Sunwing teams up with celebrity chef Lynn Crawford to launch new menu

first_imgSunwing teams up with celebrity chef Lynn Crawford to launch new menu items Tags: Sunwing Toronto – Sunwing invited travel media to an industry event on Wednesday morning to introduce Food Network Canada’s celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, the inspiration behind the airline’s ‘Sunwing Café’ onboard menu.Chef Crawford has inspired three of the offerings on the 10- item, buy-onboard menu, which has been featured on Sunwing flights for just over a month. The three items are: Peameal on a Bun, a pasta dish, and Beef Short Ribs.According to Chef Crawford, when creating these dishes she tried to focus on what she has learned over the years about people like to eat. She also wanted to keep the integrity of the food and create good recipes that focused on fresh local ingredients.Sunwing’s Stephen Hunter advised that the customer feedback of the new menu has been very positive and has greatly exceeded the company’s expectations. He added that this is just another step in Sunwing’s ongoing process of improving the customer experience on Sunwing flights. Share Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Wednesday, November 16, 2016 last_img read more

Read More

Costa Rica hotel converts airplane fuselage into luxury room

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Costa Rica, OMG Posted by Costa Rica hotel converts airplane fuselage into luxury room Sharecenter_img Thursday, December 8, 2016 Travelweek Group MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK – This ain’t your average treehouse, not by a long shot. The Hotel Costa Verde, located in a rainforest near Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, is giving travellers the chance to stay in a vintage Boeing 727 airplane perched high above the jungle floor.The hotel is the latest establishment to have repurposed an old, unused aircraft. A few years back, a man in Oregon turned a plane into a home, while an entire kindergarten class in the country of Georgia has set up shop in a refurbished Yakovlev 42 plane. While Hotel Costa Verde is impressive on its own for its cliff-side pools and sundecks, its crowning glory will always be the room inside a 727 fuselage, originally manufactured in 1965.As the story goes, the hotel salvaged the airplane from the San Jose Airport and transported it deep inside the Costa Rican jungle. After an extensive remodel, the plane is now perched on a 50-foot pedestal, creating the illusion that it either crashed into the treetops or was simply left there and abandoned.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksAccording to Curbed.com, the fuselage room boasts hand-carved furnishings, two air-conditioned bedrooms – each with its own bathroom – and a kitchenette, dining area and private entrance. Rates start at US$500 per night, a bargain really, for the chance to stay in a bit of history.last_img read more

Read More

Playa going public as part of growth strategy AMResorts parent company sold

first_img Share Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Posted by Tags: AMResorts, Apple Leisure Group, Playa Hotels & Resorts Travelweek Group center_img Playa going public as part of growth strategy; AMResorts parent company sold TORONTO — The hotel industry saw some shakeups this week with Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V. announcing plans to go public, while the parent company of AMResorts has been sold.Playa’s move to go public will be a catalyst to accelerate Playa’s growth strategy by providing US$500 million of additional capital and access to the public markets to strengthen its balance sheet, pursue acquisitions, and enhance distribution. Reports indicate that Playa intends to launch a new hotel brand as part of its growth plan.Playa owns a portfolio consisting of 13 resorts with 6,142 rooms in Mexico, the D.R. and Jamaica. Playa owns and manages Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Jamaica, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. The company also owns and operates three resorts under Playa’s brands, THE Royal and Gran, as well as five resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic that are managed by a third party.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthMeanwhile AMResorts’ parent company Apple Leisure group has reached a deal to be bought by financial firms KKR & Co. and KSL Capital Partners LLC. Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, weren’t disclosed. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Read More

Emirates saves the A380 – for now – with new US16 billion

first_img Travelweek Group Thursday, January 18, 2018 Share Posted by Tags: Airbus, Emiratescenter_img DUBAI — Emirates today announced a US$16 billion deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options.The new A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, worth over US$60 billion.His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “Emirates truly represents Dubai’s spirit of growth, innovation and resilience. It also epitomizes the city’s increasing role in connecting the world in terms of people, capital and information flows. This deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future, and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.”His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) today with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencySheikh Ahmed said: “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates. Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix.”He added: “Some of the new A380s we’ve just ordered will be used as fleet replacements. This order will provide stability to the A380 production line. We will continue to work closely with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and onboard product, so as to offer our passengers the best possible experience. The beauty of this aircraft is that the technology and real estate on board gives us plenty of room to do something different with the interiors.”Emirates’ new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 “at least for another 10 years”, said Airbus’ Leahy, adding “I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsEmirates’ partnership with Airbus spans decades. The world’s largest international airline, Emirates is by far the largest Airbus A380 operator on the planet with 101 A380s currently in service.Many in the aviation industry were convinced Airbus would halt production on the A380 once existing orders were filled. The massive double-deck aircraft are capable of carrying up to 868 passengers, although most airlines operating the A380s configure the layout with 540 or so seats, in three classes. Despite the wow factor with its size when it was officially launched into commercial service in 2007, the number of new orders for A380s from the world’s airlines has tapered off, with the exception of Emirates. Emirates saves the A380 – for now – with new US$16 billion order << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Read More

Starbucks to sell Tico brand in Costa Rica store

first_imgFrom the print editionBella Vista Coffee, hailing from Tres Ríos, southeast of San José, will be the first Tico coffee for sale in Starbucks’ new Escazú location, southwest of the capital, the daily La Nación reported.The new store is the coffee giant’s first in Costa Rica. The chain, which has been a major buyer of Costa Rican coffee for years, will open its new store on Avenida Escazú sometime in the next two weeks, where patrons will find 250 gram bags of Bella Vista beans for sale.“We are some of the principal suppliers of Starbucks, and they are the No. 1 individual buyer that Costa Rica has for its coffee,” Ronald Peters, executive director of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica told The Tico Times in February. “Opening a café here gives national consumers a style [of drinking coffee] that is known globally, and in this way promotes the consumption of coffee. That is important for us” (TT, Feb. 3).Starbucks administrators told La Nación they selected Bella Vista Coffee because it is grown between 1,350 and 1,500 meters above sea level, and has good quality, flavor and acidity. Facebook Comments Related posts:Starbucks opens second Costa Rica location on Thursday First Starbucks in Costa Rica opens in Escazú Residents split on Starbucks announcement The first Starbucks in Costa Rica will open in Maylast_img read more

Read More

Costa Rican police thank drug traffickers for new plane

first_imgThe Public Security Ministry (MSP) has a new plane, thanks to some drug traffickers.The King Air F90, rechristened MSP 020, was seized while carrying a metric ton of cocaine in Costa Rica. The plane has since changed its feathers and has participated in an ambulatory mission and a historic flight to Isla del Coco.“This plane was confiscated [when it was used for] drug trafficking, and now it is used to fight this same activity,” said Oldemar Madrigal, director of MSP’s Air Patrol division, SVA.Unbelievably, MSP 020 is the only Costa Rican police plane with the means to fly to the remote Isla del Coco, in the Pacific, turning a 36-hour boat trip into a brief hour-and-a-half hop.“Costa Rica today has an air fleet that for the first time has the ability to carry out an aerial patrol to Isla del Coco. This is the first time that the Public Security Ministry has reached 22,000 feet with its own resources,” Gamboa said, according to an MSP statement. A view from the cockpit of a one-time drug plane that authorities confiscated for anti-drug patrols, including one to Isla del Coco. (Courtesy Public Security Ministry) Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica’s Solís flies in former drug plane to El Salvador Costa Rica fishermen once again arrested as US Coast Guard seizes 2.3 tons of cocaine Costa Rica takes custody of 3 suspected cocaine smugglers nabbed by US Costa Rican Coast Guard seizes nearly 2 metric tons of marijuanalast_img read more

Read More

Following alleged kidnapping Canadian expat recovering at Costa Rica home says attorney

first_imgFor over a month, police, family members and colleagues of Ryan Piercy, 45, a fixture in the North American expat community in Costa Rica, remained tight-lipped about hisJan. 20 disappearance amid ongoing speculation that he had been kidnapped and held for ransom. Now, some information is filtering out after Piercy appeared at his western San José home late Saturday night in a taxi, reportedly shaken but in good health.“Ryan is recovering at home with his family and will issue a statement soon,” Piercy’s attorney Romulo Pacheco told The Tico Times. “Other than that, I have no more information at this time.”While Pacheco would not confirm that Piercy had been kidnapped, Judicial Investigation Police Director Francisco Segura did, in a statement on Monday morning. He also said authorities had taken Piercy to a forensics lab for testing after he arrived at his home on Saturday.Segura noted that the alleged kidnappers had demanded nearly half a million dollars in the crypto currency Bitcoin. But Segura would not say whether all or part of the ransom was paid in Bitcoins or via a standard money transfer.The Tico Times attempted to contact Piercy, but phone calls to his residence were not answered.Here’s what Segura said:“According to [Piercy’s] family, he arrived [at midnight on Saturday] and knocked on the door of their home. Apparently he arrived in a taxi that he boarded in San Pedro [east of San José]. He said he had been held captive for more than 30 days in subhuman conditions, which is why we immediately transferred him to a forensics lab for an examination to determine both his physical condition and his version of events, which is normal police procedure. Today [Monday], we possibly will interview him when he is more relaxed and rested … to determine if we can identify his captors.”Regarding Bitcoin, Segura said it is a “relatively new [payment] method in any part of the world, and we work with Interpol, which does not have experience in this type of currency. We’ll have to see if it was paid or not, because it’s not easy to secure Bitcoins to make the payment. It’s a digital currency with a limited supply.”Asked if business owners or foreigners are being targeted by kidnapping gangs in Costa Rica, Segura said, “I would say to business owners and everyone in the country: Relax. We’ve worked kidnapping cases well and had good results. In Costa Rica, kidnapping cases usually don’t succeed. … I would say that kidnapping in Costa Rica is a rare crime.”Piercy, a board member and manager of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR), disappeared on Jan. 20. Police discovered his wife’s abandoned car with its doors open and engine running on the side of the road along Route 32, north of the capital. Pacheco told The Tico Times that the ARCR, which assists expats in establishing residency in Costa Rica, is operating normally and keeping its regular business hours. On Jan. 21, 2015, Costa Rican police search the area where Canadian expat Ryan Piercy’s abandoned car was discovered. The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Remembering La Penca, 30 years later Canadian longtime expat goes missing in Costa Rica under ‘strange’ circumstances Family of US hiker disappeared in Costa Rica passes another dark anniversary Man linked to Costa Rica murder case sentenced to 3 years for identity theft in USlast_img read more

Read More

Mexico City murders deepen threatened journalists fears

first_img‘No kind of life’Espinosa, a photographer for the prestigious investigative magazine Proceso, had moved to Mexico City two months ago after receiving threats in Veracruz.He had also been beaten by state police in 2013.Another Veracruz colleague sheltering in the capital said Espinosa’s killing had brought his old hometown fears back to his doorstep.“After what happened to Rubén, your fear returns. We exiles don’t feel so safe among the multitude anymore,” said the political cartoonist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.The cartoonist fled the state in 2012 after finding a threatening note in his car. “Calladito,” it said — “Quiet.”That one word chilled his blood and convinced him to flee the country, he said. But he later returned to Mexico, counting on the sheer size of the sprawling capital to keep him safe.Living in self-exile is “no kind of life,” he told AFP.“It’s a life of constant anguish, nightmares, crying. It’s a life of not telling people where you are, not arriving where you say you will, changing your phone number, mistrusting everyone, even your friends,” he said.Currently around 15 Mexican journalists are reported to be living in self-exile abroad.The number of colleagues seeking to join them has increased substantially in recent years, said Philippe Olle-Laprune, the head of the Citlaltepetl House of Refuge in Mexico City, which shelters persecuted journalists and artists from around the world.He called Espinosa’s killing “a horrible wakeup call,” adding that “the violence hits closer to home every day.” In 2014 @article19mex documented 41 attacks against the press in Veracruz, the most dangerous state for journalism https://t.co/u1EYMibuWO— ARTICLE 19 (@article19org) August 4, 2015 MEXICO CITY – Mexico City was once seen as an island of refuge in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, but the brutal killing of a prominent photojournalist along with four other people has shattered that image.The death of news photographer Rubén Espinosa in an awful five-victim homicide has unleashed new fears for other journalists who, like him, have fled to the capital after receiving threats in their hometowns.There are currently at least a dozen journalists from around the country sheltering in Mexico City because they fear for their safety in a nation where, according to Reporters Without Borders, at least 88 of their colleagues have been murdered in the last 15 years. Relatives and friends of murdered Mexican photographer Rubén Espinosa mourn at the Dolores Cemetery in Mexico City, on Aug. 3, 2015. Alfredo Estrella/AFPOnce seen as a sort of ceasefire zone — or at least a place to hide out anonymously amid nine million people — Mexico City suddenly seems a lot less safe since Espinosa was found Friday with a bullet through his head, his hands bound and his body showing signs of torture.Four women killed alongside Espinosa were found in similar condition. They included human rights activist, anthropologist and dance company producer Nadia Vera Pérez, who was sexually abused and tortured before she was killed. Just eight months ago, in a video interview with Rompeviento TV, Vera chillingly told her interviewers that if anything happened to her, members of her family, or members of her fellow activist collective, she held Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte and his “entire Cabinet” responsible.“We want to be very clear: Our security is entirely the responsibility of the state, because it is precisely they who are ordering our repression,” Vera, who was a member of the group #YoSoy132 in Xalapa, told her interviewers, who described her as extremely anxious and nervous during the filming. Judicial authorities released surveillance footage of the alleged killers Tuesday night.“This was the armored city, and now it’s broken,” said a colleague at Espinosa’s funeral Monday who, like the slain photojournalist, hails from Veracruz.The eastern state has been described as the deadliest in Mexico for journalists by rights group Article 19, which says 17 journalists have been killed there in the last 15 years — 13 of them since current Governor Duarte came to power in 2010. ‘Flimsy’ protection The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Mexico the eighth deadliest country in the world for reporters.Seeking to combat the violence, the government has launched a protection program for threatened journalists and rights activists, plus a special prosecutors’ office for crimes against free speech.But one former journalist enrolled in the so-called “protective mechanism,” Balbina Flores, said the program “has a lot of problems,” particularly its slow registration procedures.The Inter American Press Association agreed, criticizing the program’s “flimsy, inefficient performance.”Espinosa had opted not to register with the program, saying he did not trust the authorities.His death has left journalists in the capital living in a climate of “fear, uncertainty and defenselessness,” said Flores, who now heads the free-speech program at the city’s human rights commission. Colleagues of murdered Mexican photographer Rubén Espinosa place their cameras beside his grave. Alfredo Estrella/AFPThe Tico Times contributed to this report. Facebook Comments ¿En qué país se escapa el narco # 1, matan 43 estudiantes en Iguala y 15 periodistas de Veracruz, descubren Casa Blanca…y nadie renuncia?— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) August 4, 2015 Related posts:Attacks on Mexico journalists surge, says rights group Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 students Nestle tweets a joke about the 43 students missing and presumed dead in Mexico Parents of 43 missing students in Mexico wage hunger strikelast_img read more

Read More

Costa Rica finishes eighth in World Junior Surfing Championship

first_imgAt the end of the week-long 2015 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championship in Oceanside, California, Costa Rica’s team had set another national record. With the top-notch surfing this country has come to expect from its talented young athletes, Costa Rica finished 8th among the 36 nations, its highest position yet in any of the junior games they have attended since Tahiti in 2004. (Courtesy Alfredo Barquero)The Costa Rica team was composed of Leonardo Calvo of Boca Barranca, Denis Picard of Jacó, Bruno Carvalho of Jacó, Joseph Méndez of Jacó, Malakai Martínez of Tamarindo, Aldo Chirinos of Playa Negra, Óscar Urbina of Puerto Viejo, Leilani McGonagle of Pavones and Emily Gussoni  of Jacó. These 9 surfers, out of the 322 athletes who attended the WJSC, were consistent, powerful and demonstrated a high level of maneuverability on the beach break of Oceanside, which enjoyed a beautiful swell that often sent waves overhead and sometimes into barrels.Emily Gussoni, who placed 13th in both the Under 18 and Under 16 Girls categories, offered a theory as to why the team did so well: “I think the Costa Rica Surf Federation chose the right surfers for these waves,” she said. “We were lucky because the ocean wasn’t that cold, so we surfed with a spring suit, which was easier for us.” Emily Gussoni (Courtesy Alfredo Barquero)On the last day, it even seemed that McGonagle would add to her hardware with another medal, as she made it all the way to the Under 16 Girls repechage finals before ending up in eighth place in this division. Other strong finishers included Chirinos, who places 15th and Martínez, who placed 25th.Meanwhile, Méndez, who did double duty in both age groups, ended in the repechage quarterfinals in the Under 16 and Under 18 categories. He earned 21st in the former, and 29th in the latter.While the individual ranking numbers might seem less than impressive, it was the points that came along with these positions that boosted the entire team to its impressive No. 8 spot among all the teams.An important dynamic contributing to the Ticos’ success in California was the fact that these younger athletes were under the guidance of coach Wade Sharp, the South African who just last June helped the older Ticos win the Gold Medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in Nicaragua. (Courtesy Alfredo Barquero)“I’m proud of the team,” boasted Sharp. “What this young team achieved speaks to the great years you can expect from Costa Rica with guys who can still make another two or three more junior world [championships] and who were featured here. California is one of the best waves, with the best education an event could give them.”Recommended: New generation of Costa Rican surfers puts sport in the spotlightAnd there’s more good news for Costa Rica. Finishing eighth means that the team will be able to participate in the Aloha Cup Tag Team event in next year’s ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Portugal. This particular format of competition is likely to be the one used in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which, after much lobbying by the ISA, will include surfing for the first time ever. With five years to hone their international levels, it’s likely that one or more of the youngsters who competed in Oceanside will be on a Costa Rica Olympic team.ISA President Fernando Aguerro concurred. When addressing all the international teams at the award ceremony followed the World Junior Championship he said: “Some of these surfers now stand a solid chance to become the first ever Olympic Surfers in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”The continental U.S. won the gold medal and 1st place for its team, with France in 2nd, Hawaii in 3rd and Australia taking 4th. Japan, Portugal and South Africa followed in that order. Costa Rica, at 8th place, was the leading Latin American country, beating Peru, Brazil and Argentina at 9, 12 and 14, respectively.Individual placements:Under 18Joseph Méndez: 29Leonardo Calvo: 33Dennis Picado: 49Bruno Carvalho: 65Under 16Aldo Chirinos: 15Joseph Méndez: 21Malakai Martínez: 25Óscar Urbina: 57Under 18 GirlsEmily Gussoni: 13Leilani McGonagle: 21Under 16 GirlsLeilani McGonagle: 8Emily Gussoni: 13 Facebook Comments Related posts:Puerto Viejo native Gilbert Brown wins Latin Pro surf competition in ALAS debut VIDEO: Fans in the last excruciating moments of Costa Rica vs. Netherlands UN secretary-general hops on a bike to promote urban cycling Costa Rica to host World Surf League comp in Esterillos Estelast_img read more

Read More

Costa Ricas inclusion in Zika travel warning has tourism leaders worried

first_imgRelated posts:Zika alert: Costa Rica increases surveillance of travelers entering the country Tire mosquito trap could boost Zika control Traveling to Rio for Carnival or the Olympics? Here’s what you should know about Zika virus The hidden environmental factors behind the spread of Zika and other devastating diseases Costa Rica and Nicaragua were added this week to the list of nearly 30 countries and territories U.S. authorities are warning pregnant women to avoid because of the presence of Zika virus.The mosquito-borne virus, which is spreading rapidly throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is suspected of being linked to birth defects in babies and to a rare neurological disorder.Costa Rican health authorities have only detected two people infected with the mosquito-borne virus — both suspected of having contracted Zika elsewhere in Latin America.But the Health Ministry reported this week that they had been informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a U.S. man had been diagnosed with the virus in January after visiting Costa Rica.The man had been vacationing exclusively in the beach town of Nosara, in Guanacaste.After receiving the news, the Health Ministry said it carried out a “massive fumigation” of the town on Sunday and Monday. The ministry also said it searched for other potentially infected patients in the area and didn’t find any.Tourism industry worried about Zika panicLeaders of Costa Rica’s travel industry expressed concern Tuesday about the country’s inclusion on the CDC’s Zika warning list. The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) urged industry leaders and coastal towns to “take extreme preventive measures against the Zika virus, as we’re in high tourism season,” which runs from November through April.The ICT also urged coordination among tourism businesses and communities to spread the word that Costa Rica “continues to be a safe place to vacation.”The Zika virus has now been detected in every Central American country except Belize.The World Health Organization said Monday that a spike in South America of a birth defect called microcephaly — a potentially devastating condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head and brain — was “strongly suspected” of being caused by the Zika virus and constituted an international health emergency. Nevertheless, the link has yet to be conclusively proven.Zika is also believed to be linked to a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.News of the virus has caused some travelers to Latin America to cancel or postpone trips to the region.Massimiliano Devoto, president of the Costa Rican Association of Tourism Professionals, said the country’s inclusion on the U.S. travel alert “was a threat to tourism,” though he also hoped it would spur action to prevent the virus’ spread.Costa Rica had nearly 2.7 million visitors in 2015, a country record. The tourism industry was responsible for more than $2.8 billion in revenue last year, and it employs roughly 600,000 people in Costa Rica through direct and indirect employment, according to the ICT.New concerns that Zika could be spread sexuallyMeanwhile, on Tuesday a county in Texas reported a case of Zika virus being sexually transmitted.“The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present,” Dallas County Health and Human Services said in a statement. A spokesman for the county declined to identify the gender of the traveler or where he or she visited, though The New York Times said the person had visited Venezuela.Last month the CDC said it was aware of one reported case of sexual transmission of Zika and one case of the virus being present in a man’s semen after it disappeared from his blood.With information from AFP. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read More

Economy faces downturn due to lack of tax reform

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica shifts view on deficit threat as Solís fights evasion Business leaders, industrialists worried about Costa Rica’s ‘political problem’ Costa Rica enforces new methodology for calculating dollar exchange rate As he reaches a year in charge, President Alvarado addresses Legislative Assembly The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) warned Monday that the economy will face a growing public deficit and stunted growth if Congress doesn’t pass tax reform.According to the BCCR, the deficit risks growing to 7.2 percent this year, up from 6.2 percent in 2017. Economic growth could also see a decline to 3.2 percent from the projected 3.6 percent. The BCCR said evidence suggests that the longer it takes to pass tax reform, the more of an adjustment will need to be made. That will lead to a higher cost to society. The country’s debt also risks going from 54 percent of GDP to 58.4 percent by 2019 if there’s no tax reform. The last four administrations have unsuccessfully tried to pass tax reform packages that included new taxes and plans to reign in public spending.Now Carlos Alvarado’s administration is taking its shot. Congress is currently debating the tax reform proposal put forward by his government. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read More

The Tico Times Weekly Digest Dec 17 2018

first_imgRelated posts:The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Nov. 26, 2018 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Dec. 24, 2018 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 21, 2019. The Tico Times Weekly Digest: April 8, 2019 Epsy Campbell resigns as foreign minister, our Santa Teresa Deep Dive continues and we find some great sushi and a warm Christmas cocktail in this Weekly Digest.Links to the stories below:Epsy Campbell resigns as Foreign Minister:http://bit.ly/2ChIKRbIMF projects economic slowdown in Costa Rica in 2018:http://bit.ly/2BopYWESanta Teresa Deep Dive – Cultures divide over herbicide:http://bit.ly/2CiQra0Costa Rica appoints Guillermo Rodríguez as first indigenous ambassador:http://bit.ly/2ChD7lXChile to replace Brazil as 2019 UN climate summit host:http://bit.ly/2ChDb5bCabra Negra’s warm Rompope foams its way until Christmas:http://bit.ly/2GmqFp3Off the Eaten Path – Tamura:http://bit.ly/2Cik5w0 Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Read More

Four Nicaraguan police officers killed near the border with Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: Hurricane Otto begins path of destruction through Central America Nicaraguan resistance group speaks out, refutes Nicaragua pointing finger at Costa Rica for attacks Central American leaders confident Trump won’t revoke CAFTA Music and migration: The struggles of Ceshia Ubau Nicaraguan police said four of the country’s police officers were killed near the border with Costa Rica on Thursday at 4 p.m.Nicaraguan officials claim that the officers were shot and killed in the municipality of San Carlos, a town at the source of the San Juan River just 10 kilometers north of the Costa Rican border. Nicaraguan police placed blame on “Banda el Jobo,” a group they said has a base in Costa Rica and is accused of drug trafficking and armed robbery.The Costa Rican Ministry of Public Safety issued a statement saying that Costa Rica is not being used to attack neighboring countries.“Our ministry maintains a police presence in our northern border and in no moment have we detected that our territory is being used by a criminal group to attack neighboring countries,” said Allan Obando Flores, director of the Costa Rican border police. “We reaffirm our commitment to not allow any type of attack of that kind with bordering countries.”Obando also said that police have permanent patrols along the border to guarantee citizen safety and territorial integrity.The Nicaraguan police were contacted by phone and email by The Tico Times and asked what evidence led them to conclude the attack was committed by “Banda el Jobo,” but they offered no specific details.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

Read More

Russia fine for protesters may surpass nuke crimes

first_img_ Prostitution: A fine of 2,500 rubles ($75)._ Illegal use of an automobile: 120,000 rubles ($3,600)._ Nuclear materials storage violations: 5,000 rubles ($150) for regular citizens, 40,000 ($1,200) for public officials._ Performing an abortion without medical qualification: 80,000 rubles ($2,400)._ Violating safety precautions in designing, building and using nuclear energy facilities that could cause danger or radioactive contagion: 200,000 rubles ($6,000)._ Organizing prostitution: 500,000 rubles ($15,000) or three years in prison.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 must play golf courses in Arizonacenter_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a bill Tuesday that would raise the fine for participating in an unauthorized protest 150-fold.If, as expected, the bill becomes law, protesters whose rallies aren’t officially sanctioned will face fines of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000), up from the current 2,000 ($60).The potential punishment is far more severe than for many other crimes.A sampling of other offenses and their maximum penalties under Russian law:last_img read more

Read More

Wreckage of WW2 battleship located of Italy coast

first_img Quick workouts for men ROME (AP) – The Italian navy says the wreckage of the World War II battleship Roma, sunk by German planes 69 years ago with the loss of 1,352 lives, has been located north of Sardinia.The navy says the wreckage was located Thursday some 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) under the sea by a company using a deep-sea diving robot.The battleship was sunk by a German aircraft on Sept 9, 1943, a day after Italy signed an armistice with the Allies. It was headed to Malta when spotted by the Germans. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Read More

Iran mourns 1988 airliner downing by US warship

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iranians marked on Monday the anniversary of the downing of an airliner by a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf more than two decades ago.State TV showed officials joining relatives of the 290 dead in scattering flowers from a ship and a helicopter into the waters where the Iran Air Airbus A300 crashed on July 3, 1988, killing all on board.Participants chanted, “Down with the U.S.”center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The two countries have a long record of discord. The latest dispute is over Iran’s nuclear program that the West suspects is aimed at developing weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment.Iran has held similar ceremonies on past anniversaries of the airliner’s downing by the USS Vincennes.Iran insists the attack on the airliner was unprovoked and called for the warship’s commander, William C. Rogers III, to be put on trial.Rogers said he believed he was threatened with attack when he fired the missile at Flight 655 after warning the pilot. A U.S. Navy inquiry gave credence to the claim but added evidence to show that it was a mistake in judgment and identification by the American crew.In 1990, then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush awarded Rogers the Legion of Merit for his service as a commanding officer.In 1999, Iran said that it had received $130 million from a 1996 settlement that included compensation for families of the victims.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Read More

Virgin Islands officials exonerate accused officer

first_imgPoleon was arrested Wednesday on the island of St. Croix and had faced the possibility of 30 years in prison on all the criminal charges.But justice officials say they recently discovered a document that has cleared Poleon of any wrongdoing. They did not disclose more details.A lawyer for the exonerated officer claims his client was the victim of a vendetta by St. Croix police Chief Christopher Howell.Howell did not immediately return calls Sunday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) – Justice officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands have exonerated a police officer accused of destruction of evidence, extortion and embezzlement.Deputy Attorney General Bruce Marshack announced Sunday that the policeman’s recent arrest on evidence-tampering allegations was a regrettable mistake. He said all charges against Officer Anderson Poleon have been dismissed. 0 Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Read More

Venezuela govt says economy up 54 percent

first_imgAssociated PressCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s economy grew in the second quarter to a level 5.4 percent ahead of the same period last year, the government said Friday.A report released by Venezuela’s Central Bank said increases in both the public and private sectors contributed to the gain, continuing economic growth for a seventh straight quarter following a nearly two-year recession.Increased public spending coupled with high prices for oil exports also helped the growth in Venezuela’s gross domestic product, the report said. How do cataracts affect your vision? Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories The vital role family plays in society Venezuela’s economy expanded 4.2 percent during 2011. Officials have expressed optimism the economy will grow 5 percent this year.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix It said the construction sector expanded 17.6 percent in the April-June quarter, driven by the government’s efforts to build millions of apartments for mostly homeless and poor Venezuelans.The banking sector benefited from increased monetary liquidity, growing 34.4 percent, and commerce increased 9.8 percent, the report said.Industrial production, which has traditionally helped boost economic activity, dropped 9.4 percent during the second quarter. The mining sector also showed a decrease, falling 4.5 percent in part because of problems at state-run mining companies, the report said.President Hugo Chavez urged businessmen, many of whom have been strongly critical of his socialist-orientated policies, to cooperate with the government to ensure the upward trend continues.“We have to work hard to continue elevating the national economy,” Chavez said during a nationally televised address.But Chavez stressed that privately owned businesses are welcome to team up with the government only “when they respect the law and work with honesty.” He has ordered the expropriation of dozens of businesses, often accusing them of illegal practices or failing to comply with government-imposed price controls. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments   Share   last_img read more

Read More

4 Nepalese eyesight institutions share 13m prize

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, the Eastern Regional Eye Care Program involving the Sagarmatha Choudhary and Biratnagar eye hospitals, and the Lumbini Eye Institute were named as winners Wednesday.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img Sponsored Stories LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Four Nepalese institutions are sharing a (EURO)1-million ($1.3 million) prize from a Portuguese foundation for their work fighting eyesight disorders and blindness in their country.The Lisbon-based Champalimaud Foundation’s annual Vision Award, created in 2007, claims to be the biggest monetary award for work on eyesight and one of the world’s largest scientific prizes.The foundation said in a statement the winning institutions have over the past 20 years helped to reduce treatable and avoidable blindness in Nepal where, it said, vision disorders such as cataracts are a major health concern. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Read More

Outfits on wheels In Zimbabwe cars are used clothing shops

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The good thing about selling from a car is that “I can pack my wares and disappear fast whenever police pounce,” said the 22-year-old. “Business used to be good but the dollar is just hard to come by these days.”The dollar might soon be even harder to come by in Zimbabwe’s depressed economy.Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa recently said that the government plans to lay off part of its workforce, whose $260 million monthly salary bill gobbles more than 80 percent of total monthly government expenditure. He also said the government needs to devise ways of taxing the informal traders. Those who will remain in their jobs in government will no longer be entitled to traditional annual bonuses in 2015 and 2016, said the minister.The African Development Bank says over two thirds of Zimbabweans are employed in the informal sector. Street hawking is a headache for authorities because of the congestion it creates and the absence of tax revenue generated from sales. But Grace Mugabe, the wife of President Robert Mugabe who is making her own foray into politics, has told them to stop harassing people eking a living on the streets.Most of the clothing sold from the trunk shops are donated by Western charities to poor countries. Few shipments, however, are sent directly to this southern African nation so they are smuggled through bush paths across the border from Mozambique. They are transported from the eastern Zimbabwean border town of Mutare to other cities under cover of darkness. Every morning, Tony Machuko parks his sedan in front of a Standard Chartered Bank branch at a shopping center in Southerton, a suburb on Harare’s outskirts, to set up his shop-on-wheels.Clothing goes for anything from $1 for several undergarments to $10 for jackets, shirts, jeans, business attire and other articles carrying elite brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Armani.Close to a dozen other sedans and vans are parked along a road at the shopping center, all decked out with apparel and shoes for sale.Machuko and the others had to set up shop on the city’s outskirts because other vendors on wheels had already grabbed parking spaces in town, and won’t allow newcomers to take their spots without a fight.“Even here, we have to jealously guard against newcomers, even it means using the threat of violence,” Machuko, 24, told a reporter as he kept an eye out for customers or police.With no changing rooms, shoppers can squeeze into a car to try something on, or the hawkers hold a piece of cloth to shield the customer from public view. Or the customer puts the article of clothing over whatever they are already wearing to try it on.Roy Chinamasa, whose “shop” is also at the Southerton shopping center, said he makes up to $40 on a good day. The second-hand clothes are so inexpensive that sales of cheap Chinese knock-off brands in more legitimate stores are suffering.“Why should I buy an Abibas when I can buy an original Adidas for less, or a Mike when I can get a Nike,” said shopper Cardnus Fere, referring to imitations of popular brands.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. In this photo taken Tuesday, April 7, 2015, vendors wait for customers to buy their wares displayed on their vehicles. The wares are laid out for shoppers to browse through: the shoes lined up on the trunk, the shirts and dresses hanging from open doors of the spotlessly clean car. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The wares in Zimbabwe’s capital are laid out for shoppers to browse through: the shoes lined up on the trunk, the shirts and dresses hanging from open doors of the spotlessly clean car.With many sidewalks in downtown Harare already taken over by street vendors and jobs scarce, some Zimbabweans are turning their cars into makeshift second-hand clothing and shoe stores, using parking lots, shopping malls and open spaces in low- and middle-income suburbs. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Read More