Author: admin

  • IAEA inspector killed in Iran car crash

    first_imgErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK How do cataracts affect your vision? New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The TV showed video of the other inspector in a hospital bed, not seriously injured. It said the driver, who lost control of the car, was also slightly injured.State TV showed video of the heavily damaged vehicle.The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement it was in touch with the inspectors’ families and Iranian authorities.The IAEA did not name the inspector killed in the crash, but Iran’s official IRNA news agency identified as Seo Ok-Seok from South Korea.IRNA said the inspectors’ car overturned near a heavy water reactor being built in Khondab, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of Tehran.Iran has said the reactor _ part of the Arak complex _ will be used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial uses. The U.S. and others suspect that spent fuel from the reactors could be reprocessed into plutonium for a nuclear warhead. Iran denies it seeks nuclear weapons.The incident comes ahead of a new round of technical discussions between Tehran and the IAEA to be held in Vienna Monday and Tuesday. Higher-level negotiations also are planned later this month in Baghdad between envoys from Iran and six world powers, including the United States. Sponsored Stories center_img Top Stories Inspectors from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency regularly visit Iran’s nuclear facilities, which include a Russian-built energy reactor and uranium enrichment laboratories.The stops often receive less attention than the high-level IAEA teams sent to Iran to discuss access to other sites, such as the Parchin military base near Tehran, where the U.N. suspects nuclear-related work has taken place. Iran says Parchin is a conventional military base.Iran’s nuclear agency issued a statement offering condolences to the nuclear watchdog as well as the victim’s family.With some 26,000 casualties a year, Iran has one the world’s highest per capita rates of road deaths. The rate is blamed on driver disregard of traffic rules, lack of safety development of roads and inadequate emergency services.___Associated Press writer George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Associated PressTEHRAN, Iran (AP) – A U.N. nuclear inspector from South Korea was killed and a colleague was injured in a car crash Tuesday near a reactor site in central Iran, state media and the nuclear watchdog agency said.Iran’s state TV said the South Korean inspector was thrown from of the car. He was not wearing a seat belt, the report said, quoting police. The two inspectors were riding in the backseat of the car. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

  • Ecuador law would forgive mortgage debt

    first_imgNo such bubble occurred in Latin America, where banks were more conservative. Housing prices in Ecuador have thus never fallen to levels where banks, after recovering foreclosed homes, have gone after other assets of those who defaulted.“This law is good because often we debtors don’t have secure work or income. So in the worst of cases, where one must return an apartment, at least they don’t suffer further,” said Natalia Quintero, a secretary in a lawyer’s office who is buying an apartment in Quito’s center.Another new home-buyer, communications engineer Eduardo Benitez, was also pleased with the law. “Whatever law protects the common people is always welcome,” he said.In Ecuador, 63 percent of families own their own home, according the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mortgage interest rates range between 8.5 percent and 10.25 percent, and home mortgage lending has been growing at 20.7 percent a year.Analyst Risa Grais-Targow of the Eurasia Group, said she believes it is part of Correa’s preparations for a re-election bid next year.“A move to protect consumers obviously plays nicely to a lot of his potential voter base,” she said. “We’ve seen a recent track record of (him) infringing on or targeting the financial sector.” Quick workouts for men More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories Pablo Davalos, an economist at Catholic University, said the move would be good for most Ecuadoreans.“This law is positive for the consumer and negative for the banker, who now has to increase his reserves and that means less liquidity and less profit for the bankers,” Davalos said.Lea said the housing bank created by the Sandinistas turned out to be “fairly ugly” as people were allowed to essentially stop paying their debt and the government had to step in and make up the shortfall. He called the Ecuadorean law “a big deterrent to any future lending.”The bill’s sponsor, Paco Velasco of Correa’s governing Alianza Pais, told reporters that if Spain had passed a similar law a decade ago it could have avoided its costly real estate bubble.Spain is now the focus of Europe’s debt crisis, its banks burdened with tens of billions of dollars in bad loans from the bubble that burst in 2008, mostly affecting Europe and the United States. On Wednesday, it said it would effectively nationalize its fourth-largest bank.Blamed for the housing bubble, in the U.S. in particular, were profit-hungry mortgage lenders who made loans to poorly qualified buyers and financial institutions that bundled those low-quality mortgages together and sold them as financial products whose value later plummeted. Associated PressQUITO, Ecuador (AP) – Ecuador’s legislature has passed a bill that would require banks to forgive any outstanding debt on mortgages for first-time home buyers of properties worth up to $146,000 if they default and forfeit the home.The measure, aimed at discouraging a real estate bubble of the type that has caused so much pain in the United States and Europe, won praise from many Ecuadoreans on Wednesday. The country’s banking industry did not immediately comment. Approved Tuesday evening by a 68-21 vote, the bill also covers loans by banks to first-time purchasers of automobiles that cost up to $29,200.President Rafael Correa, a leftist economist whose social spending has made him widely popular, praised the legislation but did not say whether he would sign it or possibly seek amendments.The president, who constantly rails against Ecuador’s “oligarchs” and has already moved to diminish the power of banks, accused the lawmakers who voted against the measure of “defending the bankers, not the depositors.”The law appears to be unique.San Diego State University economist Michael Lea, a real estate specialist, said the only similar measure he was aware of was the creation of a national housing bank by the leftist Sandinista movement in Nicaragua after it won power in 1979.Ecuador’s Association of Private Banks did not comment on the new legislation, though its director, Cesar Robalino, previously said the measure would discourage new home construction and make getting mortgages more difficult for consumers. He told a radio station Wednesday that a commission of three bankers was seeking a meeting with Correa to discuss the legislation, among other issues. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family That includes laws that prohibit banking executives from sitting on the boards of corporations in other business sectors and that are forcing Ecuador’s biggest banks to sell financial service businesses including insurance and stock brokerages.The strategy differs from that of Correa’s ally in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez, who has nationalized about a dozen banks and now controls about a quarter of the country’s banking sector.A presidential election date is not set and Correa, in office since January 2007, has not declared his candidacy.___Associated Press writer Gonzalo Solano reported this story in Quito and Frank Bajak reported from Lima, Peru. AP writer Alex Veiga in Los Angeles, California, contributed to this report.(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 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Sponsored Stories Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

  • Norwegian World War II hero Soensteby dies at 94

    first_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of OSLO, Norway (AP) – Gunnar Soensteby, a World War II resistance fighter who earned Norway’s highest military decoration for daring raids against the Nazis, has died. He was 94.The Norwegian government said Soensteby died Thursday at a hospital in Oslo. The cause of death was not announced.Soensteby was a member of Kompani Linge, a group of volunteers trained in England for secret missions during the 1940-1945 Nazi occupation of Norway. The group carried out spectacular sabotage raids against factories, railroads and fuel supplies to hamper the German war effort. Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Soensteby also led the smuggling of money printing plates from Norway’s central bank to the exiled government in London. In 1946, he received the War Cross with three swords for his bravery, Norway’s highest decoration. No other Norwegian has received the medal with three swords.“Gunnar Soensteby has a proud place in our modern history,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.The funeral will be held at the government’s expense, the prime minister said. Information on survivors was not immediately available.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

  • AP IMPACT Cartels dispatch agents deep inside US

    first_imgCHICAGO (AP) – After one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down in January, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland carried a gun everywhere, even when walking the dog.He was extra careful when answering the door at his home outside of Forney, about 20 miles east of Dallas. And a neighbor said a sheriff’s deputy was stationed outside the home for about a month after the killing.On Saturday, McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death in their house. Authorities haven’t said much about their investigation, including whether they have any leads or a theory about why the couple was killed. But law enforcement throughout Texas is on high alert, and steps are being taken to better protect other DAs and their staffs. McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said his office had prosecuted several cases against racist gangs, who have a strong presence around Kaufman County, a mostly rural area dotted with subdivisions, with a population of about 104,000.“We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year,” he said.In recent years, the DA’s office also prosecuted a case in which a justice of the peace was found guilty of theft and burglary and another case in which a man was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter.McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere around town, a bedroom community for the Dallas area. He figured assassins were more likely to try to attack him outside. He said he had warned all his employees to be constantly on the alert.“The people in my line of work are going to have to get better at it,” he said of dealing with the danger, “because they’re going to need it more in the future.”The number of attacks on prosecutors, judges and senior law enforcement officers in the U.S. has spiked in the past three years, according to Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County, Calif., district attorney’s office who tracks such cases. Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy For about a month after Hasse’s slaying, sheriff’s deputies were parked in the district attorney’s driveway, said Sam Rosander, a McLelland neighbor.The FBI and the Texas Rangers joined the investigation into the McLellands’ deaths.McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were the parents of two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas. The couple had moved into the home a few years ago, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said.“Real friendly, became part of our community quickly,” Rozell said. “They were a really pleasant, happy couple.”___Riccardi reported from Denver. Associated Press writers Michael Graczyk in Houston, Angela K. Brown in Fort Worth and P. Solomon Banda in Denver contributed to this report.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The couple’s slayings came less than two weeks after Colorado’s prison chief was shot to death at his front door, apparently by an ex-convict, and a couple of months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot a block from his courthouse office. No arrests have been made in Hasse’s slaying Jan. 31.Byrnes would not give details Sunday of how the killings unfolded and said there was nothing to indicate for certain whether the DA’s slaying was connected to Hasse’s.El Paso County, Colo., sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said investigators had found no evidence so far connecting the Texas killings to the Colorado case, but added: “We’re examining all possibilities.”Colorado’s corrections director, Tom Clements, was killed March 19 when he answered the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. Evan Spencer Ebel, a white supremacist and former Colorado inmate suspected of shooting Clements, died in a shootout with Texas deputies two days later about 100 miles from Kaufman.McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview shortly after the Colorado slaying, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang. Check your body, save your life Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon said his staff has been cautioned, but he declined to discuss the specific security measures that have been taken. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins declined to comment on the issue, citing safety concerns.Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson said he accepted the Houston sheriff’s offer of 24-hour security for him and his family after learning about the slayings, mostly over concerns for his family’s safety. Anderson said he also would take precautions at his office, the largest one in Texas, which has more than 270 prosecutors.“I think district attorneys across Texas are still in a state of shock,” Anderson said Sunday.Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said little at a brief news conference Sunday about the McLelland investigation, and he deflected questions about possible suspects. He said security would be stepped up at the courthouse in Kaufman, but he declined to say what other steps might be taken to protect the other prosecutors in McLelland’s office. The DA’s Office will remain closed Monday.McLelland, 63, is the 13th prosecutor killed in the U.S. since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s. Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

  • TV showdown in Ukraine highlights press freedom anxieties

    first_imgRussian Foreign Ministry representative Konstantin Dolgov suggested Buzina’s killing was part of a broader wave of political terror in Ukraine being leveled against dissidents. Ukrainians scoff at the notion that complaints should come from a country that regularly scores near the bottom of international press freedom rankings.But the trend in Ukraine seems inexorably veering toward restrictions instead of the freedoms that many had hoped would flourish after Yanukovych was toppled in a mass uprising last February.A law came into effect earlier this month that criminalizes the act of positively assessing the era of Soviet rule in Ukraine from 1917 to 1991.Dunja Mijatovic, media representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said in a statement issued after the legislation was approved that the rules set a worrying precedent.“Disproportionate restrictions on media freedom can never be justified in a democratic state,” Mijatovic said. “Potentially problematic speech should not be banned, on the contrary, it should be addressed through an open debate.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The case in the spotlight involves a popular television station with former links to the Russian government. A moment of truth comes Thursday when the national television and radio broadcasting council meets on whether to rescind the Inter channel’s broadcasting license, following accusations of “destructive behavior” by prominent members of Parliament.Inter has faced a deluge of criticism in the legislature for its purported pro-Russia stance, and faces criminal investigations that supporters of the station call a political witch-hunt to drag it down.Inter has not yet been explicitly accused of sympathizing with the pro-Russia rebels, but the station’s perceived lack of patriotic fervor is enough to warrant its closure for some. Parliament member Andriy Levus said the legislature’s national security committee, on which he sits, last week demanded that Inter and Russian-language newspaper Vesti be investigated by the authorities for the alleged destructive activities.“The committee has found that these so-called media represent a danger to national security and are destabilizing the social situation by creating a receptive setting for Russian aggression,” Levus, who served until November as deputy head of security services, wrote on his Facebook page last week. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Crunch time is coming in a Ukrainian showdown that may yield clues into an increasingly asked question: How free is the press in Ukraine as it fights to stay out of Russia’s orbit?The Kiev government has enjoyed EU and U.S. support as it strives to forge a pro-Western path and battles a pro-Russian insurgency that critics say is supported by the Kremlin. But fears are mounting that in navigating these troubled times, the government is curbing media freedom as it seeks to win the battle of hearts-and-minds against Moscow. The threat to Ukraine posed by Inter, according to Levus and likeminded figures, arises from its critical reporting. Inter and Vesti regularly dwell on the fallout of the severe austerity program being imposed by the government, as Ukraine tries to burrow its way out of penury.This relentless parliamentary pressure led to Thursday’s extraordinary broadcasting council meeting. Inter officials say they are being hounded unfairly.“There is no basis for a negative decision,” Inter chairman Yegor Benkendorf said in a statement. “Any speculation on this subject should not be based on legal grounds. This is about politics.”But the station’s pedigree is enough to generate suspicion in Ukraine. The station’s minority shareholder is Serhiy Lyovochkin — a wealthy former loyalist of deposed Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych, and a leading figure in the staunchly anti-government Opposition Bloc in parliament.Until February, Russia’s state-controlled Channel One held a 29 percent share in the station. And suspicions flared after a New Year’s Eve program featuring performers who have publicly backed the armed separatist insurgency in east Ukraine. The TV show sparked the first concerted drive for the channel’s closure. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img On Monday, the Interior Ministry announced it was initiating a probe into Inter on two counts. One involves the alleged unauthorized partial privatization of the station in the 1990s, which the police say incurred the state $800 million in financial damages. Police are also investigating claims that unnamed founders of the channel pressured journalists working at the station to influence their reporting.The station has decried the probes as an assault on media liberties.“We see these steps as pressure on freedom of speech and a systematic assault on independent media, caused by the fact that Inter’s news shows feature stories on corruption in the government,” the station said in a statement Tuesday.As with much else in Ukraine, the story with Inter is in equal part about politics and money.“In Ukraine, there has on one hand been a proliferation in the non-transparent sale of media companies, particularly television stations,” said Alexander Tarasov, a lawyer with the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine. On the other, Tarasov said, Inter does now appear to have been selectively targeted for attention on political grounds.Suspicions are rife that pressure against critics of the government in the media has also taken on more sinister forms. In mid-April, Oles Buzina, an outspoken reporter known for his sympathies to Russia, was shot dead near his home in the center of Kiev. Authorities appear no closer to cracking the case now than they there were in the days after the murder. While few have openly linked the murder to the authorities, government critics have noted the allegedly lackadaisical police pursuit as grounds for concern. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of People walk out off of Inter TV channel in Kiev, Ukraine,Tuesday, May 26, 2015. A showdown between Ukrainian government and the popular television station with former links to the Russian government has long been brewing. With the Inter channel facing criminal cases and putting forward its case for license renewal this week, crunch time is drawing close. Supporters of the station say attempts to drag it down are part of a political witch-hunt. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Sponsored Stories last_img read more

  • Highlights of the Iran nuclear deal

    first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home VIENNA (AP) — Iran and six world powers reached a landmark deal on Tuesday meant to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. A look at the main points:–ENRICHMENT: Iran will reduce the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges it has from almost 20,000 to 6,104, and reduce the number of those in use from some 10,000 to about half that. Those limits will be in place for 10 years, then gradually relaxed over the next three. Iran also commits to using only its current models, rather than more advanced centrifuges it had wanted to install. Centrifuges spin uranium to concentrate it into levels that can range from reactor fuel to the fissile core of a nuclear weapon. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility –SANCTIONS: All U.S. and European Union nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after experts have verified that Iran is hewing to its commitments. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its obligations, those sanctions are supposed to snap back into place. An arms embargo will stand for five years and restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile programs for eight. Iran will get some access to currently restricted sensitive technologies.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. –STOCKPILE: Iran has already rid itself of stockpiled uranium that was enriched to one step from weapons-grade material. It is now committed to reducing its remaining stockpile — less-enriched uranium that is harder to use for nuclear arms — from about five tons to 300 kilograms (less than 700 pounds) for 15 years. U.S. officials say that at this level it would take Iran at least a year to enrich enough uranium for a nuclear weapon.–UNDERGROUND SITE: Iran committed to convert its Fordo enrichment site — dug deep into a mountainside and thought impervious to air attack — into a research center. The site will still house centrifuges but they will make medical isotopes instead of enriching uranium, and there will be less than a tenth as many of them as there originally were.–TRANSPARENCY: Iran will give more access to its nuclear program to the U.N. nuclear agency. If that agency identifies a suspicious site, an arbitration panel with a Western majority will decide whether Iran has to give the agency access within 24 days. All sites, including military ones, may be inspected if the agency has solid evidence of undeclared nuclear activity.–REACTORS AND REPROCESSING: Iran must redesign its nearly built reactor at Arak so it can’t produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

  • ITCM China hits the ground running

    first_imgIT&CM China 2011 Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H IT&CM China got underway in earnest yesterday, as buyers and sellers from across Asia and the world began what will amount to some 10,000 business appointments over the next two days.The MICE event, dedicated to “Promoting China to the World and the World to China” but showcasing sellers from across Asia and beyond, has grown ten per cent on last year, bringing some 253 exhibiting organisations to around 344 international buyers. Dragon Delight Tours managing director Lin Yong told e-Travel Blackboard that the event represented a good “chance to set up business relationships”, with a view to increasing its slice of the MICE pie, whilst Malaysia’s Boustead Hotels and Resorts group sales and marketing consultant Effie Goh said her company hoped to tap into the “potential” of the event’s Chinese buyers, a market which was currently underrepresented in Malaysia. Echoing these optimistic sentiments were the exhibition’s buyers, with Vanity Travel general manager Celia Magno Ranara telling e-Travel Blackboard the event was “very, very helpful” in establishing and maintaining direct relationships with tour operators.      The event, being held at ShanghaiMart Expo for the last time, will this year feature a pavilion dedicated to unique convention venues as well as MICE venues from the Middle East.2011 will also mark the introduction of complimentary educational seminars to the convention, which organisers hope will add major value to the event.Click here to view the photo gallerylast_img read more

  • ADCBEtihad guest above credit card wins best in category award

    first_imgThe Etihad Guest Above Credit Card from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which rewards consumers with Etihad Guest Miles and a wide range of service privileges, has been named Best Co-Branded Card in the Middle East.Judges at the Smart Card Awards Middle East 2011 ceremony chose the Etihad Guest Above Credit Card over competition from 15 other finalists after considering the benefits it offers users and the strength of the partnership between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and UAE national carrier Etihad Airways.Judges said they had based their decision on criteria such as rewards, customer care, levels of service and innovation. The drivers behind the launch and the mutual benefits to partners had also been considered.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The ADCB Etihad Guest Above Credit Cards are a key part of Etihad’s ancillary revenue drive. We are proud of the way the card rewards loyalty, and we will continue to work closely with our partners at ADCB to make sure it is the best offering on the market.”Arup Mukhopadhyay, Head of Consumer Banking at ADCB, said: “The overwhelming customer response to the ADCB Etihad Above co-branded card ever since its launch in June 2010 convinced us that this was the best offering in its category – we are delighted the judges agreed. We are proud to work together with Etihad to ensure that we continue to deliver the best value proposition to the customer.”The Etihad Guest Above credit cards come in a variety of formats and offer ADCB customers between one and two Etihad Guest Miles for every dollar spent using them. Various bonus incentives include fast track enrolment to Etihad Guest and Silver tiers, a welcome bonus of up to 50,000 Guest Miles, bonus Guest Mile rewards for dollars spent on Etihad tickets and international purchases as well as a wide range of service benefits. Source = Etihad Airwayslast_img read more

  • Australias toolkit for attracting delegates

    first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P “Australia combines outstanding value with world class experiences and international events held here are regularly exceeding expected delegate numbers,” Ms Sheather said.“We believe the toolkit will give associations hosting events in Australia an even stronger competitive edge and we look forward to sharing this exciting new resource with those planning events across Australia over the coming months and years.”The Toolkit is now available from Australia’s leading convention bureau and convention centres. The Australian Associations Project is launching a new ‘toolkit’ to help associations secure the success of their major congress through increased delegate numbers.Australia Associations Project, manager Julie Sheather said the toolkit is a tangible presentation of the commitment invested to assist associations maximize the growth and success of their events.The ‘toolkit’ provides step-by-step guides and practical tips on how to attract more delegates, both for associations running their conferences in-house and for those using a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO).The guide includes templates and checklists and videos to de-mystify the use of social media, with advice on using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and how to use them together in the most effective way.Ms Sheather said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with associations stating that such comprehensive and useful materials are long overdue.  last_img read more

  • Powerhouse airline group connects Australia to Europe

    first_imgEtihad Airways says it has formed a “powerhouse” group of airlines, which, with their networks combined form “unparalleled” air services between Australia and Europe. Spending the past two years focusing on forming alliances with Virgin Australia, airberlin, Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Czech Airlines, Etihad chief executive James Hogan says the carrier is now positioned to meet “huge demand” for flights from Australia to major cities across Europe. As well as offering “seamless travel” between Australia and Europe, Mr Hogan said the agreements will also boost tourism to Abu Dhabi, with more than 14 million passengers predicted to pass through the region’s airport in 2012, 13 percent more than in 2011. “As these codeshare partnerships mature further we will continue to see a shift in the way air travellers fly between Europe and Australia and Abu Dhabi further cement its place as a leading global hub,” he said. The group’s roots were planted in 2011, when the airline formed its ‘multi-layered’ partnership with Virgin, which saw the two airlines commence codeshare on 24 flights a week to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.Etihad then signed its “historic” agreement with Air France-KLM in October this year, which extended the airline’s network to an extra 321 destinations.Meanwhile, from 1 December this year, the Abu Dhabi carrier will codeshare on Alitalia’s direct flights between Rome and Abu Dhabi, while Czech added its OK code on Etihad’s flights between Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. airberlin offers operates flights on a daily basis from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi and from there passengers can connect with flights operated by Etihad Airways to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

  • South Pacific exhibitors flocking to Luxperience

    first_imgLuxperience, the high end experiential travel trade event kicking off in Sydney on 31 August, has seen a significant increase this year in the amount of luxury exhibitors from Pacific destinations, including Fiji and Tahiti.Recently launching its new global brand identity, Tahiti Tourisme has chosen to exhibit as part of its campaign to promote the brand revamp, which targets the “discerning explorer” and aims to position Tahiti as the world’s prestigious island destination, through showcasing its unrivalled natural beauty, secluded luxury and authentic culture.“Luxperience is a good fit for us, demonstrating that luxury and experiential travel go hand in hand,” Tahiti Tourisme director Australia and New Zealand, Robert Thompson said.Meanwhile, luxury Fijian resorts Vomo Island Resort and Qamea Resort and Spa see Luxperience as the ideal opportunity to align their brand with while showcasing their unique product offering to the best partners in the industry.”In conjunction with Tourism Fiji, we are keen to promote Fiji as a luxury travel destination for both couples and families and Luxperience is the perfect platform for us, both for business and social networking,” Vomo Island Resort director of sales and marketing Janet Chan said.“Clearly the resilient Australian market is important for these destinations and they also benefit from the access Luxperience gives them to markets further afield,” Luxperience chief executive officer Lindy Andrews said.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

  • Cathay Pacific launches larger aircraft on Sydney flights

    first_imgThe first Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER will arrive today at Sydney Airport at 2050 from Hong Kong, as the airline increases its capacity on the popular route.With 28 flights a week from Sydney to Hong Kong, or four daily flights, the 2014 Skytrax Airline of the Year has deployed Airbus A330-300s on all its services until now.From 3 December, the larger Boeing 777-300ER will be initially used on three flights a week – CX138/139 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and then moving to daily deployment on this flight from February 2015.Cathay Pacific will continue to operate the A330-300 on the other three daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong.Cathay Pacific regional general manager Nelson Chin said that 2014 has been a strong year for Cathay Pacific and the launch of larger aircrafts rounds out the year well.“2014 has been a special year for Cathay Pacific in Australia – in March this year we’ve increased the total number of Australian flights from 70 to 74 per week which resulted in an increase of six per cent in the number of seats available for sale from Australia,” Mr Chin said.The modern, spacious and fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ER will have a three class configuration with 40 seats in Cathay Pacific’s award-winning Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy and 268 in Economy Class.Cathay Pacific passengers travelling from Sydney can choose between the airline’s three flights meaning a lot of flexibility when travelling via the carrier’s hub Hong Kong to a vast network of over 190 destinations worldwide.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

  • Travel In promotes Regional NSW

    first_imgA new digital platform set to inspire travellers to visit regional NSW was launched today in Broken Hill by Parliamentary Secretary Mr Jonathan O’Dea, who officially unveiled Travel In on behalf of the NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Mr Stuart Ayres, in conjunction with Inland NSW and its project partner, Bauer Xcel Media.“On behalf of the NSW Government, I am delighted to launch the Inland Digital Platform Travel In, an innovative tourism project aimed at growing overnight visitation and expenditure to the State’s inland communities,” Mr O’Dea said.“The funding for this project has been made available under the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF), administered by the State’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.“Tourism to Regional NSW is vital in helping the NSW Government achieve its goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020 and we look forward to welcoming those visitors to Regional NSW as a result of this new digital platform,” he said.Inland NSW Chairman, Rodger Powell outlined the launch of the platform as a major new initiative that will drive increased visitation and benefit not only the Inland region but Regional NSW as a whole by providing travellers with the ability to build personalised itineraries, based on rich content and a powerful booking engine.“We applaud the NSW Government on its continued commitment to grow the regional visitor economy and today’s launch of ‘Travel In’ is a case in point,” said Mr Powell.Travel In will provide not only essential destination information but also capture the essence of non-coastal regions of NSW, showcase their local characters and deliver credible content, according to Inland NSW CEO, Graham Perry.“Through Destination NSW, the Government’s investment to the digital platform has made it a reality,” Mr Perry said.“Travel In brings together publishing level content with a booking functionality to provide the complete package – information and inspiration coupled with the ability to book.”Development of Travel In was supported by NSW Government funding through Destination NSW, with a grant of $832,000 over two years under the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF). Click for more informationSource = Inland NSWlast_img read more

  • IHG New Zealand announces new Marketing Manager appointment

    first_imgIHG New Zealand announces new Marketing Manager appointmentIHG New Zealand is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Peacock to the position of Marketing Manager for the group in New Zealand, based at Crowne Plaza Auckland.In her new role she will lead the marketing team and look after Crowne Plaza Auckland and Queenstown, as well as Holiday Inn Rotorua and Auckland Airport.Rachel has a wealth of knowledge gained from studying Marketing and Management at the Victoria University of Wellington before completing an honours degree in Marketing. She joins the team from SKYCITY Auckland where she worked initially in the Food and Beverage department, no stranger to large campaigns and launches such as The Grill by Sean Connolly and MASU.A major focus of her role was also the launch and growth of Federal Street, SKYCITY’s dining precinct which includes seven award-winning restaurants and bars.She moved to the Hotel, Tourism and Conventions department where she worked on the rebrand of the out-catering brand, ran direct marketing strategies and helped implement a number of hugely successful campaigns, before making the move to IHG.Franck Hesse, IHG’s area director of sales and marketing, described Rachel as a “great new talent” and said her experience would be a “substantial” asset to IHG.“We’re thrilled to have her join the team and are sure she will have a great impact on our properties in New Zealand,” he said.Rachel’s personal interests led her to pursue a career in hospitality with a strong focus on her love of food.“Growing up in a foodie household, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, and whether it be dining out or being creative in the kitchen, food is a major passion of mine,” she said.“I also love travelling and remaining active, thriving in team sports like netball but also really enjoying individual activities like scuba diving, boxing and skiing.“Skiing’s always been one of my favourite activities so in particular I’m looking forward to working on projects at Crowne Plaza Queenstown which has an enviable reputation as New Zealand’s best ski hotel.“I’m excited about joining the team and look forward to building relationships internally and externally.”Rachel will start in her new role on Tuesday October 20 2015. IHGSource = IHGlast_img read more

  • THAI receives three Suvarnabhumi Service Excellence SSE Awards

    first_img THAI AirwaysSource = THAI THAI receives three Suvarnabhumi Service Excellence (SSE) AwardsMrs. Phakkhara Ruangsiradecho, Acting Executive Vice President, Aviation Business Unit, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), recently represented the Company to receive the Corporate Service Excellence Awards 2016 from Mr. Prasong Poontaneat, Chairman of Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT), at Suvarnabhumi Airport.In addition, THAI’s ground service staff received the Staff Service Excellence Award Silver Medal 2016. THAI’s baggage service staff also received the Team Excellence Award 2016. The Suvarnabhumi Service Excellence Awards (SSE) Ceremony was held at Suvarnabhumi Airport to praise the eMrs. Phakkhara Ruangsiradecho, Acting Executive Vice President, Aviation Business Unit, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), recently represented the Company to receive the Corporate Service Excellence Awards 2016 from Mr. Prasong Poontaneat, Chairman of Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT), at Suvarnabhumi Airport.In addition, THAI’s ground service staff received the Staff Service Excellence Award Silver Medal 2016. THAI’s baggage service staff also received the Team Excellence Award 2016. The Suvarnabhumi Service Excellence Awards (SSE) Ceremony was held at Suvarnabhumi Airport to praise the efforts of employees and units who provide passenger services at Suvarnabhumi Airport.last_img read more

  • 2018 Escorted Group Tours

    first_imgFRENCH TRAVEL CONNECTION has partnered with its preferred tour operator to offer a selection of Escorted Group Tours. Exclusive to French Travel Connection, the three 11-night tours have been designed by the wholesaler’s specialists with one idea in mind: showcase the best of regional France. Tour groups are limited to 16 people, allowing for an intimate atmosphere where passengers can take their time to appreciate staying in top hotels, visiting valued sites and taking part in exciting activities. Plus, departures are all guaranteed to go ahead on the specified dates.SPECIAL OFFER! Save Up To $600 per couple on each tour. Read moreChampagne, Burgundy & Alsace Tour – 11 nights from $6,695 per person❖ Guaranteed departures: 4 June 2018 and 7 September 2018❖ Experienced English-speaking guide❖ 11 nights in 4* boutique hotels with daily breakfast❖ City guided tours: Reims, Beaune, Dijon, Strasbourg, Colmar and more❖ Main sites: Reims Cathedral, Beaune Hospices, Clos Vougeot, Chateau Haut-Koenigsbourg and more❖ 5 Champagne tastings, 4 wine tastings and 1 mustard tasting❖ 4 dinners with drinks and 3 lunches with drinks❖ Transportation in an air-conditioned minibusLyon, Provence & French Riviera Tour – 11 nights from $6,750 per person❖ Guaranteed departures: 28 June 2018 and 11 October 2018❖ Experienced English-speaking guide❖ 11 nights in 3* or 4* boutique hotels with daily breakfast❖ City guided tours: Lyon, Avignon, Cassis, Rousillon, Gordes, Grasse, Aix-en-Provence, Cannes, Nice, Monaco and more❖ Main sites: Maison des Canuts Museum, Les Halles Bocuse Market, Sennanque Abbey, Les Carrieres de Lumiere and more❖ 2 wine tastings and 1 Calissons d’Aix tasting❖ Transportation in an air-conditioned minibusLoire Valley, Cognac, Bordeaux & Dordogne – 11 nights from $6,795 per person❖ Guaranteed departures: 16 June 2018 and 29 September 2018❖ Experienced English-speaking guide❖ 11 nights in 3* or 4* boutique hotels with daily breakfast❖ City guided tours: Tours, Amboise, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Sarlat, Beynac and more❖ Main sites: Château de Chenonceau, Chambord, Villandry Gardens, Lascaux Cave and more❖ 5 wine tastings, 1 Cognac tasting and 1 truffle tasting❖ Transportation in an air-conditioned minibus For full details and bookings contact French Travel Connection on 1300 858 304, email info@frenchtravel.com.au or visit www.frenchtravel.com.au.Note to Editors: French Travel Connection is Australia’s leading specialist in travel to France offering a wide range of accommodation, tours and experiences such as cruising on the rivers and canals of France, car rental and leasing, and attraction passes. For more information, please visit www.frenchtravel.com.au.Contact:Bryony Cumberpatch, Trade and Communications ManagerEmail bryony@entiretravel.com.auSource = FRENCH TRAVEL CONNECTIONlast_img read more

  • MSC Cruises specialty dining and entertainment

    first_imgMSC Cruises specialty dining and entertainmentMSC Cruises specialty dining and entertainmentFrom succulent steaks and Asian Fusion to chef’s table experiences, MSC Cruises’ speciality restaurants offer a mouth-watering variety of international cuisine.Pre-book your dining experience online and savour a memorable gastronomic experience with up to 50 percent discount.Celebrate MSC Cruises’ newest ship with dinner and bubbles. MSC Seaside, making her debut in the Caribbean this December, offers a choice of three specialty restaurants. Ocean Cay Seafood Restaurant offers the crème of the ocean crop and a bottle of chilled champagne when you pre-book online.Chef Yamaguchi’s Asian Market Sushi Restaurant lets you explore the flavour- packed world of the internationally famed Chef.  Indulge your senses with a three course meal and a bottle of chilled champagne will be waiting for you when you pre-book online.  Or enjoy the Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse, where you can watch your four-course menu prepared while you sip on champagne.  Wherever you choose, a bottle of chilled champagne will be waiting when you pre-book your choice online.Discover the flavour of Italy, browse the Eataly shop, learn about Italian food and dine in the Ristorante Italia, serving only the finest Slow Food Presidia dishes to tantalise your tastebuds on MSC Preziosa.  Pre-book online and take advantage of our latest offers.Sail to wild landscapes and majestic cities onboard MSC Meraviglia. In the evening a world of wonder awaits, with the exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea.  Marvel the amazing artistry of VIAGGIO, a poetic adventure into the world of colour. Pre-book online, include a three-course dinner, served just before the show and save!Offers are available for specialty restaurants on MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Preziosa, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia, MSC Magnifica and MSC Musica.  Call us on 1300 028 502 or visit www.msccruises.com.au to Manage Your Booking. Have your booking number ready and enjoy the Specialty dining and entertainment discounts available, when you pre-book online.Guests can pre-book their speciality dining experience up to two days prior departure date.View the full list of great offers at msccruises.com.au/en-au/Discover-MSC/Speciality-Restaurants-Packages.aspxContact MSC Cruises Australia on 1300 028 502Source = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

  • India wins Best Exhibitor Award at ITB Berlin

    first_imgIndia recently won the “Best Exhibitor Award” at ITB Berlin. India was represented by K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism along with Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and other officials.Incredible India (Ministry of Tourism) presented a short film named “Yogi of the Racetrack” in the meet which attracted 3.2 million hits in 60 hours.More than 100 countries participated in ITB Berlin with their respective Tourism Ministers. The trade exhibition convened at Berlin, Germany on March 10, 2018.last_img

  • MBAs Stevens SunTrust Backtrack on Leadership Change

    first_img Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-02 Tory Barringer The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) announced Monday that president and CEO David H. Stevens will continue with the organization instead of joining “”SunTrust Mortgage””:https://www.suntrustmortgage.com/ as originally planned.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]SunTrust had announced that Stevens would join the company as president. Stevens changed his mind after considering the state of the industry, he said.””The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me personally and professionally. After serious thought and consideration, I simply cannot leave the MBA at such a critical time for the industry and the association,”” said Stevens. “”Frankly, at the end of the day, stepping away right now, when so much progress is being made and so much still left to be done, did not feel right.””””Going through this experience left me encouraged by the tremendous opportunity that lies within our industry and reinforced the essential component mortgage finance will continue to play in helping our nation’s economy recover.””The planned move would have seen the trade group on a new search for its next president, while the former Federal Housing Administration commissioner pursued his new post with SunTrust. Share in Data, Government, Origination, Servicingcenter_img MBA’s Stevens, SunTrust Backtrack on Leadership Change July 2, 2012 455 Views last_img read more

  • Capsilon Merges Katalyst DocVelocity Systems

    first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-04-16 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Capsilon Merges Katalyst, DocVelocity Systems “”Capsilon””:http://www.capsilon.com/, a San Francisco-based provider of cloud-based document sharing, imaging, and document management solutions, announced it has merged its Katalyst and DocVelocity imaging systems into a combined offering.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The new product, still called “”DocVelocity,”” is available to all customers of both Capsilon and DocVelocity, giving them the same unified technology platform and consistent support, training, and services offerings. The unified system is scalable to meet the needs of both large and small mortgage lenders.In addition, certain optional capabilities, such as mobile access and enterprise interoperability (both previously provided only by Capsilon to its customers) are now available to all new and prior DocVelocity customers.””Our DocVelocity offering combines an award-winning, highly scalable document management solution with superior maintainence, support and professional services capabilities,”” said Sanjeev Malaney, CEO at Capsilon. “”The unified DocVelocity system enables Capsilon to serve small, medium and large mortgage lenders equally well with single industry-standard solution.””center_img Share April 16, 2013 482 Views last_img read more