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Digital payment solution American Express vPayment now available

first_img Share Posted by Tags: AMEX TORONTO — American Express Canada has launched American Express vPayment, a digital payment solution that replaces plastic cards with virtual account numbers that businesses can use to pay for and reconcile a range of corporate expenses.The digital payment solution “offers the convenience of traditional card payments with the added benefit of transaction-level controls, improved reconciliation and lower fraud risk”, says the company.American Express vPayment assigns a specific-use account number to each transaction, and users are able to set a payment amount, date range, and other transaction details. During expense reconciliation, a transaction is matched to its associated virtual account number.According to a new Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF) survey sponsored by American Express Canada, nearly half (44%) of Canadian finance executives surveyed said having spend visibility on a timely basis is an ongoing challenge.The survey also found that 69% of those surveyed said their current vendor payment processes work, but could use some improvements. A further 13% of Canadian finance executives surveyed found their current vendor payment process extremely outdated.“At American Express, we’re committed to evolving and refining our product offerings to meet our customers’ changing needs while solving key pain points and challenges that might be standing in the way of growth,” said Paul Roman, Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Payments at American Express Canada. “In an increasingly digital world, it’s more important than ever for businesses to adopt new technologies that improve day-to-day processes so they can focus on maintaining a competitive edge.”More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksHe adds that American Express vPayment was designed to help a wide range of companies, noting it’s ideal for businesses who are looking for a more efficient way to reconcile payments and eliminate accounting discrepancies. It’s also well suited for procurement and accounts payable departments within organizations looking to streamline payment processes, and can simplify travel bookings for organizations by providing an easy way to pay for hotels and other travel expenses, especially for contract employees or infrequent travellers.The company also expects to see pickup among corporate meeting and event planners.According to the survey, 72% of respondents said new payments processes would help with increasing employee efficiency, while 44% said they also had the potential to reduce reconciliation errors.Roman says American Express vPayment helps businesses improve control and cash flow management while reducing errors and the risk of fraud by giving organizations the ability to set the exact value a supplier is able to charge, as well as a specific date or date range within which they want the transaction to occur.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesHe adds that suppliers spend less time waiting and get paid faster with streamlined receipt of payments. Because virtual account numbers can be processed using the same point-of-sale equipment as traditional credit cards, there is no additional technology required for suppliers already accepting American Express.“The benefits of adopting digital payments go way beyond improvements to invoicing and reconciliation,” said Roman. “American Express vPayment can help businesses cut costs by saving time associated with manual payments, and improve cash flow management by maximizing payment arrangements.”Here’s how American Express vPayment works:1. A specific-use virtual account number is generated with pre-authorized controls for each transaction and sent to the supplier.2. The virtual account number and charges are verified against the pre-authorized controls set by the company.3. The payment is verified. If the amount or date is incorrect, the transaction will be declined.4. The program administrator receives one data file with detailed transaction-level information.For more information on American Express vPayment, including a video on how the system works, see business.americanexpress.com/ca/payment-solutions/vpayment. Travelweek Group center_img Digital payment solution American Express vPayment now available Tuesday, November 7, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Air Canada checks Cartagena off a long list of new destinations

first_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, December 19, 2017 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Canada, Colombia, New Routescenter_img TORONTO — Air Canada’s inaugural Toronto to Cartagena flight marks the airline’s newest destination in its ongoing international expansion.Flight AC1872 took off from Toronto Pearson yesterday with nonstop service to the Colombian beach destination.“We are very pleased to add Cartagena to our global route network,” said Benjamin Smith, President – Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.He added: “Air Canada is continuing its strategic international expansion with a diverse range of exciting new nonstop routes this winter to Australia, South America, the Caribbean and the U.S. We recently welcomed customers onboard new services from Toronto to St. Vincent and to Belize, Montreal to Lima, Vancouver to Melbourne and to Yellowknife, and we are looking forward to our new flights from Vancouver to Orlando, and Ottawa to Puerto Plata launching before the end of the year.”Meanwhile Air Canada has renewed its sponsorship as the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee with a four-year agreement that extends through the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the team“As Canada’s official airline, we believe our country deserves to be celebrated,” says Smith. “The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams represent the best of Canada, showing off the ambition and drive of our people. We’re proud to be a piece of home connecting those athletes to their country while they’re abroad, and helping to make sure they arrive ready to perform at their very best.”Air Canada has been a sponsor of Canada’s Olympic Team since 1988 and a sponsor of Canada’s Paralympic Team since 2007. The partnership builds on Air Canada’s commitment to Team Canada from their efforts at 2016’s Games, when Air Canada flew more than 690 Canadian athletes, coaches and support staff to Rio.Through these arrangements, the airline provides special services and transport for competitions.As well, under the renewed agreement, Air Canada will renew its Altitude Podium Program to provide qualified athletes 35K status and access to International Maple Leaf lounges while competing abroad, give athletes individual Care & Share packages for added comfort during the flight and include memorabilia they can share with others at the games, sponsor the outdoor area, available to the public, at the Canadian Olympic House in PyeongChang and host airport celebrations as athletes arrive at and return from the games.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyTo further show its support, Air Canada has entered into an agreement with five high-profile athletes who will be featured in a campaign beginning in January. They include figure skaters Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir; freestyle skier (halfpipe) Cassie Sharpe; and Paralympic biathlon skier Mark Arendz. Air Canada checks Cartagena off a long list of new destinations Posted bylast_img read more

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Food History Art Insights 2019 Special Interest Journeys out now

first_img TORONTO — Insight Vacations newly unveiled 2019 Special Interest Journeys are expected to sell out quickly, which is why the company is suggesting booking early to avoid disappointment.These limited departures satisfy specific lifestyle interests that include gardening, photography, art, history and more. Its ‘Canadian Battlefields of Europe’ itinerary that commemorates the 75th anniversary of D-Day landings is now sold out with a wait list.AS with all Insight Vacations journeys, guests will travel in smaller groups and enjoy perks like extra legroom and Wi-Fi onboard luxury coaches. Hotels are handpicked, Deliciously Authentic Dining ensures quality meals, while a highly-skilled Travel Director is on hand to assist guests.Sample itineraries for 2019 include:Oktoberfest (11 days, departing Sept. 22): After exploring Dresden and Berlin, clients will travel to Munich to visit the Palace of the Dukes of Wittelsbach, English Garden, Hofbrauhaus, and the famous Marienplatz. Other highlights include exclusive seating in the Ochsenbraterei Tent to celebrate Oktoberfest, a Celebration Dinner with special guest Patrick von Ritchthofen, known as ‘The Red Baron’, a river cruise along Wachay Valley, and a concert of classic Viennese music and dance in Vienna.European Affair & Chelsea Flower Show (9 days, departing May 24): Perfect for gardening enthusiasts, this itinerary highlights the Chelsea Flower Show in London and includes a Thames River Dinner Cruise, an Insight Experience at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, a visit to a traditional Dutch windmill and a canal cruise in Bruges. Guests will also visit the renowned Châteaux of the Loire Valley and the magnificent palace and gardens of Versailles.An Art Lover’s Taste of Europe (15 days, departing Oct. 6): Made for art lovers, this journey has a bit of everything, including visits to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, a cooking demonstration and wine tasting in Italy, and stops at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Foundation Beyeler in Switzerland. Guests will also visit Vinci en route to Milan, the hometown of Leonardo da Vinci on the 500th anniversary of his death.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalFor more information on Special Interest Journeys go to https://www.insightvacations.com/ca/trip-styles/special-interest-trips. Share Tags: Insight Vacations << Previous PostNext Post >> Food, History & Art: Insight’s 2019 Special Interest Journeys out nowcenter_img Posted by Travelweek Group Friday, November 16, 2018 last_img read more

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Loophole in proposed passenger rights bill could put air travellers at risk

first_imgTags: Bill, Law, Passengers Share Loophole in proposed passenger rights bill could put air travellers at risk, say critics By: The Canadian Press Friday, January 25, 2019 OTTAWA — A loophole in proposed air passenger rights regulations could allow airlines to get off the hook for compensation and put air travellers at risk, says a passenger rights company.In an open letter to the government Thursday, AirHelp wrote that the rules impose no obligation on airlines to pay customers for delays or cancellations if they were caused by technical problems discovered on the tarmac.“If you incentivize them to not have any problems at the pre-flight check, you decrease the risk of undiscovered issues,” AirHelp’s chief legal officer Christian Nielsen said in an interview.Mechanical malfunctions identified during regular maintenance and causing prolonged delays would lead to compensation. “But the issue is that aircraft that are part of regular maintenance are not operating, they’re not in the rotation, so they will almost never lead to a delay of a scheduled flight,” Nielsen said.Transport Minister Marc Garneau has insisted that airlines won’t mess around with safety and dismissed the idea they will look for ways to avoid compensating passengers. He has pointed to the European Union as having similar regulations.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthNielsen disputed that defence, blaming the airline industry for having “misinformed” the minister.“Under EU law, all mechanical malfunctions that lead to a delay of more than three hours trigger compensation. The idea here is that you penalize airlines that are not properly maintaining their fleet,” he said.Garneau spokeswoman Delphine Denis said the government is “standing up for Canadian travellers and ensuring that air travellers are treated with fairness and respect.”“We are establishing clear standards of treatment and possible compensation for passengers in common situations like delays, denied boarding, lost baggage, and tarmac delays,” she said in an email.Barring the loophole, the government’s passenger bill of rights would see passengers who are bumped from overbooked flights or forced to sit through long delays receive up to $2,400 in compensation.The proposed compensation will use a sliding scale, with larger airlines and longer delays requiring bigger compensation payments. Payments to passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled will max out at $1,000, with up to $2,400 owing to those who are denied boarding due to over-booking.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?In addition to compensation, the proposed rules would also require airlines to provide delayed passengers with food, beverages and accommodation.Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs called the new rules “watered down” and “toothless.”He pointed to an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Hawaii on Christmas Eve that turned back mid-flight for maintenance reasons. That would qualify as a delay or cancellation, Lukacs said, on par any other prolonged flight hold-up prompted by mechanical issues identified during a pre-flight check.“Under the proposed legislation, nobody in those situations would get anything in the way of monetary compensation.” In the EU, however, passengers would be owed 600 euros each, he said.Public consultation on the proposed rules is slated to run until Feb. 20. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Central Americas first metro to run in Panama by years end

first_imgPANAMA CITY – Central America’s first metro system will start service in Panama at the end of 2013, President Ricardo Martinelli said Friday during a test run.Several lines are planned for Panama City, known for its congested and chaotic roads that connect to the suburbs.The president and most of his Cabinet went for a two-kilometer (one-mile) ride, driving the train at times.French firm Alstrom is responsible for building the trains, as part of a consortium with Brazilian firm Odebrecht and Spanish firm FCC.An estimated 1.5 million people will use the system. The cost of the capital city’s first line is estimated at $1.8 billion. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Software company TradeStation Global Services expands Costa Rica operation

first_imgRelated posts:Accenture announces 300 new jobs in Costa Rica 800 new jobs coming to Costa Rica Wanted: video interpreters in Costa Rica Bosch opens business outsourcing company in Costa Rica TradeStation Global Services, a software development and maintenance company, confirmed the expansion of its operation in Costa Rica with new facilities at Ultrapark 1 industrial park in Heredia province and the doubling of its local staff.The company will boost the number of employees from 60 to 120. It is now hiring software development professionals with experience in the areas of C++ and .Net programming. It also is looking for systems engineers, test engineers and automation specialists.President and COO Enrique Pizzi said the company’s continued growth comes thanks to hard work and professionalism by its Tico team.Costa Rican employees “are the primary reason we keep investing in Costa Rica,” he said. “Our operations here are a key part of our global vision, and we are confident of a bright future for our company and particularly for our future operations in Costa Rica.”The Heredia software development center launched operations in 2012 and was the company’s first outside the U.S. Applications developed here currently are being used in the U.S., Japan and China.Costa Rica Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora highlighted the importance of this new investment because of its contribution to the diversification and attraction of new markets.Those interested in applying for a job can submit résumés via email to: careers@tradestation.com or visit the company’s website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Preserving Asias last bastion of colonial era

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Bids by a foreign investor to convert the building into a hotel sparked a public uproar, a hopeful sign that Yangon’s citizens are prepared to stand up for their heritage.___If You Go…YANGON, MYANMAR: Several international airlines fly directly to Yangon, although Bangkok remains the best gateway. November-February is the cool, sunny season, an ideal time to visit. Monsoon rains fall June-October.WALKING TOUR: Exotissimo travel agency offers a three-hour “Architecture Walking Tour of Yangon,” $23, http://www.exotissimo.com/travel/myanmar/daytrips/architecture-walking-tour-of-yangon/.COLONIAL-ERA HOTELS: The Strand, http://www.ghmhotels.com, doubles from $300. Governor’s Residence, http://www.governorsresidence.com/, elegant 1920s teak mansion on lush grounds, doubles from $220. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Now, as Myanmar opens its long-closed doors to the outside world, including a rapidly growing number of tourists, a major effort has been launched to preserve both Yangon’s architecture and enchanting atmosphere from rampant development and decay.“We have a gift in Yangon but we need to act urgently or it will be lost forever,” Zin Nwe Myint, an expert on urban issues, told a recent conference of foreign and local conservationists. It was organized by the newly founded Yangon Heritage Trust.Just what a gift it is became evident as soon as participants stepped out of the conference site, The Strand, a legendary hotel built in 1901 along the riverside promenade and near jetties where tourists disembarked to enter a land once known as Burma.From there, in less than an hour’s stroll, visitors are treated to a smorgasbord of structures and styles from the British colonial era: Victorian, Queen Anne, Neoclassical, Art Deco and an amalgam of British and Burmese. Many of the buildings are clustered along streets laid out in a chessboard pattern centered on the Sule Pagoda, with its soaring, golden spire.Sarah Rooney, author of the just published “30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon,” says her favorites include the Pegu Club and the Lokanat Gallery Building. Then came World War II and in 1962 a military coup, which ushered in a half-century of isolation, authoritarian rule and economic stagnation, which may well have been key in freezing Yangon and its residents in time.“In Yangon, we still have a lot of living heritage as well as atmosphere and social networks that have been built up around and grown within these old buildings over many decades,” said Hlaing Maw Oo, an official with the Ministry of Construction, urging that this heritage must be nurtured along with Yangon’s extensive green spaces, lakes and gracious suburban villas.Other recommendations include setting height limits on new construction, conservation training, an awareness campaign and a listing, with solid legal research, of all buildings that cannot be demolished. The municipality currently provides a measure of protection for 188 sites.Also being debated is how best these sites can be utilized for the benefit of both Yangon residents and tourists. There is general consensus that some will have to be turned into profit-making hotels and commercial enterprises while others should house art galleries, museums and schools that would probably need subsidies. (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 Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Associated PressYANGON, Myanmar (AP) – There’s nowhere in Asia like it any more: a cityscape studded with hundreds of grand and humble buildings from the colonial era amid multiethnic communities that have remained intact, vibrant and colorful for a century and more.Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and the country’s former capital, has been bypassed by the rapid modernization that has bulldozed the past in virtually every other Asian metropolis. Once known as Rangoon, Yangon is being described as “a city that captured time.” ErrorOK ErrorOK More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements “We are at the watershed of this city’s history,” Yangon Mayor Myint Swe told the conference. “We want to see Yangon as a 21st century city but also want to preserve the best of our heritage. I have no illusions about the challenges we face, but we will learn from the mistakes of other Asia cities.”Many buildings that used to house government departments have been left vacant since 2005, when the regime moved the capital to Naypyitaw and put them up for sale. Fear is that some will deteriorate beyond repair or be bought and demolished by developers.Many privately-owned buildings, still unprotected, have already been torn down and invariably replaced by ugly, multistory structures that are breaking up the once uniform skyline.Some state-owned or fully utilized landmarks appear secure, including the British Embassy, Yangon General Hospital, St. Paul’s School and City Hall, a mingling of European design and ornamentation inspired by Burmese temples.So is the most spectacular one of them all, the former Secretariat Building, seat of British colonial power. It was in this vast Victorian edifice that Aung San, revered father of Myanmar’s independence and of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was assassinated in 1947. The club, built of teak, is rather derelict, and thus more evocative and atmospheric, she says, than many heritage buildings in Asia that have been subjected to extreme makeovers. Once the colony’s most exclusive and snobbish enclave, it hosted the likes of Rudyard Kipling, who is said to have written his rollicking poem “The Road to Mandalay” after drinks with soldiers returning from that city in 1889.The Lokanat building, Rooney says, is “the symbol of Yangon’s cosmopolitanism.” Erected in 1906 by a Baghdadi Jewish trader, it was once the city’s most prestigious business address, housing a Filipino hairdresser and Greek leather merchant along with purveyors of Egyptian cigarettes, German beer and British candy.Thant Myint-U, a Western-educated historian who heads the trust, noted that within a square mile of The Strand stood Roman Catholic, Protestant and Armenian churches, Shiite and Sunni mosques, a Jain temple, Hindu shrine and a newly refurbished synagogue, once the center of one of the biggest Jewish communities in Asia.Attracted by the country’s immense natural resources, especially teak, oil and rice, fortune seekers and poor laborers poured in from around the world, turning Yangon into an international city. At times in the 1920s, it welcomed more immigrants than New York. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

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Spoiler or voice of reason Russian role In Syria

first_img 0 Comments   Share   But only the Russians have the influence with Assad to give this latest diplomatic initiative any chance of success.WHY IS RUSSIA SO IMPORTANT?Russia is Syria’s most important ally and protector and its main supplier of arms. At the U.N. Security Council, the Russians have blocked the world body from taking strong, punitive action against the Assad regime, including global economic sanctions or military action. The Russians have also consistently opposed any international plan that would demand Assad’s removal from power, although they have said they would not stand in the way of such a formula if all Syrian parties agreed.WHY IS RUSSIA SO TIED TO ASSAD?Russia maintained close ties to Assad’s father, Hafez, who ruled Syria with an iron fist from 1971 until his death in June 2000. With all the political changes brought on by the Arab Spring revolutions, Syria is now Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East. In the last four decades, Russia has sold Syria billions of dollars worth of weapons, and the loss of its Syrian ally could cost Moscow other lucrative trade deals. A change in power in Damascus could also reduce Russian political influence in Arab world, where it is a broker in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The Russians also strongly oppose a world order dominated by the United States and want no repeat of last year’s NATO air campaign that led to the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a former Moscow ally. Associated Press (AP) – Russia takes center stage Saturday when the U.S. and other major powers gather in Geneva to try to map out a strategy to end the bloodshed in Syria, where activists say 14,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March last year.The Americans have the diplomatic clout to arrange such a conference, bringing together the five veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members _ Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. _ as well as Turkey and representatives of the Arab League, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family HAS RUSSIA’S POSITION ON SYRIA SHIFTED?As the Syria conflict grows bloodier, Russia has shifted away from public support for Assad himself, instead focusing on well-founded concerns that foreign military intervention could lead to even more bloodshed. Russia accuses the West of ignoring the darker side of the Syrian opposition, including Islamic extremist elements and the summary execution of captured Syrian soldiers. Moscow also notes Assad still commands the loyalty of many Syrians, including Christians, his own Alawite sect and secular Sunni Muslims, who fear the rise of Islamic extremism if the regime collapses.WHAT WILL BE RUSSIA’S STRATEGY AT THE CONFERENCE?Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insists the Geneva talks should concentrate on persuading Syrian opposition groups to soften their demands. He also denies claims by the U.S. that Moscow backs a plan for a transition government to oversee the drafting of a new Syrian constitution and eventual election. The Russians will likely play for time, blocking any explicit call for Assad to step down while endorsing talks among all Syrian parties, something the opposition has previously rejected. This would let the Russians say they are actively seeking a solution to the crisis without jettisoning their longtime ally.center_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes __Associated Press correspondents Elizabeth Kennedy in Beirut, Vladimir Isachenko in Moscow and John Heilprin in Geneva contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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SAfrican photographer who depicted apartheid dies

first_img Sponsored Stories Former South African President Thabo Mbeki said Kumalo’s work made him “one of South Africa’s eminent historians.”Kumalo, who started working as a photographer in 1951, first gained prominence at the renowned Drum magazine, a sophisticated publication that covered black life at a time when apartheid was intensifying its assault of black culture. He covered the Rivonia trial, in which Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment, and was present again in 1994 when the anti-apartheid icon was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.Greg Marinovich, a prominent South African photographer who covered the last days of apartheid, said Kumalo’s work over the years was “legendary.”“This was a guy who had done it all, from hanging out with Muhammad Ali while shooting `Rumble in the Jungle’ (before turning down an offer to be Ali’s personal photographer) to capturing Oliver Tambo ringside at a boxing match and then later at his treason trial,” Marinovich said in a tribute in the Daily Maverick, a local newspaper published online. “He was particularly close to Nelson Mandela. He became Mandela’s de facto official photographer when Nelson was in jail, chronicling the lives of his wife Winnie and the children Madiba could not watch grow up.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Kumalo had most recently started a photography school for poor children in Soweto, the scene of some of his best work over the years. There is also a Kumalo Museum of Photography in Soweto.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressJOHANNESBURG (AP) – Alfred Kumalo, a South African photographer whose work chronicled the brutalities of apartheid and the rise of Nelson Mandela, died of renal failure in a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday night, the ruling party said Monday.The African National Congress described Kumalo as a “rare and significant talent that was pivotal in raising social consciousness and exposing the brutality of the apartheid administration.” The vital role family plays in society Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helpcenter_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories He was 82.“South Africa has lost a self-taught giant in the media field who still bears the scars of torture and mental scars of continuous detentions by the apartheid security forces,” the ANC said. “The (ANC) bows its head in honor of a singularly brave and daring South African who bequeathed our country and future generations historic moments captured in his camera.”Kumalo, whose work graces museum walls across South Africa, was perhaps best known for his photos of Nelson and Winnie Mandela as a young couple. The photographer’s career “mirrored the rise in Mr. Mandela’s political career,” said the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory. The center said Kumalo captured “many of the historic events in which (Mandela) played a key role.”The opposition Democratic Alliance similarly praised Kumalo, saying his work inspired South Africans with a message of hard work and integrity. “Mr. Kumalo was a photographer who had the courage to honestly reflect the reality of South African life,” the DA said. “His photos provide a visual history of South Africa’s struggle against the brutal apartheid regime and remind us of the importance of an independent media in exposing the excesses of the state.” Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img
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Church of England takes step toward female bishops

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist LONDON (AP) – The Church of England’s General Synod has moved a step closer to creating its first female bishop.The church’s national assembly approved fast-track legislation which could see the first woman selected as a Church of England bishop by the end of the year.It marks another step forward on an issue that has long divided the church. Only two years ago, the General Synod failed to pass legislation by just six votes _ drawing criticism from Prime Minister David Cameron. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober But new compromise proposals, which only apply to England, are aimed at massaging the issue by giving guidance to parishes that reject female ministry.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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Gulf leaders gather in Washington to push Obama on Iran

first_img WASHINGTON (AP) — Gulf nation leaders joined President Barack Obama at the White House Wednesday to warn of the risks of completing a nuclear deal with Iran. Obama was seeking to convince his counterparts of the potential benefits for the region.But when two days of talks wrap up on Thursday, it’s unlikely much will have changed. The Gulf’s skepticism of Iran is deep-seated and extends far beyond its nuclear pursuits. Obama, meanwhile, has invested too much in the Iran negotiations to let Gulf concerns upend his legacy-building bid for a deal. 0 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Quick workouts for men In 2011, the Obama administration accused Iran of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington.The Saudis are also particularly concerned about the situation in Yemen, where Houthi rebels with ties with Iran have ousted the U.S. and Saudi-backed leader.For more than a month, a Saudi-led coalition has tried to push back the Houthis with a relentless bombing campaign. On Tuesday, a five-day humanitarian cease-fire went into effect, though the pause in fighting was already at risk. A jet-fighter from the Saudi coalition struck a military convoy belonging to Shiite rebels and their allies in southern Yemen on Wednesday,Saudi officials cited the cease-fire as one of the reasons why King Salman needed to stay in Riyadh and not make the trip to the United States.The Saudi king isn’t the only head of state sending a lower level representative to the summit. The heads of the United Arab Emirates and Oman have had health problems and were not making the trip.Bahrain’s royal court announced Wednesday that rather than travel to Washington, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa would be attending a horse show and meet with Queen Elizabeth II.___Associated Press writer Adam Schreck in Dubai contributed to this report. Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean “My guess is that the summit is going to leave everybody feeling a little bit unsatisfied,” said Jon Alterman, the Middle East director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.The White House is expected to offer the Gulf nations more military assistance, including increased joint exercises and coordination on ballistic missile systems. But Gulf requests for a formal defense treaty already have been denied by the U.S., in part because of the difficulty of getting such an agreement approved by Congress.Obama met separately Wednesday with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The president had planned to meet with Saudi King Salman, but the kingdom abruptly announced over the weekend that the monarch would no longer travel to Washington and would instead send the lower ranking, but highly influential princes.The president made no mention of Saudi skepticism of the Iran talks as he opened the meeting, but acknowledged the region is in the midst of a “very challenging time.”The White House and Saudi officials insist the king was not snubbing Obama. But Salman’s conspicuous absence comes amid indisputable signs of strain in the long relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, driven not only by Obama’s Iran overtures, but also the rise of Islamic State militants and a lessening U.S. dependency on Saudi oil. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “There have been disagreements under this administration and under the previous administration about certain policies and development in the Middle East, but I think on a set of core interests, we continue to have a common view about what we aim to achieve,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.Later Wednesday, Obama hosted a White House dinner for the Saudi princes, as well as representatives from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. The parties planned to spend Thursday at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin mountains, discussing the nuclear talks and Tehran’s reputed support of terrorism in the region.The U.S. and five other nations are trying to reach an agreement with Iran by the end of June to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions. The Gulf nations fear that an influx of cash will only facilitate what they see as Iran’s aggression.The White House says a nuclear accord could clear the way for more productive discussions with Iran about its reputed terror links. The U.S. has criticized Iran’s support for Hezbollah, as well as terror attacks carried out by Iran’s Quds Force. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories ___Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDCCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes President Barack Obama shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Opening two days of talks with Gulf states, President Barack Obama meets with Saudi leaders skeptical of his overtures to Iran. Saudi Arabia and others in the region hope to secure defense commitments from Obama to help them stave off potential Iranian aggression. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)last_img read more

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IRS refunds 10M to tax preparers who paid to take test

first_img Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is refunding a total of $10 million to thousands of tax preparers who paid to take a competency test, the agency announced Thursday.A federal court struck down IRS regulations in 2013 that sought to require some tax preparers to get training and take a test. An appellate court upheld the ruling last year, saying the IRS lacked the legal authority to mandate the testing.The IRS said about 89,000 tax preparers paid $116 apiece to take the test. The agency said it is issuing refunds to those preparers. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Letters will be mailed to those getting refunds on May 28 and checks will be mailed on June 2, the IRS said. Return preparers took the test between November 2011 and January 2013.The Obama administration has proposed giving the IRS the authority to regulate paid tax return preparers. As it now stands, there are no federal rules governing who can charge clients to prepare their tax returns.“The IRS remains committed to the principle that all persons who prepare federal tax returns for compensation should be required to pass a test of minimal competency and take annual continuing education training,” the IRS said in a statement. “Taxpayers deserve top-quality and ethical service from all tax professionals. As part of this commitment, the IRS launched an interim annual filing season program in 2014 to promote voluntary continuing education by noncredentialed tax return preparers.”___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Check your body, save your life The difference between men and women when it comes to pain ErrorOK.. ErrorOK New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

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French minister 2015 climate deal must avoid US Congress

first_img Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “In the long term, they have the wrong business model. And that’s something they have to acknowledge,” said Martin Kaiser, a Greenpeace climate policy expert.____Ritter reported from Stockholm.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the U.S. without going to the Congress,” said Fabius, who will host the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December where the new agreement is supposed to be adopted.Those pushing for a legally binding deal in Paris include the 28-nation European Union and small island nations who fear being wiped out by rising seas.Amjad Abdulla, a Maldives delegate who is the chief negotiator for the small-island group, said while the group still wants a binding agreement “I think it’s important that we get everyone on board.”“We are still looking into options,” he said.One possible outcome in Paris is a deal in which some elements are binding but not the emissions targets set by individual countries.The Obama administration has pledged to reduce U.S. emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said he was “completely sure that we will have an agreement in Paris,” despite the complex political situation in the U.S.Jennifer Morgan, a climate policy expert at the World Resources Institute, said it was encouraging that Fabius was raising the legal issue now so it can be dealt with before the Paris conference. BONN, Germany (AP) — The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn’t require approval by the U.S. Congress, the French foreign minister said Monday.Laurent Fabius told African delegates at U.N. climate talks in Bonn that “we know the politics in the U.S. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse.”If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions — something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress. Comments   Share   center_img Top Stories “It’s a sign that he’s really pushing countries to come to terms with what the agreement can and cannot be,” she said.Negotiators also need to decide how to differentiate between what rich and poor countries should do to fight climate change, and how to verify that countries are doing what they say they would.The main goal for the two-week session in Bonn that began Monday is to shorten the sprawling climate change negotiating text.Ahead of the meeting, six European oil and gas companies called for a global price on carbon.In a letter to Fabius and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres, the chief executives of Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Eni, Total, Statoil and the BG Group said carbon markets should be introduced around the world and eventually linked into an international system.Carbon markets set limits on the pollution a company can release and allow them to trade emission permits using the market to set the price.“Our companies would like to open direct dialogue with the U.N. and willing governments,” the companies said.Some environmental groups were suspicious of the letter, with Greenpeace calling it a “smokescreen,” and the role carbon markets will play in the Paris agreement is still unclear. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

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The Latest on Greece Bailout meeting ends without deal

first_imgJens Weidmann, who sits on the governing council of the European Central Bank, says the long-term provision of emergency credit to Greek banks “has become the banks’ only source of funding.”He said lending to banks that can’t borrow elsewhere so they can lend to a government in similar straights “raises serious monetary financing concerns.” That means Weidmann questions whether the practice violates the European Union’s legal prohibition on using central bank powers to finance governments.The ECB must decide at regular intervals whether to continue to permit Greece banks to draw such emergency credit. Turning off the credit could deepen financial turmoil. Weidmann has only one vote on the 25-member ECB board but a significant one since represents Germany, the eurozone’s largest member.___1:55 p.m./ 1155 GMT/ 7:55 a.m. EDTGerman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says he’s not hopeful about the prospects for Thursday’s meeting of finance ministers because Greece’s negotiating stance appears to have gone backward.Greece and its creditors are in talks on what reforms the country should make to get more loans it needs to avoid default next week. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest developments involving Greece and its bailout negotiations:___4:50 p.m./ 1450GMT/ 10:50 a.m. EDTFinnish Finance Ministrer Alexander Stubb says that the eurozone meeting on Greece has wrapped for the day without an agreement on new bailout loans for the country.Stubb wrote on his official Twitter account: “Eurogroup back later, but not today.”The decision is a big setback since there had been hopes to wrap up the bailout negotiations in time for European leaders to approve a deal later in the day. Finland’s Finance Minister Alexander Stubb speaks with the media after a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers at the EU LEX building in Brussels on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. With major differences remaining between Greece and its creditors, eurozone finance ministers cut short a meeting on Greece’s proposals to avoid a default and planned to meet again Thursday. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) The ECB approved the request Thursday, as it has done every day since Friday as Greece headed into the final stretch of tough bailout negotiations with no clear solution in sight. The banking official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not publicly released, said the ECB would meet again within the next 24 hours if necessary.Worried Greeks have been withdrawing their money from their country’s banks, fearing the imposition of restrictions on banking transactions. An estimated more than 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) left Greek banks last week.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. With the clock clicking down to Tuesday, when Greece has a debt repayment it cannot afford, Schelling says “it is really surprising how carefree Greece deals with its business and constantly comes up with new requests.”After days of talks, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has made changes to proposed reforms his country would make in exchange for loans.Tsipras, meanwhile, has complained that the International Monetary Fund came up with last-minute conditions on how the Greek reform program should work.___12:45 p.m./ 1045 GMT/ 6:45 a.m. EDTGreek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has wrapped up the latest round of talks in Brussels with the leaders of the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.Tsipras gave a thumbs-up as he left, but participants and other senior officials have otherwise declined to speak about the state of the negotiations.Greece and the creditors are in talks on what reforms it should make to get more bailout loans.Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers begin arriving for their meeting. They will assess what technical experts have made of reform proposals made by Greece.___12:30 p.m./ 0930 GMT/ 5:30 a.m. EDTA Greek banking official says the European Central Bank has approved a request from Athens to increase the amount of emergency liquidity Greek lenders can tap from the country’s central bank. With decisive talks between dragging on for days, Hollande says that “when Greece, Europe, the eurozone is at stake, we have to know how to finish negotiations.”He said Thursday as he entered a summit of European Union leaders: “There is nothing to gain by letting time go by. I think Greece has none left.”The leaders were meant to rubberstamp any deal on Greece, but an agreement remains elusive.___4:00 p.m./ 1400GMT/ 10:00 a.m. EDTGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel says officials have “not yet made the necessary progress” in the talks to get Greece more financial aid.As she arrived for a summit of European Union leaders Thursday, she told reporters that “in some places we even have the impression that we are falling back a bit.”She said the negotiating was a matter for the eurozone finance ministers and technical experts. The talks are about what reforms Greece should adopt in exchange for loans.Creditors, which include eurozone states like Germany as well as the International Monetary Fund, have made their reform proposals and Greece has submitted its own. Differences remain, however.___2:40 p.m./ 1240 GMT/ 8:40 a.m. EDTThe head of Germany’s national central bank is warning that the lifeline keeping Greece’s banks afloat may run afoul of European rules. The vital role family plays in societycenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Greece needs new loans by June 30, when it has a debt repayment it cannot otherwise afford.___10:45 a.m. EDT/ 1445GMTThe International Monetary Fund says Greece will not get any extra time to make a debt repayment it owes the organization on June 30.Greece owes the IMF 1.6 billion euros on June 30 but does not have the money to pay it. It is in talks with creditors, including the IMF, on getting more loans before then.IMF spokesman Gerry Rice says “We’re expecting the payment to be made June 30,” adding that Greece will be granted no extensions.He says creditors are “on the same page” about the need for Athens to introduce deeper reforms. The creditors say a Greek proposal this week didn’t go far enough and needs to make deeper cuts in the costly pension system, while sparing the poor.Despite the impasse in talks, the IMF says it would be flexible. “The IMF doesn’t do take it or leave it,” Rice said. “That’s not how we work. It’s always give and take.”___4:15 p.m./ 1415GMT/ 10:15 a.m. EDTFrench President Francois Hollande is exhorting Greece and its international creditors to speed up talks on new loans for the country, as a default would affect the entire continent. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Schaeuble says the Greek government so far has “not moved, rather moved backward, and so I am not very confident for our meeting today.”He says there is nothing new on the table and added that “there is a bigger difference rather than a coming together.”Schaeuble insists “the decision lies exclusively with those responsible in Greece.”___1:50 p.m./ 1150 GMT/ 7:50 a.m. EDTThe eurozone’s top official says creditors are presenting Greece today with a new proposal on reforms it should make in return for loans.Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutchman who heads the eurozone finance ministers’ meetings, held talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier in the day to seek a breakthrough.He said the creditors have made proposals, but says that “we don’t have an agreement on the Greeks from that.”He says eurozone finance ministers will hear “from the Greek side what their ideas are, what they could agree to, what they could not agree to.”___1:00 p.m./ 1100 GMT/ 7:00 a.m. EDTAustrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling is amazed at the apparent lack of urgency in Greece’s negotiations over a bailout deal. 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Adonia named by a Dame

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A The minute she walked in the joint, Dame Shirley Bassey could see Britain’s latest cruise ship, Adonia, was a ship of distinction…In a ceremony fit for a Dame in Southampton last weekend the most recent addition to P&O Cruises World Cruising fleet was christened ahead of her 16-night maiden voyage on Monday to the Western Mediterranean. The immortal words “I name this ship Adonia, may God bless her and all who sail in her,” were proclaimed by one of most iconic performers of all time before a crowd of some 500 guests, including MC Hugh Bonneville, star of ‘Downtown Abbey’ set to hit the Seven Network later this week.“I have had the most exciting career imaginable, but to be invited to be Godmother to a cruise ship is something very special and very personal,” Dame Shirley said.Regardless of her extensive on board facilities, the adult exclusive Adonia has the capacity for a mere 710 guests thus allowing her to access more unique ports of call including Zadar in Croatia, Koper in Slovenia and Savona in Italy. “Dame Shirley is Britain’s most successful female artiste ever, a national treasure who defines the word ‘superstar’ and she is now one of our most celebrated godmothers. With Dame Shirley’s blessing I am sure Adonia will have a long and illustrious time with P&O Cruises and become a favourite within the fleet as she charms all those who sail on her,” said Carol Marlow, P&O Cruise managing director.Ms Marlow expressed her belief that whilst many cruise lines, including P&O are developing larger ships, there is a definite market for smaller vessels that offer “a more intimate ambience and experience – and not just onboard.”Featuring eight bars, including P&O’s signature ‘Crows Nest’ observation lounge, Adonia also offers passengers a wide range of dining options with Italian restaurant, ‘Sorrento’, ‘Ocean Grill’ a steakhouse and grill and a buffet restaurant with al fresco dining and barbecue on the Lido deck among others. A traditional library complete with fireplace and views on three sides complements the offering along with the ‘Oasis Spa’ and gym.‘The Curzon Lounge’ allows passengers to enjoy a beverage overlooking the ocean by day and performances, dancers or speakers by night. Egyptian cotton linen, tea and coffee making facilities are set to be the main attraction in Adonia’s cabins of which 75% will have private balconies. Dame Shirley Bassey Names Adonialast_img read more

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Iconic Mount Lofty House Reaches New Heights With Second Aha Sa Awar

first_imgMount Lofty House Food and Beverage Manager, Varun Gambhir wins AHA SA Rising Star Award Adelaide’s iconic Grand Mercure Mount Lofty House continues to be the premier destination for special functions, conference retreats and whimsical weddings following the hotel’s second triumph at the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) South Australia (SA) Awards for Excellence. For the second year in a row, Grand Mercure Mount Lofty House, Accor’s boutique hotel nestled in the Adelaide Hills has been recognised for excellence in tourism and hospitality winning the Best Function Operation/Facility – Accommodation Division for 2012. The past 12 months has seen significant growth, development and continued improvement of the hotel’s conferencing and event service and facilities, and Mount Lofty House enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the most highly sort after wedding venues in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia.In another victory for the hotel, Food and Beverage Manager, Varun Gambhir was also recognised by the AHA SA receiving the coveted Hotel Industry Rising Star Award. “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised by the AHA and win the Best Function Operation Facility award for the second consecutive year. This is a great achievement that the entire hotel team is extremely proud of and we look forward to upholding our reputation for excellence,” said General Manager Mount Lofty House, Craig Dodd.Grand Mercure Mount Lofty House is superbly positioned in the rolling Adelaide Hills with inspiring views across the Piccadilly Valley, just 15 minutes from the heart of Adelaide. Mount Lofty House offers luxury boutique accommodation including 33 deluxe accommodation rooms set within twelve acres of picturesque gardens and vineyards. It is a relaxed country manor focused on fine food and wine and excellent service in a beautiful environment for all to enjoy. L-R: Ashley Dent, Ji Young, Craig Dodd, Natalia Colombo, Jaimee Carter and Varun Gambhir.center_img Source = Accorlast_img read more

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Dallas and Texas lasso Aussie travellers

first_imgThere is a direct connection between Australians and Texans and it’s not just the non-stop flight between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth.Speaking at a Sydney luncheon earlier this week, tourism officials from Texas, Dallas and the city of Grapevine highlighted the relationship that has been developing between Australia and Texas over the past few years.“The similarities between Australians and Texans is expressed through a mutual admiration of mixing the contemporary with the traditional, the drive to discover, a passion for music and the arts and warm hospitality,” Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau president and chief executive Phillip J. Jones told ETB News.As Texas continues the expansion of its state tourism opportunities and offerings, visitor arrivals from Australia continue to amplify.Since its beginnings in May 2011, Qantas’ direct flight between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth has increased to a daily frequency and has witnessed a 200 percent jump in Australian visitor arrivals into Dallas year-on-year.Dallas has invested US$14 billion in urban development, with new architectural and civic projects, incorporating a city-wide revitalisation connecting previously isolated neighbourhoods.The city of Dallas is also a burgeoning hub for the arts, history, sports and culture; housing many of the country’s top galleries, museums, live music establishments and the third largest NFL stadium.Northeast of the airport and within the Dallas municipality, Grapevine maintains the historic charm of Texas, inviting visitors to experience a more traditional lifestyle with big city accessibility.“Australians will appreciate the many visitor attractions, recreational activities, family-friendly attitude, times past atmosphere and outstanding wineries, to which we owe our namesake,” ex-Aussie and Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Paul W. McCallum said.“The state of Texas is extremely pleased with Australia’s increased interest and visitation and is proud to work alongside Qantas in providing accessibility through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport,” Texas director of tourism Brad Smyth said.“Australian’s are clearly intent on discovering more about Texas and with regional hotspots within a few hours of all major cities, continual tourism developments and endless opportunities abundant, Texas is a must-see destination when visiting the U.S.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Australians arrivals into Dallas up 200 percent year-on-year.last_img read more

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Malaysia Airlines offers 5000 to assist MH17 families

first_imgSource = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Malaysia Airlines has stated it is committed to the care and support of the families which tragically lost their loved ones in the tragedy which sent shockwaves around the world last week.The airline will support the families through providing hotel accommodation, meals and transport assistance and has also assigned a trained Malaysia Airlines staff to act as a caregiver for each family member, to provide emotional support and basic needs.Currently, there are 79 caregivers and support staff in Amsterdam and a further 43 based in Kuala Lumpur.Furthermore, Malaysia Airlines is offering immediate families of the passengers USD $5,000 in financial assistance to ease economic pressures, with funding already available thanks to the support of Citibank which has assisted in the logistical arrangements.The financial assistance will not be offset against the final compensation nor affect the families’ legal rights to claim.Malaysia Airlines has also expressed its gratitude l to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, who have been assisting it in supporting the family members.Affected families may contact +603 7884 1234last_img read more

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TripAdvisor to acquire Viator

first_imgTripAdvisor has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire online booking giant Viator, with the acquisition expected to close late this year.The deal, worth approximately USD $200 million, will be TripAdvisor’s fourth acquisition for the year, following lafourchette, Tripbod and Vacation Home Rentals.Viator is one of the world’s largest and leading sellers of tours and activities online, offering customers around 20,000 options, from hot air balloon rides in Turkey to Game of Thrones inspired tours through Croatia, and receives eight million visitors to its site each month.“Viator will be a great addition to the TripAdvisor family, as online and mobile bookings for attractions and activities represents a huge opportunity for our business,” TripAdvisor president and chief operating officer Stephen Kaufer said.“Travellers want to explore local attractions while on their trip, and Viator’s depth and breadth in global attractions combined with their seamless booking experience will provide immediate benefit to our community, whether in the planning phase or on the trip.”The acquisition follows TripAdvisor’s partnership with Viator, which was established in January 2013, and marks TripAdvisor’s entry into tours and activities.Viator has more than 250 employees who will continue to work at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Las Vegas, London and Sydney.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

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Royal Caribbean begins construction on fifth Oasis Class ship

first_imgRoyal Caribbean steel cuttingRoyal Caribbean begins construction on fifth Oasis Class shipThe revolutionary Oasis Class will soon have a new sister, as today Royal Caribbean International celebrated the steel cutting of a fifth Oasis Class ship, scheduled to be delivered in 2021. The steel cutting, marking the official start of construction, took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.The Oasis Class took the cruise industry by storm with the introduction of Oasis of the Seas a decade ago and again with the introduction of Symphony of the Seas in 2018. The fifth Oasis Class ship will combine the iconic seven-neighborhood concept that her sister ships feature with a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology. Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line, delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s highly anticipated Perfect Day Island Collection with the first private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. The cruise line has also been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 16 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel advisor; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.Source = Royal Caribbean Internationallast_img read more