Silversea announces three new ships plus new class of ships

August 19th, 2019

first_img Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Posted by Tags: New Ship, Silversea Cruises Silversea announces three new ships, plus new class of ships Travelweek Group center_img MIAMI — Following its groundbreaking acquisition of Silversea Cruises earlier this year, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced that it will build three new ships for the luxury line, coming as early as 2020.Silversea signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build two new vessels in a new ‘Evolution Class’. The first Evolution-class ship is expected to deliver in 2022.In addition, Silversea signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct a brand new expedition vessel named Silver Origin, which will serve the Galapagos Islands itinerary currently sailed by Silver Galapagos. The new vessel is set for delivery in March 2020.“We are excited to get to work to helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which finalized its two-thirds acquisition of Silversea this past summer. “There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travellers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesManfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman, added: “With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galapagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel.”The agreements are subject to certain contingencies, which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.It was first announced in August that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., had purchased 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises, based on an enterprise value of approximately US$2 billion. Manfredi d’Ovidio retains a 33.3% stake.The news about the new builds follows last week’s arrival of the Silver Spirit in Quebec City for the first time. Travelweek was there to view the recently renovated ship, which was lengthened by 49 feet in May, becoming the first luxury cruise ship to successfully undergo a lengthening. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Democrats Abroad

August 19th, 2019

first_imgNo related posts. Democrats Abroad Costa Rica is hosting a potluck luncheon Saturday, July 28, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the home of Lenny Karpman and Joan Hall in La Guácima, west of the San José airport, near the butterfly farm. Everyone is welcome.Please bring food or drinks to share, and let the club know what type of food or drink you are bringing. For example, main dish (vegetarian or non-vegetarian), salad/veggies, dessert, drinks, alcoholic/non-alcoholic, etc.We will have bus transportation for ₡5,000 ($10) per person, round trip.  Stops: 10 a.m. at Paco (Escazú), 10:30 a.m. at Teatro Nacional. Please arrive at the bus stop before the scheduled time. For reservations, call Nelleke at 2279-3553, or email cr.democratsabroad@yahoo.com. U.S. citizens living abroad must register to vote in an election year. Register to vote at votefromabroad.org or at the potluck luncheon. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New hotel in Guanacaste offers jobs for 300 people

August 19th, 2019

first_imgNo related posts. The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo hotel, part of the Hyatt chain, will launch Dec. 20. This week, hotel management announced that the facilities will be hiring 300 employees from the northwestern province of Guanacaste.The hotel needs bilingual staff for reception, guest services and the spa, as well as administrative areas, bars and three restaurants.Hotel management is also seeking for personnel for security, construction, cooking, cleaning, laundry and other operative areas.“The hotel already started the recruitment process through job fairs in Liberia, but we are still searching for staff,” the company announced in a press release.Those interested in apply for a post should send their resumes by email to contact.andazpapagayo@andaz.com.The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo has 153 rooms, nine spa treatment rooms, 8,200 square feet of flexible meeting space, two swimming pools, a gym and three theme restaurants. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Black Heart in Brazil heat drives coffee turnaround

August 19th, 2019

first_imgRelated posts:Coffee futures rise to 25-month high on global deficit forecast Brazil coffee output set for worst slump since 1965 Morning caffeine fix gets cheaper as rains boost Brazil supplies New Anacafé chief: Guatemalan state must do more to finance battle against coffee rust SÃO PAULO, Brazil – When Fabio Miarelli opened coffee cherries at his 220-acre farm in the Sul de Minas region to examine how the beans inside were developing, he found wilted, rubbery granules half the normal size.Miarelli, 25, estimates the withering of coffee caused by low soil humidity — a phenomenon known as Coracao Negro, or Black Heart — will cut about 30 percent of his output this year.Black Heart reports are emerging from several farms across the southeast of Brazil as areas that account for a third of the world’s coffee and almost half of sugar shipments endure the driest rainy season in decades — and among the hottest. Arabica, the mild-tasting bean used in premium blends, had its biggest seven-day rally in almost 14 years in New York as a result. Miarelli hopes the price rally will offset his losses.“We have never seen such a long period with no rain this time of the year,” said Lucio Dias, commercial superintendent at the Cooxupe arabica growers cooperative, responsible for about 10 percent of Brazilian exports of the variety. “We’re going to need time to learn more about the consequences.”The harm may be irreversible for this crop as parched soil across southeastern Brazil fails to nourish plants at a crucial time for their development. Any amount of rain before the April- to-September annual dry season starts will come too late, Somar Meteorologia’s Marco Antonio dos Santos said.Plantations endured the driest January since 1954 just when rain was needed the most for tree roots to absorb soil nutrients as the dark brown beans begin to grow inside coffee cherries. Tree branches pruned before the October flowering period aren’t growing, while shoots planted late last year to renew plantations are scorched and dying, Cooxupe’s Dias said.An atmospheric blockage that’s preventing cold masses from Antarctica from bringing rain to Miarelli’s farm will only start weakening after Feb. 17, Santos, the meteorologist at weather forecaster Somar, said from São Paulo.Even as some rain resumes little more than a month before the regular dry season starts, it won’t be enough to restore soil humidity to normal levels, Santos said.“It would be necessary for it to rain way above average in the second half of February and in March to completely replenish humidity levels in the soil, which is not going to happen.” Santos said. “It’s certain that we’re going to have crop losses.”The impact from the stress that trees are suffering will extend beyond the harvesting season that starts in April, affecting next year’s production too, said Marcelo Pasqua, director of the Guaxupe-based Ribeiro do Vale Cafes Especiais farm that exports premium arabica to the U.S., Italy and Japan.The rally in past days helped extend a 34 percent increase in arabica prices from a seven-year low on Nov. 6 through yesterday. Arabica for March delivery surged 4.3 percent to $1.416 a pound by 11 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices fell as much as 5.8 percent yesterday.So far, consumers are yet to feel the impact of higher costs, the result of past crop surpluses. Moves in wholesale futures markets often precede changes in retail prices.In the four weeks ended Dec. 29, U.S. retail prices for ground coffee fell for Folgers and Maxwell House brands by 8.7 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, helping boost sales during the period by 3.8 percent, according to data from researcher IRI. JM Smucker Co. makes Folgers and Kraft Foods Group Inc. sells Maxwell House. In May, Kraft cut prices on some of its brands, including Gevalia, by 6 percent after a sustained decline in futures, the company said.The dry spell is also restricting farmers from applying fertilizers because the additives need water in the earth as a vehicle to go up the roots. Most coffee farmers have only made one fertilizer application this season, when by now they should have already made three, Dias said.João Paulo Rodrigues, whose 230-acre coffee farm last saw rain in December, sent his eight employees on leave because there’s nothing they can do without water. By this time last year, Rodrigues had already contracted the sale of his entire crop. This year, he’s yet to commit a single bag because he doesn’t know how much of his production will be damaged.“There’s nothing to be done now,” Rodrigues said. “All I can do is wait and wait for rain.”If Somar’s forecasting models are right, Rodrigues will probably have to wait at least another 10 days.A strong upper-atmosphere ridge of high-pressure air anchored over Alaska and in the South Pacific near Indonesia is causing weather extremes across both North and South America, Climate Impact Co.’s Scott Yuknis said.“The hot, dry weather extremes in Brazil have the same connection to the record cold across the U.S. and Canada this year,” said Yuknis, the lead forecaster at Middleboro, Massachusetts-based Climate Impact. “It’s a very dramatic and severe weather pattern. Brazil is in trouble and this dryness may intensify.”While cold North Pacific waters favor the passage of Arctic fronts dumping snow into North America, warmer South Atlantic waters are helping create hot air pockets that block wet masses from Antarctica into Brazil, Somar’s Santos said.The dryness in Brazil’s most developed and populous region is also threatening home water supplies and forcing power distributors to pay surging prices in the wholesale energy market because of low reservoir levels. Benchmark cattle prices in Sao Paulo rose to a record this week as heat scorches dry pastures in the top beef-exporting country.The stress on sugar-cane plants has also led to bets that output for the harvest starting in April will be reduced by the drought. Sugar futures in New York rose 9 percent in the five days through Feb. 5, the longest rally since October.“Sugar-cane crop losses will be irreversible if it doesn’t rain in the next two weeks,” Jacyr Costa Filho, who heads the sugar-cane division of Tereos, the third-largest Brazilian sugar producer, said yesterday in an interview in Sao Paulo. “It’s a crucial period for development.”For soybean and corn farmers west of the coffee belt, the dryness is helping speed up the January-March harvesting, though it may delay or discourage them from planting a second, off- season crop.“We are worried about the dry weather hurting the soybeans that were planted late and also the second crop for corn and soybeans,” Agriculture Minister Antonio Andrade said in a Feb. 3 interview in Brasilia. “Planting may be delayed because of the lack of rain and, if we don’t get enough rainfall, we have the risk of losses.”Coffee remains the biggest concern.“People have been spooked because this is typically the time for rains in Brazil,” said Luiz Eduardo de Paula, owner of H. Commcor, a Sao Paulo-based brokerage that trades farm- commodity futures. “We need rains to start now or the effects are going to be catastrophic.”With assistance from Jeff Wilson in Chicago, Mario Sergio Lima in Brasilia Newsroom and Todd White in Madrid.© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Attacks on Mexico journalists surge says rights group

August 19th, 2019

first_imgRelated posts:Mexico City murders deepen threatened journalists’ fears Independent probe doubts 43 Mexico students cremated Mexico’s 43 missing students continue to haunt President Peña Nieto – and they should Parents of 43 missing students in Mexico wage hunger strike MEXICO CITY – Attacks on journalists in Mexico have surged during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s first two years in power, with assaults reported every 26.7 hours, a press freedom group said Tuesday.Media workers endured an act of violence every 48.1 hours during the 2006-2012 presidency of Felipe Calderón, according to a report by Article 19.Since Peña Nieto took office in December 2012, 10 journalists have been murdered, possibly due to their work, while four others have vanished, and the crimes remain unsolved, the London-based organization said.“Fear, impunity and violence are things that are too common for the press in Mexico,” Article 19 said.Of the 326 attacks against journalists in 2014, 43 percent involved a physical or material aggression, 16 percent were acts of intimidation, 14 percent were arbitrary detentions and 13 percent were threats.While organized crime is behind much of the violence, 48 percent of the attacks were orchestrated by public officials, Article 19 said.The organization said the governmental National Human Rights Commission and a special unit in the attorney general’s office to prosecute crimes against journalists have been inefficient.Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, with at least 82 media workers killed between 2000 and September 2014, according to Reporters Without Borders. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Former President Oscar Arias faces criminal charge over Crucitas case

August 19th, 2019

first_imgChief Prosecutor Emilia Navas has presented criminal charges against former President and Nobel Peace prize winner Oscar Arias for breach of duty.The charge stems from a probe into whether Arias failed to uphold his presidential responsibilities by allowing a Canadian gold mine to operate in Costa Rica in the name of “the public interest” back in 2008.The probe was originally dropped in 2014 by former Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría, who was suspended last year for failing to uphold his duties in a corruption scandal, but Navas revived it last October when she took office. Canadian mine case against Costa Rican ex-president reopened Related posts:What’s going on at Crucitas? Oscar Arias’s Crucitas case dismissed; prosecutor plans appeal Canadian mine case against Costa Rican ex-president reopened Mercury contaminating Crucitas water, threatening ecosystems, warns UNA studycenter_img Arias’ Environment and Energy Minister at the time, Roberto Dobles, was originally convicted and sentenced in the case, but that verdict was overturned by an appeals court that ordered a new trial, which began in last September.Despite the 2008 decree that Arias signed, the Canadian gold mining company, Infinito Gold, did not open the mine because a Costa Rican court voided the authorization on environmental grounds.Since then, the northern area of Las Crucitas, where the Canadian mine was supposed to operate, has been occasionally occupied by informal miners looking for gold.They caused serious environmental damage through the use of mercury and by dumping debris into rivers before police removed the miners. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

American kidnapped in Benin is freed

August 18th, 2019

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths COTONOU, Benin (AP) – A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior confirmed an American citizen who was kidnapped in the West African nation of Benin earlier this month has been freed and two of his abductors are in custody.Franck Kinninvo, the head of the ministry’s communications division, said that the American man was liberated Thursday. Police have taken into custody two of the kidnappers, though more may be at large. Comments   Share   Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation The vital role family plays in societycenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Kinninvo said that the man was lured through an Internet scam. He came from the neighboring nation of Togo, and disappeared shortly after crossing the immigration post.The official said he does not believe that a ransom was paid for the man’s release and denied speculation that a Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, was involved.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Japanese women fall behind Hong Kong in longevity

August 18th, 2019

first_imgTOKYO (AP) – Japanese women are no longer the world’s longest living, their longevity pushed down in part by last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, according to a government report Thursday. The top of the global life expectancy rankings now belongs to Hong Kong women.The annual report by Japan’s health ministry said the expected lifespan for Japanese women slipped to 85.90 years in 2011 from 86.30 the year before, mainly due to disease and other natural causes of death. The life expectancy for men also declined slightly, from 79.55 to 79.44. Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Check your body, save your life The report said that the earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 20,000 people, contributed to pushing the statistics down. It noted that if deaths related to the disaster were not included, the life expectancies would be higher for both men, at 79.70 years, and women, at 86.24.But the official life expectancy for women in Hong Kong _ 86.70 years in 2011 _ would still be longer than Japan’s even without the disaster deaths, the report said.It said suicides among Japanese women have been on the rise, and that was a contributing factor, although disease and other natural causes remained the most important issues.Officials said it was the first time since 1985 that Japan’s women had ranked second.The ministry’s report, which uses statistics supplied by other countries or the U.N. for its comparisons, noted that international statistics are hard to compare because of differences in calculation methods.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   last_img read more

In Niger child marriage on rise due to hunger

August 18th, 2019

first_imgThe consequences are dire. A total of 51 percent of children in Niger are stunted, according to a report published in July by Save the Children. The average height of a 2 1/2-year-old girl born here is around 3 inches (8 centimeters) shorter than what it should be for a child that age.In the tiny village of Hawkantaki, nearly every household has lost at least one child to hunger or the illnesses that come from it. Their miniature graves dot the hamlet.Nana Abdou’s 1-year-old brother, who died of hunger last year, is buried in a corner of the animal pen. Soon after his death last year, her family accepted the dowry. Twelve-year-old Nana is engaged to be married before the end of the year.“Our problems started a long time ago, but every year it’s gotten worse,” she says. “The fathers are marrying off their daughters to reduce their overhead… He’s obliged to if he wants to reduce the number of children he has to feed.”The numbers tell the story in Hawkantaki, population around 200.Last year, before the start of the harvest, there were 10 girls in Hawkantaki between the ages of about 11 and 15. By spring of this year, seven were married, and another two are engaged. None of the girls own watches, or cell phones. They have never seen a computer, surfed the Internet or sent a text message. The village has only one light bulb, and it’s strung to a tree, powered by a generator.There isn’t a single television in Hawkantaki. For special occasions, like a wedding, they rent one, and bring it in strapped to a donkey.Since birth, the lives of these girls have followed a nearly identical trajectory. They first went out into the fields strapped onto their mothers’ backs. As girls, they played with sticks, raking their “hoes” in the same rhythm as their moms. By the time most kids are learning to hold a pencil, they have become so adept with a real hoe that the space between their thumb and forefinger is already as hard as leather.On the day of the reaping last fall, the young girls cut the millet and ripped off the leaves to reveal the husk. They bundled the cattail-shaped husks together with pieces of leaves as twine. Then they carried the bundles back on their heads.Inside each of their courtyards, they pounded the husks in wooden bowls. But the upbeat, cheerful rhythm of the pounding soon slowed down, as they ran out of millet. That’s a rate of 90 percent, three times the national average.None of these girls had “done her laundry” yet, the local euphemism for a woman’s menstrual period. And every single one says hunger hastened her marriage.The youngest is Zali, a whisper of a girl, whose waist is so tiny you can almost encircle her with your hands. She has no breasts to speak of. Her voice hasn’t broken yet.___Seen from the sky, the village of Hawkantaki looks like a brown dot on a sheet of neon green.The houses of hand-patted mud are built around a village square. Zali’s faces the northern side. It takes exactly 36 seconds to walk from her door to that of her best friend Aisha, directly opposite on the southern side. Aisha’s cousin Rama lives on an alleyway leading off the square. So do their friends Marliya, Sarey, Shoubalee, Sadiya, Shamseeya, Rakhiya and Nana, all aged between 12 and 15.“You can’t say Zali’s name without saying Aicha in the same breath, or Aicha without Marliya, or Marliya without Sarey,” said Aicha’s mother, Habsou Daouda. “These girls are inseparable.”There are no calendars on the walls. Instead of months, they count “moons.” Years are remembered in terms of harvests. Ages can be calculated by the events that happened at the time of a person’s birth. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “The millet last year only came up to 30 percent of its normal height. There was only one rain. The second one didn’t come,” says 50-year-old Dadi Djadi, Zali’s stepfather.“It was a catastrophic harvest.”The missing buttons on Djadi’s aging safari suit show glimpses of his stomach. It’s not just flat. His stomach drops inside of him, as if to mark a hole.___It was soon after, in the emptiness that followed the harvest, that the visitors started to appear.The groups of older men, wearing skullcaps and robes down to their ankles, came in groups of threes and fours. They said `Salaam aleikoum.’ And they asked to see the fathers of the girls.Sadiya’s father was the first to say yes, accepting around $100 (50,000 francs) as the dowry. It’s half the amount usually offered, but her desperate family accepted. A crippling hand infection meant her mother could no longer work even as a day laborer in other people’s fields.Marliya’s father also said yes to the same pitiful amount. So did Sarey’s. Aicha, Zali and Rama’s fathers were offered around $200. (100,000 francs).Rama’s father immediately spent half the money intended for his daughter at the market, buying a bag of millet, salt and the vegetables whose taste they had forgotten. Marliya served her parents the meal after her first night alone with her husband.The 14-year-old bride was asleep on a sheet of plastic when he came in. Her family had spent her entire dowry, not even leaving enough for a $10 bed mat.He closed the door of corrugated tin. She tried to run, but he grabbed her arm and twisted it, until she fell back onto the floor.When he left, she pulled on her veil and ran to complain to her older sister. “This is what he did to me,” she said, twisting her arm in mid-air.Her sister told her that was normal, and sent her back to her husband’s house.The next day, she asked her in-laws for food for her parents’ meal. All they could give her was a cup of millet. The dish is served with a meat sauce, but these are hard times in Hawkantaki, and no one can afford meat. So Marliya pounded the green-hued grain and served it to her parents plain.And so it was for the other girls, sooner or later.Rama’s marriage began with humiliation, because her father had spent every penny of her dowry. Too ashamed to bring his daughter to her husband’s house empty-handed, he absconded the day of the ceremony and has not been seen since. At first, the 14-year-old pushed her husband away. She gave in after a few days, because she did not want to seem ungrateful to the in-laws who had bought her mattress.Sarey came down with a fever on her wedding day. They still made her go. She ran away a dozen or more times, until she too made the meal.Zali fought for a month.At night, her husband tried to touch her. She pushed him away. It was like this the second night. And the third. Weeks passed.It was then that her mother-in-law took her aside to dress her down.That night, Zali lay down on the mat in her unlit hut. He said nothing when he came in. He just opened her legs.__The next day, Zali’s mother walked into the barren fields that radiate outward from the village. She found the kalgo tree.All over Niger when the millet runs out, desperate families are reduced to boiling its leaves for food. Her mother went to collect the leaves for a different reason, because they are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and are prescribed for new brides.Zali’s mother boiled them and prepared compresses to soothe her daughter’s crotch.So many mothers went to pick the leaves this spring that hardly any were left on the denuded branches of the tree. Most of the marriages should be illegal under Niger’s law, which states that the minimum age of marriage is 15. The law, however, only applies for civil ceremonies officiated by the state. Marriages in villages are sealed inside mosques and fall under what is called “traditional law.”The parents of the girls say they were “ready” and of “marriageable age.” When pushed, some acknowledge they would have liked to wait, and circumstances forced the marriage.Most of the girls say their older sisters already had their periods before they got married. But no one asked the girls for their opinion.When the girls walked to the well, they could hear the boys gossiping about them. They made lewd jokes about what was going to happen next.Around October last year, Zali heard her name and the word “armey,” marriage, and her face felt hot. She came home and started crying. Her mother asked her what was wrong.“People outside are saying that I’m going to get married,” she said.Her mother nodded.__On the day of Zali’s wedding this January, she wore a new pagne, a wraparound skirt. It was one of the few items bought for her with the $200 dowry given to her father. The other item was a veil, the kind worn by married women. She was now 12 years old. Top Stories Associated PressHAWKANTAKI, Niger (AP) – Each day before the reaping, the 11-year-old girl walked between the stunted stalks of millet with a sense of mounting dread.In a normal year, the green shoots vaulted out of the ground and rose as high as 13 feet (4 meters), a wall tall enough to conceal an adult man. This time, they only reached her waist. Even the tallest plant in her family’s plot barely grazed her shoulder.center_img Zali could feel the tug of the invisible thread tying her fate to that of the land. As the world closed in around her, she knew that this time the bad harvest would mean more than just hunger.In Hawkantaki, it is the rhythm of the land that shapes the cycle of life, including the time of marriage. The size of the harvest determines not only if a father can feed his family, but also if he can afford to keep his daughter under his roof.Even at the best of times, one out of every three girls in Niger marries before her 15th birthday, a rate of child marriage among the highest in the world, according to a UNICEF survey.Now this custom is being layered on top of a crisis. At times of severe drought, parents pushed to the wall by poverty and hunger are marrying their daughters at even younger ages.A girl married off is one less mouth to feed, and the dowry money she brings in goes to feed others.“Families are using child marriage, as an alternative, as a survival strategy to the food insecurity,” says Djanabou Mahonde, UNICEF’s chief child protection officer in Niger.This drought-prone country of 16 million is so short on food that it is ranked dead last by international aid organization Save the Children in the percentage of children receiving a “minimum acceptable diet.” Pennisetum glaucum, the variety of millet cultivated in Niger, originated in western Africa and has been grown here since prehistoric times. It’s also known as “pearl millet” for its ovoid grains, which are larger than those of many other cereals grown in the region. The plant is hardy, offers some protein and is known to be resistant to drought.But even pearl millet cannot survive the repetitive droughts that have pummeled the Sahel in recent years. Zali’s family’s fields failed to produce in 2005, in 2008 and in 2010. Last year marked the fourth drought in the 11-year-old’s short life _ an occurrence that used to happen once every decade.In a good year, her stepfather’s 10 acres (4 hectares) yielded 150 scoops of millet, the size of soup bowls. At the end of the harvest last year, he counted just 17.It was the same in all the households. Fields that should have produced 50, 100, even 200 scoops of millet yielded 5, 10 or 20. The land had failed all of them, and not a single family in Hawkantaki had anything left over to put in their granary.It’s like waiting all month for your salary, and then spending it in a few days. Except they had waited all year. And the next payday was another year away. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day There was barely any food at the wedding.Her family borrowed a bullock cart to take her to her husband’s home. Her girlfriends piled in with her, laughing. At the door, Zali was lifted onto the back of an old woman who carried her across the threshold, in an ancient marriage tradition.The mud-walled room had been built by hand by her husband. He is supposed to provide the roof over her head.The bride in turn is supposed to provide the furnishings, bought with the cash dowry. In the four months since the engagement, however, Zali’s family had spent almost all of it on food. All she found in the room was a yellow-and-orange plastic mat, a mosquito net, and a few bowls.According to the local custom, the bride’s friends stay with her for a week. The nine girls sat on the mat on the floor with Zali, singing songs, telling stories and giggling. Each time her husband approached, they shooed him away, clapping their hands and throwing things at him. It was like a game.And then the week was over, and the 12-year-old girl was suddenly left alone with a 23-year-old man.___When a marriage is consummated, the bride cooks a special meal and returns to her family’s home for the first time since the wedding. Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img

ANTOR reveals consumer trends post GFC

August 17th, 2019

first_imgThe Association of National Tourism Office Representatives (ANTOR) hosted its first industry seminar for the year in Sydney on Thursday. A panel of experts – Angela Smith, Account Director – Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research; Peter Smith, General Manager, Zuji and Andrew Drysdale, former Regional Director IATA – shared their insights into consumer and tourism industry market trends.Angela Smith discussed changing consumer travel trends post GFC, “The general consensus is that consumer confidence is building and people are still travelling.”She said that people are spending less time on overseas holidays, while domestic visits have stayed relatively stable. Angela also said Australians were still inclined to stock pile their annual leave and that the ‘No Leave, No Life’ campaign was trying to change this trend.Peter Smith said that while the online world of travel is burgeoning he “doesn’t see the end of the retail travel agent … its horses for courses.”     He said the average online user was “looking for information, looking to be inspired and looking to shop around.” Mr Smith predicted that mobile travel sites will continue to evolve over the coming years and that social media will become more important when “experimentation gives way to best practises.” Andrew Drysdale said that the Asia Pacific region has eclipsed the North American market for the first time in aviation history. “U.S influence in the global aviation industry is waning fast.” He also saw consolidation as the way of the future. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1b540/” 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: C.Flast_img read more

Vancouver Airport named best in North America

August 17th, 2019

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2340e/” 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 = Tourism Vancouver Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was recently named Best Airport in North America and 11th best airport worldwide at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in Brussels. The award is based on 9.8 million passenger surveys and measures 39 criteria that include comfort, efficiency, signage, transportation availability, passenger amenities and friendliness.So why is YVR so great? Vancouver International Airport is one of the few North American airports with a rapid transit connection direct to downtown. Guests arriving at YVR can be whisked to downtown Vancouver on the brand new Canada Line train which is clean, comfortable and offers great mountain views. In addition, YVR features an exceptional collection of First Nations art, free Internet access, children’s play areas, spa, shopping, dining and the luxurious Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel.last_img read more

Fall out from Pacific Blue pull out

August 17th, 2019

first_imgDomestic airfares are likely to increase and 200 jobs are at risk due to Pacific Blue’s exit from the New Zealand domestic scene, despite Air New Zealand and Jetstar’s plans to cover the market.According to Consumer New Zealand Chief Executive, Sue Chetwin, Pacific Blue’s announcement that it will soon cease New Zealand domestic services was “not good news for consumers”, anticipating fewer cheap flights available by the end of the year.“[Consumers] can probably expect some fees to go up, although there will be some competition on routes,” Ms Chetwin said, reported the New Zealand Herald.Ms Chetwin added that Air New Zealand, who confirmed they will carry passengers disrupted by Pacific Blue’s cancelled flights, will not feel the “urgency” to offer cheap deals on domestic routes due to a lack of competition.However, Air New Zealand Domestic General Manager, Bruce Parton, claimed prices would not rise following Pacific Blue’s departure and added that should the demand be there, Air New Zealand would increase its domestic capacity.Virgin Blue Chief Executive John Borghetti said the parent company of Pacific Blue was “proud” to have “basically laid the foundation to…competitive fares” in New Zealand, but had to pull out as there was little chance Pacific Blue’s domestic services would generate profit, reported the newspaper.Despite Mr Borghetti’s assurances that the company would not cut jobs and even promised 100 new jobs for New Zealanders with Pacific Blue’s focus on trans-Tasman flights, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) claim 200 jobs are at risk.“Once again, a large number of Kiwi workers will pay the price of proving that our domestic aviation market cannot sustain three airlines on the main routes,” EPMU National Secretary Andrew Little told the newspaper. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

ATECs four step plan for brighter future

August 17th, 2019

first_imgAustralian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Marian addressed the annual ATEC Symposium in Hamilton this week outlining new plans for leading the Tourism Industry over the next three years. The new plan of action incorporates four key issues that challenge the growth and sustainability of the tourism industry. “The Tourism industry is currently facing significant challenges from our high currency rate, natural disasters and strongly competing products overseas, but we have the ability to do better and build an industry that will be sustained and grow into the future,” Ms Mariani said.Ms Mariani said ATEC has over 1000 members comprising of tourism suppliers and distributors across Australia who depend on ATEC’s leadership and engagement with government and other industry partners to have their voices heard.“ATEC has circulated a discussion paper on these four key issues to all its members, designed to inform and prompt them to engage with these four challenges that we face as an industry, and to work in partnership with ATEC to create solutions,” said Ms MarianiMs Mariani said it is important to obtain feedback from our members on these issues and their relevance to growing their businesses.“There is no shortage of papers that have identified all the key issues confronting our industry. What we need now is a roadmap to help us navigate these problems and find the solutions,” concluded Ms Mariani. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Coral Princess winners announced

August 17th, 2019

first_imgMajor prize winner Samantha Baker receiving her prize from Coral Princess Cruises sales executives Elise O’Rourke and Kate Ashman (at right) and Broome and the Kimberley Holidays’ Victoria Kyngdon (left). Source = Coral Princess Cruises Coral Princess Cruises has announced the winners from their recent travel agent incentive. Retail agents who made bookings with the company between May and September 2011 were automatically entered into the draw to win one of three award-winning small ship cruises with the company. Congratulations to the lucky winners, the team at Coral Princess Cruises looks forward to welcoming each of you aboard soon!Major Prize – Samantha Baker, HWT Manly. Samantha has won a 10-night Kimberley cruise aboard Coral Princess’s flagship Oceanic Discoverer.2nd Prize – Angela Meek, Jetset Travel Bendigo. Angela has won a 4-night Great Barrier Reef cruise3rd Prize – Gina Dignan, Travelling Places. Gina has won a 3-night Great Barrier Reef cruisecenter_img :: Coral Princess winners announced ::last_img read more

APTs Geoff McGearys cruising accolade

August 17th, 2019

first_img…… Geoff McGeary (left) with Phil Hoffmann at the ICCA awards night APT founder Geoff McGeary has won the prestigious Neil Frazer Award for an individual’s outstanding contribution to the cruise industry.The International Cruise Council Association (Australia-New Zealand) made the award at the association’s annual awards dinner on Saturday in Sydney.Neil Frazer was a pioneer in the Australian cruise business and it was his passion for cruising that inspired many of our leading cruise agents today to diversify and invest in marketing and selling cruise product. The aim of this award is to recognise outstanding contributions by an individual to the cruise industry and is intended to encourage excellence and innovation while identifying and acknowledging someone who has also supported and encouraged others and gone beyond the call of duty. Geoff McGeary won this award for his contribution to the cruise industry through his development and innovation of the river cruise sector. He introduced European river cruising to the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2000 and continues to diversify with an ever-growing number of new cruise and tour options. APT now owns river ships in Europe and on the Mekong, and has an interest in two luxury expedition ships.Mr McGeary was present at the awards and said he was humbled by this trade acknowledgement. He paid tribute to all at APT who had made such a great success out of river cruising and to APT’s partners in this field, the specialist river cruising company AMA Waterways.CEO of APT, Chris Hall said Mr McGeary continued to be an inspiration to all at APT and to the industry in general.center_img Source = APTlast_img read more

Tigerair partner Amadeus in APAC

August 17th, 2019

first_img“The travel agency community is a vital piece towards Tigerair fulfilling our commitment in providing more customers with even more new travel experiences at very affordable fares,” Tigerair Group chief commercial officer Alexander Knigge said. “Our goal is to make it easier for LCCs, like Tigerair to embrace the travel agency sales channel through Amadeus to realise additional revenue opportunities,” Amadeus Asia Pacific president Angel Gallego said. Singapore travel agencies that book Tigerair via Amadeus have the opportunity to enter a weekly prize draw between now and 28 February 2014. Tigerair has formed a new distribution partnership, making fares and ancillary sales content available to Amadeus-connected travel agencies in Asia Pacific (APAC).center_img The low-cost carrier will distribute its full range of fares and content, including advance boarding, seat selection, luggage and other passenger amenities, via Amadeus’ extensive network. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

THAI Introduces Thai Contemporary Concept in its New Aircraft Interior

August 17th, 2019

first_imgThai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) introduced the Thai Contemporary Concept in its new aircraft interior, complete with new products in the passenger cabin area. The first aircraft to be completely decorated in the new Thai contemporary concept is THAI’s Boeing 777-300ER, registration number HS-TKU, royally bestowed the name “ACHARASOBHIT”, which received delivery on 21 January 2014.  This aircraft type is equipped to seat 348 passengers:  42 in Royal Silk Class and 306 in economy class, and will operate routes such as Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo. The Thai Contemporary Concept used in the design of THAI’s new aircraft interior applies wood materials that are used as slats.  Passengers are able to experience a warm and relaxing environment when they enter the passenger cabin.  Parts of the cabin area are decorated with silk, “kanok” Thai design, purple seat upholstery in Royal Silk Class that is relaxing with a sense of privacy.  The economy class seat is more colorful, designed with a combination of purple and orange.  Passengers are able to experience comfort with modern technologically advanced equipment such as more foot space and a seat function control unit designed to be seen from all angles in Royal Silk Class, a larger wash basin and automatic sensor faucet in Royal Silk Class, installation of eX2 modern inflight entertainment for international movie and music enjoyment that includes Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian movies.  Passenger comfort and convenience was given importance in these interior designs and inflight entertainment functions. Passengers will be able to experience the Thai Contemporary Concept on THAI’s new aircraft that are gradually entering the fleet. Economy Class has 306 seats that are designed for passenger comfort and convenience, 32 inch seat pitch, and 18 inch seat width.  All seats are fitted with 10.6 inch personal entertainment screens and AVOD eX2 system that offers the same number of audio and video selection as Royal Silk Class.center_img Royal Silk Class has 42 seats designed for passenger privacy, with 180 degree recline, 20 inch seat width, where each seat is positioned (staggered seats) for easy access, fitted with 16 inch personal entertainment screen, new touch screen remote control, Audio Visual On Demand (AVOD) eX2 system that features more than 100 movies, 150 documentaries, and 500 CD albums, and 60 games, for passenger inflight enjoyment. Mr. Danuj Bunnag, THAI Executive Vice President, Products & Customer Services, said that THAI works to continually develop its products and services for passenger satisfaction.  THAI’s new aircraft interior was designed based on the Thai Contemporary Concept so that passengers may experience inflight comfort with the ease of new modern technology.  Priestmangoode, a global travel and transport design consultancy in the United Kingdom, assisted in the interior design for all classes in the passenger cabin. Source = thai airwayslast_img read more

Union Qantas abandoned workforce

August 17th, 2019

first_imgThe Secretary of the Victorian branch of the Australian Services Union, Ingrid Stitt has said that Qantas Airways has abandoned its own workforce, after shifting call centre work from Brisbane and Melbourne to Hobart. The decision will likely hit many female employees and those who have been doing customer service work for Qantas for a long time hard. Mr Stitt maintains that 590 jobs will be lost while Qantas claims that only 450 full time jobs will go. Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi countered and said that consolidating all customer services enquiries in Tasmania would allow Qantas to keep providing the service that people expect as well as significant cost advantages. Moreover, Qantas will axe its complimentary chauffeur service for business and first class passengers going to the USA.  Source = ETB News: Tom Neale The airline’s Melbourne call centre will be closed in 2015 and the Brisbane one later in 2016, Qantas announced yesterday. The Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy blamed that the Federal government for creating incentives for Qantas to take the call centre work to Tasmania, which has the highest unemployment rate of any state in the country.last_img read more

Etihad to implement Amadeus Fare Families tool

August 17th, 2019

first_imgEtihad to implement ‘Amadeus Fare Families’ toolAmadeus, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, today announced that Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will implement the Amadeus Fare Families tool in the indirect channel, to support its innovative merchandising strategy. The move to incorporate Amadeus’ cutting-edge technology solution will help the airline achieve its objective of accelerating international growth through differentiation and upsell opportunities, via its extensive sales network.Through Amadeus Fare Families, Etihad Airways will brand and differentiate its products and services by showing the full value of each packaged fare on all its retailing interfaces for all customer segments and worldwide points of sale. With clear descriptions on service characteristics and terms and conditions, both travellers and travel agents benefit from greater transparency in the shopping process. In doing so, travel agents will be better equipped to advise their customers and proactively upsell from one fare family to the other, based on the traveller’s needs and preferences.Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways, says, “We are delighted to extend our ‘Fare Choices’ to the Amadeus travel community, thereby ensuring that our customers can always enjoy our full range of innovative services, irrespective of which channel they choose to shop on. Etihad Airways’ offering, which combines air and non-air services to deliver the very best travel experiences, is a source of great pride for us. We are confident the opportunities the new tool opens up, will create an enhanced customer experience for our travellers who can now benefit from greater travel customisation.“Through Amadeus, our packaged fares will now also be available in the indirect channel‎ worldwide and displayed at all points of sale in a way that is consistent with our brand.”Maher Koubaa, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Amadeus Airline Distribution and IT, adds, “We are excited to support Etihad’s marketing and growth objectives in the indirect channel. This demonstrates the expertise we bring to the industry, generating higher revenues by deploying merchandising strategies across channels. Through greater product transparency and the full end-to-end integration of the solution, our travel agency community will be able to guide and service customers more comprehensively and efficiently.”Etihad files its fare families using ATPCo Branded Fares and Amadeus is the first technology provider to support this new industry standard. Apart from filing centrally, airlines can also file their fare families directly in the Amadeus system if they so prefer.Etihad is the first Middle Eastern carrier to implement Amadeus Fare Families, which allows airlines to brand and differentiate their products in the indirect channel. It is a completely automated solution that prompts travel agents with upsell opportunities and is fully integrated with the travel agent booking flow as well as their mid- and back-office systems to facilitate customer servicing. To date, 17 airlines have implemented Amadeus Fare Families to distribute their branded fares through Amadeus.Source = Amadeuslast_img read more

Hong Kong Airlines 9th Anniversary MEGA SALE Today ONLY

August 17th, 2019

first_imgSource = Hong Kong Airlines – World Aviation Systems Hong Kong Airlines 9th AnniversaryToday Only MEGA SALE!Bringing the very best sky high! Hong Kong Airlines 9th Anniversary MEGA SALE Today ONLYcenter_img With prices starting fromCNY340*per personFor Sales 15 September 2015 OnlyDepartures between 01 November 15 – 30 June 2016**Above price is per person, return, Economy class.*IMPORTANT NOTE: Fares are only bookable online please proceed to www.hongkongairlines.com/megasales/en/index.htmlto book.Hong Kong Airlines is Represented by World Aviation Systems in AustraliaFor more information or to book contact Hong Kong Airlines on 1300 889 190last_img