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first_img Travelweek Group Disney increasing park tickets for certain times of year Posted by Share Monday, February 13, 2017 center_img ORLANDO, FLORIDA — Walt Disney World and Disneyland are increasing single-day tickets at certain times of the year and setting expiration dates on tickets in hopes of preventing overcrowding during the theme parks’ busiest times, company officials said.The single-day ticket prices are either staying the same or increased no more than $5 under the new price structure that went into effect Sunday. Last year, Disney rolled out a pricing plan that allows visitors to view a planning calendar from eight to 11 months out to determine which days are considered “value,” “regular” or “peak” times. Visitors pay more on “peak” days, which are the busiest times as forecast by park officials.Disney is hiking its prices following a 5 per cent decline in attendance at its U.S. theme parks during its most recent quarter that included the holiday season.The goal of the varied price structure is to give park visitors an incentive to come during times that are not “peak” so that the experience can be better enjoyed by all, officials said. There have been times during holiday and spring break where the crowds have been so large that Disney has had to stop selling tickets.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truck“Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks,” said Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler.Starting Sunday, “value” days for Magic Kingdom cost $107 for adults and $101 for children, a $2 increase. During “regular” time, park visitors pay $5 more with prices jumping from $115 for adults to $109 for children. The “peak” prices remain the same at $124 for adults and $118 for children.At Disneyland, prices for single-day tickets also increased by $2 to $5. The regular price of admission at the Anaheim, California, park rose to $110, up from $105, beginning Sunday. A single-day ticket during peak periods climbed to $124 from $119. And the value ticket costs $97, up from $95.At Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, “value” one-day tickets are now $99 for adults and $93 for children, which is a $2 bump for both. “Regular” times for adults are $107 for adults and $101 for children, and “peak” tickets jumped to $119 and $113, respectively for adults and children. The new prices represent a $5 increase across the board during “regular” and “peak” seasons.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongAll tickets now have expiration dates. In the past, only one-day and Florida resident tickets had expiration dates. Also guests will be able to save $20 on multiday tickets when they purchase them in advance. Park visitors can purchase the multiday tickets online at any time prior to entering the park to receive the savings. Tags: Disney, Florida << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgNew commission structure for Atlasglobal Share Thursday, August 10, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: AirlinePros, Commissioncenter_img TORONTO — Turkish carrier Atlasglobal recently announced a new commission structure, pegged at 4% standard agency commission on all published fares for the carrier’s entire route network, which spans Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and select destinations in Asia.Atlasglobal is represented in Canada by AirlinePros.AirlinePros’ Canada Director Karl Müller says Atlasglobal “has a world class product, bringing premium airline service to strategic locations at high-class standards”.Müller says Atlasglobal has been growing rapidly in terms of destinations and fleet, becoming more accessible via numerous international airports. “The airline values travel professionals and understands the importance of the segment as a base for success. We are certain that this commission level will help many of our partners to continue developing products that highlight the Turkey region.”Müller adds that the “Atlasgobal difference” includes specially designed leather seats, extended legroom, a wide selection of complimentary food and beverages, 30 kg baggage allowance, as well as free seat selection. Travellers can choose between EconomiPlus, and Business Class.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalHeadquartered at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Atlasglobal operates scheduled flights throughout Turkey, North Cypress, the Middle East, Europe and Asia with a fleet of Airbus A319, A320, and A321 aircraft. Passengers traveling to destinations with a flight time of three hours or longer from/to Istanbul are greeted with the Atlasglobal ‘Flying Chef’ service. Atlasglobal has agreements with over 70 international airlines, allowing for easy connections to destinations around the globe, adds Müller. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgTourism Australia, along with Air Canada and Goway Travel, hosted industry professionals and travel agents at the Air Canada Centre, where the weeklong Games – aimed at helping the war-wounded with their recovery – culminated in a two-hour, star-studded ceremony.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, handed out participation medals to competitors on their way to the arena floor and had a message for the athletes once the ceremony began.“These Invictus Games are a celebration of your fearlessness,” she said.Gregoire Trudeau sat beside Prince Harry, who earlier presented a medallion to each team captain after the 17-country parade of nations. Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle, watched the proceedings from a private box.Former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Seamus O’Regan, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, were also on hand.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsUnlike the theatrical ceremonies at other multi-sport games, the focus here was on the competitors and their performances.Highlight packages from the week were shown on video screens and musical performances by Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Coeur de pirate, Kelly Clarkson and Bachman & Turner were intertwined between speeches.The first Invictus Games were held in London in 2014 and Orlando served as host last year. This year’s event featured competitors from 17 countries participating in 12 different sports.Prince Harry made appearances around town throughout the week and generated plenty of buzz when he and Markle, a Toronto-based actor in the legal drama ‘Suits’, made their public debut as a couple at a wheelchair tennis event.Team United Kingdom’s Mark Ormrod was the winner of the Jaguar Award for exceptional performance, determination and dedication. Team Afghanistan won the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award for sportsmanship, commitment and spirit.Springsteen generated a tremendous pop midway through the ceremony. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, capo, and harmonica, he wowed the near-sellout crowd with a soaring three-song set that included ‘Working on the Highway’, ‘The Promised Land’, and ‘Dancing in the Dark’.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamWynne followed by thanking volunteers and introducing the flag handover segment as Invictus Games Foundation chair Sir Keith Mills passed the flag to the Australian delegation.Next up was Adams, who performed ‘Summer of ’69’ before bringing Springsteen back out for chugging versions of ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ and ‘Badlands’.Prince Harry returned to the stage to greet the performers before providing a rousing closing speech.‘This is the moment. Right here, right now, shoulder to shoulder, you are Invictus’, Harry said to the competitors.Bachman & Turner closed the ceremony with a medley dubbed the ‘Canadian Send-Off’. It included classic rock anthems ‘Taking Care of Business’, ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’, ‘Let It Ride’, and ‘Rolling Down the Highway’.Prince Harry visited the U.S.-based Warrior Games for wounded, ill and injured military personnel and veterans in 2013. It inspired him to create an expanded international version, and he attracted over 400 competitors from 13 nations for the inaugural Invictus Games.This year’s Games featured 550 competitors.With file from The Canadian Press Share Posted by Monday, October 2, 2017 The Canadian Press Travelweek parties with Springsteen and Adams at Invictus Games’ closing ceremony TORONTO — The Invictus Games closed Saturday night with a celebration of spirit, an emphatic dose of classic rock and an official handover to the 2018 hosts from Sydney, and Travelweek was there to capture the night’s best moments. Tags: Air Canada, Goway Travel, Tourism Australia, Travelweek << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 08 19

first_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, November 3, 2017 Travelweek Group CORIPPO, SWITZERLAND — It takes a village to build a hotel, as one dwindling town in Switzerland has just proven.Corippo, situated in the mountainside in the district of Locarno, has seen its population dwindle to just 13 people. In an effort to bring much needed tourism dollars to the town, it has decided to transform itself into one giant resort, with rooms, reception and a restaurant built into its existing buildings. The village squares, town hall and church will reinvent themselves as public areas where guests can mix and mingle.To maintain its Old World charm and rustic feel, décor will remain traditional yet stone cottage bedrooms will be upgraded to include modern amenities. There are also plans to add a museum and activities like cooking lessons for guests.The plans have already garnered high praise from the Swiss hotel association Gastrosuisse, who awarded the town with the ‘Hotel Innovation Awards’ for 2017.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedWe imagine a mad rush of bookings when the hotel opens in spring 2018 because, well, booking an entire village is just the coolest thing ever. Tags: Switzerland This entire Swiss village will become one really cool hotellast_img read more

19 08 19

first_img Share Friday, January 26, 2018 Travelweek Group Posted by Luxury travel network Debut Voyages a different business model from TPIcenter_img TORONTO — TPI’s new sister company Debut Voyages, billed as a new concept in independent travel advisor networks, is a completely different business model from TPI and will operate completely separately. It will also “attract the best of the best in luxury advisors”, says Managing Director, Samantha Jervis.Samantha Jervis, Managing Director, Debut VoyagesA division of IAS Corp., parent company of TPI, Debut Voyages will be an exclusive invite-only network for travel advisors based on experience, luxury supplier mix and revenue qualification, she adds.While more details about the new venture will be revealed in the months to come, for now Jervis says Debut Voyages “is what many experienced and successful travel advisors have been searching for.”The new luxury travel network is scheduled to launch in February led by industry veteran Jervis, who brings more than 26 years of international experience and relationships in the luxury travel industry to her role. Her previous work includes management positions with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Rosewood Hotels.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problem“We are thrilled to have Samantha at the helm to lead Debut Voyages, a new division of IAS,” said Morris Chia, President and CEO of IAS-Independent Agency Services Corp., a Virtuoso Top 10 worldwide member. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Luxury Travel, TPIlast_img read more

19 08 19

first_img Thursday, October 4, 2018 $50 Amazon.ca gift cards with new Rail Europe incentive Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Tags: Agent Incentives, Deutsche Bahn, Rail Europe WHITE PLAINS — Agents can experience their own ‘Oktoberquest’ this fall with a new educational promotion from Rail Europe, the largest distributor of European train tickets, passes and tours in North America.The Agent Oktoberquest carrier of the month incentive, featuring Deutsche Bahn, invites agents to ‘Become an Über-Expert’ in German Rail from Oct. 1 to 31, 2018.In addition clients can take advantage of the ‘German Rail Pass Autumn Promotion running Oct. 1, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019.To participate agents are asked to log onto the Rail Europe Agent site at https://agent.raileurope.ca/ and answer 12 questions as part of ‘Oktoberquest’.Each of the highlighted letters will be used to unscramble a secret word. Every agent who answers the questions and the secret word correctly will receive a $50 Amazon.com/Amazon.ca gift card and a German Rail swag bag.Agents should look for the DB logo on the Rail Europe home page, use Agent’s Corner, and click on Country and City Guides to track down the answers to each question.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Terms and conditions apply and are subject to change at any time, and limited quantities are available.Agents can discover what is central to the German rail network and its products and services by exploring Rail Europe’s agent website, rich in resources and information that can help them qualify their clients and get them on board for an adventure throughout Germany, says Rail Europe.In addition to learning more about selling German Rail Passes and German rail travel on the Rail Europe site, agents can use the German Rail Pass Autumn Promotion to save clients money and help close sales to Germany.The promotion offers travelers a 10% discount on German Rail Pass Flexi for 3 days within one month and 3 days consecutive and 20 percent on German Rail Pass Flexi for 7 days within one month and 7 days consecutive.The German Rail Pass Flexi for 2 days within one month and 2 days consecutive will also be available during the promotion period, offering two exclusive validities to accommodate fewer days of train travel.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksAgents must purchase the German Rail Passes for clients Oct. 1 – Dec. 7, 2018, for travel Oct. 1 – Jan. 31, 2019.last_img read more

19 08 19

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, October 22, 2018 By: The Associated Press Tags: Ryanair, Strike LONDON — Ryanair says its first-half profit fell 7 per cent as Europe’s biggest discount airline faced rising costs and flight cancellations due to staff shortages and air traffic control strikes.The Dublin-based carrier says Monday that profit before one-time items fell to 1.20 billion euros ($1.38 billion) in the six months through September, from 1.29 billion euros a year earlier. Net income dropped 11 per cent to 1.15 billion euros.Fuel expenses increased 22 per cent amid rising energy prices. Staff costs jumped 33 per cent after Ryanair recognized unions and workers negotiated higher pay deals.Ryanair also warned about the increasing risk Britain will crash out of the European Union without an agreement on future trading relations. CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We remain concerned that the time to complete such an agreement is shortening.” Strikes begin to weigh on Ryanair’s profits Sharelast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgTags: Air Canada, boeing, Refund Air Canada offers full fee waiver for passengers on 737 Max flights Share Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Travelweek Group center_img Posted by MONTREAL — Air Canada says it will comply immediately with Transport Canada’s safety notice closing Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 Max aircraft operations until further notice.Air Canada’s cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers.Air Canada says: “We are working to rebook impacted customers as soon as possible but given the magnitude of our 737 Max operations which on average carry 9,000 to 12,000 customers per day, customers can expect delays in rebooking and in reaching Air Canada call centres and we appreciate our customers’ patience.”Customers are further advised to check the status of their flight on aircanada.com prior to going to the airport.Air Canada adds: “We fully support this decision and will continue to work with Transport Canada towards resolution of this situation as soon as possible.” << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgFrom the print editionStacey Auch |  Special to The Tico TimesRolf Blancke wants to tell you all there is to know about tropical fruit. The Puerto Viejo resident has enjoyed a career in tropical botany for the past 20 years, which he now hopes to culminate with a book on fruit, complete with photos, field guides, maps and info on medicinal and nutritional properties.His plan is to travel throug Asian and Latin America for the research, but he can’t do that without a little help. “We need continued support, especially from residents of Costa Rica, to reach our end goal,” Blancke said. Blancke is collaborating with Zona Tropical Publications, which has published 18 books including “The Birds of Costa Rica” and “Tropical Plants of Cost Rica” (both co-published with Cornell University Press) on a 30-day campaign on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com. The goal is to raise $7,500 for photography equipment and research in Asia, Latin America and Miami.  Donors may contribute $5 and up, and in return, receive gifts like fruit post cards, a tropical fruits of the world poster, credit in the book, a copy of the book, trips to Costa Rica and more. If funding goals are met, the book will be released in early 2013.Already there has been some buzz around the project, and Blancke raised more than a quarter of the total funds needed in the first three days of the campaign. “We’re happy with the results so far,” he said. “So many expats here fall in love with these fruits, and this is their chance to share with friends and family back home.” Blancke’s research illustrates the role of fruit in our daily diet, and more importantly, the importance of tropical forest conservation. “With a better knowledge of fruits, we might get more creative in the kitchen, trying new varieties and improving our diets, and having more environmental concern for the tropical forests,” Blancke said.Blanke’s full project can be viewed at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/584232123/tropical-fruits-of-the-world?ref=live.  Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgMensaje del Presidente – Accidente Naufragio Catamarán: https://t.co/nalfEoRGxG #Catamaran— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) January 9, 2015 Related posts:Life jackets not distributed before Costa Rica catamaran began sinking, killing 3, says president’s office Fishermen, locals are the ‘real heroes’ in Costa Rica catamaran accident, says survivor Lonely Planet guide documents a changing Central America Crime against tourists down, says Costa Rica’s Tourism Police director Early Thursday morning, 99 vacationers boarded the Pura Vida Princess, a 100-foot catamaran, at Playa Herradura on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast for an all inclusive day trip to Tortuga Island. Roughly 30 minutes later, at about 8:40 a.m., the ship issued a distress call and quickly sank in high winds and rough sea off the coast of the beach town of Punta Leona. Three passengers died.A total of 106 people, including the catamaran’s 10 crew members, were rescued. The victims were identified as Edna Oliver, a 68 year-old-U.S. woman, Ivor Stanley Hopkins, an 80-year-old British man, and Sharon Johnson, a 70-year-old Canadian woman, according to Vice President Ana Helena Chacón, show spoke during a late-afternoon press conference.The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Judicial Investigation Police and the Prosecutor’s Office, but unusually strong winds across Costa Rica this week are pointed to as a likely cause. Wernen Stolz, chief meteorologist with the National Meteorological Institute, said that gusts reached more than 60 kph.Survivors told local media the catamaran capsized due to powerful winds and that the ship rapidly sank.“The wind tipped the boat and water began to come in. People moved to the other side to balance the weight, but it didn’t work and the boat sank in minutes,” U.S. tourist Arcelio Garcia said.Stella Hopkins, an Argentine and the wife of the British victim, said she thought the boat would turn around because the sea was choppy, but the crew decided to continue the cruise.“They didn’t give us life jackets until the boat was about to sink,” she said.Hopkins lost sight of her husband until she was taken to a boat, where his lifeless body was lying. The 100-foot Pura Vida Princess catamaran that sunk on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (Via Pura Vida Princess Tours Facebook)The Pura Vida Princess was last inspected in November 2014 and was deemed seaworthy by the Maritime Division of the Public Works and Transport Ministry.Online news site AmeliaRueda.com reported that the ship’s captain submitted to a blood alcohol test and other routine examinations but was not arrested.The Pura Vida Princess Tortuga Island trip offered an open bar, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, nature trails, beach activities and three meals for $125, according to its website. The company has yet to make a statement about the accident.President Luis Guillermo Solís expressed his condolences in an audio statement from China, where he is on an official visit since Jan. 6. Throughout the day Thursday, the president tweeted updates on the rescue operation, which lasted several hours and involved both the Costa Rican Coast Guard and private boats.center_img Vice President Chacón expressed her own sorrow at the accident, which she called tragic.“It’s a sad day for our country, known as a country that receives tourists,” she said.AFP contributed to this report.Correction Friday Jan. 9, 2015: The article originally misreported that the catamaran embarked from the Los Sueños Resort. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:Photos: A salute to Costa Rica’s natives on World Wildlife Day 4 things not to miss during bird migration season PHOTOS: Every Costa Rica sloth image you will ever need to see Mysterious shark discovered off Costa Rican coast dubbed the ‘Ninja Lanternshark’ Tucked away in the Talamanca mountains, a tiny, semi-translucent frog lurked out of scientists’ sight during more than a century of field work in the area. But the newly discovered frog, Hyalinobatrachium dianae, made its world debut in February in the taxonomy journalZootaxa.Characterized by a lack of pigmentation in their skin, glass frogs can only be found in parts of Central and South America. Some glass frogs, including H. dianae, are so translucent that their organs are visible from their underside, hence the name.Herpetologists are unsure of the practical reason for the frogs’ see-through appearance, but it is possible that their translucence aids in camouflage. Of the 149 species of glass frogs, 14 can be found in Costa Rica.H. dianae is the first glass frog discovered in Costa Rica since 1973. The frog is named for Janet Diana Kubicki, the mother of the frog’s discoverer Brian Kubicki, as well as the Roman hunting goddess, Diana. Hyalinobatrachium dianae’s organs are visible through its skin. (Courtesy of Brian Kubicki)Herpetologists found six specimens of the new frog in higher elevations in the western provinces of Limón and Heredia. The frog is about 2.5 centimeters in length. It has unusually long and thin feet and bright white and black eyes.While H. dianae shares many characteristics of other glass frogs, the nocturnal frog’s strange call is what most distinguishes it as a separate species.“It’s advertisement call is quite unique,” Brian Kubicki, the paper’s lead author, said. “It’s different than any other species that has been discovered.”Advertisement calls are used by male frogs to attract females for mating. Rather than using calls similar to other glass frogs, H. dianae’s advertisement is a long metallic whistle with rapid pulses.According to Kubicki, the call is similar to an insect’s call, which may have helped mask the frog from field herpetologists for so long. Investigators also identified morphological and genetic differences in H. dianae compared to other glass frogs.The frog’s distribution throughout the Talamanca mountain range is another likely reason it went undiscovered for so long.“Costa Rica is a very well-studied area by herpetologists so this discovery was surprising,” Kubicki said. “We just needed some fieldwork in these areas that were poorly explored.”The discovery is the second this year in Costa Rica for Kubicki. He and fellow herpetologist Stanley Salazar published a paper in March detailing the discovery of the first three Costa Rican specimens of the fringe-limbed treefrog, Ecnomiohyla bailarina.E. bailarina was discovered in Panama in 2014. The specimens found by Kubicki and Salazar were the first E. bailarina frogs seen outside of Panama. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgNow that the Costa Rica men’s national team has earned its first win of 2015 with a victory earlier this month over Uruguay, it’s earned the right to show off a bit. On Tuesday, players took part in a mock fashion show at the Costa Rican Football Federation’s Proyecto Gol to unveil the third uniform that all Costa Rican football teams will wear in international play.The third Costa Rican uniform made by fitness apparel company New Balance keeps the collars featured on the previous red and white kits, but adds red pinstripes to the frontside of the latest jerseys. A faint font blended into the dark blue base reads “La Sele” over the right hip while “Costa Rica” is emblazoned in a more visible white font on the back of the neck. La Sele head coach Óscar Ramírez got into the fashion craze on Tuesday, showing off an impressive beer gut as he donned the jersey with his old No. 10, which he wore during skinnier times as a player on the national team. FEDEFUTBOL president Rodolfo Villalobos and men’s national team head coach Óscar Ramírez may not be running out on the pitch anytime soon, but they still got to sport La Sele’s new jerseys on Tuesday. (Courtesy of FEDEFUTBOL)The team is slated to debut its blue uniforms for Costa Rica’s next friendly, an Oct. 8 meeting with South Africa in San José’s National Stadium. On Tuesday, Ramírez confirmed that star goalkeeper Keylor Navas will join the team after missing both of the friendlies in September due to the botched trade between his club Real Madrid and English Premier League’s Manchester United.The blue kits are on sale in select stores and will set you back about $80-$90 for men’s and women’s short or long sleeve replicas. Kids and baby jerseys are also available. ¡Ya la puedes conseguir! pic.twitter.com/2cWN19xbKr— FEDEFUTBOL (@FEDEFUTBOL_CR) September 29, 2015 Ronald Matarrita ya luce la nueva camiseta de #LaSele pic.twitter.com/FCDVj0w5pg— FEDEFUTBOL (@FEDEFUTBOL_CR) September 29, 2015center_img Related posts:Costa Rica suffers upsetting 1-0 loss to South Africa 3 things to watch in La Sele’s Copa América prep against Venezuela Final thoughts from Costa Rica’s short-lived Copa América: Is Ramírez in the hot seat? New-look Costa Rica football team headed in right direction: 3 thoughts from Óscar Ramírez’s debut Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:Brazil’s ban on WhatsApp is lifted less than 24 hours after it began Rousseff’s horror movie may only get worse in 2nd half The professor at the heart of Brazil’s market meltdown Brazilian police detain Facebook executive on court order SAO PAULO,Brazil — Millions of Brazilians woke up shocked and cranky Thursday after the popular WhatsApp smartphone messaging application was shut down for two days on a judge’s order.The service is wildly popular in Brazil because it is free, and millions in South America’s largest country are poor.The measure, which is to last until midnight Friday, was roundly denounced by parent company Facebook. It was ordered by a judge after WhatsApp failed to disclose information requested by prosecutors as part of a criminal investigation.Authorities say they cannot disclose details of that probe because it is an ongoing case.WhatsApp is causing headaches for Brazil‘s telecoms companies because it offers a free alternative to the country’s high cell phone rates, especially for youths and the poor.Brazilian service providers received the judge’s order and have no choice but to comply with it, Eduardo Levy, chairman of Brazil‘s association of cellphone service providers, told the G1 website Thursday morning.But at least one of the four major providers has appealed the order, arguing that the suspension affected millions of people out of the blue.“This hurts consumers, and overnight it affected millions of users. There was not even time to issue a statement to customers. They are going to think the problem is with their service provider,” Levy said.The chairman of the state-run National Telecommunications Agency, Joao Rezende, also criticized the suspension, calling it disproportionate.Twitter lit up with messages about the WhatsApp shutdown.Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said “we are working hard to get this block reversed.”“This is a sad day for Brazil,” he said, noting the country’s history of support for an open Internet. “I am stunned that our efforts to protect people’s data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp.”He urged the court to “quickly reverse course” and asked Brazilians to echo that call.Zuckerberg also recommended that users turn to Facebook Messenger in the meantime.A São Paulo state court said WhatsApp had been asked several times to cooperate in the criminal investigation, but had repeatedly failed to comply.Instant messaging service Telegram, backed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, said it had registered some 1.5 million new users in several hours due to the blockage.“1,500,000 and counting, SMS-Gateways overloading. Hang on, your codes are coming! We’ve got all hands on deck to accommodate the crazy load,” it said on Twitter. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:La Voz de Guanacaste marks holiday with video tribute to beloved northwestern province 17 photos from Nicoya’s annexation festival 5 things you should know before Saturday’s Annexation of the Partido de Nicoya festival Police arrest 2 US citizens on cocaine possession charges LIBERIA, Guanacaste — José Luis Villareal knows a thing or two about bulls.His grandfather raised them outside their house in Liberia, and his father became a boyero, the name for the drivers of bulls pulling traditional, colorful oxcarts that pepper Costa Rica. When his father retired, Villareal, better known in Liberia as “Güicho Pizarro,” took over the oxcart, having apprenticed the job since he was 12.Now, at 68, Pizarro has another bullish responsibility: He is the person who supplies the bulls that walk through Liberia escorted by horse-riding cowboys and sabaneros each day of the Civic Fiestas that are currently taking place in that town. This is called a tope and is a big part of the ongoing Liberia celebrations, which will continue through Sunday.The story of Liberia, the bulls, the fiesta, and Güicho are intertwined. To understand it all, we need to go back over 250 years when this part of Guanacaste was only five big haciendas, each individually owned. At the time, the area was part of Nicaragua, and people from all over the North would congregate under the big Guanacaste tree in the center of town with their cavalry: bulls and horses for trading. They met people from San José or Bagaces at the negotiating spot. In this way, the first roads to Liberia were built in what was then called El Poblado de Guanacaste. Sabaneros in traditional white shirt, khakis and soft hats join the bulls in the Liberia tope. (Courtesy of Mario Avendaño)ñThe area went through a plethora of name changes: Villa de Guanacaste five years after the province seceded from Nicaragua, Ciudad de Guanacaste later, and ultimately, Ciudad de Liberia, the provincial capital.The bulls? Yes, back to the bulls. Back in the beginning, the developing zone of commerce was surrounded by five gates leading to the haciendas, with wild bulls kept outside.“One week a year the owners of the haciendas would have this party, and all their sabaneros would come and ride the wildest bulls,” explained Mario Avedaño, a Liberia native who has spent the last three years making a documentary on the history of this tope. “The ladies made food and everyone dressed up. It was the first fiesta in Guanacaste. The whole town came to Calle Real to see the sabaneros meet the bulls.“Tope means ‘to meet,’” Avendaño said. “Now, the fiestas around the country call anything with horses a tope. But the government declared this event in Liberia to be part of our cultural heritage, meaning you can’t change it.”It’s an understatement to say that this local culture is centered around bulls and horse riding. Bull riders are rock stars, with local kids clamoring at their heels as they gather with the sabaneros and cowboys to escort Pizarro’s bulls.Avendaño noted the difference between sabaneros and cowboys. It’s in the clothes, those on the men and women, and those on the horses. You can spot the sabanero by his white shirt, khaki pants, boots and a soft hat. Their horses are well-decorated in layers starting with a fine, handcrafted leather saddle with carved designs, then another layer of suede with the tassels used to motivate the horse. This is all topped with a very detailed cover, usually quilted and decorated with horse hair and more carved designs and woven leather.Cowboys have their own costume as well: a shirt of any color (although you’ll spot a lot of plaid) tucked into jeans with a belt, cowboy boots and a traditional cowboy hat.“Cowboys sit on top on a horse chair,” said Avendaño, about what looks a lot like an abbreviated Western saddle.Güicho doesn’t ride a horse when he’s doing his job leading the bulls in the tope, a job he relishes. He was beside himself with excitement when he got the call 17 years ago from the organizers of the Fiesta Cívica, the Asociación para la Cultura de Liberia. You could say he took the bull by the horns.After all, he was eager to help the community, as he was born in Condega, one of the original neighborhoods where houses are preserved in their old, white colonial style.“I remember the real bulls when I was seven,” he said. “All my life I wanted to be part of this. I got a little scared because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. But after the first year, I was able to feel like an important part of the legacy. I am helping our community to preserve our identity.”Avendaño said that Pizarro is “one of the main folkloric symbols of Liberia. All generations look at him as a symbol.”These tope bulls, 10 in all, are not the bucking showstoppers that will eventually be ridden in the ring during the fiesta itself. These walking the street among the people and horses are castrated, domesticated bulls, and Pizarro has never had a problem with any strays or accidents. The bulls begin their trek promptly at 12 p.m. each day of the fiesta, and they don’t seem the least bit bothered by all the horses and their riders, nor the cheering crowds.So, how has the fiesta evolved in all the years that Güicho has been leading his charges throughout Liberia?“Well, the food, the amount of bulls ridden,” he replied. “The bulls in the ring used to be even more wild, but now they are used to people. They still use spurs on them like they did in the beginning.” (Courtesy of Mario Avendaño)Not to be one to be left out, Güicho even rode a bull into the ring once. Of course, everybody applauded him, but he didn’t like it and has never returned to that venue. Perhaps he did not like the taunting of his favorite animals. After all, kids grow up watching the bulls walk the street, and those that buck in the ring; eventually, according to Avendeño, they start teasing the bulls.Lest one think the taunts are cruel, he countered: “There are regulations so that you don’t hurt the bulls. We keep the tradition, which is not to hurt the bulls. The bulls are used to people.”This weekend, on any given day, there will be about 1,000 horses and riders in the tope. Güicho will be leading the bulls, and he said he’ll keep doing it every year until the committee stops calling or God won’t let him continue.After all, he concluded, “The bulls are like I am with my wife, but they understand me more and they don’t get mad or jealous.”For more of Güicho’s daily work as an oxcart driver, check out this fascinating feature from La Voz de Guanacaste. Güicho on the job. (Courtesy of Mario Avendaño) Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgUCR students were joining thousands of citizens who have been marching in San José and across Costa Rica this week against a proposed tax reform, which they say would have an unfair impact on the working class. Those protests have generally remained peaceful, but became more confrontational Wednesday. Córdoba detailed how Wednesday’s demonstration turned violent in his conversation with The Tico Times.  “A large amount of police arrived, and the protesters, seeing that many police, decided to leave,” Córdoba said. “It was peaceful — I have it recorded on video. … Obviously, the protesters were frustrated, and they were shouting things [at the police], but there was no aggression from the students toward the police.” Córdoba explained that police began confronting students even as they were returning to their campus. “When a police officer finished hitting one of the men, he turned and saw me filming,” the reporter said. “It must have bothered him that I filmed what he was doing, so he grabbed me and started hitting me with his baton. “Another police officer was also going to hit me, so I started shouting, ‘I’m a journalist,’ so he would let me go. … Once they let me go, they told me to leave, but I told them — with a broken voice — that I was on public property, and a journalist, so I kept filming.” Semanario Universidad posted video of the incident on Facebook: Acabo de conversar con el rector de la UCR, Henning Jensen, a quien agradezco su apertura y atención. Acordamos reunirnos mañana en el ánimo analizar los hechos ocurridos con los elementos objetivos a disposición, así como fortalecer el diálogo entre el gobierno y la UCR.— Carlos Alvarado Q. (@CarlosAlvQ) September 13, 2018 Over the course of 15 years as a journalist, Javier Córdoba says he has never experienced anything like the events of Wednesday evening. As he was reporting on students from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) conducting a peaceful protest on the streets of San Pedro, he says police escalated the situation with aggression toward students. Then, the journalist says, they turned their attention to him.Córdoba says that while he was filming the scene with his phone, a police officer restrained him and hit him with a baton. The reporter says another officer was approaching with a baton until he repeatedly shouted, “I’m a journalist,” and was released. “What I found unfortunate was that it was a situation that could have been resolved peacefully — because the streets were emptying — but [the police] decided to finish it with aggression toward the students,” Córdoba said in a phone interview with The Tico Times on Thursday morning.The Tico Times contacted the National Police for comment on Thursday morning, but was told that Casa Presidencial is handling the response.President Carlos Alvarado called Córdoba’s news outlet, the weekly Semanario Universidad — which is housed on the UCR campus and is funded by the public university — to apologize on behalf of the Costa Rican government, Córdoba said. President Alvarado also tweeted that he will meet with UCR officials Thursday to analyze the situation and “strengthen the dialogue” between the university and the government. Facebook Commentscenter_img Bruised, but not otherwise hurt, Córdoba returned to work Thursday as protests continued. “People often criticize students, who sometimes provoke violence, who sometimes throw rocks,” Córdoba said. “But on this occasion, it was the police who lost control of the situation.”   Related posts:Government condemns graffiti on church walls in Costa Rica Costa Rican government seeks agreement with unions to end strike Investigation continues into causes of plane crash in Costa Rica Venezuela dominates agenda ahead of Trump’s Latin American visitlast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgJuan Santamaría International Airport on Friday inaugurated a $23.5 million expansion featuring four additional gates, a restaurant, a VIP lounge and a pet playground.President Carlos Alvarado attended the ceremony and expressed his commitment to revitalizing the economy in part through projects that attract new airlines and more tourists to Costa Rica.“This airport — which represents the main port of entry and exit of the country — is receiving a total investment of more than $96 million for its modernization and expansion,” Alvarado said, according to a press release from Casa Presidencial.The new building is nicknamed “Victor Block” (Block V) and has two jet-bridge gates and room for two remote gates. Map of SJO’s international terminal, with the latest expansion visible on the far right. (Via Aeris.)Of the $23.5 million investment, $22.5 million was supplied by Aeris Holding, the airport’s operator, while the remaining amount was contributed by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).Juan Santamaría International Airport (IATA code: SJO) handles six of every 10 international tourists who arrive in Costa Rica, according to Minister of Tourism María Amalia Revelo. In 2018, the airport saw a 5.9-percent increase in arriving passengers over 2017, according to Amalia.The expansions come despite Costa Rica’s intention to construct a new international airport in Orotina by 2027. However, Alvarado’s administration has put that plan on pause, according to the daily La Nación, as it focuses on more urgent projects.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent 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 Comments Related posts:Costa Rica to improve bad weather safety procedures at San José airport Juan Santamaría International Airport now offers discounted long-term parking Costa Rica airport restricts liquids in carry-ons Guanacaste airport expansion set to begin in Januarylast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:Slothy Sundays: Keeping an eye out Slothy Sunday: The death grip Slothy Sunday: A lazy, sunny afternoon Slothy Sunday: A baby sloth is born Sloths aren’t known for moving fast, but their metabolism is also pretty slow.It can take a sloth up to 30 days to digest one leaf. In order to avoid accidentally poisoning themselves, sloths never eat too many leaves from one tree.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

18 08 19

first_img Top Stories MOSCOW (AP) – Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president and current premier, has been elected head of the country’s dominant political party, which he urged not to be afraid of opposition.Medvedev was chosen leader of United Russia at a party congress Saturday, replacing Vladimir Putin, who had led the party while prime minister. Putin started a third term as Russia’s president this month.United Russia holds a majority in parliament, but in last year’s elections lost the absolute control it held in the previous sitting. The elections sparked massive anti-government protests. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories While Putin openly disdains the protesters, Medvedev is seen as more flexible and more reform-oriented.He told the congress the party should not fear opposition because “when criticism of the party stops, it will mean that it has lost power.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

18 08 19

first_imgAssociated PressASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) – The alliance that voted Fernando Lugo out of the Paraguayan presidency was an unlikely marriage of the country’s two main political parties, rivals who had long checked each other’s powers in Congress.Although subject to deadly persecution just three decades ago, the Liberal Party joined with its former persecutors, the Colorados, last week to push an impeachment that has a widespread criticism. What made that possible was another political trend in this impoverished, landlocked country, the disenchantment of hundreds of thousands of leftists and poor farmers who had formed the president’s political base. Many who had once seen the former bishop as their champion were increasingly put off by his missteps and sparse accomplishments. The final disappointment came earlier this month, when Lugo showed seeming indifference to the deaths of landless protesters in a firefight with police over a land dispute.The end game concluded Friday, when in Lugo’s hour of need, the kinds of huge protests that could have pressured Congress to back down and perhaps even saved his presidency never materialized. Instead, the lower house voted 76-1 to impeach on Thursday, and the Senate gave Lugo the boot with a 39-4 vote after a fast-track trial the next day.“What happened was that he had pretty much alienated everybody, and the incredibly lopsided votes in both houses are indicative of that,” said Greg Weeks, a political scientist specializing in Latin American politics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.“The failure of Lugo to maintain any sort of significant support from anybody meant that when it happened, it happened incredibly fast, and there was no outpouring of support at all,” Weeks added. He contrasted Lugo’s ouster to massive demonstrations sparked by attempts to depose Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 2002 and Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2009. Top Stories To be sure, Lugo’s resume includes some successes, such as a popular program paying stipends to poor families whose children stay in school. Lugo also negotiated a deal under which Brazil would triple its payments to Paraguay for energy from a border-river dam, from $120 million a year to $360 million.But that wasn’t enough this month to counter public outrage when a firefight broke out as police responded to a peasant invasion of forest reserve land that belonged to a Colorado Party politician. Lugo’s opponents accused him of seeming unconcerned about the deaths of six police and 11 landless farmers. After Lugo’s interior minister and police chief resigned, he proposed to name close allies to the posts.The Liberals, always uneasy about Lugo’s leftist politics, had had enough. The Colorado-proposed impeachment sailed through and within hours, Lugo was out. The speed with which Lugo was impeached, in fact, has sparked much of the regional criticism.Ultimately, the campaign to oust Lugo was ideological and his impeachment, while adhering to the letter of the constitution, was out of step with democratic principles, Weeks said.“He was just viewed as too radical by the establishment parties, and so over time I think they were just looking for an excuse to get rid of him,” Weeks said. “Then with the violence on the 15th, I think they finally got the type of incident they felt would be significant enough to launch the impeachment hearings.” “Basically Lugo made everybody mad,” Weeks said.A liberation theology-inspired former Roman Catholic bishop, Lugo won an historic election in 2008 that ended six decades of Colorado rule by cobbling together a congressional alliance between the more conservative Liberal Party and left-leaning allies.Right away, Lugo alienated his new partners in Congress by giving them just token participation in his Cabinet. Later the Liberals complained they were not being consulted on important decisions, such as the response to farm invasions by landless protesters and an army offensive against the Paraguayan People’s Army, or EPP, an upstart rebel band primarily dedicated to ransom kidnappings.Lugo’s public image also took a hit from paternity suits filed by four different women, one of whom was 16 years old at the time of the alleged liaison with Lugo, when he was still a bishop in sleepy San Pedro province. Lugo has recognized two of the children, DNA tests showed a third wasn’t his and one claim is pending. The teen was of legal consenting age, but the scandal was still too much even in a society where macho attitudes die hard.Questions also surfaced about the health and energy levels of Lugo, 61, when it was revealed that he had lymphatic cancer. He was treated in a top hospital in Brazil and declared to be in remission, though he still needs treatments to keep the cancer at bay. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Patients with chronic pain give advice The vital role family plays in society Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meanwhile, hampered by a strong opposition and a meager budget, Lugo struggled to push his agenda through a stubborn Congress. The fight against the EPP fizzled after a few high-profile arrests, and most of the forces were redeployed even with the three main leaders still at large.Perhaps most importantly, Lugo failed to come through on grand campaign vows to fix Paraguay’s woefully unequal distribution of land.“We always had a critical line toward the government for not succeeding in agrarian reform and other public policies,” said Luis Aguayo, the leftist leader of Paraguay’s largest peasants organization with counts some 60,000 members.Aguayo called Lugo’s ouster a coup but pointedly did not mobilize his members to back the president last week. His was precisely the kind of group that could have helped fill the streets outside Congress.Instead, Paraguay’s fractured left has managed only a few thousand protesters who demonstrated Thursday and Friday and an emotional “open microphone” protest outside a public TV station after Lugo’s fate was decided.“Lugo leans heavily on social and popular sectors, but he’s no (Bolivian President) Evo Morales who can mobilize great masses of indigenous peasants,” said political analyst and columnist Alfredo Boccia Paz. “His support was always weak. If the left had put 50,000, 60,000 people in the plaza, the senators might have thought twice.” Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Now. the unlikely marriage seems headed for a short honeymoon. Lugo’s Vice President Federico Franco, a Liberal who swore in as president Friday, is constitutionally barred from running after he finishes out Lugo’s term, and politicians are sharpening their knives for the 2013 campaign.“The alliance between Liberals and Colorados ended as soon as the trial was over,” Boccia Paz said. “Now the Colorados will turn their attention to weakening Franco; he becomes their main enemy.”___Associated Press writers Belen Bogado and Pedro Servin in Asuncion contributed to this report.___Follow Peter Orsi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Peter_Orsilast_img read more

18 08 19

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Quick workouts for men TOKYO (AP) – Thousands of people have protested outside the Japanese prime minister’s office before a nuclear reactor is restarted this weekend.At least 10,000 protesters filled the street outside Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s office Friday, blocking traffic and chanting “No to restart!” as they held up banners with anti-nuclear slogans. The rally was the latest weekly protest there this month. Noda’s government recently approved restarting two reactors in western Japan. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates One of them, Ohi No. 3 reactor, will be switched on Sunday for the first time since last year’s tsunami disaster triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.All 50 of Japan’s commercial reactors are offline for maintenance or safety checks.Noda’s government has pushed to bring some reactors online to avert power shortages during the summer.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   last_img read more