No electronics Jordanian airline suggests analyzing the meaning of life

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first_imgNo electronics? Jordanian airline suggests analyzing the meaning of life Tags: LOL, social media Posted by Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img AMMAN — Royal Jordanian Airlines is using the electronics ban brought in earlier this week from the United States and United Kingdom to get some LOLs on Facebook.Just a few days after the ban the airline posted ’12 things to do on a 12-hour flight with no laptop or tablet’, a tongue-in-cheek list with suggestions like ‘analyze the meaning of life’ .They also suggested starring at each other.They also broke out some poetry. Friday, March 24, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Five Epic National Parks headlines Trafalgars new USA Canada lineup

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first_img Posted by Share TORONTO — Trafalgar’s just-released 2019 USA & Canada program brings together 39 hand-crafted itineraries – including three new trips – to more than 80 cities across North America including Alaska, Hawaii and Central America.Clients can save 10% on select trips when paid in full by Jan. 17, 2019.“From icons, to locals to the beyond, Trafalgar’s in-depth and immersive 2019 USA & Canada program offers Canadian clients to live ‘The Good Life’ in the Americas,” says Wolf Paunic, president of CostSaver and Trafalgar Canada. “They can learn local stories with a collection of Trafalgar’s experiences that they won’t find anywhere else.”The three new trips are:Alaska and YukonThis new 14-day Alaska and the Yukon adventure has everything from Klondike tales to frontier landscapes and the continent’s highest peaks and Denali National Park. In Matanuska Susitna Valley, clients will drive along scenic country roads and past towns bathed in sunlight all day and night in summer. Guests will also have the opportunity to take part in a Trafalgar ‘Local Specialist’ experience, where they will meet a local Gold miner who will reveal the past and present value of gold in its influence of the region in Dawson City.Cape Cod DelightsMore news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksKicking off with a quick ferry ride from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, clients on the eight-day Cape Cod Delights will see brightly painted cottages, colourful farmers’ markets and quiet beaches. Travellers can also ‘Delve into Culture’ and tread in the footsteps of pilgrims and patriots, exploring the living history of Plimoth Plantation and gain insight into the original 17th-cenutry British settlement of Plymouth Colony.Five Epic National ParksOn Trafalgar’s new nine-day Five Epic National Parks adventure, clients will experience the natural splendor of the Old West, from the peaks of the Grand Tetons, the bubbling mudpots of Yellowstone, the eerie hoodoos of Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park. Trip highlights include a rare opportunity to cruise the Snake River on a float trip in Grand Teton National Park via a Trafalgar ‘Local Specialist’ experience. Clients can keep an eye out for moose and grizzly bears amidst the pine-clad river banks.Zion National Park, Utah, USA Travelweek Group Tags: Trafalgarcenter_img Wednesday, June 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> ‘Five Epic National Parks’ headlines Trafalgar’s new USA & Canada lineuplast_img read more

TICO signs on with new education partner

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first_img Travelweek Group Share Tuesday, December 4, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: TICOcenter_img Posted by TICO signs on with new education partner TORONTO — TICO says it’s moving to a new education provider effective Jan. 2, 2019.Oliver Publishing Inc. (OPI) “is a recognized leader in regulated e-learning for the financial industry and a leading education innovator in the FinTech industry, continually raising the bar by giving students the opportunity to grow professionally through continuing education, licensing and e-learning solutions,” says TICO.The move to the new provider will allow the introduction of some program enhancements with more upgrades to follow in the future, says TICO President and CEO Richard Smart.“We are transitioning to a best-in-class learning management system (OPI) to enhance the overall student experience,” says Smart. “We also wish to thank Yardstick Assessment Strategies, for its service over the years and look forward to our future direction with Oliver Publishing.”Anyone with questions regarding the changes to TICO’s Education Standards Program should contact TICO at ticoexam@tico.ca or call 1-888-451-8426 (TICO).For information about the changes and enhancements to the Education Standards Program, click here.last_img read more

TKarpio celebrates contemporary art across San José

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first_imgHer father, Jacob Karpio, is a Costa Rica-based, world-renowned collector and gallery designer. His gallery was named one of the 75 best galleries in the world (post-war to post-millennium) by the German publication “International Art Galleries.” Karpio shares title with Beyeler, Leo Castelli, Yvonne Lambert, Marian Goodman and Marlborough. All are considered key players in the evolution of contemporary art, and represent the most important artists of recent years.“He’s discovered so much talent,” Tulsi Karpio said. “These events are a celebration of this success.”One of the most notable shows in the tribute is “La Encomienda,” on display in the Klaus Steinmetz Gallery in Escazú. Comprised of Peruvian artists hand-selected by Tulsi Karpio during her time in Lima, this show explores minimalist urban geometry.One of the artists is Christian Fuchs, whose work reinterprets city centers. “These locations are testimonies to the people that exist in them,” he said. “The graffiti, cafés and faces are the footprints people leave in public places, and I interpose these images for additional interpretation.”The image Fuchs’ is displaying in “La Encomienda” was taken in the U.S. city of San Francisco and is one of 20 in a separate series.Hans Stoll, another of the artists, created two pieces by layering images of cities around the world. “Cities grow with confusion,” he said. “I photographed panoramas of places that weren’t always especially pleasing to the eye, and mounted them atop each other in the same disorganized manner in which urban areas can develop.”Of the 17 pieces in Stoll’s series “Hipertélico Urbano”, the two that appear in the Klaus Steinmetz Gallery are made of images from Lima and Barcelona.Other participating artists in “La Encomienda” include Jorge Cabieses, Mateo Cabrera, Fabricio Calmet, Sergio Fernández, Nicole Franchy, Diego Lama, Cecilia Paredes, Fernando Otero and Luis Martin Bodganovich. The curator is Guiliana Vidarte.Taca Airlines is the premier sponsor of the “La Encomienda” artists, and The Klaus Steinmetz Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibition runs through Sept. 22. Facebook Comments As a gift to her father to celebrate his 30 years as a gallerist, Tulsi Karpio is hosting art openings across San José.“I was born into this culture of art,” Karpio said. “I am definitely following in my dad’s footsteps.” Other gallery showings in T+Karpio, listed by gallery, artist and opening time, include:  Aug. 30 Klaus Steinmetz Gallery: 10 Peruvian artists, opens 8 p.m.Enmarcarte Gallery: Chile’s Ciro Beltran, opens 6 p.m. Aug. 31 Kiosko SJ, numerous artists, opens 6 p.m.TEOR/eTica, numerous artists, opens 6:30 p.m.MADC: Adan Vallecillo, opens 7 p.m.Adromeda: Venezuela’s Clemencia Labin, Argentina’s Benjamin Aitala and Gaby Messina, opens 8 p.m.Jacob Karpio Gallery: Argentina’s Manuel Esnoz, Jose Rosenblatt and Javier Rossel with Chile’s Francisco Valdes, opens 9 p.m. Sept. 19 Cuartos Collective in El Cedral, Avenida Escazu: Guatemala’s Maria Fernanda Carlo and other Costa Rican artists, all day Sept. 2Villa Caletas-Zephyr Place: Argentina’s Ana Cruz Iturrieta and Gerardo Echevarria, opens 3 p.m. No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica to pay 420000 for banning in vitro fertilization

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first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican legislators face criminal suit for failing to pass IVF law Human rights court to rule on Costa Rica in vitro fertilization case Evangelical lawmaker Justo Orozco to preside over commission studying IVF bill Does Costa Rica’s in vitro ban clash with its reputation as a civil liberties leader? The government of Costa Rica will pay $360,000 in compensation to 18 couples who were affected by the country’s ban on in vitro fertilization, and lawyers who represented them will receive $60,000 in fees.Each of the couples will receive $20,000 on Feb. 25 “in compliance with the order issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights,” Communications Minister Francisco Chacón said on Tuesday.Health Minister Daisy Corrales said officials have set a timetable to ensure prompt submission of a bill for regulating IVF at the Social Security System, or Caja. A first draft bill will be presented to President Laura Chinchilla no later than March 1, and will then be submitted for study by the Legislative Assembly on March 11.On Jan. 22, Caja physicians began offering court-ordered psychological therapy to the victims in the case, which is expected to end March 6.On Dec. 20, the human rights court ruled against the Costa Rican government for prohibiting IVF based on a previous ruling by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court issued in 2000.In its judgment, the court ruled that the ban “affected the rights to private and family life, procreation rights and the personal integrity of victims.”The justices said that “the decision to become a parent belongs to the right to privacy and includes, in this case, the decision to become a mother or father in the genetic or biological sense.”The court ordered the restoration of the right to assisted reproduction, and the government promised to implement the judgment in its entirety.The ban on IVF was promoted by religious conservative sectors, arguing that it is a violation of the constitutional right to life, because it requires the destruction of unused embryos. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Onward to Brazil Costa Rica US celebrate World Cup qualification

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first_imgJamaica’s Lloyd Doyley (3) fights for the Ball with Costa Rican player Junior Diaz during their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Tuesday, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Costa Rica qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Thousands of euphoric Costa Ricans jammed the streets of San José and other cities Tuesday night after their beloved national football team, “La Sele,” qualified for a trip to Brazil in 2014 to participate in World Cup finals play.Although a match between Costa Rica and Jamaica ended in a 1-1 tie, it was enough to guarantee a spot in Brazil.In San José, Costa Ricans flooded parks, pedestrian boulevards and central roundabouts, waving Costa Rican flags and chatting, “Oeeeeoeoeoeee, Ticooos, Ticooos,” a traditional rallying cry for Costa Rican football fans.Horns were still blaring at 11 p.m., with caravans of cars parading around the city, keeping awake anyone who dared sleep away the event.Some Tico fans even sported Honduran flags, after Costa Rica’s Central American colleagues from the north tied Panama 2-2, sending both the United States and Costa Rica to Brazil.Ticos also were elated that the U.S. handed a resounding defeat to Mexico, 2-0, in a match in the Midwest. While some Costa Ricans remain miffed about the infamous March “blizzard match,” in which the U.S. beat Costa Rica 1-0 in nearly whiteout conditions, others were ready to move on.“Everything’s all good; now we’re friends,” said La Sele fan Charly Fariseo at a local pub in central San José, referring to the recent heated rivalry between the U.S. Men’s National Team and La Sele. (Costa Rica walloped the U.S. 3-1 in an emotionally charged match last Friday at San José’s National Stadium.)Earlier on Tuesday, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla announced that if Costa Rica – not exactly known for its moderation – qualified, public employees would be given the day off on Wednesday, ensuring that the party would extend into the early morning hours. This is the fourth time La Sele has made it to the World Cup finals. The Ticos failed to qualify for the previous World Cup in South Africa in 2010, the U.S. kept them out with a last minute goal in their final qualifying match. But this time, Costa Rica did away with the suspense. For the 2014 World Cup, La Sele clinched its place in the tournament with two qualifiers remaining. And Costa Rica supporters, thrilled to return to the sport’s biggest stage, took over the streets of downtown San José for an all night party.Concacaf Standings (W-L-D; 2 matches remain)*United States 5-2-1 16 points*Costa Rica 4-1-3 15 pointsHonduras 3-3-2 11 pointsMexico 1-2-5 8 pointsPanama 1-2-5 8 pointsJamaica 0-4-4 4 points(* = Has qualified for the 2014 World Cup. Top 3 teams advance to World Cup; 4th team plays New Zealand for berth) Facebook Comments Landon Donovan #10 of the United States Men’s National Team celebrates his second half goal against Mexico. Local TV stations broadcast images of La Sele players closely watching the Honduras-Panama game from a locker room at Kingston’s National Stadium, in Jamaica. With the final whistle indicating a tie match, Tico players erupted in celebration.“This is my life’s dream,” declared an emotional Jorge Luis Pinto, Costa Rica’s coach. “I’ve worked toward this with honor and dedication for many years,” he added.The Colombia-born coach failed in his previous two attempts to lead a national team to the World Cup. In 2005, the Pinto was sacked in favor of Alexandre Guimarães before the 2006 tournament in Germany. In 2007, he coached the Colombian squad but failed to qualify. Before the Jamaica match, Pinto guaranteed this time he would be leading the La Sele to Brazil.Thousands of kilometers away, in the U.S. state of Ohio, the U.S. men’s team also celebrated, breaking out bottles of champagne and toasting the thousands of U.S. fans who remained in the stadium following that team’s victory against Mexico.The U.S. team again tops the Concacaf standings with 16 points, followed by Costa Rica with 15, Honduras with 11, Mexico and Panama with 8, and Jamaica with 4.center_img AFP AFP No related posts.last_img read more

So much for dialogue and consensus Legislative Assembly snubs President Solís 100day

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first_imgPresident Luis Guillermo Solís probably didn’t expect a “Kumbaya” moment at the Legislative Assembly when he requested an audience with lawmakers to present his administration’s much-anticipated100-day report, but he thought they’d at least let him show up to the campfire.On Monday evening, hours after the president requested an hour Thursday afternoon to present his assessment of the government as he found it after President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) left office in May, the heads of the fractious political parties refused to give him the floor. Solís blamed the National Liberation Party (PLN) for the delay in the report, which would be a first of its kind in Costa Rica.“This is not an attempt to generate arbitrary judgments — that belongs to other government bodies — but an opportunity to speak frankly, with respect, and deeply about [the fact that] today the decision-making process of the Costa Rican government has become dysfunctional and to highlight the poor practices that have taken root in public administration,” Solís said during a press conference on Tuesday.“This country needs political dialogue. It was a good-faith attempt to propose it,” he added.The president said that his team could not wait any longer to present the report, which would help guide the direction of his government’s public policy, including the upcoming National Development Plan, expected in November. Solís said the report would be presented to the public, including social and business leaders, as well as any lawmakers who choose to attend on Thursday, Aug. 28, at Teatro Melico Salazar at 7 p.m.While Solís has struggled to work through his government’s differences with his own Citizen Action Party in the legislature, he reserved his harshest criticisms for the PLN, which controlled the presidency from 2006 to 2014.“I get the impression that there is concern in the National Liberation Party over what this report says; second, that this report could set a precedent to review the state of the government … ; third, I see in National Liberation that they don’t what to support the normal, natural management of the government,” the president said, pausing to choose his words.PLN lawmaker Juan Luis Jiménez released a statement Tuesday saying that there was still a chance for the president to present the 100-day report at the Assembly, but that he would have to respond to questions from lawmakers.Casa Presidencial has not commented on the possibility of presenting the report to the legislature again. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Solís claims $112 million in losses from corruption in speech highlighting first 100 days of his administration No clear path forward, opposition lawmakers lament after Solís’ 100-day report Costa Rica elections demonstrate country’s democratic stability Brazilian corruption probe reveals possible links to Costa Rica, Guatemalalast_img read more

Tax information returns extension deadline ends next week

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first_imgThe deadline for filing informative tax returns has been extended from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, and theFinance Ministry is advising taxpayers to do it on time to avoid fines and other problems.The ministry’s Tax Administration extended the deadline, usually the end of November, due to delays caused by the national emergency for the passage in the country of Hurricane Otto. The government last week declared a national emergency and ordered the closure of most public agencies on Nov. 25 and 25.“This situation made it impossible to address many people’s inquires related to the filing of electronic forms D-150, D-151, and D-158,” the ministry reported in a news release.Taxpayers must file their informative returns using the Tax Administration’s Declar@7 software. The program can be downloaded for free from the Finance Ministry’s website.Those who fail to submit informative returns before the deadline are exposed to fines ranging from 10 to 100 base salaries, equivalent to ₡4.2-₡42 million ($7,475-74,750).The informative returns do not involve payments. The Tax Administration uses the data to cross-check taxpayers’ information.Here’s a list of returns due on Monday, Dec. 5.D-150:Mandatory for individuals or corporations that hire services from foreign companies with representation in the country, including transportation, communications, insurance, films, international news or other services.D-151:Any person or corporation engaged in the buying or selling of goods or services in the annual amount of more than ₡2.5 million (some $4,477) must file this information return to the Tax Administration. People who offer professional services, landlords or those who receive dividends from savings or commissions exceeding ₡50,000 ($90) per year must also file this form.Francisco Ovares, president of the Costa Rican Public Accountants Association, said that taxpayers only are required to report basic details of the individuals or corporations with whom they had transactions during the fiscal year.“Basically they should report the individual’s or corporation’s ID number — cédula — and the amounts paid or received,” Ovares said.D-158:This form is an informational return for people, private businesses and corporations that host or organize auctions in the agricultural sector. These companies are responsible for providing a report of buyers and sellers participating in such auctions. Related posts:New tax brackets for the new tax year Vehicle insurance costs to go up in November Finance Ministry issues warning ahead of shopping season Government tables draft bills aimed at approving fiscal reforms These are the other tax deadlines coming up in December and January: D-101:This return must report all income and expenses recorded between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016. The sanction for not filing the Income Tax return on time is half a base salary, or ₡212,100 ($377).The information should be submitted online through the Virtual Tax Administration (ATV) online platform on the Finance Ministry’s website.The deadline for filing and paying the Income Tax is Thursday, Dec. 15.D-152:Individuals or corporations that collect Income Tax from their employees must file this informative return by Jan. 15, 2016. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

5 questions for a Costa Rican musician and photographer

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first_imgCosta Rican musician Alexis Morales, 30, and photographer Ginette Venegas, 30, have merged their disciplines – and their lives  – for the past 12 years. This couple from Grecia, Alajuela, have balanced their work, family and studies over time.Morales began to play the trumpet by mistake: he grabbed a trumpet at school so he could place some Play-Doh in it as a joke, but the instrument ended up sparking his interest in music and leading to one of his greatest passions. He went on to study music at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the O. Vecchi-A Tonelli Conservatory in Modena, Italy, and has performed with the National Symphonic Orchestra, the Heredia Symphonic Orchestra, the UCR Professional Orchestra, the San José Concert Band and the Metropolitan Ensemble.As for Venegas, she first studied geology at the UCR and then transferred to the University College of Alajuela (CUNA) to study administration and water resource management. However, none of those careers were her true passion, so she then decided to transfer to photography at the National Technical University (UTN). Both her father and brother had always taken photographs, and she now works with them at their studio Foto Fantasías in Grecia.The Tico Times caught up with Morales and Venegas via Skype to talk about their lives and work. Excerpts follow.Why did you choose music and photography?AM: For me it was very difficult to make the decision to dedicate my life to music. In my family there were no musicians and there’s no one close to the arts. I was up against many stereotypes… Besides that, I was in a high school where they told us to study traditional careers such as law, economics or business, and when I decided to study music, two of my teachers spoke with my parents to make them convince me not to study music, but I loved it. There was nothing else that fulfilled me as much. It had become a lifestyle. There was a moment in which I had no doubt about dedicating my life to it. It was difficult at the time, but it got better.GV: Photography was a path that matured through time. Since I had always worked at the studio helping my brother and my father, I had certain knowledge about it. I had quite a bit of visual education, but always ran away from the idea of taking photographs, working with people and the relationship of the person portrayed and photographer. That part was very complicated for me because I’m a shy person… but then I bought a breach camera because our second son was going to be born. I wanted to have a camera to photograph the most special and important moments. I loved the visual communication, and fell in love with the career. Ginette Venegas’s passion is capturing unique moments with her camera. (Courtesy Ginette Venegas)Which are your processes to practice a musical composition and capture a photograph?AM: If there’s a recording of the composition, I first sit down to read the sheet music and listen to the recording to begin recognizing and developing an auditory relationship with the piece…  I like to identify which are the most complex or demanding passages in order to work on those first in the slowest manner possible and start constructing it note by note. Afterwards I start playing from beginning to end while using a metronome and a tuner, and work the tones and dynamics.If there are no recordings of the composition, I sit down and speak with the composer to see what the piece is about, what he or she wants to convey, what the piece means to him or her and what speeds or tones it has.GV: For me the process depends on the type of photograph being taken, whether it is a social portrait, product photography or landscape photography. All of them are different. When it’s a product photograph you’ve got to check the colors to be used, choose the background and the make up in case it requires. Those photographs are very slow because it can take a whole morning or afternoon depending on which type of product it is. When the photographs are portraits they are done faster. You’ve got to speak with the person and get to know them a little bit. The lights have to be set up in order for us to try to communicate who the person is and what they like. Regarding the editing process, generally we edit the skin and details. You probably take half an hour taking the photographs and a few hours with post-production. Lastly, when you photograph landscapes, you can’t intervene with artificial illumination, so you’ve got to wait for that moment in which the magic light comes in, during the morning or the afternoon.What do you most enjoy in your work?AM: Definitely the stage… when you’ve got the reflectors, lights, people and adrenaline. That’s why it’s worth it, why you love it and decided to become a musician. It’s many hours spent in a cubicle studying, and very few hours on stage compared to the preparation process. The stage hours are the ones that fulfill you, your soul, your heart, and your professional and artistic career. Those hours are the ones that allow you to grow up.GV: What I most enjoy about photography is being able to freeze unique moments that can’t be repeated even if you try to set up everything. I love the idea of being able to communicate feelings and sensations, or being able to generate those feelings in the person who’s seeing the photograph. Alexis Morales has developed discipline by practicing trumpet every day. (Courtesy Ginette Venegas)How do you express yourselves through your respective media?GV: As a photographer I work as a visual communicator. It all depends on what you want to communicate and what media, objects or signs are used… On an artistic level, photography is a way in which I express my feelings.AM: With music you have the possibility of allowing people to go on an emotional journey. You’re able to make people identify through melodies with what has happened throughout their lives, and with emotions such as nostalgia, happiness, sadness or anger. I believe that’s the purpose of creating music: taking people and transporting them through memories. Transporting them to a place. Giving them sensations. Giving them moments and feelings that they don’t have in their daily lives. There’s also the importance of listening to the artist playing live while creating art in that moment.How have your professions complemente each other?AM: I’ve learned a lot from her. Ginette has every detail covered and figured out. I usually improvise, solve things in the moment and am taken by surprise. She doesn’t do that, so I’ve learned… to have a general and specific panorama of what can happen.She’s also the one who has created the images for my music career. She has taken my photographs and covered my concerts. Many of the commercial things that have happened to me have been due to my image; I’m very thankful for that. Our lives are usually very chaotic, so we try to control it because we have two sons, we’re studying, we work a lot and try to work out our relationship. We’ve learned to live with each other and be happy.GV: From Alexis I’ve learned to be more disciplined with photography. I try to learn from the discipline he shows in practicing so many hours every day; I must be aware of the new tendencies and changes in photography, to stay up-to-date with what’s going on globally. Thanks to the fact that we both have a professionally chaotic life we can understand, support and motivate each other to keep going. Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican musician: blind artist Gerardo Mora 5 questions for a Costa Rican rapper – and an exclusive recording 5 questions for blues musician Steve Arvey 5 questions for a Costa Rican singerlast_img read more

Nicaragua set for new talks on ending political crisis

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first_imgPresident Daniel Ortega and Nicaragua’s opposition agreed Thursday to resume negotiations to resolve a long-running political crisis sparked by protests against his rule, with at least 320 people killed in a brutal government crackdown.Ortega said that the government is working to “set the table for negotiations next Wednesday” with representatives from the opposition, which is demanding his resignation.The opposition accepted his invitation to negotiate.Ortega made the appeal during an event commemorating the 85th anniversary of the death of guerrilla leader Augusto Sandino, to an audience of cabinet members, military personnel, the police and supporters.It comes as the government faces economic crisis and a $315 million deficit, as it struggles without funding and loans that would usually come in from multilateral organizations.Nicaragua’s GDP shrank four percent last year and some economists say it could contract 11 percent in 2019.Protests initially started last April over a now-ditched pension reform, and escalated quickly as they were met by a harsh government crackdown.The Nicaraguan opposition accuses former guerrilla leader Ortega, in power since 2007, of establishing a corrupt dictatorship with his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo.Negotiations broke down in June as Ortega refused the opposition’s main demands to step down and bring forward presidential elections.Protests lasted until October and as well as the many dead, more than 750 people were arrested and accused of terrorism. Thousands of people fled to neighboring Central American countries.Ortega’s handling of the protests drew international condemnation and sanctions from the United States.An opposition coalition called the Civic Alliance said it has named a six member team for the new talks.Neither side specified the agenda of the discussions. The Catholic church and civil society groups are demanding the government free jailed protesters and allow the unconditional return of people who fled the country because of all the violence.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Madelaine Caracas: the fierce Nicaraguan artist who stood up to Daniel Ortega Nicaraguan-Costa Rican journalist Lucía Pineda jailed and accused of inciting terrorism in Nicaragua La Prensa publishes blank front page to protest Nicaraguan government Nicaragua govt agrees to prisoner release to restart opposition talkslast_img read more

Costa Rica on a budget Three cheap vacation destinations

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first_imgRelated posts:Construction of Discovery Costa Rica set to begin in 2018 Tourism entrepreneurs oppose license, royalty payments to canopy patent holder Air France to start direct flights between Paris and San José Costa Rica’s new international airport expected to open in 2027 Want to vacation in Costa Rica without breaking the bank? The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) has released a shortlist of options for exploring on a budget.Orosí LookoutIf you’re seeking a moderate climate near San José, ICT recommends Mirador Orosí (The Orosí Viewpoint) in Cartago province.The viewpoint has a “jaw-dropping scenic overlook,” according to Lonely Planet, and visitors can freely use the grills, greens and bathrooms.Admission is free. The viewpoint is open Monday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Call 2299-5800 for more information. Google Maps link. Valleys of Orosí and UjarrásOther options in Cartago include the Valleys of Orosí and Ujarrás, where visitors can enjoy spectacular views with family or friends.Among the attractions are the Ruins of Ujarrás (Google Maps link), a colonial church constructed in the 17th century. Costa Rica’s oldest colonial ruins house the statue of the Virgin of the Holy Conception of Ujurrás, which (allegedly) protected the area from hostile attacks.Beach of Doña AnaIf you want to take a trip to the beach, ICT recommends Playa de Doña Ana, located near the Port of Caldera and 10 km from Puntarenas (Google Maps link).The picturesque beach boasts Costa Rica’s blue-flag designation and reliable swells for surfing. It’s also quieter than the more popular Puntarenas and Caldera beaches.The beach is open daily, has an entry fee of 1,500 colones (about $2.60) and charges 1,000 colones (about $1.70) for parking.ICT’s “Vamos a Turistear” campaign offers advice, recommendations and travel deals for Ticos and foreigners alike. Click here for more information.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

UK defense ministry soldier killed in Afghanistan

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first_imgLONDON (AP) – Britain’s Ministry of Defence says a British soldier has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.The ministry said in a statement Sunday that the soldier was from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh.Task Force Helmand spokesman Major Ian Lawrence said the soldier was killed Saturday when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Patients with chronic pain give advice Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The death brings to 415 the number of British forces who have been killed while serving in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.The soldier’s family has been informed.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Suu Kyis Europe trip revives lifetime of memories

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first_img Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of “These were very precious memories, because I had lived a happy life,” she said in her impeccable British-accented English. “During the most difficult years, I was upheld by memories of Oxford.”In a separate speech, Suu Kyi spoke of sitting in the family’s Oxford home with her son Alexander as they listened to a radio program about great books. She joked that one day she might win the Nobel Prize for literature, and they laughed.Years later, during her first term of house arrest, her husband visited Myanmar and told her she had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, she said.“A pleasant prospect, but quite improbable!” was her thought at the time, she told a rapt audience at Oslo City Hall in a long-overdue acceptance speech for her 1991 award.“Often during my days of house arrest it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world,” Suu Kyi told the audience of more than 600 including Norway’s king and queen.News that she had won came over the radio that was her lifeline to the world. During the long years of isolation, the music of Mozart helped her to cope, she said, along with great books that made her feel she “was not really cut off from the rest of humankind.” In London, Suu Kyi visited 10 Downing Street, completing a full-circle in her family history.In 1947, her father Gen. Aung San traveled to England to discuss Burma’s independence from colonial rule. In a famous photograph, he stands in an oversized British-issue military raincoat beside Prime Minister Clement Atlee at 10 Downing Street. Shortly after returning home, he was assassinated by rivals.“A couple hours ago, I was photographed in the same place where my father was photographed,” Suu Kyi said at the opening of a historic speech to the British Parliament. In her photo, she stood beside Prime Minister David Cameron. “It was my first visit and yet it was a familiar scene.”Following in her father’s footsteps has been a guiding force of Suu Kyi’s life, said British historian Peter Carey, a family friend.“Her father left behind an unfinished legacy,” he said. “She didn’t quite know how fate would deal the tarot cards to her. But I think she was someone who very much knew that if destiny called she would respond.”___Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London, Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin, Elaine Ganley in Paris and Aye Aye Win in Yangon, Myanmar, contributed to this report. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths She returns to Myanmar on Saturday with perhaps heavier suitcases, filled with honorary degrees and awards she could not collect during 15 years of house arrest. She leaves behind a sprinkling of personal stories and recollections from her triumphant two-week tour. Telling them seemed to provide a catharsis after years of single-minded struggle against the former military junta in the country she still calls Burma.“Today, many strands of my life have come together,” Suu Kyi said during an emotional visit to Oxford University, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics and met her husband, British scholar Michael Aris. They later moved to an Oxford suburb to raise their sons, Alexander and Kim.In 1988 she took a trip to Myanmar to nurse her dying mother and found herself, as the daughter of a legendary independence leader, thrust into the forefront of pro-democracy protests that would give her a new calling in life. Worried that the military government would bar her return, she didn’t leave the country again until earlier this year _ even when her husband in England died of cancer in 1999.Back amid Oxford’s Gothic spires, Suu Kyi recalled taking boat rides with friends along the River Cherwell and daydreaming in the library instead of studying. The most important thing she learned, she said, was a respect for all of civilization. Sponsored Stories center_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated PressBANGKOK (AP) – Paris brought back memories of onion soup. Oxford, of carefree student days and sharing a passion for literature with her two young sons. In London, Aung San Suu Kyi recalled her father, whose historic visit in 1947 came shortly before he was assassinated _ when she was only 2.The Myanmar opposition leader’s first trip to Europe in 24 years triggered an outpouring of nostalgia that put a softer, more personable face on the woman known for her steely defiance and stoicism. Throughout her long and lonely battle for democracy, the 67-year-old Suu Kyi remained guarded about her personal life and shunned public discussion of the family she had left behind in England. Suu Kyi wrote her eight main European speeches in roughly a week before her trip, said Ohn Kyaing, a spokesman for her party.The speeches incorporated lighthearted jokes and wove pieces of her family history into the larger history of her country, showcasing the agile political mind of a woman who believes it is her destiny to deliver democracy to Myanmar.Standing ovations greeted Suu Kyi everywhere she spoke. In Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, England and France, she received honors normally reserved for heads of state. There were dinners with presidents and prime ministers and private meetings with Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama. Bono of rock band U2 pronounced himself “star-struck” in her presence.Suu Kyi took it all in stride until French film star Alain Delon greeted her in Paris with a kiss on the hand that almost made her giggle.In Paris, her last stop, Suu Kyi was asked what France represents to her and replied: “Everything from Victor Hugo to onion soup.” She read French literature during her isolation to keep up her French, she told reporters, and said that France’s revolutionary spirit was an inspiration for her during her political struggle. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Awardwinning journalist is APs Indonesia chief

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first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation A native of Daybrook, West Virginia, Mason, 37, started her reporting career at her hometown newspaper, the Dominion Post, in Morgantown, West Virginia. She also worked at the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville. She holds a degree in journalism from West Virginia University and was awarded an Asian Studies fellowship for journalists at the University of Hawaii in 1999.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories BANGKOK (AP) – Margie Mason, an award-winning correspondent for The Associated Press in Southeast Asia, has been promoted to chief of bureau for Indonesia.The appointment was announced Monday by Asia-Pacific Editor Brian Carovillano. Mason will be based in Jakarta, where she will oversee AP’s coverage of the world’s fourth most populous country, a sprawling and diverse island nation.“Indonesia is one of Asia’s and the world’s most important countries, and Mason is an exacting journalist with deep interest in the issues facing its 240 million people,” said John Daniszewski, senior managing editor for international news. “This appointment will serve the AP’s long record of news leadership in the region.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How do cataracts affect your vision? Mason first joined AP in 1997 in Charleston, West Virginia. In 2000, she joined the San Francisco bureau, where she covered the city. In 2003, she transferred to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she developed a regional Asia-Pacific medical beat, a role she will continue to serve in Jakarta. Since 2010, she also served as acting bureau chief for Vietnam.Mason has reported on health issues from 20 countries, including on the front lines of SARS, H5N1 bird flu and many other major outbreaks.In 2008, she was selected as a Nieman Global Health fellow at Harvard University, where she studied at the School of Public Health. At the end of that program, she co-wrote a five-part series “When Drugs Stop Working,” that examined the threat of global drug resistance from four continents. The series won the National Association of Science Writers’ Science in Society Award in 2010 and was a finalist for the SPJ Deadline Club’s Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting. It also received honors from the National Headliner awards and APME.Mason has covered many big stories in the Asia-Pacific region, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 floods in Pakistan and last year’s flooding in Thailand. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Peru justice minister Fujimori not pardoned

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first_img Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The 74-year-old Fujimori is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations.The former president, who governed Peru from 1990-2000, has been seeking a pardon on humanitarian grounds since October. He says he suffers from cancer of the tongue and other ailments including chronic gastritis and hypertension. However, a report by a medical team that evaluated the former president indicated that he did not have cancer.Fujimori was convicted of authorizing military death squad killings of 25 people in two early 1990s massacres.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories LIMA, Peru (AP) – President Ollanta Humala has decided not to grant a humanitarian pardon for jailed former leader Alberto Fujimori, the nation’s justice minister said Friday.Justice Minister Daniel Figallo announced that Humala had accepted a presidential commission’s recommendation to not issue a pardon because Fujimori’s health problems are not serious enough to merit one. Figallo said that Fujimori does not have a terminal or “grave, incurable, degenerative” condition. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Bosnia Women breach cordon to reach massacre site

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first_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 5 ways to recognize low testosterone “In 1995, they forced our children inside and today they beat us to prevent us from getting in,” she said.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Munira Subasic, who led the group of women, said she was bruised when police beat “us with elbows and feet.”On July 11, 1995, Serb forces overran the eastern town of Srebrenica and executed more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniak men and boys in what became known as the worst massacre in Europe since the Nazi era.According to a U.N. war crimes tribunal, about 1,000 of the victims were brought to the warehouse in the nearby village of Kravice, locked inside and gunned down on July 13. Soldiers then threw hand grenades inside to finish off potential survivors.The bodies were buried in mass graves but then excavated again a few months later by the perpetrators with bulldozers and buried at other locations to hide the crime. Many of the bodies were torn apart.This past week, Subasic buried two bones of her then-18 year-old son; more of his remains have not yet been recovered.Ethnic tensions still simmer in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the warehouse lies in the Bosnian Serb half of the country, which has its own police force.Relatives of the victims have never been allowed to visit the warehouse to pay their respects, but this year the women, carrying pliers, were determined to get inside. Subasic said the people injured mainly suffered bruises, but that “every victory had a price and so does this one.” 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – A group of women broke Saturday through a police cordon and entered a former warehouse in Bosnia to lay flowers where their loved ones were killed during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Bosnian Serb police said they didn’t use force, but the women _ who are Muslim Bosniaks _ alleged that the police beat them, injuring eight.The head of the Bosnian Serb police, Gojko Vasic, said the women had no permission to enter the facility because it is private property but that they cut their way through a fence. He said one woman hit a police officer over the head with her mobile phone. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

China Premier Li Keqiang addresses Thai Parliament

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first_img Top Stories Li told the Thai lawmakers that Thailand and China will boost their trade to $100 billion by the end of 2015 and that China will buy more Thai agricultural produce.“In the next five years, China will import 1 million tons of rice from Thailand and will also import more rubber,” Li said.Thailand’s government has struggled to sell much of the rice it has amassed in a rice-buying scheme that is a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration. The scheme has accumulated losses of at least $4.46 billion since it was introduced in 2011. Its inability to resell the high-priced rice on the international market allowed India and Vietnam to surpass Thailand in the value of their rice exports.Thai rubber farmers have staged a series of street demonstrations and blocked roads in recent months to pressure the government to shore up rubber prices, which have dropped since peaking in 2011 due to weak demand in a sluggish global economy.Li, who became premier in March, is the first foreign leader to give a speech in Parliament in at least 10 years. House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said he granted Li “an opportunity to speak directly to the representatives of the Thai people” because his visit was an “honor.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober BANGKOK (AP) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang became the first foreign leader to address Thailand’s Parliament in more than a decade Friday as he began a three-day visit aimed at strengthening ties and seeking business for his country’s high-speed railway technology.Li’s speech underscored China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the first speech by a foreign leader to Indonesia’s Parliament. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories The demonstrators dispersed Thursday after being promised that they could return to the protest site after the Chinese premier’s visit ends.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Li asked the lawmakers to support Chinese train technology. He is to open an exhibit on China’s high-speed rail system in Bangkok on Saturday.The two governments also signed memorandums of understanding on cooperation in railway projects, investment, energy, culture and other areas.“China has expressed interest in helping to develop the high-speed railway. On this, in principle, Thailand is willing to work with them at the government level and is asking to pay part of the expenses with agricultural produce,” Yingluck told reporters after meeting with Li.Last month, Parliament authorized 2.2 trillion baht ($70 billion) in loans for large transportation projects, including four high-speed rail lines that would connect Bangkok to other key cities and dual-track rail lines that could reduce the country’s dependence on road transport.Li is to travel to Chiang Mai, Yingluck’s hometown in northern Thailand, and then leave for Vietnam on Sunday.The Thai Cabinet invoked the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts prior to Li’s visit to pressure a group of anti-government protesters to leave an area near the prime minister’s office where they had camped out. The law allows authorities to seal off roads, take action against security threats and impose curfews. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Renzi announces trip to Tunis

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first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ErrorOK ErrorOKRenzi’s coalition has a much more comfortable majority in the Chamber of Deputies than it does in the Senate.Renzi, at 39 Italy’s youngest premier, was sworn into office on Saturday along with an unusually young Cabinet.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   ROME (AP) – Premier Matteo Renzi has told lawmakers that his first foreign trip as Italy’s leader will be to Tunisia, not Brussels or Berlin.Renzi announced the trip during his address Tuesday to the lower house of Parliament ahead of a confidence vote on his leadership. Renzi won a confidence vote in the Senate overnight.Renzi’s plan to visit Tunisia and not key European capitals was a clear signal of discontinuity with Italy’s last two governments, which emphasized ties with Europe even as ordinary Italians bristled at austerity measures imposed at the EU’s behest. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

Carnival to cut back on ship purchases from 2013

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first_imgCarnival Corporation’s new ship building program will have a more modest approach from 2013 onwards, its chief executive told reporters earlier this week.Chairman and chief executive Micky Arison said Monday that the cruise operator was “still right in the middle” of a big expansion with six new ships scheduled to join this year.However, from 2013 onwards the programme will be a “more slow and rational” and the number of ships joining will be reduced to two or three a year.Arison said the decision to invest in fewer ships would drive more cash into the business and match the softening demand in the market.”People think, if you don’t build as many ships, that you’re either trying to drive more cash flow or that demand is diminishing. The truth is that it’s a combination of both,” he said.He added that he expected to confirm an order for two new Princess Cruise’s ships within weeks. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29472/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

Changi Airport picks up another six Best Airport Awards

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first_imgNamed World’s Best by Business Traveller (UK) for 23rd consecutive yearSINGAPORE, 21 September 2010 – Singapore Changi Airport has been recognised forits continued excellence with the receipt of six more ‘Best Airport’ awards in the months ofAugust and September 2010, augmenting its status as the world’s most awarded airport. For the 23rd year running, readers of leading travel publication, Business Traveller (UK),have named Changi Airport the ‘Best Airport in the World’ in its ‘Business TravellerAwards’ – an accolade Changi has received every single year since 1988. Also in the United Kingdom, Changi Airport was named ‘Best Airport in the World’ forthe sixth time by Condé Nast Traveller (UK) in its ‘Reader’s Travel Awards 2010’. Readers of this premier travel magazine rated Changi most highly in the categories offacilities and dining. Changi received an overall score of 87.88, an improvement on its86.38 score received last year. Across the Atlantic Ocean, readers of Condé Nast Traveler (US) chose Changi Airport asthe ‘Best International Airport’ for the seventh time in its ‘Annual Business TravelAwards’. Changi topped all the award’s sub-categories including food / shops / amenities,comfort / design, and ease of connections. The awards survey covered readers whowere identified as business travellers. In Asia, Changi Airport also fared well among travellers in the region. Positive sentimentsabout Changi were echoed at the ‘Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2010’ byreaders of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, who chose Changi as the ‘Best Airport in theWorld’ for the 19th successive year.Separately, Changi Airport also received for the third time the ‘Best InternationalAirport’ accolade from TravelWeekly China, a major travel trade publication in China, aspart of its ‘China Travel and Meeting Industry Awards 2010’. Winners were chosen based on nominations by a professional judging panel comprising distinguished industry experts,as well as votes by the magazine’s readers. In another ‘2010 Best in Travel Poll’ conducted by online travel magazine Smart TravelAsia, Changi Airport ranked top in the ‘Top 10 Airports Worldwide’ category, for thethird year running. According to the magazine, its voters, of whom 60% are based inAsia, represent the mid to upper end of the travel market, with an average of US$164,501in household income. Mr Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group, said, “Theseawards reflect the views of some of the most frequent travellers from around the worldand the Asia-Pacific region. For Changi Airport Group, the accolades we receive serveas a powerful form of feedback from our passengers that they do enjoy themselves atChangi Airport and appreciate what we have been doing here. We are grateful for theirstrong show of support and will continue to place utmost emphasis on continuallyimproving and delivering a first class airport experience and seamless passage for all ourpassengers at Changi.” Since its opening in 1981, Changi Airport has won more than 350 airport awards. Thelatest string of awards announced brings the total number won this year to 16. Source = Changi Airport Grouplast_img read more