Australia No sign from US of Assange indictment

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates “The United States has said nothing to indicate they’re planning an indictment,” Carr told reporters.Assange supporters want Australia to seek U.S. assurances that the former computer hacker won’t be charged. His release of a quarter-million classified U.S. State Department cables in 2010 outraged Washington and destabilized American diplomacy worldwide.But Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Parliament Thursday that if the United States did extradite Assange, the “Australian government cannot interfere in the judicial processes of other countries.”She endorsed Carr’s comments, saying there was no advice from Washington that there was an indictment or a decision made to extradite.Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday endorsed Assange’s extradition to Sweden, bringing him a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.But a question mark hung over the decision after Assange’s lawyer made the highly unusual suggestion that she would try to reopen the case, raising the prospect of more legal wrangling.Assange has spent almost two years fighting attempts to send him to Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crime allegations. He has yet to be charged. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia has talked to the United States about the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday that it can’t protect the Australian activist from other countries’ justice systems.Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed on Thursday that he had discussed the concerns of Assange and his family with U.S. officials. Assange claims that the U.S. has already secretly indicted him for divulging American secrets, and will act on the indictment if Sweden succeeds in extraditing him from Britain. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements How men can have a healthy 2019 He and his supporters have suggested that the sex allegations are a cover for a planned move to extradite him to the United States, but U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich denied that the United States had any interest in Sweden’s extradition bid succeeding.“It’s one of those narratives that has been made up. There’s nothing to it,” Bleich said late Wednesday.Assange shot to international prominence in 2010 with the release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents, including a hard-to-watch video that showed U.S. forces gunning down a crowd of Iraqi civilians and journalists whom they had mistaken for insurgents.Australian authorities have cooperated with the United States in investigating WikiLeaks’ conduct. The Australians have concluded that Assange has broken no Australian law.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories last_img read more

AP Analysis Syria diplomacy stalls over safe zone

first_imgNone of those proposals would have an immediate effect in curbing the bloodshed.Faced with bleak prospects, the new U.N. envoy, Brahimi, says he plans to consult key players in New York after officially assuming his duties Saturday. His predecessor, Kofi Annan, quit in frustration this month after achieving little.Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and veteran U.N. mediator, will likely explore possibilities of reviving a transitional plan drawn up by Annan and agreed to by both the United States and Russia after a conference in Geneva in June.The document aimed at establishing an interim government of people chosen by both the Assad regime and the opposition. Each would be able to veto candidates.The arrangement was rejected immediately by many in the Syrian opposition.___Robert H. Reid is Associated Press bureau chief in Berlin and has covered Middle East events since 1978.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project “Apparently, I was wrong about my expectations,” Davutoglu said.Like so many other proposals to end the fighting, the Turkish appeal was all but dead on arrival, given the risks of creating such a zone and the hostility of veto-wielding Russia and China to any proposal that is not accepted by Syrian President Bashar Assad.The Russians and the Chinese have already vetoed three Western-backed council resolutions that would threaten Assad’s government with international sanctions. Assad rejected the idea of a safe zone in a television interview this week.Russia and China have long made clear they will not go along with a repeat of last year’s experience in Libya, when the U.S. and its European allies used a resolution to protect civilians to launch months of attacks that ended with the collapse of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.Even if some legal way could be found to get around the Security Council obstacle, there is no sign the U.S. or its major European partners have the stomach to repeat the Libya operation at a time when cash-strapped governments are trying to extricate from Afghanistan and the U.S. is focused on an election in about two months.Establishing a safe zone in Syria amounts to entering the territory of a sovereign country to offer protection to civilians, many who are sympathetic to the rebels. Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Without a guarantee from Assad that he would not attack the zone, foreign governments would have to assume responsibility for protecting civilians there _ through troops on the ground and through preventing Syrian attack aircraft from flying over the territory.Meanwhile, the West is running out of options besides trying to do more to care for the tens of thousands of refugees.With Syrian diplomacy all but dead, the Obama administration is focusing on political transition and helping the rebels defeat the Syrian regime. Washington has increased its humanitarian aid to $74 million and its “nonlethal” communications assistance to $25 million.The administration also has eased restrictions for rebel fundraising in the United States. Most of the weapons used by the rebels are believed to be purchased inside and outside Syria with money from supporters abroad, mostly in the Gulf states.The U.S. has been working politically with Syrian exiles who drew up a transition plan for governing the country if the Assad regime collapses. The plan was unveiled this week in Berlin.France has promised to recognize a Syrian provisional government if the opposition can set aside its internal differences _ which it has been unable to accomplish. Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated Press (AP) – Turkey’s non-starter call for a humanitarian safe zone inside Syria offers the clearest sign yet that diplomacy to end the bloodshed in the most violent uprising of the Arab Spring is at a dead end.Any new push by the international community to stop the killing is likely to remain on hold until the new U.N. chief envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, gets his feet on the ground and _ more importantly _ until the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other prominent Republicans have called for arming Syrian rebels, a step critics fear would only escalate the violence without necessarily bringing a quick end to a more than 17-month conflict that activists say has killed more than 20,000 people.In the meantime, countries in the region _ Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Iraq _ will be scrambling to contain the violence and keep the conflict from spilling across their borders.A desire to contain the conflict was in large measure behind Turkey’s appeal Thursday to the U.N. Security Council to establish a safe zone for civilians in parts of northern Syria under nominal rebel control.That would enable the Turks to cut off the flow of refugees across their border. About 80,000 Syrians have already fled into Turkey, and hostility to the presence of so many foreigners is rising among Turks living in Antakya and other border communities.But the Turkish proposal sank like a stone. The council meeting ended without even a non-binding statement of support, much less a binding resolution.A frustrated Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the council that he’d come to New York in hopes the members would take “long overdue steps” to alleviate the suffering and establish camps inside Syria for those forced to flee their homes.last_img read more

No trace of tanker missing off Angola for 6 days

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona ATHENS, Greece (AP) – The Greek managers of an oil tanker missing off southwestern Africa for nearly a week and thought to have been attacked by pirates say they still have not established contact with the vessel.Dynacom Tankers Management said in a statement Friday that it is working with “relevant agencies and authorities” to get in touch with the Kerala and ascertain its condition.The 75,000-ton vessel was last seen off Angola on Jan.18, and Dynacom said it suspected pirate action. The company did not provide details on the Liberian-flagged ship’s crew or cargo. (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Surfing event opens in Rio amid water pollution worries

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In a statement emailed to The Associated Press last week, World Surf League spokesman Dave Prodan said the organization was “confident that our primary site at Postinho, Barra da Tijuca will deliver excellent conditions.”Water quality has become a hot-button issue ahead of the 2016 Olympics, with state and local authorities repeatedly acknowledging they will not be able to make good on longstanding promise to clean up the city’s blighted waterways ahead of the games. Olympic sailing, canoeing, rowing and other aquatic events are slated to take place in the polluted waters, prompting worries about athletes’ health and safety.The start of competition at the surfing event coincides with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s meetings in Rio with local Olympic organizers as well as members of the Swiss-based International Olympic Committee.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories The surfing event’s main venue is near the spot where a raw sewage-filled lagoon empties into the Atlantic. The latest water quality report, issued Tuesday by the state environmental authority, said the area was inappropriate for swimming due to the concentration of fecal coliforms.Rio has poor sewage treatment infrastructure, and much of the sewage from the city of 12 million people empties untreated into its lakes, rivers and beaches. Of the 32 water quality reports issued this year for Rio, only eight found water in the area appropriate for swimmers.Biologist and environmental activist Mario Moscatelli has warned that pollution could become particularly problematic during low tides at Barra da Tijuca, when the lagoon’s fetid waters spill out into the ocean.Winds could potentially push the sewage along the beach, contaminating the competition site, said Moscatelli, who has been flying over the area for years as part of an environmental monitoring project. Recent photos taken by Moscatelli showed a brown stain spreading over much of Barra beach.The event’s organizer, the World Surf League, recently canceled a backup venue on the neighboring beach of Sao Conrado due to what the organization deemed “pollution issues.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Many of the world’s top surfers were in Rio de Janeiro for a major surfing competition that kicked off Tuesday amid persistent worries about the city’s polluted waters.Kelly Slater of the United States and Brazilian star Gabriel Medina were among those competing at the Oi Rio Pro event, which is taking place through May 22 on Rio’s Barra da Tijuca beach. The Barra neighborhood is one of the main sites for competitions at next year’s Olympics.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Brazil’s Adriano de Souza competes in the 2015 Oi Rio Pro World Surf League competition at Barra da Tijuca beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)last_img read more

69 killed as tanker truck explodes in southern Nigeria

first_img Sponsored Stories LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A runaway oil tanker truck exploded in a crowded bus station in the south of the country, setting ablaze 12 buses carrying passengers and killing 69 people, Nigeria’s Red Cross and police said Monday.Red Cross chairman Peter Emeka Kathy said about 30 other victims have been hospitalized with severe burns. He said the truck was barreling down the hill when the brakes failed and it ploughed into the bus station at Onitsha, the state capital, before exploding. Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra state wept when he visited the scene of Sunday night’s conflagration.Relatives were visiting morgues on Monday to try and identify missing family members.“All the persons inside the buses ? I think about 12 buses ? were burnt beyond recognition,” Punch newspaper reported, quoting Anambra state police commissioner Hosea Karma.Witness Joseph Ugwuanyi wrote on his Facebook page that the blaze raged for an hour before firefighters brought it under control.“Many of us initially thought there were no casualties, though some people sustained serious injuries while fleeing the scene,” he posted. “However, it was later learnt after the fire subsided that there was a massive carnage of victims who were either caught unawares or those who were already seated in the now-charred buses in the park.”Nigeria has the highest road accident rate in the world, as well as the largest number of deaths per 10,000 vehicles, according to a report by the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute. It said road accident deaths are the third leading cause of all deaths in the West African nation that is Africa’s biggest oil producer. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life The 2013 report found that potholes were a major cause of accidents, followed by a general lack of vehicle maintenance and chaotic traffic complicated by the number of bicycles, tricycle taxis and animal- and human-drawn carts on highways.With the caveat that most vehicle accidents are not reported, it said 473 people were reported killed in 1,115 vehicle accidents in 2012.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Report Schools for Canada First Nations cultural genocide

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Top Stories The report is the result of a six-year study of Canada’s former government policy requiring Canadian aboriginals to attend the schools, often the scenes of physical and sexual abuse. First Nation leaders have cited the legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic substance abuse on reservations.From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend Christian schools to rid them of their native cultures and languages and integrate them into mainstream Canadian society.More than 130 residential schools operated across Canada.The federal government previously admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the once-mandatory schools was rampant and Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an historic apology in Parliament in 2008. Many students recall being beaten for speaking their native languages and losing touch with their parents and customs.The goal of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to give survivors a forum to tell their stories and to educate Canadians about that dark chapter in the country’s history.Sinclair, a First Nations Canadian judge, described how the commission heard from residential school survivors who were robbed of the love of their families. TORONTO (AP) — A long-awaited report released Tuesday into Canada’s decades-long government policy requiring Canadian First Nation children to attend state-funded church schools called it “nothing less than cultural genocide.”Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair said the residential schools represent one of the “darkest and most troubling chapters in our collective history.”center_img New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “They were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity,” Sinclair said.The commission was created as part of a US$5 billion class action settlement in 2006 between the government, churches and the 90,000 surviving First Nation students.Alma Scott was one of thousands of survivors in Canada who recounted her experience to the commission. She described being taken to a school in Fort Alexander, Manitoba, at the age of five. “I just remember feeling really sad, and I was in this truck full of other kids who were crying, and so I cried with them,” said Scott.Among the TRC report’s 94 recommendations, it calls on the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women. It also seeks an apology from the Pope on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. And it recommends the government fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the “framework for reconciliation.”The TRC’s summary also makes clear that the expectations of the aboriginal community in the wake of Harper’s apology for the residential school tragedy in 2008 have not yet been met. Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde said the prime minister’s 2008 apology will be empty if it is not followed with action.Harper said he apologized for the devastation caused by the schools seven years ago. He didn’t call it a cultural genocide Tuesday or promise to enact any of the report’s 94 recommendations.Sinclair said he was scheduled to sit down with Harper later Tuesday.A center at the University of Manitoba will become the permanent home for all statements, documents and materials gathered by the commission. It is scheduled to open this summer.In Australia, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology in Parliament in 2008 to the so-called Stolen Generations — thousands of aboriginals who were forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that lasted from 1910 to 1970.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

US India move forward on joint military research projects

first_imgCarter acknowledged the difficulties on both sides in breaking through the red tape to achieve more development cooperation, but said things are moving forward.“There is a legacy and historical burden of bureaucracy in both countries, and it’s a constant exercise in stripping that away,” he told reporters traveling with him. “It’s the burden that we carry forward from the fact that we were two separated industrial systems for so long during the Cold War. It just takes time to get the two of them together.”The latest, more tangible progress in the development projects, include two $1 million research ventures. While small, defense officials say the two-year projects will set the groundwork for future collaboration.“Some of the projects that we’re launching just now are, in part, intended to blaze a trail for things to come,” Carter said.One of the projects moving forward is the development of a high-tech mobile power source for the Marine Corps that would work on solar energy, be smaller, more portable and efficient, and could be used in remote outposts.The other is a protective suit for the Army that would be more lightweight and effective when used in chemical and biological hazard incidents. Other possibilities down the road include collaboration on some aircraft carrier and jet engine technology. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home U.S. leaders have long hoped to partner more with India as it modernizes its military, but Indian leaders have been more interested in co-development opportunities than in simply buying American-made weapons.India has also been courting a strong business relationship with China. Beijing sees India as a market for its increasingly high-tech goods, from high-speed trains to nuclear power plants, while India wants to attract Chinese investment in manufacturing and infrastructure.At the same time, however, India has been concerned about China’s quest for greater influence and increased military activities in the Indian Ocean.One theme of Carter’s trip here was greater maritime cooperation, and to underscore that he began his visit Tuesday with a stop at India’s Eastern Naval Command in the port city of Vizag. He toured a navy ship, the INS Sahyadri, before flying on to New Delhi.Carter’s visit comes on the heels of stops in Singapore and Vietnam, where strains with China and its land reclamation and other operations in the South China Sea were key topics of discussion. And he repeatedly stressed that the U.S. military will continue to partner with Asia Pacific nations and have a strong presence in the region.. NEW DELHI (AP) — After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead.Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement Wednesday, as part of a broader U.S. effort to improve what has been a rocky relationship between the two countries. The U.S. views India as a key ally in the Asia Pacific, in part as a countermeasure to China and a lynchpin in America’s effort to deepen military and diplomatic ties with countries at Beijing’s doorstep. Sponsored Stories U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter inspects a Guard of Honor during his ceremonial welcome in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Carter is in India on a three-day visit where he is expected to sign a ten-year defense pact. (AP Photo/ Saurabh Das) 0 Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The U.S. effort to do joint projects with India got a boost through the efforts of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seen as more eager to work with America and wants his country to play a larger role on the world stage.Then, earlier this year, during a visit by President Barack Obama, the two leaders formally announced the agreement to pursue four projects under the Defense technology and Trade Initiative.The initiative was launched in 2012, and was led by Carter, who then was the deputy defense secretary. But progress was slow.Last August, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a visit to India, urged more defense cooperation, saying that government red tape and other problems should not stymie progress between the two.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top holiday drink recipes Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories last_img read more

Jetset unifies database

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Jetset Travelworld Group is simplifying its customer’s access, announcing that it will be merging its products to a single product database. In a statement the Group’s Wholesale division general manager Simon Bernardi announced the group is under negotiations with suppliers and moving into the one database that will deliver “an even more compelling product offering to our Travel agency customers”.    “The changes will provide greater efficiency and easier selling for trade customers across our wholesale portfolio,” the statement read.The database will be headed by the Group’s national industry sales manager Fiona Dalton and will represent companys including Qantas Holidays, Viva Holidays, Travel2, Newmans, Holidays, Travelscene Holidays and Rail Tickets.Among other changes, commencing from 1 July this year purchases made through Travel2, Newmans Holidays and Rail Ticket will contribute for eligibility in Qantas Holidays’ National Global Achievers and Premium Agency clubs.last_img read more

Emirates Awards Top NSW Cargo Agents

first_imgThe Emirates SkyCargo team with this year’s winners (L to R): Justin Campbell & Mike Pattinson – Air Menzies International;  Goran Panovski – Federal Express (FEDEX) Australia;  Scott O’Keeffe – Panalpina World Transport Pty Ltd;  Front row –  John Contos — DHL Global Forwarding;  back row –  Scott Higgins & Wade Bollard – C.T. Freight Pty Ltd;   Terence Yong & Brad Bouch –  DHL Express (Australia) Pty Ltd;   Mark Kari  – Emirates  NSW Cargo Sales Executive; Greg Johnson  –  Emirates Cargo Manager Australia;  Alex Barkway – Emirates  Cargo Manager NSW. Source = Emirates / Emirates SkyCargo Emirates SkyCargo’s top cargo agents in NSW have been recognised in style at the carrier’s annual awards luncheon in Sydney.This year’s event was held at the Sofitel Wentworth in central Sydney at the Captain’s Table, and hosted by Emirates SkyCargo’s National Cargo Manager, Greg Johnson; Cargo Manager NSW, Alex Barkway; and NSW Cargo Sales Executive, Mark Kari.Those agents recognised for their substantial contribution to Emirates SkyCargo’s business in 2011 were John Contos, DHL Global Forwarding; Brad Bouch and Terence Yong, DHL Express; Wade Bollard and Scott Higgins C.T. Freight; Scott O’Keeffe, Panalpina; Justin Campbell and Mike Pattinson, Air Menzies International; and Goran Panovski, Fedex.“These awards recognise those NSW agents who have provided outstanding support to Emirates SkyCargo during the 2010/2011 financial year – it is with their support that we have once again achieved record results in a challenging business climate,” said Greg Johnson, Emirates SkyCargo National Cargo Manager.“We place a huge value on our agent relationships as Emirates SkyCargo continues to grow its available capacity in the market – starting with the re-commencement of the airline’s third-daily Sydney flight in October 2011.  This service, operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will depart Sydney early morning daily and enable same day travel to 16 destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Africa,” added Mr Johnson.Emirates currently operates 63 flights per week to Dubai from Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, and 28 weekly trans-Tasman services.  The airline’s fleet of 157 wide-bodied aircraft includes nine freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 74 months. last_img read more

Creating Value X Factor TravelManagers

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J TravelManagers from around Australia have gathered in Melbourne today to kick off the first day of the fourth annual TravelManagers national conference. Running over two days, the company’s home-based consultants will take part in up to 11 different workshops and receive motivation from three external keynote speakers while radiating in the theme ‘Creating Value’.The travel consultant company’s executive general manager Mandy Scotney said this year’s workshops were based on feedback received from agents earlier this year and would showcase ways of finding and wining new business, motivation and goal setting as well as finding a consultant’s X-Factor. “These sessions are very interactive and allow a fantastic opportunity for our personal travel managers to not only learn from an expert but share experiences and ideas with each other, they’re very popular for this reason.” Ms Scotney explained.In addition to workshops, agents will also attend presentations covering brand commitment, pricing analysis, individual TravelManager success stories and technology developments.“Every year we put a great deal of time and energy into our annual conference, including significant input from our personal travel managers,” Ms Scotney added.“In addition to being inspiring, motivating and educational, our own awards at the conclusion of the conference, allow us an opportunity to recognise excellence, reward these people and celebrate what can only be described as a hugely successful year also.”The 2011 National Conference is taking place at the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne.Click back onto e-Travel Blackboard for more information from the event next week or follow live tweets as e-Travel Blackboard sends information through on location.last_img read more

Crown Congratulates Katerina Kouridakis as the Winner of the Crown Hot

first_imgCrown Hotels is happy to announce that Ms Katerina Kouridakis from CSL Limited is the winner of the Crown Conference Centre Summertime Competition Melbourne Cup Experience.Katerina’s Melbourne Cup Experience includes two nights’ accommodation at Crown’s award-winning hotel, Crown Metropol, with access to the executive lounge ‘28’ where she will enjoy breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and uninterrupted views of the Melbourne city skyline, valet parking and entry for her and a guest to the Crown Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day 2012.Katerina won this experience by booking her 3-day conference at Crown through Ultimate Conferencing + Events.Crown is Melbourne’s home-away-from-the-track during the Spring Racing Carnival. Jayson Heron –  Associate Director – Conference, Incentive and Group Sales (Crown), Katerina Kouridakis and Jenny Barlow – Sales Manager- Conference and Group Sales (Crown)          Katerina Kouridakis with her prize at Nobu Melbournecenter_img Source = Crown Hotelslast_img read more

Webjet completes Zuji purchase

first_imgWebjet has completed its purchase of Zuji Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, less than three months after announcing the acquisition.In an online update, Webjet announced the purchase from Travelocity.com was finalised today and expects to update the market on progress against its transformation plans in August this year.The Zuji acquisition was announced in December last year, with Webjet raising $25 million to fund the purchase.Click here for more information on the deal.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Webjet now the owner of Zuji Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.last_img

Travellers using flyer miles on accommodation

first_imgThe popularity of using frequent flyer rewards for hotel bookings is steadily on the rise, according to new research.While most travellers still opt to use their accrued miles toward additional airline travel, a small percentage have switched to using them for hotel stays, GO Airport Express revealed in a back-to-back study.In 2012, six percent of people surveyed used miles to book hotels; in 2013 this figure increased to 8 percent.“While the percentage change in use of miles for hotels is small, in real numbers the uptick could be significant,” GO Airport Express president John McCarthy said.Using frequent flyer points to purchase flights in 2013 was down one percentage point from 2012 figures.Respondents also used saved miles to buy other types of products and make charitable donations.How do you redeem your frequent flyer points?Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Frequent flyer rewards used to book hotels.last_img read more

Choice Hotels reveals newest hotel set for Adelaide

first_imgChoice Hotels Australasia has announced it will introduce its first Ascend Hotel Collection property to South Australia, with the new Lester Hotel in Adelaide.The property, valued at more than AUD$50 million, is being developed by The Lester Group of Companies and managed by Lancemore Group.The premium hotel will feature over 240 rooms across 14 levels and is scheduled to open in September 2016.Choice Hotels Australasia chief executive officer Trent Fraser said the company is pleased to be working with The Lester Group of Companies and Lancemore Group to develop the newest addition to their portfolio of Australian hotels.“We expect that demand for our first Ascend Hotel Collection property in Adelaide will be high, responding to a need for more corporate and quality accommodation in the area,” Mr Fraser said.Choice Hotels’ premium hotel brand, the Ascend Hotel Collection, consists of a range of historic and boutique properties that aim to provide guests with a unique local experience.The Lester Hotel will reflect the look of luxury hotels and retail stores across the world, with the expertise of development and advisory design group, Intro, and interior design team Genesin Studio.Intro will assist in producing an innovative and premium quality development while including sustainability benefits.The boutique hotel will feature spacious conference facilities, a gymnasium, restaurant bar and marble-floored foyer.Lancemore chief executive officer said his group is looking forward to managing the Lester Hotel in Adelaide.“Lancemore has had great success in working with Choice Hotels and we are passionate about growing our white label hotel management business,” Mr Clark said.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Marina Mandarins 30th Anniversary

first_imgMarina MandarinMarina Mandarin’s 30th AnniversaryMarina Mandarin’s 30th Anniversary this year 2017 is filled with promotions that will excite our guests from attractive room stays to dining deals, do visit www.marinamandarin.com.sg to find the latest 30th Anniversary deals that will simply delight.Marina Mandarin Singapore’s 30th AnniversaryBook a Deluxe Room and enjoy these fantastic benefits:  Guests will receive SGD30Nett worth of food and beverage credits per booking to be redeemed at Peach Blossoms, AquaMarine or Atrium Lounge.With this Marina Mandarin 30th Anniversary Deluxe Room booking, receive a Guaranteed upgrade to Executive Deluxe Room – Marina Bay View and Guaranteed late check-out until 3pm and guests will also receive 30th Anniversary welcome amenities. To book this package, do Quote “30th Anniversary” when making your reservation.•       Booking period is from now to 28 February 2017•       Stay period: 9 Apr to 30 June 2017Black-out dates are from 16 to 18 May 2017 and 23 to 25 May 2017Terms and conditions applyPackage is non-refundable, non-cancellableFor Reservations, please call+65 6845 1000 marina@meritushotels.com Source = Marina Mandarin Singaporelast_img read more

Global Loyalty Company surpasses 20 million members

first_imgGLC has passed 20 million members across its four airline frequent flyer programs: Etihad Guest (used by Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional), JetPrivilege (Jet Airways), MilleMiglia (Alitalia), and topbonus (airberlin and NIKI).Global Loyalty Company surpasses 20 million membersGlobal Loyalty Company (GLC), the specialist loyalty business of Etihad Airways Group, this week announced that it had passed the milestone of 20 million members across its four airline frequent flyer programs: Etihad Guest (used by Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional), JetPrivilege (Jet Airways), MilleMiglia (Alitalia), and topbonus (airberlin and NIKI).Collectively, the programs have members in 150 countries around the world. India boasts the highest number of members with five million, followed by Italy with 3.5 million members and Germany at more than three million. The US and UK make up another two million members, while Antarctica, Pitcairn Island and Liberia are among the countries and territories which have just one member each.GLC was launched in 2013 and offers an extensive range of exclusive benefits across its programs, including priority check-in, lounge access, priority boarding and bonus tier miles. Members can earn and use their miles across the eight Etihad Airways Partner airlines, with topbonus members also able to earn and redeem on all oneworld partner airlines; while MilleMiglia members can do the same across all SkyTeam partner airlines. Overall, this covers more than 3,000 destinations worldwide.In addition, members can earn miles with around 300 lifestyle partners worldwide – including American Express Membership Rewards USA, Kaligo and Rentalcars.com; Porsche (Ali & Sons) in the UAE; Booking.com, Conde Nast and HDFC Bank in India; Damiani, Yoox and Boggi in Italy; Postbank, Wüstenrot Bank, Enterprise car rental and over 500 online shopping partners in Germany.Darren Peisley, Managing Director of Hala Group, said: “This is a significant milestone for GLC, and one which we are very proud to have achieved – just four years after embarking on our journey to change the landscape of airline loyalty. At the heart of our success has been a relentless focus on applying the right data, insights, technology, marketing science and creative thinking to build strong and mutually beneficial relationships with members, and our family of airline and lifestyle brand partners. Relationships that continue to deliver real value for both frequent flyers and non-frequent flyers.” Etihad AirwaysBook flights hereSource = About Etihad Aviation Grouplast_img read more

AFRs Most Innovative Companies

first_imgFlight Centre Travel Group AFR’s Most Innovative CompaniesFlight Centre’s Corporate Travel Division Named One of AFR’s Most Innovative CompaniesThe Corporate brands of the Flight Centre Travel Group are celebrating after being named in the The Australian Financial Review BOSS Most Innovative Companies list for 2019 last night in Sydney.The prestigious annual list, published by The Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, is based on a rigorous assessment process managed by Australia’s leading innovation consultancy, Inventium, in conjunction with a panel of industry expert judges.The brands of FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller and Stage and Screen combined are represented as Flight Centre Corporate in the Professional Services list and are recognised for bringing a revolutionary AI inspired online booking tool, Savi and smart assistant mobile application, Sam to the Australian Travel market.“We are thrilled to announce the first ever industry specific Most Innovative Companies List. What separated the most innovative organisations from the least, was the involvement of the customer the entire way through the innovation process. Leading innovators also had strong mechanisms in place to recognise the innovation efforts of their staff,” said Dr Amantha Imber, Founder, Inventium.Savi is an exclusive online booking tool which has been developed by our Corporate brands in conjunction with the company’s technology partner, Serko. It is available exclusively for customers of FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Stage and Screen Travel Services. Savi includes rich content, unique user modules and exclusive functionality that can’t be found elsewhere in the market. Savi and Sam together deliver an integrated superior travel experience.Executive General Manager – Flight Centre Travel Group Corporate Division James Kavanagh said that Savi was created in response to the poor user experience observed from many online booking tools in the corporate travel sector.“Savi was developed to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a smarter, better and simpler user experience for the business traveller and travel co-ordinator,” Mr Kavanagh said.“Savi was born in response to a number of requests from customers to better streamline their business travel programs.“Engaging with our customers we identified opportunities to address inefficient and costly actions in the online travel booking process which led to the development of Savi and its exclusive modules that leverage the latest in AI capabilities.”The Savi Select, Savi Credits and Savi Voice modules help businesses and travellers make smarter decisions to maximise their travel savings.Mr Kavanagh said that customers were engaged with at all stages of the product development process to ensure that it was adequately meeting their needs.“For the first time Savi is bringing a leisure booking experience into the corporate world in Australia and New Zealand. It has saved our customers time with its intuitive recommendation engine and traveller engagement model to expedite the booking process with the widest range of products including exclusive rates for our corporate customers,” Mr Kavanagh said.“It is a leap forward as a customer-centric product and providing improved productivity.”Source = Flight Centre Travel Grouplast_img read more

Shradha Shrestha

first_imgWe have been participating in OTM from the last 10 years with higher and higher expectations, and we have never been disappointed. We are getting positive response from the travel trade, so we are very hopeful that this time too we will see lot of tourists to Nepal from OTM.last_img

Irrfan Khan becomes the face of campaign for Rajasthan Tourism

first_imgBollywood actor Irrfan Khan has recently become the new face of Rajasthan Tourism, for a special campaign named Resurgent Rajasthan.Loaded with several film projects, the actor managed to take out some time to visit Jaipur. He would help in whatever way possible to promote his motherland, said Khan. He is personally looking into the campaign and how things are shaping on ground.Irrfan had previously met the Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje for the campaign and this time around discussed the campaign and the way forward on it.With his charm and global appeal, Khan’s new role is bound to boost tourism in the state.last_img

AccorHotels releases its overall results of first quarter of 2017

first_imgDuring the first quarter, AccorHotels’ development represented 35 hotels and more than 7,000 rooms. As of March 31, 2017, the Group’s pipeline amounted to 951 hotels and 176,000 rooms.Consolidated first-quarter 2017 revenue totalled €425 million, up 35.4% as reported and 7.4% on a like-for-like basis. Changes in the scope of consolidation (acquisitions and disposals) made a positive contribution of €82 million (+26%). Currency effects had a positive impact of €6 million, attributable primarily to the Brazilian real (+€8.2 million) and the Australian dollar (+€4.3 million).Speaking on the occasion, Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels, said,  “The trends observed in the first quarter in the vast majority of regions reflect a favourable environment for the hotel industry. This is particularly the case in our three main markets, France, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, the Group further entrenched its growth, its move into new businesses and its leadership in the luxury segment through numerous value-creating acquisitions, namely Rixos and BHG in hotels and Availpro, Potel & Chabot and VeryChic in new businesses. Lastly, the process of transforming AccorInvest into a subsidiary is underway; AccorHotels is therefore perfectly in line with our 2017 objectives.”With strong growth for HotelServices (+5.6%) and the new businesses (concierge services, luxury home rentals and digital services for independent hotel operators, +10.4%), the Group recorded revenue growth of 7.4% at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates (LFL) in the first quarter of 2017, despite the loss of one day of business compared with the first quarter of 2016.HotelServices, which operated 4,158 hotels (586,578 rooms) under franchise agreements and management contracts at the end of March 2017, reported a 34% increase in revenue as reported to €394 million.AccorHotels benefits from the well-balanced spread of Fairmont Hotels across the United States and Canada and a strong presence in U.S. cities less exposed to international customers. As a result, regional RevPAR grew by 3.6%. The 0.1% like-for-like increase in revenue does not include Fairmont; it only takes into account the hotels included in the scope of consolidation in Q1 2016, which are more exposed to markets such as New York and Miami.During the first quarter, AccorHotels opened 35 hotels, representing more than 7,000 rooms. At the end of March 2017, the Group’s pipeline comprised 951 hotels and 176,000 rooms, of which 82% in emerging markets and 45% in the Asia-Pacific region. In the three months to end-March 2017, revenue from the new businesses (concierge services, luxury home rentals and digital services for independent hotels) amounted to €13 million, compared with €5 million in first-quarter 2016.last_img read more