Sunwing targets Groups business launches 201718 Cruise program

first_imgSunwing targets Groups business, launches 2017/18 Cruise program Tags: Agent Incentives, Group Travel, Sunwing TORONTO — Sunwing is pouring more resources into the lucrative Groups market with the release of its new Groups Guide, backed by its trade-favourite STARmillionaire agent promotion and new Sunwing Experiences.The new Sunwing Groups Guide includes exclusive offers for destination weddings, family and friend reunions, special interest travel, meeting and incentive groups.Agents can access competitive group pricing and promotions instantly on Instant Group Quotes at sunwingagents.ca and benefit from a number of travel agent incentives, says the company. Sunwing offers flights from 34 gateways across Canada to some 50 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.Sunwing’s STARmillionaire promotion is back “following a very successful inaugural year”, giving agents the opportunity to win one million STAR Agent Reward points that can be converted to $1,800 cash.Agents can qualify by booking a group of 10 adults or more between March 29, 2017 and Aug. 29, 2017 departing Nov. 1, 2017 onwards. Each new booking confirmed counts as a ballot, so the more bookings an agent makes, the greater chance they have of becoming this season’s STARmillionaire. The winner will be selected by a random draw on Sept. 20, 2017 after tabulating all qualifying bookings.Sunwing’s Groups Plus offers a host of perks with extra baggage allowance, free travel, private transfers, free site inspections and room upgrades. Reduced deposits on group bookings are $150 per person and destination wedding groups can hold up to 30 seats for 90 days, or up to 60 prior to departure with only a $300 deposit at time of booking.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTGroups can also take advantage of the Price Guarantee which includes the option to make a one-time price adjustment up to 60 days prior to departure should Sunwing lower the system rate. Passengers can also earn free seats and seat credits with Sunwing Platinum Club.Sunwing says its new Sunwing Experiences allows customers to travel in comfort “knowing that a Group Excursion Specialist is always available to assist them with any of their questions or concerns”. Agents earn commission with pre-booked excursions, with all rates in Canadian dollars. “With Sunwing Experiences, customers enjoy top-reviewed tours and experiences hand-selected by local experts, and peace of mind knowing that all tours are licensed, insured, and audited to meet and surpass safety regulations,” says Sunwing.Group discounts are also available, and the 21st adult receives a complimentary excursion. Private excursions can be arranged for 12 or more guests, and customized excursions are available to meet group needs.Group pricing for cruises is available for groups of eight or more sailing on MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and TUI Discovery 2, and agents who confirm their customers’ bookings by Aug. 27, 2017 can earn 10x STAR Agent Rewards points.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe Groups Guide is being distributed throughout travel agencies plus there’s an online version at sunwingagents.ca where full details of the current STAR points promotion are also listed.Meanwhile Sunwing has also launched its 2017/18 cruise brochure with fly/cruise packages departing from Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Halifax, including roundtrip transfers to cruise ports to join MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and TUI Discovery 2 sailings.All Sunwing cruise packages include direct roundtrip flights on Sunwing Airlines and all meals onboard, except for specialty restaurants. Families can benefit from free accommodation for children on select sailings. Passengers also have access to exclusive benefits such as unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages offered through the beverage package included when they sail on MSC Opera or TUI Discovery 2.TUI Discovery 2 is new to Sunwing this season, with departures from Montego Bay starting this November. The ship includes daily gratuities and features an all inclusive beverage package. Amenities for the whole family include a rock climbing wall, mini-golf course, and indoor pool.Also featured in the brochure this season is Norwegian Epic, which sails from Port Canaveral. Packages include seven-night cruises and one-night hotel stays in Orlando.For more information on Sunwing’s cruise program or to book, visit sunwingagents.ca. Posted by Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group Friday, April 7, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Only til midnight Win a Palace Resorts trip with Transats Surprise Dates

first_img Thursday, July 13, 2017 Share Travelweek Group MONTREAL — Transat’s Surprise Dates contest is back, this time to commemorate Air Transat’s first ever win at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.On this day five years ago, Air Transat was named one of the best air carriers on the planet at the annual awards ceremony. Since then, the airline continues to rack up the accolades, most recently last month when it was recognized by Skytrax as the second best leisure airline in the world, making it the best leisure airline in North America for the sixth consecutive year.To commemorate this special anniversary date, Transat has announced that every booking of a Transat product made today (July 13) by midnight automatically earns consultants a chance to win one of three trips for two that will be drawn at random in Quebec-Ottawa, in the Ontario-Atlantic region and in Western Canada.The three winners will each enjoy a package for two, including Air Transat flights in Economy class and a one-week, all-inclusive stay at one of the following Palace Resorts: Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun in Mexico; Moon Palace Jamaica Grande; and The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun in Mexico.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”There is no need to register; contest entry is automatic as soon as a consultant sells a Transat flight, package or cruise during the day.In addition, two other travel agents per region who book a Transat product today will be selected at random to earn $30 in Bonbon rewards. The names of the winners will be announced in the coming days.Transat will draw a total of 30 surprise trips this year – three each month – from among travel consultants in Canada. On one day each month, on a milestone date in the company’s history, every booking consultants make will earn them one chance to win. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Tags: Palace Resorts, Transat Only ‘til midnight: Win a Palace Resorts trip with Transat’s Surprise Dates contestlast_img read more

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Norwegian Air puts the brakes on Canada launch at least until spring

first_img This is an updated version of the story that ran in the April 5th, 2018 issue of Travelweek. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here. TORONTO — Norwegian Air says its arrival into the Canadian market will be delayed until spring 2019.In an interview with news service Bloomberg, the low-cost carrier’s CEO blamed the slowdown on the delayed delivery of two B737s.Last month the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) gave Norwegian permission to begin selling tickets for summer flights. While there are still more hoops that the carrier needs to jump through, including getting the green light from Transport Canada, the CTA’s approval was seen the first step to Norwegian possibly starting transatlantic flights out of Canada this summer, as early as July 23.A four-week delay getting the new B737s has derailed Norwegian’s plans to launch transatlantic flights from this market, says CEO Bjorn Kjos. “We got a slight delay, not much, but it gave us a month shorter pre-sale period,” Kjos told Bloomberg. Time was running out to market the new Europe flights, prompting the LCC to push off its launch in Canada until at least spring 2019.Norwegian wouldn’t be the first LCC to come into Canada with transatlantic flights. Primera Air recently sent introductory $199 one-way fares into the market on its Toronto-London (Stansted) route for summer 2018 flights. WOW air has made inroads in the Canadian market too. The Icelandic-owned LCC started flying out of Canada in 2016.The LCC phenomenon certainly isn’t new either. Southwest Airlines got the ball rolling in the U.S. in the 1970s and then fares in Europe took a dive with the launch of Ryanair and easyJet in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. Ryanair is now the biggest European airline in terms of passengers flown – or at least it was until last year, when a screw-up with pilot holiday time schedules led to the cancellation of thousands of flights (and Lufthansa Group grabbed the title).Just about every legacy airline has launched its own low-cost carrier too, from Air Canada Rouge to BA’s Level and Air France’s Joon.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSo what’s different about Norwegian? Most airline analysts point to the carrier’s aggressive growth strategy. In U.S. gateways like New York and L.A., Norwegian came in and quickly established itself with not just one or two European destinations, but many routes, like London, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Madrid all now available out of New York.In just five years Norwegian has ramped up with nonstop flights to Europe out of more than a dozen U.S. gateways. In the past few days Norwegian checked its newest two cities off its North American growth plan: Chicago (March 25) and Austin (March 27), with nonstop service to London Gatwick. The introductory fares started at US$160 one-way.After launching long-haul flights in 2013 Norwegian now has more than 500 routes servicing a network of 150+ destinations, with long-hauls operated through fully-owned subsidiaries.“We were the first successful low-cost airline to operate between the U.S. and Europe, which we launched back in 2013 and continuously expanded ever since. We now have more transatlantic routes than any other European airline,” says Norwegian Air spokesperson Anders Lindström. “Since we operate an all-Boeing Dreamliner fleet for our long-haul flights (and have one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the world), it allows us to keep costs down and offer extremely competitive fares. So it’s low fares but high quality.”Norwegian’s fare model, like most LCCs and ULCCs, also relies heavily on ancillary add-ons for revenue cash cows like baggage fees and inflight meals.Asked about overcapacity on transatlantic routes, if Norwegian comes into the Canadian market, Lindström said: “Norwegian closely monitors and studies all markets it is interested in. If we were worried about overcapacity we would not enter that market, unless we knew we could offer something better and provide more value for money, thereby attracting customers.”Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick says “there has been ‘low cost’ competition on the transatlantic for many years in the form of Air Transat, WOW and Icelandair, and this year will see the addition two new LCCs, Level and Primera, so we are very used to competing successfully in this market by the various means at our disposal.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthFitzpatrick adds that Air Canada’s goal “is to remain competitive in all markets we serve”, with Air Canada Rouge, branded fares including Tango and the new Economy Basic fares currently available on select flights in North America. “As we always we do, we are monitoring market developments and respond as warranted.”Meanwhile WestJet is pushing ahead with European expansion plans, announcing earlier this year that it will add Paris flights out of Halifax starting May 31, with daily service. WestJet already offers London flights and is looking to grow its international network. And Transat is heading into summer 2018 with 17% more capacity on transatlantic routes and selling prices up 1.7%.Of course low-cost carriers are typically no friend to travel agents, offering little to no commission. Norwegian’s travel agent portal is https://agent.norwegian.com.“We do have quite a large portion of bookings coming through agents, and we have agreements with almost all major U.S. agencies,” says Lindström. “For Canada though, and for now, we are not in BSP.”Norwegian has posted multimillion dollar losses in recent months as it tackles warp speed expansion and rising fuel costs. Financial hurdles and aircraft delays notwithstanding, the carrier is looking for a fleet of 30 long-haul B787s by the end of this summer. All in all Norwegian’s fleet consists of some150 aircraft including Boeing 737-800s, Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.This is an updated version of the story that ran in the April 5th, 2018 issue of Travelweek. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here. Travelweek Group Wednesday, April 11, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img Tags: Low-Cost Carriers, Norwegian Air Norwegian Air puts the brakes on Canada launch, at least until spring 2019 Sharelast_img read more

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Holland America Line launches new training platform on GoHALcom

first_imgHolland America Line launches new training platform on GoHAL.com Share Tags: eLearning, Holland America Line SEATTLE – Holland America Line Academy is introducing a new interactive e-Learning platform at GoHAL.com, which will reward travel professionals for their educational achievements. Travel professionals can earn the distinction of a Silver, Gold or Platinum reward level by completing a combination of core courses and specialist courses. Holland America Line Academy also features a new specialist course called Northern Europe: Its Iconic Cities, Hidden Gems and Scenic Beauty.“Our senior director, Denella Ri’chard, along with content curator Dr. Marc Mancini, continue to develop educational programs that not only reward agents for their achievements but empower them with knowledge and confidence to help them grow their premium cruise business in an interactive learning environment,” said Eva Jenner, vice president of sales, Holland America Line. “Additionally, for both summer 2018 and 2019 we will have a large presence in the Baltic and surrounding cruise regions, so we are excited to launch the new Northern Europe specialist course as a part of the new platform.”Three Levels Add Up to Great Rewards and Future BookingsAt Holland America Line Academy, travel professionals can earn continuing education credits with Cruise Lines International Association, Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and The Travel Institute.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?To achieve the Holland America Line Academy Silver level, travel professionals must complete all four Core Courses.  By doing so, travel professionals receive awards including a diploma, graduate lapel pin, luggage tag and US$50 shipboard credit on a Travel Professional Appreciation or full-fare cruise booking.Silver-level graduates and above also are automatically entered into a monthly drawing through September 2018 for a chance to win a Holland America Line swag bag and into a sweepstakes with a grand prize of a 2019 seven-day cruise for the winner and a guest on Nieuw Statendam.Gold status is achieved by continuing education and completing two specialist courses and earns travel professionals all Silver benefits plus additional continuing education credits, Gold diploma and on-board welcome letter and personal call from the ship’s dining room manager.Platinum level requires the completion of three total specialist courses and, in addition to Silver and Gold benefits, provides priority boarding to travel professionals sailing with Holland America Line.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckAgency owners also will benefit by earning rewards that match up to the highest level achieved by a travel professional in their agency, including receiving the PartnerSHIPS e-mail newsletter, $50 in onboard spending money with an applicable booking and priority boarding, among other perks.Learn How to Sell Northern Europe with New Specialist Training CourseNorthern Europe: Its Iconic Cities, Hidden Gems and Scenic Beauty takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and includes information about the features and benefits of a Holland America Line cruise to this region. Travel professionals will gain valuable insights into the destination, identify the best prospects and get exclusive insider information on Northern Europe cruising to close more sales and earn more commissions. In addition, travel professionals will have access to a set of downloadable e-tools to help market Northern Europe cruises. Wednesday, August 1, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bylast_img read more

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Holland America stakes its claim for 2019 We Are Alaska

first_imgTags: Holland America Line Tuesday, October 30, 2018 SEATTLE — Holland America Line is debuting a new Holland America Line Academy Specialist Training Course that will help agents sell the premium line’s Caribbean cruises.Called ‘Caribbean, Cuba and Panama Canal: Our Unique Take on Cruising’s Most Popular Sea’, the online course is designed to increase agents’ cruise sales by giving insider tips and tools around itineraries.It takes 15-20 minutes to complete and includes information about the benefits of a Holland America Line cruise in the region. Plus, agents will learn about the Best.Nieuw.Most.More promotion and gain access to a set of downloadable e-tools to help market Caribbean cruises.“The Caribbean is the most robust and popular cruising region in the world, and this new course helps our travel partners differentiate the Holland America Line experience and relay to their clients why we should be their vacation of choice in this area,” said Eva Jenner, vice president of sales for Holland America Line. “Beyond traditional Caribbean itineraries we also offer an incredible selection of cruises to Cuba and partial Panama Canal transits, and we will have our newest ship Nieuw Statendam in the region in 2019. The new course walks our travel partners through all of the options so they can sell with confidence.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThe Caribbean course is on Holland America Line’s GoHAL.com platform, giving travel advisors an enhanced training experience featuring Silver, Gold and Platinum reward levels. The new platform encourages travel advisors to complete more courses and earn rewards.Through GoHAL.com travel advisors who graduate from the Holland America Line Academy Core Course earn Silver level; those who continue on and complete two of the Specialist Training Courses earn Gold, and completing three Specialist Training Courses earns Platinum. In addition to a diploma, lapel pin and luggage tag, rewards include a US$50 shipboard credit on Travel Professional Appreciation or full fares and priority boarding.As a bonus, any travel advisor who completes a new Specialist Training Course that debuted in 2018, which to date includes “Northern Europe: Its Iconic Cities, Hidden Gems and Scenic Beauty” and the new “Caribbean, Cuba and Panama Canal: Our Unique Take on Cruising’s Most Popular Sea,” will be eligible to win a cruise. The course must be completed by Dec. 31, 2018, to be registered to win the cruise.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJBy completing the courses, Canadian travel partners earn training credits with the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. Earn credits, win a cruise with Holland America’s new training course Posted bycenter_img Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Costa Rica to improve bad weather safety procedures at San José airport

first_imgRainy and excessively cloudy conditions in Costa Rica’s capital could become less of a problem for major airlines operating out of Juan Santamaría International Airport, the country’s principal airport. Avianca Airlines Executive Vice President Estuardo Ortiz announced plans to install a new satellite-guided landing system that will be up and running in early 2013, Ortiz said in a press release.The new guidance system will help pilots navigate difficult weather conditions, and reduce delays and cancellations during bad weather.Ortiz also said the company is “pleased with recent improvements” at the country’s main airport, and short-term expansion of the terminal is unnecessary. But he added that “improvements in operating procedures should be done soon.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport to add two new boarding gates Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport to add new stores, supermarket Juan Santamaría International Airport named third-best in Latin America Regulatory authority cancels concession for taxi service at the Juan Santamaria International Airportlast_img read more

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Coffee theft alarms exporters

first_imgBy Isabella Cota Schwarz| Special to The Tico TimesAn unprecedented $3 million dollars worth of high-quality Arabica coffee beans have been stolen in the last year in Costa Rica, the National Coffee Exporters Chamber reported.Exporters here were used to seeing one, maybe two containers (which hold 316 bags of 60 kilograms) stolen each year, but since October 2011, exporters have seen a dramatic increase, reaching a total of 19.Coffee, Costa Rica’s most coveted commodity, is shipped from the Caribbean port of Limón, which is considered to be one of the safest and most reliable in the region.“Even Nicaraguan coffee is shipped from Costa Rica, because shipping it from anywhere else in Central America is considered too risky,” Jorge Gallegos, trade manager at Ceca, said. The company was robbed twice this year.“We’re concerned about Costa Rica’s image as a country that exports premium coffee. You hear about this sort of thing happening in Honduras, for example, but not here.”All the signs point to organized crime, said Eric Thormaehlen, president of the National Coffee Exporters Chamber.“Beginners can’t possibly be stealing our containers in this way; it requires a whole organization to manage the logistics, crew, infrastructure, crane, guns, communication system and drivers,” he said.During robberies, truck drivers transporting containers from growing regions to the port are stopped, held at gunpoint and tied up. The robbers then take the product, store it and send the trucks back to the port with either empty or debris-filled containers.So far, no driver has been seriously injured or killed, Thormaehlen said. Containers full of debris have made it all the way to Portugal and Israel.Although coffee exports account for about $500 million per year, this new problem increases costs and has an impact at all levels of the industry, from the grower to the exporter, said director at the Costa Rica’s coffee institute, ICafé.The organization estimates it would cost exporters an extra $200 per container in security costs if authorities don’t crack down on criminals, while transporting one container to Europe already costs about $3,000. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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National Oil Refinery president resigns in dispute over Chinabacked refinery

first_imgNational Oil Refinery (RECOPE) Executive President Jorge Villalobos resigned Thursday after the Comptroller General’s Office ordered a halt to plans to build a new oil refinery in Moín, on the northern Caribbean coast, citing conflicts of interest in the planning stage of the project.After an investigation, the Comptroller General’s Office said that Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corp., the company that conducted a feasibility study of the project, is a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation, a partner with RECOPE in the construction of the refinery.The conflict of interest is a violation of the concession’s contract, the office said.“I think it’s an unacceptable error,” Environment Minister René Castro said at a press conference on Thursday.Negotiations for the project, which largely would have been funded by China, started under the administration of President Oscar Arias, from 2006-2010. As RECOPE’s executive president, Villalobos directed the initial stages of the project, which was projected to cost $1.3 billion. The Chinese government had promised a $900 million credit, pending completion of the feasibility study.The Moín refinery project sparked a fierce national debate over whether it would help ease fuel prices over the long term, as Villalobos had argued. Critics said taxpayers would foot the bill for a project that ultimately would drive fuel prices up.In a fiery debate on TV’s Channel 7, opposition leader and former presidential candidate Ottón Solís blasted Villalobos, accusing him of lying to lawmakers to cover up the relationship between the Chinese companies. Villalobos denied the accusations. He resigned a day later.“We have asked RECOPE for a Plan B that includes a feasibility study open for international bidding, and other options such as the use of biofuels or maintaining the status quo,” Castro said.He added that officials would consider biofuels if studies show they can be used for up to 15 years, which is the estimated time the government will need to pay off the cost of the refinery.RECOPE has 6 months to present a new plan. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Oktoberfest Costa Rica to unleash craft beer in Escazú

first_imgWhen it comes to German harvest festivals, Pablo Formal thinks big.“We’re expecting around 6,000 people in two days,” said Formal, creator of Oktoberfest Costa Rica. “What it represents to me is an opportunity to be with family and friends, to have camaraderie. Oktoberfest Costa Rica is open to anybody, [even] kids and elders.”Until recently, there have only been a few loosely organized Oktoberfest celebrations around the country, including one in the Central Valley hosted by Humboldt School. But this will be the first “massive Oktoberfest,” Formal says.The two-day beer bonanza will take place on Avenida Escazú, a main strip of the suburb’s commercial district. Activities will largely unfold outdoors and inside tents, much like the original Bavarian festival.Like Cinco de Mayo, Oktoberfest is a holiday that has vastly outgrown its humble origins. The festival was conceived in the city of Munich in 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Bavarian Prince Ludwig and his bride Therese. In the two centuries since, Oktoberfest has ballooned into a carnival of all things Deutschland – lederhosen, bratwurst, polka and colossal mugs of fine beer. The festival is celebrated all over the world, regardless of a sizable German population.For millions of celebrants, Oktoberfest is a chance to sample different makes of beer, and Formal believes that now is the perfect time for Costa Ricans to embrace their inner Sturm und Drang.“Costa Rica has a really strong beer culture,” Formal said during a phone interview. “And there is this new generation that is open to trying different kinds of beers. The [local] beer industry has grown. We’re going to have several craft beers, about nine or 10, and we hope to have over 30 types of beers in total. That’s why we think Oktoberfest will be a great option for Ticos.”Formal is founder of NuShark Media, a startup marketing company specializing in “entertainment, information and resources for the online generation.” NuShark has a staff of only three, yet Formal plans to make Oktoberfest Costa Rica an epic showcase for the company – as well as a venue for genuine revelry.“We are trying to capture the essence of [Oktoberfest],” Formal explained. “But it’s Costa Rica, right? We have to tropicalize the event.”Some naysayers have publically objected on Facebook to Oktoberfest’s authenticity in a warm-weather Central American city, but Formal shrugs it off, insisting that the spirit of the festival will remain intact. “People can expect a large variety of beers, a tent of German food – sauerkraut, goulash, pretzels. All the girls will be dressed in German outfits. They will also enjoy German music. Not all German music – also DJs playing hip-hop and alternative.”Formal is planning a host of games and activities as well, including a competition for “who can hold a pitcher of beer the longest.” The winner will receive “Das Boot,” a beer glass shaped like a boat.To research the event, Formal visited two Oktoberfests in the United States, one in Cleveland and the other in Miami. He felt that each festival failed to interact with its guests. “Nobody dressed up,” he recalled. Thus, Formal’s version will include a costume contest. “We’re trying to get people’s involvement in the event. My girlfriend and I dressed up in German outfits in Miami, and people took pictures with us. I want this one to be more like that.”Oktoberfest Costa Rica takes place Oct. 26-27 on Avenida Escazú. Day passes are ₡8,000-₡15,000 ($16-$30). Info: facebook.com/oktoberfestCR. Facebook Comments Related posts:The beer revolution comes to Costa Rica 2nd annual booze celebration draws hundreds Beer is a way of life at local microbrewery Stan’s Irish Pub a refuge for lovers of beerlast_img read more

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Costa Rica star Bryan Oviedo suffers double leg fracture during match in

first_imgBuenas noches // Good night pic.twitter.com/HD9dZTjUkp— Bryan Oviedo (@Bryan_Oviedo) January 26, 2014 Actitud positiva pic.twitter.com/84g0Ec5gss— Bryan Oviedo (@Bryan_Oviedo) January 26, 2014 The Costa Rica Men’s National Team – mainly playing with reserves –had an awful week, failing to score a goal in World Cup warm-ups against Chile and South Korea. But the most devastating loss for Costa Rica this week occurred in England, where arguably the team’s best player broke two bones in his leg during an FA Club  match Saturday.Early reports state that Oviedo likely will miss the World Cup. He underwent surgery on his injured left leg Monday evening.During the first half of a match against Stevenage, Oviedo made a play on a ball against Simon Heslop as he wound up for a shot. Heslop’s foot appeared to connect with Oviedo, and the Costa Rican player collapsed. Everton Coach Roberto Martinez said after the match Oviedo broke his fibula and tibia. He added that he did not believe the hit was malicious. Judging from the replays, it looked like an accident. Related posts:Costa Rican soccer star Bryan Oviedo undergoes successful surgery, recalls grisly leg injury Costa Rica declares injured star Bryan Oviedo out for the World Cup ¡Vamos, Ticos!: Inside a Costa Rican sports movie World Cup couch potatoes hurting retail sales Gracias por el apoyo. Ustedes son la fuerza para volver Thanks for the support. You are the strength to return #OviedoBaby— Bryan Oviedo (@Bryan_Oviedo) January 26, 2014 Facebook Comments The offensive midfielder has had an outstanding season for Premier League club Everton. His goal against Manchester United in December gave Everton its first victory over the English powerhouse in 21 years. And the 23-year-old Tico has proven to be an adept player during his 13 appearances this season. Everton supporters have their own chant for him: singing the words “OVIEDO BABY” to the tune of the Human League’s hit “Don’t You Want Me?”Oviedo probably won’t return to the Premier League before the season ends in early May. However, don’t completely dismiss Oviedo’s odds of playing in the World Cup yet. Doctors estimate a recovery time of four months, putting him right on the cusp of a World Cup return (though roster decisions will need to be made earlier). Improved medical technology is helping athletes return from injury faster than ever. Broken bones don’t have the lengthy recovery time of other frequent sports injuries like a torn knee ligament.Oviedo has used his Twitter account to update fans on the aftermath of his double leg fracture. His timeline is filled with messages of support from his Costa Rican teammates. In the next 10 weeks, we’ll know whether Oviedo is a fast healer. In the World Cup, Costa Rica faces a group of Uruguay, England and Italy. Against those potent squads, it’s hard to envision Costa Rica making much noise without the help of a star like Oviedo Baby.last_img read more

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Europes migrant crisis What you need to know

first_imgBRUSSELS,Belgium — Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis has escalated over the summer, leaving the continent divided over how to deal with a flood of people led by Syrians fleeing war in their homeland.A record surge in numbers, and the opening up of new routes over the Balkans in addition to the Mediterranean sea route, have prompted the EU to call a special meeting on the issue in two weeks.Here are the key questions and answers about the biggest crisis of its kind to face Europe since World War II: How many are arriving?  Nearly 340,000 refugees and migrants illegally crossed the border into Europe from January to July 2015, according to the EU’s border agency Frontex. The figure compares to 280,000 for the whole of 2014.The U.N. refugee agency separately gives the figure of more than 300,000 migrants and refugees having crossed the Mediterranean so far this year, compared to 219,000 crossings in the whole of 2014.Around 2,500 have died this year so far, compared to 3,500 for the whole of last year, it says. Why is the surge happening now?  The situation in Syria, the origin of the largest number of refugees, has worsened because of the rise of the Islamic State extremist group and continuing civil war, so more people are fleeing.More people are coming directly to Europe instead of staying in refugee camps in neighbouring countries that are bursting at the seams, says Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency.But also the longer people spend in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, the more likely they are to realize they cannot start a new life there and want to leave, especially with no sign of the four-year civil war ending anytime soon.Recently people are being drawn by Germany’s announcement that it expects to process 800,000 asylum applications this year, and Berlin’s decision to become the first EU state to stop automatically returning Syrian asylum-seekers to their first EU port of entry. Where do they come from?  Syria and Afghanistan were the two countries most represented among migrants entering the EU, according to Frontex.The top five countries for arrivals in Europe on all sea crossings are Syria (43 percent), Eritrea (10 percent), Nigeria (5 percent), Somalia (3 percent), and others (27 percent), according to the U.N.Nine out of ten of those making the Mediterranean crossing to Italy are Africans, however.But nearly one-fifth of those coming over the Balkans are Kosovans, leading Germany and other EU states to call for a register of ‘safe’ countries to which migrants can be returned. What has the EU done, and what more can it do? The EU was stung into action after a horrific Mediterranean shipwreck in April that left 700 migrants dead.The bloc boosted its maritime search and rescue efforts and set up a military naval task force aiming to tackle people smugglers.It is also setting up “hot spots” in frontline European countries to expedite the classification of newcomers as either refugees or economic migrants.But plans for the compulsory relocation of 40,000 migrants, to take the strain off Greece and Italy, collapsed because of bickering between EU countries.In the end they merely agreed to voluntary pledges to take in 32,000, plus another 22,500 Syrian asylum seekers currently in camps outside the EU.Many believe those numbers are dwarfed by the scale of the problem and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil new proposals in his state of the union speech next week.They may include relaxing the “Dublin rules” that Germany has already waived, which currently mean asylum requests must be dealt with by the country where the person first arrives.Meanwhile, rights groups advocate other solutions, such as giving work visas to refugees and migrants, arguing that it would reduce the smuggling that leads to tragedies. Facebook Comments Where are they arriving, and by what routes?Greece, Hungary and Italy are bearing the brunt of the problem.Greece had the most landings with nearly 200,000 this year, the U.N. says. Greece sees so many because of people getting boats from Turkey for the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos and Kos.Italy has seen 110,000 landings this year, with people taking the central Mediterranean route on rickety boats from Libya. But numbers have slowed due to the breakdown of order in Libya and the danger of the route.The Western Balkans have seen a huge surge in arrivals of mostly asylum seekers fleeing Middle East wars, who cross the region after crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece.Hungary alone reported more than 34,800 detections from January to July, and the area as a whole has seen 102,342, Frontex says.The most popular final destinations are Germany, Sweden and Britain. Related posts:Latin American nations offer to take in Syria refugees Myth: Refugees are a burden Germany reinstates border controls over refugee surge Costa Rica now will accept Syrian refugees after president reverses courselast_img read more

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The Fifth Beatle Andy White dies at 85

first_imgRelated posts:Keith Richards says ‘Sgt. Pepper’ was ‘rubbish’ Leonard Cohen announces new album for 80th birthday Singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen makes everyone feel good in Costa Rica debut Michael Jackson fans: 20 unfinished tracks are stored on sound engineer’s computer This photo of Andy White was posted on the Facebook page of the New York Metro Pipe Band, which said: “Andy White, the Scottish session drummer hired by producer George Martin to play on the first Beatles single, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘P.S. I Love You,’ passed away Monday in New Jersey at the age of 85. (Via New York Metro Pipe Band Facebook)NEW YORK – Andy White, a session musician who played drums on the first Beatles hit but spent his life on the edges of fame, has died, colleagues said Wednesday. He was 85.The Glasgow native, who had lived for years in the United States where he taught Scottish-style pipes and drums, died this week in his adopted home of New Jersey, the New York Metro Pipe Band said on Facebook.White performed on only one single of The Beatles — the U.S. version of “Love Me Do” — but it was enough to make him a mythic “Fifth Beatle” in the lore of the Fab Four.White in the early 1960s had been based in London but was familiar with the U.S. scene, having crossed the Atlantic to back big names such as Chuck Berry and Bill Haley and the Comets.As White recalled later, producer Ron Richards called him in 1962 and simply offered a three-hour session job for label EMI.“That’s all I knew about it. I had heard of The Beatles by then because my first wife Lynne was from Liverpool and had mentioned the name, but I didn’t know much about them,” he told Britain’s Daily Record in a 2012 interview.But White said he was impressed by The Beatles, calling them a rare British act at the time that was not just producing “a copy of music from the States.”“You could tell it was something different and very special. But I didn’t know just how special it would become,” he said.White also played on the B-side to the single, “P.S. I Love You.”But Starr quickly assumed full-time drumming duties and performed on the British version of “Love Me Do.”Starr — who played tambourine on the U.S. single to accompany White on the drum set — later recalled a feeling of dread when he saw the session musician, fearing he would be sacked like Best.While White’s career with the Beatles was short, he played drums as a session musician on a number of other artists’ hits, including “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones in 1965. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Macri wins election in Argentina vows market reforms

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina — His rivals dismissed him as a spoiled elitist, but ex-football executive Mauricio Macri gathered allies from diverse political forces to persuade Argentines to vote him in as their new president Sunday.With 96 percent of the votes counted at 11 p.m. local time on Sunday, Macri had 51.7 percent of votes compared to 48.3 percent for his opponent Daniel Scioli, according to electoral authorities. Related posts:Pro-market Macri likely new president of Argentina: exit polls Argentina announces end of forex restrictions Argentina starts talks with ‘vulture’ creditors Elections in Argentina could bring big economic, political change Facebook Commentscenter_img With a dashing smile under his piercing blue eyes, the graying 56-year-old channeled discontent among Argentines fed up with the hands-on economic policy of outgoing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.In the runoff vote, Macri was the favorite candidate of big businesses and foreign investors alienated by Kirchner’s abrasive approach and protectionist policies.He has proposed easing restrictions on imports and dollar transactions and liberalizing the economy after 12 years of rule by the Peronist movement that has dominated Argentine politics for decades.A social conservative, he opposed the legalization of gay marriages in Argentina in 2010, firmly opposes abortion and once criticized what he called “uncontrolled immigration” in the country under Kirchner.The twice-divorced father of four rose to fame as the president of Argentina’s most popular football club, Boca Juniors.“I wanted to be Boca’s number nine” striker, he once said. Instead, he led in the boardroom during the team’s most successful period, seeing it win 17 titles.That powerful position catapulted him into politics. He founded his Republican Proposal alliance, known as PRO, in 2005.The mayor of Buenos Aires since 2007, Macri led a movement called “Let’s Change” aiming to roll back policies that Kirchner says help the working class but business leaders say wrecked economic growth.Life of privilege and dramaMacri was born in Tandil, a city in an eastern agricultural region, and previously managed his father’s firm.He is married to model and fashion entrepreneur Juliana Awada — a friend of rival Daniel Scioli’s wife — with whom he has a three-year-old daughter. He has two other children from a previous marriage.Son of a rich businessman and educated at the elite Cardinal Newman College in Buenos Aires, Macri had to tread carefully in a country with a loaded history of class conflict. But he drew leaders of various political stripes to his cause, including Peronists and social democrats as well as right-wingers.In last month’s first-round vote, he surprised pollsters by finishing close behind his opponent, Kirchner’s ally Scioli, and seized the momentum as the vote headed to a runoff.Macri crisscrossed the country’s poorest provinces, hugging children and grandmothers and promising not to take away anyone’s social benefits but give them the chance to work.Hailing his victory on Sunday, he said he was working “to help Argentines be a bit happier each day.”His life has been marked by dramas and scandals. In 1991, he was kidnapped and freed two weeks later after his family paid a $6 million ransom.Macri was cleared of smuggling charges in the 1990s and overcame accusations of links to groups of Boca football hooligans.In a more recent case, he faced accusations that he spied on opponents.His style has been compared to that of Republican politicians in the United States.At colorful campaign rallies, he has released yellow balloons, danced the Argentine “cumbia” and imitated the singer Freddie Mercury, a gay icon.He has vowed to liberalize the economy, but the contest against Scioli also forced him to face up to voters’ social demands. Scioli branded Macri a “stuck-up” elitist.“In the past. he was just right-wing and proud of it,” sociologist Federico González told AFP.“Now he is like Buddha. He went out of his palace and discovered misery and sickness.”last_img read more

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Turrialba Volcano spews ash vapor

first_imgFollowing an increase in seismic activity, Turrialba Volcano began spewing ash, vapor and gases at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, experts from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the National University (UNA) confirmed.Activity at Turrialba, located in Cartago province 60 kilometers northeast of the capital San José, resumed Monday night with an increase in volcanic tremors, according to a report from UNA’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI).The report adds that the ash plume from the explosion reached approximately 300 meters (985 feet) above the volcano’s crater. Mauricio Mora, a volcanologist with UCR’s National Seismological Network (RSN), said windy conditions in the morning dispersed the ash plume towards the west and northwestern areas of the Central Valley. Ashes mainly reached sectors in northeastern San José, and certain areas in Alajuela and Heredia provinces.People posting on both OVSICORI’s and UNA’s Facebook pages reported smelling sulfur and seeing ash on the ground in communities north and east of the capital including Coronado, Moravia, Guadalupe, Tibás and Montes de Oca.Tuesday morning’s activity, however, was not as strong as that recorded earlier this year, when ash plumes exceeded 3,000 meters (9,800 ft.) above the volcano.The new explosion followed 43 days of low activity, after the last important explosion recorded on August 1.Turrialba is one of Costa Rica’s five active volcanoes along with Arenal, Poás, Irazú, and Rincón de la Vieja.Aid for farmersPresident Luis Guillermo Solís toured communities north and east of Cartago on Monday and announced the allocation of ₡2,4 billion ($4.3 million) for the province, including aid for farmers and ranchers whose production has been negatively affected by volcanic activity and drought in recent years.According to the Agriculture Ministry, Cartago farmers are the country’s top potato producers, supplying 80 percent of all potatoes consumed in Costa Rica. They are also the largest producers of onions and large suppliers of carrots, yucca, cabbages, beets, flowers and other crops. Facebook Comments Related posts:Ash from Turrialba Volcano keeps falling on the Central Valley Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Turrialba Volcano spews ash 1 km high Turrialba Volcano registers increase in activitylast_img read more

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Pic of the Day From coasttocoast in Costa Rica

first_imgCosta Rica’s ‘invaluable’ 280-kilometer, sea-to-sea, 16-day hike Camino de Costa Ricais a 280-kilometer trek from Costa Rica’s Atlantic to Pacific coasts. The journey includes visiting a community that’s only reachable by boat.Click the above image for a full view, and check out our story below: Related posts:Pic of the Day: Rainbow over Santo Domingo Pic of the Day: Sunset over Jacó Reader photos: Beauty at Jacó Beach Pic of the Day: Costa Rica in the spotlight as it hosts international meeting on Venezuelacenter_img This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Morocco Jailed Islamist dies after hunger strike

first_imgRABAT, Morocco (AP) – An Algerian Islamist died in a Moroccan jail after a two-month hunger strike protesting torture and his living conditions, rights activists said Sunday.Ahmed Ben Miloud was one of nearly 160 Islamist prisoners hunger striking for better conditions in prisons across this North African monarchy. He was serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted in December of using a firearm in the Algerian consulate in the Moroccan border town of Oujda. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center He died on Thursday after 60 days of not eating in the Sale prison, near the capital Rabat.“The efforts of his cellmates to save his life failed amid the indifference of the prison management and he died,” said Anas al-Halaoui, the spokesman for the Moroccan Association of Former Imprisoned Islamists.Abdelilah Ben Abdesalam of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights also confirmed the death to The Associated Press.There are around 700 Islamist detainees in Moroccan prisons, a number that has swollen due to a government crackdown following the Casablanca bombings in May 2003 that killed 41 people and wounded hundreds.There has been no official comment on Ben Miloud’s death and the event has not been covered in the state media. Officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.Morocco’s minister of justice, Mustapha Ramid, was a high-profile lawyer defending Islamist detainees before his moderate Islamist political party did well in November elections. Upon taking office, he met with human rights groups and promised to address the issue of Islamist detainees.In February, three well-known conservative sheikhs convicted of inspiring the Casablanca attacks were released. Top Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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3000 evacuated because of flash floods in Taiwan

first_imgLarge swathes of the capital of Taipei were submerged Tuesday in knee-high flood waters after a night of downpours.The Central Weather Bureau says the torrential rains may last until Wednesday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How men can have a healthy 2019 New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Flash flooding caused by heavy rain has forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 people across Taiwan and unleashed landslides that have killed four people.Officials say a landslide Monday in the mountains of Taichung county killed two people in a makeshift shelter. They had previously reported two other deaths in landslide in Nantou county.The government said Tuesday that 3,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit areas across the island.last_img read more

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Bill Gates in Abu Dhabi Ill never run for office

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “I decided the philanthropic role is where my contribution would be more unique, and so that is what I will work on the rest of my life,” Gates said. “I actually think, maybe I’m wrong, that I can have as much impact in that role as I could in any political role. In any case, I would never run for political office.”Gates said he would be happy to offer the U.S. president his advice.Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who ran the private equity firm Bain Capital, is the latest wealthy business figure to enter the political ring. Among those who preceded him were 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot and former eBay Inc. chief executive Meg Whitman, who spent $142 million in her losing 2010 effort to become California’s governor.Gates devoted much of his speech to charitable causes and his foundation, especially its work toward eradicating polio from the three countries where it is still found _ Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.“It’s the top priority of our foundation. We are convinced that ending polio is achievable and will bring lasting success,” Gates said. “It will lay the foundation for a better public health system for children in the poorest and most remote places.” Quick workouts for men Gates said one of the biggest challenges in fighting polio was getting vaccines into high-risk areas. Health care workers have faced Taliban opposition in Pakistan and suspicions in other countries. He praised the United Arab Emirates for helping get doctors into remote areas of Pakistan, where they vaccinated 20,000 children against polio and measles.“It is also a mark of why this region can play a pivotal role in improving the lives of the poor,” Gates said. “The leaders and citizens here can reach out as partners to countries where they have special access and special kinship _ areas where the rest of the world doesn’t have the standing to intervene in the way that leaders here can do.”Gates called on Gulf citizens to embrace philanthropy and develop technology that can help the poor.“For too long, we in the West worked almost exclusively to develop and apply technology to meet the needs of the rich world, only for those who could pay. As you grow into a world hub for research, I hope you constantly search for ways to apply technology to help people who can’t pay,” he said.Gates also discussed new media, promoting the Microsoft Windows 8 and its soon-to-be released Surface tablet computer. He also advised caution to an entrepreneur in the audience planning to start an online Arab news channel station. Top Stories “I think it’s a little too early to put all your money on the interactive side unless you are just trying to go after high end audience,” Gates said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Associated PressABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates on Tuesday ruled out running for office, choosing not to join the parade of rich businessmen who have tried their hand at politics.Asked at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit about running for president, he said his current job with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was “a very nice office” and that it didn’t require him to raise funds to “try to get elected,” nor does it “have term limits of eight years,” as do some elected American offices. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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China compensates man wrongly jailed for 11 years

first_imgBEIJING (AP) – A Chinese man who served 11 years of a life sentence for a wrongful conviction of check fraud was awarded a record state compensation of 825,000 yuan ($131,000) this week.Guangdong’s provincial supreme court granted the compensation to 39-year-old Huang Liyi for deprivation of personal freedom as well as psychological and emotional distress, the state-run Southern Metropolis Daily reported Thursday. Comments   Share   Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Huang’s lawyer, Yang Xuelin, said in a blog that Huang received the money on Monday.Huang was arrested in 1999 for check fraud and was sentenced the next year to life in prison. He was acquitted in 2010 on the ground of insufficient evidence and released from jail.The monetary compensation for the loss of personal freedom was calculated on the basis of 162.65 yuan ($26) per day, the average daily wage for urban workers from the non-private sector, Southern Metropolis Daily said.Wrongful convictions are common in China’s legal system, which is notorious for using torture to extort confession from suspects. In two high-profile murder cases, the men convicted of the crime were found innocent after their victims turned out to be alive.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

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Hamas says next interPalestinian talks in Egypt

first_img Top Stories A Jordanian citizen, Mashaal was welcomed back last January. Hamas rejects Jordan’s cordial ties with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994. Mashaal was expelled in 1999 for activities deemed “illicit and harmful” to Jordan’s stability and national security.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Associated PressAMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Reconciliation talks between Palestinian militant group Hamas and its rival Fatah are on track and will resume in Egypt on Feb. 9, Hamas’ political leader said Monday.Khalid Mashaal said that “obstacles” over crucial issues such as elections and a future government remain, but that he expected progress in talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.“We’ve made good steps in our previous reconciliation talks and we have a timetable to follow,” Mashaal said following a closed-door meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman, the third in one year. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 ways to recognize low testosterone “No doubt, there are obstacles, but we will overcome them with our will and determination to end the state of estrangement and division,” he added.Mashaal told reporters that his talks with Abdullah focused on the s tate of Palestinian politics following elections in Israel and the United States, and ways to end Palestinian differences.In the annual meetings of the World in Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Abdullah warned Israel to stop playing a “waiting game,” with regards to peace efforts with the Palestinians.Abdullah said that President Barack Obama’s second term was the last opportunity to create two states _ Palestine and Israel _ that can live side-by-side in peace. Hamas’ own ideology rejects that arrangement as it considers an Islamic Middle East its goal. But some of the more pragmatic Hamas leaders favor some sort of acceptance for Israel.Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed in 2008. Abbas’s recent success at the U.N., where he won recognition of a de facto state, angered the Israeli government, which insists Palestinian statehood should be reached through a peace agreement and talks.Mashaal’s meeting with Abdullah is the third in one year, when Jordan ended a 13-year estrangement with the militant Palestinian group after the rise of Hamas’s parent movement, the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, in the wake of Arab Spring revolts, especially in Egypt. Islamists are the most influential opposition group in Jordan.last_img read more

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