Silverseas Grand Voyage will completely circumnavigate South America

first_img Share Silversea’s Grand Voyage will “completely circumnavigate South America” Travelweek Group Friday, August 18, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: Latin America, Silversea Cruises MIAMI — Silversea has unveiled new details about its Grand Voyage 2018 onboard the Silver Muse, which will sail roundtrip form Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 3, 2018 to some of the most enticing destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.The ship will completely circumnavigate South America, says the cruise line, visiting 34 ports in 14 countries. Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Cana, cruising Chile’s majestic fjords, a three-day stopover in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, plus overnight calls in Valparaiso, Punta Arenas, Buenos Aires and Manaus.“Grand Voyage 2018 is perfectly tailored to travellers who have the time and passion to indulge in travel on a grand scale. It combines adventure and immersive cultural experiences with leisurely days wrapped in the exquisite luxury and impeccable service of our beautiful new Silver Muse,” said Mark Conroy, Silversea’s managing director for the Americas.Aboard Silver Muse guests will enjoy spacious ocean-view suites, sumptuous cuisine at eight dining venues, the personalized service of a butler and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including a complimentary selection of wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks; in-suite bar stocked with guests’ preferences; in-suite 24-hour dining service; lecture and enrichment programs; roundtrip transportation into town (in most ports); and onboard gratuities (exclusive of spa treatments).More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyDining is a major highlight of the voyage, with guest chefs, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and a new Chef’s Table interactive experience available onboard.Guests will also enjoy a gala Bon Voyage dinner and overnight stay at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 2, a ‘Panama Hat Party’ at the Montecristi Golf Club in Manta, Ecuador on Jan. 12, and a box-seat view of the Carnival Winners’ Parade at the Sambadrome in Rio on Feb. 17.Full-voyage guests enjoy added benefits including: US$2,000 onboard spending credit per suite; free unlimited Wi-Fi; baggage valet service; visa service; and commemorative gifts.Fares for Grand Voyage 2018 start at $36,955 per guest, double occupancy. To view the complete itinerary go to Posted bylast_img read more

Jamaicas Half Moon to reveal US75 million redevelopment in November

first_imgJamaica’s Half Moon to reveal US$75 million redevelopment in November TORONTO – Coming in November 2018, Jamaica’s iconic Half Moon resort will unveil 20 acres of redeveloped property that will not only be “transformative” but also “re-establish” the brand in the Caribbean.Aerial Beach ViewSpeaking to media and travel agents at Toronto’s Spoke Club yesterday, Guy Steuart III, Chairman of Half Moon and grandson of one of the resort’s 17 original investors back in 1954, admitted that over the years “we’ve learned that we built too close to the beach.” With rising sea levels and the inevitability of beach erosion, the resort made the decision to scrape 20 acres of beachfront in order to set itself back 100 feet from the sea.Sunset Beach Walk“This is a thoughtful development that’s well back from the beach,” said Steuart. “As a responsible enterprise, we want to be better stewards of the land.”The transformation signifies Half Moon’s commitment to invest in the future of the resort – and the island – for generations to come. In 2015, Half Moon completed the first phase of its US$75 million Master Plan Renovation, which included the refurbishment of the award-winning Sugar Mill Restaurant, resort lobby, golf course and popular Lester’s Café. Now in Phase Two, in addition to a reimagined beachfront, the resort will also debut a new entry, a Great House with 57 accommodations, a natural swimming cove once used for swimming with dolphins, an adults-only swimming pool, two restaurants, three bars, a market café and a vegan café located at the Fern Tree Spa.Villa Entry“The resort is evolving so that the best of Half Moon will remain, and this constant evolution is the key to a luxury hospitality experience,” said Sandro Fabris, General Manager. “Half Moon’s new additions along with its architecture, landscape and design will reward a sense of discovery that elevates the resort experience and enables guests to rediscover our intimate paradise and singular hospitality.”More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureFirst opened in 1954, the resort has grown linearly since then, “about two miles on the beach”, said Steuart, and now encompasses 400 acres of “casual elegance”. With so much land, he added that “it’s not a concentrated place to be” but rather spread out to ensure privacy and relaxation. “In fact, we can be 80% full and you won’t even know it, that’s how spread out we are,” he said.Great House from the OceanAnd when asked whether Half Moon was impacted at all by last year’s hurricanes, Steuart said the weather only made its beaches better.“Jamaica is open for business, and so is Half Moon,” he said. “We’ve been in business for 65 years, and I’m hoping for another six decades.”Here’s what you need to know about Half Moon:The new ‘East Cove’ development encompasses just 5% of the overall property, which means its 153 rooms will remain operational.EntranceThe 57 new guestrooms and suites include Prestige Ocean Rooms (contemporary rooms with private patio or balcony), Estate Ocean Rooms (the resort’s largest standard rooms with private outdoor living spaces), Estate Ocean Suites (situated in private Estate Houses and featuring suite-connecting capabilities for up to four bedrooms), and a Great House Ocean Suite (the resort’s signature and largest suite).Guest AccommodationsTwo new dining venues will debut in November: a three-meal restaurant that will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a fresh seafood restaurantBuffet RestaurantHalf Moon is an EP hotel (not all-inclusive) because “we believe you have to get out, meet the people and see Jamaica,” said Steuart.Half Moon opened in 1954 with 17 whitewashed cottages and 30 beachfront rooms. Ten of those original cottages remain today as the West Cottages, hosting such esteemed guests as HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and U.S. President John F. Kennedy over the years.The resort has the largest collection of Michael Lester paintings in the world. Born in Poland in 1906, the acclaimed artist moved to Montego Bay in 1953.Activities run the gamut at Half Moon, from swimming with horses and water sports (scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and kayaking), to tennis (11 courts), golf (18-hole Robert Trent Jones Sr. course) and yoga/Pilates. There’s also a Spinning studio, an Equestrian Centre and the Fern Tree Spa.Lester’s Bar32% of Half Moon’s guests are repeat clients.6% of its guests come from Canada, a number Steuart wishes was higher. “With great connectivity from Canada to Jamaica, it’s very easy for Canadians to get there.”Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport is located just seven miles from Half Moon.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterFor more information, visit Tags: Half Moon, Jamaica << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, May 17, 2018 center_img Cindy Sosroutomo Posted by About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more

Totos Africa will play on loop for all of eternity in Namib

first_img NAMIB DESERT — What’s the longest a song has ever gotten stuck in your head? An hour? A day? How about infinity?Thanks to Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf, one particular song will play on endless loop “for all eternity” in the Namib desert, the oldest desert in all of Africa.Which song, you ask? None other than Toto’s classic 1980s hit, ‘Africa’, of course.The sound installation consists of six speakers attached to an MP3 player that plays ‘Africa’ – and only ‘Africa’ – on constant loop. The entire installation runs on solar batteries, and with no shortage of sunlight in the dessert, we can all rest assured that Toto will live on forever.In an interview with the BBC, Siedentopf said that he “wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit ‘Africa’ in Africa.”“Some [Namibians] love it and some say it’s probably the worst sound installation ever,” he said. “I think that’s a great compliment.” Wednesday, January 16, 2019 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img Toto’s ‘Africa’ will play on loop for all of eternity in Namib desert Posted by Tags: Africa, Funny, Musiclast_img read more

Avalon welcomes Canadian songbird onboard Blue Danube cruise

first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Avalon Waterways, Blue Danube Discovery << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, July 3, 2019 center_img Avalon welcomes Canadian songbird onboard Blue Danube cruise Posted by TORONTO — Passengers onboard Avalon Waterway’s recent Blue Danube Discovery cruise found themselves onboard with a Canadian musical icon.Jann Arden, award-winning musician, entertainer and author, escorted the June 16 departure that sailed from Budapest to Prague. As a treat for the 160 passengers onboard, Arden also performed with her band and hosted a signing of her new book, ‘Feeding My Mother’.In addition, passengers were treated to a private concert by the local men’s choir in Regensberg, Germany, who performed their own version of Arden’s hit ‘Good Mother’.“It was great fun to travel with Jann again,” said Kim Clarke, Canadian director of sales for the Globus family of brands, Avalon’s parent company. “She is so approachable and funny and our guests loved having the chance to chat with her one-on-one, and of course get photos!”Arden has a special connection to Avalon – she served as Godmother of the Avalon Tranquility II in 2015 and escorted another cruise in 2017. The next Jann Arden Cruise with Avalon is set to depart in 2021.last_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) on Thursday opened a new Costa Rica Delivery Center in the province of Heredia, north of the capital.The company announced it will invest $300 million over the next 10 years and intends to employ up to 1,000 people by 2014, affirming the country’s position as a strategic services hub for the technology giant.The new facility will support clients in the areas of IT security, data storage, business analytics, cloud computing and other services in demand. Additionally, the center will provide technology capabilities that can anticipate and help prevent fraud and IT hacking.“With IBM’s state-of-the-art facilities, thousands of Costa Ricans will be able to showcase their talent, pushing Costa Rica further down the path of innovation, knowledge and technology; a path that we have bravely undertaken with courage and commitment, but most of all, with great confidence in the talent of our people,” President Laura Chinchilla said during an opening ceremony held at the America Free Zone. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. Official figures released Wednesday by the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) say the fallen bridge on the General Cañas Highway mean daily losses of $1.5 million for the country.That amount is determined by taking into account losses by the government, private businesses and citizens.Experts from the University of Costa Rica’s Structural Materials and Models National Laboratory held MOPT responsible for the collapsed Bailey bridge, saying those types of bridges “are a temporary solution for two months maximum, and this one has been functioning for four.”Also on Wednesday, Communications Minister Francisco Chacón announced a series of measures such as the suspension Friday and Monday of school classes in several cantons in the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia and San José. Chacón said repairs would be carried out 24 hours a day to re-establish transit through the area by next Tuesday.To help with traffic congestion, Traffic police assigned 150 officers to the highway and on alternate routes. The measures were outlined during a meeting with President Laura Chinchilla.Schools that will suspend classes on Friday and Monday include:In San José Central Canton: Merced, Catedral, Hospital, Carmen, Uruca, Pavas and Mata Redonda districts.Elsewhere in San José: cantons of Escazú, Santa Ana and Tibás.In Alajuela: central canton.In Heredia: central canton, Santo Domingo, San Pablo and Belén. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tourism officials approve first licenses for use of country brand Essential Costa

first_imgThe Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) on Thursday confirmed approval of the first applications for the use by tourism businesses of the country’s brand, “Essential Costa Rica,” in advertising, corporate communications and promotional events.The first group of 17 companies includes hotels, car rental agencies, travel agencies and tours operators who now are authorized to use the brand’s graphic elements to promote businesses, both in Costa Rica and abroad.“We are confident that a well-positioned and managed country brand will help promote economic and social growth of the tourism industry,” ICT’s Marketing Director Alejandro Castro said.The companies obtained the licenses by complying with requirements in a process that began on April 21, following approval of regulations for the brand use. The country brand concept was presented by tourism officials last September.A license authorizes use of the country brand on websites, email signatures, printed stationary, offices, vehicles and mass advertising in printed media, radio and TV.Business owners interested in applying for a license can download an application form and licensing regulations at the ICT’s website. Documents are available in Spanish only, but bilingual staff is available at the ICT.For more information, contact ICT’s Marketing Department at: (506)2299-5800 ext. 5746 or 5771 or by email: Facebook Comments Related posts:Tourism sector extends ad buy during World Cup quarterfinals Costa Rica to cash in on 2014 World Cup with TV, print publicity around the world Upbeat outlook for Costa Rica tourism, as visitors, revenue up in 2014 Costa Rican sloths promote tourism at Los Angeles buildinglast_img read more

Privatesector employers offer 094 percent wage increase for second half of 2015

first_imgBusiness leaders on Monday filed two salary increase proposals for private-sector employees for the second half of this year. Employers submitted to theLabor Ministry’s National Wages Council a 0.94 percent increase proposal, which is lower than figures requested by unions last week. Union leaders on June 1 submitted proposals ranging from 1.46 to 5 percent.Luis Mesalles, director of the Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations (UCCAEP), said the employer proposal is based on projected inflation for the second half of this year plus a compensation for variations registered in inflation during the same period in 2014.“Increases in unemployment rates and the low level of economic activity in recent months prompted us to avoid measures that could result in greater job loss,” Mesalles said.The National Agriculture and Agro-Industry Chamber submitted a second proposal asking for the suspension of all increases for the next six months, as a result “of the tragic situation” the sector is facing.Temporary Labor Minister Alfredo Hasbum on June 10 will present the government’s proposal, and then representatives from the three sectors will vote on a final figure that will take effect on July 1.The Wages Council last year approved a 2.01 percent increase that applied for the nearly one million private-sector workers, and a 2.5 percent increase for domestic workers. Facebook Comments Related posts:Salary increase for private sector set at 2.01 percent New wages for private-sector workers take effect this month Government, private-sector unions negotiate wage hikes for second half of 2015 0.5% pay increase approved for minimum-wage workers in private sectorlast_img read more

Lawyer for Mexicos mostwanted man El Chapo doesnt know where client is

first_imgEl Chapo: Hollywood material? Badillo, who insisted he had no advance knowledge of the escape nor any contact with Guzmán afterward, has not stopped defending his client just because he’s on the lam. He has filed two judicial requests, known as amparos, arguing that the state should stop hunting Guzmán. He believes that belligerent language coming from authorities in Mexico and the United States — phrases like “we’re going to find him and take him off the streets” — sound like death threats, and he wants the authorities to protect his client.Badillo also claims that a group of Colombian soldiers “armed to the teeth” have come to Mexico and are now trying to assassinate his client.“This is a critical moment for him,” Badillo said. “He’s living under the sword of Damocles.”Even if the government doesn’t accept Badillo’s arguments, he hopes people could just relax a little bit about ol’ Chapo. He’s a living legend, give the guy some peace.“It was a clean escape. There wasn’t any violence. There wasn’t harm to third parties. Perhaps a bit of damage to the bathroom floor. But a plumber could easily fix that,” Badillo said.“What if this had happened in the U.S.?” he asked. “In New York, Chicago, Alcatraz, Washington? It would be on the big screen in Hollywood. It already would have raked in a billion dollars in the first weekend. With Tom Cruise. ‘Mission Impossible’ number six or eight, who knows? So why is it such a big scandal here? It doesn’t make sense.”See also: Undermining Mexico: How ‘El Chapo’ built a criminal empire, and escaped prison, by digging deep A DEA wanted poster distributed in Mexico by the U.S. Embassy announcing an active free phone for information on Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and a $5 million reward. AFP/DEA/HOFor all his lawyer’s high praise, Guzmán has established himself as one of the most terrifying drug lords in the world. He leads the Sinaloa Cartel, the dominant narcotics smuggling organization in Mexico, responsible for bringing more heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States than any other group. His cartel has also waged deadly battles with other gangs for supremacy across Mexico.Badillo is not the only attorney for Guzmán. He said there were four or five others, but he didn’t know how to reach them. Apart from sharing the message that he thinks Guzmán is in danger, he didn’t want to discuss much about the fugitive’s career or his own. When I asked whether Badillo had represented other drug lords, he would only say, “I have had some relevant cases.”After lunch, a customer at another table came over and greeted Badillo warmly. As we were leaving, I figured I might as well ask whether the lawyer knew where Guzmán was now. He said he didn’t.“Some things are better not to know.”Recommended: After 23 years in prison, top assassin for Pablo Escobar is a ‘reformed’ man© 2015, The Washington Post  Facebook Comments ‘Mercenarios extranjeros’ que buscaban asesinar a ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán: Juan Pablo Badillo…— Periódico Expreso (@Expresoweb) August 13, 2015 Related posts:Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán tunnels out of maximum security prison Undermining Mexico: How ‘El Chapo’ built a criminal empire, and escaped prison, by digging deep Did Delta Force help capture El Chapo? US role yet to be detailed Mexico drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán back in jail, betrayed by biopic bidcenter_img MEXICO CITY — Lawyer Juan Pablo Badillo, a silver-haired gentleman of 74, has only superlatives for his most famous client.He’s a man of “exceeding intelligence” and the “greatest fortitude” who treats others with the “utmost respect.” In their meetings inside Mexico’s highest-security prison, Badillo said, he felt he was talking to a kindred spirit: “He knows laws, he knows the constitution, and obviously the penal code.”This type of flattery might be a prerequisite for representing Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, one of the world’s most notorious drug dealers, who tunneled out of prison in July. Another requirement is apparently discretion, and Badillo, lunching on breaded veal at the swanky Balmoral restaurant in the capital’s Hotel Presidente Intercontinental the other day, has many things he would not care to share.“I don’t want to venture into that terrain.”“Those things are in the past.”“I have a bad memory.”“I forget.”What Badillo can recall is that he grew up in the northern city of Durango, graduated from University of Juárez law school and began practicing in 1970, focusing on criminal law. He said he met Guzmán in 1993 when the drug lord was held in another Mexican prison, Puente Grande, from which he escaped in 2001, reportedly in a laundry cart. In those days, Badillo said, he would meet Guzmán two or three times a week, and got to know him well. So he was recruited to serve on Guzmán’s legal team when the trafficker was arrested last year in a commando raid in Mazatlán.“It was a professional challenge,” Badillo said.Badillo said he only met Guzmán six times during his recent yearlong stint at the Altiplano prison and their videotaped discussions focused on his legal defense. The U.S. government had requested Guzmán’s extradition — something Mexican authorities declined — and that possibility worried Guzmán above all else, Badillo said. When talk reached the drug lord that he might be extradited after all, he fled through a hole cut into his prison shower stall and then escaped through a mile-long tunnel. He has not been heard from since.“He was concerned and motivated [to escape] precisely by these rumors that his extradition was imminent,” Badillo said. “He was anticipating that they would kill him.”See also: Is ‘El Chapo’ in Costa Rica? Probably not, but he wouldn’t be the first kingpin to flee herelast_img read more

WATCH Noe Mar McGonagle rides near perfect wave to advance at surf

first_imgCosta Rican surfer Noe Mar McGonagle impressed judges Wednesday with a pair of stellar rides, including a near-perfect backhand run at the Allianz Billabong Pro Cascais surf comp in Portugal. After scoring a 7.17 on an initial ride, McGonagle came back to land a 9.27 (out of 10) that catapulted him to a Heat 17 win and a spot in the second round of competition,which will resume Thursday. Related posts:Costa Rica surf squad will bring out its brightest stars for World Surfing Games World Surfing Games in Jacó: 5 things to know about attending New generation of Costa Rican surfers puts sport in the spotlight Costa Rica’s Esterillos Este kicks off World Surf League event McGonagle has dropped in the rankings in recent months and now sits at 33rd in the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series standings after having collected $19,200 in winnings. The 19-year-old rider from Pavones will have his hands full in the next round, as he goes up against three highly-qualified surfers, including Brazilian Caio Ibelli, who currently ranks as the fifth best surfer in the qualifying series.Fellow Tico surfer Carlos “Cali” Muñoz was bounced from the first round of the tournament just a week after making it deep into the SATA Azores Pro competition at the Azores islands in Portugal. That previous performance shot Muñoz all the way up to 16th in the qualifying series rankings. In order to advance into the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, qualifiers need to rank in the top 10 by season’s end.If Muñoz climbs into one of those top spots by the 2015 season’s last day on Dec. 6, he would be the first surfer from Spanish-speaking Latin America to be included in the championship tour. The tour features the sport’s biggest stars, including Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

This strange little sea snail uses water wings to fly

first_imgIs it a butterfly? A bee? An alien? Nope! It’s a sea snail. A sea snail. From the sea.This aptly-named Arctic “sea butterfly” (Limacina helicina) is the subject of a new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. It turns out that its way of swimming doesn’t just look like flying — the mysterious creature really does use the same biomechanics as animals that fly through the air.“In a remarkable example of convergent evolution, we show that the sea butterfly Limacina helicina ‘flies’ underwater in the same way that very small insects fly in the air,” the authors write in the study. Convergent evolution is when the same trait evolves more than once in unrelated organisms.“Both sea butterflies and flying insects stroke their wings in a characteristic figure-of-eight pattern to produce lift, and both generate extra lift by peeling their wings apart at the beginning of the power stroke,” the study states. Gelatinous save for their shells, helicina snails sprout their “wings” where most snails grow feet. Most other zooplankton drag themselves through the water using a paddling technique. But the 3 millimeter-long helicina manages an “insect-like figure-of-eight wing stroke.” The mechanics of its “flight” are quite similar to that seen in a fruit fly.To analyze their swimming patterns, the researchers used a complex system of 3-D cameras, lasers and light-reflecting particles to trace the flow of water as the creatures moved.“The more we looked into it, the more we found that the sea butterfly is an honorary insect,” study co-author David Murphy of the Georgia Institute of Technology told Live Science.The snails even use a common insect trick to get extra lift: It’s a maneuver called the “clap and fling,” where a creature slaps its wings together at the end of a stroke, then snaps them back apart.“This sucks fluid into that V-shaped gap as the wings open up, and creates tiny vortices at the tips of each of the wings. Those vortices are useful in generating extra lift,” Murphy told the BBC.Understanding the biomechanics of this little snail could help engineers design some nifty sea-faring robots, and it could also help with ecological studies: Zooplankton like helicina move upwards to the surface of the ocean each night to eat (and avoid being eaten), and this mass migration of tiny organisms is one of the biggest biomass movements on the planet.But even ignoring any potential practical applications, the findings are pretty cool: This little sea creature manage to evolve the same flight patterns as a fruit fly while living underwater. It just goes to show you that when something works once, evolution is bound to churn it out again somewhere else.© 2016, The Washington Post Related posts:Warming oceans are turning sea stars to goo and killing lobsters, scientists say Costa Rica says it will support new shark protections despite agreements with fishermen Tire mosquito trap could boost Zika control Costa Rica to host third International Sustainable Building Congresscenter_img Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Leilani McGonagle wins bronze medal at World Surfing Games

first_imgMen’s roundJair Perez recorded the second-best wave and second-highest combination of the day at 15.26 (8.93 + 6.33).Costa Rican champion Anthony Fillingim topped surfers from Germany, Switzerland and Wales and won his heat. He ended the day with the sixth-highest score.Jason Torres y Leonardo Calvo will compete on Tuesday for a chance in the next round.Results so far allowed Team Costa Rica to end the third day in fifth place at the World Games, an event that brings together surfers from 47 countries.The Ticos placed fifth at last year’s games, which Costa Rica hosted in the Central Pacific town of Jacó. Facebook Comments Bronce#ISAWSG @ISAsurfing— Leilani McGonagle (@LeilaniMcGonagl) May 22, 2017 Costa Rican surfing star Leilani McGonagle gave the country its first medal at the 2017ISA World Surfing Games, in Biarritz, France on Monday.The Pavones surfer won a bronze medal and scored a 8.4, despite facing problems with the lack of good waves. Two local surfers, Johanne Defay and Pauline Ado, took the top two spots.“I wanted to do my best for my country. [The bronze] is not exactly what I wanted. I wanted the gold for the team, but it wasn’t possible this time,” she said in a statement from the Costa Rica Surf Federation.The medal is McGonagle’s fifth at a World Surfing competition.The other Tica surfer, Emilie Gussoni, also had a good performance and ranked in the top 25 among 96 surfers.center_img Related posts:Costa Rica’s national team departs for World Surfing Games in France Team Costa Rica shines on first day of 2016 World Surfing Games Noe Mar McGonagle wins bronze, Team Costa Rica finishes fifth at ISA World Surfing Games Winners crowned in Costa Rica’s 2016 National Surf Circuitlast_img read more

Social Security System launches antiinfluenza vaccination campaign

first_imgRelated posts:Mandatory prices for medical procedures rankle public, politicians Number of obese Ticos has almost quadrupled in four decades Costa Rica reports lower cancer mortality rates Caja to stop printing social security slips starting next year Costa Rica’s Social Security System, orCaja, launched a vaccination campaign this week to inoculate 1.3 million people against seasonal influenza.The campaign will run until July 14 and aims primarily at vaccinating people from high-risk groups against the virus. That includes pregnant women, children between six months and five years, and people over 60.Caja officials also recommend applying the vaccine to people ages 5-70 with chronic health conditions, including chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, heart disease, congenital or acquired immunosuppression, hemoglobinopathies, cirrhosis, malnutrition, Down syndrome, neurological problems or infantile cerebral palsy.Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the Caja’s Immunization Program, said in a news release that this year the institution expanded the segment of the population to be vaccinated, raising the upper limit on children from three to five years of age.“This campaign required the acquisition of 100,000 doses more than last year, representing a total investment of $5 million for the Caja,” Abarca said.Side effects of the vaccine are minimal and occur in under one percent of those immunized. The vaccine can be applied together with other medical treatments and is free at Caja’s medical centers, the agency noted.Influenza spikesSeasonal influenza is a contagious acute respiratory disease caused by a virus. It can occur in mild or severe forms, and can even cause death.Abarca said 93 percent of the 130 people who died from influenza last year in Costa Rica were not vaccinated, despite the possibility of receiving the vaccine for free at a Caja hospital because they all belonged to at-risk groups.Because of the seasonal pattern of the influenza virus, Caja officials expect cases to peak at different times within a year.“We usually have a peak in May and another between July-August, and in the past three years we saw another peak in the last months of each year,” Abarca said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica dreamin

first_img Facebook Comments Alert declared once more for Pacific slope due to heavy rains A sunny image of Bahía Ballena on this rainy afternoon. Our thoughts are with the families in this Southern Zone community and around the country who are still reacting to Tropical Storm Nate as well as the heavy rains forecast for today and tomorrow.Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to We’d love to see the sights with you.center_img Related posts:Name that beach To the streets we go, bearing lanterns Just another manic Monday… Halloween, Costa Rica-stylelast_img read more

Bribri Springs Brewery Bending the craft beer rules in Puerto Viejo

first_imgJason Tayler “JT” Ficociello is a happy craft beer brewer.The U.S. expat lives in Puerto Viejo and gets to do what he loves ever since he was a 14-year-old teenager in Vermont. Back then he only brewed small batches with the help of his trusty copy of Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Home Brewing.“In the States you need to be 21 years old to drink but you don’t need to be that age to buy malted barley, hops, yeast and then mix it together with water and ferment it,” he said cheekily while sitting at his hotel, Kaya’s Place, just across from Puerto Viejo beach.Now he brews a lot more beer.His other business, Bribri Springs Brewery, started back in 2012 and, now, its craft beers are poured straight from kegs at Kaya’s bar or from his own carefully chilled bottles.The Tico Times team stayed at Kaya’s Place a few days back in December.JT had just arrived from a stay in Vermont where he visited his parents and his son, Luke.While he was there, three of his brewed drinks fermented in the Caribbean, waiting for a professional tasting. There was a specialty cider; a “Basi” that’s fermented with sugarcane and spices; and the “Ursa Major”, a mouthwatering “ras” imperial stout. It was JT’s favorite and, for what is worth, mine too.JT served us a tasting round with around three or four gulps in tulip-shaped glasses so we could get a “full bang of the aroma” in our noses. JT inspecting one of his beers. (Alexander Villegas / The Tico Times)The aroma is rich and deep, a product of JT’s meticulous attention to every detail, even the water. Bribri Springs gets its namesake from its farm in Bribri and the source of its beer’s main ingredient.“The water is everything in beer. That [spring] water is awesome,” assures JT.JT’s brewery is still the only craft beer business in the Caribbean. Every beer-loving visitor knows about it — I know because a lot of them told me to try the Aurora Borealis, which is a fruity beer. The version I drank was infused with watermelon, but I wasn’t a fan.Everything else was amazing. Before the tasting, I took a shot of the Sun Down Brown and thought it was great. It was flavorful and full of malt. It’s exactly why I love dark beers like brown ales, stouts and porters.The main reason I thought it was so good was that I hadn’t tried the Ursa Major, which is awesome and perfect. It was the last beer we tasted because JT made sure we drank the Basi when it was cold and the cider when it was even colder. But he let his Imperial Stout get warmer. The Ursa Major, an imperial stout by BriBri Springs Brewery (Alexander Villegas / The Tico Times)“Creamy. It’s good,” he said as he watched the dark liquid stick to the glass, almost like a foamy custard. “I’m very happy with that: it’s creamy, the bubbles are the right size.”He said it tasted like chocolate, I agreed.“It’s the grains,” JT said.I could tell you a lot of good things of the cider and the Basi too. They were both light and fizzy, perfect for a sunny day in Puerto Viejo. The Basi is an unclassifiable 18 percent alcohol drink that mixes both fruits and spices but tastes “wild and crazy, kinda like me,” as JT says. “[The Basi is] wild and crazy, kinda like me,” JT said. (Alexander Villegas / The Tico Times)But nothing I write about those two is nicer than telling you that the Ursa Major has earned the right to not get any other kind of comment on this article. Awesome and perfect, that’s it.It’s virtually impossible to drink Bribri Springs outside Talamanca: you either buy it there or wait until JT visits one of Treintaycinco’s craft beer celebrations. He’s usually at the monthly Salón Comunal or the recently Cerveza Indie Fest that is organized by the Asociación de Cerveceros Artesanales.“In this world of Imperial, everybody who drinks craft is an ally,” JT says.So be an ally, grab your car or take a bus and head to the beach. Make the most of your Puerto Viejo trip and drink a glass of craft beer at Kaya’s because it’s the only place on Earth you will ever taste it.Kaya’s place hosted The Tico Times during the December Deep Dive.This article was corrected at 3:20 p.m on Feb. 4, 2019. The original article named Justin Tayler Ficociello as the owner of BriBri Springs Brewery. His name is Jason Tayler Ficociello.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Rough edges and rich culture: Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive Perro Vida celebrates first year of craft brewing Off the eaten path: Lidia’s Place Puerto Viejo Deep Dive: Surfing the Caribbean’s gnarly waveslast_img read more

first_imgAssociated PressKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – An aide to Britain’s Prince William says the palace will investigate a French magazine’s claim of having topless photographs of his wife, Kate.The couple’s tour of the Far East and South Pacific to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee was marred by Closer magazine’s announcement Thursday that it will publish topless photos of Kate. The magazine claims the pictures were taken on a guesthouse terrace in France where William and Kate were on vacation this month. Four benefits of having a wireless security system 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day A royal aide told The Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur on Friday that William and Kate “are saddened to learn about the alleged photos.”He added that “once we investigate the authenticity of the photos, we will make our decision about what to do.” He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The prosecution said intercepted phone and Internet conversations show Sharif helped jihadists contact members of a terror network as they made their way from Tunisia to Iraq to make the attack.Justice Adam Germain of Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench said the recorded phone calls and emails went far beyond religious enthusiasm.The case will go to Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson for a final decision on whether the 40-year-old will be sent to New York to face trial.Sharif’s lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, said they will appeal the judge’s ruling.Sharif never left Canada as part of the alleged conspiracy. He was born in Iraq but moved to Toronto as a refugee in 1993 and became a Canadian citizen. He has also gone by other names, including Faruq Muhammad’Isa.His lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, argued in final submissions this week that the prosecution provided no clear evidence that Sharif helped support a terrorist group.Aloneissi said Sharif’s right to legal advice was violated when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials interrogated him immediately following his Jan. 19, 2011, arrest at an Edmonton apartment.A U.S. Department of Justice investigator interviewed him with an FBI agent and a RCMP corporal present, the extradition request said. The interview “was conducted in compliance with United States law,” with Muhammad `Isa signing a waiver before voluntarily answering questions, it said. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix During the interview, Muhammad `Isa admitted he corresponded by email from Canada with two of the terrorists while they were in Syria, and knew that they were on a mission to kill Americans, the paperwork says. The documents allege he corresponded with “facilitators” who were trying to get the attackers into Iraq, and wired one of them $700.The judge pointed out this week that the standard of evidence required to extradite someone is much lower than is required for use in a criminal trial.On Monday, Germain ruled that videotaped statements that Sharif made to police during his interrogation would be admitted as evidence.If convicted of terrorism charges in the United States, Sharif could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – A judge ruled Friday there is enough evidence to extradite a Canadian man to the United States to face charges that he helped coordinate Tunisian jihadists believed responsible for separate suicide attacks in Iraq in 2009 that killed five American soldiers outside a U.S. base and seven people at an Iraqi police complex.Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, who holds dual Canadian/Iraqi citizenship, was arrested in 2011 on a U.S. warrant and has been fighting extradition to New York. Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img

first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation June 2, 2012 _ Mubarak, now 84, is found guilty of failing to stop the killings and sentenced to life in prison. He is ferried by helicopter to Tora prison in Cairo. He does not spend time in a prison cell and is kept in the prison hospital, which was upgraded to accommodate his health conditions.January 2013 _ Investigators interrogate Mubarak over gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars he allegedly received from the country’s flagship state-owned newspaper as a show of loyalty while he was in power.Jan. 13 _ Appeals court overturns Mubarak’s life sentence in protester killings as the presiding judge says the prosecution’s case lacked concrete evidence and failed to prove the protesters were killed by the police.Jan. 16 _ Mubarak and his family agree to pay back 18 million Egyptian pounds ($3 million) for gifts they received from the state newspaper Al-Ahram.April _ A new investigation begins into accusations Mubarak and his family embezzled state funds designated for the maintenance and upkeep of presidential palaces.April 13 _ Mubarak’s retrial for alleged complicity in the killing of protesters begins. The judge recuses himself and does not specify the reasons behind his decision. A new judge takes over and the trial resumes a month later. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, wearing a white shirt and loafers while flashing a smile, was released from prison Thursday and transported to a military hospital in a Cairo suburb where he will be held under house arrest.Here are some key events in the rule, downfall and criminal trial of the former Egyptian president:May 4, 1928 _ Mubarak is born in Kafr El-Meselha in the Nile Delta province of Monofiya. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 2010 _ Parliamentary elections are widely deplored as rigged. The Muslim Brotherhood, which had dozens of its members in parliament as independents, responds by withdrawing its candidates from a second round of voting.Jan. 25, 2011 _ Thousands of anti-government protesters clash with police in Cairo during a Tunisia-inspired demonstration to demand the president’s ouster. The day marked the start of Arab Spring in Egypt.Feb. 11 _ After 18 days of massive protests against his rule, Mubarak is forced to resign. A council of military generals takes over Egypt’s government. Mubarak is airlifted out of Cairo and stays in his private villa in the Red Sea town of Sharm el-Sheikh. He is later questioned for the first time by prosecutors.April 13 _ Authorities detain Mubarak for investigation of corruption, abuse of power and killings of hundreds of protesters. He later is ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and conspiracy in the deadly shooting of nearly 900 protesters.Aug. 3 _ Mubarak’s trial opens in Cairo. From a gurney in the defendant’s cage, Mubarak denies all charges against him. Millions across the Middle East watch, transfixed by the sight of the former strongman behind prison cage bars. He becomes the first and only Arab leader to face trial by his own people. Aug. 19 _ A criminal court orders Mubarak’s release pending trial in the case regarding the misuse of funds for presidential palaces. The case involves his two sons who were ordered kept in custody. He has already previously been ordered released pending his retrial in the killings of protesters. A petition by his lawyer requesting his release in a third case for gifts from the state newspaper is under review.Aug. 21 _ A court orders Mubarak’s release pending the trial of gifts from the newspaper.Aug. 22 _Mubarak, wearing a white shirt and loafers while flashing a smile, leaves prison for a military hospital in a Cairo suburb where he is to be held under house arrest.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies March 13, 1950 _ Mubarak graduates from air academy as a pilot and an officer.April 1975 _ Mubarak becomes vice president of Egypt, serving under President Anwar Sadat.Oct. 14, 1981 _ Mubarak takes office after militants assassinate Sadat during a military parade. Mubarak, Sadat’s vice president, escaped with a minor hand injury. His security forces are empowered by new emergency laws giving police broad powers of arrest and go after Islamists. He also promises Egypt will stick to its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.1992 _ Militants launch an uprising aimed at overthrowing Mubarak’s government and setting up an Islamic state. Gunmen attack police, assassinate politicians and target foreign tourists, a key source of revenue.June 1995 _ Militants attempt to assassinate Mubarak as he visits Ethiopia.1997 _ Mubarak crushes the militant movement through the arrests of thousands as police are accused of torture.2008 _ Riots erupt over soaring bread prices amid grain shortages. Mubarak responds by firing up military ovens to help quell discontent.2005 _ Mubarak allows the first ever multi-candidate presidential election, which he won easily over 10 other candidates amid charges of voter fraud and intimidation.last_img read more

Family feud rocks top of Frances farright National Front

first_img Sponsored Stories PARIS (AP) — Little by little, the president of France’s far-right National Front and top lieutenants have tried to silence the party founder, pushing him from the inner circle, refusing to back him in elections and now, in the culmination of an ugly political dispute that began as a family feud, suspending his membership.But the 86-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, a disruptive force in French politics for decades, is refusing to disappear. He said Tuesday he is ashamed his daughter, party chief Marine Le Pen, bears his name. Comments   Share   Still, Marine Le Pen rails against the “Islamization” of France and echoes other themes dear to her father.“This signals a change of generations,” far-right expert Jean-Yves Camus said in a telephone interview. “The basic program remains absolutely identical to what it always was.”Another expert, Sylvain Crepon, said that despite the vitriol, it is unlikely the party would suffer long-term from the dispute. But mainstream politicians have pointed to it as a reflection of the party’s inability to lead.“If the FN (National Front) is incapable of resolving its family affairs, how can it run a state?” said conservative lawmaker Luc Chatel to the daily Le Figaro.Jean-Marie Le Pen, the last French politician of his generation still active, could lose his cherished title of honorary of president for life, conferred at a 2010 party congress in which he anointed his daughter as his successor. Within three months, the party will sound out its members on stripping it from him. Le Pen cannot be removed from his seat in the European Parliament.Last month, he was pressed into giving up his plans to run in regional elections in December in southern France, where he is a popular figure. His 25-year-old granddaughter, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, one of two party lawmakers who sides with the elder Le Pen’s conservative stance, stepped in to replace him. But in a measure of the turmoil, she said on Tuesday that she had done so as a peacemaker and now was reconsidering her candidacy. Jean-Marie le Pen, former head of far-right party National Front, leaves the party headquarters in Nanterre, outside Paris, France, Monday, May 4, 2015. Jean-Marie Le Pen goes before a party disciplinary board over anti-Semitic remarks, in what could be the culmination of a high-stakes family feud. Rising stars within the party — especially his daughter, the current party leader — want to shut him up. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “I don’t want to be taken hostage by Jean-Marie Le Pen,” she said.There is no measure to exclude Le Pen forever from the party, which some suggest would be unthinkable. Two experts said his ultimate weapon in his fight for political survival may be the secrets he holds.Crepon said that “embarrassing revelations” as well as his financial might — he has an association that helps finance the party — could become defensive weapons.Camus concurred.“In 40 years, he has accumulated lots of information about people … what everybody does, all the secrets, all the betrayals,” Camus said. “If Jean-Marie Le Pen is forced to go the length to defend himself, I think he has some tricks up his sleeve.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober “Get married. That would allow you to change your name. It would ease my conscience,” was his message to his daughter 12 hours after the party’s executive bureau suspended him for repeating anti-Semitic comments for which he was once convicted.The very public father-daughter dispute has escalated into a political drama that reflects a new era for the National Front, which sees itself as France’s leading party, and the slow demise of the man who created it and grew it into a feared political force and kingmaker in French elections.The anti-immigration National Front, co-founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1972 under the banner “French first,” has been setting the political tone for decades, forcing the themes of security and immigration onto the agendas of mainstream political leaders. Le Pen reached the final round in 2002 presidential elections, shocking the world.Now, daughter Marine Le Pen wants to win in 2017. She is modernizing the party, pushing out old guard followers of her father and banning any reference to anti-Semitism.The latest flap came after Jean-Marie Le Pen repeated that the Nazi gas chambers were a “detail” in the history of World War II, and praised Philippe Petain, head of France’s Vichy government, which collaborated with the Nazis.last_img read more

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “It’s a very good way of increasing the morale of our army and of the populace,” lawmaker John Godson said when he returned to Warsaw after the full day of training. “It was great and I would like more training.”He was the first of nearly 50 lawmakers to sign up for the exercises.Though largely symbolic, the exercises were also practical and serious, Godson said, holding up a bandaged finger to stress his point. He said he got a splinter in his finger on an obstacle course.The lawmakers, most of whom have never served in the military, practiced shooting weapons at a firing range, throwing fake grenades, crawling across the ground and learning elements of self-defense.They wore military-issued camouflage uniforms which they now get to keep.Another lawmaker who took part, Maciej Mroczek, said he didn’t believe there will be war, but said it was important for him to test his self-defense skills and show support for the country’s military.“We want to send the message to young people that the armed forces protect us and are useful,” Mroczek saidCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Top Stories WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Dozens of Polish lawmakers traded in their suits and political bargaining for fatigues and military exercises on Tuesday, a mainly symbolic act as Poles grow nervous about the conflict next door in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement in it.The parliamentarians were answering a call from Parliament Speaker Radek Sikorski, who announced in March that the training would be held due to the “troubled times” that have come which “may require a readiness to defend the country.” 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more