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Month: August 2019

ExNBA star Yao in Kenya for poaching awareness

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 The world’s elephant population plummeted in the 1980s as poaching became endemic. An international ban on the ivory trade in 1989 helped save the species, but conservationists have been warning the last couple years that the poaching of elephants and rhinos is expanding at an alarming rate _ fueled by demand from Asia.More Chinese are now working in Africa to build roads and pump out oil and minerals, and conservationists say poaching often increases where those workers are located.“This new surge of poaching that we experienced intensely last year and in the first part of this year is rife across Africa,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder of Save The Elephants, who traveled with Yao this week. “It is now time for individuals and governments to reduce demand for ivory.”Douglas-Hamilton recounted how he and his wife traveled to China two years ago to see the last of China’s elephants. He said the locals there treated the elephants reverently. “If the Chinese people felt about African elephants the same way they feel about their elephants,” he said, Africa’s poaching problem would end quickly.Yao worked previously with the conservation group WildAid to help raise awareness about shark fin soup, a delicacy in China that is leading to the deaths of countless sharks. Top Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Hanging over the news conference was the idea that the Chinese people are responsible for so many animal deaths, though Yao and the wildlife experts he traveled with underscored that the issue was one of education: If the affluent Chinese buying animal products only knew the animal suffering their buying habits were causing, the demand would soon drop.A feature film aimed at increasing awareness called “The End of the Wild” is being made out of Yao’s trip, and Yao pointed out that China’s government has punished many people for participating in the ivory trade.Yao called his time in Kenya _ his first trip to Africa _ “wonderful.”“Living in a wild place is not as comfortable as a hotel room or a home, but it’s a totally different experience,” said the towering athlete. “My best moments here was at 6 a.m. with the sunrise and the wild animals.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix “I think we need to increase the public awareness of what ivory is made of,” Yao said. “The elephants, including rhinos, their numbers are decreasing.”Images of Yao in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve included the towering former Houston Rockets center walking among colorfully dressed Kenyan tribeswomen and riding in a safari vehicle through a field full of elephants. But one of the starkest images was of Yao bending down to look at the carcass of an elephant whose face was carved away by poachers seeking the beast’s valuable ivory tusks.Labeling the question too sad to answer, Yao demurred when asked about his feelings on seeing the dead elephant, a withered, faceless corpse, though he said he saw “evil” in the killing.Julius K. Kipng’etich, the director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, gave Yao a tour of a KWS room filled with hundreds of elephant tusks. Kip, as the director is known, said he hopes Ming takes back the message to China to say that when Chinese people buy ivory, they are helping lead elephants to extinction.“It’s time to say no, because only elephants should wear ivory,” Kip said. “Africa has only 400,000 elephants. That’s it. If we kill all of those. It’s finished.”center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Associated PressNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – One of China’s most visible stars wants his countrymen to know that their rising appetite for ivory is resulting in dead elephants across Africa.The former NBA star Yao Ming on Thursday ended a weeklong trip to Kenya where he mingled among elephants and walked with indigenous tribes. The trip is part of an effort to let China’s increasingly affluent middle class know that its interest in small ivory trinkets results in the deaths of 6-ton beasts. 0 Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more


French tycoons threat shakes Socialist tax plan

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project So when the face of “Made in France” confirmed Sunday that he had applied for dual citizenship in Belgium it struck deep chord in France’s national pride.Despite his protests, many thought it was an attempt to dodge the new Socialist government’s planned 75 percent tax on the country’s wealthiest.One French paper’s front-page headline called him a “rich jerk” on Monday and French President Francois Hollande questioned Arnault’s patriotism.But beyond the name-calling, the debacle highlighted a very French contradiction: A country that prides itself on producing exorbitantly-priced luxury fashion has tax policies that target the very people rich enough to buy French goods.Arnault is the world’s fourth-richest man, whose personal fortune Forbes magazine estimates at $41 billion.His application to Belgium comes as Hollande prepares to implement a 75 percent tax on those that earn more than (EURO)1 million ($1.28 million) a year _ although it was hinted the plan could be watered down.“If I was in his shoes I might also think that I don’t have a choice and would leave,” said 34-year-old Jean-Baptiste Lete, a Paris resident walking in the city Monday. How men can have a healthy 2019 Francois Fillon, France’s former Conservative prime minister, directly blamed the Socialist government’s tax policy.“This will spread like wildfire. And all over the planet they’ll say that France is the country that doesn’t like success,” he said.Others placed the blame firmly on Arnault himself. The Liberation newspaper Monday featured a photo of a smug-looking and immaculately suited Arnault holding a suitcase alongside the headline: “Get lost, rich jerk.”On Monday, LVMH issued a statement saying that Arnault will sue the newspaper for “public insult.”Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici was worried about France’s global image.“He is at the helm of luxury houses whose brands are French symbols,” the minister told BFM TV. “He didn’t realize how it would be perceived, it was sort of irresponsible.”Some critics say the Socialists had it coming, reminding all that Hollande once famously said: “I dislike the rich.”On the other side of the border, the news was greeted with open arms.“Welcome, Mr. Arnault” read Monday’s editorial headline in the Belgian daily La Libre _ which claims the billionaire has been living in a suburb of Brussels for several months already. _______Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society PARIS (AP) – Bernard Arnault _ the richest man in Europe _ has ignited an uproar in France over taxes, citizenship, patriotism and what policies the government needs to promote growth.It’s a pretty impressive achievement for one little statement.Arnault _ the CEO of French fashion giant LVMH, owner of houses like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior _ is the symbol of France’s treasured luxury fashion industry.center_img (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) It wouldn’t be the first time that Arnault dodged a Socialist named Francois. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1981 when President Francois Mitterrand swept to power _ and returned when the country’s tax policies became more conservative.As a Belgian, Arnault would pay a maximum of 50 percent on his income. More appealingly, he could take advantage of the cherished tax-free status that Belgians hold in Monaco – provided he renounced his French nationality. French nationals living in Monaco are taxed in France.Arnault vociferously denied that his decision had anything to do with tax evasion and said he will continue paying French taxes, but his comments convinced few.“I can’t believe it,” businessman Bernard Tapie was quoted as saying in the Le Parisien paper. “When you’re the citizen of a country, you need to know how to enjoy the good part but also accept the downsides. Symbolically, this is a catastrophe.”The move was being called a public relations disaster that highlights the French economy’s lack of competitiveness. The French are still reeling over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s vow to “roll out the red carpet” for French firms if Hollande followed through on his plan to raise taxes for the wealthy. Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more


Air India terrorist appeals perjury conviction

first_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Reyat was accused of lying during the 2003 trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, who were acquitted of mass murder in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Another explosion at an airport in Tokyo killed two baggage handlers.Prosecutors maintain the bombing was revenge by Sikh separatists for a deadly 1984 raid by Indian forces on the Golden Temple at Amritsar, Sikhism’s holiest shrine.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Top holiday drink recipescenter_img Parents, stop beating yourself up VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland is asking the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn his perjury conviction.Inderjit Singh Reyat had already served 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter for his role as the bomb maker. He was convicted of perjury in September 2010 and sentenced to another nine years in prison. He filed the appeal Monday. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The vital role family plays in society Comments   Share   last_img read more


Germany France seek unity on Europe

first_imgThat has raised questions about the now-traditional role of Germany and France as the motor of political integration in Europe.“We are aware of our great responsibility to improve the situation in the European Union, overcome the euro crisis and make possible economic growth _ and so make workable for the future the tried and tested model of European life, linking competitiveness and economic strength with social cohesion,” Merkel said.The two countries will produce joint proposals by May, ahead of an EU summit the following month, on how to improve economic coordination and competitiveness, Merkel said. Such initiatives were common when Hollande’s conservative predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, was in power.“We have to give Europe confidence in its future,” Hollande said at a news conference after the French and German Cabinets held a joint meeting. “We will try to be as concrete as possible … so that growth can be reinforced and stability guaranteed.”Merkel said the two countries want employers and employees in their countries also to come up with proposals.“We cannot as politicians alone create the conditions for better competitiveness,” Merkel said. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressBERLIN (AP) – Germany and France will produce joint proposals on improving economic coordination in the European Union this spring, the countries’ leaders said Tuesday, downplaying recent differences as they marked the 50th anniversary of a landmark reconciliation accord.Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and Socialist President Francois Hollande have often been openly at odds over how to resolve Europe’s debt crisis since Hollande took office last year. Hollande has criticized Germany’s austerity-led approach, while Merkel has resisted talk of pooling countries’ debt. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories The Cabinet meeting came before both countries’ Parliaments met in the landmark Reichstag building to mark the anniversary of the signing of the 1963 Elysee Treaty, a milestone for two countries that had fought three wars in 70 years.In the treaty, they committed to consult on foreign policy, meet regularly and implement a host of defense, cultural and other initiatives to “profoundly transform the relations of the two peoples.” Since then, they’ve worked closely together _ despite frequent differences of approach.Merkel and Hollande laughed aside questions about their relationship.“Our best-kept secret is that the chemistry is right,” Merkel said. “What isn’t easy is convincing you” that the personal relationship is good, Hollande told reporters.The two also brushed aside suggestions of differences over Mali. There has been some criticism from German politicians of Berlin’s small contribution so far to France’s intervention to drive back Islamist extremists in the African country _ two transport planes to carry African troops to Mali.Germany also plans to participate in a European training mission for the Malian military and provide as-yet unspecified financial help to African troop contributors. Check your body, save your lifecenter_img Comments   Share   Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Merkel said their defense ministers are in close contact on what Germany can do to help, but she made no new pledges and said she couldn’t see Germany and France’s joint military brigade being deployed in Mali.Hollande said that Germany “immediately contributed the political solidarity and material help that were expected.”“This is not about asking Europeans to come and participate in an international force, but rather to help the Africans,” Hollande said. “I have always said that it is Africans who have the answer to African questions.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more


2 babies die 29 sickened from bad vaccines in south Mexico

first_img Parents, stop beating yourself up MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s public health system has suspended infant vaccines and mounted an investigation after two babies died and 29 were sickened in an impoverished community in southern Mexico.Six of the 29 babies are in grave condition after receiving vaccinations for tuberculosis, rotovirus and Hepatitis B, which are generally administered between 0 and 6 months, according to a national schedule. The cause of the adverse reactions is not known, the Mexican Institute for Social Security said Sunday. The institute said it stopped vaccines nationwide on Saturday as a precaution.The Rev. Marcelo Perez, a Roman Catholic priest, told The Associated Press that families of the babies said they became sick within hours. The adverse reactions started Friday and the babies were being treated in a hospital in Simojovel, Chiapas, where 93 percent of the people live in poverty, 69 percent in extreme poverty, according to government statistics.The hospital “doesn’t have adequate personnel or equipment,” Perez said. “The real problem is the terrible conditions we have … so that when a baby comes in with convulsions, he leaves dead.”The federal and state government, in a statement Sunday, promised the best medical care for the babies and to stay in contact with the parents to answer all their questions. Perez said he was helping the families collect all the information that could help officials discover the cause of the adverse reactions.Copyright © 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 Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more


Panel Politics among reasons for botched UN Ebola response

first_img“I think we’re an awful lot closer,” she said, saying that the spread of Ebola had “truly shocked” the world.Dr. Joanne Liu of the aid group Doctors Without Borders praised the report’s focus on researching experimental drugs and reforming the public health emergency system. But Liu said it was still disconcerting that the panel and other such groups were laying out the world’s lessons learned as Ebola was still claiming more victims every week.“I am appalled to a certain extent that we spend so much time on the next epidemic when we still haven’t dealt with this one,” she said.___Raphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphae.liMaria Cheng can be reached at: http://twitter.com/mylchengCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home LONDON (AP) — The Ebola outbreak exposed the U.N. health agency’s organizational failings, a panel reported Tuesday — but it didn’t blame any individuals at the World Health Organization for its bungled response last year to the deadly crisis.The report instead criticized WHO’s bureaucratic culture, saying the agency’s sluggish efforts to contain the virus were partly explained by “a hope that the crisis could be managed by good diplomacy.”center_img The panel’s chief, Barbara Stocking, a former head of Oxfam GB, said it didn’t single anyone out.“We didn’t go into it saying, ‘We must blame somebody,’” Stocking said. “We were much more focused on this being a learning exercise.”Stocking’s panel — selected by WHO’s executive board to examine its response to the outbreak — did carry more general criticisms. Among other things, it said senior WHO leaders let political considerations sway their decision-making, explaining that economic concerns and “country politics” slowed the declaration of a public health emergency — a key step that acts as an international distress signal.Those findings tracked with a recent Associated Press investigation that showed WHO officials resisted sounding the alarm over Ebola because West African governments might see that as a “hostile act.”WHO did not declare a global emergency for Ebola until August 8, when nearly 1,000 people had died from the disease. More than 11,000 people are estimated to have been killed by Ebola, the vast majority in three West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, since the outbreak was first identified in March 2014 in Guinea. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist The panel also noted that experienced WHO staff sent messages early on that the outbreak was serious.“Either these did not reach senior leaders or senior leaders did not recognize their significance,” the panel wrote.“It was an escalation of incompetence all the way to the top,” said Oyewale Tomori, who sits on WHO’s Ebola Emergency Committee, a separate group.He was unimpressed by the panel’s conclusion that WHO’s response system failed and its reluctance to identify specific mistakes.“Nowhere in the report was any recommendation made to sanction staff,” he said. “A system is not made of tables and chairs, it’s made of people.”Other experts noted virtually nothing had changed after a similar report was published after WHO’s response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic.“WHO, as currently structured and resourced, has been starkly exposed as incapable,” said Kelley Lee, who sits on a separate panel chaired by Harvard University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzing WHO’s Ebola response.Stocking’s said that she hoped the recommendations carried in her report — including the creation of an emergency health response unit and a more reliable income stream for the chronically underfunded WHO — would fare better than previous efforts to reform WHO. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 5 treatments for adult scoliosis New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more


Cruise agents function and awards in Adelaide – hosted by Classi

first_imgAhead of its ninth annual summer season in Australia, Classic International Cruises has hosted a special awards function in Adelaide where CIC’s traditional liner, Athena, will be based for a series of round-trip cruises as part of her program in South Australia and Western Australia.Attended by more than 60 South Australian agents, wholesalers, key industry figures and hosted by Classic International Cruises, the Adelaide event was designed as a thank-you for the many SA travel agents who had helped make the 2011/12 season for Athena the best ever for the cruise line. The event also served to highlight Athena’s next season in Adelaide this summer as the only liner offering home-porting in SA. New rail and sail packages including Athena cruises from Adelaide were also launched at the event.Classic International Cruises presented awards to its top four SA agents, based on sales results – City Centre Travel, Cruise Booking Centre, King William Travel and Phil Hoffman Travel.CIC also awarded two agents accolades as ‘Consultant of the Year’, as voted by the CIC reservations team. These were won by Sonya Mewett from City Travel Centre and Eva Green from Phil Hoffman Travel.And Carolyn Edwards from King William Travel won CIC’s award for being the top groups agent in SA. (Left to right) CIC Managing Director Grant Hunter, Carolyn Edwards from King William Travel, Judy Marbrow from the Cruise Booking Centre, Sandra Stasinopoulos from Phil Hoffmann Travel, CIC Sales and Marketing Manager Judy Webber, Eva Green from Phil Hoffmann Travel, Sonya Mewett from City Centre Travel, Cathy Wang from City Centre Travel and Vilma Rovedatti from CIC. Source = Classic International Cruiseslast_img read more


Government lacking tourism portfolio

first_imgAOT Group chief executive Andrew Burnes said the fact that Australia does not have a federal minister managing the tourism portfolio was “extremely disappointing”. Ex-federal tourism minister Fran Bailey believes tourism requires its own minister. “On one hand I can understand the government is thinking that it has elevated tourism into the trade portfolio,” Ms Bailey said. Source = ETB News: P.T. The AU$98 billion national industry, considered one of Australia’s key economic growth sectors, currently falls under the supervision of the trade and investment portfolio, The Australian reported.center_img The Australian government is facing criticism from an ex-party member and industry executives, over its decision not to appoint a dedicated tourism minister. “(But) the reason I think it needs its own senior dedicated minister is because it’s an industry that spans so many areas across the whole of government.” “For an industry that employs 700,000 Australians and is sustainable and does not rely on handouts, and is economically viable, the commonwealth needs to rethink its position,” Mr Burnes said.last_img read more


Hainan Airlines sign up to Travelports digital media solutions

first_imgHainan Airlines sign up to Travelport’s digital media solutionsTravelport, a leading Travel Commerce Platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the global travel industry and Hainan Airlines, one of the largest carriers in China, have today announced a Digital Media Solutions agreement. Travelport’s Digital Media Solutions provides a portfolio of advertising opportunities to airlines, including Travelport Sponsored Flights which enables carriers to gain optimal visibility of their flights when agents perform searches on specific routes.This media agreement extends Travelport and Hainan Airlines’ existing partnership which saw the carrier sign up for Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising technology at the beginning of 2014. Hainan Airlines specifically wanted to deploy Travelport’s Digital Media Solutions, which enable it to put promotional messages on the screens of 68,000 connected agents worldwide, to enhance visibility of its new direct routes following its recent expansion into North America.Specifically, the new agreement will promote Hainan Airlines’ new direct routes between San Jose-Beijing, Seattle-Shanghai and Boston-Shanghai serviced exclusively by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This will enable Travelport-connected travel agencies worldwide to search and book the best available options offered by Hainan Airlines, and increase bookings on a global scale through Travelport Digital Media Solutions, including Sponsored Flights, Sign-On Messages and Headlines.Niklas Andreen, SVP of Hospitality and Digital Media at Travelport, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have signed this new agreement with Hainan Airlines, who are recognized for their five star service and innovation. Our Digital Media Solutions play an integral part in our strategy to help travel providers maximize revenues, and communicate specific messages to the global travel trade through highly targeted campaigns.”Mr. Li Xiang, Director of International Business at Hainan Airlines, added: “Having already signed up to Travelport Rich Content and Branding, it was a great opportunity to leverage this technology and continue working closely with Travelport on a customized digital media and content program to deliver our goals. We are confident that through Travelport’s Digital Media Solutions and our world-class service, we can reach a wider global audience and increase revenues.”Source = Hainan Airlines and Travelportlast_img read more


Tourico Holidays reports Middle East Hotel room nights double in 2017

first_imgTourico Holidays Tourico Holidays reports Middle East Hotel room nights double in 2017Tourico Holidays reports Middle East Hotel room nights double in 2017Tourico Holidays, the world’s fastest growing wholesale travel brokerage company, today shared data reporting inbound hotel room nights to the Middle East have increased by 112 percent year-over-year in 2017.  Equally as encouraging, outbound travel from the market is on the rise, as well.  Hotel room nights sold from the Middle East are pacing at an increase of 138 percent through the end of 2017 – meaning future hotel reservations through the end of the year have more than doubled compared to the same time in 2016.Travel from China is a driving force in the market’s inbound hotel industry success.  Tourico reports a sharp increase in Chinese travel to the Middle East, marked by a 60 percent surge in hotel room nights booked so far in 2017.  Additionally, The United States has increased its hotel room nights to the Middle East by 12 percent year-over-year, while Germany (+21% YOY), Canada (+8% YOY), and South American countries (+9% YOY) have also been key contributors to the growth.“Over the past several years, it’s become obvious – the Middle Eastern hotel industry is booming,” said Ala Andriuta, the Product Director of the Middle East for Tourico Holidays.  “Hotel room nights are up, key source markets such as China and the U.S. continue to increase their demand for the region, hotel cancellation rates are down 45 percent in 2017, and Middle Easterners are booking more hotel nights than ever.”Tourico Holidays recently moved into a new facility in Business Bay, Dubai – relocating its Middle Eastern experts that were previously stationed in Europe and United States to a local office.  Since the move in November 2016, Tourico has increased its partner portfolio by over 40 percent – adding distribution clients like Al Tayyar Travel Group in Saudi Arabia, Atlas Travels in Turkey, and Satguru Travel in Dubai.The company has also just partnered with key supplier Address Hotels + Resorts, a globally recognized luxury lifestyle brand in Dubai.  Tourico will now work with Address Hotels + Resorts to sell rooms at its award-winning properties, Address Dubai Mall, Address Dubai Marina, Address Montgomerie, Address Boulevard and Palace Downtown.Year-over-year bookings of pre-purchased hotel rooms, or “ExclusiveDeals”, have increased by more than 150 percent in the Middle East in 2017, as well. Over 20 years ago, Tourico pioneered the practice of purchasing room blocks on a massive scale, and today, the strategy is a key component to the company’s growth in the Middle East market.“Adding local employees and a full sales force in Dubai has allowed us to increase our Middle East partner portfolio, but it’s also been vital in supporting those partners and ensuring we’re developing close, longstanding relationships,” said Sham Ganiwalla, the Regional Director of Sales in the Middle East for Tourico Holidays.  “The room nights influx, cancellation improvements, and distribution of our ExclusiveDeal properties are three figures we’re very proud of.”About Tourico HolidaysTourico Holidays is a leading global travel distribution company that contracts directly with travel providers, such as hotels, flights, cruise lines, attractions, car rentals, vacation homes and more. Tourico Holidays works on a high-volume, wholesale model to broker this inventory to over 4,900 clients in 100 countries using proprietary technology.Source = Tourico Holidayslast_img read more


QT Perth set to open on Australias West Coast this August

first_imgSource = QT Hotels & Resorts QT Perth set to open on Australia’s West Coast this AugustQT Perth set to open on Australia’s West Coast this AugustQT Perth, the latest property from Sydney-based designer hotel brand QT Hotels & Resorts, will open this August in the heart of Perth’s Central Business District near Swan River. Showcasing QT’s signature service and design sense, the 18-story hotel will offer 184 guest rooms, a signature bar & grill restaurant, rooftop bar, café and seven conference rooms. Located steps from Murray Street Mall and the city’s main shopping district, QT Perth marks the brand’s first property on Australia’s West Coast.Renowned designer Nic Graham has imagined the hotel’s public spaces. Longstanding QT guest room designer Shelley Indyk has created thoughtfully designed guest rooms sporting handmade ceramics by local craftspeople.Creative Food Director Robert Marchetti has teamed up with Executive Chef Nic Wood to curate the Mediterranean menu for the hotel’s Santini Grill, using the very best in local produce. Santini Bar will act as the hotel’s social hub, showcasing a fine selection of local wineries and distilleries. The Rooftop at QT will offer the highest rooftop party venue in Perth with spectacular views across the Swan River, Perth Hills and Optus Stadium. The QT Café on the entry level will serve freshly brewed coffee and treats throughout the day.Offering a range of event spaces, QT Perth is designed to host meetings and events in the city’s Central Business District, complete with unique culinary packages, and the ability to accommodate up to 315 people.For more information on QT Perth (bookings available from August 1, 2018), visit: www.qthotelsandresorts.com/perth.About QT Hotels & Resorts:QT Hotels & Resorts first put its stamp on the Australian tourism sector with the launch of QT Gold Coast in 2011. The unique and exciting property delivered the first injection of QT’s signature spaces with bold entertainment and an intriguing, yet relaxing, guest experience. Now one of Australia and New Zealand’s most loved and dynamic hotel brands, the family of properties includes: the flagships of QT Melbourne and QT Sydney, in addition to QT Gold Coast, QT Port Douglas, QT Falls Creek, QT Canberra, QT Bondi, QT Wellington and QT Queenstown.last_img read more


Travelport partners with Hong Kong International Airport to promote multimodal transport services

first_imgTravelport announced a new agreement with Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) to promote the multi-modal connectivity services at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to travel buyers in Asia, Europe and North America.HKIA is one of the busiest passenger airports across the globe connecting to over 220 destinations through over 120 airlines. In 2018, HKIA handled 74.7 million passengers. As a regional hub and a multi-modal transport centre, it offers travellers extensive land and sea connections to cities throughout the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which includes Macao, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and beyond.The digital media solutions provided by Travelport will help HKIA offer a hassle-free experience to passengers travelling into China. The technology allows overseas travel buyers – such as travel agencies and travel management companies – to pre-book the airport’s multi-modal transport services for their customers in 18 markets from across the world. The new digital solutions will also allow HKIA to embrace new business opportunities by targeting nearby airport destinations and promoting its multi-modal, multi-stop connecting services.Commenting on the agreement, Steven Yiu, Deputy Director, Service Delivery, AA said, “Travelport facilitates the engagement of the global agency community and attracts travellers to enjoy our world-class facilities and services. Our partnership will enable travel agencies to offer their customers a seamless journey to various destinations in the Mainland via HKIA.”Jason Clarke, Travelport’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Travel Partners added, “HKIA is uniquely positioned in a vibrant region and connects a cluster of fast-growing cities. We are pleased to secure this long-term partnership, which will see us further promote the offerings of the airport to travel buyers and travellers across the world through our digital media solutions. We are confident this collaboration will continue to reinforce HKIA as connecting hub in Asia and bring more passengers to experience a hassle-free journey through this airport.”Consisted of a portfolio of marketing and advertising tools, Travelport’s digital media solutions can help travel partners including airports, airlines, hotels and destinations to increase their brand awareness and sales through Travelport’s global network and deliver targeted marketing messages to influence travel buyers at every stage of their booking process.last_img read more


American Idol Lists Her Texas Estate for 1495M

first_imgAmerican Idol Lists Her Texas Estate for $1.495M July 19, 2012 401 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-19 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img Share Another former reality star and current pop star is joining the real estate fray. Just days after _X_ _Factor_ champion Leona Lewis listed her home in Los Angeles, Kelly Clarkson, who won the U.S. version of the competition, _American Idol_, has put her ranch in Mansfield, Texas, on the market for $1.495 million. According to “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/blog/2012-07-16/kelly-clarkson-lists-mansfield-ranch-for-sale/, Clarkson appears to be putting only a portion of her 50-acre property up for sale, as the listing encompasses only 14 acres. Clarkson customized the pretty estate, which was originally built in 1993, adding a man-made pond, lap and diving pools, a treehouse, and walking trails. The 6,880-square foot home includes two master suites, a home theater, and a gym. Zillow also noted that this isn’t the first property transaction for Clarkson, who also sold her Nashville estate in 2010.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE]last_img read more


Pew Study Examines Geographic Impact of Mortgage Interest Deduction

first_imgPew Study Examines Geographic Impact of Mortgage Interest Deduction May 2, 2013 473 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2013-05-02 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img in Data As debate continues to swirl around the future of the mortgage interest tax deduction, “”Pew Charitable Trusts””:http://www.pewtrusts.org/ released a “”study””:http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2013/MID-report2.pdf revealing the geographic impact of the tax deduction. The concentration of claims varies widely by state but is highest on the East Coast and in parts of the West, according to the study. States with the lowest claim rates are generally located in the South. [IMAGE] With 37 percent of all filers claiming the mortgage interest tax deduction, Maryland had the highest claim rate in the country, according to data from 2010. The lowest claim rate occurred in West Virginia and North Dakota, where 15 percent of filers claimed the deduction. Across the nation, about 25.5 percent of tax filers claimed the mortgage interest tax deduction in 2010, according to Pew. The amount claimed per tax filer–across those who claimed the deduction and those who did not–was also highest in Maryland, $4,580. [COLUMN_BREAK]The lowest claim-per-filer took place in North Dakota–$1,192. Pew also noted differences in distribution of the mortgage interest tax deduction within states. Often, residents in large metropolitan areas were more likely to claim the deduction than residents in less populated or more rural areas. Texas demonstrated the greatest variance in claim rates and deduction amounts in one state. Austin, Texas, held both the highest claim rate and the highest deduction amount, which were four times and six times higher than the lowest rates recorded in the state. On the other hand, in Pennsylvania, the state’s largest metro areas did not hold the highest concentration of claim rates. Pittsburgh “”had relatively low claim rates”” when compared to the less-populous York-Hanover area, according to the Pew study. “”Looking at who benefits by state should inform federal policymakers as they consider options for changing or eliminating tax expenditures over the next several years,”” said Anne Stauffer, a fiscal policy expert at Pew. In 2011, mortgage interest tax deduction claims totaled about $360 billion. Pew noted in its study that the housing crisis did impact the amount and number of claims made in recent years. In 2007, the deduction amount peaked at $543 billion. Over the following three years, the deduction amount declined 28 percent, and the number of claims declined 12 percent, according to Pew.last_img read more


Number of Fully Recovered Markets Grows

first_img 2014-02-25 Colin Robins Homes.com has released its December Local Market Index, a price performance summary of repeat sales of U.S. properties. The index notes year-over-year gains for single-family properties in all 300 top U.S markets for the ninth consecutive month.The total number of considered “fully recovered” has increased to 89, up from the previous month’s 87.Mid-size markets saw a large improvement in recovery efforts; 60 of the top 200 mid-size markets have fully recovered previous losses in home prices.The index considers a market to be “fully recovered” based on the market’s current index value to its corresponding value in the year 2000. “An index value above 100 indicates sales prices above the normalized level while an index value below 100 indicates sales prices below the normalized level,” the company’s website notes.The South dominated the top 100 rebounding markets, with 15 energy-based economies in Texas and Oklahoma.”Despite the holiday season and the early winter storms in most of the nation, the number of top 100 markets to reach or surpass their peak prices at the height of the boom in 2007 increased to 29 markets, according to December’s data,” said Brock MacLean, EVP of Homes.com. “With the largest year-over-year housing market price increases in seven years, the U.S. housing market is in a great position to continue making steady gains in 2014.”The Homes.com index is significantly more optimistic than other reports, specifically the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for December, which is cautious to project continued growth in 2014. Share February 25, 2014 457 Views center_img Number of ‘Fully Recovered’ Markets Grows in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, Newslast_img read more


White Paper Explores Mortgage Servicing Challenges

first_img 2014-10-19 Seth Welborn CoreLogic has released its fourth out of a series of four white papers entitled Foundation for a Sound Housing Market addressing the high-level aspects of the challenges today’s mortgage servicing sector is facing.This edition of the Foundation for a Sound Housing Market series, entitled Mortgage Servicing, discusses the challenges the servicing industry is facing moving forward following reform in the aftermath of the 2008 housing market collapse. Those challenges include the many new policies and laws that are in effect and constantly evolving.Other key issues discussed in the white paper include mortgage servicing models available and the specific risks associated with each one; assessing the cost of servicing non-performing loans, which has been made more difficult by increased regulation; the burdens servicers faced due to an increased number of subprime and non-performing loans that led up to the housing market collapse in 2008; how servicers can thrive in the new heightened regulatory environment by better coordinating with local, state, and federal regulators; and how to balance maximizing investor returns and sustain operability while delivering the highest quality of customer service.”As the industry restoration goes forward, it’s important to keep in mind that the ability to aggregate and service mortgage loans, or subservice others’ mortgage loans, is a key component of efficient and effective primary and secondary mortgage markets,” the white paper said. “In addition, the ability to grow the market and offer loan servicing on both performing loans and non-performing loans will continue to be a driver of housing finance pricing and execution.”The first in CoreLogic’s Foundation for a Sound Housing Market white paper series, ATR/QM Standards, was released in October 2013, followed by QRM and Risk Retention Standards in December 2013 and The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act in April 2014. October 19, 2014 619 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing White Paper Explores Mortgage Servicing Challengeslast_img read more


Slight Uptick in Rates But Not as Much as Expected

first_imgSlight Uptick in Rates, But Not as Much as Expected Mortgage Rates 2017-06-22 Brianna Gilpin Though mortgage rates had a slight uptick this week after a five-week lowering streak, it won’t have much effect on monthly payments according to Bankrate.com’s weekly survey. The better question Bankrate is raising is, “why did rates go up and why didn’t they go up more?” For over a week, the hot topic has been the Federal Reserves decision to increase a key short-term interest rate and how they said it would trim it’s massive holdings of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds with the intention of pushing up long-term rates.”Low mortgage rates have been pretty resilient so far to the Fed’s moves and that’s been a positive for buyers, “said Danielle Hale, Managing Director of Housing Finance at the National Association of Realtors told Bankrate. “Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac told Bankrate that mortgage rates are just returning to pre-election trends, because the economy itself isn’t changing that much.”It’s really on the inflation and wage front, where we’re not seeing a lot of movement, and relatively weak overall economic growth, but that’s sort of the same story we’ve had over the past couple of years,” Kiefer said.This week, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 4.02 percent to 4.05 percent. This time last year, the rate sat at 3.73 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average is 0.39 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.44 percent and is 0.53 percentage points above the 52-week low of 3.52 percent. At this current rate, buyers would pay $480.30 for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $478.57 last week according to Bankrate.15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.27 percent from 3.25 percent. Currently, buyers would pay $703.64 for every $100,000, up from $702.67 last week.The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose from 3.41 percent to 3.47 percent. At this rate, buyers would pay $447.37 for every $100,000 they borrow, up from last weeks $444.04. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img June 22, 2017 616 Views Sharelast_img read more


Royal Caribbean

first_imgRoyal Caribbean The 2018/19 Royal Caribbean summer cruises were due to go on sale today, however the company says ‘… manoeuvering our mega-ships around the world is a mighty task at times, so we are not quite ready to go on sale just yet’, and it will now be early June. There will be updates in the coming weeks.last_img


Brett JardineCATO

first_imgBrett JardineCATO Former cruise industry association leader, Brett Jardine, is stepping into the role of Managing Director of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO). Jardine was at the helm of Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) for close to a decade and in 2017 set up Cruise Boss where he has been consulting on projects with Viking Cruises and the Intrepid Travel Group. CATO is on a mission to raise the profile of the organisation, and Chairman Dennis Bunnik believes Jardine is the ideal candidate to steer a fresh new direction.“For the past two years CATO has been working on planning for the future by increasing its profile and better engaging with members. Brett coming on board allows us to continue this journey and fast track a number of priorities,” Bunnik said. “Brett is a proven leader in the travel industry and we are delighted to have him onboard. The CATO committee and I look forward to working with Brett in the coming months and years to grow CATO and realise the organisation’s full potential.” Jardine takes over from Peter Baily, who after some 25 years with at the helm of CATO, will retire at the end of March. “Peter has been with CATO from the very beginning, first as its inaugural chairman then as General Manager,” said Bunnik.“He has been the heart and soul of CATO and now becomes our first Life-Member. Peter’s contribution to CATO and the touring & wholesale sectors of the industry has been outstanding and we look forward to celebrating this with him at a special function in April.” last_img read more


cruiseMariner of the SeasmillennialsRoyal Caribbea

first_imgcruiseMariner of the SeasmillennialsRoyal Caribbeanyouth On Friday 22 June 2018 Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas sailed into its new home at PortMiami following a $120 million revamp and welcoming guests for the first time today on a 4-night cruise to The Bahamas. The newly reimagined ship will continue to offer 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend itineraries from Miami, with visits to Nassau and CocoCay. Beginning May 2019, Mariner will sail to the new Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first destination in Royal Caribbean’s recently announced collection of private island experiences around the world. New features include Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience; the cruise line’s first Polynesian-inspired, tiki-chic bar, The Bamboo Room; glow-in-the-dark laser tag and racer waterslides. Flowrider“Millennials want more frequent and shorter vacations that offer as much of that exhilarating adventure they seek. We’ve answered that call by investing $120 million in Mariner of the Seas and bringing her to Miami to sail 3- and 4-night cruises,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With the combination of more thrills than you can count and visits to tropical destinations, Mariner is changing the game and taking the short getaway experience to a whole new level.”TOP IMAGE: Sky Padlast_img read more