Author: admin

Civil war keeps many Syrian children from school

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Associated PressTEL RIFAAT, Syria (AP) – Nine-year-old Rawan Mustafa knew she would miss school this year.Her primary school is in ruins, blown apart two months ago by an airstrike in rebel-controlled northern Syria.“I come here to find books to take them home and read _ my sister helps me,” Rawan said Sunday, picking her way through the rubble of shattered walls, half-burned work books and smashed glass. The government said more than 5 million students attended school on Sunday.Mohammed Rakani, a 10-year-old from the Damascus suburb of Sbeineh, was not among them. He is staying with his family at the Somayya al-Makhzomiya School in Damascus, which is sheltering more 300 people, or 65 families.“I want to return to my school, which I love so much. I am now in the fourth grade,” Mohammed said during a government-escorted trip to the school on Sunday.In the north, where the opposition wields much more control, rebel officials say they are too focused on getting enough food and medical supplies into the country to concentrate on schools. There are also fears that any makeshift schools set up may attract airstrikes.“Our main focus is food, shelter and medical care right now,” said Seif al-Haq, a rebel with the Tawhid Brigade that is responsible for civilian affairs in the northern city of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside.“No schools are running in the liberated areas of Aleppo, they were all destroyed, but we are trying to run makeshift classes underground, like English or computers. Of course we’re still afraid they’ll get hit,” he said. Refugees from the fighting in Aleppo, they came here months ago and moved all the desks out into the sun-splashed courtyard so that they could settle in the classrooms.The displaced acknowledged, though, that local residents had been urging them to leave and head for the refugee camps on the border so that the school could return to its original use.It’s not clear why so many schools have been hit in the fighting. In some cases rebels have apparently used the facilities, as may have been the case in Tel Rifaat where one classroom had some tattered military fatigues on the floor.Residents in Kal Jibreen, however, say that wasn’t the case with their school, which on Saturday afternoon was nearly hit by a missile that tore the facade off the house across from it.A few weeks ago, rockets put a hole in the school roof and smashed most of its windows, according to residents.“Today we should all be in school, but we can’t go because of the planes,” said Dargham Yassin, a bespectacled little boy who like many Syrian children looks much younger than his 12 years. Without school, he’s not sure how he will fill his days.“I’ll do nothing,” he said. “I’ll go feed the sheep.” Syrians who have escaped their country also lack access to education.At the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan _ which is fast becoming known as “the children’s camp” _ two-thirds of the 30,000 Syrian refugees are under 18, while 5,000 are 4 and younger. On a recent day, the children filled plastic bottles with drinking water at pumps or played on swings and slides; others scampered aimlessly about.Save the Children and UNICEF believe part of the healing process for the camp’s children will mean going back to school.But Jordanian officials have said that may not happen until October at the earliest, after promised funding is made available by the government of Bahrain. UNICEF wants a school for the camp’s children to open much sooner.“We really need to ensure that children regain some sense of normalcy. They have been through horrific times and have seen extreme violence,” said Dominique Hyde, UNICEF’s representative to Jordan. “They need as soon as possible not only to come back to education but also to some sort of routine and stability. School provides one of the best ways.”___Gavlak reported from Zataari, Jordan. AP writer Albert Aji contributed to this report from Damascus, Syria. Abu Ahmed, a high school physics teacher in Tel Rifaat, said some had contemplated holding private classes but feared they would be hit by the airstrikes that hit the area on a daily basis.“They target anywhere where people gather,” he said, asking his real name not be used because as a civil servant, he is still receiving his government salary.Another problem is that many teachers have joined the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled the province.Standing amid the ruins of the school, Mohammed Ibrahim, 13, said his Arabic teacher Abdel-Razaq was his favorite because he never got angry. But Abdel-Razaq was gone now, along with half of Mohammed’s friends.“It makes me sad that they are not here,” said Ibrahim, whose favorite subject is math because he said it makes his brain work. “It’s boring without them.”Even in villages considered “safe,” that aren’t subject to daily bombings, schools aren’t opening, often because they are filled with refugees.In the town of Souran, the newly built school is still in perfect condition, but each classroom is now filled with a different extended family who sleep side by side on the floor on thin mattresses. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sunday was the official first day of school in Syria, a country of 23 million people, but the country’s agonizing civil war is keeping thousands of students like Rawan out of classrooms nationwide.Many schools have been destroyed or occupied by refugees. Some parents are simply too afraid to send their children to school due over fears of violence. Still others are living in refugee camps outside the country with only limited access to an education.The U.N. children’s agency says it is difficult to know precisely how many Syrian children have been out of school for an extended period due to the conflict, which started 18 months ago and has killed at least 23,000 people.Dina Craissati, UNICEF’s regional education adviser, said at least 200,000 Syrian children who have been displaced from their homes within the country are having difficulty accessing education. Outside Syria’s borders, the U.N. has registered more than 250,000 refugees _ including children _ but tens of thousands more have fled to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq without registering.Some 2,000 schools have been damaged in the conflict and 759 are being used as sanctuaries for those displaced, Syrian Education Minister Hazwan al-Wazz said. Still, the government says 22,000 schools are operating and handling any overflow by having students attend classes in shifts. Top Stories Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Canadian PM in India to boost economic ties

first_img Sponsored Stories Harper will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later Tuesday, when the two sides are expected to sign several economic agreements, the statement said.The Press Trust of India news agency said the two would also discuss civil nuclear cooperation.Harper will also meet India’s president, the governing Congress party leader and the leader of the opposition.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Comments   Share   NEW DELHI (AP) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is meeting with Indian leaders to expand cooperation in civil nuclear energy, mining, higher education, and science and technology.Canada is seeking to boost its presence in Asia, and two-way trade touched $5.2 billion last year, up more than 28 percent from 2010. Total Canadian investment in India was estimated about $4.3 billion, India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.last_img read more

Girl sought in US custody case gets hearing in Mexico

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Alondra Luna traveled with Garcia to Texas, but DNA tests done days later revealed the mistake and she was returned to her family in Mexico.Judge Cinthia Elodia Mercado, who ordered Alondra Luna sent to Texas, continues to preside over Garcia’s case.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The 13-year-old girl is believed to have been taken by her father to Mexico in 2007 without Garcia’s consent.Garcia traveled to Mexico on Monday and told local reporters: “I’m dying to hold her in my arms, and I hope to return with her.”Alicia Diaz, the girl’s aunt who accompanied her to the court, said her brother, Reynaldo Diaz, decided to leave the girl with her grandmother to personally hand her over to Garcia.She said she was sure Alondra would be happy to be with Garcia, adding, “We will miss her.”Pedro de la Rosa, Garcia’s lawyer, called the encounter a happy moment and said Alondra Diaz was choosing to go with her mother. He added that Garcia would be willing to withdraw legal complaints against Alondra’s father if she regains custody.“That was one of the conditions, but I reiterate: First we have to see that diligence is done rather than proclaim victory,” de la Rosa said.The search attracted international attention last month when Mexican officials seized a different girl, 14-year-old Alondra Luna, and the judge ordered her into Garcia’s custody despite protests by the teen’s parents. A video of the girl resisting police after the court ruling spread widely in television broadcasts and online, prompting protests for her return. Parents, stop beating yourself up Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories MEXICO CITY (AP) — A teenage girl at the center of a U.S. custody case appeared in a Mexican court Tuesday, two weeks after authorities mistakenly seized another girl with a similar name and sent her across the border.Alondra Diaz Garcia was presented to a court in Los Reyes, Michoacan state, for a hearing to confirm her identity and to consider a demand for custody made by Dorotea Garcia, a Houston, Texas, woman who claims to be her mother. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Maui and Britz campervans join Leave No Trace scheme

first_imgCampervan and motorhome operator Tourism Holdings Australia (thl) announced yesterday its signing of an eco-friendly Leave No Trace scheme with the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA).The Leave No Trace scheme promotes environmentally responsible camping and requires vehicles to be self-contained and leave no trace at campsites.Vehicle occupants must also comply with a Code of Conduct carried by every accredited campervan or motorhome. The Codr of Conduct outlines appropriate waste disposal and obligations to financially support local communities through the purchase of food, fuel and supplies where possible.Thl said 33 percent of its entire Maui and Britz Australia fleet was now under the innovative green scheme with plans to increase its commitment by qualifying an extra 1000 Maui and Britz campervans over the next two years.Maui and Britz campervans accredited under the scheme will display a Leave No Trace sticker on the driver’s window and carry the Code of Conduct.Thl said its staff had also undergone training and introduced a customer care process to monitor the participation of vehicle occupants. Campers to Leave No Trace with thl’s Maui and Britz vehicles Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

SOLD Qantas global HQ

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A A real estate investment trust has bought the iconic Qantas global headquarters at Mascot for AUD170 million, Sydney’s largest suburban commercial sale in 2010.The vendor, a joint venture managed by Trafalgar Managed Investments Limited, sold the property to the Brisbane-based Cromwell Corporation under conditions that AUD25.6 million will go towards a new fit out, including an energy efficiency upgrade.In exchange, Cromwell are guaranteed a ten year Qantas office leaseback.“We have worked closely with Qantas management for sometime to structure a transaction that was a value add for all parties,” Trafalgar chief executive Braith Williams said. Cromwell Corporation chief executive Paul Weightman agreed, “Qantas HQ is an asset which will…enhance Cromwell’s existing portfolio quality.” “The property presents an opportunity for Cromwell to work cooperatively with the tenant to deliver a facility which will meet their requirements well into the next decade, and potentially to further expand the lease term beyond ten years,” Mr Weightman added.The Mascot site, encompassing 2.7 hectares and four separate buildings, was sold for an initial yield of 8.3 per cent. Managers of the sale advised that both overseas and local interest in the property was high.“Cromwell will benefit from excellent lease income rental growth which will be at a minimum of four per cent per annum,” CB Richard Ellis agent Scott Gray-Spencer said.The purchase comes less than a week after Cromwell dropped out of the bidding for Melbourne’s troubled Orchard Funds Management business, reported the Australian. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29625/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Air traffic growth slowed by political unrest

first_imgCivil unrest in Cairo had ramifications for aviation Global traffic for February 2011 has shown a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent in passenger demand, although growth was down from the 8.4 per cent expansion recorded in January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced. According to IATA, the fall in demand growth can be almost entirely attributed to the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, which cut international traffic by around 1 per cent. Although IATA director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani insists that the aviation industry’s “fundamentals are good”, he acknowledges that “extraordinary circumstances have made the first quarter of 2011 very difficult”. “Another series of shocks is denting the industry’s recovery from the recession,” Mr Bisignani said. “As the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia spreads across the Middle East and North Africa, demand growth across the region is taking a step back.” Mr Bisignani also highlighted recent events in Japan, which he says will “most certainly see a further dampening of demand from March”. At 73 per cent, February passenger load factors fell by 2.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Latin American airlines were the least exposed to February’s volatility, with year-on-year passenger demand increasing by 11.8 per cent, whilst African carriers experienced the only decrease in demand, with traffic falling by 1.3 per cent.European, North American and Asia-Pacific airlines recorded February traffic increases of 7.4 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Accor Scoops Eight Top Honours At 2012 HM Awards

first_imgGeoffrey York General Manager The Fairmont Resort MGallery accepts the 2012 HM Australia General Manager of the Year Award Accor celebrates 22 awards including 8 category wins at the leading awards for the accommodation industry across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific The Accor hotel group is celebrating after receiving eight coveted awards plus a further 14 Highly Commended achievements at the 2012 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence held at Sydney Town Hall on Friday night. A record 2300 entries were received for the HM Awards which celebrated its tenth year in 2012. A total of 46 awards were presented at the Friday 7 September gala dinner following a lengthy nomination and voting process involving a key judging panel of over 20 industry professionals. Accor was one of the most triumphant hotel groups at the 2012 HM Awards ceremony, recognised across a variety of categories for outstanding hotel properties, departments and people. In the ‘Major Awards’ categories, Accor Hotels won the HM Magazine Hotel Chain of the Year category for the second consecutive year, cementing its leadership position in the Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific markets. Accor’s Chairman and Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific, Michael Issenberg was crowned HM Magazine Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year, while Simon McGrath Accor’s Chief Operating Officer Pacific received a well-respected Highly Commended  accolade in the category for Australasian Hotelier of the Year, with the Pullman Brand earning a Highly Commended for Best Hotel Brand.It was a big week for General Manager of Ibis Christchurch Tim Dearsley as he not only re-opened the hotel two years after the quake devastated the city but won HM’s special 47th Award for Service to the Industry.Sofitel Luxury Hotels continued Accor’s winning streak with a further seven accolades. Taking home top honours, the stunning Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa won Best New Zealand Hotel, while Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island, French Polynesia confirmed Sofitel’s dominance in the Pacific region, with Best South Pacific Property and the Best Food and Beverage Associate nod going to Claude Stein of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Several Accor staff made it to the winner’s podium in ‘people’ and ‘service’ categories including Tara Crisafi from The Sebel Residence Chatswood who won the highly anticipated Rising Star of the Year, while General Manager of The Fairmont Resort MGallery, Geoffrey York triumphed and took home the illustrious HM Australian General Manager of the Year Award. Accor’s Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Simon McGrath said that Accor was thrilled to be recognised by our industry peers in a number of HM Award categories. “We are humbled to received such an array of awards at this year’s HM Awards and it is a fitting tribute to all our staff that we once again received Hotel Chain of the Year. To win this major award is a huge tribute to the amazing and collective efforts of our 12,000 employees right across the Pacific region.”  The annual HM Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the enormous achievements which exemplify excellence in performance and service within the hospitality industry. Tara Crisafi from The Sebel Chatswood wins HM 2012 Rising Star of the Year Award Accor Director of Finance, Steven Lake accepts the 2012 HM Hotel Chain of the Year Award for Accorcenter_img Graeme Ham Accor General Manager HR New Zealand accepts the special HM Service to Industry Award on behalf of Tim Dearsley Ibis Christchurch General Mangaer Source = Accorlast_img read more

Aussie growth for Avalon

first_imgMore Aussies booking river cruises. Business from Australia continues to grow for Avalon Waterways, according to the company’s managing director Stewart Williams.Speaking in Sydney earlier this week, Mr Williams said sales from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia had increased by 15 percent this year compared to last year, while bookings have more than doubled since 2010.Launching its products in Australia less than ten years ago, Mr Williams said growth from the market was hard to believe and does not expect to see it slow down anytime soon.“Even during the economic crisis we didn’t see a decline,” he explained.Renewing focus in South East Asia and Africa this year, Mr Williams said the group had already witnessed an 85 percent hike in sales from the region.“It’s really starting to grow,” he added.This week Avalon Waterways also announced an increase to its product range, with a new 11-day Peruvian adventure.Click here for more information.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Cairns wins ATE 2014

Tourism Australia has announced that Cairns and Tropical North Queensland will host Australian Tourism Exchange in 2014, with the announcement without doubt a significant and much needed boost to the region’s troubled tourism industry.Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy made the announcement at ATE 2013 with ATE to take place in May, with the final date to be announced and he was supported in the announcement by Stephen Gregg, chairman of Tourism and Events Queensland and Rob Giason chief executive of Tourism Tropical North Queensland.To hear what they all had to say, including promising a very different ATE in Cairns, a city of 150,000 people compared to Sydney a city of 5 million people, click here.e-Travel Blackboard was on location to report from Australian Tourism Exchange 2013, brought to you by Hilton Sydney.Source = e-Travel Blackboard read more

Qantas boost share in Jetstar Japan

first_imgQantas Airways and Japan Airlines equally increased their equity shares in Jetstar Japan in order to support future fleet and infrastructure growth. Earlier this year, Qantas reduced its maximum planned equity investment in Jetstar Hong Kong by US$33 million, after a third shareholder invested in the budget airline. The new equity injection will enable Jetstar Japan to capitalise on the increasingly significant potential of low cost carriers within the world’s third largest economy. Jetstar Japan commenced operations on 1 July 2012 and operates a fleet of 18 aircraft to nine destinations, carrying over 3 million passengers as the largest low cost carrier operating in Japan. The two international airlines combined equity injection totals approximately AU$120 million, in the form of non-voting shares, raising their economic interest from 41.7 percent to 45.7 percent each. Minor shareholders, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing, have reduced their stake in the budget carrier from 8.3 percent to 4.3 percent each. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Luxury Victorian villa opens for guests in Queenstown

first_imgLuxury Victorian villa opens for guests in QueenstownHulbert House, a new luxury, boutique accommodation in a restored Victorian villa, opens in Queenstown on 1 June.The six suite property is managed by Brook Serene and Co Limited, the same company behind The George Christchurch, Hotel Montreal Christchurch and The Regent of Rotorua.Managing Director of The George hotel collection, Bruce Garrett says the new Queenstown property is a perfect fit for the company’s growing portfolio.“Hulbert House is a rare gem in Queenstown – an outstanding piece of Victorian heritage, beautifully restored, offering a high level of service and attention to detail,” he says.The property’s six uniquely designed suites have views overlooking either Lake Wakatipu and the Skyline Hill. Located one block from Queenstown’s CBD area, Hulbert House was built in 1887 during the height of the New Zealand gold rush.Award-winning designer Neil McLachlan has created an elegant and opulent palate to capture the heritage of the building and grounds. “The fittings include intricate chandeliers, French antiques and wrought iron balustrades. The Chinese willow pattern carpet, especially designed by McLachlan, was tailor-made in England from pure New Zealand wool,” Bruce Garrett says.Hulbert House guests enjoy personal concierge service, breakfast, refreshments during the day and pre-dinner drinks and canapes. Also included are free wi-fi and carparking.Family-owned company TJK New Zealand and its management company, Brook Serene have owned and managed The George since 1988, establishing a 28-year reputation for excellent service and style. Last year they took over management of Christchurch’s only other Qualmark five-star property Hotel Montreal, and ownership and management of The Regent of Rotorua, an established boutique property in central Rotorua. The George is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has won numerous awards, including several years as New Zealand’s Leading Boutique Hotel in the World Travel Awards.The George’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Jan Stuart now represents all four properties including Hulbert House.Source = Hulbert Houselast_img read more

South Australia featured in Vogues Top Destinations for Summer

first_imgSouth Australia featured in Vogue’s Top Destinations for SummerThe accolades for South Australia keep rolling in, with Vogue.com the latest publication to list South Australia in their top ten travel list.The article published on Friday 26 May 2017, lists South Australia as the top third destination out of ten places around the world to travel to in summer.To compile the list, Vogue reached out to their resident travel experts to share their ‘favourite and unexpected summer vacation destinations’ with South Australia the list’s only Australian destination.South Australia is featured among nine other international cities and countries, including Sifnos (Greece), Faroe Islands (North Atlantic Ocean), Portugal, Aland Islands (Finland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tofino (British Columbia), Namibia, Komodo Islands (Indonesia) and Baja California (Mexico).The article’s author, Leiti Hsu, notes the impressive food and wine offering in South Australia as well as the regions’ proximity to Adelaide as a key driver of the listing with SA described as the ‘foodie state’ of Australia.“Just an hour-drive away is the Barossa Valley, which makes some of the country’s finest wines from some of the world’s oldest vines.Right in town is the original Penfolds Magill Estate, and 20 minutes outside of town is the Basket Range wine region, which is leading the country’s natural winemaking movement,” says Leiti.With uninterrupted coastline and crowd-free beaches, world-class restaurants showcasing South Australia’s fresh produce and seemingly limitless wine experiences, it’s no surprise South Australia is listed as the place-to-be this summer.Vogue’s summer travel list helps bolster South Australia’s reputation as a not-to-be-missed destination and firmly cements South Australia’s position as a world-class food and wine haven.South Australia is also proud to feature in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions to Visit in 2017 list, to be the No.1 Place to Be in 2017 by emerging travel website Trip.com and ranked the world’s 5th most Liveable City by the Economist Intelligence. Visit South AustraliaSource = South Australia Govlast_img read more

Battle of Imphal WWII Tours expands into Myanmar

first_imgThe Burma Campaign revisited: Battle of Imphal Tours guide for Myanmar, Mr Yaiphaba Kangjam (‘Yai’); the remains of the bridge at Sittang (Sittaung); the Japanese memorial outside Mandalay, and the Taukkyan War CemeteryBattle of Imphal WWII Tours expands into MyanmarSpecialist WWII battlefield tour operator in Imphal, North East India, now offers tours into Myanmar to give tourists a fuller picture of the decisive Burma Campaign which started the downfall of Japanese imperial ambitions in AsiaBattle of Imphal Tours has expanded its tour options beyond Imphal and Kohima in North East India into Myanmar (Burma). The specialist battlefield tour company, founded in 2012 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bloody 1944 Battle of Imphal in Manipur India, now offers four itineraries in neighbouring Myanmar.The Essential Burma WWII Tour lasts seven days, the Chindits Tour eight days, the Leisurely Burma WWII Tour 17 days, and the Full Burma Campaign Tour 14 days. The latter trip has the option of three extra days in which visitors can cross from Manipur in North East India to Myanmar at the Moreh-Tamu crossing, a route rich in strategic significance during the Burma Campaign.Battle of Imphal Tours was founded by Hemant Singh Katoch who has published two books on Imphal: The Battlefields of Imphal: The Second World War and North East India, and Imphal 1944: The Japanese Invasion of India.“Myanmar and North East India are bound together by their shared experience of the Second World War,” said Hemant. “That’s why we now link the battlefield sites of Imphal and Kohima with those across Myanmar, which has dozens of historically significant locations. Only by covering both sides of the India-Myanmar frontier do you get a proper feel for the full drama and terrain of the Burma Campaign,” he said.Imphal-based Yaiphaba Kangjam (‘Yai’), the company’s principal battlefield guide, will lead all tours in Myanmar.Battle of Imphal Tours have linked up with Khiri Travel Myanmar, which will handle the logistics, transport and hotels often in remote areas of the country. Khiri has also built a strong reputation as a film fixer for British TV productions in Myanmar such as Burma, My Father and the Forgotten Army, with Griff Rhys Jones, and Top Gear.“Many people in the UK and beyond have family history with Burma,” said Edwin Briels, managing director of Khiri Travel Myanmar. “We work closely with local people and institutions to help reconnect visitors with places that have emotional and historical significance for them. We also welcome anyone interested in a fuller understanding of World War II.”People and travel agents interested in visiting the WWII battlefields, museums, war graves and commemorative sites of India and Burma should visit battleofimphal.com which has specific itinerary information, photographs and testimonials.SidebarIn October 2015, the Burma Star Association awarded a Certificate of Merit and Friendship Badge to Hemant Singh Katoch, founder of the Battle of Imphal Tours, for pioneering battlefield tours around Imphal and Kohima. The letter of commendation was from Colonel Viscount Slim, President of the Burma Star Association and son of the late-Field Marshal William J. Slim, who had commanded the British Fourteenth Army to victory at Imphal and Kohima in 1944. The letter can be inspected here.Pull quotes“Imphal was one of the greatest Allied victories of the war, a turning point as significant in Asia as EI Alamein and Stalingrad had been in Africa and Europe” – Peter Heehs, History Today“The war in Burma was a combination of jungle war, mountain war, desert war, and naval war” – Col. Fuwa Masao in Louis Allen, Burma – The Longest WarSource = Khiri Travel and Battle of Imphal Tourslast_img read more

Exploring the capital of Tasmania Hobart

first_imgHobart, capital of Tasmania, sits on the River Derwent off the coast of Australia. The city is located in the state’s south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River, with its harbour forming the second-deepest natural port in the world.Source: Expedialast_img

Arunachal Pradesh sign MoUs with key partners to boost tourism

first_imgThe Department of Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh held its first Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Conclave 2017 in New Delhi. The conclave was graced by Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, Government of India and witnessed a compelling programme of anchor events. The platform was part of the state government’s efforts to boost domestic and international tourist inflow in the state which received over 3.5 lakh tourists in 2016.The tourism board is constantly committed to developing the tourism infrastructure in the state through creation of tourism products that will attract and assist trade partners to provide unique offerings to tourists and put Arunachal Pradesh in the consideration set of holiday makers.Speaking at the conclave, Dr Joram Beda, Tourism Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, said, “Arunachal Pradesh is investing to become the adventure and exotic tourism hub of India. We have been organising theme-based events like the Tawang Festival, Ziro Festival of Music, Arunachal Spring Carnival, Adventure at Mechuka, Kameng River Festival. The role of tourism partners in building awareness and encouraging on the unique attractions this state offers is paramount. In 2017, we expect the number of tourist arrivals to grow exponentially.”In a pan India bid to formulate strategies and methodologies to develop tourism opportunities in Arunachal Pradesh, the department of tourism has also signed MoUs signaling strategic partnerships between four key partners to work together to promote and attract tourists in the pristine State of Arunachal Pradesh.Oxigen Wallet has signed on as the official E-wallet Partner for the department of Tourism and is committed to promote cashless transactions in the tourism sector of the state. Joining hands with them is MakeMyTrip.com who has signed on as its official Partner in the Online Travel Portal Category to drive tourists into the state. Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has come on board as official Partner in the Travel Agents Association Category. Fly Wings (FWSTC) who has signed on as the official partner for Hospitality Training will lead the initiative to assist the unemployed youth to get trained under the Tourism and Hospitality Management programme. The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) is the official Creative and Brand Development partner to the department of Tourism and will provide support in creating effective branding and creative campaigns for the state’s tourism initiatives.The combined efforts of these partners will harness the potential of tourism in Arunachal Pradesh and develop tourism facilities and various tourism destinations as per the master plan.The tourism industry in the state is well poised for growth and is looking for yearly growth of around 20% in the next three years. The department of Tourism in Arunachal Pradesh is working to overcome the inherent infrastructure challenges and transportation bottlenecks as the sector moves from its nascent stage into the country’s tourism foray.last_img read more

Freddie Mac Reports Quarterly Profit of 29B

first_img A turnaround in housing helped drive “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ to a $2.9 billion profit in the third quarter, the GSE “”reported””:http://www.freddiemac.com/investors/er/pdf/2012er-3q12_release.pdf.[IMAGE]Freddie Mac’s net earnings dipped slightly under the $3.0 billion reported for Q2, but it helped keep the company from making any additional Treasury draws. In a report released in October, the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/–Freddie’s conservator–said the GSE is not expected to need any more draws from the Treasury starting in 2013.In addition, Freddie’s comprehensive income of $5.6 billion in Q3 allowed it to pay a $1.8 billion dividend on senior preferred stock.[COLUMN_BREAK]Year-to-date, Freddie Mac’s net income and comprehensive income totaled $6.5 billion and $10.3 billion, respectively, at the end of September. The company’s net worth was $4.9 billion, up $3.8 billion from Q2, according to the quarterly filing.””Freddie Mac’s strong financial performance this quarter was driven by favorable market conditions, including the continued improvement in the housing market, as well as our ongoing efforts to minimize losses on our legacy book,”” said Freddie Mac CEO Donald H. Layton.Freddie’s inventory of delinquent loans is at the lowest level in two years, Layton noted, and its higher quality new book of business now makes up 60 percent of its portfolio.The single-family serious delinquency rate was 3.37 percent at the end of the quarter, down from 3.45 percent at the end of Q2. While the seriously delinquency rate is higher than it was in years prior to 2009, it is significantly lower than the rate for the entire U.S. mortgage market-7.31 percent at June 30, 2012, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.Meanwhile, the multifamily delinquency rate remained unchanged quarter-to-quarter at 0.27 percent. Share November 6, 2012 426 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Freddie,Freddie Mac Reports Quarterly Profit of $2.9B Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers 2012-11-06 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

As Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Drag On Mortgage Rates Settle In

first_img Share Fixed mortgage rates showed little signs of life in the last full week of November, hovering near record lows as markets show heightened worry about the fiscal cliff.[IMAGE]According to “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending November 29, up from the previous week’s record low of 3.31 percent.The 15-year FRM also slid up, reaching 2.64 percent (0.6 point). The previous survey showed an average rate of 2.63 percent.Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-index hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) slipped down, averaging [COLUMN_BREAK]2.72 percent (0.6 point) from 2.74 percent before. The 1-year ARM remained flat from week to week at 2.56 percent (0.5 point).Rates recorded for “”Bankrate’s””:http://www.bankrate.com/ weekly survey were similarly unchanged. The 30-year fixed average fell from 3.53 percent to tie the survey’s record low of 3.52 percent. The average 15-year fixed rate held steady at 2.86 percent.The 5/1 ARM showed the most movement, bouncing up to 2.74 percent from 2.70 previously.””The uncertainty of the fiscal cliff outcome has businesses, consumers, and financial markets uncertain and that uncertainty is good for mortgage rates,”” Bankrate said. “”Expect mortgage rates to remain at these levels as long as the fiscal cliff talks drag on.””The majority of analysts “”surveyed””:http://www.bankrate.com/news/rate-trends/mortgage.aspx by Bankrate–70 percent–expressed doubt that rates will post any notable movement one way or the other in the coming week. Of the remainder, 23 percent said they expect a drop, citing the little progress that’s been made in avoiding the fiscal cliff.Regardless of Washington’s rhetoric, senior mortgage reporter Polyana da Costa says the power of the Federal Reserve’s ongoing quantitative easing efforts is undeniable.””With or without a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, rates will stay where the Fed wants them,”” da Costa said. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing November 29, 2012 413 Views center_img As Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Drag On, Mortgage Rates Settle In Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Politics Processing Service Providers 2012-11-29 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Connecticut Home Sales Pick Up Strength in June

first_img Connecticut’s housing market headed into summer with a promising gain in home sales, reflecting the spoils of an active spring season.Single-family home sales in the Constitution State totaled 2,799 in June, according to the Warren Group, marking a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago. It was the fourth time so far this year that home sales have performed better annually.Throughout the entire second quarter, sales totaled 6,679, down nearly 5 percent compared to the year-ago period.Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. explained that the rise in sales activity was expected as deals made during the spring selling season hit their closings in June, July, and August. Indeed, June sales were the strongest since August 2013, when they came to a total of 2,897.”The housing market in Connecticut is showing signs of improvement as we see the biggest percentage gain in monthly home sales so far this year,” Warren said. “While not robust, the Connecticut real estate market continues to show a solid recovery.”On an annual basis, home prices in the state came down 3.2 percent to a median $276,000. Year-to-date, the Warren Group reports the median single-family price was $250,000 through 2014’s first half, a decline of 2.0 percent from 2013.Shifting the focus to condominiums, the group says condo sales jumped 14.1 percent year-over-year in June, climbing by nearly 100 units to 760 sold. For the first half of the year, condo sales came to 3,067, up 3.8 percent.While single-family home prices were in decline, condo prices rose. According to the Warren Group, the median selling price for condos in June was 180,000, up 2.9 percent from June 2013, though the year-to-date median was down 1.2 percent to $166,000. Connecticut Home Sales Pick Up Strength in June in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharecenter_img Home Prices Home Sales The Warren Group 2014-08-06 Tory Barringer August 6, 2014 500 Views last_img read more

Former FHFA Policy Analyst Joins Collingwood Group

first_img in Government, Headlines, News February 18, 2015 526 Views Former FHFA Policy Analyst Joins Collingwood Group Collingwood Group FHFA Movers & Shakers 2015-02-18 Tory Barringercenter_img The Collingwood Group, a business advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that veteran housing finance policy expert Bonnie McCloskey has joined the company as VP.McCloskey comes to Collingwood from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), where she worked as a senior policy analyst. She is Collingwood’s second recent addition from FHFA, joining months after Meg Burns, former senior associate director for the agency.In her role at FHFA, McCloskey was responsible for providing oversight and guidance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on a variety of single-family policy and technology issues. Her work focused on creating new standards for industry information and systems utilization.Before that, she spent more than two decades at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), serving in a number of positions within the Office of Single-Family Housing. In her time at FHA, McCloskey managed all of the agency’s key technology tools, including FHA Connection, the Single-Family Data Warehouse, and the Neighborhood Watch system.In her new role, McCloskey will support Collingwood’s Risk Management and Compliance and Business Advisory practices.”After 27 years in the federal government I am excited to bring my experience to the private sector,” McCloskey said. “I look forward to helping Collingwood’s clients navigate today’s challenging regulatory landscape.””Bonnie’s experience at FHA and FHFA make her the ideal addition to the Collingwood team,” said Collingwood Vice-Chairman Brian Montgomery. “Her work spanned all aspects of the FHA business. Her expertise will be invaluable to Collingwood’s clients as they strive to be compliant with a myriad of regulations while also exploring new opportunities.” Sharelast_img read more