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Watch this couple miss their cruise ship by mere seconds

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Royal Caribbean International Share THE BAHAMAS — Stop that boat! A new video of a couple missing their cruise ship by mere seconds in The Bahamas has gone viral and it’s almost too heartbreaking to watch.The YouTube channel Reel Focus recently posted the six-minute video, which was shot by an onlooker from the top deck of the neighbouring Norwegian Bliss. According to Reel Focus, the Symphony of the Seas, which the down-on-their-luck couple was sailing with, waited approximately 20 minutes before shutting down the gangway.While dock workers are pulling the ropes off the boat, the tardy couple arrives and is seen attempting to wave down the ship as it sails away from the harbor. “Nooooo!” the woman can be heard yelling while onlookers laugh.The couple then walks towards the stern of the ship where they start pleading with a cruise line representative standing onboard. But all hope is lost when the ship’s thrusters are turned on, leaving the couple in the dust.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesTo add insult to injury, the ship’s horn happily blasts three times while the couple stands forlornly on the dock.With the ship long gone, the man can still be seen pacing along the dock, yelling at crew members onboard. We doubt he was wishing them all bon voyage.Let this be a lesson to all cruisers – always arrive early or risk missing the boat! Watch this couple miss their cruise ship by mere secondscenter_img Posted by Monday, February 25, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Health Ministry closes industrial park in Alajuela

first_imgRelated posts:Fun, action on Alajuela Museum tour Aerocasillas opens new store in Alajuela Alajuela’s first vegetarian restaurant missing key ingredients Alajuela schoolchildren paint historical murals Health Ministry officials ordered the closure and evacuation Thursday of all employees in some 40 companies located at BES Industrial Park and Free Zone, in the province of Alajuela, west of San José.The closure measure was filed by the Environmental Court after an investigation determined there was a mysterious white foam on the waste-water treatment system in the free zone.The analyses were made by the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA), and indicated that the foam was being poured down the walls and deposited in the storm-water pipes. The closing of the industrial park was requested by the Environmental Court two weeks ago, after environmental groups claimed that the industrial park companies were pouring foam into Siquiares River. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Human rights court orders Costa Rica to legalize in vitro fertilization

first_imgThe San José-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a ruling Thursday night against the government of Costa Rica condemning its ban on in vitro fertilization. The court ordered the country to legalize the practice, which was outlawed in March 2000 by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV.The ruling is obligatory for the country, Communications Minister Francisco Chacón said.In 2001, a group of 18 affected families filed an appeal before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and in September 2010, the commission recommended Costa Rica reverse the Sala IV’s ruling.Costa Rica failed to implement the recommendation, and in October 2011, victims’ families filed a suit in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.The ruling also demands the state indemnify, within one year, all of the18 couples who filed the lawsuit with amounts ranging from $5,000-$20,000.The court found that there was a violation of victims’ rights, as well as psychological damage. The court ordered the state to provide up to four years of free and immediate psychological treatment for victims.“The ruling will be complied with in its entirety, as our country is respectful of international law. We will report on the government’s actions in coming weeks,” Chacón said.Ileana Balmaceda, executive president of Costa Rica’s Social Security System, said in a press release that “the agency is not prepared at this time to assume a situation like this, and therefore, we need time to acquire the appropriate equipment and to train our staff.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica welcomes first IVF baby after 16-year ban Costa Rica high court admits challenge to IVF decree Costa Rica responds to human rights court on IVF suspension Following legalization, just 1 clinic signed up to offer IVFlast_img read more

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Panama takes the reigns of the Central American Integration System

first_imgFinancial transparency and creating a unified approach to anti-drug policy dominated discussion on Thursday at the 41st Central American Integration System (SICA) summit in San José, Costa Rica.Presidents from across the region met at the Hotel Real InterContinental, in Escazú, southwest of the capital, as Costa Rica handed over the reigns to Panama after a six-month term as president pro tempore of the regional integration organization.Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said she is pleased with her country’s accomplishments during its presidency and felt that SICA was a stronger system for them.Chinchilla listed adding the Dominican Republic as a full member of SICA, making power-sharing more equitable within the system, and strengthening regional security and gender violence laws among Costa Rica’s accomplishments.“Integration is not an end in itself, but rather a dynamic for economic development,” Chinchilla concluded in her remarks.Costa Rica’s presidency focused mainly on internal reforms to SICA, especially improving financial transparency. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Ernesto Castillo told reporters Thursday afternoon that the disparate organizations within SICA complicate reporting funds.“No one knows how much money SICA has,” Castillo told reporters earlier, according to crhoy.com.The minister noted that reforms signed during the last two days of meetings would include more auditing of system funds, but stressed that no one was currently under investigation for any kind of impropriety.Alongside financial reforms, security played a key role at the meeting as leaders discussed cracking down on the illegal flow of drugs through the region while loosening border restrictions for individuals and services.Public Security Minister Mario Zamora argued for the need to unify criminal codes across the region regarding drug-related crime, adding that the isthmus’ varying sentences contribute to impunity. The minister highlighted SICA’s cooperation as a way to explore draft legislation to bring members states into greater alignment on the issue.Zamora called Central America the most dangerous region in the world because of illicit drug trafficking.Panama and Costa Rica already allow their citizens to travel between countries without passports. There was no mention if or when Costa Rica and Nicaragua might exchange such benefits. Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, was one of the only SICA presidents who did not attend Thursday’s summit. Costa Rica and Nicaragua remain embroiled in an international border dispute involving Isla Calera, a swampland along the northeastern Costa Rican border.News of another waterway in Nicaragua, however, also made news. The country’s $40 billion planned inter-oceanic canal ruffled feathers following a press conference given by the project’s Chinese builder, HKND Group, on Tuesday.Castillo said that Costa Rica is wary about the canal’s potential impact on the San Juan and Colorado rivers, both of which are important transit routes for the country.“We are worried that the canal will pass through Lake Nicaragua and Lake Nicaragua feeds the San Juan River, where Costa Rica holds navigation rights,” Castillo told reporters.The minister said that his country has no intention of filing any kind of complaint at the moment, considering there are no firm plans about the canal’s route and doubt over whether the “canal will be built at all.”SICA’s new leadersAccepting the president pro tempore position from Chinchilla, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli said that observers could look forward to more tangible reforms to the system, including greater economic and migration integration during his country’s term leading the system.“We used to speak of Central America and Panama,” Martinelli said, “this marks Panama’s full integration into Central America.”The president added that he would work to ensure SICA members benefit from the recently signed free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association.SICA also elected a new secretary general, Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez. The system’s new leader said that he would focus on SICA’S five main goals during his term: security, climate change, regional integration, fighting poverty, and strengthening democracy in the isthmus.Martínez added that he would work to expand SICA’s economic participation with other regional blocs, including the Caribbean Community, the European Union, and Asian organizations.Today’s meeting was attended by presidents Chinchilla, Martinelli, Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina, Mauricio Funes of El Salvador, Porfirio Lobo of Honduras and Danilo Medina Sánchez of the Dominican Republic. Vice President Moisés Omar Halleslevens Acevedo represented Nicaragua and Ambassador José Antonio Martínez, Belize.  Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Costa Rica marks 65 years without an army

first_imgNo related posts. On the steps of the former Bellavista Fort, now the National Museum, President Laura Chinchilla marked the 65th anniversary of the abolishment of Costa Rica’s army on Sunday.“There are no weapons stronger than truth, justice, and liberty,” said Chinchilla Sunday afternoon, standing on the steps of San José’s National Museum where President José Figueres Ferrer announced the disbandment of Costa Rica’s armed forces on Dec. 1, 1948. “Our children are innocent of the errors of war, and our youth have not been called to serve on the battlefield. We instead founded schools, churches, orchestras, dance companies, while countries living in misery in the rest of the world continue investing in weapons of destruction,” the president said, according to a statement from the Casa Presidencial Monday.Chinchilla also honored the Costa Rican National Olympic Committee for its contributions to development and peace.The president added that there was a “Costa Rican way” of resolving problems nonviolently, based in part on international organizations like the United Nations and the world court at The Hague.The International Court of Justice levied its latest judgment on Nov. 22 in Costa Rica and Nicaragua’s protracted border dispute over the Isla Portillos, requiring Nicaragua to cease new dredging operations in the area and clean up any environmental damaged to the wetlands protected by the Ramsar Convention.However, the slow pace of international mechanisms like the world court has led some Ticos to call for the mobilization of armed civilian militias.In October, CRHoy.com reported on the formation of the self-styled “paramilitary” force “Patrulla 1856,” or 1856 Patrol, an “apolitical group whose purpose is to serve the motherland in support of the defense of Costa Rica’s sovereignty.”In late September, former head of the Costa Rican National Police Col. José Fabio Pizzaro told Repretel that 4,000 Ticos answered his call to receive survival and defense training, including the use of AK-47 assault rifles, in the event that Nicaragua were to invade Costa Rica.Pizzaro told the television news crew that the force would serve at the pleasure of the Public Security Ministry, which recoiled at the idea.Recent conflicts aside, in her speech Chinchilla emphasized Costa Rica’s peaceful record and investment in education – more than 7 percent of gross domestic product – versus military spending.Figueres announced the end of a standing army in times of peace in 1948, following a civil war over a disputed election. The decision became the law of the land in the 1949 Constitution.Costa Rica retains a National Police, however, to enforce laws and investigate crime.Today, Costa Rica is one of the only countries in the world without a standing army. Neighboring Panama abolished its armed forced in 1990. Other countries without armed forces include Monaco, Haiti, the Vatican City and Iceland. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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USAIDs Cuban Twitter draws criticism derision

first_imgRelated posts:USAID sent young Costa Ricans undercover to Cuba in anti-government scheme, AP reports Gross, US contractor held in Cuba, goes on hunger strike Cuban regime change starts with embargo’s death Controversial US micro-blog targeting Cuban regime operated clandestinely out of Costa Rica, angering officials On April 6, 1960, a U.S. diplomat named Lester Mallory wrote a secret memo about Cuba. Subject line: “The Decline and Fall of Castro.”Make Cubans unhappy, argued the memo, which was a precursor to the U.S. embargo. Saddle them with “economic dissatisfaction and hardship.” They’ll sour on Fidel Castro.Or, others thought, get him with an exploding cigar. Contaminate his scuba suit with tuberculosis. Have the Mafia off him.More than half a century later, the U.S. government seems to have come up with a much more modern and techie approach: Tweet him off the island.On Thursday, the United States Agency for International Development confirmed the broad outlines of an Associated Press report exposing the clandestine creation of a phony “Cuban Twitter” network that was meant to undermine the Castro government. The audacious program, set in motion through shell companies around the world, lured 40,000 unsuspecting Cuban subscribers with seemingly innocuous text messages about sports and popular music, the report said. Its creators called the network “Zunzuneo,” Cuban slang for the sound a hummingbird makes.For all its bravura, the program survived barely two years, failing in 2012 as its funding dried up. The campaign became, as so many before it, a punchline in the annals of an enduring, bizarre and frequently imagination-defying international standoff.“It’s part of our legacy of the wild and loony brainstorming we’ve been doing on Cuba going back to the ’50s,” Ann Louise Bardach, a Cuba expert and author of “Without Fidel,” said Thursday between bouts of laughter.The revelation of Zunzuneo’s existence sent official Washington into a spin. Memos unearthed by the AP make it abundantly clear that USAID went to great lengths to keep U.S. government involvement on a need-to-know basis. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing that “suggestions that this was a covert program are wrong. … In implementing programs in non-permissive environments, of course the government has taken steps to be discreet.”Recommended: Cuba passes law to lure foreign investmentUSAID defended Zunzuneo in a statement that said: “Cubans were able to talk among themselves, and we are proud of that.” The agency’s administrator, Rajiv Shah, had the misfortune of being previously scheduled to appear Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to discuss another matter. He spent most of his time answering uncomfortable questions about Cuban Twitter. In another bit of bad luck for Shah, he is scheduled to appear Tuesday for a hearing on his agency’s budget before the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee’s chairman, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, spent much of Thursday appearing on MSNBC programs to rip the Cuban Twitter idea as “dumb, dumb, dumb.”Leahy has been deeply involved in trying to win the release of Alan Gross, a USAID contractor from Potomac, Md., who was arrested in Cuba in 2010, accused of “actions against the integrity of the state” and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Gross family says he was on a humanitarian mission to help set up an intranet and improve Internet access for non-dissident Jewish communities. Zunzuneo was launched just months after Gross was arrested, and Leahy has said he is troubled that the timing could have imperiled negotiations to free Gross. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro holds an Oct. 19, 2012 edition of the newspaper Granma in Havana after rumors circulated that the former leader was on his death bed. AFP/CubaDebateThe controversy has set off a kind of existential debate at USAID. The agency is generally known for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It is publicly authorized to operate a Cuba democracy project. But setting in motion a secret Twitter project struck many Thursday as either baffling or utterly inappropriate.“It’s another example of the danger of trying to use foreign assistance as a weapon rather than to support the host government,” said Stephen Kaplitt, a former USAID legal department official who is a consultant to Gilbert, attorneys for the Gross family in pending litigation. “When they drift from their core mission, it substantially impairs trust and credibility.”This isn’t USAID’s first Cuban misadventure. In 2006, a Government Accountability Office report lambasted the agency, saying nearly all of the $74 million it spent on pro-democracy projects for the island had been distributed without competitive bids or proper oversight. In a now-legendary case of apparent abuse cited in the report, a Miami company allegedly used the USAID money to buy Nintendo Game Boy sets and Sony PlayStations, a mountain bike, leather coats, cashmere sweaters, crab meat and Godiva chocolates.Despite the agency’s problems, its programs have many advocates in the Cuban exile community. “Everything that opens the windows of the world to Cuba is a good thing,” Jose Basulto, a Bay of Pigs veteran who founded the daredevil Brothers to the Rescue airplane team, said in a phone interview from Miami on Thursday.Basulto said it is important to find means of communicating with dissidents in Cuba, where the government strictly limits Internet access and blocks many other forms of communication. In the days before Twitter existed, Basulto says he once positioned radio equipment on tall buildings in the Florida Keys to reach Castro opponents on the island.Phil Peters, founder of the non-profit Cuba Research Center in Alexandria, Va. said Thursday that he’s reviewed a video — apparently of Cuban Interior Ministry officials — warning about possible attempts to use Twitter to undermine the Castro government in 2011.By then, Cuban Twitter was quietly at work on the island. And the Castros were still in charge. The only difference today is that Cuban Twitter is gone.Washington Post staffers Karen DeYoung and Alice Crites contributed to this report.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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1 million votes or not Luis Guillermo Solís urges supporters to get

first_imgRelated posts:Luis Guillermo Solís and Johnny Araya head to April 6 runoff after close Costa Rica vote Costa Rica elections demonstrate country’s democratic stability Ex-President Abel Pacheco to back opposition candidate Solís The real communist threat in Costa Rica Swarmed by cameras, reporters and supporters, presidential frontrunnerLuis Guillermo Solís of the opposition Citizen Action Party (PAC) arrived at the Liceo de Curridabat, east of the capital, Sunday morning to cast his vote for Costa Rica’s next president.Vuvuzelas sounded and red-and-yellow flags waved outside as the historian and son of a shoemaker – who turns 56 on April 25 – marked his ballot in a simple blue-walled school room.“Don’t kill me with love yet, there’s still much to do!” Solís told supporters. The PAC candidate is running almost unopposed after his second-round rival, Johnny Araya of the ruling National Liberation Party, stopped campaigning in a surprise decision on March 5.Solís urged citizens to cast their ballots amid reports of low turnout at the polls early Sunday, seeming to roll back his pledge to garner 1 million votes to shore up his popular mandate.“I’m not worried about getting a million votes or not. In a democracy you win with one vote,” he said. “I’m asking that those who haven’t voted, and it seems there are many according to my reports, to go and vote quickly in the coming hours. When the polling stations close at 6 this afternoon, we want the ballot boxes full of votes, full of hope.”As recently as Saturday morning, Solís said he was confident he could accomplish the million-vote goal he set after Araya suspended his campaign last month.The Supreme Elections Tribunal reported that 31.8 percent of voters stayed home for the Feb. 2 first round vote and suggested that the abstention rate could be higher Sunday, based on results from the last runoff in 2002.Jeffery Navarro, a voter outside the school, told The Tico Times he came out to vote mostly out of a sense of civic duty. “Not every country has the right to vote,” he said.Solís “is a break with traditional, normal politics. He’s closer to the people, to whom we are, the people who walk the streets, not those with bodyguards. We hope he doesn’t change his attitude,” Navarro said.The candidate will await the results of the vote in Plaza Roosevelt in San Pedro, in eastern San José, on Sunday at 6 p.m. Luis Guillermo Solís of the Citizen Action Party takes a selfie after casting his ballot for president Sunday, April 6, 2014. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Honduras concludes voter recount no winner declared

first_imgHonduran electoral authorities concluded a recount early Monday, more than a week after a bitterly contested presidential election, that put President Juan Orlando Hernández in the lead. However, they held back from officially declaring him the winner.“We have now finished this recount,” Supreme Electoral Tribunal president David Matamoros said, announcing that Hernández had 42.98 percent of the vote compared with opposition leader Salvador Nasralla’s 41.39 percent.He added that the body could take up to 22 days to declare an official winner because of possible appeals.“We urge all candidates and all parties to put Honduras first,” Matamoros said.On Sunday, Nasralla supporters in the capital of Tegucigalpa marched near the building where the count was resumed, banging on pots, blaring vuvuzelas and singing campaign songs which included insults towards Hernández.“They are stealing our votes,” a visibly angry Jesus Elviz, a 58-year-old accountant, told AFP.On Friday, 19-year-old Kimberly Fonseca was killed by a bullet during a confrontation between protesters and the police. Her family says she was killed by police, a claim the authorities said they were “exhaustively” investigating.After the violent protests erupted – with some reports of looting – the government declared a state of emergency and imposed a 10-day curfew in an attempt to curb the unrest.Hernández’s conservative National Party – which controls the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government – is constitutionally barred from a second term, but it contends that a 2015 Supreme Court ruling allows his re-election.Nasralla and his leftist coalition, the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, have denounced the incumbent’s bid as illegal.Situated in the heart of Central America’s “Northern Triangle,” where gangs and poverty are rife, Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world, though it has fallen under Hernández.What credit he claims from that progress, however, is counterbalanced by tensions over his re-election bid.It is a loaded issue in Honduras, where former president Manuel Zelaya was toppled in a coup in 2009 – notably because he was accused of plotting to change the constitution to stand for a second term. Facebook Comments Related posts:Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets Ticos show support for Hondurans as Tegucigalpa returns to normal VIDEO: New Costa Rican documentary explains forced Central American migration Hondurans form a new US-bound caravan, drawing fire from Trumplast_img read more

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Chilean copper giant Codelco CEO resigns

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 0 Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – The chief executive officer of the world’s biggest copper company is stepping down.Chile’s state-owned Codelco says Diego Hernandez cited personal reasons for a resignation that takes effect June 1. He is being replaced by Chief Financial Officer Thomas Keller. The 55-year-old Keller is former CEO of Collahuasi, the world’s third-largest copper mine.Mining Minister Hernan de Solminihac said Thursday that Hernandez’s resignation isn’t related to Codelco’s fight with the British mining company Anglo American PLC. Four benefits of having a wireless security system More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Codelco is the majority owner of Anglo American Sur SA, a joint venture in Chile with the British company. Codelo said in October it would exercise its right to buy the remaining 49 percent stake, but Anglo said it had sold a 24.5 percent stake to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories last_img read more

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Dutch pedophile case led to 33 arrests worldwide

first_img Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Mikelsons was himself caught in 2010 on a tip from U.S. authorities investigating a Massachusetts man who faces sentencing next month.(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 Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories AMSTERDAM (AP) – Dutch prosecutors say police have arrested 33 suspected child molesters worldwide, including 8 in the United States, using information gathered from the computers of a pedophile in Amsterdam who abused dozens of babies and toddlers.Robert Mikelsons, a Latvian-born Dutch citizen, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on May 21. Dutch prosecutors said Wednesday Mikelsons provided thousands of leads, resulting in 13 arrests in the Netherlands, eight in the U.S., six in Canada, four in Britain, and one each in Germany and Sweden. John Morton, who heads the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, praised the cooperation, saying it saved 138 children from ongoing abuse. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

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1966 Indian plane wreckage found in Alpine glacier

first_imgThe Indian Embassy in Paris confirmed the discovery but gave no details.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) PARIS (AP) – As the Alpine glacier melted, a curious discovery emerged after decades beneath the ice: a plane wheel, a shoe _ and an intact pouch of Indian diplomatic mail from 1966.It all appears to be part of the wreckage from an Air India plane crash that hikers and a rescue worker found this week on the slopes beneath Mont Blanc.Rescuer Arnaud Christmann said the hikers alerted the tourist office in Chamonix that they had seen something beneath a glacier that looked like a wheel. He went to investigate and found pieces of the plane and “a gift from the mountain,” a bag containing Indian and English newspapers from 1966 and other documents, labeled “diplomatic mail.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishescenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

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China imprisons 20 Uighurs in far west Xinjiang

first_img Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Tianshan said another Xinjiang court sentenced one Uighur man to 10 years in prison for spreading online terrorism.Dilxat Raxit, of the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress, said the punishments were draconian and used to suppress the ethnic Muslim Uighurs. Dilxat said the men did innocuous things like listen to Radio Free Asia and forward video clips downloaded from YouTube, a video-sharing site that cannot be directly accessed from China but can be reached through proxy servers. Dilxat said their activities were aimed at spreading religious knowledge and preserving their ethnic culture and lifestyle.“China has completely deprived the Uighurs of their rights to use the Internet to express different opinions and to obtain information,” Dilxat said in a statement.Tensions have long brewed between Xinjiang’s Turkish Muslim Uighurs and Chinese migrants. The Uighurs complain that Chinese are displacing them in what they consider their homeland, and they chafe at controls on religion.But Beijing has been wary of terrorist activities in Xinjiang. Tianshan said the men convicted in the Kashgar court were spreading materials by the Eastern Turkistan Islamic movement and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, both of which are considered terrorist organizations by Chinese authorities. It also said the men were illegally engaged in Muslim preaching. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories BEIJING (AP) – Twenty ethnic Uighurs in China’s far western region of Xinjiang have been given sentences of up to life in prison following their convictions on charges including terrorism and separatism, Chinese state media reported.The government-run news portal Tianshan Net reported that a Kashgar court on Tuesday found 19 Uighurs in four groups guilty of spreading multimedia materials promoting terrorism. It said one of the groups plotted to assassinate local law officers, and that another tested bombs. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Tianshan said some of the defendants had smashed vehicles, robbed and beat people and raised money for illegal immigration.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

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Afghan official 19 police 7 soldiers dead in ongoing siege

first_imgKANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen have surrounded a police compound in the volatile southern province of Helmand after killing 19 policemen and seven soldiers in an ongoing siege, a senior police officer said on Monday from inside the compound.Napas Khan, the police chief in the Naw Zad district, told The Associated Press by telephone that the insurgents had advanced to within 20 meters (65 feet) of the compound after seizing police vehicles and weapons and blocking all roads out of Naw Zad. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes “We need an immediate response from the government,” Khan said.He said the attack started at before dawn on Monday when the insurgents overran multiple police checkpoints across the district.“They destroyed or captured most of our checkpoints and now they have reached our police headquarters,” Khan said. “They are mostly firing at us from the hills overlooking our compound.”As Khan spoke, gunfire and shouting could be heard in the background.Helmand has long been a heartland for the Taliban, who profit heavily from opium produced in its fertile river valley.Government forces launched an operation against the insurgents in March, in the hope of reducing the impact of the Taliban’s annual warm weather offensive. Since that offensive was launched, however, in late April, attacks across the country have intensified, spreading government forces thin.As well as the time-worn guerrilla-style tactics of fight-and-run, the insurgents have also stepped up suicide attacks and, in some areas, targeted assassinations and kidnappings.Also on Monday, a suicide truck bomb attack and a separate roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan killed 11 people and wounded dozens more, as the Taliban clashed with supporters of the Islamic State group in the west, officials said. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Gov. Asif Nang said the Taliban have been clashing with rival insurgents claiming allegiance to the IS group for three days in the western Farah province, leaving at least 10 Taliban fighters and 15 IS supporters dead. He provided no further details.The clashes provide the latest indication of a small but growing Islamic State presence in the country. Afghan and foreign officials differ over the extent to which the extremist group, which rules large parts of Syria and Iraq, is able to operate in Afghanistan — where the Taliban have been waging war against the Western-backed government for more than a decade.The truck bomb struck the gate of the provincial council’s compound in the capital of Zabul province, killing at least five people and wounding 62, council director Atta Jan Haqbayan said.Three of the wounded were council members, Haqbayan said. Mirwais Noorzai, Zabul’s police chief, said the attacker used a small truck.President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack. No group immediately claimed responsibility.Insurgents have stepped up attacks in recent months in Zabul, which borders Pakistan, and a number of Hazara Shiite men have been abducted in the province. Sponsored Stories Later on Monday, a roadside bomb exploded in neighboring Kandahar province, killing six people, according to the governor’s spokesman, Samim Khopalwaq.Three policemen were killed elsewhere in Kandahar when a firefight erupted between two groups of officers, said provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani. Four officers fled the scene, he said, adding that the incident was under investigation.Meanwhile, in northern Sari Pul province, police said the body of a local official in charge of religious affairs, Abdul Wodod, was found Monday, three days after he was kidnapped. Gen. Habib Gulbhary, the provincial police chief, said the man was abducted by unknown assailants.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

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Premium end of market bouncing back Flight Centre

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1e319/” 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> Premium and corporate travel is beginning to recover from last year’s phenomenal lows, and while things haven’t returned to the highs of previous years, Flight Centre says things are once again on the up.In an interview with The Australian Graeme Turner, Flight Centre Managing Director, said that he was “reasonably happy” with the level of demand seen recently, and that even corporate and business class travel was seeing good levels of demand.“We’re reasonably happy,” said Mr Turner to The Australian.  “It’s not looking too bad at the moment.”“The corporate side of travel is still reasonably tough but it’s coming back better here than in some of our overseas areas.”While no exact figures can be given, a spokesperson for Flight Centre told e-Travel Blackboard that this year’s figures was “slightly improved” on last year’s figures.  FCm Travel the company’s corporate travel arm was also recording better figures.He adds that Flight Centre saw some of its worst figures for the entire downturn during these corresponding months last year.last_img read more

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BESydney showcases at two major Asian events

first_imgBusiness Events Sydney (BESydney) has begun a week of showcasing to Asian corporate buyers and tour operators at two major industry events in Asia.BESydney is currently exhibiting at the Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings China (IT&CM China) in Shanghai and will move on to the annual Business Events Australia North Asia Showcase next week.BESydney chief executive officer Lyn Lewis-Smith said Sydney is the ideal destination due to “reward, motivate and inspire” due to a combination of natural landscapes, team-building options and a yes culture.“Importantly, it’s our ability to provide the ‘wow factor’ and deliver once-in-a-lifetime programs – many you won’t find anywhere else in the world – that have a genuine impact on staff retention, satisfaction, motivation and overall morale,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.“We can deliver the best because we make it a priority to understand what our clients want to achieve, and then provide a tailored approach that meets their objectives.“This is why Sydney consistently ranks highly as a destination of choice in Asia and is the key to our repeat business.”Sydney has welcomed almost 8,000 delegates this year and is expected to host 45 business events in the near future, including the LG Korea incentive that is expected to attract 1,200 delegates.Redcap Tours project manager and LG Korea tour operator Gisub Jung said Sydney is the perfect location for the incentive industry.“It’s something that we can’t easily find elsewhere,” Gisub Jung said.“For more than 10 years, the LG Group has chosen this energetic, yet eco-friendly, city to encourage its employees and to motivate their work performance.”Looking ahead to 2016, BESydney has secured two major incentives, Amway Taiwan and the Nu Skin Greater China Success Trip, which together are expected to draw 11,300 guests to the city.The number of Asian events held in Sydney continues to rise, and in particular, business from China is set to increase in the future.In the last financial year alone, events from Asia accounted for 40 per cent of BESydney’s events, one-third of which were delivered from China.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

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Top luxuryforless destinations for Aussie travellers

first_imgTop luxury-for-less destinations for Aussie travellersAs the Aussie dollar continues to lose ground, the latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) fromHotels.com™, which compares hotel prices paid* in the first six months of 2015 with the same period in 2014, has revealed no fewer than ten destinations globally where Aussies experienced five-star hotel luxury for under $250 per night.It was a tale of ‘East meets West’, with destinations in Asia and Europe making up the most affordable destinations for where Aussies could experience luxury hotel accommodation.Warsaw in Poland represented the best-value destination for five-star accommodation, costing Aussies only $143 on average in terms of the price paid per night.Brussels, Belgium ranked as the second best-value destination for five-star accommodation, where travellers paid on average just $191 per night. Berlin, Bangkok, Budapest, Delhi, Guangzhou, Lisbon, Mumbai and Istanbul also topped the list of destinations for best-value five-star accommodation.The HPI is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid* for their accommodation and providing valuable insight into the reasons behind these changes. The data is drawn from bookings made on the hundreds of thousands of hotels on the Hotels.com websites worldwide.“Aussies are spoilt for choice when it comes to premium destinations that won’t cost a fortune. While travellers may find they don’t have as much spending power as they did a year ago, they’ll be pleased to know that there are exotic destinations – from Berlin to Guangzhou and Lisbon – where they can enjoy premier accommodation on a shoestring budget,” said Katherine Cole, Regional Director, Australia, New Zealand & Singapore for the Hotels.com brand.Ms Cole added: “With the widest range of hotel choices, competitive deals, and user-friendly technology, Hotels.com is the ideal place to find a luxury escape that won’t break the bank.”Travellers are advised to check Guest Review ratings as there is no universal star rating system. Each country has its own and, in some cases, more than one. This means that travellers should be aware of a possible disparity of standards and facilities when booking rooms with the same star ratings in different countries. Guest Reviews make the process of finding the best hotel for travellers more obvious, with each property receiving a rating of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent or Outstanding based on a 5-point scale. Travellers can easily find the highest rated hotels by looking for the “Loved by Guests” badge and can filter reviews by trip type (i.e. family, business, romance, etc.) or see the time of year the reviewer travelled to get a better sense of the individual’s experience.The latest Hotels.com HPI also revealed that the Mexican resort town of Cancun took out the top city in the world among those analysed where Australians paid the most for five-star accommodation, at $733 per night. Paris ($689), LA ($650) and New York ($594) came in second, third and fourth place respectively. Hotels.comSource = Hotels.comlast_img read more

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Anjuna expands North American team

first_imgAnjuna expands North American team (LtoR) Nick Reid, General Manager Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America James Vaile, President Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Imelda Bermudez Operations Manager Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Sylvia Dominguez, Pricing Manager Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Dilli Ching, Anjuna Global Head of Operations Don Sniffen, Reservations and Ticketing Officer Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Kanokkarn Pengcharoen, Lead Reservations and Ticketing Office Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Alex Flores, Reservations and Ticketing Officer Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) North America Scott Gordon, Business Development Manager (West Coast) Thai Airways GSA (Anjuna) USAAnjuna expands North American teamAnjuna LLC the appointed GSA for THAI Airways International for the USA and Canada has recently increased the team in the US in order to meet demand for the THAI product.Having recently moved to larger office premises located at Suite 1280, 2321 Rosecrans Avenue, El Segundo, Anjuna continues to expand it’s team for THAI as they make tremendous progress into the US and Canadian market place. The aviation specialists Anjuna, represents Thai Airways International in North America from their offices in Los Angeles, New York and Miami with Canada being served by their offices in Montreal and Vancouver.Mr James Vaile, President of Anjuna LLC the appointed GSA for THAI Airways International, spoke with ETB Travel News Americas and expressed his delight in which progress was being made for the Thai national carrier within the US and Canadian markets. THAI is such a well respected product in this part of the world and we are seeing tremendous results in a very short period of time, Mr Vaile said. Anjuna LLC commenced the GSA agreement for THAI on the first of July this year and we have already moved offices to better serve the demand for the carrier he went on to say. Our location in El Segundo is a strategic position given numerous airlines operate from this area in Los Angeles and the new THAI offices are state of the art and well equipped Mr Vaile said. In addition, we are easily accessible to the trade and public alike he said.THAI Airways International (General Sales Canada) C/O Anjuna, LLC 1111 Boulevard Dr. Frederik Philips, Suite #600, Saint Laurent QC H4M 2X6Phone: (800) 767-3598 Email: reservations@thaiairways.caTHAI Airways International (General Sales USA) C/O Anjuna, LLCSuite #1280, 2321 Rosecrans Avenue, El Segundo, CA 90245, U.S.A.Phone: (800) 767-3598 Email: reservations@thaiairways.us Fly THAIbook your flights hereAbout THAIThai Airways International Public Co,.ltd is a national enterprise subordinated to the Ministry of Transport. It is a public company registered in The Securities Exchange of Thailand since 1991 with the Ministry of Finance as a dominance shareholder at more then 50%.We operate the airlines business that transport passengers, goods, parcels and postal through air transportation via Thai major cities to the primary cities around the world. From schedule flights to charter flights and through our alliances with Suvarnabhumi Airport as the main hub for all flight routes.About AnjunaAnjuna is a global airline services company that represents airlines for sales and marketing solutions in markets where they choose not to have their own offices yet wish to promote and support their services.Anjuna’s cross-functional team thinks together but not alike. It is a mix between experienced aviation & travel industry experts – the executive team boasts over 180 years of collective industry expertise, experience and unrivaled commercial achievement – and smart, agile data scientists, software developers and digital marketing specialists coming from pioneering companies in the digital industry.This broad range of capabilities allows us to serve both today’s traditional airline service needs while simultaneously providing our clients with a competitive advantage based on integrating and leveraging cutting edge innovations within the digital technology and big data space to drive greater value.THAI Airways International www.thaiairways.comSource = Anjuna – THAIlast_img read more

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akyra Thonglor Bangkok launches in the heart of the capital

first_imgakyra Thonglor Bangkok launches in the heart of the capitalakyra Thonglor Bangkok launches in the heart of the capitalakyra Thonglor Bangkok launches on December 1, 2016. The second urban property in the akyra brand offers a chic metropolitan retreat through a full refurbishment programme that has transformed the former hotel into a unique landmark in the heart of urban, edgy, contemporary Bangkok – the sought after Thonglor neighborhood.akyra Thonglor Bangkok boasts spacious rooms and suites that provide a true sense of “city-living”,  the hotel offers seamless access to an inimitable collection of exclusive shops and boutiques, plus a choice of outstanding bars and restaurants that are unique to the area, much coveted and must-try.The unique hotel atmosphere and experience is enhanced by a full range of top-class facilities and services including a plush executive lounge, bright, airy meeting and function spaces, a restaurant and a fully equipped fitness centre that’s open 24/7.“Thonglor is my favorite part of Bangkok! There is a good reason why those in the know choose to spend most of their business and leisure time there,” explains Akaryn Hotel Group founder and managing director, Achalika Kijkanakorn.“Thonglor is exciting, arty, cutting edge, full of design inspiration and art galleries. It’s also local in the sense that even though many expats live there, it’s the long term residents that choose Thonglor for the unique sense of belonging and the diverse, always happening feel.”About AKARYN Hotel GroupAKARYN Hotel Group specialises in the management of small luxury resorts in Southeast Asia and is the owning and management company for Aleenta Phuket-PhangNa (aleenta.com/Phuket), Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi (aleenta.com/huahin). AKARYN Group also operates the akyra Manor Chiang Mai (theakyra.com/chiangmai). 2016 has brought three new openings: the akyra Beach Club Phuket (theakyra.com/phuket), akyra Thonglor Bangkok (theakyra.com/Bangkok) and The President by AKARYN in Vientiane, Laos (akaryn.com/president/resort). The Pure Blue Foundation, established in 2010 by AKARYN Hotel Group, is a charitable foundation supporting marine conservation and community projects throughout Thailand. In September 2015, founder and managing director Anchalika Kijkanakorn was named as a Hero of Philanthropy by Forbes Asia in recognition for her dedication to supporting valuable conservation efforts. Source = AKARYN Hotel Group – akyra Thonglor Bangkoklast_img read more

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Vietjet launches its 5th route to Taiwan

first_imgAbout VietjetVietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. It provides not only transport services but also uses the latest e-commerce technologies to offer various products and services for consumers. Vietjet is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. The airline was also named as one of the Top 500 Brands in Asia 2016 by global marketing research company Nielsen and “Best Asian Low Cost Carrier” at the TTG Travel Awards 2015, which compiles votes from travelers, travel agencies and tour operators in throughout Asia. The airline was also rated as one of the top three fastest growing airline brands on Facebook in the world by Socialbakers.Currently, the airline boasts a fleet of 42 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 350 flights each day. It has already opened 60 routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, China and Myanmar. It has carried nearly 35 million passengers to date.Looking ahead, the airline plans to expand its network across the Asia Pacific region. To prepare for this plan, Vietjet has signed agreements with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers to purchase more brand-new and modern aircraft. Vietjet launches its 5th route to TaiwanVietjet launches its 5th route to Taiwan linking-Ho Chi Minh City with TaichungVietjet has launched its 5th route to Taiwan connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Taichung (Taiwan), becoming the airline with the most routes between Vietnam and Taiwan. The new service is to meet the increasing travel demand of individuals, tourists and businessmen, looking to boost regional trade and integration. It follows last month’s launch of the Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City route serving as another important step forward for Vietjet in its on-going move to expand in the Asia Pacific region.The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – Taichung route is operated with four round trips per week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with flight time per leg being 3 hours 30 minutes. The HCMC-Taichung flight takes off at 10:25 (local time) and lands at 14:45 (local time). The return flight from Taichung departs at 15:45 (local time) and arrives in HCMC at 18:00 (local time). All passengers onboard the inaugural flight have received lovely gifts from Vietjet.Promotional air tickets for this new route are also available for booking from 13:00 to 15:00 every day under Vietjet’s 5th Anniversary “Win a 1-kg gold airplane, Fly to a happy future” campaign from now till February 28. Vietjet offers up to 5 million promotional air tickets from only HKD8. Tickets can be booked at www.vietjetair.com. Payment can be easily made with debit and credit cards of Visa, MasterCard, JCB, KCP and American Express and ATM cards that have been registered with internet banking. All passengers who book tickets successfully can also enter a daily lucky draw for free return air ticket, a weekly lucky draw for 3.75-gram of gold, and a final lucky draw for a 1-kg gold aircraft model.Located in the west of central Taiwan, Taichung is Taiwan’s third largest city, widely known as a cultural and educational center with many heritages and historical sites. Thanks to its serene nature, nice weather and famous local cuisines and cultural events, the city is expected to become the tourism paradise. With the new route to Taichung, Vietjet’s flight network to Taiwan has been increased to five routes, helping travelers, tourists and businessmen fly affordably.Ho Chi Minh City on the other end is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia with its many cultural and historical attractions. From pagodas and museums to fine restaurants and scenic spots, the city offers travelers a truly memorable experience.With its high-quality services, special low-fare tickets and diverse ticket classes, Vietjet offers its passengers enjoyable flights with dynamic and friendly flight crew, comfy seats, amazing hot meals and special surprises from the airline’s inflight activities. Vietjet’s Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City route which commenced on December 9, 2016, has been very popular with travelers with its daily service departing from Ho Chi Minh City at 14:35 (local time) and arrives at Hong Kong International Airport at 18:20. The return flight takes offat 19:20 (local time) and lands at 21:05. The flight time is 2 hours 45 minutes per leg. Source = Vietjetlast_img read more

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Abercrombie Kent ownership announcement

first_imgAbercrombie & Kent ownership announcementGeoffrey J.W. Kent, Founder, Chairman and CEO of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has formed a strategic partnership with Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of Heritage group, to jointly acquire 100% of the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies S.A. (Abercrombie & Kent). This union brings together two visionaries in luxury travel to further develop Abercrombie & Kent as the premier brand in luxury and experiential travel.Geoffrey Kent is a true pioneer and visionary in the travel industry. He created the first luxury tented photographic safaris in 1962 in Kenya and has built A&K into the world’s leading luxury and adventure travel company.Manfredi Lefebvre built Silversea Cruises, created by his father in 1994 with the purchase of two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, into the leading luxury and expedition cruise line. Recently Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) acquired a 66% stake in Silversea Cruises. A&K is a separate and unique investment byHeritage group, led by Manfredi Lefebvre, and does not involve Silversea.Since their humble beginnings, both companies have grown to become the dominant players in their respective fields, offering a discerning clientele the ultimate in luxury travel.Geoffrey Kent and Manfredi Lefebvre have known each other for more than twenty years and also been business partners, having acquired the MV Explorer in 1992.“Abercrombie & Kent is the finest luxury travel company in the world, and I am honored to be able to partner with Geoffrey Kent to help this remarkable company continue its record growth,” said Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of Heritage group. Kent added: “I am very excited to be working with Manfredi. I cannot think of a better or more experienced partner for the next phase of A&K’s growth.”Heritage group will own 85% of Abercrombie & Kent and Geoffrey Kent 15%. Geoffrey Kent will continue to be Chairman and CEO of the operating company, while Manfredi Lefebvre will become Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent Holding.The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.Barclays Bank Plc served as financial advisor to Heritage group.About Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio de Cluniere di BalsoranoChairman, Heritage groupManfredi Lefebvre is Chairman of Heritage group as well as Executive Chairman of Silversea Cruises. The Lefebvre family conceived Silversea in the early ‘90s as a pioneering cruise line offering a personal style of ultra-luxury travel, unrivalled in the world. Silversea is now partially owned by Royal Caribbean Limited (RCCL). Mr. Lefebvre is also President of the Monegasque Chamber of Shipping, a Member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and a Member of the Board of Skuld. He was honoured with the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint Charles and Grimaldi by SAS Prince Albert of Monaco. www.heritagemonaco.comAbout Geoffrey JW KentFounder, Chairman and CEO, Abercrombie & KentGeoffrey Kent’s life began much as he lives it today – amid excitement and adventure in an exotic location. He was born while his parents, Colonel John and Valerie Kent, were on safari in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He grew up on the family farm in the Aberdare Highlands of Kenya and attended the then-new Duke of York School in Nairobi, which produced many of Kenya’s business and science leaders, including Richard Leakey. With the innate skill of an entrepreneur and the relentless curiosity of a born explorer, he built a company that enables travellers to discover the world around them – and to do it in a uniquely stylish manner. Geoffrey Kent was inducted into the UK’s Travel Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the US travel industry for creating “experiential travel” by bringing the same sense of adventure found on safari to destinations around the world. He recently published a book, Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer.About Abercrombie & KentAbercrombie & Kent pioneered luxury adventure travel with our first African safaris in 1962, and today A&K’s award-winning travel services extend around the globe to more than one hundred countries on all seven continents. A&K has more people in more places than any other travel company with more than 55 on-site offices in over 30 countries. www.abercrombiekent.comSource = Abercrombie & Kentlast_img read more

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