Author: admin

Biggest US Thanksgiving rush in 9 years with almost 50 million travellers

first_img By: David Koenig Source: The Associated Press Biggest U.S. Thanksgiving rush in 9 years with almost 50 million travellers predicted Share DALLAS — The slowly improving economy could boost travel over the Thanksgiving holiday to levels not seen in nine years.AAA forecasts that 48.7 million Americans will travel, the busiest Thanksgiving period on U.S. roads and skies since 2007, the year before the global financial crisis plunged the U.S. economy into a deep recession.The auto club AAA said Tuesday that it expects 1 million more Americans to venture at least 50 miles from home, a 1.9 per cent increase over last year.The forecast was assembled at research firm IHS, which said it considered jobs, household net worth, the stock market, prices for gasoline and airline tickets, and other factors.The researchers did their number crunching in mid-October, about three weeks before the surprising outcome in the presidential election.center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, November 15, 2016 last_img read more

G Adventures spreads holiday cheer with 12 Days of G deals

first_imgTags: Adventure Travel, G Adventures, Promotions Posted by G Adventures spreads holiday cheer with ’12 Days of G’ deals Share TORONTO — G Adventures’ ’12 Days of G’ is back for the fifth consecutive year, offering travellers 15% off on 80 trips, for travel before July 31, 2017.All trips will remain on sale until midnight EST on Dec. 30, 2016. The sale applies to itineraries in destinations where there are ‘G for Good projects’, including:Peru Panorama: This 15-day trip, priced from $3,144 per person, sails the waters of Lake Titicaca and includes a trek along the Inca TrailGalapagos Land & Sea – North & Central Aboard Estrella Del Mar: This seven-day Quito-return trip includes a cruise and snorkelling in the Galapagos archipelago, and is priced from $2,437 per personTanzania Camping Adventure: Priced from $1,997 per person, this seven-day trip Arusha return is led by a certified safari guide and journeys to the Serengeti in search of wildlifeBest of Java: This nine-day trip from Jakarta to Sanur is priced from $1,249 per person and travels from Jakarta to the European-like city of Bandung and Yogyakarta, home to the island’s monstrous volcanoesMore news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesThis year, G Adventures has added incentives to inspire end-of-year giving with a ’12 Days of Good’ campaign for local communities around the world. Between Dec. 13-31, the company will match and then double all charitable contributions made to its 50-in-5 campaign, with the goal of launching 50 new social enterprises in underserved communities by 2020.“These funds will directly support women, at-risk youth and indigenous communities in the places our travellers visit. You can give as little as $5, and G Adventures will give $10, or if you have $100 to contribute, we’ll give another $200. We’ll effectively triple your gift and impact,” says Aizaz Sheikh, Canadian Marketing Manager, G Adventures. “However our travellers, agents and partners choose to contribute this holiday season, whether through sustainable travel bookings with G Adventures or generous donations to our non-profit Planeterra, together, we can do a world of good for people and nature in the places we visit.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsFor more information go to gadventures.com/travel-deals/12-days-of-g/.center_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, December 13, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Seven hotels in Saudi Arabia for Warwick Hotels Resorts

first_img Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Seven hotels in Saudi Arabia for Warwick Hotels & Resorts Tags: Saudi Arabia, Warwick Hotels & Resorts << Previous PostNext Post >> LONDON — Warwick Hotels and Resorts is continuing its expansion into the Middle East with plans to open seven hotels in Saudi Arabia.Warwick says the seven properties are scheduled for Q1 and Q2 2018 and are in key cities: Al Hamra Palace by Warwick, Dabab Hotel by Warwick, Makeen Homes by Warwick, Warwick Riyadh; four luxury hotels situated in the capital, Salsabil by Warwick and Salsabil Residence by Warwick in Jeddah and Warwick Al Khobar on Corniche Road.WHR has been in operation for more than three decades and in the Middle East since 2012. The current portfolio in this region spans six countries, including the UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represents a promising future hence it was one of our targeted destinations in the region as well as UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco and Oman where we are strategically developing our portfolio,” says Jamal Serhan, Senior Vice President WHR and CEO MENA (Middle East & North Africa).More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsWHR has 14 hotels in the MENA region complementing its business and leisure offer in other parts of the globe. Warwick Hotels and Resorts was launched in 1980 with the purchase of Warwick New York, a hotel originally built by William Randolph Hearst for his Hollywood friends. The WHR Group now includes more than 55 hotels and resorts in the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Bali, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

Egypt forecasts tourism growth driven largely by North Americans

first_img Posted by Share DUBAI — Egypt’s tourism industry is back on track, with total arrivals in the past 12 months up 33.3% from 2016 to 2017.The data, published by Colliers International, was released ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2018, set to take place this year in Dubai from April 22-25. It is the leading global event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry for the last 25 years.Egypt, in particular, will be of major interest at this year’s show, with reports of projected growth across the board. Between 2018 and 2021, arrivals from North America will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% to 318,844. Driving this growth will be the cheaper Egyptian pound as well as government incentives for charter airlines carrying passengers on international flights.Over the same period, visitor arrivals from Africa are also expected to grow, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.8%, to more than 300,901. Arrivals from the Middle East are expected to increase by 3% at compound annual growth rates, to over 1.34 million.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyIn contrast, European visitors, who’ve traditionally been the key source market for Egypt, are projected to have a 1.6% compound annual growth rate. In 2017, there were 5.2 million European arrivals.The expected resurgence in visitors from North America, Africa and the Middle East will see both leisure and corporate travel in Egypt increase over the next four years. In anticipation, Egypt signed a three-year, US$66 million contract with advertising J. Walter Thompson to create promotional campaigns for 27 source markets. Moreover, major hotel companies have confirmed development projects, including Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria, Starwood’s St Regis and Swiss brand Mövenpick.Egypt’s tourism numbers took a major dive following the 2011 revolution, when tourist arrivals fell from 14.7 million in 2010 to 9.8 million the following year. The country took another hit in 2015 following the downing of a Russian plane in Sinai. Egypt forecasts tourism growth, driven largely by North Americans Travelweek Group center_img Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Tags: Egypt, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Sign up for Royal Scenics Thaimazing fam tour

first_img Share Wednesday, August 8, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group Sign up for Royal Scenic’s ‘Thai-mazing’ fam tourcenter_img TORONTO — Royal Scenic has announced a new fam to Thailand designed to encourage agents to become a Certified Asia Specialist.Launched in partnership with Hong Kong Airlines, American Airlines and Tourism Authority of Thailand Canada (TAT-Canada), the ‘Thai-mazing Escape Thailand Certified Asia Specialist (CAS) FAM Tour’ takes place from Sept. 19-28, 2018 and will depart from Toronto and Vancouver. Departures from other Canadian gateways are available for optional discount fares.Prices start at $699, including land and domestic flights. The deadline to register is Aug. 28.Fam highlights include a visit to an ethical elephant camp in Chiang Mai, a ‘klong’ tour in Bangkok, cycling through Old Bangkok, a visit to Krabi, and a spa experience at a local hot spring retreat.As a CAS graduate, agents enjoy perks such as a reduced rate of $200 for any existing and future fam trips, as well as higher commissions when booking any tour packages with Royal Scenic.To apply for the CAS fam, click here.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upTo register for the Royal Scenic CAS Program, click here. Tags: FAMs, Royal Scenic << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Airlines left completely in the dark about Brexit contingency plans says IATA

first_img Share Thursday, October 25, 2018 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> GENEVA — IATA is calling for urgent action by the UK and the European Union to put in place contingency planning for the continuation of air services in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.IATA also wants the UK and EU to move much faster to bring certainty to what it says are three critical air transport issues: The uninterrupted continuation of air connectivityThe framework for regulating safety and security, andThe policies and processes needed for efficient border management“These are the most critical areas because there are no fallback agreements such as the WTO framework available in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario. Without any contingency planning being made transparent to the industry, the risks of not addressing these issues could mean chaos for travellers and interrupted supply chains. With less than six months to go, we have little more certainty than we did in June 2016,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.The call for urgent attention to air transport issues in Brexit follows the release of an IATA-commissioned Study of the effects of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on airlines flying to and from the UK.Even in the best-case scenario, where a Brexit transition phase is agreed for the period after March 2019, a high degree of uncertainty and risk to air services remains, says de Juniac. A no-deal or ‘hard’ Brexit outcome, without an agreement for a transition period, is likely to lead to significant disruption to air services. Moreover, he adds, the lack of transparency concerning any contingency planning for this scenario has left airlines completely in the dark as to what measures to take.“The EU and UK have a responsibility to millions of their citizens who depend on reliable air transportation. The goal should be a comprehensive air services agreement that does not step backwards from the connectivity existing today. But with the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit still on the table this late in the game, it is now essential that the EU and UK civil aviation authorities plan for contingency arrangements to maintain a minimum level of connectivity, which is vital for people and for business. This has to be one of the most important Brexit considerations. A backstop contingency plan to keep planes flying after March must be published, and quickly,” said de Juniac.A no-deal Brexit also increases the likelihood of EU travellers being added to already over-long queues at UK passport control. An alternative scenario would be to create a ‘third lane’ which could process EU passengers more quickly, he says. But in either scenario, investment is needed to recruit and train more staff.The situation regarding goods is even more complex, with almost no clarity on customs arrangements. “Interference with the movement of people and goods will have a major and immediate knock-on impact to economic activity in both the UK and the EU. Solutions to minimize disruption are of paramount importance. We must have clarity on future border and customs arrangements now, if we are to plan for an orderly post-Brexit situation,” said de Juniac.center_img Tags: Brexit, IATA Travelweek Group Airlines left “completely in the dark” about Brexit contingency plans, says IATAlast_img read more

Sunwing offers its Lowest Prices of the Year with vacations from 995

first_imgTags: Mexico, Promotions, Sunwing << Previous PostNext Post >> Sunwing offers its Lowest Prices of the Year with vacations from $995 Travelweek Group Monday, April 8, 2019 center_img TORONTO — Sunwing’s Lowest Prices of the Year promotion runs until April 12 with lead-in rates from $995 for all-inclusive packages to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.Among the featured resorts, Viva Wyndham Maya in Riviera Maya features colonial-style accommodations with options for connecting rooms that are ideal for larger families travelling together.Viva Wyndham Maya is also located near lively Playa del Carmen where guests can soak in the local culture.Another family-friendly resort is Caribe Club Princess Resort and Spa in Punta Cana. Nestled on the white-sand shores of the world-famous Bavaro Beach, the resort provides free water and land sports as well as programs for kids and teens.Another option, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean in Jamaica’s Runaway Bay, offers cottage-style accommodations with views of the garden, courtyard or ocean. Posted by Sharelast_img read more

Court rules Costa Ricas fiscal reform bill unconstitutional

first_imgLate Tuesday afternoon, the Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court (Sala IV) unanimously declared a proposed tax reform bill unconstitutional. The bill, promoted by President Laura Chinchilla’s administration, had passed a first round of legislative debates before the Sala IV took up the case following an injunction filed by a legislator.Problems cited by the judges included: procedures that were not properly followed when extending debate deadlines; and 53 motions that were not published in the official government newspaper La Gaceta. Those motions caused substantial changes to the bill.The month of April has been fraught with issues for Chinchilla’s government after her finance minister – who played a key role in drafting the proposed legislation – resigned. Now the government must regroup, as the reform bill returns to a legislative commission, where the process for its approval begins anew. A new or modified bill must be reviewed by an advisory committee before lawmakers can bring it to a first round of voting. The primary goal of the fiscal reform package was to make tax collection 1.5 percent of gross domestic product. The most significant change proposed to accomplish that is an increase from a 13 percent sales tax to a 14 percent value-added tax.Economic disaster could befall Costa Rica if reforms do not take place, say experts. Government debt is nearing 6 percent of GDP, and the gap is expected to widen, possibly to 10 percent if reforms are not passed by 2014, according to Central Bank officials. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Obama fires head of US tax agency over scandal

first_imgNo related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. – An angry U.S. President Barack Obama sacked the acting head of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday over a fast-moving scandal sparked when officials unfairly targeted conservative groups.Obama said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had asked for and received the resignation of tax agency chief Steven Miller and promised a new system of checks and safeguards to make sure the episode was not repeated.“Given the controversy surrounding this audit, it’s important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward,” Obama said.The president, who has dismissed Republican attempts to link him to the scandal at the independent IRS agency, also pledged to work directly with Congress as it carries out its oversight duties in the matter.Obama said that evidence of abuses in the tax agency, revealed by a report by a government watchdog released on Tuesday, were “inexcusable.”“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. Obama said at the White House, after meeting top Treasury Department officials.“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS,” he said.Scandal erupted when it emerged that officials studying tax exempt status applications singled out groups with names including phrases like “Tea Party” or “Patriots,” which could thus be expected to be fiercely opposed to Obama.Republican congressman Darrell Issa told CNN that Obama had taken a “good first step” and promised a robust congressional probe into the scandal.“The president will find very willing partners on Capitol Hill,” he said. “I think in this case, we very much take him at his word that he wants to be open and transparent, in fixing the system and putting new controls in place.”But top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell signaled that the controversy was far from over as his party tries to use it to slow Obama’s political momentum at the beginning of his second term.“These allegations are serious, that there was an effort to bring the power of the federal government to bear on those the administration disagreed with, in the middle of a heated national election,” McConnell said. “We are determined to get answers, and to ensure that this type of intimidation never happens again at the IRS or any other agency.”Earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder meanwhile promised a nationwide probe into the claims as he endured a grilling from angry Republican lawmakers on the IRS flap at a hearing in the House of Representatives.“The facts will take us wherever they take us,” Holder said, promising the probe would spread nationwide, beyond the Ohio city of Cincinnati, where the violations are alleged to have taken place.Holder said that he did not know whether the alleged misbehavior at the IRS was a low-level affair or if more senior officials were implicated.He argued that some examination of the tax-exempt status of independent groups was probably necessary – but should not “depend on the political persuasion of the group.”Republicans meanwhile sought to spin the IRS scandal, and other recent controversies currently hampering the administration, into a wider narrative, suggesting systematic abuse of power within the administration.“My question isn’t about who is going to resign. My question is: ‘Who’s going to jail over this scandal?’” House Speaker John Boehner said. “Clearly someone violated the law.”Republican Senator Marco Rubio said the IRS drama was symptomatic of a White House obsessed with political campaigning.“This is a culture of intimidation, a willingness to play hardball politics against your political opponents,” said Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate.“Few times in the history of this country has anyone used this office to drive more wedges among the American people than this president and this administration,” he added.Congressman Charles Boustany, who has looked into allegations of IRS abuse for two years, said that “after months of misleading testimony and evasive answers … they’ve now been caught red-handed.”“I can tell you right now this culture of rot and abuse at the IRS is going to be rooted out,” he said.The watchdog report by a Treasury Department inspector general published on Tuesday found that some Internal Revenue Service staff singled out grassroots groups opposed to Obama.The White House says no one in Obama’s governing or political team had anything to do with targeting the groups over their tax-free status, and Obama has said he only learned about it from news reports last week. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

New Fantasies boils with feminist rage

first_imgNo related posts. The angriest piece of all is Joaquín Rodríguez del Paso’s painting, “The Pure Life.” The portrait depicts two Gringos in Hawaiian T-shirts huddling with a pair of (much) younger Ticas. They sit near a tropical beach, at a table cluttered with empty bottles and glasses. One guy makes a peace sign with his fingers.But wait: The landscape behind them is an illusion. The “beach” is actually a painting-within-a-painting, held behind the quartet by two dark-skinned men in white shirts and bowties (the uniform of colonial servitude). Everything about this scene is fake – the jungle, the waves, and the relationships between the men and their mistresses. They pose, as if for a photographer, but even the medium is actually paint. “Pura Vida,” suggests del Paso, is an imperialist fiction, exploitation masked as paradise. By spreading those two fingers, even peace is mocked.TEOR/éTica is a new gallery, and one full of chutzpah. Someone recently painted the building with portraits of monstrous demi-humans; no matter how quickly you take the curve, you can’t miss the murals of animal-headed women who cover the building. In a country that overflows with assembly line “art,” TEOR/éTica is refreshingly scrappy: If you know anything about Barrio Amón, “New Fantasies” may seem particularly daring in a neighborhood infamous for its prostitution, and for the foreign johns who visit them. The film is black-and-white and projected on a plain wall. In it, a Cuban singer croons a mournful song in a smoky Havana nightclub. Grotesque U.S. businessmen sit and drink, and they casually select prostitutes from the bar. The women look frightened, but the men only laugh at their inability to speak English. The singer sinks to the floor, hands over his face, as the song winds down. More women enter, wearing fake “native” outfits – bikinis and wooden masks. Bongos play. Men ogle. Cubanas suffer.The scene is from “Soy Cuba,” a Soviet film made in 1964, shortly after the Cuban Revolution. “Soy Cuba” is a fascinating film in its entirety, but this segment is particularly provocative, and its themes of sexual abuse smolder at the heart of “New Fantasies,” a group exhibit now showing at TEOR/éTica, a plucky little gallery in Barrio Amón.Be prepared: “New Fantasies” is a small showcase, but it practically froths with rage. Its fury is well earned, of course. The theme of “New Fantasies” is masculine conquest of femininity, particularly by foreign invaders in Latin America. This history offers no shortage of horror, and it goes all the way back: In two antique engravings, “America” is depicted as a fertile woman awaiting a colonizer’s arrival. The theme is bleak and disturbing, and “New Fantasies” offers no solutions, not even hope.center_img Given the vitality of its themes, “New Fantasies” would benefit from expansion. The exhibit also includes some multimedia installations, but it feels like a great idea that didn’t have the room to grow. Still, for people serious about contemporary art, TEOR/éTica demands a visit, and “Fantasies” is a worthy excuse. And if, sometime after dusk, you leave the gallery and trudge back up the hill, you may find the kind of woman who inspired it. She’ll be standing on the street corner. You may make eye contact. Because she’s real, and this is really happening. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

How much money did members of Solís Cabinet donate to the PAC

first_imgRelated posts:President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís names first half of his Cabinet President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís adds more names to his Cabinet 9 things we can expect from Costa Rica’s new president, Luís Guillermo Solís Cabinet appointment of Lutheran bishop is unconstitutional, says Government Attorney’s Office On Monday, President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís named 20 of hisincoming head ministers, 11 of whom had contributed to his party’s election campaign. But none of them donated very much money.According to campaign contributions from the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE), the 11 ministers gave a nominal amount of $8,795 to the Citizen Action Party (PAC) between January 2011 and January 2014. Their total represented only a fraction of the approximately $224,000 raised during this period. Data are not yet available for fundraising figures after January.All those contributions combined were dwarfed by the president-elect himself. Solís contributed more than $10,000 to his party’s campaign.The top contributor was the incoming head of the Central Bank, Olivier Castro Pérez, who gave $2,350. Castro has a long history of working with the Costa Rican banking sector, according to a PAC biography, with prior stints at the Central Bank and Banco Nacional. His amount was the 20th highest by any contributor to PAC during this election cycle.Following Castro was the incoming Planning Minister Olga Sánchez, with $1,900. PAC’s biography said Sánchez had previously worked in consulting for the Planning Ministry as well as an administrator at Costa Rica’s National University.The last contributor to give more than $1,000 was incoming Culture Minister Elizabeth Fonseca, with $1,540. Fonseca was previously a Legislative Assembly lawmaker with PAC and a researcher at the University of Costa Rica, according to PAC.Those who gave less than $1,000 were:Incoming Finance Minister Helio Fallas at $800Incoming Labor Minister Víctor Morales at $780Incoming head of the Mixed Institute for Social Aid Carlos Alvarado at $356Incoming head of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute Carlos Obregón at $300Incoming head of the National Insurance Institute Sergio Iván at $300Incoming Education Minister Sonia Mora at $175Incoming Economy Minister Welmer Ramos at $170Incoming Environment and Energy Minister Edgar Gutiérrez at $120.In Costa Rican elections, campaign contributions go directly to the party, meaning the party can decide to allocate funds to the president’s campaign or to a legislator’s campaign. Private contributions are only a small portion of the overall campaign spending, as the country’s constitution calls for public funding of campaigns.To illustrate, in the 2010 campaign, PAC received $14.8 million from the state, but only raised $964,000 privately – meaning 6 percent came from private donations. Full public contribution data from the TSE is not yet available for the 2014 elections.Melvin Jiménez, PAC’s campaign manager and Solís’ incoming chief of staff, said campaign contributions always can help a donor curry favor with a party. However, while private donations are only a small percentage of all campaign dollars, they are an important source of maintaining the party prior to the election, Jiménez said.As public money only is distributed after the election date – and is based on vote share – parties rely on private donations to run their operations in the non-election season months.“It’s possible to have 100 people who can help sustain the party during a year,” Jiménez said in an interview. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

European Film Festival hits Cine Magaly

first_imgRelated posts:Dinosaurs, The Elephants, and other happenings around Costa Rica Art City Tour offers free admission to city’s museums Cowboys, coffee, and other happenings around Costa Rica BMX bikers, TEDx lectors, and other happenings around Costa Rica Facebook Comments Nothing says “cosmopolitan” like an international film festival, and thanks to Cine Magaly in Barrio Escalante, San José will host two weeks of European films in this charming downtown cinema. The Festival de Cine Europeo is a feast of continental movie making, with entries from such diverse countries as Hungary, Italy, and Belgium. There are comedies, dramas, and historical epics, and if you have a high tolerance for existential torture, you can even check out the latest Lars Von Trier film, “Nymphomaniac Vol. 1.”The festival is screening too many films to catalog here, but we thought we’d offer some tempting snippets and summaries to whet your palette. If you like what you see, feel free to leave comments and recommendations below. Check out the full schedule on Cine Magaly’s Facebook page. Admission to each film is ₡2,000 ($4) or ₡1,500 ($3) for students. Film festival plays from July 16-31.“Who Was Dayani Cristal?”Perhaps the most topical entry is this inventive British documentary from superstar Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. When the cadaver of an undocumented immigrant is discovered in the desert, Bernal attempts to follow the man’s footsteps across the U.S. border. His only clues: the dead man’s mysterious tattoos. (July 23, 4 p.m.; July 27, 5 p.m. July 28, 6:30 p.m. In English and Spanish, with Spanish subtitles). “Augustine”According to scientists, Augustine is a “hysteric.“ But what is really going on behind the doors of the psychiatric hospital? Alice Winocour’s creepy drama reimagines an actual psychiatric case – in the days before actual psychiatry. (July 20, 5 p.m.; July 21, 6:30 p.m.; July 26, 6 p.m.; In French with Spanish subtitles). “A Gun in Each Hand”With a title like “Una Pistola en Cada Mano,” you might expect some bleak action movie, but Cesc Gay’s comic vignettes are like a Gatling gun of one-liners. Watch these middle-aged Spaniards get emasculated in each 15-minute mini-film. (July 17, 6:30 p.m.; July 19, 6 p.m.; July 27, 7 p.m. In Spanish). “The Marathon”Like a Dutch version of “The Full Monty,” Diederick Koopal’s  “De Marathon” is a comedy about working class duds finding new purpose. But can a bunch of smoking, drinking, junk food-eating guys really run 26.2 miles and save their floundering garage? “De Marathon” is probably the best-reviewed Dutch film in recent memory. (July 18, 3 p.m.; July 21, 8:30 p.m.; July 31, 6:30 p.m. In Dutch with Spanish subtitles). “Wałęsa”Lech Wałęsa started Poland’s first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and personally stood up to Soviet tyranny on the sodden docks of Gdańsk. It’s about time somebody made a biopic about him, and Andrzej Wajda was just the director to do it. (July 17, 8:30 p.m.; July 22, 4 p.m.; July 24, 8:30 p.m.; In Polish with Spanish subtitles).last_img read more

COD 1496 Punta Leona Resort Beach Home For Sale

first_img https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496a.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496e.jpg See this and other listings in the new Tico Times Real Estate section here. Facebook Comments https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496g.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496b.jpg Price: $349,000COD: 1-496Email: realestate@ticotimes.netPhone: +(506) 2258-1558Province: PuntarenasConstruction: 310m2Land: 704m2Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 4Parking: 2A/C: YesThis unique, spacious and cozy home is situated in the Punta Leona complex of Alpairo, just a short walk from the world-famous Playa Blanca and Playa Mantas, and community center with pools, social pavilion, beach bar, restaurant, mini-super, tennis courts, sport center and mini-golf.This is a one-of-a-kind home nestled on the hillside, providing wonderful privacy. It sits on two lots (704 square meters) surrounded by nature. This house was built with formidable solid concrete and masonry construction, includes all furnishings, four bedrooms, four and half baths, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, over-sized terraces overlooking exotic plants on the hillside, over-sized living area and much more.Located on the gorgeous Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica and the important nature reserve of Punta Leona in Puntarenas province. This reserve is one of the most vital in Costa Rica’s Pacific sector both from a geographical and conservation point of view. Punta Leona is actually home to one of the last remaining forests that are found in the transitional life zone between the rain forests of the Southwest and the dry forests of the Northwest.Punta Leona Refuge
Created over 25 years ago to protect the region’s varied flora and fauna, the Punta Leona Refuge is a 300-hectare (750 acres) private nature reserve mainly consisting of lush primary and secondary forests. Also functioning as a center for bird and mammal research, this reserve is the habitat of over 330 migratory and native bird species. Exotic, tropical and beautiful, the Punta Leona Refuge was also the set for a Hollywood movie starring the famous French actor Gerard Depardieu.Unique LocationNot frequented much by tourists, Punta Leona is a fascinating place to visit for nature lovers, bird watchers and families alike, who are given a rare insight into the rich biological diversity of Costa Rica. Home to rare and endangered Scarlet Macaw, the reserve is also the dwelling place to a number of indigenous birds and animals like the Marbled Wood Quail, the three-wattled bellbird, hummingbirds, toucans, spider monkeys, white-faced Monkeys, white-nosed coatimundis, iguanas and a variety of beautiful butterflies.Pristine White Sand BeachLocated near a pristine white sand beach, Punta Leona has three varied walking and hiking trails, all of which are easily accessible and prefect for bird watching. Though a hotel/beach resort actually operates on this reserve, Punta Leona still manages to provide tourists with an environment that is both distinctive and enigmatic. Even if you do not stay at the hotel, visitor can access this park by paying a small fee.Centrally Located
Close by to the Carara National Park and the Manuel Antonio National Park, Punta Leona is an hour’s drive west from San José, along the main costal highway past the town of Tárcoles. If you are coming from the south, this beach is a few kilometers north of Playa Herradura and Jacó. info heading info content No related posts. https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496c.jpg Next Image https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496h.jpg Previous Image https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496f.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496d.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1-496i.jpglast_img read more

The Tico Times most popular stories of 2015

first_imgThank you to all our readers and happy 2016! Facebook Comments Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we know exactly how much our readers like our stories, and which ones stand out. Here are the top 10 most-read stories from The Tico Times this year:10. No, Costa Rica is not closing its zoosThe false (at this time) rumor that Costa Rica is closing down its zoos has been circulating throughout the year in foreign publications. The Tico Times decided to set the record straight in August. Former Environment Minister René Castro did try to shutter the country’s zoos between 2013 and 2014, but he failed. You can read the rest of the story here.9. PHOTOS: Faces from La Reforma prison Carlos Apuy has spent one month in prison for robbery, and his sentence ends in eight months. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesIn this photo essay, Tico Times photographer Alberto Font went to Costa Rica’s biggest prison, La Reforma penitentiary in San Rafael de Alajuela, to meet some of its residents and see how they live. The resulting images are arresting.8. Costa Rica honored at Paris climate talks with message on Eiffel TowerAt the opening of the historic United Nations climate change talks in Paris this year, Costa Ricans beamed with wonder and pride as the phrase “100% Pura Vida” lit up across the base of the Eiffel Tower. Some Parisians may have been puzzled by the phrase, but the code was easy to break for anyone who knows Costa Rica and its green energy profile: This year the country used 100 percent renewable energy to run its entire electricity grid for more than 250 days — a world record.7. Tamarindo hotel owner dies of injuries after attack Barry and Suzye Lawson were married for more than 30 years before his tragic death on April 7, 2015. (Courtesy of Suzye Lawson)The much-loved Tamarindo resident Barry Lawson died a week after he and his wife were attacked in their hotel by a group of men who took off with $32,000 that had been destined for scholarships for local schoolchildren. Tico Times reporter Michael Krumholtz followed up on the crime later and wrote a chronicle of what happened that night, and how the town and Lawson’s wife are trying to move on.6. After 23 years in prison, top assassin for Pablo Escobar is a reformed manIn September, Tico Times collaborator Álvaro Sánchez scored a telephone interview with a man named John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, alias “Popeye,” who used to work as a hit man for Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.At the time, Popeye had recently been released from a maximum-security prison in Colombia after serving 23 years. He claims to have participated in at least 300 killings in the 1980s and 90s. Read the full, fascinating interview here.5. Day cruise turns nightmare as catamaran capsizes, leaving 3 dead A survivor of the Pura Vida Princess accident boards a bus at a Coast Guard Station in Caldera, Puntarenas, 100 km northwest of the Costa Rican capital on Jan. 8, 2015. Three people died when a tourist catamaran capsized off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in rough winds and choppy waters. Ezequiel Becerra/AFPIn January, a catamaran with 100 tourists and crew on board capsized, killing three foreign travelers from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) concluded in the wake of the accident that it was due to “natural causes.” But survivors of the Pura Vida Princess tragedy have told The Tico Times that they believe the crew was negligent.The Prosecutor’s Office in Garabito, which has jurisdiction over the case, has yet to close it pending two independent investigations.4. Crocodile attacks surfer in TamarindoMontreal native Val Muscalu was waiting his turn for a wave on the first day of his surf trip in Tamarindo when suddenly he felt something strong clamp down on his left foot and drag him under. What happened next is a blur for Muscalu but he managed to swim to shore and get to a doctor.He now has long curvy scars and puncture wounds consistent with a croc bite running along the left side of his foot — a unique recuerdo from Costa Rica.3. Southwest Airlines starts daily service to Costa Rica on March 7Frequent U.S. travelers to Costa Rica and viceversa rejoiced when the popular budget airline Southwest Airlines announced early this year that it would begin flights to Juan Santamaría International Airport from Baltimore and then from Houston. Southwest also began offering flights from Baltimore and Houston to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste.2. Tourists at Costa Rica’s Ostional Beach prevent sea turtles from nesting Hundreds of tourists stand in front of olive ridley sea turtles at Costa Rica’s Ostional Beach, preventing them from nesting. (Via SITRAMINAE)Conservationists were outraged when images and social media alerts began circulating about the mobs of tourists that showed up to watch olive ridley sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach of Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Guanacaste in September. The Environment Ministry’s Workers Union reported that some turtles returned to the sea without laying their eggs because of human interference. Read the full story here.1. Turrialba closes Juan Santamaria International Airport (and a half dozen other stories about Turrialba eruptions)Turrialba Volcano was far and away the most popular news subject among Tico Times readers this year. The volcano roared to life and remained active for many months, forcing Juan Santamaría International Airport to close temporarily on several occasions.Below is one of many great videos of Turrialba eruptions posted on social media this year by Costa Rica’s volcano-watching institutions: Related posts:A Paris climate change talks primer for Costa Rica Costa Rica’s 2015 social media sensations Secrecy still prevails as Nicaragua gets set to break ground on $50 billion interoceanic canal With COP21 underway, development banks urged to boost ‘green finance’ in Latin Americalast_img read more

Some Costa Rican cats – and the people who love them

first_imgIt’s International Cat Day: a day to show your cat you care with tuna feasts, catnip toys and extra hugs and petting.Cats have made themselves at home throughout history, beginning in ancient Egypt,  where they were revered for protecting grain. Cats can adapt to many environments:  as excellent hunters they survive in the wild, and feral cats congregate in many cities, including here in Costa Rica. Cats make good pets, as they sleep about sixteen hours a day but come and cuddle when so inclined.They not only make good house pets but can also provide enjoyment for customers as residents of a store. Felix, an enormous feline, lives and works at El Establo in Alajuela, which sells pet food and supplies and has a veterinary service. He is usually found sprawled across the counter where he gets patted by customers all day long.“Felix likes it,” manager José Lizano tells a customer, holding up a new cat food.“Well, in that case, I will buy it,” says the customer, seeing that it has passed the Felix test.When Felix wants to eat, he taps one of the employees on the arm and gets rewarded with his favorite cat chow. Felix also tests out new equipment, such as the dog beds, to show customers just how comfy they are.“He was brought to the store by a customer about fifteen years ago. With the veterinary and health products onsite, Felix is one healthy cat,” says Lizano. In spite of his enormous size, he only weighs five kilograms, and easily pulls that weight in his role as salesman.On the other hand, Blanquita and Daisy are just for decoration, says Jorge Morales, owner of the JM Video shop in Barrio San José. They sit on the counter and wash themselves or curl up and sleep in a box, but customers linger longer to play with the cat and sometimes pick out an extra video as a result. Both cats were left in the neighborhood “about three years ago” and are now spayed and content to live in the store.They do sometimes knock down all the videos, Morales admits. Blanquita with Jorge Morales at JM Video. Mitzi Stark / The Tico TimesFor Erika Aguilar and Rocio Prendas, friends and neighbors in Río Segundo de Alajuela, cats are for both business and decoration. They have about 100 of them, and help many more. Their association, Taxi Gato or Taxi Cat, transports cats to vets or to new homes. They also trap feral cats and have them spayed or neutered before releasing them once more in their old neighborhoods. Feral cats do not make good pets, Aguilar explains. Some are more sociable because they lived in homes and were later abandoned.If a feral cat has kittens, the mothers and kittens are kept together. When the kittens reach three months of age, the mother is spayed and the kittens are put up for adoption.Aguilar and Prendas may be called to an area that is overrun with cats. They carry traps and food and wait until the cats go into the cages, then transport them to their center until they can take them to a veterinarian. In one case they trapped and spayed and neutered twelve cats in Tres Rios.“The neighbors fed them and looked after them, so we returned the cats to the neighborhood once they recovered from the operations,” Aguilar said. Cats at Taxi Gato. Mitzi Stark / The Tico TimesA trap and rescue runs around ¢30,000 per cat (about $60), but sometimes the pair spends hours trying to round up and trap feral cats. They also pick up abandoned kittens and ask for donations to cover their costs.It’s not always easy, no matter how much you like cats. A feral cat escaped from a cage while the Taxi Gato team was driving and left clawed and bitten. Another time, Prendas crawled into a culvert to rescue two kittens and got stuck. Aguilar had to rescue her, but they got the kittens safely out.Several cats are permanent at their home. These are old or have physical problems. There are a few the duo just couldn’t part with.This is the story of a few cats who will celebrate International Cat Day in Costa Rica. It is a day to be grateful for your furry companion, and if you don’t have a cat, adopt one.To learn more about cat adoption or the work of Taxi Cat and their parent organization Gatitos al Rescate, contact the group at 8551-9317, or visit their Facebook page. The author’s cats, Nino and Kelly. Mitzi Stark / The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Signature collection for animal welfare bill referendum set for July Ticos love their dogs but could be better owners, study finds Grecia, the toucan with the prosthetic beak, now receiving visitors Costa Rican prosecutors investigate luxury condominium fraud in Central Valleylast_img read more

Lawmakers exclude full hybrids from electric cars bill

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica seeks to boost electric, hybrid cars Regulatory Authority approves lower electricity rates except for San José, Cartago residents Costa Rica to host third International Sustainable Building Congress This Oregon company wants to build electric cars in Costa Rica A legislative committee on Government Affairs has dismissed a series of motions seeking to include non-plug-in hybrids – cars powered by hydrogen or solar energy – in a tax-exemption bill focused mostly on electric cars.Bill #19,744, known as the Bill to Promote the Use of Electric Vehicles in Costa Rica, aims to boost the use of electric transportation. Various lawmakers, however, have been pushing to include other types of vehicle technologies.The lawmakers’ decision means that, if approved, the law will incentivize the purchase of new electric and plug-in hybrid cars only. The bill’s primary goal is to increase the use of electric vehicles in the country; many of its benefits would last only for the first five years following its approval, or until 100,000 of the cars are sold here.The draft bill also states that one of its main goals is for the country “to reduce its high dependency on fossil fuels, as well as to reduce environmental pollution, damage to public health and transportation costs for citizens.”ApprovalMarcela Guerrero and Franklin Corella, lawmakers from the ruling Citizen Action Party, first presented the bill in late 2015. The Government Affairs Committee approved the first draft of the bill in April 2016.Since then, committee members have been hearing opinions against and in favor of the initiative from car importers, citizen groups, business chambers, and other legislators.Last week, legislators on the committee were close to finishing the discussion and voting on 192 motions filed against the bill in recent months. Guerrero told the media at the end of the committee’s session last week that one of the motions they approved capped the tax-exempt amount at $18,000.The committee also approved a motion to require public agencies to replace at least 10 percent of their cars with electric cars during the five-year period following the bill’s approval.Guerrero said she hopes that options for citizens to buy electric cars will also improve as the market begins to expand, “just as with mobile phones when the government opened the telecommunications market.”She added, “The world is moving towards zero-emission technologies, and Costa Rica cannot afford to be left behind.” There were 8 electric vehicle charging stations in the Central Valley at the end of 2016 and the National Power and Light Company plans to open at least 3 more this year. (Via CNFL)Infrastructure neededLiliana Aguilar Rojas, Executive Director of the Association of Vehicle and Equipment Importers, appeared before the legislative committee on Wednesday. She told lawmakers that in order to encourage companies to import more electric vehicles, the country first needs to build appropriate infrastructure.Aguilar said that her association’s members believe it is essential to have enough charging stations before moving forward with importing more vehicles.“Electric and hydrogen cars received a tax cut in 2006, and that did not encourage massive importation,” Aguilar said, adding that since 2010 only 1,100 electric cars have been imported into the country.According to the National Power and Light Company there were eight vehicle charging stations in the Central Valley at the end of 2016. In December, the company announced plans to open at least three more this year.There are currently just over 2 million vehicles in Costa Rica, according to figures from the National Registry, for a population of some 5 million. More than 90 percent of the country’s vehicles run on fossil fuels — 75 percent on gas, 19 percent on diesel.Hybrid and electric vehicles represent just over 1 percent of all vehicles in the country, while another 5.5 percent run on alternative fuels, such as kerosene and hydrogen.Proposed benefitsCosta Rica passed the first legislation on clean automotive technologies in 2006. Approved laws stipulate that electric cars pay 17.41 percent in taxes and plug-in hybrids pay 29.04 percent. Taxes for fossil-fuel cars currently represent 52.29 percent of a car’s price.The bill seeks to curb high prices, the main hurdle for buying electric cars here. New electric and plug-in hybrid cars would be fully exempt from the country’s sales, selective consumption and customs taxes.Electric car owners would also be exempt from having to pay the vehicle circulation fee, or marchamo, during the first five years of the car’s use.The bill provides a tax exemption for spare parts and allows car owners to park for free in metered parking spaces; it also proposes exempting electric-car owners from the restriction that prohibits vehicles from entering downtown San José on certain days according to their license plate number.If approved, the law would ask public and private parking lots to have preferential spaces for electric cars.Another article of the bill proposes that all new private parking lots and shopping centers built after the adoption of the law be required to include a certain number of charging stations proportional to their parking capacity. Existing parking lots and businesses would be required to comply with the measure when they apply to renew their business licenses.The proposed legislation also outlines measures to promote the implementation of electric vehicles for public transportation, including buses, taxis and trains.Technology differencesThe urrent version of Bill #19,744 would provide tax exemptions for electric vehicles powered only by a rechargeable battery, that don’t burn any fossil fuels, and for plug-in hybrid cars. These are cars that have both internal combustion and electric systems, but their batteries recharge by plugging them to the electrical system, just like electric cars.Lawmakers excluded full hybrids, which use both internal combustion engines, as well as an electric engine formed by a battery and a series of on-board generators.Power in these cars depends on the capacity of the battery and its generators. An electronic system automatically chooses which of the technologies will operate the car or to combine both, depending on the road’s requirements. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The Tico Times Weekly Digest April 1 2019

first_imgThe Tico Times visits the southern zone, we launch a new episode of our podcast and give tips on how to stay safe in Costa Rica.This week’s digest was brought to you by Banana Bay Marina.Read the stories mentioned below:————————————————————————Featured News Stories————————————————————————Our Southern Zone Deep Dive is underway – https://bit.ly/2U60dqeThe Tico Times Dispatch: Figuring out and fighting street harassment in Costa Rica – https://bit.ly/2uJ515HHow to deal with street harassment in Costa Rica – https://bit.ly/2JWrEORSafe travels in Costa Rica: aiming for the sweet spot – https://bit.ly/2HOxwI5The ultimate travel hack to prevent beach theft – and more Costa Rica safe travel tips – https://bit.ly/2TQ5NrHCosta Rica defeats Jamaica, 1-0, in friendly – https://bit.ly/2UtAk3i2019 Gold Cup field finalized; Costa Rica will host two matches – https://bit.ly/2FGvnulLa Prensa: Daniel Ortega imposes repression, misery on Nicaraguans – https://bit.ly/2OEcmwwNearly a quarter of Venezuelans need urgent aid: internal UN report – https://bit.ly/2OD70ldContact Group pushes for progress on Venezuela impasse – https://bit.ly/2VbUQCj————————————————————————Follow The Tico Times:————————————————————————Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheTicoTimesInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/theticotimesFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/TicoTimes————————————————————————Support The Tico Times:————————————————————————https://www.patreon.com/theticotimeshttps://pages.donately.com/theticotimes/campaign/the-tico-times-5-clubhttps://www.paypal.me/theticotimesCR————————————————————————Subscribe to The Tico Times Friday Newsletter:————————————————————————http://ticotimes.net/subscribe-to-our-friday-newsletter Facebook Comments Related posts:The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 14, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: April 8, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Dec. 24, 2018 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Feb. 4, 2019last_img read more

Photos A weekend in Puerto Viejo

first_img info heading info content 030819_Puerto_viejo_driftwood https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/wood.jpg Puerto Viejo driftwood. 030819_Puerto_viejo_beach https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/people-in-water-1-of-1.jpg Enjoying the beach in Puerto Viejo. Next Image 030819_Puerto_viejo_raquel_friend https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/raquel.jpg Enjoying a day at the beach. The province of Limón is culturally distinct from the rest of Costa Rica, due in large part to how the country developed in thelate 1800s.The Costa Rican government hopes to increase interest in Limón with a tourism campaign, in addition to new cruise and marine terminals. The city’s airport is also slated for a renovation.Tico Times photographer Jacob Spetzler recently spent a weekend in Puerto Viejo, the Limón beach town on Costa Rica’s south Caribbean coast. Here are some photos from his trip:center_img Previous Image Related posts:PHOTOS: A Holy Week children’s procession in Heredia PHOTOS: The American Colony’s 56th annual Fourth of July picnic Pic of the Day: Rainbow over Santo Domingo Reader Photos: Rainbow over San José, Costa Rica Facebook Comments 030819_Puerto_viejo_child_playing https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/kid-playing.jpg A child and the ocean. last_img read more

IMF agrees to give Malawi 157 million

first_img Comments   Share   The package Tsikata announced will be distributed over three years and will be subject to quarterly reviews.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates JOHANNESBURG (AP) – An International Monetary Fund official says the agency and Malawi have agreed to a $157 million aid package signaling an improvement in relations between the Southern African nation and donors.The IMF’s mission chief in Malawi, Tsidi Tsikata, told reporters Wednesday that he was pleased that the new government has worked towards changing the country’s policy environment.Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda has moved decisively to differentiate herself from her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in April. Under Mutharika relations between Malawi and the agency had become tense. He had refused to devalue the currency as the IMF had advised. Banda’s central banker devalued the currency in May. Quick workouts for men More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes ErrorOK ErrorOKlast_img read more

Moments from safety migrants die trying to reach Europe

first_imgThe video, obtained by The Associated Press, highlights the danger of marine rescue, where safety and tragedy too often lie just moments apart. With tens of thousands trying to cross the sea on small boats launched by human traffickers from Libya — and hundreds dying in the attempt — the question of how best to save migrants from drowning has taken center stage in Europe.Crew members interviewed by the AP said everyone aboard the cargo ship Zeran had undergone rescue training. But while a previous rescue several weeks ago happened calmly without any loss of life, on Sunday elation at the prospect of being saved quickly turned to panic.Unaware that they would be thrown a ladder, frantic migrants trampled over one another to reach the ropes that were meant to hold it in place, with some dangling precariously as they clambered along the lines to reach the tall freighter.Some jumped or fell overboard to catch lifesavers tossed into the water by crew members. Others emptied jerry cans of gasoline to use as floats, as the dinghy — already deflated at the front — began taking in water.“Easy! Easy!” implored a crew member from Zeran’s deck.“There was the big ship there and they threw down ropes,” Astou Fall Dia, a 24 year-old migrant from Senegal, told the AP after disembarking from the cargo ship. Migrants wait to disembark from the ‘ The Phoenix ‘ a Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station, in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, Tuesday May 5, 2015. More than 350 migrants were on the Maltese-registered ship that brought them to safety, according to Doctors Without Borders who are helping with the rescue effort. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta) On Tuesday, the Italian Mission to the United Nations tweeted that coast guard just rescued 300 migrants in the Mediterranean, 80 miles (130 kilometers) off the Italian coast.The latest deaths come on top of the estimated 800 migrants who are believed to have drowned last month when their boat capsized off Libya with hundreds of passengers locked in the hold by smugglers. A few days earlier, some 400 people were feared drowned in another capsizing.After those deaths, the European Union held an emergency summit and agreed to contribute more boats and patrol aircraft to Mediterranean rescue efforts.Even with the increased EU response, commercial cargo ships are increasingly being called on by Italy’s coast guard to respond to migrants in need, as required by the law of the sea.Catania prosecutor Giovanni Salvi complained last month that the commercial crews sometimes aren’t trained or equipped to conduct rescues and that lives can be lost when migrants suddenly rush to one side of their unseaworthy boats as they try to get off.Salvi later backtracked and praised the work and commitment of the commercial vessels.But when the coast guard rescues migrant boats, it usually sends out inflatable speedboats and crews use loudspeakers to implore the passengers in various languages to stay calm and in their place. CATANIA, Sicily (AP) — Young men piled over each other, some shimmying up ropes dangling from the towering rescue ship and others falling into the churning sea. Women and children were the last off the stricken dinghy during a chaotic Mediterranean rescue in which at least five migrants were crushed to death and more were feared drowned.Dramatic footage shot by a seaman aboard the Maltese freighter showed the weekend rescue of more than 100 West Africans aboard the flimsy boat off the coast of Libya. Survivors were brought Tuesday to the Sicilian port of Catania. Parents, stop beating yourself up Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “Someone grabbed onto the rope. All the other people started pushing to try to save themselves but the people started falling in the water.”Dia said she survived because she stayed close to the dinghy, and because she knew how to swim — unlike most of the migrants who come from poor African countries.Five bodies were recovered from inside the dinghy, floating amid garbage and water that had seeped in. A crew member said they died in the final rush to be rescued and the Catania prosecutor’s office said late Tuesday that a preliminary investigation showed they were crushed to death.At least another five to nine people fell into the water and drowned, said the seaman who shot the video, though one man floating away with the current and clinging to a lifesaver was rescued by crew on a Zeran lifeboat.The seaman and other crew members spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.Save the Children, which interviewed the survivors upon their arrival, said the migrants reported “dozens” of people died in the rescue 25 miles off the Libyan coast.The weekend saw a dramatic increase in rescues as smugglers in Libya took advantage of calm seas and warm weather to send thousands of would-be refugees out into the Mediterranean in overloaded rubber boats and fishing vessels. The coast guard reported that nearly 7,000 people were rescued in the three days ending Sunday. Sponsored Stories center_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   It was clear from the footage obtained by the AP that either there was a language barrier, or the migrants couldn’t hear the crew’s instructions from high up on the deck — or both — in Sunday’s rescue.A second dinghy, picked up by the Italian navy the same day, suffered no casualties. Those migrants were later transferred to the Zeran.Alpha Sisse, a 17-year-old from Ivory Coast who was among those rescued from the second boat, said he had talked to survivors from the stricken vessel.“At least five people drowned, more are missing,” he said. “They say maybe 20 people died.”Sisse said he left Libya because of the growing danger from fighting there.Asked where he hoped to go from here, Sisse said: “Anywhere there is work.”___Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more