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Air Miles alerts that cash miles have been stolen from some members

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Air Miles has posted a letter on its website warning that criminals have stolen cash miles from some of its members.The rewards program says a small number of in-store transactions with stolen cash miles has occurred in which the criminals used them to buy goods.Air Miles spokeswoman Rachael Montgomery says the manner in which the cash miles were fraudulently accessed has not compromised members’ personal information.She said the company is not sharing more specific details at this time because its investigation of the breach is ongoing.While the company works to resolve the situation, it has temporarily removed the cash miles option for in-store purchases.Montgomery said the company does not have a timeline in place for how long the suspension will be in effect.However, members can still access their cash miles at the company’s website to redeem for e-vouchers.The alert comes a few weeks after Air Miles sent a note to its members apologizing for the controversy it caused last year over changes to its expiration policy.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksThe rewards program angered many members with its proposal to void unused Air Miles after five years, only to abandon that plan weeks before it was to take effect. The Canadian Press Posted by Air Miles alerts that cash miles have been stolen from some members Friday, March 24, 2017 Sharelast_img read more

Win a European cruise with Transats newest agent incentive

first_imgTags: MSC Cruises, Transat Share Monday, April 10, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img MONTREAL — Every MSC Meraviglia booking agents make during the month of April with Transat comes with a chance to win a sailing for themselves on the new ship.The prize includes a cruise package for two aboard the MSC Meraviglia, sailing from Marseille, France, including roundtrip flight, cruise, transfers and taxes and an Option Plus upgrade for two on Air Transat.Agents also earn 15% commission on every MSC Meraviglia booking.New to Transat’s cruise program this summer are exclusive sailings aboard MSC Meraviglia from Marseille, with ports of call in Genoa, Naples, Sicily, Malta and Barcelona. According to Transat, the new ship offers an outstanding guest experience on board, featuring entertainment by Cirque du Soleil.Cruise packages include roundtrip flights with Air Transat, transfers and the cruise. With Transat’s Flight Protection, travellers are guaranteed to get to their cruise even if their flight is delayed. Transat’s program features 13 cruise lines and more than 60 itineraries in Europe and the Caribbean.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJClients can also choose to extend their trip, at no extra charge, by moving up their departure date up to 14 days before their cruise or postponing their return to Canada up to 14 days after their journey at sea. Win a European cruise with Transat’s newest agent incentive Travelweek Group last_img read more

Passengers in hourslong tarmac delays describe harrowing conditions

first_img Share OTTAWA — Passengers who were trapped aboard two Air Transat jets earlier this summer described hours on end of sweltering heat, a lack of water and the stench of vomit in the cabin as a federal agency began hearings Wednesday into their ordeal.One witness said she saw flight attendants outside on the Ottawa tarmac taking selfies alongside one stranded plane amid widespread confusion over the July 31 delays – six hours in one case, five in the other.Another witness described a young boy running down the aisle for the toilets in the rear of the plane, but vomiting in the aisle and on passengers before he could make it to the bathrooms.One by one, passengers told members of the Canadian Transportation Agency, the agency investigating the incidents, that they would have given anything to be allowed off the planes, even if only to face further delays or long drives home.They described feeling treated like cargo by the airline, rather than as human beings and accused the carrier of being more concerned about getting the planes in the air than it was about the health and safety of its customers.“There was no relief,” passenger Alan Abraham told the panel. “I felt like we were luggage; they had to get us to Montreal no matter what. They didn’t care what condition we were in.”The ensuing weeks have seen finger-pointing between the airline and airport officials in the national capital over the incident, which is now subject of a class-action lawsuit.“Air Transat said that it’s the airport of Ottawa, and Ottawa airport says it is Air Transat who didn’t ask for help,” said Blaise Pascal Irutingabo, one of the passengers who endured trying conditions during a six-hour delay.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the team“As a passenger, we don’t know who to blame or who to talk to about what happened.”Wednesday’s testimony marked the first of two days of hearings into whether the airline broke its contract with passengers.“Air travel is an integral part of modern life,” said Scott Steiner, chair and CEO of the agency. “Usually it goes smoothly, but if it doesn’t, passengers have rights.”Senior Air Transat officials are scheduled to testify Thursday. On Wednesday, Christophe Hennebelle, the airline’s vice-president of corporate affairs offered an apology to passengers, saying the hearings showed the complexity of the situation on July 31.“We are very aware of the difficult situation that has been experienced by our passengers. We have made our apologies for that and we apologize again,” Hennebelle said in a short statement to reporters.Both planes were originally bound for Montreal _ one from Brussels, the other from Rome _ but were forced to divert to Ottawa due to weather conditions. They were among about 20 other planes that couldn’t land in Montreal or Toronto during a two-hour window .The two planes sat on the tarmac for hours, with the air conditioning failing on the Brussels flight after it ran out of fuel despite declaring a fuel emergency before landing.Outdoor temperatures hovered around 28 C.The passengers said they were told repeatedly that they were not allowed off the planes because customs agents refused to allow it, even after food and beverages ran out.The airport authority said gates were available if Air Transat pilots wanted to let passengers disembark and rejected suggestions that it helped other planes refuel while neglecting Air Transat.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Airport authority CEO Marc Laroche said the ground services agency is responsible for stairs to let people off planes and refuelling services, arguing the airport is not responsible for the issue at the heart of these hearings.“I hope that Air Transat will be clear to everyone what they are responsible for: They are responsible for refuelling, catering, decision to gate or to deplane, those are their responsibilities. I provide the infrastructure, the facility, the co-ordination centre,” Laroche said.“I assist when asked. I will provide information when asked and I will provide whatever I can do to make the experience as good as possible, but that doesn’t mean I am in charge of refuelling.”Marc Jette, a passenger aboard the Brussels flight, dialled 911 for help, a decision that the agency’s investigator said added to the delay in getting both planes off the ground.Jette said his daughters suffered nightmares the week after the ordeal, and are now nervous about flying again.The backdrop to the hearings is the federal government’s proposed air passenger bill of rights, which it hopes to have made law by the end of the year.Hearings on the bill, known as C-49, will start before the House of Commons officially resumes sitting after its summer break.How the airline industry must respond to tarmac delays is not the focus of those hearings and instead will be dealt with after Parliament approves the government’s legislation. Thursday, August 31, 2017 Passengers in hours-long tarmac delays describe harrowing conditionscenter_img By: Jordan PressSource: The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

first_img LAS VEGAS – MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas.The company argues in lawsuits filed in Nevada, California, New York and other states this week and last that it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.The lawsuits target victims who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after a gunman shattered the windows of his Mandalay Bay suite and fired on a crowd gathered below for a country music festival.High-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more last year before killing himself. Victims with active lawsuits against MGM don’t face the company’s legal claim.MGM says the 2002 law limits liabilities when a company or group uses services certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and mass attacks occur. The company says it is not liable because its security vendor for the concert, Contemporary Services Corp., was federally certified at the time of the Oct. 1 shooting.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyMGM claims the victims _ through actual and threatened lawsuits _ have implicated CSC’s services because they involve concert security, including training, emergency response and evacuation.“If defendants were injured by Paddock’s assault, as they allege, they were inevitably injured both because Paddock fired from his window and because they remained in the line of fire at the concert. Such claims inevitably implicate security at the concert – and may result in loss to CSC,” according to the MGM lawsuits.CSC’s general counsel, James Service, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it doesn’t comment on litigation involving the company or a third party.MGM wants a court to declare that the U.S. law “precludes any finding of liability” against the company “for any claim for injuries arising out of or related to Paddock’s mass attack.”Brian Claypool, an attorney who was at the music festival during the shooting, called the lawsuits a “hypocritical manoeuvr” that will turn into a “public relations nightmare for MGM.”More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“We collectively view this as a bullying tactic to intimidate the survivors who are rightfully seeking social change and redress through the litigation process,” Claypool, who represents dozens of victims, said in a statement.MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said Congress determined that federal courts should handle any lawsuits over mass attacks where federally certified security services were provided.“While we expected the litigation that followed, we also feel strongly that victims and the community should be able to recover and find resolution in a timely manner,” she said in a statement Tuesday.Attorney Robert Eglet, who represents victims in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Nevada, also decried the casino operator’s move, saying the company is filing complaints nationwide in search of a sympathetic judge. He told AP he has been flooded with calls from victims.“This is absolute gamesmanship. It’s outrageous. It’s just pouring gasoline on the fire of (the victims’) suffering,” Eglet said. “They are very distraught, very upset over this. MGM is trying to intimidate them.” Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability Tags: Las Vegas, Lawsuit, MGM Grand By: The Associated Presslast_img read more

United Q3 profit up 30 as it recoups fuel costs

first_img Wednesday, October 17, 2018 Tags: Fuel, United Airlines United Q3 profit up 30% as it recoups fuel costs << Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Associated Press Share CHICAGO — United Airlines says it is now passing the full impact of higher fuel prices to its customers, helping the nation’s third-biggest carrier boost third-quarter profit by 30%.Parent company United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it earned US$836 million, as rising revenue more than offset a 40 per cent jump in fuel spending.United doesn’t disclose average fares, but an approximation – revenue for every seat flown one mile – rose a surprisingly steep 6.1 per cent from a year ago.CEO Oscar Munoz declared it a “stand-out third quarter performance” that “is proof that United is building momentum.”The company raised its forecast of full-year earnings per share.United shares rose more than 4 per cent in the first hour of late trading after the report was released.Chicago-based United has struggled to keep up with rivals like American and especially Delta. To turn things around, Munoz’s executive team has added flights from its mid-U.S. hub airports in Chicago, Denver and Houston, where many passengers connect to other destinations. Executives say those are now among United’s strongest operations in growth of revenue per seat.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedUnited said it earned $3.06 per share, which included losses of seven cents per share from tropical storms that led to cancelled flights. Analysts, who may not have accounted for the storm-related losses, expected $3.09 per share, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.Revenue jumped $1.1 billion, or 11 per cent, to $11 billion, slightly higher than the $10.96 forecast from analysts in the Zacks survey.Labour costs remained United’s top expense, but fuel ran a close second and is expected to keep rising. United paid $2.32 a gallon in the third quarter and predicted that it will pay between $2.41 and $2.46 in the fourth quarter.Still, United said that thanks to higher fares, it captured “approximately 100 per cent” of the increase in fuel prices over the same period last year.The airline said it will earn between $8 and $8.75 per share for all of 2018. The midpoint of that range would beat the forecast of $8.15 among the analysts surveyed by FactSet.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyCheaper fuel after the oil price collapse of 2014 led to record profits at U.S. airlines. However, it eventually led airlines to expand faster than the growth in travel demand, and all those new flights pushed down average fares in 2016 and 2017. Now rising fuel prices are helping airlines reverse that trend and push average fares higher.United executives were scheduled to discuss the results with analysts and reporters on Wednesday.Before the results were released, United shares rose $2.18, or 2.7 per cent, to end regular trading at $83.52. After more than an hour of extended trading, they were up another $3.61, or 4.3 per cent, to $87.13. The shares began the day up 24 per cent in 2018, the leading gainer among U.S. airline stocks.last_img read more


Fishin in Flamingo and Carrillo

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionBy Jack McGann and Dick Hauguel | Special to The Tico TimesFor those anglers around the world who may read this weekly fishing column and who are thinking about billfishing in Costa Rica, our experiences may be very helpful in planning your first trip.Dick Hauguel and I have been fishing for marlin and sailfish on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for many years. In the winter, we fish out of Carrillo, and in the summer we fish out of Flamingo. Early on, we learned that some of the best local charter captains work these areas on this schedule.It only seemed reasonable for us to schedule our trips to these ports at the same time the top boats in Costa Rica are fishing them. We have learned that they knew that weather, and fishing with them is usually as good as it gets.There are about a dozen boats that work this schedule, including Gamefisher, Kingfisher, Flamingo II and Permit III, which belongs to great local fishing captain Chepe Santana, who we hooked up with.The boat captains work well together, sharing real-time information about where and what is happening so that everyone gets a chance at the best fishing possible.We just returned from our most recent trip to Flamingo, and our plans worked out well. We caught and released 16 billfish, brought in four big dorado (one weighed 80 pounds) and also got four tuna. We usually fish three days at a time just in case fishing is slow or water conditions are not good.The boats I have mentioned are all in excellent condition with experienced crews. We chose to stay with the Permit III because we have become close friends with Chepe and his regular mate Efern. They speak excellent English and with their help, I am learning Spanish. They are both excellent fishermen and are very responsible in every aspect of this exciting sport.I wanted to share our experience with Tico Times readers because it has been so very special for us. We have made over 30 trips with Chepe out of these ports and never once have we been blown off the water or gone without a billfish. Anyone who has been billfishing anywhere in the world would agree that this record is fantastic.Flying into the new terminal of Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia works well for either Flamingo or Carrillo. Flying into San José may be a little cheaper but the drive is a little further.If you are thinking about making a trip to Costa Rica for billfishing, we believe these ideas will help you. We have learned Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with a culture that matches the beauty of the countryside. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Evangelicals and Citizen Action Party discuss deal that could give major push

first_imgLong on opposite sides of the debate to legalize in vitro fertilization, the center-left Citizen Action Party (PAC) and the conservative evangelical National Restoration Party may be able to strike a compromise to allow access to the fertility treatment in this Catholic country. Costa Rica remains one of only a few countries in the worldto prohibit in vitro fertilization.The comments came after a meeting Tuesday between President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís of PAC and members of the National Restoration Party (RN) Tuesday, reported and president of RN, Carlos Avendaño, asked for more dialogue and said that the current bill was unacceptable. Avendaño also expressed his concern over Solís’ choice of Vice President Ana Helena Chacón, who will oversee social issues for the president-elect and has previously supported same-sex unions, IVF and some forms of abortion, according to the daily La Nación.Mired in political and religious debates over whether or not IVF constituted a form of abortion because of the fertilized eggs not implanted in a women’s uterus, the court-ordered legislation regulating the treatment has stalled for years.According to, Emilia Molina, the chief of PAC’s legislative faction, said the party would push an IVF bill if incoming PAC lawmaker Henry Mora wins the presidency of the Legislative Assembly in the coming weeks, a position that would allow PAC to set the legislative agenda for the coming year.PAC holds 13 of the 57 seats in the 2014-2018 Assembly and will need support from other political parties to wrest control from the National Liberation Party, which won 18 seats in the Feb. 2 election.Costa Rica is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw IVF, despite the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ 2012 ruling that the ban violated the plaintiffs’ human rights and ordering that the Legislative Assembly pass a bill regulating the procedure. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica to regulate IVF after long row Costa Rican president presents draft decree to legalize in vitro fertilization Costa Rican plaintiffs disappointed, but not surprised, by president’s IVF proposal Next up for new ombudswoman Montserrat Solano: Costa Rica’s inaction on in vitro fertilizationlast_img read more


Tymoshenkos tigress gives birth to 4 cubs

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements For nearly three weeks, Tymoshenko was on a hunger strike after prison officials allegedly beat her, and she ended it on Wednesday when a German doctor was allowed to supervise her treatment for severe back pain at the clinic in the eastern city of Kharkiv, where her prison is located.“These are really very rare tigers,” said Oleh Zubkov, head of Ukraine’s biggest zoo, where Tigryulia is kept in the Black Sea resort city Yalta. “All the zoos in Ukraine and in the world dream of having such tigers born.”Since Tigryulia, a 3-year-old white Bengal tiger, successfully delivered the cubs she has been reluctant to nurse them, apparently distracted by zoo visitors and her partner, a 6-year-old tiger from France named Patrice. Zoo workers are helping out by nursing the cubs from bottles.Zubkov, whose wife works at the zoo, said she “has completely disappeared from my life _ she feeds them every two hours.”Tigryulia’s path to fame started in the summer of 2009, when the then 4-month-old tiger was bought at a Swiss zoo and presented to Tymoshenko, the charismatic Orange Revolution heroine, at a children’s festival.Tymoshenko, who then served as prime minister and was running for president, fell in love with the tiger and made the animal a key image of her campaign, with posters of Tymoshenko tenderly holding Tigryulia dotting the country. Afterward, Tigryulia was placed in the Yalta zoo and a Tymoshenko ally brought in the Bengal tiger, Patrice, from France to keep her company, but the two didn’t hit it off at first. Associated PressKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – A beautiful white tiger that became a symbol of Yulia Tymoshenko’s presidential campaign has returned to the spotlight by giving birth to four cubs, including a rare albino one.Activists hope the birth of the cubs in a zoo on Sunday will lift the spirits of Tymoshenko since she is now in prison and she had used the tigress, Tigryulia, as a symbol of ferocious resolve. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system The vital role family plays in society New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Quick workouts for men Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates “Both Tigryulia and Patrice have very difficult personalities _ to put it mildly,” Zubkov said. “At first we were afraid they would simply kill each other.”Zoo workers separated the tigers by a metal fence, allowing them only to sniff each other, then moved them closer together. Finally the tigers got used to being in the same enclosure and they mated.But as Tigryulia’s star rose, Tymoshenko became much less fortunate.She lost the 2010 presidential election to her longtime foe, the Orange Revolution nemesis President Viktor Yanukovych, and was sentenced to seven years in prison in October on charges of abuse of office. The trial was condemned by the West as politically motivated.Yanukovych has resisted strong pressure from the European Union and the United States to release Tymoshenko, and she has become the target of new charges and investigations.Zubkov said the zoo has launched a contest to name the four cubs, but there is one rule: each name must contain the sound “Yu,” like Tymoshenko’s first name.In the meantime, he has sent photographs of Tigryulia and her cubs to Tymoshenko in prison.The zoo hopes Tymoshenko “will enjoy these photos at such a difficult period of her life and that they will cheer her up,” Zubkov said. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more


AlQaida leader released from Mauritanian jail

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Hafs spent years in custody in Iran before being extradited to Mauritania in April. Walid says his brother was interrogated multiple times and his release indicates he is no longer seen as a threat.Hafs has been largely out of the game for a decade, but the U.S. is concerned that he could re-emerge as an ideological figure if he fails to follow through on whatever conditions of release he has made with Mauritanian authorities, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive intelligence matters.____AP Intelligence Writer Kimberly Dozier contributed to this report from Washington.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishescenter_img NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) – Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, who was a senior adviser to al-Qaida, was released from a prison in Mauritania over the weekend, his family confirmed.Sidi Ould Walid said his brother was released after renouncing his ties to the terror network and condemning the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Hafs refused to be interviewed or to be filmed as he left the prison on Saturday.On militant forums on Monday, jihadists exchanged congratulations over the release. Hafs was an adviser to Osama Bin Laden who helped form the modern al-Qaida by merging bin Laden’s operation with Ayman al-Zawahri’s Islamic Jihad. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more


Vatican names bishop for troubled Irish diocese

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Following the church’s fact-finding commission into the abuses in Cloyne, the Irish government last year issued its own report into the southwest rural County Cork diocese and found that the Vatican had encouraged the concealing of the crimes by warning bishops that their 1996 policy violated church law.Citing the Cloyne report, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny delivered a now-infamous tirade against the Holy See in July 2011, accusing it of sabotaging the 1996 policy and denouncing the “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism” that he said dominated Vatican culture today. The Vatican vigorously denied Kenny’s accusations, but a diplomatic chill ensued. Ireland closed its embassy to the Holy See soon thereafter.The Cloyne report was the fourth state fact-finding probe into how church leaders for decades protected pedophiles and their own reputations at the expense of Ireland’s children. The finding have decimated the church’s reputation and standing in the once-devoutly Catholic nation.___Follow Nicole Winfield at Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories center_img The findings were particularly galling since the Irish church, under mounting pressure and lawsuits stemming from revelations of wide-scale priest sex abuse and cover-up, had adopted a policy in 1996 requiring bishops to report abuse to police. The Cloyne report, however, found that Magee took no hands-on interest in enacting the policy until 2008.Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named the Rev. Canon William Crean, a parish priest in Cahersiveen, to replace the apostolic administrator who has been running the diocese in Magee’s absence. Crean, 60, has been a director of religious education in several Irish schools and received his theology degree from the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.In his initial remarks, Crean promised Saturday to work with his staff to “bring healing and new hope to the lives of all victims of abuse and their families.”“As I accept this appointment, you will appreciate that I feel apprehensive because I am deeply conscious of the trauma of these years past _ so much suffering endured by young people at the hands of a few, sufferings compounded by the failure of those who didn’t believe them and those who didn’t hear their cry for help,” he said from St. Colman’s Cathedral. How do cataracts affect your vision? Associated PressVATICAN CITY (AP) – The pope on Saturday named a new bishop for the troubled Irish diocese of Cloyne, where for years its previous bishop ignored the Irish church’s own rules requiring suspected priestly sex abuse to be reported to police. The new bishop promptly vowed to do everything in his power to help abuse victims heal.Cloyne has been without a resident bishop since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace as bishop in 2010 after a church-appointed commission found that he and his deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two pedophile priests starting in 1995, but told police nothing until 2003, and little thereafter. Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more


Federal regulators go after crowdfunding scam

first_img Comments   Share   Chevalier did not respond to requests for comment by telephone or email.In a statement, Kickstarter defended its activities as empowering millions of people to be part of the development and production of new creative works and said its creators have “an incredible track record” of following through on promises.“But creators who abuse our system and backers’ trust expose themselves to legal action,” it said. In a reference to the Chevalier case, the statement added, “That another creator stepped in to produce this game and get it into the hands of backers is a testament to the goodwill and spirit of the Kickstarter community.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are going after people who raise money online through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe but don’t follow through on their promises.In its first case involving crowdfunding, the Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that it has settled charges against a man who raised $122,000 through Kickstarter to produce a board game that never materialized. According to the FTC, Erik Chevalier canceled the project and said he would refund the donations but instead used the money to pay his rent and move. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Crowdfunding has become a popular way to donate money directly to someone in need, from independent filmmakers to do-gooders. The donations are often small, ranging from a couple bucks to a couple thousand dollars.In one case in Los Angeles, a man’s crowdfunding campaign received $60,000 in less than a month after posting a YouTube video showing how he built a tiny, $500 wooden house on wheels for a homeless woman in his neighborhood. In another case, a Maine man who wanted to donate his kidney to a stranger after seeing a sign in a car window raised $49,000 to defray medical costs.While this week’s FTC settlement is a warning to online scammers, it also reveals the limits to which the government can protect consumers: Chevalier has been ordered to repay the money, but the judgment has been suspended because he doesn’t have any. Otherwise, the settlement prohibits him from lying about future crowdfunding campaigns.“Many consumers enjoy the opportunity to take part in the development of a product or service through crowdfunding, and they generally know there’s some uncertainty involved in helping start something new,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection. “But consumers should able to trust their money will actually be spent on the project they funded.” Men’s health affects baby’s health too Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The vital role family plays in society 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Indonesian suburb hit by plane disasters twice in 10 years

first_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — A decade ago, when an Indonesian passenger jet crashed into a quaint neighborhood in Indonesia’s third-biggest city, Medan, Waktu Tarigan thought he’d never witness anything like that again. He was wrong.On Tuesday, an air force transport plane with 122 people on board plowed into the same neighborhood. And the same street.In 2005, Padang Bulan was a charming middle-class residential area in this steamy tropical city of 3 million. Its main road, Jamin Ginting, was lined with colonial-style houses with well-manicured gardens. Rescuers search for victims at the site where an Indonesian air force transport plane crashed in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The C-130 Hercules plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the country’s third-largest city on June 30. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)n Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The area’s only drawback was noise from nearby Polonia airport, then the main international gateway for Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s main islands.“I cannot forget the plane crash of 10 years ago. It feels like it happened just yesterday,” said Tarigan, 40, who ran an electronics business in his house across the street from where the Mandala Airlines plane went down in June 2005, killing at least 149.He recalled seeing the plane strike several houses and hearing the screams of people thrown from the fuselage. He ran to help but suddenly the plane exploded, engulfing trees, houses and passengers in flames.The Boeing 737-200 crashed only seconds after takeoff. The victims included 47 people on the ground. Some 15 people on the plane survived.Ten years later, Padang Bulan has been transformed into a thriving shopping and leisure district with its main road sporting a mall and dotted by hotels, guest houses, cafes and spas.A new international airport has opened outside Medan, and its predecessor Polonia is now used by the air force as Suwondo air base.Tarigan said he saw the bulky C-130 Hercules transport plane flying very low after takeoff, almost touching a tree in his backyard, before crashing about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away on Jamin Ginting. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breachescenter_img It plowed into a new building that local media said contained a spa, shops and homes, killing all 122 on board and at least 19 people in the neighborhood.“Of course, this second event made me worried, whether my house, my family, could be hit by the next plane crash,” said Tarigan, a father of four.“But, where should I stay? This house and this small shop are where we live and earn a living. I just accept God’s will,” he said.Those killed on the air force flight included military personnel and their families. Relatives of some victims said they were civilians who paid for flights in violation of military rules, to reach remote parts of the Indonesian archipelago.Tarigan’s neighbors and residents who live near the Hercules crash site also say the two disasters 10 years apart won’t deter them from staying in the neighborhood.“Disasters, accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone,” said Vita Saragih, 36, who runs a food stall opposite from where the Hercules crashed.“I don’t want to leave my house in this promising area just because of the uncertainty of something that could happen,” she said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

Thailand remains blacklisted by US for human trafficking

first_img Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Monday, July 27, 2015, where he released the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report. The State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the U.S. open to criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in its annual human trafficking report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)n Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday that Thailand was working on solving the issues and that the assessment was made when his administration, which took over after a military coup last year, was beginning to address the problems.“We just have to keep working and not to worry. It’s an issue of international rules, so we’ll have to follow,” he told reporters. “Don’t worry too much. Their assessment was up to them as they were the ones assessing, not us. We just do our job. What they said in the assessment, we fixed every part of it, but some issues are quicker to fix and some are slow.”The State Department said Monday that Thai, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indonesian men are still subjected to forced labor on Thai fishing boats.“Some men remain at sea for several years, are paid very little or irregularly, work as much as 18 to 20 hours per day for seven days a week, or are threatened and physically beaten,” the report said.The Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. denounced the assessment, saying Thailand has made substantial efforts with concrete results to stop human trafficking.“Significant progress has been made across the board,” the Embassy said in a statement, stressing the State Department report “does not accurately reflect the reality and fails to take into account significant efforts undertaken by the Thai Government.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities are upset about being blacklisted by the U.S. for the second year in a row for failing to do enough to combat modern-day slavery.The State Department said Monday that labor abuses in the Southeast Asian country’s seafood sector are persistent, abusive and largely ignored by the government. Those abuses have been widely documented in a series of stories this year by The Associated Press which tracked the supply chains of major U.S. retailers to Thai processors selling slave-caught seafood. Those reports have prompted rescues and repatriations of more than 800 men this year. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Malaysia is one of 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the key economic plank of Obama’s Asia policy, but could be banned from participating if blacklisted. And the U.S. has recently patched relations with Cuba.Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey said the report, in its 15th year, “has careened off into a new direction where the facts regarding each government’s actions in the fight against human trafficking are given almost no weight when put up against the president’s political agenda.”__Mendoza in Santa Cruz, California, and Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Those efforts include amending laws and rules, ensuring better law enforcement, streaming legal processes, prosecuting offenders and protecting victims, the Embassy said.A coalition of 25 human rights and labor organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the AFL-CIO labor federation, said blacklisting Thailand, along with criticism from the European Union and high-profile news exposes, have put needed pressure on the country.“This decision comes at a vital time for leveraging change from the Thai government in its anti-trafficking efforts,” the coalition said in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.Thailand, along with Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe, were among 23 countries receiving the lowest ranking in the annual U.S. assessment of how 188 governments around the world are fighting the flesh trade and other forms of exploitative labor. The report is the State Department’s key weapon for combatting human trafficking, and comes in a politically charged annual ranking in “tiers”– Tier 1 is best, 2 means more could be done, and 3 is a blacklist that can spark sanctions.The State Department moved Malaysia and Cuba off the blacklist and up to Tier 2 this year, drawing criticism that politics — not human rights — were a factor. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more


SIA seeking interesting opportunity for Virgin stake

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Singapore Airlines (SIA) is open to any “interesting” opportunity in terms of selling its stake in British airline Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic made its intentions to merge the carrier with another airline clear approximately six months ago. Richard Branson, 51 percent stakeholder in Virgin Atlantic, recently confirmed receiving interest from several parties regarding a possible merger, according to TODAYonline. Vice-president of public affairs at SIA Nicholas Ionides said “at this point no decision has been made about an immediate divestment of our stake in Virgin.” Malaysian low-cost carrier, AirAsia, were reportedly considering a bid for Virgin Atlantic, however AirAsia recently refuted these claims telling MediaCorp that it had no plans to acquire a stake in the carrier.Regional transports and consumers analyst at RBS Asia Securities John Rachmat said that European and American airlines would be interested in Virgin as they will have a greater scope for operational integration.last_img read more

HRGs Hotel Survey highlights importance of Megacities

first_imgHogg Robinson Group (HRG) has released findings from its latest Hotel Survey, which show hotel room rates have continued to grow in the first six months of 2014, with the Asia-Pacific as the only region globally to experience year-on-year growth in the hotel market.The growth in hotel room rates was especially significant in 31 of the top 50 ‘Megacities’ in the Asia-Pacific, which saw an increase in local Average Room Rate (ARR), with occupancy in key business destinations remaining at record levels and continuing to grow.Outside of Asia-Pacific, every regions experienced ARR move back, although cities in each region continue to see large discrepancies, highlighting that regional performance continues to be less important compared to Megacity performance.Megacities Chennai and Mumbai both saw several new hotel openings, but the weakening domestic demand resulted in local ARR falling back significantly for both cities, at 14 percent and 11 percent respectively.“Demand is still growing and is yet to peak, and with occupancy at record levels in the top business destinations, hotels are feeling confident in the strength of the market,” HRG director global hotel relations Margaret Bowler said.“The balance between price, location, quality and availability will drive the market throughout 2014 and that continues to be the case; however there are still opportunities for clients to secure savings if they are open minded.”Ms. Bowler advises that by consolidating their programme and by building meaningful, long-term working relationships with hotel groups, clients will be better placed to navigate the sometimes volatile market place.“Furthermore, data, and understanding how to use it, is becoming increasingly important in the corporate travel industry and none more so than within the hotel sector and bigger volumes doesn’t necessarily mean better price, which is driven by other factors, such as the day of stay.“By being smarter with their data, clients will be more effective in understanding the total cost of stay at a hotel, such as their incremental spend and the night of a week they are staying, improving their position to deliver the best results from their hotel programme.“Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

IHG named Singapores Third Best Company to work for

first_img InterContinental Hotels Grouplearn more here Source = InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) IHG named Singapore’s Third Best Company to work forInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has been ranked third in the inaugural Great Place to Work®’s “Best Companies to Work For” list in Singapore.The award recognises the top 10 organisations across the country committed to creating a great work environment where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do, and enjoy working with the people around them.Companies nominated for “Best Companies to Work For” lists are ranked predominantly on the basis of employees’ response to Great Place to Work’s Trust Index© Survey, which measures employee perception of the workplace, and their Culture Audit©, which is completed by the company’s management team and evaluated by an independent Great Place to Work team.Commenting on the ranking, Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer AMEA, IHG, said: “Hospitality is a service industry where our people are absolutely critical to our success. Each of our hotel brands represents our promise to our guests and it is our people who deliver on that promise and bring our brands to life.”“Singapore is the regional headquarters for our business in the Asia, Middle East and Africa region. As the largest international hotel operator in the country, we place a huge focus on grooming local talent and engaging our employees, and take great effort in ensuring our hotels and office are conducive environments they can grow and thrive in. We are delighted to be featured in the top 10 list of “Singapore’s Best Companies to Work for 2015″ – it is a true testament to us as a great workplace for our colleagues and demonstrates the trust they have in us as an employer,” Jan added.Singapore is the latest market in which IHG has been awarded a spot in the coveted “Great Place to Work” list. The company was also ranked amongst the “Top 50 Companies to Work for in India” list by the Great Place to Work Institute, India, in 2012 and 2014, and “India’s Best Companies to Work For” 2015 list.Joni Ong, Managing Director, Great Place to Work Institute Singapore, said: “IHG has shown its commitment to its employees through its industry-leading employee engagement practices. It is heartening to learn that the diversity of IHG’s workforce is a key contributor to their success and employees learn from and grow with a vast network of people of varied physical abilities, ages, cultures and backgrounds.”Currently, more than 1,500 employees work across IHG’s corporate office and six hotels in Singapore, with more roles to be filled when the company opens the three hotels in its Singapore pipeline. This includes the second InterContinental hotel in the country: InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay; and the first hotel under the company’s boutique brand, Hotel Indigo, which will open in the Joo Chiat neighbourhood of Katong in 2016.last_img read more

NSW South Coast marketing campaign wins top accolade

first_imgA collaborative marketing campaign to drive visitation to the South Coast has won a Gold Award at this year’s Pacific Asia Travel Association Awards.Destination NSW and South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation received the prestigious Award for ‘Unspoilt’ – a domestic marketing program to promote the region’s natural beauty.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres welcomed the Award and said it was another fantastic achievement for regional tourism in NSW.“The unspoilt South Coast is one of Australia’s most appealing tourism destinations and deserves as much credit as the hardworking teams successfully growing the number of tourists visiting this market,” Mr Ayres said.“The campaign has been a major driver of tourism growth to the region, delivering more than 1.39 million industry leads to South Coast tourism operators since its inception in 2012.”Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the campaign’s success was a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.“The South Coast is one of Australia’s most beautiful and diverse regions, encompassing some of NSW’s best food and wine regions, pristine coastal scenery and beaches, extraordinary marine life and national parks. The campaign focussed on the region’s key strengths and it is fantastic news that the campaign has received international recognition,” Ms Chipchase said.The South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation’s Chair, Catherine Shields said she was extremely proud of the achievement.“This is the culmination of four years of working closely with Destination NSW and the local tourism industry, and we look forward to continuing to attract more visitors to the South Coast from Australia and abroad,” Ms Shields said.The South Coast campaign won the Gold Award in the Marketing – Secondary Government Destination category, recognising State or city tourism organisations. The Gold Awards recognise exceptional achievements in the Asia Pacific travel industry, with the official presentation ceremony to be held in Jakarta in September. Visit NSW South CoastSource = Destination NSWlast_img read more

Client advocates having a Personal Travel Manager and travel insurance

first_imgClient advocates having a Personal Travel Manager and travel insuranceWhen loyal clients Rob & Liz Dunstan needed to cancel their $56,000 European holiday of a lifetime, it was their personal travel manager Leisa Burdette they immediately turned to for help with their Medibank Travel Insurance claim.Two months prior to their proposed departure, Liz Dunstan was diagnosed with two pulmonary embolisms, ending up in hospital and was advised she couldn’t fly for at least six months.To assist a client with their travel insurance claim may not seem out of the ordinary, however for the Dunstan’s they felt Burdette went over and above the call of duty as their insurance policy had been purchased, facilitated and managed directly with Medibank.“When we called Leisa to tell her we had to cancel, she ran us through the process and we alerted Medibank to the fact we would be claiming cancellation. Leisa gathered the paperwork to submit their claim and she managed the refunds from the European providers, reclaiming $30,000 from the tour operators which was paid to Medibank and then we were reimbursed.”Burdette, representative for Hamilton in Queensland certainly delivers on the TravelManagers’ philosophy of providing personal and consistent client service.“I love the flexibility in having my own business where I can do all the extra things that provide my clients exceptional customer service. I was thrilled to be able to assist Liz and Rod with their travel insurance claim, it’s all part of ensuring my clients are looked after from start to finish, and that’s what providing great service is all about.”For the Dunstan’s’, this experience has just reiterated the value of having their own personal travel manager.“Together with Leisa we planned what we believed was one of our best holidays, which included touring through Italy, Croatia and Turkey, before boarding a cruise from Greece to Barcelona. We are so grateful for all Leisa’s itinerary ideas and suggestions; her personal experience makes all the difference. And knowing that she will also go out of her way to help when things go wrong, gives us absolute confidence. Without question we will only ever book our travel through Leisa at TravelManagers.”For Burdette, It is not unusual for clients to call her first when something goes wrong on holiday.Another of Burdette’s clients had their car broken into while travelling in France while at a scenic lookout. The thieves took everything including passports, clothing, all travel documentation, a wallet and mobile phone. All they were left with was one wallet and a camera.“My clients called me from the roadside minutes after the theft, extremely distressed unsure what they should do.  I advised that they drive to their hotel, which was 40 minutes away and by the time they arrived I had arranged for a free room upgrade with a nice view and sent all their travel documentation to the hotel so they could continue on with their holiday.”Burdette also liaised with the insurance company and provided phone numbers for everybody they would need to contact. These included the Paris Embassy (to sort out emergency passports), bank (to stop their credit cards from being used), details for the local car hire representative to get the damaged car replaced, options for rail changes (as they had to go to Paris to fix the passports) and options for hotel stays for two nights in Paris to get the Passports reissued.“I was just so happy I could assist in ensuring their holiday didn’t end up a nightmare for them, instead putting plans in place that ensured by the time they reached their hotel all was underway, and they could relax a little.”TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal applauds Burdette’s initiatives in going above and beyond, which epitomizes TravelManagers’ belief in turning every single transaction into a long-term client relationship.“Leisa’s ability to engage with her clients and support with after sales service is a real inspiration to all personal travel managers. By viewing each opportunity as a client for life, its experiences like these that prove the personal concept really works,” he says.For Burdette, she doesn’t feel she does anything out of the ordinary.“Another happy client experience, all in a day’s work.”Source = Travel Managerslast_img read more

roomsXML presents Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts Dubai

first_imgroomsXML presents Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts Dubai roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Thanks for Wikitravel for the tips. If you think of Dubai in 2017, 4 things come to mind; tourism, luxury, the impossible made possible, and shopping. Developing at a staggering pace over the last 10 years (with a slight slow down during the financial crisis of 2008), Dubai is one of the seven Emirates in the UAE. Close to Europe, most of the Middle East and India. Dubai has the fastest, longest, and best of everything from luxury shopping brands, theme parks, beaches and amazing nightlife.Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts in Dubai, lay claim to the most luxurious properties available. The unmistakable Burj Al Arab Jumeirah symbolises modern Dubai, and is often regarded as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Not to be left out, theres plenty for the kids at Wild Wadi Waterpark; it has to be seen to be believed.Others include the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Tower, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, and almost 10 more catering to different styles and tastes.roomsXML has secured contracts with Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts for their amazing Dubai properties, bringing agents one of the best selection of luxury hotels on the planet. For agents looking for the best hotels, through the best supplier, check out roomsXML today. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts own some of the finest properties in Dubai and other locations roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsxml.comlast_img read more

Canberra ranked 3rd best city in the world to visit

first_imgSource = Visit Canberra Canberra ranked 3rd best city in the world to visitCanberra ranked 3rd best city in the world to visitLonely Planet, the world’s leading travel publisher, today named their hottest destinations in the world to visit in 2018 with Canberra ranking third on the exclusive cities list.At number three, Canberra has achieved the highest ever listing of any Australian city in this annual global publication.“This is a significant acknowledgement of the evolution of our city in the past few years, “ ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA said. “Our focus on connecting Canberra internationally, through direct international flights and attempts to attract international business to the Territory, is clearly working and putting our city on the map.”“Having been the Tourism Minister of the ACT for more than 10 years, I have seen how hard the industry has worked with the Government to continually grow and attract more people to our city. This news is a testament to the industry and I’m confident that the increased exposure of Canberra will further support the growth of our tourism sector.”ACT Chief Minister Barr said Canberra has much to offer tourists from around the world.“We have Australia’s best national attractions, world-class food and wine and unprecedented access to some of the best natural settings Australia has to offer,” he said.“There is a lot to look forward to in 2018 for Canberra – the first stage of the city’s light rail service will begin to take place and we will welcome our second international airline. The Government will also continue to look globally to attract more visitors and businesses to our city.”Each year a panel of Lonely Planet’s international travel experts contribute to their Best in Travel 2018 guide, compiling a list of the world’s most travel-worthy locations, scoring each destination on topicality, excitement and ‘x-factor’. The company’s Best in Travel 2018 showcases some of the world’s most appealing, interesting and diverse destinations.Author of the publication’s Canberra chapter, Lonely Planet’s Chris Zeiher says Canberra is the perfect choice for such an accolade.“Canberra is a bit of a hidden gem that has been hiding in plain sight. Rich with history, culture and entertainment, it offers something for every kind of traveller. “Recent revitalisation efforts have given Canberra a new lease of life, establishing a truly contemporary and unique sense of style, with boutique precincts emerging throughout the city, bursting with cool bars, cafes and restaurants. With endless family-friendly and adventurous activities, opportunities to connect with nature or indulge in a range of gastronomic delights, along with a smorgasbord of cultural, artistic and sporting events, Canberra should be on everybody’s 2018 travel wish list,” Zeiher said.last_img read more