Month: August 2019

  • Snowmageddon Turkish Airlines cancels all domestic flights until midnight

    first_imgTo the attention of Turkish Airlines/AnadoluJet passengers who want to reissue their tickets: pic.twitter.com/pcKoDZd06D— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) January 8, 2017According to TurkishMinute, services on some inter-city and city ferry lines were also suspended. Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin also announced that the workday for public servants would end at 3:30 p.m. due to heavy snow on Monday. ISTANBUL — Istanbul is grappling with its heaviest snowfall in seven years, which has affected hundreds of flights and shortened the workday for public servants.On Jan. 9, Turkish Airlines (THY) announced on Twitter that all of its domestic flights from/to Ataturk Airport have been cancelled until midnight due to the continuing snowfall. Earlier, the airline announced the cancellation of 227 scheduled domestic and international flights from its Istanbul hub.The airline also tweeted the following notice:For tickets issued on January 7, 2017 and before; valid for all Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet flights between January 6, 2017 and January 9, 2017 from/through/to Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, you can reissue your ticket until January 15, 2017 for a date no later than January 18, 2017, by calling Turkish airlines call center at +90 850 333 0 849, or via Turkish Airlines sales offices or by applying to the ticket-issuing agency. Please be informed that you should reissue your tickets before January 15, 2017 and fly before January 18, 2017.Dear Passengers;All our domestic flights until midnight from/to Ataturk Airport have been canceled due to severe weather.— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) January 9, 2017 Share Notice to our Passengers: pic.twitter.com/0sYeLYxyPC— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) January 9, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Snowmageddon: Turkish Airlines cancels all domestic flights until midnight Monday, January 9, 2017 < > Tags: Travel Alert, Turkey, Turkish Airlineslast_img read more

  • We have no walls Everyone is welcome in Chicago Altoran

    first_img Share Tags: Chicago Friday, October 6, 2017 TORONTO — Choose Chicago and a dozen of its partners had plenty of news to share about the Windy City on a 4-day sales mission road trip to Montreal and Toronto.Most importantly, said Arnaldo Altoran, Director Global Development, Choose Chicago, is that Chicago will have more than 44,000 hotel rooms at the ready by 2018. “This is where we need your help,” Altoran told the crowd of travel agents and trade media in Toronto yesterday. Filling those hotel rooms is a top priority for Choose Chicago as it continues to promote tourism to the city from Canada and beyond.The good news is Chicago, with its two airports – O’Hare and Midway – has plenty of lift from this market. Air Canada offers flights from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, WestJet has flights from Calgary and Porter Airlines has service from Toronto. A number of U.S. carriers also fly from Canadian gateways to Chicago.Arnaldo Altoran, Director Global Development, Choose Chicago; Nora Gainer, The Art Institute of Chicago; Jim Vozella, Big Bus Tours; Kristen Dos, Blue Man Group Chicago; Tin Bui, CityPASS; Alexandra Medina, Entertainment Cruises; Michael Weinberg, Hiltons of Chicago; Amy Tometich, Museum of Science and Industry, Eli Marie Rodriguez, Raffaello Chicago; Joleen Haran, Shedd Aquarium; Amy Hatnett, Shoreline Sightseeing Tours; Nick Johnson, Skydeck Chicago, Stephanie Freed-Burns, Choose Chicago Canada; Lucia Trevino, Sales Manager, The Peninsula ChicagoChicago not only has 44,000+ hotel rooms (at least by 2018), it also has more than 5,000 dining venues, including some 26 Michelin-starred restaurants, and 56 museums including The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, both of which were on hand at yesterday’s lunch event.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterChicago also has 77 neighbourhoods, 41 kilometres of lakefront, 250+ theatres, 580 parks and 225 music venues. And what’s the number one attraction in the city, drawing some 10 million visitors every year? Cloud Gate, the reflective silver sculpture better known to many visitors as The Bean and the star of Millennial Park since its installation in 2006.Altoran said Choose Chicago’s week-long mission to Toronto and Montreal included a combination of education seminars, sales meetings and networking events. Canada ranks consistently as one of Chicago’s top international markets.Choose Chicago has a new promotional campaign, ‘Choose Chicago: Welcome Home’, that underscores the warm welcome Canadians and other international markets can expect to receive in the city. “Whatever your customers want to do, they can do it in Chicago,” said Altoran. “We have no walls. Everyone is welcome in Chicago.” See choosechicago.com/welcomehome. Travelweek Group center_img < > “We have no walls. Everyone is welcome in Chicago”: Altoran Posted bylast_img read more

  • Saudi carrier cancels troubled Boeing 737 order for Airbus

    first_img< > Saudi carrier cancels troubled Boeing 737 order for Airbus Share DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Saudi budget airline is ordering 30 Airbus planes in a deal that replaces a $6 billion agreement it had with Boeing for its troubled 737 Max jets, which have been grounded after two deadly crashes.It’s the latest blow to Boeing as it struggles to win back the public’s trust after 346 people died in crashes involving the Max jet: a Lion Air flight that went down off the coast of Indonesia and an Ethiopian Airlines crash.Nearly 400 Max jets around the world remain grounded since mid-March with airlines unable to use the planes until regulators clear them to fly again.Flyadeal, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp., said Monday that its order means its fleet will consist of only Airbus A320s. It said the deal with the European plane maker includes options for a further 20 A320 Neo planes.The statement did not name Boeing and did not disclose details of the cost, only saying it follows from an agreement signed during the Paris Air Show last month between Airbus and flyadeal’s parent company.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckBoeing, meanwhile, faces dozens of lawsuits over the crashes of its 737 Max. Preliminary investigations point to the role played by new software that pushed the planes’ noses down.The Chicago-based company said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that it does not comment on customer discussions. Rather, Boeing said it is proud of its long partnership with Saudi Arabia’s aviation industry.“We wish the flyadeal team well as it builds out its operations,” Boeing said. “Our team continues to focus on safely returning the 737 Max to service and resuming deliveries of Max airplanes.”In December 2018, Boeing had struck an agreement with flayadeal for 30 of the 737 Max jets with the option to purchase 20 more in a deal valued up to $5.9 billion at list price. At the time, Boeingsaid flyadeal had conducted an evaluation for 50 narrow-body airplanes and had selected the 737 Max for the future.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksThe 737 Max, which promised more seats and lower operating costs than its Airbus competitor, was Boeing’s fastest-selling airplane, accumulating more than 4,800 orders worldwide.In April, Boeing reported a $1 billion charge against earnings because of higher production costs for the Max. Analysts expect more charges will follow, including compensation for families and forairlines that have lost the use of the planes until regulators clear them to fly again.Boeing has apologized for the loss of lives and recently announced an “initial investment” of $100 million over several years to help families and communities affected by the crashes.Lawyers who are suing Boeing on behalf of passengers’ families discounted the amount and said the $100 million won’t stop them from demanding that Boeing provide details about how the plane and its flight-control software were developed Monday, July 8, 2019 Tags: Airbus, Boeing 737 MAX By: The Associated Presslast_img read more

  • High waves drench highway along Costa Ricas Pacific coast

    first_imgWaves of up to 10 feet crashed along Costa Rica’s Pacific shores Wednesday, extending over a section of coastal highway in Caldera Port and flooding homes for the second time in less than a month. Visitors at Caldera, Jacó and other beaches in the province of Puntarenas reported spotting the waves, which kept annual beach outings to celebrate Mother’s Day to a minimum.Traffic on the coastal road was interrupted briefly by the high tide, which dragged rocks, sand and water with it. Traffic Police officers quickly moved to the area, and no major incidents were reported.A warning of the arrival of strong waves caused a decrease in visitors to coastal businesses, said tourist operator Ana Lorena Vargas. Costa Ricans celebrated Mother’s Day Wednesday, and each year, many Ticos head to the Pacific beaches for one-day trips to mark the holiday.Radio Reloj reported that officials from the Mixed Institute for Social Aid and the National Emergency Commission are at sites where flooding ocurred to help a few families who were affected.The University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Sciences and Limnology Research Center reported Monday that strong waves would hit Pacific beaches from Tuesday through Thursday, caused by a storm off the coast of New Zealand. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

  • A tranquil hideaway in Esterillos Este

    first_imgCozy quarters at the Pelicano Hotel in Esterillos Este. By Isabella Cota The hotel offers 13 colorful rooms with AC and ceiling fans, beds covered in large “Pura Vida” sheets, a clean pool and all the peace and quiet one can ask for. A friendly staff welcomes guests and even plans activities for large groups – everything from barbecues to soccer games in the nearby field. The Pelicano is also a favorite hangout for residents on Saturday nights, when rock and reggae bands travel from nearby towns to play and the staff turns half the restaurant into a dance floor. But for this picky eater, it was the restaurant that made the visit an extraordinary one. For all the unique, beautiful things that Costa Rica has to offer, tasty food is not one of them. So the restaurant’s most popular dinner dish, Red Chicken Curry, was a spicy surprise.The simple yet comprehensive menu, designed by Carnohan herself and head chef Paula Jirón, includes huevos rancheros, gallo pinto and American-style eggs (with bacons and sausage) for breakfast. The lunch menu offers your basic wraps and salads as well as a Peruvian-Costa Rican blend ceviche, a fresh gazpacho and my favorite, chicken or steak tacos. As a Mexican, I certify these tacos as authentic (and mouthwatering).Stopping by the Pelicano for drinks on a Saturday is worthwhile if you’re staying nearby. The hotel’s bartender Jason will shake and mix any cocktail combination you can think of and offer a crunchy side of yuca fries to go with it. The dinner menu is tempting and includes a whole crispy skin fried red snapper, a seafood “Pasta del Mar” and a seared pepper tuna steak, among other dishes.So the secret is out: there’s a quiet spot in the pacific coast still unknown to many, and it comes with a restaurant that will make you want to go back. Going there:Rates for the Pelicano Hotel range from $50 to $70 per person, or $65 to $85 for a double room during low season. High season rates range from $60 to $80 per person or $75 to $95 for a double room. Prices spike during the Christmas and New Year’s season, with rates from $80 to $115 dollars. Reservations can be made online at pelicanbeachcostarica.com. To get there by bus from San José, take the direct bus to Quepos from the Tracopa bus terminal, which takes a bit over two hours. Ask the driver to drop you off at Esterillos Este or you’ll end up in Quepos, looking like a lost tourist. If you’re traveling by car from San José, take the coastal highway and turn right on the second dirt road marked Esterillos Este. Facebook Comments Carnohan originally planned to buy a hotel in Sámara in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. But when the deal fell through, she decided to check out this property, which she stumbled on in an email last year.“I was flying down [from the U.S.] anyway, and I came here, and bought it two days later,” she recalls. “It was the atmosphere, it’s a tranquil paradise.” And just like in Jacó or Manuel Antonio, she said, visitors can do horseback riding, yoga, cycling on the beach and a nearby zip-line. By Isabella Cota | Special to The Tico TimesTucked between the party scene in Jacó beach and the super touristy Manuel Antonio National Park is Esterillos, an uncrowded, chocolate-colored beach along the central Pacific coast that made me wonder what took me so long to visit. Who’s been keeping this a secret?But then again, Esterillos is easy to miss. Some 120 kilometers from San José, two dirt roads branch out of highway 34 and take you to the east and west part of the beach. Hotels and houses are scattered along the coast but not sitting too close to one another, giving visitors the feeling that they’re enjoying their own private beach.“It’s great having people come in for the weekend and leave feeling relaxed because, you know, nobody ever knows about this place,” said Debbie Carnohan, owner and manager of Pelicano Hotel and Restaurant in Esterillos Este. “I don’t really know why this is but, I mean, I didn’t even know about this place until I bought it,” she said.center_img Certified authentic and mouthwatering. By Isabella Cota No related posts.last_img read more

  • Bitcoin exchange chief charged in scheme to sell virtual currency to drug

    first_imgCharlie Shrem, who became a tycoon at 24 in the virtual currency Bitcoin, was arrested Monday and charged with money laundering in connection with a scheme to sell more than $1 million in bitcoins to people trafficking drugs on the Silk Road website.Shrem’s arrest at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York comes less than a year after he raised $1.5 million for his start-up, a Bitcoin exchange known as BitInstant, which suspended operations this past summer. Shrem also serves on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, the closest thing the payment technology has to an official voice.His arrest stunned the Bitcoin community and marked a setback in the currency’s bid for legitimacy. But federal prosecutors appeared to signal that they have no intention of targeting the currency itself.“Truly innovative business models don’t need to resort to old-fashioned law-breaking,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “When Bitcoins, like any traditional currency, are laundered and used to fuel criminal activity, law enforcement has no choice but to act.”A spokesman for the Bitcoin Foundation said the group was “surprised and shocked by the news today. As a foundation, we take these allegations seriously and do not condone illegal activity.”News accounts paint Shrem as a highflier who discovered Bitcoin while a senior at Brooklyn College in 2011, bought thousands of bitcoins when they were worth a few cents apiece and is now probably worth millions of dollars. Before graduation, he started BitInstant, a company that helps people purchase the digital currency.According to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Shrem quickly made the acquaintance by email of a Florida man, Robert Faiella, 52, who was seeking to convert large sums of cash into bitcoins, the only currency accepted on Silk Road.Silk Road, which was shutdown by the FBI in October, allowed users to buy everything from heroin to fake IDs. The complaint alleges that Shrem was “personally familiar” with Silk Road as “a drug-trafficking website,” citing a February 2012 email Shrem wrote to a friend.” ‘[W]ow, Silk Road actually works,’” Shrem wrote, “explaining that he had just received a shipment of marijuana ‘Brownies,’ ” according to the complaint.Although Shrem was responsible for reporting suspicious transactions on BitInstant, the complaint alleges that he actively assisted Faiella in obtaining more than $1 million worth of bitcoins, which Faiella then sold to Silk Road customers at a hefty markup.“Upon receiving orders for Bitcoins from Silk Road users,” the government said, Faiella filled the orders through BitInstant, which “was designed to enable customers to exchange cash for Bitcoins anonymously, that is, without providing any personal identifying information, and it charged a fee for its service.”According to the government, that runs afoul of U.S. money-laundering laws, which require payment companies such as BitInstant to collect information about their customers, monitor their transactions and report “suspicious” transactions to the government.Faiella is also facing charges. Shrem and his attorney could not be reached for comment.The charges against Shrem mark the latest controversy involving BitInstant, which was once a highflying start-up. Nine months ago, BitInstant raised $1.5 million from a group led by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, brothers who rose to fame as early contributors to the Facebook concept and have since earned tens of millions of dollars in profits by investing in bitcoins.But a few weeks after accepting the “Winklevii” cash, BitInstant announced that it was suspending operations. That triggered a class-action lawsuit by BitInstant customers.In an email, the Winklevoss brothers said they were “obviously deeply concerned about” Shrem’s arrest and “will do everything we can to help law enforcement officials.”“We fully support any and all governmental efforts to ensure that money laundering requirements are enforced,” they said, “and look forward to clearer regulation being implemented on the purchase and sale of bitcoins.”© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:US federal agents stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin during infamous ‘Silk Road’ probe Pope Francis prays at 9/11 Memorial after UN speech He’s a Honduran banker, crocodile farmer and wanted in the US Cúcuta: Colombia’s city of contraband and a broken Bolivarian dreamlast_img read more

  • US group to open hospital focused on attracting medical tourists

    first_imgRelated posts:New plan aims to boost medical tourism industry in Costa Rica Costa Rican companies visit U.S. to promote medical tourism services Medical tourism healthy in Costa Rica Costa Rica: Medical tourism hot spot Arizona-based company American World Clinics (AWC) confirmed the construction of a private hospital in Costa Rica that will offer health care services to foreign retirees and medical tourists.The group will invest $150 million in the construction of a 12,000-square-meter hospital scheduled to open in 2016 in San Rafael de Alajuela, on a nine-hectare property along Route 27, the main road connecting San José with the Pacific province of Puntarenas.The hospital will provide general surgical services and medical specialties including orthopedics, cardiology, urology, oncology, plastic surgery, and others.AWC estimates the hospital will have the capacity to perform up to 18,000 surgeries annually.The project also includes construction of a five-star, 100-room hotel operated by California company K-Hotels, and a retirement community  for some 400 people.The initiative will be funded with capital from National Standard Finance, a long-term investor based in New York, and locally, AWC will work with real estate developers Brenes & Salas, said Enrique Volio, AWC’s representative in Costa Rica.The venture will create some 300 direct jobs, mostly for Costa Rican professionals including doctors, microbiologists, nurses, physical therapists and other support staff.“The quality of its medical professionals, political stability and geographic location of Costa Rica were the main factors for choosing the country,” Volio said.The company currently is developing similar projects in the Dominican Republic and Barbados.Data from the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED) show that Costa Rica in 2012 attracted nearly 50,000 medical tourists and each one spent an average of $7,000. Medical tourism generated some $338 million in revenue for the country that year, PROMED reported. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • ICE could sell surplus electricity to neighboring countries

    first_imgThe Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) asked the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to outline a plan to sell its electricity surplus to Central America’s Regional Electricity Market starting as soon as this month and up until December 2016.According to ARESEP, selling that surplus — produced mostly by hydroelectric plants — to the regional market would generate profits and allow it to lower electricity rates in Costa Rica.The country currently has a surplus of potential energy-generating water in reservoirs like Arenal, in Guanacaste. Water from the reservoir runs the country’s largest hydroelectric plant.Water levels at Arenal reached five meters above ICE’s prediction for the first quarter of this year.ARESEP experts say ICE will likely have to discharge excess water from the reservoir in coming months when the new Reventazón hydroelectric plant launches operations. They say ICE should sell the surplus electricity to other Central American countries.The Tico Times sought ICE’s opinion on the recommendation but didn’t receive a response by close of business on Thursday.Last year, Costa Rica exported its surplus electricity to other countries in the region and earned a profit of some $3.6 million, ARESEP reported.“That is why we expect a positive response from ICE, considering that this is an opportunity to lower electricity rates and also benefit users,” ARESEP Energy Manager Juan Quesada Espinoza said.According to ARESEP, Costa Rica’s participation last year in the regional electricity market allowed the country to save some $44 million in lower rates, mostly due to a 21 percent decrease in spending on fuel for thermal generation.Ronald Jiménez Lara, president of the Costa Rican Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations, said Wednesday that his members fully support ARESEP’s request to ICE.“According to the chambers’ calculations, the Arenal plant is capable of producing additional electricity of up to 500 gigawatts per hour above ICE’s current estimates. That energy in the Central American market would be worth some $50 million,” Jiménez said.The business leader said lower electricity costs would benefit families as well as firms.Several companies in recent years have moved their operations out of Costa Rica, citing high electricity costs among their main reasons.Historically, Costa Rica has met 95 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy. Last month ICE reported that all electricity used during the first 75 days of this year came from renewable sources. Facebook Comments Related posts:Delays, excuses and gripes mark approaching deadline for distributed electricity generation in Costa Rica ARESEP announces pricing proposal for consumer-generated electricity Costa Rica opens the door to more renewable energy generation Construction of Central America’s biggest hydroelectric dam is nearly finished in Costa Ricalast_img read more

  • Colombia landslide Long cleanup fading hope

    first_imgSALGAR, Colombia – Residents of the Colombian town hit by a massive landslide began a difficult clean-up Tuesday, as rescuers resumed the increasingly hopeless search for those still missing after a disaster that claimed at least 64 lives.After spending the night in shelters, residents of La Margarita, the hardest-hit town, returned to the ruins of their community to search for missing family members or shovel out the mud that filled their homes.Rescue workers, meanwhile, resumed the search for victims, which they had to call off overnight as the heavy rains that triggered the landslide continued pounding the area.With the help of residents and specially trained dogs, they swept the area looking for more bodies buried in the mud and hoping to find some of the missing still alive.But hope was growing slim as the death toll continued to rise. The national disaster management agency said Tuesday morning that at least 64 people were killed in the landslide, increasing its previous toll by two.Forensics experts have identified 18 of the bodies, which will undergo autopsies in the city of Medellín.“It’s horrible. There are no words for it. It’s like a dream, like coming in for a landing when you see the magnitude of the disaster,” said Nora Quinceño, who was sleeping like most locals when the disaster struck around 3 a.m. Monday. Residents stand next to rubble after a landslide in Salgar Municipality, Antioquia, Colombia, on May 19, 2015. A massive landslide tore through a ravine in northwest Colombia Monday before dawn. Raúl Arboleda/AFPAt least 40 people were injured in the landslide, which tore through the municipality of Salgar in the mountains of northwest Colombia after the Liboriana River burst its banks and sent a flood of mud rushing down a ravine.“I had a daughter and granddaughter living there who were swept away. We’re at a loss, we don’t have anywhere to go,” Omar Londono, another survivor, told AFP.Electricity and water service have still not been restored to the area, but dump trucks arrived to cart off loads of mud and debris.President Juan Manuel Santos, who visited the area Monday, promised residents: “We will not forget you.”He described the scene as something out of Dante.More than 350 emergency workers have been dispatched to the area to assess the damage, set up shelters, distribute drinking water, treat the injured and provide psychological counseling. Residents clean a home after a landslide in Salgar municipality, Antioquia, Colombia on May 18, 2015. Raúl Arboleda/AFPDwindling hope Santa Margarita, which the local mayor said was practically “wiped off the map,” is one of four towns that make up Salgar, a municipality of 17,000 people in the department of Antioquia.Rescue workers met first thing Tuesday morning in a Salgar church to coordinate the complicated search for victims.“The rain fell all night, the river’s current swelled again and that is going to make recovering victims very difficult,” said Alfredo Vergara, the chief of the Salgar fire department.The hope of finding the missing alive is growing ever slimmer, he said.“I think what we’ll find now are bodies,” he told AFP.Officials are monitoring the river to warn residents if there is a risk of another landslide.Those who lost their homes are being housed in three temporary shelters and on coffee plantations, the main industry in the area.“It’s not an easy situation. Whole families have been lost,” said César Ureña, the head of the Colombian Red Cross.Colombia’s tropical climate and mountainous landscapes make it prone to landslides.Salgar’s Municipal Development Plan for 2012 to 2015 had highlighted the risk of landslides in the area, local media reports said Tuesday. Related posts:Colombia suspends peace talks with FARC after general kidnapped One American hunts for emeralds in Colombia. But many want to stop him Colombia is again the world’s top coca producer. Why that’s a blow to the US Cúcuta: Colombia’s city of contraband and a broken Bolivarian dream Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • Boxing Nicaraguas Chocolatito González from garbage collector to flyweight champ

    first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s world boxing champions win fights on the same night TV exec made Mayweather-Pacquiao bout possible Tica champion Hanna Gabriels to defend WBO title against Kali Reis Hanna Gabriels retains her world titles in vibrant fight MANAGUA, Nicaragua — As a kid in a poor neighborhood of a poor country, Nicaragua’s Román González collected garbage with his father in a cart pulled by a rented horse.Now he is on top of the world, at least the boxing part of it: González, whose nickname is “Chocolatito,” is undefeated in his career over three lower-weight classes, a three-time world champion and the reigning WBC flyweight champ.Outside the ring, he is soft spoken, the kind of guy who might go unnoticed.But inside it he is pure energy, an aggressive attacker and skilled defender, and praised for his impeccable technique. His record is 43-0, with 37 knockouts.And he has a title defense bout coming up Saturday in a mythical arena, Madison Square Garden.Growing up in a neighborhood called La Esperanza — Spanish for hope — González liked football, even though the most popular sport in the Central American country is baseball.His father discouraged him, saying soccer would get him nowhere.So González gravitated towards a boxing gym where he met a retired Nicaraguan boxing legend named Alexis Argüello, who would guide him as he got started in the sport.“I never thought I would become the world No. 1 or the world champion three times. But thanks to God and with the help of my family, we achieved it. It has been very special for me,” González told reporters from his training site in Costa Rica, where he is preparing for the title defense fight in New York against an American from Hawaii named Brian Viloria.His feat of reaching the pinnacle of boxing glory has the sports media in this country in a frenzy. They have not seen such a thing since the days of Argüello, another Nicaraguan who was a world champ three times in his career from 1974 to 1989.González, 28, has yet to suffer a defeat in the three categories in which he has fought: flyweight (112 pounds), light flyweight (108 pounds) and minimumweight (105 pounds).U.S. sports media such as the boxing magazine The Ring or ESPN have lavished praise on González, who says he would like to match Floyd Mayweather’s 49-0 record.González has a style that recalls that of Julio César Chávez, considered one of Mexico’s best boxers ever, said González’s manager, Carlos Blandon. Román “Chocolatito” González of Nicaragua (left) and Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria of Hawaii (right) during their press conference to promote their upcoming World Boxing Council Flyweight World Champion fight. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Oct. 17. Mark Ralston/AFP“Chocolatito” has almost perfect technique: sports analystHe is aggressive but at the same time defends well, and moves very well, the manager said.“He does not let opponents fight the way the way they want to fight. But he does fight how he wants to,” said Blandon.Sports journalist and analyst Alfonso Malespin says González is a natural with almost perfect technique. He is great at anticipating the opposing fighter and letting loose with a rapid-fire volley of punches from just about any angle, he said.“He is overwhelming,” said Malespin.“He does not need to have a killer punch like other fighters do in order to wear down the opponent. And if to that you add his ability to block, bob and weave and anticipate punches … his technical capability is more than impressive,” said Malespin.González rules in the flyweight class now after what has been a 10-year career to date. He did just as well in the two other lighter-weight classes.“Chocolatito” is far from an unknown commodity in the world of boxing, but Blandon says he is not super-famous because he was fighting a lot in Asia and had no promoter.When he hit the top of the ranking, González also made history because he drew attention to a weight category that had fallen by the wayside since the days of fighters like  Humberto ‘Chiquita’ González and Ricardo ‘Finito’ López, said Blandon. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • Conozca a Alicia Avilés la líder inmigrante y perseverante del crecimiento cultural

    first_imgAt the request of La Carpio community leaders, we are presenting this series in translation for Spanish-language readers. Read the original English series, which we published in January,here.Segunda parte en una serie de cuatro artículos. Lea la primera parte aquí.¿Es posible que una sola organización pueda transformar una de las comunidades más peligrosas de Costa Rica? Para muchos costarricenses La Carpio, un precario ubicado en La Uruca, San José, es sinónimo de violencia y crimen. Sin embargo, en el 2011 Alicia Avilés y Maris Stella Fernández se propusieron cambiar este estigma al fundar el Sistema Integral de Formación Artística para la Inclusión Social (SIFAIS). La organización sin fines de lucro busca promover el crecimiento cultural del barrio marginal. En esta serie de cuatro artículos, The Tico Times pretende mostrar como este modelo educativo no tradicional está desafiando los estigmas para ayudar a la comunidad a encontrar un mejor futuro.La página web del Sistema Integral de Formación Artística para la Inclusión Social (SIFAIS) cita a Alicia Avilés como la directora de la comunidad y la inspiradora; ella es quien inspira.Esta mujer nacida en Managua, Nicaragua, tuvo el sueño improbable de crear una orquesta sinfónica en el precario de La Carpio, proyecto que luego se convertiría en la reconocida organización sin fines de lucro llamada SIFAIS. Avilés estudió en la escuela religiosa Lumen Christi y el Colegio Loyola en Nicaragua. Tras finalizar sus estudios trabajó como profesora de preescolar en las zonas rurales y urbanas de su país durante 12 años.Hace unos veinte años, mientras luchaba para sobrevivir con su salario de profesora, ella y su familia migraron a Costa Rica en busca de una mejor vida. Llegó a La Carpio y se convirtió en la líder de la comunidad donde surgió una alianza inesperada con Maris Stella Fernández, la presidenta de SIFAIS. Actualmente Avilés lidera a los miembro del equipo y los voluntarios que buscan cambiar el barrio marginal por medio de la educación cultural.En una hermosa y soleada mañana en La Cueva de Luz – la sede principal de SIFAIS – en La Carpio, The Tico Times se sentó a conversar con Avilés, de 51 años, sobre actitud extraordinaria hacia la resiliencia y mejoramiento de la comunidad. ¿Cómo llegó a Costa Rica?Francamente fueron decisiones sobre la alimentación del hogar. Muchas cosas que a veces vos no tenés. El salario de maestro en Nicaragua es muy bajo con respecto a la canasta básica. Tenía cinco hijos que mantener. Además tenía que comprar el material didáctico para poder trabajar y para los pasajes. Era difícil mantener a mi familia con un salario de profesor de $100 al mes. La que cuidaba a mis hijos era mi suegra y yo solía ir a dar clases. Vine a Costa Rica con la mera necesidad de no tener más hijos sin comida, sin ropa, buscando otras perspectivas de vida para uno. Vine a este país pensando en una mejoría.Nunca pensé en quedarme 20 años. Solo pensé en probar e irme nuevamente. Las veces en que me ha tocado trabajar en Costa Rica solo fueron en cocina. Nunca aspiré a trabajar como maestra, me quedé trabajando como empleada doméstica. Como empleada no trabajo 12 horas. Uno como empleada lo que hace es ejercer solo un trabajo físico. Mientras que como profesor, lo físico y lo intelectual. Como maestro el trabajo vos te lo llevás a tu casa y trabajás 24 horas.¿Cuál ha sido su papel en La Carpio y SIFAIS?A mí me nombraron presidenta de Seguridad de la comunidad de La Carpio. Es un rol que llevo ya manejando tres años. Estamos trabajando como hormigas, pero ha cambiado mucho. He avanzado en eso. Tal vez no se ve ahorita, pero con el tiempo se irá viendo. Es un poco como ir dando lecciones a las familias. Esas familias recibían ayudas del IMAS y de gringos que venían aquí. Había mucha venta de drogas y hemos estado tratando de eliminar esa situación que daña bastante a la comunidad.Llegué a ser presidenta de este sector donde estamos ahorita en La Carpio. Ya llevo cuatro años de presidenta. El gobierno aquí no se mete a solucionar los problemas que han existido por mucho tiempo, porque la comunidad nunca se ha organizado.Cuando Maris Stella vino a la comunidad, hubo un tiempo que lloré porque se me habían presentado problemas bastante duros en la comunidad… Me nombraron presidenta de la pastoral social de aquí. Empecé a resolver problemas legales a la gente. Empecé a dar charlas de cómo llegar a un acuerdo comunitario y cómo aprender a dialogar entre vecinos porque aquí era de sacar machete y volar machete. A cada rato llegaba la ambulancia y no querían entrar. Ahora la ambulancia entra poco porque ya no hay muertos ni heridos. Fue así como fui empezando a liderar la comunidad. También resuelvo algunos problemas con algunos ministros y gente de la empresa privada que quieren ayudar.Se trata de hacer la vida más fácil para el ciudadano, pero que él también tenga responsabilidad. El hecho de que viva en un precario ilegal, no quiere decir que pueda hacer aquí lo que le da la gana. Hay que respetar las normas y las leyes que la república tiene. Dar lo mejor como ciudadanos. Cumplir con las obligaciones como ciudadanos. Esas charlas las he venido impartiendo con la gente que quiere mejorar el país. Es así como he venido avanzando con la comunidad de esa manera.¿Cómo ha mejorado a la comunidad la implementación de talleres y clases por parte de SIFAIS?Eso ha sido un logro muy grande que tal vez no lo vamos a ver ahorita, ni lo estamos viendo ahorita, pero ya se va mirando la mejoría y la actitud personal de quienes viven en la comunidad. El trabajo de ir erradicando la violencia tal vez lo veremos a largo plazo, pero el cambio se está notando. Es una semilla que va a crecer por medio de la rectitud que tengamos como equipo, para mejorar cada día más a estas personas.Esto ha venido a ayudar a que la gente aprenda a pintar sus casitas y no tenerlas sucias. Esto ha venido a decirle a la gente cómo vestirse porque ya pocos andan en shorts y desnudos. Ahora las muchachas las veo vestirse diferente. Es algo que también ha ayudado a la dignidad personal.Lo importante del SIFAIS, para mí, es que ha ayudado a la gente a ser seguros de quiénes son y esa seguridad se la da el maestro. El maestro, para mí, es la máquina que tenemos y la ayuda que tenemos. Ellos son nuestros pilares.¿Cómo es la bondad un elemento importante dentro de este proyecto?Ya la gente dejó de pedir mucho. Por ejemplo, en el 2015 me fui con 95 juguetes a Costa de Pájaros aquí en Puntarenas y me llevé ciertas personas que les gusta estar pidiendo juguetes. Me las llevé y para Noviembre y Diciembre [del año pasado], ellas ya habrían estado pidiendo juguetes y [más bien] me vinieron a decir: ‘¿Vamos a ir a otro lugar a repartir juguetes?’ Es parte de la bondad que ha ido creciendo.SIFAIS… ha sacado a una comunidad vulnerable como ésta del anonimato en la que el gobierno nos tenía. Además, es decirle al ser humano de aquí de la comunidad que todos debemos de contribuir y eso se está viendo. SIFAIS para la gente de La Carpio es como un sueño hecho realidad. Esa es la otra bondad que el SIFAIS da: la oportunidad de recibir una educación gratuita.¿Cómo cree usted que los valores fundamentales de SIFAIS (confianza, constancia, locura y ternura) son elementos importantes en el proyecto?Como vos ves aquí no hay un reglamento que diga que a tal hora tenés que entrar. El estudiante se lo forma. Aquí los niños pintan, andan donde quieren y hacen cosas creativas a su manera, entonces vos les das la libertad. Es parte de la locura permitirle hacer lo que quiera y hacer hasta donde quiera llegar. No limitarle sus ansias. Aquí molestan todo el día, pero es parte del crecimiento de ellos como seres humanos.Después me siento a darles unas charlas para que ellos opinen y expresen lo que quieren. Esto dignifica el sistema de hablar en sus casas también. Aquí parte de esa educación es cómo el ser humano se dirija a donde él quiera, sea evangélico, católico, sea lo que sea, pero que venga al SIFAIS.En nuestro próximo artículo de la serie, conozca a los voluntarios de SIFAIS. Descubra cómo esta formación ‘doble vía’ está cambiando vidas dentro y fuera de La Carpio. Facebook Comments Related posts:Reconstruyendo la comunidad de La Carpio por medio de la educación cultural La Carpio’s cultural rebellion Cambiando paradigmas en La Carpio por medio del voluntariado Rebuilding the community of La Carpio through cultural educationlast_img read more

  • Slothy Sunday Counting down to the 4th annual Sloth Ironman Games

    first_imgRelated posts:Slothy Sunday: A baby sloth is born Slothy Sunday: Overcoming adversity Slothy Sunday: Saving sloths together Slothy Sunday: Five ways you can help sloths Did you know that there is an internationally recognized holiday all about sloths?That’s right – there is, in fact, an International Sloth Day. On Oct. 20, Toucan Rescue Ranch kicks off this special occasion with its entertaining and unique fundraiser, the Sloth Ironman Games. Now going on its fourth year, TRR creates an enrichment game series focused on four chosen sloth athletes, otherwise known as slothletes.The slothletes are revealed on Oct. 20 for International Sloth Day. For the rest of the week, they participate in a four-part series of enrichment challenges: the hibiscus eat-off (devour the flower), the poop-off challenge, the strong sloth challenge, and the one-meter dash. Entirely at their own mercy, the sloths compete in these games, which are administered by the sloths’ caregivers and veterinarians. It is the fastest sloth who wins! May the best slothlete win! Photo via Toucan Rescue Ranch.While the sloths enjoy carrying on with their routine of eating flowers, using the bathroom, climbing and sleeping, the goal of the games is to bring awareness to the issues that sloths face in today’s world. Each slothlete is an orphaned sloth brought to the Toucan Rescue Ranch for a variety of reasons. Commonly, these include electrocution by power lines, car accidents, dog attacks, and human encroachment, such as deforestation and the illegal pet trade. Oftentimes, babies are found abandoned by their mother for unknown reasons (likely because the mother was involved in an accident).This is when the Saving Sloths Together project by Toucan Rescue Ranch and The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica acts. We rescue hurt sloths and give them a second chance at life with the goal of releasing them back into the wild once they graduate from the rehabilitation and release program.Last year, the 3rd Annual Sloth Ironman Games raised more than $3,000 for the Saving Sloths Together project. Toucan Rescue Ranch is excited to see what this year brings, and invites you to participate and enjoy the games!The Sloth Ironman Games is a purely online event. You can tune in and watch the action on Toucan Rescue Ranch’s Facebook and YouTube page! To donate, you can the Saving Sloths Together crowdfunding page and vote (donate) to your favorite slothlete!You can watch the 2018 Sloth Ironman Games here! — Zara Palmer is a Marketing Specialist at Toucan Rescue Ranch. This article was produced by The Toucan Rescue Ranch. The Toucan Rescue Ranch specializes in helping wild animals recover so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. For more information or to donate, visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

  • 40 percent abstention at Angola elections

    first_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories With almost 98 percent of votes counted Tuesday, the electoral commission’s Web site gave the MPLA 72 percent of votes, down 10 percent from its 2008 win.It lost votes to UNITA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, which nearly doubled its take to 18.7 percent.In third place with 6 percent is a new coalition uniting former enemies in the MPLA, UNITA and people from other parties. Angolan News agency Angop reported that 14 coalition supporters were released from jail on Sunday.Both UNITA and the coalition have complained of the uneven playing field in the election and the possibilities for fraud. They are conducting their own count, concerned by charges that soldiers in the Military Affairs Cabinet that reports directly to the president’s office have been installed in the electoral commission. The same thing happened in 2008 when the military was involved in transportation, distribution and handling of ballots, ballots boxes and minutes for election results, according to Chatham House, the London-based independentIn Luanda, the seaside capital, the MPLA gained 60 percent of the vote with 25 percent going to UNITA and 13.5 percent to the Broad Convergence for Angola’s Salvation, known by its initials CASA-CE. The usually boisterous and noisy city of 7 million was practically deserted on election day, with voting largely peaceful and organized. Associated PressLUANDA, Angola (AP) – Forty percent of voters abstained from casting ballots in Angola’s legislative elections, the electoral commission said of a shocking rate for Africa that some blamed on cynicism over the ruling party’s victory after 33 years in power. Others blamed faulty electoral rolls that included people who died a long time ago.Eighty-seven percent of voters participated in 2008 elections in the southern African nation where President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ government is accused of corruption and mismanagement of oil and diamond riches. His party is the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The ruling party also won 60 percent in the in the contested oil-rich enclave of Cabinda, diamond region Lunda Sul and even in UNITA stronghold Huambo. Elsewhere the MPLA won above 80 percent of votes with 87.5 percent in western Malange.Angola was a Cold War battlefield for 27 years, with Cuban soldiers and Soviet money supporting dos Santos’ MPLA and apartheid South Africa and the United States backing UNITA. Half a million people d died in the war, more than 4 million _ a third of the population _ was displaced and much infrastructure was destroyed.Since the war ended in 2002, Angola has dominated the list of the world’s fastest growing economies and is sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ErrorOK ErrorOK Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Quick workouts for men “My vote won’t make any difference anyway, everyone knew that the MPLA would win,” 34-year-old security guard Lemos Miguel said after Friday’s elections, explaining the absence of blue voting ink on his finger.Lourenco Bento, press officer for the biggest opposition party, UNITA, believes the difference between the number of registered voters and the number of people who actually voted is a symptom of faulty electoral rolls and disorganization.“For one, there were dead people on the electoral rolls,” Bento told The Associated Press Monday night. “Secondly, many voters were told at the designated polling station in their neighborhood that they were meant to vote elsewhere, hundreds of kilometers (miles) away.”After his victory, dos Santos, who has never been directly elected in 33 years in power, promised in a televised address Monday to “serve the interests of all Angolans.”After 2008 legislative elections, dos Santos, 70, repeatedly postponed presidential elections until the national assembly last year changed the constitution so that the leader of the party with the highest votes becomes the president. The MPLA win gives him another five years in power. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

  • Report Russia writes off most of NKoreas debt

    first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019center_img Quick workouts for men MOSCOW (AP) – Russian media report that the country has written off most of North Korea’s $11 billion debt.The Russian finance ministry on Tuesday confirmed that it has signed a debt deal with North Korea, but refused to provide immediate details.Interfax quoted deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak as saying that Russia has written off 90 percent of the Soviet-era debt.Storchak told Interfax that the remaining $1 billion would be used as part of the “debt for aid” program in implementing energy, health care and educational projects with Pyongyang. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said the agreement would create conditions for “boosting the relations of economic cooperation between the two countries.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

  • Smoked salmon blamed for salmonella outbreak

    first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Roel Vincken of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, which carried out tests confirming the salmonella outbreak, said he had no information on a U.S. recall.Costco got a call from Foppen regarding the recall late Monday afternoon, said Craig Wilson, vice president of food safety at Costco.He said Costco immediately pulled the items from shelves and blocked its sale in stores, meaning the products won’t scan at registers.The smoked salmon was sold under the Foppen name, as well as under Costco’s store-brand name, Kirkland.Customers who purchased the items will be called by the company Tuesday to notify them of the recall, Wilson said. The calls will be followed up with a letter.Wilson said Costco’s independent testing of the smoked salmon hasn’t yet turned up any positive results for salmonella. He said the company has not received any reports of illnesses.De Vries said Foppen did not believe contaminated fish had been sold to any other countries.Foppen, which processes fish in the Netherlands and at a factory in Greece, is investigating the cause of the outbreak.“The investigation into the cause is under way and has been narrowed down to one production line at one factory (in Greece),” De Vries told The Associated Press. “We can’t yet say what the cause of the infection was.”center_img Associated PressTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Smoked salmon tainted with salmonella bacteria has sickened hundreds of people in the Netherlands and the United States, sparking a major recall, health authorities said Tuesday.The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said the salmon has been traced to the Dutch company Foppen, which sells fish to many major Dutch supermarkets and to stores around the world, including the United States. Foppen has halted all production of smoked salmon until the investigation is completed, he added.____Associated Press writer Candice Choi in New York contributed.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The institute said in a statement that around 200 people _ and likely more _ in the Netherlands and more than 100 people in the United States have been sickened by a strain of the bacteria called Salmonella Thompson.Harald Wychgel, a spokesman for the Dutch public health institute, said the institute got its information on Americans becoming ill from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.However, a representative for the CDC said the agency was investigating and had not confirmed any illnesses. Costco Wholesale Corp., which sold the salmon in the U.S., said it had no reports of illness.Foppen also estimated the number of infections was higher.Company spokesman Bart de Vries said that since the company set up a public information phone line two days ago, some 1,400 people had called and around 350 of the callers “reported symptoms consistent with a salmonella infection.”Those infected by the salmonella bacteria can suffer symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhea.De Vries said that in the United States the company sells only to wholesaler Costco and that Costco would deal with any U.S. recall. It was not immediately clear how much contaminated fish had been sold in America; a Costco representative did not immediately have that information. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

  • Cop gives up in Honduras slay case behind protests

    first_imgAssociated PressTEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – A police officer turned himself in Friday to face charges that he killed the son of the head of Honduras National Autonomous University, a case that set off a campaign to clean up the Central American nation’s corruption-plagued national force.Ivan Mejia, spokesman for the Security Ministry, confirmed that a suspect had surrendered, but offered no further details. Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “The information we have is Padilla was the one who pulled the trigger and fired the shots that killed my son and his friend,” she said.Castellanos has led a crusade to overhaul the National Police and fire officers involved in drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping in this country of 8 million people. Because of her son’s murder, the then police chief and his deputy were fired and authorities began purging officers accused of crimes.The new head of the National Police says he is seeing internal discontent over the suspensions of high-ranking officers as part of the effort to root out corruption.Those angered at the chief say he is really just removing personal rivals. Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla himself was acquitted in 2004 on a murder charge after he was accused of running a death squad when he was a regional police head.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) University president Julieta Castellanos told The Associated Press that she hired a private investigator to find the suspect, Santos Padilla. She said she gave the information to authorities, and the officer surrendered to Honduras’ human rights commission after police started looking for him.Castellanos’ son was slain with a friend a year ago and their killings sparked a movement against police corruption and impunity.The motive in the crime remains a mystery, but prosecutors say four police officers kidnapped and killed the two young men. Another officer already is in custody, and two remain at large.Castellanos announced Padilla’s surrender as she was addressing President Porfirio Lobo and academics on behalf of the Commission on Public Safety Reform created in January to crack down on crooked cops.“We personally tracked the suspect down and found out his location. We cross-checked our information with the police because they have the power to arrest him, and when he felt cornered he decided to turn himself in,” she later told the AP.Although prosecutors have said four officers were involved, Padilla is suspected of being the killer, Castellanos said. Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

  • Argentinas leader tells UK to give up Falklands

    first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project He said Kirchner should pay heed to the result of a referendum to be held on the islands this year, noting that whenever the islanders “have been asked their opinion, they say they want to maintain their current status with the United Kingdom.”The government of the Falklands Islands attacked Kirchner’s letter as “historically inaccurate,” saying that its relationship with the U.K. is “by choice” and based on shared ideals of “democracy, freedom and self-reliance.”The islands have a right, enshrined in the U.N. charter, to determine their own future and have exercised that to retain links with the U.K, the government said in a statement.“It is this fundamental right that is being ignored by the Argentine Government, who are denying our right to exist as a people, and denying our right to live in our home,” the statement said.___Associated Press writers Cassandra Vinograd in London, Mike Warren in Buenos Aires and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   “180 years ago on the same date, January 3rd, in a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism, Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands, which are situated 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles) away from London,” she says in the letter, copied to U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Argentina’s U.N. Ambassador María Cristina Perceval delivered the letter Thursday to U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.“The secretary-general’s offer of good offices … remains to resolve this dispute if both parties are willing to engage,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.Argentina joined the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 1 for a two-year term and will serve alongside Britain, a permanent member with veto power.Britain asserted control of the south Atlantic islands by placing a naval garrison there in 1833. Britain and Argentina fought a brief war in 1982 after Argentina invaded the islands. More than 900 people died, most of them Argentines.Cameron rebuffed the Argentine president’s demand that the islands be handed over. “The future of the Falkland Islands should be determined by the Falkland Islanders themselves, the people who live there,” the British prime minister said. Parents, stop beating yourself up Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Associated PressLONDON (AP) – Argentina’s president called on Britain on Thursday to relinquish control of the Falkland Islands, accusing London of taking part in an act of “blatant colonialism” in claiming the wind-swept archipelago.Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner published an open letter in the Guardian newspaper urging Prime Minister David Cameron to honor U.N. resolutions which she says backs her case for the return of the islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas. She has made several similar demands in the past.last_img read more

  • Knoxs knife DNA casts doubt on murder weapon

    first_img Sponsored Stories Sollecito, in an emotional 20-minute-long address to the court on Wednesday, said Knox was `’my first real love in my life, even if it was very late.”He acknowledged he hadn’t taken seriously enough the accusations at the beginning because he was too caught up with his new romance with Knox to grasp the severity of the situation.`’Me and Amanda were living the dawn of a carefree romance, and we wanted to be completely isolated in our love nest,” Sollecito said. `’It was a little fairy tale.”He said he has since been living a nightmare, and he struggled with his composure as he pleaded with the court to acquit him. “I hope I’ll have the chance to live a life, a life, because at the moment I don’t have a real life,” Sollecito said. “That’s what I’m asking you.”Prosecutors begin their summations later this month, followed by the defense in December.A verdict is expected in January.____Doug Esser contributed from Seattle.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Italy’s highest court ordered a fresh appeals trial, blasting the acquittal as full of contradictions and questioning failures to retest the tiny DNA trace in light of new advanced technology.A spokesman for the Knox family in Seattle, David Marriott, was seeking comment from Knox on Wednesday’s testimony, but he said she was busy with classes at the University of Washington and doubted she would have anything to say.The DNA evidence on the knife found by investigators in a kitchen drawer at Sollecito’s apartment has been among the most hotly contested pieces of evidence in the original trial and now in two appeals.Prosecutors have contended the knife was the murder weapon because it matched Kercher’s wounds, and presented evidence in the first trial that it contained Kercher’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s on the handle.But a court-ordered review during the first appeal in Perugia, where the murder happened, discredited the DNA evidence. It said there were glaring errors in evidence-collecting and that below-standard testing and possible contamination raised doubts over the DNA traces linked to Kercher on the blade, as well as Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra clasp. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober FLORENCE, Italy (AP) – U.S. student Amanda Knox’s defense got a boost on Wednesday when a new DNA test on a kitchen knife failed to conclusively prove that it was the murder weapon used to kill her British roommate.An expert witness testified that the minuscule DNA trace on the knife handle near the blade showed `’considerable affinity” with Knox’s own DNA.That confirmed what was already known from two previous trials: that Knox’s DNA was on the knife handle, identified through another trace.center_img No DNA belonging to the slain British student, Meredith Kercher, was identified. Previous genetic evidence on the blade linked to Kercher had been contested at earlier stages.Outside the court, Knox defense lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told The Associated Press that the testimony confirms his contention that the knife was used by Knox solely for preparing food. “The report confirms that this is a kitchen knife. It is not a murder weapon,” Dalla Vedova said.Luca Maori, a defense lawyer for Knox’s co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito, said the trace’s very existence also indicated the knife had not been washed. “It is something very important,” he said. “It is absurd to use it for a murder and put it back in the drawer.”Prosecutors deferred comment for their summations, due later this month.Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 in the brutal slaying of Knox’s 21-year-old roommate in the apartment their shared in Perugia, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in jail, respectively.The conviction was overturned on appeal in 2011, freeing Knox after four years in jail to return to the United States, where she remains for the latest appeal. Comments   Share   Top Stories Quick workouts for men 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img

  • Japan defense export hopes dimmed by latecomer status

    first_imgA visitor takes photo of a scale model of a Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Soryu-class submarine at a first-ever defense industry fair in Yokohama, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. A year after Japan eased a longstanding ban on military exports, barely a trickle of deals has formed for its powerhouse manufacturers who are reckoning with latecomer status in a crowded global industry. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The MAST, or Maritime Systems and Technology, exhibition opened Wednesday in Yokohama, showcasing Japanese and foreign military products, including aircraft, weapons and associated naval and aerospace technology — anything that can be used in maritime security and surveillance, as well as disasters and rescue operations. Giant foreign contractors like Lockheed Martin and Babcock and military officials from “friendly” nations are there, too.A scaled-down US-2 and a Soryu submarine on display at the Japan booth welcomed visitors as soon as they enter the exhibit hall, where Defense Minister Gen Nakatani visited for a brief tour Wednesday.Japanese manufacturers exhibited at last year’s MAST expo in Istanbul, Turkey, but will have a much larger presence in Yokohama, said Warren Edge of the Paris-based exhibition organizer.“From our exhibitors’ perspective, yes, it’s a big market and we are looking forward to doing this for Japan,” Edge said.Defense exports have gotten a slow start, partly because Japan lacks the marketing and technology transfer expertise of the U.S. and other major exporting countries.“Those skills will have to be built, and they’re going to have to build them while they are competing with their ally the U.S. in a defense export market,” said Jack Midgely, an executive officer at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Co. in Tokyo and an expert on the defense industry. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories In the U.S., military-related exports are mostly conducted through the Foreign Military Sales program under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.The system provides the products, financing, training and logistical support to foreign militaries, which is backup Japan is ill-equipped to offer. To address that issue, Japan plans to set up an agency to oversee defense equipment research and development, and procurement, to cut costs and improve efficiency.Hotchi said Japan is best off focusing on disaster relief and reconnaissance, areas unlikely to raise the hackles of neighbors still resentful over past wartime aggression. It also can expand cooperation with the U.S., Australia and other developed nations in joint production, logistics and other support for advanced military technology, he said.“The U.S. sets the global defense equipment standard,” Hotchi said. “Equipment that is not used by the U.S. is not going to be a viable business.”Hotchi acknowledges that his hardest sell is in Japan.“Japanese companies are not really prepared to compete,” he said. “They don’t know how, because their customer up to now was 100 percent the Defense Ministry, and they’ve never had to make any marketing effort.” Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men Still, some progress is evident.Australia’s Defense Minister Kevin Andrews has invited Japan to participate in the selection process for a partner to jointly design and build a submarine, Gen Nakatani, Japan’s defense minister, told reporters last week.Japan should focus on areas such as its diesel submarine propulsion technology, which is unique and advanced, Hotchi said.Another star product is ShinMaywa’s US-2 amphibious aircraft, which is on India’s shopping list. The company, based in western Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, refused comment on those negotiations, citing sensitive timing.Hotchi and others say Japan can also take over production of equipment and parts no longer made in the U.S. For example, last year Tokyo approved plans to make seeker gyros used in the PAC-2 missile defense system.“We’re entering a new world and we would have to adapt to a different way of doing business and address issues like high cost, one at a time,” said Shoji Sato, Vice President and General Manager of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a major Japanese defense contractor that makes the Soryu submarine.Japan’s participation in the U.S.’s F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter jet program, as a customer and as a supplier of regional maintenance and logistics support, may promote sales of its own components for the jet, Midgely said. It’s no guarantee, though: the other 11 countries participating are also competing for contracts. Industrial giants such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries seem poised for a windfall from an industry that worldwide has more than $400 billion in annual sales but ambitions are hitting a wall. So far, the only known deals in the pipeline are the possible sale of Soryu-class submarine technology to Australia and ShinMaywa Industries’ US-2 amphibious aircraft for India.After decades of near isolation from the global defense industry, “Japan is not up to speed with global trends,” said Toru Hotchi, director of the Defense Ministry’s Equipment Policy Division and Japan’s go-to person for procurement.Hotchi shares with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the mission of selling Japan’s defense equipment. He travels to industry fairs and visits foreign militaries to study global defense and weapons trends. He also fields contacts from foreign governments and companies seeking opportunities from Tokyo’s loosening of restrictions on military equipment and technology transfer.“Japan can make anything, in principle, except for nuclear weapons,” Hotchi said in an interview. “The potential is high.”Japan’s home market is only worth about 1.5 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) annually. Big-ticket sales overseas could enable its defense contractors to scale up, increasing profits and slashing costs for the Ministry of Defense as it stretches its budget to upgrade outdated hardware and beef up defenses against China. TOKYO (AP) — A year after Japan eased a longstanding ban on military exports, barely a trickle of deals has formed for its powerhouse manufacturers who are reckoning with latecomer status in a crowded global industry.Following Japan’s defeat in World War II, its defense manufacturing industry was confined to the domestic market apart from some joint projects under the Japan-U.S. security alliance. Partly in response to China’s rising military assertiveness, Japan last year loosened restrictions on technology transfers and sales of military equipment. Mark Burgess, customer business director for Honeywell Aerospace in the Asia-Pacific region, said the participation of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and other Japanese suppliers in the Boeing’s Dreamliner 787 and 777X projects shows they are an affordable option for outsourcing aerospace manufacturing.Makers of Formula 1 race cars, used to meeting the same exacting specifications as for aircraft, could find new opportunities in making parts, supplying logistics and other segments of the larger market.Another promising area is 3-D printing, where parts are very sophisticated and tolerances of error are minuscule.“This isn’t going to open a multibillion dollar industry overnight, but I think there’s going to be some tangible benefits,” Burgess said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

  • White House issues veto threat to trade currency measure

    first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama would veto trade negotiation authority if it contains a provision that would punish countries that undervalue their currency.Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, want the Senate to vote on an amendment to the trade bill that would place prohibitions on currency manipulation into trade agreements.In a letter to key senators in the trade debate, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says such a provision could be used against the United States if it uses monetary policy to protect the U.S. economy. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Comments   Share   center_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The Senate is debating so-called “fast track” trade authority that sets parameters for trade deals. Lew said he would urge Obama to veto it if currency provisions were added.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 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more