Emirates CEO says US laptop ban still puzzles him

first_img DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The chairman and CEO of Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates said Tuesday he “can’t dig into somebody’s mind” to understand why the U.S. instituted a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage from 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries.However, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said he believes U.S. President Donald Trump is a businessman who “wouldn’t want to affect American business” in his decisions.Sheikh Ahmed’s careful phrasing mirrored that of his rival, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker, the day before at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai.The exhibition last year featured a stand by the luxury hotel chain bearing the new American president’s name, but this year the company apparently decided not to take part.Sheikh Ahmed didn’t mince words, however, when describing what he thought after watching the video of a United Express passenger being forced off a flight. Those videos showed a bloody passenger being dragged off a flight in Chicago on April 9 by airport police after he refused to give up his seat to make room for crew members.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish Steps“Those people who dealt with it, they should be more professional,” he told journalists. “That is something that should not be acceptable.”Sheikh Ahmed also acknowledged the challenges facing the global aviation industry, saying Emirates was considering so-called premium economy seats, planned on launching a new first-class “product” this year and was looking at other measures. He even hinted that Emirates might work in closer partnership with budget carrier FlyDubai, another Dubai government-backed airline.“If I’m looking at it from the Dubai ownership of two airlines, I have Emirates, we have FlyDubai,” he said. “We can do something there.”He declined to elaborate. Emirates CEO says U.S. laptop ban still puzzles him By: Jon GambrellSource: The Associated Press Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Tags: America, Donald Trump, Emirates Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Sunwing to offer flights from MontJoli QC for the first time this

first_img Thursday, June 15, 2017 Tags: Sunwing TORONTO — Sunwing is adding a new Quebec gateway for the 2017-2018 winter season, with new flights out of Mont-Joli to Punta Cana starting Dec. 21 and running through March 22.The new weekly service will mark the first time Mont-Joli residents have had opportunity to fly to a sun destination from their local airport. With the new gateway Sunwing will offer Quebecers six winter sun vacation departure points across the province.“Providing our customers with the option to save time and money by departing from their local airport has long been a priority for us at Sunwing and we are delighted to be offering vacation packages from Mont-Joli for the first time,” said Executive Director of Sunwing Vacations Quebec, Sam Char. “Punta Cana is consistently one of our most popular destinations and we are sure that it will be well received by residents of Mont-Joli seeking a tropical escape this winter.”The people of Bas St-Laurent / Gaspesie have been asking for flights to sun destinations from Mont-Joli “for several years”, added Chantale Lavoie, President of Mont-Joli Regional Airport. “Today we are very excited to welcome the arrival of Sunwing, a reputable tour operator offering vacations in beautiful destinations. This new addition will also benefit nearby businesses.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaSunwing’s Punta Cana vacation perks, depending on the resort, include Kids Stay, Play, and Eat FREE deals and complimentary kids and teen clubs, unlimited à la carte dining and discounted spa treatments. Sunwing to offer flights from Mont-Joli, QC for the first time this winter Travelweek Group center_img Tweet Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

RIUs top family resort in Punta Cana debuts brand new look

first_imgTags: Punta Cana, RIU Hotels & Resorts Travelweek Group PUNTA CANA — RIU Hotels & Resorts’ most family-friendly hotel in Punta Cana has reopened following a major overhaul to its rooms, restaurants, pools and services.ClubHotel Riu Bambu, inaugurated in 1999, was previously refurbished in 2004 and again in 2010, but only performed a complete overhaul earlier this year. The five-star, all-inclusive hotel now boasts new furniture and décor in all rooms, plus refurbished bathrooms, two new pools (in addition to three existing pools) with two new swim-up bars, and a new gymnasium next to the beach. The Riu4U club for young guests is another new item resulting from the refurbishment.Culinary options have also seen some changes. The hotel has seven restaurants including the new Spanish restaurant Olé and the gourmet eatery Kulinarium. Guests will continue to have the main restaurant available to them with international cuisine, as well as the Asian Hibachi, the Italian San Angelo, the Palm Beach steakhouse and the Mexican Mama Juana.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckRIU Hotels currently has six hotels in Punta Cana: The Riu Palace Bavaro, Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa and ClubHotel Riu Bambu, which are located in the RIU complex. Clients also have free access to the Splash Water World water park, while the Riu Republica, the first adults-only hotel in the Riu Classic range, is located a mere two kilometres away. Riu Republica will showcase major changes at the end of this year, including 400 new rooms, four new restaurants, five bars and a new water park. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Wednesday, July 19, 2017 RIU’s top family resort in Punta Cana debuts brand new look Sharelast_img read more

Piles of suitcases are gone and so are the delays at Pearsons

first_imgPiles of suitcases are gone and so are the delays at Pearson’s Terminal 3 this morning Posted by Tags: Toronto Pearson Airport, Travel Alert Thursday, August 17, 2017 Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Passengers are seeing a much smoother check-in process – without piles and piles of luggage everywhere – at Pearson Airport this morning.The departures level at Pearson’s Terminal 3 was a chaotic scene yesterday, the result of delays due to technical issues with the airport’s baggage system. The problems at Terminal 3 began on Tuesday, said a spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.GTAA spokesperson Robin Smith said the issue involved the baggage system being unable to read luggage tags and automatically send each piece of luggage to the correct place in the airport. He called it an “all hands on deck situation”.The problem affected some departing flights. Travellers were asked to allow extra time to account for the possibility of delays.Technical issues at Terminal 3 departures (impacting all airlines) has created a backlog of luggage/delays tonight at #Pearson airport pic.twitter.com/6CEKZrzUhn— Kayla-Marie Williams (@kaylamarieTO) August 16, 2017Additional staff were on hand and airlines are using a simplified process to speed up check-in, he said.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“There is an element of manual processing. (We are using) a different kind of baggage tag, which is simpler,” Smith said. “We are seeing better results with it.”The airport also asked passengers who only have carry-on bags to consider checking in online.Some travellers took to social media to complain about the baggage system issues and the delays.“Thanks to #TorontoPearson for delaying our flight home by three hours then not telling us our luggage wouldn’t be on the flight” one person tweeted Wednesday morning.The airport has apologized for the delays caused by the issues with its baggage system.“We are confident in our contingency plan that is going to allow passengers to continue checking in, moving through the security clearance process and getting to their gates (with) their bags arriving with their flight,” Smith said yesterday.On any given day, Pearson handles about 100,000 pieces of baggage, he added.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truck With files from The Canadian Press Sharelast_img read more

Canadians visiting Maui are among Hawaiis big spenders Yes really

first_img Share Posted by Jean Sorensen Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Canadians visiting Maui are among Hawaii’s ‘big spenders’. Yes, reallycenter_img VANCOUVER — When the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) landed in Vancouver recently to promote the tri-island destinations of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, it should have been humming the show tune refrain “Hey Big Spender”.The latest figures from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), for January 2018, show that Canadians in Maui are among the big spenders for the destination, with their monthly increase in spending outstripping all other Hawaiian islands and resulting in a record expenditures to kick off 2018. The MVCB hosted a dinner at Vancouver’s Blue Water Café, eager to meet with the travel trade and keep the visitor numbers pumped.Leaning on research figures, Leanne Pletcher, Director of Media Relations and Marketing for the MVCB, said spend is definitely up. “The Canadian market has been very strong because of the weather,” she said. Figures for 2017 from the HTA show a 12% gain in Canadian visitors to Maui, the Hawaiian chain’s second largest island.HTA spending statistics for January 2018 show just how much all visitors are opening their wallets. All visitors to Maui, a long-time favourite destination for Canadians, increased their spending by a whopping 18% over last January, spending $548.5 million. That figure compares to the island of Hawaii (which saw a 1.8% gain to $268.2 million) and Kauai which had a 2.3% gain to $191.2 million.The January figures were the highest monthly totals ever recorded for each island, according to the HTA. Visitor spending on Oahu declined slightly (-1.9% to $662.0 million) in January compared to last year.Figures also show that the Canadian market is rebounding after a stagnant 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Canadian visitors spent $1.03 billion, an 8.1% increase over the previous year, while visitor arrivals increased 10.4% to 518,051. Scheduled air carrier seats out of Canada grew 5.5% in December 2017, with more seats out of Vancouver.The Maui delegation to Vancouver brought news of a number of new property renovations and excursions for travel agents.Krystle Alcain, PR Manager for Westin properties including Ka’anapali Ocean Resort and Nanea Ocean Villas, says the two properties cater to multi-generation family visits with one, two, and three bedrooms suites, with kitchen.WESTIN HOTELS & RESORTSWestin opened its Nanea Ocean Villas in April 2017, a resort property with eight buildings and 390 suites spread over 16 acres. Westin representative Krystle Alcain said the new resort offers one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and a highly sought-after property for multi-generational visits. “They have fully equipped kitchens,” she said, adding that there is also a dedicated children’s pool facility. The new property is also close to a Times Supermarket and has a small grocery outlet on site for essentials.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThe Nanea is nearby the Westin’s other signature resort. Situated on 26 acres of beachfront, the Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas is also a AAA Four Diamond resort that is suitable for multi-generational visits, said Alcain. One of the features of the two properties is the ability to share facilities. Westin’s third property on the Island is the Maui Resort and Spa, which unlike the villas, offers mainly hotel style rooms and is popular for couples, but can accommodate a couple with a child, says Alcain.THE RITZ-CARLTON KAPALUAThe Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a property that has undergone a $30 million facelift with the bulk of the major revamp finished in January of this year. The luxury resort is a popular wedding site. “We have about 150 a year,” said Communications Manager, Deanna Miller, adding that several sites are allocated through the resort for weddings.The upgrade includes newly transformed guest rooms (with Nespresso coffee machines and wireless Internet able to accommodate 10 streaming devices), suites and residences, an enhanced lobby and pool and Kai Café. The decor reflects the heritage and scenic beauty of the island with rooms having floor to ceiling glass windows. The last phase of the upgrade will be the Banyan Tree and Terrace breakfast restaurants, which is to be complete in fall 2018.The renovations were started two years ago when Trinity Investment purchased the AAA Five Diamond resort which has 297 guest rooms and 107 residence condos (the first phase of the upgrade) from partnership Woodridge Capital and Colony Capital and others for $210 million. Trinity gained control of the 54 acre property in November 2016 and at that time announced it was embarking on an upgrade to make the 25-year-old facility more competitive.Candy Aluli, representing the Napili Kai Beach Resort, shows off one of Hawaii’s attractions: beautiful flora.NAPILI KAI BEACH RESORTCandy Aluli, representing Napili Kai Beach Resort, said the luxury property property will appeal to those interested in the environment. In December 2017 the Napili Resort embarked upon a campaign on its beachfront to educate bathers about the dangers of using sunscreen with ingredients that are harmful to the coral reefs. Guest checking in at the luxury property that is located in a reef protected bay will receive a free sample of a reef-safe sunscreen along with a discount coupon for purchasing more. The resort’s beach staff also walks the shoreline providing information to sunbathers on the beach about the importance of examining sunscreen ingredients. Research has found that sunscreen with harmful chemical toxins are killing the coral reefs in Hawaii.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemThe 163-room hotel, located in a scenic bay, includes studios, one and two bedroom suites (most with kitchen) in 11 low-rise plantation style buildings. Approximately 96% of the rooms offer ocean views looking out over the bay it is situated in. Facilities include a beachfront restaurant and bar (the landmark Sea House Restaurant), four swimming pools, a boutique spa, fitness room, large ocean view whirlpool spa, and two 18-hole putting greens, one for adults and one for children.Golf and tennis are available in the adjacent Kapalua Resort community. The Napili Kai offers complimentary parking, free in-room wireless, kids age 10 and under eat free, no hidden charges or resort fees and other complimentary services.LANAI: HOME TO HAWAII’S MOST EXPENSIVE SUITEBridgett Parker, MVCB’s Social Marketing Manager, said those staying on Maui can easily travel to nearby Lanai by public ferry. While the 140-acre island is rustic in nature and 98% of it is owned by Oracle Corporation co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison (who purchased the island in 2012), it does welcome visitors.Lanai also features Hawaii’s most expensive hotel suite, selling at $21,000 a night. Ellison acquired two hotels in the deal when he purchased the bulk of the island for $300 million. One features an 11-room Hawaiian style hotel, while the other is the Mandele Bay which went through an extensive upgrade to a luxury facility with Ellison overseeing the renovation. He reduced the number of rooms from 286 to 217 to provide more luxuries. Guests at the property gain access to the facility’s golf course which is a favourite of Bill Gates. Tags: Hawaii << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Strike alert Air France cancels 30 of long and mediumhaul flights

first_img PARIS — Air France says that 30% of its long-haul and medium-haul flights to and from Paris are not operating Friday due to a strike over pay.The company also says in a statement that 20 per cent of national flights are cancelled and warns of possible “disruptions and delays.”Air France recommends that its customers check their flight before going to the airport and has offered to change their tickets for free.The strike aims to put pressure on management to increase employee salaries by 6 per cent.It comes one day after trains, planes, schools and other public services across France were seriously disrupted as unions protested against French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic changes. Tags: Air France, Travel Alert Friday, March 23, 2018 Strike alert: Air France cancels 30% of long and medium-haul flightscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Presslast_img read more

Goway offers buy one get half off deal on East Africa flying

first_img TORONTO — Goway Travel clients can save up to $3,835 on an exclusive eight-day Kenya fly-in safari.The offer is applicable on the Kenya Sky Safari, including flights between the iconic parks, luxurious lodge or tented accommodation, activities, and unsurpassed game viewing.Already among Goway’s most popular wildlife experiences, this safari “will sell out fast”, says the company.“A throwback to the golden age of East African travel, the Sky Safari blends incredible game viewing, luxurious wilderness camps, intimate gourmet dining, and spectacular flightseeing over the legendary landscape of Kenya,” says Goway. Destinations include Masai Mara, Meru National Park, and Amboseli National Park.Travellers get business-class seating in an executive aircraft and private butler service at all lodges.Plus, with just a single check-in and check-out during the eight-day journey, the safari “is designed to be stress-free”.The offer is valid for bookings April 1 – May 31. Discount not applicable on park fees. For more information or to receive a copy of Goway’s Africa Travel Planner, call 1-800-245-0920 or email info@goway.com. Travelweek Group Share Posted by Tags: Goway Travel, Kenya, Savingscenter_img Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Goway offers buy one, get half off deal on East Africa flying safari << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WTO set to pick new leader amid talks deadlock

first_imgGENEVA – The World Trade Organization is close to choosing its next leader in a final round pitting Brazil against Mexico, with the winner facing the tough task of restoring the clout of global commerce’s rule-setting body.Brazil’s WTO Ambassador Roberto Azevedo and his rival Herminio Blanco, Mexico’s former trade minister, are expected to learn as early as Tuesday whether they have won a contest that is seen as too close to call.All concerned are keenly aware that the successor to two-term Director General Pascal Lamy from France must act fast to revive the WTO’s moribund global trade talks.Both men have pitched a similar vision for a negotiating process which they say needs overhauling.“The multilateral trading system is weakened by a complete paralysis in the negotiations,” Azevedo told AFP, explaining it was time to “unclog the system.”Blanco, meanwhile, said it was time to reboot the 159-nation WTO.“The main challenge is the ‘W’ in ‘WTO’,” he told AFP, underlining that the logjam had pushed members into negotiating bilateral and regional deals.“You have to transfer this energy back to Geneva,” where the WTO is based, to prove the point and reach of the organization, he said.Supporters of a WTO-wide deal warn that other accords can create a “spaghetti bowl” of conflicting rules, thereby failing to serve global commerce.Created in 1995, the WTO aims to spur growth by opening markets and removing trade barriers, including subsidies, excessive taxes and regulations.The stated goal of its “Doha Round”, launched at a summit in Qatar in 2001, is to deploy trade to develop poorer economies.But members repeatedly have clashed over the give and take needed to reach a deal, with deep splits notably between China, the European Union, India and the United States.Some have blamed Lamy, a former EU trade chief, who raised hackles with an alleged name-and-shame drive to break the deadlock after he won a second term in 2009.Amid fears that December’s WTO summit in Bali could fail, the new director general will have to act fast after taking over on Sept. 1.“The new DG obviously will come in at a rather precarious time for the WTO,” said Sergio Marchi, Canada’s former trade minister and ex-WTO ambassador.Besides working the diplomatic circuit, Marchi told AFP, the new leader must repair ties with the business community – the hub of global commerce.“The business community has taken the view, ‘Call me when you’re serious.’ … Obviously getting Doha together is a challenge, but if the institution is seen as irrelevant, it is irrelevant,” he said.“You don’t have to have an agreement in your first six months, but there’s got to be movement and momentum,” he added.Against that background, Blanco seems to have the advantage.The 62-year-old economist was Mexico’s negotiator for the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and has solid private sector credentials, running an international trade consultancy and sitting on US, Asia and European company boards.“My candidacy is a package of skills, experience, ambition and creativity,” he said.But Azevedo’s insider status could be key.The 55-year-old career diplomat was Brazil’s chief litigator in a raft of WTO disputes before becoming ambassador in 2008.“In the WTO today, you don’t have any low-hanging fruit. You have to go up the tree, grab the fruit and bring it down. And if you don’t know the system, and don’t know the trees, you’re not going to get the fruit,” he said.Marchi underlined the symbolism of a Latin American WTO leader.“It’s the emerging economies that are now the economic locomotive globally, and both Brazil and Mexico have done tremendously well thanks to trade,” he said.The WTO’s leader is not formally elected, but picked by consensus, with senior diplomats sounding out the member states to see who has most support.The rules were set after an ugly 1999 race which led to New Zealand and Thailand splitting the job, before Lamy won in 2005.The WTO’s two previous chiefs were Irish and Italian, and with France following Thailand, developing nations have been keen to claim the top post.An unprecedented nine candidates ran this time around.Those who fell at the first fence in mid-April were from Kenya, Ghana, Jordan and Costa Rica, while Indonesia, South Korea and New Zealand stumbled at the end of the month.Both Azevedo and Blanco underline their broad support from rich, emerging and poor nations.But a range of diplomats told AFP they were unhappy with a final choice between two Latin Americans, while Kenya and South Korea raised concerns at WTO meetings.Kenya’s WTO ambassador Anthony Andanje told AFP, however, that it was a matter of making the disquiet known, rather than aiming to block the process. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Avianca promises not to cancel any more flights to Costa Rica

first_imgCosta Rican officials including Tourism Minister Allan Flores on Thursday met with Avianca-Taca representatives in Colombia, who said the airline would not cancel more flights to Costa Rica or fire more local employees.Flores met with Avianca President Fabio Villegas to clarify a number of rumors that have circulated recently regarding the future of the airline’s operations in Costa Rica.In May, the airline announced the elimination of five direct flights to Costa Rica and the dismissal of 261 employees in the country.The destinations eliminated included flights between San José and Los Angeles, New York, Havana, Quito and Guayaquil.The airline said at the time that “profitability of these direct destinations were the reason for eliminating the flights.”Avianca still has 1,000 employees working at its Costa Rica operations.The meeting also was attended by Costa Rican Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides and Transport Vice Minister Ana Cecilia Jenkins. Facebook Comments Related posts:Delta to add new Minneapolis-San José flight New Costa Rican airline, Ticos Air, now hiring Delta Airlines to offer nonstop flight between San José and Los Angeles Avianca-Taca drops five nonstop flights to Costa Rica, lays off 261 employeeslast_img read more

Up in the oaks a different sort of Costa Rican getaway

first_imgGuests who want to take a quetzal tour with Dantica will have better luck than I did that afternoon: Wilms claimed that his birding tours have a 95 percent success rate. Other wildlife, like the eponymous tapir that gives the lodge it’s name in Tico Spanish, “little tapir,” mountain lions and owls also roam the valley.Besides the wildlife and hiking offered both onsite and throughout the valley, Dantica’s Le Tapir restaurant is its own destination. Wilms said that their idea for the lodge was to bring people as close to nature as possible and that goes for the restaurant, too, a cozy jewel box extending over the hillside with 270-degree views of the valley.We started our dinner with a salad of chopped olives and pineapple (trust me, it was great) and moved on to the main course: cloud forest trout with hearts of palm in a white wine sauce. The fish was a standout dish, moist and flaky, if not a little heavy for the sauce it came with. For dessert, the panna cotta was cool and creamy and had a nice crunch from the seeds of the fresh passion fruit on top.Dantica also offers one of the most generous complementary breakfasts I’ve ever had, complete with fresh baked rolls, locally grown coffee, and a choice of omelet, pancakes or gallo pinto, a mix of black beans and rice, with scrambled eggs.The lodge’s seclusion makes it an attractive choice for a rugged couple’s getaway but some of the amenities were less than ideal for lovebirds. Our apparent queen size bed was actually two twin beds pushed together, landing a cuddle attempt in the sinkhole between the mattresses.While the size of the bathroom — especially the size of the sink — was a rare treat for the rugged setting, the shower was unruly and oscillating water temperature between too hot and freezing was a rude awakening in the morning chill of the mountains.After breakfast, I took a hike down the hill to the river. Following the path with the aid of a crumpled map I kept in my back pocket, I walked, climbed and slid down the trail, following the rushing sounds of the river.When I reached the water a noise caught my attention. There, just a head of me perched in the trees was a pair of Black Guan, large black birds with blue-tipped beaks. I stopped and watched the birds until my not-so subtle attempt to see them better startled them deeper into the woods. They might not have been resplendent quetzals, but for those minutes I stood there watching them, I felt a million miles from the city.  No related posts. Over breakfast one recent Saturday, a friend of mine bemoaned how despite his best intentions of getting out of the city, work or pure exhaustion from the week usually sidetracked his plans of escaping San José.Feeling like I too needed an escape from belching buses and the claustrophobia of the capital, my partner and I headed out to Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge in San Gerardo de Dota. Just two to three hours south (depending on whether you get stuck behind a semi) on the Inter-American highway away from San José, it was the perfect distance to get out of the city.After checking in at reception, a see-through office attaching to an art gallery, we walked along a winding path cut through a dewy forest to our bungalow.As soon as we opened the door, I knew why the place had such a good reputation: floor-to-ceiling windows composed an entire wall of the cabin, and tellingly, the couch faces the windows, not the room’s small television. The wall of glass afforded guests an uninterrupted 180-degree view of the valley, yet the bungalows are perched at angles where occupants can’t sneak a peak at other travelers. Ribbons of clouds wove in and out of the primary oak forests that blanket the valley’s dark green slopes, like an idyllic scene from an ink painting hanging in a Chinese restaurant. The folds of the mountains faded from dark green to ever-lighter shades of white, disappearing into the clouds that poured into the valley like tributaries into a river.IKEA-inspired furniture outfitted the room, complete with blond wood dresser, low-backed slate-colored couch, and a sleek white table with two chairs. A quirky metal fireplace hung on the wall next to the bed. After pouring in a bottle of ethanol — yes, ethanol — into the grill and lighting it from a safe distance, a tall flame sprung up and gave the room a warm feeling, even if it didn’t produce much heat.I gazed out over the balcony, half-heartedly looking for a resplendent quetzal in the late afternoon, wondering if I could recognize its emerald plumage in the fading light.The valley’s reputation for the long-tailed bird is what brought co-owner and biologist Joost Wilms to San Gerardo for the first time more than 20 years ago. The Dutch scientist studied the birds there for years and fell under the valley’s spell, eventually prompting him to open the hotel with his wife, Colombian textile designer María Luisa Castro. Zach Dyer Zach Dyercenter_img Dantica Lodge brings guests back to nature.  The view from Dantica’s bungalows.  Going there:From San José, take the Inter-American highway to Cartago. Just a few kilometers before reaching Cartago, after the Delta gas station and some traffic lights, there is a sign: San Isidro and Paso Canoas (Panamá). Veer right and wind into the mountains. After about 30 kilometers you reach the gasoline station at El Empalme (last place to fill up your car!), stay on the road for another 30 kilometers and then turn right at Kilometer 80 to San Gerardo de Dota. Follow the dirt road (partly asphalted) for 4 kilometers downhill until you see the lodge at your right hand site. Rates range from $136 to $192 (plus the requisite 13 percent tax) depending on the accommodation and the season.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican art dealer receives yet another probation sentence for deceptively selling

first_imgRelated posts:Spanish court acquits Tico accused of smuggling pre-Columbian art Police seize $1 million collection of pre-Columbian art in Santa Ana Actor Sean Penn secretly interviewed ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán in hideout before capture Mexico wants to question Sean Penn over meeting with ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán A German civil court in Munich on Friday sentenced Leonardo Patterson, a Costa Rican art dealer living in Germany, to three years probation for “deceptively selling a piece of recent manufacture as an archaeological artifact of Mexican origin to a German citizen.”Patterson, 73, also was ordered to return two ancient wooden figures to Mexico after determining they were improperly obtained and taken out of that country. The court’s ruling states that Patterson must pay court costs because he was unable to prove ownership of the figures.A witness testified Patterson told him the pieces had been taken by a tomb raider from an archaeological dig in El Manatí, Mexico, a sacred site of the Olmec people, and that Patterson bought them from a dealer.The court estimated the artifacts’ value at €50,000 euros ($53,000) each.Patterson must periodically check in with the court and pay a fine of €1,000 a month during the three-year probation. If he fails to comply, he could face imprisonment of one year and three months.A polemic dealerPatterson’s problems with the law began in 1984 when he was charged by the FBI with attempting to sell a forged Maya fresco to an art dealer in Boston. At the time, he was sentenced to probation.One year later he was arrested in Dallas for smuggling a pre-Columbian figurine and 32 endangered sea turtle eggs into the United States. He told customs officers he brought the eggs because “they are delicious and nutritious, and I didn’t know that eating them is a federal offense in the U.S.” He was again placed on probation.In 2010, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) reported that a collection of supposed pre-Columbian artifacts seized from Patterson in Germany contained many fake pieces.INAH officials said most of the larger, impressive pieces seized by German authorities were modern copies of ancient artifacts. Experts determined 252 of the collection’s 1,029 sculptures, pots and figurines were fakes.A number of legal cases have followed including the ordering of the return of smuggled items to Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.In 2013, a criminal court in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, acquitted him of the crime of art smuggling after he moved from that city 1,400 pieces of pre-Hispanic art to Germany without a permit from the Culture Ministry.Judge María Elena Fernández Currás at the time said that according to Spanish law, “the smuggling offense punishes those who, without authorization, take Spanish heritage out of Spanish territory.” Patterson was acquitted because the pieces do not belong to Spain but to various Latin American countries.Born to Jamaican parents, Patterson was raised in the Caribbean province of Limón and currently lives in Munich. He began working as an apprentice jeweler, moving on to work as an antiquities middle-man as he gained exposure to a wider range of objects. Eventually, he graduated to the role of international dealer and collector.He served as adviser of Costa Rica’s diplomatic mission at the United Nations from November 1994 to January 1995 during José María Figueres Olsen’s administration, and his diplomatic credentials were renewed in 1998 during Miguel Ángel Rodríguez’s administration, in spite of not being appointed to any official post.Questions about his past led to his resignation, and shortly after he moved to Germany. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Five students brutally murdered in Liberia

first_imgFive university students were found Thursday morning in a studio apartment in Liberia with their throats slashed in an apparent multiple homicide.Ranging in ages 22 to 24, most of the three female and two male victims were tied up by their hands and feet and also gagged. All of them suffered fatal wounds to their throats from a knife attack before being found around 7 a.m. Thursday, according to a report from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ).At a press conference, OIJ Director Walter Espinoza said a 14-year-old girl is the lone survivor of the attacks. As of Thursday afternoon, she was in stable condition at the hospital in Liberia receiving treatment for a severe cut to the throat, according to Espinoza.The five slain students were all enrolled at the University of Costa Rica and were originally from Upala, Alajuela. At least one of the students was renting the studio apartament, located behind a house in the La Victoria neighborhood of Liberia.Espinoza said that only one of the victims was not found gagged. No weapon was found inside the small room.According to the OIJ report, a neighbor found the bodies Thursday morning when he or she found the apartment door open and looked inside the room. The neighbor found the 14-year-old girl still alive, and she was immediately rushed to the local hospital.OIJ and local reports have identified the five victims as: Stephanie Hernández, 24; Dayanna Martínez, 24; Ingrid Mendéz, 24; Joseph Briones, 22; and Ariel Vargas, 24.Espinoza and other authorities said Thursday that they have no suspect and are unaware of any possible motive for the homicide. A local prosecutor told the Spanish-language daily La Nación that nothing was stolen from the house.The National Police Force released a brief statement via social media Thursday morning indicating that it was ramping up search efforts for a potential suspect throughout Guanacaste province. Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said in a public statement that more officers would be sent to the border with Nicaragua, less than an hour’s drive from Liberia, to prevent a possible escape from the country. Facebook Comments Related posts:Arrests made in case of murdered Dutch couple and laborer Slaughter of five students in Liberia was likely done by one suspect, says OIJ director Attempted robbery goes awry when burglar gets caught in window Accused serial killer ‘Wild Bill’ Holbert asks forgiveness for murders of U.S. expatslast_img read more

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura

first_imgRelated posts:Five things I learned while watching the sun set over El Clásico Herediano to face Saprissa in Apertura final Weekend soccer roundup: Semifinals begin, Ticos traded in MLS San Carlos defeats reigning champion Herediano, advances to face Saprissa Posiciones         Pts.    GP         W         D         L         Gf        Ga.San Carlos                36        21        10        6          5          33        19Pérez Zeledón          36        21        9          9          3          35        27Saprissa                    35        21        10        5          6          36        27Herediano                 33        21        9          6          6          31        24Cartaginés                31        21        8          7          6          32        27Municipal Grecia      31        21         8         7          6          32        27Alajuelense               29        21        7          8          6          30        27UCR                           25        21        7          7          7          33        38Santos                       27        21        8          3          10        32        37Limón FC                  26        21        7          5          9          22        30Guadalupe FC         18       21        4          6          11        20        34Carmelita                   11        21        2          5          14        18        37 This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 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 Commentscenter_img Liga Deportiva Alajuelense tied 2-2 against the reigning champion, Club Sport Herediano, and was eliminated from the semifinals of the 2019 Clausura Championship in Costa Rica with one fixture remaining. Saturday’s match took place in the National Stadium of La Sabana, in San José, because playing at Alajuela’s stadium, Alejandro Morera Soto, was vetoed by the Disciplinary Tribunal for disturbances after the clásico nacional (Costa Rican classic) against Saprissa two weeks ago.Herediano will have to wait for the closing date, next Sunday, to try to earn the last ticket to the next phase of the tournament; Club Sport Cartaginés and Municipal Grecia are the other two semifinal aspirants. San Carlos, Pérez Zeledón and Saprissa are already classified.Alajuelense hurt its own cause through an own-goal by Daniel Villegas (21). However, they responded with a penalty from Honduran Róger Rojas (42). Herediano went ahead thanks to the 2014 Brazil World Cup and Russia 2018 participant, Yeltsin Tejeda (60). When everything seemed resolved Rojas scored his second, taking advantage of a mistake from goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero to equalize (89).The closing Clausura fixtures will decide the four semifinal teams and their order in the table. They will also determine the regular-season winner. With all teams having played in 21 games, and only one date left to be played, San Carlos and Pérez Zeledón have 36 points, Saprissa, 35; Herediano, 33; Cartaginés and Grecia, 31; Alajuelense, 29; UCR, 28; Santos, 27; Limón, 26, Guadalupe, 18; Carmelita, 11.Matchday 22, last of the classification phase: Alajuelense-GuadalupeCarmelita-San CarlosCartaginés-SantosGrecia-SaprissaHerediano-Pérez ZeledónUniversidad de Costa Rica-Limónlast_img read more

Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir found guilty of theft

first_imgAssociated PressLONDON (AP) – Turkish Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir was found guilty of theft Monday in relation to the collapse of his Polly Peck business empire, one of a series of debacles that focused public attention on the corporate greed of 1980s Britain.Polly Peck was an low-profile British textile firm until Nadir took over in 1980, turning the modest business into a vehicle for a wave of acquisitions, including Del Monte’s fresh fruit operations and Japan’s Sansui Electric Co. The stock went through the roof and Nadir became one of Britain’s richest men. But the success story turned sour after investigators began probing irregularities in Nadir family trusts. The tycoon denied charges he had stolen from Polly Peck to line his pockets, but the company’s share price collapsed and the company itself went under in 1990.The collapse was deeply embarrassing for the then-ruling Conservative Party, to which Nadir was a major donor, and it made a fugitive of the tycoon, who fled the country for his native north Cyprus only months before he was due to stand trial.The Polly Peck story was one of several corporate scandals that showed up the dark side of Britain’s freewheeling 1980s; others included the 1991 collapse of BCCI and the demise of the Maxwell media empire.Nadir spent nearly two decades as a fugitive from British justice, but he made the dramatic decision to return to London in 2010, saying he wanted to clear his name. Legal analysts speculated that so much time had elapsed that a prosecution would be too complex to pull off successfully _ noting that much of the evidence had been lying in archives for two decades and that key witnesses might be too old to testify.If that was Nadir’s gambit, it backfired. A jury at London’s Central Criminal Court found him guilty of three counts of theft and not guilty of a fourth count of theft. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The 71-year-old tycoon looked shocked as the verdicts were announced. His wife Nur, 28, sat at the side of the dock.Jurors are still deliberating a further nine counts of theft.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Ghanas movie stars lead protest march against power cuts

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? On Saturday, Nelson wore a black T-shirt featuring the hashtag and a floppy black sunhat as she joined hundreds of other demonstrators, many of whom also dressed in black and carried torches and lanterns to signal their frustration with the erratic power supply.She was accompanied by celebrities including actor Van Vicker, who stars in Nigerian films. It was the first time stars had taken on Ghana’s government over the issue.“I have lost my job as a machine operator in a paint manufacturing company because of this power cut,” said 54-year-old marcher Samuel Addo.“It is like the government does not want to do anything and this protest is a message to President John Mahama that we are fed up,” Addo said.Unpredictable outages lasting as long as 48 hours have been a fact of life in Ghana for the past three years. The government has blamed a lack of capacity for the cuts and says it is working to fix the problem.Last month, the International Monetary Fund approved a $918 million loan to Ghana, warning that the country’s economic growth was at risk because of factors including power cuts.Ghana’s economic growth exceeded 9 percent in 2011 but fell to an estimated 4.2 percent last year, according to the IMF. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Around 3,000 people have already been laid off as a result of the cuts, and as many as 5,000 workers could lose their jobs by September if the situation does not improve, Ghana’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned last month.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Ghana’s movie stars have joined blue-collar workers in demonstrations against power cuts, marching through the streets of the capital to demand an end to this West African nation’s ongoing energy crisis.A march on Saturday in an eastern section of the capital, Accra, was spearheaded by Yvonne Nelson, an actress, model and beauty pageant contestant who helped popularize the hashtag #DumsorMustStop on Twitter and other social media applications. Dumsor is a word in the local Twi language used for irregular power blackouts.last_img read more

Putin Erdogan meet discuss gas pipeline

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober MOSCOW (AP) — The presidents of Russia and Turkey have met and discussed a proposal for a pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Turkey.Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Saturday in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on the sidelines of the European games, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.Peskov gave no specifics of the talks, other than to say they were detailed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The pipeline, called Turkish Stream, has been proposed by Russia after the abandonment of South Stream, a long-proposed project to carry Russian gas to southern Europe.Putin also met separately with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. That meeting discussed a resolution of the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian local forces.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during their meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the the 2015 European Games in Baku on Friday. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)last_img read more

Environmental protesters scale New Zealand parliament roof

first_img Quick workouts for men Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four Greenpeace environmental protesters perch themselves on a ledge above the main entrance of parliament buildings in Wellington, New Zealand, Thursday, June 25, 2015. The protesters said they were highlighting the government’s lack of action in promoting renewal energy. (AP Photo/Nick Perry) Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies About 77 percent of New Zealand’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources, including hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The country’s vehicle fleet, on the other hand, primarily uses gasoline and diesel.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 3 international destinations to visit in 2019center_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories The protest began at dawn and continued throughout the morning. Police issued the four with trespass notices but authorities said they planned to allow the protesters to come down on their own.The breach will come as an embarrassment to the parliament’s security services.David Stevenson, the general manager of Parliamentary Service, said in a statement he had ordered a full review of security procedures as a result of the breach.“Trespassing in or on the buildings is totally inappropriate, regardless of the motivations of those involved,” he said. “We are therefore taking this incident very seriously and will be looking for any lessons we can draw from it.”The forecourt in front of the main entrance is frequently used for sanctioned protests.Speaking from a cellphone, protester Johno Smith told The Associated Press that the four were experienced climbers and that they planned to come down Thursday afternoon once they had got their message out and “before it gets too cold.”He said he hoped the protest would inspire people to act.“We need to take clean-energy action,” he said. “Our society is based around fossil fuels.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Four environmental protesters breached security Thursday at New Zealand’s parliamentary complex by scaling the roof and perching themselves on a ledge above the main entrance.The Greenpeace protesters hauled up solar panels and unfurled a banner to protest what they say is the government’s lack of action in promoting renewal energy and dealing with climate change. The four secured themselves on the ledge with climbing harnesses and ropes. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Woman killed in IndiaPakistan border skirmish in Kashmir

first_img Check your body, save your life How do cataracts affect your vision? An Indian civilian woman injured in exchange of fire by troops on the India Pakistan border is brought for treatment at the government medical college hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir on Wednesday, killing a woman and wounding at least four other people on the Indian side, officials said. (AP Photo/Channi Anand) Comments   Share   Pakistani troops also fired mortar shells, and one woman was killed and three other civilians injured when one of the shells exploded near a border village, Parekh said, calling it “a blatant, unprovoked cease-fire violation by Pakistan.”Pakistan, however, accused India of resorting to “unprovoked firing” in the incident, which took place near the city of Sialkot.The Pakistan Rangers, a border security paramilitary force, said in a statement that border guards “befittingly” responded to the Indian firing.Both sides said the skirmishes were continuing as of late Wednesday afternoon.Also Wednesday, Pakistan’s military said it shot down an Indian spy drone which intruded into the Pakistan-held portion of Kashmir. In a statement, the military said troops downed the drone in the Bhimber sector. It said such drones are used to take photographs.The Indian military rejected the Pakistani claim.No spy drone from our side “has crossed into the Pakistani side and none of our unmanned aerial vehicles has been shot down by them,” said Col. S.D. Goswami, an Indian army spokesman.Indian and Pakistani troops often exchange fire along the de facto border in Kashmir, with both sides routinely blaming the other for initiating the violence. Last week, India said two of its paramilitary soldiers were killed by Pakistani fire in separate incidents. Wednesday’s incidents came days after the prime ministers of the two countries met on the sidelines of a summit in the Russian city of Ufa in an effort to ease tensions.India and Pakistan have fought two wars over their competing claims to Kashmir, which is divided between the two rivals. A 2003 cease-fire has largely held despite small but regular skirmishes.___Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir on Wednesday, killing a woman and wounding at least four other people on the Indian-controlled side, officials said. Pakistan’s army said it shot down an Indian done.D. Parekh, a senior officer with India’s Border Security Force, said Pakistani soldiers first fired at a paramilitary soldier guarding a border post in the Pargwal area. As troops tried to evacuate the seriously injured soldier, they came under heavy fire and retaliated, he said.last_img read more

RitzCarlton stretched to record height

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J It’s all heights on for the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong who are ready to break at least one record when they open the doors to the world’s tallest hotel in the first quarter 2011.Located on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre in the urban city of Kowloon, the hotel offers 312 guest room all equipped with the latest technology including WiFi and Ipod docking stations. “Hong Kong is one of the world’s great cities and we are delighted to be returning with such an iconic and dynamic hotel,” Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President and Chief Operating Officer Simon Cooper said.“Modern in design, the hotel will be the heart and soul of Hong Kong and attract visitors from all over the world for its world class style, design, service and its landmark location.” The hotel will also feature one of the city’s largest ballrooms, four meeting rooms, an ESPA complete with treatment rooms and relaxation area as well as a fully-equipped fitness centre and indoor pool. The tower also offers six dining venues as well as 20 minute direct connections to Hong Kong International Airport. last_img read more