Transatlantic airfares war heats up with BAs new sister budget airline

first_img Friday, March 17, 2017 LONDON — British Airways has officially thrown its hat into the ring by unveiling plans for a sister budget airline, set to launch in June.The new long-haul budget airline by parent company IAG is called ‘Level’ and will be based in Barcelona, which is also the hub for Vueling, IAG’s Spanish no-frills airline. Level will debut with two new Airbus A330 aircraft featuring 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats, and will fly from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana. Sister carrier Iberia will staff the pilots and cabin crew.With the launch of Level, IAG will boast five main airline brands, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.According to The Telegraph, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said that other European destinations are in the works. Fares will start from €99 for a one-way ticket, with checked luggage, meals and in-flight Internet access among the perks in premium economy. Those in economy will be able to choose what perks they want to pay for.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe new airline aims to take business away from competing low-cost airline Norwegian, which also offers flights from Barcelona to U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Oakland, both of which will also be serviced by Level. In June, Norwegian will surge ahead with expanded flights from Edinburgh and Belfast to secondary airports in the northeast U.S.There’s no word yet if Canadian destinations could be on the horizon.Flights on flylevel.com are currently on sale. Tags: British Airways Transatlantic airfares war heats up with BA’s new sister budget airline Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Sharelast_img read more

Contiki now taking applications for four legendary fams

first_img Posted on February 2, 2018 TORONTO — Contiki will be hosting four open-age trade fams for agents this year, in world-class destinations like Peru, Germany, Croatia and Thailand.The first fam in Peru departs May 12-18, 2018, with ‘Germany, Slovenia & Croatia Sailing’ taking place simultaneously from May 13-19. These will be followed by the Thailand fam on Sept. 23-29, and then with the annual ‘Christmas Market & Ski’ fam in Germany and Austria from Dec. 8-14.Fams are open to those who’ve completed the mandatory Contiki U E-learning training courses. To apply, agents will be required to tell Contiki in 100 words or more how they plan to increase their Contiki sales after completing their chosen fam. Applications must be sent to sales@contiki.ca no later than March 16, 2018 for the two trips departing in May; by June 30, 2018 for the Thailand fam; and by Oct. 1, 2018 for the Christmas Market fam.“We couldn’t be more excited to host agents around the world à la Contiki this year,” said Sheralyn Berry, Vice President of Sales for Contiki Canada. “Our fams are legendary for not only allowing agents to experience Contiki for themselves, but they are known the world over for allowing life-long friendships to be made.”More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe fams are as follows:PERU fam:This six-night Peruvian adventure begins in Lima where agents will visit the Church of San Francisco to explore its famous catacombs. At night, they’ll explore the Barranco district, known for its bohemian energy, followed by dinner and a show. In Cusco, they’ll enjoy a walking tour and visit Cusco Cathedral, before heading to the Sacred Valley where agents will learn about ‘terracing’, the ancient farming technique created by the Incas. The trip peaks with a visit to Machu Picchu.GERMANY, SLOVENIA & CROATIA SAILING fam:The seven-day pre-summer fam kicks off in Munich with a bike tour, followed by a stop in picturesque Lake Bled. Agents will then visit Ljubljana for dinner at a local restaurant, and then embark on a sailing adventure in Plitvice to the seaside city of Zadar. Other highlights include three days in Split where agents will enjoy three days of sailing around the Adriatic Sea on a Contiki exclusive boat, free time in Makarska, and a stop in the bustling town of Hvar.THAILAND famThis six-night Thai adventure, a bestseller with Canadian agents, starts with two days in Phuket where agents can enjoy sea canoeing. They’ll then sail to Koh Phi Phi for some beach time before visiting Krabi, known for its small-town feel and local markets. A key highlight is climbing the 1,260 steps to Tiger Cave temple.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksCHRISTMAS MARKET & SKI fam to Germany and AustriaThis seven-day fam begins in Munich with a guided walking tour featuring Christmas markets, mulled wine and an obligatory visit to a traditional beer hall. From there, agents will travel to Dachau for a sobering experience at the site of the former concentration camp, before journeying to Neuwschwanstein, the world-famous ‘fairytale castle’ that inspired Walt Disney to create his Magic Kingdom. Other highlights include winter sports (weather permitting) in Hopfgarten, Vienna’s Christmas markets, a visit to a local schnapps producer, and a classical Mozart and Strauss concert at Auersberg Palace. Agents will also be among the first guests to check into Contiki’s newly renovated Gasthof in Austria, which underwent a massive redesign.Interested agents are encouraged to apply today as space is limited. Share Contiki now taking applications for four “legendary” fams Tags: Contiki << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Tourism Resilience Crisis Management Centre coming to Caribbean

first_imgTags: Jamaica, TRCM, WTTC Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by KINGSTON — The Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management, a first-of-its-kind resource in the Caribbean, will be operational by September 2018 with an official launch planned for January 2019, says Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.Based at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, the Centre’s will carry out policy-relevant research and analysis on destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally. The January 2019 launch coincides with the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, taking place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre Jan. 29 – 31. “In today’s world, tourism has become an important, if not vital, contributor to peace-building, the sharing of cultures, and creating opportunities for mutual understanding,” said Min. Bartlett. “To guard Jamaica and our partners throughout the Caribbean from extreme weather events, natural disasters and political turmoil, The Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management will ensure that we can continue to benefit from the economic, social, cultural, and historic value that tourism has to offer.”A 2017 report issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that, while tourism remains strong globally, travellers are increasingly concerned about safety in the face of unrest and terror conflicts, public health crises, climate change and natural disasters, and cybercrime and cyber-security.By convening domestic and international policymakers and practitioners at all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors and academia, The Centre will develop strategies to address and confront current and future threats, says Bartlett.The Centre also will include a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, which will assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions. Like the European Union Tourism Observatory, the Jamaica Centre’s observatory will support policymakers and businesses develop better strategies to support a more competitive global tourism sector.The Centre has already taken proactive steps to strengthen disaster preparedness in Jamaica. Six satellite phones were procured for destination managers from the resort locations of Negril, Montego Bay, Kingston, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Portland and St. Thomas. The goal is to help improve communications between the Ministry and its agencies, the tourism emergency operations centres, National Emergency Operations Centre, resort areas, and wider tourism partners and stakeholders.center_img Wednesday, June 27, 2018 Travelweek Group Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre coming to Caribbeanlast_img read more

WestJet makes it into Albertas top 3 places to work

first_img Monday, November 26, 2018 Tags: Alberta, Indeed, WestJet Travelweek Group Posted by WestJet makes it into Alberta’s top 3 places to workcenter_img CALGARY — WestJet has been named one of Alberta’s top three workplaces in the province by Indeed, one of the world’s leading job sites.Based on the site’s hundreds of thousands of company reviews, WestJet earned an overall star rating of 4.1 out of 5, scoring high marks in five categories: Work/Life Balance (3.7); Salary/Benefits (3.6); Job Security/Advancement (3.6); Management (3.6); and Culture (4.2).WestJet was the only aviation company in Indeed’s rankings. Only Suncor and Husky Energy beat out the carrier for the #1 and #2 spot, respectively.On what makes the WestJet team so strong, Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice President, People and Culture, said: “Our passionate, caring attitude for each other, our guests and our business are what binds more than 13,000 WestJet employees together as a team. We are proud to be recognized as one of the top three places to work in Alberta. As we continue to invest in Alberta as our home and international aviation hub, we look forward to growing our team both here and across the network.”More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerHere are just a few samples of what WestJetters are saying about the airline:“Great company and great employees. I learned how to be a great team player, how to be very organized and time management.” – Super Sales Agent, Calgary, AB“Good place to work. People here at WestJet are very friendly including leads, managers and business. There is no micro-managing here and it’s a good place to balance your work and life.” – Senior Quality Assurance Analyst/QA Lead, Calgary, AB“They really care about their employees and provide resources to do better at your job and develop you further. There is transparency and you are able to set your goals and easily achieve them.” – Command Centre Employee, Calgary, AB Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Karina Ramos wins Miss Costa Rica 2014 pageant

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica celebrates 66th anniversary of the abolition of its army Pope Francis meets the Castros after mass on iconic Havana square Pope Francis tells bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated Arcadio’s World Karina Ramos Leitón, 20, has won the Miss Costa Rica 2014 beauty pageant. And it seemingly blew her mind.“I don’t remember very well what I was thinking,” Ramos told La Nación about the announcement. “I just felt great relief … I threw my head back, I looked upward and said, ‘God, it happened.’”A Heredia native, Ramos moved to San José in 2008 to study public relations at ULatina. But before she pursues her career in radio and television, Ramos will compete in Miss Universe, the most famous beauty pageant in the world.The Miss Costa Rica competition has been crowning smiley young Ticas since 1954, and the tiny nation has a long and storied history on the global stage, starting with Marían Esquivel McKeown of San José, who was a Top 15 finalist at Miss Universe. Costa Ricans have performed particularly well in recent years, with Johanna Solano being selected for the Top 10 in 2011 and Fabiana Granados earning Top 16 in 2013. Other distinctions include the International Coffee Queen (2006), Miss Photogenic (1978), and Miss Congeniality (1956). Perhaps the most curious win was “Miss Asia Pacific,” in 1996 and 1998.Ramos is no stranger to pageants: She has participated in a number of major events, earning Top 20 at the Miss Supranational Costa Rica competition in 2012, among other titles. She will replace Fabiana Granados as Miss Costa Rica until mid-2015.To date, Costa Rica has never won the Miss Universe crown. But it would definitely be fun to watch if it happens this year, because Ramos’s head might explode.To learn more about Miss Costa Rica (in Spanish), visit the official website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Crocodilian hideandseek Caimans evade capture in San José park

first_imgIt’s been two solid hours and Carlos Gómez and Minor González of Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) haven’t seen as much as a scale of the two caiman crocodiles they are supposed to catch.Leaning against their pickup truck on the lake’s edge, the pair surveys the water. At every slight ripple on the lake’s surface Gómez reaches for his binoculars, but the caimans seem to be hiding from them. Again.“We keep showing up to capture the caimans, but so far no one from SINAC has even seen one,” Gómez said. “They come out as soon as our guys leave.”It’s been more than a week since SINAC officials first got word that two caimans were seen lurking in the lake of Parque La Paz in southern San José, and Gómez and González’s ill-fated croc capture Tuesday morning marked SINAC’s fourth attempt to capture the creatures. Minor González scans the surface of the lake in Parque La Paz in San José. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesThe park’s large lake is an easy spot for pet-owners to leave their full-grown exotic pets. According to Gómez, in San José illegal pets are not uncommon. In fact, it hasn’t even been two months since SINAC officials were called to pull a different caiman from Parque La Paz’s lake. SINAC caught that caiman with just one try, but with other creatures it’s not so easy.“Last year we caught a cobra that someone let loose in the city. That took a while,” Gómez said. “We have even seen indications that a black mamba could be loose in Escazú.”While imported creatures will sometimes turn up, it is much more common for SINAC to encounter an animal taken from one of Costa Rica’s own beaches or jungles. Gómez has seized parrots, iguanas, racoons, macaws, deer and even sloths from unregistered pet-owners. But with most rescue centers full, SINAC has been forced to ease up on some of the regulations.“Parakeets, parrots and iguanas we usually will just leave with the owner if they are kept in humane conditions.” Gómez said. “Some animals you can just release back into the wild, but most of them will just die without help from a rescue center, and we are running out of places to take these animals.”Posing potential danger to both themselves and the park’s human and canine visitors, the caimans must be moved to a rescue center — overflowing or not — and SINAC officials will continue their attempts to fish the animals out of the lake.Though the caimans have shied away from the SINAC officials, they have been putting on quite a show for everyone else. During a Tico Times stakeout with Gómez and González, three passersby stopped to brag about how gregarious the caimans are when SINAC is not there.One woman, Zaida Porras, stopped her walk with her toy poodle named Dery to show off a photo she snapped during a walk earlier that week.“Look at this iguana I saw the other day,” she said, brandishing her cellphone. “It was huge!” It was also a photo of one of the caimans, not an iguana, but for a second, Gómez thought they may have another creature on the loose.“It wouldn’t surprise me,” he said. “The illegal pet calls just keep coming in all the time.” SINAC official Carlos Gómez stands near the lake in Parque La Paz with a tool used to catch crocodiles. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Related posts:Police remove 660-pound crocodile from beach near Jacó Hungry crocodile removed from Costa Rica home Crocodile warning signs in Costa Rica have decreased bad encounters with tourists, Environment Ministry reports Pocho is dead, but his legend lives on Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Prosecutor who accused Argentine president is found dead

first_imgRelated posts:Argentine president says prosecutor killed in conspiracy Argentina seeks extradition from Spain of Franco-era ministers White House finalizing plan to close Guantanamo prison Cuban-born ex-CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles hospitalized after crash Recommended: Automotores Orletti: Memories of the Argentine dictatorshipBUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The Argentine prosecutor who last week accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of trying to absolve Iranian officials from their involvement in the most deadly terrorist attack in the nation’s history was found dead in his apartment.Alberto Nisman’s body was discovered by his mother and a police officer in his bathroom Sunday night alongside a gun and the shell of a bullet, according to a statement by the Security Ministry, which didn’t provide the cause of death. Nisman was scheduled to present evidence for his accusations against Fernández at a lower house commission Monday. He was 51, according to local media.“The autopsy has already begun,” Prosecutor Viviana Fein, who is in charge of the investigation into Nisman’s death, told reporters in Buenos Aires Monday. “There were no witnesses or neighbors and there was no letter.”Nisman alleged that Fernández and her Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman had sought to cover up an investigation he was heading into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that left 85 people dead and hundreds injured. Fernández will need to show she’s fully co-operating with the investigation to ensure that Nisman’s death doesn’t tarnish the prospects of candidates from her alliance seeking to succeed her in presidential elections in October, said Buenos Aires-based political analyst Sergio Berensztein.“This could constitute what’s commonly referred to as a black swan event in the sense that it could have an impact that’s impossible to determine today but that could be very significant in the electoral campaign,” Berensztein said. “If the president puts herself at the disposal of the investigation and provides all the tools needed so that this is cleared up quickly, she could emerge strengthened by this.”The Public Prosecutor’s Office named Alberto Gentili as Nisman’s replacement until Jan. 31. Gentili worked with Nisman on the investigation of the 1994 bombing. A man walks over rubble after a bomb exploded at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring 300 others in the worst attack of its kind in the South American country. Ali Burafi/AFPNisman’s mother and federal police officers assigned to protect the prosecutor entered the apartment after repeatedly trying to contact him on Sunday by telephone and by ringing the door bell. Since the door was locked from the inside, a locksmith was called to open it. Once inside, his mother and the policemen found Nisman’s body blocking the door in the bathroom. Next to the body was a .22-caliber pistol and a bullet casing.“In criminal investigations when you have a body, a weapon and a bullet shell evidently things point in a certain direction but we’ll have to wait and see if the investigation corroborates this,” Security Secretary Sergio Berni said in an interview on Radio Nacional Rock. “We’re very respectful of what the family must be experiencing at the moment so we can’t give any more details.”Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said in his daily press conference he had nothing to add to the statement released by the Security Ministry and that investigations into the cause of death were being carried out.Lawmaker Patricia Bullrich of the opposition PRO party told TN news channel Monday that she had spoken to Nisman on Jan. 17 to co-ordinate his visit to Congress Monday.“He told me had been threatened and that he was studying the case, that he was going to give us some very strong evidence and for that reason he had requested that the meeting should be private,” Bullrich said.Nisman’s allegation is one of multiple court cases against Fernández and her government that threaten to weaken her influence over elections in which a candidate for her party is tied in polls with two aspirants opposed to her government.Argentine prosecutors in 2006 charged Iran and the Hezbollah group with organizing the 1994 bombing and issued eight arrest warrants, one of them for former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. Seven years later, Fernández said she signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranians to set up a truth commission into the bombing. Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani casts a vote in front of a portrait of the Islamic Revolution’s late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, at a polling station in Tehran on June 14, 2013. AFPAccording to Nisman, the aim of the accord was for Iranian officials to be taken off Interpol’s wanted list. In exchange, Argentina would export grains and meat to Iran and receive oil.Timerman said Jan. 15 that the accusations were “lies” and accused Nisman of trying to stoke up sentiment against Fernandez’s government during a year in which Argentines will vote for a new president.Since the formal accusations had already been made, it’s likely that public pressure to see the evidence Nisman had against the government will make it difficult to cover up now, Berensztein said.Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli, who plans to run for the presidency under Fernandez’s Victory Front coalition, had 24.7 percent of voter support against 23.7 percent for Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri and 17.2 percent for lawmaker Sergio Massa in a Nov. 26-Dec. 3 poll of 2,400 people carried out by Management & Fit. The survey had a margin of error of two percentage points.The Israeli government said in a statement Monday that Argentine authorities should continue Nisman’s work and “make every possible effort to bring those behind the Argentina attacks to justice.”Ariel Lijo, a judge involved in the bombing investigation, cut short his holiday to begin assessing Nisman’s accusations and called on prosecutors to seize the compact discs that contain the wiretaps.Macri Monday called for the accusations made by Nisman to be investigated in full.“It can’t be that Argentina today makes worldwide news under the headline ‘the prosecutor who accused the president found dead’”, Macri said in a televised press conference Monday. Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner flashes the “V” sign during the 31st anniversary of Argentina’s return to democracy on Dec. 13, 2014 in Buenos Aires. Mariano Sánchez/AFPThousands of Argentines said they planned to hold rallies Monday following Nisman’s death to demand justice, according to postings on Facebook.Gabriela Michetti, a senator from Macri’s PRO party, said she’d spoken to people who had been in contact with Nisman who said he seemed sure in his decision to make public the evidence he had against Fernandez and that he wasn’t depressed.“It’s very difficult today to imagine how this person arrived at this situation — to take his own life,” Michetti said.Fernández’s government, which was censured in 2013 by the International Monetary Fund for misreporting its economic data, has created an atmosphere of mistrust with the public that may make it difficult for it to dismiss accusations of foul play, Berensztein said.“There’s a problem in Argentina of a lack of credibility in public announcements because of the constant manipulation of statistics, which leads to predictable doubts,” Berensztein said.With assistance from Daniel Cancel in Buenos Aires.© 2015, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

PHOTO REPORT The Sagrado Corazón de Jesús mass

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Related posts:PHOTOS: A Holy Week children’s procession in Heredia PHOTOS: Snapshots of Costa Rica’s Independence Day Parade Pope Francis in Cuba: Mass before a packed Revolution Square In Castros’ home region, Pope Francis praises Church ‘sacrifices’ Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico timescenter_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Each year on June 25, San José celebrates the the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús mass, honoring the patron of both the Mercado Central and the Mercado Borbón. The mass takes place on Avenida Central’s boulevard, next to the Mercado Central. This year, it was officiated by Father José Rafael Quirós, archbishop of San José.Hundreds participated in the activity, which included a free coffee and tamal or arroz con pollo at all of the restaurants inside the market, for those who attended the mass.The event was organized by the Union de Comerciantes del Mercado Central, the Municipality of San José and the Catholic Church. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Timeslast_img read more

PHOTOS The American Colonys 55th annual Fourth of July picnic

first_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times United States citizens and their Costa Rican friends and family celebrated U.S. Independence Day at the 4th of July picnic at Cervecería Costa Rica in Alajuela on Saturday.Organized by the American Colony Committee, the picnic is a cherished tradition that dates back to 1961. As in years past, Saturday’s picnic included a flag-raising ceremony and singing of the U.S. and Costa Rican national anthems as well as games, music, dancing, great food, and plentiful beer. Attendants enjoyed beautiful weather and the chance to celebrate U.S. Independence with friends old and new.The picnic fell just days after the arrival of the new U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, S. Fitzgerald Haney. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Timescenter_img Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:US Embassy in San José celebrates Fourth of July, tips hat to Solís PHOTOS: American Colony celebrates US Independence Day at annual picnic PHOTOS: The American Colony’s 56th annual Fourth of July picnic VIDEO: Barbecuing with Lucas Withingtonlast_img read more

Dispatch from the border Migrants have shelter but little else

first_imgPASO CANOAS, Puntarenas — It’s too hot to be wearing a puffy black jacket here on the border between Costa Rica and Panama this humid afternoon but it’s one the few items Onal Jean, a 41-year-old migrant from Cameroon, still has so he doesn’t leave it lying around.A light rain starts to fall in the common ground just south of the Costa Rican customs checkpoint where hundreds of migrants from around the world — Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nepal, Pakistan — are staying in makeshift tents emblazoned with red crosses. A patchwork of plastic tarps, black and blue, some bandaged with duct tape, hang from the Red Cross tents to keep out the rain.A stray pair of pink plastic slippers lies in the mud. Small groups of men talk while others wash clothes. A single National Police truck idles in the distance.Inside the tents, people wait out the rain lying on foam mattresses. Flattened cardboard boxes placed on top of wooden palates provide a makeshift floor to keep people off the wet ground.“Dogs have a house, this is what I have,” Jean says, gesturing to the cardboard that has gotten wet at the edge of the tent.Jean’s frustration radiates off him. And he’s not alone. Many in this camp don’t understand why Nicaragua won’t let them pass through and continue their journey to the United States.“It’s the whole world’s dream to get to the U.S.,” Jean says in a mix of Spanish and Portuguese, “We just want to cross, we don’t have bombs.”Jean and the other migrants here are free to move about Costa Rica but without a way to cross Nicaragua, they see little reason to leave the few sure things the camp has to offer, namely food, basic shelter and medical attention.Costa Rica’s official policy is to register the migrants who have crossed into the country illegally, many without formal identification such as a passport. Immigration officials take their fingerprints, record their names and provide the migrants with a piece of paper about the size of a business card that allows them to move about the country as long as they sign in with immigration authorities every 15 days.Many of the migrants here don’t have a specific place in mind when they say they want to reach the U.S. but Jean says he has family in Queens, New York. Otherwise, maybe Boca Raton, Florida, he says.“I don’t want someone to bring me clothes or food. I just want someone to give me the papers I need to leave here,” Jean said, “This place is not my destiny.”The Tico Times traveled to Paso Canoas this week to get an on-the-ground view of the conditions in the temporary camp that authorities want to close by the end of June. Along with hearing stories from migrants, The Tico Times rode along with border police during a patrol and spoke with Red Cross workers about the condition migrants are arriving in. Look for more reporting from the border next week. Facebook Comments Related posts:African migrants on honor system as Costa Rican officials search for solutions Migrants flowing through is likely Costa Rica’s new normal, minister says Nowhere to go: A day at a Costa Rica migrant shelter Pressure mounts on Costa Rica-Nicaragua border after migrant shelter closeslast_img read more

Syrian defector regime insider from Sunni family

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements “There are hundreds of diplomats, military commanders and civil servants who want out but are too scared. This may encourage them to follow suit,” said Ayman Abdul-Nour, an exiled former member of Assad’s ruling Baath party who knew Assad and Tlass personally.The Tlass family hails from the central town of Rastan near Homs, a rebellious area that has been devastated by repeated government assaults since the uprising began in March 2011.Old associates and analysts say Manaf Tlass supported negotiations with the opposition as the conflict worsened and became frustrated when he was overruled by the military leadership in favor of a brutal crackdown. Once inseparable, Bashar and Manaf reportedly had not spoken for the last three months _ the unraveling of a family friendship that began when their fathers studied together at the Syrian military academy in Homs.Hafez Assad and Mustafa Tlass became even closer after they were both posted in Cairo in the late 1950s when Egypt and Syria merged into the United Arab Republic _ a union that lasted three years.When Hafez rose to power following a bloodless coup in the early 1970s, Mustafa became defense minister, holding the post for 32 years until he retired in 2004. The white-haired Tlass helped engineer Bashar’s succession to the presidency after Hafez died of a heart attack in 2000 and gave guidance to the young doctor turned leader. Abdul-Nour and others say Tlass tried to mediate between the regime and the opposition in the beginning of the uprising. He traveled to Rastan and tried to arrange a cease-fire but his efforts were blocked by the military.His hometown eventually fell into the hands of rebels and Tlass is said to have been enraged by the daily pounding of Rastan government forces seeking to regain control. Assad and Manaf had not spoken for the last three months, said Abdul-Nour, quoting knowledgeable friends back in Damascus.Tlass is a cousin of Abdel Razzaq Tlass, leader of the Farouk Brigade in the Free Syrian Army in the central Homs province, who was often seen in videos with U.N. observers visiting Homs.“Manaf supported a policy of negotiation, flexibility and compromise. He was overruled by the military leadership and has since looked for a way out,” Syria analyst Joshua Landis wrote in his blog.In recent months, Manaf Tlass was sidelined and confined largely to his home in Damascus, which activists say was ransacked after news of his defection. The reports could not be independently confirmed.By leaving, Tlass joins his father, who left Syria several months ago for France ostensibly to seek medical treatment, and his brother, Firas, a businessman, who also left Syria and reportedly travels between the United Arab Emirates and France. Associated PressBEIRUT (AP) – A top general who has abandoned President Bashar Assad’s regime was a longtime friend from Syria’s most powerful Sunni family, and his break with the Alawite-dominated inner circle signals crumbling support from a privileged elite.Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass was a commander in the powerful Republican Guard and the son of a former defense minister who was the most trusted lieutenant of Hafez Assad, the president’s father and predecessor. His defection marks the highest profile departure in 16 months of bloodshed that activists say has killed more than 14,000 people. Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Syriasteps, a pro-government website with reported links to Syrian security, reported Tlass’ defection Thursday night, quoting a security official who said that his “desertion means nothing.”But analysts believe it is a moral blow that will encourage more high-ranking defections.“The Tlass defection sends the sign that the regime is done for. No longer is this uprising merely about angry young men in the countryside. It has reached to the very top,” Syria analyst Joshua Landis wrote on his blog.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 4 must play golf courses in Arizona In addition to his long military career and the many military decorations pinned to his chest, Tlass was known for his flagrant personality, off-the-cuff remarks and humor. In 1990, he castigated Yasser Arafat over concessions to Israel, calling the late Palestinian leader “the son of 60,000 whores” and comparing him to a stripper.His son maintained a lower political profile but was just as ingrained in Assad’s regime _ one of a handful of Sunnis to hold power in the government dominated by the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.Like their fathers, Bashar and Manaf were close friends and Manaf Tlass worked his way up through posts with the Baath party, eventually becoming commander of the Brigade 105 of the Republican Guard in charge of protecting the capital, Damascus, and the regime. Old associates say he was privy to some of the most sensitive and secretive files in Syria.A handsome man in his mid-40s, Manaf led an extravagant lifestyle and he and his wife were fixtures on the social scene in Syria, where he often spoke on Assad’s behalf.“He likes to have fun, go to discos and drink whisky. Clearly, he couldn’t cope with this bloodshed and was extremely frustrated about how things got out of hand,” said Abdul-Nour, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates since he defected from the Baath party in 2007.last_img read more

Warrant issued for SKorean presidents brother

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A court issued an arrest warrant late Tuesday for the elder brother of South Korea’s president on bribery allegations, a major embarrassment to the ruling party in a presidential election year.The Seoul Central District Court issued the warrant hours after enraged protesters threw eggs at Lee Sang-deuk, grabbing his tie and jostling him as he entered the court for questioning.A court official declined to provide further details, including his name or when Lee might be arrested, citing court procedures. Prosecutors have accused the former lawmaker of taking half a million dollars in bribes from two detained bankers with the intent of using his influence to help the bankers avoid punishment. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Lee wasn’t directly hit by any of the eggs, but some yolk could be seen on his shoulder. He didn’t speak to a swarm of reporters gathered at the court, shaking off the protesters and media mobbing him before walking through a security checkpoint.The protesters, many of them middle-aged women, said they’d lost money after the government suspended the troubled savings banks Lee is accused of taking bribes from.President Lee Myung-bak ends his single, five-year presidential term early next year. Elections for the next president are in December.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finisheslast_img read more

Report 42 die when bus falls into Moroccan ravine

first_img Comments   Share   RABAT, Morocco (AP) – News reports say dozens of people have died after a bus drove off a road in central Morocco and plunged down a 500-foot (150-meter) ravine.The official news agency MAP says 42 people were killed when the bus overturned between the desert cities of Marrakesh and Ouarzazate. Another 24 people were injured, four of them seriously, in the accident in the early hours of Tuesday.Most of the injured were taken to emergency rooms in Marrakech. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Check your body, save your life Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Sponsored Stories The bus regularly makes the journey between the two cities.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Argentine prosecutor Iran infiltrating continent

first_imgThe indictment now goes to the judge overseeing the case, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral. Nisman said he also sent copies to the countries he named, in keeping with Argentina’s international agreements, so that they too can take action.The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles welcomed Nisman’s indictment and said its evidence shows Argentina should end its agreeent with Iran for the joint commission.“There is no question that the AMIA bombing was an action planned and carried out by Iranians and their agents. Prosecutor Nisman’s expose of the Tehran regime’s continent-wide tentacles must render the Iran-Argentine cooperation agreement on investigating the AMIA bombing null and void,” said a statement issued by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Dr. Shimon Samuels and Sergio Widder, senior officials at center.Nisman said that he has compiled a huge file of evidence including reports from the region, Europe and the United States, and that Iran’s involvement goes way beyond the 1994 bombing. He described a decades-long effort by Iran to lay the groundwork for future terrorist attacks, either using Iranian agents “or through their terrorist ally Hezbollah.” 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories “These are sleeper cells. They have activities you wouldn’t imagine. Sometimes they die having never received the order to attack,” Nisman said as he presented a 500-page indictment.He said Iran has sought “to infiltrate the countries of Latin America and install secret intelligence stations with the goal of committing, fomenting and fostering acts of international terrorism in concert with its goals of exporting the revolution.”Iran no longer has an ambassador in Argentina. No one answered the phone after hours Wednesday at the Iranian Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.The prosecutor has tried for years in vain to get Rabbani and other the suspects extradited to face trial in Argentina. Iran denies any involvement in Argentina’s worst terrorist attack, but has agreed to set up a “truth commission” to facilitate Nisman’s taking their testimony in Tehran. Nisman said it’s not his role to comment on that accord, which has been harshly criticized by Argentine Jewish leaders.Nisman said the attack that destroyed the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association building was no isolated incident, but “part of a much larger plot, in which the role of Rabbani was not limited to Argentina but extended as far as Guyana, as well as being responsible for coordinating these activities across all of South America.” Top Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The indictment names eight Iranis and a Lebanese national, and Nisman urged Interpol to help arrest all of them. In addition to Rabbani, they include Iran’s current defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi; former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian; former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former Revolutionary Guard chief Mohsen Rezaei; former ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour; and the Iranian Embassy’s former third-ranking diplomat, Ahmad Reza Asghari.Nisman said the indictment provides new elements that strengthen the case against Iran’s top officials, and proves that Rabbani oversaw Abdul Kadir, who is now serving life in prison for a frustrated attack on New York’s John F. Kennedy airport in 2007.The accord between Iran and Argentina on the “truth commission” has yet to go into effect. The deal has been fiercely defended by the government of President Cristina Fernandez as the best means of resolving a case that has moved forward only in fits and starts in Argentina’s judiciary, and been frustrated all along the way by Iran’s refusal to cooperate.(Copyright 2013 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 BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – The Argentine prosecutor who charged a handful of former Iranian officials with masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center accused Iran on Wednesday of “infiltrating” South America and setting up intelligence networks to carry out more terrorist attacks in the region.Alberto Nisman accused Mohsen Rabbani, Iran’s former cultural attache in Buenos Aires and a suspect in the attack that killed 85 people, of working continually over the last two decades to develop an intelligence network in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Merkels challenger pledges quick policy changes

first_imgBERLIN (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-left challenger is pledging quick policy changes if elected next month, promising Thursday to introduce swiftly a national minimum wage and raise taxes for top earners as he seeks to reverse a daunting poll deficit.Recent surveys have given the popular Merkel’s conservative bloc a lead of up to 19 percentage points over Peer Steinbrueck’s Social Democrats and suggested that her current center-right coalition can hope to win re-election on Sept. 22. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies While Steinbrueck’s 100-day agenda is largely domestic, it includes a pledge to press ahead with a European banking union _ a key step to restoring confidence in Europe’s financial system.Specifically, he wants progress on setting up a central authority to wind up failing European banks _ something Merkel’s government insists would require time-consuming changes to European treaties. Steinbrueck charged that Merkel’s government “is filibustering and delaying.”Steinbrueck made clear that a center-left government wouldn’t do everything differently in Europe’s financial crisis.Merkel’s government recently admitted Greece will need a third aid package, but opposes calls for Athens to be granted a second debt writedown following a debt restructuring deal agreed with private sector bondholders last year.“I share the extreme reluctance” of the government to consider that, Steinbrueck said.He said another writedown would risk wiping out future investor confidence in Greek bonds and likely would burden taxpayers _ “and you try explaining that to (our) citizens.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Comments   Share   But Steinbrueck insisted that “absolutely nothing is decided,” arguing that many voters are undecided and there are millions of former supporters his party can reach out to.He spoke as he presented his priorities for his first 100 days as chancellor _ a list heavy on pledges to narrow the gap between haves and have-nots, designed to tackle perceptions that there’s little difference between Germany’s major parties.“The direction of the compass is that Germany is economically strong because it can be socially fair,” Steinbrueck told reporters. “Each depends on the other.”Top of the list is a commitment to introduce a mandatory national minimum wage _ which Germany, unlike many other countries, lacks _ of 8.50 euros ($11.35) per hour. Steinbrueck also wants to increase the income tax rate on people earning above 100,000 euros per year to 49 from 42 percent, cut electricity taxes and crack down on tax evasion.Merkel opposes tax increases, arguing that they would hurt the economy, and argues against a one-size-fits-all minimum wage _ preferring sector-by-sector deals between employers and employees.Steinbrueck also is pledging to scrap a much-criticized new benefit for parents who choose to stay at home and invest the money in day-care facilities, increase pensions for the low-paid and drop rules forcing many children of immigrants to choose between German citizenship and that of their parents. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

AlJazeera launches legal action against Egypt

first_img Sponsored Stories An Egyptian court on Sept. 3 ordered Al-Jazeera’s local affiliate to stop broadcasting, accusing it of hurting national security, “broadcasting lies” and vilifying the country’s military.Three other, pro-Islamist stations were also ordered shut in the same court decision. The main Brotherhood station was also taken off the air the day Morsi was ousted.The offices of the local affiliate, Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, were raided after Morsi was deposed by the military on July 3, following days of street protests by millions against his rule. At the time, 28 staffers of the affiliate were detained and later released. And since August, at least two Al-Jazeera reporters have been in detention.Two other Al-Jazeera offices in Cairo _ the regional Al-Jazeera and Al-Jazeera English _ were unaffected by the court ruling. But authorities have also closed in on their operations, deporting three members of an Al-Jazeera English crew, after detaining them for nearly a week, and accusing them of working illegally.“Al-Jazeera cannot permit this situation to continue,” the network said in an e-mailed statement, citing an unnamed spokesman under its standard practice. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona CAIRO (AP) – The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV is taking legal action in international courts against the Egyptian government for closing its offices, jamming its signals and arresting its reporters, the network said Thursday.Al-Jazeera said it also appealed to the United Nations to “ensure that freedom of expression and freedom of the press do not die in Egypt.”The network has been facing a crackdown by the military-backed authorities in Egypt, part of a campaign against media perceived as supportive of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Referring to the military-backed government that took over after Morsi, the statement said the new regime in Egypt has ignored the rights of journalists to report freely and “seems determined to silence all independent journalism and reporting in the country.”Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment.Al-Jazeera’s local affiliate has extensively covered Brotherhood protests following the July 3 military coup that ousted Morsi and has also broadcast recorded messages from fugitive Brotherhood members sought by authorities.While denying charges it is biased, the local affiliate has been running its studio operations from its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, and it has often relied heavily on amateur videos of protests and other events in Egypt. The station is broadcast on Egypt’s state-run satellite NileSat, and it has complained that its signal has been heavily interfered with, so it has provided alternative signals through another Arab-owned satellite.“Al-Jazeera has instructed lawyers to take all steps necessary worldwide to ensure that its journalists can operate freely in the country without fear of arbitrary arrest, assault, jamming or other forms of harassment and intimidation,” the statement said.center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The network’s law firm, London-based Carter-Buck, said it was instructed to take action in international courts and before the U.N. and other relevant bodies “to protect its journalists and to safeguard its right to report freely.” It was not clear which international bodies the network will be addressing and calls to the lawyers were not immediately returned.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The vital role family plays in society How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Defense chief Iraqis showed no will to fight at Ramadi

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group’s takeover of the provincial capital Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the “will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday. The harsh assessment raised new questions about the Obama administration’s strategy to defeat the extremist group that has seized a strategically important swath of the Middle East. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of FILE – In this May 1, 2015 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington. The Islamic State group’s takeover of Ramadi is evidence that Iraqi forces do not have the “will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that aired Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Over the past year defeated Iraq security forces have repeatedly left U.S.-supplied military equipment on the battlefield, which the U.S. has targeted in subsequent airstrikes against Islamic State forces. The Pentagon this past week estimated that when Iraqi troops abandoned Ramadi, they left behind a half-dozen tanks, a similar number of artillery pieces, a larger number of armored personnel carriers and about 100 wheeled vehicles like Humvees.The list of air strikes overnight in Iraq announced by the Pentagon on Sunday included four near Ramadi that destroyed 19 armored vehicles. It was unclear whether any of those had been recently abandoned by the Iraqi army.U.S. lawmakers from both parties criticized the administration’s strategy Sunday, urging a more aggressive posture.Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, an Iraq war veteran, cast doubt on the U.S. preference to deal only with the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, calling instead for directly arming both the Kurds in the north and Sunni tribes that have asked for help in beating back the Islamic State group. She criticized Baghdad’s close links with Iran-backed Shiite militias that have declared themselves enemies of the United States. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Obama’s strategy is predicated on Baghdad granting political concessions to the country’s alienated Sunnis, who are a source of personnel and money for the Islamic State group. But there has been little visible progress on that front. Baghdad has continued to work closely with Shiite militias backed by Iran, which have been accused of atrocities against Sunnis, a religious minority in Iraq that ruled until Saddam Hussein fell from power.The U.S. has sought to reach out on its own to Sunni tribes and is training some Sunni fighters, but those efforts have been limited by the small number of American troops on the ground.Carter defended the use of U.S. airstrikes, but he said they are not a replacement for Iraqi ground forces willing to defend their country.“We can participate in the defeat of ISIL,” he said. “But we can’t make Iraq … a decent place for people to live — we can’t sustain the victory, only the Iraqis can do that and, in particular in this case, the Sunni tribes to the West.”American intelligence officials have assessed for some time that Iraq is unlikely ever again to function as the multi-ethnic nation-state it once was, and that any future political arrangement would have to grant significant local autonomy to the three main groups– Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. But the Obama administration has continued to pursue a “one Iraq” policy, routing all assistance through Baghdad. Republican Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, called for thousands of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, including spotters who can better direct air strikes.“There is no strategy,” McCain said.Even Obama administration allies were urging the president to do more.“I think there is a major hesitation to get too deeply involved in Iraq again,” said Michele Flournoy, a former senior Obama administration defense official. But, she said, “This is a terrorist problem that affects us and we have to take a more forward leaning posture.”Gabbard and Flournoy spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union;” McCain appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”___Associated Press writers Sameer Yacoub in Baghdad and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Although Iraqi soldiers “vastly outnumbered” their opposition in the capital of Anbar province, they quickly withdrew last Sunday without putting up much resistance from the city in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, Carter said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The interview aired on Sunday.The Iraqis left behind large numbers of U.S.-supplied vehicles, including several tanks, now presumed to be in Islamic State hands.“What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” Carter said. “They were not outnumbered; in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”The White House declined to comment on Sunday.Iraqi lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the parliamentary defense and security committee, called Carter’s comments “unrealistic and baseless,” in an interview with The Associated Press.“The Iraqi army and police did have the will to fight IS group in Ramadi, but these forces lack good equipment, weapons and aerial support,” said al-Zamili, a member of the political party headed by radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is stridently anti-American. American officials say they are sending anti-tank weapons to the Iraqi military. But they also noted that Iraqi forces were not routed from Ramadi– they left of their own accord, frightened in part by a powerful wave of Islamic State group suicide truck bombs, some the size of the one that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City two decades ago, said a senior State Department official who spoke to reporters last week under ground rules he not be named.“The ISF was not driven out of Ramadi,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week. “They drove out of Ramadi.”A senior defense official noted that the troops who fled Ramadi had not been trained by the U.S. or its coalition partners. The official was not authorized to address the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.Still, the fall of Ramadi is reviving questions about the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s approach in Iraq, a blend of retraining and rebuilding the Iraqi army, prodding the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to reconcile with the nation’s Sunnis and bombing Islamic State group targets from the air without committing American ground combat troops. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

Study on ER returns suggests more need for followup care

first_imgThe new research, based on records in six states, suggests patients should be pushy about getting follow-up care so they don’t have to return to crowded emergency departments.“You need to make sure the next day, you connect the dots,” said study co-author Dr. R. Adams Dudley of the University of California, San Francisco. “You cannot count on the health system to connect the dots.”It’s also a reminder of how disconnected our health care system is. Chances are, your primary care doctor won’t know you made an ER visit unless you call about what to do next.And if your second visit was to a different ER, often doctors can’t see your earlier X-rays or other tests and have to repeat them, adding preventable costs. While more hospitals and doctors’ offices are trying to share electronic medical records, it’s still far from common, especially in the fast-paced ER.“It’s frustrating. We’re open 24 hours a day and we don’t necessarily have access to those records,” said UCSF assistant professor Dr. Reena Duseja, an emergency physician who led the research.Hospitals are under pressure to prevent readmissions, when patients are discharged only to encounter problems during recovery that get them admitted again within a month. Less is known about how often patients who are patched up in the emergency room come back. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Also, sometimes ERs tell patients to return — to see if an antibiotic is working, for example, or if they think the person can’t or won’t get follow-up care elsewhere. In the ER at San Francisco General Hospital, Duseja sees many Medicaid or uninsured patients who have trouble finding a primary care doctor or specialist.ER workers sometimes make phone calls to help such patients secure appointments, said Dr. Rebecca Parker of Vista Health System in Waukegan, Illinois, who heads the American College of Emergency Physicians’ board. When that doesn’t work, “my choices are, do I send them to a clinic I can’t get them into or bring them back to us?”In Philadelphia, Dr. Kristin Rising of Thomas Jefferson University recently interviewed patients about why they returned to the ER, and found fear was a big motivator. Most had a primary care doctor. But they said they couldn’t get an appointment quickly enough to answer lingering concerns, or didn’t feel well enough for the multiple visits for X-rays or lab testing they were sure would be needed and that the ER could do under one roof.Now Rising’s ER is part of a hospital telemedicine program to explore if video calls address certain patients’ concerns before they’re up to a follow-up visit. In another pilot program, she said a contractor will call patients identified as at risk of returning, to help with next-step appointments. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Patients with chronic pain give advice WASHINGTON (AP) — No one wants to make a repeat visit to the emergency room for the same complaint, but new research suggests it’s more common than previously thought and surprisingly, people frequently wind up at a different ER the second time around.Already some ERs are taking steps to find out why and try to prevent unnecessary returns. A Philadelphia hospital, for example, is beginning to test video calls and other steps to link discharged patients to primary care. Comments   Share   center_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall This summer, the HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania — a collaboration of care providers and insurers to electronically share patient information — will automatically send a summary of a patient’s recent care to certain Philadelphia-area ERs when that person’s insurance information is entered.“We need to really think about, as a health system, how can we efficiently take care of our patients in the right place, at the right time,” said UCSF’s Duseja.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 In this June 4, 2015 photo, Dr. Reena Duseja, lead author of a study on emergency room visits, stands in San Francisco General Hospital’s emergency room in San Francisco. No one wants to make a repeat visit to the emergency room for the same complaint. But new research suggests it’s more common than previously thought, and people frequently wind up at a different ER the second time around. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) Duseja’s team analyzed records from Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, Utah and Hawaii, among the first states to link records so patients can be tracked from one health facility to another. Researchers checked more than 53 million ER visits in which the patient was treated and sent home between 2006 and 2010, the latest available data.About 8 percent of patients returned within three days, more than previous estimates, and 1 in 5 patients made a repeat visit over the next month, Duseja reported this month in Annals of Internal Medicine.A third of revisits within three days, and 28 percent over a month, occurred at a different ER. Duseja couldn’t tell why — if patients were dissatisfied the first time, or traveling, or for some other reason.Patients with skin infections were most likely to return, followed by those with abdominal pain.State rates varied a bit, with 6.2 percent of Arizona patients returning within three days compared with 9.3 percent in Utah.Revisits may be appropriate, Duseja said. Nearly 30 percent of revisits involved hospitalization, suggesting either patients got worse or emergency physicians felt more scrutiny or testing was warranted. 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Australian IS nurse faces prosecution on return to Sydney

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How men can have a healthy 2019 Brookman told Fairfax that he opposed the violent and extreme actions of Islamic State militants, including the beheading of their captives.“Of course there will be an investigation. That is fine. Hopefully things don’t look that bad,” Brookman told Fairfax.It is not clear whether Brookman was still in Syria on Dec. 4 when Australia made being in al-Raqqa a crime punishable by 10 years in prison. If charged, the onus would be on Brookman to prove he had a legitimate reason to be in the terrorist hotspot.Australian police issued an arrest warrant in June for Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh who is working in an al-Raqqa hospital and has appeared in an Islamic State movement recruitment video urging Western medical professionals to join him.Kamleh faces three terrorism offenses carrying a maximum total of 45 years in prison if he returns to Australia.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Brookman was voluntarily returning to Australia with a police escort on a flight from Turkey where he had surrendered to authorities, Australian Federal Police said in a statement.He was “subject to ongoing investigations” but has not been charged, police said.“The public can rest assured that any Australian who is identified as a threat to security will be investigated by the relevant agencies,” the statement said.“If there is evidence an Australian has committed a criminal offence under Australia law while involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, they will be charged and put before the courts,” it said.Brookman, a Muslim convert and father of five children who live in Melbourne, told Fairfax Media in May that he went to Syria last year to do humanitarian work for civilians caught in the conflict. He said he was innocent of any crime.Brookman said he was forced to join Islamic State militants after being injured in an airstrike and taken to a hospital controlled by the group.“After I recovered, they wouldn’t let me leave,” he told Fairfax.He won the militants’ trust by working as a medic and was able to escape in December to Turkey where he eventually surrendered to authorities. CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian nurse who has said he was forced by the Islamic State movement to work as a medic in Syria faces prosecution under counterterrorism laws when he returns to Sydney on Friday, police said.Adam Brookman, 39, could become the first person to be charged under tough new laws which make it a crime to even set foot in the Islamic State stronghold of al-Raqqa province in Syria without good reason. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

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