Thousands march to back Nicaragua bishops after Ortega attacks

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_imgRelated posts:Nicaraguan student leaders meet with former President Oscar Arias US warns Nicaragua as more killed in unrest As Nicaragua elections approach, banned opposition decries Ortega’s budding dictatorship Two dead in Nicaragua protest violence as Ortega calls for ‘peace’ Call for early pollsThe bishops, through their Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, support elections being brought forward from 2021 to next year.The United States and the Organization of American States back that call, with Washington warning of further sanctions on Nicaragua if Ortega does not yield to the demand.But Ortega, 72, has rejected early polls, saying they would only increase insecurity.He accuses the United States of financing opposition militia he says are intent on toppling the government he leads with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.The left-wing leader, who first came to power in 1979 after his Sandinista guerrillas swept aside a US-backed dictatorship, has ruled Nicaragua for 22 of the past 39 years.The unrest is posing the biggest challenge to his authority since he returned to office in 2007, not least because the business sector that had underpinned previous economic stability is now spurning him over the violence. Facebook Comments Thousands of Nicaraguans marched through their capital on Saturday in a show of support for the country’s bishops whom President Daniel Ortega has accused of aiding an attempted “coup” against him.The rally brought together Catholics, evangelicals, and non-Christians under images of the Virgin Mary and Nicaraguan flags, and cries of “freedom” and “Bishop, buddy, the people are with you.”It was another display of popular opposition to Ortega, who has become reviled by large sections of Nicaragua’s population of six million for a brutal three-month crackdown on anti-government protests in which more than 300 people have been killed.The president has been able to impose a period of relative calm on the country after police and loyalist paramilitaries firing weapons crushed opposition hubs in Managua and the nearby city of Masaya this month. One of the raids targeted youths taking shelter in a church in the capital, killing two.After those operations, Ortega this week declared “the turmoil is over.”He also accused the country’s bishops, who have been trying to bring about a peaceful solution by mediating talks between the government and the opposition, of helping those challenging him, whom he called “coup-mongers” and “terrorists.” Protesters participate in the “March of Mocking” against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, in Leon, Nicaragua, on July 28, 2018. AFP Photo / Marvin RecinosPersecution“Given this supremely critical situation, [the church] has, yesterday, today and forever, given life and voice to those who have no voice,” said one priest taking part in Saturday’s march, Silvio Fonseca.An evangelical, Henry Aguilar, 55, told AFP that non-Catholic churches had joined the “pilgrimage” demonstration in support of the Catholic bishops “because we are Nicaraguans, and the same system attacking them is also attacking us.”Daily protests continue against Ortega, demanding he step down and early elections be held. While the violence has diminished, at least four deaths have been reported since the security blitzes.Rights groups say state-sponsored persecution of people suspected of taking part in the protests, or of helping them, has been stepped up, forcing thousands to flee over the southern border into Costa Rica.Doctors at a state-run hospital in the northwest city of Leon told AFP on Friday that more than a dozen medics, nurses and technical personnel have been fired for treating wounded protesters and, in some cases, voicing opinions that “freedom” and dialogue was needed in the country.center_img More than 40 doctors fired from hospital in Leonlast_img read more


Obama US must examine how assets are being used in IS fight

Posted On Aug 18 2019 by

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Asked to elaborate on the president’s comments, Earnest said: “There have been some concerns raised by some fighters that they have not gotten the kind of equipment that they need to fight ISIL.”“The president and the rest of the administration have vowed to work closely with the Iraq government to make sure that this military equipment is getting got where it is needed,” he said.Earnest praised Iraq’s announcement that it had launched a major military operation to drive the Islamic State from the western Anbar province. The Iraqi troops are out to retake the Sunni heartland where the extremist group captured the provincial capital of Ramadi.“I think that is a clear indication of the will of the Iraqi security forces to fight,” Earnest said. “And the United States and our coalition partners will stand with them as they do so.”Obama said the upheaval in the Middle East and the “increasingly aggressive posture that Russia has taken” in Ukraine has created a “challenging and important time for NATO.” He said NATO would continue to support Ukraine.Obama said NATO would be a crucial player in providing training and assistance to Afghanistan following the drawdown of NATO troops. He said it was important that NATO countries properly contribute to that post-draw-down mission. WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking to boost Iraqi fighting forces, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its allies need to examine whether they are deploying military assets effectively against Islamic State militants as Iraq mounts a new offensive to recapture critical territory west of Baghdad.The White House says it already is responding to demands by Iraqi fighters for more powerful anti-tank weapons to confront armored vehicles that the Islamic State has used as potent and deadly car bombs. But officials stressed the examination did not represent a reassessment of the U.S. military approach to the fight against the militants. Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img “We continue to have confidence in the strategy,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “This is not a fight the U.S. is going to fight for the Iraqi people.”The U.S. attention to supplying higher-grade military equipment came after Defense Secretary Ash Carter over the weekend criticized Iraqi forces, saying their men fled the Islamic State advance on Ramadi without fighting back.White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended Carter’s remarks, saying the Iraqi government acknowledged that the setback in Ramadi was the result of a breakdown in command and planning. Moreover, Earnest said, the Iraqi forces in Ramadi had not benefited from U.S. or allied training.Obama, speaking at the end of a meeting with visiting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, did not respond to questions about Carter’s comments. But he did say the challenge posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the turmoil in Libya have forced NATO to look south as well as east in the alliance’s mission.“That means an increase in defense capacity building with other countries like Iraq or (Persian Gulf) countries that are interested in working with us, as well as the African Union,” he said. “It also means we have to think about whether we are deploying and arranging our assets effectively to meet that challenge.” 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 Top Stories The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more


American Express launch prepaid travel card

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgAmerican Express has announced the launch of a new prepaid travel card as a substitute to cash for travellers.The GlobalTravel Card expected to be released early next month was designed by the financial company as a reloadable card with extra services and features.According to American Express Global Prepaid Vice President and General Manager Lawrence Chan the card is available for conversion to USD, EUR and GBP and has an array of features including a secured exchange rate system.“As many travellers know all too well, it is very easy to lose track of the exchange rate while travelling, miscalculate currency conversions or underestimate travel budgets… This is where travel cards come to the fore,” Mr Chan said.“The card allows an attractive exchange rate to be locked and loaded so travellers don’t need to worry about exchange rate volatility.”The inbuilt 24/7 global services feature offers cardholders assistance with lost or stolen credit cards, wallets, luggage and support for emergency legal or medical referrals.American Express has also included a free of fee replacement service to the traveller’s destination for lost or stolen cards.“Not only do prepaid travel cards give travellers’ greater control over their finances, they provide the certainty of global acceptance and an enhanced level of security and fraud protection,” Mr Chan said.Mr Chan said the lack of inactivity fees and no fund expiry period makes the card attractive to people looking to exchange currency without intentions to travel.“Up until now, when the dollar has been strong, it has been common for travellers to stock up on travellers cheques, but now Australians are also turning to our new prepaid currency card which has no time limit on when the currency needs to be spent.”The card will be available early November from American Express Foreign Exchange Services offices and Australia Post retail outlets and is accepted globally at millions of locations outside of Australia.    Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more


ICCA Masters Conference kicks off

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgScott Koepf, Nicole Laurie – Virgin Australia and Brett Jardine – ICCA The ICCA doubled expected numbers at the Hilton Hotel Sydney on Saturday when 100 agents gathered to hear “Master of the Masters”, Scott Koepf share his views on the ever changing industry. With 25 years of extensive experience in the retail travel industry, Mr Koepf is a regular facilitator for the industry body’s Masters Conference and has held such roles including vice president of sales for Avoya Travel/America’s Vacation Centre and president of the National Association of Career Travel Agents. A background as a performer (Mr Koepf will be returning to LA to star as the King in the stage production, Camelot) ensured that participants were entertained by impromptu snippets of song and impersonations throughout the event. Sponsored by Virgin Australia, the event kicked off the 2011 Masters Conference being held over 8 nights from Darwin to Fremantle onboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas.Agents were given the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum with the resounding concern being the perceived threat of the internet.“In this day and age where agents feel threatened by the internet, the reality is consumers can access the same information that agents can access,” said ICCA general manager Brett Jardine to e-Travel Blackboard.“Agents need to ask themselves, how am I going to make myself different? What reason can I give to the consumer to make them book with me?” Mr Jardine also highlighted the importance of a more holistic approach to seminars and conferences with information pertaining to agents’ lives as well as their business being the key to increased success. “Agents should be entertained and walk away with something. Those who have been to our Masters Conference have helped to grow their business as a whole, not just in regards to cruise.”Mr Koepf put his performance background into good use when explaining the importance of a travel agents becoming a storyteller for their clients.“Painting the picture and delivering the story is the future of travel agents,” shared Mr Koepf.“Consumers need to feel themselves in the destination. Your job is to change perceptions, it’s not just to provide pricing and information anymore.”Channeling the late Steve Jobs, Mr Koepf emphasised the importance of pre-empting what clients want before they actually want it and encouraged participants to convince their clients that there is more to travel than finding the cheapest price. “Say what you add, don’t wait for them to experience it.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more


Carriers set to break Hawaii capacity record

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Airlines are expected to set a third-quarter record this year for capacity into Hawaii as visitor numbers to the state continue to surge. According to data released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, between July and September, scheduled nonstop seats to the state are forecast to exceed the previous record set five years ago, local media in Honolulu reported.Reflecting an increase of 12.6 per cent over the same period in 2011, and a 2.6 per cent increase over the record setting three-month stretch in 2007, nearly 2.7 million seats are predicted to land in Hawaii during Q3. Among the carriers to have boosted capacity to the Aloha State this year are Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air, whose first flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu landed just days ago. Capacity from the US East Coast and US West Coast, Hawaii’s number one source market, is anticipated to rise by 25 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively, while overall capacity from the States is predicted to rise by 10.4 per cent.Internationally, South Korea, China and Japan are expected to show gains of 55 per cent, 48 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively, while seats from Australia and New Zealand are anticipated to grow by 29.4 per cent. International seat numbers are forecast to rise 18.1 per cent in total. Image Hawaiian Airlineslast_img read more


Facebook ID valid for US travel

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgMr Klein was so shocked he tweeted about the incident, causing a range of responses from equally-stunned followers and commentators questioning if the event was true or not. “We understand passengers occasionally arrive at the airport without an ID, due to lost items or inadvertently leaving them at home… not having an ID does not necessarily mean a passenger won’t be allowed to fly,” the TSA website said. The co-founder of popular video website Vimeo was able to pass through a United States’ airport without his official government-issue identification, using a social media website profile. Vimeo co-founder and DIY.org chief executive Zach Klein could not believe his luck when his Facebook profile was accepted as a valid form of ID when travelling recently, news.com.au reported. Image: Corbis/Artigacenter_img “If passengers are willing to provide additional information, we have other means of substantiating someone’s identity, like using publicly available databases.” Source = ETB News: P.T. This is not a new policy, according to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who have been allowing travellers to use “other means” of verifying their identity for some time.last_img read more


Choice Hotels announces partnership with SiteMinder

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgChoice Hotels International has announced their new partnership with SiteMinder, the number one cloud platform for hotel franchises.With this new technology agreement, Choice Hotels Australasia will have the ability to manage their entire room inventory through one main system.SiteMinder’s integration with Choice Hotel’s central reservations system (CRS) will enable franchisees to maintain room rates and inventory in order to expand operational efficiencies within the company.Choice Hotels senior vice president international division Mark Pearce says the company continues to lead in regards to technology initiatives.“Implementing SiteMinder for our international franchisees will help make their businesses more effective and efficient, helping to eliminate discrepancies in room availability entirely,” Mr Pearce said.The SiteMinder technology will help address parity issues across Choice properties by delivering all reservations into the company’s CRS.SiteMinder co-founder and managing director Mike Ford says the company is thrilled to be working with Choice Hotels.“We are excited to offer our online distribution platform to Choice Hotel franchisees so rooms are booked, inventories and properties are updated, and rates are managed in real-time,” Mr Ford said.SiteMinder is currently used by over 16,000 properties across more than 160 countries worldwide.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more


Hola from Excite Holidays and Los Cabos

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgExcite Holidays recently treated its Brisbane-based agents to a Mexican themed breakfast at Watt Riverside Restaurant and Bar.In collaboration with Los Cabos Tourism, the event was designed to showcase and educate agents on all that this Mexican hotspot has to offer. Including the fact that Los Cabos is only a two and half hour flight from Los Angeles, and is the perfect stopover or standalone destination. Agents were also given the chance to win some fantastic prizes!Filled with an abundance of good food, great company, stunning views and plenty of colour, the agents started their morning off the right way. Upon arrival, they were met with a fancy cocktail, mexican hot chocolate and a delectable spread that included baked goods such as muffins and danishes, before sitting down to indulge in a Pico de Gallo Burrito, a traditional Mexican breakfast.The agents were even lucky enough to meet with the Managing Director of Los Cabos Tourism, Rodrigo Esponda, who came straight off the plane from Mexico to offer his expertise and passion for this incredible destination. The agents also heard from Lisa Hollenberg, from Thompson Hotels and Rebecca Maitland from One&Only, who both took the agents through their incredible properties.A great morning was had by all, and it’s safe to say that by the end of the breakfast, everyone was dreaming of a last-minute dash to Los Cabos to enjoy a poolside cocktail! Hola from Excite Holidays and Los Cabos!Hola from Excite Holidays and Los Cabos! Source = Excite Holidayslast_img read more


THAI Signs MOU with travel agent in Hong Kong

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgTHAI Signs MOU with Travel Agent in Hong KongTHAI Signs MOU with travel agent in Hong KongMrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo (4th from left), Acting President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), recently presided over the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between THAI and Guang Zhou Hui Yue International Travel Service Co. Ltd. THAI was selected as their preferred carrier flying a total of 3,000 participants from Hong Kong based company, Infinitus Co. Ltd. to Bangkok to attend MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) in June 2018. Representatives who signed MOU were Mr. Chetseni Dhanarajata (3rd from left), THAI General Manager Hong Kong & Macau and Mr. Li Xuebing (5th from left), Vice General Manager of Guang Zhou Hui Yue International Travel Service Co. Ltd. Also presented at the ceremony were Mr. Wiwat Piyawiroj (2nd from left), THAI Acting Executive Vice President of Commercials and Ms. Gao Yuping (6th from left), Vice General Manager of Guang Zhou Hui Yue International Travel Service Co. Ltd. at Conrad hotel, Hong Kong.Infinitus is a member of Lee Kum Kee Group, a century-old Hong Kong enterprise. Infinitus is engaged in Chinese herbal plantations, Sales and service of TCM health products, a mobile internet platform and property investment.THAI looks forward to exploring new ways to further enhance the cooperation, spirit and joining hand in hand with Infinitus and Hui Yue Travel to build a strong business alliance.Source = Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI)last_img read more


Munnar to inaugurate three tourism projects

Posted On Aug 16 2019 by

first_imgThree major projects aimed at the development of tourism in Munnar will be inaugurated by A.P. Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister, Kerala. Among the projects are Munnar Botanical Garden set up at Rs 4.5 crore, the one crore rupees Munnar budget accommodation centre and the Ripples waterfalls tourism projects.Joice George, MP, will deliver the keynote address. V. Ratheesan, District Collector, and Kochuthresia Paulose, President, District Panchayat will speak at the inaugural function. Munnar wildlife Warden G. Prasad said that the botanical garden, to be developed in the model of Ootty Botanical Garden, will be a mega project. He said that plants suitable to the cool temperature of Munnar would be planted and it would have facilities for people to take rest and take a break.last_img