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first_imgFormer U.S. President Bill Clinton will speak at an environmental forum on May 9 in Escazú, filling the role performed by Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, last year.Javier del Campo, director of forum organizer Terra Partners, announced the ex-president as the keynote speaker of the second annual Sustainability and Environment Business Forum during a press conference Tuesday morning at Hotel InterContinental in Escazú, in west San José. Clinton, who was the U.S. president from 1993 to 2001, highlights a forum that takes place May 8 and 9. Brazil’s ex-Environment Minister and former presidential candidate Marina Silva will speak at the end of the first night. Bhutan’s Director of the Center for Bhutanese Studies Dasho Karma Ura will speak the morning of May 9, and several other speakers will talk throughout the day before Clinton’s speech at 7 p.m.The presentation called “Embracing our Common Humanity” will go for an hour to an hour and 20 minutes. Del Campo said the goal for the forum was to bring in “high level” speakers “to represent different zones, cultures, and ideas of the world.”“I think we succeeded,” he said.Registration for the two-day summit costs $750 (discounts for groups), which takes place at the Hotel InterContinental. Capacity for Clinton’s forum is 650 guests. For more information go to www.forosostenibilidadcostarica.com. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. I recently ate the best Mexican food of all my 20 years in Manuel Antonio. It was at Sancho’s Restaurant across from Barba Roja. Owned by Marshall and Penny, both wonderful hosts, this place is highly recommended. We had to wait for a table (it says a lot when a restaurant is full during low season), but it was worth the wait. It is open daily, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sancho’s also delivers. Call 2777-0340 to order a great Mexican meal or get more information.Welcome back, Catherine Fleming! We are thrilled she has returned, and that she brought her mom, Mary Margaret Fleming, with her. Mary is a great addition to our community, and her background is fascinating. She has been a member of Rotary since 1988 and was world chair of Rotary’s public image. She started seven Rotary clubs, and is a former district governor and a fine artist. See her work at marymargaretfleming.com.Welcome Dan “O”, the new owner of La Hacienda Restaurant in Plaza Yara. The restaurant offers happy hour daily, 5-7 p.m., and live music nightly, 7-9 p.m. Food is served 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m daily.–Jennifer Rice jennifer@kidssavingtherainforest.org Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgNo related posts. A giant sinkhole that opened up Tuesday night in the middle of General Cañas Highway has created a snarl of traffic for drivers trying to enter and leave the capital.The highway, which connects San José to Alajuela and also the country’s main airport, was closed after heavy rains produced the sinkhole. The chasm – reportedly 3.5 meters wide and 4 meters deep – is in front of the Plaza Los Arcos in Ciudad Cariari, northwest of San José, and several minutes from the Juan Santamaría International Airport.The highway closure begins at the Juan Pablo II Bridge in La Uruca, a northwestern district of the capital.Alternative routes have become congested. Long lines of cars were reported on Route 27 (San José to Santa Ana), streets near La Uruca, and on the roads that connect San José to the province of Heredia.The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) even recommended that anyone who needs to use the road on their morning commute should work from home or “take a vacation.” Traffic Police are pleading with drivers to maintain patience.Transportation officials revealed a contingency plan for dealing with the sinkhole at a 3 p.m. press conference on Wednesday. Traffic Police will work with the Public Security Ministry to implement reversible lanes on the side of the highway not affected by the sinkhole. Barriers will be placed around the obstacle, and public transportation will receive priority on the route. The lanes will be made available from 5 a.m.-9 p.m.Light vehicles also will be allowed to use the reversible lanes, but semis and other heavy vehicles are prohibited during rush hour from 4-7:30 p.m. Officials encourage travelers to use public transportation if planning to use the route. Traffic Police Director Diego Herrera said airport passengers also will be given priority on the route. Passengers need to show only a passport, ticket or luggage to gain access to the bypass.In addition, the railway that connects Heredia to San José will extend its hours while repairs continue. The first train will run at 5 a.m. and service will continue until noon. Afternoon trains will start at 3 p.m. and run until 8 p.m.José Luís Salas, director of the National Roadway Council, said construction workers will install two 24-meter Bailey bridges over the sinkhole. Salas said a crew will be working nonstop, rain or shine, to put in place the bridges. The portable metal bridges are on site, and Salas expects they’ll be ready for use by the weekend. Salas said the cost of the operation is unknown. Workers have been cleaning debris from the site since early Wednesday morning.MOPT officials believe the General Cañas Highway will need at least three weeks of repairs to fix the sewer system below the road. The manhole where the collapse occurred will be reinforced with concrete. Workers need to fix the sewer system beneath General Cañas before the highway can reopen for all vehicles. A tree trunk had clogged the sewer system, and heavy rains caused a buildup of water. The weight of the clog eventually caused the collapse.Silvia Chaves, a spokeswoman for Aeris, the company that manages Juan Santamaría International Airport, said officials are doing all they can do accommodate late-arriving airline passengers.“We set up a special protocol to deal with the passengers as they arrive. They are given priority for immigration procedures, taxpaying and access to the planes. The terminal is working as usual. There have been no delays so far,” Chaves said.She said flights have not been delayed due to tardy crew members, since most airline workers stay at hotels near the airport. She said some passengers have missed their flights, but it is up to each airline to resolve those issues.The National Tourism Chamber stated that a United Airlines flight to Houston that left at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday was missing 40 passengers. Taca airlines said it’s waiting an extra 10 minutes before closing check-in for flights. As the chaos unfolds, Costa Ricans have taken to the Web to display a sense of humor about the country’s transportation woes. Savvy Web users have Photoshopped everything from Bugs Bunny to Satan to Chilean miners emerging from the sinkhole and to greet startled onlookers.Web Editor L. Arias contributed to this story. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Public Security Ministry destroys record number of guns The good, the bad and the ugly of President Chinchilla’s security legacy Explainer: Why is Costa Rica’s former President Laura Chinchilla suing a hotelier over a Facebook post? State of the Nation: President Solís highlights economic growth, urges fiscal reforms Laura Chinchilla, the first woman to be elected president in Costa Rica, and whofour years ago was at the peak of her popularity, will deliver her final State of the Nation speech with the lowest approval ratings of any leader in the Americas.Chinchilla will speak to Costa Rica’s 57 new lawmakers, who take office today in a civic celebration that coincides with international Labor Day celebrations and protests.On May 8, Chinchilla will turn over the presidency to historian and former university professor Luis Guillermo Solís without having successfully convinced Costa Ricans of her administration’s accomplishments, as her term was marked by four years of persistent fiscal woes and numerous corruption scandals.One public opinion poll, conducted last December by polling firm Unimer for the daily La Nación, gave Chinchilla a positive rating of only 11 percent. And 61 percent of respondents said they considered her administration “bad” or “very bad.”She garnered only a 16 percent approval rating as of January, according to Consulta Mitofsky, a Mexican consulting firm. Chinchilla’s rating is the lowest of all 30 leaders from the Americas, Europe and Asia. The poll took place between January and March.“Chinchilla leaves behind a fiscal deficit of 6 percent of gross domestic product, which is much worse than what the previous administration left [in 2010],” University of Costa Rica political analyst Víctor Ramírez told AFP.But Ramírez noted that under the Chinchilla administration, violent crime has decreased, with homicides dropping from 11.6 per 100,000 citizens in 2010 to 8.5 in 2013, according to the United Nations. Chinchilla also made gains with programs for children and seniors, but according to Ramírez, “that is not enough to be remembered in history.”Recommended: Honduras, Central America still lead the world in murder ratesPolitical analyst Alberto Salom, a Solís ally, characterized Chinchilla’s administration as “contradictory, lacking ambitious goals, and incapable of confronting and punishing corruption.”“[Chinchilla] started by declaring fiscal reform unnecessary. Halfway through she changed her mind and promoted a bill, but it failed,” Salom said. He added that the outgoing president was incapable of reaching consensus even in her own party, the ruling National Liberation Party.Blame the mediaChinchilla’s communications minister, former journalist Carlos Roverssi, acknowledged the deep discontent among Costa Rican voters with the current administration, but he attributed it to unfair publicity from the media and cultural machismo, the Spanish word for sexism.“Faced with constant media attacks, the only way [to counter] would have been to run our own publicity campaign, but the administration … thought it wasn’t important,” Roverssi told local press.Ramírez countered that Chinchilla’s government “refused to accept responsibility, so they looked for a scapegoat in the press.”One of the biggest scandals was the theft of $40 million in emergency public funds earmarked for a border road project in the north of Costa Rica. The road was built – unsupervised – in haste to respond to incursions by Nicaraguan soldiers and workers in a wetlands area near the two countries’ border.The project was halted in March 2012 and led to the resignation of Chinchilla’s former public works and transport minister.A month later, the president publicly defended her finance minister, Fernando Herrero, after the media revealed he and his wife allegedly committed tax evasion at the same time the administration was pushing through fiscal reform that included tax raises. Herrero also resigned.In March 2013, Chinchilla entered one of the darkest chapters of her administration when it became public that she had used a private jet linked to drug traffickers to travel to Venezuela and Peru.However, one of Chinchilla’s biggest legacies, Salom said, was her inability to “resolve fundamental problems of a social nature. … She was unable to reduce poverty and social inequality.”Chinchilla’s deteriorating public image was one of the factors that led to the National Liberation Party’s historic defeat at the polls on April 6. It was the worst electoral pounding in the party’s 65-year history. Candidate Johnny Araya, who served as the mayor of Costa Rica’s capital for two decades, was walloped in a second-round vote by opposition party candidate Solís, who captured an unprecedented 78 percent of the vote. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgThe news exploded this week: Miguel Cordero, a humble restaurateur, plans to sue 49 different establishments across Costa Rica, including hotels and even some chain restaurants like KFC and Spoon. Cordero is demanding a total of $15 million in damages for one reason: He says he inventedchifrijo, and everybody else has been cashing in on his creation.Yes, chifrijo – that hearty bowl of pork and beans available in nearly every bar and restaurant in Costa Rica. Chifrijo, that savory boca, that divine comfort food, the meal that demands a bottle of Imperial and a handful of tortilla chips. Like gallo pinto and tamales, it’s hard to imagine chifrijo having a specific origin. Unlike gallo pinto and tamales, chifrijo does, according to Cordero, have a specific origin: his kitchen.According to the suit, Cordero officially registered the recipe and its name in 2002, much the way McDonald’s trademarked “Big Mac” and Starbucks the “Frappuccino.” The stoic-looking Cordero went on a media tour this past week with his daughter Lilliana Cordero and their attorney, Ariana Araya, explaining why they deserved the vertigo-inducing sum of ₡8 billion.The name “chifrijo” is a portmanteau of “chicharrones” (pork rinds) and “frijoles” (beans). As recounted in an old blog post written for the restaurant, Cordero had a craving one afternoon in 1979 and decided to the raid the kitchen for ingredients. The resulting dish has become ubiquitous on Costa Rican menus. Chifrijo is so popular that the U.S.-based Food Network provides cooking instructions on its website. (The instructions are clearly tailored to Norteamericanos, since they are compelled to explain what Salsa Lizano is.)Despite the media frenzy over the Corderos’ claim – which earned close attention from La Nación and Teletica, among others – it’s too soon to predict where the suit will lead, but defendants include Four Season Hotel, DoubleTree Cariari by Hilton, and Hooters. In case there were any question, Cordero’s is the “house of chifrijo.” Take that, Hooters. Robert Isenberg/The Tico TimesIn the meantime, The Tico Times took the opportunity to visit Cordero’s Bar and Restaurant in Tibás, a quiet cantón north of downtown San José. The venue is well-hidden on a sleepy residential street. Small and dimly lit, Cordero’s is absolutely packed with chachkes (ahem, chunches), from little statuettes to old photographs and novelty items. The place has a cowboy feel, more Guanacaste than Central Valley, and at 1 p.m., the dining room was already packed with patrons. Some folks were ordering shots of tequila. Others came with their families and sat beneath a wooden sign reading, “Salon Familiar.”Every time a sign or menu at Cordero’s mentions chifrijo in print, it adds the word “original,” lest a guest deign to think chifrijo was first concocted somewhere else. A smiley bartender set down a steaming bowl nearly overflowing with beans and meat, plus a side of chopped, pickled veggies that were delightfully sour. Chifrijo is basically a dish full of pure protein and salt – unlike most other chifrijos, the Cordero’s creation does not include rice – almost Argentinean in temperament and a nutritionist’s personal nightmare. It is described almost universally as the perfect pub food.It’s hard to anticipate what the Corderos would do with $15 million, nor whether a flash of genius 35 years ago is worth that sum, but one can only hope their mythic little restaurant stays intact. Like chifrijo itself, Cordero’s Bar isn’t fancy, but it’s perfect the way it is. Facebook Comments Related posts:Chifrijo-Gate moves forward as Costa Rica court to hear lawsuit against 49 businesses Perro Vida celebrates first year of craft brewing VIDEO: Rebooting Costa Rican cuisine at Al Mercat Delicious take-aways from the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festivallast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:Art fair, Renaissance artist, and other happenings around Costa Rica BMX bikers, TEDx lectors, and other happenings around Costa Rica ‘Urban Sketchers’ draw San José French film, art walks, and other happenings around Costa Rica When you see a portrait by Man Yu, with its hyper-realistic colors and musculature, you may find it hard to believe that the Costa Rican artist is self-taught.Her subjects, frequently presented as nudes, have skin tones that look real enough to touch. At first glance, her pastel drawings of geishas and Chinese opera performers could pass for photographs.Even more impressive is that Man Yu has produced such a significant body of work in only 10 years. Born Man Yu Fung Li in Hong Kong, she was still an infant when her family moved to Costa Rica, but East Asian culture strongly influences her work: In one portrait, a woman unsheathes a katana before a bold red sun, and pictures of dogs also bear hànzi characters.The Club Unión will open an exhibit of Man Yu’s portfolio on April 9, an event that also marks the club’s own 92nd anniversary. Special guests include Culture Minister Elizabeth Fonseca, National Symphony Orchestra Director Irwin Hoffman, and Leonardo Gell, a pianist nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2014.While Man Yu’s career has been brief, she has garnered an impressive reputation in her first decade, winning prizes and displaying her work in such distant places as Italy and Spain. While the opening reception at the Club Unión is free and open to the public, formal dress is mandatory.The Man Yu opening reception takes place April 9 at the Club Unión, downtown San José. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Club Unión website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgRelated posts:After 80 days, investigation continues into US man missing in Costa Rica Costa Rica police chief accused of illegally detaining US expats subject to court-ordered restrictions Woman drowns in boating accident in Tortuguero, Costa Rica Costa Rica saw ‘important increase in violence,’ says OIJ director A U.S. man died in a boating accident Thursday afternoon off Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, according to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ). He’s the third foreigner to die in boating accidents here in less than two weeks.Thomas Russell Tomlinson, a 68-year-old U.S. citizen and Costa Rican resident, died from injures sustained when the boat he was traveling in collided with another boat near the Caribbean town of Parismina around 4 p.m., according to OIJ spokeswoman Paula Madrigal. The person driving the boat, Henry Smith, was taken to a nearby clinic and eventually to Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José where he was in stable condition Friday. OIJ did not release Smith’s nationality.Authorities were unable to locate the other boat involved when The Tico Times spoke with OIJ. The crash is being considered an accident but police are investigating, Madrigal said.This is the second boating collision in the waters near Tortuguero this week and the third boating-related death in Costa Rica in just over a week.On Saturday 58-year-old Benita Smith, a Nicaraguan citizen, died after the water taxi she was traveling in collided with a tourist boat. And last week, 30-year-old U.S. citizen Won Ah died during a fishing trip off Playa Herradura when he became entangled in the engine propellers. It was his 30th birthday. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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first_imgFrom our lookout point near Irazú Volocano National Park, the sky dazzled, glimmering stars outshining the glow of the city beneath us.The night sky has for thousands of years driven fascination about the mysteries it contains. The Ancient Greeks turned stars into the constellations we recognize today. The Mayas built temples that interacted with the sun. We set foot on the moon in 1969, and even today a particularly clear night can turn anyone, young or old, into an amateur astronomer.This week marks one of the year’s best opportunities to stargaze in Costa Rica, as the Geminid meteor shower will create upward of 120 visible meteors per hour in the night sky. The Geminids are active until Dec. 17, with the peak occurring the night of Dec. 13-14.That evening, the National Science and Technology Center (CIENTEC) will organize an observational boat tour through the Gulf of Nicoya to a private reserve in Punta Coral. The experience includes transportation from San José, a guide and access to observational instruments.But even if you don’t partake in an official tour, the night sky is accessible to just about anyone. The meteor show starts at about 10 p.m., and CIENTEC recommends the following:Look for a clear sky, preferably far from city lights.Learn to recognize the Gemini constellation, from which meteors, or “shooting stars,” will appear to originate.Ensure you have adequate shelter and food.Bring a blanket or a folding chair to be more comfortable.It’s a night of vigilance, and it always helps to have good company.From San José, an hour’s drive can get you far enough away from the Central Valley’s glow. We left Friday evening for Irazú, stopped for dinner on the volcano, and relaxed until the skies cleared a little after midnight.It was cold, and it was windy. But it was worth the wait. For the best stargazing experience, get as far away from light pollution as possible. Alejandro Zuniga / The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Strong winds to hit Costa Rica again Thursday Rains pound Costa Rica, but don’t believe rumors of a hurricane, CNE says UPDATE: Evacuations ordered as tropical storm Otto becomes hurricane More than 3,000 evacuees remain at shelters as rains continue over Costa Ricalast_img read more

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first_img Sponsored Stories TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An Iranian semi-official news agency reports an explosion from a land mine left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s has killed six people and injured one.The Sunday report by Mehr says the explosion happened on Saturday, during a minesweeping operation near the town of Marivan, some 300 miles (490 kilometers) southwest of Tehran.Explosions from leftover munitions lead to casualties in Iran from time to time. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Top Stories The vital role family plays in societycenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

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first_imgBut analysts say the Air Force has a real problem, and it will almost certainly worsen no matter who wins Tuesday’s election. It was created in part by a lack of urgency in the post-Cold War era, and by design glitches and cost overruns that have delayed attempts to build next-generation aircraft.Looming budget cuts limit the force’s ability to correct itself, they argue, as China’s rise as a world power heightens its need to improve. And though the world’s most formidable air force never had much use for bayonets, it’s got more than its share of warhorses.___IKE’S LEGACY _ THE KC-135 STRATOTANKERThe U.S. probably couldn’t have fought the air wars over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya without the KC-135 Stratotanker, the Air Force’s main aerial refueler, which allows fighter jets to remain airborne on long flights.America has President Eisenhower to thank for that.The KC-135 came into service during his watch in 1956. The newest of the roughly 400 Stratotankers in service started flying nearly half a century ago, in 1964.“We are in unknown territory,” said Lt. Col. Brian Zoellner, who has been flying the KC-135 for 15 years and is head of operations for 909th Air Refueling Squadron at Kadena Air Base on Japan’s southwestern island of Okinawa. “The unknown is at what point does the KC-135 become unusable.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day SPY PLANES FROM THE ’50s _ THE U-2The fabled U-2 “Dragon Lady” spy plane is still being used to keep watch over North Korea and other hot spots. The first U-2 flew in 1955, and the legendary Skunk Works aircraft became a household name for its role in the Cuban missile crisis, not to mention the propaganda bonanza the Soviet Union got by shooting one down in 1960 and capturing its CIA pilot, Francis Gary Powers.Many analysts argue the unmanned Global Hawk could do the job more effectively, but Congress has nixed that idea for now. More than $1.7 billion has been invested in upgrading the U-2.MAJOR KONG’S FAVORITE BOMBER _ THE B-52Iconic, yes. State-of-the-art, no. The venerable B-52, remembered by movie fans for its starring role in the 1964 Cold War comedy “Dr. Strangelove,” remains the backbone of the Air Force’s strategic bomber force. It dates to 1954 and was already losing its edge by the end of the Vietnam War, but nearly 100 B-52s remain in service.The Air Force developed the B-1 in the 1970s as the B-52’s replacement. President Jimmy Carter killed it, President Ronald Reagan brought it back, and none have been delivered since 1988. Sponsored Stories Associated PressTOKYO (AP) – For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.The aging of the U.S. Air Force, a long-simmering topic in defense circles, made a brief appearance in the presidential debates when Republican nominee Mitt Romney cited it as evidence of the decline of U.S. military readiness. His contention that the Navy is the smallest it’s been since 1917 got more attention, thanks to President Barack Obama’s quip that the Navy also has fewer “horses and bayonets.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The KC-46A refueling tanker is being developed as a replacement, but probably won’t start delivery for another five years. If Congress has its way, some Stratotankers could still be taking off well into the 2040s.THAT ’70s SHOW _ THE F-15, F-16 AND A-10The F-15, America’s workhorse warplane since the Vietnam War, was designed to have a service life of about 5,000 flight hours. The Air Force has more than tripled that, to 18,000 hours.The F-16, another key fighter, has been in use since 1979. The Air Force began retiring the oldest ones two years ago.Another ’70s-era fighter is the A-10 Thunderbolt, which provides close air support for ground troops. It’s now being rewinged because its old ones were riddled with cracks. The General Accounting Office estimates the cost of upgrading and refurbishing the aircraft will be $2.25 billion through 2013.The Air Force is revamping its fighter fleet with the stealthy F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but production of the F-22 was cut short after its price tag swelled to nearly half a billion dollars a pop. Delays and escalating costs have also dogged the F-35, which is now the most expensive Department of Defense procurement program ever. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishescenter_img Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Air Force Col. Robert Haffa, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, added that although ground forces were the primary concern in Iraq and Afghanistan, air power will be a key to future security requirements as the United States turns its attention to the Pacific and a strengthening China.Unlike America’s more recent adversaries, China has a credible air force that could conceivably strike U.S. bases in the region, requiring a deterrent force that is based farther away, out of range. America’s bases in Japan _ and possibly Guam _ also are within striking distance of a North Korean missile attack.“As the nation looks to increased focus in the Pacific, these long-range strike platforms will be especially important,” Haffa said. “Planes like the B-52 simply cannot survive.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Next up was the stealth B-2 Spirit, which first flew in 1989. Because only 21 were built, they ended up costing a prohibitive $2 billion each. The Air Force is now hoping to upgrade with what it calls the Long Range Strike Bomber, but it’s not clear when it will be ready.___To be sure, all of these aircraft have undergone massive overhauls and updates, and most experts agree the U.S. Air Force remains the best-equipped in the world. Its aircraft aren’t likely to soon start falling out of the sky, either, thanks to intensive, and expensive, maintenance.Zoellner, the KC-135 pilot, bristled at the idea his Stratotankers aren’t safe. He said they “fly like a champ.”But Loren Thompson, of the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank, said the graying Air Force is evidence of how Washington has failed to keep its eye on the ball.“The reason the fleet is so decrepit is because for the first 10 years after the Cold War ended, policymakers thought the United States was in an era of extended peace,” he said. “Then it spent the next 10 years fighting an enemy with no air force and no air defenses. So air power was neglected for 20 years, and today the Air Force reflects that fact.” Quick workouts for men New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Although Ugandan military officials have been accused in a U.N. report of supporting M23, the East African country is mediating the talks between Congo and the rebels, who have withdrawn from the eastern provincial capital of Goma in keeping with the demands of regional leaders.The rebels are widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, which denies the charge.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – A spokesman for the Ugandan government says peace talks between the Congolese government and M23 rebels will begin in the Ugandan capital Friday.Fred Opolot said Thursday that delegations from the Congolese government and the rebels will hold preliminary meetings in Kampala to draft the “ground rules and working framework for subsequent meetings.”The delegations will also agree Friday on the composition of observers to the talks.last_img read more

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first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories The statement said 250 people _ including 70 children _ were forced to leave. Another 300 left overnight after being warned of the impending evacuation.Many Roma in France live on vacant lots, lacking running water or electricity. There are an estimated 20,000 in France, a population that remains stable despite attempts by Socialist and conservative governments to return them to their homelands, primarily in Eastern Europe.(Copyright 2013 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 Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation PARIS (AP) – French police have evacuated a camp of about 550 Roma on the outskirts of Paris, after the national railway and the Paris utility filed complaints about dozens of shacks on their property.According to a police statement, Wednesday morning’s evacuation in Saint Ouen took place without incident, and all those whose makeshift homes were destroyed were offered temporary housing, although none accepted.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 “Our differences have just been pushed under the rug by a junta that prohibits freedom of expression,” said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch. “Nothing has been done to address the root causes of Thailand’s deep divide.”What is happening now is the imposition of peace by force, Sunai said. “There’s no guarantee that whenever the junta lets go of their iron grip, the country will not to fall back into conflict,” he added.On Friday, the anniversary of the takeover, police quashed a small, peaceful demonstration in Bangkok, triggering scuffles as those who took part were dragged away. At least 37 students were detained before being released Saturday after 11 hours of questioning. Seven others who staged a similar protest in the northeastern city of Khon Kaen were also freed.Speaking to reporters the same day, Prayuth acknowledged that seizing power “was wrong.” But he nevertheless defended the overthrow of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government, saying “we cannot fix the past, but we can build for the future.”The problem, critics argue, is that the junta may be sowing the seeds of more conflict by building that future on its own terms — with reform committees, a rubber-stamp legislature and no input from the party it toppled, Pheu Thai, whose supporters likely still represent a majority of the electorate. “We’re not saying that they would not have any freedom at all in future, we’re not saying that this country will be in this environment forever,” he said. “We’re trying to create … understanding.”Yingluck’s former education minister, Chaturon Chaisang, who is facing 14 years in prison for not reporting to a junta summons after the coup and then criticizing the takeover, disagreed.There has been no “attempt to address the reconciliation process at all,” he said. “There has never been any discussion (with us) from people in charge on what the roots of the problem are.”The coup was the culmination of a political schism laid bare after another putsch in 2006 that deposed billionaire former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother. The struggle, in broad terms, pits a majority rural poor in the north and northeast who benefited from the Shinawatra’s populist policies against an urban-based elite in Bangkok and the south that is worried over its steady loss of power at the polls.The conflict has spurred crippling protests. In 2010, one mass demonstration ended with scores dead and parts of central Bangkok in flames. In 2014, a rival group of protesters seized ministries and all but shut down Yingluck’s government amid a wave of increasing violence that killed dozens of people and wounded more than 800 before the army intervened. The latest point of contention, a constitutional draft released in April, has been criticized even by groups who supported the putsch. If approved, the charter would significantly weaken the power of political parties, shifting it to unelected agencies like a proposed “National Moral Assembly” that would be empowered to investigate politicians for offenses as minor as “impolite” speech — ultimately initiating the path to their removal.The charter’s drafters say such reforms are designed to check abuse by corrupt politicians, a problem acknowledged by all sides. But Pheu Thai officials say the real aim is to prevent their party from governing effectively if it wins again.“Nobody knows how these agencies would be made accountable themselves,” said Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former premier who was among those who called for Yingluck to resign as prime minister before the coup. Speaking of the junta, he added: “They should be more concerned with making elected governments more accountable, rather than making them weaker.”Last week, the military government announced it would subject the draft charter to a referendum. But “if you vote yes, you end up with a Frankenstein constitution that undercuts liberal democracy,” said Sunai of Human Rights Watch. “If you vote no, they’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and Prayuth will just stay in power longer.” The junta has spoken of holding nationwide elections in late 2016, but no date has been set and some believe it could govern for years.“The big picture for now is, we’re still in a lockdown … there’s still a huge question mark over the future,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science professor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.The junta has not been helped by Thailand’s sputtering economy, which has largely remained flat since the coup, with exports and investment down. Thitinan said generals “were not meant to govern Thailand, (and) some have lost their way. They’re not used to accountability, or being in the public eye, being asked questions.”And they do not tolerate dissent. According to iLaw, a nonprofit group that monitors legal cases, at least 751 people have been summoned by the junta for what the military calls “attitude adjustments.” Before Friday, at least 428 had been arrested, 166 for expressing opinions perceived as critical; many were supporters of the ousted government, as well as students, writers and academics. Some have fled into exile.The junta argues that it is working to create the foundation for a stable democracy, and that while it does, liberties and freedom of speech that could sow division must be curtailed. “We need an environment that is conducive to dialogue, where people can speak to one another,” said Maj. Gen. Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, a junta spokesman. Shinawatra supporters say the junta and its allies are now following through on one of their main goals: to dismantle the Shinawatra’s political machine and ensure that the parties it has led can never dominate politics again.In March, Thailand’s anti-corruption body recommended that 250 former lawmakers, most of them Pheu Thai members, be barred from seeking office on charges of misuse of power. This month, the Supreme Court began hearings against Yingluck for alleged dereliction of duty in overseeing a government rice subsidy scheme that lost billions of dollars.Yingluck, who is free after posting bail that was set at nearly $1 million, faces 10 years in prison if found guilty. Her supporters argue that the case is politically motivated — evidence, they say, of a biased justice system.By contrast, criminal charges have been dropped against former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, who led the protests that paved the way for last year’s coup. Suthep’s supporters had brazenly seized government ministries, attacked the prime minister’s office with homemade rockets and disrupted an election Yingluck called in a failed bid to defuse the crisis. No one has been tried for those offenses. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Police officers drag a student protester in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, May 22, 2015. Thai police detained anti-coup protestors who attempted to organize activity marking the first anniversary of the military coup. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ___Associated Press writer Thanyarat Doksone and video journalist Papitchaya Boonngok contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories BANGKOK (AP) — Shortly after seizing power in a coup that followed months of debilitating street protests, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed to end Thailand’s decade of political upheaval once and for all. In his words, “to bring everything out in the open and fix it.”A year later, the military can boast that it has restored stability and kept this Southeast Asian nation calm. But the bitter societal fissures that helped trigger the putsch are still simmering below the surface, unresolved.last_img read more

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first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments   Share   YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — French President Francois Hollande promised intensified military cooperation with Cameroon in the fight against Boko Haram during a visit to the West African country on Friday.Hollande also called for international support to stop the Nigerian-based Islamic extremist group whose violence has crossed into neighboring countries, including Cameroon.“I am calling on the international community to help support Cameroon that has thousands of refugees with growing humanitarian problems. I will make sure military cooperation intensifies to stop the terrorist group,” he said at a press conference in Yaounde, Cameroon. France will provide training, research and information from its intelligent services on Boko Haram plans to Cameroon, he said.Cameroon already receives military support from France, Cameroon’s government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said.Boko Haram has waged a six-year insurgency seeking to create an Islamic caliphate.Cameroon is part of a multinational force that this year forced Boko Haram out of communities in northeast Nigeria. In recent months, militants have stepped up hit-and-run attacks in neighboring countries.France has a big air base in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, which is helping lead the force. N’Djamena lies on the eastern edge of Cameroon’s panhandle, near the conflict zone.Cameroon President Paul Biya said Boko Haram continues to be a threat to his country’s development causing untold sufferings, killings and rapings.“Please, we are doing our best, but we need the international community’s support,” Biya said at the press conference with Hollande before their meeting.Cameroon, a former French colony, is Hollande’s final stop on a two-day visit to Africa which started in Benin on Thursday. He then traveled to Angola before landing in Cameroon Friday. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Hollande leaves Cameroon late Friday.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 Top Stories Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top holiday drink recipes How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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first_imge-Travel Blackboard has been ranked as the most popular travel trade website in Australia, according to new data.Data provided by information giant Alexa.com lists etravelblackboard.com as the top web address of all travel trade news sites in Australia and in the top 5000 most visited websites across the nation.Alexa.com Internet was founded in 1996 and provides the online community with free website tracking data using its own proprietary analytic ranking system. Alexa.com also reports that e-Travel Blackboard has over 1,200 sites linking-in to its articles. Google, Bing and Yahoo consider inbound links a major factor for ranking popularity. etravelblackboard.com has a Google page ranking of 5.e-Travel Blackboard marginally missed out on ranking amongst the top one hundred thousand websites globally, coming in at 105,232.Reaching over 135,000 monthly visitors and totalling more than 350,000 page views per month, e-Travel Blackboard has positioned itself as a mainstay within the online travel community.Site popularity is a key component when considering advertising options and essential to any business when weighing up their online ad spend says e-Travel Blackboard’s Sales & Marketing Manager Robert Manuel.e-Travel Blackboard Australia has been servicing travel agents, and the industry as a whole for over twelve years, reporting industry news and breaking travel stories.e-Travel Blackboard is published every weekday and delivers a free email newsletter to over 25,000 subscribers.Thinking of advertising online? Why not advertise with Australia’s top ranked travel trade website? For more information and to request a media kit, email: robert@etbtravelnews.global or contact Robert Manuel on +61 2 8208 8866 ext. 119. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Quick response (QR) codes in new brochures are providing smartphone owners a “virtual tour” of Helen Wong’s Tours.The QR codes have been included throughout Helen Wong’s Tours 2013-2014 brochures and provide video coverage of major areas featured within the programs. “It’s simple, fun and easy to capture, and provides interested customers the chance to see firsthand many of the cities featured in the various itineraries,” Helen Wong’s Tours managing director and founder Helen Wong said.Maps of routes, individual clips of key city stops, commentary, music and a call for action phone number are included when customers click through to QR codes.“We are going through exciting times as we prepare for the company’s 26th year or organising tours to China from Australia and to have such a function as the QR application highlights that,” Ms Wong said. Helen Wong’s responds to technology. Image: Jacamilast_img read more

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first_imgAs the company’s fortieth birthday approaches, ID Tours ( Events) Australia chairman Bill Wright is on a mission to track down nearly 700 past employees to help celebrate the milestone.Urging all past members to register their interest to attend, Mr Wright said the reunion will give the opportunity to thank “the wonderful people” that help build the business since it began in 1973.“This year is ID’s 40th birthday, and we thought it would be wonderful to get as many past and present staff as possible together to relive old times and say thank you for helping us to get to where we are today,” he explained.“If anyone knows a former ID-er please do not hesitate to let them know that we would like them to come along to meet old colleagues and catch up with the exciting changes that are such a feature of the events and incentive industry today,” he added.The reunion will be on 14 July 2013 at Bar 100, Sydney and former members have been asked to submit their interest at: www.etouches.com/64031Source = ETB News: NJ ID Events Australia Bill Wright – starting out 40 years ago. Image: ID Events Australialast_img read more

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first_imgConstruction on the new terminal, ground transport hub, passenger pick-up and drop-off bays, a car park, public transport facilities and new aircraft parking bays are all well underway. The two year program is part of Melbourne Airport’s largest transformation since it opened in 1970, building a new dedicated domestic terminal and a rejuvenation of international operations. “We’re also transforming our international terminal, providing more space and improved processes and making significant upgrades to our internal road network to improve congestion,” Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff said. The extent of the above-mentioned operations total half the investment costs (AU$500 million). Melbourne Airport will undergo a billion dollar private infrastructure investment program, creating up to 3,000 ongoing and construction jobs. “By keeping Victoria connected, we’re also providing invaluable opportunities for our exporters particularly for time sensitive, high value products such as fresh seafood and meat which are key export products to our growth markets including the Middle East and Asia,” Mr Woodruff said. Source = ETB News: P.T. Melbourne Airport will see up to AU$10 billion invested in development over the next 20 years. Melbourne Airport is the freight gateway for Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and southern New South Wales, with the success of these actions underpinned by the hub’s curfew free operations.last_img read more

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first_imgPacific World set to provide new experiencesFollowing the appointment of Naveen Rizvi as the new Regional Director for Pacific World India and Indian Ocean Region – the global Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Event company is set to offer new experiences for local and overseas planners seeking to place business in the region. Naveen Rizvi, Regional Director for Pacific World India – Indian Ocean Region, who will manage India, Nepal and Bhutan – as well as other countries within the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Oman and Southern Africa – will specifically focus on product development and innovation with regard to meetings, incentive and event experiences. Rizvi comments, “Our core strengths lie in our ability to efficiently handle important international conferences and events in India as well as overseas.  One of my key objectives will be to bring a new and innovative perspective to every meeting and incentive organised in the region. “As a global organisation delivering innovative experiences in 42 countries around the world, we work with clients of all nationalities who are striving to source meaningful experiences that will move their customers. Our product development team based here in the region are working very hard to develop and innovate new proposals which will excite and delight each of our customers.” Some of the latest incentive ideas that the Pacific World team have started to conceptualise include; exploring an untouched island and spending the day by indulging in fishing in India, feeding elephants with the help of a Mahout in an Elephant Village near Jaipur. Rizvi continues, “We are also developing various programmes in conjunction with ‘Shaping Lives’, our CSR Foundation, a bridge between our clients and the local population of India to give something back to the society. Key work includes supporting children and the elderly as well as those who have been marginalised and abused. The charity also actively pursues programmes supporting animal welfare.” Naveen Rizvi has over 18 years experience in managing congresses, meetings and events in the region. He has overseen key conferences and events in India including Petrotech 2016: Asia’s biggest Oil & Natural Gas Conference, BRICS GOA 2016 (high profile dignitaries included Prime Minister of India- Narendra Modi, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Michel Temer of Brazil and Jacob Zuma of South Africa), World Congress on Oral Implantology, the first International Agrobiodiversity Congress, 2nd BRICS Communications Ministers Meeting and 3rd India Africa Forum Summit (India’s biggest diplomatic event till date with Prime Minister of India- Narendra Modi and heads of states of over 50 African nations in attendance along with senior officials and foreign ministers).Source = Pacific Worldlast_img read more

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first_imgG Hotel – A time to giveG Hotel – A time to giveG Hotel officially launched “A Time to Give”, Christmas charity programme in aid of the The Salvation Army Penang Children’s Home during the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony held recently on the 2 December 2016.This charity programme is one of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives by G Hotel to grant the simple Christmas wishes from the 32 children from the Home, and it is opened for public to participate in this charity programme.During the ceremony, the children from the Home lined up in a row to hang their wish cards on the Christmas Tree located at the corner of the lobby. All wish cards represented each child from the Home which includes their name, age, gender and wishes. The gift collection was from that launching night until 16 December 2016.Most of the wishes from the children are clothes, story books, stationeries, sport shoes, and toys. G Hotel has kindly added the third wishes of story book for younger age children to encourage a reading habit and pen drive for secondary school children. As soon as the program was launched, many were seen selecting the wish cards to donate and contribute to the program during the ceremony. Due to the overwhelming response this year, G Hotel then added 3 more wishes for the children on top of the third wishes made earlier to allow patrons to participate in this season of giving. It’s a great joy to see the overflowing of presents placed underneath the Christmas tree.On 21 December 2016, children of The Salvation Army Penang Children’s Home were invited to the hotel to receive and unwrap their presents. The children celebrated this joyful day of Christmas in the G Hotel Gurney lobby with G Hotel associates as well as guests who contributed to the programme.The event started with a welcoming speech by Mr Michael Hanratty, General Manager of G Hotel and followed by the performance of Christmas carols and dance by the children from The Salvation Army Children’s Home. The children then receive their Christmas presents with great excitement and enthusiast. Unlike previous years, each child this time surprisingly received more than 3 presents to a maximum of 6 for Christmas!“Held annually for Christmas, ‘A Time to Give’ charity programme has gained extensive awareness over the years since it first launched in year 2008. Many have returned every single year to support the programme. For that, we would like to thank the public for the great support”, said Mr. Michael.Programme: 3.00pm – Arrival of guests3.05pm – Welcome speech by Mr Michael Hanratty, General Manager of G Hotel3.15pm – Christmas carols and dance by the children from The Salvation Army Penang Children’s Home3.30pm – Children receive and open Christmas gifts4.00pm – Refreshments4.30pm – EndAbout G HotelUltra chic and stylish, G Hotel Gurney has recently completed a RM35 million makeover. It emerges as an urban icon in the hustling, busy Gurney Drive of Penang and boasts 312 tastefully designed rooms that offer you the best in quality during your stay. G Hotel Kelawai, on the other hand is where iconic design & cutting edge lifestyle set the stage for exclusive & extraordinary experiences. With 208 rooms, G Hotel Kelawai is uniquely inspired by innovative design to create energizing space for guest to work or play by day or mix & mingle by night. Both are located in a prominent location next to upscale shopping malls and renowned hawker eateries with UNESCO world heritage sites and beaches nearby. Enjoy complimentary internet broadband and Wi-Fi, non-alcoholic minibar, state-of-the-art gym and infinity pool usage while exploring Penang with our G Cycle. Cross usage and signing facilities are available between G Hotel Gurney and G Hotel Kelawai. Source = G Hotellast_img read more