Riu Dunamars grand opening and holiday cheer with Sunwing RIU

first_imgTags: RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing TORONTO — RIU Hotels & Resorts’ new Riu Dunamar is set to open this Saturday in Playa Mujeres, Mexico, and Sunwing – the largest producer for RIU in the world – can’t wait to show off the property to agents.Sunwing even has a fam trip going down to Riu Dunamar next week, for 40 agents including 20 from Toronto and 20 from Montreal. “RIU has such a great reputation to opening their resorts when they say they will. When RIU says they’re going to open, they open,” said Deana Murphy, Sunwing’s Vice President Retail Sales, at yesterday’s holiday lunch at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto, hosted by RIU and the Sunwing Travel Group.The event “reinforces the relationship that Sunwing and RIU have. And we wouldn’t have that relationship without the support of the agents,” added Murphy.The annual lunch, now in its fifth year, has become a favourite on the holiday season calendar for agents looking for updates from Sunwing and RIU Hotels & Resorts, and the companies always deliver.Last year’s announcement that RIU was getting rid of restaurant reservations at its properties in the Americas got a big round of applause. This year’s announcement – that free weddings will be truly free at RIU resorts in 2018, save for the minister’s fee – got a similarly enthusiastic reaction from agents. “Everybody offers free weddings,” said RIU’s Director of Business Development & Partner Marketing, USA & Canada, Hugo Aguilera. “We wanted something different. We decided that for 2018 we’re going to offer that package complimentary, while keeping the same inclusions. It took a lot of research but we got it down to a zero balance. There’s no minimum stay, or minimum number of people, or minimum room categories. You want a free wedding package, you get a free wedding package.”Aguilera added that 2017 “was a very exciting year, and also a very challenging year”, what with the hurricanes and the Mexico travel warning from the U.S. State Department. He told agents: “We couldn’t have done it without your support.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesHere’s a look at the latest RIU news:Riu DunamarThe new Riu Dunamar is set to open this Saturday, Dec. 2 in Playa Mujeres, Mexico. The 24-hour all-inclusive hotel has free WiFi throughout, 700+ rooms, a RiuLand Kids’ Club, five pools, a fitness centre, water sports and a number of à la carte dining options. It’s located a short transfer away from Cancun International Airport and is nestled on an idyllic stretch of Playa Mujeres Beach. Riu Dunamar will also boast RIU’s first water park in Mexico. This new Splash Water World will also be oceanfront. Already Riu Dunamar is seeing great projected occupancy levels “with a lot of bookings coming in,” says Aguilera.Riu RepublicaJust opened last year and already benefitting from upgrades and renovations, the adults-only Riu Republica in Punta Cana is one of Sunwing’s top sellers out of Canada, and in the months leading up to its June 2016 opening, gave Sunwing its best ever pre-sales for a new resort. Exclusively offered through Sunwing’s Signature Vacations Collection, Riu Republica has added a number of new enhancements for this coming season. The five-star all-inclusive adults-only resort will now feature a water park, the second Splash Water World to open in Punta Cana. Along with the new water park, there are also additional pools, with eight now to choose from including three with swim-up bars, and four new restaurants, for a total of 10. The resort has also added hundreds of new rooms, for a total of 1,382 rooms including eight suites.Riu Palace Paradise IslandThis Bahamas property, part of the RIU chain since 2005, recently made the switch to adults-only. Aguilera says that while RIU doesn’t foresee switching any more existing properties to adults-only in the near future, there are still opportunities for more adults-only resorts with RIU’s new-builds. Another property offered exclusively through the Signature Vacations Collection by Sunwing, the five-star all-inclusive benefits from one of the best beaches in Nassau, an extensive range of entertainment programs, and a modernized look with new features such as an à la carte Indian restaurant on-site. Guestrooms have also been fully renovated and now feature new walk-in showers. New amenities include a gym and new pool with swim-up bar. “It looks like a brand new property,” says Aguilera of Riu Palace Paradise Island.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJHotel Riu BambuThe most family-oriented hotel in RIU’s chain of Punta Cana properties, and initially opened in 1999, Hotel Riu Bambu was refurbished in 2004 and again in 2010, but only performed a complete overhaul earlier this year. The five-star, all-inclusive hotel reopened in July 2017 and now boasts new furniture and décor in all rooms, plus refurbished bathrooms, two new pools (in addition to three existing pools) with two new swim-up bars, and a new gymnasium next to the beach. The Riu4U club for young guests is another new item resulting from the refurbishment. Culinary options have also seen some changes. The hotel has seven restaurants including the new Spanish restaurant Olé and the gourmet eatery Kulinarium. Guests will continue to have the main restaurant available to them with international cuisine, as well as the Asian Hibachi, the Italian San Angelo, the Palm Beach steakhouse and the Mexican Mama Juana.2018 Openings & RenovationsIn 2018 RIU expects to open the Riu Palace Baja California and also renovate one of its classic hotels, the Riu Sante Fe. On the other side of the country, in Riviera Maya, the company also plans to renovate Riu Tequila. Also next year RIU plans to update Riu Palace Punta Cana in the D.R. and Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Jamaica.New Social PackagesRIU has three new social packages for Group clients: the 2018 Honeymoon & Anniversary package for two people; the 2018 Birthday Bash package, for up to 20 guests; and the 2018 #BachParty package, also for up to 20 guests. “Make sure to keep us in mind for your large groups and party clients,” said Aguilera. << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, November 30, 2017 Posted by Riu Dunamar’s grand opening and holiday cheer with Sunwing, RIU Travelweek Group last_img read more

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4star rating confirmed Air Canada gets thumbs up from Skytrax

first_imgTags: Air Canada, Skytrax Thursday, September 13, 2018 4-star rating confirmed, Air Canada gets thumbs up from Skytrax MONTREAL — It’s official – Air Canada is North America’s only four-star, full-service international carrier.The rating was affirmed by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization, and is based on the assessment of more than 1,000 aspects of the Air Canada’s airport and onboard products and services.As part of the four-star re-certification, the airline was also awarded high marks for the recently introduced Air Canada Signature Class service on select North American trans-continental markets, the new Business Class seat offered on the Boeing 737MAX aircraft, the entertainment system on its Boeing fleet, as well as the service concept offered in Premium Economy Class.“We are delighted that Skytrax has reaffirmed Air Canada’s Four Star rating and we are proud to be the only international network carrier in North America to hold this coveted distinction,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. “These results validate our strategy to invest in our onboard and airport products, services and people.”More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedGuillemette also added that the airline is “thrilled” that Skytrax concluded its new Air Canada signature Suite at Toronto Pearson “can now be considered among the best, if not the best in the world for Business Class pre-flight dining.”In July, for the seventh time in nine years, Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America, and was also awarded ‘Best Business Class in North America’ at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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FASTForward on the Shoulders of GIANTS shows Ensembles past and future

first_imgTags: Ensemble, Ensemble Travel Group, Events ‘FASTForward on the Shoulders of GIANTS’ shows Ensemble’s past and future Travelweek Group NASSAU — More than three-quarters of Ensemble agents says they expect their total bookings to increase in 2018 year-over-year and 78% report a strong outlook for 2019, according to agent survey results released this week at Ensemble Travel Group’s 2018 conference, ‘FASTForward on the Shoulders of GIANTS’.The Ensemble Outlook Survey, conducted in September 2018 and based on input from nearly 2,000 Ensemble member advisors in the U.S. and Canada, showed 77% of the respondents expecting total travel bookings to increase, 21% by 25% or more and 56% by 5 – 24%.Some 15% said they expect sales to be about the same year over year, while 5% said sales will be down 5 – 24% and 3% said sales will be down by 25% or more.Europe, ocean cruise, river cruise and land bookings are all coming in strong.Ensemble Co-Presidents Lindsay Pearlman and Libbie Rice wove the ‘FASTForward on the Shoulders of GIANTS’ conference theme through a mix of videos and motifs during the opening general session of the conference, taking place at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas.Ensemble Co-Presidents Lindsay Pearlman and Libbie Rice“The theme not only allows us to go back in time but also to explore how those early days have provided a very strong foundation for our success both today and tomorrow,” said Pearlman during the annual state of the organization address.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsSpeaking before an audience of approximately 900 members, suppliers, and guests, Pearlman and Rice’s speech focused on technology, intelligence, marketing, and evolution and the related progress made to-date as well as future initiatives.Also at the opening session Ensemble welcomed 15 new preferred partners including Goway Travel and cruise lines American Queen Steamboat Company, Hurtigruten, Le Boat and Victory Cruise Lines.Driving the organization’s marketing strategy heading into 2019 is a greater focus on personalization, positioning, and call-to-action.“The new marketing mindset is built around even greater agency personalization and call to action,” said Pearlman. “Content is written to create an emotional connection between the traveller, the travel advisor and the travel experience. And that bond is what makes the customer feel special, taken care of, and most importantly coming back to you.”Additional marketing initiatives announced at conference included:Marketing Resource Center: This online hub will be the go-to place for members to access a library of valuable reference materials and tips via the Ensemble Extranet.The Traveler’s Table: In response to the growing popularity of food-driven vacations, Ensemble is publishing a new luxury magazine, The Traveler’s Table, for its U.S. members. The magazine is modeled after the popular culinary specialist program and magazine, Bon Vivant, which was introduced for Canadian members in 2009.Peer-Based Mentoring Program: The brainchild of the U.S. Marketing Committee, committee members can assist colleagues in better understanding Ensemble marketing programs and helping their colleagues take full advantage of them, with a member-to-member approach.E-Newsletters: The three weekly e-communications (cruise; hotel; and land and air) are being redesigned to become more visually engaging as well as making it easier to sort and search on the spot.Ensemble Unforgettable Escapes: Launched in August 2018, this multi-channel tactic integrates three different media customized with a member’s agency information: targeted direct mail, targeted email, and an Unforgettable Escapes microsite with the member’s own unique URL.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsSoon after the conference wraps up members will also be looking out for ‘Ensemble Insights’, transforming customized monthly infometrics reports into an interactive analysis housed on the Ensemble Extranet. The information outlines members’ performance in three key areas: with preferreds, where they’re trending, and their ranking within Ensemble. The new design will allow members to search by date range, suppliers, product, and locations, which paves the way for more in-depth discussions within their agency as well as with their business development director.Looking ahead, Ensemble Insights will also include a ‘next tier’ performance report, which will highlight a member’s current commission level with a specific supplier and what it will take in terms of additional revenue for them to reach the next higher threshold. Posted bycenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, October 25, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

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Agents can win a Playa Hotels vacation with Sunwings July promotion

first_img Posted by Agents can win a Playa Hotels vacation with Sunwing’s July promotion << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, July 2, 2019 Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — For the entire month of July, agents can earn 2X STAR Agent Rewards Points plus chances to win a vacation for two with Sunwing’s latest promotion.Running from July 1-31, Sunwing is offering 2X rewards points, which convert into cash, on all new bookings to: Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva; Jewel Resorts; Panama Jack Resorts; Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels and Resorts; Hilton La Romana An All Inclusive Adult Resort; Hilton Playa Del Carmen; and Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa.The offer applies to departures between July 2 and Dec. 20, 2020.In addition, each time an agent makes a booking at a participating resort, they will be entered into a weekly draw for a chance to win a vacation for two at a select Playa Hotels and Resorts property. Resort prizes include Hilton Playa Del Carmen, Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana; Jewel Dunns River Beach Resort and Spa; and Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa. The more bookings an agent makes, the greater odds of winning.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJTo help agents secure their bookings, Sunwing is also offering a range of consumer incentives throughout July. Clients can benefit from reduced rates at all Playa Hotels and Resorts properties, resort credits of up to US$200, Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, as well as generous group rates where the eighth or eleventh adult travels free.For more information go to sunwingagents.ca. Tags: Promotions, Rewards, Sunwinglast_img read more

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Argentinas Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected first pope from the Americas

first_imgNo related posts. VATICAN CITY – Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, has been elected to replace Pope Benedict XVI as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.Bergoglio became the first pope from the Americas in the history of the Catholic Church, taking the papal name of Francis I, the Vatican announced on Wednesday.French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran made the announcement from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica. Bergoglio was believed to be the runner-up to Benedict XVI at the last conclave in 2005.Tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square cheered as the bells of St Peter’s Basilica rang out, after 115 cardinals in a Vatican conclave signaled their momentous decision.The crowd chanted “Habemus papam!” (“We have a pope!”) as they waited, waving flags from around the world.Cardinals have been locked up behind the Vatican walls and cut off from the outside world since Tuesday, meeting in a sublime Renaissance chapel swept for recording devices and installed with scramblers to prevent any communications from being transmitted.The white smoke from the chimney indicating a pope had been selected was produced by burning the ballots and setting off smoke flares in two stoves specially installed in a corner of the chapel.The decision came after five votes – longer than for Benedict’s succession to late Pope John Paul II in 2005, which was decided in four votes.The historic election after Benedict’s abrupt resignation last month was being followed around the world on live television as well as through social media and smartphone apps, and the event was the first-ever Tweeted conclave.Benedict’s eight-year papacy was riven by scandals, and the new pope will face immediate challenges, including stamping his authority on the Vatican machinery and trying to bring back a Catholic flock that is deserting churches across the West.Benedict’s style was often seen as too academic, and he was never as popular as his predecessor. Many of the cardinals had called for a new pope who will be a good communicator and is able to reach out particularly to young people.Conclaves are usually only held after a pope dies and are sometimes decades apart – the last one was in 2005, the one before that 1978. A popular Italian expression for things that happen very rarely is “at every death of a pope.”The 85-year-old Benedict broke with tradition, becoming the first pontiff to resign since the Middle Ages. He has said he will retire to a former nunnery inside the Vatican – an unprecedented and delicate situation for the Church.In one of his last acts as pope, he issued a decree allowing cardinals to bring forward the date of a conclave in cases of papal resignation – a move seen by many as potentially setting a precedent for future ageing pontiffs.The scandal of hushed-up sexual abuses of children by pedophile priests going back decades has also cast its shadow over the conclave.The U.S. group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) called for over a dozen cardinals to be excluded from the conclave either for covering up abuses or making tactless remarks about the scandals.The Vatican on Wednesday defended the cardinals and accused SNAP and other activists of showing “negative prejudices.”“None of us are surprised that they have tried to take advantage of these days to repeat their accusations and give them greater resonance,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said. “These cardinals should be respected and have every right to be in the conclave.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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A luxurious old hacienda in Cañas

first_imgIt’s hard to not run into wildlife while wandering the grounds of Hotel La Pacifica.  Lindsay Fendt Originally built as an hacienda in the late 1800s, the 2,650-hectare property was once owned by Costa Rican President Bernardo Soto. The hotel is named after Soto’s wife Pacifica Fernández, who used the farm as an escape from the hustle and bustle of San José. The property has been a hotel for more than 25 years, but the family’s original house, La Casona, still stands on another part of the estate.Checking in at the front desk, I was assured by Front Desk Manager Davis Marshall that once I got to my room, I would feel like I was in an hacienda. He was right. Tucked away down a dirt road that passes under the reaching branches of dozens of Guanacaste trees, sits a long row of suites, each themed to feel exactly like a 19th century Spanish-style farmhouse.Whitewashed adobe walls and terracotta tiles accompanied the dark stained wooden beams and barn-door-esque cabinets of my suite. Just in case it didn’t feel enough like a farm, the hotel decorators added a black and white photograph of a tractor right over the bed.But it is the main building that really hammers in the hacienda style. Constructed from the same dark, sturdy wood as the rooms, the hotel’s lobby is built like a barn. Some of the antique furniture and rusting farm tools that decorate the building came from La Casona, and almost everything else was made onsite in the hotel’s own wood and leather shop.After relaxing in the lobby’s rocking chairs, I made my way to the hotel’s restaurant, where I munched on homemade bread. Then, two roosters wandered by my table as I feasted on a delicious hacienda steak, topped with green olives, mushrooms, capers and hearts of palm. I almost hit a deer pulling into the driveway at Cañas’ only luxury hotel, La Pacifica. Then later, driving to my room, I nearly ran over a paca. The next morning, an entire family of howler monkeys greeted me as I made my way to breakfast.I now understand why Cañas, a mid-sized agricultural town in the center of Guanacaste, is not known for its wildlife. It’s because all of it has decided to live on the grounds of La Pacifica, and it’s easy to see why. No related posts.center_img Much of what appeared on my plate actually came from La Pacifica’s farm, which has remained functional throughout its years as a hotel. To catch a glimpse of the farm’s cattle, tilapia and organic rice operations, I took the hotel’s farm tour, which is available to all guests for $50 a person.The tour ends at La Casona, the famed tropical getaway of Pacifica Fernández. The hotel kept the house up as a an elaborately adorned museum for years before it was eventually robbed. Though now abandoned, and home to at least 50 bats, looking at the embellished archways and ceramic shingles you can sense what the old farmhouse must have been back when Fernández roamed its halls.Just as we were leaving, a beautiful, white owl swooped in through a window.“Ah there she is,” Marshall said. “The new Doña Pacifica.”Going there: Hotel La Pacifica is past Cañas off of the Pan American highway. Coming from San José you will see it on your right 5 km before reaching Liberia. It is a short distance from three major national parks: Palo Verde, Rincón de la Vieja and Río Celeste. All rooms hold up to four people, with standard rooms starting at $41 in the off-season and $58 in the high season. Suites, which upgrade to a queen-sized bed, start at $49 in the off-season and $58 in the high season. The larger studios, which come with a living room, start at $80 in the low season and $96 in the high season. Villas, which include a full kitchen and living area start at $59 in the off-season and $60 in the high season. Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt Hotel La Pacifica makes delicious homemade organic bread.last_img read more

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Seriously Winless England predicted by oddsmakers to beat Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Can Costa Rica defy the odds and conquer Group D (or at least score a goal)? The Sloth Kong dance Underdogs no more: Costa Rica seen as favorites against Greece Sloth Kong Reigns: Costa Rica conquers Group of Champions See the rest of our Sloth Kong collection:Costa Rica vs. UruguayCosta Rica vs. ItalyWith a knockout round berth already clinched, Costa Rica is now setting its sights on a first-ever run to the World Cup quarterfinals.The Ticos will try to wrap up the top spot in Group D against England at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. With a result against the English, Costa Rica’s path to history gets much easier.The Ticos just need a draw against an already-eliminated English team to win Group D outright. In the other Group D match Tuesday — both matches occur at the same time — Italy battles Uruguay. If Italy and Uruguay draw, Costa Rica will finish as group champions no matter what happens against England. A loss by Costa Rica and a win by either Uruguay or Italy makes the situation trickier, and all will depend on the scores of both matches.ESPN’s data-journalism site, 538, gives Costa Rica an 89 percent chance to hold on to the top spot in the group. Strong odds in favor of the Ticos — for once. Nevertheless, oddsmakers are doubting that Costa Rica can beat or even draw England on Tuesday morning.Costa Rica’s coaches have said they are not focused on winning the group. Head coach Jorge Luis Pinto will test out reserve players against England. A few La Sele stars could be rested. It’s a smart strategy to not risk injury, but Costa Rica hopes the move won’t cost them Group D. If the Ticos fail to conquer the group, their first opponent would be Pinto’s home country of Colombia. The South American squad is ranked eighth in the world by FIFA and has dominated Group C so far. If Costa Rica finishes first in Group D, the team will face lesser-foes — either the Ivory Coast, Greece or Japan.Winning the group also pushes Costa Rica into the bracket opposite of host Brazil, the overwhelming favorite at the start of the tournament.If England beats Costa Rica, the Group D champion could be determined by goal differential. La Sele has a +3 goal differential. Second place is Italy with 0, and Uruguay is at -1. This means if Costa Rica lost 2-0 to England and Italy defeated Uruguay by two goals, then Italy would jump ahead to the top spot.If Italy or Uruguay tie Costa Rica on goal differential, the second tiebreaker would be total goals scored. Costa Rica has an edge here, but either rival could pass La Sele if their game is high-scoring. If the Ticos end up even with another team in the “goals scored” category, Costa Rica maintains the final tiebreaker thanks to the head-to-head victories over Uruguay and Italy.Winless English favored over Costa RicaDespite the Central American country dominating the first two group matches, the Ticos are again an underdog against England — a squad that lost to both Uruguay and Italy.Costa Rica’s three Group D rivals have won a combined seven World Cup titles. England’s deep football history certainly factors into why prognosticators are underestimating La Sele a third time. ESPN’s 538 predicted a 42 percent chance for an English win, compared to a 29 percent chance of a Costa Rican victory. English betting sites give La Sele longer odds. As of Monday afternoon, Paddy Power gave the Ticos’ a 23 percent chance to win and Ladbrokes gave them a 24 percent chance. Those odds might change Tuesday morning with England announcing an experimental line-up for the match.Gamblers aren’t doubting Costa Rica. According to a Financial Times report, the English are actually putting more money on Costa Rica than their own side. Of course, English fans already are disheartened about their country’s elimination. And entering the tournament, a New York Times poll called England the country “most pessimistic” about its team’s chances (Costa Rica was the second most pessimistic; obviously a result of the tough group that the Ticos later upended).In another minor sign of growing respect, 538 finally awarded Costa Rica a greater than 1 percent chance of winning the tournament.Costa Rica advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams once before in World Cup history, losing to Czechoslovakia in 1990. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Werner Franz last of Hindenburg crew dies at 92

first_imgRelated posts:Swedish ‘Sugar Man’ documentary filmmaker dies at 36 Tommy Ramone, punk band’s last original member, dies at 62 Reagan spokesman, US anti-gun activist James Brady, 73, dies Robin Williams, frenetic, fearless actor and comedian, dies at 63 Franz, who was born May 22, 1922, in Frankfurt, needed to find a job to help out his family after his father became ill and had to quit his job as a hotel switchboard operator. Through his older brother, he learned of an opening on the Hindenburg. He made his first flight, a transatlantic voyage to Rio de Janeiro, in October 1936.Two months earlier, the Hindenburg had impressed spectators at the Olympic Games in Berlin as it flew over the stadium, a polished silver ship in the sky. Nazi swastikas were emblazoned on the tail of the Hindenburg in red, black and white.The Hindenburg was longer than the U.S. Capitol, end to end, and 250 feet longer than the height of the Washington Monument. It was 135 feet high. Except for a sister Zeppelin that never saw commercial service, there has never been a larger passenger aircraft of any kind. In August 1936, it made its fastest crossing, going from Lakehurst to Frankfurt in 43 hours, 2 minutes.“It was twice as fast as the fastest transatlantic ship,” said Dan Grossman, an Atlanta-based airship historian. “It was definitely the Concorde of its time.”In June 1936, German boxer Max Schmeling flew on the Hindenburg from the United States to Frankfurt after he defeated U.S. heavyweight Joe Louis. Schmeling was originally scheduled to fly to the United States in May 1937 but canceled his plans and came by ocean liner instead.There were 36 passengers and 61 crew members aboard when the Hindenburg reached the United States on May 6. It circled Manhattan and flew over parts of New Jersey at its usual cruising altitude of about 650 feet before it coming in to land at Lakehurst.At 7:25 p.m., with the tail of the craft unusually low, flames broke out in the rear of the airship. Leaking hydrogen was ignited by an electromagnetic spark, and within seconds the linen membrane of the airship was engulfed in flames.Franz was clearing tables in the officers’ mess. With the nose of the aircraft pointing up, dishes and silverware began to clatter to the floor, and he was drenched by a ruptured ballast tank filled with water.As the Hindenburg began to sink closer to the ground, Franz kicked open a hatch used to load provisions onto the craft. He jumped out, a few feet above the ground, and ran. He can be seen in newsreel footage of the disaster.A radio broadcaster, Herbert Morrison, memorably described the scene: “It’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It’s smoke, and it’s in flames now; and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity!”Franz ran in the direction of the wind, keeping the fire behind him. He escaped with no injuries or burns and was “one of the few survivors who were in the belly of the ship,” Grossman said.The next day, Franz returned to the site of the crash and walked through wreckage to the spot where his bunk had been. There, he found a pocket watch that had been given to him by his grandfather.During World War II, Franz was a radio operator for the German Luftwaffe and later repaired precision machines for the German post office. He also worked as a figure-skating and roller-skating coach. One of his ice skaters, Marika Kilius, won two Olympic silver medals in the pairs competition.Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Annerose Franz; and several children and grandchildren.A week after the crash, Franz testified before a U.S. board of inquiry about the Hindenburg. When he saw an officer with the German air ministry, he asked, “When the next Zeppelin is ready, may I fly again with her?”© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments In 1936 and 1937, young Werner Franz worked as a cabin boy on the Hindenburg, the largest, fastest and sleekest mode of transportation the world had seen up to that time.The German-built airship, which was 804 feet long and kept aloft by hydrogen gas, was an engineering marvel, capable of making the journey from Frankfurt to the United States in a mere three days. It was also a powerful propaganda tool of the Nazi regime.Franz, who was 14 at the time, washed dishes and delivered coffee to the crew, but in 2004 he described his seven months with the Hindenburg as “the best time of my life.”The airship, built by the Zeppelin company, made 34 successful Atlantic crossings in 1936 and was considered the height of luxury and speed in commercial aviation. But the era of the airship came to a ghastly end on May 6, 1937, when the Hindenburg burst into flames as it was attempting to land at a naval station in Lakehurst, New Jersey.Within seconds, the mighty aircraft was reduced to a smoldering metal skeleton, killing 35 of the 97 people on board, plus another person on the ground. It was the first major air disaster on American soil, made more vivid by the newsreel cameras, press photographers and radio reporters who were present to record the Hindenburg’s arrival.Franz managed to escape, leaping to the ground from an opening in the bottom of the airship. He was last surviving crew member of the Hindenburg when he died Aug. 13 at his home near Frankfurt. He was 92.The cause was a heart attack, John Provan, a U.S. historian in Germany, said Saturday in an interview.last_img read more

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Costa Rican legislators to approve missing child alert system

first_imgLawmakers on Tuesday will begin discussing in a second and final round of debates the approval of a bill for the creation of an emergency system for broadcasting alerts following the disappearance of a minor.A total of 40 of 41 legislators last week passed in a first-round vote Bill #19,356, “Alert System for the Protection of Costa Rican Children,” to be known as SAN.The initiative was promoted by lawmakers Fabricio Alvarado from National Restoration Party and Humberto Vargas of the Christian Social Unity Party.Similar to the AMBER alert in the United States, the bill would require phone companies and mass media to issue immediate and free alerts displaying pictures and descriptions of missing children, and if known, the captors.The proposed legislation also would eliminate a provision from current law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before activating a missing child protocol.It also would establish the creation of a multi-agency commission led by the National Children’s Trust, with representatives of the Public Security Ministry, Judicial Investigation Police, Prosecutor’s Office, Immigration Administration, the National Agency for Community Development and the National Council for Children and Adolescents.Ottón Solís, a lawmaker from the ruling Citizen Action Party, voted against the proposal because he said it was overly bureaucratic and would be costly for the national budget. Solís said the Child Welfare Office could carry out the project without the adoption of a new law.“It doesn’t seem right to pass a bill to create a new system that currently is not forbidden by law. In fact, all agencies involved are obliged by law to coordinate efforts to fulfill their mandates,” Solís said.If approved, the bill must be signed by President Luis Guillermo Solís and published in the official newspaper La Gaceta before taking effect. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica successfully tests new missing child alert system Where is Yerelin (and the other missing children of Costa Rica)? Costa Rica beach drowning victim identified as US tourist Update: Missing US tourist found dead in Costa Ricalast_img read more

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Mexico police protesters clash ahead of grim anniversary of 43 missing students

first_imgTIXTLA DE GUERRERO, Mexico – Protesters demanding justice for 43 missing students and their families clashed with police and torched a truck in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero on Tuesday, just days before the tragedy’sfirst anniversary.The protesters threw Molotov cocktails at officers in riot gear who responded with tear gas on a road near the Ayotzinapa teacher training college, where the missing students were studying.At least five officers and two students were injured in the confrontation, officials and parents of the students said. Protesters clash with riot police along the Tixtla-Chilpancingo highway in Tixtla, Guerrero State, Mexico, on Sept. 22, 2015. Yuri Cortéz/AFPThe clash erupted after relatives of the 43 missing students were heading to the state capital, Chilpancingo, in a dozen buses to hold a demonstration. Their convoy was blocked by some 200 state police officers.Parents of the students tried to negotiate with the officers, but after the police refused to let them through, some 200 masked students set a soft drink truck that they had seized ablaze and lobbed firebombs. The protesters briefly held two officers.The clash came a day after a group of protesters ransacked the Guerrero state prosecutor’s office in Chilpancingo, breaking furniture and computers.A protest is planned for Mexico City on Saturday to mark one year since the 43 students disappeared after they were attacked by police officers in the Guerrero town of Iguala. Prosecutors say the officers delivered the students to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their bodies after confusing them with rivals. But independent investigators have contradicted those official conclusions, saying there was no evidence that the young men were burned in a garbage dump.See also: Mexico’s 43 missing students continue to haunt President Peña Nieto – and they should Firemen extinguish a blaze during clashes between student teachers from Ayotzinapa and riot police in a tunnel along the Tixtla-Chilpancingo highway in Tixtla, Guerrero State, Mexico, on Sept. 22, 2015. Yuri Cortéz/AFP Facebook Comments Related posts:Mexico’s Peña Nieto pledge to find students falls short for families Clashes as Mexicans hold rally for 43 missing students Mexico’s 43 missing students continue to haunt President Peña Nieto – and they should Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 studentslast_img read more

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How to stop cow burps from warming the Earth

first_imgCOURCITÉ, France — At her farm nestled in the green hills of northwestern France, Marie-Francoise Brizard is helping to curb a planet-wide menace: farting and belching cows implicated in global warming. So far this year, Brizard says she has cut methane emissions from her herd of 40 Normandy cows that are equivalent to 32 tons of climate-changing carbon dioxide.That is equal to the carbon pollution spewed out in a 470,000-kilometer (292,000-mile) car journey, according to a computer tracker provided to Brizard by a French initiative that promotes lower methane output from farms.She does it by feeding the cattle more grass but less maize and soy, cutting down on the cattle’s output of methane, which comes mostly from belching but also from flatulence.Ruminant animals emit methane, a gas that is more than 20 times more efficient than carbon dioxide in trapping the sun’s heat.Agriculture contributes an estimated 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which the world’s governments hope to curb in a climate pact to be negotiated in a November 30-January 11 conference in Paris.Methane accounts for 40 percent of farming’s heat-trapping emissions.As his wife leads the cattle to milking at the 100-hectare (250-acre) farm in Mayenne, a district of the Pays de Loire region, Luc Brizard sets out to sow seeds: alfalfa and other fodder rich in proteins alternating with cereals.Dried alfalfa allows the couple to feed the cattle in winter without recourse to industrial maize- and soy-based feed which makes up a fifth of the diet of an average herd in France. The cattle also get a small supplement of linseed grown on site.‘Stunning simplicity’Legumes such as alfalfa and oilseeds such as linseed and some beans enrich the milk with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are claimed to have health benefits for humans but which also suppress the bacteria that produce methane. The cows thus emit less of the gas.Alfalfa crops, rich in nitrogen, help the couple to improve the quality of the soil while their fields lock away carbon.“The story is almost too good. But it is based on a principle of stunning simplicity: cows are made to eat grass,” said agronomist Pierre Weil, joint founder of the “Bleu-Blanc-Coeur” (Blue-White-Heart) initiative, which promotes food products with higher levels of the valued Omega 3 protein.The scheme has been certified as a bona fide method of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by the French national institute for agricultural research and by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.Under a “business as usual” scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures are predicted to rise by about 4 degrees C (6.4 F) by the end of the century, leading to more droughts, deadly superstorms and higher seas, according the U.N.’s top science panel.Recommended: Costa Rica climate avenger takes questions on RedditMethane emissions from cattle can be cut by as much as 65 percent depending on the feed, according to the French initiative, which aims for a more modest reduction of 20 percent so as to achieve the best balance between economic constraints, milk quality and animal health. Farmer Marie-Francoise says that although the Eco-Methane project hasn’t brought any extra money to her family, they don’t regret their decision to feed their cattle and soil naturally. Jean-Francois Monier/AFPMeager financial benefitsEvery month, milk produced on the Brizard couple’s farm is analyzed to ensure it meets the Bleu Blanc Coeur standards. Savings in greenhouse gas emissions are tracked each month on their computer with an ‘Eco-Methane’ counter.Not all the 600 French farmers in the Eco-Methane project go as far as the Brizards.“A farmer who only uses maize can just add a bit of linseed. You don’t have to change everything,” Weil said.Despite saving on feed purchases, however, the financial benefits are meager for the Brizard family.Dairies in the area are not specialized in collecting Blue Blanc Coeur milk, which is available as a separate product in only a dozen dairies across France. So the dairies just pay the basic price and mix it with standard milk.Despite the tons of greenhouse gas that are saved, the farm does not receive any carbon credits either because there is too little demand from businesses or cooperatives to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Only a dozen farms in the Eco-Methane initiative get extra money this way, though Weil says such contracts may be signed soon with a group of local rural district authorities.The couple and their four children, hard hit by a slide in milk prices, thus live on the sale of beef, which is also rich in Omega-3 proteins.But they are not regretting their decision to feed their cattle and soil naturally.Marie-Francoise’s father, who started out as a battery hen farmer, moved to organic farming in the 1970s.“One day he told us: ‘I don’t want to sell to others what I would not give to my own children.’ I was 12, that shaped me,” she remembered. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Can a Canadian firm pull carbon from air to make fuel? Weather disasters have doubled in past 30 years: UN report A Paris climate change talks primer for Costa Rica US inflames debate on climate finance with plan for UN talkslast_img read more

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5 questions for Costa Rican actress Marian Li

first_img Facebook Comments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHuVv6SgYao Do you consider yourself more a theater or film actress?​Acting for the camera and acting in a theater is basically the same, and at the same time it can be so different! It is the same because acting is just acting; an actor finds, in the depths of his humanity, the sincerity and the true emotions that the role requires. But at the same time it is different because we’re talking about two different ways to tell a story, two different artistic languages. My first passion is cinema. I used to go to all the movie festivals and really wanted to work in movies; that’s how I started acting in Costa Rica. But since I decided to produce my own projects, I wanted to start with a play I could easily produce. The contact with the public is extremely rewarding in theater, and also the fact that the play has a chronological order makes the acting job easier. In movies, considering you shoot the scenes in a non-chronological order, it makes it a little more difficult, especially because the director is not directing you. Sometimes he is not even on set with you, which is absolutely not the case in theater where the director is really directing you all the time. Still, in the future I would really like to shoot more movies.What is the main difference between being an actress in Costa Rica and being one in Paris?Being an actor is hard anywhere in the world. Being an actress is even more difficult because roles for women are very limiting: the prostitute, the sexy lady, the sexy policewoman, the perfect wife. But being an actress in Costa Rica might be easier in one way than in big countries: there is almost no competition! The market is just starting, so you get to do more interesting things. When I was acting in Costa Rica, I was working as a lead actress most of the time on TV and in short films. (In Paris, I had to accept being an extra in movies, and I can tell you that when you are casted as an extra you are really, really happy because it is so hard to get there. In Costa Rica, even if you don’t get paid, or not much, you can more easily find yourself as the lead in a movie that might go to the Berlinale or the Cannes Film Festival. In Paris, it is extremely hard just to get a phone call from a casting director, so, I have been very lucky so far.In my case, I left Costa Rica because nobody was hiring a half-Asian actress. Costa Rican directors are not writing for actresses who have atypical looks like me. I am considered “exotic,” a foreigner. They prefer, of course, more “Costa Rican-looking” actresses. I was told many times, “Your acting is perfect but you don’t look like my character.” One day I was told, “You are way too beautiful,” and the next day I wasn’t “sexy enough” to play a part!Also, Costa Rican directors, both female and male, still prefer to hire non-actors than professional actors. If they’re looking for a prostitute, they will go and look for a real one in the streets rather than giving a chance to professional actors like me to do their job. In Paris, on the other hand,  they hire only  actors; it’s the law, because they know that’s our job, to transform ourselves into a character. Costa Rican filmmakers I have met suffer from lack of imagination, I guess, or aren’t really able to direct an actor in order to help the actor to become the character. That’s why I had to leave Costa Rica for a bigger country where there is more variety in the characters that are being created both in movies and in theater, and where they hire actual actors to do the job we are supposed to do.What’s your advice to rising actors in Costa Rica?I don’t really have the authority to give any advice to anyone, but I would say: Take acting lessons seriously. This is a professional job. Always ask to be paid somehow, in-kind or money, and most important of all: do your own thing! No one is going to come and look for you. About 99% of actors aren’t famous and are actually having a hard time finding a job, and most of them are starving. Only 1% of actors are celebrities. Another few are able to make a living out of acting, but they’re unknown, which means you have more probabilities to win the lottery than being a famous actor. So, do your own projects!Oh, and another thing: choose this profession if and only if you are willing to accept to live with all the disadvantages related to this job: lack of money, economical instability, high rates of unemployment, a market that only recognizes you  if you are already “bankable” and if you have important and powerful friends. You are judged for your physical appearance all the time. If you are fine with all that because acting is the most important thing in your life, and you are fine with all the disadvantages, then, you definitely are an actor. Then you can enjoy the advantages: your work is fascinating. Your material is yourself, your body and your emotions. Onstage you get to feel things you can’t feel in real life. You have to be politically incorrect, to actually enjoy it, and the best thing is that you get paid for that! The contact with the public is just amazing. It’s like a drug.In my case, I am the happiest woman in the world because I am doing what I was born to do. Nothing else matters. There’s nothing I like the most than letting my inner truth emerge, my weaknesses, my fears, my vulnerability, under imaginary and fictional circumstances.Read other Weekend Arts Spotlight” stories here.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican actress – ‘Theater keeps my heart full of passion’ 5 questions for Costa Rican actor and musician Javier Leñero 5 questions for Colombian storyteller Mauricio Grande – ‘We Latin Americans are made of words’ 5 questions for Costa Rican actor Radek Lord Marian Li has long juggled two worlds. She spent 10 years in Paris in her late teens and early 20s, then returned to her native Costa Rica at the age of 26. She taught French, worked on TV series and commercials, videoclips and short movies, and had a small role inEsteban Ramírez‘s film “Gestación.” Her real dream, however, was to go back to Paris to start her artistic career there, and eventually she saved up enough to do just that: she sold all of her belongings, quit her job, and used what she had saved to go back to France and enroll in acting school in Paris.Li visited Costa Rica recently for a Jan. 14 presentation of her monologue “Baby Boom au Paradis,” her translation to French of a play by famed Costa Rican dramaturg Ana Istarú. The Tico Times talked to the actress about how her career began and the challenges she faced within the Costa Rican film industry. Excerpts follow.How did you start working as an actress in Paris?In Paris, I had to do a lot of different “job-jobs” [to pay the bills], but I ended up working for one of the biggest French directors in the world: Luc Besson (“The Fifth Element,” “The Professional,” “Lucy”). Not bad for a job-job! At the end I was working as a Production Assistant for Europacorp, his company, and learned a lot about making movies, I met a lot of people. My office was located in the heart of “La Cité du Cinéma,” which is called “Hollywood sur Seine” because these are cinema studios where huge blockbusters have been shot: “Lucy,” “The Family,” “Transporter 4,” “Taken 3,” “3 Days to Kill.” Most recently, [it’s been home to] “Jackie,” a biopic about Jackie Kennedy starring Natalie Portman, and the next Besson film, Valerian, an animated sci-fi movie. So I have met a lot of stars like Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Jean Reno, and Jean Dujardin. I was able to be part of those big productions both as an actress and as an assistant. I was even hired as a Spanish-language acting coach for Scarlett Johansson while she was shooting “Lucy”!I don’t work there anymore as I started my own production company, Generic Group, to produce my own projects (“Baby Boom au Paradis,” “Mata Hari,” a few short films, and also my two rock bands, because I am also a rock singer and I really want to do some gigs in Paris. The purpose of this company is to create more jobs for female artists, whether they are filmmakers, actresses, singers, scriptwriters or theater directors, and also to translate plays or scripts written by Costa Rican authors into French.What do you consider has been your best and most challenging role so far?The monologue I came to perform in San José on Jan. 14, by Ana Istarú. I’ve been performing this monologue for about a year now, including two and a half months in Paris. The show I did in the Museo de Jade’s auditorium was organized by the Alianza Francesa de Costa Rica and it was a huge success: full house and ovation! So, I might start a tour around Central America as well. Playing Ariana is very challenging: she really wants to have a baby with her husband and she experiences all the adventures of a pregnant woman, from not being able to get pregnant immediately, to the ultraounds, to the relationships with the in-laws and medical staff, ,until she gives birth at the end. I have never been pregnant myself, so I had to learn all I could about pregnancy and try to find all the emotions inside of me that could match Ariana’s. “Baby Boom” demands joy, despair, frustration, jealousy, happiness, anger, and so on, so it can be very exhausting, psychologically speaking.I am also preparing another huge role for a new monologue I’m doing next year. The play talks about Mata Hari, the famous dancer who was executed in 1917 in Paris, condemned for being a spy during World War I. I guess this role is probably going to be as hard as Ariana’s, or maybe harder, because Mata Hari is in jail the day before her execution and she knows that she is going to die.last_img read more

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Guanacaste Surf Circuit crowns winners

first_imgPLAYA NEGRA, Guanacaste — One quick look around the staging area at the Playa Negra date of the Guanacaste Surf Circuit (Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf  — CGS), presented by Freestyle and Otis Eyewear, and you’d think you were watching a contest to pick the Costa Rica national surf team for the International Surf Association (ISA) World Championships.There was 4-time national champion Gilbert Brown of Puerto Viejo, our international kingpin Carlos Muñoz and his younger brother Alberto Muñoz from Esterillos, National Surf Circuit stars Anthony Fillingim from Malpais, Maykol Torres of Esterillos and Angelo Bonomelli from Puerto Viejo, and another former Costa Rica national titleholder Diego Naranjo, whose home is Jacó.Despite all that star power, it was a previously unacknowledged surfer who won the date and became the 2016 Guanacaste champion. Tomás King of Tamarindo capped off an incredible five dates of the CGS, and with the Playa Negra win visited a podium in every contest — three top spots, one second place and one third place. (He got to drop the third place in the calculations for the championship.)His performance on Sunday did not go unnoticed by the big-name pros.“Tomás is surfing so well this year,” said Brown while watching King take out Muñoz, Fillingim and Venezuela’s Jose “JJ” López in the final open heat. “I think it’s because he believes in himself and he knows winning here in Guanacaste will put him at the next level.”Even Muñoz had praise for his competitor. “After Tomás went to the U.S., he came back real strong, progressing a lot. I knew he was one of the guys to beat today. I’m happy for him.”The final featured Fillingim taking the lead from King early on with a powerful right. But then Tomas took a wave and did one vertical snap after the other, earning a 9.77 out of 10 that sent him far ahead of the pack. His competitors then would have needed combination wave scores to overtake him, which they didn’t have.“Tomás is an amazing, talented surfer,” praised Toni Vandewalle, the head of the CGS. “This year he got his head together. He was always a great free surfer but this year he brought it all together in contests. You can see his commitment is there.”Anyone who has spent time in Tamarindo recalls the young King going out into the local breaks with his father Brian. There were some contests, but they weren’t really a priority. All that changed after he went to the United States to try his competitive skills there.Upon his return, he began to train and surf more intensely. He entered the CGS between some international WSL Qualifying Series dates, where he’s getting into the rhythm of those high-level contests.“I have more confidence in myself,” he said. “I had to find myself. It was something special to win in front of my friends, and family.”The waves in Playa Negra over the weekend were, by consensus, “amazing,” barreling overhead from the start to the finish. There was a lot of rail and combo power surfing, as well as dips into those barrels overhead. The seasoned surfers loved it, but to watch the young “dolphins” (under age 12), paddle out and get pushed into what amounted to quadruple overhead for the tiny kids left the spectators in awe.“Those kids have no fear,” Naranjo commented. Serena Nava (Courtesy Fabian Sanchez/Surfing Nation)At 13, Serena Nava of Playa Grande is also fearless. She may have been bested on Sunday by pro Leilani McGonagle (Pavones) who won first place in the women’s category at the date, and Emily Gussoni (Jacó) who took second, but the youngster did well enough at the other circuit dates to earn the CGS women’s champion crown for the third year in a row. Nava, who had a harrowing childhood in Texas before settling with her father in Playa Grande, has a great attitude, especially about surfing. She won the Playa Negra date in the girls category (under 16), and ended up second place in that division for the year.“Before I went out for the girls final, I said, ‘I gotta just catch waves, get two good ones,’” she recalled. “I don’t know what got into me; I just kept getting good waves. I’m super stoked.”On Friday, even before the CGS got started, 14-year-old Dean Vandewalle of Tamarindo knew he was in a good position to win the Boys division again, as he did last year. Not only was he ranked No. 1 before Playa Negra, but his confidence was high given that he holds three impressive spots in the National Surf Circuit rankings: No.1 in the grommets category, No. 2 in boys and No. 3 in juniors.“This year, I’ve worked hard to maintain a positive attitude and to go big in contests,” Vandewalle explained. “It’s important for me to be really consistent,” he explained. “These waves help, and this is a good spot and sure to be good in big waves. I’m stoked and happy.”Vandewalle stands out in a lineup, not just because of his cotton-white hair and special surfing glasses, but because he surfs like a monster twice his stature. The CGS has special significance given that he is an area boy. Yet he is incredibly humble, getting excited about winning but not placing inappropriate importance on it.At the end of the day Sunday, Vandewalle’s father Toni reflected on the growth in the CGS. Vandewalle senior noted that the level of surfing has risen quite a big, partly because of the fact that high-level pros show up and force everyone in the water to up their game. This weekend, in reviewing the scores, he noticed that there was an abundance of 9- and 10-point scores awarded to competitors.Additionally, there were several key factors that the CGS applied to carve out its place in Costa Rica’s competitive surf world. The $1,000 cash prize was a tremendous motivator, even though Maykol Torres, Albert Muñoz and Gilbert Brown all said they really came to Playa Negra because the waves were pumping. Vandewalle said the priority system, the signage on the beach that indicates who should paddle for the wave, has really helped improve the contest, taking “the dirty tactics out and putting the surfing up front.” He noted, too, that the CGS now has a live, computerized scoring system, akin to those in the professional leagues.“The judges make the scores, they go into the system and the announcer announces them to the beach, and more importantly, to the competitors in the water. They now have their scores and know what they need to do to advance. It’s also crucial that the public can follow along because the cheering changes the life of a surfer. This brings us up from the amateur to the professional level,” Vandewalle said.Finally, the judges are all ISA trained, either work with or worked with the National Surf Circuit and received judging clinics from Wade Sharp, the former Association of Surfing Professionals (now World Surf League) North America Head Judge and coach of the gold medal Costa Rica national surf team.“I think what we had this weekend was the best contest in Costa Rica,” concluded Vandewalle.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Serena Nava won the CGS women’s champion crown once before this year. This is actually her third consecutive win. We regret the error. Tomás King (left) and Anthony Fillingim with their winnings. (Courtesy Chelsea Lisaius)Guanacaste Surf Circuit 2016 championsOpen1. Tomás King2. Anthony Filligam3. Angelo Bonomelli4. Isaac VegaOpen Women1. Serena Nava2. Emily Gussoni3. Zulay Martínez4. Valentina ResanoMasters (35+)1. Ian Bean2. Christian Boos3. Alex Gómez4. Jeff AllenJuniors (Under 18)1. Malakai Martínez2. José López3. Sean Foerster4. Dean VandewalleBoys (Under 16)1. Dean Vandewalle2. Malakai Martínez3. Aldo Chirinos4. Francisco CoronadoGirls (Under 16)1. Valentina Resano2. Serena Nava3. Zulay Martínez4. Coral WigginsGrommets (Under 14)1. Axel Castro2. Kalani Abrahao3. Isaiah Dawson4. Ruby BrownellDolphins (Under 12)1. Pietro Garroux2. Max Babyak3. Julián Micheadeau4. Sol DíazLongboard1. Alex Gómez2. Noldan Zuñiga3. Keiner López4. Adolfo GómezCGS Playa Negra date winnersOpen1. Tomas King2. Anthony Filligam3. Carlos Muñoz4. José LópezOpen Women1. Leilani McGonagle2. Emily Gussoni3. Serena Nava4. Zulay MartinezMasters1. Ian Bean2. Rodrigo Miranda3. Wade Sharp4. Christian BoosJuniors1. Joseph Méndez2. Aldo Chirinos3. José López4. Sean FoersterBoys1. Dean Vandewalle2. Malakai Martínez3. Aldo Chirinos4. Josh DawsonGirls1. Serena Nava2. Zulay Martínez3. Valentina Resano4. Coral WigginsGrommets1. Rodrigo Saldanha2. Axel Castro3. Kalani Abrahao4. Lia DíazDolphins1. Pietro Garroux2. Max Babyak3. Julián Micheadeau4. Sol DíazLongboard1. Julian Schweizer2. Dorian Torres3. Andrés Rojas4. Alex Gómez5. Keiner López Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica gets off to impressive start at ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Leilani McGonagle wins bronze medal at World Surfing Games Winners crowned in Costa Rica’s 2016 National Surf Circuit Costa Rica takes 7th at World Junior Surfing Championshiplast_img read more

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Therapeutic abortion part II paper vs practice

first_img Semanario Universidad Logo Part II of a three-part series published in English at The Tico Times by permission of journalism student Paula Umaña; the mentoring program Punto y Aparte; and Semanario Universidad , where Paula published the original piece. Read Part I here.Because of a lack of knowledge and fear of legal consequences, health care professionals in Costa Rica often bolster obstacles to pregnancy interruption in Costa Rica, even though the practice is legal when it is carried out to protect the health of the mother.In one case studied by Semanario Universidad, a pregnant woman was hospitalized because of complications as a result of heart disease. Her life was in danger and her pregnancy had to be terminated. The patient’s discharge papers describe her treatment; however, the abortion wasn’t registered as such in the medical record. According to those records, she was treated for heart disease.“At this moment I wouldn’t be able to give you real statistics on how many [therapeutic] abortions are performed because often, because of the lack of norms [for abortion], the discharge records indicate the pathology that caused the interruption of the pregnancy” without listing the abortion itself, said Allan Varela, chief of the Health Services Unit of the Caja, or Costa Rican Social Security System.In total, the number of medical abortions registered since 2007 doesn’t even reach 30. Since 1997, only 78 cases have been documented by the Caja’s statistics department. That’s about four therapeutic abortions per year in a country that attends, on average, 70,000 births per year, and in which the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) has reported approximately 1,190 child deaths from congenital malformations since 2011.The hospitals that register the most abortions are the México (26), the San Juan de Dios and Calderón Guardia (9 each), and the Adolfo Carit Hospital (8), all in San José, and the Max Peralta Hospital in Cartago (5). Medical centers outside the Central valley have reported between one and four therapeutic abortions each during the past two decades.Some practicing doctors told us that there is also a “black number,” given that fear knocks on doctors’ doors when it comes time to register abortions on paper, even if they are sheltered under Article 121, the section of the Penal Code that makes therapeutic abortion legal.For that reason, knowing the exact number of therapeutic abortions that have been performed, or showing the quantity of women who have solicited, is as impossible as traveling to the past. The statistic is highly uncertain.“Only in a hospital it would be that number (80),” said one of the doctors interviewed. The doctor added that ectopic pregnancies – when the fertilized egg is implanted outside of the uterus, especially on the Fallopian tube – and molar pregnancies – the growth of abnormal tissue inside the uterus – are not being taken into account, either.For her part, María Carranza of the Costa Rican Research and Teaching Institute in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), who analyzed therapeutic abortion egress records between 1994 and 2003, says that the cases on record are unquestioned given that they were carried out in women with serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease.“In the cases where [an abortion was] not performed… we don’t have much knowledge, because mental health is not conceived as being part of the health that has to be protected. You find a very limited interpretation of the potential causes of therapeutic abortion,” Carranza explains.Stay tuned for Part III in this series. Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears Therapeutic abortion, part III: looking ahead New Challenge Issued To Abortion Ban PHOTOS: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica on protests in their home country Costa Rican scientists discover new bacterialast_img read more

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Costa Rica will ramp up police presence after tourist murders

first_imgOn two coasts, communities mourn tourists’ deaths in Costa Rica Costa Rica announced on Friday that it plans on ramping up police presence at popular tourist hotspots after two female tourists were murdered last weekend.“We’re going to increase Fuerza Pública personnel in delegations with high tourist presence,” said Vice Minister of Security Eduardo Solano. “We’re going to conduct a scientific analysis in our most visited areas and those with the most crime to see where it’s most pertinent to increase personnel.”The boost in police presence will cost an estimated $1 million a year for the next four years.The issue of tourist safety became a national concern after a Spanish tourist was murdered in Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast, followed by the murder of a Mexican tourist in Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast, the very next day. Related posts:Police to streamline crime reporting in far-flung beach spots Highway headaches didn’t delay flights for tourists during Sele celebrations Israeli tourist caught smuggling cocaine at Costa Rica airport Costa Rica’s lack of safety regulations comes into view after death of 6 tourists in Januarycenter_img Solano said that the suspects in both murders have been apprehended.“We need to stop being afraid to talk to tourists about safety,” the Minister of Tourism, Maria Amalia Revelo said.Tourism is one of Costa Rica’s main sources of income. Nearly 3 million people visited Costa Rica in 2017 and they spent $3.87 billion during their stays.The country currently has 284 officers in its tourism police force. They’re spread across 18 locations, speak English, and are trained to help foreign tourists.Revelo said an app, scheduled for release in December, with up-to-date information about security is being developed for tourists and business owners.The government will also train 2,000 business owners in risk prevention strategies. Additionally, Revelo said Costa Rica will provide more infrastructure and equipment to police in tourist hotspots. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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UK police to take DNA from spies in body probe

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements ErrorOK ErrorOKWilliams, 31, worked for Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping service. He was attached to MI6 when his remains were found in August 2010.Metropolitan Police Commisioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said Tuesday that detectives would conduct voluntary mass DNA screening of MI6 employees.He said police needed to ensure “all areas of his life were fully explored.”(Copyright 2012 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 Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories LONDON (AP) – Britain’s top police officer says spies will be asked to give DNA samples in a bid to solve the mystery of an agent whose body was found padlocked inside a sports bag in his bathtub.Last week an inquest concluded that Gareth Williams had probably been killed by another person in a “criminally meditated act.”Coroner Fiona Wilcox was critical of the MI6 spy agency, which failed to pass evidence to investigating police.center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

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Pakistani police told to lose weight or else

first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pudgy Pakistani police officers have been given until the end of the month to shrink their waistlines below 38 inches (96 centimeters) _ or get off the streets.Punjab police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said the province’s police chief was determined to “turn the force into a fit one.”She declined to comment on a local media report that said 77 percent of the police in Rawalpindi had girths bigger than 38 inches around, but she acknowledged that many are overweight. Ghazanfar said Monday that police doctors would measure the force’s 175,000 officers at the end of the month. Oversized ones would be taken off operational duties, meaning less pay.She said officers are “working out vigorously, jogging, going to the gym and dieting” to try to slim down in time.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Red Cross South Sudan joins Geneva Conventions

first_imgGENEVA (AP) – The International Committee of the Red Cross says South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, has signed on to the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare, making the treaties “truly universal.”The Geneva-based Red Cross, which oversees compliance with the 1949 conventions that form the core of international humanitarian law, said Thursday that South Sudan signed the treaty after its legislature gave approval this week. Melker Mabeck, head of the Red Cross delegation in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, said the conventions must now be “incorporated into the training and doctrine of South Sudan’s army so they are known and complied with.”South Sudanese lawmaker Dengtiel Ayuen Kuur said his nation, which gained independence last year, emphasizes its “commitment to the principles of humanity even in times of war.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   center_img How men can have a healthy 2019 More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

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Official Zanzibar misled into flagging Iran oil

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories The flag ruse appears to have been an effort by Iran, which is under pressure from the U.S. and its allies to halt its nuclear enrichment program, to avoid crippling international sanctions.Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, had been under pressure from the international community to investigate the origins of the vessels.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) – Zanzibar says it is in the process of de-registering 36 Iranian oil tankers that bear the flag of Tanzania after an investigation proved their true origins.Zanzibar Vice President Seif Ali Iddi told the House of Representatives on Friday that his government would also terminate the contract of Philtex, a Dubai-based contracting agency that is accused of misleading the government.Iddi said that Zanzibar’s maritime authority had made a mistake in registering the vessels and that the government should de-register them “to avoid international sanctions.” More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img The vital role family plays in society Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

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Russia slams new US sanctions on Iran

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Check your body, save your life Top Stories MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday harshly criticized new U.S. sanctions on Iran, calling them “undisguised blackmail” and warning that relations between Washington and Moscow would suffer if Russian companies were affected.On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial industries as part of an effort to pressure Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program. The new sanctions would hit foreign companies that mine uranium with Iran or help it export oil by providing tankers, insurance or banking services. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement that while Russia supports U.N. sanctions, it opposes U.S. efforts to spread its legislation throughout the world and “rejects methods of undisguised blackmail used by the U.S. against the companies and banks of other countries.”The new sanctions build on previous penalties that U.S. officials say have reduced Iran’s oil exports, costing Tehran more than $60 million daily.Russia, however, argues that the unilateral sanctions undermine international diplomatic efforts and risk harming U.S.-Russia relations.“Those in Washington should understand that our bilateral relations will seriously suffer if Russian companies working with Iranian partners in strict accordance with Russian law and U.N. Security Council resolutions are affected by the American restrictions,” Zakharova said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   center_img Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Men’s health affects baby’s health too New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

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