CoNexion 2017 MyNexion makes official debut Nexion Canada agent award winners

first_img Posted by Wednesday, September 20, 2017 CoNexion 2017: MyNexion makes official debut; Nexion Canada agent award winners << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Nexion Canada, Spherecenter_img Share Travelweek Group Nexion Canada has unveiled MyNexion, its new technology platform that lets Nexion Canada members use tech tools to develop business, with a personal touch, says the host agency.Mike Foster, CTC, President of Nexion Canada, says MyNexion made its official debut at the CoNexion event over the weekend in New Orleans. myNexion replaces WebView (the former member portal) and also incorporates numerous new features and functions. myNexion is being rolled out in phases over the next six months.“This year’s CoNexion focuses on ‘thinking big’ and there is nothing bigger in 2017 than our new technology rollout,” said Foster. “What our members can expect with myNexion is a sophisticated level of technology that is truly personalized to the individual member. It brings the vast array of our offerings, knowledge, insight and tools into one simple, intuitive platform.”Kevin Kimes, VP of Product Management and myNexion Project Leader, says that what the Travel Leaders Group and Nexion technology teams have done is taken a “careful, considered look at what Nexion members truly desire”.“To make this the most useful program for our members, we have listened to our travel professionals and not only focused on what they need to run their businesses, but kept to our overarching philosophy of Less Technology that Does More,” said Kimes. “We started our initial rollout last month. Over the next several months, Nexion Canada members will gain access to the entirety of myNexion, with in-depth training and support being provided along the way. We are proud to offer Nexion Canada members the new myNexion, and are looking forward to seeing it support our members as they achieve even greater success.”In July 2017 Nexion Canada introduced the initial offering for myNexion and followed with implementing pinSIGHT 2.0, Travel Leaders Group’s proprietary hotel booking interface.In the coming weeks, all Nexion Canada members will be able to access myNexion’s CRM platform, which will be fully integrated into Travel Leaders Group’s suite of marketing solutions. These solutions include a new consumer website, lead generation tool, and integrated email and direct mail marketing campaigns.At the start of 2018 the final phase of myNexion will be presented: myNexion accounting. Members will be able to use myNexion for customer invoicing and accounting, including vendor receipts and payments, billing, corporate account management and complete GDS integrations.“We chose the name myNexion because it encapsulates what we want to do with this technology upgrade: Allow every Nexion Canada member to be able to have a sophisticated system at their fingertips that meets their individual business needs,” said Foster. “Every travel business is unique, with different clients, different product focus, and different goals. myNexion gives travel professionals the power to use our technology to reach new heights. The valuable part of their Nexion Canada membership means that they can use all these new technology offerings while running their own business and doing their own branding – the power of myNexion remains behind the scenes. We are very excited to see myNexion’s role in our members’ accomplishments.”Also at CoNexion 2017, Nexion Canada announced the recipients of its annual top travel agent awards. Nexion Canada member agents were honored with Circle of Excellence, Ambassador, Superstar, Rising Star, NexionTown Townie of the Year and Top SNAP! Air Sales awards.“Nexion Canada is successful due to its members’ success,” said Foster. “Success comes in so many different forms, whether it is sales or helping other members in their businesses. That’s why it is truly an honor to recognize our members with these prestigious awards. As we gather together at CoNexion, it is sincerely inspiring to see all that Nexion Canada agents have accomplished in the last year and will achieve in the coming year.”Nexion Canada handed out awards to the following recipients:Ambassador Award: Anne Brobyn was chosen for the Ambassador Award. An Ambassador is someone who exemplifies what it means to be a Nexion Canada member, in experience, attitude and industry expertise, says Foster.Circle of Excellence Award: The Circle of Excellence Award recognizes Nexion Canada members who achieved high sales and business growth with Nexion Canada’s supplier partners. This year, four members of Nexion Canada – Jen Hardy, Chris McHale, Jennifer Schantz and Dorothy Tam – recieved the Circle of Excellence Award.NexionTown Townie of the Year: NexionTown is the main online hub for Nexion Canada members to join affinity groups, connect with other members and give and receive advice on nearly any business and travel-related questions. The top ‘Townie’ is someone who has enthusiastically used NexionTown, generously shared their knowledge and provided help to fellow members on the platform. The inaugural award winner was Bernadette Parrott.Superstar Award: A Superstar is a Nexion Canada member who represents the travel industry with pride and shows continued growth in their knowledge of the industry. Dorothy Tam (also in the Circle of Excellence) was named the 2017 Nexion Canada Superstar.Esther Roemmele, General Manager, Nexion Canada presenting the Superstar award to Dorothy Tam at CoNexion 2017Rising Star Award: For newer Nexion Canada members. Gene Jochen was selected “because of his potential to be among the very best in the travel business”, says Foster.Nexion Canada’s General Manager, Esther Roemmele, presenting the Rising Star award to Gene Jochen at CoNexion 2017Top SNAP! Air Sales Award: An additional Nexion Canada member, Ross Avenell, also received the award for selling the most airline tickets in the proprietary SNAP! (Simple Nexion Air Program).last_img read more

Princess Cruises 2020 Europe program goes on sale Nov 8

first_img Share Travelweek Group Monday, November 5, 2018 Princess Cruises’ 2020 Europe program goes on sale Nov. 8 Tags: New Ship, Princess Cruisescenter_img Posted by SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises’ 2020 Europe season will be an exciting one indeed, with a brand new ship and a full lineup of voyages offered from March through November.In total, five ships will offer 67 itineraries ranging from four to 33 days to 120 European destinations in 37 countries. The season will also see the debut of the cruise line’s newest ship, Enchanted Princess, in the Mediterranean. Cruises go on sale on Nov. 8, 2018.As the fifth Royal-class ship in the line’s fleet, the Enchanted Princess will be named in the U.K. and debut in Rome on July 11, 2020. It will sail a variety of cruises ranging from seven to 22 days from Rome, Athens and Barcelona.“Our 2020 Europe lineup is epic with the debut of Enchanted Princess in the Mediterranean,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Some of my fondest travel memories are from my many cruises throughout Europe. I always see something new, learn from the locals and of course, delight in the regional cuisines. We have so many cruise options to enjoy the rich history and diverse cultures whether it’s your first visit to Europe or your return.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe 2020 Europe program also marks the return to the Holy Land with visits to Jerusalem, Galilee and more. Island Princess will join the Europe fleet with voyages in the Mediterranean and North Europe, including two opportunities to view the Northern Lights in the late fall. Plus, Crown Princess will also sail Norway, Iceland and Greenland.Northern Europe highlights will include a pair of debuts: Sky Princess will sail its first season on the 11-day ‘Scandinavia & Russia’ itinerary from Copenhagen, while Regal Princess will be all new to the popular 12-day ‘British Isles from Southampton’.In total, three Royal-class ships will sail Europe in 2020.Moreover, several Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises can be combined with a multi-night land tour to create a cruise tour with options to explore classic Italy, imperial Europe, the best of Spain and Ireland’s Ring of Kerry.Princess Pass Guests are eligible for a special promotion when they book early: US$100-$200/person discount off the public fare, based on itinerary. This can be combined with launch and group promotions (does not apply to third or fourth berth guests). Additionally, a reduced deposit is available for Captain Circle guests when booking early. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Increase in electricity rates approved a new hike request filed

first_imgNo related posts. The Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP) approved on Wednesday increases of 1.44 percent and 3.62 percent in electricity rates to five distribution companies in the country.The hikes will apply to customers of the National Power and Light Company (CNFL), the Public Services Company of Heredia, and private electricity generators in Guanacaste, Alfaro Ruíz (San José) and San Carlos (Alajuela). The adjustments will apply in coming days when published in the official newspaper La Gaceta.A family with a monthly average compsumption of 258 kW/h currently pays ₡17,420 ($34.80), and with the approved increase they will pay ₡17,994 ($35.98).ARESEP explained in a statement that climatic conditions of low rainfall this year caused a reduction in the amount of water stored in the dams of hydroelectric generation, forcing the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to increase thermal generation, or production of electricity using fuel.They also took into account the characteristics of each company as the number of subscribers, the service coverage area and the amount of purchases made from ICE.Also on Wednesday, the CNFL requested another increase of 9 percent that will be decided before Jan. 19, ARESEP said.Opposition to increasesThe Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica (CICR) on Wednesday unveiled its opposition to the new request, arguing that they are caused by “excessive amount of money the CNFL spends on salary incentives.”A study carried out by CICR states that there are seven CNFL workers earning more than ₡9 million per month ($18,000), while 500 employees have salaries of ₡2.5 million ($5,000) and almost 2,300 employees have monthly salaries of ₡2 million ($4,000).As an example, a dam security guard with a monthly base salary of ₡302,000 ($604) receives ₡2,938,000 ($5,876) each month due to wage incentives, the study says.Carlos Montenegro, CICR’s executive vice director referred to the requests as “excessive” and warned that a 27 percent increase could hit Ticos’ wallets in January, as CNFL has pending hike requests.The 9 percent increase for thermal generation filed Wednesday would add to another 18 percent increase for ARESEP’s fuel calculation costs methodology, he said.CICR asked ARESEP to conduct an external human resources audit “to assess the fairness and efficiency criteria of a tariff request that is burdensome and disproportionate to the reality of the country.”Costa Rican Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum on Thursday also questioned the CNFL criteria for the increases, claiming “they are excessive and do not meet technical criteria.”“Requested increases double the projected inflation and have no financial support. They cited exchange rate, which remained almost unchanged throughout the year,” Taitelbaum said.The ombudswoman requested ARESEP to disclose detailed information on street lighting installation and electrical services costs, in addition to applying technical criteria before approving the increase. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Calls to decriminalize drugs at Elton John HIV conference

first_imgNo related posts. VILNIUS, Lithuania– Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski on Sunday called for drug decriminalization at the opening of a global conference to curb the spread of HIV, with backing from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.The four-day conference in Vilnius focuses on “harm reduction,” or programs that seek to help intravenous drug users, one of the highest-risk population groups for the AIDS virus.“During my presidency, on the advice of various groups, I signed a law to criminalize the personal possession of drugs. I know it was a mistake,” said Kwasniewski, now a member of a global commission for drug decriminalization.“Decriminalization is the way to proceed: People who use drugs receive the support they need and the police can keep attention on major crime,” he added, to applause.The ex-president, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, gave the example of Portugal, which decriminalized drug use in 2001.Health experts credit the move for contributing to a decline in drug addiction, as users are now forced to appear in front of special addiction panels rather than a criminal court.In an interview with AFP, British rock musician and AIDS campaigner Elton John spoke of government’s role in fighting the HIV epidemic.“In the 1980s and 1990s, we saw HIV cut down hundreds of thousands of people while governments did nothing,” he told AFP in an email exchange ahead of the conference.“It was clear then, and is still clear, that many governments don’t value the lives of their own citizens because of needless stigma and criminalization of drugs and sex,” added John, who has in the past admitted to narcotics use.The International Harm Reduction Conference is taking place in the Lithuanian capital to shine light on an HIV hotspot: central and eastern Europe and central Asia, where there are more than 3.7 million injecting drug users, almost a quarter of the worldwide tally.Thirty-three percent of HIV diagnoses in Eastern Europe between 2006-2010 were linked to injecting drug use, according to a report by the World Bank, World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.The WHO’s Martin Donoghoe said stigma was driving the HIV epidemic in Europe.“It is a vicious circle: social marginalization increases the risk of being affected by HIV, and HIV exacerbates social marginalization, adding another layer of stigma,” he said at the conference.“Exclusion from life-saving HIV prevention, treatment and care is often the end result,” said the program manager for HIV/AIDS for the WHO in Europe.Popular Lithuanian singer Jurgis Didziulis added: “People who use drugs are written off. It will help to change mindsets.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Hernández vows to stem Honduran drug violence as president

first_imgRelated posts:Scandal-plagued Honduras needs dramatic overhaul, say analysts Former Honduran army chief reinvents himself as political crusader Honduran military aims to fill in for ‘absent’ parents with program targeting at-risk kids Guatemala-Honduras customs union first step in regional development plan Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández took office Monday promising to work with a fragmented Congress and stem the highest homicide rate in the world.Hernández will oversee an $18.4 billion economy that has struggled under violence fueled by drug gangs with ties to Mexican cartels and an agricultural virus that cut coffee output in Central America’s biggest producer. In his inaugural speech, he said he’ll work with regional leaders to better coordinate efforts to counter drug trafficking.“Eighty percent of the drugs shipped to the United States go through here, leaving behind a trail of death, crime and pain,” Hernández, 45, said at the national stadium in Tegucigalpa, wearing the blue and white presidential sash as military helicopters circled overhead. “In the following months there will be a reduction in the number of homicides, acts of violence and extortions.”Hernández defeated Xiomara Castro, wife of deposed former President Manuel Zelaya, to win the Nov. 24 vote. Yet with his National Party holding just 47 seats in the 128-member Congress, down from 71 under outgoing President Porfirio Lobo, Hernández will have to build alliances to rein in a widening deficit, fight crime and boost growth. Castro’s Libre Party has 39 seats, while the Liberal Party holds 26.“It’s clear that looking at the new composition of Congress he’s going to have to work with other parties,” said Miguel Gandolfo, an emerging-market analyst at F&C Asset Management in London.Hernández last week signaled he is willing to negotiate changes to an $800 million package of tax increases and spending cuts put in place following the election, including a 15 percent tax on basic food items. The legislation was meant to help stem a deficit projected to reach 6 percent of gross domestic product last year, up from 3.9 percent in 2011.“I invite all members of all political parties that have representation, because we are all Honduran brothers, to sit down and have a dialog, all of them,” Hernández, a lawyer with a master’s degree from the State University of New York, said.Investors betting that Hernández will hold down the budget deficit and seek aid from the International Monetary Fund helped the country’s debut dollar bonds return 6.3 percent since the vote, compared with a 1 percent loss for Latin America debt over the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and JPMorgan Chase.“A swift dialog with the IMF, which doesn’t have to be rushed, but to reassure his commitment to open a program with the fund would be a positive signal,” Gandolfo said.Speaking to Radio HRN before the inauguration, new central bank President Marlon Tabora said a narrower budget deficit combined with an accord with the IMF would give the country “access to international resources that is fundamental to have stable public finances.”Economic progress during Hernández’s four-year term may depend on the government’s ability to control drug violence in a nation bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Hernández backed Lobo’s strategy of deploying 4,000 military policemen to the streets to lower the homicide rate of 83 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data from the Honduras National Autonomous University.“Honduras remains exposed to the threat of well-armed, well-funded transnational criminal organizations,” the State Department said in a 2013 report.The country of 8.4 million people has become a transit point for drug shipments, with 87 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights departing South America for the U.S. stopping in Honduras in 2012, according to the State Department.Hernández’s inauguration comes as voters in two other Central American nations, Costa Rica and El Salvador, prepare to go to the polls in a first-round vote on Feb. 2. Gang-fueled violence has been a top concern during the El Salvador campaign, while controlling a widening budget deficit is on the agenda in the Costa Rican race. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Lawmakers to discuss eliminating prison sentences for blocking roads during protests

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:President Solís says no more road blockades Police to investigate alleged threats by private chauffeurs against traffic officers Porteadores announce more street blockades across Costa Rica next week Chauffeurs break negotiations with government officials in ongoing permit row The Legislative Assembly is considering a bill to replace prison time with monetary fines for blocking roads during street protests.Lawmakers revived the bill, originally presented in 2009, the day before private chauffeurs or “porteadores” protested a new regulation by blocking public roads across the country, snarling traffic.Members of the Legislative Committee on Legal Affairs reintroduced and approved the bill last Tuesday. Bill 17,341, the “Law to decriminalize social protests,” would eliminate prison sentences of up to 30 days for demonstrators who stage blockades on public roads. Instead demonstrators would face fines ranging from 10 to 30 days of their salaries.In order to adopt the amendment, the bill must be discussed and voted on by the full Assembly at two separate sessions.The bill’s wording states that the current legislation is “repressive, excessive, disproportionate and inconsistent with a democratic republic such as Costa Rica.” Committee member and Broad Front lawmaker Edgardo Araya said the adoption of the amendment would be “a good sign, to no longer consider public demonstrations as crimes.”President Luis Guillermo Solís, however, opposes the change.“We already have a number of sufficiently clear laws regulating public demonstrations. There is no need to change them,” the president said Saturday at a public event. “Furthermore, several Supreme Court rulings provide for the citizens’ rights to protest as long as certain conditions are met, among them, ensuring free transit for the rest of the population.”Last Wednesday, the day after the legislature’s legal affairs committee green-lighted the bill, hundreds of porteadores blocked public roads across the country for nearly 15 hours. They were protesting a new regulation that cuts the number of special taxi permits available for porteadores in half.President Solís publicly chastised the protestors and ordered police to clear the roads after an ambulance was prevented from reaching the scene of a car accident in Alajuela in which two people died. A child who was in one of the cars had to be transported by helicopter to the National Children’s Hospital.Despite the potential for criminal sentences under the current law against blocking roads, it’s unclear how often the penalty is enforced. No one was arrested during last week’s protests and officers issued no warrants for the crime of obstructing public roads.“Traffic Police officers were clearly outnumbered,” the police press office told The Tico Times.Besides Broad Front lawmaker Araya, the Assembly’s Legal Affairs Committee includes Marvin Atencio and Marco Vinicio Redondo from the ruling Citizen Action Party; Carlos Arguedas, Antonio Álvarez Desanti and Juan Jiménez Succar of the National Liberation Party; Oscar López of the Accessibility Without Exclusion Party; Gerardo Vargas Rojas of the Social Christian Unity Party; and José Alberto Alfaro of the Libertarian Movement.Alfaro founded the Unión Nacional de Porteadores S.A. — a corporation that owns nearly one-third of all special taxi permits — in 2004. He’s currently listed as president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Private Chauffeurs. Germán Lobo, one of Alfaro’s legislative advisors, was the chamber’s main spokesman until he took the job advising Alfaro last year.last_img read more

Costa Rica celebrates 67 years without an army

first_imgCosta Rica marked the 67th anniversary of the abolition of its army Tuesday morning during a ceremony at the National Museum, once the Bellavista Fortress.Breaking one of the crenelations of the former fortress with the swing of a hammer as a ceremonial gesture, President José Figueres Ferrer abolished the armed forces in Costa Rica on Dec. 1, 1948 following the end of the civil war that brought him to power.The abolition of the armed forces was enshrined in the 1949 Constitution that established the Second Republic. Costa Rica declared its neutrality in international conflicts starting in 1983 and banned the death penalty in 1877.Dec. 1 also serves as a Veterans Day for a country that has few surviving soldiers.The decision to do away with the armed forces “has forged generations of Costa Ricans who do not know a war tank or armed planes in our territory and will never as Costa Ricans need to carry a rifle to die on a battle field,” said Foreign Minister Manuel González in a statement Tuesday.“Along with the principles of liberty and democracy, the abolition of the army is one of the exceptional steps moving Costa Rica toward a more just and cultured society” that is focused on human development, not expanding military capacity, González said.Speaking next to a cannon at the National Museum, President Luis Guillermo Solís urged a group of students present to not “forget the moment when a president of the republic — a victorious general — had the enlightenment to abolish the armed forces in our land. Carry in your hearts, build with your hands the pacific and beautiful nation that Figueres dreamed and the republic we inherited.”Solís then placed a bouquet of flowers in the barrel of the cannon, “May cannons never fire again in our land.” A veteran wears his army cap on Dec. 1, 2015 with a medal marking the Battle of Santa Rosa. (Courtesy Casa Presidencial) Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican veterans reflect 66 years after abolition of army Costa Rica seeks Nobel Peace Prize for abolishing its army Costa Rica’s president criticizes growing military spending in Latin America Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visitlast_img read more

EU competition watchdog eyes McDonalds over taxes

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day A coalition of European and U.S. unions claims that the company reduced its tax burden by moving its British headquarters to Switzerland and channeling money into a Luxembourg-based subsidiary with a Swiss branch.The unions said the Luxembourg subsidiary, where 13 people work, had revenues over the five-year period of 3.7 billion euros and reported paying just 16 million euros in taxes.The Commission’s move is one of a series in the wake of the so-called LuxLeaks allegations about sweet deals for multinationals with offices in Luxembourg.The Commission opened tax probes last year into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Amazon in Luxemburg.It believes that some multinationals are shifting profits between countries and depriving EU governments of tax revenues.To tackle the problem, the EU has been working on new legislation that would require countries to automatically exchange information on their “tax rulings” every three months.Tax rulings are the confirmation or assurance that authorities give to tax-paying companies on how their taxes will be calculated.EU countries rarely share information about their tax decisions and are often unaware of rulings made by their partners, which creates a gap that some multinationals have exploited. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s competition watchdog has U.S. fast-food giant McDonald’s in its sights.EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told legislators Tuesday she is examining trade union allegations that McDonald’s avoided paying more than one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in corporate taxes in Europe between 2009 and 2013.Vestager said Tuesday that her office is “looking into the information gained by trade unions when it comes to McDonald’s in order to assess if there is a case.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Fighting rages in Yemen on 4th day of humanitarian truce

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Fighting was underway Saturday in multiple Yemeni provinces on the fourth day of a humanitarian truce between a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, security and tribal officials said.The five-day truce has been repeatedly violated, with each side blaming the other.The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists, reported fierce fighting Saturday in the southern city of Aden, the western city of Taiz and the province of Marib. Medical and security officials say three civilians were killed in Aden by mortar shells during an exchange of fire. Two civilians were killed and three others were wounded in clashes in Taiz, officials said.Saleh al-Anjaf, a spokesman for an anti-Houthi tribal alliance in the northern Marib province, said hundreds of fighters loyal to the Houthis and their allies have arrived in the area as reinforcements, as heavy fighting continued with local tribesmen.Yemen’s conflict pits Shiite Houthi rebels and allied military units against forces loyal to embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in March. The Saudi-led coalition, which supports Hadi, began the airstrikes on March 26.Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 1,400 people — many of them civilians — since March 19, according to the U.N. The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led blockade.Humanitarian organizations are trying to bring in and distribute aid before the end of the truce.But in multiple cities, including Aden and Taiz, citizens say they have not yet received any of the badly needed assistance. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

Afghan official Taliban kill 20 police officers in attack

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Patients with chronic pain give advice Parents, stop beating yourself up Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober He said the attacks wounded at least 10 officers, though the Taliban also seemed to have suffered high casualties.The spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Sediq Sediqqi, said fighting ended Saturday afternoon with around 30 insurgents killed, including a group leader he named as Abdul Hadi.Saqi Jan, the head of police logistics in Musa Qala, said area checkpoints were manned by officers from the neighboring district of Baghran who had been forced out by earlier Taliban attacks.“Baghran has been under Taliban control since last year, so these police came to Musa Qala and built themselves a small compound and some checkpoints,” he said.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks. The militants have been targeting vulnerable police checkpoints across the country since launching their summer offensive in April. Last month, a Taliban attack in Helmand’s Naw Zad district killed at least 19 police officers.Afghan army Gen. Afzel Aman, the head of the Defense Ministry’s operational department, told journalists Saturday that four districts are now under Taliban control in the country: Nawa in Ghazni province, Baghran and Dishu in Helmand province and Khak-e Afghan in Zabul province. “Fighting is going on almost everywhere compared to last year, and many places are under threat of enemy attack,” Aman said.Afghan forces are fighting alone this year as the U.S. and NATO have ended their combat mission and their casualties are soaring. Between Jan. 1 and May 7, 2,322 army, police and local police personnel were killed, 53 percent more than the same period in 2014, according to NATO.By comparison, a total of 2,217 American service members have been killed since the 2001 invasion.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban fighters overran multiple checkpoints in a nighttime raid in Afghanistan’s volatile southern Helmand province, killing at least 20 police officers as the battle raged into Saturday, authorities said.The assault came as Afghanistan’s military acknowledged the Taliban controls at least four districts across the country.The attacks in Helmand hit police checkpoints in the Musa Qala district, said Mohammad Ismail Hotak, the head of the province’s joint coordination of police and military operations. Top Stories last_img read more

French minister No new target date for Iran nuclear talks

first_img Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Negotiators trying to rein in Iran’s nuclear program have decided not to set a new target date to conclude talks, France’s foreign minister said Monday, and he warned that if an agreement isn’t “very robust” other countries in the Middle East will seek to develop nuclear weapons.“We have made some progress, but still it is not the end of the process,” Laurent Fabius told a group of reporters, stressing that all parties have adopted the principle that “nothing is agreed until the moment when everything is agreed.” 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Journalists and journalists are waiting in front of Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, Monday, June 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Fabius said the negotiators decided Sunday that the talks will go past their June 30 target date to wait for answers to outstanding questions. He said he expects foreign ministers from the seven countries to return to Vienna this week.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will arrive in Vienna on Tuesday and will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also is expected in Vienna on Tuesday.The United States and its Western allies believe Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, to produce nuclear energy.Fabius said that for France, which is widely viewed as taking a hardline position in the talks, there are three conditions that must be met:— Limitations on Iranian nuclear research and production where “some progress has been made but it still has to be completely agreed.”— The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, must be able to verify any agreement.— If there is an agreement, sanctions on Iran will be lifted, but if it is not implemented there will be “a snapback mechanism” that will automatically bring back sanctions, “and we are discussing that.”center_img Fabius said the Iranians have specific questions about how the lifting of sanctions will work “and some other elements.” He said the six major powers negotiating with Iran — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — are also “asking some precision,” but he did not elaborate.Fabius refused to address questions about possible backtracking by Iran on previously agreed provisions. To a question on whether France is confident that Russia and China would be willing to suspend their Security Council veto power to allow sanctions to automatically be reimposed if an agreement is violated, he said, “we have very good cooperation with the Chinese and Russians.”The French minister stressed repeatedly that any agreement must be “serious and robust.”If it isn’t, Fabius warned, some countries in the region will pursue nuclear weapons. He called that “very dangerous” for the region and the world.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Patients with chronic pain give advice New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Bus falls off bridge killing 10 South Koreans

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BEIJING (AP) — A bus carrying a group of South Koreans fell off a highway bridge in northeastern China, killing 10 passengers and the Chinese driver, officials said Thursday.The accident took place Wednesday after the vehicle left the northeastern Chinese city of Ji’an and was about halfway to its destination of Dandong, which borders North Korea, the official Xinhua News agency said.China’s Foreign Ministry said 28 people were aboard the bus — 26 South Koreans plus one driver and one tour guide from China. Ten South Koreans and the driver were killed, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, expressing condolences to the victims. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Officials in South Korea said its nationals were on the bus as part of a 140-person delegation of mainly government employees.They were in China to tour historical sites, including places where Korean independence fighters resisted Japan’s colonial rule before the end of World War II, according to officials from the South Korean Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.The bus was part of a six-bus caravan, the South Korean officials said.Photos circulating online showed the bus resting on its top in shallow water under the bridge.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homelast_img read more

AFTA Traveller to shut down in January AMail to replace

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X AFTA Traveller will shut its doors next year with the January edition to be the last magazine printed, but AFTA has plans for a brand new member bulletin, e-Travel Blackboard can exclusively reveal.The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is today expected to make an announcement on the future of AFTA Traveller and its membership broadcasts, and e-Travel Blackboard can reveal that the association is moving towards an online monthly publication called A-Mail. “We’ve decided to launch a brand new format,” said Jayson Westbury, AFTA CEO.  “A-Mail will be online, non-commercial and sent only to AFTA members.”January will be the last month the long-running magazine will publish, but Mr Westbury promises that the monthly newsletter will still remain relevant and be filled with information for its members.“In January our contract with BigSplash will end, and we will bring A-Mail in-house,” he continues.2010 will be a big year for AFTA’s membership alerts, with the association also planning to re-haul its webmail product with a brand new look, an iPhone application and new logo.“The relaunch will also differentiate webmail from our new newsletter.  Webmail is purely bookable content from suppliers and it’s never going to be news… The new logo will also distance it from AFTA A-Mail,” says Mr Westbury.Webmail will go to 9,000 consultants all around Australia, whereas AFTA A-Mail will be only be delivered to registered AFTA agencies of which there are 2,500. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Travelportals in new head

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Gordon Wilson has been appointed to chief executive and president of Travelport Limited, as former head Jeff Clarke moves up into the company’s executive chairman role. Stepping into the position today, Mr Clarke said Mr Wilson would serve the company well with his “vision, deep industry, commercial and operational expertise”.“Gordon has led Travelport’s GDS, the firm’s core business, comprising its global travel distribution capabilities and Airline IT operations, for the last five years and has served as Deputy CEO for the last year,” Mr Clarke added.Meanwhile as executive chairman, Mr Clarke will be responsible for the company’s strategic investment.“I’d like to thank Jeff Clarke for his transformative leadership of Travelport over his tenure as President and CEO,” Travelport chairman Chip Schorr said.   “Over the last five years of Jeff’s leadership, Travelport has been successfully repositioned as a globally diversified GDS with a culture of innovation in key products and technologies along with improved efficiency and execution.”last_img read more

Marriotts Asian expansion

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Marriott International plans to more than double the size of its portfolio within the Asia-Pacific region, with an additional 123 properties in Asia by 2016.Adding an extra 80,000 rooms in up to 16 countries, new properties include a Bulgari hotel in Shanghai, a Marriott resort in Dali, a Marriott in Hengyang and a Renaissance hotel in Xuzhou.The hotel group also expects to operate in an additional 13 provinces within China by 2016 including; Hunan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Anhui and Macau. Marriott Asia managing director Simon Cooper said the group intends to “grow dynamically” within the region through “a strategically targeted brand portfolio” and products that resonate with the public.“While China and India are the driving forces for our business in Asia, we are also seeing growth with new signings and openings in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and elsewhere in the region,” he said. The additional properties will open an extra 36,000 new jobs within Asia including 40,000 in China alone.  Marriott International currently operates eight brands in Asia Pacific including; Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments and the recently launched Autograph Collection.last_img read more

Cathay against introduction of Jetstar Hong Kong

first_imgQantas Airways hope to begin Jetstar Hong Kong operations by the end of 2013. Oneworld partners Qantas and Cathay Pacific in disagreement. “It also will not change the fact that putting some of Hong Kong’s valuable and limited air-traffic rights into the hands of a carrier that is controlled by a foreign airline would also be very damaging to the local aviation industry and the Hong Kong economy.” Source = ETB News: P.T. Jetstar Hong Kong is a three-way partnership between Qantas, China Eastern and Hong Kong business magnate Stanley Ho. Cathay Pacific continues to lobby against the introduction of Qantas off-shoot Jetstar Hong Kong. As Qantas strive to initiate operations for new low-cost carrier Jetstar Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific persist in their attempts to lobby the Hong Kong government to block the airline’s launch, The Age reported. Cathay Pacific are calling on the government to reject the airline’s mandatory application for an air operator’s license, citing concerns regarding the airline’s foreign ownership. The airline, which has received regulatory approval from mainland China, proposes to fly to Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It is understood that Cathay Pacific sees Jetstar Hong Kong as a potential threat to both its mainline operations as well as undercutting its regional subsidiary, Dragonair. “Our review of this application will not change the fact that Jetstar Hong Kong is a carrier that is a franchise of and controlled by Jetstar Australia and its parent, Qantas Airways,” Cathay Pacific said in a statement.last_img read more

NT developing Japan routes

first_img“Places such as the Top End’s world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park with its wetlands and Aboriginal rock art, or Litchfield National Park’s waterfalls are rarely visited by Japanese tourists.” Chief Minister Adam Giles and Tourism Minister Matt Conlan met with airline officials this week, coinciding with the Australian Japan Business Cooperation Committee arrangements in Tokyo. The Northern Territory Government has met with Japan Airlines executives to discuss ways to develop tourism opportunities for Japanese visitors. “By establishing airline routes and schedules that include the NT as a natural extension to any Australian holiday itinerary, it will generate greater numbers of Japanese tourists being able to enjoy a Territorian experience during their Australian holiday,” Mr Giles said. “At present the vast majority of Japanese tourists only visit the Red Centre destinations of Alice Springs and Uluru,” Mr Giles said.center_img Source = ETB News: P.T. Japan has become the Northern Territory’s fourth largest tourist market, welcoming approximately 28,000 Japanese visitors each year, however, the scope of their travels is somewhat limited. Japan Airlines has expressed interest in working with the NT and codeshare partner, Qantas, to develop new airline routes to link Darwin and Alice Springs to other destinations in Australia.last_img read more

Norwegian Cruise Line releases 2014 results

first_imgNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings today reported financial results for 2014, and provided guidance for the first quarter and full year 2015.Results for the year ended December 31, 2014 include the results of the recently acquired Prestige Cruise Holdings which began on the closing of the acquisition on November 19, 2014.Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer Frank Del Rio, said that 2014 will be remembered as one of solid growth and game-changing expansion for the company.“Strong results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team members who kept a keen eye on optimizing pricing and managing expenses while delivering exceptional vacation experiences,” Mr Del Rio said.The Company reported a 61.0 per cent increase in Adjusted EPS to $2.27, on Adjusted Net Income of $480.6 million, which excludes expenses related to the Prestige acquisition and other items.A 25.5% improvement in Adjusted Net Revenue to $2.4 billion was driven by a 19.8 per cent increase in Capacity Days coupled with a 4.8 per cent improvement in Adjusted Net Yield.In addition to the results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014, the Company also provided the following guidance for the first quarter and full year 2015, along with accompanying sensitivities.“Until recently, our booked revenue had been on par with prior year; however, the last three weeks of this Wave season has seen a significant acceleration in booking volume.  Norwegian Escape is in a better booked position than her last two predecessor sister ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway,” Mr Del Rio said.“At year end, and as of today, the company has more booked revenue and the highest net yields on future sailings than ever before, including full year 2015 and 2016.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

SuperStar Virgo will embark on an epic 48 day voyage

first_imgStar Cruises, the leading cruise line in the Asia Pacific, announced today that its flagship vessel, SuperStar Virgo, will embark on an epic 48 day voyage, visiting a number of exotic ports throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. Scheduled to set sail on 13 November 2015 from Hong Kong, SuperStar Virgo will take advantage of summer in the southern waters before returning on 31 December 2015.“As a pioneer in the Asia Pacific cruise industry, we have seen the appetite for longer cruise itineraries grow in popularity with our Asian and Australian cruisers in recent years and have responded by offering larger scale journeys for our guests,” said Mr. Braydon Holland, Vice President, Sales, Star Cruises. “We are thrilled to have Australia play such an important role in this inaugural itinerary with more than half the schedule showcasing some of her best cities. Marking her first visit back downunder in 10 years, we want to reacquaint Australia’s seasoned cruisers with our flagship SuperStar Virgo and our acclaimed Asian hospitality again.”In addition to local Australian destinations, passengers aboard SuperStar Virgo will be able to visit favourite locales as Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam with stops in over 20 ports including Bali, Bangkok, Jakarta, Krakatoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and more during the full 48 day tour.For those without the luxury of time, the voyage can also be broken up into various shorter segments such as Hong Kong/Singapore/Fremantle, or Fremantle/Sydney via Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania, or Sydney/Hong Kong, to provide even more holiday choices.Whichever itinerary chosen, guests will have the opportunity to savour the myriad flavours, sights and sounds of the region though exciting land excursion experiences during this exceptional voyage of discovery.Operating in the Asia Pacific since 1993, Star Cruises also has the experience to deliver the best “home away from home” environment on board SuperStar Virgo.Guests can indulge in an extensive selection of dining, retail, and lifestyle facilities to satisfy their every need. With over 13 restaurants and bars serving Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Indian, local and international cuisines and beverages, culinary highlights will include special, local signature dishes skillfully prepared by award-winning chefs to reflect the multi-cultural bounty of the various destinations dotting the itinerary.A variety of entertainment, leisure, recreation and retail options will also provide guests with a rich assortment of activities to enhance their journey across the open waters.Accommodation options on board SuperStar Virgo range from a dazzling selection of premium suites to staterooms with balconies and ocean views, and budget friendly inside cabins – all spaciously laid out and furnished to offer total comfort with a touch of elegance and luxury.Star Cruises Source = Star Cruiseslast_img read more