<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, February 6, 2017 Tags: Qatar Airways DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar Airways has launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial airline route with the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.The Gulf carrier said flight QR920 touched down in Auckland early on Monday after covering a distance of 14,535 kilometres, or 9,032 miles.That is the furthest distance between any two cities linked by direct flights.Qatar Airways’ rival Emirates previously held the record for its route between Dubai and Auckland. That route is more than 300 kilometres shorter.So how long do you think you would be on the plane for? Source: The Associated Press Can you guess the length of the new world’s longest route?
TORONTO — Intrepid Travel is taking 10% off more than 1,000 small-group tours in 100 countries for its Canadian clients.Tours on offer include everything from best-selling itineraries like Best of Morocco, Vietnam Express Southbound and Everest Base Camp to brand-new 2018 tours like the 10-day Iran Real Food Adventure and Azores and Portugal. The sale also includes Intrepid Travel’s specialty tour ranges like Family, Cycling, Sailing and Wildlife.The discount is open to Canadian and U.S. travellers who book a trip – with a $400 deposit – from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28, 2017, for tour departures between Nov. 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.“With over 1,000 trips on offer we are confident agents across Canada will be able to find the perfect tour for their clients,” said Leigh Barnes, Intrepid Travel’s Director for North America. “Whether Canadians are looking for a winter escape to Central America or a far-flung adventure in Asia or Africa, we hope travellers and agents take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the world for less.”More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more information on the terms of the discount visit intrepidtravel.com/ca/10-off-sale. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by 1,000+ winter departures on sale with Intrepid Travel Tags: Intrepid Travel, Promotions Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Results from the 2011 Census showed that 15,898 U.S. citizens live in Costa Rica, according to numbers released by the National Statistics and Census Institute.U.S. expats make up 4.1 percent of the 385,899 foreigners living here. The majority of foreigners come from Nicaragua, accounting for 74 percent of immigrants in the country. The number of Nicaraguans in Costa Rica increased from 226,374 in 2000 to 287,766 in 2011. Colombians are second at 4.3 percent, followed by U.S. citizens. The Colombian population saw a massive leap from 5,898 in 2000 to 16,514 in 2011.During the last census in 2000, the number of U.S. citizens in the country totaled 9,511. The foreign population makes up 9 percent of the 4.3 million people living in the country. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Smashburger pejibaye. When Smashburger, a U.S. “fast-casual” restaurant chain, opened its first store in Central America in December, at the newly constructed Lincoln Plaza in Moravia, San José, I was really looking forward to it.Many of the items were said to be reminiscent of the Smashburger joints in the States, but there had also been some local adaptations. New items included the “Costa Rica” meat or chicken burger with refried beans, chorizo and Turrialba cheese.There was also the fried pejibaye (peach palm) side dish, breaded and served with a cilantro mayonnaise. Hand-spun milkshakes, the classic Smashfries (seasoned with olive oil, rosemary and garlic) and other familiar fare are still part of the selection.In my first visit to the establishment, I was excited to try several menu items. It was a hard decision, but I finally settled for the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, Smashfries and a chocolate milkshake. And of course, I could not leave without tasting something local, the fried pejibayes! The burger was good, though the BBQ sauce was too spicy for my taste. The bun and the “Haystack” onion rings inside were very tasty. The beef used for the patties tasted fresh, however, the side dishes I could have done without. Both the Smashfries and pejibayes were over-seasoned. For a pejibaye lover such as myself, the heavily breaded crust was a turnoff and the dipping sauce was only okay.My dining companion was also left wanting. She had the Mushroom Swiss burger, Portobello mushroom fries and iced tea. The burger was smothered in a thick coat of mayonnaise and the Portobello mushroom fries were over-breaded and served a harsh, radish dipping sauce.Perhaps the most disappointing was the “ice tea bar.” We both tried two flavors of iced tea, and they tasted like water with a drop of mystery flavor.Thankfully, our server was accommodating. She noticed we were not touching the Portobello fries’ dipping sauce and offered us another flavor without extra charge. She answered all of our questions about the menu, though she seemed unsure of the food preparation process. Still, she tried to make our stay as comfortable as possible.Despite the disappointments, there is one thing that will bring me back to Smashburger – the Häagen-Dazs milkshakes. They are smooth and delicious. In addition, the waiter provides an extra portion of the shake in an additional container.Smashburger offers only an a la carte menu, so if you wish to buy a burger, fries and drink, each has to be ordered separately and this can get pricy. Hamburgers alone cost $7 while each side is approximately $3. Milkshakes and individual wine bottles are $5 each. Facebook Comments No related posts. Rebecca Aguilar
No related posts. NEW YORK — What is the true practical use of a breakup book? When an important relationship ends, you imagine you are in a completely singular situation, that no one else has endured quite the exact exquisitely painful situation that you are currently muddling through. You intuitively believe that your feelings are unique, sui generis, but it is somehow reassuring or uplifting to stumble on evidence that they are not. The pleasure of listening to certain songs or reading certain books is that, after an obligatory and useful period of disorienting isolation, they welcome you back into the human circle. It is oddly reassuring to see that you are not unique, i.e., alone, that this same tragedy has befallen other people, and they have mysteriously survived. (As Shakespeare put it: “Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not from love.”)What follows is my list of the three all-time best breakup books:“In Love,” by Alfred HayesThe New York Review of Books is reissuing this lost masterpiece of breakup literature, originally published in 1953, and when I came across it, I thought to myself, “How have I made it this far in life without reading this book?” A man who read it said to me, “It’s great isn’t it? I’ll never date again.” Both of which seem to me completely reasonable responses to “In Love.” It’s a ruthlessly observant novel with heart-stoppingly good sentences. (It’s impossible not to be seduced by passages like: “The only thing we haven’t lost, I thought, is the ability to suffer. We’re fine at suffering. But it’s such noiseless suffering. We never disturb the neighbors with it. We collapse, but we collapse in the most disciplined way. That’s us. That’s certainly us. The disciplined collapsers.”)The whole book is the moody monologue of a man sitting at a bar telling a woman about a bruising affair that has haunted him. (One of the clever and elegant things about it is that the elegy for the lost affair is also the preamble for a new one; it’s both a fierce indictment of love and the chatting up of a pretty woman.) In the affair that obsesses the man, he was evasive, uncommitted, ironic. But when the woman in question runs off with a rich man and marries him, he is lost: “It was becoming painful to think. There seemed to be inside me whole areas I had to be careful of. I could feel my mind, like a paw, wince away from certain sharp recollections. I contained, evidently, a number of wounded ideas.”Hayes’ description of a failed trip the two lovers took to the Jersey Shore is one of the greatest scenes of romantic alienation ever written. He pinpoints the desperate desire for love and the recognition that it is slipping away with magnificent precision: It is one of the most confusing states two people can encounter, and to see it rendered in words is rare and lovely.“Light Years,” by James SalterIn this painfully beautiful book, Salter somehow manages to capture the lushness of a thriving marriage and its simultaneous decline. (“Life is weather. Life is meals. Lunches on a blue checked cloth on which salt has spilled. The smell of tobacco. Brie, yellow apples, wood-handled knives.”) He conjures the gorgeousness of daily life, the rhythms of love, of a worn and comfortable familiarity along with the wordless restlessness, the growing discontents. (” . . . and he reads to them, as he does every night, as if watering them, as if turning the earth at their feet.”) Somehow we see in this elaborately complex portrait of domestic life both the greatness and transcendent possibility of family, and the crashing insufficiency of it, which is an astonishing, nearly impossible literary feat. The book is ultimately about how happiness and restlessness collide, about the ends entwined in beginnings, the imperceptible changes of heart, the nascent elegies embedded in our warmest, safest, happiest moments. If the real question we want answered in breakup novels is how a vivid, pressing love fades, this book comes closer than any other I have ever read to answering it.“The End of the Affair,” by Graham GreeneIn this classic of the genre, Greene captures the mood of natural malice that occurs post-love: “This is a record of hate far more than of love,” he writes. His main character, Bendrix, is not afraid to express his untrammeled rage for his ex-flame: “Nothing would have delighted me more than to hear that she was sick, unhappy, dying.”The novel, like all of Greene’s, mingles a perfectly crafted story with existential musing. His mistress writes in her journal: “Sometimes after a day when we have made love many times, I wonder whether it isn’t possible to come to an end of sex, and know that he is wondering too and is afraid of that point where the desert begins. What do we do in the desert if we lose each other? How does one go on living after that?”Here as elsewhere, Greene takes as his subject the mysteries of sexual involvement: “The act of sex may be nothing, but when you reach my age you learn that at any time it may prove to be everything.”Other great breakup literature, should one need more, would include several stories from John Updike’s “Licks of Love,” Richard Ford’s “Independence Day,” certain poems of Robert Lowell’s, and the first dazzlingly ironic chapter of Mary McCarthy’s “The Company She Keeps.”—Roiphe, a journalism professor at New York University, is the author most recently of “Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages” and “In Praise of Messy Lives.”© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments
Costa Rica will host the first Central American Franchise Summit on May 14 at the Radisson Hotel, west of the capital.The meeting aims to promote franchising business models both locally and internationally, according to Costa Rica’s Chamber of Commerce (CCCR).“As part of our promotional work, we have gathered some of the most recognized professionals in the field who will be sharing their knowledge and experience with entrepreneurs interested in developing this type of business,” CCCR’s National Franchise Center Executive Director Karol Fallas said.The summit will include four keynote discussions with franchising experts including Donald Boroian, CEO and founder of the U.S. company Francorp. Networking opportunities also will be available with 200 business representatives, Fallas said.Those interested in attending can contact the National Franchise Center at: 2221-0005, Ext. 121.A report by the CCCR last September said franchise-sector companies have created 27,000 direct jobs in Costa Rica. Of them 21,381 correspond to international franchises and 5,622 are local businesses. Facebook Comments Related posts:Starbucks’ most expensive coffee is from Costa Rica Second Starbucks announced for Costa Rica, will open in November Starbucks buys coffee farm in Costa Rica First Starbucks to open in Costa Rica on June 20
Hold the guac! That side of guacamole could get a lot more expensive now that Costa Rica has decided to temporarily ban avocado imports from nine countries, including the world’s largest producer of avocados, Mexico.Costa Rica produces only a small percentage of the avocados its population consumes, and one local producer predicted prices could rise as much as 25 percent.A virus called “sunblotch” affecting avocado crops around the world — especially the coveted Hass variety — drove the country’s Plant Health Services to close Costa Rica’s borders to imports of the fruit on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Livestock and Agriculture Ministry.Along with Mexico, avocados from Australia, Spain, Ghana, Guatemala, Israel, South Africa, Venezuela and the U.S. state of Florida have also been temporarily blocked.Officials said the virus could do serious damage to the country’s roughly 900 small avocado producers if the plague finds its way in. The virus reduces the quantity and quality of avocados, affecting the tree’s leaves and deforming the fruit with yellow stains.As of April, sunblotch had not reached Costa Rica.The decision to block avocado imports from Mexico could leave many suppliers scrambling. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of avocados and the single biggest exporter of avocados to Costa Rica.Mexico was responsible for more than 80 percent of the 12,563 metric tons of avocados imported in 2014, according to figures from Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office.Costa Rica’s annual avocado production tops out at just 2,000 metric tons, according to the agriculture ministry.Carlos Gamboa, manager of APACO, an avocado growers cooperative in the Los Santos area south of San José, told The Tico Times that he expected prices for avocados to jump as high as 25 percent as importers look to more distant sources, like Chile, Peru or California to fill demand.Avocados have become part of the basic Costa Rican diet during the last several decades, Gamboa said, so given high demand, it’s likely supply will be quickly replaced.He said he was pleased with the government’s decision to ban imports from sunblotch-infected regions.“We’re very satisfied to see the Costa Rican government taking steps to protect domestic production,” Gamboa said.Plant Health Services Director Francisco Dall´Anese has been in dialogue with his Mexican peers to find an alternative to safely allow Mexican avocados back into Costa Rica without risking the country’s domestic production. The agency said in a statement that it’s working to establish import protocols for the other affected countries. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s avocado ban turns into a food fight Government approves $1 million in aid to farmers affected by unusual weather conditions Police seize 20,000 contraband avocados at Panama border Mexico takes Costa Rica ban on avocados to World Trade Organization
The wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán — the Mexican drug lord who was recaptured earlier this year, months after his escape from a maximum-security prison — says she now fears for his life.“They want to make him pay for his escape,” 26-year-old Emma Coronel Aispuro said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “They say that they are not punishing him. Of course they are. They are there with him, watching him in his cell.“They are right there, all day long, calling attendance. They don’t let him sleep. He has no privacy, not even to go to the restroom.”In the interview — her first-ever public comments about her marriage, according to the Times — Coronel said that she’s only seen her husband once since he was imprisoned again, a visit that lasted just 15 minutes.She said he was “completely shackled, handcuffed,” at the time, and guards at the facility stayed close by.She also claimed that Guzmán was “slowly being tortured” and that his blood pressure was high.“I am afraid for his life,” she said.The interview with Coronel aired on Telemundo and was the basis for the Times story, a collaborative project with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California at Berkeley.Guzmán was captured in early January, about six months after he had tunneled out of Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1, which is also known as Altiplano prison.Before his capture, however, he was interviewed by actor Sean Penn, a meeting that led to a piece published in Rolling Stone.See: ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and actress Kate del Castillo talked of ‘dream’ meeting in textsWatch the Telemundo interview with El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, in Spanish:Guzmán had escaped the federal facility outside of Mexico City in July 2015, slipping out through a hole in the floor of his cell. Now that he’s back in custody, authorities in Mexico have begun the extradition process to the U.S.“I will follow to wherever he is,” Coronel said. “I am in love with him. He is the father of my children.”Coronel, a former beauty queen, and Guzmán are the parents of twin girls.The pair married in 2007, on the day Coronel turned 18, according to the Times report. Guzmán is 32 years older than Coronel, his third wife.“I would say what won me over was his way of talking, how he treated me, the way we began to get along — first as friends and from that came everything else,” Coronel said. “He tends to win over people by his manner of being, of acting, the way he treats people in general.”© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Mexico wants to question Sean Penn over meeting with ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Mexico captures fugitive drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, says President Peña Nieto Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua Mexico drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán back in jail, betrayed by biopic bid
4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family ____Dsquared2The Dsquared2 man is a creature of the night.Even after dark he wears his “easy rider” shades, and his style is strictly black.The transgressive 2013 summer menswear collection presented Tuesday by the fun-loving Canadian designing twins Dean and Dan Caten came as a surprise after four days of preview showings characterized by a sporty but conservative look.High-top animal print shoes with black soles and metal tongues as large as shin guards, abundant use of metal chains and tight-fitting leather scuba jackets all contributed to a very dark look. The only bright light in the collection was a series of white embroidered or studded shirts.Like many designers showing their summer collections during this round of menswear, the Cates paired Bermuda shorts with jackets for a contemporary suit look. But the DSquared version has a panel across the front, making it the only wraparound Bermuda for men seen to date, and not only in Milan.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The myriad of big and brightly colored weekend bags, in materials ranging from simple canvas to precious crocodile, and the abundance of loafers, sneakers and running shoes, show that the designers are into the good life.Shorts-short as well as knee length are the stars of the season, moving between resort and workplace with incredible ease.The blazer also makes a huge comeback, cut close to the body, colorful and worn with a pair of shorts or a trouser cropped at the ankle. Lightweight coats are another summer favorite.Although some designers threw in a tie for old times sake, the more popular piece to go under a suit was a white open-collared shirt or a classic polo shirt.This round, designers used organza and other see-through materials-usually relegated to womenswear for special transparency on pullovers and patterned jackets.But no matter what the style, summer 2013 is all about color, from red to green to yellow to deep blue. Different colors may appear in the same outfit, such as a green lapel on a yellow jacket or blue pockets on a red coat.Even minimalist designer Jil Sander chose to mark her return to the eponymous label she left eight years ago with a collection dipped in color. And that should say it all. Top Stories Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Quick workouts for men Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements ___ARMANIFor next summer, Giorgio Armani is back to doing what he does best _ tailoring gorgeous jackets.Indeed, it all started with a jacket for the Milanese designer who turns 79 next month. The first was lining-less, but it wasn’t long before an Armani suit was a wardrobe must and an Armani tuxedo a red carpet favorite.The Armani show on Tuesday was an ode to the jacket, from soft cardigan cuts to blazers and more structured city jackets, all in super-refined lightweight fabrics.The overall look was of a well put-together man whose cut of clothes is casual. A cardigan jacket could be worn with a pair of pleated trousers, while a navy suit had Bermuda shorts but also a shirt and tie.The season’s silhouette is comfy and slightly elongated. The jacket has four or six buttons and the shoulder is unpadded. The pleated trousers are soft around the hips and brush the ankle.The latest leather jacket _ either bomber or blazer _ is made of leather worked to look like seersucker, a tribute to Italian craftsmanship.Armani is not in the habit of following the pack. While most of Milan is screaming color, Armani quietly stuck to his longtime favorites: sandy beige, pebble gray, coffee brown and ink blue. AP Fashion WriterMILAN (AP) – Casual and colorful is the message sent out by designers of menswear for summer 2013.After four days of preview shows ending Tuesday, it is clear that the Italian designers _ and others showing in Milan _ want to project good vibes for next summer, despite European economic gloom.The current round of menswear had a happy feel to it, whether it was offering suits with Bermuda shorts for the office or a fuchsia summer raincoat to outshine even the darkest cloud.
Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Hans Kristian Rausing was arrested in connection to suspected drug crimes and police want to question him about the circumstances of his wife’s death. He is currently receiving medical treatment in a London hospital. Police have not indicated that Eva Rausing’s death was a result of foul play or that a crime was committed.Liz Brewer, a friend of Eva Rausing, told Sky News that Rausing’s problem had been “pushed under the carpet” for too long.“She was totally addicted, obviously, and was trying to get off it,” she said.It has become common for celebrities like Elton John and Eric Clapton to use their fundraising power to help anti-addiction charities after they get off drugs, but experts say it is not unusual for people like the Rausings to work hard to help anti-addiction groups even as they struggle, sometimes unsuccessfully, to get clean.In Eva Rausing’s case, she served as a trustee of the anti-addiction charities Chemical Dependency Center and Clouds beginning in the late 1990s, long before her embassy arrest. Those organizations merged with Action on Addiction, a charity supported by Eva Rausing until her death that also has a strong link to the royal family: the former Kate Middleton is a patron. CEO Neil Barton said that over the years, the Rausings contributed tens of millions of pounds to the anti-addiction crusade, remaining committed even after Eva Rausing stepped down as a trustee. He said he never discussed Rausing’s addiction with her.“I didn’t want to go there unless she wanted to talk about it,” he said, describing Rausing as a charming woman with an easy smile. “I don’t remember ever having that sort of conversation with her, but it was understood that that was partly why she was interested.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day The money came from his family’s development of a better milk carton _ one that could be packed and shipped like bricks, easing the distribution of milk and juices throughout the world.The Rausings married shortly after they met in the 1980s and raised four children from their London base in an exclusive section of the Chelsea neighborhood.Before the embassy arrest, Eva Rausing’s good looks and beautiful clothes _ along with her husband and his friendly, bear-like countenance _ had made the Rausings welcome participants on the London philanthropic scene. She was on several charity boards, focusing on those that helped fight drug addiction, but also serving on Prince Charles’ Foundation for the Built Environment.Charles, no stranger to second chances, stood behind her after the embassy scandal, backing a decision to keep her on board as a trustee. A spokeswoman, who declined to be identified because of palace policy, said Charles, who was able to rebuild his life after his failed marriage to the late Princess Diana, believes people can recover from serious missteps.But evidence suggests that Eva Rausing’s drug use only intensified in the years since the embassy arrest. Recent photographs showed that Eva Rausing had become quite gaunt, and her once stocky husband also recently appeared thin and furtive, bearing only a slight resemblance to his former self, when he would attend galas looking like an elegant, bearded, tuxedoed European swain from an earlier era. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Associated PressLONDON (AP) – When Eva Rausing approached the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square four years ago to deal with a routine passport matter, she had to pass through British security, then face an airport-style metal detector so she and her handbag could be scanned for weapons and contraband.The wealthy American didn’t leave her stash at home. She tried to pass the security scan with small amounts of crack cocaine, heroin and a banned stimulant in her purse. Check your body, save your life More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The subsequent arrest led police to search the multimillion-dollar property she shared with her husband, Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing. Police found still more drugs, including a sizeable amount of cocaine.Charges were dropped in exchange for a formal police warning, but the arrest made public what close family and friends already knew: The golden couple, with untold riches, were deeply mired in drug addiction even as they gave millions to numerous anti-addiction charities.Their sad tale reached its climax this week when the 48-year-old Eva Rausing was found dead in their home and her husband arrested for questioning about drug use and placed in hospital care. The cause of Eva Rausing’s death has not yet been established.Drugs. A scourge for the poor, for the middle class and even for the super-rich, those who, like the Rausings, measure their net worth in the billions.“Addiction doesn’t know any class boundaries,” said Amanda Thomson, spokeswoman for Action on Addiction, one of many charities the Rausings supported even as they swooned toward drugged-out oblivion.Eva Rausing was born into a wealthy American family headed by former Pepsi executive Tom Kemeny, and her husband was an heir to the formidable Tetra Pak fortune _ his father and his family have a spot on Britain’s “Rich List” with a net worth estimated at 4.3 billion pounds ($6.7 billion). Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 3 international destinations to visit in 2019
A man who answered the phone at the hospital’s administrative office said he did not know whether Xi was being treated there. But he dismissed reports on Xi’s condition as guesswork.“I can say that these can definitely be only rumors. Information about the leaders’ health is a big secret, known only to people at the highest levels,” said the man, who refused to give his name because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.The silence on Xi isn’t unusual, since China’s top leaders live and work in isolation and information about leading personnel is only released after it has been carefully molded for positive effect. While the ruling party has become more sensitive to public opinion over nationalism and social unrest, it reverts to its roots as a clandestine organization when it comes to the leaders’ private lives.But the leader-in-waiting’s sudden disappearance on the eve of his ascension comes during a year full of unforeseen political developments that had already threatened hopes for a smooth party leadership transition.Most notably, the case of Bo Xilai, one of China’s most charismatic and ambitious politicians who fell from power in March, remains unsettled. Bo’s downfall sparked a dramatic scandal that led to his wife’s conviction for murdering a British businessman. Sponsored Stories If Xi’s absence were to linger, it might also disrupt plans for the party congress _widely expected in late October _ where Xi is to succeed Hu as party leader. The dates for the congress, held once every five years, were expected to be announced following a meeting of the 25-member Politburo this month, but it may be delayed if Xi remains out of action.It isn’t clear what would happen if Xi was indisposed for long. The party has never institutionalized its succession process, and the formula by which Xi was picked as Hu’s successor five years ago remains a mystery to insiders.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments Share 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressBEIJING (AP) – New rumors about health problems facing China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping swirled Thursday as the government continued to stonewall on commenting on his condition or whereabouts 12 days after he dropped from sight.Official media mentioned Xi for the first time since his last appearance on Sept. 1, but the brief, obscure report failed to explain the extended absence that has sparked the rumors. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The reports said Xi, President Hu Jintao and other top officials had expressed their condolences “through various means” for the death of 102-year-old former general Huang Rong last week. The Guangxi Daily newspaper reported no other details. Identical reports were carried on the websites of the Communist Party and the official Xinhua News Agency.China’s vice president, Xi is due to take over as Communist Party head later this year and as president next year as the country transitions to a new generation of leaders. His prolonged and unexplained disappearance has sparked rumors and raised questions about the stability of the succession process.For a fourth consecutive day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to offer any information on Xi.Early rumors said Xi, 59, threw his back out swimming or pulled a muscle playing football. As the days passed, the speculation escalated to more serious conditions, including a heart attack, stroke, or emergency surgery.And on Thursday, Hong Kong’s Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said a small cancerous growth had been discovered on Xi’s liver on Sept. 2 and that he had undergone surgery to remove it this week at the elite military 301 Hospital in Beijing. The center said he was expected to reappear in public next week.
Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories The cause of the crash was unclear.Another Black Eagles pilot died in 2006 when his plane crashed during an air show. In June this year, the Black Eagles team won an award for best overall flying at an air show in England.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s air force says a pilot on its aerobatic team was killed Thursday when his jet crashed during training.The T-50B aircraft hit a mountain in Hoengseong shortly after taking off, the air force said. The plane is a trainer jet flown by the military’s Black Eagles aerobatic team. Hoengseong is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Seoul.Military officials found a parachute near the crash site but the pilot apparently failed to escape, the air force said. Authorities found the body of the air force captain inside the cockpit. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like The vital role family plays in society Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology
Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 0 Comments Share Top Stories The plane took off Saturday afternoon from Grenoble’s airport and quickly disappeared off the radar. Charlot said the weather was clear, and an investigation is under way to determine the cause of the crash.The crash caused a small fire that extinguished itself even before responders arrived on the scene. No one was hurt on the ground.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix PARIS (AP) – A Moroccan family of five returning home died Saturday when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport near the French Alps, officials said.The twin-engine plane hit a hill and crashed in a forest in an uninhabited area outside Grenoble, a city that is the gateway to the Alpine resorts in southeastern France.Bruno Charlot, a local government official, said all five aboard died. The pilot was flying his wife and their three children home to Morocco, apparently after a vacation in France. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories
Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober But Malinowski called the human rights progress “very fragile” and said the U.S. is looking for positive steps from Vietnam in the weeks ahead on releasing political prisoners and in how its security forces deal with critics of the Communist government.Vietnam has yet to meet requirements for TPP on labor standards, including the right to form independent unions that can bargain collectively, Malinowski said. But he said he was “fairly confident” it would happen because the benefits of TPP membership outweigh the risks to Vietnam’s government.Malinowski called it a critical moment in the U.S.-Vietnam relationship.“Absent TPP, I think we have very little chance of keeping this very fragile progress in Vietnam going. With it, I think we’ve got a chance,” he said.Malinowski returned this week from human rights discussions with Vietnamese officials. He met with two political prisoners, activists and minority religious leaders.Former enemies U.S. and Vietnam have deepened ties as they find common cause in countering a rising China, but there is opposition in Congress to full normalization when there is repression and restrictions on religious freedom. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement WASHINGTON (AP) — Vietnam’s desire to be in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact is the best leverage Washington has to press for improved human rights there, a senior U.S. official said.Tom Malinowski, the State Department’s point man on human rights, told reporters that Vietnam has shown greater restraint in arrests and prosecution of dissent this year as deliberations on the 12-nation pact enter their closing stages. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Malinowski said there are just over 100 “prisoners of conscience” in Vietnam today, down from more than 160 in 2013. Convictions have dropped from 61 in 2013, to none so far this year, he said, but added that activists still face harassment, threats and beatings.Vietnam’s ambassador to the U.S., Pham Quang Vinh, told a Washington think tank in March that everyone is equal under the law in Vietnam and there are no prisoners of conscience.John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said there have been limited improvements in Vietnam, but it remains a one-party state where critics are thrown in jail. He said three bloggers were convicted in February under an article of the criminal code used to punish freedom of expression.Sifton agreed that TPP does offer leverage to Washington to seek improvements in human rights, but he contended that some of trade benefits should be withheld until Vietnam follows through on prospective reforms and demonstrates, for example, it is allowing labor unions to operate freely.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Sponsored Stories Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Officials say no one was on board when it lost power, and rangers escorted one visitor from the observation level to the ground by the stairs.The monument was closed on Thursday and Friday morning after an electrical problem caused a power failure.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service says the Washington Monument is temporarily closed again after another power failure.The agency announced Monday that the monument was closed Monday morning after the elevator lost power around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the park service, said in an email Monday afternoon that the monument will remain closed until at least Thursday. He says technicians are repairing a mechanical alignment issue with the elevator, which may have been caused by the repeated shutting down of the elevator last week. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share
In this image released by NBC News, former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal appears on the “Today” show set on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in New York. Dolezal was born to two parents who say they are white, but she chooses instead to self-identify as black. Her ability to think she has a choice shows a new fluidity in race in a diversifying America, a place where the rigid racial structures that defined most of this country’s history seems, for some, to be falling to the wayside. (Anthony Quintano/NBC News via AP) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “There really is no biological basis to race, but what I’m saying is that in our society the everyday person tends to think race must have some link to ancestry,” Khanna said. “So we expect that when people self-identify with a particular group they must have some ancestral link to that group.”In the past, race was determined mostly by what other people thought a person was. For example, the Census Bureau’s enumerators would determine on their own what a person’s race was, and classify them as such. By the 1960s and 1970s, census officials were allowing people to self-identify.Currently, the Census Bureau allows people to choose a racial category, or even multiple categories, to which they think they belong. The census identifies races as white; black or African-American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and “some other race” for those claiming more than one race. There is also a Hispanic ethnic category.People have been using that freedom since the early 2000s to move back and forth. They switched between races, moved from multiple races to a single race or back, or decided to add or drop Hispanic ethnicity from their identifiers on census forms. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Last year, a study showed that 1 in 16 people — or approximately 9.8 million of 162 million — who responded to both the 2000 and 2010 censuses gave different answers when it came to race and ethnicity. In addition, in the 2010 census, more than 21.7 million — at least 1 in 14 — went beyond the standard labels and wrote in such terms as “Arab,” ”Haitian,” ”Mexican” and “multiracial.”Dolezal, 37, said Tuesday that published accounts described her first as “transracial,” then “biracial,” then as “a black woman.” ”I never corrected that,” she conceded, adding that “it’s more complex than being true or false in that particular instance.”She and her parents have disagreed about her backstory. Dolezal says she started identifying as black around age 5, when she drew self-portraits with a brown crayon. Her mother told Fox News on Tuesday that’s not true.Dolezal has gotten support from some in the black community, who say she should be allowed to self-identify as she pleases. However, other African-Americans say she is “passing” — a term mainly used to describe blacks who looked white enough to deny their African ancestry — and should not claim a racial identity that she cannot prove. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Her parents identified her as white with a trace of Native American heritage, and her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, has said Rachel began to “disguise herself” as black after her parents adopted four black children more than a decade ago.Dolezal isn’t the first person to make this type of change. Millions of Americans changed racial or ethnic identities between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, even though their choices may have contradicted what their skin color appeared to be, or who their parents said they are.“It forces us to really question whether or not this biological basis for identity is a smart path to continue down in the future,” said Camille Gear Rich, a University of Southern California law and sociology professor who writes about elective race choices.Americans have become comfortable with people self-identifying their race, Rich said, “but often that invocation of identity based on a biological claim isn’t backed up by anything else after the claim is made.”In the United States, there is an expectation that people would have a biological connection to a racial or an ethnic identity they are claiming, said Nikki Khanna, a University of Vermont sociology professor. She co-authored a 2010 study that found increasing numbers of biracial adults were choosing to self-identify as multiracial or black instead of white. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — Rachel Dolezal, born to white parents, self-identifies as black — a decision that illustrates how fluid identity can be in a diversifying America, as the rigid racial structures that have defined most of this country’s history seem, for some, to be softening.Dolezal resigned as the leader of the NAACP’s Spokane, Washington, branch after questions surfaced about her racial identity. When asked directly on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday whether she is “an African-American woman,” Dolezal replied, “I identify as black.” She isn’t the only person who has faced that accusation. An opponent of Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson complained that campaign mailings Wilson sent to voters in the predominantly black district implied Wilson, who is white, was black. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts faced questions about her Native American ancestry during her last election after being listed as such in several law school directories.Some people have used their ability to self-identify as another race simply to get access to resources aimed at minorities, Rich said, but “race is something that is a social contract and it is not something that you just passively inhabit.”That’s why Rich said she isn’t comfortable with people announcing themselves as a member of a community. “There might be some spaces in which Rachel gets to be a black person, but I want to be very careful about any context in which she is taking away resources from people who have come from a more subordinated experience,” she said.___Jesse J. Holland covers race, ethnicity and demographics for The Associated Press. Contact him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility
Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice One Phoenix volunteer from the Red Cross was already sent to Kauai, Ha., and remains there.Five more Arizonans are in California to help with problems caused by wildfires. There are currently 49 volunteers from Arizona dispatched to aid in disaster relief in California, Hawaii and Louisiana, according to the Red Cross. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The Red Cross has rescinded travel plans for two Phoenix-area volunteers who were set to deploy to Hawaii.Diane Garcia and Dan Crane expected to leave for the islands Saturday morning but will no longer travel due to the weakening threat from Hurricane Lester. Hawaii was taken off hurricane watch early Friday as Lester’s projected path swung north of the islands, reports the Star-Advertiser.Hawaii already was on alert with Hurricane Madeline threatening it earlier this week. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Kaly Sun, right, removes boards from her restaurant in Pahoa, Hawaii after Tropical Storm Madeline moved through the area, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. The tropical storm left parts of Hawaii’s Big Island soggy but intact as residents of the island state prepare for a second round of potentially volatile tropical weather. Hurricane Lester remains on track to impact the islands this weekend, but possibly after being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility How men can have a healthy 2019
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Heads of Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) and the Cairns Mayor announced yesterday that Cairns is actively rethinking, repositing and redeveloping efforts to strengthen its already recovering tourism.On a Sydney day that ended in wet woollen coats, TTNQ Chairman William Calderwood rubbed in Cairns’ 28 degree weather as he outlined the region’s growth and development.“Cairns punches above its weight,” Mr Calderwood said.“It has infrastructure and services far above what you’d expect for its size and population.”Cairns, once the second most popular tourist destination in Australia, saw tourism numbers drop over the last eighteen months due largely to the global financial crisis and a downturn in aviation capacity.“We’re moving beyond that – we have a new spring in our step,” TTNQ chief executive Rob Gaison said.Efforts to recapture lost tourism numbers have seen Cairns open its tourism scope beyond the leisure market while improving infrastructure and marketing, Mr Gaison told e-Travel Blackboard.The completion of Cairn’s domestic terminal in late August will bring a 20 per cent boost in aviation capacity, adding 345 000 seats.“We’re dependent on air travel…87 per cent of interstate visitors [to Cairns] travel by air,” Mr Gaison said.Plans to expand beyond leisure tourism into medical, educational and sports tourism have seen TTNQ work closely with Cairns Council as infrastructure to feed into these markets is developed.Cairns Mayor Val Schier also announced plans to: establish a cultural precinct; improve the cruise terminal; and build Australia’s first museum devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander living culture.TTNQ have also worked actively on developing a destination rich website featuring feeds from live web cams.“We have found that 80 per cent of consumers research destinations and we needed to be in that space…We want to make people choose us,” Mr Gaison said.Cairns recorded a six per cent growth in the year ending March 2010, the best performing region in Australia. Rob Gaison, William Calderwood, Val Schier
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M The possibility of Etihad Airways flying ex Perth is ‘on the radar’ according to the airline’s National Sales Manager, advising CEO James Hogan had discussed probability of operations in a recent meeting.National Sales Manager, Industry, Wayne Borland, speaking at the recent Travelscene NCC conference stated that with recent expansions to its extensive global network, and with new code share flights from Australia, Perth was “still on the list”.As the world’s fastest growing commercial airline, Mr Borland said the company expected to double its size by 2020 with 150 aircraft.“It’s remarkable to see what we’ve achieved in 7 years. We currently have 70 aircraft in fleet, 100 on firm order and 105 options to convert within the next 10 years,” Mr Borland said.Etihad has also been inducted into the growing Quantum programme, allowing Travelscene members to now earn reward points when selling airfares.“As a preferred supplier, we are very happy with how the relationship is developing and the people who are representing your interest and bringing it back to us – from our end it makes a difference because we’re seeing results,” Mr Borland said, speaking of the airline’s relationship with Travelscene.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Boosting its corporate appeal, Virgin Australia has unveiled new kerbside valet parking at Brisbane’s domestic terminal.Launched yesterday, the new seven day weekly service will open half an hour before the first flight and after the last service and is part of the airline’s commitment to its guests, according to Virgin Australia group executive product and guest services Martin Daley.“The Premium Valet offering is designed to provide frequent and valued customers with a streamlined, hassle-free experience,” Mr Daley said. “All guests have the convenience of leaving their car with an attendant before stepping into an exclusive reception area. “A dedicated check-in desk will be available for guests with carry-on baggage only.”The new car parking service in Brisbane starts from AU$55 for up to 14 hours and $65 for up to 24 hours.As well as the new valet parking, the airline also announced a new concierge service at Hold Coast and Canberra airports, expansion and upgrade at its Sydney and Melbourne domestic hubs and a new Gold Coast lounge.
The Government’s new strategy to grow the NSW visitor economy has been applauded by Inland NSW Tourism, who believe the transformation to be one from ‘government handouts’ to a more collaborative government-industry partnership. Destination campaign aims to double overnight visitor expenditure. “The current NSW Government has implemented a series of significant changes to the funding process, which rightly demands greater collaboration and more rigour and measurability to gain government support,” Inland NSW Tourism chairman Rodger Powell said. Further details surrounding the campaign will be unveiled in the lead up to its 2014 release. “The broader strategic approach to destination management and an insistence on quantifiable metrics mean the return on investment of government and industry funds will far surpass anything achieved previously within NSW.” According to Inland NSW Tourism chief executive Graham Perry, the application reflects the outcome of a comprehensive collaborative approach to destination management. Part of a ‘contestable’ funding pool of AU$3.5 million for various projects across NSW, the grant is to be matched by industry investment, which will see the Outback campaign grow to almost AU$800,000 in value. The funding will be used by Inland NSW Tourism for a major destination appeal campaign, to be rolled out across the NSW Outback region in 2014. Source = ETB News: L.B. Inland NSW Tourism have been granted almost AU$400,000 to help fund their Outback Campaign, under the NSW Government’s Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF). “This destination appeal campaign – the first of many, we hope – will help as we strive to achieve the goal we share with Destination NSW, which is namely to double overnight visitation expenditure by 2020,” Mr Perry said.
tigerair’s available seat kilometres increased 20 percent, revenue passenger kilometres rose 23.8 percent and revenue load factor jumped 3.1 percentage points for the month of September 2013. The overall yield for September Financial Year 2014 to date was positive in comparison to 2013. Virgin’s domestic operations saw an increase of 2.2 percent last month, while available seat kilometres rose by 6 percent, compared to September 2012. The increase in tigerair’s available seat kilometres has been driven by further improvements in aircraft utilisation, with a stable 11-aircraft fleet since the prior corresponding period. International passenger numbers for Virgin Australia rose 5.2 percent in September 2013, while revenue load factors increased 1.4 percent, compared to the same period last year. Virgin Australia and tigerair have posted positive operating results for the month of September. Source = ETB News: P.T.
Sydney’s popularity as a global tourist destination is being mirrored online, with the city’s Facebook and Google+ pages both having reached one million followers, Minister for Tourism and Major Events George Souris said today. “People love to share photos of their favourite Sydney locations and activities, and we are in awe every week at how stunning the images are,” Ms Chipchase said. “Sydney.com and Visitnsw.com were also ranked sixth on the list of top 20 websites in the travel and accommodation categories for Australia,” she said. Source = Destination NSW “The pages showcase tips for visitors on where to stay, what to see and things to do in Sydney. They also include information about the best deals on accommodation, attractions, tours and restaurants, as well as useful tips that can help visitors plan the perfect trip. The achievement makes Sydney the first Australian city to reach one million Facebook fans, and the first to reach the milestone for both Facebook and Google+ simultaneously. Destination NSW analytics show the two websites recorded more than 10.1 million visits and delivered over 2.6 million leads to the NSW tourism industry this financial year to date, from July 2013 to January 2014. “We hope by experiencing a taste of Sydney online, people will plan an actual visit, and share their own experiences with the Facebook and Google+ communities.” “Destination NSW’s websites Sydney.com and Visitnsw.com are now ranked first among Australia’s State Tourism Organisation websites and the Tourism Australia website, attracting 51 per cent of all website traffic in this sector as at December 2013. “More than 80 million international and domestic overnight and domestic day trip tourists visited NSW in the year ending September 2013, and this was worth more than $27 billion to the state’s economy. Over 37 per cent of these visitors came to Sydney,” he said. Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase, said it was easy to see the enthusiasm for Sydney in the comments and posts on the pages. “Sydney’s social media channels, which are managed and promoted by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, are central to engagement strategies with domestic and international visitors, our stakeholders and industry, and help position Sydney and NSW as Australia’s premier tourist and events destination,” Mr Souris said.
Key representatives of the Australian business events industry are in attendance at the 2014 China Incentive, Business Travel and Meeting (CIBTM) Exhibition in Beijing, from 17 to 19 September 2014.Business Events Australia and a delegation of seven vendors will showcase how Australia inspires great business outcomes by positioning the country at the global forefront of destination choices, incentive programs, event spaces and food and wine experiences.“CIBTM is a fantastic opportunity to highlight Australia’s corporate meeting and incentive offering to one of our most important markets and we are working hard and investing significantly to further strengthen our reputation as an incentive destination of choice for business events groups from China,” Business Events Australia general manager Penny Lion said.“China’s population is increasingly sophisticated and well-travelled so it’s important that we inspire CIBTM’s delegates.Our own research has shown that Australia ranks highly with the international MICE market in areas including cultural heritage and activities, world-class beauty and natural environments, local cuisine and wine, hospitality and as a safe destination and we hope to showcase how Australia can go above and beyond for their clients and businesses.”Australia benefits from an established reputation in China as an appropriate market to handle large incentive bookings, hosting major incentive groups last year.Business Events Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign will also be present, showcasing the country’s exceptional food and wine experiences.The industry partners joining Business Events Australia at CIBTM 2014 represent an impressive range of MICE products, services and experiences available in Australia, including: Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef, Business Events Sydney, Gold Coast Business Events, Northern Territory Convention Bureau, Palazzo Versace and Royale Limousines.Source = ETB News: Jessica Handyside
Brand new airport opens in OmanSalalah Airport – Oman’s newest – opens in Oman’s southern Dhofar region in time to service the Salalah Tourism Festival. The airport will cater to the two million annual local, regional & international visitors.Known as the ‘Eden at the edge of the desert’, Salalah is one of Oman’s best kept secrets. The charming and historic coastal city is famed for its mild temperatures, untouched beaches and the finest frankincense in the world.From June to August the Summer ‘Khareef’ (monsoon) season cools the air and turns the countryside a lush, emerald green – a phenomenon totally unique across all of Arabia – bringing thousands of visitors to the region seeking the lush coolness of this ancient city.The Salalah Tourism Festival takes place during the Khareef from 23 July to 31 August. The festival attracts local and foreign tourists seeking milder summer weather with average daytime temperatures of only 29 degrees.“Salalah’s vibrant culture reflects an historical association with Zanzibar – once a colony of Oman. Beautiful hotels, colourful souks, and a stunning natural backdrop make Salalah one of Oman’s favourite cities for travellers”, says Sultanate of Oman Tourism Country Manager Australia & New Zealand, Mona Tannous.“Tourism infrastructure development in Oman continues to surprise and delight visitors looking to explore the country beyond the traditionally popular places within easy reach of Muscat. We are thrilled about this brand new airport from where visitors will discover a treasured corner of Oman. Facing south over the Arabian sea, well known hotel chains such as Alila, Anantara, Club Med and several others have earmarked their slice of heaven in this southern region”, concluded Ms Tannous.Oman Air operates eight services a day between Muscat and Salalah, increasing to 13 a day during the Khareef season. There are also daily, direct Oman Air services to/from neighbouring Dubai.Qatar Airways flies directly from Doha to Salalah daily which can be booked as part of the affordable oneworld Visit Middle East airpass. Tourism OmanSource = Oman Tourism
AccorHotels principally creates wealth in its host countriesThe Group contributes €22 billion to world GDP, which is the equivalent of a country like Cyprus. This contribution encompasses the value added directly by the Group, plus the value generated by the activities of its suppliers, by household consumption and by public spending.The economic impacts from the Group’s activities correlate with its local presence. France, Germany, Australia, Great Britain and Brazil, for example, enjoy substantial portions of this wealth. This said, in emerging countries like India and Ivory Coast, where the Group has a smaller presence, a very large share of their contributions to GDP remains firmly rooted in the host country (close to 90%).In Asia Pacific*, close to 56,000 direct jobs and about 250,500 indirect and induced jobs are sustained by the activity of AccorHotels. According to the study, every €1.00 in revenue that AccorHotels generates in Asia Pacific* contributes globally to €1.75 of GDP, and Asia Pacific* therefore represents about 20% of the Group’s contribution to worldwide GDP (€22bn).*For the purpose of this study, Asia Pacific countries cover Australia, China, India, Indonesia and ThailandOutlookThis study underscores the fact that the Group’s value creation drive is firmly rooted in local communities, and that it thus needs to continuously step up its economic and social responsibility in its host countries.To that end, in 2014, AccorHotels updated its Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Charter and appointed a Committee to supervise observance and to enhance responsibility in the areas of management ethics, integrity and legal compliance.This footprint also sheds light on the deep interconnections between the Group, its stakeholders and its host countries. AccorHotels’ role as business partner and customer entails substantial responsibility.This has led it to set up monitoring mechanisms throughout its value chain and, in particular, to develop joint innovation initiatives with its key partners in order to improve the sector’s practices.AccorHotels will use these findings to fine-tune the new chapter in PLANET 21, its sustainable development program, which it will be presenting in the second quarter of this year. AccorHotelsSource = AccorHotels AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, has published the findings from its first socio-economic footprint study.This study is embedded in the Group’s corporate social responsibility drive, and its goal is to quantify and analyze its activity’s ripple effects throughout the worldwide and local economies.The findings from this impact map will help the Group to home in on more effective levers to:Strengthen the positive impacts in the communities around its hotels;Limit any negative impacts that may arise from its development.Two key findings: AccorHotels sustains around 880,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced)Over and above the jobs revolving directly around its core business, the Group’s activity has created or supports some700,000 indirect and induced jobs around the globe, in three main sectors: corporate services (laundry, cleaning, security), agriculture (as a result of its F&B activity) and public services (education, healthcare and transportation).Study findings suggest that every job created in an AccorHotels brand supports more than four other jobs around the world.
Source = Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts makes its Maldives debutMövenpick Hotels & Resorts makes its Maldives debutMӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts, an upscale brand within the AccorHotels Group, has raised its first flag in the Maldives, opening the doors to Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives on a private island in the Noonu Atoll.The resort, which is just 45 minutes by sea plane from the capital, Malé, features 105 villas and suites comprising 72 overwater pool villas, 30 beach pool suites and three beach spa pool residences, each with their own private plunge pool – perfect for adventure-seeking families and honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway. The resort will also be accessible by a 15-minute speedboat ride from the new airport on Maafaru island in Noonu atoll, which will in early 2019.Showcasing the culinary expertise for which the Mӧvenpick brand is renowned, the property features four dining experiences including the market-style all-day diner, ONU Marché Restaurant and bar, with buffet and à la carte dishes made from locally-sourced produce; Mövenpick Coffee & Wine Lounge, serving a range of signature Mӧvenpick coffees, chocolates, ice-creams and wines; as well as the trendy pool-side restaurant Latitude 5.5, with breathtaking ocean views. Seafood lovers can relish the vast selection of fresh catches at the overwater Bodumas Seafood Restaurant, which overlooks the Indian Ocean and is the place to admire stunning sunsets. Mӧvenpick Chocolate Hour, a key brand signature, will also be staged in the resort lobby daily, offering guests the chance to taste complimentary chocolate, presented in novel ways.“Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru is one of the few properties located in the Noonu Atoll house reef, home to some of the most beautiful diving spots in the Maldives and offering guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in this vibrant and unspoiled marine life,” said Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer, Upper Northeast & Southeast Asia and The Maldives for AccorHotels.Ideal for guests with young children, the resort features a Mӧvenpick Little Birds Club, offering a range of signature activities for all the family, as well as babysitting services.The property also plays host to a range of exciting onsite facilities including a diving centre that organises snorkelling, house reef explorations and cruises; a tennis court; state-of-the-art gym; water sports centre; and the Sun Spa by Esthederm, which offers a wide range of signature facials and massage treatments to rejuvenate the soul and body.Another stand-out feature is the exclusive beach pool spa residence with a spacious living area with resort views – the ideal venue for small weddings and private gatherings of up to 20 guests.“As the first Mӧvenpick property in the Maldives, the brand has been able to take a unique approach to sustainable development through the resort’s built-in solar panels, in-house water production and plant desalination to minimise its ecological impact on the environment,” said General Manager Michael Melzer.From November 1 until December 23, 2018, guests can book a room stay with breakfast for two starting from US$577 per night. For bookings of three nights or more, they receive a $100 resort credit, valid for food and beverage, spa treatments, water sports and diving, plus 20% off at the Diving and Water Sports Centre, with a free room upgrade subject to availability. For more information visit https://www.movenpick.com/kuredhivaruPart of AccorHotels, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has more than 80 properties in 24 countries and is the most Green Globe certified hotel brand in the world. The opening of Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives adds to AccorHotels’ growing portfolio in The Maldives with Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, and the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo set to open in December this year.About MövenpickMövenpick Hotels & Resorts makes moments by doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Providing an upscale, relaxed and uncomplicated guest experience, Mövenpick recognises that small gestures make a big difference. Whether it is chocolate hour every afternoon, customised sleep technology to ensure a restful night or specially created fun and healthy kids’ menus, Mövenpick creates a human and warm environment for guests, business partners and employees. Committed to sustainable practices and caring for its local communities, Mövenpick is the most Green Globe certified hotel brand in the world. Founded in Switzerland in 1973, but with a heritage of food and beverage excellence stretching back to the 1940s, Mövenpick holds a growing portfolio of more than 80 hotels in 24 countries. Mövenpick is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travellers to feel welcome at more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.movenpick.com | accorhotels.com
Princess Cruises Continues Activation of MedallionClass HolidaysPrincess Cruises Continues Activation of MedallionClass Holidays on Six More Ships in 2020Princess Cruises announced today the expansion of its MedallionClass Holidays to six additional ships in 2020 – commencing with Ruby Princess (Jan. 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (Aug. 16), Coral Princess (Oct. 16), and Island Princess (Dec. 20) – bringing the enhanced and personalised cruise holiday experience to Australia, New Zealand and a World Cruise for the first time.Ruby Princess will be the first homeported ship in Australia to offer the MedallionClass experience sailing on a number of itineraries to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. “We can’t wait to introduce a holiday set to revolutionise the travel experience direct from our door step,” said Princess Cruises Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison. “Australian guests eager to experience MedallionClass before it reaches Australia can book fly-cruise itineraries to Alaska, the Baltic and the Caribbean on ten other ships in the Princess fleet,” added Mr Allison.MedallionClass Holidays are currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, with Crown Princess starting July 24 and Sky Princess beginning October 12, 2019 when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform. By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.“Our guests who have experienced MedallionClass on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess have enthusiastically embraced the OceanMedallion. We are thrilled with the response and are working to extend Princess MedallionClass to more guests around the world,” added Princess Cruises President, Jan Swartz. “Princess Cruises is passionately committed to giving all our guests the opportunity for a more personalised and simplified vacation experience,” added Ms Swartz.The award-winning OceanMedallion is a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by enhancing guest-crew interactions, eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment to deliver a high level of service and personalised attention on a large scale.Princess MedallionClass Holidays are generating high guest satisfaction scores, thanks to a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to save precious time and enhance their cruise holiday, including: Expedited Arrival – From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Guests who arrive at the terminal with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner. Personalisation starts pre-cruise as guests become OceanReady before arriving at the port.On-Demand Services – Food, beverage, retail order and hospitality services delivered to your location: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNow and have them delivered directly anywhere on board, including to their stateroom.Family and Friends Locator – Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:Keyless stateroom entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalised greetings, including loyalty level recognition and celebrations, welcome the guest on their door portal.Interactive voyage timeline: Available now on ship portals, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage.Wager-based gaming: On smart devices via Ocean Casin and on select portals, guests can wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.Interactive game play: On portals located shipwide and using smart devices with PlayOcean, guests can enjoy a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customisable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests’ mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.For more information or to book visit princess.com, call 13 24 88 or contact your local travel agent. Source = Princess Cruises
NYC & Company joined with Heritage of Pride, organisers of NYC Pride to formally announce the two-year countdown to WorldPride 2019. Set to take place in New York City in June 2019, the global celebration of Pride will coincide with the historic 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement making it a year to underscore New York City’s progress and resilience as a global LGBTQ capital.A new invitational campaign, titled ‘One World, One Pride, One New York City– Unite in 2019’ was launched in New York City.Mayor Bill de Blasio, said, “As a city with such a rich history of fighting inequality and an unwavering dedication to social progress, we are thrilled to host WorldPride 2019. I can think of no better time to celebrate the LGBTQ community than on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall—a seminal moment in the struggle for inclusion and human rights that has reverberated across the country for decades.Fred Dixon, NYC & Company President and CEO, said, “New York City is one of the world’s most iconic LGBTQ destinations, and we look forward to taking the baton from Madrid as we begin the two-year countdown to WorldPride 2019. To have this extraordinary event in New York City coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall makes it that much more meaningful as we welcome the world and celebrate the continued progress of our city’s LGBTQ community.”During the 2019 WorldPride celebration in New York City, NYC Pride will feature its own ‘Millions of Moments of Pride’ campaign. The initiative is based on the premise that everyone remembers their first Pride and everyone has their own unique Pride story to share.
For the ease of Indian tourists, the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has introduced a new Multiple Entry E-visa (MEV) scheme which will allow Indian national residing abroad (except Singapore) to spend up to 30 days in Malaysia per visit and valid for three months effective from August 2018 till July 31, 2018.The visa fee will cost Rs 1000 and the applications will take 48 hours to process.India ranks among the top six tourists generating market for Malaysia with a total of 638,578 Indian visitors recorded in 2016. The initiative comes on the part of Malaysian Government to motivate Indian tourists to visit Malaysia as a preferred tourist destination, eyeing on reaching a goal of 1 billion tourists by the end of 2017.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Company News Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Disclosures Processing Service Providers 2011-08-05 Abby Gregory August 5, 2011 432 Views Share BAC Going after GSE Practices The government sponsored enterprises are feeling the heat from “”Bank of America (BAC)””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/fan. A recent filing from BAC targets “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/kb/index?page=home and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, stating that the “”criteria by which the GSEs are ultimately willing to resolve claims have become more rigid over time.””[IMAGE]BAC claims that the GSEs “”more rigid”” practices could result in critical losses on mortgage bonds, leading to damages that “”may materially change in the future based on factors outside our control.”” [COLUMN_BREAK]By the numbers, BAC sold an estimated $1.1 trillion in mortgage loans to Fannie and Freddie between 2004 and 2008, and during the second quarter of this year, approximately $121 billion of the GSE-owned loans were in default or more than 180 days in arrears.The company says it is fielding and estimated $27.7 billion in claims and that, at that rate, BAC is on track for a 30 percent net loss. BAC’s earning filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the second quarter confirm the bank’s statements.Market watchers were caught off guard by BAC’s renewed dispute with the GSEs, since much recent press has been focused on the bank’s issues with private buyers like PIMCO. Analyst Chris Mutascio, who works for “”Stifel Nicolaus””:http://www.stifel.com/framesetURL.asp?URL=/homepageFrameset.asp, noted in a report released this week that an additional $48 billion in mortgage losses has been priced in within the market, representing a total above and beyond the amount BAC has reserved against.Neither GSE has commented publicly on the issues with BAC, nor is any statement is anticipated in the near future. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology
MMI Takes Manhattan September 7, 2011 428 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-09-07 Abby Gregory On of the country’s largest independent mortgage companies, “”Mortgage Master, Inc.””:http://www.mortgagemasterinc.com/, has opened its first office in Manhattan. MMI cites the city’s relatively resilient housing market as the catalyst behind its recent expansion in New York.[IMAGE]The Manhattan branch will serve the Tri-State area, which includes Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, and Massachusetts-based MMI holds licenses in all three states. Additionally, the company is licensed in more than 20 states nationwide and boasts bricks-and-mortar locations in nine of the 20 operating areas. MMI estimates that it sells approximately $6 billion in loans annually, and the financial entity also has a strong presence in the refinancing sector.[COLUMN_BREAK]Commenting on the move, MMI’s Manhattan leader, Marc Kunen, said, “”The Manhattan housing market has been remarkably resilient. Establishing a foothold in the city will allow us to compete as one of the lowest cost providers and avail those savings to our customers.””Kunen elaborated on his optimistic approach, adding, “”There are an awful lot of people poised to buy right now.”” Kunen recently joined MMI to open its latest office, and he was previously with GFI Mortgage Bankers as a managing director for the entity’s Manhattan branch, helping grow GFI’s residential mortgage division to a $200 million enterprise.MMI’s CEO, Leif Thomsen, also weighed in on the company’s newly opened location, stating, “”Our company has been successful because we open offices in markets like Manhattan where we know we are dealing with a stable, reliable community of borrowers. The housing market is growing in the Metropolitan area, and we want to contribute to that growth by offering low cost loans to the community.””MMI’s Manhattan office boasts a tony address, located at 590 Madison Avenue, and its corporate headquarters remain in Walpole, Massachusetts. Also of note, MMI employs more originators named to the annual Top 200 loan officer list than any other U.S. lender, in terms of dollar volume. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share
Personal income rose $42.3 billion in July but consumer spending increased $46.0 billion, the “”Commerce Department””:http://www.commerce.gov/ reported Thursday. The increase in income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 0.3 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô topped expectations of a 0.3 percent boost, and the 0.04 percent increase in spending also met economist expectations.[IMAGE]The Mr. Micawber-like report (“”Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery,”” per Charles Dickens) meant personal savings dropped in July.Disposable personal income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô essentially after-tax income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose $39.9 billion in July. Personal savings fell $9.9 billion.Personal savings as a percentage of disposable (after tax) income fell to 4.2 percent in July from 4.3 percent in June. With continuing low interest rates, personal interest payments (non-mortgage interest) fell to $169.3 billion in June from $173.0 billion in May.The originally reported $61.8 billion increase in personal income for June was revised downward to $46.1 billion and the originally reported $1.3 billion drop [COLUMN_BREAK]in spending was revised upward to show June spending flat to May.Wages and salaries grew just $16.3 billion in July, down from the $29.2 billion increase in June. Transfer payments ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô predominantly unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose $10.3 billion in July after increasing $3.8 billion in June. Medicare payments rose $6.9 billion while Social Security payments fell $2.5 billion and unemployment insurance benefits dropped $0.2 billion. The drop in Social Security payments resulted from the calendar: July 1 fell on a Sunday, accelerating July payments into June.The drop in unemployment insurance payments was the seventh consecutive monthly decline ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reflecting congressional mandated reductions.The increase in personal consumption was split between goods (up $26.0 billion) and services (up $20.1 billion). The increased spending on goods though was heavily weighted to non-durable goods suggesting consumers might be reluctant to spend on higher ticket items which are often financed through borrowing. Personal interest payments ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô non-mortgage interest payments by households ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose $3.5 billion in July, the first month-month increase since March.The Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô often considered the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of inflation ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô was unchanged in July and dropped to 1.3 percent above its year ago level. In June, the Index the year-year increase was 1.5 percent. The “”core”” PCE Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô excluding food and energy ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô was also unchanged in July and was up 1.6 percent in the last year, compared with a 1.8 percent year-year increase in June. in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Spending Growth Tops Income Expectations In July August 30, 2012 420 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-30 Mark Lieberman Share
April 4, 2013 493 Views Ocwen Completes Purchase of Nation’s Biggest Reverse Mortgage Lender Share Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Ocwen Reverse Mortgage Service Providers 2013-04-04 Tory Barringer in Origination “”Ocwen Financial Corporation””:http://www.ocwen.com/index announced the closing of its deal to acquire the country’s largest reverse mortgage lender.[IMAGE]The Atlanta-based financial services holding company announced in October it had entered into an agreement with “”Genworth Financial Corporation””:https://www.genworth.com/#tab1-tab to purchase “”Liberty Home Equity Solutions””:http://libertyhomeequity.com/, at the time known as Genworth Financial Home Equity Access. The purchase price was approximately $22 million.[COLUMN_BREAK]Ocwen CEO Ron Faris expressed his excitement in the company’s third-quarter earnings report, saying the deal “”positions [Ocwen] well in a market with enormous future growth potential.””He maintained that outlook in the company’s recent announcement.””Liberty is the industry leader in helping seniors secure their retirement with strong customer-service and superior quality. We believe this promising market offers enormous long-term growth potential, and this purchase positions Ocwen to capture that growth,”” Faris said.””We are very excited to complete this transaction and become a part of one of the largest mortgage servicing and origination companies in the industry,”” said Pete Engelken, president of Sacramento-based Liberty. “”Together we will be able to help even more seniors with home equity retirement income solutions, including FHA [Federal Housing Administration] and proprietary products.””
January 12, 2015 470 Views Black Knight Financial Services Home Prices Home Values Recovery 2015-01-12 Tory Barringer Home Price Recovery Lagging Among Lower Housing Tiers The housing sector’s recovery continues to march forward, but more evidence suggests it’s mostly the top tier of the market that’s seeing all the benefits.Taking data from its monthly home price tracker, Black Knight Financial Services found in its latest report that while high-value properties in the country’s hardest-hit states have made solid strides in recovering to their pre-crisis peaks, low-value homes are still struggling to make progress.”We looked at [Home Price Index] appreciation from pre-crisis peaks to today in the 10 states currently trailing the further behind their pre-crisis housing maximums,” said Trey Barnes, SVP of loan data products at Black Knight. “The data showed a clear difference in the levels of recovery among home price tiers.”One of the best examples of Black Knight’s findings is Nevada, which suffered more than most states in the crash and is still 39 percent off its pre-crisis peak. According to the company, properties in the lowest 20 percent of the state’s housing market are down 47 percent from their peaks compared to 36 percent for the highest tier.California is even worse: Properties in the Golden State’s highest level are about 3 percent from their previous highs, while those at the bottom are still off by nearly one-third.Most of the difference in performance comes back to the fact that higher-value homes already had an advantage when the recovery started: They weren’t hit as badly when prices turned south, according to Barnes.”In many cases, these disparities between price tiers can be attributed to the fact that during the bubble, lower-tier properties appreciated at much higher rates than higher-valued properties and likewise fell harder and further when the bubble broke,” he said.Price recovery isn’t the only area in which the lower-tier market has struggled.Last week, CoreLogic revealed that while improvements in home equity have pushed nearly nine in 10 properties out of underwater status, most of those gains have been at the high end of the market, with 94 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000 in positive equity. By comparison, 95 percent of properties below that line are right-side up on their loan.Meanwhile, Zillow reported in November that the inventory of for-sale homes in the most affordable price tier was up only 68.3 percent over the year. That compares to an increase of 82.2 percent in the highest tier.”Even as conditions improve for buyers overall, it remains a tough row to hoe for first-time buyers and lower-income buyers, especially compared to their more well-off contemporaries,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share
The one-month countdown until the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule is implemented is in full effect. This checklist of the critical items you will need to will not only ensure compliance, but more importantly deliver the electronic evidence when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) comes knocking on your door asking you to prove what you said you did to prevent paying fines that could run up to $1 million dollars a day per infraction!It’s déjà vu’ all over again. I remember in 2010 when the last major RESPA overhaul occurred and the response by everyone, (Lender, LOS providers, DocPrep companies, Title system vendors) was to build a GFE/TIL calculator; however, no one stood behind them and rep and warranted their accuracy.Now fast forward to 2015 with TRID and you have the same parties building Closing Collaboration Portals (so far I’ve counted twelve) to support the online exchange of fee data prior to closing to ensure more accurate disclosures. The key issue again is who is offering a solution that has all the required steps, features and functions needed to ensure a complete and compliant process (not just the LE and CD) and rep & warrants it to protect the creditor (lender) against future compliance risk, audits or legal challenges.Clinging to the old paper process is just not going to cut it anymoreSo much focus has been on the forms, specifically the CD and the three-day delivery requirement but implementing a true compliant process requires confirmation and tracking of the following critical milestone events.Tim AndersonApplication• Intent to proceed• Three-day delivery of the initial disclosure package, (not just the LE)• Changed circumstances and re-disclosure (s)Pre-closing• Three-day delivery of final closing disclosure (CD)• Why just the one form and not all like we do with the initial disclosures?• Show receipt of deliveryElectronic evidence• RESPA reconciliation to verify tolerance and other compliance checks• Date & time stamp audit trail of all consumer communications• Record retention requirement of three years on LE and five years on CDImplementing a full electronic (eSign, eDisclosure) process from loan application to closing is the only way to truly be and ensure compliance. There is a reason why the CFPB and now FHFA is standardizing on the MISMO 3.3 data spec and that is because they are moving to support a full automated audit of the data file for compliance and not wading through hundreds of pages of the paper file to verify compliance.Additional To DosTechnology Vendors – of course you’ve been working with your technology vendors over the past several months to understand the changes made to their software and how to use the new functionality. However, some lenders that I’ve talked to eased up working with their vendors because they now had more time. Not a good idea.Training – not only should you be working with your technology vendors to get trained on their software, but you should be training your own people on the new process. A lot of your staff will be involved with TRID in some form or another; make sure they all understand processes, policies and procedures.Test, Test, and Test Again – you can’t do enough testing. Try to see where their might be holes in your own processes and ensure the right staff has tested and understands how to apply technology that is affected by TRID.Keep a Watchful Eye – After October 3, there will be a lot going on internally. Just make sure you observe how things are progressing and make necessary improvements or corrections along the way.Fines – Sure. The CFPB says it will be lenient regarding TRID violations at first, but you want TRID compliance adherence to be air tight from the get go.Going Digital – only way to truly ensure data and document compliance and integrityIf this reg does not get people to move to and support a full eMortgage process, I don’t know what will. I guess when the CFPB starts auditing for QM, ATR and TRID in earnest and begin accessing large fines for non-compliance, maybe then the origination side, like the servicing side of the business will wake up and finally change the way they do business.Editor’s note: Portions of Tim’s response appear in the September issue of MReport. To view his response and additional responses from Black Knight Financial Services, NetDirector, ARMCO, Pavaso, Mid America Mortgage, and IDS click here. September 7, 2015 661 Views Countdown to TRID–The Final Implementation Checklist in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Servicing, Technology Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule 2015-09-07 Staff Writer Share
Share Hold Harmless Grace Period TRID U.S. House of Representatives 2015-10-07 Staff Writer The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a bipartisan bill (303-121) that will provide a “hold harmless” grace period for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule, which went into effect October 3.The Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192) provides the mortgage industry with a grace period through February 1, 2016, by protecting them from enforcement actions if they make a good faith effort to comply with the TRID regulation.The Act passed through the House Financial Services Committee last week.”This bipartisan bill provides certainty to businesses that are trying to comply with the rule as well as an opportunity to work out any implementation issues that come up,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “There is no reason that CFPB regulations should prevent homebuyers from being able to buy and close on a home.”He added, “Owning a home has always been an important part of the American Dream, and government should never stop people from reaching that goal. Representative French Hill’s leadership on this bill means many Americans will be that much closer to achieving their American Dream.”The White House threatened to veto the Homebuyers Assistance Act on Tuesday, according to a Statement of Administrative Policy.”The CFPB has already clearly stated that initial examinations will evaluate good faith efforts by lenders,” the White House wrote. “The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3192, as it would unnecessarily delay implementation of important consumer protections designed to eradicate opaque lending practices that contribute to risky mortgages, hurt homeowners by removing the private right of action for violations, and undercut the Nation’s financial stability. If the President were presented with H.R. 3192, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.””Without this bill, homebuyers could encounter delays and difficulties when they try to close on their homes. Buying a home is stressful enough, and bureaucratic delays should not add to their stress.”—Jeb HensarlingThe Credit Union National Association (CUNA) expressed their gratitude and support for the bill as credit union navigate the new TRID guidelines.“This legislation is important for credit unions as they work in good faith to comply with the TRID rule, which became effective October 3,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer. “CUNA and other stakeholders repeatedly asked the CFPB to provide a formal hold-harmless period to ensure the rule has minimal impact on consumers and residential home mortgage closings. We thank the House for their quick action on this important issue and urge the Senate to do the same.”Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas), sponsor of the bill, noted that the legislation was brought about to allow for more clarity on the CFPB’s TRID rule and that “the stories he and his colleagues have heard regarding efforts to comply, and lingering uncertainty on several aspects of the rule.”In addition, co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) stated, “the bill would help ensure access to mortgage credit during the hold-harmless period because it would allow small lenders to work toward full compliance without penalty.”On Tuesday, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler stated his support for the new legislation in a letter and urged lawmakers to do the same.Thaler posed the issue of despite both the National Credit Union Association’s (NCUA’s) and the CFPB’s efforts to consider credit unions’ good faith efforts toward TRID, there are “unresolved ambiguities” within the regulation.“We thank Reps. French Hill (R-Arkansas) and Brad Sherman (D-California) for their leadership in introducing H.R. 3192 and shepherding it through the House,” Thaler said. “This legislation will erase all doubt and allow mortgage lenders to comply without fear of enforcement actions. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to help advance the legislation. ”Click here to view to view final vote results. Out of the 303 who voted in favor of the bill, 239 were Republicans and 64 were Democrats. All 121 who voted nay were Democrats; 10 representatives (seven Republicans, three Democrats) did not vote. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News House Passes TRID Grace Period Bill October 7, 2015 728 Views
in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Share November 29, 2016 759 Views Case-Shiller Home Price Index Home Price Recovery Home Prices 2016-11-29 Seth Welborn Home Prices Cross a ‘Largely Symbolic’ Threshold The September numbers from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices look impressive on the surface, surpassing peak 2006 numbers. But U.S. home prices remain still about 20 percent below that pre-recession peak, if you factor in inflation.Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, in fact, said that “crossing this threshold is largely symbolic.”Still, the numbers from September are up, and for the 53rd straight month. According to the index, home prices climbed 5.5 percent compared to a year ago, and 5.1 percent from August. Seattle and Portland led the way, each gaining 11 percent year-over-year. Twelve cities reported greater price increases in the year ending in September versus the year ending in August.The new peak, said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones, “will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery to the hoped-for start of a new advance.”Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, which experienced the biggest booms, remain well below their all-time highs, Blitzer said.“Other housing indicators are also giving positive signals,” he said. “Sales of existing and new homes are rising and housing starts at an annual rate of 1.3 million units are at a post-recession peak.”For McLaughlin, the index numbers are more ambiguous.“Home prices reaching their nominal pre-recession peaks brings mixed news for the housing market,” McLaughlin said. “It’s good news for homeowners who are no longer underwater, but not so great news for homebuyers who have seen prices outpace incomes for most of the housing market recovery.”McLaughlin called the housing recovery “uneven,” pointing out that markets that reached their pre-recession peaks are almost all in the South or West.”And within those markets,” he said, “it’s mostly high-end homes that have surpassed the peak.”According to the index, while most markets between Dallas and Seattle climbed 8 percent or higher since last year, markets between Cleveland and Boston climbed an average of about 4 percent. New York, though up since last year, showed the lowest annual price gains at just under 2 percent.Click here to view the complete Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for September.
Thirty-year Mortgage Rates Jump 11 Points 2017-03-13 Rachel Williams March 13, 2017 516 Views in Data, Headlines Share According to the most recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, average 30-year fixed mortgage rates have reached their highest mark in 2017.”The 10-year Treasury yield rose about 10 basis points this week,” said Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac Chief Economist, for the week ending March 9. “For the first time in weeks, the 30-year mortgage rate moved with treasury yields and jumped 11 basis points to 4.21 percent. The strength of Friday’s employment report and the outcome of next week’s FOMC meeting are likely to set the direction of next week’s survey rate.”Current rates are as follows:30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.21 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 9, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 4.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.68 percent.15-year FRM this week averaged 3.42 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.32 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 percent.5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.23 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.92 percent.Freddie Mac makes home ownership possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since its creation by Congress in 1970, this organization has made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide.
Share May 24, 2019 505 Views in Headlines, News Blue Sage, developers of the browser-based lending technology designed to provide borrowers with a digital mortgage experience, and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), a private mortgage insurer, announced the availability of MGIC’s mortgage insurance rate quotes and delegated MI service ordering through the Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform.Through this technology integration, loan originators can select MI products and order MGIC rate quotes or delegated MI without leaving the platform, improving the speed and accuracy of ordering MGIC MI.This partnership with MGIC is another step forward in the Wisconsin-based Blue Sage’s vision to provide an end-to-end, cloud-based digital mortgage experience capable of handling any business channel, from retail to wholesale, correspondent and even consumer direct. The integration was made possible through Blue Sage’s unique application programming interfaces (APIs), which provide seamless interoperability between the platform and third-party systems.”We’re proud to partner with MGIC, which shares our vision to streamline the mortgage insurance process for lenders and consumers,” said Joe Langner, CEO of Blue Sage. “Our automated integration with MGIC significantly reduces time and effort involved in ordering insurance, regardless of a lender’s channel of business. Through partnerships such as these, Blue Sage continues to modernize mortgage lending in the cloud in ways that other platforms simply cannot match.””We are excited to be working with Blue Sage to bring the newest MGIC offerings to our mutual customers,” said Margaret Crowley, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience at MGIC. “As we continue to define new ways of supporting the private mortgage insurance needs of our customers, partners like Blue Sage are creating platforms that support continuous innovation.” New Technology Integration Announced for Lenders cloud technology Lending Servicing 2019-05-24 Mike Albanese
appointmentsAvis Budgetdrive Avis Budget Group has appointed Tom Mooney as Managing Director for the Pacific Region, effective 1 October 2018 and based in Sydney. Tom will lead Avis Budget Group operations and activities in the Pacific Region, ensuring customer excellence, continued upward trajectory growth, employee engagement and overseeing the many mobility initiatives across the region. He will oversee all Pacific regional brands: Avis, Budget, Apex and Show Group.As a well-known name in the travel and mobility industry, Tom is a seasoned leader with an outstanding track record for driving growth and strategic execution. He joins Avis Budget Group from his previous role as CEO at Thrifty Car Rental in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Tom has held several C-suite positions in start-ups and Global corporations alike, such as IAG, NRMA and First Data Corporation.Mark Servodidio, President, International, Avis Budget Group, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Tom to the team, especially during this exciting time as we continue to break new ground in the mobility space. With a first-class career history and extensive industry credentials, we are confident Tom will make a big impact, bringing Australia, New Zealand and Singapore into a united region, transforming the business and taking Pacific’s performance to the next level.”
AIME 2019Knowledge ProgramMelbourne Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2019 has reimagined how delegates experience the event with a refreshed Knowledge Program, elevating the educational content to focus on idea sharing that draws the community together to challenge the status quo.The comprehensive program includes streams for varying levels of experience and seniority and will, for the first time, see both buyers and exhibitors able to attend sessions together – allowing further opportunity for buyers and exhibitors to connect.The Monday program will ensure participants have a connected learning journey focused on a number of topics, including thought-provoking plenary talks designed to challenge thinking, intensive skill based workshops with AIME’s first Hackathon and collaborative case study based workshops.ICCA’s integral Business Exchange will now be anchored at AIME, and the organisation will also deliver sessions debating a number of topics, including the role and relevance of professional conference organisers (PCOs).Furthermore, SITE will present results from an industry-wide survey of the incentive travel industry.Other dynamic sessions include the invitation only Leaders Forum for c-suite executive, to MEA’s two-day event management workshop program open to current students and the broader AIME community.Hosted by renowned community builder and entrepreneur, Fabian Pfortmüller, who has dedicated his career to understanding communities, believes the open-source framework will help the business event industry from across the Asia Pacific region grow.Sponsored by Melbourne Convention Bureau, AIME’s Knowledge Program has been created with input from key partners such as Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Meetings & Events Australia (MEA).“We believe that education is fuel for economic growth. We understand the value in knowledge sharing and we are thrilled to be able to provide more opportunities to forge new connections and share industry experience. We want people to leave AIME and not only be able to measure a positive return on investment, but also having upskilled their professional and personal development,” said Matt Pearce, CEO, Talk2 Media & Events.Full Knowledge Program details will be available in November 2018. AIME is the first business event to kick off 2019 proceedings globally and will be running 18–20 February 2019.For more details or to submit interest in attending AIME in 2019, visit aime.com.au.
Meetings, conferences, Incentive travel and events, all the latest MICE news wrapped up in one weekly feature.This is the latest news that you need to know for the MICE sector.Feed Your Passions at Festivals, Events and More in Singapore throughout 2019Singapore’s 2019 calendar is filled with possibilities forvisitors of all passions to indulge to their hearts’ content. Whether you’re aFoodie, Explorer, Culture Shaper, Action Seeker, Socialiser or Collector, thereis an exciting and diverse line-up of activities in 2019 to enjoy with thosewho share your passions. Among the highlights are notable international events suchas The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, which will be held in Asia for thefirst time; the return of the most anticipated circus act Cirque du Soleil witha new show Kurios; new edition of the visually arresting Rainforest Lumina atthe Singapore Zoo; Disney events featuring Pixar as part of the third year ofpartnership with the Singapore Tourism Board; and art events such as theSingapore Biennale and the inaugural Southeast Asia (S.E.A.) Focus; theSingapore Bicentennial celebrations featuring a slew of events lined up such asthe Fort Canning Park experiential showcase, through the year to commemorateSingapore’s 200 years of history.Adventure Conference to be held in QueenstownNew Zealand’s adventure capital Queenstown has won a bid tohost the 2020 International Adventure Conference, which will attract leadingtourism researchers to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. The winningbid was presented by Dr Susan Houge Mackenzie on behalf of her team from theUniversity of Otago, Queenstown Resort College and the Otago PolytechnicInstitute of Sport and Adventure. Houge Mackenzie said Queenstown’s reputation as an adventuretourism hub made it a stand-out choice for the Adventure Tourism ResearchAssociation (ATRA). “Thanks to the support of Tourism New Zealand’s ConferenceAssistance Programme, we have been able to bring a landmark event for tourismresearch to New Zealand,” she saidTourism Australia invites you to join them at IMEX AmericaSecureyour spot on the Australia stand at USA’s largest meetings industry tradeshow, IMEX America. By joining Tourism Australia on the Australia stand youwill have the opportunity to do business, network and develop your relationshipwith international buyers. In 2018 more than 70 business leads were generatedat the show. IMEX America will be held from 10 – 12 September 2019 at the SandsExpo Convention Centre in Las Vegas. IMEX USAMICE NewsQueenstownSingapore Tourism BoardTourism Australia
Comments Share GLENDALE, Ariz. — For Ryan Williams, getting back on the practice field Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium was a very important step.After all, given that he’s missed the last few weeks due to injury and, in the process, may have lost his hold on a roster spot, playing is now of the utmost importance. And he expects to play Saturday when the Cardinals take on the San Diego Chargers in the team’s third preseason game of the season. Thus, Williams is most definitely behind.“Every evaluation for him is critical for him now,” Arians said before Williams got back on the field Thursday. “He’s missed so much that I want to see how he does in practice before I put him in a game. “Hopefully he’ll do as well as I think he will and be able to get out there and play full speed, get tackled.”Williams did not do as much Thursday as he wanted to, but did get a chance to shake off some of the rust he’s built up by sitting on the sidelines. Where that leaves him for Saturday depends on how he feels over the next couple days, but for now Williams is confident he’ll be ready to go and be effective when on the field.Asked if he’s confident his leg will allow him to show what he can do, Williams’ response was pretty straightforward.“Yeah.” – / 21 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I will be out there,” he said. “I don’t know how many reps I’ll get, but I’ll be out there.“Hopefully I can get some plays and get in the end zone.”Williams has dealt with his fair share of injuries, as a ruptured patella tendon cost him his rookie season in 2011 and then a shoulder injury forced him to miss the final 11 games in 2012. Though talented, he does not have enough on film to allow a new coach like Bruce Arians to feel comfortable without seeing what the player can do first-hand. And that’s why Williams understands the importance of the next few weeks.“I have about two weeks left — well, a week and a half left — to kind of erase the past couple weeks that I haven’t been out here,” he said. “If everything works well, then it will. But that’s what I’m hoping for, that’s what I’m shooting for.”And likely what the coaching staff needs to see, especially given the depth at the running back position. Because along with Williams, the Cardinals have Rashard Mendenhall, Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, though only Mendenhall has experienced any kind of success in the NFL. All have shown flashes of ability, and all have been healthy enough to get a good amount of work in this training camp. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer celebrates after the Cardinals defeated the Cleveland Browns 34-20 in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Your browser does not support the audio element. 0 Comments Share “[Bruce Arians] had a frank conversation with us,” defensive lineman Frostee Rucker said of what happened in the locker room at halftime. “He had a frank conversation with us about how we were playing in the first half. Obviously, we weren’t playing up to our standard and we had to turn that around quick. He barks and we listen.”“The first half (we were) sluggish,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t our type of football. We got a mouthful from B.A. at halftime and a lot of guys stepped up in the second half and we started making plays.”The Cardinals forced a Browns punt on the opening possession of the second half, then went on to score a touchdown four plays into their first drive of the third quarter. After forcing another punt the next time Cleveland had the ball, the Cardinals needed just four plays to score again, retaking a lead they would never relinquish.To say a 34-20 game was a rout would be inaccurate, but the Cardinals really dominated the second half. The Browns tallied just 98 yards of net offense over the final two quarters, with the Cardinals forcing a pair of turnovers. The defense harassed and battered McCown while being stout against the run, and ended the only two drives that saw the Browns cross into Arizona territory with turnovers. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires But something changed for them at halftime, and as the team reaches the midway point of its season, there is a hope — maybe even a belief — that what you saw in the second half is more indicative of what kind of team the Cardinals really are.“Six and two is not bad in the NFL,” Mathieu said. “Those two losses are games that we felt like we were in control of, and at some point in the game, we had an opportunity to win.“Going forward, we need to start fast, play consistent for four quarters and win the turnover battle with these teams coming up on our schedule.” – / 18 TEMPE, Ariz. — Through 30 minutes of football Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals trailed the Cleveland Browns by a score of 20-10 and looked rather poor in the process.Though they had gained 225 net yards, the Cardinals lost a pair of fumbles and seemed to have no answer for the Josh McCown-led Browns offense.When play resumed, as the picture quality on TV looked worse for many viewers around the Valley, the team itself looked better. Much, much better. Top Stories LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach Arizona also did not punt in the second half, scoring on five of seven possessions (with the final one being a pair of kneel downs as time expired).“We just pulled our heads out,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said of what changed. “We played pretty crappy in the first half. First good drive started off, and it was just play after play after play not executing. Coach, we got in the locker room, he was pretty upset as he should have been. We were able to play much better defense. Came out third quarter, got a stop. We were able to make some plays down the field, got it going. It was great to see Troy (Niklas) in there a couple of times and started rolling from there.”What exactly Arians said will not be known by the public, nor is it likely fit for public consumption. Suffice to say whatever it was, it achieved the desired result. However, the third-year coach downplayed what he told the team.“Oh yeah,” he said when asked if too much is being made of it. “It wasn’t even close to when I was young.”If there is something to take away from the game besides Arians’ apparent way with words, it is that the Cardinals are definitely better than the Browns. Their records a good judge of their talent, the road team found a way to struggle for most of 30 minutes and overcome a quartet of turnovers to win rather comfortably. It’s not exactly a recipe for consistent success, but in this case, the effort allowed the Cardinals to reach their bye week with a 6-2 record and a lead in the NFC West. To some, needing to flip the proverbial switch in order to win could be considered a bad thing; to others, the ability to do exactly that could be seen as a positive. Then again, when a deficit seems to be more about what a team is doing to itself rather than what is being done to it, perhaps it makes sense that things could quickly and easily turn around.“It’s very hard to flip it,” Arians said. “When you look at the tape, it was just a few plays in the first half. The turnover where we gave the ball on the 9-yard line. We gave up two great plays. We hold them to a 3rd-and-9 and we gave up a post pattern. We had good pressure. We fumbled the ball going in for a touchdown, but there were a lot of really good things in the first half. It was just a few plays like a 50-yard pass on an easy slant route to a running back, where you cannot give up inside leverage and bite on that fake and miss a tackle. It should have been a 10-yard gain at the worst and it was a 50-yard gain, so there were a few plays.“It wasn’t a lackluster performance. It was just a few plays.”The Cardinals have lost two games this season. There was a common thread throughout them, and that was turnovers along with penalties and missed opportunities inside the red zone. Sunday in Cleveland, Arizona seemed to be on its way to suffering a third defeat to a team that it probably should have beaten because of, well, turnovers. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
For over 87 years, The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel has been a classic landmark of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It has been revered as a destination for the discerning traveller, as well as a favourite haunt for the most prominent residents of New York City. Writer/Director Matthew Miele (Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s / Crazy About Tiffany’s documentary) signed on to tell the story of The Carlyle through a 90-minute documentary. In production for the past three years, Last Night at The Carlyle will offer an exclusive peek into the renowned hotel and is set to be released in the northern spring of 2017.The documentary will explore the history of this Manhattan mainstay since its completion in 1930 and will feature many loyal guests, celebrities and residents to find out how they define its intangible draw. Additionally, the film will highlight tales from the tenured staff, who will share their affinity for the hotel and what is truly behind its legendary service and reputation.Well-known names featured in the film include Woody Allen, George Clooney, Elaine Stritch, Anjelica Huston, Vera Wang, Anthony Bourdain, Roger Federer, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Lenny Kravitz and Naomi Campbell, to name a few. Over 100 personalities and regulars have been interviewed to discover their best stories and unique insight to this legendary address. Additionally, hotel associates who are famous in their own right – from Hector Ruiz, the discreet hotel ambassador to Tommy Rowles, the well-known Bemelmans bartender for over 50 years – have also shared their experiences about the beloved property.
Go back to the enewsletterIn a move to bring the vessels in line with Scenic Diamond and Scenic Emerald, Scenic is trimming capacity on eight of its European river cruise ships and upgrading onboard experiences for 2019.The Australian-owned luxury cruise operator has unveiled plans to slice up to six staterooms on eight of its so-called “Space Ships”, enabling it to increase the size of some existing staterooms and introduce two new 47m² Royal Owners suites.Scenic Royal Owners SuiteVessels to go under the knife include Scenic Amber, Crystal, Jade, Jasper, Jewel, Opal, Ruby and Pearl, all of which operate on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.Passenger capacity will dip on Scenic Ruby and Pearl from 167 to 161, and will drop from 169 to 165 guests on the remainder of the fleet. The number of crew aboard the ships will remain unchanged.Scenic’s three-seat Salt Therapy Lounge.The size of the ships’ wellness centres will be boosted to include a Salt Therapy Lounge (which is unique to Scenic), along with a gym, hairdresser and massage room. The Salt Lounge is a humidity- and temperature-controlled room crafted from salt bricks that create a microclimate of a natural salt mine, said to have curative effects. The facility will feature three lounge chairs divided by curtains for privacy, low-level lighting and calming music. The Salt Therapy Lounge is available to guests to use as they desire.Scenic Diamond and Emerald, which sail on France’s Rhône and Saône rivers, underwent the same redesign last year.The bathroom in Scenic’s Royal Owners SuiteA spokesperson for Scenic told LATTE the upheaval will be carried out over the European winter when the ships are all in dry dock and will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.“[There will be] no interruptions to the cruise season at all,” the Scenic spokesperson said.Go back to the enewsletter
RelatedAirports are ‘the new real estate’Spurred by liberalisation, international airline investment strategy is increasingly becoming a game of real estate.BMI branches expand in different directionsThe bmibaby low cost branch of the business has this week announced new flight routes from Manchester Airport.Open Skies opens new chapter in transatlantic competitionA historic corner has been turned in transatlantic aviation, with the EU-US Open Skies agreement now operative. A leading Indian airline is reportedly taking a new approach to securing highly coveted landing spots at west London hub Heathrow.Jet Airways has been alerted to the holding of 11 per cent of Heathrow landing slots by British Midland (BMI) and is reportedly seeking a takeover of the airline in order to cement its London footing.Jet Airways, the largest domestic airline in India, was claimed by the Sunday Telegraph to have approached BMI chairman Sir Michale Bishop with a view to buying out his 51 per cent stake in the firm.An aviation consultant told the Times of India: “Sir Michael Bishop owns 51 per cent stake in UK carrier British Midland (BMI). BMI has control over 11 per cent slots in Heathrow and Jet Airways has approached Sir Bishop for controlling stakes in the carrier. In some ways, it’s a repetition of the Air Sahara buyout. We are looking at gaining slots in major airports during peak hours by buying stakes in airlines that are rich in this aspect.”Competition for a BMI buyout could be high, with Heathrow transatlantic flyers BA and Virgin Atlantic already voicing an interest, alongside Lufthansa – already nearly a 30 per cent stake-holder in the firm.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
More Brits are booking flights to destinations that offer value-for-money as well as warmth, the latest currency trend from the International Currency Exchange (ICE) has revealed.According to the ICE’s monthly report, the Thai baht has broken into the top three foreign currencies bought by British travellers, while the East Caribbean dollar made the list for the first time.The Brazilian real jumped to seventh position, experiencing an increase in orders of 85 percent.While destinations offering guaranteed sun are proving popular, a number of people appear to have been booking flights to Czech and Swiss ski resorts, with both the koruna and Swiss franc remaining in the lists top ten.Andrew Hamilton, ICE’s head of marketing, said it was a “big surprise” that the Thai baht had managed to push ahead of the Australian dollar.”Even further abroad, Brazil looks set to be this season’s Mexico, as Brits recognise the great exchange rate on the Brazilian real,” he said.The top two currencies bought by UK travellers in February were the euro and the US dollar, while the New Zealand dollar and Polish zloty were the eighth and ninth most popular.Last month the ICE said that Russia, Mexico and Brazil were the destinations where British holidaymakers are able to get better value for their sterling.Related Reading: Don’t Ignore the Eurozone ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedThailand is Brits’ third most popular holiday destinationThailand has remained the third most popular holiday destination for Brits, research from the ICE has revealed.More Brits book flights to long-haul destinations this half termThere has been a “surge in demand” for overseas currencies as more people book long-haul flights this half term.More Brits could book flights to Iceland last-minuteIceland, Jamaica and Hungary offer the best value for money for British travellers.
Flight comparison company Skyscanner today launches cheap flights into space. While excitement is building about the increasingly imminent prospect of space tourism following Virgin Galactic’s successful test flights in March, the prohibitive $200,000 price tag makes this a final frontier too far for many would be astronauts. “Virgin Galactic is doing a brilliant job of creating excitement and raising awareness that space tourism is a real possibility, but this is not a one rocket space race by any means and space travel doesn’t have to cost the earth,” said Skyscanner co-founder Barry Smith. “The no frills model has transformed air travel over the last decade so it’s no surprise a low cost contender has emerged to make this market more accessible to all.”Low cost space travel venture Copenhagen Suborbitals – based in Denmark – is taking a no-frills approach in order to bring the cost of space travel back down to earth. Prices per trip have not been finalised but are anticipated to substantially undercut the Virgin Galactic fare. There will be no in-flight service, no baggage allowance and no seating – passengers will have to stand throughout the duration of the space flight, although ‘buttock and arm pit support’ will be available.“We’d like to call this company the Ryanair of space travel but we can’t – you don’t have to pay extra for check-in baggage. In fact you can’t take any baggage at all,” said Barry Smith. RelatedSpace cowboys: 5 ways to be an astronautReach the final frontier, with five space-faring companies offering blast-off for ordinary earthlingsRyanair to launch new Plus and Irish Gold luxury class flight servicesRyanair to launch new Plus and Irish Gold luxury class flight servicesThe future of travel: Gareth Williams, Skyscanner CEO predictsDeep-sea tourism, the rise of peer to peer travel, flying cars and why teleportation would kill Skyscanner (but he’s not worrying). He concludes: “It’s one small click for the user, but one giant leap for us as a company, opening up opportunities for our business to boldly go into some exciting new market niches. It’s even possible we may seem some interest from forlorn former Concorde passengers who miss the view on flights from London to New York. Although the flights are currently starting from a barge in the Baltic Sea, and I’m not actually sure where they’re landing, so that may not be ideal for them.”Copenhagen Suborbitals is planning a test flight in June of this year, powering a spacecraft into a suborbital trajectory. Budding astronauts can follow progress as the company launches a series of rockets to validate and test performance before launching humans into space.For further information view our low cost space flights and fares pagesPictures from: Copenhagen SuborbitalsReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map