Four Princess ships heading to Australia NZ and South Pacific

first_img Share Four Princess ships heading to Australia, NZ and South Pacific << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Thursday, April 27, 2017 center_img SANTA CLARITA, CA — Princess Cruises will introduce the 3,560-guest Majestic Princess in Australia for its inaugural season, calling Australia home from September 2018 to March 2019. Majestic Princess will sail itineraries from Sydney and Auckland on voyages from six to 13 days in length, calling in ports at destinations including New Zealand, Tasmania, Fiji and other islands in the South Pacific.In total Princess Cruises plans to homeport four ships in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for the 2018-2019 season.“Australia and the entire South Pacific region has always had an allure as a magical place for travellers, and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this part of the world,” said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz.On sale now, four Princess ships will sail from six homeports on more than 95 departures with 50 unique itineraries to more than 70 destinations in 18 countries. Highlights include:Majestic Princess will sail on a 19- and 22-day Asia & Australia voyage departing from Shanghai in March 2019.Sun Princess sails 13 roundtrip departures from Sydney to New Zealand, Fiji, Tasmania and Queensland, as well as an Asia & Australia voyage sailing 19 days from Hong Kong to Sydney.A maiden call to Moreton Island, located off the Queensland coast and boasts one of the world’s largest sand islands, is included on the four-day Sun Princess Australia Getaway departing on Jan. 5, 2019.Sea Princess will make maiden calls to the Conflict Islands on her 11-day Papua New Guinea itineraries sailing from Brisbane.Longer cruise options on Sea Princess during the season include the full 28-day Round Australia which circumnavigates the continent as well as a popular 35-day Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific voyage sailing in April 2019.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamPrincess Cruises will also offer two cruisetours. The Australian Outback cruisetour immerses guests in Aboriginal culture while visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock in Uluru National Park. The more extensive Ultimate Australia cruisetour includes Ayers Rock in the heart of the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, the northern tropical city of Darwin and Cairns. Posted by Tags: Asia Pacific, Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

This hotels for the dogs says Gordon Ramsay of Vermont inn

first_img Tuesday, September 19, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by This hotel’s for the dogs, says Gordon Ramsay of Vermont inncenter_img Tags: LOL WEST DOVER, VERMONT — There’s a fine line between being a dog-friendly hotel and being a hotel for the dogs. Unfortunately, for famed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, that line was crossed during a stay at The Four Seasons Inn in West Dover, Vermont.Featured on an episode of Gordon’s ‘Hotel Hell’, the chef stayed at the quaint-looking inn, which, as it turns out, isn’t part of the Four Seasons chain. Gordon, who later refers to the property as “the fake Four Seasons”, goes on to discover “floaties” in the pool, which were left there presumably by the inn’s resident dog Layla.Inside the inn, Gordon uses a blue light to reveal gross stains on the bedding and also finds dog hair on the tablecloths and plates in the restaurant. Layla strikes again!Following the chef’s visit, the owner of the inn said, “I’ve never had the complaints I had today. It’s humiliating, it’s embarrassing, it’s like being flogged in the centre of town.”More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksBut proving that lemonade can always be made from lemons, the owner has since rebranded the inn as a ‘dog-friendly’ property called Layla’s Riverside Lodge. It now boasts a 3.5-star rating on Yelp.Layla’s Riverside LodgeLayla just doing her job (Credit: Layla’s Riverside Lodge) Travelweek Group last_img read more

Youre considered selfish if you choose this seat on the plane

first_img Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group TORONTO — There are two types of air passengers: aisle or window people. If you’re a middle seat person, consider yourself an anomaly.Everyone has their own reasons as to why they prefer aisle or window, but did you know that your seat preference can actually determine your personality?A recent article published in The Telegraph theorizes that people who pick the window seat are more selfish than those who pick the aisle seat. According to Dr. Becky Spelman, chief psychologist at Harley Street’s Private Therapy Clinic, passengers who prefer the window seat want to be able to walk around the plane and stretch their legs, and aren’t afraid of disturbing their seatmates if they need to get up.As such, it’s assumed that window-people like to be in control and “tend to take an ‘every man for themselves’ attitude towards life,” said Spelman. She also said they are are more easily irritable and “prefer to exist in their own bubble”.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?On the other hand, people who prefer the aisle are more reserved, less irritable and more considerate of others because they would rather be woken up than wake and disturb others.So which group is more popular: window or aisle? A 2016 study by Expedia found that 34% of passengers were willing to pay extra to secure a window seat, compared to just 15% who would pay for an aisle seat.Which camp do you fall into? You’re considered selfish if you choose this seat on the planelast_img read more

One set of benefits with Marriott Internationals unified loyalty programs

first_img Tuesday, April 17, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by One set of benefits with Marriott International’s unified loyalty programs Travelweek Group TORORNTO — A performance by Canadian icon Sarah McLachlan headlined a high-energy event at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto last night, where Marriott International launched one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).With the revamped loyalty program, effective August 2018, members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account spanning the entire loyalty portfolio. The Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) names will continue to live on under the new set of unified benefits until a new program name is introduced in 2019.The programs count some 110 million members globally, including about 3.7 million members in Canada. Marriott bought Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016 in a US$13 billion deal.Sarah McLachlan “We wanted to get this out to members, so they can start earning on a seamless platform,” said Jennifer Bryl, Director, Loyalty Marketing & CRM, Canada for Marriott International during a pre-event interview yesterday.SPG members will be getting a new account number, Bryl added. “For members of Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, their numbers will not change.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemThe revamped program allows members to earn more points faster than under the prior programs – on average, 20% more points for every dollar spent, Bryl added.Also new, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will be able to earn points on their complete folio, not just the room but now including food & beverage purchases, spa and so on.For the first time, members will have access to book stays and earn or redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories.Marriott International’s 29 brandsThe Moments experiential platform is also expanding, with more than 110,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations from must-see attraction tickets and tours for purchase with cash by all guests, to once-in-a-lifetime events only available to members using points, including the new bespoke Moments Live event series.About 50% of guests at the company’s hotels are members of at least one of the loyalty programs, notes Bryl.Travel agents looking to familiarize themselves with the loyalty programs should check out members.marriott.com, she added. One of the company’s biggest challenges is educating travellers and the trade about its many brands: “If travel agents have someone who’s making a booking, they need to know what brand is what.”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThe members.marriott.com site has a helpful chart of all 29 brands now under the Marriott International umbrella (some 19 of those brands are present in Canada).“We listened to the travel aspirations of our members and set our sights on unlocking the full potential of our loyalty programs,” said David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, Marriott International. “We are excited to announce that this August, our members can enjoy one set of benefits across our extraordinary portfolio of hotels from iconic full and select service, to extended stay, to unique boutiques and luxury brands. We hope to inspire our members whatever their travel passion, whether it is resorts featuring overwater bungalows, peaceful secluded island settings, ski-in / ski-out mountain resorts, towering hotels with picture-worthy views or even former palaces converted into hotels.”In the coming months, Marriott will provide members with information about how and when in August they can begin combining their loyalty accounts. Tags: Loyalty Programs, Marriott, Marriott Interntaional, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Sharelast_img read more

Qantas launches new agentfriendly tech platform

first_imgTags: Qantas, Technology Posted by SYDNEY — Qantas says its new technology platform enhances the airline’s retailing, booking and servicing capabilities for its trade partners, while delivering a more personalized experience for passengers.The new Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) improves the functionality of indirect agent channels by more closely aligning them with the capabilities currently available via qantas.com, making it easier for trade partners to sell Qantas products and provide more seamless customer service, says the carrier.“Qantas trade partners will have access to richer content that is relevant to the customer’s journey, including images of cabins and meals and the ability to book extras such as Extra Legroom seating. It will also provide Qantas Frequent Flyer information and tier status at the point of sale.”The Qantas Distribution Platform has been developed in partnership with travel tech company Farelogix and uses IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). The new Qantas platform has been certified to NDC Level 3, IATA’s highest certification.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsQantas’ Chief Customer Officer Vanessa Hudson said the platform is part of a broader digital evolution of Qantas’ booking channels.“The Qantas Distribution Platform will enable our trade partners to provide customers with a more personalized experience, beyond what traditional technology has been able to deliver,” said Hudson.She adds: “There have never been more ways for a customer to research and book their travel. We want to make the booking experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible, no matter their booking channel preference. This new platform will help us provide that to our trade partners and customers, modernising the way Qantas delivers content.”Companies including Travelport, are early adopters of the QDP. Hudson says Qantas is working with its other GDS and agency partners to adopt the new technology.Trade partners can access the QDP either via approved partner connections, or directly by developing a connection to Qantas’ NDC XML Application Program Interface (API). For more information visit qantas.com/NDC. Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Qantas launches new agent-friendly tech platformcenter_img Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Pugliese takes over from Howlett with Air Canada appointment

first_img Share Tags: Air Canada, Promotions Posted by Monday, August 27, 2018 MONTREAL — Ferio Pugliese is succeeding Kevin C. Howlett, Air Canada’s Senior Vice-President, Government Relations and Regional Markets, who will be retiring in November after 45 years.Pugliese will be based in Toronto, and will report directly to President and CEO Calin Rovinescu. His appointment to the post was effective Aug. 20.“As a global carrier connecting 64 Canadian cities and communities to more than 220 worldwide markets on six continents, one of Air Canada’s key priorities is continuing to outreach and strengthen the partnerships we have in the cities and communities we fly to, and our relationships with all levels of government in Canada,” said Rovinescu. “Ferio’s solid, diverse experience from several Canadian organizations is well-suited to oversee these important relationships, and to also lead the strategic direction of Air Canada’s regional operations including our relationships with our regional carriers operating on Air Canada’s behalf.”Rovinescu also congratulated Howlett on his upcoming retirement this fall, and thanked him “for his valuable and tireless work.”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthPrior to joining Air Canada, Pugliese was previously Executive VP, Customer and Corporate Affairs at Hydro One Inc.He has also held senior leadership positions at other Canadian companies including WestJet and WestJet Encore.center_img Pugliese takes over from Howlett with Air Canada appointment << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group last_img read more

Porter brings back Mont Tremblant flights with free ski passes on select

first_img TORONTO — Porter Airlines is once again offering its annual winter service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Mont Tremblant, QC.Operating from Dec. 7, 2018 to April 1, 2019, the standard schedule includes four weekly flights throughout the season, with adjustments for increased frequencies during peak periods like Christmas, Family Day and March Break.Plus, the early December start date will allow visitors to attend the popular ‘24 hours of Tremblant’ season kick-off charitable event, as well as enjoy pre-holiday time in the village.Nonstop flights from Billy Bishop take approximately 70 minutes. Connecting flights are available from several Porter locations in Canada and the U.S.To make the most of their stay, clients can also book a Porter Escapes package that includes flights, accommodations and activities on and off the slopes.Moreover, the Mont Tremblant International Airport (MTIA) is offering two special promotions this ski season. Passengers will receive two free weekday ski lift tickets when they arrive on a Sunday or Monday and depart on a Thursday or Friday. Those travelling with children ages 2-12 years old are also eligible for an airfare rebate on select dates, courtesy of MTIA. Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Tags: Montreal, Porter, Porter Airlines Posted by Porter brings back Mont Tremblant flights with free ski passes on select reservationscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group last_img read more

Australis savings take 25 off final departures of the season

first_imgAustralis savings take 25% off final departures of the season Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Australis, Discountscenter_img TORONTO — Clients can save 25% off Australis Cruise Lines’ sailings to Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and the remote islands of Tierra del Fuego, for select departures in March 2019.Savings on a four-night, one-way all-inclusive cruise are worth up to US$739 per person.The offer is good on bookings made on the new Ventus Australis and the Stella Australis, with deposit received before Feb. 17, 2019 for the March 1 and March 5, 2019 departures from Punta Arenas, Chile and the March 13, 2019 departure from Ushuaia, Argentina.Australis ships are the only vessels permitted to sail in the narrow fjords and past spectacular glaciers in one of the last remote areas on the planet at the bottom of the world, says Dallyce Macas, who represents the cruise line in Canada. The custom-built ships enable guests to see exotic wildlife up close such as the Magellan penguins and elephant seals, as well as a lush sub-polar forest and gigantic glaciers calving.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughts“This is discovery cruising at its most exciting,” says Macas. The cruises are four nights one-way or roundtrip in eight nights.Weather permitting, guests aboard Australis disembark at legendary Cape Horn, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide and it is the last island before Antarctica, 500 miles away.The ships offer 100 cabins each and can accommodate 210 persons. All included rates start at $1,440 per person for the four-night cruise. All meals, open bar, lectures and shore expeditions are included. The ships are safe and comfortable with large picture windows for panoramic views of the landscape, says Macas. Australis hosts internationally renowned chefs to consult on the cuisine and the wines are among Chile’s best.For additional information and reservations, contact Australis at 1-800-743-0173 or email northamerica@australis.com. Posted by Thursday, January 31, 2019 last_img read more

Media got a sneak peek of Galaxys Edge and confirms it will

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, March 1, 2019 Share Posted by The Canadian Press Media got a sneak peek of Galaxy’s Edge and confirms it will blow people’s minds LOS ANGELES — The world of Star Wars is coming from a galaxy far, far away to become the largest single-themed land created in a Disney park.Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an adventure through the grungy planet Batuu where guests can build their own droids and lightsabers, interact with aliens and climb into the cockpit of the massive Millennium Falcon, where you will discover your mission and engage in a dogfight with Tie Fighters.The sprawling 14-acre land is set on a remote world in the newest “Star Wars” trilogy – so don’t expect appearances by Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader. But some familiar faces including Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and fan-favourite Chewbacca will be a part of the adventure as visitors explore the immersive world.Galaxy’s Edge is set to open this summer at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, then in the fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. The lands at both parks are nearly identical and offer a mix of trading outposts, a cantina and even a wooded area where Resistance fighters have set up camp. Entry is included with a park ticket, but it’ll cost more for guests who want to create their own lightsaber or purchase their own droid modelled on R2-D2 or BB-8.Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said guests inside Galaxy’s Edge will have persistent interaction with Star Wars elements, whether it’s Stormtroopers barking orders or the up-tempo, swinging music of a grimy cantina that yes, serves Star Wars-themed alcohol.“You will not think you’re in a theme park,” he said. “Every cast member will be in character, the food and beverage and language will be in story. The merchandise inside the shops won’t be in boxes that say Disney on them. Everything is very, very immersive.”In a behind-the-scenes look, park officials took The Associated Press on a tour of Batuu, an uncharted region of lush trees and spires. The land is also filled with smugglers and traders hoping to avoid the First Order, the successor of the evil Galactic Empire.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsGalaxy’s Edge is still under construction, but its buildings, shops and main attractions are in place. Right now the focus is on “cosmetics and making sure the equipment is working properly,” said John Larena, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering.Here are some of the land’s key features:MILLENNIUM FALCON: SMUGGLERS RUNSelfie opportunities will be abundant inside and out of the “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” The spaceship is the exact replica of the ship from the films, measuring more than 100 feet long.Inside the cockpit, a team of six people operate the spacecraft during an interactive experience that, just like the movies, that will get a little bumpy. An encounter with First Order fighters put guests in the role of pilots, gunners or flight engineers to ensure their mission is completed.While others wait their turn, they will walk the halls of the Falcon or hangout in the area where R2-D2 played a round of the holographic chess-like game called Dejarik against Chewbacca in the original film.RISE OF THE RESISTANCEThis is where it gets real. On a full-size starship, guests play as new Resistance recruits and go on a journey. A hologram image of Rey will appear with a message before guests board their ship and take off from Batuu and head into the orbit.But the starship runs into some trouble: It’s intercepted by a nearby Star Destroyer. This sets up a climactic battle against military members of the First Order, who will probably give you a piece of their mind.“They’ll bark at you,” Larena said. “They might say ‘Move along, move along. You’re going into detention.”Resistance guests will be thrown into a detention cell where they could run up against Kylo Ren.“You have to figure your way out of the ship,” Larena said. “There’s always a way out.”More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksSAVI’S WORKSHOPEven though Skywalker, Vader and Yoda won’t show up in “Galaxy’s Edge,” their lightsabers will. Guests will be able to purchase their popular weapon or hand-build their own. Bring plenty of credits: the price for the hilt is around $109 and the blade costs $49 depending on the type.Park officials say they understand guests want to enjoy their new lightsabers, but they ask that they remain stowed when on attractions and around crowds for the safety of others.DROID DEPOTWho doesn’t want their own personal R2 unit?Guests – for an undisclosed cost – can either purchase a pre-built droid or build one in the colours of their choosing by picking pieces off a conveyor belt.They’re not just pretty to look at. Park official says the droids will be controllable by guests.TASTE OF STAR WARSThere’s no such thing as chicken in “Galaxy’s Edge.” That’s Tip Yip, and the cornbread that you might eat with it is blue, gravy is green and cauliflower is orange.Much of the food is plant based with dairy-free mash potatoes and vegan meatballs.OGA’S CANTINAWhile talkative DJ R-3X spins music, bartenders pour beverages.The cantina will be the first location to serve alcohol to the general public in Disneyland’s 60-plus year history. It’s the place to come and unwind, but officials say it’s also known to have some of the most disreputable characters in the galaxy.And yes, droids are allowed.PLAY DISNEY PARKS MOBILE APPGalaxy’s Edge is the first land within a Disney park designed to integrate with the app. It can help translate Star Wars languages and scan crates to discover contents within them. The app can also be used to interact with droids, media screens, door panels and drinking fountains.last_img read more

Chevening Scholarship awarded to Tica physician

first_imgRelated posts:Two young Ticos prepare to go to NASA space camp Solís signs decree declaring emergency over arsenic in Guanacaste water supply High levels of fungicide found in pregnant women living near banana plantations Zika research to be published rapidly and free Facebook Comments When she was young, Dr. María Gabriela Alvarado cut open her favorite teddy bear and pulled out all its stuffing. Then she replaced its guts with bundled cloth and rolled-up socks, which served as internal organs. She used sponges for lungs and pipe cleaners for the trachea.Today, Dr. Alvarado is energetic, funny and fashionable, and she retains the same playful spirit. She loves medicine. She loves children. She speaks Spanish and English fluently. At 25 years, she could still pass for a university student, yet her experience seems well beyond her years.In September, Alvarado’s life will change considerably: The Tica general practitioner will spend a year studying health care management in Great Britain, thanks to the coveted Chevening Scholarship. The scholarship helps non-British students from 144 countries pursue postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom.“I don’t think anyone who goes into medical school actually knows why they do it,” joked Alvarado the other day. “I was always a straight-A student. I always liked science, biochemistry.”But Alvarado is also adventurous by nature: After earning her medical degree from the University of Costa Rica, she volunteered for social service duties. The practice of social service began many decades ago, when medical professionals in Costa Rica were scarce. While service is no longer compulsory, doctors often decide to work for a year in underserved communities.So why would she volunteer if she didn’t have to?“It’s fun!” exclaimed Alvarado. “You’re in the middle of nowhere, the middle of the jungle, surrounded by palm trees. After medical school, you don’t have any real experience. You have to just wing it.”Alvarado was sent to Parrita, a town on the central Pacific coast, where she examined children, gave frank lectures on sex education, and hosted a “teddy bear clinic,” where kids could bring their stuffed animals and replicate a standard medical interview. (“Kids go hysterical around doctors. The whole idea is that kids are more comfortable with their teddy bears.”) Aside from distributing medicine and giving exams, Alvarado also worked closely with the residents of Puntarenas province to help educate them about general health.“It was a bit frustrating seeing the limitations of the public health system,” said Alvarado. She noted that physicians often struggle to organize hospital systems because they have no training in administration. Alvarado was also critical of the state of women’s health – she is fiercely pro-choice in a country where abortion is illegal, and she feels that sex education is poorly taught. “People in Costa Rica are still uncomfortable with birth control for everyone,” she said, noting that teenage pregnancy is epidemic.Applying for a Chevening Scholarship seemed like a logical choice: Sixteen years ago, Alvarado’s own mother, Marta Blanco Cordero, was a Chevening Scholar, and the family moved to Essex, England, when Alvarado was 9 years old. She learned fluent English, attended an English school, and the culture’s influence remained when she returned to Costa Rica a year and a half later.“My mom is awesome,” declared Alvarado with a proud chuckle. “Single mother. An industrial engineer. She’s amazing.” She also holds two master’s degrees, in Environmental Studies and Project Management, the latter earned during her time as a Chevening Scholar. Today Blanco serves as executive director of the language program Costa Rica Multilinguë.The scholarship will cover Alvarado’s airfare, moving expenses, living expenses, tuition, and furnish her with a monthly stipend. Alvarado plans to earn her degree, specializing in tropical medicine, in one year, then return to her homeland to implement what she has learned. “I plan to live in Costa Rica for the rest of my life,” she said. “I want to specialize in women’s health and work as an OBGYN. You have to start with education, start with the teachers.”So what does her mother think about all this?“She’s so happy,” said Alvarado with a laugh. “I’ve always been a bit spoiled, but now it’s ridiculous. ‘Yes, my darling daughter, whatever you want.’ She’s so excited.”For more information about the Chevening Scholarship, visit the program’s website at www.chevening.org.last_img read more

The band plays on Summer Series serenades Plaza de la Democracia

first_imgRelated posts:Valentine’s Day, lyrical boleros, and other happenings around Costa Rica Big Band of Costa Rica to celebrate 25 years Design Festival, Marine Corps picnic, and other happenings around Costa Rica Dub sounds in Costa Rica: Mad Professor and Mad Elaine Facebook Commentslast_img

Wouldbe drivers for Uber in Costa Rica can now rent their rides

first_imgRelated posts:Uber starts accepting drivers in Costa Rica but government threatens fines Uber up and running in Costa Rica despite red light from Transport Ministry Uber unleashes lobbyists in California to reshape driver rules ‘Uber get out,’ say protesting Uruguay taxi drivers Want to drive for Uber in Costa Rica but don’t have a car? No problem.The ride-hailing service announced in late October that it had reached an agreement with the company ANC Ground Services to start renting vehicles for the express purpose of driving for Uber. But car rental is just the latest ancillary business here in a growing stable of affiliated services for the transportation app.Offering rides in newer cars has been a standout for Uber here considering that red taxis can be as old as 15 years before they are legally required to be taken off the road, according to Public Transportation Council rules. Uber does not accept vehicles with a model year older than 2008 and many Costa Ricans don’t have cars new enough to qualify.More than 50 percent of the cars on Costa Rica’s roads are 16 years or older, according to figures from Riteve, the company responsible for mandatory vehicle inspections here.The main models offered for rent by ANC are the Suzuki Swift and Dzire, and Toyota Yaris, according to an email to the Tico Times from Uber spokeswoman Rocío Paniagua.Renting wheels to drive people around isn’t unique to Uber. Many red taxi drivers pay daily rates to the concession holder of their cab.Uber has similar renting or leasing agreements in other countries, including Mexico and the United States. In July, Uber announced its own leasing service, Xchange Leasing, for U.S. drivers who want to drive for the ride-hailing service but don’t have a qualifying vehicle.Uber cars, Uber insurance, Uber waterUber might be best known as an app but there’s a whole ancillary economy dedicated to outfitting the company’s drivers and maintaining its vehicles.Uber Costa Rica previously announced an agreement with the insurance company Qualitas to cover drivers. The public National Insurance Institute has said it won’t cover drivers working with the company because, well, it’s still technically illegal.The Public Works and Transport Ministry and the Government Attorney’s Office have both said that Uber does not have legal permission to operate here but has no enforcement strategy to clamp down on drivers. Uber has operated continuously since it launched here on August 21.In Mexico, meanwhile, Paniagua said that the company has agreements with several affiliated companies ranging from car insurers and mechanics to telecommunications providers for smartphones — even the bottled water offered to riders.Paniagua said the company was in talks to offer more affiliated services in Costa Rica. No word yet if the company is negotiating with Gallito to offer Guayabitas in its vehicles here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

From classrooms to the office Intel addresses hightech gender gap in Costa

first_imgIn Costa Rica, as in many other countries, there is intense demand for electrical, electronic and computer engineers – yet only 15 percent of those choosing engineering and technology as a career are women. The multinational technology giant Intel, with offices and plants in 160 countries, is trying to change that picture.“We want women to design our products because women are our customers. Most of our end products are used by women,” says Timothy Scott, public affairs manager at Intel’s Costa Rican offices in La Ribera de Belén. “They can also provide a diverse way of thinking which will result in diverse ways of solving problems. … There is the perception that engineering is for men. It is also a field that is not as visible as teaching, nursing or retail.” Intel’s elementary-school workshops aim to give girls a boost toward futures in engineering. (Courtesy of Intel)Intel has initiated several projects to give girls a look at engineering as a career. “Juguemos a ser ingenieros,” or “Let’s Pretend We’re Engineers,” is for girls and boys in fourth and fifth grades and gives kids a hands-on experience. It also dispels any notions that girls might have about not being on par with the boys.“In four-hour sessions, they go from knowing nothing to designing and producing something. Kids love it,” says Scott. “They begin to think of futures in engineering. They lose their fear of technology.”So far, 750 kids in ten schools have been involved and other schools are waiting for the program. In upper grades, students work with STEM, an organization which promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and get to meet engineers in person. Their guest speakers might come from NASA or from Costa Rica: the goal is to show students that engineers are people just like them, and to learn about their options in the field.Intel also sponsors the winners of local science fairs that bring girls into leadership roles with technology, covering their costs to attend international science fairs. At the university level, Intel offers part-time jobs to promising students that they can do real work and earn something while they study.Once women are working at Intel, the operations seek to remove impediments to women’s ascent to high-ranking positions: the company provides “mother’s rooms” where lactating mothers can rest and extract their milk for baby’s feeding, and allows parents to ask for flexible schedules to have more family time. The Women at Intel Network (WIN) is an international organization with a Costa Rican chapter that seeks to make the workplace more comfortable in a male-dominated profession.It will take a generation to make changes, says Scott: “We hope that by 2020 we will see parity of men and women studying engineering and technology.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Intel says there is no US pay gap between men and women at the chipmaker Intel’s Vince Guglielmetti wants more Costa Rican engineers Intel cuts 12,000 jobs, forecast misses amid PC market decline Apple working to complete streaming music deal with record labels before June 8last_img read more

Costa Ricas highrise boom

first_imgRelated posts:Construction and homes expo in Belén to focus on sustainability Tacos4Ticos gives back through football Civil Registry now issues digital birth, marriage and death certificates Dollar exchange rate down following Central Bank’s intervention announcement The bakery’s storefront on Avenida Central in Los Yoses, just east of downtown San José, looks like dozens around the metropolitan area selling pan dulce and other sweets. That is, until you take a few steps back and see the looming 25-story residential tower under construction behind it.Towers like Latitude Los Yoses are sprouting up all over the Greater Metropolitan Area, which includes San José and parts of Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia, changing the Central Valley skyline. Between April 2014 and March 2015, there was a 30 percent jump in the amount of space approved for construction of buildings taller than five stories in the Greater Metropolitan Area — to just over 1 million square meters, according to figures from the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction.Construction approvals in the last 12 months are nearly equal to the previous period.The boom in high-rise construction is being driven by a combination of changing consumer preferences, more attractive housing credit, and quality of life concerns, according to architects, real estate agents and developers who spoke with The Tico Times.In the mid-2000s, San José Mayor Johnny Araya started promoting high-rise development as a way to repopulate the capital after decades of urban flight caused by fear of crime and a lack of new urban housing. High-rise construction started off in La Sabana and Ezcazú, but towers have also gone up over the past decade in Heredia, Curridabat, Montes de Oca, Desamparados, and other traditionally low-rise neighborhoods. Torres Paseo Colón, 30 stories high, is the tallest in Costa Rica — for now. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesNot your grandparent’s homeSome observers said the high-rise boom reflects a generational shift in what buyers and renters are looking for. For many young people, the traditional Costa Rican home is financially out of reach, even if desirable. Besides the financial limitations, there are several trends pushing people toward high-rise living:Families are smaller and more people are living alone;Towers offer collective security;Undeveloped land to build new single-family homes is expensive and scarce;Young people are more transient and less interested in living in the same home for the rest of their lives;Traffic is pushing people to live closer to where they work; andPeople want to live within walking distance of amenities like parks, restaurants and bars.José Salinas, president of Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque, the developer of Latitude Los Yoses, said the metropolitan area has emulated the U.S. model of car-dependent residential sprawl. He thinks Costa Ricans are now seeing the pitfalls of that model.“We’ve been destroying one of the most beautiful valleys in the world with suburban development, exchanging coffee plantations and forests for concrete, asphalt and fences,” he said. Long commutes and persistent traffic jams are pushing people back into the city and into high-rise living.“We wouldn’t be building them if people weren’t buying them,” Salinas said.The trend in new construction is likely to continue for the next several years. Arturo Sotela, manager of TK Bienes Raíces, said the real estate market hit its nadir in 2011 following the financial crisis but has since picked up, especially now that banks have fewer loan requirements.Francisco Navarro, market intelligence director for Colliers International Costa Rica, agreed. Navarro said that the residential market was healthy and banks have been supporting new buyers with favorable credit, sometimes offering to finance up to 100 percent of an apartment or condominium with no money down. An artist’s rendering of URBN. (Courtesy Core Developments)But many people buy apartments as an investment rather than a first home. The developers of towers like URBN Escalante, a $38 million development in pre-sale on the southern edge of the trendy Escalante neighborhood, are aiming to appeal to university students, and young professionals and couples. But Navarro said that this demographic often doesn’t have the means to buy apartments starting at almost $90,000. Instead, older people are buying these apartments as investment properties to rent to younger tenants.Shaky market for office towersThough market watchers feel bullish about the high-rise residential market, there is debate over whether the boom will extend to office towers. One project that’s in the works is Torre 40, a $35 million office tower that aims to challenge the 30-story Torres Paseo Colón as the country’s tallest building.Omnia Desarrolladora Inmobiliaria, the developer behind the 40-story commercial office building, believes that the tower’s location — just down the block from Torres Paseo Colón — along with its amenities and the prestige of occupying the tallest building in the country will attract clients. Omnia Sales Manager Maybell Araya said that with an estimated 15 percent annual growth in demand for office space in the San José area, they hope to have the tower at capacity within two years.Some, though, are concerned that Torre 40 will end up creating a glut in office space in the city. Francisco Navarro of Colliers International said that there is already a 15 percent office vacancy rate in the San José area. Demand for office space has been falling recently and Navarro said he does not think the office market is “healthy.” Torre Rohrmoser, another high-rise going up west of La Sabana park in San José. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico TimesBeware density for density’s sakeChanging tastes, expensive land and favorable financing may be supporting high-rise construction, but some worry that Costa Rican cities aren’t well prepared for high-density living. Victor Montero, president of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat—Costa Rica, said city leaders need to start thinking harder about public policies that will make this type of construction sustainable.More people living in the same space requires better urban planning, public transportation and investments in utilities, Montero said. It’s not enough for people to live near amenities if the urban landscape still requires them to have a car, for example. Urban planners need to think about how density is going to impact demand on public spaces, he said, and the quality of life for neighbors.Montero said San José and Curridabat have started to regulate tall buildings, but that there needs to be a more holistic approach to how cities adapt to handle more inhabitants in the same space.“We’re always going to be short of something, whether it’s money or training or whatever,” Montero said. “But without vision, we’re lost.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rica is for lovers the affectionate language of daily life

first_imgRead more: La horma de mi zapato – on love and taxisAs a U.S. citizen living in Costa Rica, I’m thinking of this Valentine’s Day almost like another Thanksgiving. At a time in history when so much in our lives is deadly serious, I’m especially grateful this year for the fact in Costa Rica, affection is sprinkled into everyday life with a light touch but constant presence, and love is definitely a laughing matter.Costa Rica is not a country that tends to take itself too seriously, and affairs of the heart are no exception. Now, my views on this point have been hugely and inevitably influence by my husband and his family, who bring humor to literally any situation, so if I’ve overgeneralized, I apologize to all those penning heartfelt sonnets today. But from what I’ve seen over the past 12 years, romance here tends to be a approached with a grin.Unless you’re a teenager, maybe, if you’re being told that you’re the luz de mis ojos or el sol de mi primavera, it’s being said with a playful smile or slightly ironic tone. If lovebirds do get too saccharine sweet or misty-eyed, they’re likely to be roasted by their family or friends with a high-pitched choral “UUUUUUyyyy” and some quips to help bring Romeo and Juliet back to earth. If you’re de cabanga, moping over a lost love, you’re more likely to be greeted with gentle humor than empathetic tears.The moony and goopy might even be accused of being the victims of sorcery: le dieron agua del calzón, roughly translated as, “They gave him/her underwear water,” might be used to describe a lovesick person. Clearly, only a little black magic could be responsible for such a state. If someone does something extraordinary for love, you might hear un culo jala más que un tractor – literally, an ass can pull you farther than a tractor.Even the best phrases in the language for true love are funny or homely. Those who are lucky in love have found, not their soulmates, but their media naranja, the other half of their orange. The happiest married folks might refer to a spouse as el hombre/la mujer de mis sueños or de mi vida (the man or woman of my dreams, or of my life), but they might opt instead for the term la horma de mi zapato – the shoemaker’s mold for my shoe. To refer to your spouse in the third person, you might use la doña for a wife, or for a girlfriend or boyfriend, la güila/el güilo or el cabro/la cabra (goat). Of course, as in English or probably any language, there are less delightful terms as well, like la culebra (the snake).See also: The Tico Times’ second book pays homage to Costa Rican life and languageTerms of endearment? Of course, constantly, and they might be mi amor or mi vida – but they might not. The parents of the host family I lived with during my first summer in Costa Rica were one of the happiest married couples I’d ever seen, and I was startled when I first overheard them summon each other from opposite ends of the house: “¡GOOOORDAAAAA!” “¡GORDOOOOOO!” I still wouldn’t enjoy being addressed as Fatty by my own dear half-orange, but I’ve come to find it very charming and comforting when I hear it between other couples.Don’t get me wrong: love a lo tico is undeniably sweet. You haven’t truly snuggled until have acurrucado, which has got to be one of the most fun-to-say ways to refer to a cuddle in any language, or apapachado, a word that I recently learned is of Mexican origin but is frequently used in Costa Rica as well. Apapachar comes from the indigenous náhuatl word meaning “to embrace with the soul,” and that’s just as lovely a concept as you can get.It’s sweet, but very, very grounded – and maybe because of that unpretentiousness, it is everywhere. Even in the rushed and crowded city, even in an office, kisses are being kissed, queridas and amores are being tossed around in the air, nicknames and diminutives are being used to express fondness between coworkers or even strangers. The lines between romantic and platonic love are constantly blurred in a place that celebrates, not just el Día de San Valetín, but el Día del Amor y la Amistad. I have always liked this distinction. Here’s to celebrating love in an inclusive way.My wish for you on Tuesday is that single or hitched, surrounded by friends or family or missing someone, you will find a way to be, well, feliz como una lombriz – you know, happy as a parasite that’s found a good host. (Maybe leave that one out of your Valentine’s card… although, then again, I won’t. It’s one of my favorites.)I hope you’ll be happy in a country whose city streets, though a treacherous battleground, to be honest, are also peppered with little words of affection. A country where the most basic conversation has little verbal hugs that, even when rote, soften the corners of a day.I, for one, am hanging onto the diminutives, the sly humor, the irreverence and the ubiquitousness of Costa Rican love like never before, and am thankful for a whole day just to celebrate it.  Here’s to amor a lo tico, in all its charming forms.Read previous Maeology columns here.Katherine Stanley Obando is the editor of The Tico Times and the author of “Love in Translation: Letters to My Costa Rican Daughter,” a book of essays about motherhood, Costa Rica’s unique street slang, bicultural parenting, and the ups and downs of living abroad. She lives in San José. For more from Katherine about Costa Rican life and culture, follow her on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to the Love in Translation blog. Last year, we published one Costa Rican love story; now, we’d love to hear yours. The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:The Tico Times’ second book pays homage to Costa Rican life and language Why learning another language keeps us young Help The Tico Times celebrate Valentine’s Day by sharing your story A room of our own: Costa Rican choteo and Virginia Woolflast_img read more

Positive Leadership workshop at UPEACE in February

first_imgDo you feel that you’re living in a world that’s moving faster, with more information needing your attention, and greater demands on your time? When was the last time you invested in your own professional development?  It’s clearly increasingly challenging to take a pause and reflect on your top priorities, how you work with others, and how to flourish in a changing world. And it’s increasingly important to do so.The University for Peace’s Centre for Executive Education offers a 3-day Positive Leadership workshop that offers you this critical space for self-reflection, learning new skills, developing a personal leadership plan, and renewing your energy. Held at the University’s idyllic campus a few kilometers from Ciudad Colon, the workshop is from February 28-March 2, 2019 (Thursday through Saturday).This workshop will bring together a diverse group of participants, including nationals as well as expats living in Costa Rica. It’s an intense experience based on recent research in the field of positive psychology, and will cover a range of topics from unpacking ‘happiness’ to reflecting on how happiness relates to leadership, purpose, and awareness of our own strengths. The workshop looks at both self-leadership as well as leadership in the organizations we are part of. The participants also reflect on “failures” and emerge with a new perspective on these setbacks that everyone experiences.“We all experience self-doubt that holds us back from achieving our potential. Environments that allow us to feel comfortable being vulnerable, share one’s ‘failures’ and then reflect on what one learnt are invaluable!”, reflects Mohit Mukherjee, a Harvard Education Graduate who founded the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education 12 years ago.In the words of Diego Lineiro, a recent participant from a multinational company in Costa Rica, “The workshop is not an investment, it’s a gift for your mind and your soul. This is not just another workshop, it’s the beginning of a journey. We were not a group, but a team in all aspects.”To join this workshop that takes place in English, please e-mail the Centre’s Program Specialist, Esmeralda Bolaños at ebolanos@upeace.org. For more info on the workshop taking place February 28-March 2, 2019, visit the workshop website at http://centre.upeace.org/workshops/positive-leadership/.This article was sponsored by the University of Peace Facebook Comments Related posts:How to become a positive leader before 2019 – at Costa Rica’s UPEACE International Peace Day in Costa Rica Marina Pez Vela: Luxury and authenticity in one A new airline takes off in Costa Rica: Meet Skywaylast_img read more

President Alvarado responds to apparent call to arms against Costa Ricas government

first_imgThe President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, ordered on Tuesday an investigation into the origin of a video released on social networks in which a group of men dressed in camouflage suits issue a call to take up arms against the government.“I have instructed the security and intelligence authorities to carry out studies and an investigation into a video released yesterday [Monday] that openly attacks our democracy and our constitution,” Alvarado told reporters Tuesday at Casa Presidencial.In the video, one of its members identifies the group as the Patriot Front July 7 (FP7J), a previously unknown group. The images show a dozen men with their faces covered, several of them armed, for a little more than three minutes.The message says that Alvarado “betrayed the country, betrayed all Costa Ricans.”“We have taken the decision to rise up in arms and we will not give up,” says one of the men. He adds, “We call on the National Police to join this revolutionary crusade for the benefit of the most needy”.The President indicated that “the appropriate measures will be taken to identify, investigate and punish those responsible.”The video was published after several days of social upheaval last week, when groups of students, truckers, fishermen and trade unionists demonstrated against the new value added tax (VAT), among other causes.“I call on all the forces of this country […] to repudiate violence in our country, which is our common home, and to categorically reject this anti-democratic message and violence,” Alvarado said.He also noted that his administration takes the message of the video, which calls for the resignation of the president and deputies, “with all appropriate seriousness.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Unrest in Costa Rica over Education Ministry, new value-added tax President Alvarado addresses Costa Rican protests, urges peace and dialogue Authorities clear roads overnight after President Alvarado’s address Government predicts end to blockades following agreement with transportation sectorlast_img read more

Bosnian victim eager to see Ratko Mladic in court

first_img Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories Associated PressSARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – She remembers Ratko Mladic looking straight into her eyes and promising to spare the other children. A soldier had just killed a 3-year-old who was crying too loud.She remembers, too, the arrogant swagger as he barked murderous orders to his troops that showed his promise to be a lie.For Munira Subasic, these are the two sides of the Bosnian Serb general who goes on trial Wednesday on genocide charges: the sly deceiver and the ranting bully. But it was those who obeyed who disappeared: Their bodies are still being found in mass graves scattered around the town. Thousands who refused managed to escape to freedom.Subasic watched as Bosniak men boarded buses for the last time as U.N. soldiers directed the traffic. She saw the Serb soldier kill the 3-year-old child with a rifle shot. She felt the whole world had let the people of Srebrenica down.“Even God has let us down,” she recalled thinking.Desperate, she approached Mladic and begged him to at least spare the children.“I will spare them, don’t cry,” she remembers him saying. He looked her straight in the eye and said: “As soon as we interrogate them, they will be exchanged.”All along, she said, “he behaved as the most powerful man in the world, awarding death sentences and life at leisure.”In the Serb town of Lazarevo, where Mladic was captured last year, attitudes are starkly different.The village, populated mostly by Bosnian Serbs, reacted with fury to his arrest, chanting and blocking journalists from the house where the raid took place. Villagers want to rename their village Mladicevo in honor of their hero. Comments   Share   Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Now Subasic wants to see the man who called himself “the Serbian God” try to defend himself as he faces justice at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague. This time if he tries to brag or yell, the judge can just switch off his microphone or kick him out of the courtroom.She’ll be there in the courtroom to witness his powerlessness.Mladic stands accused of commanding Bosnian Serb forces in Europe’s worst massacre since World War II, including the slaughter of some 8,000 Muslims in the enclave of Srebrenica and other atrocities of the 1992-95 Bosnian war.Subasic was in Srebrenica, in July 1995, when the eastern Bosnian town was overrun by Mladic’s forces and he declared its fall a “gift to the Serbian people.”Along with some 40,000 other Srebrenica residents, Subasic fled to the U.N. peacekeepers’ compound just outside the town hoping the Blue Helmets would protect them. But Mladic shouted threats at the Dutch base commander, then ordered that men be separated from women.“Surrender your weapons and I will guarantee you life,” he told the Bosnian Muslim men and boys, some as young as 11. “You can survive or you can disappear.” New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family At one point a terrified Karremans pleads: “I’m a piano player. Don’t shoot the piano player.”That’s the Mladic she had in her head for 16 years while he hid from international justice. But when Serbian authorities arrested him in May last year he looked frail, old, and half senile. She was convinced he was faking illness and memory loss.Subasic was in the audience last year when Mladic first appeared in the court to enter his plea. Even then he tried to be the powerful general running the show.“No, no, no, I will not listen to this nonsense,” he growled as Judge Alphons Orie tried to read the indictment to him. Orie ordered him out of the courtroom.For the first time, the general was not in charge.Subasic is convinced Mladic will “be lying and denying the crimes” but still hopes to learn answers to the question that has haunted her: Why?Why is her husband Hilmo interred in the memorial cemetery near Srebrenica instead of managing the town’s bauxite mine? Why is she no longer the best dressed woman in Srebrenica, managing the local shopping mall?And, above all, why is she still looking for the body of her son Nermin? By now she should have danced at his wedding and played with his children. “Instead, for the past 17 years,” she said, “I am going from one mass grave to another trying to find at least one bone.”_____Gec contributed from Lazarevo(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “My brother has a big picture of Mladic in his home,” said an elderly man who identified himself only as Bora. “Every time I go in, I kiss that picture as if he were my father.”The Bosnian Serb warlord was captured in the dilapidated red-roofed house of his cousin Branislav Mladic.“If only I had known the two men were all alone in there,” neighbor Klara Zoric said of Mladic’s days in hiding. “I would have taken them some roast meat or pie to eat.”Throughout the war that claimed some 100,000 lives, cameras followed Mladic around Bosnia and filmed him issuing orders and celebrating his victories, as Serb crowds cheered him on.Video footage, available on YouTube, shows him giving candy to Srebrenica children even as his troops were taking their fathers away for execution.In another video he is seen yelling at Dutch UN commander Thom Karremans, who stands against a wall like a bad student at a principal’s office.“Answer my questions! Did you order your troops to shoot at my troops?” Mladic screams through an interpreter. Head down, Karremans rubs his face and mumbles almost inaudible answers.Mladic lights a cigarette and blows smoke into Karremans’ face. His voice gets louder. He asks the Dutchman if he is married and if he has children. It sounds like a threat. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Clarification EgyptGarbage Politics story

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Patients with chronic pain give advice Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk CAIRO (AP) – In a story Sept. 1, The Associated Press reported that a government study cited by the waste management expert Laila Iskandar put the recycling rate at 3 percent. The story should have clarified that 3 percent is the rate of recycling by government and private companies nationwide without factoring in recycling by traditional collectors known as zabbaleen.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

Iran says it decoded data from captured CIA drone

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “All data from the drone have been completely decoded. We know where it travelled step by step,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying. “After decoding, our experts discovered that this drone had not carried out even a single nuclear mission over Iran.”Hajizadeh said Iran had captured the drone and decoded its data without any assistance, including from its allies China and Russia. Iran has said it would reverse-engineer the drone and build its own version.Last week, the Guard claimed it captured another U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf, showing an image of what it said was a Boeing-designed ScanEagle drone on state TV.The Islamic Republic has been trumpeting its possession of the drones in an attempt to embarrass Washington over its alleged surveillance of Iran’s disputed nuclear program.Hajizadeh said Iran had previously acquired a ScanEagle drone and produced a copy of that, but did not provide evidence to back up the claim.Last month, Tehran claimed that a U.S. drone violated its airspace. The Pentagon said an unmanned Predator aircraft came under fire at least twice while flying over international waters but was not hit. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Four benefits of having a wireless security system Sponsored Stories Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 0 Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Monday said it has decoded all of the data from an advanced CIA spy drone captured last year.The Guard’s aerospace chief, Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, told state-run Press TV that that the RQ-170 Sentinel craft had not carried out missions over nuclear facilities before it went down in December 2011 near the eastern border with Afghanistan.Tehran had previously said it recovered information from the top-secret stealth aircraft, but Monday’s announcement suggests technicians may have broken encryptions. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more