Kenyan justice slapped down after gun threat

first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories In a decision that rekindled hopes that under the new constitution the rule of law can prevail in a country that has long protected the powerful, Kenya’s director of public prosecutions this week said deputy chief justice Nancy Baraza should be charged with assault. That announcement came a day after a tribunal investigating Baraza’s conduct recommended that the judge be removed from the bench.Baraza is appealing the tribunal’s decision with the Supreme Court.Many of Kerubo’s relatives and friends doubted that the complaint she made would amount to anything. Not in Kenya, her friends and relatives reasoned. They pressured her to drop her complaint.The credibility of the Kenyan judiciary has been in question for decades, but as part of legal reforms that saw a new constitution passed in August 2010, Kenya’s judiciary now requires that all judges be vetted. The constitution also guarantees the independence of the judiciary from executive interference. The constitution was part of a deal that brought peace to the country after intertribal fighting followed the disputed 2007 presidential election.“I am very happy because some people did not believe I was saying the truth. Now the tribunal has vindicated me for standing for the truth till the end,” Kerubo told The Associated Press. “I don’t think this would have happened a few years ago.” Maina Kiai, a Havard-educated lawyer and the U.N. special expert on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, said the recommendation of the Kenyan judicial tribunal that Baraza lose her seat shows that even people in power can be held accountable.“Now it needs to extend to the legislature and executive!” he said.Kerubo, 33, accused Baraza of threatening her with a gun on New Year’s Eve. Irungu Kang’ata, Kerubo’s lawyer, said his client had been posted at the entrance of a mall frequented by well-to-do Kenyans, diplomats and expatriates where she conducted security searches.Baraza passed by the line of people waiting to be searched and went into mall to buy medicine, Kang’ata said. Kerubo pursued her after people in the line complained. Kerubo insisted the rules on searches have to be followed, according to Kang’ata.The deputy chief judge pinched Kerubo’s nose, Kang’ata said, and later came back with a gun and threatened the guard.The seven-member tribunal, led by the former Tanzanian Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani, said it was sufficiently proven that Baraza threatened to shoot Kerubo with a pistol and that her conduct constitutes gross misconduct. The tribunal said Baraza had made outstanding contributions to the nation but that her behavior at the mall showed a lack of judicial temperament.center_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Kang’ata said the tribunal’s recommendations send the message that all Kenyans holding public office must behave with decorum and boost public confidence in the judiciary.A 2008 government report on what caused the election violence partially blamed it on a lack of trust in public institutions, including the judiciary, which was seen as lacking impartiality and integrity and hence could not resolve the election dispute. More than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 displaced after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition candidate Raila Odinga in a vote observers said was flawed.A peace deal mediated by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan made Odinga prime minister.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Rebecca Kerubo, a $6-a-day security guard at a Nairobi mall, is one of the city’s countless low-wage slum residents. So when she made a formal complaint that Kenya’s second most powerful judge threatened her with a gun at a security checkpoint, few thought the struggling mother of three stood a chance.Now it appears, though, that the justice will lose her seat on the bench. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Nigerian airline back in air after 2nd suspension

first_img Top Stories Dana Air had only been flying for three months after being grounded because of a serious air crash last year. The airline was grounded for seven months following the crash on June 3, 2012, which killed more than 160 people.The tragedy, which killed all aboard and others on the ground, brought Nigeria’s aviation industry under increased scrutiny.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – An aviation official says a Nigerian airline can resume flying, after being grounded twice in the past year.Nigerian aviation ministry spokesman Joe Obi said in a statement late Monday that aviation authorities have lifted the suspension imposed Saturday on Dana Air with immediate effect.Obi said, however, that a Dana Air plane which experienced problems over the weekend would remain grounded. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top holiday drink recipes 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   last_img read more

China criticizes US force strengthening in Asia

first_img Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   BEIJING (AP) – In its latest account of national defense efforts, China said Tuesday that the United States is destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening its military alliances and sending more ships, planes, and troops to the area.The U.S. policy known as the “pivot” to Asia runs counter to regional trends and “frequently makes the situation tenser,” the Defense Ministry said in its report on the state of China’s defense posture and armed forces. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “Certain efforts made to highlight the military agenda, enhance military deployment and also strengthen alliances are not in line with the calling of the times and are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region,” spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters at a news conference marking the report’s release.“We hope that the relevant parties would do more to enhance the mutual trust between countries in the region and contribute to peace and stability,” Yang said.China has consistently criticized Washington’s deployment of additional ships and personnel to Asia, along with increasing cooperation both with treaty partners, including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, as well other countries such as Vietnam that aren’t traditional allies.The U.S. is winding down its fighting in Afghanistan and calls the restructuring a natural reallocation of resources to the world’s most economically dynamic region.Beijing, however, sees it as specifically designed to contain China’s diplomatic, military, and economic rise, and has sought to reassure Asian nations that China poses no threat to them. Despite that, China’s fast-growing military and increasingly firm assertions of its territorial claims have concerned many countries, pushing them to seek stronger relations with the U.S., the region’s traditional military superpower.center_img Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day In its report, the Defense Ministry again sought to assuage concerns about its more than 500 percent increase in defense spending over the past 14 years. China’s defense budget is now the second largest in the world after the U.S., allowing it to acquire everything from better submarines and missiles to state-of-the-art fighters, aircraft carriers and electronic warfare systems, and helping spawn an arms race across Asia.Much of the report was devoted to the military’s contribution to U.N. peacekeeping efforts and disaster relief, portraying the People’s Liberation Army as a force for regional and global stability.Yet it also asserted the PLA’s role as a guarantor of China’s core interests, vowing to tolerate no violation of those.“‘We will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked. Following this principle, China will resolutely take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the report said.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of The pivot will see 60 percent of the Navy’s fleet be deployed to the Pacific by 2020. Singapore will be home to four new U.S. Littoral Combat Ships designed to fight close to shorelines, while Indonesia is looking to buy a broad range of American hardware and take part in joint maneuvers. The Philippines is seeking to host more U.S. troops on a rotating basis and Australia has agreed to allow up to 2,500 Marines to deploy to the northern city of Darwin.Meanwhile, in the face of natural disasters and North Korean threats, U.S. military relations with treaty partners South Korea and Japan _ which host 78,000 American troops between them _ are closer than ever. China has also been angered by what it sees as U.S. support for its opponents in disputes with Japan, the Philippines and others over territory in the East China and South China seas.“China views the U.S. actions as proving it is biased against it,” scholar Qian Liwei wrote in the official English-language China Daily on Tuesday.“It will take time and patience to convince China that it isn’t the target of the U.S.’s rebalancing,” wrote Qian, an associated research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s main intelligence agency. 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

SKorea posts fastest growth in nearly 3 years

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea recorded its fastest growth since the first quarter of 2011, its central bank said Thursday, showing a recovery in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is on track.The Bank of Korea said preliminary data showed that the economy expanded by 3.9 percent in the final quarter of 2013 over a year earlier, accelerating from the third quarter’s 3.3 percent. The growth was thanks to an increase in capital expenditure and exports. Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories From the previous quarter, the country’s gross domestic product increased 0.9 percent, slowing from the previous two quarters when it expanded 1.1 percent.For all of 2013, the economy expanded 2.8 percent, matching the bank’s forecast. Capital expenditure declined for a second straight year but investment in the construction industry turned sharply higher and private consumption showed a steady gain. Export growth slightly accelerated from the previous year.South Korea is on track to recover from 2012 when economic growth slowed to a three-year low. In 2013, the government introduced stimulus measures to boost the real estate market and an overall economic recovery.The Bank of Korea said last week that the recovery will continue to pick up this year, predicting 3.7 percent expansion for the year.There are still concerns that growth in South Korea is too reliant on big companies and is largely driven by the government spending rather than private industry.Weak domestic demand and capital spending from companies are among the challenges. South Korea’s government has made boosting private businesses and domestic consumption as its priority for this year.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

GOP leaders ready lateterm abortion bill for vote next week

first_imgGOP women and moderates had objected that requiring a report to law enforcement officials placed an unfair burden on women already staggered by the extraordinary stress of a sexual assault and resulting pregnancy. Some also said the earlier provision could make the GOP look harsh as it seeks to win support from women and younger voters for the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.The overhaul of the bill highlighted the competing political pressures that Republicans confront. They also remain eager to avoid alienating anti-abortion voters who are among the GOP’s most staunch backers.The bill would also let minors who are victims of incest have abortions if they report the attack to social service workers or law enforcement agencies. The measure was described by Republican aides and lobbyists who spoke on condition of anonymity because its details were not yet publicly released.GOP aides predicted House passage of the legislation, which would ban most abortions starting with the 20th week of pregnancy. The vote could occur on Wednesday, the second anniversary of the murder conviction of a Pennsylvania abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, in the deaths of three babies who were delivered alive and later killed with scissors. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders are planning a House vote next week on a bill banning nearly all late-term abortions after dropping a requirement for reporting rapes that sparked a January rebellion among GOP women and moderates.After working behind the scenes with anti-abortion groups and female Republican lawmakers, party leaders have readied legislation allowing rape victims to have late-term abortions if they receive counseling or medical treatment at least 48 hours before the procedure. That replaces language that only allowed abortions for rape victims who reported the assault to law enforcement authorities. Top Stories center_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories The initial objections by GOP women forced party leaders to abruptly abandon plans to debate the legislation on Jan. 22. That was the day of the annual March for Life, which brings thousands of anti-abortion protesters to the capital.Instead, the House passed legislation that day to permanently ban federal aid for most abortions. That bill represented little change from current law since Congress votes to do that every year.The fate of the late-term abortion ban remains dim. Abortion rights lawmakers in the more moderate Senate could stifle the measure by denying it the 60 votes it would need to avoid dying from procedural delays. President Barack Obama would likely veto it anyway.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Anti-abortion groups and lawmakers who worked with GOP leaders praised the legislation.Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, called the measure “a strong bill” and said GOP leaders “deserve great credit for not taking the easy route of gravely weakening the bill in order to facilitate a quick vote.”Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., the bill’s chief sponsor, said the measure “will now unite the pro-life base in a positive and effective way.”Democrats and abortion-rights groups opposed the initial bill and are likely to do the same now.The latest measure is “designed to deny America’s women access to the full range of health care services without a meaningful exception to protect women’s health,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “Republicans like to claim there’s no GOP ‘war on women,’ but actions speak louder than words.”Aides to lawmakers who opposed the bill’s original reporting requirement, including Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., who was one of the most outspoken foes, did not respond to requests for comment.But an aide to one lawmaker who had objected to the initial requirements said that lawmaker was consulted as the legislation was being changed and supports the new version. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because they lacked permission to discuss the issue with reporters on the record.last_img read more

Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri army repels but hundreds flee

first_img Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The curfew is “to protect lives and property of innocent and law-abiding people of Maiduguri,” said a statement from Col. Tukur Gusau, spokesman for the army’s 7th Division that is leading the fight against Boko Haram.A multinational force and Nigerian troops backed by bombing fighter jets and helicopter gunships drove the extremists from all towns in the northeast in a 14-week-long offensive. Nigerian officials have said they have the militants hemmed into their stronghold in the vast Sambisa Forest, which is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Maiduguri.An offensive on forest camps has freed some 700 girls and women held captive by the extremists. But it appears to be bogged down by militants’ land mines and booby traps.Maiduguri has suffered several attacks, including a March 14, 2014 assault in which Boko Haram invaded Giwa Barracks and freed hundreds of detainees. More than 600 people were killed that day, mostly unarmed detainees gunned down by Nigerian troops, according to Amnesty International.Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, used to be a city where people didn’t lock the doors to their homes. Its population of 2 million has been swelled by more than 300,000 refugees. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Many villagers were killed by shells that hit the outlying village of Kayamla, where the soldiers engaged hundreds of militants, according to Muhammad Gava, a hunter who is secretary of the self-defense Vigilante Group of Nigeria.“Many of them (Boko Haram) were killed outside the trenches while some fled back,” said another civilian fighter, Ibrahim Musa.“We were with the soldiers during the attack and I was shocked to see that Boko Haram could be in such large numbers,” Musa told The Associated Press.An army officer said three women blew themselves up as the troops moved into Kayamla, one killing three self-defense fighters and the other two suicide bombers killing only themselves. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not supposed to give information to journalists.In Maiduguri, panicking people took flight, some women hefting babies on their backs while other children clung to their skirts. An elderly woman trying to run had an asthma attack.The army imposed a 24-hour curfew amid fears some insurgents have slipped through trenches and sand walls constructed to prevent a motorized assault after a Feb. 1 offensive in which the Islamic extremists attacked Maiduguri from four fronts. Check your body, save your life More than 1.5 million people in Nigeria have been driven from their homes, some across borders, during the nearly 5-year-old Islamic insurgency. Last year was the bloodiest, with some 10,000 people killed, according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.—Faul reported from Lagos, Nigeria.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Hundreds of Boko Haram extremists tried to attack the biggest army base in northeast Nigeria overnight but met fierce resistance from soldiers who fired artillery throughout the night.Booming cannon and whooshing rockets woke up people living around Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, the northeast’s biggest city. The ground shook as people prostrated themselves for evening prayers. Hundreds fled, though some were returning home on Thursday morning. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

EU launches antitrust investigation into Amazon over ebooks

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Amazon, which is the largest distributor of e-books in Europe and owns the popular Kindle e-book device, has already faced pressure from the commission over its tax structures, specifically over whether its European operations enjoyed an unfair competitive advantage by being based in low-cost Luxembourg.Margrethe Vestager, the commission’s top official on competition policy, stressed that the investigation, which will center on the largest markets of English and German e-books, doesn’t call into question Amazon’s successful and comprehensive service.“However, it is my duty to make sure that Amazon’s arrangements with publishers are not harmful to consumers, by preventing other e-book distributors from innovating and competing effectively with Amazon,” she said. “Our investigation will show if such concerns are justified.”If the European Commission finds that Amazon’s arrangements limit competition and reduce consumer choice, then it could be violating antitrust rules in Europe that prohibit companies from abusing their dominant market position. The firm could be fined or forced to change its business practices.Amazon said it is confident that its agreements with publishers are legal and “in the best interests of readers,” and added that it will “cooperate fully during this process.” How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Top Stories LONDON (AP) — The European Union has launched an antitrust investigation into online retailer Amazon over its distribution of e-books, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.The European Commission said Thursday it will investigate certain clauses in Amazon’s contracts with publishers, including a requirement for publishers to inform the company about arrangements it has with Amazon competitors. How men can have a healthy 2019 Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Amazon faces competition from a number of distributors, including Apple’s iBooks. There are many other rival offerings too from much smaller firms including Foyles, one of Britain’s most venerable book chains.Without directly referencing Thursday’s probe, Foyles CEO Paul Currie said he supported any move “that creates a more equal business environment for all retailers of books, be it bricks and mortar or digital, is very welcome.”This isn’t the first time that the commission has investigated the e-books sector. In December 2011, it raised concerns that Apple and five international publishing houses may have colluded to limit price competition. By July 2013, those companies had offered a number of commitments to address the commission’s concerns.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Thousands at Stonehenge mark summer solstice

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies LONDON (AP) — Thousands of revelers, new-agers and self-styled Druids descended on the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge on Sunday, catching a brief glimpse of the sun as they marked the summer solstice — the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.About 23,000 sun-watchers gathered on the Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London, police said. But with the sun visible only briefly, the party was markedly shorter than in past years. Authorities reported nine arrests for drug offenses — fewer than in the past. Visitors kissed the stones, dancers swirled on the grass and drummers pounded as part of the free-form celebrations. A small group of yoga enthusiasts held a short class and couples renewed their commitments to one another.Stonehenge is an icon of Britain, and one of its most popular attractions. It was built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C. and its purpose remains under study.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories People stand on the stones as thousands of revellers gather at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England,Sunday, June 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Australian pilot arrested for indecently treating a child

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> A Western Australia pilot for V Australia has faced court this week after being arrested on Australia Day for taking photos of a small boy while he was changing clothes.As the incident took place in Brisbane’s South Bank, the man in question faced a Brisbane magistrate’s court for his offences.During his arrest the pilot had allegedly told police that he had an obsession with circumcision and had a collection of photos of boys, ABC News reported.e-Travel Blackboard understands that the pilot in question is no longer employed with V Australia.  The carrier declined to offer any further comments as the matter is currently before the courts. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

TTF Beds sleeping short in Aus cities

first_imgHotel availabilities in major Australian cities are running scarce, with capital city hotels reporting 78.5 percent occupancy rates during the June quarter. Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) figures on Capital City Accommodation found capital city hotels achieved growing occupancy levels at 80 percent and room rates rising above $168.According to the figures, revenue per available room also rose for the quarter compared to the corresponding quarter last year by up to 8.5 percent.TTF chief executive John Lee said results indicated a “need for new accommodation product in our cities”. “The current tax system does not encourage investment in both new hotel builds and refurbishments, which we think needs to be addressed,” he added.Figures showed that Sydney achieved the highest occupancy in the June quarter this year, followed by Perth. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

China allcritical to Aus McEvoy

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Despite natural disasters and the strong Aussie dollar deterring travel down under, Australia is on track to double its annual overnight tourist spending to AU$140 billion by 2020.Speaking at the Australian Tourism Directions Conference in Canberra today, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said although figures saw traditional markets weaken over the past year, growing markets in greater Asia and New Zealand have helped maintain the country’s tourism levels.With tourism growing by up to four percent over the past year, Mr McEvoy explained growing Asian markets particularly from China are “all-critical” to Australia’s tourism. “Australian tourism is strategically well placed to benefit from ‘the Asian century’, being a one stop flight within the same time-zone, but our industry must remain focused so that it is not a lost opportunity,” the tourism leader said. “That’s why we are now fast-tracking an expanded approach and targeted effort towards India.”He added that as part of their overall Plan the Group will “renew” its attention in Asia with a new campaign that aims to triple spending from India based arrivals to AU$2.3 billion by 2020 and markets from China to AU$3.6 billion.  As part of the push, Tourism Australia unveiled the next phase of its There’s Nothing Like Australia campaign, that will launch digitally in 2012, targeting high yield travellers from Asia.“The There’s nothing like Australia campaign is resonating with our audiences and gives Tourism Australia an excellent platform for taking it to a new level,” Mr McEvoy added. “This is about putting our best foot forward; raising our marketing up a few notches and really focusing on the many examples of Australia’s world’s best tourism product.”The next phase utilises the online world to showcase Australia’s “best tourism offerings”. last_img read more

Dreamliner glitch adds to Boeings nightmare

first_imgA technical malfunction saw pilots of the first 787 Dreamliner forced to manually deploy landing gear; its systems indicating the jetliner’s wheels were not properly down.Both Boeing and All Nippon Airways (recipient of the first 787 Dreamliner) are investigating the incident that saw pilots land at Okayama on their second attempt, Reuters reported.Whilst experts have claimed, “teething problems are relatively common for a new jetliner entering service”, the Dreamliner’s launch (and earlier failures to launch) has again put Boeing’s beleaguered jetliner in the headlines.Following years of delays, the first craft was delivered to ANA, when barely a week into its regular service, the glitch occurred.”This glitch shouldn’t have any impact on customer perceptions of the 787, as long as Boeing aggressively pursues its investigation and implements any needed fix,” Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia told the source.According to Reuters, ANA advised that it will limit use of the Dreamliner to domestic routes before flying it internationally. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Jetset Travelworld on target for growth

first_imgThe merger is complete and Jetset Travelworld Limited is on target to achieve growth over the year ending 30 June 2012.Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting earlier this week, Jetset Travelworld Limited chairman Tom Dery said completing the merger with the Stella Travel Services Holdings on 30 September last year has positioned the Group for achieving a positive financial performance over the coming year. High returns are expected despite natural disasters and a difficult financial year, with Mr Dery highlighting that July and August supplied “strong trading conditions”.“Synergy benefits indentified at the time of the merger continue to be realised and we remain on track to realise the full benefit of the merger cost synergies in the current financial year,” the chairman explained.“The company remains focused on productivity improvements and cost control and during October the final merger integration projects were completed.”Last year the company welcomed a six percent increase in underlying total transaction value to $5.8 billion, while its underlying revenue spiked by three percent to $382.8 million. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Australia must adjust China visa process

first_imgChina has overtaken Germany and the United States as the world’s leading travel spenders, recording US$102 billion in international travel receipts last year – an increase of more than 40 percent on 2011. In Australia, the number of Chinese visitors tripled in the last ten years, with China now accounting for 10 percent of Australia’s international tourism market. Hoteliers backed up these figures, claiming 70 percent of Chinese guests worldwide now travel independently – while in Australia the figure was even higher at 82 percent. The Asia-Pacific region recorded the largest increase in Chinese visitors, at 61 percent last year. “Governments will have to take this into account when organising their visa application infrastructure and processes,” Asia Pacific managing director Johan Svanstrom said. “Australia is facing stiff competition from other destination for visitors from China with high levels of discretionary spending which is why our current visa restrictions are one of the biggest concerns for Chinese travel companies,” Mr Munro said. Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro believes the Coalition’s proposed changes to visa access will have dramatic economic benefits for Australia’s tourism industry. “In particular, free independent travellers from China are required to complete visa documents up to 38 pages long – even for a short-stay holiday. 62 percent of Chinese travellers said they prefer to travel independently and not as part of a group. Tourism Australia recently launched its Chinese consumer website in order to cater specifically to the growing influx of Chinese visitors. Source = ETB News: P.T. “Currently, Australia welcomes more than 685,000 Chinese visitors a year (2012/13) and visa changes would enhance the chances of pushing this figure to 1 million by 2020,” Mr Munro said. “Increasingly, we are seeing travellers from China looking to create their own tailor made itineraries… which is why we developed the new website,” Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said. Australia must adjust its visa process, considering Chinese travellers are now the world’s leading spenders, preferring to travel independently, according to new research. The second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) 2013 has revealed a growing trend in independent, high spending Chinese leisure travellers. “The Coalition’s proposed scheme would see visas lodged electronically, drastically cutting the time and effort currently required for Chinese tourists who wish to visit Australia, including the extension of multiple-entry visas.” Australia needs to change visa processes in order to welcome more Chinese visitors, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia.last_img read more

American Express GBT reveal new functionality for traveller safety sol

first_imgAmerican Express GBT reveal new functionality for traveller safety solutionAmerican Express Global Business Travel (GBT) today announced new functionalities for its flagship traveller care solution EXPERT CARE. This innovative web based tracking solution locates all travellers worldwide, visualises which travellers are closest to a potential travel disruption and enables travel and risk managers to not only locate impacted travellers but also communicate with them in real-time. The GBT solution enables companies to communicate with traveller via SMS, email, or a mobile application, and prioritise aid to those travellers with the greatest need.Now, EXPERT CARE also integrates near real-time flight status and tracking information so travel managers can see flight delays and disruptions within the EXPERT CARE platform as they happen. By layering flight status and tracking information into the EXPERT CARE platform and integrating it with traveller itinerary data, travel managers now have the information at their fingertips to be truly proactive in managing disruptions.They can use EXPERT CARE to visualise all travellers on delayed or canceled flights, and communicate with impacted travellers over familiar channels with greater ease and speed than ever before.In addition, GBT has introduced an asset management feature for the product, which allows companies to quickly communicate with employees at a specific corporate location when a disruption occurs.  EXPERT CARE also incorporates American Express® Corporate Card transaction data, providing additional information to pinpoint a traveller’s location during an emergency.  The functionalities enable travel managers to be armed with the tools they need to keep employees informed, wherever they are.“As business becomes increasingly global and corporations make investments in corporate travel to drive growth, employee care continues to be a top priority for GBT customers worldwide,” said Philippe Chereque, Chief Commercial and Technology Officer, American Express Global Business Travel.  “Our aim is to provide an end-to-end solution that makes fulfilling this duty of care obligation as simple as possible – regardless of whether employees are at the airport or in the office.”GBT also announces an expanded partnership with iJET (iJET®)., a leading provider of risk management solutions. Through this partnership, GBT customers using EXPERT CARE will be able to select from of a wide range of travel risk management and response capabilities iJET offers and benefit from fully-customised and flexible solutions designed specifically to address their company’s travel patterns and ensure safety throughout every stage of the traveller’s journey.This partnership provides GBT’s and iJET’s mutual customers with greater insight, expertise and flexibility through a combined offering of the two companies’ best-in-class solutions and resources.For instance, travel managers now have access to dedicated hotline services 24/7, can take advantage of iJET’s security and medical response capabilities as unforseen events may arise, as well as benefit from iJET’s assessment evaluations and benchmarking tools to better understand situations and the risks associated with specific regions once travellers arrive back to their origins safely.“American Express Global Business Travel is a well-respected leader and driving force in the travel management community,” said Theresa Thomas, Vice President Travel Partnerships, iJET International Inc. “We share GBT’s commitment to providing customers with the expertise, insight and flexibility to enhance their travellers’ experiences. We look forward to working closely with GBT to deliver integrated travel risk management services and enable continued growth for our customers as their needs evolve.”Source = American Express Global Brisbane Travellast_img read more

Embark on a South African Adventure and Contribute with Collette

first_imgSource = Collette Embark on a South African Adventure and Contribute with ColletteEmbark on a South African Adventure and Contribute with ColletteCollette is proud to announce its new South African tour which will take place from the 2nd-9th of September 2017. With a guaranteed departure, this is a tour with a difference bringing together the highlights of South Africa and the opportunity for travellers to contribute to the local community with prices starting at $1799pp.South Africa is legendary for its breath-taking sights of exotic flora and fauna that will wow any traveller.  This special voyage will take visitors into the heart of the country and into the heart of the community.In Knysna, visitors will be able to see the indigenous gardens and undertake volunteer work through the Knysna Education trust which works with Collette to educate the children and assist the community.Guests will embrace the opportunity to volunteer for the day at a school funded by the Knysna Education Trust through a choice of optional activities. These include taking part in a reading activity, assisting with a lesson plan, helping the children with educational craft, painting a school mural, or assisting with maintenance in the gardens used by the children.One of the special experiences includes lunch amongst the ancient milkwood trees and a visit to a remote village to present villagers with Hippo Rollers on behalf of the Collette Foundation.Hippo Rollers are a device based on an ingenious design aimed at reducing suffering caused by heavy loads, making the labour- intensive task of water- gathering more efficient.  Less time spent on gathering water means that the community has more time to spend on food production and other tasks.“We are very pleased to be able to offer this tour which enables our guests to contribute to the development of the community,” said Alison Mead, Collette Australia General Manager. “The Collette Foundation has been working with this community for the past ten years and has seen the difference that this assistance has made.”Activities nearby include a picturesque lagoon cruise to Kysna Heads and a ride in a 4X4 vehicle into the thick of the forest for a walk to discover the colourful flora and fauna.In Cape Town, visitors will be able to see the spectacular coastline, as well as taking in the Dutch, French, and German heritage evident in its architecture. Following this, travellers will revel at the thrilling cable car ride to Table Mountain and appreciate the magnificent views from Cape Town, to Robben Island and Lions Head.Budding musicians can also try out their talents on the djembe drums and an African communal dinner provides another insight into the country’s cultural diversity.A visit to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa, promises to be a day to be remembered. Here visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the ostrich farm and view ostriches in their various stages of development, before ending the day with a South African favourite, the outdoor barbecue.In Stellenbosch, travellers will hear the story of the struggles experienced by the local community, and will be able to volunteer in a program that focuses on the needs of the region’s children.The day will conclude with a walking tour of this charming town steeped in history, before indulging in some of the excellent local wine accompanied by regional delicacies.At the end of the tour, travellers may wish to extend their African adventure by travelling to Kruger National Park to marvel at the sight of the majestic wildlife, or travel on to Victoria Falls.For details of the full tours or to book a trip:Contact your local travel agentCall Collette on 1300 792 195 or visit www.gocollette.comlast_img read more

Real Journeys wins Peoples Choice

first_imgReal Journeys wins “People’s Choice”Real Journeys wins “People’s Choice”Real Journeys won the People’s Choice at the Tourism Industry Awards held in Christchurch last night.This is the one award that gives customers the opportunity to vote for their favourite tourism experience from the 15 eligible Business Awards finalists that included the Haka Tourism Group, Skyline Queenstown and YHA New Zealand.Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says he is delighted the company is so popular.“A huge thanks to all our customers who took the time to vote for us, we really appreciate your support. We put the word out on social media and the response was overwhelming. A big shout out too – to our staff who work hard every day to make our experiences remarkable,” says RichardReal Journeys was also a finalist in the TIA Business Excellence and Environmental categories. Last month, Real Journeys was named the Supreme Winner and won the Tomorrow’s Workforce Award at the Diversity Awards NZ.Source = Real Journeyslast_img read more

Because Mums Deserve to travel the World

first_imgBecause Mums Deserve [to travel] the WorldBecause Mums Deserve [to travel] the WorldClub Med loves mums and make sure they do everything they can to give her the relaxing holiday she deserves. From ensuring the little ones are well looked-after in the award-winning Kids Club, to nutritional and delicious food, activities galore, open bar for added relaxation and an adults-only Zen Pool for those rare and sacred moments of tranquility.Help your clients to spoil mum this Mother’s Day with the ultimate island escape and a trip she’ll never forget. Thanks to Club Med’s limited Mother’s Day Offer, your client’s family could be swimming in the tranquil seas of the Maldives, relaxing on the magnificent beaches in Indonesia or discovering the local culture in Thailand. Go on, they deserve it!By quoting the code: MUMLOV, your client’s mums will receive an extra $200 off their trip to Club Med Bali, Kani, Bintan Island or Phuket, with a minimum 6 nights stay required. Club Med’s Mother’s Day Offer applies to bookings with a minimum of 2 people when booked between 7 – 18 May 2018 for travel until October 2018. Blackout dates apply.Making their mum’s escape truly hassle-free, Club Med’s infamous all-inclusive package includes gourmet meals and snacks with international delicacies and traditional local cuisine, an open bar, a vast selection of activities, entertainment and kids clubs, in addition to accommodation.View details of this campaign, flyer, Facebook content and terms and conditions to assist sales here: Med Mother’s Day Offer is available for:Club Med Bali, Indonesia – Prices start from $890 per mum for 6 nights.Club Med Bali is a sanctuary for families and friends on the shores of Nusa Dua, set between fields of rice paddies and temples, with masses of space to unwind. Featuring traditional Balinese must-try experiences, Club Med Bali’s cultural highlights include Bahasa language lessons, Balinese ceremonies as well as arts and crafts*. Club Med Bali now offers Bugaboo strollers within the resort as part of the all-inclusive package, making family holidays even easier for parents with young children. For guests with a passion for action, there’s surfing lessons* and white water rafting* or wind down with a walk through the resort’s botanical track. The contemporarydesign of the resort, inspired by local culture, is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body and soul.Club Med Kani, the Maldives – Prices start from $1,610 per mum for 6 nights.Club Med Kani is the ultimate endless turquoise playground in the Maldives, suitable for families looking for an indulgent escape. Enjoy unique must-try experiences of the Maldives including Kani’s new state of the art Dive Centre, coral rebuilding program allowing guests to help repair damaged reefs*, surfing*, flyboard* and more! For kids there’s the resorts new Mini Club and Junior Club. Kani brings together delicious local cuisine, colourful marine life and pristine waters in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It truly is a bucket-list destination.Club Med Bintan Island, Indonesia – Prices start from $1,140 including ferry transfer per mum for 6 nights.Club Med Bintan Island is the ultimate holistic wellness escape, a short ferry ride from Singapore. The resort offers a new fitness and yoga menu including Yoga Palapa, night trapeze and juice bar all located in the heart of a magnificent tropical park, surrounded by private white sandy beach.Club Med Phuket, Thailand – Prices start from $745 per mum for 6 nights.At Club Med Phuket, take a moment to relax at the Zen pool, or experience the heart of Thai vibrancy. Enjoy unique experiences including a Thai boxing initiation, the resort’s photo zone with a Tuktuk*, and arts and crafts including Thai umbrella painting*.Club Med Cherating Beach, Malaysia – Prices start from $820 per mum for 6 nights.Club Med Cherating Beach is a step into the wild, where you can enjoy unique resort experiences including watching the release of turtle hatchlings* into the ocean at the nearby turtle sanctuary, jungle walks and yoga with breathtaking views. Whilst there, check out the resort’s must-try experiences including the new fitness and yoga menu or amazing firefly watching at night*.For bookings and enquiries call Club Med on 1800 258 263 or visit Terms and Conditions: Offer valid for sale from 7 May – 18 May 2018 for departures 7 May – 31 October 2018 for a minimum 6 nights consecutive stay. Offer is applicable for Club Med Bali, Club Med Kani, Club Med Bintan Island, Club Med Cherating Beach and Club Med Phuket only. Discount is applied to the standard price and is valid for the first female adult (18+) on a booking. Prices advertised are based on Adults (18+) in twin share accommodation. Pricing also available for Teens (12-17) and Children (4-11). Offer is valid for new bookings by Australian residents only and is subject to availability and may change without notice. Offer subject to quota per date of departure and to removal without notice once reached. Blackout dates may apply. Not valid for Group travel or in conjunction with any other offer. For full terms and conditions, please contact Club Med.Source = Club Medlast_img read more

Sunny Augustine

first_imgIn my opinion, OTM 2016 has been really good. We are very happy with the footfall this year and the responses that we have got have been very positive. We will definitely like to continue this relationship with OTM in the future.last_img

Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair increase baggage allowance for students

first_imgCathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair have announced an additional baggage allowance for students travelling from India to Hong Kong, USA or Canada.The offer is valid for travel from May 1 to September 30, 2016 and from December 1, 2016 to January 31, next year. The benefit can be availed by students on booking a one-way or return ticket on the website or mobile app before June 30, 2016, in the eligible economy and premium economy class. An additional 10 kgs and 23 kgs of baggage allowance will also be granted while travelling to Hong Kong and USA or Canada respectively.To have access to the offer, students will need to share a copy of their university admission letter or identity card from the university, student visa copy, passport copy and the ticket copy. More details can be found on the airlines’ website or at the reservation office.last_img read more