WestJet’s nonstop Hamilton-Winnipeg flights take to the skies Tags: WestJet Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Travelweek Group Share CALGARY — WestJet’s new nonstop service between Hamilton and Winnipeg is now up and running, along with nonstop service from Hamilton to Edmonton and also Halifax.WestJet now offers 27 weekly departures to seven nonstop destinations out of Hamilton.“WestJet continues to offer Canadians new routes and additional nonstop flights along with low-priced options,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning. “Our compelling fares, caring guest service and convenient schedules for travellers represent more opportunities to connect business sectors that are so integral to economies across Canada. In addition, these routes mean lower fares and reduced travel times for Hamiltonians visiting friends and family in Halifax, Edmonton and Winnipeg and vice versa. WestJet hopes to see travellers from all communities take advantage of the convenient links we are providing.”The Hamilton-Winnipeg flights are operating three times weekly and the Hamilton-Edmonton flights, four times weekly. The Halifax-Hamilton flights are daily. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
You’ll never guess how much this New York City bagel costs Share Travelweek Group Posted by NEW YORK CITY — I’ll have an everything bagel with gold flakes on top, please.This wouldn’t be your typical breakfast order but at the Westin New York hotel in Times Square, bagels aren’t just regular bagels – they come with a price tag that will make your jaw drop.The hotel has announced that it¹s bringing back its US$1,000 bagel next month for a limited time after it first appeared in 2007. WNBC-TV reports the bagel will feature Alba white truffle cream cheese, goji berry-infused Riesling jelly and golden leaf flakes.According to the hotel, white truffle is the second most expensive food in the world after caviar.Though almost laughably extravagant, all that money is being put to good use; 100% of the proceeds will go to Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen.The $1,000 bagel will be offered from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 and must be ordered 24 hours in advance. Tags: Westin Hotels & Resorts, WTF Thursday, October 19, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Share WestJet’s load factor stays on the up-and-up Monday, July 9, 2018 Tags: Statistics, WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Swoop CALGARY — WestJet’s June 2018 traffic results include a load factor of 83.6%, an increase of 0.7 percentage points year over year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 8.5% year over year, while capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 7.5% over the same period. WestJet flew an additional 120,000 guests in June, a year-over-year increase of 6%.“We continued to increase traffic and connectivity in the second quarter,” Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “In June, we successfully launched our ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop, enhanced regional service with the launch of WestJet Link and celebrated WestJet Encore’s fifth birthday. We are proud to be Canada’s most reliable airline, as WestJet placed 2nd for major North American airlines and WestJet Encore placed 2nd for all North American regional airlines for on-time performance in the month, as reported by Flight Stats.”WestJet made headlines last week when it announced the departure of two of its executives.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongExecutive Vice-President, Strategy and Guest Services Bob Cummings is retiring from the company effective July 1, while Executive Vice-President, Operations Cam Kenyon is returning to the U.S. effective Aug. 31.Also last week WestJet announced the appointment of Charles Duncan, Executive Vice-President, and President, WestJet Encore to Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer as of Aug. 1. Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Tags: Commission, Space Tourism Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Posted by Share You’ll never believe how much the commission is on a luxury space hotel HOUSTON — ‘To infinity and beyond’ is the catchphrase that best describes the commission travel agents will earn on a new luxury space hotel.According to Orion Span, agents who book clients for a future stay at its luxury space hotel will be eligible to receive a flat-rate US$50,000 commission, effective immediately.Yes, you read that right. Fifty. Thousand. Dollars.Starting at $9.5 million per person, Orion Spans 12-day trips to Aurora Station will begin in 2022, giving clients the chance to be a real-life astronaut. A deposit of $80,000 is required for each traveller and can be placed by traditional payment methods as well as by cryptocurrency.Commissions will be paid in full after completion of the trip.Before you scoff at the idea of space travel, you’d be surprised to learn that the first six months of reservations are already sold out, said Frank Bunger, chief executive officer and founder of Orion Span, and that “much of the interest we’ve seen since our launch has been from travel professionals with interested clients.”More news: Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesSo what exactly do you get for a $9.5 million trip?During their stay at Aurora Station, clients will soar 200 miles above the Earth’s surface in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), where they’ll enjoy the exhilaration of zero gravity, gaze at the northern and southern aurora, take part in research experiments such as growing food while in orbit (which they can take home with them as the ultimate souvenir), and participate in a virtual reality experience on the holodeck. And in case anyone’s worried about not being able to take a selfie in space, there’s even high-sped wireless Internet access onboard.The hotel will orbit earth every 90 minutes, meaning those aboard will see an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. On return to planet earth, guests will be treated to a hero’s welcome.What a trip! Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: British Airways Man sues British Airways for seating him next to obese passenger Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, November 19, 2018 LONDON — British Airways is being sued by a man who says he suffered personal injury while seated next to an obese passenger.Stephen Prosser, 51 of south Wales, is suing the airline for £10,000 after being forced to endure a 12-hour flight from Bangkok to Heathrow while seated next to a man “the size of Jonah Lomu”, the late New Zealand rugby player.While in Pontypridd county court last week, the self-employed civil engineer said his requests to cabin crew to be seated elsewhere were turned down due to the fact that the Boeing 777 was fully booked. He also claimed the crew did not permit him to swap seats with another passenger.As a result, Prosser, who is 5’3”, was forced into a “position of unnatural posture”. He described the obese passenger as being 6’4” and over 300 pounds, whose body was “overspilling into my seat by some inches”.Prosser also noted that the passenger had to “force his buttocks between the arm rests of the seats” and that, due to his size, his arm would rest on Prosser’s arm rest, inadvertently turning up the volume of his audio “to an extremely loud volume each time.”More news: Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesOh, the horror.Prosser went on to say that as a result of the uncomfortable flight, which took place in January 2016, he was left with continual back spasms and in injury that caused his sacroiliac joint at the bottom of his spine to malfunction, reports The Guardian. The incident also re-aggravated a 12-year-old spine injury, prevented him from working overtime, affected his relationship with his partner, and forced him to give up mountain biking.British Airways representative Timothy Salisbury said cabin crew described the passenger as “tall but not overweight so had had encroached on the other seat”.The customer service manager onboard the flight also said in a witness statement that Prosser did not appear to be in any discomfort during the flight and was seen asleep at times.
Travelweek Group Sunwing welcomes the just-opened Riu Palace Baja California Tuesday, December 11, 2018 TORONTO — The latest brand new addition to RIU Hotels & Resorts’ lineup, in Cabo San Lucas on golden-sand shores overlooking the arch, will be well recieved by Canadian travellers, says Sunwing’s President of Tour Operations, Andrew Dawson.As reported yesterday RIU has opened its 20th resort in Mexico – and its first adults-only hotel in Los Cabos – the Riu Palace Baja California.The resort, which began welcoming guests on Dec. 1, features an innovative new architectural concept prioritizing panoramic ocean views from the bars, restaurants and common areas together with many of the rooms and suites.Along with an enviable beachfront location, the resort features expansive suites with sophisticated décor, four pools with two swim-up bars and an opulent full-service spa. Vacationers can also get reservation-free dining across five specialty restaurants such as Taj Mahal that features authentic Indian cuisine and Krystal, the resort’s fusion restaurant. Guests can also take advantage of full exchange privileges with neighbouring Riu Santa Fe and Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas. At Riu Santa Fe, vacationers will enjoy unlimited complimentary access to Splash Water World water park. The resort also features regular adults only themed pool parties hosted by the area’s best DJs, which are included at no extra charge. At Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, guests can unwind with luxurious facilities and amenities including an expansive oceanfront pool complex with several swim-up bars and relaxing whirlpools. As the exclusive vacation provider of RIU Palace Hotels and Resorts, when customers book their vacation package with the Signature Collection by Sunwing they get a host of exclusive RIU-topia perks including welcome cocktails, unlimited reservation-free dining, spa credits and more; in addition to RIU Palace inclusions such as 24-hour room service, daily champagne breakfasts and poolside wait service.“RIU Hotels & Resorts are consistently a popular choice amongst our clientele and we are certain that this latest addition to their line up in Los Cabos will be well received,” says Dawson.He adds: “As of this coming winter, we will be offering packages to Los Cabos from 11 different airports from coast to coast; including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and – new for this season – Ottawa, making it even easier for our customers to experience this latest property.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing Posted by
A Costa Rican court has sentenced a 21-year-old British man to 25 years in prison for stabbing a Czech tourist to death in 2011.Alfred Saunders, from London, pleaded guilty in June to stabbing a graduate student at an ecological tourist farm in northwestern Alajuela. Alexandra Drbohlavova, 22, had been studying at the University of Miami in Florida. On her winter break, she was volunteering at the British-owned farm in Costa Rica.The court, located in the city of San Carlos in the country’s Northern Zone, handed down the sentence on Friday, according to a report by the news site crhoy.com. Costa Rica’s justice minister told crhoy.com that Saunders would have to complete at least half of that sentence in a Costa Rican prison before applying to be repatriated to the U.K.A Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman, Tatiana Vargas, said that an arduous investigation in coordination with the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) convinced Saunders to plead guilty.“In this case, the trial debate stage was removed, due to the accused accepting the charges, and he surrendered to a brief proceeding,” Vargas said in a statement.According to the British newspaper The Daily Mail, Interpol had released a preventative alert on Saunders, warning of past violent behavior and mental health issues. Interpol said Saunders could commit violent and sexual crimes in the future. Saunders had been a registered mental patient in the U.K.’s National Health Services, according to British media reports.Despite this, Saunders entered Costa Rica via the border with Nicaragua. Saunders showed up at the farm, which is near the border, and met Paul Donati, the father of one of the farm’s owners. Saunders had few possessions, and Donati loaned him a tent to stay for the night. Donati awoke and found Drbohlavova at 10:30 p.m. She had been stabbed 15 times, according to police reports.According to British media, Saunders has high-profile parents. He was living with his mother, a leading psychoanalyst in the country, before he set out on his travels. His father is an English professor at King’s College.Saunders never spoke about his motivations for the crime. Media reports said that Drbohlavova rejected sexual advances from Saunders. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Facebook Comments Costa Rica ranked fourth among the top 10 destinations in the world to retire, according to the latest report by International Living magazine.Each year, the magazine publishes a “Global Retirement Index” to guide retirees looking to become expats.The ranking compiles statistics on quality of life, wealth, infrastructure, bureaucratic red tape and access to basic health care services.It also includes opinions from magazine correspondents and expats from around the world.This year’s ranking states that Costa Rica’s “legacy of year-round warm weather, as well as longtime political stability and public safety” earn the country a ranking in the top 10.The publication also highlights the country’s health care system and states that Costa Rica “is still going strong because the country continues to tick the boxes of those looking for their place in the sun. Plus, because of its long history as an expat haven, it’s easier than ever to start a new chapter in your life.”Panama took the top spot this year, thanks to quality infrastructure (Panama soon will have Central America’s first subway system), reduced red tape (especially regarding visas) and good access for global airlines.Ecuador dropped one slot to second place, while Malaysia took third.The Global Retirement Index 2014: Courtesy of International Living Magazine No related posts.
Related posts:Street fair raises funds, ruffles feathers in downtown San José Art City Tour offers free admission to city’s museums VIDEO: U.S. street artist combines social media and art with Costa Rica mural Art City Tour to celebrate half-decade of GAM Cultural The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Friday revoked an ordinance passed by the Municipality of San José requiring downtown street performers to get a permit.Justices unanimously accepted a complaint filed by two citizens who said the city’s requirement “was a violation of freedom of expression, religion, and assembly.”Municipal officials in February issued a ban on “spontaneous events” on the capital’s streets, sidewalks and boulevards. The ban applied to musicians, clowns, jugglers, and even preachers or people collecting signatures.The directive stated that those interested in performing or addressing people in a public space should first submit a written request. Then they would have to attend a hearing before a special committee whose members would decide whether or not to grant a permit.The full process would take about a month, the Municipality reported at the time.Sala IV’s justices also ordered the city council president and municipal police director to refrain from issuing future prohibitions. Facebook Comments
Related posts:Costa Rica’s franchise sector grows by nearly 13 percent in 2014 Grupo Britt opens gourmet coffee store in San José Starbucks to sell Tico brand in Costa Rica store Starbucks opens second Costa Rica location on Thursday Colombian coffee giantJuan Valdez on Thursday officially inaugurated the first of five coffee shops it plans to open in Costa Rica this year, representing a total investment of $2 million.The coffee and souvenir shop launched operations earlier this month, however, company officials held the official opening ceremony this week.The franchisee Corporación JV invested $450,000 on its first store located near La Sabana Park, west of San José. They currently employ 20 people directly and 24 indirectly.The other stores will open in Desamparados, south of the capital, and in the provinces of Alajuela and Heredia. In total, the company expects to employ some 300 people by the end of the year.Hernán Méndez, President of Procafecol, the company that manages the commercial expansion of Juan Valdez, said they are very excited to launch operations in Costa Rica.“It is a big challenge for us to enter highly demanding markets and also represents an important step for our brand. We are confident that the quality of our coffee and the warmth of our service will fit well with Costa Ricans’ demanding palate,” Méndez said at the opening.The Colombian company in recent years has shown interest in expanding its operation in Central America. Currently they have stores in Panama and El Salvador and on Thursday Méndez confirmed plans to open 40 locations in the region over the next five years, 15 of them in Costa Rica.Juan Valdez is a fictional character created by the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation in 1958 to represent Colombia’s 500,000 coffee farmers, the company stated.See also: Lawsuit filed over Juan Valdez and his mule Facebook Comments
Nostalgia for the taste of meals prepared in wood-burning stoves is what prompted Tico companyPerfection Group to start selling one of their star products abroad.Juan de Dios Mora Díaz acquired Industrias Perfection, the company that began importing the stoves from U.S. manufacturer Perfection Stove Company, in 1970. That same year the Alabama-based company stopped making them. But Mora decided to keep his business and bought part of the manufacturer’s machines to start offering “Made in Costa Rica” Perfection stoves.Last May the Tico company started selling them in Honduras after signing several contracts at business meetings organized by Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) in that country.Mora had actually started pondering the idea of selling his stoves abroad a few years ago, after he found scattered buyers in Puerto Rico, Surinam, Guatemala and Panama. Mora firmly believes wood-burning stoves are “icons of Costa Rican traditions,” but he knows people in other, nearby countries also appreciate them.“I think Central America is the natural market for domestic companies, and ours is now seeking to consolidate an export business,” he said. Perfection Group currently sells various iron products to other countries in the region.Even though many people in Costa Rica’s rural areas still use the big, heavy stoves, Mora believes they now are becoming mostly a luxury item for preparing meals on special occasions, on weekends and even as a collector’s item for vintage decoration. People buy them for their nostalgic appearance and for tradition, says company owner Juan de Dios Mora. (Courtesy of Perfection Group)Many restaurants in tourist areas across the country also cook their meals in wood-burning stoves in order to offer that particular taste.“People also buy them for their nostalgic appearance and for tradition,” Mora said. “I think we are supplying a very specialized niche.”The company currently sells five different models of stoves at major retail chains, appliance stores and some hardware stores. Prices here range from ₡140,000 to ₡275,000 ($255 to $510) depending on the model.Thanks to contacts made during PROCOMER’s business meetings, Mora is currently in negotiations to start sending his stoves to potential customers in Panama and Nicaragua. “Some South American countries also have shown interest in doing business with us,” he said.PROCOMER Director of Trade Promotion Itzamn Huelat said innovation in exports can help local businesses reach their target markets.“Perfection Group identified a business opportunity with wood-burning stoves. This is a perfect example of how innovation and specialization is essential to giving a country’s exports added value,” Huelat said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican exporters look to increase sales at international fair Costa Rica to build its first industrial park for small- and medium-sized businesses Intel’s exit still affecting Costa Rica export figures Costa Rica exports down 15 percent in 2015, mostly thanks to Intel exit
Costa Rican wildfires this year destroyed almost 10,000 hectares more than in 2014, according to a report this week by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).This year’s “wildfire season” burned a total of 40,350 hectares, up from 30,440 hectares last year. Most of the fires occurred in the Pacific provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste.Costa Rica’s wildfire season usually runs from January to June, but extreme weather in recent years prompted Environment Ministry officials to extend this year’s season from December 2014 to July 2015. The season usually coincides with the harshest months of the country’s dry season, during which high temperatures facilitate the start and spread of wildfires.During a wildfire season the Environment Ministry increases preventive measures such as adding more staff for on-the-ground and air patrols, daily evaluations of satellite images, and media campaigns.Luis Román Madriz, coordinator of SINAC’s National Commission on Wildfires, said he expects a lack of rainfall during the current rainy season to prompt officials to start the 2016 wildfire season early – in December – and maintain it for eight months. SINAC officials believe the El Niño weather phenomenon is to blame for low rainfall levels this year.See: El Niño in Costa Rica: We haven’t seen the worst of it yet, say expertsThe number of hectares destroyed in protected areas also increased over the previous season. A total of 4,534 hectares of forest were burned in national parks and nature reserves, about 2,500 hectares more than during the past season.SINAC firefighters this season battled a total of 90 wildfires – 54 of them in protected areas. The remaining 36 occurred on private property, government land and in indigenous territories. That figure is lower than during the 2014 season, which registered 139.Román said officials believe 98 percent of all wildfires this season were caused by human activity, mostly hunting. He said the next wildfire season likely will be worse due to the current lack of rainfall. Facebook Comments Related posts:Wildfires rage across US state of California Environment officials warn of wildfire risk due to strong winds Environment Ministry officials report increased damage of wildfires inside protected areas Wildfire burns more than 1,200 hectares of mountainous areas west of San José
Related posts:How a cowboy saved me $30,000 in Costa Rica National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula Our Costa Rica insiders reveal their favorite hidden gems First-time mistakes to avoid when visiting Costa Rica If you want to know what items visitors to Costa Rica most often forget to bring – or regret bringing – just ask a hotel owner.To create our “Insiders’ Guide to Costa Rica,” which you’ll find in Tico Times High Season Print Edition being distributed now nationwide, we asked some of our columnists and other long-time residents, as well as our favorite urban tourism guru, for their travel recommendations. One of our questions was what to pack. Pip Kelly, an Australian and Costa Rican citizen who is co-owner of the Casitas Tenorio B&B in the Northern Zone town of Bijagua, gave us such an extensive list that we decided to publish it in full, including her brilliant footwear hack.Here’s Pip’s list:A good travel flashlight.A rechargeable battery that you can charge your cell phone from – the electricity goes off lots here!Some nice natural bug spray so you don’t have to be covered in DEET the whole time.A copy of your passport (and/or keep a photo of it on your phone).Anti-itch cream for after you get bitten – and maybe some antihistamine tablets.A travel umbrella and a lightweight poncho is good for visits to rainforest areas.Some donations for the local community – an English picture dictionary is always a great thing to bring.If you are debating whether to bring the “good camera,” just do it. Too many times we have guests complain that they didn’t pack their best equipment.Bring a good road map; maps can be hard to find here. I recommend this nice waterproof map,Pack lightweight clothes that dry easily. Leave the jeans at home.Bring two pairs of shoes, and leave big, bulky hiking shoes behind; bring washable hiking sandals instead. (A great footwear hack: if you’ve got a muddy hike in mind, buy inexpensive rubber boots, botas de hule, at a local hardware store, then leave them at your hotel at the end of your trip.)Pack a little first aid kit if you plan on doing lots of hiking.Bring a soccer ball and a pump and play a game with the locals.Ziploc bags are very useful.Bring a couple of ATM cards in case one does not work. Bring cash ($US) and don’t exchange money at the airport- the rate is terrible!Sounds crazy, but a travel hairdryer can come in handy – not just for drying hair, but shoes, a wet camera lens or moist passport.Stay tuned for more information on where you can pick up your free copy of our High Season Print Edition for the full story, as well as an events calendar, columns and more. Facebook Comments
Looking for a place to celebrate the 242nd Independence Day of the United States here in Costa Rica? Here are two activities you can enjoy with your family and friends.Avenida EscazúIf you’re in Escazú, just west of San José, you might just want to stop by Avenida Escazú with your family and friends to enjoy a live concert with the band Mustang 65, musician Kurt Dyer and DJ Sweetbo. Children are invited to enjoy the activities planned for them while watching an old cars parade. To end the evening, Avenida Escazú has planned a fireworks show for all the family. The event starts at 4:00 p.m., and entrance is free; all events take place at the 205 Plaza in Avenida Escazú. For more information visit their Facebook page. Courtesy of Avenida EscazúMarina Pez VelaIf you’re on the Central Pacific side, there is a celebration for you as well. Residents of Quepos and visitors to the area, close to Manuel Antonio National Park, will be able to participate in the activities set up by the Marina Pez Vela. Children can enjoy face painting, games and inflatables followed by traditional U.S. dances, a live concert with Kin Rivera Jr., and a fireworks show. The Fourth of July celebration starts at 3:00 p.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m. Entrance is free; for more information visit their Facebook page. Courtesy of Marina Pez Vela Facebook Comments Open doors, bright lights: Marina Pez Vela’s community outreach in Quepos Related posts:Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos Holi Indian Festival of Colors to be celebrated at Club Sebana PHOTOS: Transitarte brings art, music to sunny San José streets Benefit concerts for Guatemala to take place in Costa Rica, Mexico
Related posts:30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua President Ortega celebrates anniversary; Costa Rica opens shelters Truth Commission calls for support to investigate violence in Nicaragua One dead in new round of protests in Nicaragua Managua assured Costa Rica that it would protect “respectful” relations without interfering, after saying that it is not its government’s practice to make “comments or pontificate” on other nations’ problems.The Nicaraguan statement said that the government is “not fond of” verbal confrontations or “media exhibitionism” that are used as smokescreens to hide the depth and seriousness of social or economic problems.Furthermore, the statement said that Nicaragua has not “interfered [in Costa Rica’s] difficulties or crises” such as the protests against a proposed tax reform bill that started on Sept. 10 in Costa Rica.The current political crisis of Nicaragua, which started six months ago, has caused more than 320 deaths, left 2,000 injured and more than 500 arrested. Thousands of Nicaraguans have sought refuge in Costa Rica to protect their safety. Facebook Comments Nicaragua police arrest 20, use stun grenades to end protest The Nicaraguan government described statements by Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado about Nicaragua’s “internal affairs” as “disrespectful” and “intrusive.”The government did not mention what Alvarado said and expressed its irritation over a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry. The Nicaraguan government said the the content of the statement was “pretentious and insolent”, and merely “a smokescreen” to distract from Costa Rica’s own situation of internal crisis after a month of protests.The generally strained relations between the two countries worsened after the arrest of a Costa Rican citizen of Nicaraguan origin on Sunday. The arrest took place during a raid that resulted in the arrest of 30 people during a demonstration in Managua.Alvarado expressed “his deep concern” on Twitter about the 30 people who were detained, including the Costa Rican of Nicaraguan origin, Allan Cardero Ocón.The Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica commented on the issue in similar terms and demanded the release of Cordero.The Costa Rican consulate reported that Cordero was released on Monday afternoon.“It was a very distressing time for him, for his family and for us at the consulate,” said consul Oscar Camacho.The Nicaraguan authorities did not refer to the Cordero case or his release in the statement.
Warning that Azeri-Armenian tensions could escalate into a broader conflict with terrible consequences, Clinton said the U.S. would continue to press with France, Russia and others on mediation efforts.Violations of the cease-fire have been frequent, and diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict have failed. The U.S. hopes that at the least Armenia and Azerbaijan can agree to a set of basic principles that might lead to peace. These include the return of territories and uprooted people to their homes, and an eventual vote on the area’s future.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Comments Share 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressBAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) – Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Tuesday that five of its soldiers were killed in clashes with Armenian troops alongside the border separating the two countries, deepening tensions between the two former Soviet nations.The ministry said in a statement that exchanges of gunfire have been reported over the last two days at numerous points along Azerbaijan’s western border. Armenia had said earlier that three of its soldiers died in the clashes. Quick workouts for men Top holiday drink recipes Azerbaijan and Armenia have for two decades been at odds over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory, which lies within Azerbaijan, but was taken over by Armenia during a six-year war that killed about 30,000 people and displaced 1 million.The incidents come just as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has embarked on a tour of the South Caucasus in the hope of mediating progress in territorial disputes in the region.Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said one clash took place near the village of Ashagy Askipara early Tuesday morning, after their soldiers were attacked by Armenian commandos. Four Azeri troops were killed in the fighting, officials said. Another soldier died in a separate incident, the ministry said.Armenia on Monday said three of its soldiers were killed and another six were wounded in villages nearby.Clinton decried the “senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians” as part of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict _ just hours after Monday’s border clash.“I am very concerned about the danger of escalation of tensions and the senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians,” Clinton told reporters after a dinner with Armenia’s president and foreign minister. “The use of force will not resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” she said, urging the sides to refrain from violence. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths
Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Infrastructure company Royal HaaskoningDHV and Ecorys said Monday they will complete their study by early 2013. The Nicaraguan government has loosely estimated construction costs at $20 billion and would seek international investors.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation AMSTERDAM (AP) – Two Dutch companies say they have been awarded a $720,000 ((EURO)587,000) contract by the Nicaraguan government to study the feasibility of building a rival to the Panama canal that would travel through Nicaragua and Costa Rica.Since the early 1800s, the so-called “Nicaragua Canal” has been considered a serious possibility as a route that could link the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, though the Panama Canal ultimately won out. Some experts believe the growth of global shipping means that two canals through Central America would benefit the industry, especially if a Nicaragua Canal could accommodate larger ships. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments Share How do cataracts affect your vision?
Tymoshenko, the country’s top opposition leader and the heroine of the 2004 Orange Revolution, is serving a seven-year jail term on charges of abuse of office while leading natural gas import negotiations with Russia in 2009.Tymoshenko, 51, denies the charges and accuses Yanukovych, the antagonist of the Orange Revolution, of throwing her in jail in order to bar her from Ukraine’s Oct. 28 parliamentary election.The nation’s relations with the EU have been strained over her treatment, which the West has condemned as politically motivated. The EU has balked at implementing a key cooperation deal with Ukraine over the Tymoshenko case.Komorowski said Tymoshenko’s jailing is a key impediment n Ukraine’s road into the European club.“The Tymoshenko case is an internal matter of Ukraine, but at the same time this case is a serious, significant obstacle in the rapprochement between Ukraine and the European Union,” Komorowski said. “From our side we expect that all Ukrainian political players will work toward removing these obstacles which hamper the … integration of Ukraine with European structures.”Yanukovych skirted a question on whether he could pardon Tymoshenko, who also faces an array of other accusations, including in connection with a 15-year-old murder case. Associated PressKIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski urged Ukraine’s leader on Thursday to push for integration with the European Union, but acknowledged that a key obstacle is the country’s jailing of its former premier, Yulia Tymoshenko.After talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev, Komorowski said Ukraine must decide whether it wants to align itself with the EU or join a Russia-led customs union. “It is impossible to implement those two scenarios at the same time,” Komorowski said at a news conference with Yanukovych. “A choice has to be made.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona “The (legal) process in the case of Tymoshenko is not over yet,” Yanukovych said at the news conference. “We are interested and will do everything so that all the cases take place only in the legal framework.”Tymoshenko is undergoing treatment in a Ukrainian hospital for a severe spinal condition which has left her partially paralyzed and in constant pain. She has been unable to attend trials and take part in investigations in cases against her.Yanukovych wished her a speedy recovery so her trials can continue.Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, said the Ukrainian leader’s statement signaled a continuation of “political repression” in Ukraine.“Yanukovych has shown his true face. He has shown that he doesn’t understand European values, European democracy and what a leader of a European country should be like,” Vlasenko told The Associated Press.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Comments Share Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
Comments Share Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project An al-Shabab spokesman said on Twitter that the militants had left town and residents have reported that government and police buildings once occupied by al-Shabab have been abandoned. Oguna said Kenyan forces are prepared for multiple scenarios.“If they were going to fight, they were going to be fought. If they were going to run away, there were some contingencies to deal with that,” Oguna said.The conventional wisdom on al-Shabab says they will turn into a guerrilla force that attacks using suicide and roadside bombs. Mohamed Sheik Abdi, another political analyst in Mogadishu, said the group will most likely divide up and attack vulnerable targets.Yusuf Abdi Hussein, a former colonel in the Somali army, said the future political leadership of Kismayo will also dictate what al-Shabab does. The new administration will either empower or thwart their guerrilla attacks, he said.“Usually Kismayo is contested by rival clans seeking to manipulate the resources and revenues from the port,” Hussein said. “Al-Shabab will take advantages of those clan lines and will side with the disgruntled clans to use them against the government and Kenyan forces. They’ll also use that issue to illustrate themselves as the only administration that could keep the two rivals living peacefully together.” 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Sponsored Stories Associated PressMOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – The al-Qaida-linked rebels who once controlled nearly all of Somalia’s capital and sowed fear throughout the southern part of the country are fleeing their last remaining stronghold because they are outgunned and don’t want heavy losses, experts said Sunday.Kenyan troops invaded the southern Somali city of Kismayo early Friday, and the militant Islamist group al-Shabab announced soon after that their forces were leaving the lucrative port town behind. Kenyan forces have not yet moved through the whole town, but a military spokesman said troops met no resistance on Sunday. Al-Shabab tries to impose an ultra-conservative style of Islam and enforce conservative social rules in areas they control. They carry out public punishments like whippings, stonings and executions.___Straziuso reported from Nairobi, Kenya.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Four benefits of having a wireless security system After years of bloody street-by-street warfare, African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi pushed al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in August 2011. The AU troops have since taken over towns outside of Mogadishu as well. Kenyan forces invaded Somalia late last year, and have been moving slowly toward Kismayo.The once-powerful al-Shabab spent years defending its Mogadishu territory, but since being forced out has chosen to retreat from towns when challenged by African Union forces or Ethiopian troops who moved into western Somalia earlier this year.“The most plausible explanation is that they fear that they’ll be outgunned by the coalition force, and as a result are incentivized to retreat,” said Abdihakim Aynte, a Somali political analyst in Mogadishu. “We also know al-Shabab, by nature, couldn’t engage in conventional warfare, especially in an urban area.”Aynte noted that al-Shabab fought conventional-style battles with Ethiopian troops in 2006 and 2007 “and the result was bloody and nasty.”Col. Cyrus Oguna, the spokesman for the Kenyan military, said that Kenyan troops now stationed in northern Kismayo are making plans to expand south. Oguna said he didn’t know how many al-Shabab fighters are left in Kismayo, but that “we can probably say now that the numbers are less than when we got in.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 3 international destinations to visit in 2019
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Syrian Kurdish militants affiliated with Turkey’s own autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels have been strengthening their power in areas bordering Turkey and are reportedly aiming to form an autonomous region. Turkey fears that could reinforce long-standing demands for an independent homeland by Turkey’s own Kurdish population and derail newly launched peace efforts between Turkey and Kurdish rebels.The Syrian Kurdish group took control of the town of Ras al-Ayn on the border with Turkey after fighting radical Islamic groups last week.Erdogan said: “The necessary warning was made that the steps they are taking are wrong and dangerous.”Also Friday, a mortar shell fired from Syria landed on Turkish territory, killing a farm laborer who was working on a field near the frontier, Turkey’s state-run TRT television reported. The farm worker was the third victim in the town of Ceylanpinar of fighting between Kurdish gunmen and the Syrian rebels. Two teenagers died after being hit by stray bullets last week.Two other people working the field near Ceylanpinar were injured.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your life ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s prime minister said Friday that Syrian Kurds have been warned against taking “wrong and dangerous” steps toward Kurdish autonomy in Syria, a move Turkey is afraid could bolster Kurdish separatists within its own borders.Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a Turkish official made the warning to Saleh Muslim, the leader of a Syrian Kurdish militant group, who met Turkish intelligence officials in Turkey.