Ambush kills 7 UN peacekeepers in Sudans Darfur

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault Saturday. Tribal clashes remain common in the region and some former government militias have begun taking up arms again as fighting continues over land and resources.A February report by a U.N. panel of experts said that some armed opposition groups angry about the presence of peacekeepers have called the force “a legitimate target.”“On occasion, this discontent has also manifested itself in incidents of direct attacks on UNAMID staff and premises, although some of these incidents _ especially those of carjacking and kidnapping of UNAMID peacekeepers _ appear to have an overtly criminal intent of financial gain for the perpetrators,” the report said.Darfur has been gripped by bloodshed since 2003 when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The International Criminal Court indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2009 on genocide and war crimes charges over the fighting in Darfur. The country split into Sudan and South Sudan in 2011.Unrest continues in the region. About 300,000 people have fled fighting throughout Darfur in the first five months of this year, the U.N. has said. Top Stories Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of CAIRO (AP) – Gunmen ambushed a United Nations peacekeeping team Saturday in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, killing seven Tanzanians and wounding another 17 people in the deadliest ever single attack on the international force in the country, U.N. officials said.The assault by a large group of gunmen included sustained heavy fire from machine guns and possibly rocket-propelled grenades, targeting the force some 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of the town of Khor Abeche, U.N. forces spokesman Chris Cycmanick said. Reinforcements later arrived to rescue the wounded, who included two female police advisers, the force said in a statement. Comments   Share   A statement late Saturday on behalf of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon identified the dead as all being from Tanzania. About 40 countries have contributed military personnel or police to the peacekeeping force.The statement said Ban condemned the “heinous attack” and offered condolences to the families of the dead. The statement said it was the third attack on U.N. forces in the region in the last three weeks.Ban “expects that the government of Sudan will take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement read.Officials with the Sudanese government could not be immediately reached for comment.Peacekeepers have been targeted by assailants in the past in the region since the international force began its work there in 2008. In the last fatal attack, gunmen shot dead a Nigerian peacekeeper in April in East Darfur State. Before Saturday’s attack, 150 people associated with the U.N. mission had been killed while on duty in the region, according to the force’s website.The joint African Union-U.N. peacekeeping force, dubbed UNAMID, was established to protect civilians in Darfur, but also contributes to security for those providing humanitarian aid, verifying agreements, political reconciliation efforts and promoting human rights. It has about 16,500 troops and military observers and over 5,000 international police. “The mission condemns in the strongest possible terms those responsible for this heinous attack on our peacekeepers,” said Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a joint special representative of the force. “The perpetrators should be on notice that they will be pursued for this crime and gross violation of international humanitarian law.”More than 100 U.N. peacekeepers were killed last year alone on duty in the Darfur and Abyei regions of Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast and other countries. Eight more civilian contractors, such as pilots, also died on deployment with peacekeeping missions in 2012.___Associated Press writers Michelle Faul in Lagos, Nigeria, and Edie Lederer in New York contributed to this report.___Jon Gambrell can be reached at read more

China indicts detained lawyer on charge of making trouble

first_img BEIJING (AP) — A prominent Chinese rights lawyer taken into custody a year ago was formally indicted Friday on charges of fanning ethnic hatred and provoking troubles.Beijing prosecutors said in a statement that Pu Zhiqiang should be criminally prosecuted for his online comments that incited ethnic hostility and those that insulted people in a disruption of social order. If convicted, Pu could be jailed up to 10 years on each charge. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories The prosecution has come amid Beijing’s widening crackdown on civil society, including rights lawyers who have steadfastly maintained that laws must be observed by the government and the ruling Communist Party as well as ordinary people.The indictment drew criticism from international human rights advocates, who have insisted on Pu’s innocence.“The charges against Pu Zhiqiang are another act of political persecution,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International. “He did nothing more than comment on current affairs on social media.”Pu is best known for his successful efforts to abolish China’s labor camps, which allowed police to lock up people for up to four years without a trial or judicial review. A Chinese news magazine featured him on its cover in 2013 and portrayed him as a societal pillar persistent and gutsy in pushing for progress in China’s judiciary system.Before his May 2014 detention, Pu was trying to call attention to the long-standing but extrajudicial practice by the Communist Party’s disciplinary arm to lock up its members accused of wrongdoing.In a public call for Pu’s release, U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke described Pu as “a courageous defense attorney recognized around the world for his tireless work in support of the rule of law in China.” Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “If Xinjiang is indeed part of China, don’t treat it as a colony, don’t behave like conquerors and looters,” Pu wrote in May 2014. “It’s time to adjust Xinjiang policies.”The ethnic violence has left hundreds of people dead in China in the last couple of years. Although Beijing blames it on religion-influenced terrorists with foreign ties, Pu is among people who have asked for a review of China’s ethnic policy and practice.Beijing police also had sought a more severe charge of inciting divisions and another charge of illegally obtaining personal information against Pu, but they were not included in the indictment.Mo Shaoping, a Beijing-based lawyer who is representing Pu, said he had expected reduced charges but that the two charges in the formal indictment still have no merit.“I don’t think the remaining two charges have any basis,” Mo said.Pu was taken away last May after he attended a private meeting commemorating the 25th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.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 But Pu apparently became a primary target in Beijing’s campaign to weaken and discredit the country’s rights lawyers.Before he was detained, 12 of Pu’s microblogging accounts were shut down by authorities. One lasted only 16 days.The charges against him are largely based on comments from his closed accounts, in which Pu questioned China’s ethnic policies and practices and criticized the party and political figures.“From top to bottom, this party cannot survive a day without telling lies,” Pu wrote in a July 2012 post.“There is no one without whom China cannot live,” Pu wrote in July 2013, refuting the common propaganda line that China cannot survive without the party. He said in the same posting that the party maintains its rule through deception and violence.Pu also criticized some political figures or made sarcastic remarks about them. For example, Pu poked fun at an octogenarian delegate who has never voted “No” during six decades in the national congress, suggesting she would be honored if she should die now.Following deadly attacks on civilians by members of the ethnic minority Uighurs from China’s far west region of Xinjiang, Pu condemned the violence but questioned Beijing’s ethnic policies and practices. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone In this June 30, 2010 photo, Chinese attorney Pu Zhiqiang speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing. The prominent Chinese rights lawyer has been formally indicted Friday, May 15, 2015 on the charges of fanning ethnic hatred and provoking trouble, more than one year after he was taken into police custody. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Death toll from accident to Pakistan army train rises to 17

first_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Earlier, an army official and a government official said the train was being used by Pakistan’s army to transport soldiers from the southern Sindh province. They said hundreds of soldiers were participating in the rescue operation and experts from the army were examining the bridge to determine the cause of the collapse.They said some of the army officers on board the train were traveling with their families.The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where tracks and bridges are often poorly maintained. Small separatist groups in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan have been known to bomb railway tracks.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. People gather during a rescue operation, after a bridge collapse led a train to fall into a canal in Wazirabad, near Lahore, Pakistan Thursday, July 2, 2015. At least four cars of a train being used to transport Pakistani soldiers fell into a canal because of a bridge collapse in the eastern Punjab province on Thursday, killing at least twelve soldiers, officials said. (AP Photo/Rameez Khan)n ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s military said Friday the death toll from an accident to a special train that plunged into a canal because of a bridge collapse has risen to 17. Divers were searching for more bodies.The train derailed Thursday while crossing the Chanawan canal near the industrial city of Gujranwala in eastern Punjab province. Civil authorities and commandos and divers from the army retrieved 80 passengers, five of whom had been injured.center_img Top Stories Pakistani army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, tweeted Friday that so far 17 bodies had been recovered and that the rescue work was still in progress.The dead soldiers included the unit’s commander, his wife and a daughter, the state-run Pakistan television said.TV networks showed footage of soldiers and civil authorities taking part in the rescue operation as helicopters flew overhead.Shortly after the accident, soldiers broke the windows of the train with hammers and pulled out passengers trapped inside.Pakistan Railways spokesman Abdul Rauf Tahir says another passenger train carrying hundreds of people had passed over the same bridge about 90 minutes before the train carrying soldiers fell into the canal.“We frequently examine our bridges, but it is too early to say what caused the accident,” he told The Associated Press.Shuja Khanzada, the provincial home minister, told reporters that the crash appeared to be an accident but that authorities were still investigating.Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his “deep grief and sorrow” over the accident in a statement and conveyed his condolences to families of “martyred” soldiers. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Obama nominates economist Kathryn Dominguez to Fed board

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is nominating economist Kathryn Dominguez to serve on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.In a statement, Obama says Dominguez’s deep knowledge of the financial system, monetary policy and international markets qualifies her to serve at “this important time for our economy.”The White House says Dominguez’s expertise will be particularly important as the Fed considers how international financial conditions interact with U.S. monetary policy and banking regulations. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Dominguez is currently a professor at the University of Michigan. She’s a graduate of Vassar College and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.Dominguez must be confirmed by the Senate to serve on the board of governors. If confirmed, she would serve through January 2018.___This story has been corrected to reflect that Dominguez would serve through January 2018, not for 14 years.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Monk policeman die in rebel bomb attack in south Thailand

first_imgPattani is one of three Muslim-majority provinces in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. More than 5,000 people have been killed since an Islamic insurgency began in the region in 2004. Most victims have been Muslims, but insurgents have been increasingly targeting Buddhists — including monks — in an apparent campaign to drive them from the area.Since the violence started, 19 monks have been killed and 25 wounded in attacks in southern Thailand, according to the regional police operation center.The insurgents have not issued specific demands but are generally believed to be fighting for an independent Muslim state.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories HAT YAI, Thailand (AP) — A Buddhist monk and a Thai policeman were killed and six other people wounded in a bomb attack Saturday by suspected Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand, police said.The bomb was remotely detonated in Pattani province, targeting monks who were receiving alms during a Buddhist ritual and police officers guarding them, said Col. Panya Karawanan, chief of Saiburi police station.He said a monk and an officer were killed. The wounded included another monk, two police and three civilians.center_img Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

IOC urges US to come up with another bid city for 2024

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes “Los Angeles has great history, lots of experience,” he said. “Why not?”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories IOC officials had just learned of Boston’s withdrawal as they gathered for an executive board meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The rest of the IOC membership will be arriving later for a general assembly highlighted by Friday’s vote to determine the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics, with Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, as the two candidates.“It’s not (only) bad for the U.S., but it’s bad for everybody,” IOC board member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. told the AP. “I think Boston was an extraordinary city, very attractive for the Olympic games, a very sporty town. I am very said to hear this.”But he said there was enough time for the USOC to change course.“I don’t think they need to save face,” Samaranch said. “They presented what they thought was a great candidate. It’s preseason. They have all the right to change the team and make their final adjustments. I wish them well.”After New York failed in a bid for the 2012 Olympics and Chicago lost in the first round of the vote for the 2016 Games, the USOC took steps to try to improve relations with the IOC. Two years ago, the two sides signed a new revenue-sharing agreement, ending a long-running dispute that had helped undermine previous U.S. bids. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Patients with chronic pain give advice Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories “It’s always a shame when a national Olympic committee selects a city and then is incapable or unable to bring it to the next stage of the contest,” IOC vice president Craig Reedie told The Associated Press. “But I suppose after mature reflection and looking at what’s happened, it might be a wise decision.”The USOC now has until Sept. 15 to submit a candidate to the International Olympic Committee and formally enter a race that already includes Paris; Rome; Hamburg, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary. Toronto and Baku, Azerbaijan, are also likely contenders.“Personally, I hope the United States do find another candidate and produce another applicant city for 2024,” Reedie said.The IOC has been consulting with potential bids, including Boston, as part of a new “invitation phase” for interested cities. The IOC is eager to have a strong candidate from the U.S., which hasn’t hosted a Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.“USOC have made it clear that they would still very much like to see a U.S. city host the Olympic Games 2024,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “We are still in the invitation phase and this is exactly what this phase is for, to allow NOCs and cities to explore a possible bid. We are confident that the U.S. will make the right choice and that they can still put forward a strong candidate by Sept. 15.”center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) speaks to media during a photo call at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. Malaysia will host the 128th International Olympic Committee executive board meeting next week where the vote for the host cities of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and for the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games will take place. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) Comments   Share   The U.S. chances for 2024 had seemed strong, but the Boston debacle caught many by surprise.“We were all excited when they (Boston) were announced, but it seems to have stumbled since,” IOC vice president John Coates said. “But it’s better to face up to these things early if you don’t have full public support.”Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics and now seems poised to enter the 2024 contest. Los Angeles was the only city to bid for the 1984 Games at a time when the Olympics were torn by boycotts and financial problems. The success of those games helped revive the Olympic movement.“They came in at a very big moment for the IOC,” Samaranch said.Reedie also said Los Angeles would be a viable replacement.“They won’t have to build temporary stadiums, which is expensive,” Reedie said. “It could be the third-time lucky for LA; it was third-time lucky for London.”London is the only city which has hosted the OIympics three times. Paris, which staged the games in 1900 and 1924, is also aiming for a third Olympics.Sergei Bubka, the Ukrainian pole vault great who sits on the IOC executive board, said it’s important for a U.S. city to be in the running. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — With Boston no longer in contention, IOC leaders encouraged the U.S. on Tuesday to “make the right choice” and put forward a new candidate city for the 2024 Olympics. Two-time Olympic host Los Angeles could fit the bill perfectly, according to several IOC board members.The U.S. Olympic Committee severed ties with Boston on Monday, finally pulling the plug on a bid that had been hampered by dismal poll ratings, strong local opposition and months of political wrangling.last_img read more

EasyJets CEO tipped for top job at Virgin Blue

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> EasyJet’s departing boss, Andy Harrison has been named as a contender to replace Brett Godfrey as Virgin Blue’s chief executive.Last week, EasyJet announced that Mr Harrison was planning to leave the British no-frills airline at the end of June ”in order to seek new challenges”.John Borghetti, who was formerly third-in-charge at Qantas, is another possible candidate for the top job. ”It’s well known around the world that Godfrey is available for consulting from the first of June,” an insider said yesterday. ”If he can find someone he is ready to bail out.”Sources are also playing down the likelihood of David Baxby, one of the British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s rising stars, having an interest in the top job. Mr Baxby is a Virgin Blue director but spends most of his time managing the airline interests of Sir Richard’s Virgin Group.This week, Virgin announced the appointment of Liz Savage as chief commercial officer, replacing Stefan Pichler, who moved to the Kuwaiti airline Jazeera Airways early this year.Ms Savage, the former boss of the British charter airline Monarch, will begin at the end of March. She is also a 10-year veteran of easyJet.Virgin still has to find a replacement for Mathias Friess, the boss of global sales and distribution who left in September for Webjet.last_img read more

New centre calling visitors to Vanuatu

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H NZ High Commissioner Bill Dobbie, DOT director George Borugu & Malampa Travel Call Centre’s Howard Iseli A new tourism call centre was launched at Tok Tok Vanuatu yesterday aimed at providing communications and booking support to outer island tourism businesses in the south Pacific nation. The Malampa Travel Call Centre, the first of its kind in the country, has been designed to enhance the overall visitor experience to the islands of “cannibalism and custom”, Malekula. Funding for the project comes primarily from the New Zealand government, with contributions by the Australian government, Telecom Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) helping support the programme.   Talking at Tok Tok, New Zealand High Commissioner Bill Dobbie said the initiative’s purpose was “to connect people who want to sell Vanuatu tourism services to people who want to buy them”.    “We hope the new call centre will help visitors discover what matters in Vanuatu,” Mr Dobbie said of the “pilot programme” before officially presenting the country’s NZ$3 million grant to Vanuatu Department of Tourism (DOT) director George Borugu. “We are keen to help Vanuatu grow its tourism sector … to see them fully realise their potential,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Tok Tok.“We don’t mind where the tourism comes from.”Mr Borugu said the project would help in “establishing a link” with the outer islands, which “nobody knew about”.“Efate is becoming saturated,” the DOT boss told e-Travel Blackboard. “We want more people to visit the outer islands.”The Call Centre will initially launch with nine core visitor experiences before expanding to cover the rest of the Malampa Province.Click here to view more from Tok Tok. center_img Bill Dobbie talks up Vanuatulast_img read more

Crowne Plaza Adelaide Judged Australias Top Tourism Development

first_imgSource = Crowne Plaza Adelaide Hines Property’s Crowne Plaza Adelaide development has been honoured by Australia’s property industry, with the hotel judged the nation’s best tourism and leisure development.The landmark Hindmarsh Square hotel was formally acknowledged at the 2012 Property Council of Australia Innovation & Excellence Awards announced in Sydney on Saturday night.It was the only South Australian development to receive an award.Hines Property Managing Director James Hines said the award is a fantastic endorsement for Crowne Plaza Adelaide and the innovative work of Hines Property.“Since Crowne Plaza Adelaide opened two years ago, it has welcomed more than 250,000 guests and become a favourite among local, interstate and international guests,” said Mr Hines.“This award is a massive accolade and confirms Crowne Plaza Adelaide as one of Australia’s premier hotels.Receiving such a prestigious national award also underlines the credentials of Hines Property, which remains committed to making the most of opportunities within the Adelaide CBD and other Australian capital cities to meet demand for luxury residential, hotel and commercial developments.”In 2010, Hines Property completed the 20 Hindmarsh Square development which included two unique towers, one being the 15-level, 308-room Crowne Plaza Adelaide hotel and the other a 14-level luxury residential apartment tower.The Property Council of Australia award is the latest for the development, which last year won theAccommodation Association of Australia’s Best Deluxe Accommodation Award following its 2010 SouthAustralian Tourism Award for Best New Tourism Development. In 2010, Crowne Plaza Adelaide was alsohonoured by the Urban Development Institute of Australia as the Best Master Planned Development andby the Master Builders Association as the Best Residential Development in South Australia.Crowne Plaza Adelaide is one of many award-winning projects by Hines Property, which is an integratedproperty development and property investment group with experience across high-rise residentialdevelopments, commercial/retail developments and hotel developments. As one of the most activedevelopers in SA, Hines Property has recently completed more than $300 million of developments in theAdelaide CBD area alone.last_img read more

Beyond Rated As Worlds 5th Top Safari Operator

first_img&Beyond has been listed as the world’s 5th Top Safari Operator in the US Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. As one of Africa and South Asia’s leading experiential travel companies, &Beyond is renowned for designing luxury safaris and personalised travel adventures whilst remaining committed to its core ethic of “Care of the Land. Care of the Wildlife. Care of the People.” “With over 30 years’ experience in tour operating, we are honoured to be recognised by Travel + Leisure and its readers in this prestigious listing”, says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO. “We have ambitious plans to take our guest experience at our lodges and safari adventures to even greater heights and to achieve our focused mission of being the finest luxury experiential travel company in Africa and South Asia.” In addition to the above accolade, &Beyond Kichwa Tembo and &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge were voted among the Top 100 Hotels overall and the Top 20 Hotels in Africa and the Middle East. Kichwa Tembo was also listed 27th in the Top 50 Hotels and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge received ‘Hall of Fame’ recognition for being listed in the awards every year for the past decade. &Beyond’s travel business and portfolio of luxurious safari lodges are deeply committed to the company’s founding principles of creating extraordinary guest experiences in order to achieve ongoing conservation development and community empowerment. Together with its community development partner, Africa Foundation, &Beyond has built up a highly successful track record in empowering and enriching the lives of communities living in and around its conservation areas. Africa Foundation completes &Beyond’s model of integrating conservation, high-end tourism and communities to their mutual benefit. As more and more guests are interested in getting involved with the positive legacy that high-end travel can leave, &Beyond’s sustainability and conservation ethic has never been more relevant and compelling. It is for this reason that &Beyond’s guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine choose to travel with &Beyond, and in this way assist the company to make numerous small but meaningful differences to conserve Africa and South Asia’s natural heritage, and most importantly, its people. Source = &Beyondlast_img read more

New selfservice kiosks to hasten Enterprise rentals

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Owner and operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental, Enterprise Holdings, has announced it will roll out new self-service kiosks in 50 airport locations across the United States.Promising to cut check-in times by half, the initiative will enable customers to bypass the rental counter for both reserved and walk-up transactions using a valid driver’s license and credit card.Allowing renters to modify bookings on the spot, the kiosks will provide services in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.The new kiosks will replace already existing machines at Alamo and National locations, while Enterprise will introduce the self-service option to airport customers for the first time. “As we work to provide the best customer service possible, we know that convenience, immediacy and ease are all priorities for travelers,” Enterprise Holdings vice president of airport business development Rob Hibbard said. “The feedback we’re getting so far is that this option really improves the rental experience for our airport customers, both domestic and international.”last_img read more

Its unfair for Qantas to pay for runway AIPA

first_imgExpecting the Australian flag carrier to ‘pre-fund’ a new runway at Brisbane Airport is “unreasonable” and likely to make the airline less competitive, according to the carrier’s pilots’ union.Although the runway is “needed”, the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) president Captain Barry Jackson said in today’s environment airlines do not have the “margins” to pay out a long-term investment, and requesting Qantas to pay-up was simply “not fair”.“Eight years is far too long a lead time for a commercial agreement – that’s the sort of time frame that government usually looks at,” he explained.  “As the ACCC Chairman Rob Sims very correctly points out, ‘normally when you’ve got parties paying for lumpy new investments there is not a long lead time between the spend and getting use of that investment’.” He added that it was “high time” stakeholders stopped leaning on airlines to help make them money. “Australian airports are some of the most expensive to operate into and out of in the Asia Pacific, and it is unreasonable to expect Qantas to stretch and cover that gap,” he said.“There is no doubt that the runway is needed, but it is unreasonable to expect Qantas to accept the current arrangement.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

World of Accor celebrates tenth anniversary

first_imgA range of prizes were up for grabs throughout the evening including Qantas flights to Singapore and accommodation at the Sofitel So Singapore. Accor held its tenth annual World of Accor industry evening, highlighting the company’s achievements over the past year and celebrating with its extensive client network. Human Nature performs hits from theirpopular Las Vegas Motown Tour. “We are extremely proud of our achievements in Asia over the past year; not only growing our business in core markets such as China and Thailand, but opening up Indonesia with rapid development since 2011”, Accor Asia Pacific chairman and chief operating officer Michael Issenberg said. Optus travel and operations manager Lisa Warnes took out the grand prize, winning a brand new Peugot 208. “In Australia we’re pleased with our staff development; continually training thousands at our Accor Academy, and through the employment of a vast number of indigenous personnel.” A slew of special guests were in attendance at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, including celebrity television hosts Melissa Doyle and Matt White. Accor representatives spoke with trade media at a briefing earlier in the evening, expanding on the numerous accomplishments and challenges the hospitality group has faced over the past 12 months. Source = ETB News: PT More than 800 industry delegates and over 90 Accor representatives attended the spectacular event. Australia’s favourite award-winning boy band, Human Nature, graced the stage and excited the crowd with a medley of hits from their now-famous Las Vegas Motown Tour.last_img read more

Qld loosen licensing laws tourism benefits

first_imgQueensland’s accommodation industry plan to investigate if there are other regulatory burdens in place that could benefit the community through abolition or change. Accommodation Association of Australia applaud reforms. Source = ETB News: P.T. The Queensland Government has implemented reforms that will assist small business owners and tour operators, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia. “With its status as one of the most important industries to the Queensland economy, tourism is seeing the benefits of the changes that the State Government has made,” Mr Munro said.center_img Queensland’s licensing laws have been adjusted; removing the requirement for tour operators who only serve small amounts of alcohol to hold a liquor license; removing the requirement for licensees to keep a training register for responsible service of alcohol; and allowing licensees to pay fees in instalments should they suffer financial hardship. “Too often, small businesses in the tourism industry lose valuable time and money on things like liquor licensing when this would be better spent on providing domestic and international visitors to Queensland with a warmer welcome and a superior holiday experience.” “These are sensible reforms and are another example of Premier Newman and his government cutting a swathe through unnecessary red tape in Queensland,” Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro said.last_img read more

Mantra acquires new Bali property

first_imgA new hotel management agreement will see Mantra Group add a new Bali property to its portfolio, which will be named Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali.The 261-room resort is located in Tanjung Benoa on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, a popular holiday destination for Australian and European travellers.Mantra Group chief executive officer Bob East said the new property aligns with the group’s expansion strategy.“We have sought out high quality properties to operate under management agreements in this region and Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali, is a great endorsement for the Mantra brand,” Mr East said.“Expansion in Indonesia is certainly one of our strategies but we have focused on quality rather than quantity and will continue with this approach on future development opportunities.”The resort will be the second Mantra group property in Bali; the first, Peppers Sentosa Seminyak, opened in 2014.Mantra Sakala Resort and Beach Club, Bali includes 247 suites and 14 private pool villas alongside three swimming pools, a spa, a health club, bars, restaurants and a kids club.Guests and day visitors are welcome at the resort’s Beach Club where they can experience a range of water sports including snorkelling, diving, kayaking and boating.The Beach Club is also made available for wedding celebrations and the resort’s event planning team work with guests to customise and create the special event.The resort a convenient ten minute drive from a shopping centre and a 30 minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Tourism Authority of Thailand is offering to pay for your wedding

first_imgSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand – Australia Tourism Authority of Thailand is offering to pay for your wedding Image Credit to Phuket Best GroupTourism Authority of Thailand is offering to pay for your weddingWe have all dreamed of the perfect wedding and honeymoon, especially if the wedding and honeymoon was to take place on the beautiful Koh Samui in Thailand.The Tourism Authority of Thailand are offering one lucky couple the opportunity to have their special day taken care of and paid for. Read on to discover how and why.Thailand has been named as one of dream wedding destinations for many couples because of the best scenery for wedding ceremony and party including the beach wedding. Thus, The Tourism Authority of Thailand is very pleased to invite the couples in Australia who are planning to celebrate your memorable wedding moment ever in Thailand. Let’s make your dream become true more than you have ever expected!Thailand has been named as one of dream wedding destinations for many couples because of the best scenery for a wedding ceremony and party including the ever popular beach wedding. Thus, The Tourism Authority of Thailand is very pleased to invite couples in Australia who are planning to celebrate their memorable wedding moment in Thailand.Let Tourism Authority of Thailand make your dream become true above and beyond your expectations.How to join us this campaign:Send us your best couple moment picture and also describe your interesting couple story.Tell us why Thailand is your dream wedding destination.Only one couple will be selected by The Tourism Authority of Thailand.How to Apply:By Email: (02) 9247 7549Application period: From now through to December 2016Travelling period:Fixed travel period 08 to 13 February 2017 (Wedding ceremony will take place on 10 February 2017)Wedding ceremony location: Koh Samui, ThailandWedding concept: Thai style and Western Style (on the beach)The selected couple will receive the free package includes:Two roundtrip economy ticket (Bangkok Airways) from Australia to ThailandTwo roundtrip domestic economy tickets to the wedding destinationOne deluxe room for 5 nights in Bangkok and SamuiTransportationMealsSpa TreatmentThe rental of Thai costume and wedding dress for the coupleVDO presentation and photography on the wedding ceremonyProfessional wedding organizerHair stylist and make-up artist on the wedding day.IMPORTANT:Relatives or accompanying guests of the couple will bear their own costs. Applicants should check with Tourism Authority of Thailand for all terms and conditions. Amazing Thailandfor more information, visitlast_img read more

Ramada announces accommodation partnership with PGA

first_imgRamada announces accommodation partnership with PGAThe Professional Golfers Association (PGA) has partnered with Ramada Hotels and Resorts to be the official accommodation supplier for the next three years.Under the partnership, the PGA of NZ will be able to book accommodation at all existing Ramada properties throughout New Zealand at a preferred rate.Ramada will also provide a bonus payment to the Order of Merit winner, financially support the PGA’s NO EXCEPTIONS program for coaching golfers with disabilities and sponsor the South Island Legends Tour.The agreement aligns the iconic PGA brand with the Ramada brand, one of the most recognised hotel brands in the world, renowned for delivering meaningful hospitality.Matt Taplin, Senior Vice President Resort Operations and Property Development at Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim, said the partnership is a momentous one.“This announcement showcases our support for the New Zealand golfing community, golf programmers and all the aspiring PGA touring professionals,” he said.“The partnership unites our managed and franchised hotels and resorts in a move that we believe will raise the profile of our Ramada brand while providing the golfing community with quality lodging whilst on tour.”Dominic Sainsbury, PGA of NZ General Manager, said he was delighted to partner with Ramada.“Ramada provides a great experience and superb accommodation across New Zealand. This is a win-win with our members receiving exclusive rates and incentives for community coaching programmes, as well as Ramada getting the backing of the most trusted people in golf: the PGA professional.”The deal presently encompasses Ramada Suites Auckland, Federal Street; Ramada Suites Albany, Auckland North Shore; Ramada Suites Nautilus Orewa; Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Remarkables Park; Ramada Suites Christchurch City; Ramada Resort Reia Taipa Beach; Ramada Resort Rotorua Marama and Ramada Resort Wanaka. When completed, Wyndham Garden Remarkables Park, Queenstown will also be part of the agreement.All Ramada hotels participate in Wyndham Hotel Group’s award-winning, market-leading rewards program, Wyndham Rewards®. The world’s simplest, most generous hotel loyalty program, members earn a guaranteed 1,000 points with every qualified stay and can redeem a free night at more than 8,000 hotels worldwide for just 15,000 points per night or any of more than 17,000 vacation condos and homes for just 15,000 points per bedroom per night.Globally, Ramada offers more than 860 properties across 64 countries, including 62 properties currently open and operating in the South East Asia and Pacific Rim region.Source = Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Sell and sail for free with Norwegian Cruise Line

first_imgNorwegian JewelSell and sail for free with Norwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Cruise Line is giving Australian and New Zealand trade partners the opportunity to sail for free onboard the line’s most recently renovated ship.To qualify for this incredible incentive, trade partners simply need to book five staterooms on Norwegian Jewel’s 13th of February 2019 “19-Day Sydney to Singapore” sailing, by the 8th of February, 2019 to receive a free inside stateroom on any Norwegian Jewel sailing from 13th February through to 29th March, 2019.Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sydney homeported ship, Norwegian Jewel, has been a game-changer for the Australian cruising industry since her arrival in local waters in 2017. Norwegian Jewel has been a pioneer in the local market with her unique ‘feel free’ cruising concept, world-class dining options and award-winning entertainment including new show Velvet, which debuted in December.The incentive is open to both wholesale and retail Australian and New Zealand trade partners. Bookings will be measured under each Agent ID, with the free stateroom being awarded to that agent. All new bookings must be made before the 8th of February 2019. Full payment must be applied by 11th February, 2019.Once all bookings are made and paid in full, trade partners need to complete this form and return to SalesSupportAuNz@ncl.comKey promotional terms:All five bookings must be made during the promotion periodCombinable with all public offersThe free cabin cannot be soldNew bookings only, cancellations and rebooks will not be acceptedThis is a free inside stateroom only and flights, transfers, gratuities, government taxes and fees are not includedSubject to availably and terms and conditionsPlease find terms and conditions for the Sell and Sail incentive below:Free cruise offer applies to new bookings only made between 19th of January and 8th February 2019 on the Norwegian Jewel 13th of February 19 day sailing Sydney to Singapore.  Offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice and is open to all travel agents. Cancellations and rebookings are not permitted. Offer may be combined with all public promotions. Staterooms can be booked by different consultants from within the same agency. If two different consultants book from the same agency, the agency management will select the free stateroom recipient. Staterooms sold with a single supplement will count as a full stateroom sale. Free cruise (cruise only, flights, hotels, transfers, gratuities, government taxes and fees are not included) is earned by selling five staterooms on the Norwegian Jewel 13th of February 2019 sailing. Travel consultant and guest must sail on one of the Norwegian Jewel sailings between 13th of February through 29th of March 2019.  Travel consultant and guest must share a stateroom on the same cruise. Free cruise for travel consultant and guest will be applied once final payment is made on all eligible bookings. Requests must be submitted via this form and no less than 24 hours after applying the final payment. Forms must be submitted on or before Midnight 11th of February 2019. For full terms and conditions that apply, please contact your Business Development Manager. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice.For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line email visit and contact us in Australia on 1300 255 200 or in New Zealand on 0800 969 283.Source = Norwegian Cruise Linelast_img read more

Ministry of Railways amends refund rules

first_imgIn a major move to help the genuine passengers and to plug the scope of misuse of ticketing activity by unscrupulous elements, the Ministry of Railways has further amended its refund rules and has notified under the title Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Ticket and Refund of Fare) Rules, 2015. The new Refund Rule became effective w.e.f. November 12, 2015.The objectives of the new changes in the refund rule are as under:-• To plug the scope of misuse.• Facilitate passengers with mobile ticketing/proposed paperless ticketing etc.• Discourage touts/agents on black marketing of tickets.Under the revised Rules one additional facility has been made available for the passengers.  Now, beyond the working hours of PRS or no current counters are available at stations or no PRS counter is available at stations, Railways has decided to enable certain UTS counter as UTS cum PRS counter and allow refund of PRS counter ticket across UTS cum PRS counter. Moreover, with effect from 01-07-2015 Automatic refund of fare on e-tickets in case of cancellation of trains for the convenience of the passengers. No TDR filing is required in this case.last_img read more

International Tourism Fair Madagascar concludes successfully

first_imgThe 5th edition of the International Tourism Fair Madagascar was a success. ITM 2016 was held, as every year, at the Carlton Anosy – Antananarivo (Madagascar).For this 5th edition, the theme was ‘tourism mixes leisure’ with an aim to promote tourism while promoting the natural, cultural and environmental interaction with entertainment offerings.The lounge was also an opportunity to – Together in one place tour operators; Strengthen knowledge of the regions and tourism products in the international and national visitors; Encourage national institutions to pay greater attention to the sector; Providing national economic operators the opportunity to exchange and builds partnerships; Present an attractive showcase for the sector to potential domestic investors.During 3 days, more than 5,900 visitors visited the fair, an increase of around 20% compared to the previous edition. Another point that should be emphasised, there was an increase of 58% of trade visitors during the professional day which showed the interest of the trade audience for the B2B meetings.Debates during the roundtables about the improvement of governance for the tourism industry met with the trade visitors’ requirements. On the public side, the opportunity given to the Regional Tourism Board to present more details about their region and the tourist offer gained an audience.The presence of the Vanilla islands consolidated the international nature of the show and sparked several articles in many online media.last_img read more