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first_img Posted by Share Tags: London LONDON — Visitors to London can get access to more than 60 attractions using just their smartphone with the new mobile version of the popular London Pass sightseeing card.Developed for iPhone and Android, the mobile London Pass downloads straight to the traveller’s smartphone, syncing with a dedicated app and bespoke operating software to function as an entry ticket at sites such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.Instead of presenting a ticket or physical London Pass, visitors scan a QR code contained in the mobile pass to gain admittance at each attraction.The London Pass app becomes an effective mobile guidebook, providing full details of each attraction.  Users also get insights into 15 different areas of the city, as well as suggested themed attraction combinations for visitors, for example, families looking for a child-friendly day out.The app also offers a full map of the London Underground system, a map of key public bus services in the city, a detailed layout of attraction locations in central London and also a map of the hop on, hop off bus routes included with the London Pass.  Information on climate, public holidays and money and direct links to emergency and other useful numbers are also provided.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsLondon Pass users save money on attraction admissions plus they get access to exclusive offers, such as discounts for top theatre shows, dining cruises, helicopter tours and day trips out of the city to popular spots such as Stonehenge and Bath.More than three million visitors have purchased the London Pass since its launch in 1999. The London Pass is priced from £59 per adult and £39 per child for a one-day pass.  Two-, three-, six- and 10-day versions are available.  See Travelweek Group center_img Friday, September 2, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> London Pass now available in mobile-friendly applast_img read more

first_img Posted by TORONTO — Imagine booking a flight, paying for a trip, packing your bags, arriving at the airport and…having no idea where you’re going.This is the idea behind, an online travel company that’s bringing new meaning to the word ‘spontaneity’. According to Lonely Planet, travellers who book with the company are asked to ‘fly blind’, so to speak, after choosing the travel style they prefer (city break or backpacking adventure), indicating their budget, and selecting their travel dates. The rest – including the destination – remains a surprise until travellers arrive at the airport departure lounge.Sounds crazy, sure, but also really fun, and exactly the kind of mind-blowing adventure millennials often seek. Since its inception in Amsterdam in 2014, the company has already sent over 50,000 people on adventures around the world. It has recently launched in the U.K.Would you take the leap of faith and travel to an unknown destination? Thursday, June 1, 2017 This company will organize your entire trip without actually telling you where you’re going Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgTags: A321neoLRs, Air Transat Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Having an elephant in the room can be a bit distracting, but for Transat it was all “business as usual” at yesterday’s Sun 2019-20 launch in Toronto.Addressing recent headlines about a possible buyout of Transat, Joe Adamo, Chief Distribution Office & President of Transat Distribution Canada, remained mostly tight-lipped.“I know what you know, well, maybe a little more but not by much,” he joked. “What I can tell you is that these are uncertain times but for the most part very exciting times. The expression ‘It’s business as usual’ gets a little tired but never have there been truer words said.”On the fact that two potential buyers have now put in offers – Air Canada back in mid-May, and most recently Groupe Mach earlier this week – Adamo said the attention has been flattering.“It’s kind of nice to feel wanted – the more, the merrier!” he said. “We’ll see where all this goes. I’m confident a strong and prosperous future awaits our clients and our partners.”Gilles Ringwald, VP Commercial, Air TransatWhen asked whether airfare hikes could result from a possible buyout, Gilles Ringwald, Vice President Commercial of Air Transat, told Travelweek that it was “useless” to speculate on such matters at this time.“As you know, there’s a deadline of end of June, so we’re waiting for the end of talks with Air Canada to see what we’ll be doing next,” he said. “First let’s see what will happen, let’s wait until the end of June and then we’ll comment.”All acquisition talks aside, Transat is focusing its efforts on the upcoming Winter 2019-2020 season, which Ringwald said will be spurred by the recent introduction of the new A321neoLRs. The company has ordered 15 to be delivered by 2021; its first one debuted in May, with the second aircraft being delivered by end of June.“This new aircraft is a game changer for us because it allows us to fly long distances but with a limited capacity of 200 seats,” he said. “Our European program starts in May and ends in October, peaking from mid-June to mid-September, with May and October being weaker months. Today, we fly with the Airbus A330, which are big birds and are good for the peak season. But during the shoulder season, it’s very difficult to fill them and make money off of them.”More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesWith the new A321neoLRs, Ringwald added, Transat will be able to fly point to point, “from London to Toronto and then Toronto to Cancun, or Toronto to Cartagena,” with the same aircraft and, possibly, with the same crew.“It’s very cost-efficient for us, plus it’s a new engine. In terms of fuel consumption, it uses 35% less fuel than other aircraft,” said Ringwald.The new aircraft will also help Transat expand its reach, both down South and to Europe, said Nicole Bursey, Commercial Director. She told Travelweek that the planes will give the company the opportunity “to do some new things,” like a direct flight from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale, for example.“This would have been very difficult with our current fleet,” she said, “and is a real example of what our new fleet will allow us to do.”Other routes that will benefit from the new aircraft include Toronto to Italy (Rome), a destination that will be offered for the first time in the winter, as well as increased capacity to the Caribbean during shoulder season.“We’ve traditionally looked at winter as for the Caribbean and summer as for the South,” added Bursey. “What we’re finding is that Canadian travel patterns are changing a little bit, so it’s not such a drastic change from season to season.”This, of course, translates into more year-round bookings for the company, and according to Bursey, Transat is having a “really good summer” and is already on track for a successful winter 2020.” With bookings up, the company wanted to thank those on the frontlines – travel agents – for their continued support.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps up“Today is just a celebration to thank the agents for everything they’ve done for us this season, plus for upcoming bookings,” said Bursey. “Transat has been around for 30 years now, and we’ve always been a huge supporter of the retail community, and vice versa. We’re very lucky.”Here are some key takeaways from the launch:• Notable routes for winter 2019-202 include: Montreal-New Orleans (a new destination for Transat); Barcelona and Rome until mid-January from Toronto; and Madrid and Malaga year round from Montreal• Transat’s Sun program includes 32 destinations in Mexico, South America, Central America, USA and the Caribbean, plus 700 hotels featured in its brochure and online, mostly all-inclusive and 25 of which are new• A wide range of other vacation options include à la carte hotels, guided tours, Duo packages that combine two regions in one trip, and condominium, house and apartment rentals in Europe and the South that can compete with Airbnb• This winter there will be 73 all-in-one cruise packages in the Caribbean, South and Central America, including New Orleans from Montreal (new) and Fort Lauderdale from Vancouver• Transat’s Early Booking Promotion applies to any South, Duo or Europe package booked by June 30, plus new for this year, clients get a chance to win their vacation for a value of up to $5,000• Cruise clients who book 120 days prior to departure can save $300 per couple• Transat has just completed its Ontario Training Academies, which saw over 1,000 travel agents in attendance; they then moved to Halifax before heading to Quebec next week and out West the week after• NEW PROMOTION: Transat is offering a free open bar aboard the Norwegian Epic sailing in the Western Mediterranean Sea from Barcelona, for departures on June 9, 16 and 23, 2019To read more about Transat’s winter 2019-2020 program, read our previous coverage here: From acquisition talks to game-changing aircraft, Transat covers it all at Sun launch Friday, June 7, 2019 Sharelast_img read more

first_imgBecome a WestJet Rewards Gold member before you fly with WestJet’s new promo Wednesday, June 12, 2019 CALGARY — WestJet has a new offer that allows travellers to become a WestJet Rewards Gold member before they fly until Feb. 29, 2020.The ‘Buy Business, get Gold’ offer runs from June 11-30, 2019 for travel from July 6 to Sept. 5, 2019, and is available with the booking of a roundtrip Business cabin fare between Calgary and London (Gatwick), Dublin or Paris.“WestJet Rewards Gold status is designed to recognize and reward WestJet’s frequent flyers with a wide-range of travel privileges,” said d’Arcy Monaghan, WestJet Vice-President of Loyalty Programs. “Guests booking a Business or Business Flex fare on our Dreamliner will get the upgrade to Gold in time for flight. Our new Dreamliner is already a rewarding flight experience and with ‘Buy Business, get Gold’ it becomes even more so.”WestJet Rewards Gold members receive unlimited lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, priority baggage, advance seat selection and more. They’re also eligible for complimentary upgrades to WestJet’s Premium cabin on most WestJet flights with the purchase of EconoFlex fares.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthThis summer, WestJet operates daily between Calgary and London (Gatwick), four-times weekly between Calgary and Paris, and three-times weekly between Calgary and Dublin. For more information go to Share Travelweek Group center_img Tags: WestJet Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. MANAGUA – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Wednesday sent Congress the draft of a bill to reform the country’s electoral system, following complaints of irregularities by the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS). The bill comes on the heels of the disputed 2011 election, in which Ortega was re-elected amid allegations of vote-rigging and intimidation.The initiative aims to “ensure that election results are more accurate,” said presidential legal adviser Claudia Curtis, after presenting the bill to legislative First Secretary Alba Palacios.The proposed Electoral Act bill, which Congress will debate next week ahead of the November municipal elections, includes recommendations by the OAS and EU after last November’s presidential elections.Ortega’s government has not yet considered the possibility of renewing the directory of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), formed only by judges loyal to the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front.The OAS stated in a report last January that Nicaragua’s electoral system has shown “structural failures … since 1996,” while the EU recommended a replacement of current CSE judges. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Lindsay Fendt The short menu offers only two categories of food: appetizers and platters for sharing. In an effort to try as many things as possible, we chose the meat skewers, guacamole and patacone sandwich from the appetizer menu. The plates came served on a flat wooden pallet, and, considering their prices and “appetizer” labels, they were much larger than expected.  The bad news is the guacamole wasn’t great. It was heavy on the lime and onions, which was about all I could taste. The toasted slices of tortilla that came with it, though, were warm and delicious, and the other two dishes also pulled their weight.Extremely tender and flavorful, the meat skewers were very different from the typical Costa Rican slab of lomito. Rather than the flat, low-quality beef found in a typical casado, this was real, well-cooked steak. The chunks of meat were punctuated with flavorful onions and peppers grilled to perfection. The biggest surprise on the plate, however, was the baked potato. Yes, that’s right, no puree de papas here. Baked. Perfectly baked, I might add, and with an adorable little jar of piping hot butter on the side.The skewers were good, but the real star of the night was the patacón sandwich. For those who don’t know, patacones are flat, fried plantains common throughout the country. Though I had never seen them sandwich anything before, they made for an ideal crunchy substitute for a hamburger bun. Smooshed between the plantains was a sort of Latin American version of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich with cheese, peppers and shredded beef. Again, the beef did not fail to impress. Going there: Soi is located 30 meters east of Parque Nacional in front of the old Atlantic Train Station. While it is already open for dinner and drinks, its official opening party will take place April 30 at 8 p.m. Facebook Comments For travelers accustomed to discovering new, exotic food wherever they go, Costa Rica can come as somewhat of a disappointment. There is only so much that can be done with rice, beans and a piece of meat. Occasionally, though, a new place pops up with loftier culinary aspirations than a glorified soda. This month, that restaurant is Soi.With the same owners as the popular hipster coffee house/bar Café de los Deseos, Soi easily could have adopted the same funky, cluttered, artsy feel. But the similarities between the two restaurants end at the delicious food.Rather than a café, Soi is a dimly lit, elegant cocktail bar with open-air windows looking out to the old Atlantic train station near Parque Nacional. The couches and oversized chairs along with the minimalistic design give it a lounge-y vibe uncommon in San José, or even all of Costa Rica.In step with its atmosphere, half of Soi’s menu is cocktails and beers. More than just the typical Pilsens and Imperials, Soi has beers from the Costa Rican Craft Brewing Company along with a number of imports. The cocktail and liquor lists are also extensive, but our cocktails missed the mark in terms of taste. My mojito was sour and strong at the surface, and diluted sugar water at the finish. My companion’s Tom Collins was inexplicably pink, with a sharp, chemical aftertaste.The food, on the other hand, was delightful.  No related posts. Soi’s chic, open-air interior offers views of an old train station. last_img read more

first_imgThe menu had impressive range, offering everything from New Zealand mussels to creamy pastas to filet mignon. We opted for one of each of those along with round two – a couple of glasses of vino tinto. The wine came cold rather than room temp, but eventually I got over it.The mussels arrived in a sauce I never imagined could exist in Costa Rica, where chefs tend to steer clear of a challenge. The savory blend had been prepared with bacon, garlic, lime and parsley, and we sopped up every bit of it with crunchy garlic bread.Next came the penne vodka with shrimp, which was bathed in a succulent crème sauce with bacon and garlic – it was so well-conceived that I felt compelled to announce, “this does not taste like Costa Rica.”When our flavorful and tender filet arrived atop a moat of balsamic vinegar and covered in melted cheese and roasted red pepper (not to mention a side of potatoes that were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside), that was it. I wanted all my meals near an airplane.I found myself asking Fabian where the plane came from, and how it got here. It used to belong to the defunct airline Allegro, he said. Charter had gotten it from Juan Santamaría Aiport, where the wings and tail had to be removed so that airplane could be stacked into a series of trucks. Getting the whole thing to Barú took three days.Neat, I thought, taking an enormous bite out of my juicy steak.After eating every last morsel of the main course, we had no room for the only dessert on the menu – flan de caramelo. There’s no doubt in my mind, though. That thing is awesome.After our meal, I suggested we walk over and see about the plane, which was accessible by stairs. The inside was completely empty, and while my companion suggested that it looked cool and began taking pictures, I couldn’t help but think of scenes from plane crash movies when all the chairs have been blown out. Soon, that area will be a hotel, Fabian told us, and I ordered another cocktail. No related posts. Location: Barú, on the road from Dominical to San Isidro de El GeneralPhone: 2787-0172Hours: M-F: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sa-Su: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.Prices: You’ll spend between $10 and $20 on a main course. Facebook Comments Charter’s on-site 727 airplane is being renovated into a hotel.Lindsay Fendtcenter_img I’ve always found it strange that certain restaurants and hotels conduct their business inside restored aircrafts. Yes, it’s different and seems to get people talking. But who really wants to spend the non-transit part of a vacation inside a plane, or even thinking about planes?It also seemed to me that if restaurant owners were dedicating time to being aviation-themed, they might be less concerned with whether the restaurant was any good.After dining at Charter, a new restaurant with its own Boeing 727 along the road that connects Dominical to San Isidro de El General, I must admit that it is possible for an eatery to feature both an airplane and delicious food – food that in no way reminds of eating on airplanes. This is not to say I approve of the décor.Charter’s dining area sits beneath a tall roof but is otherwise open-air, allowing for a full view of the neighboring, hollowed-out Boeing 727 that I don’t really want to talk about but simply can’t ignore.The tables are constructed of glistening, tropical tree trunk slices, and the chairs are also made of attractive wood. But on one side of the dining area, four blue airplane seats – 4a, 4b, 6a and 6b, to be exact – have been plucked from their row and recycled as an adornment, calling to mind claustrophobia, obese and/or foul-smelling strangers, vomit bags and the like.Our server Fabian was friendly, though, and I particularly liked the speed with which he brought my watermelon daiquiri. The sugary but stiff light pink concoction was delightful, as was my dining companion’s Margarita Verde. Charter has blue, green or red margaritas.Lindsay Fendtlast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Supreme Court condemns prisoner torture allegations Latin America’s prisons in critical condition 16 killed in Guatemala prison fight, official says Nicaragua paroles 8,000 convicts to clear prisons President Laura Chinchilla signed a bill into law Tuesday establishing a mechanism to implement the United Nations’Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.The protocol establishes an independent national body to prevent torture, cruel punishment and other degrading treatment of prisoners and other people deprived of liberty.“This is one more of many actions in the field of human rights that highlights Costa Rica on the international stage, and we hope that other countries also join, because torture, cruel treatment or sentences do not achieve credibility,” Chinchilla said.The unit, under the administration of the Ombudsman’s Office, will periodically examine the treatment of detainees and make recommendations to authorities on how to improve their conditions and treatment. The group also will make observations on current legislation and play an active role in its adaption to their recommendations.The mechanism will operate with “absolute independence and without interference by State authorities,” according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.“With this new law, our country complies with the obligations of the Optional Protocol and the recommendations of the United Nations for the prevention of torture, and once again situates Costa Rica in the vanguard and a position of leadership in Latin America,” said Justice Minister Ana Isabel Garita Tuesday at the Casa Presidencial.Garita added that the protocol could make recommendations on how to address Costa Rica’s prison overcrowding crisis.The bill was ushered through the Legislative Assembly by independent lawmaker Luis Fishman, who also attended the signing Tuesday. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:3rd annual Craft Beer Fest offers a taste of the future in Costa Rica Delicious new gastropub El Gaff already becoming a thing Brewery Treintaycinco wins silver in Brazilian beer competition Second Oktoberfest migrates to Pedregal The Craft Beer Festival  is back for a third go-round, again being held at Avenida Escazú, again including small-scale brewers from all over Costa Rica.The April 5 festival (that’s this Saturday!) will bring more than 32 craft beers to the lips of brew enthusiasts, beginning at 11 a.m and concluding at 5 p.m. More than 2,000 people are expected to show up to the event, which is run by the Costa Rican Craft Brewer’s Association and sponsored by Product C restaurants. In addition to delicious alcohol, there will be live music, beer seminars, food and home brewing contests.The festival, which we attend every year, is perhaps the most fun way to celebrate Costa Rica’s growing passion for craft beer. “Less than three years ago, this festival was still just an idea fostered solely by the excitement and creativity of a handful of home-brewers and enthusiasts,” said Courtney Cargill, board member of the Costa Rican Craft Brewers Association and an avid brewer. “Each year, this event has exceeded our expectations with respect to the public’s interest as well as the high quality and great variety of beer available.”This year, visitors will sample crisp, wheat, dark and richly-bodied beers, along with others made with roasted barley. Some will have been aged in oak barrels for more than a year, and other Costa Rica-themed concoctions will include ingredients such as coffee, honey and mango.For those who aren’t totally sure what a craft beer is, Costa Rican Craft Brewers Association President Luis Arce will be on hand to explain. “A craft beer is a beer produced on a small scale that uses natural ingredients, with a focus on intense aromas and flavors to give a gourmet experience to the palate,” he said. “The experimentation in the use of these natural  ingredients is its calling card.”The festival this year will feature a home brewing contest especially for brewing hobbyists, who will compete by entering a brew crafted in an internationally recognized beer style, a Pale Ale or Pilsner for example. They will be judged on their adherence to the styles guidelines. The tournament is governed by the rules of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), an international nonprofit institution that organizes similar events around the world.“The Craft Beer Festival represents the best chance for all beer lovers, those experienced and those who are just learning about craft beers, to taste the different styles of beer produced in Costa Rica,” said Stefano Marin, lead brewer at Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company. “[It’s] putting Costa Rica on the map of world beers.”Going there: Entry to the festival is ₡16,000 ($30) and tickets can only be purchased in advance at authorized locations, which include Product C (Avenida Escazú, 2288-5570,, Costa Rica’s Craft Brewing Company (800 meters west of Riteve in Tejar de Cartago, 2573-3724,, TicoBirra (diagonal from the Artística on Pavas’ main highway, 2296-3486,, La Bodega de Chema (125 Sur Casa Italia, Av 10, Calle 29, 2280-7339,, TreintayCinco (800 meters north of the bridge of Multiplaza Escazú 2213-7675., Bar el Gaff (Calle 29, Avenida 10, Los Yoses, 2234-1596, admission, participants will have access to beer seminars, live music and a tasting round, which includes up to 20 samples. Festival rules and regulations can be found at Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica Holy Week deadliest in 10 years Costa Rica’s Holy Week vacation off to a deadly start 7 tourists injured as suspension bridge fails in La Fortuna To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Hopefully your trip to the beach Thursday went better than this guy’s.Thursday afternoon, ferry service between Puntarenas and Paquera was interrupted after a white Hyundai Santa Fe crashed hood-first into the deck of the Tabor III ferry.The driver tried to exit the ship as it docked in Paquera, on the Nicoya Peninsula, before the boat’s garage gate fully lowered, according to a statement from the company addressed to Channel 7.The news channel reported that the driver of the vehicle, identified as Sandí Vásquez, was intoxicated when the accident happened. Naviera Tambor S.A., the company that operates the ferry service, said it was not responsible for the mishap on account of Sandí’s inebriation.There were 45 people seriously injured and 11 killed in traffic accidents during Holy Week as of Friday morning, reported the Costa Rican Red Cross. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img info heading info content No related posts. Previous Image Next Image Facebook Comments Price: $1,299,000COD: 1102Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558Province: PuntarenasCantón: QueposConstruction: 457m2Land: 2511m2Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 5 Or MoreParking: 2A/C: YesThe Casa Romántica is an architect’s dream come true. The property is truly a work of art. Hidden from the road, the home is set in Manuel Antonio’s thriving rainforest and ensconced in nature. Every feature of the home and property have been impeccably designed and are of the highest quality. The appeal is modern tropical, and it features 20 foot walls of glass and an open floor plan. A cascading water feature greets everyone who enters and runs through the home to the pool on the other side. Within the home are a number of aesthetic architectural features, including lighting alcoves, an inside atrium, vaulted teak ceilings, over 300 inset lights, a rainwater recycling system, and even an oversized jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom.The property is serviced by an electric gate and small guard house. In addition, there is a small guest house or caretaker’s house on an independently titled property adjacent to the house which could be purchased along with the main house.The home speaks for itself, and is without doubt one of the nicest new homes in Manuel Antonio.**There is an adjacent guest house (a 1 bedroom studio) which can be sold as an ‘add-on’ to the main home. The property sits on a larger lot (3500 m2) and the guest house is used as a 5th bedroom for some of the vacation rentals. Asking price: $275,000 – please inquire for further details and photos.Highlights Stunning architecture Private rainforest setting 10 minutes to Manuel Antonio beach 5 minutes to Quepos Fantastic pool area Very private Guard house Electric gate Adjacent 1 bedroom guest house available for purchase with 3500 m2 of land, together that would total 1.5 acresFeaturesInterior Features Alarm System Ceiling Fan Laundry Room Vaulted Ceiling Wet BarCooling 3+ Window / Wall UnitExterior Finish Aluminum-Steel Concrete Block GlassSewer/Water Systems SepticRoof OtherLot Features Garden Area Landscaped Patio Swimming Pool Trees / ShrubsView ForestExtra Features Cable Available Furnished Security Guard on Duty StorageAppliances Dishwasher Dryer Microwave Oven Range Refrigerator Stove WasherSee this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here. read more

first_imgRelated posts:‘Park of Life’ honors 190 Holocaust survivors who made a home in Costa Rica Out of view memorial to Lithuanian Jews must not be forgotten Our readers up north are suffering Solís welcomes senior US Foreign Service officer on brief 3-country tour As part of our coverage of the inauguration of the “Parque de la Vida” (“Park of Life”), which honors the 190 Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Costa Rica after World War II, The Tico Times had the opportunity to sit down with Holocaust survivor Magda de Davidovich. This native of Hungary and resident of Montes de Oca, on the east side of San José, is approaching her 95th birthday. She shared her story with us – from the time her family was saved by her sister’s intuition, to their time in the Terezín camp, to their post-war flight out of Hungary and across the Atlantic. Excerpts follow.My story begins when my father arrived in a little city in Hungary when he was a young man. He was studying law and was just about to finish his degree when World War I started; he had to serve in the war from 1914 to 1918. When the war came to an end and he attempted to go back home, the train wasn’t working, so he asked for a Jewish family who could host him. He was told that there was a widow and her daughter. When he got to the widow’s house it was love at first sight, so he stayed and got married.They started working the land together and then planted a vineyard. But [in 1933] the Hitler government began, and in Hungary the Jewish persecution began with the reduction of Jewish people’s rights.When the Second World War began, I had just graduated from high school. Naturally, it had become completely impossible for a Jewish girl to go to university. After that, every minute got worse and worse.When the Nazis got to Hungary, they announced what was to be done with Jews. First they took us out of our homes and settled us in a block where they concentrated all Jewish families; in one house they would put as many as four families together. There we were for some months, until they took us to a bigger city. There was this ghetto where we were housed for several months in a big brick building in terrible conditions.After that they began to form groups of approximately 25 people each, telling them they were going to work in Germany. Because of the awful circumstances we lived in, a lot of people accepted this. My sister, who was five years younger than I, said that her intuition told her it was better not to go, so we didn’t.Because we stayed, we become part of the 15,000 Jews who were bought by American Jews who took us to work to a ranch in Austria. There we stayed for most of the war. Half of the group were young, so we managed to keep the strength and spirit of our parents up.Near the end of 1944, we were taken to the Terezín [ghetto and concentration camp in Czechoslovakia], near Prague, that the Germans had built. There was an orphanage and different places to spend time. One day we noticed that a group of people had disappeared, and in the night we saw the furnaces burning. We knew what was going on. We thought that was going to be the end [for us].On May 9, 1945, the Russian troops came and opened the concentration camps. At that moment we didn’t know what to do or where to go. For many years we had been suffering. We wanted to go back home and be human beings again. The Russians opened the Germans’ grocery stores and gave all the food to the Jews, but because they hadn’t eaten any real food for so many years, many of them died because of it; their bodies weren’t used to good food. Magda de Davidovich, center, and other Holocaust survivors and their families receive an honorary recognition at the Jewish Center’s synagogue on Sept. 1 2015. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesWe went back to Hungary around June 1945, and we thought everything would be finally fine. I got into university, which had had been my intention since long before the war started, to study literature. When I was in my last year there, the Russians had already taken power with the help of some Hungarians. We had to study Marxism and Leninism, so let me tell you that you are sitting in front of an expert in that field.The Communism got worst and we were sick of it, so the Revolution [of 1956] began in Hungary, and living there was awful. By that time borders were closed by what was known as the Iron Curtain, and no one could go in or out. By coincidence, a family member was in the Army, so he offered his help to get us out. We took only one handbag and one change of clothes each. One night we crossed the border to Austria.My husband had had been a prisoner of war in Russia for many years, so he had learned to speak Russian. When we attempt to cross the border some policemen caught us, but my husband was able to talk to them and ask them to let us free. Thanks be to God, they did, and we got to Vienna, where the International Jewish Associations helped us.Once there we thought “Now what are we going to do? Where are we going to go?”I had a sister who had left for Israel with her husband and daughter, so we called them, but they told the situation there was awful. We were really tired of wars and everything so we decided not to go, which I now regret. On the other hand, my husband’s family managed to go to Mexico after the war. My husband’s brother met a Costa Rican-Jewish woman who was in Mexico at the time. They got married and came to live in Costa Rica.They told us that living here in Costa Rica was much better, and that they would welcome us to their homes, and that’s how we got here in February 1957. We embarked from Genoa, Italy, during the winter. We crossed the Atlantic and I was so sick I thought I would die before arriving.I’m so in love with Costa Rica, because the place where I was born and raised wanted me to die, but then I came to a completely strange country, where I was nobody – and despite that, nobody persecuted me and nobody hated me. Instead, they gave me job opportunities, and my sons were able to have opportunities as well. I have three sons. All of them became professionals here in Costa Rica. Here, we are free, and we have the opportunity to live as real people.It’s so sad we didn’t have a crystal ball during the darkest moments, so we could see that despite what those damn Nazis were doing to us, there would so many survivors and we were going to reunite in the synagogue all together in a celebration. Because we didn’t just survive. We multiplied. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Facebook Comments SYDNEY, Australia — Global New Year’s Eve festivities are set to begin under tightened security, with Brussels scrapping celebrations as fears of jihadist threats cast a pall, just weeks after brutal attacks in Paris. Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, traditionally the first to host a major event to ring in the New Year, held its 9:00 p.m. family fireworks, with pyrotechnics exploding over the harbor ahead of the main show at midnight.Crowds thronged to vantage points to see the displays which are expected to draw one million people, ahead of the chimes of midnight moving across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and finally the Americas.Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and other Asian cities may rival Sydney’s pyrotechnic splash, but Brunei offers a sober evening after banning Christmas in a shift to hardline Islamic law.Jakarta remains on high alert after anti-terror police foiled detailed plans for an alleged New Year suicide attack in the Indonesian capital.High security in EuropeAt the heart of Europe, annual festivities and fireworks in Brussels have been cancelled as the Belgian capital — home to NATO and the European Union — remains on high alert.“It’s better not to take any risks,” Mayor Yvan Mayeur said Wednesday after police arrested two people suspected of plotting to launch attacks during the festivities at Brussels landmarks. A total of eight people are now being held in the case.The French capital, still reeling from the Nov. 13 slaughter of 130 people, has also cancelled its fireworks display. But authorities agreed France’s biggest public gathering since the attacks can go ahead on the Champs Elysees avenue, with bolstered security.“The people of Paris and France need this symbolic passage into the New Year,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.“After what our city has lived through, we have to send a signal to the world,” she told the weekly Journal du Dimanche.In Turkey, police have detained two Islamic State suspects allegedly planning to stage attacks in the center of Ankara, which is expected to be packed on New Year’s Eve.Meanwhile, in Moscow police will for the first time close off Red Square, where tens of thousands of revellers traditionally gather.“It’s no secret that Moscow is one of the choice targets for terrorists,” Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said recently.In Britain, Scotland Yard said there will be around 3,000 officers across central London in what is reported to be an unprecedented anti-terror security effort.“Our plans are purely precautionary and not as a result of any specific intelligence,” said Superintendent Jo Edwards, spokeswoman for Scotland Yard.Fireworks were banned in towns and cities across Italy, in some cases because of a recent spike in air pollution but also because of fears that, in the current climate, sudden loud bangs could cause crowds to panic.The number of police on duty in Italy has been increased by 30 percent compared to last year although the Interior Ministry stressed: “There has been no specific alert.”In Madrid, thousands of people will flock to Puerta del Sol square, however police will limit the number allowed in to just 25,000.Berliners will do better with about a million expected at the Brandenburg Gate for a free mega-street party.Party at the pyramidsCairo meanwhile is trying desperately to attract tourists to bolster the economy.The government is staging celebrations in front of the pyramids near the Egyptian capital, with ambassadors, artists and intellectuals all invited.Egypt has been in turmoil since the 2011 uprising but was further hit by the Oct. 31 crash of a Russian airliner over the Sinai killing 224 people.On the nearby Gaza Strip, the Islamist group Hamas has banned public New Year’s Eve parties.Police spokesman Ayman al-Batinji told AFP such celebrations were “incompatible with our customs, traditions, values and the teachings of our religion.”In stark contrast, Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown is hoping to reclaim its mantle as host of the best beach parties in Africa after Ebola scared people away.The city of 1.2 million was deserted 12 months ago during the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded.“This New Year’s Eve I am going to dance and party until the cock crows,” said 35-year-old Franklyn Smith.Celebrations away from the palm-fringed beaches will be muted, however, as people remember almost 4,000 victims of the epidemic.In the Philippines, stray bullets and exploding firecrackers killed one person and injured almost 200 others as the country plunged into its annual chaotic revelry.In New York, despite a pledge of tight security for Times Square, another million people are expected to turn out to see the ball descend. This year’s show includes performances by artists Demi Lovato, Daya and Jessie J.center_img Related posts:France, allies signal major response after Paris attacks leave at least 127 dead France launches new airstrikes on Syria and more anti-terrorism raids in France Costa Rica honors French terror victims in Parque Francia U2’s Bono writes Paris attacks song ahead of French gigslast_img read more

first_imgBurger King is back in Costa Rica just eight months after the former franchisee closed its operations here due to financial woes. The first restaurant of the U.S. fast food chain opened Wednesday in front of Parque de la Paz, south of downtown San José.Salvadoran business group JV de Centroamérica S.A., the new owner of the franchise, has announced plans to open 10 more restaurants in the coming months. The group will operate in Costa Rica under the corporation Alimentos Exclusivos BK Costa Rica. The company confirmed two more restaurants will open in the next two weeks in Guadalupe and Tibás, north of the capital.JV de Centroamérica S.A. also operates Juan Valdez coffee shops here and the Burger King franchise in El Salvador.In a news release, the company said it had hired 85 employees and expected to end the year with some 100 employees. Some 70 percent of those employees had previously worked at BK restaurants, the company reported.Burger King Costa Rica: Chapter 1This is the second attempt to successfully establish the Burger King franchise in Costa Rica. Burger King Corporation U.S. (BKC) closed its 29 restaurants in Costa Rica last Oct. 5 and dismissed all 434 employees. Former franchisee BK Costa Rica attributed the decision to “a disagreement on how to run the business with BKC US, which also is a shareholder of local operations.”The parent company said in a press release at the time that BK Costa Rica was operating the brand illegally since its contract had expired in September 2014. The corporation also said it looked forward to returning to Costa Rica soon.Besides failing to pay franchise rights, the first BK Costa Rica’s closure followed problems with liquidity and accumulated debt, including more than ₡300 million (some $550,000) owed in taxes and social security payments.The Foreign Trade Ministry tried unsuccessfully at the time to mediate between the parent company and BK Costa Rica to prevent the closure. After the franchise’s exit, other fast food companies, including McDonald’s and KFC, bought several of the Burger King locations.BK Costa Rica wasn’t the only fast food franchise to close shop last year: In January, Wendy’s closed its local operations and dismissed 110 employees. In a news release posted at the time on its Facebook page, the company blamed the excess of fast food restaurants in the country, which spiked dramatically in the last five years.“Currently, Costa Rica is the third country in the world with more restaurants per square kilometer,” the company said at the time. Wendy’s had been in Costa Rica for eight years.Sector recoveryThe return of Burger King indicates a recovery of the fast food market following a spate of closures. Besides Wendy’s, Domino’s Pizza and Bagelmen’s also exited Costa Rica in recent years. According to daily La Nación, KFC plans to open three to five restaurants a year over the next five years.McDonald’s opened two new locations this year, in Heredia and Cartago provinces, bringing its presence in the country to more than 100 locations.QSR International group, which operates 28 fast food restaurants here, announced plans to open three new locations of Quiznos and one of Teriyaki Experience in the next two months. The company also manages the local franchise of SmashBurger.According to data from the National Franchise Center (CENAF), part of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce, there were 217 international franchises here at the end of 2015, representing 78 percent of all franchises in the country. A quarter of those foreign franchises are in the food sector.There are 61 Tico franchises in Costa Rica, almost 60 percent of them in the food sector. Facebook Comments Related posts:IHOP looking for investors to open in Costa Rica Private sector confidence remains lukewarm Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to open in Costa Rica Hard Rock to open its first hotel in Costa Ricalast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Central America arrests break up major human trafficking ring, police say On patrol with the Costa Rican Border Police President Solís: ‘If you want to get through a border, you’ll be able to sooner or later’ Carta a nuestros lectores Costa Rica’s Immigration Police arrested a primary suspect in a human trafficking operation to take Ticos to the U.S., theImmigration Administration reported in a news release.Officers arrested the man, whose last names are Barboza Fallas, on Wednesday morning during a raid in the southern San José canton of Pérez Zeledón.The police investigation found that Barboza led migrants through three different land routes, or by a combination of air, sea and land trips. He charged up to $10,000 per person; some of the migrants were even forced to mortgage properties or cars to cover the fee.During Wednesday’s raid, police officers also seized five Costa Rican passports, property plans and receipts with descriptions suggesting the sale of properties or cars. Immigration officials reported that Barboza is also linked to the smuggling of other Ticos using traditional routes through Central America and Mexico.InvestigationThe Immigration Police began the investigation following the April 2015 disappearance of three Ticos from Pérez Zeledón, in Caribbean waters. Relatives said at the time that the three missing Ticos had paid Barboza to take them to Miami via Panama and Barbados.Rafael Arturo Garbanzo Cascante, his wife Edith Alfaro Porras, and a friend of the couple, Eliécer Ruiz Ureña, were reported missing by the International Police on international waters between the Bahamas and Miami on April 11, 2015. Luis Sánchez, another Costa Rican who was also on the boat that day, was rescued by a vessel a few hours later and sent back to Costa Rica.He said the boat started leaking and all passengers opted to jump into the water, using plastic containers and other objects as floatation devices. He said he could see the other Tico passengers in the water for a while but soon lost sight of them.During the raid on Wednesday, officers found an invoice dated March 11, 2015 stating: “I received $5,000 from Arturo Garbanzo for travel tickets.”The Prosecutors’ Office said in a news release that Barboza will now face charges for human trafficking. If convicted, he could  serve a prison sentence between six and ten years. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’ Costa Rica’s elections 2018: a primer January’s here and the gloves are off: Costa Rica’s true campaign begins Legislative committee requests ethics sanctions against Costa Rican president Thesummary we published three weeks ago about the Chinese cement affair is now in the past, because every day since then has been packed with new developments, most of them public.This is like a telenovela with daily episodes – although those of us who have been following it closely would probably give it the same name as the popular U.S. sitcom, “Friends.” If your eyes are on the news, you know what I mean.With every day that passes, the word “trust” becomes more and more compromised in our institutional and political system. Costa Rica is truly testing the resistance of its society’s load-bearing pillars.Let’s take a look at the most important revelations of the last three weeks:–President Luis Guillermo Solís was seriously compromised because of his alleged special interest in the importation of Chinese cement, according to the communications that a former Customs director presented to the legislators investigating the case. The “big chief” wanted results, according to the messages sent by the Vice Minister of Finance, who later tried to explain that the comment was a mistake brought about by the legislator Víctor Morales Zapata. Zapata is a friend of the president’s and has been a major figure in the Chinese cement situation.–The President called for the resignation of all the members of the Board of Directors of the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), which lent $35 million to the businessman who imported Chinese cem  ent under suspicious circumstances. Only two resigned. Of the five remaining directors, four created a bloc that seeks to oversee internal investigations of bank manager Mario Barrenechea, an old friend of Mariano Figueres, head of the Intelligence and Security Division (DIS) and President Solís’ right-hand man. The president suspended those directors and named replacements; whether that move was legally sound remains to be seen. The investigation into the cement case reached Casa Presidencial on Sept. 4, when President Luis Guillermo Solís responded to questions from legislators. Via Casa Presidencial–Manager Barrenechea, suspended with pay ($25,000 a month) until the end of October, testified before the legislators investing the case. Of course, he denied any irregularities in $35 million in credit for cement importer Juan Carlos Bolaños. He said he attended a meeting at Casa Presidencial before being named as manager, but that Casa Presidencial did not influence his appointment.–The pilot of the helicopter Bolaños often uses told the legislative committee that, on Bolaños’ instructions,  he has transported Paola Mora – a BCR director, former BCR president, and a friend of Barrenechea’s and Mariano Figueres’ – as well as legislators Otto Guevara, Rolando González and Johnny Leiva, all from different parties. The “cementazo” appears to demonstrate that in Costa Rica, agreements can indeed be forged beyond party lines. Guevara and Leiva said they made their trips because they are friends of Bolaños. (See? Cue the “Friends” theme song.)–A few blocks south at the Judicial Branch, the Public Ministry reopened its investigations related to Chinese cement, but days later we found out – once more, through the media – that the decisions not to pursue cases in February were based on requests from the Prosecutor’s Office that withheld proof: more than 1,000 communications between Bolaños and the legislators Otto Guevara, now a Libertarian presidential candidate, and Victor Morales Zapata, who resigned from the Citizen Action Party because of this case, as well as legislative advisor Wálter Céspedes of the Social Christian Unity Party, or PUSC. As a result of all this, the Chief Prosecutor was suspended for three months. A well-regarded investigator is taking his place, but the Judicial Branch has entered into a full-fledged crisis, and Judge Celso Gamboa remains under suspicion. Citizen Action Party (PAC) legislator Ottón Solís has been a leading figure in the legislative investigation of the case. Roberto Carlos Sánchez / Casa Presidencial–Also thanks to leaks to the press, we now know that the BCR suspended Juan Carlos Bolaños’ credit line, which provided $39 million to the business, even though only $10 million worth of cement entered the country; Bolaños took six months to return $12 million, and it appears that no one in the bank held him accountable. The last boat carrying Chinese cement could not unload and left the Port of Caldera after waiting there for a month. It seems that the Chinese cement import business is KO’d, but it certainly sparked a fire that is now consuming Costa Rican institutions and politics.No one in his or her right mind would stop watching this series. No one knows how it will end, or even how it really began. Still open is the question of what and who were really behind this attempt to import Chinese cement.The problem is that some of the effects of all this are already clear. Polls tell us that corruption is once more a national problem, and it’s certain that this will have some unhappy influences on the electoral campaign that will begin on Oct. 4. Trust – a key value for a bank, for a judicial brank and for politician – has been damaged, without any doubt. Our institutional system, which has provided Costa Rica significant development advantage over other countries, is creating more and more doubts among Costa Ricans. While this case doesn’t represent that origin of that problem, it has clearly caused citizen distrust to balloon and expand.The problem is that because of our history, in Costa Rica, we don’t know how to live in a state of distrust. And the lessons of other countries that have gone down this road are not an experience any of us want to repeat.Read Alvaro Murillo’s “No Sugar, Please” columns here.Álvaro Murillo is an experienced journalist who specializes in political coverage and has written for La Nación, Semanario Universidad and El País. In his Tico Times column “No Sugar, Please,” he explores politics in its broadest terms, from the halls of government to community life. Connect with him on Twitter. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Where to drink craft beer in Costa Rica Limón sees 60 percent jump in cruise ships Hurricane Matthew: Airlines cancel flights between Costa Rica-Florida Low-cost airlines increase presence in Costa Rica The Costa Rican Hotels and Restaurants Expo,EXPHORE 2019, will showcase exciting products and services for the hospitality and gastronomy sectors at Pedregal Events Center, in San Antonio de Belén, Heredia, north of San José from June 11 to 13.Organizers say the event’s 150 stands will feature national and international businesses that cater to the needs of hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, catering services and bakeries, among others.“EXPHORE is a consolidated space for those who work in the food, beverage and hospitality sectors at all levels,” said Karl Hempel, an event spokesperson. “That’s why the business that is carried out during these three days are key in the annual strategy of all these small, medium and large companies.”An EXPOHORE press release says this year’s highlights will be a focus on technology integration, waste reduction, and preparation for Costa Rica’s new tax-reform laws.Entry is free if you pre-register on the EXPOHORE website. Those who don’t will need to pay 3,000 colones (about $5) at the gate. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgBekaa has been a traditional center for marijuana resin for hashish and poppies for opium. Drug cultivation was eradicated under a U.N. program in the early 1990s but has returned as a lucrative alternative to the valley’s orchards and olive groves.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Lebanon’s state news agency says protesters have set up roadblocks of stones and burning tires in attempts to block security forces on missions to destroy marijuana fields in the Bekaa Valley.The confrontation is part of rising tensions between the government and farmers seeking compensation for the loss of illegal marijuana crops.The report by the National News Agency says the Saturday protest was joined by mayors from villages in the Yammouneh area outside Baalbek, about 50 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Beirut. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments   Share   Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Parents, stop beating yourself up The chain _ known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China _ is controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan, and has been a key part of simmering regional tensions over rival territorial claims. Japan’s government reportedly is planning to buy several of the islands from their private Japanese owners.Analysts say Ma chose the Taiwanese islet to make his well-measured gesture to raise international attention without further aggravating tensions.Disputes have flared over island chains in the East China and South China seas, rich fishing grounds with potentially lucrative oil and gas reserves.But diplomatically isolated Taiwan _ which China claims a part of its own territory 63 years after the two sides split amid civil war _ has been largely left out of the spotlight.Ma called on the East China Sea chain’s three claimants _ Taiwan, China and Japan _ to put aside their disputes and hold dialogues to jointly develop the rich resources there. He suggested bilateral or trilateral talks “to resolve the issue in a peaceful way.”Ma also asked commanders at two Taiwan-controlled islets in South China Sea’s Pratas and Spratly island chains to strengthen guards. Those chains are claimed by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. Associated PressPENGCHIA, Taiwan (AP) – Taiwan’s president used a high-profile visit to a Taiwanese islet on Friday to warn Japan against making any attempts to nationalize islands that are part of a disputed chain in the East China Sea.Escorted by warplanes and naval vessels, President Ma Ying-jeou flew by military helicopter to Taiwan’s Pengchia Islet, which lies off northern Taiwan, only about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of the disputed chain. Sponsored Stories “Ma has tried to avoid provoking tension, but as Taiwan’s leader, he must make a gesture even though the impact may be limited,” said Lo Chih-cheng, a political scientist at Taipei’s Soochow University.While Taiwanese media were generally skeptical about the visit’s impact, some say Ma’s trip may manage to rebut Beijing’s appeal for a united front with Taiwan over the disputes. Many Taiwanese fear Beijing may be using its warming economic ties with Taiwan in recent years to further its goal of unifying with the self-ruled democratic island.“The mainland is trying to create the false scenario of cross-Strait cooperation in the East and South China” seas, Taiwan’s China Times said in an editorial.In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reacted to Ma’s visit by reiterating China’s longstanding stance on the dispute.“The Diaoyu islands have belonged to China since ancient times,” he said. “People from both sides of the strait both have responsibility in safeguarding Chinese territories.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

first_img Top holiday drink recipes He said Australia would increase its annual “humanitarian intake” of refugees to 20,000 per year _ up from around 14,000 _ which he said was exceeded only by the United States.Human rights groups, however, have criticized the policy as discriminatory. It was announced last month and is reminiscent to one adopted by the previous conservative government. Human Rights Watch warned that asylum seekers arriving by boat could spend years in remote camps as their cases are processed. Those arriving by plane will still be screened in Australia.Thousands of asylum-seekers from countries including Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka have attempted dangerous sea voyages from Indonesia to Australia and hundreds have died in the sea crossing over the past year. In late August, nearly 100 vanished in choppy seas off Indonesia after their overcrowded boat sank.Australia says the new policy will discourage new arrivals. “We believe this will send a powerful message,” Carr told a lunch of business people in New York.Carr was speaking in place of Prime Minister Julia Gillard who pulled out of the event because of an unspecified health problem. They are both in town for the annual gathering of world leaders for the U.N. General Assembly. Australia is lobbying for one of the rotating 10 non-permanent seats in the Security Council for 2013-2014.In his address, Carr gave an upbeat message about the Australian economy that escaped the worst of the global downturn, due in no small part to its natural resource exports to China.Carr played down the impact China’s current economic slowdown would have on its demand for Australian coal and iron. He noted growing demand for Australian natural gas from nations including Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.But he said in the years ahead, Asian economies would be looking less for raw materials than for goods and services to meet the demands of the continent’s fast-growing middle class.“We’ll need Asia-literate policies and Asia-capable people,” Carr said, adding that Australia must be ready to make and sell “the things that Chinese and Indian and Indonesian and Thai consumers are buying in 2033.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) – Australia’s top diplomat on Monday defended a new, tougher policy on asylum seekers who emigrate to Australia from Asia’s poor countries and conflict zones, even as he laid out how his country could capitalize on the growth of the continent’s middle class.Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the plans to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea and the remote Pacific island of Nauru for screening was designed to deter human smuggling and would be more humane for the would-be refugees. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Comments   Share   5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more