Month: August 2019

Sweltering heatwave in Miami just in time for holidays

first_imgTags: Florida, Miami Sweltering heatwave in Miami just in time for holidays Devin Kinasz Share Tuesday, December 20, 2016 center_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — It’s not feeling a lot like Christmas across South Florida. In fact, it’s sunny, hot and humid.Miami shattered a record Monday with a high temperature of 86 degrees. University of Miami tropical weather expert Brian McNoldy tells the Miami Herald a confluence of unlucky weather is to blame. Cold fronts that typically cool off the area are fizzling before they arrive. And, to the south, a high pressure ridge keeps pushing along warm air from the tropics.It is the second toasty December for South Florida. Or, as McNoldy says, the area has “gotten gypped out of two nice Decembers in a row.McNoldy says last year’s heat — accompanied by record rainfall — was part of an intense El Nino. But this year’s heat is much more localized.last_img read more

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Gatwick operational again but passengers should check flight status

first_img Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group Share Gatwick operational again but passengers should check flight statuscenter_img LONDON — Flights are now operating in and out of London’s Gatwick Airport after an issue with the air traffic control systems saw the temporary suspension of all flights.The latest tweet on Gatwick’s Twitter account (@Gatwick_Airport), posted at 7:18 p.m. local time (2:18 p.m. EST), says: “Update 19.10: Following an earlier air traffic control systems issue, flights to and from Gatwick have now resumed.“If you are travelling this evening please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport, as we return to full operations.”Gatwick first tweeted at 5:47 p.m. local time (12:47 p.m. EST), that it was working with Air Navigation Solutions, its air traffic control provider, to rectify the issue. Flights were suspended for close to two hours. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Delays, Gatwicklast_img read more

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In Europe Costa Rican president draws aid investment

first_imgDuring the stop in Paris, Chinchilla arranged a talk with the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ask the group to include Costa Rica’s stone spheres of Diquís, located in the south Pacific, on its World Heritage List. Jorge Jiménez, an archeologist and sphere expert, accompanied Chinchilla to the museum and the meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bakova. The World Heritage List includes 936 items, both natural and cultural, that are deemed to have “outstanding universal value.” Costa Rica has been trying to put the huge stone spheres on the list for a decade. Chinchilla asked Bakova for advice on having the spheres approved for the list. Costa Rica hopes to present a proposal by September and have the stones recognized by next February.Debt Paid, Loan AnnouncedOn Tuesday, the president received a surprise in the middle of a press conference at the Italian-Latin American Institute in Rome. According to the daily La Nación, an Italian reporter asked her about the “biggest problem” between Costa Rica and Italy – a 25-year-old, $15 million debt the Central American country owed its European ally. The money troubles started in 1985, when then-President Luis Alberto Monge received a loan to build a huge dry dock at Caldera Port, on the central Pacific coast. Due to mishandling of the money, the project was never completed. Lawsuits followed as interest from the loan ran to $30 million. In 1995, Costa Rica was forced to pay back half of the money. Italy kept Costa Rica on a blacklist that discouraged the Italian government from aiding the Latin America democracy. Chinchilla deferred the journalist’s question to Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo, who announced the debt was paid off. The payments were made in December 2010, a fact Chinchilla admitted she had not realized.She heard more positive news in Rome when the FAO announced a $1.6 million donation to Costa Rica over the next two years.Agriculture and Livestock Minister Gloria Abraham said the money would go toward “implementing projects in areas such as climate-change mitigation in agriculture, innovation and technology development, and in developing marketing tools for small producers.” Additional agenda notes consisted of a meeting with the president of Enel, Italy’s largest power company. Paolo Andrea Colombo told Chinchilla he wants to increase his organization’s investment in clean energy in Costa Rica. Enel already has developed hydroelectric plants and wind-farm sites in parts of the country.The European tour ended Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland. Chinchilla gave an address at the annual meeting of the International Labor Organization, and spent the following day flying back to Costa Rica.During the first leg of the trip, the president met with technology sector business leaders in Paris, conversed about climate change with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Guack and worked on solidifying a partnership agreement between Central America and the EU (TT, May 25). The deal would allow for the elimination of tariffs on some products, among other trade benefits.On Thursday, Chinchilla took an Iberia flight from Geneva to Madrid, Spain. After a brief layover, she and her team took Iberia flight No. 6313 back home. Facebook Comments No related posts. From the print editionPresident Laura Chinchilla concluded the second half of her two-week tour of Europe with an easygoing jaunt through France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Vatican.The purpose of her trip was to strengthen ties between Costa Rica and Europe and promote investment. But the heavy lifting of the journey seemed to take place last week. Chinchilla’s agenda since last Friday included a cozy chat with Pope Benedict XVI, a visit to a Paris museum, where she discussed Costa Rica’s cultural history, and the acceptance of a $1.6 million donation from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Monday generated plenty of press, but the gathering was quiet and diplomatic. Current debates in Costa Rica concerning in vitro fertilization and a possible transition to an officially secular state played minimal roles in the conversation. Chinchilla met with the head of the Catholic Church “in an atmosphere of cordiality, in which the pope expressed his admiration for the Costa Rican people and their values of peace as a constant factor of development, democracy and environmental protection,” the president said.Chinchilla thanked the pope for his support of the country after Hurricane Tomás in 2010, and also for twice mentioning Costa Rica in papal addresses that year. The Holy See and the president briefly discussed a bilateral agreement designed to improve ties between Costa Rica and the Vatican.She partook in some touristic comforts, too. Chinchilla went on an outing to the Quai Branly Museum in Paris last Friday. On display at the museum is a pre-Columbian stone, a gift from Costa Rica’s National Museum.center_img Pope Benedict XVI greets Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla during a private audience at the Vatican on May 28. Chinchilla thanked the pope for helping out after 2010’s Hurricane Tomás. Photo by Gregorio Borgia | AFPlast_img read more

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New Costa Rican airline offers to operate routes eliminated by TACA

first_imgA new airline called TICOS-Airlines submitted a bid to Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Administration to take over routes dropped by Avianca-TACA airlines last month.Civil Aviation Vice Director Álvaro Vargas confirmed that the new company already began the certification process and their representatives have met with Civil Aviation officials.The airline would operate the routes using three to five Airbus type aircrafts.Currently the company is in the process of preparing flight manuals, and is conducting financial and feasibility studies.On May 17, Avianca-TACA decided to drop five direct flights between San José and other destinations and laid off 261 employees from its Costa Rica operations as part of an integration process with Colombian-owned airline Avianca. On May 28, the trademark TACA began disappearing, and moving forward, the airline will be identified only as Avianca.Canceled routes were direct flights between San José and Los Angeles, New York, Havana (Cuba), and Quito and Guayaquil, in Ecuador.A Technical Council of the Civil Aviation Administration this week hired an external attorney to perform a legal study in order to recommend possible sanctions against Avianca-TACA for the unilateral suspension of the routes.Delta Airlines in May announced they will begin operating a new nonstop daily flight between Los Angeles and San José starting July 1. Facebook Comments Related posts:Delta to add new Minneapolis-San José flight Delta Airlines to offer nonstop flight between San José and Los Angeles Avianca-Taca drops five nonstop flights to Costa Rica, lays off 261 employees New Costa Rican airline, Ticos Air, now hiringlast_img read more

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Venezuelans are upset and Maduro knows it

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela – On Dec. 8, Venezuelans will head to the polls to elect mayors and local council members. On paper, the election would seem to be of little consequence. However, both the government and the opposition have increased the stakes by transforming it into a virtual referendum on the fragile government of President Nicolás Maduro.Maduro has not had a good year. In spite of winning the presidency last April on the heels of Hugo Chávez’s death, the new president was inaugurated with lead on his wings. Most people believe Maduro squandered the significant political capital left by Chávez, barely squeaking out a win in an election marred by controversy. His main challenger, Henrique Capriles, has yet to concede the election because of numerous voting irregularities, and a full audit of the vote never took place.The president faces enormous financial and economic difficulties as Venezuela labors under a large budget deficit. Due to slumping local production and an over-valued exchange rate (the black market exchange rate is 10 times the official one), the nation is basically importing all it consumes. This is still not enough: Scarcity of basic staples has shot up, and the problem has persisted all year long.Maduro’s problems are partly a direct consequence of Chávez’s policies in the oil industry. A combination of lack of maintenance in local refining facilities together with a policy of giving away gasoline for free means that Venezuela now imports millions of dollars in refined products from the United States at market prices. Furthermore, a shift in Venezuela’s customer base has negatively affected its balance sheet.Years ago, Chávez decided to sell less oil to the United States and more oil to emerging economies such as China and India. Venezuela is now a close-to-marginal supplier of crude to the United States, and sales of oil to India and China have surged. This shift has come at a cost: Sales to China are used to pay for generous Chinese loans, and sales to India are affected by large shipping costs. According to the local oil consultancy Subaeshi, the shift in markets has meant foregone revenues for Venezuela of about $9 billion, or 3 percent of its GDP.Public opinion polls are showing Venezuelans are upset, and Maduro knows it. That is why he has declared Dec. 8, the day of the municipal election, as the “Day of Loyalty and Love toward Supreme Commander Hugo Chávez and the Homeland.” By blatantly linking the election to the still-popular Chávez, he hopes to equate a vote against his government to treason.If Chávez’s United Socialist Party gets trumped at the ballot, as several polls seem to suggest it will, then Maduro may face calls to change course from within his own party, or worse, from members of the military. Grumblings about a needed change in course are still muted at this point, but it is telling that Maduro does not figure in the ads of many of the government’s candidates. Only one person does – Hugo Chávez himself.For Venezuela’s opposition, key mayoral positions are necessary for their broader struggle to unseat Maduro. Capriles has hinted that he intends to go after Maduro via a referendum sometime in the near future. In order for this plan to work, he needs the knowhow on getting out the vote that only local leadership provides. He also needs his base to turn out and start believing in the vote as an instrument for change.The opposition is set to do well in major urban centers. It is on course to win easy re-election in the Caracas districts of Sucre, Chacao and Baruta, and is favored to win the Metropolitan Caracas Mayor’s office as well. It is also likely to hold on to Maracaibo, the country’s second largest city.One place where they are probably going to come up short is in Libertador, the central Caracas district home to most of the government. Holding on to this post is do-or-die for the government, and the incumbent chavista mayor there looks relatively safe.The Dec. 8 election won’t change Venezuelans’ lives. The underlying problems affecting Venezuela will remain in place. But if the opposition scores a big win, change will be in the air. Maduro is likely to face calls for significant change. The political dynamics will have shifted in favor of the opposition, and Capriles will see his chances of unseating Maduro boosted. If, on the other hand, the government spins it as a win, opposition voters may decide to shun the electoral strategy for good, opening the door to other, more radical approaches.After the void left by the death of Chávez, Venezuela’s political and economic scenes remain unsettled. Regardless of the outcome, this first local election of the Maduro era hints at the turbulence ahead.Nagel is the Venezuela blogger for Transitions, co-editor of Caracas Chronicles, and author of “Blogging the Revolution.”© 2013, Foreign Policy  Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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New ferry to connect Costa RicaEl Salvador starting in January

first_imgA new cargo ferry will begin operating in January between Costa Rica and El Salvador, Transport Vice Minister Sebastián Urbina said this week.The new transportation service’s main goal is to reduce transport costs between the countries and boost competitiveness, he said.Currently, it costs between $1,200 and $1,500 for a semitrailer to travel between the two countries. Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) officials estimate the cost of the trip will be reduced to around $750 with the ferry.The ferry will be operated by a Mexican shipping company (Urbina did not disclose its name) and will be able to carry 100 trucks each trip. The company will initially offer three trips per week from each country, Urbina said.The new service will reduce red tape and the impact on public roads and trucks, and will help decongest traffic at the Peñas Blancas border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.“In addition it will help truckers avoid security problems they face in some areas of the route,” Urbina noted.The opening of the new ferry route required several months of negotiations between Salvadoran and Costa Rican officials from a wide range of agencies, including security, agriculture, finance and immigration.MOPT estimates that a one-way trip on the ferry will take around 16 hours, compared to the current two to five days that it takes a semitrailer to cross the distance by road. The road trip is also delayed by immigration procedures at border checkpoints in Nicaragua and Honduras.Urbina said a passenger ferry is planned for the project’s second phase, although he didn’t say when that might happen.The ferry will depart from El Salvador on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from Costa Rica on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Facebook Comments Related posts:New San José bus terminal for routes to Nicaragua, Nicoya Angry protest shuts down Puntarenas-Paquera ferry Police to investigate alleged threats by private chauffeurs against traffic officers Porteadores announce more street blockades across Costa Rica next weeklast_img read more

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Beleaguered SeaWorld admits workers spied on animalrights activists

first_imgRelated posts:Ad Astra Rocket’s breakup with the government puts Costa Rica’s hydrogen future on hold VW says 11 million cars affected globally as scandal widens Intel says there is no US pay gap between men and women at the chipmaker Uber gets $200 million for international expansion Activist “Thomas Jones” is SeaWorld’s Paul McComb, PETA says. http://t.co/AbIJbtMEHy pic.twitter.com/OZQeIEpuwS— Slate (@Slate) July 16, 2015 SeaWorld’s chief executive admitted Thursday that employees have posed as animal-rights activists and vowed that the company will end the controversial practice.“We recognize the need to ensure that all of our security and other activities align with our core values and ethical standards,” SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said Thursday in a statement. “As always, the security and well-being of our employees, customers and animals remain at the forefront of our business practices.”The admission – and promise – came months after a prominent animal welfare organization accused the entertainment company of sending a worker to infiltrate its group and incite violence among protesters.Manby made the announcement during an earnings call, saying that the company has hired an outside firm to assess its security policies.“Following the completion of an investigation conducted by independent outside counsel,” SeaWorld said in the statement, “the board has directed that the company’s management team end a practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers, and animals in the face of credible threats that the company had received.”People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said last year that SeaWorld San Diego worker Paul McComb had been a double agent inside the organization.PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt told told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the time that McComb “seemed to be trying to incite confrontational and illegal actions against SeaWorld and distract from SeaWorld’s own wrongdoing and smear people that may reflect poorly on our cause.”SeaWorld executives said Thursday that McComb, who was suspended during the uproar last summer, is still an employee at the company.center_img The entertainment company said all personnel matters “have been handled internally,” but added that McComb “has returned to work at SeaWorld in a different department.”As The Post’s Yanan Wang reported late last year, SeaWorld has faced increasing scrutiny since the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” which detailed the circumstances of orcas that live and perform at the company’s parks. The film focuses on the life of Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld Orlando that killed one of his trainers and is associated with two other deaths.SeaWorld’s San Diego location announced in November that it will phase out its trademark Shamu shows, and a month before that, the California Coastal Commission banned the breeding of killer whales in captivity at the same time that it approved an expansion of SeaWorld San Diego’s killer whale habitat.The new regulations also restrict the sale, trade or transfer of orcas, though SeaWorld can still house beached and rescued animals approved by the government.Following the release of “Blackfish,” SeaWorld’s revenue and attendance fell, leading to the resignation of then-CEO Jim Atchison near the end of 2014.On Thursday, SeaWorld reported that fourth-quarter attendance and revenues were up over the same period in 2014. But after the company said first-quarter 2016 attendance was “soft” and reported larger-than-expected losses, SeaWorld shares fell by more than 10 percent.“SeaWorld’s finances continue to flop as animals continue to be found dead in its tiny tanks, with one death every single month since November,” PETA’s Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. “If SeaWorld had business savvy or common sense, it would modernize its business with coastal sanctuaries and virtual reality displays instead of building more dolphin prisons. The tawdry orca sideshows and despicable spying tactics are sinking SeaWorld’s ship.”SeaWorld’s admission that its employees spied on animal activists, Reiman said, “confirms . . . that it values its spies more highly than the executives who have had their heads chopped off in droves, as at least one of the spies is still working at the company.”SeaWorld officials did not speak further on the issue.PETA and other animal rights groups have been known to send workers to spy on the opposition as well. In the past, PETA has publicized undercover operations and called on the government for reform.One undercover operation attempted to expose conditions at a Butterball factory farm, where PETA claimed workers “punched and stomped on wild turkeys.” Another at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus seemed to show workers “beating, whipping, and hooking elephants,” among other things.© 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Slothy Sunday Five ways you can help sloths

first_imgRelated posts:Slothy Sunday: Saving sloths together Slothy Sunday: Summer vacation mood Slothy Sunday: The Origin of the Avocado Slothy Sunday: Charlie’s shocking story It is no question that sloths have somewhat taken over the internet with their cute button noses and sweet faces.Many times, when you’re scrolling through social media, you’ll see a video named “Giving a Baby Sloth a Bath” or “Snuggling a Sloth.” This growing trend on social media has brought more awareness toward sloths as the staple cute and lazy animal. While these videos may seem harmless, the unfortunate truth is that these two- and three-fingered sloths may not be in the best care, and without knowing the exact circumstances, they could be living in a very stressful environment. Via Toucan Rescue Ranch.Historically, sloths have been a very successful arboreal species. The two species we care for at the Toucan Rescue Ranch are Hoffman’s two-fingered sloth and the Brown-Throated three-fingered sloth, which both can be found throughout Costa Rica. As canopy dwellers, the rainforest has provided them with the resources they need to live healthily and without much threat. However, growing human interactions, including posts on social media, have created significant threats to all sloth species.Deforestation due to land development for agriculture, logging, houses, and livestock has reduced the number and size of habitual spaces for sloths. With humans, many external threats follow such as stray and domestic dogs, who often attack sloths, and power lines connecting fragmented canopy that end up electrocuting sloths, damaging nerves and usually ending with the need for amputation. In tandem with these threats, there is an increasing demand for sloths in the illegal pet trade, which partly is fueled by sloths seen on social media. As we move deeper into the rainforests and coastlines and use sloths as a media trend, threats to its survival increase.On the bright side, since these threats are all human-induced, we have the power to make better choices to benefit the sloths and the rainforests in which they live. If you want to contribute to sloth longevity, here are five different ways you can help save the sloths:1. Be a smart eco-touristMore information is online than ever before, and people are starting to notice the economic benefits of wildlife tourism, even if that means sacrificing the animals’ well-being. When you travel, take it upon yourself to research places and activities before you partake in them. Never participate in “street shows,” which usually involve animals in small cages or on leashes, and require money if you want to take a picture. If the animal is being restrained or abused for your enjoyment, that attraction is a no-go. Also, keep in mind labels like “sanctuary” and “rescue center” are not always a telltale sign of legitimacy, be sure to research their social media and website, travelers’ reviews, and their core ethos to ensure your hard-earned dollar is going to healthy, sustainable, and lawful organizations for sloths or other animals.2. Educate others Education Center at Toucan Rescue Ranch. Via Toucan Rescue Ranch.Clue people in on the threats that sloths face and how to avoid contributing to them! Children are especially receptive to learning about animals, and educating them on conservation is a great way to inspire them to take action. Many people are simply unaware of their negative impact on wildlife, especially tourists. By taking the time to educate others about this situation, they often take the correct steps to reduce that impact.3. Plant a tree (or a few!)If you live within a sloth’s natural range, you are lucky to have the power of planting! As healthy rainforests shrink due to deforestation, sloth populations shrink as well. You can re-invite them into their natural range by planting certain trees that provide nourishment. Examples of trees you could plant are Cecropia, Mountain/Beach Almond, Hibiscus, Zygia, Poro, Mango, and Cacao!4. Volunteer TRR volunteers. Via Toucan Rescue Ranch.Donate your time by volunteering at rescue centers that focus on the rehabilitation and release of wildlife. What could be more impactful than helping sloths and actually contributing to their rescue, rehabilitation, and release? Nothing! Organizations like the Toucan Rescue Ranch are always in need of volunteers to ensure the health and safety of our animals. Volunteers do not need any medical background — just open ears and a passion for wildlife! Learn more: http://bit.ly/TRRGetInvolved5. Donate or symbolically adopt a sloth at TRRIf volunteering is not possible for you, meaningful donations to our Saving Sloths Together Fund would be very appreciated. Saving Sloths Together is a partner project TRR has with The Sloth Institute that focuses specifically on sloth care. Since TRR receives many orphaned sloths, this project helps contribute to the specific resources needed to raise them from a couple of months to their actual release. Additionally, you can symbolically adopt the sloths at TRR.If you’re interested in learning more about SST read here: http://bit.ly/SSTMightyCauseIf you’re interested in our symbolic adoption program visit: http://bit.ly/TRRAdoptions— Ally Chamberlin is a Marketing Intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch. This article was produced by The Toucan Rescue Ranch. The Toucan Rescue Ranch specializes in helping wild animals recover so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. For more information or to donate, visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch website. 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Mexico mothers of missing march on their day

first_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates MEXICO CITY (AP) – Dozens of Mexican women have spent the day on which their country celebrates mothers by demanding that authorities find their missing sons and daughters _ most whom have disappeared in drug-torn regions.About 300 mothers and other relatives of missing victims traveled from other states to Mexico City on Thursday to march along the capital’s main avenue on Mother’s Day. The protesters chanted, “They took them alive, and alive we want them.” 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Mexico’s government doesn’t release statistics on disappeared victims in the armed offensive against drug cartels.But the Mexico investigator for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says more than 5,000 Mexicans have filed missing-person reports with police in a nation where many people don’t trust authorities enough to file such reports.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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Parents of 6 children who died in UK fire arrested

first_imgAssociated PressLONDON (AP) – British police on Tuesday arrested the parents of six children who died in a fire at their home on suspicion of murder.Derbyshire police said a 55-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were arrested together in Derby city center in connection with the fire earlier this month, which the force said broke out after fuel was poured through the front door mail slot of the family’s home. How men can have a healthy 2019 New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation The force said it was increasing its presence on the road where the fire took place and that forensic examinations were continuing at the house where the blaze occurred.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Police did not name the suspects, but British media have identified them as Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31.The children who died in the suspicious May 11 fire in the central England city of Derby ranged from the ages of 5 to 13. Five died immediately and one died at the hospital.Philpott has 17 children and had previously featured on British television in programs about his extraordinarily large family. In 2007, he hosted then-lawmaker Anne Widdicombe to live at his home for a week as she filmed a critical documentary about the country’s welfare system.Following the blaze, police said Philpott had made valiant efforts to rescue his children, who were sleeping in their beds in upstairs rooms when the fire began to rage in the early hours of the morning.In announcing Tuesday’s arrests, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill said he suspected people with crucial information about the tragedy have yet to come forward.“It is absolutely vital that if you know anything you think could help us, come forward now. Do not wait any longer,” he said. “It is important that we find justice for these six young children.”Jade, 10; John, 9; Jack, 7; Jessie, 6; and Jayden, 5, died at the scene from smoke inhalation. Their brother Duwayne, 13, died in the hospital from his injuries. Top Stories last_img read more

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Ukraine bus crash kills 14 Russian pilgrims

first_img 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – An official says a bus carrying Russian religious pilgrims has crashed in Ukraine, killing 14 of the 45 people on board.Emergency department spokeswoman Yulia Yershova says the crash occurred early Saturday when the driver apparently lost control of the bus. It veered off the road and overturned near Chernihiv, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Kiev.Yershova says another 29 people were hospitalized with injuries. Russian news reports said the pilgrims were headed for the Holy Dormition Monastery in western Ukraine’s Pochayev, one of the major monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

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Greek island fire ravages unique export industry

first_imgAssociated PressCHIOS, Greece (AP) – In response to Greece’s financial crisis, villagers on the eastern island of Chios carried on with what their ancestors had been profitably doing for centuries: patiently carving lines on mastic trees.But much of the island’s trademark mastic gum industry went up in scented smoke over the past week when a wildfire ravaged the world’s only mastic tree plantations during the heart of the harvest season. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix In the southern village of Pirgi, set among rolling hills once covered by tens of thousands of mastic trees that provided a quarter of the island’s gum output, farmers say up to 45 percent of their trees have been lost.Entire communities are involved in the industry. Workers rise before dawn to cut incisions in the trunks that release long tears of resin. That congeals in tiny clumps on the ground, and is painstakingly gathered and cleaned before being sent for processing.“Chios as a regional district does not have many economic pillars,” said Eythimis Moniaros, head of the union of Chios mastic producers. “One of those few was mastic.”He said the fire would also harm Greece’s recession-mired economy, as mastic is one of the few net exports in a country that still imports much more than it sells abroad.“Our products to a large extent, more than 70 percent, are intended for export,” Moniaros said.The government has asked Greece’s secret service to help investigate the cause of the Chios blaze, saying there are strong suspicions arson was involved.Forest fires are common during Greece’s long hot summers, but the country has seen hundreds of blazes in recent weeks following a heat wave. In 2007, about 70 people died in huge blazes that swept through central and southern Greece. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories center_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain As firefighters on Friday put out the last flare-ups from the six-day blaze, farmers said up to a quarter of the island’s mastic groves have been wiped out.In cash terms, producers stand to lose up to (EURO)3 million ($3.75 million) a year, because after replanting, it takes up to a decade before producers can start tapping the trees for their aromatic gum.“Imagine that a farmer who produces mastic will now lose this economic benefit … for the next 8 years,” said Giannis Stoupakis, who recently opened a local factory to produce export-quality, mastic-flavored alcoholic drinks.With its distinctive flavor, the gum-like resin _ believed to have served in ancient times as an early form of chewing gum that was prized for its medicinal properties _ is only produced by trees in certain parts of southern Chios that favor the trees’ slow growth. More than half the crop is exported for use in confectionery, cooking and cosmetics.The huge blaze began on Aug. 18, and authorities estimate that it destroyed at least 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of vegetation. The island’s famed mediaeval fortified villages were unscathed.“The damage is big, which economically will be felt in the whole island of Chios, in all domains, it will affect everything,” mastic farmer Giannis Kapetanos said as he surveyed a charred grove. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipes 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

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Hamas says its not meddling in Egyptian affairs

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The reports accused Hamas of orchestrating one of the bloodiest attacks against Egypt’s army in decades. In August 2012, 16 soldiers were killed along the Gaza-Egypt border. Hamas has strongly denied that it was involved.Mashaal called the accusations “defamations,” and said it is Hamas’ duty to protect Egypt’s security.Hamas leaders were in Cairo this week to meet with security, intelligence and military officials.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories CAIRO (AP) – The leader of the Palestinian group Hamas says there is broad cooperation between his group and Egypt’s security government, dismissing reports that Hamas is endangering Egypt’s national security.Khaled Mashaal’s comments in a conference Thursday in Cairo follow unconfirmed Egyptian media reports linking Hamas to increased lawlessness in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas. Comments   Share   last_img read more

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UN decides to stop updating Syria death toll

first_imgGENEVA (AP) – The U.N.’s human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria’s civil war, confirming Tuesday that it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July.Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, blamed the failure to provide new figures on the organization’s own lack of access on the ground in Syria and its inability to verify “source material” from others. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img Comments   Share   “It was always a very difficult figure,” Colville said in answer to a question by The Associated Press. “It was always very close to the edge in terms of how much we could guarantee the source material was accurate. And it reached a point where we felt we could no longer cross that line. So for the time being, we’re not updating those figures.”Colville said the total number of dead the U.N. had estimated was based on an exhaustive effort to verify six different figures supplied by a variety of nongovernmental organizations in the region.“Over time, they’ve diminished in number,” he said. “For the past year or so, it’s been down to two or a maximum of three, and we simply didn’t feel that it was possible for us to continue in the same way.”But Colville said the U.N. could not endorse anyone else’s count, including the widely quoted figures from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose latest tally is more than 130,000 killed in violence in Syria since March 2011.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

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Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal possible by June 30

first_imgThe proposed deal would freeze Iran’s nuclear program for a decade, in return for international sanctions relief. Iran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, while the West fears it could be used to build nuclear weapons.Zarif also warned that “excessive demands” would make an agreement hard to envisage, even without a deadline. He spoke after talks in Athens Thursday with his Greek peer, Nikos KotziasOn Saturday, he is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva, in a bid to achieve progress toward an agreement by June 30. European and Iranian officials have suggested the talks may require more time, but the U.S. isn’t considering an extension.At a meeting in the Swiss city of Lausanne last month, Iran and the six powers agreed on a framework deal meant to curb Tehran’s nuclear activities while granting it quick access to bank accounts, oil markets and financial assets blocked by sanctions.The deal also specifies that if at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, the sanctions would snap back into place.“I believe the terms of the agreement in Lausanne are rather clear so I would expect my negotiating partners to refrain from making excessive demands,” Zarif said Thursday, without providing any further details. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Patients with chronic pain give advicecenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses journalists during a news briefing in Athens, Greece, on Thursday, May 28, 2015. Iran’s foreign minister is holding out hope that a “sustainable, mutually respectful” deal can be struck with world powers in talks over his country’s nuclear program before the current deadline of June 30. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis) Top Stories ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday held out hope that a “sustainable, mutually respectful” deal can be struck with world powers in talks over his country’s nuclear program before the deadline of June 30.Mohammad Javad Zarif said an agreement with negotiators from the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany is possible provided “people have their foot in reality, not in illusions.” Parents, stop beating yourself uplast_img read more

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Former assistant accuses Salazar of encouraging doping

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up While none of the Nike Oregon Project athletes have failed a drug test, ProPublica and the BBC reported allegations that some of Salazar’s methods included the use of banned steroids and unethical practices.The story said U.S. Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher and at least six other former Salazar athletes and staff members have gone to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with their concerns. It said USADA has not confirmed or denied any investigations.USADA CEO Travis Tygart did not return a telephone message left by The Associated Press.“Any investigation will be a matter for the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the IAAF, and the relevant information shall be passed to them,” the World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement.UK Anti-Doping, the body responsible for ensuring compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code in the UK, said in a statement that “the news tonight reflects the challenge we face to ensure athletes and sports events … are protected from doping. Exposing doping athletes and their support network is a responsibility that rests with everyone involved in sport.”The report states Rupp had been given testosterone in 2002, when he was 16. It interviewed Magness, who worked at the Oregon project in 2011. Magness said he saw a document showing Rupp’s blood levels that showed he was on “testosterone medication.” New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The story quoted both Salazar and Rupp as denying any wrongdoing. Salazar issued a statement Wednesday night.“I believe in a clean sport and hard work and so do my athletes,” Salazar wrote in an email. “Apparently that is not interesting enough for some. …“It is particularly sad that they have attacked Galen and his excellent reputation, which he has earned through years of hard work.”Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the London Games, finishing behind another of Salazar’s leading runners, Mo Farah of Britain. The story said no doping accusations have been made against Farah.“I am dedicated to clean sport and have worked extremely hard for every accomplishment in my running career,” Rupp said in a statement. “I expressly told these reporters that these allegations were not true and their sources admit they have no evidence, yet they print ‘suspicions’ attacking me and sullying my reputation.”Salazar is considered America’s most powerful running coach. He built his reputation as a coach after winning the New York Marathon three years in a row from 1980-82 and the Boston Marathon in 1982. “When I saw that, I kind of jumped backwards,” Magness told the BBC. “Testosterone is obviously banned. … Everybody knew that. When I looked a little further I saw it was all the way back in high school — and that was incredibly shocking.”Magness said when he questioned Salazar about the document, the coach said it had been a mistake. Magness did not respond to an email from AP.Salazar declined to be interviewed for the program, but told the BBC in a statement the legal nutritional supplement Testoboost had been incorrectly recorded in the document as “testosterone medication.”He added that the “allegations your sources are making are based upon false assumptions and half-truths in an attempt to further their personal agendas.”Rupp denied ever using testosterone or testosterone medication.“I am completely against the use of performance enhancing drugs,” he told the BBC. “I have not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that I take a banned substance.”The program aired claims that testosterone was seen on several occasions by athletes and staff, including a massage therapist at an altitude training camp in Utah in 2008. The therapist was reportedly told by Salazar the testosterone was for his own use for treatment of a heart condition. LONDON (AP) — Long-distance running coach Alberto Salazar’s former assistant is among those accusing the American of violating anti-doping rules and encouraging doping by one of his top runners, Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp.In a story Wednesday by ProPublica and BBC (http://bbc.in/1FudipG), former Salazar assistant Steve Magness accused Salazar of using doping practices for his athletes at the Nike Oregon Project. The BBC also alleged that Salazar tested testosterone cream on a human to find out how much it would take to trigger a positive drug test.“I believe in a clean sport and a methodical, dedicated approach to training and have never, nor ever will, endorse the use of banned substances with any of my athletes,” he told the BBC in a statement.The program also aired allegations about the alleged use of asthma and thyroid medication for enhancing performance.Goucher told the BBC that Salazar had encouraged her to take the thyroid drug Cytomel to lose weight in 2011 after the birth of her son. She said the coach knew she did not have a prescription for Cytomel.“No athlete within the Oregon Project uses a medication against the spirit of the sport we love,” Salazar responded in a statement. “Any medication taken is done so on the advice and under the supervision of registered. medical professionals.”Goucher also said Salazar tried to get a therapeutic use exemption for an intravenous drip for Rupp ahead of races.“They wanted the IV for whatever reason to make Galen feel better, and they were manipulating the system to get it,” she said.Salazar responded: “I have never coached an athlete to manipulate testing procedures or undermine the rules that govern our sport. and follow the process for TUEs.” Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Farah told the BBC that he has never used banned substances and was never encouraged to do so by Salazar.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

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Michelle Obama boosts pollinating insects at garden harvest

first_imgFirst lady Michelle Obama talks with Oneida Gonzalez, right, 5, and Jefferson Lopez-Martinez, left, 5, of CentroNia Daycare Center who participated in events with the “Let’s Move!” campaign around the country, while in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 3, 2015, after preparing and eating food harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden. The “Let’s Move!” campaign, started by Michelle Obama seeks to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and encourage a healthy lifestyle. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama said Wednesday that it’s important to help bees, butterflies and other creatures that spread the pollen that helps food grow.She also announced that a network of conservation and gardening groups has launched a nationwide campaign to create 1 million pollinator gardens by the end of next year. Such gardens are one way to help reverse the decline in pollinating insects by offering food, water and shelter. 0 Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Last year, the first lady added a pollinator garden to her vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House.Separately, President Barack Obama recently released a plan to help reverse the decline in the population of pollinators by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending more money on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food eaten daily in the U.S., Mrs. Obama said.“Bats, bees, birds, all of those, they get attracted to the gardens and they go and sprinkle life around so that food grows,” she said at the annual spring harvest of her garden.The threat of rain forced the event to be moved indoors to the White House East Room.Staff harvested the garden earlier Wednesday, so all that was left for the first lady and two dozen students to do was to prepare the waiting baskets and bowls of cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli, fennel and lettuce.The vegetables went into a grilled soba chicken salad, dressed with vinaigrette made with honey from the White House beehive, that Mrs. Obama and the students then ate.___Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsuperville New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

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Greece faces pressure to back deal or consider leaving euro

first_imgGreek debt stands at around 320 billion euros ($357 billion) — a staggering 180 percent or so of the country’s annual gross domestic product. Few economists think that debt will ever be fully repaid. Last week, the International Monetary Fund said Greece’s debt will need to be restructured.___Pan Pylas and John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels contributed to this story.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. BRUSSELS (AP) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and skeptical European leaders negotiated past a self-imposed deadline into the early hours of Monday, with talks stuck on how Greece would guarantee austerity measures in exchange for a rescue package to prevent its banks from collapsing.If the talks don’t succeed, some of Greece’s eurozone partners warned, the country could be temporarily forced out of the euro, the European single currency that Greece has been a part of since 2002. No country has ever left the joint currency, which launched in 1999, and there is no mechanism in place for one to do so. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Another of the officials said sticking points included a proposal for Greece to transfer billions of euros worth of state assets to an independent fund in Luxembourg under European supervision. The Greek government is loath to do so.The 19 leaders of the eurozone countries went into talks Sunday at mid-afternoon and vowed not to emerge without something concrete. They were presented with a set of proposals from the eurozone’s top official, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who said the sides have “come a long way” in two days of talks among finance ministers.The deal on the table appeared to include commitments from Tsipras to push a drastic austerity program including pension, market and privatization reforms through parliament by Wednesday, and from the 18 other eurozone leaders to start talks on a new bailout program.A four-page discussion paper put to eurozone leaders and obtained by The Associated Press spoke of a potential “time-out from the euro area” for Greece if no agreement could be found.It highlighted the increasing frustration of European leaders during five months of fruitless talks with Greece.“The most important currency has been lost: that is trust and reliability,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday. 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 academies Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img Tsipras insisted his government was ready to clinch a deal.“We owe that to the peoples of Europe who want Europe united and not divided,” he said. “We can reach an agreement tonight if all parties want it.”Divisions appeared to be growing among European leaders.French President Francois Hollande insisted it was vital to keep Greece in the euro and said in the event of a departure, “it’s Europe that would go backward. And that I do not want.”On the other side, Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said the leaders should talk with Greece about a third bailout only if it passes its austerity measures in parliament.Traditionally, eurozone ministers agree by mutual consensus, though in exceptional circumstances a unanimous vote may not be needed.Greece has received two previous bailouts, totaling 240 billion euros ($268 billion), in return for deep spending cuts, tax increases and reforms from successive governments. Although the country’s annual budget deficit has come down dramatically, Greece’s debt burden has increased as the economy has shrunk by a quarter.The Greek government has made getting some form of debt relief a priority and hopes that a comprehensive solution will involve European creditors at least agreeing to delayed repayments or lower interest rates. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall It wasn’t entirely clear what a temporary exit would entail, but the threat put intense pressure on Tsipras to swallow politically unpalatable austerity measures, as his people overwhelmingly want to stay in the eurozone.The leaders are discussing Greece’s request for a three-year, 53.5 billion-euro ($59.5 billion) financial package. But other leaders in Brussels say Greece needs even more than that, and are demanding tough austerity measures in exchange. It would be Greece’s third bailout in five years.Several officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the negotiations while they were ongoing, said the terms of the austerity package and the timing of its implementation remained serious obstacles.One of them said the main difference centered on when the European Central Bank could start to increase its emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks. Greece shut the teetering banks two weeks ago and has limited the amount people can withdraw from their accounts. Without more liquidity from the ECB, the banks can’t reopen without collapsing.Tsipras wants the ECB to help the banks as early as Monday, the official said, but creditors don’t want the ECB to act until the Greek Parliament passes certain austerity measures. Even if the banks reopen, it’s possible that they could run out of cash even for cash-machine withdrawals this week. Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Dutch Finance Minister and chair of the eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of eurozone finance ministers at the EU Lex building in Brussels on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Greece’s negotiators head to Brussels on Saturday armed with their reform proposals and parliamentary backing to seek a third bailout, but with the shadow of severe dissent from governing lawmakers hanging over them. (AP Photo/Francois Walschaerts) Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Eurostar apologises for Christmas delays as more services cancelled

first_imgMore headaches for Eurostar travellers returning back to work from holiday celebrations in the United Kingdom could take place as severe weather could see the same issues which afflicted the train company over Christmas.Already four services were cancelled on Thursday, as Eurostar warns travellers on other scheduled services that there could be “possible delay” due to “severe weather in the UK and France”.“For Friday 8 January and the weekend, Eurostar expects to operate near normal services. There may be a small number of planned cancellations depending on the severity of the weather,” said Eurostar in a statement.This new incident comes just as the company was starting to recover from its pre-Christmas cancellations which saw thousands stranded after “fluffy” snow melted and is believed to have short-circuited trains passing through the Channel Tunnel.Earlier in the week Richard Brown, Eurostar CEO, issued an open letter of apology to the travel trade whose clients had been affected in the disruptions.“I would like to offer my most heartfelt apology to all of our customers and any of your travellers who were inconvenienced as a result of events last week,” said Mr Brown.“I fully appreciate that this situation, particularly for those travellers involved in Friday and Saturday’s train failures, was very difficult and I would like to assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that this kind of incident will not happen again.”Ironically in the open letter Mr Brown notes that all passengers travelling for Christmas had now all been accommodated and that Eurostar’s services had returned to normal. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29808/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

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More pax tracking with Eurostar

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J While ash clouded over air travel earlier this year, rail managed to track through with Eurostar reporting a one percent growth in pax between January and September compared to the corresponding period last year. The first nine months of the year saw passenger volumes rise from 7.2 million in 2010 to 7.3 million.Business revenue exceeded expectations with a two percent increase during the third quarter this year verse the same period 2010 while leisure travellers shot up by two percent.”We have delivered a solid performance during both the third quarter and the year as a whole although the tough trading environment across Europe demands a cautious watching brief,” Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said.  “Since the beginning of the year we have seen growth in both our sales revenues and passenger numbers reinforcing our popularity with regular and new travellers alike.”Preparing for an influx of travellers arriving into the UK for the Olympics next year, Eurostar said it is looking to launch a new free mobile application that will allow potential pax to book trips from their mobiles and receive ticketing information straight to their device.As well the train-Group is aiming to have Wi-Fi connectivity up and running before the games begin. “With our new mobile App it’s easier than ever before for customers to access our services on the move,” Mr Petrovic added. “This is the first in a series of digital initiatives and is evidence of our continued commitment toupgrading the online experience for our customers.”last_img read more

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