Docked Queen Mary in Long Beach at urgent risk of flooding or

first_imgTags: Theme Parks & Attractions Share Docked Queen Mary in Long Beach at urgent risk of flooding or collapse Wednesday, March 15, 2017 LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Queen Mary is so corroded that it’s at urgent risk of flooding or collapse, and the price tag for fixing up the 1930s ocean liner could near $300 million, according to a survey done by experts.It would likely take five years to rehab the ship, a tourist destination docked permanently in Long Beach Harbor south of Los Angeles, according to documents obtained by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.During its heyday, the Queen Mary carried Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor, royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries, such as Winston Churchill. It also spent several years ferrying 765,000 Allied troops during World War II, when it was nicknamed the “Gray Ghost.”But now, naval architects and marine engineers who compiled the survey warn that the vessel is probably “approaching the point of no return.”The hull is severely rusted and certain areas, including the engine room, could be prone to flooding, according to the newspaper report published Monday. And because the bilge system is inoperable, large amounts of water can’t be pumped out and could cause the ship to sink to the lagoon floor.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaIn addition, the pillar supports for a raised floor in an exhibition space are corroded throughout and could face “immediate collapse” under the weight of just a few people, the survey said.Roughly 75 per cent of the repairs were deemed “urgent.”The Queen Mary made Long Beach its permanent home in 1967. Now a floating hotel with shops, restaurants and event spaces, the ship attracts some 1.3 million visitors annually.City officials said the findings are being discussed with the ship’s current leaseholder, Urban Commons, and both sides are committed to preserving the historic asset and making sure it can safely remain open to the public. In November, Long Beach approved $23 million to address the ship’s most urgent repairs, and Urban Commons is working to secure additional funding.“We have a timeline in which the engineers believe they can complete those immediate projects,” said John Keisler, economic and property development director. “These are major challenges we can only address over time; it can’t all be done at once.”More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksThe condition has become so dire that politicians in Scotland, where the Queen Mary was built, have called for an international fundraising campaign to restore the former Cunard liner. They’ve urged Prime Minister Theresa May to put pressure on the U.S. government to step in and save their architectural treasure, according to a recent report in Scotland’s national newspaper. << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Presslast_img read more

Southwest eyes Canada for next round of expansion

first_img Share Tags: Canada, Southwest Airlines Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img ANNAPOLIS — Southwest’s expansion plans could include Canada.The original low-cost carrier and the model for countless LCCs and ULCCs, including Canada’s own WestJet, could bring its low fares and customer-first philosophy to Canada in the next few years, says Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.According to the Orlando Business Journal, Kelly told shareholders at Southwest’s annual shareholders’ meeting that Hawaii is first on his wish list. Southwest’s new Hawaii flights are set to launch at the end of 2018. Kelly said: “Our focus this year is on boosting service through our domestic route system. Hawaii expansion will be the major focus for Southwest in 2019, as far as fleet is concerned.”Once the airline’s Hawaii service launches, flights to Canada and also Europe are also strong possibilities for the coming years, said Kelly.WestJet and Southwest signed a distribution and codeshare partnership back in 2008. The carriers exited the deal in 2010. Southwest eyes Canada for next round of expansion Wednesday, May 23, 2018 last_img read more

Royal Caribbean buys majority stake in crown jewel Silversea Cruises

first_img Thursday, June 14, 2018 Posted by MIAMI — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is laying out US$1 billion for a 66.7% stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises in a deal that will set the luxury and expedition cruise brand on a course for continued success, say both companies.The agreement is based on an enterprise value of some $2 billion and RCCL will finance the purchase through debt.  Silversea Cruise Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio  will qualify for some 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of select 2019-2020 performance metrics.“Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.”Lefebvre will stay on as Executive Chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term. Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will also continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJSilversea Cruises was founded in 1994 by Lefebvre’s father. “This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father,” said Lefebvre. “I have always been kindred spirits with Richard and we share a vision of offering excellence and leadership to our guests. This new partnership gives Silversea the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the most successful luxury and expedition cruising brand in the world.”The goals of the new partnership include:Drive long-term capacity growth in the luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;Diversify Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;Leverage the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies; andCreate significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.Lefebvre and Fain say Silversea, with its all-suite ships sailing to more than 1,000 global destinations, as well as its luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand lineup, including RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, premium brand Celebrity Cruises and destination immersive brand Azamara Club Cruises.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upThe deal is expected to close later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.RCCL’s forecast for Q3 and Q4 2018 remains unchanged, but increases in the market price of fuel and the strength of the dollar are expected to cost the company some 25 cents per share. Strong close-in demand for core products and better than expected performance below the line is expected to drive improved results for Q2 and these improved results are expected to completely offset the impact of fuel headwinds in the second half of the year, allowing the company to maintain its financial projections for 2018. Royal Caribbean buys majority stake in ‘crown jewel’ Silversea Cruises Tags: Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruisescenter_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Agents can win bonus points Florida trip with TravelBrands USA brochure

first_imgTags: TravelBrands, USA MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands’ annual USA brochure, out now, has a few agent perks, including extra Loyalty Rewards points and a trip to the U.S., complete with rental car and theme park tickets.Agents who book USA Land and Air inclusive packages from Nov. 1-30, 2018 will receive 3x Loyalty Rewards points on their respective bookings.Bookings of $1,500 or more will receive a $50 add-on credit using promo code USA50.For every applicable booking made during the promotional period, agents will be entered in a draw to win a grand prize consisting of a five-night stay with Vacation Homes Collection in Kissimmee, a five-day car rental, two three-day theme park tickets, and a $1,000 TravelBrands voucher.Valid bookings must be made online through Access and must be destinations featured in the latest brochure.Two new notable destinations featured in this year’s brochure are Louisiana and Palm Springs, California. TravelBrands offers packaging to every city in the U.S.“There are so many unique places through the U.S. that we wanted to showcase. We designed it as a useful tool to help travellers and travel agents plan a vacation from start to finish,” said Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands. “Whether it is flights, hotels, car rentals, attractions or tours, the ‘find your USA’ brochure highlights all components of a vacation in the U.S.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsTo receive a copy of ‘find your USA’, go to Agents can win bonus points & Florida trip with TravelBrands’ USA brochure Share Posted bycenter_img Tuesday, October 30, 2018 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Airbus CEO warns it could move in event of no deal Brexit

first_imgTags: Airbus, Brexit Share LONDON — The chief executive of Airbus warned Thursday that the aviation giant could move its U.K. operations out of the country if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal on trade relations.Tom Enders’ sharply worded statement comes as business leaders increasingly express their frustration at the lack of progress in securing a Brexit deal ahead of Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit from the bloc.U.K. firms are bracing for disruption amid fears that a “no-deal” Brexit will cause economic chaos by eliminating trade agreements and imposing tariffs, customs checks and other barriers between the U.K. and the EU, its biggest trading partner“Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here,” Enders said. “They are wrong.”Airbus has more than 14,000 employees in Britain – on top of about 110,000 more working in jobs supported by Airbus programs – as well as some 6 billion pounds ($7.83 billion) in annual turnover. But Enders said that the country’s aerospace sector now stands at a precipice, with Brexit threatening to destroy a century of development in the world-leading industry.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is back“Of course, it is not possible to pick up and move our large U.K. factories to other parts of the world immediately,” Enders acknowledged. “However, aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to re-direct future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And make no mistake there are plenty of countries out there who would love to build the wings for Airbus aircraft.”Many large companies in Britain have warned of the dangers of leaving without a deal, fearing the uncertainty and disruption that would bring. The Bank of England has said that in a worst-case scenario, a sudden Brexit with no deal on future relations could trigger a recession, with Britain’s economy shrinking 8 per cent within months as unemployment and inflation soar.Warnings from businesses have grown louder in recent days, but the Airbus comments are notable because of the tone – and the pointed reference about a willingness to pull up stakes and go. Britain’s divided Parliament is set to vote again on Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal on Tuesday – and on rival plans, including attempts by groups of legislators to delay Britain’s exit and to rule out “no-deal.”More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in July“It is a disgrace that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future,” Enders said. “And we, along with many of our peers, have repeatedly called for clarity. But, we still have no idea what is really going on here.” Thursday, January 24, 2019 By: The Associated Press Airbus CEO warns it could move in event of no deal Brexit << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Turnout low in first vote abroad as Tico expats prefer Luis Guillermo

first_imgRelated posts:6 things you should know about Sunday’s elections in Costa Rica Costa Rica’s elections tribunal blames the Super Bowl for low voter turnout abroad Ticos living abroad can now register online to vote in 2018 Supreme Elections Tribunal begins manual recount of presidential votes Nearly eight out of 10 Costa Ricans registered to vote abroad in Sunday’s presidential elections decided to stay home. This is the first time Ticos could vote from other countries, and the turnout was less than stellar.According to the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) , only 22 percent of 12,600 registered expat voters – 2,772 – went to the polls.Those who did preferred Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís by a wide margin. With 90 percent of the votes tallied, Solís won 42 percent of the expat vote, while National Liberation Party candidate Johnny Araya won 27 percent.The Broad Front Party’s José María Villalta came in third with 14.8 percent, followed by Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara, with 9 percent.TSE spokesman Hugo Picado noted that the numbers are not yet official. For voters in the U.S. and Canada, TSE officials will study if adverse weather affected abstention rates.In Sunday’s elections, Ticos were allowed to vote for presidential candidates – but not legislative candidates – in 52 consulates located in 42 countries. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica approves joint US patrols and docking permits to fight drug

first_imgLawmakers on Monday evening voted to extend permission to the U.S. Coast Guard to participate in joint drug patrols in Costa Rican waters and to dock in the country’s ports.With 42 of 52 legislators present voting in favor, the measure will be effective from July 1 to Dec. 31 and includes both Caribbean and Pacific ports.Debates over the U.S. request had delayed voting in the Legislative Assembly for several days after Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa submitted a list of U.S. vessels seeking to participate in the patrols.Earlier, President Luis Guillermo Solís denied statements attributed to him by the daily La Nación endorsing the use of U.S. Navy vessels in drug patrols, saying he supports “strict adherence to the joint patrol agreement, which includes ships only from the U.S. Coast Guard.”Nine legislators from the Broad Front Party and one from the Citizen Action Party (PAC) – Javier Cambronero – voted against granting the permission. Those lawmakers criticized Solís for having a “contradictory position” on the issue.“This is a matter national sovereignty [and] principle. … We are a country of peace; we don’t need military ships or military schools here,” the Broad Front Party’s Francisco Camacho said.PAC legislator Franklin Corella countered by saying the patrols were needed to protect national security.“We can only face serious problems like drug trafficking through relationships with other countries. We are a peaceful country, but we need to develop strategies that include other countries and organizations to protect our national security,” Corella said.Libertarian Movement Party lawmaker Otto Guevara agreed, saying, “Costa Rica has no ability to protect our seas, so a ‘yes’ vote is crucial; patrols also will benefit port cities, they’ll offer protection to local fishermen and they’ll help us fight drug trafficking.”Guevara, however, also criticized Solís for having an “ambiguous position” on the matter.PAC lawmakers said they oppose allowing armed U.S. Naval ships into the agreement, a distinction the Broad Front Party does not acknowledge. To the Broad Front, U.S. Coast Guard ships also are “armed vessels.”Following the vote, 37 lawmakers also voted to approve allowing a Peruvian training vessel to dock at the Caribbean port of Limón from June 27-30. Facebook Comments Related posts:Lawmakers extend permission for 44 US Coast Guard ships to patrol, dock in Costa Rica Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Joint Costa Rica-US patrols yield more than 2,000 kilos of drugs US anti-drug trafficking review arrives in Costa Rica as lawmakers debate permissionslast_img read more

Nativity scenes funk music and other happenings around Costa Rica

first_imgNativity ScenesNothing says “traditional Christmas” like a nativity scene, and the elaborate dioramas are beloved across Costa Rica. To celebrate the season – and the legendary birth of Jesus Christ – the José Figueres Ferrer Cultural and Historical Center presents an exhibition of 25 nativity scenes. See how amateur artists recreated that fabled manger and the arrival of Three Wise Men in this inventive display.Exhibition on display at the José Figueres Ferrer Cultural and Historical Center, downtown San Ramón. Tue.-Wed., 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Info: Museum website.Christmas ConcertsDec. 19Pop Christmas: Tamela Hedstrom, Miriam Jarquín, and Sasha Campbell perform with the Band of Cartago at the Municipal Amphitheatre, Cartago. 7 p.m. Free.Dec. 21Band of Limón: “White Christmas” concert with Grupo Master Key, Parque Vargas, downtown Puerto Limón. 6 p.m. Free.Band of Guanacaste: Central Park, Cañas. 7 p.m. Free.Band of Puntarenas: Lighthouse Point, Puntarenas. 11 a.m. Free.Tamarindo Growing TogetherThis community festival features yoga, martial arts, fire shows, and surfing, among countless other activities. Proceeds benefit the CEPIA community center.Fundraiser takes place Dec. 20 at Pangas Beach Club, Tamarindo. 4:30 p.m. ₡2,500-5000 ($5-10). Info: CEPIA website.Art: Clearly Costa RicaCombining realistic animal portraits with abstractly patterned scenery, Nathan Miller’s art is a colorful illustration of Costa Rica’s outdoors.Exhibit opening takes place Dec. 20 at Hidden Garden Art Gallery, near Liberia, Guanacaste. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website. Music: InfibeatThe high-energy Costa Rican funk band takes over Mundoloco.Concert takes place Dec. 20 at Mundoloco El Chante, San Pedro. 8 p.m. Info: Mundoloco Facebook page.Music: Mike Joseph and The Gideon BandLimón-based reggae outfit gets funky in San José.Concert takes place Dec. 19 at AmonSolar, Barrio Amón. 9 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: AmonSolar Facebook page.A Sack Full of ChristmasChildren’s storyteller Juan Cuantocuentos tells tales of the New Testament, with music and hijinx.“Navidad de Gangoche” will be performed Dec. 20 at The National Theater, downtown San José. 11 & 1 p.m. ₡2,000-4,000 ($4-8). Info: National Theater website. Film: “Watership Down”The haunting 1978 film screens at the Monge Museum as part of its “subversive animation” series. See how it compares to Richard Adams’ classic allegorical novel about rabbits seeking a new home.“La Colina de Watership” screens Dec. 20 at the Museo Joaquín García Monge, Desamparados. 6:30 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). Info: GAM Cultural.Theater: “A Christmas Carol”“Un Cuento de Navidad” receives its annual production at Teatro Espressivo, thanks to a stage adaptation by Paul Stebbings.“Un Cuento de Navidad” continues through Dec. 21 at Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 7 p.m. ₡7,000-10,000 ($14-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Exhibit: “Tomás Povedano and Costa Rican Cash”The Spanish artist Tomás Povedano already had a shining career before his moved to Costa Rica and designed the national currency. Catch this numismatic retrospective at the National Bank Museums.“Tomás Povedano y Los Billetes de Costa Rica” continues through Aug. 1, 2015, at the National Bank Museums, downtown San José. Openly daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡1,500. Info: Bank Museums website. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Christmas cheer, oxcart parades, and other happenings around Costa Rica Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Rica BMX bikers, TEDx lectors, and other happenings around Costa Rica Arts festival, music festival, yoga festival, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

RichardsRoss cruises into Olympic 400 final

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day How do cataracts affect your vision?center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories AP Sports WriterLONDON (AP) – American runner Sanya Richards-Ross walked through Olympic Stadium carrying her gold-bottomed cleats.If things go as planned, she’ll be doing the same with a gold medal.Richards-Ross won her semifinal heat in the women’s 400 meters Saturday night, setting a blistering pace before coasting to a spot in the final.It sure looked like she was showing off. If so, who could blame her? She had her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross, on hand for his first Olympics. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Ross left training camp Friday and arrived the following day, just in time to spend some time with Richards-Ross before her latest race. He had to be impressed. After all, Richards-Ross was way out front after they turned for home.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Greece Banker probed over 10 million transfer

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The troubled state bank was privatized last month, in a decision that triggered rolling 24-hour strikes by a union representing the bank’s employees and has strained the country’s six-week old government coalition, with a junior partner opposed to the sale.Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos confirmed Friday that the alleged money transfers by the banker would be investigated.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ATHENS, Greece (AP) – A financial prosecutor in Greece has ordered an investigation into the alleged transfer of (EURO)8 million ($9.9 million) out of the country by a former senior official at a newly-privatized bank.Prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis on Monday instructed the Finance Ministry’s fraud division to carry out the probe into the legality of actions allegedly taken by the official of ATEBank, who was not named publicly. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonacenter_img Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Algeria arrests militant support network

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top 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 Since Tunisia’s struggle with jihadists began, Algeria has beefed up its forces on the border to prevent militants from crossing into the country.The recent arrests took place after two armed militants were killed there last week.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Sponsored Stories ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) – Algeria’s state news agency has announced the arrest of some 20 people accused of supporting armed Islamic groups along the country’s border with Tunisia.Monday’s report said the arrests, which involved suspects ranging in age from 25 to 80, took place over the past 24 hours near the town of Tlydjen, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the city of Tebessa.Just across the border in Tunisia is Chaambi mountain, where militants have been battling Tunisian forces for the past year, killing several soldiers. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Medicare House calls can help frail seniors and cut costs

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — An X-ray in the living room. A rapid blood test. A peek into pill bottles and refrigerators. The humble house call can accomplish a lot — and now research suggests that tailoring it to some of Medicare’s frailest patients can improve their care while cutting costs.Medicare announced Thursday that it saved more than $25 million in the first year of a three-year study to determine the value of home-based primary care for frail seniors with multiple chronic illnesses, by avoiding pricier hospital or emergency room care. Then Mal began getting his primary care from Portland-based Housecall Providers Inc. When family members see any worrisome changes in his behavior or appearance, providers can make a quick visit to see if another urinary tract infection or case of pneumonia is beginning, in time to give at-home antibiotics a chance.It took extra primary care visits, but “he went from bouncing in and out of the hospital to one hospitalization in an entire year,” said Housecall Providers nurse Mary Sayre.But this kind of care is hard to find, in part because of reimbursement. Medicare did pay for more than 2.6 million house call visits in 2013. But add in the travel time, and doctors can see — and get paid for — many more patients in a day in the office than they can see on the road.Enter Medicare’s Independent at Home demonstration project, now in its third year of testing how well a house call approach really works and how to pay for it. About 8,400 frail seniors with multiple chronic conditions — Medicare’s most expensive type of patient — are receiving customized home-based primary care from 17 programs around the country. The incentive for doctors: They could share in any government savings if they also meet enough quality-care goals. Top Stories Comments   Share   In this photo taken June 17, 2015, Dr. Pamela Miner, right, and nurse Mary Sayre pose for a photo at the Housecall Providers office in Portland, Ore. The humble house call is being put to the test to see if it can improve care and cut costs for some of Medicare’s most frail patients, and new data suggests it can work. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) Parents, stop beating yourself up Dr. Patrick Conway, Medicare’s chief medical officer, says the house call delivers “high-touch” coordinated care that allows doctors and nurses to spot brewing problems in a patient’s everyday environment before he or she worsens.“If we can keep people as healthy as possible and at home, so they only go to the hospital or emergency room when they really need to, that both improves quality and lowers cost,” he said.House calls are starting to make a comeback amid a rapidly graying population, although they’re still rare. The idea: A doctor or nurse-practitioner, sometimes bringing along a social worker, makes regular visits to frail or homebound patients whose needs are too complex for a typical 15-minute office visit — and who have a hard time even getting to a physician’s office.“It helps you avoid the emergency situations,” said Naomi Rasmussen, whose 83-year-old father in Portland, Oregon, is part of Medicare’s Independence at Home study.Her father, stroke survivor Teodor Mal, is prone to frequent infections and unable to tell his wife or daughter whenever he starts to feel ill. Visits to multiple doctors left him so agitated that a good exam was difficult, and just getting him and his wheelchair there took several hours and a special van. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation On Thursday, Medicare released its long-awaited analysis of the study’s first year and said the project saved an average of $3,070 per participating beneficiary; Conway said all but five practices generated savings.Medicare will divide $11.7 million in incentive payments among the nine practices that met enough of the quality requirements for that financial bonus, including Portland’s Housecall Providers.“We need to shift costs to this kind of intervention,” said Dr. Pamela Miner of Housecall Providers.The Affordable Care Act created the Medicare study, and legislation is pending in Congress to extend the project another two years.The program is “bringing the house calls of yesteryear into the 21st century,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.He said Thursday’s pilot results are promising enough to make the project permanent so that many more Medicare patients eventually could seek this kind of care.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Bomb blamed on Boko Haram kills 20 in northern Nigeria

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall —Associated Press writer Michelle Faul contributed to this report from Lagos, Nigeria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes Some bodies were charred beyond recognition, an AP reporter at the morgue saw.Gov. Nasir El-Rufai urged citizens to avoid crowded public places including mosques and churches as the militants accelerate the pace of attacks that have killed some 300 people in a week. Boko Haram may be responding to an Islamic State group order to commit more mayhem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.“Terrorists detonated explosives that killed and injured several persons … (with) 25 fatalities including a 2-year-old,” El-Rufai said.Fifty wounded victims are being treated at two hospitals, his spokesman Samuel Aruwan said.Boko Haram wants to install an Islamic state across the West African nation of about 170 million people divided between a predominantly Muslim north and Christian south. The extremists say democracy has brought nothing but woe to Africa’s biggest oil producer and richest economy.Nigeria’s police force announced heightened security around mosques and churches after Boko Haram assaults Sunday killed more than 60 people.The attacks come just five weeks into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to crush the insurgency that has killed more than 13,000 people and driven 1.5 million from their homes. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   ZARIA, Nigeria (AP) — A bomb blast in Nigeria’s northern university town of Zaria killed at least 25 people Tuesday including a 2-year-old toddler, the Kaduna state governor reported, the latest in a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.Witnesses said the blast came from a woman suicide bomber and that as many as 40 people died.“I saw three truck-loads of body parts taken away by the police,” said Aisha Mohammed, who was in the hall at the government headquarters where the explosion occurred Tuesday morning. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

AP PHOTOS Muslims in Japan observe fasting month of Ramadan

first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img CHIBA, Japan (AP) — Yohei Matsuyama breaks his daylong Ramadan fast with chopsticks. He’s seated on the floor at a narrow table with a dozen other Japanese Muslim men and boys as they eat “gyudon,” a dish consisting of rice topped with beef.These Japanese Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan. The dawn-to-dusk fasting, which is an exercise in self-restraint, is intended to bring the faithful closer to God. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “Praying is very important for me. Praying is more important than work,” said Matsuyama, 31, who does postdoctoral research on the history of Islamic thought at Tokyo University. He lives with his wife and 8-year-old daughter, to whom he teaches Arabic. His family is all Muslim.Shinto and Buddhism are the predominant religions of Japan. The Japan Muslim Association, of which Matsuyama is the director, puts the number of native Japanese Muslims in the country at around 10,000.Matsuyama’s interest in religion began early. In junior high school, he was influenced by the Bible and considered himself a Christian. But he changed his mind a few years later, converting to Islam at the age of 18.“I read the basic teachings of Islam on the Internet and thought that’s the ultimate religion for me. So I decided to convert,” he said.“Perhaps I was a bit different from the average Japanese,” said Matsuyama, who is also known by his Muslim name, Mujahid.“My family (was) surprised about my conversion,” he said. “But my family is open-minded.”___Each day this week, The Associated Press will focus on a Muslim devotee living in the minority in the Asia-Pacific region, illustrating what the fasting month of Ramadan means to the Muslim community in that country. In this July 11, 2015, photo, Yohei Matsuyama, second left, a Japanese Muslim, sits with other Muslim men as they break the Ramadan fast at the Japan Muslim Association in Tokyo. Japanese Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan, where the devoted believe that fasting is an exercise in self-restraint and intended to bring the faithful closer to God. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Jetstarting increased flights in New Zealand

first_imgJetstar Airways are increasing flights and making room for new jobs with the introduction of 39 extra weekly trips between Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown. The low cost carrier has announced the two new A320 aircrafts due to join the New Zealand fleet by early next year will increase domestic New Zealand flights by 50 percent creating up to 100 new jobs, TVNZ reported.   Jetstar said it is confident there will be enough demand to compensate for the supply despite Air New Zealand also announcing plans to add domestic flights. While the airline will commence flights between Auckland and Queenstown before Christmas the carrier expects all extra flights to be running in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand.Jetstar Group Chief Executive Bruce Buchanan said the Australian airline expects extra flights could reduce airfares. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

No such thing as Asia Pacific solution Trust International

first_imgAs eyes turned to Asia last week for the bevy of travel trade events converging on ITB Asia 2010 in Singapore, the head of Trust International said service providers need to rethink their Asian strategy.“There’s no such thing as an Asia Pacific solution,” Trust International managing director Richard Wiegmann told e-Travel Blackboard.“There may be a Pan-European solution, but in Asia you need to localise and customise.”Speaking of the vast social, political and economic differences between countries in the region, Mr Wiegmann said systems and business habits have to adjust according to these differences. “Localisation and customisation is more than changing language on a website,” he said, adding that strategic measures to effectively navigate Asia Pacific business were paramount.According to Mr Wiegmann, Asia Pacific is an important region for the leading centralised reservation system provider, evidenced by Trust International’s second year appearance at ITB Asia and the expansion of their Asia Pacific presence.Speaking of the trends in the region, Mr Wiegmann noted that Asian hotels seemed to have bypassed global distribution systems, moving straight to internet distribution.“GDS was never big and never will be big,” he said.However, as “the internet drives itself”, the future for hotels is to be completely open, Mr Wiegmann said, pointing specifically to Trust International’s new partnership with customer relationship manager Serenata and quality search engine and reputation manager TrustYou.The partnership is set to boost Trust International’s offerings to Asia Pacific hoteliers, Trust International Asia Pacific vice president Anthony Ku said, speaking to e-Travel Blackboard in Singapore.“TrustYou allows hotels to concentrate on their daily job of meeting guests needs and growing revenue”, TrustYou sales vice president Krostof Roemer said.Mr Ku agreed, adding, “We are convinced that we are best prepared to respond to the increasing demands of reservations services to hotel groups in this region,”.Despite a bad year for the hospitality industry, Trust International signed 14 hotels in 2009, indicative of the industry looking for the best and most comprehensive customer management and distribution deal.“Despite a complicated year, hotels never stop investing,” Mr Wiegmann told e-Travel Blackboard. “Only those who invest in a downturn make money.”“Consequently, Trust International really is going well.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Adelaide Centre Snares Third SA MEA Win

first_imgThe Adelaide Convention Centre has won another industry award for the third time in a row, earning it a place in a second prestigious Hall of Fame.On March 18th, the Centre was named best venue for over 500 people at the 2010 State Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) awards. The Centre – considered the Australian pioneer of purpose-built convention centres – has also won its category at the State Tourism Awards each year since 2008 and was recognised for that Hall of Fame achievement in November.It has won MEA awards at the national level for the past two years and last night’s victory puts it in line for the hat trick yet again. In the 23 years since opening it is estimated to have brought more than 750,000 international and interstate guests to SA. The economic benefit generated by their spending alone totalled more than $900 million at 30 June 2010, and is expected to reach $1 billion by June this year.Last year, more than 20,000 business visitors from outside SA attended events at the Centre. That represents about 85,000 hotel bed nights.‘While the statistics speak volumes, underpinning our success is a determination to be innovative and the ability and commitment of our staff to deliver a consistently superior standard of service,’ said Chief Executive, Alec Gilbert.‘We’ve won a string of local and international awards in the past two years – several of them judged by our peers. It’s fantastic to see our hard work rewarded yet again, especially given the calibre of our competitors.’ The Adelaide Convention Centre, now the smallest major venue of its kind in the country, is about to undergo a $350 million, two-stage expansion. Alec Gilbert said the design phase was nearing completion and construction work was expected to begin later this year. ‘The redevelopment will include exciting improvements to the whole Torrens Riverbank precinct,’ he said. ‘If we’re considered good for business tourism now, we’re going to be even better – and attract even more visitors – by 2016, when the final work is complete.’ Source = Adelaide Convention Centrelast_img read more

Win 500 for your best USA travel tip

first_imgVisit USA, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of travel to the United States of America, has compiled an indispensable guide on travelling in the United States.The Visit USA members, with decades of experience, have contributed snippets of wisdom and crucial tips about travelling in the States for Australian travellers which have been combined into a booklet for travel agents.Access to the downloadable guide is available free of charge, from the Visit USA website now.To promote the guide, Visit USA is asking travel agents for their own favourite tips for travelling in the USA. The best tip will win its contributor AU$500* cash.To enter the competition consultants can leave their tips on the Visit USA Facebook page and through its Twitter account.  The winning tip will be included in the regularly updated guide.“Who wouldn’t want to win $500 cash,” Visit USA President Janette Davie says. “Australian travel agents have garnered some amazing travel hints and we are looking forward to adding their suggestions to the Visit USA guide.“The guide will be an essential tool for all travel agents selling travel to the USA. It contains up-to-date advice on things like visa requirements, tipping, shopping, restaurant etiquette etc..”An example of a handy, lesser known tip, included in the new Visit USA travel guide, is: wall switches are off in the down position and on in the up position – the reverse of Australia. Wall sockets do not have an on/off position – they are always on…this courtesy of Visit USA Secretariat Mike Lillie.For travel agents wishing to increase their knowledge and skills, the Visit USA website also provides quick links to several member online training modules such at Brand USA, Disney Parks and Resorts, Hawai’i Tourism Oceania, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, New York and Company, Visit Anaheim, and Visit California. Full terms and conditionsSource = VISIT USAlast_img read more

Ashford Castle wins Irelands Best Hotel Spa

first_imgSource = Ashford Castle Ashford Castle wins “Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa”Ashford Castle wins “Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa”For the second year in row, the iconic Ashford Castle has again been named winner in the “Ireland’s Best Hotel Spa 2017″ category in the 3rd Annual 2017 World Spa Awards™. The awards were developed in response to overwhelming demand from the spa industry for a program that was fair and transparent, a program with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence, and to help foster a new era of growth in spa tourism.The winners of the prestigious World Spa Awards™ were announced at a gala presentation dinner at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam alongside the World Travel Awards Grand Final. The awards ceremony celebrated both the best of European hospitality and the global spa and wellness industry, with a wider focus this year on the wellness retreat category.The 5-star Spa at Ashford Castle was unveiled in 2015 as the final luxury installment in the historic property’s extensive restoration. The striking French-style conservatory is adjoined to the 800-year-old castle and houses an indoor resistance pool offering views across the serene Lough Corrib. State-of-the-art facilities at the Spa include an invigorating Hammam, steam room, manicure and pedicure area, a tranquil relaxation suite and five treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, where guests can indulge in a vast range of pampering treatments. The Spa offers products from organic Irish brand Voya, internationally renowned Elemis and Red Carnation Hotels’ very own B|Africa product range, previously exclusive to the collection’s South Africa properties. It is the only hotel spa in Ireland that offers the Pure Flow System, designed to combat fatigue and improve endurance, performance and recovery.“We are honored to have been recognized with this prestigious award for the second year in a row,” said Ashford Castle’s General Manager Niall Rochford, “which highlights our dedicated spa manager and her team for their expertise, skills and warm guest relations – a hallmark of all our staff at Ashford Castle.”For more information about Ashford Castle and to book a stay, please visit Ashford CastleAshford Castle is set on 350 acres in County Mayo, on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong, with a spectacular backdrop of woodlands, lake, river, and mountains. It features 83 guestrooms, suites and a Lakeside Cottage, and is renowned for a range of country sports including an equestrian centre, fly fishing, an exclusive nine-hole golf course and Ireland’s first school of falconry. Several dining rooms and bars, along with a gracious afternoon tea service are among the amenities. It is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. For more information please visit The Red Carnation Hotel CollectionThe Red Carnation Hotel Collection is a collection of family-run, award-winning boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. From Ireland’s recently restored Ashford Castle to South Africa’s iconic Oyster Box, each hotel is a landmark of history and tradition that offers a unique character and unsurpassed service. Boasting a peerless reputation for exquisite fine dining, leading spas and sumptuous surroundings, Red Carnation Hotels are proud to deliver warm, thoughtful and highly personalized service to every guest, every time. For more information about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection, please to go to read more

King Rama Xs Grand Songkran Celebration

first_imgKing Rama X’s Grand Songkran CelebrationKing Rama X’s Grand Songkran CelebrationHis Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun is graciously initiating the organisation of a Songkran celebration to be held at the Royal Plaza on the grounds of Dusit Palace, Sanam Suea Pa, from 6 to 8 April 2018 between 14.00 to 21.00 hrs. daily.The event begins 6 April with a religious ceremony performed by 239 Buddhist monks in tribute to previous Kings and to HM the Queen Sirikit. Members of the public and overseas visitors are welcome to take part in the rites, with all participants receiving prayer books as souvenirs.Visitors are invited to participate in the bathing rite, or Song Nam Phra, on a Buddha image cast to mark King Rama X’s ordination as a Buddhist monk in 1978. There will also be a dedicated section where visitors can pour lustral waters (Rot Nam Dam Hua) as an act of paying respect to elders. This revered Songkran tradition passed down through generations and still honoured today, done by gently dripped scented water over their hands.The three-day event will also feature an exhibition on traditional Songkran activities plus a myriad of cultural performances, folk games and traditional craft demonstrations. Of course, Thai gastronomy will be on prominent display with a rare selection Thai dishes, desserts, snacks and other traditional delicacies for sale with proceeds going to local charities.The public is encouraged to dress in traditional Thai period costume, wear Thai clothing or polite smart casual attire. Water guns and baby powder pasting are discouraged.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more