Daughter of Cuban president leads gay rights march

first_imgMany gays were fired from government jobs, jailed, sent to work camps or left for exile. Fidel Castro later apologized for the discrimination, saying his past views on homosexuality were wrong, and a product of the times.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Still, she said Obama needed to back his words with action. While the U.S. president voiced support for same sex marriage, there were no plans in the U.S. to get behind federal legislation to mandate states to recognize such unions.Castro’s comments came during a colorful march by 400 advocates through the sweltering streets of the capital. The event is linked to the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17. Participants, including transvestites and transgender people, sang and danced in a conga line.Castro has predicted for years that Cuba’s parliament was on the verge of legalizing gay marriage, but it has yet to happen. She said she hoped legislators would finally follow through when they next meet in July.Castro said her father had voiced support for the measure privately several times, and indicated he was working behind the scenes in support of a reform of the island’s family law.“It is surely part of his tactics and strategy; it is his style,” she said. “I am not going to pressure him to say things publically, because I am more interested in concrete results.”In the early years after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, homosexuality was considered highly suspect, along with other “alternative” forms of expression. Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro said during a rousing gay rights march Saturday that her father advocated eliminating sexual discrimination, and reiterated her own hope the country would soon legalize same sex marriageMariela Castro, a noted gay rights advocate and head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, also repeated her praise for U.S. President Barack Obama’s public remarks in favor of same sex marriage, saying the American leader’s words “have great value because of the influence they might have” on others. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Read More →

Myanmar is called insincere on political prisoners

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories The latest amnesty came a week before Thein Sein is to travel to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, where he will be able to tout his reforms on an international stage.“I think political prisoners are bargaining chips for Thein Sein’s policies,” Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) said.He said if Thein Sein was sincere in his desire for reform and reconciliation, his government needs to officially acknowledge it holds political prisoners and free them unconditionally. Myanmar has long insisted all prisoners it holds are criminals.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix “I am not happy because other colleagues remain in prison. The government should release all political prisoners,” said Nyan Tun, a farmer from delta who was freed from Thayarwaddy prison.The opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi said it confirmed at least 87 political detainees were among the 514 prisoners granted amnesty. Other groups tracking prisoners gave similar totals, based on information from the freed prisoners, their comrades and their families.President Thein Sein’s government has made freedom for political prisoners a centerpiece of its reform policies, which come after almost five decades of military rule ended last year. Western nations have eased their crippling economic and diplomatic sanctions in response, but Myanmar hopes for an end to the sanctions entirely to kick-start the country’s moribund economy.The information ministry said the prisoners were released so they can participate in nation-building and to help maintain friendly ties with neighboring countries. A prison department official contacted by phone Tuesday confirmed that 399 foreigners were freed under the amnesty.The official was not authorized to speak to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement 83 of those released are Thais who were arrested this year for border encroachment. YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s limited releases of political prisoners show the government is insincere in its much-lauded democratic reforms and is using its hundreds of detainees to gain further concessions by Western nations, activists said Tuesday.The latest amnesty announced Monday covers more than 500 prisoners, but less than one-fifth are political detainees. Opposition groups and rights activists say Myanmar still holds several hundred political prisoners. Check your body, save your life Top Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more

Read More →

UK Denmark suggest NATO meeting on Afghan attacks

first_imgNo date or place have been set for such a conference, but Danish Defense Minister Nick Haekkerup said Denmark would be willing to host it.Under the new NATO rules, operations that mix small-sized Afghan and coalition units are no longer considered routine and require the approval of the regional commander.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Britain and Denmark have called for a meeting of NATO countries to discuss how to tackle insider attacks against allied troops by Afghan forces.British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday that such attacks, which have killed 51 international service members this year, will be addressed at a NATO defense ministers meeting Oct. 9-10. But he also suggested a wider conference on the issue where allied and Afghan experts could “come up with additional helpful approaches.” Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   last_img read more

Read More →

UKs Cameron woos Arab Spring leaders

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement NEW YORK (AP) – Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is wooing the new leaders of Egypt and Libya with a pledge to release frozen financial assets and property in the U.K. tied to deposed regimes.In talks Wednesday in New York, Cameron told Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi he would try to release about US$160 million of assets linked to ex-ruler Hosni Mubarak.The British leader made a similar offer to Libya’s president Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf in a separate meeting.center_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Top Stories Cameron told Morsi that the head of the U.K. armed forces, Gen. David Richards, also would visit Cairo to discuss possible British training for Egypt’s military.The two joked over the poor time keeping at the U.N. general assembly. “You never quite know when you are making your speech,” Cameron told Morsi.(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

Read More →

Reporters Without Borders condemns Israeli strikes

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   PARIS (AP) – Reporters Without Borders has condemned Israeli missile attacks on two media centers in Gaza that wounded six Palestinian journalists and damaged the equipment of foreign media outlets.Sunday’s attacks on the two high-rise buildings damaged offices of the Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, and a Lebanese-based broadcaster, Al Quds TV, seen as sympathetic to the Islamists.Germany’s public broadcaster ARD; Russia Today, a state TV network that broadcasts in English; and Sky News Arabia said they lost equipment in the attacks. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories Christophe Deloire, the director of Reporters Without Borders’ international headquarters in Paris, called the attacks unjustified and a threat to freedom of information. He called for an investigation into the circumstances of the raid.The Israeli military said the strikes targeted Hamas communications equipment on the buildings’ rooftops.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Read More →

Saudi Arabia says 5day ceasefire in Yemen will start May 12

first_img Quick workouts for men Top Stories He said anyone who cares about Yemen, or even pretends to care, would act to help put the cease-fire in place.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. PARIS (AP) — Saudi Arabia declared a unilateral cease-fire in Yemen that would start May 12 and urged Shiite rebels and their allies to stop fighting. It was unclear if the Iran-backed Houthis were prepared to lay down their arms.At a news conference Friday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the halt in fighting would start next Tuesday at 11 p.m. local time. The so-called humanitarian pause is renewable, depending on compliance by the rebels who have chased Yemen’s internationally recognized government out of the country. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security system Comments   Share   The announcement in Paris came hours after the Saudi-led coalition carrying out airstrikes in Yemen declared a rebel stronghold along the kingdom’s border a “military target” and gave residents an ultimatum to leave the region by nightfall. The ultimatum was reported by state TV.The escalation in the northern Yemeni province of Saada came in response to recent cross-border attacks by the Houthis on Saudi cities near the frontier, to which the coalition has vowed a “harsh response.”Yemeni officials said that more than 50 airstrikes hit Saada overnight and in the early hours in the morning. The Saudi Press Agency reported that warplanes destroyed a land-mine factory, a telecommunications complex and command centers in Saada.Al-Jubeir and Kerry said they were working on a cease-fire Thursday in Riyadh but that they still needed more time to flesh out the details. On Friday in Paris, where they gathered with other Arab foreign ministers, Kerry said the cease-fire is conditioned on no bombing, no shooting, no repositioning of troops and no movement of heavy weapons.“A humanitarian catastrophe is building,” Kerry warned, saying civilians were running out of food, fuel and medicine and that aid groups needed to be allowed to get supplies into and around the country. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How do cataracts affect your vision? Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Read More →

Yemen fighting mars truce as UN envoy pushes for talks

first_imgAt least nine civilians were killed by shelling in Taiz, a medical official there said. Witnesses confirmed heavy clashes in Dhale and said large convoys of Shiite rebels and allied forces were deployed to Aden. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.The fighting pits the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and allied military units against loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in March. A Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the rebels from the air since March 26.The truce has been violated on a number of occasions, with the rivals blaming one another.The U.N. envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has proposed peace talks in Geneva. Rebel spokesman Hamed al-Bokheiti said the Houthis are willing to hold talks in any “neutral” country.Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 1,400 people — many of them civilians — since March 19, according to the U.N. The country of some 25 million people has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led blockade.On Friday, The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, said the humanitarian situation “remains extremely preoccupying and … the needs are still growing.” Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The vital role family plays in society “At the moment, the pause is globally holding, though I have to say every day we see skirmishes — localized, short duration but we still see that there is military activity — so it remains to be seen whether the opportunities provided can be used to maximum and optimum use,” Van Der Klaauw said.He said the U.N. had brought 430,000 liters of fuel into the country but is struggling to get it to hospitals, water installations and other facilities.The U.N. refugee agency said the first of six planes carrying supplies landed in Yemen on Friday, with another flight expected later in the day and the other four set to arrive over the next two days. Together, they will carry 150 metric tons of supplies, including blankets and sleeping mats, into Sanaa, a statement said. The rebels seized the capital last year.More aid is on its way by sea, the statement added. The UNHCR estimates that 450,000 Yemenis have been displaced from their homes by the conflict.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Fighting was underway across Yemen on Friday, the third day of a humanitarian truce between a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, as the U.N. envoy pushed for holding peace talks in Geneva.Yemeni officials reported clashes in the southern city of Aden, the western cities of Taiz and Dhale and the provinces of Marib and Shabwa, despite the five-day cease-fire. Tribal sources said Saudi artillery shelled border areas in the rebels’ northern heartland. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Read More →

Swiss extradite FIFAs Jeffrey Webb to the United States

first_imgFormer FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb has been extradited to the United States following his arrest in Switzerland on racketeering and bribery charges filed by American prosecutors.The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said Thursday the man was extradited a day earlier after 50 days of detention.“He was handed over to a three-man U.S. police escort in Zurich who accompanied him on the flight to New York,” the ministry said in a statement. Comments   Share   Extradition hearings are being held by Zurich cantonal police in a process expected to finish by early September, Swiss justice office spokesman Raphael Frei told the Associated Press on Thursday. Appeals to Switzerland’s federal criminal court and supreme court can extend the cases by several months.Webb and Figueredo were named in the indictment among several men who have already shared in bribe payments of at least $40 million linked to broadcast rights for four editions of the Copa America tournament.Blazer admitted sharing in a $10 million bribe scheme with Warner and a third FIFA voter to support South Africa’s successful bid for the 2010 World Cup. South African officials asked FIFA to transfer the money through the governing body’s accounts.U.S. authorities have said more indictments could follow, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter is a target of the widening case.Under pressure from the investigation and a separate Swiss federal probe of money laundering linked to FIFA’s award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Blatter announced on June 2 that he intends to leave office.Blatter, who denies wrongdoing, has not attended FIFA business in nations that have extradition treaties with the U.S. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Another of the arrested was Aaron Davison, president of the marketing company Traffic Sports USA, who is subject to home detention at his residence in Florida. A day ahead of a status conference in his case in federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie informing him that Davidson has been involved in plea negotiations.The government said it anticipates “audio recordings in multiple languages” and “records produced to the United States by foreign countries pursuant to mutual legal assistance requests” will be part of discovery in Davidson’s case. Prosecutors also said they are coordinating with FIFA’s counsel to notify all 209 national federations of the proceedings.All seven men were arrested on May 27 in dawn raids on a luxury hotel in Zurich by Swiss federal police at the request of American prosecutors.They include FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay, who like Webb was suspended from soccer activity by FIFA’s ethics committee.The others are Jose Maria Marin, who led Brazil’s 2014 World Cup local organizing committee; Eduardo Li, an elected member of FIFA’s executive committee and president of Costa Rica’s soccer federation; FIFA staffer Julio Rocha, a development officer from Nicaragua; Venezuela federation president Rafael Esquivel; and Costas Takkas, a Briton who works for Webb. On Monday, he will chair an executive committee meeting in Zurich that is likely to decide on an election date for FIFA’s member federations to replace him as president.Blatter is expected to travel to Russia next week to oversee the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw on July 25 in St. Petersburg.___Dunbar reported from Geneva. Associated Press Writer Tom Hays in New York and AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Two people familiar with the case identified the defendant as Webb and confirmed he has been brought to the United States. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, declined to disclose his exact location.Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands, was president of the CONCACAF, soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, and a FIFA vice president at the time of his arrest.A total of 14 men — nine soccer officials and five marketing executives — were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in May, including former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who is resisting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago. Webb promised reform when he was elected in 2012 to succeed Warner as president of CONCACAF.A further four, including former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States and two sons of Warner, had their guilty pleas unsealed in May.They are alleged to have taken part in a racketeering conspiracy paying bribes of more than $150 million over a 24-year period. The payments were tied to the award of broadcast and hosting rights for the World Cup, continental championships in North and South America, and regional club tournaments. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Read More →

Centara and OzHarvest come together to put surplus food to good use

first_imgCentara and OzHarvest come together to put surplus food to good useCentara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s largest hotel operator, will participate in an innovative new charity operation that collects and distributes surplus food to benefit people in need, starting this August. The operation, ThaiHarvest|SOS is a joint initiative with OzHarvest, the pioneering Australian organization that has established a proven and successful “Food Rescue” model which is being adopted around the world.The programme’s mission is to eliminate hunger and food waste through the re-distribution of quality surplus food. Experts estimate as much as a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted in the transport, distribution, and preparation supply chain. When this food ends up in a landfill, it represents a tremendous waste of resources and a lost opportunity to help people unable to afford adequate nutrition.The OzHarvest rescue and redistribution system has proven a safe and efficient way to reduce this waste and benefit the planet. Launched in Australia 14 years ago, it is now being replicated in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia and Vietnam. An important part of the initiative is educating people about the problem and opportunity of food waste.In August Centara Hotels & Resorts will begin donating surplus food from its two Bangkok properties Centara Grand hotels at CentralWorld and Ladprao. Eventually it hopes for all its Thailand properties to participate. These main two properties will also arrange an event called “Master Class Dinner”. It will be led by Will and Steve, the winners of My Kitchen Rules in 2015.“As we prepare food for our guests, unavoidably at the end of each day we have surplus – for example, bakery items or excess from a large banquet,” said Centara’s Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, Winfried Hancke. “It is a shame to let this food go to waste when there are so many people who could benefit from it.”Source = Centara Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

Read More →

PO Cruises launches South Australias cruise season

first_imgP&O Cruises launches South Australia’s cruise seasonP&O Cruises is kicking off the South Australia cruise season with its longest itinerary from Adelaide to date – an eight-night round trip cruise to Tasmania on Pacific Eden.The new ‘Taste of Tasmania’ voyage has twice the number of nights of P&O’s previous Adelaide cruises and calls at Melbourne, Hobart and Port Arthur with a scenic pass through Wineglass and Great Oyster Bay.In addition to the sell-out Tasmanian cruise, P&O’s latest season includes three-night comedy and food and wine-themed cruises and popular short SeaBreaks to Port Lincoln and Melbourne.Guests can choose from 56 shore tours such as sampling some of the world’s finest oysters at Coffin Bay and exploring South Australia’s first lighthouse at Cape Willoughby Conservation Park.During the 2018 season, P&O will undertake five cruises from Adelaide, carrying nearly 7,000 holidaymakers and injecting an estimated $5 million* into the local economy.P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the new eight-night itinerary was a taste of what’s to come for Adelaide in 2019 which will see a bumper season of cruises.“Next year will be our biggest-ever Adelaide program, offering locals with more choice and variety of cruises from their home-port. From January 30 to March 16, we will offer a record 12 cruises including two eight-night round-trip cruises to Tasmania,” said Mr Myrmell.“There’s no doubt that cruising in South Australia is booming. From the foodie mecca of Kangaroo Island to watching the world’s smallest penguin species at night and swimming with sea lions at Port Lincoln, some of the most authentic Australian experiences are only a short cruise from Adelaide.”The 55,820-tonne Pacific Eden makes her maiden 2018 voyage today, departing on a three-night comedy cruise.Pacific Eden’s cruises include a three-night Food & Wine themed cruise departing Adelaide on February 27, 2018. Fares start from $211* per person quad share.For more information, visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.Source = P&O Cruiseslast_img read more

Read More →

Save big with Wyndham Hotels Resorts EOFY Sale

first_imgTRYP-king courtyardSave big with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts EOFY SaleDreaming of a holiday? Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has launched its End of Financial Year Sale today with incredible savings across 16 Ramada by Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham and Wyndham properties.Set in spectacular locations across Australia, New Zealand, Noumea and Vanuatu, these deals are not to be missed!With rates from just $94 per night at selected hotels and resorts, you will be sure to book a bargain with many of the deals being valid for travel up until 30 December 2018.Book between June 4 and 18 by visiting wyndhamhotels.com/hotel-deals/end-of-financial-year-saleSource = Wyndham Hotels & Resortslast_img

Read More →

Marriott International acquires Starwood Hotels in 12bn deal

first_imgMarriott International Inc buys Sheraton owner Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc in a $12.2 billion deal to create the world’s largest hotel chain.Combined, the two firms have more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms and $2.7 billion in revenue and this gives Marriott greater presence in markets outside the United States.Starwood, which gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from outside the United States, had essentially put itself up for sale in April, when it said it was considering strategic alternatives.J.W. Marriott, Jr, Chairman of the Maryland-based company said, “We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them.”Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, who will head the new group, said the two firms hoped to become “the world’s favourite travel company”.The deal will combine Marriott’s 19 brands, including Ritz-Carlton and Fairfield Inn, with Starwood’s Westin, W and St. Regis chains.Marriott will pay $11.9 billion in stock and the rest in cash, and hopes to have the acquisition completed by mid-2016.“This greater scale should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics to owners and franchisees, increase unit growth,” said Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson.Starwood, which opened a review into its strategy in April, had also been linked to deals with Intercontinental and Hyatt Hotels.Starwood, the owner of St. Regis and Aloft hotel brands, had reached out to InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Wyndham Worldwide Corp and sovereign wealth funds for a possible deal since July.last_img read more

Read More →

London and Paris join hands to improve tourism initiatives

first_imgThe Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, have announced new business and tourism collaborations to attract international visitors to both the cities and help companies based in London and Paris to expand into new international markets.The agreement will for the first time, jointly showcase London and Paris to overseas visitors. While, a new initiative called the Paris-London Business Welcome Program will encourage and facilitate the flow of trade and investment between the two cities.The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “London and Paris are two of the greatest cities in the world and we have so much to gain from joining forces. Never underestimate the incredible benefits to be found when major cities do business together. Our great friends in Paris and across the continent are well aware that working closely together remains to our mutual benefit.”The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said, “Paris and London share common values and willpower. We want to be attractive to companies all over the world. Since the election of Sadiq, our two cities have been working better together. We are developing new exchanges and new projects. All these initiatives will create employment, activity and economic growth. It is a very positive dynamic that the Brexit will not change.”The tourism agreement will launch in 2018 and focus on key drivers for international visitors to both cities such as culture and heritage, combining the resources of VisitLondon.com and Parisinfo.com.The Paris-London Business Welcome will build on both cities’ business strengths and follows a statement last year from both Mayors that Paris and London would work more closely together to make the London-Paris’ ‘win-win partnership’ even stronger.last_img read more

Read More →

Travel Guide Antigua

first_imgThree hours from Miami and eight from London is Antigua, the largest island in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua is home to some of the most exquisite places to see such as its capital is St. John’s, a port town of plantation shutters, iron roofs and colours as bright as our spirits.Source: Expedialast_img

Read More →

Jordan to attract even more Indian visitors in 2017

first_imgJordan has always considered India as one of the most important source market and is planning to attract even more Indians in 2017. As per Dr Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director, Jordan Tourism Board, the country is working on utilising its existing assets, zoning in on its heritage, culture, gastronomy, adventure and infrastructure with tourism campaigns designed to attract tourists to Jordan.The tourism sector in Jordan acts as the driver of sustainable economic development and is considered the second fastest growing sector in the Kingdom and is the largest export sector and a major employer. Jordan witnessed several development projects in some of the key tourist attractions, mainly in Aqaba and the Dead Sea, which contribute towards marketing Jordan as a tourist destination and raise its competitiveness within the region. In the recent Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report produced by the World Economic Forum, Jordan ranked 53rd out of 130 countries on the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index.According to Adel Amin, Deputy Director & Director Marketing, Jordan Tourism Board, India is an important market for Jordan as they are seeing a lot of traction from our efforts in the market in the past few years.The 2016 Indian arrival figures to Jordan have shown an unprecedented growth of 18.40%, and the same day visitor arrivals from India has declined by 4.50%, which indicates that visitors are now spending more time in the country. “We welcome Indian visitors, and are also offering free visa on arrival in Jordan which makes it easier for Indians to travel to the country. India is firmly established as an important market for us and we hope to see it in the top five markets in the future in terms of tourist inflow. The country continues to focus on family tourism and honeymoon travel and we are expecting many Bollywood films to also be shot there in the near future,” he said.last_img read more

Read More →

REMAX Hopeful Trends Continue Inventory Still a Problem

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing RE/MAX Service Providers 2013-03-15 Tory Barringer March 15, 2013 467 Views RE/MAX: Hopeful Trends Continue, Inventory Still a Problem The housing market continued to build on 2012’s positive trends last month, according to the February “”RE/MAX””:http://www.remax.com/ National Housing Report.[IMAGE]With data representing 52 metro areas, the report shows home sales rose 0.9 percent month-over-month and 2.3 percent year-over-year. According to RE/MAX, February is the 20th month in a row to see sales rise higher than they were a year before. Of the areas surveyed in February’s report, 29 reported higher sales on an annual basis, and 10 reported double-digit gains, including: Boise, Idaho (21.6 percent); Burlington, Vermont (15.4 percent); and Las Vegas, Nevada (14.1 percent).RE/MAX also noted that “”move-up”” buyers now appear to be outnumbering investors and first-time buyers, “”marking a return to a more traditional market makeup.””The median home price also increased, rising to $160,500–3.5 percent above January and 7.0 percent above February 2012. February was the 13th straight month in which the median price has been higher than [COLUMN_BREAK]the same month a year before. Only four metros recorded an annual drop in prices: Los Angeles, California (-8.7 percent); Hartford, Connecticut (-7.2 percent); Trenton, New Jersey (-3.0 percent); and Anchorage, Alaska (-2.1 percent).Of the 48 metros reporting year-over-year price gains, 21 saw double-digit increases, including Atlanta, Georgia, which saw a 50.0 percent increase in median price.””It’s clear that the housing recovery is real and is moving full-speed ahead into 2013,”” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “”Consumers recognize that we’ve hit the bottom, and real estate is offering some great opportunities with low prices and low interest rates. This is an attractive combination that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes.””Meanwhile, inventory remains a major concern. Home inventory fell 29.2 percent year-over-year in February, resulting in a 4.8-month supply of homes. As home prices continue to recover, RE/MAX expects to see more homeowners achieve positive equity, creating a more stable and sustainable environment.Extremely low supply levels continue to be seen in cities like: San Francisco, California (1.1-month supply); Denver, Colorado (1.6-month supply); and Washington, D.C. (2.0-month supply).The drop in supply led to a decline in average days on market. According to RE/MAX, the average number of days on market for a home sold in February was 89–a slight increase of two days from January’s average, but a substantial drop from the 103 average a year ago. February’s average of 89 marks the ninth time in the past year that the days on market average has been below 90.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Read More →

The Risks to Housing Growth

first_imgThe Risks to Housing Growth November 20, 2018 693 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharecenter_img Affordability Doug Duncan Economy Fannie Mae Inventory Prices 2018-11-20 Seth Welborn The economy is set to grow, but it may not be enough to boost housing, according to the Fannie Mae Economic Strategy and Research Group. The Group’s forecast predicts a 3.1 percent full-year economic growth for November, one-tenth higher than the previous month, but growth has slowed slightly by quarter, down to 3.5 percent from 4.2 percent between Q2 and Q3 2018. Going forward, Fannie Mae expects growth to slow even further through the end of the year.“As we proceed through the fourth quarter, we expect growth to slow further but to remain solid at 2.6 percent,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Trade remains a downside risk to growth as a strong dollar is likely to contribute to a further widening of the trade gap. While consumer spending growth is expected to moderate from the robust second and third quarters, both business fixed investment and residential fixed investment should pick up. We also expect the economy to continue to receive strong support from government spending, at least in the near term. Looking further ahead, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 should continue to boost growth through the first half of 2019 before it begins to fade, ultimately acting as a drag on the economy in the second half of 2020.”Housing is expected to lag behind, even with an improved job market and economy. Fannie Mae notes that the lack of inventory and affordability concerns will remain issues in the housing sector.“The current labor market hot streak hasn’t been enough to boost the housing sector. Both new and trade-up home buyers remain discouraged by rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices, and a shortage of available inventory, particularly in the lower tier of the market,” said Duncan. “Market conditions also present a challenge for builders, as higher interest rates are driving up construction costs and tight labor conditions are accelerating the average hourly earnings growth of residential construction workers. Given weak housing data over the past month, we lowered our 2018 originations forecast by $11 billion to $1.624 trillion and our 2019 forecast by $21 billion to $1.603 trillion. However, we expect that existing and new home sales will stabilize in 2019 as home price appreciation moderates and mortgage rates begin to stabilize.”Find the full report from the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategy and Research Group here.last_img read more

Read More →

PRESS RELEASE Las Vegas  Avocados From Mexico A

first_img PRESS RELEASELas Vegas, – Avocados From Mexico (AFM), the number one selling avocado brand in the U.S., and Chicory, the New York City-based tech company, announced today that they have partnered to provide shoppable recipes on Avocados From Mexico’s recipe sites at Groceryshop. Through this partnership, Avocados From Mexico has become the first and only fresh produce brand to provide shoppable recipes with Chicory to date. Consumers now have the ability to add recipe ingredients featuring Avocados From Mexico straight into their online shopping carts at a variety of the country’s leading online grocery providers like Instacart, Peapod and AmazonFresh, among others. The partnership will provide Avocados From Mexico recipe ingredients delivery to over 70% of U.S. households.Avocados From Mexico Salad CenterThe partnership marks the first fresh produce brand to join Chicory’s growing list of shoppable recipe providers, and it marks a breakthrough investment in ecommerce for Avocados From Mexico. The technology can be found on Avocados From Mexico’s recipe hub, where consumers can shop now for recipes like Mexican Corn Salad with Avocado.As part of its e-com initiative, the avocados brand also launched its Salads Hub, a creative digital space where shoppers can access delicious salad-making possibilities.  After guacamole, salads are the #2 usage occasion for avocados and the hub provides an opportunity to inspire shoppers and expand overall consumption.  To elevate the shopper experience on the hub, AFM partnered with Fresh Gourmet and the Incredible Egg. Shoppers will be able to interact with AFM, Fresh Gourmet and the Incredible Egg as they build their salad creations, additionally to shop for these ingredients online.”The salad hub is part of a 360-shopper program with in-store display support in produce and consumer savings offers further tying Fresh Gourmet and AFM together. It seamlessly takes shopping from a brick-and-mortar activation to a digital experience, blurring the barriers that for years separated both worlds in the grocery shopper’s world,” said Stephanie Bazán, AFM’s Sr. Market Development Director.To use the platform, a shopper should simply visit an Avocados From Mexico recipe and look for the “Get Ingredients” button at the bottom of the ingredients list. They’ll then be asked to enter their zip code and choose a preferred retailer. Their list of ingredients will then be sent straight into their online grocery basket for purchase.”We at Avocados From Mexico are looking forward to growing the shoppable recipes and being a part of the innovative digital grocery shopping space as we continue to evolve our digital capabilities in ways that are unexpected from a fresh produce brand,” said Alvaro Luque, president of Avocados From Mexico. “These kinds of approaches, which are executed with the speed and flexibility that characterizes our organization, are what have allowed us to become pioneers in the industry in the digital space. The integration of ecommerce into our platform, through this partnership with Chicory, is more proof of our constant drive for innovation. At the same time, we stay committed to implementing the powerful in-store shopper programs that have proven to be so successful for our brick-and-mortar retail partners.”Chicory uses leading-edge AI technology to decipher what is needed in the recipe. For instance, if a dish calls for a cup of diced pepper, the technology will use context clues to know to add bell pepper, and not ground pepper, to your shopping cart.”Considering that a company’s innovation score is the time that it takes to act on accelerating innovations, our company’s score is in the high end. We identify the need, find top-notch tech to help us address it, and implement it fast and seamlessly,” said Ivonne Kinser, head of digital marketing for the organization. “We, marketing leaders, are living in a pivotal moment in which we have the opportunity to reinvent our businesses as technology continues to explode. We need to embrace that opportunity simply because the status quo is just not good enough anymore. This is the time to disrupt or to be disrupted, and we have chosen the first,” said Kinser.”Seeing Avocados From Mexico’s dedication to innovation has been particularly inspiring,” said Yuni Sameshima, CEO at Chicory. “Over the past three years, as we have traced recipe trends across Chicory’s recipe network of over 80 million monthly users, avocados have been a persistent trend—with smoothie bowls and avocado toast being some of the most notable foodie favorites. Avocados From Mexico knows this and is capitalizing on a crucial moment when their product is resonating with consumers, plus they’re offering a unique way for those consumers to engage like never before. We’re excited to see what we learn from this new partnership.”In addition to Avocados From Mexico, Chicory has partnered with companies such as Campbell’s, Perdue and General Mills to provide shoppable recipe tech on their sites, in addition to their independent publisher network of over 1,000 sites. Avocados From Mexico will be the first fresh produce provider to offer recipe shopability with Chicory. October 30 , 2018 You might also be interested incenter_img U.S.: Mexican avocado prices jump after Trump’s ta …last_img read more

Read More →

Nanuyu Island ResortPacific Pulse Travel Marketing

first_imgNanuyu Island ResortPacific Pulse Travel Marketing Fiji’s Nanuyu Island Resort has appointed Lavonne Fremlin at Pacific Pulse Travel Marketing to manage its global sales and marketing.Fremlin has been part of the Fiji tourism industry for nearly three decades and has held roles at Rosie Holidays, Pinpoint travel, Escape Holidays and South Sea Cruises/Awesome Adventures and Blue Lagoon Cruises, among others.Nanuya is an intimate and peaceful resort and the movie ‘The Blue Lagoon’ was filmed on Nanuya Lailai Island.The resort is perfect for couples and also welcomes families with older children.There are a range of bures and villas to choose from, starting with the Traditional Tree Top Bure; Deluxe Villa; Superior Villa and the Luxury Villa. A large open-air restaurant/bar/lounge provides an ideal area to relax and look out across the lagoon.Call +679 666 7633 or email reservations@nanuyafiji.comlast_img read more

Read More →

And she adds its not unusual for clients to cal

first_imgAnd, she adds, it’s not unusual for clients to call her first when something goes wrong on their holiday. One such client had their car broken into at a scenic lookout while travelling in France, with the thieves taking passports, clothing, all travel documentation, a wallet and mobile phone. “My clients called me from the roadside minutes after the theft, extremely distressed unsure what they should do. I advised them to drive to their hotel, which was 40 minutes away, and by the time they arrived I had arranged for a free room upgrade with a nice view and sent all their travel documentation to the hotel so they could continue on with their holiday.”The personal travel manager also liaised with the insurance company and provided phone numbers for everybody they would need to contact, including the Embassy in Paris, banks, the local car hire representative to get the damaged car replaced, options for rail changes (as they had to go to Paris to fix the passports) and options for hotel stays for two nights in Paris to get the passports reissued.“I was just so happy I could assist in ensuring their holiday didn’t end up a nightmare for them, instead putting plans in place that ensured by the time they reached their hotel all was underway, and they could relax a little.”TOP IMAGE: TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Leisa Burdette takes time to marvel at the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina When Queensland couple Rob and Liz Dunstan needed to cancel their $56,000 European holiday of a lifetime they immediately sought the assistance of their personal travel manager, Leisa Burdette, to help with their Medibank Travel Insurance claim.Two months prior to their proposed departure, Liz was diagnosed with two pulmonary embolisms and was advised she couldn’t fly for at least six months. Although assisting a client with a travel insurance claim is all in a day’s work for most agents, the Dunstans felt that Burdette went over and above the call of duty. “When we called Leisa to tell her we had to cancel, she ran us through the process and we alerted Medibank to the fact we would be claiming cancellation. Leisa gathered the paperwork to submit their claim and she managed the refunds from the European providers, reclaiming $30,000 from the tour operators which was paid to Medibank and then we were reimbursed,” Liz explains.“Together with Leisa we had planned what we believed was one of our best holidays, which included touring through Italy, Croatia and Turkey, before boarding a cruise from Greece to Barcelona. We are so grateful for all Leisa’s itinerary ideas and suggestions; her personal experience makes all the difference. And knowing that she will also go out of her way to help when things go wrong, gives us absolute confidence. Without question we will only ever book our travel through Leisa at TravelManagers.”Burdette, representative for Hamilton in Queensland, says that running her own business allows her to provide those ‘extra things’ her clients see as exceptional customer service. “I was thrilled to be able to assist Liz and Rod with their travel insurance claim, it’s all part of ensuring my clients are looked after from start to finish, and that’s what providing great service is all about.” agentsTravelManagerslast_img read more

Read More →