Sunwings latest video helps you sell 2017 Travellers Choice Award winner Memories

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Sunwing’s latest video helps you sell 2017 Travellers’ Choice Award winner Memories Splash Punta Cana Share Posted by TORONTO — As Canada’s #1 choice for family vacations, Sunwing is excited to announce that one of its most popular family-oriented resorts, Memories Splash Punta Cana, has received the 2017 Travellers’ Choice Award, ranking the property among the top 25 family resorts in the Caribbean— a category that only 1% of all hotels in the entire region fall into. This newest award follows a series of other recent accolades such as the Award for Best Family Resort in all of Punta Cana for 2016, and the TripAdvisor Award of Excellence for being among the top 10 family resorts in the Caribbean for 2015.One of Sunwing’s exclusive Splashworld resorts, the property is home to one of the Caribbean’s largest on-site water parks complete with 20ft slides, a tipping bucket, wave pool and splash park for younger children. Along with unlimited and complimentary water park access, vacationers will also appreciate the packed day-to-night entertainment program, kids’ and teen clubs, fitness centre and tennis courts.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Guests have a choice of spacious rooms and suites, including options with bunkbed arrangements that are perfect for larger families. The resort also offers varied dining experiences across five restaurants from Mexican classics to fresh seafood selections, and also enjoys full exchange privileges with Royalton Punta Cana, where guests can savour authentic Italian dishes at Grazie Italian Trattoria, enjoy casual dining while watching the game at SCORE Sports Bar & Lounge or try their luck at the casino.Sunwing offers vacation packages to Memories Splash Punta Cana from up to 12 gateways from coast to coast, with daily departures from Toronto all year round. All Sunwing packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can sit back and relax with onboard Champagne Service, which includes a sparkling wine toast, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service and buy-onboard selection of light meals and snacks with choices inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyTo help agents sell the destination, Sunwing has released the following video to share with clients (along with your contact details):For more information, go to Thursday, March 2, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: Family Travel, Memories Resorts & Spa, Sunwing, Videolast_img read more

Porter passengers now eligible for TSA Pre✓

first_img Wednesday, May 2, 2018 Porter passengers now eligible for TSA Pre✓ Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Good news for Porter passengers – the airline has joined the TSA Pre✓ program, which means faster security screening when travelling from the U.S.Expedited screening at designated checkpoints may allow passengers to keep on shoes, belts and light outerwear, as well as leave laptops and compliant liquids in carry-on baggage.“TSA Pre✓ allows our passengers to have an even quicker airport experience when departing from the U.S.,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “This is especially true when matched with the convenient arrival process found at our home airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.”When the TSA Pre✓ symbol is displayed on a boarding pass, passengers may use designated screening checkpoints. In March 2018, 93% of TSA Pre✓ passengers waited less than five minutes to clear security.All members of Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓ Application Program are eligible for TSA Pre✓ screening. Canadian citizens enrolled in NEXUS are also eligible, as are U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents who are members of NEXUS or SENTRI.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?When making a reservation, passengers should provide their trusted traveller membership number or PASS ID, also referred to as a Known Traveller Number (KTN), in the designated online field of their reservation, when speaking with Porter’s call centre or to their travel agent. The KTN may also be entered in a VIPorter frequent flyer profile, where it will be stored for future reservations made directly from individual profiles. Tags: Porter, TSA << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

ACV brings back San Juan promo on heels of Puerto Ricos posthurricane

first_img Posted by ACV brings back San Juan promo on heels of Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane message Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Puerto Rico SAN JUAN — As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria approaches, Discover Puerto Rico has launched a new initiative to flip the script, from one that focuses on Maria’s devastating impact to a new message about hope and hospitality.#CoverTheProgress aims to encourage travellers and news media to share real-time island imagery and the many milestones that have led the island to achieve one of the “greatest comeback stories in tourism”. This initiative stems from the strong sentiment of the local community paired with the positive reactions from recent travellers to Puerto Rico.“Six months after Hurricane Maria hit, more than 50% of travellers said media coverage negatively impacted their view of Puerto Rico as a destination, and we’re hoping to change that as the one-year anniversary approaches,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “Puerto Rico declared itself open for tourism in late December, and the local tourism industry has worked very hard for the past year to come back strong. There’s a lot to celebrate and we don’t want the one-year anniversary to set us back.”Dean also noted that while there’s still progress to be made in some areas of the island, Discover Puerto Rico is “taking this moment to encourage all audiences to help us spotlight our tourism recover and invite travellers to visit us as tourism is a vital contributor to the economy.”As part of #CoverTheProgress, local members of Humacao – one of the island’s hardest hit communities that became well known for its now viral S.O.S. image during Maria’s aftermath – have a new message to share. They teamed up with the local tourism industry to replace the aerial image with a new message that reads: “Bienvenidos!”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”“We’ve been wanting to clean up that message for a while as we’re past it,” said Janet Gonzalez, resident of Humacao. “We were asked what message we’d want to share with the world and hope our new positive message spreads just as fast.”Here are a few tourism milestones achieved in recent months:• Flight capacity is on the rise with monthly seat capacity surpassing the 420,000 figure. There are currently on average 110 daily flights via 28 different airlines. By Q4, Puerto Rico is poised to be on par with 2017 levels.• There are more cruises on the island than ever before, with 14 vessels (four more than last year). Puerto Rico also has 119 cruise shore excursions currently available.• Cruise tourism in May saw the best results for that month in the last 20 years, with 107,390 cruise passengers received, up 12.9% than May 2017.• For the next cruise season, a record-breaking 1.7 million passengers are expected, which equates to approximately US$250 million in revenue.• There are currently 132 lodging options on the island.• In October 2018, 657 new rooms will be available courtesy of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. In December, another 480 rooms will be available from Mélia Coco Beach, while 652 new rooms will open in January from Caribe Hilton.• The islands of Culebra and Vieques are ready to welcome visitors. There are day excursions to the islands from mainland Puerto Rico.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesTo reiterate the fact that Puerto Rico is open for business, Air Canada Vacations is bringing back its popular fly free to San Juan and cruise offer with Royal Caribbean International.Until Aug. 26, cruisers will receive a free roundtrip flight to San Juan when booking a balcony category stateroom or higher on select Freedom of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas cruises sailing from San Juan.The promotion is based on economy class service with a maximum savings of $380 per person from Toronto or Montreal. Guests are responsible for paying the taxes, which are approximately $150 per person.Guests departing from other Canadian gateways will receive a maximum savings of $540 per person when travelling in service class G on connecting flights, and service class F on the main flight segment.New individual bookings for cruise and flight packages must be made between Aug. 20-26, 2018, for select sailings between Oct. 28, 2018 and April 28, 2019.For more information go to For more information on travel to Puerto Rico go to Travelweek Group center_img Tweet Wednesday, August 22, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Cubas Golden Tulip Aguas Claras Resort shines with Transat

first_img Share Cuba’s Golden Tulip Aguas Claras Resort shines with Transat Posted by Travelweek Group Thursday, May 16, 2019 center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Located on a 1.5 kilometre private beach in Cayo Santa Maria, Golden Tulip Aguas Claras Resort is a property that plunges you into nature in all its glory, says Transat. Guests can take part in a wide variety of water, land and beach activities, whether they’re interested in learning some new moves in salsa lessons, serving up some fun at beach volleyball or lazing on a catamaran.  There are also many activities for families looking to have fun, with a children’s pool, a mini-club and snorkeling marine adventures. The four-star all-inclusive 846-room resort has spacious and modern rooms, with several different categories for guests to choose from, including Junior Suite Garden View, Junior Suite Ocean View (upgrade option available), Junior Suite Premium Garden View and Suites.  Golden Tulip Aguas Claras Resort also has six restaurants with choices for those interested in dining buffet or à la carte style, including Fuego Hielo, an à la carte gourmet restaurant, and La Caleta, a breakfast snack bar. For bar options, there eight different options, with drink options ranging from local, international and premium.  For more details see Tags: Cuba, Resort, Transatlast_img read more

Chinchilla meets with new Assembly chief

first_imgFrom the print editionPresident Laura Chinchilla on Wednesday met with new Legislative Assembly President Victor Granados for the first time since his May 1 election. At Casa Presidencial, the two discussed their priorities for the Costa Rican Congress, which includes pushing bills about security and finances. According to Radio ADN, Chinchilla wants to pass bills on the issues of human trafficking, guns and regulating casinos and bookmakers. Also on the table are bills discussing free trade agreements with Peru, Singapore and China, reforms to the transit law and fiscal transparency. The government does not consider controversial bills including same-sex unions a priority. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img

Holiday market offers new forum for oldfashioned shopping

first_img Facebook Comments Today marks the launch of the fourth-annual Tropical Market, orMercado Tropical,at the Casa del Cuño outside of the Antigua Aduana in San José – providing an ideal place to shop for Christmas gifts and spend time with family and friends.María Hortensia Ruge, who is the organizer of the event and has a background in fashion design, told The Tico Times that she created the Market because she observed a need for  new ways for local Costa Rican designers and producers to have direct contact with consumers. This is the second year in which the Market istaking place at the Casa del Cuño, Dec. 11-14 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. each day, with 64 local businesses participating.Four of the participating businesses will serve food at the Café Tropical, a new section of the fair this year. Free activities such as conferences, yoga classes and a mobile butterfly farm are part of this extensive, but fun event. The calypso band Rice & Beans will close the fair with a presentation of Caribbean Christmas carols. Chocolates Sibú offers a creative array of treats. The Tico TimesChocolate SIBÚ, one of the participants in this year’s fair, got its start in 2010 as a family business. They make hand-crafted chocolates with organic cocoa from San Isidro de Heredia, and have 16 different types of chocolates in their menu including truffles, caramels, and chocolate ganache with homemade fruit jam – and, during the Christmas season, delicious chocolate tamales.Another business participating in the fair is Ximena Esquivel Joyería, named for its owner and creator. Her work incorporates stones opals and pearls, and techniques including wax carving; all pieces are handmade and mounted in silver settings.“I’ve always been interested in jewelry. When I was little, I would make necklaces with beads. Later on, I took classes in a jewelry school and several workshops,” Esquivel told The Tico Times. Ximena Esquivel Joyeria offers custom-made designs. Courtesy of Ximena EsquivelAccording to Ruge, the products at the fair are of higher quality than imported goods because they are hand-crafted rather than mass-produced.“Buying local does not imply less quality. It has a great impact on the ecological and economic level,” Ruge said. “The power of buying a product is even a way to make a political change. The way in which you choose to buy is the way in which you impact the entrepreneur.”The Tropical Market takes place Dec. 11-14, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. at the Casa del Cuño outside of the Antigua Aduana, San José. Free. More information at the event’s Facebook page. Related posts:Market with international flair offers goods in Santa Ana Christmas-themed theater warms hearts this month Bullfights, punk bands, and other happenings around Costa Rica Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

Intel hiring for new Costa Rica operation

first_imgRelated posts:Intel expands Costa Rica operations US company World Fuel Services seeks 70 bilingual employees Bacardi to open support services center in Costa Rica National Instruments to hire 170 new workers at Costa Rica operation Multinational technology companyIntel is recruiting professional and technical staff for its new research and development center in Costa Rica, which the company officially announced Tuesday in San José.Intel’s Client Computing Group (CGG) will be responsible for developing new products that the corporation will release in coming years, including computers, tablets and smartphones. Intel Costa Rica’s general manager, Vincent Guglielmetti, said the company wants the CCG team to have end-to-end product development capabilities.At a public event on Tuesday Intel’s vice president of the Client Computing Group, James Kirkland, said the main reason for investing in Costa Rica is its educational system and because local professionals have “the right skills and the ideal passion.”The firm’s public and government affairs manager, Timothy Scott, said Costa Rica scored high in all criteria considered for selecting a location for the new unit. A highly educated population, as well as good Internet connectivity, good infrastructure and energy supply were some of the reasons for choosing Costa Rica, he said. The country’s relative proximity to the U.S. and the fact that it’s in the same time zone as Intel’s main locations in the U.S. also helped, he said.A small group of employees is already working at the new department, but Intel has yet to determine the size of the team at full capacity.The company’s website lists available jobs in Costa Rica for professionals and students in various engineering and business specialties. It’s looking for engineers with specialities in electrical, electronics, software and mechanics engineering. Jobs are also available for accounts payable staff and technical support agents.Those interested in applying for one of the jobs can see the full list on Intel’s website.The new unit joins Intel’s Global Service Center, which the company opened here in late 2014. The Costa Rica operation currently employs 1,900 workers, Intel reported. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Putin signs protocol for Russia to join WTO

first_imgMOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the protocol for the country to join the World Trade Organization, capping an accession process that took 18 years.The signing announced Saturday by the Kremlin comes a week after parliament ratified the agreement.Russia had been the largest economy outside the global trade organization.Advocates say that joining the WTO will improve foreign investment and push Russian businesses. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family The vital role family plays in society Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates But thousands of Russian businesses are wary that the low import duties and caps on subsidies that are a condition of joining the WTO will hurt them.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths ErrorOK.. ErrorOK 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories last_img read more

NKorea says South US are within its missile range

first_img Sponsored Stories Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korean studies professor based in Seoul, said that in the latest case, the North had no choice but to respond to South Korea’s extended missile range but is unlikely to launch a provocation, as it is waiting for the results of U.S. and South Korean presidential elections.Under the new deal with the U.S., South Korea will be able to possess ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers (500 miles). South Korea will continue to limit the payload to 500 kilograms for ballistic missiles with an 800-kilometer range, but it will be able to use heavier payloads for missiles with shorter ranges.A previous 2001 accord with Washington had barred South Korea from deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a payload of more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) because of concerns about a regional arms race.The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against possible aggression from North Korea.___Associated Press writers Eric Talmadge in Tokyo and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report. In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, an unidentified spokesman at the powerful National Defense Commission said the North will bolster its military preparedness.“We do not hide … the strategic rocket forces are keeping within the scope of strike not only the bases of the puppet forces and the U.S. imperialist aggression forces’ bases in the inviolable land of Korea but also Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland,” the spokesman said.South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it had no official comment on the North’s statement, but Seoul and Washington have repeatedly said they have no intention of attacking North Korea.In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news conference that North Korea would achieve nothing through threats and provocations. She declined to say whether the continental U.S. was within the North’s missile range.She said South Korea’s missile ranges and capabilities have not changed since 2001, while North has been clearly working on its own. She said the recent agreement with the South on missiles was defensive in nature.North Korean long-range rockets are believed to have a range of up to about 6,700 kilometers (4,160 miles), putting parts of Alaska within reach, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project But the North’s spotty record in test launches raises doubts about whether it is truly capable of an attack.Pyongyang shocked Japan in 1998 when it sent a rocket over Japan’s main island and into the Pacific. That also alarmed Washington because about 50,000 U.S. troops are deployed in Japan and their bases could be within the North’s range. Tokyo and Washington have since intensified their ballistic missile defenses.But the North’s most recent rocket launch, in April, ended in humiliating failure shortly after liftoff. North Korea said it was trying to launch a satellite with that launch, but the U.S. and other countries said it was actually a test of long-range missile technology. The failure suggests that Pyongyang has yet to master the technology it needs to control multistage rockets _ a key capability if it is to threaten the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles.And although North Korea is believed to have a small nuclear arsenal, experts do not believe it has mastered the miniaturization technology required to mount a nuclear weapon on a long-range rocket.It’s unusual for the North to say its missiles are capable of striking the U.S., but Pyongyang has often threatened to attack South Korea and the U.S. in times of tension. It often does not follow through, but its deadly 2010 artillery strikes on a South Korean island came after it issued a threat to retaliate against South Korean military drills. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressSEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Tuesday warned that the U.S. mainland is within range of its missiles and said that Washington’s recent agreement to let Seoul possess missiles capable of hitting all of the North shows the allies are plotting to invade the country.South Korea announced Sunday that it reached a deal with Washington that would allow it to nearly triple the range of its missiles to better cope with North Korean missile and nuclear threats. On Tuesday, North Korea called the deal a “product of another conspiracy of the master and the stooge” to “ignite a war” against the North. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Men’s health affects baby’s health too Four benefits of having a wireless security system 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Powerful southern Indian politician cleared of corruption

first_img Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NEW DELHI (AP) — An appeals court acquitted a powerful politician in southern India of corruption charges Monday, clearing the way for Jayaram Jayalalitha to return to public office.Supporters from Jayalalitha’s party cheered, set off firecrackers and danced in the streets of the Tamil Nadu state capital of Chennai, her hometown, after the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore delivered its verdict.The 67-year-old Jayalalitha, a film star in her youth, said the verdict showed the case had been “foisted (on me) by political enemies.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “It has confirmed that I have done no wrong,” she said in a statement issued from Chennai.In throwing out the case, Justice C.R. Kumaraswamy said the prosecution had failed to prove Jayalalitha was guilty. He also acquitted three of Jayalalitha’s aides.She was forced last year to step down as the highest elected official in Tamil Nadu after a Bangalore court in September convicted her of possessing wealth disproportionate to her income and sentenced her to four years in prison.She spent 21 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted her bail, after she argued that she needed medical attention for diabetes and high blood pressure.Meanwhile, her lawyers appealed the conviction stemming from 1996 accusations of amassing 660 million rupees ($11 million) at a time when she was taking a token 1 rupee as her monthly salary. They said the rival party in office, the DMK, had inflated the value of her assets, which they said had been obtained legally.Jayalalitha joined politics in the early 1980s after a successful film career that included appearances in nearly 150 movies. She has had three stints as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, including her latest one, which began in May 2011. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Fed agency blames giant hack on neglected security system

first_imgChaffetz said the two breaches “may be the most devastating cyberattack in our nation’s history,” and said OPM’s security policy was akin to leaving its doors and windows unlocked and expecting nothing to be stolen.“I am as distressed as you are about how long these systems have gone neglected,” Archuleta said, adding at another point, “The whole of government is responsible and it will take all of us to solve the issue.”Archuleta and the other witnesses offered few new details about the breaches in the public hearing, deferring most questions about methods and damage to a later, classified session.After that session, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, demanded that the committee hear testimony from two OPM contractors, KeyPoint and USIS, that fell victim to hacks last year. Earlier, Cummings and other lawmakers questioned whether the OPM network was compromised first through hacking of the contractors, and OPM officials declined to answer.During the open hearing, Donna Seymour, the agency’s chief information officer, confirmed that personnel information on 4.2 million current and former federal employees had been stolen, not just accessed. Sponsored Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories FILE – In this April 22, 2015 file photo, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. When hackers broke into a database filled with the private information of U.S. security clearance holders, they likely got access to the names of foreign relatives of some of those officials who are living abroad. “It may be the single biggest breach of data that our government has ever had,” said Chaffetz on teh C-SPAN Newsmakers program, calling the stolen data “the most sensitive information we have.” (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments   Share   ___Follow Ken Dilanian on Twitter at © 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 The number of security clearance holders whose data has been taken is not yet known, she said. But the records go back to 1985 and include contractors as well as federal employees. Some government officials estimate the number could be up to 14 million.And because their security clearance applications contain personal information about friends and family, those people’s data is vulnerable as well.Seymour also disclosed that any federal employees who submitted service history records to OPM, whether or not their personnel records are kept by the agency, likely had their information stolen. That raised the specter that intelligence agency employees who were not kept in the main personnel system for security reasons may have been exposed anyway.Another fear is that covert intelligence officers working undercover as government employees may have been made vulnerable. If their names are not in the federal employee database, that could be revealing to foreign adversaries; there also could be holes in any bogus employee record built for spying cover purposes.Andy Ozment, a top Department of Homeland Security cyber official, said the hackers gained access to OPM’s network using stolen credentials.center_img That was important because many lawmakers and outside experts had criticized OPM for failing to take the obvious step of encrypting sensitive data, including Social Security numbers. Ozment said attackers with network credentials could have accessed encrypted data, anyway.Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican and former covert CIA officer, said he didn’t doubt the good intentions of the OPM witnesses, but “the execution has been horrific.”China denies involvement in the cyberattack, and no evidence has been aired publicly proving Chinese involvement although the government says it has “moderate confidence” China was involved.Lawmakers voiced fears Tuesday that China will seek to gain leverage over Americans with access to secrets by pressuring their overseas relatives and contacts, particularly if they happen to be living in China or another authoritarian country.“China now has a list of Chinese citizens worldwide who are in close contact with American officials and they can use that for espionage purposes,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Florida Republican.In the cyberattack targeting federal personnel records, hackers are believed to have obtained the Social Security numbers, birth dates, job actions and other private information on every federal employee and millions of former employees and contractors. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall In the other attack, which the Obama administration acknowledged on Friday after downplaying the possibility for days, the cyber spies got detailed background information on millions of military, intelligence and other personnel who have been investigated for security clearances.Applicants for security clearances are required to list drug use, criminal convictions, mental health issues, and the names and addresses of their foreign relatives.“The ‘friends and family’ dataset is ultimately the most useful for a hostile intelligence service,” said Richard Zahner, a retired lieutenant general and former top NSA official. Tie the information to what’s publicly available, and other intelligence the adversary has already collected, “and you have insights that few services have ever achieved.”The personnel records hack comes in a long line of other cyber breaches linked to China and targeting the personal information of Americans, including one in January against health insurer Anthem.“The United States of America is under attack,” Cummings said. “Sophisticated cyber spies, many from foreign countries, are targeting the sensitive personnel information of millions of Americans. They are attacking our government, our economy, our financial sector, our health care systems and virtually every single aspect of our lives.” Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The criticism came from within, as well. Michael Esser, the agency’s assistant inspector general for audit, detailed a yearslong failure by OPM to adhere to reasonable cybersecurity practices, and he said that that for a long time, the people running the agency’s information technology had no expertise.Last year, he said, an inspector general’s audit recommended that the agency shut down some of its networks because they were so vulnerable. The director, Katherine Archuleta, declined, saying it would interfere with the agency’s mission.The hackers were already inside her networks, she later acknowledged.“You failed utterly and totally,” said committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican. “They recommended it was so bad that you shut it down and you didn’t.”Archuleta, stumbling occasionally under withering questions from lawmakers, sought to defend her tenure and portray the agency’s problems as decades in the making as its equipment aged. She appeared to cast blame on her recent predecessors, one of whom, John Berry, is the U.S. ambassador to Australia.Offered chances to apologize and resign, she declined to do either. WASHINGTON (AP) — The agency that allowed hackers linked to China to steal private information about nearly every federal employee — and detailed personal histories of millions with security clearances — failed for years to take basic steps to secure its computer networks, officials acknowledged to Congress on Tuesday.Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spoke in unison to describe their outrage over what they called gross negligence by the Office of Personnel Management. The agency’s data was breached last year in two massive cyberattacks only recently revealed.last_img read more

Yellen Higher rates wont derail recovery

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sought to reassure worried lawmakers on Thursday that when the Fed begins to raise interest rates, it will be careful not to derail the economy.Delivering her second day of congressional testimony, Yellen responded to concerns from some Democratic senators that once the Fed does start raising rates, it could set back job market and income gains.Both Sens. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Charles Schumer, D-New York, told Yellen that with inflation at such low levels now, it would be a mistake for the Fed to begin raising interest rates too quickly. The more prudent course, they said, would be to keep rates low and give the labor market more time to heal from the Great Recession. Yellen said the Fed was facing a delicate balancing act in achieving its dual goals of achieving maximum employment and stable prices.“We don’t want to cut off job growth and income growth, and we do want to see inflation move up to 2 percent,” Yellen said. “We would not be pleased to see it linger indefinitely below 2 percent.”In an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen reiterated her view that if the economy keeps improving, the Fed will likely begin raising rates this year. The Fed has kept its benchmark rate at a record low near zero since December 2008, and it has been nine years since it has actually raised the federal funds rate.Yellen said that the Fed wants to see further improvement in the labor market and have greater confidence that inflation is moving back toward its 2 percent target before it starts raising rates.Yellen’s appearance before the Senate panel was less confrontational than her appearance Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee.Before the House panel, a number of Republican lawmakers took Yellen to task for refusing to turn over documents the House panel subpoenaed. The documents are connected to an investigation of a possible Fed leak of market-sensitive information in October 2012. Yellen has said she was withholding some documents upon the advice of the Fed inspector general that turning the material over could jeopardize an on-going investigation. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Members of the Senate panel did not bring up the leak investigation. Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate are sponsoring legislation aimed at making the Fed more accountable to Congress. Yellen repeated comments she had made before the House panel that the Fed is already among the most transparent central banks in the world and urged Congress not to make changes that could undermine the Fed’s ability to conduct monetary policy.On monetary policy, Yellen said that she did not believe the Fed is overly influenced by concerns about financial markets.“We can’t completely ignore what is happening in the markets,” she said. “It is one element of our evaluation, but I don’t think we pay undue attention to it.”Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, pushed Yellen to be tougher in reviewing the “living wills” that the nation’s large banks are now required to submit each year. The wills detail to regulators how they could be shut down in the event they become insolvent.These wills were required in the 2010 overhaul of financial regulations aimed at avoiding a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. But Warren and others have complained that regulators have not been tough enough in enforcing this provision of the overhaul law. Comments   Share   Top Stories Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 16, 2015, before the Senate Committee. Yellen told the committee that when the Fed begins to raise interest rates, it wants to make sure that it doesn’t derail further gains in U.S. jobs and incomes. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Yellen told Warren that if the living wills the banks submit are not adequate “we are certainly prepared to say they are not credible.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

8 Australian men charged with 500 sex offenses against girl

first_img Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   The father and the other men, who range in age from 35 to 47, are facing 503 charges, including sexual penetration of a child under 13, stupefying with intent to commit a criminal offense and sexual servitude of a child.Police Detective Superintendent Glenn Feeney, who described the abuse the girl suffered as “horrific,” said one of the men had 200,000 videos and 4 million child pornography images. The victim was featured in 149 images, he said.“It’s disgusting material — there are no words to describe it,” Feeney said. “Any sex offense against a child is just beyond words.”The girl is now safe and receiving treatment, he said.Police are still sifting through the material they seized to determine whether anyone else may have been involved.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Patients with chronic pain give advice Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of PERTH, Australia (AP) — An Australian man was accused Wednesday of allowing seven men to sexually abuse his 13-year-old daughter over the past two years, with police charging all eight men with more than 500 child sex offenses.Western Australia police arrested the men after receiving a tip-off from the public. Police say the father knew all of the men, and arranged for them to meet his daughter and subsequently assault her when she was between the ages of 11 and 13. The father is also accused of assaulting the girl. Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Steve Jacobs to Host ICCA Awards Night

first_imgSource = International Cruise Council Australasia Well known morning television personality Steve Jacobs will be the host of the International Cruise Council Australasia’s 2009 Awards night in Sydney in January.The gala event will be held on Saturday January 23, 2010, at Dockside Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, with a limited number of tickets still available. Council General Manager Brett Jardine said he expected the Today Show host to be a popular MC for the black-tie event.“Steve has reported from the decks of many cruise ships over recent years, so he’s an ideal host for our awards,” Mr Jardine said.Steve’s broadcast career spans 20 years as an actor and presenter.  He joined the Channel Nine Today Show crew in 2004 and has also been a presenter on a range of television programs including Postcards Victoria and Holidays for Sale.Tickets for the award dinner are priced at $176 (including GST) each. To purchase tickets online and for more information visit at The International Cruise Council Australasia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996, committed to training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising. last_img read more

Oprah sways US visits into WA

first_imgThe Oprah effect has pushed tourism into Western Australia, with the region doubling its visitor numbers from the US during the March quarter.Tourism Minister Kim Hames said following her adventure down under, visits in the quarter increased by up to 53 percent from the US. “That growth will undoubtedly be a result of the WA promotion on The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2010 and the extensive marketing Tourism WA has conducted in the US in conjunction with Oprah’s Great Australian Adventure,” the Minister said.Overall for the March quarter the region witnessed a nine percent increase in international visitors compared to the prior year, hoisting overnight visits for the year ending March 2011 up by 2.6 percent to 706,600 compared to the previous year.“This is a very pleasing result coming off the back of a 0.7 per cent decline in international visitors to WA in the previous survey for the 12 months to December 2010,” Dr Hames said. “Better still, the amount those visitors spent while here rose by 9.5 per cent – the second highest increase in Australia – to $1.9million.”Click here for more on Western Australia’s international growth for the year ending March 2011. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Long weekend strikes long delays

first_imgPassengers flying in and out of Sydney International airport today and over the long weekend may experience delays as customs and quarantine officers as well as Qantas workers walk off the job.Upcoming airport workforce strikes follow a two hour walk-out held on Tuesday this week, and will see staff stop work today and Saturday 1 October between 6.00am to 7.00am, 8.00am to 9.00am as well as 7.00pm to 8.00pm.Coordinating the industrial action, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) national president Michael Tull explained stoppages were designed to prompt employers to offer “decent and affordable pay rises”.“We regret any inconvenience our action may cause for travellers and we are encouraging people to factor possible delays into their plans around these times,” Mr Tull said.“Our members only take industrial action as a last resort, but unless we see a pay deal that matches the rising cost of living, the level of industrial action could increase in coming weeks.”Mr Tull added that it was time for management to “get serious” about pay negotiations as agreements for Quarantine and Customs past their expiry date by up to three months.  News of further strikes over the long weekend come as a double whammy to travellers, as up to 3,800 Qantas staff prepare to walk-off the job for one hour on Friday 30 September, disrupting travel plans for up to 8,500 Qantas domestic and international passengers.Qantas advised that as a result of the one hour strike starting a 8.00am according to each airport’s local time around Australia, it has been forced to cancel two flights on the eve of the AFL and NRL Grand Finals as well as delay 39 other services.“We’re sorry that the TWU is taking their grievances out on our passengers over a pay dispute,” Qantas group executive Olivia Wirth said. “We are doing everything we can to minimise the disruptions.“This really couldn’t have come at a worse time with passengers trying to get to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals and many families heading away for the school holidays.”The Flying Kangaroo said it is currently contacting affected customers. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Regent Seven Seas reports 2nd quarter results

first_imgThe results for the second quarter of 2012 have been released by Regent Seven Seas Cruises with a record amount of USD$131.5 million in revenue compared to USD$122.8 million in the second quarter of 2011. Additional product costs associated with the increased inclusive product offerings for the line’s European cruise packages resulted in a 2.8 per cent net yield increase driven by an 8.5 per cent increase in the occupancy rate. The scheduled dry-dock of Seven Seas Navigator resulted in a decrease in capacity to 163,170 available passenger cruise days, with the dry-dock also resulting in an increase in expenses from USD$5.3 million for the second quarter in 2011 to USD$5.8 million this year. Fuel expenses also rose from USD$8.6 million for the second quarter in 2011 to USD$10.4 million, with the company hedging approximately 80% of the remaining expected fuel consumption for 2012 as at 30 June. “We are pleased with our second quarter revenue and Net Yield increases over the prior year considering the backdrop of a challenging European environment,”Regent Seven Seas Cruises chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio said. “In order to drive demand for our softer European sailings, we chose to include additional value in our already industry leading all-inclusive product offerings rather than discount cruise fares. This non-discounting strategy is consistent with our longstanding go-to-market philosophy and reinforces our brand’s high value proposition, but it did increase product offering costs for the quarter. “We believe that our steadfast refusal to discount our luxury product has positioned the brand well for the upcoming year. This can be seen in our booking patterns for 2013 sailings as occupancy build is stable while pricing is up in the high single digits compared to same time last year for 2012.” Seven Seas Navigator Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

Awards All Round for TQUAL

first_imgT-QUAL endorsed products have centre stage at the 2012 Australian Tourism Awards, held in Hobart on Friday evening; with more than half of the winners carrying the T-QUAL Tick, Australia’s national symbol of tourism quality. The Australian Tourism Awards, which are managed by the National Tourism Alliance, are the tourism industry’s peak Awards, recognising and promoting excellence in the tourism industry. Tourism products endorsed with the T-QUAL Tick claimed top honours in a range of categories including Backpacker Accommodation, Ecotourism, Adventure Tourism, Indigenous Tours, Deluxe Accommodation and Destination Marketing. Alongside these achievements, Simon Currant, Chair of the Tourism Quality Council of Australia who has been instrumental in the implementation of the T-QUAL Accreditation, won the National Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award. Not only are T-QUAL endorsed products recognised by the tourism industry, consumers love them too. TripAdvisor recently announced the winners of the 2013 Travellers Choice Awards for the top 25 hotels in Australia, in the biggest ever Travellers’ Choice campaign. A third of the top 25 hotels on the list carry the T-QUAL Tick, confirming that travellers are increasingly recognising the high quality products endorsed by this national symbol of tourism quality.A distinguishing feature of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards is that they are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions that are collected in a single year from travellers around the world. The recognition of T-QUAL accredited products in both the Australian Tourism Awards and the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards demonstrates the credibility the T-QUAL Tick can bring to businesses. The T-QUAL Tick is the government’s national symbol of tourism quality, representing businesses that have undergone rigorous assessment to ensure they deliver a quality experience. Since being launched in 2011, there are more than 13,000 tourism businesses have become T-QUAL accredited. Source = T-QUALlast_img read more

Cathay enhances First Class product

first_imgThe seat fabric will be custom-made with a number of specially selected soft and smooth materials. The First Class cabins in Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft are not included in the upgrade project as the fleet is in the process of being retired. A completely redesigned bedding offerspassengers the ultimate in slumber comfort. Hand-craft sculpture artworks will also be installed in the cabin to complement the new design and add an “element of interest”. First Class bedding has also been redesigned and improved, with 500 thread count cotton fabrics for the duvets, pillows, cushions and bed mattress, giving a refined and soft touch and the thickness of the mattress has also been increased to enhance sleeping comfort. Cathay Pacific general manager product Toby Smith said although there was no “pressing need” to completely renovate the cabin, the airline did decide it was “appropriate” to give the suites a “fresh new look”. Cathay Pacific has announced it will adjust its First Class product to “enhance” the overall experience for its premium passengers. Recruiting the same achitecture firm responsible for designing the airline’s First Class Lounge of The Wing, adjustment will be made on the first Boeing 777-300ER due to enter service on 26 July 2013 and the entire cabin refresh project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2014. Entertainment-wise, the suites will include 4.3” LCD touch screen controllers, which allows passengers to easily recline the seat, adjust lumbar support and turn lights on or off with just a simple touch. Cathay Pacific’s First Class product gets a new look and feel as part of a midlife refresh programme. Source = ETB News: NJ As part of the makeover, the First Class cabin will feature high glossy dark grey textured material on the outer surface of the suite, while warm-tone natural leather will be used on most interior surfaces. The refreshed First Class suites and newfeatures enhance the overall experiencefor premium passengers. Meanwhile, the meal tables will be more adjustable and more room will be added to the personal closet and console compartment for personal items. A drink holder will also be added to the new side console top and in the lavatory a specially designed wash basin and counter top will be installed to provide a “refreshing environment”.last_img read more

Exclusive London and Prague famil a delight for Personal Travel Manage

first_imgSource = TravelManagers Australia Click Here to join TravelManagers Exclusive London and Prague famil a delight for Personal Travel ManagerThe city of Prague has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most beautiful and atmospheric cities in Europe, with centuries of history layered together to create an effect that personal travel manager Janice Lee found to be quite addictive on her recent famil.Lee, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Surry Hills in Sydney, spent three nights soaking up the historic city’s sights on a luxury famil organised exclusively for CT Partners members and hosted by British Airways and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.TravelManagers qualified for a place on the famil as one of CT Partners’ top three British Airways-selling members.  Lee herself was selected by TravelManagers’ to take part in the famil on the basis of her British Airways sales during this period.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the company are always supportive of personal travel managers (PTMs) taking part in such famils.“We encourage any opportunity for our PTMs to experience new destinations for themselves as we know that first-hand experience leads to better service for clients and increased sales.”Prior to her arrival in Prague, Lee and her group were also treated to three nights at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, providing them with the perfect base from which to get in touch (or, as in Lee’s case, back in touch) with its sights.“I haven’t been to London for several years so really enjoyed getting reacquainted with the feel and vibrancy of London,” says Lee.  “The Mandarin Oriental is in a wonderful location over the road from Hyde Park and it gives you a great feeling of being a local as there are lots of apartments and inner city living, with easy access to the fantastic public transport system.”For Lee, one of the highlights of the London leg of the famil was opportunity to dine at the hotel’s “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” restaurant.“It was such a unique experience; there was always an air of expectancy when each course arrived.  The general consensus was that the pâté (which looked like a Mandarin) was the highlight of the meal.”The famil was also an opportunity to experience British Airways A380 business class product between Singapore and London.“We really enjoyed the A380 and Club World experience, especially as it meant we arrived in London fresh and ready to cope with a new day.  We were also really impressed by the wonderful arrivals lounge at Heathrow where business clients can shower and breakfast before heading off to meetings.”At the end of the group’s time in London, they were whisked off to Heathrow where they saw first-hand the significant amount of construction work taking place, before boarding another British Airways flight for the two-hour journey to Prague.“Prague is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited and far exceeded my expectations.  It’s a fantastic walking city, although the cobblestones make for hard going unless you have decent walking shoes,” she says.Lee and her group spent three nights at the stunning Mandarin Oriental Prague.“The hotel, which was previously a monastery, has a lovely charm and boasts an amazing Spa which we all had the opportunity to experience.  I can honestly say it was one of the best I have been to recently.”For Lee, their two half-day walking tours were a highlight of her time in Prague.  Led by an 82-year-old local woman, they were an opportunity not just to walk around the sights but also to gain a personal insight into the changes the city has seen during and after the war.“It was my first famil with TravelManagers, so I was very excited to find I had won a spot on such a luxurious trip,” says Lee.  “Since my first trip overseas in 1977, I’ve been continually amazed and intrigued by the unique sights, sounds and tastes of different countries, customs and cuisines, but this was definitely a high point.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I learnt so much.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599last_img read more