Air Canada adds 6 new routes to Australia South America Caribbean US

first_img MONTREAL — Air Canada is boosting its 2017-18 schedule with six new seasonal routes, including five on Air Canada Rouge – Vancouver-Orlando, Toronto-Belize, Toronto-St. Vincent, Montreal-Lima and Montreal-Phoenix – and one on Air Canada (Vancouver-Melbourne). All flights are now open for bookings and all are part of the airline’s strategic expansion of its international network.So far in 2017 Air Canada has launched new international services between Montreal-Shanghai, with Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, Vancouver-London Gatwick, Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto-Reykjavik, Montreal-Reykjavik, Montreal-Tel Aviv, Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille inaugural services to begin in the weeks to come.“Air Canada is continuing its strategic, global expansion with a diverse range of exciting new non-stop routes this winter to Australia, South America, the Caribbean and the United States,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “Vancouver-Melbourne is our third route to Australia, in addition to year-round service to Sydney and Brisbane. Our seasonal Melbourne service will provide additional options for business travellers between North America and Australia as well as Australians seeking a Canadian winter vacation experience.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upMontreal-Lima is Air Canada’s first South American route from its Montreal hub, and will offer travellers from Quebec and Atlantic Canada convenient access to Peru, complementing existing year-round flights from Toronto, says Smith.The addition of the first long-haul, international scheduled service to St. Vincent in the Caribbean, along with the addition of Toronto-Belize, Montreal-Phoenix, Vancouver-Orlando “offers new choices for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters,” he adds.All new routes are timed to optimize connectivity at Air Canada’s Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs to and from the airline’s network across North America and globally.The Vancouver-Melbourne service is four times weekly and runs Dec. 1, 2017 – Feb. 4, 2018. The Vancouver-Orlando flights run Dec. 20 – April 8, twice weekly. Toronto-Belize City starts Dec. 15 and goes through April 13, with weekly flights. Toronto-St. Vincent is also weekly, from Dec. 14 – April 12. Montreal-Lima starts Dec. 16 and goes until May 27, twice weekly. Montreal-Phoenix will operate Feb. 22 – May 28, three times weekly. Travelweek Group Tags: Air Canada, Air Canada rouge, America, Arizona, Australia & New Zealand, Belize, New Routes, Orlando, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Air Canada adds 6 new routes to Australia, South America, Caribbean, U.S.center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted bylast_img read more

New bridge opens on Califfornias Big Sur coast to replace damaged span

first_img BIG SUR, Calif. — California transportation officials have opened a $24 million bridge on State Route 1 that replaces one damaged when winter storms pounded the Big Sur coast and cut the scenic coastal highway in several places.The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge opened Friday afternoon following a celebration of the project’s completion just eight months after the old concrete bridge was hit by a landslide.Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty says such projects normally take several years to complete.The new structure has 15 steel girders, each weighing 62 tons, that span the 310-foot canyon. It has no support columns, eliminating vulnerability from future slides.Caltrans says another slide 24 miles south of Pfeiffer Canyon remains active and construction of a new roadway is underway at a slide near the San Luis Obispo-Monterey county line. Share Source: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: California Monday, October 16, 2017 New bridge opens on Califfornia’s Big Sur coast to replace damaged spanlast_img read more

TravelBrands adds two adultsonly Bahia Principe resorts to product lineup

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — Agents can now book two additional Bahia Principe properties with TravelBrands: Luxury Bahia Principe Samana and Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine.Available to book for travel from Nov. 1, 2018 onwards, the two properties add to TravelBrands’ already existing vacation packages to multiple Bahia Principe hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.“We are always looking to expand our product lines and these Bahia Principe properties were a natural fit for TravelBrands,” said Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO, TravelBrands. “Bahia Principe is a trusted name for travellers and their hotels offer a relaxing and beautiful escape from everyday life.”The Luxury Bahia Principe Samana is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Samana, Dominican Republic featuring a spa, pool, five restaurants and much more. The Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine in Punta Cana, also adults only and all-inclusive, boasts an on-site casino, spa, evening entertainment and other amenities.Grand Bahia Principe AquamarineAgents can book of these new offerings by visiting travelbrandsaccess.com. Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, TravelBrandscenter_img TravelBrands adds two adults-only Bahia Principe resorts to product lineup Tuesday, July 3, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

259 people have died from doing this one thing we all do

first_img Share Tags: Other, Selfies 259 people have died from doing this one thing we all do while on vacation Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — People will do anything to capture the perfect shot while on vacation, but at what cost?According to a new global study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, ‘selfie’ deaths are on the rise, with 259 deaths reported in 137 incidents from October 2011 to November 2017. There were only three selfie-related deaths in 2011, but that number spiked to 98 in 2016 and 93 in 2017.Drowning, transport and falling were the top reasons for deaths caused by selfies, which is defined as any accidental death that occurs while doing self-photography or clicking selfies.“Selfie deaths have become an emerging problem and we performed this study to assess the epidemiology of self-related deaths across the globe,” said the report.The organization inputted keywords such as ‘selfie deaths’, ‘selfie accidents’ and ‘‘mobile death/accidents’ when gathering data. It found that the mean age of people who’ve died was 22.94 years, with 72.5% of total deaths occurring in males and 27.5% in females.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Where are selfies most dangerous? Russia, United States and Pakistan.The report also stated that “this is just the tip of the iceberg”, with many cases not being reported. For example, certain deaths due to selfies may be reported as road traffic accidents or others, which leads to underreporting of a large number of cases.In September 2018, a California woman fell to her death while taking selfies on the edge of a 200-foot cliff at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. In that same month, an Israeli teen also fell to his death while trying to take a selfie at Yosemite National Park.In June, an Australian couple fell to their deaths while taking a selfie on a 30-metre high wall in Portugal. And in May of this year, a man in Odisha, India tried to take a selfie with a wounded bear and was mauled to death.To keep click-happy tourists safe, researchers suggest the creation of ‘No selfie zones’ areas in places such as water bodies, mountain peaks and tall buildings.last_img read more

US under pressure to let Cuba join Americas summit

first_imgNo related posts. CARTAGENA, Colombia – Leaders from across the Americas launched talks here Saturday on expanding trade as the United States came under strong pressure to let Cuba attend future summits.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, host of the Summit of the Americas, said Saturday it would be “unacceptable” to keep Cuba out of the next gathering.“The isolation, the indifference has shown its ineffectiveness. In today’s world, there is no justification for this anachronism,” he stressed.Cuba has never taken part in a Summit of the Americas, a regular meeting sponsored by the U.S.-based Organization of American States (OAS).Washington argues that communist-ruled Cuba is ineligible to attend because it lacks democratic credentials and does not “respect the human rights of the Cuban people.”Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 at the height of the Cold War. The expulsion was rescinded in 2009, but Cuba has refused to return to the organization.Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa is boycotting the summit because of the exclusion of Cuba, one of its allies and the Americas’ only one-party Communist state.Saturday, an alliance of left-leaning Latin American countries known as ALBA announced here that its members would not take part in any future summits of the Americas if Cuba was not included.“We express our decision not to take part in future Summits of the Americas without the presence of Cuba,” ALBA, which groups Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said in a statement.It also demanded an immediate end to Washington’s 50-year-old “inhuman economic, trade and financial embargo against Cuba” and urged regional countries “to continue to maintain its united solidarity in favor of Cuba’s admission to the summit”.The two-day summit formally opened earlier Saturday under tight security in this Colombian Caribbean resort city, attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and 30 other democratically elected leaders of the Western Hemisphere.“It is remarkable to see the changes that have been taking place in a relatively short period of time in Latin, Central America and in the Caribbean,” the U.S. leader said at a business forum ahead of the summit. “We’ve seen enormous progress.But Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, speaking at the same forum, urged Obama to treat Latin America as an equal.“In Latin America, we have a huge space to make our relationship one of partnership, but partnership between equals,” said Rousseff, whose country has gained mounting international clout as the world’s sixth largest economy and Latin America’s dominant power.“This is a very relevant factor between the most developed country of the region and Latin American countries,” she added, in veiled criticism of Washington’s past dealings with an area it used to view as its own back yard.Acknowledging the region’s growing assertiveness and independence, Obama said in response: “I think often times in the press the focus is on controversies. Sometime those controversies date back to before I was born … to the 1950’s … Yankees and the Cold War, and this and that.“That is not the world in which we are living today,” the U.S. leader said. “My hope is that we all recognize this enormous opportunity that we have.”In addition to Cuba, many Latin American leaders sought to focus on the pros and cons of drug legalization.Several Central American leaders met here on the sidelines of the summit to discuss Guatemala’s proposal to consider legalizing street drug consumption. But they failed to reach consensus.Guatemalan President Otto Perez insisted that his idea remained very much alive and voiced hope it would be taken up at a private meeting of hemispheric leaders.Speaking at the business forum, Obama meanwhile said he favored a debate on the issue. On Friday, he said he opposed decriminalization or legalization of drugs.“I think it is a valuable agenda to have a conversation whether the laws in place are laws that are doing more harm than good in certain places,” the U.S. leader said Saturday.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is suffering from cancer, did not make the trip to Cartagena on the advice of his doctors. He was to travel to Cuba for further radiation therapy to treat a recurrence of cancer, according to his foreign minister Nicolas Maduro.Also absent was Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said. No reason was immediately given.In the fallout of an embarrassing incident, the U.S. Secret Service said Saturday it had suspended 11 agents assigned to Obama’s trip to Colombia amid reports they had used prostitutes.Five U.S. military personnel are also being investigated for misconduct said to have taken place at the same hotel where the Secret Service staff were staying in Cartagena, and have been confined to barracks. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

ExPresident José María Figueres quits presidential race

first_imgRelated posts:Former Costa Rican President José María Figueres confirms 2014 presidential bid Figueres presents ‘Way Forward’ for Costa Rica Ex-President Figueres coming home ‘soon’ Prosecutors Request Figueres Corruption Case Dismissed Former Costa Rican President José María Figueres Olsen (1994-1998) withdrew his bid for the presidency in the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) primaries for the upcoming 2014 elections.“I will devote all my energy and experience to work in a multifaceted project to build the country’s future, a project called Vía Costarricense [the Costa Rican Way],” Figueres said in a statement Wednesday evening. He confirmed Thursday morning at a press conference that he was dropping out of the race and planned on moving back to Costa Rica permanently.“I think I can do a lot for Costa Rica without having to head the government,” he added.Since his return to the country for the first time in 11 years on Dec. 22, after living in Europe, Figueres appeared as one of the strongest contenders for the PLN nomination.He said at the time he was working on the Costa Rican Way project, gathering suggestions from citizens on how to build a better country. The project also involves a number of experts from political, social and economic fields.The daily La Nación published on Thursday a poll showing that San José Mayor Johnny Araya leads among probable candidates in the PLN, with 16 percent voters, followed by Figueres and Rodrigo Arias, both with 6 percent.Figueres said he would not officially back any candidates in the race. Liberation primaries are scheduled for April 2013. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Seven new hotels to open in the next two years

first_imgNo related posts. New hotel projects soon will help expand Costa Rica’s hotel capacity by 1,309 rooms, with openings scheduled from December 2013 to November 2014, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) announced.At the end of 2010, Costa Rica had 43,715 hotel rooms. The figure rose to 44,307 in 2011 and reached 45,531 in 2012, an increase of 1,816 rooms during that period, according to the ICT.Hermes Navarro, head of tourism management at ICT, said the outlook is very good, and tourism officials are pleased to see a positive performance by a group of boutique hotels.However, the president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, Ruben Pacheco, said the news isn’t all positive. “Despite the growth in large hotels, some 20 small hotels closed in the past two years in the country,” he said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Guatemalas expresident Portillo home from US prison

first_imgFormer Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo returned home Wednesday evening after spending nine months in U.S. prison for laundering bribe money from Taiwan.“I am so happy to be home in Guatemala with my daughter Gabriela, with [his ex-wife] Evelyn and my family,” said Portillo, 63, who earned the dubious distinction of having been the first former Latin American president handed over by his country to a U.S. court.As Portillo spoke with reporters at Guatemala’s La Aurora International Airport, a large crowd of followers waited outside, cheering the former leader.Portillo left no doubt that he plans to jump into the country’s election-year political scene, though not as a candidate. He said he wanted to seek a national agreement aimed at reforming the Guatemalan government.“The country can’t continue with the same political system we have, … with the same justice system we have,” Portillo said, adding that the country’s constitution and government “don’t work.”“If we all agree, in Guatemala, if we all accept, humbly, responsibly, bravely … that we’ve made mistakes, that we’re not perfect, the country could move forward,” he said.Portillo assured he would not be a candidate for any elected position, and that if his proposed national agreement wasn’t possible, he would not take part in active politics and would go back to being a university professor.Portillo had been extradited to the U.S. in May 2013 and a year later was convicted of laundering $2.5 million in bribes from Taiwan so that Guatemala would keep recognizing Taiwan and not Beijing.Central America is home to six of the 22 countries that recognize Taiwan’s independence from China.Costa Rica also recognized Taiwan until 2007. Since then, it has signed a free trade agreement with China, in 2011, and cooperation deals worth $2 billion in 2013, equivalent to four percent of its economy.Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Portillo had served six months in U.S. prison.  Related posts:Guatemala’s Alfonso Portillo gets six years in prison in US Guatemala’s Pérez Molina clings to power despite unprecedented pressure to resign Guatemala’s former vice president charged in customs fraud ring, ordered held in prison Guatemalan legislative commission recommends lifting President Pérez Molina’s immunity Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica now will accept Syrian refugees after president reverses course

first_imgIn a presidential flip-flop, Casa Presidencial announced Tuesday that Costa Rica will begin accepting refugee applications from Syrians fleeing a brutal and horrific war back home.The statement, which followed a meeting with protesters advocating on behalf of refugees, was a reversal from President Luis Guillermo Solís’ earlier remarks that Syrian refugees would not find acceptance in Costa Rica.Vice Minister of the Interior Carmen Muñoz met with members of Costa Rica’s Muslim community, including Syrians, after a small demonstration took place outside Casa Presidencial on Tuesday urging the government to accept Syrians fleeing the civil war.Demonstrators held signs reading, “We have family in Syria, what would you do for your family?” and the now iconic image of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy photographed facedown on a Turkish beach after drowning in an attempt to reach Europe with his family. According to figures from the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, the war has turned more than 3.8 million Syrians into refugees, and an additional 7.6 million people are internally displaced as a result of the four-year conflict. #EnDesarrollo Afueras de Casa Presidencial: Reducido grupo pide a @luisguillermosr apoyo a refugiados sirios. pic.twitter.com/jJJIfoU96C— ameliarueda (@ameliarueda) September 22, 2015 Related posts:As tragedies shock Europe, a bigger crisis looms in the Middle East Costa Rica’s Solís joins UN secretary-general in call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza conflict Germany reinstates border controls over refugee surge Costa Rican knitters provide comfort to Syrian refugeescenter_img “Costa Rica is recognized internationally for its democratic tradition and respect for human rights. It has been a destination country for people who seek protection from conflict areas in their place of birth. In this spirt, and amid the situation in Syria, we will process the applications these citizens present,” Solís said, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.The president’s words are a reversal on comments he made on Sept. 11, when he told reporters that Costa Ricans and Syrians do not share a common culture or religion, and he doubted the refugees would successfully integrate into Costa Rican society.“I don’t want a humanitarian gesture to end up with us building ghettos in Costa Rica,” Solís said, according to the news website AmeliaRueda.com.According to immigration figures, 38 people of Syrian origin currently have legal resident status in Costa Rica because of connection with Costa Ricans. Four refugee applications are pending, and six visas are being processed based on family reunification. The number of Muslims in Costa Rica may be small, but San José does have a mosque and Islamic culture center.Costa Rica has a strong history of accepting conflict refugees, mostly from Latin America. In addition to Ecuador, Costa Rica is the largest receiver of refugees in Latin America. The vast majority of the refugees in Costa Rica – 76 percent – are from Colombia. After Colombians are Cubans (8 percent) and Venezuelans (3 percent).Costa Rica has seen a spike in refugee applications during the last year, especially from people fleeing violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle. So far in 2015 the government has approved 115 refugee requests. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New details in shipwreck off Nicaragua as Costa Rica mourns dead

first_imgRelated posts:13 Costa Ricans dead in shipwreck off Nicaragua Nicaraguan man found guilty of raping, killing US missionary Nicaragua’s only billionaire says luxury resort can lift economy UPDATE: US tourist drowns in Costa Rica rafting trip The tricolor flew at half-staff Monday as Costa Rica observed a national day of mourning for the nine Costa Rican tourists who drowned Saturday in a boating accident off Nicaragua’s Corn Islands, in the Caribbean. Four Costa Ricans are still missing.President Luis Guillermo Solís with first lady Mercedes Peñas and Foreign Minister Manuel González received survivors of the shipwreck and the bodies of the deceased Sunday evening at Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela. Costa Rica’s Air Surveillance Service served as an honor guard, escorting caskets off the plane. Survivors tearfully embraced family and friends on the tarmac and President Solís gave his condolences.U.S. Southern Command is reportedly set to provide Nicaragua with aerial assistance to help search for the four missing Costa Ricans. The Nicaraguan military dispatched six helicopters and several navy vessels to the area on Sunday.The boat “Reina del Caribe” sank Saturday 7.5 km (4.6 miles) off Little Corn Island with 37 people on board. The bodies of nine Costa Ricans were recovered; four are still missing. The rescued included two U.S. citizens, two Britons, one Brazilian and one Nicaraguan, as well as the captain and his crewmate.Following the accident and rescue, the Nicaraguan police arrested the boat’s captain and first mate under suspicion of reckless homicide and endangerment. The tourism boat was owned by Roger Blandón, a 52-year-old Nicaraguan captain. The captain previously served five years in prison for drug trafficking, according to Nicaraguan police.The police said Blandón ignored high wind warnings from the Nicaraguan Navy and left port despite the danger. One survivor, a Costa Rican man, disputed the Nicaraguan authorities’ claim that the ship’s captain defied a storm alert.“There have been false reports that the weather was bad,” he told AFP, declining to give his name.But other survivors reported huge waves that eventually capsized the boat, trapping some underneath.Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Manuel González, told daily La Nación that several survivors reported that not everyone on the boat had life jackets.The Corn Islands, made up of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island, are located around 70 kilometers (45 miles) off the coast of the southern Nicaraguan town of Bluefields.The tragedy provided a brief respite from the animosity between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ordered expedited autopsies so the deceased could be returned to Costa Rica Sunday. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega spoke with President Luis Guillermo Solís to express his solidarity and support.The accident comes just a year after a catamaran carrying some 100 tourists off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast capsized, leaving three dead. That accident brought renewed calls for updates to Costa Rica’s maritime law designed to increase safety on the seas. However, no changes have yet been made. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas new international airport expected to open in 2027

first_imgRelated posts:Lufthansa to fly nonstop between Costa Rica and Germany Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport expands capacity with new departure lounges, boarding bridges Administrative Court bans dry law during holidays Tourism entrepreneurs oppose license, royalty payments to canopy patent holder Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Minister Carlos Villalta announced Wednesday that the construction of Costa Rica’s new Metropolitan International Airport will begin next year and that a first stage of the terminal will be fully operational by 2027.The $3.5 billion project will be built in the Alajuela canton of Orotina, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from San José. The project will be financed through a public-private alliance, as the government does not have the required resources to build it, Villalta said.“A first stage of the project will be ready in 2027 with an investment of $1.9 billion. The fourth and final stage should be completed by 2047,” he added.The chosen location has the best characteristics for the airport, according to a report from MOPT’s Technical Council of Civil Aviation. The report comprises 24 technical studies that concluded that building a terminal at sea level represents a series of aeronautical and commercial advantages.Among others, it allows planes to take off carrying more payload and also allows them to reach more distant destinations. The area is free of natural obstacles such mountains or high buildings.President Luis Guillermo Solís signed an executive decree, also on Wednesday, declaring that the acquisition of 370 private properties that the government will buy for building the project is a matter of public interest. Decree 40.431-MOPT seeks to avoid price speculation and ensure a fair price for acquiring those properties.The project’s general coordinator, Carlos Segnini — a former Transport Minister — explained that a technical report performed by British firm Mott MacDonald estimated a budget of $41.3 million for the purchase of all the properties. CapacityThe country’s two international terminals currently handle just over 5.8 million passengers a year, of which 83 percent pass through the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.The consulting firm projects a demand of 7.8 million passengers for the first year of operation. The figure would grow to some 20 million in 2047 and to 50 million by the end of the century.The new airport would have the capacity to operate at least 38 flights per hour: 21 departures and 17 arrivals.The project’s area spans 1,500-hectares, representing almost eight times the area of the SJO Airport.Infrastructure improvementsThe Mott MacDonald study concluded that the expansion of Route 27, which connects San José with the province of Puntarenas, is necessary for the operation of the new terminal.The firm estimated that Route 27 currently allows passage of up to 2,165 people during rush hour, and that this capacity must be increased to at least 3,685 people per hour.The British company recommended building a new highway in Alajuela connecting Pozón de Orotina and San Ramón, and a train connecting Orotina with San José, likely near La Sabana Park. The new airport would have the capacity to operate at least 38 flights per hour: 21 departures and 17 arrivals. (Via Casa Presidencial)SJO: Local terminalThe project states that once the new international terminal enters into operation, Juan Santamaría, or SJO, will only operate local flights and flights from small aircraft and private jets. It will also receive aircraft that require repairs.“It is also clear for us that [the SJO] also would serve as an alternative in case of emergency,” Minister Villalta said.The SJO recently underwent a renovation and expansion and earlier this year the terminal administrator announced a $100 million investment in coming years.That investment includes the expansion of the runway, which began last month with the expropriation of an adjacent property. For decades, that land was home to a restaurant famous for providing its customers with a great viewpoint to watch planes landing or taking off.Today, SJO operates flights from 27 airlines to some 70 international connections.Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura said that from the almost three million people who entered the country in 2016, 70 percent did it by air.“Air terminals are our the main ports of entry to our country and for that reason we applaud this effort,” he said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Peru presidents tough first year

first_imgAssociated PressLIMA, Peru (AP) – A year into his presidency, Ollanta Humala has proven most popular among the Peruvians who most feared him as a candidate, and least popular with the poor he professed to champion.His ratings are lackluster, his popularity on a downward slide.As Humala’s approval rating dropped from 59 percent five months ago to 40 percent today, much of the blame owes to his inability to resolve a conflict over Peru’s largest mining project in the northern state of Cajamarca. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family “We are sure to commit errors,” the president continued. “Nobody is born knowing it all. We all learn in the doing.”A former interior minister, Fernando Rospigliosi, is among Humala’s harshest critics.“I think he has no idea what to do in nearly every realm save the economy, which he has put in the hands of people who know what they’re doing ,” he said, claiming Humala and his wife, Nadine Heredia, “are adrift and have no idea what to do with the country.”Heredia is widely considered the person who most influences Humala. Rather than engaging in activities traditionally reserved for Peru’s first lady she manages her own, often separate agenda, frequently accompanied by ministers on her missions.“Where is my minister?” Heredia recently asked in front of TV cameras at one event, at which point the education minister dutifully appeared.There is skepticism about Humala’s economic development agenda. Fifty-two percent of Peruvians think he has no clear plan, according to a poll published last Sunday by the GfK firm with an error margin of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.Peru’s poverty rate has dropped 22 percentage points in the past two decades. But 28 percent of Peruvians still live in poverty, according to government figures. Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Local farmers fear for their water supply, and five protesters were shot and killed there earlier this month opposing a government-backed plan for the open-pit Conga gold mine.As a candidate, Humala had told the region’s farmers their access to clean water was more important than the extraction of gold. Then he showed them otherwise, twice imposing states of emergency after anti-Conga violence that suspended civil liberties.“The betrayal of his electoral promises, I think that’s the most important element in the loss of popular support he has,” said historian and columnist Nelson Manrique.Humala, a 50-year-old former army lieutenant colonel, is suffering for taking a hard line against protesters; 17 people have been killed in violent disturbances since he took office.Most of the conflicts were related to mining, which nets Peru more than two-thirds of its export earnings.The political left has largely abandoned Humala, and he’s been widely lambasted in the press for allegedly deficient leadership. He’s changed his Cabinet chief three times, his interior minister four.Humala himself has acknowledged shortcomings.In a recent public act, he said “We’re all learning here.” Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Humala is now looked upon far more favorably, meanwhile, by Peru’s political right and the wealthy, which tended to vote for his rival in last year’s election, Keiko Fujimori, daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.A poll by the Ipsos Apoyo firm published in mid-July found 46 percent backing for Humala among Peru’s upper class while its lower classes expressed 36 and 39 percent support. The poll had an error margin of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.The business community is pleased by 6 percent growth in the past year, a laudable pace at a time that major industrialized nations remain in an economic funk.Humberto Speziani, president of Peru’s main business group CONFIEP, calls Humala pragmatic.“He is very conscious that without private investment you can’t create jobs and you can’t eliminate poverty.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Humala defends Conga for the billions of dollars he says it will fund programs for Peru’s neediest people.He’s put some money from mining royalties to work for the poor but the help they’ve provided so far has been modest.A program called “Juntos” that provides $37 a month to people living in extreme poverty had 474,064 beneficiaries in 2011. The government hopes to nearly double that number this year.Another, which gives $94 a month to the elderly poor, benefited 41,253 people last year.Humala created a Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion to oversee and amplify such programs though its minister, Carolina Trivelli, told The Associated Press that her office is still working on ways to measure the programs’ effectiveness and reach.“The president follows closely what we do,” she said.The programs have had some effect, with 31 percent of Peruvians saying that developing social programs is something Humala has done “well” or “very well,” according the GfK survey.But that’s not solving the Conga conundrum. A 30-day state of emergency there lapses next week with no end to the conflict in sight and two Roman Catholic churchmen trying to mediate. How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Sea disputes NKorea in spotlight at ASEAN summit

first_imgThe 10-nation bloc is scrambling to beat a deadline to transform the strikingly diverse region of 600 million people into a European Union-like community by the end of 2015.About 77 percent of the work to turn the bustling region into a single market and production base, first laid out in a 2007 blueprint, have been done, according to a draft statement to be issued after the summit. The document did not detail what still needed to be done.The statement, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, would reaffirm the ASEAN leaders’ commitment to ensure the peaceful resolution of South China Sea conflicts in accordance with international law “without resorting to the threat or use of force.”They would call for “the early adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea,” referring to a legally binding pact ASEAN would like to forge with China to replace a 2002 nonaggression accord that has failed to stop territorial skirmishes.China, Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping claims across the South China Sea, which Beijing claims in its entirety. The Philippines and Vietnam in particular have been at odds with China over the region in recent years, with diplomatic squabbles erupting over oil and gas exploration and fishing rights. Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation A tense standoff last year between Chinese and Filipino ships over the fishing-rich Scarborough Shoal is unresolved.The Philippine vessels withdrew, but China has refused to pull out its three surveillance ships and remove a rope blocking Filipino fishermen from a Scarborough lagoon.In January, the Philippines challenged China’s massive territorial claims before an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in a daring legal step that China has ignored. The tribunal has to appoint three more of five arbiters by Thursday, then start looking into the complaint if it decides it has jurisdiction.A pre-summit meeting by ASEAN foreign ministers in Brunei two weeks ago was dominated by concerns over the territorial disputes and ended with a call for an early conclusion of a nonaggression pact with China, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.But Chinese officials have not clearly indicated when they would be ready to discuss the proposed accord.The territorial issue has threatened ASEAN’s unity. Cambodia, a China ally, refused to have the issue mentioned in a post-ministerial statement when it hosted the meetings last year. That drew protests from Vietnam and the Philippines, and ASEAN ended up not issuing an after-conference communique for the first time in the bloc’s 45-year history. BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) – Worried that long-seething rifts could escalate over the South China Sea, Southeast Asian leaders are expected this week to press China to agree to start negotiations on a new pact aimed at thwarting a major clash in one of the world’s busiest waterways.Concern over North Korea’s latest threats is also expected to gain attention over economic issues in the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, being held Wednesday and Thursday in Brunei’s capital of Bandar Seri Begawan. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement China has steadfastly refused to bring the disputes to the international arena, preferring to negotiate one on one with each rival claimant. It has also warned Washington not to intervene in the disputes.ASEAN, founded in 1967 as a bulwark against communism in the Cold War era, has often been caught in the crosscurrents of major conflicts. Currently, the bloc is walking a tightrope between a rising China and an America that is reasserting its status as an Asia-Pacific power.Both wield tremendous influence on ASEAN, which has become a battleground for political and security clout and export markets.Defense forces from all of ASEAN, along with eight other countries that include the United States and China, would hold for the first time three-day disaster response drills in Brunei in June to foster confidence among the multinational troops, the draft summit statement said.Brunei’s publicity-shy leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, has led the tedious legwork to avoid any major hitch in the ASEAN summits his tiny but oil-rich kingdom hosts this year.He has separately met with President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping ahead of this week’s summit. Last week, Bolkiah flew to Manila, partly to discuss the summit agenda with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life When his gleaming Royal Brunei Air plane taxied to a red-carpet welcome at Manila’s airport, Philippine officials saw Bolkiah, who also heads his country’s defense forces, at the pilot’s seat.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Protesters march again in Burundis capital despite ban

first_imgA police officer with a bag depicted the image of US President Barack Obama, stands on patrol as protesters march through the Musaga district of Bujumbura, in Burundi, Monday, May 11, 2015. Police and army negotiated with over 2000 protesters to allow delivery trucks to enter the city. One person was killed in a clash with Burundi’s police on Sunday in demonstrations in the capital, Bujumbura, as the government ordered a ban on any further street protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in power. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) Nkurunziza’s government on Saturday forbid any further protests and ordered all state officials report back to work and all schools to reopen on Monday.Burundi’s Constitution states a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament elected him for his first term, leaving him open to be popularly elected to two terms.The protests started on April 25 after the ruling party nominated Nkurunziza to run for re-election in elections set for June.More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries fearing violence ahead of the elections, according to the U.N. refugee agency.The U.S. and the African Union have said Nkurunziza should not seek a third term.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men ” I take note that while demonstrations against the third mandate (term) have been banned and met with repression, demonstrations in favor of President Nkurunziza’s candidacy have been allowed and its participants protected,” said David Martin chief of the European Union observer mission.The expression of opinions that are opposed to those of the government can never be equated with insurgency, he said.Belgium announced it had suspended some aid meant for the Burundi elections, citing infringement of rights by the government which undermines the conditions needed for free and fair elections. Belgium also said it has suspended aid meant for the Burundian police.Small groups of young men on Monday set up barricades the Musaga area of Bujumbura, the capital, and checked pedestrians and vehicles taking part in the march. Police and army soldiers negotiated with protesters to allow trucks to pass through the procession.Trucks succeeded in making deliveries of fuel to Bujumbura. Earlier demonstrations had disrupted fuel distributions, causing prices to rise.At least 14 people have been killed and 216 injured in the protests, which have now entered their third week. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The vital role family plays in society Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — About 2,000 people marched through a neighborhood of Burundi’s capital on Monday as police looked on, breaking the government’s ban on any further street protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in power.The European Union Observer mission for the June elections said the Burundi government is curtailing fundamental freedoms of expression, association and protest which are essential conditions of democratic elections.last_img read more

Israeli prime minister calls off West Bank bus segregation

first_imgBut after the public uproar, Netanyahu told Yaalon it was “unacceptable” and the two decided to freeze the plan, an official in the prime minister’s office said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing internal communications. The official would not say when Netanyahu became aware of the plan or explain why he opposed it.Thousands of Palestinians are permitted to enter Israel for work each day from the West Bank, usually to work in construction and other menial jobs.They typically take Palestinian shuttle buses or private transportation to checkpoints before dawn, and cross into Israel after a security check. But when they return home, they don’t need to go through the checkpoints and many take Israeli settler buses from Israel straight to the West Bank to save time.The proposed change would have forced them to return home through the same checkpoint they entered and barred them from traveling back on buses alongside Israelis.“We work on their houses. How do they want to prevent us from using buses?” said Mohammed Shatara, a Palestinian worker from the West Bank city of Nablus, as he crossed through the Eyal checkpoint. “We are human like them and this decision is racist.” JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday canceled a plan that would have banned Palestinian laborers from riding on the same buses with Jewish settlers in the West Bank, just hours after it was announced — an embarrassing about-face that reflected the tensions enveloping Israel’s new government.The inauspicious start for Netanyahu’s hard-line government illustrated the difficulties that loom as it tries to advance a pro-settler agenda in the face of rising global outrage and domestic criticism. The reversal came as the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was in town. The EU has taken a tough stance against settlements built on lands claimed by the Palestinians.As the bus plan was unveiled, Israeli critics across the political spectrum derided it as racist, with one opposition politician comparing it to “apartheid.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, called the plan “unthinkable” and said there had been “great damage” to Israel.Netanyahu’s new coalition, which was sworn into office last week, is dominated by settler sympathizers, and the busing plan, launched late Tuesday on a trial basis, had sought to separate settlers and Palestinians from traveling together through the West Bank.The plan’s mastermind, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, said it was connected solely to security. The settlers had complained of safety concerns and alleged harassment of female riders by Arab passengers.“Every normal country is allowed, and especially in our security situation, to inspect those who enter and exit,” Yaalon said, denying any racist intentions. “That is what this is about and nothing else.” The vital role family plays in society The Israeli premier angered the United States and other key allies during the election campaign in March by saying he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch. Although he later tried to backtrack, the U.S. has reacted with skepticism.With just a one-seat majority in the parliament, Netanyahu finds himself dependent on the pro-settler Jewish Home party as well as hard-liners inside Likud. These hard-liners support further settlement construction, and their opposition to peacemaking with the Palestinians has set the stage for likely clashes with Israel’s Western allies.At a joint appearance, neither Netanyahu nor Mogherini mentioned the failed bus plan. Mogherini stressed the close ties between Israel and Europe and assured Netanyahu that Europe is committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.Netanyahu used the opportunity to deflect some of the criticism of his new hawkish government.“I don’t support a one state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at all. I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said. Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Netanyahu’s quick action reflected Israeli concerns about the country’s image, which already is under pressure after years of stalled peace efforts and continued settlement construction.Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the bus plan “a stain on the face of the country and its citizens.” Writing on his Facebook page, he said, “It adds unnecessary oil to the bonfire of hate against Israel in the world.”“This is how apartheid looks,” said Zehava Galon, leader of the dovish Meretz party.Rivlin, whose ceremonial post is meant to serve as a moral compass for the country, commended Netanyahu for scrapping the plan. “It is important we remember that our sovereignty obligates us to prove our ability to live side by side,” Rivlin said.Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, and Palestinians claim the territory as part of a future state. Some 350,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, alongside more than 2 million Palestinians. The international community considers the settlements illegal or illegitimate.Wednesday’s uproar gave a glimpse of what could lie ahead for Netanyahu and his new government. Top Stories Comments   Share   Mogherini restated Europe’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state before entering a private meeting with Netanyahu. Some EU countries are pushing for settlement products to be labeled if they are sold in Europe.Alon Ben David, an Israel TV commentator on defense affairs, criticized the country’s leaders for being out of touch with international opinion.“You really don’t need binoculars today to see the political tsunami that is making its way to Israel’s shores from Europe,” he told Channel 10 TV.Israeli civil rights groups lauded Netanyahu’s reversal but criticized the government for even considering the plan.Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for B’Tselem, a human rights group, said the proposal drew attention to broader policies of separation and discrimination in the West Bank.Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to two sets of laws, different rules for land development and in some cases, even travel on separate roads, she said. Israeli settlers are permitted to vote in Israeli elections, while Palestinians are not.“Even though this specific issue was put on hold, actually separation, segregation and discrimination have been around for a long time,” she said. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober ___Associated Press writers Ian Deitch in Jerusalem and Eyad Moghrabi at the Eyal checkpoint contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Deutsche Bank paying 55M settlement on incorrect reports

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $55 million to settle civil charges of filing incorrect reports during the financial crisis that downplayed risks of huge losses.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with the big German bank, which is a prominent institution on Wall Street. Deutsche Bank neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws. The SEC said that in two quarterly reports in 2008 and 2009, Deutsche Bank inflated the value of its transactions designed to hedge against losses on securities in the credit markets, which were turbulent at the time. That created a “gap risk” worth billions of dollars that wasn’t properly taken into account in the bank’s reports, the agency said.Deutsche Bank said in a statement that it has previously set aside reserves to pay the $55 million penalty, and the payment will have no impact on its previous financial reports. The bank said it has not had any losses related to the “gap risk” because it never materialized.Deutsche Bank also said it has greatly reduced its positions in the transactions in question in recent years.“Since the financial crisis, the bank has enhanced policies, procedures and internal controls” for assigning values to assets that aren’t easily sold such as those in question, the statement said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories last_img read more

UK will prosecute expol with dementia with child sex crimes

first_imgLONDON (AP) — British prosecutors have reversed their position and will charge a former lawmaker who now has severe dementia with sex crimes against children.The Crown Prosecution Service said Monday that a judge and jury would conduct a “trial of the facts” in the case of 86-year-old Greville Janner, although his illness means he likely will not be convicted or punished.Police and child abuse victims expressed outrage when prosecutors announced in April that they would not charge Janner over alleged offenses against boys several decades ago, even though there was enough evidence to prosecute. Prosecutors said his Alzheimer’s meant he was not fit to stand trial. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Mesa family survives lightning strike to home But after his alleged victims complained, prosecutors decided “it was in the public interest to bring proceedings before the court.”Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said deciding whether to prosecute had been “an extremely difficult and borderline case because of the strong arguments on both sides.”She said it was “a matter of real regret” that Janner had not been prosecuted sooner.Janner was a Labour Party lawmaker from 1970-97, later serving in the House of Lords. He is accused of 22 offenses in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, most involving boys in children’s homes in Janner’s central England constituency.His family says he is innocent.Liz Dux, a lawyer who represents some of the alleged victims, said he clients were delighted by the decision.“They have felt deeply frustrated by the criminal justice system,” she said. “However, this decision has given them more hope of finally establishing the truth.”The first court hearing in the case has been set for August. The court will decide whether Janner should be excused from attending the trial on medical grounds.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 academiescenter_img Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Quick workouts for menlast_img read more

77 spurred tough antiterror measures some say went too far

first_imgHe recommended a judge, rather than a government minister, should sign off on requests to intercept data — already the procedure in the U.S. and many other countries.Anderson describes the last decade as “five years getting tougher, five years cautious liberalization and I think now we’re at a crossroads.”“It remains to be seen what this government does,” he said.___Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawlessCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like But one aspect of counterterrorism just kept expanding — surveillance, both in the streets and online.In 2005, Britain already had as many as 4 million surveillance cameras, whose use as a crime-fighting tool had been encouraged by authorities since the 1990s. Tony Porter, Britain’s surveillance camera commissioner, says the number today could be 6 million.“The overwhelming view from our European colleagues is that the U.K. is the European — if not the world — capital of surveillance,” said Porter, a former counterterrorism police officer charged with ensuring responsible use of the country’s publicly operated cameras.Porter says the cameras have broad public support. But he worries the public is ill-informed about “the size, scope and scale” of the camera network, and how fast the technology is changing. Police are currently testing facial-recognition software that can identify suspects through family resemblances.“Part of my role has been to work with police forces, local communities … just to start that debate, so we don’t latently accept surveillance without truly understanding what it does,” Porter said. “We need to have a society where surveillance cameras are there to support communities, not spy on them.” Top Stories LONDON (AP) — After four home-grown suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on July 7, 2005, Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat terrorism. “Let no one be in any doubt,” he said. “The rules of the game are changing.”Since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States four years earlier, Britain had made its anti-terrorism powers among the toughest in the Western world. Now they became tougher still. Unlike visible security cameras, online surveillance was largely hidden from the public until former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the activities of American spies and their allies.British politicians and spies have been at the forefront of electronic data-gathering. In the months after the 7/7 attacks, Britain helped pass a European Union directive requiring telecoms companies to retain data for up to two years. Last year, it was struck down by the European Court of Justice.The British government attempted to introduce the Communications Data Bill — dubbed the Snoopers’ Charter by opponents — to force British telecommunications providers to retain for a year records of all phone and email traffic and website visits. It was eventually shelved amid opposition from Liberal Democrat lawmakers.Court rulings have also curbed some British surveillance activities. But public debate about the civil liberties implications of snooping has been more muted here than in the U.S. or some other European countries.Anderson said in Britain, “there is a relatively high degree of trust in the state and in its intelligence agencies,” and the word spies often evokes benign images of James Bond or Bletchley Park code-breakers. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies FILE – In this July 26 2005 file photo, a closed-circuit surveillance cameras, with a Union flag at rear, keeps watch in central London. After four home-grown suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on July 7, 2005, Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat terrorism. “Let no one be in any doubt,” he said. “The rules of the game are changing.” Since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States four years earlier, Britain had made its anti-terrorism powers among the toughest in the Western world. Now they became tougher still. “What 7/7 did was it made people realize that the threat was internal as well as external,” said David Anderson, Britain’s official reviewer of terrorism legislation. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) Sponsored Stories The July 2005 bombings on three subway trains and a bus — the deadliest attack on British soil since World War II — were carried out by young Britons inspired by al-Qaida.In a bid to stop more plots, Blair’s government expanded the definition of a terrorist offense and introduced new powers to detain terror suspects.The 2006 Terrorism Act allowed terror suspects to be held for 28 days without charge. Blair had argued that the complexity of terror plots meant the limit should be 90 days, but lawmakers defeated him. They also rejected a bid two years later for 42-day detention.Suspects who could not be charged — often because the evidence against them was secret — could be held under control orders, a form of house arrest that meant they could be electronically tagged, kept under curfew for up to 16 hours per day and barred from using telephones or the Internet.Rights groups loudly opposed the measures, and when a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in 2010, it said the previous Labour administrations had “abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms.”Under the coalition, pre-charge detention was cut to 14 days. Control orders gave way to a less-restrictive replacement. Government curbed the power of police officers to stop and search people without suspicion.center_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility There have been fewer leaks to expose the covert activities of Britain’s MI5 and MI6 than there have been about the CIA — though whether that is the result of luck, deference or genuine high standards is debatable.Britons also know that the threat of terrorism is real, and there is evidence to suggest cyber-spying works. In a report released last month, Anderson said spies’ use of bulk communications data helped foil plots including an al-Qaida plan to have sleeper cells launch waves of attacks in several European countries.The attack in Tunisia has brought more promises of swift action. Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to “step up our own efforts to support our agencies in tracking vital online communications.” His Conservative government, elected in May, plans to introduce a new, more limited, version of the Communications Data Bill.Cameron has also introduced a law requiring schools and other public institutions to identify and tackle signs of radicalization — a step opponents claim seeks to turn teachers into spies.Anderson thinks some of the measures brought in since 7/7 have been effective, and some have been excessive.His report said “a comprehensive and comprehensible new law should be drafted from scratch … providing for clear limits and safeguards on any intrusive power that it may be necessary for public authorities to use.” 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “What 7/7 did was it made people realize that the threat was internal as well as external,” said David Anderson, Britain’s official reviewer of terrorism legislation.After 2005, police were given power to hold terrorism suspects for four weeks without charge, or to place them under a 16-hour-a-day curfew. It became a crime not just to commit or plan for terrorism but to glorify terrorist acts. The government moved to deport extremist preachers who had made their home in Britain. The ability of intelligence agencies to scoop up Internet users’ electronic data expanded vastly, and British spies began collecting information on their own citizens on a hitherto unseen scale.Civil libertarians sensed the spread of a Big Brother state, and waged legal and political battles that managed to water down or reverse some of the measures. But a decade later, Britons are more watched than ever. Last month’s gun attack on tourists in Tunisia, which killed 30 Britons, shows the terrorist threat has not gone away, and could spur a new round of counter-terror measures.“That’s always the fear, of knee-jerk reactions, the need to be seen to be doing something even if what you are doing is reputationally damaging,” said Rachel Robinson, a policy officer at human rights group Liberty. “That’s what we’ve seen time and time again.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   last_img read more

Flight Centre fuel surcharges need to be reduced

first_imgFlight Centre calls for a reduction in airline fuel surcharges. Flight Centre boss Graham Turner believes airlines should reduce fuel surcharges in response to falling oil and jet fuel prices.Jet fuel prices have fallen to their lowest levels in more than 12 months.“At the very least, surcharges should be lowered immediately,” Mr Turner said.“I stress the word ‘should’ because history has shown that airlines have been much more likely to increase surcharges than they have been to decrease them in response to fluctuating oil prices.”Flight Centre’s managing director suggested airlines should remove complicated fuel surcharges entirely and incorporate fuel costs into base fares, the same as any other operating expenses.“This would create a much simpler fare structure and it would also benefit members of the various airline reward programs, as members are often required to pay the airfares fuel surcharge component when they redeem points for travel,” Mr Turner said.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more