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Has anyone seen my red bag Chaos as Team GB arrives home

first_imgFinding my bag could prove more challenging than the racing #greattobeBAck @TeamGB— Matt Langridge (@matt_langridge8) August 23, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Baggage collection could be interesting. #samesame #greattobeBAck— Team GB (@TeamGB) August 23, 2016 Tags: LOL Has anyone seen my red bag? Chaos as Team GB arrives home Posted by Carnage!— 470 Girls (@470Girls) August 23, 2016center_img LONDON — A sea of red awaited Team Great Britain’s Olympic athletes at London Heathrow, causing mass confusion and a slew of funny photos on social media.After a long flight home from Rio de Janeiro, the athletes quickly found that their show of solidarity and team spirit – in the form of matching red backpacks – wasn’t all that smart in hindsight. A total of 320 athletes and support staff were on British Airways flight BA2016, which meant that they all had to sift through approximately 300 identical red backpacks in baggage claim.It was a logistical nightmare, to say the least, but luckily, the British has long been known for their tongue-in-cheek humour and good nature.Here are just a few photos posted by athletes, poking fun at the red bag debacle:Mine’s the red one!!— Nick Dempsey (@nickdempsey1) August 23, 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 OMGSHHHH ??— Becky Downie (@Bdownie) August 23, 2016 Travelweek Group Sharelast_img read more

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Hawaii Tourism Canada aims to bring Canadian numbers back up

first_imgHawaii Tourism Canada aims to bring Canadian numbers back up Tags: Hawaii, VoX International Wednesday, March 8, 2017 As for when would be a good time to visit this year, Szigeti suggested Sept. 18, the date of the annual Hawaii Tourism Conference, which takes place in Honolulu and welcomes industry partners from around the world. And to mix business with a bit of fun, he encourages visitors to extend their stay by a week to watch a special matchup between the L.A. Clippers and the Toronto Raptors in Honolulu on Sept. 25.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesFor more information on travel to Hawaii, visit Share TORONTO — Despite the rainy weather in Toronto yesterday, it was all sun and smiles at an industry luncheon hosted by Hawaii Tourism Canada (HTCAN) and VoX International.Complete with dance performers specially flown in from Hawaii, the event was attended by U.S. Consul General Juan Alsace, who acknowledged the close relationship between Canada and the U.S., as well as George Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and a former top 10 professional surfer.From l-r: U.S. Consul General Juan Alsace; Susan Webb, President, Vox International; George Szigeti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Tourism Authority; and Colin Wood, Account Director, Hawaii Tourism Canada.From l-r: Punam Pathak, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Flight Centre Travel Group; Colin Wood, Colin Wood, Account Director, Hawaii Tourism Canada; Anita Emilio, Vice President, Sales, Trafalgar Tours.Although, admittedly, Alsace has never been to Hawaii, he said one of his top priorities as Consul General is “the promotion of travel to the U.S.” And now that the Hawaii Tourism Authority has named VoX International as its official marketing partner in Canada – marking the first time Canada has separate representation from North America as a whole – the Canadian market is on tap to recover from a recent dip in tourist arrivals.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe good news is that despite a slight drop in Canadian numbers in 2016, tourism overall in Hawaii is enjoying a big boom, with 8.9 million visitors for a record five years in a row. Alsace is hoping that this momentum carries over into Canada, which he says contributes 21% of all tourist arrivals.According to Szigeti, Canada is the #2 international market (behind only Japan), with approximately 500,000 visitors per year. But what Canada does have all other destinations beat is average length of stay – at an average 12.62 days, Canadians spend more time in Hawaii than any other international market.Szigeti also referenced market research that shows more and more travellers are demanding authenticity and choice, which rings especially true among the highly coveted millennial market. As a result, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is putting more focus on technology in an effort to connect millennial-minded travellers with the destination. Recent initiatives include a new Go Hawaii mobile app, which was launched in August 2016, and a Hawaii VR platform, launched last September and featuring 360-degree live action footage of Hawaii’s top attractions. And on April 27, the new Go Hawaii website will be unveiled, complete with more engaging videos. Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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People Who won vacations in Transats latest draw

first_img Thursday, November 23, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: People, Transat << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by MONTREAL — Transat has announced the winners of the last edition of its Surprise Dates contest, this time for the Nov. 14 Surprise Date marking the 30th anniversary of the day Air Transat’s very first flight took off for Acapulco.For the Ontario-Atlantic region, winner Emily Vail of CAA Travel in Guelph, ON, will spend a week at the Meliá Las Dunas resort in Cayo Santa Maria. The Western Canada winner, Nicole Deibert of AMA Travel in Red Deer, AB, will fly off to the Meliá Peninsula Varadero for her prize vacation.For the Quebec-Ottawa region, Véronique Thouin of Club Voyages Repentigny wins a holiday package for two, including Air Transat flights in Economy class and a one-week, all-inclusive stay at the Meliá Jardines del Rey in Cayo Coco.In addition, the following consultants earned $30 in Bonbon rewards following a random draw among all participants: Ontario-Atlantic region – Karen Lippett of LatitudesPlus Smart Travel in Brooklin, ON, and Mary Jarvis of Flight Centre in Ancaster, ON; Western Canada region – Asia Wolfe of Flight Centre in Victoria, B.C., and Gloria Wiebe of Marlin Travel in Winkler, MB; and Quebec-Ottawa region – Danielle Cliche of Club Voyages Fascination in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, QC and Véronique Guy-Thomas of Voyages Jean-Pierre in Brossard, QC. [People] Who won vacations in Transat’s latest draw?last_img read more

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Air Canadas new Home video is the tearjerker we all need this

first_imgTags: Air Canada, Christmas, Video Travelweek Group Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Posted by Air Canada’s new ‘Home’ video is the tearjerker we all need this holiday seasoncenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Air Canada has just released a new video of friends and family reuniting at airports and no, we’re totally not crying.As part of a larger campaign launched in November to celebrate the feeling of ‘Home’, the video features various tearful reunions at arrival gates in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal airports. Mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, and friends separated by distance are seen embracing and shedding happy tears as they reunite for the holidays.To pull at the heartstrings even further, Air Canada pilots and flight attendants offered welcome home gifts that included giant teddy bears, balloons and flowers to arriving customers on select flights. Some were even surprised with free tickets to bring them back home to loved ones again.“The arrivals gate is an emotional and personal place for many of us, full of the excitement and anticipation that come from reunions with loved ones,” said Andy Shibata, Managing Director, Brand at Air Canada. “For travellers, stepping out into the arrivals area is often the first moment where they truly feel like they’ve arrived home. That is such an important part of the holiday season for so many of our customers, so we wanted to do our part to make it extra special.” Sharelast_img read more

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Heatwave causes chaos in Eurotunnel thousands of tickets cancelled

first_img By: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Share LONDON — Eurotunnel says passengers are facing a second day of disruption on the cross-Channel service because of extreme temperatures under Britain’s heatwave.The company has cancelled thousands of tickets for passengers returning on the same day, or on Saturday, in an effort to ease long lines.Passengers faced delays of up to six-and-a-half hours on Thursday when train air conditioning units failed. On Friday, the operator warned of delays of three-and-a-half hours.A statement from Eurotunnel says they are unable to check in anyone arriving more than two hours before their booked crossing time.This is one the busiest weeks of the year for cross-Channel travel, as the start of many school summer holidays leads to a surge in family trips. Friday, July 27, 2018 Tags: London Heatwave causes chaos in Eurotunnel, thousands of tickets cancelledlast_img read more

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Uruguay star Luis Suarez could miss Costa Rica match after knee operation

first_imgRelated posts:Injured Uruguay star Suárez in camp; England crushes Peru; key Italian player breaks leg Costa Rica’s first World Cup opponent Uruguay could lose spot in the tournament FIFA President Blatter assures rivals that Uruguay will play in the World Cup Luis Suárez bites again as Uruguay eliminates Italy MONTEVIDEO — Uruguayan star Luis Suarez is remaining upbeat after the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said that his participation at the World Cup “is not ruled out” following knee surgery on Thursday.Suarez underwent the operation after he “suffered an intense pain in his left knee” in training Wednesday morning, according to the AUF. The operation required “arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus damage.” It’s a relatively minor procedure, but with the surgery so close to the start of the tournament Suarez might not be ready for the team’s opener — which is against Costa Rica on June 14.The 27-year-old insisted he’ll make it. Wearing jeans and a sports jacket, Suarez appeared in good humor as he left the hospital Thursday afternoon in a wheelchair. The player raised his hand to acknowledge the dozens of well-wishers who shouted encouragement as he was driven away in an ambulance.Uruguayan media stated the operation was a success, but recovery time for arthroscopic surgery can vary. Experts say patients can recover in full in as little as 15 days, but the knee could take a month or longer to mend. Suarez will need to be a fast healer to make the match against The Ticos. Costa Rica goalie Keylor Navas said Thursday afternoon it won’t make much of a different to him whether Suarez is out or not. Uruguay — ranked 6th in the world by FIFA — always has one talented player ready to replace another, Navas said.“It would be a significant drop for Uruguay, but everyone knows from where they select their forwards,” said La Sele’s star goalkeeper. “They have forwards of high-level playing in major leagues, so they have options to replace him.”   Uruguay can be one of the World Cup’s top contenders with Suarez on the field. Suarez was the top scorer in the Premier League this season. He finished with 31 goals and won multiple player of the year prizes. He was the top scorer in the South American World Cup qualifying group with 11 goals, although Uruguay only placed fifth and needed a play-off against Jordan to reach the finals. In the 2010 World Cup, Suarez scored three goals while helping the Uruguayans to a fourth place finish. The star striker now faces a race against time to be ready for Uruguay’s 2014 campaign, which begins in a little over three weeks against Costa Rica in the northern Brazilian city of Fortaleza.A Redemption TourHe enjoyed a stunning comeback in the 2013/14 Premier League campaign after his reputation plummeted for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and then biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in the previous season.Suarez’s goals helped Liverpool finish second in the Premier League behind eventual champions Manchester City.After playing Costa Rica on June 14, the two-time world champions face England in Sao Paulo on June 19 and then Italy in Natal five days later.Before the finals get underway, Uruguay have two World Cup warm-up matches scheduled, against Northern Ireland on May 30 and Slovenia on June 4, with both games to be held in Montevideo.All 32 teams have to announce their final 23-man squads by June 2. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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With focus on next round winning Group D less of a priority

first_imgRelated posts:World Cup upsets focus fans on football instead of protests Costa Rica can go far, says coach Pinto In Costa Rica, pride for La Sele’s historic World Cup play Snapshots from the Web of Costa Rica’s historic World Cup win SANTOS, Brazil – Costa Rica may need just a point against England on Tuesday to secure top spot in Group D but coach Jorge Luis Pinto will still ring the changes, assistant boss Paulo Wanchope said Sunday.Costa Rica have been one of the major surprises of the tournament so far, beating both Uruguay (3-1) and Italy (1-0) to secure their passage to the last 16 before even kicking off against England.If they avoid defeat they will be assured of topping the group but Costa Rica will have one eye on the knockout rounds and Wanchope — who scored in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups — says they will give some fringe players a chance.“The first thing is to manage our emotions. We’ve already qualified [for the second round], but it is important to look forward, it’s important to keep growing as a team,” said the 37-year-old former Derby County, West Ham United and Manchester City forward.Wanchope said there would be changes to “give some other players some football. It’s important to give some football to those who don’t normally get any and also to see how they fit into the system.”While it is always considered advantageous to win your group, Costa Rica full-back Christian Gamboa said his side wouldn’t see it as a disadvantage to come second and probably meet Colombia in the last 16 as their coach is Colombian.“If we get Colombia, the professor [Pinto] knows them really well, he knows everything about his country and so we could have something of an advantage,” said Gamboa.Before that, though, the Costa Ricans are wary of the wounded lion that is England, according to center back Johnny Acosta.“England will come to show why they’re a powerhouse. Here, no player will want to lose three matches and go home with empty hands,” he said, referring to the fact England have lost their first two group games and are playing to restore some national pride. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís promises to cut extreme poverty by

first_imgSix months after taking office President Luis Guillermo Solís outlined – in a 560-page document – a roadmap for his administration that includes a promise to reduce Costa Rica’s extreme poverty rate by 45 percent by 2018, the year he leaves Casa Presidencial.Solís presented the “National Development Plan 2015-2018” on Monday night at the National Theater along with Planning Minister Olga Marta Sánchez.The plan includes three major goals: fostering economic growth by increasing the quantity and quality of jobs; reducing poverty and economic and social inequality; and combating corruption and promoting a more transparent state.Solís’ main campaign pledge was to reduce extreme poverty, which he defined as the lack of resources to purchase three square meals a day. According to the annual State of the Nation report, some 345,000 Costa Ricans live in extreme poverty.Vice President Ana Helena Chacón said a study by the administration found different levels of poverty than those reported during the campaign cycle, and proposed budget cuts under discussion at the Legislative Assembly would “make it difficult to meet campaign goals.”Solís’ plan aims for a 6 percent growth rate in production by 2018, the same goal set by former President Laura Chinchilla in 2010. The Chinchilla administration (2010-2014) fell short of that goal, achieving 3.5 percent growth.In the next four years, the Solís administration said it would create at least 24,000 new jobs and reduce the unemployment rate — currently at 8.6 percent — by 1.6 percent.Inflation in Costa Rica has remained relatively low, at 3.68 percent in 2013, and Solís promised to maintain that rate slightly higher at 4 percent in 2018.The president’s most ambitious goal is poverty reduction: He hopes to help lift 42,000 families out of extreme poverty by the time he leaves offices. (By comparison, his predecessor, Chinchilla, had promised to move 20,000 families out of extreme poverty.) To accomplish that, Solís said he would focus on supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses via a national Development Banking System. That system, approved by Solís earlier this month, will make use of ₡280 billion ($516 million) in funds to strengthen entrepreneurship programs, especially for women.Solís’ 560-page plan is named after Alberto Cañas Escalante, a co-founder of the Citizen Action Party  and a colorful and prominent politician, journalist and writer who died last June.See also: Extreme poverty increases in Nicaragua in 2013, study finds Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica is 20 percent more expensive than other Latin American countries President Solís’ popularity declines as economy worsens, Costa Rica researcher tells Washington panel Pessimism prevails in Costa Rica’s business sector for 2015 Costa Rica’s food industry joins growing chorus of private-sector complaintslast_img read more

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Mexico seeks crematorium owner after 60 bodies found

first_imgACAPULCO, Mexico – Mexican police launched a manhunt Friday for the owner of an abandoned crematorium after 60 bodies, including children, were found rotting in the facility that closed a year ago in Acapulco.Authorities made the grim discovery of bodies covered in white sheets, some piled on top of each other, late Thursday after neighbors called police to complain about the stench coming from the “Cremations of the Pacific” building.The fading resort of Acapulco has been plagued by drug gang violence whose victims are regularly found around the city, but this time authorities indicated that they were investigating a macabre case of funerary fraud.The bodies of men, women and children were found “perfectly embalmed” in the crematorium, owned by a man identified as Guillermo Estua Zadai, officials said.“It has not been possible to locate the owner,” Guerrero State Chief Prosecutor Miguel Ángel Godinez told a news conference, adding that authorities had requested assistance from federal agencies and Interpol to find him.“It could be a possible fraud by the owner of the building against the people who thought the remains of their relatives would be cremated,” he later told Radio Formula.He said the crematorium stopped paying taxes three years ago.The bodies were covered in white sheets that were brown from what appeared to be fluid from the decomposing corpses.Lime was scattered on the bodies and around the crematorium in an apparent bid to mask the stench, but neighbors said they began to detect a nauseating smell two days ago.Anxious familiesWorried relatives who had used the crematorium’s services went to Acapulco’s morgue, asking authorities to check whether their loved ones were among the abandoned bodies.David Jaimes, who had hired the crematorium nine months ago after his mother died, went to the city’s Medical Forensic Service to ask them to analyze the ashes that were handed to him.“I saw the furnace turned on and my mother lying there, but I never saw them put her inside,” Jaimes told AFP.“The gentleman who was there told us ‘get out if you want because this place is dangerous.’ We left but we never saw the body go in, so we have this doubt today,” he said.Karina García Jacinto, who paid around $400-$470 in December 2013 to cremate her father’s body, went to the morgue with his death certificate.“It’s a concern that we have, as family members, to see if our relatives are there,” she told AFP.Prosecutors opened an investigation into crimes including the desecration of bodies and violating burial and exhumation regulations.Lime to cover stenchThe crematorium closed a year ago “due to bankruptcy or failure to pay debts to creditors,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, accusing the facility of breaking health laws.Forensic experts are examining the bodies to determine the cause and date of death.Investigators have asked directors of local funeral homes to indicate whether they sent any corpses to the crematorium since 2013 in order to identify them.Around 20 security forces were guarding the small, green-roofed crematorium early Friday.Local residents, who asked to remain anonymous, said they never noticed any unusual activity in the building and never saw any suspicious people in the area.“We called [the emergency number] 066 because the smell became unbearable,” said one neighbor. “Everything is calm here. I didn’t know the crematorium was closed but we hadn’t seen people go in and out.”Acapulco is in Guerrero state, where authorities say 43 college students were abducted by corrupt police and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, whose henchmen killed and incinerated the victims in September. Facebook Comments Related posts:Mexico’s Peña Nieto pledge to find students falls short for families Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 students Mexico’s 43 missing students continue to haunt President Peña Nieto – and they should Parents of 43 missing students in Mexico wage hunger strikelast_img read more

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San Josés newest coffee shop – on wheels

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times He also discussed his project with the mayor of Montes de Oca, Fernando Trejos Ballestero. Marinoni says that Trejos attempted to reform that municipality’s code on street vendors, but did not receive the support he needed from the Citizen Action Party (PAC).According to Marinoni, who belongs to the Frente Amplio party, if he continues to strike out with municipal leaders, he might file a complaint before Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court, or Sala IV. He is also running for district representative in San Francisco de Dos Ríos in the upcoming February 7 elections. “On the one hand I do it to survive, and on the other to promote biking,” Marinoni told The Tico Times. “If you don’t have the [money] to start a big business in a big place, then start with something more minimalistic.”This idea came when Marinoni, after being fired from a call center, started working for free at a coffee shop. A girl who works there told him she had an idea to create a coffee shop on a bike, but that she had a few strikes against her: she didn’t have a bike or know anything about them, so she would have to buy one and then pay another person to ride it to the center of San José and to sell the coffee.For her, it was a tall order, but for Marinoni, it was perfect. He had taken a barista course in the United States; he lived in Portland, Oregon for four years, the city of bikes and coffee shops, and worked in a few shops. He is also a bicycle mechanic, something he became particularly interested in while living in Portland.“It took me ten months to finish everything,” he said. “The only bad day was the very first one, because I didn’t sell anything, but after that all days have been good.”A bike similar to his would cost approximately $2,500, plus taxes, he said, but he built his with an investment of $1,000 — money he has already recovered from his coffee sales. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:Costa Rica’s best coffee comes from this hillside in Alajuela Grupo Britt opens gourmet coffee store in San José Costa Rica expects 7 percent higher yields in next coffee harvest National Theater to celebrate 117 years in unprecedented style Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Mariano Marinoni, 34, has created a unique addition to San José’s coffee market. His Bici Barista Café gives “coffee to go” new meaning: it’s on wheels. Marinoni rides his bike, which is also his shop, from San Francisco de Dos Ríos to the center of San José — approximately 6 kilometers — every morning to offer his brew to National Insurance Institute (INS) employees and passersby near Parque España.Marinoni launched his project on Nov. 22, 2015, and has attracted a group of loyal customers. He uses Costa Rican coffee from Rio Jarco Farm, in Aserrí, which he says is “first class” coffee. He plans to begin using organic coffee as well.His bike, which emulates the Dutch Cargo Bike model, has a big wooden box where he carries and prepares his coffee, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. most of the time. He sells approximately 100 coffees per week. Marinoni is also the creator of the project “Yo Cleteo San José,” which he launched after his return from Portland, and which encourages people to bike rather than drive or take the bus (too slow, he says of the latter). He fixes and restores bikes, then sells them at low cost, offering different payment methods so people can acquire them more easily.“I wanted to show people [to ride a bicycle daily], but I also wanted to give them the resources,” he said. “I like to think that by doing this, I’m empowering them.”Marinoni is now looking for ways to create new opportunities for biking street vendors. It’s an uphill battle since these businesses are not legal, and the municipality can confiscate their equipment and goods.Marinoni’s idea is to present a proposal to the Municipality of San José for quick food handling courses for biking street vendors. That way, vendors would handle their products hygienically and have the the support of the government.“A few days ago a [street vendor] warned me about the police, because he had been hit by them. I felt so bad about it, especially because he was a really old man,” Marinoni explained. “There must be a way for people like that to be able to survive from their business. How does the government want us to be happy with them if they don’t even let us work?” Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times No matter what, however, Marinoni feels he has found his calling and is ecstatic about the progress of his mobile café.“This project has helped people from everywhere to meet each other,” he said. “They come to buy coffee, and while I prepare it, they talk to each other. They are people who wouldn’t have met under any other circumstances. It becomes a public space.” Facebook Comments Alberto Font/The Tico Timeslast_img read more

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Costa Rica studies longevity of its centenarian citizens

first_imgRelated posts:Number of obese Ticos has almost quadrupled in four decades Costa Rica reports lower cancer mortality rates Study: Costa Rica improves healthy life expectancy Zika virus total surpasses 100 cases in Costa Rica Research seeking to evaluate the longevity of people over 100 years of age in Costa Rica started this week in the province of Guanacaste.Fernando Morales, the director of the National Geriatric Hospital, said in a news release that the research will focus on better understanding the best practices of centenarian Ticos.“The study will allow us to gather our own information in order to stop relying on studies from other regions. We will be able to find the Costa Rican success factors for longevity,” Morales said.Data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census state that there are currently 626 centenarians living in Costa Rica.The researchSeveral months of planning for the study have already taken place, and results are expected to be ready by 2018, Morales said.The group of specialists in charge of the research includes experts in gerontology, geriatrics, statistics, psychology and nutrition. They will visit seniors in their homes and conduct all evaluations onsite.Researchers will analyze the physical, social and psychological aspects of each of the seniors who will take part in the longevity study.Physical tests include a full checkup and electrocardiogram, as well as vision, hearing, and nutrition evaluations. Physicians also will measure blood pressure, height, weight, percentage of body fat and muscle mass. Specialists will take blood samples to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and will test liver and kidney functions.Centenarian Ticos will respond to a survey about the health services they receive and medicines they take.The survey also includes questions about their lifestyle, diet, physical activity and daily routines, as well as their attention span, memory and concentration.Researchers will analyze centenarians’ social connections with their family, their community and their environment. They also will ask them about their spirituality and motivations in life.Blue ZonesThe investigation will begin in the Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Guanacaste, where international experts have conducted similar research in recent years.National Geographic’s book ‘Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest’ described author Dan Buettner’s quest across the globe to investigate the secrets for living longer.The research included five Guanacaste cantons from the Nicoya Peninsula: Carrillo, Hojancha, Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Nandayure.Buettner’s book noted that residents in these communities have the world’s lowest rate of middle-age mortality and the second-highest concentration of male centenarians.“Their longevity secret lies partly in their strong faith communities, deep social networks, and habits of regular, low-intensity physical activity,” he stated.The Nicoya Peninsula is now considered one of the world’s five Blue Zones, along with Loma Linda in California, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan and Icaria in Greece.Cosmetic giant Chanel earlier this year developed and released a new anti-aging product with longevity ingredients from the diet of the Blue Zones’ populations, including green coffee from the Nicoya Peninsula. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Bribrí women commemorate Sergio Rojas and vow to keep his fight alive

first_imgAbout 30 indigenous leaders, friends and family of Sergio Rojas gathered in the indigenous Bribrí community of Shiroles, about 20 km west of Puerto Viejo, to commemorate Rojas’s life and struggle on Friday night.Some had known him since he was a teenager, while others had never met him, but they were all there to commemorate his fight to protect indigenous rights and land in Costa Rica. Members of the Bribrí and Cabecar community talk about the death of Sergio Rojas. His nephews also participated in the commemoration, who said: “the killing of our uncle is not the end of the struggle for our ancestral lands but new energy for our claims.” (Marco Valle / The Tico Times)“In a lot of negotiations and proposals, [Rojas] said he’d defend his rights and that the Bribrí aren’t afraid of anything,” said Faustina Torres, an organizer of the event and president of the Association of Indigenous Women of Talamanca (ACOMUITA). “He said if he had to die to defend our rights, he would.“And he fulfilled his mandate.”Rojas was shot to death at his home on March 18. While the murder of the outspoken leader is still under investigation, Rojas had survived a previous assassination attempt. Torres and other members of the Bribrí community say they have no doubt his work led to his death. Faustina Torres, president of ACOMUITA. (Marco Valle / The Tico Times)Torres also states that negligence on behalf of the state led to Rojas’s death. A 1977 law returned large areas of land to indigenous Costa Ricans, but it did not compensate non-indigenous people who were occupying the land. Since then, there have been clashes of violence as non-indigenous Costa Ricans have fought to retake the land. “There’s a law that has to be implemented, and it hasn’t been implemented because they’re negligent,” Torres said. “It’s negligence on behalf of the government.”The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs has invited the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to visit indigenous territories and follow up on precautionary measures the IAHCR recommended the Costa Rican government take to defend indigenous communities. As is custom in solemn celebrations, the members of the Bribrí community drink chocolate to commemorate the deceased. (Marco Valle / The Tico Times)An estimated 85 percent of land allocated to indigenous Costa Ricans is now in the hands of non-indigenous people.“One of the things we can’t keep allowing is the bloodshed of people who fought for what was ours,” said Marina López, a member of ACOMUITA who helped organize the memorial. “They want to tell us that we have to have our heads down one more time. But this is teaching us that we’re stronger now, that we have more courage to keep fighting.”Both Torres and López say their priority is justice for Rojas’s murder. After that, they say they will consult with their elders and try to organize with other indigenous communities around Costa Rica to bring their struggle to the forefront of the national conversation. Marina López , member of the ACOMUITA association prays in Bribri language during the commemoration for the death of Sergio Rojas, leader of the Bribri community in the Canton of Buenos Aires in the Province of Puntarenas. (Marco Valle / The Tico Times)“An indigenous leader who fights from wherever, in this country or anywhere in the world, doesn’t just fight for them, but for every indigenous community and territory in the world,” Torres said. “The indigenous community has to react and keep defending our lands. They took his life for something that’s ours, and it’s so unjust.“We’re going to ask for justice.”Torres met Rojas a few times, and Rojas was supposed to visit Torres’ town to discuss land rights last week, but the meeting never happened. López, on the other hand, knew Rojas since he was a teenager. She said he was always a leader and had a gift for understanding law.“He was a great leader and a great defender of his people,” López said. “Even if he was hungry, with no money, he was on the forefront of the fight.“He never lowered his head for anything.” Members of the Bribrí and Cabecar community talk about the death of Sergio Rojas. His nephews also participated in the commemoration. (Marco Valle / The Tico Times)This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica issues invitation to Commission on Human Rights following murder of Bribrí leader IACHR mission visits Costa Rica to evaluate protections for indigenous communities Four arrested over murder of Honduras activist Berta Cáceres Environmental leader killed in Honduraslast_img read more

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French vintners want US chateaux kept out of EU

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day `’What is at stake is the respect for tradition and quality,” Laurent Gapenne of Chateau de Laville and president of the Federation des Grand Vins de Bordeaux told The Associated Press.For American vintners, it’s a question of selling more wine in their top export market, unshackled by historic language or restrictive terms in the world of 21st century globalization.`’People use words in different ways,” WineAmerica chief operation officer Cary Greene told the AP, arguing there should be no ban on U.S. bottles carrying the word “chateau.”But the French argue that hundreds of years of craft are at stake. They’re worried that the cachet a mention of “chateau” or “clos” _ which shows the origin of the wine _ carries is diluted if other winemakers started to stick it on their bottles in Europe.On Tuesday, EU experts from the different member states were supposed to vote on the issue, but that was postponed following talks Monday between the EU and French Farm Minister Stephane Le Foll .`’I asked my services to clarify all of these matters,” EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said late Monday, effectively ruling out an immediate decision. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain For the French, the very francophone origins of the “chateau” name argue differently.`’The Americans could create `chateau’ wines from grapes from all over and prices would of course be much lower,” Gapenne said. `’The consumer would be buying a `chateau’ wine with the idea of quality that represents our definition” while in fact it doesn’t, he argued.Several dozen premium wineries in the United States have already used the `chateau’ and `clos’ designation in the past. They were allowed to export wines bearing such labels for three years in the wake of a 2006 trans-Atlantic wine agreement, but that loophole was closed in 2009.Names and denominations of origins have often created trade friction, affecting everything from Greek feta cheese to Lebanese hummus. In the 2006 agreement, for example, the EU said it was able to contain the use of such terms like Champagne and Port in the United States.Any dilution of the typical French winery terms would undermine their standing in the world, said Gapenne.And once the United States breaks the French hold on the term in Europe, it would set a precedent.`’It would become extremely difficult to stop other producing countries” from using the term, Gapenne’s FGVB said in a statement. `’The notion would be totally discredited and empty of any meaning.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories It’s the latest skirmish in a trans-Atlantic wine war that has seen the United States grow from an upstart to an increasingly confident competitor on world markets.U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson was enamored with French wines and the French held dominance over world wine traffic until well after World War II. Then came the 1976 `’Judgment of Paris,” when, to French astonishment, California won a major blind taste test over French wines.To this day, that event is considered the `’tasting that changed the wine world.” That never sat well with the French, and since then wine relations have often had an edge.So when the European Commission decided to act on a U.S. request to regain permission to export `chateau’ and `clos’-labeled wines to Europe _ including France _ the anger was palpable.`’The European Commission is bartering our heritage and our economic clout at the expense of globalization,” said Gapenne. “I cannot understand that they would yield on this.”For the U.S., the benefits of tapping the European market are clear. Even though it is declining, the 27-nation European Union still accounts for 57 percent of the global wine consumption. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonacenter_img Last year, 34 percent of U.S. wine exports by value went to the EU, accounting for $478 million. And the industry is counting on removing trade barriers worldwide to push exports even more.In comparison, the EU said its exports to the United States stood at (EURO)2.2 billion ($2.86 billion) last year, boosted by many of the top-edge chateau and clos vintages that have come to define the continent’s best wines. The global turnover of France’s Bordeaux wines stood at (EURO)4.2 billion and 55,000 jobs while the Burgundy region added (EURO)1 billion and 20,000 jobs last year.While the Americans feel they are unfairly locked out of a market, the French feel that centuries of careful cultivation is being thrown up for grabs.`’There would not be a level playing field,” Gapenne said.While French chateau bottles find their origins in wines made at the estate from grapes belonging to the chateau, the U.S. definition for export would use less stringent conditions on provenance. It could include grapes from `’vines that have been traditionally used by this wine producer or producer group.”`’We think the definition we presented is fair and reasonable,” said Greene of the U.S. `’The definitions we put forward, we believe accurately reflect what we think the market place can stand and what consumers can understand.” Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressBRUSSELS (AP) – Drinking a Bordeaux wine from a `’chateau” is as French as swigging Kentucky bourbon is American.But now tempers are flaring across the vineyards of France. The United States wants to sell some of its wines in the European Union with _ sacrilege _ a `’chateau” or “clos” label.Is that cheating? Misappropriation? Whatever it is, the issue has the Bordelais turning claret with anger. 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ExPM in Curacao claims bloodless coup

first_imgAssociated PressKINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Curacao’s former leader was holed up Sunday inside what used to be his official offices, accusing the acting governor of overstepping her constitutional powers by forming an interim government three weeks before general elections on the Dutch Caribbean island.But the Dutch government said in a statement that former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte’s administration was legally replaced and urged the interim government to make sure the run up to the Oct. 19 election and the vote itself run smoothly. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “There is no coup, the ex-PM spreads this around the world,” said Peter van Leeuwen, who heads a local conservation group. “The streets are quiet.”Enchi Enmo, owner of the Seaside Terrace restaurant, said: “Things here are normal, no problems. People are going to the beach.”On Sunday, Curacao issued a statement stressing that the appointment of interim leader Stanley Betrian and three other ministers was “based on the will of a majority in Parliament.”Five political parties had called for an interim government to prepare for the Oct. 19 vote and manage the island’s affairs. Parliamentarians have also alleged that Schotte was misusing public funds to help his faction, a claim he denies.Betrian seemed unperturbed by Schotte’s allegations and his decision to remain inside the government offices. Betrian, a former lieutenant governor, told local reporters he has started work as interim prime minister and he doesn’t need an office to carry out his duties.It is unclear how long Schotte and his supporters intend to stay in the government offices. Schotte says police were ordered to kick them out, but they didn’t carry through because the corps’ political loyalty is divided. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img Sunday phone calls to Curacao’s acting governor rang unanswered. Van der Pluijm-Vrede assumed the role of acting governor last week after Gov. Frits Goedgedrag left the island for medical treatment overseas. He had initiated the interim administration before he departed, but van der Pluijm-Vrede swore in the ministers.It’s not the first time that Schotte has spoken about coups in Curacao.In May, Schotte announced that he suspended the island’s entire secret service agency, accusing agents of planning a coup in 2010, the year he became prime minister following the breakup of the Netherlands Antilles political grouping. He and the secret service agency had several run-ins after the island obtained greater autonomy in 2010.Curacao is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the governor is the representative of the Dutch monarch.___Associated Press writer Mike Corder contributed to this story from The Hague, Netherlands.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Schotte dissolved parliament and called elections after his government lost its legislative majority on Aug. 3. Then Acting Governor Adeel van der Pluijm-Vrede swore in a new administration to replace Schotte’s on Saturday, something he called a bloodless “coup.” Schotte insisted there should have been no changes until the election in which he plans to run again as leader of the Curacao Future Movement.“The reality is that this is a coup because they have no constitutional basis to do this. There is some hidden agenda to stop the election or manipulate the election,” Schotte told The Associated Press Sunday by telephone from the prime minister’s offices, where he said he slept on a sofa overnight. Several supporters have joined him in the government house in Willemstad, he said.Schotte is seeking support from regional governments including Venezuela, 35 miles (56 kilometers) away. Meanwhile, he’s been sending “the message to everyone to stay relaxed.”In Curacao’s colorful capital of Willemstad, some citizens dismissed Schotte’s claims of a “coup” as political gamesmanship ahead of the vote. Most people went about their normal business, some heading to church while others frolicked at the beach or rested at home. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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Cat stationmaster Tama mourned in Japan elevated as goddess

first_imgTOKYO (AP) — Tama the stationmaster, Japan’s feline star of a struggling local railway, was mourned by company officials and fans and elevated into a goddess at a funeral Sunday.The calico cat was appointed stationmaster at the Kishi station in western Japan in 2007. Donning her custom-made stationmaster’s cap, Tama quietly sat at the ticket gate welcoming and seeing off passengers. The cat quickly attracted tourists and became world-famous, contributing to the railway company and local economy. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home “Tama-chan really emerged like a savior, a goddess. It was truly my honor to have been able to work with her,” Kojima said in his speech.During her tenure, Tama had contributed an estimated 1.1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to the local economy, Kojima said.Kojima said that when he visited Tama at an animal hospital the day before she died, the cat woke up and reached out to him with her paws, as if asking for a hug, and looked straight into his eyes. He said he told Tama to get well so they can celebrate the cat’s upcoming 10th anniversary as a stationmaster, and said the cat responded with a “meow.”Tama is a popular name for cats in Japan, where they are considered spiritual animals. The word could translate as treasure, ball or spirit.The cat had climbed the corporate ladder from stationmaster to “ultra-stationmaster” and vice president of the company before receiving the additional title Sunday of “honorable eternal stationmaster.”Tama will be succeeded by another calico cat, Nitama, now an apprentice stationmaster.___This story has been corrected to show that Tama will be enshrined in August, not next month.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi at Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairycenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Tama, who had turned 16 in April, died of a heart failure on June 22. During Sunday’s Shinto-style funeral at the station where she served, Tama became a goddess. The Shinto religion, indigenous to Japan and practiced by many Japanese, has a variety of gods including animals.In one of several portraits decorating the altar, Tama posed in a stationmaster’s hat and a dark blue cape. Sake, as well as watermelon, apples, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables were presented to the cat. A stand outside the station was heaped with bouquets, canned tuna and other gifts left by thousands of Tama fans who came to pray from around the country.Wakayama Electric Railway President Mitsunobu Kojima thanked the cat for her achievement, and said Tama will be enshrined at a nearby cat shrine in August.Before Tama’s arrival, the local Kishigawa Line was near-bankrupt; and the station was unmanned as it had lost its last staff.Kojima said appointing Tama as stationmaster was initially an excuse to keep the cat at the station.“But she was really doing her job,” he said. The rest was a miracle, and his company’s success story also gave hope for dozens of other struggling tiny local train lines, he said. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Romania prime minister indicted in corruption investigation

first_img Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall In this photo taken on July 10, 2015, Romanian Premier Victor Ponta walks with the aid of crutches in Bucharest, Romania. Ponta announced Sunday, July 12, 2015, that he resigned as head of Romania’s ruling Social Democracy party for the duration of a probe launched last month by the country’s anti-corruption prosecutor’s office into allegations that include tax evasion and money laundering. (Andreea Alexandru, Mediafax via AP) ROMANIA OUT The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ponta resigned as chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party on Sunday, saying he wanted to prove his innocence.Close ally Liviu Dragnea called that move a “mistake” on Monday, urging him not to quit as prime minister.Ponta survived a vote to lift his immunity and a no-confidence vote in June. He then went to Istanbul for his knee operation on June 15 and stayed for more than three weeks. He resumed his duties as prime minister on July 9.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian prosecutors indicted Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation and seized his assets, increasing pressure on him to resign.Prosecutors said Ponta has been indicted on charges including tax evasion, money laundering, conflict of interest and making false statements while he was working as a lawyer in 2007 and 2008. At the time, Ponta was a lawmaker. He denies wrongdoing. Sponsored Stories Prosecutors also said in a statement Monday that they temporarily froze Ponta’s personal assets which include shares in a house, an apartment and several bank accounts. He sold two apartments in May for 150,000 euros ($170,000) and also sold a car.Ponta, who took office in 2012, is the first sitting Romania prime minister to be indicted and have his assets seized.Prosecutors said the probe, which has no time limit, is ongoing and the prosecutor in charge of the case will decide whether the case is sent to trial.The accusations against Ponta include forging expense claims worth at least 181,000 lei ($45,000) from the law firm of political ally Dan Sova. Prosecutors say he pretended he did work as a lawyer to justify getting money from the law firm. The funds were used to pay for two luxury apartments and the use of an SUV. Prosecutors say that after Ponta became prime minister in May 2012, he appointed Sova a minister three times.Ponta, 42, who is recovering from a knee operation, was questioned at the offices of anti-corruption prosecutors on Monday morning. He walked up the steps on crutches into the building and he emerged about 30 minutes later, but declined to respond to prosecutors’ questions, citing his right to remain silent. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ponta has immunity for some of the charges, including the conflict of interest accusation. But he doesn’t have immunity for the tax evasion and money laundering charges. He can’t be arrested without Parliament’s approval, the prosecutors’ office said.Parties in the ruling coalition met Monday afternoon after the indictment and expressed their continued support for the prime minister. Ponta said “I am the prime minister of this coalition and I am presenting myself in a disciplined way.”He declined to respond to questions over whether he would resign after opposition parties again called on him to quit Monday.On June 5, prosecutors identified Ponta as a suspect in a corruption investigation, which has thrown Romania into a political crisis. President Klaus Iohannis has urged Ponta to resign, but the prime minister has refused so far. Ponta said he hasn’t spoken with the president since June 5. Iohannis, who is on an official visit to Spain, said he would continue to have an institutional relationship with Ponta and that he maintained the position he had on June 5, when he asked Ponta to resign.The situation has also caused tensions within Ponta’s party, the biggest in Romania.last_img read more

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United deep in merger talks now eyes Continental

first_imgAs rumours fly that United Airlines is considering a merger with US Airways, a new report is claiming that United is also currently in talks with Continental Airlines and could also be looking at a merger.A new Reuters report claims its sources have tipped them off that United Airlines have reinstated merger talks with Continental Airlines, its Star Alliance airline partner.United is keeping its options open, continuing talks with both airlines, though the talks with US Airways have progressed much further than the talks with Continental.A merger between Continental may be easier to clear for United Airlines, as being airline alliance partners has seen some of its operations already partnered.  In addition the two airlines share common unions.But a merger between United and US Airways will produced the second largest airline in the United States, and arguably the third largest airline in the world. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

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Dusit Thani Pattaya receives Outstanding Hotel for Cooperative

first_img::Dusit Thani Pattaya receives “Outstanding Hotel for Cooperative Education” Award:: Dr. Sumet Yamnun (right) of the Commission on Higher Education presents the award of Outstanding Hotel for Cooperative Education to Arum Chaisomsri of Dusit Thani Pattaya’s Training Department in recognition of its valuable support and contribution to university students who require practical work experience before they venture out into the real world of performing their chosen careers. University students of different majors go through a practicum in various hotels in the eastern region and the five-star resort has not only accommodated them but also made sure they learned a skill or two during the out-of-classroom education. Dusit Thani Pattaya was the only hotel in the Eastern Seaboard that received the recognition during ceremonies held 6 June at the Impact Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. Source = Dusit Thani Pattayalast_img read more

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Hilton Hotels Heart workers

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Hilton Hotels proves it has heart, signing a union prepared Hotels with Heart pledge, allowing workers sufficient amount of time to clean rooms to a five-star standard.In a bid to lift Melbourne’s luxury hotel standards, United Voice coordinated the pledge, which received its first signature earlier this month from the Hilton South Wharf and is expecting a follow up signature from Hilton on the Park. United Voice Victorian secretary Jess Walsh said a forensic cleaning expert found top hotels suffered from a “hygiene crisis” because of insufficient cleaning time. “It takes 45 minutes to clean a room to a five-star standard, but many luxury hotels give their workers as little as 15 minutes to do it, and that’s at the heart of the hygiene crisis gripping our hotels,” Walsh said. Seven luxury hotels in Melbourne failed to pass the investigation conducted by Peter Guerin, with rooms containing health threatening bacteria, mouldy bathrooms and mattresses layered with dead skin.  “We congratulate Hilton Hotels for the leading way,” Ms Walsh said. “This shows Hilton is committed to the highest standards, both in terms of cleanliness and respect for its workers.”Ms Walsh has called on other luxury hotels across Melbourne to prove their commitment to cleanliness, their guests and their workers.“Room attendants are calling on Melbourne’s other hotels to follow Hilton’s lead and become Hotels With Heart too,” she concluded. last_img read more

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Labor warns to stop Qantas strikes

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Labor has warned it may need to intervene to end the ongoing dispute between Qantas and its unions as the airline announced it would ground five aircraft and suspend 400 domestic flights.The airline said the decision was necessary to maintain the dependability of its network in the face of an eight percent loss in its maintenance capacity due to industrial action by licensed engineers, The Australian reported.Qantas said the union disputes have disrupted 60,000 passengers and has claimed the unions have timed the events to cause maximum damage to the airline.Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said the industrial disputes are damaging the tourism industry and small businesses that depend on it.“There are options for the government to actually require the parties to resolve the dispute these issues under the umbrella of the Fair Work Australia Act,” Mr Ferguson said.Workplace Relations Minister, Chris Evans said the legislation enabled Fair Work Australia to suspend or terminate action if it significantly damages third parties, the economy or welfare of the population.“The government urges unions and Qantas to negotiate in good faith to seek assistance from Fair Work Australia and to be mindful of the potential impact of industrial action on the travelling public,” Mr Evans said.Although the PM has set up an intervention plan, she told ABC Radio in Brisbane that she is keen to see both union and the carrier negotiate an agreement.“So my message has been loud and clear: they should get round a table and get it done.”last_img read more