Share Monday, April 10, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: Uniworld All-black exterior design for The A and The B, U by Uniworld’s 2 ships Posted by TORONTO — Uniworld’s river cruise brand for Millennials is now available to book with the first itineraries sailing in spring 2018.U by Uniworld invites “travel enthusiasts aged 21 to 45 to experience nine enticing European itineraries.” The cruise line says U by Uniworld will transform the travel industry paradigm with a fresh approach to experiential travel, introducing a whole new audience to cruising with “fun, immersive, authentic and adventurous itineraries and a seamless way to experience Europe from city to city”.“Uniworld has always strived to lead innovation in the river cruise industry and we saw a great opportunity with U by Uniworld to reach an entirely new audience,” said Uniworld President & CEO Ellen Bettridge. “River cruising is the best and most comfortable way to experience all that Europe has to offer, in an affordable way, and we’re incredibly proud to create a brand that will broaden the interest in this type of experiential travel.”Four eight-day itineraries – ‘Rolling On The Rhine’, ‘Germany’s Finest’, ‘The Danube Flow’ and ‘The Seine Experience’ – will sail the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine Rivers, with overnight stops and longer stays in major cities like Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and Budapest.Three ‘Super Cruise’ options combine two or more U itineraries into one 15 or 22-day bucket list journey. U by Uniworld also offers two five-day holiday itineraries –‘Dashing Through The Danube’ and ‘A Merry Little Christmas Cruise’ – for those who want to experience the magic of the Christmas season in Europe and a special New Year’s Eve celebration.With a maximum capacity of 120 travellers, the first two U by Uniworld ships – The A and The B – will be all-black outside and feature a sleek interior design with open communal spaces and rooftop lounges.More news: ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe A and The B will serve as a fully-equipped waterfront contemporary hotel, taxi, bar, restaurant, café, nightclub and yoga studio, all in one, says the cruise line. “U by Uniworld ships provide the perfect balance between local authenticity and the comfort of home, offering travellers the hassle-free ability to tour multiple cities and countries while only unpacking once.”U by Uniworld’s lineup of onboard programming includes Wine & Paint Classes, where passengers can sip on a glass of local wine while painting the scenery before them; Mixology Classes taught by the master bartenders onboard; and Chef’s Table Cooking Classes.“Foodies will salivate over local market shopping with the ship’s chef in Rouen while culture buffs will delight in a guided bike tour of top World War II sites in Nuremberg. Adventurers can rock climb at 6,500 ft. or white water raft, explorers can kayak through UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and solo travellers will love creating a custom drink to their tastes after meeting a Master Distiller at the world’s largest hands-on cocktail exhibit in Amsterdam. Couples can reconnect with romance on a horse-drawn carriage ride in Vienna, and night owls can sample the abandoned buildings of Budapest which have been transformed into the city’s trendiest bars and clubs.”More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & Mexico‘U Hosts’ are on hand to bring guests the local hotspots and hidden gems in each city. Experiences range from visiting a U Host’s favourite nightclub in Amsterdam to wandering along the banks of the Seine on a midnight stroll in Paris. There will be DJs onboard both ships as well as other nighttime entertainment for fun.The A and The B offer three room categories – Studio, Balcony and Suites – all with river views. The company says suites featuring French balconies and a living room area are perfect for honeymooners and those celebrating a special occasion. Balcony rooms are ideal for pairs, and groups of friends travelling together can enjoy Studio rooms that can accommodate up to three passengers. Solo travellers can take advantage of single rooms or special room share rates.Eight-day itineraries on The A start at US$1,699 per person and include sailings along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Pricing for The B, which sails exclusively on the Seine River and throughout France, starts at US$1,999 per person. Starting rates are based on double occupancy and are inclusive of gratuities; port charges are not included. The cruise line’s website is ubyuniworld.com. << Previous PostNext Post >>
Share ATLANTA — Delta is letting employees offer customers up to $9,950 (Cdn $13,210) in compensation to give up seats on overbooked flights, hoping to avoid an uproar like the one that erupted at United after a passenger was dragged off a jet.United is taking steps too. It will require employees seeking a seat on a plane to book it at least an hour before departure, a policy that might have prevented last Sunday’s confrontation.Those and other changes show airlines are scrambling to respond to a public-relations nightmare – the video showing airport officers violently yanking and dragging 69-year-old David Dao from his seat on a sold-out United Express flight.Dao and three others were ordered off the plane after four airline employees showed up at the last minute and demanded seats so they could be in place to operate a flight the next day in Louisville, Kentucky.On Friday, a United spokeswoman said the airline changed its policy to require travelling employees to book a flight at least 60 minutes before departure. Had the rule been in place last Sunday, United Express Flight 3411 still would have been overbooked by four seats, but United employees could have dealt with the situation in the gate area instead of on the plane.Delta Air Lines is moving to make it easier to find customers willing to give up their seats. In an internal memo obtained Friday by The Associated Press, Delta said gate agents can offer up to $2,000, up from a previous maximum of $800, and supervisors can offer up to $9,950, up from $1,350.More news: Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?United said it is reviewing its compensation policies. The airline would not disclose its current payment limit.Other airlines said they were examining their policies. American Airlines updated its rules to say that no passenger who has boarded the plane will be removed to give the seat to someone else.None would describe their limits on paying passengers.When there aren’t enough seats, airlines usually ask for volunteers by offering travel vouchers, gift cards or cash.Last year Delta got more passengers to give up their seats than any other U.S. airline, partly by paying more than most of the others.As a result, it had the lowest rate among the largest U.S. airlines of bumping people off flights against their will – something that is legal but alienates customers and requires the airline to pay compensation of up to $1,350 per person.Overselling flights is a fact of life in the airline business. Industry officials say that it is necessary because some passengers don’t show up, and that overbooking keeps fares down by reducing the number of empty seats.The practice has been questioned, however, since video of the United Express incident went viral. United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz’s initial attempts to apologize were roundly criticized. On Friday, company Chairman Robert Milton said the board supported Munoz.“We need to use this regrettable event as a defining moment and pivot off it to craft friendly policies,” Milton said in a note to employees.More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsThe dragging has turned into a public-relations nightmare for the entire industry, not just United, and led to calls from politicians and consumer advocates to suspend or ban overbooking.Ben Schlappig, a travel blogger who first wrote about the Delta compensation increase, said it shows Delta is trying to reduce forced bumping. He said he couldn’t imagine many situations in which people wouldn’t jump at nearly $10,000.Delta no doubt hopes that gate agents and their supervisors won’t need to make maximum offers, and the financial cost to the airline is likely to be limited. If Delta paid $9,950 to every person it bumped involuntarily last year, that would total $12 million. Delta earned nearly $4.4 billion.Raising the limits “lets them solve some PR problems” and might head off U.S. Transportation Department regulations to curb overbooking, said another travel blogger, Gary Leff. “They can say, ‘Look, we’re already solving the problem.”’An AP analysis of government data shows that in 2015 and 2016, Delta paid an average of $1,118 in compensation for every passenger that it denied a seat. Southwest Airlines paid $758, United $565, and American Airlines $554.After the incident in Chicago, critics questioned why United didn’t offer more when no passengers accepted the airline’s $800 offer for volunteers to give up their seats.“If you offer enough money, even the guy going to a funeral will sell his seat,” said Ross Aimer, a retired United pilot. Tags: Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Monday, April 17, 2017 Delta OKs offers of up to $13,200 to give up overbooked seats << Previous PostNext Post >> By: David Koenig and Damian TroiseSource: The Associated Press
Tags: Enterprise Holdings Posted by Monday, June 26, 2017 Travelweek Group Enterprise set to open 15 neighbourhood branches in 2017 TORONTO — Enterprise Holdings’ impact on the Canadian economy was nearly $2.8 billion in its fiscal year 2016, according to the company. Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in Canada and the owner of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.“Enterprise has a significant economic impact in Canada overall, but I think the role Enterprise plays in local economies is our best-kept secret,” said Steven Tudela, Corporate Vice President of Canadian operations for Enterprise Holdings. “As we grow, we hire, spend and give locally. Our goal is to strengthen the fabric of the neighbourhoods where our employees live and work.”Enterprise’s overall annual economic impact in Canada included the following key contributions:$2.2 billion in vehicles purchased in Canada$270 million in companywide purchases from Canadian suppliers$102 million in provincial and local tax payments$216 million in payroll expenses$2.4 million in total charitable giving$1.6 million in total United Way donations (including Enterprise Holdings Foundation match)More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerNew and expanding Enterprise airport and neighbourhood locations and business lines have resulted in hiring in every province throughout Canada, he added. More than 500 new employees were hired into Enterprise’s Management Training Program last year, which teaches college and university graduates how to run a business, empower teams and provide excellent face-to-face customer service.A major driver of the company’s promote-from-within culture is the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Management Training Program, which is consistently successful in developing new hires into the next generation of business leaders.With continued growth, expansion, and promotions, Enterprise anticipates steady hiring this year. Enterprise Holdings’ diverse brand portfolio accounts for more than 750 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations and more than 5,400 employees across the country.“We’re a large international company. But we have the mindset and the culture of a neighbourhood business,” said Tudela. “Every time we open a new location, or expand a business line, that’s another Canadian community that we get to be a part of, and that’s what keeps us vital and inspired.”More news: Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthEnterprise projects continued expansion across Canada, with plans to open up to 15 new neighbourhood branches in 2017. << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by Share Travelweek Group [PEOPLE] Trafalgar’s Jason Stremble is promoted to Sales Manager for GTA Wednesday, October 4, 2017 TORONTO — Jason Stremble of Trafalgar has been promoted to Sales Manager for the Greater Toronto Area.Having been with Trafalgar since 2012, and after years in the travel industry working with Globus and Thomas Cook, Stremble has moved up the brand representing Southwestern Ontario as well as Eastern and Northern Ontario in a sales manager capacity. He has also travelled extensively around the world, most recently to Japan and Ireland.“I am very excited about the new role with Trafalgar’s emphasis on placing #agentsfirst and our upcoming ‘Love To Talk Travel’ events,” said Stremble. “I’m looking forward to further strengthening our relationships with our valued agents across the Greater Toronto area.”Vice-President of Sales Anita Emilio also added: “We are very pleased that Jason has been promoted to this new role with his 23 years of extensive industry experience including sales, business development and FIT. We look forward to having Jason work more closely with our loyal Greater Toronto agent partners as we kickstart our 2018 Europe and Britain launch.”Stremble can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at (416) 932-9589 ext. 7434. << Previous PostNext Post >>
More Europe for GroupsOnly division, says Goway Travelweek Group TORONTO — Now that Goway is launching a full wholesale line of Europe travel products, the company reports that its GroupsOnly offering to Europe has taken off with new itineraries, new immersive experiences and a growing team of European sales specialists.Goway has been customizing unique group tours to Europe for many years, says General Manager, GroupsOnly, Barbara Norton.“We have been getting lots of requests for immersive experiential activities,” says Norton.Some of GroupsOnly’s favourites – which can be experienced in every corner of Europe – include:Guided Walking Tours: “Foodie groups stroll from café to bakery to artisan shop to local pub; literati groups stroll the streets, neighbourhoods and haunts of famous authors and poets and learn their secrets; movie Buffs head to on site film locales to get the inside scoop and gossip around each movie; Garden Gurus saunter along shaded paths of ancient forests and gardens; and the faith-based discover the truly divine icons and symbols of their faith.”Fun Cooking Classes: “Roll the pastry, stir the goulash pot, cut up the veggies and yes sip lots of wine between tasks!”More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaEurope offers a vast and diverse range of group travel possibilities, from castles and cathedrals to the wonders of the Alps and the fjords, from vibrant cities to peaceful villages, she adds.Goway’s Europe Group Specialists are committed to developing compelling and authentic experiences for group clients, she says. “With GroupsOnly, you’ll immerse all your senses in the fascinating cultures of each country you visit and enjoy unforgettable experiences across Europe. Stroll through colourful markets; cheer with the locals at a football match; learn the tricks of the trade in a master cooking class; sip a glass of Chardonnay at a welcoming cellar door; sail down an historic waterway or even following in the footsteps of famous literati. With Goway’s GroupsOnly, the list of exciting European travel experiences is endless.”For reservations and information, visit Goway.com, email email@example.com, or call 1-800-838-0618.Goway is looking to make its Europe program as big as its Downunder program by 2020. In fall 2017 Goway hired industry veteran Craig Canvin as its new VP, UK & Europe to head up the Europe program. Wednesday, February 14, 2018 Tags: Goway Travel Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share
Tags: New Hires, Trafalgar Share Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group TORONTO — Trafalgar has named Kaylyn Skulski as Sales Manager for Alberta. Skulski joins Trafalgar with many years of experience in sales and marketing, and has been in the travel industry for the past two years working on a cruise ship followed by a travel agency. In her new role with Trafalgar she will be responsible for strengthening relationships and developing and implementing sales and marketing plans in the Alberta area.“Sharing my passion for travel for with Trafalgar is a dream come true,” says Skulski. “I knew that the Trafalgar tribe was the right fit for me and now, not only can I help my fellow Albertans see the world, I get to help them connect with the areas they visit in a way that they never expected.”“We are thrilled to have Kaylyn join our growing Trafalgar tribe in the Canadian market,“ says Anita Emilio, VP Sales, Trafalgar Canada. “Kaylyn brings a wealth of knowledge to the travel industry and we know she will be a tremendous asset to our loyal agent partners in the Alberta area.”Skulski can be reached at Kaylyn.Skulski@TrafalgarTours.com or call 1-800-834-5677, ext. 8497112. << Previous PostNext Post >> Trafalgar appoints new sales manager for Alberta
Costa Rica’s Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed they have received nine complaints by patients with blood clots that allegedly were caused by oral contraceptives from 2005-2012. But the ministry said there are no records of deaths related to the use of the drugs.On Tuesday, Yaz and Yasmin brand contraception pills were linked to the deaths of 23 women in Canada by doctors and pharmacists who reported the adverse drug reactions to Health Canada – the agency in Canada that manages the public health care system – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing documents obtained from the government agency.Yaz and Yasmin are considered “newer-generation” birth control pills, and include a synthetic progestin, drospirenone, owned by the company Bayer, the CBC reported.Some 600 Canadian women who were prescribed the drug reportedly suffered serious adverse reactions. Twenty-three died, including a 14-year-old girl, mostly from blood clots, according to Health Canada records. So far, Canadian officials have not recalled the drug. Ileana Herrera, Costa Rica’s general director of health, said no deaths linked to the use of the contraceptives have been reported here, and the nine complaints “correspond to normal reactions ranging from headaches to high blood pressure, which is usually disclosed in drug packaging.”Costa Rican Health Ministry officials consulted several foreign health agencies about the alleged risks, including Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicine Agency and health ministries in Argentina, Chile and other Latin American countries.Recent studies show that oral contraceptives might increase the risk of thromboembolism, a condition that causes blood clots that can affect the heart. Physicians recommend that before taking the contraceptive pills, women have blood tests to determine if use of the medication poses any risk.Studies concluded that women over 35 who smoke, drink, are obese or have a sedentary lifestyle should avoid the medication.The FDA in April 2012 also issued a warning, saying that oral contraceptives “could be linked to an increased risk of blood clots,” and that this information should be included in all packages and all drug-related information. The European Medicine Agency also issued a similar warning in 2011. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Facebook Comments No related posts. How much does a liter of milk cost? | Create infographics The median price for one liter of 2 percent milk is ₡626 ($1.30) and ₡707 ($1.40) for 1 kilogram of rice.The former mayor of San José added that Ticos could get a casado — a typical lunch or dinner meal of meat, rice and beans, and a salad — for as little as ₡1,000 (roughly $2).The PLN candidate’s answers sent Ticos to Twitter and Facebook, where they snidely asked the candidate where they could find such bargains.Other candidates were closer to the mark. Social Christian Unity Party latecomer Rodolfo Piza came the closest of those asked, at ₡600. Broad Front candidate José María Villalta was close to the price of a kilo of rice with his guess of ₡700, but overestimated the cost of milk by almost as much as Araya low-balled it, saying it cost ₡1,000. Admittedly, Villalta said he doesn’t drink milk.Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara abstained from most of the questions about the household index, saying he “doesn’t do the shopping in the house.”The newspaper asked Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís other questions about the household index. La Teja also asked the candidates how much they pay for electricity and their cellphone bills, and how much a liter of gasoline goes for. How much does a carton of milk cost? The Costa Rican daily newspaper La Teja translated this old political standby question to the metric system when it asked several of the leading presidential candidates how much a liter of milk, among other things, cost on Sunday.National Liberation Party candidate Johnny Araya – the once longtime mayor of Costa Rica’s capital city – should have consulted with his vice presidential running mate Jorge Pattoni, general manager of the Dos Pinos dairy cooperative, before answering how much a liter of milk goes for nowadays.Araya estimated the cost of a liter of milk at ₡200 ($0.40) and a kilogram of rice at ₡300 ($0.60), half the actual prices, based on 2013 figures from the Economy, Industry and Commerce Ministry.
Three men allegedly hunting illegally inside Braulio Carrillo National Park on Tuesday responded by attacking park rangers with machetes. A ranger lost two fingers on his right hand while trying to protect himself from a machete-wielding hunter. That hunter was then shot in the foot by a ranger.Four park rangers — from the National System of Conservation Areas and the Organization for Tropical Studies (OET) — spotted the men carrying hunting gear and dead peccaries at approximately 4 p.m. during a routine patrol inside the park.The rangers ordered the men to stop. In turn, the hunters attacked them with machetes, wounding OET park ranger Antonio Ezeta. Another ranger then shot a hunter in the foot and arrested the trio.The two injured men were taken to hospitals in Heredia, where they remain in stable condition. Police seized the machetes, the peccary meat and three hunting dogs.OET Operations Coordinator Minor Porras confirmed the incident to The Tico Times, which occurred some seven kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo ranger office near Sarapiquí.Costa Rica’s Wildlife Law bans hunting for sport and sets fines of up to ₡1.5 million ($3,000) for violations. The men likely will face criminal charges as well for attacking the rangers. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican lawmakers weigh ban on hunting for sport National Police arrest 6 hunters inside Palo Verde National Park President Chinchilla signs ban on hunting for sport Hunters ignore Costa Rican ban, kill mother deer, fawn near Carara National Park
Related posts:Industry leaders say Costa Rica’s poor business climate drove out iconic snack food company Appliance company Mabe closes Costa Rica plant, lays off 445 employees Gallito candy, chocolates won’t be ‘Made in Costa Rica’ anymore Dos Pinos acquires candy maker Gallito Costa Rican company Transportes Internationales GASH dismissed 65 workers in early March “due to a recent drop in cargo volumes,” general manager Luis Guillermo Solís Fernández announced in a news release this week.“Cargo volumes have severely declined in the last three months, therefore the company was forced to take the decision to reduce our staff,” the statement said.The general manager said the firm hoped to regain cargo handling levels in the near future “in order to reinstate the dismissed posts and to support the country’s stability and economic growth.”GASH has been in the cargo transport market for over 60 years and currently owns a fleet of 300 semi trailers, according to the company’s website.The company offers transport services throughout Central America and currently has offices in San José and also at Moín and Caldera ports on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. It also owns a terminal in Nicaragua.The layoffs at GASH add to recent announcements from companies closing shops or moving operations abroad, including Wendy’s, Burger King, Bagelmen’s, Incesa Standard and most recently Alimentos Jack’s.Several cited high production costs in Costa Rica, increasing public utility rates and high taxes as reasons for leaving. Facebook Comments
Years of fighting my way through the labyrinthian streets of San José has instilled in me a firm belief that the person who designed the capital city’s streets took a plateful of cooked spaghetti, threw it against a wall, took a picture of it and then made a road map.Sure, parts of the city have neat rows of evenly spaced blocks, but as a driver, more often than not I have found myself curving around awkwardly-placed medians or stopped at a mysterious dead-end. While the disorganization of San José’s streets is certainly evident as a driver, I found yesterday morning that it is even more apparent as Pac-Man.Coming off their popular Pokémon scavenger hunt game from last year, Google has created another Google Maps/video game mashup for April Fool’s Day 2015. By clicking a Pac-Man icon in the bottom left of the screen, users can convert the roads at which they are looking into a live game of Pac-Man. Google provides a handy cheat-sheet of what it deems the best areas to test out their new game, but Costa Rica wasn’t on it.So, I decided to test out the new game on the streets of San José, thus killing off any productivity I hoped to have for the day. I started off in the simple grid-patterned blocks in the city’s south, but quickly moved into the more challenging east and north of San José.Soon, I was navigating Pac-Man through the streets that had given me so much trouble as a driver, trying in vain to guide him into sudden 180 degree turns or getting him trapped down a dead-end road. It was nearly as frustrating as driving. Nearly. Pac-Man did not have senseless one-ways or potholes the size of his disembodied chomping head to contend with. (Via Google Maps)PaThis isn’t the first time new technology has been able to point out just how bad the city’s roads are. Last year, the popular traffic app Waze chose San José as one of eight cities in the world to join their Connected Citizens program because of the app’s popularity here. Despite the city’s comparatively small population, Waze is incredibly popular in San José because of the difficulty in navigating.Unlike Waze, Google Maps’ Pac-Man will not help you get around, but it will help you laugh at your traffic woes. If you’re looking for a challenge, I recommend testing your Pac-Man skills around San Pedro or Barrio México.Good luck. Facebook Comments Related posts:Robin Williams is Google’s top search trend; in Costa Rica, it’s Keylor Navas Why Google’s new quantum computer could launch an artificial intelligence arms race Smartphone app helps locate, review gas stations in Costa Rica New Tinder-inspired apps will help you keep your girlfriend … then dump her
Click here to go directly to their English-language car-rental portal.It happens to the best of us: Sometimes, you fall in love with a beach and you just don’t want to leave. If you need to spend an extra night (or two) at a new favorite destination, GOPlaya helps you find nearby hotels.Rather than booking a hotel in Costa Rica and then learning what attractions are nearby, GOPlaya helps you first find the perfect beach and then choose the lodging that best suits your needs. GOPlaya recommends three great beaches You don’t need to be an expert to know Costa Rica has wonderful beaches. But you can rely on the experts to identify three of the country’s best.Here are Alfaro and Alpízar’s picks:3) San Josecito This beach is part of the Piedras Blancas National Park in the Golfito area. The turquoise ocean and the peaceful atmosphere are at the essence of this remote, unspoiled beach. Read more and get directions on GOPlaya.2) Calzon de Pobre Don’t be dissuaded by the name, which translates to “Poor Man’s Underwear.” This beach has all the necessities for a stress-free, relaxing day: white sand, crystal-clear water, and calm, gentle waves. Read more and get directions on GOPlaya.1) Quesera The water is so clear and waves so calm that you can see to the ocean floor. Quesera is one of Costa Rica’s most unspoiled places, where you can enjoy dozens of palm trees that give shade and decorate the landscape. You get a view of the Tortugas Islands and amazing sunsets. Read more and get directions on GOPlaya.This story was sponsored by GOPlaya. To sponsor your website or event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. With categories such as “white sand,” “unspoiled,” and “lookout point,” GOPlaya locates beaches with your ideal landscape. It can also help you find beaches with activities (such as snorkeling, surfing and nightlife) and wildlife (turtles, whales and dolphins).“On each beach, we give information about the access route, sand color, road conditions, waves, etc.,” Alfaro said. “We also delve into turtles, conservation areas, whales and dolphins and surfing, so that tourists receive complete information on these niches so important for Costa Rica.”Users can get immediate directions to each beach through Google Maps or Waze. GOPlaya details amenities offered (such as parking or showers), hours of service, nearby lodging and attractions. And the site offers information about local customs, tradition and cuisine to enjoy the beach as a local.GOPlaya also has a “Create Your Route” page in which users can input several beach characteristics and receive step-by-step directions to multiple matching locations. The user can open the route directly in Google Maps or Waze, or get the itinerary delivered via e-mail.Finally, GOPlaya features a blog run by Alpízar and Alfaro in which they recommend places or routes based on their extensive experience. It’s a great read for locals, but they also give tips targeted to visitors — because as tourists learn, several beaches across Costa Rica share identical names.In a recent blog, GOPlaya explores the best snorkeling destinations in Costa Rica. In another, it introduces readers to five hidden beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula.“In the end, it is about living a complete experience, and we hope that every time a person visits GOPlaya, it’s because they dare to explore this unique country,” Alfaro said.Getting there (and staying there) Have a beach in mind, but not sure how to get there? Booking your rental car through GOPlaya makes the journey simple.GOPlaya has partnered with Adobe Rent-a-Car to offer a series of benefits to its users. If you book through GOPlaya, you will receive a discounted price, a cooler to keep drinks cold at the beach, and the “GOPlaya Advisory” — personalized recommendations to help find the perfect destination for you. Costa Rica boasts hundreds of beaches across more than 800 miles of coastline. For a year, Carlos Alpízar and José Pablo Alfaro set out to explore them.To determine the country’s best beaches, they toured Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limón. They visited areas that were only accessible via all-wheel-drive, and others that they couldn’t reach with a car at all.Alfaro and Alpízar found the cleanest beaches in Costa Rica, and others where they lamented the accumulated of garbage. They found virgin beaches — and often the reason they had been left unexplored.And the friends are sharing those findings with the public.Alfaro and Alpízar recently launched GOPlaya (www.goplaya.cr/), an online search engine for tourists and residents alike who want a relaxing day at the beach, or who have the desire to explore.They also run an Instagram account, @GOPlaya, which is well worth a follow for its stunning photos.“We believe that every beach represents a community,” Alfaro said. “Each time a tourist visits a beach, he or she collaborates with this region — from going to the grocery
Associated PressAMMAN, Jordan (AP) – From a podium at an Amman street rally, the leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood vowed that soon the country would become a “state in the Muslim Caliphate,” bringing cheers of “God is great” from the crowd of bearded, Islamist supporters.It was extreme rhetoric, suggesting that the monarchy that defines this U.S. ally in the Mideast will disappear to be replaced by an Islamic state. The Brotherhood, the top opposition group in Jordan, usually avoids such bold strokes and insists on its loyalty to the king. But the speech last week by Hammam Saeed points to how the heat is turning up in the country’s simmering political confrontations as Jordan holds parliamentary elections Wednesday that the government touts as a milestone in a gradual process of bringing greater democracy.King Abdullah II is trying to control the pace of change, ceding enough of his absolute powers to parliament in hopes of forestalling any Arab Spring-style uprisings like the ones that toppled autocratic leaders in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia and devolved into a bloody civil war in Syria. But the Brotherhood and others in the opposition say his moves do not go far or fast enough to end his monopoly on power.“The elections are a theatrical comedy, which we will not take part in,” said Zaki Bani Irsheid of the Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood’s political party. “It is part of a royal gimmick to buy time and block any moves toward real and genuine reforms.”The Brotherhood is boycotting the vote, as are four smaller parties, including communists and Arab nationalists. But the Islamists’ frustration is growing because they haven’t been able to rally a large sector of the public to their side. Though there is anger over the economy, rising prices and corruption, many Jordanians also distrust the Brotherhood, eyeing its rise in Egypt and fearing it could grab power in Jordan and throw it into instability. Jordanians were divided over the elections.“It’s an exciting political process, which will show a new face to Jordan as it peacefully transforms itself into a full-fledged democracy with not a single drop of blood shed,” said construction engineer Emad Nafaa, 42.But Amman nurse Aida Abu Odeh, 32, said the reforms are cosmetic. “Historically speaking, nobody enjoying power would suddenly decide to give it up.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Turnout Wednesday among the 2.3 million registered voters could be a key measure of how much trust or enthusiasm the public feels for the reform program. The Commission said 1,425 candidates, including 191 women and about 139 former lawmakers, are vying for seats in the new, 150-member lower house of parliament.The king has said the next steps will be to build real political parties. He wants to streamline Jordan’s 23 small and fractured political parties into three or five coalitions based on ideology _ right, left and center _ for future parliamentary elections. Currently, votes are usually cast on the basis of tribal affiliation and family connections, producing successive parliaments dominated by pro-government, conservative tribal politicians. Although Jordan’s multiparty system was revived in 1991, following a 35-year ban prompted by a 1956 leftist coup attempt, opposition parties remain unable to chart clear programs, claiming they are intimidated by tight scrutiny and security crackdowns.Reform laws introduced in the past two years eased restrictions on the freedom of speech, opinion and assembly, but it is still taking officials time to interpret or implement them. Regulations were also revamped to allow for transparency, rehabilitate a public sector marred by bureaucracy, nepotism and corruption and rebuild public confidence in state institutions. Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix So far, a powerful business tycoon and an ex-intelligence chief were sentenced to jail in separate corruption cases. Prosecutors are also investigating an additional 100 corruption cases involving serving and former officials.The Brotherhood vows to continue opposing Abdullah’s policies through “peaceful” street protests and will attempt to rally the next parliament to oppose the reform program. It insisted it will not resort to violence to grab power.“We will not relent until our demands are met,” said Islamic Action Front secretary-general Hamza Mansour. He said the demands included rewriting the constitution to give parliament equal powers to the other two branches of authority, namely the executive and the judiciary. Mansour said while his group does not advocate “toppling the monarchy, we want to see the king taking a step back to allow parliament to share in the decision-making
NEW DELHI (AP) – Members of India’s ruling Congress party erupted in rapturous applause Friday for Rahul Gandhi, heir to the country’s Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, who is leading the struggling party’s campaign for a general election in May.Congress announced late Thursday that the party will not formally declare Gandhi as its candidate for prime minister _ a bit of political maneuvering aimed at protecting the 43-year-old from being a scapegoat for his party’s problems. Modi, meanwhile, has been chief minister of western Gujarat state for the past 11 years and is credited with turning it into an industrial haven. Critics question whether the Hindu nationalist chief can be a truly secular leader over India’s many cultures.Sonia Gandhi played on those fears Friday, telling the gathering in New Delhi that the election “will be a battle for the preservation of our age-old secular traditions.”Political rivals and human rights groups have accused Modi of looking the other way while his state suffered one of India’s worst outbreaks of religious violence in 2002.The riots occurred after a fire killed 60 passengers on a train packed with Hindu pilgrims. Hindu extremists blamed the deaths on Muslims, but the cause of the blaze remains unclear.Modi has denied any role in the Gujarat violence and says he bears no responsibility for the killings.Manmohan Singh has been India’s prime minister for the past 10 years but said this month he would not seek another term. A technocrat, he was chosen to fill the prime minister’s seat in 2004 by Sonia Gandhi, the widow of assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.But he has been widely seen as a regent, keeping the seat warm until Rahul Gandhi was ready to take what some see as his birthright. Comments Share Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies But the election is still seen as a contest that pits Gandhi against a powerful opposition figure, Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party has significant momentum after trouncing Congress in state polls in December.The state polls were seen as a gauge of voter sentiment in India, a country of 1.2 billion people and the world’s biggest democracy.On Friday, thousands of Congress party leaders and workers hoisted posters of Gandhi and shouted “We want Rahul for PM” during a meeting in New Delhi to prepare for the upcoming polls. They were asking Sonia Gandhi, the current head of the Congress party and Rahul’s mother, to reverse her decision not to formally declare him as a candidate.Rahul Gandhi told his supporters he was “prepared to accept any job assigned to me by my party,” and noted that under the constitution, lawmakers are responsible for choosing the prime minister after the elections.Listing the achievements of the Congress-led government over the past 10 years, he pointed to a landmark anti-graft law approved by Parliament last month, and pledged that his party would expedite the passage of other legislation to fight corruption.But the euphoria comes at a time when the Congress party’s stock is low, battered by corruption scandals, internal feuding, and an inability to deal with a stumbling economy and deep-rooted problems with poverty, infrastructure and education. (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How do cataracts affect your vision? Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Parents, stop beating yourself up 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories
Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober CAIRO (AP) – A US embassy official says Egyptian authorities have held a local employee for nearly three weeks without charges.Moufid Deak, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, says Ahmed Aleiba, an Egyptian citizen who works at the embassy, was arrested on Jan. 25, the anniversary of the uprising that deposed former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. A security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed Aleiba’s arrest. Military-aligned newspaper Al-Watan published an article in July mentioning Aleiba as an employee who arranged meetings between visiting American government officials and Muslim Brotherhood deputy head Khairat el-Shater. The government has cracked down on the group since former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by a coup in July.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy At stake is a 7.2 billion euro ($8 billion) rescue loan installment, and failure to reach an agreement could lead Greece to default on its obligations within weeks — triggering a chain of events that could force the country to leave the euro.The head of Greece’s GSEE umbrella private sector union, Yiannis Panagopoulos, said the country’s drop back into recession, at the most crucial point of the bailout talks, highlights the need for a swift agreement “so that Greece can remain in the euro.”Official flash estimates showed that the economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the first three months compared with the previous quarter. Following the 0.4 percent contraction in the last quarter of 2014, the country is now technically back in recession less than a year after it emerged from a downturn as severe as the Great Depression.Panagopoulos told The Associated Press that any deal with creditors must safeguard “fundamental social issues,” which were “trampled underfoot” by previous austerity measures that included income cuts, tax hikes, scrapping of job protections and increases to the retirement age.He said an agreement with creditors should respect the government’s promises to restore labor rights and fight new pension cuts, but admits he is not optimistic. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at a cabinet meeting in central Athens, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Officials say Greece has completed a 757 million euro ($844 million) debt payment to the International Monetary Fund, despite an acute cash shortage that could come to a head within the next two weeks. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s prime minister was holding his second ministerial meeting in as many days Wednesday, when official data confirmed the cash-strapped country is back in recession amid concern over much-delayed bailout talks with creditors.Alexis Tsipras has said his radical left-led government has done as much as it can to strike a deal to get more bailout loans, insisting the ball is now in the court of the creditors. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up “Our creditors have toughened their positions,” he said, adding that time was lost — and goodwill squandered — with negotiations “on terms and names,” instead of how to restart growth.He said a deal is better than nothing.“Otherwise we will no longer be talking about recession but rather a total collapse that will have terrifying repercussions on all of Greek society,” Panagopoulos said.Eurobank analyst Platon Monokroussos said the economic downturn in the first quarter was less severe than expected, and forecasts slight growth for the year as a whole.“Expectations for another record year for Greek tourism are supporting expectations for a growth recovery in (the second half), provided of course that an agreement will official creditors will be reached before the present bailout arrangement expires” in late June, he said.The finance ministry said Wednesday that the January-April budget deficit was about a sixth the size expected, at 500 million euros, while — excluding debt servicing costs — there was a surplus of over 2 billion euros, much better than the 290 million euro target.However, much of the savings were made through deferring payments for a second month in a row. The government is desperate for cash to pay its creditors — as well as civil servants and pensioners — and last month forced local authorities, hospitals and universities to allow it access to their cash reserves. The target was to raise some 2 billion euros, although so far only 600 million have flowed in as many entities refused to comply.
Comments Share Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories “Active efforts should be made to incorporate religions into socialist society,” Xi said, adding that the party’s religious work should be about winning over the hearts and minds of the public for the party.As part of its religious policy since the 1990s, the government believes that hostile foreign forces can use religions to infiltrate Chinese society by winning over the population and subverting party rule. It has banned foreign missionary work, refused to acknowledge any appointment by foreign religious entities such as the Vatican, and declared any unregistered religious groups illegal.In the western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, the government says foreign forces are using Islam and Tibetan Buddhism to incite local people to defy Chinese rule.Still, religions have spread quickly in the country, which is suffering a crisis in beliefs as people largely abandon communist values.Since early 2014, the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang has forcibly removed crosses from more than 400 Christian churches in an apparent effort to reduce the rapidly growing religion’s visibility.However, the government has been vague about what constitutes foreign forces and whether the term refers to foreign individuals, foreign non-governmental groups, foreign cultural traditions or foreign governments, said Yang Fenggang, a scholar of Chinese religions at Purdue University. Such a policy can also be difficult to carry out in an age of globalization and at a time when China wants to promote its own culture outside China, he said.“How can you influence the foreign but not be influenced by the foreign?” Yang wrote in an email.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk BEIJING (AP) — China’s president warned Wednesday that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state.China is ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party, and Beijing attempts to control a variety of religions and their spread.“We must manage religious affairs in accordance with the law and adhere to the principle of independence to run religious groups on our own accord,” President Xi Jinping said at a high-level party meeting that sought to unite non-Communist Party groups and individuals. His comments were widely reported in state media. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home “In cleaner parts of the world, air pollution still has a significant toll, but it is hard to visualize,” said Bert Brunekreef, director of the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study. “On death certificates, nobody mentions air pollution as a cause of death.”Both India and China have recently toughened their PM 2.5 standards, though neither reliably meets those limits. India has 13 cities listed in the world’s 20 most polluted. Another three are in neighboring Pakistan, and two in Bangladesh.China, once the world’s poster child for air pollution, is much further along in clearing its air, with sophisticated air monitoring that warns of hazardous days, during which schools may be closed, industries shut down and government vehicles taken off the roads.India has no such emergency protocols. Anti-pollution laws remain widely ignored and unenforced. Its fledgling air quality index covers only a few cities with a patchy network of monitors that are often on the fritz.Experts said the global mortality study offers important insights and warnings too often ignored, even if its conclusions are generalized and it doesn’t consider other related mortality causes, like smoking or indoor soot from cooking stoves. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk India and China would need to reduce average levels of tiny, inhalable particulate matter called PM 2.5 by 20 to 30 percent merely to offset their demographic changes and keep mortality rates steady, the study shows. That still won’t get them to the WHO’s recommendation of 10 micrograms per cubic meter, but it could help avoid several hundred thousand premature deaths every year.“The opportunity for preventing premature deaths by cleaning up the air is enormous … especially in China and India, where pollution levels are high and the exposed populations large and densely concentrated,” Frumkin said.Actually reducing pollution-related mortality in China, India and other countries with extreme pollution would require major action. Cutting mortality in half, for example, would take an average 68 percent reduction in PM 2.5 from 2010 levels, according to the study. If pollution levels were to remain stable, Indian mortality would go up 21 percent and China’s 23 percent.“These populations are getting older, and the diseases that air pollution affects will become more important,” said the study’s lead author, Josh Apte, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. The study — one of the first to tackle the question of how much cleaner a country’s air needs to be to reduce premature mortality — combines global satellite pollution data, ground pollution measures, population statistics and globally recognized mortality rates for five key diseases for which air pollution is a risk factor in order to calculate the potential benefits from hitting certain pollution-reduction targets.The WHO last month declared air pollution the world’s largest single environmental health risk, and pledged to come up with a global plan to start cleaning up the skies within a year. Ultimately, though, it will be up to national governments to act.While Asia’s developing countries are considered today’s big air polluters, the global mortality study shows that even less-polluted Western nations could collectively save up to a half-million people from premature death each year by cutting PM 2.5 concentrations by 25 percent.“Everybody thinks that the air in the West is fine. But there are relatively large health benefits that can be found from further cleaning the air in already clean locations,” said Julian Marshall, a co-author and associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Minnesota. “It’s a reminder that there still are health effects from air pollution” even at low levels. In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015 photo, Indian policemen wear masks as they control traffic in New Delhi, India. Never mind lowering the rate of death from air pollution in India and China. Just keeping those rates steady will demand urgent action to clear the skies, according to a new report published Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Both countries have looked to coal-fired power plants to boost electricity and fuel growth. Both have seen explosions in the number of vehicles on the roads. And both have hundreds of millions of impoverished people still relying on burning wood, kerosene or whatever they can grab at the garbage dump
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies She said a vote on pension reform has been pushed back with the creditors’ consent and insisted that there won’t be any vote on changing how farmers are taxed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. A man passes graffiti in Athens, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Banks reopened Monday for the first time in three weeks. But for most Greeks, already buffeted by six years of recession, Monday was all about rising prices as tax hikes demanded by creditors took effect. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government spokeswoman says talks with the country’s creditors for a new multibillion-euro rescue package will begin right after parliament approves laws on propping up and winding up banks.Olga Gerovasili said in a statement Tuesday that the vote on the bank laws will take place Wednesday. She said negotiations on the new bailout will conclude on Aug. 20.Gerovasili said Greece already met other conditions outlined by creditors for bailout talks to begin when lawmakers voted through package of measures including wide-ranging sales tax hikes. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments Share Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation