Travelweek Group Tags: Bermuda, Sales, Spa Tuesday, January 15, 2019 Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> BERMUDA — Travellers will be tickled pink over Bermuda’s ‘Pink Sale’, a seasonal promotion that includes up to 50% off on select hotels.Running until Jan. 22, for travel from Jan. 1-April 30, 2019 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2019, the sale allows sun-seekers to take advantage of the island’s world-class hotels, with rates starting at US$124.50.Participating hotels include:Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort and SpaRosedon HotelCoral Beach & Tennis ClubGreenbank Guesthouse & CottagesFairmont SouthamptonThe Reefs Resort & ClubHamilton Princess & Beach ClubElbow Beach BermudaCambridge Beaches Resort & SpaThe St. George’s ClubCoco Reef ResortRoyal Palms HotelGrotto Bay Beach Resort & SpaIn addition to the Pink Sale, Bermuda is also celebrating Spa Month in February with 50% off its most alluring resort and day spas. Indulgence options include:Power Facial at Exhale, The Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach ClubLuxury Packages at Three Graces Day Spa, Newstead Spa & SalonWinter Warming Massage at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, Rosewood BermudaRejuvenating Treatments at Siam Thai Massage and Herbal SpaFull Body Massage and Blowout, The Spa at the LorenTherapeutic Massage at the Ocean Spa, Cambridge BeachesFocus on the Feet at Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont SouthamptonMore news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedFor more information visit gotobermuda.com. Get 50% off hotels and spa treatments in Bermuda
Tags: Disney World, Epcot Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Woman issues cry for help after losing boyfriend at Epcot Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Share ORLANDO — You would probably find a wide assortment of items at the Lost & Found at Walt Disney World. Keys, phones, wallets, umbrellas and… boyfriends?That’s what one woman was probably hoping to retrieve during a recent visit to the park. According to People, Brittany Blake and her boyfriend Regory Turco became separated at Epcot while on a couple’s vacation. To make matters worse, Turco’s cell phone ran out of battery, making it impossible for the pair to contact one another.So, rather than wait all day at Lost & Found for someone to deliver her boyfriend (we kid, we kid), Blake took matters into her own hands and posted a cry for help in the Disney Annual Passholders Facebook group.“Weird post but lost my boyfriend in Epcot today and haven’t been able to find him for hours because his phone is dead. If anyone sees him can they tell him to meet us at the Mexican pavilion?”More news: Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Blake also ended the note with: “P.S. I’m the one who’s nervous here because I hate being alone lmao. He’s probably off drinking.”She included a photo of Turco taken earlier that day, wearing a bright red Hawaiian shirt, in hopes that someone – anyone – would recognize him.Well, as you can imagine, Facebook responded in full, with over 1,300 comments in just two hours. One commenter was quick to point out to Turco’s shirt resembled that of Stitch from Lilo & Stitch, and went so far as to post a photo of Stitch to prove it.“I did not see him but Stitch has a similar shirt on,” the commenter wrote.Other people left very ‘helpful’ suggestions as to where Turco could possibly be, including “napping on spaceship earth”, “drunk in Mexico” and “in line for Frozen”.And then, there were commenters who urged Blake to take advantage of her newfound ‘freedom’ and start living it up at the park.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the team“At some point you need to give up and take the gift that’s in front of you. You’re now a single rider and that’s almost like having a Fast Pass. His loss,” one commenter wrote.Nearly three hours after she first posted her message, Blake reported on Facebook that she eventually found her boyfriend. So where was he?Sure enough. Turco was spotted in line for Frozen!Blake, who also noted that her boyfriend was “drinking all day” while looking for her, made sure to thank everyone for their “nice comments”. We hope she wasn’t all that mad at Turco and was able to just ‘let it go’.
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Europe, Network, WestJet Monday, May 27, 2019 Posted by CALGARY — WestJet’s inaugural flight to Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) has taken flight.The first departure left Toronto Pearson on May 24, expanding the airline’s European network as part of its global expansion strategy. It’s WestJet’s first route to Spain.“This flight between Barcelona and Toronto complements our existing Toronto-London (Gatwick) service in providing our guests with another nonstop flight to a popular European tourism and financial centre,” says Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. The three times weekly service is operated on WestJet’s Boeing 767 that includes the airline’s updated Premium and Economy cabin service. This summer, with the addition of Barcelona, WestJet will operate to five European cities including London, Gatwick, Paris, Dublin and Glasgow.Out of Toronto, flights depart at 10:05 p.m., arriving in Barcelona the next day at 11:50 a.m. On the return, flights depart Barcelona at 1:20 p.m., arriving back in Toronto at 4:15 p.m. Travelweek Group WestJet’s three times weekly flights to Barcelona take off
The Osa Peninsula’s pristine beaches were left in disarray this week when 280 dead turtles and other sea animals washed ashore on Monday along 10 kilometers of coast between Punta Banco and Playa Pavones, in the Southern Zone.“Turtles do not normally die in mass like this,” said Didiher Chacón, Latin America director of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network (WIDECAST).Most of the animals that washed ashore were olive ridley turtles, but officials also found marlin, sailfish and green turtles. Both species of sea turtles are recognized as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list for endangered and threatened species.On Tuesday morning, WIDECAST sent two investigative teams to the area. Researchers pulled five recently killed turtles and two live ones from the water for lab analysis. Coast Guard officials found another 15 dead olive ridley turtles during a boat patrol. Alarmed by the lack of physical damage to the turtles, the Coast Guard released a statement on Tuesday warning the public about possible bacteria infecting the area’s waters.“It is possible that we are talking about a toxin like red tide,” Chacón said on Tuesday before lab results were finished. “But turtles usually do not have the same problems with bacteria that mammals do, and now, we are almost 100 percent sure it is something related to fishing.”According to Chacón the absence of fishing hooks and lines on the turtles does not rule out fishermen as the cause.“We did find hooks and lines in a fraction of the turtles on the beach,” he said, “but sometimes fishermen will remove the hook and cut the line. The lab tests will determine if the turtle drowned or not.”Preliminary tests completed Wednesday afternoon showed foaming mucus and water in the turtles’ lungs. This, along with physical tests, showed the cause of death was forced submersion – likely from long-lines used by fishermen. Officials will send these and additional test results to the judicial system to determine if fishermen are to blame. As a protected marine area, long-line fishing is illegal in the Golfo Dulce. Both Chacón and the Waters and Oceans Vice Ministry also confirmed that there were indications that live bait was used.According to a statement released by the Marine Turtle Restoration Program (PRETOMA), area residents have spotted long-line vessels in the gulf for the past 10 days.“We have been patrolling the area, but because of the area’s proximity to Panama there is no way of knowing if this incident occurred here or in international waters,” said Jackelyn Rivera, an adviser at the recently created Waters and Oceans Vice Ministry, part of the Environment Ministry. “We have yet to find a fishing vessel nearby.”Coast Guard Director Martín Arías, said, “If it was illegal fishing, we have no way of knowing if it took place in the Golfo Dulce.”WIDECAST and other environmental groups criticized government agencies for failing to take action against illegal fishing in the gulf.“At WIDECAST, we send boats out to tag turtles all the time, and there is not a population outside of the gulf significant enough to account for this number of dead turtles,” Chacón said. “It having happened outside of the gulf is an improbable scenario.”In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, environmental groups said that local fishing organizations have been reporting the presence of long-line and live-bait fishing vessels in the area since early January. Conservationists accused the Coast Guard of ignoring those complaints, as well as other incidences involving sailfish and marlin. “What is happening in the south of Costa Rica is something that happens every day,” said Donald McGuiness, president of the Costa Rican Association for Responsible Fishing. “If long-lines are going to be used as a tool for fishing, it needs to be in an area with good conditions and space to use that tool. If not, the deaths of turtles will be permanent and inevitable.”The incident has caused environmental groups to call for increased vigilance from the Coast Guard in the area, citing international laws requiring the country to protect endangered species.“If there is no control and monitoring in these protected areas by government authorities, these situations will continue to happen,” said Mónica Gutiérrez, president of ProNature, an environmental group. “This is a joint effort; NGOs provide knowledge and resources, and the government should then ensure proper compliance through regulation.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. OTTAWA, Canada – A heat wave is threatening to take the bloom off one of the world’s largest garden festivals, as more than one million colorful tulips in Canada’s capital began wilting Tuesday.More than 100 heat records were broken across the country, according the weather office, while Ottawa posted a near-record 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 Fahrenheit) just as the Canadian Tulip Festival was getting underway.“You’re at the mercy of the weather. Some years there was frost on the ground, and others the tulips bloomed too soon,” festival head Allan Wigney told AFP.“Most of the tulips in the beds look pretty good now, but if it stays 27 degrees for another week, it’s not going to be good for any plants.”The festival started in 1953 as a nod to the Dutch royal family, which had sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters during the Second World War Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.Over the past six decades, it grew into a major tourist event, adding music concerts, celebrity talks and more, drawing up to 500,000 tourists a year.Last decade, however, heavy rains and cold drove away many visitors and the festival to the brink of bankruptcy.One year, a cold snap left ghostly gardens with only green stems throughout the city – all the tulip petals had fallen off days after blooming. Festival organizers adapted by moving several events indoors.So far this year, tens of thousands have attended the event.Garden tourism is very popular, Wigney noted.“It’s a big international business. A lot of people go see the flora” at similar events all over the world, he said.But tulips only bloom for a short while and timing it right is very difficult for the 18-day festival that ends May 20.“The tulips are looking pretty good right now but there’s no guarantee with weather and vegetation,” Wigney said.“I hope people don’t blame us for the weather. Of course, the tulips are a big part of the festival, but there’s a lot to do” there beyond perusing the flowers, he added. Facebook Comments
Fifty students from the Barrio Socorro School in Santo Domingo de Heredia, north of San José, are recipients of new XO laptop computers thanks to a donation by the Lincoln School and the Quirós Tanzi Foundation.The donation, presented on Tuesday, is part of a program called “Conectándonos” (Connecting Us), a cooperative agreement between Education Minister Leonardo Garnier and the Quirós Tanzi Foundation, a local NGO. Through the program, which started in February 2012, some 3,000 students from 43 public schools have received computers and technology training.Located in Barrio Socorro, the Lincoln School joined the Quirós Tanzi Foundation in assisting the local public school by purchasing the computers and helping with training and technical support.“Today we not only celebrate the donation of 50 computers to our friends at the Barrio Socorro school, but also the fact that we’re coming together as a community to improve education and offer a lifestyle change through innovative opportunities,” Lincoln School Director Robert Rinaldo said.The XO is a rugged computer that includes a camera, microphone, 3 USB ports, WI-FI connection and easy-to-use software designed by the International Organization “One Laptop per Child.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
Wednesday, Oct 30San José SKALLOWEEN: Latino Rock Café, San José, 8 p.m., ₡3,000 ($6), bands include Matixando, Dogandul, Mighty RiddimTerror Special: El Observatorio, 8 p.m., ₡5,000 ($10), The Comedy League performs—Thursday, Oct 31Curridabat Halloween: Epic, prizes, surprises, and the best of Rock-n-rollEscazú Cursed Room: 1/4 Lounge, Escazú (Trejos Montealegre),open bar, scary “After Midnight Surprise,” DJ MaxxMasquerade Ball: 8ctavo Rooftop, free with mask, ₡5,000 ($10) without mask, dress code: formal, prizes for the best costumes: best couple, best woman, best mask, DJs: Alix Alvarez (NYC), Diego López (CR)Heredia Halloween Party: Bungalow, costume contest, no cover, ₡3,000 ($6) to enter contest, ₡300,000 in prizes (sexiest costume, best costume, most original costume)JacóHalloween Party: Monkey Bar, costume contest with prizesHalloween: Orchid VIP Room, costume contest with prizesHaunted House: Hook Up, Los Sueños Resort, Jacó (Herradura), haunted house with costume contests for children and adults, drink specials and other surprisesAnnual Halloween Bash: Backyard Bar, Jacó (Playa Hermosa), 8 p.m.La SabanaCreepy Vintage Halloween: Club Vertigo, no cover with costume, ₡4,000 ($8) without costume, DJs: Romain Garriot, Fernando Melo, Javier Portilla & Sotela, Faceblind, Ivan Cespedes, Daniel SalasPavasHalloween: Bulevar Relax, Marta & los del Barrio performPuerto ViejoHalloween: Outback Jack’s Roadkill Grill, 8 p.m., terrifying tunes by the Spooks, costumes, giveawaysSan JoséCarpe Chepe: Halloween Pub crawl, Craig Irish Pub, 8 p.m., ₡10,000 ($20) for foreigners; ₡8,000 ($16) for Costa Ricans; prize for most original costume Satanique Boutique: El Steinvorth, ₡3,000 ($6), DJs: Huba & Silica, Vladimir, PiloyHalloween After Party Orgy: Babel Lounge, “All in. All the night,” no coverTerror Special: El Observatorio, 8 p.m., ₡5,000 ($10), The Comedy League performsSan Pedro Jalo Guin: Mundoloco, 9 p.m., 18+, cover: ₡3,000 ($6), bands: Sleazer, Dream Of Fire, MaverickHalloween UNDERCOVER: Jazz Café, 9:30 p.m., cover: ₡5,000, “A Night of Surprises and Live Rock-n-Roll”Vampiresas: Al Anochecer, 10 p.m., ₡2,260 ($4.50), Isabel Trapani, Alexandra Piedra & Carla VegaSanta Ana Halloween: Stereo Luv, Santa Ana (Lindora), Halloween beach party, ₡3,000 ($6), Ojo de Buey, DJ GarfHalloween Diaries: BarHome, Los Ajenos Live Show, DJs: Fede, Tocuma, Ivo Villalobos, Costume Contest: first prize: a trip to Miami and $500 cash for shopping, second prize: $300 cash, third prize for sexiest ladies: free bar for 50 peopleTamarindo Halloween Night: Bar1 Sushi Lounge, Ladies Night: Girls drink free from 9-11 p.m., costume show off with special prizes, DJ Deluxe—Friday, Nov 1Escazú Dia De Los Muertos: 1/4 Lounge, Escazú (Trejos Montealegre), reggae night, ₡3,000 ($6) (includes 1 beer), DJ Set by The Red Monkey Crew San José Día De Los Muertos: El Steinvorth, Day of the Dead party, ₡5,000 ($10), DNCFLR and AlphabeticsDía De Los Muertos: El Observatorio, ₡3,000 ($6), SonámbuloAfter Death: Babel Lounge, no cover, Amanda Mondoy Palacios as La Catrina, DJs Night Murders: Asel and RozsHalloween Grunge: Latino Rock Café, 9:30 p.m., ₡4,000 ($8), Diesel Rock CR & Sweet InsanityDia De Los Muertos: El Sotano, Latino Cabaret, Lucho Calavera y la canalla & NeoticsThe Best Halloween Party: Rick’s Sports Bar & Grill, 9 p.m., no cover, MC Dan Robinson, prize for the best costumeHalloween Survivors: Latino Rock Café, 12:30 am, ₡3,000 ($6), Steven Oviedo B2B, DJ Marlon Dez, Pablo Muzi3k, Kharlos Chan, Justin MoralesSan Pedro The Night Before Halloween: Tao Lounge, ₡5,000 ($10), DJ GaboSan Ramón Halloween Edition: Secretos, free bar for presale ticketholders from 9 p.m.–midnight, ₡3,000 ($6), DJ Mario Miranda and DJ FRiGiDSanta Ana Halloween & Los Ajenos: Sushi Kai, Santa Ana (Lindora), 11 p.m. ₡7,000 ($14( at the door, ₡5,000 ($10) presale—Saturday, Nov 2, 2013Curridabat Epiclloween: Epic, open bar for ladies until 11 p.m., prize for best costume Heredia No Tricks Halloween Party: Hard Rock Café, Heredia (Belén), 8 p.m., limited to 1,000 spaces, ₡17,000 ($34), DJ Zeta Bosio and DJ WakatelaHalloween Scary Party: Rio Club, 8 p.m., costume contests, more than $3,000 in prizes, ₡5,000 ($10) general admission; ₡10,000 ($20) VIP with free bar from 8-10 p.m., Lunatikos, Jhonny Man, El GuatoLa SabanaNoche de los Muertos: Club Vertigo, 10 p.m. – 6 a.m., ladies free before midnight, ₡3,000 ($6) after midnight; ₡3,000 ($6) for men before midnight, ₡5,000 ($10) for men after midnight, DJs: Tekes, Hassan, Ezequiel Marinoni, Stefan Zickler, Richard S. Manuel Antonio Dark Water Halloween Party: Hotel Villa Roca, Manuel Antonio, pool party, 4-9 p.m., ₡2,000 ($4)San JoséAquelarre: Babel Lounge, San José, “Because Halloween is a time for orgy, we present Aquelarre,” no cover, host: Winder Males, bondage: Hera Arannie, DJs Night Murders: Asel and RozsHalloween Party: Hoxton, San José, 8 p.m., Los Cuchillos, ₡4,000 ($8) presale, ₡6,000 ($12) day of eventSan Pedro Dark Karnival: Tao Lounge, San Pedro, open bar, cover ₡5,000 ($10) Facebook Comments No related posts.
Related posts:Art City Tour to celebrate half-decade of GAM Cultural Second Oktoberfest migrates to Pedregal Cowboys, coffee, and other happenings around Costa Rica Valentine’s Day, lyrical boleros, and other happenings around Costa Rica Facebook Comments The Little Theatre Group has once again put on a jewel of a play. It helps when it’s written by the all-time-wonderful Tennessee Williams. It also helps when the director is a pro – Ann Antkiw – and when the actors all have professional backgrounds.Performed in the cozy theater space at Verdeza (the new retirement home near Cima Hospital in Escazú), the newly installed risers add better sight lines for front rows, the new lighting is just right for creating ambience and the theater space doesn’t need an extra inch, especially for this marvelous play.Costumes by Pamela Rutledge and Janice Bolt, and set pieces – a terrific old telephone and Victrola, especially – add to the seedy attempt at gentility, and every actor calls to mind the terrible pull of memories.Douglas F. Williamson plays the autobiographical “Tom” (Tennessee Williams’ real name). He speaks directly to the audience and then smoothly incorporates himself into the action. His memories of this stifling home, his love for his sick sister and aversion to his smothering mother lost in the past come through loud and clear.Antoinette van Belle as “Amanda” simply takes over the stage. Van Belle moves fluidly and is utterly delightful despite playing a woman who is a control freak, with dreams that are totally unrealizable. She also adds a kindness to the character not seen in the many Broadway, movie and TV performances of this classic.Silvia Baltodano, at home in Costa Rica after graduating from the British Central School of Speech and Drama, adds new poignancy to the part of Tom’s sister, “Laura,” and her delight in her glass figurines (the glass menagerie) is one of her best moments.And we were blown away by Robert Isenberg’s “Jim, the gentleman caller.” All of us know people who were “somebodies” in high school and who ended up accomplishing little. And yet, Isenberg captures the memories of Jim and his positive thinking that he will prevail in the most heartbreaking of performances. Bravo!For tickets (they’re almost sold out) at Verdeza’s Teatro Montealegre, in Trejos Montealgre, Escazú (1 km west of Walmart), visit: http://www.littletheatregroup.org or call 8858-1446. Show times are: Sunday, Feb. 16 and 23 at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2:30 p.m.Or, head down to Jacó – less than a two-hour’s drive from San José on the central Pacific coast – for the show at Teatro Jacó at 8 p.m. on March 7-8, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. For reservations, call: 2630-9812, or email: email@example.com.In Guanacaste, see the play at Playa Hermosa’s The Embassy Theater at the Hermosa Heights Hotel, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 1, and 2 p.m., Sunday, March 2. For reservations, call 2672-0173.
VATICAN CITY – A much-loved pope will be declared a saint on Sunday but not everyone in the Catholic Church agrees.John Paul II also alienated many left-wing Catholics and has been blamed for hushing up child sex crimes.“Not all the people of God agree about canonisation,” the International Movement We Are Church said in a statement ahead of the canonization ceremony in St Peter’s for John Paul II and his Italian predecessor John XXIII.The group accused the late pope of “spiritual authoritarianism” and of putting too much emphasis on “hierarchical control” — two traits it said left little room for victims and investigations of abuses.“Pope John Paul II was a pope of great contradiction. His tragedy lies in the discrepancy between his commitment to reform and dialogue in the world and his return to authoritarianism,” it said.The pontiff credited with helping to bring down Communism in Eastern Europe – and whose canonization was made possible by a supposed miracle in Costa Rica – was accused of backing right-wing dictators in Latin America including Augusto Pinochet in Chile during the Cold War.At the same time, the Vatican cracked down on the Liberation Theology movement of pro-social justice clergymen which it saw as being too Marxist.Bishops accused of being leftists were replaced by ultra-conservatives and dissident priests were banned from teaching, while more conservative Latin American movements were given favorable treatment.Even moderate clergymen were shocked, including the Archbishop of San Salvador Óscar Romero, who was said to be “shaken” after meeting John Paul II and being told to “find an agreement with the government” over the issue of landless farmers, according to an account from Italian theologian Giovanni Franzoni.Romero was killed by members of a right-wing death squad in 1980.One of the groups favored by John Paul II was the “Legion of Christ” founded by Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest found to be a sexual predator who abused male seminarians and also fathered at least three children whom he also allegedly abused.Allegations about Maciel were widely known under John Paul II but nothing was done and the Vatican approved a series of secrecy bylaws for the “Legion” that included a ban on criticism of its founder.Critics say the example of the “Legion” showed a wider indifference to thousands of cases of abuse by priests that only began to be properly investigated under John Paul II’s successor Benedict XVI.The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, a victim support and campaign group in the United States that has led criticism of the Vatican said that John Paul II’s canonization was “hurtful.”“Under him, the U.S. bishops’ grudging, belated and weak abuse policy was delayed and further weakened,” it said.‘Centre of attention’John Paul II’s pontificate also marked a murky period for the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works, which was embroiled in the collapse of another bank that laundered money for the Mafia.The Italian bank’s chairman, Roberto Calvi — known as “God’s Banker” — was found hanged on scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982.The Vatican bank’s president at the time was Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, a Machiavellian U.S. clergyman who was effectively shielded in the Vatican City from repeated requests from Italian prosecutors to speak to him.That kind of siege mentality is something that critics have pointed to as another damning trait of John Paul II, leading to excessive centralization and even mismanagement of the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church.A top clergyman who voiced criticism of Wojtyla after his death was Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who said the pontiff had his “limits,” according to a book by historian Andrea Riccardi.Martini reportedly said Wojtyla made “unfortunate” appointments and put himself at the “centre of attention” with his travels “as if he was bishop of the whole world to the detriment of local bishops.”Some traditionalists also have voiced doubt about the radical acceleration of the canonization, which normally requires a would-be saint to have been dead for five years before a candidacy can be launched.The usual Vatican justification for this is that it has been the result of pressure from the faithful when groups in the crowd at his funeral in 2005 were heard shouting: “Santo Subito!” – Sainthood Now. Facebook Comments Related posts:Pope Francis declares John Paul II, John XXIII saints El Salvador unites behind martyr Romero, 35 years on To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ US opens greater channels for trade, air links with Cuba
CREST found filmmakers Charlene Music and Peter Jordan, a U.S. husband-and-wife team with lots of experience in global and progressive subjects. They interviewed locals on the Pacific Coast and put together a film that illustrated the findings in CREST’s report.When the film was first released in Costa Rica, CREST faced a great deal of criticism.“Basically, we ran into some buzz saws,” said Honey. “It caused a huge uproar, particularly from ICT [the Costa Rican Tourism Board]. And I think some of their criticisms were valid.”While Honey felt that the film was factually accurate, and CREST did not recall the copies that were already available in Costa Rica, they shelved it for two years. But not everyone was happy with this decision, and many organizations lobbied for the film to be rereleased.Before committing to a second round, CREST found two major allies: the Corcovado Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting Corcovado National Park, and Margarita Penón, former First Lady of Costa Rica (1986-1990) and a past lawmaker. Penón was interviewed in the film and has been one of its most ardent champions.“It is our hope that this film and the CREST study will stimulate a much-needed public discussion of what types of tourism are most appropriate and beneficial in Costa Rica,” Penón said, as quoted in press material. “If properly managed, tourism can bring benefits to communities and to conservation, and Costa Rica can choose now to turn the tourism industry into a green and sustainable industry. It can choose not to kill the goose that lays golden eggs. We hope you will give us a hand in this endeavor.”Still, CREST responded to scrutiny by modifying the original cut.“We basically redid large parts of the film,” Honey said. “This is not a marketing film. This is for education. Costa Rica has the right stuff to do ecotourism well. Those ingredients rarely exist in other developing countries. Costa Rica is kind of an exception – not totally, but it certainly has its advantages: a strong middle class, good infrastructure, and an incredible park system. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit. All those ingredients actually made it possible to move into ecotourism extremely rapidly.”The revised version of “Golden Eggs” had its premiere at the World Bank in 2013, and the film recently debuted at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. Copies are currently making rounds among policymakers in Costa Rica, and the Corcovado Foundation has been using the film extensively to educate supporters. The film is currently available for download, in Spanish and English, on CREST’s website for $8.98.“We’re very, very pleased,” said Honey of the film’s long road to redistribution. “A film, unlike a report, can really have an impact.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Search continues in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park for missing US hiker 8 ways to beat Costa Rica’s rainy season Final search underway for US hiker missing in Corcovado National Park Lonely Planet guide documents a changing Central America Everybody knows that Costa Rica is a tourists’ paradise. But in the documentary “The Goose with the Golden Eggs,” we hear another side to the story: The industry may be a boon in general, but not every kind of tourist is good for the country.Originally titled “Cracking the Golden Egg,” the film stirred controversy in 2011 and was withdrawn from circulation. After significant revision and a new title, the documentary has been re-released and is making rounds at film festivals.An alarming studyWhen Dr. Martha Honey visited Costa Rica in 2008 to do a talk on tourism, she met residents who were concerned about the rampant development on the Pacific Coast of condos and large-scale hotels, along with infrastructure and businesses to accommodate cruise ships.“It became clear that a lot of people were not on top of fast-paced development in Guanacaste and some of the challenges this was presenting,” Honey recently recalled to The Tico Times. “We began talking about the possibility of doing a study. It became clear that this was something that would be welcomed by the Costa Rican government.”A seasoned journalist and expert on tourism development, Honey is co-founder and co-director of The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), a nonprofit research institute based in Standford University and Washington, D.C. Between 2009 and 2010, Honey and a 15-person team studied the impact of the tourism industry on Costa Rica, particularly in the northwestern province of Guanacaste and the Osa Peninsula, in the Southern Zone. The project received a grant from the environmentally focused Blue Moon Fund.Their findings were alarming: Many hotels were not up to code, cruise line passengers contributed little to the local economy, and swimming pools and golf courses were detrimental to local water supplies. One of the leading contributors: Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, which services direct flights from the United States, accelerating the flood of foreigners – and by extension, foreign entrepreneurs.“It happened so quickly that it kind of caught Costa Ricans off-guard,” Honey said. Because of the development hysteria, the study claimed that building projects were often hasty and conducted illegally. “Part of it was bureaucracy, and part of it was that developers found it easier to pay the fines,” she said.A controversial filmThe CREST staff felt it had produced a groundbreaking study, but they couldn’t expect the average citizen to read it. Such studies are often difficult to slog through, and many of the people affected by rampant development are not sophisticated readers. So CREST decided to commission a documentary.“What was missing were the voices of people on the coast – how they had experienced this tremendous growth of tourism,” recalled Honey.
Related: Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 studentsMEXICO CITY — Indignation over the apparent killings of 43 college students, blamed on a drug gang working with police and a mayor, carried over from the weekend as demonstrators took to the streets in beachside Acapulco.Demonstrators armed with machetes were confronted by Federal Police with shields who briefly stopped their advance before allowing them to block roads to the airport, according to Milenio TV, a day before energy ministers from 15 nations are scheduled to begin a two-day conference in the Pacific resort city.Over the weekend, protests in Mexico City escalated, with masked demonstrators using Molotov bombs to set fire to the main doors of the National Palace that houses Mexico’s Finance Ministry and one of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s offices. After focusing on the economy since his 2012 election, Peña Nieto must make citizens feel safe in a nation where organized crime controls large areas and sometimes works with corrupt officials, analyst Alejandro Schtulmann said.“The country cannot progress only on economic reform of energy and telecommunications if you don’t address fundamentals like the rule of law and public security,” Schtulmann, president and head of research at Mexico City-based political risk consulting firm EMPRA, said in a telephone interview. “I don’t see any development on the horizon that is suddenly going to make this disappear.”Fifteen people were detained after the weekend attack on the National Palace and released without being charged, according to Reforma newspaper. The attack followed a march by 3,000 people from the attorney general’s office to the capital’s main square, where protesters shouted “Peña out,” according to El Universal newspaper. Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against the suspected massacre of 43 missing Mexican students, near Acapulco’s airport, on Nov. 10, 2014. Pedro Pardo/AFPSaudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, is among the officials scheduled to attend the gas and energy conference that starts in Acapulco Tuesday. Peña Nieto is working to attract international investors after ending a seven-decade state monopoly on oil drilling.Drug-related violence has left more than 70,000 dead or missing since 2006, according to Milenio newspaper. Central bank Governor Agustín Carstens said in an interview last month that drug violence is hurting growth, citing monthly Banco de Mexico analyst surveys showing public-security problems as the top obstacle to expansion.Citizen discontent is growing after Attorney General Jesús Murillo said on Nov. 7 that the students were probably killed after being kidnapped by police in the southern city of Iguala, Guerrero, to stop them from disrupting an event featuring the mayor’s wife. DNA tests are being conducted on burned human remains found stuffed in garbage bags in a river, Murillo said.The investigation into the missing students, who were protesting an education overhaul approved last year, has turned up at least nine mass graves and evidence of collusion between the Guerreros Unidos cartel and local officials in Iguala, a city of more than 100,000 people less than three hours’ drive from Mexico City. The disappearances on Sept. 26-27 followed shootings in Iguala that left six people dead. Demonstrators block an entrance of the airport during clashes against riot police in Acapulco, on Nov. 10, 2014. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFPWhile making a stop in Alaska en route to an official trip to China and Australia, Peña Nieto on Sunday condemned the protesters’ attack on the National Palace.“You cannot demand justice acting with violence,” he said. Phone calls and emails seeking comment from Peña Nieto press officials were not returned.The government’s response to the Iguala incident will help determine whether the protests continue, said Sergio Luna, the chief Mexico economist at Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit.“The delicate issue here is the radicalization of the protests,” Luna said in a phone interview from Mexico City. “If we want to enter into the modern world we need not only economic reforms, we also need reforms in politics and justice.”Economists have cut their projections for Mexico’s growth this year, saying the nation is likely to expand 2.5 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey, down from 3.4 percent at the start of the year. While that’s more than the 0.3 percent projection for Brazil, it trails the 4.9 percent estimate for Colombia.Former Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, María de Los Ángeles Pineda, were captured Nov. 4 after authorities alleged they orchestrated the mass kidnapping. The town’s city hall was torched last month during protests over government inaction.Seventy-four people have been arrested in the case, including Guerreros Unidos leaders and police from Iguala and the nearby town of Cocula, Murillo said.The Iguala disappearances coincide with a probe by Mexico’s Human Rights Commission of another massacre in the State of Mexico, where Peña Nieto once served as governor, and the discovery of the corpses of three U.S. citizens near the northern city of Matamoros.Protesters organized a 50,000-person march on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma Boulevard on Oct. 22, the same day Iguala’s city hall went up in flames. They also occupied local government offices in Acapulco, which like Iguala is located in Guerrero, and on Nov. 5. burned a bus in Mexico City near the campus of Mexico’s Autonomous University.Peña Nieto or his Cabinet ministers have addressed the search for the students on national television on an almost daily basis. Their comments haven’t placated the public in a nation where demonstrators march each year to remember the Tlatelolco massacre, when government troops shot and killed hundreds of students protesting anti-democratic practices on Oct. 2, 1968, days before Mexico City hosted the Olympic Games.Protesters have made a rallying cry out of Murillo’s comment ending an hour-long news conference on the students’ deaths on Nov. 7, when he waved off additional questions by saying “enough, I’m tired.” They’ve created the Twitter hashtag “#YaMeCanse” to express indignation at the pace of the government’s investigation and call for Murillo’s resignation.Murillo said Nov. 7 that his office will announce changes to improve Mexico’s justice system in the coming days. Protesters block the attorney general’s office in Mexico City on Nov. 6, 2014. Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed Mexico City in response to the case of 43 missing students who likely were massacred by a drug cartel. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFPPeña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party should work with opposition parties to, at a minimum, restructure police units and prevent criminals from running for public positions, Alonso Cervera, Credit Suisse Group’s chief Latin America economist, wrote in a Nov. 7 research report.Authorities need to improve security in the poorer states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero to stop the growth of organized crime’s power in southern Mexico, Schtulmann said.“The advances that have been made in recent years with regards to justice reform, police reform, transparency and anti- corruption have not been enough and need to go further,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, said in a telephone interview.“Mexican political leaders need to come up with a plan to attack the root cause of the problem while recognizing that this is going to take many, many years to fix.”With assistance from Isabella Cota, Brendan Case and Adam Williams in Mexico City and José Enrique Arrioja in New York.© 2014, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments Related posts:Nestle tweets a joke about the 43 students missing and presumed dead in Mexico Elena Poniatowska: Mexican student massacre reminiscent of concentration camps Mexico’s feeble police vetting ended in 43 vanished students Clashes as Mexicans hold rally for 43 missing students
Related posts:Only 35 percent of Costa Rican corporations will pay taxes on time Lawmakers look to reinstate corporate tax law Restaurant owners say 2 percent bank charge on credit, debit transactions could cause problems Finance Ministry could lower Costa Rica income tax brackets The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Wednesday evening ruled three articles of the country’s Corporate Tax Law unconstitutional, and as a result, collection will be suspended starting next year.The Sala IV ruling notes that taxpayers still are obliged to pay the relevant taxes for the current period by this Saturday’s deadline.According to the ruling, a procedural error occurred in the approval of the law, which created the tax in question in 2011. A version of the approved bill was published in the official newspaper La Gaceta, but lawmakers amended several articles and the changes were never published, the Sala IV stated.Justices found the drafting of articles 1, 3 and 5 unconstitutional. Those articles outline the implementation of the tax, its rates and sanctions for tax dogding.Modifications also included the adding of new sanctions that were not included in the original drafting of the law.Sala IV’s ruling also states that in order to avoid problems or misinterpretations, taxes for the fiscal year 2015 must be paid. Tax collection will be suspended from 2016.The Corporate Tax Law was approved on Dec. 23, 2011, and up to 95 percent of funds are supposed to be invested in public security programs.Before the ruling, the tax had to be paid every January by all corporations registered in the National Registry. This month, active corporations must pay ₡201,700 ($380) per year, and inactive corporations, or those that do not earn a profit, pay ₡100,850 ($190). All payments must be made at Banco de Costa Rica branches. Banco de Costa Rica customers can pay the tax online at the bank’s website.According to the National Registry, 545,000 corporations are registered in Costa Rica. A Jan. 14 report stated that fewer than 6 percent of taxpayers had paid it. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Strong winds to hit Costa Rica again Thursday Costa Rica’s southern Pacific hit by heavy rains, flooding Big waves expected at Costa Rica’s northern Pacific, Caribbean beaches National Emergency Commission maintains hurricane warning for Otto The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) reported on Monday morning that the entry of a high-pressure system into the Gulf of Mexico is increasing the influence of trade winds over Costa Rica.The weather phenomenon is causing strong gusts of wind throughout most of the country. The IMN forecasts winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph), mostly in the Central Valley and in the province of Guanacaste.Windy conditions will reduce rainfall, however: winds over mountainous areas of the Central Valley will reduce the chances of rains in these regions, and prompt a decrease in atmospheric humidity levels and rains in the Northern Zone and the Caribbean. Showers in these areas will be intermittent and of short duration, the IMN forecasts. An animated map from the IMN on Dec. 19 shows winds entering Costa Rica from the Caribbean. (Via IMN)However, meteorologists warned residents of areas prone to landslides and floods to remain alert, particularly in the cantons of Upala and Guatuso, which recently suffered the consequences of Hurricane Otto.The IMN forecasts scattered showers this week along the Central and South Pacific, mostly during the evenings.Meteorologists advised residents of all areas affected by this week’s strong winds to exercise caution and beware of “falling tree branches, tin roof panels and power lines.” Gusts could generate choppy seas and winds could cause strong turbulence for aircraft near mountainous areas. Facebook Comments
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