Kingsclear First Nation vows to change highway crossing that claimed young mother

first_imgAngel MooreAPTN NewsThe Kingsclear First Nation in New Brunswick is divided.Not by politics or any particular issue – but by a highway.For years cars have been speeding through the community – and the route has now turned deadly.On September 7, a 27-year old mother was killed trying to get across.Now the community is vowing to hold a vigil at the site until the province helps to make the crossing

Fatima Nejjar and Omar Benhammad Given Two-Month Suspended Prison Sentence

Casablanca — Former MUR officials Fatima Nejjar and Omar Benhammad have been handed a two-month suspended prison sentence.Though they were initially place in detention and later granted a temporary release, the Benslimane court gave the two a suspended prison sentence and fined 500 dirhams each as of Thursday, November 24.With a suspended prison sentence, Nejjar and Benjammad will not see the inside of a jail cell, but they must not commit even the most minimal of infractions for fear of seeing actual prison time. Quick reminder: Fatima Nejjar (62) and Omar Benhammed (63), the two former vice presidents of the Movement of Unity and Reform (MUR), the PJD’s religious wing, were caught committing adultery aboard a car parked on the beach in Mohammedia on the night of August 20.Nejjar, a widow with six kids, and Benhammad, a married man and a father of seven, had reportedly been together, though they were not officially married. They had discussed the idea of marriage but had been met with opposition from other members of the PJD and their respective families. Many close to the party had evoked the idea that Nejjar and Benhammad may have been the victims of a setup aimed at creating controversy before the October 7 legislative elections. Since their temporary release, the two suspended MUR members have gotten married, though this didn’t dissuade the justice system from giving them a sentencing on Thursday. Meanwhile, if the pair was indeed sought out as part of a set up, the PJD didn’t suffer much from it, winning the October elections by a landslide. read more

Sri Lanka heavy fighting resumes after twoday pause – UN

The world body’s top relief official yesterday said that the 48-hour ceasefire in clashes between the Government and separatist Tamil rebels was inadequate in easing the plight of more than 100,000 civilians caught up in the conflict.“Unfortunately, it is also clear that not only did this not allow more civilians to get out, there seemed to be less civilians getting out during the pause than before,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters in New York.Over 64,000 people have left conflict areas, with most of them sheltering in camps and some 800 others are seeking treatment in hospitals, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today. The International Red Cross said it was able to evacuate close to 1,000 people from the no-fire zone, a 14-square kilometre area in the Vanni region, during the 48-hour ceasefire, bringing the number of people evacuated since 11 February to just over 9,000.A ship carrying more than 1,000 tonnes of humanitarian supplies bound for the no-fire zone is scheduled to depart in three days.In the camps in the Vanni region, efforts to construct shelter, clear sites and provide health care, among others, are continuing, but water and sanitation services have been identified as being inadequate.According to OCHA, the continued use of schools as sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) continues to strain education services in the district, affecting both uprooted students and host students.Mr. Holmes, who said he would have preferred a longer pause in fighting, said yesterday that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) prevented civilians trapped in the no-fire zone from leaving during the ceasefire.“Civilians should not be used as pawns or human shields in this way,” he stressed, calling on the LTTE to allow safe passage out of the no-fire zone to those who wish to leave. 16 April 2009After the end of the two-day lull in fighting in northern Sri Lanka, intense fighting – including small arms fire, mortar fire and aerial attacks – has been reported in the so-called no-fire zone, the United Nations said today. read more

Regulators find lots of fake news aimed at stock investors

Regulators find lots of ‘fake news’ aimed at stock investors by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Apr 10, 2017 4:59 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – “Fake news” is not limited to presidential politics and conspiracy theories. Investors also have to be on the alert for stock promotions masquerading as unbiased reports online.Federal regulators have brought civil fraud charges against 27 businesses and individuals for deceiving investors into believing what they were reading on websites were independent, impartial analyses of stocks.The writers were secretly paid for writing the bullish articles, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday.More than 250 articles had false statements attesting that the writers hadn’t been compensated by the companies they were writing about, the agency said in a series of orders and lawsuits.One writer was said to have used at least nine pseudonyms as well as his own name. One of the phoney identities was “an analyst and fund manager with almost 20 years of investment experience.”By law, a company paying someone to publish or publicize articles about its stock must publicly disclose the payments.“Our markets cannot operate fairly when there are deliberate efforts to reach prospective investors with positive articles about a stock, while hiding that the companies paid for those articles,” Melissa Hodgman, associate director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.The SEC also issued an investor alert warning that articles on an investing website that appear to be an impartial source of information or that provide commentary on several stocks may be part of a paid stock promotion that hasn’t been disclosed. People should never make an investment based only on information published on an investment research website.Of the 27 businesses and individuals charged, 17 agreed to settlements calling for penalties and restitution ranging from $2,200 to about $3 million, the SEC said. Cases are pending against the other 10. The 10 companies, stock promotion or communications firms are Lidingo Holdings, CSIR Group, DreamTeam Group, Mission Investor Relations, QualityStocks, Dunedin, Galena Biopharma, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Lion Biotechnologies and Lavos. read more

Perpetrators of mass rapes in Guinea must be brought to justice stresses

“It is equally crucial that all victims, other witnesses and their families are afforded full protection and that no effort is spared to ensure their safety throughout this process. Known abusers must not be allowed to hold positions of authority,” said Zainab Bangura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.“Addressing these atrocities is crucial for fostering reconciliation, for trust in the justice system, and for a durable peace,” she added in a statement. On 28 September 2009, civilians organized an opposition rally in a soccer stadium in Conakry when Guinean security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing at least 150 and resulting in the rape and sexual abuse of 109 women.Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara was charged earlier this year by a national court for the atrocities – including mass rape – committed that day. Earlier this month, Colonel Abdoulaye Chérif Diaby, former Minister of Health, was also indicted for his alleged responsibility in the events. “It is important that these and other charges are processed swiftly and thoroughly, as justice in Guinea has already been delayed for too long,” said Ms. Bangura. “Although Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara earlier this year was charged for his role in the massacre, to date not a single perpetrator has been convicted.”The envoy, who was appointed in June, added that her office is committed to supporting the Government’s efforts to address impunity for sexual violence and to ensuring that such atrocities are never repeated. read more

Venezuela A worrying destabilizing factor in the region Bachelet tells Human Rights

The UN rights chief cited reports of numerous violations and abuses by security forces and pro-Government armed groups, including the excessive use of force, killings, arbitrary detentions, torture, threats and intimidation.She said her Office was continuing to investigate reports of “possible extrajudicial executions by security forces”, naming the Special Actions Force or FAES, as reportedly responsible for killing “at least 205 persons. A further 37 were reportedly killed in the course of January 2019 in Caracas”, she added.“It appears that some of these killings have followed a similar pattern. They take place during illegal house raids carried out by the FAES, which subsequently reports the death as resulting from an armed confrontation – although witnesses report the victims were unarmed,” said Ms. Bachelet.I am also concerned about increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and of the press in Venezuela,” she said, “and the allegations that the authorities have arbitrarily used the law against hatred, adopted in November 2017, to prosecute journalists, opposition leaders and anyone expressing dissenting opinions.”Divisions are exacerbating an already critical situation” the rights chief said, arguing that there was “a need for common agreement on a political solution by all stakeholders, with actions to improve a wide range of urgent human rights issues. I call on the authorities to take steps to demonstrate their real commitment to addressing the many challenging issues reported across the country.”Minimal progress on accountability in Sri LankaTurning to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bachelet said that despite progress on some issues, “there has been minimal progress on accountability” including on setting up a special judicial mechanism to deal with the worst crimes committed during the 2009 conflict between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north-east of the country.“Continuing impunity risks fuelling communal or inter-ethnic violence, and instability”, she spelled out, calling for the establishment of an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a vetting process to remove officers with questionable human rights records.“This Council continues to have an essential role in accompanying the Government and people of Sri Lanka in their journey towards realizing the dignity, and rights of all members of society, irrespective of their sex, ethnic origin or belief”, she concluded.A ‘glimmer of hope’ in Yemen’s ‘dire situation’On Yemen, Ms. Bachelet noted that while the fragile ceasefire in Hudaydah presents “a glimmer of hope”, the situation across the rest of the country is “dire’.Salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses and other public employees have gone unpaid for years – UN rights chiefMore than 24 million people need aid, with 14.3 million in acute need, she told the Council. Moreover, basic resources have become “a luxury that few can afford”.“Salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses and other public employees have gone unpaid for years” she stressed.Meanwhile, “periodic airstrikes, shelling and landmines continue to kill and maim civilians” and children continue to be conscripted or enlisted into armed forces or groups, she added.The UN rights chief expressed particular concern about a recent escalation of hostilities in Hajjah governorate, where preliminary reports indicate that 22 people were killed earlier this month and thousands of families displaced.“All States, including those not involved in the armed conflict, have the obligation to take measures to ensure that parties to a conflict respect the Conventions”, she stated, calling “conditioning, limiting or refusing arms transfers” one such measure. Amid a protracted crisis from a faltering economy, political instability and violent anti-Government demonstrations, a technical team of five OHCHR staff members are currently touring the country, which rights chief Michelle Bachelet, described as “a positive first step”.She highlighted “dramatically” deteriorating “economic and social rights”, exacerbated by the recent electricity blackout and expressed concern about the “continued criminalization of peaceful protest and dissent”. read more

David Brown and Santasalo merge to create new global force in gear

first_imgDavid Brown and Santasalo, two of the world’s leading mechanical power transmission companies merged on June 1 to create David Brown Santasalo, a new, truly global force in the gear industry. With more than 1,000 employees, seven major manufacturing plants and 23 service centres across six continents, the business is ideally equipped to serve its growing customer base in commodities, marine, defence, power, industrial and consumer end markets.The statement said: “With over 150 years of gear engineering leadership and substantial geographic expansion over the last decade into high growth countries such as China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, David Brown Santasalo is well positioned as a world leader in its field. Under Clyde Blowers Capital ownership, David Brown Santasalo has benefitted from significant investment in world-class manufacturing, new product development and service centre expansion. Through its highly responsive and capable local teams, David Brown Santasalo brings the connectivity and responsiveness to support the specific needs of over 5,000 customers worldwide.”Thomas Burley, Chief Executive Officer, David Brown Santasalo explains: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead a business with such a diverse, international team. We now combine extensive sales and service presence in all regions with a world-class engineering and manufacturing capability. David Brown Santasalo covers varied end markets including naval ships, minerals processing and the manufacture of a wide range of pulp and paper products. Across all these markets, our core differentiator is our fundamental capability to design and engineer gear systems for the world’s most demanding applications. We are committed to maintaining and growing this through continued investment in our people and manufacturing capabilities over the coming years.”Burley said that the strategy comprises three main elements: “To continue to expand our sales and service network, becoming ever more local to our diverse customer base. To use our in depth gear engineering knowledge to enhance our product offering and support our customers in their end markets. To invest further in world-class manufacturing, ensuring we have full production capability in key regions to meet the growing demand for our products.”Jim McColl, Chairman and CEO, Clyde Blowers Capital adds: “In bringing together David Brown and Santasalo, we have created a large scale industrial gearing business with proven management, highly complementary products, a unique global service network and increasingly efficient manufacturing. Whilst both have progressed well independently, we now have a business with all the necessary attributes to further grow and develop as an industry leader. Clyde Blowers is committed to invest in the business over the coming years, including acquisitions that further enhance its position in key markets. We look forward to continue working with the leadership team at David Brown Santasalo, as we have done successfully to reach this stage.”last_img read more

PenAir Looks At Expanding Flights In Homer

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Peninsula Airways, also known as PenAir, is looking at leasing space at the Homer Airport. PenAir filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, in August 2017, allowing them to restructure their business model and continue operating. On May 4, Peninsula Airways, Inc. applied for the sublease at the rate of $38,125 annually to be paid in equal monthly installments of $3,177 per month. The lease includes space for a ticket office and baggage area for the airline. The Homer City Council approved a resolution at their meeting on Tuesday, May 29, approving a 26-month sublease at the Homer Airport. PenAir intends to offer flights on its Saab 340 aircraft between Homer and Anchorage starting in September if a final lease agreement is reached. PenAir plans to release a decision mid-June on whether the company can commit to the lease agreement with the City of Homer.last_img read more

The Race For The Rest Of Us Benefits American Cancer Society

first_imgDoug Hogue, the owner of Kenai River Brewery: “As soon as I heard the idea I was all over it. I think it’s an amazing thing, and I knew we would be able to raise a lot of money for a good cause.”  Johna Beech, lead state volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network: “I am so excited for this it’s on Sunday, August 12, the Brewery to Bathroom .5k run. It’s called the race for the rest of us.” Registration will begin at 11:00 a.m., on August 12, at the Kenai River Brewing Parking Lot. The race will start at 11:30 a.m., and will go from KRB to the Soldotna Creek Park bathrooms and back. There will be refueling stations, and rest breaks throughout the short .31mile course. Beech: “All proceeds go to benefit the Relay for Life of the Kenai Peninsula, we are very excited for this race. There is going to be a prize for the very last person to cross that finish line that will be amazing and awesome.”center_img A $20 donation per individual is requested for registration or a $50 donation for a family registration (2 adults, 2 children, $5 each additional child). Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Brewery to Bathroom .5k (no that decimal isn’t a typo) “The Race for the Rest of Us” is a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society, Relay for Life of the Kenai Peninsula.last_img read more

No 2 Louisville Rolls Past No 15 Syracuse 7651

first_imgStory Links Box Score (PDF) Highlights Durr scored the first 10 points for the Cardinals. During an 8-0 run, junior Bionca Dunham scored two baskets at the rim to give Louisville an 18-4 lead. Dunham ended her foul-troubled night with nine points and four boards. Walz Postgame Video Durr/Shook Postgame Video After making their first three shots of the quarter, Syracuse finished shooting 1-for-11. The Cardinals stepped the fourth quarter with a 70-42 advantage. Louisville expanded on their lead in the second quarter. The Cards cashed in on Syracuse’s mistakes, scoring 14 points off turnovers in the opening 17 minutes. Syracuse has a reputation of forcing turnovers, but head coach Jeff Walz said that wasn’t their only focus in preparation coming in. Redshirt senior Arica Carter capped the opening quarter with a 3-pointer, giving Louisville a 30-17 lead.center_img Senior Asia Durr finished the night with 15 points while sophomore Dana Evans added 12. Both guards added four assists. “We also knew we had to score. That’s one thing when you play Syracuse, you have to be able to put the ball in the basket,” Walz said. “Defensively, I thought we did a good job of not letting them get comfortable.” By the halftime buzzer, UofL held a 21-point lead. Junior Kylee Shook tallied her third double-double, posting 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Photo Gallery The low-post pair of Shook and senior Sam Fuehring guided the Cards during a shooting slump to start the third quarter. The two combined for six points and six rebounds to keep Louisville thoroughly ahead. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Second-ranked Louisville (22-1, 8-1) barreled past No. 15 Syracuse (17-5, 6-3) 76-51 at the KFC YUM! Center. The 25-point victory balloons Louisville’s winning streak to eight. Louisville shifts their attention to Virginia Tech for a quick turnaround. The Cards travel to Blacksburg, Virginia Sunday, Feb. 10 for a noon tipoff. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Playing We Are Chicago is Almost Like Living There

first_img ‘Cannon Busters’ Is The Black Anime We’ve Been Waiting…‘Dolemite Is My Name’ Trailer Shows Bawdy Blaxploitation Biopic Stay on target While I’m now a proud resident of New York City, Chicago has played a big role in both my life in general and my career as a games journalist specifically. I lived near the Second City for four years going to journalism school at Northwestern. I frequently ventured into the city for nerdy events like C2E2 and Cards Against Humanity meet-ups. I was just familiar enough with the city to be disappointed by how badly Watch Dogs bungled it. And my feature on the robust Chicago indie game scene is still one of my prouder achievements.However, despite all that Chicago means to me, I can’t say I’m from Chicago. I’ve never really lived there. That’s a different experience, an experience a group of Chicago developers at Culture Shock Games tried to capture with the new adventure game We Are Chicago, out now for PC and Mac.We Are Chicago’s basic mission hasn’t changed that much since I first went eyes-on with it a little over a year ago. It’s a first-person adventure game with branching story and dialogue options reminiscent of a Telltale game. But instead of navigating Batman’s Gotham City or The Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse, players spend a week in the life of a teenage Black dude in Chicago’s rough South Side.There are a few plotlines players watch unfurl over the 1-2 hour runtime. Friends get involved with gangs. Work and household chores suck. Family and financial drama distracts you from studying the tests you need to ace to get into a good school. And there’s a big poetry slam coming up. But these aren’t meant to be gripping, compelling storylines. Instead, they add texture and realism to the world. Some don’t even really pay off. Not everything in life is dramatically satisfying. You and your single mom and little sister hear a gunshot, never know what happened, and move on with your day. In a way it reminded me of Fruitvale Station, or at least the majority of the film spent living a day in the life of Oscar Grant before tragedy struck.The game also does an impressive job looking and feeling and sounding like a South Side Chicago neighborhood, and not just because basically every character is Black (although that does help). The architecture looks right. There are metal detectors in the school. Some voice actors are more naturalistic than others but none sound distractingly out of place. There’s not enough music but what is there is on point. The relaxed pacing feels right for a city that can’t help but be influenced by its Midwestern surroundings.Most importantly, the dialogue does an admirable job of conveying its intended messages while not being too didactic. This is ultimately an after school special of a game. You can donate real money to real Chicago charities within the game’s fake Chicago. But basing much of the writing off of interviews with real Chicago community members paid off big time. Even the Luke Cage-esque respectability politics of some of the older characters annoyed me in the same way it does in real life when parents complain rap music ruining the youth.All this goes a long toward making me forgive We Are Chicago’s technical shortcomings. There are some cool stylistic touches, particularly when it comes to transitions between days, but this isn’t a particularly pretty game, and not just in terms in subject matter. I get the developers were going for realism both in the writing and visual presentation, but even AAA game still can’t deliver wholly realistic characters with all the resources in the world. The characters here look like Sims you’re seeing too close up. A more stylized look may have been the better choice for these indie developers.The game also didn’t run fantastic on my pretty powerful laptop. It’s annoying but not a deal-breaker since it’s not like this low-key narrative game relies on split-second actions. Besides, Telltale’s games are also technical messes, and they have money to license Guardians of the Galaxy so what’s their excuse?If you want to play a video game that looks at a city as something other than a sandbox for Grand Theft Auto mayhem, give We Are Chicago a shot. It may be our last chance to remember the Windy City before the Feds crack down to make it “great again.”last_img read more

Pokemon Masters Is An AllStar Trainer Rumble

first_imgStay on target While Nintendo’s mobile gaming partnership with developer DeNA has been slow and steady, the semi-independent Pokemon Company continues to release tons of Pokemon games on iOS and Android devices. If you created a game as successful as Pokemon Go, you wouldn’t stop at just one mobile game either. And a few weeks ago, in the same conference that brought us Pokemon Sleep, we heard about the next Pokemon mobile game: Pokemon Masters developed by DeNA.Now there’s a brand new, lengthy trailer telling us much more about the game. Plus, the opening of this Pokemon Masters trailer doubles as its own little anime short. Check it out!Pokemon Masters isn’t the next core Pokemon RPG. That’s Pokemon Sword and Shield. However, this game is totally playing off of your nostalgia for those early Game Boy games. As you compete for the championship on the island of Pasio, you’ll team up with and battle against various gym leaders pulled straight out of the games like Brock and Misty, the protagonist of Pokemon X and Y, and even Red and Blue from the very first titles.What this means for gameplay is that Pokemon Masters is all about team battles. Presumably you’ll have access to different Pokemon. But the trainers you travel with are synced to a single partner. So depending on the fight you’ll want to cycle out different teammates for the 3v3 rumbles. During the fight itself you’ll activate moves in real time, not just traditional Pokemon powers but special skills from the different trainers themselves.It looks pretty nice, too! While definitely still a mobile game in terms of modesty, Pokemon Masters has a nice clean 3D anime aesthetic that arguably looks better than Pokemon Sword and Shield at times. Who knows how big the Pokedex is though. We’ll find out when Pokemon Masters launches this summer.For more on Pokemon read our review of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and watch this dark Pokemon fan film. Mint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107KNew Trailer ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ Reveals Team Yell Punks last_img read more

17thcentury treasures being recovered in Poland

first_imgThe artifacts probably were being carried by a barge that sank, one of the many such vessels that ferried loot down the river to the Baltic Sea and to Sweden.The find is precious for Poland, which has been repeatedly plundered by neighboring armies over the centuries, including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Red Army during World War II.Kowalski said he knew about the hidden artifacts from 17th-century letters that mentioned barges that had sunk in the area.First word of where the treasures might be came in 1906 when sand barge operators discovered some items, but could retrieve only a few of them.Kowalski said his team is now busy cleaning the newly retrieved items, which are “very well preserved, given the 350 years in water.”It has not been decided yet where and when they will be publicly displayed.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) For police, it was gratifying to provide the chopper and assist Warsaw University archeologists in “this very important mission of retrieving priceless national treasures,” said Mariusz Mrozek, a spokesman for Warsaw police.Archaeologists have long known that such well-preserved treasures were located in the riverbed in the Warsaw area, but not exactly where.The archeologists and frogmen, led by Hubert Kowalski, have previously retrieved some of the stolen stone ornaments from the Vistula riverbed in three years of searching for the sunken treasures. But only now, with the river much lower than normal, thanks to recent heat waves and droughts, their findings have become spectacular.“This is a precious find. These elements were stolen from Warsaw’s royal residences and palaces,” said Marek Wrede, a historian at the Royal Castle.The valuable artistic objects _ marble floor tiles, parts of archways and columns _ were robbed from Warsaw by the Swedes who overran the nation in mid-17th century and took heavy loads of spoils from across the country. Today’s items probably came from the Royal Castle and from a royal country residence, the Kazimierz Palace. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Associated PressWARSAW, Poland (AP) – Capitalizing on low water levels in Warsaw’s Vistula River, police are teaming up with archaeologists to recover gigantic marble and alabaster treasures that apparently were stolen from royals in Poland by Swedish invaders in the mid-17th century.A police Mi-8 helicopter hovered over a riverbed on Thursday, lifting ornaments such as the centerpiece of a fountain with water outlets decorated with Satyr-like faces. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Top Stories last_img read more

ALK joins oneworld alliance

first_imgImage Source: SriLankan Airlines Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T SriLankan Airlines (ALK) will become a oneworld alliance member by late next year, with Cathay Pacific sponsoring and supporting the airline through its alliance implementation programme.The accord was announced during IATA’s 2012 World Air Transport Summit in Beijing this week.SriLankan Airlines already has code-sharing agreements with oneworld affiliate Malaysia Airlines and now plans to code-share with oneworld partners Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said oneworld was the obvious option for the island nation’s flagship carrier.“With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, SriLankan has carried out in-depth analysis of the options open to the airline as we enter this latest phase of our development,” the chairman said.“Joining the alliance will help put SriLankan more firmly on the global aviation map and vastly improve Sri Lanka’s connections with the rest of the world, with all that means for our country’s vital tourism industry.”American Airlines chief and chairman of the oneworld Governing Board Tom Horton was pleased to have SriLankan Airlines partner with the global alliance.“Today’s agreement with SriLankan Airlines adds even more value for our customers who have made oneworld the first choice airline alliance for the world’s frequent international travellers. We look forward to welcoming SriLankan to oneworld.”ALK’s alignment will bring three new southern India destinations to oneworld’s expanding network.last_img read more

Unisys Support for biometrics to increase aviation security

first_imgThe latest Unisys Security Index has found that Australians support the extension of biometrics (use of DNA and fingerprints for identification) to passengers boarding planes. “This may be because immigration and customs processing are mandatory and recognised as core security processes which already have systems and processes in place to protect personal data,” Mr Kendall said. “This issue will gain scrutiny as retailers make more use of big data analytics to collect, combine, interrogate and use information about their customers.” Source = ETB News: Tom Neale The Index, which provides a glimpse into the attitudes of consumers on variety of cultural, economic and security issues found that 8 in 10 Australians surveyed would be willing to provide biometric information before boarding a plane. “Whereas retailers may not yet have earned that level of trust in their ability to protect data, or shopping convenience is simply not seen as a serious enough reason to give up personal biometric data, However, only 33 per cent of those surveyed would be willing to provide biometric information in order to receive customised retail offers from airport stores. Mr Kendall said that this was likely due to customers’ wariness of giving away their personal data for anything other than security. “We have seen longstanding support for biometrics in immigration and customs processing, but these new findings show that there is a willingness to extend this level of identity verification throughout the passenger’s airport journey to confirm that only approved passengers are boarding  flights,” Unisys security program director, John Kendall said.last_img read more

Choice Hotels celebrates record growth across NZ portfolio

first_imgChoice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent FraserChoice Hotels Asia-Pac (Choice Hotels), representing the Econo Lodge, Comfort, Quality and Clarion hotel brands, has celebrated its best year ever on record across New Zealand.The hotel franchisor released the New Zealand business highlights for 2015 which included a RevPAR increase of 13 per cent year on year and an increase in business delivery of 53 per cent.This has resulted in an additional 34,000 room nights delivered to the 30 plus local properties. Increases driven by Choice (via its website and contact centre) has seen revenue more than double for some properties.The forecast for the year ahead is also positive, with Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent Fraser revealing that for January 2016 the hotelier has experienced similar double digit RevPAR growth.“We’ve seen an increase in domestic travel across New Zealand likely due to the buoyant and stable economy ultimately driving an increase in leisure and corporate travel,” Fraser said.“In addition, inbound travel from China in particular continues to perform strongly, with more free-independent travellers choosing to travel to regional areas rather than staying only in Auckland.“As a result, we’ve been able to contribute an additional 34,000 room nights to properties in the last year through all of our different programs.”Choice Hotels last week announced the rollout of a series of bold changes to its Choice Privileges (CP) guest rewards program.Fraser anticipates that these changes will result in increased travel and higher use of the program.“The Choice Privileges changes will ensure that our loyalty program remains relevant and important to our guests. Customer service is our highest priority, and these changes provide more value to our existing members,” he said.The company also recently launched its new brand identity, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac, and a new direction as a result of a global rebrand by Choice Hotels International and after recognising a need to establish a new identity in an already crowded market.The new brand better reflects its position and expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region and focuses on the reasons why people travel and encourages more offline connections.Fraser is pleased with the new direction the brand is taking and highlights the importance of offering that each customer ‘always has a choice’ in their accommodation experiences.“From extensive research we’ve learned that a lot of the reasons why our guests travel is to connect with people, not just travel to places. We want to empower them with choices that help them more easily connect in person and offer them an environment that encourages them to spend more time making their face to face connections,” he said.To further build on its own offline connections and as part of its commitment to charity partner Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand, the hotel franchisor has also bolstered its fundraising efforts. Choice hosted its first Corporate Golf Day at Titirangi Golf Course in November, raising $5,000 through donations and silent auctions.Paired with its annual dedicated Cystic Fibrosis Week, where hotels contributed $2 from any night stayed throughout a one week period, this saw Choice Hotels give a total of $25,000 in donations in 2015 to Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand.The appointment of Brendon Smith as Development Manager for New Zealand has likewise led to exciting growth opportunities for Choice Hotels, with a number of new properties opened in 2015 and some exciting announcements planned for early 2016.With more than 20 years of experience within tourism, hospitality and events, Smith has a proven background in business development.Fraser is optimistic that Choice Hotels will experience a strong 2016 following its 2015 business success.“We’re kicking off with two new properties coming on board in Christchurch and Timaru and an exciting new luxury offer to be announced in the first quarter,” he said.“The prognosis for 2016 is on par to match – if not exceed – that of 2015.  We’re very happy with how things are tracking.” Choice HotelsSource = Choice Hotels Asia-Paclast_img read more

11th Customer Loyalty and Customer Engagement Awards honours JetPrivilege

first_imgJetPrivilege, Jet Airways’ award-winning frequent flyer and Loyalty rewards management programme, won nine key accolades at the 11th Customer Loyalty and Customer Experience Awards held at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai. The wins highlight JetPrivilege’s continued success in providing all its members including the airline’s frequent flyer guests with the most unique and rewarding lifestyle experiences as well as engagement opportunities.The frequent flyer programme of the country’s premier international airline was bestowed as the winner in the following categories: Best Use of Innovation in Loyalty Marketing, two Best Use of Contests/Promotions in a Loyalty Program, Best Promotional/Shopper Marketing Campaign, Best Use of Gamification to Enhance Loyalty, Best Use of Data Analytics in Predictive Modelling, Best Use of Direct Marketing in a Loyalty Program, Best Customer Experience Award of the Year: Banking and Best Use of Innovation to Enhance Customer Experience.Commenting on this occasion, Manish Dureja, Managing Director, JetPrivilege, said, “At JetPrivilege, our goal is to consistently deliver a rewarding experience for our members, keeping in mind their needs and expectations. We are both humbled and proud by these recent recognitions bestowed on us at the renowned Customer Loyalty and Customer Experience Awards. These wins are a reflection of our efforts towards creating an enduring bond with our members through customised and innovative offerings.”The Jury for the judging process comprised renowned business leaders from the field of customer loyalty and marketing. Nominations submitted by different companies were evaluated by the jury members with the final winner per category being adjudged basis an overall consensus.last_img read more

Consumer Confidence Up Homebuying Confidence Down

first_img While consumer confidence rose in December to its highest point since 2001, confidence in homebuying dipped for the fifth consecutive month.Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index was only down a half-percent from December, to 80.7. According to the index, the number of consumers expecting mortgage rates to go down over the next 12 months dropped 4 percent compared to a year ago. Fannie Mae stated that the continued downward arc could be a reaction to rising interest rates.“Despite the post-election bump in general consumer attitudes, a rapid rise in mortgage rate expectations has tamped down home purchase sentiment, at least in the near term,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “A spike in economic optimism in the immediate aftermath of an election is typical. Whether consumers will sustain this level of optimism into 2017 remains unclear.”Duncan said that the spike in interest rates reflects, in part, the market’s anticipation of pro-growth policies from the incoming administration.“If this optimism comes to fruition,” he said, it should translate into stronger income growth and increased job security for consumers—the two HPSI components that could help support housing sentiment this year.”The percentage of Americans who said now is a good time to buy a house rose by two percentage points, to 32. An additional percent in December felt the economy was in better shape compared to those surveyed a year ago, while the net share of consumers reporting confidence in not losing their job rose four percentage points. Both the net percentage of those who believe it is a good time to sell and the net share who believe that home prices will go up remained unchanged in December.According to the National Association of Homebuilders, consumer confidence increased in December to the highest level since August 2001. And while assessments of current conditions dropped, consumers held more positive views of the near future.The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index hit 113.7 in December, higher than an upwardly revised 109.4 in November. The present situation index declined from 132.0 to 126.1 and the expectations index rose from 94.4 to 105.5. The index itself has been almost entirely on the upswing since 2009.Jing Fu, Senior Economist at NAHB, said that expectations of employment over the next six months were mixed. The share of respondents expecting more jobs in the coming six months increased from 5 percent, to 21, but “the net 5.4 percentage point decline in the share of respondents expecting job availability to be the same was partially offset by a net 0.5 percentage point increase in the share of respondents expecting fewer jobs.” Consumer Confidence Up, Homebuying Confidence Down Consumer Confidence Fannie Mae Housing Sentiment 2017-01-09 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img January 9, 2017 744 Views Sharelast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Given the benefit of seeing how the Denver Broncos just dismantled a great Carolina Panthers offense, it’s fair to wonder if the Arizona Cardinals would have had a shot to take home the Lombardi Trophy had they gotten through the NFC Championship Game.Maybe Arizona’s offense, which features better receivers, could have moved the ball. Or, perhaps the less-mobile Carson Palmer would have suffered an even worse fate than Cam Newton against that relentless Denver pass rush. But his belief in the Cardinals is not solely based on the quarterback.“This defense is going to be better,” Harrison said. “Bruce Arians made it very clear, he’s going after pass rushers — and oh by the way, while we’re on the subject of Bruce Arians, who’s a better coach than Bruce Arians?”Indeed, bolstering the pass rush has been a topic pretty much from the moment the Cardinals’ season ended, with both Arians and general manager Steve Keim talking about the need to add talent to a group that collected just 36 sacks this past season.As for Arians himself, the coach has posted a 34-14 mark in three seasons with the Cardinals, and including his stint as the interim coach in Indianapolis has a .717 winning percentage in 60 games, which ranks fifth all-time.Along with the Cardinals, Harrison pointed to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers as teams who are primed to win it all next season. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians smiles before the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) At any rate, the Cardinals did not earn the right to play in Super Bowl 50, and the way in which they fell short has many wondering if they’ll have enough to make another run next analyst Elliot Harrison not only thinks they will have enough, but sees them as one of three teams primed to win Super Bowl LI in Houston.“A couple things on the Cardinals, Carson Palmer’s not going to turn the ball over six times again,” he said on NFL Now with James Koh. “I know not everybody believes in him, maybe you don’t think, James, that he’s a top-five quarterback, but you could argue he’s a top-15 quarterback, top-10.”Though Palmer struggled in the playoffs, he had an MVP-caliber regular season in which he threw for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns while being intercepted 11 times.Koh pointed out that Palmer “added a lot of stability” to Arizona’s offense, a point that Harrison agreed with.Citing his numbers, Harrison said even if you think Palmer’s season was a bit of an anomaly, it’s tough to see him having the kind of turnover-filled game he did in the NFC Championship Game, where he was picked off four times and lost two fumbles. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more