Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Patients with chronic pain give advice Parents, stop beating yourself up More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine’s top prosecutor general says four men have been detained on suspicion of involvement in a series of explosions in an eastern city and that the crime may have been politically motivated.Four makeshift bombs planted in garbage bins went off in Dnipropetrovsk on April 27, injuring 31 passers-by, including nine teenagers. Police alleged that the detained suspects had demanded $4.5 million from authorities to cancel their plans. Sponsored Stories Comments Share Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka told reporters Friday that the crime is being investigated as a terrorist attack. He also suggested the suspects were driven by their political convictions. He did not elaborate.President Viktor Yanukovych has ordered law enforcement agencies to step up security measures ahead of the European soccer championship to be held this month in Ukraine and Poland.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean
More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Mali has been mired in turbulence since a March coup overthrew the democratically elected president.Bensouda says alleged crimes including killings and rapes, and the conscription of child soldiers have been reported “by several sources.”In his letter to the court seeking an investigation, Coulibaly said the crimes include “grave and massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed particularly in the north of the country.”Mali’s government said it is appealing to the Hague-based tribunal to investigate because the country’s own courts cannot prosecute the crimes.After the coup that ousted Mali’s democratic government, ethnic Tuareg rebels seeking secession took control of the country’s north _ an area larger than France _ but were driven out in June by Islamists vowing to introduce an ultra-strict interpretation of Islamic law, the Sharia. They are estimated to number about 700 fighters, but exact figures are not available.The prosecutor said earlier this month that destruction by Islamists of Muslim shrines in the northern town of Timbuktu could be a war crime.Islamist groups claim the sites violate Islamic law by encouraging people to direct their prayers toward the deceased and not toward God. Comments Share Bensouda said she has called on her staff to quickly launch a preliminary investigation to establish whether the court can take on the case.Mali is the fourth country in Africa to call on the 10-year-old ICC to launch an investigation into atrocities, after Uganda, Congo and Central African Republic.So far, every one of the court’s investigation has involved Africa.Earlier this month, the court sentenced its first convicted war criminal, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, to 14 years imprisonment for conscripting, recruiting and using child soldiers in fighting.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories 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 Top Stories Associated PressTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Mali’s justice minister on Wednesday asked prosecutors at the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into “grave and massive” crimes committed in the African nation that was plunged into turmoil by a coup this year.Court’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement that Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly had handed her a letter seeking “to determine whether one of more persons should be charged” in violence committed since the beginning of the year. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day
Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Gutierrez-Menoyo had lived permanently in Cuba since August 2003, after visiting the island during a family vacation and deciding to stay for good. Cuban authorities allowed him to remain despite his frequent criticisms of the government, but his immigration status was apparently never resolved.The tall, slender man with long, wispy white hair and wire-framed spectacles had hoped to open an office on the island of his Cambio Cubano movement _ but the dream was never realized. Nearly blind and hard of hearing, Gutierrez-Menoyo was seen occasionally in Havana at meetings involving moderate Cuban exiles.Until his health began to fail him in 2010, Gutierrez-Menoyo frequently spoke out against the communist government, but in measured tones that kept him out of jail.After Fidel Castro retired due to ill health in February 2008 and his brother Raul formally replaced him as president, Gutierrez-Menoyo expressed disappointment that Cuba’s communist system remained unchanged.“Cuba cannot continue to corner itself, trying to convince the world that there is democracy here when a one-party system will never be a democracy,” he lamented.The following year, he expressed doubts that Raul Castro could be an agent of change, despite the new president’s stated efforts to reform the island’s Marxist economy. “They fear any type of opening that could cost them a good chunk of power,” Gutierrez-Menoyo told The Associated Press in one interview, referring to government leaders. “Right now Cuba needs a new revolution, and those who are governing don’t dare to carry out that new revolution.”Formed in Miami in 1992, Cambio Cubano was seen as a centrist group, promoting dialogue and reconciliation among Cubans of all political stripes, including officials in Castro’s government. But some members of the exile community considered it soft and politically accommodating.Several dissidents contacted by AP said they had no comment on Gutierrez-Menoyo’s death, and there was also no official reaction from the government. But one dissident did speak out, calling Gutierrez-Menoyo a champion of freedom.“It is very sad. He was a person with a long history of fighting against tyranny in Cuba,” said Oscar Chepe Espinosa, a one-time state economist turned government opponent. “He was honest and he lived quietly these last years, but he always defended his point of view about reconciliation between all Cubans. I had the honor of calling him my friend.” Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share In December 1964, Gutierrez-Menoyo returned to Cuba with an armed band in hopes of launching an uprising, but they were captured after a month.Gutierrez-Menoyo spent 22 years in Cuban prisons, losing vision in one eye and hearing in one ear. He was freed in 1986 through a petition of the Spanish government after an international campaign for his release.He went into exile, first briefly to Madrid, and then a year later to Miami, where he ultimately adopted a position of peaceful dialogue with Castro’s government and founded Cambio Cubano.He even met with Castro in 1995 _ an encounter that was apparently never repeated.A former wife, Gladys, and their three sons together, live in Miami. His daughter by an earlier marriage, Patricia Gutierrez-Menoyo, lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she runs a publishing house.___Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ian James in Caracas, Venezuela; and Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana contributed to this report.___Paul Haven on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/paulhaven. Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, who went from rebel commander fighting alongside Fidel Castro to a foe launching commando raids against the island before settling inside Cuba as a moderate, pro-dialogue dissident, died early Friday. He was 77.Gutierrez-Menoyo died of a heart attack at 5:30 a.m. at a Havana hospital, his wife Flor Ester Torres Sanabria told The Associated Press. Gutierrez-Menoyo was to be cremated and his funeral held in Havana on Saturday, family members said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Daughter Patricia Gutierrez-Menoyo, reached in Puerto Rico where she now lives, said it was her father’s fate to live a hard and courageous life.“He spent his entire life fighting,” she said. “The call of liberty grew in him and marked his life.”Born Dec. 8, 1934, in Madrid, Spain, Gutierrez-Menoyo was the son and brother of men who fought against the Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.One of his brothers died in combat in Spain as a member of the Spanish Republican forces. The family moved to Cuba in 1945 and another brother, Carlos, was killed in March 1957 during an attack on the presidential palace of Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista.Gutierrez-Menoyo, who had opposed Batista’s government from the early 1950s, participated in the same attack. Later he formed and commanded the Second Front of Escambray, a rebel group that operated alongside but independently of guerrilla forces Castro led.After the Cuban revolution’s January 1959 victory, Gutierrez-Menoyo’s Second Front was incorporated into the new government’s Revolutionary Army, but its senior officers were not granted positions of authority.Although he had arrived in Havana as one of the triumphant “Commanders of the Revolution,” Gutierrez-Menoyo quickly broke with Castro and by 1961 was in exile in Miami helping form Alpha 66, an armed commando group dedicated to the violent overthrow of Castro’s government. Check your body, save your life Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation
The vital role family plays in society 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 0 Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Quick workouts for men Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories The Coptic and Catholic churches split in the fifth century over theocratic differences.Christians comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s population. Copts complain that since the overthrow of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011, discrimination and attacks against them have increased, especially with the rise of the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to power.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day CAIRO (AP) – Egyptian church officials say Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II has left for the Vatican, marking the first such visit in 40 years.Six priests and bishops accompanied Tawadros on his six-day visit, aimed at congratulating the new Catholic Pope, Francis I.The Coptic Church announced the pope’s departure on Thursday.Tawadros is also relatively new to his post, taking office last year. His predecessor made the last visit by a Coptic pope to the Vatican in 1973.
FILE- In this file photo dated Thursday, May 7, 2015, Northern Ireland First Minister and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Peter Robinson gives the thumbs up to waiting media after casting his vote in the General Election in East Belfast, Northern Ireland. According to his political party, 66-year old Peter Robinson, has been hospitalized in northern Ireland after a suspected heart attack, and will remain in hospital for further tests. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, FILE) DUBLIN (AP) — First Minister Peter Robinson, the Protestant leader of Northern Ireland’s unity government, has been hospitalized after a suspected heart attack, his party said Monday.The 66-year-old leader of the Democratic Unionist Party was taken by ambulance to the Ulster Hospital east of Belfast near his home, then transferred to the cardiac specialist unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Catholic west Belfast. Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Quick workouts for men The Royal Victoria Hospital said in a statement that Robinson “underwent a procedure this morning and is currently recovering.” It declined to elaborate.The Democratic Unionist Party, which represents the British territory’s Protestant majority, asked media not to contact Robinson’s family.Robinson has led Northern Ireland’s five-party government since 2008. Long a fierce critic of the outlawed Irish Republican Army and its allied Sinn Fein party, Robinson has defied expectations and worked with Irish Catholic colleagues — particularly former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein official who is co-leader of the government.Deputy First Minister McGuinness said in a tweet he was concerned about Robinson’s hospitalization.“My thoughts and prayers are with him, (wife) Iris and family,” he wrote.In London, Prime Minister David Cameron also tweeted that he hopes Robinson “has a speedy recovery.”Robinson in 2008 succeeded Ian Paisley both as leader of the Democratic Unionists and of Northern Ireland’s government. The cross-community coalition was forged in 2007 under terms of the U.S.-brokered Good Friday peace accord of 1998, which sought to end decades of paramilitary-driven conflict over Northern Ireland that claimed 3,700 lives. The coalition is at risk of collapse because of a bitter yearlong dispute between Robinson’s Democratic Unionists and McGuinness’ Sinn Fein over British government-ordered welfare cuts. Robinson supports the austerity measures while Sinn Fein is blocking them.Sinn Fein backed out of a pre-Christmas compromise pact designed to break the deadlock. The impasse is costing Northern Ireland tens of millions in financial penalties imposed by the British Treasury, which subsidizes government operations in Northern Ireland.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Four benefits of having a wireless security system Check your body, save your life
Young men fled Akademgorodok for better paid jobs elsewhere, leaving the scientific hub in the hands of scientists close to retirement age who had few prospects of alternative employment.“When I graduated 10 years ago, a significant number of my classmates went abroad, a significant number opened their own businesses and about 20 percent of graduates, at best, stayed to work in research,” said Shilov.Gone are the days when the scientists of Akademgorodok, which was built in a Siberian forest clearing in 1957, were forced to take jobs as bus drivers or market sellers to eke out a living. Over the past 15 years, Russia’s federal spending on scientific research increased 20-fold to 350 billion rubles ($6.3 billion) this year. Artur Bilsky, 38, who has worked as a researcher at the Institute of Thermophysics since 1997, has witnessed the transformation.“If you stand at the entrance here and see who comes in and comes out, you’ll see there will be a lot of young employees. Many young scientists can afford a car and vacation,” he said.The average monthly salary of scientists across Russia rose from 2,700 rubles in 2000 to 32,600 rubles last year, now worth about $600 after the sharp fall of the ruble. The relative rise in fortunes has turned Akademgorodok into a charming suburb filled with 30-somethings, where young women push children in prams and smart coffee houses cater to a younger generation. Sponsored Stories The Russian government denied the scandal involving Dynasty is aimed at persecuting Russian scientists. Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said Dynasty was receiving funds from abroad and therefore should be listed as a foreign agent.But the sanctions have taken a toll, especially on scientists whose research hinges on access to Western-made materials and high-tech equipment. And several scientists told The Associated Press that since the March 2014 annexation of Crimea, publication of their articles in Western journals either has been delayed or turned down, with no explanation.Editors and publishers at several U.S.-based scientific journals told The AP that they assess articles without any bias related to the geographic location of authors, or geopolitical concerns. They added that they have seen no evidence among their editors or reviewers to support the Russian scientists’ claims.“All papers are treated the same regardless of the nation they were submitted from.” said William Kearney at the Washington-based National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which publishes the PNAS journal.Scientists who have lived or worked in Akademgorodok for more than 15 years are particularly distressed because life had been getting better for them recently, after years struggling with almost no funding after the chaotic 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. They recall how the cash-strapped Russian government in the 1990s largely left its world-class scientists to their own devices: Some packed their bags for university jobs abroad, and some had to sell goods at the market or grow their vegetables to survive the long Siberian winter, with wages regularly delayed for months. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia (AP) — Hundreds of Russian scientists say companies abroad are refusing to sell them scientific equipment they need to do their work and Western publications are curtly turning down their research papers.The reason, they believe, is a combination of sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine and rising hostility to Russia in the West seeping into the scientific community.Since Russia annexed Crimea last year, it has become almost impossible for scientists in Russia to buy anything in the United States or Japan that has a dual purpose, said physicist Alexander Shilov, who works in the Institute of Laser Physics in Russia’s scientific hub of Akademgorodok, or Academy Town — part of Russia’s third-largest city of Novosibirsk. Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility In this Monday, June 8, 2015 photo, scientist Anatoly Bonert tends to a magnesium atomic clock in Novosibirsk, Russia. Hundreds of Russian scientists are reporting experiences of being refused sale of scientific equipment from abroad, or seeing research papers turned down by Western publications. The reason, they believe, is a combination of sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine and rising hostility to Russia in the West seeping into the scientific community. (AP Photo/Alexander Lukin)n What’s more, foreign-made equipment is now less affordable for Russian scientists because of the depreciation in the Russian ruble, which lost nearly half of its value since the Crimean annexation.The scientists’ plight has been compounded by the Kremlin’s own crackdown on Russian private funding of science, stemming from suspicions of Western influence. The government this year labeled the Dynasty foundation, Russia’s largest source of private funding for science, a “foreign agent” — which makes the group vulnerable to an array of surprise checks and audits. It is a Cold War term that carries connotations of spying. The foundation fell afoul of the officialdom because its Russian founder funds the organization from money transferred from his foreign bank accounts.“If Dynasty was named a foreign agent, then everyone who had contracts with Dynasty is an accomplice of a foreign agent,” said Shilov. “We are all spies now.”The government has become increasingly suspicious of foreign-funded non-governmental organizations, seeing them as potential agents of a hostile West. Russia has brushed off the sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union, saying that Russia has plenty of resources to replace banned imports with its own production. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Now politics is again clouding the scientific horizon. Dynasty was planning to distribute nearly $8 million this year in grants and scholarships. But after the Justice Ministry ordered it to register as a foreign agent, founder Dmitry Zimin and its board decided this month to shut it down in protest over the stigma.President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he was sorry to hear that the foundation was closing down but insisted that no one forced it to do so.The onslaught on the foundation has enraged many in Akademgorodok who have relied on its funding. Andrei Shchetnikov, who coaches the national youth physics team, said Dynasty has been covering half of the 1 million ruble budget for the annual Tournament of Young Physicists in Novosibirsk.“For the projects that Dynasty supported, it was often the only steady financing they were getting,” Shchetnikov said.While confident that he’ll find other sources of funding, he said more than money was at stake.“What Dynasty has been doing ought to make the country proud,” Shchetnikov said. “We have citizens who have made a fortune and understand that you need to support education projects — and that it’s the future of Russia.” “Due to the sanctions” or “the conflict in Ukraine” are the most common explanations Shilov hears for refusing orders from Russia. “When they sell a piece of glass, how do they know whether we will use it in a military laser or a medical one?” he said.The U.S. and EU sanctions were designed to halt exports to the Russian defense sector. When announcing a new round of sanctions in July 2014, the European Union noted specifically that they “should not affect the exports of dual-use goods and technology” to Russia for “non-military use.” In reality, many Western companies were so spooked by the sanctions and the penalties they could face for violating them that the door was shut completely, the scientists say.An American scholar who works with Russian universities — and asked to be unnamed because he was not authorized to speak on his university’s behalf — confirmed that his Russian counterparts are having difficulties with Western companies. In some cases, he said, companies are saying they fear that the equipment might get slapped with sanctions while it is being delivered, or that they no longer have support staff in Russia to service it. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A Artist’s impression of Shed 10. Picture: Waterfront AucklandThe NZD$14.6 million redevelopment of Shed 10 on Queen’s Wharf, Auckland will commence next week in response to the cruise boom New Zealand has seen in recent years.Most recently used as a ‘Fanzone’ for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the ‘Class 1’ heritage-listed Shed 10 is more than 50 percent larger than the current cruise terminal across the water at Princes Wharf.Designed to be a multipurpose cruise terminal and events centre, the building that dates back to 1910 is set to cater for events of up to 3,000 guests when it opens in April 2013. “For Auckland to gain maximum economic benefits from cruise, it needs to also become more cruise friendly and invest in both port-side and land-side infrastructure,” Auckland Mayor Len Brown said. The development comes as New Zealand braces itself for the country’s busiest cruise season in history with Royal Caribbean’s 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas bringing her ice rink at sea to the country later this year and all three Cunard Queens visiting the region in 2014. “This region still remains a very aspirational destination,” Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia and New Zealand managing director Gavin Smith said to The New Zealand Herald.“The economics provide the reason to send big, modern ships.”101 ships calls are set to be made to Auckland in 2013 compared to 97 in 2012.
Citi Group and Emirates Airlines have boosted their credit card partnership and have launched the new Emirates Citibank World MasterCard.The MasterCard confers many Emirates benefits including a chauffeur driven ride per year to and from the airport and two complimentary lounge passes per year for any Emirates Lounge in Australia (when travelling in economy) as well as MasterCard benefits including hotel and car rental upgrades and on-call concierge service.Citi’s head of cards, Alan Machet said the bank was happy to expand their partnership with Emirates.“Citi’s partnership with Emirates brought Australian travellers the first co-branded credit card launched by an overseas-based airline,” Mr Machet said.“Since its launch in 2008, our clients have earned Skywards Miles equivalent to thousands of overseas trips with Emirates, and enjoyed a range of premium travel and lifestyle benefits.”The Emirates Citibank World MasterCard features uncapped Emirates Skywards Miles earning and competitive earning rates.New cardholders receive 15,000 bonus points Skywards Miles on their first spend, plus 25,000 Skywards Miles if they spend AUD $6000 in the first 3 months from account approval.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Vail Resorts commits US$110 million in resort improvementsVail Resorts will invest approximately US$110 million to US$115 million in resort improvements for the upcoming 2015-16 season to elevate the guest experience, bringing its five-year resort investment total to more than US$500 million. The centerpiece of this plan will be linking Park City and Canyons, transforming the two resorts into one and completing a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure. The US$50 million project is one of the most ambitious and impactful capital programs in U.S. ski industry history and will create the largest ski resort in the United States with over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.“Each year, Vail Resorts is the industry leader in capital improvements to ensure an unparalleled guest experience at each of our resorts,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “The overall capital plan reflects our goal to target high return investments which support a premium experience and our improvement plan in Utah will be one of the most transformative ever undertaken in the ski industry.”Other improvements include upgrading Vail Mountain’s Avanti Express Lift (#2) to a six-passenger high-speed chairlift, expanding the “refreshing” snowmaking system at Beaver Creek, adding new snowmaking to the recently opened Peak 6 terrain at Breckenridge, refreshing the rooms and common areas at the Keystone Lodge and Spa, and unveiling EpicMix Time, a new crowd-sourced, real-time technology which will bring transparency to lift line wait times.Projects underway and planned this summer for the 2015-16 winter season include:Combining Park City and Canyons into the largest ski resort in the U.S. – The plan to combine Park City and Canyons Resort into the largest ski resort in the U.S. includes the eight-passenger, high-speed, two-way Quicksilver gondola which will transport guests from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. A new restaurant, called Miners Camp, located at the base of the Silverlode Lift, will accommodate 500 indoor seats and will be equipped with a top-of-the-line kitchen.The plan will also complete a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure of both resorts, including upgrading the King Con and Motherlode Lifts, upgrading the Summit House Restaurant and expanding Red Pine Lodge, new and widened trails, and additional snowmaking.Six-Passenger Avanti Express Lift (#2) at Vail – Vail Mountain continues its wave of investments, replacing the Avanti Express Lift (#2) with a six-passenger lift. The Avanti Express Lift (#2) is a primary lift on the front side of Vail Mountain, serving intermediate and advanced terrain, dispersing skiers and snowboarders from the Lionshead area to mid-mountain. Upgrading the lift will reduce wait times and improve reliability. A loading conveyor and gates will improve efficiency and increase capacity by up to 30 percent, vastly improving skier and snowboarder circulation.Beaver Creek snowmaking refresh expands for 2015-16 – Beaver Creek’s unrivaled commitment to providing high-quality snow surfaces for skiers and riders further expands this season. Last season, Gold Dust Trail was equipped with 24 fully-automated fan guns. This winter, 23 fully-automated fan guns will equip Red Tail and Centennial trails, two of the most popular intermediate runs on the mountain. Snowmaking guns will also be added to enhance the “Snowmaking Refresh” fleet and tasked to add a dusting of snow atop the groomed trails. This one-of-a-kind system ensures, regardless of natural snowfall, the resort’s guests will always be skiing or riding on the freshest snow available every day.Snowmaking on Peak 6 at Breckenridge – Breckenridge will lay a mile of new snowmaking pipes on Lost Horizon and Barton Breezeway trails on Peak 6. Adding snowmaking to this lower-mountain terrain is critical to get the popular new area open in the early season regardless of natural snowfall.The Keystone Lodge and Spa Refresh – The Keystone Lodge and Spa will undergo its own rejuvenation where the hallways will have a new feel after being re-carpeted and the woodwork and room doors being replaced. In addition, the guest rooms on all six floors will be upgraded with new soft goods (pillows, bed spreads, etc.).EpicMix Time to provide crowd-sourced lift line wait times to guests – EpicMix™ Time– an expansion of Vail Resorts’ industry-leading and award-winning ski and snowboard app, EpicMix –will allow guests at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone to access real-time lift line wait times enabling them to better navigate the mountain and make the most out of their ski and ride experience. Leveraging recently developed technology, EpicMix Time will calculate and display up-to-the-minute chairlift and gondola line wait times across 55 core lifts and gondolas, as well as 13,600 acres of skiable terrain in Colorado.Source = Vail Resorts
Source = TravelManagers Australia TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Kylie Gretener discovers Tabasco sauce is hot during a tour through the Tabasco FactoryPersonal Travel Manager discovers true southern hospitality in LouisianaPersonal travel manager Kylie Gretener representative for Mooloolaba in Queensland recently experienced the best Louisiana has to offer. The #tasteUSA mega famil hosted by Brand USA and Air New Zealand was in celebration of the commencement late last year of Air New Zealand flying between Auckland and Houston.Participants on the recently held ten-night mega-famil were split into six groups, each enjoying a multi-itinerary famil experience. Gretener had the privilege of experiencing the historical and cultural state of Louisiana.“This was my first time to the USA, so I was particularly excited to see Louisiana as I had heard so much about its southern hospitality. I can honestly say its true having experienced the ‘Yes Maam’ and ‘Hey Y’all’ warmth that welcomes you wherever you go. Everybody was always so warm and welcoming and happy to share their local food and culture with us.”For Gretener the history of the region was an important part of understanding how Louisiana has been shaped over the years.“History is such an important part of the destination and is evident everywhere. The beautiful plantation homes of Houmas House and Oak Ally Plantation are well worth a visit to understand what life was like when the sugar cane industry took off in the area. The capitol building in the state capital of Baton Rouge is also an incredible sight and gives a good understanding of how the civil war has shaped the region.”TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Kylie Gretener going back in time with ‘Miss Debbie’ at Houmas House PlantationAs Gretener discovered, the French influence on the state provides a real hotpot of food options and flavours to experience.“The amazing Cajun and Creole flavours of the Southern States are truly all that I had heard about and more. We had the opportunity to do a cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking where we learnt how to create the flavours of the deep South. I put my learning into practice by cooking a gumbo for a group of fifty people from my lifestyle village travel club as I did a presentation about my experience in Louisiana. It went down an absolute treat!”A visit to the popular Tabasco Factory on Avery Island was also a highlight.“We got to hear about the family history, and see how Tabasco sauce is made. Here at Avery Island is the only place in the world where Tabasco sauce is made and to this day is still made in accordance with the original recipe! The secret is the mashed chili’s that are fermented for three years in Jack Daniels’ barrels.”Bourbon Street in New Orleans is synonymous for a nightlife experience but Gretener instead ventured where the locals go and discovered a fabulous alternative.“We all know Bourbon Street is the famous place to go and see the night life, in fact it’s popular with tourists both day and night. I discovered that locals go to Frenchmen Street and it was amazing. It was exactly what I expected to experience in New Orleans with jazz and blues music in small bars and a local instead of touristy feel. I also discovered an artists’ market on the street that opens until 1am with some really interesting stalls and people to talk to.”Personal Travel Manager – Kylie GretenerWith over 1,000,000 alligators in Louisiana and still counting, you can’t visit the Southern State without seeing at least one.“Alligators were everywhere. We toured an alligator farm learning about the process from collecting the eggs to exporting the skins. Alligators are very sensitive animals and it was interesting to hear that small changes in the way they are cared for can cause them a lot of stress. A highlight was holding a baby one during our visit to the farm and it made me feel a bit sad about what we had just had for lunch because they were so cute.” laughs Gretener.An authentic rocket at the Johnson Space Centre in HoustonGretener discovers that there is a lot to do in Houston but you need to ensure you manage your time well.“Houston is a very big city! The airport is over an hour away from the downtown area, so I highly recommend you organise transfers for your clients as it is a long way in a taxi. We visited the Johnson Space Centre, which is great, but make sure your clients have plenty of time as there is a lot to read and experience once you are there. I also recommend you find a tour that includes a hotel pick up as it is also a long way out of the city.”The ability to share her personal experiences with clients is important to Gretener.“Being able to experience the destination for myself, find local gems and soak up all the local knowledge makes such a difference to the sort of experience I’m able to put together for my clients. As a result I can now provide my first hand tips and experience for places to eat, where to shop and must do activities, I’m confident I can give my clients accurate and up to date information. It’s these personal recommendations that make all the difference.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. Join TravelManagersclick hereAbout TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.
The Mob MuseumThe Mob MuseumWHAT:The Mob Museum – The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, located in downtown Las Vegas, has been named No. 20 on TripAdvisor’s list of the Top 25 U.S. Museums in its 2017 Traveler’s Choice Awards. It is the only Nevada museum to appear on the list. Travelers’ Choice Awards represent the very best in travel, as chosen by millions of travelers. The Mob Museum has been open for just over five years and this is the second year in a row it has made the list.WHO:The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides a world-class, interactive journey through true stories—from the birth of the Mob to today’s headlines. The Mob Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive storylines. Whether you like it or not, this is American history. Since opening in 2012, The Mob Museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including being named one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 U.S. Museums,” USA Today’s “12 Can’t Miss U.S. Museum Exhibits,” “A Must for Travelers” by The New York Times, one of “20 Places Every American Should See” by Fox News and Budget Travel magazine and “Best Museum” by Nevada Magazine. The Mob Museum has been awarded accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded U.S. museums. Admission is $23.95 for adults ages 18 and over with special pricing for online purchase, children, seniors, military, law enforcement, Nevada residents, and teachers. The Museum is open daily; visit the website for up-to-date operating hours. For more information, call (702) 229-2734 or visit themobmuseum.org. Connect on Facebook at facebook.com/themobmuseum or Twitter @themobmuseum.Source = The Mob Museum
Carnival Spirit departs Sydney for dry dock in SingaporeCarnival Spirit sails out of Sydney Heads today, embarking on a 19 day cruise to Singapore, ahead of her dry dock later this month.Carnival is investing into upgrades that will provide holidaymakers a range of new family friendly entertainment features offering new spaces for kids activities onboard. This includes a new arts and crafts area named SoulPlay, and a brand new entertainment area for teenagers, Warehouse Arcade.Cruise lovers hoping to be some of the very first to enjoy these upgrades can sail on Carnival Spirit’s 19 day Singapore to Sydney cruise, departing on 6 June 2018.This 19 day cruise will sail to some of Carnival’s rare ports of call such as Phuket, Bali (Benoa), Darwin and Airlie Beach, before arriving back to Sydney.For the remainder of 2018, Carnival Spirit will sail from Sydney to stunning destinations such as New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Moreton Island.For more information or to book, visit carnival.com.au or your travel agent or call 13 31 94.About Carnival Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise line in the world with almost five million guests travelling every year. The cruise line has two ships deployed in Australia, including Carnival Spirit – currently the largest and newest cruise ship home ported year round in Australia. Sister ship Carnival Legend will return to Australia in October 2018 following her Northern Hemisphere summer season cruising Alaska. Carnival Splendor will join the Australian Carnival fleet in December 2019 and become the newest and largest ship home ported year-round in Australia. With 45 activities to enjoy each day, Carnival’s ships offer fun-loving families and couples fun, memorable holidays at great value.Source = Carnival Cruise Line
How can I do it?Assistance form our Business Partnership Managers, Costs and plans and how you can Earn. Travel. Live. MoreTransform your life with TravelManagers – Week 2. Now you’re motivated to transform your career and your life, meet our Business Partnership Team and learn how to get started in your own travel business through our series of 4 videos.Feeling motivated and ready to look after you!In our week 2 video we can show you how you can Transform your life with TravelManagers.Earn. Travel. Live. More. Source = TravelManagers
The tourism industry in Ireland is now worth €8 billion, reveals the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC). There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives (VFR) were up 12%. The ITIC predicts that 2017 had a positive outlook despite challenges.This happens to be a nine percent increase, or almost €600m more compared to what was spent in 2015. Irish air and sea carriers earned a further €1.5 billion from tourists, while many Irish people holidayed at home, generating €1.75 billion. A further €300 million was earned from visitors from Northern Ireland. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million, the highest number on record with all four top source markets recording significant growth.The industry has surpassed a severe record, as overseas tourists spent €4.7 billion in 2016. Based on the predictions by ITIC the domestic market, for people holidaying within Ireland is expected to pick up even further as personal finances improve. The confederation praised the government’s move to maintain the nine percent VAT rate on tourism services.
To offer greater accessibility and a seamless application process to UK residents and foreign nationals in the UK, VFS Global has launched four new application centres for the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus.For higher quality and a more personalised service, applicants can opt for the premium service at these centres that offer assistance by a dedicated staff member during the submission process – including assistance in filling in the visa application and verification of documents and free access to photocopy, photo booth, SMS and courier services.Although UK visitors do not need a visa if they are staying less than 90 days, the new service will be of use to those who stay longer, such as those with holiday homes, those who spend more time in Cyprus visiting relatives, or those on long-term business trips. Cyprus is a hugely popular destination for UK visitors, the latest statistics show tourist arrivals from the UK increased by 25% in March 2018 compared to March 2017. The United Kingdom constituted the main source of tourism for Cyprus, with 35.5% arrivals. The newly launched services were inaugurated by Euripides Evriviades, High Commissioner, Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in London. Commenting on the launch, Anirudh Pratap Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Europe, VFS Global, said, “Cyprus has always been a popular holiday destination for residents of the UK with nearly a million British nationals visiting this exotic location every year. We are confident that service solutions like the Premium Service at our centres will ensure a pleasant experience and efficiently cater to increasing demand.”VFS Global currently offers visa related assistance to the Cyprus mission in London with ongoing discussions to extend the scope of services to Consular and Passport services in the upcoming months.
New General Counsel Announced for ServiceLink in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2011-11-15 Abby Gregory November 15, 2011 448 Views “”ServiceLink””:www.servicelinkfnf.com/ has appointed a new general counsel, with the announcement that Donald Blanchard will join the company. The end-to-end origination provider plans to capitalize on Blanchard’s experience in corporate, contract, and real estate law to enhance their legal support.[IMAGE]Having served three national settlement service operations during his 14 year career in the industry, Blanchard most recently operated as the deputy general counsel for “”Lender Processing Services, Inc.””:www.lpsvcs.com/ While with LPS, Blanchard specialized in compliance, regulatory, and government affairs. Prior to his role with LPS, Blanchard worked as the general counsel for “”Landsafe, Inc.””:www.landsafe.com/, which was then the settlement service affiliate of now defunct Countrywide Home Loans. Additionally, Blanchard has performed as a member of the executive management group for Landsafe’s Pittsburgh presence.Before entering the mortgage industry, Blanchard also held general counsel positions for a mid-sized commercial bank based in Connecticut, and he was a section chief for the “”Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation””:www.fdic.gov/, where he conducted litigation and managed large asset resolutions for the FDIC’s failed banks. Commenting on Blanchard’s addition to ServiceLink, the company’s president and CEO, Jeff Coury, said, “”We are pleased to have Don as part of our team. As the industry goes through these challenging times, we know that both ServiceLink and our customers will benefit from his extensive knowledge in the areas of regulation, compliance and government affairs.””ServiceLink is a “”Fidelity National Financial””:www.fnf.com/ company, and the technology entity currently works with 15 of the nation’s top 20 lenders and servicers. ServiceLink seeks to help lenders optimize the performance of mortgage loans through innovative products and solutions. Share
After five years of cumulative losses, home values will finally post their first annual gain, according to data from “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/. [IMAGE]To find the cumulative gain for all of 2012, Zillow calculated the different between cumulative home values at the end of 2011 and projected cumulative home values at the end of 2012. The calculations show homes are expected to gain $1.3 trillion in cumulative value for 2012, the largest gain since 2005 and the first annual increase since 2006, Zillow reported. In 2006, homes increased their value by $483 billion, but then declined from 2007 to 2011, with the largest drop in 2008, when homes lost more than $3.2 trillion in value, according to Zillow.[COLUMN_BREAK] Zillow expects the year-end total to reach $23.7 trillion, which is a 6 percent increase from last year’s total. In 2011, the cumulative loss in home values was $792 billion compared to 2010.””After a sluggish 2011, the housing market really turned a corner in 2012, as historic affordability and sustained investor interest helped keep demand at a boil,”” said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist.Zillow also analyzed home values in 177 metro areas and found 135 saw cumulative gains in 2012.Out of the 30 largest metros Zillow observed, all but Philadelphia saw an annual gain in cumulative home values. The largest metros with the biggest gains include three California cities: Los Angeles ($122.1 billion), San Francisco ($93.3 billion), San Jose ($54.7 billion). Others noted for significant gains were Phoenix ($52 billion) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale ($47.5 billion).Zillow anticipates a good year for 2013 as well. “”We expect value gains to continue into 2013. As home values rise, and more homeowners are freed from negative equity, we can expect a continued slow transition to a more normal housing environment driven by local market fundamentals and conditions,”” Humphries said. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Zillow: Homes Gain $1.3T in Value in 2012 December 21, 2012 422 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Values Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Zillow 2012-12-21 Esther Cho Share
February 14, 2014 438 Views in Data Consumer sentiment has remained steady so far this month, despite reports of weak economic activity to start the year.[IMAGE]The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters “”Index of Consumer Sentiment””:http://press.sca.isr.umich.edu/ stood at a reading of 81.2 in an early-look report released Friday. The index was unchanged from its final “”January reading””:https://themreport.com/articles/consumer-sentiment-index-dips-in-january-2014-01-31.[COLUMN_BREAK]The mid-February reading was affected by deterioration in the gauge measuring perceptions about current conditions, which fell to 94.0 from January’s 96.8. That was offset by a pickup in the measure of six-month expectations, which rose to 73.0 from 71.2 previously.The brighter outlook among consumers suggests spending may recover in the next few months following a slow January, but some commentators have their doubts.””[T]he truth is that confidence has not been a reliable predictor of consumption for some years now, so this really doesn’t offer much comfort,”” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist for macroeconomic research firm “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/.Instead, Dales says analysts should give greater weight to current trends in jobs and income growth, which he remains optimistic about.””Once you strip out the effects of the bad weather, they remain fairly good,”” he said. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Confidence Consumer spending Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-02-14 Tory Barringer Share Consumer Sentiment Withstands Economic Stumble
October 8, 2015 459 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News Affordability Home Prices mortgage Zillow 2015-10-08 Staff Writer Home prices are not the only determining factor when looking at affordable living options. In fact, markets with cheapest homes are not necessarily always the most affordable.Zillow research released Thursday showed lower priced homes are not always the most attractive and budget-friendly option for those in the U.S. workforce.Although homes cost less in the middle of the country, wages are also lower. Consumers that live here put a smaller percentage of their monthly income toward housing, further proving that cheap markets are not always the most affordable, the study found.”There’s a lot more to home buying affordability than just the cost of the home. Incomes vary a lot across the country–even within the same occupation,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist, Zillow.Teachers that are budgeting to purchase a home in the future will have a harder time finding a home in Salt Lake City, Utah or Portland, Oregon than in some parts of California.”Many potential buyers are checking all the right boxes prior to buying a home–saving a healthy down payment, organizing finances and qualifying for a loan–only to find there are few homes available within their budget and close to their job.”Zillow found that in Bakersfield, California, the median home value is $166,300, while the annual teacher salary is $61,000 annually. If 22 percent of this income is applied toward a house payment, a teacher in this area could afford a $310,000 home, which includes about 86 percent of all homes on the market.In contrast, a teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah makes $38,000 annually and can afford a $195,000 home, only about 25 percent of homes in this market.Riverside, California firefighters can purchase a $653,000, with the median local firefighter income of $107,000 and spending the average 26 percent to pay their mortgage, Zillow says. Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon construction workers will find less than 10 percent of listings within their budget, but can afford almost two-thirds of the homes for sale in Buffalo, New York.”There’s also the question of how much of your paycheck you’re willing to put toward a house payment, and finally, whether you can find a home in your price range,” Dr. Gudell said. “Many potential buyers are checking all the right boxes prior to buying a home–saving a healthy down payment, organizing finances and qualifying for a loan–only to find there are few homes available within their budget and close to their job.”Click here to view the complete report. Home Prices Not Sole Factor in Determining Affordability Share
Share Finicity Partners with Capsilon Capsilon Finicity 2018-09-19 Seth Welborn Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, recently announced an integration agreement with Capsilon, a provider of intelligent process automation software for the mortgage industry. Under the agreement, Finicity’s Verification of Assets (VoA) solution has been integrated into the Capsilon platform, in order to improve the speed, user experience and economics of the mortgage process.According to Finicity, their VoA solution provides bank-validated insights into borrower assets, enabling reports to be generated in minutes. The solution reduces fraud, frees up resources, shortens time to close and is now integrated with Capsilon borrower and loan officer workspaces to automate asset verification. This further streamlines the loan application process — borrowers no longer need to search for bank statements, and loan officers have more time to focus on higher value activities, such as getting more loans.“We’re excited to work alongside Capsilon with the shared goal of transforming the difficult manual mortgage origination processes of today into a modern and digital experience of the future,” said Steve Smith, Finicity CEO. “Finicity’s VoA reports are a key part of the next-generation mortgage process.”Capsilon states that their programs transform the way mortgage companies work. The end-to-end platform uses data and AI to automate manual tasks and enable better, faster decision-making.“The mortgage industry is undergoing radical transformation driven by technology. Those who invest in the right technology now will gain a competitive advantage to help them minimize risk and accelerate growth as the market changes,” said Jim Obsitnik, COO of Capsilon. “We’re thrilled to partner with Finicity to help mortgage companies speed up the application process and deliver better borrower and loan officer experiences.” September 19, 2018 510 Views in News