Trafalgar unveils commemorative onetime departure for Canadas 150th

first_img TORONTO — Canada turns 150 this year, and to celebrate the milestone Trafalgar has created a customized itinerary that showcases Prince Edward Island and the country’s four original confederate provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.Running from June 28-July 8, this 11-day, nine-city itinerary is a one-time departure that kicks off in Toronto with a welcome reception. From there, guests will take a boat ride to the base of Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, visit Canada’s first capital city of Kingston, and then continue to the village of Montebello for a two-night stay at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello resort.On July 1, clients will explore Ottawa’s historical buildings like Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall, plus enjoy special access to spectacular Canada Day 150 celebrations. In Montreal, they’ll partake in the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations and learn about historic sites with a Local Specialist.The tour winds down in eastern Canada with an exclusive Be My Guest dining experience in Charlottetown, a visit to the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, and a stop at Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place. Other memorable highlights include a visit to Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, a ferry ride to Digby in Saint John, and a Cultural Insight experience at Alexander Keith’s brew house in Halifax.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“We are excited to have created this exclusive itinerary which is only available for our Canadian clients at these high demand destinations during the peak season and we are proud to have arranged exclusive access to the Canada Day 150 celebrations in Ottawa which will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada. “Our loyal agents will benefit in encouraging their clients to book fast and although space is limited, we encourage them to promote this trip to multi-generational families and groups.”Clients have until April 28 to book this exclusive departure, which is priced at $4,965 per person, double occupancy, land and internal flight (single supplement is $1,870 and includes all taxes and service charges).Additionally, a past client discount of 5% (land only) is available for those who’ve previously travelled with TTC’s family of brands.For more information go to << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, February 23, 2017 Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Posted by Tags: Canada, Trafalgar Trafalgar unveils commemorative one-time departure for Canada’s 150thlast_img read more

How to spot a shark in Costa Rica on your dinner plate

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionDemian Geneau sees these scammers every time he goes out to the fish market: Vendors sell catfish or other low-grade fish as sea bass. Endangered species are disguised with nonsense monikers. Shark is marketed under every name except shark.  The owner of Product C, a restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood, has developed a keen eye for distinguishing one type of fish filet from another.But unacquainted consumers end up buying species like barracuda or eel, two fish that when filleted look like more valuable sea bass.As for catfish, the difference in flavor becomes obvious at first bite. “It’s insane,” Geneau said. “You got these fishermen who go out and handline real sea bass, and they try to sell it for ₡3,000 [$6] or whatever, and they call it sea bass. And then this guy that imports bassa [shark catfish] from China says it’s sea bass, and they sell it for ₡1,000 [$2].” The fish fraud makes for a major headache for the local fishing industry. To fight the deception, the government passed a law establishing a labeling system for fishery products. The legislation went into effect on Aug. 14. To alert consumers, the nonprofit MarViva Foundation released an “Identification Guide for Fish and Seafood Filets” this week. The guide can be downloaded at MarViva’s website (Or click here, to download the guide directly).The “Labeling of Fishing Products Law” intends to prevent importers and local fishing fleets from undercutting market values. Besides being fraudulent, the cheap charge also makes it difficult for Costa Rican artisanal fisherman to compete and make a living. Sellers use fantasy names to sell endangered species like sailfish, marlin or shark in Costa Rica, said Jorge Jiménez, MarViva’s general director. These protected fish often are caught illegally as bycatch by longliners and trawlers.Shark meat, especially, is sold under several ambiguous names like bolillo, cazón or cornuda. Shark is a common ingredient in local ceviches even if consumers do not realize they’re eating it. The new law stipulates that shark meat must include the word “tiburón” (Spanish for “shark”) on its label.The guide states that all seafood filets, whether sold fresh, frozen or prepackaged, must be labeled under a common name. A passage in the guide states that this is not the scientific name, but the name the species is “best known by.” For example, the law bans the use of the word “corvineta” for catfish.  The word corvineta is a made-up word that happens to look similar to corvina, the Spanish word for sea bass. Instead, catfish should receive labels like bagre, bassa or pangasio, depending on the species.   The law also asks vendors to include the seafood’s country of origin. (Bassa or pangasio often are imported from Asian countries like China and Vietnam). Frozen or prepackaged fish need to include an expiration date. Three government entities worked together to create the law: the Economy Ministry, the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute. MarViva also gave input for the law. The organizations are training food inspectors at the National Animal Health Service and at the fisheries institute to spot fish-market mislabeling. Members of large seafood distributors and sellers are receiving instructions on the law.  Economy Minister Mayi Antillón said the government has a “sincere” strategy to make sure the plan reaches all of Costa Rica. Officials acknowledge the challenge of getting these regulations out there to docks and markets where fishermen work.“We still have a ways to go to adopt this policy because we have to bring this information to all consumers in all corners of the country,” Jiménez said.MarViva hopes to place the guides at points of sale for fresh fish throughout Costa Rica, Jiménez said. At the supermarket, customers could leaf through the guide to make sure filets on sale match images in the book.The guide, available only in Spanish, show pictures of common fish filets sold in Costa Rica, detailing characteristics of each species including the common names, colors and average sizes. Chef Demian Geneau serves seafood from his restaurant Product C. Courtesy of Evelyn Arroyo / MEIC New rules state that all seafood filets sold fresh or frozen in Costa Rica must be labeled under a common name. A Spanish-language guide, above, will be distributed at stores to help shoppers verify labeling. “Guide for Identifying Fish Filets and Seafood”center_img Facebook Comments Jiménez, Antillón and Agriculture Minister Gloria Abraham spoke at a press conference Monday about how the law represented a step forward for protecting Costa Rica’s oceans by bringing awareness to the consumer. The oceans are a key issue for the current government as the waters remain under siege due to overfishing by fishing flotillas.      Officials brought Geneau to the press event to show off the benefits of sustainable fishing practices. The upscale Product C brand started in Malpaís, on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, and now has two locations in southwestern San José suburbs.In the presence of posters promoting the new law and photos displaying that consumers should “eat this, not that,” Geneau catered the press event. He supplied shucked oysters cultivated from seedlings in Punta Cuchilla, a rural community in Puntarenas. Attendants doled out pompano ceviche and strips of róbalo (snook) caught by handline fishermen in small, coastal villages.Geneau turned jack crevalle, which he said has a reputation for being “cat food” in Costa Rica, into a tastefully smoked hors d’oeuvre served on a thin slice of bread. The chef always has been puzzled by why Costa Rica imports so much seafood instead of promoting “the two seas on both sides” of the country. He hopes the label law will encourage sustainable fishing and eating locally.  “Any other product in the country comes with a label, with the brand, the process and the ingredients of the product. Fish doesn’t have that. You simply buy the filet,” Geneau said. “But if you buy a fish that’s certified, at the least you’re ensuring a good practice.”last_img read more

Jacó Happenings

first_imgThe 93rd regular season of the National Football League began at the beginning of September. There are lots of places in Jacó to catch up with friends and watch the games, including the oceanfront at Claritas, on the north end at Jacó Taco, midway at The Patio, downtown at Poseidon’s Sky Bar or at Los Amigos. All offer drink specials and football action, so stop in, socialize and support your team in Jacó Beach!Tomorrow night, the professional and amateur MMA fights in jiu jitsu and muay thai are being held at 7 p.m. at the municipal gym. You can buy tickets at the Bar OZ. General: ₡7,000 ($14), ringside: ₡10,000 ($20), VIP: ₡12,000 ($24). The after party event, Fury at the Beach, is being held at Bar Oz at the pool bar. For more info, call 2643-2162.The Eco-Run 10K is being held at the Los Sueños Marriott in Playa Herradura on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m. Inscription costs ₡15,000 ($30). For more info, call 2592-5362 or visit is not too late to sign up for the Oct. 6 golf tournament out at Los Sueños. “El abogado y sus clientes” is the ideal excuse to play golf with your attorney while doing business. Cost is $100. For more info or to sign up, call 2630-9012 or email–Christina Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

The Big One hits worse tragedy averted

first_imgLocated along what seismologists refer to as “the ring of fire,” a section of earth characterized by volcanic and seismic activity, Costa Rica is certainly not a newcomer to earthquakes. But 2012 marked the final arrival of “The Big One,” an earthquake experts have predicted for decades.A magnitude-7.6 quake struck five miles off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula at 8:42 a.m. on Sept. 5, shaking most of the country for 45 long seconds. The natural disaster caused nearly $45 million in damage and minor injuries. A 51-year old woman died of a heart attack following the event, although she was not included in the official quake death toll. It was partly a miracle no one else was killed during the massive temblor. But it also was a testament to Costa Rica’s world-class seismic codes.The quake made the record books as the country’s second-largest of all time, behind a magnitude-7.7 temblor in 1991, which killed 75 people. Despite its strength, experts and politicians concluded that the anticipated quake could have been much worse.“Every incident is important,” President Laura Chinchilla told the press the day after the quake, “but this could have been truly catastrophic.”The last major earthquake to strike the Nicoya Peninsula, in 1950, wreaked havoc on the area, rendering 25 percent of the city of Nicoya’s buildings uninhabitable. Seismologists credit the better outcome both to the depth of the quake and stricter building codes that Costa Rica has been implementing since the mid-1970s.Damaged buildings included the National Theater in San José and the 400-year-old colonial church in Nicoya. Many homes and other buildings were damaged, and some homeowners criticized the government’s response as too slow or ineffectual.“I worked eight years and in 10 seconds, wshhhh,” said business owner José Rodolfo Vargas, whose grocery store in Sámara sustained an estimated $12,000 in damage to merchandise. According to the National Institute for Housing and Urban Development, 140 homes were destroyed in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. An additional 50 homes were deemed unlivable in Alajuela and Puntarenas provinces. The Earth’s powerful forces are visible at this beach in a photo taken just after the quake. Tico Times Seismologists registered 530 aftershocks within little more than 24 hours after the temblor. In the next two months, experts estimated more than 4,000 aftershocks had occurred, some reaching magnitudes larger than 6.0. These aftershocks have not been limited to the Guanacaste region, and have been felt primarily in San José and the Central Valley.According to University of Costa Rica seismologist Wilfredo Rojas, most of the aftershocks were caused by the Cocos and Caribbean plates, the same plates involved in the Sept. 5 earthquake.While seismologists concluded in September that the quake was indeed the “big one” they had been predicting, it appears the plates still have not released all of their energy. According to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori), research revealed the quake only released 40 percent of built-up energy contained in the plates.This energy can be released in several different ways, but some seismologists believe that another major earthquake in the Nicoya Peninsula is a realistic possibility. “Another earthquake of equal or greater magnitude to what occurred on Sept. 5 is a scenario we cannot dismiss,” said Marino Protti, Ovsicori’s lead scientist. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Obama administration refuses to rule out drone strikes on US soil

first_imgNo related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. forces could launch a deadly drone strike against a target on United States soil if there was an “extraordinary circumstance,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter seen Tuesday.The nation’s top Justice Department official, in a letter to Republican Senator Rand Paul, who released it, stressed that U.S. military and intelligence agencies currently have “no intention” of carrying out such an attack.Paul branded Holder’s refusal to comprehensively rule out such a drone strike “more than frightening.”Three U.S. citizens are known to have been killed in U.S. drone strikes, including Al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki. They were targeted in Yemen, not on U.S. soil, but questions have been raised about the legitimacy of the tactic.Paul had sought information on the president’s authority to authorize lethal drone strikes as part of the confirmation process for John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s pick to head the CIA.“The question you have posed is … entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur and one we hope no president will ever have to confront,” Holder wrote, in a later dated Monday.“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”Holder cited the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941 as examples where use of such force might be justified.Brennan, a 25-year Central Intelligence Agency veteran, is known as the chief architect of the drone war, and he faced repeated questions at his confirmation hearing over the “targeted killings.”His nomination passed a key hurdle Tuesday with the Senate Intelligence Committee voting by 12 votes to three to approve Brennan to head the CIA. A full Senate vote is expected this week.The approval followed a White House decision to turn over to Congress several secret Justice Department memos that may have been used to justify the president’s ability to authorize the targeted killing of U.S. citizens.Paul, who has long questioned the legality of the government’s use of lethal force – including strikes by unmanned drones – against U.S. citizens, expressed alarm at Holder’s response.“The U.S. attorney general’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening,” he declared.“It is an affront [to] the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” he said.Paul had also sought Brennan’s views on drone strikes, and the nominee wrote back that the CIA has no authority to launch such attacks on U.S. soil. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Conservation group delivers 14000 check to family of slain turtle protector Jairo

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s environment minister promises action in wake of conservationist’s murder Costa Rica environmental groups still raising questions in Jairo Mora case Jairo Mora murder suspect posed with AK-47 on Facebook Costa Rican police sweep nets several suspects in conservationist’s murder probe Plenty of outraged environmentalists and concerned citizens have protested in the six months since Costa Rican sea turtle conservationistJairo Mora Sandoval was murdered, but some 150,000 people also were motivated to give.On Saturday, Todd Steiner, executive director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, hand-delivered a $14,000 check to Mora’s family in Gandoca, northeast of the capital on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The money was collected through a petition demanding justice for Mora’s murder.“It was an honor to meet Jairo’s family and express the world’s sadness and outrage over his murder,” Steiner said. “We won’t rest until the perpetrators of this horrendous crime are convicted, and mechanisms are put in place to assure this never happens again.”Mora was killed on May 30 while walking along Moín Beach collecting sea turtle eggs. Steiner’s group, along with several other sea turtle NGOs, also offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mora’s killers.Eight suspects are now in custody pending trial, but the NGOs said they would not release reward money until a conviction is made. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Mexico has key role in confronting surge of Central American migrants

first_imgRelated posts:Fix the immigration crisis at its root Central American foreign ministers meet in Washington to lobby Obama on immigration crisis Group criticizes US screening of asylum seekers from Honduras Immigrants find themselves torn between hope, defeat on Obama’s plans HUEHUETOCA, Mexico — A few weeks ago, just about the same time that Mexican officials said they were putting a stop once and for all to the rolling horror show nicknamed “The Beast,” Jhonny Torres left Honduras for Houston. He reached southern Mexico and scrambled onto a boxcar with hundreds of other migrants.Gang members stopped the train near the Mayan ruins of Palenque and took his last $50. In Orizaba, another dreaded shakedown site farther north, gunmen put a pistol to his temple and said he was a smuggling guide who had not anted up. They let him go, Torres said, only when they figured out it was his first trip and he had nothing left to steal.By the time Torres reached the tent-camp migrant shelter here on the northern outskirts of Mexico City, he’d been held up five times by armed gangs, including a group of commandos claiming to be members of the Zetas cartel. But he never encountered any Mexican police or soldiers.“There were some guys with military uniforms,” said Torres, 26. “But I think those were the Zetas.”In the two months since U.S. President Barack Obama called the surge of Central American minors and families crossing the U.S. southern border a “an urgent humanitarian situation,” he has asked the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to do more to stem illegal migration to the United States.But it is the big country between them — Mexico — that may actually have the power to do something.Unlike the small Central American republics, Mexico is neither impoverished nor weak. It has a network of highway checkpoints to screen travelers and large detention centers to hold illegal migrants. It has tens of thousands of federal police officers and immigration agents capable of arresting and deporting them, while also providing protection from attacks by criminal gangs.But large stretches of Mexico’s rail corridors, highways and border areas are effectively under the control of cartel gangsters who have learned to squeeze handsome profits from the human trafficking business.Mexican law enforcement agents often are not much better, and the reason “coyote” smuggling guides now charge $7,000 for the trip from Central America isn’t just greed or market demand. It is to pay bribes to Mexican police and immigration agents at highway checkpoints along the route north, where the going rate is typically 500 pesos ($40) per head.“We haven’t had any problems — everything’s been taken care of,” said Ofelia Aranda, ushering her sons, ages 8 and 4, into a smuggler’s battered white minivan outside a shelter, two weeks after leaving Honduras. The boys’ father in California had sent for the family. “We just need to get to Tijuana,” Aranda said.Analysts say Mexico’s commitment to tougher, less corrupt and more humane immigration enforcement will be pivotal to the U.S. effort to dissuade Central American families from rushing for the border or sending their kids northward.Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced last month that authorities would finally put an end to the spectacle of desperate migrants riding atop freight trains. “We can’t allow them to continue taking these risks and losing their lives without anyone doing anything,” he said.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has appointed a special commissioner to implement a new multi-agency enforcement strategy targeting Mexico’s southern border, but the details of the effort have yet to be announced. Central American immigrants board “La Bestia” (“The Beast”) cargo train, in an attempt to reach the Mexico-U.S. border, in Arriaga, Chiapas state, Mexico on July 16, 2014. Elizabeth Ruíz/AFPMexican officials say they’re already doing more. According to the most recent data, Mexico had deported more than 60,000 Central Americans as of mid-July, including 12,400 minors. Last year, Mexico deported 86,000 Central Americans, of whom 9,600 were minors.But for all the talk of tighter controls and enhanced protections for vulnerable Central American travelers, little has changed along the railway routes used by tens of thousands of migrants who can’t afford to pay a smuggling guide to bribe their way north along the highways.If anything, interviews with migrants at the San Juan Diego shelter along the tracks — where canvas tents and bunk beds are being added to house up to 400 guests — suggest the route is just as perilous and crowded as ever.At the gated entrance topped with concertina wire, a group of Denver-bound Salvadoran men arrived on a recent afternoon asking for water, saying they had been robbed at gunpoint along the tracks a few minutes earlier. Several other travelers were nursing bruises and broken ribs from beatings they blamed on gang members or local police. A young Honduran woman said she was grateful she’d survived an assault with little more than a groping.“Why hasn’t Mexico taken care of the trains issue? It’s the most well-known and well-documented aspect of this whole tragedy,” said Eric Olson, an expert on security and migration at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.The freight trains, known collectively to migrants as “The Beast,” are “a concentrated, specific route that people are taking, and it would seem obvious that creating security on the train and keeping migrants off of it would be within the capacity of Mexican security forces. So one has to wonder why it hasn’t happened more quickly and readily,” Olson said.Though illegal migration into the United States from Mexico remains near its lowest levels in 40 years, the share of Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Hondurans arrested along the U.S. southern border is higher than ever.Mexico has its own complex immigration sensitivities, once fashioning itself as a champion of immigrant rights when its citizens were flooding into the United States illegally and complaining of abuse by U.S. border agents. But now that Mexico is a place where migrants have been systematically robbed, raped and even massacred, sometimes in collusion with authorities, the government struggles with its new role of enforcer and protector.Aware of these sensitivities, the Obama administration has not openly pressured Mexico to do more the way it has challenged Central American leaders. Obama met with Peña Nieto June 19 to discuss the border crisis, and the White House said Obama “welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America.”Behind the scenes, U.S. officials have pressed for years for Mexico to tighten its southern border. The United States has spent tens of millions on training programs for immigration agents and technology to screen and register Central American migrants along Mexico’s southern border.But much of the 700-mile boundary Mexico shares with Guatemala and Belize is so densely forested and sparsely populated that calls for a U.S.-style border with tall fencing and aerial surveillance are not considered realistic.In some river crossings, Central Americans simply wade or float across in plain view of border guards. At other, more remote crossings busy with truck traffic, there aren’t any Mexican officials.Some in Mexico say the government’s spotty enforcement approach is the result of the view that Central American migration is a problem for the United States, not Mexico. But Marta Sánchez, a migrant rights advocate, said that’s an oversimplification.“Mexico, too, is worried that if more and more Central Americans can’t cross into the United States, they’ll end up getting stuck along the border,” she said, “creating an even bigger security problem.”© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

VIDEO Football star Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of Oppenheimer interview after being

first_imgWearing bronze-plated headphones and an even bronzer tan, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo walked off the set of a recent television interview when asked about about the developing FIFA controversy.On his CNN Español show, Andrés Oppenheimer interviewed the two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or, given to football’s top overall player, and focused squarely on the corruption allegations with football’s governing organization.When the Miami Herald journalist asked Ronaldo how the scandal was affecting football players across the world, the Portuguese player began laughing. “You want to know the truth? We talk zero about this,” he said. After Oppenheimer continued to press the Ronaldo on the subject of FIFA, the international football star became visibly upset by the questioning.Ronaldo concludes the interview by cursing in English, saying, “I don’t care about FIFA. I don’t give a f***.” is a translated transcript of the the interview.Andrés Oppenheimer: Cristiano, thank you very much for being with us. Before asking you about your new line of sport headphones that you’ve come to launch in the United States, we have to ask about the issue in football that has been the center of the world: the FIFA corruption scandal. How is the corruption scandal at FIFA affecting the players? Is it something that worries you?Cristiano Ronaldo: Do you want me to be honest? Nothing about it worries me.AO: Why is that?CR: I do my job, I give it my all for my club. The rest doesn’t matter to me. If it happens on the outside, it doesn’t matter to me.AO: And your teammates?CR: I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. I don’t know. I can’t respond for anyone else.AO: But you can’t tell me you guys don’t talk about this in the locker room.CR: You want to know the truth? We talk zero about this.AO: Nothing?CR: Nothing. We talk about other things.AO: What do you talk about?CR: Music, women, fashion, shoes, bags, jewels, haircuts…Anything else?AO: You know I don’t believe you. Cristiano, everyone is talking about this.CR: Yeah but, I don’t talk about that.AO: Related to this is the World Cup in Qatar. A lot of athletes are saying that to play…CR: (Snaps fingers to someone off camera). This is bullsh*t. I can’t speak like that. To speak about FIFA? I don’t care about FIFA. I don’t give a f*ck. Speak about product and he speaks about FIFA. Come on. (Walks off set). Facebook Comments Related posts:FEDEFUTBOL official: FIFA scandal won’t affect Costa Rica’s upcoming matches Blatter wins FIFA vote amid corruption storm The reporter who exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter FIFA: Sponsor pressure mounts ahead of World Cup drawlast_img read more

Protests in Nicaragua renew tensions with Costa Rica

first_imgGovernment reforms of the Institute of Social Security (INSS) prompted the protests; a protester and a policeman were killed in the Nicaraguan capital after demonstrations over pension reform turned violent Thursday night, officials said. The deaths came after protests by both opponents and supporters of a new law, which increases employer and employee contributions while reducing the overall amount of pensions by five percent, rocked the capital for a second day. Facebook Comments Ongoing protests in Nicaragua caused renewed diplomatic tension between that country and its southern neighbor, Costa Rica, on Friday after officials in San José called on Managua to respect human rights and reconsider the closure of media organizations reporting on the protests.The two countries have experienced border tensions in recent years, mediated by the International Court of Justice at The Hague.Costa Rica’s response to a wave of protests in Nicaragua against public pension reforms did not sit well with Managua.“We call for all human rights to be respected so there are no acts of violence, and above all so that all this can be resolved through peaceful means and dialogue,” said Christian Guillermet, Costa Rica’s director of foreign policy, on Thursday. He questioned the closure of four private television channels on Thursday as they reported on the protests. (Three of the four returned to the air on Friday.)“Curtailing freedom of expression doesn’t contribute [to a positive resolution], so we call on the government of Nicaragua to… reconsider the closure of some media,” Guillermet said.The Nicaragua Foreign Ministry responded in writing.“The particularities of our internal policies and the circumstances in which our government takes state decisions are not concerns of the state or government of Costa Rica,” the note read.It went on to criticize Costa Rica for “the discriminatory, denigrating, exclusive and often racist treatment” that Nicaraguan immigrants receive in Costa Rica.San José did not respond. Related posts:Peace vigils for Nicaragua continue in Costa Rica Nicaragua’s Ortega holds crisis talks with opposition Nicaraguan death toll hits 100 as Ortega vows to remain Costa Rica’s Epsy Campbell speaks out against Venezuelan electionslast_img read more

List of sentences in exEgyptian leaders trial

first_imgGAMAL MUBARAK _ Acquitted of corruption charges, but still faces separate trial on charges of insider trading.HABIB EL-ADLY, former interior minister _ Life in prison for complicity in murder and attempted murder of protesters. He was convicted and sentenced in two other corruption cases.HUSSEIN SALEM, ex-army and intelligence officer closely linked to Mubarak _ Acquitted in absentia of corruption charges.Six aides to el-Adly were acquitted on charges of complicity in murder and attempted murder of protesters.Gen. Ismail el-Shair, former Cairo police chief.Gen. Adly Fayed, former head of General Security.Gen. Omar el-Faramawi, former 6th of October police chief.Gen. Hassan Abdel-Rahman, former head of State Security apparatus.Gen. Osama el-Marasi, former of Giza police chief.Gen. Ahmed Ramzi, former head of Central Security.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Quick workouts for men More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   center_img (AP) – A list of sentences handed down in trial of Egypt’s ex-leader Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and former regime members:HOSNI MUBARAK _ Life in prison for complicity in murder and attempted murder of protesters during last year’s uprising. Acquittal on corruption charges as the statute of limitations had lapsed.ALAA MUBARAK _ Acquitted of corruption charges, but still faces separate trial on charges of insider trading. Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Top Stories last_img read more

Hiroshima marks 67th anniversary of Abomb attack

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said Japan must take a bolder role in leading global disarmament efforts and called on world leaders to come to his city to “contemplate peace.”He also said the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant struck by a tsunami last year has shown the dangers of nuclear technology, even for peaceful purposes, and urged the government to create a mix of energy sources for Japan that is safe and secure.“I firmly believe that the demand for freedom from nuclear weapons will soon spread out from Hiroshima, encircle the globe, and lead us to genuine world peace,” he said.Matsui noted that the average survivor of the bombing is now 78 years old, and said the city is increasing its effort to provide them with health care and chronicle their experiences so the events of that day are remembered.Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan must pass on the experience to future generations so the lessons of Hiroshima are not forgotten.Daniel is the oldest grandchild of Harry and Bess Truman. He has published two books, a memoir and a collection of his grandparents’ letters.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated PressTOKYO (AP) – Japan marked the 67th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack with a ceremony Monday that was attended by a grandson of Harry Truman, the U.S. president who ordered the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.About 50,000 people gathered in Hiroshima’s peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 blast that destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people. A second atomic bombing Aug. 9 that year in Nagasaki killed tens of thousands more and prompted Japan to surrender to the World War II Allies. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The ceremony, attended by representatives of about 70 countries, began with the ringing of a temple bell and a moment of silence. Flowers were placed before Hiroshima’s eternal flame, which is the park’s centerpiece.Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, and the grandson of a radar operator who was on both of the planes that dropped the atomic bombs, joined in the memorial. Ari Beser’s grandfather, Jacob Beser, was the only person who directly took part in both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.In a news conference after the memorial, Daniel declined to comment on whether his grandfather’s decision was the right one.“I’m two generations down the line. It’s now my responsibility to do all I can to make sure we never use nuclear weapons again,” he said, according to Japan’s Kyodo news service.Daniel, 55, said earlier that he decided to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki because he needed to know the consequences of his grandfather’s decision as part of his own efforts to help achieve a nuclear-free world.The U.S. government sent a representative _ the American ambassador _ to the annual commemoration for the first time two years ago. Ambassador John Roos attended the Hiroshima ceremony on Monday. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Greek police looking for killers of Iraqi migrant

first_imgThe statement added that a Romanian and a Moroccan were attacked earlier, but managed to flee. It did not specify if they had sustained injuriesPublic Order Minister Nikos Dendias offered his condolences to the dead man’s family, declaring “that the state will be ruthless towards all perpetrators of criminal acts, whatever excuse they use (to justify) them.”The far-right party Golden Dawn, running on an openly anti-immigrant platform, polled almost 7 percent of the vote in successive national elections in May and June this year, capitalizing on public fears of rising crime. Party members have sought to take the role of public protectors, distributing food to the poor _ but only those with Greek IDs _ and doing chores for elderly residents that they say are too frightened to venture out of their houses in areas with a heavy migrant presence.There has been a rise in the number of far right vigilante groups, and immigrants have increasingly been on the receiving end of violent attacks.The government has sought to blunt Golden Dawn’s rising influence by cracking down on illegal immigration.In early August, it launched operation “Hospitable Zeus” making regular sweeps of immigrants in Athens and tightening patrols along Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, where the bulk of illegal immigration _ over 100,000 people a year _ occurs. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek police are searching for five suspects believed to be involved in the killing of an Iraqi migrant in central Athens, authorities said Sunday, as attacks on immigrants rise amid fears stoked by far right groups that they are to blame for a rise in crime.A police statement said the young man, whose name and age has not been disclosed, was attacked Sunday morning by the five individuals and struck multiple times by a sharp instrument, likely a knife. He was taken to a hospital but died several hours later. Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

EU annual budget talks collapse in worrying sign

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like In a statement on his website, the European Parliament lead negotiator Alain Lamassoure said the commission must submit a new proposal before talks, which face a Tuesday deadline, could continue.The only agreement Friday was for (EURO)670 million in aid to Italian earthquake victims _ but not how to fund it.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories center_img PARIS (AP) – Negotiations over next year’s European Union budget have collapsed after a dispute between member states and the European Commission over a shortfall in the 2012 budget. The talks, which essentially ended before they began, could be a sign of trouble ahead for longer-term EU budget issues.At issue was a (EURO)8.9 billion ($11.3 billion) shortfall for 2012, according to the European Commission, which asked the states to cover the sum. Several states imposing spending cuts at home questioned the amount. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

UAE Arrests made in suspected alQaida cell

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The United Arab Emirates said Thursday that authorities have arrested seven suspected members of terrorist cell linked to al-Qaida that allegedly planned to carry out operations in the country and the region.Few details were disclosed about the alleged network, but it reflects growing claims by the UAE and other Gulf nations that militant groups are seeking to battle the region’s Western-backed rulers after the Arab Spring. Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The UAE is currently holding a mass trial for 94 suspected coup plotters with alleged links to an Islamist group and the Muslim Brotherhood, which now governs Egypt.The statement, carried by the official WAM news agency, said the latest arrests comprise seven suspects of “Arab nationalities,” but gave no further details. The report said officials believe the cell was planning to carry out acts “affecting the security” of the country and recruit others for wider attacks around the region.Other Gulf nations have announced arrests linked to suspected anti-state networks, but have given few specifics.Last month, Saudi Arabia said it uncovered an alleged Iran-linked espionage ring. Bahrain has repeatedly claimed that Iran and proxy groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have ties to Shiite protesters waging an Arab Spring-inspired uprising that began in early 2011.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Bosnian custom officials detained over corruption

first_imgAccording to Transparency International, Bosnia is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Authorities have recently begun fighting corruption and tax evasion more vigorously.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – Police in Bosnia have detained several high-ranking customs officials, accusing them of tax and customs evasion and money laundering worth millions of euros.The prosecutor’s office in Bosnia said Tuesday the operation is part of an ongoing fight against corruption and organized crime, focusing on state officials.Prosecutors said at least 10 people were detained. Some are customs officials who according to the statement were bribed to let trucks belonging to certain companies cross the border into Bosnia without paying customs for the goods brought in, mainly textiles. Top Stories center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Growth in US services firms picked up speed last month

first_imgIn this Thursday, March 27, 2014 John Pittenger makes a pepperoni pizza at the Whole Foods Market in Woodmere Village, Ohio. The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for April 2015 on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service firms’ growth accelerated in April, fueled by more orders, rising sales and an uptick in hiring. The figures provide solid evidence that the economy is recovering from its first-quarter stumble.The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its services index rose to 57.8 in April from 56.5 in March. The April reading is its highest level in five months. Any reading over 50 indicates that service providers are expanding. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   center_img The ISM’s report also indicates that Americans stepped up their spending in April, after cutting back and boosting savings in the first three months of the year. A measure of sales jumped 4.1 points to 61.6, also the highest in five months.Sluggish consumer spending contributed to a sharp slowdown in growth in the first quarter. The economy expanded at just a 0.2 percent annual rate, down from a 3.6 percent pace in the second half of last year.Economists blamed much of the slowdown on harsh winter weather and other temporary factors, such as a labor dispute at West Coast ports that disrupted the shipping of parts and raw materials. But some factors, such as the strong dollar, will likely persist for much of the rest of the year.The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its survey of services firms covers businesses that employ 90 percent of the American workforce, including retail, construction, health care and financial services companies.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The healthy showing supports analysts’ forecasts that the economy’s stumble in the first three months of the year will be temporary. Hiring slowed in March and the economy may have even shrunk in the first three months of the year. But most economists expect growth will rebound in the coming months.“The data still suggest a solid trend in overall growth as well as in employment,” Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients. “They caution against extrapolating from the weakness in GDP” in the first quarter.A measure of hiring ticked up one-tenth of a percent to 56.7, its third straight increase. That suggests the April jobs report, to be released Friday, will show greater job gains than in March, when hiring fell to 126,000, the slowest in 15 months.Service providers are mostly avoiding the hurdles that have slowed growth among manufacturers and weighed on the broader economy. Factory production has fallen as the strong dollar has made American goods more expensive overseas. A sharp fall in oil prices in the past year has also caused drilling companies to spend less on rigs and equipment, which has cut into the production of steel and industrial machinery. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Rwandan convicted in Germany could face more prison time

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Quick workouts for men In its ruling, the lower court said Rwabukombe incited his followers to slaughter 400 members of the Tutsi minority in the town of Kiziguro on April 11, 1994.Ruling on an appeal of the verdict, however, the Federal Criminal Court said the evidence presented in the three-year trial showed he was involved in planning the massacre, told followers to “begin your work,” brought armed Hutus to the church grounds where the victims had taken refuge and urged the attackers to continue to kill.Those details, the court said, constituted the “material elements” of participating in genocide. It sent the case back to the Frankfurt state court.Rwabukombe, who sought asylum in Germany in 2002, was arrested in 2010 on an international warrant, but wasn’t extradited after authorities concluded he couldn’t receive a fair trial in Rwanda.During his trial in Germany, some 15 witnesses from Rwanda were heard by the court.The Federal Criminal Court said a full retrial was not necessary, but it was not immediately clear when the lower court would take up reconsidering the verdict and sentence.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s top criminal court ruled Thursday that there was sufficient evidence to find a former Rwandan mayor guilty of participating in genocide and sent the case back for the lower court to reconsider his conviction last year on a lesser crime.Onesphore Rwabukombe, a 58-year-old former Hutu mayor of a district in northern Rwanda, had been convicted last year in Frankfurt state court of being an accessory to genocide and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. If convicted of genocide, he could get a life sentence. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Energy sector leads an early decline among US stocks

first_imgAmong Dow stocks, Chevron fell 0.8 percent.Deutsche Bank jumped 6 percent after the bank’s co-CEOs said they would leave early. Casino operator Wynn Resorts lost 4 percent, the most in the S&P 500.Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.37 percent.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower in early trading, led by declines in the energy sectors as the price of oil fell again.European stocks were lower Monday following several days of tense rhetoric between Greece and its creditors.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,831 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,090. The Nasdaq composite declined four points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,064. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

After commutations Obama seeks broader justice changes

first_img Comments   Share   In recent years, as the crime rate has dropped, long drug sentences have come under increasing scrutiny and downward trends already are taking shape.The Supreme Court has made sentencing guideline ranges advisory rather than mandatory. Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 to cut penalties for crack cocaine offenses. And last year, the independent Sentencing Commission, which sets sentencing policy, reduced guideline ranges for drug crimes and applied those retroactively.Overall, Obama has commuted the sentences of 89 people, surpassing the combined number of commutations granted by the previous four presidents. But that’s still a sliver of all those seeking clemency: Justice Department statistics show that roughly 2,100 commutation petitions have been received so far this fiscal year, and about 7,900 are pending.___Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Since Congress enacted mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes in the 1980s, the federal prison population has grown from 24,000 to more than 214,000, according to Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a group seeking sentencing changes.And the costs, Obama says, are over $80 billion a year to incarcerate people who often “have only been engaged in nonviolent drug offenses.”“Congress simply can’t act fast enough,” said Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. She said that while Obama’s executive actions have picked off some of the most egregious sentencing inequities, significant legislative action is needed to stop the flow of people “going to prison year in and year out, serving too much time.”Support from tough-on-crime Republicans in any such effort is critical, Stewart said, likening it to a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.Todd Cox, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal advocacy group, said there was momentum from both ends of the political spectrum to address the over-criminalization that has “resulted in people being put in prison who frankly shouldn’t be there.” His group is part of the Coalition for Public Safety, whose members and backers range from the liberal American Civil Liberties Union to the conservative Koch brothers. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall WASHINGTON (AP) — Hoping to seize on a moment of opportunity, President Barack Obama is pushing for bipartisan action to change the criminal justice system in ways that go far beyond the limited executive powers he’s used to reduce harsh prison sentences for dozens of non-violent offenders.In a speech to the NAACP’s annual convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the president planned to call for legislative action to reduce unduly harsh sentences, eliminate disparities in the way justice is applied and lessen taxpayer costs to house prisoners. Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breachescenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “We’re at a moment when some good people in both parties — Republicans and Democrats — and folks all across the country are coming together around ideas to make the system work smarter, make it work better,” Obama said Monday as he commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders, 14 of whom had been sentenced to life.“There’s a lot more we can do to restore the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system,” Obama added in a video released by the White House.While some Republicans in Congress are showing new interest in criminal justice legislation, not all GOP legislators saw the president’s commutations as a positive step.Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a member of the House Judiciary Committee who has proposed bipartisan legislation, accused the president of issuing commutations as a politically motivated stunt.“Commuting the sentences of a few drug offenders is a move designed to spur headlines, not meaningful reform,” Sensenbrenner said.In the Senate, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement he’s been working toward bipartisan agreement on broad legislation that could include reductions in mandatory minimum sentences “in certain situations.”last_img read more

Swiss close Matterhorn 150 years after 1st ascent

first_img Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories BERLIN (AP) — No climbers were allowed on Switzerland’s Matterhorn mountain Tuesday, as authorities declared a daylong ‘silence’ on the 150th anniversary of the first ascent to honor more than 500 climbers who have died trying to reach the top.A group of seven mountaineers led by Briton Edward Whymper became the first to scale the peak on July 14, 1865. Four members of the team died on the descent. Comments   Share   center_img The solemn silence on the Matterhorn — underlined with the threat of a 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,290) fine — was part of a series of events marking the anniversary, which also included a light display along the route of the original ascent.Authorities have also taken longer-term steps to calm the crush of mountaineers trying to reach the iconic 4,478-meter (14,692-foot) Alpine peak that Switzerland shares with neighboring Italy. The Hoernlihuette base camp refuge, also reopened Tuesday, has been reduced to 140 beds from 170.An anniversary ascent by a team of climbers from Britain, France, Italy and Switzerland — reflecting the nationalities on the first ascent — is planned for Friday.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Lamps illuminate the path of the first ascent on the Matterhorn mountain, seen from the Hoernli mountain hut, in Zermatt, Switzerland, Late Monday, July 13, 2015. Authorities in Switzerland have declared the iconic Matterhorn mountain off-limits for a day on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, on the 150th anniversary of the first ascent. The so-called “Matterhorn silence” is intended to honor more than 500 climbers who have died trying to reach the top. (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more