See Avalons new TV ads with their See your Travel Agent message

See Avalons new TV ads with their See your Travel Agent message

first_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — Avalon Waterways will be debuting TV commercials in Canada highlighting its European ships and itinerates.The campaign will run on HGTV and Gusto channels with 30-second spots. Both versions of the ad will emphasize the views from Avalon’s windows-facing beds.There’s a ‘visit your travel agent’ and ‘see your travel agent’ component in the spots, says the company. The ads are scheduled to run March 6 to April 16.Agents can visit AgentLingo.ca/the-source for Avalon marketing material.Check out the new ads here: bit.ly/ah-mazing-vid1 and bit.ly/ah-mazing-vid2. Friday, March 3, 2017 Posted by Tags: Avalon Waterwayscenter_img Share See Avalon’s new TV ads with their ‘See your Travel Agent’ message << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

To the MAX Sunwing Airlines takes delivery of the first of four

To the MAX Sunwing Airlines takes delivery of the first of four

first_img Share Tags: boeing, Seattle, Sunwing << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group center_img SEATTLE — Sunwing Airlines executives flew to Seattle and back to take delivery of the carrier’s newest plane, and Travelweek was along for the ride.Sunwing, which has become North America’s largest vertically integrated travel company, took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 on May 25. The aircraft is the latest model in Boeing’s 737 series.The new model features 12 more seats, 8% less fuel emissions and 8% lower operating costs per seat than its nearest competitor, the A320neo.The aircraft is the first of four new B737 MAX 8 aircraft and two B737-300 aircraft acquired by Sunwing Airlines in accordance with its most recent agreement with Boeing and Air Lease Corporation.The second 737 MAX 8 aircraft will be delivered this week with the balance to be delivered in 2019.Sunwing Airlines President Mark Williams said the 737 MAX “is an integral part of Sunwing’s overall expansion plans across an increasing number of both Canadian and U.S. gateways and illustrates the evolution of the company.”“Sunwing may have increased in scale, however what drove the company in the early 2000s is still central to our business today – in particular, the airline’s commitment to its passengers that when they travel with Sunwing, they travel with an award-winning airline and one of Canada’s most modern fleets,” he said.Brad McMullen, Boeing’s Vice-President, Sales for the Americas, added: “Sunwing already flies one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in Canada and now they take another leap forward with the Boeing 737 MAX, a new jet that can fly further, use less fuel, and provide greater passenger comfort.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTWilliams confirmed that the Boeing 737 MAX is 14% more fuel efficient than its existing fleet, noting that this added fuel efficiency is “transformational” for the company because it gives this aircraft an additional range of 500 nautical miles compared to its existing fleet.This allows Sunwing Airlines to comfortably operate full flights from Vancouver to the East Caribbean at full capacity rather than leaving empty seats so as to conserve fuel, effectively adding at least 14 seats to each flight.In fact the plan is to operate these aircraft out of Vancouver this fall after an initial break-in period over the summer operating out of Toronto.The new 737 MAX features the latest aircraft technology offered by Boeing and will allow Sunwing to offer reliable, cost effective and environment friendly service, say the companies. The aircraft not only uses less fuel but it also reduces CO2 emissions by 20% compared to the older aircraft it’s replacing.Part of Boeing’s newest family of single-aisle airplanes, the 737 MAX 8 – with more than 4,500 orders from nearly 100 customers worldwide – is already the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history.The aircraft has 189 seats, all featuring a new seat tip which creates the perception that the passenger has 2” more room.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJA first for Sunwing, each seat has a USB port which allows passengers to charge and use their personal devices during the entire flight. This follows the emerging trend to allow passengers to use their own content during the flight.Sunwing’s 737 MAX will feature 24 Elite Plus seats allowing 3” – 6” of extra room at a premium charge.The aircraft is also significantly quieter, by about 40%, than earlier 737 models which Boeing says may reduce passenger flight fatigue.The 737 MAX is also equipped with LED lighting throughout, including landing lights, adding to energy efficiency, reliability, reduced heat and passenger comfort.The inaugural flight back from Seattle was piloted by Ron Henry, one of Sunwing’s first pilots who has been flying for Sunwing since 2005, along with First Officer Jessalyn Teed, a recent recruit to the flight crew and a graduate of Sunwing’s cadet program, operated in partnership with the University of Waterloo.Sunwing offers direct service from over 33 gateways across Canada to more than 45 sun destinations. The company’s inflight service features a complimentary glass or sparkling wine, tea, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages with a buy-on-board menu inspired by Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. An added bonus is a complimentary 23 kg checked luggage allowance. For more information visit sunwing.ca. To the MAX: Sunwing Airlines takes delivery of the first of four new B737 MAX 8s Monday, May 28, 2018 last_img read more

Boy Scouts toy grenade causes bomb scare in Houston airport

Boy Scouts toy grenade causes bomb scare in Houston airport

first_imgBoy Scout’s toy grenade causes bomb scare in Houston airport Tags: Houston Share << Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Associated Press HOUSTON — A Boy Scout who packed a toy grenade in his carry-on bag caused the shutdown of a security checkpoint at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport Thursday morning, just a day after the international terminal of the city’s other major airport was evacuated due to a bomb scare.Houston Airport System spokesman Bill Begley said people were allowed to approach the checkpoint again after authorities determined that the suspicious item spotted by a Transportation Security Administration agent was a “novelty grenade.” It’s not clear why the 17-year-old had the item in his bag.Houston police said the state won’t charge the teen but that he could face a federal fine.Hobby Airport is a hub for Southwest Airlines and Begley said more than 15 Southwest flights were delayed. The website FlightAware indicated delays of an hour or more for flights arriving and departing the airport immediately after the security checkpoint reopened.An Associated Press journalist was in the line when a TSA agent raised the alarm at about 4:35 a.m., forcing hundreds of people to move away from the immediate area on both sides of the security checkpoint.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency“My wife and I were waiting to drop our bags into the X-ray machine and go through the detector, and I heard a TSA agent scream ‘Shut it down, shut it down, shut it down!’ Everyone was looking around, confused, and people were ordered to ‘Clear out now!’” the AP’s John L. Mone said.The explosives scare occurred only a day after police detained “an impatient passenger” who made comments about explosives in a bag at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. Begley said that unidentified passenger’s “inappropriate comment” prompted a bomb squad to close the international terminal for nearly an hour.The episode created a backlog of at least a thousand people waiting to go through security.Begley stressed that, especially during the busy summer travel season, anyone with any doubts as to what can be carried on a plane should check the TSA’s “what can I bring?” website before packing their bags. Thursday, June 7, 2018 last_img read more

Agents show resilience in the face of Costco Travels alleged extreme rebating

Agents show resilience in the face of Costco Travels alleged extreme rebating

first_img About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 Posted by This story originally ran in the November 29, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Evidence of the latest threat to the Canadian retail travel sector is probably right in your own wallet. It’s your Costco membership card.If you have one, you’re not alone. Costco says it serves more than 10 million members across Canada (quite a feat in a country with a population of 36 million) and its annual sales in Canada now top $15 billion, making it one of the largest retailers in the country. The U.S.-based company now has warehouses in just about a dozen countries worldwide, with the count in Canada hovering around 100. Everyone likes to save money, whether they’re buying a pallet of paper towels or a lifetime’s supply of ketchup. You can buy a diamond ring at Costco, a snowplow, even a casket. So why not travel?Traditional travel agents making a living in the Canadian market have been successfully fending off disruptors for decades now. And no one selling travel in this market expects an easy go of it. The problem with Costco Travel, which operates under the Costco umbrella, isn’t so much its volume of sales, or even its extensive (and growing) reach. It’s the alleged extreme rebating and undercutting, say agents, who are fed up with the wholesale giant.One agency exec says his company lost a $63,000 Regent Seven Seas Cruises booking to Costco Travel, and was at risk of losing a world cruise booking on another cruise line, until they saved it by convincing the cruise line to help share the burden of a US$4,000 rebate, “to salvage the customer to stay with our Canadian agency, rather than move their large booking to the U.S.”As he points out, discounting has been around for years. “We all discount, perhaps up to 5%, to match a competitive quote, or to reward a loyal client who may have referred another booking, or perhaps to make up for an issue that happened on their last trip. That is just a normal part of doing business, which we all understand, and most do accept.”But, he says, rebating “is on the far extreme of discounting”, and extreme rebating “is a not-so-hidden virus.”He charges that cruise lines who announced no-discounting policies – to put an end to undercutting the selling price – left the back door open for rebating that discount back to the client. In the case of Costco, he alleges, “they creatively rebated by giving their cruise customers a Costco gift card for the value of the 10% rebate that they were doing, [a practice that had been] shut down by the cruise lines’ no discounting policy.”That rebate amount may have been driven down to 5% after industry pressure, but has since crept back up to 10%, he charges.Costco built its business on a pared-down wholesale model, short on frills and long on savings. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t have a PR or media department, and an executive in the company declined to give an interview. The Costco Travel website says the company uses its “buying authority to negotiate the best value in the marketplace, and then pass on the savings to Costco members.”Shoppers at CostcoFor Costco buyers with an Executive Membership, purchases made directly from Costco Travel earn a 2% reward (up to $1,000) on qualified purchases, applied after travel is completed. Costco Travel works with the full range of suppliers, not just cruise lines. Some say the fact that Costco is a membership model, or shopping club, makes for a gray area. But a number of suppliers have taken a stand nevertheless, saying they won’t partner with companies who don’t play by the rules, if it’s to the detriment of other agency partners.Collette spokesperson Amelia Sugerman says Collette made a decision to walk away from discounters such as Costco in a strategic effort to remain committed to travel agents and partners.“We recognize that agents work really hard for their business and that it’s our responsibility as a guided travel provider to support their commitment to the industry,” says Sugerman. “We want to protect their profession and don’t want to deteriorate a travel agent’s profession by rebating commission.”She adds: “We know that travel professions are experts and not only do we want to protect their livelihood but we want to drive business to them instead of online discounters who don’t have the expertise that travel professionals do. We really see online discounting and commission rebating as an industry threat and are committed to improving the lives of agents and the agent profession overall.”Viking Cruises made headlines in October 2017 when it pulled its product from Costco Travel, citing rebating concerns. Another major player, Sandals Resorts, has also declined to work with Costco Travel. Major travel retail groups have entered the fray too. TL Network’s Christine James, VP Canada, says: “I cannot speak to the practices of other travel retailers. I can tell you that we view it as extremely important to respect and support the requirements set forth by our valued supplier partners.”Flemming Friisdahl, who heads up The Travel Agent Next Door, points out the industry has come a long way since the days when suppliers ‘going direct’ was the big concern. “I have always said we cannot limit the number of competitors, however we can make it an even playing field for everyone,” says Friisdahl. “I have no issue with [Costco Travel] selling the product, however they are a membership based organization and they make significant money through memberships, while retailers do not have this option. So it is not a fair playing field.” He adds: “What really bothers me is that some suppliers give Costco special pricing and this is completely unfair and it will hurt the suppliers long term. If you give someone a price that is 20% cheaper than anyone else, ‘as long as they only market to their members’, then the consumer will go there and skip the local agent. Long-term Costco will continue to ask for more concessions and they will be granted. So make it a fair playing field, allow everyone the same net or published fare and then let the best agent/agency win the business.”Retailers have a voice, both through ACTA and through what suppliers they choose to sell, he adds. “But how many of them take a stand? If we as agents don’t stick together and voice our concerns to ACTA and also stop selling suppliers that don’t treat us as equals we will continue to be taken advantage of.”Heather Craig-Peddie, VP, Advocacy and Member Relations for ACTA, says several ACTA members “have raised concerns about Costco Travel and what appears to be discounting on packages.”In one incident, when ACTA questioned the supplier involved, it was ACTA’s understanding that the low prices “were not those of the supplier”. The supplier sold Costco the airline seats, says Craig-Peddie, and Costco Travel then packaged them up with other product, potentially at different contract rates based on their buying power in the U.S. In that case, ACTA got a quick response from the supplier, says Craig-Peddie.While Costco Travel’s reach and high-profile presence are no doubt generating new business and new bookings, other bookings are the result of a lost sale by a traditional agency, who couldn’t compete on price. As with just about everything in this industry, this battle will come down to service, smarts and strategy. It’s a battle traditional travel agents have fought before, and won. Share Tags: Costco, Costco Travel, Feature Story << Previous PostNext Post >> Kathryn Folliott Wednesday, December 5, 2018 Agents show resilience in the face of Costco Travel’s alleged extreme rebatinglast_img read more

Man asks flight attendant girlfriend to marry him in most elaborate inair

Man asks flight attendant girlfriend to marry him in most elaborate inair

first_imgMan asks flight attendant girlfriend to marry him in most elaborate in-air proposal ever Congratulations, Stefano and Vittoria! Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group DUBAI — We love a good marriage proposal, especially ones that occur at 30,000 feet.Passengers and crew on Emirates’ flight EK096 from Rome to Dubai were asked to take part in an elaborate, mile-high proposal complete with heart-shaped paper cards, long-stem roses, balloons and streamers, and customized face masks bearing the image of lovestruck proposer, Stefano.The proposee, Vittoria, an Emirates cabin crew member, was working onboard when she was given the surprise of her life. She emerged from behind a partition to find passengers holding up signs (presumably declarations of love from Stefano) and handing her roses as she made her way to the galley. There, she found Stefano, who got down on bended knee with a diamond ring in front of her fellow flight attendants.To no one’s surprise, Vittoria said yes. And luckily for all us romantics, the entire romantic proposal was caught on video – at several angles – and uploaded to Emirates’ Instagram so that everyone can share in their love. Tags: Emirates Share Thursday, January 3, 2019 last_img read more

HAL of a Deal incentive includes webinars gift cards for agents

HAL of a Deal incentive includes webinars gift cards for agents

first_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, April 22, 2019 Sharecenter_img Tags: Holland America Line, Promotions SEATTLE — Holland America Line’s sales team is reaching out to agents to make sure they have the tools to successfully book clients on the new ‘HAL of a Deal’ offer plus Pack These Values and the cruise line’s EBB.HAL of a Deal is on now and running through May 15. For agents, HAL of a Deal will feature weekly webinars, bonus information in the PartnerSHIPS eNewsletter, promotional items and a HAL of a Deal Sweepstakes that will award a total of US$15,000 in gift cards.“We currently have two exceptional offers that support upcoming bookings and future cruises, and we want to connect with our travel advisors to make sure they recognize the potential with these promotions and can effectively communicate the perks to their clients,” says Eva Jenner, VP Sales. “We’re excited to meet with travel advisors in person and through our webinars, making it easy for everyone to take advantage of the expertise provided by our sales team.”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterHAL of a Deal webinars will take place April 23, April 30, May 7 and May 13. Travel advisors must register for each webinar at GoHAL.com or via the PartnerSHIPS Facebook page.A highlight of HAL of a Deal is a sweepstakes that will give away $15,000 in gift cards. Each week the gift card prizes will increase in value by $1,000, starting at $1,000 for week one and working up to the grand prize of $5,000 after week four. Travel advisors can register for the HAL of a Deal Sweepstakes at GoHAL.com/HALofaDeal.Holland America’s BDMs are also visiting with travel partners, offering knowledge, support materials and extra collateral as well as promotional items.Travel advisors can learn more about HAL of a Deal webinars, the sweepstakes, sign up for PartnerSHIPS eNewsletter and more at GoHAL.com.Travel advisors can also connect with their BDM and the sales team through GoHAL.com or by emailing sales@hollandamerica.com. ‘HAL of a Deal’ incentive includes webinars, gift cards for agentslast_img read more

One million dollar reward for whereabouts of Costa Rican black widow

first_imgNo related posts. A California judge issued a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Costa Rican Nazira Maria Cross, one of theFBI’s most-wanted fugitives. Cross is wanted for allegedly murdering her former husband at one of his residences in Plumas County, California, in the United States.Local police say she allegedly murdered ex-husband Mike Cross, a successful businessman, by poisoning him on July 31, 2008. The victim allegedly discovered that she had embezzled thousands of dollars from their jointly held businesses.Police believe that after poisoning her husband, the suspect drove the dying man to Nevada. After he died, Nazira Maria Cross allegedly buried her husband on a ranch in Lovelock, Nevada. She then ran over the grave site repeatedly with her car.The couple had been married for about eight years before they divorced in January 2008. They met in Costa Rica when Michael Cross was on vacation.The FBI believes that she and her two children, Runar and Natasha, could be in hiding in Costa Rica or Peru. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Road to Monteverde to be paved

first_imgA main access road to Monteverde, one of the most popular tourist sites in Costa Rica, will be paved in its entirety, Public Works and Transport Minister Pedro Castro announced on Sunday.Castro said the ₡8 billion ($16 million) project awaits authorization from the Comptroller General’s Office. Once permission is granted, workers will replace 18 kilometers of gravel road with asphalt, from Guacimal to Monteverde, in the province of Puntarenas. Residents and businesses in the area, which is famous for its cloud forest, will benefit from the project, officials said.President Laura Chinchilla and Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides joined Castro at the announcement, attended by local residents and business owners who gathered for the inauguration of a new fire station.The current gravel road to Monteverde is narrow and difficult to transit because the original Quaker founders from Alabama have fought to keep it that way to limit the number of visitors.The area’s most prominent landmark is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, consisting of some 10,500 hectares of tropical rain and cloud forests, visited by some 75,000 tourists a year.The reserve has attracted many scientists over the years, as it has more than 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects. Facebook Comments Related posts:Work to begin on new road to Costa Rica’s Monteverde cloud forest community Residents demand new, better road to Monteverde New road to Monteverde to be ready in 2014, officials say New road to Monteverde bogged down by delays, red tapelast_img read more

What does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance certified

What does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance certified

first_imgAt the end of February, theRainforest Alliance announced that a cattle farm in Turrialba was the first in Costa Rica to receive its certification. This sounded like good news for the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, better known as CATIE, the organization that owns the farm. But what does it mean to be Rainforest Alliance certified?The Rainforest Alliance is an environmental nonprofit based in New York City that aims to conserve biodiversity and encourage responsible land use. The organization has a strong presence in Latin America, where it assesses farms for sustainable practices and offers certification to companies that meet their standards, which include an on-site education program, ecosystem preservation (trees in particular), water conservation, wildlife protection, progressive labor practices and a digestible diet for cows to reduce methane emissions. The standards are set by the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN), a separate coalition of conservation groups.“Earning Rainforest Alliance certification is a significant accomplishment for CATIE,” said José Joaquín Campos, CATIE’s general director, in a statement. “This farm will now serve as a training and education resource that will allow us to demonstrate that it is possible to produce a quality product while conserving the environment.”Costa Rica’s CATIE arm is based in Turrialba, but the organization has branches in a dozen countries, from Bolivia to the Dominican Republic. The certification only applies to the cattle farm in Costa Rica.What is significant about Costa Rica’s CATIE farm is its size and influence: The Turrialba farm consists of more than 1,490 acres of land, and products include coffee, dairy, sugarcane, beef and lumber. CATIE supplies milk to Dos Pinos, one of the nation’s staple dairy companies.While other types of farms in Costa Rica have garnered certification from the Rainforest Alliance, not a single livestock farm has succeeded until now. In the world of sustainable agriculture, cattle farms are cumbersome. Cattle produce large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, and farmers routinely siphon manure into rivers. Ideally, the manure is reused as a natural fertilizer, but many farms find it cheaper to dump bovine waste and buy synthetic fertilizers.“A cattle farm is also asked to counter the impact of deforestation,” said Ana Lucía Corrales, manager of certification at Rainforest Alliance.Managers have started to catalog wild animals in the area, especially endangered species living on or near the property. Because CATIE is the first cattle farm in Costa Rica to receive the certification, Corrales hopes that other operations will be inspired to follow suit.The certification can have lucrative benefits to CATIE. Corrales has seen businesses in other countries flourish, such as a group of Brazilian farms whose stewardship won them a contract with the designer Gucci. CATIE may be able to negotiate prices, just as certified organic companies do in the U.S., but this will depend on the market.The toughest hurtle lies ahead: Certification is only valid for three years, when the Rainforest Alliance will inspect operations again. Even sustainability needs to be sustained. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupts, sends ash 3 km high Police catch Costa Rica orchid thief red-handed US experts tracking wildlife trade help train Costa Rican customs inspectors Scandal-hit VW to cut investments by €1 billion, says CEOlast_img read more

Tenman Honduras ties England Uruguays Suarez kicking ball again

Tenman Honduras ties England Uruguays Suarez kicking ball again

first_imgA look at the teams that Costa Rica will face in Group D at the World Cup:MIAMI — England were held to a goalless draw by ten-man Honduras on Saturday in their final friendly before heading to Brazil for the World Cup.Roy Hodgson’s team had the better chances in a largely scrappy game which was interrupted in the first half by a 43-minute suspension of play due to a severe lightning warning.Honduras had Brayan Beckeles sent off in the 66th minute for a second bookable offence but will take heart from a battling display and a clean sheet after losing their previous two warm-up games 4-2 to Israel and 2-0 to Turkey.England created several openings but failed to take advantage with Daniel Sturridge the main culprit.Wayne Rooney made his third straight start for England, making him the only member of Roy Hodsgon’s squad to play in all three pre-World Cup warm-ups.Honduras were reduced to ten men in the 66th minute when Beckeles was given a second yellow card after he recklessly caught Leighton Baines with an arm to the head as he flew in to a challenge for a header.England start their World Cup Group D campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14.Report: Suarez kicking ball againMONTEVIDEO — Luis Suarez kicked a ball again during World Cup training Saturday just 16 days after undergoing knee surgery, Uruguayan media reported.The Liverpool striker has been “walking, running a little in a straight line and for the first time kicked the ‘Brazuca’ ball”, said the Uruguayan football website Tenfield.“He played short passes and did some headers”, Uruguayan newspaper Ovacion reported of the team training session, which was supposed to take place behind closed doors.On Friday, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said Suarez’s rehabilitation was proceeding well.The 27-year-old is a key element in Uruguay’s team after the best season of his career when he was top scorer in the English Premier League with 31 goals for Liverpool, who finished runners-up to Manchester City.Suarez underwent a knee operation on May 22 in Montevideo to fix a problem with his meniscus. Uruguay opens the World Cup against Costa Rica on June 14.Results from World Cup warm-up internationals played on Saturday:At BrusselsBelgium 1 (Mertens 88) Tunisia 0At La Plata, ArgentinaArgentina 2 (Alvarez 11, Messi 75) Slovenia 0At YaoundeCameroon 1 (Edgar Salli 30) Moldova 0At WashingtonSpain 2 (Villa 60, 87) El Salvador 0At MiamiEngland 0 Honduras 0At JacksonvilleUSA 2 (Altidore 32, 68) Nigeria 1 (Moses 86-pen) Facebook Comments Related posts:Injured Uruguay star Suárez in camp; England crushes Peru; key Italian player breaks leg Italy ties tiny Luxembourg; England equals Ecuador; Uruguay shuts down Slovenia Do or die for England, Uruguay on Thursday Costa Rica’s first World Cup opponent Uruguay could lose spot in the tournamentlast_img read more

TEORéTica offers different views of urban life

TEORéTica offers different views of urban life

first_imgSan José is a strange city: Plaster row houses line the same same streets as glass skyscrapers. Concrete cubes share the same neighborhoods as ornate colonial churches. Some residences are so close to the street that pedestrians can peer into living rooms, yet nearly every house and apartment in the country is encaged by steel bars.An idiosyncratic city like San José is the perfect place to ponder the nature of urban life, and the gallery TEOR/éTica has taken up that challenge. Using three different exhibits, the tiny art space is exploring the metropolitan dream through a mix of media and artistic visions.The most alluring exhibit is “Entre Concreto” (“Among Concrete”). The exposition’s single room is home to several different installations, and they are each thought-provoking in a different way. One of them, “Hands Around Yangon,” is a documentary video that jumps around the Myanmar city in the title, each scene starring a pair of hands. The hands do all kinds of things – panhandle, count cash, stretch dough, dig through fresh produce – but the faces and bodies of their owners are rarely seen. “Hands” is a smartly original way of looking at cosmopolitan life; it bolsters the belief that we are what we do, and what we do is wildly diverse.Alfredo Ceibal’s installation is a sprawling mural sketched directly on the white wall with pencil and other materials. The drawing shows a cross-section of land with rolling hills and deep chasms, but the structures look surreally malformed, like the civilization of a distant planet. The Guatemalan artist has produced an entire series of such drawings, called “Corte Transversal del Paraíso (Mundos Inventados),” or “Transverse Cut of Paradise (Invented Worlds).” Simple yet richly imagined, “Transversal” is reminiscent of Renaissance maps, with their romanticized images of faraway places.The most ostentatious installation is Cao Fei’s “RMB City: A Second Life City Planning.” His magnum opus is a vast mural of different figures, from an Anime-style mother and child to a floating Karl Marx. His vision of a city is colorful and cluttered, much like a video game, and his eponymous references to the “Second Life” online virtual world are clear.Taken as a whole, “Entre Concreto” looks like a storefront full of oddities, and it is both overwhelming and welcoming at the same. “Entre Concreto” is less interested in a literal city (a “concrete” city, if you will) than in the very concept of a city. The pieces are dreamy and creative, the same way futurists dream up hover-cars and transporter beams. The international artists were given the chance to freely associate, and what they pictured is worth a visit.More down-to-earth is “Imágenes Urbanas Cognitivas” (“Cognitive Urban Images”) a series of maps that illustrate the landscape of San José and its environs. You could easily find such maps in a government report, but to see them blown up and covering the walls of an enclosed space is a unique experience. You find yourself surrounded by icons (for museums, parks, and factories), colored and textured zones, dark lines indicating municipal boundaries, and more numbered landmarks than you could cross-reference in an afternoon.If “Imágenes” is less fun than “Entre Concreto,” it is also much more illuminating: You can see the relative sizes of different cities, what they possess and don’t, where the areas are developed and where they are empty. Most provocative is its metrical approach to landscape; entire regions are reduced to property lines and bits of data. The difference between these schematics and a living neighborhood is also the difference between playing “The Sims” and actually walking to the corner store. The narrow space feels cold and claustrophobic, and you may wonder how this aerial perspective affects the minds of architects and urban engineers.The final installation is by far the least accessible, and many visitors may choose to ignore it altogether: “Pedernales” (roughly translated as “Flints”) shows different samples of traditional Haitian weaving. Engel Leonardo’s exhibit is difficult to describe because it’s hard to even say what it is. In one antechamber, straw hats are cut apart in different ways. Nearby, small wooden frames are mixed with knitted fibers. Without Leonardo’s artist’s statement, the sculptures are utterly abstract and may even seem underdeveloped. Guests may not feel the same significance that the Dominican artist does.Overall, though, the current exhibits are successful and interesting, a nice addition to an already eventful year for TEOR/éTica. Most of the world’s people gravitate toward cities, and Costa Rica is no exception. But now and again it’s good to stop and think about where it is we are.All exhibits continue through Sept. 20 at TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website. Facebook Comments Related posts:Group show ‘Valoarte‘ surprises and impresses at Avenida Escazú Art City Tour to celebrate half-decade of GAM Cultural TEOR/éTica exhibits challenge and confound Final World Cup showdown, viral theater, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

Latin America presente at the Oscars

first_img“Birdman” is also a favorite for Best Film, and actor Michael Keaton and supporting actors Emma Stone and Edward Norton are all up for awards.If Emmanuel Lubezki takes the Oscar for cinematography, he’ll make history for winning a second Oscar in a row, following his win for “Gravity.”The Iñárritu-Lubezki duo, working together for the first time, was instrumental in giving the comedy the appearance of a single fluid scene, which infuses speed and vertigo into the story.Nearly the entire team behind “Wild Tales,” with director Damián Szifrón at the head, will arrive from Argentina for an exciting night that could give the country its third Oscar ever for Best Foreign Film. “Wild Tales” intertwines six stories charged with violence and black humor, played by actors Ricardo Darín, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Rita Cortese and Érica Rivas, among others. The film has beaten the national record for ticket sales at Argentinian theaters and has won praise from critics. “Wild Tales” won a “Goya” and other awards at the film festivals of San Sebastián and Palm Springs, and it was nominated at Cannes.Brazil returns to the nomination field with the documentary “The Salt of the Earth,” by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, about the journeys of his father, Sebastião Salgado, to capture virgin territories around the world on camera. Locations include the Brazilian Amazon, Papua New Guinea and the Arctic Circle, which appear in “Génesis,” Sebastião Salgado’s last book.Nicaragua is also celebrating the nomination of the documentary short “The Reaper,” directed by Gabriel Serra, about the work of Efraín Jiménez, a taciturn butcher on the outskirts of the Mexican capital. Serra is a talented 30-year-old Nicaraguan photographer who moved to Mexico in 2008 to work on his projects.“The Reaper,” which could win him a prized gold statuette, cost $3,000 to make. Related posts:‘The Salt of the Earth’ focuses on photographer Sebastião Salgado Divided Latin America pits fast-growing Pacific nations against lagging Atlantic ‘El Codo del Diablo’ forces viewers to rethink narrative of Costa Rica’s democratic past Beyoncé and 4 other celebrities who visited Costa Rica during 2014 Facebook Comments HOLLYWOOD, California – Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu will be Latin America’s biggest figure at this year’s Oscars thanks to his film “Birdman.” But Mexican photographer Emmanuel Lubezki (“Birdman”), the Argentinian film “Wild Tales” and documentaries from Brazil and Nicaragua will also represent the continent at Sunday’s gala.The Nicaraguan film “The Reaper” is up for best documentary short.After winning numerous awards this festival season, everything indicates that González Iñárritu will head home with several statuettes out of the nine categories for which his first black comedy was nominated. If he wins for Best Director, he’ll follow friend and fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, who won the award last year for “Gravity.”last_img read more

At The Hague Nicaragua says Costa Ricas border road dumps massive amounts

At The Hague Nicaragua says Costa Ricas border road dumps massive amounts

first_img Facebook Comments Nicaragua presented experts before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week who testified that Costa Rica’s border road has caused so much sedimentation in the San Juan River that it requires dredging to make it navigable.Nicaragua’s attorneys presented closing arguments Monday and Tuesday in the country’s case alleging Costa Rica has caused costly damage to the San Juan, a natural boundary between the two countries, because of its construction of a 160-kilometer road that runs along Costa Rica’s side of the river.Nicaragua’s lawyers claimed that the construction of the road in Costa Rica has dropped “massive amounts of sediment” into the San Juan, specifically at the fork between Costa Rica’s Colorado River and the San Juan.Experts said the amount of sediment varies between 190,000 and 250,000 tons per year, and that the sediment is reducing the depth of the river in a perpetual process that modifies its geography and makes navigation increasingly difficult.Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Manuel González Sanz, said Wednesday that the expert testimony failed to justify the need to dredge the San Juan River.“Nicaragua’s legal team failed to demonstrate the existence of any damage caused by the construction of a road in Costa Rica. Arguments have been inconsistent and they lack evidence to support the thesis that the border road excessively increased sedimentation in the San Juan, as Managua claimed in 2011,” González told reporters following the hearings.Recommended: Costa Rica, Nicaragua enter final hearings at The Hague in border dispute“They argue that, despite the sediment being carried from several kilometers upriver, it happens that all of it concentrates at the exact point where the San Juan and Colorado rivers converge. If that is true, sediment should be affecting both rivers, and this is not happening on the Colorado. That means the sediment is so smart that it stays in that exact spot and is only affecting the San Juan and therefore it must be dredged,” González said.Hearings resume Thursday when Costa Rica’s legal team will have two days to refute Nicaragua’s arguments.Last week, Costa Rica’s lawyers presented their arguments in the parallel case against Nicaragua for allegedly invading Costa Rican territory and opening artificial canals that caused environmental damage in a protected area.Next week both countries will have their last opportunities to present their cases during rejoinders. April 28 and 29 will be dedicated to the Portillos Island case, where the canals were dredged, while April 30 and May 1 are scheduled for the border road case.After the hearings, ICJ justices will analize all evidence and arguments and issue their final resolutions in both cases.Timeline of border dispute Related posts:Costa Rica asks international court to prevent further occupations from Nicaragua Damaged wetlands recovering along Costa Rica-Nicaragua border Nicaragua government praises ‘balanced’ ruling in border dispute with Costa Rica The Hague Court: Territory disputed with Nicaragua belongs to Costa Ricalast_img read more

Tico Times 360 Whale watching tour in Marino Ballena National Park

Tico Times 360 Whale watching tour in Marino Ballena National Park

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: Chasing Moby at Uvita’s Whale and Dolphin Festival UPDATE: Eruption of Turrialba Volcano closes airport, launches ash, rocks 4 km high Op-ed: Reduce and Recycle to Remain Relevant in Global Tourism Municipal project to build cableway to Chirripó’s peak faces opposition It’s whale watching season in Costa Rica.Every year, thousands of humpback whales come to Costa Rica to give birth. The warm waters keep predators at bay and give whales a safe place to give birth. The mothers and calves spend up to three months near the coast while calves gain enough strength to head out to open sea. The whales migrate from the Southern Hemisphere and usually arrive in July. The best time to take a tour and see some whales is in September and October, right before the whales head back out to open sea. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see a whale jump out of the water. Tour operators say this act, called breaching, only happens about one out of every 10 tours. If you don’t catach a breach, you will be able see whales up close at Marino Ballena National Park: Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica begins nationwide HPV vaccination campaign

Costa Rica begins nationwide HPV vaccination campaign

first_imgThe Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) began this week a nationwide campaign to vaccinate girls against the human papilloma virus, or HPV.With President Carlos Alvarado in attendance, the first HPV vaccines were administered Monday at the National Children’s Hospital. The event marked the beginning of an effort to vaccinate every 10-year-old girl — at least 35,000 people — in the country against the cancer-causing virus.“The beginning of the application of this vaccine, the result of inter-institutional work at different levels, shows us again how we are able to meet goals in terms of prevention,” Alvarado said. “We are making decisions for the welfare of our future generations.”Starting this week, Health Ministry officials will visit schools across the country — public and private — to vaccinate girls.As part of the country’s basic vaccination schedule, parents across Costa Rica are obligated to ensure their children obtain the HPV vaccine.“As parents, we have this possibility to protect our girls, and what better way to do it than taking advantage of this campaign?” said Dr. Daniel Salas Peraza, the Minister of Health.“The vaccine is mandatory, so in conjunction with the Child Welfare Office (PANI) and in collaboration with the National Police, the State has the power to act in case a parent or guardian, after receiving the correct and appropriate information, refuse to vaccinate their daughter.”According to the Health Ministry, a new case of cervical cancer is diagnosed every day in Costa Rica, and a woman dies every three days of the disease. Cervical cancer is the sixth-highest cause of death among cancers for Costa rican women.HPV causes nearly all cervical cancers, according to the Health Ministry, and girls who receive the HPV vaccine will be protected against the two most dangerous types of the virus.Nine out of 10 adults will come in contact with the HPV virus during their lifetimes, though the majority of the population is asymptomatic. However, according to the Health Ministry, “the virus can develop lesions when the infection persists and over time generate cervical cancer.”Health Ministry officials will coordinate with school administrators and notify parents in advance about vaccination dates at their school. No preparation is necessary prior to receiving the HPV vaccine. Related posts:Vaccination against influenza starts next month in Costa Rica Following legalization, just 1 clinic signed up to offer IVF Costa Rica to begin administering HPV vaccine Social Security System launches anti-influenza vaccination campaign Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Gunman misses Colombia union leader kills brother

first_imgBOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – A gunman opened fire on a labor leader in the Colombia city of Cali but missed, killing the man’s brother and wounding two other people, including a 4-year-old girl, police said Thursday.Adolfo Devia, vice president of the Cali Municipal Corporations Workers Union, escaped the Wednesday night attack uninjured, Cali police chief Fabio Castaneda told The Associated Press. But his 26-year-old brother, Jonathan, died of a gunshot to the head, Castaneda said. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosis More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) He said neither of the two people wounded were in serious condition.Colombia’s national police director, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, said the 21-year-old gunman was captured by the union leader’s bodyguards and was being questioned.Two other leaders of the union, known as SINTRAEMCALI, received death threats last month signed by The Black Eagles, a far-right militia, inviting them to their own funerals, according to a letter that 10 U.S. congressmen sent to U.S. President Barack Obama last week.Noting “an intensification of violence against labor activists” in Colombia, the letter urged Obama to ensure the Andean nation keeps its commitments to protect labor leaders under a free trade agreement between the countries that had just taken effect.SINTRAEMCALI has been pushing for reinstatement of 51 workers that it says were illegally fired for union activities and that the International Labor Federation has recommended be rehired.Colombia is the world’s most dangerous country for union organizers, according to the International Trade Union Confederation.So far this year, seven trade unionists have been killed in Colombia, compared to 30 for all of last year, said the National Union School, which keeps count.last_img read more

Egypts president reconvenes dissolved parliament

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches “This is the start of a battle that has for some time been brewing,” said Negad Borai, a prominent rights lawyer and activist. “In this battle, the military may be the weaker opponent since it is up against an elected president.”Morsi’s decree appeared to take the generals off guard. In the first sign of an imminent crisis, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces held an “emergency meeting” shortly after it was announced. The official Middle East News Agency said the generals met to “review and discuss the consequences” of the decision.The Supreme Constitutional Court, the tribunal that dissolved the legislature last month, was to meet Monday to discuss the issue.Morsi, a member of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which has long been at odds with the military, also called for new parliamentary elections within 60 days of the adoption of a new constitution, which is not expected before late this year.The dual moves were seen as a significant step by a leader whose authority was called into doubt by the generals’ power grab in the days before and after the June 16-17 presidential runoff.Last month, the then-ruling military generals dissolved the legislature after the Supreme Constitutional Court, the country’s highest tribunal, ruled that a third of its members had been elected illegally _ a move that angered the Brotherhood and poisoned the atmosphere ahead of the military’s handover of power to Morsi on June 30. Morsi’s move to reopen parliament came just hours after a meeting in Cairo with a senior U.S. official, who delivered a message from President Barack Obama assuring him of America’s commitment to a “new partnership” with Egypt.White House officials said Obama hoped to meet with Morsi during the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York in September.U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told reporters that Egyptians could rely on U.S. support as they try to realize their aspirations.“Egyptians know far better than we do that their aspirations are not yet fully realized, but they can count on America’s partnership on the complicated road ahead,” Burns said.Obama also invited Morsi for talks in the White House in September, Egypt’s state television said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The dissolution of parliament came as a severe blow to the Brotherhood, which held nearly half its seats and has dreamt of political power for most of its 84 years. Long banned, the group’s leaders and hundreds of its supporters were jailed in the 1950s and 1960s, and subjected to repeated crackdowns throughout most of Mubarak’s 29 years in power.While Morsi made no mention of the high court ruling, taking aim only at the generals in revoking the military decree disbanding the legislature, some questioned whether he had the legal authority to overrule the high court.The country’s leading pro-reform campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, himself a longtime critic of the military, warned Morsi’s action threatened to undermine the country’s judicial authority.The president’s decree, he wrote on his Twitter account, “ushered Egypt into a constitutional coma and a conflict between the state’s branches.”With the constitution in effect under Mubarak suspended and no new one in place because of disputes over who should write it, Morsi’s decree drew attention to the disarray over the roles and powers of Egypt’s governing institutions. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s Islamist president fired the first volley Sunday in his battle with the nation’s powerful generals, calling on the Islamist-dominated parliament to reconvene despite a military-backed court ruling that dissolved it.A week into his presidency, the surprise move by Mohammed Morsi threatened to plunge the country into a new bout of instability and violence, nearly 17 months after the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. The military announced a “constitutional declaration” last month giving itself legislative powers in the absence of parliament and stripping Morsi of much of his presidential authority. The generals also took control over the process of drafting a new constitution, as well as control over the national budget.Morsi came to power after narrowly defeating Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, in the runoff last month. Declared the winner June 24, he symbolically took the oath of office five days later at Tahrir Square, birthplace of the revolt that toppled Mubarak’s regime on Feb. 11, 2001.He took the formal oath the next day before the Supreme Constitutional Court and again at Cairo University before hundreds of his supporters, including many of the dissolved legislature’s lawmakers. In his inauguration speeches Morsi hinted at his displeasure over parliament’s dissolution and his own diminished powers, pointedly seating the speaker of the disbanded parliament, Saad el-Katatni of the Brotherhood, in the front row during the Cairo University ceremony.Several hundred Morsi supporters gathered in Tahrir on Sunday night to celebrate his decision. 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Honduras commission seeks justice in coup

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The report says military and civilian officials involved in the coup should lose their jobs, and that people who fled Honduras because they were persecuted during that period should be allowed to return home.The report alleges that rights violations have continued since the coup, including the formation of groups resembling death squads.There was no immediate response to the report from Lobo’s government.Commission president Elsie Monge said the main goal of the report “is to give voice to the victims and to halt the human rights violations that continue after the coup.”Commission members include Nora Cortinas, a co-founder of Argentina’s Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, former Salvadoran Supreme Court Justice Mirna Perla, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina, and Honduran writer Helen Umana.Honduras’ army flew Zelaya out of the country in June 2009 after Zelaya pushed ahead with plans for a referendum on changing the constitution even though the Supreme Court ruled the vote illegal. The move was widely condemned by other nations.The Honduran Congress in January 2010 passed an amnesty covering certain acts leading up to the coup. Top Stories Comments   Share   Associated PressTEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – A truth commission formed by human rights organizations called on President Porfirio Lobo’s government on Wednesday to annul a 2010 amnesty law and fire Honduran officials responsible for the coup that overthrew his predecessor, Manuel Zelaya.The report issued by the non-governmental commission also calls on Lobo’s administration to pay unspecified reparations to Zelaya supporters who were victims of the 2009 coup. The commission was formed by local rights groups with the support of international organizations. Zelaya returned from exile in May 2011 under a deal brokered by Colombia and Venezuela, paving the way for the poor Central American country’s return to the Organization of American States and reintegration into the world community.An official truth commission headed by former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein concluded in July 2011 that Zelaya’s removal from office was a coup, but also said that the president himself had broken the law when he ignored the Supreme Court’s ruling ordering him to cancel the referendum.The report by that first commission also found that the Honduran government violated human rights by causing the deaths of 20 people in the seven months after the Zelaya’s ouster.The report issued by the unofficial truth commission on Wednesday found that 58 people were killed during and after the coup.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

IMF offers bleak assessment of stalled recovery

first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories “The case for an upside scenario is stronger than it has been,” he said at the opening of the IMF meeting in Tokyo.He noted some positive signs in the U.S. economy such as a turnaround in the housing market. The IMF also sees the slowdown in China as part of a shift from the past double-digit growth to a rate that is “sustainable,” a process he described as “a soft landing.” And the slowdown in developed nations had pushed down exports, the key factor behind the slowdown in China, Blanchard and other IMF officials said.The IMF raised the U.S. growth forecast slightly, to 2.2 percent this year from 2 percent in July. For 2013, though, it expects U.S. growth of 2.1 percent, down from 2.3 percent.Among the 17 nations that use the euro, low growth in the major “core economies,” such as Germany and France, will be offset by outright contractions in the smaller economies, leading real gross domestic product to fall by about 0.4 percent in 2012, the IMF said.It forecasts growth in the euro area will stay flat in the first half of 2013 and tick up to about 1 percent in the second half of the year, the IMF said.The report was released just ahead of the World Bank-IMF annual meeting, which is being held in Tokyo this week. The gathering of some 10,000 bankers, executives and officials will likely refocus attention on Japan’s failure to escape its own economic slump two decades after its own financial implosion in the early 1990s. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The IMF forecasts that the world economy will expand 3.3 percent this year, down from the estimate of 3.5 percent growth it issued in July. Its forecast for growth in 2013 is 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent three months ago and 4.1 percent in April.Underpinning that bleaker scenario are the assumptions that Europe will continue to ease monetary policy and that the U.S. will avert a crushing blow to growth by fending off a so-called “fiscal cliff” that could result from a failure to reach a compromise on its budget law and tax cuts.Conditions could worsen if the United States doesn’t deal with its budget crisis soon, the IMF said.“Downside risks have increased and are considerable,” the fund said. It said its forecasts are based “on critical policy action in the euro area and the United States, and it is very difficult to estimate the probability that this action will materialize.”The IMF has urged the U.S. to raise the ceiling on the level of debt the government can issue, which is capped by law. In August 2011, a battle between the Obama administration and Congress over raising the limit wasn’t resolved until the U.S. almost defaulted on its debt. The IMF said it expects growth in Japan to hit 2.2 percent this year but to slacken further as reconstruction from the March 2011 disasters winds down, falling to 1.2 percent in 2013.Japan, whose population is both shrinking and aging faster than elsewhere, is confronting problems of high debt and stagnation, it said.As usual, the bright spots are developing economies that were less affected by the global financial crisis, where rising employment and strong demand will help support growth, the IMF said.China’s economy will likely expand 7.8 percent this year, down from July’s 8 percent forecast, though a pickup in construction projects is expected to spur growth late in the year. India’s economy will grow 4.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent. And Brazil’s growth will be only 1.5 percent, compared to 2.5 percent.The IMF advised policymakers to devise stronger medium-term fiscal and structural reforms to shore up confidence in the growth potential of the advanced economies.Only then, will investor confidence in markets and public debt be restored.“Unless governments spell out how they intend to effect the necessary adjustment over the medium term, a cloud of uncertainty will continue to hang over the international economy, with downside risks for output and employment in the short term,” it said. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How men can have a healthy 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement AP Business WriterTOKYO (AP) – Plagued by uncertainty and fresh setbacks, the world economy has weakened further and will grow more slowly over the next year, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest forecast.Advanced economies are risking recession, the international lending organization said in a quarterly update of its World Economic Outlook, and the malaise is spreading to more dynamic emerging economies such as China. Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Global efforts to ease credit and increase the amount of money available for lending are helping, but appear to be yielding diminishing returns, as are fiscal stimulus policies, the IMF warned.“Because uncertainty is high, confidence is low, and financial sectors are weak, the significant fiscal achievements have been accompanied by disappointing growth or recessions,” it said.Among other things, it says governments need to do more to relieve the burden of household debt that is constraining spending power and thus crippling demand.While large corporations pay record low rates for credit, households and small companies struggle to obtain bank loans, it said.Fortifying domestic demand is all the more crucial given weakening trade trends. The IMF forecasts that growth in world trade volume will slump to 3.2 percent this year from 5.8 percent last year and 12.6 percent in 2010.“Low growth and uncertainty in advanced economies are affecting emerging market and developing economies through both trade and financial channels, adding to homegrown weaknesses,” the IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, said in a statement.But he told reporters Tuesday a more optimistic scenario was possible if the right measures are taken, such as fixing banks in European countries and reducing the uncertainty about U.S. policies.last_img read more

Buffeted by debt crisis EU wins Nobel Peace Prize

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Those hit by this recession were not impressed by the prize.“The peace prize?” asked Giorgos Dertilis, who works at an insurance company in Athens. “The way things are going, what will happen in the immediate future? Peace is the one thing we might not have.”George Tzogopoulos, a political analyst from the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, said the prize might help people understand the role the EU has played in preserving peace. But it could also be viewed as “a hypocritical gesture, because the European Union has so far completely failed to deal with the social dimension of the crisis and problems like poverty and unemployment.”Still, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Nobel committee had made a “wonderful decision,” and linked it to efforts to salvage the euro, even though the judges didn’t mention the common currency.“I often say the euro is more than a currency. We shouldn’t forget this in these weeks and months in which we work for the strengthening of the euro,” Merkel told reporters at the Chancellery in Berlin. The euro “has always primarily been about the original idea of Europe as a community of peace and values.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The award was hailed at EU headquarters in Brussels and by pro-EU leaders across Europe, but derided by “euroskeptics” who consider the EU an elitist super-state that erodes national identities.Emerging for a brief encounter with reporters, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was beaming as he declared: “Ladies and gentlemen, I have to say that when I woke up this morning, I did not expect it to be such a good day.”“The Nobel Peace Prize committee and the international community are now sending a very important message to Europe that the European Union is something very precious, that we should cherish it for the good of Europeans and for the good of the entire world,” he said.The announcement was met with negative reactions in debt-ridden countries like Spain and Greece, where many blame Germany and other northern EU neighbors for the painful austerity measures like higher taxes and job cuts they have endured in a so-far failed effort to salvage their floundering economies.As the EU grinds toward the three-year mark in its withering financial crisis, problems abound, progress is slow and 25 million people are out of work. The prize will do nothing to balance out-of-kilter national budgets or spur economic growth in Greece or bring down the borrowing costs of some of the weaker countries that use the euro, such as Spain. Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said the committee had no position on how to solve the continent’s economic crisis.“But we send a very strong message that we should keep in mind why we got this Europe after World War II,” he said. “We should do everything we can to safeguard it, not let it disintegrate and let the extremism and nationalism grow again.”The road ahead remains difficult.European leaders enjoyed a period of relative calm over the summer, when it seemed they had built the more centralized institutions that many economists believe are necessary to the stability of the common currency.But now there are what the economist De Grauwe called “rear guard battles” in which some EU states, notably Germany, appear to be trying to undo or dilute some of those accomplishments, including a proposed banking union and the ability of the European Central Bank to reduce countries’ borrowing costs by buying sovereign bonds.And perhaps the biggest challenge of all is restoring growth to a region where the economies of many are shrinking. That is unlikely to happen, De Grauwe said, unless EU leaders relax their unrelenting drive for austerity, through which they are creating what he called “a recession that could have been avoided.” “The European construction is a work of peace. It was meant to reconcile people,” Delors said.White House spokesman Tommy Vietor congratulated the EU in a statement released Friday evening. “We have no stronger partner than Europe and are pleased to see it recognized for its achievements,” he said.But if economic ties once brought peace, they are now putting European unity at risk. The economic crisis has stirred tensions between north and south, caused unemployment to soar and sent hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to protest tax hikes and job cuts.The bloc’s financial disarray is threatening the euro _ the common currency used by 17 of its members _ and fueling the rise of extremist movements such as Golden Dawn in Greece. The party, branded as neo-Nazi by opponents, has soared in popularity as Greece sinks deeper into a debt-fueled morass.Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Front in France, told AP Television News that the EU is “massively rejected by Europeans” and doesn’t deserve the prize.“This is practically a provocation considering the suffering of millions of Europeans who today see themselves led by the European Union to a veritable economic and social war,” she said. “Three years ago, it was Barack Obama who won it while he was engaged in military wars. So this Nobel Peace Prize has actually become a Nobel prize of war.” Top holiday drink recipes The region is the United States’ largest export customer and any fall-off in demand will hurt U.S. businesses _ as well as Obama’s election prospects.____Ritter reported from Stockholm. Gronnevet reported from Oslo. AP reporters Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm, David Rising in Berlin, Elena Becatoros in Athens and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report. Don Melvin can be reached at http://twitter.com/Don_Melvin. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Nor will it provide solace to the unemployed.“For them, people may even think that this is cynical,” said Paul De Grauwe, an economist with the London School of Economics. “If I were living in Portugal or Spain or Greece, I would be upset about it: `They are giving this prize to these people in Brussels, and they are the source of my misery.’”Still, there seems little doubt that the European Union has played a major role in bringing peace to a continent that had known precious little of it.Growing out of the devastation of World War II, the premise of the project was that closer economic interdependence would ensure that centuries-old enemies never again turn on each other. The EU is now made up of 500 million people in 27 nations, with others lined up to join.“If we ask Europeans anywhere, in any country, of any age, including the youngest ones, they can’t imagine that there could be war in Europe today. It’s over,” said former French President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, who was born in Germany, fought in World War II and drafted the first version of the EU constitution.Jacques Delors, often dubbed Mr. Europe for his efforts as European Commission president to push toward greater unity in the 1980s and `90s, said the prize was “a great satisfaction for the founding fathers of Europe, and all the activists for the European cause over the years who tried to make progress on what was for them, at the outset, a dream.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Strong reactions to the choice for the $1.2 million award crackled Friday over social media.“The EU is a unique project that replaced war with peace, hate with solidarity. Overwhelming emotion for awarding of (hash)Nobel prize to EU,” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter.“Nobel prize for the EU. At a time Brussels and all of Europe is collapsing in misery. What next? An Oscar for Van Rompuy?” said Dutch euro-skeptic lawmaker Geert Wilders, referring to Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.Normally, the prize committee either honors lifetime achievement or promotes a work in progress.This year’s award does both, Jagland said, noting it “looks backward as well as forward” by recognizing the EU’s historic role in building peace, even as nationalist forces that once tore the continent apart are again on the rise.The citation noted the democratic reforms the EU demands of nations who join. It referred to Greece, Spain and Portugal, which joined in the 1980s after emerging from dictatorships, and to the talks with Balkan nations seeking membership following bloody wars in the 1990s.Europe’s stumbling economy is making it harder for economies around the world to recover and international policymakers are urging more decisive action from the region’s governments to deal with the crippling debt crisis. Associated PressBRUSSELS (AP) – The European Commission president had no reason to expect anything but another bad day. Then, out of the blue, after three years of back-biting and seemingly daily financial crisis, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering peace on a continent long ravaged by war.It was a badly needed morale boost for a 60-year-old union in the midst of a midlife crisis.Even as it announced the award Friday, the Norwegian prize jury warned that the financial crisis challenging the 27-nation bloc’s unity could lead to a return to “extremism and nationalism.” It urged Europeans to remember the EU’s role in building peace and reconciliation among enemies who fought Europe’s bloodiest wars, even as they tackle the economic crisis that threatens its future. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories last_img