Thousands of Russian nationalists rally in Moscow

first_img Top Stories Animosity is strong among nationalists against migrants from the former Soviet Central Asian republics and against non-Slavs from the largely Muslim Russian Caucasus region. Central Asian migrants are widely employed in big cities in construction and do other low-paid jobs that Russians are not eager to do.The protesters, from tough-looking youths and neo-Nazis to older people, marched in a quiet southeast neighborhood Monday afternoon along a tree-lined boulevard.The crowd has grown more middle-class since 2005 when the first march was held. A string of well-publicized crimes committed by migrants has embittered many Muscovites who see police as unwilling to persecute the perpetrators.Authorities have largely ignored the flow of Central Asians migrants, neither trying to integrate the newcomers nor cut down on migration.While some of the onlookers were displeased, other locals said they were supporting the march.Yelena Yermakova, a 56-year-old who was taking a walk with her daughter and two grandchildren, said there are too many migrants in Moscow and they are “getting cheeky.”Monday’s rally came three weeks after rioters targeted a vegetable warehouse where they believed the alleged migrant killer of an ethnic Russian man was working. Police later rounded up more than 1,000 migrants working at the warehouse. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Some demonstrators praised the riot and suggested it was backed by the state.“People received a signal that if they engage in such pogroms, there will be progress,” said Yevgeny Morgunov, a 37-year-old researcher at the Russian National Academy of Sciences.He said he didn’t support the radical exclusionary sentiment reflected in the nationalist slogan “Russia for Russians,” but said “if Russians feel good, the other people of Russia will feel it too.”Morgunov said he and others would not be going to protests where neo-Nazis were marching if at least some nationalist forces were represented in Parliament.Russia has recently liberalized the entry of parties into politics, registering dozens of obscure political groups. But even mildly nationalist forces were not allowed.About 30 people were detained at the rally for using Nazi slogans and symbols as well as for other misdemeanors, Moscow police said.Nationalist rallies were held in other Russian cities as well, including St. Petersburg, Kazan and Irkutsk.A U.N. report in September said Russia has about 11 million migrants. Russia is visa-free for all Central Asian republics, so most of the migrant workers are in Russia legally. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   center_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories MOSCOW (AP) – Several thousand Russian nationalists rallied Monday in Moscow, venting against the migrants they accuse of pushing up the crime rate and taking their jobs.The protest took place on Unity Day, a national holiday established in 2005 to replace commemorations of the Bolshevik Revolution.Many demonstrators carried Russian imperial flags. One group displayed a banner reading “Young People Against Tolerance.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Cambodian police break up protest for TV license

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Hun Sen has been facing street protests since last July’s general election, which the opposition alleges was rigged to favor his ruling Cambodian People’s Party. They have refused to take seats in parliament and are calling for new polls.Several other protest causes are loosely linked to the opposition, including those of textile workers seeking a higher minimum wage and opponents of land grabbing that has been blamed on government cronies.Ny Chariya of the human rights group Adhoc said three of the injured protesters suffered serious head injuries. On Sunday, several people were injured when police tried to break up another protest. Those protesters were demanding the release of 23 other demonstrators who were arrested during a crackdown earlier this month.The government imposed a ban on rallies and street marches in Phnom Penh after a wave of election protests in early January. The ban followed a violent clash in which at least four people taking part in a labor protest were shot dead by police.The bid for a television license comes from Mam Sonando, a fierce government critic who is the owner and operator of Beehive Radio, one of the few opposition-aligned stations in Cambodia. He led Monday’s rally in front of the Information Ministry. PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – Cambodian police on Monday fired smoke canisters to break up an anti-government demonstration calling for a license to be issued for an opposition TV channel. At least eight people were injured.Several hundred people gathered in the capital to press demand for a government critic to be allowed a TV license. The government last week rejected the application, saying there was no frequency available. All existing stations are closely linked to Prime Minister Hun Sen. Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility He also asked for a license for broadcasting a relay of his Phnom Penh-based radio station.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Chinese vice governor in corruption investigation

first_img Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   The party’s disciplinary body also said in a one-line statement that Ji is suspected of serious violations of regulations and the law. That’s almost always a reference to accepting bribes and kickbacks, providing unauthorized favors, and other forms of personal malfeasance.The statement gave no details.On Wednesday, the party announced that Zhu Zuoli, vice chairman of the top political advisory body of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in the northwestern province of Shaanxi also is under investigation for serious violations of party disciplines and laws. The party gave no details on Zhu’s suspected violations.As with several others who have fallen in the campaign, Ji has personal and professional connections to the powerful former Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang, currently the subject of a rumored investigation.There is no reported connection between Zhou and Zhu, who oversaw economic affairs in Shaanxi.Xi has made fighting widespread graft a key campaign of his leadership so far, with promises to target both junior and high-level officials.Investigations have so far targeted businesspeople, senior executives in the state oil sector _ Zhou’s former power base _ and most recently, a vice minister of public security. Ji was a key aide to Zhou in a last three of his central government positions, before taking up a series of positions in Hainan’s local government. BEIJING (AP) – China’s ruling Communist Party says a vice governor of the southern island province of Hainan is under investigation for serious violations, an apparent reference to corruption.Ji Wenlin is one of the latest high-ranking officials to be investigated since party leader and President Xi Jinping launched an anti-corruption campaign after taking over as head of the ruling Communist Party last spring. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Although rumors are rife, no official word has been released about any investigation into Zhou, until 2012 a member of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

UKs personable David Cameron fights for political life

UKs personable David Cameron fights for political life

first_imgBritain’s Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron gestures as he speaks at an election rally in St Ives, southwest England Tuesday May 5, 2015. Britain will go to the polls in a national election on May 7. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo, Via AP) LONDON (AP) — David Cameron’s supporters paint him as a principled but pragmatic politician with a huge capacity for quick thinking and grace under pressure.Opponents depict the 48-year-old Conservative leader as a privileged smoothie who hates to break a sweat.Cameron, who has been Britain’s prime minister since 2010, is fighting for his political life in Thursday’s election, which polls say is too close to call. If he fails to win a second term against Labour’s Ed Miliband, he will almost certainly be dumped as Tory leader. In his first years as leader, he articulated a type of compassionate Conservatism, describing his vision of a “Big Society” built on neighborliness and volunteering. In government, he legalized same-sex marriage, despite the opposition of Tory traditionalists.But his administration also slashed public spending to curb a deficit swollen by the 2008 banking crisis, and cut welfare benefits to some of the country’s poorest people.Many on the right wing of the Conservative Party mistrust Cameron’s social liberalism, and consider him tainted by his failure to win the 2010 election outright against unpopular Labour leader Gordon Brown. Cameron had to put together a coalition with the Liberal Democrats in order to govern.Cameron’s re-election pitch is based primarily on the recovering British economy. Unemployment is falling, GDP is growing modestly and interest rates are low.If voters back the Conservatives for financial security, Cameron will remain in 10 Downing St — although he has said he won’t seek a third term.If he’s wrong, Hanning said, he’ll go down in history “as the man who couldn’t beat Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband. That’s pretty bad.” “I think he would be less devastated than most people, just because he is more of a human being than most politicians,” said James Hanning, co-author of the biography “Cameron: Practically a Conservative.”Cameron is often depicted in the press as the prime minister who likes to “chillax.” Observers have struggled to pinpoint what he believes in, and what has driven him to the top of British politics.The son of a stockbroker, Cameron attended Eton, the country’s most elite boarding school, which counts Princes William and Harry among its alumni.At Oxford University, he studied politics, philosophy and economics and was a member of the Bullingdon Club, a rowdy dining-and-drinking society with a reputation for drunken vandalism.After graduating, Cameron began work as a researcher for the Conservatives and rose quickly through the party, with a spell in PR for TV company Carlton Communications.He was elected to Parliament in 2001 and chosen as party leader in 2005, when the Conservatives had lost three successive elections to Tony Blair’s Labour. Cameron, another young modernizer, was branded the “heir to Blair” in the press. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The vital role family plays in society Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

IMF says Asia to lead growth in 2015 despite China slowdown

first_img Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   TOKYO (AP) — Asian economies will lead world growth in 2015, expanding at a 5.6 percent pace that is level with last year, as recoveries in India and Japan help to offset the slowdown in China, the IMF said in a report Thursday.IMF economists expressed concern, however, over the potential for weaker growth if policy makers in the region fail to follow through with needed changes, saying it was a time not for “alarm but it is a time for alert.” Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Growth varies widely across the region, from 8.3 percent forecast for 2015 in Myanmar, 7.5 percent for India and 6.8 percent for China to 1 percent for Japan.Japan, the world’s No. 3 economy, shows signs of recovering from a recession last year following an increase in the country’s sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent.The IMF’s report said that Japan’s growth will remain modest but could improve with more aggressive measures to improve productivity through improved labor laws and corporate governance.Despite its slowdown, China remains a main driver of global GDP expansion, accounting for a larger share of world economic growth than the rest of Asia combined, the IMF said.Reforms intended to make the state-dominated economy more productive, with stronger domestic consumption and services, and less dependence on trade and investment are crucial for future growth, Rhee said.Full implementation of reforms would boost overall income by 5 percent by 2020 over the economy’s performance without such reforms, he said.___Follow Elaine Kurtenbach: www.twitter.com/ekurtenbachCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Sponsored Stories The IMF’s regional economic outlook forecasts that growth in the Asia-Pacific area will moderate to 5.5 percent in 2016.Asian growth fell to 5.5 percent in 2014 from 5.9 percent in 2013, and is bound to shift lower as China’s economy, the world’s second largest, settles at a more sustainable level than the torrid double-digit pace of the past decade.China’s report of 7 percent growth in the first quarter of the year was in keeping with that trend.“You cannot expect that a country can keep 10 percent growth forever,” said Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department. “The current phase of growth is in line with our forecasts, but even if it’s a desirable slowdown it can have a negative impact on other countries.”Rising levels of debt and potential financial market disruptions are other risks to growth, though moves by Chinese financial regulators to rein in margin trading and umbrella trusts are a positive step, he said in a news conference that was broadcast online.On a broader scale, the IMF report said its estimates show lower oil prices could help boost global growth by 0.3 percentage points to 0.7 percentage points in 2015. Major producers of oil and other commodities are suffering from lower exports, but for countries such as Japan, China and Thailand the lower costs are a boon both for businesses and consumers. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

WikiLeaks Saudis tried to shield students from US scandal

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories The cheating was discovered — and the staffer was fired — following an investigation made public in early 2012, but the memos reveal for the first time that the students were almost all Saudis and that their government booked them flights home following a meeting between college administrators and Saudi diplomats in Washington just before the scandal broke.A Saudi memo describing the meeting, dated Feb. 3, 2012 and labeled “Secret / Urgent,” says it was Montana Tech Chancellor Donald Blackketter who floated the idea of flying the students out of the United States. The memo goes on to say that an unidentified diplomat at the embassy subsequently “issued travel tickets to those students … to return to the kingdom so they don’t face jail or deportation by the American authorities.”Reached by phone at his home in Butte, Montana, the college’s Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Douglas Abbott told The Associated Press the Saudi Embassy’s account of the meeting sounded accurate.“I think that we might’ve recommended that,” he said of the flights. Montana law doesn’t bar the alteration of school records — even in return for gifts — but Abbott said that, at the time, campus authorities believed the students could be arrested or even expelled from the country. “It casts an unfavorable light on the institution,” Abbott acknowledged in the video. But he said officials had been transparent. “The campus is not — has not — tried to hide any of this,” he said.The Saudi memos reveal that, on Jan. 4, several days before the scandal became public knowledge, Abbott and Blackketter went to the Saudi Embassy in Washington to brief officials there about the cheating allegations.Abbott told AP that the college had been advised by legal counsel that the Saudi Embassy — which together with Saudi Aramco was sponsoring 33 of the suspected cheaters at Montana Tech — should be told of the issue.He declined to comment on why his colleague had apparently suggested flying the students out of the country, saying he didn’t remember that aspect of the conversation in any detail.Abbott said the college’s legal counsel had warned against naming the students or identifying them by nationality. He added that the college notified the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education in Montana and even called in the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate what he believed were possible crimes. Four benefits of having a wireless security system Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Abbott said that 18 students were ultimately expelled and that an unspecified number of graduates had their degrees revoked.The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not return a message seeking comment on the flights. The embassy has not responded to repeated requests for comment about the massive cache of diplomatic memos made public by WikiLeaks on Friday, although a recent statement carried by the official Saudi news agency appears to acknowledge that the memos paint an accurate picture of the kingdom’s diplomats and their activities abroad.“The documents leaked fall in line with the public policy of the Foreign Ministry,” spokesman Osama Nugali said Saturday.___Satter reported from Istanbul. Matt Volz in Helena, Montana, contributed to this report.___Online:One of the leaked Saudi embassy memos: https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/doc44021.htmlMontana Tech: http://www.mtech.edu___Follow Maggie Michael on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mokhbersahafiRaphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphae.liCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Officials from both agencies arrived on campus on Jan. 9 for interviews, Abbott said, but no one was ever charged. He said that was because the rogue employee didn’t accept money for the transcript alterations.The employee did accept “gifts” in return for the grade changes, according to another Saudi memo, dated Feb. 2. Abbott said he didn’t remember exactly what the gifts were, describing them only as “small tokens of appreciation.”He declined to identify the employee involved.Abbott could not immediately say whether the college called law enforcement before or after he and Blackketter visited the Saudi Embassy. Messages left with the FBI and with the DHS public affairs department were not immediately returned.Many of the students were eventually expelled, although it’s unclear what happened to all of them. Abbott said he didn’t know whether the students flew to Saudi Arabia before the scandal broke and law enforcement authorities showed up. However the Feb. 3 embassy memo is phrased in a way that suggests the flights had not yet occurred.Abbott confirmed information in the Saudi memos which stated that seven students had returned to the college, including at least two who said their grades had been changed without their knowledge — unusual incidents which neither Abbott nor the memo explained in any further detail. CAIRO (AP) — A group of Saudi students caught in a cheating scandal at a Montana college were offered flights home by their kingdom’s diplomats to avoid the possibility of deportation or arrest, according to a cache of Saudi Embassy memos recently published by WikiLeaks and a senior official at the school involved.The students were in a ring of roughly 30 alleged cheaters at Montana Tech accused of having systematically forged grades by giving presents to a college employee. Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “We didn’t know whether this would happen, whether ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) would show up on the Montana Tech campus,” he said.Blackketter did not return messages seeking comment.The revelations caused a scandal at Montana Tech, a small four-year college located in the mining city of Butte, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Originally chartered as the Montana State School of Mines, the school is known for its metallurgy, mining, and engineering specialties. Scores of Saudi students — many of them sponsored by their embassy’s cultural section or the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. — attend the college every year to study for degrees in fields like petroleum engineering.Officials first noticed transcript alterations on Oct. 25, 2011, and irregularities piled up as the school began digging, according to a statement read out by Abbott during a meeting on Jan. 26, 2012 and later posted to YouTube.Abbott said college investigators interviewed an unnamed employee who admitted altering the transcripts. An audit of three years’ records threw up instances of grades being changed, grades being deleted from transcripts and of “ghost registrations” — grades being awarded for classes never taken. In the most extreme case, a student had 16 grade changes, four courses deleted, and six courses added to their transcript. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

US kills senior Khorasan Group leader

first_imgBecause of intelligence about the collaboration among the Khorasan group, al-Qaida’s Yemeni bomb-makers and Western extremists, the Transportation Security Administration decided last July to ban uncharged mobile phones and laptops from flights to the U.S. that originated in Europe and the Middle East.The Khorasan group remains a threat, American officials said. Its existence demonstrates that core al-Qaida in Pakistan can still threaten the West, despite the damage done to that organization by years of drone missile strikes.“A seasoned, knowledgeable and dangerous terrorist who actively sought to harm the United States and its allies has been taken off the battlefield for good,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, noting that al-Fadhli will not be easily replaced.The U.S. military has periodically targeted the group as part of its air campaign in Syria, beginning with eight strikes against Khorasan targets last September.Among those who have so far survived the bombs is a French-born jihadist who fought in Afghanistan with a military prowess that is of great concern to U.S. intelligence officials.David Drugeon, who was born in the Brittany region and converted to Islam as a youth, spent time with al-Qaida in the tribal areas of Pakistan before traveling to Syria, French officials say. Al-Fadhli was a leader of the Khorasan Group, a cadre of al-Qaida operatives who were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks on the West. Officials say the Khorasan Group is embedded in the al Nusra front, Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate.Previously based in Iran, al-Fadhli was the subject of a $7 million reward by the State Department for information leading to his capture or death. He had been falsely reported as having been killed last fall.Davis noted that he was “among the few trusted al-Qaida leaders that received advanced notification of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”Al-Fadhli was also involved in October 2002 attacks against U.S. Marines on Faylaka Island in Kuwait and on the French ship MV Limburg, Davis said.“His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al-Qaida against the United States and our allies and partners.”Officials have said that the Khorasan militants were sent to Syria by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.According to classified U.S. intelligence assessments, the Khorasan militants have been working with bomb-makers from al-Qaida’s Yemen affiliate to test new ways to slip explosives past airport security. Officials feared the Khorasan militants would provide these sophisticated explosives to their Western recruits who could sneak them onto U.S.-bound flights. WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. airstrike in Syria has killed a key figure in a dangerous al-Qaida offshoot, the Pentagon said Tuesday.Muhsin al-Fadhli was killed in a July 8 air attack while traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement. Davis did not further elaborate on the nature of the air strike, such as whether al-Fadhli was killed by a drone or a piloted aircraft. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

ITB Berlin focuses its energies on Social media

first_imgITB Berlin has jumped on the social media bandwagon, with plans to utilize social portals to discuss the latest trends and news from the tourism industry. In future the world’s largest travel trade show, which welcomes 8,000 journalists annually from more than 90 countries, will be using numerous social media portals to engage in interesting discussions on the subject of tourism. The annual ITB World Travel Trends Report will also be published online in order to provide journalists with early information on developments in the tourism market. ITB Berlin has launched the “ITB Berlin Pressenetz” on Xing and the ITB Berlin Press Newsroom on LinkedIn to give journalists networking on the web an easy means to exchange views about travel news and trends. ITB Berlin has also joined Twitter, to give journalists and industry experts the opportunity to find out about this vibrant industry and communicate in real time. Journalists who log on to the ITB Facebook page can also find a multimedia overview of all the fair’s social media activities. Each portal will publish advance extracts from the ITB World Travel Trends Report. All the ITB Berlin and ITB Convention press releases can also be subscribed to via RSS feeds. Videos and original commentaries are available over ITB Berlin’s youTube channel, at http://www.youtube.com/user/ITBBerlin.“We have taken on this growing market with online communities at just the right time and regard the social web as an appropriate way to actively observe the travel market and openly discuss trends”, commented David Ruetz, Senior Manager, ITB Berlin. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1f2bb/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Harvey World Travel heralds the dawn of a new era

first_imgRecipients of the 15 Year Service Award, with David RiversPeter Lacaze (Stella), Rachel Healy (Qantas Holidays), David Rivers (HWT), Michelle Kerr (Qantas Holidays), Suzanne Sapsed (Qantas Holidays) 25 Year Service AwardsBetty Croft – HWT NoosaDavid Rivers – MD, HWTHeather Galley – HWT Bundaberg Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Agency of the Year Award WA and Retail Implant of the Year Award – Harvey World Travel Belmont WAAnton Loeb – Cover-More Travel InsuranceJulie Wheelhouse – HWTAnnette Porter – HWT BelmontMelissa Watt – Travel2Damian Borg – Stella The first ever Harvey World Travel ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Business Symposium took place last week (February 11-12) aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn.Managing Director of Harvey World Travel, David Rivers, says the 368 delegates included Harvey World Travel franchisees, managers, staff, and preferred suppliers.“At Harvey World Travel, we are seeking every opportunity with the improving economy to capture sales and expand our network,” says Rivers.“At the Symposium, franchisees and managers had the chance to work closely with preferred suppliers to find out how we can all achieve success working together this year.“The interactive sessions with franchisees enabled owners to share their knowledge and provide business insights and feedback to management and to each other.“We also heard a highly informative and entertaining keynote address from Phil Ruthven – Founder and Chairman of IBISWorld, who strongly believes the travel and tourism industry is on the upswing, with everyone feeling very confident about this year.”A highlight of the Symposium was the Gala Awards Ceremony were awards were presented for Sales Growth, Million Dollar Agencies for new locations, Agency of the Year and Manager of the Year, as well as 10, 15, 20, and 25 Year Service Awards.Harvey World Travel Alice Springs was presented with the Sales Growth of the Year Award. The Manager of the YearAward was given to Kylee Graham, Harvey World Travel Pinjarra WA.The Million Dollar Offices were awarded to Belmont Central, Dapto, Doncaster, Epping, Hope Island, Indooroopilly, Leopold, Marketown, Mount Hutton, North Perth, Northlakes, Pinjarra, Southport, Swan Hill, Tweed Heads, Wyndham Village. Winners of the Agency of the Year Awards:-Agency of the Year NSW/ACT Country: Harvey World Travel Bathurst-Agency of the Year NSW/ACT Metro: Harvey World Travel Winston Hills-Agency of the Year QLD: Harvey World Travel Albany Creek-Agency of the Year SA/TAS/NT: Harvey World Travel West Lakes-Agency of the Year VIC: Harvey World Travel Ocean Grove-Agency of the Year WA: Harvey World Travel Belmontlast_img read more

Shanghai Airlines to leave Star Alliance

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Following its recent merger with China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines will terminate its membership with Star Alliance by the end of October. Passengers will still have access to the Star Alliance benefits when travelling with Shanghai Airlines until 31 October 2010 after which time Air China will represent the alliance in Shanghai and across China.Star Alliance, over competing alliances, maintains the strongest presence in region, with more frequencies from Mainland China to Europe, Asia and North America.“Star Alliance, together with Air China, is now exploring options to secure a wider presence in the region” they said. China Eastern Air has been slated to join the SkyTeam alliance by mid-2011. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1ed19/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Hilton Hotels Resorts Named Number One Hotel Brand in Japan for

first_imgSource = Hilton International Asia Pacific Hotel Business Guest Survey Ranks Hilton First in Awareness, Social Media Engagement, Hotel Use and Other CategoriesHilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, has again been chosen as the “Number 1 Hotel Brand” in Japan, based on the annual Asia Pacific Hotel Business Guest Survey conducted by UK-based consultancy group BDRC.The BDRC brand ranking index takes into account a hotel brand’s scores for prompted and unprompted awareness, usage of a brand in the last 12 months, preferred hotel choice, loyalty ratio and intention to recommend the hotel to others. Based on these combined scores, Hilton Hotels & Resorts was ranked the “Number One Hotel Brand” in Japan for 2010, a title Hilton has held since 2006. The survey took place in 14 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, with 776 participants being interviewed in Japan.“This most recent ranking further solidifies our brand power in Japan and position as the leader in global hospitality, our fast paced growth in Asia and consistent ranking among top consumer brands are the result of our innovation, passion and commitment to providing a refreshing experience for today’s travellers,” said Dave Horton, global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand.In this year’s survey, Hilton achieved its fourth consecutive first place ranking by scoring a total of 52 points out of 60 on the brand index, an improvement of four points from last year’s score. Furthermore, Hilton continues to extend its lead over second-placed ANA Hotels, which scored a total of 39 points out of 60.Here is a breakdown of some important rankings for Hilton Hotels & Resorts: Ranks number 1 for preference Ranks number 1 for “unprompted awareness” Ranks number 1 for “prompted awareness” Ranks number 1 for “hotel brands used in the past 12 months” Tied for number 1 for “rooms booked for business via hotel websites in the last 12 months” Ranks number 1 for “hotel brands engaged with on social media websites” These results speak to the Hilton brand’s dominance across a variety of marketing, loyalty and sales measures. Earlier this year, Hilton entered Fukuoka, Japan with the opening of Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk. With more than 1,000 guest rooms, the hotel is the largest Hilton property in Asia Pacific and brings the brand’s property count in Japan to eight hotels. The Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio includes properties in more countries than any other full service hotel brand. A global advertising campaign continues to tell the Hilton story in markets around the world and the brand recently became the “most liked” hotelier on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Hilton) while remaining engaged on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HiltonOnline) and other leading social media channels. The survey also showed some important results regarding hotel market trends in Japan: The regional hotel industry suffered severely during 2009, despite the continuous relative strength of economies like China and India Tokyo experienced the biggest increase in ADR (Average Daily Rate), and was the only market which showed an increase in RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) Female business travellers have declined slightly (in total they accounted for 25% in 2005, while in 2010 they accounted for just 23%) The average stay for business travellers has decreased to 15 nights (from 19 nights in 2009) Social networking is perhaps less developed in Japan than in other western markets, but its influence in the travel sphere is greater, with 36% of users having sought advice online regarding the choice of a hotel for a business stay 57% of long haul travellers and 71% of domestic frequent travellers use a mobile device (e.g. BlackBerry, iPhone or other ‘Smartphone’) that provides access to the internet “It is a great honour for Hilton to be chosen as the Number One Hotel Brand in Japan for the fourth consecutive year,” said Oded Lifschitz, vice president of operations for the Japan, Korea, and Micronesia region, Hilton Worldwide. He added, “The result reflects the dedication and commitment of Hilton’s staff to exceeding the expectations of our guests and delivering a world class customer experience. In June this year we opened the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk, which means we now have Hilton hotels across the whole of Japan for the convenience of our guests.”last_img read more

Thirsty Thursdays launch event hosted by VISA

Thirsty Thursdays launch event hosted by VISA

first_imgThirsty Thursdays is launching in a major way this year with our premier event hosted by VISA and at a brand new venue! Kit & Kaboodle is the venue of choice on 24 February for the Sydney travel industry to meet, mingle and win some major prizes. Thanks to VISA and Aerolineas Argentinas, we are giving away a holiday to South America as well as more VISA prepaid cards than ever before! We’re also proud to launch our new Thirsty Thursdays loyalty card which can be collected at the event and entitles guests to be entered into our major prize draw in November. RSVP is essential prior to 17 February. View the invitation here‘Like’ our Facebook page and receive an additional drink voucher on the night! Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

Malaysias Mount Kinabalu reopens

Malaysias Mount Kinabalu reopens

first_imgTourism Malaysia has announced Mount Kinabalu will repoen to climbers on 1 September 2015.The mountain has been closed since a 5.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in the region on 5 June this year, in which 18 people where tragically killed.The trail from Timpohan to Laban Rata will be opened from 1 September with new restrictions to ensure maximum safety.At any one time, a maximum 100 climbers will be allowed on the mountain – about half of the usual allowance.The summit trail from Laban Rata is expected to open on 1 December this year.Mount Kinabalu, located in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo, stands at over 4,000 metres.It boasts spectacular views, wildlife and the world’s highest via ferrata (currently undergoing repairs). Visit MalaysiaSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Best Western reveals new look to showcase decade of success

Best Western reveals new look to showcase decade of success

first_img Best Westernworld’s biggest hotel family Source = Best Western – Australasia About Best Western AustralasiaBest Western Australasia is part of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, with over 4,000 hotels in 100 countries worldwide. There are 160 independently owned and managed 3 to 5-star Best Western hotels across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. To serve the varying needs of today’s business and leisure travellers, Best Western’s family of brands caters for all styles with the great service and value Best Western, Best Western Plus and the upscale Best Western Premier. More than 25 million travellers are members of the award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards.center_img Best WesternBest Western reveals new look to showcase decade of successBest Western has announced a major rebrand of the business, unveiling a new family of logos and the company name ‘Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ to more accurately reflect the quality and variety of its accommodation offerings.The new direction was revealed by Best Western International’s leadership team in front of hotel members in Hawaii, at the company’s annual hotel convention on September 30.David Kong, president and chief executive officer of Best Western Hotels & Resorts said: “For more than two decades, Best Western has had a familiar, recognisable, and visible logo. But with our investments in this 69-year old brand during the last ten years, we need to make consumers aware of the exciting improvements. We are embracing our future with a completely reimagined brand identity that clarifies our hotel and resort offerings and broadens our appeal with a contemporary and energetic look.”The effort to create new logos has been two years in the making and has included input from travellers, travel buyers, partners and Best Western’s global hotel owners.This is the first logo refresh for Best Western since 1993. The company will use a new logo to identify the master company for its six distinct brands including: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Best Western Plus Executive Residency, Best Western Premier, the BW Premier Collection and GLō – a broad midscale, new construction brand also announced at the Hawaii convention.The new logos emphasise the brand’s initials — BW — which will be used across all communications channels and optimised for digital media and mobile applications.Best Western Australasia’s chief executive Rob Anderson has welcomed the rebrand, adding: “Best Western has undergone a revolutionary transformation to meet the needs of today’s traveller. The new logos are modern and have been designed to clearly show the differences between Best Western’s family of brands, including the core Best Western to the midscale Best Western Plus, and our upscale Best Western Premier hotels.”Anderson continued: “It’s our vision to lead the industry in superior customer care. In the last five years, our guest satisfaction scores have more than doubled. Over $2 billion has been invested in upgrading member properties, and the new logo announcement signals the significant improvements made across Best Western worldwide.”Adoption of Best Western’s new logos are expected to be official mid-November upon approval by Best Western hotel owners in North America.last_img read more

Etihad welcomes ACCCs ruling on alliance with Virgin Australia

Etihad welcomes ACCCs ruling on alliance with Virgin Australia

first_img Fly Virgin AustraliaSource = Etihad Airways Etihad Airways today welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) determination to reauthorise its alliance with Virgin Australia for a further five years.The ruling will enable the airlines to continue their cooperative services on the Australia-Abu Dhabi route and beyond until 30 December 2020.Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said the announcement was great news for the airlines and a real win for Australian travellers.“In the first five years of the alliance, we’ve shaken up the competitive landscape by delivering more destinations, more capacity and an unrivalled guest experience through new, state-of-the-art aircraft and major investments in product and service innovations.“We are two best-in-class airlines, working together to offer a superior level of comfort and service; like-minded brands committed to putting the air traveller first through innovation and a shared passion for excellence.“Over the next five years, our focus will be on new areas of commercial cooperation with Virgin Australia and opportunities for increased public benefit.”Mr Hogan also expressed Etihad Airways gratitude to the stakeholders who had lodged submissions in favour of extending the alliance.“Our business partners in Australia are critical to our success and I would like to thank them for their continuing support.”Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia currently offer codeshare services to 38 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, and to 52 destinations in Australia and Asia.They also cooperate extensively in the areas of sales and marketing; purchasing and procurement; flight and cabin crew secondments; and offer reciprocal benefits to their frequent flyers including access to airport lounges across their combined networks.Etihad Airways has a 25.1 per cent stake in Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) and holds a seat on the Virgin Australia board. Fly Etihad Airwayslast_img read more

Amadeus and Virgin Australia sign a new multiyear agreement

Amadeus and Virgin Australia sign a new multiyear agreement

first_imgAmadeus and Virgin Australia sign a new multi-year agreementAmadeus and Virgin Australia have signed a new multi-year agreement, extending their longstanding partnership.The new agreement provides Amadeus travel agents with worldwide continued access to Virgin Australia’s full range of fares, seats and schedules under the same conditions as that offered through all other channels.It also means that Virgin Australia will continue to be able to reach global travellers through one of the largest travel agency networks in the world.“We have boundless respect for Virgin Australia as an innovative, forward-thinking airline and are pleased to see our partnership with them go from strength to strength. This agreement furthers our commitment to providing our airline partners with the most efficient, neutral and cost-effective means to reach and partner with travel agencies, and at the same time gives our travel agency subscribers access to the best and widest range of content, ” Hazem Hussein, Executive Vice President, Airline Commercial, Amadeus Asia Pacific.“We have enjoyed working with Amadeus to help us reach travellers around the world and are pleased to extend our partnership,” Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer Judith Crompton said.Virgin Australia is an Australian national carrier that operates domestic and international regular passenger services, charter and cargo services and the loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer.The extension builds upon Virgin Australia and Amadeus’ existing full content agreement and deepens the longstanding partnership between the two companies, including the 2015 agreement to provide the airline with the Amadeus Altéa Departure Control – Flight Management solution. AmadeusSource = Amadeuslast_img read more

Pacific Dawn makeover begins

Pacific Dawn makeover begins

first_imgPacific Dawn entering the drydock in Singapore February 2017Pacific Dawn makeover beginsP&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn has begun a multi-million dollar transformation in Singapore which will include the installation of two spectacular waterslides on her top decks.Over the coming days, the ship will be fitted with a range of new features including a state-of-the-art waterpark and the addition of The Pantry, an international market place of fresh food outlets which will replace the traditional ship buffet. Among its features will be a new Mediterranean-inspired offering called Nic and Toni’s and a new seafood restaurant, Shell & Bones.Several of Pacific Dawn’s public spaces – including the atrium, Charlie’s cafe, The Orient and the Promenade Bar – will also be redesigned to mirror the striking contemporary look which has become a trademark of the P&O fleet in recent years.The refit comes as P&O prepares for its biggest year of Queensland cruising, with two ships sailing from Brisbane year round. Between them, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria will offer a record 108 cruises to holidaymakers this year, up from 98 cruises in 2016.Pacific Dawn will set sail from Singapore on March 2, arriving in Brisbane with her new features on March 16.Fares on the refurbished ship include a seven-night Pacific Island Hopper departing Brisbane on April 1, 2017 starting from $749* per person quad share.For more information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.Source = P&O Cruiseslast_img read more

Responsible Nanuku Auberge Resort launches Planet Auberge in Fiji

Responsible Nanuku Auberge Resort launches Planet Auberge in Fiji

first_imgPacific Harbour, Fiji – An integral part of the internationally-spread Auberge Resorts Collection’s commitment to responsible tourism, Nanuku Auberge Resort has successfully launched the ‘Planet Auberge’ concept into Fiji.The ‘Planet Auberge’ program extends from the way the company builds, operates and maintains its 10 resort properties around the world to targeted initiatives focused on minimising the properties’ ecological footprints, improving their surrounding environments and communities while at the same time enhancing guest experiences.And the Nanuku Auberge Resort staff, joined by a very enthusiastic GM, Sascha Hemmann have begun implementing the program with gusto.In recent weeks the staff, led by recently-appointed on-resort Fijian marine scientist Kelly Dawn Bentley, joined by guests, have implemented an environmental program focused on coral planting, reef conservation, Mangrove replanting and shore protection activity.Nanuku Auberge Resort has also participated in a turtle conservation research program with the University of the South Pacific (USP).On a community basis, Nanuku Auberge Resort’s staffers recently organised a blood donation day in support of the Fiji National Blood Service, helped raise funds for a local school’s athletics team and, with their own health and wellbeing in mind, created an on-resort ‘Biggest Loser’ competition.One of the more rewarding activities the Nanuku Auberge Resort team enjoys is the work they do with staff and children at the Dilkusha Orphanage which is run by the Methodist Church of Fiji in Nausori.GM Hemmann and his team recently donated a “truck-load” of linen, sheets, towels, pillows, robes, duvets and toothbrushes to the staff and close on 40 children in residence.The children have also been treated to a special day at the resort, visiting the ‘Lailai Adventure Club’ complete with climbing wall and zipline, games, swimming – all followed up by a special lunch and treats served by GM Hemmann and Nanuku Auberge Resort’s award-winning team of chefs.In keeping with the ’guest experience enhancement’ element, Nanuku Auberge Resort’s guest program has also been ‘enhanced’ with the introduction of a crop of on-resort and off-site activities.These range from cultural and fine-dining experiences, food safaris, hiking, jet ski and snorkelling expeditions to private island camping.Pictured, the staff and children of Dilkusha Orphanage being officially welcomed by their Nanuku Auberge Resort staff hosts.Source = Mike Parker-Brown, PR Consultant – Nanuku Auberge Resort Fijilast_img read more

Wyndham expands in Indonesia

Wyndham expands in Indonesia

first_imgSigning Ceremony, Wyndham Casablanca JakartaWyndham expands in IndonesiaWyndham Hotels & Resorts is expanding the presence of its upscale Wyndham brand in Indonesia, with a new location confirmed for the country’s capital.The 280-room and residence Wyndham Casablanca Jakarta, previously known as Park Lane Hotel Jakarta, will be the sixth Wyndham branded property announced for Indonesia after rebranding under a management agreement between PT. Wyndham Hotel Management and PT. Staco Graha.  The five star hotel will be the tenth hotel in Indonesia managed by PT Wyndham Hotel Management, an Indonesian subsidiary and management arm of Wyndham Destinations.  The signing of the management deal takes place on the same day as the official opening celebrations of another Wyndham property, the recently constructed Wyndham Opi Palembang in Sumatra.“We are extremely proud to extend Wyndham’s global reach to Jakarta,” said Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director International Operations, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific. “Indonesia is a key destination for Wyndham with our nationwide portfolio now at ten properties. We have firm plans to expand in the years ahead, with more quality hotels and resorts in the pipeline. We look forward to bringing our management expertise to this key location for Indonesia and are confident the hotel will resonate strongly with the local Jakarta community and guests visiting from around the world.”“Wyndham Casablanca Jakarta will provide visitors with a sanctuary in the heart of the city. Guests will enjoy personalised and memorable service experiences complemented by a host of quality food and beverage, and hotel offerings.” he added.The hotel offers a selection of rooms and suites along with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom residences. Guests will enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and facilities including an award-winning restaurant, a 40 metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi and children’s wading pool, fully equipped gym, 10 meeting rooms, spa and wellness centre and a kids’ club.“We are thrilled to be joining Wyndham. We were looking for a truly international company that is growing aggressively in Indonesia and we have found that in the Wyndham team” said Mr Irianto Lim of the owning company, PT. Staco Graha.The property is located 32km from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, and is positioned conveniently close to the city’s key business precincts and embassies along with shopping and dining hot spots.The hotel will undergo a small refurbishment before opening its doors as a Wyndham early next year. Wyndham Casablanca Jakarta will participate in Wyndham Rewards®, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty program from Wyndham Hotel Group that offers members a generous points-earning structure along with a flat, free-night redemption rate. Information is available at www.wyndhamrewards.comSource = Wyndham Hotels & Resortslast_img read more