Haiti begins cash transfer social program

first_img 0 Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories Sponsored Stories PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – The Haitian government has launched a program that uses mobile phones to transfer cash credits to mothers who keep their children in school.The program is called “Ti Manman Cheri,” or Creole for “Dear Little Mother.” It aims to reach 100,000 families in four of the capital’s poorest neighborhoods.Mothers with children enrolled in the first through sixth grades can receive up to $20 a month if they keep the youngsters in school. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Venezuela’s Petrocaribe fund is providing the $15 million for the program. The fund supplies fuel to Caribbean and Central American countries.Similar conditional cash transfer programs have been employed in Brazil, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced the program Sunday at a school in the sprawling Cite Soleil slum.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

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Kashmir rebel attack wounds 7 Indian soldiers

first_img Top Stories The vital role family plays in society Comments   Share   Kumar says the area has been cordoned off and troops are searching for the attackers.Indian forces have largely suppressed an insurgency that erupted in 1989 seeking independence for the region or its unification with Pakistan. Both countries claim Kashmir as its own.About 68,000 people were killed in the uprising and subsequent crackdowns.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Top holiday drink recipes SRINAGAR, India (AP) – An officer in Indian-controlled Kashmir says suspected rebels fighting against Indian rule fired on paramilitary soldiers in the disputed region’s main city, wounding at least seven soldiers.A spokesman for the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, Sudhir Kumar, says two militants on a motorcycle fired at a truck that was dropping soldiers for patrol duty Wednesday morning in Srinagar. Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

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US terminates funding for Pakistani Sesame Street

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan says it terminated funding for a $20 million project to develop a local version of Sesame Street amid reports of corruption.The organization in question is the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, a local group that jointly developed the show with Sesame Workshop, the creator of the American series.Embassy spokesman Robert Raines said Tuesday the U.S. terminated funding but declined to provide details.center_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The Pakistan Today newspaper reported the cause was financial irregularities at Rafi Peer, citing unnamed sources close to the project. Rafi Peer denied the allegations, saying the U.S. ended its participation after providing $10 million because of lack of available funds.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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Georgian tycoon turned opposition leader fined

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – A court in the Georgian capital has ordered a billionaire businessman who formed an opposition party to pay $91 million in fines in a ruling that the tycoon’s lawyers called political.The Tbilisi City Court ruled late Monday that Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s richest man and leading philanthropist, violated the law by handing out free satellite dishes and offering a fleet of cars owned by his companies to his Georgian Dreams political party. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Ivanishvili’s lawyer Eka Beselia said the court’s decision was politically motivated.Ivanishvili made his entry into politics in October, announcing that he was forming a political party with the aim of winning the parliamentary vote set for the fall and assuming the post of prime minister in a challenge to President Mikhail Saakashvili.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

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Vietnamese journalist sentenced to 4 years in jail

first_img Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Representatives of Tuoi Tre were not permitted to give evidence at the trial. The paper’s editors declined comment.All media in Vietnam is tightly controlled, but free speech activists say enforcement is getting tougher by a government that fears that hard-hitting journalism and social media are eroding its grip over the people. There are currently at least five journalists and 19 bloggers being held on various charges in Vietnam, according to the international watchdog Reporters Without Borders.Editors and journalists in Vietnam do not have to submit everything they print or broadcast to state censors, but are well aware of which topics they are to avoid. In 2008, a journalist for Thanh Nien newspaper was sentenced to two years in prison for his coverage of a high-profile corruption case at the transport ministry.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The United States, which is seeking closer ties with Vietnam but has pledged to press the government on human rights issues, issued a statement saying it was concerned that Khuoung’s sentence “may reflect political considerations and not just his alleged act of bribery.”Christopher Hodges, a spokesman for the American Embassy in Hanoi, said the U.S. also was concerned by the number of journalists and bloggers being held by the government and the “chilling effect on the media environment.”Khuong, who has been in jail since February, gave a police officer a bribe of $710 in June last year in order to get an impounded motorbike returned.The 37-year-old paid the bribe as part of reporting on police corruption and later wrote two articles about it that appeared in Tuoi Tre, triggering public anger at the police. Judges at the two-day trial in southern Ho Chi Minh city sentenced him to four years in jail, and the officer who took the money to five, according to a report in Tuoi Tre. Four other people were also sentenced to prison terms in connection with the case, including Khuong’s brother-in-law.In a speech before his sentence was handed down, Khuong said he “had honest motives in detecting and fighting corruption in line with party and state policies,” and that while he may have committed a journalistic error he had done nothing criminal. Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean How men can have a healthy 2019 Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Associated PressHANOI, Vietnam (AP) – A Vietnamese journalist who bribed a police officer as part of an undercover investigation into corruption was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday, while the officer who accepted the money got a five-year sentence, state-controlled media reported.Relatives and colleagues of Hoang Khuong stood up and cheered after he made a statement to the court proclaiming his innocence, according to a report by his paper, Tuoi Tre. The reaction appeared to be a rare, albeit modest, show of public defiance toward the state and its Communist rulers, who critics say are launching a renewed crackdown on the media. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

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Spanish man questioned over university attack plot

first_imgAssociated PressMADRID (AP) – A Spanish man arrested on suspicion of planning to imitate the 1999 Columbine killings at a university campus on the popular holiday island of Mallorca was ordered Friday to remain in custody while a judge decides what legal action to take.The suspect, identified by officials only as a 21-year-old whose initials are J.M.M.S., was shown on state television TVE as he was escorted to court by police. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Judge Enrique Morell handed down a decision of provisional prison without bail for the suspect, who was arrested Wednesday. The judge said he had decided to keep the man in custody to avoid any risk he might tamper with evidence.A court spokeswoman said the suspect entered the courthouse smiling before answering questions posed by Morell. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.Spanish police said the man had tried to purchase guns for the attack, but opted to make bombs from 140 kilograms (310 pounds) of chemicals bought online.In a statement, police said they had been watching the man for the past five months after messages referring to Columbine began appearing on Internet pages in Spain. A Venezuelan journalist working in Japan alerted police to the suspicious content of some of the suspect’s online postings.The statement said the man had openly expressed his hatred for society, and particularly students. A police spokesman said there was nothing to indicate that the man had planned to carry out the attack for any set ideological reasons.Twelve students and one teacher were killed in the Columbine attack in Colorado. The two perpetrators then killed themselves. The Spanish man’s diary indicated he had considered committing suicide once he had carried out the attack. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your life Quick workouts for men Comments   Share   Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Philippines protests Chinese use of water cannon

first_img“These actions, these incidents surely escalate the tension in the area and this further threatens the peace and security and stability in the region,” he said.China repeated that it “has indisputable sovereignty over South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, Huangyan Island included,” using the Chinese name of Scarborough. It did not confirm nor deny the water cannon attack but said Chinese government vessels were patrolling the Scarborough area regularly.“The Chinese side does not accept the so-called `protest’ by the Philippine side,” Chinese Embassy spokesman Zhang Hua said in a statement.President Benigno Aquino III said his government will ask Beijing if this was an isolated incident or a new Chinese way of engaging rival nations in the disputed waters.Military chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista told reporters Monday that Philippine forces adhere to a no-confrontation policy in the disputed areas but would defend the country and its people if they are threatened.The Philippine military said it would not retaliate.“Although it is an aggressive act, it does not merit a military response,” military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said. “We encourage our fishermen to continue with their normal lives. We cannot let an aggressor stop our way of life, especially livelihood.” MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine government summoned China’s top envoy in Manila on Tuesday to protest what it said was the firing of a water cannon by a Chinese government vessel to drive away Filipino fishermen from a hotly disputed shoal in the South China Sea.Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the protest was handed to Beijing’s charge d’affairs over the Jan. 27 incident at Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing ground claimed by China and the Philippines. China ignored the protest and called its sovereignty there “indisputable.” China has controlled the shoal since Philippine vessels backed off from a tense standoff there in 2012. Chinese coast guard and surveillance ships have guarded the territory and chased away Filipino fishermen if they ventured close. The Philippines asked an international tribunal last year to declare China’s seizure of the shoal and seven other South China Sea reefs illegal.Filipino fish trader Macario Forones said Chinese coast guard personnel used crude oil-laden waste water while blowing their ship’s horn and yelling “Go away, go away” at his fishermen. One or two other Philippine fishing boats were hit by the waste water, he said.“The water smelled of oil and smeared the side of my fishing boat,” Forones told The Associated Press by telephone from western Zambales province. “But my fishermen did not really leave the area. We’ve spent so much money to travel there and they basically ignored the Chinese.”The Chinese coast guard vessel with bow No. 3063 used its water cannon for several minutes and sounded its horn to drive away 2 of 14 Filipino fishing boats, Hernandez told a news conference.“It is a strong protest against the Chinese for the harassment,” Hernandez said of the diplomatic action, adding that China’s massive territorial claim in the South China Sea was “excessive, expansive and illegal.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility China, the Philippines and four other governments have been disputing ownership of resource-rich South China Sea territories for years. Many fear the disputes could set off a major armed conflict.__Associated Press writer Oliver Teves contributed to this report.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img
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House panel uses war funds to skirt budget limits

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-controlled House panel Tuesday approved using $37 billion in unrequested war money to match President Barack Obama’s 7 percent budget boost for the military. The move came over the opposition of Democrats and the White House, who argue that domestic programs deserve equal treatment.The Appropriations Committee action came as it approved a $579 billion Pentagon spending bill that would fund a 2.3 percent pay increase for the military and add new money to boost air reconnaissance. The bill advances toward a floor debate later this month, even as measures that fund the departments of Commerce, Justice, Transportation as well as Housing and Urban Development are moving ahead this week — headlong into twin administration veto threats issued on Tuesday.The sweeping Pentagon funding measure typically enjoys widespread support, but this year’s version is trapped by a broader budget involving a $1 trillion budget “cap” mandated by the return of automatic spending cuts that are the punishment for Washington’s failure to replace them with other deficit-cutting policies. Such so-called sequestration cuts would reduce agency operating budgets by about $90 billion below levels originally called for by a hard-fought 2011 budget accord.The White House has issued blanket veto threats against spending bills for the budget year beginning in October, demanding additional money for domestic programs. But there’s no sign yet of negotiations between the White House and Republicans controlling Congress over ways out of the tangle, which promises to drag on until the fall or later.“We will be in the throes of another crisis in December — our time should no longer be wasted and the president and the leaders of both houses and both parties ought to start meaningful negotiations now,” said Rep. Peter Visclosky of Indiana, top Democrat on the Appropriations’ defense subcommittee. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk The defense measure also boosts funding for procurement of National Guard equipment well above the Pentagon’s request, drawing a protest from the administration, and would also block the transfer of Apache helicopters from the Army National Guard to the regular Army.Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., the top lawmaker of the defense panel, was the architect of an additional $500 million for reconnaissance, which he said would ease surveillance shortfalls that are leaving commanders “blind to the enemy’s activities, movements and intentions.”The new reconnaissance money will go toward additional aircraft and ground stations, training of pilots, personnel costs and data processing.“We will be stronger for this additional investment,” Frelinghuysen said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The defense bill itself enjoys bipartisan backing when separated from the broader budget debate. The measure provides $8.4 billion for 65 next generation F-35 fighter aircraft, eight more than requested by the Pentagon, as well as $16.9 billion toward nine new Navy ships. It also prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops. Men and women in uniform would get a 2.3 percent pay hike, a percentage point higher than requested by Obama.Hours later, the House took up a $51 billion measure funding the departments of Justice and Commerce and science-related agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation. The measure generously funds space programs and provides small increases to law enforcement agencies like the FBI. Democrats protested cuts to Obama’s requests for legal aid to the poor, the 2020 census and hiring grants for local police.The Justice funding measure is likely to be amended on the floor as early as Wednesday to renew language blocking the government from cracking down on medical marijuana providers in states where medicinal pot is allowed. The House will also vote on whether to allow recreational use as well in states that permit it. Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

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Unwanted gift from Stalin Warsaw Palace of Culture turns 60

first_img Comments   Share   The palace also boasts a popular viewing platform on the 30th floor. Tragically, eight people, including a Frenchman, chose the viewing area to plunge to their deaths, until protective grates were installed in the 1970s.After Poland shed communism in 1989, calls were made for the palace to be torn down in a symbolic gesture of doing away with the Soviet past. But the city ended up preserving it due to its Socialist realist architecture — which in recent years has begun to gain some appreciation– and because it is part of the city and the country’s history.“It’s good that it’s still standing here,” Bak said. “But it would be good to clean it a bit.”Foreign tourists also appreciate it.“I think it is an extraordinary piece of architecture,” said Paul Kulig, a high school student visiting from Edmonton, Canada. “Just seeing those ballrooms and the history behind them, how the communists would meet there, discuss politics and, obviously, drink together because that’s just what they did — it was extremely neat.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Parents, stop beating yourself up WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Some Poles liken the skyscraper to an elephant in lace underpants. A famous poet dubbed it “the nightmare of a drunken baker.” And one joke goes that it provides the best view of Warsaw because you can’t see the building from inside.Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science has been derided as an oppressive eyesore ever since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin built it as his personal gift to the city. On Wednesday –having survived persistent calls to tear it down — the building marked its 60th birthday as an enduring symbol of a city that has known waves of destruction. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Exhibitions of the palace photos and caricatures opened and officials were to raise a birthday toast with Champagne. Concerts and fireworks are also planned over the weekend, to mark the anniversary of a building that Warsaw residents have finally come to appreciate. Rising 42 floors, it remains Poland’s tallest building and it boasts over 350,000 visitors each year. A growing number of them are foreign tourists curious to explore the many corners of the massive Soviet-style edifice.“I like it, it’s nice,” said Joanna Golabek. “I don’t mind its history so much. I have good associations with the concerts and the events that I attended there.”In the early 1950s, when Warsaw was still largely a sea of ruins after World War II, some 5,000 Soviet and Polish workers built the skyscraper in less than three years, complete with marble interiors and impressive crystal chandeliers. Some 18 were killed in on-site accidents.Stalin offered to build the edifice in 1951, while the Soviet Union was strengthening its grip on Poland and other countries in the region. The money and most materials came from the Soviet Union; Polish and Soviet officials opened the building, then-named after Stalin, with great pomp on July 22, 1955. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “It was an unwanted gift mainly because, as we say, it was a gift from Stalin and for obvious reason it was not welcome,” said Renata Kaznowska, head of the city-run building’s management board. “Its difficult childhood also comes from the fact that a whole section of old houses had to be pulled down to make room for it.”A team of Soviet architects, led by Lev Rudnev, styled it after similar buildings in Moscow, but added traditional Polish features like wooden box ceilings, pillars and carved stone ornaments.Polish poet Wladyslaw Broniewski famously called building — stacked like a wedding cake — “the nightmare of a drunken baker.”Even as an eyesore, the structure was — and remains — very functional. It houses theaters, cinemas, museums, a swimming pool, a concert and congress hall and many scientific organizations. It also “employs” 11 cats that fight rodents in the basement.“For those times it really was a great support for culture,” said Wit Henryk Bak, 76, who worked in the building in 1958 as an elevator technician. He recalled how Warsaw’s downtown in the 1950s was still a wasteland of “only debris and debris all around.” Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Mesa family survives lightning strike to home In this photo taken Monday, July 20, 2015, cars are parked in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland. The building was a gift from Soviet leader Josef Stalin and is celebrating its 60th birthday on Wednesday. Some officials called for the building to be torn down in a symbolic gesture after Poland shed communism and Moscow’s dominance in 1989, but the opinion prevailed that it is a witness to national history and should be preserved. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)n last_img read more

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Pilot unions claims dismissed by Qantas

first_imgQantas in negotiations with AIPA Qantas has not made a pilot redundant for nearly 40 years, and it is not about to lay anyone off now, the airline announced yesterday.The assertion by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) that Qantas aviators’ jobs are at risk is merely an attempt to gain leverage for a new enterprise bargaining agreement for international pilots, the carrier have said.   According to the airline, the combined effect of wage demands by AIPA would boost pilot salaries by approximately 26 per cent over three years, and not 2.5 per cent as the union has suggested. Additionally, AIPA has demanded that only Qantas pilots be allowed to fly jets in other Qantas Group airlines, an order the airline said would hurt Jetstar’s ability to compete as a private company with other low-cost carriers.      Qantas are concerned that any industrial action taken against it by AIPA would seriously impact business, as well as cause massive disruptions for passengers. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

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TAT – Situation Update of the Explosion Incident in Bangkok

first_imgTAT – Situation Update of the Explosion Incident in BangkokThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to convey the deepest sympathy and condolences to all the victims of the blast and their families at this traumatic time. The thoughts and prayers of the Thai people are with you.Thai authorities have stepped up security at key locations in Bangkok following the explosion that took place on Monday (17 August 2015 around 19.00 hrs.) at the city’s Ratchaprasong Intersection. The explosion is currently under police investigation. The spokesman of the Royal Thai Police stated that there have been a total of 22 casualties and 123 injuries as of 18 August 2015 at 07.00 hrs. The concerned authorities are contacting the families of victims of the blast and helping the injured to get medical treatment in local hospitals. The Thai tourism industry has mobilised the support of its members to assist and facilitate tourists affected by the incident, such as providing interpreters and helping with immediate travel arrangements.The Royal Thai Police have requested that locals and tourists exercise caution when out and about in Bangkok. The Police have also increased their presence and put extra security in place at all of Bangkok’s key tourist areas in response to the incident. Citywide patrols are in place to ensure the safety of locals and visitors to the Thai capital.Meanwhile, overall life in the city is continuing as normal. All public services and banks are available to the public. As for tourist businesses, other tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and shopping malls remain open, while transportation links, major roads and airports continue to operate. This includes Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain and MRT services and both Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi International Airports receive domestic and international flights.In addition, events that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is supporting remain as scheduled, such as the “Way of Silk, the Way of Thai: A Tribute to Her Majesty the Queen” silk exhibition in Bangkok during 17-30 August, TBEX Asia 2015 during 15-17 October and the nationwide Loi Krathong festivities in November, as well as all other domestic and overseas marketing activities.TAT is monitoring and assessing the situation in Bangkok and will be providing regular updates.Useful contact for tourists: TAT Call Centre 1672.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

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Ethiopian Special Fares from Sydney – Melbourne

first_imgFrom AUD 1,300 From AUD 1,000 From AUD 930 Addis Ababa Entebbe, Nairobi,JohannesburgFrom AUD 900 Bujumbura Ethiopian special fares from SYD/MEL to Source = Ethiopian Airlines – World Aviation Systems Juba, Accra For further information, refer to your GDS or call Ethiopian Airlines on 1300 600 001 *Gross Published Special Fares from SYD/MEL with interline partners CX/QF via HKG or SYD-BKK on QF & onwards on Ethiopian Airlines. For Sales Now to 31Oct2015 – Departures on/before 31Mar2016* 40 Kgs baggage allowance.*Taxes Additional – Limited Seats Available – Further Conditions Apply Khartoum, Dar-Es-Salaam, Harare, Lagos From AUD 1,055last_img

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Jessica Watson OAM cooking up a storm at MTA 2016 National Conference

first_imgJessica Watson OAMJessica Watson OAM cooking up a storm at MTA 2016 National ConferenceMTA – Mobile Travel Agents brand ambassador Jessica Watson OAM is no stranger to a challenge.It’s a well know fact she has single-handedly circumnavigated the world, danced with the stars on national television, captained Sydney-Hobart yacht races in atrocious conditions and volunteered to work with youngsters in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, one of her many charitable causes.But Jessica’s latest challenge at the MTA ‘Power of Community’ National Conference from 04-06 March has her taking on a completely new role.In addition to her ambassadorial activities and assisting helping MC Dan Gregory throughout the conference, Jessica will also be donning chefs’ whites to assist celebrity chef Lance Seeto cook at a ‘conference wind down’ family fun event MTA has planned on Sunday, 06 March at Broadwater Parklands.Chef Seeto, head chef at Fiji’s Mana Island Resort and a close friend of MTA co-managing directors, Roy and Karen Merricks, has planned a Fijian style BBQ on the day with Fiji’s national dish ‘Kokoda’ (pronounced Kokonda) top of the menu as a special treat for those MTA Members and their families attending the event. Australian-born Chef Seeto is high profile on the Pacific culinary scene.An award-winning international food and travel writer, author, television presenter and life foods chef, he is credited with single-handedly igniting a culinary revolution across Fiji and has been integral in getting its people, restaurants and tourism partners to think differently about Fiji’s tropical island cuisine.Chef Seeto is also the country’s first Culinary Ambassador to Fiji Airways with his signature business class dishes appearing across the airline’s international network.“While not known as a Gordon Ramsay type chef, none the less Lance is a perfectionist so we hope Jessica can rise to the challenge,” Karen Merricks said.“If she doesn’t, no matter – we know Lance will keep her pretty busy with all the washing up after the event.” MTA – Mobile Travel Agentsdiscover more hereSource = Mike Parker-Brown, PR Consultant, MTA – Mobile Travel Agentslast_img read more

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British Airways steels with deal with new route to Pittsburgh

first_imgBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways steels with deal with new route to PittsburghBritish Airways will shortly become the only airline to offer a direct flight from the UK to Pittsburgh. From April 2, 2019, the airline will launch a year round four-per-week service to the Pennsylvanian city from Heathrow.The new route will take the number of US destinations the airline flies to from London up to 26, and the number of daily flights offered by British Airways and American Airlines as part of their transatlantic joint business up to 67 per day.The route will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with special return fares from £600 in World Traveller and £1068 in World Traveller Plus available to book now on ba.com.Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: “We are extremely pleased to be adding Pittsburgh to our global network of over 250 destinations. With the roll-out of WiFi on our longhaul flights and the ongoing investment we’re making in the customer experience on the ground and in the air, we’re proud to be flying the flag for high quality transatlantic travel.”The new flights will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with the BA0171 departing from London Heathrow at 5.00pm and landing into Pittsburgh at 8.15pm, while the BA0170 will leave Pittsburgh at 9.50pm, arriving into London at 10.25am the following day.As well as the thriving arts, culture and food scene, a vast range of outdoor activities are also easily accessible, afforded by the great rivers, green valleys and majestic mountains. Pittsburgh has also been labelled ‘Robot City’ as Google and Uber have campuses in the region and numerous other tech start-ups have established headquarters in the river valley town.British Airways will launch 16 new routes across the globe this year including direct flights to Nashville that started in March. These new routes come as the airline rolls out a £4.5 billion, five-year customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all its customers.For more information on Pittsburgh visit www.visitpittsburgh.comSource = British Airwayslast_img read more

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Cleartrip proposes increase of listings and cities on Activities app

first_imgCleartrip aims to include 300-400 activities from 30 cities on its new Activities app vertical by March 2016. The Activities app, which is part of the main Cleartrip mobile app, offers a range of 150 themes like culinary classes, food walks, segway tours, luxury bike rentals, yachting, adventure, go karting, photography trails, hiking, kids’ trips, day outings, and night treks. Samyukth Sridharan, President and COO, Cleartrip, informed that following the expansion of activities listing, Cleartrip intends to expand by getting more cities onboard. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows, with the activities prices starting from Rs 200.Recently, Cleartrip joined hands with SBI Card, whereby customers can carry out transaction on their website using the SimplyCLICKSBI Card and earn 10 times the reward points on the purchases made. The Card comes at a fee of Rs 499 and could be used at all merchant outlets within India and abroad.last_img read more

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InterContinental Hotels Group to launch the first Crowne Plaza in Pune

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group announced the opening of the first Crowne Plaza in Pune – Crowne Plaza, PuneCity Centre. The 173-room hotel will operate under a management agreement with The Advantage Raheja Group and has been rebranded from an existing property.Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre lies in the Koregaon Park district located right in the heart of Pune. Situated at only a 20 minute drive from the airport and nearby key local businesses, venues and attractions, this hotel is ideal for hosting business travellers who need convenient access to the city while utilizing ample space for large corporate meetings and events.Designed to truly make business travel work, the hotel will undergo an extensive refurbishment to upgrade guest rooms, public areas, restaurants and meeting space. Furniture and fittings and other interior elements will be enhanced to create more inviting dining options and engaging spaces for both business and social interactions. Commencing June 2016, the refurbishment is anticipated to be complete early 2017 and the hotel will remain fully operational during this time.Shantha de Silva, Head of South West Asia, InterContinental Hotels Group said, “Over the last few years, Pune has established itself as one of the key commercial hubs of the country and so is a great market for the hospitality industry. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has been recognised globally as a reputable meetings hotel brand for the last 30 years and is the perfect brand to meet the needs of corporate travellers and the growing MICE business in this city. We’re delighted to be partnering with the Advantage Raheja Group on this hotel and look forward to offering business ready services to our guests here.”Deepak Bhagwandas Raheja, Founder of The Advantage Raheja Group said, “Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre will be equipped with the latest technology, quality furnishings and modern meeting facilities and I have every confidence it will be the number one business travel hotel in the city. Pune is expanding along its eastern and western peripheries and gradually transforming into a major tech and biotech centre so it is the perfect destination to develop a quality hotel that caters to the needs of corporate travellers. We’re pleased to be developing a leading business branded hotel with a global player like IHG, the company’s global distribution networks, loyalty programme and portfolio of preferred brands makes them the perfect partner to take the hotel to the next level. We look forward to welcoming our guests with the service and unique amenities they have come to expect at a Crowne Plaza.”last_img read more

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Ras Al Khaimah expects 20 growth from India in 2017

first_imgRas Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has outlined its strategy for 2017 for the Indian market during a press conference in Delhi.Speaking during the occasion, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “India has become a prominent market for us on which we are highly depending upon. We have experienced 35% growth in the first quarter of 2017 along with 10.6% boost in the length of stay of Indian travellers. Our destination has also experienced an overall increase of 72% in family travel segment. Therefore, we are hopeful to receive a promising number by the end of this year from India.”“Tourism is a very big contributor to our GDP, 40% of our visitors are from the neighbouring emirates and 60% travellers are international visitors. Since we witnessed 35% increase from the Indian market in the first quarter of 2017, our prime focus would be to achieve about 15-20% rise in 2017,” added Shaji Thomas, Director, Destination Tourism Development, Government of Ras Al Khaimah.RAKTDA is working on introducing a range of activities for newlyweds, honeymooners and MICE and will be aggressively promoting it among the Indian market. The destination’s manmade island namely Marjan Island currently house four hotels and RAKTDA anticipates to house 20 hotels by 2025.To further enthral the adventure enthusiasts, RAKTDA targets to claim the world’s longest zip line title from Puerto by converting Jebel Jais Via Ferrata zip line into the world’s longest by the fourth quarter of 2017. For golfing options, the place has two renowned golf courses that include Tower Links and Al Hamara Golf Club, from which, Al Hamara has been a home for the European Challenge Tour in 2016 and will also be hosting the 2017 edition.last_img read more

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Court Ruling May Delay DoddFrank Regulations

first_img August 3, 2011 404 Views A recent ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., faulted the “”Securities and Exchange Commission””:http://www.sec.gov/ (SEC) for failing to perform a sufficiently thorough economic impact analysis before it moved forward with a new rule, according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-22/dodd-frank-act-s-rules-may-be-at-legal-risk-after-sec-appeals-court-defeat.html. The decision could roll over onto provisions established by the Dodd-Frank Act, delaying those provisions and preventing new rules from going into effect.[IMAGE]Proposed by the commission last year, the SEC reportedly intended the rule to give more heft to candidates in line for positions on company boards and help investors oust unwanted directors. According to _Bloomberg_, this makes yet another case the SEC lost in court as the commission works to put on paper and finalize some 100 rules that Dodd-Frank requires it to write.””The commission inconsistently and opportunistically framed the costs and benefits of the rule; failed adequately to quantify the certain costs or to explain why those costs could not be quantified; neglected to support its predictive judgments; contradicted itself; and failed to respond to substantial problems raised by commenters,”” the news service reported U.S. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg as writing. “”The entire Dodd-Frank implementation is at heavy risk because if any of these rules are challenged by the courts, they won’t survive,”” _Bloomberg_ reported Hal Scott, “”Harvard Law School””:http://www.law.harvard.edu/index.html professor and director of the Program on International Financial Systems, as saying.[COLUMN_BREAK]Rule-writing is an extensive process for federal regulatory agencies, one that can take up to one or more years. Economic impact analyses figure into the marathon as one of the last steps before a rule is approved by an agency, with lengthy commentary periods, agency-to-agency consultations, legal reviews, and more serving as roadblocks in the approval process.””I don’t see notice and comment as a panacea for bad regulation,”” Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/, said in a past interview with _MReport_.This rule got the green-light in May after SEC commissioners voted in approval by 3 to 2. Among the changes wrought by the rule: a $100,000 reward for whistleblowers who came forward to federal authorities about corporate rule-breaking that required fines and penalties of more than $1 million, according to the “”_Wall Street Journal_””:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904772304576470313933175814.html.The _Journal_ reported that a dissenting commissioner who cast a nay vote said that she felt concern over procedures by the SEC that neglected tallying the final costs to employers.Despite the ruling, there is still more rule-writing to be done, according to _Bloomberg_. Dodd-Frank charged the SEC with responsibility for some 70 proposed rules.””The court has sent a clear signal that the agency must continue to improve its efforts in that area,”” the news service reports Eugene Scalia, a lawyer at “”Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP””:http://www.gibsondunn.com/default.aspx, as saying. “”The decision is notable for the number of different errors it finds in the commission’s analysis and the degree for which those errors go to the very core of the commission’s argument.”” Richard Eckman, a managing partner at “”Pepper Hamilton LLP””:http://www.pepperlaw.com/ and chair of the law firm’s financial services practice group, went further for a past story by saying that agencies often use orders and guidance in addition to rule-writing authority. He also said that federal agencies are anything but foreign to suits and court decisions.A contentious suit brought against the “”Environmental Protection Agency””:http://www.epa.gov/ in 2000 successfully strong-armed the agency into overturning controversial guidance that the presiding court said “”should have been subject to the rulemaking procedures.”” Attorneys & Title Companies Dodd-Frank Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers The Cato Institute U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission 2011-08-03 Ryan Schuette in Governmentcenter_img Share Court Ruling May Delay Dodd-Frank Regulationslast_img read more

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HARP Volume Surpasses FHFA Expectations in 2012

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Refinance Service Providers 2013-03-13 Tory Barringer refinance,HARP Volume Surpasses FHFA Expectations in 2012 Share March 13, 2013 418 Views center_img in Data, Origination Refinance volume under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) pulled back slightly in Q4 2012, but data from the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) indicates interest in the program remains high.[IMAGE]FHFA’s “”December 2012 Refinance Report””:http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/25033/Dec12RefiReport.pdf shows HARP volume was 76,461 in the year’s final month. For the quarter, HARP volume was 297,461, representing 22 percent of total refinance volume reported by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.According to FHFA, nearly 1.1 million HARP refinances were completed in 2012, bringing total volume to 2.2 million since the program’s implementation in April 2009.The top five states for HARP refinances (since 2009) are California (which has reported 301,327 refinances under the program), Florida (175,686), Illinois (147,252), Michigan (144,709), and Arizona (106,387). In terms of HARP share, Nevada takes the No. 1 spot, with 46 percent of refinances since April 2009 falling under the program (compared to the national average of 15 percent). In December alone, HARP refinances represented 68 percent of total refinances in the state, triple the national average of 21 percent.FHFA also reported most HARP refinances since the program’s inception have been on primary residences (1,895,827 loans). Second homes comprised 69,522 HARP refinances, and 199,672 were for investment properties.In December, 18 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than the traditional 30-year mortgage. The findings fit with Freddie Mac’s “”refinance data””:https://themreport.com/articles/freddie-mac-27-of-q4-refinancers-shortened-loan-terms-2013-02-12, which showed that 27 percent of borrowers who refinanced in Q4 opted for a shorter loan term.last_img read more

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Indecomm Honored Among Outsourcing Companies

first_img June 17, 2014 450 Views Indecomm Honored Among Outsourcing Companies in News, Uncategorized Company News Indecomm 2014-06-17 Tory Barringercenter_img Indecomm, a provider of consulting and outsourcing solutions for mortgage lending, retail banking, and other industries, has once again ranked among the top global outsourcing companies by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).The company ranked 54th among the top global 100 companies in the Leaders category for the 2014 Global Outsourcing 100, according to a release. The honor marks the seventh straight year that Indecomm has been recognized by IAOP as a global corporate leader.”Each year the competition to be named to The Global Outsourcing 100 and The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors lists continues to reach higher levels,” said Jagdish Dalal, chief advisor of thought leadership for IAOP and chairman of the judges’ panel. “Given the strong competition, getting named to these lists is a great recognition and these companies should be proud of achieving excellence in the field.”In addition, Indecomm was also honored among the Best 5 Leaders in Education, the Best 10 Leaders in Corporate Services, and the Best 10 Leaders in Southeast Asia. The firm also ranked among the Best 20 Leaders category in Transaction Processing Services and the Best 20 Companies in India.”The real winners of this award are our business partners. It is with them that we achieve excellence and we are rewarded by seeing our partners grow,” said Naresh Ponnapa, CEO of Indecomm. “Our partners and our professionals have teamed to win these awards.” Sharelast_img read more

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