Clearly we have disappointed customers Delta CEO Bastian

first_imgTags: Delta Air Lines Thursday, August 11, 2016 Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that through the first two days of the Delta outage the airline cancelled on the mainline close to five times the number of flights that it has cancelled year-to-date.In an interview with The Associated Press, Bastian said the airline is determined to woo customers back to the fold. “In the long run, our customers are going to look at who we are and what we provide. … Clearly, we have disappointed customers.And I’m sure there are customers that decided in the short-term to book away from us. I don’t know the numbers. But we are determined to win those customers back.”Asked if there had been any short-term impact on bookings, Bastian said “it’s not clear. I think the period of time is really too short to determine that.”Bastian added that Delta is “going to do everything we can to make certain [this] does not ever happen again. We made a significant investment in our technology infrastructure over the last several years. Candidly, in addition to the disruption this has caused to our people and our customers, that to me is the thing I am most disappointed about.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionWe’re going to spend this year over US$150 million in technology infrastructure and upgrades alone. We have to analyze how this could happen given the size of the investment we’re making.”Bastian ended the interview saying “my message is that we’re sorry that this happened and we are known to be a high-quality, highly reliable airline with great people. The technology outage was an incident. It’s not who we are.” “Clearly, we have disappointed customers”: Delta CEO Bastian << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Air Canada WestJet could face class action lawsuit alleging baggage fee collusion

first_imgTags: Air Canada, WestJet Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Air Canada, WestJet could face class action lawsuit alleging baggage fee collusion Share Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Collusion or competition? Air Canada and WestJet are facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging the two carriers teamed up to introduce baggage fees within days of each other in 2014.WestJet brought in its $25 checked bag fee on Sept. 15, 2014. Three days later Air Canada followed suit. The challenge will be proving Air Canada and WestJet were in cahoots, and not just reacting to pricing moves in a competitive environment, both in Canada as well as the U.S. where fees for checked bags had been in place for some time.According to the CBC, the class action suit must be certified by the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan before it can proceed. Filed by lead plaintiff and Regina resident Lorne Hoedel, the suit will cover all Canadian passengers who flew with Air Canada or WestJet after Oct. 29, 2014 and paid the fee for either domestic or U.S. flights.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“It’s a wink, wink, we’ll get together and do the same thing,” says lawyer Tony Merchant, in the CBC’s report. “As soon as they had the announcement from WestJet, then [Air Canada] acted. We think we can establish they were acting in concert.”Airlines have long argued that scaling air ticket prices back to a base fare and then allowing passengers to customize with add-ons is in the best interest of the customer.Ancillary fees cover everything from baggage fees to seat assignments to onboard meals. The latest edition of the CarTrawler Ancillary Revenue Yearbook by IdeaWorksCompany shows a total of US$40.5 billion in ancillary revenue, comprising nearly 8.7% of total sales, for 67 airlines covered by the survey.A similar class action lawsuit charging U.S. airlines with collusion over baggage fees is making its way through the courts process in the U.S. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

US travel industry grapples with fallout from Trumps latest travel ban

first_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Posted by Tags: America, Donald Trumpcenter_img Travelweek Group TORONTO — The U.S. travel industry is gearing up for a bumpy road ahead as it deals with the negative fallout from President Trump’s new travel ban.In the days leading up to yesterday’s new executive order, the U.S. Travel Association urged the Trump administration to include language making clear that the U.S. welcomes and values legitimate international business and leisure travelers.The plea came amid mounting signs that President Trump’s initial order, which imposed restrictions on visitors from certain high-risk countries and pledged a security review of overall visa procedures, has had a broad chilling effect on demand for international travel to the U.S.U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said he believes many international travellers may have drastically misunderstood Trump’s intentions as wanting to discourage international visitors generally, not just those who pose a security risk.“Security is a top priority for the U.S. travel community, but it’s critical to balance both sides of the ledger: make clear who is not welcome, but also who remains welcome,” Dow said. “Not doing so would be to double-down on doubts, discontent and division that risk significant economic harm.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesInbound international travel is the No. 1 U.S. services export, and No. 3 export overall.While narrower in scope, the revised travel ban handed down yesterday “still sends a horrible message to the world, to Muslim-Americans, and to minority communities across the country, without any demonstrable benefit to national security,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring yesterday.The revised travel order, taking effect March 16, leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries but still affects would-be visitors from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. It takes effect March 16.The original travel ban caused immediate panic and chaos at airports around the country as Homeland Security officials scrambled to interpret how it was to be implemented and travellers were detained before being sent back overseas or blocked from getting on airplanes abroad. The order quickly became the subject of several legal challenges and was ultimately put on hold last month by a federal judge in Washington state. That ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court.“This travel ban is an improvement over the January 27th version, as it is narrower in scope and provides greater clarity about those travelers who would not be subject to the ban,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“The specific exemption for legal permanent residents, dual nationals and current visa holders will help mitigate confusion for the international traveling public.”“Any increased restrictions on passenger travel must be based in safety and security to ensure that the ability to travel is not impeded unnecessarily. It will remain a focus of the business travel industry to hold disruptions to a minimum, and we will continue to monitor the implementation of this ban closely.”About US$185 million in U.S. business travel bookings were lost in the week following the January U.S. travel ban, as the uncertainty surrounding travel in general had a ripple effect on traveller confidence, according to the GBTA.Dow says international travel is integral to the president’s stated economic priorities. “As a businessman and hospitality entrepreneur, it is safe to say he never intended to discourage legitimate travellers from coming to the U.S.” U.S. travel industry grapples with fallout from Trump’s latest travel banlast_img read more

By Oct 30 there will not be a trace of the hurricane

first_img“By Oct. 30 there will not be a trace of the hurricane in Varadero” Tags: Cuba MONTREAL — Transat has announced it will resume its operations to Santa Clara (SNU) on Nov. 11 and to Cayo Coco on Nov. 15.The tour operator says its teams at destination and its hotel partners are working together to reopen the hotels in these two regions. Transat adds that it wants to ensure that clients “have the best vacation possible and that all the touristic activities and attractions meet its quality standards.”Transat has already resumed its normal airline operations to Varadero and Holguin. “The hotels in Havana, Cayo Largo, Camaguey, Varadero and Holguin are fully operational and the white-sand beaches are bigger and lovelier than ever!” says Transat.Meanwhile more than 160 tour operator reps gathered at Varadero’s Plaza America convention centre last week to hear the latest update from Cuba’s Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz, who says Cuba will be ready for the high tourist season ‘without a trace’ of Hurricane Irma.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJAccording to the CTO and Cuban newspaper and government mouthpiece Granma, Cruz said power, water and communications had been restored in 100% of the country’s tourist resorts, including the northern Santa María, Coco and Guillermo keys, and that tourism facilities in the territories of Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Cienfuegos, Mayabeque, Artemisa, and Pinar del Río, did not suffer any damage, and have been operating without any difficulties.Cruz described the damage suffered by facilities in Sancti Spiritus, especially in the north, Las Tunas, the northern coast of the province of Holguin, and Camaguey as minor, and the damage in Havana and Varadero as minimal.The minister also said that of the 18 hotels located on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, the latter of which suffered less damage, 14 will be fully recovered by Nov. 1, while the local airport will also be fully operational. The remaining four hotel facilities will be completely restored to reopen their doors by Nov. 15.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaHe added that popular excursion sites in Cayo Coco will be restored and back in operation between Oct. 15 – 20, including its marina, dolphinarium, glass tower, and beach huts, and that hotels on Cayo Santa Maria are expected to be fully operational by Nov. 15.Of the 52 hotels in the country’s main tourist destination of Varadero, all except five are open, and the minister said: “By Oct. 30, there will not be a trace of the hurricane in Varadero.”He reported a 50% drop in arrivals in September due to the hurricane, but through Sept. 22 he said the country had received 3.6 million tourists, 24% higher than the same time frame last year. Monday, October 2, 2017 Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Holland America offers onboard spending money for Plan a Cruise Month

first_img Travelweek Group Share SEATTLE — In celebration of October’s National Plan a Cruise Month, which is organized by CLIA, Holland America Line has announced two new premium offers.The first offer includes onboard spending money for 2017-18 Caribbean cruise bookings, while the second is additional onboard spending money for all Explore 4 promotion bookings covering several cruise destinations in 2018 and 2019.“Plan a Cruise Month continues to be a very successful initiative that puts a spotlight on what is certainly the best vacation value and most enticing way to see the world,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “By creating extra booking incentives, we’re making October the best month to plan your first or next Holland America Line cruise.”The first offer includes the following:During the month, new bookings in an oceanview stateroom or higher for all of Holland America Line’s upcoming Caribbean cruises from October 2017 through March 2018 are eligible to receive up to US$300 in onboard spending money.“While a few islands in the Caribbean were impacted by recent storms, more than 40 ports are currently open and welcoming cruise guests right now, so we extended this offer to include our upcoming Caribbean season to focus positive attention on the region,” added Ashford.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?The second offer includes the following:Travellers making a booking on select 2018 and 2019 cruises receive onboard spending money up to $400, depending on the length of the cruise and type of stateroom booked.This offer can be combined with the cruise line’s Explore 4 promotion that provides four added-value extras on select march 2018 through April 2019 cruises.The four offers include a Signature Beverage package valued at up to US$1,400 per stateroom, dinner for two at the Pinnacle Grill, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth bookings in the same stateroom, and 50% reduced deposits.Suite bookings also receive $200 onboard spending money per stateroom ($100 per person) in addition to the four offers and exclusive Plan a Cruise Month onboard spending money, making it possible to receive a total of up to $600 in onboard spending money. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Holland America offers onboard spending money for Plan a Cruise Month Tags: Holland America Line Friday, October 13, 2017 last_img read more

Brexit benefit Lower pound boosts tourism to Britain

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, November 20, 2017 Share LONDON — Many British businesses have become cautious as they try to gauge the impact of the country’s 2019 departure from the European Union. But there’s one industry that has so far clearly reaped a windfall from the Brexit decision – local tourism.The sharp fall in the value of the British pound since last year’s Brexit vote – it’s down around 15% against a range of currencies – has made the country, which has been widely considered one of the more expensive places to visit, better value for money.That means the pound in a tourist’s pocket now goes further in what travel experts Euromonitor International say is the world’s 8th most popular destination for overseas visitors in terms of revenue.“It’s been quite positive from European countries and from the U.S., all over,” said Jo Bachelor, head of sales at Encore Tickets, which sells one in five tickets in London’s West End, 45 per cent of which are to overseas visitors.Overall, she said, the firm’s international sales for shows like “The Lion King,” ”Wicked“ and ”The Phantom of the Opera“ are 8% ahead of budget, and would have been higher were it not for security concerns raised by the terror attacks in London, which weighed particularly on travellers from Japan and school trips from Europe.Encore’s performance this year is illustrative of what is going on in British travel and tourism – a Brexit bounce.Official figures released Friday showed overseas residents made 3.9 million visits to Britain in August, up 5 per cent on a year earlier. They also spent 2.8 billion pounds, up 3%. So far in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics, visitor numbers have risen 8% to 27.1 million while tourist earnings have swelled 10 per cent to 16.4 billion pounds.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthThe lower pound should be a boon to exporters, but not all sectors are enjoying the same rewards, partly because many firms, particularly those in manufacturing, have seen their costs rise as imported goods like energy have become more expensive because of the currency’s fall. Many firms have also been reluctant to invest in their businesses amid the Brexit uncertainty.As a result, the wider British economy has slowed. Before the June 2016 Brexit vote, the British economy was one of the fastest-growing major economies. Now it’s one of the slowest and most forecasters expect tepid growth for as long as uncertainty surrounds Britain’s future economic relationship with the EU, its main trading partner.Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019 but many businesses, particularly in the finance sector, have warned that they could start putting plans to relocate into Europe into action early next year if no progress in the Brexit talks is seen. Thousands of jobs are predicted to be leaving London for other cities on the continent.The British travel and tourism sector does not operate in a bubble. It, too, is nervously awaiting the outcome of the Brexit discussions.In the event of a “no deal” scenario, in which Britain crashes out of the EU and puts up restrictions on goods, services and people coming into the country, the sector would not be immune. The implications of “no deal” would likely be felt far and wide in the travel and tourism sector, not least in Spain, the No. 1 destination for Britons, as well as Ireland, the only EU country that the U.K. shares a land border with.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedRoxanne Keeney, operations and business development at sports ticketing agency Champions Travel, said any Brexit scenario that sees customs barriers and other restrictions going up, could have “a really detrimental impact” on the firm. Champions Travel, which sells tickets for Premier League soccer matches primarily to European customers, operates out of Donegal in northwest Ireland, on the border with Northern Ireland.“It could be a whole lot more difficult for people to travel easily into Britain using our packages,” she said.While the lower pound has been a boon to inbound tourism, there are signs it’s weighed on travel abroad by making holidays more expensive for the British. That matters as the British are the fourth-largest spending nation on travel abroad, according to Euromonitor.According to the statistics agency, the number of Britons travelling abroad during August, the top month for families to go abroad, fell 3 per cent on the year before to 8.9 million.The picture is not so clear-cut though as British residents spent 6.2 billion pounds on their visits abroad, up 1 per cent on a year ago. And overall in 2017, the figures suggest the British are reluctant to give up on their treasured time abroad. The number going overseas so far is up 3 per cent to just under 50 million and they spent nearly 31 billion pounds, or 5 per cent more than the year before.The British, according to Nick Longman, managing director of U.K. and Ireland operations at TUI, the world’s biggest travel firm, still view holidays as an “absolute must.” By: Pan PylasSource: The Associated Press Tags: Britain & Europe, Trend Watch Brexit benefit: Lower pound boosts tourism to Britainlast_img read more

You can sleep in a bubble under the stars in Texas

first_img Wednesday, January 9, 2019 You can sleep in a bubble under the stars in Texas Tags: Camping, Texas Posted by Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group TERLINGUA — Living inside of a bubble isn’t necessarily a good thing, but staying in one under the stars can be a one-of-a-kind travel experience.Basecamp Terlingua, which offers six luxury tipis in west Texas near Big Bend National Park, recently debuted its brand new bubble rooms as a unique way to enjoy Texan starry nights.Considered the only Bubble Hotel in America, ‘Basecamp Bubbles’ are located in a private area with stunning views of the Chisos Mountains and minutes from restaurants, bars and more.From their private bubble, guests enjoy a queen-size bed, full bathroom with shower, fridge, microwave, Kuerig coffee, inside seating and heating/AC. Outside, there’s additional seating around a private fire pit and a bonus outdoor shower.Plus, with their transparent domed roofs and futuristic décor, they look super cool.Basecamp Bubbles start at $189 per night. Guests can check availability at and ‘chat’ with property managers online to ask any questions.For more information email << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Familiar name joins Uplift as new Senior BDM Canada

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Familiar name joins Uplift as new Senior BDM, Canada Posted by Tuesday, June 4, 2019 TORONTO — Uplift has hired a new Senior Business Development Manager, Canada.Tanya Johnson, well-known from her stint as Sales Manager for Royal Irish Tours, is taking on the senior BDM role at the fintech start-up. Most recently Johnson was Strategic and Key Account Manager for Bedsonline.Uplift offers alternate payment solutions for travel, allowing clients to book now and pay over time. Uplift has hit the ground running in Canada with industry veteran Denise Heffron at the helm. Uplift has signed deals with, Travelbrands/, TPI – Travel Professionals International and Travel Only.About Johnson’s appointment, Heffron says: “We are delighted to have Tanya on the team, her experience and expertise will help ensure our continued growth and success in this market.”In the coming months Johnson will focus on building Uplift’s Canadian business, as well as training and on-boarding new partners. She can be reached at (416) 275-6047 or Sharelast_img read more

Little Theatre Group offers new play Monday night workshops

first_imgThe Little Theatre group has been enjoying a brief respite since the closing night of its very popular evening of short plays, “My Life as a Crazy Quilt.” “Historically, August and September are slow months for us, so we use the time to consolidate the upcoming season, which is looking very exciting,” said Little Theatre Group President Annette Hallett.The group has always held an open house on the first Monday of the month, but for the 2012/2013 season the group plans to hold special events every Monday evening. Designated as LTG Mondays, these events will include scene study, improv group sessions and the Monday night showcase – an expanded version of the open house event in which an actor or a writer’s work will be featured. “We want to encourage our members to practice their skills as actors and performers even when they are not cast in a specific production,” Hallett said. “It’s not so easy to learn how to go about creating a character, to learn how to tell its story, when you have a director moving you around the stage like a walking prop!”Our Monday nights are designed to provide a safe environment in which to explore the art of acting with friends and mentors, Hallett explained. Anyone wishing to know more about these events should visit the LTG website or check them out on Facebook; next production, “Looking for the Pony” by Andrea Lepcio, is scheduled to open Friday Oct. 12. The play was first presented in a “Rolling World Premiere” off-Broadway at Vital Theatre Company in New York City in 2009. Since then, it has been performed across the United States, always receiving excellent reviews. Described by reviewer Martin Denton as a “wise, gorgeous and moving play,” it tells the story of two smart, loving women and the (sometimes metaphorical) places they go during three impossible years in which one of them battles cancer, while the other shifts from a well-paying career in finance to her true vocation as a writer. It is a tale of two life journeys, characterized by hope and fear, pain and passion. This production, directed by Annette Hallett, will showcase the talents of two young women, Silvia Schneegans and Bethany Skipper, as Eloise and Bethany. Everyone else in “Looking for the Pony” – doctors, nurses, cancer patients, rabbis, etc. – will be portrayed by a small team of dedicated actors who will change costume and personality throughout the play, with remarkable agility.Come to this play prepared to laugh and to maybe cry a little. Either way, do not forget your tissues. Reservations can be made on the website or by phone at 8858-1446 from Oct. 1. Details of these and all our upcoming events can be viewed on our website, or on Facebook Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Arenal Report

first_imgNo related posts. In August 2011, throughout Guanacaste province, the Public Safety Ministry, in conjunction with Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ) and the National Police taught an 11-module course devoted to developing community security. Weekly two-hour sessions focused on community organization, identifying security problems, basic legal issues, criminology, operation of the criminal justice system, domestic violence and prevention of local drug trafficking.One point emphasized was the importance of communication between neighbors regarding anything appearing out of the ordinary, such as unfamiliar cars or trucks parked along the road or in. Other recommendations included investigating dog barking at a house and noticing strangers to the neighborhood. Colonel Jorge Solano, regional chief of National Police, encouraged sharing information with friends and neighbors, noting that the more people who are aware of unusual activity, the better chance there is to deter crime, especially theft, burglary of homes, etc.O.K., here it is: BOLO! (be on the lookout). A home in the Arenal area was burglarized this past weekend. The thieves pried off the window bars, gained entry to the home and stole computers, laptops, cell phones, T.V. sets and other items with quick sale value. Two unfamiliar vehicles were reported in the area.One was a bright red newer model sedan, the other a bright blue dirty old sedan. If yousee them, photograph them with your cell phone camera. Try for the license plate numbers. One mistake relevant to this burglary was the failure of neighbors to investigatedogs barking excessively at the home.Though vigilante justice is never encouraged, it can prove very effective. Back in the early 1990’s, a smallish town had been targeted by thieves who were not local. One night they were caught in the act. All but one managed to escape. A few days later the curiosity of a hiker was piqued by the presence of a rope tied to the railing of the Rio Tarcoles bridge. On pulling up the rope, the hiker was horrified to recognize a pair of human legs encased in blue jeans and tied together at the ankles. The entire upper half of the body was missing. These were the days before DNA analysis had come to Costa Rica, but subsequent investigation of missing persons lists and the presence of a very unique tattoo on one ankle identified the remains as those of the thief who had failed to escape. One can only speculate as to the frenzied melee among the storied reptiles of Rio Tarcoles striving for a morsel of the unexpected appetizer.That was the last theft in this town until 2008, when a candy bar was taken from a small store by a child. Justice was served with a spanking and having the child listen to the story of what can happen to people who steal. Could dinner be served once again?-William & Jean Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tico elections authority cites security concerns in decision to close polling station

first_imgRelated posts:Love Costa Rica? Music video celebrates country’s elections and democratic tradition Costa Rica’s runoff campaign season ended Sunday with Solís pressing supporters to get out and vote Non-career politician Luis Guillermo Solís wins Costa Rica presidential runoff in a landslide Solís wins big but bigger challenges may be ahead, say analysts Costa Rica’s Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) announced Tuesday that security concerns in Venezuela motivated their decision to close a polling station at the Costa Rican Consulate in Caracas. Ticos registered in Venezuela can instead cast their ballot for the presidential runoff on April 6 in Bogotá, Colombia.Paola Alvarado, the TSE official in charge of the expat vote abroad, told The Tico Times that continued unrest in the capital, especially in the Altamira neighborhood where opposition protesters for weeks have held demonstrations near the Costa Rican Consulate, led officials there to conclude it was unsafe for voters to travel there.The official added that the TSE had more staff and resources in Bogotá, including an official representative along with lawyers from the Citizen Action Party (PAC) and the National Liberation Party (PLN), and election volunteers. Many of the election volunteers in the Caracas office who worked the first-round vote on Feb. 2 have since left the country because of the flare of violence, she added.Alvarado said that 162 Costa Ricans are registered to vote in Venezuela, but only 33 cast ballots in the first round. This year was the first time Ticos had the opportunity to vote abroad.Since Feb. 4, 29 people have been killed and another 400 injured in clashes between members of the opposition and government supporters in Venezuela.Costa Ricans will head to the polls April 6 to choose either PAC candidate Luis Guillermo Solís or PLN’s Johnny Araya as their next president. On March 5, Araya announced that he was dropping out of the race and would no longer campaign, but legally his name cannot be removed from the ballot, and PLN activists have continued the campaign despite his statements.AFP contributed to this report Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Police break up cockfighting ring over the weekend save 120 roosters

first_imgMore than 1,200 people were attending an illegal cockfight on Saturday when police raided it on a farm in Barrio Mercedes de Atenas, 40 kilometers west of Costa Rica’s capital.Agents from three police units and the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) descended on the farm at 4 p.m. after receiving an anonymous tip. Inside one of the buildings, cops found an elaborate cockfighting stadium with seating for at least 250, according to the daily La Nación. In the back, police found sets of spurs, which were affixed to the roosters’ heels during the fights, and a row of trophies that would have been awarded to the winning birds.Police shut down the party, seized coolers full of liquor and beer for sale without permits, and arrested two men in possession of illegal firearms. While officials were able to save 120 birds, they could not determine who owned the property.“This is one of the largest cockfighting rings we have ever broken up,” SENASA legal adviser Antonio Vanderluch told La Nación. “There were a lot of people involved.”Cockfighting events are illegal in Costa Rica, and property owners convicted of hosting them face fines of up to ₡25 million ($46,000). Related posts:Costa Rica animal welfare bill gains momentum as horrifying abuse cases circulate on social media Costa Rica’s Solís tables Animal Welfare Bill in favor of highway construction project With dog fights banned, animal rights activists shift focus to bullfights and animal mistreatment Hundreds of neglected dogs found in area surrounding Turrialba Volcano Facebook Commentslast_img read more

One communitys story of Tropical Storm Nate landslides fear and resilience

first_imgRead more of Marshall Cobb’s Dispatches from Monteverde here.Early in the morning this past Thursday, my insomnia and I surfed the net. One story in particular caught my eye. It involved a storm in the Caribbean that would eventually turn into a hurricane. The hurricane version already had a name reserved for it: Nate.When I confirmed that Nate was not going to involve Houston and our friends and family still digging out from under Hurricane Harvey, I moved on. Later that day, one of my friends here atop a mountain in Costa Rica warned that we would soon experience torrential rains, probably accompanied by mudslides, power outages and related chaos.See also: How to help the victims of Tropical Storm Nate in Costa Rica“That can’t be right,” I thought. “Nate is going to turn into a hurricane in the Caribbean. We’re atop a mountain on the western side of Costa Rica. Why would we suffer from torrential rains?”The hours progressed, and the rain came in — sideways. At 40 to 50 kilometers an hour. For almost two days. Guillermo Vargas LeitónBefore my internet connection failed, I got to learn quite a bit about the weather phenomena called a temporal via links my friend, a local biologist, forwarded to me. These links showed massive amounts of wind and precipitation being sucked over from the Pacific by the depression, which by now was off the eastern coast of Nicaragua.All of us atop our small mountain were stuck in the middle. It had already been raining for three weeks straight. The ground was completely soaked. Every new drop was run-off — and then our little temporal added another 20 or 25 inches of rain to the mix.The effects started in the wee hours of Friday morning. As power, water and telecommunications went out, the landslides started. This landslide cut Monteverde off from the rest of the world. Marshall Cobb / The Tico TimesAs dawn approached on Friday, the lack of utilities was compounded by the rain that pooled within the houses on the westward facing side. We pressed every available towel into action, but slowly lost the fight. Roofs are meant to withstand rain from above. Walls, window frames and doors here are not able to repel rain coming in sideways at 50 kilometers an hour. This chasm was created when the rushing stream bypassed its choked culvert and tore a new path through the road leading to Monteverde. Les PageReports started filtering in, but with most utilities out, it was more in the way of rumors and less in the way of facts. Most of my news came from the cashier and a few other people wandering around the only business in town with power (a grocery store with a generator). The word was that our area was cut off from the rest of world by landslides and bridges that no longer existed. There are only a few routes up the mountain to the Monte Verde District to begin with, and much of this highway system involves dirt road roads that are challenging even when it is dry and sunny.People in the zone began frantically searching Friday morning for information regarding friends and family that might be at risk. Much of Monteverde proper, which contains the Quaker community, sits along a ridge line that looks out over the San Luis Valley far below. As we collectively found out, a huge landslide had closed the main road to the Monteverde community from Santa Elena and Cerro Plano. Another landslide on the route down to the San Luis valley had cut off the only other way into or out of Monteverde — and other landslides had also trapped all those within the San Luis valley.As the surreal Friday wore on, more and more of the pieces of the story began to fill in, due in part to the great work of Radio Zona Alta Monteverde. In addition to the landslide, the main road to Monteverde proper had also been washed out by a creek-turned-river. Furthermore, pools and dams located higher up in the mountains were feared to be poised to burst, which could then further destroy much of lay below, including Monteverde and San Luis. Many were concerned about the elderly and invalid that might need medical attention, or at least potable water. All were also advised to stay away from the site of the landslide and new river cut-out lest they fall victim to another landslide.Power began to return to much of the zone on Saturday. Our local team of firemen set up a line to get those that need to flee Monteverde out. With the return of power eventually came working phone lines for many in the zone. It soon became clear that the damage to property and roadways was severe, but at least in our general area, the population itself had emerged intact.Word began to filter back that the Quaker community was meeting regularly, sharing resources and information. When phone service and internet returned at least in part to Monteverde on Saturday night and Sunday, multiple residents commented that they were lucky to be part of the best-organized, best-supplied, most resilient community around. I agree, and also believe this description fits the larger community in and around the district. A view of the washed-out road to Monteverde from the Cerro Plano side. Marshall Cobb / The Tico TimesI am writing this on Monday. Fortunately, we have had little rain of consequence in the past few days. Many of the landslides on the roadways have been cleared. Businesses are open. At least one route down the mountain is open, Route 605, and trucks are coming up with fuel and food.Using oversized equipment provided by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), the landslide cutting off Monteverde from the world has largely been cleared. The chasm created by the new river path remains, but I and others found out this morning that a convoluted footpath does exist where those not afraid of mud and debris can get across the river. It is not exactly safe. It requires, to use a local expression, a MacGyver.Rumors abound of a Bailey Bridge which can soon be installed across the span. I will happily cross that particular bridge when it exists, but will continue to wear my mud boots just in case the footpath remains the primary option. Our boys, who attend the Quaker School, are not-so-secretly hoping that it takes at least a few weeks, perhaps as long as a year, to build a bridge. Behind these destroyed houses is the footpath that can be used to cross the river. Les PageIt will take quite a while for those in this region, and the entire west coast of Costa Rica, to regain their footing both physically and financially. October is generally the worst month for tourism in our area, as few care to come for daily doses of rain. With access to Monteverde blocked for some time yet, the jewel of the eco-tourism business in the area — the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve — is closed. Many other businesses and tourist attractions in the greater area are also damaged or inaccessible. This issue extends beyond tourism dollars as it also affects teachers, farmers, workers at the Cheese Factory, and just about everyone in the zone.When we left the Gulf Coast of the United States over two years ago, I thought I had moved on from the time when hurricanes and tropical storms could turn my life upside down. As it turns out, 1,500 meters of elevation is not nearly high enough. My disappointment in Mother Nature is, however, more than offset by the fact that my family and I are fortunate to once again be surrounded by wonderful, resourceful, friendly people.Marshall Cobb and his family moved to the Monte Verde district in 2015. He takes breaks from working on his novel by posting blogs on his website and can be reached at: Firefighters helped those who wished to evacuate the area. Beverly Frannea Facebook Comments Related posts:Bike rides with Paul Smith – and other dangerous pursuits ‘Pura vida’ on a mission: Monteverde recovers from Tropical Storm Nate Monteverde: You can get there from here, but you’ll need some pura vida Long road ahead for relief efforts in Costa Rica’s Southern Zonelast_img read more

Journalist kidnapped in northern Mexico

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican authorities say masked gunmen have kidnapped a police-beat reporter in the northern state of Sonora.State prosecutors’ spokesman Jose Larrinaga says reporter Marcos Antonio Avila Garcia was at a car wash in Ciudad Obregon when he was kidnapped Wednesday by three people with automatic rifles.Larrinaga said Friday no ransom had been requested for the reporter, who covered police news for Diario Sonora de la Tarde and El Regional. Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Larrinaga says police are investigating whether drug traffickers took Avila. He added that the 39-year-old reporter often wrote about organized crime.Mexico has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists in recent years as drug cartels fight bloody turf battles.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img Parents, stop beating yourself up New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories last_img read more

Bedouins free 2 US tourists abducted in Egypt

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressEL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) – Two American tourists abducted by Bedouins in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula were released unharmed Thursday following negotiations between local tribesmen and the kidnappers, a security official said.Security officials said the Bedouins snatched the two men early Thursday as they were traveling by car from Dahab to Nuweiba, resort towns on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. How men can have a healthy 2019center_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy The two men, in their 30s, were riding in a rented car when they were stopped at a roadblock by protesting Bedouins, who were demanding release of one of their tribesmen held by security over a drug trafficking charge, the officials said.Their local driver was released. He informed authorities of the kidnapping.The head of South Sinai security, Maj. Gen. Mahmoud el-Hifnawi, told The Associated Press that the two men, were at the local police station after hours of negotiations between tribesmen and the kidnappers. He said they were in good health.Another security official said the authorities later released the tribesman accused of drug trafficking.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.This was a rare instance of authorities accepting the demands of kidnappers.Sinai has seen a series of kidnappings as Bedouins try to pressure authorities to release detained relatives or improve basic services. The kidnap victims have usually been released unharmed.Relations between the Bedouins and police have been strained for years following arrest raids on their community after terrorist attacks in Sinai in the past decade.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

Egypt pulls TV spots warning about foreigners

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories “Nothing has changed and the … campaign has been one of the state intelligence tricks” to turn the public against the revolution, said Bothiana Kamel, a TV presenter and activist. She recounted incidents during uprising when she said people would attack her, calling her “khawaga” or “foreigner.”She said that when she attends conferences in the United States, she is accused by Egyptian media as an “American agent.”Since the ruling generals took power in February 2011, there have been several instances of bands of self-styled spy-catchers arresting and turning over foreigners to authorities, accusing them of “subversive” activities such as photographing streets or bridges or talking with protesters at Tahrir Square.The military arrested Israeli-U.S. citizen Ilan Grapel on suspicion of spying, expelled an Iranian diplomat, also for alleged spying, and repeatedly warned Egyptians about the “foreign hands” seeking to undermine their country.While activists have taken to Twitter and Facebook to voice their anger at the announcements, many have also joked about what they saw as a crude campaign.“I met a spy today, dressed like a taxi driver. He kept asking me where he should take me, and I never told him, of course! But I was late for work,” one quipped on Twitter. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help It is not clear which state agency ordered production of the TV announcements. But some pointed the finger at Egypt’s security agencies, including intelligence and military intelligence, which have a long-standing xenophobic culture. The agencies have remained largely intact after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in the uprising, which left power in the hands of a military council led by Mubarak’s defense minister of 20 years.Ahmed Maher, co-founder of April 6, one of the youth groups that steered the uprising, described the spots as “deceptive to spread fear of conspiracies and tarnish the image of the revolutionaries by indicating that dealing with foreign journalists leads to leaking dangerous information about Egypt.”Last year, Maher’s group was accused by the military rulers of having a “foreign agenda” and of receiving funding and training from abroad, claims that suggest plotting against the country with foreign help.Maher demanded parliament summon Minister of Information Anis, a former army general, over what he called the “sneaky” messages. Anis, according to the media official, asked “media experts” to examine the content and decide whether to ban the announcements. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. One opens with a blond-haired young man scanning a cafe while a narrator says:“From the beginning, he knows why he is here and sets up his goal. He won’t have to spend much time getting to know the people in the place.” The foreigner then spots three young Egyptians and heads over to them, saying in broken Arabic: “I love you so much.” The narrator says: “Our generosity has no limits,” as one of the Egyptians stands up, shakes hands and invites the foreigner to sit with them.It goes on to show the visitor smiling slyly and narrowing his eyes while listening intently to the Egyptians complaining about the economy and talking about overhearing a plot against the ruling military council in the subway. The narrator warns Egyptians not to share with outsiders their woes about the economy or political situation.Both spots close with: “Every word comes with a price. A word can save a nation.”Claims of a “meddling foreign hand” found resonance among many Egyptians during and after the uprising. The revolt was driven by youthful activists who relied heavily on social networking sites.But some among the wider public have mixed feelings about foreigners and suspect the United States, Israel and others are scheming against their nation and Islam, the faith of most Egyptians. At the same time, they worry about losing the country’s main source of income, tourism.center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s government has pulled TV public service announcements that warned against talking to foreigners because they might be spies after critics charged the spots fueled xenophobia and aimed to tarnish those behind last year’s uprising.The two spots ran on state and private television stations for a few days before Minister of Information Ahmed Anis ordered them off the air, a media official said Sunday. The ruling military and state media have stoked anti-American sentiment before during the transition to democratic rule, accusing Americans of backing the uprising even as Egypt continued to receive more than $1 billion dollars in annual aid from the United States.Last July, a state-run magazine cover depicted new U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson holding a burning wad of dollars to the wick of a bomb wrapped in an American flag. The headline read: “The ambassador from hell who lit a fire in Tahrir.” Cairo’s Tahrir Square was the birthplace of the anti-Mubarak uprising.That was the beginning of a wider crackdown on U.S.-funded democracy groups, whose employees have been formally charged with using illegal foreign funding to foment unrest in Egypt. Troops stormed offices of a number of such groups, including four American nonprofit groups.In all, 43 pro-democracy workers were referred to trial but under heavy U.S. pressure, six Americans were allowed to leave the country. One of them was Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.They are still being tried in absentia along with some Egyptian employees.During the uprising, foreigners _ especially journalists _ were targeted, beaten up by citizens or snatched by plainclothes security agents. State TV at the time aired alleged phone conversations with witnesses who said protesters were paid in euros and infiltrated by foreigners. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   last_img read more

Indian man unrepentant after beheading daughter

first_imgPolice said Singh, a marble miner, accused his daughter of bringing dishonor to the family and making it hard to find husbands for her two unmarried sisters.Women wailing in grief lined the dusty road of the village in Rajasthan state as a procession carried Manju Kanwar’s remains to her funeral pyre. As in many north and west Indian villages, the women, including her mother and four sisters, were not allowed to attend the funeral.Rapidly modernizing India faces increasing social clashes as youths resist traditions like arranged marriage or limits on women venturing outside their parents’ or husbands’ homes, especially in conservative rural areas. Some of these conflicts have led to women or young couples being lynched by village kangaroo courts. But such a brutal punishment by a father is relatively rare in a country of 1.2 billion people.Dungarji residents condemned Singh’s actions as extreme. They said that Singh, his shirt soaked in blood, had carried his daughter’s head through the village, describing what he’d done to neighbors.A coroner stitched Kanwar’s head onto her body for the funeral. About 100 men, many of them relatives wearing ceremonial Rajput warrior clan turbans, surrounded her muslin-wrapped body, and her brother lit the funeral pyre. Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology “He told me that he took the sword out, and when the daughter was all alone in the house he beheaded her with a single stroke and the head fell on the ground,” said Narayan Singh, a distant relative.He said he persuaded Singh to surrender, and took him by motorcycle to a police station 5 kilometers (2 miles) away.“It was a ghastly sight,” officer Ranjit Singh said, describing the father sitting in the station’s waiting room holding the head in one hand and the sword in the other. “Oghad admitted immediately that he killed his daughter because she had earned a bad name for the family.”Police described Kanwar’s recent life as difficult and unorthodox for the traditional community of about 1,000 just outside the Rajasthani tourist town of Udaipur.She left her husband from an arranged marriage two years ago and moved back home to live with her parents. She recently began seeing several men which “disgusted” her father, deputy police superintendent Umesh Ojha said.“Oghad said he was fed up with the lifestyle of his daughter,” Ojha said.When Manju eloped with one man two weeks ago, her father forced her to return on Sunday and killed her. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressJAIPUR, India (AP) – A father in northwestern India remained unrepentant after beheading his daughter with a ceremonial sword in a rage over her relationships with men, police said.The man surrendered at a police station, carrying the head in one hand and the bloodied sword in the other, police said Tuesday. Oghad Singh, 46, was charged with murder.Residents of Dungarji village expressed shock as they performed the last rites for the 20-year-old woman, who was killed Monday. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates India is considered one of the harshest places in the world for women, with female infanticide and child marriage still common.The U.N.’s gender inequality index places India second to last, above Saudi Arabia, based on labor, reproductive health, education and politics. The index does not consider issues of violence.(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 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

False alarm Smokers aid behind UK bus incident

first_imgAssociated PressLONDON (AP) – False alarm: British police said Thursday that reports of suspicious activity on a bus, which set off a massive emergency response and forced the closure of a section of a major highway in central England, were unfounded.The “culprit”? An electronic cigarette.Armed police evacuated passengers from the bus and bomb disposal units, ambulances and fire engines descended on the Weeford toll plaza of the M6 highway in the West Midlands, 116 miles (187 kilometers) north of London, after the initial reports Thursday. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The sweeping emergency response came just weeks before the July 27-Aug. 12 Olympics are due to be held in the British capital.But several hours later, Staffordshire police said that the scene was safe and no suspects were in custody.The force said it had received a “genuine report” from a member of the public about vapor escaping from a bag on the bus, which upon investigation turned out to be a an electronic cigarette _ a device that aims to help smokers quit.“We can now confirm that, whilst this was a genuine security alert, the significant concerns reported to us were unfounded,” the force said.It apologized for any inconvenience caused by the security response, saying it hopes people understand its duty to ensure public safety.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Analysis No easy path to peace in Colombia

first_imgAssociated PressBOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has claimed to have “the key to peace” in his pocket since assuming the presidency two years ago in a nation afflicted by an internal conflict for nearly a half century.Now he’s pulled it out. Santos announced in a brief televised address on Monday that “exploratory talks to seek an end to the conflict” are under way with Latin America’s oldest and most potent rebel band, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Four benefits of having a wireless security system But hostilities have not ceased, and Santos said Monday that “operations and the military’s presence on every centimeter of national territory will continue.”No Colombian officials have confirmed whether, as the Venezuelan-based Telesur TV network reported, a pre-agreement was signed in Havana on Monday to begin talks in Norway in October.The FARC has not specified what it would seek in talks. Even its ideology is unclear. It has called for a more equal distribution of wealth but has shied away from the Marxist rhetoric it used in Cold War days.Santos’ announcement has Colombians buzzing with high hopes for peace.“The time is now, now or never. Dialogue is the only path that’s left,” Omar Rodriguez, a 40-year-old produce wholesaler in Bogota, said Tuesday. “In war there are no winners. Everyone loses.”Yet there are skeptics.Alfredo Rangel, who was national security adviser to then President Ernesto Samper in the mid-1990s when the FARC were at their military height, is among them.“It would have been preferable if these dialogues were initiated with an indefinite cease-fire, unilateral and definitive on the FARC rebels’ part,” he said. “The idea of dialogue in the midst of confrontation is an idea whose weaknesses have been evident, its limitations bringing increases in violence.” Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Kidnappings and murders have dropped progressively. Homicides, for instance, have fallen from 67 murders for every 100,000 Colombians in 1996, when the FARC controlled nearly half the countryside, to 36 per 100,000 people last year.The FARC, a peasant-based movement rooted in internecine 1950s political bloodletting known as “La Violencia,” also lost support abroad, with the European Union joining the United States in deeming it an international terror group.The murderous far-right militias created in the 1980s by ranchers and drug barons to counter FARC kidnapping and extortion have also been weakened. Blamed for more than 50,000 killings, they are now largely gone, having demobilized under Uribe. He extradited most of their top leaders to the United States, where they were wanted for drug trafficking.Peace gestures have been made by both sides.In February, the FARC said it was halting ransom kidnappings. In June, Colombia’s congress passed a “peace framework” law setting parameters for amnesty and pardons for rebel commanders. And Santos has vowed to return land stolen mainly by far-right militias to Colombia’s internally displaced, who number in the hundreds of thousands. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day One factor surely on the minds of FARC leaders is Hugo Chavez.The U.S.-bashing president of neighboring Venezuela has long quietly provided top rebel leaders with refuge, Colombian officials have said. Chavez is up for re-election Oct. 7 and faces his stiffest challenge since first winning office in 1998. He also underwent treatment for an unspecified cancer in Havana and his long-term prognosis is unknown.How much the FARC’s fate is entwined with Chavez’s remains unclear, however.The movement has, after all, outlasted the end of the Cold War by more than two decades.___Vivian Sequera is Associated Press news editor in Bogota, Colombia and has reported on Colombia’s conflict since 1991. Frank Bajak, AP’s chief of Andean news based in Lima, Peru, has covered Colombian affairs since the late 1990s.___Vivian Sequera on Twitter: Bajak on Twitter: (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Confirming the long-rumored talks after a crescendo of media reports, Santos gave no details about what would be the fourth serious attempt since the early 1980s to negotiate an end to the government’s conflict with an insurgency founded when he was 13 years old.It is a conflict whose roots are as complicated as the prospects for its resolution.The last peace effort ended in disaster in 2002, after three years of talks in a Switzerland-sized safe haven ceded by then-President Andres Pastrana. The rebels, known by their Spanish-language initials FARC, never agreed to a cease-fire. Nor did they stop kidnappings for ransom or trafficking in cocaine.Much has changed since.A U.S.-backed military buildup called Plan Colombia launched in 2000 morphed from counternarcotics to largely counterinsurgency, helping Pastrana’s successor, Alvaro Uribe, badly weaken the FARC. More than $8 billion in aid has flowed from Washington to Bogota since.The FARC’s ranks were roughly halved to about 9,000 today as the Colombian army’s newly created mobile brigades backed by Black Hawk helicopters and, later, U.S.-made unmanned aerial vehicles, made hiding more difficult.The rebels were largely pushed into Colombia’s least populated provinces, forced into classic guerrilla hit-and-run tactics. Since 2008, three senior FARC leaders have been slain in military raids, including top commander Alfonso Cano last year, and the rebels have freed all “political prisoners” while other captives have been rescued.last_img read more

Cannes Watch Cheryl FernandezVersini is pretty in pink

first_img Sponsored Stories CANNES, France (AP) — A fierce wind whipped the Croisette Friday, but it failed to ruffle Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who walked the red carpet for Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man” in a knockout pink gown from British couture house Ralph & Russo.The pop star, “X-Factor” judge and British tabloid favorite — formerly known as Cheryl Cole — pulled off a look whose diverse elements came together in almost classical harmony. In front, the thigh-split gown had a floral-covered plunging neckline, but that was outdone by the other side — backless, but with a train whose folds of draped fabric lent the look a hint of Greek statuary.— By Jill Lawless, © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 0 Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Singer Cheryl Ann Fernandez-Versini, left, waves to members of the public as she arrives for the screening of the film Irrational Man at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more