Edmonton agent wins dream trip to Melbourne with Air Canada

first_imgEdmonton agent wins dream trip to Melbourne with Air Canada TORONTO – Bonnie Redding of AMA Travel in Edmonton is the winner of Air Canada’s latest contest, which launched in a recent issue of Travelweek.As the grand prize winner, Redding has won two roundtrip tickets from any Canadian city serviced by Air Canada to Melbourne, Australia, plus a seven-day tour that uncovers Victoria’s hidden gems with AAT Kings.When reached for comment, Redding said she was “totally in shock”.Air Canada’s nonstop Vancouver-Melbourne service first took off in December 2017 with four-times-weekly flights. Starting June 1, it will go year-round. Melbourne is Air Canada’s third destination in Australia, following Sydney and Brisbane. Friday, May 25, 2018 Tweet Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Canada, Australia, Contest, Travelweek Travelweek Group last_img read more

12 days of Christmas Not at this yearround hotel

first_img Travelweek Group Share Posted by 12 days of Christmas? Not at this year-round hotel Tuesday, October 30, 2018 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Tennessee PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE — With Halloween festivities winding down, holiday enthusiasts will soon be starting the countdown to the next big date of the year – Christmas.But for die-hard fans who absolutely cannot wait for the seven some-odd weeks to pass, there’s a little known hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that celebrates Christmas every day of the year.That’s right, not just 12 days of Christmas – all 365!The Inn at Christmas Place, located just 10 minutes from Dollywood, keeps itself decked out for the holidays. This includes having a full-size Christmas tree in the lobby, entryways lined with festive garlands and lights, and a Glockenspiel that plays carols twice a day.Even Santa pays regular visits – on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights – to sing to guests. On Mondays and Fridays, he reads stories to little ones.The Christmas theme is carried out in every room and suite, too. Guests wake up to festive decorations that include wreaths, reindeer sculptures and Santa-red velvet bedding.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthBut the most festive room in the house has got to be the Santa Suite, which comes complete with a six-foot Christmas tree, a life-size Santa statue, pillows adorned with Santa’s likeness, stockings hung with care, and even a Santa jacket for guests to use and cozy up in.The Inn at Christmas Place, which opened its doors in 2007, also offers a hot breakfast buffet, indoor and outdoor pools, a waterslide and a hot tub. And if you’re worried about falling behind on your Christmas shopping while you’re there, not to worry – right next door is The Incredible Christmas Place, a Christmas-themed shopping centre.last_img read more

Brand USA lays out new marketing plan at IPW 2019

first_imgBrand USA lays out new marketing plan at IPW 2019 Travelweek Group Share Posted by Friday, June 7, 2019 center_img Tags: Brand USA << Previous PostNext Post >> ANAHEIM — Brand USA took to the world stage at IPW 2019 in Anaheim, California earlier this week to announced its new marketing initiatives aimed at positioning the United States as a premier travel destination.As the premier sponsor of the annual trade show, Brand USA did what it does best: show international travellers all that the U.S. has to offer in travel experiences. While at a news conference, the organization revealed the following:• Its Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report shows that USA consumer campaigns in 14 markets generated 80% of international visitation to the U.S. A mobile giant screen strategy offered engaging stories to drive U.S. travel interest, and a second giant-screen film, ‘America’s Musical Journey’ opened in 75 theatres worldwide.• Brand USA’s third giant-screen film, ‘Into America’s Wild’, follows trailblazers John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, and Alaskan pilot Ariel Tweto, on a cross-country journey that includes visits to scenic byways, ancient homelands and little-known trails. The film will premiere in Washington, D.C. in February 2020. To watch the trailer, click here.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portal• Brand USA celebrated the success of its eighth year as the U.S. Travel Association’s premier sponsor of IPW 2019. The three-day show drives US$4.7 billion in future travel to the U.S., and had more than 1,300 exhibitor booths and over 6,000 attendees, including 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and 500 journalists representing more than 70 countries. Brand USA extended its premier sponsorship agreement through 2024. “IPW is the biggest stage and brightest light annually for Brand USA to celebrate collective success with our world of stakeholders,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. “Congrats to the U.S. Travel Association, as well as our hosts Visit Anaheim and Visit California for another very productive event.”Brand USA’s mission is to increase incremental visitation, spend and market share to fuel the nation’s economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Its FY2018 marketing initiatives helped to welcome 1.13 million incremental visitors to the USA. Those visitors spent a record $4.1 billion, generated a record $8.9 billion toward the U.S. economy, and supported more than 52,000 incremental U.S. jobs, according to a study by Oxford Economics.last_img read more

From distribution to competition insiders weigh in on AC Transat deal

first_img TORONTO — While Air Canada’s $520 million acquisition of Transat awaits regulatory approval and the green light from shareholders, industry insiders are weighing in on the impact of the takeover.As reported yesterday, potential snags for the deal still loom large, even though Air Canada and Transat have both signaled their intent to go through with the transaction, valued at $13 per share.The price tag is one of the stumbling blocks, at least for some of Transat’s major shareholders, who say the price is too low.Canada’s Competition Bureau will also need to green light the deal. Air Canada and Transat’s combined slice of the transatlantic market out of Canada is about 60%.Some have expressed concerns that fares will go up, if not on sun routes where there is plenty of strong competition, then potentially on European routes especially where there is little to no competition.That said, “there are huge synergies and efficiencies that can be realized from the merger for both companies,” says Zeina Gedeon, CEO, TPI – Travel Professionals International.Gedeon says she has been fielding calls about the acquisition since Air Canada and Transat announced they were in negotiations. “We have enough competition on the leisure route and the European routes that there should be no impact. We keep thinking inwards about us but we are forgetting the positive impact this would have on brining more tourism from Europe to Canada, more spending in Canada, more jobs in Canada. This is positive for everyone.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthChristine James, CTM, Vice President Canada, TL Network Canada agreed that competition is strong particularly on sun routes. “It’s too early to predict what the impact will be on the industry overall. However there’s still healthy competition and lift to the sun destinations so I don’t see a negative fallout in that regard. From a TL Network perspective, we don’t have a partnership with Transat but we have a strong relationship with Air Canada Vacations so I believe there’s a potential upside for our Member agencies.”Joel Ostrov, President – Canada East Region – Direct Travel, says he “totally supports this transaction”. Ostrov, based in Montreal, has a long history in the travel industry, starting his industry career at 22 years of age right out of university, and grew his first agency, Partners In Travel, into a Montreal success story. He followed up in April 2000 with the creation of Vision 2000 Travel, now Vision Travel, and then merging with Direct Travel in 2017.Brian Robertson, President, Vision Travel Solutions, a Direct Travel Company, works in tandem with Ostrov to head up the company in Canada.Says Ostrov: “I have seen so many airlines come and go in Canada, from Nationair, to Jetsgo, to Wardair to Canada 3000 to Intair, to Roots Air, to Royal Airlines and many many others. The population in this country is simply not large enough to sustain the new entrants that have come and gone in my 42 years in the industry.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionOstrov adds: “Air Transat, and Transat the corporation (including all divisions) has certainly been one of the longest-lasting of these niche carriers, but now finds itself in a money-losing position which as we all know is not sustainable. Joining forces here in Montreal with another Quebec-based carrier like Air Canada, will ensure most if not all of the jobs will be protected.“Yes, we lose one more competitor in our market, but with so many foreign carriers serving the Canadian market, there is adequate if not abundant competition to keep Air Canada in check and not be able to gouge the consumers.”The fact that Air Canada’s acquisition of Transat would include retail distribution arm TDC was top of mind with many retailers.Air Canada’s acquisition of Transat, including TDC, would give Air Canada a sizeable foothold in retail distribution. Gary Gaudry, President, Maritime Travel, says Maritime Travel is watching the potential deal with eyes wide open. “We are taking a wait and see approach to this merger. The competition in sun destinations and Europe, and the fact Air Canada will now have distribution, are both of interest to us.” << Previous PostNext Post >> From distribution to competition, insiders weigh in on AC, Transat deal Share Friday, June 28, 2019 center_img Tags: Air Canada, Air Transat Travelweek Group Posted bylast_img read more

Watercress The garnish that fights breast cancer

first_imgThe peppery taste of watercress is due to the compound phenethyl isothiocyanate, which blocks the action of a protein that helps cancerous tumors grow. Scientists also found that watercress turns off signals sent out by cancer cells for more oxygen and blood, and increases the ability of healthy cells to resist free radical damage (which is also thought to be a precursor to cancer). Although the headlines are appealing, the studies involved used very small samples and are not conclusive. More research into watercress needs to be done to validate these claims. However, watercress is considered a super food, as it contains many nutrients and soluble fiber. For example:B vitamins and glucosinolates, which support liver function and thus our ability to detoxify the body. A sluggish liver can lead to many health problems including fatigue, poor digestion, mood swings and poor memory. A relatively high quantity of vitamin A, a nutrient that helps maintain the health of membranes i.e. our skin and internal membranes such as our intestines. A good source of specific phytonutrients, including lutein, which can maintain eye health, as well as antioxidants which can help protect cells from free radical attack and consequent DNA damage, which can influence the aging process and contribute to the development of cancer. Zinc and vitamin C, both of which help maintain overall health as well as support the immune system. Vitamin K. This has been in the news lately, with researchers discovering a barrage of health benefits such as preventing osteoporosis and heart attacks as well as the previously known benefit of blood clotting. However, be aware that the version of vitamin K from watercress only supports blood clotting, although in the body it can be converted to the bone density and cardiac protecting version. As vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, consuming your watercress with a little fat such as olive oil will help absorption in the body.One caution with watercress is that it is naturally high in iodine. Given that salt is fortified with iodine here in Costa Rica, anyone with hyperthyroidism should take care with watercress consumption. It can also interact with some common drugs such as blood thinners and antibiotics. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you are concerned that your meds could be causing such problems.We can thus conclude that although it is not certain that watercress can prevent cancer, it should be beneficial to your health when included as part of your daily or even weekly diet. Try it in wraps, sandwiches, salads, pesto, as a soup or simply as a generous garnish. Julie Godfrey Julie Godfrey BSc (Hons) is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). See www.foreverhealthyco.com or email jgodfrey@foreverhealthyco.com.News source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1315257/Watercress–garnish-fights-breast-cancer.html Facebook Comments Based on results by researchers at Southampton University in England, scientists believe that a daily portion of watercress may help combat breast cancer. This is not a recent revelation, as five years ago Irish scientists found that a daily intake of watercress reduced DNA damage to blood cells. DNA damage is considered a cancer trigger. No related posts.last_img read more

Threecourse alfresco power lunch anyone

first_imgOne of the tempting desserts at Escazú’s Caoba Lounge. No related posts. Caoba Lounge in Plaza Tempo Escazú, located in the eponymous suburb to the southwest of San José, specializes in new European cuisine. The restaurant’s cocktails and tapas are at the top of the priority list, but the menu extends far beyond.Upon entering, guests are given an option to comfortably dine indoors or take a seat on the patio, where fresh air is always on tap. On a breezy afternoon, sipping a basil lemonade is about as refreshing as it gets, though iced tea and carbonated beverages also available. For those who prefer signature alcoholic libations, Caoba’s mojito and green sangria will do the trick. Rebecca Aguilar The menu describes the sumptuous choices in both Spanish and English, but servers are also well-versed on the restaurant’s fare. Possibly the best excuse to check this place out is the three-course lunch special, which comes with a beverage, an appetizer, an entree and dessert.Recommended starters include the mango caprese, a ripe mango with mozzarella cheese, and arancini, made with risotto and Brie surrounding carrots and peas, placed over an avocado aioli.Main course choices run the gamut, from chicken sandwiches to lobster. The fresh pasta comes with tricolored noodles, cherry tomatoes, spinach and beets, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Order the “Entraña de res,” and you’ll be presented with an elegant platter of lettuce salad, slices of beef and yucca.Dessert is – as usual – the toughest choice of all. If you know how to choose from ice cream, Chocolate Forest (brownie and mousse) and a peanut-butter-infused treat accurately dubbed “Temptation,” please explain.The food at Caoba is quite good when the seasoning is kept under control, and for the most part, dining there was a delightful experience. The restaurant staff was friendly and helpful, offering suggestions and explaining exactly what goes into each dish.Prices for lunch and dinner dishes range from $11-17 per person. The lunch special costs $13, but you’ll try several items on menu. Desserts run between $5-8 each.Caoba Lounge is located in Plaza Tempo, on the Próspero Fernández Highway next to CIMA Hospital, in the southwestern San José suburb of Escazú. It is open from Monday through Saturday, noon-midnight on weekdays and noon-2 a.m. on weekends. Lunch specials run from 12-3 p.m. For more information visit www.caobalounge.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/Caobalounge.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican exfootballer Rolando Fonseca enmeshed in scandal over presidential trip

first_imgNo related posts. Former Tico soccer player Rolando Fonseca confirmed he helped coordinate a request for Colombian firm THX Energy to loan a private jet to transport President Laura Chinchilla and a small delegation to Peru last weekend, and to Venezuela earlier this year.Fonseca told local TV news station Telenoticias that he works as an external adviser to the company, and he acted as intermediary between the company and Chinchilla’s administration on both occasions.“On March 14, staff members from the Casa Presidencial first contacted me to request a private jet to transport President Chinchilla to the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez,” Fonseca said in an email to the news station. “The second time they [Casa Presidencial staff] directly called the pilot to request the plane a second time to travel to Peru. He [the pilot] called me, and then I called the company’s manager in Colombia, Carlos Arturo Espinoza Torres, to ask for authorization.” In a press release THX identified Ludwing Sibaja as the Casa Presidencial staff member who requested the plane for Chinchilla’s flights.“He [Espinosa] is based in Colombia because the company has no business interests in Costa Rica, and they facilitated the plane only as a collaboration with the president,” he added. THX also estimated the cost for the round trip to Peru in $9,633.On Wednesday afternoon, Costa Rica’s Communications Minister Francisco Chacón resigned over the scandal, saying that he “was deceived by Colombian businessman Ricardo Morales, who presented himself as Gabriel O’Falan.” Morales has been questioned in his country for alleged links to drug trafficking cartels. The press release also said that Morales does not appear in any record as an employee of THX Energy.On Thursday, Chinchilla responded in a press release that she will not participate in any public activities, as she is “focused on evaluating [the situation] and taking corrective actions.”“While these measures are adopted, we will not provide any additional statements on this case. We appreciate the understanding by members of the media in what is a very serious situation that requires prudence and concentration,” Chinchilla said in a statement sent by her press office. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Maori tribesman sprinting set designer and woman from everywhere and nowhere help

first_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times UVITA, Puntarenas — The transformation has begun.On Monday morning, carpenters, artists and volunteers began converting a field on Playa Hermosa near Dominical into a tented jungle paradise for this year’s Envision Festival. Now entering its fourth iteration, Envision is a four-day music, art and sacred movement festival on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast. The psychedelic festivities go from Feb. 20-23.“Today is our first build day,” said event producer Jessica McStravick, who was handling some details at the Dominical hotel Costa Paraiso with fellow producer Justin Brothers. In between organizing transport, ticketing and press details, the producers each had time for a quick Thai massage from Whakapaingia, a burly member of the Maori tribe from New Zealand. Whakapaingia gives an acro-Thai massage Ashley Harrell/The Tico Times“We’re more ahead of the game this year,” Brothers said, referring to how construction is beginning 10 days before the festival. Last year, he said, the build began just five days prior. After a hot and rainy event in 2013, organizers have also secured a new venue, Rancho La Merced in Uvita, which contains a shady field just a two-minute walk from Playa Hermosa.At the grounds, numerous employees and volunteers were hard at work. Stage designer Gerard Minakawa, a Santa Barbara, California native who has worked for Envision for three years, was jogging around, shirtless and excited about his plans.“These are our best stages so far, no doubt,” Minakawa said, flipping through a book of sketches. In addition to the plans for each of the stages, the book included an elaborate drawing of a jack fish that he and other festival planners had caught spearfishing that morning. The stages will be designed using fabric and bamboo, Minakawa said, and will feature giant triangular shards.Across the field, another group was constructing a bamboo sky playground. Made up of ladders and platforms, the tree-supported jungle gym will serve as a meeting place for festival attendees.“I want it to be a space where people are forced to move around each other,” said playground designer Thea Rae, who said she was from everywhere and nowhere. “I think you can learn more about a person through play than through conversation.”Going there: The Envision festival grounds are located off the coastal highway between Dominical and Uvita. Free parking is available outside the grounds and a shuttle will transport attendees to the festival. Car camping and VIP parking are available for $70.Ticket information: Through Feb. 12 (today) tickets can be purchased from $80 for a Sunday pass to $265 for the entire festival for international attendees. Costa Ricans and other Central Americans can purchase tickets from $60-$125. Thursday multi-day ticket prices jump from $250-$290 for international guests and $140-$150 for Central Americans. Tickets can be bought here or at the festival gates. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Timescenter_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Related posts:Overheard at Envision 2014 Envision Festival begins 6 things you need to know about Envision Festival 2015 Retransformed: A sophomore experience at the Envision Festivallast_img read more

Peace Corps celebrates a successful year of teaching English

first_img“We started the Peace Corps TEFL program in 2010,” said Kevin R. Brown, an associate director for the Peace Corps Costa Rica. “But this year has been the most exciting.”While “TEFL” stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language,” it means different things to different people. For native English speakers, TEFL is a passport to teach and live nearly anywhere on the planet. For Costa Ricans, especially low-income students, learning English unlocks myriad opportunities. For the U.S. Peace Corps, the four-year-old TEFL program is a massive collaboration with the Ministry of Public Education, and this year, that program took great strides.“When I came here, and we started this project, we didn’t have a framework,” said Brown during a recent conversation with The Tico Times. Since that time, Brown has helped import 119 Peace Corps Volunteers who have established or strengthened TEFL education in 27 distinct regions across Costa Rica. Brown added, “I’m thrilled as to where we are. Currently I am documenting everything, so that the legacy can continue when I’m gone.”For outsiders, it is difficult to bring these achievements into focus. Instead of a united front, TEFL initiatives are a loose confederacy of educators, administrators, and volunteers, many of whom perform their tasks in isolation. Countless organizations are involved in the effort, from the U.S. Embassy to the Costa Rica Multilingüe Foundation. Hard data are scattered and hard to generalize.Still, evidence of success is increasingly visible. One recent example was “English Day,” a linguistic celebration for Heredia students that took place on the National University (UNA) campus on Nov. 27, overlapping with the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. Dozens of students presented short scenes and dialogues for their families and teachers at the Clodomiro Picado Auditorium, along with musicians and other performers.One typical example of an English skit: Four children took the stage, along with a basic arsenal of props. Two girls pretended to be U.S. tourists planning a visit to Costa Rica. They “called” a “hotelier” and confirmed their reservation. They “arrived” at the airport and took a “taxi” to their accommodations. At one point, the taxista asked, “Do you speak Spanish?”“Spanish?” said the girls simultaneously. “Yes! Puuuura viiiiida!”A wave of laughter rolled over the audience.Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, families enjoyed an outdoor lunch of tamales, empanadas, and agua dulce. When they returned to the auditorium, they watched a violinist and pianist play duets of “Greensleeves” and the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”“The students have been learning English, and I thought they should practice their language,” said Andrés Mendoza Gutiérrez, Pedagogic English Advisor for the Heredia Regional Office of Education, of his role in leading the regional celebrations, one of several English Day events that Education Ministry leaders organize around the country near the end of the year.Contrary to foreign belief, Costa Rica is not a country where “everyone speaks English,” and while Ticos can live perfectly happy lives without speaking the so-called international language, the benefits of learning English can be enormous. In order to make the instruction useful, the Peace Corps program is increasingly using “Readers’ Theater” competitions, where participants are given scripted conversations and then read the scenes aloud. Unlike the skits of English Day, students receive their scripts the day of the tournament, so that all performances are cold readings. They are judged on intonation and demonstrated understanding of the text they are reading.“We’re trying to engage students with what we call authentic language,” said Brown. “We want them to do something with the English they learn.”“It is difficult because of the environment,” opined Marcela Núñez, an English teacher in Heredia. “The students go home and forget everything, because no one in their family speaks English.”The swelling interest in English came to a head for the Peace Corps on Nov. 20, when volunteers teamed up with the Education Ministry to hold the third annual National Spelling Bee in Liberia, Guanacaste. The Bee has garnered massive popularity, and the November event took an entire day. Brown arrived at the Hotel Boyeros at 7 a.m., and it was not until 8 p.m. that the final round took place.“I think everyone was pretty tired by that point,” recalled Brown.But suspense reigned during the final round.One of the competitors was a young student named Mainor Andres Ortíz, a Talamanca resident and member of the Bribri indigenous community. According to Brown, Ortíz has had a longtime affection for Bob Marley, and his English skills are prodigious despite the fact his region’s students must often learn Spanish as a second language before tackling English, and face some of the most limited access to English instruction in the country. When Brown met Ortíz in 2011, his community didn’t yet have electricity. The young student has taken full advantage of all opportunities that have come his way, including volunteering to help younger students learn English at a Peace Corps-led JumpStart Costa Rica camp. When Ortíz prevailed at a regional spelling bee, he and some peers rode a bus 14 hours to Liberia to compete in the national event.After hours of eliminations, five students made the final round, including Ortíz. Four students were eliminated right away, and Ortíz spelled his first word correctly, but the rules stipulated that he must correctly spell two words in order to win.Here is a video of the nail-biting conclusion: Related posts:Art exhibit shows intersection of printed money, history, and nationalism Arts Festival, Star Wars convention, and other happenings around Costa Rica Passion, talent and sweat: dance festival takes the stage in San José Can’t-miss events for a truly Costa Rican Christmas Ortíz’s victory has become something of a legend in the past month, a point of pride for both the TEFL initiatives and the Talamanca community.“Our region was in tears,” said Peace Corps Volunteer Anna Ferris, who teaches at a Talamanca high school and knows Ortíz well. She added that Limón has seen significantly more participation in English-language events, including a regional spelling bee. In her own high school, participants jumped from five students to 20. “In the Caribbean this year it was a lot more developed than it was last year.”In the future, Brown and his colleagues hope for a “National English Fair,” which would attract students and teachers from all over the country. Such an event could incorporate spelling bees, readers’ theater competitions, and regular skits, among countless other activities. As in the Heredia English Day, they hope to involve visual and performing arts.“What we want to determine is, how do we generate excitement about learning English?” he said. “We’re looking at what went well and what could be improved for 2015.”Brown grew up in Owensboro, Ky., but his mother is a native of El Salvador. He spent some time educating overseas before taking the associate director position in Costa Rica. His passion for the Peace Corps has been nearly lifelong.“Coming from the States, I watched the commercials as a child, and it was something I always dreamed of,” said Brown. “I watched the [Central American] wars all through the 80s. We were affected by that, and it colors how you want to participate.”According to Peace Corps regulations, an associate director may only retain the position for five years. In August of 2015, Brown will have to step down and leave the reins to another. He expects that slowly but surely, his successors will embellish and strengthen the initiatives that he helped create.“I would stay if I could,” he said.See also: In this holiday season, finding ways to make a difference Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US womens football team not at its best before roundof16 match against

first_imgRelated posts:Women’s World Cup expanded field nets lopsided scores, but perhaps long-term gains World, meet Ms. Sloth Kong. Ms. Sloth Kong does the Gangnam Style (강남스타일) US beats Colombia, advances to quarterfinals at Women’s World Cup EDMONTON, Canada – The summer solstice drenched this far northern outpost in more than 17 hours of sunlight each day this past weekend, perhaps a symbolic forerunner to brighter days for the U.S. women’s football team.This is not to say the U.S. squad has been swathed in darkness during the World Cup campaign. They did, after all, finish atop a difficult group to remain embedded among the favorites ahead of the knockout stage of this month-long tournament. The next obstacle is upstart Colombia in the Round of 16 on Monday night at Commonwealth Stadium.But from the beginning of this adventure, a 3-1 victory over Australia that was more arduous than the final scoreline suggested, the U.S. has not looked comfortable with themselves.They have enjoyed fine moments — a good half here, a scoring spell there, dense defense throughout — but not the complete performance that punctuated much of their 25 years of excellence.They have gotten by. If not careful, though, they soon could be saying goodbye.Everything seemed in place for a run to the July 5 final in Vancouver: an emotional wave supplied by thousands of traveling fans, a mostly healthy roster, experience and positional depth. Through the group stage, though, the U.S. failed to exhibit special qualities that portend a championship.Acknowledging their shortfalls, Coach Jill Ellis and the players have leaned on the old cliché that it’s better to be playing best at the end, not the start. Fair enough, but they have made only incremental strides. They have been good but not great. Young USA fans watch the team warm up prior to a Group D football match between Nigeria and USA at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 on June 16, 2015. Andy Clark/AFPTrue, their path here was more problematic than Germany’s, France’s, Brazil’s or Japan’s. But they also were outplayed in the first half against Australia before rallying in the second. They sputtered through a scoreless affair with Sweden and cheated defeat thanks to Meghan Klingenberg’s goal-line clearance. Abby Wambach’s volley subdued Nigeria.Based on history, rankings and reputation, the U.S. has the cleanest path among the favorites to reach the semifinals. On paper, Group D, the so-called Group of Death, posed greater threats than the first two rounds of the knockout stage: By defeating Colombia, they would face an inexperienced Chinese side in Friday’s quarterfinal in Ottawa.The Colombians, who stunned France en route to their first advancement in a major international tournament, are not the slightest bit in awe of their highly decorated opponents. In recent days, they have spoken in bold, confident terms.American swagger has been more intimidating than their actual play. And because that play is not at full capacity, the U.S. team is bracing for a determined insurgence.“Colombia is a fantastic team,” Ellis said. “They’ve got a lot of technical players, a lot of special players. It’s a thoughtful transition; they try to pull you apart. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.” Colombia’s goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda, left, stops the ball during a Group F match at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup between France and Colombia at Moncton Stadium, New Brunswick, on June 13, 2015. Colombia won 2-0. Franck Fife/AFPEllis’s comments reflect her respect for Colombia’s accomplishments and perhaps restraint about her own underperforming team. She realizes that, despite the massive disparity in program resources and tradition, this is not going to be easy.Aside from an emboldened foe, the U.S. again will confront their own limitations. Through three matches, they have been defined by Hope Solo’s exceptional goalkeeping and Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn’s seamless partnership in central defense; by Megan Rapinoe’s energy and ingenuity on the left wing; by a void of creativity in central midfield; and by a rotating set of five forwards.Without nuance and surprise, new ideas and unpredictability, opponents are better prepared, if not fully equipped, for the trial.The U.S. has conceded just one goal but hasn’t scored in the run of play since Rapinoe’s late clincher against Australia. Since then, the lone goal came off a set piece near halftime against Nigeria: Wambach’s leaping one-timer off Rapinoe’s corner kick.Goal production has been a concern for months: five scoreless performances in 14 matches since December, an alarming figure given the wealth of attacking riches. The longer they go without scoring or maintaining the lead, the tighter they become. And lesser opponents have seized upon those faults.The U.S. program has not failed to reach the semifinals of a major tournament: five Olympics and six previous World Cups. And in all likelihood, the second-ranked U.S. will break from their shell, cast aside Colombia and China and forge a showdown with the top-ranked Germans in the semis in Montreal next week.Through hard times, they have always found a way, whether with ruthless domination or late-game persistence (i.e. Wambach’s unfathomable equalizer against Brazil in the quarterfinals four years ago in Germany).This squad, though, remains functionally incomplete. And unless Ellis uncovers the answers soon, the World Cup trophy is likely to remain overseas for another four years.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

US and Cuba set to formally reestablish diplomatic relations

first_imgWASHINGTON — Early Monday, before the public doors are opened and the day officially begins, the State Department will hang a new flag among the 192 banners displayed in its lobby atrium, a silent acknowledgment of the formal re-establishment of U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations after more than 54 years.A few hours later, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, on his first-ever visit to Washington, will raise his country’s flag in front of the 16th Street NW mansion that will once again become Havana’s embassy. In the afternoon, Rodríguez will meet and hold a joint news conference with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department.Members of Congress who have long supported rapprochement between the countries will attend, along with an administration delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson.President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro set the date in an exchange of letters on July 1, nearly seven months after announcing the two governments would restore diplomatic ties.While the Cubans hold their ceremony in Washington, an invitation-only event to be followed by a festive reception, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will quietly open for business without the Stars and Stripes. Officials said the flag-raising and festivities would await a visit from Kerry, expected early next month.“Legally, the [U.S.] embassy will be functioning on Monday,” said a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under rules imposed by the department. “It is not a legal requirement to fly a flag, and we wanted the secretary to be there to oversee these important events.” Kerry will also unveil new “signage” on the embassy, the official said.Like its Washington counterpart, the U.S. Embassy in Havana once served that function, before relations were severed in January 1961 and the U.S.-Cuban deep freeze began. But while the American building is a squarely built example of the utilitarian architecture of the 1950s, Cuba’s embassy here has a long and colorful history.As soon as the Cuban Embassy opened in 1919 in the Colonial revival mansion built for that purpose, it was a hit in Washington’s high society. One headline of the time enthused: “Cuban Legation Home: Style to be Louis Quinze, Building with Indiana Limestone Exterior and White Marble Interior Will Be One of the Handsomest Occupied by Diplomats in Washington.”The building is considered significant in the capital’s architectural history because it was the first purpose-built embassy in the Meridian Hill neighborhood, then being established as a diplomatic center, according to a history compiled by David Maloney, the state historic preservation officer for the District.Fidel Castro himself was feted at the embassy in April 1959, a few months after his guerrilla forces overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista.After relations were broken, the Cuban building in Washington — and the U.S. one in Havana — remained closed until 1977, when a thaw under President Jimmy Carter led to the establishment of Interests Sections, quasi-diplomat entities to handle bilateral affairs, under the auspices and protection of the Swiss government in both capitals.Each country was allowed a small number of officials, and their movements were restricted outside Washington and Havana. The new diplomatic agreements that take effect Monday allow for an expanded presence and greater freedom of movement, although neither government has released the precise details.The two governments have made clear that opening their embassies is only the first step on a long road to “normalization” and that they have many remaining differences on issues including the ongoing U.S. economic embargo and human rights, and outstanding legal claims against each other.Neither side has named an ambassador yet, and the Obama administration has indicated that it may bide its time, as congressional opponents of its opening to Cuba have vowed to block any nominee. For now, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the head of the Interests Section, will become chargé d’affaires in Havana, serving as the chief of mission.By the time it was reoccupied nearly 40 years ago, the red carpet leading up the grand central stairway in the Cuban mansion had already faded. The parties at the Interests Section were never as glittering as in pre-revolutionary days. Instead, they tended to be low-key and political in nature — attended by representatives of supportive think tanks and members of Congress sympathetic to restoring ties, if not to Cuba’s Communist government.Still, the annual Cuban cultural celebration in early January drew large crowds to sip free mojitos at a small bar called Hemingway’s set up in a salon. There was an especially large turnout as the new diplomacy got underway, with the guests including Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.Rodríguez, who will also hold meetings Monday on Capitol Hill, arrives Sunday night as the head of a 28-person delegation, including other high-ranking officials, former diplomats, and Cuban cultural and sports icons.In recent weeks, the Cubans have painted inside the embassy-to-be and cleaned up the yard, replanting and mulching shrubbery beds. A new flagpole has been installed out front.– – – – –Washington Post staff writer David Montgomery contributed to this report.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Progress but no agreement in US, Cuba talks on diplomatic relations Cuba marks Castro uprising anniversary with call for US embargo end What the US can learn from its ‘Cuban immigration policy’ US, Cuba agree to let airlines begin flightslast_img read more

Mexico slams Egypt air strike after tourists killed

first_imgMEXICO CITY,Mexico — Mexico called on Egypt Monday to swiftly investigate why a group of tourists were mistakenly targeted in what witnesses described as an air strike that killed at least two Mexicans.Egyptian authorities have not said what weapons were involved in Sunday’s attack in the Western Desert, in which 12 people died and 10 more were wounded.But six Mexican survivors told Mexico’s ambassador to Egypt that they had stopped for a meal when they “suffered an aerial attack with bombs launched by a plane and helicopters,” Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu told a news conference.The group had arrived in Cairo on September 11 and left two days later on their way to the Bahariya oasis, Ruiz Massieu said.They were near the oasis when they came under fire, she said. The Egyptian travel agency Windows of Egypt informed the Mexican ambassador about the attack.At least two Mexicans have been confirmed dead, she said, adding that diplomats are trying to identify them.The six survivors, who were taken to a hospital in a Cairo suburb, are in stable condition, the minister said.She said her ministry delivered a diplomatic note to the Egyptian ambassador in which the Mexican government expresses its “deep dismay over these deplorable events” and demands a “swift, exhaustive and deep investigation.”“The Mexican government asks that Egyptian authorities give the highest priority and urgency to clearing up this issue,” Ruiz Massieu said.She said Egyptian officials have vowed to create an investigative committee that will be headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab.Mexican media identified one of the dead as Rafael José Bejarano Rangel, a 40-year-old musician and shaman, whose mother, Marisela Rangel, was wounded in the air strike.According to Reforma newspaper, Bejarano Rangel supported indigenous Huichol communities and played local instruments.The man’s aunt, Araceli Rangel Dávalos, told Milenio television that she learned about the incident “last night in the news.”Rangel Davalos said her sister Marisela was in stable condition but that they have not been able to talk to each other.“I hope I can go be with my family soon,” she said.Egypt’s interior ministry said Sunday that a joint police and military operation was “chasing terrorist elements” when it “mistakenly” targeted four pick-up trucks carrying Mexican tourists.The ministry did not give a breakdown of the casualties but said “the incident led to the death of 12 Mexicans and Egyptians and the wounding of 10 others.”It said the tourists were in an area that was “off-limits” but did not provide an exact location.President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the incident in a tweet late Sunday. Related posts:Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 students Elena Poniatowska: Mexican student massacre reminiscent of concentration camps Peña Nieto administration wants answers after Egypt kills 8 Mexican tourists US trims aid to Mexico over human rights Facebook Commentscenter_img México condena estos hechos en contra de nuestros ciudadanos y ha exigido al gobierno de Egipto una exhaustiva investigación de lo ocurrido.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) September 14, 2015last_img read more

Brother of Colombias former President Álvaro Uribe arrested for homicide

first_imgRelated posts:Colombia is again the world’s top coca producer. Why that’s a blow to the US Colombia suspends peace talks with FARC after general kidnapped Colombia’s ‘discriminatory’ military draft under discussion as peace deal comes closer Mafia profits tempt Colombia’s Marxist rebels as peace nears A Bluradio handout photo shows Santiago Uribe, brother of Colombia’s former president and current senator Álvaro Uribe, on Feb. 29, 2016 following his arrest on suspicion of homicide and links to ultra-conservative militia. AFP/BluradioBOGOTÁ, Colombia – A brother of Colombia’s former President Álvaro Uribe has been arrested on suspicion of homicide and links to ultra-conservative militia, authorities said Monday.A younger brother of the ex-president who is now a senator, Santiago Uribe — a rancher — was arrested in the El Poblado area of Medellín, capital of Antioquia department, a source in the prosecutors’ office said.He will be tried on charges of aggravated homicide and conspiracy to commit crimes linked to the paramilitary group “The Twelve Apostles,” the source added.The group has been blamed for many killings over the years in eastern Antioquia, and the younger Uribe has been investigated in the past.Prosecutors say that during decades of civil war, the paramilitaries engaged in what they called “social cleansing,” killing — at times with police knowledge or support — people they believed had ties to leftist guerrillas.Álvaro Uribe was president from 2002-2010.The news about his brother comes as negotiators were closing in on a March 23 deadline to sign a peace deal that could bring an end to Latin America’s last armed conflict.But lingering disagreements over disarmament and other points risk delaying the accord.The conflict has killed 260,000 people and displaced 6.6 million, according to the United Nations. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Say you say me using tú vos and usted

first_imgRelated posts:El dilema of gender confusion in Spanish Who’s on first? Misadventures in language-land The amazing true story of ‘tuanis’ and ‘brete’ – words to be thankful for The real secret of the world’s happiest country: grapes and MacGyver Back in the days when many people outside of Latin America thought that all the region had to offer was tacos, Chiquita Banana, and Desi Arnaz, Spanish students learned there were four ways to say “you”: the singular and plural informal forms,tú and vosotros, normally used when speaking to close friends, relatives, children, and animals; and the singular and plural formal forms, usted and ustedes, used to express respect. These were the only forms students learned, and al diablo with the barbarians south of the border.Nowadays, attitudes have changed, and in any given Spanish class, the Latin American forms are the norm.Why all this confusion over what, to us (at least, nowadays), is just one simple word? Let’s look a bit at the history of “you” in Spanish.Tú is a direct descendent of the Latin singular informal form tu, and up until the middle ages, the Latin plural form vos was the only word for the plural “you.” Then it came to be used in a formal singular sense as well. Therefore, to distinguish between something like “you, respected person” and the plural “you,” the Spaniards added otros (others) to vos, rendering vosotros, “you others” – much like the southern “you all” or our ubiquitous “you guys.”At this point, then, there existed three forms of “you” in Spanish: tú (singular informal), vos (singular formal) and vosotros (a general plural).In 16th-century Spain, matters became further complicated. In place of vos, there came into being an even more polite form of address, vuestra merced(your mercy), used with the third person of the verb, much as we might say, “How is his majesty today?” or “Does your honor wish to speak?”Over time, this form became usted and the plural form became ustedes.With this new polite form, vos, the former polite singular, lost prestige and became yet another informal singular form, while vosotros stayed on as the informal plural.Over more time, Spaniards stopped using the redundant vos, and stuck with tú. Thus, Castilian, or standard Spanish, ended up with four forms: tú, vosotros, usted and ustedes.Tú and vosotros use their own second person verb forms, while usted and ustedes share the third-person forms with “he,”“she” and “they.”Since all of Spanish-speaking America uses ustedes for both the familiar plural and the polite plural, Spanish teachers and grammar books now teach and practice in the classroom that there are three forms of “you” in Spanish: tú, usted and ustedes. They add as a side note, of course, that vosotros exists in Spain.Well and good, we’re back to three forms. If you recently took a Spanish course back home and you’re in Costa Rica now, you should be on target, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Spanish courses are targeted at Mexican Spanish, and we have a couple of hitches in the words for “you” in Costa Rica.In the first place, Ticos don’t generally use the tú form at all among themselves, but will often use it with foreign friends because they expect it.So what do they use with their friends and family? The answer to that question depends on the Tico to whom you put the question.Everybody, of course, uses ustedes for the plural “you.” The singular is another matter. Many simply use usted all the time, while others use usted or vos.This brings us to the second hitch: some use two forms of the singular “you,” depending on whom they are addressing: usted and vos.Moreover, Costa Rica is not the only country to use vos. Much of Central America, parts of Colombia and most notably Argentina, among others, also use it.Mexico and Peru, however, do not.Why is this? And what exactly is the vos form, anyway? I’ll explain all this in a future column. Meanwhile, I suggest you stick with the old, reliable usted until you get a handle on this thing.The original version of this piece was published on September 9, 2007. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Why hello there

first_imgCosta Rican President Carlos Alvarado posed for a photo shoot while in France at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron.Alvarado participated in the Paris Peace Forum at the Villette Conference Hall, a new annual event based on international cooperation and aimed at tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace. Facebook Comments Related posts:Evangelicals make up quarter of Costa Rica’s new assembly Costa Rica prepares for presidential inauguration in downtown San José PHOTOS: Carlos Alvarado is sworn in as Costa Rica’s 48th president Carlos Alvarado urges global push to end Nicaragua crisislast_img read more

Brazilian women rebel against cesarean births

first_imgBecause a C-section entails major abdominal surgery, risks for the mother include infections, complications from anesthesia, hemorrhage and dangerous clots, and a longer recovery. For the baby, the procedure is linked to increases in premature births, breathing problems, and generally lower health scores related to depriving babies of the stimulation they normally experience as they travel through the birth canal.The reasons behind Brazil’s high rates are many. Experts say a longstanding interventionist approach to vaginal births made them more painful and stressful than necessary. All this gave C-sections a reputation as being a more predictable, safe, painless and modern way to deliver.Brazil’s statistics worry Maria do Carmo Leal, a researcher at the National Public Health School at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. She is analyzing a survey of 24,000 birthing mothers across the country and said the high C-Section rate reflects an extreme manifestation of a medical culture that treats delivery as a health problem and not as a natural process.“Here, when a woman is going to give birth, even natural birth, the first thing many hospitals do is tie her to the bed by putting an IV in her arm, so she can’t walk, can’t take a bath, can’t hug her husband. The use of drugs to accelerate contractions is very common, as are episiotomies,” she said. “What you get is a lot of pain, and a horror of childbirth. This makes a cesarean a dream for many women.” “We’re making a big effort now, offering good prenatal care, a place women trust, information that’s pertinent, so women can make their decision,” said National Health Care Secretary Helvecio Magalhaes. “We’re creating incentives for natural birth.”The program’s broad approach creates maternity hospitals focused only on pregnancy, delivery and post-partum care, reaches out to private health care plans to discuss birth options, proposes curriculum revisions in medical schools, and launches educational campaigns aimed at informing mothers of the pros and cons of surgery versus natural childbirth, Magalhaes said.In the city of Rio, a similar program invites all mothers delivering through the public health system to visit the hospital where they’ll give birth. The question _ C-sections or natural birth? _ came up in a group of 10 pregnant women during a recent tour of a brand new public maternity hospital.“I never wanted a natural child birth, no way!” said Zelia Leite Alves, who was accompanying her pregnant daughter on the visit. “I wasn’t born to feel that kind of pain.”She did her best to talk her daughter, Claudia Larissa, into following in her footsteps. To her surprise, the 20-year-old was determined to have a natural birth, as long as it was safe. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone In response, women organized marches in 13 cities. In Sao Paulo, they bared their breasts and carried posters reading “Our Children, Our Decision” while chanting “Brazil, don’t follow Rio’s example.” They enacted natural births using dolls covered with Portuguese words reading “Born Free.”After the resolution was reversed by court order July 30, about 200 people gathered in Rio to celebrate, with yet more banners and painted bellies defending women’s freedom to choose how their babies are born. Similar marches took place in 28 other Brazilian cities, where women also defended their right to reject episiotomies _ cutting the vaginal opening to prevent tearing _ and to have company during the birth. A 2005 law says women should have a companion of their choice during labor, but it’s frequently not respected.The World Health Organization warns against unnecessary surgeries, saying that while there is no ideal C-section rate, the percentage should hover between 10 and 15 percent. In China, which also has a very high cesarean rate, 46 percent of babies were delivered via the surgery in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. In the US, more than a third of births are by C-section. Private clinics are often happy to make that dream come true by turning delivery into something akin to a weekend retreat in a birth-themed five-star hotel.At the Perinatal Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, mothers can get free hairstyling, manicures and makeup sessions, and for a fee, can have their rooms decorated in a safari or teddy bear motif. Once the new mom is ready for visitors, a catering service complete with waiters can also be arranged.“There are patients who absolutely refuse to have natural childbirth, well-informed patients who maintain this position out of fear,” said Paulo Marinho, the medical director at Perinatal. “It’s a cultural situation. I’ve seen it develop over generations.”From the doctors’ perspective, the issue comes down to familiarity and economics, said Moraes Filho, of the Brazilian Gynecologists and Obstetrics Association.Brazilian women expect the doctor who sees them throughout their pregnancy to be the one who delivers their baby, not whoever happens to be on call. Second, health care plans generally pay practitioners the same for a C-section taking 30-40 minutes as for a natural birth that can last an entire day. Associated PressRIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – From the day Mariana Migon discovered she was pregnant, she knew she wanted a natural birth. So just weeks before her due date, the first-time mother abandoned her obstetrician, her health plan and her private hospital room for the free public hospital in downtown Rio _ where she had a real chance at a vaginal birth.“If I’d stayed with my health care plan and my doctor, I would have had a C-section,” said Migon, as she sat beside the incubator holding her baby girl, who was premature. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top holiday drink recipes Sponsored Stories center_img Top Stories In Brazil, where natural childbirth fell out of favor years ago, more than half of all babies are born via cesarean section, a figure that rises to 82 percent for women with private health insurance.But that trend may be turning around in a country with one of the highest cesarean rates in the world.More women are pushing for more of a say in childbirth _ whether by C-section or naturally, at home or in a hospital, with a midwife or a medical doctor. As patients in doctors’ offices and street protesters reject the pressure to have surgical births, the federal government is investing billions of dollars into a natural childbirth campaign, including the building of hospitals devoted to maternal care.“We need to have a serious discussion in this country to see what can be done to change this culture,” said Olimpio Moraes Filho, one of the head doctors with the Brazilian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Women are starting to rebel, and they should.”A tipping point came in July, when a medical regulating agency in Rio de Janeiro forbade doctors from doing home births and labor coaches known as doulas from helping out in hospitals, saying “there are many complications possible during labor that require immediate medical attention.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   “I have to admit, I’m not calm at all. It’s my first time and I’m anxious. I’m very afraid of the contractions. But this helps,” she said of the visit. “I can see this was made for us, this space is for mothers. I know the staff will be here for me.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “We have to change this culture, and get women comfortable having their child with the doctor or nurse on duty,” Moraes Filho said.In public hospitals doctors are paid R$150 ($74) for a C-section, and R$175 ($86) for a natural birth. Three-quarters of Brazilians rely on free public health care. Private doctors receive between R$ 200 ($100) and R$400 ($200) per birth, depending on the health care plan and the procedure.“It’s not that doctors are mercenaries, but what they earn to be present for a very important moment is little more than what a television repairman gets who shows up on his schedule,” Moraes Filho said. “This doctor-patient connection where the woman wants her doctor present, the poor remuneration for doctors, their need to juggle several jobs _ all this makes it impossible for a practitioner to reconcile his work schedule with unpredictable vaginal births.”In an effort to reverse the trend, Brazil’s federal government has invested $1.3 billion over the last year and a half, with another $3.36 billion allocated in a program called “The Stork Network,” aimed at “humanizing” the birth experience and educating mothers and health care practitioners on the benefits of natural childbirth. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Serb chess grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric dies

first_img Sponsored Stories Associated PressBELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Svetozar Gligoric, a legendary Serbian and Yugoslav chess grandmaster who was the national champion 12 times and one of the world’s top players in the 20th century has died in Belgrade. He was 89.Serbia’s Chess Federation says Gligoric died on Tuesday and was buried in the Serbian capital on Friday. Media in Serbia reported that Gligoric died of a stroke.“We have been painfully deprived of a truly great man,” the federation said on its website. “He was a legend.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your life “There is hardly a chess player in the world who does not know who is Svetozar Gligoric,” fellow chess master Aleksandar Matanovic said at a commemoration ceremony this week.“He always played for victory, not against his rival across the board, but the chess pieces,” Matanovic said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Gligoric was born in 1923 in Belgrade in what was then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He made his first chess career moves early, winning his first title aged 15 at the Belgrade Chess Club championship.Gligoric was from a poor family and both his parents died by the time he was 17 and World War II was about to start. During the war, Gligoric’s joined the anti-Nazi guerrillas and put his chess career on hold.After winning his first international tournament in Warsaw, Poland, in 1947, Gligoric became Yugoslavia’s champion 12 times and played at 15 biennial Chess Olympiads, collecting one gold, six silver and five bronze medals. He was awarded the grandmaster title in 1951.Serbia’s Chess Federation described Gligoric’s victory in Poland as a “historic triumph” over the greatest Soviet players of the time, including future World Champion Vasily Smyslov.The federation said that Gligoric secured 64 victories at international chess events.The World Chess Federation said Gligoric was among the top ten players of the world for many years. “He was very well known and respected as a perfect gentleman with style,” it said.In Yugoslavia, Gligoric received a number of state awards. After the former federation broke up in a civil war in 1990s’, Gligoric lived in his native Serbia. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

India agrees to let in foreign retailers again

first_imgAssociated PressNEW DELHI (AP) – India agreed Friday to open its huge market to foreign retailers such as Wal-Mart in a surprising decision that was part of a flurry of economic reforms aimed at sparking new growth in the country’s sputtering economy.The Cabinet’s decision _ after a similar proposal was withdrawn under withering criticism last year _ immediately generated optimism that a government plagued by scandal was finally breaking out of the political paralysis that had stifled reforms for months. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Since then, economic growth has fallen, with business leaders and analysts blaming the government’s inability to make needed reforms.Kunal Ghosh, a spokesman for government ally Trinamool Congress, said his party continued to oppose the plan but would not say whether it would withdraw support from the coalition.The government relaxed rules on foreign investment in the broadcast industry and in power exchanges, which provides a platform for companies to buy and sell power.The government also agreed to sell minority stakes in its oil, copper and aluminum companies as well as its Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation.The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party criticized the surprise decisions.`’We consider it as a betrayal of the country, betrayal of the Parliament by this government,” said Balbir Punj, of the BJP.The government’s decision on airline investment would allow foreign airlines to own up to 49 percent of an Indian airline. India’s airline industry has expanded enormously in recent years, but only one airline has been able to turn a consistent profit. The government-owned Air India and the private Kingfisher have both suffered from labor strife and financial problems. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the decision `’sends a very clear message to a sector that has been under stress.”But it was not clear if any foreign airlines would be interested in buying a minority interest in some of India’s most struggling airlines.The government also made a key change to its decision earlier this year to allow foreign retailers selling only a single brand to own 100 percent of their stores, a decision largely seen as aimed at bringing furniture retailer IKEA to India.The previous decision forced the company to source 30 percent of their products from small cottage industries. Now, it can source that 30 percent from any Indian industry.___Follow Ravi Nessman on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ravinessman Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories States led by the ruling Congress party would be most likely to allow them, meaning the big cities of New Delhi and Mumbai would have new shopping options.U.S.-based Wal-Mart, British-based Tesco PLC, French-based retailer Carrefour and others have been interested in entering India, a country of 1.2 billion people where retail is the second-biggest industry behind agriculture.Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said India badly needed the infrastructure investment that would come from these firms. Currently, about 35 to 40 percent of produce rots before it gets to the stores, he said.Under the Cabinet decision, at least 50 percent of the foreign investment would have to be in back-end infrastructure, such as processing, distribution and storage.`’It will generate large numbers of jobs in rural India for our men and women,” Sharma said.The government said farmers would benefit because less of their produce would rot, small retailers would become more competitive and efficient and consumers will get lower prices and better quality. The policy would also bring in badly needed inflows of investment and foreign currency.The government had agreed on the same proposal last year but then withdrew that decision because of protests from coalition partners, a capitulation that badly damaged its credibility with international investors. Quick workouts for men “This is a landmark decision in India’s economic reforms process,” said Rajan Bharti Mittal, whose retail company, Bharti Enterprises, has a joint venture with Wal-Mart.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the reforms were made to spur economic growth and to attract foreign investment.`’I believe that these steps will help strengthen our growth process and generate employment in these difficult times,” he wrote on his Twitter account, appealing for public support.However, political opponents and even some allies, decried the decision to allow in international supermarket chains, saying it would hurt small retailers and farmers.“(It) will lead to job losses for millions of our people,” D. Raja, a Communist Party lawmaker, told the NDTV news channel.The Cabinet also agreed to allow foreign investment in airlines and to sell stakes in state-owned companies. On Thursday, the government decided to reduce fuel subsidies and allow the price of diesel to rise, a move hailed by the business community but criticized by political allies and opponents.The decision on retail investment Friday would allow foreign firms to own a majority stake in multi-brand retailers here for the first time. However, individual states would have the right to decide whether to let the retailers operate from their territory. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Check your body, save your lifelast_img

Croatia 2 former Serb rebels jailed for 12 years

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) – A court in Croatia has convicted two former Serb rebel fighters for war crimes and sentenced both to 12 years in prison for raping a 20-year-old Croat woman during the 1991 war.The court in the eastern town of Osijek said Wednesday that the two broke into the home of a Croat family during the war, harassed the family members and made them watch as they raped the young woman.Judge Zvonko Vekic says the men showed “cruelty, insensitivity and ruthlessness” in committing the crime. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   The war in Croatia erupted when the country declared independence from the former Yugoslavia, triggering a rebellion by minority Serbs who formed a mini-state and expelled non-Serbs.About 10,000 people died in the conflict before Croatia retook the Serb-held territories in a 1995 offensive.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

A look at the winners and losers in the UK election

first_img___WINNERS:DAVID CAMERON: To the surprise of most Britons — even the Conservatives themselves — Cameron led his party to an outright majority in Parliament. Polls had consistently predicted an inconclusive election, with the Conservatives and their main rival, Labour, locked in a dead heat. In the end, the Conservatives won 331 of 650 seats in the House of Commons. That meant they did not have to rely on any power-sharing deals with smaller parties like the Liberal Democrats, which helped the Conservatives form a coalition government in 2010.NICOLA STURGEON: The charismatic Sturgeon led the Scottish National Party to a landslide victory after decades of Labour dominance. Although the SNP failed in September’s referendum to break away from England, the party’s popularity has surged, not diminished, in recent months. The SNP took all but three of Scotland’s 59 seats in Westminster, a huge jump from the six it now holds. Sturgeon hailed the developments as an “historic watershed” and “an overwhelming vote for change in Scotland”, and vowed to protect Scotland’s interests in London’s central Parliament.MHAIRI BLACK: Black, a 20-year-old university student from the SNP, becomes the youngest member of parliament since 13-year-old Christopher Monck in 1667. She ousted Labour heavyweight Douglas Alexander to win her seat. The political novice said in her victory speech that the people of Scotland are speaking and it’s time for their voice to be heard at Westminster. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservatives on Friday won a second term in a stunning victory that saw three defeated political rivals step down as leaders of their parties within hours.The Conservatives weren’t the only winners: In the north, the separatist Scottish National Party took control of 56 of the 59 seats, obliterating Labour in an unprecedented surge.Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers in Thursday’s election: Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, left, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, centre, and Prime Minister David Cameron attend a service of remembrance service at the Cenotaph in London to mark the 70th anniversary of VE day Friday May 8, 2015. Cameron began his second term as prime minister Friday after his Conservative Party won a parliamentary majority in Thursday’s General Election. (John Stillwell/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT ___LOSERSED MILIBAND: The Labour leader had little choice but to step down after his party returned just 232 seats, well below the 258 secured five years ago by former leader and ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Miliband said he was “truly sorry” he did not succeed after doing his best for five years, and that it was time for another leader to rebuild the party. Miliband had long struggled with his image, with many unsure whether he had enough gravitas to lead his party and the country. But opinion seemed to shift in recent weeks and some believed he had a reasonable chance of beating Cameron to No. 10 Downing Street.NICK CLEGG: Clegg and his Liberal Democrats were the biggest losers, suffering a near-total collapse after five years as the Conservatives’ junior coalition partner. Clegg managed to keep his seat, but said he would step down as party leader after what he described as a “cruel and punishing night” for the Lib Dems. The party, formerly Britain’s third-largest, retained just eight seats, down from 57 in 2010. Many of the party’s most senior and experienced politicians were wiped out. Clegg, who held the post of deputy prime minister, rose to power abruptly in 2010, when he was dubbed the “British Obama.” He knew he would pay a price for the alliance with conservatives, but said the outcome was “immeasurably more crushing than I could ever have feared.” Top holiday drink recipes NIGEL FARAGE: The U.K. Independence Party leader also resigned after losing his seat to the Conservatives, sticking to an earlier promise that he would quit as leader should he fail to be elected to the seat he sought. Farage insisted he had “never felt happier” after his defeat, with “an enormous weight lifted off his shoulders.” And he wasn’t an outright loser. For one, he said he could stand for party leadership again next year. His party, which has risen rapidly on the back of populist arguments for Britain to leave the European Union, won about 13 percent of the vote, a better result than it has ever achieved. It also played a major role in shaping Britain’s political debate, which has increasingly focused on immigration and the country’s EU membership. Still, Britain’s winner-takes-all electoral system means that despite its surge, UKIP only retained one seat in the House of Commons.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more