Friday, June 23, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Trafalgar Travelweek Group Clients can lock in 2018 Europe trips at 2017 prices with Trafalgar Posted by Share TORONTO — For a limited time, Trafalgar is offering 2018 Britain and Europe trips at 2017 prices, making it easier for agents to sell and seal the deal.The offer is available if booked by Sept. 24, 2017 for travel in 2018. Clients can save an additional 10% on select departures with an Early Payment Discount if paid by Jan. 11, 2018. Past Trafalgar guests receive 5% off their 2018 land price, and when booking two or more trips of seven days or longer, they will save an additional 2.5%.Clients lock in Trafalgar’s best price guarantee with a standard $200 deposit; if the price goes up with the launch of the 2018 Europe and Britain program, Trafalgar will honour the lowest price. If the price is lower, the difference will be refunded.“At Trafalgar, we aim to make the 2018 selling season for our valued agents as effortless as possible, by maximizing their booking opportunities,” says Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada. “We are sensitive to fluctuation of the loonie, and Preview is the best value of the year for clients who book early which guarantees their places on some our best-selling European guided vacations.”More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoSome of the most popular 2018 Preview sellers for Britain and Europe include Italy, where clients have a choice of 17 different itineraries, and Britain and Ireland, featuring 21 grand adventures on offer. There are also 13 guided holidays in the Mediterranean, 15 itineraries in Central and Eastern Europe, four Preview trips in Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia, and 13 discovery trips on Preview across Europe that range from seven to 29 days.A selection of Trafalgar and CostSaver trips from Preview are available online. And launching this week is Trafalgar and CostSaver’s North America program.
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Globus Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Travelweek Group Posted by TORONTO — Globus’ 2018 Religious Travel brochure covers 14 tours in the new and old world, available through both Globus and value-brand Cosmos to destinations from Italy, Israel and Jordan to Mexico and Poland.Tours range from six to 20 days and several feature stops in Lourdes, which in 2018 will mark the 160th anniversary of the Apparitions there. Many of the itineraries are geared to Roman Catholic travellers and include masses.The company also has the most tour options to the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany taking place in 2020, including one featuring an Avalon Waterways European river cruise.“We take enormous effort to create a balance between faith and fun,” says Stéphanie Bishop, Managing Director for the Globus family of brands in Canada.Cosmos’ always-popular guaranteed share program matches solo travellers of the same sex in order to save them the single supplement. There’s also the chance to Get Out and Give Back with a half-day of light volunteer work in its Israel and Jordan itineraries. Globus tours feature VIP access to must-see sites and behind the scenes local experiences.More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaBishop says these tours are popular with groups, including church groups, and discounted rates are available for groups as small as eight people. She adds that the company is happy to provide its expertise in customizing a group tour for as few as 20 travellers. “The opportunities are almost endless, thanks to our worldwide network and buying power,” says Bishop. Such tours include Argentina with a focus on Pope Francis, the shrines of French Canada, England’s Christian heritage and California Missions.With the company’s Early Booking Bonus program, clients booked on any 2018 Globus Europe (excluding Escapes by Globus and 2020 Oberammergau tours) or North America tour by Sept. 12 this year will save 10%. Cosmos clients who book between June 21 and July 11 this year save $50 per person. Globus launches 2018 faith-based tours with 10% discount
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Air Canada to launch new transborder routes, unveils Signature Suite at Pearson Travelweek Group Posted by Share Tags: Air Canada TORONTO — Air Canada will stretch out its wings next spring when it expands its North American network with new transborder routes.The carrier has announced several nonstop, year-round routes beginning in spring 2018 from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver. All new flights are currently available for purchase.With this expansion, Air Canada becomes the only carrier to offer services from Canada to Sacramento, Omaha and Providence. It will also offer flights from additional Canadian airports to Baltimore, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.“As the largest foreign carrier serving the USA, we are pleased to offer customers even more nonstop travel choices between Canada and the U.S., as well as the ability to conveniently connect onward through our extensive global network at our Canadian hubs on North America’s Best Airline as rated by Skytrax.”Vancouver-Sacramento begins on May 17 while Edmonton-San Francisco begins May 1. Toronto service to Omaha kicks off on May 1, and to Providence on May 17. From Montreal, both Baltimore and Pittsburgh service begin on May 17.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Sacramento and San Francisco flights will be on Air Canada Express 76-seat CRJ-705/900, while all other flights will be on Air Canada Express 50-seat CRJ.In other news, Air Canada also unveiled its new Air Canada Signature Suite for its top International Business customers at Toronto Pearson yesterday. Here, guests can dine à la carte at a complimentary, full-service restaurant from a menu created by chef David Hawksworth, or enjoy hors d’oeuvres, champagne, fine wines and cocktails.The Suite officially opens on Dec. 1 and is accessible to all full fare paying International Business Class customers, excluding upgrades and most point redemption programs. It spans 6,400 square feet, is conveniently located by Air Canada’s international departure gates at Terminal 1, and can accommodate up to 160 premium guests.“Our premium customers, particularly those who are connecting, highly value comfort and convenience when they travel. This unique airport enclave will serve as a welcome preliminary o boarding their international flights, where the premium experience will continue with our industry leading International Business class products and services, including lie-flat suites and the other amenities that have earned Air Canada recognition as the Best Airline in North America from Skytrax and Best Long Haul Airline in the Americas for 2018 from AirlineRatings.com,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT << Previous PostNext Post >>
Related posts:President Solís to weigh in on proposed changes to Internet rates Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber to hold hearing on proposed mobile Internet rate changes Social media campaign targets problems with mobile network coverage Court orders new hearing to discuss proposed changes in mobile Internet rates Customers willing to share their thoughts with the Ombudsman’s Office can do so by sending an email to email@example.com. The message should be sent no later than June 20 and must include full name, address and identification number.The Costa Rican Consumers Association also opposes the change, saying it “may be illegal,” according to the group’s vice president, Gilberto Campos Cruz, who said association members would attend the hearing. “First, we believe it is illegal to nullify the current SUTEL rate model and then unilaterally change it. This implies a change in provisions of an existing contract and is a violation of Public Services Regulatory Authority [ARESEP] legislation and the country’s Telecommunications Law,” Campos told The Tico Times.The association also believes SUTEL does not have the capacity to monitor carriers’ compliance with data transfers, and therefore, “there is no guarantee that the change in the rate model will mean an improvement in the quality of service.”The Consumers Association also challenged the claim that the proposal originated from a carrier’s request and not from technical criteria by SUTEL.“Carriers since 2012 have been asking that the approved change in rates for prepaid plans also be applied to postpaid ones,” he said.SUTEL began studying the issue following the first request by carriers, but that study was suspended when ARESEP’s board of directors ordered the agency to dismiss the request, based on the government’s inability to monitor compliance with data transfer rates, Campos said.“We know many other sectors oppose this. Education Ministry officials, for example, believe the change will affect a large number of students in satellite education programs who use mobile Internet to interact with teachers. I’m sure this is a national concern,” he added.Anyone interested in adding to the debate or opposing the new rate model should attend the public hearing scheduled for July 1 at 5 p.m. at SUTEL facilities in Escazú, southwest of San José. The hearing also will be broadcast via video conferencing in court buildings in Cartago, Ciudad Quesada, Heredia, Liberia, Limón, Pérez Zeledón and Puntarenas. Facebook Comments The Telecommunications Superintendency (SUTEL) on July 1 will host a public hearing to propose a change in the way carriers charge for mobile Internet services. But angry customers are getting ready to fight back.The proposal follows a request by the country’s three carriers, Movistar, Claro and state-owned Kölbi, and it includes charging for transferred data instead of charging for connection speed, which is how plans currently operate.SUTEL already had approved data transfer rates for prepaid plans back in October 2012, but carriers only began charging based on the new rates in mid-2013.Under the new proposal carriers will offer a ₡3,750 ($7) plan for both prepaid and postpaid users that includes 500 MB of data transfer. From that point companies will begin charging ₡0.0075 per Kilobyte (Kb) downloaded.For example, using a smartphone to “Like” a friend on Facebook requires about 13 Kb, which costs about ₡0.10. Uploading a 200 Kb photo to a Facebook wall would cost about ₡1.50; downloading a three-minute mp3 song would cost ₡30, and downloading a 20 Megabyte app would cost ₡180.SUTEL spokesman Eduardo Castellón said the agency would take up to one month after the hearing to respond to any objections, meaning they expect new rates to begin in August.“We believe data transfer rates will provide carriers with more financial resources to improve service quality,” he said.The government apparently agrees with SUTEL. After a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez and Science and Technology Minister Gisella Kopper said they are in favor of the proposal because it would improve service for users.Kopper said a change in the rate model is necessary: “It’s time for Costa Ricans to have a tariff method that allow us to pay exactly for what we are actually using.”She also said that “5 percent of mobile Internet customers – some 150,000 people – are overusing the service, and high consumption is affecting the quality of service for all users. Charging by data transfer would be a major benefit.”According to SUTEL’s latest report in October, there are 3 million mobile Internet users in Costa Rica.The technology minister also dismissed claims that the proposed change violates free access to the Internet.“Everyone will pay according to their consumption, and the government will make sure no changes are made on current contracts until they are expired,” Kopper said.Matías Señorán, a spokesman with the private carrier Movistar, reiterated that the change would benefit users with better quality service.“A new rate method is necessary, as current unlimited download plans are unsustainable,” he said.Señorán said the company would honor current contracts based on connection speed, and would comply with SUTEL’s ruling.Víctor García, manager of Claro, said the change mirrors common industry practices around the world. He added that his company would adhere to any SUTEL decision on how to proceed with current customers.The state-owned carrier Kölbi, run by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), requested The Tico Times submit all questions about the issue via email. In a two-paragraph response sent two days later, the agency’s press office summarized the company’s position on the rate change by saying, “[SUTEL’s proposal] corresponds to the most common practice worldwide. For ICE, marketing both plan options under the same conditions only will bring better opportunities and a better quality of service, as contracts now will respond to customers’ actual needs. We will evaluate all possible scenarios to offer attractive plans for all different needs.”A tough sellMany customers seem reluctant to accept the new rate system, expressing their disapproval in chats and on social media networks.Some are organizing a large turnout at the public hearing. Others use Facebook to dispute SUTEL’s arguments, and blame President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration for supporting the change.Two Facebook pages have popped up to respond, one called “SUTEL: No al cobro por kb descargado,” (SUTEL: Say no to per-Kilobyte downloaded rates), and “No Al Cobro De Internet Celular Por Descarga,” (No to data transfer rates for mobile Internet).Costa Rica’s Ombudsman’s Office recently used social media to ask citizens to share their thoughts on the proposal.“We are interested in your daily experiences using Internet in your lives. We want to know how much you use it and for what purposes, if you have noticed a decrease in speed, and other details that you would like to share. We also would like to receive a copy of your contract to study,” one post from the office said.
Facebook Comments A 52-year-old Costa Rican man surnamed Berrocal Sandi, center, is arrested Thursday at the international airport in Bogotá, Colombia. The Tico TimesLaw enforcement agencies from Costa Rica, Colombia and the United States continued their battle against organized crime and drugs and arms trafficking this week in two unrelated busts that netted a large cache of heavy weaponry north of the Costa Rican capital, and a Costa Rican man who worked for the Sinaloa cartel and who was arrested in Colombia.Colombian police say the 52-year-old Costa Rican man, surnamed Berrocal Sandi, was arrested Thursday at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, Colombia. Colombian prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant for the Tico following an extradition request from the United States.U.S. and Colombian officials accuse Berrocal Sandi of working as a representative in Ecuador for Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. According to Colombian prosecutors, Berrocal Sandi, also known as “Charlie,” the “Chef,” “El Finquero” and “Rolex,” helped traffic significant amounts of cocaine from Ecuador to the U.S., via Central America. The drugs allegedly were transported in shipping containers, via clandestine airstrips and on Central American highways. Grenades seized from a home on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The Tico TimesIn an unrelated raid on Friday, Costa Rican police and intelligence agents arrested an Heredia man with a large cache of heavy weaponry, including automatic weapons, hand grenades and an anti-tank RPG.The man, surnamed Hernández Estrada, also allegedly was being monitored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. According to police, the suspect allegedly sold the weapons online from a house located near an Heredia high school, north of the Costa Rican capital. An RPG7 is a low-cost, shoulder-launched, anti-tank grenade launcher.He also apparently had a gold-plated handgun, according to his Facebook page: (Via Facebook)If you’re curious about what an RPG7 can do, here you go: Related posts:Costa Rican police dismantle international drug trafficking gang Desamparados residents plead for help as the San José canton turns into a gang war zone Costa Rica’s 3-pronged strategy scores high against drug trafficking, says Coast Guard chief Colombian family arrested with 3 kilos of heroin and cocaine in their stomachs
Related posts:Costa Rica’s foreign minister accuses Russia of helping militarize Nicaragua Nicaragua claims ‘cleaning’ of the Río San Juan follows world court order VIDEO: Costa Rican officials present new evidence of alleged damage to its territory by Nicaraguan workers Nicaragua’s Pastora calls Costa Rica’s latest accusations ‘a bunch of lies’ aimed at boosting President Solís’ image Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz on Thursday expressed concern over the country’s chilly relations with the Sandinista administration of Daniel Ortega to the north. González spoke about Costa Rica-Nicaragua relations during a two-hour hearing at the Legislative Assembly’s International Affairs Commission.“Relations with Nicaragua have been deteriorating, and as President Luis Guillermo Solís recently said, they are cold – respectful, but cold,” González told lawmakers.Among González’s main concerns is the Nicaraguan military’s interest in boosting naval and air assets with support from Russia, a situation former Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo criticized last May.“A country can spend its budget however it wants, but we believe the situation [the further militarization of Nicaragua] is a cause for concern, not only for us, but for the entire region,” González said.Last year, international news media reported on Nicaragua’s interest in updating its naval fleet to “safeguard maritime territory.” Events included visits by Nicaraguan naval officers to Russian shipyards and the acquisition of eight new gunships.“We ask the international community – particularly our friends – to stay informed on what is happening in Nicaragua,” the minister said.Recommended: Nicaragua canal survey off to rocky start marked by fear and mistrustGonzález also cited Nicaragua’s claim of rights over the Río Colorado, located entirely within Costa Rican territory, and the northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste.“These issues are not to be taken lightly,” González said.The minister added that the Solís administration is increasingly concerned about the potential environmental consequences of the construction of an interoceanic canal in Nicaragua, which calls for an new airport near Costa Rica’s border that is large enough for military aircraft. González fears the airport – to be built in Nicaragua’s southwestern department of Rivas – could lead to “frequent violations of Costa Rica’s airspace.”Costa Rica also opposes Ortega’s decision to send next year 15 more dredgers to the Río San Juan, which forms a natural border between the two countries. Tico officials warn that dredging could have significant environmental consequences in the area, but to date, Nicaragua has not shared environmental impact assessments of the project, if they exist.González said one dredger already had caused environmental damage in Costa Rica, confirmed by international experts from the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, or Ramsar.“The announcement [of 15 more dredgers] is deeply troubling, and it constitutes an open violation of provisional measures set by the International Court of Justice, which ordered Nicaragua to stop all dredging in the area,” the minister said.Costa Rica and Nicaragua currently are arguing three legal disputes at The Hague-based world court. One involves the invasion by members of the Nicaraguan military of Isla Calero, a small, protected wetland that both countries claim as their own. Nicaragua filed a counterclaim against Costa Rica for the construction of a border road, known an Route 1856, that runs parallel to the San Juan River. Costa Rica then filed another claim over maritime limits. That case was prompted by Nicaragua’s efforts to grant oil-drilling concessions in a disputed area.González told lawmakers that a final world court ruling on the the first two legal cases likely would take at least a year. The third case will take at least two years.Members of the legislative commission responded to the testimony by unanimously approving a motion to support the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to mitigate the issues. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Latin America ministers agree to emergency meeting on Cuban migrants Costa Rica’s Solís bails on Central America summit over Cuban migrant standoff After Central America slog, Cubans can expect US welcome Cuban migrants storm Costa Rica-Panama border demanding to pass Quiero traer estas palabras de angustia a esta Conferencia Episcopal de América Latina pic.twitter.com/zBbutACPgT— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) November 24, 2015 Nearly 3,000 Cuban migrants in Costa Rica still have no way to legally reach the United States after an emergency meeting of Central American foreign ministers in San Salvador ended Tuesday without an agreement.Despite the support of other Central American Integration System (SICA) member states at the meeting, the proposed “humanitarian corridor” through Central America was defeated after Nicaragua remained the lone holdout by refusing to offer safe passage to Cuban migrants, according to a statement from the Costa Rica Foreign Ministry Tuesday evening.The meeting in San Salvador brought together foreign ministers from the SICA member states – Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador –as well as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba, to discuss solutions to the Cuban migrant crisis that has been building in Costa Rica since the dismantling of a human smuggling network here on Nov. 11.Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González had blistering words for Nicaragua’s “intransigence” at the meeting.“I have to say it like it is. Today SICA was wounded and the one that did it should take responsibility. It is unacceptable to toy with the pain of others,” González said.“It’s ironic that Nicaragua comes here to talk and defend Central American migrants and then blocks a reasonable solution when it has not even addressed the migration of thousands of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica for decades,” the minister added.Earlier in the day, Nicaraguan Foreign Vice Minister Dennis Moncada read the country’s position from a statement after the first round ended without a solution.“Nicaragua maintains its position that it should not be pressured into legitimizing illegal [immigration] policies” and “demands the Costa Rica government take the necessary measures to remove from our border all” Cubans, Moncada said.Moncada went on to echo criticisms made by Cuban President Raúl Castro against the U.S. immigration policy that favors Cubans. The United States “has a responsibility to correct and change the current crisis,” he said, “accepting once and for all … a new era of dialogue and respect in its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.”Costa Rica’s González called for the meeting after the Nicaraguan army used tear gas and truncheons to turn back several hundred Cubans who tried to cross the border at Peñas Blancas on Nov. 15. Costa Rica started issuing temporary transit visas to the migrants after its decision to briefly close its southern border to the migrants between Nov. 11 and Nov. 14. Unable to pass, the number of migrants continues to mount without a way forward. Meanwhile, in San José, President Luis Guillermo Solís stopped in on a meeting between Central American bishops from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The bishops signed a letter supporting the “humanitarian corridor” proposed by Costa Rica. Central America is no stranger to the plight of migrants crossing borders illegally, the bishops said in their letter, calling for the safety of the Cuban migrants as they travel to the U.S.The letter called for an “immediate solution” to the migrant crisis, saying that the humanitarian corridor would “protect them from mafias that traffic and take advantage of their vulnerability when they pass through our lands as irregular migrants.”According to immigration authorities nearly 300 Cuban migrants continue to arrive at Costa Rica’s southern border with Panama every day. Leading up to the talks Tuesday, Costa Rican emergency organizations announced they would establish three new shelters designed to house an additional 470 Cuban migrants. As of Sunday, 1,996 Cuban migrants were staying in 11 different shelters in La Cruz, Upala and Liberia.AFP contributed to this report Facebook Comments
To the layman, the International Surfing Association (ISA)’s upcoming 2016 World Surfing Games in Jacó might simply be a great display of surfing by athletes from around the globe. But, those athletes are competing to win, and in large part, a panel of judges will decide who’s the best.The competition gets underway this Sunday, Aug. 7 and ends Aug. 14.Four medals — gold, silver, bronze and copper — will be awarded in the individual men and women’s categories as well as for national teams. Each participating country’s team is made up of four men and two women. Surfers will accumulate points individually, with the team awards going to those with the highest aggregate score among all teammates. Double eliminationThe ISA World Surfing Games, and all ISA events, are double elimination rounds. There are primary heats in each category, and the first and second place winners automatically continue to the next round while the third and fourth place surfers move over to the repechage heats, where they have a second chance to get back into the finals. In repechage, the first and second place winners move on to the finals.For men, there will be six rounds for the winners’ bracket and nine for the repechage bracket. For women, there will be four rounds for the winners’ bracket and seven for the repechage bracket.Heats will last between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the waves. The length will be decided by the contest director after consultation with the head judge.JudgingThe ISA has specific judging criteria for all of its events:“The surfer must perform radical controlled manoeuvres in the critical sections of a wave with speed, power and flow. Innovative/Progressive surfing as well as the Combination and Variety of Repertoire (of MAJOR maneuvers) will also be taken into consideration when rewarding points for a surfer’s performance. The surfer who performs to the criteria above, exhibiting the maximum Degree of Difficulty and Commitment on the waves shall maximize his/her scoring potential.” (Underlining and bolding is from the ISA rulebook.)The two primary types of surfing in this contest will be aerial and power. Airs are judged and considered successful when the maneuver is landed and the surfer can ride it out with forward momentum. Otherwise, the surfer will perform controlled maneuvers “in the critical sections of a wave, with speed, rhythm and flow,” according to the official regulations.ISA president Fernando Aguerre said, “Doing airs does not necessarily mean a higher score than power surfing, variety, etc.”The judges must determine points based on the following criteria:Where was the first maneuver executed?How well was it executed?How well were the maneuvers connected together?Did the surfer execute rail-to-rail turns through the flat sections or hop through the flat sections or through to the next section?How did the outside maneuvers compare to the inside maneuvers?How deep was the surfer at the initial point of take-off?How did the surfer utilize/flow on the wave?Did the surfer make sections and were the maneuvers functional?Was the maneuver completed with control?For each wave the surfer rides, a 0 to 10 scoring system used by the ISA is broken up into the following categories: 0.1 – 1.9 Poor; 2.0 – 3.9 Fair; 4.0 – 5.9 Average; 6.0 – 7.9 Good; and 8.0 – 10 Excellent.There are five judges who individually score each ride. The highest and lowest scores given are thrown out and the remaining three scores are averaged to give the final score for the wave. Adding up the scores from a surfer’s best two waves gives the surfer her final score for the heat.If there is a tie between two surfers, judges will consider the wave score average for the best wave. If there is still a tie, they total the wave score average for the three best waves, and if there’s still a tie after that, they add in the score for a fourth wave.A priority system for catching waves kicks in once the first surfer in a heat catches a wave. Colored discs or flags held up on shore indicate which surfer has priority for a wave.Competitors and beach spectators will be able to follow each surfer’s progress thanks to an electronic scoring system that rapidly averages out the judges’ scores. The contest announcer lets the surfers in the water and the beachgoers know the wave’s score.This helps the surfer with his/her strategy. Also, getting the score live adds to the excitement.The judgesThe World Surfing Games in Jacó will be a two podium event, meaning there will be two competition areas with separate judges’ podiums. The two head judges, from South Africa and Brazil, will join a selection of international judges culled from the countries who ranked first, second and third in the 2015 ISA World Surf Championships: Costa Rica, Portugal and the United States.Australia, Peru, France and Hawaii also have representation. In addition, there are appointed judges with no national affiliation. The Technical Committee’s selection of these important people is based on a judge’s ISA event experience, accreditation level, professional experience judging surfing competitions and their internal ISA rating.Representing Costa Rica on the judges’ platform will be Gustavo Corrales. Jacó will be his sixth ISA event. Corrales has been a judge for 10 years, starting on Costa Rica’s National Circuit and getting his ISA certification in 2008.Lest one think a Costa Rican judge on the podium would lean favorably towards the Ticos, Corrales said it’s “totally the opposite. I judge harder and do my job as a professional.”PenaltiesCompetitors can be penalized for a variety of infractions. Interfering with a surfer who has priority or the inside position while paddling to catch a wave is an interference penalty. If three out of the five judges call it, then the wave counts as a 0. This and other types of interferences carry additional point penalties for a surfer’s final score.Now that you’ve studied up, head to Jacó to cheer on the Ticos (or whichever your favorite team is).Read all of The Tico Times’ coverage of the World Surfing Games 2016 here. Facebook Comments Related posts:Team Costa Rica shines on first day of 2016 World Surfing Games VIDEO: Jacó surfboard artist’s work dazzles above the lip Noe Mar McGonagle wins bronze, Team Costa Rica finishes fifth at ISA World Surfing Games Leilani McGonagle wins bronze medal at World Surfing Games
Related posts:How Sean Miranda made history in Costa Rica PHOTOS: Pride March in Costa Rica We need to take a second look at our assumptions about gay marriage An afternoon with Frida Cartas Facebook Comments To clearly understand the significance of last week’sPride March in Costa Rica, we must go back to January, the month in which the pride on display last Sunday was just beginning to adapting itself to this year’s political context. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesBack on January 9, the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that all its member states, including Costa Rica, must recognize same-sex marriage along with the same rights that heterosexual couples enjoy.The public announcement of the court’s ruling came at the height of the Costa Rican presidential electoral campaign, and caused a commotion in the country when National Restoration Party (PRN) candidate Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelical preacher and journalist, gained popularity by stating that he would withdraw Costa Rica’s participation in the court to avoid complying with the ruling. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesThe resulting surge in Alvarado’s popularity revealed the country’s pride in two very distinct faces of Costa Rica. One side took pride in the core traditional “family values” with a more religious tone, while the other side took pride in fighting for the human rights of the LGBTQ community in search of equality, something that has been historically denied.This pride – for both sides of the grand picture – gave a result of 24.91 percent of support for PRN’s candidate Fabricio Alvarado, while Citizen Action Party (PAC) candidate Carlos Alvarado obtained 21.66 percent of support. Carlos Alvarado had also surged in the polls late in the first round, as his enthusiastic support for LGBTQ rights and the court ruling set him apart from the pack on the other end of the spectrum. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesThese results were only the tip of the iceberg. Reaction to the first round of voting shook up Costa Rica’s peace by creating a constant and vigorous national discussion. The Frente por Derechos Igualitarios (FDI), a platform that gathers organizations, collectives and activists working to assure human rights for Costa Rican people, reported that from February 4-21, 27 cases of aggression towards people from the LGBTQ community were committed. Fabricio Alvarado’s opposition the Public Education Ministry (MEP)’s sexuality and affectivity programs also stirred the pot, resulting in protests in rural areas.FDI activist and spokeswoman Michelle Jones told the weekly Semanario Universidad that these developments highlighted the lack of a historical record of these types of aggressions towards the LGBTQ community in Costa Rica, as well as the inexistence of legislation on hate crimes. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesDuring the campaign, PRN vice presidential candidate Francisco Prendas said in an interview that if his ticket won, the new authorities would not appoint gay people to Cabinet positions or any other public posts.Fabricio Alvarado also said, “People who want to get out of homosexuality must have a space where they can be treated and restored.” Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesHowever, support for these positions was ultimately not enough to carry Fabricio Alvarado to the presidency in Costa Rica, a country where, according to a poll carried in February by the University of Costa Rica (UCR)’s Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP), 52 percent of the population are Catholics versus 22 percent of evangelicals, a percentage that increased during the campaign.According to Semanario Universidad and the CIEP, a 70 percent of the support for Fabricio Alvarado during the first electoral round came from evangelica, and 20 percent from Catholics. Former education minister Leonardo Garnier. Roberto Delgado Webb / The Tico Times Roberto Delgado Webb / The Tico Times Roberto Delgado Webb / The Tico TimesOn April 1, the two-candidate runoff took place on Holy Sunday, a day on which many thought that the religious traditions of the country would complicate the scenario. However, Carlos Alvarado defeated Fabricio Alvarado with 60.9 percent of the votes, over 39.3 percent for the evangelical leader.This backdrop made this year’s Pride March was a historic demonstration for the country. On a very warm and sunny morning followed by a rainy afternoon, people from around the country – from different nationalities, from both the public and private sectors, from embassies, from all sorts of families with different skin color and diverse gender identities and sexual orientations – gathered in San José to celebrate, commemorate and continue on the fight for the rights that the LGBTQ population deserves as people who contribute on a day to day to the Costa Rican society. The sign reads: You’ll love your neighbor just like you love yourself. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesThey also gathered to march in recognition of progress in the country despite a rocky first half of the year.During that time, Costa Rica launched its Pride Connection Network to provide online training regarding the LGBTQ population, and named lawyer Luis Salazar as its commissioner for the LGBTQ population; the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) announced a new policy to simply name changes on government-issued ID cards to fit “self-perceived gender”; and had a transgender teenage student carry the national flag at Carlos Alvarado’s transfer of powers on May 8.However, the government still has a long way to go in managing statistics regarding deaths and aggressions towards transgender people due to limited data that does not address gender identity or sexual orientation. Former Vice President Ana Helena Chacón was one of the main public officials in the past administration who fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Vice President Epsy Campbell poses for a photo. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico TimesThe Tico Times went to the Pride March and spoke to all sorts of people from different professions including designers, artists, psychologists, students, and ambassadors, as well as from different nationalities. All of them shared a common ground on which love, respect and the fight for equality is the battleground for Costa Rica’s Pride. Stay tuned for our video from the march.
Related posts:Tico Times #TBT: The one millionth Tico Throwback Thursday: Roosevelt’s fishing trip to Isla del Coco Throwback Thursday: Bulls from 1981 Throwback Thursday: Pocho the crocodile funeral In this Throwback Thursday we revisit one of our classic videos on how to make cocktails with Costa Rica’s classic spirit: Cacique. Join Liz Furlong as she teaches you how to make two drinks where Cacique is the shining star.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments
Related posts:‘Clerical error’ allows for same-sex couple to be wed in Costa Rica Q&A: What happens when US Supreme Court hears arguments about same-sex marriage Tuesday? Ireland could become first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote At Pride 2016, we ask: How far has Costa Rica come on LGBT rights? Taiwan on Friday joined nearly 30 mostly Western countries to legalize same-sex marriage but in many other parts of the world homosexuality is illegal and sometimes subject to the death penalty.Here is an overview.– Taiwan, first in Asia –While much of Asia is tolerant of homosexuality, Taiwan became the first in the region to allow gay marriage via a bill passed by lawmakers Friday.Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage celebrations in 2015 but stopped short of full legal recognition for same-sex unions.The Philippines’ top court in June started hearing arguments for the legalization of gay marriage, although its chances appear slim in the devoutly Roman Catholic country.Australia and New Zealand are the only places in the wider Asia-Pacific region to have passed gay marriage laws.Homosexuality is outlawed in the region’s Muslim countries, such as Bangladesh, Malaysia and Pakistan.Brunei sparked a worldwide backlash in April when it introduced laws that include death by stoning for gay sex. A month later it said the laws would not be enforced.In China, where homosexuality was classified as a mental illness until 2001, discrimination remains widespread.– Europe, gay marriage pioneers –The Netherlands in 2001 became the first country in the world to allow gay couples to marry.Fourteen European countries followed: Belgium, Britain — although not Northern Ireland — Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.Austria allowed gay marriage from 2019 and the Czech Republic government backs draft legislation that would legalise same-sex marriage.Some countries allow only gay civil partnerships, which come with fewer rights, including Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland.In Russia homosexuality was considered a crime up to 1993 and a mental illness until 1999. Now legal, a 2013 law however punishes the promotion of homosexuality among minors.In Romania a referendum aimed at restricting the definition of marriage to exclude same-sex couples failed in October 2018 because of a low turnout.– A handful in the Americas –Canada authorized same-sex marriage and adoptions in 2005, and 10 years later the United States legalized gay marriage nationwide.Mexico’s federal capital was the pioneer in Latin America, authorizing gay civil unions in 2007 and marriages in 2009. Nearly half of its 32 states have followed.Same-sex marriages are also legal in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay.Chile legalized gay civil unions in 2015.Costa Rica’s Supreme Court in August 2018 ruled that a ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional and gave parliament 18 months to amend the laws.Cuba decided in December 2018 to leave out of its new constitution changes that would have paved the way for legal same-sex marriage.– Africa: marriage in one country –South Africa is the sole nation on the African continent to allow gay marriage, which it legalized in 2006.Around 30 African countries ban homosexuality, with Mauritania, Somalia and Sudan having the death penalty for same-sex relations.Gay sex is decriminalized in only a handful of countries: Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and the Seychelles.Kenya in February 2019 postponed a much-anticipated ruling on whether to scrap laws which criminalize homosexuality while Botswana started hearing a similar application in March.– Middle East: repressed –Several countries in the conservative region still have the death penalty for homosexuality, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.Israel leads the way in terms of gay rights, recognizing same-sex marriages that are performed elsewhere although not allowing such unions in the country itself. Gay couples can adopt children.Lebanon is also more tolerant than other Arab countries. Facebook Comments
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Comments Share “The operation is underway,” police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said of increased security measures seen in the capital on Sunday and Monday. “We have rounded up many suspects, but the real criminals will be discovered after investigations.”The tightened security and the latest attack reflect the ongoing threat from al-Shabab, which has lost control of the capital and the port city of Kismayo since 2011 but still carries out suicide bombings against African Union troops, the U.N., the Somali government and prominent Mogadishu businesses.Al-Shabab in recent weeks has increased its attacks, sending mortars into the city and apparently carrying out targeted killings. Then on Friday came its attack on the presidential seat of power.“The enemy has attacked our national symbol of the presidential palace,” said Abdullahi Godah Barre, Somalia’s interior minister after a cabinet meeting Saturday. “Therefore, we shall take a punitive action in response to that attack.”Responding to criticism of lax security, Somalia’s president said the attack would not derail the plan to oust militants from their last strongholds in Somalia’s southern countryside. “Our plan for the offensive against the enemy will not stop,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed said.Somalia’s security minister, who bore the brunt of criticism from Mogadishu residents, warned of tougher security measures in the capital. Soon after, Somali troops were kicking in doors to arrest suspects.“They didn’t leave anything unturned. They also took my husband with them as well,” said Sharifo Abdi, a mother of seven in the city.Residents in the Somali capital who have experienced decades of war fear heightened violence in coming months. Many are not sure the security forces can defend the city against insurgent-style attacks.“We hope they can, but it’s a matter of days until they take another blow,” said Hassan Ali, a university student in Mogadishu. “Constant efforts will allow us to regain our faith in the government, instead of a few days of frantic efforts followed by a slide backward.”One security expert said al-Shabab is increasing attacks in Mogadishu in order to throw off a looming offensive in the areas of the country they control.“It is unlikely that the government would go ahead with the offensive against al-Shabab while the capital is on fire,” said Mohamed Sheikh Abdi. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Hooded soldiers carrying sniper rifles have unleashed a sweeping crackdown across Mogadishu in a hunt for militants and weapons after the country’s al-Qaida-linked militants group’s latest attack on the country’s presidential palace.Soldiers have been deployed on the city’s key roads following the Friday attack, which saw multiple car bombs and seven gunmen try to penetrate the presidential palace. Al-Shabab’s spokesman vowed that the group would succeed in killing Somalia’s president in a future attack.
5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories “If Hanuman were alive, we would see a smile on his face showing his joy at being here among us where he belongs,” Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said at the ceremony in the Office of the Council of Ministers.The statue was stolen from the Prasat Chen Temple in the Koh Ker temple complex in Siem Reap province, which is also home to the famed Angkor Wat temples, said Sok An, adding that it was shipped to Europe and then the U.S.“Now, after his long journey, he is finally back home,” said Sok An, who praised the museum’s initiative in returning the statue and called on others “to follow the example of returning plundered treasures to their rightful owners.”Officials at the Cleveland museum found last year that the statue’s head and body were sold separately in 1968 and 1972 during the Vietnam War and the Cambodian civil war. An excavation showed the sculpture’s base matched a pedestal at the ancient temple.“As more and more information came to light, we became firmly convinced that the sculpture belongs here,” said William Griswold, the director of the Cleveland museum. He said that when the museum acquired the piece its connection with the Koh Ker temple was “far from certain.” The Hanuman is the sixth “blood antiquity” returned to Cambodia in recent years. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York returned two, and one antique has been returned each from Sotheby’s auction house, Christie’s auction house and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.Their returns mark steps to bringing back together nine figures that once formed a tableau in a tower of the temple. The scene captured a famous duel in Hindu mythology in which the warrior Duryodhana is struck down by his cousin Bhima at the end of a bloody war of succession while seven attendants look on.“We in Cleveland have been fortunate to benefit from the presence of Hanuman for more the 30 years,” Griswold said.The sculpture was displayed constantly at the museum since its acquisition, and was a favorite among schoolchildren who imitated its kneeling pose during tours.“He has taught visitors to our museum about the glories of Khmer civilization,” Griswold said. “While he will be sorely missed in the United States, we rejoice in his return.”___Associated Press Writer Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia welcomed home a 10th century stone statue of a Hindu god that was looted from a temple during the country’s civil war and spent the past three decades at an American museum.The sculpture of monkey god Hanuman was formally handed over Tuesday at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials and the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which acquired the sculpture in 1982. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement This undated photo provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art shows the statue of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art returned the 10th-century statue to Cambodia after it uncovered evidence the sculpture was probably looted during the country’s civil war. (The Cleveland Museum of Art via AP) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Patients with chronic pain give advice Kerry spent all day Tuesday in the Russian city of Sochi where he and Putin sought to ease tensions created largely by disagreements over the situation in Ukraine. Kerry said that NATO members were focused on getting Russia and Ukraine to adhere to the terms of a cease-fire agreement reached in February.“I think that there is strong agreement among all the NATO members that this is a critical moment for action by Russia, by the separatists to live up to the Minsk agreement,” he said in Antalya. “This is an enormous moment of opportunity for the conflict there to find a path to certainty and resolution.”NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also called on Russia to take steps to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He said NATO has increased its presence along its eastern flank in the face of Russia’s increased assertiveness.The NATO gathering also turned to the instability in the Middle East. Addressing the meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Islamic State group posed an increasing threat on Turkey’s doorstep.“This terrorist organization is a direct threat to our national security,” he said, adding that NATO needs to deal with the root causes of the IS group’s terrorism by looking at the economic and humanitarian dimensions as well as the military and political. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — A day after lengthy talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was filling in allies during a gathering of NATO foreign ministers in the southern Turkish town of Antalya.The ministers have gathered here to plot strategy amid the continued crisis in Ukraine and instability throughout the Middle East, including in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Kerry was also meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Top Stories ___Desmond Butler in Istanbul contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has signed with three government organisations to create a global information exchange to improve aviation safety.The Declaration of Intent to exchange safety data was signed in Montreal last week between IATA, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Commission of the European Union (EU).Under the agreement, IATA and the organisations will conduct audit programs that collect complementary safety information.“We must understand safety trends, not just from the handful of accidents each year, but by bringing together and analyzing data from millions of safe flights” said IATA Director General and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani“With this we can take more effective action to reduce risks and improve safety performance,”To start the process, the four organisations will now work on a way to standardize safety audit information and ensure compliance with local privacy laws and policies. They aim to complete this part within 12 to 18 months.“There is no competition when it comes to safety. Cooperation is the way forward. We have a common goal of zero accidents and zero fatalities.”In 2009, the global accident rate was 0.71 measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft, a significant improvement over the 0.81 rate recorded in 2008. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/294fb/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/27205/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Mexicana Airlines has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Mexico while it attempts to restructure and streamline operations, namely cutting jobs and slashing wages of flight crews.Despite efforts to boost productivity through fleet expansion and the enhancement of its route network, the airline announced its “current cost structure makes [the company] financially non-viable” and as such needed to be reorganised.As part of the airline’s moves to restructure, Mexicana claimed its flight crews earn well above the industry average and need to be “brought into line with market conditions”. The airline announced it is negotiating new labour contracts with its unions, the Los Angeles Times reporting Mexicana seeks to impose a 41 per cent wage cut for pilots and a 39 per cent wage cut for flight attendants as well as cut 40 per cent flight crew jobs.Mexicana Airlines’ flight attendants union secretary general, Lizette Clavel Sanchez, told the newspaper the airline’s claim that Mexicana pays its workers more than other Mexican airlines pay theirs is like “comparing pears and apples.””Those are low-cost airlines that don’t have the same service, technology and flight times we do…It is wrong to quantify our salaries that way,” Ms Clavel Sanchez said.The news of the bankruptcy proceedings came just one day after Mexicana suspended 31 flights in Mexico and across the US, although the airline claims passengers will not be affected by its restructuring.Mexicana stressed it will continue to operate normally, its full range of services, including those offered by its oneworld alliance, still available to customers.Mexicana affiliates MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink operate independently of the airline and will not be affected by the airline’s reorganisation process, said to Mexicana. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
Air France KLM has announced a new partnership with Qantas’ low cost subsidiary, Jetstar Airways, that will see the two airlines offer daily one-stop flights between the Gold Coast to Europe, via Japan.Announced this morning, passengers can fly with Jetstar from Coolangatta Airport, the Gold Coast to Tokyo or Osaka before connecting to an Air France flight to Paris or KLM service to Amsterdam.Air France KLM Australia and New Zealand regional manager Tom Reeves said the partnership would increase the airline’s offerings from the Australian market as well as “add a new option” for travellers from the Gold Coast heading into Europe.“Air France and KLM together offer an enormous global network, including more than 150 destinations throughout Europe,” Mr Reeves said. “From Australia, our group already offers more than 500 departures per week through code share or commercial partnerships with a range of airlines.”Last month Air France KLM announced the launch of a new campaign targeting Australia’s resources industry, educating them on the carrier’s flights to Africa’s oil, gas and mining regions. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ Former Qantas executive of strategy and innovation, Rob Sharp, has been appointed to run Tiger Airways Australia, replacing former chief executive, Andrew David.Effective 1 May 2013, Mr Sharp joins the low-cost carrier with up to 15 years experience as a senior aviation executive with Qantas Airways.Tiger Airways Group chief executive Koay Peng Yen said with Mr Sharp in the chief’s seat the carrier the airline can expect “positive results”.Mr Sharp joins the airline as it moves closer to completing a new joint venture, which will see Virgin Australia acquire 60 percent of existing Tiger Australia shares. Rob Sharp appointed to run Tiger Airways Australia. Image: wikimedia.org
Seeking further codeshare on flights on the Thailand route. Virgin Australia has applied for an extension to its codeshare agreement with Air Berlin on commercial services between Perth and Phuket.According to the International Air Services Commission (IASC) application, Virgin Australia has requested permission for Air Berlin to add is code on Virgin Australia flights on the Thailand route.The IASC has invited submissions about the application, with a closing date for notice of intention close of business 22 May 2013 and applications due by close of business 29 May 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ