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Spend the night in a tricked out helicopter or air traffic control

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first_img STIRLING, SCOTLAND — The travel industry is no stranger to outrageous hotels. From converted school buses and cozy igloos to glamourous treehouses and furnished sewer pipes, it seems that when it comes to accommodations, the quirkier the better.Now, travellers can add two more unusual properties to their hotel bucket list: an old search-and-rescue helicopter in Stirling, Scotland, and a modernized flight control tower in Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.Stirling’s Helicopter Glamping hotel room is actually a decommissioned Royal Navy ZA127 Sea King Helicopter, reports Curbed, which is owned by Martyn Steedman and his wife Louise. Since acquiring the helicopter at auction in March 2016, the couple has poured tens of thousands of dollars into converting it into an ultra-luxe hotel room, complete with new rotor blades, a sun dome, double-glazed patio doors, shower room and mini-kitchen.Credit: Stirling’s Helicopter Glamping Share Travelweek Group Posted by Spend the night in a tricked out helicopter or air traffic control tower because, why not? As reported by Inhabitat, Swedish designer Cilla Ramnek teamed up with the airport and vacation rental company HomeAway and Swedavia to give the 262-foot-high tower a head-to-toe makeover. HomeAway is currently holding a contest to give five winners the chance to stay in the apartment for a night. Running until the end of July, winners will also receive a meal at the Pontus in the Air restaurant and the choice of other HomeAway rentals for three more nights. << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, July 14, 2017 The helicopter sleeps a family of five in three different beds. Kids in particular will get a kick out of sitting in the cockpit, which boasts new swivel seats and a table, the ideal spot to enjoy breakfast. A night’s stay will run two adults £150, including all bedding.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsIn keeping with the aviation theme, Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport has found its way to the top of the quirky list. An old flight control tower has been transformed into a luxury apartment featuring incredible views of planes taking off and landing.last_img read more

Canadian North is named Celebritys airline partner for All Included Western Canada

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first_imgTags: Celebrity Cruises Canadian North is named Celebrity’s airline partner for ‘All Included’ Western Canada program Wednesday, October 18, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group center_img CALGARY — Celebrity Cruises has selected Canadian North Airlines as its official airline partner for its inaugural Western Canada ‘All Included’ cruise program in February, March and early April, 2018.For the first time, Celebrity will offer air-inclusive luxury cruise packages with nonstop flights from five Western Canadian cities – Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Thunder Bay – to West Palm Beach, Florida.The cruise line first introduced the air-inclusive cruise concept in 2014, with Canadian North providing air transfers on its behalf between Eastern Canada and its Florida ports of departure.Celebrity Cruises guests will enjoy roundtrip, ‘snow to sun’ air transfers aboard Canadian North’s 737-300 aircraft, complimentary hot meal service, alcoholic beverages and checked luggage.In addition to air transfers, Celebrity’s ‘All Included’ packages include a seven-night Western Caribbean or Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Celebrity Silhouette, a one-night, pre-cruise stay at the Marriott West Palm Beach, a Classic Beverage Package, gratuities, taxes and more.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?“Celebrity’s All Included vacation packages offer modern luxury from takeoff to cruise and back and our guests love inclusive travel and non-stop flights,” said Ken Brooks, Director of Sales, Celebrity Cruises Canada. “Celebrity was ground-breaking in bringing the enjoyment of All Included cruising to the industry and we will continue to expand and bring this program to as many Canadians as possible.”John Hankirk, Senior Vice-President of Operations and Charters, Canadian North, added: “Canadian North is extremely proud of our longstanding innovative partnership with Celebrity Cruises. We congratulate Celebrity Cruises on their expansion of their successful ‘All Included’ program to five new Western Canadian cities and look forward to the upcoming return of our polar bear to sunny Florida skies.” Share Posted bylast_img read more

Book by April 20 to get summer deals with Transat

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first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Transat TORONTO — Summer starts here, right now with Transat’s latest promotion, which gives savings up to $800 per to those who book a South, Florida or cruise package by April 20.The ‘Sumer Starts Here’ promotion is available with a deposit of $100. Clients who book the promo will receive: savings of up to $800 per couple, a $50 future travel voucher, and the option to change travel dates up to 21 days before departure.The promotion is valid for travel from May 1-Oct. 31, 2018, and does not apply to groups, flights and à la carte accommodations.Packages included in the promo include: seven days at Casa Marina Reef Resort in Puerto Plata, from Toronto, for $699; seven days at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal in Riviera Maya, from Calgary, for $999; seven days at the Occidental Caribe in Punta Cana, from Edmonton, for $719; seven days at the Royal Decameron Complex in Riviera Nayarit, from Vancouver, for $499 (+402 taxes & fees); and seven days with Florida Holiday Homes in Kissimmee, from Toronto, for $969.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Cruise packages include a Western Caribbean Voyage on Carnival Cruise Line’s Glory, from Montreal, for $1,919; an Eastern Caribbean voyage on Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess, from Montreal or Toronto, for $1,479, and a Western Caribbean voyage on MSC Cruises’ Seaside, from Montreal or Toronto, for $1,439. Posted bycenter_img Book by April 20 to get summer deals with Transat Wednesday, March 21, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Is this the worlds best Bucket List ever assembled

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first_imgIs this the world’s best Bucket List ever assembled? Posted by Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Travelweek Group Share TORONTO — Bucket lists have long since served as a barometer for travellers. How many have you done? Where have you been? What else is there for me to do? Without these lists, travel inspiration would be non-existent and people would have no way of cataloguing their most far-reaching travel desires.So when FlightNetwork released ‘The World’s Ultimate Bucket List For 2018’, you better believe intrepid travellers took notice and started checking off boxes. Compiled from the expertise of over 800 leading travel journalists, agencies, bloggers and editors, the list is not only comprehensive, it’s also ambitious to boot.Here are the top 10 bucket list items:1. Take a Wildlife Safari in Africa (Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania)2. Embark on an expedition to Antarctica3. See the Northern Lights (Iceland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Africa)4. Trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)5. Sail the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)6. Lose yourself in the streets of ParisMore news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agency7. Stay in an overwater bungalow (Maldives, French Polynesia, Fiji)8. Gorilla trekking in Central Africa (Virunga National Park, Rwanda)9. Explore otherworldly Iceland10. Go island hopping in GreeceFor the rest of the Top 50 list, go to flightnetwork.com.au/blog/the-worlds-ultimate-bucket-list.For more information go to https://www.flightnetwork.com.au/ << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Costa Rica is regions best country to raise children study says

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first_imgNo related posts. A study released on Tuesday by nonprofit group Save the Children ranks Costa Rica 13th among a list of 80 countries based on conditions for raising children.Following Costa Rica in the region is Panama (24th), El Salvador (37th), Belize (42th), Nicaragua (49th), Honduras (60th) and Guatemala (68th).The list divided 165 countries into three categories: more-developed (43 countries), less-developed (80) and least-developed (42). Costa Rica appears on the less-developed countries list.Norway, Iceland and Sweden top the more-developed list, while the United States ranks 25th. Cuba, Israel and Barbados are the top three among less-developed countries.Rwanda, Bhutan and Malawi headed the least-developed list, while Yemen, Afghanistan and Niger ranked at the bottom.The study also ranked factors such as mothers’ health, education and economic status, as well as child indicators such as health and nutrition.Save the Children called for more global action to tackle the cycle of maternal and child malnutrition when G8 leaders gather in Camp David, in the U.S., at the end of the month.Read the full report at: “Save the Children” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

To talk or not about Tiananmen

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first_imgBEIJING — From a young age, Qi Zhiyong’s daughter asked him how he lost his leg.To everyone else in the world, Qi always responded to the question with an unflinching, often angry, answer: He lost his left leg when soldiers fired on him and other unarmed civilians during protests at Tiananmen Square in one of modern history’s most brutal crackdowns.But when his daughter asked, Qi choked back the words.“I lost it in an accident,” he mumbled for years.The lie, however, burned at him, he said.In the 21/2 decades since the protests’ violent end, China’s government has largely scrubbed Tiananmen from history. Bullet holes on the streets of Beijing have long been patched over. The government has barred any independent inquiry and censored all mention online. Instead, Tiananmen Square has been reduced to a single euphemistic sentence in most school textbooks, making vague reference to “political turbulence in 1989.”But for those who were part of the student-led protests against government repression and corruption, those dark morning hours of June 4, 1989, remain etched in memory and, in cases like Qi’s, on their bodies. That generation must now decide what to tell their children about that day, if anything at all.For many, the decision is colored by how their own views have changed over time. In interviews with more than a dozen survivors, a few now wondered if the democratic cause they fought for was misguided by youthful passion. Others have won asylum abroad, and when they talk of Tiananmen to their children, it is as history — just one part of their life’s larger story.But the dilemma is often more complicated for those who remain in China, where public mention of Tiananmen can result in government retribution. To this day, officials maintain that the decision was necessary for stability, and the anniversary is marked with thousands of police patrolling the square and chasing off journalists, while Internet forums are stripped of content.Those who have found successful careers in business, law and academia often talk of it only in private, fearful of consequences for themselves and their offspring.Even some of those who have soldiered on as activists deliberately say little of Tiananmen to their children, who grow up not fully understanding why police barge into their homes each year as the anniversary approaches to interrogate and spirit away their parents for weeks without explanation. Some children experience restrictions and warnings themselves at school.For most parents, it comes down to a choice between protecting their children from the past or passing on dangerous and bitter truths about the authoritarian society they continue to live under.It is something Qi and his wife have wrestled with throughout their 14-year-old daughter’s life. The two have fought so often and so heatedly on the subject that neither dares mention 1989 at home anymore.A 33-year-old construction worker at the time of the Tiananmen protests, Qi took a detour that night toward the central Beijing square with co-workers out of curiosity, not activism. Qi, who later converted to Christianity, now likens the moment troops fired without warning at the crowd around him to a baptism of sorts.“The veil was lifted from my eyes, and I saw the party for what it really was,” he said.In the hospital, he said, as doctors tried to salvage his bullet-torn left thigh, he took a purple antiseptic liquid and, to their chagrin, angrily scrawled on his leg: “This bullet belongs to the Communist Party’s army.”After the amputation, he was forced to give up his construction job and has not found work since. By the time Qi Ji was born in 1998, her father had become a full-time activist, protesting the government’s maltreatment of the handicapped and democracy advocates, along with other human rights abuses.Qi’s wife warned him early on: Say what you want about the government to everyone else, but Ji is too young. Why create problems for her, his wife argued, why poison her against the society she must live in?“But I don’t think it’s a bad thing for her to understand this government,” Qi said on a recent afternoon while waiting for his daughter’s return from school. “I want her to be prepared to handle life and to face these problems. Why should we cover up the truth and let her live in illusion?”For Qi, the Tiananmen crackdown — or June 4, as it is commonly referred to in China — has become the defining moment of his life.While most people, including some former Tiananmen protesters, have learned to avoid the topic, Qi carries business cards listing his job title as “Disabled Victim of June 4.” His home telephone number, cellphone number and email address end with deliberately chosen digits: “89 64.” And on the back of his cards, he has emblazoned this slogan: “Facts written in ink cannot conceal the truth written in blood.”His family lives in a cramped Beijing apartment, dependent on his wife’s $320-a-month job as a drugstore sales assistant, while Qi cares for their daughter and supports human rights causes — work that has resulted in long stretches of detention and frequent government harassment.Qi’s wife, Lu Shiying, wishes he would let go of what happened 24 years ago. She recently declined to meet with foreign journalists and warned Qi against it.“How come others are able to move forward?” she often asks him, he said. “You were not the only victim on June Fourth.”Kong Weizhen was also shot and lost the use of his left leg that night. But after seeing the danger and futility of his anti-government activism, he abandoned the opposition work that had brought him to the streets. Instead, he tried to make a new life for himself within the existing system.He became a salesman and worked his way up to owning a computer store. He even tried in vain to join the Communist Party at one point — an attempt, he says, to increase his pay for the sake of his 12-year-old daughter.“My family is now my first priority,” he explained in a phone interview. “There’s nothing to be gained from telling her about June 4. If I tell her, she may form some dangerous resentment against the party. . . . I just want her to have a safe and happy life.”The only reason he would tell her, he said, is if another anti-government protest erupted. “If that happened, I would use my own example to teach her what such movements can accomplish and what they cannot. And I would ask her to get as far away as she can.”But even those who have devoted their lives to fighting for the democratic ideals of 1989 disagree on how much to tell their children. Many of them form the core of China’s dissident community.“I don’t want my children to know,” said Zhang Lin, a rights activist in Anhui province who has spent many years in jail on state subversion charges.In February, authorities pulled his 10-year-old daughter, Anni, from school as an apparent punishment to her father. The incident spurred dozens of other activists to stage a hunger strike in front of the school. Weeks later, Anni was allowed to resume class, but only in another town far away.His daughter now loses her temper easily, Zhang said, and has become obsessed with cartoons in which the good guys beat up the bad. “I don’t want my children to follow the same path as me,” he said.In a phone interview, his daughter said, “I don’t know why the police keep coming,” though she knows it’s related somehow to her father.When asked about June 4, she responded: “What is June 4? I haven’t heard anything about it.”Qi said he doesn’t begrudge other parents their personal decisions, but he worries that staying silent contributes to the gradual purge of China’s collective memory.To this day, he said, his amputated stump hurts whenever he hears the crack of fireworks. He avoids passing Tiananmen Square, he said, because he tastes blood whenever he gets too close.In the end, suppressing all mention of June 4 in front of his daughter proved impossible. And after his daughter turned 10, a teacher made passing reference to the date while talking about the physical space of Tiananmen Square.That night, with Qi’s wife still at work, his daughter mentioned it to him, and the memories poured out. The clacking advance of tanks. The shocking sound of gunfire. The blood he saw all around him and the sudden pain and darkness.In the years that followed, he secretly told her more and more. They watched banned videos about that day on overseas websites. They talked about the party and its instinct for self-preservation.He watched both proud and pained as June 4 began to color her worldview as it had his.She became both more rebellious and more mature, he said. Like her parents, she now refers to the police watching their home as “dogs,” but she accepts without questioning when school leaders exclude her from trips abroad and from student parades at Tiananmen celebrating China’s communist rule.Lately, she’s talked of becoming a kindergarten teacher so she can teach kids how to think for themselves about what’s right and wrong.“All parents want their children to live a happy life, but I have no regrets about telling her,” Qi said. “Only after she first tastes the bitter can she know what the sweet is.”Qi’s wife now knows that her daughter knows. But recently, the family reached a kind of detente — similar to the one in Chinese society at large. When together at home these days, they simply avoid all mention of Tiananmen Square, June 4 and what happened that day 24 years ago.Zhang Jie in Beijing contributed to this report. © 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Electricity rates to go up next month

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first_imgRelated posts:Regulatory agency requests reduction in Costa Rica electricity rates Costa Rica regulatory agency approves reduction in electricity rates Electricity rates set to decrease in 2014 Group launches fight against automatic adjustments in fuel prices, electricity rates Costa Rica’s Public Services Regulatory Agency (ARESEP) currently is studying a hike in electricity rates for all distribution companies in the country, prompted by an increase in the cost of fuel-generated electricity.On average, rates will go up by 5.27 percent, depending on the distribution company.The Costa Rican Electricity Institute requested a 5.43 percent increase, the National Power and Light Company asked for 6.17 percent, the Electric Service Administrative Board of Cartago requested a 6.88 percent and the Heredia Public Services Company requested a 6.52 percent hike.Power supply companies usually need to generate electricity using fuel, due to a decrease in energy production at hydroelectric plants during the dry season, which in Costa Rica runs from November to April.The regulatory agency also reported that rate decreases may apply in the second half of 2014, as a reduction in fuel usage is expected as well as an increase in rainfall that will help replenish reserves at hydroelectric plants.The proposed rate increase is currently open for public debate, and citizens can voice complaints at ARESEP offices in Escazú, southwest of San José.The deadline for filing a a complaint is Dec. 13 at 4 p.m.  Facebook Commentslast_img read more

World meet Ms Sloth Kong

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first_imgThis week, the Costa Rican women’s national football team, also known as “La Sele,” earned its first-ever point in a FIFA World Cup, during a 1-1 tie with Spain. As far as we know, officially it is also the first sighting of Ms. Sloth Kong, pictured here. In their next match, Las Ticas take on South Korea tomorrow at 5 p.m., Costa Rica time. ¡Vamos, Sele! Facebook Comments Related posts:Ms. Sloth Kong does the Gangnam Style (강남스타일) Women’s World Cup expanded field nets lopsided scores, but perhaps long-term gains Random Photo of the Month: Ethiopians watch Costa Rica’s La Sele get beat by Spain US women’s football team not at its best before round-of-16 match against Colombialast_img read more

Costa Rica decrees emergency to prevent spread of Zika other mosquitoborne viruses

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first_imgThe spread of mosquito-borne diseases throughout Costa Rica prompted officials to declare a state of emergency Thursday for 31 cantons located in all seven provinces.The executive decree follows recent confirmation of the first two locally-transmitted cases of Zika virus, as well as a spike in cases of dengue and chikungunya.The official order will allow public agencies to allocate resources to fight the proliferation of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the main carriers of the viruses. It also grants the government permission to take donations from public and private organizations to address the situation.Health Minister Fernando Llorca in a news release said the order was a preventive measure aimed at “safeguarding the life, health and safety of the population.” The declaration will remain in effect as long as the executive branch deems appropriate, Llorca said.The 31 cantons included in the emergency decree are:San José: Central, Santa Ana, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Pérez ZeledónAlajuela: Central, Atenas, OrotinaHeredia: SarapiquíGuanacaste: Liberia, Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Cañas, La Cruz, AbangaresPuntarenas: Central, Esparza, Montes de Oro, Garabito, Parrita, Quepos, Golfito, Osa, CorredoresLimón: Central, Pococí, Guácimo, Siquirres, Matina.Cartago: TurrialbaLlorca called on the population to help by eliminating all objects from their homes that can serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes.Costa Rican authorities have recorded just four cases of Zika, but two of the patients contracted the virus abroad. The two locally-transmitted cases occurred at Sámara, Guanacaste. Both of them are women, the first age 24, with 38 weeks of pregnancy, and the other, 32, who lives in a nearby community.A third, likely locally-transmitted case was documented by U.S. authorities in January, in a U.S. man who had vacationed in Nosara, Guanacaste with his family in December. Costa Rican authorities are not including that case in their official tally.Dengue and chikungunya cases during the first five weeks of this year jumped more than 600 percent compared to the same period last year.Data from the Health Ministry show that 3,253 people here were diagnosed with dengue during that period, while another 850 tested positive for chikungunya.Dengue is now present in 90 percent of the country’s cantons, while chikungunya is present in more than half. Facebook Comments Related posts:Tire mosquito trap could boost Zika control Zika virus total surpasses 100 cases in Costa Rica Vaccine against dengue virus is 100 percent effective: study No new cases of Zika in Costa Rica in recent weekslast_img read more

10 good hotels on the Flamingo Coast from Playa Grande to Sugar

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first_imgThe following are our recommendations for 10 good, and occasionally great, hotels on this coast in a range of prices. We don’t say “best” because we didn’t try them all, but trust me, these options are not likely to leave you disappointed.In geographical order, from south to north: The stone walkways and manicured gardens of Casas del Toro. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesUnder the same management is Villas Ferlito, just across the parking lot, where 17 homes are rented by the month or year-round. The Agua de Pipa Lounge. (Courtesy of Sugar Beach Hotel)Rates for standard rooms run $140 to $180, depending on the season, with tax and breakfast included. Pricier options include the beach houses and Congo Suite apartments. This is a popular place to hold weddings, and there are 26 units to house all the guests.Manager Victoria Bonilla described the style as “modern and fresh,” saying, “For us less is more — basic things but clean, nice, simple, comfortable.”Of this area in general, she said, “When you come here, you go to the roots, you go to the simpler things in life, and then you find yourself.” Room at Bahía del Sol. (Courtesy of Bahía del Sol)For weddings, “the ceremony is done on the beach, and the reception is done all around the palapa,” she said. “It’s very pretty and very special because it’s a very isolated beach, so it becomes a very private event. It’s not like other places where there are a lot of people watching people get married.”Rooms include the ocean-view King Sun Suite, with Jacuzzi, outdoor shower and terrace, for honeymoons or other romantic occasions; deluxe rooms with the same amenities except the ocean view; deluxe superiors, also very romantic and totally renovated, opening Dec. 1; family suites with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen; and standard rooms with two queen beds. All rooms have A/C, hot water, free wi-fi, cable TV, minibar and safe box. A lush garden in a courtyard inside one of the buildings. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThere’s an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, with a pro shop; two massive swimming pools with Jacuzzis; three tennis courts and one multi-use court; 10 restaurants and five bars; a 24-hour fitness center, a spa, a kids’ club and a convention center.As if all that weren’t enough, a second hotel will open here in 2018, one that’s not all-inclusive, of the W brand.The Westin has an adults-only area called the Royal Beach Club, with 102 rooms, plus a Family Club with 55 rooms. The entire property is owned by Florida Ice and Farm, the beverage company that makes Imperial beer, and is managed by Marriott International under the Westin brand.Prices vary widely, but can safely be described as “high.” A standard double can run $415 and up, a suite $850 and up. Manager Hernán Binaghi said in September you might pay $400 for a room for two, but on Dec. 29, you would be looking at $1,000 for the same room.“The idea is you leave feeling much better than when you arrive,” he said. View from the pool area. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesMy room had an eye-pleasing nautical design, with artwork depicting boats, a ship’s wheel and a lighthouse. Outside, the nice design touches include rock walls and heavy wrought-iron railings.The only thing missing here is a real restaurant, though they’re going to build one. There’s a shared kitchen, and meals can be ordered from a menu until 4 p.m. and eaten in your room, at the pool or in the humble dining room. Just a short walk from the popular surfing beaching Playa Grande, the Rip Jack Inn is an attractive, clean, well-run hotel with an excellent restaurant. With several reddish-orange buildings and courtyards full of palms and flowering plants, it’s an eye-pleasing and peaceful place to lounge around one of the two swimming pools or linger over a cocktail in the second-story bar.The 21 rooms all have A/C, hot water and coffeemakers, while deluxe rooms also have a TV and mini-fridge. The hotel offers yoga retreats, yoga teacher training, massage retreats and surf camps. An ocean-view suite at the Brasilito. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesBrasilito is perhaps the most “Tico town” on this coastline, with several lower-priced hotels, restaurants, bars and stores clustered around a fútbol field, all within walking distance of each other. This is a good spot for the more social traveler, who perhaps wants to belly up to a bar at night and converse with locals and visitors. It’s not a “get away from it all” type of place, and you may hear a little music, hustle and bustle from your room at night.There’s a large restaurant and bar on-site, The Spot, under separate management, and two others right across the street, with a soda next door. Brasilito Beach is right in front across a little dirt road, and the beautiful Playa Conchal is a short hike to the southwest. Westin Golf Resort & Spa Conchal Hotel Deluxe room at the RipJack. (Courtesy of RipJack Inn)Owners Dave and Annie Corredor of California and Luli Andreozzi of Argentina have worked hard here and are proud of their lodging, which they acquired in 2004. The restaurant serves three meals a day seven days a week — a rarity in these parts — and accounts for why the Rip Jack Inn has two dozen employees for only 21 rooms.The hotel was named after the dogs that came down with the Corredors, Ripley and Jack Brown, who are now in doggie heaven.The restaurant is one of the best in the area. Try the hot garlic shrimp on hummus with garlic bread, Cajun seared tuna, grilled skirt steak or shrimp-stuffed chicken. The cocktails menu is also varied and creative, featuring mango jalapeño margaritas and a cucumber cooler, a cucumber- and mint-infused ginger ale drink with gin, rum or vodka. One of the brightly painted buildings at the Conchal. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThe upstairs Papaya Restaurant is also very good, serving healthy international fare, including coconut dorado, 5-spice lobster, filet mignon, coconut green curry and jumbo Caribbean shrimp. Or for big appetites, try the “surf and surf,” with grilled tuna, lobster and shrimp served with grilled vegetables, green papaya salad, and a selection of sauces including avocado wasabi, ginger soy sauce and sweet Thai chili. Entrée prices average about ₡10,000.You can also easily walk from here to any of the restaurants in Brasilito, and it’s within stumbling distance of several lively bars. Potrero Beach. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThere’s a nice swimming pool and a spa that offers massage, manicures, pedicures, wraps and facial treatments.Rates range from $165 double plus tax, breakfast included, for a standard room to $450 plus tax for a family suite for four. The deluxe junior suite is bright, airy and colorful. (Courtesy of the Westin Golf Resort & Spa) The Westin here is among the most luxurious hotels in all of Costa Rica. Located right on Playa Conchal, a crushed-shell beach considered one of the country’s most beautiful, it’s in a dream location.This resort has an astonishing 406 rooms, and it shares a 940-hectare property with Reserva Conchal, an exclusive housing development. It even has its own desalinization plant. One of two pools. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times A mural outside reception. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesOne minor downside here is that the restaurant no longer operates except to serve a continental breakfast, but the hotel is situated a few minutes’ walk or drive from multiple good restaurants.Oh, and I did wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of barking dogs in the neighborhood … and then crowing roosters … and then a gobbling turkey … and then howler monkeys. But what is the management supposed to do, go around the neighborhood assassinating all the animals?All in all, I’d say that this is a place where you get a lot more for a lot less. One of two swimming pools. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThere are 19 rooms here — one-bedroom apartments ($150 on average for up to three people, breakfast and taxes included) and two-bedroom villas ($250 for up to six). All have living rooms, dining rooms and full kitchens, with air conditioners and TVs in the living room and also each bedroom. And no mini-fridges, for a change; here there are maxi-fridges! The pool. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesIn fact, the beach in front of the hotel does feel pretty private, although of course it’s public by law, but there are stores, restaurants and other businesses within walking distance here in Potrero.“For people looking for a beach destination for their wedding, there are few hotels in the country that have the privilege of being right in front of the sea — there’s no street between the hotel and the sea,” Rojas said. “And I think it’s an area that’s very tranquila; you can rest, but also be very close to areas that are more commercial, like Tamarindo.” Fish-eye view of one of the rooms here. (Courtesy of Bahía del Sol) The central swimming pool. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times Hotel Brasilito Drone’s-eye view of the Bula Bula, the southern end of the Playa Grande peninsula and in the distance Tamarindo. (Courtesy of Hotel Bula Bula)Rates range from $90 to $125 double plus tax, breakfast included, depending on the season. The hotel also manages local vacation rentals in the area that cost about $100 per bedroom per night. It often uses these to do weddings, typically held on the beach, with the reception at the restaurant and guests staying in the hotel and in vacation homes. Bahía Esmeralda For a place to “get away from it all” at an upscale hotel with a beautiful playa for under $200, the three-star Sugar Beach Hotel is hard to top. It’s on the gorgeous and isolated Playa Pan de Azúcar between Potrero and Las Catalinas, far enough away from everything that you’ll share the beach with nobody but other hotel guests.This can be a plus or a minus, depending on your preference — there are no stores or other businesses nearby, so you’ll need your own car or will have to call a taxi to go anywhere else. But most everything you’ll need is right here — a really good restaurant (I liked the curry fish special and the Cuban sandwich); a well-stocked bar (the tamarindo vodka is divine); massages and yoga under a big palapa swept by ocean breezes; and best of all, the unbroken green forest and endless blue sea that surround this special spot. RipJack Inn The well-stocked bar is a great place to meet fellow travelers. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesAll rooms have A/C, ceiling fan, hot water, flatscreen TV, safe, coffeemaker and mini-fridge. From here it’s a five-minute walk to the beach, and there’s a dock that provides $3 taxi boat service to and from Tamarindo within 10 minutes along the estuary.Bear in mind that the sea-level location on the estuary can make this area a bit buggy, so be prepared. Attention to detail is the hallmark of this excellent hotel in Flamingo, from its manicured gardens to its curving stone walkways to the imaginative fountains to the classy interior décor. Rústico this is not. This is posh.On the road that leads to the beach in Flamingo, Casas del Toro opened just two years ago, and improvements are constantly being made — but there’s no rushing this kind of quality. Everywhere I looked I saw the trace of a perfectionist designer saying, “Make it better. Make it nicer. Put some art on that wall. I don’t care what it costs.”center_img Welcome to Hotel Brasilito. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times The Hotel Bula Bula is a delightful find at the end of a terrible road in Playa Grande (though major road improvements are coming very soon).Owned by Californians Todd Redeker and Wally Beck since 2002, the Bula Bula (named after a Fijian toast meaning “happy, happy”) has 10 well-appointed rooms, a pretty little pool, lush gardens, a large restaurant called the Great Waltini’s and a well-stocked bar. Todd describes the design as “traditional Guanacaste hacienda,” with lots of caña and guanacaste wood. Casas del Toro FLAMINGO, Guanacaste — People often ask me where I live, and I say, “I mostly live in my car.” People say, “You have a camper?” I say, “No, I live in hotels, tear out the walls, I have accountants pay for it all.”Hey, that would make a good song.I’ve probably stayed at close to 100 hotels in Costa Rica, from the Ritz to the sh*ts, and I like to think I have a pretty good feel for what to book and what to overlook.So I was pleasantly surprised on the Flamingo Coast — everything between Playa Grande, north of Tamarindo, and Playa Danta, south of Coco — by the excellent lodging options in a range of prices in this area.________________Costa Rica’s Greatest PlacesIn this series, The Tico Times Travel section takes an in-depth look at some of Costa Rica’s greatest destinations, with multiple articles exploring the attractions of each. Throughout the month of December, we’ll visit the sumptuous Flamingo Coast — Playa Grande, Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo, Potrero and Las Catalinas.The Flamingo Coast• Dec. 5: Overview• Dec. 8: Marina• Dec. 12: Real Estate• Dec. 15: Adventure by sea• Dec. 19: Adventure by land• Dec. 22: Hotels• Dec. 26: Restaurants________________ As the manager of the Flamingo Beach Resort gave me a tour of this sumptuous property, I told him that this is not the kind of place I usually stay because I’m too frugal — but if my friends from the U.S. were flying thousands of miles to Costa Rica for their one big vacation of the year, it’s the kind of place I would want them to stay.It’s a beautiful property — the only beachfront hotel in Flamingo, it’s a large, 4-star resort with a huge swimming pool in the middle with a swim-up bar. If you can find nicer beachfront lodging at a better price, book it. Hotel Brasilito is right across the road from Playa Brasilito, and even in the high season you can get a double for $35 without A/C, or $54 with. Rooms are basic but clean, most have A/C and TV, and all have ceiling fans and hot showers. The hotel’s free Wi-Fi is not very reliable, in my experience, but perhaps this will be fixed. Flamingo Beach Resort A cozy bed. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times A beautiful bedroom at Casas del Toro. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times The pool. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesRooms are large, posh and well-stocked, all with A/C, hot water, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, flatscreen TVs and DVD players, with a large selection of free movies available at the front desk. I would have liked a desk, but I made do with a comfy chair and a night stand. Annoyances were as minor as a toilet seat that wouldn’t stand up, but at least your wife won’t complain that you left the seat up.There’s a nice little swimming pool and a broad, curving lawn between the breeze-swept restaurant and the beach, where I saw a couple playing in the surf with their baby and their toddler. (Just don’t ask me why “Playa Pan de Azúcar,” “Sugar Bread Beach,” is translated “Sugar Beach,” as if someone forgot the bread.) The beds look almost too pretty to sleep in. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThere’s a big two-story rancho facing the beach with good restaurants on both floors, and behind that is a courtyard full of palm trees and nice gardens, and the pool.The hotel has all-inclusive, breakfast-only and room-only options. (In fact, a bartender told me there are eight — 8! — levels you can book, including some that include alcohol but not premium liquors, and some that include everything they have to offer.)Like many all-inclusives, the hotel offers daily activities like aqua-aerobics, taichi, Latin dance lessons, Spanish lessons and swim-up bar bingo. (I would have played the bingo, but I didn’t understand the strategy.) Kitchen in one of the suites. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesSadly, the owner of this hotel died three months ago, and his 28-year-old daughter Elena took it over. She is an oceanologist and a scuba divemaster who studied in Spain and Mexico, and now she has reluctantly added “hotelier” to her resume.This hotel is a mix of standard hotel rooms ($40 with breakfast, $30 without), and pricier apartments and suites with full kitchens, living rooms and one or two bedrooms, some of them very attractively decorated, and competitively priced with anything in the region. Facebook Comments Swimming pool at the Bula Bula. Karl Kahler/The Tico Times The pool in the central courtyard. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesDepending on the season, a standard double costs $55 to $105; a superior double is $60-$120; twin and honeymoon rooms for 3-4 people are $70 to $140; and family superior rooms for 3-4 people are $80 to $160. Rates do not include tax, but breakfast is included. For the fairly well-to-do traveler on this coast, the 4-star Bahía del Sol is sort of in the Goldilocks zone — not as expensive as the Westin, not as isolated as Sugar Beach, not as crowded as the Flamingo Beach Resort. Located right in front of Potrero Beach, it’s in a gorgeous location with lush gardens and incomparable sunsets.Manager Gabriela Rojas, asked what makes this place special, said: “I would say No. 1 is the privacy. Playa Potrero is a beach that’s not full of big businesses, of big chains; you can still enjoy peace and tranquillity on a beach that’s very good for swimming, and for aquatic sports like kayak and stand-up paddling.” The pool. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesThe best deal I found on the Flamingo Coast was at Bahía Esmeralda in Potrero, where I paid $30 for a perfectly good room with air conditioning, ceiling fan, hot water, cable TV, nice artwork, a swimming pool and grounds so spacious that I almost never saw my neighbors.When it looked like I would have to leave my room because of a prior reservation, I drove up and down the road between Potrero and Brasilito looking for a comparable deal at other cabinas, but I found prices in the $40 to $60 range, and compared to Esmeralda, some of these places were dumps. Fortunately the prior reservation canceled, and I quite happily stayed put. Bahía del Sol Swim-up bar bingo! Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesRooms come with all the amenities you’d expect: A/C, TV, phone, mini-fridge, desk, colorful artwork, elegant beds.Standard rooms in the low season start at $146 double with breakfast, plus tax, and in the high season they are $189. All-inclusive rates for standard rooms are $248 double per night in the low season and $348 in the high season. For pool views, add an extra $10, and for ocean views, add up to $100. The upstairs, open-air restaurant is great. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesAnnie said the hotel has grown along with its repeat clientele.“First you come with your buddies for a surf trip. And then you want to come back with your girlfriend, and she would like something a little nicer,” she said. “Then you get married, and you need a nice place for your wife. And then you have kids and you need a room for the whole family. We’re kind of a hotel that can grow with you.”Depending on the season, standard rooms run $75 to $105 and deluxe rooms $120 to $140 double, plus tax. The two-room bungalow is $150 to $175, and suites are $210 to $250 for up to four, plus tax. The Conchal Hotel in Brasilito is a lot of fun to look at, with a whimsical color scheme of bright blues, reds, oranges and yellows, and a pebbled effect on exterior walls reminiscent of the Flintstones. The blue pool in the center of the courtyard is surrounded by a well-tended tropical garden often visited by iguanas and birds.The 16 rooms have double, queen or king beds with nice linens and lots of pillows. Floors are simple cement, but there are nice decorative touches throughout the rooms. All have A/C, hot water, TV and a mini-fridge, and some have coffeemakers and hair dryers. Beach suite. (Courtesy of Sugar Beach Hotel) Sugar Beach Hotel Hotel Bula Bula You can’t complain about the distance to the beach. Karl Kahler/The Tico TimesMost of the 18 rooms are located in a two-story rectangular building behind the restaurant, and there are three ocean-view rooms between the restaurant and the beach. An ocean-front family room for up to five goes for $75 in the low season, $84 in the high. Budget rooms without air conditioning cost $25 in the low season, $35 in the high, and standard rooms with air conditioning go for $44 in the low season, $54 in the high season. All prices are plus tax, and there is an extra charge to pay by credit card. Related posts:Five good restaurants in Flamingo and Potrero, and one very sad note Flamingo: Zafira catamaran cruise is a heaping helping of hospitality at sea Flamingo Coast real estate: Get your own slice of paradise Riding mountain bikes above Playa Danta is your own private roller coasterlast_img read more

A visit to Cartagos Mercado Municipal

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first_imgRelated posts:Caminos de Osa rural tourism project takes you to the doorsteps of Costa Rica’s people Barrio Chino aims to be San José’s next big food spot Open doors, bright lights: Marina Pez Vela’s community outreach in Quepos Monteverde revisited: New reasons to return to the green mountain While nothing quite compares to thelabyrinthine glories, unexpected discoveries and sheer nostalgia of San José’s Mercado Central, the municipal market of Cartago, east of San José, has a distinct advantage for those looking for a short Central Valley excursion: while San José’s market requires schlepping several crowded blocks from most public transportation, Cartago’s market is just a block from the train (and bus) station, making it a nice excuse to ride the rails from Chepe. Wander the covered aisles to sample fresh fruits, grab a casado, get a haircut, stock up on herbs and spices, and much more. Read more about the market on its Facebook page.What’s your favorite Central Valley day trip? Tell us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Egypt mulls arming Sinai Bedouin security force

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first_img Comments   Share   3 international destinations to visit in 2019 (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The idea highlights Cairo’s dilemma in Sinai. Bedouin who make up the bulk of the population in its northern deserts and southern mountainous areas deeply resent the central government, saying they have long suffered from discrimination and economic neglect at the hands of officials and brutal crackdowns by security officials, who in past years have detained thousands of Bedouin youth, torturing many. The resentment has pushed some young Bedouin to join violent Islamic extremist groups, and Bedouin are major players in cross-border smuggling of drugs and migrants, fueling the lawlessness in the area.As a result, security forces have had to work delicately in trying to end the threat from militant groups. The government of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi launched a major military operation, sending thousands of troops into the Sinai after militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in a brazen Aug. 5 ambush near the Israel-Gaza borders. But the forces have refrained from aggressively attacking militants, wary of harming civilians and further angering the tribes of Sinai, which are already heavily armed.Over the weekend, Morsi said in a speech in Cairo that security forces had identified some of those behind the ambush, which was part of an attempted attack into Israel. Troops had a chance to go after them, he said, but refrained because they were present at a gathering of several hundred civilians. The government’s main way of dealing with the Bedouin was through the security forces, which launched heavy-handed crackdowns over smuggling and militant activity and recruited some Bedouin to work as informants. After Mubarak’s fall, police largely retreated and violence has swelled, with repeated attacks on security forces, the military and into Israel. The past year saw a number of kidnappings of tourists in the southern Sinai, who were held as ransom by Bedouin to force the freeing of relatives detained by police. In every case, the tourists have been released unharmed.Residents of Sinai point to recent cases of violence as a sign of what may come if a local security force is created. A respected tribesman, Nayef Abu-Qabal, was shot dead while he was having his hair trimmed in a barber shop in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish over the summer. Sheik Khalaf Menaei was shot dead by militants last month while driving in northern Sinai. The killings were apparently revenge because the two were government informants, locals say.Egypt’s authorities have “perceived tribal loyalties as a threat to national ones,” the London-based Chatham House said in a September report on Sinai, titled “Sinai: The Buffer Erodes.” It urged the government to negotiate a new compact with Bedouins by providing for a more equitable distribution of power and resources, including legislation to allow the Bedouin registration rights to the land and compensation to those who have been violated by security. Associated PressCAIRO (AP) – In Egypt’s restive Sinai, Bedouin leaders are pushing to take matters in their own hands and urging the government to arm their tribesmen by creating a local security force in the peninsula, where the state is struggling to impose its authority and uproot Islamic militants who have attacked Egyptian troops and neighboring Israel.But the proposal, which the government says it is considering, raises fears that the Bedouin could become a new militia, only adding to the turmoil in the peninsula. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Abu-Qardud argues that recruiting locals will help put an end to Islamic militant networks in northern Sinai and cross-border smuggling by offering local youth a chance to work with the government.“We see this as a right of the people of the Sinai,” he said. “When a kid is out of school and can’t find work, he turns to crime to feed himself.”In the late 1950s, then President Gamal Abdel Nasser created a Bedouin force in the Sinai known as the National Guard, which patrolled the land and Egypt’s borders with Israel, providing logistical support as well as guiding military convoys and units through the desert terrain. But successive Egyptian governments have eyed Bedouin with suspicion and questioned their allegiance to the state since Israel’s occupation of the territory in the 1967 war. Israel returned the peninsula as part of the 1979 peace deal between the two countries, fully withdrawing in 1982.Ihab Youssef, a former police officer who now does security consulting, including with the Interior Ministry, warns that creating a new force now could be a precedent for establishing local militias in other parts of Egypt.“No one can be trusted to control security of just one area,” he said. “You are giving someone who already has guns more weaponry. I think it will be stupid of them if they do it.” On Monday, at least 21 members of the security forces were killed when their troop carrier overturned as it sped down a mountain road in the Sinai, injuring at least 11 others, Health Ministry official Tarek Khater said. The unit, from the Central Security Forces, was not involved in the crackdown on militants.Leaders of main Bedouin tribes met with Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal el-Din, who is in charge of police, in late September and put forward the idea of the ministry taking on Bedouin to serve as a new security force, said Atiya Abu-Qardud, a sheik from the el-Ahiywat tribe in northern Sinai who participated in the meeting. Under the proposal, the tribes would put forward 1,000 people to be armed and trained by the Interior Ministry.Security officials told The Associated Press that the government is still studying the idea. The officials wished to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to release the information.“We have to work with the government,” Abu-Qardud said. “Our goal is stop crime.”He said that criminals and extremists would be hesitant to attack facilities or checkpoints manned by the Bedouin fighters because of the informal but strict tribal laws that prevail in the territory, including a tradition of tribal vengeance for killings. If a gunman from one tribe kills a Bedouin from another, he risks opening up a tribal war or revenge. Four benefits of having a wireless security system “My presence in my area makes it very difficult for anyone from inside or outside the tribe to approach me, even if I am holding a stick, because we deal with things through our tribal ways,” he said.Others argue that this is precisely why a Bedouin force is potentially explosive, increasing tensions in a peninsula that is already awash in weapons.“We refuse arming Sinai. We are not Yemen or Darfur,” said tribal elder Ibrahim al-Aryaf of the large Sawarka tribe of northern Sinai, who also attended the meeting. He said Bedouin already protect their own homes and areas.Former Sinai lawmaker Abdullah Abu-Jiahama warned that “people will kill each other if you arm them. This will widen the circle of security chaos and the problems between people.”Bedouin make up about three-quarters of the population of 400,000 people in Sinai, settled mainly in a string of impoverished towns and villages in the north. Decades of government neglect have left many embittered: the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak built up southern Sinai into a major tourist hub, but the profits have gone to Cairo businessmen and the employment to Egyptians from the Nile Valley, with Bedouin largely squeezed out. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Report Moroccan in Italy convicted in attack plot

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first_img Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Sponsored Stories MILAN (AP) – Italian media are reporting that a 22-year-old Moroccan man has been convicted and sentenced to five years and four months in jail for plotting a terror attack against a Milan synagogue.The man was arrested in March 2012 after police noted that the suspect had used a Google maps application to case security at the synagogue.Police have also said that he had visited sites explaining how to assemble explosives and had made references to holy war, or jihad, a term often used by Islamic extremists. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The man, who police said had been living in Italy since age 6, was given a fast-track trial which wrapped up Thursday in the city of Brescia about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Milan.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Parents, stop beating yourself up Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Cleveland US Justice Department announce police settlement

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first_imgFILE – In this May 23, 2015, file photo, riot police stand in formation as a protest forms against the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects in Cleveland. The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by its police department, and the agreement could be announced as soon as Tuesday, May 26, 2015, a senior federal law enforcement official said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) How do cataracts affect your vision? Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Mayor Frank Jackson said the ambitious plan that was worked out over five months of negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department will be expensive and will take years to put in place. But he said he sees it as a chance to set an example for other cities.The proposed reforms come amid tension around the U.S. over a string of cases in which blacks died at the hands of police.“As we move forward, it is my strong belief that as other cities across this country address and look at their police issues in their communities, they will be able to say, ‘Let’s look at Cleveland because Cleveland has done it right,’” Jackson said.In December, after an 18-month investigation prompted in part by the 2012 shooting, the Justice Department issued a scathing report accusing Cleveland police of a pattern of excessive force and other abuses.The settlement is an expansive list of items aimed at easing tensions between the police and the city’s residents, especially in the black community. Cleveland is 53 percent black. About two-thirds of its police officers are white. The mayor and the police chief are black.The reforms were outlined in a 105-page consent decree filed in federal court. It calls for new guidelines and training in the use of force; a switch to community policing, in which officers work closely with their neighborhoods; an overhaul of the machinery for investigating misconduct allegations; modernization of police computer technology; and new training in avoiding racial stereotyping and dealing with the mentally ill. Saturday’s verdict by a judge in favor of Patrolman Michael Brelo led to a day of mostly peaceful protests but also more than 70 arrests. Dozens of church parishioners also protested the acquittal in a downtown march Tuesday afternoon just before officials announced the settlement.Cleveland has paid a total of $3 million to the families of the victims in the 2012 shooting, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. They were gunned down at the end of a 22-mile car chase that began when police mistook automobile backfire for gunshots.Thirteen officers in all shot at the car; Brelo jumped onto the hood and fired the last 15 shots through the windshieldCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top Stories CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland agreed to sweeping changes in how its police officers use force, treat the community and deal with the mentally ill, under a settlement announced Tuesday with the federal government that will put the 1,500-member department under an independent monitor.The settlement was made public three days after a white Cleveland patrolman was acquitted of manslaughter for his role in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire that left two unarmed black suspects dead in a car in 2012.center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said he and the union’s attorneys are still studying the agreement.“I’m hopeful it has reached some good conclusions,” Loomis said. “But the devil is always in the details for these kinds of things.”Attorney James Hardiman, chairman of the NAACP Criminal Justice Committee, said his organization is looking at the agreement “with a fine-tooth comb,” but added: “If I can assume everything I was told is true, it sounds like a pretty comprehensive agreement.”The mayor said that when the reforms take hold, community policing will become “part of our DNA.”The Justice Department has launched broad investigations into the practices of more than 20 police forces in the past five years, including agencies in Ferguson, Missouri, and, most recently, in Baltimore. Both cities were convulsed by violence and protests in recent months over the police-involved deaths of black men.Then-Attorney General Eric Holder said in December that the Justice Department was enforcing settlement agreements with roughly 15 police departments, including eight consent decrees. An independent monitor approved by the court will oversee the police force’s compliance. Several other police departments around the country, including those in Seattle and New Orleans, are operating under federal consent decrees that involve independent oversight.The worst examples of excessive force in the Justice Department report involved officers who endangered lives by shooting at suspects and cars, hit people over the head with guns and used stun guns on handcuffed suspects. Only six officers had been suspended for improper use of force over a three-year period.The city is still awaiting a decision on whether any officers will be prosecuted in two other deaths: that of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was killed by a white rookie patrolman last November while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun, and that of 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson, a mentally ill woman who suffocated last fall after she was subdued on the ground and handcuffed.U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach said that the overhaul “will help ensure the many brave men and women of the Cleveland Division of Police can do their jobs not only constitutionally, but also more safely and effectively.”last_img read more

Pair of lions kept as pets by Gaza family arrive in Jordan

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first_img GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Two young lions that had been kept as pets in a Gaza refugee camp traveled Sunday to Jordan where their final destination will be a wildlife sanctuary.A Gaza family had bought the lions as cubs from a local zoo that was damaged in last year’s war between Israel and Gaza’s rulers from the Islamic militant Hamas group. The family kept Mona and Max in their small home in the crowded Rafah refugee camp. The vital role family plays in society Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility In this Monday, June 15, 2015 photo, Ibrahim Al-Jamal, 17, kisses Max, the male lion cub, while sitting inside a car in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip. Saduldin al-Jamal had bought the cubs from the Gaza zoo, hit during last summer’s Israel-Hamas war. His family would take them to parks or the beach and children — those brave enough — would come up to pet them. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) The lions and their handlers arrived in Jordan on Sunday evening after leaving Gaza earlier in the day, said Dr. Amir Khalil of the British charity Four Paws.The journey hit an unexpected delay on Friday when Four Paws made its first attempt to take the lions out of Gaza, via the Erez crossing with Israel.Israel and Egypt have severely restricted travel in and out of Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.Cogat, the branch of the Israeli military that handles movement from Gaza to Israel, said the animals and their entourage showed up without prior notification after the crossing was already closed Friday. For several hours, the one-year-old cats were trapped in no-man’s land when Hamas denied their re-entry back into Gaza.The group eventually checked into a Gaza hotel to wait for the crossing to reopen Sunday. Mona and Max were tied next to their crates in the hotel’s garden.—This story has been corrected to show that the name of the charity is Four Paws, not Four Paws International.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 How do cataracts affect your vision? Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more