Thursday, September 1, 2016 MIAMI — Carnival Imagination is scheduled to go into dry dock Sept. 4 – 25 for an extensive multimillion dollar renovation aimed at upgrading the ship’s food and beverage concepts.The new spaces will be added over the course of the three weeks. Following its makeover Carnival Imagination will resume its year-round schedule of three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, California.The new additions will include:Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries Travelweek Group RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside watering hole with Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beersCherry On Top with bins of bulk candy, fun gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more Posted by Alchemy Bar, a ‘cocktail pharmacy’-themed lounge where mixologists ‘prescribe’ concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil DropMore news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise Collection BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar Carnival Imagination heads to drydock for multimillion dollar reno Carnival Imagination already offers a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot Twister slide, the Serenity adults-only retreat and the Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.“Carnival Imagination provides a convenient, value-packed West Coast cruise option and with these new enhancements we’re making this fantastic ship even better,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. << Previous PostNext Post >>
TORONTO — In seven years Club Med’s Groups business has tripled out of the Canadian market.Not only that, the Club Med team dedicated to Group sales has also doubled in the past few years.Last night’s Meetings & Events by Club Med reception, presented with partner Air Transat in Toronto, was hosted by one of those new additions to the Club Med Groups team, Lori de Montmorency.For several months now Montmorency has served as Club Med’s MICE BDM based in Toronto, dedicated to Club Med’s MICE sales for English Canada.And in 2016 the department launched a new brand identity, to better translate how Club Med can offer different types of group experiences. More details are at en.meetings-events-clubmed.ca/.Already the all-inclusive pioneer, Club Med has gone all-in on Groups business too. Why? “The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market is very important for Club Med as we are able to offer experiences for corporate clients that want to bring their team at destination,” says Melanie St-Germain, Groups Sales Manager for Meetings & Events by Club Med.More news: Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemShe added: “Companies value more and more their colleagues working with them. Companies are looking to share a message through corporative events (eg. trainings, meetings), reinforce ties through team buildings activities (creative, social, active) and bring together their teams through pleasant moments including entertainment and dinners.“In one location, Club Med can provide all those aspects thanks to our MICE and leisure offer at destination.”Agents can position Club Med’s product “as a great asset for the company to create immediate return on investment, in regards to employee loyalty,” she adds.The MICE market is a big piece of Groups business but it’s not the only piece and St-Germain wants agents to know that plenty of Groups opportunities exist beyond MICE. “Welcoming groups at Club Med is very diversified and not only for MICE groups,” says St-Germain. Examples include training & educational programs, product launches, sports programs (eg. ski, golf, scuba diving, tennis, etc.) and, of course, family reunions and destinations weddings.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionClub Med resorts have Groups coordinators on site and together with the property’s G.O.s, “we are able to offer tailored experiences to different types of groups and provide specific atmospheres in different parts of the resort.”Club Med’s dedicated Groups team in Canada can organize and coordinate the program for the client, from activities to booking and setting up meetings rooms, to dining logistics, private dining and excursions, plus flights, she adds. << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Share Travelweek Group Tags: Club Med Posted by All-inclusive pioneer Club Med now going all-in with Groups business
Share Canada Jetlines stages in-air protest against lack of airline competition << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Thursday, July 25, 2019 VANCOUVER — Canada Jetlines is standing its ground against what it says is decreased airline competition by staging a protest – in the sky.Using four planes and 18 skydivers, Jetlines’ airborne protest was staged to rally Canadians, investors and the Competition Bureau around the idea of increased competition and decreased airfares.In an official YouTube video of the publicity stunt, Javier Suarez, Jetlines’ CEO, says, “Flights in Canada are a rip-off because Canada is controlled by two airlines and the Competition Bureau is doing nothing to stop them.”He adds: “We are Jetlines, Canada’s first ultra-low-fare airline and we’re here today to send the duopoly a message in the place they believe they own: the sky.”Skydivers are then seen jumping out of a plane and holding up signs that read, “We want fair airfare now”, “Canada needs more airlines” and “Down with the duopoly.”The video then encourages viewers to go to Jetlines’ website at fightback.jetlines.ca to sign an online petition that the carrier says will be presented to the Canadian Competition Bureau.More news: Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksIn an official release, Jetlines writes: “While several airlines have attempted to enter the Canadian market, the duopoly has pushed them out with short-term match-pricing at prices below their avoidable costs…The Competition Bureau is currently investigating WestJet and their subsidiary new airline for ‘predatory pricing’ to undercut new entrants. Under Canada’s competition laws, predatory pricing occurs when an incumbent with market power sets its prices below avoidable costs.”Suarez, who is urging consumers to show their support for more competition, says that Canada is the only developed country without a ULCC due to the fact that two high-cost airlines control approximately 85% of the domestic market.The low-cost carrier (LCC) versus ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) designation may be a matter of degrees, but Swoop, in the market for more than a year now, certainly bills itself as a ULCC, as does Flair, while Air Canada Rouge is typically positioned as more of a LCC.“We know Canadians are fed up as there are between five and six million passenger trips per year by land over to the U.S. each year to fly on U.S. low-cost carriers, based out of northern U.S. airports, that in many cases only operate from those airports due to the robust Canadian passenger traffic,” he says.More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsCanada Jetlines is scheduled to launch on Dec. 17 as ‘Canada’s first true Ultra-Low Cost Carrier airline’, with plans to operate flights across Canada to destinations in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean with an Airbus A320 fleet. Tags: Canada Jetlines Travelweek Group
No related posts. It seems like everybody in town is out looking forKatie Meyer’s lost dog, Tank, who disappeared in Huacas two weeks ago. He’s a black and white Boston Terrier and there is a reward of $500 for whoever finds him. If you have information, call 8451-3601, 8706-9470 or 8729-8274.Up in the mountains of Cañafistula is the ultra-exclusive boutique hotel and spa called Los Altos De Eros. For a limited time only, Costa Ricans and residents will get the chance to stay at the hotel and use the many spa facilities, which overlook the forest and ocean, for 50 percent off. This is a great deal especially if you want a massage, facial or a soak in a whirlpool with a spectacular view (and of course, great service.) To reserve, email email@example.com or call 8850-4222 or 8850-4203.The monthly newspaper Tamarindo News just celebrated 10 years of publishing and providing news for Tamarindo. Congratulations Mauro Camera and Marisol Arias and to Juanita Hayman-Viale, who many will remember founded the paper all those years ago.In fast, other news: Every Tuesday is Salsa Night at Fisch restaurant. Dra. Adriana Munera offers her dental skills in Tamarindo and Liberia, and now at CIMA Hospital in Guardia. Call 2653-3877 for details. And in Villareal, there a new store called Alkymia, which sells gifts, party favors and office supplies. You will find the store opposite Super Kalima. Call 2653-1080 The Tamarindo Church, with pastor Lyle Watson and his wife Stacey, are organizing a Summerfest Tamarindo Family Festival on July 13 from 3-5 p.m. at the Tamarindo Soccer Field just across from Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. It’s a free event with inflatables, carnival games and prizes, a funny photo booth, human bubble, lemonade stand, snacks and more. If you would like more information, go ahead and email firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ellen Zoe Goldenellenzoe@aol.com Facebook Comments
Eva Fernenbug, the mother-in-law of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, allegedly used funds from two bank accounts in Costa Rica to pay for various properties in her country, Peruvian media reported this week, citing Peru’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF).The financial report, published Thursday by most Peruvian newspapers, indicates that Fernenbug – who is currently under investigation for alleged money laundering in her country – had some $17 million stashed in two separate accounts in Costa Rican banks.She opened the accounts as a representative of Costa Rica-based corporation Ecoteva in January 2012. The first account had $17 million and the second had some $90,000.Fernenbug transferred $5.3 million to Lima from the first account and used the money to buy a $3.4 million house and an $832,000 office in the Peruvian capital, according to the UIF report.She also paid a $500,000 mortgage on a house owned by Toledo, which the former president then transferred to his daughter Chantal in 2000.Fernenbug last year also paid another $277,000 mortgage on a beach house that, according to public records, belongs to Toledo, the report added.Peru’s Chief Prosecutor José Antonio Peláez Bardales arrived in Costa Rica on Tuesday to further the investigation in coordination with local authorities.On Thursday, Peláez said he had requested that Costa Rica lift banking secrecy laws in place since 2005, not only for Toledo’s accounts, but also for Fernenbug’s accounts and all others linked to corporations under investigation in Costa Rica.He said Costa Rica’s Prosecutors Office, and the Tax Intelligence Unit and the Judicial Investigation Police were cooperating in the investigation.“We will process and analyze all this information back in Lima,” Peláez said on Thursday.Vicente Zeballos, president of Peru’s Congressional Investigation Committee, told the daily El Comercio that Toledo not only lied to the Congress but also to Peruvian media. “This [UIF report] confirms that he has been playing us and concealing the truth,” he said.The congressman said Thursday morning that officials will review documentation and then call witnesses, “including Fernenbug,” to testify. Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, a leading candidate in Sunday’s presidential elections in Honduras, is an inexperienced politician whose husband – the ousted former president Manuel Zelaya – has links to well-known drug traffickers.That’s according to retired U.S. diplomat Roger Noriega, a former lobbyist for the interim government that replaced Zelaya. Noriega made the drug-trafficking claim on Nov. 19 in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank.Noriega, one of three panelists at the event – “Insecurity in Honduras and the Upcoming Elections: What’s at Stake for Central America” – alleged that the 54-year-old candidate “has no experience in politics and is widely seen as an instrument of her husband’s political ambitions.”Noriega then showed slides of Libre Party activists allegedly attacking buses carrying supporters of Juan Orlando Hernández, 45, of the ruling National Party. He warned that Castro’s Libre Party “could try to promote destabilizing and violent activities” on Election Day to keep voters home.Manuel Zelaya was forced into exile in 2009 after he tried to promote a national referendum that would have changed the Honduran Constitution. If his wife wins, she would become the first woman president in Honduras and the first head of state in more than 100 years who does not belong to the National or Liberal parties.“I can confirm from three separate DEA agents telling me that Manuel Zelaya is directly complicit in narco-trafficking,” Noriega told a Washington audience. “Several U.S. foreign service officers have told me the same thing. Even before the 2009 crisis, they said Zelaya’s association with narco-trafficking was well-known, and that it was absolutely ridiculous that the U.S. was calling for his return to power.”Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, shared the podium with two other speakers: Eric Olson, associate director of the Latin America program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Joseph Humire of the Center for a Secure Free Society.Noriega warned that Honduras was indicative of a new caudillo phenomenon in which political strongmen follow the “Chávez model” espoused by Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chávez.On democracy in Honduras, Noriega – who was a senior staff member for North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms (a supporter of white, Southern racial segregation) and who played a key role in ousting democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide – had this to say: “This is the purposeful dismantling of democratic institutions that took the better part of the 20th century to construct. … It’s not just a left-wing phenomenon along the lines of Chávez, because you see it with power-hungry politicians seeking to profit from corruption. These new caudillos have struck a Faustian bargain with international crime syndicates, perhaps thinking, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.’Noriega said $30 billion in two-way trade with Central America is at stake if the isthmus reverts to insecurity and instability.But much of northern Central America already is unstable and violent.Olson pointed out that Honduras is the world’s most violent country, with homicide rates exceeding 85 per 100,000 inhabitants. In some cities, the rate exceeds 300 per 100,000.“That’s higher than many countries at war,” he said. “By U.N. standards, any homicide rate over 20 per 100,000 is considered an epidemic.”Noriega also noted that the Liberal Party’s Villeda “is basing his campaign on a critique of the current administration [of President Porfirio Lobo]. He appeals to many middle-class voters who are tired of the impunity that has marked Honduran politics in recent years, but he is lagging in third place in most places.”Hernández, president of the Honduran Congress, is a bitter foe of the Zelayas and is on record as supporting Lobo’s plan to deploy 4,000 military police in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and other major Honduran cities to reduce violence.Noriega said, “It looks as if the Hernández political machine has kicked in and is moving public opinion his way.”If Hernández has the momentum, it certainly wasn’t overwhelming according to the last official poll taken: Last month CID-Gallup showed 28 percent support for Hernández and 27 percent for Castro; a third candidate, Mauricio Villeda of the Liberal Party, came in with 17 percent. The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.A dire panorama Olson warned that regardless of who wins the elections, Honduras faces serious obstacles to overcome – especially with regard to corruption and the weakness of state institutions to fight it.“It’s an extremely violent country and the question is why. There’s no question that organized crime and drug trafficking is an element in violence in Honduras today,” Olson said. “We immediately think of drug trafficking, because that’s logical. But Honduras also has a problem with trafficking in contraband – used clothing from the United States, pirated goods and hardwoods and precious woods. A woman selling pirated CDs on a street corner might seem innocent enough, but she’s part of an organized crime system.”Olson added: “We’re not just seeing the dismantling of democratic institutions. We’re seeing the failure of governments in the last three decades – lost opportunities that have failed to construct independent judiciaries, professional law enforcement, civilian institutions that could hold accountable those who have authority for the safety and security of Hondurans. The United States holds responsibility for this as well, but fundamentally, this has been a series of lost opportunities.”Olson recalled that during his visit to Honduras last June, the country’s newly appointed minister of public security announced that the government had been paying as many as 2,000 ghost police officers – cops who didn’t exist.“The institutions did not even know who was on their payrolls. Worse than that, they only had 64 police officers in four of the most chronically violent states. Either they didn’t know, or they knew but didn’t care,” he said.He added that two-thirds of Hondurans recently surveyed expect fraud in Sunday’s elections, and that no legal requirements exist to carry out independent audits of campaign financing.“So if they said they spent $1 million, no one knows how they got that money. The door is so wide open, the mechanisms of control and accountability are not there. One can just expect that this sort of thing is going on,” Olson said.As for the elections tribunal, Olson said it is weak, and its members are politically affiliated.“That does not automatically make them bad, but it calls into question – when push comes to shove – what the outcome might be,” he said.Humire’s talk focused on dispelling economic myths he said have been promoted by the Zelaya campaign.One is that more than 400,000 jobs were created during the former president’s term of office. In reality, the agriculture sector employs 39.2 percent of Hondurans yet contributes only 12.8 percent of its gross domestic product.“They also claimed that public debt dropped under Zelaya’s administration. That’s mostly true, but that’s because of massive spending and social welfare, which further crowded out private capital investment, as depicted by the 18.45 percent lending rate by commercial banks,” he said.Humire also noted that approximately 670 Honduran doctors remain on strike because the government has not paid their salaries.Olson said one of the biggest problems with Honduras is that despite the country’s traditional two-party system, nine parties are competing in Sunday’s election. And with no run-off vote, the winner likely will only capture about 32 percent of the total vote.Said Olson: “While I have a great deal of love for Honduras, I worry that the scenario is potentially dangerous and difficult.” Facebook Comments
President Luis Guillermo Solís extended the country’s ban on petroleum exploration and extraction until 2021 as well as adding guidelines for energy efficiency in government agencies.Solís signed the bill on Friday, before attending the 190th anniversary festival of the annexation of the Partido de Nicoya. The extension continues a moratorium signed by former President Laura Chinchilla in 2011, which tasked the Environment Ministry (MINAE) with enforcing the ban. The original law cited Costa Ricans’ constitutional right to a healthy environment as its authority. The moratorium called for an updated cost-benefit analysis of petroleum extraction, citing risks like the 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Chinchilla’s moratorium was set to expire in August.Environment Minister Edgar Gutiérrez said the ministry also will now oversee a prohibition on government purchasing of equipment, lights and appliances that consume high amounts of electricity.“It is the obligation of all the administration’s institutions to create and execute the Institutional Environmental Management Programs,” Guitérrez said, referring to government initiatives that aim to foster a healthier environment, cleaner energy and climate change mitigation.Although Costa Rica does not extract petroleum, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country still burns oil for electricity. In 2011, the most recent year available, the country generated 8.8 percent of its electricity from oil. Most of Costa Rica’s energy comes from renewable sources, but the country also must rely on hydrocarbons, particularly late into the dry season, when hydroelectricity production is at its lowest.In the transport sector, gasoline prices have reached record highs in Costa Rica, with some politicians calling on the country to join Venezuela’s oil-sharing scheme Petrocaribe. Solís expressed reticence over that proposal at a press conference last week, saying that cheap gas is not a priority in his administration. Facebook Comments Related posts:Electricity rates to remain unchanged through December 2015 Let the gas prices climb, but give us electric cars Big Oil’s heirs join call for action as climate summit opens A milestone for the environment in the Deepwater Horizon disaster
Related posts:Another former Panamanian minister arrested in graft probe Panama court orders detention of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli From Miami’s ‘Scarface’ pad, Panama’s exiled President Ricardo Martinelli fights back Q&A: Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú hails Guatemala’s ‘great awakening’ PANAMA CITY – Panama’s former Vice President Felipe Virzi has been arrested for alleged money laundering, adding to a lengthening list of former associates of ex-President Ricardo Martinelli jailed on corruption charges.Virzi, who was arrested overnight, was Martinelli’s business partner and the vice president of Panama from 1994 to 1999.Anti-corruption prosecutors ordered Virzi’s arrest, alleging he received a $5 million payment for winning an irrigation system contract for an Ecuadoran company, Hidalgo & Hidalgo.Prosecutors allege he then distributed the money among various private and business accounts associated with Martinelli.“They say it is money laundering. But there was no money laundering, even if you accept the premise on which the accusations are based,” Virzi’s lawyer, José María Castillo, told reporters.According to prosecutors, the state paid the company more than $37 million with Virzi acting as the go-between. After Hidalgo & Hidalgo obtained the irrigation contract, it allegedly paid Virzi $5 million, which he shared with several others, including Martinelli, according to prosecutors.Virzi’s arrest follows those of several former ministers and close associates of Martinelli, who was president from 2009 to 2014.The 63-year-old Martinelli is himself under investigation by Panama‘s Supreme Court in a case involving multi-million dollar cost overruns in food contracts for the country’s public schools. Facebook Comments #Política Fiscalía Anticorrupción ordena conducción de Felipe “Pipo” Virzi http://t.co/7RgKgf4T23 pic.twitter.com/i5yyM74s3Q— La Estrella | Panamá (@EstrellaOnline) June 1, 2015
Sponsored Stories Top Stories BANGKOK (AP) – Police in southern Thailand have seized 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine concealed in a pickup truck’s headlights. They arrested six people and say the drugs were to be smuggled to Malaysia.Police Maj. Gen. Surapon Thuanthong said Wednesday that four Malaysians and two Thais were arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal narcotics after the drugs _ also known as “ice” _ were seized from the pickup truck, which was parked at a house in Hat Yai, 740 kilometers (460 miles) south of Bangkok. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Police said they also seized 25 grams (0.9 ounce) of heroin and $432,500 worth of Thai and Malaysian currency when they arrested the men Monday.Thailand is a major market and transit country for drugs, especially methamphetamine produced in neighboring Myanmar.(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 Comments Share Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top holiday drink recipes
Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The protesters slammed the government’s land reform program as ineffective and said the presence of U.S. counterterrorism troops in the south has undermined Philippine independence.The protests were staged as the country celebrated its declaration of independence from centuries of Spanish colonization in 1898.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine riot police have blocked hundreds of left-wing protesters and farmers from marching toward the U.S. Embassy in Manila to demand land and to protest the presence of American troops in the country.Police used fiberglass shields and wooden batons Tuesday to stop about 1,000 protesters from getting close to the heavily secured American compound, sparking a brief scuffle. No arrests were made and the protesters later dispersed peacefully. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 0 Comments Share Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – Norway has donated 6 million kroner ($1.05 million) to the U.N.-backed tribunal trying members of Cambodia’s former Khmer Rouge regime on charges of genocide and other crimes.The tribunal announced Thursday that Norway’s total contributions now exceed $5 million. The biggest donors have been Japan with $75 million and Australia with $15 million.The tribunal is seeking justice for the estimated 1.7 million people who died due to the extremist policies of the Khmer Rouge’s 1970s rule. It has convicted the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer and is currently trying three of its former senior leaders. The tribunal spent $141.1 million from 2006 through last year. It expects total costs of $230.7 million by its projected conclusion in 2013, and has warned that it faces severe budgetary shortfalls.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments Share Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement
Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “Elimination of communism has to happen in people’s heads and consciousness,” said Kiev deputy mayor Oleksiy Reznikov. “Symbolism irritates some people and creates a certain aura that we need to get rid of.”Parliament opened the way last month by backing a package of laws that included a loosely formulated ban on communist, as well as Nazi, imagery and ideology. The provisions, which still require approval from President Petro Poroshenko, will make it illegal to show symbols from the Soviet era, such as the logo of Communist Party, or play Soviet-era anthems. It will also become an offense to deny the criminal nature of the Soviet regime.Taking down all the communist symbols will take time, money and a fair dose of acrobatics, especially in the case of objects like the 100-meter (330-foot) tall Motherland Monument.“We will find alpinist patriots, like the famous ones who painted a star at the top of a Moscow hotel the blue-and-yellow (of the Ukrainian flag),” Reznikov said. “We will ask for help from brave guys like that to get this work done.”Eager Ukrainian nationalists have for the past year been racing ahead of the authorities by pulling down dozens of statues of Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Soviet Union. The sight has typically been greeted with a mixture of glee, indifference or, among mostly older people, dismay. Comments Share Top Stories Those include the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists headed by WWII-era insurgent leader Stepan Bandera, who briefly allied himself with the Nazis. Efforts by Bandera-led forces to carve out an independent territory for Ukraine led them to perpetrate hideous atrocities against Soviets, Poles and Jews alike.Bandera’s name is tantamount to a curse word among many ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in Ukraine’s east, where government troops have since last year been battling Moscow-backed separatists in a war that has already claimed more than 6,000 lives.And Russia has warned darkly of more trouble for Ukraine should the anti-communism measures go ahead.“Attempts by Kiev to distort the country’s past and to disregard the achievements made in Russian and Soviet periods will only lead to a deep split in society,” the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement in April. “Doing that by imposing nationalist ideologies will only further cast into doubt the prospects of Ukraine’s statehood.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FILE – In this Friday, May 8, 2015, file photo, a worker installs a wreath of poppies as a red peak, and red ribbon on top of the 102-meter Motherland Monument in Kiev, Ukraine, to mark the anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. The Motherland Monument’s shield bears the Communist hammer-and-sickle _ but maybe not for much longer. Ukraine’s leaders are eager to be seen as reinventing the nation and erasing all visible reminders of the communist past, they say, is an important step toward that goal. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A hulking steel statue of a victorious female warrior bearing aloft sword and shield looms in dour majesty over the Ukrainian capital. The Motherland Monument’s shield bears the Communist hammer-and-sickle, but maybe not for much longer.Ukraine’s leaders are eager to be seen as reinventing the nation. And erasing all visible reminders of the communist past, they say, is an important step toward that goal. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “Imprisonment for up to five years for any display of Nazi or communist symbols is manifestly and undeniably in breach of international human rights standards,” Volodymyr Yavorsky, an expert with Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, wrote in an article analyzing the laws.The campaign against the anti-communist laws has been joined by the several dozen signatories to a letter to Poroshenko pleading with him to reject the bill, which sailed through parliament with little debate.“However noble the intent, the wholesale condemnation of the entire Soviet period as one of occupation of Ukraine will have unjust and incongruous consequences,” said the letter, which was signed by dozens of international and Ukrainian historians.The letter argues that the legislation is so loose as to possibly punish anybody writing approvingly of any policies implemented over 74 years of Communist rule.“Anyone calling attention to the development of Ukrainian culture and language in the 1920s could find himself or herself condemned,” the letter said.One especially thorny provision makes it illegal to justify historical instances of repression of Ukrainian independence movements in the 20th century. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The thrust of what has been dubbed de-communization has sharply divided views. Supporters argue it has been long in the waiting and will set the stage for Ukraine to leave its history behind.“I would have got rid of it all years ago. It simply doesn’t reflect the mood of the Ukrainian people,” said Kiev resident Vasiliy Babkov. “We have to build up that which is truly in the blood of Ukrainians.”But others, like Halyna Coynash, a journalist and member of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, said some measures risk reverting to the censorship of the communist era. She sees particular danger in a measure that forbids any positive assessment of the Soviet era.“They have ended up with a law that seriously endangers freedom of speech,” Coynash said.Dismantling Soviet emblems and renaming streets named in honor of figures known to have been part of the Soviet Union’s machine of repression has garnered a wide approval. But misgivings abound.“Saying that people cannot themselves wear a red star or even have a hammer-and-sickle on their clothing,” Coynash said, “is really quite absurd.”Repeated violations could result in prison sentences lasting several years, also a source of anxiety.
Francis also was met by Mayor Jaime Nebot, who gave him the keys to the city, which were gold and silver, encrusted with pearls.___9:56 a.m.Pope Francis has landed in Guayaquil, an Ecuadorean port city where he plans to celebrate Mass in a park. More than 1 million people are expected to attend Mass at the Samanes Park in northern Guayaquil.While in the city, Francis also plans to meet with members of his Jesuit order.___9:15 a.m.If nature calls while Pope Francis is celebrating Mass in Ecuador’s port city of Guayaquil, a special bathroom is set up for him.Sitting behind the pavilion in the Samanes Park, authorities built a spacious bathroom that includes a large toilet, a shower, a large mirror, an Asian-style rug and a painting of Jesus.Teresa Arboleda, a popular television personality in Ecuador, toured the bathroom and described it to viewers. She says the bathroom has white walls and light that shines in from above giving it a bright feel.More than 1 million people are expected to attend Mass at the park.___8:05 a.m.Hours before Pope Francis arrives in Ecuador’s port city of Guayaquil, thousands are already waiting in the Samanes Park where the pope is expected to celebrate Mass with up to 1 million people. Like others, she had a backpack, suitcase and food to sustain her. She added, “God suffered more than we do with this rain.”Just as the rain eased, officials opened the park early and people began filing in.Quito security chief Juan Zapata says officials will distribute blankets from stocks kept by civil defense authorities for emergencies.___5:20 p.m.The pope has wrapped up a seven-hour stay in Ecuador’s biggest city and is flying back to the capital of Quito.During the day, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass for hundreds of thousands of people gathered under a broiling sun at Samanes Park on the northern edge of the port city of Guayaquil.He then had a private lunch with fellow Jesuits, before heading to the airport and his plane back to Quito.___5:05 p.m.Pope Francis had a chance to sample seafood from the Ecuadorean coast while meeting with fellow Jesuit priests in the port city of Guayaquil.The entrees were shrimp ceviche and a chicken broth. Then the main course was grilled sea bass. Desert was tropical fruit and sweets made by women who work in a Jesuit school in Portoviejo, about 85 miles (136 kilometers) north of Guayaquil.The Rev. Pedro Barriga, the 89-year-old leader of the Jesuit school in Guayaquil, says the meal last nearly an hour. He says the meeting was very informal, and the pope went around and shook everybody’s hand. Top Stories People wait for the arrival of Pope Francis to celebrate a Mass at Samanes Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Monday, July 6, 2015. The “pope of the poor” returned to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time as pontiff Sunday, stressing the need to protect the poor and the environment from exploitation and to foster dialogue among all sectors of society. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) Francis’ gift to the president has a personal touch: a reproduction of an important icon of the Madonna with Child.The original Byzantine mosaic dates from the 13th century and is in the Roman basilica where on Aug. 22, 1541, St. Ignatius Loyola and his confreres professed their religious vows. Their order became the Jesuits — the Society of Jesus religious order to which Francis belongs and which played a fundamental role in the history and development of Latin America.Vatican mosaic specialists made a replica of the icon working with the same type of glue composition used centuries ago to affix the mosaics inside St. Peter’s Basilica.___6:15 p.m.A punishing rain and hail storm has soaked tens of thousands who lined up outside the park in Quito, Ecuador, where Pope Francis is saying Mass on Tuesday.People grabbed what they could to protect themselves. They tore vinyl advertising placards off the metal fences surrounding the park, which was Quito’s international airport until two years ago.Some just shrugged it off.Although her clothes were soaked and she shivered in the cold of Quito’s 9,000-foot altitude, Angelica Naranjo said: “This isn’t a sacrifice. It’s a demonstration of faith.” Francis also could be seen embracing an elderly man. While at the school, the pope is scheduled to meet with the Rev. Francisco Cortes, the 91-year-old headmaster known affectionately as “Padre Paquito.”When Francis was the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio in his native Argentina, he used to send his seminarians on study trips to the Javier school in Guayaquil, entrusting them to Cortes.Cortes has said the last time he spoke to Bergoglio was some 30 years ago and he couldn’t believe the pope remembered him.___1:30 p.m.Flags of more than half a dozen countries can be seen waving in the air at a Mass that Pope Francis is celebrating in Guayaquil, a humid port city that is Ecuador’s largest.The variety of flags include: Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Puerto Rico.“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see Francis,” said Norma Peralta, from neighboring Peru. “It took me about 10 hours driving to get here. It’s cheaper than going to the Vatican.”___1:05 p.m.Pope Francis is focusing his homily on the family while celebrating Mass at a large park in Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Francis gave the example of a mother and her children, saying she loves all of them equally.“The family is also a small church, a domestic church,” said Francis. “With life, it channels tenderness and divine mercy.”Hundreds of thousands listened to the pope at Semanes Park while standing in the hot sun and using handkerchiefs to wipe sweat from their brows.___12:06 p.m.Hundreds of thousands of faithful cheered Pope Francis as he arrived at the Semanes Park in Guayaquil. The pope planned to celebrate Mass at the park in the Ecuadorean coastal city, the country’s largest with 2.35 million residents.Riding in the popemobile, Francis waved to the crowds. People waved handkerchiefs and Vatican flags.The port city is known for its heat and humidity, at noon was already 86 degree Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).___11:05 a.m.Pope Francis has arrived at the Divine Mercy shrine in the Ecuadorean coastal city of Guayaquil. Upon arrival to the shrine, the outstretched hand of a young child nearly poked Francis in the eye. The pope smiled as he continued walking.Francis then spent a minute praying at the shrine beneath a large painting of Jesus. The pope told the crowd he would pray for them. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “And I won’t charge you a thing,” he joked. “All I ask is that you pray for me. Will you promise me that?”After visiting the shrine, the pope plans to celebrate Mass at a park with more than 1 million people.___10:43 a.m.A self-proclaimed “Mr. Nobody” soon will be sharing the spotlight with one of the world’s most famous people.It’s been 30 years since the Rev. Francisco Cortes last spoke with Pope Francis, who at that time was the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio.Cortes, known as Padre Paquito, must have made quite an impression on Bergoglio, who in Argentina was in charge of the Jesuit order that the men share.Cortes, who is 91 years old and a Spaniard by birth, was to spend five minutes with the pope on Monday. They will meet in a small room adorned by flowers and religious paintings after Francis celebrates an outdoor Mass in the Ecuadorean coastal city of Guayaquil.“I don’t know why he set the meeting. We haven’t even corresponded,” Cortes told The Associated Press in an interview. “I’m really just a Mr. Nobody.”___10:03 a.m.A handful of altar boys took selfie photos with Pope Francis upon his arrival in Guayaquil, a port city in Ecuador where the pope plans to celebrate Mass with up to 1 million people. The altar boys were waiting on the tarmac and approached the pontiff when he descended from his plane. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, says it will likely become the pope’s “travel staff” for use on foreign trips.___9:05 p.m.Ecuador’s president had a bit of surprise for Pope Francis after their meeting at the Carondolet palace Monday evening.The 78-year-old pontiff who’d had a long day in the sun on the coast emerged from the 50-minute session to find a reception line stretching into the distance.President Rafael Correa spent a quarter hour introducing the pope to dozens of people: Ecuador’s entire Cabinet, deputy ministers, military officials and others.The pope then walked 50 meters (150 feet) to Quito’s cathedral. Inside, he left a bouquet of white roses at the feet of a statue of the Virgin Mary, placed a rosary on its hand and briefly prayed silently.He then went out on the steps to address a crowd, many of whom had waited hours to see him and endured a deluge.But instead of giving the short speech that he had prepared, Francis offered a brief blessing for the “noble Ecuadorean people.”___7 p.m.Pope Francis is back in Ecuador’s capital and he is making a formal courtesy visit to President Rafael Correa at the Carondelet Palace on Monday night. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis’ trip to South America:___10 p.m.Pope Francis is using a rustic pastoral staff during this eight-day visit to South America.The papal spokesman says the staff is a replica of a wooden staff that was made for Francis by prisoners at an Italian detention facility but then was lost or damaged.During Francis’ trip to the Holy Land last year, he received a replica made from olive wood and he used it Monday at an open-air Mass in Guayaquil, Ecuador, that drew hundreds of thousands of faithful. Comments Share Guillermina Aveiga Davila, a 90-year-old retired accountant, says she arrived in the middle of the night. She traveled from Chone, about 104 miles (167 kilometers) north of Guayaquil.“This is the first time I’ll be able to see a pope,” said Davila, accompanied be five family members.Vicente Huilcatoma Montes, a 47-year-old school bus driver, says he arrived at 5 p.m. on Sunday to make sure he found a good spot close to the front. He says he walked 25 miles (40 kilometers) with a procession from the southern part of Guayaquil to the park, which is in the far northern part of the city.“I’m tired, hungry and I haven’t slept but I feel such emotion and joy in my heart,” he said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Were the dishes tasty?“Don’t ask me about the food,” Barriga said with a laugh. “I have poor taste. I eat everything they put in front of me.”___4:30 p.m.Before Monday, it had been 30 years since the Rev. Francisco Cortes last saw Pope Francis, who then was simply the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio and was in charge of the Jesuit order in Argentina.The now nearly 91-year-old Cortes must have made a strong impression with his work at the Colegio Javier parochial school mentoring young men sent to him by the future pontiff. His meeting with Francis on Monday was the only private one-on-one session that the pope scheduled for his visit to Ecuador.After Francis arrived following a huge outdoor Mass in Guayaquil, Cortes gave a bouquet to the pontiff and they embraced.Cortes told The Associated Press earlier that he was perplexed by the pope’s invitation.In his words, “I don’t know why he set the meeting. We haven’t even corresponded. I’m really just a Mr. Nobody.”___2:45 p.m.Pope Francis has arrived at a Jesuit-run secondary school in Guayaquil for lunch with a handful of fellow Jesuits.Two youngsters presented Francis with flowers and other gifts as he arrived at the Colegio Javier. In exchange, they received a papal hug. 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Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Passengers flying with All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines can expect a raise in fares after Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department approved an increase in passenger fuel charges. The new charge will take effect from early next year and could reach a maximum of 129 HK dollars for domestic flights and 621 HK dollars on long haul flights, Trading Markets reported. Airlines believe the new surcharge could help recover losses from the fluctuations in fuel prices over the past year.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada’s most awarded train journey, has continued to be a hit with Australians, with its local sales office reporting a record year of growth in 2009-10 and 2011 already shaping up to be its strongest season ever. Visiting Sydney, Rocky Mountaineer’s CEO, Randy Powell and Sales Manager, Bob Nicholas, said the Australian market was its second largest behind the US, with some 20,000 passengers taking one of its train journey’s last year. With an average 90,000 experiencing its core routes, and a further 60,000 taking the Whistler to Sky journey, the company has expanded its offering with a Silver Leaf compartment which, Mr Nichols says hopes to entice a middle-market of travellers following market research.However in Australia, the largest segment of new business has been attributed to latest packages offering more FIT based itineraries providing more flexibility to the ever increasing baby boomers market.”People used to relate Rocky to group tours, now the trend of offering FIT packages with flexible, customised itineraries is proving to be our biggest growth area in Australia,” Sales Manager Asia Pacific, Dianna Schinella said.Mr Nichols concurred with a global trend, saying the fastest growing segment was between 35-44 years of age, with over 55 representing a quarter of its passengers. A focus has also been targeting corporate and incentive travellers, with Rocky Mountaineer presenting at AIME for the first time. Itineraries are based around Canada’s cruising season, with 48 per cent of passengers taking a pre or post Alaska cruise from Vancouver. The company provides the only all-day service through the Rocky’s and is Canada’s largest privately owned rail service. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Dianna Schinella, Robert Halfpenny, Bob Nichols, Randy Powell (Rocky Mountaineer), Jo Palmer & Alison Scott (Gate 7)
:: Rewards for Rail Excellence :: 2011 Dux, Travelworld Nowra owner-manager Jennie Dicker, with Rail Plus CEO David Stafford Greg McCallum (Rail Plus) and Ivette Velasco (Emirates) Melissa Pointon (Concierge Business Travel), Larissa McKenzie (Travelworld Newcastle), Trina Patterson (Concierge Business Travel) and Greg McCallum (Rail Plus) Hosting its first ever Corporate Rail Experts event in Sydney last night, Rail Plus awarded 25 graduates from across the country after completing a series of online training modules, with the big prize awarded to Travelworld Nowra Manager, Jennie Dicker.Though the Rail Experts program has been running for three years, this is the first time it has been tailored specifically for corporate consultants, which Rail Plus National Sales & Marketing Manager, Greg McCallum said reflected growing interest of rail travel to international business travellers which has resulted in a 55 per cent increase in sales from corporate consultants this year.“Rail networks – particularly those in Europe where high-speed services are rapidly expanding – offer corporate travellers unrivalled ease and efficiency,” McCallum said. In order to further benefit from growing demand, Mr McCallum said initiatives were developed to better adapt services for coprorates, which includes the new integration into Amadeus’ front office solution and the introduction of ‘Print Your Ticket’ technology providing increased security, flexibility and convenience. Ms Dicker received two return tickets to Europe flying Emirates, two Eurail Global Flexi Passes and two tickets on Eurostar, and advertising of her company in business media. Julia Enders from Travelforce Private came runner up and also went home with a prize, a ticket to the 2012 National Travel Industry Awards next year (including one nights’ accommodation in Sydney), and third placed Kate Bennett from Travelworld Coffs Harbour will travel to Melbourne in December to attend this year’s TraveLeague Christmas Luncheon.Five top selling Emirates and Eurostar graduates will also be chosen to experience the product first hand on a 10-day famil to Europe in November sponsored by Rail Plus and partners, Emirates, Eurostar and Citadines Apartments. Agents picked include, Karen Borg – Pure Travel, Karen Hamilton – Elite Travel, Melissa Pointon – Concierge Business Travel, Larissa McKenzie – Hunter Travel Group and Robyn Martin – Jetset Camden.All graduates of the Corporate Rail Experts program received a Eurail Global Flexi Pass for 15 days travel in two months.For further information please visit www.railplus.com.au. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Geoff Currie (Trafalgar Tours) and Julia Enders (Travelforce Sydney) Louise Reid (Mary Rossi Travel) and Gretel Spiegel (Mary Rossi Travel) Dux, participants on exclusive Rail Plus famil and Emirates.(L to R): Ivette Velasco (Sales Executive, Emirates), Larissa McKenzie (Hunter Travel Group), 2011 Dux Jennie Dicker (Travelworld Nowra), Karen Hamilton (Elite Travel), Karen Borg (Pure Travel), Melissa Pointon (Concierge Business Travel), Robyn Martin (Jetset Camden), Greg McCallum (National Sales & Marketing Manager, Rail Plus) and Jessica Pinnuto (Sales And Marketing Co-ordinator, Rail Plus).
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Taking the hotel experience way into the future, Novotel has teamed up with Microsoft to launch the world first; hotel room of the future.Unveiled earlier this week, the room called 3120 will be housed at the Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse and will be equipped with technology yet to be released in the market.Including voice recognition, a fitness interface and a Surface multimedia table, parent company, Accor explained in a statement the room was fit for both the business traveller and family trips. “We wanted to reinvent the hotel room experience by harmoniously melding design and new digital technologies,” global chief marketing officer Grégoire Champetier explained. “It’s crucial to take our customers’ changing habits and expectations into account. “In particular, this means rethinking our rooms in digital terms.”Working with architecture firm, Naço, the hotel room has been described to have a “unique ambience” upon entry and designed to be a “decompression chamber” between the outside world and a spacious sensorial environment.Majority of technology cannot be seen to the naked eye, according to Accor, so as to not overwhelm the guests by its technological surrounding.The room is also divided into two sections, entertainment and the rest, and making a clear division between the parents’ space and the children’s.Both sections are equipped with an Xbox 360 console with Kinect, with a fold up bed for the adults while the youngeon’s play in a more playful and colourful room with a tatami mat that rises up on one side to form a bench.“The two environments co-exist and echo each other with extruded volumes,” Accor’s statement read. Other new features also include the Surface table, which responds to the user’s hand gestures and allows them to browse through the web, play board games or search interactive maps. Also the Sensorit interactive mirror looks like an ordinary mirror but displays a variety of information in graphic and text form.It allows users to check the weather or a range of multimedia content, play the radio as well as access new through the simple wave of the hand. “Novotel and Microsoft will continue their partnership through the deployment of specially-designed Kinect Experience stands in public areas across the Novotel network,” Accor’s statement continued. “They are also considering the possibility of offering the game console in rooms so that guests can benefit from an ultimate entertainment experience during their stay.”The hotel was designed to accommodate two adults and two children under 16 and is available for general reservations for a three month period from 14 February 2012.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Vietnam and Cambodia are fast emerging as luxury travel destinations, says Luxury Travel founder Mr Pham Ha.US Travel group Virtuoso conducted a survey of its member agencies and found that Vietnam and Cambodia are the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia.“With the new luxury hotels and world class golf courses having recently opened or set to open soon, and the luxury train journeys, exclusive cruises and upscale private tours, Vietnam is fast emerging as an exciting destination for the high end traveller,” Mr Pham Ha said.Mr Pham Ha says gone are the days when travellers just want to be pampered, these days travellers want to be entertained and stimulated.“Nowadays, luxury travel is about experiences, doesn’t need to be the preserve of the super-rich.Mr Pham Ha added that travelling in style and comfort doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank either and that the world of luxury travel is a very accessible one.Mr Pham Ha explains that upscale tours also offer “off the beaten track “ experiences and plenty of flexibility for all tours.“Each day, tours are designed with flexibility to suit travellers personal interest, schedule and energy level. When it comes to luxury tours, the sky’s truly the limit.”
The company said that it would try to make contractors full time employees, reduce the workforce through attrition and not fill open positions. “We will be releasing up to 300 people, primarily fixed-term contractors, by the end of the year,” Boeing said in a statement. The Dreamliner 787 deal is Australia’s largest aerospace contract, worth AUD $4 billion over 20 years. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale The company said that this had always been the decision once full production rates were reached and it had completed its orders. Boeing’s decision worsens a difficult year for manufacturing employment in Victoria with Holden and Toyota deciding to stop operations and Philip Morris closing its production plant and sacking 180 workers. “Reducing employment on these programs is a natural part of the manufacturing cycle.” The decision means that the workers will no longer be needed to help produce carbon fibre trailing edge for the wings of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, the Guardian reported. Boeing has defended its decision to sack 300 fix-term contractors from its Port Melbourne plant by the end of the year. Even though Boeing will be shrinking its workforce by 300 people, it is intent on still hiring people to handle existing delivery obligations.
In other Tasmanian travel news, former Greens Party leader Bob Brown has been asked to become the face of Tasmanian tourism, in a bid to promote eco-tourism in the state. “”The plan I have in front of me says that real construction starts in the second quarter of next year and we’re not talking about 10-storey buildings, we’re talking about log cabin-type accommodation among the trees” Mr Wood said. Mr Wood currently owns the most popular accommodation booking website in Australia, Wotif. However, Mr Brown is at loggerheads with the Tasmanian state government because it plans to release 74,000 hectares of protected forest from World Heritage. Mr Wood said that construction of accommodation would begin 2015. The contentious Tasmanian pulp mill will become a tourist drawcard, after it was bought out by wealthy environmentalists Graeme Wood and Jan Cameron. Detailed plans of the development which have been released include gardens, an art gallery, a culinary school and accommodation, the ABC reported. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale