2 Russian professors convicted of spying for China

first_imgMOSCOW (AP) – A Russian court on Wednesday convicted two professors of a St.Petersburg university of handing over missile secrets to China, the latest in a string of espionage cases that reflected underlying tensions between Moscow and Beijing despite declarations of cooperation and friendship.The St.Petersburg City Court found Yevgeny Afanasyev and Svyatoslav Bobyshev guilty of treason and sentenced them to 12 1/2 and 12 years in prison respectively, according to the Interfax news agency. Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Quick workouts for men (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The two professors of St.Petersburg’s Baltic State Technological University were accused of selling confidential information related to Russia’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile, the Bulava, to representatives of China’s military intelligence. The two men have been in custody since their arrest in March 2010.After decades of Cold War-era rivalry, Moscow and Beijing have developed what they call a strategic partnership after the 1991 Soviet collapse. China also has become a major customer for Russian weapons industries, although Russian arms exports have drained in recent years as China has sought to produce unlicensed copycat versions of Russian weapons.Russia also has refrained from providing China with some of the latest military technologies, and a number of Russian scientists have been convicted of spying for China in recent years.The Bulava, designed to equip a new generation of Russian nuclear submarines, suffered a string of failures during its development phase but recent test launches went successfully.Interfax said that the professors were accused of providing the Chinese with technological details related to the Bulava’s underwater launch during their trip to China in 2009. It said that Chinese intelligence also sought information about the land-based Topol-M and Iskander missiles.last_img read more

Read more →

Turkish leader says Obama always respectful

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s prime minister has dismissed opposition criticism of a White House photo showing President Barack Obama holding a baseball bat during a telephone conversation with the leader.Turkish opposition groups this week picked apart the photo, claiming the picture was disrespectful.Erdogan told Turkey’s A Haber news channel on Sunday that Obama is “a friend who never falls short of respect or politeness.” Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img The White House issued a brief statement to the Anadolu news agency Friday saying it released the picture to emphasize the close relationship between the two leaders.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

Read more →

Suspected IRA man arrested over Belfast gun attack

first_imgIn recent years Ardoyne has suffered rioting after July 12 parades by the Orange Order, the major British Protestant brotherhood in Northern Ireland. Many Catholics consider Orange parades provocative.While most IRA members renounced violence in 2005, several small IRA factions still mount occasional bomb and gun attacks in the British territory.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Men’s health affects baby’s health too Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) – Northern Ireland police say a suspected Irish Republican Army member has been arrested on suspicion of firing a burst of automatic fire at officers in Belfast last month.The 57-year-old man was arrested Monday and could be questioned for up to a week before being charged or released.About 10 bullets were fired July 13 at police in Ardoyne, an IRA power base in north Belfast, during riots in the Irish Catholic area. No officers were hit.last_img read more

Read more →

Storms dampen hopes for bountiful NKorea harvest

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   But this year’s extreme weather has dimmed hopes of a bountiful harvest.Rural areas endured a protracted dry spell in May and June, just as crops needed water to germinate, said Kang, the Wonsan professor. Because of this, North Korean farmers brought in less than half the wheat, barley and potatoes anticipated in the spring, officials said.Then, flash floods from summer storms killed scores of North Koreans, destroyed thousands of homes and drowned hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland, according to state media.In recent weeks, a series of typhoons has lashed some parts of North Korea, leaving more people homeless.The damage and death tolls could not be independently confirmed, but Associated Press journalists who traveled through the countryside in August saw roadways ripped apart and entire hamlets swept away by water that gushed down denuded mountainsides. Last month, just weeks before the corn harvest, acres of stalks languished in the muddy fields of South Phyongan Province, a key agricultural area.United Nations officials said the extent of the damage to crops remains unclear and there are hopes it will be limited to areas hit hard by the flash floods. U.N. workers will fan out across the country starting next week for a far-reaching assessment that should provide a clearer picture on the current state of North Korea’s food situation. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up “I can’t predict this year’s harvest,” said Kang, head of the Department of Crop Science at the Wonsan University of Agriculture in eastern North Korea. “But it’s probable that this year’s output will be lower than expected.”Agriculture remains the nation’s lifeblood, contributing a quarter of the nation’s economy and engaging a third of the population, according to the World Food Program.But this craggy country of mountains and valleys has little arable land and for decades has not been able to grow enough food for its 24 million people. And in an era when most Northeast Asian nations leave most of the work to machines, northern farms still rely on backbreaking manual labor and have had to rely on foreign aid to make up for shortfalls in seeds and fertilizer.The leanest period was a famine in the mid-1990s, a time known here as the “Arduous March,” when foreign economists estimate that hundreds of thousands of North Koreans died of hunger.With fall approaching, the harvest is on everyone’s minds, from kindergarteners hunched over drawings of bright red tractors to art troupes and military bands rehearsing the rousing tunes they’ll use to raise the spirits of farmers out in the fields. Sponsored Stories center_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project This harvest is especially important to the government because it will be the first since Kim Jong Un assumed power following the December death of his father, Kim Jong Il. The young leader has declared the era of “belt-tightening” must end _ an extraordinary acknowledgment of economic hardship from a regime that rarely admits weakness. By doing so, he challenged bureaucrats to find a way to turn things around.With the summer corn crop picked and laid out to dry on roof tiles, the focus is now turning to the rice harvest, which begins later this month around the time of “chusok,” or thanksgiving, a period that marks the beginning of frenzied farming activity, when even city dwellers are expected to help gather crops.Rice is followed by soybeans later in the fall, then everyone hunkers down to turn cabbage into kimchi, the spicy fermented side dish that is considered nearly as much of a staple as white rice.North Koreans refer to this busy time of year as “going into battle,” a distinctive approach to the harvest in a country that operates under a “military first” policy and relies on the socialist collective spirit to make up for a lack of fuel and machinery. Even if the fall harvest isn’t as bountiful as hoped, Kang said, he doesn’t anticipate a return to the dark days of the Arduous March.“We won’t go back to those hard times again,” he said.______Follow AP’s Korea bureau chief for Seoul and Pyongyang at twitter.com/newsjean.(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 Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Associated PressWONSAN, North Korea (AP) – First came an extended dry spell in the spring, followed by a summer of flash floods and typhoons.Now, with North Korean farmers preparing to head out into autumn fields to cut and thresh the nation’s most important crop, rice, there are renewed concerns that continued harsh weather will mean another shortfall of food in this chronically hungry land.There had been high hopes for better crop yields this year following the implementation of more modern farming techniques, said Kang Su Ik, a professor at North Korea’s premier agricultural school. But those hopes have faded in what has proven to be another tough year for farmers in the disaster-prone North. Longer-term, said Kang, the Wonsan professor, North Korea needs to continue modernizing its farming techniques and equipment.“We need technology to step up to the world’s standards,” he told AP in an interview.Most tractors are 10 to 15 years old, and there aren’t enough trucks and fuel to carry crops to threshing yards and storage sheds before they spoil, U.N. officials said. North Korea has also struggled to secure high-quality seeds and the fertilizer needed to pump up yields.This year, the U.N. has provided combine harvesters imported from Brazil and China, and state media said engineers at Kim Il Sung University have developed a more efficient harvester. North Korea is also sending farming experts to study in Russia, China and elsewhere, Kang said.But while food is plentiful in the capital, Pyongyang, where many have the cash to supplement state-provided rice and cornmeal with meat, vegetables and fruit, 16 million other North Koreans struggle to eat a well-balanced diet, according to a U.N appeal to donors in June.“Beyond the immediate needs due to flooding, the WFP is very concerned about the long-term intellectual and physical development of young children who are malnourished,” said Claudia von Roehl, WFP’s representative in Pyongyang, “mainly due to a monotonous diet lacking in key proteins, fats and micronutrients.”last_img read more

Read more →

Owners of grounded ship settle with New Zealand

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The difference between men and women when it comes to pain (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Daina Shipping, a subsidiary of Greek-based Costamare, along with its insurers agreed Tuesday to settle with New Zealand for $22.9 million for oil cleanup costs incurred so far and another $8.6 million if it doesn’t remove the pieces of the wreck that still sit on the reef.The company has also spent an estimated $80 million on a separate salvage operation _ removing oil, hundreds of shipping containers and some parts of the ship’s frame.The New Zealand government says the disaster has cost it $38.9 million (NZ$47 million), meaning Tuesday’s settlement will leave it out of pocket at least $7.4 million, but that maritime laws limit Costamare’s financial liability.“I think it’s a very good result given all of the circumstances,” said Keith Manch, the chief executive of Maritime New Zealand, the agency that oversees shipping in the country.He said it isn’t ideal that taxpayers end up having to pay some of the costs. However, he said, Costamare had agreed to pay more than double the limit it was legally obliged to under New Zealand shipping laws enacted some 36 years ago.Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the government is planning to change the law to increase the amount that companies like Costamare will need to pay in the future. Check your body, save your life ___Follow Nick Perry on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nickgbperry How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Associated PressWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – A Greek shipping company has agreed to pay the New Zealand government up to $31.5 million toward the cleanup costs of a cargo ship’s grounding on a reef near popular swimming and surfing beaches last year. But taxpayers will still be footing some of the bill.The vessel Rena ran onto the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga on a calm night last October. It spilled hundreds of tons of oil and killed thousands of sea birds in what authorities say was New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Brownlee said liability limitations remain important, however, in encouraging ships to come to New Zealand.“This is part of the risk we take in an economy that relies on trade,” he said. “We’re going to increase the limitation going forward, and maybe that should have been done sooner. But nobody expects these types of things.”Costamare did not immediately return calls Tuesday.Aside from the latest settlement, Costamare also still faces charges under New Zealand’s environmental laws. If found guilty, it would face a maximum fine of about $500,000.Last month, the captain and navigator of the Rena were deported from New Zealand to their home country of the Philippines after completing prison sentences for their role in the grounding.Capt. Mauro Balomaga and navigator Leonil Relon were each sentenced to seven months in prison in May after pleading guilty to operating the ship dangerously and altering ship documents after the crash. They were deported after serving half that time, a typical amount for lesser crimes under New Zealand law.Investigators concluded that the pair took shortcuts on their planned route as they tried to reach the nearby Port of Tauranga by a deadline.last_img read more

Read more →

Mexicos new gov to review pot fight after US vote

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Associated PressMEXICO CITY (AP) – The legalization of recreational marijuana in the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado will force Mexico to rethink its efforts to halt marijuana smuggling across the border, the main adviser to Mexico’s president-elect said Wednesday.Luis Videgaray, head of incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto’s transition team, told Radio Formula that the Mexican administration taking power in three weeks remains opposed to drug legalization. But he said the votes in the two states complicate his country’s commitment to quashing the growing and smuggling of a plant now seen by many as legal in part of the U.S. “Obviously we can’t handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States, at least in part of the United States, it now has a different status,” Videgaray said. “I believe this obliges us to think the relationship in regards to security … This is an unforeseen element.”Videgaray stopped short of threatening to curtail Mexican enforcement of marijuana laws, but his comments, less than three weeks before Pena Nieto travels to the White House days before taking office, appeared likely to increase pressure on the Obama administration to strictly enforce U.S. federal law, which still forbids recreational pot use.“These important modifications change somewhat the rules of the game in the relationship with the United States,” Videgaray said. “I think that we have to carry out a review of our joint policies in regards to drug trafficking and security in general.”Videgaray will almost certainly be one of the most important figures in Mexico’s new administration and he has been central to the planning of the U.S. trip by Pena Nieto planned for Nov. 27. Videgaray said security would obviously be discussed during that trip and he indicated that marijuana legalization would be an important topic. Government officials in other countries who back U.S. policy offered little comment on the Colorado and Washington ballots.A former high-ranking official in Mexico’s internal intelligence service who has studied the potential effects of legalization measures told The Associated Press that he was optimistic legalization in the two states would damage Mexican drug cartels.However, the former official, Alejandro Hope, now an analyst at the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, added that a key factor would be the reaction by the U.S. federal government to the votes. A strong federal crackdown on legalized pot could negate all but the smallest effects on Mexico’s cartels, he said.Hope said a flourishing legal pot market in Colorado could reduce Mexican cartels’ estimated annual income from roughly $6 billion to about $4.6 billion.If U.S. states start developing a marijuana industry, “This will not be a super-lucrative business proposition for a criminal enterprise,” Hope said. “This will not be a cash cow.”The loss of income to cartels might lead them to branch into other criminal activities at home like kidnapping, Hope said, but he said such crimes were much more difficult to carry out than marijuana smuggling, so he considered that relatively unlikely. How do cataracts affect your vision? 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project He said he believed it was more likely the loss of income would force cartels to shrink and even cut into their smuggling of other drugs, because they have been using income from marijuana smuggling to pay the costs of other illegal operations, such as bribes to officials.“It might produce a reduction in cocaine and heroin smuggling if the effect was large enough,” Hope said. “… How much, and in what directions, beats me at this point.”___Associated Press writers Isaac Garrido in Mexico City and Carlos Valdez in La Paz, Bolivia, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories The Obama administration has said little about how it will handle pot legalization in two states and U.S. officials offered no comment on Videgaray’s remarks.The current Mexican administration has been vehemently opposed to pro-marijuana measures in the U.S., and President Felipe Calderon spoke out against a similar legalization move in California two years ago. Calderon and members of his Cabinet remained silent Wednesday on the U.S. votes.In other Latin American countries, where cocaine production is dominant, some officials, ordinary citizens and independent experts said they expected little immediate change in U.S. drug policy, but expressed hope that the marijuana votes were the start of a softening in U.S. attitudes toward drug production. Officials with governments in the region that back U.S. policy offered little comment on the Colorado and Washington ballots.“The fact that two states in the United States have recognized the recreational use of marijuana makes us encouraged about possible changes,” said Dionisio Nunez, vice minister of coca in Bolivia, where cultivation of the coca plant _ commonly used as a stimulant by local people _ is legal but production of cocaine is not. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizonalast_img read more

Read more →

Ethiopian runner wins Jerusalem marathon

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix JERUSALEM (AP) – Abraham Kabeto Ketla of Ethiopia has won the third Jerusalem marathon, setting a record for the race. About 20,000 runners took part despite protests by Palestinians.Ketla finished in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 29 seconds Friday, beating the record by three minutes.Luka Kipkemoi Chelimo of Kenya was second at 2:19:02. Vincent Kiplagat Kiptoo of Kenya finished third.Mihiret Anamo Anotonios of Ethiopia set a record in the women’s race with 2:47:26. Radiya Mohammed Roba of Ethiopia was second with 3:05:58. Palestinians called for a boycott of the marathon because it passed through east Jerusalem, which they claim for a future capital. Palestinians held a small protest without disrupting the race, police said.Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war. It claims the whole city as its capital.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous ofcenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

Read more →

Influential clerics support top leaders adviser

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona The decision is seen as a blow to Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, who was campaigning in a coalition with Velayati.Velayati, who served as foreign minister from 1981-1997, is one of eight candidates.He has vowed for better relations with the world and criticized Iran’s current positions in talks with the West over its disputed nuclear program.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   center_img TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An influential Iranian clerical body has announced its support for presidential candidate Ali Akbar Velayati in the June 14 election.A Sunday report by the semi-official Mehr news agency quotes the Association of Teachers of Qom Seminary as saying the association decided to support Velayati, current foreign adviser for Iran’s Supreme Leader.The association is seen an important reference body for many conservatives and average Iranian voters who are devout. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Read more →

Officials Lebanese forces fire on Syrian planes

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The Lebanese officials say the military opened anti-aircraft fire at two Syrian warplanes on Monday after the aircraft bombed a border area close to the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media.There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese military or from the Syrian government.(Copyright 2013 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 sober BEIRUT (AP) – Security officials say Lebanese forces have fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country’s airspace.It was the first time since the outbreak of the Syria’s conflict three years ago that the Lebanese military took action to prevent Syrian warplanes from violating its airspace.Syrian forces have fired toward Lebanon in the past, trying to deter rebels from fleeing to the neighboring country or from sheltering in Lebanese border towns. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Read more →

Senate plowing ahead on 612 billion defense policy bill

first_img Top Stories “By tradition, this legislation has been passed with bipartisan support, reflecting our mutual commitment to national security, but apparently Sen. Reid has decided this year that doing his job is a waste of time,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the majority leader in the House, which has passed its own version of the defense policy bill.Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he expects at least 100 to 200 amendments to be introduced to bill on the Senate side. He predicted a vote by the end of next week.The White House takes issue with several provisions.Topping the list is a move to put billions of dollars of defense spending into an emergency war-fighting fund, which is not subject to spending limits. Democrats say this is largely an end-run around the spending caps that Republicans and Democrats imposed in 2011. President Barack Obama said he will not support a budget that locks in the limits.“There is budgetary fakery in here,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who opposes the bill along with Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the committee.McCain said it wasn’t his first choice to put $38 billion in the war-fighting account, but that the spending limits are the law. Unless the caps are lifted, he said the bill’s approach is the only way to give the president every dollar he requested and defense officials insist is the minimum required to defend the country. The White House also opposes provisions that it considers unwarranted restrictions on Obama’s ability to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama says keeping Guantanamo open weakens national security by draining resources, emboldening violent extremists and damaging U.S. relations with allies.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Quick workouts for men Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-led Senate plowed ahead Wednesday on a $612 billion annual defense policy bill despite a White House veto threat and the Democratic leader’s claim that it is an exercise in futility.“The president said he’s going to veto it so I think it really is kind of a waste of time,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.Republicans challenged Reid, saying that supporting U.S. troops is not a waste of time. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories McCain said it’s his job to avoid putting U.S. troops at risk and without the additional funds, “we do that.”He called the White House veto threat “misguided and irresponsible.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he doesn’t back the spending caps either, especially because they have hindered the ability to modernize the armed forces and meet the demands of current operations. But he accused the White House of “saber rattling” and said blocking the bill was not in the national interest.“No defense authorization bill will ever be perfect, but this is legislation that reflects a good faith effort to authorize programs in the political reality we live in,” McConnell said.Democrats are drafting an amendment to the bill to lift the cap, shift the war-fighting money to the core defense budget and set aside an equal amount for domestic programs.Obama also is opposed to parts of the bill that would prevent a new round of base closures, bar the retirement of the A-10 aircraft, which provides close air support for ground troops, and push the White House to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine forces fighting Russia-backed rebels — something Obama so far has refrained from doing. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Read more →

Bergdahl wants court to disqualify courtsmartial general

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG’-dahl), the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years, is asking a military appellate court to disqualify the general with broad discretion in his case.Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell, says Bergdahl filed the request Friday in the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington.Bergdahl wants the court to disqualify Gen. Mark Milley because he has a personal interest in being confirmed as the next Army chief of staff. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The Idaho native, who is charged with desertion, was exchanged last year for five senior Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Bergdahl’s preliminary hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, is set for September. From there, his case could be referred for trial.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories last_img read more

Read more →

Kenyan security on high alert ahead of Obama visit

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “I will leave it to God,” said Sarah Obama, who walked with a cane.___Associated Press writer Abdi Guled contributed to this report from Mogadishu, Somalia.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One for a trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, on Thursday, July 23, 2015, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit both countries. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A massive security operation is in place to protect President Barack Obama during his visit to Kenya, which has been frequently targeted by al-Shabab militants based in neighboring Somalia.Ahead of Obama’s arrival Friday evening, large numbers of security forces patrolled in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Several U.S. military aircraft were spotted flying around the city. There have also been significant military attacks on Islamic militant targets in Somalia in recent weeks. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Major Nairobi roads will be temporarily closed and authorities said the international airport will be closed at times coinciding with Obama’s landing and departure Sunday for Ethiopia. Safaricom, a mobile network operator, warned of disruptions while Obama is in Nairobi to meet entrepreneurs and hold talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.“We recognize the fact that as the most protected individual in the world, there will be some security measures undertaken by his team which could include the temporary disruption of mobile signals close to where the President is at any given time,” Safaricom said.Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaida, has conducted major attacks in Kenya, including the 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall and an April attack in Garissa town that killed nearly 150 people.This month, Somali officials said African Union and local troops seized Bardhere, one of the last major towns held by extremists in Somalia’s southwest. A militant commander was also killed in a U.S. drone strike, according to Somali and U.S. officials.A Somali intelligence official told The Associated Press that the use of surveillance drones has increased in the past two weeks. “They are watching militants’ movements towards Kenya so closely,” said the official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.Obama’s schedule includes a Sunday address at a Nairobi stadium that will be broadcast live on Kenyan radio and television. U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec said attendance is by invitation only to representatives from “a wide range of Kenyan society” despite speculation that huge crowds would gather.“We discourage people from coming to the venue if they’re not explicitly invited,” Godec said.Obama, whose father was Kenyan, will have time for meetings with relatives during his visit, said the ambassador.Sarah Obama, the matriarch of the Obama family, flew from the western Kenyan city of Kisumu to Nairobi on Friday ahead of a meeting with the American president, Kenyan media reported. Sarah Obama was the second wife of Obama’s grandfather and helped raise his father, Barack Obama Sr. The president referred to her as “Granny” in his memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”“Today, I am going to talk to him face to face,” Sarah Obama, who is in her 90s, said before boarding the Nairobi-bound plane. She said she would try to convince Obama to visit his father’s grave in the western village of Kogelo, though U.S. officials have said the president will not travel to the town on this visit.last_img read more

Read more →

Whats in the 6year Senate transportation bill

first_img Sponsored Stories Business and transportation industry lobby groups are urging their members to ask their congressmen and senators to support the Senate bill. Industry officials said the $350 billion Senate bill isn’t ideal — not as much money as they would like and only three of the six years paid for — but they are desperate for at least a few years certainty rather an another short-term patch.Since 2009, Congress has passed 34 short-term transportation extensions. Five states — Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming — have delayed or canceled $1.5 billion in construction projects because they couldn’t count on federal aid, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said.Some highlights of the Senate bill:___HIGHWAYSThe bill shores up the federal Highway Trust Fund for three years by using about $45 billion in revenue increases and making spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. The largest source of funds is $16 billion that would be saved by reducing the dividend rate the government pays to large banks.The bill also attempts to speed up environmental reviews of construction projects and encourages states to impose user fees on electric vehicles because they use roadways but don’t contribute to federal gas tax revenues. It also sets aside money for major projects and directs highway aid to major freight transportation corridors, starting with $1.5 billion in fiscal 2016 and increasing to $2.5 billion in 2021. ___AUTO AND HIGHWAY SAFETYThe safety provisions are the most controversial transportation part of the bill both for what they include and what they don’t include. The bill requires that rental car agencies fix cars subject to safety recalls before renting them, but it doesn’t include language sought by safety advocates requiring car dealers to fix recalled used cars before selling them. It would double the amount the government can fine automakers who don’t disclose safety defects from $35 million to $70 million — significantly less than the $300 million sought by the White House. It would force the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conceal from the public its safety ratings of trucking companies; the trucking industry says the agency’s methodology is flawed.An effort by Democrats to add criminal penalties for auto company officials who knowingly conceal safety defects from the government was unsuccessful.___RAILROADSThe bill authorizes an average $1.65 billion a year for Amtrak over the next four years. Another $570 million in grants each year could be used to improve service and eliminate rail congestion in the railroad’s busy Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington. It streamlines environmental and historic preservation permitting requirements. There are two controversial safety provisions: One would require the government testing of more advanced train brakes before implementing a requirement that railroads install them on trains that haul volatile crude oil. The other indefinitely delays a deadline for railroads to get government certification and put into operation technology that can automatically stop or slow trains to prevent crashes. Accident investigators have said that if the technology had been in operation it could have prevented an Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May that killed eight people and injured about 200 others.___TRANSITThe bill increases annual funding for transit aid by about 25 percent — or more than $2 billion — over six years. It includes a 12 percent increase, or $262 million, in fiscal year 2016 to allow public transit agencies with rail systems to address pressing repairs. It streamlines a grant program for innovative projects, and increases funding for rural areas by $105 million.The American Public Transit Association said the authorized increases are still too small, and expressed concern that the money attached to the bill might not be enough to cover even three years of the authorized spending. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How do cataracts affect your vision? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving toward the likely passage this week of a sweeping, six-year transportation bill, but the House is putting off consideration of the measure until this fall.With a Friday deadline to prevent a cutoff of highway and transit aid to states, House and Senate Republican leaders say they will also pass an $8 billion short-term bill to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund through October. That will give the House about two months after it returns from its August recess to weigh in on a long-term transportation bill. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Check your body, save your life Comments   Share   last_img read more

Read more →

Sri Lanka March inbound surges

first_imgSri Lanka’s inbound tourism almost doubled last month, increasing by up to 43.5 percent compared to the same month last year.The jump to 75,130 visitors was the highest recorded figure in arrivals for a month since December 2010 and was lead by travellers from South Asia and European markets, Lanka Business Online reported.According to data retrieved a tourism promotion office, arrivals from Western Europe increasing by 37.6 percent to 30,003 for the month, with visitors from Sweden jumping by 260 percent to 1,446 while the French market rose by 105 percent to 5,899. Meanwhile, South Asian tourism into Sri Lanka jumped 64.5 percent, with Pakistan leading the hike with a 237.7 percent increase in visitors, followed by India with a 64.5 percent surge. There was also a 50 percent rise in tourism from Australia and New Zealand compared to March last year as well as a 29.3 percent rise from East Asia and a 16.8 percent rise from the US.  Last year Sri Lanka saw a 46 percent rise in tourist arrivals, to 654,476 compared to the corresponding year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Read more →

SKYCITYS Lagoon on track for 2012 opening

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Construction on SKYCITY’S Lagoon Resort in Darwin has hit the half way mark, signaling that the resort is on track for its scheduled opening in mid July next year.The 40 million dollar Lagoon Resort has just completed the construction of a 20 meter bridge over the lagoon which marks the operation is running on time for a dry season opening next year.Extending upon the existing SKYCITY 5-star property at Mindil beach, the new addition is being built around a tropical lagoon swimming pool and will include two super villas, as well as 32 luxury guestrooms.Deputy Chief Minister Hon Delia Phoebe Lawrie said the construction of the resort will increase opportunities for the region.“The SKYCITY Beach Resort is a first for Darwin and the Northern Territory and will provide a welcome standard of luxury accommodation in the Top End which is usually associated with high-end Asian destinations,” Ms Lawrie said.SKYCITY Entertainment Group Chief Executive Nigel Morrison said the development offered excellent potential for Darwin and the NT.“Enhancing the quality of our property in Darwin with its amazing dry season climate, will allow us to seriously compete with the best properties in Australia and Asia for the higher end tourist market.” Mr Morrison said.Mr Morrison added that the development and quality of the resort’s facilities allows them to further market Darwin as a VIP international resort destination to the Asian and Chinese high rollers.“With the bridge across the central lagoon now in place, we are an important step closer to delivering this landmark development to the Northern Territory.”The new Resort will also feature a swim up bar, all day dining restaurant, terrace bar and day spa.last_img read more

Read more →

Billionaire Branson may invest in Indias iron horse

first_imgSir Richard Branson has expressed an interest to invest in India’s national transporter, the Railways, just as the cash-strapped service considers the feasibility of private backing to spark a revival.The Virgin Group founder was visiting India last month to relaunch Virgin Atlantic’s airlines service on the Mumbai-London route. Branson said that he would certainly like to invest in the high-speed passenger services of the Railways if there were opportunities, according to The Hindu Business Line.India Railways minister C P Joshi seems to be pushing the United Progressive Alliance’s reforms agenda, including the encouragement of private investment, according to The Times of India.Branson already holds heavy investment in British Rail franchise Virgin Rail and an expansion to invest in India’s popular transport system seems like a logical manoeuvre for the billionaire magnate.“It is funny. My foray into British Rail scene was after a journalist asked me whether I would enter the railways,” Sir Richard said.“The day after I saw the news flashed in the media. It was then that I found the numbers of British Rail authorities and started calling them.”One of the options Branson may consider supporting is on the lines of the UK rail market where the infrastructure ownership stays with the Indian Railways and there are train operating companies. When asked if he would ever invest in the India’s airline market Branson said it would take a “brave man” to invest in the country’s aviation sector in the backdrop of “bleeding airlines”.Indian Railways recently signed an agreement with Spain to explore the possibility of introducing bullet train service and improve rail safety throughout the country. Sir Richard Branson has expressed interest in India Railways. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Read more →

Singapore Tourism Oceania welcome new members

first_imgThe Singapore Tourism Board has welcomed Cheryl Wen and Rebecca Lavender to its expanding Oceania team.Both will be based in the Sydney regional office, Cheryl will be managing the marketing portfolio, whilst Rebecca will be responsible for the travel trade across Australia and New Zealand.Cheryl joins the Oceania team direct from the Singapore Tourism Board’s International Marketing team, based in Singapore, prior to her new role, Cheryl provided invaluable support to various business units within the board, with a specific focus on the Oceania and China markets.Rebecca joins the Singapore Tourism Board with over eight years of travel industry experience, with past achievements being the organisation of large-scale roadshows and familiarisation trips for agents.Both Cheryl and Rebecca will be working closely with Sharon Lam, Area Director Oceania, to continue to adopt new strategic ways to maintain top-of-mind awareness for Singapore.Whilst creatively communicating the ongoing marketing campaign – ‘Get Lost and Find the Real Singapore’ – they will work collaboratively to challenge Aussies’ dated perceptions about the city-state.“On behalf of the Singapore Tourism Board, I am thrilled to welcome both Cheryl and Rebecca to our expanding Sydney-based team. Their fresh ideas and new perspectives will allow us to continue delivering innovative tourism concepts that can help Aussies discover the real Singapore,” Ms Lam said.“As we approach Singapore’s 50th anniversary, I’m delighted to have such a strong team of dedicated individuals who are like-minded in showcasing Singapore for what it truly is.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Read more →

TTG Travel Awards 2015 culminates in a night of celebration

first_imgTTG Travel Awards 2015 culminates in a night of celebrationTTG Travel Awards 2015 culminates on this night in celebration of the 83 winners who represent the best and brightest in the Asia-Pacific industry.18 new winners have emerged across various categories, taking home the signature Hermes trophy for the first time. First-time winners such as Vietjet, Gardens By The Bay and Buffalo Tours have successfully claimed titles that were dominated by long-time winners, taking the honor of Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier, Best Theme Attraction and Best Travel Agency – Vietnam respectively.The roll-call of inaugural winners also include POP Hotel Kuta Beach Bali, Mira Moon, Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur, The Westin Singapore, Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport and Amari Phuket from the Hotels –Individual, positioning themselves as the best of the best in the travel trade industry.Amid strong competition, 16 of tonight’s winning organisations have continued to grow from strength to strength, making their remarkable comebacks into the awards. Among them are AccorHotels and Holiday Inn Express, reclaiming their titles as Best Global Hotel Chain and Best Budget Hotel Brand respectively.  Other returning winners include The Langham Hong Kong (Best City Hotel – Hong Kong) and Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Best Convention & Exhibition Centre).While first-time and returning winners make their way into TTG Travel Awards, veteran organisations such as Qatar Airways, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd and Singapore Tourism Board have successfully defended their titles with consecutive wins, continuing their reign as the industry’s giants.Other industry giants such as Tourism Promotion Board (Philippines) and Best Western International were handpicked by TTG Publishing’s editorial team as Best Marketing & Relationship Effort and Best Trade Supporter for their outstanding achievements. Myanmar was crowned Destination of the Year, and Mr. Ryoichi Matsuyama, President of JNTO was announced as the Travel Personality of the Year.The Awards also welcomed 2 new TTG Travel Hall of Fame honoraries – Regal Airport Hotel and Banyan Tree Spa into the elite ranks of the travel trade industry for their impressive achievement of winning the same award over the l0 years. A virtual Hall of Fame (http://www.ttghof.com) was launched in late September with the objective to showcase the accolades and memorabilia of the Hall of Fame inductees to a global audience.For the first time, TTG Travel Awards also honored 2 of their industry partners – Jae Pil Sho, Editor and Publisher of TravelPress Korea and Chower Narula, Managing Director of World Media for their lifelong contributions and immense dedication to the travel trade industry and also TTG Asia Media.This year, The 26th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2015 Ceremony and Gala Dinner was held in Centara Grand at CentralWorld, our official venue sponsor for the event. This annual event coincides with Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) and Corporate Travel World (CTW) Asia-Pacific – The World’s Only Doublebill Event in MICE and Corporate Travel. TTG AsiaSource = TTG Asialast_img read more

Read more →

Layne Beachley celebrates 10 years as Wyndham ambassador

first_imgSeven-time world champion surfer Layne Beachley has confirmed her commitment to Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific as the company’s Brand Ambassador for the 10th consecutive year in 2016.In her ambassador role, Mrs Beachley has motivated Wyndham’s 2,000-plus South Pacific corporate, resort and sales staff to perform at their peak by hosting a series of inspiring personal branding workshops to assist them in improving their performance through personal accountability, goal setting and values alignment.She has also taken part in Wyndham’s annual Corporate Surf Challenge to raise money for the FSHD Global Research Foundation; provided WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham vacation owners the once-in-a-lifetime experience of learning to surf with her at VIP Owner Events and launched the Australian chapter of Wyndham Worldwide’s Women on Their Way professional development initiative in the region.“I am proud to be associated with a company like Wyndham that continues to grow and motivate its staff to be the best they can be,” Mrs Beachley said.“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the ambassador role, particularly when spending time with vacation owners, as I see first-hand how Wyndham makes people’s holiday dreams come true.”Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific President and Managing Director Barry Robinson said he was delighted Layne had decided to maintain her relationship with the company.“Layne is one of Australia’s best-known and most respected female athletes and her support of Wyndham over the past 10 years has been phenomenal,” Mr Robinson said.“Her passion, drive, commitment and can-do attitude are inspirational not only to our employees, but also to all of our vacation owners and guests who get the opportunity to interact with her.” Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Source = Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacificlast_img read more

Read more →

Bali Reimagined – The New Must Do List

first_imgBali Reimagined – The New “Must Do” ListBali Reimagined – The New “Must Do” ListThere are plenty of reasons why Bali is still one of Australia’s favourite overseas holiday destinations. The ‘Island of the Gods’ represents great value – the local food is delicious, dining out is inexpensive, the scenery is idyllic and it’s easy to live like royalty without forking out thousands.You might think you have seen it all in Bali but it is a destination that keeps evolving. Babbel, the shortest path to a real-life conversation in a new language, has done some digging and found out the new “it” places to experience from where to eat to where to dance.Where to Eat – Da Maria BaliSituated in Seminyak, Da Maria is the new creation from Australian restaurateur Maurice Terzini. It is an Osteria style restaurant with stunning interiors by Roman architect Lazarini Pickering. Bringing the Amalfi Coast to Bali, Da Maria chef Steven Skelly said: “We are offering traditional Italian food, done correctly, in a modern environment without trying to reinvent the wheel”. They serve porchetta, wood-grilled seafood and pizza made with dough fermented for 24 hours and baked in lava-stone ovens. The perfect place for pizza with teman-teman (friends)!Jalan Pettinenget no. 170 Badung, Bali, IndonesiaWhat To Do – Tegenungan WaterfallLocated 5km south east of Ubud on the sacred Petanu river is the beautiful hidden Tegenungan waterfall. To get to the waterfall there is a short walk down some steps, but the reward is worth every drop of sweat. This is the perfect spot to enjoy Bali’s beautiful natural environment while you take a cool dip.Jl. Raya Tegenungan, Kemenuh, Ubud 80581,Where To Relax – Jungle Fish BaliJungle Fish is the ‘no beach’ beach club, a fresh take on a typical Bali beach club environment. Jungle Fish is hidden in the idyllic Ubud Jungle and it is the perfect spot to relax in front of a tropical backdrop with a cocktail. There is an infinity pool, and a deck with cabanas as well as a split level restaurant & bar. In front of the pool you can enjoy the all-day menu which includes Pan-Asian delights as well as Mediterranean dishes made with produce from the hotel’s organic gardens. There is also a day spa where you can menikmati (luxuriate) before you head upstairs at the end of the day to Jungle Fish’s elegant restaurant Di Abing for a candlelit meal. Jl. Raya Sebali, 80561 Keliki, Ubud, BaliWhere To Caffeinate – Ritual Coffee Shop & BoutiqueRitual used to be just a boutique showing off island-based labels and designers, but recently they have expanded their horizons to the frontiers of coffee and home-baked desserts. Ritual uses a specialty coffee blend from Simple Brew to make delicious kopi (coffee). Just like all of the amazing goodies in the boutique, the coffees are lovely to look at. They are served in locally made ceramic ware when you order in, otherwise they come in beautifully designed cups by Riklee illustration.Jl Kayu Aya No. 8, Oberoi, Seminyak, Bali [opposite Hank’s Pizza & Liquor]Where To Dance – La FavelaThis spot is perfect for a night out. Hidden in what looks like an abandoned colonial building, the venue is filled with vintage décor and plants. During the day it is a restaurant but in the evening it transitions into a club that is abuzz with personality. Never missing a beat, La Favela has different events every weekend, so keep an eye out and prepare yourself to dansa (dance) all night.Jalan Laksamana Oberoi 177x Seminyak, Denpasar, Bali, IndonesiaTo prepare yourself for adventures all day and night in Bali, visit babbel.com to touch up on your Indonesian. Babbel has crafted the tools you need to start having everyday conversations in new languages, so that you can open yourself up to a bigger, richer and more inspiring world.Source = Babbellast_img read more

Read more →