Cayo Cocos Memories Caribe goes adultsonly starting Nov 1

first_img TORONTO — Memories Caribe is making the switch to an adults-only property this fall, adding a beachfront lounge for sunset cocktails, Bali beds, a revised entertainment schedule, exclusive Diamond Club areas and upgrades for honeymoon or anniversary celebrations. The Jardines del Rey area resort will be restricted to guests 16 years old and up starting Nov. 1.Memories Caribe will renovate 100 guest suites in a selection of categories including Diamond Club, featuring premium in-suite liquor and preferred room locations.The new La Casa del Vino, a tasting venue where tapas-style bites and premium wines will be served to guests in an elegant setting, will be available at an additional charge. Memories Caribe will also host special dinners for non-couples to mix and mingle over a gourmet meal and wine pairing. Posted by Share Cayo Coco’s Memories Caribe goes adults-only starting Nov. 1 << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, August 19, 2016 Travelweek Group last_img read more

On location at GTM 2017 Canadian agents are bucking the online trend

first_img Posted by Michael Smith Monday, May 8, 2017 On location at GTM 2017: Canadian agents are bucking the online trend Tags: Germanycenter_img NUREMBERG — Over 500 international travel industry representatives from 50 countries attended the opening reception of the 43rd GTM Germany Travel Mart in Nuremberg over the weekend. Taking place from May 7-9, GTM is an annual event organized by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in partnership with a different region or city each year. This year’s event is hosted by Bavaria Tourism (by.TM) and Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office.The event kicked off in grand style night with a special performance at the Nuremberg Opera House followed by a reception at the Germanisches National Museum. In her opening remarks, Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB, said: “Germany is very well positioned in the international tourism market. In 2016 we were once again able to build on our status as the second most popular destination for European travellers. The GTM is an ideal platform for satisfying the existing high demand for travel to Germany and for harnessing untapped potential. For us, this means intensive communication with the traditional travel trade as well as with online tour operators.”On the appeal of this year’s host city, Jen Huwald, CEO of by.TM said: “Tradition, innovation and hospitality – three words that sum up Bavaria and that are reflected in the 2017 GTM. It is these attributes that make the Free State so special and that make it Germany’s number one region for tourists.”“At the GTM here in Nuremberg our guests will experience at first hand what makes Bavaria so traditionally different,” he promised.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesFollowing the welcome reception, GTM held a press conference during which it released the latest tourism statistics for the country. According to Hedorfer, only 12% of international holidaymakers booked travel offline, a decrease of 6%.“They don’t use travel agencies anymore, they are going online,” she said, which is hard to argue with considering that 79% of travellers opt to book online.The good news is this trend doesn’t appear to have taken hold in Canada, said Antje Splettstoesser, Director for the GNTO in Canada. “We don’t see that in Canada – 32% of people who are booking directly to Germany are booking through a travel agency,” she assured.The number has gone down from previous years, she added, but comparing it to the worldwide average shows that Canadian agents are a much stronger presence than their international contemporaries.Other statistics revealed that Canada has seen a drop in overnight stays in Germany, a decrease of 4.3%. Again, this proved not to be the whole picture as statistics didn’t take into account shared accommodation, river cruising and small boutique hotels.Statistics Canada revealed in 2015 that Canadian visits was actually up by 20%, with expectations that numbers in 2016 would follow the trend of the last five years. “Overnights from 2010-2015 have increased by 12.5% from Canada, while visits have grown in the same timeframe by 76%,” said Splettstoesser.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTSo why the discrepancy? Canadians have fallen in love with river cruising, which isn’t counted as overnights. Early numbers for 2017 are showing double-digit growth for overnight stays, which the GNTO would like to see more of. The organization is encouraging agents to promote booking pre- and post-cruise stays in one of Germany’s many attractive cities.“The GNTO has a long-term strategy for Canada,” added Splettstoesser. “The goal for 2030 is to get one million overnight stays,” which the GNTO said is attainable considering Canada’s growth as a source market.Established in 1972, the GTM is the most important B2B platform for Germany’s inbound tourism industry. The focal point of the event is the two-day B2B workshop at the NürnbergMesse trade fair centre. Around 330 exhibitors from the hotel industry and transport industries – together with inbound tourist agencies and local and regional tourism organizations – will be showcasing the latest trends, developments and tourism-related products in Germany to an international audience of trade professionals. Guests include more than 500 key account managers from the international travel industry and media representatives from key source markets for inbound tourism to Germany. The delegates are able to hold meetings and do business with German service providers, as well as make new contacts and strengthen existing ones. << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharelast_img read more

Air Canada takes control with its own loyalty program in 2020

first_img MONTREAL — Few loyalty programs have been as wildly successful as Aeroplan, especially when it comes to client retention, where loyalty programs are worth their weight in gold. Word that Air Canada is ending its exclusive contract with Aeroplan provider Aimia will give frequent flyers and leisure clients a jolt but no doubt they’ll be on board with Air Canada’s new as-yet-unnamed loyalty program launching in 2020. It’s not so much the name of the loyalty plan as the airline and the benefits behind it.Air Canada said Aeroplan members will continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles and that it’s committed to “business as usual” through 2020, with a smooth transition to the new program. Air Canada also said it intends to continue to offer Aimia redemption seats post-2020.The airline said strengthening customer relationships and service were at the core of its decision to walk away from Aeroplan. The move takes effect June 30, 2020. Air Canada expects the net present value of the program repatriation over a 15-year period to exceed $2 billion.“Our relationship with our more than 45 million customers sits at the core of Air Canada’s ongoing transformation as we continue to grow our business beyond the 200 destinations that we already serve, and work to become a global champion,” said Air Canada’s President and CEO, Calin Rovinescu. “This decision is the right one for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines said the new program will offer additional earning and redemption opportunities, more personalized service and a better digital experience for Air Canada customers.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Over the past decade Air Canada has invested $10 billion to renew its fleet and to improve its product offering, including all-new seats, WiFi connectivity, expanded and renovated Maple Leaf Lounges, increased digital capabilities and updated branding including new livery launched in February.Smith said Air Canada’s move to reclaim its own loyalty program is in line with what other North American airlines have done. “Similar to all of Air Canada’s North American peers, by managing our own loyalty program, we will be able to take better care of our customers by making decisions in real time that address specific needs,” he said. “We’re excited to take this next step that delivers on our promise for continued investments in the customer experience.”Air Canada’s contract with Aimia remains in effect until its June 29, 2020 expiration date. Until then Air Canada says it is committed to business as usual by working closely with Aimia with the objective of providing consistent service for Aeroplan members.During this period, Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem miles in accordance with the Aeroplan program:Before the new Air Canada program launches in June 2020, members will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including flights with Air Canada and our Star Alliance partners in accordance with the Aeroplan program.After June 2020, miles earned from Air Canada and Star Alliance flights will be credited to the new program, with customers able to redeem those miles for rewards including Air Canada and Star Alliance partner flights.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesAeroplan miles earned up to June 2020 will stay in Aeroplan members’ accounts, and will continue to be subject to the conditions of their program.Air Canada says it intends to continue to offer Aimia redemption seats for Aeroplan members after June 2020, with pricing competitive with other third-party rewards programs.The airline’s most frequent flyers will continue to get Air Canada Altitude status recognition and its associated range of travel perks, based on their annual flight activities with Air Canada and the Star Alliance member airlines. All Million Mile program qualification activity and status will also be honoured in the new program.Air Canada intends to implement near-term improvements to Air Canada Altitude and other elements of the customer experience.“Doing the right thing for Air Canada’s customers throughout this transition period will be our guiding principle,” said Rovinescu.More details will be unveiled at Air Canada’s Investor Day on Sept. 19, 2017.Asked how the move to drop Aeroplan will impact Air Canada Vacations’ ability to attract customers, the tour operator said it had no comment. Share Air Canada takes control with its own loyalty program in 2020 Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Tags: Air Canada Thursday, May 11, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WestJet is Karismas Preferred Partner for October

first_img Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img WestJet is Karisma’s Preferred Partner for October Tags: Karisma Hotels & Resorts, WestJet MIAMI — Karisma Hotels & Resorts has teamed up with WestJet Vacations, naming the Calgary-based tour operator as its Karisma Preferred Partner for the month of October for the Canadian market.The Karisma Preferred Partner program highlights a different partner from Canada and the U.S. each month, offering a variety of special activities to drive bookings while providing training on Karisma Hotels & Resorts and the Gourmet Inclusive Experience.With October’s promotion WestJet clients will receive savings of up to 55% off plus up to US$1,000 in resort credit. Kids stay free when staying with two adults at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana. These offers are available for clients booking by Oct. 31, 2017 for travel from Oct. 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. It is not combinable with other promotions and is only available for new bookings with a minimum stay of three nights, valid at El Dorado Spa Resorts, Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Generations Riviera Maya and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthKarisma’s Preferred Partners also get a spotlight on Karisma’s travel agent portal for the month, and dedicated social media and press outreach.last_img read more

What has four legs neighs and just checked itself into a motel

first_imgWhat has four legs, neighs, and just checked itself into a motel? The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Wednesday, October 18, 2017 GEORGETOWN, KY — A Kentucky motel’s pet-friendly policy was put to the test earlier this month when an Ontario woman checked her horse into a room on her way to a competition.Lindsey Partridge, of Kawartha Lakes, Ont., said she was travelling with three horses to the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover competition on Oct. 4 when she stopped to check in to the Super 8 motel in Georgetown, Ky.When she saw other guests bring in a dog, Partridge said she jokingly asked the clerk if the motel’s pet-friendly policy would extend to her horse.“The lady at the desk just said, ‘Oh yeah, I wouldn’t care, go ahead, bring your horse in,’” said Partridge, who buys retired racehorses and trains them at her facility east of Toronto.“I asked twice and then I quickly go get the horse before she changes her mind.”The horse trainer took her grey thoroughbred mare Blizz, who races under the name Here Comes Adri, to the front desk and shot a video of the process while other motel guests watched and took photos, she said. Partridge also took Blizz briefly into her room and took photos of the two of them watching television together.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe goal was to show that thoroughbred horses, which Partridge said have a reputation for being temperamental, can be calm even in unusual situations, she said.“They just have such a negative stereotype against them and unfortunately a lot of those horses do end up going to auction for slaughter,” she said. “What I try to do is just try to show people that these are great horses that can be really calm and you can handle them really nicely.”Blizz seemed a little confused when they first went into the motel lobby, “but she was OK with it, she trusts me well,” she said.“And then when we were in the hotel room, she thought it was the best thing ever because I was just sharing cookies with her on the bed,” she said.After a few memorable moments at the motel, Partridge then took Blizz and her other two horses to Kentucky Horse Park, the site of the competition. Blizz took third in the competition’s trail division, with Partridge’s other two horses coming in first and second.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThough Blizz’s brief motel stay went well, Partridge said she would hesitate to keep a horse in a room overnight.“I think maybe I would have to get a horsey diaper or something like that. I think the cleaning bill would be maybe a little high,” she said.“But also, horses only sleep three to four hours a night so she might be trying to keep me up all night watching TV.”last_img read more

Jamaica looking to ramp up resort development on the islands northeast coast

first_imgTags: Jamaica Friday, July 12, 2019 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img Jamaica looking to ramp up resort development on the island’s northeast coast KINGSTON — Jamaica’s northeast coast is the ideal spot for high-end, low-density eco-tourism and lifestyle resort development, with the potential for higher average daily rates, says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.Perched at the top of the island, with Ocho Rios to the west and Port Antonio to the east, St. Mary is rich in cultural history, plus it offers several elements that can be used to develop the area into a “mini-destination”, says Bartlett.Jamaica has thousands of new hotel rooms coming in the next several years. Over the next five years Jamaica will see its largest ever investment from hoteliers, adding 15,000 rooms to its stock, for a total capacity of some 50,000 rooms by 2024. Sandals Resorts is just one of the names associated with Jamaica’s northeast coast, in the Port Antonio area, in recent years.Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (left) highlights developmental plans for the parish of St. Mary to Mr. Evroy Chin, owner of Robin’s Bay Village and Beach Resort in the parish. Minister Bartlett announced that St. Mary would become part of the reimaging exercise to build out new tourism experiences.Speaking at a tour of the parish this past weekend, Minister Bartlett said: “As part of our commitment to reimagine destination Jamaica, we are committed to building out new experiences east of Oracabessa towards Port Antonio.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTHe said he’s taking a“hard look at Robin’s Bay, Golden Eye, beaches and rivers, and all the public assets in St. Mary, to determine the potential of the area to become a lifestyle tourism destination.”Bartlett (centre) in discussion with Permanent Secretary, Jennifer Griffith (left) and General Manager of Robin’s Bay Village and Beach Resort, Janet Lee, during a tour of the resort.The technical team from the Ministry and various agencies, led by Permanent Secretary Jennifer Griffiths, took part in the tour as part of the initial assessment of the area.“What we envisage for this side of the island is of course low density and low carbon foot prints to ensure minimal impact on the environment. We also want to look at the higher demographic in terms of the ability to attract higher average daily rates within this area.“We think that Port Antonio would be the big centre for lifestyle tourism with strong eco-tourism values, which can go all the way to Oracabessa.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesThe reimaging exercise began earlier this year under the instructions of Minister Bartlett. Permanent Secretary Griffith, who leads the team, began carving out a destination development plan for Negril. Other areas that will be included are St. Thomas, Clarendon, Port Antonio and most recently St. Mary.“The area has huge geophysical assets in terms of its beaches, waterfalls and rivers that can definitely be converted into tremendous experiences for tourism and the time is now for us to capitalize on this potential,” said Bartlett. Travelweek Group last_img read more

Costa Ricas National Police beefs up security in San José

first_imgOne hundred extra officers from the National Police patrol the center of the capital.Alberto Font Related posts:National Police increase street surveillance ahead of holiday season Government announces increased security measures to curb recent crime wave Motorcyclists to protest proposed law prohibiting passengers National Police: Property crime down in Limón from last year The Costa Rican National Police this week initiated extra protective measures to prepare for the annual payment of Christmas bonuses (aguinaldos) in Costa Rica, National Police Director Juan José Andrade said.During the first stage of preparations, police installed five watchtowers in San José and sent 100 extra officers to patrol in the center of the capital. Andrade said that an additional group of 24 bicycle cops hit the streets.center_img Surveillance tasks will focus on 1st and 6th avenues as well as 9th and 14th streets, the main commercial and banking area of San José, Andrade said.A second stage of extra year-end security measures starts Nov. 15, when the National Police will send 200 additional officers to patrol residential neighborhoods.The second phase of the police strategy will continue through Dec. and includes the placement of six more watchtowers in the capital. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Strong waves prompt preventive alert on Costa Ricas Pacific coast

first_imgNo related posts. Waves up to 10 feet could hit the Pacific coast of Costa Rica from Wednesday through Friday, according to the National Emergency Commission and the University of Costa Rica’s Ocean Sciences and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR).According to CIMAR, tides above 10 feet are expected  from Wednesday and could increase on Thursday and Friday, with heights up to 10.5 feet.Authorities particularly are concerned with residents living in low areas, including Estero, Barrio El Carmen and Cocal in Puntarenas, Boca Vieja and Cocal in Quepos, Playa Azul and Corralillo in Tárcoles, Palo Seco and Isla Damas.CIMAR oceanographer Omar Lizano said back surges from the south of the continent will continue through the week, along with moderate to strong winds in the North Pacific, which are likely to generate rough seas. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Judge orders preventive prison for two men arrested in border road scandal

first_imgNo related posts. A financial crimes court on Saturday issued five months of preventive prison to Manuel Serrano and Miguel Ramírez, two engineers responsible for oversight of the construction of Route 1856, a road parallel to the Río San Juan on the border with Nicaragua.Serrano, Ramírez and four others were arrested on Wednesday as part of an ongoing probe of alleged embezzlement during the scandal-plagued project.The preliminary hearing began at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and ended Saturday at 3:30 a.m.The former director of the National Roadway Council (CONAVI), Carlos Acosta, will not remain in custody. He was given precautionary measures, which were not disclosed publicly at the time. The other detainees, contractors David Castillo, Giovanni Baralis and Johnny Muñoz, were ordered to check in with the court every 15 days and are prohibited from leaving the country.Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría said on Friday that the preventive prison request was based on legal aspects: “We believe, and we may be wrong, they are the core group from which all planning was generated. It is therefore appropriate to issue preventive detention,” Chavarría told the daily La Nación on Saturday.Route 1856 is a 160-kilometer road parallel to the Río San Juan, inaugurated by President Laura Chinchilla in February as a response to the country’s ongoing border dispute with Nicaragua.CONAVI has spent more than ₡20 billion ($40 million) on the project to date. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Jacó Happenings

first_imgNo related posts. It is that time of year, and the fishing scene has been heating up in the Central Pacific zone. The conclusion of the 5th Annual Los Sueños Marlin Invitational was held in mid-December with more than 11 teams and 37 anglers participating. A total of 240 billfish were released, which is many more than the year before.First Place went to the Spanish Fly captained by Daniel Espinoza and crewed by Robert Hehenberger, Tobin Wiener, Bill Caldwell and Bob Burnside, second place went to HT Hook captained by Ronnie Riebe and crewed by Harry Shufflebarger, David Bertolozzi, Karen Finnieston and Alan Finnieston; third place went to Uno Mas captained by Tom Lynskey and crewed by Brooks Smith and Mark Willis.Marc Stanley from the boat Pelese tied with Brooks Smith from the boat Uno Mas for the top angler awards. This weekend marks the first leg of the 10th Annual Signature Billfish Series out at Los Sueños. For more information about the tournaments at Los Sueños Marina in Herradura, email Ashley Bretecher at a.bretecher@lsrm.com or call toll-free from the U.S. or Canada: 1-866-865-9759, ext. 4005 or 2630-4005 from Costa Rica. They also have a LIVE Tournament Radio feature on the home page www.LStournaments.com.Next month, the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos is hosting its 2nd annual Quepos Billfish Cup tournament of the Costa Rica Big Game Series 2013. It is scheduled for Feb. 6-9. Entry costs $700 per angler with a minimum of two and a maximum of six angler teams. For more information, visit http://www.marinapezvela.com.Ronald Sandi C. has opened La Osrta #2 in Jacó, at the corner of Calle Bohio and Avenida Pastor Díaz. Both the food and the service are excellent and they are specializing in steaks and seafood at reasonable prices. La Ostra is open every day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., reservations can be made at 2643-3326 or 8888-0102. More information at roansandi@yahoo.com.–Christina Truittchristina_truitt@yahoo.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Six companies to offer cleaner cheaper energy during dry season

first_imgThe state-owned Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) on Thursday announced they will grant permission to six private companies to generate electricity in the country.Companies were selected from an initial list of 28 that participated in a public bid last year, and the final decision was made by taking into account lower costs offered for the implementation of the projects, ICE said in a press release.The companies will develop four wind farm projects and two hydroelectric projects that will generate 137 megawatts, enough to supply the average consumption of 225,000 homes.The electricity provided will help meet energy shortages during Costa Rica’s dry season (December-April) and will help reduce the use of oil-generated energy.A national law (No. 7,200) stipulates that 15 percent of the country’s electricity requirements can be generated by private companies. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica asks international court to prevent further occupations from Nicaragua

first_imgRelated posts:Damaged wetlands recovering along Costa Rica-Nicaragua border Costa Rica adds yet another claim to ongoing border dispute with Nicaragua Nicaragua claims ‘cleaning’ of the Río San Juan follows world court order Nicaragua’s Pastora calls Costa Rica’s latest accusations ‘a bunch of lies’ aimed at boosting President Solís’ image Costa Rica’s legal team on Tuesday wrapped up its closing arguments in theborder dispute with Nicaragua before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.The country’s legal team said that Nicaragua occupied Costa Rican territory, and then attempted to justify its illegal actions by raising a false territorial claim against Costa Rica.Costa Rica accuses Nicaragua of dredging canals through a sensitive wetland area on Costa Rican soil called Isla Portillo. Nicaragua accuses Costa Rica of silting up the San Juan River, which forms a natural border between the two countries, due to construction work on a road that Costa Rica built on its side of the river.Costa Rica’s lawyers at The Hague said that Nicaragua had changed its position on numerous occasions throughout the case. They pointed out that Nicaraguan official Edén Pastora said at one point that the first canal built by Nicaragua had been there historically, before the dispute. Later, Nicaragua’s attorneys scrapped that argument and said they were unsure if there was actually a canal connecting the San Juan River with Portillos Lagoon, in the disputed area.“This clearly shows that the territorial claim has no basis,” Costa Rica’s legal team said.Costa Rica also stated that it has never objected to Nicaragua’s cleanup works on the San Juan River, but added that these works should not include the occupation of Costa Rican territory or cause damage to the Colorado River, located entirely inside Costa Rica.“Managua’s claim is artificial,” Marcelo Kohen, one of the attorneys for Costa Rica, told the court. He added that several official maps and border treaties granted navigation rights to both countries, and that not one of those documents identifies canals through Isla Portillo.Recommended: Costa Rica, Nicaragua enter final hearings at The Hague in border disputeThe expert also noted that prior to 2010, Nicaragua hadn’t made any claims such as those currently being discussed before the ICJ, and said that in his opinion “Nicaragua has falsely interpreted the provisions of the Alexander Treaty for its own benefit.”Kohen asked the Court to dismiss Nicaragua’s attempts to modify its territory and said Nicaragua should compensate Costa Rica “for the wrongful occupation of its territory.”The lawyer also asked justices for a ruling that would establish the illegality of the Nicaraguan occupation to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.Another member of Costa Rica’s legal team, Samuel Wordsworth, continued the argument, saying that the Nicaraguan government had interpreted the 1858 Alexander Treaty at its convenience in order to modify the border between the two countries.Wordsworth said Nicaragua hadn’t presented any argument to justify the incursion of its armed forces into Costa Rican territory in 2010. He said Nicaragua had seriously violated international laws protecting Costa Rica on two separate occasions.Costa Rica’s ambassador before the Netherlands, Sergio Ugalde, said Nicaragua’s arguments for justifying dredging works “in order to maintain the San Juan’s navigability and water levels” were forced.Following the hearing, Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Manuel González Sánz said he was hoping for an exemplary ruling from the court. “I believe that our closing arguments emphasized that Nicaragua’s actions pose a threat to peace and security in the region, and that those actions call for a robust ruling from the court,” González said.“I asked our team to make it clear for the [ICJ] justices that their ruling should become a deterrent factor to prevent further incursions or threats from Nicaragua,” he added.Costa Rica experts also said that Nicaragua owes Costa Rica an environmental impact study from the border area and proposed Managua officials agree on a cooperation and consultation process so that the dredging project can be executed “in a reasonable manner, respecting Costa Rica’s rights and environmental concerns.”Nicaragua’s lawyers will present their closing arguments Wednesday and Thursday. After May 1, justices will begin analyzing all evidence and statements in order to issue a final ruling in the case.A final ruling from the ICJ usually takes four to six months. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Fuel prices set to rise for the second time this year

first_imgRelated posts:RECOPE opposes referendum that could break its fuel market monopoly Two requests to lower fuel prices await Sala IV ruling Motorists get cheaper fuel prices starting this week Gas prices in Costa Rica to drop this week The second hike in fuel prices this year could take effect before the end of this week, and a third one is already awaiting approval.The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) last Friday approved increases between ₡14-28 in the per-liter prices of Super and Plus gasoline and in Diesel.At midnight of the day new prices are published in the official newspaper La Gaceta a liter of Super gasoline will go from ₡592 to ₡619 ($1.05-1.10). One of Plus gasoline from ₡562 to ₡ 590 ($1-1.05) and one of Diesel from ₡475 to ₡489 ($0.84-0.87).New prices mean that, for example, filling out a 45-liter tank with Super gasoline will go from ₡26,640 to ₡27,855 ($47.34-49.50). With Plus gasoline will go from ₡25,290 to ₡26,550 ($44.95-47.18) and with Diesel from ₡21,375 to ₡22,005 ($38-39.10).The National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) requested the price change last Jan. 13, arguing increases in international prices of oil products.The first price change of this year came into effect on Jan. 6. At the time the per-liter price of Plus gasoline went up by ₡37, Super gasoline by ₡30 and Diesel ₡48.More hikes comingARESEP last week reported that it is currently evaluating a third price setting requested by RECOPE and that it will issue a ruling in coming days.The refinery requested increases of ₡7.78 in the per-liter price of Super gasoline, of ₡7.47 for Plus gasoline and ₡5,06 more for one of Diesel. RECOPE this time based its petition on increased operating costs expected for this year.Among others, RECOPE needs more funds to pay mandatory extra-salary benefits granted to its 1,742 employees in collective bargaining agreements.But prices could go even higher. RECOPE could file another price-setting request as soon as next week as the law autorizes the agency to file new price requests during the first two weeks each month, based on variations in international prices of oil.RECOPE officials still have yet to confirm whether they will file a petition for new prices.Public demonstrationThe hikes in fuel prices led citizen group “Ya no más RECOPE” (No more RECOPE) to call for a public demonstration to request the opening of the fuel distribution market in the country.The group’s Facebook profile is calling on the population to gather at La Sabana Park, west of downtown San José, on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9 a.m. From there, demonstrators will march through Paseo Colón, the capital’s 2nd Avenue and will end at Plaza de la Democracia in front of the National Museum.Messages say attendants will march to protest against RECOPE and ARESEP’s constant abuses.Others say they will protest against the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís for failing to invest the funds from the country’s disproportionate taxes in improvements to the country’s roads. ReferendumThe Ya no más RECOPE group also confirmed that the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) on Tuesday granted them authorization to collect signatures across the country to request for a national referendum on RECOPE’s monopoly.The referendum would ask the population to weigh in on whether they want to open the fuel distribution market here.In order to get the TSE’s approval for a referendum the group will have nine months to collect just over 165,000 signatures, representing 5 percent of registered voters.The TSE in coming days will deliver the group with the approved template for the form they will use to collect the signatures. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican artist Elizabeth Argüello designed a Google doodle for Sunday

first_imgThe Costa Rican artist and muralist Elizabeth Argüello designed theGoogle doodle (logo) for Sunday’s World Cup match against Serbia, the daily La Nación reported.For the design she decided to focus on the celebration at the Fuente de la Hispanidad, faces painted with the Costa Rican colors, La Sele‘s jersey, a traditional chonete (Costa Rican hat), and of course a nod to the country’s lush nature. Costa Rican artist Elizabeth Argüello. Via La Nación Facebook Comments Related posts:Tamarindo gears up for Art Wave Festival W22 Galería hosts ‘Escazú Project’ exhibit 5 questions for US painter Suzahn King 5 questions for a Canadian punk rock band in Costa Ricalast_img read more

Stronger together A feminists view on the 8M March in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Why we need International Women’s Day Women of Costa Rica: Let’s open the door for each other already Eight women who blazed a trail through Costa Rican history A photo exhibit in Jacó connects with the “Divine Feminine” Her name is Luciana. I locked eyes with her across the crowd. We’d met before, I like to think of us as friends, but truth is I am friends with her mother. Lu, is 6 years old and was sitting with a purple hankerchief around her neck. She was holding a sign she made herself that read “Women can do whatever they want.”Last Friday night, on International Women’s Day, women wanted to organize to fight the patriarchy together.This year the agreed upon slogan for #8M was Más juntas que nunca, meaning collectivity and togetherness would be at the very core of the women’s march. International Women’s Day is crucial to the year-round struggles we face as women, it commemorates the achievements the feminist movement has gained and recognizes the plight women around the world still face.Undoubtedly there have been a series of advances in terms of gender equality in the last decades, but gender inequality is still very much a part of how our society organizes itself and distributes power. Costa Rican women decided to address inequality by showing up and saying what was on their minds. Women take part in a march to mark International Women’s Day in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 8, 2019. (Ezequiel Becerra / AFP)Taking to the streets is fundamental. It lets us reclaim a hostile space where women of all ages face harassment and sexist culture on a daily basis. It also exposes the movement to its own numbers.It is impossible to say the feminist agenda is being pushed by just a handful of rebellious women when Avenida 2 is packed with thousands of women walking and chanting side by side for hours. Organizing, mobilizing and securing that many people obviously required hard work and that work was done by women.Over the last few years feminism has begun to embrace its diversity and what this translates into for Costa Rican women’s movements is in a wide array of demands converging in one place. We are stronger because we are able to come together despite of our differences and push forward a series of social, economic and political changes that will benefit all women.We yelled for violence against women and girls to cease, we sang songs about the rise of feminism and we held up posters advocating for equal pay, prompt justice, accountability of public officers and respect. A holds a sign banner against former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias outside of the Arias Foundation during a march to mark International Women’s Day in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 8, 2019. (Ezequiel Becerra / AFP)There were more signs than I had ever seen at other 8M marches and more hands holding them. Organizations marched with broad messages, the majority short and to the point. There was a large Firme YA sign aimed to catch President Alvarado’s attention for therapeutic abortion regulation that is long waited.Due to the political climate in our region there were women from Nicaragua and Venezuela marching alongside us, backing us up and receiving support as well. There was a voice coming in through a speaker called upon us to cheer for them as they fight for their rights from abroad. Nicaraguan migrants living in Costa Rica take part in a march to mark International Women’s Day in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 8, 2019. (Ezequiel Becerra / AFP)The tumbacocos advanced between the women, carrying the messages with it, making its way slowly from Parque Central to Plaza de la Democracia, at times leading the way and at others making sure no woman was left behind.On Friday, March 8th, thousands of women came out to sing in unison that Latin America as a whole will be feminist whether others like it or not. Whether they feel ready for it or not. Whether they’re willing to adapt or not. People have often referred to feminism as a wave, but in feminism is a way of life.It shapes our personal and professional lives and overflows into how we relate to fellow women and organize collective efforts. Oppression is systematic and our response is long overdue. Lucky for us there are brave 6-year-olds walking among us who hold signs of a better tomorrow. People take part in a march to mark International Women’s Day in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 8, 2019. (Ezequiel Becerra / AFP)Laura Valenciano is the political advocacy coordinator for ACCEDER, a human rights group that aims to stop discrimination and violence based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of 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

Newspapers in Ivory Coast resume publication

first_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Associated PressABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) – Newspapers allied with Ivory Coast’s former ruler resumed publication this week, after observing a three-day moratorium to protest what editors and press freedom groups describe as a climate of intimidation.The newspapers halted publication to protest an incident in which six men brandishing machetes and crow bars attacked the headquarters of a media house in Abidjan allied with ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo, who is now at the International Criminal Court awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity following last year’s near-civil war. On the night of Aug. 18, the attackers forced their way into the headquarters of the Cyclone Group, which publishes the pro-Gbagbo newspaper Le Temps, assaulted a security guard, ransacked office furniture and set on fire the first floor of the premises.The six newspapers halted publication last Friday, and resumed on Monday, missing the Friday and weekend editions. Last week, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement calling on President Alassane Ouattara’s administration to halt the censorship of critical publications and to investigate the Cyclone attack.The attack comes after Le Temps recently resumed publication, following a suspension imposed by the state-run National Press Council for anti-Ouattara coverage. The newspaper had published an opinion piece referring to the sitting president as a “ghoulish vampire,” according to reports cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists.The opposition media managers said it was the sixth suspension levied against Le Temps under Ouatarra – and the 11th targeting pro-Gbagbo newspapers, since Ouattara came to power in April 2011.This country on the coast of West Africa, which is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, was nearly dragged into civil war following the contested 2010 election. All the major international observers agreed that Ouattara had won the vote, but Gbagbo refused to cede. For months, Ouattara pleaded with the international community for help, and finally enlisted the backing of a former rebel group, which swept across the country, and with the aid of United Nations airstrikes, arrested Gbagbo inside the bunker where he was holed-up in Abidjan. Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day During Gbagbo’s 10 years in office, pro-Ouattara newspapers were frequently the subject of harassment and intimidation campaigns. The turn-of-events is disappointing because many had hoped that the U.S.-educated Ouattara would usher in an era of democratic freedom.Since coming to office, Ouattara’s administration has been accused of pursuing “victor’s justice,” by only prosecuting people allied with Gbagbo.“We call on President Alassane Ouattara to demonstrate tolerance and a commitment to democratic principles,” said the Committee to Protect Journalists Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. “As the country weathers a period of great tension, the president can set an important example by allowing the voices of opposition to air their concerns and opinions, as harsh as they may be.”The attack on the pro-Gbagbo media house was condemned by the U.N. and Reporters Without Borders.Reporters Without Borders said two journalists from the opposition newspaper Le Nouveau Courrier had received death threats via phone calls and text messages the same weekend as the Cyclone attack.One of the text messages, seen by an AP reporter, accuses a journalist of feigning neutrality while writing “vehement words against the regime” and asks if the journalist “wants to die standing up.” Quick workouts for men Raphael Lakpe, chairman of the National Press Council, denied that the government was placing undue restraints on pro-Gbagbo outlets. “I myself have been a journalist of the opposition for many years, but what I have to say is that you can oppose in a responsible way,” he said.Yacouba Gbane, editor of Le Temps, said the newspaper would not back down from critical coverage. “The attacks will never intimidate us,” he said. “To the contrary, they boost us. We will continue to work regardless of the threats of those who want to keep us quiet.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health too 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

In Israel Bosnia war crimes suspect loses appeal

first_img Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project JERUSALEM (AP) – JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected a former Bosnian Serb soldier’s appeal to block his extradition to his homeland to stand trial on war crimes charges.A lower court ruled in August that Aleksander Cvetkovic, who is married to an Israeli and holds Israeli citizenship, can be sent to Bosnia. The high court heard his appeal in June and ruled against him on Thursday.The Justice Ministry says no date for the extradition has been set. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Cvetkovic was arrested last year after Bosnia sought his extradition. Bosnia says he was part of a firing squad that executed up to 1,200 Bosnian Muslims in July 1995.The killings were part of what became known as the Srebrenica massacre, where Serb troops killed more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Saudiled coalition pounds Yemen on eve of proposed truce

first_imgSaudi Arabia and its coalition of Arab countries began the airstrikes to break the advance of the Houthis and Saleh’s forces, who overran the capital of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen late last year and have been on the offensive in the south. The Saudis and their allies are seeking the restoration of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in March in the face of the Houthis’ advance.The security officials said Monday they also saw airstrikes in Saada, the birthplace and stronghold of the Houthi movement, as well as the provinces of Aden, Shabwa, Taiz and al-Dhaleh — areas where forces and militias loyal to Hadi are battling the Houthis and their allies.The officials said the Houthis were recruiting boys as young as 15 in Sanaa to fight in Saada against Sunni tribesmen trying to enter the province that sits on the Saudi border.The Saudi-owned Al-Hadath news channel broadcast live video of tanks and armored personnel carriers loaded onto giant trucks, saying they were part of a “strike force” deploying to the kingdom’s border with Yemen. There have been no signs to suggest that a ground offensive was imminent, although the coalition has not ruled one out. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition pounded weapons depots on the edge of Yemen’s capital Monday, one day before a humanitarian cease-fire is due to start and a U.N. envoy arrives on his first visit to try to end the war.The latest airstrikes followed the release by the Shiite rebels of video and photos of the purported wreck of a Moroccan F-16 that they claim to have shot down over the northern province of Saada near the Saudi border. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The cease-fire, scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. (2000 GMT, 4 p.m. EDT) Tuesday, would help ease the suffering of civilians in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country.The conflict has killed over 1,400 people — many of them civilians — since March 19, according to the U.N., and the country of 25 million has endured shortages of food, water, medicine and electricity as a result of a Saudi-led naval, air and land blockade.The new U.N. envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is scheduled to fly into Sanaa on Tuesday ahead of the humanitarian truce. He hopes to meet with various parties, including the Houthis, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general.On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced that newly installed King Salman will not be attending a summit of U.S. and allied Arab leaders at Camp David outside Washington. The ostensible reason was because Thursday’s summit coincides with the humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen.Instead, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, will lead the Saudi delegation and the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister, will also attend. Smoke rises from a house of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh after a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, May 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In Yemen’s southern port of Mukalla on the Arabian Sea, rockets believed to have been fired by U.S. drones hit al-Qaida militants based in the city’s presidential residence, according to the Yemeni security officials. They had no word on casualties. The compound was recently taken over by al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, viewed by Washington as the terror group’s most dangerous affiliate.___Schemm reported from Istanbul, Turkey. Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement On Friday, the coalition declared that Saada province would be considered a military target because the Houthi rebels had fired rockets over the border into Saudi territory, killing at least three people.Photos on social media networks showed armed tribesmen and children posing next to what was said to be the wreckage of the downed aircraft that bore Morocco’s red and green national colors. A corpse also was visible.A video on social media showed a reporter from the rebels’ TV station al-Maseera visiting the purported crash site in northern Saada province, and tribesmen standing with parts of the jet’s fuselage or triumphantly raising their fists in the air.“This plane was downed by God,” shouted one tribesman. Al-Maseera first reported that the aircraft was brought down in Saada.The rebels and their allies routinely fire anti-aircraft rounds at warplanes launching airstrikes against them.Morocco has six F-16 jets stationed in the United Arab Emirates taking part in the coalition, which includes a group of other Sunni Arab countries. The West says regional Shiite power Iran backs the Houthis militarily, something both Tehran and the rebels deny.If confirmed, the Moroccan F-16 would be the second warplane to go down in the conflict. During the campaign’s early days, a fighter jet crashed in the Arabian Sea off Yemen’s southern coast, but the pilot and co-pilot were picked up by a nearby navy vessel. Technical problems were said to have caused that crash.center_img Comments   Share   President Barack Obama had planned to meet Salman a day before the gathering of leaders at the presidential retreat but the White House did not take the king’s decision to skip the summit as a sign of any substantial disagreement with the U.S.Human Rights Watch said the blockade of Yemen is preventing fuel from reaching the Yemeni people who need it, contending the action violated the “laws of war.”Yemen, it said, urgently needs to power generators for hospitals overwhelmed with wounded and to pump drinking water. The coalition, it added, must urgently “implement measures for the rapid processing of oil tankers to allow the safe, secure and speedy distribution of fuel supplies to the civilian population.”All sides in the conflict have warned they will resume hostilities if the cease-fire is violated.In what is likely to produce a confrontation with the Sunni coalition, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said a cargo ship with 2,500 tons of food, medicine, tents and blankets has set sail for Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeida. The ship was also carrying several journalists, rescue workers, physicians and “anti-war activists,” it said. The Moroccan military said the plane had disappeared Sunday evening. An online news site with close ties to Morocco’s royal palace and security and intelligence services said the aircraft was one of two that flew from a base in the United Arab Emirates on a reconnaissance mission over the Yemeni side of the border with Saudi Arabia.The French-language site, Le360, said rebel anti-aircraft batteries stationed on mountains opened fire on the two aircraft as they flew at low altitude.“The Moroccan fighter jets maneuvered, gained altitude, attempted to escape the danger, but it was too late. One of the craft was hit and went into a spin,” Le360 reported.Yemeni security officials said Monday’s coalition airstrikes targeted arms and ammunition depots on Noqom mountain, on Sanaa’s northeastern edge. The bombardment shook the entire city, collapsing some homes and shattering windows. They also caused shells to explode from the arms depots, and the munitions hit residential areas and started fires. There was no immediate word on civilian casualties.The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the explosions were the strongest in Sanaa since the air campaign began March 26 against the rebels, known as the Houthis, and their allies in the army and security forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories last_img read more