Ticks Sought For Studies On Lyme Disease

first_imgNova Scotians are encouraged to send in ticks found on themselves or their pets to be studied for the bacterial infection Lyme disease. The Department of Natural Resources and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been looking for and studying blacklegged ticks since 2001 and have found established populations in Lunenburg County and Halifax Regional Municipality. The ticks also appear to be established in the Moose Harbour/Mersey Point area near Liverpool. Collection and testing of ticks this spring indicates that about 7.5 per cent of ticks in Bedford’s Admiral’s Cove Park and about 30 per cent of the ticks in the Lunenburg area carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a preventable, treatable illness that can be transmitted by a blacklegged tick once it has attached itself to the skin for about 24 hours. Locations to be studied are determined by the number of blacklegged ticks sent in from any area of the province. Areas identified for further study this year include Antigonish County, Mersey Point/Moose Harbour in the Liverpool area, the area surrounding Admiral’s Cove Park and an expanded area of Lunenburg County. “If we get a few ticks from an area that we haven’t identified yet, we’ll consider adding that to the list,” said Jeff Ogden, field entomologist with the Department of Natural Resources. “That’s why the ticks we get from the public are so important. It takes several days to collect in any one area so it would be impractical to choose locations randomly.” The public is urged to send ticks they find to the Museum of Natural History in Halifax or to drop them off at a local Department of Natural Resources office. The ticks should be placed in an empty pill bottle and labeled in pencil with the date and specific geographic location where the ticks were found. Blacklegged ticks will be sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for testing. Lyme disease can be identified by a “bull’s eye rash”, and may be accompanied by fever, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches. Serious symptoms such as facial palsy, heart problems or chronic joint problems may also develop. It is treatable with commonly-used antibiotics. There have been four reported cases of Lyme disease in the province since 2002. While the risk of becoming infected with Lyme disease is still low, health officials are encouraging Nova Scotians to take precautions. “We don’t want people to stop using parks or enjoying the outdoors because of concerns about ticks,” said Dr. Robert Strang, medical officer of health for Capital Health. “At the same time, Lyme disease is preventable so it makes sense for people to avoid tick bites.” Precautions should be taken while working or playing outside or hiking in the woods in areas where blacklegged ticks may be found. These precautions include: wearing a light-coloured, pants, long-sleeved shirt, and socks so ticks are more visible, and enclosed shoes; pulling socks up over pant legs and tuck in shirts; spraying clothing with an insect repellant containing DEET (should not be applied to pets); checking clothing and exposed skin for ticks; checking pets for ticks before they enter the house; keeping grass well cut to minimize suitable habitat for ticks on property. There are many kinds of ticks found in Nova Scotia. Images of the blacklegged tick, instructions on removing ticks and general information on Lyme disease is available online at www.gov.ns.ca/health/ocmoh/lyme.htm . An open house will take place Wednesday, July 19th, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Bedford Public Library. Robbin Lindsay from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Dr. Strang will be on hand to answer questions about ticks and Lyme disease, and photos of blacklegged ticks will be on display.last_img read more

Remains of four people found in charred vehicle in northern Ontario police

first_imgTIMMINS, Ont. – Police were continuing to investigate after the charred remains of four people were found Friday in a burnt-out car in Timmins, Ont., officials said Sunday, noting that they were not yet sure whether the person responsible was among those who died.A spokesman for the Timmins Police Service said the car, burnt so badly that police were not initially able to say whether it was blue or green, was discovered on Friday night.Marc Depatie said investigators don’t believe there is any danger to the community at large.“The Timmins Police Service wants to make it very clear that there is no need for public anxiety,” he said at a news conference Sunday. “Indications are this person had knowledge of and was familiar to the victims.”He noted that investigators have a good idea of who the victims might be, but are waiting for confirmation from a post-mortem examination in Toronto before releasing any information.Depatie said officers have already reached out to family members of the people believed to be the victims in an effort to brace them for the worst.Police also know who owned the burnt car, but said only that the person is from Timmins.Depatie said police are still on the scene of the incident south of Timmins and are collecting physical evidence at the site. What remains of the car, he said, was taken to Toronto for a thorough examination by forensic investigators.“We’re hoping that members of the public who may have seen the vehicle in that area or within the city of Timmins will come forward with information that can help determine a timeline leading up to the tragedy,” he said, adding that the city is grappling with the extent of the incident.“A loss of life of this gravity and magnitude is certainly out of the ordinary for the Timmins Police Service and the general area,” he said.“This is certainly a benchmark occurrence.”last_img read more

Blackhawks Jonathan Toews speaks out on climate change in Instagram post

first_imgHockey star Jonathan Toews says the only way to solve climate change is to set aside personal agendas and think on a broader scale.The Chicago Blackhawks captain and two-time Canadian Olympic champion posted a picture on Instagram Friday night of himself walking through a wooded area, along with a lengthy message related to recent events.“Do you believe in climate change?,” the post started. “Whether you’re super pumped that we are putting ‘Americans first’ or you are absolutely outraged at the idea that we are taking yet another step backwards in dealing with a major global problem, the only way to solve this argument is to try and set your own agenda aside and see how this affects everybody.”The issue of climate change has been a hot topic after President Donald Trump decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-change agreement on Thursday. Trump rejected the 190-country agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president’s decision because America’s pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures.“The only lie we tell ourselves is that we are more special than other life forms on the planet. Well, we’re not,” the post continued. “Even if we weren’t responsible for any major climate catastrophes heading our way, shouldn’t we still do our part to preserve what we have left? The same way that we shouldn’t wait till our bodies break down completely to start doing the right things to stay healthy, let’s not wait till it’s too late to do something.“I am not saying I am perfectly ‘green’, but the first step is to keep an open mind and try to learn what you don’t already know.”Toews, a Winnipeg native and three-time Stanley Cup champion, attracted immediate attention with the post getting over 10,000 likes within an hour on Instagram and numerous shares on Twitter.— With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

Jet union seeks Govt intervention to avoid KFAlike collapse

first_imgMumbai: The officers and employees union of the grounded Jet Airways Thursday sought government intervention to avert a Kingfisher-like collapse of the carrier, which could not take off after halting operations temporarily in October 2012. Alleging some “motives” behind the series of developments at the carrier, which eventually forced it to shutter services temporarily from Wednesday night, Jet Airways Officers & Staff Association president Kiran Pawaskar also demanded a probe, preferably by the national investigation agency CBI. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAfter flying for over 25 years, Jet Airways was grounded last night when its final flight, a Boeing 737, touched down at the Mumbai airport early Thursday after departing from Amritsar. The country’s oldest private airline flew its maiden flight nearly 26 years ago from the city airport to Ahmedabad as an air taxi operator. “The situation is very bad for employees. As many as 16,000 permanent employees don’t have work today. I told the management that efforts should be made to resume operations as early as possible,” Pawaskar, who is also an NCP lawmaker, said asking why the airline did not clear employees dues before suspending services. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAirlines’ chief executive Vinay Dube had Wednesday said the airline did not have an “answer” at present on the fate of its employees during the on-going stake sale process. The airline senior management, pilots and engineers have not be been paid since January while the other categories of employees have also not received their March salaries. “Employees are ready to work. They are experts at what they do because they have been working for 25 years. We are not going to run away. We will remain here,” Pawaskar said. He said the SBI-led consortium, which now the controls the management, can resume operations after requesting the Prime Minister’s Office or finance ministry for the required funds. The consortium had rejected the airline’s appeal for Rs 983 crore lifeline, of which Rs 240 alone were to be used to disburse the pending salaries, Pawaskar added. He also asked why banks have not cleared the promised Rs 1,500 core loan to the airline even two weeks after chairman Naresh Goyal stepped down from the airline two weeks ago–the main condition of the lenders to lend more money. He also said none of the jobs are lost so far and that the employees will continue to claim salaries as long as they are with Jet Airways.last_img read more

Brocks newest Canada Research Chair studies early nutrition and bone health

Wendy WardPreventing the debilitating effects of osteoporosis when we’re older could in part come down to what we eat as infants.Research done by Brock’s new Canada Research Chair, Wendy Ward, shows that early diet could help lead to a lifetime of healthier bones. There are no ideal treatments for osteoporosis. But prevention strategies that target the earliest stages of life may be the key to preventing poor quality of life and even death – both potential effects of osteoporosis-related fractures.Ward, Brock’s 12th Canada Research Chair, will explore this further in a laboratory in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex.As an associate professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Ward will be part of the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology with a cross-appointment to Community Health Sciences. She is also a member of the Centre for Muscle Metabolism and Biophysics.Working in a new lab in the Cairns complex is just one of the exciting opportunities at Brock, Ward said.“I have a strong desire to work in and contribute to the community in which I live,” the St. Catharines resident said. “I am excited by the opportunity to bring a leading-edge scientific research program to Brock and within that program, train tomorrow’s leaders in health-related fields.”Ward’s arrive is outstanding news, said Joanne MacLean, Interim Dean of Applied Health Sciences.“Dr. Ward brings tremendous expertise and experience to Brock, and her research will have vital societal impact for improving health and well-being,” she said.Ward’s research shows that enhancing the diet with soy isoflavones, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamin D could offer long-term favorable benefits to musculoskeletal development using experimental models.This research is part of an emerging scientific field referred to as nutritional programming. The field involves the addition of food bioactives or nutrients in foods at specific stages of early development to change the structure or function of an organism.While early diet may set a trajectory for better bone health at adulthood, Ward is careful to note that this is only one part of establishing healthy bones that are less prone to fragility fractures. Lifestyle choices, including diet and lifelong exercise, impact bone health as well.Ward was a tenured professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine before coming to Brock.Her research program is funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and in part by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. It will bring new imaging equipment, funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, to the Cairns complex.Ward has published numerous articles and book chapters about nutrition and bone health, and chapters on nutrition and women’s health issues, particularly osteoporosis. She has co-edited two books and authored textbook chapters on the topics of micronutrients, herbal preparations and nutritional supplements. She has also received a Future Leader Award from the International Life Sciences Institute. read more

Ohio State mens hockey travels almost 4000 miles to face Alaska

Ohio State men’s ice hockey coach Mark Osiecki said the biggest obstacle this weekend for his team might not be its opponent. After all, Central Collegiate Hockey Association foe Alaska is almost 4,000 miles away from the Schottenstein Center. “The challenge is just getting there and trying to get back to normal as quickly as you can,” Osiecki said of the trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, for its series against the Nanooks. Only one point separates OSU and Alaska for fifth place in the CCHA standings and a first-round bye in the conference’s tournament which starts on March 8. Osiecki called Tuesday’s practice “an outstanding day” and said he believes his team will be ready for Alaska’s high-speed attack. “They’re fast and they get after you,” Osiecki said. “Their system is their transition, is their speed, is their compete level. They’ll be tough to play against up there.” OSU (11-11-6, 10-6-4-1 CCHA) left for Fairbanks Wednesday in order to get acclimated with the four-hour time difference. The team is coming off a win against Notre Dame Friday and a shootout loss against the Irish Saturday. Sophomore forward Max McCormick said Tuesday he was looking forward to the trip across the country. “It’ll be a long trip, but I have never been to Alaska, so that will be kind of cool and it will be interesting to see (what) it’s like up there,” McCormick said. Junior forward Chris Crane will be making his second trip to Fairbanks and remembers travel issues two years ago, the last time OSU played there. “We got there and none of our luggage is there, our hockey bags aren’t there,” Crane said. “We can’t even brush our teeth.” Alaska (12-10-4, 10-9-3-1 CCHA) is coming off two losses at Miami last weekend which snapped a six-game win streak. The Nanooks house one of the few Olympic-sized ice sheets in the country. Crane said he believes the larger rink will be beneficial for the Buckeyes. “I think the Olympic-sized sheet actually helps us with our speed,” Crane said. “We are a high-end speed team.” McCormick said previous long trips to places such as Lake Superior State have helped he and his teammates learn how to get their bodies ready to play. Crane said he agreed with McCormick that staying focused is important. “I think it’s important to emphasize just staying concentrated, staying hydrated throughout the day,” Crane said. “Getting the rest and maybe carrying a pillow on the plane so you’re comfortable and not sore when you get off it.” The series is the only road trip for OSU in February. The teams are set to square off at 11:05 p.m. EST Friday and Saturday night at the Carlson Center. read more

Ohio State mens basketball looking to get the momentum going its way

Senior center Amir Williams (23 in white) celebrates during a game against Michigan on Jan. 13 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 71-52.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s basketball team hasn’t won two games a row since the first week of 2015, but the Buckeyes have an opportunity to change that coming up.And senior forward Sam Thompson said it’s of utmost importance to take advantage of that.“Any time you have a chance to get two in a row at home, we have to get it,” Thompson said during a Saturday press conference.The Buckeyes (15-5, 4-3) are scheduled to take on Indiana (15-4, 5-1) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center, just over two weeks after losing to the Hoosiers on the road.Since that matchup in Bloomington, Ind., which resulted in a 69-66 loss, OSU has won two of three games, but the two wins were split by a loss to Iowa. Coach Thad Matta said his main focus heading into Sunday’s matchup is simply finding a way to string wins together.“I think that’s the biggest thing I want with these guys, lets try to win a couple in a row,” he said during the press conference. “Lets get the momentum going back on our side.”The Buckeyes tasted some of that momentum with a win in their last outing — a 69-67 triumph over Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. But even in that game, OSU struggled out of the gate as the Wildcats took an early 8-0 lead.Despite the early deficit, Thompson said there was a silver lining that came with falling behind and then climbing back, but the Buckeyes still haven’t found the groove that Matta has been hoping for.“To get down the way that we got down on the road and to be able to battle back the way that we did was big for us,” he said. “Obviously it was just one game, and in order to hit that stride that he (Matta) was talking about we have to do it consistently. But I think that that’s a good building block.”After starting the season 11-2 in non-conference play, OSU lost three of its first six Big Ten matchups. That stretch included two losses to Iowa, the loss to Indiana and just two double-digit victories.Matta had gone with the same starting lineup — barring one wrinkle due to an injury to senior center Amir Williams — throughout the season before the matchup with Northwestern. Against the Wildcats, both Williams and sophomore forward Marc Loving found themselves on the bench to start the game.With redshirt-senior center Anthony Lee and freshman forward Jae’Sean Tate in the lineup instead, the Buckeyes still didn’t start off well, but eventually found the necessary spark to win the game.Tate said he “inferred” that he would start heading into the game based off of practice, but added it doesn’t matter to him whether or not he comes off the bench.“The mindset didn’t change at all, starting or coming off the bench I still have the same mindset,” he said. “Bring energy, try to bring energy.“So starting wasn’t really a big deal, just as long as we win.”Matta said he’s not sure which lineup will start against Indiana, but added he wants to spark competition in practice with the changes in playing time.“I told our guys yesterday, I said ‘look, I don’t know who I’m going to start on Sunday, and it’s nothing that anybody’s done. I just want to compete in practice, and see what happens,’” he said.Now with another shot at Indiana on the horizon, Thompson said whoever is on the court has to be ready to guard the opposition one on one.“We know that dribble penetration and keeping the ball in front of us is gonna be huge,” he said. “They usually have five guys that can make plays off the bounce. Five pretty interchangeable guys on offense.”Matta said the Hoosiers play a style of offense different than the majority of teams the Buckeyes will face, and added both teams are playing at a higher level than they were in Bloomington.“They’re playing better right now, and I think we’re playing better right now,” he said.In order to make sure OSU is the team playing at an even higher level at tip-off, Thompson said the Buckeyes have to come out amped up and ready to go, which has been lacking at the times OSU has struggled this season — especially in the previous matchup with Indiana.“I think just from the jump they came out with more energy, more intensity,” he said. “And we have to change that tomorrow.” read more

Northern Iowa Played Two Of The Tournaments Most Exciting Games

Northern Iowa Played Two Of The Tournaments Most Exciting Games

Texas A&M’s comeback against Northern Iowa was pretty epic — like, 3,000-to-1 odds against epic. In this video, Neil Paine and Reuben Fischer-Baum talk about how FiveThirtyEight’s in-game win probability model saw the game unfolding and where it ranked according to our excitement index. They then settle last week’s wager about who could predict the most exciting games of the tournament’s first two rounds.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions.

BBC weather presenter Dianne Oxberry dies aged 51 after a short illness

Burden said she got to know Oxberry in the last couple of years “as part of the BBC Women’s Network and she was an incredible support and a great champion for her female colleagues here at the BBC”. Video: Peter Kay hijacking Dianne Oxberry’s weather forecast She hashtagged the tweet BBC Women.Good Morning Britain’s Ross King tweeted: “So sad and shocked to hear of the  passing of Dianne Oxberry. A very talented and lovely lady. Thoughts with Ian  and the family. Fond memories of our days on The 8.15 From Manchester”.Colleague’s emotional on-air tributeDianne Oxberry’s weather presenter colleague paid an emotional tribute to the broadcaster live on air.Simon King told Radio 5 Live how the death of the North West Tonight meteorologist, aged 51 after suffering from cancer, had come as a shock.”It’s devastating, absolutely devastating. It’s been such a quick process, this whole thing,” he told the station’s breakfast show.”It’s hit us like a ton of bricks, it really has. “Presenter Rachel Burden asked him: “Are you OK to do the weather?””Yes,” he replied, his voice breaking, before saying: “So, excuse me,” and going on to regain his composure and present the forecast.Co-host Nicky Campbell told him afterwards: “You did her proud, Si.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “I can’t tell you the impact she made in talking to other people and supporting them in their own personal journeys,” she said.”She was a really loyal and very generous colleague to people here.”Campbell described Oxberry as a “wonderful person, sweet and warm woman”.He added: “She kept it real. She was so genuine on the air. There was no affectation at all.”The best broadcasters, something we all aspire to, is to be exactly what you are on the screen and off the screen and on the radio and off the radio and she did that brilliantly.” I’ve just been listening back to a show Di and I did for @BBCRadioManc last year playing our favourite songs. It has put a smile on my face after what has been a rather awful morning. She just did that, so warm and lovely. Fabulous taste in music too!#DianneOxberry pic.twitter.com/beKqz6DEfw— Simon King (@SimonOKing) January 11, 2019 Sunderland-born Oxberry joined North West Tonight after studying at the Met Office College.She also presented a number of programmes on BBC Radio Manchester, including the Breakfast Show.Roger Johnson, a presenter on North West Tonight, said: “We are heartbroken by Dianne’s death. It is almost impossible to comprehend. Dianne was North West Tonight. It’s hard to imagine the programme without her.”Our thoughts are with Ian and all of Dianne’s family. We hope they will find some comfort in the knowledge so many people loved Dianne and will miss her terribly.”Annabel Tiffin, also a presenter North West Tonight, said: “This is an enormous shock for all of us. I can scarcely believe Dianne has died. She was loved by our viewers, by all of us at North West Tonight. My heart breaks for her family.”Di was so talented, so beautiful, so funny and so full of life. On screen she was a star, radiating warmth and good humour. Off screen, she was a wonderful colleague, a loyal friend, and I will miss her terribly.”Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey paid tribute to Oxberry on Twitter, writing:  “Dianne was a formidable voice for women at the BBC, a fantastically supportive  colleague. Thank you for speaking up.” BBC weather presenter Dianne Oxberry has died aged 51 following a short illness, the broadcaster has said. Oxberry worked alongside Simon Mayo and Steve Wright on Radio 1 before moving to North West Tonight in 1994, where she worked until her death.She was the main weather presenter on the programme and also fronted regional current affairs show Inside Out North West.Oxberry, who lived in Greater Manchester, died on Thursday at Manchester’s Christie Hospital – one of the country’s leading cancer facilities.The journalist’s husband, Ian Hindle, said: “Dianne was an amazing wife and mother who embraced life to the full. She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her but also to the people who watched and welcomed her into their homes each night as if she were part of their family too.”Mr Hindle, a camera operator who worked on the same shows as her in their early career, added: “She will leave a massive void in our lives but, because of the remarkable person she was, she will forever live on in our hearts. The children and I will miss her more than anyone can imagine.”In one of her more memorable TV moments, Peter Kay hijacked one of her weather briefings. read more

I want to look at Roy before he was Keane says film

first_imgLIKE MANY IRISH football fans, Dave Tynan has always been fascinated by one of the country’s most divisive figures — Roy Keane.“I feel like he has always been there,” the Dublin-born director told TheScore.ie. “So I thought it would be fun to make a film about him.”Instead of focusing on the well-documented glory days wearing the red of Manchester United or his rollercoaster career for the Boys in Green, however, Tynan wanted to explore Roy the boy.“I guess he is somebody that we all know so well from Nottingham Forest onwards. The part that interests me is when he was Roy before he was Keane. What was this kid like when he was growing up?”Having written a script a couple of years ago, it was announced yesterday that the short film, entitled ‘Rockmount’ (after his former schoolboy club), would be given the green light by the Irish Film Board as part of their Signatures series.The storyline centres around the “demonic” Cork youngster, who is struggling to progress his schoolboy football career due to his height.It’s not a biopic,” Tynan reveals. “It’s a creative imagining of Roy as an 11-year-old. It’s the course of week where he is trying to get onto an U13s team that he is too small for basically. “Without dampening expectations, it’s not going to cover his entire career. It’s just our take on a little intense kid called Roy in Cork in 1981.“If you’ve followed him, then there are a lot of things that will make sense as it will reference things a bit further down the line in his career. It’s inspired by it but not following any historical facts.”Once Tynan’s latest project is finished, shooting for ‘Rockmount’ should begin around March, and he has emphasised the importance of casting the lead role.“The big step is finding the kid. That is everything. We’re in trouble if we don’t find that kid! The profile it has now, we better get it right. It’s a matter of going to Cork and throwing the net out to look at every kid we can. There will be open auditions and that.”As well as a couple of family members, the cast includes his football manager, a boxing coach and Keane’s pet dog. All going according to plan, there will be a trailer released this summer before a possible premiere at the Galway Film Festival.So what does the current Ireland assistant manager make of the news and will he be invited to the first screening?That would be amazing,” says Tynan. “Before we went into the interview we had to contact him through his agents so we sent him a letter stating our intentions.“I’d love him to see it but at the same time the pressure is on and we have to get it right. He’s got a sense of humour, you saw that in the Keane/Vieira documentary. So I think he would be into it. If he wants a cameo, we’ll bend over backwards!“Joking aside, if he is alright with it in general then that will be great. We’re massive fans obviously and are doing it because he’s a hero.”Film set to be made about Roy Keane’s childhoodFormer Ireland U17 star tipped to be ‘the next Jack Wilshere’last_img read more

Une nouvelle espèce de tortue de mer fossile au museau allongé

first_imgUne nouvelle espèce de tortue de mer fossile au museau allongéPubliant ses travaux sur PLoS ONE, une équipe internationale a découvert au Maroc le crâne fossilisé d’une grande tortue marine d’une nouvelle espèce et d’un nouveau genre, qui vivait à la fin du Crétacé.Le nom donné à cette nouvelle espèce de tortue de mer fossile récemment découverte, Ocepechelon bouyai, traduit l’aide précieuse apportée par le personnel de l’industrie minière marocaine dans la mise au jour de son fossile : le nom générique, Ocepechelon, dérive de OCP (Office Chérifien des Phosphates) et du mot grec Chelone (tortue). Le nom spécifique, bouyai, est un hommage à Baâdi Bouya, géologue et ingénieur en chef à l’OCP.C’est un crâne presque complet de cette tortue qui a été découvert dans la région de Sidi Chennane, dans la province de Khouribga, au Maroc, par des chercheurs du Muséum national d’histoire naturel (France), de l’Université Cadi Ayyad et de l’OCP (Maroc), et de l’Institut royal des sciences naturelles de Belgique. D’une longueur de 70 cm, ce crâne appartenait à l’une des plus grandes tortues marines actuellement connues.L’espèce vivait dans les mers peu profondes à la fin du Crétacé, il y a environ 67 millions d’années. Son anatomie frappante suggère qu’elle se nourrissait par succion. “Le dispositif d’alimentation d’Ocepechelon, un museau osseux en forme de pipette, est unique parmi les tétrapodes. La taille de l’orifice buccal peut être déduite du diamètre du tube : environ 6 cm”, expliquent les auteurs. Une petite bouche et un long museau pour attraper les proies À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Mais il convient de souligner la disproportion entre la taille minuscule de l’ouverture de la bouche et la grande taille du crâne”, ajoutent-ils. Une caractéristique qui peut étonner mais qui est en vérité loin d’être un désavantage.”Chez les Syngnathinae [poissons cousins des hippocampes], la longueur du museau, inversement proportionnelle à la section transversale de la bouche, est considérée comme un avantage évolutif, car elle réduit le temps nécessaire pour atteindre la proie. Chez Ocepechelon, le rostre allongé et la bouche ronde et petite augmentaient probablement la vitesse de l’afflux d’eau [lors de l’aspiration des proies]”, concluent ainsi les chercheurs.(crédits photo : C. Letenneur/MNHN) Le 25 juillet 2013 à 19:49 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Man dressed as clown accused of assault

first_imgA man wearing a clown costume was arrested at the Battle Ground Taco Bell after a fight early Sunday. The victim was punched in the face and suffered significant head injuries, according to Clark County Superior Court documents.Lance L. Cormican, 24, of Battle Ground appeared in court Monday on suspicion of second-degree assault. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 8.Judge Scott Collier held him on $25,000 bail. Cormican plans to hire an attorney.Battle Ground police officers arrived at about 2 a.m. on a report of a physical disturbance at the Taco Bell, 1702 W. Main St.Police said they found an unconscious 27-year-old man with head injuries. The victim, Bryan K. Descloux of Vancouver, has skull fractures, possible nerve damage, hearing loss and paralysis on the left side of his face, according to court documents. It’s unclear if the condition is permanent. Descloux was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he was listed in satisfactory condition Monday.Cormican and Descloux apparently argued in the fast food restaurant’s drive-thru over an undisclosed topic, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court. Both got out of their vehicles. Then Cormican, who was dressed in a clown costume, punched Descloux in the face and caused him to fall and hit his head on the asphalt, the affidavit says. One of the witnesses left her vehicle to help the victim, who was bleeding from his ear, the affidavit says.Cormican said he hit Descloux because he felt threatened, the affidavit says.When police arrived, Cormican was no longer at the scene. However, witnesses identified him as the suspect in the assault. Cormican and the victim did not know each other, said Deputy Prosecutor Abbie Bartlett. Patrol officers found Cormican about an hour and a half later, when he was taken into custody and booked into the Clark County Jail, police said.Cormican has no felony history in Washington state, according to court records.The investigation into the incident is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Battle Ground Police at 360-342-5200.last_img read more

Khaleda release prerequisite for fair polls BNP

Khaleda release prerequisite for fair polls BNP

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a human chain programme in capital`s National Press Club on Monday. Photo: UNB.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Monday said the government must release its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail to demonstrate its intention of holding a fair and acceptable national election, reports UNB.”We would likely to clearly say the election will never be acceptable to people if Khaleda Zia remains in jail,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.Speaking at a human chain programme, he said, “The government must release our leader (Khaleda) from jail. If they do it, we will understand they want an acceptable election.”Fakhrul said the days of the current government are numbered and the government must go as people are not with it.”A strong unity is now very essential. We will unite. Our party people and all political parties will unite to establish a pro-people government and restore democracy by removing the current monstrous government,” he said.Mentioning that Khaleda Zia, before going to jail, called for a national unity, BNP leader urged all the democratic political parties to get united to force the government for holding a credible national election under a non-party administration to restore democracy.As part of its countrywide scheduled programmes, hundreds of BNP leaders and activists formed a human chain in front of Press Club from 10:15am to 12:00pm in the city on Monday demanding Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, its standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan addressed the programme.last_img

Switch to stevia for a sweet healthy lifestyle

first_imgIn the midst of today’s hectic lifestyle, let’s spare a thought for one of the biggest threats to our health and general well-being: Excess of processed high calories and sugar. It is said that “prevention is better than cure”. Does this mean we should stop consuming food and drinks which have sugar? Maybe not. What if someone told you that you can maintain the sweetness in your life without adding any calories? And this, from a natural source with the same sweet flavour that your taste buds love? And, yes, with no harmful side-effects? Sounds too good to be true, but nature has gifted us “stevia” – a plant which has sweetness in its leaves – a sweetness that surpasses that of sugar, sugarcane juice, honey or coconut sugar. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGiven that stevia can replace unwanted sweetener calories, it can be the one tool for cutting calories from the Indian diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. Plus, it is safe for people with diabetes and is also tooth friendly.Here are some of its advantages:Stevia does not increase blood glucose: Numerous studies have been conducted on the use of stevia and its effects on consumption. The stevia plant’s leaves contain naturally sweet molecules called steviol glycosides, which can be up to 400 times sweeter than sugar, but studies have shown that stevia has no effect on blood glucose levels. Thus, one can consume it without fear of affecting the blood sugar level. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveStevia leaves have almost no calories: It’s a gift of nature that has been used in various parts of the world. The leaves have been used by Guarani Indians in Paraguay for several hundreds of years to sweeten their “matte” (tea). In the 1970s, the Japanese picked it up as a natural sweetening option. Today, it is the No. 1 sugar substitute in Japan and the fastest-growing sweetener in most markets in the developed world like France and the US.Global safety recognition: Stevia sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages in countries around the globe. Over 200 global studies have illustrated stevia’s safety for the entire family. Studies have also shown that it is safe for pregnant women. Stevia is safe for people with diabetes as it does not contain any calories or carbohydrates and therefore does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. It has zero glycemic index.Stevia v/s artificial sweeteners: Realisation of the harm caused to health from consuming excess calories from sugar was the reason that ignited the search for substitutes, or artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, aspartame sucralose and the like became popular substitutes and then went out of favour owing to concerns from public about their origin and perceived lack of safety.What evidently seals the deal in stevia’s case as a sugar substitute is the fact that it is zero-calorie, zero-fat and 100 per cent natural.Imagine your rossogulla or gulab jamun without an overload of sugar, serving your child tomato ketchup without thinking of the extra sugar and calories, enjoying a serving of ice cream, cool carbonated drink without any sugar at all. The latest varieties of star leaf stevia can make the greatest taste possible without any harm or guilt.However, one must keep in mind that, till date, the research on stevia being a non-nutritive sweetener is still inconclusive. The impact of nonnutritive sweetener on an individual’s health may depend on the amount that is consumed, as well as the time of day it’s consumed. Many stevia products available at the grocery stores have very little stevia in them. They’re made from a highly refined stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb-A), which is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Reb-A sweeteners are considered “novel sweeteners” because they’re a blend of different sweeteners, such as Reb-A, erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and dextrose (glucose). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says stevia glycosides, such as Reb-A, are “generally recognized as safe.” They haven’t approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extract for use in processed foods and beverages due to a lack of safety information.last_img read more

Adorn work zone with flavour of festivity

Adorn work zone with flavour of festivity

first_imgFrom adding a pinch of green and opting for neutral and pastel colour schemes to choosing furniture which complements the overall office interior design, there are many ways one can adorn the work zone with a festive vibe.Experts share some inputs. Add a pinch of green: Adding plants in your work space increases the productivity by 15 per cent. Bringing the nature inside your work space helps in purifying the air, improves your mood and increases your happiness. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfChoose neutral or pastel colour schemes: When decorating your office space, be sure to stay away from colours that are traditionally associated with specific religious holidays. Instead of filling your workspace with the red and green of Christmas, or the blue and white of Hanukkah, go for colours such as silver and gold, which simply say “festive”.It all starts with cubicle: One of the main elements in an office is the cubicle. People tend to spend a significant portion of their time in their cubicles and hence it has to create a positive work environment. Cubicles can be decorated with photos, posters of some motivational thoughts, colourful stationery and organizers.Furniture and seating matters: Choose your office furniture which complements the overall office interior design. You can also develop customized and ergonomic furniture based on some concepts like natural and earthy colours, upbeat and bright colours.last_img read more

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first_imgTechnology | February 20, 2013 Viztek Introduces Financial Services Arm Provides streamlined financing for Viztek product line News | PACS | July 02, 2019 Laurel Bridge and 3M M*Modal Partner to Improve DICOM Structured Reporting July 2, 2019 — Laurel Bridge Software announced an expanded relationship with 3M M*Modal, a provider of clinical docu read more Related Content News | Enterprise Imaging | July 29, 2019 Philips Announces 10-year Enterprise Informatics Agreement With Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy Philips and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Nancy, a leading academic hospital in the Grand Est… read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 02, 2019 Konica Minolta Healthcare Partners With DiA Imaging Analysis for AI-based Cardiac Ultrasound Analysis DiA Imaging Analysis has partnered with Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. to expand analysis capabilities of… read more February 20, 2013 – Viztek introduces Viztek Capital, its new financial services arm providing flexible, affordable funding options for Viztek’s full range of technology, including traditional leasing options as well as a subscription model. With years of experience delivering leading edge imaging technology, Viztek will now back its product line with financing options that create a turnkey technology acquisition solution.Viztek’s new subscription model offers customers lower-than-lease monthly payments that are easier to accommodate within strict budgets. The format is specifically tailored to making costs operational expenses with corresponding tax and insurance benefits. The model aids in allowing customers to remain current with the latest technology and Viztek products. Viztek President Joe Cermin explains, “Now, in a time of such frequent and rapid technology change, owning digital solutions has lost some of its appeal and the SaaS model is gaining popularity and momentum.  Viztek has added this financing model in order to provide customers the newest possible technology with a SaaS model.“Consolidating both imaging equipment and funding under a single business entity will streamline the digital transition process for any site in multiple ways,” explains Cermin. “Naturally, Viztek is already familiar with the quality and value of the equipment to be financed as well as with the business potential of purchasers.  Under this streamlined arrangement, imaging sites will be freed from the extensive due diligence process and lengthy credit approval to acquire financing. This will speed the entire technology acquisition procedure, making advanced technology available in an abbreviated timeframe.” Cermin notes that through the new multi-faceted model, customers will now have a single, trusted point of contact that understands their needs from multiple perspectives. In many cases, Viztek Capital can offer 100 percent financing, conserving a site’s cash and credit line for other needs. This understanding extends beyond funding to help all sites consider their technology and financial priorities concurrently. Establishing an ongoing relationship with Viztek can also streamline future equipment upgrades.Viztek offers a wide range of picture archive and communication systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS) and related information technology (IT) systems as well as digital radiography (DR) and computed radiography (CR) solutions optimized for hospitals and radiology, orthopedic, imaging centers and more. It offers complete new room and retrofit installations that enable sites to enjoy the latest technology at an affordable cost, including U-Arm and Straight Arm, offering flexibility and patient comfort. Recently Viztek also introduced the new Opal-MAMMO, a multi-modality mammography viewer and image management system geared toward high-resolution mammography images. For more information: www.viztek.net  FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | Enterprise Imaging | July 05, 2019 Hyland Healthcare Adds ImageNext Imaging Workflow Optimizer to Enterprise Imaging Suite Hyland Healthcare is launching ImageNext, a vendor-neutral imaging workflow optimizer that combines intelligent imaging… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports Radiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. read more Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | Enterprise Imaging | June 27, 2019 Ambra Health Announces Integration With Box Ambra Health announced an integration with Box to enable the sharing of medical imaging directly from within Box’s… read more News | PACS | June 26, 2019 Mini-PACS Solution for Image Management and Workflow Optimization ImageGrid Mini is a feature-rich, reliable and cost-effective image management and workflow optimization solution, pr read morelast_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

South Sudan military is accused of widespread abuses

first_imgIn another case, witnesses alleged that armed men gang-raped a 17-year-old girl and then fatally shot her, according to the U.N. report.“The government was in charge of this operation completely. They designed it, they implemented it, and they are claiming victory because of it,” said Wheeler of Human Rights Watch.South Sudan’s civil war has inflamed the country’s ethnic tensions. The Dinka followers of President Salva Kiir are pitted against the Nuer allies of former vice president Riek Machar. In Unity state, however, the fighting is mostly between the Bul, who have remained loyal to Kiir, and other Nuer groups aligned with Machar.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “They are trying to destroy our lives,” said survivor Angelina Nyaboth Chap Tang, who fled to a U.N. base in the state capital of Bentiu. “I lost my son. I lost my grain. I lost my cattle. Everything has been destroyed.”Tang said armed men killed her son in an attack two weeks ago in which her village was torched, grain stocks destroyed and cattle looted.Another survivor, Theresa Nyakama, said she lived off wild plants for a month before seeking shelter with the U.N. in Bentiu, where some 28,000 civilians have fled since the start of the offensive in May.Although both warring factions in South Sudan’s current conflict are accused of carrying out widespread abuses against civilians, government troops are increasingly reported to have committed large-scale atrocities in conflict zones where the rebels are perceived to have support.The pattern of attacks on “village after village” amounts to a “widespread and systematic” campaign by government forces to displace civilians, Human Rights Watch researcher Skye Wheeler told AP in Bentiu.“The opposition forces are dependent upon the civilian population for their livelihoods, so what the government has done in Rubkona, Koch, and Guit counties we know for sure, and perhaps in other areas as well, is implement a very large scale pattern of attacks on the civilian population, undercutting the (armed opposition’s) ability to live in those areas,” she said. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s army has burned people alive, raped and shot girls, and forced tens of thousands from their homes, according to interviews with survivors by The Associated Press and corroborated by human rights groups.The scorched earth campaign is apparently aimed at driving civilians out of the rebel-controlled parts of an oil-rich state, according to Human Rights Watch. South Sudan’s military is trying to depopulate the rural areas of Unity state through violence and hunger, said the group. The tactics, which include the alleged burning of grain stocks and the looting of life-sustaining property like cattle, are believed to be part of efforts to drain the rebels of their support base. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Humanitarian aid to the hardest hit areas has been “blocked” by the violence, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System Network, which said in a report last week that “an increasing number of households are likely to face catastrophe,” or famine conditions in which people starve to death.Evidence of “serious” human rights abuses that represent a “new brutality and intensity, including such horrific acts as the burning alive of people inside their homes,” was presented in a report released this week by the human rights division of the U.N.’s mission in South Sudan. The U.N. report also alleged widespread sexual violence.South Sudan military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer denied the allegations, saying the army’s strategy is not to drive out civilians to undercut the rebels. He called for a full investigation including representatives of the U.N., the government and the opposition.Yet survivors of some horrific attacks in South Sudan believe government troops are responsible.In a recent interview in the U.N. base, survivor Chan Wang said he watched from a river where he hid as soldiers threw two women, his male neighbor and children into a hut and set it ablaze, killing all those inside. “If they don’t shoot them with a gun, they throw them into the burning house so that they die there,” he said.center_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Online booking sites under threat

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T When it comes to booking international holidays, Australians are stepping away from the online environment and reverting back to traditional travel agencies, says Wotif head.“People have tended to go back to bricks-and-mortar agencies (when travelling overseas) and that’s been very much our view as to how the market will play out,” Wotif chief executive Robbie Cooke told AAP.According to Mr Cooke, while travellers are happy to book domestic travel online, they had “some hesitation” doing so for international travel.Pointing to an increase in package holiday bookings and the strength of the Australian dollar, Mr Cooke expects a flat first half profit for the online travel company.Wotif recently announced plans to lift its commission by one percentage point from January, with a second increase expected to follow next year, enabling the company to continue investing in sales and product initiatives.The online travel company recently expanded into the realm of holiday home rentals and added domestic and international flight booking capabilities to its portfolio.last_img read more

airberlin marks milestone to refocus its business with sale of NIKI

airberlin marks milestone to refocus its business with sale of NIKI

first_imgSource = airberlin airberlin marks milestone to refocus its business with sale of NIKIairberlin marks milestone to refocus its business with sale of NIKIairberlin today announced the sale of its share in NIKI to Etihad for a total consideration of 300 million euros. The divestment marks an important milestone in the implementation of the company’s restructuring plan announced in September. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Etihad will not majority own or effectively control NIKI.Stefan Pichler, CEO of airberlin: “We are delivering a decisive step towards our new strategy. This transaction simplifies our business, reduces our exposure to seasonal destinations and improves our financial position. Step by step, we are transforming airberlin into a network carrier focused on domestic and European traffic to feed our two long-haul hubs in Berlin and Dusseldorf.”As part of the transaction, airberlin is building and adjusting its existing European city network to concentrate on year-round business travel in the German market, Italy, the Nordics and Eastern Europe. airberlin will from the start of the summer 2017 flight schedule, and prior to the closing of the sale of NIKI, transfer slots for certain touristic destinations in Southern Europe (excluding Italy but including the Canary Islands and Madeira), North Africa and Turkey to NIKI. The transaction also includes the discontinuation of airberlin’s wet-lease agreement for 14 TUIfly aircraft.The long-haul business including the eight destinations airberlin currently serves in the US, as well as the Caribbean destinations and Abu Dhabi – the home base of airberlin’s partner Etihad Airways – remain a vital part of airberlin’s route network.The current schedule remains valid and available for booking. airberlin will inform its customers in due course should the scheduled flights be operated by NIKI.Mr Pichler added: “We are on track to adjust our capacity and simplify our fleet. Our new flight schedule will rest on the strength of our existing network and build on our current plan. We will invest further in the development of airberlin’s business travel offering, in the connectivity of our network and in the expansion of our profitable long-haul programme, particularly to US destinations.”About airberlinairberlin is a major European network airline focused on high frequency flights throughout Germany and many leading European cities to its hubs Berlin-Tegel and Dusseldorf. From its hubs airberlin operates long-haul routes to the USA, the Caribbean and the Middle East. The airline flew more than 30.2 million passengers in 2015 and operates one of Europe’s most modern and eco-efficient fleet. airberlin is part of the oneworld® alliance, a founding member of Etihad Airways Partners and a strategic partner of Etihad Airways, who holds 29.21 per cent of airberlin’s shares. More than four million travelers from around the world are member of airberlin’s loyalty program topbonus.last_img read more