Did you know? Why it’s always so cold on airplanes Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group TORONTO — How many of us have sat on an airplane, teeth chattering and shivering in our seats, wondering why on earth must the air conditioning be on at full blast?Too many of us, we suppose, since arctic temperatures in airplanes are a common occurrence. But why does it have to be? If airplanes – the very existence of which is a miracle unto itself – can magically stay afloat in the sky, why, pray tell, can’t they get something as simple as temperature control right?Turns out, the problem lies in the age of the aircraft, reports Bravo. According to retired Delta captain Paul Eschenfelder, as cited in Traveller, the older the aircraft, the colder it is onboard. Newer airplane models are able to regulate temperature in different areas of the cabin right down to the exact row. However, older aircraft aren’t built to do this, which means they have to use the same temperature throughout the cabin.More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthAs such, while some passengers are left overheated with little to no relief, others are being blasted with cold air.So what can you do about it? Pack plenty of layers, or a sarong or shawl. You can request an extra blanket from the flight crew if one is available. And you can also ask a flight attendant to change the temperature; if it’s a newer plane, it can be done.And as Jezebel noted, if you’re able to pre-select your seat, avoid the back of the plane where it’s often chillier. And choose a seat that’s at least two rows away from any exit doors as they can often be the draftiest seats onboard. Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Tags: Recipes Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Impress your party guests with these awesome resort cocktails Posted by TORONTO — Let’s not kid ourselves, one of the best parts of an all-inclusive vacation is the drinks.From margaritas and mojitos to daiquiris and mai tais, the open-bar concept at all-inclusive resorts is simply too hard to resist. And for some reason, whether it’s the laidback vibe of a resort or the sweetness of local ingredients, a cold, refreshing drink always seems to taste better while on vacation.But now there’s an easy way for you to recreate your vacay memories at home – all you need is some ice, a few ingredients and a shaker.In celebration of National Cocktail Day (March 24), Allegro Hotels, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Resorts World Bimini and Royal Hideaway Playacar have all released the recipes of some of their best tropical cocktails. Although they won’t be served poolside by a charming butler or handed to you across a swim-up bar, these tasty concoctions will be the highlight of any party and transport you and your guests back to sunnier times.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckALLEGRO COZUMEL: Cucumber & Jalapeño MartiniIngredients:1 Cucumber (cut into ¼-inch rounds)¼ Jalapeño Pepper.5 oz Simple Syrup.5 oz Lime Juice2.25 oz VodkaIceInstructions:In a cocktail shaker, add 3 cucumber slices, the jalapeño pepper and simple syrup. Using a muddler, gently crush the cucumber mixture. Fill shaker with ice and add vodka. Strain and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with cucumber slice and serve.BARCELO BAVARO GRAND RESORT: Sex on Bávaro BeachIngredients:1.5 oz Vodka1.7 oz Peach Schnapps1.5 oz Cranberry Juice1.5 oz Orange JuiceIce CubesLemon SlicesInstructions:Pour the peach schnapps and vodka into the highball glass, followed by the cranberry and ice. Top the cocktail with orange juice.OCCIDENTAL COZUMEL: Kiss Me QuickIngredients:12oz Fresh Raspberries4oz Absolut Raspberry vodka8oz Pineapple Juice1 Cup Granulated Sugar1oz GrenadineInstructions: Rim a martini glass with sugar and grenadine. Muddle raspberries and mix in shaker with the rest of ingredients. Pour into the martini glass and serve.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamROYAL HIDEAWAY PLAYACAR: Royal Cucumber MartiniIngredients:1.5 oz of Bombay Sapphire Gin1.5 oz Fresh Cucumber.25 oz of Fresh Lime Juice1 tablespoon of brown sugarIceInstructions:Grab a cocktail shaker and fill it with the fresh cucumber, lime juice and brown sugar. Shake well and add the gin and the ice before serving it in a martini glass. Garnish with a shaved cucumber.RESORTS WORLD WIMINI: Caribbean Queen DaiquiriIngredients:3.5 oz ice cubes1 oz sugar syrup 2:14 oz sour mix3 oz Island Oasis strawberry mix1 oz pomegranate liqueur1 oz Margaritaville (silver) TequilaInstructions:Combine all ingredients into a Boston tin cup. Add fresh ice, pour into a blending cup and mix until smooth. Por mix into a serving glass andtop off with Margaritaville Tequila. Garnish with a fresh slice of tropical fruit or a lime wheel. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
GUATEMALA CITY – U.S. Internet pioneer John McAfee, wanted for questioning in the murder of his neighbor last month in Belize, is seeking political asylum in Guatemala, his lawyer said Tuesday.The multi-millionaire went on the run from his home on the idyllic Belize island of Ambergris Caye hours after neighbor Gregory Faull was murdered on Nov. 11.With his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sam Vanegas, in tow, he managed to cross the border into Guatemala over the weekend and has secured the services of star lawyer Telesforo Guerra, a former Guatemalan attorney general.“I have to manage his political asylum,” Guerra told AFP after meeting McAfee early Tuesday at a hotel in Guatemala City.McAfee “is persecuted in Belize, persecuted politically because he stopped financing the government. They accuse him of a common crime. So what I have to obtain is an authorization of asylum,” the lawyer said.Asked whether McAfee fears being assassinated, Guerra said: “Yes, he fears for his life, because after having helped and supported the current government in Belize, they now want more and more money, which they pocket and don’t invest.”McAfee, 67, amassed huge wealth as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in the 1990s, designing the hugely popular anti-virus software that bears his name and remains a leading industry product to this day.He decamped to Belize in 2009 after losing an estimated $96 million of his $100 million fortune due to bad investments and the financial crisis. Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. Starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Costa Rican lawmakers will discuss a draft bill to determine whether it is fair that physicians receive a salary increase every time an adjustment in wages is approved for other workers.The bill is at the top of the Legislative Assembly agenda and is expected to be voted on in a first round of debate Tuesday night.The current law states that doctor bonuses and incentives for overtime, availability and night shifts are taken into account within a regular salary, but lawmakers believe this is “a misinterpretation of the law.”The Social Security System, or Caja, currently must resolve some 2,000 lawsuits filed by doctors for payment of these incentives. The Caja already has lost more than 300 of the lawsuits, costing the state-run health care system ₡3.5 billion ($7 million).The law, created in 1982, has caused much controversy because Caja officials said the wage system could take the institution into bankruptcy.It is estimated that the remaining cases could mean payments of some ₡174 billion ($348 million) to other doctors.A ruling today by lawmakers would not end lawsuits already in process.On Monday, the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP) announced that they will protest in coming days to force lawmakers to vote on changes that would “keep all other workers from getting fair wage increases.” Facebook Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The global economy may be entering an era of slower but more sustainable growth as the effects of the recent crisis fade, the World Bank said Wednesday in its latest update on economic conditions.The semiannual report said that global trade has picked up while easing commodity prices are keeping inflation in check. Even after the U.S. Congress agreed this year to raise taxes and allowed the spending cuts known as the sequester to go into effect,the U.S. economy is expanding and growth is expected to accelerate next year. The major emerging markets are likely to experience growth that is slower than the pre-crisis boom but also less volatile.The slower, more stable growth is a welcome development, said Andrew Burns, the lead author of the report and the World Bank’s manager of global macroeconomics. “The potential cliff events we have been talking about have receded into the background … and it is a bit of a game changer. What we are talking about here is sustainable,” Burns said.Even the recent volatility in the markets, with daily 100-point swings in the Dow Jones industrial average, may be a healthy sign of the transition from crisis to normalcy. Investors are simply adjusting to the gradual end of policies put in place to battle the extraordinary effects of a global crisis, Burns said.Indeed, analysts have attributed the volatility spike to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its bond-buying program sooner than expected because of the improving economy.The report noted particular improvements in the U.S. labor and housing markets. The U.S. economy is projected to grow by 2 percent this year, slightly higher than the 1.9 percent that the World Bank projected six months ago. Still, the report noted that a “fairly robust private sector recovery is being held back, but not extinguished, by fiscal tightening.”In Europe, financial conditions have improved, but the economy continues to contract and unemployment is up. High-income countries in general continue to face challenges in their efforts to restore the financial sector’s health, reform institutions and get fiscal policy on a sustainable path. However, the World Bank notes that the likelihood of these challenges provoking a major crisis has declined.The World Bank has lowered its estimates for the euro-zone economy this year, as fiscal and banking consolidation is dragging down growth, and is now projecting an economic contraction of 0.6 percent for 2013, compared with the previous projection of 0.1 percent. But Burns said that Europe is “past the worst of the crisis” and that as confidence rises, growth should resume.Kaushik Basu, chief economist at the World Bank, noted that important positive actions have been taken on banking supervision, monetary policy and fiscal consolidation to stabilize the situation in the euro zone but said more steps are needed to improve fiscal coordination and create a stronger banking union.In Japan, a dramatic relaxation of macroeconomic policy has sparked an uptick in economic activity, at least over the short term.The World Bank also has recalculated potential growth in the developing world, now estimated at 6 percent. “We used to hear talk that countries will grow 9 percent like China,” Burns said. “Increasingly there is a recognition that they will have to do a lot of really difficult things to achieve that.”Those steps include undertaking structural reforms, such as opening up international trade and foreign investment and investing in infrastructure and human capital, Burns said. “These measures underpinned strong developing country growth over the past 20 years and are worth sticking with,” he said.Global trade is expected to expand by 4 percent in 2013, in part due to rapid expansion in trade among developing countries. More than 50 percent of a developing country’s exports now go to other developing countries. At the same time, commodity prices are easing: Metals and minerals are down 28 percent and energy by 14 percent since their peaks in early 2011, the World Bank said.Despite the improving picture, there is no denying that “the slowdown in the real economy is unusually protracted,” Basu said. “This is reflected in the stubbornly high unemployment in industrialized nations and in the slowing growth in emerging economies.”Washington Post staff writer Howard Schneider contributed to this report.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twitter’s $1 billion stock offering suggests a cautious Wall Street debut by the popular messaging platform, careful to avoid the mistakes made by its larger counterpart Facebook last year, say analysts.“The surprise is that they are doing such a small deal,” said Michael Pachter, director of equity research at Wedbush Securities who follows tech companies.“I think that’s smart of them. The mistake Facebook made was they flooded the market with shares.”Twitter’s initial public offering (IPO) unveiled Thursday indicates the shares offered will be a relatively modest percentage of what Wedbush estimates as a valuation of around $15 billion.Twitter did not give a date for the IPO but said it would take place as “soon as practicable.”Pachter noted that the “relatively small initial public offering is intended to avoid the issues experienced by Facebook when it offered approximately $16 billion in stock, far more than the market appeared willing to absorb.”He added that Twitter and early investors appear to be “patient” and will wait before selling shares, to ensure the supply is limited.“I think this is being handled masterfully,” he told AFP.Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund, said investor interest will be high because social media is “red hot” but that Twitter still has some leaning to do to make it more ubiquitous.“A lot of people go to Twitter and find it difficult to immediately get value from it,” he said.“That’s not because it’s not to be had, but it’s not as easy as with Facebook.”Other analysts meanwhile point out that the numbers provided in Twitter’s IPO filing failed to live up to the most optimistic estimates for growth in users and revenues.Twitter disclosed that it had 218 million monthly active users as of June 30 in a 44 percent increase from the same point a year earlier. It reported that it lost almost $80 million on some $317 million in revenue in 2012.Twitter brought in $253.6 million in revenue in the first half of this year, but remained in the red with a loss of about $69 million.“I think they are still very early in the value proposition of what they are offering,” Kerner said.Kerner noted that the number of active users “is still a huge user base, its only because of Facebook’s reach that we look at 200 million and aren’t as impressed.”Shea Bennett, who edits the All Twitter blog, which monitors the social media site, said the figures in the filing were “pretty underwhelming.”“For me, the biggest disappointment was Twitter’s slow rate of active user growth,” Bennett wrote.He said the chart provided by Twitter shows “a jump of just 14 million actives, or 6.8 percent, since March. What does this slow acquisition of sign-ups mean for Twitter’s future?”John Battelle, an Internet entrepreneur who helped launch Wired magazine and founded the online ad exchange Federated Media Publishing said Twitter’s revenue growth is “impressive” even if it does not quite measure up in some respects to giants like Google and Facebook ahead of their IPOs.Battelle said Twitter is profitable on the basis without counting items such as debt and amortization, “which is good, but not spectacular.”“So from a financial point of view, Twitter’s no Google. But it’s no slouch, either,” he wrote on his blog.“It’ll be very interesting to see what the company’s third quarter filings look like. My guess is they’ll be very strong – the company is far too smart to plan it any other way.”Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research argued meanwhile that investors should be highly cautious about putting money in the volatile sector.“I think the optimism in Twitter is misplaced,” he told AFP. “Twitter is a great company but at terrible valuations.”Chowdhry said he would value Twitter at no more than $3 billion, given “brutal competition” and hints that Internet users are turning to more “visual” social networks such as Pinterest, and Facebook’s Instagram.“I think the Twitter IPO marks the peak of the company, not the starting point of growth,” he said.Chowdhry said he also is looking for more disclosure from Twitter about its revenues, particularly whether its early investors are also among its advertisers. He said these kinds of relationships were problematic in the dot-com boom and bust.“We cannot make a judgment about the quality of the revenues,” he said. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Percussionist and singer Pedrito Martínez, seen in this undated photo, has appeared on more than 100 recordings. Martin Cohen photo For so many North American eardrums, the story of Afro-Cuban music begins and ends with Buena Vista Social Club.The beloved 1997 album — and the 1999 documentary about the unlikely studio sessions that birthed it — transformed a crew of forgotten Cuban maestros into world-renowned players whose songs would cast an immense, singular shadow.Roberto Fonseca is quite literally stepping out of it. His new album, “Yo,” lunges in fantastic and unexpected directions while remaining rooted in Afro-Cuban musical traditions — traditions the 38-year-old Havana pianist became highly fluent in during the years he spent performing alongside Buena Vista alums, including the late vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer.“For me, playing with them was like going to the son montuno school,” Fonseca said, referring to the percolating style that forms much of Cuba’s sonic DNA. “I was trying to learn how to play and how to feel.”Across “Yo,” Fonseca’s touch ranges from lightning-lithe to thunderously heavy, often holding the music’s melodic and percussive center at once. He comes out swinging with “80s,” a thrilling album-starter that resembles Nigerian Afrobeat, with chattering rhythms and vintage jazz fusion in its oily electronic timbres. Dizzying and dazzling, it sounds like falling down the stairs and landing on your feet.“To me, music doesn’t have frontiers, doesn’t have borders,” Fonseca says over the phone from a tour stop in New Orleans, perhaps the only city in this hemisphere crammed with more musical magic per square foot than Havana. “When people listen to my music, they feel good, even if they’re not from Cuba.”Fonseca has helped push Afro-Cuban music further into the 21st century on other recordings, too — his work with British dubstep pioneer Mala produced an intriguing 2012 album called “Mala in Cuba.” But, Fonseca said, his desire to move Cuban music ahead feels more personal, almost internal.“It would have been easy to name myself ‘the Buena Vista Social Club new generation,’ ” Fonseca said. “But now it’s my career, and people are really accepting. We are starting from zero here, and I’m feeling really good. My music is my life, and my life is my music.”New York percussionist and singer Pedrito Martínez seems to be following similar impulses on the excellent, eponymous debut album from the Pedrito Martínez Group, out Tuesday.The album grinds the band leader’s original compositions up against tunes made famous by Led Zeppelin and the Jackson 5 — all played with a zeal that should burnish Martinez’s reputation as one of the most vital and charismatic Afro-Latin percussionists on the planet. The 40-year-old conga player first learned Cuba’s rhythmic dialects in the streets of Havana, but he said his curiosity is continuously stoked by the music of New York City.“Everything comes from tradition, and what you do is add,” Martínez said over the telephone. “It’s Afro-Cuban music interpreted by someone who’s been in the United States for 15 years.”Martínez first left his native Cuba for a tour of Canada in 1998, and in 2000, took first place at the Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Jazz Hand Drum Competition, held at the Kennedy Center. Since then, he’s appeared on more than 100 recordings, all while performing regularly at private Santeria ceremonies at apartments across various New York boroughs.His group — an ace quartet that includes keyboardist Ariacne Trujillo, bassist Álvaro Benavides and percussionist Jhair Sala — still maintains a weekly residency at Guantanamera, a Cuban restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. Martínez said the gig has helped him learn to a play with a dynamism and intensity that can rip across rooms of any size.“We made this band in a little restaurant where people are eating and talking,” Martínez said. “You don’t know how they’re going to react when you start getting loud and excited. But I get up there and do what I know how to do. I do it from the bottom of my heart. And that’s what they feel.”© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Analysis: Obama-Castro handshake offers hope for US-Cuba ties Freedom eludes Cubans U.S. woman, 64, makes history with Cuba-Florida swim Ties between North Korea, Cuba hinted at in route of seized freighter
Facebook Comments Jacó Arts FestivalIf there’s one thing people know how to do in Jacó, it’s party. But unlike the usual after-surf drinking binges, the Jacó Arts Festival celebrates the region’s crafts and culture. During the day you’ll find tents full of paintings, sculpture, handmade clothing, and traditional masks. At night you’ll find clowns, acrobats, musicians and every variety of street food. Jacó is best known for decent waves and killer nightlife, but as the Arts Festival proves, there’s a lot of creativity in that gritty old beach town.Festival takes place March 7-16 in downtown Jacó. Free. Info: Festival website.Paula Rock FestivalPaula Coto Velerín was an upbeat young rock lover and musician who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2008. When friends and family put together a concert in her memory, they had no idea that the Paula Rock Festival would become an annual celebration. The seventh edition of this one-day festival features a full roster of Costa Rican rock bands.The Paula Rock Festival takes place March 8 at the Casa de la Ciudad, Cartago. 5 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). Info: RedCultura site.Theater: “100 Square Meters”Sara has found the perfect property, except for one thing: If she buys it, the 70-year-old owner gets to stay until she dies. But will cigarettes and booze actually kill the old woman, or will Sara wait indefinitely? Find out during Juan Carlos Rubio’s stage play is, thanks to Spain-based TIKTAKProductions.“100 Metros Cuadrados” performs through March 30 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11) general admission, ₡3,000 ($6) students. Info: RedCultura site.Film: “Eyes Wide Shut”A film series on George Lucas and Stanley Kubrick finally finishes with the surreal erotic thriller “Eyes Wide Shut.” Will Tom Cruise find his way to a masked orgy? What will his combative wife think? Find out at this free screening.Screening takes place March 13 at Casa Batsú, Barrio Escalante. 7 p.m. Free. Info: RedCultura site.Theater: “The Vagina Monologues”Celebrate International Women’s Day with Eve Ensler’s powerful monologue series, presented by University for Peace students.“The Vagina Monologues” will take place March 8 at the Teatro de la Palestra, Casa de Cultura, Ciudad Colón. 7 p.m. $4-6. Info: EventBrite website.Theater: “The Glass Menagerie”The Little Theater Group presents its final weekend of “The Glass Menagerie,” during a special engagement in Jacó.“The Glass Menagerie” takes place at Teatro Jacó, downtown Jacó. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. $20. Info: Teatro Jacó website.Theater: “Rey Lear” RevivalThe Shakespeare classic returns for an encore performance at the Teatro de la Aduana. The National Theater Company presents this acclaimed Spanish-language production starring Óscar Castillo.“El Rey Lear” continues through March 9. Teatro de la Aduana, Barrio Carmen. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info & Tickets: 2257-8305.Theater: “The House of the Spirits”Teatro Espressivo presents a theatrical adaptation of Isabel Allende’s classic novel, “The House of the Spirits.” This epic magic-realist story receives an inventive adaptation by Caridad Svich.“The House of the Spirits” continues through April 13 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡8,000-15,000 ($16-30). Info: Performance website.Fine Art: “In the Woods”The Museum of Costa Rican art presents this haunting and beautiful series of landscapes by Gerardo González. See his unique vision of the rain forest.“Bosque Adentro” continues through April 6 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana Park. Tue.-Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website.Enamorate de tu ciudadYes, you can get gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-long celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check back for games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website. Related posts:A jungle concert, St. Paddy’s Day, and other stuff happening in Costa Rica India Fest, San Ramón run and other happenings around Costa Rica A colossal paint party, and other happenings in Costa Rica Arts Festival, Star Wars convention, and other happenings around Costa Rica
Years ago, a few days after Christmas, a friend called and in the course of the conversation asked if we’d heard that Fidel Castro had died.It hadn’t been reported on the early news, and, remember, this was 2005, when Castro was still hale and hearty.There was nothing on the newsbreaks during the day, or on the midday news, and nothing on the Internet that we could find. That seemed strange; whether you love Castro, hate him or couldn’t care less, he makes news.Later in the day, I went to visit some friends near Alajuela, northwest of San José. They, too, were surprised at the demise of Castro. They reported it to a neighbor, who hadn’t heard anything either.Reality hit as the day wore on. It was Dec. 28! Innocents’ Day.Innocents’ Day goes back to the biblical story of King Herod, who killed all the babies in Judea but was tricked by the Holy Family who fled to Egypt.During the Middle Ages in Spain and other countries, it became a day of tricks and practical jokes, sort of like April Fools’ Day on April 1. The custom is not as common now, but in Costa Rica, every year San José’s Simón Bolívar Zoo gets calls for “Señor León” and “Ella Fante.”Most tricks are mild and truly innocent. A coin is glued to the sidewalk and everyone tries to pick it up. A ¢1,000 bill on the ground is attached to a thread and jerked out of reach when you try to enrich yourself. A gift-wrapped package on your desk at work turns out to be an empty box. You’re told to meet someone on the corner at 3 p.m. and at 4 p.m. realize you’ve been tricked.On the more serious side, the man at the store may toss you a bag of eggs, or someone may snatch a bag of potato chips right out of your hand. Or all the benches in the park are bedecked with “wet paint” signs.On the horrible side, one year at the year-end festival in Zapote, southeast of San José, some demonic-minded person threw a big rag doll from the top of the roller coaster, leaving the crowds screaming. Because the camera crew from a leading TV station was there to film it, they were suspected of being part of the plot.Even the mighty get caught, as one major newspaper did when it printed a false obituary that came in just at deadline on Dec. 28.Is it possible for an entire village to be fooled on Innocents’ Day? It happened when a truck went up the road around noon with a sound system announcing a collection of bottles, cans and newspapers for recycling. This is a common charity activity, so in every house folks gathered up their bottles, cans and paper and hauled it all out to the road expecting that the truck would pass through villages farther up the road and come back. It never returned, and late in the afternoon the entire village, feeling foolish, retrieved their bottles, cans and papers and stuffed them back into storage.It was Dec. 28.Originally published Dec. 22, 2006. Facebook Comments Related posts:Google doodle recognizes Children’s Day in Costa Rica Police seize $1 million collection of pre-Columbian art in Santa Ana PHOTOS: Lantern parade and torch kick off Costa Rica Independence Day festivities PHOTOS: Snapshots of Costa Rica’s Independence Day Parade
Related posts:Mixed emotions vex ‘Pedro Pan’ generation after Cuba move Havana’s goals in US-Cuba normalization remain unclear US officials in Cuba to discuss embassies Wonkblog: What the new U.S.-Cuba travel rules mean for US citizens hoping to visit Cuba HAVANA, Cuba – At least 30 Cuban political prisoners have been released in the last 48 hours, dissident leaders said Thursday, as Cuba moves towardsnormalizing ties with the United States.Washington and Havana announced a historic bilateral rapprochement in mid-December in which Cuba agreed to free 53 political prisoners as part of a deal to end a five-decade standoff with the United States.“So far we’re counting a total of 30 releases, including 24 from the UNPACU,” said José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), a dissident group based in the communist island’s east.Elizardo Sánchez, a prominent dissident from the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Committee, said his group had counted more than 30.The releases are occurring “at a trickle and should continue tomorrow,” he told AFP, adding that the prisoners came from several provinces.Both groups confirmed Wednesday that 18-year-old dissident twin brothers had been freed, one day after the U.S. State Department said Cuban authorities had freed some of the 53 prisoners.But State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki neither specified how many prisoners were freed nor their names, and Havana has yet to comment on the sensitive matter.For decades Cuba has accused dissidents of being U.S. “mercenaries.”Several days after the historic reconciliation, President Raúl Castro referred to them as “a few hundred individuals who receive money, instructions and oxygen from the outside.”At the time of the rapprochement, Cuban dissidents said some 100 political prisoners were languishing in jail. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Following recent crime wave, Solís announces new investment in San Carlos police force Inept criminals sentenced to prison for attempting to steal a truck they couldn’t drive Costa Rica police launch operations in several neighborhoods in the capital to battle crime wave Organized crime prosecutor named new director of Costa Rica’s investigative police It could have been the setting of a horror film. Police find four young children living in a dirty home with the walls and windows covered in hooks, black plastic, mirrors and symbols painted on the walls.But the disturbing scene — as described by the daily La Nación — was no fiction, but rather where two boys, ages 6 and 2, respectively, their 4-year-old sister, and a 3-month-old baby girl were living in the San José neighborhood of Guadalupe. The newspaper reported that authorities said there was nothing to eat in the home save flour and yeast.The Child Welfare Office (PANI) received an anonymous tip alleging abandonment at the home, and on Tuesday officials from PANI visited the family. When the PANI officers asked to see the children, their father, a U.S.-Costa Rican man with the last names Amador Cedeño, refused to let the officers into the home. PANI filed a complaint with the San José Second Circuit Assistant Prosecutor’s Office and returned hours later with police.Amador Cedeño and the children’s mother, identified as Salazar Marín, were both arrested and remanded to a psychiatric hospital for three months as preventive measures. Both adults showed signs of “psychiatric problems” after an examination by the Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Tatiana Vargas told The Tico Times.The children are under the care of PANI, La Nación reported.Vargas said that Amador was also wanted in connection to a homicide investigation. She said that Amador allegedly provided a blade to a suspect that was used to kill someone. No charges have yet been filed in this case, Vargas said.The child abuse case is under investigation. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that Costa Rica’s decision to walk out of the United Nations (U.N.) session before Brazilian President Michel Temer’s speech was made two days earlier.González said the Costa Rican entourage in New York had evaluated the list of speeches scheduled for the last day of sessions of the U.N. General Assembly and that “President Luis Guillermo Solís said at the meeting that he was not interested in hearing Brazil’s speech,” González told lawmakers.The minister noted that it is not mandatory for a president to attend a full session “and stay there for eight or nine hours listening to all the scheduled speeches.”González said that the Costa Rican delegation left the session before the Brazilian president took the stand; therefore, their action cannot be considered a snub. He noted that their decision was “absolutely sovereign and independent,” adding that it had no relation to a walkout staged by other countries that also left the room before Temer’s speech.The country delegations that walked off in protest — Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia, all members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) — left the U.N. General Assembly at the same time members of the Costa Rican entourage were leaving.Social Christian Unity Party legislator Luis Vázquez asked González if he considered that a coincidence. “Of course I do. I have no reason to lie, but we didn’t leave holding each other’s hands,” the minister responded.Tense momentsMinister González’s hearing was interrupted for a few minutes by complaints from lawmakers from the ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC) about questions from National Liberation Party (PLN) legislator Rolando González.The legislator asked the minister several times about reports that Costa Rica’s ambassador to Brazil, Jairo Valverde, supposedly submitted to San José regarding the current political situation in that country.The minister said the reports exist, but he first needed to prepare the information before handing it to the Assembly. He said that he had to follow the ministry’s procedures to handle such documents.The PLN legislator however kept asking the minister to hand over the reports, igniting vocal protests from various PAC legislators.González then asked the minister if the government considered Temer’s appointment a coup. The minister said Costa Rica was not in a position to judge that situation and noted that under Brazilian laws impeachment is a valid legal procedure.The question angered PAC legislators Franklin Corella and Marco Vinicio Redondo, who engaged in a heated exchange with González. They even demanded the Assembly’s directorate suspend the session, but González claimed that the ruling party was only trying to censor him.Acting Legislative President José Alfaro warned the lawmakers that the session was only paused until “calm and respect return to the room.”The minister resumed the hearing by saying the administration of President Solís is not trying to downplay the U.N. situation. He noted, however, that he believes the incident had been blown out of proportion.Normal relationsGonzález’s hearing started at 3 p.m. He started by telling lawmakers that the country’s action at the U.N. did not violate any of Costa Rica’s foreign policies.He also said that the country is not at all interested in joining ALBA “or any other similar group, such as Petrocaribe.”The Foreign Minister said that the walkout had nothing to do with the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, and that Costa Rica is more concerned about repressive actions against the Brazilian people following Rousseff’s exit.González said he doesn’t believe Costa Rica’s relations with Brazil have been undermined or damaged.He told legislators, as an example, that Brazil’s Foreign Minister José Serra approached and talked to President Solís in Cartagena last Monday during the signing of the peace deal in Colombia.González also noted that upon Temer’s return to Brazil, he told various media outlets that the walkout “was meaningless.”Minister González’s hearing ended at 5:30 p.m.See a video of Costa Rica and other countries walking out of the U.N. General Assembly before Temer’s speech: Related posts:Lawmakers approve Social Security loan, highway fund during extraordinary period Costa Rica sues Nicaragua over military camp near border Opposition lawmakers maintain control of Legislative Assembly’s Directorate Venezuelan lawmaker says in Costa Rica that her people eat from garbage trucks
Volaris, Interjet, Aeromexico, Avianca and other aeronautical companies offer direct flights to Mexico starting at $198 for a round trip. Just last year, visitation of Costa Rica by Mexican tourist and corporate tourism grew 11%.Also, Costa Rican national and foreign expats have increased their visits to Mexico as a business and leisure destination. This has led more airlines to in introduce direct flights between San José and Mexican cities.Volaris Costa Rica has announced that it will connect directly between Mexico City and San Jose three times a week starting September: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.Interjet has had two daily frequencies flying to Mexico trying to conquer the corporate market. More Mexican companies are opening business now in Costa Rica and vice versa, increasing the traffic back and forth.Aeroméxico has had 14 frequencies per week since 2014, transporting almost 4 thousand passengers in that route.The competition for the Mexico – Costa Rica route is creating a much more competitive price for airline tickets, of which Costa Rican tourists and expats can take advantage of in search for new vacation destinations.The Costa Rican institute of tourism expects over 100 thousand visitors coming from Mexico before the end of 2017. Facebook Comments Related posts:The growth of the Tamarindo Diria Hotel Next Tico Times print edition to focus on Central Pacific The Tico Times’ March print edition: Puerto Viejo, safe travels and more International tourism to Costa Rica continued to rise in 2018
4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments Share “The purpose of our trip is to send a strong message to the Egyptian people that we understand that success relies on the private sector to grow jobs for men and women in Egypt and raise income levels,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Washington before heading to Cairo.U.S. Regional Commerce Counselor Ann Bacher said the mission of the delegation is to hear “straight out declarations” from the Brotherhood-led government that there is clear support for investment and trade.That includes reforms ensuring application of rule of law, sanctity of contracts and greater transparency, said Michael Froman, President Barak Obama’s deputy national security adviser for international economics.“It’s about greater opportunity for people to participate,” he told reporters in a Friday conference call.Mubarak’s governments carried out a liberalization program that involved the selling off of state-run industries, but the process was plagued with corruption and much of the benefit went to a relatively small elite loyal to his regime.The executives in the delegation come from a range of major U.S. corporations, including Caterpillar, Cummins, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo and Visa. They will meet with with Egypt’s new prime minister and more than a dozen ministers, including the tourism minister early next week. The executives will also meet with local businessmen, including members of the Egyptian Business Development Association that was started this year by the Brotherhood’s economic adviser Hassan Malek. Nides said the team is “not coming there to dictate with them how to run their economy” but to encourage more openness, better wealth distribution and help with stabilization.U.S. officials say they are negotiating with Egypt over the debt relief package and how the money will be used. Washington has pledged relief for up to $1 billion of the $3.2 billion Egypt owes the U.S. Congress must approve the package, but Nides said there was bipartisan support.U.S. administration officials say Morsi’s government has already given reassuring signs. The Brotherhood has always taken a strong private-sector philosophy, and many of its top figures and financiers are businessmen.One worry some inside and outside Egypt have is that the Brotherhood, which advocates a greater role for religion in public life, will implement an Islamist program that could dampen investment, particularly in tourism.“There is huge apprehension about what it means to have an Islamist government,” said the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Hisham Fahmy.He said Egyptian and U.S. executives are going to press Egyptian officials in their meetings to make the country “business friendly” by reducing bureaucratic red tape, enhancing transparency so people understand tax and custom laws better and, for example, enacting a bankruptcy law that allows people to take risks. Regarding any fears the United States has toward the Brotherhood and the new Egypt that has emerged after the uprising, Nides said that in the end “actions will speak for themselves.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The United States is also working out details on $1 billion in debt relief for Egypt that U.S. officials say they hope will make money available for job creation and investment funds.Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his government are putting together a program for reforms to salvage the economy and set a long-term path they say will increase investment and jobs and ease the state’s burgeoning budget deficits.Critics, however, worry that possible cuts in subsidies will hurt the large impoverished swath of the population that relies on them and that the plan could bring skewed liberalizations that will increase the gap between rich and poor, as occurred under Mubarak.The economy has been spiraling down since last year’s anti-Mubarak uprising, as foreign investment dried up and tourism _ one of the country’s main money-makers _ dropped. Egypt is also seeking a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund as a rescue package and as an international stamp of approval to draw in investors.“A stable Egypt is in everyone’s best interest,” said Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who is among a number of U.S. officials joining the delegation, which arrives Saturday. Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – The largest ever U.S. trade delegation to the Arab world, visiting Egypt this weekend, is sounding out the new Islamist-led government over plans for reforming the ailing economy and seeking assurance that Egypt will be open for business under its rule.The delegation of more than 100 U.S. executives is part of a push by Washington aimed at helping restore the Egyptian economy _ while ensuring its influence with the new, freely elected leadership after the fall of longtime U.S. ally President Hosni Mubarak. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement But while much comes in as Western donations, those on the receiving end sell them instead of giving them away, creating a massive industry that makes it even harder for Nigeria’s remaining clothing manufacturers to complete against a tidal wave of cotton and polyester.“More often than not what people call donations actually ends up been hijacked by people … who profiteer from it,” said Diran Akinleye, an economics professor at the University of Lagos. “So even though it starts out in the U.S. or the (United Kingdom) as a donation, it ultimately becomes a business on this side.”Katangua Market sits past the international airport, surrounded by suburbs of Nigeria’s largest city. Piles of clothes ranging from jeans to underwear lay on the ground as traders pick through them, selecting what they want to buy. Some sell the clothes direct to customers while other buyers will take the items to shops in and outside of the city.Nearby, rows of tailors sit at foot-cranked sewing machines, repairing tears and resizing some large shirts. Piles of bras and panties litter the ground. T-shirts bear strange, cryptic slogans, like a cartoon character saying “No, no no!” A jersey with the No. 3 reads “Pittsburgh.” Other shirts are more recognizable, like an Obama 2008 campaign shirt or an “I Love NY” T-shirt on a woman sewing nearby. 0 Comments Share Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories While undercutting costs, the importation of donated clothing provides jobs in the country’s massive gray labor market. Tailors wander through streets here, snapping scissors to announce their presence. Salesmen drape the secondhand clothes over their arms, walking through neighborhoods to show off their wares.Marketers decline to talk about how they source the clothes from abroad, but acknowledge much of it comes from donations. Some of it also is thought to be ferried over from neighboring Benin as contraband.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy “We need this clothing,” said clothing trader Sunny Nnjiofor. “Most of the factories that produce all this clothing materials have folded up.”Some clothes sell here for three pieces to a $1, a bargain compared to locally made shirts. Traditional clothing still has its place, though increasingly poor women will wear a cloth wrapper around her waist while wearing a secondhand T-shirt from the U.S. Western-style button-up shirts and pants also are increasingly worn by men.Nigeria once had a thriving textile industry, largely based in the northern city of Kano. But in recent decades, as Nigeria’s state-run electricity company fell into shambles, the mills slowed and finally stopped. Some companies, like Omas Nigeria Ltd., still produce clothes for government agencies and private businesses, but making a profit has grown increasingly difficult as they depend on diesel generators for electricity, said Margaret Orubu, Omas’ managing director.“The cost of production is very high. Electricity, to water, the rent and (other charges are) very expensive compared to what people bring in from abroad,” Orubu said. “If you compare the price you’ll find out that after production, the cost of the ones we produce here are very, very expensive.” Associated PressLAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – At Nigeria’s Katangua Market, that castaway from the West means big money.Shipping container after shipping container arrive in the market in Lagos, filled to the brim with plastic-wrapped bales of secondhand clothes from the U.S. and elsewhere. Traders scour, barter, hem and haw over T-shirts, bras, pants and shoes sent to help clothe a nation of more than 160 million people where the textile industry largely collapsed years ago. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Detectives described the 49-year-old nurse as a narcissistic psychopath.Police found a confession note in which he wrote “there’s a devil in me.” The killings happened in 2011.Chua was found to have injected insulin into saline bags and ampules. Other nurses who were not aware of the tampering then used them, leading to insulin overdoses.Most of his victims recovered but two died and a third suffered a brain injury.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LONDON (AP) — A nurse was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the murder and poisonings of patients at a British hospital.Victorino Chua will have to serve at least 35 years before his release can be considered. He was convicted of killing two patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, near Manchester.Judge Peter Openshaw said Chua had committed “a dreadful crime and he must now pay the price.” Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Check your body, save your life Comments Share Ben Southam, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, talks to the media outside Manchester Crown Court, Manchester England, Monday, May 18, 2015, after nurse Victorino Chua was found guilty by a jury of murdering and poisoning hospital patients at Stepping Hill Hospital. A medical mystery that began four years ago with unexplained deaths in a British hospital ended Monday when a “frustrated” nurse was convicted of using insulin to murder two patients. The 49-year-old nurse, a father of two daughters, was also convicted of trying to poison 20 other patients during what police called a reign of terror at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of London. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Saqi Jan, police logistics expert in the district, said four soldiers and four police were killed in the attack. Earlier the spokesman for the provincial governor, Omar Zawaq, said another three policemen had been killed.Jan said that police had regained control of the area around the district police headquarters after several hours of fighting. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.Afghan security forces are facing one of the biggest challenges of the 14-year insurgency, as they take on the Taliban without the backing of international combat forces, most of which withdrew last year.In some regions, the Taliban have joined forces with other groups, notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the East Turkistan Independence Movement. The black flag of the Islamic State group has also been raised in some regions, notably in the north, but the group that now controls large parts of Iraq and Syria is not believed by officials to have an institutional foothold in Afghanistan.The Taliban recently released an open letter to the IS group, telling them to stay out of Afghanistan.The Afghan insurgents have also released an appeal to supporters, coinciding with Ramadan — the holy month marked by fasting — that began across most of the Muslim world on Thursday. The statement on the group’s website notes regular alms giving by Christians and Jews, and calls on Muslims to donate to its cause. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — At least 11 members of Afghanistan’s security forces have been killed in a Taliban assault on government buildings in an unstable district in southern Helmand province, officials said on Thursday.They said that four soldiers and seven police officers were killed when the insurgents overran Musa Qala — which has shifted between government and Taliban control for years — late on Wednesday. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “Muslims, too, out of their true spirit of faith are not to forget their Muslim brothers defending and upholding the truth in Afghanistan and extend a helping hand in the form (of) financial aid,” it says, providing an email addresses for contributions.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes
On Friday evening The Langham, Melbourne was awarded Environmental Best Practice Hotel of the Year and Executive Chef, Anthony Ross was named Best Food and Beverage Service Employee of the Year at the Australian Hotels Association (Victoria) Awards for Excellence. The 2010 Victorian awards recognised the outstanding performances by metropolitan and regional Victorian hotels. The Environmental Best Practice Hotel of the Year Award acknowledges The Langham, Melbourne’s implementation of policies that support environmental best practice, its use of energy saving devices with regard to water and the quality of its in-house recycling program. It also acknowledges the contributions made by the hotel’s ‘Green Team Committee’, who effectively mobilise internal initiatives, programs, plans and polices into the standard operating procedures of the hotel. In accordance with the growing impetus on reducing green house gas emissions and employing environmentally friendly systems, policies and habits, The Langham, Melbourne officially implemented its own environmental initiative, taking numerous steps to ensure the property continues to play its part in the improvement of global environmental health. The Best Food and Beverage Service Employee of the Year award is a deserving acknowledgement for Anthony Ross, Executive Chef and The Langham, Melbourne. Dedicated to the innovation and development of the hotel’s culinary offerings and deeply involved in the planning and introduction of both the acclaimed Melba restaurant and ARIA Bar & Lounge, Anthony has also played a significant role in the immensely popular Langham Melbourne MasterClass, which attracts an enviable lineup of renowned international chefs. In 2009 the hotel introduced a series of Anthony Ross Cooking Classes, which enjoy a following and book out well in advance.These awards are a testament to both The Langham Hotels International Environmental Project which launched on 5th May 2008 and The Langham, Melbourne’s consistent pursuit of providing guests with a most elegant experience through 5-star service, unique culinary offerings and luxurious detail. The Langham Melbourne’s Managing Director, Ben Sington, is thrilled to have the hotel’s ongoing environmental and sustainability efforts along with the hotel’s staff and service recognised as leaders in the industry. “The Langham, Melbourne is committed to minimising the environmental impacts associated with the day-to-day operation of the hotel in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Sington said. “Obviously, it’s an ongoing commitment and The Langham, Melbourne will continue to develop, implement and refine all of its environmental initiatives to ensure compliance with existing and future best practice standards, legislation and benchmarking to achieve sustainability.”“The Langham, Melbourne is also dedicated to providing service with poise in a relaxed and comfortable yet indulgent environment. Anthony and his team will continue to enhance our Food and Beverage offerings to ensure our success and the enjoyment of our guests continues,” he added. In addition, Jamila El Allam, The Langham, Melbourne’s Service Stylist was a finalist in the Best Front Office Service Employee Award.The AHA awards have a rigorous judging process, whereby nominations are put forward to a panel of industry notables, who decide the finalists and winners. Executive Chef, Anthony Ross The Langham, Melbourne Source = The Langham
Image via Tourism & Events QueenslandTourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) has launched a range of new features on the This is Queensland app designed to increase the number of drive visitors who travel throughout Queensland each year.TEQ Chief Executive, Leanne Coddington, said drive visitors were an important market for many of Queensland’s destinations and the enhanced app assisted in promoting attractions, experiences and itineraries that would appeal to drive visitors.“In the year ending March 2015, 12.7 million drive visitors travelled throughout Queensland with 856,000 visitors making a trip of at least three stopovers and staying four nights,” Ms Coddington said.“The recent enhancements to the This is Queensland app make planning and sharing a Queensland drive holiday easier than ever before.”Ms Coddington said the added functionality meant users could search for drive itineraries across Queensland’s 13 destinations and tailor their trip to suit individual interests.“The app can be used while travelling to locate local accommodation, attractions and events,” she said.“It also features more holiday tips and suggestions from local tourism businesses to assist visitors in getting the most out of their Queensland drive holiday.“A list of more WiFi locations can be found in the app to help travellers stay connected and share their holiday experiences while on the road.”The This is Queensland app is available for free download from both the Apple Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android), ranked number one for the search term ‘Queensland’. Click for more informationSource = Tourism and Events Queensland