Free airfares in the future It could happen says airline CEO

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Low-Cost Carriers, Ryanair, Trend Watch Posted by Share Free airfares in the future? It could happen, says airline CEOcenter_img Wednesday, November 23, 2016 LONDON — Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says fares on his airline could be free in the not-so-distant future, arguing that airports looking for growth could share their revenues in return for huge traffic boosts.The Guardian reports that Ryanair’s average fares were 46 euros (about Can$65) in 2015, and Ryanair has said it expects its prices will drop by 10 – 15% in 2016.“The challenge for us in the future is to keep driving air fares down,” said O’Leary at the Airport Operators Association conference in London. “I have this vision that in the next five to 10 years that the air fares on Ryanair will be free, in which case the flights will be full, and we will be making our money out of sharing the airport revenues; of all the people who will be running through airports, and getting a share of the shopping and the retail revenues at airports.”More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthO’Leary said some airports, chiefly those looking for traffic growth, have started to lower their airport fees and other charges.“If [air passenger duty] is gone, at many airports I’m paying more than £20 already with APD and fees, if I start getting that back, why not? I’m doing seat sales this week at £4 and I’m paying the £13 APD – I’m paying you to fly with me. Instead of promotional tickets being £9 or £5 they will be free.” << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Canada ends 2016 flying high with record growth out of Vancouver

first_imgTags: Air Canada, Vancouver Air Canada ends 2016 flying high with record growth out of Vancouver Posted by Travelweek Group Tuesday, December 6, 2016 center_img Share VANCOUVER — Air Canada ended the year flying high at its Vancouver industry Christmas party with new routes nailed down in 2016, more routes announced for 2017 and a stellar third-quarter financial report and expansion plans that would see substantial growth in 2017 and into 2020.A spokesperson for Vancouver International Airport confirmed that Air Canada dominates Canada’s westerly gateway as the airport is recording unprecedented numbers of passengers in 2016.“We could not have done it without Air Canada,” said Anne Murray, VP, marketing and communications. She said 50% of YVR passengers fly on Canada’s national carrier.Eva Wilkinson, Owner of Captain Cook Travel, and Sena Dolanjski, Owner of Sena Travel“From January to October we saw 18.8 million passengers go through YVR, which is a 9.5% growth compared to last year for the same period,” Murray told agents at the airline’s Christmas party at the Waterview Events Centre, across from Granville Island. She said the airport is expecting a record year with a total of 22 million passengers by year’s end.She credits much of the traffic increase to Air Canada’s eight new routes announced in 2016.“For 2107, Air Canada has already announced five new cities (out of YVR) it will be flying to,” she said.The five new destinations for 2017 are Gatwick, Frankfurt, Taipei, Nagoya and Dallas.Air Canada’s VP Global Sales Duncan Bureau said a sixth destination – to a North American city – is expected to be announced shortly. In the past four years the company has grown by $4 billion in new revenues.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from Ottawa“We are in a very strong position in Western Canada,” said Bureau, who is familiar with the Western Canadian market as he hails from Malaysian Airlines and prior to that, WestJet.Ruben Gruber, Manager, Altec Travel and Michelle York and Allan Siripawa with TSI TravelAir Canada, like other airlines enjoying low fuel prices, is seeing record earnings and double-digit passenger increases. The company’s third-quarter results earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rent of $1.248 billion) are a high point for the company. “They were the best results in our 80-year history,” he said. That same quarter saw a hefty 18.9% system-wide traffic growth verses the same period in 2015.Expansion plans are in place to grow line revenues another $4 billion from 2017-2020, he said. Growth of that size would continue the double-digit trajectory for Air Canada in combined destination markets. According to Bureau, by the end of 2017 Air Canada is projecting it will carry 40 million passengers.By the end of decade, from 2018 into 2020, the goal is to carry 50 million passengers, a growth projection of 20% in passenger loads. By the end of the decade Air Canada also hopes to have 250 markets in place on six continents, he said.He estimates the growth will come from all markets: domestic, North American and international flights.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureNot even the recent announcement by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production – the first cut in eight years – is dampening Air Canada’s ambitious goals.Bureau said the company has been investing its profits garnered from recent profitable years and putting that capital into a fleet renewal. Its new 787s are flying out of Vancouver and will achieve better fuel economies on the long-haul routes. “We are putting the right sized aircraft on the right routes,” he said, a move that will insulate the company against rising fuel costs. (The company’s third quarter report also asserts that the rising and falling Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. will also compensate for any fuel cost increases.)Taj Kassam, President & COO of the Sandman Hotel Group and Sutton Place Hotels; Ty Speer, President & CEO of Tourism Vancouver and Navid Sariolghalam, GM of The Sutton Place HotelRising fuel prices also bring an upside, Bureau said, as the higher barrel prices kick-start other oil producing areas and that means more traffic into these oil-producing areas outside the OPEC countries.He said that Air Canada remains a four-star carrier and that aspect has strong appeal to business travellers originating out of Canada.Travel agent Nick Panos, owner of Omega Travel International and a major producer for Air Canada, came to the party to celebrate 2016 as an “excellent” year for his company in terms of selling seats on Air Canada flights. The European routes have been especially popular, but sales have been good for all markets, said Panos. He said a major selling point for Air Canada flights are the “very good connections” the airline has around the world. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Batten down the hatches Experts say 2017 hurricane season could be the

first_imgBatten down the hatches: Experts say 2017 hurricane season could be the worst in years << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, August 14, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: Hurricanecenter_img WASHINGTON, D.C. — Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, saying the season has the potential to be “extremely active” and could be the most active since 2010 when there were 19 tropical storms including 12 hurricanes.The U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) re-issued its scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook with a jump in the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes.Forecasters now say there is a 60% chance of an above-normal season compared to the May prediction of 45% chance. The NOAA is now predicting 14-19 named storms, up from the May predicted range of 11-17, and 2-5 major hurricanes, up from the May predicted range of 2-4. A prediction for 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the initial May outlook.The updated outlook is based on the current and evolving atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the most recent model predictions, and pre-and early-season storm activity. The numbers announced today include the season activity to-date.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”The Atlantic basin has seen six named storms, including Arlene in April; Bret and Cindy in June; Don and Emily in July; and Franklin in August.Franklin took aim at Mexico’s central Gulf coast last week after a run across the Yucatan Peninsula.Two of the storms, Cindy and Emily, struck the U.S. Cindy made landfall on June 22 at the Louisiana-Texas border and caused heavy rain, inland flooding and multiple tornado outbreaks. Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida.The NOAA’s update also decreases the chance of a near-normal season from 35% to 30 % and a below-normal season from 20% to only 10% from the initial outlook issued in May.“As we move into the peak of hurricane season, when hurricanes are most frequent and at their strongest, NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts.” Share Posted bylast_img read more

Havana Varadero travel advisories lifted

first_img Monday, September 25, 2017 Tags: Cuba Posted by Havana, Varadero travel advisories lifted TORONTO — The Cuba Tourist Board of Canada says the Canadian government has lifted its travel advisories for Havana and Varadero in the wake of “a swift and effective response” to Hurricane Irma.The federal government had issued regional advisories for both cities, citing initial uncertainty over the impact of Irma.“The retraction of the travel advisories for Havana and Varadero is really a reflection of how Cubans have banded together to get life back on track,” said Eloy Govea, Director for Canada for the Cuba Tourist Board.“We are pleased that the Canadian government is confident in the safety of our destinations and look forward to showcasing Canadian travellers the spirit of Cuba once again.”Canadian travel and tour operators have resumed flights and activities in Havana, Varadero and Holguin. With the vast majority of hotels and resorts in these cities now up and running, only the destinations of Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria remain under regional advisory. There is currently no nationwide advisory in effect for Cuba, said Govea.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthMaria did not make true landfall on Cuba, he adds, with only the easternmost regions of the country experiencing elevated winds and rougher waters. Stabilization efforts remain on schedule in regions previously impacted by Irma.Canadians looking to support Cuba’s post-Irma transition are encouraged to do so by visiting the country, notes Govea. Cuba’s tourism industry generates a large portion of its national GDP, making it an integral part of the Cuban economy.“The continued flow of Canadian guests to Cuba is instrumental not only to economic recovery, but to the spirit of the Cubans that want to confirm that Canadian love for the island has not changed after Irma,” said Govea. “Cuba is the same beautiful, welcoming destination it has always been, and we invite Canadians with open arms to see that for themselves.”center_img Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Café Té Ría offers home cooking cozy atmosphere

first_imgBefore, you tried the arroz con palmito, a Costa Rican comfort food, something like a cross between chicken Tetrazzini and risotto. The light acidity of the hearts of palm cuts through the rich cheese and cream of the baked rice dish. Portion control is key here, but the side salad makes you feel a little better about the decadent dish. You quickly forgo any calorie counting though when the waitress clears the plates and asks if you’d like dessert. Not wanting to miss one of the café’s homemade sweets, you stretch your legs and again peruse the dessert display. Torta chilena, stacks of dulce de leche sandwiched between layers of thin wafer cookies, biscotti, brownies, iced carrot and banana cakes, chocolate mousse and key lime pie line the counter and refrigerator case. You choose the carrot cake and key lime pie and an espresso. The drip coffee is a little weak for your taste but the espresso shot provides a balance to the sweets you’re about to enjoy.  The generous serving of iced carrot cake is enough to feed two. The key lime pie comes served in a small glass like trifle, with layers of lime cream and crumbly graham cracker topped with a twill of lime zest. Both desserts are plated on a long wooden tray on top of a doily. After your lunch, drink and dessert, the bill comes out to ₡7,000 ($14). Leaving, you realize the café’s name is a play on cafeteria and Spanish words café, té, and ría (coffee, tea and laughs). Two out of three isn’t bad, and next time you must have the tea. Facebook Comments No related posts. Lindsay Fendt Lindsay Fendt Latte, Café. Té. Ría.’s adorable resident puppy.  Lindsay Fendt When you walk intoCafé. Té. Ría., just 50 meters east of the Casa Amarilla in San José’s Barrio Amón, you instantly feel at home.Rapping on the metal screen door, the waitress buzzes you into a cozy room with a songbird warbling in a cage in the corner and the occasional yap from Latte, the owner’s adorable West Highland Terrier puppy. Newspapers are in various stages of disarray on the small tables from previous guests.  Baked trout is one of the regularly featured daily lunch specials at Café. Té. Ría. Café. Té. Ría.’s key lime pie dessert. After walking by the tempting selection of cakes, cookies, mousses and more and making a mental note to yourself on which you will later order, you meet your friend by the window and take a seat in the small dining room. The tables are small with three chairs huddled around them. A low coffee table sits in front of a cozy love seat. Local artists’ works adorn the walls, and this afternoon, it’s photography from around the city.Sandwiches are available but you’ve come for the lunch special, the plato del dÍa, that attracts office workers and savvy tourists. Starting at ₡4,000 ($8), it’s well worth it. You choose the spinach and ricotta crepes and a glass of guanabana juice. Despite the selection of sweets on the way in, Café. Té. Ría. is an antidote to the Costa Rican sweet tooth. None of their fruit juices, or naturales, are sweetened with sugar. You sip the tart juice while you catch up with your friend and decide that maybe a little sugar wouldn’t hurt after all. The dining room window looks out on a relaxed street that connects the Parque Nacional with Parque Morazán, one of San José’s rare green corridors. People stroll by, and the loudest sound is the cry of a Jamaican selling mango slices up the street.  The crepes come out baked and rolled, almost like French enchiladas, accompanied by the house salad, lettuce, radicchio, goat cheese, almonds and olives, slightly dressed with olive oil. One forkful tells you you’ve made the right choice. The crepe is light and lightly crunchy at the edge from the oven. The filling is surprisingly light for a dish so heavy on the cheese, and the spinach and mushrooms add a meaty texture. Your friend orders the trout. Served lightly fried, the fish is seasoned simply to let its natural flavors shine. The trout has a unique pink color, similar to a variety of “salmon” trout raised in the hills of San Gerardo, southeast of San José. last_img read more

Watch a video of the best Tico Times front pages from our

first_imgThis video should make you feel wistful for yellowed, crinkly old newspapers. There’s something distinguished about seeing big, important stories laid out on newsprint. Over the decades, The Tico Times covered many stories significant to Costa Rica and the region.Videographer Robert Isenberg put together this short clip of Tico Times front pages, which captures some extraordinary moments throughout Costa Rican history.The Tico Times had been publishing a print edition since 1956 (with a 12-year hiatus during the 1960s and early ’70s) before shutting down the hard copy in 2012. These Tico Times covers told some amazing stories.Our very first front-page story (May 18, 1956) covered a threat to Costa Rican coffee, of course. Throughout the years, the paper’s small staff has reported on  highs and lows.From mournful breaking news: We included a cover on the death of Costa Rican President José Figueres Ferrer (June 15, 1990). Figueres disbanded the army in 1948 and helped transform the country into a democracy. And of course there was all the incredible reporting during the years of Central America’s wars (and peace). We also accounted for the deadly magnitude-7.2 earthquake that leveled Limón (April 26, 1991). Feel a little nostalgic for old times? Hit play on the video above and take a journey through the decades in Costa Rica. Facebook Comments Related posts:Why a new logo? Former Tico Times photojournalist, painter Julio Laínez dies at 76 Sinéad O’Connor’s video on Facebook causes a stircenter_img There were also front pages of great joy. Prince Philip delighted the country with a visit (March 21, 1975). In 1990, Costa Rica celebrated a stunning World Cup victory over Sweden (June 22, 1990).last_img read more

Protesters defy curfew in riotshaken US town

first_imgRelated posts:Suburban US ghettos like Ferguson are ticking time bombs Following Ferguson, US police use of military gear to be reviewed US Justice Department to launch probe of Ferguson police in wake of recent violence Riot after US jury fails to indict Ferguson policeman FERGUSON, Missouri – Police used smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse demonstrators who defied a curfew in Ferguson, Missouri early Sunday, where a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen triggered a wave of rioting.Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and a curfew starting at midnight Saturday until 5 a.m. for the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on August 9.Ferguson was mostly peaceful when the curfew began on Sunday, but a crowd of protesters gathered in the area where Brown was shot and refused to disperse.Riot police, backed up by reinforcements in armored vehicles, hurled smoke and tear gas canisters and slowly moved in to break up the crowd, which local media said numbered around 200.Seven people were arrested for failing to disperse, said Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, the African-American officer that governor Nixon put in charge of restoring peace in Ferguson.Johnson said that police moved when they received reports that someone apparently unrelated to the protests had been shot, and that armed individuals had broken into a restaurant.“We have a shooting victim in critical condition that may lose her life,” said Johnson, speaking to reporters around 3:50 a.m. “We had a subject standing in the middle of the road with a handgun. We had a police car shot at tonight. And, yes, I think that was a proper response tonight, to maintain officer safety and public safety.”Antonio French, an area politician who was with the protesters when police moved in, wrote that some were ready for violence.“I can tell you firsthand that some of the people that remained tonight were armed. Were ready for a fight. And wanted to injure police,” he wrote on Twitter.He also wrote: “It’s important to differentiate the protestors from those violent opportunists that are not thinking about #MikeBrown or justice. #Ferguson.” People wait for reaction from police after they refused to honor the midnight curfew on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFPRenewed unrest Governor Nixon said he ordered the emergency measures “to protect the people and property of Ferguson” after looters raided town stores and scuffled with police overnight Friday to Saturday.Nixon, speaking at a press conference Saturday held at a local church, was repeatedly interrupted by locals angered by an apparent lack of accountability for the largely white police force responsible for Brown’s death in the majority black area.“Excuse me, governor, you need to charge that police officer with murder,” said a heckler, referring to the white officer who shot Brown. “Yeah!” cried out supporters.“Call for an investigation,” said another heckler, as palpable anger and frustration simmered in the church hall. “Where’s the indictment?”Riot police fired tear gas and clashed with looters in the early hours of Saturday, after police named Brown as a suspect in the robbery of a Ferguson convenience store.Gangs of thieves targeted several stores, including the one that Brown allegedly robbed just before he was shot dead on August 9.Protesters also hurled Molotov cocktails and bricks at police, who responded with tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber bullets but they mostly stayed at a distance in armored vehicles and riot gear.In some cases locals locked arms outside stores to keep looters out, and in others store owners showed up carrying rifles and sidearms to protect their property.On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered peacefully near the scene of Brown’s shooting, marking the exact moment he was shot a week earlier. Police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting the shooting of Michael Brown after they refused to honor the midnight curfew on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP‘Execution-style murder’ Brown’s death has renewed a national debate about relations between law enforcement and African Americans.His family appealed for calm, but accused authorities of a “devious” attempt to smear their son’s character after police released surveillance video of the store robbery.The video shows a young black man carrying cigars out of a convenience store, and pushing another man who tries to stop him.The robbery occurred just minutes before the policeman shot Brown dead, but police said the officer stopped the teen for walking in the middle of the street and did not know of the robbery.In Harlem, New York, African American civil rights activist Al Sharpton criticized the video’s release, accusing the police of sullying Brown’s image in the public eye.“Have we lost our decency when you don’t even let people mourn their loved ones without you trying to smear them with things that have nothing to do with the situation?” he asked.“Are you telling me that you have the right to run down somebody and kill him over three or four cigars?”Police identified the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson, 28, a white, four-year veteran of the force with no disciplinary record. 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Orthodox Jewish community leaves Guatemalan village after clashing with Mayan population

first_imgRelated posts:For Guatemalan Q’eqchi’ community, accessing health care depends on finding someone to speak their language Guatemala’s indigenous peoples change strategy to seek more political representation In Guatemala City’s Zone 4, a new effort at urban renewal Clash over development plans leaves 8 dead in Guatemala GUATEMALA CITY — A community of 230 Orthodox Jews from several countries Thursday began leaving the Guatemalan indigenous village where they lived for six years after claims and counterclaims of discrimination and threats.Their exit from San Juan La Laguna, on the banks of Lake Atitlán and 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the capital Guatemala City, follows a meeting Wednesday in which Jewish and indigenous representatives failed to reach an agreement.“We are a people of peace and in order to avoid an incident we’ve already begun to leave the village,” Misael Santos, a representative from the Jewish community, told AFP.They had received threats, Santos said.“We have a right to be there, but they threatened us with lynching if we don’t leave the village,” he added.Most members of the small Jewish community are from the United States, Israel, the U.K. and Russia, and around 40 are Guatemalan. Approximately half are children.Since October, the local indigenous population has accused the Orthodox Jews of discriminating against them and of violating Mayan customs.The Council of Indigenous Elders said the Jewish community “wanted to impose their religion” and was undermining the Catholic faith that is predominant in the village.“We act in self-defense and to respect our rights as indigenous people. The [Guatemalan] Constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture,” council spokesman Miguel Vásquez told AFP. Misael Santos, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, looks on during a meeting with leaders of San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala, on Wednesday. AFP Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Argentina appeal revives coverup case against president

first_imgBUENOS AIRES,Argentina — Argentine prosecutors on Wednesday appealed a judge’s decision to dismiss their case against President Cristina Kirchner for allegedly protecting Iranian officials accused of orchestrating a deadly 1994 bombing.Prosecutors are seeking to relaunch the case that was being brought by their late colleague Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously after accusing Kirchner of shielding Iranians suspected of ordering the bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center.Lead prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita argued in his 35-page appeal that Judge Daniel Rafecas was overly hasty in his decision last Thursday to throw out the case.“A criminal allegation of such unusual gravity and institutional impact as the one presented by Nisman demands every possible effort be made to reach the real truth of what happened,” he wrote. “Faced with a premature ruling, there must be a new analysis of the evidence in the case and a broad review of the decision.”The appeal will be considered by a higher court, the Federal Chamber, which must decide whether to appoint a judge and prosecutor to continue the investigation. If it rejects the appeal, the case will be closed unless new evidence emerges, said constitutional lawyers.Rafecas had assailed the prosecution’s case in his ruling, saying that “none of the alleged crimes presented by Pollicita in his petition to the court are demonstrated in the least.”The long-unsolved bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association killed 85 people and wounded 300.Nisman accused Iran of ordering the attack via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.Four days before his death on January 18, he filed a report accusing Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other figures close to the government of protecting high-ranking Iranian officials, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in exchange for oil and other trade benefits.Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment of a gunshot wound to the head on the eve of congressional hearings where he was due to present his allegations about the president.Pollicita’s team then took over the file and formally renewed his accusations.Since Nisman’s death, initially labeled a suicide, suspicion has fallen on Kirchner’s government of orchestrating his murder.The president has suggested the prosecutor was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who killed him to smear her.Kirchner has clashed with Argentina’s intelligence establishment, sacking the top officials at the Intelligence Secretariat (SI) and introducing a bill to disband it that passed the legislature last week.Embassy bombing scrutinizedThe government took out ads in several local newspapers Wednesday accusing Nisman of trying to destabilize it.“With the case (against Kirchner) dismissed, we must ask ourselves what objectives Nisman was pursuing,” said the ad.“Is it possible to think of any other explanation than seeking to create political instability?”A separate controversy meanwhile swirled around another bombing, a 1992 attack outside the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded 200.On Tuesday the Supreme Court’s chief judge said the case had been closed since the court found in 1999 that members of Hezbollah carried out the attack.But no one was ever convicted and Kirchner has called for it to be reopened.“The case is not closed. There’s no sentence. It’s still open, we need to keep investigating,” a top Kirchner aide, Anibal Fernandez, said.“In criminal law, the case is closed when there’s at least one person charged, tried and convicted.”The two attacks devastated Argentina’s Jewish population, the largest in Latin America at about 300,000 people. Facebook Comments Related posts:Prosecutor who accused Argentine president is found dead Argentine judge dismisses cover-up case against Kirchner Argentina ex-leader on trial for obstructing bombing probe Argentina seeks extradition from Spain of Franco-era ministerslast_img read more

Life in Color returns to Pedregal to spray fans with paint

first_imgWhen you hear “world’s largest paint party,” you may expect constant explosions of liquid splashing over writhing crowds. With a name like “The Big Bang World Tour,” one pictures never-ending detonations of color.But mostly, the “paint” part of Life in Color consists of a performer in a wild costume gradually spraying the audience with a paint-filled hose. The concert climaxes with a “paint blast,” and the lead-up is long and carefully orchestrated.But exploding pigments are just a gimmick – Life in Color is broadly action-packed, providing hours of entertainment before the gyrating throngs get truly soaked in sticky paste. Buskers and stilt-walkers weave through the crowd, glow sticks whirl through the air, and beer flows freely throughout. (Heineken is the most prominent sponsor, so Dutch lager enthusiasts may rejoice.)The franchise started in 2006 in Florida, where it toured local college campuses. Today, Life in Color hosts more than 200 concerts per year around the world.Because of the neon paint and lighting effects, most people wear white, which helps the non-toxic color stand out – and it’s best to stuff your electronics inside a sealable plastic bag or other protective container. According to party promoters, the hoses shoot about 100 gallons of paint per minute.The real purpose of Life in Color is to showcase an international cast of DJs, who spin the gamut of dance mixes and often share the stage with Vegas-style performers. You’ll likely see acrobats, dancers, stilt-walkers, hula-hoopers, and mascots dressed in outrageous costumes. It’s kind of like a smooth acid trip without the actual LSD.The artist lineup in Costa Rica includes Los Angeles-based Diplo, Israeli Borgore, and Chicagoan Crespo, and you’ll find dozens of other performers onstage and scattered among the crowd. Last year’s concert drew about 10,000 fans, most of whom left a little more colorful.“Life in Color” takes place March 21 at the Pedregal Event Center, Belén. 3 p.m. ₡25,000 ($50). Info: SpecialTicket. Facebook Comments Related posts:‘Kingdom of Characters’ celebrates Japanese pop culture Design Festival, Marine Corps picnic, and other happenings around Costa Rica Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Rica Arts Festival, Star Wars convention, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

Shaping Costa Ricas food culture with tourism

first_imgRelated posts:Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Wormseed: a stomach-soothing parasite remedy in your tropical garden 5 things you might not know about patacones Everyone who travels must also eat, which means all tourists are food tourists. Everyone visiting or living in Costa Rica will participate in Costa Rica’s food culture.We often think of tourists as being “outside” of the culture they are visiting. Families travel to Manuel Antonio, soak in some sun, see the sloths, and leave.  But tourism, especially tourism en masse, has more than a passing impact on place and peoples: it truly shapes economy and culture.Tourists create demand for different goods and services, and often seek out experiences and foods they are familiar with. Costa Rica’s 2.5 million annual tourists affect which foods become available in highly visited areas, and shift the evolution of the country’s modern food culture; they eat some traditional Costa Rican foods and dishes, but also bring a demand for foods and food traditions from other places.The human dispersal of food and culture is not new. For thousands of years, explorers, settlers, and invaders brought food and food traditions with them to new lands. They stowed seeds in sacks or folds of clothing, sent trees sailing across the sea, and herded animals down long and winding paths.Many of the foods we now associate with Costa Rican food culture ― rice, bananas, and pork, for example ― are plants and animals that were carried over land and sea many hundreds or thousands of years ago. This transport of living things between places increased the genetic diversity of food species available to people everywhere. For thousands of years, this transport was slow and seasonal, and had a very specific qualifier: the food people transported had to actually grow and thrive in the new place! Rice, bananas, and pork traveled to and stayed in Costa Rica because they grew well in this area. This type of genetic exchange makes sense, because it is mediated by an ecological relationship between the food species, the place it lives, and the people who grow it.But once trade routes became solidified and standardized with fossil fuels, food could be transported en masse, year round, with consistency, and no longer needed to grow in the place it was going to. Instead of sending wheat seeds to temperate climes with rich soils, people could now send loaves of bread or bulk grains to anywhere, all the time.The dispersal of food and culture was no longer mediated by ecological relationships, but by economic and political ones. Wealthy countries could afford to import exotic herbs and spices on a regular basis. Later, countries that wanted to retain more resources began to dominate global markets through controlled agricultural subsidies and the systematic replacement of local food ways with commodity markets.These changes in food transport and availability are transforming food cultures around the world, including Costa Rica. A person in any city, in any industrialized country, is more likely to eat commodity grains like wheat, rice, or corn, than they are to eat a locally produced starch variety from the region where they live. Our new “food culture” is increasingly a globalized one.Most tourists with enough disposable income to travel to Costa Rica are coming from industrialized countries with globalized food cultures. When they arrive, they bring with them a curiosity to discover the uniqueness of the place they are visiting, but they also bring with them a demand for the foods they are familiar with, which come from and are shipped to anywhere and everywhere.Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, and has a rich history of food and farming. We need to direct food tourists (that is, all tourists) to engage with and relate to food that grows here, which truly represents the people and place that make Costa Rica unique. We need to reclaim the ecological relationships that bind people, place, and food, together in a sustainable whole. Marcos García, of Finca Siempre Verde, demonstrates how to roast cashew nuts. Finca Siempre Verde is a Spanish school and volunteer program. Laura Killingbeck / The Tico TimesPeople coming to Costa Rica for the first time usually don’t know what local foods are or how to use them. They are unfamiliar with forest crops, tree saps, local tubers. Tourist organizations need to actively educate newcomers about local foods so they value and create demand for food sovereignty and diversity within the country. When tourists participate in local foodways, they help shape and sustain them.I work at an education center where we host groups from around the world to learn about issues in sustainability. We have to make choices about how to accommodate visitors and students from other countries in comfortable ways, while simultaneously working to honor and regenerate local food traditions in the place where we live. Many of our educational programs, and our overall mission, are about developing real-time local food economies. We work hard to source as much as possible from our farm, our neighbors’ farms, and the local region.It’s a challenge. Within our own organization we oscillate between running a hard line ― no foreign foods in the kitchen, no matter what! ― to making concessions for the sake of practicality, economy, and enjoyment. Our conversations about these decisions can become deeply personal, because they hit the nerves of ethical values and cultural attachment.Some of the foods that we love and remind us of home simultaneously represent the very cultural and environmental erosion we have devoted our lives to shifting. Sometimes some of the foods that make us feel good are really bad for the principles we stand for.We all love pizza and donuts, but wheat doesn’t grow in our region. Tiquisque, breadnut, ojoche, malanga, and lots of other edible starches do. Our philosophy is to continuously participate in the conversation about what we’re doing, and move forward to the best of our ability by seeking out new ways to enjoy and celebrate foods from the place where we live, while at the same time continuing to develop the skills, tools, and strategies for making place-based eating a sustainable reality.We hope that the people who visit our small town will also value and love the uniqueness of this place, and recognize themselves as participants in Costa Rica’s food culture.We are proud to present “Food for Thought,” a new occasional series from Laura Killingbeck, is the Director of Food Systems and Fermentation at Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center. The Ranch is a community and education center in Mastatal, Costa Rica, that hosts residential workshops in food, permaculture, natural building, and more. Laura co-manages the Ranch facilities and programs, teaches fermentation workshops, and writes about the intersection between food, body, and place. To take a class with Laura or visit the Ranch, please visit Jorge Salazar rides to work. Food tourism can take visitors to some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Laura Killingbeck / The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New study explores inequality church influence in Central Americas slums

first_imgYoung people from Central America’s poor neighborhoods bear the brunt of limited opportunities for work and study and unequal distribution of wealth in their countries, according to a study presented Tuesday in Costa Rica.The study, “Central America, Torn Apart,” carried out by University of Costa Rica (UCR) researcher Carlos Sandoval, analyzed some of the factors that cause young people from the region to emigrate. The research team conducted 1,500 surveys throughout the year 2017, 300 in each of five Central American neighborhoods: Guatemala City’s El Limón, Tegucigalpa’s Nueva Capital, San Salvador’s Popotlán, Managua’s Jorge Dimitrov, and San José’s La Carpio.“The communities were chosen based on what’s considered expert judgment, with the intention of including locations that would be representative of life conditions of urban impoverishment,” Sandoval explained.Unequal distribution of wealth was described as a major concern by 64 percent of the young people surveyed in El Salvador, 62 in Guatemala, 51 in Honduras, 37 in Costa Rica and 32 in Nicaragua.The young people said they draw their primary support from family (87.8 percent), friends (49.8 percent) and their churches (30.6 percent). Few considered legislative representatives (0.7 percent) or government’s offices (1.3 percent) to be a source of support.From the population surveyed, between 14 and 24 years of age, 56 of the women and 44 of the men are not in school and generally have little access to the internet except for La Carpio, a San José, Costa Rica neighborhood with a large population of Nicaraguan migrants, which has ample access to networks.In all of the communities surveyed, churches far outweigh political parties in convening power. Evangelical churches came second only to sports groups in that respect.More than half of the young people said they are interested in emigrating, with the highest numbers in El Salvador (76 percent) and Honduras (60 percent).Watch Carlos Sandoval discuss his results in this Spanish-language video: New study explores inequality, church influence in Central America’s slums Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Guatemala to eliminate customs duties with Honduras Experts at D.C. panel deny lax US border controls are to blame for immigration crisis Celebrating 193 years of Central American independence Biden urges Central America to tackle poverty, violence, impunitylast_img read more

Tico Times Pic of the Day Sunset at Espadilla Beach in Manuel

first_imgRelated posts:Gardeners of the forest: The tapir in Costa Rica Covering Santa Teresa Tico Times Pic of the Day: Corcovado National Park from above Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island) Quepos/Manuel Antonio history, from Ponce de León to Marina Pez Vela Located just outside Manuel Antonio National Park, Espadilla Beach is a favorite location for tourists to relax after the park closes for the day.While the beach tends to get busy, it’s expansive enough — at about a mile long — that it won’t feel overcrowded. And there are stores when you can rent surfboards, ride a banana-boat or go parasailing at sunset.Importantly, Espadilla Beach has plenty of vendors selling granizados to cool down after a long day in the sun.Click on the above photo for a full-resolution version, and check out the link below for our in-depth coverage of Manuel Antonio’s fascinating history:center_img This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Space Ticos Two Costa Ricans make headlines at NASA

first_imgStudents at Stoney Nakoda Elementary School in Alberta, Canada had a special guest lecturer during a recent class. As part of a space-themed lesson, the class spoke with Alfredo Valverde Salazar, a Tico who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo via Doug Callow.The kids also met Bruce Callow, author of the book “To the Stars: Costa Rica in NASA.” Callow works as a communications consultant and teacher who does space education outreach work on behalf of NASA.Tico Andres Mora, who works at NASA’s Ames Research Center, also spoke to Stoney Nakoda Elementary students recently, according to Callow.Read more at *** Three of NASA’s four science sections are led by women for the first time in the organization’s history. That’s thanks in part to Tica Sandra Cauffman, who is acting director of the Division of Earth Sciences at NASA.Por primera vez en la historia de la NASA, tres de nuestras cuatro secciones de ciencia están dirigidas por mujeres. Una de estas tres líderes es latina: la costarricense Sandra Cauffman, directora en funciones de la División de Ciencias de la Tierra de la NASA.— NASA en español (@NASA_es) May 10, 2019Carlos Alvarado, Costa Rica’s president, tweeted in support of Cauffman. “She is proof that Costa Rica is capable of training great professionals who then go out into the world to shine and put our flag on high,” Alvarado wrote. Facebook Comments Related posts:Franklin Chang’s VASIMR plasma engine readies for key test US Sen. Bill Nelson: Costa Rica has a place in the future of space flight Behind the scenes at NASA: meet Costa Rican space pioneers Crowdfunding campaign to orbit Costa Rica’s first satellite surpasses goallast_img read more

Flamingo Coast is a green blue and gold microcosm of Costa Ricas

first_imgThis story and the Flamingo Coast series originally ran in December 2016. FLAMINGO, Guanacaste — “Do you think you can tell heaven from hell?” crooned the Uruguayan musician at a bar in Potrero, the Shack, which was packed with both expats and Ticos on a weeknight.Come to think of it, I believe I’ve just discovered one of the above. Sunset over Flamingo, viewed from Potrero Bay. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesHis name was Daniel, and he spoke Spanish with no Italian accent — because he came from the north, he said. Asked what it’s like to live here, he said it’s better to have few friends, but good ones, than a lot of friends you don’t know well. Then he shook my hand and walked down to the beach and started casting his lure.I looked out and I could see big fish jumping in Potrero Bay, right between me and a sailboat, but by now Daniel was out of shouting distance.Back at The Shack, the Pink Floyd song played on: “How I wish, how I wish you were here.” Facebook Comments Playa Conchal. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesA range of communitiesThe Westin sits behind one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Playa Conchal, with sand made of crushed seashells. The forest around it is dry tropical. This means it’s green and lush in the wet season; in the dry season, it reverts to a state kindly described as “golden.”South of here is the surfing mecca of Playa Grande, on a thickly wooded peninsula bounded by the Tamarindo Estuary and the Pacific Ocean. Here I stayed at two great hotels, the RipJack Inn and the Bula Bula, and toured a gated community of dream homes at Las Ventanas. There’s one road in and one road out of Grande, but you can jump on a taxi boat and be in Tamarindo in minutes. It’s a dream location, most of it overlooking two picturesque bays, Brasilito and Potrero, in an oceanscape dotted with islands. Along the coastal roads, there are deluxe developments, 5-star hotels, ordinary cabinas, sodas and pulperías, and magnificent ocean views.It goes without saying that you can find just about anything to do here — golfing, sportfishing, scuba diving, ziplining, ATV tours, horseback riding, mountain biking…. View from the 360 Splendor, a major condominium complex under construction in Flamingo. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesNorth of Brasilito, Flamingo sits in a commanding position geographically on the scenic, hilly peninsula between Brasilito and Potrero bays. It’s covered in condominiums, vacation rentals and private mansions, but it’s also surrounded by an estuary that can never be developed and will presumably remain green forever.Up the road from there is Potrero, a town stretched out along a winding road, with a thriving community of expats (a great many of them Canadians) in the posh Surfside neighborhood. I stayed at three nice hotels here, at prices as low as $30 a night. I also tried the more upscale accommodations farther north at the Sugar Beach Hotel on Playa Pan de Azúcar, a delightful spot.Finally, there’s the unique community of Las Catalinas on Playa Danta in the north, which looks like a Mediterranean village transplanted from Italy. The rooftops of Las Catalinas. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times“It has become a multicultural and international area,” D’oñas said. “We just are very happy to share our beauty and our country with people from all over the world. And we have them now not just as a visitors but also as neighbors.”The marinaFlamingo is known in part for having the most star-crossed marina in Costa Rican history. It operated for over a decade, but it was shut down in 2003 for a complex set of reasons.Today the marina project is under new management, and the current team is talking optimistically about gaining all the necessary permits within weeks and starting construction within months. Potrero Bay from a lookout near the Sugar Beach Hotel. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesSome people come to Costa Rica looking for isolation in nature where a splendid beach meets a virgin forest. Some come wanting a more social environment, where they can meet people and party a little. Some come to buy their dream homes and raise their children, if not to retire for the rest of their lives.I haven’t found a better place in Costa Rica to do any or all of the above than the Flamingo Coast north of Tamarindo and south of Playas del Coco.________________Costa Rica’s Greatest PlacesIn this series, The Tico Times Travel section takes an in-depth look at some of Costa Rica’s greatest destinations, with multiple articles exploring the attractions of each. Throughout the month of December, we’ll visit the sumptuous Flamingo Coast — Playa Grande, Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo, Potrero and Las Catalinas.The Flamingo Coast• Dec. 5: Overview• Dec. 8: Marina• Dec. 12: Real Estate• Dec. 15: Adventure by sea• Dec. 19: Adventure by land• Dec. 22: Hotels• Dec. 26: Restaurants________________ With Flamingo in the distance, boats are seen moored in Potrero Bay for want of a marina. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesPeople here have heard talk of a new marina for years, but most people seem to believe it’s really going to happen this time.“It’s going to help the community for people that are working directly, fishermen and all that, so they will have space for that as well,” said D’oñas. “But it’s mainly being built in order to draw people, to increase the area, help to increase the value of land here. It’s a win-win project, I think, and the community and some other people before were trying to get this done, and it falls down every single time. But finally I think these guys are going to make it.”Why not move here?I asked Aaron Berkowitz, 28, one of the chief builders at the luxury Mar Vista gated community between Brasilito and Flamingo, what’s so special about this area.“Families,” he said. Aaron married a Tica and they had a son. “Especially on this side where Flamingo is, it’s a lot more peaceful than Tamarindo, and this is a place where I want to raise my son. I would not raise my son in Tamarindo.” A vacation rental represented by Tropical Homes. (Courtesy of Tropical Homes)“What I personally like about this area over here, it’s more residential,” said Britta Engelhardt, the German proprietor of Tropical Homes, which manages vacation rentals on this coast. “Even if it’s touristy, we don’t have such a huge influx of tourists that it’s overcrowded.”It’s true. I’ve spent some time in Tamarindo and Playas del Coco, but if you look at the coastline between them — Playas Grande, Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo, Potrero, Pan de Azúcar and Danta — you’ll find a microcosm of almost everything Costa Rica has to offer within a half-hour drive.“The people decided to come here because this is an area not completely developed,” said Hernán Binaghi, the manager of Westin Golf Resort & Spa on Playa Conchal. “It means that we can still find a bond between nature and the local things with not so much infrastructure, while if you go to Mexico it might be like Disneyland.” An infinity pool at Mar Vista. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesBritta Engelhardt of Tropical Homes seconds that emotion.“So when you go to Jacó and Tamarindo, it’s much more crowded, and here you have more vacation homes, where people can stay right on the beach, and you don’t have all these major megaprojects,” she said.“It’s very family-oriented over here as well, which I like, so it keeps it all more, more like a private setting, not like this party town, and that’s what I really appreciate.” Playa Penca. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesFederico Marín, a developer and builder here, said, “One of the things that makes Flamingo special is because it’s one of the few white sand beaches on the whole Pacific coast. The other is that if you want to live in a place that is a community, it’s not like Tamarindo, that you have discos blasting hard rock until 4 o’clock in the morning every night. Some people like that, some people don’t. But as a community, Flamingo is a lot quieter.”A-fishing we shall goOne day I walked a block and a half from the Isolina Hotel to Potrero Beach, and there was nobody there until a quiet Italian man (and you don’t often hear about quiet Italians) pulled up in an SUV to go fishing from the shore. Ocean-view lot at Las Ventanas de Playa Grande. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesIf you’re watching your colones, head up the road to Brasilito and you can crash at a perfectly good beachfront hotel with air conditioning for $40. Brasilito is a totally Tico town with little stores, restaurants and cabinas clustered around a fútbol field. Here I stayed at the Hotel Brasilito and the Conchal Hotel, both of which were within walking distance of four lively bars, with revelers spilling into the streets until the wee hours.“People that are moving close to Flamingo, Potrero, even Brasilito and all the neighborhoods around, there is a feeling that there is development but there is a balance of protecting the nature and not saturating the whole area,” said Pedro D’oñas, the manager of the Flamingo Beach Resort, the only beachfront hotel in Flamingo. “Many people call Flamingo ‘Tamarindo Lite’.” Related posts:Five good restaurants in Flamingo and Potrero, and one very sad note 10 good hotels on the Flamingo Coast, from Playa Grande to Sugar Beach Flamingo: Zafira catamaran cruise is a heaping helping of hospitality at sea Flamingo Coast real estate: Get your own slice of paradiselast_img read more

Kenya police church attacks kill 15 wound 40

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona A top security official suggested after that assault that the attackers came from within the camp. Kenyan officials have long complained Dadaab and its inhabitants are a threat to Kenya’s security. Kenyan officials hope to see the Dadaab refugees move back to Somalia, but they cannot force the refugees to move without breaking international law and courting wide international condemnation.Areas of northern and eastern Kenya along the border with Somalia have suffered a series of gunfire and grenade attacks over the last year. Militants attacked a church in Garissa in December, killing two people.Kenya sent troops into Somalia last October to hunt al-Shabab fighters. The militants, who are allied with al-Qaida, have threatened repeatedly to carry out revenge attacks for Kenya’s push into Somalia. Sunday’s attacks appear to be part of that trend.___Associated Press reporters Tom Odula, Adow Jubat and Boniface Ongeri contributed to this report.(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 More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Associated PressNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Gunmen killed two policemen guarding a church, snatched their rifles and then opened fire on the congregation from inside and out on Sunday, killing 15 people and wounding 40, security officials said.Two gunmen entered the simple wooden church in the city of Garissa at around 10:15 a.m. Sunday, while two others waited outside, police commander Philip Ndolo said. When the congregation fled the attack inside, they ran straight into another hail of bullets from gunmen outside, he said. At least one grenade was detonated in the attack. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   ErrorOK… ErrorOK Overturned wooden benches littered the church afterward. A victim wearing a simple blue dress lay on the sandy earth outside. Witnesses reported seeing the four gunmen flee in dark blue outfits and masks.“We were deep in prayers preparing to give our offerings,” said a visibly shaken David Mwange, a churchgoer. “We first had a loud bang from outside which we mistook to be coming from the rooftops. We then had gun shots which made us to lie down. Within no time we had gunshots all over. Everybody was shouting and wailing in pain.”The bloodiest of the two attacks came against the African Inland Church in Garissa, a city some 195 kilometers (120 miles) west of the Somali border. Ndolo said 15 people were killed and at least 40 wounded. A grenade attack against a second church in Garissa wounded three people.Garissa Mayor Ismail Garat called the church assault “evil.”“We are not used to witnessing such kinds of acts in our country, where people are just shot in broad daylight. We really want to know who the heartless people who did this are,” he said.Ndolo told reporters he wanted an investigation carried out before assigning blame to the group many people in this region assume is at fault: al-Shabab, the most dangerous militant group in Somalia. Top Stories Another security official said two attackers walked up to the two policemen guarding the church, shot them at point-blank range and took their rifles. The official spoke only on condition he wasn’t identified because he is not allowed to speak to media.The police were guarding the church because of the increasingly dangerous security situation near the border with Somalia and because Somalia’s Islamist militants have made Christian churches a common target.The Vatican spokesman condemned the “vile” and “disgraceful” attacks and said they showed the necessity of defending the rights of Christians to celebrate their faith and “oppose irresponsible acts that fuel hatred among religions.”The White House also condemned the attacks, saying: “At a time of transition, peace and stability are essential to Kenya’s progress. We support those who recognize Kenya’s ethnic and religious diversity as one of the country’s greatest strengths.”Garissa is one of two major Kenyan towns near the border with Somalia. It lies just to the west of the Dadaab refugee camp, which houses nearly 500,000 Somali refugees. On Friday armed attackers kidnapped four international workers with the Norwegian Refugee Council and are believed to have taken them over the border into Somalia.last_img read more

Little backing to prolong French 4day school week

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories PARIS (AP) – A plan to lengthen France’s four-day school week has failed to win nationwide support, and the country’s biggest teacher’s union says fewer than a quarter of students will have the new schedule for the next academic year.The Education Ministry wanted at least half of the country’s schools to start a 4 1/2-day week. Tuesday’s survey from the SNUipp teachers union indicates that only 22 percent of schools will do so. The other schools will keep the old schedule for at least another year. Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project French schools now have Wednesdays and weekends off. Officials say children have fewer class days than their counterparts in Europe or the Americas _ 144 days compared with an annual average of 187 _ but have longer days _ from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Germany frees AlJazeera journalist sought by Egypt

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall He chanted “Allahu Akbar” — “God is great” — through a microphone before being whisked away by a waiting car.Mansour, 52, was detained on Saturday at Berlin’s Tegel airport as he tried to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha. A dual Egyptian-British citizen, he was convicted in absentia in Egypt on charges that his lawyers and reporters’ groups call politically motivated.Berlin prosecutors decided Monday afternoon to free Mansour, and said he could leave the country whenever he wanted. The decision came after examining details of the Egyptian case and also taking into account “political and diplomatic concerns” as discussed with Berlin state and federal authorities, spokesman Martin Steltner said in a statement.“After the evaluation, the concerns over agreeing to extradition couldn’t be dispelled despite assurances from Egypt,” he said.Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters earlier that while the case was up to judicial authorities to decide, the ministry had regularly spoken out against human rights issues in Egypt and the widespread use of the death penalty and had the option to veto any extradition. “There will be an intensive examination of the criminal allegations in the light of due process in the Egyptian judicial system, particularly in relation to cases involving the media or to people who are close to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Schaefer said.Egypt considers Al-Jazeera a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that it has labelled a terrorist organization. It is trying three journalists from Al-Jazeera’s English-language channel accused of being part of a terrorist group and airing falsified footage intended to damage national securityMansour’s attorney Patrick Teubner said there were no strings attached to his client’s release and that there were no further charges or legal matters pending against him in Germany.“I think that was absolutely the right decision,” Teubner told The Associated Press. “There was no other alternative.”Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the justice building before Mansour was released, carrying signs with slogans including “stop the bloodbath in Egypt” and “freedom for Ahmed Mansour.”After news broke of his release, Al-Jazeera General Manager Yasser Abu Hilala spoke to the broadcaster in a studio in Qatar saying “this is a happy day.” How men can have a healthy 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Check your body, save your life Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober This undated handout photo provided courtesy of Al-Jazeera, shows Ahmed Mansour, 52, a prominent journalist with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera broadcaster’s Arabic service. Mansour was detained at Berlin’s Tegel airport on Saturday, June 20, 2015, on an Egyptian arrest warrant, his lawyers said. Mansour, who holds dual Egyptian-British nationality, was trying to board a flight to Doha. The station said he had been sentenced in absentia in Egypt to 15 years in prison over allegedly torturing an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, a charge both he and the channel rejected. (Courtesy of Al-Jazeera, via AP) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “It is a victory for the freedom of the press in the face of authorities,” he said.According to court documents, Mansour was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison, alongside two Brotherhood members and an Islamic preacher, for allegedly torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, a charge both he and the channel rejects.The court ruled that Mansour and the Brotherhood members had been running and operating a detention center in a travel agency office overlooking Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands held a sit-in against longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.Mubarak stepped down after the 18-day uprising and the country’s first democratic elections were held in 2012, bringing in to office Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of the Brotherhood.But Morsi’s time in office was marred with unrest as critics accused him and his group of monopolizing power and seeking to impose overtly Islamic legislation.El-Sissi, as army chief, led the July 2013 military ouster of Morsi after massive public protests. A bloody crackdown ensued, killing hundreds of Islamists and landing thousands of them, as well as secular activists, in jail.The crackdown also included closing down media close to the Islamists and showing little tolerance for critical voices. An Egyptian prosecutor, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk with the press, said the arrest warrant invoked the international convention against torture.___Sarah El Deeb in Cairo contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BERLIN (AP) — An Al-Jazeera journalist detained by German authorities on an Egyptian arrest warrant emerged from a Berlin judicial building Monday again a free man after prosecutors decided not to pursue an extradition request further.Ahmed Mansour pumped his right hand in the air as crowds waiting for him outside the building’s main gates chanted “down, down with military rule.”“I am free now despite el-Sissi,” Mansour told the supporters, referring to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. “I thank all the free people in the world,” as well as “the honest, honorable judges of Germany.”last_img read more

Kenya says Islamic extremists kill 14 in Kenyas north

first_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosis Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How men can have a healthy 2019 NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — At least 14 people were killed in an attack early Tuesday in the country’s north by al-Shabab, Islamic extremist rebels from neighboring Somalia, a Kenyan official said.Eleven people were wounded in the attack in Soko Mbuzi village in Mandera County near Kenya’s border with Somalia, said Mandera County Commissioner Alex Nkoyo.The attackers targeted two compounds where quarry workers live, said Charles Kamau, a stone miner. The attack started with explosions at the gates of the compounds which woke him up at 1 a.m., he said. Kamau said he saw about 20 attackers divide into two groups, some opening fire on people sleeping outside and others attacking those sleeping inside. Kamau said he went into an adjacent room where Kenyan women of Somali origin were sleeping and hid under a bed.The attackers came into the room and pulled out a woman, identified by police as Neima Mohamed, believed to be the landlady of the buildings, and shot her dead, he said.Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said there were 150 people in the compound and the attackers fled when police responded, cutting short the bloodbath.Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack through the group’s radio Andulus in Somalia.Tuesday’s attack raises the number of people killed in Mandera County by the militants, who are allied to al-Qaida, to at least 85. Nearly all those killed were non-Muslims.Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks in Kenya as retribution for the country sending troops to Somalia to fight the militants. Kenya sent its troops to Somalia in October 2011 following a series of cross-border attacks including kidnappings which the government blamed on al-Shabab.___Associated Press Writer Abdi Guled in Mogadishu, Somalia contributed to this report. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more