Fiestas de Zapote get underway in San José

first_imgRelated posts:Dreaming of a weekend trip Slow and steady Sunday Bring on the high season A piece of paradise Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or a photo of your upcoming special event? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Comments PHOTOS: The agony, the ecstasy at the Zapote bullfights As the New Year approaches, many Costa Ricans are heading to the annual festival in Zapote to eat plenty ofchurros, take a spin on the rides and watch the renowned, controversial bullfights of the end of the year.Read more: Tico bullfights and horse shows: Tradition or torment?last_img

Cats march through streets rats scared milk supply runs low

first_imgSan José— In a display of the movement’s continued momentum, tens of thousands of protesters once again shut down streets throughout Costa Rica’s capital Wednesday.A wave of people stretching nearly two miles from Paseo Colón to the Legislative Assembly reasserted their displeasure against Law 20.580, Strengthening of Public Finances, which public-sector unions say would place a disproportionate burden on the working class while protecting large industries and the rich. The fiscal reform is meant to help address Costa Rica’s deficit. The nation finished 2017 with a 6.2 percent deficit, and the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) warned the country’s economy could deteriorate without significant tax reform. Tuesday, BCCR issued the government a loan of nearly 500 billion colones (about USD $470 million) in order to pay their expenses for the third quarter of 2018. While union representatives and the government have met in recent days to resolve their’ disagreements on how to approach tax reform, talks have stalled. As a result, strikes continued with renewed vigor in a demonstration nicknamed “March of the Cats,” a tongue-in-cheek response to those who believe the movement represents a small minority of Costa Ricans. When Costa Ricans refer to a small group or poor turnout, they may call it “cuatro gatos,” four cats. Many of the protesters Wednesday wore cat ears, donned custom-made T-shirts, or carried feline-themed signs. The cat-themed march was a sarcastic response to the idea that only a few people and their cats showed up to the strikes. (Alissa Grosskopf / The Tico Times)But even those in costume voiced a serious message: That the government ought to recognize how many of its constituents are willing to speak out against the proposed tax reform. Sergio Garro Mora, a farmer from Los Santos, said he joined the march to represent the poorest citizens of Costa Rica. He drew cheers and applause as he rode through the crowds in a traditional painted oxcart, pulled by two of his animals which he transported to San José. He was followed by a procession of tractors, each overflowing with people. Since the government doesn’t regularly visit the farms, Mora explained, he wanted to bring it to them. Several farmers brought oxen to the March of the Cats on Sept. 26, 2018. (Alissa Grosskopf / The Tico Times)“I come from the fields, but I’m no fool — I’m informed,” he said. “We are paying taxes, and the rich are stealing from us. We farmers are on the streets telling the government that we cannot support this. “We hope that something positive comes of this. This fight is for the people who are the least protected.” The march remained mostly peaceful, though La Nación reported a person was detained after her car hit at least five protesters near the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) building. The daily also reported transit police stopped more than 20 buses from deviating from their scheduled routes to transport protesters into San José. But mid-afternoon, thousands of people packed the streets and parks surrounding the Legislative Assembly. Protesters gathered outside the Legislative Assembly after the March of the Cats on Sept. 26, 2018. (Alissa Grosskopf / The Tico Times)That crowd included Sedias Morales Luis, one of about a dozen members from the indigenous territory Tjai-Cabecar who demonstrated near the Parque Nacional with signs written in Spanish and in the Cabécar language. Morales said many indigenous communities throughout Costa Rica already feel “exploited” by multinational industries and worried the proposed tax reform could worsen malnutrition in his town. “As Costa Ricans, we need to be fighters to defend our rights,” he said. “Whether you are indigenous or not, we all deserve the right to march.” He shared that sentiment with thousands of others, who marched despite the government’s efforts to declare the strike illegal. In an open letter to the country Tuesday, President Carlos Alvarado said his government “reiterates its willingness to … clarify or fix” portions of the proposed reforms but that Costa Rica’s future rests on fiscal changes being made. “What we do as a society in the coming days will determine the future of our nation and our families,” he said. “Time has run out. The time to resolve this has arrived.” But Wednesday’s march proved things are far from purr-fect. Protesters outside the Legislative Assembly building on Sept. 26, 2018. (Alexander Villegas / The Tico Times) Facebook Comments Related posts:Unions and government start talks to end strike Costa Rican government seeks agreement with unions to end strike Dialogue to end the strike comes to a standstill Government tables draft bills aimed at approving fiscal reformslast_img read more

Rincón de la Vieja registers overnight eruption

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Rincón de la Vieja Volcano explodes again Turrialba Volcano registers increase in activity Tourism Chamber: Please support businesses outside Poás safety perimeter President Solís tours Poás Volcano region following strong explosion Costa Rica announces increased security measures for active volcanoes Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is located in the eponymous national park in the Guanacaste province. The National Park attracts visitors due to its unique flora and fauna, natural water attractions and periodic geothermal activity.In 2017, more than 82,000 people visited Rincón de la Vieja National Park.​​​​​​This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.​​​​Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentscenter_img Rincón de la Vieja erupted early Sunday morning, sending volcanic rock into nearby rivers, according to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI).OVSICORI data indicates a five-minute eruption occurred at 1:26 a.m. Sunday. The organization said it could not calculate the height of the ash plume due to lack of visibility.Rocas Incandescentes vistas desde Gavilán de Upala.El día de hoy 20 de enero 2019 a la 1:26 a.m. hora local, se registra una erupción en el volcán Rincón de la Vieja, se desconoce la altura alcanzada por la columna debido a las condiciones de visibilidad del sitio. pic.twitter.com/PL7GeQQqFl— OVSICORI-UNA (@OVSICORI_UNA) January 20, 2019OVSICORI shared a collage of images showing incandescent material near the Rincón de la Vieja crater (top) and volcanic material being carried by northerly rivers (middle and bottom).20 enero 2019. Imagen superior. Material incandescente observado en la cima del V. Rincón de la Vieja, desde Sensoria por medio de webcam de OVSICORI. Imágenes inferiores materiales arrastrados por la corriente del Río Azufrado. Imágenes por Oscar Alvarado “Mapache” pic.twitter.com/T3ZB8mr4Eg— OVSICORI-UNA (@OVSICORI_UNA) January 20, 2019Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) has not yet issued a statement. The CNE recently announced increased security measures at the nation’s active volcanoes.last_img read more

Australia wont send war crimes suspect to Hungary

first_img Top Stories 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 Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The Simon Wiesenthal Center lists Zentai among its 10 most wanted for having “participated in manhunts, persecution, and murder of Jews in Budapest in 1944.”The decision “appears to ignore numerous legal precedents which in the past facilitated the prosecution of the leaders of the Third Reich and additional Nazi war criminals,” the center’s Israel director Efraim Zuroff said in a statement. “In practical terms, it signals a dismal conclusion to Australia’s totally unsuccessful efforts to bring to justice any of the numerous Nazi war criminals who found refuge in the country.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s highest court ruled Wednesday that a 90-year-old citizen cannot be extradited to Hungary to face accusations he tortured and killed a Jewish teenager during World War II.The High Court upheld a lower court’s decision that reasoned war crimes charges former Hungarian soldier Charles Zentai may face did not exist at the time of the slaying, a conclusion criticized by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center. Comments   Share   Hungary says Zentai is suspected of beating the teen to death in Budapest in 1944 for failing to wear a star identifying him as a Jew. Zentai, who migrated to Australia in 1950 and later became a citizen, has denied the allegation and has been fighting extradition since 2005.Last year, the Federal Court found that because the offense of “war crime” was not on Hungary’s statute books when the teenager died in 1944, it was not an offense for which Zentai may be surrendered under Australia’s extradition treaty with Hungary.The government appealed, but on Wednesday, the High Court upheld the lower court’s decision. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare confirmed in a statement that the ruling means Zentai cannot be extradited.Zentai’s son, Ernie Steiner, has argued that his father _ who has been free on bail _ is too ill to survive the trip to Hungary.Zentai told reporters in the western city of Perth that he was prepared to supply answers if Hungary sent investigators to Australia to question him.“I’ve been so stressed, in the last few days in particular. Now, I just don’t know how I feel,” Zentai said.Steiner said his father was innocent and was not even in Budapest when the teen died. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Four benefits of having a wireless security system 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

US Africa command chief in Mauritania

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) – U.S. Africa command head Gen. Carter Ham met with Mauritania’s president and an official says the two are discussing a possible military intervention, likely West African-led, in north Mali against al-Qaida-linked group members and their allies.Tuareg rebels helped overtake Mali’s north earlier this year after a coup in Mali’s capital. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Islamist allies later took over the territory. The official spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. No further details were available.Mali’s interim government has asked for support to restructure its military. The European Union says it is considering requests to support West African-led military intervention.Mauritania in August said it will not intervene militarily in the north Africa region, but it has conducted several operations against AQIM bases in response to threats to the country’s interests.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

We mishandled snowstorm BAA

first_imgBAA was also criticised by Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (BA) for not keeping the airlines informed on when they would be able to resume flights.”It was pretty galling on that Tuesday to hear from the Prime Minister on the media that the runway was reopening that afternoon,” Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway told MPs. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: V.V BA operations director Andrew Lord also weighed in.“At the end of the day, if the airport operators do not provide a service to us it is our customers that suffer and that is a situation that is not acceptable to us,” he said. British Airports Authority (BAA) admits it failed to manage London’s Heathrow Airport during December’s snowstorm that forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights. The Telegraph reported BAA chief executive Colin Matthews fronted British MPs last week, who demanded reasons why Heathrow was unable to cope with the extreme weather.Costs for the partial or total closure of Heathrow before Christmas last year cost BAA about £20 million, the MPs were told.“We should have had a plan which envisaged much more snow,” he said.“We certainly should have done better and will do better in the future.”last_img read more

VA adds regional flights new customer campaign

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Virgin Australia’s (VA) decision to fly additional regional and interstate services has coincided with the release of the airline’s new major marketing campaign, dedicated to the customer experience.Virgin Australia will increase flights on popular corporate routes between Brisbane and key regional cities Emerald and Rockhampton and also between Brisbane and Newcastle in New South Wales.“Demand from the corporate and resources sectors for more flights for each of these key regional cities has been strong,” Virgin Australia Group executive alliances network and yield Merren McArthur said.“Not only are we providing more choice of flight times but we have adjusted schedules to provide better onward domestic and international connections beyond Brisbane,” Ms McArthur said.Additional services between Brisbane and Emerald will commence on 29 October 2012, while new flights will commence between Brisbane and Newcastle and also Brisbane and Rockhampton from 12 November 2012.Virgin Australia’s innovative new campaign includes a 60-second television commercial, featuring Virgin Australia employees and was filmed on the salt plains of Western Australia.“We have completely overhauled the customer experience, transforming the look and feel of travelling withVirgin Australia both in the air and on the ground,” VA chief customer officer Mark Hassell said. “We now have a brand new product that can compete with the best airlines in the world,” Mr Hassell said. Popular Australian director Daniel Askill was commissioned to direct the soundtrack for the campaign’s commercial which features vocals from Australian artist Megan Washington performing ‘S’Wonderful’.The new advertisement was seen by thousands as part of the AFL Grand Final broadcast last weekend, while one of VA’s new Airbus A330 aircraft made a fly-over before kick-off at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).You can check out the new clip from Virgin Australia’s YouTube page below.http://www.youtube.com/user/virginaustralia/virginlast_img read more

Malaysia Airlines new triple threat service

first_imgSource = ETB News: L.B. Malaysia Airlines will introduce a third daily Sydney to Kuala Lumpur service as of 5 February 2014. The new daily service from Sydney Airport will be on Malaysia Airlines’ new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, complete with new interior, mood lighting, extra storage space, individual screens and lie flat business class seats. “This additional service on the Sydney to Kuala Lumpur route will increase capacity to the growing demand by adding an extra 207,000 seats a year,” Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said. Malaysia Airlines has announced it will launch a third daily service between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, to commence in February 2014. “We estimate the additional flights will deliver AU$124 million in inbound visitor expenditure to the NSW economy per year, providing a great boost to tourism and business.” From 21 November, Malaysia Airlines will increase its current double daily operations from Sydney to 18 flights per week with an additional four services per week and from 5 February 2014, the airline will increase to 21 flights per week with a triple daily service.  last_img read more

Wotif suffers profit drop

first_imgWotif faces a yearly profit drop of 15.4 per cent to AUD $43.2 million, following greater competition with its rivals and some uncertainty over regulatory approval for its purchase by Expedia.The Australian company’s hotel room night bookings system for Australia and New Zealand declined by 9.4 per cent but its accommodation margins increased by 13.7 per cent because of increased hotel commission rates.Expedia is currently offering AUD $3.06 a share and a AUD $0.24 fully franked dividend via a Wotif scheme of arrangement.Wotif has previously struggled to compete against Booking.com and Expedia.The ACCC is expected to make a decision on 10 September and the NZ regulator will make a ruling on 10 October.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img

Air New Zealand launches Sustainability Framework

first_imgAir New Zealand launches Sustainability FrameworkAir New Zealand has today launched a new Sustainability Framework as part of its commitment to helping supercharge our nation’s success.Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon unveiled the framework along with several sustainability initiatives at an event for business leaders in Auckland this morning (NZ time).“We see the success of our business as being inextricably linked to the success of our country – Air New Zealand needs a strong and prosperous New Zealand and in turn, New Zealand needs a successful and thriving national airline,” says Mr Luxon.“Given the significance of this business to New Zealand we have signed ourselves up to a mission and purpose bigger than ourselves – that is to supercharge New Zealand’s success – socially, environmentally and economically.”The airline’s new Sustainability Framework sets out how it will contribute to supercharging New Zealand’s success.  The economic, social, and environmental pillars of the framework are supported by six key focus areas – the airline’s people; the communities it operates within; carbon, nature and science; tourism and trade and enterprise.Mr Luxon says Air New Zealand recognises that to be successful in its sustainability journey the airline requires advice from global experts.  It has formed a Sustainability Advisory Panel made up of New Zealand and international experts with specialist knowledge.  They are:·         Sir Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder and Director, Forum for the Future (United Kingdom)·         Dame Anne Salmond, New Zealand anthropologist, writer and distinguished professor of Maori Studies, University of Auckland (New Zealand)·         Rob Fenwick CNZM, entrepreneur, director and conservationist (New Zealand)·         Derek Handley, social entrepreneur, Founder of Aera Foundation (New Zealand)·         Suzanne Hunt, Founder and President, HuntGreen LLC and biofuels expert (United States)·         Brian Pearce, Chief Economist, International Air Transport Association (Switzerland)Mr Luxon and Air New Zealand’s Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer, Captain David Morgan, who has responsibility for sustainability at the airline, also sit on the panel.Sir Jonathon Porritt emphasised how important it is to see a large New Zealand company take sustainability seriously, both for the company itself and for the New Zealand economy as a whole.“We’ve been able to convene a group of people with enormous expertise in different areas of the sustainability agenda.  What excites us is the opportunity to support Air New Zealand in its goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable airlines.”Mr Luxon says the actions to be delivered under the sustainability framework have been driven in part by insights gleaned from its staff and customers.“Earlier this year we conducted a significant piece of research, asking how people thought Air New Zealand should ‘supercharge New Zealand’s success’.  Key themes to emerge from the research were around enabling knowledge and inspiration as well as helping young Kiwis and emerging businesses to succeed.  In the coming year we’ll be launching several significant initiatives that support these themes.”Source = Air New Zealandlast_img read more