Posted by Share Friday, October 14, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Gourmet ganja? Marijuana dining latest tourism trend The Canadian Press LYONS — How to set a tone of woodsy chic at a four-course candlelight dinner served under the stars in the Colorado foothills:Live musicians and flowers, check.Award-winning cuisine, check.Beer and wine pairings with each course, check.Marijuana pairings? Oh, yes.The 100 diners at this $200-a-plate dinner smoked a citrus-smelling marijuana strain to go with a fall salad with apples, dates and bacon, followed by a darker, sweeter strain of pot to accompany a main course of slow-roasted pork shoulder in a mole sauce with charred root vegetables and rice.And with dessert? Marijuana-infused chocolate, of course, grated over salted caramel ice cream and paired with coffee infused with non-intoxicating hemp oil.The diners received small glass pieces and lighters to smoke the pairings, or they could have their marijuana rolled into joints by professional rollers set up next to a bartender pouring wine.Welcome to fine dining in Weed Country.The marijuana industry is trying to move away from its pizza-and-Doritos roots as folks explore how to safely serve marijuana and food. Chefs are working with marijuana growers to chart the still-very-unscientific world of pairing food and weed. And a proliferation of mass-market cheap pot is driving professional growers to develop distinctive flavours and aromas to distinguish themselves in a crowded market.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the team“We talk with the (marijuana) grower to understand what traits they saw in the marijuana … whether it’s earthy notes, citrus notes, herbal notes, things that we could play off,” said Corey Buck, head of catering for Blackbelly Restaurant, a top-rated farm-to-table restaurant that provided the meal.The grower of one of the pot strains served at the dinner, Alex Perry, said it won’t be long until marijuana’s flavours and effects are parsed as intently as wine profiles. But that’s in the future, he conceded.“It’s still looked down upon as a not-very-sophisticated thing,” said Perry, who grew a strain called Black Cherry Soda for his company, Headquarters Cannabis.Holding his nose to a small jar of marijuana, Perry said, “If I asked my mom or my dad what they smell, they’re going to say, ‘skunk,’ or, ‘It smells like marijuana.’ But it’s like wine or anything else. There’s more flavour profile there.”This is just the latest trend in the booming pot industry where travel and wellness trends often intertwine.
LAS VEGAS — At one time Las Vegas was synonymous with free drinks and $4.99 all-you-can-eat buffets. After all, you didn’t come here for the food; you came here to gamble.Times have changed. Now tourists come to Vegas for the ‘food porn,’ with perhaps the most comprehensive collection of celebrity chefs and world-class restaurants than any other city in the world.It all started with Wolfgang Puck, the first celeb chef to open shop in Vegas more than 20 years ago, with his flagship restaurant Spago in Caesars’ Forum Shops.Since then Vegas has evolved into a true foodie destination. And Vegas Uncork’d – an annual four-day food, wine and spirits festival presented by Bon Appetit, now in its 11th year – celebrates this reinvention.This year’s event saw some of the world’s top culinary talent – including Alain Ducasse, Bobby Flay, Buddy ‘Cake Boss’ Valastro, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay, José Andrés, Julian Serrano, Michael Mina, Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Colicchio, Charlie Palmer and Wolfgang Puck – showcase their signature dishes.Kicking off ‘The Grand Tasting’ on April 28 was an announcement by multi-Michelin star chef and television personality Gordon Ramsay. “We are opening the most amazing Hell’s Kitchen restaurant here at Caesars Palace,” he told a crowd of media and onlookers. This marks Ramsay’s fifth Las Vegas restaurant and extends his partnership with Caesars Entertainment.“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” he said, “but more importantly the position of that restaurant is going to be magnificent, it’s going to be set like a studio, it’s going to have the infamous red kitchen, blue kitchen … catching the live essence of that magic that’s gone into 19 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen.”Ramsay then ignited a 17-foot pitchfork – transported from the set of his hit TV show – in the centre of Caesars’ fountains. The new restaurant, slated to open this winter, will seat nearly 300 guests, feature indoor and Strip-adjacent patio dining and offer a daily themed brunch, dinner and bar menu – featuring several dishes featured on the show.‘The Grand Tasting’ followed in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace, where food enthusiasts gathered for an “epicurean experience of a lifetime,” with more than 50 chefs and 2,500 paying guests (tickets cost US$260). Dishes ranged from Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill’s fish and chips to TAO Asian Bistro’s crispy pork bao buns and Eggslut’s egg, cheese and cream concoction in a mini-jar.‘The Grand Tasting’. Credit: LVCVA.Vegas Uncork’d also featured intimate tastings for ticketholders, including brunch with celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis. The brunch, served at her first and only namesake restaurant, GIADA at The Cromwell, included four courses showcasing her California-inspired Italian cuisine with chia seed parfait, waldorf panzanella salad, salmon cake benedict and rose semifreddo.More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaWhen asked why she chose to open her namesake restaurant here in Vegas, she pointed to the view of the Strip from her restaurant windows: “For this.”Giada is one of the few female celebrity chefs on the Strip – and was given an opportunity to build a restaurant from scratch, which is a rarity in Vegas. “Vegas is like Disneyland for adults,” Giada told a group of media during the brunch. “I couldn’t do this in any other city in the world – it would be gimmicky.” During Vegas Uncork’d, she also revealed plans for a second restaurant in Vegas, one which will offer more casual dining.Other chefs also hosted intimate tastings, including Bobby Flay of Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, who treated guests to a three-course brunch, and Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu, also in Caesars Palace, who showed guests his inventive approach to sushi-making that fuses classic techniques with unexpected ingredients.New to Vegas Uncork’d this year was ‘Picnic in The Park,’ at MGM Resorts International’s newest outdoor dining and entertainment district, featuring chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Tom Colicchio, Shawn McClain, Rick Moonen, Roy Ellamar, Akira Back, Bryce Shuman and David Werly.Picnic in The Park. Credit: LVCVA.Highlighting the new outdoor event venue between Monte Carlo and New York-New York, ‘Picnic in The Park’ offered creative twists on classic picnic dishes, along with champagne provided by Veuve Clicquot. Plus, there was giant Jenga, cornhole and croquet.This was followed by ‘Sweet Escape: An Evening of Buddy, Beignets, Bonbons & Booze’ at The Palazzo’s Aquatic Club, featuring baker and TV personality Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro. The event brought together chefs from restaurants in The Venetian and The Palazzo – Buddy V’s Ristorante, Bouchon, Carnevino, Hong Kong Café, Lagasse’s Stadium, LAVO, Mercato della Pescheria, SushiSamba and TAO – to offer up their unique take on beignets or bonbons.Chefs from Venetian. Credit: LVCVAFollowing his appearance on the red carpet – which featured a backdrop of more than 2,000 doughnuts – Valastro spoke about his experience at Vegas Uncork’d.More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“It’s a real surreal moment for me, you have the most amazing chefs from all over the world in one city … it’s a really humbling experience to be able to be in the presence of such amazing chefs,” he told the crowd.Valastro opened his first restaurant, Buddy V’s Ristorante, in The Palazzo three years ago, which features home-style Italian cuisine with dishes based on favourite recipes from his mom, aunts and grandmother (not to mention the Cake Boss’s famous desserts, such as cannoli, Nutella cake and lobster tail pastry).Also during the ‘Sweet Escape’ event, Valastro introduced Top Chef Masters’ Lorena Garcia, set to open her flagship restaurant Chica this Mother’s Day in Restaurant Row at The Venetian — perhaps the most anticipated restaurant to open in Vegas this spring.“The day that I learned my flagship restaurant was going to be at The Venetian, I couldn’t contain my tears, I’ve been crying since then,” she told the crowd. Chica will feature Latin American cuisine with influences from her native Venezuela all the way to Argentina – including Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico. Garcia will be the first female celebrity chef to share space in The Venetian alongside Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.Vegas Uncork’d will be back in 2018. In the meantime, foodies can travel to Vegas year-round to experience signature dishes from celebrity chefs in flagship restaurants – no gambling required. << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, May 19, 2017 Posted by Share Tags: Culinary Tourism, Las Vegas Vegas Uncork’d unveils latest culinary hotspots Vawn Himmelsbach About Latest Posts Vawn HimmelsbachContributor at TravelweekVawn Himmelsbach has been writing about travel for more than a decade for media outlets such as CBC.ca, Metro News, Flare, Sweet Travel, PlanetEye Traveler and Hotelier, among others. She is co-founder of Chic Savvy Travels, a travel website for women, has contributed to a guidebook on China, and has been published in a book of non-fiction, called Emails from India. She has spent more than three years working and traveling abroad in Asia and Latin America. Latest posts by Vawn Himmelsbach (see all) More storefronts, new zero interest payment option for The Travel Agent Next Door – May 7, 2019 Smooth sailing onboard Uniworld’s newest super ship in Bordeaux – April 24, 2019 Sandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents, perks for clients – January 17, 2019
Sunwing cancels St. Maarten flights through April 30, 2018; adds MoBay, Cancun capacity Share Travelweek Group Posted by TORONTO — Sunwing is cancelling its St. Maarten flights out of Toronto and Montreal right through until April 30, 2018, putting its program to the popular Caribbean destination on hold for the fall/winter 2017-2018 season while the island rebuilds following the devastation from Hurricane Irma.Sunwing reconfirmed that it has added additional flying on the same day of travel, from Toronto to Montego Bay and Montreal to Cancun in order to offer customers more options.“Impacted customers have been provided the option of re-booking alternative vacation packages at a special rate, choosing from other available options or cancelling for a full refund. Customers who booked with their travel agent are encouraged to contact them directly to make arrangements,” says Sunwing.Meanwhile Air Canada Vacations has updated its post-Irma destination information from its Sept. 13 Sun Collection product launch. ACV has announced it will send 25 Product Specialists from its Montreal and Toronto offices to assess its sun destinations in order to ensure all hotels receiving guests continue to meet the company’s precise quality standards.The ACV Product Specialists will visit Turks and Caicos, Cuba and a number of other destinations in order to conduct local, on-site inspections. The review will encompass hotel amenities, beaches, as well as road and relevant utility infrastructure.“Our goal is to ensure that our travel agent partners can book these hotels with confidence and that our guests return home with a positive vacation experience,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director at Air Canada Vacations. “In order to ensure this, we wanted to compliment the information we have received from our hotel and tourist board partners with our own, in-person site inspections.”More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterA goodwill policy remains in effect for customers to delay or change vacations. Affected customers may rebook an alternate Air Canada Vacations package by Oct.15, 2017 for travel anytime.Travel agents will retain their original commission if a booking has not yet been rebooked and remains an in-house credit. Travel agents will receive the difference in commission if a travel package is rebooked for a higher value than the original booking.For any cancelled bookings, travel agents will no longer receive the commission.Air Canada is resuming flights back into Fort Myers today and to Sarasota tomorrow. The airline resumed its full schedule to Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa on Sept. 13.“Customers are advised that aircraft are very full on outgoing flights from Florida and, while Air Canada is adding additional capacity, space may be limited initially. However, Air Canada is committed to add extra capacity in order to transport customers who wish to travel.”Air Canada resumed service to Havana on Sept. 13. Other destinations in Cuba remain cancelled with plans to resume services to most destinations later this month, subject to the safety and security of airports and infrastructure. The airports serving Cayo Coco and Santa Clara are presently closed until Oct. 31.More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJAir Canada and Air Canada Rouge have also resumed scheduled service to other destinations in the Caribbean.Meliá Hotels International has issued an update on its operations in Cuba, where the northern coast saw the most damage from Irma. “[Our] hotels in Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Cayo Largo are fully operational,” says Melia. “As for the situation in Varadero, our hotels have suffered minor damages and most of them are already operating normally, whilst the rest will reestablish their services in the next 24/48 hours.”Most of the recovery work can be completed in a short time, and in cases where major improvements are needed, they are expected to be finalized prior to the start of the peak season, noted Melia.Regarding the situation on Cuba’s north coast, “it is too soon to make evaluations until we have a proper inventory, but the company intends to begin operations in Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Santa María as soon as possible, with hotels less affected.”Melia adds that its resorts in Puerto Rico, the D.R., Bahamas, Orlando and Miami are 100% operational. Tags: Jamaica, Mexico, St. Maarten, Sunwing, Travel Alert Friday, September 15, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by MIAMI — Seeing double? Fear not, it’s just MSC Cruises’ new ‘Book Four and Score’ promotion, during which one guest counts as two in FIT.Available on 2018 Caribbean sailings from Miami, the promotion gives travel agents double the opportunity to increase earnings through March 31. And with Wave Season drawing near, agents are primed to make even more on the back end.How it works is simple: Agents earn double the TCs for every group booking made now through March 31. Book four staterooms (eight guests) online and earn 1 Tour Conductor as bonus commission. Plus, with MSC Seaside’s significantly reduced rates, agents can leverage the line’s brand new ship to help guests ‘Save & Sail’ with up to US$900 savings.Promo offering double the commission:By Phone: 1 TC for 10 guestsElectronically: 1 TC for 7½ guestsPrevious Tour Conductor offer:By Phone: 1 TC for 20 guestsElectronically: 1 TC for 15 guestsMore news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“Travel agents continue to be a vital source of business, and we are delighted to create opportunities to forge an even stronger partnership between MSC Cruises and our dedicated ambassadors,” Joe Jiffo, senior vice president of sales at MSC Cruises. “As we continue to grow, we count on the support of our travel agent network, and we are looking forward to making this year our most mutually profitable yet.” Agents earn double the return with MSC’s new promo << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, February 9, 2018 Tags: MSC Cruises Travelweek Group Share
Posted by TORONTO — Starting today Disney is offering a new Canadian Resident ticket offer at both Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in California.A 4-Day Canadian Resident Base Theme Park Ticket is priced at US$79 per day, plus tax with the deal, for a total 4-day rate of US$316 plus tax.At WDW the discounted rate is available for pre-purchased tickets now through March 15, 2019 for use now through Dec. 23, 2018 and again Jan. 2 – Sept. 27, 2019.At Disneyland, the Canadian Resident rate is US$69 per day, for pre-arrival purchase of a 3-day, 1-Park per day ticket, for a total purchase price of US$207. The purchase window is Aug. 29, 2018 through April 11, 2019, for use through May 23, 2019.Both deals are for Canadian residents only, and valid proof of Canadian residency, including government-issued photo ID, is required for purchase and admission. Tags: Deals, Disney, Florida Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Book now for Canadian Resident deals at Walt Disney World, Disneyland
A Costa Rican diplomat kidnapped in Venezuela on Sunday night was liberated, the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry confirmed Tuesday morning.Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Roverssi said during an interview on Radio ADN 90.7 that Costa Rican attaché Guillermo Cholele had been freed. Venezuela’s interior minister, Tareck El Aissami, confirmed that Cholele had been rescued and is in “good physical condition.” “Costa Rican diplomat freed. In good physical condition and health. Under police protection and about to be reunited with relatives,” El Aissami posted on his Twitter account.Roverssi said he was informed of the news at 4 a.m. He added that no ransom was paid, and that Cholele was taken to a hospital for evaluation.Officials said armed assailants intercepted Cholele’s vehicle in eastern Caracas late Sunday and forced him into a van, in the latest in a string of high-profile kidnappings.El Aissami in a separate tweet praised the police for quickly solving the kidnapping, and said details about the case would be forthcoming at a press conference later Tuesday.The abduction was a major embarrassment for Venezuela, which has seen a rash of abductions, including several of officials from the diplomatic world. The kidnapping occurs three months after Mexico’s ambassador to Venezuela and his wife were kidnapped in the Venezuelan capital. The couple was freed unharmed less than than 24 hours later.Kidnappings and crime in general have remained on the rise in Venezuela in recent years. Between July 2008 and July 2010, 23 kidnappings per day were reported, according to the National Institute of Statistics. In 2009, there were 16,917 kidnappings in Venezuela, although estimates by some nongovernmental organizations are higher.Bolivia’s military attaché also was briefly kidnapped, as was the son of the Vietnamese ambassador. Chile’s consul general was shot and beaten in November, the victim of a two-hour-long “express kidnapping.” And in one of the most high-profile abductions, kidnappers late last year seized U.S. professional baseball player Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals, who ultimately was rescued by security forces.Kidnappings in Venezuela are a lucrative business and more often than not go unpunished. They are usually resolved after relatives pay a ransom to captors. Officials in Costa Rica said in a statement that news of Cholele’s release had brought “great relief” to his relatives, as well as to the Foreign Ministry in San José.Roverssi asked the Venezuelan government to take more preventative measures to protect diplomats in the country. Facebook Comments No related posts.
All of Costa Rica’s 89 municipalities on Monday signed an agreement that commits them to manage construction permits through an existing online platform.Launched in June 2011, the “Construction Project Manager” (APC) is a digital platform that government authorities implemented with the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) to process construction plans and permits.The system allows the National Institute for Housing and Urban Development, the Health Ministry, Firefighters’ Corps, the National Water and Sewer Institute and the CFIA to review a single set of documents over the Internet. However, final steps at municipalities must be done in person.In September, 34 municipalities agreed to use the APC, so that the entire process of obtaining building permits is carried out online. With the signing this week, the coverage will be extended to all municipalities in coming months. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Related posts:Quietly, Cuba, US have been on same team against illegal drug trade US removes Cuba from terror blacklist in landmark move Cuba pardons more than 3,500 prisoners ahead of Pope Francis visit US, Cuba agree on restoration of ties, embassies to reopen HAVANA, Cuba — Five dissidents freed as Havana launched a high-profile diplomatic rapprochement with the United States are back in custody in Cuba, a human rights group said Monday.The five were among 53 political prisoners released in 2014 and early 2015 as Washington and Havana moved to restore ties after a half-century break.The Cuban Commission on Human Rights, an officially outlawed but tolerated group, said the five “were confined in high-security prisons in the second half of 2015.”They include Vladimir Morera, who had been hospitalized since launching a hunger strike on October 9. The United States last week called on the government to release him.On Monday, Morera’s son, Vladier Morera, said his father started eating again on December 31.The son said he did not know if this was voluntary on his father’s part. “All I know is that he is eating again, and that he is speaking incoherently because the doctors say he was very weak,” Morera said. Picture taken in 2013 in Santa Clara, Cuba, released by Vladier Morera Herrera showing his father, jailed Cuban dissident Vladimir Morera Bacallao. Vladier Morera Herrera/HO/AFPThe others back in custody are Wilfredo Parada Milian, Jorge Ramírez Calderón, Carlos Manuel Figueroa and Aracelio Ribeaux Noa, according to the rights group.All five were jailed “as a result of rigged trials and without due process,” it said.Cuban authorities did not comment. But the Americas’ only communist government routinely denies it is holding political prisoners and says those jailed are in for common crimes.The rights group reported that 8,616 people were detained for political reasons in 2015, most of whom were released after several hours. That was down from 2014, when 8,889 Cubans were detained for political reasons, according to the group.It said “political repression” continued in 2015 “despite the well-known expectations awakened by the announcement of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations” between Havana and Washington.On December 29, Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. State Department’s pointwoman for Latin America, called on the government of President Raúl Castro to free Morera, who she said had been jailed for dissenting peacefully.Morera, 44, was sentenced to four years in prison in April for allegedly causing bodily harm during a scuffle with pro-government militants in which a woman was injured. His family denies the charges. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Why May 1 is much more than Labor Day for Costa Rica’s government Costa Rica’s Solís presents State of the Nation report to invigorated opposition Opposition lawmakers maintain control of Legislative Assembly’s Directorate State of the Nation: President Solís highlights economic growth, urges fiscal reforms You won’t find Costa Rica’s lawmakers marching in the streets or grilling steaks at the beach on this May 1. At least, chances are low.After the general election held on the first Sunday of February every four years (and, as occurred this year, the date of the second-round presidential runoff held if no candidate attains 40 percent of the vote in the first round), May 1 is the second most important day in the Costa Rican government’s calendar. It’s the day the Legislative Assembly — made up of 57 lawmakers representing the country’s seven provinces — scraps its leadership and committees, and essentially starts over again.Every four years, as is the case today, it’s also the first day of work for Costa Rica’s newly elected legislators.Here’s a primer.What happens on May 1?During the morning legislative session, lawmakers vote to elect the Legislative Assembly’s directorate, which consists of three members: a president and two secretaries. They also elect a vice president and two pro secretaries as alternates.All members of the Legislative Directorate are elected for one year, but they can be reelected.At the evening session, Costa Rica’s president addresses the Assembly and the country in his annual “State of the Nation” speech. This year, the speech will represent President Luis Guillermo Solís’ final report of his achievements in office. In addition to lawmakers, top officials of the executive and judicial branches, Catholic Church leaders and diplomatic representatives also attend.Following the president’s speech, the legislative president gives a speech responding to the president’s report.What is the Legislative Directorate’s job? The primary job of the Legislative Directorate is to manage debates and voting on laws, decrees, appointments and all other legislative matters during sessions of the full Legislative Assembly.During the ordinary legislative sessions — from May 1 to July 31 and September 1 to November 30 — the Legislative Assembly President is responsible for setting the order in which bills are discussed and voted on.During the extraordinary legislative sessions — from December 1 to April 30 and from August 1 to 31 — the list of bills to be discussed and voted on is set by the country’s president who, with the help of his cabinet members, prioritizes them on the Assembly’s agenda.The Directorate’s president is also in charge of assigning all 57 lawmakers to legislative committees, which discuss, modify, amend and approve draft bills before they’re passed on (or not) to the full Assembly.The Legislative President is also responsible for receiving bills and proposals submitted by lawmakers, social groups and citizens, and selecting the legislative committee responsible for a bill’s evaluation and approval.The Assembly’s directorate also has administrative functions, which include distributing financial and human resources to each party represented in the Assembly, proportionate to the number of lawmakers from each party.The directorate also appoints and promotes officials within the legislature, drafts and enforces internal regulations and sets the job responsibilities of all Assembly employees.Legislative CommitteesFollowing election of the Assembly’s Directorate on May 1, every lawmaker is appointed by the Legislative President to at least one of the Assembly’s six Permanent Ordinary Committees and six Permanent Special Committees.They’re also appointed to one of the three committees with Full Legislative Powers, also known as “mini assemblies.” These committees have the authority to pass or amend laws without requiring a vote by the Full Assembly. They consist of 19 lawmakers each and have their own directorate formed by a president, vice president, secretary and pro secretary.Members of all the legislative committees are appointed for one year and can be reelected every May.Permanent Ordinary Committees:Financial Affairs: handles budgets and tax-related issues.Economic Affairs: legislation related to the economy, commerce and industry.Social Affairs: labor, health, education and social protection.Legal Affairs: civil rights, criminal law, commercial law, elections law and internal assembly regulations.Government and Administration: legislation related to the central government, public security and foreign affairs.Agriculture and Natural Resources: agriculture, energy and natural resources.Permanent Special Committees:Drafting: responsible for reviewing and proofing the wording of all bills passed in a first round of voting by the full Assembly.Public Income and Spending Control: analyzes the government’s national budget bill, taking into consideration the Comptroller’s General Office’s budget analysis.Constitutional Consultations: drafts and submits all consultations before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, to determine whether a bill could violate the Constitution.International Relations: coordinates relations between the Legislative Assembly and Legislative branches on matters related to foreign countries and with foreign parliamentary groups.Honors: evaluates proposals to grant “Benemérito de la Patria” status, the highest honor a citizen or organization can achieve in Costa Rica.Books and Documents: responsible for selecting the books and other documents deemed necessary for the Assembly’s daily work.Why May 1?Costa Rica’s first Legislative Assembly was elected in January 1825, but the start date of the legislative year changed several times in subsequent years. According to Assembly records, lawmakers agreed on May 1 in 1890, citing the date’s local and international significance.On May 1, 1857 the filibuster army commanded by William Walker surrendered to the Central American armed forces, ending the 1856 National Campaign against the invaders. The date, therefore, is considered a landmark that reaffirms Costa Rica’s independence, which was signed in 1821.The date was also chosen to coincide with International Workers’ Day, also known as Labor Day.This is an updated version of an article originally published on April 30, 2014. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments A Nicaraguan woman fills in refuge requests at an Immigration Office in San José, Costa Rica on July 23, 2018.Nicaraguans have been seeking refuge in increasing numbers in Costa Rica due to the unrest taking place in their country since April.Costa Rican Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Epsy Campbell announced last week that Costa Rica has built two shelters to house Nicaraguan migrants fleeing the country’s violent political crisis.“What’s happening in Nicaragua is unacceptable, and it’s having direct consequences on our country. The world has to focus on Nicaragua,” Campbell said.Costa Rica asked international organizations for help in dealing with the growing crisis. Campbell said that 100 to 150 people are crossing the border daily and coming to Costa Rica for the first time.Read more: Costa Rica sets up shelters for Nicaraguan migrants Related posts:Nicaraguan students vow to keep up fight until Ortega resigns Nicaragua police arrest 20, use stun grenades to end protest U.S. government restricts visas for Nicaragua officials over unrest Nicaragua clashes leave eight dead including baby: rights group
Shynkarenko was arrested in Thailand in 2009 while on vacation, and had been fighting extradition to the U.S. since.Ukraine Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Dikusarov told The Associated Press on Tuesday that local investigators had found no evidence of Shynkarenko committing a crime, and they would work to defend him.Tetyana Cherenok, Shynkarenko’s mother and a 64-year-old retired engineer, told the AP this week that her son is innocent and had been mistaken for another man with the same first and last name.The court-appointed federal public defender for Shynkarenko, Linda Foster, declined to comment on his behalf Wednesday. Shynkarenko, in shackles and wearing dark green prison scrubs, did not speaking during the brief proceeding. Foster did not request bail for him, and he remains in custody.He could face up to life in prison if convicted on all counts.___Follow Samantha Henry at http://www.twitter.com/SamanthaHenry More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 0 Comments Share Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system The 33-year-old from Kharkiv has been charged with 32 counts for allegedly operating Ukraine-based hardcore child porn sites with three co-conspirators who have not been named _ two from the Ukraine and one from Russia _ according to court documents.Prosecutors say Shynkarenko sold access to the sites to clients worldwide, listing the charges under innocuous names to elude detection by credit card companies, but warning customers to lie and say their credit cards had been stolen if questioned by police.He was extradited to the U.S. from Thailand this week. He was charged in New Jersey because the case began when agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s investigative arm first discovered a website allegedly run by Shynkarenko on the computer of a New Jersey customer in 2005.The U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Paul Fishman, said 560 U.S.-based customers from 47 states have been convicted so far. Prosecutors said 10 to 50 customers a day were attempting to access sites allegedly run by Shynkarenko with names including “Illegal.CP,” “The Sick Child Room,” “Hottest Childporn Garden,” and “Pedo Heaven,” before they were shut down in 2008. Associated PressNEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A Ukrainian man accused of operating one of the most extensive child porn distribution networks ever prosecuted in the U.S. pleaded not guilty Wednesday in federal court.A court-appointed attorney entered the plea on Maksym Shynkarenko’s behalf Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Newark. The Ukrainian government says he is innocent, and his mother says his arrest is a case of mistaken identity. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family (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 Authorities estimate some 150,000 Muslims live the city of almost 2 million people.The growing public presence of Islamic culture in Germany has sparked anger among conservatives and far-right groups.Police in Berlin are on alert for possible violence this weekend after a small far-right party said it plans to stage protests outside mosques in the German capital.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share BERLIN (AP) – Authorities in Hamburg have become the first in Germany to officially recognize Islamic holidays so Muslim employees and students can celebrate them at home.The decision forms part of an agreement between the north German city and local Muslim groups.Similar agreements exist with Christian and Jewish communities in the city.Hamburg’s mayor, Olaf Scholz, said Tuesday that he hopes the deal will serve as an example for other German cities. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day
MEXICO CITY (AP) — It has the drugs and distribution system of a traditional cartel — and it has the modern weapons and audacity of an army. After attacking federal forces, downing a military helicopter and shutting down streets in Mexico’s second-largest city last week, the New Generation Jalisco cartel is now the main enemy in the country’s fight with drug cartels.In just a few years, New Generation has grown from being an offshoot of the powerful Sinaloa cartel to one of Mexico’s strongest criminal groups in its own right, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, whose Office of Foreign Assets Control maintains a “black list” of drug trafficking organizations. New Generation “just bought the ticket to being enemy No. 1.”___Associated Press writers Katherine Corcoran in Mexico City and Alfredo Pena in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “Why do they need bosses when they’re their own operators?” said a Tamaulipas state official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons. “(Gang) soldiers are deciding to be generals without the permission of anybody.”Antonio Mazzitelli, representative in Mexico for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said fragmentation generates more violence as small groups try to expand their territory, where they kidnap and collect extortions to make up for cash they once made running drugs.In the long run, the better-structured and quieter cartels are the ones that survive, he said.“The first principle for a drug trafficking organization is to minimize risk, to use violence in a very hidden way and operate through corruption,” Mazzitelli said.Unlike the old major cartels, New Generation is willing to wage war on the state and federal government. The younger drug lords like to show off their money and flaunt their power, even if it brings a direct assault from the government.For that reason, the May 1 clash may be the beginning of the end of New Generation, said Valdes, the former intelligence agency director.“The drug business is not going away while we have such a large demand in the United States, but that does not give immortality to any particular group,” he said. When Coronel was killed in a July 2010 federal operation, the New Generation fragment started to grow. One reason, some speculate, is that Oseguera, alias “El Mencho,” was very close to Coronel and may have inherited his contacts. He also maintained a good relationship with the Sinaloa cartel. Others say New Generation has been able to take advantage of suppliers and distributers who have worked in the area for decades, even predating Coronel.Whatever its source, the strength of New Generation surprised many on May 1 when federal authorities mounted an operation, reportedly targeting Oseguera: The cartel responded almost immediately with roadblocks and arson attacks in Guadalajara and two dozen other cities. It used an RPG to force down a military helicopter carrying 16 military personnel and two federal police officers, killing eight people.New Generation’s expansion in just five years has not been replicated by any other of the cartel fragments. On the contrary, many areas are seeing the violent fallout of factional infighting. Sinaloa sub-groups battle each other in the northern states of Sonora and Baja California Sur. Knights Templar, La Familia and Beltran Leyva factions fight for control of the lucrative and growing opium paste business in the southern state of Guerrero. Gangs affiliated with the Gulf cartel are warring along the Tamaulipas border with Texas. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Generation has its origin in that fragmentation.While it has operated for years, it surged in public notoriety last week after it waged brazen attacks in and around Guadalajara, a major technology and manufacturing hub and the capital of Jalisco state, which is a popular retirement spot for U.S. and Canadian expats. But the city, some 290 miles (460 kilometers) northwest of Mexico City, is also where Mexico’s largest drug cartels were born.Leaders of the original Guadalajara cartel were captured in the 1980s, provoking a surge in what Valdes calls the first generation of cartels, many of which still exist, including Sinaloa, Beltran Leyva, Gulf, Zetas and Juarez cartels. But hits on their leaders have left all but Sinaloa as just remnants of their former selves.In little more than a year, the government has arrested Sinaloa’s Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Beltran Leyva’s Hector Beltran Leyva, Juarez’s Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, Knights Templar’s Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, and the Zetas’ Omar Trevino Morales. It killed Knights Templar leader Nazario Moreno.Such blows have allowed New Generation to grow. Jalisco Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval told Mexican media Wednesday that he warned the federal government more than a year ago that its attacks on a rival cartel, the Knights Templar, would strengthen New Generation but the reaction by authorities was insufficient. “The attorney general, overall, made three changes in his delegates but honestly with zero results,” Sandoval told Universal television. “In this matter, from the attorney general there was nothing. Same with the federal police. Zero.”According to the U.S. Treasury Department, New Generation is mainly devoted to trafficking cocaine and methamphetamines. Working with an associated group known as Los Cuinis — a phonetic rendering of “The Queenies” — the cartel has a presence in at least eight of Mexico’s 31 states and connections in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. A U.S. indictment in 2013 said New Generation leader Nemesio Oseguera and his brother-in-law, Cuinis leader Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, move multi-ton quantities of cocaine from South America to Mexico and facilitate its transport to the U.S., earning at least $10 million a year.The indictment charged them with running a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.New Generation has its origin in the now-defunct Milenio cartel and it later operated as an affiliate of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, the Sinaloa cartel leader who was responsible for the group’s methamphetamine division. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Its quick rise reflects a rapidly changing organized-crime landscape in Mexico as the government targets top leaders of established cartels. More than any other criminal group, New Generation has taken advantage of the government’s top-capo strategy, strengthening and grabbing territory from other cartels as they are weakened.“You’re talking about a powerful, large organization with grand logistics, well-made structures, a strong group of assassins, and dedicated and qualified people with high-caliber weaponry,” Guillermo Valdes, a security expert and former director of the Mexican intelligence agency, told The Associated Press. “It’s a new cartel, a second generation born in a restructuring process.”The strategy of hitting top leadership began in 2006 under President Felipe Calderon and has continued under his successor, Enrique Pena Nieto. As a result, large organizations have been fragmented, leaving smaller, leaderless groups to fight among themselves over control of local organized crime activities and drug-smuggling routes to the north.When Calderon was in office, there were five major cartels. Today, the Mexican attorney general lists nine major groups and 43 smaller factions. 0 Comments Share Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani intelligence officials say missiles fired from a U.S. drone struck a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border, killing five militants.The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, said three of the militants killed Saturday were Uzbeks and the other two were Pakistanis. They say the compound had been used by the Pakistani Taliban. U.S. drone strikes have killed several leading militants in rugged areas of Pakistan over the years, but are deeply unpopular in Pakistan because they have also killed civilians.Pakistan has been waging a military offensive in North Waziristan for nearly a year, trying to drive out Taliban and other militants who have long enjoyed safe haven in the lawless region.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Comments Share Top Stories Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Men’s health affects baby’s health too Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How do cataracts affect your vision?
Top holiday drink recipes MAY 133 p.m. — Housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa is supposed to leave for the day, according to a second housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez.5:30 p.m. — Amy Savopoulos calls her husband, telling him to come home to watch their 10-year-old son because she has plans, Gutierrez says.9:30 p.m. — Savvas Savopoulos calls Gutierrez’ phone and leaves her a flustered-sounding voicemail. She doesn’t notice it until the next morning. Though Savopoulos had indicated earlier that his wife was going out, in the voicemail he said she is sick in bed and another housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, is staying overnight. He also says in the voicemail that Figueroa’s cellphone is dead and the family doesn’t have a charger for it, which Gutierrez says is odd.___MAY 14Morning — At some point, Figueroa’s husband, Bernardo Alfaro, goes to the house and knocks on the door, but no one answers. While there, Alfaro told WJLA-TV that Savvas Savopoulos called his cellphone and told him that Amy had gone to the hospital and Figueroa had accompanied her.“My feeling was that somebody was inside,” Alfaro said. He continued trying to call his wife and got no answer. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 9:30 a.m. — Gutierrez receives a text message from Amy Savopoulos’ cellphone saying “I am making sure you do not come today.” Gutierrez says she calls Amy Savopoulos immediately, but the call goes to voicemail. She texts her and doesn’t get a response.10:30 a.m. — The family’s 2008 blue Porsche 911 is last seen at the home, D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier said. Later in the day, it is found torched in a parking lot in New Carrollton, Maryland, about 13 miles from the Savopoulos house.1:30 p.m. — D.C. Fire and EMS responds to a call for a fire on Woodland Drive and find the bodies inside the home. They immediately suspect someone may have intentionally set the house on fire.___WEDNESDAY— Police announce a suspect in the slayings: Daron Dylon Wint.___THURSDAY— Police say Wint may be in Brooklyn, New York.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day 4 must play golf courses in Arizona WASHINGTON (AP) — On May 14, firefighters responded to a mansion fire in a Washington neighborhood near the vice president’s official residence. Inside, they found the bodies of 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos, his 47-year-old wife, Amy; their son, Philip; and housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa. Three of the four had been stabbed or bludgeoned, police said.Daron Dylon Wint, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths, authorities said. Here’s a look at what happened in the hours before the fire. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories
PARIS (AP) — France’s president wants Uber’s cheapest car service shut down and its vehicles seized, but Uber refuses to stop the service until a ruling by the country’s top court.The standoff, and a violence-marred taxi strike that upended Paris travel, reflects larger tensions in France over how to regulate fast-moving technology and stay globally competitive while ensuring labor protections. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like The company faces similar legal challenges and criticism from taxi drivers’ associations around the world.Furious taxi drivers in France say the low-cost UberPop service is ruining their livelihood. Uber drivers have been repeatedly ambushed, sometimes with customers inside.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 Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home France’s top security official, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, said Friday that Uber is facing multiple investigations. He spoke to RTL radio a day after striking taxi drivers attacked Uber livery cars and setting fire to tires on a major artery around Paris.Some taxi drivers continued the protest Friday, but the strike did not appear to seriously disrupt morning travel around Paris, and no violence was immediately reported.Uber’s cheapest service, called UberPop in France, was banned here, but Uber officials insist they will continue their activities until France’s highest court rules on the service.Cazeneuve called that “cynical and arrogant.”French President Francois Hollande said Friday, “The UberPop group must be dissolved and declared illegal, and the vehicles must be seized.” But he said that the executive branch can’t do that without further action through the courts.Hollande, speaking at an EU summit in Brussels, accused Uber of not respecting “the social and fiscal rules.” French authorities are frustrated that Uber doesn’t pay the same taxes and social charges as traditional taxis do.Uber argues that the French taxi system is outdated and needs reform to keep up with apps and geolocalization, and that traditional taxis are just trying to quash competition. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
Gatwick also made clear it was ready to keep fighting, underscoring aspects of the report which describe its proposal as “feasible,” albeit with fewer economic advantages to that of the Heathrow proposal.“Gatwick is still very much in the race.” Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said.It is a race that may take a long time to complete, though. Business leaders are arguing that the decision has taken too long already, and that the nation’s competitiveness could falter in a globalized world.That said, it is unlikely that Britain will do nothing. Too much is at stake.“Political decisions regarding new runways at major commercial airports tend to be among the most difficult and divisive,” said John Kasarda, the director of the center for air commerce at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. “Yet, runway expansion is not an option but a necessity for many cities such as London to remain competitive in our globally networked, speed-driven economy. In short, connectivity equals competitiveness.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Mesa family survives lightning strike to home LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Airports Commission unanimously recommended the construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday in a long-awaited report on how best to expand the country’s aviation capacity.The commission decided that Heathrow presented a stronger case for the British economy than rival Gatwick. But it stressed that Europe’s largest airport needs to address air quality, noise and community concerns. Sponsored Stories Longtime opponent, London Mayor Boris Johnson, said the expanding Heathrow merely exacerbates poor planning decisions from the past.“I don’t think this is going to happen,” he told the BBC. “This is the sort of thing that you could have possibly have gotten away with in China in the 1950s. The impact on London, the impact on the city, the environmental cost, the whole human rights, legal challenges … will be so great. I don’t think it’s deliverable.’The commission tried to mitigate those concerns by offering conditions, recommending a ban on all scheduled flights from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., having firm commitments in Parliament to have no fourth runway and a legally binding “noise envelope” to limit noise created by the airport.Residents seized on the conditions, arguing that it would be impossible for Heathrow to honor those measures. They say they will press on, undaunted by what they see as a big corporation trying to crush local residents for ever-bigger profits.“The battle starts now,” said Justine Bayley, whose home in the village of Harmondsworth would become uninhabitable should the proposal go through. “I shall go on trying to get my point across.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “Heathrow offers the kind of long-haul connectivity flights to emerging markets which are very important to the future of the British economy and expanding it would allow Heathrow to offers more of those flights,” Commission chair Howard Davies told the BBC. “Gatwick is much more focused on short-haul intra-European flying.”The commission studied the matter for nearly three years — an effort to get facts on the table amid a toxic political debate. Critics argue that an independent commission also offered a way for Prime Minister David Cameron to duck the issue. He had once pledged that a third runway would not happen, “no ifs, no buts,” but he is under pressure from the business community to expand.England needs more airport capacity to meet the growing demands of business travelers and tourists into the coming decades. Heathrow, west of central London and rival Gatwick, south of the city, have offered competing projects that will cost as much as 18.6 billion pounds ($29.1 billion).But expansion comes with a cost: Homes will be destroyed and surviving neighborhoods will have to cope with increased noise, pollution and traffic. Some communities will be completely bulldozed. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches
The travel and tourism industry will have to wait until next year to see a sustained recovery, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said this week.“Despite recent encouraging short-term indicators of tourism activity, the recovery in world Travel & Tourism is expected to be muted,” said WTTC President and Chief Executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten.Baumgarten said firms and households would continue to examine travel plans carefully and limit expenditure in 2010.“Spending in real terms is expected to increase by a mere 1% – while business travel spending will again decline, by nearly 2%. WTTC said travel and tourism investment was also expected to decline for the second consecutive year by 1.7 percent, which will subsequently cause travel and tourism economy GDP to grow by just 0.5 percent in 2010 overall.However, it said a stronger second-half momentum will continue into 2011 to boost growth next year to 3.2 percent.It forecast that the industry will be supporting over 300 million jobs by 2020 while China alone is set to provide almost 95 million visitors for other destinations by that time.“But developed economies will continue to dominate global Travel & Tourism for the foreseeable future,” Baumgarten noted.“While many are mature markets reaching a ceiling in terms of propensity to travel, a growing preference for, and priority focus on, leisure is expected to provide clients for new destinations once consumers fully regain confidence.”In 2009, over 235 million people worldwide were employed by the travel and tourism industry accounting for 8.2 percent of all employment. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28caf/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L
World Expeditions has acquired 51% of New Zealand travel company Adventure South. This new partnership will strengthen the relationship between the two companies, which have worked together for more than 10 years. World Expeditions CEO Sue Badyari said, “We believe that Australians have a thirst for adventure product in New Zealand as its short haul, inexpensive to get there and offers a completely different travel experience to Australia. “Consistent feedback from our travellers indicates that they are looking for innovation and new opportunities to explore NZ and that is the niche that the Adventure South holidays fill. “There really is nothing like this range of products anywhere in the market. “The trips offer fantastic value from a five day Otago Rail Trail cycle trip priced at $995 to our ‘never-offered-before’ 7 day Two Thumbs High Country trek priced at $1890 all inclusive.”Adventure South has a range of fantastic itineraries that are closely aligned to the World Expeditions philosophies of sustainable and responsible travel and we are now keen to put an engine on the brand here in Australia to see more travellers crossing the Tasman to experience our innovative walking, cycling, climbing and kayaking itineraries. Adventure South will make its debut in Australia this week with a 28 page brochure featuring 26 trips in addition to a national advertising campaign. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F