TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – Officials say that 73 people, including 20 children and a pregnant woman, have been hospitalized after a chlorine leak in a suburb of the ex-Soviet nation’s capital, Tbilisi.Georgian Health Ministry said that the incident occurred early Wednesday after poisonous chlorine leaked from a tank that belongs to a water utility company.It said 27 people remain in the hospital, and one of them, a 18-year-old man with asthma, is in a critical condition. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories The impoverished nation of 5 million people faces constant problems with crumbling Soviet-era infrastructure.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments Share 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories
President Benigno Aquino III declared Friday a national day of remembrance to honor the movie icon.Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in the capital, Manila.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Viewers across the Philippines have watched the funeral of the country’s “King of Comedy” live on nationwide TV.Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. was a popular actor fondly called Dolphy by generations of Filipinos. The 83-year-old died Monday of multiple organ failure, kidney ailments and complications from pneumonia. He was buried Sunday.Quizon starred in more than 200 films in his 66-year career. Once a poor peanut vendor in moviehouses, he shot to fame playing gay roles and slapstick characters. He became so famous presidential bets courted his support in elections. He had 18 children with six women. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments Share Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk
0 Comments Share RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – A police officer was slain while on foot patrol in Brazil’s largest slum, military police said Friday.Diego Bruno Barbosa Henriques was shot and killed overnight Thursday as he and three fellow officers patrolled Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling Rocinha slum.An operation was under way to apprehend Henriques’ assailants, and G1, the internet portal of the Globo television network, reported one suspect had been detained. The suspect was carrying a 9-millimeter pistol, the same weapon used against Henriques, the report said. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How men can have a healthy 2019 The body Henriques, who had been on the force for about a year, was buried later Friday.Police and soldiers took over Rocinha in November as part of a large-scale program to restore the rule of law in Rio slums long under the control of heavily armed drug gangs and largely off-limits to authorities.The government’s reasserted control over the shantytown is seen as strategic as Rio prepares to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Rocinha is on the road that links the main Olympic village with other event sites inside the city proper.In a Twitter post, Rio state Gov. Sergio Cabral called Friday’s slaying “a desperate action” and pledged that “there will be no backsliding in pacified communities.“The difference is that until two years ago, the police was the invader. Now, the bandits are the invaders,” Cabral’s post read. “Peace is our objective for all the areas of our state.”Another police officer was shot and killed in Rocinha in April.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center
Check your body, save your life Associated PressTUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Leaked conversations mentioning alcohol bans and the imposition of religious law have raised fears that Tunisia’s new government may not be as moderate as it appears, especially in the context of mob attacks on the U.S. Embassy that coincided with the killing of the American ambassador in neighboring Libya.The leaks, however, may also just be attempts by the secular opposition or religious conservatives to embarrass the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party before next year’s elections. Non-essential embassy personnel have been withdrawn and have yet to return, and the U.S. government advised all Americans to leave _ a sad state of affairs for the country that kicked off the region-wide Arab Spring of pro-democracy uprisings and was seen as one of the best hopes for the region, with its small, well-educated and homogenous population.It is especially serious in light of the attacks in neighboring Libya where four diplomats, including the ambassador, were killed in an assault, throwing U.S. relations with that country into question, not to mention shattering any lingering optimism over the ease of its democratic transition.The U.S. was not initially pleased with the Tunisian government’s tepid response to the Tunis attack, though it has since been mollified by more vigorous measures to boost security.“There was incompetence clear to any eye for those who were in charge of securing the embassy,” senior Ennahda official Said Ferjani told The Associated Press. “It’s our 9/11 and we really have to sort it out and make sure that everything has been dealt with properly in the framework of the law.”He said the video was an effort by Ghannouchi at the time to encourage the Salafis _ ultraconservative Muslims who insist on the immediate imposition of Islamic law _ to take a gradual approach and work within the system to advance their beliefs rather than through violence. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories The question of who produced the tape has been hotly debated in Tunisia. The secular opposition, which is weak and divided in the face of Ennahda’s commanding 40 percent bloc in parliament, has long been trying to paint the party as cousins to the Taliban.Many also believe, however, that it could be the Salafis themselves, who after all were the ones privy to the meetings.Tunisian police have arrested scores of Salafis for their alleged role in the attack on the embassy. Almost 100 are in custody, with some facing charges that could involve the death penalty, their lawyers say.Ennahda has also let the Salafis down by agreeing with the secular parties not to say in the new constitution that all legislation must be based on Shariah, or Islamic law, a common clause in other Muslim nations but never in more progressive Tunisia.“They are working hard to influence the editorial process that the draft constitution is going through,” noted Alexander. “They are really upset the way Ennahda has been willing to moderate its positions.”The real damage to Ennahda from the incident could be its relations with its two coalition partners, the leftist Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol (Forum) parties. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Comments Share “We have to make sure that the whole Salafi trend isn’t pushed into the lap of al-Qaida. We have to isolate the violent elements,” he added. “He is trying to convince them that the soft approach, the moderate approach, is the best one.”Ennahda has said that it would never impose Islamic law and is comfortable with parties seeking to govern in a secular fashion. It has compromised with other parties in keeping references to Islamic law out of the first article of the constitution and abandoned attempts to change language about men and women being equal to being “complementary,” which had worried women’s rights activists.The appearance of a damning video or audio recording was a staple of the old system under President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, when foes of the regime would be discredited with tapes often recorded by the omnipresent intelligence services.Tunisians overthrew Ben Ali in January 2011, ending his 23 years of iron rule, and then elected a governing coalition led by his arch foes, the Ennahda Party.“That feels to me like a very standard piece of tactical political combat in Tunisia, this practice of using video tapes to impugn people’s reputations and mine their credibility,” said Chris Alexander, a Tunisia expert at North Carolina’s Davidson College. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they had leaked it with the purpose of embarrassing Ghannouchi.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Tunisia’s social media sites were flooded Wednesday by first a video, then a phone recording showing Rachid Ghannouchi, the founder of the once-banned Ennahda Party that dominated recent elections, appearing to discuss how to gradually Islamize society and triumph over secularism.Ennahda said in a statement the video, from February, was heavily edited to make Ghannouchi appear to be more extreme than the party’s actual positions.“A number of sentences and sections were taken out of context and edited in such a way as to misrepresent their meaning in a deplorable return to the old methods of vilification used by the former regime,” party official Ameur Larayedh said in a statement.But Tunisia’s secular opposition has been up in arms, saying it is proof of longstanding claims that Ennahda’s modest rhetoric masks a radical Islamist agenda. On Thursday, opposition party member Noaman Fehri called for a judicial investigation of Ghannouchi, saying it is “evident that he does not believe in democracy, but wants to install a new dictatorship.”The recordings also have threatened Ennahda’s relationship with its coalition partners. And their emergence comes amid real worries about Tunisia’s direction after several thousand demonstrators burst through minimal security and stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunis last month, tore down the American flag and looted and burned buildings. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help “It is dangerous and contradicts the spirit of democracy and the values of tolerance of the Muslim religion,” said Mohammed Bennour, the Ettakatol spokesman, while Imed Daimi of the CPR described the video as a “source of concern.”Ennahda went a long way to burnish its democratic credentials when it immediately sought to form a coalition with secular parties, despite its commanding position in the parliament.In recent months, though, strains have appeared in the coalition with Ennahda and President Moncef Marzouki, who comes from the CPR party, having several public spats.The mandate for the elected assembly is set to expire Oct. 23, a year after the elections, which will require the ruling coalition to agree on how the country will be managed until new legislative and presidential elections, expected next spring, are held.“What’s happening in Tunisia is not only the ordinary politics, the election campaign has started and demonizing Ennahda is crucial (for the opposition),” Ferjani said.___Paul Schemm reported from Rabat, Morocco.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Top Stories SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia’s short history of independence has been a troubled one — and its political turmoil appears to be getting worse.The government in this Balkan nation of about 2 million people is reeling from a massive wiretap scandal and a gun battle between police and ethnic Albanian gunmen that left 18 dead in a border town a week ago. In a region with a long and bloody history of ethnic conflicts and political instability, the developments have caused consternation both domestically and abroad. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Those conversations, which Zaev said were leaked to him by “patriots” in the domestic intelligence service, purport to reveal corruption at the highest levels of government, including the mismanagement of funds, spurious criminal prosecutions of opponents and even attempted cover-ups of killings. He has demanded that Gruevski resign and new elections be held.Opposition parties have been boycotting parliament for nearly a year since accusing the governing coalition of fraud in the April 2014 election.Gruevski, who has won successive elections since 2006, angrily rejects the accusations. He accuses Zaev of participating in a coup plot backed by unnamed foreign spy agencies seeking to overthrow his conservative government.Some Macedonians are worried.“I am afraid that Macedonia could enter into civic conflict with unpredictable consequences,” said Julijana Petrovska, a 64-year-old retired economist. “People are so stubborn … and divided that things could get out of control easily.”But others blame the opposition for creating instability.Zaev “started to publish recordings he got from foreign spies and now he wants to seize power illegally, without elections,” said Jovan, a 23-year-old law student who would only give his first name for fear of reprisals. “He is the one the most responsible for this crisis.” Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski gestures, while attending a session in the parliament after resignation of two ministers from Prime Minister’s cabinet and a senior state security official, on Wednesday, May, May 13, 2015, in Skopje, Macedonia. Macedonian parliament has formally approved Wednesday the replacement of the interior and transport ministers in Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s cabinet amid an escalating political crisis in the Balkan nation.Parliament approved the replacements in a 71-2 vote with one abstention. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Meanwhile, the ghost of Macedonia’s brief 2001 armed conflict between government forces and the country’s ethnic Albanian minority, which fought for greater rights, hovers over the country once more.Clashes in the border town of Kumanovo earlier this month killed 10 gunmen and eight police and wounded 37 police. Some gunmen wore insignia used by ethnic Albanian rebels during their insurgencies in Serbia and Macedonia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.It is still unclear how the fighting in Kumanovo began. The government said police forces mounted an operation after tracking an armed group of about 50 men to a house there. Last month Macedonian police said a smaller group attacked a border watchtower, briefly taking two Macedonian border guards hostage before releasing them unharmed.Political analyst Saso Ordanovski said he thinks the gunmen were mercenaries.“Somebody paid them to draw attention away from what is going on at the moment in the country,” Ordanovski said. Gruevski, he argued, “is the one who benefits the most from the incident … He is facing the growing revolt and demands from abroad that he must do something.”Ali Ahmeti, who heads the ethnic Albanian junior government coalition partner, said he had been in contact with the gunmen but it was unclear what their motives were. He said they had asked for his help in brokering their surrender. Saying that most ethnic Albanians do not back an insurgency, Ahmet called for an international investigation into the clashes. Dimitrov, the former security adviser, said there was only one way to resolve the crisis.“Regardless of how much time it will take, and how difficult it will be, there can only be one sustainable outcome: an interim government to clean up the system, introduce robust checks and balances, promote justice, and prepare for free and fair elections,” he said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The government has come under growing criticism from the West, including from the 28-nation European Union, which Macedonia hopes to join one day. EU officials have expressed concern over the harassment of the press and apparent meddling in court cases in Macedonia, among other issues.The ambassadors of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and the EU met Gruevski recently and issued a strongly worded statement saying the government “has not made progress toward accounting for many allegations of government wrongdoing” arising from the wiretap disclosures.“Continued inaction” will undermine the country’s efforts to join the EU and NATO, they said.The government says it’s doing what it can. On Thursday, Gruevski attended a Western ambassador-brokered meeting with Zaev and the heads of two ethnic Albanian parties in the first direct talks since the political crisis began in January. The four agreed to meet again Monday and to ensure that future demonstrations are peaceful.The interior and transport ministers, Gordana Jankuloska and Mile Janakieski, and top intelligence chief Saso Mijalkov — a relative of Gruevski — resigned a few days ago, saying they did so to calm the situation. The three were the voices most heard on the recordings. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Months of accusations between rival politicians locked in a power struggle have plunged the country into one of its deepest political crises since Macedonia gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.Potential trouble looms again on Sunday, when the opposition plans an anti-government rally billed as the largest Macedonia has ever seen in the capital, Skopje. The protests are supposed to continue for days, and a rival pro-government protest has been called for Monday.Sunday’s opposition rally “will be a historic day of reckoning for the current government of Macedonia,” said Nikola Dimitrov, a former national security adviser. “The increasingly authoritarian regime of (Prime Minister Nikola) Gruevski will face a crowd of citizens craving freedom, democracy, rule of law and accountability.”Dimitrov, now a fellow at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, predicted that “in an all-or-nothing situation, (the government) will be ready to pay a very high price to survive.”At the heart of the crisis is a massive cache of wiretapped conversations that the head of the opposition Social Democrats, Zoran Zaev, has been releasing since January. Zaev claims that Gruevski, in power for nearly a decade, was behind the mass wiretapping of more than 20,000 Macedonians, including ministers, politicians, police, journalists, judges, foreign ambassadors and religious leaders.
Search teams heard people calling out from within the partially submerged ship when they climbed aboard the upside-down hull, CCTV reported more than 12 hours after the ship went down in Hubei Province about 9:38 p.m. Footage from the broadcaster showed rescuers in orange life vests climbing on the upside-down hull, with one of them lying down tapping a hammer and listening for a response, then gesturing downward.Divers later pulled out at least one survivor, a 65-year-old woman, from inside the overturned hull, CCTV said. Then, rescuers reported an additional five people rescued, though no details were given on those rescues, which brought the total number people who reached safety to 18. Many of the initial survivors swam ashore.The broadcaster said five people were confirmed dead.The overturned ship had drifted about 3 kilometers (almost 2 miles) downstream before coming to rest close to the river shore, where choppy waters made the rescue difficult. The location is about 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan.The fact that the capsized ship drifted downstream was a good sign for rescuers because it meant there was enough air inside to give it buoyancy, and could mean there are enough air pockets for survivors to breathe, said Chi-Mo Park, a professor of naval architecture and ocean engineering at South Korea’s Ulsan University. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies CCTV reported that 6 inches (150 millimeters) of rain had fallen in the region over the past 24 hours. Local media reported winds reached 80 mph (130 kph) during the accident.Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is reported to be traveling to the accident site. Xinhua reported that President Xi Jinping had ordered a work team of the State Council, the country’s Cabinet, to rush to the site to guide the rescue work.___This story has been corrected to show that the survivor’s age is 65.___AP writers Jack Chang and Ian Mader and news assistant Yu Bing in Beijing, news assistant Fu Ting in Shanghai, and writer Tong-hyung Kim in Seoul contributed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “It all depends how much space there is inside the vessel,” Park said.The official Xinhua News Agency quoted the captain and chief engineer as saying the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone. The Communist Party-run People’s Daily said the ship sank within two minutes. CCTV said the two were under police custody.CCTV said the four-level ship had been carrying 406 Chinese passengers, five travel agency employees and 47 crew members. The broadcaster said most of the passengers were 50 to 80 years of age.Many of the ships passengers started out in Shanghai, taking a bus to Nanjing for the departure to Chongqing. Relatives of passengers gathered in Shanghai at a travel agency that had booked many of the trips, and they later headed to a government office to try to get more information about the accident.Huang Yan, 49, an accountant in Shanghai, wept as she told a reporter that she believes that her husband, 49, and his father, who is in his 70s, were aboard the boat. But she said she couldn’t be sure because she hadn’t seen an official passenger list yet.“Why did the captain leave the ship while the passengers were still missing?” Yan shouted. “We want the government to release the name list to see who was on the boat.” Sponsored Stories A group of about a dozen retirees from a Shanghai bus company were on the trip, said a woman who identified herself only by her surname, Chen. Among them, she said, were her elder sister and her elder sister’s husband, both 60, and their granddaughter, 6.“This group has traveled together a lot, but only on short trips. This is the first time they traveled for a long trip,” Chen said.The ship sank in the Damazhou waterway section, where the river is 15 meters (about 50 feet) deep, and drifted about three kilometers (almost 2 miles). The Yangtze is the world’s third-longest river and sometimes floods during the summer monsoon season.Several rescue ships were searching the waters, and divers had been deployed. The broadcaster said rescue personnel were trying to determine whether they could right the sunken ship.More than 50 boats and 3,000 people were involved in search efforts.The Eastern Star measured 251 feet long (76.5 meters) and 36 feet wide (11 meters) and was capable of carrying a maximum of 534 people, CCTV reported. It is owned by the Chongqing Eastern Shipping Corp., which focuses on tourism routes in the popular Three Gorges river canyon region. The company could not be reached for comment. WUHAN, China (AP) — Rescuers pulled six survivors to safety after hearing cries for help Tuesday from inside a capsized cruise ship that went down overnight in a storm on China’s Yangtze River with 458 people aboard, most of them elderly, state broadcaster CCTV said.At least other 12 people are known to have survived, including the captain and chief engineer, and five people were confirmed dead in the accident late Monday during a cruise from Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing, the broadcaster said. Top holiday drink recipes
Lawyers for the convicted men said they would appeal.The fire in January 2013 at the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul state, killed 242 young men and women, all suffocated by toxic smoke that filled a windowless building with no emergency exits.Soundproofing foam on the ceiling caught fire in the overcrowded nightclub when the lead singer of a country band onstage lit a flare as part of an illegal indoor pyrotechnics show.Investigators said the burning foam released cyanide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide that quickly killed those attending a university party. Dozens of bodies were piled in twisted knots inside the club as hundreds of people stampeded through darkness, trying to reach a single row of four doors that served as both entry and exit. Aside from the dead, 630 people were injured.The nightclub’s two owners and two band members blamed for starting the fire face homicide charges, but are free pending trial. A guilty verdict could bring a prison sentence of up to 30 years, although the complexity of Brazil’s legal system and the ability to present numerous appeals means several years can elapse before someone convicted of a crime is put behind bars. Check your body, save your life Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories SAO PAULO (AP) — A court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced two firefighters to a year behind bars in connection with a 2013 nightclub fire that killed more than 200 people in southern Brazil.The two and six other firefighters had been charged with negligence and falsifying public documents related to the club’s fire permit. Prosecutor Joel Dutra successfully argued that the court should drop charges against the other six, saying they had been “induced to error by unclear norms that gave room to different interpretations.” Quick workouts for men 0 Comments Share 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong earthquake hit off of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Sunday afternoon, causing residents to pour into the streets, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami warning was issued.The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.0 undersea quake was centered 93 kilometers (58 miles) south of the East Java province town of Krajan Tambakrejo, at a depth of 59 kilometers (37 miles). Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top holiday drink recipes Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said on its website that the quake had no potential to trigger a tsunami.Residents in parts of East Java felt the quake for up to 6 seconds, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement.Local media reports said the quake was felt strongly in the East Java city of Malang, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the epicenter, where some residents poured into the streets. It also was reportedly felt on the resort island of Bali, which is just east of Java.Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire.” A massive earthquake off Sumatra island in 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, mostly in Indonesia’s Aceh province.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence for an influential opposition leader and an aide to a former prime minister for his role in mass killings during the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971.Chief Justice S.K. Sinha delivered the verdict against Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a former aide to ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Four benefits of having a wireless security system Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The ruling clears the way for the man’s execution unless he gets presidential clemency.Chowdhury was convicted in 2013 on nine of 23 charges, including four counts of genocide. He was found guilty of aiding and ordering the killings of at least 200 people, mostly minority Hindus, in the southeastern Chittagong region. He was later elected as the region’s representative to parliament six times.Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the nine-month war that ended in December 1971.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up the tribunal in 2010 to punish the collaborators. More than 15 people have been convicted to death or life in prison and two senior leaders from the main Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami have been executed.Jamaat-e-Islami is allied to Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party and boycotted the 2014 general elections while criticizing the war crimes trials. The party had openly campaigned against Bangladesh’s independence and formed militias to prevent it from breaking away from Pakistan.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/23bb0/” 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> AirAsia has claimed that it is lack of support from the Malaysian government which is holding it back from launching long-haul services into Sydney with its AirAsia X brand.Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO, has confirmed to e-Travel Blackboard that the only thing holding back from launching its direct services from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney was government approval from Malaysia.Initially AirAsia X had planned to launch Sydney services in 2008, but continuous delays and red tape has seen the carrier opt to connect Perth, Melbourne and the Gold Coast first.“It’s confirmed that there won’t be services before June [to Sydney] but that July is possible if AirAsia X is granted approvals by March,” said Mr Osman-Rani.Reports from Malaysia are claiming that one of the key reasons why the government is dragging its feet is due to favouritism of the national carrier Malaysia Airlines, which the government wholly owns.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25e5d/” 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> The SkyTeam airline alliance is reportedly in talks with around 12 other airlines, two of whom may be added to the group by the end of the year. In an interview with Bloomberg, SkyTeam said new members were integral to expansion plans in Asia, India and Latin America, but declined to name which carriers were being pursued. Alliance chairman Leo van Wijk admitted only that most of the airlines currently in talks were regional carriers servicing either just one or a few countries. “Latin America is still a relatively wide spot for us,” he said. “It’s not easy to find a partner who covers all of it, so you have to go with multiple partners who cover pieces.” The alliance, which already includes Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France-KLM, gained its 13th member this week with the official induction of Tarom Romanian Air Transport.Vietnam Airlines joined the alliance on June 10 and China Eastern is set to join in the coming months.
The Vietnamese-based budget airline was called Pacific Airlines until 2007, when a 23-per-cent stake was sold to Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. As part of a branding shake-up, the state-owned carrier was renamed Jetstar Pacific Airlines Joint-Stock Aviation Co and given a logo similar to Jetstar Airways Pty, an Australian budget airline launched by Qantas. Previously, Qantas has not raised any objections to Jetstar Pacific’s use of the orange-star logo. Speculation has mounted that the order by the CAAV stems from opposition to the Australian stake in the airline by elements in the Vietnamese government, which still holds 73 per cent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2930a/” 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> The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered budget carrier Jetstar Pacific to change its orange-star logo and repaint all of its aircraft. “Jetstar Pacific has to do it to avoid customers confusing the Vietnamese airline with Australian carrier Jetstar Airways,” said Deputy Minister of Transportation Pham Quy Tieu.
Dr Handa, George Souris, Emma Matthews, Adrian Collette Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Opera in Sydney will be taken to a new level (sea-level, that is) when Opera Australia presents La Traviata on Sydney Harbour. The new event will start its season on 24 March 2012 and run for the duration of three weeks.The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) together with Events NSW on behalf of the NSW government have sponsored the event enabling Opera Australia to roll out three annual seasons of which will be known as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.It will be the first opera in Australia to be held on a tailor-made stage built over the water off the Royal Botanical Gardens and, according to Opera Australia, this is there most ambitious project yet.“Opera on Sydney Harbour will be a spectacular event and will focus national and international attention on Sydney,” NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said.”Sydney Harbour will once again become the stage, attracting people from all over the world.” Events NSW on behalf of the government will work with Opera Australia to connect with potential markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the USA to encourage tourism to accompany this major opera event.Speaking to e-travelblackboard Opera Australia chief executive Adrian Collette indicated that the opera marked the creation of an event for which Sydney will become known, generating tourism locally, nationally and globally.“A vision of this scale is only possible when it’s a vision shared and we’re very fortunate to have such partners in the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, and Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government,” Mr Collette said.Internationally acclaimed director Francesca Zambello will stage direct the production which will feature Sopranos Emma Mathews and Rachelle Durkin and tenors Ji-Min Park and Gianluca Terranova.“The chance to work with Opera Australia and its wonderful performers to bring La Traviata to the stage is something that I would always consider an exciting undertaking. But staged on the water, under the stars and with that iconic Sydney skyline as a backdrop, this is truly a special opportunity,” Ms Zambello.Tickets will go on sale to the public on 04 July 2011 and price ranges from AUD$85 – AUD$350, dinner and show packages are also available. Opera Australia chief executive Adrian Collette was kind enough to meet with the etravelblackboard team and described the event as a once in a life time opportunity Alan Jones, George Souris The stunning voice of Emma Mathews who plays “Violetta” is regarded as one of Australia’s most outstanding sopranos.
Good things come in pairs at Rotorua’s Hamurana Lodge Boutique Hotel, which has been applauded for its outstanding service for the second year in a row.The lodge has only been open for two years, but has been awarded its second Certificate of Excellence after it was again voted top for service by traveller reviews made through TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website.Since it opened in 2009 the lodge has established a name for itself in Rotorua’s tourism market with innovative product offerings and service excellence.Hotel director Fred Novella says the award comes in the wake of a very busy summer season and again shows the great team effort that goes into providing the best genuine hospitality to the lodge’s guests.“In the past two years, the last five months have been our best and it is with great pleasure that we receive this recognition,” says Mr Novella.“The Excellence Award is a genuine reflection of our team’s efforts as it comes from guests that have experienced our hospitality and the services we provide here at the lodge.”Mr Novella says the award complements the lodge’s number one ranking restaurant in Rotorua, Le Manoir Restaurant.“We are extremely proud of our position in the New Zealand Hotel Industry,” he says.“Our successes to date show that local and international travellers alike are keen to experience luxury in great surroundings but mainly with a team of dedicated professionals.” Source = Hamurana Lodge Boutique Hotel
In an initiative to show the world why there is no where better to celebrate New Year’s Eve than in Sydney, Tourism Australia has launched a social media campaign to capture a short film overnight on New Year’s Eve. Party-goers celebrating the night are urged to capture and share the experience and emotion of welcoming in the New Year with friends and family against the magnificent backdrop of Sydney’s world renowned fireworks display. This latest digital and social media campaign, titled Project:12 features user-generated video clips via the City of Sydney’s NYE iPhone app. The video clips will be promoted globally via Tourism Australia’s Facebook and Twitter sites in the early morning hours of January 1, 2012 before many other parts of the world reach their own 2012 countdown, as well as released on Tourism Australia’s YouTube channel. Tourism Australia is also giving away a BridgeClimb gift certificate for the best video clip submitted City of Sydney’s NYE iPhone app Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
The Queensland tourism industry has received a massive boost as Gold Coast Airport reports a rise in passenger arrivals, the first year on year gain since the chain of natural disasters that hit last year.Recent figures reveal almost 26,000 more passengers arrived into the Gold Coast Airport in March 2012 than in the same month a year ago.Internationally, 67,023 passengers arrived into Gold Coast Airport in March, up 5.5 percent from last year, and 389,688 domestic passengers, up 5.7 percent.Queensland Airport Limited managing director Dennis Chant said the last 12 months had been a challenging year for the region but there are positive signs for the future ahead.”In the next six months we have more seats allocated to the Gold Coast both domestically and internationally,” Mr Chant said.”The loads are starting to pick up too, particularly out of Japan.”Additionally, Ardent Leisure chief executive officer Greg Shaw who represents theme parks Dreamworld, Skypoint Climb and Water World has reported an increase in visitation for the company’s March quarter.”We are happy with the momentum of the theme park division,” Mr Shaw said.”We are in a much better position than we were in the prior year.”Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the Gold Coast was turning around and gaining momentum.”The arrival of budget carrier Scoot next month will be another positive boost to our tourism industry,” Ms Stuckey said. Theme Park boss talked of a turnaround in business Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Hoping to dig up gold, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has announced a step into Australia’s growing mining industry with its new brand offering, Resource Travel Management (RTM).Unveiled this morning, the company said the new brand would help deliver expertise and know-how from the segment that covers up to 30 percent of the company’s business.CTM managing director Jamie Pherous said it was the next logical move for the company and noted it “was time” to launch a brand that catered to specific mining needs.“We have extensive experience in these industries, from mining to oil and gas, to coal, to iron ore – you name it – in Western Australia, in Queensland and also offshore in Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and now Africa and Mongolia,” Mr Pherous said. “These industries are growing, and they need a lot of assistance because their travel needs are so manual, that is why I am so passionate to be able to give this industry the skill-set, the products and the industry-leading expertise that it needs, and quite frankly deserves, with the launch of RTM.”CTM Queensland general manager Andre Moten said among the key areas in which RTM will assist include emergency situation support, end-to-end logistical solutions and industry expertise.He added that the brand would also offer support and quick responses while assisting with pre-trip approvals and commercial and non-commercial requirements. “RTM and CTM can do all of these things and more. We know we offer the most compelling solution for the resource industry and that no one is really positioned as well as CTM and RTM in their understanding of the resource industry at the moment – we have so many customers in these sectors, so many pieces of technology aligned around the industry – this launch is just the next step in our ongoing investment,” he concluded. Earlier this month CTM also announced its first step into the US, with the acquisition of R&A Travel.Click here for more information.
Leading international airline Emirates has signaled its commitment to Australia’s growing cruise industry by taking on the role of Gold Sponsor for the 2012 Cruise Industry Awards.Presented by the International Cruise Council Australasia, the prestigious annual Cruise Industry Awards event recognises leading cruise travel consultants and agencies from across Australia and New Zealand.ICCA General Manager Brett Jardine said he was delighted to welcome Emirates onboard as the Gold Sponsor of the 2012 Awards night, which will be held in Sydney on February 9, 2013.“Emirates first joined the Council as an associate member in 2007 and, as our cruise line members will attest, has made a point of pro-actively working with the industry to carry Australian passengers to cruise ships around the world,” Mr Jardine said.Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown said the airline was pleased to further strengthen its relationship with the ICCA and to celebrate the achievements of those in the industry.“With a route network that currently includes more than 120 destinations in over 70 countries, and a consistent global service proposition, Emirates is a natural partner for cruising operators worldwide,” Mr Brown said. “In particular, the expansion of Emirates’ European network to more than 30 cities has allowed the airline to build stronger relationships with more cruise professionals, who appreciate the wider flight possibilities for connecting with a variety of European cruise itineraries, conveniently via one-stop in Dubai from Australia.“With the growth of Dubai as a popular cruising destination for Australian travellers in its own right, we look forward to furthering our relationship with the Council in 2012, and supporting our partners as the industry continues to flourish,” Mr Brown said. Source = Emirates
Sydney’s Sofitel Wentworth Hotel played host to an evening of fantastic French photography, creative cuisine and a celebration of all things Champagne-Ardenne.The French Government Tourist Office and Champagne Tourist Office invited special guests and media to enjoy a flamboyant dinner prepared by Michelin chef, Philippe Mille, paired with selected G.H. MUMM champagnes.The menu consisted of a hot and cold haddock soup reduction, black truffle risotto with scallops and a tempting chocolate dessert.The evening featured an engaging performance by famous French cabaret entertainer Pierre Marchand.The region of Champagne-Ardenne is just 45 minutes by train from Paris and contains 34,000 hectares of vineyards, 15,000 growers and over 300 Champagne houses. Special guests in attendance included the president of the regional council of Champagne-Ardenne Jean-Paul Bachy, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy, Australian television presenter Catriona Rowntree and many others. During the month of September, an enlightening Champagne Exhibition, featuring rare and imported vintage and contemporary photographs, prints and posters celebrating the exciting bubbly beverage will be on display at the Sydney Sofitel Wentworth Hotel.Check out images from the spectacular evening below or you can visit our Facebook gallery. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Cyclone Evan has ravaged Samoa and its capital, Apia, on Thursday and now the island nation is bracing for a second bout of turmoil as the storm looks set to return.The Samoan government has declared a state of disaster, issuing gale force wind warnings, the ABC reported.Airports and sea ports across the country have been shut down and home evacuations undertaken.Cyclonic conditions caused power to the island to be cut off, infrastructure damage, trees torn down and flash flooding throughout Apia.Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Taulealea Usunai said weather conditions were expected to intensify once again as the cyclone moves back towards Samoa.“There is a possibility that it may turn around,” Mr Usunai said.“At the moment we are coping, but in calling for international assistance during the cyclone it will be difficult to get help into the country because airports are closed and so are the ports.”Two children are believed to have drowned near Apia Park after flash floods devastated the area.The Disaster Management Office has not confirmed the deaths, but as is traditional in Samoa, families have posted announcements on state radio, advising of the tragedy.The US territory of American Samoa was preparing to be hit but has so far only experienced high winds.Cyclone Evan is thought to be one of the most powerful to hit the Pacific nation in 20 years. Cyclone Evan is set to return to further wreak havoc on Samoa. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T