thailand, Turkey, Columbia and Mauritius — Taiwan asked Friday for more time to consider the agreement.Talks on revising the technology agreement began in 2012. The breakthrough occurred when the U.S. and China worked out most of their differences during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington last November. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Negotiators still must complete technical details and a timetable for eliminating the tariffs. The work is expected to be complete by the time WTO trade ministers meet in Nairobi, Kenya, in December.Once implemented, the agreement will require countries to eliminate trade tariffs on most new-generation semi-conductors, satellite navigation systems, medical products that include magnetic resonance imaging machines, machine tools for manufacturing printed circuits, telecommunications satellites and touch screens within three years starting in 2016, the WTO said.“This deal will cut costs for consumers and business, in particular for smaller firms, which have been hit especially hard by excessive tariffs in the past,” EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement.___Jordans reported from Berlin.Associated Press Writer Geir Moulson contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology How men can have a healthy 2019 WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of countries have agreed to abolish duties on more than 200 technology products — from advanced computer chips to GPS devices, printer cartridges and video-game consoles.The agreement announced Friday marks the World Trade Organization’s first tariff-killing deal in 18 years.The deal is an expansion of the 1997 Information Technology Agreement.“Today’s agreement is a landmark,” said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo. “Annual trade in these 201 products is valued at over $1.3 trillion per year, and accounts for approximately 7 percent of total global trade today. This is larger than global trade in automotive products — or trade in textiles, clothing, iron and steel combined.”last_img read more

Europcar once again wins Worlds Leading Green Transport and Worlds L

first_imgSource = Europcar At the 2010 World Travel Awards ceremony on November 7 in London, Europcar was named for the second time the World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company, an environmental award launched in 2008. The company was also elected World’s Leading Car Hire Company for the fourth year in a row.The World Travel Awards are the “Oscars” of the travel industry, with 187,000 industry professionals voting for the best company in each category in seven regions of the world.Upon receiving the award, Europcar Groupe Global Marketing Director Jehan de Thé said, “We are truly proud to receive these awards once again. They represent industry recognition of our approach to environmental protection. They also confirm our role as a pioneer in raising awareness among our customers, in enhancing our service offering and in expanding our fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles.” Europcar’s environmentally friendly fleet includes vehicles which emit less than 140 grams of CO2 per kilometer, as well as models equipped with alternative engines (hybrid or electric) or engines that are compatible with biofuels, bio ethanol and natural gas. To further expand this nature of its fleet, Europcar recently signed a partnership agreement with PSA to launch two new-generation electric vehicles on the car rental market in 2011: the Peugeot iON and Citroen C-Zero. This partnership follows the pre-order of 500 Renault electric vehicles for delivery in Europe’s largest cities in the 3rd quarter of 2011.Europcar is giving maximum visibility to its environmentally friendly cars and encourages consumers to choose a “greener” car when making reservations. In addition to adding a section dedicated to eco-friendly cars on its web site, the Company provides specific information about the CO2 emissions of all models in its rental car fleet.To go even further in this area, Europcar is launching car2go service in Hamburg, Germany, in the spring of 2011. A unique concept in urban mobility, car2go will offer a fleet of 300 Smart Fortwo vehicles, which customers will be able to find and rent – without a reservation — around Hamburg, thanks to leading edge telematics. The service concept is environmentally friendly, notably because the car2go Smarts are equipped with a high energy efficiency engine and a solar panel on the roof. A car rental industry pioneer in environmental protection, Europcar opened its first “environmental” agency in Paris in 1999. The Group was also the first European company to develop an Environmental Charter, which was certified by Bureau Veritas in 2008.last_img read more

Singaporean flight searches soar for weekend getaway

first_imgColombo, Sri Lanka ranked fourth place in the fastest growing list, increasing by 168 per cent, followed by Hong Kong which saw an increase of 167 per cent since last month. In identifying the fastest growing travel destinations, Skyscanner found searches for flights to Shanghai have increased by 241 per cent, with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh following closely behind, showing that Vietnam continues to grow in popularity with Singaporean travellers. In the top ten overall most popular destinations list, Bali has come in top place closely followed by Bangkok, Hong Kong and Phuket, with Kuala Lumpur completing the list at the fifth most popular destination for Singapore travellers. As Singaporeans get ready to enjoy a long weekend celebrating national and religious holidays, flight searches on global travel search site Skyscanner have almost doubled in the last month alone. “We have recently seen a real preference for short breaks, with people clearly looking for different things from their holiday”, Skyscanner marketing manager Ira Novianqi said. “From shopping meccas in Shanghai and Hong Kong, getting amongst the energy of Vietnam to relaxing on beaches in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Singaporeans are keen to experience the best of Asia in a short time.” Source = ETB News; LBlast_img read more