Adorable cats take over London tube station

first_img Posted by Tags: London Travelweek Group Share LONDON – London is being overrun by cats, 68 of them to be precise.Early morning commuters this week were surprised to find all of the advertisements at Clapham Common Tube station have been taken down and replaced with 68 oversized portraits of adorable felines.Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, which according to BBC News raised £23,000, community action group Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) was able to purchase the advertising space at the station and splash huge photos of cats on walls, escalator panels and subway turnstiles. Many of the featured cats are available for adoption via Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Cats Protection.The creative venture was organized by a group called Glimpse, which said its mission was to “inspire people to think differently about the world and realize they have the power to change it.”The campaign will run only for the next two weeks. Lucky for us, the adorable cats will live on forever in Instagram snaps.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kongcenter_img Adorable cats take over London tube station Friday, September 16, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Transat brings back popular Super Early Booking Promo on Sun packages

first_imgTransat brings back popular Super Early Booking Promo on Sun packages << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, May 1, 2017 Posted by Tags: Transatcenter_img MONTREAL — Transat’s Super Early Booking Promotion is back, featuring exclusive advantages and value-added extras on fall and winter Sun vacations.Now in its second year, the promotion applies to bookings made by June 30, 2017 for travel between Nov.1, 2017 and April 30, 2018.Clients who book any South package with Transat’s Super Early Booking Promotion will pay a deposit of only $100 and benefit from:Transat’s Price Drop Guarantee on all-inclusive packages (if a package becomes available at a lower price than the one paid, the difference will be refunded up to $400 per adult)The option to modify their travel dates up to three hours before departureAn upgrade to Option Plus for Luxury or Distinction Collection packagesA $50 future travel vouchersAlso as part of the promotion, cruise enthusiasts and clients who book a South or Duo package will receive a $50 future travel voucher and only pay a deposit of $100.“Canadians often have the impression that it’s better to wait until the last minute to buy their South packages in order to take advantage of the best rates,” said Annick Guérard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada. “But by booking now, they will be guaranteed to have the dates, hotel and destination they want, all while benefiting from our Price Drop Guarantee.”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthAs for travel agents, they can earn at least 10x Bonbon rewards for every individual or group booking, and 12x Bonbon rewards for packages to Bahia Principe, AMResorts and Meliá Cuba hotels.Transat’s new Sun brochure is expected to drop in June, featuring all the details of its 2017-18 South program. Share Travelweek Group last_img read more

Air NZ has A Better Way to Fly – and win –

first_img Tweet Air NZ has ‘A Better Way to Fly’ – and win – with new global campaign, agent contest Travelweek Group TORONTO — Air New Zealand has debuted its first global brand campaign with a first-phase launch here in Canada and the U.S. that includes a travel agent contest offering the chance to win a trip for two to New Zealand.To celebrate the launch of Air New Zealand’s newest campaign, A Better Way to Fly, and its newest frequent flier, they are giving travel agents a chance to win 2 tickets to New Zealand. Go to to find out more. Entries must be received by Sept. 22, 2017 to qualify for the prize draw.Year-to-date visitor numbers show 66,000 Canadian travellers arrived in New Zealand, a 19% increase year on year. Air New Zealand says it sees huge potential to further tap into this demand given the “notable increase” in the number of Canadian travellers visiting New Zealand each year.The new global brand campaign comes as Air New Zealand appoints a new Regional Manager Americas, Liz Fraser. “Earlier this month Air New Zealand announced a capacity increase for its Vancouver-Auckland and Honolulu-Auckland routes, illustrating the demand for travel,” said Fraser. “This year Air New Zealand, along with its JV partner United Airlines will operate over 40% more capacity into mainland USA than it operated five years ago. That’s an additional 300,000 seats in 2017 so it’s certainly an exciting time to join the region.”The airline says recent consumer research shows that despite the desire to visit New Zealand, one of the greatest barriers is the perception of distance, with some would-be visitors thinking that New Zealand is 20 or more hours away.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe new campaign, dubbed ‘A Better Way to Fly’, aims to bust those myths and reinforce what Air New Zealand says is its key differentiator: an innovative inflight offering enabling travellers to sit back, relax and enjoy the direct service to New Zealand.The new campaign features ‘Pete’, a CGI character inspired by New Zealand’s national bird the kiwi and voiced by New Zealand actor and Jurassic Park star Sam Neill. Pete takes viewers on his in-flight journey to show a little bit of New Zealand in the sky.Pete enjoying Air New Zealand’s famous SkycouchAir New Zealand is known for its premium New Zealand wines served onboard, chef-curated menus (in Business Premier and Premium Economy, dishes are created by chefs Peter Gordon from London’s The Providores and Tapa Room The Sugar Club in Auckland, New Zealand, and Michael Meredith from Auckland’s Meredith’s).The airline’s Business Premier cabins feature Air New Zealand’s signature chalk colored luxurious leather lie-flat bed, complete with memory foam mattress, duvet and two full size pillows.Reacting to changing customer needs, in 2005 Air New Zealand was one of the first airlines to introduce the premium economy class.Air New Zealand also revolutionized the Economy cabin by introducing more space and flexible options for passengers in the Economy class – the first real improvement for this class by any airline in more than 20 years, according to the airline.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe Skycouch, originally dubbed the ‘cuddle couch’, is a row of three economy seats, that together create a flexible space to stretch out and relax, or can be used as a place for the kids to use as a play area.Other Air New Zealand innovations include its world famous safety videos to the use of advanced technologies including the Airband which allows parents to track the progress of children travelling unaccompanied, and Biometric Bag Drop.Australia-bound passengers can transit in Auckland to eight Australian destinations without having to change terminals. Their bags go straight through to their destination too.“With the help of Pete the kiwi, this new global brand campaign aims to convince North American travelers that Air New Zealand is A Better Way to Fly,” says Air New Zealand General Manager of Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams. “We hope travellers interested in visiting New Zealand or Australia will choose us once they learn about the award-winning product and service we offer.”Air New Zealand flies nonstop to Auckland from Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Houston. Services are operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft (Honolulu), Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (Los Angeles & San Francisco) and 777-200ER (Vancouver & Houston), all featuring the Economy Skycouch and lie-flat Business Premier beds. Thursday, August 24, 2017 center_img Posted by Tags: Air New Zealand, Australia, Contests, New Zealand, Video << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Costa Rica court orders Colombian exguerrilla member to be deported to Panama

first_imgAn Administrative Immigration Court on Wednesday ordered Libardo Parra, a former Colombian ex-guerrilla militant, to be deported to Panama, Costa Rica’s Public Security Vice Minister Freddy Montero reported.The court on Aug. 28 denied for a fourth time Parra’s asylum application. He has maintained a legal battle with Costa Rican authorities to avoid being deported to Colombia, where he is wanted after being convicted on kidnapping charges.In Costa Rica, Parra served a sentence for money laundering and was released from the Foreigner Temporary Detention Center in May 2012.Parra also served part of his sentence in a maximum-security section of La Reforma prison, north of the capital, as he was considered a highly dangerous prisoner.High ranking officials at the Public Security Ministry and at Costa Rica’s Office of Intelligence and Security held negotiations with Panamanian officials in order to deport Parra, after the court’s ruling last week, Montero said.Costa Rica is the fifth country in Latin America that refused to grant asylum to the Colombian man. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

UPDATE US missionary gored by bull at Zapote festival out of hospital

first_imgRelated posts:Nicaragua deports U.S. fugitive wanted for child porn U.S. tourist bleeds to death from gunshot wounds while waiting for ambulance in Costa Rica Russians laud Venezuela’s asylum offer to Snowden Putin says Snowden in Moscow as Russia rejects U.S. demands UPDATE:The U.S. man injured last weekend after a bull gored him at the annualZapote Fiestas is out of the hospital, according to a post on Derek Pettner’s Facebook page.A commenter wrote late Thursday night that “Derek spent his first day at home after being released from the hospital…He ate two large meals today, sat up and laughed with us all and talked, and we had him up taking some steps and regaining his strength today on multiple occasions.”Pettner, reported as 27-years-old, received injuries to his abdomen and neck from a bull during the traditional Costa Rican bullfights in the southeastern district of San José on the afternoon of Dec. 28.According to Pettner’s website, Derek In Costa Rica, the man arrived in Costa Rica in July 2011 as a missionary. Pettner wrote he moved from Pittsburgh in the U.S. to the province of Heredia.“I was on my way from sitting behind a desk crunching numbers to teaching and influencing the lives of Ticos in a Christian school in Costa Rica. My new position and mission is as a missionary teacher instructing 7th-12th grade students in sciences,” he explained on his site.For several days he remained hospitalized and under observation at Calderón Guardia Hospital. Local Red Cross reports state that by the end of the year, they had attended to a total of 81 bullfighters, 18 of which were hospitalized.If you have any information on Derek’s recovery, please contact the author of this report at larias@ticotimes.netCorrections: The Tico Times originally reported that Pettner had visits from his wife and a friend on Dec. 31., that information came from a hospital report from Calderón Guardia, but Derek is not married. He had visits from colleagues and friends.Though he was hit multiple times by the bull and rendered unconscious, Pettner was not officially gored with the bull’s horns.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Turrialba Volcano evacuation zone expanded following increased activity

first_imgDue to the frequent explosions at Turrialba Volcano, Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) hasexpanded the evacuation zone surrounding the volcano from 2 kilometers to 5 kilometers.The zone, which designates restricted access, is expected to be kept in place at least a week while volcanologists determine whether or not to permanently evacuate the area.The decision to expand the evacuation zone was due, in part, to the presence of three schools within 5 kilometers of the volcano, according to the CNE.Turrialba Volcano began showing increasing signs of activity last October, and in the last several months the colossus has erupted nearly every week.On Monday, when the evacuation order was handed down, Turrialba erupted five times in the early morning, delaying flights. It continued to spew gas and ash into the afternoon.Volcanologists expect that the eruptions will get more frequent and more violent in the coming months, and the CNE has maintained a yellow alert in the area.Read all The Tico Times’ volcano coverage Facebook Comments Related posts:Turrialba Volcano spews more ash over Costa Rica’s Central Valley in Easter eruption VIDEO: Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano launches ash 800 meters into the sky WATCH: Turrialba Volcano emits impressive ash cloud Ranchers near active Turrialba Volcano could get bought out by Costa Rica governmentlast_img read more

Costa Ricas biggest crime stories of 2015

first_imgBesides seeing a disappointingrise in its homicide rate over the last year, Costa Rica has been the site of major drug busts, a first-of-its-kind sex tourism case and the rise of a mysterious serial killer. The following were the country’s biggest crime stories of 2015:1. After three trials, Ann Patton finally ‘not guilty’ Ann Patton is comforted by friend Peter Delisi on Monday morning, Sept. 7, after a court found her not guilty of murdering her husband in 2010. It was her third trial, and prosecutors promise an appeal. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesU.S. expat Ann Patton came to Costa Rica with her husband, John Felix Bender, in 2000 looking to establish a wildlife refuge for injured animals near the remote community of Florida de Barú, in the canton of Pérez Zeledón. But that dream warped into a nightmare of illness, paranoia and ultimately the death of Bender from a gunshot wound to the neck in 2010.Patton, the only other person who was in the couple’s opulent jungle mansion at the time of Bender’s death, was charged with murder by the Prosecutor’s Office, starting a saga of trials, appeals, and prison sentences that culminated in her second acquittal in September. Patton has always maintained that her husband committed suicide.She was first acquitted in 2013, but an appellate court ordered a retrial that was held in May 2014. The 2014 trial found Patton guilty and she was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Patton served nine months in El Buen Pastor prison in Desamparados, south of San José, before an appellate court in Cartago threw out the guilty verdict in February and ordered another retrial that started on Aug. 10.On Sept. 7, the three-judge panel ruled that there was reasonable doubt of Patton’s guilt and ordered her released.The Prosecutor’s Office vowed to appeal the three-judge panel’s decision but legal experts said a fourth trial was extremely unlikely, citing constitutional limits on a prosecutor’s power to pursue cases past two appeals. According to a 2006 decision by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, “the state cannot act as a persecutor ad infinitum.”2. ‘Cuba Dave’ becomes first person charged for promoting sex tourism Dave Strecker, 65, was arrested on Sept. 4 and thrown into preventive detention. Now, more than two months later, he could finally find out his legal fate. (Courtesy of OIJ)David Strecker, known widely by his nickname “Cuba Dave,” is the first person in Costa Rica’s history to be arrested under a little known 2013 law that calls for punishment of anyone who promotes Costa Rica as a destination for sex tourism.Strecker publishes tips online for would-be sex tourists looking for women in Latin America and the Caribbean.The Key West native was arrested on Sept. 4 while attempting to depart Juan Santamaría International Airport just north of the capital. OIJ investigators, who had been following Strecker for nearly a year according to a spokeswoman, confiscated a laptop and a digital camera with pictures of women at the time of his detention.Prostitution is legal here, and a fierce debate has ensued in the expat community over Strecker’s arrest. Critics argue the new law is unconstitutional. Some point out that he was publishing blog posts and pictures on his own website with servers registered in the United States.Strecker is being held in San Sebastián prison, one of the country’s most overcrowded detention centers, located just south of San José. If he goes to trial and is convicted, Strecker could face four to eight years in jail under the previously untested law, which is part of Costa Rica’s Human Trafficking Law.3. Costa Rica busts fishmonger for allegedly running cocaine Dozens of law enforcement agents participate in seven raids across Costa Rica targeting a suspected drug trafficker on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. The Tico TimesIt was an open secret that “Macho Coca” was a drug kingpin in Limón. But the alleged cocaine runner, who is wanted by the DEA, always managed to stay one step ahead of the law — until October. Police raided one of his multi-million-dollar properties on Oct. 8 and arrested him on charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute in Costa Rica, and international trafficking. He is also under investigation for bribing police officers and money laundering.“Macho Coca,” whose real name is Gilbert Bell, 52, allegedly used a network of docks and fishermen, and bribed public officials to build himself a drug trafficking empire. According to law enforcement officials, Macho Coca made a name for himself on the narco scene by buying cocaine shipments found at Limón’s infamous Dos Aguas. Spanish for “two waters,” Dos Aguas is a spot along Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast where the ocean currents merge, carrying in floating objects from sea. Drug traffickers on the run from authorities often toss bales of cocaine overboard. These packages frequently wash ashore at Dos Aguas, where they are picked up and sold.4. Italian mafia cocaine ring busted Costa Rican and Italian agents searched yuca and pineapple packing plants on Oct. 14, 2015 as part of a crackdown on the alleged ‘ndrangheta cocaine trafficking ring. The Tico TimesA few months after U.S. law enforcement shut down a cocaine smuggling operation run out of a family-owned pizzeria in Queens, New York, another slice fell when Costa Rican authorities — in conjunction with Italian police — arrested seven suspects tied to the same smuggling network in October.Chief Prosector Jorge Chavarría said the alleged traffickers hid the cocaine in shipments of cassava and pineapple from Costa Rica. The prosecutor said the organization was working to establish markets in Europe for the cocaine, but did not say where the cocaine shipped though Costa Rica originated.Authorities linked at least four previous drug seizures to the ‘ndrangheta operation in Costa Rica, including a 3.5-metric-ton shipment of cocaine found on Nov. 28, 2014 at the port of Rotterdam in a container of cassava that came from Costa Rica.5. San José’s new serial killer After the body of Franciny Bermúdez Romero was found on the bank of this river by the Children’s Museum in northern San José in September, 2015, investigators said they again began to consider another victim found in the area in April of that year as linked to the serial killer. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesAs many as nine victims have been attributed to a serial killer on the prowl in San José in one of the most disturbing crime stories of 2015. Targeting drug addicts and sex workers, the suspected serial killer has been dubbed “Mata Indigentes” — Killer of the Poor. The suspect is believed to be the second-most prolific serial killer in Costa Rican history.All of the victims have been down-and-out women, some of them prostitutes. Plus, most have spent significant time away from their families, complicating an investigation that has had to rely mostly on addicts and homeless people in the city’s infamous drug bunkers to get leads on suspects.In November authorities said they had identified a suspect connected to at least three of the killings and were working to determine whether the suspect might be connected to others. Facebook Comments Related posts:Drug traffickers lure Costa Rica’s struggling coastal fishermen with offers of easy money Following recent crime wave, Solís announces new investment in San Carlos police force Canadian longtime expat goes missing in Costa Rica under ‘strange’ circumstances Costa Rica’s top 5 political fiascos of 2015last_img read more

Why ultrasounds may give mothers with Zika a false sense of security

first_imgRelated posts:Zika crisis to get ‘worse before it gets better,’ WHO says Vaccine against dengue virus is 100 percent effective: study Costa Rica ambassador in US warns of Zika vulnerabilities Zika: Tragedy or Opportunity? Facebook Comments Zika successfully hid through nearly half of a Washington D.C. woman’s pregnancy, its damage to her fetus not showing despite a series of early ultrasounds. But suddenly at 19 weeks, another scan revealed significant abnormalities, and a more sophisticated test one week later identified even greater damage in her baby’s brain. In early February, the woman terminated the pregnancy.The report, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, provides troubling new information about the capacity of the virus to infect a fetus and cause serious harm. The case also indicates that Zika may remain in the blood for a long time: The 33-year-old woman still tested positive for Zika 10 weeks after she likely was infected during a trip to Guatemala — far beyond what scientists have thought is the case.“This helps put more pieces together in the puzzle because we know so little about how this virus acts and when and how long it stays in your blood after you have symptoms,” said Laura Riley, vice chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who was not part of the study. Even though the study only involves one patient, “it’s very important because she was followed so closely and there is so much detailed information.”While the case offers important details to researchers and obstetricians-gynecologists counseling pregnant women who may have been exposed to the virus, “we’re going to need to study this with a large number of patients to provide guidance for women,” said Catherine Spong, acting director for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.The woman and her husband traveled on vacation to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize in late November when she was 11 weeks pregnant. The couple told researchers they had been bitten by mosquitoes during their trip, particularly in Guatemala. After returning home, the woman developed eye and muscle pain, fever and a rash. A series of ultrasounds that began one week after her symptoms subsided — at 13, 16 and 17 weeks of pregnancy — showed none of the characteristic problems linked to Zika. The most prominent in utero are an abnormally small head and brain calcifications, bright, white spots that indicate something is amiss. Both are key to a diagnosis of a rare condition called microcephaly.Yet on the ultrasound at 19 weeks, significant brain abnormalities appeared: The baby’s brain was small and contained an unusual amount of fluid. The cerebral cortex, its outer layer, was very thin. By the 20th week, a fetal MRI showed severe atrophy, especially in the front and top brain areas that are involved in decision-making, learning, vision, hearing, touch and taste. The fetus did not meet the threshold to be diagnosed with microcephaly.In the initial ultrasounds, “they only looked at the size of the head and looked for brain calcifications to make sure she didn’t have microcephaly and reassured her that everything looks okay,” said Rita Driggers, one of the study’s lead authors and medical director of Sibley Memorial Hospital’s maternal-fetal medicine division. Driggers, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was involved in the patient’s care.The takeaway for clinicians, she and others said, is to make sure during ultrasounds to look for other brain changes beyond microcephaly and intracranial calcifications.Adre du Plessis, director of Children’s National Health System’s Fetal Medicine Institute and another study author, said Wednesday that the lack of those markers in the earlier ultrasounds may have led to “false reassurances” for the mother. What’s more, he said, such delayed diagnosis of brain infection in the fetus may put women who’d opt to terminate a pregnancy “outside the legal limits” of an abortion.Forty-three U.S. states prohibit abortions after a specified point in pregnancy — most often the point of fetal viability — except when necessary to protect the woman’s life or health.Researchers said they are not recommending that all pregnant women infected with Zika uniformly seek out fetal MRIs, which are expensive and not readily available in many of the countries in Central and South America that have been hardest hit by the Zika epidemic. In the United States, the technology is available at most major medical centers.It’s possible that researchers might be able to develop other markers to predict whether babies will become infected and develop abnormalities, du Plessis said.Recommended: No new cases of Zika in Costa Rica in recent weeksThe study also provides new information about how long the virus persists in the blood of an infected person. The common thinking has been that the virus is only present for seven days to about two weeks at the outer limits. But this patient had virus in her blood from the time she became infected, when she was about 11 weeks pregnant, up until the time of her abortion, at 21 weeks.“That’s a very novel finding and important for future study,” said Roberta DeBiasi, Children’s chief of infectious disease division and another study author.It’s possible that the woman’s persistent infection was the result of the virus replicating in the fetus or placenta, the researchers said.Researchers also found “significant” cell death of neurons in the part of the brain that plays a role in sight, hearing and language, researchers said.© 2016, The Washington Postlast_img read more

Arts and culture in brief the week ahead in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Arts, culture and Mother’s Day: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica The story of Lizzie Borden, the Massachussetts woman who was tried and acquitted for the murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, comes to the stage at Teatro 1887 in the National Cultural Center complex in downtown San José. The play, by Mexican playwright Lucía Leonor Enríquez, explores the lives of Lizzie and her family members, and the gender issues surrounding the trial (Friday, September 23 – Sunday, October 16).Speaking of horror stories, Teatro Espressivo, at Momentum Pinares, Curridabat, will host a screening of Monday night’s U.S. presidential debate. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including politician Miguel Carabaguíaz and university professor Elvia Amador, moderated by Teatro Espressivo founder Steve Aronson; the entrance fee is redeemable for food and drink at the theater’s café (Monday, September 26).After the debate, you’ll probably be in dire need of some sedatives – but as a healthier alternative, sample some yoga and meditation. The Mantrika Sacred Song Festival, organized by Yoga Mandir, offers workshops, classes, special guests from around the world, and more, both in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and San José (through Thursday, September 29).The National Symphony Orchestra will present a performance at the Melico Salazar Theater that fuses the premiere of a new work by Costa Rican composer Andrés Soto, with aerial images of Costa Rica by Sergio and Giancarlo Pucci, as seen in their book “Costa Rica Aérea.” Soto’s work, which shares the book’s name, was inspired by the beauty of the country as captured by the Puccis’ lenses (Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30). Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Commemorate Remembrance and Veterans Day in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Art City Tour, Progressive Rock Concert and other happenings around Costa Rica Music for movie buffs, whale fest, and other happenings around Costa Rica Patriotic tunes, Children’s Day theater, and more events around Costa Rica ‘Urban Sketchers’ draw San José On Sunday Nov. 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m., the Escazú Christian Fellowship will host a service to commemorate Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Day in Costa Rica. The service will include the ceremonial laying of wreaths by representatives of different embassies, reflections on the significance of the day, and the traditional minute of silence to honor the fallen.Remembrance Day or Veterans’ Day, as it is known in the United States, commemorates the signing of the Armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, signaling the end of World War I. Today, it honours the soldiers and families who were affected in both World Wars and in more recent conflicts. It is still observed on Nov. 11 in many countries, like Canada and the United States, while in countries like the United Kingdom, it is celebrated on the second Sunday in November.In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Day is also informally known as “Poppy Day,” an allusion to the famous poem, In Flanders Field, written by a Canadian army officer in which the poet observes the way the poppies bloomed around the graves of fallen soldiers.The Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Day service on Nov. 11 will be led by Reverend Donald Ridder and will end with an informal get-together and light refreshments.Directions to the venue are as follows:On Route 27 coming from Escazú, about one mile from Multiplaza Escazú, turn right at the Guachipelin-Lindora Route 310 sign. Turn right again immediately on the service road, then turn left, up to the church on the hill.This article was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican students continue protests over public education programs

first_imgCosta Rican high school students demonstrated Monday in front of the Rofas Building in San José and closed educational centers in different parts of the country to show their discontent regarding the educational measures — specifically, FARO tests and dual-education — promoted by the government and the Legislative Assembly. The Secondary Student Movement (MEDSE) said that 305 schools had been closed. In contrast, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) indicated that 86 of the 1,003 day schools were closed Monday morning.The MEP said that of the 86 educational centers where demonstrations were held, 45 schools were completely closed and another 41 managed to reopen thanks to the dialogue and negotiation processes that took place in coordination with the National Board of Children (PANI) and the Ministry of Public Security.Semanario Universidad asked the MEP for a detailed list of the closed educational centers, but as of publication, the list had not been delivered.For its part, MEDSE affirmed that the closure of the centers occurred in the schools of Bijagua, Ciudad Quesada, Concepción, CTP of Quepos, CTP of San Isidro, CTP of Pococí, San Isidro de Heredia, Puntarenas, Puerto Jiménez , Los Chiles, among others.During the morning, students from schools such as Liceo Luis Dobles Segreda, Liceo de Costa Rica and Colegio de Señoritas protested outside the Rofas Building and then moved to the Legislative Assembly.On the reasons that motivated the movement, the general secretary of MEDSE and student of the Lyceum of San José, Manuel Ramírez, affirmed that they want “a moratorium of one year of the FARO tests because we do not have the exam’s topics and are five months away from the tests.” The obligatory FARO exams would represent 40% of a student’s final marks in certain grades.Regarding the topic of Dual Education, students maintain contradictory positions, noting discontent with becoming “cheap workforce” but recognizing the importance of Dual Education.Protests announcedOn Friday of last week, MEDSE students announced they would close educational centers as a protest measure, rejecting an agreement signed Thursday by the new Minister of Public Education, Guiselle Cruz.The MEDSE student leader, Kenneth Sánchez, said MEDSE does not agree with point six of the agreement signed with Minister Cruz, which commits students not to close educational centers or school lunchrooms.“We put it to a vote. The bases agreed except in point six, which says that schools will not be closed. It is going to a demonstration and schools are going to close,” Sanchez said. According to Sanchez, they made this decision to prevent teachers from applying future sanctions. “We also want to make ourselves feel and that the Government sees that we are united”, he said, though there is little evidence suggesting this group represents a majority of the country’s students. Related posts:Duolingo language-learning app hits Costa Rican classrooms Tico-Chilean couple seeks to turn any classroom into a science lab Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education Epic Games, UCreativa reach first-of-its kind partnership in Central America Semanario Universidad LogoThis story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on July 15, 2019. It was translated and republished with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report at Semanario Universidad here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Russia deal to keep troops in Tajikistan in 2013

first_img Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – A top Russian general said Saturday that Moscow expects to secure a deal to extend Russian military presence in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan by the first half of 2013.Russia’s ground forces commander Vladimir Chirkin said in an interview on Ekho Mosky radio station that outstanding issues on the terms of the deal will continue to be discussed with Tajikistan until the end of March. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Russia’s military presence helped negotiate an end to the five-year civil war that devastated Tajikistan in the 1990s.Tajikistan has in recent years struggled to quell a series of relatively small-scale domestic Islamist-inspired insurgencies and stamp its authority across all regions of the largely mountainous nation of seven million people.Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Tajikistan on Oct. 5.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Some 7,000 Russian soldiers are posted across three garrisons in Tajikistan, which is a major transit point on the northbound trafficking route for Afghan heroin.Tajikistan and other ex-Soviet neighbors of Afghanistan fear a spillover of violence in the event of a renewed outbreak of civil conflict after the NATO coalition’s withdrawal in 2014.An agreement to extend the current lease, which expires in 2014, has been delayed amid reported disagreements about the financial terms.Chirkin said the Russian troops would work in a coalition with local forces, something that Tajikistan is believed to have pushed for during negotiations.Tajikistan has said it would like $300 million annually in cash or equivalent in military assistance for the bases.“We will undoubtedly provide military and technical assistance so that this coalition is fully supplied,” Chirkin said. “How large (that assistance) is to be will be calculated by the specialists.”In September, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the current lease might be extended by 49 years.The Russian 201st Motorized Rifle Division deployed in Tajikistan is the largest current deployment of Russian troops abroad. It is based in garrisons near the capital, Dushanbe, and in the southern cities of Kulyab and Kurgan-Tube, both close to the Afghan border. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Haiti honors Maria Bello for her womens advocacy

first_img Sponsored Stories “I’m very fortunate to be in the position where I can hear your voices and tell the world what you have to say,” Bello told an audience at the Palace as Martelly stood at her side.Bello, co-founder of women’s grassroots group We Advance, will join the ranks of other Hollywood celebrities in Haiti who have received similar recognition for their charity work after the quake. They include actor Sean Penn, hip-hop star Wyclef Jean and Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova.The ceremony also recognized the work of Danielle Saint Lot. The former government official is a longtime women’s activist and was named an ambassador to find funding for women’s causes.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Haiti’s President Michel Martelly honored Maria Bello on Tuesday for her advocacy work on behalf of the Caribbean country’s women.The star of “Coyote Ugly” and “A History of Violence” was named goodwill ambassador for women at a special ceremony on the grounds of the National Palace. Bello spoke about how a group of women in a displacement camp organized themselves after the 2010 earthquake. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

Israel confirms killing Arafat deputy in 1988

first_img Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Check your body, save your life Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement According to Israel Defense, the fighter dressed as a woman carried a map and distracted the bodyguard by asking for directions, which allowed Lev to shoot him dead. Israel had tested the disguise earlier at an Israeli mall, and after the “women” received random cat calls the outfit was deemed sufficient, it said.Another team killed a separate bodyguard and a gardener before entering the expansive villa. Lev’s partner was the first to fire at the Palestinian leader. When Lev noticed al-Wazir reaching for a weapon, he shot and killed him.Other participants then “verified the kill” by shooting the body several more times before the forces retreated to sea and back to Israel, the Yediot report said.“I felt bad about the gardener,” Lev told Yediot. “But in an operation such as this you have to make sure that any potential resistance is neutralized.”The Palestinians have long accused Israel of being behind the assassination.Abbas Zaki, a top official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, said the Palestinians and Tunisia should now “work to bring Israel to justice.”Zaki said the Palestinians hope their bid to gain upgraded observer status at the United Nations next month will enable them to join the International Criminal Court where they can “pursue Israel for its crimes against our people.” Israel has carried out similar assassination operations in the past, including the killing of top leaders of Black September, the Palestinian group that carried out the massacre of 11 members of the Israeli delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympics.It is also suspected of a series of other plots it has never confirmed or denied.Among the most prominent:_ In 1995, the founder of the Islamic Jihad group Fathi Shikaki was gunned down in Malta by a man on a motorcycle in an attack widely attributed to Israel._ In 2008, Imad Mughniyeh, a top commander in the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, was killed by a bomb that ripped through his car in Damascus, Syria. Hezbollah and its primary patron, Iran, have blamed Israel for the killing._ In 2010, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas operative, was killed in a Dubai hotel room in an operation attributed to Israel’s Mossad.Iran also blames Israel for covert plots against its nuclear program and the killing of top scientists. In turn, Iran and Hezbollah have been blamed for various attacks on Israelis abroad.___Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, and Robert H. Reid in Berlin contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Al-Wazir’s son, Jihad al-Wazir, who currently heads the Palestinian central bank, said the family had no comment.On the surface, Wazir was a quiet, soft spoken figure in an organization replete with flamboyant characters. He eschewed the high-living that tainted some PLO figures during the organization’s years in Beirut, with its night clubs and cafes. That enabled him to maintain the respect of all the factions within the often deeply divided PLO.But behind the mild, non-threatening facade was a man capable of using brutality and bloodshed to advance the cause of Palestinian independence. He was largely responsible for organizing PLO underground cells within the West Bank and Gaza. He maintained close ties to Soviet Bloc countries that were a source of weapons and political support, even as Arafat himself was reaching out to the West.Al-Wazir had long been wanted in a series of deadly attacks against Israeli civilians. Among them, he masterminded a 1975 hostage taking at a Tel Aviv hotel in which 11 Israelis were killed, and a 1978 attack on an Israeli bus that killed 38 Israelis.At the time of his death, he was a main organizer of the first Palestinian uprising against Israel, which began in December 1987, four months before he was killed. The military censor’s main task is to block publication of material deemed a threat to national security. Israel has a longstanding policy of preventing publication of any information that would expose agents, tactics and intelligence gathering methods or put anyone still alive who was involved in harm’s way.In the al-Wazir case, though, it appears that after years of rumors and foreign reports claiming to expose the operation, along with the death of the triggerman, the censor’s office decided to drop its objection to publication. Many of the details and identities of those involved still remain classified.The Yediot report, coupled with a more detailed account in the military affairs magazine Israel Defense, described a well-planned operation months in the making.According to the Yediot report, the operation was a joint effort by the Mossad secret service and the Sayeret Matkal.At the time of the raid, the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Arafat, was based in the North African nation of Tunisia.From a command post on an Israeli boat in the Mediterranean Sea, 26 Israeli commandos reached the Tunisia’s shores on rubber boats.Lev, the commando, approached Abu Jihad’s home in the capital, Tunis, with another soldier, a man dressed as a woman. The two pretended to be a vacationing couple, with Lev carrying what appeared to be a large box of chocolates. Inside the box, however, was a gun fitted with a silencer. Sponsored Stories Two of those involved in the operation that killed al-Wazir now hold high political office in Israel _ Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon. At the time, Barak was deputy military chief, and Yaalon was head of the elite commando unit Sayeret Matkal. Their precise roles in the operation were not divulged, and both men’s offices declined comment.Israel has long been suspected of assassinating al-Wazir. But only now has the country’s military censor cleared the Yediot Ahronot daily to publish the information, including an interview with the commando who killed him, at least 12 years after the newspaper obtained the information.“I shot him with a long burst of fire. I was careful not to hurt his wife, who had showed up there. He died,” commando Nahum Lev told Yediot prior to his death in a motorcycle accident in 2000. “Abu Jihad was involved in horrible acts against civilians. He was a dead man walking. I shot him without hesitation.”Dozens of similar operations have been attributed to Israel over the decades. But Israel rarely takes responsibility and typically does not comment about covert operations.Israeli officials did not openly confirm the operation. But the censor’s decision to allow publication, after years of stifling the account, amounted in effect to confirmation. Associated PressJERUSALEM (AP) – Israel acknowledged Thursday it killed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s deputy in a 1988 raid in Tunisia, lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy and allowing a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of its secret operations.One of the commandos was disguised as a woman on a romantic vacation, and one of the weapons was hidden in a box of chocolates.Khalil al-Wazir, who was better known by his nom de guerre Abu Jihad, founded Fatah, the dominant faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, with Arafat and was blamed for a series of deadly attacks against Israelis. 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6 killed in shootouts with Rio de Janeiro police

first_img Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Police in Rio de Janeiro say at least six people have been killed during shootouts between officers and suspected drug gang members.Rio police are carrying out operations in several slums, hunting for those responsible for the weekend shooting death of an officer.A police spokesman says the six killed Tuesday were suspected drug gang members. Two other suspects were shot and two police were also wounded in the clashes. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he wasn’t yet authorized to discuss the details of the police operations.Since 2008, police in Rio have been entering slums long held by drug gangs and setting up a permanent presence. Police say it’s a key strategy for securing the city ahead of this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

5 things Public opinion behind government on health care

first_img Quick workouts for men ___MOST WOULD HAVE WANT CONGRESS ACTIONIf the court had ruled against the government, 51 percent of Americans in the April AP-GfK poll said they would have liked Congress to update the law to allow the federal government to subsidize premiums in all states. The poll found 44 percent would have preferred that Congress leave the law as is, letting states decide if they wanted to create exchanges that would allow people to receive subsidized premiums.The Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in June also found most said Congress should pass a law if necessary so that people in all 50 states could be eligible for financial help. And 55 percent of Americans living in states without their own exchanges said they would have wanted their state to create one if necessary.___CONTINUED DIVIDE OVER HEALTH LAWIn general, the April AP-GfK poll found that 27 percent of Americans support and 38 percent opposed the 2010 health care law, while 34 percent were neither in favor nor opposed.But there was a significant partisan divide over the law, with 52 percent of Democrats supporting the law, but only 11 percent of independents and just 5 percent of Republicans saying the same.The poll found 44 percent of Americans approved and 55 percent disapproved of the way Obama has handled health care. But more Americans trusted the Democratic Party than the Republican Party on handling the issue, 34 percent to 24 percent. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Polling ahead of the decision showed that few people had much confidence that the court could rule objectively in King v. Burwell.Five things to know about public opinion on the Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law:___MOST WANT LAW UPHELDFifty-six percent of those questioned wanted the court to rule in favor of the Obama administration, according to an April Associated Press-GfK poll.Thirty-nine percent preferred a ruling for those who brought the case. The plaintiffs had argued that actual wording of the law should have limited the government to subsidizing premiums in states that had set up their own health insurance exchanges, rather than relying on the federal government exchange.Nearly three-quarters of Democrats and a slim majority of independents wanted the court to rule in favor of the government; a majority of Republicans wanted the court to limit insurance subsidies under the law to states with their own exchanges.Among people who opposed the health care law generally, 58 percent wanted the court to limit the government to subsidizing premiums only in states with exchanges. But a significant minority of the law’s opponents (39 percent) thought the court should have ruled that the government could continue to subsidize premiums in all states. ___LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN COURT’S OBJECTIVITYNearly half of Americans were not too confident or not confident at all that the Supreme Court could rule objectively in the case, according to the April AP-GfK poll. Just 1 in 10 were very or extremely confident, while another 4 in 10 were moderately confident.Six in 10 opponents of the law, compared with 44 percent of the law’s supporters, were not confident in the court’s ability to rule objectively.A CBS News-New York Times poll released Monday found that three-quarters of Americans thought the justices sometimes let their personal or political views influence their decisions rather than deciding solely based on legal analysis.___FEW CLOSELY FOLLOWING CASEIn the April AP-GfK poll, just 13 percent of Americans said they were following news about the health care case extremely or very closely, while 60 percent said they were not following the case closely.Likewise, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in June found that 44 percent of Americans had heard nothing at all about the case, and 28 percent had heard only a little.That’s true even though the vast majority of Americans, 78 percent, called health care a very or extremely important issue in the AP-GfK poll. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories center_img Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober FILE – In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Amy Brighton from Medina, Ohio, who opposes health care reform, holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington during a rally as the court continues arguments on the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Most Americans want the Supreme Court to side with the government when it decides whether the feds can continue subsidizing insurance premiums in all 50 states under President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to polls in recent months. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans wanted the Supreme Court to side with the government on whether the federal government could continue subsidizing insurance premiums in all 50 states under President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to polls conducted before the justices’ ruling Thursday.In a ruling that preserved health insurance for millions of people, the court upheld the nationwide tax subsidies. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ___The AP-GfK Poll of 1,077 adults was conducted online April 23-27, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.___Online:AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.comCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

WTO tells EU to end illegal Airbus subsidies

first_imgA World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has told the European Union to put an end to illegal Airbus subsidies. The European Union said Tuesday’s 1,000 page ruling by the WTO panel was only part of the puzzle and it was premature for one side to claim victory.”A fuller picture will only emerge with the release of the interim report in the EU case against subsidies to Boeing which we expect to be issued in the coming months,” EU trade spokesman John Clancy said in a statement. The ruling, which covered EU support for Airbus, said some of the financial aid at issue amounted to prohibited export subsidies and should be stopped within 90 days. This included part of the European funding for Airbus’s flagship 525-seat A380, the world’s largest aircraft. Airbus acknowledged the WTO had found some subsidies and said it may appeal against the ruling, but stressed that the panel had rejected 70 percent of US claims. The ruling does not mean the end of the dispute, which has been going back and forth between the two aircraft manufacturers for decades. The WTO panel is expected to make a final ruling in the countersuit brought by the EU against US support for Boeing in late June.”As in all other trade conflicts, resolution will finally only be found in trans-Atlantic negotiations,” Airbus said in a statement.Boeing insists the two cases are separate and hopes the ruling will stop the EU from subsiding Airbus’s new A350 plane. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Hope returns to Australian hotel maket ANZPHIC

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Australian hoteliers are beginning to relax as demand and revenue grows after more than two years of decline.At the tenth annual Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Hotel Industry Conference (ANZPHIC) held in Sydney last week, some 400 industry stakeholders breathed a collective sigh of relief at what was generally positive news.“What we heard was improving occupancies in 2010 for leading markets…supported by improving demand from key inbound visitor markets such as the USA and improving hotel investment demand from overseas investment markets,” ANZPHIC conference chair John Smith said.“It’s a combination of trends that will help to finally rebuild confidence as the industry continues the climb back from the challenges and disruptions of the past two years,” he added.  All major Australian cities experienced a growth in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) in the year to May 2010 as industry data providers recorded a 24 per cent rise in RevPAR across the Asia Pacific region.This comes after a 19 per cent drop in RevPAR for Asia Pacific over the corresponding period in 2009.In the year to date, Sydney had the highest occupancy at an almost record-breaking 86 per cent while its room rate growth was moderate.With forecast average revenue growth of eight to ten per cent over the year ahead, Sydney’s prospects were rated highly by delegates at the conference. Brisbane was also expected to grow, but delegates were wary of Melbourne’s growth, questioning its ability to fill its new hotel room supply. Queensland’s Gold Coast was the big surprise, as occupancy and room rates rose from the brink of several years’ decline.As confidence in Australia’s hotel industry returned, so too did investors with Jones Lang LaSalle reporting AUD600 million worth of sales to overseas buyers achieved in recent months.Particular mention was made to the purchase of Four Points Darling Harbour by Singapore magnate Michael Kum. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Cunard wins Australian Gourmet Traveller Best Cruise Line Award

first_imgQueen Mary 2. Image Credit: Cunard Carnival Australia’s Kylie Clancy accepts the Gourmet TravellerAward from Catriona  Rowntree.Image Credit: Cunard Cunard has won the Best Cruise Line category in the 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Readers Choice Travel Awards, with Carnival Australia which represents Cunard Line in Australia’s CEO Ann Sherry saying the award was a great acknowledgement of the famous cruise line and its fleet.Ms Sherry said that with Cunard’s distinctive livery, renowned service and style, Cunard’s three Queens are known all over the world and are incredibly popular amongst Australian cruise passengers,” She added, “In recent years we’ve seen the ships spending more time in our waters, with circumnavigations of Australia and New Zealand and next year, for the first time, all three Queens will visit Australia during the summer cruise season.”“Clearly there’s a strong bond between Australian travellers and Cunard’s Queens and it’s wonderful to see that recognised with this award.”The award comes just weeks after readers of another Australian travel publication, Australian Luxury Travel Magazine, voted Queen Mary 2 the Best Large Luxury Cruise Ship for the eighth consecutive year, with The Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards recognising readers’ favourite travel products across 16 different categories. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: JAJlast_img read more

Travelport reaches another milestone

first_imgTravelport, a leading travel commerce platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $7 trillion global travel and tourism industry, today announces another significant merchandising milestone as Air India has become the 50th airline to sign up for Travelport Rich Content and Branding – the third component of Travelport’s industry-leading Merchandising Platform.Travelport Rich Content and Branding is a highly progressive technology which enables airlines to more effectively control how their fares and ancillaries are visually presented and described on travel agency screens, bringing them more in line with the airline’s own website experience. The solution has received significant support and interest from airlines since its introduction earlier this year. Fifty airlines have now signed up to participate, including leading carriers such as Delta, Avianca, Sun Country Airlines, Peruvian Airlines, Ryanair, British Airways, Iberia, easyJet, SilkAir, Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines and United Airlines.When launched on Travelport Smartpoint agency desktops later this year, Rich Content and Branding will allow travel agents to access rich content and extended descriptions aggregated into their usual booking flow to better inform and encourage customers’ purchasing decisions around fares and ancillaries.Speaking at the Global Business Travel Association in Los Angeles this week, Kurt Ekert, Chief Commercial Officer, Travelport, commented on this significant achievement, “We are extremely pleased with the industry recognition and support we have received on our Merchandising Platform.  The signing of fifty airlines for our Rich Content and Branding technology is a testament that our airline partners fully support and share our views on the way forward in how fares and ancillaries are presented to travel agents. Being able to leverage graphical content and providing a holistic brand experience will be a key factor for airlines to successfully differentiate themselves. At the same time, access to rich content allows travel agents to be more informative about product features and benefits, enabling them to influence customers’ purchasing decisions and increasing up-sell and cross sell opportunities.” Source = Travelportlast_img read more