Hundreds of Princess Cruises images now a click away for agents

Hundreds of Princess Cruises images now a click away for agents

first_img SANTA CLARITA, CA — Princess Cruises has integrated its Princess Media Library to its online travel agent centre, OneSourceCruises.com, allowing travel agents to create customized flyers, banners and other sales materials using images of the most recent amenities offered on board.“The addition of the Princess Media Library to OneSource gives travel agents the freedom to personalize their own sales collateral with photos and highlight specific offerings to suit the needs of their clients,” said John Chernesky, Vice President of North America Sales, Princess Cruises. “The wide variety of images available on OneSource offers our travel partners new resources to communicate the amazing experiences Princess provides their clients.”OneSource offers a range of programs to assist travel agents in all aspects of cruise planning. In addition to the Princess Media Library, OneSource includes POLAR Online, the booking tool built exclusively for travel agents to simplify the process of booking cruises.OneSource also houses Princess Academy, an online educational program for travel agents to take detailed courses on everything Princess Cruises has to offer. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Princess Academy offers benefits for travel consultants who reach the Commodore level.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureTravel partners can access OneSource and the Princess Media Library at OneSourceCruises.com. Tags: Princess Cruises Thursday, August 18, 2016 Hundreds of Princess Cruises images now a click away for agents Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Guatemala launches health and education aid program

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina inaugurated on Monday a financial assistance program titled “Mi Bono Seguro” (My Secure Bond) that will pay 757,000 families living in poverty a one-time payment of $40 to “reduce poverty” and provide access to health care, officials said.The payment of Q300 ($40) must be used for health care services or education, and to receive it, parents must bring children under 6 to health centers for checkups and vaccines.“We are taking the steps to accomplish what we offered in the campaign, when we said that social programs would continue, but be transparent,” Pérez Molina said.Official figures indicate that 43 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people live in poverty, and according to the U.N., one in two Guatemalan children under 5 suffer from malnutrition. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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A notsoTico twist on tacos in Santa Ana

first_imgFrom the print editionThe recently opened Tacobar on the Belén Road in Santa Ana, southwest of San José, is not really a bar at all. Nor does it dish out the kind of tacos that you’d expect at a restaurant in Costa Rica. In fact, this family restaurant serves up tasty, healthy fare, and its killer fish tacos have a flavor that’s completely their own.Housed in a semi-circular building with a bamboo roof and floor to ceiling glass windows, Tacobar is surrounded by a deck with patio furniture. Inside, apart from the regular simple tables and chairs, the swing seating at the high wooden counters offers a swing-while-you-eat experience for anybody with a strong stomach. Patrons line up to order and pay at the counter, and cooked-to-order meals are then delivered on large platters, leaving room for an excellent variety of salads offered at the all-you-can-eat salad bar. This comes with the fish tacos and other main courses such as burritos, sandwiches, chicken, steak and tuna plates. Potatoes cooked in tempting different ways, pizza, appetizers and side orders do not come with the salad bar, but may be ordered separately.Our well-presented meals arrived at different intervals, which we found somewhat disconcerting. Maybe this was because we all paid individually, but the young lady at the counter who took our order should have made a note for the kitchen that we were a group and wanted to be served together. I’m sure this will be remedied in the future by the impressive management team. General Manager Jose Tortós, and Administrator Jonathon Montenegro, run a hands-on operation in this trendy, popular family restaurant that seems to be buzzing morning, noon and night.We had no complaints about the food. The fish and chips dish was served piping hot with light, crispy batter. The tuna steak was outstanding, lightly seared to perfection. The fish tacos were served on thin flour tortillas piled with mahi mahi, snapper, shrimp and calamari. All were dressed with herbs, peanut or hot spicy sauce. Depending on your appetite, you can order one, two or three tacos, and they are not rolled like traditional tacos, but are freshly cooked and very tasty. Main courses range from {2,500-6,000 ($5-12).Tacobar serves no alcoholic beverages, but there is a large selection of fruit smoothies and drinks. The tangy lemonade laced with fresh ginger and mint is delicious and highly recommended. The dessert menu is limited, but the ice cream and brownie selection, which is enormous, will send many a chocoholic into a food coma. Tacobar offers a variety of choices {2,000-4,000 ($4-8), plus a $3 daily special. There’s a second Tacobar in Jacó, and the Israeli-U.S. owners are opening another locale in Trejos Montealegre, San Rafael de Escazú, southwest of San José.Tacobar:Location: 600 meters north of the Cruz Roja, opposite Mas X Menos, Santa Ana.Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.Contact: 2282-7863 Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Job fair offers 4000 posts this weekend

first_imgNo related posts. Starting Friday and lasting through the weekend, a group of 33 local and multinational companies will be at the Antigua Aduana facilities in downtown San José for the “El Puesto es mío” (“The job is mine”) job fair.Employeers from the retail, banking and manufacturing sectors are looking to fill some 4,000 posts at all levels, from entry-level jobs to technical specialists.Abbott, Amazon, BAC Credomatic, Banco BCT, Banco Davivienda, National Bank, seeking My Job, Financial Center Amway Center Therapeutic Mioderma SA Citi, Convergys, CSS Corp., The Empleo.com, Experian, Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Nación, Siman Group, Costa Rica Hewlett Packard, IBM, Insurance Service, Vivid, Language Line Solutions, ManPower, Organo Gold, Pacific Interpreters, PepsiCo Foods International Polytechnic, SBMCR, SRL, Scotiabank, Startek, Symes, Fidélitas University, WNS and Ernst & Young are some of the companies attending. The companies are requesting résumés be presented in both digital and print format.Entrance costs ₡1,500 ($3), and organizers scheduled a series of free lectures on Saturday and Sunday aimed at helping job-seekers improve their skills. Topics include: the importance of communication tactics during a job interview, personal marketing, corporate image, and résumé preparation, among others. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rica govt sought information on 87 Tico Facebook users in first

first_imgNo related posts. Following the publication of Facebook’s first transparency report on government data requests, Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) revealed new details Thursday about the kinds of requests they made to the social network.The number is significantly larger than the original four requests on six users listed on the Global Government Request Report, released Tuesday. The report details government requests for data during the first six months of 2013, ending on June 30.OIJ made 79 requests for information on 87 Ticos, according to a statement released Thursday morning.OIJ claimed that data requests aimed to preserve information from criminal suspects’ Facebook pages and were passed on to the Prosecutor’s Office for approval and final request.The Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for requesting international assistance in criminal investigations.Requests included:18 for electronic communication violations16 for soliciting sex from a minor12 for information fraud5 for threats5 for identity theftThe agency did not detail the remaining 23 cases.Facebook did not honor any of the law enforcement agency’s requests, according to OIJ and the social network’s report. President Laura Chinchilla said that she was unaware of any data requests after Facebook published the report Tuesday, according to the daily La Nación. Costa Rica made the largest number of data requests in Central America. Chinchilla tweeted that her administration was asking for clarification from Facebook about the four requests listed, “In the name of transparency we asked Facebook to explain which institutions solicited user information. We’ll soon know more.”Marisel Rodríguez Solís, press representative for OIJ, told The Tico Times that the discrepancy was due to different methods of requesting information from the social network.While the information has sparked discussion here about the role of law enforcement and privacy on social network, Costa Rica requested relatively few data requests. The United States, meanwhile, requested information on more than 20,000 users during the first six months of the year, more than any other country listed.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Ricas most famous soccer club reveals a new look

Costa Ricas most famous soccer club reveals a new look

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica unveils World Cup uniforms ‘The Classic’ turns violent: A horse-punching teenager and 69 others arrested at Sunday match between rivals La Liga and Saprissa Former Costa Rica football coach Paulo Wanchope hired as new Saprissa general manager Costa Rican footballer Álvaro Saborío suddenly retires due to ‘unfair insults’ Via Corazón de Saprissa Facebook page Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s popular soccer club Saprissa had a grand unveiling of their new uniforms and clothing line.At Saprissa Stadium on Friday night, fans had themselves a walk-off as the moradistas revealed redesigned duds. Saprisssa de Corazón’s Facebook page has an album of the fashion show.  The storied Costa Rican team plans to debut the uniforms Sunday during a home game against Limón FC. Saprissa emblazoned a golden silhouette of a bat over the club’s classic red wine color. The bat commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the team’s hometown of Tibas, a northern suburb of San José. The former name of the city included the world  murciélago – the Spanish word for bat. Via Saprissa de Corazón Facebook pageThe other big change is that the Saprissa “S” moved to the center of the jersey. I like the Superman comparison. The “S” always belongs the chest. Others disagreed. What do you think of the look?  (Bimbo means something else. Bimbo is an enormous Mexican bread company that sponsors Saprissa.) Via Saprissa de Corazón Facebook page Via Saprissa de Corazón Facebook page Via Saprissa de Corazón Facebook pagecenter_img As always, the goalie jerseys have the coolest form.  last_img read more

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Life in Color is surreal dreamscape soaked in paint

Life in Color is surreal dreamscape soaked in paint

first_img“This is so crazy!” exclaimed one concertgoer, a couple of hours after the sun had set. It was Saturday evening, the Life in Color concert was in full swing, and truly, itwas a little crazy: Ten thousand people, mostly young and Tico, writhed and gyrated in a giant mass. They leapt up and down, rolled on the brick pavement, and danced in circles of friends. House music throbbed from the enormous stage as dizzying videos were projected on its central screen. Many had already streaked their exposed skin with neon paint, so that the black lights would illuminate the patterns like phosphorescent tattoos. Some whirled hula hoops, others spun lighted balls on strings. Some chicas mounted their boyfriends′ shoulders and stayed aloft for hours, punching the air with their fists. Concertgoers pose in front of an anthropomorphic rabbit, just one of the surreal creatures to work the crowd. Robert Isenberg/The Tico TimesBut for such a large and youthful crowd, the partiers at Life in Color were remarkably well behaved. Yes, there were obviously thousands of people knocking back Heineken cans and Smirnoff cocktails, and pot smoke gusted every few minutes, but the Pedregal Events Center in San Antonio de Belén was an ocean of smiles. Groups of guys crowded around buskers dressed as zombies and unicorns. BFFs took selfies directly in front of the stage. The good will was as palpable as the general inebriation. A young woman effortlessly spins a lighted hula hoop in the middle of the throng. Robert Isenberg/The Tico TimesBy design, the craziest part was Life in Color’s primary gimmick: explosions of paint. The touring event touts itself as “The World’s Largest Paint Party.” (Although one struggles to imagine what the competition is). Life in Color’s denouement comes when multihued geysers gush across the audience. Some liken it to the Holi Festival of Colour. Some might call it a hallucinogenic, space-age bukkake experiment. Whatever your feelings about spattering colored, non-toxic paint all over a multitude of 20-somethings in white T-shirts, the crowd seemed to love it. The bursts didn’t last long, but they sent a tidal wave of people away from the stage, screaming and laughing, as they sought free towels to wipe themselves off. Performers blast paint from hoses. Robert Isenberg/The Tico TimesOriginally founded in the United States in 2006 as Dayglow, the Life in Color concert has toured all over the world, showcasing a variety of international electronica artists. Life in Color had performed as closely as Nicaragua, but never before in Costa Rica. Judging from the audience, the event will probably have a sequel. Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:A colossal paint party, and other happenings in Costa Rica Holi One festival tickets go on sale Paul McCartney to perform in Costa Rica on May 1 A jungle concert, St. Paddy’s Day, and other stuff happening in Costa Ricalast_img read more

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Desamparados mayor confirms construction in protected area despite ceaseanddesist orders

Desamparados mayor confirms construction in protected area despite ceaseanddesist orders

first_imgMunicipal officials in the southern San José canton of Desamparados on Monday confirmed that property owners in a protected area known as Mt. Tablazo are continuing construction in spite of cease and desist orders from that office and the Municipality of El Guarco, in the province of Cartago.The area has six drinking water sources for a large number of residents in Desamparados and El Guarco, and officials from the Environment Ministry’s (MINAE) Administrative Environmental Tribunal last month ordered the mayors of both cantons to refrain from issuing construction permits in the area until the ministry could guarantee the protection of local aquifers.Desamparados Mayor Maureen Fallas Fallas said officials visited the area over the weekend and found evidence that the farms’ owners are moving forward with construction.Fallas said that on Saturday, officials noticed municipal no-build signs were removed.“A private security guard prevented us from entering the property, but we could see that they are digging wells and stockpiling construction material, including roof sheets, sand, cement bags and other material,” Fallas told The Tico Times.Municipal officials also attempted to serve the guard with another cease and desist order, but he refused to accept it, Fallas added.“On Sunday we returned to the area and again observed construction, … including an engineer taking measurements. This time we were able to deliver another cease and desist order to Eduardo Alfaro, the legal representative of the corporations listed as the landowner,” Fallas said.Conflicts between farm owners and nearby residents have taken place recently after a bus allegedly transported residents from a San José slum known as Triángulo de la Solidaridad to the area. According to reports, landowners hope to sell the property to the government for a low-income housing development.Relocating the Triángulo de la Solidaridad residents is key to expanding the Circunvalación, a belt route around the capital’s central canton.Housing Ministry Project Director Marian Pérez Gutiérrez denied the ministry’s involvement in the transfer of Triángulo de la Solidaridad residents to Desamparados, saying last week that one of the farm owners had acted “on his own initiative” in bringing the group to the area.Mayor Fallas said officials on Tuesday will file a report to MINAE’s Administrative Environmental Tribunal seeking sanctions against property owners. Officials documented evidence of construction despite several cease-and-desist orders. (Courtesy of Desamparados Municipality) Facebook Comments Related posts:How Solís’ administration plans to turn one of Costa Rica’s biggest slums into a park Government postpones project to expand Circunvalación beltway Housing Ministry again postpones relocation of San José slum Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís promises to cut extreme poverty by 45 percent by 2018last_img read more

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Partial solar eclipse sweeps across North America

Partial solar eclipse sweeps across North America

first_imgThe NASA is eclipse sun into hugelargeous croissant. Finally science priority correctly. I nominate me to go to space now bye.— birdsrightsactivist (@ProBirdRights) October 23, 2014 Related posts:US company in Iowa churns out 100 cloned cows a year Costa Rica’s erupting volcanoes may help slow global warming Perplexing ‘platypus’ dinosaur discovered in Chile China monitoring animals to predict earthquakes WASHINGTON, D.C. A partial solar eclipse swept across much of North America on Thursday, triggering floods of blurry pictures of a crescent-shaped sun on Twitter and other social media.The best views were on the west coast including California, where the moon blanked out nearly half of the solar disc in cloudless mid-afternoon skies.The partial eclipse, which was even bigger farther north in San Francisco and Seattle, turned the “sun into hugelargeous croissant,” tweeted @ProBirdRights, quipping: “I nominate me to go to space now bye.”center_img But New York and the rest of the U.S. northeast mostly missed it because the sun was setting by the time the moon moved into position, with only a tiny bite visible at sunset.An eclipse is created by the moon passing in front of the sun, in this case obscuring about half its bright light.Unlike a full solar eclipse it does not turn the sky dark because there is still plenty of sunlight.The effect can only be seen through special solar filters made of a black polymer. Looking directly at the sun risks severe injury or even blindness.A more dramatic solar eclipse is in store for the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.At that time, the moon will entirely cover the sun across a 90-kilometer swath of the United States, while the rest of the country should see about 80 percent of the sun covered. Leianna Stout, 8, uses protective eye wear to view a partial eclipse of the sun near the Mount Wilson Observatory, on Oct. 23, 2014. Frederic J. Brown/AFP Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Nearly all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050

Nearly all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050

first_imgMIAMI, Florida — Most seabirds have already eatenplastic in the oceans, and scientists projected Monday that 99 percent will have done so by 2050.Plastics are pervasive in the world’s waters due to pollution, and birds — including albatrosses, penguins and gulls — can mistake brightly colored bottle tops or other fragments for food.Birds can become sick and die if they ingest too much plastic.Researchers reviewed studies on 135 bird species between 1962 and 2012, then made projections based on the currently known level of plastics in the oceans.“For the first time, we have a global prediction of how wide-reaching plastic impacts may be on marine species — and the results are striking,” said Chris Wilcox, senior research scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).“We predict, using historical observations, that 90 percent of individual seabirds have eaten plastic. This is a huge amount and really points to the ubiquity of plastic pollution.”Watch a trailer for the documentary Midway (still in production), about a remote island inhabited by albatrosses, many of whose bodies are filled with plastic. Related posts:Half of marine life wiped out in 40 years: WWF Secrecy still prevails as Nicaragua gets set to break ground on $50 billion interoceanic canal El Niño intensifying, could rival strongest in recorded history International climate pact has rough draft Research done in the early 1960s showed that, back then, less than five percent of seabirds had ingested plastic.But that number has soared in recent decades, reaching 80 percent in 2010, with even more birds likely to be affected in years to come, the study found.“We predict that plastics ingestion is increasing in seabirds, that it will reach 99 percent of all species by 2050, and that effective waste management can reduce this threat,” said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed U.S. journal.WATCH: Researchers remove plastic straw from sea turtle’s noseEver since commercial plastic production began in the 1950s, production has doubled every 11 years, according to background information in the article.“Thus, between 2015 and 2026, we will make as much plastic as has been made since production began,” said the study.Scientists have documented concentrations of up to 580,000 plastic pieces per square kilometer in the world’s oceans.But the full extent of plastics’ impact on birds is not yet known.“Although evidence of population level impacts from plastic pollution is still emerging, our results suggest that this threat is geographically widespread, pervasive, and rapidly increasing,” said the study.While coastal bird populations have received much focus from researchers, the study warned that some areas that were not previously seen as particularly dangerous may be perilous for seabirds.“The highest area of expected impact occurs at the Southern Ocean boundary in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand” because of the high plastic concentration and high seabird diversity in those areas, it warned. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Grupo Britt opens gourmet coffee store in San José

Grupo Britt opens gourmet coffee store in San José

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s franchise sector grows by nearly 13 percent in 2014 Starbucks buys coffee farm in Costa Rica Another fast-food chain closes in Costa Rica Juan Valdez inaugurates its first Costa Rica store Look out Starbucks, here comes Britt.Tico corporation Grupo Britt opened its first gourmet coffee store in Costa Rica this week at Mall Multiplaza Escazú, southwest of the capital.The shop, Britt Espresso, aims to promote the popular coffee brand while selling gourmet coffee drinks and coffee-making paraphernalia. CEO Pablo Vargas said Britt Espresso aims to increase the preference for gourmet coffee in Costa Rican homes and workplaces.The company plans to open more stores, starting with the inauguration next year of Britt Espresso franchises in Perú and Chile. Company executives also are in negotiations to open stores in other South American countries, Vargas said.“The inauguration of this first store is a source of pride for Grupo Britt as it reflects 30 years of experience in offering innovative ways to drink coffee in Latin America,” he said.The store is promoting its Britt Espresso machines, released by the group last June, and single-serve coffee pods of espresso, cappuccino, latte and mocha. The store also sells pods of the company’s traditional blends.Britt Espresso has a recycling station for customers to dispose of empty pods to be transformed into “plastic wood.” The company will use this material to manufacture other recycling stations that will be donated to public schools. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Two members of Costa Ricas ruling party convicted of fraud

Two members of Costa Ricas ruling party convicted of fraud

first_imgRelated posts:Government announces increased security measures to curb recent crime wave Eduardo Li wins lawsuit against insurance company over defense costs in FIFA corruption case Public Security minister says he’ll resign if not given more funds for policing FIFA panel seeks lifetime ban for ex-Costa Rican football president Eduardo Li A Criminal Court in San José found two officials of the ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC) guilty of a fraud scheme that allowed the party to collect ₡353 million (some $632,000) from public campaign financing in 2010.On Monday, the tribunal convicted former PAC treasurer Maynor Sterling Araya to serve six years in prison, and Manuel Antonio Bolaños Murillo, a party official, to three years in prison.Judges also found the party liable for collecting the funds and ordered it to pay almost ₡600 million ($1 million) to the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) for the damage caused.Judges said Sterling was the mastermind behind the fraud scheme used to collect funds using 263 fake contracts. The alleged contracts described services provided by party members who actually worked as volunteers and never charged anything for their work, the tribunal found.More than 200 witnesses testified in the five-month trial, among them top PAC leaders including party founder, former presidential candidate and current lawmaker Ottón Solís.The ruling also ordered the party and the two convicted members to pay an additional ₡40 million ($72,000) for trial costs.ReactionsThe party said in a news release that it respects the tribunal’s ruling. However, party officials will wait for the full ruling before evaluating options to file an appeal.The ruling party that in 2014 saw the election of Luis Guillermo Solís as the first PAC president also said that it has enough funds to face the payment.The PAC statement said that if the tribunal confirms its ruling, the party will proceed with its statutes, which demand that convicted party members be expelled.Party’s founder Solís posted a statement on his Facebook profile saying he expects party leaders to take strong actions.He called for PAC to strengthen internal controls and make the right decisions as “the party’s reaction to this trial will define its future.”Solís also said that the party must use funds from public campaign financing to pay the fines ordered by the tribunal. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Argentina More controls for buying US dollars

first_imgPresident Cristina Fernandez is cracking down to keep hard currency from flowing out of Argentina, which needs the dollars to maintain its central bank reserves and pay debts.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Argentina is making it harder for people to buy U.S. dollars to pay for travel abroad.A new rule published Monday says anyone wanting to buy dollars for travel must first prove their money was obtained legally, and provide the tax agency with trip details including why, when and where they are traveling.Many Argentines only declare part of their wealth and income to evade taxes, and use black-market currency exchanges to convert their inflationary pesos into dollars. Travel agencies are the latest target since they manage multiple currencies and offer customers black-market rates for their money. Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

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Israeli billionaires company faces money woes

first_imgAssociated PressJERUSALEM (AP) – One of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen may quickly be going from riches to rags, and experts warn he could drag Israel’s economy down with him.Nochi Dankner, a favorite of Israel’s business community who is often credited with helping rescue Israel’s economy at the height of a Palestinian uprising, is struggling to keep his mammoth holding company above water. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “It’s a domino effect,” said Doron. “Creditors would lose money. A lot of people would lose jobs. It would be a great tragedy.”The 58-year-old billionaire’s downturn has come swiftly.Born to an aristocratic Israeli family with a powerful investment firm, Dankner made a mark in 1999 when he sold his shares in the firm to his relatives for $100 million.His timing was right. A year later, a Palestinian uprising erupted, paralyzing Israel’s economy and causing the shares in his family’s business to tank.At the height of the uprising, Dankner and his partners borrowed millions of dollars from Israeli banks and bought IDB Holding Corp.“No one understood who would buy during the crisis … it was a deal that amazed everyone,” said Stella Korin Lieber, a commentator at the Globes financial newspaper. “He signaled the end of the crisis.”Under Dankner’s leadership, IDB became Israel’s largest holding company, and Dankner became a celebrity. Last year, he garnered 11th place on Forbes Magazine’s ranking of wealthy Israelis. He was known to travel in a private jet and to lunch with his longtime friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. IDB Holding Corp., which controls a large piece of the Israeli economic pie _ a large cellphone company, a major supermarket chain, an insurance company and a cement producer monopoly, among other concerns _ announced over the weekend that it may not be able to pay tens of millions of dollars of debts in the coming year.The plight of Dankner has raised concern that his bondholders could lose on their investments and Israelis could see their retirement funds, heavily exposed to IDB investments, in danger.“We are now going through difficult times. It’s not easy for any of us,” Dankner began a letter to employees last weekend.Israel’s finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, sought to douse the flames, estimating a “less than one in a thousand” chance that Israeli citizens’ pensions would be affected.Economists forecast a much gloomier picture should Dankner’s company founder. Because so much of Israel’s economy is controlled by Dankner’s holding company, Israel is in more danger than the U.S. economy was in during the credit crisis of the late 2000s, said Daniel Doron, director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top holiday drink recipes Food prices came down, the government facilitated more cellphone companies to enter the market, and Dankner’s supermarket chain and mobile phone company suffered losses.“He didn’t pay attention to the changes that were taking place in the business world,” Korin Lieber said. “He had a lot of arrogance and conviction _ `we will be fine.’”Dankner has vowed to meet an $8.8 million payment to one group of bondholders this week. The company owes about $425 million to bondholders and $75 million to Israeli banks, Israel’s Haaretz daily reported. IDB Holding Corp. is asking for more time to find another investor for the company.At a meeting of bondholders Monday, one bondholder told Israel’s Channel 10 TV that Dankner should dip into in his own wealth to repay his debts.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) His public image was as a handsome, mild-mannered man with a spiritual side, traveling to Nepal to study Buddhism and forging a close relationship with a Kabbalistic healer in Israel known as the “X-ray Rabbi.”In 2006, as rockets rained down on northern Israel during its war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Dankner visited Israelis in bomb shelters and donated large sums for their welfare.Then he became overconfident, Korin Lieber said.In 2007, he and another Israeli billionaire invested in plans to build a Las Vegas casino when U.S. real estate prices were at their peak, and the project quickly tanked. From 2008-2010, a Dankner subsidiary bought shares in the Swiss multinational bank Credit Suisse, but last year lost millions of dollars in the deal. He also bought Maariv, an unprofitable Israeli daily newspaper, in what was seen as more of an ego trip than a smart business decision.Then last summer, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the country’s high cost of living.Dankner’s picture was plastered on protesters’ posters _ one of many business tycoons accused of monopolizing much of the Israeli market, keeping prices high. Top Stories Quick workouts for menlast_img
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AP Exclusive Memos show US hushed up Soviet crime

first_imgAssociated PressWARSAW, Poland (AP) – The American POWs sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II. The vital role family plays in society Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940.The evidence is among about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the United States National Archives released and is putting online. Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who helped lead a recent push for the release of the documents, called the effort’s success Monday a “momentous occasion” in an attempt to “make history whole.”Historians who saw the material days before the official release describe it as important and shared some highlights with the AP. The most dramatic revelation so far is the evidence of the secret codes sent by the two American POWs _ something historians were unaware of and which adds to evidence that the Roosevelt administration knew of the Soviet atrocity relatively early on.The declassified documents also show the United States maintaining that it couldn’t conclusively determine guilt until a Russian admission in 1990 _ a statement that looks improbable given the huge body of evidence of Soviet guilt that had already emerged decades earlier. Historians say the new material helps to flesh out the story of what the U.S. knew and when. Comments   Share   ___National Archives page on Katyn: http://www.archives.gov/research/foreign-policy/katyn-massacre/___Randy Herschaft reported from New York. AP reporter Monika Scislowska contributed from Warsaw.___Vanessa Gera can be reached at http// http://www.twitter.com/VanessaGeraand Randy Herschaft at http://www.twitter.com/HerschaftAP Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories The Soviet secret police killed the 22,000 Poles with shots to the back of the head. Their aim was to eliminate a military and intellectual elite that would have put up stiff resistance to Soviet control. The men were among Poland’s most accomplished _ officers and reserve officers who in their civilian lives worked as doctors, lawyers, teachers, or as other professionals. Their loss has proven an enduring wound to the Polish nation.In the early years after the war, outrage by some American officials over the concealment inspired the creation of a special U.S. Congressional committee to investigate Katyn.In a final report released in 1952, the committee declared there was no doubt of Soviet guilt, and called the massacre “one of the most barbarous international crimes in world history.” It found that Roosevelt’s administration suppressed public knowledge of the crime, but said it was out of military necessity. It also recommended the government bring charges against the Soviets at an international tribunal _ something never acted upon.Despite the committee’s strong conclusions, the White House maintained its silence on Katyn for decades, showing an unwillingness to focus on an issue that would have added to political tensions with the Soviets during the Cold War. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Top Stories Stewart testified before the 1951 Congressional committee about what he saw, and Van Vliet wrote reports on Katyn in 1945 and 1950, the first of which mysteriously disappeared. But the newly declassified documents show that both sent secret encoded messages while still in captivity to army intelligence with their opinion of Soviet culpability. It’s an important revelation because it shows the Roosevelt administration was getting information early on from credible U.S. sources of Soviet guilt _ yet still ignored it for the sake of the alliance with Stalin.One shows head of Army intelligence, Gen. Clayton Bissell, confirming that some months after the 1943 visit to Katyn by the U.S. officers, a coded request by MIS-X, a unit of military intelligence, was sent to Van Vliet requesting him “to state his opinion of Katyn.” Bissell’s note said that “it is also understood Col. Van Vliet & Capt. Stewart replied.”MIS-X was devoted to helping POWs held behind German lines escape; it also used the prisoners to gather intelligence.A statement from Stewart dated 1950 confirms he received and sent coded messages to Washington during the war, including one on Katyn: “Content of my report was aprx (approximately): German claims regarding Katyn substantially correct in opinion of Van Vliet and myself.” The newly uncovered documents also show Stewart was ordered in 1950 _ soon before the Congressional committee began its work _ never to speak about a secret message on Katyn.Krystyna Piorkowska, author of the recently published book “English-Speaking Witnesses to Katyn: Recent Research,” discovered the documents related to the coded messages more than a week ago. She was one of several researchers who saw the material ahead of the public release.She had already determined in her research that Van Vliet and Stewart were “code users” who had gotten messages out about other matters. But this is the first discovery of them communicating about Katyn, she said.Another Katyn expert aware of the documents, Allen Paul, author of “Katyn: Stalin’s Massacre and the Triumph of Truth,” told the AP the find is “potentially explosive.” He said the material does not appear in the record of the Congressional hearings in 1951-52, and appears to have also been suppressed.He argues that the U.S. cover-up delayed a full understanding in the United States of the true nature of Stalinism _ an understanding that came only later, after the Soviets exploded an atomic bomb in 1949 and after Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe were already behind the Iron Curtain. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain “The Poles had known long before the war ended what Stalin’s true intentions were,” Paul said. “The West’s refusal to hear them out on the Katyn issue was a crushing blow that made their fate worse.”The historical record carries other evidence Roosevelt knew in 1943 of Soviet guilt. One of the most important messages that landed on FDR’s desk was an extensive and detailed report British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent him. Written by the British ambassador to the Polish government-in-exile in London, Owen O’Malley, it pointed to Soviet guilt at Katyn.“There is now available a good deal of negative evidence,” O’Malley wrote, “the cumulative effect of which is to throw serious doubt on Russian disclaimers of responsibility for the massacre.”___It wasn’t until the waning days of Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe that reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly admitted to Soviet guilt at Katyn, a key step in Polish-Russian reconciliation.The silence by the U.S. government has been a source of deep frustration for many Polish-Americans. One is Franciszek Herzog, 81, a Connecticut man whose father and uncle died in the massacre. After Gorbachev’s 1990 admission, he was hoping for more openness from the U.S. as well and made three attempts to obtain an apology from President George H.W. Bush. ___It was May 1943 in the Katyn forest, a part of Russia the Germans had seized from the Soviets in 1941. A group of American and British POWs were taken against their will by their German captors to witness a horrifying scene at a clearing surrounded by pine trees: mass graves tightly packed with thousands of partly mummified corpses in well-tailored Polish officers uniforms.The Americans _ Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. _ hated the Nazis and didn’t want to believe the Germans. They had seen German cruelty up close, and the Soviets, after all, were their ally. The Germans were hoping to use the POWs for propaganda, and to drive a wedge between the Soviet Union and its Western Allies.But returning to their POW camps, the Americans carried a conviction that they had just witnessed overwhelming proof of Soviet guilt. The corpses’ advanced state of decay told them the killings took place much earlier in the war, when the Soviets still controlled the area. They also saw Polish letters, diaries, identification tags, news clippings and other objects _ none dated later than spring of 1940 _ pulled from the graves. The evidence that did the most to convince them was the good state of the men’s boots and clothing: That told them the men had not lived long after being captured. How do cataracts affect your vision? Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “It will not resurrect the men,” he wrote to Bush. “But will give moral satisfaction to the widows and orphans of the victims.”A reply he got in 1992, from the State Department, did not satisfy him. His correspondence with the government is also among the newly released documents and was obtained early by the AP from the George Bush Presidential Library.The letter, dated Aug. 12, 1992, and signed by Thomas Gerth, then deputy director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, shows the government stating that it lacked irrefutable evidence until Gorbachev’s admission:“The U.S. government never accepted the Soviet Government’s claim that it was not responsible for the massacre. However, at the time of the Congressional hearings in 1951-1952, the U.S. did not possess the facts that could clearly refute the Soviets’ allegations that these crimes were committed by the Third Reich. These facts, as you know, were not revealed until 1990, when the Russians officially apologized to Poland.”Herzog expressed frustration at that reply.“There’s a big difference between not knowing and not wanting to know,” Herzog said. “I believe the U.S. government didn’t want to know because it was inconvenient to them.”last_img read more

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Irans censors struggle to keep Biebers abs off Instagram

Irans censors struggle to keep Biebers abs off Instagram

first_imgIn a phone interview, Enayat said the censors’ inability to control the flow of racy selfies proves that Rouhani’s smart filtering policy is “a complete failure.”“The case of Instagram shows it’s not going to work,” he said.International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran director Hadi Ghaemi agreed, predicting that the country’s censors would continue to struggle with smart filtering.“Nothing about it is ‘smart’ as far as we can tell,” he said.___Online:Raphael Satter is reachable on: https://twitter.com/razhaelCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “It does seem a little bit embarrassing,” said Internet researcher Mahsa Alimardani, who worked with Jacobs on the paper.Alimardani and Jacobs say the snaps reappeared in Iran after Instagram began encrypting connections between smartphones and the site’s servers in the past month. The encryption means that third parties can’t easily tell whose accounts users are connecting to, frustrating censors’ attempts to zero in on any particular stream of photographs.It’s not clear if — or how — officials in Tehran will react to the change. Unlike other social networks, Instagram photo-focused approach doesn’t easily lend itself to political mobilization. The Iranian Embassy in London did not return repeated messages seeking comment.Instagram declined to comment specifically on the situation in Iran but spokesman Gabe Madway said the Facebook Inc.-owned company is working to roll out encryption across its network.Instagram declined to say how many users it has in Iran, although the number appears to be growing rapidly. Tehran-based app store Cafe Bazaar says the photo-sharing service has racked up more than 6 million downloads across the country. The figure is a threefold increase over last year, according to Enayat of Small Media. Internet researcher Mahsa Alimardani, right, and Frederic Jacobs pose for a portrait photo at the international internet and society conference ‘re-publica’ in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, May 7, 2015. The researchers have found that Iranian censors are struggling to block Instagram photos of Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian as the service gains popularity in their country. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   LONDON (AP) — Iran’s censors are struggling to keep Justin Bieber’s abs off Instagram.The tattooed pop star’s pouty, shirtless poses have recently reappeared on Iranian smartphones, along with lingerie shots of Kim Kardashian and red carpet photos of Jennifer Lopez.Mahmood Enayat of the London-based research group Small Media said a colleague in Iran confirmed he was able to access the racy images Wednesday. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “I am sure he has enjoyed it,” Enayat said in a jokey email.Bieber’s was one of at least 983 accounts previously blocked in the Islamic republic, according to a paper being presented at technology conference re:publica in Berlin on Thursday. One of the paper’s authors, security researcher Frederic Jacobs, said Kardashian’s and Lopez’s pages were also among those blocked. A smattering of fashion pages — Burberry, Gucci and Jimmy Choo — were subject to the same restrictions, as was the odd political account — a page devoted to Iranian reformist politician Mohammad Khatami, for example.The recent collapse of those blocks is awkward because Instagram is one of the few social networking sites easily accessible to Iranians and had been held up as a showcase for what politicians there describe as “smart filtering,” or targeted censorship. The administration of President Hassan Rouhani touts the technique as a way to ease Iran’s blanket bans on popular foreign sites while reassuring hardliners that objectionable content will remain out of reach.The re-emergence of Lopez’s flesh-baring dragon dress and Kardashian’s sexy selfies suggests it isn’t going to be that easy. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

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Paris police evacuate hundreds of migrants from tent camp

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Anger at their presence and concerns about health issues have mounted among locals. In response, police in dozens of vehicles roped off the area near the famed Sacre Coeur basilica and the Gare du Nord train station on Tuesday and sent in specialists to encourage the migrants to leave.Migrants slowly gathered their meager belongings and clambered into buses at the camp. The site, where some have been living for months, is near the Eurostar train tracks to Britain.Many migrants said this was not the Europe that they expected: Sleeping outside beneath the rumble of subway trains, waiting for asylum applications to be processed.“The government just suddenly decided to evacuate this place. Nobody knows what happened,” said a 20-year-old migrant from Sudan, who gave his name only as Salah. “I don’t know where they are going to take us, what they are going to do to us.”Behind the police barricade, several demonstrators shouted support for the migrants as the buses drove away. Then bulldozers moved in, plowing through the tents.Paris police chief Bernard Boucault said the action was taken because of the health risks the migrants faced, including scabies, dysentery and parasite infection. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Officials said about a third of the 380 people in the camp had applied for asylum in France, while most of the others were planning to head to places like Britain, Germany and the Nordic countries.Dominique Versini, an aide to Mayor Anne Hidalgo, said city social services took the asylum-seekers to housing as part of regular asylum procedures. Those not seeking asylum in France were being “redirected” into emergency state housing, he said. Authorities have said such state housing is already overloaded and straining to keep up with a surge of migrants.Mathias Vicherat, Hidalgo’s chief of staff, said measures will be taken to ensure that the migrants cannot return to the Paris site.The evacuation comes as the European Union is seeking better ways to handle the flood of migrants this year. One controversial plan is to divide up the tens of thousands of refugees arriving on Mediterranean shores in smugglers’ boats among all 28 EU nations — a move to help share the burden that is crushing Italy and Greece.___Nicolas Garriga contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. PARIS (AP) — Paris police evacuated hundreds of migrants Tuesday from a makeshift tent camp near a major train station and tourist area, then bulldozed their leftover debris from a patch of pavement that had become a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis.The migrants, mostly from East Africa, took agonizing journeys to reach the French capital but have found themselves in legal limbo, with little prospects for asylum or jobs. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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Malaysia raids office of fund in probe linked to premier

Malaysia raids office of fund in probe linked to premier

first_imgMalaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pauses during a government event in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Malaysian authorities have frozen six bank accounts as part of an investigation into allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred from a state investment fund to the personal accounts of Najib. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)n Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories Najib said ongoing investigations must clarify whether the documents are genuine and reiterated that he has never taken any money from 1MDB for personal gain.The investment fund, set up by Najib in 2009 to develop new industries, has accumulated 42 billion ringgit ($11 billion) in debt after its energy ventures abroad faltered. Critics, led by Mahathir, have voiced concerns about 1MDB’s massive debt and lack of transparency.The Wall Street Journal report said five deposits were made into Najib’s accounts and that the two largest transactions, worth $620 million and $61 million, occurred in March 2013 ahead of a general election.National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said investigators will also question The Wall Street Journal about the confidential banking documents. He said the leak of the documents was “tantamount to economic sabotage.”If charged, Najib would be the first Malaysian prime minister to face a criminal prosecution. His ruling National Front coalition has been in power since independence from Britain in 1957. However, support for the coalition has eroded in the last two general elections. In 2013, it won the polls but lost the popular vote for the first time. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone The vital role family plays in society Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The fund, which denied it gave money to Najib, said legal action should be taken if any wrongdoing is found.The country’s attorney general confirmed over the weekend that he had received documents from investigators that linked Najib and 1MDB.The existence of the documents, which allegedly show $700 million was wired from entities linked to 1MDB into Najib’s accounts, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday.The documents sent to the attorney general pave the way for possible criminal charges and have embroiled Najib in the biggest crisis of his political career. Najib was already under increasing criticism over his leadership, particularly from his political mentor, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.On Tuesday, authorities froze six bank accounts and seized documents related to 17 accounts at two banks for further investigation. The attorney general’s office released a statement Wednesday in which it said that none of the six accounts belong to Najib.Meanwhile, Najib said his lawyers have sent a letter to The Wall Street Journal to verify if it was accusing him of misappropriating funds in its report. The confirmation is necessary to decide the next course of legal action, he wrote on his blog. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities raided the office of state investment fund 1MDB on Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled from the fund to the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.1MDB said in a statement it is extending full cooperation and provided documents and materials to investigating officers visiting its office. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Mesa family survives lightning strike to homelast_img read more

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Burundi Opposition supporter killed in electoral violence

first_imgBUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — A supporter of Burundi’s opposition was shot dead Wednesday night, witnesses said, a victim of electoral violence as the country awaits results of the presidential election amid unrest due to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term.Results of the presidential election are expected Friday afternoon.Nkurunziza is expected to win the vote because some opposition groups boycotted. Leading opposition figure Agathon Rwasa said his campaign was frustrated by government security agencies. Critics charge that Nkurunziza’s effort to extend his time in power is unconstitutional. Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system The U.S. and British governments said the election lacks credibility as a result of government intimidation.Hundreds of angry mourners attended the funeral on Thursday of Emmanuel Ndereyimana, a member of Rwasa’s FNL political group. Ndereyimana was organizing protests against Nkurunziza’s bid for another term in office, said neighbor Abdul Cimpaye.Ndereyimana was shot dead outside his parent’s house in the Kinama area and then his attackers, believed to be from the government youth wing, Imbonerakure, threw a grenade on his body, Cimpaye said.Burundi has been rocked by violence since April after the ruling party announced Nkurunziza would run for another term. Streets protest have left at least 100 people dead. The protests led to an attempted military coup in mid-May which was quickly put down by pro-Nkurunziza forces. On eve of the elections two policemen and an opposition official were killed.Many fear that Nkurunziza’s drive to retain power could bring renewed conflict to Burundi. Since it gained independence from Belgium in 1962 the country has had four coups and a civil war that killed 250,000 people. An opposition leader has said Nkurunziza’s actions may foster a rebellion. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories Top Stories 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 Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Virgin Atlantic faces pricefixing allegations

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/299fb/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Cathay Pacific turned the tables on Virgin Atlantic last week, accusing the rival carrier of price fixing on the London-Hong Kong route.The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said on Thursday that, after a three-year investigation, it had “issued a statement of objections alleging that Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic have infringed competition law in relation to passenger services on the London to Hong Kong route”.It revealed that Cathay Pacific had handed over evidence to the OFT which showed its participation in cartel conduct as well as Virgin Atlantic’s. However, under OFT’s leniency policy Cathay Pacific is immune from any penalty as long as it continues to co-operate, whereas Virgin faces a million-dollar fine of up to £250 million.According to Sky News, the alleged infringement occurred between September 2002 and July 2006 where an average 1.2 million passengers were carried and worth about £1.2bn annually at the time.It is also alleged that employees from the two airlines held meetings, with the aim of “co-ordinating the parties’ respective pricing strategies regarding passenger fares through the exchange of commercially sensitive information on pricing and other commercial matters”. OFT senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement Ali Nikpay said the two airlines would now have an opportunity to respond to OFT’s proposed findings before they decided whether competition law had been infringed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

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