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Pentagon recommends new Navy Army chiefs

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter nominated two top military officers Wednesday to take charge of the Army and Navy, selecting men who have faced public scrutiny over the past year for their key leadership roles in high-profile cases.Speaking at the Pentagon, Carter said he is recommending Adm. John Richardson, head of the Navy’s nuclear program, to be the next chief of naval operations, and Gen. Mark Milley to be the next Army chief of staff. Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your homecenter_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Prior to taking the Forces Command job in August 2014, he was the commander at Fort Hood, Texas. He was in charge when a soldier being treated for mental illness gunned down three people and wounded 16 others before shooting himself.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Richardson, Carter added, is a “bold thinker” and a go-to officer for many of the Navy’s tough issues. Carter joked that he had to wrestle Richardson away from the secretary of energy; in his role as director of the Navy program, Richardson also serves as the deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is part of the Energy Department.Richardson is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in physics, and he also holds a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served as director of the Navy’s nuclear reactors program since November 2012, and his choice signals the military’s continued emphasis on undersea warfare and nuclear deterrence.One official said Richardson has a reputation in the Navy as an analytical, strategic thinker, and said he is expected to continue to make the planned nuclear submarine replacement program a top priority.Milley graduated and received his commission from Princeton University in 1980. In addition to a number of command jobs across the Army, he has also served as a member of the Army special forces. He led the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade during tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and later served as deputy commanding general and commanding general during two other Afghanistan tours. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milley, the current head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., was assigned to review the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years. After spending months reviewing the massive case file, Milley made the decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.Richardson has served as director of the Navy’s nuclear reactors program since November 2012, and last year he ordered a broad investigation into allegations that a cheating ring had operated undetected for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site. Nearly three dozen sailors were kicked out of the program after the Navy discovered they were cheating on qualification exams. They were seeking to become qualified as instructors at the nuclear training unit in Charleston, South Carolina. Students there are trained in nuclear reactor operations to prepare for service on any of the Navy’s 83 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.Both men face Senate confirmation.Carter called Milley, who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a “warrior and a statesman” and said he has long been impressed by the general’s candor and good judgment.last_img read more

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Civilians biggest losers on Afghan wars new northern front

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The presence of civilians across the battle zone is one of the main factors hindering the tactics and progress of government forces. Officials say that army operations are hampered not only by poor equipment and lack of air support, but by the presence of the militants in people’s homes, and fears that fighting in rural districts could set fire to the wheat crop now ready for harvest.Provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Sabor Nasrati conceded that “progress is slow.”“To avoid civilian casualties we can’t use heavy artillery and we don’t have air support” since the departure last year of international combat troops as the U.S. and NATO operations moved to a training and support role. “It makes our men on the ground extra careful and slows the operation.”A total of 204 war-wounded were admitted to Kunduz’s only trauma hospital, run by French NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres, between April 24, when the assault kicked off the Taliban’s annual warm-weather offensive, and May 11, said project coordinator Laurent Gabriel. “In just one week, May 11-17, 84 people arrived with war wounds, double the number in the same week last year,” he said. In this Thursday, May 21, 2015 photo, an Afghan refugee woman walks near her tent in a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. When the Taliban descended a month ago on Dam Shakh, a hamlet on the wheat-growing plains of northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, nobody was prepared. By the time they were beaten back from the provincial capital of Kunduz, more than 100,000 people were forced from their homes and total of 204 war-wounded were admitted to Kunduz’s only trauma hospital, run by French NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres in less than a month. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   Mohammad Aslam welcomes the militiamen into his compound in Al-Chin, which he shared with the families of his five brothers until they found themselves on the front line of the newest war. Half the family compound was destroyed and most of the 40 residents fled. He remains with a couple of his young sons to tend the cows and donkeys tethered under a tree, and the chickens and ducks with their newly-hatched broods.“We fought here for a week alone, we were surrounded, we fought until we ran out of ammunition,” he said.Now as he kicks the charred bricks and wood of a brother’s house, Aslam worries that it will be a long time before lasting peace is assured.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The hospital’s wards tell the tale of the past month’s violence.Seventeen-year-old Nasrullah was walking home from school on May 17 when he was caught in crossfire in the Iman Sahib district north of the city — scene of some of the worst fighting. “I heard the gunfire, but it slowed down and I thought it was ok to keep walking along the road,” said Nasrullah, who like many Afghans goes by only one name. He took three bullets in his left leg — now pinned and hoisted — and one in his right leg.In the opposite bed, 18-year-old policeman Abdullah Raouf is recovering from a May 19 mortar attack in Gor Tepa. Still dazed from surgery, he was unable to talk as two male relatives said both legs and his right shoulder were wounded.In areas returned to government control, a tense and uncertain peace prevails. The militias in mufti outnumber the army. Military Humvees and armored police vehicles come and go sporadically, and soldiers sit in watchtowers reinforced with dirt-filled Hesco bags. In the fields, the wheat is cut into sheaves, and the occasional shop opens for the residents who are tentatively making a return to their damaged homes.Residents of villages like Talawka, with 4,000 households and just a few kilometers from the front line at Gor Tepa, are not taking their shaky moment of respite for granted. Local militia groups were drafted for the front-line fight, some of them armed and paid by the provincial authorities. Now they patrol the cleared areas, walking in single file along the mud-brick walls of deserted compounds and through the shimmering wheat fields — their automatic rifles, grenade launchers and machine guns slung over baggy cotton shalwar khameez. KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AP) — When the Taliban descended a month ago on Dam Shakh, a hamlet on the wheat-growing plains of northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, nobody was prepared.“They turned up suddenly and took us completely by surprise,” said resident Ghulam Sakhi of the night of April 24 when hundreds of Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack. “It was horrific. People just started running away as fast as they could and for those who stayed, we were on our own for 10 days. The government just couldn’t cope.” Military and intelligence authorities were equally surprised. Armed gunmen took over homes and used residents as human shields. Army reinforcements didn’t arrive for days and then lacked supplies — ammunition, food, fuel — because of poor logistics, Gov. Mohammad Omer Safi said. As government forces rallied their defenses, the fighting raged for more than two weeks as the militants came within three kilometers (less than 2 miles) of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, Safi said.For now, the city of Kunduz appears secured. A combined force of government troops and hastily recruited militiamen has pushed managed to push back the insurgents to Gor Tepa, some 15 kilometers (12 miles) from Kunduz city, and liberated occupied villages and hamlets such as Talawka and Dam Shakh.But the battle continues and Afghan officials concede it will be slow, bloody work to dislodge the insurgents much further. In the meantime, the region’s civilian population will bear the brunt of living on Afghanistan’s new northern front line. Already more than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes, many renting houses or staying with other families and receiving assistance from U.N. agencies and other charities. 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Indonesias Mount Sinabung unleashes new powerful burst

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk A farmer watches as Mount Sinabung releases pyroclastic flows in Tiga Pancur, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Saturday, June 13, 2015. The volcano, which was put on it highest alert level last week, has sporadically erupted since 2010 after being dormant for 400 years. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara) Comments   Share   Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Hot ash tumbled down the slopes of the mountain as far as 3 kilometers (2 miles) southeastward on Saturday, said Wendy Cahya, an official at the mountain’s monitoring post.No injuries were reported from the latest eruption, he said.Cahya said that as of Saturday evening, 11 avalanches of hot ash had been recorded, with volcanic ash released as high as 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) into the air.Volcanologists have warned that smoldering rocks mixed with hot gases may tumble down from the mountain at any time.More than 2,700 people from villages within the danger zone of 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) from the crater have been evacuated to temporary shelters. No casualties have been reported from this month’s eruptions.Mount Sinabung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.The volcano has sporadically erupted since 2010, after being dormant for 400 years. An eruption last year killed at least 17 people.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Men’s health affects baby’s health too JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A volcano in western Indonesia unleashed a new powerful burst high into the sky on Saturday, sending hot ash far down the mountain’s slopes, an official said.Authorities have been closely monitoring 2,460-meter (8,070-foot) -high Mount Sinabung on Sumatra, one of Indonesia’s main islands, since June 2, when its status was raised to the highest alert level due to the growing size of its lava dome. Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories last_img read more

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China eyes highspeed rail links with Europe India Russia

first_imgChina is reportedly in negotiations which could see the economic behemoth build a high-speed railway connecting its capital with the United Kingdom, Russia and Southeast Asia.The new connections could potentially see passengers reach London from Beijing within two days, reports The Telegraph in London, who cites a source who is a senior consultant on China’s domestic high-speed rail project. China is reportedly eyeing three different train lines, one headed towards Europe and the United Kingdom through India, another through Russia into Germany and Eastern Europe, and a final line headed towards Singapore through Malaysia and Thailand.“We are aiming for the trains to run almost as fast as aeroplanes… The best case scenario is that the three networks will be completed in a decade,” said Mengshu Wang, to The Telegraph.Mr Wang adds that China is already in negotiations with 17 countries.“We have also already carried out the prospecting and survey work for the European network, and Central and Eastern European countries are keen for us to start.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/280ad/” 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

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Te Manava Luxury Villas Spa wins Bloomberg Hotel Award

first_imgSource = Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa There’s positive, upbeat news for the Asia Pacific’s hospitality industry this week as the results of the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2011 in association with Bloomberg Television and Google have been revealed. Rightly proud of its success, Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa (managed by Pacific Resort Hotel Group – Cook Islands) is delighted to announce that it has won an award in the category of “Best New Small Hotel – Design & Construction”. Winners have been invited to attend a high profile gala dinner at the Longemont Hotel Shanghai on May 31st where they were presented with their awards.The event is part of the International Property Awards, the world’s most prestigious competition dedicated to finding the best hotel properties from across the globe. The fact that Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa has won one of these coveted awards is proof that the Cook Islands is not only able to compete at this level but also triumph within the highly competitive Asia Pacific property arena.Later this year, top scoring winners from the Asia Pacific Property Awards will compete against other winning companies from Europe, the UK, Europe, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best in each category. The judging panel is chaired by Anthony Murkett, managing director of The Sloane Club in London and consists of 20 professionals whose collective knowledge of the hospitality industry is second to none. This year’s judges include James Bacon, UK account manager of Google; Peter Crome, managing director of Skibo Castle in Scotland; Mike McNamara of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS); David Dalby of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Rebecca Johnson of Bloomberg TV (Hotel Section). Greg Stanaway, chief executive officer of Pacific Resort Hotel Group, welcomed the award as a testament to Pacific Resort Hotel Groups’ focus on quality and design, “This is a great honor for us, and reinforcing our path to being recognized internationally as a quality-focused property manager and developer.”  last_img read more

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Leaders calling for Qantas audit

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T ACCC says audit is unnecessary as competition won’t change. Unions and an independent senator are requesting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) audit Qantas before granting final approval on the airline’s joint venture with Emirates.Independent senator Nick Xenophon and some unions believe Qantas may be shifting funds and exaggerating issues the airline is reporting with its international business, ABC news reported.ACCC chairman Rod Sims said an audit was not necessary as the venture will not have a momentous effect on competition.“Had we said, look the competitive detriment is really strong, therefore the only way you could justify this is the fact that Qantas is going to get off these routes and is in dire trouble, then you would have needed to do what Senator Xenophon in particular is talking about,” Mr Sims said.“But we didn’t find that amount of detriment to justify that.”The ACCC’s formal analysis did uncover some small gains for passengers, due to additional connections and better access to rewards programs, but did not envisage much of a change to competition, with many other airlines servicing similar routes to Qantas and Emirates.Qantas and Emirates were granted draft approval by the ACCC for their joint venture in December 2012.last_img read more

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Cebu Pacific flew 169 million passengers in 2014

first_imgCebu Pacific (CEB) has released figures from 2014 that show the airline flew 16.9 million passengers in 2014, which is an increase of 17.5 per cent from 2013.The report shows that on average, CEB flights were 84 per cent full during the year, and the airline achieved notable passenger growth in both domestic and several international markets.The Cebu Pacific Air group increased flights to domestic markets, as its newly acquired subsidiary, Tigerair Philippines, launched eight domestic routes from its hubs in Manila and Cebu.In 2014, the airline launched direct non-stop flights from Manila to Kuwait, Riyadh, and Dammam, and it also launched a five times weekly service from Manila to Sydney, which significantly boosted arrivals from Australia.CEB expanded its operations in Japan with the launch of daily services from Manila to Tokyo and a four times weekly service to Nagoya.CEB vice president marketing and distribution Candice Iyog, said that 2014 was a good year for Cebu Pacific and 2015 looks to be even better.“Last January, CEB flew its 100 millionth passenger. We thank our passengers who have allowed us to fly with them throughout the years. Our passengers constantly inspire us to find ways to serve them better, and we look forward to enabling even more Filipinos to fly,” Ms Iyog said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Australians can now obtain Kenyan eVisas online

first_imgAustralians can now obtain Kenyan eVisa’s onlineAustralians travelling to Kenya can now apply for their visa online as part of new efforts introduced by the Kenyan National Government Department of Immigration Services this week.As of 1 July, 2015 travellers can process their visa, which can take around seven working days, prior to arrival, visitors will then be required to present their printed eVisa upon entry, avoiding any long queues and delays.This is a transition period and visitors will still have the option of obtaining their visa on arrival at all international airports up until the end of August, 2015. For arrivals post 1 September 2015 visas will need to be applied for through the online application process.Single-entry visas (business or tourism) are US$50, a transit visa (valid for three days) US$20 and the East Africa Tourist visa is US$100. The four-step procedure requires visitors to submit an application form and passport-sized photo. Magical KenyaSource = Magical Kenyalast_img read more

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Winter campaign works its magic on Aussies

first_img#NZdronie images on social mediaLast year’s winter season has seen record numbers of Australians hit the New Zealand slopes – with holiday arrivals into Queenstown up 14 per cent and participation in a snow sport up 15 per cent for the June – September 2015 period.Into its third year, the successful ‘More magic in every day’ campaign was once again a collaborative effort between Tourism New Zealand, the Ski Tourism Marketing Network (Ski TMN), Air New Zealand and Flight Centre.Tourism New Zealand General Manager Australia Tony Saunders says, “Not only did New Zealand welcomed record number of Aussie winter holiday makers but on average they spent more – which is great news for the industry.”Rolled out across three phases – early bird, last minute and spring ski with activity running from February through to September, it is one of Tourism New Zealand’s largest pieces of activity in the Australian market each year.The campaign works to showcase the wide range of winter holiday experiences on offer in New Zealand to attract beginner skiers, as well as the more experienced.Tourism New Zealand’s #NZdronie visited the slopes to once again drive holiday makers to share their winter experiences with friends and family on social media.“The innovative activity – providing skiers with their epic aerial selfie – created huge conversation on social media with #NZdronie posts achieving a combined reach of 34m across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.“With summer well underway it might seem a bit odd to be thinking about winter again, but that’s exactly what Tourism New Zealand is doing,” says Tony.Planning for Tourism New Zealand’s early-bird ski activity for 2016, which will launch in April this year, is already well underway. Run with key conversion partners including Air New Zealand, the activity aims to get Australian’s thinking about booking their winter holidays.Key learnings for the 2016 season will be an increasing focus on the beginner ski segment which holds the greatest potential for arrival growth. The activity will continue to showcase the range of experiences on offer in New Zealand, both on and off the slopes.Another focus will be on driving visitation over the spring period when skiing in New Zealand has greatest capacity and provides ideal soft snow conditions for beginner skiers. Visit New ZealandSource = Tourism New Zealandlast_img read more

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Merger creates compelling new active tourism brand

first_imgMerger creates compelling new active tourism brandMerger creates compelling new active tourism brandAdventure tourism companies Go Orange, Queenstown Rafting and Kiwi Discovery are merging to form a strong active tourism brand under the Go Orange name. Queenstown Rafting is New Zealand’s largest white water rafting operator, Kiwi Discovery is one of the best known ski, sightseeing and adventure activity operators and Go Orange offers cruising and kayaking in Milford and Doubtful Sounds, as well as cycling in Fiordland National Park.With around a hundred staff, the newly merged Go Orange will start on May 1st offering rafting, kayaking, cruising, cycling, ski and track transport and a range of coach connections in the region.“The combined strengths of these three Real Journeys owned companies will give us a sharper focus, provide a greater range of options for visitors and enable the new Go Orange to build on its reputation as an active, fun, innovative, value brand,” says Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder.The merger, which follows extensive consultation, was announced to staff last week and some of the key appointments have now been confirmed. All existing staff have been offered new roles in the merged company or within the wider Real Journeys Group. There have been no redundancies, and a number of new jobs have been advertised.“This is an exciting development for us – the merger will enable us to create two very distinct tourism brands. The Go Orange active adventures brand will complement Real Journeys premium positioning,” says Richard.Tim Barke, General Manager of Queenstown Rafting and Kiwi Discovery for the last fourteen years, becomes the new Go Orange Head of Operations. Tim says he is looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity that the merger of the three companies will open up. “I’m really excited to be part of it. With my previous life as a commercial skipper, I’m also really looking forward to being involved in the marine industry again, while still working with the current businesses and teams.”Southlander Adam Wilson, who has worked in sales and marketing for the last twelve years, most recently as Queenstown Sales Manager at Go Orange, will lead the new sales team. “Combining rafting and snow with our existing kayak and cruise products makes the future very exciting for Go Orange,” says Adam Wilson, Go Orange Head of Sales.Go Orange is well known in Te Anau, where it has been based but will now have a stronger presence in Queenstown at the Queenstown Rafting shop in Shotover Street. In an associated move, Cardrona Alpine Resort (another Real Journeys company) will also be more visible in Queenstown utilising the Kiwi Discovery shop in Camp Street.About Go OrangeThe original company was set up in Doubtful Sound by Real Journeys in 2012, and started operating in Milford Sound rebranded as Go Orange a year later. It offered alternative cruises with a quirky Kiwi twist. Two years later sea kayaking was added to its range of activities in both in Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Coach connections to Queenstown followed a year later, whilst guided cycling tours began this season.On 1st May, 2017, Go Orange will be merged with Queenstown Rafting and Kiwi Discovery to create a strong active tourism company.About Real JourneysReal Journeys is a privately owned tourism business that was founded in 1954 by tourism and conservation pioneers Les and Olive Hutchins. Today the company remains true to its founders and their guiding principles of conservation and hospitality.Based in some of the most untouched areas of New Zealand, Real Journeys has operations from Stewart Island to Queenstown – including the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and world renowned cruises through Milford and Doubtful Sounds and the heritage steamship TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak High Country Farm.Source = Go Orangelast_img read more

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Flemings Mayfair recognised with Condé Nast Traveler

first_imgSource = Condé Nast Traveler Flemings Mayfair recognised with Condé Nast TravelerFlemings Mayfair recognised with Condé Nast TravelerCondé Nast Traveler (US) recently announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Flemings Mayfair recognised as #31 in the Top Hotels in London category, with a score of 86.46.Henrik Muehle, General Manager of Flemings Mayfair comments, “We are delighted to have been voted by Condé Nast Traveler readers in the Top Hotels in London category. Thanks to our recent multi-million refurbishment, which has allowed the hotel to offer impeccable dining spaces and accommodation, we are able to offer the perfect luxurious London visit. We look forward to continuing to deliver the very best standards of service and welcoming guests to Flemings Mayfair soon.”Over 300,000 readers submitted millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments, voting on a record-breaking 7,320 hotels and resorts, 610 cities, 225 islands, 468 cruise ships, 158 airlines, and 195 airports.Following a £16 million refurbishment in 2016, Flemings Mayfair, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, boasts 129 guest rooms, suites and apartments, a tea lounge, bar, wine cellar and highly sought-after 85-cover restaurant Ormer Mayfair – headed by Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. The hotel has been privately owned by the same family for over 40 years.The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers.The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 24, 2017. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.last_img read more

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Minister of Railways inaugurates three passenger amenity projects

first_imgFulfilling yet another commitments of the Railway Budget 2015-16, the Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated three passenger amenity projects namely, NGeT (Next Generation e-Ticketing) Hindi Website, Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile Phones for Mumbai suburban (Western Railway Network) and Destination Alert Service in Rajdhani and Duronto through SMS at a programme held at Rail Bhawan. The persons present on the occasion included Chairman Railway Board A K Mital and other Railway Board members.  The paperless ticket on Mumbai suburban was inaugurated through video-conferencing between Rail Bhawan in Delhi and Western Railway Headquarters in Mumbai.Referring to his Railway Budget announcements, the Railway Minister said that with the launching of a new service portal for booking e-Tickets in Hindi for Railway passengers, an important Railway Budget commitment. He also said recently we have taken some other passenger friendly initiatives like launch of SUVIDHA class of trains which are dynamic fare based premium trains and automatic fare refund system in case of cancellation of a train. We have also taken steps to improve Railway freight income by way of adoption of new freight incentive schemes. We also observed Rail Yatri Pakhwada recently, which was one of the biggest public outreach events in the history of India and helped develop connection with around seven million people across the country. The Senior Railway Functionaries interacted with the public and worked for resolving their problems. Many new projects were commissioned during this period and the entire Railway machinery was galvanised. These steps are probably something unprecedented. We must work for the development of the organisation. The Minister thanked media persons who carried along with them the total concept of Rail Yatri Pakhwada and made the people’s participation a reality which is very important. The Minister said that People and we must work together to make it all success.The Minister said that railways have always been conscious about passenger amenity and as a fallow up, design of coaches has been improved with cost economy. Punctuality, comfort of Railway passengers have always been our priority. Railway Budget announcements are being translated into reality.  Referring to the paperless ticket concept, the Railway Minister said that this has successfully worked in Chennai Suburban Railway Network and now it has been launched in Mumbai Suburban Railway Network. Similarly, destination alert in Rajdhani and Duranto trains which has been launched are very useful services for the passengers. The Railway Minister pointed out that all these IT initiatives are in line with the digital India concept of Prime Minister Narender Modi.Referring to the most ambitious Railway project of Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Railway Minister pointed out that the Cabinet has recently approved the revised cost estimate for this project of Rs 81,459 crore. The Minister also pointed out that Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India has awarded contracts worth more than Rs 15,000 crore in recent months which is a remarkable progress and which is much more than the total works awarded by the same organisation in the last six years.Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board, A K Mital, said that within 132 days, 64 budget commitments have been met. Paper less ticketing for 130 km Western Railway distance covering 35 stations, SMS alert service in Rajdhani and Duronto, e-Ticketing in Hindi are remarkable steps taken by Indian Railways and these amenities can be extended to other sections of the Railways in future. Hindi Portal of e-ticketing has been inaugurated and we can switch over to other languages very soon. There are 37 lakh daily passengers on western Railways and we will try to cover our MST holders also under the paperless concept.Additional Member (C&IS), Railway Board Mohammad Jamshed gave the welcome address. Vandana Nanda, MD, CRIS, the IT arm of Indian Railways was specially present on the occasion.NGeT (Next Generation e-Ticketing) Hindi WebsiteIndian Railway’s e-Ticketing System www.irctc.co.in is one of the most widely used ‘Government to Citizen’ services operational in the country. It caters to over 8.5 lakh passengers daily who can reserve berths in trains without leaving their homes.The launch of Hindi version of www.irctc.co.in will facilitate E-Ticketing portal services for a large section of Hindi speaking population of our country. As a consequence, E-Ticketing service should become more popular and user friendly. This is a significant step forward in fulfilling the Minister of Railways’ Budget announcement of multilingual e-ticketing portal.This is one of the first e-commerce portals made available in Hindi which has a large user base spread all over the country and beyond.The salient features of the Hindi web-site are given below:1. All pages, information, navigation steps, guidelines, alerts and updates, error messages and feedback form are now available in Hindi.2. All Dynamic information relating to accommodation availability, ticket details, journey planner etc will be displayed in Hindi.3. Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS) and cancellation slip will be printed in Hindi.4. Citizens who only know Hindi can now easily navigate on the E-ticketing website and perform booking and cancellation transactions, view their transaction history and conduct enquiries.Paperless Unreserved Ticketing through Mobile PhonesCentre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) has developed a paperless Unreserved Ticketing feature in Mobile Application ‘utsonmobile’ both for Android and Windows platforms. This will eliminate the need for printing of Unreserved Tickets on ATVMs at the stations. User can download the app from Google Play Store or Window Store free of cost.This service is being rolled out on the Churchgate – Dhanuroad Suburban Section of Western Railway covering 35 stations over 123 km distance. For paperless ticketing, GPS co-ordinates of suburban railway tracks on the Churchgate – Dhanuroad Suburban Section, plus 30 metres on either side of the tracks have been earmarked as Geo-Fencing area within which no ticket booking is allowed in order to ensure that passengers have ticket before commencing the journey.The application provides necessary on-screen alerts to guide the passenger during the booking process. Payment for the ticket is done through the ‘Railway Wallet’ feature in the app. After booking the ticket, the passenger will get the ticket confirmation screen which contains limited information of the ticket. The paperless journey ticket will be stored in the local mobile application database in the encrypted form which cannot be tampered with. The passenger has to start the journey within 1 hour as per policy for suburban sections. Ticket booked in paperless mode cannot be cancelled in order to prevent claiming of refund after travel.The ticket has distinct colour scheme everyday and it is embedded with Quick Response (QR) code. It cannot be forwarded to another mobile or edited or printed. The old invalid tickets will be removed from the mobile device through a sync feature in the app.For the purpose of ticket checking, the application has various features such as colour scheme, show ticket features, secret code of the day, booking time of the ticket and scrolling of legend ‘IR UNRESERVED TICKETING’. In case of mobile in disconnected mode, it will be checked through QR Code.Destination Alert ServiceDestination Alert is a free value-added service to the travelling passengers to alert them about arrival of the train at their respective destinations. It is targeted towards all passengers whose destination comes at night between 11 pm and 7 am. Our aim is to relieve the anxiety of such passengers. This service involves sending an SMS to a passenger 15 minutes before the train is expected to reach his/her destination during night hours (23:00 to 07:00 hrs). Hence, the passengers are required to provide their mobile number at the time of booking.The service is being introduced in all Rajdhani and Duronto trains.last_img read more

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WTTC calls for sustainable tourism businesses to share their best practices

first_imgThe World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) calls for Travel & Tourism businesses to showcase their sustainability best practices to educate governments and tourism organisations alike.WTTC is excited to announce the opening of the Call for Entries for its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2016.David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC said, “WTTC works to promote the sustainable growth of the industry. It is an extremely important time with the launch of the United Nation Sustainability Goals at the end of September and the Climate Change COP 21 meeting in Paris in December.”“The Travel & Tourism sector has been consistently improving its sustainability practices. It is our responsibility to and to plan this growth sensitively for the long term.”“Through our Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, we celebrate best practice in travel and tourism businesses, encouraging them to share their well-executed policies to educate governments and other travel businesses.”Fiona Jeffery OBE, former Chairman of World Travel Market (WTM) and Founder and Chairman of the international water aid charity Just a Drop, will be Chairing the Awards for the second time following last year’s success.Jeffery said, “Tourism is a force for good as it brings together people and cultures from all over the world, creating greater insight and understanding. However, if we do not focus on preserving our natural environment, look after our cultural heritage and ensure equal opportunity to local communities, our industry can do a lot of damage.”“We are calling on all individuals and businesses to apply for this prestigious Award scheme and show the wider industry how tourism businesses can add real value through their effective business practises. It is by sharing we can help overcome our industry’s challenges.”Lead judge, Professor Graham Miller, chair in sustainability in business at the University of Surrey in the UK and head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, will oversee the three-step judging process, ensuring independence and transparency.AIG Travel, Inc, the travel insurance and assistance arm of leading international insurance organisation American International Group, Inc, is the Official Headline Sponsor of the 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.This year applicants can enter in the following five categories: Community; Destination; Environment; Innovation; and People. The 2016 Finalists will be announced in January 2016 and the winners will be announced during the WTTC Global Summit 2016 in Dallas, April 6-7, 2016.last_img read more

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Amitabh Bachhan and Priyanka Chopra to be brand ambassadors of Incredible India

first_imgBollywood actors Amitabh Bachhan and Priyanka Chopra have been chosen as the new faces of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign to market the country to tourists abroad.Bachhan, also the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism, had been picked for the position some time ago. His name was reportedly suggested by the Prime Minister’s office.Both the actors have not charged a penny for the three-year contract.It is the first time that the government is directly appointing the brand ambassadors. The official announcement will be made after January 26.last_img read more

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TTF 2017 series to get a robust start from Chennai and Bengaluru

first_imgTTF Chennai & Bengaluru, the first major tourism marts post demonetisation will provide unparalleled marketing opportunity for the travel trade.The Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF) season will kick-start the year 2017 with Chennai and Bengaluru editions in January. Exhibitors will promote their best and latest tourism products to the Indian and international travel trade industry. The trade show in its 28th year has resulted in creating a firm and strong network for inbound and outbound travel professionals to explore maximum opportunity.TTF Chennai is scheduled from January 6-8, 2017 at Chennai Trade Centre and will showcase over 90 participants from all over India, including official delegations from many Indian states and national tourism organisations.TTF Bengaluru scheduled from January 13-15, 2017 at Elaan Convention Center with over 120 participants will showcase new destinations and the latest in travel trade.The Host States- Bengaluru and Chennai not only have a strong cultural impact on inbound travellers, but also on outbound travellers. Keeping with the positive sentiments in the tourism industry, both the shows are going to be bigger, compared to last year. Participating states and countries will present cultural events and marketing presentations to trade visitors and the media.With a wide array of tourism offerings, country representations from Nepal and more have set the bar high at various TTFs this year.Among the state tourism departments who have in-principally committed big participation in these two TTF editions are: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar and more.With consistent support from Ministry of Tourism, State Tourism Boards, National Tourist Offices, thousands of private exhibitors and trade associations, TTF continues to be the ideal platform providing immense opportunities for the buyers and sellers from across the world to come and experience the Indian culture, showcase their latest offerings and build long term business ties.Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media Limited (organiser of TTF shows and Publisher of Travel News Digest), commented, “TTF Chennai and Bengaluru provides an important opportunity to be present in hugely strategic markets in South India. We have recently experienced a rapid expansion of TTF in Bengaluru.”Fairfest Media Limited, organiser of the TTF-OTM shows have strengthened their unparalleled lead as India’s No. 1 travel trade show organiser, with about half the market share. It organises every year TTF branded shows in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi, in addition to the grand finale OTM Mumbai.LAST EDITIONS’ SYNOPSISTTF Chennai held from January 8-10, 2016 at Chennai Trade Centre witnessed 94 Exhibitors, 4540 General Visitors and 835 Trade Visitors. 15 States (Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal) and 3 Countries (India, China, Turkey) represented at the show.TTF Bengaluru held from January 15-17, 2016 at Elaan Convention Center, witnessed 156 Exhibitors, 3411 General Visitors and 1039 Trade Visitors. 17 States (Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal) and 7 Countries (India, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey) represented at the show.last_img read more

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National Mortgage Insurance Corp Receives Approval in New York

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Insurance Processing Service Providers 2013-01-09 Tory Barringer January 9, 2013 460 Views “”National Mortgage Insurance Corporation””:http://www.nationalmi.com/ (National MI) is now approved to write mortgage insurance in 22 states, having recently gained approval in the key state of New York.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]National MI is a new company founded by Bradley Shuster (president and CEO) and Jay Sherwood (EVP and CFO) and funded by its parent company, the California-based National Mortgage Insurance (NMI) Holdings, Inc., which raised $550 million in private capital in 2012 for the venture.National MI has applied for licensing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (which also approved). The company is also seeking approvals from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to commence writing insurance. Together, the 23 approving jurisdictions represent 52 percent of the potential private mortgage insurance market in the country, according to National MI’s estimates.More importantly, however, getting approval in New York moves the new insurer closer to its targeted Q1 2013 launch.””We’ve made great strides in our goal to provide mortgage insurance to home buyers throughout the country, as evidenced by our approval in a substantial number of states with significant market share,”” Shuster said.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology National Mortgage Insurance Corp. Receives Approval in New Yorklast_img read more

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Housing Affordability Up in the Wake of National Homeownership Month

first_img Share June 3, 2015 505 Views Housing Affordability Up in the Wake of National Homeownership Month in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Housing Affordability NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index National Homeownership Month 2015-06-03 Seth Welborn Housing affordability is up nationwide due to low interest rates and home prices as National Homeownership Month begins in June, according to a recent release from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).The latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index released in mid-May reports that about two-thirds of new and existing homes sold in the first quarter of 2015 were affordable to families that earned $65,800, which is the U.S. median yearly income, according to NAHB. Meanwhile, the median home price nationwide dropped by $5,000 from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of 2015 (from $215,000 down to $210,000) while interest rates dropped from 4.29 percent down to 4.03 percent during the same time frame.In addition to lower prices and interest rates, low-down payment programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can help creditworthy borrowers who cannot afford a large downpayment qualify for a mortgage. These programs offer downpayments as low as 3 percent for eligible first-time homebuyers.”Now is a great time for consumers to buy homes,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri. “Both first-time and move-up buyers can take advantage of these favorable market conditions and start building their American Dream.”Homeownership carries with it financial benefits, according to the NAHB, since it is often a primary source of net worth and a step toward accumulating long-term personal financial assets. Homeowners can also deduct mortgage interest and property taxes paid from their taxable income, which can result in thousands of dollars in savings, particularly in the first few years of a mortgage when the largest percentage of the monthly mortgage payment is made up of interest.Benefits of homeownership are not just financial, however, according to Woods.“Homeownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people,” Woods saidlast_img read more

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You might also be interested in

first_img You might also be interested in July 18 , 2018 Chile scores access to Chinese pear market … Huge increase in Chilean D’Agen plum exports to Ch … Clementines in Charts: It’s almost ClemenTime for … center_img “This acquisition creates additional scale for our Chilean operations and will improve our competitive position globally as a year round supplier of fresh citrus.”We continue to work through our pipeline of other potential acquisitions which furthers our One World of Citrus initiative and addresses what we believe is a tremendous long-term growth opportunity.”The company previously said it expects to invest an additional US$2.8 million in fiscal 2018 and 2019 for new citrus plantings and enhanced water infrastructure to expand citrus production to 650,000 cartons of lemons and 85,000 cartons of oranges annually upon maturity of the ranch at peak production.San Pablo’s proximity to Limoneira’s existing Pan de Azucar (PDA) ranch in a coastal region near La Serena, Chile, is advantageous given PDA’s ownership in the Rosales packing business.By adding San Pablo to the PDA assets and Rosales packing business, Limoneira says it will improve efficiencies and overall Chilean margins. Rosales will pack and sell all of the company’s citrus production in the region under Limoneira’s marketing team.www.freshfruitportal.com Chile reports better cherry prices in China despit … U.S.-based citrus company Limoneira has completed its acquisition of Fruticola San Pablo S.A. in Chile’s northern Coquimbo region announced last month.The La Serena ranch consists of 3,317 total acres on two parcels, including 247 acres producing lemons, 61 acres producing oranges, and the opportunity to immediately plant 120 acres for lemon production.There is also the potential for around 500 acres of avocado production.“We are extremely excited about expanding our citrus assets with the addition of the San Pablo ranch,” said president and CEO Harold Edwards.last_img read more

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OZblu blueberries will be grown for the first time

first_img OZblu blueberries will be grown for the first time in the North Hemisphere following Mexico-based Red Sun Farms’ entry into a joint venture with Migiva Group and United Exports.The deal was announced in Berlin at the Fruit Logistica trade fair and is described as an acceleration of the strategy to supply the varieties year-round.Peru-based Migiva Group and Australia-based United Exports announced their joint venture to grow and market the crunchy, low-chill varieties in January 2018.Roger Horak, Global CEO of United Exports and OZblu, said this latest step was an “exciting development”. “For us being part of this family, not only fits well with our company DNA, but is a win-win, and we are delighted to be joining this exciting journey together with OZblu,” says Thierry Legros of Red Sun Farms, Mexico. February 07 , 2019 You might also be interested in Argentina to send increased blueberry volumes in s … U.S.: California Giant predicts “milestone” volume … OZblu announces exclusive global deal with renowne … “OZblu will soon be able to provide a superior blueberry eating experience to the consumer, and to our clients’ programs, for 365 days of the year,” he said, describing Red Sun Farm as a “world-class grower”.”We strongly believe that if the whole blueberry industry can elevate the consumer eating experience with new varieties of this superfood, it will lead to a transformative uplift and broader consumption for the entire blueberry industry and drive future growth.”A release from United Fresh said that OZblu has “redefined the blueberry eating experience, with bigger, crunchier, and more flavorful fruit developed”, with new genetics by Dave and Leasa Mazzardis.“Too often consumers will buy blueberries and be disappointed with them. We have worked hard to create and develop blueberries that are firm, sweet and crunchy, which is how they should taste,” says Dave Mazzardis, the co-breeder of the OZblu varieties.Jonathan Geller, director of Migiva Group, said that not only does the addition of Red Sun Farms complete the Latin American footprint, but it also brings “tremendous value in precision agriculture”.Thierry Legros of Red Sun Farms explained that being able to pivot from precision agriculture in vegetables into a super fruit was an exciting step for the company. Blueberries in Charts: Prices enter their jumpy ph …last_img read more

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Hilton Sydneyhotels

first_imgHilton Sydneyhotels In conjunction with Veuve Clicquot, Hilton Sydney has introduced the hotel’s first champagne suite – ‘Yellow Suite’ – with an overnight package for two, available for stays until 15 April 2018.Priced at $809 for two, Hilton Sydney’s Yellow Suite package includes:An overnight stay for two in a vibrant Relaxation Suite with a king bedBuffet breakfast for two in glass brasserieBottle of Veuve Clicquot on arrivalThree LED TVsExtra large, double spa bathLate check-out of 1pmIn partnership with Philips Hue 2.0 ambient lights, the Yellow Suite is transformed with vibrant ‘Yellow Hour’ in-room lighting with the touch of the suite’s in-room iPadlast_img read more

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