Paraguay 17 killed in violent land dispute

first_imgAssociated PressASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) – Paraguay deployed its army Friday to resolve a violent land dispute in a remote northern forest reserve after 17 people were killed in gunbattles between police and landless farmers.The clash prompted President Fernando Lugo to accept the resignations of his interior minister and his chief of police.The violence broke out as police tried to evict about 150 farmers from the reserve, which is part of a huge estate owned by a Colorado Party politician opposed to Lugo, who was a Catholic bishop before renouncing the priesthood to run for president. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona Among the seven officers killed was the brother of Lugo’s chief of military security. Ten farmers also were killed, and 27 other officers were injured as police kept up the firefights in the forest, some 150 miles north of the capital Asuncion.After firefights that lasted about eight hours, the farmers dispersed into the jungle and police took control of the reserve, said Gregorio Almada, security vice minister for the Interior Ministry.Lugo suspended his agenda and called a Cabinet meeting. He said the army has his support to put an end to the violence and ruled out any connections to the Paraguayan People’s Army, a small leftist guerrilla group that has attacked rural police posts in the northern part of the country.“I extend my sorrow and repudiation of the actions that led to the killing of these people,” Lugo told reporters.Lugo didn’t explain why he accepted the resignations of Interior Minister Carlos Filizzola or Police Chief Paulino Rojas. The presidency didn’t say whether he had approved the eviction, or was even aware of it.The 4,900-acre (2,000)-hectare reserve is part of a vast ranch owned Blas Riquelme.“Twenty years ago we declared this a forest reserve but farmers have wanted to occupy it since last year,” said Jose Riquelme, the owner’s son. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Activists for poor farmers, however, say Riquelme used his political influence to get the land from the state decades ago and that it should have been put it to use for land reform.Paraguay is the world’s fourth-largest supplier of soybeans and land disputes have risen in recent years as farmers seek more land to grow the country’s top export earner.Lugo won election in 2008 promising farmland for 87,000 landless families. But with few allies in Paraguay’s government, he has failed to deliver, and the problems are more vexing than ever.“Lugo can’t fix a grave social problem: the recovery of state lands seized decades ago by people like Riquelme who were not subject to land reform,” said Jose Rodriguez, an adviser for the landless rights groups.“We’re living a serious situation and it will just worsen because the poor need a piece of land,” Rodriguez said. “Our people resisting the police attack only have .22-caliber rifles; they don’t have army training or weapons to wage a war.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Zimbabwe man survives face to face lion attack

first_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches It pinned him down with its claws and continued staring at him “face to face,” he said. The lioness briefly moved away toward a lion cub then turned back on him.He regained consciousness, realizing “it just left me lying down and went away,” the paper further quoted him as saying.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – A Zimbabwean state-run newspaper reports a farmer is recovering after surviving a lion attack in the remote northwest of the country.The Chronicle reported Saturday that a lioness pounced on farmer Joel Ngwenya near the Hwange nature preserve, goring his arms and upper body and leaving him unconscious. Lions had been preying on livestock in the district.“The lioness looked straight into my eyes, staring and roaring,” Ngwenya told the paper from a hospital. Top Stories last_img read more

How long can Spain take the financial heat

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Patients with chronic pain give advice The clock is ticking for the country, which is finding fewer and fewer buyers for its debt, sold on the market as bonds. Investors are charging the country increasingly higher rates so that it can borrow the money it needs to keep the economy and public services working.Investors have taken flight as the uncertainty over the whether the country can afford to contain the problems in its banking sector and indebted regional governments continues unabated.As demand falls for a country’s bond, its price falls and the interest rate the country would have to pay to sell it rises.On the secondary market, where bonds are traded, the interest rate Spain would have to pay on 10-year debt has hovered around 7 percent for weeks. Most market-watchers think borrowing at an interest rate of 7 percent is unaffordable for a country in the long-term. And it’s also the pain threshold that eventually compelled Greece, Ireland, and Portugal to request billion-euro bailouts.The 7 percent interest rate is “a totem, because it shows a total lack of confidence in the country,” says Matteo Cominetta, a European economist at UBS.“The problem is that rates at that level kill the economy and basically make any growth impossible,” he said. “The road is getting narrower and narrower and in the end (Spain) will have to ask for an intervention.” _Spanish banks are sitting on an estimated (EURO)176 billion in bad real estate loans and other investments and are now short of capital. Spain’s European partners have set already offered the country a (EURO)100 billion bailout loan to spare the banks from catastrophic collapse._Some of the country’s semiautonomous regions, which take up almost 40 percent of public money, have overspent and are broke. Some estimates put their combined debt at (EURO)140 billion._ Spain’s central bank released figures last month showing panicky investors are fleeing the country, pulling out a record (EURO)66.2 billion in March alone _ about double the figure for December._Spain’s ability to pay its debts is vital for other European banks. They were exposed to Spanish debt to the tune of (EURO)134 billion at the end of last year, with German banks holding (EURO)53.1 billion and French banks (EURO)23.4 billion, according to the Bank of International Settlements.And time isn’t on Spain’s side as European leaders continue to quarrel over the best way out of an unrelenting crisis that is not only jeopardizing economic recovery in Europe but in the United States and China. Comments   Share   Spain’s reserves could easily be tested when it faces redemptions of almost (EURO)40 billion through the end of this year, including a key test in October when almost (EURO)30 billion matures, and has to tackle with rolling over these debts.And, due to the high interest rates being demanded by investors, rolling over these bonds will be costly. This could lead to a liquidity crunch at some point next year.Weakened Spain is also at the mercy of wider eurozone developments, especially in Greece which some investors fear could leave the euro next year and severely aggravate the bloc’s problems.In order to bring its economy under control and restore the confidence of investors, Rajoy has come up with a package of tax hikes and spending cuts he says is worth (EURO)65 billion through the end of 2014. But he is reluctant to tighten the screw further amid fears of unrest in the streets. At the same time, he has not committed himself to asking for a full-blown sovereign bailout that would tarnish his political legacy.The conservative government is squeamish about forfeiting a large degree of sovereignty over its national financial affairs, which earlier bailout recipients were forced to accept. And since Spain doesn’t need cash right now, it may be able to hold out for better terms on a rescue. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories “We have time and we will act prudently,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said in an interview with ABC newspaper published last weekend.Rajoy last week said he had sent a letter to senior European officials urging them to help push for the adoption in December of proposals for joint EU banking regulations and deposit protection. That would, in principle, help restore market faith in the eurozone’s banks and could help lower Spain’s bill for loan repayments.Unless there is “a big, mighty push” from European policymakers to end the crisis, ETX Capital’s Siddiqi says, the eurozone’s woes will remain a drag on economic recovery around the world.Though Spain faces no immediate emergency, the road ahead is daunting. The IMF calculates its gross financing needs through 2014 at (EURO)360 billion. Credit Suisse puts it at (EURO)385 billion.Badiani, of IHS Global Insight, worries that Spain has run out of room for maneuver.“What the markets are now saying … is that the Spanish government has exhausted its options and what we need now is a game-changing set of measures from the ECB or the European Union.”(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 Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Associated Press (AP) – Imagine struggling to keep a control of your debts, with the costs and interest rates going up and up until you can barely meet the monthly installments. How long do you hold on, scrimping and saving, before you throw in the towel?That is the problem facing Spain, whose Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is fighting to prevent his country becoming the latest _ and biggest _ victim of the economic crisis crippling the 17 countries that use the euro and ask for a full-blown government bailout. “Spain, right now, has some leeway,” says Ishaq Siddiqi, an analyst at ETX Capital in London.However, Spain’s future looks grim amid a catalogue of disheartening statistics:_It is weathering an unprecedented double-dip recession, which is forecast to continue at least through next year. Almost a quarter of the working population is unemployed _ the eurozone’s highest._The International Monetary Fund says Spain’s public sector debt is climbing rapidly. The IMF sees it rising to almost 90 percent of its (EURO)1.07 trillion gross domestic product this year, from 68.5 percent last year. A country in recession would find this burden increasingly difficult to control._Spain’s budget deficit, which is supposed to stay within 3 percent of GDP like other eurozone members, came close to 9 percent in 2011. The government is trying to get it down to 6.3 percent this year. Other members of the eurozone are also struggling to comply with the 3 percent target._Spain’s Treasury puts the total outstanding central government debt at (EURO)611 billion at the end of June. The IMF estimates that this debt will mature in an average of six and a half years and has an average interest rate of 4.1 percent. Investors are fretting over whether Spain will be able to repay its loans, and the country could end up being shut out of vital international debt markets. High borrowing costs mean fewer funds for investment, and government austerity policies meant to save money to pay the increased interest rates could choke off growth.In a bond auction last week, Spain sold (EURO)1.04 billion in 10-year bonds at an average interest rate of 6.65 percent and (EURO)1.02 billion in four-year bonds at a rate of 5.97 percent, up from 5.54 percent.Analysts reckon Spain has enough funds to manage its debts until next year. It has already managed to sell off 72 percent of its targeted (EURO)86 billion in medium- and long-term debt for this year.The Spanish Treasury benefited from two events earlier this year and managed to build up a war chest that would save it from having to go to the bond markets too often and pay over the odds. The first was the ECB’s (EURO)1 trillion in low-rate loans offered to banks at the end of last year. Spanish banks used the funds from these loans to buy up debt in their country. At the same time, the Treasury front-loaded the start of the year with debt auctions, collecting more than Spain needs to cover its 2012 redemptions, notes Raj Badiani of IHS Global Insight. 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

China adds 2 satellites to global positioning net

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix BEIJING (AP) – China has added two more satellites to a global navigation network that will eventually compete with America’s Global Positioning System.State media say the 14th and 15th satellites in the Beidou system were launched aboard a single Long March 3B rocket early Wednesday. The system, whose name means compass in English, is due to have 35 satellites in total by its 2020 completion date.The system already provides coverage over much of Asia, with at least one more satellite set for launch this year. China expects Beidou to generate a 400 billion yuan ($63 billion) annual market for services to the transport, meteorology and telecommunications sectors. Top Stories Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img The system’s military implications are just as important, freeing China from having to use GPS for tasks such as missiles guidance.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Mali Tuareg rebels lose their last base in north

first_imgAssociated PressBAMAKO, Mali (AP) – Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali.Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday after heavy fighting. He said Menaka is under the control of the Islamists.“I do not have an accurate record of the dead, but more than 100 fighters were killed,” said Hamaha. He said the Islamists are hunting for Mohamed Najim, the military leader of the Tuaregs. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 0 Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories center_img Residents contacted by telephone also report that Menaka is controlled by the Islamists, but add that the Tuaregs are just a few kilometers (miles) from the town.But the Tuareg group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or NMLA, has not given up, according to its spokesman, Moussa Ag Assarid, who spoke to The Associated Press from his base in Paris. He alleged that MUJAO was getting significant support from another Islamist extremist group, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).“When the elements of MUJAO … arrived this morning, we had information on the numbers of their cars and their military capacity. We pulled back from the other side of the city to wait for reinforcements,” said Ag Assarid.Many Menaka civilians fled the shelling by the Islamists, according to Bajan Ag Hamatou Menaka, a member of the National Assembly of Mali. He said many residents fled across the border to Niger and others went into the surrounding desert. He said 12 civilians were killed by the bombing.The loss of Menaka is a significant blow to the Tuaregs. Menaka had been the last bastion of the NMLA since June when they were driven out of Gao by MUJAO.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Men’s health affects baby’s health too Top Stories last_img read more

Ivory Coast begins exhuming mass graves

first_img“When you think about cases where bodies were buried in houses and other places, the exhumation process will reduce the suffering of their parents and also reduce the desire for revenge,” said Issiaka Diaby, president of a local victims’ organization.Fatime Alabi, 44, said she was looking forward to holding a proper funeral for her 17-year-old son, who was among the four men killed at the mosque.“It’s important to provide my son with a very good ceremony for his burial,” she said. “I couldn’t stand coming to the mosque every day and praying knowing that my son was buried here.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) – Ivory Coast officials on Thursday began exhuming dozens of mass graves dating back to the country’s 2011 postelection violence, as a new report accused President Alassane Ouattara of failing to bring his supporters to justice for crimes they allegedly committed during the conflict.Justice Minister Gnenema Coulibaly presided over the exhumations, observing a moment of silence at the site before digging started at the first grave on the grounds of a mosque in Abidjan’s Yopougon district. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “Our fear is that if impunity continues, the cycle of violence in Ivory Coast will not really be broken,” he said. “And sadly we will not be surprised if in a few years from now we see another cycle of violence, with the same perpetrators in position to commit the same types of crimes.”Ouattara defends his record. He said significant progress had been made in promoting equal justice, speaking on the BBC’s “HARDtalk” program that first aired March 26. Asked specifically about a massacre in the western town of Duekoue where his fighters have been accused of killing hundreds of Gbagbo supporters, he said, “We have a report on what happened in Duekoue and all the people involved in the massacre in Duekoue have been taken to court.”Bolopion said there was no evidence to indicate that Ouattara’s claim was truthful. “If the government has information that cases have been brought against people fighting for pro-Ouattara forces, we’ll welcome that and we’ll be happy to see the evidence that it’s happening,” he said. “But so far we have no reason to believe it’s the case.”At Thursday’s ceremony, victims said they hoped the exhumation of graves would help promote reconciliation even in the absence of balanced justice. Comments   Share   Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Coulibaly said the exhumations would provide closure to victims’ families while offering valuable information that would help bring perpetrators of crimes to justice.But in a report released Thursday, Human Rights Watch faulted judicial officials for failing to come up with a strategy to investigate grave crimes committed during the conflictFighters on both sides committed atrocities, including the extrajudicial killings of hundreds, a national commission of inquiry reported last August. But Human Rights Watch said that while more than 150 supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo have been charged in connection with the postelection violence, no Ouattara loyalists have been charged, fueling allegations of “victor’s justice.”A “Special Investigative Cell” formed to undertake criminal investigations appears to be understaffed, and its authority has been called into question when it has attempted to probe crimes committed outside Abidjan, the report said.Ouattara’s repeated promises to hold all perpetrators of grave crimes to account “are starting to ring hollow,” said the rights group’s U.N. director Philippe Bolopion. Sponsored Stories The grave contained the bodies of four men aged 17 to 35 who were killed at the height of the violence in April 2011 while defending the mosque against militant supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo.More than 3,000 people died over a period of five months after Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Ouattara in the November 2010 election.Addressing religious leaders as well as relatives of the men who died at the mosque, Coulibaly said “the prevailing security situation” during the conflict made proper funerals impossible for many families, meaning bodies were hastily buried in public places throughout the country, including at places of worship.A government census identified 57 graves for exhumation in Abidjan alone, many of which contain multiple bodies. The graves together are believed to contain more than 400 bodies. The exhumation process will eventually extend throughout the country, Coulibaly said.Yopougon was a flashpoint during the violence, and Coulibly said 36 of the 57 graves identified in Abidjan were located in the district. The violence continued in Yopougon for weeks after Gbagbo was arrested from a bunker following military intervention by France and the United Nations. Parents, stop beating yourself up Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

29 die in South Africa bus crash government says

first_img Comments   Share   In March, 24 people died when a bus veered off a road and rolled over near De Doorns, a town in a grape-growing region near Cape Town.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Patients with chronic pain give advice Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africa’s government says 29 people have been killed after a bus collided with a truck in the eastern Mpumalanga province.Acting government spokesman Phumla Williams said Tuesday that scores of injured passengers were taken to a nearby hospital after the collision Monday night.Traffic accidents with high death tolls are common in South Africa, and are often blamed on negligent drivers and badly maintained roads. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Despite majority UKs Cameron faces Conservative rebellion

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility One area where Cameron will feel less restraint in his new majority government is about welfare cuts, which are expected to hit the poor even harder than those already implemented under his last administration.The Conservative leader has pledged to reduce the deficit by finding 12 billion pounds ($18.5 billion) to cut from the welfare bill in the next few years. He has not revealed where the money would come from.“The Lib Dems provided a kind of counterbalance,” said Hay. “They helped to hold the Conservative Party together at a time when some on the right were pushing for more cuts to welfare and public services.”Without their coalition partners, the Conservatives face a return of the unpleasant nickname they’ve long tried to shake: “the Nasty Party.”Some analysts already detect shades of the last majority Conservative government in this one. Like Cameron, former Prime Minister John Major in the 1990s had a fragile majority and struggled to control a party deeply divided over Europe.But they also believe that Cameron is a political realist. While he himself favors staying in the EU, he’s also canny enough not to underestimate his rebellious party members. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The infighting over those two issues is likely to come to a head in the next two years. Responding to widespread British distrust of Brussels, Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on whether Britain should leave or stay in the EU by the end of 2017. He has maintained that he can negotiate better terms for Britain’s EU membership and increase Britain’s ability to control the flow of EU migrants to the country.Cameron plans to meet with restive Conservative legislators Monday to discuss plans for EU reform in an effort to unify the party before discussions with EU leaders about possible modifications to the terms of Britain’s membership.But many rank-and-file Conservatives want much tougher changes, and some have made up their minds that no settlement will be good enough.“It was a very rebellious parliament the last time,” said Simon Usherwood, politics lecturer at the University of Surrey. “You’ve got some pretty serious Euro-skeptics.”He said it was actually easier for Cameron under the last coalition government.“Now you can’t blame someone else for not being able to get something done,” Usherwood said.Cameron’s two major dilemmas are linked: A British withdrawal from the EU would make Scottish nationalists very unhappy and hasten their independence bid. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives may have won the British election and ushered their coalition partner out the door, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing for his government for the next five years.With influential Euroskeptics clamoring in his own party and a very slim majority in Parliament, Cameron will have a hard time tackling the big headaches looming over his second term: Britain’s membership in the 28-nation European Union and the growing movement for Scottish independence. Comments   Share   The message of stability and continuity is clear: “Keep calm and carry on,” as the Times newspaper put it in a headline.That is easier said than done in Britain’s rowdy Parliament, where Cameron does not have full support from his party on the two key topics of Scotland and membership in the EU. The Conservatives now have a tiny majority — holding just over half of the House of Commons’ 650 seats — meaning that a dozen defiant Tories could potentially derail important policies.Rebellion has long simmered in the Conservatives’ more right-wing factions, where many want Britain to pull out of the EU. The presence of the pro-EU Liberal Democrats in the government meant that such a move had been out of the question for the past five years.Radical Conservatives also disagree with their more moderate colleagues over how to deal with the question of Scotland, where the separatist Scottish National Party gained an unprecedented landslide victory in the race for seats in the British Parliament, winning 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats.Cameron and those who back him will do everything to keep Scotland’s centuries-old union with England, but some Conservatives are leery of ceding too much power to the north without getting reciprocal benefits for England. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “He would like to be seen as leading a governing party which is united on a core issue at the center of the political debate, but that’s unlikely to happen,” said Colin Hay, a British politics professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. “It’s going to be really tough.”Cameron’s Conservatives won an unexpected majority in last week’s election, ensuring that he returns to 10 Downing Street with enough power to govern alone. His first term saw Cameron sharing power with the left-of-center Liberal Democrats, who held key positions in a sometimes-awkward coalition government.Within hours of declaring victory Friday, Cameron re-appointed his four highest-ranking ministers — those heading defense, the Treasury, home and foreign affairs — to their posts. No big surprises are expected when the rest of the new, all-Tory Cabinet is unveiled this week.Cameron Monday made London Mayor Boris Johnson a member of his political Cabinet, which is an advisory role that does not involve running a department. Cameron said Johnson — seen as a potential future party leader — will “devote his attention to his final year as mayor of London.” ErrorOK ErrorOK“He’s pragmatic,” Usherwood said. “There’s an element of him making it up as he goes along.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like British Prime Minister David Cameron walks away after delivering a reading during a service of thanksgiving to mark the World War II, 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE Day) at Westminster Abbey in London, Sunday, May 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous oflast_img read more

Russian missile maker MH17 shot down by Ukrainian missile

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the director general of the missile maker, state-controlled Almaz-Antei consortium, said at a news conference Tuesday that its analysis was based on photographs of the wreckage available to the public. He said the holes in the plane’s parts were consistent with a specific type of Buk missile and its warhead.Each of the Buk subtypes has its warhead rigged with shrapnel of a specific shape. This variation of the missile is in the Ukrainian military arsenals, but not in the Russian, said Almaz-Antei director Yan Novikov.Novikov said that in 2005 when Ukraine contacted the consortium regarding the maintenance of its Buk systems, it had 991 such missiles.Rebels have staunchly denied even possessing a functioning Buk missile launcher at the time that MH17 was brought down, although one was seen in separatist-controlled Snizhne by AP reporters a few hours before the plane crashed.Russian officials and state media have previously said they suspect the airline was shot down by a Ukrainian warplane.“First they said it wasn’t a Buk missile. Now, suddenly, they’re saying it is but it wasn’t them. So I just think the credibility is not 100 percent here on that,” said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf in Washington. Ukrainian military spokesman Vladislav Seleznev was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Tuesday that photos and video materials at the time documented the presence of a Buk on the rebel-held territory.Novikov and Malyshevsky said that the company’s analysis of shrapnel impact on the plane’s fragments allowed it to pinpoint the location of the missile launcher, which they said was placed near the town of Zaroshenske. A missile launched from Snizhne would have incurred different damage, they said.The Almaz-Antei officials stopped short of directly blaming Ukraine for shooting down the plane, but their statements hinted at that.A spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, declined to comment on the consortium’s statement. The Dutch report is expected in October.___Mike Corder in The Hague and Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian maker of the Buk air defense missile system said Tuesday that it has concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which isn’t in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.Controversy continues over who shot down the plane last summer over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard. Ukraine and the West suspect it was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian soldiers or Russia-backed separatist rebels fighting in the area. Russia denies that. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Man who landed gyrocopter at the US Capitol rejects deal

first_imgHughes said spending several years in prison doesn’t seem fair because nobody was hurt and there was no property damage during his April 15 flight in the bare-bones aircraft. He said his flight was an act of civil disobedience intended to call attention to the influence of big money in politics.“My position is: No jail time is justified in an act that’s only intended to bring the attention of the media and the voter to the corruption of our federal government,” Hughes said after the hearing.In May, Hughes pleaded not guilty to six charges on which he was indicted and said he was open to the possibility of a plea deal. A prosecutor said Monday in court that Hughes had rejected a pre-indictment deal but that negotiations were ongoing. Hughes said prosecutors are offering to resolve the case if he does several years in prison.“The problem is that it was spectacular, OK, and the prosecutor has laid charges on me for that reason,” Hughes said Monday, adding that prosecutors “are looking for an excuse to put me away.”The charges carry up to 9.5 years in prison. That includes two felonies: operating as an airman without an airman’s certificate and violating aircraft registration requirements. Those charges each carry a maximum of three years in prison. Hughes also faces three misdemeanor offenses of violating national defense airspace, each carrying a maximum of one year in prison. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img Hughes, who had been employed by the U.S. Postal Service and lives in Ruskin, Florida, also faces a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle falsely labeled as a postal carrier, a charge that carries a maximum of six months in prison. The tail section of Hughes’ gyrocopter carried a Postal Service logo, and Hughes was carrying letters for each member of Congress.Hughes is set to return to court on July 22.___Follow Jessica Gresko at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who flew a gyrocopter through some of America’s most restricted airspace before landing outside the U.S. Capitol said Monday that he’s rejected a plea deal that would have involved several years in prison.Douglas Hughes spoke after a status hearing in federal court in Washington. He declined to give specifics of ongoing negotiations but said that if prosecutors continue to insist on “significant hard jail time,” his case will go to trial. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

Volunteer named governor in eastern Ukraine

first_imgTuka, known for his efforts helping Ukrainian troops with supplies, is replacing hard-liner Hennadiy Moskal who decreed that civilians were not allowed to travel between rebel-controlled areas and the government-controlled part of the region.Tuka’s appointment could signal Kiev’s intention to reach out to the Ukrainians living in rebel-held areas and reverse Moskal’s scorched earth policy which ran against Kiev’s commitment for a political settlement in the east.International observers have criticized the Ukrainian government for restricting the freedom of movement of residents across the front line. Authorities on the Ukrainian side have also been suspected of turning a blind eye on a smuggling business which flourished in the area after Kiev imposed a de-facto frontier with the separatist-held areas.During Tuka’s presentation in Severodonetsk, the region’s temporary capital while Luhansk remains in rebel hands, Poroshenko said the new governor’s primary task will be to clamp down on the flow of contraband and corruption associated with the crossing the front line.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday appointed a well-known volunteer as governor in one of the two war-torn regions in the east in a possible sign of a policy change.Since hostilities broke out in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, killing more than 6,400 people, the Ukrainian government has controlled only parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.Poroshenko on Wednesday signed the order on live television to appoint 51-year-old Heorhiy Tuka, a former telecom executive, as governor of the Luhansk region presenting him as a “man with an immaculate reputation, intolerant to corruption and (who has) Ukraine in his heart.”center_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 0 Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Fuel quakes impact THAI

first_imgThai Airways has reported a 147.5 percent loss in profit before income tax for the full year last year compared to 2010, citing uncontrollable factors for the loss.The company’s executive vice president of financial and accounting Wasukarn Visansawatdi explained the drop from 16.657 million baht to a 7.917 million baht was a result of “external factors”.Among the issues responsible for the decline according to the VP of accounting are the rising cost of fuel, EU economic crisis, Japan’s quake and Bangkok’s flooding late last year.Wasukarn Visansawatdi added to deal with the rising cost, the carrier promptly adjusted its flights and schedules to cope with the change.“THAI closely monitored fuel price and made necessary adjustments to the level of fuel surcharge to cover the jump in fuel cost but with fierce market competition, THAI was not able to sufficiently adjust fuel surcharge to cover the jump in fuel cost increase which adversely impacted THAI’s overall profitability for 2011.”Despite the loss, the carriers total revenues increased by 5.5 percent from 184,270 million baht to 194,342 million baht.Meanwhile traffic decline by two percent from the year compared to the prior year while the number of passengers carried increased by 1.2 percent from 341 million to 355 million. Thai Airways tail logo Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Wicked Wednesdays postponed

first_imgA gas leak in the building at Pachamama House in Darlinghurst has triggered an occupational health and safety hazard, causing a 72-hour closure of the venue. “Unfortunately due to this unforeseen incident, we have had to postpone Wicked Wednesdays to a future date, later in the month of August,” GTI Tourism account executive Manuela Nielsen said. Wicked Wednesdays is held every month in different cities around Australia and attracts between 100-300 industry guests across the travel and hospitality sector, offering a unique networking opportunity. Due to an unforeseen incident at the organised venue, popular industry evening Wicked Wednesdays has been postponed until later this month. Unforeseen incident causes industry event to be rescheduled. “We are consulting with venue management to organise a new date and will inform our registered guests and attendees by email as soon as possible.” Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Cathay Pacific reopens its pier first class Hong Kong lounge

first_imgCathay Pacific reopens its pier first class Hong Kong loungeCathay Pacific Airways has reopened The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), following an extensive renovation. Measuring 2,061 square metres, the newly opened lounge is located at Gate 63 in the North West concourse of HKIA. With a maximum seating capacity of 231, the new lounge expresses the heartfelt warmth, considered simplicity and contemporary Asian values at the heart of the Cathay Pacific new brand design ethos.Designed by Studioilse, the London-based design studio led by Ilse Crawford, the lounge is an environment that helps passengers relax by engaging the senses and focusing on wellbeing. The concept of a contemporary apartment is used as a framework for all elements of the lounge’s design and operation. The atmosphere throughout the lounge has a domestic level of comfort and characteristics of a home. This is reflected in the choice of materials, furniture, and lighting; the same considered approach has been taken with the selection of art, music, and food, all of which have been curated to feel coherent and support the idea of this being an apartment that visitors are guests in.Warm, tactile and timeless materials such as onyx, limestone, and bronze are used in the refurbishment; acoustics are softened where possible and a considered approach has been adopted in the lighting. The abundance of plants supplements the lounge with a dose of nature and suggests a healthy environment to the passengers. Contemporary Asian touches are tangible in the lounge’s green onyx walls, as well as the walnut and bronze screens. Real furniture pieces similar are adopted throughout the lounge, in place of contract furniture, so it feels domestic and comfortable and generous.Wellbeing is the core focus of The Pier First Class Lounge as a reflection of this contemporary luxury value. Complimentary foot massage is introduced for the first time in Cathay Pacific lounges to cater for passengers’ physical and emotional needs during travelling. The hope is that it will help them arrive in better shape. Neck and shoulder massages are also available on request.In addition to the Foot Massage, the Retreat area consists also of Day Suites and Showers. The Pier is fitted with a total of eight suites, each furnished with a comfortable daybed, a reading light, a mirror, and heavy curtains for added personal privacy. The adjustable lighting and blinds allow passengers to control the comfort of their own environment. Wrapped in walnut and with a view over the runway, the Day Suites make for a perfect area for a spell of soothing relaxation before boarding. The 14 Showers are furnished with natural limestone and timber, which provide a calm, relaxing and private sanctuary for passengers to unwind before their journeys.With a greater focus on food and beverages, The Pier First Class Lounge features the Dining Room – a warm and handsome room with à la carte dining for 100 people at a time. The Dining Room offers table service with freshly prepared dishes made-to-order by the chef. At the Pantry, passengers can enjoy grab and go delicacies with items changing throughout the day. Passengers can sample a wide selection of breakfast items in the morning, followed by an all-day menu. A wide selection of wines and cocktails are also available at the full-service Bar.The Library is a comfortable and quiet place for reading and relaxing; and the Bureau feels like a home office environment with six iMac computers for working and web browsing.The Pier First Class Lounge is open to First Class passengers, Diamond Marco Polo Club members, and Emerald oneworld members who are departing or transiting in Hong Kong. Opening hours are from 5:30am until the last departure. Fly Cathay Pacific Source = Cathay Pacificlast_img read more

Travel To and From Singapore Boosted by 50th Anniversary Holiday

first_imgTravel To and From Singapore Boosted by 50th Anniversary HolidayTravel to and from Singapore has seen a marked jump coinciding with the country’s 50th independence anniversary holiday on 7-10 August, according to the latest air reservation data from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day.Europe leads the way in travel to Singapore, up 9.9% in total visitor nights for the same time last year.Further analysis shows that connections through the Middle East hubs and Turkey are becoming increasingly important. Dubai is the clear leader for Europeans going to Singapore, while Doha, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul are all showing a doubling in flights compared to 2014.Visits from the Middle East are actually down compared to 2014 but this is because Ramadan was 10 days earlier this year than last.Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO, ForwardKeys, said: “The overall picture emerging from our data is that Singapore’s 50th anniversary celebrations are causing a holiday travel boom into and out of the country. Total visitor nights in Singapore projected from the international air reservations that have been made, are 3% up on the previous year, and then up 5.5% for the rest summer season, starting from the Anniversary weekend. Departure bookings are also showing an increase.”The ForwardKeys analysis shows that China leads the way in total room nights from Asia to Singapore. In the European market, France and Italy lead the increase, due in part to improved connections.The Singapore holiday has also boosted departures, peaking on 6 and 7 August. Departure bookings started growing significantly as early as March 2015.Source = ForwarsKeyslast_img read more

Qantas adds more flights to Hong Kong Manila

first_imgQantas adds more flights to Hong Kong & ManilaQantas will add more flights between Australia and Hong Kong and Manila as a result of increasing demand from travellers.From 26 October 2015*, Qantas will operate an additional four Sydney-Hong Kong services each week, on top of the current daily services available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.Services from Sydney to Manila will increase from four to five per week between early December 2015 and late March 2016 to offer more capacity during the peak holiday season.Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the airline was pleased to offer customers more choice to Hong Kong, on a route that is experiencing strong demand from customers.“Customers travelling from Sydney will have the choice of double daily flights to Hong Kong on peak days of the week for business travel and we’ll look at expanding beyond that if the opportunity is available,” said Mr Evans.The four new Sydney-Hong Kong services will be operated by Qantas’ refurbished A330 aircraft with lie-flat seats in Business and new Economy seats, the first time customers travelling on this route will experience the airline’s latest international product.^“We’re pleased to add to the seasonal services we’re set to operate to Asia later this year, with the fifth weekly Manila flight again representing the dynamic nature of our network, which has the flexibility to offer our customers more flights during peak seasons,” said Mr Evans.The new services have been made possible by Qantas’ continued focus on more efficient use of aircraft across its fleet  and follows an additional 140 international services recently announced to operate to Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand over the upcoming summer holiday season.Flights for the new Hong Kong services are available via and through Travel Agents from today.Launch fares for the new Sydney-Hong Kong flights (QF117/118) are available from $688 return until 11:59pm AEST Friday 11 September 2015, unless sold out prior. Selected travel dates apply.The new Manila services will be available for sale next week and Qantas will keep customers updated.Source = Qantaslast_img read more

Jet Airways to launch daily flights to Amsterdam

first_img Jet Airwaysbook and fly here Source = Jet Airways Jet Airways to launch daily flights to AmsterdamJet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has announced the launch of daily non-stop services between India and Amsterdam, its new European gateway which is ideally located for convenient onward connections.With effect from March 27, 2016, Jet Airways will operate two daily non-stop flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one each from its home hubs in Mumbai and New Delhi. Jet Airways will also operate a daily flight from Toronto toAmsterdam. Schedules of all three flights have been planned to allow quick and convenient connections between India and Toronto over Amsterdam. These flights will be available for sale across all booking channels from December 15, 2015.Jet Airways will deploy its modern Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 34 seats in Premiere and 259 seats in Economy on these routes.Amsterdam is one of the great cities of the world and has emerged as a top financial centre and tourism destination in Europe. India’s trade relations with the Netherlands go back over 400 years and have continued to prosper in the modern age. The recent meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and the Netherlands has given a new impetus to this relationship.Cramer Ball, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of new services to Amsterdam. This is a significant step for Jet Airways and demonstrates our continuous endeavour to provide greater choice and better connections for our guests. Jet Airways’ two daily flights from India to Amsterdam will facilitate further growth in business and tourism between India and the Netherlands.”With the objective of providing convenient connections for its guests to key destinations across Europe and North America over Amsterdam, Jet Airways has entered into a strategic agreement with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines.Under this agreement and subject to government and regulatory approvals, Jet Airways will codeshare to 30 European destinations for travel between India and Europe via Amsterdam. Key destinations include Brussels, Berlin, Copenhagen, Munich, Madrid, Geneva and Vienna operated by KLM. Jet Airways will also codeshare with KLM and Delta on 11 destinations between India and the United States and Canada including New York JFK, Newark, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Montreal.The codeshare partnership will give Jet Airways guests a single ticket, through check-in of bags to their final destinations and co-ordinated customer service at airports. Members of Jet Airways’ frequent flier programme JetPrivilege will also be eligible to earn and redeem JP Miles on codeshare flights operated by Delta and KLM.Furthermore, Jet Airways guests from India will also be able to access the greater networks of Delta and KLM on an interline basis with convenient connections to over 70 destinations across North America and Europe. Guests travelling from over 50 European cities will connect to the entire Jet Airways network across India, SAARC and the ASEAN region via Amsterdam. Jet Airways guests from Toronto will have access to 30 select European destinations via Amsterdam.Cramer Ball added: “With Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as the new European gateway, we will be able to provide our guests with one stop access to a wider array of destinations across Europe and North America together with our partners KLM and Delta.“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s position as one of the largest gateways in Europe with seamless connectivity to sea, rail and road transportation provides greater options for our customers.“Jet Airways’ award winning service on board the state-of-the-art Airbus A330-300 aircraft from Mumbai and Delhi offers a great proposition for our guests flying to Europe and North America.”last_img read more

Songlines to illuminate Sydney Opera House Sails for Vivid

first_imgLighting The Sails. Songlines. Artwork by Karla D.Australia’s ancient Songlines will weave across the sails of the Sydney Opera House from 6pm on 27 May as part of the first Indigenous Lighting the Sails at Vivid Sydney, in a spectacular animation co-curated by Destination NSW and the Sydney Opera House.Songlines is inspired by the ancient dreaming tracks that weave across the landscape and skies, featuring the work of six renowned Indigenous artists: Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine OAM, Reko Rennie, Gabriella Possum, Donny Woolagoodja and the late Gulumbu Yunipingu.Songlines Director and Sydney Opera House Head of Indigenous Programming Rhoda Roberts says: “The songlines have been connecting Australian Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Songlines is a monumental work and an unprecedented opportunity for people around the world to really connect with the culture of Australia’s First People and glimpse the old trade routes that connected us all to country.“The songlines are a living map and an archive of our culture. These pieces of art bring an entirely new look to the Opera House – steeped in tradition but so contemporary and relevant today. I simply cannot wait to see it unveiled during Vivid Sydney.”Vivid Sydney Creative Director Ignatius Jones says: “It is an honour to have these artists sharing such a profound cultural story of Australia’s Aboriginal people through Songlines at Vivid Sydney.“Each year Vivid Sydney showcases art and innovation, and cutting-edge animation has been utilised to bring the Songlines projection to life. By placing Songlines on our most significant cultural icon, we put Indigenous art at the heart of Australian culture and showcase this amazing story to visitors across the world.”The music accompanying Songlines is composed and designed by Rhoda Roberts and Damien Robinson, the creative force behind Sydney’s Wicked Beat Sound System and features songmenDjakapurra Munyarryun and Cecil McLeod. The music explores the themes of salt water, fresh water, sky, wind and the desert.That has a particular resonance on Bennelong Point, known to the Gadigal for thousands of years as Tubowgule, which means where the knowledge waters meet. Songlines honours Tubowgule’s rich history as a gathering place for community, ceremony, songs, storytelling and celebration.Contemporary Indigenous visual artists from across the country interpret the songlines through distinctive symbols, patterning and imagery representative of the stories of their clans and groups. Songlines has been animated for the Opera House sails by award-winning studio Artists In Motion. A tapestry of moving images tracing the songlines from the east, across the centre, to the north and to the west of the country will be projected in a breathtaking display.Charged with being a meeting place for matters of local, national and international significance, the Sydney Opera House continues the traditions of its site on Bennelong Point through a year-round program celebrating the richness of First Nations culture through dance, music and talks events.Songlines will run each night from 6pm to 11pm from 27 May to 18 June. Vivid LIVE, the Sydney Opera House’s annual contemporary music takeover, runs from 27 May to 13 June. Vivid Sydney 2016Source = Destination NSWlast_img read more

TripAdvisor appoints new chief growth officer and president APAC

first_imgTripAdvisor appoints Gary Fritz as Chief Growth Officer and President Asia PacificTripAdvisor appoints Gary Fritz as Chief Growth Officer and President Asia PacificTripAdvisor® (NASDAQ:TRIP), the travel planning and booking site, today announced that Gary Fritz has joined TripAdvisor’s management team as the chief growth officer of TripAdvisor and president, Asia Pacific.In his capacity as chief growth officer, Mr. Fritz is responsible for driving growth and strategy across the entire family of TripAdvisor brands. In his role as president of APAC, he is responsible for leading TripAdvisor’s operations and strategy throughout the Asia Pacific region.“I am delighted to announce that Gary has joined TripAdvisor to lead our company’s continued development and expansion across the important Asia Pacific region,” said Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO, TripAdvisor, Inc. “TripAdvisor is poised to capture both inbound and outbound travel throughout the APAC region and we are committed to developing and expanding our market position throughout APAC. Gary’s mandate to drive growth within the region, and corporate strategy within our entire group of TripAdvisor media brands, will help further solidify our leadership position as the world’s largest travel site helping travelers plan and book the perfect trip.”Before joining TripAdvisor, Mr. Fritz founded the advisory and investment group Amanogawa, LLC, where he advised the leadership of several multi-national companies on global strategy and expansion plans, with clients that included Rakuten and TripAdvisor.Mr. Fritz’s relationship with TripAdvisor spans more than a decade. He held a variety of senior executive roles at Expedia, Inc. from 2003-2012 (when the company was part of Expedia). From 2008 to 2012, Gary served as president, Partner Services Group for Expedia, where he led Expedia’s commercial activity and strategy on a global basis. Mr. Fritz oversaw the sales, technology and operations teams on a global basis.“I’m really excited to take on this challenge and look forward to working with the TripAdvisor team,” said Gary Fritz, chief growth officer of TripAdvisor and president, Asia Pacific, “We are uniquely positioned in Asia Pacific to build and strengthen our relationships with domestic, outbound and inbound travelers as we continue to develop and expand our market leadership positions across the region. TripAdvisor and its brands have an incredible platform for growth and it is a beloved brand by consumers and partners alike with a traffic base second to none. I am excited to partner with Steve and the rest of the team to complete our transition into a booking site, as well as being on the hunt for additional business lines. This is a great time to be joining TripAdvisor.”Prior to Expedia, Mr. Fritz worked with the global consultancy McKinsey & Company for 3 years focused on telecom and distressed debt practices.Mr. Fritz holds a Master’s degree from MIT and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.About TripAdvisorTripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and 350 million reviews and opinions covering 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.Source = TripAdvisorlast_img read more