Why is our hotel different Melia Braco Village Jamaica explains why

first_imgTags: Jamaica << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, September 9, 2016 “Why is our hotel different?” Melia Braco Village Jamaica explains why Michael Smith center_img Posted by TORONTO — “The star rating [in Jamaica] is an absolute farce,” said Dimitris Kosvogiannis, General Manager, Meliá Braco Village Jamaica, at an industry event last night in Toronto.“In Jamaica there is no institutionalized star rating. If you build a hotel and can count to five, you can have a five star hotel,” he added. With no true rating system in place, one must wonder how one particular hotel can be distinguished from another. Kosvogiannis advised agents to “know the particulars of the hotel and what makes it a five-star hotel when selling it.”Noting that “every Jamaican hotel has sun, beach and Jamaican people,” Kosvogiannis went on to proudly list the reasons why Meliá Braco Village Jamaica should be considered a “true” five-star property and how it differs from other resorts on the island.The first major point of difference he listed is that it’s the only all-inclusive in Jamaica to have a private beach, creating what he described as “not isolated, exclusive.” The beach is the central point of the resort, is situated within 100 metres from the lobby and features direct access to 90% of rooms.The hotel spent $24 million on refurbishments when it was relaunched under the Meliá brand. With 232 rooms, the total cost comes to over $100,000 per room – the same average as a brand new resort. Featuring a colonial feel, the resort also offers a market square and is the only all-inclusive in Jamaica to be comprised entirely of villas.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJService is a major part of the hotel; the staff count is 400 at maximum capacity, creating a nearly 1:1 client-to-staff ratio. This allows for extra personalized touches for guests, like being walked to their room after check-in, all the while being told about resort features along the way.Another high point of the resort is cuisine. According to Kosvogiannis, “We have the highest food and beverage budget per guest on the island. The average budget for all-inclusives in Jamaica is $18-26 per day, ours is $30.” He wants guests to have an à la carte dining experience with four restaurants featuring capacity for 80 people each. What this means is guests shouldn’t have to wait to be seated. He also touted the premium liquor in all the bars.For clients seeking more luxury, Meliá Braco Village Jamaica also has 52 suites as part of the resort’s premium room category, THE LEVEL. Guests of THE LEVEL enjoy added perks like transfers from the airport, private check-in, guaranteed beachfront suite and a service level where any request is allowed. Guests who have stayed at THE LEVEL were in attendance at last night’s event, saying that “’you get a little more than yes.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionFor children, there is an activity park featuring a climbing wall, trampolines, paintball and laser tag. Other services include babysitting and a kids club that caters to children 5-12.For the MICE market, the resort can hold a wedding anywhere on the resort, including at the chapel. There’s currently a small meeting room, but the resort is in the process of building a $5 million conference centre on site.The presentation last night focused on the resort’s approach to not cutting corners and providing an experience that will bring clients back to the resort. It seems to be working, with reviews for the resort beating out a lot of the more tenured properties on the island.Meliá has continued this approach with their hiring in Canada. Phillip Rose, Regional Director for Canada for the Jamaica Tourist Board, called the Canada team “rock stars” last night. Fronting the team is Angella Gray-Bennett, Director of Sales & Marketing. Gray-Bennett has 13 years experience selling Jamaica in Canada as the former sales director for Riu Hotels & Resorts.Melia Braco Village Jamaica is currently offering a promotion on their agent portal where guests can book four nights and receive one free. Visit melia.com/travelagents for more information.Photos from the event are courtesy of Melia Braco Village Jamaica: Sharelast_img read more

Toronto proposes new rules for Airbnb rentals

first_img Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Toronto proposes new rules for Airbnb rentals By: Michelle McQuiggeSource: The Canadian Press Tags: Airbnb, Toronto TORONTO — Toronto’s mayor says proposed new rules for the city’s short-term rental market, including properties listed on Airbnb, would help strike a balance between the need for such accommodations and the disruptions they can cause to local neighbourhoods.John Tory is defending a report released by the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department which lays out a number of proposals for individuals and companies who offer short-term rentals.One proposed change would ban people from renting out homes that are not their primary residences.Tory says such a move would help stabilize neighbourhoods by limiting the number of people staying there temporarily, while also potentially putting housing units back on the market for longer-term tenants.Other recommendations include licensing short-term rental companies such as Airbnb, creating a registry for people who operate short-term rentals, and changing zoning bylaws to create a new land use classification for short-term rentals.City council must vote on the recommendations, and Tory says the proposed rules are still open to public consultation and feedback.But the mayor said there’s a need to address the short-term rental market in the city, which defenders argue brings millions of tourism dollars into the city. Airbnb estimates its users spent about $417 million in city neighbourhoods last year.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedTory argued that those who snap up secondary properties that they then list on Airbnb and similar websites risk destabilizing neighbourhoods by introducing transient populations into otherwise residential areas.He said the proposed new rules, which the city estimates would remove about 3,200 properties from the short-term rental market, could limit that risk.“I think what we’ve done here is we’ve tried to achieve a balance between this kind of availability for tourists and others, and the needs of people for permanent housing and the need for stable neighbourhoods,” Tory told a press conference on Monday.The city report said limiting rentals to principle residences would still leave roughly 7,600 properties on the market.The city based its information on 2016 data provided by Airbnb, the most high-profile platform through which people both list and book short-term rentals.Airbnb said it welcomed Toronto’s move toward regulating home-sharing.Alex Dagg, the company’s public policy manager for Canada, said Airbnb is reviewing the recommendations and plans to offer feedback to the city at a later date.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsToronto’s proposed rules come after Quebec implemented a law last year regulating properties on Airbnb and other home rental websites.That law requires people who rent out accommodations for no more than 31 consecutive days to have a permit and pay a hotel tax. Individuals who violate the law can be fined between $2,500 and $25,000 daily, while corporations face penalties of between $5,000 and $50,000 a day.Recent data suggests, however, that the majority of Quebecers who listed their properties on Airbnb and other home rental websites are not registering with the province.The province’s Tourism Department says it issued 967 permits for rental hosts out of 2,244 applications in the year since the law took effect on April 15, 2016.There were 19,400 Airbnb hosts in Quebec in 2016, according to the company’s data, and that doesn’t include people who rent out their homes on other websites such as VRBO and Kijiji. That would suggest a compliance rate of less than five per cent among Airbnb hosts alone. << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharelast_img read more

Hard Rock coming to Daytona Beach with brand new hotel

first_img Posted by Share Travelweek Group Hard Rock coming to Daytona Beach with brand new hotel << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Wednesday, June 14, 2017 ORLANDO — Hard Rock International has set its sights on ‘the original American Beach’ with the announcement of a new property in Daytona Beach opening in late 2017.The 200-key hotel, launched in collaboration with Summit Hospitality Management Group and managed by Hard Rock International, will be the company’s fourth property in Florida, featuring Hard Rock’s trademark style and rock ‘n roll vibe.True to the brand, the property will boast a Body Rock workout facility, and a Rock Spa complete with Rhythm & Motion spa menu, six treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure station and poolside cabanas with spa services. In the lobby, the world famous Rock Shop will feature Hard Rock’s iconic merchandise.For families, young rockers can hang out in the Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club. Additionally, The Sound of Your Stay music amenity program allows guests to unleash their inner rock star, whether that means setting the mood with a complimentary vinyl player and records or nailing power chords on a Fender guitar.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backOther hotel amenities include 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, all-day dining, 24-hour in-room dining, a grab-and-go coffee shop and a poolside bar and grill. There’ll also be an expansive swimming pool and deck, and nearby outdoor experiences like paddle boarding and deep-sea fishing. Tags: Florida, Hard Rock Hotelslast_img read more

Destination France event highlights countrys challenges – and beautiful inspirations

first_img Friday, March 1, 2019 Destination France event highlights country’s challenges – and beautiful inspirations Posted by MONTREAL — France continues to fascinate thanks to its exceptional history. This was the theme chosen by Atout France, France’s tourism development agency in Canada, for its seventh ‘Destination France’ travel industry roadshow.“The choice of the theme of our tour, France Stories, was for Atout France the opportunity to draw the attention of the press and professionals to the huge heritage offering in France and overseas regions,” Marie-Andrée Boucher, Atout France’s head of press relations, told Travelweek’s sister publication Profession Voyages at the Montreal show recently.Destination France 2019 brought together 27 French partners to present their tourist regions and products to Canadian professionals. The event, which began in Montreal, continued in Toronto before landing in Calgary and Vancouver.Agents turned out to the shows in droves looking for new products for their clients.Melanie Paul-Hus, Director, Atout France Canada“The aim of this tour is to show the novelties of France and connect tour operators and travel consultants with representatives of French destinations and their tourist products. We are happy to have such a beautiful delegation,” said Melanie Paul-Hus, Atout France’s Canada Director.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsFrance, however, faces significant hurdles, not least of which are the recent ‘Yellow Vest’ protest demonstrations and the widespread media coverage. “I think that the news brings challenges,” says Paul-Hus. “At present, we do not know if social movements have had an impact on the motivations of Canadian travellers, but we are confident. All cities are well organized to welcome tourists in the best conditions, despite the events.Paul-Hus says France is also working to promote ‘slow tourism’ in France, to help combat overtourism. “We know that travelers will stop in Paris, but it is not a final and unique destination. Many offers are located less than two hours from Paris. The Val de Loire region, in the spotlight this year, is a good example. It is rare that one visits a single city in France, the distances being so short. Although France is very popular in Quebec, we still have a lot of conquests to make about Ontario and other English-speaking provinces.”Marc Richet, director of the regional tourism committee of France’s Centre-Val de Loire regionCentre-Val de Loire echoes this desire to live and relive history, and this year the region is in the spotlight with ‘Viva Leonardo da Vinci! 2019 – 500 years of Renaissance in Center Val de Loire’.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kong“It’s going to be a permanent party all year long,” says Marc Richet, General Manager of the Regional Tourism Committee of Center-Val de Loire. “There will be many cultural events for all ages because the culture is not reserved for seniors. Our heritage is more dynamic than ever with the use of new technologies. If you have to go to the area, this year is a great opportunity.”“With France, you have to know how to reinvent yourself,” says Cristelle Cormier, deputy director of Tours Chanteclerc.The Destination France event was also an opportunity to reward Canadian tour operators who showcase France in their brochures. At the Toronto event, the winners including Kensington Tours (product of the year) and Connaissance Travel and Tours (partner of the year). << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Share Travelweek Group Tags: Atout France, Profession Voyageslast_img read more

1200 more flights cancelled with SAS pilots strike

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, April 29, 2019 HELSINKI — Some 170,000 passengers had their travel hopes dashed over the weekend as a result of the pilots strike at Scandinavian Airlines, with no end in sight.Nearly 600 flights have been cancelled and thousands of passengers have been stranded and the strike is now in its fourth day.The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden announced further flight cancellations on April 28 as the parties failed to resume talks on a new collective bargaining agreement. It cancelled another 1,213 flights today and tomorrow, hitting some 110,000 passengers. The open-ended strike started Friday following the collapse of pay negotiations with the SAS Pilot Group, which represents 95% of the company’s pilots in the three countries. SAS said it “deeply regrets” the distress to clients on its domestic, European and long-haul flights. By: The Associated Press Tags: Scandinavian Airlines 1,200 more flights cancelled with SAS pilots strikelast_img read more

Costa Rican exports up 16 percent in first quarter

first_imgCosta Rica exported $2.9 billion worth of goods during the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $403 million – or 16 percent – compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER). March exports exceeded $1 billion, an increase of 11.6 percent over the previous year.Costa Rica’s main trading partners are North America (41.9 percent), the European Union (18.8 percent), Central America (13.9 percent) and Asia (13.5 percent).PROCOMER also noted that exports from Costa Rica’s free zones are largely responsible for the quarterly increase, as the sector grew by 22.6 percent, from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion during the first three months of 2012.“These quarterly growth rates are the highest since the third quarter of 2006,” Foreign Trade Vice Minister Fernando Ocampo said. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Prosecutors Office raids National Emergency Commission a second time

first_imgNo related posts. Officials from the Prosecutor’s Office and agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) on Tuesday raided for a second time this month the offices of the National Emergency Commission (CNE) in San José, as part of investigations related to the construction of a road parallel to Nicaragua’s border.Agents confiscated information relating to payments made for the construction of the 160-kilometer Route 1856 along Río San Juan, OIJ sources said.Funds for the construction of the road came from the CNE, due to a direct emergency order issued by the President Laura Chinchilla.On June 6, 30 judges and 150 OIJ officers raided 36 different locations as part of an investigation into irregularities involving contracting and alleged payments of bribes in the process of building the road. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Hot new rooftop restaurant open in Escazú

first_imgI haven’t gotten around to trying any of the desserts yet, but with items like guava lava and and a basil sponge cake entitled “caprese,” I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be pretentiously delicious. Facebook Comments Delicious grilled 8ctopus.Lindsay Fendt For our main dishes, we went with the coconut lobster stew (₡12,000, $24), a version of the Caribbean-style rondon soup that wasn’t outstanding but didn’t suck either. The coconut milk wasn’t as thick or creamy as you’d find on the Caribbean, and the portion was much smaller than expected. But the lobster and root vegetables were buttery and delightful.The third time I visited 8ctavo – yes, I’ve found a way to justify three visits for just one restaurant review – I sampled the chicken mole on fried plantains (₡4,500, $9), the cured yellow fin tuna (₡4,500, $9) and the chorizo sea bass (₡8,000, $9). All were fresh and innovative, prepared with interesting flavor combinations and evident care. My favorite was the chorizo sea bass, mainly because it paired really luscious sea bass with something strange and unexpected – sausage broth – and it was fantastic. How did someone even think of that? Related posts:Delicious new gastropub El Gaff already becoming a thing Perro Vida celebrates first year of craft brewing ‘Chifrijo-gate’: a dish, a lawsuit, and the origins of a Tico classic Delicious take-aways from the Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festivalcenter_img When a friend told me there was a swanky restaurant opening on the top floor of the new Sheraton Hotel and Casino just off the highway in the southwestern San José suburb of Escazú, I was intrigued. “What is it called?” I asked. “Unpronounceable,” he said. I checked Facebook and found the name: 8ctavo.I didn’t particularly care that 8ctavo might be as pretentious as its name, because with Timeout Tavern closed, and only so many nights I could spend at Casona de Laly or El Estribo, a new Escazú dinner/nightlife option seemed opportune.A friend and I headed over on a rainy weeknight just a few days after the restaurant opened for business, and in many ways, the place was already impressive. The towering, eight-story hotel glistened with newness and the bright casino smelled like hope. A ride in the roomy elevator ended at the eighth and topmost floor, and I stepped out into what my friend described as “a space pod.” It was an anteroom covered in metallic surfaces and housing a host station for 8ctavo, but oddly enough, the name was spelled differently on the wall behind the counter: 8vo. A nickname perhaps? At least you could pronounce it.There was no host, so we saw ourselves in through a glass door and took a little tour, set to loud trance music. On the west side of the establishment, a couple of cabanas flanked a small rooftop pool, and all of it had a view out the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the twinkling head and tail lights of Highway 27 and many nearby buildings. On the opposite side of the pool, a long and shiny bar sat beneath a collection of stylish paneling formed a large wave up the wall and into the sky. That half of the establishment is open air, and looks like it belongs in L.A.Wind and rain were finding their way in, though, and the restaurant had no customers but us. We sought refuge in the covered dining area, and passed up a few glistening bar tables and some turquoise velvet booths in favor of the back bar, which was adorned with sea green wallpaper featuring designs of fish with utensils for bodies.Just when we thought the place couldn’t get more ostentatious, the menu arrived. Perusing its selections, we couldn’t help but laugh. Beet tartare? Roasted heirloom tomato soup? A separate section for sides revealed that menu items are ordered a-la-carte. There was also a cocktail menu offering things like “guanábana jalapeño martini” and a “new fashioned.” This should be good, I thought. And it was.The new fashioned (₡5,000, $10) was as refreshing as it was stiff; it with came with a generous serving of Centenario Rum, orange peel and sweet coconut juice. The guanábana jalapeno martini (₡5,000, $10) was a vodka concoction, chilled and very fruity, with a kick of jalapeño. It reminded me of a drink I once had at a trendy restaurant in San Francisco’s trendiest neighborhood, the Mission. It was delicious.To ensure we could safely drive home, we ordered some appetizers from the raw bar: tuna tataki (₡3,000, $6), beef tataki (₡3,000, $6), coconut ceviche (₡3,000) and the tiradito jalapeño (₡2,500, $5). The presentation was a little over the top, for instance, the tuna tataki came buried beneath peppers fried almonds and something we’d never heard of called ajo blanco. But each item was distinct and flavorful. The beef tataki and accompanying asparagus, ginger, soy and cream sauce were particularly tasty.When my friend and I returned a few weeks later on a Saturday night, hoping to try some of the main courses, we were asked if we had a reservation. The answer was no. Actually, there were no tables open for the rest of the night, a very attractive hostess in a very small dress said. It hadn’t even been a month, and 8ctavo or 8vo or whatever it was had blown up.“Would it be possible to eat at the bar?” I asked. That too was full. We opted to have a drink at the end of the bar, and perhaps impressed with the six attractive male bartenders deftly preparing the cocktails, we ended up trying nearly all of them: mojitos de cilantro, margaritas de tamarindo, hot & cold lemon meringue with gin, sabila cocktail with vodka, aloe vera, strawberries and blackberries. At first we had to awkwardly sip the cocktails scrunched up next to an oversized lamp, but eventually one of the restaurant staff members came and moved it over for us. My friend and I agreed that the service was faster and more intuitive than we had experienced even at Costa Rica’s top hotels. Was it the cocktails talking? Maybe.But then the restaurant began to fill with the after-dinner set, and even the outdoor area – which was again plagued by wind – got crowded. The scene was a mix of wealthy Ticos and business travelers and fashionistas in 3-inch heels and mini-dresses. All wanted drinks, and servers zipped around the different areas of the restaurant, trying to keep everybody plied and happy.Still, our grilled octopus (₡4,500, $9), which we were permitted to eat at the end of the bar, arrived promptly and complimented with sweet grapes and spicy arugula. Its thick tentacles were savory and tender – not at all chewy – just the way octopus should be. Chorizo Seabass.Lindsay Fendtlast_img read more

Antonio Banderas to star in film about Chilean miracle miners

first_imgNo related posts. NEMOCÓN, Colombia – At the bottom of a dank salt mine in Colombia, a 200-strong film crew featuring Spanish actor Antonio Banderas is reconstructing the incredible tale of 33 miners buried alive for 69 days in Chile in 2010.Actors from multiple countries work in suffocating heat on “The 33,” which traces the unlikely survival of the men trapped deep underground after a collapse at the San José copper mine in the Atacama desert.“It’s not just about the physical ordeal these 33 men went through – it’s about the emotional one, of wondering if they would live or die, or if they would go crazy waiting to find out,” Gregg Brilliant, a spokesman for the U.S. film production, told AFP.To depict the incredible story that unfolded more than 600 meters (1,970 feet) underground, the production team chose to film at two sites outside the Colombian capital, Bogotá.Behind a security cordon, curious onlookers try to catch a glimpse of a star, but their Hollywood hopes are repeatedly dashed.In the salt mines of Nemocón, the humid and musty environment combine with the thin mountain air to recreate the oppressive atmosphere at San José, located 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Chile’s capital, Santiago.The film recounts the story of the mine accident and how all 33 men – 32 Chileans and a Bolivian – eventually escaped in a spectacular rescue operation watched around the world.Banderas, 53, will play Mario Sepulveda, the charismatic de facto leader of the group.French actress Juliette Binoche, who replaced Jennifer López in the cast, and U.S. actors Martin Sheen and James Brolin also star in the film.Under the guidance of Mexican-born U.S. director Patricia Riggen, the actors sweat profusely, keeping make-up artists hard at work before each take.“The ambiance is real. You don’t have to act so much,” said Lou Diamond Phillips, who plays Luis Urzua, the mining team’s shift leader nicknamed “Don Lucho” who organized the men’s food supply during their ordeal.Hard to show weight loss on screenProducers relied heavily on a vast trove of data about the incident, including the miners’ medical reports, to make the film as authentic as possible.Depicting the weight loss of the miners, who survived on tins of tuna and small sips of milk, proved a major obstacle.Head of makeup Ana Lozano said that recreating the miners’ emaciated look was her most complicated task. Despite dieting, none of the actors were able to lose as much weight as the men they portrayed.The film crew played with light and shadow effects to mark the outline of the miners’ ribs and experimented with small prosthetic devices to accentuate their eyes.Latex was used to simulate the redness and peeling of their skin.After filming wraps in Colombia, the team will head in early 2014 to the Atacama desert, Brilliant said.Binoche will make her debut on set in the desert as Dario Segovia’s sister, who organized a makeshift village near the mine where family and media gathered to await news of the miners.“The film isn’t just about the event itself – it’s about the people, both above and below ground, who held onto their love and their hope to pull them through what seemed like an impossible rescue,” said Brilliant.The movie, however, will not recount the story’s real-life ending, which is less joyous.The men’s fame neither lasted nor brought them the fortune for which they had once hoped.“We are like a big family, but with each going his own way,” Urzua, the real “Don Lucho”, told AFP from Chile. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

VIDEO Marine Corps wraps gifts for its first Toys for Tots program

first_imgRelated posts:Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Rica Ten-year-old siblings take the stage to promote education for women Festival de la Luz to take over San José Saturday PHOTOS: Christmas 2015 Read previous “Giving Back” stories here.“Giving Back” is an occasional series that seeks to draw attention to the work of nonprofits, community organizations and other donation-based initiatives around the country. Nominations for the series can be sent to us at kstanley@ticotimes.net.  Facebook Comments Recommended: In this holiday season, finding ways to make a differenceThe atmosphere was festive at Dr. Gene Beverlin’s house in Belén, where a group of veteran marines were busily wrapping Lego sets, Barbie dolls, and model race cars. Spouses and friends joined in the effort, cutting paper and setting out hors d’oeuvres, and it wasn’t quite noon before the Imperial bottles were deployed.“My house was the most centrally located,” said Dr. Beverlin with a smile. At 87 years, he is allegedly the oldest member of the Marine Corps of Costa Rica.This month’s initiative is called “Juguetes Para Niños,” the Spanish equivalent of Toys for Tots. Often mistaken as a generic term, Toys for Tots was founded by the United States Marine Corps in 1947 and has distributed millions of donated toys to low-income households. Taking their cue from their U.S. predecessors, the 50 members of the Costa Rican chapter have started their first-ever Toys for Tots drive, and they seem happy with the outcome: They have already donated about 150 toys to the Seeds of Love creative enrichment program, and they planned to donate two batches of 50 toys to Central Valley neighborhoods and to a church in Jacó. (For more information or to support their campaign, visit the Marine Corps League Costa Rica Facebook page.)“People don’t know about what we’re doing,” said Bill Enell, commandant of the Marine Corps. “So this first year we tried to get the word out and let people know what’s going on. Hopefully next year we’ll have more toys and it will be more of a banner year.”The Tico Times caught up with Enell and his fellow veterans last Wednesday morning for their wrap session.last_img read more

Pope Francis calls for climate migrant action in Congress speech

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Catholic Church to take more activist role on environment following Pope’s call to action Pope Francis prays at 9/11 Memorial after UN speech Pope urges better care for the Amazon, political dialogue in Ecuador 5 things Pope Francis gets totally right about climate change Pope Francis appealed to U.S. lawmakers Thursday to help the poor, do more for suffering migrants around the world andfight climate change, pressing some of his trademark battles in a historic speech to Congress.A day after meeting with President Barack Obama and enjoying a rapturous welcome from thousands of people on the streets of Washington, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives.Three crisp raps of the gavel from the podium announced the arrival of Pope Francis, who wore flowing white vestments as he strode down to the front of the chamber to applause and a standing ovation.He triggered another round of clapping from the hundreds of lawmakers, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet members and Vice President Joe Biden by saying it was an honor to be in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”Francis spoke heavily accented English in a wide-ranging speech interrupted often by applause from his U.S. hosts as he touched on social, financial and humanitarian issues.The 78-year-old pope addressed one of the ugliest and most tragic crises of the day — the relentless flow into Europe of Africans, Afghans and people from the Middle East, mainly Syrians fleeing their country’s ruinous war.“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War,” he said.But the Argentine-born pontiff also spoke of the plight of poor Central Americans and Mexicans who make dangerous, often deadly treks across the Mexican border into the United States, into states like California and Arizona.In both cases, he said, all people want is an opportunity for a better life.“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” he said. “To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.”To some extent, the Pope was speaking to deaf ears in addressing the U.S. immigration plight.Despite pushes from Obama, the Republican-controlled Congress has failed to approve a sweeping reform that would have helped the estimated 11 million people, mostly Latinos, living in the United States without residency papers to gain legal status.Many Republicans say the first priority should be securing the U.S. border.Watch Pope Francis’ historic speech to the U.S. Congress here: ‘Make a difference’On climate change, the pope alluded to his recent encyclical in which he denounced global warming as a woe caused by mankind. Here, lawmakers gave him another strong round of applause.“I am convinced that we can make a difference, I’m sure, and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies,” the pope said.A major global climate conference is scheduled for December in Paris. The goal — elusive in several previous such gatherings as rich polluters like the U.S. and developing ones like Brazil and China failed to reach agreement — is to strike a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.On other issues, the pope called for a worldwide end to the death penalty — the U.S. is one of the few countries that still practice it — and denounced the arms trade as being fueled by hunger for “money that is drenched in blood.”The pope also expressed concern over the fate of families, which he said are threatened like never before.In particular, young people facing economic despair and other problems are discouraged from having kids, and others are so rich that starting a family is a distraction, he said.After his speech, the pope stepped out onto a balcony overlooking the National Mall and greeted tens of thousands of cheering well-wishers down below.He switched to Spanish — “buenos días,” he said, eliciting a roar of approval — and asked God to bless the crowd. He also asked any non-believers or people who perhaps cannot pray “to send good wishes my way.”“Thank you very much and God Bless America!” he concluded in English.The scene of multitudes mirrored that of Wednesday, when wildly happy crowds on the streets of Washington screamed and waved to the pope as he drove by in his open-sided pope-mobile.The pope was to leave Washington later Thursday for New York, where he will address the United Nations on Friday.He wraps up his historic six-day U.S. trip Saturday and Sunday in Philadelphia at an international festival of Catholic families. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Phones made by Huawei impacted by US blacklist

first_img Facebook Comments Featured photo by Designer2k2 via Wikimedia commons.  Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry. Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally. By some estimates, Huawei smartphones are themost popular brand in Costa Rica.But the hundreds of thousands of Costa Ricans who use phones created by Chinese company may be impacted by the United States’ ban on the tech giants.After the U.S. government blacklisted Huawei, saying the company poses a national security risk, the ramifications could be felt in Costa Rica and worldwide.Google, the U.S.-based creators of the Android operating system used by many Huawei devices, said it is “complying with the order and reviewing the implications” of the United States’ declaration and that existing phones will continue to function.“Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” a spokesperson said.But according to The Verge, Huawei phones running Google’s operating system won’t receive future Android OS updates. New Huawei smartphones would not have access to the Play Store or Play Services, which is necessary to run Google-made apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.Huawei released a statement saying it will “continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”If the U.S. blacklist isn’t removed, the Chinese tech giant may need to develop its own mobile operating system to replace Android, a move for which Huawei has reportedly prepared.Read Huawei’s full statement below: Related posts:Facebook topped $1.5 billion in quarterly profit at end of last year Internet by light promises to leave Wi-Fi eating dust US Sen. Bill Nelson: Costa Rica has a place in the future of space flight Duolingo language-learning app hits Costa Rican classroomslast_img read more

Saving Dominican forest and an elusive songbird

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Tentatively known as the Reserva Privada Zorzal, the government sees the reserve as a potential example, showing that such land can be put to better uses than burning down the trees to convert it to pasture, a typical approach in this Caribbean country with only about 40 percent of its forest cover left. Neighboring Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola, has virtually none of its forest standing.Jesus Moreno, a Dominican businessman whose family is partially funding the reserve, says the portion of the property where most of the trees have already been removed is well-suited to low-intensity, organic agriculture. He plans to grow macadamia trees and cacao, the raw material in chocolate, while allowing the forest to regenerate, in perpetuity, on three-fourths of the holding. The country’s environment minister is scheduled to inaugurate the reserve project on June 5.“I am not trying to make this into a big business and make a lot of money,” said Moreno, whose family’s ventures also include a nursery that grows macadamia trees and the country’s only factory processing the nuts. “We are trying to create a model and break the cycle of destruction.” “While it’s great that we are doing (the Zorzal reserve), it’s an isolated project and we need others to protect their land as well,” Kerchner said.Much will depend on the economic viability of the effort. Besides the macadamia and cacao, Kerchner said they are looking for other sustainable uses of the surrounding forest, such as honey production and high-end chocolate.The Dominican Republic is already a producer of organic cacao in the fertile hills around San Francisco de Macoris and has a growing macadamia nut crop, but the country is not a significant global supplier of either commodity. Most of the world’s cacao comes from Africa and Indonesia; Hawaii and Australia are the main producers of macadamia nuts.The backers of the project expect to allow public access but the plans are not yet defined. The property is more than an hour’s drive along a bone-jarring road from the nearest town.“To be a sustainable business, we need to get value from this forest,” Kerchner said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) He began working with the Dominican Environmental Consortium and others to find a way to expand two areas designated as protected by the government _ the Loma Quita Espuela, which Moreno’s father helped found, and the Guaconejo reserves.This loose-knit group eventually found land owned by the family of an elderly doctor that was just a few miles west of the Loma Quita Espuela reserve, prime habitat for the thrush and near the country’s cacao-growing center of San Pedro Macoris, a combination of factors that seemed perfect for a blend of profit and preservation, said Charles Kerchner, an American working as a project manager for the consortium. Part of the land was still an active cattle ranch, the rest already in various stages of regrowth and some had been left untouched for so long that it had become fairly healthy secondary growth forest – not virgin, by any means, but not bad.Most of the money for Reserva Privada Zorzal came from the Eddy Foundation of Willsboro, New York, and Moreno’s family, which previously owned a controlling stake in the Helados Bon chain of ice cream stores in the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti, Kerchner said.Danneris Santana, a vice minister in the natural resources ministry, said about a dozen new private reserves are in process of getting approval under regulations that were updated last year. Moreno and others involved in the zorzal project say several landowners in the vicinity of their site are close to adopting similar plans. It’s not a high-profile species likely to spur public passions, and some bird species in the Dominican Republic are under a more dire threat, Rimmer readily acknowledges. But he and others are nonetheless devoted to the Bicknell’s thrush, what he calls an “enigmatic” bird.“It’s much bigger than just this one little migratory songbird,” Rimmer said. “If we protect it we automatically protect all the other elements of the flora and fauna, many of which are themselves under siege.”The Cordillera Septentrional range, a mist-shrouded cloud forest that shimmers an emerald green in the distance from the former pasture acquired for the reserve, is also considered habitat for vulnerable species such as the Hispaniolan parrot and mammals such as the Hispaniolan solenodon, a nocturnal burrower that resembles a possum with a long snout.Rimmer, for one, has spent countless hours studying the Bicknell’s thrush in the granite mountains of New England and the dense forests of the Dominican Republic, listening for its nasal, swirling call. “It’s kind of ethereal, I guess, kind of mysterious,” he said of the sound.He and other researchers noticed that as the Dominican Republic was losing forest, female Bicknell’s were being crowded out of their prime habitat by the larger males, depriving them of food they need for the journey back to North America. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories The concept of setting aside private land for conservation in land trusts or easements is an old one, long in use in the U.S. and elsewhere, but still rare in the Dominican Republic, a largely poor country.Some private landowners have set aside tracts for ecotourism and nature reserves, and the government has designated more than 130 public reserves. But much of the country’s forests face threats from development, agriculture and illegal timber harvesting, carving what remains into ever smaller chunks that leave species isolated and vulnerable.In practice, the government reserves usually provide protection to endangered species in name only, said Sesar Rodriguez, the executive director of the Dominican Environmental Consortium.Among those species at risk is the zorzal migratorio, known in English as the Bicknell’s thrush. The palm-size, brownish songbird mostly comes out at dusk or dawn and, like many birds, heads south in the winter. It divides its time between the Caribbean islands and mountaintop forests in the northeastern U.S. and southern Canada that generally rise above 3,000 feet.The bird is considered vulnerable, with an estimated fewer than 100,000 in the wild, because it occupies a narrow range of habitat that’s under pressure on both sides of its migratory route, said Chris Rimmer, an ornithologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies who is an expert on the Bicknell’s thrush and helped establish the reserve. Threats to the species in the U.S. include air pollution and loss of the conifer forest habitat from development and climate change. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO DE MACORIS, Dominican Republic (AP) – An elusive songbird that wings its way each year from austere mountaintops of the northeastern U.S. to the steamy forests of the Caribbean has inspired the creation of what conservationists hope will be a new model for nature reserves in a country that has long struggled with deforestation.The reserve is taking shape in a lushly overgrown former cattle ranch measuring about 1,000 acres, at the edge of a deep green forest in the Dominican Republic’s rugged northeast. Conservation-minded Dominican and U.S. investors have acquired the plot as a pilot project, hoping to protect what they say is a global biodiversity hotspot that’s home to dozens of threatened species.last_img read more

Pets and apartments dont mix in UAEs Ajman

first_img Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Top Stories Comments   Share   AJMAN, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Apartment dwellers in a part of the United Arab Emirates have received blanket eviction notices _ for their pets.Officials in Ajman, an emirate north of Dubai, have banned pets such as dogs and cats from apartments and put a two-dog limit for single-family houses. Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper on Monday quotes top Ajman official Sheik Rashid Humaid Al Nuaimi as saying the new rule will be phased in, starting now, for health and sanitary reasons. 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The report says pets will be only allowed in single-family homes with outdoor space.Pet ownership is not part of traditional Emirati culture, but the UAE has millions of expatriate residents who have dogs, cats and other pets.Ajman is one of seven semi-autonomous emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

Appeals judges uphold Gbago case delay at ICC

first_img Comments   Share   Gbagbo is the first former head of state to appear at ICC. Prosecutors alleged that he is responsible for crimes committed by his supporters against backers of his political rival _ and now president _ Alassane Ouattara in the aftermath of 2010 elections.Ivory Coast authorities surrendered him Gbagbo to the Hague-based court in November 2011.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The International Criminal Court has upheld its decision not to confirm crimes against humanity charges against former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, and has told prosecutors to provide more evidence.Judges first refused to confirm the charges of murder, rape, persecution and inhuman acts in June and said more evidence was needed before they could send Gbagbo to trial.The appeals decision was announced Monday.center_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Parents, stop beating yourself up How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Saudi man who disobeyed ruler gets 10 years

first_imgRIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – A Saudi court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for protesting and disseminating photos of demonstrations online, according to official state media.The Saudi Press Agency reported late on Monday that the man was found guilty of “disobeying the ruler” for taking part in anti-government protests and chanting slogans allegedly harmful to security.The court ruled that the Saudi man violated an article of the law related to Internet crimes, “inciting chaos” by disseminating photos of the demonstrations online and to satellite TV stations. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, which is owned by a Saudi prince, reported that the man was filming protests in the eastern province of Qatif where minority Muslim Shiites have clashed with police in demonstrations demanding fair treatment and greater reforms from the kingdom’s Sunni rulers. Protesters in the east have also rallied against Saudi Arabia for sending troops to neighboring Bahrain in 2011 to help quell Shiite protests there.The newspaper said the defendant described Saudi rulers as “a gang” and as “American agents.”The court also ordered that following 10 years in prison, he be banned from traveling abroad for another 10 yearsState media did not identify the man by name or provide details about when and where he took part in protests. He has the right to appeal.(Copyright 2014 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 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img Comments   Share   Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Nepal villagers demand help after 2nd quake

first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   Jit Bahadur Shrestha, 65, from Nepal’s Makwanpur district, injured in Tuesday’s earthquake, receives treatment at the Bir hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Thousands of fear-stricken people spent the night out in the open as a new earthquake killed dozens of people and spread more misery in Nepal, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating quake nearly three weeks ago. (AP Photo/Bikram Rai) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home CHARIKOT, Nepal (AP) — Thousands of villagers jammed the streets of this small Himalayan town Thursday, demanding government help after Nepal suffered its second major quake in less than three weeks. And while there have been occasional food handouts here, there was nowhere near enough supplies for all the people who kept arriving.“We came here with such hopes and such difficulty, but now we’re just waiting and waiting,” said Navraj Nama, 25, who came to Charikot with his brother and elderly uncle after the second earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday. He said 90 percent of their home village, Danda Khorka, had been damaged in the first quake, and about 50 of those buildings had collapsed when the second one hit. There was also a shortage of tarps and tents in the Nepalese capital and elsewhere, with some people even using cardboard boxes as temporary shelters.“We have nowhere to go. This is our home for now. We had just moved back into our rented rooms and again the earthquakes are back,” Raj Kumar, a carpenter who was sharing a small tent with two other families, said Thursday in Kathmandu.The most recent quake hit hardest in deeply rural parts of the Himalayan foothills, hammering many villages reached only by hiking trails and causing road-blocking landslides.“Damaged houses were further damaged or destroyed. Houses and schools building spared before were affected … roads were damaged,” Jamie McGoldrick, a top U.N. official in Nepal, said Wednesday.Among 14 quake-hit districts, some are barely accessible, and a large part of the affected population could not be reached easily because of damaged roads.“Some are even difficult to reach by helicopter. We are facing monumental challenges here to support the government in these districts,” McGoldrick said.Meanwhile, the U.S. and Nepal militaries had been searching the hills for the missing Marine helicopter. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The past three weeks have been misery for Nepal. On April 25, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed more than 8,150 people, injured tens of thousands more and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Then, just as the country was beginning to rebuild, a magnitude-7.3 earthquake battered it again, killing at least 91 people and injuring more than 2,300.A search also continued Thursday for a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers. It went missing Tuesday while delivering aid in the country’s northeast, U.S. officials said.Normally a placid town of perhaps 10,000 people, Charikot is the administrative center of the worst-hit district in the Tuesday earthquake, making it the obvious place for residents of the many small surrounding villagers to go for help. By Thursday morning, thousands of additional people were living there, nearly all of them too afraid to sleep indoors.The Nepal Army had set up a small aid distribution center, but supplies were limited and the center was rarely open. So people simply waited at the locked gates, shaking the fence angrily when their frustration got the better of them.Nama’s village, like much of the quake-hit Nepal, was in desperate need of shelter, and the young farmer came to Charikot hoping to get tents or tarpaulins to carry back with him. But none were available. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Wednesday that the U.S. aerial search had found “nothing of note” that day, and the search was suspended overnight. He said that in addition to U.S. aircraft, the U.S. has redirected some satellites to assist in the search. Officials in Kathmandu said the search was focused on the Sunkhani area, nearly 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the capital.The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake was the largest aftershock of the April quake. But it was significantly less powerful and occurred deeper in the Earth.The first quake also drove many people to leave damaged homes, which were empty when the new quake caused more damage and collapses.On Wednesday, McGoldrick said the U.N. had revised its donor appeal to call for $423 million. The response to the earlier appeal of $415 million has been low, with about 15 percent of the sum received.___Associated Press writers Binaj Gurubacharya in Kathmandu, Tim Sullivan in New Delhi and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Government audit finds improper behavior at Philadelphia VA

first_img Top Stories Employees reported that Lucy Filipov, the assistant director in Philadelphia, hosted a party last June where employees were charged $30 or more to attend, specifically for the purpose of having their fortunes told or receiving psychic readings of their deceased loved ones, the report said.The IG reported that money was collected at the party and that Filipov gave it to the wife of Gary Hodge, director of the office’s pension management center, for the readings.The IG said Filipov misused her position and that Hodge failed to report his wife’s financial gain on disclosure forms. It referred the matter to the Justice Department, which declined to take criminal action in favor of administrative discipline by the VA.In comments included in the report, Filipov said she considered the party a gathering of friends, a private function rather than one involving subordinates. Hodge said his wife’s business was separate from his work and didn’t know what his wife’s income was.The VA did not dispute the IG’s findings and said it was ordering fresh ethics training for Filipov and Hodge as it reviews possible disciplinary action. They also were told that their activity “will not be condoned or tolerated,” wrote Willie Clark, the eastern area director for the Veterans Benefit Administration. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Federal ethics rules bar employees from using their public office for the private gain of themselves or friends, family or close acquaintances.Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee, called the findings “yet another example of Philadelphia VA regional office officials exhibiting horrible judgment.” He called on VA Secretary Robert McDonald to punish the officials, accusing the department of repeatedly “defending the dysfunctional civil-service status quo than actually reforming itself.” Miller’s committee said it will hold a hearing in light of the audit; a date has not yet been set.Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., a member of that panel, said the report reaffirmed the need for a “culture change” at the VA.The IG report said Filipov “misused her position for the private gain of a subordinate and his spouse, misused her title to endorse the private enterprise, and invited subordinates to her home to take part in psychic readings.” It said she had “a less-than-arm’s length relationship with subordinates whom she characterized as friends.”“As a senior leader, she is held to a higher standard,” the report said. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senior Veterans Affairs officials in Philadelphia acted improperly when subordinates were charged money to attend a work-related party featuring psychic readings, resulting in personal profits for the spouse of one official, according to an audit released Thursday.The report by the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general adds to a growing list of mismanagement in the Philadelphia regional office. It was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press.center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The IG said Hodge’s wife deposited the money she received for the readings into a joint bank account, which the couple used to pay for a vacation last year.The IG investigation found that many of the employees “were generally not enamored of the psychic experience.” One employee said she didn’t believe in mediums but paid $30 “out of curiosity,” while another described the payment as a “donation.”The Philadelphia office has been under close scrutiny following last month’s IG report documenting widespread problems such as neglected mail, untimely responses to more than 31,000 veterans inquiries and manipulation of dates to make old claims look new. Linda Halliday, the assistant inspector general, said her office had never before seen “such a dysfunctional and toxic environment” and suggested the problems there might be an indicator of a wider VA problem.The VA temporarily reassigned Hodge pending an internal review after the initial IG report.___Follow Hope Yen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hopeyen1Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

State Dept spokesman Saving Iraq could take 35 years

first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice Asked if the current strategy is working, Kirby conceded, “Maybe the way we’re going about that needs to be changed a little bit.”Kirby said the U.S. and its allies could go “all in,” but also said that even if the problem is viewed in only a military context, “it’s still going to take three to five years. It’s not going to happen overnight.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — An Obama administration official says it could take at least three to five years for Iraq to overcome the Islamic State onslaught.Even then, retired Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby says, the war effort “has to be owned by the Iraqis.”Kirby, the State Department spokesman, appeared on MSNBC after President Barack Obama acknowledged the U.S. lacks a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi security forces. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2014 file photo, then-Defense Department press secretary, now State Department spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. A high-ranking Obama administration official says it could take at least three to five years for Iraq to overcome the Islamic State onslaught. An even then, retired Navy Adm. John Kirby says, the war effort “has to be owned by the Iraqis.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

12yearold suspected of fatally poisoning 2 girls in China

first_img Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Xinhua said the suspect was familiar with the victims, but the news agency did not identify him.On Tuesday, a 13-year-old boy and his three younger sisters died after they drank pesticide in a village in the southwestern province of Guizhou, according to state media reports and local government statements. The siblings had been living on their own, with their father working in a faraway city and their mother abandoning the family for a while.China has tens of millions of rural children whose parents have left their home villages to seek work and better pay in industrial cities. With their parents absent from their lives, the children are prone to psychological issues.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall BEIJING (AP) — A 12-year-old boy was identified as the prime suspect in the fatal poisoning of two sisters in rural southern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.It was the second tragedy of the week to raise concerns over the well-being of rural Chinese children.The boy told police in Hunan province that the girls, aged 8 and 14, drank cola that he had laced with poison, Xinhua said. The girls died on Wednesday. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   last_img read more