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Frankfurt Airport evacuated in security scare affecting flights

first_img The Canadian Press Everyone has been evacuated and the terminal in blocked by the policeFrankfurt airport pic.twitter.com/B52WvcFe0U— Mina Maged  (@MinaMaged4real) August 31, 2016 Share BERLIN — Authorities say a portion of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 has been evacuated after a person entered a secure area without undergoing required searches.Airport operator Fraport told the dpa news agency on Wednesday that the evacuation was a precautionary measure and that all passengers would have to go through security controls again.Frankfurt Airport’s Twitter account says: “today at Frankfurt Airport a passenger entered the security area before the security check had been completed” and “due to current police action at FRA, passengers are advised to allow extra time to reach the airport.”Flightaware.com, a flight tracking website, is reporting at 10 am EST that 56 flights have been cancelled at Frankfurt Airport, and another 26 delayed.@dexertonico Frankfurt airport has been partially evacuated, please find all information here: https://t.co/KmvHhgL1jx /Nes— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) August 31, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> Frankfurt Airport evacuated in security scare affecting flights Posted by Therefore the German federal police cleared departure hall A as a preventative measure.Passengers will be rechecked prior to departure.2/2— Frankfurt Airport (@Airport_FRA) August 31, 2016 Wednesday, August 31, 2016 last_img read more

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Dr Rodolfo Hernández pulls out of Costa Ricas presidential race

first_imgNo related posts. UPDATED at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, October 3Dr. Rodolfo Hernández Gómez, the Social Christian Unity Party’s presidential candidate announced Thursday that he was no longer running for office, according to a statement from the former candidate, as provided by Semanario Universidad.  Dr. Hernández described a campaign riddled with party infighting, where he faced “backstabbing” from his own party, comparing himself favorable to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel.The former-PUSC candidate said he never imaged that he would face so much “intrigue, envy, egoism, betrayal and disloyalty.”“This is not the democracy I dreamed of, this is not the party I always defended. This is not what I wanted for Costa Rica,” Hernández wrote in his jeremiad.The doctor said that he plans to return to his previous position as director of the National Children’s Hospital.Hernández came in second place in a national poll of the candidates by the daily La Nación, behind frontrunner Johnny Araya of the National Liberation Party and former mayor of San José.The PUSC candidate’s resignation from the race comes one day after the 2014 election season started on Wednesday.Hernández was the only candidate from a major party not to attend the kick-off event at the Supreme Elections Tribunal in San José. Victor Vargas, the candidate press chief, told The Tico Times then that Hernández had a previous meeting schedule with his erstwhile vice presidential candidates.“The motivation has left me, and I don’t think it will come back before Feb. 2,” he concluded.This story is developing. Follow updates at ticotimes.net.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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12 companies hoping to hire 700 bilingual professionals at job fair

first_imgRelated posts:Upcoming job fairs looking to fill 2,500 positions Job fairs seeking 1,300 employees Fairs this week offer 5,000 job openings 45 companies hiring at job fair this week The Politécnico Internacional, a private technical institute, will hold a job fair next Saturday to fill 700 vacancies available for bilingual workers.A total of 12 companies will be offering jobs in the areas of information technology, business administration, accounting, finance and marketing.Recruiters will conduct interviews to evaluate applicants’ command of the English language as well as personal and professional skills. Applicants should bring résumés in both print and digital formats.Politécnico’s Career Services Coordinator Erick Vindas Camacho said participating companies include Sykes, Intel, Concentrix, IBM, Teleperformance, Grupo Multivex, Logosoft, AIESEC, Tek-Experts, Empleos.net and Telecable.The fair will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Politécnico’s campus, located 1 kilometer north of Pozuelo factory, on the road to Heredia. Admission is free. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rica to crack down on puppy mills

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican lawmakers approve dog fighting ban 7 alleged poachers to stand trial Monday for Costa Rica conservationist’s murder Jairo Mora murder trial delayed after defendant fails to show, citing medical reasons President Solís urges lawmakers to pass animal cruelty bill following ‘barbarous’ attacks Responding to an official complaint filed with the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), police raided a Cartago home last week. With only two small bedrooms and a cramped sitting room, the tiny house had served as the only living space for 18 French poodles, part of an illegal breeding operation.Designed to produce as many puppies as possible at little cost, these operations are known as puppy mills. French poodles seized in a raid on a puppy mill in Cartago suffered injuries from overbreeding. (Courtesy of The Humane Society)“We know that this is a prevalent problem in Costa Rica,” Cynthia Dent, regional director for the Humane Society International-Latin America, told The Tico Times. “For that reason, we are starting to work more and more regularly on puppy mills in Costa Rica.”Recommended: Costa Rican lawmakers approve dog fighting banDent hopes the Cartago bust – which took place east of the capital – will be the first of many. In coordination with the Humanitarian Association for the Protection of Costa Rican Animals (AHPPA), the Humane Society plans to help shut down more puppy mills and ferry the mistreated dogs to AHPPA’s animal shelter in Heredia. The poodles seized in the latest raid are now in AHPPA’s facilities, where they are undergoing veterinary treatment and a socialization process to prepare the dogs for adoption.The efforts of animal rights groups will be coupled with a new set of SENASA regulations for breeding facilities. The new regulations officially will become law next week with the publication of a decree in the government newspaper, La Gaceta. The decree’s publication will mark the first time Costa Rica has explicitly regulated dog breeding facilities.Before, all charges against puppy mills had to be prosecuted under Costa Rica’s generic animal welfare law. Now, a breeding facility will need to meet specific thresholds regarding space, food, exercise and health for its dogs in order to be legally registered.Though the new regulations will aid SENASA in defining guidelines for breeders, the government organization still will be unable to legally seize animals from a facility unless someone files an official complaint with their office.“People tend to only file complaints after they buy a dog from one of these facilities and it dies,” said Laura Loaiza, the director of SENASA’s animal welfare program. “Before this problem can get better we need to spread awareness and get people to report these facilities whenever they see them.”According to Loaiza, SENASA always sees an increase in the number of complaints around holidays when people seek out cheap dogs to give as gifts. Only one puppy was seized in the most recent raid, and SENASA officials suspect that most of the other puppies had been sold as Mother’s Day presents. Mother’s Day in Costa Rica is this Friday.“Certainly much of the blame falls with the facilities themselves,” Loaiza said, “but these puppy mills will always exist as long as there is a demand for cheap puppies. People need to be content with paying more to know that no dogs were mistreated.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Singer David Bowie dies at 69 influential performer of many alter egos

first_imgRelated posts:Space bids farewell to David Bowie, one of its own Pop icon Prince dead at 57 Cynthia Lennon, who first married John Lennon, dies at 75 A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg dies at 45 As much curator as inventor, Bowie lifted melodic motifs from blues, funk and standards and presented them in such a way that many fans had no idea that the catchy “Starman” was a version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or that the melancholy “Life on Mars” was “My Way” in disguise. Other musical borrowings were more obvious, such as the opening bass line of “Jean Genie,” taken from “I’m a Man,” or the “On Broadway” reference at the end of the title track of the album “Aladdin Sane.”Stardom gave Bowie his pick of talent. He hand-selected virtuoso session players to help define each musical phase: Mick Ronson’s guitar solos, Mike Garson’s dissonant piano improv, Carlos Alomar’s funky rhythms, and the techno sounds of guitarists Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp that permeated his work in the late ’70s and set the stage for the European electronica of the 1980s.Bowie’s voice was similarly labile – gliding between ragged cackle and haunting croon as he sang about decaying cities and alienated rock stars. Fellow musicians marveled at his ability to seduce a crowd with a look or a gesture.“He’s the total artist,” said Nicholas Godin of the duo Air. “The look, the voice, the talent to compose, the stage presence. The beauty. Nobody is like that anymore. Everybody is reachable; he was unreachable.” A photo taken on July 12, 2002 shows British musician David Bowie performing during a concert in Cologne, western Germany. AFP/DPA/CartensenEver-changing identitiesDavid Robert Jones was born on Jan. 8, 1947, in Brixton, a working-class south London neighborhood scarred by World War II bomb blasts.His father, a publicist for a children’s charity, was a failed music hall impresario; his mother was a former waitress and model. An older half-brother, Terry, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized when Bowie was a young man. For many years the rock star worried about his own mental health, and the theme of insanity runs through his early songs.“I used to wonder about my eccentricities, my wanting to explore and put myself in dangerous situations, psychically,” he told Esquire magazine in 1993. “I was scared stiff that I was mad, that the reason I was getting away with it was that I was an artist, so people never knew I was totally bonkers.”His family moved to the middle-class suburb of Bromley, where young David attended Bromley Technical High School and found a mentor in art teacher Owen Frampton, father of the future pop star Peter. At 14, in a fight with a friend over a girl, David was punched in the eye, resulting in a permanently dilated left pupil that would add to the otherworldly appearance he would later cultivate.After a few lessons on a plastic saxophone purchased on a payment plan, he began playing in local bands, finding that he liked singing and the female adulation that came with it. To avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees, he renamed himself after the 19th-century American frontiersman and the hunting knife associated with him.Fascinated by musical theater, Bowie joined a mime troupe led by the dancer (and, briefly, his lover) Lindsay Kemp, who taught him the extravagant, stylized movements he would later bring into his own stage performances.Although his first two albums received little notice, in 1969 Bowie had his first hit single with “Space Oddity,” a song about a disaffected astronaut who decides to remain “sitting in my tin can, far above the world,” rather than return to life on Earth. Released five days before the Apollo 11 launch, it reached No. 5 in Britain.That year he also met Angela Barnett, with whom he would enter into a 10-year marriage and have a son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, born in 1971. A shrewd manager of her husband’s early career, Barnett tolerated his blatant philandering and gave him the spiky-on-top, long-in-the-back haircut that would become his signature look through the early 1970s.The hairdo – and the accompanying glittery bodysuits, platform boots and face paint – was intended as a statement against the peace-and-love, denim-clad hippie imagery dominating rock culture at the time. Bowie instead presented fans with cut-and-paste lyrics about the end of the world, and shocked them by dropping to his knees to perform mock fellatio on Ronson’s electric guitar or telling an interviewer he was bisexual (though he would later say that was just an experimental phase).“We wanted to manufacture a new kind of vocabulary,” Bowie told NPR’s Terry Gross in 2003. “And so the so-called gender-bending, the picking up of maybe aspects of the avant garde and aspects of, for me personally, of things like the Kabuki theater in Japan and German expressionist movies, and poetry by Baudelaire … it was a pudding of new ideas, and we were terribly excited, and I think we took it on our shoulders the idea that we were creating the 21st century in 1971.”His ever-changing, outrageous personae also served to mask the painful shyness and insecurity of his younger years.“I didn’t really have the nerve to sing my songs onstage,” he told Musician magazine in 1983. Referring to the various personae, he said: “I decided to do them in disguise so that I didn’t have to actually go through the humiliation of going onstage and being myself. I continued designing characters with their own complete personalities and environments. I put them into interviews with me! Rather than be me – which must be incredibly boring to anyone – I’d take Ziggy in, or Aladdin Sane or the Thin White Duke. It was a very strange thing to do.” A plaque marks the location of the cover photograph of the iconic cover for British musician David Bowie’s album “Ziggy Stardust” in central London. Justin Tallis/AFPActor and innovatorAlong with his own music, he promoted the careers of lesser-known musicians such as Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and Mott the Hoople, whose signature hit, “All the Young Dudes,” was written by Bowie. In 1974 he moved to Los Angeles, whose hyped-up, drugged-out music scene – the “Fame” and “Fascination” immortalized on his album “Young Americans” – took a toll. Extensive cocaine use made him jittery and paranoid, even as it enabled him to be creatively prolific.Seeking calm and anonymity, Bowie spent much of the late 1970s in West Berlin, where in collaboration with Brian Eno he produced three albums that experimented with ambient sound and presaged the synthesizer-heavy music of the 1980s.Returning to live in New York City, he began expanding his range as an actor. Having starred in the 1976 Nicholas Roeg film “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” in 1980 he played the lead in a stage production of “The Elephant Man,” for which Variety praised his “charismatic personality … suggesting springs of passion beneath the severe physical handicaps of the character.”In both roles he played sensitive freaks misunderstood by the society around them, a theme that had also permeated much of his music. He also starred in “Just a Gigolo” with Marlene Dietrich (1978), in the Tony Scott vampire film “The Hunger” with Catherine Deneuve (1983) and as a rebellious prisoner of war in “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” (also 1983).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfccDapMA14Bowie’s commercial musical pinnacle also came in 1983, with the blockbuster album “Let’s Dance.” It blasted him into international superstardom, though critics complained that it lacked the depth of his earlier work. Its unexpected success threw Bowie into a creative tailspin. Having planned to follow it with more esoteric material, he instead tried to duplicate the “Let’s Dance” success with albums that were critical flops.“I suddenly felt very apart from my audience,” he told Live magazine in 1997. “And it was depressing, because I didn’t know what they wanted.”Bowie regularly released albums through the 1980s and 1990s, although none approached the success of his previous output. But he continued to innovate, in 1996 becoming the first musician of his stature to release a song, “Telling Lies,” exclusively via the Internet. He caused a sensation when he was the first to sell asset-backed bonds, known in his case as “Bowie bonds” and acquired by Prudential, tied to the royalties on his back catalogue.By the eve of the century he had once aspired to create, Bowie seemed to be finally settling down. He fell in love – a condition his younger self had pooh-poohed – with the model Iman Abdulmajid, whom he married in 1992 and with whom he had a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, in 2000. After suffering a heart attack backstage during a tour in 2004, he stopped producing albums or touring for nearly a decade, devoting himself to family life. He even got his vulpine teeth capped, to the disappointment of some fans.But in 2013, the same year an elaborate retrospective of his visual legacy began touring the world, the 66-year-old Bowie released a new album, recorded in secret, called “The Next Day.” His first album in a decade and the 24th of his career, it was praised by critics, who called it innovative even as it hearkened back to his early music.That Bowie was still reinventing himself in his seventh decade could not have surprised those who knew him. “David’s a real living Renaissance figure,” Roeg told Time magazine in 1983. “That’s what makes him spectacular. He goes away and re-emerges bigger than before. He doesn’t have a fashion, he’s just constantly expanding. It’s the world that has to stop occasionally and say, ‘My God, he’s still going on.’ ” © 2016, The Washington Post Facebook Commentscenter_img David Bowie, the self-described “tasteful thief” who appropriated from and influenced glam rock, soul, disco, new wave, punk rock and haute couture, and whose edgy, androgynous alter egos invited fans to explore their own dark places, died Sunday. Bowie had turned 69 on Friday, the same day he released his latest album which was entitled “Blackstar.”The cause was cancer, said a representative.With his sylphlike body, chalk-white skin, jagged teeth and eyes that appeared to be two different colors, Bowie combined sexual energy with fluid dance moves and a theatrical charisma that mesmerized male and female admirers alike.Citing influences from Elvis Presley to Andy Warhol – not to mention the singer Edith Piaf and writers William S. Burroughs and Jean Genet – Bowie was trained in mime and fine arts, and played saxophone, guitar, harmonica and piano. A scavenger of musical and visual styles, he repackaged them in striking new formats that were all his own, in turn lending his dramatic, gender-bending aesthetic to later performers such as Prince and Lady Gaga.With “a melodic sense that’s just well above anyone else in rock & roll,” the singer Lou Reed once wrote, “David Bowie’s contribution to rock & roll has been wit and sophistication.” His output between 1969 and 1983 made up “one of the longest creative streaks in rock history,” according to Rolling Stone magazine. A Jan 19, 2006 photo shows Lou Reed, left, and David Bowie attending the opening of the Lou Reed NY photography exhibit at the Gallery at Hermes in New York City. AFP/Getty Images North America/Andrew H. WalkerBy the height of his fame in the early 1980s, Bowie had enacted his own death repeatedly, in the form of characters and ensembles he would create, inhabit and then discard. “My policy has been that as soon as a system or process works, it’s out of date,” he said in a 1977 interview. “I move on to another area.”The practice, which extended to friendships and professional partnerships, could be jarring. The Spiders From Mars, his band during his glitter-rock Ziggy Stardust years, learned that they were being fired when Bowie announced it onstage at the end of a 1973 tour.To fans as well, Bowie’s rapid transitions could feel like whiplash. In the space of five years he was a curly-haired folk singer; a Lauren Bacall look-alike in an evening gown; a vampiric creature with a red mullet, shaved eyebrows and a skintight, multicolored bodysuit; and a coked-up dandy in a tailored suit, suspenders, fedora and cane.Some of these looks had alter egos associated with them, such as Ziggy Stardust, a fictional rock star who is ultimately ripped to pieces by his fans, or the Thin White Duke, a spectral, disaffected figure dressed impeccably in cabaret-style evening wear who throws “darts in lovers’ eyes.”last_img read more

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5 questions for 2 graphic designers The street is the biggest museum

first_imgRelated posts:5 questions for a painter: ‘Art is the pursuit of the truth’ 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Dino Real – ‘Everything can be art’ 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Luciano Goizueta 5 questions for a Costa Rican graphic designer Facebook Comments How would you define Costa Rica in colors?C: I’d define Costa Rica as a very rich and ample chromatic range. There are tons of aesthetic possibilities. On a color usage level there’s certain affinity toward various specific colors, especially within the more urban zone. The colors turquoise and pink are always present. You’ve got the different shades of light blue, pink and the mixture of these. For example, half of the painting is one color and the other half is another color. Most of the time, the majority of the lettering is done with primary colors such as black, red, yellow and blue. I think it’s due to the idea of economizing the paint.J: Or maybe it’s about the opportunity of using the leftover paint they have at that moment.What captures your attention?J: In my case it’s the street. It’s the biggest existing museum because I like going out and looking at all the details that surround it.C: What Iden-Tica has awakened within me is the understanding that if a city is not used, it gets lost. This has awakened my desire to out walking a lot. That’s the only way to really get to know a city or a town.J: You’ve got to value the place where you are. Even if it’s small and it’s not modern, it’ll have its own flavor. It’s about getting out, discovering, and trying to offer that vision to people who impede themselves from looking at it that way.C: And not having that fear that people often have when they say they don’t go to certain places because it’s dangerous. There are people just like us there. Wherever there are people, there are also possibilities.center_img Graphic designers Juan Manuel Betancourt, of Venezuela, and Claudio Corrales, of Costa Rica, have joined forces on a unique project that encourages Ticos to appreciate the imagery in their daily lives.Iden-tica gathers Costa Rican popular art from sources such as street murals and lettering, packing and advertisements; it has grown into a local brand featuring magazines, collectibles and pins, and been featured around the world at events such as the Paris Salon du Livre (2014), and the Iberoamerican Design Biennial in Madrid (2014).Betancourt has been living in Costa Rica since 2003. Between 2004 and 2009 he directed the Revista Colectiva, a collaborative project that gathered a collective of illustrators from all over the world; he founded Iden-tica in 2013. Corrales works as a full-time graphic design professor at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and joined Betancourt on the Iden-tica project in 2014.On a calm, beautiful evening at Betancourt’s apartment in Los Yoses, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Betancourt and Corrales about the Costa Rican “look,” street lettering, and, of course, fried chicken. Excerpts follow.How did the project come to be? J: I started the “chicken project” as a hobby… [depicting the fried chicken] you see every day on the streets. I had to do something with all the material I had. During that same time, I started documenting photographs graphic lettering, typography and characters.  I reached a point where I had to find a way to pour it all out.C: It has been an educational process because it started out as a magazine, but it has developed into a brand. Iden-Tica is not only about the editorial side and products; it’s about the educational part.J: We feel we’ve opened many people’s eyes. This is what you see on your daily life, but don’t take a glance at it.C: The strongest message of our project is to look inward to the national or Latin American identity. This generates empathy towards it when we’re on our search for it. Latinos are very antipathetic toward the idea that we have an identity. With the project we’ve strengthened that idea of identity.How would you define the Costa Rican identity?J: What might seem day-to-day for you might not seem that way for someone who comes from another country. When you’re a foreigner and are eager to fall in love with a new place, that’s what defines it. Since I’m a lover of art, photography and design, everything caught my attention, even the streets and buses. It didn’t matter if I walked from the Caja to the Coca Cola, if there were lots of people or if it was raining: I was in love with the place. The first “mascot” that caught my attention was the chicken.C: I’d define the Costa Rican identity through color, noise, and saborrr (flavor).J: And fat and the fried chicken smell. I remember when I got here and traveled by bus. I’d go to Manuel Antonio, Jacó and other beaches. I was surprised when people would get on the bus with their fried chicken bag and leave the bus impregnated with the smell. The fried chicken edition is Iden-Tica’s last edition depicting the Costa Rican identity. (Courtesy of Juan Manuel Betancourt and Claudio Corrales)What is the most interesting mural or popular graphic lettering you’ve encountered?C: With the graphic lettering and typography there is a lot of interesting work [by street artists]. Mr. Masking [in San José] has a very developed typographic system. In Alajuela you’ve got El Pintor and El Pintor has a typography that has all of Alajuela lettered.J: San José is very typographic and Alajuela is very character-based.C: There are areas in which these two things are combined on a graphic level, but what other things do we discover? The people. Being able to speak with the people who make these works is the most interesting part.J: It often happens that you’re taking a photo, and suddenly, someone tells you to knock on someone’s door because the person who painted it is there. People also tell you the person’s name and you end up meeting someone who’s not a painter. We sometimes get to a place and are invited into this person’s house. We end up discovering the same lettering within the person’s house.C: Or you’re invited to come in and end up eating bread with natilla and drinking coffee.last_img read more

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Costa Rican court orders effective protection for Corcovado National Park

first_imgThe Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, ordered the Costa Rican government to outline a plan to protectCorcovado National Park and other nearby areas in the country’s southern Pacific from ongoing illegal actions from loggers, gold miners and poachers.The court issued the ruling on Jan. 27 in response to an appeal filed in August 2015 by environmental groups and experts against the Environment, Public Security and Finance ministers.Justices ordered the three ministers to coordinate, within two months, “all necessary actions to implement a surveillance plan to guarantee the permanent protection of Corcovado National Park and the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve,” a nearby protected area.It also orders Public Security Ministry officials to immediately take all necessary actions to evict every person conducting illegal logging, poaching and gold mining in the park, which is located on the Osa Peninsula.Legal complaintThe complaint before the Sala IV was a group effort that comprised collaborations from the Costa Rican Federation for Environmental Conservation (FECON), the Environment Ministry’s Workers’ Union, and the NGO Preserve Planet.Various scientists, filmmakers and other experts also contributed to the drafting of the complaint. Among them was Mario Boza, who played a key role in the creation of various Costa Rican national parks.Authors of the complaint described the current situation in Corcovado “as a complete disaster.”They stated that large areas of the park are seriously threatened by poaching, illegal logging and “the permanent presence of some 400 gold miners using heavy machinery and dynamite.”The complaint cites numerous documented examples from scientific research and on-the-ground inspections that concluded that these actions are severely reducing populations of several species of animals and plants.These illegal actions are also causing enormous damage to vast areas of vegetation and forests, the complaint states. As an example, the claim quotes the results of an inspection conducted in 2013 in response to a report of illegal mining.“Park rangers and experts found that gold miners used dynamite to remove some 10 square kilometers (3.8 square miles) of material, equivalent to some 2,000 waste trucks full,” states the document. “This is equivalent to medium-scale open-pit mining.” Justices ordered the immediate eviction of every person conducting illegal logging, poaching and gold mining inside Corcovado National Park. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesDecision applaudedFECON President Mauricio Álvarez told The Tico Times on Thursday that he is satisfied with the Sala IV’s ruling, as it represents a good precedent for similar environmental fights.Álvarez said that FECON will monitor the ministries’ compliance with the ruling.“Despite the abandonment and violence that the national parks are being subjected to, parks keep providing us with food, water and air. They are a source of knowledge, of education and recreation,” he said.Álvarez noted that it is essential to improve resources available at the national park, especially staff. Today, there are only 15 park rangers to protect more than 40,000 hectares of land, he said.“And they work in alternate shifts, so not all of them are patrolling at the same time,” Álvarez said.Natural treasureCorcovado National Park is located 335 kilometers southwest San José and comprises 42,560 hectares of land and 3,354 hectares of sea.The area has an unusual amount of biological diversity that is unmatched anywhere else in the world in a similar-sized area. The park is home to more than 500 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 40 species of freshwater fish, 117 species of amphibians, and about 6,000 species of insects.Four species of sea turtles lay their eggs on Corcovado’s beaches, and its forests house the largest population of red macaws in Costa Rica.The Osa Peninsula, where the park is located, is home to 69 percent of Costa Rica’s endangered vertebrate species. It is also home to half of the country’s endangered plants and one third of its endangered trees.According to official data, Corcovado is home to 50 percent of the country’s species and harbors 3 percent of the world’s biodiversity. National Geographic famously referred to Corcovado as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.”In September, the travel company Discovercorps  ranked Corcovado at the top of its list of best national parks in the world.Recommended: Photos: Corcovado is like ‘Jungle Book’ without tigers and bearsThis video of a puma devouring an iguana inside Corcovado National Park went viral last month: Facebook Comments Related posts:Alleged gold miners camp outside Corcovado National Park, demand compensation  Alleged gold miners end protest at Corcovado National Park Costa Rica launches quest to replace most single-use plastic by 2021 Costa Rican researchers want to use nature sounds in healing therapieslast_img read more

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Clarín Keylor is a superhero and La Sele is our army

first_imgPHOTOS: Costa Rica clinches World Cup 2018 berth VIDEO: World Cup 2014 Retrospective! Related posts:World Cup 2018: Two Costa Rican fans travel to La Sele’s rival countries Serbia defeats Costa Rica 1-0 at the 2018 World Cup Costa Rica, Brazil battle rumors of tension and injury before high-stakes matchup Costa Rica fans descend on Saint Petersburg “Keylor Navas is flying again. Fast, astute, impeccable.”So begins a story in the Argentinean daily Clarín, headlined “Real Madrid found a superhero in Central America.” Author Waldermar Iglesias waxes eloquent about the Costa Rican superstar goalkeeper and then wanders into Costa Rican history.A sociologist quoted in the story argues that Costa Rica’s extraordinary passion for football has its roots in the country’s lack of an army. Keylor Navas and Real Madrid topped Manchester CIty 1-0 in the Champions League semifinals second leg at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid to advance to the tournament final in 2016. Curto de la Torre/AFP“Keylor was born in Costa Rica. It sounds like the periphery of football, but that’s not true,” the story reads. “It’s one of the countries with the strongest passion for the sport. It’s all about a central question… that goes beyond the playing field: before the last World Cup, sociologist Sergio Villena Fiengo told this daily, ‘Costa Rica is a country that abolished its army in 1948 and had no war of independence as such… in this framework, the Men’s National Soccer Team is a ritualistic space in which, in some way, a ‘return of repressed militarism’ is produced.“‘Discussion of the team is full of warlike, epic rhetoric, with elements that emphasize masculinity and virility as well as the idea of ‘conquest,’” Iglesias told the daily. La Sele reached its highest heights at the 2014 World Cup, but has inspired Ticos for decades. Lindsay Fendt / The Tico TimesThe story also quotes Rafael Angel Calderón, who, as president in 1990 when Costa Rica sent its Men’s National Team to the World Cup for the first time in history (with surprising success), said that “This is the most marvelous thing that has ever happened in Costa Rican history… the greatest of all God’s gifts to us.” Costa Rica’s Marco Ureña (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Mexico during their 2018 World Cup football qualifier match at the National Stadium. AFP PHOTO / Carlos GONZALEZ“The plane that carried [the team upon its return] flew at the lowest level all over the country until it ran out of gas. Not even the sick stayed inside. In the streets, the party lasted much longer than the next morning,” Iglesias writes. “It’s not magical realism. It’s Costa Rican soccer in its purest state. Navas, the superhero of Real Madrid, will be in this World Cup as well… in search of new epic journeys for La Sele, that weaponless army of his beloved Costa Rica.”Read the original story here.Stay tuned for our World Cup-themed print edition, coming in June. Where will you be watching Keylor and friends during the 2018 World Cup? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and look back at La Sele’s ride to the tournament: Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Greece shifting many police guards to patrol duty

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece plans to shift roughly half of its police officers who are used for guard duty to crime-fighting efforts in cities instead, the national police spokesman said Tuesday. He added that a move to massively boost security at the border with Turkey, in part out of concerns about an influx of Syrian refugees, would be permanent.Greece has seen a sharp rise in violent crime since the country’s debt crisis exploded in late 2009. With unemployment above 20 percent, officials also are under pressure to crack down on illegal migration; Greece is the busiest entry point for illegal immigrants trying to reach the European Union. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Sponsored Stories Police spokesman Christos Manouras told The Associated Press that police currently use more than 3,000 officers to guard politicians and public sites such as parliament. That number will be slashed in half, and in some cases guards will be replaced by private security, he said.The 1,500 officers taken off guard duty will be used for police patrols, mostly in Athens, in hopes of reducing crime, he said.Manouras said the deployment of an additional 1,881 officers to the Turkish border would begin Thursday _ a four-fold increase in border guards that the police spokesman said would be a permanent fixture.The border security boost, first announced Monday, was framed in part as a response to potential migration by Syrians seeking to escape their country’s civil war. Turkey already hosts thousands of Syrian refugees.Manouras said the increase in security would include regular boat patrols along the Evros River that separates Greece and Turkey. He said “there already is an inflow of immigrants from Syria” but gave no details. Getting from Syria to Greece is a roughly 1,400 kilometer (870-mile) journey across Turkey.“We must seal the border. For that reason we will reinforce all the Evros frontier line,” Manouras said. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Islamic cleric in Norway convicted of Web threats

first_img Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories OSLO, Norway (AP) – An Iraqi-born Islamist cleric has been given a one-year prison sentence for making death threats against Norwegian politicians, influencing witnesses and inciting terror.The Oslo District Court convicted Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, on Wednesday of posting online threats during an earlier trial, including encouraging the killings or kidnappings of Norwegians.This sentence comes in addition to a five-year term he got in March for making death threats against Norwegian officials for a 2005 decision to deport him. He was also convicted of threatening three Kurdish immigrants he said had insulted Islam. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The 56-year-old cleric is the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish group listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. He came to Norway as a refugee in 1991.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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4 Kenyan police wounded in grenade attack

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix At the scene of Mohammed’s killing, his wife had angrily accused police of the murder.“It is you policemen who have killed him, we don’t want a post-mortem or any help from you,” Khaniya Said Sagar told police who came to assist her.Khaniya said that her husband had been driving her to the hospital for a checkup after she had a miscarriage two weeks ago.The Muslim Human Rights Forum has called the shooting of Mohammed an “extrajudicial killing” and demanded an “an end to targeted killings and enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects.”But police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said that no police were involved in Mohammed’s death.Keriako Tobiko, Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions, has formed a team to investigate the homicide made up of members of the police, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Lawyers Society of Kenya and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.Police had said Mohammed was part of terror cell affiliated to al-Shabab that was planning to bomb Kenyan targets over Christmas. Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya sending troops into Somalia to fight the Islamist insurgents. Mohammed was acquitted in 2005 of murder charges for the 2002 bombing of a tourist hotel near Mombasa which killed more than 12 people.He is the fifth alleged Muslim extremist who has been killed or who disappeared in the last four months, according to human rights campaigners. One corpse was found mutilated and the other four men vanished.The killing brought to the surface tensions in Mombasa, a city established centuries ago by Muslim traders from the Arabian peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, now home to hundreds of thousands of people of Arab descent and a large Somali population.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How men can have a healthy 2019 Associated PressMOMBASA, Kenya (AP) – A grenade attack wounded four policemen in the latest outbreak of violence in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa, ending what had seemed to be a lull in violence stemming from the killing on Monday of a radical Islamist preacher, a police officer said late Wednesday.A hand grenade was hurled into a police van carrying several security officials who were patrolling the precincts of Mombasa Pentecostal Church, critically wounding three of them, police officer Kipkemboi Rop said. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Odinga denied the claims. The premier also confirmed that the government will compensate churches and businesses that were looted or burned during the protests.Youths started to erect roadblocks of burning tires Wednesday but were chased away by police using tear gas and batons. Paramilitary and regular police patrolled Majengo on trucks while others carried out door-to-door searches for suspected looters and rioters.Two dozen people arrested on Tuesday in the riots were arraigned in a Mombasa court Wednesday. They were charged with two counts of taking part in an unlawful assembly and taking part in a riot and were to be taken to Shimo la Tewa prison pending a ruling on their bond terms.Hassan Joho, a member of parliament for the Kisauni area, where a grenade was thrown Tuesday into a truck full of security officers going to stop protesters from burning a church, urged his constituents to maintain peace. He said that if paramilitary police known as the General Service Unit, who have a reputation for brutality, are deployed to their area, they won’t discriminate between rioters and those who are not involved in chaos.Two prison guards who were wounded in the grenade attack died Wednesday, said James Kodiany, the Coast regional prisons boss. Another guard died on Tuesday in the grenade attack. A civilian was killed on Monday in the rioting. Sponsored Stories The grenade attack shattered the relative calm that had started to spread over the city on the third day after the killing of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who had been sanctioned by the U.S. and U.N. for his alleged support for al-Shabab, an al-Qiada-linked militant group in Somalia. He was shot to death by unidentified gunmen Monday morning as he drove in his car with his family. His wife was wounded in a leg.Businesses reopened Wednesday morning in most parts of Mombasa after youths rioted for two days, angered over the killing of a hardline Muslim cleric.The rioting on Monday and Tuesday had brought this vibrant city, Kenya’s second-biggest, to a near standstill, left four people dead and several churches and businesses damaged, but some businesses had reopened Wednesday.Police reinforcements helped contain attempts by youths from the populous Majengo area to continue with the protests for a third day.Prime Minister Raila Odinga, addressing an interfaith meeting at Nyali Beach in Mombasa, said leaflets were circulating in Mombasa and Nairobi, claiming he was behind the killing. Odinga said the leaflets allege that he went to Israel and hired mercenaries who came to eliminate Mohammed, who was facing several terror-related charges. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Survivors recount Nazi camp horrors at liberation memorial

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up Of course, most said yes.“The guard said, ‘Well, then, sit over there’– then he shot him,” said Lewitt, tears welling in his eyes. “He said the inmate tried to escape the camp. That happened umpteen times every day.”Austria marked the 70th anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation Sunday with somber speeches by dignitaries and funeral marches by scores of flag-carrying delegations from Europe and beyond. More than 20,000 people attended. The most powerful commemorations, however, were the stories told by some of the approximately 50 survivors present.One of the longest-existing concentration camps in Hitler’s Reich, Mauthausen received its first railway wagon of inmates in 1938. By the time it and its nearly 50 satellite camps were liberated by American troops in May 1945, more than 100,000 people had died, most in the main camp.That main camp was designated “Category III” — which meant its inmates were slated for death through labor.Many of the hundreds of thousands at the Mauthausen complex — Jews as well as prisoners of war, political prisoners, conscientious objectors and other opponents of Hitler’s Nazi regime — built war planes and other military equipment in deep tunnels they dug at the auxiliary camps . New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies But the most unfortunate landed in its huge granite pit. Those assigned to 12-hour days of trying to climb the stairs — uneven slabs, some half a meter (yard) high — died from exhaustion, being shot or after being transferred to barracks for the sick, where lack of care and epidemics decimated the horribly weakened inmates.The Nazis called the main camp “The Bone Mill.” On Sunday, cows grazed on rolling meadows near tidy farm houses within eyesight of the forbidding granite walls of Mauthausen as people in nearby villages went about their business — a scene witnesses have described as not much different than Sundays past, as those inside the walls suffered and died.Most Austrians denied knowing about the camps until after the war. It took decades for public opinion to swing from the perception that Austria was a victim of Hitler to recognition that it was one of Germany’s most willing accomplices after its annexation in 1938.Invoking the memory of “one of the most horrible chapters in our history,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Sunday urged his countrymen “to never forget and to elevate values such as tolerance, democracy, non-violence and solidarity.” How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Earlier, scores of delegations from countries whose citizens died at the Mauthausen complex made their way to the podium. A survivor with the Israeli delegation wore a copy of the black-and-white pajamas issued to inmates.Mauthausen was the last concentration camp to be liberated by the allies, with U.S armored troops rolling into the compound on May 5, 1945. It was a day many survivors remember with joy.“One of the sergeants on the first tank took a packet of cigarettes out his pockets and lit (one),” Max Garcia recalled Sunday. “I said, ‘Ahhh, it’s a long time ago since I saw a Lucky Strike.’“He gave me one and … immediately called his lieutenant,” said Garcia, 90, now of San Francisco. Within hours, Garcia was ensconced in a comfortable hotel and helping the Americans interrogate his former tormentors and their backers.But for Lewitt, 92, of Vienna, the day of liberation was bitter.With nowhere to go, he and fellow inmates spent their first free night still in the camp. Transferred to Linz, the nearest big city, and then left on their own, they wandered the streets dressed in their camp stripes, hungry, penniless, and lonely as the rest of Austria started picking up from the ruins of war. How do cataracts affect your vision?center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories “No one cared about us,” he says. “It was trauma in the camp and afterward too.”His eyes teared up again Sunday when asked what his thoughts were.“I survived,” he said. “And the others didn’t.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories MAUTHAUSEN, Austria (AP) — Many people were worked to death or starved. Others were gassed or killed by injection. But of all the ways to die at Mauthausen, Austria’s largest concentration camp, one method in particular reflected the horrible cynicism of the Nazis in charge.As emaciated inmates struggled up the 186 steps of “the Stairway of Death” balancing huge blocks of granite on their backs, a guard would ask one if he would like to step out of the line to sit and rest for a minute on a ledge, recalled former inmate Aba Lewitt. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility International delegations with flags arrive for a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp in Mauthausen, Austria, Sunday, May 10, 2015. Austrian political leaders and foreign dignitaries have joined thousands of people commemorating the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp on May 5, 1945 by American troops. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)last_img read more

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Yemen ambassador UNled Geneva talks to start June 14

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Yemen’s Alyemany said that “if Houthis are reacting positively … things can move easily.”He said Ban is expected to open the Geneva meeting and Ahmed will then meet in “one room” with the parties and their supporters. “It will be around the same table,” the ambassador said.Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters he called for Wednesday’s council meeting because Moscow is “extremely concerned” at the delay in convening the Geneva talks, and the impact of the conflict on civilians, especially from the coalition bombing.“Clearly the effects of the bombing campaign is quite dramatic on the civilian population, even on cultural, historical monuments,” he said, but “all parties need to show restraint and stop violence.”Churkin said he urged the secretary-general and the new U.N. humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian supplies and keep pushing for another humanitarian pause in the fighting.The Russian ambassador said he also called on Ahmed to convene the Geneva meeting as soon as possible. If it starts before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on June 17, Churkin expressed hope that discussions would continue during Ramadan “until a final agreement is reached.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Comments   Share   UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday that U.N.-led talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Middle East’s poorest nation will begin June 14 in Geneva.Ambassador Khaled Alyemany told The Associated Press that the United Nations is expected to officially announce the date shortly.But there was still some uncertainty among members of the U.N. Security Council who were briefed behind closed doors by the U.N.’s new special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement How men can have a healthy 2019center_img Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “Hopefully the 14th,” Angola’s U.N. Ambassador Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins told reporters as he left the council meeting.Ahmed’s first attempt to hold talks was postponed two days before the parties were to meet on May 28 after a request from Yemen’s government and other parties for more time to prepare.The conflict pits Yemen’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels — who seized the capital, Sanaa, last year — and military units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes against the Houthis and their allies on March 26, shortly after Hadi fled a rebel advance on the south. Since then, airstrikes and ground fighting have killed more than 1,000 civilians and displaced a half million people, according to the U.N.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been urging the parties to drop preconditions for the talks, an appeal Ahmed has made in numerous meetings with the feuding parties.An aide to Hadi said Tuesday that the president has agreed to travel to Geneva for the talks. The rebels’ second-in-command said the Houthis also are ready to go to Geneva.last_img read more

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Ativa Hospitality to continue to expand footprint

first_imgHe added that Ativa is also looking to grow its footprint in Cambodia.“We are currently very happy with Hotel de la Paix, but we are looking at expanding, possibly to Sihanoukville” Black said Sihanoukville, located southwest of Phnom Penh, had great potential for development as the port city’s pristine beaches continued to attract an increasing number of tourists.However, Ativa does not expect to expand into the area for another two to three years as the area currently does not have any proper airlift services and facilities.Black added that he doesn’t expect the industry to recover to 06/07 levels for another two to three years. Ativa Hospitality aims to add four more properties to its portfolio in the next two years, the professional boutique hotel management company said last week. Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard on Friday, Ativa Hospitality Co-Founder and Managing Director Bill Black said the company aimed to expand the existing number of properties in its portfolio to 10 by 2012. Ativa Hospitality, which was founded in 2008, recently signed on two new Thailand properties, and manages four other properties across Thailand and Cambodia.  They include the award-winning Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap, Indigo Pearl and Trisara in Phuket and the four-star SilQ Bangkok. In regards to Ativa’s recently signed on hotels, Hansar Samui and Hansar Bangkok which are slated to open in the second half of this year, Black said he expected both properties to run at 50 percent for the first year.He said the hotels faced the challenge of being in an oversupplied location, but added that the design and architecture of the hotels would set them apart from others in the area. But Black said the company was now focusing on expanding into Southern India and Vietnam, with hopes to sign on a hotel in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.  Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Lcenter_img Ativa’s Bill Blacklast_img read more

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Become a jolly swagman and stay by a billabong in Warrawong

first_imgOut of the Ordinary OutbackBecome a jolly swagman and stay by a billabong in WarrawongNew outback touring company Out of the Ordinary Outback is offering modern-day swagmen – and women – a free night’s stay at the new-look Warrawong on the Darling camp, nestled by a billabong at Wilcannia in outback NSW.The ‘stay three nights and get the fourth free’ offer is available for caravan and camping accommodation at the sprawling , 688-hectare outback camp which hugs the legendary, gum-lined Darling River for 12km at Wilcannia, 965km west of Sydney and 700km north-east of Adelaide.Under the stay for four – pay for three offer, outback explorers can stay for four nights on a powered site for $111 (nightly rate is $37 per night) on an unpowered site for four nights for $81 ($27 a night). Prices based on two people per site. There is no expiry date for the open-ended offer.Become a jolly swagman and stay by a billabong in WarrawongOffering a taste of the ruggedly beautiful ‘big sky’ country of far west NSW and fast gaining a reputation as one of the best stopover points for outback tourers, Warrawong on the Darling boasts new cabins, secluded caravan and camping sites by the river and billabong, a new amenities block, laundry, camp kitchen and BBQ area, a small shop and art gallery, bushwalking tracks and friendly hosts.From late March to late October, Warrawong on the Darling also offers an authentic camp diner around the fire for $15.While staying at the park, guests can fish and canoe on the river and billabong, spot local fauna and birdlife, enjoy spectacular sunsets and sunrises gaze at the star-filled night sky and explore historic Wilcannia – once the third largest inland port in Australia during the great river boat era of the mid-19th century. Guests can also use Warrawong as a base for day trips to the opal mining township of White Cliffs, the Aboriginal drawings and rugged ranges of Mutawintji National Park and Menindee Lakes – now filled with water after recent rains.Fresh from its revamp this year, Warrawong on the Darling is owned by new outback touring company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, launched last month by passionate bush lover and tourism businessman, Scott Smith. Out of the Ordinary Outback also includes well-known, outback touring company, Tri State Safaris, the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel, Cobar’s Copper City Motel and the Ivanhoe Hotel. Out of the Ordinary Outbackdiscover more here Warrawong on the Darlingdiscover more here Source = Out of the Ordinary Outbacklast_img read more

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Viranga Bandara

first_imgAs a country, we have been participating in OTM for the last few years. This time, we had around 32 sellers with us. As far as the response is concerned, the numbers have gradually increased with each edition of OTM. I must thank the organising team for such an event and we are looking forward to participate in future editions as well.last_img

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Chinese cultural delegation visits Amaravati shows interest in film production

first_imgAn 11-member Chinese delegation recently met Ambica Krishna, Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Film Development Corporation (AP FDC) to discuss on a film shooting in heritage sites. They also indicated interest in the exchange of views and cooperation in the production of movies in both countries.The delegation also expressed interest to invest in the construction of movie theatres in Andhra Pradesh. They also sought cooperation in China-India arts, culture, film, tourism and to promote India’s culture and tourism through films.“Andhra Pradesh has vast potential for movie production with rich heritage sites and natural tourist spots. The FDC is ready to extend cooperation to the delegation in exchange of movie production and construction of theatres in AP,” said Krishna. He also asked them to come out with an action plan focussing on their interest of working within two months.AP FDC Managing Director S Venkateswarlu elucidated on various opportunities in exchange of cooperation in tourism and movie production in Andhra Pradesh.The delegation included Zhang Yongmou Ninka, Film Director and Producer, Sino–foreign cultural exchange and cooperation alliance; Song Jianglin, General Manager; Fang Zhenyi, Director, Chairman of the Board Sino-foreign cultural exchange and cooperation alliance; Wang Bin, Director; Wang Li, Chairman, Iris Media Film and Cultural Works Private Limited; Chen Guoyun, General Manager, An Hui Ying Shang Rui da Commercial Operations Managing Co Ltd; Chen Jian, Chairman, Futai Square Pyramid Cinema Co Ltd; Fang Jiancai, initiating member were present.last_img read more

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Platinum Data Focused on Risk Mitigation for Reverse Mortgages

first_imgPlatinum Data Focused on Risk Mitigation for Reverse Mortgages in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology May 11, 2012 460 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-05-11 Abby Gregorycenter_img California-based technology provider, “”Platinum Data Solutions””:www.platdata.com/, has announced a new reverse mortgage client partnership in San Diego. The company recently revealed that “”Plaza Home Mortgage Inc.””:www.plazahomemortgage.com/ has implemented Platinum’s RealView platform, targeting quality appraisal review for reverse mortgages across the U.S.RealView gives companies like Plaza an advantage when evaluating the consistency and quality of appraisals for reverse mortgage loans by eliminating the ambiguity that often exists when lenders rely on more basic modules such as automated valuation models or desk appraisal reviews. Following Plaza’s decision to engage Platinum’s platforms in January, the company went on to tap RealView as part of its underwriting process on all transactions.””RealView’s consistent, objective evaluation allows our underwriters to make accurate decisions, knowing that the appraiser used the best comps available ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and if not, they now [COLUMN_BREAK]have data to rebut appraisers directly, in a methodical, scientific manner,”” said Mark Reeve, Plaza’s reverse mortgage division manager. “”RealView helps us make our underwriting decisions with confidence. That’s the bottom line.””[IMAGE] Sharelast_img read more

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Memphis Drops Suit With 75M Agreement From Wells Fargo

first_imgMemphis Drops Suit With $7.5M Agreement From Wells Fargo Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2012-05-31 Krista Franks Brock in Data, Origination, Servicing After “”filing suit””:http://www.cityofmemphis.org/pdf_forms/lawsuit.pdf in January 2010 for predatory lending practices, the city of Memphis, Tennessee, and Shelby County have dropped charges against mortgage giant “”Wells Fargo.””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ The two parties reached an “”agreement””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/press/2012/20120529_MillionsofDollarsHeadedtoMemphis that requires Wells Fargo to commit $7.5 million to homeownership initiatives in Memphis and Shelby County. [IMAGE]Of the total, $4.5 million will go to down payment and home renovation assistance in amounts up to $15,000 for qualifying families and individuals. The remaining $3 million will go to the city of Memphis and Shelby County to be distributed to local programs promoting economic stability, financial literacy, and public safety. Those with incomes not exceeding 120 percent of the median income in Memphis and Shelby County are eligible for grants. Grant recipients will be required to attend an eight-hour homebuyer education session and must live in the newly-purchased home for at least five years. If a grant recipient moves before the five-year minimum, he or she must repay the pro-rated portion of the grant for the amount of time left. “”We’re glad that Wells Fargo decided to engage in a dialogue that led to this collaboration,”” said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. The lawsuit that led to the agreement alleged “”that Wells Fargo [COLUMN_BREAK]targeted minority communities for predatory practices that have resulted in a disproportionate and unnecessary number of foreclosures in these communities,”” according to the “”court filing.””:http://www.cityofmemphis.org/pdf_forms/lawsuit.pdf The document cited statistics to support its claim, stating that “”[o]ne out of eight Wells Fargo loans in the County’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods results in foreclosure, but the same is true for only one in fifty-nine loans in its predominantly white neighborhoods.”” Furthermore, 43.2 percent of the bank’s foreclosures took place in neighborhoods with predominately African-American residents, while only 15.1 percent of its loans were located in these neighborhoods, according to the court filing. Wells Fargo continues to deny these claims but ultimately decided “”it was in the best interests of everyone involved to work together rather than to continue to be involved in a protracted legal fight,”” said Leigh Collier, Wells Fargo regional president for the Mid-South. “”The investment we’re announcing in Memphis and Shelby County today continues our ongoing commitment to helping communities succeed across the country,”” Collier added. Wells Fargo will kick off its homeownership program in the Memphis area later this year. The program is modeled after another program the bank has initiated so far in five cities, NeighborhoodLIFT. NeighborhoodLIFT is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America, a nonprofit organization that provides housing counseling and education services. The program provides grants similar to the ones Wells Fargo will now be offering in the Memphis area. Having launched earlier this year, NeighborhoodLIFT has provided grants for 1,400 qualifying prospective homebuyers and has spent $79 million in home buying assistance and education, according to a spokesperson for Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo will host an educational event to kick off the Memphis program later this year. “”Anyone is welcome to attend,”” stated the Wells Fargo spokesperson. “”You don’t have to get your mortgage through Wells Fargo”” to participate, she added.center_img Share May 31, 2012 501 Views last_img read more

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Lenders Boost Credit Availability for Jumbo Loans

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Credit Availability Jumbo Loans Mortgage Bankers Association Regulations 2014-12-09 Tory Barringer Mortgage banks showed more willingness to lend out in November, though credit access remains tight for more traditional loans.The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index nudged up 1.2 percent in November, totaling 114.6 for the month. The increase follows a slight drop in October to 113.2, the second decline in three months.MBA’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni, said last month’s uptick mostly came from the addition of jumbo loan programs that allow cash-out refinancing.”Home price appreciation and larger equity cushions have likely made some lenders more willing to allow borrowers to take cash out, while still low mortgage rates may make this a more attractive opportunity for some,” Fratantoni said.While credit access has been on the rise throughout most of the year, increases have mostly been concentrated in the high-priced mortgage market.Access to conforming loans, on the other hand, has seen little improvement, despite a shrinking market and the government’s efforts to reassure lenders. In a survey conducted in October, 71 percent of mortgage banks said they’re unlikely to lower their standards at any point in the near future, citing concerns about regulatory actions and borrower stability.Access to both conventional and government-backed loans increased in November, according to MBA. The group’s government index increased less than 1 percent to 247, while the conventional component rose 2.7 percent to 83.1.center_img Lenders Boost Credit Availability for Jumbo Loans December 9, 2014 476 Views last_img read more

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