Are you brave enough Canadas newest rollercoaster will boast three World Records

first_img Thursday, August 16, 2018 Share VAUGHAN, ON — Usually when you hear about the world’s longest, fastest, tallest something-or-other, cities like Dubai or New York usually come to mind. But this time around, Canada is getting its due with its new World Record-holding roller coaster.Yukon Striker will be the star of the show at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ont., when it opens in summer 2019. Situated in the park’s newly themed area called Frontier Canada, it will be Canada’s first dive coaster and the park’s 17th coaster, putting Canada’s Wonderland among the world’s top three amusement parks with the most roller coasters.Upon completion, it will boast four inversions, a ‘hold and dive’ element where riders will literally hang on the edge of their seats, three ‘floorless’ trains, a 90-degree drop, and an underwater tunnel.But here’s the real kicker: Yukon Striker will hold not one, not two, but three world records, including: The Fastest Dive Coaster at 130 km/hr; The Longest Dive Coaster at 3,625 feet; and The Tallest Dive Coaster at 245 feet (includes underground).More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Frontier Canada’s arrival at Canada’s Wonderland is more than 37 years in the making, as it was originally planned and designed as one of five themed sections to be developed for the park’s opening in 1981. The area will represent the rugged Yukon backcountry during the Klondike Gold Rush era of the late 1890s. Yukon Striker will join rides Lumberjack, Flying Canoes, Mighty Canadian Minebuster, Soaring Timbers, Timberwolf Falls, and White Water Canyon as the signature attractions in this newly themed section of the park.When guests purchase their 2019 Season Pass now they not only get unlimited visits next year, but also unlimited visits for the remainder of 2018 for $72.99.Canada’s Wonderland is also introducing an all-new Gold Pass in 2019 that includes all the benefits of a Season Pass, plus free admission to WinterFest and Halloween Haunt. The Gold Pass is available for $99.99 for a limited time. Tags: Canada’s Wonderland, World Record Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Are you brave enough? Canada’s newest rollercoaster will boast three World Records << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Club Med to begin construction on Quebec Charlevoix this month

first_img Share Thursday, February 14, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Club Med to begin construction on Quebec Charlevoix this month Tags: Club Med, Openings & Renovations, Quebec QUEBEC CITY — Canada’s first-ever Club Med resort will officially break ground this month, the first step towards its highly anticipated debut in December 2020.Club Med Québec Charlevoix, the brand’s very first four-season mountain resort, will commence construction using locally sourced materials that reflect the beauty of its surroundings. The overall objective is for the property to be BREEAM and Green Globe certified, which would further enforce the brand’s dedication to minimizing its ecological impact.“We’re thrilled to start construction on Club Med Québec Charlevoix, the very first Club Med in Canada,” said Frédéric Sujobert, Vice President Operations, Groupe Le Massif and General Manager, Massif de Charlevoix. “We can feel the enthusiasm of local residents and businesses who are looking forward to the opportunities that Club Med will generate in Charlevoix.”According to Carolyne Doyon, Senior Vice President, Canada and Mexico, feedback about the upcoming opening has been “overwhelmingly positive”, with high interest coming from corporate and leisure groups.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from Ottawa“Due to the growing demand, we’re happy to announce the immediate opening of group bookings, which we’re expecting to represent a big share of our sales,” she said.Bookings for corporate groups (which include a minimum 20 adults, or 10 rooms) are now open for a minimum two-night stay starting December 2020. All-inclusive stays include accommodation, all-day dining, open bar, ski passes, ski lessons as well as additional resort activities. There’s also a convention center available at the resort, perfect for corporate groups.Upon completion, the 4-Trident resort will feature 302 family and couple rooms, including an Exclusive Collection space comprising high-end suites with scenic views of the St. Lawrence. It’s located less than an hour and a half from Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, and will mirror Club Med’s all-inclusive ski model already widely known at its European ski resorts in the Alps.Guests will enjoy a variety of emblematic Quebec activities like ice-skating, dog sledding and sugar shack visits, in addition to a wide array of amenities including a heated swimming pool, all-day childcare, locally-inspired cuisine, biking, hiking and more.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionFor more information go to read more

I Do Costa Ricas wedding boom

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s tourism sector expects high occupancy rates during holiday season Rates going up for Costa Rica taxis Government, tourism entrepreneurs seek to resolve differences on recent controversial laws President voices support for extending moratorium on maritime zone evictions At the height of the dry season, Amanda Black awoke in her hotel room to another radiant blue sky. She started the morning of Feb. 28, 2013, walking Jacó beach on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast with her father and sister, followed by a dip in the hotel pool. At 10 a.m., a beautician showed up to do her makeup, and the photographer arrived an hour later. At noon, Black met her extended family in the lobby of the Hotel Club del Mar, and they all boarded a bus.But Black’s 30 guests didn’t head for a church or a synagogue or even a courthouse. Black and her fiancé Will McMonnies didn’t want the same milquetoast ceremony in the usual venue. They wanted something different.So they got married on Tom Cat II — a pontoon boat.“We were all looking forward to a fun party cruise,” recalled Black, now married nearly a year. Once the attendees had climbed the gangplank to Tom Cat II, they were treated to a full day of lunch, champagne, snorkeling and a cruise along the coast.“We all enjoyed one of the prettiest sunsets that night on the boat – some of the brightest shades of orange and pink seemed to glow above the water,” Black said. “We got to see a family of dolphins swim by. It really seemed magical.”Back in Philadelphia, where the couple lived, the day had a high of 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was overcast with passing rain.Destination: Costa RicaThe union of Black and McMonnies wasn’t a typical wedding, but it represents an exploding industry – the non-traditional destination wedding – and Costa Rica is among its epicenters. Along with hotspots like Mexico and Jamaica, Costa Rica attracts thousands of U.S. couples every year, and is gaining global attention. According to the Wall Street Journal, Costa Rica’s wedding industry has grown about 24 percent each year since 2010.“The couples who get married here are very diverse,” said Randy Gritz, who has worked as a wedding planner in Costa Rica for more than eight years. “But I think it has to be somebody with more of a sense of adventure. There are all kinds of reasons people come down here. First off, you don’t need a blood test. You could show up today and say I want to be married tomorrow, and it can be done. Getting married here legally is a lot easier than in other countries.”Another reason: economics. “When you’re at home, you’re forced to invite a lot of people. They’re friends of your parents, and your parents are insisting that they get invited. At a destination wedding, usually the guests pay their own way. The people who come are usually going to be closer to you.”Another reason? The land itself: “Getting married at a volcano, getting married at a waterfall. You have all these possibilities in Costa Rica.”It was Gritz who coordinated the Black-McMonnies wedding, as well as 200 other ceremonies throughout her career. Gritz sees Black as part of a growing demographic: the “Millennial Bride.” She’s inventive, self-sufficient, and often pays for the wedding without parental assistance. Instead of brides designing the wedding with their mothers, fiancées often collaborate mainly with their fiancés. “I’m finding that I’m speaking more with the bride and groom,” Gritz said.Many of the couples are young, others are marrying for a second time or even renewing their vows, but some traits they all have in common: They want to escape their normal lives, and they want the freedom to do things their own way. Sometimes these ceremonies are simple, for instance, an unaccompanied couple on the cove of an all-inclusive resort, witnessed mostly by sunbathers. Other times they’re complex, held inside hotel ballrooms or on mountaintops. No matter what they desire, ambitious couples can choose from hordes of wedding planners, photographers and venues. They can orchestrate the entire event by Internet or Skype. Some places, like the Hilton Papagayo, have drag-and-drop menus, allowing couples to organize their matrimony in minutes.This is all new. When Gritz moved to Costa Rica 22 years ago, the country was much calmer, and the industry hardly existed.“It was a time when I could bring two suitcases, and one of them was filled with books,” Gritz said. She spent 10 years as owner of a bookstore chain, and when she finally sold the business, she was ready for something radically different. A friend invited her to help with wedding planning, which seemed like a cottage industry. Although Gritz had little wedding experience, the industry exploded, and “within two months, I was booking my own weddings,” she said.Romance is serious business“I was Costa Rica’s very first professional wedding planner,” boasts Aimee Monahan, proprietress of Tropical Occasions. “That was in 1996, before the Gringo gold rush.”Monahan is a supersonic conversationalist, which matches her energetic lifestyle: Years after cutting her teeth at Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Monahan’s company plans about 85 weddings a year. She spent many years working in Costa Rica, but her husband struggled to find work, so they moved to the U.S. city of Denver, Colorado. Yet her business is still based in sunny Central America, where three full-time and three part-time staffers do work on the ground.“Every time I come down here, it’s like a reunion,” Monahan said. “I know the entire country. I know all the resorts. When I’m here, I am constantly touring properties. I want to see what’s out there for my clients. I’m a huge believer that no wedding should be the same.”Indeed, both Monahan and Gritz have organized a mind-bending variety of weddings and receptions. Beach ceremonies are the norm, especially in scenic regions like Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio, but couples may also opt for bonfires, horse rides, jugglers, stilt-walkers and human statues. Monahan once arranged a 140-person Hindu wedding with an eco-friendly vibe (materials included recycled tin cans). Another favorite client: a NASCAR driver and his intended.Because the destination weddings are so lucrative for specialists, and because the profession seems so glamorous, Monahan has seen plenty of would-be wedding planners come and go.“I welcome them,” Monahan said. “I help them. I want everyone in Costa Rica to have a good experience. But I’ve seen four companies pop up in the last year, and now they’re gone. You have to be good at what you do, and you have to be consistent.” Some planners fail because they arrive with tourist visas. “If you’re living here, and your business is based here, you have to be legal,” Monahan said firmly.Elysian as they seem, Costa Rican weddings aren’t all sea turtles and doilies. Bridezillas still show up, and many are surprised by the 13 percent sales tax, the price of flowers, and the drawbacks of marrying in an actual jungle (mosquitoes, mud, rain and so on). Some practices are less streamlined: Where U.S. venues universally require insurance, Costa Rican venues often scrimp.“Even putting a votive candle on a table is a fire hazard,” cautioned Gritz. “There’s a lot more leeway here.”There are also technical concerns: Couples must secure an attorney and often a priest. They must assign two witnesses for their paperwork, usually family members or friends. The couples must sign an affidavit, usually written in Spanish, which promises that they are not currently married; a past divorce requires an extra step. When paperwork is not “letter perfect,” it may get snarled in Costa Rican bureaucracy. If all goes well, U.S. citizens can expect their documents to take a few weeks to properly file; Canadians require a notary. Other nations have unique regulations.Costa Rica, mi amorMany professionals suggest that unpredictability is part of Costa Rica’s charm, and the foreigners who get married here must embrace the pura vida mentality. Micromanagers should find a nice little chapel in their own neighborhood.“When I work with a client who is uptight about every detail,” Gritz said, “something will always go wrong. Other people, when they’re just kind of laidback, everything seems to be perfect. When all is said and done, you’re not going to remember the flowers on the table. What you’re going to remember is maybe your grandfather dancing with your grandmother.”“What does pura vida mean to me?” Monahan said. “It means ‘slow down.’ If everyone was as laidback [as Costa Ricans], the world would be a much better place. If you’re a New Yorker and you want everything in a New York minute, you shouldn’t come down here. These are some of the happiest people. They’re proud of their country. They really care that you have a good time here.” Monahan is a self-described yogi and she is conversational about chakras. “I think Costa Rica was my yoga before. It was making me present, making me breathe. In [the U.S.], things are so fast-paced, I do yoga to keep myself focused.”“I think this is my destiny,” she said. “I tell my staff all the time: When you stop loving this, tell me, because you can’t work for me anymore. It’s emotional.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Police bust hydroponic pot grow in Escazú church

first_imgVirgin Mary, meet Mary Jane. Police discovered hundreds of marijuana plants Sunday night inside an evangelical temple in the upscale neighborhood of Escazú.Police officers were responding to a robbery complaint when they reportedly caught a strong whiff of marijuana coming from inside a nearby church, according to the Public Security Ministry (MSP).The MSP did not release the name of the church.Inside police discovered a hydroponic marijuana operation with 226 plants ranging in height from 12 centimeters to 155 centimeters. Along with the plants, police found 8 kilograms of loose, processed marijuana.There was no one in the building at the time of the raid, according to police, and no arrests had been made as of Monday morning.The MSP didn’t speculate on whether the marijuana might have some spiritual significance, but the discovery of a small .38 Special revolver by police doesn’t bode well for the religious freedom angle.MSP spokesman Nicolás Aguilar told The Tico Times that the church was an active place of worship. He said authorities were investigating how long the marijuana grow had been operating.During 2014, Drug Control Police seized seven metric tons of marijuana across Costa Rica. The now empty hydroponic marijuana growing laboratory discovered in an evangelical church Sunday, March 8, 2015. (Courtesy Public Security Ministry) Facebook Comments Related posts:US sheriffs are asking for armored trucks to wage war on marijuana. Yes, really. Drug policy in Central America criminalizes poverty, says Costa Rica Public Security Minister Police arrest 4 suspects with fake police gear after dramatic chase, shootout Costa Rica police bust Cuban migrants smuggling operationlast_img read more

President yanks IVF bill in latest battle move over the fertility procedure

first_imgCosta Rica’s executive branch backed down Tuesday from a bill to regulate in vitro fertilization (IVF), saying it would wait for separate rulings from theSupreme Court and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) before pushing further regulation.The move follows months of uncertainty since President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a decree legalizing the long-banned fertility procedure in September. Since then, opponents have filed multiple challenges to the decree with Costa Rican courts, while defenders of IVF have responded with challenges to those challenges.Passage of a legislative bill would solidify the fertility procedure’s legality and set out more specific regulations than those outlined in the presidential decree.Some critics of Solís’ unilateral move to legalize IVF said he should have gone through the Legislative Assembly. Now, the president has temporarily abandoned that route.Casa Presidencial said in a news release Tuesday that the proposed bill to regulate IVF would implement stricter regulations than those approved under the executive decree, and therefore “would be discriminatory and regressive in terms of human rights.”Vice Presidency Minister Luis Paulino Mora said the government considers it prudent to wait for pending judicial rulings before making a final decision on the bill’s future. The executive branch sets the Assembly’s agenda of bills for discussion and voting from Dec. 1 to April 30, both in the full Assembly and in commissions.President Luis Guillermo Solís signed the executive decree legalizing IVF procedures on Sept. 11. However, the decree has yet to take effect; It was suspended by an appeal filed before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, by a group of lawmakers who argued that IVF can only be regulated by law, not by decree.IVF procedures were banned in 2000 by a Sala IV ruling. Solís’ decree was an effort to come into compliance with a 2012 ruling from the regional Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which ordered the country to reinstate the right to IVF. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Supreme Court to hear challenges to anti-IVF lawmakers Costa Rica government says it will reinstate in vitro fertilization within 6 months Costa Rica’s Solís considers reinstating IVF by executive decree Costa Rican president presents draft decree to legalize in vitro fertilizationlast_img read more

Clinton US wont react to Arafat poisoning rumors

first_imgAssociated PressHANOI, Vietnam (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. will wait for the results of any new investigation into Yasser Arafat’s death and won’t be responding to rumors.Speaking in Vietnam, Clinton said she was looking forward to visiting Israel next week as part of a two-week foreign tour.She told reporters Tuesday she would discuss a broad range of issues with Israeli leaders, including Middle East peace efforts. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has approved digging up Arafat’s remains and wants an international probe of his predecessor’s mysterious 2004 death. A Swiss lab says it detected elevated traces of a lethal radioactive agent on clothing said to be Arafat’s, and some Palestinians are pointing to this as evidence that he was poisoned.Clinton says speculation won’t help the process.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

Argentinas media divisions stoked by president

first_imgAssociated PressBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – When Argentine President Cristina Fernandez got an earful from some reporters frustrated over her general refusal to take questions at news conferences, she offered little hope for change: “If you want official information, listen to my speeches,” she told them. “I won’t be speaking against myself.”The brief encounter in the presidential palace press room, recounted by a radio reporter, reflects Fernandez’s distrust of the media in a country deeply polarized by her rule. Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories As does Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Fernandez often interrupts regular programming to give speeches that TV and radio stations are required by law to broadcast. Major announcements are fed first to sympathetic journalists. And like Chavez, when Fernandez appears before crowds packed with loyal, cheering supporters, targeting opposition media can be part of the discourse, both on stage and in the crowd.These “pro-government followers … seek to intimidate journalists, yelling chants and slogans, and creating a hostile environment for the exercise of our profession,” the Journalism Forum recently said.Clarin keeps track of what it considers to be hostile acts, complaining of “intimidation, threats and persecution against journalists and media outlets, especially those who do not agree with those in power.”The Inter-American Press Association said that “public information is still released selectively as if it were private property, and it is used to discriminate between journalists, hindering the exercise of the profession.”Fernandez suggested in her brief talk with the Government House reporters that their accurate reporting is later changed by editors. That fits with a constant theme in her speeches: that Clarin and La Nacion exist to protect the economic interests of a select few. Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Fernandez’s supporters say her critics in the media just can’t stomach the positive impact her politics are having on Argentina.“If you want to ask a question you must be willing to accept the answer,” says Luciano Galende, host of a state-run television program called “6,7,8” that has guests pick apart each day’s criticism of the president.Argentine society has long been polarized, but the media divide worsened after Fernandez succeeded her husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, and tried to raise taxes on grain exports.Clarin and La Nacion gave ample coverage to agri-business protests and criticized the tax hike in editorials and political cartoons. Fernandez saw the coverage as an attack on her government.“They wanted to bring me down in 2008. Yes, I don’t have the slightest doubt. They hadn’t wanted me to be the candidate,” Fernandez told her biographer, journalist Sandra Russo of Pagina 12, a newspaper that made its name covering human rights and now sides with the government.Fernandez responded by pushing through a law designed to break up media conglomerates and taking millions of dollars in official advertising away from her critics. The new regulations and redirected funding fostered a pro-government media boom ahead of her 54 percent landslide re-election last October. Four benefits of having a wireless security systemcenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Fernandez had been accessible as a senator, reporters say, and she constantly appears in public even now. Transcripts of her speeches are promptly posted online.But she has held only five news conferences in almost as many years as president, and even then she used the opportunity to criticize Argentine reporters. Her Cabinet ministers rarely speak to the press and when they do, they hardly ever take questions. Sen. Anibal Fernandez and other sympathetic lawmakers often serve as proxy speakers, suggesting initiatives and positions in ways the government can later deny if it chooses to do so.The Associated Press sought comment from Sen. Fernandez as well as the president’s official spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro, and his deputy, Gustavo Fernandez Russo, but none responded to email and telephone requests.“They don’t want to face an audience that they consider hostile,” said Andres D’Alessandro, executive director of the Argentina Journalism Forum, a media advocacy group that includes some 300 journalists. “When the president says, `I won’t be speaking against myself’ … she means that she will not be giving the press an opportunity to ask her uncomfortable questions” about issues important to voters, such as rising crime and inflation. Journalists from these and other media groups have joined a campaign on television, at public events and in social media asserting a right to public information. One popular Twitter account is “Queremos preguntar,” or “We Want To Ask.” A typical tweet a few days ago said: “Mdme President, We Want To Ask: When are you going to give a televised speech about a national plan against crime?”Lanata brought some 300 of these journalists onto his “Journalism for All” program, a mix of investigative journalism and entertainment that appears on a Grupo Clarin channel.“This wasn’t a meeting of friends,” Lanata said. “It was a professional demand, meant to say: `Sirs, you have the obligation to speak, because you are public officials. You can’t ignore the press, because doing that is ignoring the public.’”___Associated Press writer Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Argentines have many news outlets to choose from, and nearly all of them take strong positions for or against her government, and frequently spend ink and airtime accusing the other side of bias. With few opportunities to establish a dialogue with officials on neutral ground, the two camps depend to an uncomfortable extent on leaks and rumors, reducing the credibility of all involved.One side is led by the newspapers La Nacion and Clarin and their sister broadcast stations and magazines, which generally portray Fernandez as a power-hungry despot who is increasingly mismanaging Argentina’s affairs.On the other side are a growing number of media outlets staffed by Fernandez supporters who call themselves advocacy journalists and describe the president as a transformative figure who is challenging entrenched economic interests and redistributing wealth to the poor.It’s a profound divide, but reporters on both sides say the split has been encouraged by Fernandez, who has found a politically useful enemy in the opposition media.“There’s an ideological and I would say even philosophical attitude here against the press,” said Jorge Lanata, a leading Argentine journalist who has challenged authorities on both sides. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img

Eruption at Guatemala volcano forces evacuations

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   center_img GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire is spewing lava and ash and the director of the national disaster agency says officials are carrying out “a massive evacuation of thousands of people” in five communities.The statement by Alejandro Maldonado comes after the volcano spewed lava nearly 2,000 feet (600 meters) down slopes billowing with ash on Thursday.Seismologists say explosions have been coming from the 12,346-foot-high (3,763-meter-high) volcano, which is near the Guatemalan tourist center of Antigua. Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Morocco Half of attacks on women by their husband

first_img“Despite all efforts, violence against women is still widespread,” she said at the opening of a regional conference on the subject. “Violence against wives represents 50 percent of all attacks against women.”According to statistics from her ministry, 6 million women in Morocco are victims of violence, roughly one in three.In March, the suicide of a 16-year-old girl who was forced to marry the man she said had raped her made international headlines and threw a harsh spotlight on Morocco’s penal code. Amina al-Filali took poison after several months of what her parents described as an abusive marriage to a man they said had raped her in the woods.Hakkaoui, a member of a moderate Islamist party that dominated the country’s election in November, has been criticized for not doing enough to protect women, including changing the law allowing rapists to be exonerated if they marry their victim.While the official marriage age is 18, judges can approve much younger unions, which are common in rural areas that are poor and deeply traditional.Morocco updated its family code in 2004 to improve the situation of women, but activists say more still needs to be done. Sponsored Stories Associated PressRABAT, Morocco (AP) – Half of the violence against women in Morocco comes from their own husbands, a situation that needs to change, a minister from the North African nation said Monday.Social Development Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, the sole female minister in this country of 33 million people, said she would try to push forward a law protecting women that has been stuck in parliament for eight years. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Khadija Ryadi, president of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, expressed doubts about Hakkaoui’s commitment to finally passing the law protecting women.“This law has been stuck since 2004 and Bassima Hakkaoui is the third minister speaking about it _ I don’t understand the delay,” Ryadi said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Jamaica steps up efforts to combat dengue fever

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressKINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Jamaica is stepping up mosquito eradication across the island and urging school children to stamp out breeding grounds to combat an epidemic of dengue fever, the Caribbean country’s health minister said Thursday.Health Minister Fenton Ferguson told reporters there have been five suspected deaths from the mosquito-borne virus in Jamaica so far this year. Only one has been confirmed with an autopsy. Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project There have been more than 1,200 suspected cases as of Sept. 29, compared to 887 during the same period last year. About half the cases have occurred in the southern capital of Kingston. However, this year’s cases are far less than in 2010, an outbreak year.Officials have dispatched fumigation trucks to spray roughly 450 neighborhoods and teams are clearing storm drains that are clogged with debris. Thousands of premises have been inspected, Fenton said.“We have been taking the necessary steps to reduce the mosquito population and limit the impact of the epidemic across the island,” he said at the ministry’s offices.But since fumigation alone can’t stop the insects, authorities have urged islanders to do their part in containing the population, such as making sure Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are not breeding in water standing in garbage and old tires.The Jamaican government is trying to enlist energetic youngsters in the campaign by distributing 400,000 brochures in schools that show how mosquito larvae flourish in stagnant water.Similar battles are being fought in other parts of the region, including the Dominican Republic and the U.S. island of Puerto Rico, where earlier this week the health department declared an epidemic after nearly 5,000 cases and at least six deaths were reported for 2012. Dengue victims suffer symptoms like headaches, cramps and severe joint and muscle pain. Most recover after a week, but a severe hemorrhagic form can be fatal. There is no vaccination or cure for dengue, which is also known as “break-bone fever” because of the pain it causes.Fenton warned that Jamaica’s problem could worsen as the rainy season advances. Dengue cases usually flare up from August through December.“We expect that in the coming weeks there may be even more adult mosquitoes given the recent rains,” Fenton said.The tropical virus was once thought to have been nearly eliminated from the region, but it has steadily gained strength in Latin America and the Caribbean since the early 1980s.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Whos who of Chinas top female politicians

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments   Share   (AP) – _Liu Yandong, 67, is the fifth woman since China’s founding in 1949 to join the Politburo, which currently has 25 seats. The Politburo reports to the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, which directs policy but has never had a woman in its ranks. Liu is seen as a long-shot candidate for that panel._Ma Wen, 64, heads both the ministry that oversees civil servants and the corruption prevention bureau. Ma is a candidate for the Politburo. She also could become a state councilor, a Cabinet-level post.  Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help _Shen Yueyue, 64, is a relatively young official with high-level experience at the city and province level. She has links to President Hu Jintao through her service in the Communist Youth League. Shen could land a spot on the Politburo and might become director of the powerful Central Organization Department, which controls party hiring and firing. She is currently an executive vice director there._Sun Chunlan, 62, is the top official in Fujian, a coastal province with a population the size of Poland and a GDP similar to that of Finland or Portugal. Sun is only the second woman in history to become party secretary of a province. Considered a candidate for the Politburo._Li Bin, 58, is the former head of China’s family planning commission. Li is currently China’s only female governor, serving in Anhui province, since being promoted earlier this year. There have only been 4 female governors or regional chairwomen since 1949.(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 Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Czechs want to know why Russia stopped diplomats

first_imgPRAGUE (AP) – The Czech Republic’s Foreign Ministry says it wants Russia to explain why authorities there stopped a Czech diplomatic vehicle and demanded the driver take a breath test _ an incident that happened to be witnessed by a local television crew.Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar says it is not clear why the car was stopped Thursday in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.The Czechs rejected the breath exam request on grounds of diplomatic immunity. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Kolar asserted Friday that the car’s driver had committed no traffic offense. The vehicle belongs to the local Czech consulate.He said the Czechs’ suspicion was especially aroused because the TV crew was present during the encounter.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   center_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

French court says phonetapping of Sarkozy lawyer was legal

first_imgPARIS (AP) — The Paris appeals court ruled Thursday that investigating judges didn’t break any laws when they tapped conversations between former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer, in connection with a probe into past campaign financing.The decision Thursday is a new blow to the conservative opposition leader as he eyes a 2017 presidential bid, because it allows investigations to resume.Sarkozy is under preliminary charges for active corruption and influence-peddling based on information gleaned from the phone taps. It’s among several legal cases he has faced since losing the presidency to Francois Hollande in 2012 — but it’s the case that has the greatest chances of seeing Sarkozy sent to trial. Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog had protested the phone taps, saying they breached lawyer-client privilege and that the investigating judges didn’t get proper authorization.But the appeals court ruled in favor of investigators, according to Herzog’s lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins. The court found that wiretapping on different phone lines used by Sarkozy under his own name and under the false identity of “Paul Bismuth” had been legally carried out, except for one minor phone line.Lawyers said Sarkozy and Herzog would appeal to France’s top court, the Cour de Cassation. “The fight for the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and client is not just Thierry Herzog’s fight, it is the fight of all lawyers,” Iweins said.Investigators tapped the phones in 2013-2014 as part of a probe into illegal financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign. By chance, they discovered an alleged influence-peddling plot by Sarkozy and Herzog as they tried to obtain confidential information about the financing probe.That discovery prompted a new, separate investigation. The ruling Thursday means that investigation can now resume after a seven-month suspension. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The charge of “active corruption” is graver than others that Sarkozy has faced. It means a suspect is believed to have actively orchestrated corrupt acts, not just participated in them. A conviction could draw a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.Sarkozy is also facing a corruption investigation into suspicions that his 2007 presidential campaign received illegal funding from late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing.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 Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   last_img read more

NATO announces next summit will be July 2016 in Warsaw

first_img Sponsored Stories BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO says its next summit will take place July 8-9, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland as the alliance continues to reshape itself to meet new security challenges.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who made the announcement Friday, said the meeting “comes at a crucial time for the alliance, as the tectonic plates of Euro-Atlantic security have shifted” due to Russian actions and the rise of Islamic extremism in the Mideast and North Africa. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility President Obama and other NATO leaders last met in Wales in September. They agreed on a Readiness Action Plan to adapt the 28-nation alliance to the new security environment.The leaders agreed then to hold their next summit in Warsaw_a symbolic location, since it is the capital of a former Soviet satellite state that now belongs to NATO.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference after a meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Stoltenberg met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) Quick workouts for men 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Lions returned to Rwanda 15 years after population wiped out

first_img“Our lions thrive,” he said. “We could easily repopulate many reserves.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The non-profit group organized the lion transfer to Rwanda, which hopes to boost a wildlife tourism industry that focuses on mountain gorillas. African Parks tried in vain to secure lions from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania that are genetically closer to Rwanda’s old lions.Rwandans should celebrate the return of lions, wrote a columnist in The New Times, a Rwandan newspaper.“We didn’t treasure what we had (lions) until they were gone,” Sunny Ntayombya wrote. “Then we scrambled around, cap in hand, begging different African countries to spare a cat or two.”At Phinda, the five lionesses bound for Rwanda were unexpectedly joined in their holding pen by three other lions that burrowed their way inside. Toft had to dart all eight before workers could enter to fasten satellite tracking collars on the five lions earmarked for travel to Rwanda.The sedated lions looked vulnerable, jarring with the popular notion of lions as animal royalty. They were blindfolded with cloth and park staff and others moved quietly and spoke softly to reduce the chance of any lion awakening. Some photographed the lions’ faces, a close-up opportunity to appreciate a carnivore that has symbolized bravery and inspired “Born Free,” ”The Lion King” and other successful books and films. This month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature noted successful lion conservation in southern Africa, but said lions in West Africa are critically endangered and that rapid population declines have also been recorded in East Africa. A national park in India also has lions.A trade in lion bones and other body parts for traditional medicine in Africa as well as Asia is considered a growing threat. And lions can easily come into conflict with rural communities that depend on livestock.A lion that escaped from South Africa’s Karoo National Park three weeks ago was captured Monday, authorities said. A veterinarian darted the lion from a helicopter, which lifted the animal in a sling off a mountainside.The Rwanda-bound lions arrived Tuesday at Akagera, where they are being kept in quarantine for at least two weeks before their release into the wilderness.The two males each weigh about 550 pounds (250 kilograms) and are known to have fathered at least 12 cubs. Andrew Parker, joint operations manager for African Parks, said he expected Akagera’s lion population to grow “quite quickly.”Toft, the veterinarian, said Rwanda’s new lions have a “diverse” genetic makeup and that inbreeding should not be a concern for a while. South Africa, he said, could supply more lions to the continent because of robust numbers on its small, fenced reserves. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The operation this week to move seven South African lions to Rwanda in east-central Africa is an upbeat tale in an otherwise challenging picture for wildlife on the continent, where poaching has surged and human encroachment is shrinking habitats. Lions are designated as vulnerable on an international “red list” of species facing threats. By some estimates, there are fewer than 20,000 lions in the wild, a drop of about 40 percent in the past two decades.“There’s just no room for them and they’re being pressurized and pressurized,” said Dr. Mike Toft, a wildlife veterinarian who darted five female lions Monday at the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. An Associated Press writer and photographer watched as crane operators loaded the lion crates onto a truck that arrived with two male lions from nearby Tembe Elephant Park. The vehicle then drove to Johannesburg for a charter flight to Rwanda.The lions’ new home is Akagera National Park, where cattle herders poisoned Rwanda’s last lions about 15 years ago after the park was left unmanaged in the genocide’s wake. Returning refugees took over much of the park, reducing its size by more than half to 433 square miles (1,122 square kilometers) in 1997, according to African Parks, a Johannesburg-based group that manages Akagera and other national wildlife parks in Africa. Top holiday drink recipes PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, South Africa (AP) — The sedated, blindfolded lions lay in the dirt, unwitting passengers about to embark on a 30-hour, 2,500-mile (4,000-kilometer) journey by truck and plane from South Africa to Rwanda, whose lion population was wiped out following the country’s 1994 genocide.Then conservationists hoisted the limp bodies into crates, grasping big paws, thick tails and even the imposing heads of animals that earlier pounced on an antelope carcass used as bait to bring them closer to a veterinarian with a tranquilizer gun. Comments   Share   last_img read more

AirAsia paralysed by government rules on air rights CEO

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> AirAsia X’s outspoken CEO has once again slammed the Malaysian government on its refusal to let if fly Kuala Lumpur-Sydney services, but the government says that Air Asia is assuming too much by claiming its protecting the national carrier Malaysia Airlines.Azran Osman Rani, AirAsia X CEO, has spoken out claiming that it was told by the government to fly to services that are currently not operated by Malaysia Airlines, like North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, reports local paper The Malaysian Insider. “You are spending so much money on Malaysia Truly Asia and does she [the Tourism Minister] want the plane to fly to Pyongyang or Seoul?” said Azran to the newspaper. “[Or] does she want the plane to fly to Sydney or Darwin,” he continues.  “Does she want the planes to fly to key markets or small peripheral markets that we can’t even spell?”“Malaysia Airlines is not national interest. National interest is the Malaysian economy. But we still can’t make that distinction.”He points out that the traffic is also going the other way, saying number of travellers headed to Sydney through Singapore has grown by 15% just over the last year alone.“We seem to be paralysed not being able to make what should be a very clear decision.”But the government has told AirAsia X not to “jump the gun” saying that there are many considerations to reach a decision on air rights, including load factors, economic viability and market capacity.“My advice to AirAsia X is that they do not jump the gun and allow us to see if all the criteria are met, as well as let us reach a decision according to the rules and regulations,” says the Malaysian Transport Minister in response.“It’s unfair for any airline to make such allegations.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

QF unveils new ad extends SAA codeshare

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T South African Airways (SAA) has been granted an extension of its codeshare agreement with Australian carrier, Qantas until the end of March next year.The decision to continue the codeshare was approved by the International Air Services Commission (IASC) and embraced by SAA country manager Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith.“We welcome the IASC interim decision (pending its review of the application to extend the codeshare until 2016, which we support) and believe this will greatly assist our ability to book and fly passengers over the Christmas holiday period, traditionally our busiest time of the year.”SAA fly daily non-stop flights ex Sydney and operate six flights per week ex Perth to Johannesburg.“We have also decided to extend our special ‘fly on Friday’ fares out of Perth which can now be booked until the end of July,” Mr Clyde-Smith said.In other Qantas news, the carrier has launched the next initiative as part of their new marketing strategy; a television commercial. The advertisement for the ‘You’re the Reason We Fly’ campaign follows a successful teaser promotion and will feature original music composed by Australian artist Daniel Johns.“We opened the Qantas Hub on 2 July and we had over 20,000 Australians sign up to participate on the first day. It was a pleasing response; particularly given we raised our target of $100,000 for Mission Australia on the first day of the campaign,” Qantas executive manager marketing Lewis Pullen said.According to Mr Pullen, hundreds of names have already been selected to adorn the sides of Qantas’ A380 and B737 aircraft.The television commercial will take the viewer on an aerial tour canvassing scenes of Australians going about their everyday activities, ending with a portrait of their faces.An Olympic version of the new commercial will also be filmed and aired during the 2012 Games.“It features Bernard Tomic, Steve Hooker, Liesel Jones, Courtney Atkinson and Kelly Cartwright, all training for their respective goals and representing the spirit of Australians in London,” Mr Pullen said. Qantas executive manager marketing Lewis Pullenlast_img read more

Maldives Revisited Barefoot luxury – more footprints in the sand

first_imgSource = Travel Secrets by Andrew J. Wood Travel Secrets by Andrew J. Wood Maldives Revisited: Barefoot luxury – more footprints in the sandMaldives Revisited: Barefoot luxury – more footprints in the sandMy first visit to the Maldives was in the 90’s and I have returned every year since 2013, a total of five visits.The Maldives is a special place for me. It has a completely unique environment and I thoroughly relax and I enjoy chilling out in a really peaceful and beautiful environment.Barefoot luxury – more footprints in the sandTravel Secrets by Andrew J. WoodWith a rich culture, gorgeous vistas and spectacular marine life, it’s one of my favourite destinations. I quickly adopt a ‘life is good’ attitude. One of total relaxation and enjoying being away from my usual routines – it draws me back year after year. I can truly say that the Maldives is a brilliant holiday destination – one of the best kept secrets.With 1,190 islands, land is still the scarcest resource in the country, making up less than 1% of its surface area and one of the lowest lying countries in the world (average height of only 1.5 metres).My choice of hotel for the last four years has been the Centara Grand. Being a former hotelier I know there’s nothing like the personal touch. As a regular guest, it’s extra special. You get a sense of belonging; a sense of family. A special kind of relationship between you and the management and the whole team. It is something quite unique and this is absolutely the case – quintessentially Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives.Bangkok Airways www.bangkokair.comTravelling there could not be easier. Travelling from Bangkok with my partner Pichai, we boarded a direct flight to the International Airport in Malé, the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. Taking just 4 hours 15 mins from Suvarnabhumi Airport with Bangkok Airways. Over the years, I have become a frequent flyer member of their FlyerBonus Club and take advantage, of 10kg extra baggage as a result. From Malé it’s just a short 25 minute hop by seaplane to the resort.The extra 10kg luggage is handy but not really necessary. You don’t need that much luggage in the Maldives. Staying at a beach resort, you spend much of the time in shorts and T-shirt and quite often for me, as the title suggests – barefoot. Just perfect.Travel Secrets by Andrew J. WoodI just love sea planes. Arriving at the resort aboard a twin engined De Havilland Sea Otter is very special, an experience not to be missed. It’s a great way to arrive, stylish and fun.There is no strict dress code for the restaurants, except swim wear is not allowed and in the evenings you have to cover up a little more than lunch time. Not a problem as most guests wear something loose fitting anyway due to the temperature. Cotton seems to work best.So to summarise you do not need very heavy luggage. Travel light.Spending much of the day outdoors and in bright sunshine don’t forget to bring a high factor suncream. The resort provides free SPF 20 replenished daily as a bathroom amenity. I recommended however using SPF 50 to 70 for your neck and face, especially at the beginning of your holiday.Bring lots of reading material (there is a library if you forget or run out) and your headphones (if you like to listen and relax to music, as I do).The resort has many daily activities with boat trips to nearby islands; fishing trips and sunset cruises with dolphin watching.Over the years it has been interesting to watch the development of the resort. The Centara is no stranger to change. Improvements evolve and without ever loosing the designers original concept for the resort. It has improved organically – with care. The inclusion of 20 Sunset OceanCentara Grand Resort & Spa – Pool VillaBy Andrew J. WoodPool Villas has been so successful they are often sold out. They incorporate a small horizonless plunge pool in the balcony of the Villa and it’s a perfect place to soak and relax especially at sunset with the fabulous colours above the turquoise sea. The colour of the sea a perfect contrast against the red, orange and yellow hues of the setting sun. The low lying landscape provides some of the most brilliant sunsets you will ever see. To view this with a cocktail in your hand – magical and perfect!Dining at the Centara is a delight. The resort is family friendly so there is a wide choice of dining options.We particularly enjoyed eating at the Island Club. A fine dining restaurant with a great kitchen. It’s special and relaxed. The menu changes daily for lunch and dinner. The service is faultless.Being a Thai owned resort, it comes as no surprise that the resort caters for lovers of Thai cuisine. Arguably the fastest growing global culinary ‘flavour’. Thai cuisine is a huge phenomenon.The resort’s Suan Bua (lotus pond) is a wonderful Thai restaurant with an exceptional Chef – Khun Ning. We ate regularly here during our two week vacation. Alternating between Azzura Italian Restaurant and Reef the International Buffet Restaurant with its popular Teppanyaki Counter.The resort is all-inclusive, which at first, 4 years ago, worried me (would it be cheap and cheerful, with heaps of French fries and burgers? Fast high-fat / high-carbs meals?) But I needn’t have worried. It’s a great concept with great food.You can completely forget about taking your wallet anywhere in the resort. You never need to figure out your spending – it’s all included – going to bars and restaurants is trouble free and most importantly, stress free.Travel Secrets by Andrew J. WoodThe island is packed with water sports. With snorkelling; para gliding; banana boats; mini water slides; a supervised kids club and a scuba club. On top of this, are daily activities including spa treatments; kids fish feeding; shark/stingray feeding and a new recently introduced yoga program with the extraordinary Dr Raj.You can learn to scuba dive at the resort, starting with an intro course that is included in the resort package. Also included free are fishing and sunset cruises with dolphin watching.There are regular diving trips, for the more experienced diver, which are chargeable.For me the top activity is swimming with Whale Sharks. They are called sharks but actually they are the world’s largest fish, plankton eaters.The trip consists of a 45 minute boat ride to the area where the whale sharks might be feeding and once spotted, snorkelling 30 to 45 minutes in the general area. Growing up to 9m long, these majestic creatures gently swim along, giant mouths open, as we watch in awe at their immense power and beauty.This is probably on my list of top 10 things to do in the world, such a unique and extraordinary experience.Travel Secrets by Andrew J. WoodWhat else should you do? Well for me quite often – nothing. (How often can you do that?)You are you in charge of your own time, you’re on holiday so relax. Lay back and soak up the good karma, which is so easy to do as there is so little that causes you stress.The staff are fantastic and always on hand to offer help and advise. It all flows so well. You adopt to a slower island pace. Service is effortless and seamless. The staff work together as one big happy team.The resort has a very extensive library, and for parents with kids there are no worries about cuts and scrapes, with a full-time medical professional and clinic, help is on hand.Travel SecretsAndrew Wood and Pichai VisutriratanaAbout the author Andrew J. Wood (left) is a travel writer and a regular university guest lecturer. A long-time resident of Thailand, Andrew is a former hotel General Manager and Immediate Past President of Skal International Thailand. Both Andrew and Pichai Visutriratana (right) are Directors of Worldwide Destinations Asia Co Ltd in Bangkok.#Maldives #Centara #MaldivesRevisited #BarefootLuxury #MoreFootSteps #InThe Sand #AJWood #AndrewWood Centara Grandbook your villa here Bangkok Airwaysbook your flights here last_img read more

Jessie J and British Airways treat Tokyo to a slice of British

first_img British Airwaysbook flights hereAbout British AirwaysBritish Airways’ route network currently serves more than 190 destinations in 80 countries. It has been flying to Singapore for over 80 years and currently operates twice-daily flights between London Heathrow and Singapore, and daily flights between Singapore and Sydney.The airline operates from the award-winning London Heathrow Terminal 5, exclusive to British Airways’ and Iberia Airlines’ customers, Terminal 5 is capable of handling 30 million customers a year. In March 2016, Terminal 5 was named by Skytrax as the Best Airport Terminal for the fifth year running. London Heathrow Airport also won the Best Airport Shopping award.In October 2016 at the Business Traveller Awards, British Airways was awarded the Best Short-Haul Carrier and its frequent flyer programme, Executive Club was awarded the Best Frequent Flyer Programme for the 11th consecutive year. British Airways’ Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5 was awarded Best Airport Lounge. The oneworld alliance, of which British Airways was a founding airline, came in first in the Best Airline Alliance category for the fourth year running.In February 2016, British Airways was also named the top Business and Consumer Superbrand at the Superbrands 2016 Awards, becoming the first brand to win both prestigious titles two years in a row. Jessie J and British Airways treat Tokyo to a slice of British eccentricityJessie J and British Airways treat Tokyo to a slice of British eccentricity Pop star Jessie J brought a piece of London glamour to the streets of Tokyo as she boarded a red London bus in the heart of downtown Tokyo to help British Airways bring a slice of eccentric British culture to the Japanese capital.The star – famous for songs including Price Tag – surprised locals by appearing as part of British Airways’ London For Less campaign, which highlights the fantastic value foreign visitors can enjoy in England.British Airways’ pilots and crew took over Tokyo’s streets to celebrate how international travellers into London can currently enjoy the city’s most famous attractions for up to 45 per cent cheaper than usual following the appreciation of the Japanese Yen.The airline – which operates 14 flights a week between Tokyo and London – flew Jessie in from Los Angeles in America to meet her Tokyo fans. The historic bus toured the city between 1pm-8pm offering free rides between Roppongi, Harajuku and Shibuya.Chart-topper Jessie, 28, brought a smile to the faces of those on board, helping to judge a bus karaoke competition for Tokyoites to win a trip to London.Speaking after the event. Jessie said: “I grew up in London so I’m no stranger to riding double decker busses but it has been a lot of fun to ride around on one in Tokyo and meet my fans here. London has always been an unbelievable city to visit – and right now it’s even better value than ever.”As part of the event, members of the public were invited on board to meet Jessie J and take part in quizzes and karaoke contests to win prizes, including British Airways return flights to London in both its World Traveller and luxurious Club World cabins. Others picked up exclusive discount booking codes for for those who couldn’t make it on board the London bus, British Airways also ran a Twitter competition to win a pair of World Traveller economy class tickets to London. All locals had to do was simply share the London Bus service announcement on VisitBritain’s twitter account ( or comment using the #お手頃ロンドン(#Londonforless) hashtag to be in the draw.Jonty Brunner, British Airways’ regional general manager for Japan and Korea, said the show had been a huge success. “It’s not every day the people of Tokyo see a London bus coming around the corner – let alone get to ride one or meet a superstar like Jessie J on board,” he said.“Everybody seems to have enjoyed the experience and we look forward to welcoming them on board a British Airways flight to visit London in the near future. The exchange rate of the Japanese Yen is now so strong against the British Pound, it’s the perfect time to fit in some Christmas shopping.”Jessie gave her top tips for the festive season: “London in December has such a vibe. Whether you want to wander around the famous Harrods in Knightsbridge or bring out your inner child at Hamleys toy shop on Regent Street (I used to work there) visit Hyde Park and drink mulled wine at winter wonderland. Taking a walk and discovering hidden gems to eat all over London. Go to pop up cinemas in Hackney or see the lights at Tower Bridge or ice skate at the Natural History Museum! It’s beautiful! Biggest tip for me in London is to look up. You discover beauty everywhere when you look up,” she said.During the event in Tokyo, Jessie J took part in the mannequin challenge. Watch here.British Airways flies to its global hub, London Heathrow, from Tokyo 14 times a week where customers can experience British Airways’ state-of- the-art Terminal 5, which is exclusive to British Airways and Iberia customers and is capable of handling 30 million customers a year.center_img Source = British Airwayslast_img read more