Catholic Church to promote its own sexed guides

first_imgNo related posts. Cartago Bishop José Francisco Ulloa said Wednesday that the Catholic Church will promote its own version of sex-ed guides to be used by youth groups and families.Ulloa explained that church officials will promote their own books, because they failed to reach an agreement with the Education Ministry (MEP) on new sex-ed guides to be used in public schools this year. “They [MEP] believe in concepts like free sexuality, and we don’t,” he added.Marielos Hernández, head of the Child Welfare Office, on Monday asked the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to reject more than 4,000 complaints filed against MEP’s sex-ed guides, arguing that the guides “only intend to provide teens with tools for a healthy lifestyle.”The Catholic sex-ed books were published in 2009 and prohibit the use of contraceptives such as condoms and pills. They also promote chastity and virginity. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The drought is worse than you think

first_imgNo related posts. When the water went off in March, it was for a few hours at a time. Then, a few weeks later, it shut off for eight hours every day, then for 16 hours. Now, in May, San Isidro de Heredia residents are lucky if they get any water at all. “It affects more than you would think,” said resident Laura Astua.“You can’t wash anything, you can’t bathe. The area lacks basic sanitary services.” Astua is one of 20,000 people in Costa Rica affected by water rationing, according to the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA), which manages more than 50 percent of the country’s water. Residents hope that light rains that began to fall Thursday night will continue. Otherwise, the situation will get worse, they say.What caused the drought?The problem is not the lack of rain now, but the lack of rain before. “The issues this year can be attributed to irregular behavior during the transition period,” said Eladio Solano, a meteorologist with the National Meteorological Institute (IMN).By transition period, he means all of April and early May, which in a normal year see a few good storms. “For the past several years, we have seen unusual behavior at the end of summer, where there is no rain at all,” he said. Usually, the country’s reservoirs can handle a dry transition period with rainfall accumulated during the rainy season. But this year that didn’t happen. “Last year El Niño was active,” Solano said.“When that happens, the level of rainfall here in Central America is very low.” That unusually dry rainy season in 2012 left the aquifers dry. El Niño is a weather phenomenon caused by an unusually warm band of ocean water formed at the Pacific coast of South America. As the water moves up the coast, the higher water temperatures create hotter weather in Central America and less rain along the region’s Pacific coast.“There are some communities where this is going to cause problems,” Solano said. “It’s pretty simple. Reservoirs need water in order to be reservoirs.”Water rationingUnsurprisingly, being hit with dual weather phenomena means the drought has left more than a few Costa Rican communities in a bind. Heredia, north of the capital, and Cartago, to the east, have experienced drastic cuts in services.“We haven’t been in a situation like this since 1998,” said Andrea Fonseca, a spokeswoman for the Public Services Company of Heredia (ESPH). “In these types of situations, it is Heredia that gets hit the hardest.”The reason, according to Fonseca, is Heredia’s reliance on surface reservoirs for water. In a drought, rivers, lakes and streams dry out. Underground wells and pools do not. Across the province of Heredia, the ESPH has cut water distribution from the normal 196 liters per second to just 20-30 liters per second. “Every area has its own system,” said Sergio Núñes, assistant director of AyA’s greater metropolitan area branch.“This means that we have some areas that have more problems than others. They have less rain or lower reservoirs.” With four high-production reservoirs, San José has experienced very little rationing thus far, but if the rainy season does not start in force, certain areas outside of the capital could begin to see cuts.Water strikesWhile both AyA and the ESPH point to differing systems to explain the inconsistent rationing across the country, residents of the driest areas have begun petitioning for their water to be turned back on. The townspeople of Tejar del Guarco were the first to strike. reported that on April 22, a group of some 40 residents blocked a local bridge, threw rocks at police and lit fires.Despite the protest, the town’s taps are still dry with the only water coming in from a truck once a day, according to the daily La Nación. Other communities struggle with just a few hours of water a day. According to Núñez, AyA will send water trucks to communities with rationing, but only “those most affected.”ESPH also says they are prepared to send trucks, but only after an area goes 24 hours without water. After three weeks of severe rationing, San Isidro is also on the verge of protesting. “We are in the planning phases of a strike,” Astua said. “We only have water for a few hours a day and sometimes it isn’t even potable. There are kids with stomach aches all over town and it costs ₡60,000-70,000 to get a truck to come.”Plan of actionThe ESPH has enough water to last for three weeks at the current level of rationing. But if continual rain doesn’t fall soon, the company will need to decrease water output even further. The company says it will need at least three weeks of heavy rainfall to restore the reservoirs to normal levels.Núñez said that AyA will not increase rationing in the areas where cuts are already in place.But if rain does not start within the next several weeks, other areas will have to begin rationing. AyA reservoirs will need two to three weeks of strong rain to refill depending on the area. According to the IMN, rains are expected to start this weekend and will continue in strong, short bursts, as is typical of the beginning of rainy season.Light rains began to fall over the Central Valley on Thursday night, continuing into Friday, but as of now, a solid rain has yet to take place.Acid rainLack of rain doesn’t affect only humans. Even the volcanoes are beginning to feel the drought. According to Gerardo Soto, a volcanologist with the National Seismological Network, the lack of rain is causing the lake in the Poás Volcano, northwest of San José, to dry up. If the drought continues, the lake could disappear altogether. “The water in the lake serves as a filter for the volcano’s acid,” Soto said.“When the lake dries up, that acid evaporates, leading to more acid rain in the area.” While the Poás area always experiences some acid rain, air with high acid levels is dangerous when breathed in by humans and animals, and can kill nearby plants. Follow the weather and find more information about the drought at Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Google challenges US gag order citing First Amendment

first_imgNo related posts. Google asked the secretive U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests it makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it’s forced to give the government.The legal filing, which cites the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about sweeping National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic.Google, one of nine companies named in NSA documents as providing information to the top-secret PRISM program, has demanded that U.S. officials give it more leeway to describe the company’s relationship with the government. Google and the other companies involved have sought to reassure users that their privacy is being protected from unwarranted intrusions.In the petition, Google is seeking permission to publish the total numbers of requests the court makes of the company and the numbers of user accounts they affect. The company long has made regular reports with regard to other data demands from the U.S. government and from other governments worldwide.“Greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” the company said in a statement.That information would not necessarily shed much light on PRISM, whose existence was first reported by The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper. But initiating a high-profile legal showdown may help Google’s efforts to portray itself as aggressively resisting government surveillance.All of the technology companies involved in PRISM, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, have struggled to respond to the revelations about NSA surveillance. Most have issued carefully word denials, saying that they do not permit wholesale data collection while acknowledging that they comply with legal government information requests. (Washington Post Co. chief executive Donald E. Graham is on Facebook’s board.)FISA court data requests typically are known only to small numbers of a company’s employees. Discussing the requests openly, either within or beyond the walls of an involved company, can violate federal law.The technology companies linked to PRISM publicly urged U.S. officials last week to ease official secrecy about information requests. Facebook on Friday night issued its first-ever account of how many data requests the company gets from government entities — state, local and federal — in the United States. That number included FISA requests but the information was categorized too broadly to offer a precise view of these especially secretive data transfers.The FISA court, composed of 11 federal judges appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., rarely rejects government requests for information and rarely make its opinions public. The court approved each of the 1,789 government requests it received in 2012, except for one that was withdrawn.In 2008, the court rejected a challenge from a technology company that argued that a government request for information on foreign users was too broad to be constitutional. The court redacted the name of the company and other details when it published the ruling.Revelations this month about PRISM have sparked fierce debate about the appropriate balance between national security with privacy rights, with U.S. officials in recent days mounting vigorous defense of data collection efforts.NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that more than 50 attacks — including one potentially targeting the New York Stock Exchange — had been thwarted with the help of the agency’s surveillance programs. President Barack Obama said on a PBS interview aired Monday night that the government was “making the right trade-offs” in allowing the programs.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Beyoncé reunites with Destinys Child in Costa Rica for Kelly Rowlands wedding

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Hollywood celebrity Matt Damon and family vacation in Costa Rica Beyoncé and 4 other celebrities who visited Costa Rica during 2014 Francis Ford Coppola wants you to come on his family vacation Archie and the Predator come to Costa Rica in insanely dark comic mash-up It looks like Tim Witherspoon, manager of former Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland, is about to put a ring on it. Rowland and Witherspoon seem ready to say “I do” in Costa Rica this weekend, and the rest of the Destiny’s Child crew will be on hand for the ceremony.The Immigration Administration confirmed to the daily La Nación that Beyoncé Knowles is back in Costa Rica, along with Rowland and Michelle Williams, the third member of the multiplatinum-certified “Bootylicious” group. The R&B trio arrived at Daniel Oduber international airport in Liberia, Guanacaste on Thursday, the newspaper reported.No word yet on whether Beyoncé’s husband, rap mogul Jay-Z, will attend.Queen Bey visited Costa Rica last time in November on vacation with Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy. The first family of hip-hop and R & B visited Arenal Volcano and the beach in Guanacaste.Destiny’s Child made five albums between 1998 and 2004, winning two Grammy awards for the R&B hits “Say My Name” and “Survivor.” Beyoncé, Rowland and Williams comprised the most recognized line-up of the girl group, but the trio announced an end to Destiny’s Child in 2005 while touring for their final studio album, appropriately titled, “Destiny Fulfilled.”last_img read more

Lightning strike injures 3 at Costa Ricas Juan Santamaría International Airport

first_imgThe National Meteorological Institute reported at 3:04 p.m. on Wednesday that there had been 356 lightning strikes in San José throughout the afternoon.On Sept. 19, a lightning strike injured three U.S. Coast Guard officers who were visiting Costa Rica at the Poás Volcano overlook. Facebook Comments Hasta el momento se han registrado la caída de 356 rayos en San José durante la tarde— IMN, Costa Rica (@IMNCR) September 30, 2015 Related posts:Costa Rica declares national emergency over drought in northwestern province of Guanacaste 7,000 travelers stranded by Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport closure Strong rains expected in Costa Rica this week It’s official: 2015 ‘smashed’ 2014’s global temperature record. It wasn’t even closecenter_img Three workers were injured in a lightning strike at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport outside the capital on Wednesday afternoon.An indirect lightning strike impacted the employees, who work for the Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales, according to Silvia Chaves, spokeswoman for Aeris, the company that manages the airport. All three were taken to a nearby hospital. Two of the three were in serious condition, she said. The daily La Nación identified the three as Guido Villalta Acuña, 64; Manuel Calvo Picado, 62; and José Torres Aragonés, 31.According to La Nación, Villalta and Calvo were working on the fuselage of an airplane when lightning struck nearby and sent the two flying several meters. Torres was reportedly farther away from the strike and was not as badly burnt by the electricity. The airport briefly closed because of severe electrical activity, La Nación reported.last_img read more

How to help the victims of Tropical Storm Nate in Costa Rica

first_imgRead more: Rescue operations, recovery continue after Tropical Storm NateIn one of our stories on Friday regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Nate, we included a few links for those who wanted to donate to support the victims of the storm, which caused deaths, flooding, damage and displacement throughout the country.In the following days, however, so many donation drives and volunteer opportunities sprang up around the country that we are eager to highlight as many as we can. Thank you so much to our readers who wrote in or tagged us in posts so we could find out more about efforts taking place in various hard-hit regions.This is not even in the ballpark of a comprehensive list. What did we miss? How have you contributed? What’s going on in your community? Tell us via Facebook or at We’ll do our best to share it with our readers.NationalThe nonprofit Amigos of Costa Rica, the U.S. counterpart of the Costa Rica USA Foundation, created a special page to allow donors to make U.S. tax-deductible donations to a national fund to support Nate victims through the Costa Rican Red Cross. Donors interested in donating via Amigos to a specific region also have community options listed below. Support the Costa Rican Red Cross through Amigos of Costa Rica here.Municipalities and churches are among the organizations that are launching efforts all over the country; if in doubt, contact your local municipality to find out what they are organizing, whether to help your own community if it was affected, or to help a sister town. The Municipality of Curridabat, for example, set up an online volunteer registration site for those eager to take a hands-on role in bringing relief. Visit the volunteer registration site here.Guanacaste“As you may know by now, Tropical Storm Nate has walloped our community,” wrote the board members of the Nosara Civic Association in a public post. In the aftermath of the flood, which covered areas of Nosara and cut off the communities of Ostional and Santa Marta, donors are invited to contribute mattresses, sheets and bedding, home appliances, clothes and towels at the FUCAN across from the Kitson Library, or make a monetary donation online. Support the Nosara Civic Association through Amigos of Costa Rica here (write on the “additional information” line that the donation is for flood victims). Women in Bijagua prepared 300 meals for displaced people in nearby Cañas. (Wilson Hernández Matamoros, ADI Bijagua, via Facebook)MonteverdeThe Monteverde Community Fund, created in 2012, is accepting donations to help storm victims in this hard-hit mountain community. Donations that are tax-deductible in the United States can be made through Amigos of Costa Rica here, or donations within Costa Rica can be made on the MCF site here.Read our columnist’s first-hand account of the storm’s impact on Monteverde here.Central PacificThree Jacó residents – Jeanie Baker of Intuitive Soul, and David Grillot and Seybrielle Daniels from Karma Tribe – launched a Generosity campaign through the Indiegogo platform entitled simply “Let’s help our neighbors rebuild their lives.” According to the campaign site, funds raised (the total goal is $3,000) will be used primarily to purchase basic hygiene supplies for Central Pacific residents who have lost everything. Support the Jacó-Parrita-Quebrada Amarilla drive on Indiegogo here.Folks interested in donating, volunteering or serving as a foster parent to an animal stranded by the storm in the Jacó region is invited to visit the Green Room Restaurant or Cocobolo Souvenir in Jacó, or to call 8836-2652.The Iglesia Radical in Jacó, which, according to the Talk Costa Rica site, has sheltered 104 people since the storm hit, is accepting donations of bags of rice and beans as well as hygiene items. Volunteers are working at the church, across from AutoTica, to organize supplies. This and other volunteer and donation options were featured by Talk Costa Rica here.Cerro de la MuerteThe nonprofit Nai Conservation has been running a drive to collect non-perishable food items and person hygiene items at a variety of sites around greater San José to help victims in the mountains Cerro de la Muerte area between Cartago and Pérez Zeledón. The organization plans to send its donation Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Donation dropoff locations include the Asociación de Estudiantes de Biología – UCR en San Pedro (8am – 6pm), Tienda Tropics Adventure Wear S.A. en San Pedro (9am – 6pm), Tienda Mercado Negro en San José (11am – 6pm), Bar Alcatraz en Heredia (11am – 11pm), Azur Danza Aérea en Distrito Cuatro Escazú (3pm – 8:30pm), Ciclo Aventura Cartago, Cartago (9:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) and Super Terranova, La Lucha de Desamparados (6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.), or contact or call 8812-7349. Learn more and contribute to the Nai Conservation drive here.Southern ZoneAnother fund through Amigos of Costa Rica supports Geoporter Costa Rica, which, according to a Facebook post from the group, “is working together with local emergency committees to get resources to priority areas in the communities of Ciudad Cortes, Palmar Norte y Sur, Rey Curre, Siepre, and others located in… Osa and Golfito.” Support relief efforts in the Southern Pacific through Amigos of Costa Rica here.See also: Tropical storm causes deaths, flooding in Costa Rica and region Facebook Comments Related posts:Guanacaste nonprofit raises money to install cost-saving solar panels Long road ahead for relief efforts in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone U.S.-bound – and delighted CRUSA, Amigos of Costa Rica launch Tico Times philanthropy news sectionlast_img read more

Protesters gather at Nicaraguan embassy in San José to rally against Ortega

first_imgRelated posts:More than 60,000 people flee Nicaragua crisis: UN In San José, Nicaraguans march in memory and call for justice Nicaraguans gather in Costa Rica to celebrate release of political prisoners US sanctions Nicaraguan first lady over abuses About a hundred people gathered outside the Nicaraguan embassy in San José on Saturday to voice their disapproval with the country’s imprisonment of political protesters.More than 700 people have been detained in Nicaragua for participating in anti-government protests, which began last April. After a pause, protests resumed Saturday, and the Nicaraguan government announced it had arrested an additional 107 people, according to AFP.“We are not going to allow any more political prisoners, any more blood, any more repression. We are not going to allow the death of any more people,” said Gerard Lopez, a doctor who says he was fired from his position last year for helping injured people who had been involved in protests.Saturday’s protest in Costa Rica did not have a specific leader for fear of retribution from the Nicaraguan government. Instead, the rally was coordinated by several social organizations, including the Blue and White Movement and the Association of Feminists in Exile.The message of the protest was reflected in the t-shirts worn by its participants.Mayra Centena wore a t-shirt with an image of Medardo Mairena, a human rights activist and national coordinator of the Council for the Defense of the Land, Lake and Sovereignty, who has been detained in prison since July 13.Another wore an image of the Macho Ratón to symbolize the spirit of revolution of the indigenous people in Nicaragua during the Spanish conquest.“We are here to demand the freedom of the political prisoners, and we also want to know where all of the people who have ‘disappeared’ and have been kidnapped are,” said Flor de Loto Maria Jose, a protester who says she has been living in Costa Rica for five months. “We are demanding freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”Protesters chanted the list of political prisoners detained under Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega’s rule, including Max Jerez, Freddy Blandon and Sofia Montenegro.One such protester was Raquel Medrano, who says she has been living in Costa Rica for eight months. She says she was accused of terrorism, carrying weapons, money laundering and of a variety of other crimes by the Nicaraguan government, forcing her to flee the country.“I am protesting because I am against the repression in the country and all the injustices that the government has committed,” she said. “I am fleeing from the persecution of all those who think differently to Ortega.”​​​​This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.​​​​Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Nigeria first lady describes mystery illness

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The first lady said: “My doctors said all hope was lost.”In September, Jonathan disappeared from public view. Officials said she had “food poisoning” and was receiving medical treatment abroad. She returned in October visibly thinner.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) – Nigeria’s first lady has described details of a mystery illness she had that the country’s presidency refused to discuss.Patience Jonathan, wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, talked about the illness at a church service Sunday at Aso Rock, the nation’s presidential villa.Jonathan said she had her “intestine and tummy opened” and later fell unconscious for a week. She said she had “eight or nine” surgeries in all and some “sold my things off” because they thought she was dead. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Wiretaps in Guatemala corruption scheme name top justice

first_img Sponsored Stories Then he mentioned Supreme Court Justice Blanca Stalling.“Blanca Stalling is behind it and they have very good communication,” Mendizabal said.Stalling is a member of Guatemala’s supreme court. Repeated calls to Stalling for comment went unanswered on Sunday.The tax fraud scheme has rocked Guatemala’s political class since it was announced in April and has become the largest corruption scandal for a sitting president. It already has cost Guatemala’s vice president her job. Roxana Baldetti resigned Friday and gave up her immunity from possible prosecution, a move lauded by President Otto Perez Molina.Baldetti’s former private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzon Rojas, is alleged to have been the ringleader of a scheme to defraud the state of millions of dollars by taking bribes in exchange for lower customs duties. Monzon is a fugitive whose last known whereabouts were overseas, and he is currently being sought by authorities.In a separate but related case in which Mendizabal is named, five lawyers were arrested on Friday for allegedly bribing a judge to free suspects jailed in the corruption case. Prosecutors and a U.N. investigative commission said the attorneys paid Stalling’s sister-in-law, Judge Marta Sierra de Stalling to release three suspects on bail, including Ortiz. He was later re-arrested after authorities learned of the bribery scandal. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img Protesters demand the resignation of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina near Congress in Guatemala City, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Perez Molina’s Vice President Roxana Baldetti resigned on Friday amid a customs corruption scandal that has implicated her former private secretary. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Wiretappings in a Guatemala tax corruption case indicate that a judge-bribing scheme to free some of the accused from jail may have reached the country’s supreme court.Recorded telephone calls obtained by The Associated Press show backdoor negotiating between businessman Luis Mendizabal, lawyers and suspects to free those detained in a scheme to defraud the state of millions of dollars in customs payments. In a call dated April 16, Mendizabal tells detainee Javier Ortiz to remain calm because he will be out soon. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sierra de Stalling has not been charged because of judicial immunity, but prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to revoke her immunity.Authorities say Mendizabal ran a clothing boutique where the leaders of the fraud ring met to plan the operation. He also is a fugitive.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

1 more killed in Burundi before regional meeting on violence

first_imgIn the Musaga area south of the capital, police fired into the crowd with live bullets, injuring four people, said protester Jean Vyukuri. In Ngagara in the capital, protesters burned two vehicles including a bus and a state-owned car.The latest violence comes on the eve of an East African Community summit in Tanzania to discuss Burundi’s violence.The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has travelled to Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, to contribute to the emergency meeting, according to a statement from the State Department.Thomas-Greenfield will express U.S. concern about the situation in Burundi as well as U.S. support for the Arusha Agreement and political dialogue among all parties to ensure peaceful, credible and inclusive elections in Burundi, the statement said.Many see Nkurunziza’s decision to run again as a violation of the Arusha Agreements that ended Burundi’s civil war in which more than 250,000 people were killed.Nkurunziza’s government on Saturday forbid any further protests and ordered all state officials report back to work and all schools to reopen on Monday. But the street demonstrations have continued. Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The protests started on April 25 after the ruling party nominated Nkurunziza to run for re-election in elections set for June.More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries fearing violence ahead of the elections, according to the U.N. refugee agency.The U.S. and the African Union have said Nkurunziza should not seek a third term.Burundi’s Constitution states a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament elected him for his first term, leaving him open to be popularly elected to two terms.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — One more demonstrator was killed in Burundi bringing the death toll to 15 in continuing protests in the capital over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office, an official said Tuesday.A policewoman was among those injured in the violence said government administrator Pauline Ruratotoye. More than 220 have been injured in the protests, which are now in their third week. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober A bus burns after being set on fire by demonstrators in the Ngagara district of Bujumbura, Burundi Tuesday, May 12, 2015. A crowd who were marching to the funeral of a woman who died in recent protests were blocked from doing so by police, and the crowd then set fire to a bus and government car and motorcycle. (AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Toyota promises to help find cause of Takata airbag defects

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Takata this week agreed to a broader recall that doubled the number of air bags needing repair in the U.S. to 34 million. Toyota is one of 11 automakers recalling their vehicles.Meanwhile, doubts are growing about whether the Japanese supplier has the financial muscle for such a large task. Producing enough replacement parts will take years.The problem is with the air bags’ inflators. A chemical inside can kick in with too much force, blowing apart the metal inflator and sending shards flying. The defect has caused at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Although exposure to moisture for extended periods appears to trigger the problem, the root cause is still unknown.Japan auto officials stressed Friday that each automaker has a stake in resolving the problem because of the potential dent in their reputation over safety concerns. And the automakers can’t just dump Takata for another air bag supplier because certain car models were designed with the Takata air bags in mind.Takata expects production of replacement inflators to be ramped up to 1 million a month by September. Even so, automakers including Toyota and Honda have been lining up other suppliers to make inflators. Honda is Takata’s largest customer for air bags. Scott Upham, CEO of Valient Market Research in Rochester, New York, and a former Takata employee, estimates the huge recall will cost Takata $4 billion to $5 billion. Lawsuits could add another $1 billion. Takata, he said, has been negotiating long-term payment plans with automakers.Takata was fined $1.2 million (145.7 million yen) by U.S. regulators for failing to cooperate with an investigation. Other U.S. civil penalties are still possible.Toyoda, the Toyota president, was solemn when addressing Takata’s woes Thursday. Toyota went through a similar public-relations disaster over massive recalls eventually reached 14 million vehicles worldwide, for problems including faulty floor mats, defective brakes and sticky gas pedals.“We must aggressively pursue recalls. Otherwise, we can’t go forward,” he said.__Auto Writer Tom Krisher contributed from Detroit. Follow Yuri Kageyama: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories FILE – In this May 8, 2015 file photo, Toyota President Akio Toyoda delivers remarks during a press conference in Tokyo. Toyoda vowed to help get to the bottom of the problems with Takata air bags, the recalls for which have ballooned to nearly 34 million vehicles, as regaining consumer trust is an industry-wide concern. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File) Overall, 11 automakers are conducting recalls. Toyota and other automakers such as BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have hired Orbital ATK, an aerospace and defense technology company based in Dulles, Virgina, to conduct testing on Takata air bags. Some companies are separately doing their own testing, as is Takata and the U.S. government.Documents filed by Toyota with U.S. safety regulators show that a recall of Takata driver-side air bags announced last week stemmed from tests on inflators in Toyota vehicles. Investigators found that a seal ring designed to keep moisture out had been twisted.For now, old air bags are being replaced with newer ones, because, whatever the cause, the explosions don’t appear to happen until the air bags get older. This means the replacement air bags could also turn out to be defective, requiring another replacement, depending on what the tests eventually find.The final financial hit for Takata will be determined only after the cause and a solution are identified. The company reported a 5 billion yen ($41 million) extraordinary loss for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, stemming from costs related to previously announced recalls. Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories TOKYO (AP) — Toyota vowed to help pinpoint the cause of a defect in air bags used in more than 50 million vehicles worldwide, saying the auto industry risks losing the trust of car buyers if the problem drags on unresolved.The air bags, made by Takata Corp. of Japan, can deploy with too much force, potentially causing injury or even death.“Recalls are not just about technical problems. If there is a morsel of consumer doubt, then we have to deal with it,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters on the sidelines of a reception Thursday for the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Wind damages wing of solar plane sidelined in Japan

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Check your body, save your life The Solar Impulse departed Nanjing, China, on Sunday on what was expected to be the longest leg of the journey, a six-day, 8,175-kilometer (5,079-mile) flight to Hawaii.Instead, the plane landed late Monday at the Nagoya Airport in central Japan to wait out unexpectedly bad weather.Borschberg is flying without any fuel.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories NAGOYA, Japan (AP) — A solar-powered plane forced to land in Japan when it hit bad weather during its trip around the globe has encountered more challenges after wind gusts damaged a wing on the grounded aircraft.Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg says on the expedition’s website that the damage to the Solar Impulse 2 on Tuesday will “necessitate at least a week to repair.” It has delayed the journey further, but he says the damage is not a major issue. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

Vatican 2014 deficit rises with new accounting standards

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Meanwhile, the Holy See, which governs the universal church, reported a 5 percent increase in its deficit to 25.6 million euros ($28 million), up from 24.5 million euros a year earlier, as the Holy See transitioned to international accounting standards.Had the same standards been used in 2013, the Vatican said the deficit in 2014 would have been reduced by nearly half over the period, from 37 million euros in 2013.Net assets rose by 939 million euros, as the Vatican brought on to the balance sheets 1.1 billion euros of previously unreported assets and 222 million euros of previously unreported liabilities. That wider accounting is part of Cardinal George Pell’s efforts to get a clear handle on all of the Vatican’s and liabilities since being named to head the new economic secretariat.Staffing costs weighed most heavily on the Holy See’s budget, costing 126.6 million for a staff of 2,880 at 64 Holy See entities. The Vatican also reported 21 million euros in contributions from Roman Catholic dioceses and 50 million euros from the Vatican bank.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s cultural activities, in particular its museums, helped boost profits by nearly double at the Vatican city-state last year, while the budget to run the Roman Curia continued to show a deficit, according to final budget figures released Thursday.The Vatican city-state, which includes the post office, museums and other activities, saw its surplus surge to 63.5 million euros ($69 million) last year from 33 million euros a year earlier. The Vatican said investments also played a role.center_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

IATA pushes for Single European Sky

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> In the aftermath of last week’s volcanic crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has gotten behind the call to fast track the unification of Europe’s fragmented national airspaces.“The volcanic ash crisis that paralyzed European air transport for nearly a week made it crystal clear that the Single European Sky is a critical missing link in Europe’s infrastructure” said IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani this week.More than 100,000 flights were grounded due to the volcanic ash last week because individual countries made different decisions over whether or not to open up their airspace.The Single European Sky would put the skies under one regulatory body and act as a crisis management mechanism which would eliminate confusion.It will also improve Europe’s competitiveness and environmental performance, said IATA.Europe’s Transport Council is set to meet on May 4 to discuss the issue of implementing a Single European Sky. “We have been discussing the Single European Sky for decades…the technical plans are in place” said Bisignani.“The 4 May meeting must back up the technical preparations with an implementation time line for a fully integrated Single European Sky and the political will to achieve it.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

AirAsia Q1 results show growth

first_imgAirAsia Group increased its capacity to nearly 9 million for Q1 of 2011 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H AirAsia Berhad has released its operating statistics for the first quarter of 2011, showing a passenger Load Factor of 81 per cent, a year-on-year increase of 7.7 per cent. The airline group also experienced a 19.3 per cent increase in its total number of passengers carried (7.23 million) as well as a rise of 12.5 per cent in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) and 25.9 per cent in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK). Malaysia AirAsia experienced a strong first quarter of 2011, with Load Factor up 8.6 per cent, ASK up 7.2 per cent and RPK up 23.3 per cent.Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia saw Load Factor increases of 4.6 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively, with the latter experiencing a whopping 33.1 per cent year-on-year rise in RPK.last_img read more

Norwegian takes cruisers on Breakaway

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: Natalie Aroyan ‘Project Breakaway’ started taking shape earlier this week with Kevin Sheehan, CEO Norwegian Cruise Line, presenting the first look of balcony and mini-suite staterooms for their two new ship builds.More than 1,000 travel partners were privy to the designs at’s annual conference in Las Vegas with thousands more observing via a webcast. Norwegian’s two new next generation ‘Freestyle Cruising’ ships are scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014 and will offer capacity for up to 4,000 passengers. Dubbed ‘Project Breakaway’, the ships are set to incorporate the best of the best from Norwegian’s current fleet of ships. “The overall design theme for Project Breakaway’s staterooms is ‘modern boutique hotel meets the sea’. We strongly considered the overall needs of our guests when designing these staterooms and wanted them to be greeted with an ambience that is warm and inviting and have a very contemporary feel with clean, modern lines,” said Mr Sheehan.“We also wanted to maximize the use of space within the staterooms, so that our guests are as comfortable as possible and storage space is well planned throughout.”Each ‘Project Breakaway’ ship will offer 1,024 balcony staterooms and 238 mini-suites accented with a hint of colour, rich paneling and warm tones. Balcony staterooms will feature a king-size bed complete with pillow top mattress and leather tufted headboard along with a sofa bed. Storage is paramount in the designs presented with touches such as lighted recesses above each bed conveniently sized to fit books for those still reading the ‘old fashioned way’ or even electronic reading devices for those hi-tech aficionados.Additional storage is also available beneath the 26-inch built in flat screen television, in the vanity area and via the full-size wardrobe accessibly via sliding doors. Ambience is created via the LED lighting surrounding the ceiling perimeters and energy efficiency is ensured with key cards controlling lighting in each stateroom. Balcony bathrooms are generously spaced with ample shelving and an enclosed vanity beneath the sink offering an additional storage option. Mini-suites will offer passengers a more spacious version of the balcony stateroom with a larger bathroom incorporating a double sink, additional storage space and an oversized shower complete with rain shower head, multiple body spray jets and separate handheld shower head. Norwegian Cruise Line has clearly been listening to their fans in regards to the changes with many complaining of such features as the clouded-glass bathroom doors on their newest liner, Epic. UK design group Priestmangoode will be working alongside Tillberg Design of Sweden to design the staterooms after they won several awards for their design of the first staterooms designed specifically for solo travellers on Norwegian Epic. View the complete gallery of the ‘Project Breakaway’ stateroom impressions herelast_img read more

Tourism a doubleedged sword for Myanmar

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A As Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi prepares to formally take her seat in Parliament next week, ready to welcome tourists to the country, some are asking if Myanmar is ready (and willing) to accept the almost inevitable ‘bad’ tourist for the good.The region is well-known for tourism, with Thailand consistently ranking high on travelers’ bucket lists and Myanmar’s own tourism revenue doubling to US$319 million last year compared to 2008, the International Herald Tribune reported.However, according to Tourism Transparency founder Andrea Valentin, Myanmar must tread carefully if following in the footsteps of its neighbors. “The lessons to learn are pretty straightforward: If Burma wants to have more prostitutes than monks in the country, then they should follow Thailand’s tourism development approach,” Ms Valentin told online news site The Irawaddy.Last year, the National League for Democracy, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, said they would welcome tourists “keen to promote the welfare of the common people and the conservation of the environment”.This is a long way from Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s protest in 1999 when she said, “Burma will be here for many years, so tell your friends to visit us later. Visiting now is tantamount to condoning the regime”.Things have changed in the thirteen years since, with the United States this week easing restrictions on the operation of non-governmental groups in Myanmar and with international wholesalers itching to bring tourists to the country.Meanwhile, the world is watching and advocacy and rights groups remain vigilant.Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation executive director Rachel Durchslag wrote in the Huffington Post of the dangers of sex tourism, stating that “many of those being purchased for sex are victims of human trafficking or individuals with extremely limited life options”.The travel industry too is more aware of the sometimes subsequent evils of tourism and the industry’s unique role to identify practices such as human trafficking.Non-profit Airline Ambassadors Incorporated (AAI) and its staunch supporter International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) have come together to bring about an industry-specific human trafficking awareness program.“ITMI is proud to be working closely with AAI, to provide tourism industry professionals with the tools to recognize suspicious behavior and report it to the Transportation Security Administration or other law enforcement authorities,” ITMI chief executive Ted Bravos said.At the recent ITMI symposium, ITMI together with the tour directors in attendance raised enough money to build a safe house, which will be dedicated in Haiti later this year. Myanmar’s stunning temples, beaches and landscapes are luring tourists from across the globe. last_img read more

Solar causes eclipse in Cairns bookings

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Wednesday’s solar eclipse has travellers eyeing out hotel and accommodation bookings in Cairns, according to new data.Transpiring on 14 November this year, the event referred to as a total eclipse, will completely obscure the light of the sun and occurs somewhere on earth every 18 months but will not return to that location for another 360 to 410 years. Giving Aussies an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness it on their home turf, online searches for Cairns picked up by 25 percent for around the 14 November eclipse, according to figures, while searches more than doubled the seasonal average for check-ins two days before the event.The online booking site’s insights and analytics expert Paul Hayden added that other regions within the path of the eclipse, including Port Douglas were being eyed, gaining “unusually high hotel interest for a weekday period”.“The eclipse is obviously an event that’s generating lots of interest in the area and that will likely prove quite lucrative for the local tourism community,” he explained.Meanwhile hotel prices picked up by 11 percent during the week of the eclipse, with an average nightly rate of $152.22 compared to the average rate of $136.91 the week before. last_img read more

Singapore approves Virgins Skywest acquisition

first_imgThe acquisition is expected to fast-track Virgin’ presence in the growing regional markets. Image: AviationWA Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Virgin Australia has received Singaporean approval on its proposed acquisition of Skywest.Last month, the carrier revealed plans to fully-acquire Skywest and merge the airline into the Virgin Australia brand.Receiving approval from the Securities Industry Council of Singapore for the proposal last week, the airline said it has since moved into an implementation agreement to launch the takeover and mergers scheme. Virgin expects the acquisition to fast-track the carrier’s presence in the growing regional markets and increase competition. The purchase is still subject to Australia Competition and Consumer Commission, High Court of the Republic of Singapore and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board’s approval.Virgin Australia is also still awaiting regulatory approval on a proposed acquisition of a 60 percent stake in Tiger Airways. last_img read more