Spanish police nab man with possible bomb material

first_imgMADRID (AP) – Spanish police say they have arrested a Spaniard who possessed a small amount of material that could be used to make explosives and had city maps which highlighted several embassies in Madrid.Police said in a statement Tuesday the man was detained in a Madrid hotel where he had a 1.5-liter (0.4-gallon) bottle containing potassium nitrate, sulfur and coal dust, as well as a manual entitled “Homemade bombs and explosives.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 0 Comments   Share   The statement said he also had maps where the American, Chilean, Paraguayan and Brazilian embassies were marked, though authorities had no confirmation he intended to attack those buildings.Police identified the man only as 48-year-old Alberto R.M. and said he was arrested Sunday after a hotel owner raised the alarm.He had no known links to terror organizations or radicals.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Parents, stop beating yourself up 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Student shot in Boko Haram school attack dies in Nigeria

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Top Stories Quick workouts for men Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories A suicide bomber and a gunman attacked the school on Saturday with gunfire and two explosions before they were overcome by police and soldiers.Another 45 people injured themselves by jumping out of windows and scaling walls to escape.A man arrested at the scene was later found to be innocent and released, police said.It was the first school attack reported since a 3-month-old multinational offensive drove the Islamic extremists out of towns seized last year. Nigeria’s military says the insurgents’ main fighting force is hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, where they are being pursued.Some 700 girls and women held in captivity by the militants have been freed as soldiers have destroyed about 20 forest camps.The nickname Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — One of five students wounded by gunfire in a Boko Haram attack on a school in northeast Nigeria died of his injuries on Monday, the college said.Musa Umar Gamari had been shot in the chest and was buried on Monday, in accordance with Islamic custom, according to a notice posted at the College of Business and Administrative Studies in Potiskum town. He is survived by his wife and one child, it said. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

EU extends sanctions against Russia by 6 months

first_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The ministry said it was wrong to hold Russia fully responsible for the implementation of the Ukraine peace agreement and that the key to a settlement was in Kiev’s hands.The ministry also said “it looks particularly cynical” that the EU made the decision on June 22, the date in 1941 when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Russia still holds memorial services on this day.“We would like to believe that this is a coincidence, not a specially designed step,” the ministry statement said.German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the extension of sanctions was already likely before Monday’s gathering.“In other words, all countries agreed,” he told reporters during a break in the EU talks. “Because as long as the Minsk agreement is not fulfilled and also Russia has some responsibility for that, it was agreed that the measures would be extended.”EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the move to roll over the sanctions against Russia was “not an easy or a business-as-usual decision.”NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the EU’s decision, and predicted that the array of punitive measures imposed by the West would “change the behavior of Moscow.” 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, center, speaks with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, left, and European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Luxembourg on Monday, June 22, 2015. Ministers meet on Monday to discuss among other issues, migration and Russia. (AP Photo/Charles Caratini) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility EU sanctions “are a strong signal and a clear message that it has consequences when a country behaves in the way Russia has done in Ukraine,” he told a news conference in Brussels. He said Western sanctions were having a clear impact on Russia’s economy.___Christoph Noelting in Luxembourg, John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels, and Lynn Berry in Moscow contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Union on Monday extended economic sanctions against Russia until January to keep pressure on Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, drawing a rebuke and a warning of retaliation from Russian officials.An EU statement said the decision was taken without debate by the bloc’s foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg, in response to “Russia’s destabilizing role in eastern Ukraine.” 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The sanctions, along with U.S. and other Western measures against Russia, have contributed to a softening of the Russian economy at a time when the price of oil that is crucial to its economic output has also fallen. The sanctions have also put a pinch on some of Russia’s key EU trading partners.The sanctions include limits to access on some financial markets, a ban on certain technologies and exchanges between the bloc and Russia in energy and defense sectors. Enacted last July and reinforced in September, the sanctions had been due to expire in July.They are now expected to expire on Jan. 31.In response, Russia is expected to extend its ban on the import of many agricultural products from the EU, which was imposed as a countermeasure to the EU sanctions.“Since they were extended, we will act on the principle of reciprocity,” said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin.Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels has killed more than 6,400 people in eastern Ukraine and persists despite a cease-fire agreed in Minsk, Belarus, in February that calls for the pullback of heavy weapons from the front line.The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday it was “deeply disappointed that once again in the EU, the view of the Russophobic lobby has prevailed” in the extension of the “illegal restrictions.” Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories last_img read more

The Latest Pope takes off for Rome wrapping up LatAm visit

first_imgPeople line the street where Pope Francis passes in his popemobile as he makes his way to the Leon Condu stadium for an event in Asuncion, Paraguay, Saturday, July 11, 2015. Pope Francis lauded the strength and religious fervor of Paraguayan women on Saturday while visiting the country’s most important pilgrimage site, where thousands of his fellow Argentines joined with hundreds of thousands of local faithful to welcome Latin America’s first pope. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Lombardi said his presence “gave an ecumenical dimension to the trip, which otherwise wasn’t very evident.”Indeed, Francis’ pilgrimage has been notable for the absence of any meetings between the pope and leaders of other faiths — usually a mainstay of papal trips.Francis has very friendly relations with the Orthodox Church; he recently cited the works of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in his encyclical on the environment.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis’ trip to South America:___7:40 p.m.Pope Francis is on his way back to Rome.The pontiff’s flight took off from Asuncion, Paraguay, after a goodbye ceremony at the airport. His overnight flight on Air Italia is scheduled to land in Rome early Monday afternoon.This was Francis’ first tour of Spanish-speaking South America since the Argentine-born priest became pope in 2013. During eight days in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, he visited slums, prisons and hospitals while also meeting with local clergy, indigenous and other groups and the presidents of each country. Fretes thought she would never be able to make something of herself. But someone paid for her studies and she is now a nurse. She cared for her mother and her grandmother by day and went to school at night.Fretes said she understands that her mother’s illness has made her stronger.After she spoke, the pope blessed her, kissed her forehead and hugged her. The two exchanged words privately. Then Fretes reached up and around the pope and hugged him again.___5:05 p.m.Pope Francis is arriving to the final event of his three-country tour in South America.He plans to address tens of thousands of young people waiting for him at a venue along the banks of the Paraguay River in Asuncion.Paraguayan national flags and other banners are being waved and the crowd is particularly loud.After the meeting, the pope is scheduled to say a prayer at the site of a supermarket fire that killed hundreds in 2004. Then he plans to fly back to Rome.___2:50 p.m.The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in South America has had a privileged spot at Pope Francis’ events this week.Metropolitan Tarasios is an old friend of the pope’s from Buenos Aires, where he is based.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Sunday that Tarasios asked Francis if he might participate in the trip, and he traveled from Ecuador to Bolivia and to Paraguay on his own. On Sunday, he gave a greeting at Francis final Mass in Asuncion. Comments   Share   ___6:45 p.m.telling young people to shake up society, but then help clean the mess up. His exhortation came Sunday during the final event on his three-country tour in South America.His comments were a modification of his famous exhortation in 2013, when in Rio de Janeiro he told a church full of Argentine youths that he wanted them to “make a mess” by shaking up their dioceses.Francis told tens of thousands of young people gathered in Paraguay’s capital on Sunday that a fellow priest once told him that encouraging youths to disrupt things up was all good and well, but that later others had to clean up after them.So Francis said he was correcting himself.“The mess that young people make, we then have to clean it up ourselves!” he said to roars of laughter. “Shake things up, but then clean it up and fix the mess that you’ve made.”___6:10 p.m.At the last stop of his South American trip, three young people have given Pope Francis very personal testimonies about their lives, which haven’t been easy.The pope was particularly moved by the story told by 25-year-old Liz Fretes. She says her mother lost her cognitive faculties and “became like a child.” Their roles were reversed: Fretes became the caregiver, having to change her mother’s diapers, bathe her and play with her as if with a child. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Study Early clue to why some children may have reading woes

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories Oral language exposure is one of the drivers of reading development, and the study is part of a broader push to find ways to spot problem signs early, said Brett Miller, who oversees reading disabilities research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which helped fund the work.But don’t expect EEGs for preschoolers any time soon. While the machines are common among brain specialists, this particular use is complicated and expensive, and further research is necessary, Kraus cautioned.Her ultimate goal is to test how a child’s brain processes sound even younger, maybe one day as a part of the routine newborn hearing screening.___Online:Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Lab: http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.eduCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   “Hearing in noise is arguably one of the most computationally difficult things we ask our brain to do,” she said.The new study used an EEG to directly measure the brain’s response to sound, attaching electrodes to children’s scalps and recording the patterns of electric activity as nerve cells fired. The youngsters sat still to watch a video of their choice, listening to the soundtrack in one ear while an earpiece in the other periodically piped in the sound “dah” superimposed over a babble of talking.Measuring how the brain’s circuitry responded, the team developed a model to predict children’s performance on early literacy tests. Then they did a series of experiments with 112 kids between the ages of 3 and 14.The 30-minute test predicted how well 3-year-olds performed a language-development skill and how those same youngsters fared a year later on several standard pre-reading assessments, the team reported. Time will tell how well those children eventually read.But Kraus’ team also tested older children — and the EEG scores correlated with their current reading competence in school, and even flagged a small number who’d been diagnosed with learning disabilities. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — New research suggests it may be possible to predict which preschoolers will struggle to read — and it has to do with how the brain deciphers speech when it’s noisy.Scientists are looking for ways to tell, as young as possible, when children are at risk for later learning difficulties so they can get early interventions. There are some simple pre-reading assessments for preschoolers. But Northwestern University researchers went further and analyzed brain waves of children as young as 3. The vital role family plays in society Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona How well youngsters’ brains recognize specific sounds — consonants — amid background noise can help identify who is more likely to have trouble with reading development, the team reported Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology.If the approach pans out, it may provide “a biological looking glass,” said study senior author Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. “If you know you have a 3-year-old at risk, you can as soon as possible begin to enrich their life in sound so that you don’t lose those crucial early developmental years.”Connecting sound to meaning is a key foundation for reading. For example, preschoolers who can match sounds to letters earlier go on to read more easily.Auditory processing is part of that pre-reading development: If your brain is slower to distinguish a “D” from a “B” sound, for example, then recognizing words and piecing together sentences could be affected, too.What does noise have to do with it? It stresses the system, as the brain has to tune out competing sounds to selectively focus, in just fractions of milliseconds. And consonants are more vulnerable to noise than vowels, which tend to be louder and longer, Kraus explained. This undated handout photo provided by the Auditory Neuroscience Lab, Northwestern University, shows scalp electrodes to pick up how children’s brains react to sounds such as speech in a noisy background. New research suggests it may be possible to predict which preschoolers will struggle to read, and it has to do with how they decipher speech when it’s noisy. Northwestern University researchers analyzed brain waves of children as young as 3. (Auditory Neuroscience Lab, Northwestern University via AP)last_img read more

Report 92yearold Auschwitz guard indicted in Germany

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How men can have a healthy 2019 Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they meancenter_img BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in Germany have indicted a 92-year-old former Auschwitz guard on charges of accessory to murder.German news agency dpa reported Wednesday the man has been indicted before a juvenile court in Hanau, near Frankfurt, because he was between 19 and 20 years old at the time of the alleged crimes.The suspect, who wasn’t named, is alleged to have played a part in the deportation of prisoners from Nazi transit camps in Berlin, Drancy in occupied France, and Westerbork in the occupied Netherlands. According to dpa, prosecutors say at least 1,075 of those prisoners were gassed to death shortly after arriving in Auschwitz. Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home The move comes on the same day a German court convicted former SS sergeant Oskar Groening of accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Mexican drug lord had at least 18minute head start

first_img MEXICO CITY (AP) — At least 18 minutes passed before anyone was alerted to the escape of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, two Mexican lawmakers said Thursday.Deputy Aleida Alavez of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party told The Associated Press that National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido reported during a tour of the maximum security prison Wednesday that Guzman had an 18-minute head start. She said Rubido hesitated when asked how much time elapsed, but eventually answered. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility It was the second time Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, escaped from a maximum security prison. The first was in 2001, when in one of several versions, Guzman was allegedly smuggled out in a laundry cart.Documents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration obtained earlier this week by The Associated Press showed that U.S. agents had collected intelligence suggesting planning to spring Guzman began almost immediately after his arrest in February 2014.Discussing her tour of the prison, Alavez said investigators had found pieces of tortilla in the grating covering a light above Guzman’s sink. Lawmakers were told the pieces were used to count days, but Alavez said it was not clear if it was the days Guzman had been imprisoned or the number he had left before his escape.An official with the Attorney General’s Office said one hypothesis was that Guzman used the grating and tortilla pieces as a kind of calendar, but said another was that it was a game he created for himself. The official agreed to discuss the matter only if not quoted by name because he was not authorized to speak publicly.Alavez also said she was awaiting an explanation of why Guzman had been allowed to grow out his hair when it was clear from their tour that other prisoners had shaved heads. This photo shows the shower area and opening to a tunnel, where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, slipped into the tunnel to escape from his prison cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Experts have said the tunnel would have been more than a year in planning and building. The digging would have caused noise. The entrance was in a place beyond the view of security cameras at Mexico’s toughest prison. They also said it was clear the escape by Mexico’s most powerful drug lord must have involved inside help on a grand scale. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Officials had not said publicly how much time passed from when Mexico’s most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware he was gone.The National Security Commission did not immediately respond to questions about the time.Deputy Adriana Gonzalez of the conservative National Action Party, who was also on the tour, said she did not hear Rubido give that time, but added that she asked by personnel monitoring the cameras and was told about 20 minutes.Gonzalez said she was also told there was not a single person exclusively dedicated to monitoring Guzman. One person monitored two screens that each show images from 20 cameras. She was shown about five minutes of additional video footage after Guzman disappeared in his cell — more than has been released publicly — and all that was visible was an empty cell.“The image stayed the same and time is passing and minute 56, 57 and no one appears,” she said.The video released to the public Tuesday showed Guzman disappearing at 8:50 p.m. behind a half wall that blocked the camera’s view of his shower.The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the escape itself as well as looking at whether prison personnel followed protocols or intentionally caused the delay in issuing an alert. Comments   Share   How do cataracts affect your vision? Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of __E. Eduardo Castillo on Twitter: © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

ICCA seeks closer relations with cruise bodies

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A Gavin Smith – ICCA chairman and Royal Caribbean Australia Managing Director ICCA chairman, Gavin Smith, has advocated a closer relationship with fellow cruise industry bodies including the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in an interview with e-Travel Blackboard yesterday.Cruise line members of the North American based association are also supportive of the move with Australian members set to benefit from a host of advantages including additional learning opportunities and more complex training materials as a result. “If we can behave and have similar qualities of CLIA, we will continue to be supported by the lines based in North America. There’s an endorsement available to us if we have a closer relationship with CLIA,” said Mr Smith to e-Travel Blackboard yesterday. Acknowledging that they are a more mature association in a more mature market, Mr Smith pointed out the potential for some cruise lines to look at people who are members of the “big four” associations worldwide, ICCA, CLIA, PSA and the European Cruise Council in the future. “I can foresee a time when cruise lines represented in all four associations will look at all associations having a closer relationship. It will ensure data gathering is more consistent and industry messaging is more consistent.”Locally based cruise lines would also benefit due to better direction from their North American and European parents. “They’d understand the dynamic based on the performance of the local association. It would add credibility to the processes proposed here if that relationship was cultivated.”Mr Smith is also the managing director of Royal Caribbean Australia. last_img read more

Personal Travel Manager learns to ski at Club Med VillarssurOllon

first_imgOne day in Paris – TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Lesley Cavill must do’s include a visit to the Eiffel TowerPersonal Travel Manager Learns to Ski at Club Med Villars-sur-OllonFor many, Club Med conjures up images of sun, sand and beach holidays however as personal travel manager Lesley Cavill discovers, Club Med also provides the easiest ski holiday ever.Cavill, representative for Mosman Park in Western Australia recently experienced a ten-night ski famil to Switzerland, courtesy of Club Med Villars-sur-Ollon and Cathay Pacific.“It’s not every day you learn to ski in the Swiss Alps and I certainly made the most of Club Med’s huge range of activities and really got involved! Club Med provided all of the ski equipment hire, and we had an amazing ski instructor Tamara who was with us every step of the way.  She started with the basics and was really patient and supportive as we tackled the slopes during our lessons. There were plenty of laughs, tumbles and falls, but it was a great sense of personal accomplishment when I finished a run still upright!”Club Med with its all-inclusive concept offers a unique holiday experience.“With all of your meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including cocktails, entertainment and sporting activities included in the cost, it really does provide an easy and carefree way to holiday.”For Cavill, a standout memory was sitting in a deck chair in the snow enjoying mulled wine and hot soup.“I can highly recommend the Club Med exclusive High Altitude Restaurant located half way up the mountain. Enjoying our entrée reclining in a deck chair in the snow was hilarious. There is something about the snow that brings out your playful side. It was a truly magical experience.”Making the most of the unique all-in-one Mountain Lift Pass and experiencing Switzerland just like a client would was the highlight for Cavill.“Being able to share my extensive personal travel experience and product knowledge with my clients is an absolute priority for me. I simply loved that our Mountain Lift Pass allowed travel on the local trains. The ability to get out and experience local village life was fantastic and I really loved seeing the breathtaking snow-capped mountains in every direction as the train meandered through the slopes.”The group flew from Australia with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong to Paris. The group enjoyed one night in Paris before travelling by train to Lausanne followed by an hour and a quarter bus transfer to Villars-sur-Ollon.“Our full day in Paris was wonderful. We walked from our hotel in Republique all the way along the River Seine to the Eiffel Tower. It was a clear sunny day and it was the perfect way take in all the sights and break up all the travelling.”Cavill discovers Cathay Pacific offers a real commitment to service.“Travelling on Cathay Pacific was an absolute pleasure. Having booked so many of my clients on the airline it was great to experience it for myself.  The friendly crew provide unfaltering service which combined with modern entertainment systems gives me the confidence to continue recommending Cathay Pacific to my clients without hesitation.” Travel Managersfor more information, visit Source = TravelManagers Australialast_img read more

Exclusive last minute savings on a selection of Asia Voyages

first_imgExclusive last minute savings on a selection of Asia VoyagesExclusive last minute savings on a selection of Asia VoyagesSilversea Cruises is delighted to offer last minute savings on a fascinating selection of Asia voyages*, on departures from now until 25 April 2018 aboard Silver Shadow. When booking on participating voyages* by 15 March 2018, guests will receive a one-category upgrade and US$1,000 on-board credit per suite. For guests who are booking and paying in full by 31 January 2018, they can also look forward to receiving Free Business Class Air.**Guests can choose voyages ranging from nine to 15 days, which explore an array of exotic locations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. Guests will explore a fascinating contrast of new and old, from skyscraperstowering over stone-carved temples to bullet trains speeding past rice paddies and tea plantations. Even the most discerning traveller will be fascinated by gilded shrines, floating markets, sampans in mist-shrouded harbours and harvested rice left to dry in the sun.Amber Wilson, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Silversea Cruises said:“Asia presents possibilities to the curious traveller and, with a range of new ports and new excursion options in Asia; we provide our guests with truly authentic experiences and offer more choice than ever before. With our exclusive, bespoke itineraries including a selection of small group excursions, we unlock the deeper experiences in luxury. Our voyages to Asia deliver ‘intimate luxury’, creating cherished memories and giving travellers a whole new perspective. With such fantastic offers available, we encourage our guests to move quickly to secure their place as these voyages only have a very limited availability.”Featured Voyages*:V3804: Guests will depart Singapore on 11 February 2018 on an 11-day roundtrip. Highlights of this voyage include discovering: the largest temple complex in Southeast Asia in Penang; the lure of Phuket’s pristine beaches; Yangon’s glimmering Shwedagon Pagodaby candlelight; and the cultural mélange of Kuala Lumpur. Cruise package fares start from AUD$9,300 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3805:Departing Singapore on 22 February 2018, guests will enjoy a 9-day voyage to Hong Kong. Highlights include: immersing in Ho Chi Minh City, a dizzying fusion of busy, bustling, thriving commerce and culture; watching a sunset over the startling Notre-Dame Basilica, made entirely of materials imported from France during the 19th century; before enjoying an overnight in mystical Ha Long Bay. Cruise package fares start from AUD$8,200 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3806:Setting sail from Hong Kong on 3 March 2018, guests will depart on a 10-day voyage to Singapore. From lush rainforests to urban jungles, guests will see the spectrum of the South Pacific, whilst discovering the beauty and culture of Malaysia and the Philippines. Highlights include: exploring the Sultanate of Brunei; enjoying a mangrove river safari to see the fun-loving orangutan; visiting a water village in Sandakan; and wandering the cobblestone streets of Old Manila. Cruise package fares start from AUD$9,000 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3807:Departing Singapore on 13 March 2018 on a 12-day round trip, guests will discover cosmopolitan cityscapes and unspoiled seascapes on this captivating journey to Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. Highlights include: colonial architecture and the world’s largest fountain; Buddhist relics and a village of traditional Melakan houses; and the philosophy behind Thai cuisine. Cruise package fares start from AUD$8,200 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3808:Departing Singapore on 25 March 2018, guests will enjoy a 9-day voyage to Hong Kong during which they will discover the epic splendour of Vietnam. Guests will discover: the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay; the manmade artistry of sacred temples and pagodas; the stunning beat of rice terraces and secluded beaches; and the wonderfully chaotic Ho Chi Minh City. Cruise package fares start from AUD$8,400 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3809: Setting sail from Hong Kong on 3 April 2018, Silver Shadow will depart on an 11-day voyage to Singapore. From Manila and Coron in the Philippines to Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, the wildlife, heritage, water villages and beaches of the South China Sea will delight all guests travelling on-board. Cruise package fares start from AUD$9,700 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3810:Departing Singapore on 14 April 2018 guests will enjoy an 11-day sailing to Hong Kong. This voyage, which encompasses visits to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City,and Chan May truly embodies the mind, spirit and soul of the region. Top chefs from the Peninsula Hotel groups show off their culinary expertise of the region on this voyage, making this journey a trip to Asia that is profound, absolute and delicious. Cruise package fares start from AUD$9,100 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.V3811:Departing Hong Kong on 25 April 2018, guests will enjoy a 15-day voyage to Tokyo. Highlights include the epic cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Osaka. Cruise package fares start from AUD$12,600 per person, based on double occupancy in a Vista Suite.For those looking for a shorter Asian voyage, a number of segments are also available, ranging from six to eight days. Fares for a six day sailing from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong departing on 28 March 2018, start from just AU$3,700 per person.*Voyages and special offers are subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time.Terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit**In the case that Business Class air Promotional Flights are not available, a AUD$2,000 Air credit is applicable.Source = Silversea Cruiseslast_img read more

Airbnbs record corporate signups for business travel

first_imgAirbnb said more than 1,000 companies have joined its new programme allowing business travellers to use the peer-to-peer-lodging service. Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, recently announced that it signed 500 new companies to its ‘Airbnb for Business’ programme within 24 hours of launching the new global travel management suite.There are now more than 1,000 firms from at least 35 countries who have integrated the programme into their corporate travel plans. Among the companies joining the program are online storage firm Box, which now allows employees to use Airbnb accommodations, available in more than 190 countries. Facebook, Google, Salesforce and Eventbrite are also using Airbnb for corporate travel.“We were particularly impressed that Airbnb’s new Business Travel product suite allows you to uncover unique locations for temporary housing, team offsites and conventions where there is an opportunity to build closer working relationships by sharing accommodations in a casual and friendly environment. Like Box, Airbnb is making it easier for business users on the go and we’re looking forward to trying out the product and expanding our relationship,” said Jeff Mannie, VP, Controller and CAO at Box.“The corporate community’s response to our Business Travel program has been staggering and confirms our findings that business travellers increasingly want to redefine the business trip,” said Marc McCabe, Business Travel Lead, Airbnb. “The average business travel stay on Airbnb is 6.8 days, which shows how customers are looking for a mix of business and leisure, and often adding a weekend to explore a new destination.”Airbnb for Business helps companies of all sizes cater to their employees’ diverse travel needs. The program allows business travellers to directly book Airbnb accommodations and automatically expense them back to their employers. The recently introduced suite of travel management tools provide travel managers with visibility into employee travel itineraries, financial reporting data, and centralised billing to improve the business travel experience for all. The company was launched in 2008 and now has some 40 million users worldwide. Its valuation based on its latest funding round is some USD 25.5 billion.last_img read more

PATA partners with The Travel Corporation to address food waste in tourism

first_imgTo address food waste in tourism, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced a partnership with The Travel Corporation (TTC). As an official sponsor of the BUFFET (Building an Understanding for Food Excess in Tourism) initiative, TTC has made a commitment to help raise awareness of food waste in the travel and tourism industry and along with PATA, challenges other industry stakeholders, particularly the hospitality sector, to reduce food waste to landfill.“The Travel Corporation along with its not-for-profit organisation, The TreadRight Foundation have always been leaders in sustainable tourism principles and practices. It is a pleasure to be working with a highly successful international travel group and socially responsible organisation to bring greater awareness to an issue that if unchecked, will only get worse with the significant growth expected in the tourism industry, especially in the Asia Pacific region,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA.“I look forward to working with The Travel Corporation’s team and hope that our efforts encourage others to reduce their food waste to make a tangible impact in our industry and environment,” he added.Speaking on the occasion, Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, The Travel Corporation said, “The tourism and hospitality sectors have to take immediate action to find solutions that can help reduce food waste, ensuring a direct impact to reducing carbon emissions. Climate change has greatly affected some tourism destinations, and it is imperative that everyone takes on a proactive role to drive positive change and protect our planet for future generations.” “What better way to support such a meaningful initiative through the youth challenge where we will get to hear the ideas of how to reduce food wastage from youths from all around the region. It is so important that we give these youths a platform to share their ideas about environmental issues, responsibility and action,” added Tollman.Food waste is the third biggest contributor to climate change One-third of all foods produced in the world is wasted.Additional pressures arise from GHG emissions caused by food production and transportation right now, 842 million people do not have enough to eat and with an estimated world population of 9.8 billion people in 2050, resources will be limited and more people will be hungry. PATA continues to seek further engagement with hotels that would like to reduce their food waste to landfill, hotels already implementing food waste solutions, potential partners and sponsors, as well as those who would like to help us in raising awareness and building a better understanding of food excess in tourism.last_img read more

Morocco receives 95 million tourists from January to September 2018

first_imgMorocco received 9.5 million tourists and saw an increase in arrivals by 8% from January to September as compared to the same period in 2017, as per the statistics released by the Tourism Observatory.Morocco received tourists majorly from Italy and U.S., rising up to 15% each, followed by Germany and France with an increase of 11% and 8% respectively. The country saw an increase of 3% in tourist arrivals from the Netherlands.Compared to the period of January to September 2017, the similar period in 2018 saw an increase of 9% in overnights stays at hotels in Morocco.Overnight stays Marrakech and Agadir cities increased by 10% and 9% respectively.Other Moroccan cities like Tangier, Fez and Rabat also saw an increase in overnight stays with an increase of 10%, 21% and 11% respectively.last_img read more

Explore a gastronomic journey with Michelin starred restaurants and events in Frankfurt

first_imgFrankfurt’s culinary offerings are as colourful as the region itself. With two recent additions to the Michelin starred restaurants, this place is a paradise for food lovers. A total of nine Michelin starred restaurants bring together the local and international cuisines. All of the region’s chefs share a similar love of fresh produce as well as a passion for cooking and the fine art of hospitality.For gourmets, the local markets in the region offer an endless assortment of fresh home-grown produce, aromatic spices, international specialties and creative street food.In the latest edition of the famous Michelin Red Guide – Europe’s oldest hotel and restaurant guidebook, restaurants like – Lafleur, The Tiger Gourmet-restaurant, Weinsinn and Seven Swans are among the most popular. For the fans of the traditional Frankfurt cuisine, the Ebbelwei’s Frankfurter Sausages and Green Sauce served along with Frankfurt’s national drink, apple cider cannot be missed.The ‘Kleinmarkthalle’, the city’s famous market hall, is another highly popular location. Here, visitors take off on a culinary trip around the world while sampling some of the many wonderful delicacies on offer. One can also find the seven herbs needed to make the signature Green Sauce on sale here, bundled together for convenience.A spectacular event in the Main metro is the ‘Green Sauce Day’ which will be celebrated from May 11 to 18 this year. Frankfurt hosts the Longest Green Mile on the Frankfurt Roßmarkt every year to mark the occasion. A big tent in the middle of downtown Frankfurt welcomes more than 5000 guests, 49 restaurateurs, countless artists from the Rhine-Main area to commemorate a festive week. On the last day of the event, seven restaurateurs demonstrate their skills to win the title of the ‘best green sauce’ in the whole of the Rhine-Main region. Live performances and delicious delicacies will promise you have a wonderful time.last_img read more

Frank Criticizes Efforts to Weaken Reform Law

first_img December 16, 2011 428 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Dodd-Frank Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac House Financial Services Committee Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-12-16 Ryan Schuette Following his announced resignation two weeks ago, Rep. “”Barney Frank””: (D-Massachusetts) showed few signs of slowing by denouncing provisions that made it into a proposal that recently cleared the “”House Financial Services Committee””:[IMAGE]””For most Americans, the most threatening disease at this time of year is the flu,”” the retiring lawmaker began a statement by saying. “”But for my Republican colleagues the gravest danger is apparently amnesia.””He referred prominently to a provision from the Private Mortgage Investment Act ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô drafted by Rep. “”Scott Garrett””: [COLUMN_BREAK](R-New Jersey) and passed by the House Financial Services Committee 18-15 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô that aims to repeal the risk-retention rule from the Dodd-Frank Act.””The financial reform law had abolished the practice of transient institutions gathering up loans that had been made in a variety of ways, packing them into securities, and then selling them without any retention of the risk,”” he said.Frank referred to works by authors Michael Lewis and Harry Markopolos, whose ideas he tied to the namesake financial reform law.””Congressman Garrett’s bill would repeal the provisions of the law which force financial institutions to retain some of the risk in these securities,”” he said. “”That is, Republicans want to remove a powerful disincentive for institutions to originate and package bad loans.””If the Senate reconciles their version with Garrett’s bill, it would eliminate the GSEs in steps, reroute mortgage servicing responsibilities to the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:, and consolidate assets from Fannie and Freddie into a Mortgage Finance Agency. Frank Criticizes Efforts to Weaken Reform Lawcenter_img Share in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

FDIC to Close Final Temporary Office Established After Financial Crash

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share “”FDIC””: put a date on the closure of the last of its satellite offices established in the wake of the financial crash. The agency’s East Coast Temporary Satellite Office (ECTSO), located in Jacksonville, Florida, will close April 5, 2014.[IMAGE]FDIC’s board of directors approved the establishment of the ECTSO in May 2009 to ease the workload created by the increased number of failed financial institutions located in the Southeast. Three regional offices were established around the country–one in California and one in Illinois. [COLUMN_BREAK]The ECTSO is the last temporary office to be closed.The decision to close the office was made after “”a review of ongoing workload and in recognition of the signs of the improving health of the banking industry,”” according to a release from FDIC. “”The dedicated employees of our East Coast Temporary Satellite Office have exhibited the highest degree of professionalism during a period of extraordinary stress in the financial system,”” said Bret Edwards, director of FDIC’s Division of Resolutions and Receiverships. “”Their presence in the Southeast allowed the FDIC to fulfill its mission of maintaining stability and public confidence in the nation’s banking system. I thank all of the staff in Jacksonville for their exemplary public service during a very challenging time.””The ECTSO currently has a staff of 420 and manages 138 failed bank receiverships. Employees will be retained until the office closes and will receive outplacement support to help their employment transition. The office’s remaining work is expected to be absorbed by FDIC’s regional office in Dallas, Texas. FDIC to Close Final Temporary Office Established After Financial Crashcenter_img November 14, 2012 446 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-14 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Citi Fannie Mae Announce 968M Repurchase Agreement

first_imgCiti, Fannie Mae Announce $968M Repurchase Agreement Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Citigroup Fannie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Repurchases Service Providers 2013-07-01 Tory Barringer July 1, 2013 455 Views Sharecenter_img in Origination, Secondary Market “”Citigroup””: and “”Fannie Mae””: announced Monday an agreement to resolve future repurchase claims for breaches of representations of warranties on millions of loans originated between 2000 and 2012.[IMAGE]According to release from Citi, the agreement covers 3.7 million residential first mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae. Citi is not released from liability regarding servicing or other ongoing contractual obligations on those loans; the bank is also still responsible for a population of less than 12,000 loans originated in the same time frame with certain characteristics such as those sold with a performance guaranty or under special credit enhancement programs.As part of the agreement, Citi will pay Fannie Mae $968 million, “”substantially all of which was covered”” by the bank’s existing mortgage repurchase reserves as of the end of the first quarter. Citi estimates it will record a residential mortgage repurchase reserve build of $245 million in its next quarterly earnings report and believes “”it is adequately reserved for the loans not covered by the agreement.””””We have a strong and productive relationship with Fannie Mae. … As we work to deepen and enhance financial relationships with our clients, we will continue to focus on the production of high-quality mortgage loans,”” said CitiMortgage CEO Jane Fraser.Citi also said in its release it will continue to work with Fannie Mae on the timely repurchase of any mortgages sold to the GSE that do not meet its requirements.””This resolution is an example of our desire to work together with our business partners to find common ground. Today’s agreement resolves legacy repurchase issues, compensates taxpayers for losses, and allows Fannie Mae and Citi to move forward and strengthen our business relationship,”” said Bradley Lerman, EVP and general counsel at Fannie Mae. “”We continue to focus on making strong progress in resolving repurchase requests with other lenders, and remain committed to helping people to buy, refinance or rent a home.””last_img read more

Six New Markets Rebound Fully in February

first_img April 25, 2014 671 Views Home Equity Home Values 2014-04-25 Tory Barringer Share Six New Markets Rebound Fully in Februarycenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News The number of markets around the nation that have seen home values recover fully rose by six in February, according to data from company’s February Local Market Index, released Wednesday, shows annual home value gains in all 300 of the country’s top markets. For the ninth straight month, California dominate the list of the top 10 markets, with Los Angeles leading the way at an appreciation rate of 25.8 percent over the last year.Based on the month’s gains, three more of the top 100 largest markets have now achieved a full price recovery as of February: Salt Lake City, Utah; Albany, New York; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The addition of those three metros—plus three others in Missouri and North Carolina—brings the total number of fully recovered markets on’s list to 98.In addition, nearly two-thirds of the top 300 markets nationwide have rebounded more than 50 percent from their lowest price points since the crash.“February’s rebound progress illustrates how home prices in most markets across the country are appreciating, even in the depths of winter,” said Brock MacLean, EVP for “This is unusual given harsh weather conditions in most markets, but a positive sign as we enter peak season.”With more areas recovering to full health and more homeowners returning to positive-equity positions, MacLean says there’s greater hope for consumers to sell or refinance as the market stabilizes.Most of the top rebounding markets in February were in the South, including six in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and one in Louisiana (the exception being Pittsburgh).On the other hand, nearly all of the markets with the worst rebound percentages were located in states that have struggled since the crash, illustrating how far they still have to climb; out of the bottom 10, six were in Florida, two were in California, one was in Nevada, and one was in Massachusetts.last_img read more

Nationstar Names CEO for Solutionstar Subsidiary

first_img November 12, 2014 536 Views Lewisville, Texas-based Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. has announced the hiring of Kal Raman, a leading technology executive, as CEO of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Solutionstar.Raman has more than two decades of experience in leadership positions with innovative technology and retail businesses. He served as COO for Groupon in addition to serving as CEO of the company’s Asia Pacific region. His other past positions include VP of Global Fulfillment at eBay, CEO of GlobalScholar, a leader in enterprise software for public schools; SVP at Amazon in charge of the company’s retail technology and marketing units; CEO of; and multiple management positions with Wal-Mart.”We see a tremendous opportunity to use technology to make the real estate experience easier and more streamlined for homebuyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals across the country,” Nationstar CEO Jay Bray said. “Kal has a long record of success leveraging technology and innovation to deliver a high-quality customer experience, and we’re thrilled that his expertise will not help Solutionstar bring that kind of innovation to the real estate industry. Kal’s appointment is a natural next step in Solutionstar’s growth, and his proven technology, e-commerce, and operational experience will be a critical asset to the Solutionstar team as it capitalizes on these opportunities and continues its growth as a national leader in real estate technology.”Raman will oversee all activities at Solutionstar as its CEO, one of which will be the integration of leading real estate data aggregation company Real Estate Digital (RED) into existing services, following Solutionstar’s acquisition of RED in May. Raman will also be charged with advancing Solutionstar’s broader effort to offer its comprehensive, end-to-end online real estate technological services to buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals across the nation. Raman will operate out of Seattle, where Solutionstar will soon be opening a new office.”For many Americans, buying or selling a home is the biggest financial decision they will make, and Solutionstar is using its technological expertise to make that process more transparent, convenient, and affordable for real estate professionals and consumers alike,” Raman said. “Acquiring RED was an important step toward elevating Solutionstar as the nation’s leading real estate innovator, and I’m energized by the opportunity this creates to develop Solutionstar into a true technology company. Solutionstar is making a significant, sustained investment in innovation to make real estate services simpler and more accessible. In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to unveiling new technology products and services to better connect consumers and real estate professionals—and, ultimately, to deliver a truly integrated, comprehensive online real estate solution.” Movers & Shakers Nationstar Solutionstar 2014-11-12 Seth Welborn Nationstar Names CEO for Solutionstar Subsidiarycenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology Sharelast_img read more

LRES Partners with Reverse Mortgage Services Provider

first_img Share LRES Partners with Reverse Mortgage Services Provider in Headlines, News, Technology November 17, 2014 505 Views center_img Bay Docs Company News LRES 2014-11-17 Tory Barringer In California, LRES, a valuations and asset management services provider, and Bay Docs LLC, a reverse mortgage services firm, announced the formation of a strategic partnership designed to optimize and streamline the valuation ordering process for reverse mortgage lenders.As a result the recent integration, LRES’ DirectConnect hub is now able to deliver collateral valuation reports to users of Bay Docs’ Reverse Express loan origination system, offering customers full valuation lifecycle management.The integration also features end-to-end automated connectivity while delivering reports and data for compliance, quality control, or auditing purposes, all through a single system management platform.”Our integration with LRES DirectConnect offers our reverse mortgage customers an all-inclusive automated appraisal management solution to greatly simplify the complex valuation process,” said Megen Lawler, CEO of Bay Docs.”LRES’ integration with Bay Doc’s LOS greatly benefits reverse mortgage lenders by handling all the heavy lifting as it relates to appraisal management and keeping them fully informed of the appraisal’s status throughout the process,” added LRES CEO Roger Beane.last_img read more