Rail Europe has shared that four new highspeed ra

first_imgRail Europe has shared that four new high-speed rail projects are currently under construction and will be due to open from as early as the European spring this year.Providing higher efficiency and better quality services to which rail travellers are growing accustomed, rail carriers across Europe are continuing to upgrade their fleet and services to meet increasing passenger demands and expectations.These four new train services will add to the continent’s expanding portfolio of existing high-speed services, with the latest addition being the Gotthard Express in Switzerland, which started operations in December 2016. Rail Europe says these services will no doubt create even more demand for rail travel in Europe, for not only will travellers enjoy faster and more comfortable train journeys, but they will also be able to travel further and still spend quality time indulging in local experiences.Spring in France will see the services of the new Paris-Rennes begin operation, reducing travel time between the two cities to 1:25 hour, 30 minutes shorter than the current service.Then from mid-year, the new Paris-Bordeaux high-speed service will save travellers an hour of travelling time from the current three-hour journey.In Germany, Berlin and Munich will be brought closer together with their new high-speed connection service scheduled to start in December. The direct connection will travel at 300 kilometres per hour, shortening the journey to under four hours from the current six.Finally, in 2018, Spain will introduce the world’s fifth largest, third deepest and the second most complex tunnel, “Variente de Pajares”, which will link Madrid to Asturias via the cities of León, Oviedo and Gijon. Journeys on the current route will be shortened by about two hours.In addition to the increasing number of local rail commuters in Europe, Rail Europe reports that the four million-plus international travellers using the same train services each year when touring the continent continues to rise as well. Globally, the company enjoys an average of 7% increase in rail pass and ticket sales each year.last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Rocco Forte Hotels fo

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterRocco Forte Hotels, founded in 1997 by Sir Rocco Forte and sister, Olga Polizzi, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the family-owned hotel group. Last year, Sir Rocco announced plans to double the size of the company in the next 5 years. Just 1 year on, this vision is well underway with the addition of 3 hotels to the group taking the number of hotels from 10 to 13.A hotel in Shanghai will open in 2019, constituting the group’s first move into the Asia Pacific market. The newly built Rocco Forte hotel will take centre stage at the Longhua International Aviation Service Centre, a new urban complex in Shanghai’s Xuhui Riverside area known as West Bund. Rocco Forte Hotels is the exclusive luxury international hotel provider to the project, having been selected by the founders, Longhua International.The new modern area will span 7.2 hectares, with an overall floor space of 510,000 square metres dedicated to business and government office spaces, retail and fashion outlets, cultural amenities such as theatres, and other landscaped recreational spaces. The hotel will take over the top 15 floors of the newly created tallest building of the development and will include around 240 rooms and suites, all with views of the city, with a swimming pool and spa on the 52nd floor.Sir Rocco has also announced that a second Rocco Forte hotel will open in Rome in 2019, following the ongoing success of the Hotel de Russie, the renowned Rocco Forte Hotels property in the city. Rocco Forte Hotels will redevelop Hotel De La Ville in partnership with the real estate division of Reale Group. Perched at the summit of the Spanish Steps, in the very heart of the city, the new hotel will have 105 rooms and echo Hotel de Russie and the other Rocco Forte Hotels in levels of comfort and luxury, with design by Tomasso Ziffer and Olga Polizzi.Further announcements of developments will be made throughout the anniversary year of 2017–2018.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter United Airlines is exp

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterUnited Airlines is expanding enhancements to its boarding at gates in airports around the world. The updated better boarding process gives customers more space at the gate, less time waiting in line and improved boarding information to create a less stressful environment.“The boarding process was one of the top areas customers told us they wanted improved,” said Sarah Murphy, Vice President of Global Operations Strategy, Planning and Design at United. “We listened to customers and employees as we tested a variety of processes on thousands of flights until we found a better boarding process that results in less time spent waiting in lines, improved communication and a better way to recognise our Premier® customers while balancing out the number of passengers in each boarding group.”The improvements start with reducing the number of boarding lanes from five to two, giving customers added space, more time to relax and less time spent in line. With more time, passengers can enjoy a nearby United Club or lounge, or airport restaurants and shops before their flight. United app users will also receive a new alert when boarding has begun for their flight, making it easier to know when to make their way to the gate. In the future, United will expand these notifications to text messages. Digital displays in the gate area also keep customers informed with updated helpful boarding information.United’s enhanced boarding also provides an upgraded experience for some of the airline’s top MileagePlus members. United’s MileagePlus Premier 1K customers, who previously boarded in group one, will now be invited to pre-board, and United’s MileagePlus Premier Gold customers will also move up in the boarding process from group two to group one. These changes not only give these customers more time to settle into their seats, but also help balance out the number of customers in each of the airline’s five boarding groups. United is also expanding its military pre-boarding group from uniformed military members to also include all active duty military members, to even better recognise those serving. Qualifying United credit card holders will continue to receive priority boarding in group two.United started testing a variety of boarding concepts in the fall of 2017, soliciting feedback from customers and employees along the way. After testing these changes at numerous airports, United received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers and employees who experienced the better boarding process. United began rolling out aspects of this process, including updated signage at select airports across its network, earlier this year, putting it into effect at all gates at Los Angeles International Airport in February. Beginning September 18, the better boarding will appear at over 1,000 gates across the globe.For more information on better boarding visit the United Hub. Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter AmaWaterways represent

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAmaWaterways (represented by APT in Australia) will add a new ship to its European fleet on 1 July 2020, the AmaSiena. The 156-guest ship will sail seven various itineraries that include 10 and 11-day options. Aboard the AmaSiena, guests will visit iconic cities, historical villages and spectacular vineyard regions along the Rhine, Main, Moselle and Danube rivers.Like her sister ships, AmaMora (2019), AmaLea (2018) and AmaKristina (2017), AmaSiena will feature connecting staterooms, generous personal space, luxury amenities and a variety of dining choices; including, AmaWaterways’ signature regionally-inspired cuisine in the Main Restaurant and the wine-paired tasting menu in The Chef’s Table Restaurant.“The popularity of river cruising continues to rise, and with the introduction of AmaSiena, we’re happy to be bringing more of our brand of personalised, luxury river cruising to our guests,” said Rudi Schreiner, President and Co-founder of AmaWaterways. “When she debuts in 2020, AmaSiena will feature the exceptional cuisine, variety of active shore excursions, world-class service and of course, some innovative touches that travellers have come to expect each time we introduce a new ship to our fleet.”AmaSiena will feature 78 staterooms, the majority of which will include AmaWaterways’ exclusive twin balconies – offering panoramic views from a French balcony and a Step-Out balcony. She also has four suites (32.5-square metres), six pairs of connecting staterooms and 12 triple occupancy staterooms designed for multi-generational families. Additional amenities include a heated Sun Deck swimming pool with a swim-up bar, invigorating classes led by a trained Wellness Host, a fitness room, a fleet of bicycles and massage and beauty salon services. Guests can also enjoy complimentary Entertainment-On-Demand, high-speed Wi-Fi and “Sip & Sail” happy hour.“We are excited to have a beautiful new ship like AmaSiena with many cruises through one of my personal favourite areas along the Moselle river,” said Kristin Karst, the company’s Executive Vice President and Co-Founder. “AmaSiena will offer the perfect combination that our guests treasure: incredible food and wine served up alongside thoughtful tours and active adventures delivered in a relaxed family-like setting. We like to think of it as healthy indulgence delivered with a genuine smile allowing travellers of all ages to create long-lasting vacation memories.”When she debuts in July 2020, AmaSiena will sail a wide variety of popular itineraries, but highlights include the 10-night Rhine & Moselle Delights and 11-night Rhine & Moselle Fairytales between Amsterdam and Basel. Both trips give guests the opportunity to explore the Middle Age castles and spectacular vineyards that line the banks of the Moselle river at their leisure.Images featured are of AmaLea.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter As part of its 2020 col

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAs part of its 2020 collection of extraordinary small group journeys, Abercrombie & Kent have released the new ‘Cape to Cairo’, one of six limited-edition adventures for the intrepid explorer. Led by an expert guide, the journey offers a balance of local activities and educational experiences and the opportunity for self-discovery and time at leisure.Cape Town natural wonders will amazeThe epic 23-day journey traverses the continent, from Cape Town to the Egyptian capital introducing quintessential experiences along the way. Guests will experience Cape Town from many different perspectives, including a birds-eye view while riding a cable car up Table Mountain to admire the breathtaking panoramic views. The trip continues in an iconic road trip along the Atlantic coast, past beautiful beaches, with the chance to marvel at local wildlife such as the rare bontebok, eland and Cape mountain zebra and get up close to the adorable, but endangered, jackass penguins at Boulders beach.Travellers will experience some of the country’s leading vineyards on an exploration of the Cape Winelands. Meander through Stellenbosch admiring the charming Cape Dutch architecture of Franschhoek and Paarl, and taste some of the finest wines South Africa has to offer.The adventure continues, with an amazing walking tour of the impressive Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Get up close to the thundering cascades, marvel at the volume of water and admire the dancing rainbows.Departing Zimbabwe and flying into Kenya, travellers will spend their days on immersive safari encounters witnessing natural marvels: a pride of lion stalking its prey; a leopard retrieving its kill; sparring wildebeest; or perhaps herds of elephant meandering along ancient trails.Experience the historical wonders of EgyptLeaving the vast plains of the Cape behind, the second part of the journey will see guests absorbing the historical treasures of Cairo. Travelling the Nile on a luxury cruise ship, Tour Directors and Egyptologists share their knowledge as travellers disembark to explore the city’s impressive natural and constructed wonders.Explore the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, the Mighty Pyramids, the spectacular Sphynx, the legendary Luxor Temple and the Valley of the Kings, marvelling at the impressive structures steeped in history. Farewelling the adventure with a sunset dinner on the Nile, after days spent immersed in awe-inspiring architecture and natural wonders, the ‘Cape to Cairo’ journey is truly an adventure like no other.Prices start from $35,990 per person.All A&K Limited Edition Small Group Journeys are now available to book online with confirmation issued within 24 hours of receipt of deposit.For more information on the itinerary, click here.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

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Related Online travel outlook more optimistic than

first_img RelatedOnline travel outlook more optimistic than feared, says SkyscannerSkyscanner traffic grows 32% despite Hitwise flight search downturn reportWeakling Pound Draws More Foreign Tourists to UK says SkyscannerThe battering of the British pound by the strong euro and US dollar is drawing more visitors to British shoresSummer travel trends: winners and losers of British tourist trafficSkyscanner reveals this summer’s fastest growing destinations for British holidaymakers The strengthening dollar, the credit crunch and recession woes have led to a 15% fall in UK-USA flight search traffic, reports Skyscanner.In previous years, there has been an increase in flight searches to the USA at this time of year with many travellers heading to New York or Minneapolis to do their Christmas shopping, taking advantage of a strong pound to bag a bargain. The States have also been a popular ski destination, with world class resorts, reliable snow and good value food and accommodation on offer.However, while flight search traffic remains high on the Skyscanner site, over the last month there has been a 15% fall in searches for UK-USA flights, suggesting that the credit crunch and the weakening pound have finally taken their toll on British travellers, and that they are forgoing their American trips.It has been speculated in the travel industry that Obama’s victory will lead to an increase in the popularity of the USA in the coming months and years. The Bush administration was widely labelled as the most unpopular of all time, with foreign attitudes towards Americans and America dropping to an all time low. However, the newly elected Obama not only marks a change within the USA itself, but also a change in how the USA is perceived by Brits and the rest of the world. Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and Director of Business Development, commented on the fall in flight searches for America:“We know the Obama victory was a popular one, not just in the USA, but also around the world. It’s likely that this will lead to increased interest for the USA in future, but right now, the stronger dollar means the US is about 25% more expensive than it was this time last year.Despite the current economic gloom, traffic is still very strong, and there’s every indication that people are continuing to make travel a top priority – perhaps because we need holidays to look forward to more than ever. But it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a fall in UK-USA flight searches, and Brits seem to be shopping and skiing closer to home this year.” ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

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Route

first_img Route RelatedWhich airlines offer the best value on short-haul flights?Just how cheap is a cheap flight? Often there’s more to consider than the basic ticket price. Baggage charges, seat reservations and on-board catering can all add to the total cost. So we’ve rated the 20 most popular airlines flying short-haul from the UK in four key categories – with…Pay less when you fly – by using the UK’s best-value airportsDon’t you just love the feeling of bagging yourself a bargain flight? And don’t you just hate the charges you have to pay at the airport in order to catch it?Flash sale: Norwegian St Patrick’s Day flight sale to America from £134Norwegian have just announced a huge St Patrick’s Day sale with flights to America from only £134! This four day sale offers 15% off flights in summer from the UK and Ireland. Things you need to know: – These are super limited and end 19 March. Embrace your inner Sonic… Manchester to Dubrovnik | 28th Ocotber Flight price from* London Gatwick to Budapest | 3rd October Fancy finding more cheap flights? You’ve come to the right place…Last minute holiday packages from just £105Sometimes it’s hard to find the best deal, so we’ve pulled together cheap breaks, flights and accommodation so you don’t have to do the hard work! £35 £31 Cheap easyJet flights Edinburgh to Amsterdam | 6th November Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire. You’ll have to be Sonic fast to grab the good bargains but you deserve an adventure! Here are just a few top flight deals we’ve found to get you started…All easyJet flights from the UK *Published 5th September 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability. Refer to the easyJet website for full T&C’s. ###**Nothing caught your eye? Try using this instead ** £39 ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Where to go for guaranteed winter sunWith the last bank holiday out of the way, you’ll need some winter sun to look forward to this season. Here are the best places to go in October, November, December and January for escaping the winter blues.Flights for less than £100Want to break free from the daily grind for a bit? Now’s the time to get inspired for your next trip, be it a short break or a long holiday, somewhere that you’ve never been or a favourite destination. With these six flights for less than £100, you’re bound to find the perfect escape.12 of the world’s cheapest holiday destinations for 2017 £38 Bristol to Rome | 14th November About the author Jen Rankine // @CensoredPixel Slightly obsessed with anything Internet related, you’ll often find Jen in every nook and cranny she can possibly wiggle her way into. If she’s not on social media, you’ll often find her trying to frame a nice shot of something that looks slightly strange, cross-stitching, failing miserably at a game or trying to find the best burger available. last_img read more

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FILE In this March 13 2018 file photo Ziad Ita

first_img FILE – In this March 13, 2018 file photo, Ziad Itani, a Lebanese stage actor, who was indicted on charges of collaborating with Israel and drug possession, shouts as he speaks with journalists after he was released by Lebanese authorities, at his house, in Beirut, Lebanon. The New York-based Human Rights Watch called on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations of torture made by Itani. The watchdog said Monday, July 16, 2018, that the case of Itani is a test for whether the law criminalizing torture, passed in November, will end impunity for security officials. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jul 16, 2018 9:38 am PDT Last Updated Jul 16, 2018 at 1:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Lebanon must investigate torture claims by actor, HRW sayscenter_img BEIRUT – The New York-based Human Rights Watch called Monday on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations of torture made by a well-known actor who was detained and later exonerated of charges of spying for Israel.Ziad Itani, a stage actor from Beirut, was arrested in November and released four months later. The charges were dropped in the widely publicized case in which details of the allegations were leaked to the media.Collaborating with Israel, which is formally at war with Lebanon, can be punishable by death.The watchdog said Itani’s case was worrisome because of the combination of tactics used to pressure him. They included being held incommunicado, torture, forcing him into a confession under duress and threats of rape and physical violence to his family, the group said.The combination is “very disturbing,” said Bassam Khawaja, a HRW Lebanon researcher. “Even more disturbing is that no one has taken the time to investigate.”Lebanon’s State Prosecutor Judge Samir Hammoud said he has received no formal complaints, either from Itani or the judge that carried out the investigation.Lebanon has passed a new law criminalizing torture in November, with procedures to investigate allegations.Khawaja said Itani’s case is a test for the authorities’ readiness to implement that law. Allegations of torture are common in Lebanon, yet there have been no reports in recent years of such cases going to trial.There were no signs the new procedures were followed, Khawaja added.Itani made his allegations to the military court’s investigative judge nearly a month after he was detained, which should have triggered an investigation.Even though the judge noted the allegations and ordered “an examination,” the judge’s final report, reviewed by HRW, made no mention of torture or any call for an investigation.“We have written to both the prosecutor and the military court with the allegations. They have an obligation under both international law and Lebanese law to investigate these allegations. Saying ‘I haven’t received a complaint’ is unacceptable,” Khawaja said.Itani tweeted on Monday that he intends to fight on. “This is the start of the road. I know I am facing political, security and media systems and electronic armies that can do anything to me. But I hope they excuse me because I will continue to my last breath.”Upon his release, Itani, who hails from a prominent Sunni family, was received at home with a hero’s welcome. Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni, hugged Itani after his release from prison, calling his arrest a “mistake.”The security officer who built the case against Itani — the former head of the anti-cybercrime unit— and a hacker have been charged with falsely accusing Itani, and could each face up to ten years in prison.last_img read more

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QA Greengrass on confronting the altright in 2

first_imgQ&A: Greengrass on confronting the alt-right in ’22 July’ by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press Posted Oct 11, 2018 9:27 am PDT Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 10:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This Sept. 10, 2018 photo shows filmmaker Paul Greengrass posing for a portrait at the Shangri-La Hotel to promote his film “22 July,” during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) center_img TORONTO – With handheld cameras in tow, Paul Greengrass has headed straight into real-life horrors to make visceral, immersive fiction films: a 1972 massacre in North Ireland (“Bloody Sunday”), the September 11 terrorist attacks (“United 93”) and the Somali hijacking of a cargo ship (“Captain Phillips”).His latest, “22 July,” recreates the 2011 attacks in Oslo and at the Norwegian summer camp Utoya where 77 were killed and 110 were injured by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. While Greengrass opens “22 July” with the bombing and shooting, the movie is really about the attack’s aftermath. Breivik’s trial — and the intolerant, anti-multiculturalism ideology he espouses — tests Norway’s democracy.“It’s about how Norway fought for their democracy in the shadow of a right-wing insurgency,” says Greengrass. “It’s a film about Norway then but it’s actually about us today or tomorrow.”“22 July,” which debuted Wednesday on Netflix and in select theatres, is for the 63-year-old British filmmaker about a growing, global battle, in microcosm. In an interview last month, Greengrass spoke about “22 July” and the future of democracy.“We’re being tested,” he said. “Democracy doesn’t just happen. It has to be won on the level of ideas. It has to be fought for.”AP: Do you consider “United 93” and “22 July” linked in any way?Greengrass: They’re tough making these films. “22 July” and “United 93,” in my mind I saw them as different films but related. I’m not saying, ‘Poor me.’ You try to do the absolute best you can by those people, by your craft, to make the best, most responsible, most serious film you can make once you’ve said to yourself and answered the question: Is this a necessary film to make? I’ve tried my best to be dispassionate and compassionate. Whether it’s ’93’ or this, it’s an isolated moment and if you look at it in its granular detail, it’s like looking at it through a microscope. You see the world writ large, the DNA of where we are today.AP: What initially led you to making a film about the Norway attacks?Greengrass: I had wanted to make a film about the migration crisis. I looked at the runs by which they come in through Europe: through Greece and Lesbos, from Syria and the North African ones. I spent quite a bit of time with the boats and the rest of it, trying to figure out a movie with that as a backdrop. But the more I did it, it became overwhelmed by the bigger story, which was Brexit in my country — and the rhetoric of Brexit — and Trump, obviously. It became obvious to me that the film was not about the migrant experience. The story was about what was happening to the politics in the West. We were witnessing a huge counter-reaction to globalization.AP: So you turned to Breivik as a symbol of this shift.Greengrass: What he thought he was doing was striking a blow and raising the standard of rebellion and that people would follow him. It was very much the same idea as the hijackers on 9-11. I came in the office one day and read his testimony in court — some of which is in the film. It was absolutely chilling. I remember it so vividly sitting there thinking: These opinions, when he uttered them in the court, would have been considered them outrageous and outre, as they were. But they’re now mainstream. There is nothing about his worldview or his arguments or his rhetoric that a mainstream populist right-wing politician does not espouse. That’s when I thought: I need to make this film.AP: The film’s hard-to-watch first section depicts the shooting at Utoya. What was your thought process in showing that?Greengrass: I hope I handled it with great restraint. I felt it was necessary to depict graphically what happened to Viljar Hanssen because he’s the central character of the film and his journey toward confronting Breivik rests on him having the courage after being shot five times, including in the head, to go and talk to him about it. I did it with his permission after talking about it with him very great detail. The rest of it, I discussed it with the family support group. A gentleman in a meeting with about a hundred people got up and he said, “I lost my daughter. I want you to make this film because I want people to understand what’s happening in the world today.” And he said: “I don’t want you to sanitize what happened.”AP: Some have expressed misgivings that “22 July” gives Breivik another platform.Greengrass: I had to think — and I think this is an important issue — do you by making this film make the problem worse? If Breivik had been a lone wolf with no one else having those views, that would be one thing. But the truth is Breivik was part of an alt-right undergrowth. It was in the margins, largely unseen because people didn’t want to look at them. Now, not only is his rhetoric and the worldview mainstream, but now Sweden, AFD in Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungry, the U.S., Charlottesville. The fire is burning. To pretend we make it better by closing our eyes to it is wrong. We have to confront this.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPlast_img read more

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NFB says Indigenous Action Plan is on track meets

first_imgNFB says Indigenous Action Plan is on track, meets 2020 production targets MONTREAL — The National Film Board of Canada says it has reached its commitment to spend at least 15 per cent of its production funds on Indigenous works — one year ahead of schedule.The commitment was part of the NFB’s three-year Indigenous Action Plan, which was announced in June 2017 in response to recommendations outlined in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.In sharing its second-year progress on the action plan, the NFB says production is under way or was recently completed on 40 works by Indigenous creators from across Canada.Those productions include Tasha Hubbard’s award-winning feature doc “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up,” which is in theatres across Canada; Michelle Latimer’s feature doc “The Inconvenient Indian,” which is winding up production; and Alanis Obomsawin’s upcoming documentary “Jordan’s Principle.”The action plan was drafted in collaboration with an Indigenous advisory group and contains 33 commitments in four key areas: organizational transformation, industry leadership, production and distribution.Last year the NFB said that in the first year of its action plan, it backed 35 Indigenous-directed projects, representing 10 per cent of overall production spending.The NFB also says Indigenous employees now represent 1.25 per cent of its staff, inching closer to a commitment to achieve four per cent Indigenous representation across all sectors and levels of the its workforce by 2025.The Canadian Press by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 19, 2019 1:00 am PDTcenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

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Shortly after the sunrise the air regains familia

first_imgShortly after the sunrise, the air regains familiar colors and claims our presence in the desert. [Photo & Text: T] December 31, 2005As the morning breaks the stillness of the frozen landscape, an anticipation enters for a hopeful new year. [Photo & Text: T] Shortly after the sunrise, the air regains familiar colors and claims our presence in the desert. [Photo & Text: T]As the morning breaks the stillness of the frozen landscape, an anticipation enters for a hopeful new year. [Photo & Text: T]last_img

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May 22 2009 This continues the report on insta

first_imgMay 22, 2009 This continues the report on installation of lighting along the new Visitors’ Center pathway. Construction crew-leader Dr. Sparks instructs workshop-participants on the installation of electrical lines and light fixtures. In the top images, workshop-participants are splicing wires, which are later connected with the help of heat treatment (bottom left photo). At last, the fixtures are anchored in the ground. [Photo & text: Darina Trendafilova] The light fixtures are then connected to a bank of solar panels. The solar panels were graciously donated by PTL [Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory], which is a part of Arizona State University. [see prior reports about installation of the solar panels in February and March 2008]. [Photo & text: Darina Trendafilova] The solar light fixtures were purchased from “Nightscaping”, Los Angeles, CA. Thank you, Kevin Smith of Nightscaping, for your help. Efforts continue to complete this new visitors center entrance. Steel railings for the new staircases are in the process of being cut and welded into place, and new sign are still to be installed. [Photo: Alfonso Elia & text: Darina Trendafilova]last_img read more

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Deposits rise in February to €49bn matching August 2013 figures

first_imgDeposits in the Cypriot banking system rose in February by €174.9m in a month to €49.3bn, the highest since August 2013, as the downward trend in loans was halted, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.The increase in deposits in February was mainly on inflow from non-financial corporations which saw their bank account balance increase by €144.6m in a month to €11.4bn, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Monday. Household deposits rose by €32.5 to €28.6bn and those of insurance companies and pension funds rose by €10.3m to €2bn. Deposits held by other financial corporations and the government fell by €9.9n and €2.2m to €6.4bn and €949.3m respectively.Deposits held by Cyprus residents rose by €187.9m to €36.6bn last month compared to January while those of other euro area residents and third country residents fell by €1.8m and €11.2m to €3.2bn and €9.5bn, the central bank said.The total amount of outstanding loans rose last month by €139.2m to €55.2bn in a month mainly on €214.8m in fresh loans extended to other financial corporations which rose to €9.2bn, the central bank said. Loans to non-financial companies and insurance companies and pension funds rose by €2m €0.1m to €22.4bn and €15m. Household lending fell by €72.3m to €22.7bn mainly on a €36m drop in housing loans.Total credit extended by commercial banks to Cyprus residents rose last month by €210.2m to €45.3bn while the outstanding loans of other euro area residents and third country residents fell by €44.4m and €26.7m to €2.6bn and €7.2bn respectively.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppTake Online Privacy on a whole New levelFigLeaf Beta AppUndoThrone: Free Online GamesPlay This Game For 1 Minute and See why Everyone is Addicted!Throne: Free Online GamesUndoDirectExposeLast Chance, These Shows Are Ending At 2019DirectExposeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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No UN arbitration in renewed talks says Eide

first_imgNeither the two leaders nor the UN wants arbitration as a means to moving the talks forward, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said on Monday, the eve of the resumption of talks which had been stalled for the past eight weeks.Arbitration fears were sparked at the weekend when Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci called for more shuttle diplomacy between the two sides and the guarantor powers, but also said he would be open to oral bridging ideas from the UN.Speaking after his meeting with Akinci on Monday, Eide said he remained convinced that a solution could be found and this would become clear in the coming days. The aim for Tuesday was to get off to the “most optimal re-start possible”, he said.The UN envoy spoke by phone to President Nicos Anastasiades in Madrid immediately after the meeting with Akinci so that he could hear both the leaders’ expectations for Tuesday.He wanted to see how they could structure the coming weeks “so we really focus on what is most important” and find a way that both leaders were comfortable with. He emphasised that he was talking “weeks” at this point, and not months.He added that he and his team would do everything possible to help but stressed that his mandate had not changed and the process was still leader-led.“I frequently read that I want to arbitrate but I definitely do not want arbitration. The leaders do not want arbitration. The secretary-general of the UN does not want arbitration but the manner in which I can be helpful is something that I will ask them,” he said.Eide said the two sides had lost a lot of time and a lot of trust over the parliament’s Enosis vote, which prompted Akinci to walk away until “the mistake was fixed”, and while Eide believes the leaders can rebuild their relationship, people in the two communities had begun to express their concerns over the credibility of the process, he said.“I think it is up to the leaders to invest again in building that intercommunal trust that is necessary… but at the end of the day, the two communities have to want to reunite and have to want to live together and this is the responsibility of the leaders first and foremost, but also for other actors in society,” said Eide.He said the leaders were motivated for a return to the talks “but that does not guarantee an effective outcome”.  Given what has been accomplished so far, it was time to start wrapping up and investing in seeing how the outstanding issues could be bridged. It was not only a matter of opportunity but of will, Eide said.Akinci on Sunday called for UN shuttle diplomacy between the two sides and the guarantor powers and said no one should expect unilateral steps from the Turkish Cypriot side. “This path will only lead us to a solution if we walk together,” he said. He also said he was open to oral ideas and proposals from the UN that could help bridge the gaps.“The Turkish Cypriot side will behave reasonably and realistically. Zero troops and zero guarantees are not realistic nor reasonable proposals,” he added, referring to the Greek Cypriot side’s demands on these issues.“The future cannot be built with past approaches such as Enosis (union with Greece), partition and annexation, nor with talk about minority and majority perceptions.”He also referred again to drilling for natural gas on the Greek Cypriot side, saying if this starts without a solution “new tensions, new confrontations may come up in an area where we could cooperate”.Rejectionist parties on Monday, still stung by parliament’s Enosis vote last Friday, took pot shots at Anastasiades on the eve of the talks, saying effectively now that Akinci got his way on that, he would want even more concessions at the table.Also they said Akinci’s talk of the UN offering oral ideas was a smokescreen for arbitration, which was partly why the Annan plan failed in 2004 and the reason why the current process is meant to be Cypriot-led with the UN as a mere facilitator.Diko said the talks were resuming with no one knowing about the process or content while Solidarity’s Eleni Theocharous said Anastasiades had “lit the green light” for UN arbitration “which has been christened as oral bridging proposals and mediation”, she said.Edek took a similar vein, saying it was not the UN’s responsibility to give bridging proposals. The Greens said Akinci was returning to the talks having achieved his goals which would now make negotiations more challenging.Akel and Disy both expressed their support but Disy leader Averof Neophytou said that “after artificial crisis caused by the Turkish Cypriot leader, now is the moment of truth at the table”.“We hope that the other side will give up unrealistic goals or unreasonable demands,” he said.Eide was having contacts with all of the political parties this week.You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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End of a long and painful road for Gesy Updated

first_imgHEALTHCARE in Cyprus reached the end of “a long and painful” road on Thursday after the House health committee signed off on three bills for the national health scheme (Gesy), which will be put to a vote at the plenum on June 16.Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis, who attended the committee meeting to convey the cabinet’s final decisions on healthcare reform, welcomed the development.“A long and painful procedure has been completed today at the House health committee on the reform of the healthcare sector, (state hospital) autonomy, employment issues concerning the autonomy, and the Gesy,” Pamboridis said.The minister told MPs that the government’s intention is to make state hospitals the flagship of healthcare once Gesy kicks in.Pamboridis said that the government will support any overruns in public hospitals for the first five years, but that there will be strict controls and monitoring for proper utilisation of the resources absorbed by Gesy.He reiterated that they would not give a blank cheque to anyone to waste public money.The addition of this clause by the government, Pamboridis said, settles all pending matters, therefore the committee decided to refer the bills to the plenum.Government support for state hospitals was a demand voiced by all political parties, who argued that this is imperative to ensure they do not collapse financially once Gesy kicks in.Regarding contributions, Pamboridis told MPs that in the first phase, starting on March 1, 2019, the cost of outpatient care for workers and pensioners will be 1.7 per cent of their salary, for employers 1.85 per cent, for the state 1.65 per cent, and for the self-employed 2.55 per cent.In the second phase, he said, which will kick in a year later and will cover outpatient and inpatient care until the full implementation of Gesy, pensioners and workers will pay 2.65 per cent, employers 2.9 per cent, the state 4.7 per cent and the self-employed 4 per cent of their income.Pamboridis thanked the committee and all political parties for their constructive stance during the discussion of the billsThe head of the House health committee, Costas Constantinou, said that it had been a “persistent and arduous process” that ended with a consensus between all parties, even though it seemed impossible at the beginning.He added that it was now up to the plenum.“It is a conclusion that has been achieved with the contribution of everyone,” Constantinou said.He also thanked Pamboridis “for his decisive stance and will”.Akel MP Giorgos Georgiou welcomed the development but said that a road map is in order, on the support of state hospitals.Diko and Edek MPs – members of the committee – said their respective parties would upvote the bills.Meanwhile the Social Alliance for the Implementation of Gesy – comprised of 38 patients’ associations, left-wing and right-wing workers’ unions and consumers’ and pensioners’ associations – launched on Thursday an online signature campaign to raise as much support as possible for the implementation of the new health scheme.Members of the public are invited to visit the website the group launched and sign a petition calling on all political forces to “remain focused on the unanimous decisions taken and to support the reform bills on the Gesy”.The website, in Greek only, may be found at http://gesyedokaitora.com. You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Karpas skull identified as Ottoman

first_imgA skull found on Monday in an area called Elisi, between Ayios Symeon and Korovia on the Karpas peninsula in the north, is thought to belong to an Ottoman Muslim, the daily Kibris newspaper reported.Turkish Cypriot authorities and archaeologists from the Missing Persons Committee went to the area to investigate the skull, found lying in a hole on an embankment.The authorities suspected the skull might be an indication of a nearby mass grave, but it was suggested that an old cemetery was located in the area.Meyrem Yardimsever, the only resident of the area for the last 55 years, said there had been rumours for a long time that a cemetery was present there.After a day’s search, authorities concluded that there is a Muslim cemetery dating back to the Ottoman era in the area where the skull was found.The Vakf Islamic religious organisation said the area will be fenced and the skull reburied.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Larnaca council to take legal action against oil company permits

first_imgThe Larnaca municipal council announced on Tuesday that it would take legal action against the irregular renewal of the permits for energy giant Noble and oil and gas services company Medserv to continue to use storage facilities at the town’s port.It said when the two companies had their permits to use Larnaca port facilities renewed last month legal procedures were bypassed, while the same happened a year ago.“The renewal of the permits in question was done with the consent of the transport ministry as it was deemed that it does not affect the procedure and government plans for the redevelopment of the Larnaca port,” the municipal council said in an announcement.The council expressed its discontent over the renewal, which, it said, was under the same terms and preconditions as a year ago, while the companies would use the facilities for storage purposes only.It said that it would take legal measures against these actions, as “the legal procedures were not followed a year ago for granting permission to the companies Noble and Medserv (Cyprus) Ltd to use facilities of the port as well as for the renewal of these permits”.The Larnaca municipality was never informed of the permit renewal, the council said, despite it sending a letter to the Ports Authority (CPA) asking for a briefing.It added that it would also send letters to complain to the transport minister and the Cyprus Ports Authority for these actions without informing the municipal council.Energy companies were told last year that they had to move their support base to Limassol after the Larnaca municipal council voted against extending the permit for Medserv’s facilities at the town’s port.Medserv provides oil and gas exploration support services out of the port. Larnaca residents feared the port would be turned into an industrial hub with all the attendant health and environmental risks.Larnaca municipality’s decision to reject a request to extend the operation of MedServ angered those directly involved and caused widespread disappointment in the industry, even more so as the move was ‘respected’ by the government.The government decided at the time not to override the municipality’s decision, amid speculation it did not wish to antagonise Larnaca’s residents in the run up to last year’s parliamentary elections.Energy companies however, prefer to have their onshore support base at Larnaca as the water depth is more than sufficient for support vessels to wade into the harbor, and the port is nowhere near as congested as that in Limassol.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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