Vote for Agencia Globals inaugural travel agent advisory board

first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Agencia Global Vote for Agencia Global’s inaugural travel agent advisory board << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by MONTREAL — Agencia Global, an online booking platform of Canada’s largest-volume air consolidator, is one step closer to finalizing its brand new travel agent advisory board, and now it’s asking the travel industry for help.The company has announced the names of the Canadian and American agents who are up for election to the board, which will be devoted specifically to air wholesaling. It will be the first advisory board of its kind in Canada.The finalists are:Abderrazak Benzine, Top Dream Travel, Montreal, QuebecTed Bradpiece, Explorer Travel Services, Canyon County, CaliforniaZenny Carabuena, Sunsations Travel, Toronto, OntarioDiane Cook, TPI, Fergus, OntarioPaul Dumouchel, TPI, Chestermere, AlbertaRichard Imbeault, Voyages123Go, La Prairie, QuebecThierry Juan, CWT, Levis, QuebecMyke Larouche-Levesque, jaimonvoyage.com, Becancour, QuebecRadu Roberto Podoleanu, Amigos Travel, New Westminster, British ColumbiaKim Smith Tang, TPI, Vancouver, British ColumbiaVoting is open to all travel industry personnel until July 30, 2018 and can be done at https://bit.ly/2LyYqFd.More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perks“Congratulations and good luck to all of the nominees,” said Ryan Saroli, CEO of Agencia Global. “This advisory board will be instrumental in ensuring that we continue to innovate and provide the travel agent community with the tools it needs to succeed in selling air product profitably.” Wednesday, July 25, 2018 last_img read more

Lowcost carriers Swoop Flair duke it out in Edmonton

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Low-cost carriers Swoop, Flair duke it out in Edmonton Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Travelweek Group center_img EDMONTON — Low-cost carrier Flair Airlines says it’s working with Edmonton to establish its position as the city’s ‘hometown airline’, just as Swoop announces new service ex Edmonton, its western base.About 75% of Flair’s flights go through Edmonton International Airport (EIA), says Flair’s Airlines Executive Chairman David Tait.Tait says Flair’s summer load factors have “surpassed projections”, with loads in excess of 90%.“It’s been a delightfully busy summer for us,” he adds. “Since mid June – when we more than doubled our capacity and expanded our network to 10 cities from Victoria to Halifax – our fleet of seven aircraft has carried more than a quarter million passengers and we’re currently enjoying load factors in excess of 90%.”In the coming months Flair will continue to relocate staff to its new HQ building at EIA, as well as hire for new positions.On Aug. 20 Flair announced new U.S. routes out of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto to Palm Springs, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater, starting in December.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North America“Going forward, our robust fleet expansion plan should see up to 20 newer, more fuel efficient and longer-range aircraft by the end of 2020. The first additions will start arriving in early 2019 as our current aircraft are rapidly phased out.”Airports served by Flair report an increase in new and first-time travellers, he added.From 10 coast-to-coast gateways, Flair currently operates some 200 weekly domestic flights.Meanwhile LCC competitor Swoop has added a new domestic route to its winter schedule: direct service four times weekly between Edmonton and Winnipeg.Service begins October 11, 2018 and runs through to April 27, 2019 on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.“This is a welcome addition to our western base of Edmonton,” says Swoop President Steven Greenway. “We are witnessing a positive response to our ultra-low-cost model in both Edmonton and Winnipeg. Connecting these two cities is a natural progression of our network strategy as we continue to stimulate more travel, more often for our savvy travellers.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionFlights are now available for booking through to April 27, 2019. Tags: Expansion, Flair Airlines, WestJet Swoop Posted bylast_img read more

Avianca Brasil files for bankruptcy protection but says flights will continue to

first_img Posted by Share Avianca Brasil files for bankruptcy protection but says flights will continue to operate << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Avianca, Bankruptcenter_img SAO PAULO — Avianca Brasil has filed for bankruptcy protection.Brazil’s fourth-largest carrier cites soaring fuel costs, currency fluctuations and Brazil’s sluggish economy for its financial troubles. Compounding its problems, reports indicate that three of the carrier’s lessors sued the airline for almost a third of its Airbus fleet.The Star Alliance carrier has been a scheduled airline since 2002. Although the carrier is seeking bankruptcy protection it says flights will continue. The airline’s debts total some US$127 million, according to reports. Travelweek Group Thursday, December 13, 2018 last_img read more

Pulling out all the stops Trafalgars Acclaim 2019 trip heads to Africa

first_img Travelweek Group “Pulling out all the stops”: Trafalgar’s Acclaim 2019 trip heads to Africa TORONTO — Trafalgar’s annual agent incentive trip, Acclaim, will visit the brand’s newest destination of Africa in 2019.For the first time ever the incentive is going global, with agents from all of Trafalgar’s sales regions having the chance to be part of the industry’s greatest incentive trip.Meanwhile there’s still time to nudge clients to take advantage of Trafalgar’s 10% Early Payment Discount (EPD), expiring Jan. 31, as a way to boost bookings.Trafalgar says the 10-day Africa trip in seven destinations “will once again see winners treated to Trafalgar’s incredible travel experiences with plenty of VIP surprises along the way.”The journey starts in Cape Town with highlights from the top selling Essence of South Africa trip, including an ascent of Table Mountain and exploring Cape Peninsula. There’s also a ‘Be My Guest’ lunch with a family in their 18th century Cape Dutch home in the Cape Winelands.As always the legendary Gala en Rouge event will be held in a secret venue. Trafalgar says it will unveil surprises surrounding the trip in the coming months, as agents get one step closer to securing their spot.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJ“We are #AgentsFirst and we recognize the importance of providing our valued partners with an opportunity to experience first-hand the incredible experiences and moments that Trafalgar offers their customers as well as our brand innovation. With our seven brand-new African itineraries now launched and off to an extraordinary start, it was the perfect choice to take Acclaim to South Africa in 2019,” says Trafalgar CEO Gavin Tollman.Tollman hails from South Africa so the 2019 Acclaim trip is near and dear to his heart. “Africa sits very high on many people’s wish-list, but until you go there, you don’t really understand how it’s going to change you,” he says. “It’s one of those places that, when you leave it, you understand the very essence of the reason we travel.”Tollman adds: “The Acclaim trip is renowned as the industry’s best trade incentive. And with us returning to our family’s roots, our agent partners are guaranteed that this will be an extraordinary trip, to an extraordinary destination, that will be spoken about for years to come. We are pulling out all the stops.”More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaAgents in the running to participate in Acclaim 2019 will receive a monthly maildrop to advise whether they’re in the race. Agents can also visit the Trafalgar Tribe Facebook page to keep up to date on how to get in on the action and where it will take them.“The greatest excitement I have is to give our travel partners the opportunity to encounter this special country in our own local and unique way. It is my hope, and certainly my intent, to ensure they feel Africa in a way that only Africans understand; so that they too may say ‘Sanibonani South Africa’,” says Tollman.To qualify agents must book a minimum of four guests from the Trafalgar Africa brochure for travel in 2019. Any additional passengers booked on any other Trafalgar product for travel in 2019 will also be eligible for this incentive. All bookings must be booked and have deposit by May 13, 2019. Thursday, January 17, 2019 Posted by Tags: Africa, Agent Incentives, Trafalgar << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

TravelBrands has a new BDM in Eastern Ontario and the GTA

first_img Posted by Tags: TravelBrands Tuesday, June 25, 2019 MISSISSAUGA — Michael Sette, a former sales manager at Sears Travel, has joined the ranks at TravelBrands as a new Business Development Manager in Ontario.In his new role Sette will oversee the company’s partnerships in both the Eastern Ontario and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) regions.According to Shannon Smith, Director of Sales for Ontario, the company is “thrilled” to have Sette join the TravelBrands sales team. “Michael has the combined knowledge of sales development, local marketing, training and customer service,” she said. “We believe Michael’s proven track record of success makes him the natural fit to help develop the business with our wonderful retail partners in his assigned Ontario market.”Starting his career as a volunteer at Sears Travel, Sette was eventually hired full-time and worked his way up to Travel Sales Manager, where he managed three different branches over the course of 14 years.Sette can be reached at Michael.Sette@travelbrands.com. Sharecenter_img TravelBrands has a new BDM in Eastern Ontario and the GTA Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Costa Rica inflation reaches 131 percent in January

first_imgNo related posts. Inflation for the first month of 2013 in Costa Rica registered 1.31 percent, which represents a significant increase compared with 0.17 percent in the same month last year, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC).INEC said in a press release that of the 292 goods and services included in the monthly study, 57 percent had price increases, 33 percent decreased and the rest remained unchanged.Price increases for goods and services that most influenced January inflation were electricity rates, bus fares, higher education, tourism and food.Inter-annual inflation, which measures inflation accumulated during the last 12 months, stood at 5.74 percent, the highest in the past four years.Costa Rica ended 2012 with an inflation rate of 4.55 percent, the second-lowest figure in the last decade, behind cumulative 4.05 percent in 2009.The Central Bank of Costa Rica set the inflation goal for 2013 between 4 and 6 percent. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Joel Campbell among Costa Rican stars playing in World Cup warmup against

first_img Facebook Comments ¿Cuáles jugadores de la lista de convocados ya está en el mundial? #DM935 pic.twitter.com/t6Ca4de7Pe— Deportes Monumental (@RadioMonumental) February 27, 2014 The Costa Rica Men’s National Team announced its lineup for an international friendly against Paraguay. The match is set for next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in San José’s National Stadium. As expected, head coach Jorge Luis Pinto presented a roster made up of the team’s biggest stars for Costa Rica’s lone home warm-up before the World Cup.Joel Campbell, who thrilled the soccer world this week with a fantastic golazo against Manchester United, leads the group of Ticos returning home for the match. Bryan Ruíz, Álvaro Saborío and breakout star goalie Keylor Navas also are names to watch.Tickets are on sale for the match at www.specialticket.net. Prices range from ₡10,000 ($20) to ₡40,000 ($80).Since Costa Rica qualified for the World Cup last October, the squad has been winless and scoreless in three international friendlies — all against fellow World Cup qualifiers. But Costa Rica played those matches without its most talented players as Pinto evaluated the team’s reserves.A few unexpected faces will try to demonstrate against Paraguay why they deserve a spot on the national team. John Jairo Ruiz, Óscar Duarte, Marco Ureña and Waylon Francis are all intriguing names vying for a spot on the World Cup roster.Notably missing from the roster is Bryan Oviedo, the one Costa Rican currently in England’s vaunted Premier League (Campbell and Ruíz both have contracts with Premier League teams but currently are on loan; Navas could sign his own Premier League contract soon). Oviedo is recovering — rather quickly — from a broken leg that many assumed would keep him out of the World Cup.The visiting Paraguayan team failed to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and finished last in South America qualifying. No South American team is a pushover, but Costa Rica must feel that this is a key opportunity to prove itself and impress with the World Cup a little more than three months away.Costa Rica has friendlies scheduled against World Cup qualifiers Japan and Ghana in late May and early June. Those games will take place in the United States. Costa Rica’s first World Cup match is on June 14 against Uruguay.Here’s the full Costa Rican lineup for the Paraguay match. The list also features four players from the U.S. professional league, including Saborío, the league’s 2013 Latino Player of the Year.center_img Related posts:7 burning questions for Costa Rica before tonight’s key friendly against Paraguay 10 images from Costa Rica’s hard-fought victory over Paraguay Watch Joel Campbell and Álvaro Saborío score in Costa Rica’s 2-1 victory over Paraguay Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas named CONCACAF’s Player of the Yearlast_img read more

US expat and UCR professor emeritus dies in traffic accident on Costa

first_imgU.S. expat and longtime Costa Rican resident William Albert Bussing Burhaus, 81, died Monday evening after the vehicle in which he was a passenger collided into a highway barrier near Herradura, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast.Bussing was traveling with a Costa Rican man surnamed Tacsan, 52, who also was injured in the accident, Judicial Investigation Police reported. “Freshwater fishes of Costa Rica” in 1987 was awarded with the Aquileo J. Echeverría National Literature Award. (Courtesy of UCR)Rubier Chinchilla, a member of the Red Cross in Jacó, told The Tico Times the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which skidded into a utility pole and then hit a metal traffic barrier. Part of the metal structure struck the passenger’s side door where Bussing was riding.Bussing arrived in Costa Rica in 1960 to write his master’s thesis for Southern California University. He decided to stay, teaching as a professor at the University of Costa Rica’s (UCR) Biology School from 1978-1991. He also was a founding member of UCR’s Ocean Science and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR).In 1987, the Culture Ministry awarded him the National Literature Award Aquileo J. Echeverría for his book “Freshwater fishes of Costa Rica,” considered a classic treatise for any ichthyologist, biologist, naturalist or student, according to Costa Rica’s Organization for Tropical Studies.“He developed his career in Costa Rica,” said his wife, Mirna López Sánchez, who also is a biologist and UCR professor, during a ceremony to honor CIMAR’s founding members in 2012.Bussing retired in 1991 and became professor emeritus. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica launches Gross National Happiness index UK documentary series seeks British families going back to nature in Costa Rica Waze now gives Costa Rica drivers advice on skirting vehicle restrictions The ultimate guide to taxis in Costa Ricalast_img read more

Late interception seals wild win for Patriots 2824

first_imgGLENDALE, Arizona — A 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and one of the most imposing defenses in recent NFL memory stood in the way of a fourth Super Bowl triumph for the New England Patriots with Bill Belichick as their coach and Tom Brady as their quarterback.That, apparently, was no big deal to the Patriots. Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes in the game’s final eight minutes, giving him four for the game. New England rallied and then held on, although just barely, to defeat the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, Sunday evening in a memorably competitive Super Bowl.The Patriots trailed 24-14 until Brady’s touchdown passes to wide receiver Danny Amendola with just less than eight minutes remaining and to wideout Julian Edelman with just more than two minutes left.The Seahawks, trying for a second straight Super Bowl title, drove to the New England 1-yard line, aided by a remarkable juggling catch by wide receiver Jermaine Kearse while he was on the ground. But Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, the defender victimized by Kearse’s catch, intercepted a pass at the goal line with 20 seconds to go, as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson attempted to connect with wideout Ricardo Lockette for a winning touchdown.The Patriots managed to run out the clock from there, but not before the two teams engaged in an on-field scuffle that resulted in the ejection of Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin.Brady threw for 328 yards on 37-for-50 passing and was named the game’s most valuable player. He passed Joe Montana as the career leader in Super Bowl touchdown passes. Brady also threw two interceptions.Brady had first-half touchdown passes to wide receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Rob Gronkowski as the Patriots had early leads of 7-0 and 14-7.Wilson threw two touchdown passes for the Seahawks. Tailback Marshawn Lynch ran for 102 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin had a touchdown catch. None of that came as a surprise. The stunner was unheralded wideout Chris Matthews, who had zero NFL catches when the day began, contributing four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.The Patriots won their first Super Bowl since the 2004 season. They’d lost their two Super Bowl appearances since then, both to the New York Giants. New England Patriots celebrate their Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Timothy A. Clary/AFPTwo weeks of discussion about the under-inflated footballs that the Patriots used, according to the NFL, in the first half of the AFC title game finally gave way to a highly compelling Super Bowl matchup.The Patriots had hoped the variety and adaptability of their offense would enable them and Brady to avoid a fate similar to what another legendary quarterback, Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos experienced in last season’s Super Bowl, in which they were dominated by the Seattle defense and overrun by the Seahawks.New England controlled the play in the game’s early going. But just like the Seahawks’ opponent in the NFC championship game, the Green Bay Packers, the Patriots failed to take full advantage of their opportunities and Seattle remained within striking distance.Brady had success early on by throwing short, quick-hitting passes that enabled him to release the football before the Seattle pass rushers arrived. New England managed a first down on its opening possession before punting, then moved to the Seattle 10-yard line on its second drive.On a third-and-six play from there, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett managed to put a solid hit on Brady just as Brady delivered a pass. Brady’s throw went directly to Seattle’s nickel cornerback, Jeremy Lane, who made the grab at the goal line for an interception.But Lane’s left arm was bent grotesquely when he fell on it at the end of his return. His exit from the game quickly had an effect on the proceedings.The Patriots picked on Seattle reserve cornerback Tharold Simon while driving to a touchdown on their next possession. Edelman sprinted away from Simon for a 23-yard catch and run on a third-and-nine play, and LaFell cut to the inside against Simon’s coverage to catch an 11-yard touchdown throw by Brady.The offensive production picked up from there. Matthews had a 44-yard catch, on only Wilson’s second completion of the game, to set up Lynch’s three-yard touchdown run.Brady and the Patriots crafted a nice drive in the two-minute offense to take the lead. The Patriots got a favorable matchup with Gronkowski going one on one against linebacker K.J. Wright, and exploited it with Brady lobbing a 22-yard touchdown pass to the tight end. Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPBut the Seahawks were left with 31 seconds on the first-half clock, and they took advantage. A 23-yard catch by Lockette, plus a 15-yard face-mask penalty against Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington, gave Seattle a first down at the New England 11-yard line with six seconds left.Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll gambled and left his offense on the field for one shot at the end zone. It paid off, with Wilson lofting a touchdown pass to the 6-foot-5 Matthews working against 5-11 cornerback Logan Ryan.Matthews was back at it early in the third quarter, making a 45-yard catch to set up a 27-yard field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka that gave the Seahawks their first lead.Brady threw a pass toward Gronkowski in the middle of the field but had it intercepted by Bobby Wagner, the Seattle middle linebacker who played only 11 games during the regular season yet somehow was given one vote for the league MVP award.Wagner’s interception led to Wilson’s three-yard touchdown pass to Baldwin, who lost Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis when Revis collided with an official in the middle of the field. A television camera caught Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signaling Revis’s jersey number, 24, on the Seattle sideline.But the Patriots weren’t done, as Brady’s five-yard touchdown pass to Amendola with just less than five minutes remaining got them to within 24-21.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:NFL tax break foes face 4th and 20 with wind in their faces Panthers, Packers top US Thanksgiving holiday lineup NFL: Coldplay honored by Super Bowl but puzzled by game Broncos beat Panthers, 24-10, to win Super Bowl 50last_img read more

Costa Rica unemployment reaches 101 percent

first_imgUnemployment in Costa Rica reached 10.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, a slight increase over the same period last year, the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) reported Tuesday.According to INEC, 232,000 people were unemployed in the first three months of 2015, similar to 2014, although the unemployment index rose 0.3 percentage points.Male unemployment reached 8.8 percent while female unemployment was 12.3 percent during the first quarter of 2015, INEC reported.At the same time, individuals working fewer hours than they would like make up 12.9 percent of the labor force.Labor Minister Víctor Morales and Economy Minister Welmer Ramos said Tuesday at the weekly government press conference that unemployment is concentrated in the commercial sector, with 73,000 jobs lost during the first quarter, followed by the transport sector, with 20,000. Morales said the government planned to meet with business leaders this week to study the problem and seek solutions.The government has identified unemployment as one of its principal economic concerns and has launched initiatives aimed at attracting investment in order to create jobs, especially for youth and women. President Luis Guillermo Solís is currently touring U.S. cities in search of investment to generate employment, principally in high technology sectors. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica should expect 4.3 percent GDP growth, World Bank says The life of a laid-off Cartex employee Fitch Ratings downgrades Costa Rica outlook Live Stream: 2015 Latin American Cities Conference San Josélast_img read more

This one species of octopus plays with its food and has really

first_imgOctopuses are freaky and mysterious, and they’re notoriously difficult to study. But research on one particularly freaky species shows us just how much we have left to learn about cephalopods: The larger Pacific striped octopus displays mating and hunting behavior unlike any other, suggesting that the routines we think of as being “normal” for an octopus might just be the only ones we’ve observed.The octopus, which was first observed decades ago by Arcadio Rodaniche, has only recently become accessible for close study. In fact, it’s never been officially described as a new species, and has no scientific name. But scientists have been intrigued by — and skeptical of — the strange behaviors Rodaniche claimed to see in the wild.Several years ago, Richard Ross of the California Academy of Sciences came across some larger Pacific striped octopuses on the aquarium trade circuit. He’s been studying them ever since, and his findings were published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.Ross has revealed some of the species’ weird behaviors before. Last year, National Geographic reported on the octopus’ strange mating ritual. Most female octopuses are quite aggressive towards males, and most observed mating has involved males performing the task of inserting sperm into the female as quickly (and with as little contact) as possible.The larger pacific striped octopus does something quite different: The males and females stay intertwined, beak-to-beak, as if kissing. Researchers observed pairs staying together for days, engaging in what looked to be very risky sex for the male — but they didn’t see the females get aggressive.“Octopuses have a reputation for being sexual cannibals,” study author Christine Huffard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute explained. It’s generally thought that females will strangle males if given the opportunity, and then eat them.But that sexual cannibalism — like most octopus behavior — hasn’t actually been observed more than a few times. Octopuses are solitary, hard to find creatures, and it’s difficult to observe them in the wild.“With this species, we’d see a male presenting himself to the female and going right up to her mouth,” Huffard said. “She’d often envelop him completely in her arms, which is what happens in the cannibalism we see. There’s this high level of what appears to be aggression, but it doesn’t lead to injury.”The fact that this rough intimacy can be part of non-lethal intercourse shows just how little we know about octopuses.Once the mating took place, researchers noticed something else: Instead of dropping a single brood of eggs in their lifetimes — which is thought to be common practice for octopuses — the females would continue to mate and lay eggs even as they produced hatchlings.The new study also describes the unusual feeding behavior of the species.Most octopuses are thought to tackle all of their prey the same way, using all eight arms to capture it. Some poke or prod inside tiny spaces with their tentacles, waiting for prey to swim out. The larger Pacific striped octopus does this for most prey, but it has a special — and rather ingenious — trick for snaring shrimp.The octopus creeps forward and reaches out, tapping the shrimp (on the shoulder, so to speak) with a single tentacle. The shrimp will swim backwards — its standard move to escape danger — and end up right where the hungry octopus wants it.“It has this very specific way of approaching a very specific kind of prey,” Huffard said. “It seems to know the difference and treat shrimp accordingly.”For now, this newly rediscovered species seems radically unique. But only a handful of the 300 or so known species of octopus have even been observed, so that could change.“Very few behavioral studies have been done,” Huffard said. “But where the logistics allow them, studies are showing us that octopus behaviors are far more complex than assumed.”© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Climate change could leave sharks unable to hunt Expansion of monoculture farming could mean extinction for some tropical birds Costa Rica joins Ecuador in calling for more protection of endangered shark species Grab your binoculars: It’s Christmas Bird Count season in Costa Rica!last_img read more

Companies offering 2000 jobs this week in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Job fairs seeking 1,300 employees Bilingual employment fair to offer 3,800 jobs Accenture announces 300 new jobs in Costa Rica 45 companies hiring at job fair this week Costa Rica’s American University (UAM) will host a job fair this week that will offer more than 1,500 jobs at some 15 companies.Entrance is free and open to the public and will take place on Wednesday at the UAM campus in Barrio La California, east of downtown San José. On Thursday, the fair will move to the UAM campus in Cartago province. On both days, the job fair will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Recruiters are looking to hire accountants, lawyers, business administrators, systems engineers and industrial engineers. Some companies also will be looking for technical staff in various areas, UAM spokeswoman María Fernanda Cordero said.Participating companies include IBM, Joven360, Multivex, Akamai, Unión de Empresas San Pedro, GFT, CORVEC, Cartago Chamber of Commerce, Cartago Municipality, Mega Soluciones and Letsgointernship, among others.Those interested in applying for a job must be over 18 and should bring both print and digital résumés.400 posts for bilingual staffBusiness services company Concentrix this week announced the opening of 400 posts for people with a high-level command of two or more languages.The company seeks professionals in human resources and business administration. Recruiters also are looking for staff for their technical support and customer service departments.Candidates should be fluent in two or more languages, specifically English, French, Italian, Portuguese or German.Posts are available for the company’s operations in Heredia province and in Pavas, west of San José.Those interested can apply directly on the company’s website: careers.concentrix.com, or by making an appointment by phone at: 2519-6730. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Rains expected to lessen as of Saturday Manuel Antonio reopens

first_imgRelated posts:Rescue operations, recovery continue after Hurricane Nate VIDEOS: Water sweeps away roads, bridges, cattle around Costa Rica Alert declared once more for Pacific slope due to heavy rains Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador Manuel Antonio National Park has reopened and damage from continuing heavy rains this week appears to have been limited. Earlier this week, authorities expressed concerns that heavy rains, while typical this time of year in Costa Rica, might cause disproportionate damage to land – particularly riverbanks – already destabilizedby Tropical Storm Nate in early October.Among other closures around the country as a preventive measure before heavy rains that intensified on Tuesday and continued through last night, Manuel Antonio National Park was closed on Tuesday because of fears of flooding. However, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced that the park was reopened shortly thereafter and is receiving visitors as usual.While the “meteorological disturbance” off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast has intensified to form Tropical Storm Selma, the storm is moving away from Costa Rica toward El Salvador, the National Meteorological Institute stated Friday morning. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Fading political left still thrives in Mexico City

first_imgAssociated PressMEXICO CITY (AP) – When it comes to the presidency, Mexico’s voters are fed up and ready to throw the ruling the party out. But in the nation’s capital, the progressive island known as Mexico City, they’re about to hand the leftist political party that has ruled since 1997 an election-day valentine.Boyish mayoral candidate Miguel Angel Mancera of the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, holds an astonishing lead of about 50 points in polls going into the July 1 vote, which coincides with the presidential election. The PRD, which is struggling in the rest of the country, expects a landslide in Mexico City because the giant metropolis that once instilled fear in Mexicans and foreigners alike for kidnapping, street crime and air pollution is now an island of calm in a country ravaged by drug violence.Crime is down. Environmental friendly bicycles can be rented for short trips and green buses are everywhere. And progressive laws make it a Mecca for gay marriage and safe, legal abortion, both unthinkable in the rest of the conservative Roman Catholic country. A Sunday program that shuts down the city’s main boulevard for bikers, rollerbladers and skateboarders has managed to create a growing sense of community even in a city this size, while the government now gives pensions to the elderly and aid to single mothers.“There has been a change, to a more liberal, more progressive city,” said Eva Villarreal, who grew up in Mexico City and now works as a television executive. “It’s not so much as a question of political consciousness, but rather what benefits you as a citizen.”In the rest of the country, voters are tired of the drug violence that has killed more than 47,500 people and the lack of economic opportunities. They are so desirous of change that they’re poised to give the presidency back to the old guard, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, despite its reputation for 71 years of autocratic rule. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches His successor, the popular and urbane Mayor Marcelo Ebrard tried to run this time and is a sure mention for the 2018 presidential race. Mexico City’s leader can only serve one term.The city’s education and income levels, while marked by great inequality, are among the highest in the country. With the biggest concentration of university students, it also has always had the largest base of political opposition.Mexico City also saw up close the repression and corruption that marked PRI rule before it was voted out of the presidency in 2000.At the Tlatelolco housing project just north of the city’s center, older residents still recall the hundreds killed in a 1968 massacre of student protesters there, and the hundreds more killed in the 1985 earthquake when a government-built apartment block collapsed because of sub-standard construction.In the 2012 mayoral race, Mancera is campaigning on his reputation as the city’s attorney general and a 12 percent drop in crime from 2010 to 2011. Federal figures show that under his entire term between 2007 and 2011, homicides were down by about 4 percent, and kidnappings fell by over 50 percent, even as the rest of the country saw a rise in such crimes. How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates On the national level, they’re rejecting PRD presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party after 12 years of rule. Calderon can’t run for re-election and his party’s candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, is running third in most polls.That leaves Mexico City as the laboratory for a new leftist current, and a counterbalance to what some fear will be a return to the dark old days of one dominant political group.“I think that is what is coming in July, that a new project will start, to reform the progressive forces in the country,” said Manuel Camacho Solis, who acts as coordinator for a broader coalition of left-leaning groups in Mexico.Under the PRI, the president appointed Mexico City’s mayor. Since the city won the right to elect its own leader, the PRD, which broke off from the PRI a decade earlier, has had a lock on the mayor’s office.The job has always been considered a launch pad for presidential politics. Lopez Obrador, who is in distant second this time to PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, nearly won the presidency in 2006 after a stint as a very popular Mexico City mayor.center_img While the capital continues to have a fifth to a quarter of the country’s violent robberies, far outstripping its share of the population, it hasn’t had the massacres, mass graves or wild drug gang shootouts seen in other parts of the country.Mancera’s main opponent, Beatriz Paredes of the PRI, touched the most sensitive defect of the PRD, petty corruption and bribery of people needing city permits.“It’s obvious that overcoming corruption in Mexico City is an enormous challenge,” Paredes said in a recent debate, “and that implies overcoming the mafias that make their nest in the PRD.”The low-key, seemingly unflappable Mancera shrugged it off, partly because the PRI’s own reputation for corruption is legendary, but also because he is not a PRD, having worked for the party’s administration but never joining. Some hope that will give him some independence.“I don’t see the need to join any … of the parties,” Mancera said, a position that seems to resonate with Mexicans tired of the country’s political groups. But the tasks before him are daunting in a city that produces 9,000 tons of garbage daily and needs 16 million square yards of pavement replaced. Top Stories The very size of the city with 13,000 surveillance cameras and a 70,000-officer police force is also what keeps it fairly immune to the drug war, Mancera said. The city’s contentious traffic complicates transportation and it would be hard to bribe the entire city police force, as cartels do in some smaller cities.“Mexico City is hard for them to stage the kind of ostentatious operations they are accustomed to,” Mancera said. “They operate in convoys of five or six vehicles … that’s hard to do in the city.”It also doesn’t hurt that under recent PRD mayors, other bribes known as “mordidas,” exacted by police officers stopping motorists for alleged infractions, seem to have dropped dramatically. The problem was once so bad that drivers kept containers of five-peso (50-cent) coins ready on their dashboards.Now only specially designated transit officers can issue tickets using hand-held computers.The changes are drawing voters, but so is Mancera’s style.“He’s completely cool … a modern politician,” said writer Guadalupe Loaeza. “He’s our George Clooney.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Opposition says Putins lifestyle costs billions

first_img Comments   Share   “Putin has been mistaking government property for his own for a long time,” Nemtsov said. “This is an insolent, cynical and luxurious lifestyle at taxpayers’ expense.”Putin’s press service was not immediately available for comment Tuesday but his spokesman had earlier words on the report.“All of this is government property and Putin uses it all legally as an elected president,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RBK daily on Monday after parts of the report had appeared online.The report _ titled “The Life of A Galley Slave” after an epithet Putin used in 2008 to describe the hardships of his first two presidencies _ is based largely on news reports. It includes numerous photographs, including of Putin’s collection of exquisite wristwatches worth about $700,000 _ about his official salary for six years,Putin returned to the Kremlin in May for a third term after four years sitting out as prime minister due to constitutional limits.Opposition members and a handful of Russia’s independent publications have long claimed that Putin had more than a dozen luxurious residencies built or renovated for him throughout Russia _ from an imperial palace in his native St. Petersburg to resorts on the Black Sea to hunting grounds in national parks. Top Stories Associated PressMOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is spending billions of taxpayers’ rubles on 20 luxurious residences, 43 jets and four yachts, a top opposition leader claimed Tuesday.All heads of state use government property and funds for presentation purposes, but Boris Nemtsov says Putin’s lifestyle is far more lavish than his Western counterparts.In the report released Tuesday, Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, estimated that the maintenance of Putin’s residences, jets and cars alone costs $2.5 billion a year. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories center_img They also accused him of appointing his childhood friends, former classmates and KGB colleagues to key government jobs or allowing their businesses to thrive on oil and gas exports or hefty government contracts.Nemtsov said his report will be distributed free of charge or online because he could not find a Russian publisher.Despite a wave of massive protests this winter that followed Russia’s fraud-tainted parliamentary and presidential votes, Putin remains popular among average Russians, largely thanks to government-controlled television networks that critics compare to Soviet propaganda.Nemtsov, who heads the People’s Freedom Party, has already authored another report on the unprecedented rise of corruption among government officials since Putin was first elected in 2000.Graft also has become more institutionalized under Putin. Bosses tend not to punish their employees for taking bribes, but rather demand a share. Observers say the Kremlin has tolerated the wrongdoing because it’s the main source of income for millions of bureaucrats whose support is crucial to Putin.Reflecting that, Transparency International’s corruption perception index has ranked Russia 143rd out of 183 countries. Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Free coffins political swag for Honduran poor

first_img“Tito Asfura does it better. He doesn’t ask questions or ask for documents. He even gives you the gas money and sometimes food,” said Felipe Leon, who helped recover Jamaco’s body.Meanwhile, the People’s Mortuary collected Marvin Membreno’s body from the morgue and trucked it to a church in one of Tegucigalpa’s most marginalized neighborhoods, where Marvin’s mother could barely stand for her grief. Johnny Osorio expressed his condolences on behalf of People’s Mortuary and arranged to take the casket to the cemetery the following day.His job, he said, “is humanitarian work. It is painful, it requires great flexibility and respect. It is a ceaseless wake, bathed in tears.”As Jamaco and Membreno were buried, other bodies continued to pile up at the morgue, so many that Public Minister spokesman Marvin Duarte said 25 had to be buried in a mass grave.“Maybe no one knew they had died, or maybe their families didn’t have money,” said spokesman Marvin Duarte. “It’s the third time we’ve had to do that this month.”And it is getting worse, said the spokesman.“We are not only saturated at the morgue, we are running out of space in the cemetery.” The murder rate has more than doubled over the last six years due largely to an explosion in drug trafficking to the United States and a proliferation of violent gangs, many of which originated in U.S. cities. The capital, Tegucigalpa, has grown so threatening that its streets empty after sunset, while its morgues fill up.Without a coffin, morgues are prohibited from releasing a body and instead bury the dead in mass graves. For the grieving family too poor to purchase a casket, that means not just the loss of their loved ones, but no way to honor them either.That’s where the charities come in _ three, to be exact, which offer free coffins, and sometimes transportation and refreshments for the bereaved. The charities are run by three elected officials, two of whom are seeking the presidency next year and a third who is running for mayor of Tegucigalpa. All are members of President Porfirio Lobo’s ruling National Party.One charity, Helping Hand Up, won its congressional funding thanks to the head of the Honduran Congress, Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is running for president. Like the others, Helping Hand Up insists it is not trading coffins for votes.It is “just a desire to serve,” said Congressman Renan Ineztroza, who manages Helping Hand Up. The average price for a funeral in Honduras is $1,000, with coffins at about $125. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Nilvia Castillo, People’s Mortuary manager, said that in its first year, the charity gave away 374 coffins, and now gives double that number for a total of 5,000 in six years.The program, according to Castillo, “is part of the political campaign” of Tegucigalpa Mayor Ricardo Alvarez to help the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Alvarez, who founded the charity and is a presidential hopeful for 2013, secured $230,000 in government funding for the program this year.Alvarez did not respond to requests for comment about the charity.Honduras is considered the world’s most dangerous country, with 91 murders per 100,000 people, according to the United Nations and the Organization of American States _ 20 times the homicide rate in the U.S. The violence permeates all facets of life, leading pedestrians to shun city streets. The poor stick close to home in neighborhoods ruled by Maras gangs, while the wealthier congregate in American-style, indoor shopping malls with heavily armed guards at the door. At night, motorists typically drive through traffic lights to avoid assaults.Despite the precautions, thousands of people are murdered every year, creating an outsized demand for coffins and new opportunities to serve the poor. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Neither the political ties to the charities nor their government funding violate the law. Under the constitution, the Honduran congress may approve spending by other agencies but not spend money itself. In the case of Helping Hand Up, representatives created a social fund, which the congressional chief, Hernandez, distributes. He apportioned $127,000 to the charity last year.Congressman Ineztroza, the manager, said that without the charities, yet more families would see their loved ones disappear into mass graves.“Now it’s easy for them to get the money,” he said, “thanks to Juan Orlando Hernandez.”Funeral home directors complain that the free coffins may be good politics, but they’re bad for business.Jose Gutierrez, who works at the Santa Rita Mortuary, said that the charities are politically motivated, looking for votes. “They only come around before elections and favor people who can vote and come recommended.”At times, the coffin charities compete among themselves. At the Judicial Morgue the morning Luis waited for his brother’s coffin, the relatives of two other murder victims shot that day searched for caskets.The family of 19-year-old Joseph Jamaco received a coffin from a third charity, run by Congressman Tito Asfura, who hopes to become Tegucigalpa’s next mayor. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix But Melisa Elvir of Democracy Without Borders, a Honduran transparency foundation, said there’s a fine line between good works and vote-buying, and in the case of the caskets, the line is too thin.“The congressmen are running for re-election,” she said. “When delivering the goods, they name the politicians who are responsible for the delivery. The charge could be made that they are funds for favors, with the objective of winning votes.”On a recent Friday at the gate of the Tegucigalpa Judicial Morgue, Luis Membreno was oblivious to the coffin politics as he wept over the death of his older brother, 19-year-old Marvin, shot three times in the head earlier that day. Luis did not have the money to bury his sibling, but People’s Mortuary did.The charity’s Carla Majano offered a free coffin _ the charity’s 701st giveaway of the year. She regularly works neighborhoods and morgues to find relatives who need the People’s Mortuary’s help. The Membreno family qualified.“This is a humble family that lives on the bottles they collect in the streets,” she said. “They don’t even have a sheet to wrap the body.” Men’s health affects baby’s health too Associated PressTEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – In some countries political campaigns give out bumper stickers and yard signs. In others, they offer free lunches and supermarket debit cards. In Honduras, one of Latin America’s poorest countries and also its most dangerous, candidates dole out another type of political swag: coffins for the destitute.Charities organized by politicians scour poor neighborhoods in search of families of murder victims who cannot afford funeral services or even a simple casket to bury their beloved. There are plenty of takers in this Central American country, where two out of three workers earn less than the minimum wage of $300 a month, and more than 136 people are killed every week. Top Stories last_img read more

Russian rocket carrying Mexican satellite fails after launch

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments   Share   KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned Saturday shortly after its launch — the latest mishap to hit Russia’s troubled space industry, whose Soviet-era glory has been tarnished by a series of launch failures.The rocket, a Proton-M, was launched from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, said a problem involving steering engines occurred in the rocket’s third stage about eight minutes into its flight, 161 kilometers (97 miles) above the Earth. The agency said the rocket and Boeing-constructed satellite did not reach their planned orbit and almost all of the debris from the two burned up in the atmosphere. A search for possible debris was conducted in the Zabaikalsky region of eastern Siberia bordering Mongolia and China after people there reported hearing loud claps at the time of the launch. The federal agency leading the search said no debris had yet been found.The last failed launch of a Proton-M occurred exactly a year ago, also caused by a problem in the rocket’s third stage. Since then, there have been six successful flights.The Interfax news agency quoted industry sources saying the failure could result in the suspension of all upcoming Proton-M launches, including the next one in June for a British satellite.Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered a commission be set up to determine the cause of the rocket failure.Mexico’s secretary of communications, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, stressed that the satellite was completely insured and that the country would not suffer any financial losses. Another launch would be planned, this time from Cape Canaveral in Florida, to send up a telecommunications satellite that would provide the same services as the one lost.In a separate space failure Saturday, Roscosmos also reported that a Progress spaceship attached to the International Space Station failed to ignite its engine, thus failing to adjust the orbit of the space station. The agency said it was looking into why that happened, but added that the space station’s crew was not in any danger from the incident. Russia’s space program has seen a string of launch failures in recent years. Space experts say the program has been hampered by a brain drain and a steady erosion of engineering and quality standards.“It seems that the Russian space industry is disintegrating with cosmic speed,” Yuri Karash, a leading space scientist and member of the Russian Academy of Space Science, told the Interfax news agency. Due to low pay and a lack of new projects, those working in the space industry are “far from the best specialists and have no interest in cobbling together cosmic stools such as rockets developed a half-century ago.”In April, an unmanned Russian cargo ship carrying 3 tons of supplies failed to dock with the International Space Station after it went into an uncontrollable spin after the launch.That failure prompted Roscosmos to delay both the landing of some of the space station’s crew and the launch of their successors. Roscosmos space agency chief Igor Komarov said the April 28 launch failure was caused by a leak of fuel tanks in the Soyuz rocket’s third stage. Left in low orbit, the Progress cargo spaceship fell to Earth over the Pacific on May 8. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Due to that failure, a Russian official said three of the orbiting space station’s six-person crew, who had been scheduled to return to Earth in early May, were asked to stay in orbit until early June and the launch of their replacement crew was pushed back from late May to late July.___Lynn Berry contributed from Moscow.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Catholic brother from US convicted of sex abuse in Australia

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Hartman pleaded guilty in Victoria state County Court to four counts of indecent assault against two girls, and pleaded not guilty to offenses against two men who were his former students.He was convicted of one count of indecent assault and two counts of common law assault against one of the men, and was found not guilty of another five counts of indecent assault against the same man. Last week, in a separate trial, he was found not guilty of one charge of indecent assault against the second man.The court had issued a suppression order barring the media from reporting any details of the trials until they concluded.Hartman moved back to the U.S. in the 1980s and continued to work as a teacher, including at a Catholic high school in Pittsburgh.Last year, the head of a St. Louis-based religious order apologized after allegations of abuse surfaced against Hartman and seven other Marianist brothers who taught or worked at the Pittsburgh high school. Those cases came to light after the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh learned about the charges against Hartman in Australia.When the diocese sent letters alerting graduates of what is now named Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, they received one new allegation against Hartman — who last taught at the school in 1997 — and more than 20 against seven other brothers. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men SYDNEY (AP) — A Catholic brother accused of sex abuse in the U.S. has been convicted in Australia of a string of sex offenses dating back to the 1970s, when he taught at a Catholic school in Melbourne.Bernard Hartman, who returned to Australia from the U.S. in 2013 to face the charges, was accused of abusing four children in the 1970s and 1980s, when he worked as a teacher at St Paul’s College, a secondary school. Check your body, save your life Hartman will be sentenced in Australia at a later date.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Russians captured in Ukraine send messages back home

first_img 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Both the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry reject the assertion that Yerofeyev and Alexandrov are Russian soldiers. A Defense Ministry spokesman said Monday that they were former soldiers; Russia has said that any Russians fighting in Ukraine are there only as volunteers.It remains unclear what measures Moscow will take for the two hospitalized men. Lubkivskiy said that as of Tuesday, “we did not get any request from the Kremlin or the Russian Federation about captured soldiers. … For the moment, there is no question about a transfer” of the men to Russia.Amnesty International’s Ukraine spokesman, Bogdan Ovcharuk, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the two men have asked to see the Russian consul. But no consular visit has been reported.In Washington, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the U.S. continues to be disappointed by “Russia’s destabilizing activity in Ukraine,” including the flow of Russian materiel and troops across the border. He said the U.S. and its European partners were resolute about the economic sanctions they have imposed on Russia. Earnest added that Russia’s actions would be discussed when U.S. and G-7 the leaders meet in Germany next month. KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Lonely and hurting, two men lie in narrow beds in a Kiev hospital as controversy swirls around them.The men say they are Russian soldiers who were captured and wounded while on active duty in the rebellious east, Ukrainian authorities say they are definitive proof that Russia is at war in Ukraine, and Moscow hotly denies the claims.Representatives of Amnesty International and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has shepherded a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, visited the men Tuesday and found them apparently in reasonable condition. Parents, stop beating yourself up Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “I got professional medical aid, surgery. To my relatives, I want to say everything is fine with me, I’m alive and well,” said one, who identified himself as Yevgeny Yerofeyev, a captain in the Russian army.“I’m missing my family and relatives so much,” the other, Sgt. Alexander Alexandrov, told reporters who accompanied the international representatives.In video statements posted by the Ukrainian Security Service, the men say they were taking part in a reconnaissance operation in the Luhansk region Saturday when they were fired on, wounded and captured. Both say they were members of an army brigade based in the Russian city of Togliatti and had been deployed in Ukraine for more than a month; Smirnov said he was part of a battalion of 220 soldiers.Throughout the yearlong fighting in eastern Ukraine in which at least 6,100 people have died, Russia has consistently denied assertions from Kiev and the West that Moscow is providing soldiers and equipment to back up the pro-Russia rebels. The statements by Yerofeyev and Alexandrov directly challenge that denial.“We’re dealing with real soldiers of the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” said Ukrainian Security Service spokesman Markiyan Lubkivskiy. Top Stories Comments   Share   Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian military analyst, suggested that Russia may try to work out an exchange for the two. Ukraine has repeatedly called for the release of Nadezhda Savchenko, a military officer jailed in Russia for nearly a year on charges that she aided a mortar attack that killed two Russian journalists in Ukraine.Felgenhauer also told The Associated Press that “The only person who could really make a decision to declassify any Russian involvement in Donbass (eastern Ukraine) is President Vladimir Putin.”In Samara, the capital of the Russian region that includes Togliatti, residents appear willing to believe their government’s claim that the only Russians fighting in Ukraine are volunteers.“I support those who voluntarily go to the Donetsk People’s Republic and fulfill their mission,” said resident Vladimir Stolyarov, using the name of one of Ukraine’s two self-declared separatist governments.Ukraine’s military said their positions came under artillery and mortar fire Tuesday in several locations in the east despite the cease-fire that was brokered in February. It did not state if there were casualties.___Associated Press writers Jim Heintz in Moscow and Alexander Roslyakov in Samara contributed to this report. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Captain Yevgeny Yerofeyev of the Russian special forces lies in a military hospital bed, in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, May, 19, 2015. Two wounded Russian soldiers captured while fighting in war-torn eastern Ukraine have been transferred to a hospital in Kiev, Ukrainian officials said Monday as Moscow once again firmly denied any involvement in the fighting. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Thailands 87yearold king returns to Bangkok hospital

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s 87-year-old king returned to a hospital in Bangkok on Sunday after spending three weeks at his palace in a coastal resort south of the capital.An official statement from the Royal Household Bureau said an ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej returned to Siriraj Hospital for a regular checkup. The statement did not say when or if he would return to the seaside city of Hua Hin.Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has resided in Siriraj on and off for years. His last stay lasted seven months after having his gallbladder removed.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Thais hold great affection for Bhumibol, who was crowned on May 5, 1950, after coming to the throne in 1946 following the death of his elder brother.While he is a constitutional monarch with no formal political role, Bhumibol is widely revered and regarded as the country’s sole unifying figure.Bhumibol has faded from public life over the past several years, though, and on his rare outings looks visibly frail and does not speak publicly.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more