18 08 19

first_imgOn Sunday, Chavez used an appearance at a military graduation ceremony to accuse Capriles of seeking to foment violence by trying to made inroads in poor neighborhoods, which have long been bastions of support for the leftist president.The Capriles camp accused Chavez, a former paratrooper, of seeking to politicize the armed forces.“The current government wants to confuse political rights with party activities, showing disrespect for soldiers and their families,” Capriles said in a speech broadcast by private television channels Thursday night. “The cult of personality they try to establish in our armed forces makes it lose its bearing, that’s not the mission of a commander in chief.”Chavez, who led bloody but failed 1992 coup attempt, insisted during a news conference on Monday that soldiers “will be the first ones to support the will of the majority, whatever it is.”During the election, soldiers are responsible for keeping order and safeguarding voting equipment and voter rolls. And because the election is expected to be hotly contested, there are fears that tensions could boil over into violence.“Never before in Venezuela’s history is their role going to be so decisive in maintaining calm inside polling stations,” Rocio San Miguel, leader of the independent watchdog Control Ciudadano, said of the nation’s troops. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family ErrorOK ErrorOK Comments   Share   Opposition concerns of potential armed forces meddling in politics were spurred by a close Chavez confidant, Gen. Henry Rangel Silva, who told a newspaper in 2010 that the military would refuse to recognize an election victory by the opposition.“A hypothetical opposition government starting in 2012 would be selling out the country; the armed forces are not going to accept that,” Rangel was quoted as saying at the time by the newspaper Ultimas Noticias.Chavez defended Rangel, who was then a member of the joint chiefs of staff, and later appointed him defense minister.Several senior military officials, including Rangel, have been accused by the United States of assisting drug traffickers and supplying arms to Colombia’s leftist rebels, who also have taken refuge in Venezuelan territory.Chavez rejects the accusations.Capriles said that if he wins election, he will prevent Colombian rebels from seeking refuge in Venezuela.He also made an indirect reference to accusations that some members of the military have been corrupted by criminal organizations.“We cannot permit drug-trafficking, guerrillas and paramilitary groups to infiltrate and use our institutions,” he said. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Venezuela is the departure point for aerial cocaine smuggling to the United States, according to U.S. officials.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles urged Venezuela’s armed forces to stay out of politics in a carefully crafted plea Thursday to an institution that has long been molded by President Hugo Chavez.During 13 years in office, Chavez has endeavored to place his political stamp on the military command, promoting trusted officers and also giving former barracks comrades key political posts. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

18 08 19

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Four benefits of having a wireless security system Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed vote fraud after he lost the 2006 race to Felipe Calderon by a razor-thin margin of just over a half-percentage point. A partial recount of about 9 percent of ballots carried out soon after the election didn’t change the results. Calderon leaves office Dec. 1.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories center_img Sponsored Stories MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican electoral authorities say they are abandoning plans to destroy ballots from the hotly disputed 2006 presidential election after a U.N. human rights commission asked the government to hold off.The president of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute says storing the ballots has cost Mexico about $8.7 million over the last six years. But Leonardo Valdes said Wednesday that Mexico will heed the request and continue to hold the ballots at a warehouse until all concerns are resolved. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   last_img read more

18 08 19

first_imgBut he said Colombia cannot accept “omissions, errors, excesses and inconsistencies” in the decision that separate four cays from the main islands. He says it will hurt fishermen.He announced that he would fly to San Andres immediately.Santos added that he does no rule out any measure or mechanism to defend Colombia’s rights under international law.The court’s decision is, however, binding and final.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Four benefits of having a wireless security system BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – President Juan Manuel Santos says his government emphatically rejects the International Court of Justice’s decision to declare Colombian sovereignty over a Caribbean archipelago off Nicaragua’s coast but deny it control over waters that connect some of the islands.Colombia’s president said Monday’s decision is correct in rejecting Nicaragua’s claim to the San Andres and Providencia islands and their surrounding cays. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Sponsored Stories center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

18 08 19

first_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like “The intervention of Hezbollah starts to transfer the problem into a sectarian conflict, a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites,” he said. “The problem will (spread) all over the Middle East, to Lebanon, to Turkey, to Iraq, to Jordan and maybe to the Gulf.”He said that Hezbollah soldiers, who back Assad’s regime, are now “all over the country,” including in Aleppo and Damascus. His claims could not be independently verified. Hezbollah is a Shiite group while the Syrian rebels are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslims.“If our country (is) under occupation of foreign troops of Hezbollah and Iran, nobody can talk about peaceful initiative,” he said. “The problem is not between the Syrian people and the regime; it is between the Syrian people and invasion of Hezbollah and Iran.”His comments came after Assad’s forces captured the strategic town of Qusair due in large part to Lebanese Hezbollah fighters’ increasing role and the West’s continued reluctance to arm the rebels out of fear they might fall into the hands of Islamic extremists fighting in the rebel ranks. The capture of the town near the Lebanese border was portrayed by Syrian state-run media as a turning point in the civil war that has lasted longer than two years and killed tens of thousands of people. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Check your body, save your life COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The leader of Syria’s main opposition group on Friday warned that the involvement of Hezbollah is transforming the war in Syria into a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, and says peace negotiations aren’t possible as long as Hezbollah and Iran are fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s regime.George Sabra, acting head of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition, told The Associated Press that Syria was under occupation from foreign troops and urged the international community to act now or risk the Syrian conflict spreading to other parts of the Middle East. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The position of Qusair makes it easier for Hezbollah to ship fighters and weapons across the border from Lebanon. The militia has sent fighters to two areas near Damascus, just a two-hour drive from the Lebanese border, while many of the rebel-held areas are more remote and more difficult for Hezbollah to reach.Hezbollah has justified its involvement in the fight for Qusair by saying it is protecting Lebanon from Sunni extremists among the ranks of rebels fighting Assad.Sabra was in Copenhagen to meet with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal as he seeks support from Western capitals.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

18 08 19

first_imgThe earth also shook strongly in neighboring Tibet, unleashing a landslide that killed one person and injured three, according to China Central Television. Two houses collapsed, the state broadcaster said, quoting disaster officials of the regional Tibetan government.__Daigle reported from New Delhi. Associated Press writers Tim Sullivan in New Delhi, Indrajit Singh in Patna, India, Didi Tang in Beijing and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.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 Home ministry official Laxmi Dhakal said Wednesday that army helicopters were scouring the Sunkhani area, nearly 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Kathmandu, for the missing helicopter.Tuesday’s magnitude-7.3 quake, centered between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, struck hardest in the foothills of the Himalayas and triggered landslides that blocked roads to remote villages in several districts. Most of the 65 people confirmed dead by Wednesday morning were in Dolakha district, located northeast of Kathmandu, the district’s chief administrator Prem Lal Lamichane said.“People are terrorized. Everyone is scared here. They spent the night out in the open,” Lamichane said, adding the administration was running out of relief material.He asked the government to send more helicopters and supplies, and said there were many injured people stranded in villages.Tuesday’s quake also left nearly 2,000 injured, according to the Home Ministry’s latest count. But that toll was expected to rise as reports trickled in of people in isolated Himalayan towns and villages being buried under rubble, according to the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility How men can have a healthy 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Due to the rugged terrain, the helicopter could have landed in an area where the crew was unable to get a beacon or radio signal out, Warren said.Tuesday’s quake was followed closely by at least 17 strong aftershocks, according to the USGS.Frightened residents in the capital, who had returned to their homes only a few days ago, had to again set up tents Tuesday night to sleep in empty fields, parking lots and on sidewalks.“Everyone was saying the earthquakes are over. … Now I don’t want to believe anyone,” said 40-year-old produce vendor Ram Hari Sah.Extra police were sent to patrol ad-hoc camping areas, while drinking water and extra tents were being provided, according to Kathmandu administrator Ek Narayan Aryal.Meanwhile, new landslides blocked mountain roads in the district of Gorkha, one of the regions hit hardest on April 25, while previously damaged buildings collapsed with the latest quake.Residents of the small town of Namche Bazaar, about 50 kilometers (35 miles) from the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake and well known to high-altitude trekkers, said a couple of buildings damaged earlier had collapsed there as well. However, there were no reports of deaths or injuries. Sponsored Stories Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Tremors radiated across parts of Asia. In neighboring India, at least 16 people were confirmed dead after rooftops or walls collapsed onto them, according to India’s Home Ministry. Chinese media reported one death in Tibet.The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit April 25 killed more than 8,150 and flattened entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in the country’s worst-recorded quake since 1934. The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake was the largest aftershock to date of that destructive quake.Impoverished Nepal appealed for billions of dollars in aid from foreign nations, as well as medical experts to treat the wounded and helicopters to ferry food and temporary shelters to hundreds of thousands left homeless amid unseasonal rains.Search parties fanned out to look for survivors in the wreckage of collapsed buildings in Sindhupalchowk’s town of Chautara, which had become a hub for humanitarian aid after last month’s quake.In Washington, Navy Capt. Chris Sims said the missing Huey helicopter was conducting disaster relief operations near Charikot, Nepal.A nearby Indian helicopter heard radio chatter about a possible fuel problem, said U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren. The Huey, carrying tarps and rice, had dropped off supplies and was headed to a second site when contact was lost, he said, adding that there has been no smoke or other signs of a crash. CHAUTARA, Nepal (AP) — Thousands of fear-stricken people spent the night outdoors after a new earthquake killed dozens of people and spread more misery in Nepal, which is still reeling from a devastating quake that killed more than 8,000 nearly three weeks ago.A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers was reported missing while delivering disaster aid in northeastern Nepal, U.S. officials said, although there have been no indications the aircraft crashed. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

18 08 19

first_img Comments   Share   Spokesman Sani Datti of the National Emergency Management Agency, which manages the camp, said he was aware that soldiers removed the group but said he had no other information about an “entirely military affair.”The army spokesman for 23rd Armoured Brigade in Yola could not be immediately reached for comment.An intelligence officer told The Associated Press the move followed fears that some women were communicating at night with Boko Haram. The camp official said the suspicions were voiced during trauma counseling sessions. Both requested anonymity because the affair is sensitive.The group — which includes 67 women and girls and the rest young children — was brought to Malkohi on May 2.They told The Associated Press heartrending stories of their captivity and the trauma of their rescue from a Sambisa Forest camp, where Boko Haram fighters stoned several of them to death. Others were crushed accidentally by a military armored car and three women died when a land mine exploded. All the rescued children were badly malnourished.One young woman, Binta Ibrahim, told how at 16 she rescued three children aged between 2 and 4, cared for them during a year of captivity under Boko Haram and brought them to the safety of the refugee camp. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ibrahim’s humanity so moved U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power that she called her an inspiration at the commencement address for the University of Pennsylvania this week.“Binta is a Muslim. The three kids she saved are Christian. Tell me a more powerful rejection of Boko Haram’s perversion of Islam than Binta’s love for those kids,” she said.___Faul reported from Lagos, Nigeria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Four benefits of having a wireless security system Parents, stop beating yourself up The difference between men and women when it comes to pain YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — All 275 women, girls and children rescued from Boko Haram and taken to the safety of a northeast Nigerian refugee camp have been taken into military custody amid suspicions that some are aiding the Islamic extremists, a camp official and a Nigerian military intelligence officer said Wednesday.They said soldiers on Tuesday took the group from Malkohi Camp to the airport at Yola city, where a military plane flew them to an unknown destination. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories last_img read more

18 08 19

first_img Comments   Share   RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Moroccan authorities arrested and then expelled two French activists for appearing topless at a historic site in the capital protesting the treatment of gays.The Interior Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying the French citizens had been expelled and were banned from the country after “filming an obscene sequence” offensive to Moroccan society.The women appeared at the Tour Hassan site in Rabat which features a half-built minaret from the 12th century and the tomb of King Mohammed V, and stripped to their waists before kissing. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Their naked torsos were emblazoned with “in gay we trust.”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 Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories center_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

18 08 19

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Sponsored Stories A spokesman for Spain’s air navigation company, Enaire, said they had no immediate details on the number of flights affected in the first strike period. He said up to 1,300 flights could be affected during the two strike periods Monday.He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with company policy.Government-imposed minimum staffing services of 70 percent could minimize the effect of the stoppage.In Madrid, only a handful of flights suffered minor delays in the first strike period.USCA pressed ahead with the strike after negotiations with Enaire last week ended without agreement. Enaire said no further talks to resolve the dispute are planned for the moment.Spain placed the country’s airspace under military management in December 2010 after controllers staged a 24-hour wildcat strike over work conditions that closed Spain’s airports and left 600,000 travelers stranded ahead of a national holiday.It was the first time Spain had implemented a “state of alarm” since the country returned to democracy in 1978.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories center_img MADRID (AP) — Spain’s air traffic controllers began four days of partial strikes Monday that could cause major traffic disruptions as the summer vacation season gets underway.The stoppages were scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and noon and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, and again on June 10, 12 and 14.The USCA controllers’ union called the strikes to protest penalties imposed on members after a 24-hour strike in 2010. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

18 08 19

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Cracking the often-lamented partisanship of Washington, a Republican-led Congress and a conservative Supreme Court chief justice delivered back-to-back victories for President Barack Obama’s ambitious trade and health care initiatives.The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, thus salvaging Obama’s top domestic policy achievement. A day earlier, Republican leaders helped maneuver legislation that gives Obama greater power to negotiate international trade deals, and rescued a key item of his second-term agenda. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Obama’s successes were in no small measure the work of a Republican leadership he has often decried as obstructionist and from a chief justice whose nomination Obama once opposed.“This was a good day for America,” Obama declared in heralding the high court’s decision.It was an opinion many Republicans quickly countered with continued vows to repeal and replace the law.As if to underscore the legacy-cementing nature of the court’s ruling, Obama cast the health care law in historic terms. Three generations ago, he noted, the nation established Social Security to lift older Americans out of poverty, and two generations ago it adopted Medicare to offer them health care.“This generation of Americans chose to finish the job,” he said.The ruling came as the White House was already savoring the Senate’s passage Wednesday of fast-track trade authority that gives Congress the right to approve or reject international economic agreement, but not change or delay them. The House passed the legislation last week.That vote came two weeks after Obama’s own Democratic Party dealt him an embarrassing defeat on trade, and it sets the stage for Obama’s real prize: conclusion of a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade pact that is crucial to his effort to expand U.S. influence in Asia. Trade experts believe Obama’s negotiators could finish the deal by early fall and that Congress could vote on it by year’s end.That Republicans agreed to give such authority to a president they believe has already exceeded his powers was as remarkable as Obama’s decision to push his trade agenda against all-out opposition from labor and his party’s liberal base.In the process Obama has left erstwhile allies seething.AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka echoed the sentiment of many Democrats when he said in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday that Obama seemed more intent on getting negotiating authority than in securing tougher trade enforcement and currency provisions and a better assistance package for dislocated workers.“It hasn’t been easy,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “We had plenty of bumps along the road. Frankly, a few big potholes, too. But we worked across the aisle to get through all of them.”Obama’s success came at a sensitive moment in his presidency. Still in the balance is the push to meet a June 30 deadline to conclude an agreement aimed at containing Iran’s nuclear program.The trade pact under negotiation links the U.S. with 11 other countries arrayed along the Pacific Rim, including Chile, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam and Australia. The agreement would lower tariffs and other trade barriers while also setting labor and environmental standards for all its participants. Quick workouts for men By Thursday, House Democrats conceded defeat and an overwhelming majority voted in favor of the worker assistance package, clearing the way for Obama to sign it sometime soon.___This version corrects the reference to timing of start of Social Security and Medicare to three generations ago and two generations ago, respectively, rather than three decades ago and two decades ago.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Obama and trade advocates maintained the deal would open up vast new markets to American goods, particularly in Asia where China is negotiating its own regional trade agreement. But Democrats and labor fiercely argued that the deal would help big business, cost jobs and not provide adequate standards enforcement.The issue created a rare alliance among Obama, McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Also instrumental was House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential contest.The challenge for Obama was to attract enough Democrats who would break with labor to overcome procedural obstacles in the Senate and make up for Republican opposition in the House. For Republican leaders, the struggle was keeping conservative opposition to Obama at a minimum.Two weeks ago, House Democrats temporarily scuttled the legislation by defeating a companion measure, typically backed by Democrats, that would aid workers displaced by trade.Headlines called it a major setback for Obama. But the support for fast-track authority was already evident in a separate vote. Obama, McConnell and Boehner agreed to split up the trade and worker assistance components into separate bills and put them to a vote. Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgSource = Randstad Specialist recruitment & HR services provider Randstad announced it would recognise Australia’s most attractive places to work – as voted by the public – at Australia’s inaugural Randstad Awards ceremony in Sydney next month.The Randstad Awards will recognise the nation’s best places to work among 150 of the country’s largest employers (by employee size), based on the opinions of over 7,000 jobseekers in Australia.Recently appointed Randstad CEO Fred van der Tang says he is excited the Awards have arrived in Australia, after seeing first-hand their success in Europe.“The Awards provide invaluable insight into a company’s perceived attractiveness to jobseekers, based on public feedback across metrics such as salary, job security and work/life balance,” Mr Van der Tang said.“The Randstad Awards are totally unique in this market as companies cannot nominate themselves or determine categories or criteria for entry. The winner is selected by the public, making the Randstad Awards the people’s choice awards.”First launched in Belgium in 2000, the Awards have since been embraced by France, Spain and the Netherlands. This year, for the first time in a decade, the Awards will shift outside of Europe, with launches planned in 11 countries around the world including, New Zealand and Australia.Mr Van der Tang said the Randstad Awards were now so highly regarded in Europe, they had become an industry standard and were considered a powerful benchmarking tool demonstrating a company’s attractiveness to potential job seekers.“With skills shortages likely to heighten this year – particularly in the banking, mining and construction industries – a Randstad Award win could provide the competitive edge needed to help secure the best and brightest employees.” The 2011 winner will be announced on April 13th at a gala dinner at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney. The ceremony will be attended by senior executives from Australia’s largest 150 companies such as Virginblue Airlines, Woolworths, Telstra, BHP Billiton and Qantas. Comedian and corporate lawyer Anh Do will MC the event, alongside Australian social commentator Anders Sorman-Nilsson.last_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgRather than reducing services, the ATEC boss said the Federal Government should be looking to bolster productivity at airports, confirming ATEC support for such time-saving measures as more SmartGate facilities. “International tourists to Australia support more than half a million jobs and bring with them more than $24 billion for our economy and the Federal Government must do all it can to bring down the barriers to the industry’s continued growth,” Ms Mariani said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Waiting times at Australia’s eight international airports are set to rise significantly with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) anticipating budget cuts to airport services announced last month to add up to 24 minutes to processing times. ATEC managing director Felicia Mariani called the AU$34 million cut to facilitation services a “significant blow”, saying cutbacks would invariably impact “baggage collection, airport arrival areas and ground transport facilities”. “This is all occurring at a time when the tourism industry is looking to double the value of tourism to our economy by 2020,” Ms Mariani remarked.center_img Waiting for your luggage may soon take even longerlast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: Mark Harada The increasing number of people spending vacations with family and friends living in Australia has the potential to dampen profitability for the country’s tourism operators, an industry expert believes.According to the convenor of the Tourism and Events Excellence conference, Tony Charters, industry and governments cannot rely on “raw visitor numbers” alone to boost tourism business.       “Australia’s population continues to become more multi-cultural with the number of Australian residents born in Asia having doubled since 1998,” Mr Charters said.“The profile is similar with New Zealanders whose population has increased almost 50 per cent in the same timeframe, and the reality is people will spend annual leave to reunite with friends and family, and won’t necessarily be paying for accommodation or visiting attractions.”Mr Charters said the trend, which would continue to “reduce the pie for tourism operators”, needed to be “acknowledged and planned for, especially with the industry salivating about the potential of China”.“The landscape for the Australian tourism industry is changing rapidly and there are many emerging trends that will become critical and growing influences on the business environment,” Mr Charters said. “Australian business is renowned for being innovative and nimble and that is exactly what our tourism industry needs to be to embrace the 21st century marketplace.”According to Roy Morgan Research, nearly half of all Australians who vacationed in the past year were motivated by visiting family or friends – a major incentive for respondents’ future holiday plans as well. Staying with family and friends can inadvertently hurt tourismlast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgQantas’ new low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar Japan is preparing for take-off sooner than expected, confirming it will launch services to its first base Tokyo by mid 2012.Scheduled to hit the skies on 3 July 2012, the carrier said it will commence services with an initial five major Japanese cities including Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa.Utilising its three new A320 aircraft, Jetstar Group chief executive Bruce Buchanan noted that Jetstar’s five year history in the country would give the new low-cost carrier a leg up with local travellers.“Serving the Japanese customer for the past five years with international services gives us a clear advantage in rolling out a domestic network,” Mr Buchanan said.“We’ve built up a lot of trust with Japanese consumers who know that when we say every day low fares, we mean it.”Flying-in as Japan’s first budget airline, chief executive Miyuki Suzuki said she is expecting strong customer demand once tickets go on sale at a soon-to-be announced date.“In a country that’s never had a true low fares domestic network, the ability to travel for an average of 50 per cent less will open up new places and opportunities.” Earlier this year month Jetstar’s Australian operations signed up with Tourism Queensland to launch an AU$500,000 campaign to promote the sunshine state to Australian travellers.For more information click here.   Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgL to R – Kristi Jones, President and COO of Virtuoso; Suzanne Duzenman, Melbourne-based Global International Travel Services, winner of most admired advisor 2012; Fay Cohen, Sydney-based TravelPhase, winner of most admired advisor 2011handing over the award to Suzanne; Matthew Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso L to R – Kristi Jones, President and COO of Virtuoso; David Brandon, Brisbane-based Travel Concepts, winner of Aust/NZ top producer; Matthew Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso Australian Travel Advisors Recognised At ‘Virtuoso Travel Week’ ConferenceInternational luxury travel network, Virtuoso®, celebrated the close of its 24th annual conference, Virtuoso Travel Week, last Friday night with its annual Gala and Virtuoso Awards at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO, Matthew D. Upchurch and President and COO, Kristi Jones, its gala, with a record turnout of 2,378 attendees, honoured some of the most innovative, admired and top-performing travel advisors in Australia, Latin America and North America, as well as Virtuoso suppliers that go the extra mile. “We are extremely proud of the advisors and suppliers who stand out amongst an impressive group of travel professionals by consistently demonstrating their proven sales ability, their level of engagement within the network and by drawing respect from their peers,” said Upchurch.  “Whether we’re honoring a 20-year industry veteran, an impressive up-and-comer or a preferred supplier that goes above and beyond to serve the travel agency community, recognising individuals who exemplify the talent within this network and contribute to its strength is the perfect way to cap off a successful week of networking, relationship building and genuine salesmanship.  What better reason to celebrate a closing gala!”Virtuoso Award winners and categories appear below: 2012 Gala Awards Member Production Results Top Australia/New Zealand Production:Travel Concepts – Milton, Queensland, Australia2012 Gala Awards Peer-to-Peer Awards Member Results (In this category, Virtuoso Preferred Suppliers vote for Virtuoso Member advisors)Most Admired Advisor: Australia/New Zealand:Suzanne Duzenman – Global International Travel Service, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia2012 Gala Awards Peer-to-Peer Results: Supplier Awards (In this category, Virtuoso Members vote on Preferred Suppliers)Best AirlineVirgin Atlantic AirwaysBest Specialty ProviderTravelex Insurance ServicesBest Luxury Cruise LineRegent Seven Seas CruisesBest Premium/Contemporary Cruise LineOceania CruisesBest River Cruise LineAmaWaterwaysBest Voyager Club EventMelbourne: Coliban Park Sheep Station with Outback Lunch (Abercrombie & Kent Australia)Best FIT/Custom Tour OperatorClassic VacationsBest Escorted Tour OperatorTauckBest On-site ProviderMade for SpainBest Active & Specialty Provider (VAST)Micato Safariscenter_img Source = Virtuosolast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgAir New Zealand and Air China have today signed a Statement of Intent as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to New Zealand.The new alliance will pave the way for a strategic alliance on services between China and New Zealand.The proposed alliance between the two national flag carriers and Star Alliance partners would see Air China operate a new direct Beijing – Auckland service in addition to Air New Zealand’s existing Shanghai – Auckland service.In addition to a new route, an alliance between the carriers would bring significant benefits to customers travelling in both directions including better network connections in both China and New Zealand and increased frequency of flights.Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon, said that a deeper bilateral agreement between the two airlines would help to facilitate both business and tourism links between the two countries.“China is New Zealand’s second largest inbound visitor market and we expect interest in visiting New Zealand to continue to grow amongst Chinese travellers, however, China remains a challenging market for us to operate to,” Mr Luxon said.“Working with a strong, well respected home market carrier like Air China would give us a huge opportunity to convert this potential growth, while jointly offering the additional capacity to support it.”Air China chief executive officer Song Zhiyong, said that Air China is committed to being a global hub carrier and alliances and partnerships are an important way to expand its international network.“In the past three years we have witnessed double digit annual growth in the number of Chinese outbound tourists, New Zealand is one of the most important markets for outbound travel from China and Air China is confident about the promising future of this market,” Mr Zhiyong said.Following today’s signing the airlines will progress discussions with a view to reaching an agreement early next year which can then be filed for regulatory approval.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgEveryone loves a good sales incentive, and an offer to earn a $200 David Jones gift card would have had participating travel agents rubbing their hands together in anticipation.That’s the reward that was offered to CT Partners’ member travel agents who sold business class tickets over a two-month period. For TravelManagers’ Luke Vaughan, representative for Hawthorn East in Victoria, a problem with availability on a client’s preferred airline represented an opportunity to capitalise on the Finnair incentive and keep his clients happy at the same time.“I had a corporate client who was hosting an event in Europe but due to tight availability, business class fares on their preferred carrier exceeded the client’s budget”, explains Vaughan. “Because Finnair is a Oneworld member, my client was still able to travel on their preferred dates, within their budget and obtain their Qantas frequent flier points.”As an added bonus, Vaughan’s proactive and creative approach to solving his clients’ problem meant he also qualified for a total of $600 of the coveted David Jones gift cards.Michael Gazal, TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, says he is happy to see personal travel managers reaping the benefits of TravelManagers’ shareholding and membership in CT Partners.“At TravelManagers we are fortunate to have strong relationships with all our key suppliers, and it’s great that our personal travel managers have so many fantastic opportunities to be recognised and rewarded for their ability to generate sales within these partnerships.”Luke Vaughan was TravelManagers’ most awarded personal travel manager in 2014, taking out awards for Most Improved Personal Travel Manager of the Year, Most Improved Travel Manager by State, one of the Top Ten Personal Travel Managers and receiving the Personal Travel Managers Choice Award.Vaughan attributes going the extra mile and treating every client’s travel experience as unique, as being the key to his success.“I offer a point of difference whether it be in value, expertise, service or advice to all of my clients. I always look for ways to optimise my client’s travel experiences and minimize inconvenience and love the challenge of finding cost-effective solutions to complex itineraries.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgAustralia’s hotel industry needs young professionals to fill skills gapAustralia’s $47.5 billion tourism and accommodation industry will experience a serious skills shortage over the next five years without more qualified professionals joining the sector, warns the industry’s peak body.Carol Giuseppi, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, said the Austrade’s Australian Tourism Labor Force Report 2015 – 2020 shows the sector will grow significantly over the next five years and needs to attract more young talent to fill the predicted skills gap.“As an industry, we got together to do something about the gap. We’re hosting the first Hotel Career Expo on 16 May to bring awareness of the rewarding, exciting and professional careers available in the sector.“With the Hotel Career Expo we are reaching out to high school, TAFE and university students, as well as young professionals, to bring them face to face with the leading hotel brands of Australia who have exciting career options available and are looking for talent,” said Ms Giuseppi.Backed by the NSW Government, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres has thrown his support behind the Hotel Career Expo to ensure the industry can attract high quality candidates to the sector, to help NSW maintain its competitiveness as a tourism destination.“People working in our hotels are at the frontline of our brand as a global city and as a state. The interactions our visitors have with them are the most important they will have during their stay.“With growth forecasted in the NSW hotels industry, this is a great time to get into a sector. It’s a career path which offers strong management pathways, internationally renowned training and its own industry rewards,” said Minister Stuart Ayres.Ms Giuseppi said NSW has thousands of talented young people graduating every year, who are looking for careers.“They often don’t realise the full reach of their chosen field, for example, engineers might not look further than the mechanical and mining industries for jobs and accountants may only focus on accounting firms and banks.“However, the accommodation industry has a great need for all types of professionals from engineers, to accountants, to human resources and general business managers. Not to mention PR, sales and marketing professionals. Successful hotels need lots of smart, ambitious professionals to keep the tourism industry thriving,” said Ms Giuseppi.The Hotel Career Expo will be held on Monday 16th May, InterContinental Sydney. It will provide students and graduates a gateway into the hotel industry, contact with the leading hotel’s HR and recruitment teams, graduate programs and more. Hotel Career ExpoSource = Hotel Career Expolast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgSource = Excite Holidays Home to iconic theme parks, golden sandy beaches, mouthwatering culinary delights, and some of the world’s best tourist hotspots, California offers everything and more!For the next six weeks, in collaboration with Visit California, we will be taking agents on an adventure through the Golden State. From West Hollywood to Orange County, San Francisco to the North Coast and San Diego to Palm Springs, we will cover everything from surf to snow, city to desert, and everything in between. When it comes to shopping, restaurants, family fun, entertainment, culture, and the outdoors, we have picked out the best of the best to help agents design the trip of a lifetime for their clients.Our curated guide can be found by CLICKING HEREWe are also excited to be giving away an amazing California-inspired prize ​every day for 45 days​!All agents have to do is make a paid California booking between 24 April 2017 andSunday 4 June 2017, and they will automatically go into the draw to win an incredible prize that same day.In addition, for every room night booked in California during the campaign period, agents will receive double rewards points! Excite Holidays goes California DreamingExcite Holidays goes California Dreaminglast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgAgents and travellers both win with Eurostar’s new earlybird dealAgents and travellers both win with Eurostar’s new earlybird dealEurostar is tempting travellers with an ‘Early Bird Savings’ promotion that slashes 20 percent off the cost of selected tickets while also rewarding travel agents with a $50 Coles Group & Myer gift card for every $1,000 worth of Eurostar fares booked during the sale period.The 20 percent reduction applies to Standard Premier (First Class) and Youth (Second Class) fares booked between 3 October and 10 November 2017. The discounted tickets are valid for travel between London, Paris and Brussels from 2 November 2017 until 21 August 2018.The Early Bird fares – available through Rail Plus, Rail Tickets and Infinity Rail – are exchangeable with a fee, but are non-refundable and non-transferable.Rail Plus, Rail Tickets and Infinity Rail are also giving agents an added incentive to sell during the sales period, with consultants receiving a $50 Coles Group & Myer gift card for every $1,000 worth of Eurostar bookings made between 3 October and 10 November 2017The only rule is that the $1,000 worth of bookings must include one Early Bird Savings fare.Rail Plus Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan says the Eurostar promotion coincides with earlybird deals on a number of key European rail products, presenting agents with an opportunity to save their customers money and demonstrate their true value.“As well as discounts on Eurostar journeys, Australians travelling to Europe next year can also currently save money on all popular Eurail passes,” says Kocijan. “Given that rail is now an important component of many Australian’s Europe journey, agents who act quickly could secure their customers some impressive savings.”Eurostar tickets are distributed in Australia via Rail Plus, Rail Tickets and Infinity Rail in Australia. See www.raileurope.fr/wheretobuy for more detailsSource = Rail Europe & Rail Pluslast_img read more

17 08 19

first_imgAnticipated luxury Caribbean hotel to launch next monthAnticipated luxury Caribbean hotel to launch next monthOne of the Caribbean’s most anticipated new luxury hotels is set to launch next month.Situated on the remote island of Bequia (Bek-way), The Liming will officially open on 15 November, introducing a new concept of relaxation to ‘the island in the cloud’.Managed by world-renowned and multi award winning Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), the new destination will offers escapists the chance to experience life a little differently as a largely unknown Caribbean concept ‘liming’ is introduced to the world.Influenced by the serenity of nature, guests at The Liming will be immersed in an experience shaped by the philosophy that doing nothing is an art form. Whether guests choose to partake in a little relaxation while soaking amongst the bright Caribbean colours in a private infinity pool, or dine at the hotel’s exclusive restaurant set above the roof of the Caribbean Sea, with 360 views of the island, everything at the luxury resort has been carefully considered to provide guests with the freedom to just be.Norbert Lieder, managing director, ICMI, said: “We are very pleased to be launching The Liming next month. After many months of hard work we’re excited to finally reveal to guests this new destination that is unlike anywhere else in the world.“As soon as you arrive on the island and step foot into the hotel you quickly realise that this is a unique and special place. It’s the real Caribbean and we’ve carefully designed a concept that embodies the local liming approach to life whilst maintaining the luxurious experience that we’re renowned for worldwide.“The Liming is entirely set up to channel pure escapism – a world away from the stresses of reality – and we very much look forward to welcoming our first guests this November as they visit this unparalleled place.”Guests of The Liming can choose from 13 exquisitely designed private villas with one, two, four and five-bedroom available, set among the outstanding natural beauty of the island.Passing yachts will also have the chance to experience the hotel’s restaurant which will be overseen by award-winning chef Muskateen Sultan to boast a tantalising choice of locally-sourced ingredients and a menu including fresh island picked fruit, aromatic vegetables and ocean to table seafood served in bespoke ice troughs.Reached by air or sea, Bequia’s closest connecting islands are Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent. Prices per night start from $550 for a Junior Suite on a bed and breakfast basis for two people sharing.For more information on The Liming, visit: thelimingbequia.com Source = The Liminglast_img read more