Month: August 2019

Judicial Police detain US man for growing marijuana

first_imgJudicial Police agents on Wednesday arrested 56-year-old U.S. citizen at his home in Atenas in the province of Alajuela for possession of 35 marijuana plants.Earlier this month, agents received confidential information that the suspect was growing marijuana both in his yard and inside his home.During the operation, which took place at about noon, police found a controlled-climate room with lamps, fans, power supplies and plants.Agents also seized 500 grams of marijuana, seeds and equipment used for the production of the drug.The suspect was taken to the prosecutor’s office to be charged. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

US winding down drug war mission in Colombia

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. — The $8 billion U.S. war on drugs and instability in Colombia has pressed U.S. special operators, air crews and other personnel into a decade-plus operation to solidify security in the South American country. But the controversial mission will likely wind down soon: Colombian officials say they are winning the fight, and the two countries want to move to a new relationship based more closely on shared economic interests, said a senior U.S. administration official.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos meets this week with President Barack Obama in Washington. The U.S.’s security assistance package for Colombia “was always designed to be phased out” as conditions on the ground improved, and “in fact it has been improving” the U.S. administration official said. Ending or revising the mission would mark a significant shift in the sometimes controversial relationship between the two countries, which has centered heavily since 1999 on curbing Colombia’s cocaine production and the violent drug lords and insurgent groups funded by them.Colombia defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno compared his country’s battle to attain peace to a U.S. football game this week, saying Colombia is in the “red zone,” close to scoring a metaphorical touchdown against the violence that has plagued Colombia since the 1960s. But he warned the fight isn’t over yet.“We’re in the red zone already, but we’re not [past] the goal line yet. So, we’ve got to make it there,” he said during an appearance at the Brookings Institution, an independent think tank in Washington. “We don’t want to spike the ball on the 10-yard line. That would be a terrible mistake. We really need to keep doing what we’re doing.”If that sounds like a contradiction with the White House’s point of view, it likely all comes down to timing. U.S. Army Special Forces and other special operators are expected to continue training the Colombian security forces for the foreseeable future as part of Plan Colombia, the broad-based plan first agreed to by former President Bill Clinton. Since 2000, the U.S. has spent about $8 billion on it, according to a November 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service. That money paid for airplanes, helicopters and development programs overseen by the Statement Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development as the Colombians rooted out notorious organizations like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.The defense minister cited a variety of statistics this week while underscoring the progress in Colombia. There were about 30,000 homicides and 3,000 kidnappings there in 2000, he said, but those numbers have dropped to about 15,000 and 300 annually. At the same time, Colombia fell behind neighboring Peru as the No. 1 producer of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine. The defense minister said this week he realizes the war on drugs has its critics, but said fighting it led to a reduction in funding for violent organizations, which in turn led to a reduction in violence.U.S. special operators played no small role in that. A report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in May said elite forces from all four branches of the U.S. military have deployed to Colombia since 2000, working closely with Colombian commandos.“Aided by their U.S. counterparts, Colombian [special operations forces] have led operations that have decimated the FARC, demobilized paramilitary groups and re-established a government presence in every Colombian municipality for the first time in decades,” the report said. “… Colombia today is safer and more stable than it has been in generations.”As of 2008, the U.S. had provided the Colombian military 72 helicopters with support services done by the U.S. Army. Conventional U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units also have participated in an interdiction program in which drugs are seized on Colombia’s coastal waters and rivers.© 2013, Foreign Policy Facebook Comments Related posts:Nicaragua deports U.S. fugitive wanted for child porn U.S. tourist bleeds to death from gunshot wounds while waiting for ambulance in Costa Rica Snowden wants asylum in Brazil: report Bolivia threatens U.S. Embassy closing after Snowden searchlast_img read more

Search continues in Costa Ricas Corcovado National Park for missing US hiker

first_imgRelated posts:Final search underway for US hiker missing in Corcovado National Park Red Cross officials suspect missing hiker may be inside gold mining tunnels Costa Rican gov’t and Red Cross suspend search for US hiker believed missing in Corcovado Nat’l Park Father continues search for Alaska hiker, believed missing in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park This story is developing. If you have information on the case please contact Tico Times reporter Lindsay Fendt at the most recent news on this developing story hereSearch-and-rescue teams from the Costa Rican Red Cross continued their efforts Monday to locate a missing U.S. hiker, believed to have disappeared in the rugged Corcovado National Park in the country’s southwestern Osa Peninsula.Cody Roman Dial, a 27-year-old Alaska native, had been traveling through Mexico and Central America for the last seven months before his arrival in the Osa Peninsula. Dial had been in touch through email with his father, the well-known Alaskan adventurer Roman Dial, and last wrote on July 10 to say he planned to enter the park through an entrance near the Conte River, a region off-limits to tourists. 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial has been missing in Corcovado National Park since July 22. (Via Facebook)After interviews with area residents, Red Cross officials now believe Dial entered and exited the park several times. He was last seen on July 22 near the Río Tigre, at the park’s southeast boundary. The Río Tigre trail is off-limits to tourists, but is often used by gold miners and hunters illegally entering the park. A recent sighting has given search teams hope that Dial may still be safe inside the park.“Some of these hikes take seven days to complete,” said Carlos Rivera, a Red Cross chief of operations for the ongoing search-and-rescue mission. “It is still possible that he planned to be in the park this long and will leave on his own.”On Sunday, Costa Rica’s Aerial Vigilance Service (SVA), conducted a six-hour flyover from the Río Conte, at the park’s eastern boundary, to the Río Claro, in the south on the main trail open to hikers. The SVA saw no trace of Dial and will conduct another flyover on Monday afternoon, starting from the Río Tigre. Four ground patrols also are searching inside the park.“We have tried to plan for every likely scenario,” Rivera said. “We have people in every spot that Dial is likely to pass through, and if we find any sign that someone has camped in an area we will start concentrating our searches there.”Dial’s father — who is a National Geographic Expeditions expert — arrived in Puerto Jimenéz to assist in the search. He will join one of the patrols into the park tomorrow morning, according to Rivera.The Red Cross is asking anyone with information on Dial’s whereabouts to contact them at their office in Puerto Jiménez, at: 2735-5109. Dial — pictured above — has brown hair, is approximately 5′ 8″ and weighs approximately 140 pounds. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Happy International Sloth Day

first_imgSloths are cute, if you don’t look too closeA sloth on a tree, a moth on a sloth, sloth poop on the moth, algae on the sloth poop. Enough said.Read the full story here.San Ramón’s giant slothModern-day sloths are pipsqueaks compared to their Pleistocene Era ancestors. The Museum of San Ramón has a replica of one of the giants — based on bones found in the area.Giant sloths and their contemporaries roamed large swaths of South and Central America, and the specimen on display, at just 9 feet tall, is a shrimp. After all, it had to fit in the room. Giant ground sloths often grew up to 15 feet tall.Now how cute are they?Read the full story here. The face that launched a million T-shirts. Photo by Gerard RichardsonAmerican Apparel SlothButtercup the sloth, who lives at the Sloth Sactuary in Limón province, became a superstar earlier this year when American Apparel decided to put her likeness on a T-shirt. Given the company’s mixed reputation, some were concerned about how it would turn out. Gerald Richards, a volunteer consultant for the Sloth Sanctuary, said there was some talk about dressing Buttercup in a bikini.Whether the idea was serious or not, Richardson put the kibosh on it.“It’s really in good taste,” Richardson said of the final design. “I was very happy with it. And it’s about this wonderful place in Costa Rica.”Plus, 30 percent of proceeds from the T-shirt sales goes to the Sloth Sanctuary.Read the full story here.Sloth videosWant to hear what a baby sloth sounds like? You can do that here. (Cuteness alert!)Can sloths swim? Find out here.See also: 11 little-known sloth factsHappy Sloth Day!Put a sloth on your body! Check out all our Sloth Kong-themed gear at The Tico Times store.  Facebook Comments Related posts:PHOTOS: Every Costa Rica sloth image you will ever need to see To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ PHOTOS: Every Costa Rica sloth image you will ever need to see 11 little-known sloth facts Yes, it’s that time of year again when we take a day to appreciate — perhaps worship — the hairy, slow-moving, adorable creatures that are Costa Rica’s virtual mascots. It’s International Sloth Day! What, you say? You didn’t know?The Colombia-based conservation group Fundación AIUNAU created International Sloth Day in 2010 as a way to bring attention to the jungle-loving mammals and promote preservation of their habitat. (AIUNAU calls it “Sloth International Day” on their website but we’re pretty sure it’s a translation slip.)Since 2010, the exact calendar day upon which we celebrate the sloths has varied, and conservation groups consulted in Costa Rica weren’t sure whether this year’s celebration falls on Oct. 17 or 18.We at The Tico Times looked at it from a sloth’s point of view and thought, “Does it really matter?” No! The important thing is to pick a day and fill the Internet with sloths, sloth facts and sloth photos. So today, we’ll be doing just that, starting with a look back at our sloth coverage from over the years: A sloth wearing a daily diary climbs a tree near Cahuita in the Costa Rican Caribbean region. (Courtesy of Rebecca Cliffe)Sloths with backpacksIt’s hard to imagine but sloths have not always been loved by humankind. Eighteenth century French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc called sloths “the lowest form of existence.” Because of such historical disdain, biologists today actually know very little about sloths. But a researcher at Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary is trying to change that by strapping backpacks equipped with a GPS, an accelerometer and a compass to track the sloth’s daily activities.Once the data from the GPS is downloaded, a supercomputer assembles a 3-D image of the sloth in Google Maps, which shows exactly what the sloth was doing at any given moment.Read the full story here. A baby sloth is born. (Courtesy of Sam Trull)C-section sloth babyLast October, a vet in Herradura performed what may have been the world’s first cesarean section on a sloth. The pregnant momma sloth had fallen out of a tree on hotel grounds in Manuel Antonio and was still seriously injured when contractions started. A wildlife worker took the sloth to a vet, who determined that the baby was breached. He decided the only chance for saving mom and baby was a C-section.Read the full story here.PHOTOS: Every Costa Rica sloth image you will ever need to seelast_img read more

Keylor Navas named among worlds 5 best goalkeepers by FIFA

first_imgRelated posts:WATCH: Keylor Navas makes his first official save for Real Madrid (then allows his first goal) WATCH: Keylor Navas makes incredible save against Bayern Munich Keylor Navas allows four goals as Barcelona crushes Real Madrid WATCH: Keylor Navas saves another penalty kick All season Keylor Navas has proved he’s among the world’s top goalies with his spectacular play for Real Madrid. Now, the Costa Rican keeper is officially in line to be named as the game’s very best at his position.Finalists for the FIFA XI team were announced Thursday and Navas was included in FIFA’s grouping of the top five goalkeepers, among 50 other football stars from all other positions. Navas’ club Real Madrid accounts for 12 of the total finalists, more than any other club in the world.Serving as a sort of All-Pro list for international football stars, the FIFA XI team is designed to honor the best 11 football players in the world by position every season. [Via Facebook – FIFA Ballon d’Or]Navas’ historic 2015 campaign has already seen him set a number of records for one of football’s most successful clubs. Earlier this season, he set the Real Madrid record for consecutive home shutouts and overall shutouts to begin a season. Already, he’s stopped two penalty kicks on the season and has registered 30 saves in La Liga.Navas has a 6-3-1 record with Real Madrid in La Liga play and is undefeated so far in Champion’s League, where he has yet to allow a goal get past him after six games, breaking the record for the longest span of time without allowing a first goal. Navas in contention for top goalie honors is the man who started over him at Real Madrid a year ago, legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Also in the final five is Manchester United’s David De Gea, who Real Madrid famously tried to trade Navas for at the last minute, but failed to make the trade deadline on time to finalize the transaction that would have sent the Tico to the English Premier League.The final FIFA XI lineup, including the top goalkeeper in the world, will be decided on January 11, 2016 when the Ballon d’Or Award, given to international football’s best player, is handed out.Notably absent from the final five goalies is Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, who has allowed just five goals in eight games while helping Barça eclipse the top spot in La Liga. The biggest mark on Navas’ record thus far is the embarrassing 4-0 beatdown that he and Real Madrid suffered at home against Barcelona on Saturday. Navas allowed more goals in that game than he had allowed all season to that point, allowing a mere three goals in his first nine La Liga games of the season. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

All eyes on Russia Costa Rica awaits World Cup draw

first_img Facebook Comments Costa Rica, along with the other 31 participants in next year’s World Cup, is awaiting the draw today that will determine the groups that will face off next year in Russia. The  participating countries will be organized into eight groups of four by drawing one team from each of four “pots” that have been created according to FIFA rankings. Costa Rica is in Pot Three, which also includes Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal.At the 2013 World Cup Draw, Costa Ricans nationwide heaved a sigh of disappointment when La Sele was thrown to the lions, or so it seemed, in a group alongside soccer titans Italy, England and Uruguay. The rest is Costa Rican soccer history, but despite the glories of 2014, there’s no doubt the country is hoping for an easier ride this time around.The draw begins in Moscow at 6 pm today, 9 am in Costa Rica. Want to check out La Sele’s possibilities? Try this cool Draw Simulator from The Telegraph in London. PHOTOS: Costa Rica clinches World Cup 2018 berthcenter_img Related posts:PHOTOS: Spain wipes the grass with Costa Rica, 5-0 World Cup 2018: Who’s lurking behind the usual suspects? PHOTOS: Panama defeats Costa Rica to qualify for its first World Cup Costa Rica to face off against Brazil, Switzerland, and Serbia at 2018 World Cuplast_img read more

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