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CLIA reports cruise industry surpassed 2016 passenger projections

first_img Posted by Share Tags: CLIA, Trend Watch CLIA reports cruise industry surpassed 2016 passenger projections Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, May 24, 2017 WASHINGTON — The cruise industry had a better than expected year in 2016, says CLIA, reaching 24.7 million passengers globally and surpassing earlier ocean cruise passenger projections of 24.2 million.The good news doesn’t stop there – based on current new vessel launch schedule and expected regional deployment, another positive year of growth is anticipated for 2017, with a passenger forecast of 25.8 million.“One of the many reasons that the cruise industry continues to thrive is because of the personalization it is able to offer to its guests from around the world,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Never before have I been a part of or seen an industry that is so good at listening and reacting to what its customers want, and this is why we are going to see our industry continue to grow.”The top cruise destinations in 2016 were: the Caribbean (35%); Mediterranean (18.3%); Europe without Mediterranean (11.1%); Asia (9.2%); Australia/New Zealand/Pacific (6.1%); Alaska (4.2%); and South America (2.5%).More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsMuch of the industry’s growth can be attributed to the Asian market, which enjoyed a 38% increase from 2015. The increased capacity in the region, combined with travellers in this region going on shorter and more frequent cruises, has kept this marketplace at the top of emerging markets.Globally, the 2016 CLIA fleet was comprised of 458 ships and welcomed nine new ocean ships and 17 new river vessels for a total of 26 new ships. These new ships represent an additional 28,000 passenger capacity.last_img read more

New images of AmaMagna hint at ships dynamic take on river cruising

first_imgNew images of AmaMagna hint at ship’s “dynamic” take on river cruising Posted by Travelweek Group CALABASAS – New renderings have just been released of the new AmaMagna, AmaWaterways’ revolutionary new ship, and judging by the looks of it, passengers are in for an ultra-luxurious stay.The new images showcase the ship’s Main Restaurant, which features a spacious layout with floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for sightseeing along the Danube’s riverbanks. AmaWaterways also provided a first look at the Water Sports Platform at the rear of the ship, where complimentary tours will be offered on the intimate Sundowner vessel.Debuting in May 2019, AmaMagna is nearly double the width of traditional river cruise ships, though welcoming only 20% more guests to ensure general personal space. More than half of its 98 staterooms will be designated as suites that measure between 355 and 710 square feet. All staterooms and suites will feature full outside balconies, open seating areas and luxurious bathrooms complete with double sinks and walk-in showers. There’ll also be six Grand Suites and an Owner’s Suite with sizable bathrooms and spa-like tubs.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upIn addition to the main Restaurant, AmaMagna will boast three other dining venues: The Chef’s Table Restaurant, Al Fresco Restaurant, and Jimmy’s Wine Bar Restaurant, named in honour of the late Jimmy Murphy, one of AmaWaterways’ original cofounders.Guests will also be able to enjoy the expansive Zen Wellness Studio where they can participate in group classes led by a professionally trained Wellness Host, a juice bar and two massage rooms, a sun deck with a large heated pool, a whirlpool and pop-up sky bar. Also, exclusive to AmaMagna, the new Concierge Golf Program gives guests the chance to experience four top-level golf courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.“As the luxury river cruise market evolves, we plan to continue paving the way as an innovative industry leader. While this new concept has been in the works for us for some time, we believe that now is the perfect moment to introduce this very special ship,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-owner of AmaWaterways. “With more personal space, the freedom of multiple dining venues and exceptional accommodations, AmaMagna has been designed for those seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on river cruising as well as ocean cruisers accustomed to the luxury of more.”More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaItineraries on the AmaMagna include ‘Romantic Danube’, ‘Melodies of the Danube’ and ‘Christmas Markets on the Danube’.For more information go to AmaWaterways.com. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Tags: AmaWaterways << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

SeaWorld Allin with conservation and going strong with Park to Planet mission

first_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Park to Planet, SeaWorld TORONTO — There’s a lot more awareness in recent years of SeaWorld’s conservation work. But even the most dedicated SeaWorld fan – or SeaWorld-selling agent – might not realize just how committed SeaWorld is to helping animals across the globe. It’s the company’s mission and SeaWorld says it wants to inspire others to take action and join in its efforts to help save animals and the places they call home.It’s all part of SeaWorld’s ‘Park to Planet’ ethos, and it’s a driving force behind everything the company does.“Every day, SeaWorld educates and excites park guests, creating meaningful experiences,” says Travis Claytor, Corporate Director, Communications for SeaWorld Parks.SeaWorld has been a global leader in marine animal care and welfare, education, conservation, research and rescue for more than five decades. In those years SeaWorld has rescued more than 33,000 animals in need including those that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned.Not surprisingly, the SeaWorld rescue team is on call 24/7, 365 days a year, giving animals – many of them threatened or endangered – a second chance at life. And SeaWorld’s Animal Health and Rescue Center is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to provide the best possible care for ill or injured wildlife.While there’s never a slow week for rescue efforts, this year’s particularly powerful Karenia brevis algae bloom – better known as red tide – has kept the team in high gear.The Sunshine State’s beloved Florida manatees are herbivores and algae eaters and that makes them particularly vulnerable to red tide.The first manatee impacted by red tide arrived at SeaWorld in May. Working together with partners including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and as part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, SeaWorld’s critical care facility has taken in 15 red tide-affected manatees to date, while readying supplies and equipment for red tide related rescues and treatment in the coming months. Thirteen of those red tide manatees have survived thanks to their efforts.Throughout 2018 SeaWorld has helped rescued and cared for 64 manatees. It’s the highest number of manatee rescues ever in a single year – and there are still months to go.SeaWorld Orlando has also helped close to 2,000 sea turtles over the past 30 years. Last February, the Orlando rescue team returned 17 rehabilitated, endangered sea turtles to the Atlantic Ocean.Over the past 30 years SeaWorld has helped thousands of sea turtles, which often need help due to ocean pollution including discarded fishing line, hooks and plastic bags. Other challenges facing sea turtles include red tide and ‘cold stun’, a condition that often paralyzes sea turtles during the colder winter months.2018 © SeaWorld ParksSeaWorld is taking action in other ways too. Starting in 2011 SeaWorld eliminated the use of plastic shopping bags in the park’s gift shops. The company also recently announced the removal of all single-use plastic drinking straws and coffee stirrers.SeaWorld is also continuing to invest in more renewable energy, such as the recently launched solar array at Aquatica San Diego, which is expected to generate 80 to 90% of its power from solar energy. SeaWorld also lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by 9% from 2014 to 2017 and improved recycling of waste materials by more than 50% over the same period.There’s also SeaWorld and Busch Gardens’ education programs, along with its shark conservation partnership with marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey and a partnership with OCEARCH.The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is a non -profit organization that supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education around the world.  Since its creation in 2003, the Fund has granted more than $16.5 million to more than 1,250 projects on all seven continents across the globe.SeaWorld is all-in with conservation and going strong.Watch for more SeaWorld coverage in the Nov. 15 and Nov. 29 issues of Travelweek, focusing on recently unveiled attractions for 2018, and what’s coming for 2019.center_img Share Friday, October 26, 2018 SeaWorld: All-in with conservation and going strong with ‘Park to Planet’ missionlast_img read more

Breaking News Massive storm flash flooding in Colenso

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Former TRT officer jailed for murderFormer TRT officer jailed for murder

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Store water for unforeseen circumstances

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3 burnt to death in N11 crash Warning graphic content

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Choir school boy impresses in equestrian competition

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6yearold saved from drowning

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Arenal Report

first_imgNo related posts. Lake Arenal Quilters, currently comprised of six extremely talented women, recently completed sewing their 50th quilt. The nimble fingers of Mary Whaley, Allison Spencer, Penny Spingarn, Annie Welch, Janet Bradshaw and Ileana Montrosa have conveyed caring and brought happiness to many in the Arenal area and beyond.Imagine the heartwarming smiles on the faces of children living in orphanages in La Fortuna and San Carlos who were presented quilts, each with his or her name embroidered on them; or the small school near Guatuso, where 12 indigenous kindergartners each received a soft, warm quilt for naptime. The residents of El Hogar de los Ancianos in Tilarán now rest with beautiful quilts that also serve as lap blankets. The group welcomes anyone interested in quilting. Contact Mary Whaley at 2692-2194.The children of La Unión elementary school composed and signed a beautiful thank-you letter to everyone who participated in the events and labored to ensure the school would receive computers from the Costa Rican Education Ministry.Especially timely was the complete rewiring of the school kitchen’s electrical system by Rusty Holzheimer and Brendan Jones. Sands Spencer also contributed his expertise by installing new tile in the kitchen as well.Greivin González, manager of Hotel de Montaña Lago Arenal, has invited local residents to come and use the beautiful new swimming pool free of charge. It has a waterfall and king-sized Jacuzzi, and a separate pool is creatively designed for children, with its own fountain. The bar and restaurant facilities, which are integrated with the pool complex, are open for refreshments and delicious lunches. For more info, call 2468-8068.Last call on the spay/neuter clinic being held Sunday, May 20, in Tilarán at the Barrio el Carmen Communal. Cost per animal is {10,000 ($20). Donations and animal sponsorships are gratefully accepted. To schedule appointments, call Judy Reisman at 2695-6652.–William & Jean Priestjean_pri@msn.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Grupo Nación serves up a cooking school

first_imgWhat Sabores calls its classroom is actually a spacious kitchen with stainless steel and cutting-edge stoves, ovens and tools that make it seem more like a five-star restaurant than a school. It’s surrounded on three sides by large glass windows that allow visitors to watch gastronomy in progress. Still, the learning environment is intimate. Each class has a maximum of 12 students along with two instructors. “We don’t want big classes. Why? To facilitate better understanding, personalize the experience, and allow people to feel comfortable cooking,” Castiñeira said.Sabores offers classes for a wide range of people, from lifelong foodies to complete amateurs. For those who want the full experience, the school gives classes at three different levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. Three-hour classes are held once a week for eight weeks, and are available in morning, afternoon or night sessions at $480 for the whole shebang. Chefs from around the world with years of experience teach lessons on presentation, technique, flavor and the execution of a meal. The school also offers more intensive courses on specific international cuisines, which last only a couple of sessions and run between $120 and $220. Want to learn how to cook Lebanese food? Gluten-free treats? Want to understand the difference between Malbec and Cabernet? Whatever excites your palate, Sabores likely has a class to satisfy it. In addition to high-quality utensils, cooking technology and instruction, the school also provides students with the highest quality ingredients to make their meals. The cost includes the cleanup process as well: Students aren’t even required to do their own dishes.Despite all the frills, the school is currently unrecognized by the Education Ministry and lacks accreditation from the government. In fact, Coronado’s Culinary Trainer School is the only school in the country certified to produce professional chefs.For Sabores to become an accredited institution, it would need the support of the Education Ministry and certification from the Pan-American Forum of Gastronomic Professional Associations. This involves rigorous evaluation of the curriculum and the entire program, and requires all instructors to be certified.Sabores administrators acknowledge the school is geared toward those with a passion for gastronomy, not toward aspiring professional chefs. Still, the school seems to bode well for Costa Rica’s culinary competence.Whether its students go on to become certified chefs or not, Coronado sees it as a good thing. “Costa Rica is missing a lot, and Sabores is a necessary platform to increase gastronomic interests in the country,” she said. Facebook Comments Crab simmers with spices and vegetables. Lindsay Fendt From the print editionComing down the San José-Santa Ana highway toward Escazú, the bright, modern building is unmistakable. It’s giant letters spell out “Sabores,” announcing the entrance of a new gastronomy center and cooking school and perhaps a new chapter in culinary education in Costa Rica – a country not often associated with achievement in the kitchen. “We’re pretty bad and we need to raise the bar,” said Carolina Coronado, founder of the Culinary Trainer School, referring to the quality of the country’s restaurants. “Sabores has helped the people do this by awakening desires for the people who want to learn and be better in the kitchen.”Opened in early August, the Sabores Center of Gastronomy is also a final piece in the Sabores cooking empire, owned by Grupo Nación. Already behind a regular TV show, website and the most popular cooking magazine in the country (170,000 readers pick it up weekly), Sabores now has its own training ground. “We were missing the experience part,” Carlos Castiñeira, manager of the gastronomy center, said. “You can read about it and you can watch the show, but now you have the opportunity to live it.”The modern, two-story building contains one classroom and one auditorium that seats 36 students. Although it has no podium, it does feature a European-style kitchen, complete with top-of-the-line culinary technology. The kitchen also doubles as set for the occasional TV shoot.  No related posts.last_img read more

Presidents from Central America Mexico call for new regional drug policies

first_imgMEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Monday met with leaders of Belize, Costa Rica and Honduras to reiterate the need for new policies against drug trafficking, including the possible legalization of marijuana.Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with Calderón in the absence of Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina, unable to attend due to his country’s emergency following last week’s devastating earthquake.Following the meeting, Calderón acknowledged that international organized crime is still “the greatest threat” the region is facing.The presidents called for a special session in the United Nations General Assembly to be held no later than 2015 on the growing scourge of illicit drugs. Regional leaders hope “to assess the limitations of current drug policies.” Last week, the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington became the first political jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Mexican officials did not say why the presidents of Nicaragua and Panama, Daniel Ortega and Ricardo Martinelli, respectively, did not attend.The regional presidents also expressed their solidarity with Pérez Molina and victims of the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that shook Guatemala last Wednesday, killing 42. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rica promotes local universities at US fair

first_imgFour private Costa Rican universities this week are participating in the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) Fair in San Diego, California.The event takes place Tuesday through Saturday, and Tico universities are aiming to promote higher ed opportunities to 8,400 members of the association, according to Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), the agency that coordinated the country’s participation.Costa Rica is represented by the universities EARTH, UNIBE, ULACIT and Veritas.“Our country offers a variety of great programs,  security and also proximity to the United States. These benefits along with Costa Rica’s image as a tourist destination and natural beauty, makes us very attractive to NAFSA advisors that usually are seeking to offer U.S. students a holistic experience,” said PROCOMER’ Trade Promotion Manager Álvaro Piedra.Tico college advisers at the NAFSA event hope to establish alliances with colleges abroad. For that reason, the Costa Rican schools are presenting their information together in one stand under the slogan “Essential COSTA RICA,” and promoting the concept “Costa Rica: Widen your horizons, nurture your life.”Costa Rica is the eighth most popular spot in the world for U.S. students to study abroad and the most popular in Latin America, according to the latest data of the Institute of International Education. Piedra added that the fair’s main benefit for local universities will be to learn of the latest study abroad trends. Facebook Comments Related posts:Immigration Administration’s $100 fine for expired visas does not affect tourists, agency says Good news for travelers: Costa Rica’s airport exit tax (finally) will be added to ticket prices Guanacaste receives first tourist wave of Costa Rica’s high season Costa Rica’s country brand is the fastest growing in the Americaslast_img read more

As the FBAR deadline approaches heres what you need to know

first_imgRelated posts:Pioneer US economist uses data to take on homophobia Russia’s Putin in Cuba, Nicaragua to rekindle Latin America ties Snowdenfreude Colombia president supports allowing medical marijuana U.S. citizens and permanent residents with bank accounts abroad may have to report those accounts to the U.S. government by June 30, 2014. The report is on form FinCen 114, titled the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, sometimes called the FBAR. Many U.S. citizens and permanent residents have questions about their FBAR requirements. Hopefully, the answers below will help illustrate what is necessary.Who needs to file an FBAR?Answer: Any “U.S. person” with financial interest in or signature authority over bank or financial accounts located outside of the United States, if the value of the accounts exceeded $10,000.00 at any time during the year.That’s a bit of a mouthful. Can we break that down a bit? What is a “U.S. Person?”Answer: A U.S. person, for the purposes of the FBAR, means a U.S. citizen, a U.S. resident, or a domestic partnership, corporation, truest or estate.What is the difference between a “financial interest” in an account, or “signature authority” over an account?Answer: A financial interest in an account typically means ownership in the account. Your own personal bank account is an account you have financial interest in. If you own an account jointly with your spouse, you both have a financial interest in the account. A person with signature authority in an account can distribute money from the account, even if the person doesn’t own the account. An example of this would be someone who works for a business or charitable organization who is authorized to sign checks from the company bank account.The rules get more complicated if a title to an account is held by an agent, attorney, corporation, partnership or trust. If you fall into one of these situations, discuss things with an adviser.I have two accounts. None of them ever have $10,000.00 in them. Do I need to file an FBAR?Answer: Maybe. That’s where the “aggregate value” comes in. Aggregate value simply means we add the values of all your accounts together. Imagine that you have two accounts outside the United States, and each has $5,000.50 at the same time during the year. When these accounts are added together, they exceed $10,000.00, and an FBAR is required.I have accounts with Citibank in Costa Rica. Does this count as a foreign financial account even thought Citibank is a U.S. Bank?Answer: Yes, the law states that any financial account located outside of the U.S. must be reported, even if held at a branch of a U.S. institution, such as Citibank.What happens if I just decide not to do this?Answer: The IRS does not always impose the maximum penalty, but they are authorized by law to charge you a $10,000.00 penalty for each violation. If they decide it’s a willful violation, they can go after 50 percent of the value of the account for each year it is not reported. In some cases, this can get into the millions.Is this new? Did Obama do this?Answer: The FBAR comes from the Bank Secrecy Act, which was passed by congress in 1970 and signed into law by Richard Nixon. However, another confusing bank reporting law called FATCA was passed in 2010 and signed by the current president.Ross Lustman is an attorney and enrolled tax agent with U.S. Tax and Accounting, S.A. He lives in Costa Rica and offers tax services for expats. Reach him at ross@ustaxinternational.com.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Brazil builds climate tower in pristine Amazon jungle

first_imgRelated posts:Carbon neutrality won’t solve everything, environmentalists say A changing climate could be destroying Chile’s mummies With current rate of climate change, 23 percent of species in South America could face extinction, study finds The Guardian names Costa Rican journalist among ‘young climate campaigners to watch’ ahead of Paris 2015 SÃO SEBASTIÃO DO UATUMÃ, Brazil — Deep in the pristine Amazon jungle, Brazil’s newest skyscraper has a mission unlike any other: to save the world.The white and orange metal frame called Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, or ATTO, is a bold new tool in the push to understand climate change and the vital role of rain forests.At 325 meters, the ATTO is a meter higher than the Eiffel Tower and a good bit taller than London’s loftiest building, the Shard.But instead of the typical city din of honking horns and engines, the loudest noise around the skinny structure is the chatter of cicadas and tropical birds.Built in the Uatumã nature reserve, 350 kilometers from the city of Manaus and reachable only after hours of rough roads and a boat ride, the ATTO is seriously remote — and for the climate scientists that’s the point.“Being far from towns and man’s influence ensures we can collect relatively pure data,” said Meinrat Andrae, director of the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry, which is partnering with Brazilian research agency Inpa on the German-Brazilian funded project.The Amazon is seen as a big piece of the global warming puzzle, since trees are a key weapon in safely capturing destructive carbon gasses. And at 3,000 kilometers wide, the Amazon is the greatest of all rain forests, known to many as the lungs of the world.“Thanks to this tower we’ll be able to better understand the role of the Amazon, its effect on the local climate and also on the global climate,” said Antonio Ocimar Manzi, one of the Brazilian scientists.Fresh airRising far above even the mightiest Amazonian trees, the tower is a good place to swap the suffocating jungle heat for fresh air, as long as you don’t mind heights.Wearing a safety harness is compulsory as journalists are led 150 meters up.The observatory is the tallest of its kind, beating a similar structure known as ZOTTO in Russia’s Siberia region. And ATTO is in a geographical area that has come to symbolize the whole world’s struggle.Greenhouse gas emissions have rocketed since the second half of the 20th century, dangerously warming the globe, according to most scientists.Recommended: Costa Rican President Solís calls for regional bloc to push for climate change policyHealthy forests are one of the best ways to absorb the gasses. But deforestation for lumber or farming, a major issue in the Amazon, is a major cause of the gasses, since the stored up CO2 is released from the dead tree into the atmosphere.A worst case scenario predicted by some models foresees a vicious circle where global warming and drought kill so much of the Amazon that drought increases and the remains of the jungle became unsustainable, leading to even worse global warming.“The Amazon region is of global significance: it produces half of the word’s oxygen, impacts the water cycle through evaporation and stabilizes the climate,” the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry said.The tower, which cost about $7.4 million and consists of 15,000 pieces, was inaugurated last week, but won’t collect data until later in the year.The goal is to have ATTO, which links up with two smaller towers of 50 and 80 meters, running for 20 to 30 years to allow a longterm study of the effects of carbon gases. Its great height will be a big improvement on previous methods.“The 325 meters height allows the monitoring of an unprecedented atmospheric area of nearly 1,000 square kilometers,” the Brazilian government says.“This will fill holes in the monitoring and collection of data done by satellites and other instruments.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

President Solís meets with King Felipe VI in Spain

first_imgRecibimos a @NavasKeylor, invitado especial en el almuerzo oficial en el Palacio Real #GiraTrabajoEuropa pic.twitter.com/7rr31OqxH9— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) May 8, 2017 Related posts:President Solís to discuss migration, green energy with US Vice President Joe Biden Presidents Obama, Solís sign historic security donation for Costa Rica Costa Rica, Panama ask neighbors to help with stranded migrants President Luis Guillermo Solís to meet with U.S. Vice President Michael Pence Facebook Commentscenter_img President Luis Guillermo Solís began his first official visit to Spain on Monday and met with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and with King Felipe VI.Solís and First Lady Mercedes Peñas — a Madrid native who is soon to become a Costa Rican citizen — joined King Felipe and Queen Letizia at the Royal Palace in Madrid for an official lunch.The president’s agenda for the two-day visit includes bilateral meetings on cooperation, exports and investment issues.President Solís spoke about the unrest in Venezuela and vowed to support a political solution to the conflict. He said that it would be a tragedy if the situation “drags Venezuela into a civil war.”The president also talked about Nicaragua and said “it lacks a democratic regime,” and that this situation is hurting the already difficult relationship between the two countries.On Tuesday, Solís will meet with business sector leaders in search for more investment from Spain, currently one of Costa Rica’s top investors.Special guestReal Madrid’s goalie, Costa Rica’s National Team star Keylor Navas, also attended the lunch as special guest.At his entrance to the Palace, Solís greeted Navas with an informal Tico greeting: “Diay Keylor!” while he stretched his hand.See a video of Keylor Navas entrance to the palace: last_img read more

Images from a busy hot Election Day in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:New poll in Costa Rica: another small Fabricio lead, another statistical dead heat 5 keys to understanding Costa Rica as it faces new elections Election Eve in San Pedro, Costa Rica BREAKING: Carlos Alvarado wins 60.6 percent of vote with 90.6 of votes recorded in Costa Rica Flags, honking horns, a few protests, and excitement as candidates were glimpsed at interviews or polling stations around the Central Valley have made for an unusually active and colorful Easter Sunday in Costa Rica.Take a look: A crowd surrounds Carlos Alvarado. Carlos Madrigal / The Tico Times Candidate Fabricio Alvarado accompanied his wife, Laura Moscoa, when she voted early Sunday morning in Calle Fallas de Desamparados. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Lhuanys Bolaños voted from the Costa Rican Consulate in New York. She voted for Carlos Alvarado and said that based on her observation, turnout was lower today than on Feb. 4. Courtesy of Augusto Bolaños A child at a polling station in Puriscal. Francisco Cubillo / The Tico Times Correspondent Augusto Bolaños said the National Restoration Party lined up buses outside Sunday masses and evangelical services in the low-income neighborhood of La Carpio to transport them to polling stations as soon as church concluded. Augusto Bolaños / Vecinos Activos Candidate Fabricio Alvarado and his wife Laura Moscoa make their way through an enthusiastic crowd. Jonathan Jiménez / The Tico Times Carlos Alvarado contemplates a crowd in San José. Roberto Delgado Webb / The Tico Times People arrive at a polling station in San José on April 1, 2018. AFP Photo / Rodrigo Arangua A supporter of the presidential candidate for the National Restoration Party (PRN), Fabricio Alvarado, stands in front of electoral banners of the presidential candidate for the Citizen Action Party (PAC), Carlos Alvarado, outside a polling station in San Jose on April 1, 2018 during Costa Rica’s run-off election.Polling stations across Costa Rica opened early Sunday for a presidential election that has split the country between an ultra-conservative evangelical preacher who slams gay rights and a former minister from the center-left ruling party. Ezequiel Becerra / AFP Former President Abel Pacheco arrives to vote. Before the election, he said he would emit a blank vote on Election Day. Roberto Delgado Webb / The Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tens of thousands celebrate Pride 2019 in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Photos: Pride 2019 in San José, Costa Rica Government signs decrees improving LGBTQ rights in Costa Rica ‘Clerical error’ allows for same-sex couple to be wed in Costa Rica Gay rights across the globe: from marriage to the death penalty San José — Tens of thousands of people took to the streets Sunday afternoon to celebrate Costa Rica’s 10th annual Pride Parade.Among the participants was Costa Rica’s President, Carlos Alvarado, who marched holding a sign that read, “Never again will you walk alone.” President Alvarado marches at Pride 2019. Via Twitter.Costa Rica’s Supreme Court in August 2018 ruled that a ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional and gave parliament 18 months to amend the laws The Municipal Band of San José plays Lady Gaga at Pride 2019. Alejandro Zúñiga/ The Tico TimesPresident Alvarado announced last December new legislation to improve LGBTQ rights in Costa Rica.The decrees include recognition of trans gender identities on residency (DIMEX) cards and declare hormone treatment “in the public interest,” which allows patients to receive the appropriate comprehensive care via the country’s health services. Alejandro Zúñiga / The Tico TimesWe’ll have plenty more photos throughout the day, so stay tuned! Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Have you ever thought about a career as a pilot

first_imgWith the deadline looming, Aer Lingus has made a final call for people to apply for its fully funded Future Pilot Programme 2019.The Aer Lingus Future Pilot Training Programme will start in November 2019. It takes approximately 18 months to complete and consists of a number of phases, involving classroom study and flight training. The training will take place at Flight Training Europe (FTE) in Jerez, Spain.The training includes six months of ground school followed by six months basic flying on single and then multi-engine aircraft. The future pilots return to Dublin to complete further training including a type rating, simulator sessions and safety training. Following their successful completion; the pilots receive their wings and commence flying the airline’s fleet of Airbus A320 and new A321 Neo LR aircraft on our short-haul and transatlantic networks.Prospective Aer Lingus Future Pilots do not require previous flying experience or a degree and will need to display maturity, commitment, flexibility, motivation and a willingness to accept responsibility. Excellent communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and teamwork skills are essential qualities, combined with a good appreciation of our guests’ expectations.Aer Lingus is currently taking applications for the Future Pilot Training Programme on www.aerlingus.com/careers. The closing date is Monday 8 July 2019 at 4 pm.last_img read more

First Digital Surgery Unit in Ireland opens at the Mater Hospital

first_imgIreland’s first Digital Surgery Unit was officially opened at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital yesterday.This unit will break new medical ground through world-class research into future modes of human-machine collaboration in the surgical theatre. By researching the integration of medicine with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), and by including data analysts as part of surgical teams, this work aims to create new ways to support surgeons to make better decisions, thus promising better outcomes for patients.More broadly, this research is intended to contribute to a deeper bank of knowledge which can then be used to improve the patient experience for the next person undergoing such surgery. This project builds on the field-leading surgical practice which is already established at the Mater, where enhanced digital visualisation assists in precision and safety in colorectal cancer surgery. Personalising operations in this way has already resulted in better care for patients.Colorectal surgery and cancer are the initial focus of the Digital Surgery Unit. Each year in Ireland, more than 2,700 men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, making it the second most common cancer after breast cancer for women, and the second most common cancer after prostate cancer for men. Surgery is the best chance of cure for this cancer; however, surgery has some potential dangers given the risks of infection post-surgery and also risks of damage to important organs such as the bladder or reproductive organs.The research team, made up of collaborators from the Mater Hospital, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and IBM Research Ireland, brings together leading research expertise in medicine, dye chemistry, computer science and mathematics with surgical excellence in the Mater. Currently, safe medical dyes, amplified by a surgical video camera, are used to help the surgical team assess the health of tissues surrounding a cancerous area.The next step is augmented cancer tissue identification and comprehension for improved precision in excision, which will help in the repair of the bowel after its removal. The research team will investigate biophysical models, applied mathematics, video analytics and AI alongside novel dye technologies to progress real-time assistive technologies for improved, individualised precision during surgery.Spearheaded by Professor Ronan Cahill, Full Professor of Surgery and specialist in colorectal surgery at the Mater, the Digital Surgery Unit is funded through a government grant from the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund. €5.7 million is being made available from the government to support this study “The Future of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment” and a further €2 million from industry.Prof Ronan Cahill said: “Decision-making in surgery is complex, but the Digital Surgery Unit is helping surgeons to analyse huge amounts of data in real-time in order to make the best decisions possible for their patients. This, in turn, leads to maximum accuracy and efficiency ensuring the best cancer clearance which is good for both the patient and their surgical team. Also around one in ten operations of this magnitude have complications and unfortunately, we do lose some patients as a result of such surgical complications. Digital Surgery usage has already ensured for us greater safety in recovery by personalising the decisions to each individual patient and their tissues”.Gordon Dunne, CEO of the Mater said: “The initiative is truly a public-private partnership, bringing together computer programmers and mathematicians in UCD and IBM, chemists in RCSI who can make smarter, more sensitive dyes for use in tests, engineers and information designers in UCD and NCAD and the surgical teams in the Mater who are putting all of these technologies to use for the benefit of our patients.”Dr Pól Mac Aonghusa, Senior Manager from IBM Research – Ireland said: “It is very exciting to be collaborating with the Mater, RCSI and others on this project. This joint research programme is an important first step towards integrating advances in artificial intelligence into surgery. I am especially pleased that the unique expertise to do this is coming together here in Ireland.”Prof Oscar Traynor from RSCI said: “This Digital Surgical Unit showcases leadership in cutting edge research, AI and medicine made possible through collaboration with government, the private sector and one of Ireland’s most acute surgical facilities at The Mater.”The Digital Surgical Unit will initially be focused on colorectal surgery. However, part of the research focus will also be on developing the technology so that others can benefit from it, including in other fields such as liver and lung cancer surgery as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery, among others.last_img read more