Woman who said suitcase was broken into simply took the wrong bag

first_imgTags: American Airlines, Baggage Share MIAMI — American Airlines passenger Anna Knight said she was “robbed” of all her belongings in her checked baggage.But not only was her stuff missing, the thief had refilled her suitcase with random airline equipment, including harnesses, crew member uniforms and work boots.Well, that’s weird.According to PEOPLE, Knight, a manager at the Delano South Beach hotel, made the discovery earlier this week after landing at Miami International Airport. She was incensed, naturally, and went so far as to speak to the police.In a series of angry tweets that have since been deleted, Knight called for a boycott of American Airlines.“NEVER fly with @AmericanAir again,” she wrote on Twitter. “All of my items were taken out of my luggage and replaced with airport equipment, & all they did was tell me to fill out a form. This is OUTRAGEOUS!! Pls REPOST & don’t book flights with them!”In a Facebook post, Knight also claimed that she had packed US$8,000 worth of items in her bag. “Priceless souvenirs from my trip GONE!” she wrote.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalKnight tweeted on Thursday that the police were investigating the incident and that she was “in tears” about the whole thing. We would be too if we were robbed of thousands of dollars worth of stuff.But here’s the thing… the luggage Knight had retrieved at the airport wasn’t hers. She took the wrong bag off the luggage carousel.It’s a case of mistaken bag identity!A spokesperson for the TSA confirmed to PEOPLE that after investigating the situation, they found Knight’s pink suitcase perfectly intact at Miami International. It was never mishandled by TSA, nor was it broken into as she had claimed.Knight herself posted a follow-up tweet, saying: @AmericanAir found my bag. It was just a mix up, and I apologize for the confusion. Thank you all and AA for helping me locate it. The Jet lag must have really taken its toll. I was going crazy.”Let this be a lesson to all to always use a luggage tag.@AmericanAir found my bag. It was just a mix up, and I apologize for the confusion. Thank you all and AA for helping me locate it. The Jet lag must have really taken its toll. I was going crazy.— Anna (@ThisBunnyBites) October 25, 2018 Travelweek Group Woman who said suitcase was broken into simply took the wrong bagcenter_img Friday, October 26, 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Canada suspends DelhiToronto service during peak summer months

first_img Friday, May 24, 2019 Travelweek Group Air Canada suspends Delhi-Toronto service during peak summer months << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img Tags: Air Canada, India MONTREAL — Air Canada is temporarily suspending its daily Delhi-Toronto service from June 14 to Aug. 1 due to continued closure of Pakistani airspace.Peter Fitzpatrick, Manager Corporate Communications at Air Canada, confirmed the suspension to Travelweek, adding that Air Canada will continue to monitor the situation.Only three airlines, including Air Canada, offer direct flights between Delhi and North America’s east coast, reports Times of India. United’s Delhi-Newark flight remains suspended since early April and is expected, as of now, to resume on July 2. Air India, meanwhile, will be the only airline to continue summer service, from Delhi-New York.Air Canada partially suspended service to India back in February as tensions mounted between India and Pakistan. A flight en route to Delhi on Feb. 26 was forced to turn back to Toronto, while a second flight from Vancouver as well as Feb. 27 flights on the same two routes were also cancelled.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterAir Canada operates daily service from Toronto and Vancouver to Delhi and four times weekly between Toronto and Mumbai.The closure of Pakistani airspace disrupted flights around the globe, including hundreds of international flights a day. Sharelast_img read more

Saint Lucias Global Piton Awards recognize topselling travel agents

first_img Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Share Saint Lucia’s Global Piton Awards recognize top-selling travel agents TORONTO — Honouring the best-selling Saint Lucia travel agents in the world, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) recently hosted its first-ever Global Piton Awards for top producing Saint Lucia Expert travel agents from Canada, the U.S., the UK and Ireland. The weekend event, June 20 – 24, culminated with an award ceremony gala hosted by Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort & Spa.Agents were celebrated for their contributions to Saint Lucia’s record-breaking year in tourism. “We are excited to honour our valued travel agent partners this month at the Global Piton Awards,” said Rod Hanna, Director of Sales, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. “Travel advisors remain at the forefront of our industry and the Global Piton Awards is our way to honor Canada’s top producing agents.” The top 31 winners were honored with the prestigious award for recording the highest number of room night bookings last year through the SLEx program. The recipients included six winners from Canada, 15 winners from the U.S., and 10 winners from the UK and Ireland.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backHere’s a list of the Canadian winners …. Shannon Blackburn, K Benn Travel Inc. (Toronto, ON). Ingrid Godman, Ingrid’s Travel (Pickering, ON). Jen Hardy, Nexion Canada (London, ON). Ryan Smith, Robert Q Travel (London, ON). Reza Salkhordeh, Marlin Travel (Mississauga, ON). Kathie Ashby, Ashby’s Travel, part of The Travel Agent Next Door (Perth, ON) Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: Saint Lucia << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Book Antarctica Expedition with Intrepid and receive a free Thailand cruise

first_imgBook ‘Antarctica Expedition’ with Intrepid and receive a free Thailand cruise TORONTO — Intrepid Travel just launched its biggest sale of the year that includes a free Thailand cruise with the purchase of an Antarctica expedition, equal to a savings of more than $4,312 per person.Available to book now until July 31, 2019, travellers have the opportunity to experience two unique adventures for the price of one in 2020.Photo: INTREPID TRAVELPhoto: INTREPID TRAVELThe limited-time sale includes the following:• Encountering Antarctica’s orcas, humpback whales, seals and penguins in the infamous Drake Passage on Intrepid’s 11-day ‘Best of Antarctica’ itinerary, or any of its Ocean Endeavour departures• A nine-day cruise around the Thai Islands from Phuket that explores Southern Thailand’s less visited sites (free of charge with the purchase of ‘Antarctica Expedition’)Travellers receive the free Adventure Cruise in Thailand departing before Feb. 28, 2020 when booking a category six and above cabin on the Ocean Endeavour, departing between Oct. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Bookings must be made between July 11-31, 2019.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedOffer is valid only when booked by phone (1-800-970-7299) or live chat, and cannot be combined with Intrepid’s ‘Antarctica early bird discount’. Offer is not valid on Polar Expeditions.For more information on the sale details, visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/us/polar-offer. Share Posted by Tags: Antarctica, Intrepid Group, Thailandcenter_img Friday, July 12, 2019 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

5 creepy places you can visit in Costa Rica

first_imgMontezuma’s beaches are not only beautiful, they are also haunted. Mónica Quesada 1) Durán SanatoriumLocated in the outskirts of Cartago on the way up to the Irazú Volcano crater, this former tuberculosis hospital is the country’s most well known haunted place. In its heyday, the hospital treated around 300 patients, who were cared for by nuns.The hospital was converted into an orphanage and then a prison before closing for good in 1973, after a volcanic eruption rendered it unsafe for inhabitants. But some reports indicate that a few former residents may have stayed behind. Visitors to the abandoned buildings have reported seeing a nun with white hair wandering the halls. Other sightseers speak of the ghost of a young girl sitting on the roof or steps of one of the buildings. The girl is rumored to be Dr. Carlos Durán’s daughter, who contracted tuberculosis and died while living at the sanatorium with her father. Facebook Comments Though lacking in eerie Victorian homes and sinister-looking castles, the tropical jungles of Costa Rica have seen their fair share of hauntings. Local legends tell of tormented souls trapped in prison, hospital caretakers unable to leave their posts and spirits of murdered adulterers still roaming the land. Here, we have gathered for you our top 5 creepiest places in Costa Rica. Adam Williams 5) MontezumaEven Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches are not immune to hauntings, and ghosts seem to have taken a liking to Montezuma’s rocky Pacific shores. The isolated Playa Grande is rumored to have been an ancient burial ground, while nearby Cabuya Island maintains an active cemetery. Visitors have reported seeing unwelcome spirits during nighttime hikes in both locations.Locally known as “Montefuma” (fumar is the verb to smoke in Spanish), Montezuma is widely recognized as a party hub, and whether the ghost tales are legitimate sightings or just hallucinations of inebriated tourists remains a mystery. Costa Rica’s oldest hospital, San Juan de Dios, is said to be haunted by a nun. Related posts:10 cool facts about Sony’s gorgeous flower eruption ad filmed at Costa Rica’s Irazú Volcano Costa Rican authorities seize $50,000, heavy weapons at second stash site near Irazú Volcano What were the most popular Google searches in Costa Rica in 2013? Crater lake in Costa Rica’s Irazú Volcano disappears 4) San Juan de Dios HospitalCosta Rica’s oldest hospital, San Juan de Dios, is also home to one of the country’s oldest ghost tales. The story of “La Monja del Vaso,” or “The Nun with the Glass,” has been passed down as a religious cautionary tale for more than a century.The legend tells of an unmarried young woman forced into a cloister by her family. The unwilling nun showed little interest in her work consoling the dying at the hospital and did not put forth much effort. According to the tale, a dying man asked the nun for a glass of water, but she refused and he died soon after. The nun regretted her actions, but died before she was able to properly repent and was cursed to roam the hospital doling out drops of water to mourners until her debt is paid. Though the prison is the main attraction on San Lucas island, other buildings in the area, like this dilapidated church, are also said to be haunted. Creepy stairways filled with graffiti are almost as terrifying as the Durán Sanatorium’s two ghosts. 3) San Lucas Prison The ghost rumors in San Lucas Prison will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the penitentiary’s bloody history. Between 1883 and 1989, the island prison served as the home for some of Costa Rica’s most violent and dangerous criminals. Firsthand accounts and historical records show that prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions and routinely tortured.Locals have reported hearing voices and seeing ghosts in abandoned buildings near the prison. The reality show “Ghost Hunters International” visited the prison for a 2010 episode and declared that the ghost of a nurse murdered by a prisoner haunts the penitentiary. However, José León Sánchez, a former prisoner who wrote a famous chronicle of his life there, “Isla de los Hombres Solos,” rejects the ghost stories. “I spent 30 years on that island – there are no ghosts there. Those are just things people say,” he told The Tico Times. Ghosts or no ghosts, the cells’ graffiti and other spine-chilling remnants left by former prisoners are surely haunting enough. Alberto Font Alberto Font 2) Cartago Parish RuinsBy day, this old, Catholic parish in the center of Cartago looks like an elaborate community park overrun with picnicking families and cuddling couples. By night, the 16th century ruins are home to the ghost of a headless priest. As the story goes, the priest had an affair with his brother’s wife. Unfortunately for the priest, his brother was the mayor of Cartago at the time. In a rage, the mayor killed the priest and used his influence to cover up the slaying.Costa Rica’s 1841 earthquake destroyed the parish, which was then rebuilt and destroyed again by a 1910 earthquake. Terrifying unsuspecting bystanders doesn’t seem to be enough for the headless ghost, and according to local legend, the priest apparition foiled all subsequent reconstruction efforts. Legend has it that the Cartago Parish Ruins are haunted by the ghost of a headless priest. Lindsay Fendtlast_img read more

US mulls wider trade pact with Latin America

first_imgNo related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States is exploring the idea of setting up a wider regional trade pact with Latin America, Secretary of State John Kerry revealed on Sunday.“I believe we could look to a stronger set of initiatives between Canada, the United States, Mexico particularly, and the rest of Latin America. We could do more within the hemisphere,” Kerry told CNN Español.He told the network’s Andres Oppenheimer and the Miami Herald newspaper that he could foresee a wider pact beyond the North American Free Trade Agreement, which groups the United States, Canada and Mexico.The United States already has economic ties with 12 nations in Latin America, he said, adding “we’re very strongly connected. We have six different trade agreements that constitute those 12 countries including the Caribbean.”The top U.S. diplomat said he had instructed his staff to explore the possibility of deepening the trade links with the region, and that he had already had “encouraging” talks with a number of experts.“We’re going to try to do our due diligence on this, and I’m really hopeful. … I would like to see us try to get something in place.”But Kerry warned some nations were not yet ready for such a move.“We need to move some countries in Latin America along in order to try to really make that meaningful, because some of them don’t want it today,” he said. “It’s not that we wouldn’t try to move in that direction, but we still need to try to improve relationships.”Kerry was speaking before he left for a visit to Vietnam and the Philippines seen as part of U.S. moves to strengthen plans for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).Washington is also negotiating what is billed as the world’s largest free trade accord with the European Union, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).Kerry said both deals were “critical,” adding that “for all of us, our future economy, economic growth and development is going to rely on moving both to Europe and to the Pacific.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Public works deals should go back to the drawing board says Solís

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Solís to address trade imbalance with China at CELAC meeting China offers $20 billion fund for Latin America infrastructure projects US not in attendance but very present at 2015 CELAC summit in Costa Rica Puerto Rican independence front and center at CELAC President Luis Guillermo Solís asked that several major Chinese projects in Costa Rica go back to the drawing board in a bilateral meeting between the Costa Rican leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday evening during the meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Brasilia, Brazil.The renegotiations targeted several legacy projects devised by previous National Liberation Party administrations, including former presidents Óscar Arias (1986-1990, 2006-2010) and Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014), including Route 32 and the stalled Moín oil refinery.Solís asked the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party to extend the period of consideration on a $485 million Chinese loan to expand Route 32 highway between San José and the Caribbean port city of Limón from the current two-and-a-half-month period to five months. Solís said that more time was needed to analyze the project and review the loan’s terms.The Costa Rican president also asked Xi to renegotiate the troubled Moín oil refinery project. Solís said another meeting would be needed to address some of the current contract’s “great inconsistencies,” according to a statement from Casa Presidencial. The refinery project was frozen after the Comptroller General’s Office discovered a conflict of interest between the project’s management and the company that carried out the proposed refinery’s environmental impact study. The ensuing scandal forced Jorge Villalobos, then executive president of the National Oil Refinery, to resign in June 2013.Casa Presidencial said that Xi would consider Solís’ proposals and take them up in high-level talks to be held in Beijing, the Chinese capital, sometime in early 2015.The Chinese president reportedly expressed interest in cooperating with Costa Rica on a wide range of topics, including development projects for ports and highways, special economic zones, the defense of natural resources, and taking greater advantage of the two countries’ free trade agreement, especially in regards to Costa Rican fishing.Solís traveled to Brasilia Tuesday for a CELAC meeting as the president pro tempore of the pan-Latin American organization. On Thursday, he is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, with whom he previously expressed interest in deepening economic and political ties. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The glutenfree movement is ruining the worlds love for pasta

first_imgRelated posts:Study shows honey has same health effects as high-fructose corn sweetener Seaweed can help feed the world. But will we eat it? Recipe VIDEO: This is how you cup coffee Health officials testing first two cases of Ticos who could have the chikungunya virus WASHINGTON, D.C. – Behind closed doors, dinner tables are getting less doughy. Grains, still ubiquitous in diets around the globe, are losing favor as a result of a growing fear that they might be adding inches to our guts, or discomfort to our stomachs. And there is, perhaps, no better example of this phenomenon than what’s happened to one of the world’s favorite foods: pasta.Simply, people are eating less of it. The data show that the cheap and easy meal hasn’t disappeared from diets, but diners aren’t consuming it with the gusto they once did.The trend can be seen in the North America, where sales of dried pasta have fallen by 6 percent since 2009, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor. A report published in April by Mintel projects that the U.S. decline will continue through at least 2019 for the pasta category.It can be seen in Australia, too, where the market for pasta has contracted by almost 8 percent since 2010.The popular Italian food is also losing its luster in Europe, where several countries have scaled back in recent years. In Germany, dried pasta sales have dipped by 12 percent since their peak in 2008. In Greece, they have fallen by 15 percent over the same period.Even in Italy, the birthplace of pasta, people are growing wary of the carb-heavy food. Sales of dried pasta have plummeted by more than 25 percent since 2009 in Italy. “Italians – particularly women – increasingly see pasta as fattening, boring and time-consuming,” the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2013.Long the staple of so many diets around the world, pasta is losing its appeal. The reasons are many: the rising popularity of carb-free – or at least carb-light – diets; growing sentiment that pasta offers little in the way of nutrition; and a new reality that a horde of healthier alternatives exist.Few trends have been as problematic for pasta as the villainization of carbs.The shift away from breads, potatoes, and, yes, pasta, began with Dr. Atkins, whose popular fad diet scared an entire nation. But carbs have been maligned by more than merely one fleeting diet – they have been victim of most dietary trends since the late 1980s. Dr. Atkins’ “New Diet Revolution” books on sale at the Castus Low Carb Superstore in California, in 2005. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPThe South Beach Diet, which didn’t disallow carb intake entirely, still made people wary of the reality that there is such thing as a good carb, and a bad carb, epitomized by the difference between whole-grain wheat and processed white bread. The Paleo diet, meanwhile, which is arguably the most popular eating rulebook du jour, has flipped conventional nutrition on its head, encouraging fat intake and discouraging the eating of any carbs at all.“What all these fad diets have done is identify what’s a good carb and what’s a bad carb for people,” said Seifer. “The problem for pasta is that we found out that things like pasta are part of the bad group.”“It’s not just pasta,” Simone Baroke, a food industry analyst at Euromonitor added. “It’s affecting bread and potatoes, too. It’s affecting all sorts of carbohydrate staples.”The anti-carb fad has become an international phenomenon. Italians are increasingly fearful that their favorite food might be adding to their waistlines too. The share of women in their late twenties who believe pasta is fattening jumped by more than 25 percent, between 2008 and 2012, according to a Nielsen. For men in their late twenties, the share increased by more than 16 percent over that period.Even Pope Francis is being advised to scale back on pasta to better preserve his health.“For the longest time, people thought fat was what added to their waistline,” said Seifer. “Now it’s carbs [that] everyone blames.”The gluten-free movement has all contributed to the trend. Gluten-free is less concerned with avoiding carbs than gluten, which many feel can cause great gastrointestinal discomfort. Some 20 million U.S. consumers now say that eating it causes them distress. One hundred million people in all, meanwhile, say that they are actively working to eliminate gluten, the protein that gives pasta its chewiness, from their diet. The concern is echoed elsewhere in the world.“A lot of people are really watching their intake these days,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at market research firm NPD group. “That’s definitely making a dent in pasta sales.”It doesn’t help either that protein, which pasta has very little of, is so gauche these days. More than half of people in the U.S. say they want more of it in their diet. The desire has been a boon for the protein shake business. So too has it been for the protein bar market, which was valued at more than $500 million in 2013.“You can’t discount the trend towards protein-rich foods,” said Baroke. “It’s probably the most impactful in the United States, but the same is happening over here in Europe.”Fresh foods have also forced shoppers away from the middle of the supermarket, where most pastas are sold. Many grocery store goers likely enter and leave without ever having looked down the pasta aisle.And finally, pasta has never been as replaceable as it is today. The rise of alternative grains, like quinoa, which are similarly filling but far richer in protein, have gained popularity at the expense of spaghetti. So too have certain vegetables, which, when cut into thin, long strips, and spiralized, approximate the experience of eating pasta. Spaghetti squash, which was named for its pasta-liked texture when cooked, has become exceedingly popular.“As these grains and other alternatives become more popular, they will only become more threatening to pasta,” Seifer said.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Weird weather brings warm welcome to 2016

first_imgRelated posts:First nine months of 2015 shatter heat records worldwide Death toll at 43 as wild weather tears across parts of US Drought hits Central America’s crops, cattle El Niño intensifying, could rival strongest in recorded history LONDON — With temperatures above freezing at the North Pole, deadly tornadoes in Texas, extreme heat in Australia and floods in Britain and Missouri, the world is beset by extreme weather events as it welcomes 2016.A powerful and destructive low-pressure system in the North Atlantic has pushed the mercury up to two degrees Celsius (35.6 Fahrenheit) at the pole, 20 degrees above the seasonal norm.The Arctic has borne the brunt of global warming, with temperatures three degrees higher than the pre-industrial era.But linking the current mild conditions to climate change is premature, warned Natalie Hasell, meteorologist at the Canadian Department of the Environment, saying that scientists do not base their conclusions “on one anomaly.”The North Atlantic depression also brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, with temperatures hitting 15.9 C in Montreal on Christmas Eve, around 20 degrees above the seasonal average.This was followed by heavy snowfall that covered the country’s eastern half.In the United States, tornadoes and floods left at least 49 dead.The waters of the mighty Mississippi River have already exceeded overflow levels by four meters in some areas, claiming 13 lives.In the south, spectacular tornadoes devastated parts of Texas.The common cause of the unusual events is a particularly strong El Niño system, amplified by global warming, according to scientists.El Niños, which emerge every four to seven years on average and run from October through January, are triggered by a shift in trade winds across the Pacific around the Equator.However, the 2015 episode is “probably the strongest in the last 100 years,” said Jerome Lecou, ​​forecaster at Meteo-France.“There is no simple answer” to explain the exceptional conditions, he added.Recommended: El Niño’s deadly side effect: more snakebitesAlthough centered on the Pacific Ocean, El Niño “has an impact on a global scale,” Jean Jouzel, former vice president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told AFP.“Generally, El Niño years are warmer than average,” he said.In Australia, scorching heat has led to large forest fires and temperatures are forecast to soon hit 38 C in the south.In France, the unseasonably warm weather has baffled Mother Nature with Perigord strawberries, Alsatian asparagus and mimosas all flourishing on the French Riviera.In Spain, higher temperatures and low rainfall have led to an unusual outbreak of wildfires in the north.Several Italian cities have introduced traffic restrictions to combat fine-particle pollution, which has been worsened by the dry and calm conditions.Record rainfall has brought unprecedented flooding to the north of England, leaving the historic city of York under feet of water and thousands evacuated over December.Stormy weather buffeting the North Sea has brought havoc to oilfields on New Year’s Eve, with one man reported killed by a giant wave hitting a rig, and hundreds of workers evacuated after a huge barge broke its moorings and began drifting.“There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is partly responsible for the flooding across the north of England,” said Piers Forster, professor of climate science at Leeds University.Britain’s mean December temperature was a record-breaking 8 C, smashing the previous high of 6.9 C set in 1934, according to the Met Office.It was also the wettest December on record for Scotland and Wales and one of the top 10 wettest in Britain as a whole.Worldwide, temperatures between January and November have already broken records, suggesting that 2015 will be the hottest in modern history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.“On a global level, we really are in an exceptional year as it is just over a tenth of a degree warmer than 2014, which itself was a record year,” said Jean Jouzel.“This is a real leap, one tenth of a degree from one year to another,” he added.With El Niño showing little sign of running out of steam, he predicted that 2016 could be warmer still, but that following years may be less extreme. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas poor live longer than poor in the US study finds

first_imgIf you’re poor in Costa Rica, you’ll probably live longer than your relatively poor counterparts in the U.S., according to a new study. If you’re rich, though, you’re better off in the U.S.The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are striking because of the large difference in living standards between the two countries — especially at the lower end of the income spectrum.Generally, people who live in higher income countries live longer than people in poorer countries. But both Costa Rica and the U.S. buck this trend. Costa Ricans tend to live longer than people in similar-income countries — and, in fact, live longer on average than people in the U.S.Despite having the largest economy on earth, the U.S. has an average life expectancy of 77.4 years, lower than the average of 80 years for nations in the highest per capita GDP group.Costa Ricans have an average life expectancy of 78.5 years, several years beyond countries like Iran or Romania, which have a similar per capita GDP but an average life expectancy closer to 72 years.The study, co-authored by Luis Rosero-Bixby from the University of Costa Rica and William H. Dow from the University of California, Berkeley, looks at the correlation of income to longevity in both the U.S. and Costa Rica.The wealthiest U.S. residents under 65 years old live 3.4 times longer than the poorest. But wealthy Costa Ricans live only 1.5 times longer than poor Costa Ricans. (The study noted that after 65 many older U.S. citizens are eligible for Medicare, after which the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor is less exaggerated.) This is despite the fact that Costa Rica’s income gap is higher than in the U.S.Plus, Costa Rica’s longevity comes at a fraction of the cost: health care costs in the U.S. are ten times higher than in Costa Rica, according to the study.So someone who’s down and out would be better off in Tiquicia than with Uncle Sam. But why?There might be something to ‘Pura Vida’Smoking, obesity and lack of access to health care were among the reasons the authors cited for why poor people in the U.S. don’t live as long as poor people in Costa Rica.Authors Rosero-Bixby and Dow identified lung cancer and heart disease as the main causes of death that account for the difference in overall mortality rates between the two countries. U.S. men are four times more likely to die of lung cancer and have a 54 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than Costa Rican men.Obesity and smoking — big risk factors for both diseases — are more prevalent among poor people in the U.S. than rich people, and appear to be linked to high mortality rates among U.S. poor, the authors found.In terms of health care, the authors hypothesized that Costa Rica’s national health insurance system, the Caja, boosts its health outcomes — especially among the poor. According to the 2011 census, 86 percent of Costa Ricans and 96 percent of older Costa Ricans are covered by the Caja. The Caja has limitations when it comes to specialized treatments and even care for more basic conditions like hypertension, the authors said, but does a good job providing preventive care and access to health care for people regardless of income.Access to health insurance in the U.S., meanwhile, is more fragmented, especially for poor people under 65.Rosero told The Tico Times that the research also points to psychosocial factors that may contribute to longer lives in Costa Rica. Stress, strong family and social networks, and happiness are all factors that are not well understood but likely play an important role in how long someone lives.But there may be limits to what a country like the U.S. can learn from Costa Rican longevity.“It’s difficult to export culture,” Rosero told The Tico Times.Despite Costa Rica’s high performance, Rosero said that the country’s achievements in health care were not set in stone. He pointed out that the generation of Costa Ricans getting older today may not be as healthy as those studied for the paper. As lifestyles change and become more like those in the U.S., the next generation of older Ticos might not outlive the longevity benefits of the pura vida lifestyle. Facebook Comments Related posts:No free dental checkups for self-employed workers who owe the Caja, Sala IV rules Nearly 14,000 sickened banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure Costa Rica doctors association alarmed by low vacciation rates of personnel as 17 dead from AH1N1 virus Number of obese Ticos has almost quadrupled in four decadeslast_img read more

World leaders confront flagging Afghan war

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates This strategy worries Zalmay Khalilzad, President George W. Bush’s representative in Kabul following the collapse of the Taliban. He wrote in an opinion piece published Thursday that the coalition drawdown and the future cuts in Afghan forces were risky.“Doing so will create a security gap that the Taliban and other insurgents and terrorists, operating out of sanctuaries in Pakistan, could readily exploit.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Jawed Ludin, deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan, said Western powers should understand that terrorists in the region remain a global threat when they consider how much aid to give his country.“This is not a charity that we are receiving,” Ludin said. “Afghanistan is and will be on the front line of the world’s fight against terrorism. We Afghans will be making sacrifices for years to come in what is essentially an international war.”He cautioned donors against trying to place conditions on the pledges. Making development and reconstruction aid conditional on the government’s ability to fight corruption, for instance, might be acceptable, but not so with money to finance the security forces, Ludin said.“Terrorism has never been a creation of Afghanistan. It was brought to us,” he said. “Even today, it originates outside our own borders and our people have been victims as … people in the West.”Ludin was referring to the al-Qaida and Taliban sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan, off-limits to NATO and Afghan ground forces.Despite a nominal alliance with NATO, the Pakistanis have been unwilling or unable to rout militants from those sanctuaries, in part for fear of stirring up hatred among the ethnic Pashtun community that lives in both countries and provides most of the Taliban fighters. Solidarity with their fellow Pashtuns and opposition to Western attacks against Muslims generated the rise in Pakistan of a Taliban movement, which the government in Islamabad has struggled to contain. The conflict has generated deep resentment among Pakistanis who believe they have been dragged into America’s war.Across the border, tens of thousands of coalition troops have flooded Taliban strongholds in southern Afghanistan the past two years and appear to have gained a better handle on security.But the Taliban have shown resilience, reportedly stepping up attacks recently in three farming districts outside Kandahar city. The militants have also opened up new fronts in northern and western Afghanistan and are fighting back in the east. Questions remain as to whether the Afghan forces can ever secure the nation by themselves.Foreign troops have begun their exodus _ 33,000 Americans alone, or about one-third of the current U.S. force in Afghanistan, will be gone by the end of September. After most of the 130,000 international troops withdraw by the end of 2014, many Afghans fear their country will descend into civil war.The Taliban continue to carry out spectacular suicide bombings and assassinate government workers and officials. A top member of the Afghan peace council was gunned down this month in the heavily guarded capital, Kabul, dealing another setback to the stalled effort to make peace with militants. In September, the head of the peace council was assassinated in his home by a suicide bomber posing as a peace emissary from the Taliban. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories “The Taliban are trying to come back as rulers. I don’t think that they want anything less than that,” said Ismail Qasemyar, a member of the government-appointed peace council. “If there is no compromise or softening of their position, I think it will be very difficult to reach any agreement.”The Taliban pick up support among Afghans fed up with rampant corruption and the need to pay a bribe for a simple service. Government dysfunction leaves other Afghans demoralized and looking for a way out.More Afghans fled the country and sought asylum abroad last year than in any other year since the start of the war, suggesting that many are looking for their own exit strategies as international troops withdraw. From January to November, more than 30,000 Afghans applied for political asylum worldwide, a 25 percent increase over the same period the previous year and more than triple the level of just four years ago, according to U.N. statistics.Some civilians who remain in Afghanistan become victims of the fighting _ usually Taliban attacks but sometimes NATO assaults. Many Afghans focus their blame on NATO, though, arguing that the mere presence of international troops encourages fighting. President Hamid Karzai has played into that rage with his frequent criticisms of night raids on homes. Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona With none of the NATO countries having the stomach to pursue the war much longer, the only viable option is to leave behind an Afghan army and police force capable of defending the country against the Taliban and its allies after the NATO combat mission is declared over at the end of 2014 and most of the coalition troops leave.That would require no less than $4.1 billion a year from foreign coffers at a time when most of the countries are struggling with deficits and the specter of recession and bank failures. Without big handouts, Afghanistan simply cannot pay for its own defense.“Our security forces last year cost $6 billion while our national revenue was $1.7 billion,” said Ashraf Ghani, head of a commission overseeing the process of passing the baton to the Afghan forces. “Investment in our security forces is part of an investment in international security.”The challenge facing Obama and other world leaders will be to convince their own voters that Afghanistan is worth the investment. The war has already claimed the lives of at least 3,000 NATO service members _ more than 1,840 of them American _ and thousands of Afghans.Support for the war has eroded in Europe and hit a new low in America. Only 27 percent of Americans say they back the effort while 66 percent oppose the war, according to an AP-GfK poll released earlier this month. Pessimism and fatigue over Afghanistan stand in sharp contrast to the euphoria that accompanied the quick routing of the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies in 2001. With American and NATO jets in the skies and pro-Western Afghan fighters on the ground, the American-led coalition swept the Taliban from power in less than two months _ without a single combat death among U.S. military forces.But the Bush administration’s shift toward war with Iraq left the Western powers without enough resources on the ground, so by 2006 the Taliban had regrouped into a serious military threat.By the time Obama sent 33,000 more troops to Afghanistan in December 2009, years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan had drained Western resources and sapped resolve to build a viable Afghan state, especially after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011.President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland, which has some 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, said Friday that those giving financial aid will face “tough decisions” over whether to spend on security or other civilian needs.After meeting Obama at the White House, French President Francois Hollande said Friday he stood by his campaign pledge to withdraw his country’s 3,300 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year but that France would keep supporting Afghanistan in a “different way.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How men can have a healthy 2019 Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – It was what President Barack Obama called a “war of necessity,” a conflict thrust upon America by the 9/11 attacks. As NATO’s mission here winds down nearly 11 years later, the insurgents remain undefeated, corruption runs rife and the peace process is stuck in the sand.Such is the bleak reality of Afghanistan as Obama and leaders of about 60 countries and organizations meet Sunday and Monday in Chicago to map their way out of an unpopular war. The goal is to develop a strategy that does not risk a repeat of the chaos that followed the Soviet exit two decades ago, which paved the way for the rise of al-Qaida. A network of railroads has been planned. The government has started awarding contracts for copper, iron ore and gold to reap revenue from its vast wealth of untapped minerals. Several government ministries have been upgraded and reformed.Afghan police and soldiers have started taking charge of security in wide swaths of the country, though so far no area has fully transitioned to sole Afghan control.“This isn’t a sprint,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Cripwell, who works on transition at the coalition’s headquarters in Kabul. “We are absolutely on track to meet the goals of the Afghan national security forces being responsible for security across the country by the end of 2014.”The force is still plagued with graft and desertion, and many recruits can neither read nor write. Some Afghan forces have been accused of making side deals with the Taliban, yet many others have exhibited a sense of national pride and fearlessness in battle.Some provincial officials complain that their forces lack equipment, ammunition, heavy weapons and even sturdy boots.NATO is training a 352,000-member force, but the size is to shrink to about 230,000 sometime after 2015. The $4.1 billion a year will pay for the smaller force. In a troublesome twist, Afghan security forces are increasingly turning their guns on foreign troops, fracturing the fragile trust between Afghans and their partners.Equally disturbing, an American Army staff sergeant has been accused of walking off his base and killing 17 Afghan villagers. And, at a time when anti-Western sentiment was already on the rise, Muslim holy books somehow got tossed into a burn pit at a U.S. base in February, prompting deadly anti-American protests across the nation.Although Afghans fear the worst after the international forces leave, the continued presence of foreign troops is also sapping morale also among many Afghans.“Listen to what the Afghans say,” says NATO spokesman German Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson. “There is a hunger for sovereignty.”There is some progress to report in Afghanistan.NATO says that in every month since May 2011, it has recorded fewer militant-initiated attacks than the corresponding month of the year before _ though data compiled by the United Nations suggests a less rosy trend.Afghans have gained greater access to education and health care. More highways are being built, though most of Kabul’s streets are unpaved and deeply rutted. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Alleged Colombian drug lord fights extradition

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – An alleged Colombian drug lord captured in Argentina is asking a local judge to reject his extradition to the United States.Henry de Jesus Lopez Londono says he faces political percussion and his life is in danger.Lopez Londono is 41-years-old and is known as “Mi Sangre,” or My Blood. He was caught as he arrived at a restaurant on the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Oct. 30. Authorities say he’s the leader of the “Urabenos” gang and is wanted on drug trafficking charges in Colombia and the U.S.Lopez Londono’s lawyer denies his client is a drug trafficker and says he gathered evidence while part of a right-wing paramilitary group. Lawyer Carlos Olita says police officers and officials in former President Alvaro Uribe’s government are trying to stop him from testifying.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Church shootings a reminder of homegrown extremists

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting extremists, law enforcement in the U.S. has been focusing on aspiring jihadists who align with the Islamic State, overshadowing longstanding concerns about avowed racists, neo-Nazis and anti-government militias.The South Carolina shootings, experts say, are a reminder of the persistent dangers posed by disaffected people who are bent on violence but whose statements before they act may skate below the radar of police and federal authorities. The killings at a black church in Charleston appear to fit a grim pattern of violence fueled by hate-filled ideology, joining other attacks by extremists in the past five years that have targeted Jewish and Sikh centers, federal government buildings and police officers.While the number of Americans professing extremist ideologies fluctuates, the election of President Barack Obama, coupled with a national economic downturn, has in recent years intensified anger among white supremacists and anti-government groups to levels not seen since the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League.“We’re actually about six years into a major resurgence of right-wing extremism, the largest we’ve had since the mid to late 1990s,” Pitcavage said.The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, says it has counted more than 30 acts or plots of domestic terrorism or hate-driven rampages since 2010, an increase from the five years before that.Those include the killings in Kansas last year of three people outside a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home; a 2011 bomb plot that targeted the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, Washington; an assault-rifle attack on a Mexican consulate and federal courthouse in Austin, Texas; the murders of six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and the slaying of two Las Vegas police officers by a couple with anti-government views who left behind a swastika and a yellow flag bearing the words “Don’t Tread on Me.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Dylann Roof appears via video before a judge in Charleston, S.C., on Friday, June 19, 2015. The 21-year-old accused of killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston made his first court appearance. The killings of nine people at a black church in South Carolina appear to fit a grim pattern of violence fueled by hateful ideology, joining attacks by extremists in the last five years that have targeted Jewish and Sikh centers, federal government buildings and police officers. (Centralized Bond Hearing Court, of Charleston, S.C. via AP) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories center_img “They tend not to be actively engaged with the movement,” Pitcavage said of lone extremists. “They’re not joining organized groups. They’re not extensively interacting online. They’re not going to events and meetings.”Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director and current president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said that when it comes to investigating would-be domestic terrorists, the FBI has long faced the challenge of not treading on free speech rights while trying to make the right call about when hate speech is about to cross the line into illegal action.“It’s a big, free country where people say crazy things, and part of that is just the uncertainty of what somebody will say versus what they intend to do,” he said.John Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism coordinator and now a professor at Rutgers University where he co-leads an initiative examining targeted violence directed at faith communities, said he believes there is more law enforcement can do — similar to its terrorism investigations — to track warning signs on social media and investigate Internet postings that hint at violence. “We use them effectively in international terrorism cases,” he said. “We’re not using these same tools with the same rigor when we’re seeking to identify or detect potential school shooters or someone who would attack a church,” he said.____Associated Press writer Ken Dilanian contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The culprits are often individuals with little or no association with organized hate groups, acting on their own.In the Charleston case, 21-year-old Dylann Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder. He is accused of opening fire inside a Bible study last Wednesday night in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Justice Department is investigating the killings as a hate crime.Roof, currently held on $1 million bond on a gun charge, had displayed on his Facebook page the flags of past white-led regimes in Africa and complained that “blacks were taking over the world” and that “someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” according to a friend who spoke with the FBI after seeing him on surveillance images. His erratic behavior in the months before the shootings included showing up dressed in all black at a shopping mall and posing questions in stores that aroused suspicions — such as asking employees how many people were working and when they closed.An online, hate-filled manifesto purportedly written by Roof surfaced days after the shooting and is being reviewed by the FBI.But tracking violent extremists before they act is difficult, in part because spouting hateful viewpoints isn’t by itself a crime, and many of those who do commit violence aren’t leaders of a movement but are disaffected individuals on the periphery of it, said Pitcavage. To some extent, law enforcement faces the same challenges in keeping tabs on Islamic State sympathizers seeking to travel to Syria or commit acts of terror at home — investigations in which the FBI dissects social media communications for evidence of intent to commit a crime. Comments   Share   Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

UN declares highestlevel humanitarian emergency in Yemen

first_imgUNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations on Wednesday declared its highest-level humanitarian emergency in conflict-torn Yemen, where over 80 percent of the population need assistance. U.N. officials have said the Arab world’s most impoverished country is now a step away from famine.Humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien convened a meeting of U.N. agencies early Wednesday, and all agreed to declare a “Level 3” humanitarian emergency in Yemen for six months. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies According to the World Health Organization’s latest figures, 3,083 people have died as a result of the current conflict and 14,324 people have been injured, Haq said.Haq said over 21.1 million people in Yemen today need aid, nearly 13 million face “a food security crisis” and 9.4 million have little or no access to water, raising the risk of water-borne diseases including cholera.He said 11.7 million people have been targeted for assistance under a revised U.N. humanitarian response plan.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona The United Nations now faces four top-level humanitarian emergencies. It is already trying to respond to “Level 3” emergencies in three other conflict-wracked countries: Iraq, Syria and South Sudan. The U.N. humanitarian office says the declaration of a top-level emergency mobilizes U.N.-wide staffing and funding to scale up aid delivery.Last week, the U.N. envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said the country is “one step” from famine. He urged all parties to the conflict to agree to a humanitarian pause during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan to allow desperately needed aid to be delivered.An attempt last month at U.N.-led talks among Yemeni parties in Geneva failed to reach an agreement.The fighting in Yemen pits Houthi Shiite rebels and allied troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against Sunni Islamic militants, southern separatists, local and tribal militias and loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The rebels seized the capital in September and swept south, forcing Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.A Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebels on March 26, and a near-blockade of Yemen’s ports has made it very difficult to deliver humanitarian aid. Check your body, save your life New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Hainan Airlines wins prestigious 5 star rating from SKYTRAX

first_imgHainan Airlines was awarded the honor of a “SKYTRAX Five-Star Airline” at a gala awards ceremony in Beijing.The award was presented by SKYTRAX President Edward Plaisted to Hainan Airlines President Wang Ying Ming. With this award, Hainan Airlines officially becomes the world’s seventh five-star airline.London-based SKYTRAX, a research and certification organization for the air transportation industry founded in 1989, evaluates more than 200 airlines around the world each year in regards to their service quality. The star rankings reflect the customer experience – not just the platform of product standards offered by an airline such as cabin seating, in-flight entertainment and catering, but the assessment of service quality – using a rating system made up of more than 800 different areas of product and service delivery for each airline. As a global leader in the industry, SKYTRAX offers the most professional evaluation and rating services. Star ratings for the airline industry can vary from one to five stars, with “five stars” being the highest rating.Founded in 1993, Hainan Airlines has grown into a successful international airline offering personalized and gracious service. It was the first mainland Chinese airline to be awarded SKYTRAX four-star status in 2009. In accordance with SKYTRAX’s rigorous evaluation standards and the airlines’ own Chinese-style service concept, Hainan Airlines built an international brand through its superior service programs that encompass “convenience, hospitality, and surpassing expectations” as its core values. Hainan provides its customers with unique and premium ground and cabin service, in-flight catering, and entertainment based on diversified customer needs. As a result of its exceptional brand values and service, Hainan Airlines transitioned from four-star to five-star status in just one year, a significant achievement. Hainan Airlines is one of the airlines in the HNA Group of companies.At the SKYTRAX award ceremony, HNA Group Chairman Mr. Chen Feng said, “By winning the ‘SKYTRAX five-star award,’ Hainan Airlines now becomes one of the most successful brands in the industry.”SKYTRAX also rated Hainan the best airline in China in 2008 and 2010, and the company has earned numerous awards including the “Customer Satisfaction Award” in the Chinese civil aviation industry repeatedly since 1998. In 2008, it received CCTV’s “60 Years- 60 Brands Award,” the only airline to be so honored. Source = Hainan Airlineslast_img read more

Tourism WA launches whale shark campaign

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Tourism WA has launched a Facebook campaign to support research into one of the regions unique visitor experiences, swimming with whale sharks. Tourism WA together with whale shark research and conservation organisation ECOCEAN will call on their Facebook community to support the adoption of a whale shark by ‘liking’ a series of posts.Tourism Western Australia director domestic marketing Toni O’Donnell said Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef was one of the places in the world people could swim with these “gentle giants”.“The annual whale shark migration to Ningaloo is one of Western Australia’s truly extraordinary experiences attracting visitors from around the world,” Ms O’Donnell said.Ms O’Donnell added that the campaign provides an opportunity for Tourism WA to give back to their dedicated online community while supporting important research in the conservation of these creatures.ECOCEAN director Brad Norman explained that the spots on every whale shark were different and therefore by obtaining photos submissions of individual whale sharks, the program could follow their movements.ECOCEAN has created a whale shark photo identification library, and has since catalogued over 41,000 images and received over 18,000 reported sightings from across the globe.Ms O’Donnell added that Tourism WA would partake in ECOCEAN tagging program in order to provide regular updates to the community.“The tagging program will support ECOCEAN’s research efforts whilst also enabling Tourism WA’s Facebook community to remain in contact with its adopted whale shark.”https://www.facebook.com/ExtraordinaryWesternAustralia Australia’s most extraordinary experience, swimming with the whale sharkImage Source: James Morganlast_img read more

SWISS to SIN a solution for Aus

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T A daily non-stop Singapore-Zurich service will be introduced in May as the central component of Swiss International Air Lines’ (SWISS) Asian network solution for the Australian market. Singapore is a favourite among travellers, providing an ideal base or stopover point for key vacation destinations in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.“This is a major development and one that we, our customers and our trade partners have long waited for,” SWISS Australia manager Anil Rodricks said. “It demonstrates the confidence that SWISS has in the Australasia region.”Singapore has also been identified as a clear hub leader for connections to Europe.The new Singapore service will make for a total of six Asian gateways for SWISS’ Australian passengers.SWISS has doubled the number of its Asian services over the past six years and remains confident that Asia will continue to be the transfer point of choice for Australian traffic to Europe.last_img read more

Air NZ announce best result in five years

first_imgNew Zealand’s national carrier revealed net profit after tax of NZ$182 million for FY2013, an increase of 156 percent (or NZ$111 million) on the previous year. Year-end fully imported dividends increased 0.3 cents per share to 0.8 cents, up 45 percent on 2012. “We have a range of initiatives that will roll out during the 2014 financial year as we reinvest in the business to keep us ahead of the competition,” Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said. The airline also reported strong growth within the company’s Airpoints programme, up 17 percent on the previous year to 1.4 million members. Source = ETB News: P.T. Air New Zealand has reported its best earnings in five years, allowing the airline to re-invest in its products, services, training and business development.center_img Air New Zealand will invest NZ$1.8 billion in aircraft over the next three years; planning to introduce two new Boeing 777-300ERs, six Boeing.787-9s, nine Airbus A320s and four ATR72-600s. Operating cash flow peaked at the company’s highest ever levels this year at NZ$750 million. Airline plans to use funds to re-invest in business. “Strong results allow Air New Zealand to reinvest in its products, services, training and development to further enhance the customer experience and to connect more people and businesses than ever to, from and within New Zealand,” Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer said.last_img read more

Chinese MH370 protesters blockade Malaysian embassy in Beijing

first_imgThe protesters were also angry about some family members receiving an abrupt text message telling them that “We have to assume beyond all reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and none of those on board survived.” However, any chance of finding much intact wreckage is less likely, with reports saying that supposed wreckage lies 300m below sea level, on top of underwater volcanoes.  The Chinese protestors hoped to get clear answers from Malaysia, following contradictory information about the plane’s whereabouts, the Malaysian government texting rather than talking to relatives of MH370 passengers and conspiracy theories surrounding the plane’s disappearance, the Guardian reported. Steve Wang, a relative of a family member on the plane, said that the Malaysian ambassador to China had agreed to appear before protesters but never did. Some Chinese family members have also said that they cannot accept the conclusion that there were no survivors from the flight until they see the plane wreckage. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Chinese protestors angry about the Malaysian government’s handling of the MH370 mystery have blockaded its embassy in Beijing.last_img read more

Emirates launch second daily service to Manchester

first_imgEmirates has announced that as of 1st February 2015, its EK019/020 service between Dubai International Airport and Manchester Airport, currently operated by a Boeing 777, will be replaced with an Airbus A380.The second daily A380 will increase Emirates’ capacity from Manchester by 13 per cent, with over 20 per cent of this increase in the premium cabins.Emirates flight EK019 will depart Dubai International Airport at 1435hrs and arrive in Manchester at 1835hrs, the outbound flight, EK020, will depart Manchester Airport at 2025hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0740hrs.Emirates divisional senior vice president, commercial operations west Hubert Frach, said that Manchester is the third busiest airport in the UK and demand for flights to Dubai has increased significantly.“At Emirates we are committed to providing our customers with the very best service possible. The introduction of a second daily A380 aircraft will not only help more leisure and business passengers to travel in and out of Manchester, but also offer them the world-class travel experience that is synonymous with Emirates,” Mr Frach said.With eight daily A380 flights into the UK and an ever expanding global A380 network, Emirates continues to set the industry benchmark in both A380 connectivity and customer experience.Popular destinations from around the Emirates network into Manchester include Dubai, Australia, India, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong – all destinations that already offer the Emirates A380 service, providing customers with a seamless A380 travel experience all the way through to Manchester.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more