UPDATE Flights at Costa Ricas Juan Santamaría airport cancelled due to volcano

first_imgRelated posts:Turrialba Volcano erupts again, raining ash over San José Ranchers near active Turrialba Volcano could get bought out by Costa Rica government UPDATE: Costa Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupts, forcing capital airport to temporarily close Turrialba Volcano evacuation zone expanded following increased activity UPDATE Friday, April 24, 2015 5:50 a.m.Juan Santamaría International Airport reopened at 4 a.m. on Friday morning, according to daily La Nación. Flights were scheduled to arrive and depart normally, although cancellations and schedule changes prompted by yesterday’s eruptions at Turrialba Volcano will likely continue to cause problems for travellers.Original postCosta Rica’s Turrialba Volcano erupted several times on Thursday afternoon, causing 14 inbound flights and four outbound flights to be cancelled or delayed, an airport spokeswoman said.The airport was set to reopen provisionally at 4:00 a.m. Friday.Turrialba Volcano is located in the province of Cartago, some 67 kilometers northeast of the capital San José.Eruptions closed down the airport last month for some 18 hours, stranding thousands of passengers.Earlier this month, scientists with the University of Costa Rica’s National Seismological Network (RSN) said they believed they had found fresh cooled lava at Turrialba, which could indicate that the volcano has moved into a more active phase.Still, other experts said it was too soon to tell.Residents in San José and as far away as the town of Grecia, some 100 kilometers away, reported falling ash.Read all our coverage of Turrialba’s recent activity Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica to punish public workers for LGBT discrimination

first_imgRelated posts:President of Costa Rica raises LGBT flag over Casa Presidencial Costa Rica government to prioritize bill legalizing gay civil unions Cuban leader’s daughter organizes symbolic gay weddings Costa Rica’s changing definition of family hits cookie commercial #ViviLaDiversidad Desde el Gobierno de la República comunicaremos más avances para la población LGBTTI muy pronto. pic.twitter.com/CPujCp2GSD— Ana Helena Chacón (@anita_chae) May 12, 2015 Chacón, who is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights in Costa Rica, made the announcement before an enthusiastic crowd waving rainbow flags at Casa Presidencial Friday afternoon.The executive order does not specify how institutions should sanction public workers who discriminate. Chacón said that those details would be left to individual institutions to determine. The order only affects institutions under the executive branch and is not a law in Costa Rica.“Many institutions already have their [own anti-discrimination] policies and now Casa Presidencial has decreed it for all those who don’t,” said Francisco Madrigal, chief political officer for the Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights in Central America, a group that researches and advocates for LGBT issues in the region.“This decree puts the cherry on the cake,” he said.Besides punishments, the decree also orders public institutions to provide training for their employees and other reforms to guarantee equal access to public services for Costa Rica’s LGBT population.Decree 38999 also requires every institution under the power of the executive branch to redefine the terms “couple” or “partner” within the next five months.Casa Presidencial ordered that the definition of a significant other must include “someone who is in a voluntary relationship and cohabitates with another person of the same sex for at least one year.”Gay and lesbian couples gained hospital visitation rights in 2014 but government institutions would not necessarily grant an employee time off work to care for or visit their same-sex partner.Recognition of same-sex couples as family members for hospital visits has been a constant struggle for gay and lesbian couples in Costa Rica, said Marco Castillo, president of the LGBT advocacy group Diversity Movement.“In the past, hospitals would only allow family members to visit a patient. They wouldn’t consider his [gay] partner family,” Castillo said.Related: Costa Rica to extend same-sex couples equal rights for public health insurance, care accessChacón said that the one-man-one-woman definition of family did not reflect the reality that many LGBT couples live in Costa Rica, and that hospital visit rights was one step to change that.“No one deserves to die alone,” said Chacón in her remarks.Castillo said Friday’s decree was an important step forward for LGBT rights in Costa Rica but that his organization would be vigilant to make sure the government keeps its word.As many LGBT leaders celebrated the decree, they pointed out that there was much more to be done to shore up LGBT rights in the legislative assembly, including a long delayed gay civil union bill and legal right for transgender people to change their gender on their national identification cards.See also: Costa Rica government to prioritize bill legalizing gay civil unions  Facebook Commentscenter_img Days before Costa Rica celebrated theInternational Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, Vice President Ana Helena Chacón announced an executive order that would punish public workers for discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.Besides possible disciplinary action, the vice president said that government institutions must recognize same-sex couples in their definition of family members when requesting time off work if their same-sex partner is seriously ill or dying.Costa Rica does not recognize gay marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples.“There is an enormous gap in the legislation that is holding back equality. We, as the executive branch, need to find ways to build a more just society in the institutions that we manage,” Chacón told The Tico Times.last_img read more

What should countries do about the Amazons uncontacted tribes

first_imgIt may be difficult to believe in this age of global connectivity and instant communications, but dozens of indigenous tribes are still living in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world in the depths of the Amazon rainforest.While these so-called “uncontacted tribes” have experienced violent encounters with the outside world, they have managed to maintain a way of life that is almost entirely independent from our industrial economy. Everything they need to survive and multiply — food, shelter, water, clothing, medicine — comes from the forest, as long as it remains intact and unspoiled. The tribes are, in effect, the final holdouts from the global village.Brazil hosts the largest number of uncontacted tribes of any country in the world. Its Department of Isolated Indians, which enforces an extraordinary “no contact” policy to protect the tribes, has confirmed the existence of 27 such groups, and there may be as many as 40 others. Peru comes in second with 14 or 15 isolated tribes. Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela each have a small number. Nearly all such groups are believed to be the descendants of survivors of massacres, epidemics and slaving raids from centuries past, who scattered into the deepest redoubts of the Amazon and continue to shun contact with the outside world.But in recent months some of the tribes have begun to emerge. One group in particular, the Mashco-Piro of Peru, has turned up repeatedly along river banks in the Madre de Dios region, begging for food from boat travelers. Their brazen appearances with bows and arrows have sown panic in some remote settlements, and they have ransacked others — making off with pans, clothing, machetes, even the occasional rifle, which they do not know how to use.Speculation abounds as to why the groups are seeking contact now. Are the wildlife and fish they depend on for survival disappearing, as oil exploration crews and illegal loggers venture deeper into the forest? Have the Mashco-Piro simply developed a taste for goods they’ve acquired from theft or ill-advised attempts by settlers and missionaries to lure them from the jungle? Whatever the reason, the incidents are rife with danger — especially for the tribes, who remain as vulnerable to contagion by Western-borne diseases — such as flu, measles and tuberculosis — as the first natives encountered by Columbus more than five centuries ago.The mounting tensions in Madre de Dios have prompted the Peruvian government to dispatch a team of experts to initiate “controlled contact” with the Mashco-Piro. Officials say the move is necessary to avoid a larger calamity, and they may be right in this instance; the Mashco-Piro are clearly seeking interaction with outsiders. But a pair of respected anthropologists, Kim Hill of Arizona State University and Rob Walker from the University of Missouri, are now arguing more broadly for Amazonian countries to reconsider their “no contact” policies, all loosely modeled on the approach pioneered by Brazil in the 1980s. Better to initiate this sort of controlled contact, they wrote recently in the journal Science, than to wait for more dangerous encounters at the hands of drug traffickers, lumberjacks, gold prospectors and others who represent the spearhead of the global economy’s seemingly inexorable advance into the far reaches of the jungle. Tribes like the Mashco-Piro remain as vulnerable to contagion by Western-borne diseases — such as flu, measles and tuberculosis — as the first natives encountered by Columbus more than five centuries ago. AFP/Gabriella Galli/www.uncontactedtribes.org/www.survivalfranceThe problem with this position is that it ignores the messy realities that often attend even the most high-minded missions to make contact. For most of the 20th century, Brazil trained and dispatched teams of contact agents to carry out just such assignments. The results were nearly always catastrophic. Even when the contact teams included well-provisioned health workers, massive die-offs ensued. The casualties invariably included much of the tribes’ collective knowledge base, built up over millennia. Nearly every one of those deliberate first contacts opened a Pandora’s box of death and dislocation.It was precisely for these reasons that Brazil’s cadre of contact agents, called sertanistas, pushed for a radical change in policy. Rather than forcing contact on isolated tribes, sertanistas would henceforth document their presence on the land, then protect it from incursions by outsiders. Despite its flaws, the system has worked. Not only does the policy recognize the inalienable right of the tribes to their territorial and cultural integrity; it’s also placed 50,000 square miles of virgin rainforest — an area nearly the size of New York state — beyond the reach of environmentally destructive development.A comprehensive solution requires the mobilization of political will. Policing the Amazon is a huge undertaking that requires a commensurate commitment of resources and trained personnel. Erecting control posts at key choke points along rivers leading into lands of the isolated tribes can provide cheap but effective protection. Unfortunately, budgets for even these measures are often sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. We should encourage the countries that host isolated tribes to secure a future free of coercion and displacement for these most vulnerable human beings. And we would do well to monitor more closely the origins of the products we consume, lest we unwittingly hasten the demise of a living, irreplaceable treasure.Wallace is author of “The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes.”© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican youths compete in FIFA’s Indigenous Cup Human rights commission ruling gives hope for Costa Rica indigenous autonomy To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Community managed forests protect against climate change, study findslast_img read more

Meet Ostional National Wildlife Reserve sea turtle researcher Hellen Lobo

first_imgEd. Note: This profile is third in a series by students of the University of Arizona School of Journalism’s study abroad program in Costa Rica. Ostional recently made international headlines when a mob of tourists prevented sea turtles from nesting. Since then, officials have implemented better crowd control measures to respond to the problem. PLAYA OSTIONAL, Guanacaste – For tourists, the beaches of Costa Rica are known as a prime location for rest and relaxation, but they’re the exact opposite for Hellen Lobo, a conservation biologist. For Lobo, the volcanic sand beaches of Ostional National Wildlife Reserve are a place where she works long hours researching, recording and writing.Lobo starts her workday before sunrise by monitoring the nocturnal movements and nesting behavior of olive ridley sea turtles. These turtles tend to retreat to the ocean once their security blanket of darkness has been lifted, which protects their eggs from predators that dig up and eat the eggs and hatchlings. Ostional sea turtle researcher Hellen Lobo. Surya Greer/The Tico TimesLobo is Ostional’s nature research manager, acting as a liaison between the Environment Ministry (MINAE) and the sleepy coastal town whose economy depends on a unique turtle egg harvesting and consumption program. She is the first woman in Ostional to take on this intensive job.“Some people have confessed to me that they weren’t very confident that a woman could possibly do this job, but now they are calm and happy,” Lobo said during a recent visit.She and a co-worker search for trails left by the turtles from the ocean to their nesting sites on the beach, located well above the high tide line so that eggs won’t be swept away.“My work day generally consists of waking up at 4:40 a.m. I then sweep the beach from beginning to end with my co-worker Juan Ramón Avilés Vega. This process takes about two hours,” Lobo said.She counts the number of turtles that come to the beach to lay eggs by checking how many turtle trails were left on the beach throughout the night.Tens of thousands of nesting turtles come to shore during the arrivals, known as arribadas.“We work with a lunar calendar. It’s very rare that the turtles come when there is a full moon because the light deters them. They prefer the darkness because it hides them from predators,” she said. Surya Greer/The Tico TimesLobo encourages Ostional’s visitors to contribute to the development of the community and to participate in cultural and educational activities.She mentioned some of the difficulties associated with doing such a demanding job: “I have a lot of work that goes beyond the work of a managing biologist. I am far from my family and husband.”“I have knowledge in marketing, management and accounting. I like to get involved with people, and developing an understanding of communal processes is something that attracts me a lot,” Lobo added.The Ostional community includes about 450 people who are reliant on the regulated harvesting of olive ridley turtle eggs for their livelihood. The egg harvest is currently the primary source of income for 70 percent of households in the town. In 1983, the wildlife reserve was established, and later, egg harvesting became legal and sanctioned.Residents of Ostional harvest eggs during the first 72 hours of an arribada. This harvesting is legal because predators or subsequent turtles would have destroyed the same number of eggs, supporters of the program say.That approach is called community-based conservation, which comes from the idea that engaging the community and allowing them to profit from conservation is a good incentive. This type of conservation is the exact opposite of the traditional approach, which fences out the local community. Ostional is a good case study of community-based conservation and locals and some biologists praise its success.However, Ostional’s conservation program isn’t without its critics. Some say the egg-harvesting program has actually caused the turtle population to decrease. According to Mario Boza, a conservationist and author of “Costa Rica National Parks,” the legalization of eggs from Ostional has made it easier for contraband eggs harvested outside of Ostional to flourish in the legal egg market.“The project has room for improvement,” Boza said.He said he has encountered eggs for sale that were clearly too big to be from the olive ridley, and they were missing the official Ostional packaging. Those eggs were most likely from leatherback turtles being passed off as legal, he said. Surviving as a baby sea turtle is more than a minor miracle. Ronald Reyes/The Tico TimesHarvesting the eggs prevents the eggs on the surface of the beach from being trampled and broken by the next wave of turtles. The broken eggs create a bacteria-laden slime that lowers the probability that the remaining number of viable eggs will hatch. Researchers claim that removing the eggs in the first hours of an arribada helps increase the number of hatchlings because bacteria are removed from the process.Residents of Ostional are the only ones legally permitted by MINAE to harvest eggs. The cost of obtaining a permit is $8, and the law keeps outsiders from exploiting the harvest.Also, women in the Ostional community clean the beach because baby turtles can’t hatch when it’s too dirty.“The women separate the eggs into sacks of 10, and the men carry these sacks on their shoulders,” Lobo said.The female turtles return to the same beach where they were hatched to lay their eggs. The turtles usually lay one or two clutches of eggs each season. Each turtle lays an average of 80 to 100 eggs in one night. The Ostional residents harvest and then package the eggs for sale and distribution throughout the country in all seven provinces.While the members of the community keep busy during las arribadas, which are largest during Costa Rica’s rainy season, so does Lobo. She travels back and forth between Ostional to monitor the harvesting process, and San José, where she attends the National University. Despite all the challenges personally and professionally, Lobo said the effort has been worth it.Surya Greer is a journalism and anthropology student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Read more stories in the student series here and here. Facebook Comments Related posts:WATCH: Sea turtles come ashore to nest by the thousands at Costa Rica’s Ostional beach El Niño: Kiss of death for Costa Rica’s sea turtle eggs? Toasting with turtle eggs: It’s legal in Ostional Mob of tourists at Costa Rica’s Ostional Beach prevents sea turtles from nestinglast_img read more

Tico Talk for expats and tourists Part 6

first_imgRelated posts:Tico Talk for expats and tourists: Part 1 Tico Talk for expats and tourists: Part 2 Tico Talk for expats and tourists: Part 3 Tico Talk for expats and tourists: Part 5 You can’t call yourself fluent in Costa Rican Spanish unless you understand its slang.Over the past several weeks, we brought you Parts 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 of our Tico Talk series on tiquismos or costarriqueñismos.Ready for Part 6? Here you go, my friends!Costa Rican Slang, Part 6Achantado/a: lazy. Perezoso/a is a synonym.Acois: Slang for “here.” Aquí and acá are the more common Spanish words for “here.”Agarrar volados: To take advice or pointers. Tomar consejos is the better-known expression in Spanish.Ah bueno: Whatever.Al chile: Right! Really!Al rato: Perhaps. Quizás or a lo mejor are synonyms. Como maleante perseguido: To move quickly. Como alma que lleva el diablo is a synonym.Echarse la soga al cuello: To get yourself into a mess … or to get married.Pega: A pain in the neck. Dolor de culo (vulgar), or pain in the butt, is also used.¡Qué va!: No way!Vivazo/a: A smart ass.Volar pata: To walk. Trolear is also used here.¡Ya voy!: Give me a break! Ya voy en carrera is another version.Tiquismo, or Costa Rican expression of the week:Cuando la rana eche pelo: When a frog grows hair, which means “never.”Christopher Howard has been conducting monthly relocation/retirement tours and writing retirement guidebooks for over 30 years. See www.liveincostarica.com. He is also the author of the one-of-a-kind bestselling, “Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” that can be purchased through Amazon. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Peace talks spawn violent Taliban splinter groups

first_img_ The Feday-e-Mahaz, or “Suicide Brigade.” This group is led by Omar Kitab, who had been aligned with Mullah Dadullah before his death. Kitab was also close to the Taliban military shura until earlier this year, when he broke away following the announcement of talks with the United States.Rogue Taliban members opposed to talks attacked and nearly killed Agha Jan Motasim, one of the most powerful members of its ruling council and an advocate of a peaceful end to the war. Although no one took responsibility for the attempted assassination, members of either the Dadullah Front or the Suicide Brigade are believed to be behind it. Motasim, seriously wounded in the attack, went to Turkey for treatment and was later threatened with death if he continued to talk to the media.The United States has watched the tensions grow as both Washington and Kabul have pursued the peace process, said U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.“While we are not surprised to see greater splintering among the Taliban, we remain open to talks with those who want peace,” he said.Simbal Khan, Afghanistan and Central Asia director at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, said the emergence of the splinter groups has not only raised the stakes for the Taliban central command as they approach a deal with the U.S., but also has increased the political costs if the peace process fails. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements That goal has run into a series of problems.The Taliban broke off talks earlier this year, saying the U.S. reneged on a promise to release Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. To get the Taliban back to the table, the U.S. last weekend said it was mulling a proposal to transfer some Guantanamo Bay inmates to a prison in Afghanistan. But Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed told The Associated Press that the group wants the prisoners freed unconditionally before resuming talks.In the last six months, the Taliban has had increasingly violent clashes with a militant Islamist group called Hezb-e-Islami, led by warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. That fighting escalated to all-out war in some parts of Afghanistan.Hekmatyar is a former American ally who is now on Washington’s wanted list. The Taliban worry that Hekmatyar’s group, which is close to the government of President Hamid Karzai and has held parallel talks with the Americans, will make its own peace deal.The fissures in the Taliban movement have been further widened by the emergence of the splinter groups opposed to the peace talks.Here is a look at some of those groups:_ The Jihadi Shura of Mujahedeen for Unity and Understanding. This previously unheard-of group has lashed out at Taliban talks with the United States, urged more war and criticized battlefield skirmishes between the Taliban and other insurgent groups. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Top Stories The U.S. strategy to encourage members of the Taliban to give up the fight and join the government may have backfired, Khan said, driving the disaffected members instead into the arms of the hard-liners rather than to Karzai.“The latest reports suggest that the new splintered groups do not seek re-integration with the Afghan state, and instead seek to oppose the Mullah Omar-led putative peace process in Qatar,” she said. “Various analysts have long said that there are significant political costs and risks for the Taliban in participating in an overt peace process.”As that process is pursued, battles continue between the Taliban and other groups.In Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, Hezb-e-Islami commander Lutfullah Khamran said he had thousands of men fighting the Taliban, which he accuses of burning schools and mosques. Reports of his successes are mixed, but he said by telephone that he wasn’t ready to stop fighting until the Taliban were driven from the province. The groups also are reportedly fighting in eastern Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan provinces.Seth Jones of the U.S.-based Rand Corporation has monitored fighting between the Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami, led by the warlord Hekmatyar, since 2009. He anticipated more fighting ahead of 2014, calling it “eerily reminiscent of Afghanistan in the early 1990s.” Associated PressISLAMABAD (AP) – As the United States and its allies try to negotiate a peace settlement with the Taliban before all combat troops leave Afghanistan in 2014, a new obstacle has arisen: Insurgent splinter groups opposed to the deal are emerging, complicating U.S. hopes of leaving behind a stable country.These splinter groups have demonstrated their strength recently, with two brazen shootings _ one of a high-ranking Taliban leader and the other of a senior member of the Afghan government’s High Peace Council. That new violence has added to the difficulty of striking a deal with the Taliban as the clock continues to wind down with only 2 1/2 years to go before the planned withdrawal. Failure to figure out all these new players in Afghanistan’s varied ethnic and political groups threatens to plunge the country into more civil strife.“I am very pessimistic,” said Moeed Yusuf of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington.He warns that Afghanistan seems poised to repeat the devastation of the early 1990s after the Soviet withdrawal. At that time, rival rebel factions previously united against the Soviets turned their guns on each other, killing tens of thousands of civilians and paving the way for the Taliban takeover.As more decision-makers emerge on the scene, it is becoming more difficult to secure a peace deal that can withstand the test of time, Yusuf said.“Whatever peace you come up with, I believe it is not sustainable, and I believe we are probably going to see a repeat of the 1990s, where you go for a few years and then it all starts to fall apart,” he said.The U.S. began the clandestine talks with the Taliban last year, aided by Germany and secretly held in Qatar. A senior U.S. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the goal for Marc Grossman, Washington’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was straightforward: Get an Afghan peace deal. “In short, a precipitous U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan could increase the probability of a civil war among Afghan factions,” Jones said.Yet Hekmatyar’s brother-in-law, Ghairat Baheer, said the fighting would stop if a political alternative emerged and international troops left Afghanistan. Baheer said Hekmatyar is not interested in a government post and is at odds with the Taliban over its demand for an Islamic emirate. He also insists on elections, which the Taliban reject as contrary to Islamic law.In the end, Khan said battle fatigue may be the only thing to save the peace process.“The way forward is still for the U.S. to try and flog out a peace deal with the Taliban high command after the next U.S. elections are over,” she said. “Once a peace process is truly under way, marginal groups within the Taliban and without will find themselves isolated and more manageable. There is war fatigue in all Afghans, Afghanistan’s neighbors and the Taliban.”___Kathy Gannon is AP Special Regional Correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and can be followed on http://www.twitter.com/kathygannon. Associated Press Writer Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Although the group’s size is unknown, its views were put forth in a communique that was circulated in Pakistan’s tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan, suggesting a wide reach among Afghans living near the frontier.“We consider talks in the presence of the invading crusaders as a conspiracy in the way of the establishment of a real Islamic system, for which millions of sincere youth have embraced martyrdom,” said the communique, a copy of which was acquired by the AP._ The Dadullah Front. This group is believed to get most of its strength in the Taliban strongholds of southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces. According to Taliban members familiar with the organization, it is led by Daddi Allah, the brother of Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged Taliban commander who was killed by U.S. forces in 2007. His death ended a spree of beheadings and kidnappings.Daddi Allah has threatened to kill pro-peace activists, and he accused the Taliban and its leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, of orchestrating the death of his brother.In May, the Dadullah Front claimed responsibility for killing Maulvi Arsala Rahmani, a member of the government’s High Peace Council and an ex-Taliban member. The group vowed to kill anyone who talked peace while foreign soldiers were still in Afghanistan. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

More than 500 penguins show up dead in Brazil

first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories SAO PAULO (AP) – Marine biologists and veterinarians say the bodies of more than 500 penguins have washed up on beaches in southern Brazil over the past week.They tell the G1 online news site that the Center of Coastal and Marine Studies is investigating what caused the deaths of the 512 penguins found on beaches of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The cause of death should be known in about 30 days.Calls to the center on Saturday went unanswered. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Biologists at the center told G1 the penguins were migrating north from Argentina in search of food in warmer waters. They say the birds appeared well-fed, unhurt and without oil stains.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 4 must play golf courses in Arizona More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Bird flu claims 9th victim in Indonesia this year

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – The Health Ministry says bird flu has killed a 37-year-old man in central Indonesia, marking the country’s ninth fatality this year.The Ministry’s website said Monday that the man died July 30 in Yogyakarta province after being hospitalized for five days.It confirmed that the man who lived near a chicken slaughterhouse was infected with the H5N1 virus after apparently coming into contact with sick birds. The virus, which began ravaging poultry across Asia in 2003, remains entrenched in Indonesia. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic. But most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds.The World Health Organization says 359 people have died from it worldwide. Indonesia remains the hardest-hit country, accounting for 159 deaths.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Baby box opens in Russia to save abandoned kids

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Kotova said in her home city of Perm in the Ural Mountains, the bodies of two newborn babies were found on a balcony. A woman who lived there with her other children just felt unable to raise another child, she said.In July, a five-day-old girl was left in a baby box in Perm with a note giving her name, Margarita, and her date of birth. Two more babies were left in baby boxes organized by Russia’s Krasnodar region.Russia borrowed the baby box idea from other European countries, where they have become quite numerous in recent years but have also fueled heated discussions. Critics say they infringe on the rights of mothers and children.“A baby box isn’t a universal cure, it’s a way to attract attention to the problem and to help women,” said Galina Murzakayeva, a coordinator for the Kirishi project.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img “Even if only one child is saved that way it will be worth it,” said Tatiana Sobolevskya, deputy chief of the maternity department of Kirishi’s hospital, where the baby box is located. Nikolai Muravlev, a Russian Orthodox priest, came to bless the box and praise it as “island of safety.”Once a baby is put in the box, its door closes and a nurse gets alerted by a signal. There are no security cameras so parents can leave their babies anonymously. An information stand next to the box appeals to parents to think over their decision and offers contact numbers for assistance.Kolybel Nadezhdy (Cradle of Hope), a non-government organization that opened the baby box, said it should help attract nationwide attention to the issue. Its head, Yelena Kotova, said more than a dozen babies are abandoned in Russia every month according to official statistics, but she said the real figures are believed to be at least three times higher.Russian police have registered 268 cases of murder of newborn babies by their mothers in 2010-2011, and Russian media have carried regular reports of babies found in garbage containers, forests or snowdrifts. One of the most recent cases was in St. Petersburg in August, when a man found a 3-day-old baby in a plastic bag in the bushes. The boy survived and was soon adopted. Associated PressKIRISHI, Russia (AP) – A box in which parents can leave their babies anonymously without any legal risk opened Wednesday in a town in northwestern Russia _ part of an effort that activists hope will save many young lives.The baby box in Kirishi, an industrial town 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of St. Petersburg, is the tenth such facility in Russia. Experts think that’s just a fraction of what is needed. Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Top Stories last_img read more

Fuel tanker explosion kills 22 in Saudi capital

first_imgAssociated PressRIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – A fuel truck exploded after hitting portions of a bridge Thursday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, engulfing buildings and cars in flames and killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 110, witnesses and officials said.The death toll was a significant increase in the number of reported casualties than in the first hours after the 7 a.m. explosion near the Saudi National Guard building in an industrial area in the city’s eastern district. Columns of smoke could be seen rising from scene. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology A security official told The Associated Press at least 22 people were killed and 111 were injured.There was no immediate suspicion of terrorist links based on witness accounts, which suggested the fuel tanker exploded after striking part of a highway underpass.Officials said rescue crews had not finished the search and the death toll was still not final.All the officials and witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.Civil Defense spokesman Capt. Mohamed al-Hammadi told the official Saudi Press Agency that the explosion occurred after the tanker spilled fuel, which expanded the area of the fireball. He described the damage as “significant.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

German orders beat forecasts central bank ups outlook

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Top Stories The increase was led by a 6.8 percent increase in demand from other countries that use the euro currency, while orders from inside Germany declined 3.8 percent.In a separate report, the Bundesbank forecast that the German economy will expand by 1.7 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2016. That compares with its forecast in December of just 1 percent growth this year and 1.6 percent next year.Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said that domestic economic activity in Germany is benefiting from low unemployment and “substantial income increases.”“Although foreign trade is currently being hampered by dampening global dynamics, it is simultaneously being buoyed by the euro’s depreciation and the strengthening cyclical recovery in the euro area,” Weidmann said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BERLIN (AP) — German factory orders rose in April for the second straight month in a positive sign for Europe’s largest economy, government data showed Friday, while the country’s central bank revised up its growth forecasts for this year and next.Factory orders, a key indicator for the economy’s prospects, were up 1.4 percent in April compared with the previous month, the Economy Ministry said. That beat economists’ forecasts of a 0.5 percent gain, and followed an upwardly revised 1.1 percent increase for March. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Israel isnt on UN list of parties that kill or injure kids

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology This year, the list includes groups in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Five government forces are also listed.The secretary-general said that in the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as the Central African Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria, “children were affected to a degree which is an affront to our common humanity.”The report said the number of Palestinian children killed, 557, was the third-highest in 2014, after Afghanistan with 710 child killings and Iraq with 679 — but ahead of Syria with 368. The number of schools damaged or destroyed — at least 543 — was the highest anywhere, it said.Israel maintains its actions in Gaza were in response to rocket attacks on southern Israel, and were never aimed at children.Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said Ban “was right not to submit to the dictates of the terrorist organizations and the Arab states” and include Israel on a “shameful list” with organizations like the Islamic State group, al-Qaida and the Taliban.Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, said the Palestinians “deeply regret” Ban’s decision to exclude Israel from the list which contradicts U.N. evidence. “It is without doubt that Israel … flagrantly, systematically and grossly commits human rights violations against Palestinian children constituting grave violations that qualify it for such a listing,” Mansour said.Pummeled with questions about Israel’s exclusion, Ban’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said the list was the “result of a consultative process” and was Ban’s “difficult decision to take.”Dujarric alluded to the intense lobbying ahead of the report’s release by Israel’s supporters, reportedly including the United States, and opponents, saying U.N. member states and non-governmental organizations “have never been shy” about expressing their opinions to Ban.Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director for Human Rights Watch, called Ban’s decision “a blow to U.N. efforts to better protect children,” adding that “political pressure seems to have prevailed.”The secretary-general urged Israel “to take concrete and immediate steps” including reviewing its policies and practices to ensure that children are protected, not killed or maimed, that schools and hospitals aren’t attacked, and that perpetrators of alleged violations are brought to justice. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk “I would like to put all parties to conflict on notice that those that engage in military action that results in numerous grave violations against children will, regardless of intent, find themselves under continued scrutiny by the United Nations, including in future reports relating to children and armed conflict,” Ban said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober U.N. officials said the U.N. special envoy for children in armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, had recommended that both Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, be placed on the list of parties that recruit, use, kill, maim or commit acts of sexual violence against children. But the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the recommendation was not public, said there were differences of opinion among those on the ground on whether Israel should be listed — a key reason why it wasn’t and neither was Hamas.Ban said in the annual report to the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly that 2014 saw a dramatic increase in violence against children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — at least 561 youngsters killed and 4,271 injured, almost all Palestinians and the vast majority during last summer’s war in Gaza. It cites 4 Israeli youngsters killed and 22 injured.The annual list is significant because it names and shames governments and insurgent groups that violate children’s rights in conflicts. The Security Council resolution that established the list in August 2009 states the council’s intention “to take action” — including possible sanctions — against repeat violators of international laws protecting children in armed conflicts. UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest list of parties that kill or injure children in armed conflict does not include Israel — as some U.N. officials had recommended — but the U.N. chief strongly criticized Israel for the “unprecedented and unacceptable” scale of its violence against young people.Ban said in a report circulated Monday that the thousands of Palestinian casualties raise “grave concerns” about Israel’s compliance with international law, including requirements that any military actions must distinguish between combatants and civilians, be proportional, and avoid excessive use of force. Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Poll Americans and Europeans differ on aid to Ukraine

first_imgA Russia-backed armoured personnel carrier makes its way near positions at the destroyed building of Donetsk Airport just outside Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Heavy fighting continue at the frontline at the airport of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov) MOSCOW (AP) — A new survey shows that Americans are less willing than Europeans to send economic aid to Ukraine, where the government is struggling to keep the economy afloat while battling Russian-backed separatists.At the same time, Americans would be more willing than Europeans to use military force against Russia if it were to attack a neighboring country that was a member of NATO, according to the survey released early Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Top Stories Copyright © 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 dairycenter_img While Ukraine is not a NATO member, other former Soviet republics are and they worry that the Western alliance would not defend them if it meant military confrontation with Russia.The survey examined public opinion in eight NATO countries: the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. The interviews were conducted in April and May among about 1,000 adults in each country, with margins of error ranging from plus or minus 3.4 to 4.1 percentage points.Of the eight countries, only Italy was less supportive of sending economic aid to Ukraine than the U.S., where 62 percent of those surveyed were in favor. Support was highest in Poland and Spain, at 77 percent.But when asked whether NATO should send arms to Ukraine, the U.S. and Poland were most in favor, at 46 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Germany was at the bottom of the pack with only 19 percent support.Americans and Germans were also at opposite ends on the question of whether their country should use military force to defend a NATO ally if it were attacked by Russia. In the U.S., 56 percent surveyed said yes, while in Germany only 38 percent said they would support military action.In Italy and Poland, the interviews were conducted face-to-face; in the other six countries they were done over the telephone, on land lines and cell phones. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

EU commits 133 million for Latin America Caribbean

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   The EU also initialed agreements with Peru and Colombia that will enable citizens of the two Latin American countries to travel to the EU without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.The agreements are likely to enter force in late October. Visa-free travel will be possible in almost all EU nations, excluding Britain and Ireland.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has committed 118 million euros ($133 million) in investment support for Latin America and Caribbean nations at the start of their two-day summit.The European Commission said Wednesday that the combination of loans, grants and other financial operations would seek to enhance trans-Atlantic cooperation.The executive of the 28-nation EU said the support will center on the transport, energy and environmental sectors in the nations. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Delegations begin to gather for the EU-CELAC summit in Brussels on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. European leaders and their Latin America and the Caribbean counterparts meet on a biannual basis in an effort to maintain international and economic ties. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories last_img read more

Cambodian tycoons attack on actress prompts uproar

first_img Top holiday drink recipes Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Comments   Share   Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — In the grainy black-and-white video the tycoon is seen dragging the actress off a leather couch at a Phnom Penh restaurant. He throws her to the ground, kicks her head and pummels her with body blows.Now the man is pleading for mercy in a case that has outraged Cambodia. The 1-minute video, which the actress and TV personality known to fans as “Sasa” posted on her Facebook page last week, has become the focus of social media and morning talk shows and put pressure on police to deliver justice in a country where the wealthy often act with impunity. “He pulled my hair and smashed my head against the floor. He was punching and kicking me. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe what was happening,” Sasa, whose real name is Ek Socheata, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday. Photographs she provided, which ran in Cambodian newspapers, show her with bruises over her body, a black eye and bloodied fingers and knees.The attacker, a married and middle-aged property tycoon named Sok Bun, admits he made a mistake and said he is trying to pay for it.“I, Sok Bun, deeply regret what happened,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday. “I could not control myself.”He offered to pay his victim $40,000 to make the case go away, then upped the offer to $100,000, which she has rejected. He has now appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen to take pity on him and guarantee his freedom.Sok Bun disappeared a day after the video began circulating online and is believed to be in Singapore, police say. In a second statement issued Tuesday, he said he was “absent from Cambodia” for medical treatment and will return when “my security is guaranteed.”Sok Bun’s conciliatory statements coincided with growing calls for his arrest, from the public and senior government officials. Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered police on Tuesday to do their jobs and find Sok Bun. Quick workouts for men “If he escapes, it will be an insult to us,” the interior minister was quoted as saying by The Phnom Penh Post. “We cannot accept that.”National police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said authorities had tracked him down to Singapore and would find a way to bring him back.“We know where he is hiding. He will not get away with this,” said the police spokesman. “The interior minister has ordered his arrest, and we will find him.”The attack occurred at a Japanese restaurant in the Cambodian capital in the early hours of July 2. It was captured by the restaurant’s security cameras and obtained by Sasa, who then posted it online.The 28-year-old actress, who hosted a popular entertainment show on Cambodian TV, says she was protecting a friend from the drunken advances of Sok Bun when he flew into a rage. His bodyguard is seen in the video pointing a pistol at the actress’ head as his boss attacks her.“I cannot forget what he did to me,” said Sasa. “I don’t want his money. I want to see him in court.”___Gecker contributed to this report from Bangkok.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 academieslast_img read more

Australia tells FIFA Come Play

first_imgWatch Australia’s bid for FIFA 2022 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Australia’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be decided Friday 3 December in Zurich, Switzerland. Together with an official website, support from the NSW Government and a live site to be erected in the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay ahead of Friday’s announcement, the Football Federation of Australia is gearing up for good news.Members of Parliament  have shown their united support for Australia’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup by wearing ‘Come Play!’ scarves during a recent session of parliament’s question time.Australia’s opponents in the FIFA consist of the United States, Japan, South Korea and Qatar. Tom Waterhouse’s sports betting website is listing Australia as a firm favourite in the bidding war.“Sydney trailed Beijing until the final round of voting in Monte Carlo all those years ago and, likewise, I’m not expecting Australia to hit the front in Zurich until it matters most,” Tom Waterhouse said.Yet nothing is certain and thanks to private investors and a $US50 million fighting fund left over from the 1994 World Cup, the US bid requires no extra taxpayer dollars, unlike the $2.8 billion Australia will have to rustle up, according to SBS news.According to the SBS, Australia requires new arenas in Perth, Canberra and western Sydney, major upgrades in Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Geelong and Townsville, and minor upgrades at Sydney’s two big centres, the SFS and the Olympic stadium.Australia’s projected revenues for the World Cup ranked last amongst its competitors in a recent study carried out by management consultants, McKinsey, on behalf of FIFA.NSW Premier Kristina Keneally is pushing for patriotism and support ahead of FIFA’s decision.“We are encouraging all Sydneysiders, whether you are a football fan or not to get behind Australia on Friday morning” she said. In related news, the European nation to host the 2018 World Cup will also be revealed on Friday in Zurich.David Beckham will be flown to Zurich with British Airways, major sponsor of England’s bidding organisation, in support of his country’s opportunity to host the 2018 Cup. last_img read more

Dubai is the new family destination DTCM

first_imgWith Australians staying an average 2.8 days in Dubai (an increase on 1.5 days), Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is focusing on promoting Dubai’s appeal to travelling families.While admitting Dubai has primarily been a stopover destination for Australians travelling to Europe and Africa, DTCM Australia and New Zealand trade, training and promotions manager Veronica Rainbird told e-Travel Blackboard DTCM aims to “lengthen that stay – not lose stop over traffic, and to encourage the sale of Dubai as a destination in and of itself”.“The challenge is really one of education,” Ms Rainbird said.“People don’t necessarily understand the depth of product in Dubai.”With attraction parks to rival (and perhaps surpass) those offered elsewhere, coupled with worldclass accommodation, safety, service and an airline that shares the same philosophy of this bustling emirate, DTCM is certain Dubai is the perfect destination for families, adventure seekers and culture buffs.“Dubai is a real value for money destination and is really catering to families,” Ms Rainbird said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

BA crew ballot for peace

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. All strikes could be off for British Airways if its cabin crew votes in favour of a peace deal to end industrial disputes.Up to 10,000 Unite union members will take part in the ballot that requests a cease of action from 22 June, 18 months after the first industrial dispute ballot was distributed, the Guardian reported.The union’s general secretary Len McCluskey has urged its members to vote in favour of the agreement, and according to local media cabin crew indicated support for the peace deal at a gathering at Heathrow airport in May.”There is a change within the management psyche at BA, driven by the chief executive,” Ms McCluskey said. “If we embrace that, we are confident that the future will be good.”The peace deal being balloted comes after two previous contracts were dismissed and includes a two-year pay contract and reinstated travel perks for BA staff. According to media, British Airways said it was happy to reach the point where “we can put this dispute behind us”. last_img read more

Etihad lands record quarter

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Despite economic challenges, Etihad has welcomed a record-breaking growth for the third quarter this year, with a 39 percent rise in revenues.The Abu Dhabi based carrier saw its profits grow to US$1.1 billion from US$185 million during the corresponding quarter last year.Citing creative marketing and leading air travel products for the increase, Etihad chief executive James Hogan said the company’s growth pattern was on track to delivering financial returns to shareholders.“Despite the continuing challenges of high fuel prices and economic downturn in many of the markets in which Etihad operates, we are seeing strong growth in all our key commercial indicators,” Mr Hogan said.Passenger numbers also swelled during the three months by 18 percent from 1.9 million last year to 2.25 million while seat factor increased 3.8 percent to 80.7 percent.Popular markets flying with the carriers included passengers on route between Abu Dhabi and New York, Chicago. Toronto, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Cairo, London and Athens.As a result of growth the carrier said it is adding up to six new destinations to its portfolio over the coming months including flights to the Maldives from 1 November, the Seychelles, Chengu in China, Dusseldorf, Shanghai and Nairobi. “Next year we take delivery of another seven passenger aircraft – four B777-300ER aircraft, plus three A320-200s – so the careful, strategic expansion of our global network will continue apace,” Mr Hogan said.last_img read more

Emirates reconsiders FIFA sponsorship

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Emirates is reconsidering its sponsorship with FIFA World Cup after commissioning research to find out if the 2018 and 2020 bidding process scandal affected the sporting organisation’s brand.Despite being FIFA’s largest supporter, signing a US$195 million deal in 2006, the airline’s divisional senior vice president of corporate communications Boutros Boutros said the Emirates had no contact with the organization after the incident and felt “overlooked”, B&T reported.As a result he explained the carrier was “seriously thinking about not renewing our partnership with FIFA beyond 2014”.“We don’t get into politics but we believe the situation with FIFA went beyond an internal problem and became much bigger,” he told the news source. He added that “as a sponsor” the carrier expected a form of communication at some point during or after the issue, however the lack of “assurance” suggested that people who contribute large amounts to the organisation were “nothing”.“We are considered a partner, but if you are a partner in the business I think once a year you owe him a report,” Mr Bouros said.“And that’s why we felt we were overlooked by FIFA.”Although he believes FIFA were too busy at the time to think of updating sponsors, he said there was no way of knowing that the organisation would not ignore the carrier again in the future. Mr Bouros added that for now the airline is waiting for feedback from its research to find out if it will continue FIFA sponsorship for 2018 and 2020.last_img read more