APTN National NewsNearly 300 years ago the French gave the Mi’kmaq a wooden altar as a gift.That altar is sitting in a church not far from a Nova Scotia First Nation.On Monday, a small group of Mi’kmaq went to see if they could get it back.APTN’s Trina Roache has this story.
Rabat – Attijariwafa Bank has pledged MAD 200 million to a new fund that supports African energy efficiency, according to the newest reports trickling out of the United Nations-led climate change talks in Marrakesh.Suma Capital and several other Moroccan financial institutions, including the Energy Investments Corporation, Wafa Assurance and AXA Assurance will also contribute to the fund, giving it a value of over MAD 500 million.The capital – to be managed by a company jointly owned by a subsidiary of Attijariwafa and the Spanish firm Suma – will be used to reduce carbon emissions from industrial and service projects. In other news, the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) signed an agreement with Attijariwafa to cooperate in order to build the kingdom’s regional and international economic reputation.The agreement specifically encouraged the purchase of the World Bank’s signature Green Bonds to fund the future of the world’s energy market.Bank Al-Maghrib purchased $100 million of 3-year Green Bonds at the opening of COP22.“This investment sends a powerful message to the global investor and climate policy community about Morocco’s commitment to climate finance,” said World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, Arunma Oteh, according to a statement released online.“Morocco is one of the countries that has benefitted from the World Bank’s Green Bond program to support its transition to a low carbon economy and is now making an investment in the global transition to a greener planet.”So far the WB has issued 128 kinds of bonds in 18 currencies, giving the financial instrument a total value of USD 9.7 billion.
Muskrat Falls project costs going up, power may be delayed: Nalcor Energy CEO ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Costs for the $7.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project are going up and the date for first power from the dam may be delayed, says the head of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown energy corporation.Nalcor Energy president and CEO Ed Martin on Tuesday blamed rising costs for labour and international supplies among other factors.But he would not confirm a new price tag while major contracts for the dam and powerhouse in Labrador are still being negotiated. Nor would he offer a timeline for any update as the release of fiscal details could jeopardize commercially sensitive talks, he told a news conference.“We understand how important transparency is. We understand it’s paramount that the people have a right to know, and we are going to get that information in their hands as soon as I possibly can without jeopardizing their financial needs.”It was an explanation that raised incredulous objections from opposition leaders who said ratepayers are entitled to know what sort of bill they’re footing.“What’s the magnitude of it?” Liberal Opposition Leader Dwight Ball asked outside the legislature. “This is not commercially sensitive information. We have a right to know.”Premier Tom Marshall said the province’s hot economy has pushed up labour costs. Those pressures will continue but, over time, the project on the lower Churchill River is the cheapest energy option and will pay dividends, he said in the legislature.“You can’t stand on the wharf wanting your ship to come in when you didn’t send a ship out. We’re investing.“There will be wealth for the people of the province that we have not seen in the past.”Martin also said the goal of providing first Muskrat Falls power sometime in 2017 is in question and may be delayed. Any decision will depend on whether pushing the construction schedule to meet that timeline would bloat overtime and other expenses, he said.In Nova Scotia, Energy Minister Andrew Younger said news of the possible delay would have “zero impact” in his province in terms of cost or delivery of power. He said that’s because under the project agreement, a delay requires Nalcor to deliver its promised allotment of energy by some other means or reimburse Nova Scotia Power for the cost.Younger said the cost overruns relate to the dam project and have nothing to do with the construction of the subsea cables between Newfoundland and Cape Breton.“The Maritime Link remains within the budget approved by the (Nova Scotia Utility and Review) board and it remains on schedule,” said Younger.Martin made his remarks during a news conference to release an interim report from the independent engineer overseeing Muskrat Falls for the federal government.The 175-page report from MWH Canada makes several observations and recommendations as part of due diligence required for Ottawa’s $5-billion loan guarantee of the development’s financing. That federal backing has shaved about $1 billion off borrowing costs, Martin said.The joint project with Nova Scotia utility company Emera (TSX:EMA) would bring power from Muskrat Falls to the island of Newfoundland and on to Nova Scotia. It involves a complex series of overland transmission and subsea cables.The MWH report generally supports Nalcor’s planning and progress so far, but notes some issues and gaps in the information it was given to assess.For example, it finds fault with a project schedule prepared by Nalcor which it found “is not suitable to the level of detail we require and had expected to view to allow us to form opinions.”The engineer also questions the size of the contingency Nalcor has budgeted for unplanned costs. While most similar projects include buffer funds of six to 10 per cent, Nalcor chose an “aggressive” amount closer to six per cent, says the report.Martin said he stands by that amount.“The question is, ‘Are we comfortable with that?’ I say, ‘Yes.’”The MWH report assessed eight project areas including a visit to the site near Happy Valley-Goose Bay along with the construction design, schedule and capital budget. It’s part of ongoing oversight that will continue through completion and how Muskrat Falls is operated over time.Martin said 98 per cent of engineering work is done and a site that would accommodate a 28-storey building has been excavated. About 2,500 people are expected to be working on location by the end of this year.Marshall said Nalcor has so far spent about $1 billion on the project. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 15, 2014 9:04 am MDT
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria captured the downhill race at Lake Louise on Friday to earn her first World Cup victory.The 29-year-old finished in a time of 1 minute, 48.13 seconds to beat Michelle Gisin of Switzerland by 0.15 seconds. Kira Weidle of Germany wound up third in a race that was missing Lindsey Vonn, who’s recovering from a training crash that injured her knee. Although she planned to retire after the season, Vonn posted Friday that she intends to race at Lake Louise in 2019-20. It’s her favourite venue.Schmidofer’s best World Cup finish before Friday was second in a super-G race on Jan. 20, 2013, in Italy. She won the super-G at the 2017 world championships.Two-time World Cup overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin was ninth.There’s another downhill Saturday.The Associated Press
Meanwhile official data for last year before shows the NHS in England performing at its worst ever level against a raft of targets, including A&E, cancer and people forced to wait on trolleys.The number of people waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment after an urgent referral was 25,157 in 2016 – the highest on record and almost double the 13,191 in 2010. Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: “Theresa May has lost control of the NHS this winter and patients are paying the price as target after target is missed and standards of care deteriorate.”Thousands more people are waiting for treatment, people are stuck in hospitals even when they’re well enough to go home, and key standards on cancer care and ambulance response times are being missed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Official figures for December reveal just 86.2 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours – the worst figure on record. And the provisional data suggests the situation worsened in January, dropping to 82 per cent. Health officials say the service is coping with “unprecedented” pressures amid a rising ageing population, with an extra 1 million people aged 65 and over since 2010.But they have also warned that unhealthy lifestyles are fuelling extra strain on services, with the NHS spending around £10bn on type 2 diabetes every year. A record percentage of children are obese by the time they leave primary school, with one in three 10 to 11 year olds overweight or obese. Lord McColl, a former shadow health secretary and former professor of surgery at Guy’s Hospital hit out at the dietary habits of young people during a House of Lords debate about rising pressures on the NHS.”It’s not so much the old people getting older – because old people have always been getting older,” he said.”The difference in the last 30 years is the grotesque increase in young people getting fatter and fatter.” Fat children, not the elderly, are fuelling the NHS crisis, a leading doctor has said. Lord McColl of Dulwich, a former surgeon, said “grotesque” changes to the nation’s diet were putting needless pressures on health services.The intervention came as leaked documents showed Accident & Emergency patients in England experienced the worst month of delays this winter in the 13 years since the four-hour target was introduced. Provisional data passed to the BBC says a record number of patients spent longer than the target time waiting to be seen in A&E in January. Lord McColl has repeatedly warned of an obesity epidemic, telling peers last year it was “killing millions, costing billions and the cure is free – just eat fewer calories”.The official NHS figures show levels of bed-blocking are also the highest on record.The total number of hospital days lost to delayed transfers of care were 2.2m in 2016, up from 1.7m in 2015 and 1.6m in 2014. Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, told a board meeting of NHS England that bed shortages were being fuelled by delayed transfers of care, which “have gone up by 90 per cent over the past two years”.Ambulance response times were also at low levels, with a significant decline in performance in December.Just 66.4 per cent of the most urgent calls – such as somebody not breathing – were responded to within eight minutes.Other serious calls – such as strokes and heart attacks – also saw a decline, with 58.8 per cent responded to within eight minutes. “These are some of the worst figures we have seen. Experts are saying that standards are being pushed back 15 years or more. Behind each of these statistics is a patient suffering and in unacceptable discomfort. It’s making Theresa May’s utter disregard for the dire state of the NHS all the more disgraceful.”Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director for operations and information, said: “NHS frontline services came under real pressure in December with A&E, ambulances and NHS 111 all helping record numbers of patients and callers.”Despite these pressures, it is a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of doctors, nurses and other staff in A&E that they continue to see, treat, admit or discharge the vast majority of patients within four hours.” Simon Stevens has said bed shortages arebeing fuelled by delayed transfers of careCredit:Geoff Pugh
19 Comments Short URL Share23 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 8,022 Views Tuesday 13 Jun 2017, 7:36 AM Facing a newspaper shortage, Venezuelans are acting out the news on buses Commuters on the way to work are getting a daily dose of news in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. File photo Image: Shutterstock/DayOwl By AFP File photo Image: Shutterstock/DayOwl SHORT OF NEWSPAPERS, Venezuelans are getting updates about their country’s deadly political crisis live – acted out by reporters on the bus to work.Maria Gabriela Fernandez and Dereck Blanco stand on board inside a black frame. “El Bus TV,” reads a sign over their heads.“Good morning everyone. First, the news.”It’s less comfortable than a TV studio – they have to hold onto the rail with one hand to stop themselves from falling when the dilapidated bus brakes. But it’s one way of escaping government censorship.“The idea came from the need to break away from the news circus in this country,” the group’s creative editor Claudia Lizardo told AFP.To bring people truthful news through a mass transport system: the bus.Crisis in three minutesIn three minutes, Fernandez and Blanco deliver news on health, safety, sports, entertainment and, naturally, economics and politics in a country stricken by food shortages and deadly riots.Clashes at daily protests by demonstrators calling for President Nicolas Maduro to quit have left 66 people dead since 1 April, prosecutors say. Police fire tear gas and water cannons at protesters who hurl rocks and petrol bombs.The Bus TV team digs out original angles to bring home the drama of the protests, which are not broadcast on state television.“Each tear gas canister costs $40. At the black market exchange rate, that is 200,000 bolivars, or a whole month’s salary,” Blanco tells the audience of passengers.Economic news now: a kilo of chicken wings costs 9,700 bolivars. A Venezuelan on a minimum wage must work a day and a half to buy it.Opening people’s eyesBlanco is a presenter on a national television channel but also does Bus TV out of frustration at being under official “pressure” not to cover certain subjects on air.“It is a challenge,” he says. “Journalists have to reinvent themselves so that the news can reach the people.”The team hop on and off buses around Caracas, with the permission of the drivers who often let them on without paying a fare.Bus TV is spreading, says Laura Castillo, the show’s producer.There is a team working in the western industrial city of Valencia and another in Puerto La Cruz in the east.“It is a marvelous idea. I like it when things are said clearly, without aggression,” said passenger Glenda Guerrero, a 68-year-old housewife.“I think it is important for them to report to us what it is happening, to open our eyes.”State censorshipThe six-member Bus TV group of journalists and performing artists started its shows on May 28 – the 10th anniversary of a dark day for Venezuela’s independent media.On that day in 2007, Maduro’s late predecessor Hugo Chavez shut down the country’s oldest broadcaster, Radio Caracas Television, for its critical coverage of him.Like Chavez before him, Maduro – himself a former bus driver – accuses the private media of being part of a capitalist conspiracy against his socialist leadership.The Venezuelan media rights group Espacio Publico and the National Journalists’ Union accuse the government of censoring media that carry coverage critical of it.The government took the Spanish-language edition of CNN television news off air this year. The groups say scores of newspapers have shut down because the authorities are denying them paper to print on.The country’s leading newspaper El Nacional and prominent news website La Patilla have been sued. Others have been bought up by businesses loyal to the government, Espacio Publico says.“The government has won the arm-wrestle over controlling the media,” says Castillo.“You can get news on social media, but not everyone has access to those and a lot of what you find there is just rumors.”Attacks on reportersMedia rights group Reporters Without Borders ranks Venezuela a dismal 137th out of 180 countries for press freedom.The journalists’ union has counted more than 200 attacks against reporters during the past two and a half months of protests.Maduro has fanned the protests by proposing to reform the constitution, “without consulting Venezuelans in a referendum,” Blanco and Fernandez report, wrapping up their bulletin.Passengers applaud as the presenters sign off.Meanwhile, the bakeries still have no bread. Thank you for watching, this is Bus TV.Read: ‘Sensible’ Tories holding secret talks with Labour to ensure a soft BrexitRead: Dennis Rodman thinks Trump is ‘pretty happy’ he’s going back to North Korea Jun 13th 2017, 7:36 AM http://jrnl.ie/3440971
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A tractor trailer smashed into a concrete wall in Northwest Miami-Dade.7SkyForce hovered over the crash, Monday morning, along Interstate 75 northbound, just before Miami Gardens Drive.Florida Highway Patrol responded to the scene where there were injuries.The road has since been cleared.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The open enrollment period for the individual health insurance market opened today.Listen nowA news release from the director of the division of insurance, Lori Wing-Heier says Alaska’s open enrollment period will run until December 15th — shortened from three months to just six weeks this year.In the release, Wing-Heier states Alaska’s individual health insurance market started to stabilize in 2017 and she encourages Alaskans who may have found plans too expensive last year to take a look at this year’s plans. She says that Alaska’s reinsurance program has helped lower rates by 20%.There are five plans to choose from for 2018 and many Alaskans qualify for federal tax credits to help offset cost.
Heavy smoke engulfs the Waterfront Manila Pavilion building, after a fire broke out at the hotel and casino complex in Manila on 18 March, 2018. Photo: AFPFive people have perished in a raging inferno that tore through a hotel and casino complex in Manila, authorities said Monday, after firefighters battled more than 24 hours to douse the flames.Rescuers said billowing smoke, sometimes so dense it obscured the 22-floor Waterfront Manila Pavilion, had hampered their efforts to contain the blaze which started Sunday morning.The dead were all casino employees, and another of the workers was still in critical condition. About 20 people were injured.Some 300 guests and staff were evacuated safely, hotel and fire officials told a press conference.”We are hoping no one was left behind in the rooms. Our firefighters have not yet gone up all parts of the building,” Metro Manila Development Authority acting chief Jojo Garcia said.Some firefighters were treated after inhaling the dense smoke, which shrouded the chaotic scene on Sunday.”The smoke was so big, so you can just imagine, there was zero visibility and our firefighters had difficulty breathing. Even outside the building there was zero visibility and it was much harder to operate inside,” Manila district fire marshal Jonas Silvano told radio DZBB.Deadly blazes break out regularly in the Philippines, particularly in slum areas where there are virtually no safety standards.The deadliest in recent years was in suburban Manila where 72 people died in 2015 at a factory which makes rubber sandals.But more modern buildings have also gone up in huge, deadly blazes.In December, 38 people died in a fire at a four-storey shopping mall in the southern city of Davao.
Disney has unveiled the name of its branded streaming service set to launch late next year: Disney+.Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger revealed the moniker and a few fresh details about plans for Disney+ as well as the fate of Hulu and his vision for Disney’s enlarged TV operation during a conference call Thursday afternoon with Wall Street analysts. The media giant, which is awaiting the completion of its $71.3 billion acquisition of key 21st Century Fox assets, reported strong fiscal fourth quarter earnings.Iger said the company is on track to launch Disney+ in late 2019. Iger told the Wall Streeters the company will host an investor presentation in April to offer more details and a “first look” at the service. Disney on Thursday also launched a placeholder website to collect email addresses for prospective subscribers. The Disney+ branding is in keeping with the format established by the ESPN+ service that bowed earlier this year. Iger said ESPN+ has more than 1 million subscribers so far. The growth of ESPN’s foray into the streaming world “bodes very well” for Disney’s overall global streaming strategy, he said.At the same time, the launch of ESPN+ has required significant investment. Disney CFO Christine McCarthy told analysts that the investment in the ESPN streaming offshoot will “have an adverse impact on operating income of about $100 million for the first quarter.”Disney+ will focus on content rooted in the company’s most formidable brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, “Star Wars,” and National Geographic, the latter of which will join the Disney fold through its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The service will offer subscribers “unprecedented access” to Disney’s library of film and TV fare, Iger said.Disney’s production arms are revving up production of original content to stock up Disney+, including a new “Rogue One”-related series toplined by Diego Luna and a docu-series that he described as an “unprecedented look” at the inner workings of Walt Disney Imagineering.“There’s activity across the board at our company in terms of increased production and investment for this app,” Iger said. “We think we’re in great shape. We have a game plan in place to bring the product to market.”Iger also briefly addressed Disney’s plans for Hulu, the streaming service that will be 60% controlled by Disney after the Fox acquisition is complete. Hulu will remain focused on general entertainment fare while Disney+ is laser-focused on family-friendly material. Iger said Disney intends to invest in Hulu and expand the service internationally just as it plans to make Disney+ a global service.Iger was pressed about the role of Hulu’s other shareholders — Comcast and AT&T — but he made no mention of whether Disney will look to buy out the remaining 40% of Hulu. Iger said Disney executives intend to meet with the other shareholders after the Fox deal is completed to discuss the long-term plan for investing in Hulu.“Anything we do with Hulu will be done with an eye toward being fiscally responsible to the other shareholders even though they are minority shareholders,” Iger said. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Iger was pressed by analysts on how Disney will balance investment in the new streaming services with its traditional endeavors in content production and distribution via linear platforms such as ABC, Disney Channel, and Freeform. He cited the strength of the assets that Disney is acquiring from Fox as well as the new management team that will oversee the enlarged group of networks and studios, namely Fox’s Peter Rice, Dana Walden, and John Landgraf.“If we create the television studio we aim to create, we’re going to have an engine at the company coming from different entities. We’ll be able to supply Hulu with a lot of high-quality content — more than they currently have,” Iger said. He added that the challenge facing the new regime is to “create a television business designed to service the present as well as the future of the combined entity.”But for all the emphasis on Disney’s deep dive into streaming — as it looks to take on Netflix and others in the global content marketplace — Iger made it clear that Disney is not abandoning its established linear-focused TV operations.“We don’t intend to get out of those businesses or de-prioritize them or sacrifice them,” Iger said. “We’re also realists. We see what’s going on in the marketplace. We see the growth of new platforms and program consumption versus channel consumption.”Iger stressed that it’s too early to tell how much the focus of its TV efforts will shift in the near term.“If we see opportunities growing more and more to move programming over to direct-to-consumer platforms, we’ll do that. We can’t right now estimate in any way if that will happen,” he said. “We’re going to be nimble, as we’ve already evidenced by just the fact that we’re going into direct-to-consumer as aggressively as we’re going into it.”Iger was also asked about the impact of losing Sky, the European satellite operator, to a higher bid from Comcast. Disney had intended to acquire Sky as part of its Fox acquisition, but in September Comcast prevailed in a bidding war for the publicly traded satcaster, in which Fox owned a 39% stake. “We would have loved to have had Sky,” Iger said. “We believe in the asset and thought it could have helped us in introducing our direct-to-consumer service in the European market. But only at a price that makes sense for us.”
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite On Wednesday, December 21, the South African Police Service’s Mounted Unit from Pietermaritzburg visited Ingula for the first time. The purpose of the visit was to establish a working relationship with Ingula’s own Horse Patrol and to increase SAPS’s visibility in the area.Many areas of Ingula’s 8000 hectare nature reserve are very remote and there have been incidents of stock theft in the area.The large area is difficult to patrol with vehicles and therefore Ingula has acquired the services of eight local community members to form a Horse Patrol. They are able to inspect inaccessible areas.Read more: Third unit operational at Ingula and Ingula power plant wasted billions in taxpayers’ moneyThe Horse Patrol investigates many kilometres of fencing and records any animals or birds they find along the way. They monitor the movement of cattle onto the nature reserve area, record their brand marks and collect stray cattle.The visit was a joint effort between the Besters Farmers Association, Eskom and SAPS. Brigadier Reynders from the Ladysmith SAPS branch said: “It was a very successful first visit and the SAPS Mounted Unit will definitely be back in the future.”Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!
Qantas will not add any new capacity in the first three months of the next financial year and has struggled to put passengers in seats despite Easter being in April this year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Qantas will seek to revise growth according to supply, demand and customer requirements in the second quarter of the next financial year. Virgin Australia is dominating Qantas Domestic in their war on price and capacity. Passenger numbers on Qantas Domestic flights have dropped 1.5 per cent in April compared with 2013 despite a 2 per cent increase in capacity and a 0.4 per cent boost in demand. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Karnataka Tourism’s theme for 2017 is ‘Year of the wild’ and the state has lined up projects not just for wildlife enthusiasts, but even for those keen on trekking, mountaineering and other adventure sports.The tourism department has come up with some novel events, which would set the pulse racing for adventure enthusiasts.“We will launch bouldering, a form of rock climbing for adventure lovers, in Hampi. It will be a competition, where a person finds their own routes as they climb up, and marks them along the way. There will also be a world championship. This will be ready for public by March. Following the trend of adrenaline pinching activities, a triathlon will be organised in Nandi Hills,” said Priyank M Kharge, Minister for IT & BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka.“People can engage in running up Nandi hills, along with rock climbing and cycling. We are working on launching other eco-adventure sports as well. There will be surfing in Malpe beach, sky diving and other aero sports in Mysuru, river rafting in Dandeli,” he added. While nine out of 17 eco trails for trekking have already been launched, the others are a work in progress. These trails will be organised by the government and also help people understand the importance of conservation.“We will launch bouldering, a form of rock climbing for adventure lovers, in Hampi. It will be a competition, where a person finds their own routes as they climb up, and marks them along the way. There will also be a world championship. This will be ready for the public by March. Following the trend of adrenaline pinching activities, a triathlon will be organised in Nandi Hills,” said Priyank M Kharge, Minister for IT & BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka.“People can engage in running up Nandi hills, along with rock climbing and cycling. We are working on launching other eco-adventure sports as well. There will be surfing in Malpe beach, sky diving and other aero sports in Mysuru, river rafting in Dandeli,” he added.While nine out of 17 eco trails for trekking have already been launched, the others are a work in progress. These trails will be organised by the government and also help people understand the importance of conservation.
ixigo, India’s leading travel search marketplace has bagged the People’s Choice Runner-up award for ‘Travel Innovation’, which was the part of the Phocuswright Innovation Platform, held in Florida. At the event, ixigo announced the launch of its upcoming artificial intelligence travel assistant – TARA. Phocuswright is a leading travel research and events organisation, providing unrivalled travel, tourism and hospitality market research. Apart from ixigo, leading industry players demonstrated groundbreaking solutions aimed at changing the travel landscape, competing for the most coveted travel innovation awards in Florida. Rajnish Kumar, CTO & Co-Founder, ixigo showcased TARA, its voice-enabled, 100% AI-driven travel assistant that helps users discover, plan, book and manage their travel. TARA will officially be launched in early 2018.Commenting on the win, Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, ixigo said – “We are thrilled to be the People’s Choice runner-up at Phocuswright’s Launch, the industry’s most coveted event. TARA will ensure travellers simply focus on enjoying their trip, and leave all their travel planning hassles to us.”Chetan Kapoor, Research Analyst – Asia Pacific, Phocuswright said, “Many Indians still favour personal touch and professional recommendations during their travel bookings. By blending these aspects with a virtual, voice-based assistant on a smartphone, ixigo’s TARA has the potential to tap millions of Indian travellers which are migrating from offline to online booking channels – and seeking a curated travel shopping and booking service.”
Go back to the e-newsletterWorld renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has chosen Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris to be the home of his first Matsuhisa restaurant in France.Opening in March 2016 under the experienced eye of Executive Chef Hideki Endo and his team of sushi masters, Matsuhisa Paris brings with it a highly contemporary vision of Japanese cuisine; a gastronomic encounter between Asia and Latin America – two cultures dear to the heart of Nobu himself.Nobu commented: “Paris is the capital of gastronomy. I’ve always loved the City of Lights for its energy and its people, so I am delighted to be able to showcase my food to the Parisians. Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris combines true elegance with relaxed sophistication – and this atmosphere is mirrored in my restaurant.”Matsuhisa Paris has adopted and adapted the celebrated formula from Nobu’s other restaurants in Beverly Hills, Aspen, Athens, Mykonos and Munich.The extensive and original menu at Matsuhisa Paris invites diners on a unique Peruvian-Japanese culinary adventure with a tempting array of Nobu’s legendary signature dishes including: Albacore Tuna Sashimi with Jalapeño Peppers, Black Cod with Miso, and Sashimi Tacos as well as traditional sushi.Chef Hideki has also worked with exceptional French produce to create innovative dishes: Algae Tacos with Black Truffle, Crispy Oysters with Caviar, Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras Ravioli and Ponzu sauce as well as creating wasabi and aioli sauces. All the dishes are complemented by an expertly chosen menu of sake and exotic cocktails created to pair perfectly with Nobu’s culinary vision.The restaurant seats 100 comfortably and guests can order Nobu’s cuisine with ‘Omakase’, an innovative multi-course menu selected by the Chef on the day to surprise and delight them. Matsuhisa Paris will also feature an ‘Omakase Bar’, an eight-seat live cooking counter. Here, lucky guests will experience an exclusive and utterly memorable gastronomic journey, in close harmony with the Chef. In this very intimate setting, every dish is cooked directly in front of them, so they can see first-hand how some of Nobu’s best-loved Peruvian-Japanese dishes are created.Go back to the e-newsletter
On this new 12-day Iran Unveiled tour, guests will explore Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd and Isfahan with an experienced MIR Corporation guide. Browse the bazaars, connect with locals, admire the Crown Jewels, discover six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Yazd, observe the luminous bridges of Isfahan, tour the sixth century BC ruins of Pasargadae, and walk Imam Square.The first Iran Unveiled tours of 2017 are slated for 9-20 April & 7-18 May and start at $5595 per person.“Iran has everything serious cultural travellers search for in a destination,” said MIR Corporation vice president Annie Lucas. “Extraordinary archaeological and architectural sites introduced by incredibly well-educated and sophisticated Iranian guides, combined with eclectic bazaars and an incredibly hospitable culture.”Days 1-4: TehranTehran is a metropolis of more than eight million, boasting fashionable boutiques, restaurants, tea houses and museums. Sample the city’s best, including the Museum of Glass and Ceramics and the Carpet Museum, as well as the fabulous Crown Jewels. Drive through the affluent neighbourhoods of northern Tehran, where luxurious shops, residences and embassies take advantage of cool mountain breezes, and dine in a favoured restaurant.Days 5-6: Shiraz, day trip to PersepolisFly to Shiraz and enjoy UNESCO-listed Eram Garden, with its peaceful fountains and flowers. Browse the 11th century Vakil Bazaar, and visit with local people as they stroll and relax at the tomb of Iran’s favourite poet, Hafez. Spend a day in one of the most important sites of the Ancient World, monumental Persepolis.Days 7-8: Pasargadae, YazdDrive to the magnificent city of Yazd, stopping to explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of sixth century BC Pasargadae. Note the tall badgirs, or wind catchers of Yazd, ingenious Persian structures that vent and cool the buildings. Visit the Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, and learn about the city’s Zoroastrian heritage.Days 9-12: Maybod, Naein, IsfahanOn the road to Isfahan, stop in Maybod, with its 2000-year-old mud brick castle; and in the little town of Naein, where traditional weavers are renowned for their mantles and rugs. Explore celebrated Isfahan, with its graceful UNESCO-listed Imam Square. Stroll the 17th-century Quaisarieh Bazaar, its narrow lanes lined with brass and copperware craftsmen, jewellers, miniature painters and rug merchants.
Go back to the e-newsletterEver needed a holiday after your holiday?Addressing this common problem, HyperFit Travel has launched its unique holistic retreat offering, fusing fitness and travel for the ultimate holiday experience. Showcasing various destinations throughout Southeast Asia, the retreat packages are curated to leave guests feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired during and after their getaway.An avid traveller, Vickie Helson, founded HyperFit Travel in 2017 after deciding to trade in her tech-startup career and follow her passion for health, wellness and travel. Vickie noticed a gap in the market for a nourishing and fun travel experience that incorporates everything you would want from a holiday.“HyperFit Travel is a fun, healthy and inspiring holiday experience that leaves guests feeling nourished and invigorated, while also promoting the less explored regions of Southeast Asia that I’ve fallen in love with. Guests can begin their morning with a yoga or boxing session and then spend the rest of the day exploring world heritage sights, visiting ancient temples and strolling through local food markets,” said Vickie.Vickie curates each HyperFit Travel retreat to leave every guest feeling physically and mentally fitter, as well as culturally and creatively inspired. Combining fitness and cultural activities, Australian holidaymakers can experience locations such as Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines, showcasing that there is more to Southeast Asia than the common tourist destinations of Thailand and Bali.Just in time for the Australian winter, HyperFit Travel’s newest getaway, ‘Blood, Sweat and Temples’, offers adult guests of all fitness levels with the opportunity to explore the history and beauty of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The 7-day Cambodian retreat provides guests with the chance to explore the ancient history of the city, immerse themselves in the local cuisines and culture while also participating in various health and fitness activities.“We are offering a unique experience to visit the incredible Angkor Wat and participate in a range of activities from ancient martial art lessons, swimming and walking activities to spa and massage sessions, and the opportunity to taste traditional Cambodian delicacies. HyperFit Travel is the perfect mixture of fitness and travel, which ensures you don’t go home feeling as though you need another holiday,” added Vickie.The two upcoming Cambodian retreats will run from Monday 25 June to Sunday 1 July and Sunday 12 August to Saturday 18 August 2018 and can be booked through the HyperFit Travel website. Each retreat costs AU$2850 per person for a twin room and AU$3330 for a single private room (excluding flights) and includes luxury accommodation, tour guides, fitness activities with qualified trainers, most meals, transfers, Angkor park passes and a bag of goodies.Go back to the e-newsletter
August 30, 2006 Welcome to the August 27. 2006 seminar-week and workshop participants: back row from left: Nick and Neil Holloway [seminar week], Gabriele Falconi, Peter Ingraham, Mario Nuzzolese and Zeev Shilor [seminar week]. front row from left: Brendan Maloney, Callie Russell, Laszlo Kerekes, Tucker Zenski, Michal Shilor [seminar week], Annie Suzanne Murray-Bissonn and Austin Vanaria [seminar week], [Photo & text: sa]
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