WestJet profit hit by energy downturn and stumbles on new London flights

WestJet profit hit by energy downturn and stumbles on new London flights

first_imgTags: WestJet By: Ian Bickis Source: The Canadian Press Wednesday, July 27, 2016 CALGARY — Canada’s second-largest airline saw its profit take a hit in the second quarter as it continued to feel the pinch from the energy downturn and had a rocky start to its new U.K. route.WestJet reported earnings of $36.7 million for the months of April through June, a 40 per cent drop from the $61.6 million it had in net income for the same stretch last year.The Calgary-based airline said there was continued downward pressure on its fares as a result of the severe economic downturn in the energy sector in Alberta and Saskatchewan, contributing to a decline in its operating margin to 6.5 per cent from 10.7 per cent last year.Costs were also up because of early stumbles on its new destination to London’s Gatwick airport as the company dealt with flight delays and cancellations due to issues with the used Boeing 767 aircraft it added to its fleet for the route.CEO Gregg Saretsky said on a conference call Tuesday that the problems were heightened because the aircraft were delivered 55 days late.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamBut he said the “early teething pains” are being worked out and the route has operated at a 100 per cent completion rate so far this month.“It was a blip and the blip is behind us, knock on wood,” said Saretsky.Revenue for the company edged up slightly to $949.3 million from $942.0 million last year, despite continued weakness in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as the company continued to diversify its route offerings away from the two markets.On Monday, WestJet announced its winter schedule that included more flights to tropical destinations, while in June the company added non-stop flights between Kelowna, B.C., and Winnipeg and between Hamilton and Edmonton.Those cities are the same main flight hubs of NewLeaf, the low-cost air travel company that launched its maiden flight on Monday after months of delays.WestJet executive vice-president Bob Cummings said on the call Tuesday that they aren’t threatened by NewLeaf since it’s operating so few aircraft and WestJet has competitive advantages. But he said they’re keeping an eye on it.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTSaretsky said the new entrant was entering a tough market.“Canada is a very sparsely populated country, and this space that NewLeaf is competing in is a boneyard,” said Saretsky.“Just go back and think about JetsGo and Greyhound Air and Roots Air. None of them made it. It’s a difficult space, and we’re going to continue to protect our franchise.”NewLeaf chief operating officer Dean Dacko said in an interview that the company expected a very competitive environment, but is prepared for it.“In our business model, our costs are significantly lower than WestJet’s costs, and that’s why we’re able to offer the low fares that we have,” said Dacko.“Every time that WestJet looks to compete with us and come down to our level, they’re losing money, so it’s going to show up in their results, not ours.” Share WestJet profit hit by energy downturn and stumbles on new London flights << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Canadas Supreme Court agrees to hear case involving airlines treatment of obese

Canadas Supreme Court agrees to hear case involving airlines treatment of obese

first_img Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has granted Delta Air Lines leave to appeal a ruling that found a Halifax passenger rights advocate could stand up for obese people even though he isn’t overweight himself.The court ruled Thursday that it would look at an earlier Federal Court of Appeal ruling involving Gabor Lukacs and a complaint he had originally filed to the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2014.The complaint was over Delta’s practice of bumping obese travellers from flights or making them relocate or buy two seats on a plane, which Lukacs argued discriminates against large passengers and should be banned. The agency dismissed the complaint because it found that Lukacs had no private or public standing in the matter because he wasn’t directly affected by it.The federal appeal court disagreed in a ruling last September and ordered the agency to take another look at Delta’s policy.Lukacs said Thursday he was disappointed the top court had granted the leave to appeal, but said it might provide some needed clarity to the issue.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next month“This protracts the process of dealing with the substance of my complaint, which is whether this policy is discriminatory,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m very pleased that the Supreme Court recognizes that this is a matter of national importance and that finally there will be some legal certainty created here.”Delta and the agency did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.In its decision, the federal appeal court unanimously agreed that the fact that someone may not be directly affected by a practice should not prevent them from filing a complaint.“There is no sound reason to limit standing … to those with a direct, personal interest in the matter.”While the decision addressed a particular case, Lukacs said it could open the door to more people being able to file complaints with the agency – a quasi-judicial tribunal mandated to provide consumer protection for air passengers and ensure accessible transportation.The complaint stemmed from a 2014 email from a Delta customer care agent to a passenger who felt he was “cramped” on a flight by a large passenger. The passenger notified Delta, which provided him with an explanation of the airline’s guidelines.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsDelta said it sometimes asks large passengers to move to an area of the plane where there is more room, “purchase additional seats” or take another flight.Lukacs had argued that dismissing his complaint simply because the issue didn’t affect him personally was akin to disregarding someone’s concerns over contaminated food just because they weren’t made sick by it.As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for deciding to hear the case, saying only that the leave to appeal was granted without costs. The Canadian Press center_img Tags: Delta Air Lines Canada’s Supreme Court agrees to hear case involving airlines’ treatment of obese passengers Friday, February 24, 2017 last_img read more

Margaritavilles first inclusive resorts coming this winter by way of new Karisma

Margaritavilles first inclusive resorts coming this winter by way of new Karisma

first_img Posted by Travelweek Group Margaritaville’s first inclusive resorts coming this winter by way of new Karisma partnership Tags: Karisma Hotels & Reosrts, Margaritaville Sharecenter_img Monday, June 3, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> CANCUN — Margaritaville and Karisma Hotels & Resorts have announced a groundbreaking new partnership that will see the launch of Margaritaville’s first-ever collection of inclusive luxury resorts.Called Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma, the collection will comprise upscale, relaxed resorts built in beachfront destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. The first property – Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun by Karisma – will debut in Winter 2019.Additional locations have been confirmed in Mexico’s Riviera Maya (the second planned property), Jamaica, as well as Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic.A Signature Suite at Margaritaville Island Reserve by KarismaEncompassing upscale coastal design and top-quality food and beverage with a twist in tropical destinations, Karisma and Margaritaville will deliver a world-class Island Reserve Inclusive experience inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and bestselling author Jimmy Buffet.According to the two companies, the new milestone partnership marks the beginning of a long-term relationship to build and operate Margaritaville Island Reserve properties.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“Our partnership with Margaritaville delivers inclusive resorts unlike anything that has been done before where guests will enjoy unforgettably luxurious vacations without any pretense,” said Mandy Chomat, President at Premier Worldwide Marketing, the exclusive representative of Karisma Hotels & Resorts. “Margaritaville is an esteemed lifestyle brand that inspires guests to have a good time and relax. Coupled with our commitment to delivering elevated inclusive resorts with extraordinary service and amenities, along with wow moments, Margaritaville Island Reserve will be the ultimate destination for travelers to escape and have fun in the world’s most stunning beach locales.”Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, Chief Marketing Officer for Margaritaville, added: “With breathtaking beach views, friendly and anticipatory service and our signature Margaritaville state of mind, Margaritaville Island Reserve is truly the ‘Mi Casa es Su Casa’ experience guests deserve at an inclusive resort. We are thrilled to team up with Karisma Hotels & Resorts to create this collection of incredible properties that deliver carefree Island Reserve Inclusive® vacations in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”For more information go to margaritavilleislandreserveresorts.com.last_img read more

San Josés air among cleanest of Latin American cities

San Josés air among cleanest of Latin American cities

first_imgIf the air seems relatively clear in Costa Rica’s capital, it is. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts San José in fourth place in terms of air quality among Latin American cities.The Latin American city with the cleanest air is Salvador, Brazil, followed by Cali, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico. Still, only Salvador’s air has pollution levels below the WHO’s recommended average of 19 micrograms per cubic meter.On the other end of the ranking, the most polluted air in Latin America is in Cochabamba, Bolivia, followed by Lima, Peru, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Monterrey, Mexico.The WHO’s Ambient Air Pollution in Cities database ranks cities based on the annual mean concentration of particulate matter — including dust, ash, soot and pollen — in the outdoor air. Nearly 1,600 cities in 91 countries are included in the database.On a global level, people in Vancouver, Canada breathe the cleanest air of any urban center. Two Australian cities, Melbourne and Sydney, follow Vancouver, while Ottawa, Canada has the fourth best urban air.Four Indian cities have the worst air quality in the world, according to the WHO database: New Delhi, Patna, Gwalior and Raipur.Ambient Air Pollution in Cities, 2014Latin AmericaCleanest airSalvador (Brazil)Cali (Colombia)Guadalajara (Mexico)San José (Costa Rica)Grande Vitoria (Brazil)Buenos Aires (Argentina)Campinas (Brazil)Curitiba (Brazil)Montevideo (Uruguay)Quito (Ecuador)Most polluted airCochabamba (Bolivia)Lima (Perú)Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)Monterrey (Mexico)Toluca (Mexico)Guatemala City (Guatemala)Tegucigalpa (Honduras)Belo Horizonte (Brazil)Medellín (Colombia)Bogotá (Colombia)GlobalCleanest airVancouver (Canada)Melbourne (Australia)Sydney (Australia)Ottawa (Canada)Nagoya (Japan)Shizuoka (Japan)Brisbane (Australia)Sendai (Japan)Stockholm (Sweden)Porto (Portugal)Most polluted airNew Delhi (India)Patna (India)Gwalior (India)Raipur (India)Karachi (Pakistan)Peshawar (Pakistan)Rawalpindi (Pakistan)Ahmedabad (India)Lucknow (India)Kanpur (India) Related posts:New traffic signs aim to reduce wildlife deaths on Costa Rica’s roads US experts tracking wildlife trade help train Costa Rican customs inspectors Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupts, sends ash 3 km high Tortuguero business owners form new tourism chamber Facebook Commentslast_img read more

San Ramón celebrates International Guitar Festival and other happenings around Costa Rica

San Ramón celebrates International Guitar Festival and other happenings around Costa Rica

first_imgFestivities of San RamónThe city of San Ramón is celebrating its annual festivities this week. They began yesterday and will continue until September 7, with activities including family competitions, free concerts, traditional food, cultural activities, live music, dancing, parades, exhibitions and sports.“Festividades Patronales de San Ramón” takes place August 27 – September 7 at the central park of San Ramón, Alajuela. Free. For more information, call 8825-5382.Theater: “Amor Platoúnico”Spanish playwright David Desola tells the story of a married couple so used to each other’s existence that they barely notice each other – until the neighbor’s son discovers their plight and sets out to help them change their lives.“Amor Platoúnico” will be performed August 28-December 6, Fri – Sat at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 6 p.m. at Teatro La Fortina, Paseo de las Flores Mall in Heredia. ₡7,000 ($14). More info at La Fortina Theater Website.Dance: International Folkloric Dance FestivalIn celebration on the “month of folklore,” and thanks to the Latin American Folklore Association’s choice of Costa Rica for this year’s Festival, Belén will host dance couples from seven different countries: Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Brazil and Costa Rica.“Festival Folclórico Internacional de Parejas” takes place August 28 at Angel San Casimiro Salon in Belén, Avenida 0, Streets 0-2. For more information call 2587-0291.Music: XXI International Guitar FestivalThe famed festival last three nights, each with a different approach. Friday is “Cuban Night,” Saturday, “Spanish Night” and Sunday, “Brazilian Night,” all with performances by both international and Costa Rican artists.Friday August 28: Performances of Jorge Luis Zamora (Cuba-Costa Rica), Eduardo Martín (Cuba) and Edín Solís y Silvia Amaro (Costa Rica).Saturday August 29: Javier Conde, flamenco guitarrist, Zaira Santos, flalmenco dancer, and Paco El Levita, flamenco singer (all from España).Sunday August 30: Yamandu Costa (Brazil) and INM Camerata, director Jose Aurelio Castillo (Costa Rica)“XXI Festival Internacional de Guitarra” takes place August 28-30 at the National Theater, downtown San José. 8 p.m. ₡8,000 – 15,000. More info at the Festival’s Website or the National Theater Website. Courtesy of Festival Internacional de GuitarraPub Crawl: “Bienvenida de Soltera”A tour for single women who enjoy their single status and want to celebrate it. Organized by Carpe Chepe, the tour goes through four San José bars with activities, challenges and rewards; single guys are welcome to join the fun at any of the bars and participate in the challenges. The meeting point is at Craic IrishPub in San José’s Barrio La California. The cost includes the pass of the 4 bars, a shot at each one, guides and security.“Bienvenida de Soltera” takes place August 28 at Craic IrishPub in La California, San José. ₡8,000 ($16). For more information call 2221-9320 or visit the Carpe Chepe Facebook page.Tour: Retrace the National Campaign in 1856It has been 159 years since Costa Rican heroes fought against U.S. filibuster William Walker. To commemorate this historic event, the Juan Santamaria Museum in Alajuela is organizing walks that retrace the Costa Rican Army’s paths during the Campaign in 1856. One walk explores Alto de Monte in Atenas, which the army crossed to get to Nicaragua; another explores part of the path from San José to Puntarenas. The latter tour involves longer distances and includes travel by bus with stops at important spots. The tours include explanations by specialists in the field. Participants must register in advance at the Museum.“Caminata sobre las sendas del ejército nacional durante la Campaña 1856” takes place August 30 and September 6-13-20. Free. 8 a.m. More information at the Museum Website or call 2441-4775.Theater: “Ruinas”A story of ruined circus artists: Ofelia, a dancer, Hamlet, a clown, Juliet, an acrobat, and Romeo, an illusionist. They show how love can transform from a beautiful dream into a breakup, death and survival.“Ruinas” will be performed August 28 – September 6. Thu – Sat at 8 p.m. and Sun at 6 p.m.at Teatro Universitario, University of Costa Rica in San Pedro. ₡5,000 ($10). More info at the RedCultura Website.Concerts:Garbanzos Mexican Party: Garbanzos band is going on a tour to Mexico, but not before one last great concert here in Costa Rica. Guest bands are Endemia and La Milixia. August 28 at Sand Bar, San Pedro. 8 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). For more information call 2281-0307.Un chivo por una sonrisa: A concert to help children suffering from cleft palate. It will feature Sonámbulo Psicotropical, Cocofunka, Ikún Inú, Parabólica, Kalakuta and Ikebana. August 29 at Club Peppers in Zapote. 7 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). For more information call 2224-1472.Tribute to AC/DC: AC/DC tribute band High Voltage presents a special concert with guests including Luis Monge (Gaita), Manuel Barrantes (Diesel and Dirty Jack), Anton Darusso (Wings of Destiny and Darusso), Adriana La Rana (Adrenal and The Las Void), Tony Masis (Pneuma and The Surrogate Band), Eduardo Quesada (D’Tour and Led Zippers), Rodo Rod (Sleazer), Raissa Jiménez (The Cherries) and Ka Rojas (The Cherries). August 29 at Jazz Café, Escazú. 9:30 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). For more information call 2288- 4740.Floriatón II: A concert featuring bands Florian Droids, 424 and Myno. September 3 at the Steinvorth, downtown San José. ₡4,000 ($8). More info at Steinvorth Facebook page. Facebook Comments Related posts:Yoga Day, Father’s Day exhibit and other happenings around Costa Rica Folkloric show, European film fest and other happenings around Costa Rica Patriotic tunes, Children’s Day theater, and more events around Costa Rica Serrat concert, live karaoke, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

Sierra Leone says cholera killed 66 since January

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) – Sierra Leone’s health ministry says a cholera outbreak has sickened more than 3,800 and killed 66 people since January.The ministry says it is “very concerned” because the outbreak has started spreading fast and now also includes the West African nation’s densely populated capital.It says the number of suspected cholera cases in Freetown skyrocketed within three weeks from three to 410, resulting in nine deaths. The statement, released late Friday, said all measures to contain the outbreak will be taken but cautioned that the disease might spread fast in urban areas “with poor hygiene and sanitation, especially during the (current) rainy season.”If untreated, Cholera is a potentially deadly disease whose symptoms consist of rapid dehydration and vomiting caused by bacteria found in contaminated water or food.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

Hague pledges resolve of assets dispute with Egypt

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Hague agreed to send a prosecutor to work with Egyptian prosecutors seeking to track down the funds, but cautioned President Mohammed Morsi during their meeting in Cairo that British law stipulates Egypt must prove the money was stolen before British authorities freeze any of the disputed assets.Earlier Tuesday, President Barack Obama reaffirmed American support for Arab Spring nations seeking to recover possibly billions of dollars in assets stashed away by members of the toppled regimes.It was Hague’s first visit to Egypt since Morsi’s election in June.Hague and Morsi also discussed Egypt’s efforts to bring back British tourists, who have frequented the country’s archaeological sites and its beaches before political turmoil hit the country.They talked about possibilities of extraditing wanted persons, who are believed to be residing in their respective countries, including former Egyptian Investment Minister, Yousef Boutros-Ghali. He is a nephew of the former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and is believed to be living in London.Yousef Boutros-Ghali was tried in absentia in an Egyptian court. In June, he was convicted on charges of abusing authority and squandering public funds and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague promised Egypt’s president on Tuesday to help resolve a dispute between the two countries over assets allegedly stolen and deposited in Britain by members of the deposed regime.Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak and his sons are believed to have acquired billions of dollars illegally. The two sons, Gamal and Alaa, are in custody and on trial on charges of insider trading. Their father, who had ruled Egypt for 29 years, is serving a life sentence for failing to prevent the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising last year. Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Xi takes Chinas helm with many tough challenges

first_imgIf left unchecked, the trend will further stress already pressed social security funds.Scrapping the rule that limits many families to one child would help in the long run, and is being urged by experts. But the leadership for years has delayed change, in part because it sees smaller families and fewer births as having helped raise incomes overall.“China has wasted some time and opportunities partly because its growth over the last 10 years was so spectacular,” said Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy and an expert on China’s demographics. “Now it no longer has that luxury.”___Associated Press writers Didi Tang, Gillian Wong, Alexa Olesen, Joe McDonald and Louise Watt and researchers Flora Ji and Zhao Liang contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The appointments give him broad authority, but not the luxury of time. After decades of juggernaut growth, China sits on the cusp of global pre-eminence as the second largest economy and newest power, but it also has urgent domestic troubles that could frustrate its rise.Problems that have long festered _ from the sputtering economy to friction with the U.S. and territorial spats with Japan and other neighbors _ have worsened in recent months as the leadership focused on the power transfer. Impatience has grown among entrepreneurs, others in the new middle class and migrant workers _ all wired by social media and conditioned by two decades of rising living standards to expect better government, if not democracy.All along, police have continued to harass and jail a lengthening list of political foes, dissidents, civil rights lawyers and labor activists.Two young Tibetans died Thursday after setting themselves ablaze in far west China, Radio Free Asia said, in the latest of dozens of suicide protests over Beijing’s handling of its Tibetan regions.In his first address to the nation, Xi, a 59-year-old son of a revolutionary hero, acknowledged the lengthy agenda for what should be the first of two five-year terms in office. He promised to deliver better social services while making sure China stands tall in the world and the party continues to rule. “Our responsibility now is to rally and lead the entire party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in taking over the historic baton and in making continued efforts to achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation,” a confident Xi said in nationally televised remarks in the Great Hall of the People.He later said “we are not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels” in confronting challenges _ corruption chief among them.By his side stood the six other newly appointed members of the Politburo Standing Committee: Li Keqiang, the presumptive premier and chief economic official; Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang; Shanghai party secretary Yu Zhengsheng; propaganda chief Liu Yunshan; Tianjin party secretary Zhang Gaoli; and Vice Premier Wang Qishan, once the leadership’s top troubleshooter who will head the party’s internal watchdog panel.Xi gave no hint of new thinking to address the problems. The lack of specifics and the new leadership heavy with conservative technocrats deflated expectations for change in some quarters.“We should be expecting more of the same, not some fundamental break from the past,” said Dali Yang of the University of Chicago. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Sponsored Stories In foreign policy, the U.S. and other partners are looking for reassurance that China’s policy remains one of peaceful integration into the world community. Tensions have flared in recent months between China, Japan and the Philippines over contested islets in the East and South China Seas. Mistrust has also grown with the U.S. as it diverts more military and diplomatic resources to Asia in what Chinese leaders see as containment.Fresh in office, Xi can ill-afford to bow to foreigners, crossing a nationalistic public and a military that may still be uncertain about his leadership.“The leaders can’t look like they are being soft on the U.S. or foreign policy because they will lose power in terms of people,” said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a business consultant and author of the book “How China’s Leaders Think.” Kuhn expects more tough rhetoric than action in the months ahead, but expects Xi’s leadership to develop a more nuanced foreign policy as it consolidates its authority at home.Of all the knotty long-term challenges, few threaten to derail China’s march to a more prosperous society more than its rapidly aging society. Baby boomers whose labor manned the factories and construction sites are starting to retire. Meanwhile fewer Chinese are entering the workforce after a generation of family planning limits and higher incomes led to smaller families. Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Fundamental for the leadership is to maintain the party’s rule, he said. “They are not interested in introducing China’s Gorbachev” _ the Soviet leader whose reforms hastened the end of the Soviet Union _ Yang said.Many of the challenges Xi confronts are legacies of his predecessor, Hu Jintao. In addition to relinquishing his role as party chief, having reached the two-term maximum, Hu also stepped down from the party commission that oversees the military. The move is a break from the past in which exiting party leaders kept hold of the military portfolio for several years.During Hu’s 10 years in office, policies to open up China to trade and foreign investment begun by his predecessors gathered momentum, turning China into a manufacturing powerhouse and drawing tens of millions of rural migrants into cities. Easy credit fueled a building boom, the Beijing Olympics and the world’s longest high-speed rail network. At the same time, Hu relied on an ever-larger security apparatus to suppress protests, even as demonstrations continued to rise.“More and more citizens are beginning to awaken to their rights and they are constantly asking for political reform,” said rights activist Hu Jia, who has previously been jailed for campaigning for AIDS patients and orphans. “The Communist Party does not have legitimacy. It is a party of dictatorship that uses violence to obtain political power. What we need now is for this country’s people to have the right to choose who they are governed by.” Associated PressBEIJING (AP) – Long-anointed successor Xi Jinping assumes the leadership of China at a time when the ruling Communist Party is confronting slower economic growth, a public clamor to end corruption and demands for change that threaten its hold on power.The country’s political elite named Xi to the top party post on Thursday, and unexpectedly put him in charge of the military too, after a weeklong party congress and months of divisive bargaining. Chief among the problems Xi and his team will have to tackle is the economy. Though Hu pledged more balanced development, inequality has risen and housing costs have soared. Over the past year, the economy has flagged, dragged down by anemic demand in Europe and the U.S. for Chinese products and an overhang from excessive lending for factories and infrastructure.With state banks preferring to lend to state-run companies or not at all, private entrepreneurs have had to turn to unofficial money-lenders.“The bank just asked me to wait,” said Deng Mingxin, who runs a zipper factory with 10 employees in Jiangsu province. “Maybe it’s because I didn’t offer enough `red envelopes’” _ a reference to bribes.The World Bank warns that without quick action, growth that fell to a three-year low of 7.4 percent in the latest quarter may fall to 5 percent by 2015 _ a low rate for generating the employment and funding the social programs Beijing holds as key to keeping a lid on unrest. Analysts and Beijing’s own advisers have said it needs to overhaul its strategy and nurture consumer spending and services to meet its pledge of doubling incomes by 2020.“China will need a very different economy in the next decade,” said Citigroup economist Minggao Shen.last_img

Netanyahu gives pope book by father on Inquisition

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories “To his Holiness Pope Franciscus, a great shepherd of our common heritage,” the Israeli leader wrote on the inside front page of the book.Later Monday, Netanyahu met with Italian Premier Enrico Letta.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement VATICAN CITY (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given Pope Francis a book about the Inquisition in Spain that was written by his late father.Netanyahu presented a Spanish translation of the 1995 book, “The Origins of the Inquisition,” to Francis during their 25-minute private audience Monday.Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, was an Israeli historian who died last year. A Zionist activist who opposed partitioning Palestine between Arabs and Jews, he was best known in academic circles for his research into the Catholic Church’s medieval inquisition against the Jews of Spain.center_img Top Stories Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society 5 treatments for adult scoliosis The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

UK election leaves Cameron at helm of a disunited kingdom

UK election leaves Cameron at helm of a disunited kingdom

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, Friday, May 8, 2015. Cameron’s Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain’s Parliamentary General Elections, winning an unexpected majority. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Newspaper editorial pages on Saturday oozed anxiety about Britain’s future, worrying that Cameron could be the last leader of a truly United Kingdom.The Independent said the election “leaves the prospect of the U.K. still being in one piece at the next general election in 2020 in some doubt.” The pro-Conservative Daily Telegraph agreed that “the biggest problem facing Mr. Cameron is the future of the Union,” while the liberal Guardian said leaving the EU would be “a catastrophe for Britain economically, politically and socially.”What a difference eight months makes. In September, Cameron looked like the leader who had saved the U.K. In a referendum, Scottish voters rejected the idea of becoming independent and ending the 300-year-old union between England and Scotland.But the pro-independence Scottish National Party, far from being defeated, has thrived. The SNP’s dynamic leader, Nicola Sturgeon, was the unexpected star of the U.K. election campaign, arguing that the party would work with Labour in Parliament to deliver progressive policies distinct from Cameron’s budget-cutting Conservatives.Both the SNP and the Conservatives used nationalist arguments to winning effect in the election. Sturgeon gained more than half of Scottish votes for her party by saying the SNP would make Scotland’s voice heard in London. LONDON (AP) — Standing outside 10 Downing Street the day after his unexpected election victory, Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to govern for “one nation, one United Kingdom.” That will be easier said than done, as competing brands of nationalism threaten to pull the country apart.Separatists have swept the board in Scotland, Wales wants greater autonomy and England saw spreading support for the insular U.K. Independence Party and its demand to leave the European Union. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories ___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawlessCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How men can have a healthy 2019 At home, Cameron says he will give new powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including new tax-raising powers for the Scottish government, as well as unspecified “fairness” for England. London mayor Boris Johnson, who aspires to lead the Conservatives, went even further and called for the U.K. to adopt a federal structure.Still, it may be too soon to write the United Kingdom’s obituary. It’s quite possible a majority of Britons will vote to remain in the EU in 2017. The SNP triumph does not make a new Scottish independence referendum imminent. Sturgeon has said she thinks there is little appetite for it in the short term, and the sagging oil price has made independence look riskier for Scotland, which would rely heavily on North Sea oil revenues.The day after the election, Cameron told voters: “Together, we can make Great Britain greater still.”But togetherness is in short supply after a Conservative victory that was both decisive and divisive. Cameron didn’t need Scottish nationalists or UKIP supporters to get elected, but they are not going away, and their numbers are growing.“There is a real prospect Britain will now be ripped apart by two opposing nationalist agendas either side of Hadrian’s Wall,” Brian Reade wrote in Saturday’s Daily Mirror. “The independence genie is out of the bottle.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Cameron argued that a minority Labour government would have to rely for support on the separatist SNP — and that would destabilize Britain.Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, defeated in the tidal wave that saw the SNP win 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats, said his party had been “hit by two nationalisms,” Scottish and English.The four regions of the U.K. — England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have always had distinct identities, but for a long time most citizens also considered themselves British. In recent years, though, rising regional identity has undermined the “united” in United Kingdom.Like Scotland, Wales has its own assembly, nationalist aspirations and few Conservative supporters. Northern Ireland has its own legislature and distinctive politics defined by the Catholic-Protestant divide.That leaves many in England — home to 53 million of Britain’s 64 million people — asking: “What about us?”English discontent has found an outlet in UKIP, which argues that Britain has had its identity diluted by immigration and its independence undermined by EU membership.Its supporters live primarily in northeast and southeast England, and political scientist Rob Ford, co-author of UKIP study “Revolt on the Right,” said they feel a strong sense of English — rather than British — nationalism. “It’s George crosses as much as Union Jacks, and this perception that the English are getting a raw deal out of the Union — that the English voice isn’t being heard and the Scottish voice is,” he said.UKIP got almost 13 percent of the vote in Thursday’s election, but only one seat in Parliament thanks to a British election system that allocates seats based on winner-takes-all races in each of 650 constituencies. That’s another spur for members’ anger: the SNP, whose support is more concentrated, got just under 5 percent of the vote and 56 seats.Cameron’s challenge is to defuse grievances at home while overcoming a crisis in Britain’s relationship with Europe.The rise of UKIP has emboldened the Euroskeptic wing of Cameron’s Conservative Party, and made him promise a referendum on EU membership by 2017. Cameron wants to remain in the EU, provided Britain can extract concessions on the free movement of citizens between member states.That is far from certain. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was ready “to strike a fair deal for the U.K. in the EU.” But European leaders may have little appetite for granting major reforms to Britain after years of griping about Brussels from U.K. politicians. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Vietnam accuses China of attacking its fishermen

first_imgHung said this followed incidents last week where Chinese military vessels used water cannon to try to drive away a Vietnamese fishing boat, injuring two fishermen, while another Vietnamese fishing boat was intercepted and robbed of its catch and equipment while fishing near the Paracels.“I strongly protest these Chinese actions,” Hung said by telephone from Quang Ngai province. “This is our traditional fishing grounds, it’s within Vietnamese sovereignty and our fishermen have been fishing there for generations.”The incidents come as Vietnam’s foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, who is also the deputy prime minister, began a three-day visit to China on Wednesday to talk about bilateral cooperation, with the situation in the South China Sea expected to be high on the agenda.Vietnam claim sovereignty over the Paracels, which were occupied by China after it drove off the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese navy in 1974, one year before the end of the Vietnam War.The two communist neighbors along with the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim all or parts of the South China Sea.China’s massive land reclamation projects in the Spratly islands over the past two years have alarmed its neighbors and the United States. The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A Vietnamese official on Wednesday accused China of attacking its fishermen in three separate incidents over the past week in the disputed South China Sea.Nguyen Thanh Hung, head of the fisheries union in Binh Chau village in central Quang Ngai province where the fishermen came from, said a Vietnamese trawler with 12 crew was intercepted by a Chinese military vessel while fishing near the Paracel islands on Sunday. He said the Chinese seized their catch and fishing equipment. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the reclamation projects on seven reefs and atolls will be completed within days and will follow up with building infrastructure for military and civilian purposes.The U.S. has said it takes no side on the sovereignty questions, but insists on the right of free navigation and urges all parties to negotiate a settlement.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Sydney Airport sees rise in passenger numbers

first_imgSydney Airport recorded a double-digit increase in domestic and international passenger numbers in February, the airport’s owner said last week.MAp Group said compared to the same period a year ago, February saw domestic passenger numbers rise 12.3 percent and international passenger numbers increase 11.8 percent.MAp chief executive Kerrie Mather said the increase in capacity from low cost carriers Tiger Airways and Jetstar help boost passenger numbers.‘‘February traffic has also been positively impacted by recent capacity increases and the later timing of Chinese New Year compared with 2009” she said.During the month, SMH reported there was a 31 percent increase in traffic from China, 20 percent increase from the US, 180 percent increase from France and 15 percent hike from NZ.Sydney Airport is expected to handle even more passengers later this year as carriers such as Virgin Blue, Cathay Pacific and United Airlines plan to launch flights out of Sydney. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2ae16/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

Jetstar to add MEL CNS flights to AKL

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2242f/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> “These new Jetstar services fit extremely well with our strategy to drive more tourism into New Zealand through complementary destinations.” Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff felt the benefit was mutual, saying, “With New Zealand travellers accounting for more than 20 per cent of Melbourne Airport’s total international traffic, this new direct A320 service will offer passengers even more flight options.” The daily Melbourne to Auckland service will start on 13 December 2010 and the three times a week Cairns to Auckland service commences from 12 April 2011. Jetstar announced yesterday it will expand its trans Tasman operations with new direct A320 services from Melbourne and Cairns to Auckland. The new flights will add an extra 92,000 seats between Australia and New Zealand each year, growing Jetstar’s trans Tasman capacity by over 20 per cent.Tourism to Melbourne, Cairns and Auckland will benefit from the added flights, Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said.“We can certainly see the possibilities for growing inbound and outbound travel demand between Auckland, Queenstown and Melbourne, and similarly we see opportunities to grow traffic between Auckland, Cairns and Asia,” Auckland Airport’s chief executive Simon Moutter said.center_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Jetstar is also set to increase its flights from Auckland to Wellington, growing its total New Zealand domestic operations to 84 weekly return flights by the end of the year.last_img read more

Allure of the Seas squeezes under Store Belt Bridge

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F It was a tight squeeze but the $1.5 billion Allure of the Seas managed to sail under the Store Belt Bridge in Denmark on its maiden voyage to Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend  – with just 20 inches to spare. That’s some pretty nifty manouvering (I’ll never complain about a tight reverse park ever  again!) but according to the Captain Hernan Zini it was all in a day’s work.”The normal height of the ship from the water level to the top is about 73 meters (240 feet),” Zini told CNN. “But the vessel couldn’t be higher than 65 meters (213 feet) in order to safely go under the bridge.””We were all holding a breath there for a moment,” said Harrison Liu, spokesman for Royal Caribbean. “But there is plenty of room for variation, based on the speed of the ship, whether the smoke stacks are lowered, number of passengers on the ship and other variables.”last_img read more

Sydney Festival injects millions to NSW economy

first_imgThe 2011 Sydney Festival, held earlier this year, has contributed an estimated $50.2 million to the NSW economy, according to an access economics survey released by the committee. According to the research, $25.3 million was a result of visitor expenditure and $24.8m from indirect flow-on measured from the demand on goods and services during the events. “The survey shows how enthusiastic Sydney Festival has been embraced by the public and its economic importance to the State,” The Minister for Tourism the Hon. George Souris said. Sydney Lord Mayor and MP Clover Moore said the survey confirms the importance of the Festival to the city’s economy and culture. “It also demonstrates that it is continuing to achieve one of the initial goals in establishing the Festival in the last 1970s, enlivening the city during the post –Christmas summer holiday period,” Ms Moore said.The 2011 Sydney Festival enjoyed an enthusiastic audience of 646,000 over the summer festival with 109 events held in 35 venues. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img read more

Star Alliance denies Air India membership

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Air India has had its entry into the Star Alliance delayed after it failed to reach the minimum joining requirements agreed to in December 2007.Announced yesterday, the decision was made after a meeting between Star Alliance chief executive Jaan Albercht, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav.   Mr Jadhav explained that the refused entry would allow the carrier extra time to “concentrate on its ongoing strategic reorientation”.“In this process our member carriers will continue to provide assistance to Air India wherever required,” Mr Jadhav said. A statement from the carrier read that although the alliance entry was not completed, there is room to discuss a possible alliance membership in the future. Air Indialast_img read more

Sabre whollyowned by Abacus

Sabre whollyowned by Abacus

first_imgAsia-Pacific provider of distribution products and services for travel agencies, Abacus, is streamlining the ownership structure of its Australia and NZ distribution businesses acquiring 100 per cent ownership of Sabre Pacific.ABACUS International Holdings is a consortium of 11 airlines in Asia-Pacific: All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, DragonAir, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines.  As a part of the company’s distribution plan for the APAC region, the convergence creates significant opportunities for Sabre and Abacus.Sabre told e-Travel Blackboard the leverage of strengths from both businesses for continued growth in APAC will offer greater support for all customers.  It is however, business as usual for the Sabre Pacific brand with all products, staff and structure operating just the same in the market as it is today. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Greg Webb – Sabre Travel Network President, Robert Bailey – Abacus CEO, Gai Tyrrell – CEO Sabre Pacificlast_img read more

Success at the Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards

Success at the Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards

first_imgCategory: Hotel Industry Rising StarAward: Highly CommendedRecipient: Benjamin Hislop – Holiday Inn Sydney Airport More than 600 political, business and industry leaders gathered for the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) gala awards last night, honouring the best in the hotel and hospitality trade.The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) were victors of five categories at the award ceremony, also boasting another seven highly commended recognitions.The TAA awards began in 2012 and were designed to increase public awareness of the hotel industry, and highlight the industry leaders who provide exceptional service across all aspects of the market.Some noteworthy awards that the IHG won include the Superior Accommodation of the Year and the Mid-range Accommodation of the Year awards.Accor hotels also came out on top, picking up six awards at the event.Mercure Sydney won the Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel of the Year, after recently unveiling a successful multi-million dollar refurbishment.Meanwhile, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth director of revenue, Jeremy Samuels, took home the title of Revenue / Yield Manager of the Year and Novotel Sydney Central scooped up two Employee of the Year awards. Category: Mid-Range Accommodation Hotel of the YearAward: Highly CommendedRecipient: Holiday Inn Sydney AirportSource = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Other highly commended accolades include:Category: Meeting & Events Employee of the YearAward: Highly CommendedRecipient: Fiona Larsen – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Category: Finance Officer of the YearAward: Highly CommendedRecipient: Grant Smith – Holiday Inn Sydney Airportlast_img read more