Saudi to nonMuslims Respect fast or be expelled

first_imgWarnings or no warnings, he says, “expatriates are always at risk of expulsion for the least offense in the kingdom.”The prince newly appointed to handle most aspects of law enforcement is known as a strict adherent to religious rules. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was governor of the holy city of Mecca before becoming Interior Minister.Saudi Arabia is wary of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings that has toppled longtime authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and neighboring Yemen.It followed a carrot-and-stick strategy to contain unrest by pledging around $120 billion for the kingdom’s lower income groups. It has heavily cracked down on protests, especially in eastern regions dominated by Shiites demanding greater rights, and is steering a middle course between conservatives and reformers among the Sunni majority.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Check your body, save your life Top Stories Saudi Arabia’s population of 27 million includes some 8 million expatriates, including Asians, Arabs, and Westerners, according to government figures.The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom is the home of Islam’s holiest sites. The warning _ which is issued at the beginning of Ramadan every year _ serve as a reminder that the Western-allied monarchy must answer to a strict religious establishment that holds de facto veto power over many of its policies.With challenges to the established order growing bolder from a population nearly half of which is under 30, Saudi Arabia has recently made some moves to show moderation. It is sending female athletes to the Olympics for the first time this year. King Abdullah has promised to allow women to run and vote in municipal elections in 2015. He also has tried to rein in the country’s feared morality police.But Saudi rights advocate Waleed Aboul Khair believes that while such moves give impression that the grip of hardliners has eased, “when you look around, nothing has changed and suppression has not changed.” He is facing trial for “tarnishing the kingdom’s reputation,” mostly by his political activism for women’s rights and other issues.center_img Comments   Share   RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Saudi authorities warned non-Muslim expatriates on Friday, the first day of Ramadan, not to eat, drink, or smoke in public until the end of the Muslim holy month’s sunrise-to-sunset fast _ or face expulsion.The Interior Ministry of the oil-rich kingdom called on expatriates to “show consideration for feelings of Muslims” and “preserve the sacred Islamic rituals.” Otherwise, a ministry statement said, Saudi authorities will cancel violators’ work contracts and expel them. Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

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US Navy tests mineseeking sub during Gulf drills

first_imgThe Navy says drills were not designed to specifically confront a threat from Iran. Tehran has warned it would try to close the Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions over its nuclear program.Miller told reporters Thursday that the Kingfish could eventually be deployed with the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet and other places around the world.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your life Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The admiral in charge of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet says a prototype mine-detecting drone was put through more tests during military exercises in and around the Persian Gulf this month.The advanced sonar-equipped Kingfish sub is being evaluated by the Pentagon. Vice Admiral John W. Miller says the sub was used for the first time internationally during the maneuvers of more than 30 nations that wrapped up this week. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

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AP PHOTOS Indias Modi shows media savvy in his first year

first_img Sponsored Stories 0 Comments   Share   Modi’s sartorial choices, meanwhile, are as well documented as his forays into international diplomacy. The flowing, colorful traditional turban he wore to make his first speech to mark India’s Independence Day got as much attention as the fact that he decided to make the speech without the bulletproof enclosure that usually surrounds Indian prime ministers.The pinstripes on the dark suit he wore as he sipped tea with Obama in New Delhi turned out to be his own name printed in tiny letters. The suit was estimated to have cost more than 1 million rupees ($16,000), but Modi sidestepped the negative publicity by auctioning the suit for a whopping $700,000 to raise money to clean the highly polluted Ganges river. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NEW DELHI (AP) — As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wraps up his first year on the job, one thing is clear: He understands the power of a good photo.A selfie with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Enveloping President Barack Obama in a tight bear hug minutes after he landed in New Delhi. Sweeping the streets of the Indian capital with a broom to highlight his national cleanliness campaign. There’s a talked-about photograph documenting just about every major moment of his first year as prime minister. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches FILE – In this Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, sweeps a road with a broom along with civic workers in New Delhi, India. As India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wraps up his first year on the job, one thing is clear, the prime minister understands the power of a good photograph. Sweeping the streets of the Indian capital with a broom to highlight his national cleanliness campaign. There’s a talked about photograph documenting every major moment of his year as prime minister. (Press Trust of India source via AP, File) Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

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Report urges major steps to help victims of cardiac arrest

first_img Top holiday drink recipes Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Check your body, save your life Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   The American Heart Association — which along with the American Red Cross, American College of Cardiology and the federal government had requested the IOM’s study — welcomed the recommendations.Cardiac arrest is “the most critically ill state a human being can be in,” said Dr. Robert W. Neumar of the University of Michigan, who chairs a heart association emergency care committee. The nation needs to create a culture where “if someone collapses in front of you with cardiac arrest, it’s your obligation to help.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. That’s not the whole toll: An additional 200,000 cardiac arrests occur in hospitals every year, and even there only a quarter of patients survive, the report found.Cardiac arrest is not a heart attack — it’s worse. It means the heart abruptly stops beating, its electrical activity knocked out of rhythm. CPR can buy critical time if it’s started immediately, but Tuesday’s report concludes the nation must take key steps to give victims a better shot.“Cardiac arrest survival rates are unacceptably low,” said Dr. Robert Graham of George Washington University, who chaired the IOM committee’s investigation. “There is a lot an individual can do to assist somebody if they witness one, and to work with their communities to improve the system of response.”What to do may sound straightforward: Call 911, and then start quick, hard compressions of the person’s chest until trained responders arrive. If a device called an AED — an automated external defibrillator — is available, use it.In reality, the IOM committee said fear, not understanding what cardiac arrest is, lack of first-aid training and concern about legal liability can hamper response and cost precious time. Each year, less than 3 percent of the U.S. population receives training in CPR or defibrillator use, while some European countries mandate training, the report found. –National standards are needed for emergency medical systems, to ensure that 911 callers are talked through how to provide CPR.–The National Institutes of Health should expand research for better treatments. Defibrillators attempt to shock the heart back into rhythm so it can resume beating, but most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests aren’t the kind of abnormal rhythms that a shock can fix, said IOM committee member Dr. Lance Becker of the University of Pennsylvania. Yet the report found the NIH spends far less on cardiac arrest research than on other cardiovascular problems.–Hospitals should have to meet national accreditation standards on cardiac arrest care. Survival of patients who suffer cardiac arrest while hospitalized for some other reason can vary by 10 percent between hospitals, IOM found.Improvement is possible, the IOM found, calling some communities examples. In King County, Washington, there’s a 62 percent survival rate among patients with a specific shockable form of cardiac arrest if they collapse in front of someone. Policymakers there have spent decades studying what care works best, and getting bystanders and professionals on board with response practices. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Moreover, there are wide disparities in outcomes: One study found that survival ranged from about 8 percent to 40 percent across 10 different communities.On Tuesday, the IOM called for a major public education effort to teach people how to recognize and react to cardiac arrest — including making CPR training a graduation requirement for high school. According to the American Heart Association, Connecticut just became the 24th state to pass legislation to do that.State and local health departments should team with health groups to create “a culture of action,” the IOM recommended. It also urged employers to stock defibrillators and train workers to use them, and expanded access to CPR training for people over age 65 and their caregivers.Good Samaritan laws provide varying legal protection by state. At the same time, laymen shouldn’t feel they have to provide perfect care, said IOM committee member Dr. Tom Aufderheide of the Medical College of Wisconsin.“Any CPR and any early defibrillation delivered by the public is better than no care at all,” he said.Other recommendations:–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should create a national registry of cardiac arrest. There are no good statistics on this killer, the IOM said, calling its own numbers the best available estimates. A registry would track outcomes so communities could take steps to improve. The CDC said it will review the recommendation. WASHINGTON (AP) — Would you know what to do if you see someone collapse, not breathing — a loved one at home, a co-worker at the office, a stranger on the street? Far too many Americans die of cardiac arrest, and now a major new report urges a national campaign to improve survival in part by making sure more bystanders know how to help.Every year, about 395,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in their homes or other non-hospital settings — and less than 6 percent of them survive, the Institute of Medicine estimated Tuesday. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Top Stories last_img read more

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AP source US Cuba to announce plan to open embassies

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 Since the late 1970s, the United States and Cuba have operated diplomatic missions called interests sections in each other’s capitals. The missions are technically under the protection of Switzerland, and do not enjoy the same status as full embassies.While the opening of embassies marks a major milestone in the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba, significant issues remain as the countries look to normalize relations. Among them: talks on human rights; demands for compensation for confiscated American properties in Havana and damages to Cuba from the embargo; and possible cooperation on law enforcement, including the touchy topic of U.S. fugitives sheltering in Havana.Obama also wants Congress to repeal the economic embargo on Cuba, though he faces resistance from Republicans and some Democrats. Those opposed to normalizing relations with Cuba say Obama is prematurely rewarding a regime that engages in serious human rights abuses.The president also will face strong opposition in Congress to spending any taxpayer dollars on building or refurbishing an embassy in Havana. Congress would have to approve any administration request to spend money on an embassy.Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said in a statement that opening a U.S. embassy in Cuba “will do nothing to help the Cuban people and is just another trivial attempt for President Obama to go legacy shopping.” Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the opening of embassies was part of the administration’s “common sense approach to Cuba.” However, he called for Cuba to recognize that it is out of step with the international community on human rights.“Arrests and detentions of dissidents must cease and genuine political pluralism is long overdue,” Cardin said in a statement.Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in April during a regional summit, marking the first time U.S. and Cuban leaders have met in person since 1958.For Obama, the embassy announcements come amid what the White House sees as one of the strongest stretches of his second term. He scored major legislative and legal victories last week, with Congress giving him fast-track authority for an Asia-Pacific free trade deal and the Supreme Court upholding a key provision of his health care law.The court also ruled in favor of gay marriage nationwide, an outcome Obama supported.__Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDCCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba have finalized an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in ending hostilities between the Cold War foes, a senior administration official said.The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the reestablishment of embassies following the historic December announcement that they would move to restore ties after a half-century of animosity. The U.S. embassy in Havana is expected to open in July. For Obama, ending the U.S. freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency. Obama has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the U.S. embargo on the communist island just 90 miles south of Florida was ineffective.The official insisted on anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter ahead of the president.The White House said Obama will deliver a statement on Cuba from the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Vienna for nuclear negotiations with Iran, is also expected to speak about the embassy openings.Kerry has said previously that he would travel to Cuba for an embassy opening.Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday evening that it would meet with U.S. Interests Section chief Jeffrey DeLaurentis on Wednesday morning to receive a message from President Obama about reopening embassies.The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro’s revolution. The U.S. spent decades trying to either actively overthrow the Cuban government or isolate the island, including toughening the economic embargo first imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories last_img read more

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Discover South America overwhelmed by industry support

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X This year’s Discover South America trade show, supported by LAN Airlines, was the first time many of its representatives had travelled down under, and so many were pleasantly surprise by the tremendous welcome.Many of the representatives were leaving Chile’s main airport of Santiago as the earthquake hit off the coast of the Maule region, and as such were able to give first hand reports of the situation in the area.Despite the catastrophe the local travel industry supported the representatives by coming in droves in both Melbourne and Sydney to tradeshows held late last week.“We were overwhelmed by the number of interested agents,” said Ana Periera, LAN Airlines (World Aviation) Account Manager.  “We had over 170 agents show up in Melbourne, and in Sydney we had to raise maximum amount of registered agents from 200 to 300.”“Many agents there were interested in what was happening over in Chile,” adds Tony Harrington, LAN spokesperson.  “We are able to tell them that the recovery is well underway.”Six different tour operators and suppliers travelled with the roadshow this year, including Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring who specialise in tours of Ecuador, Peru, Argentia and Chile as well as specialist tours of the Galapagos.“One of the key messages for me this year is to encourage awareness of our Galapagos cruises,” said Francisco Dousdebes, Metropolitan Touring Expedition Trainer. “We would really like people to be aware that our tours book out quickly due to a cap on how many travellers are allowed into the Galapagos each year… If people really want to get on our tours they should book early.”Other tour operators include CTS Turismo, a tour operator which focuses on Chile, and Expedition Cruises, who travel through regions including Patagonia and Cape Horn.  Hotels who also participated this year include the Sofitel, Alto Atacama and the eco lodge Hangaroa on Easter Island. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2340d/” 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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TMS AsiaPacific sold

first_imgRecruitment specialists, TMS Asia-Pacific has been sold to a joint consortium, which includes the company’s current chief executive Helene Taylor and Asia-based entrepreneur, Steve Hamblin.As part of the purchase, Mr Hamblin said the company will maintain its current branding, but he hoped to re-open the TMS offices in Bangkok and Auckland as well as launch into other markets including China.TMS founder Gary Marshall said the decision to sell the company he established 18 years ago was “hard” but knew it was “time to move on”.“The reality is I have been standing very much on the sidelines for the last five years, becoming more of an inactive shareholder rather than having a day to day hands-on management role in the business,” he said.Mr Hamblin has strong experience in the recruitment sector, launching The Parker Bridge Group in 1988 as well as working with UK-based online training company, Recruitment Training Productions. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Gas leak hospitalises five Crown Perth employees

first_imgCrown Perth reopens back of house areas after given the all clear. Image: Crownperth.com.au Five employees at Crown Perth have been hospitalised after a gas leak in a back of house maintenance area.The Fire Brigade was called to inspect the plaza after a leak was detected at 11.30am on Thursday, and found two liquid chemicals had been mixed to produce a toxic gas underneath the complex, Perth Now reported.According to a Crown Perth spokesperson, the gas did not leak into any public areas, however, the back of house areas were evacuated.A Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) spokesperson confirmed five people had been taken to hospital, while a further 15 had been affected by the fumes in the area.Although the extent of their injuries remains unknown, the spokesperson stressed employees taken to hospital did not suffer life threatening injuries.“There are no life threatening injuries,” the spokesperson said. “The Fire Brigade took control of the situation which resulted in an area being isolated and the leak contained.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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The Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates 50 years

first_imgSource = Switzerland Tourism The Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates 50 YearsThe Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates 50 YearsOne of the world’s biggest annual jazz festivals, the Montreux Jazz Festival, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this July.What started as a humble three day event at the Montreux Casino in 1967, it progressively grew over the decades to become a two week music festival featuring the world’s biggest names in Jazz, Blues, Rock, Soul and Pop including the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Count Basie, Keith Jarrett, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Prince and Portishead to name a few.Entertaining about 250,000 visitors annually, this year’s event (from 1-16 July) will feature a special line up of artists across its four venues of Casino Barrière, Stravinski Hall, Montruex Jazz Lab and Montreux Jazz Club to commemorate the festival’s incredible milestone.Montreux Jazz Festival Deep PurpleDirector of Switzerland Tourism, Mark Wettstein, says not only will visitors witness and enjoy extraordinary line ups that will see well-known legendary musicians and fresh new talent share stages, but a number of specially created projects will ensure the city is drenched in music and festivities to celebrate the occasion.Some of the big names and new blood performing this year include Neil Young, PJ Harvey, Sigur Rós, Pa i Smith, Lana Del Rey, M83, Muse, Ernest Ranglin and Friends, Scofield Mehldau Guiliana, Christian Sco, Jean-Michel Jarre, Future, Simply Red, Beirut, Grimes and a host of others. There will also be performances by well known Latina American, Caribbean and African artists including Ana Carolina, Vanessa Da Mata, Dobet Gnahoré, Ernest Ranglin, Alfredo Rodriguez Trio and many others.As part of the 16-day celebration this year, the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation have organised tributes to David Bowie and to Swiss Movement. There will also be a showcase of Swiss pianist, Nik Bärtsch, and his project, Mobile Continuum, at Chillon Castle; and visitors will also be treated to thematic live performances on the water aboard the Montreux Jazz Boats and all the way to the mountain tops via the Montreux Jazz Trains.Montreux Jazz Festival“The Festival’s stage that is the shores of Lake Geneva is a very special place for visitors and the music fans,” says Mark. “With the picturesque mountainous backdrop, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lavaux vineyards down the road, the moated Chillon Castle a short ferry ride away, the newly opened Chaplin’s World by Grevin in Vevey a short bus ride away and the panoramic Golden Pass Train / Chocolate Train at the doorstep, visitors will be encouraged to keep their itineraries filled with memorable activities to complement their equally memorable musical experiences during their visit.“Queen fans will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the group’s former studio at the Casino Barrière, where they recorded the last songs released in 1995 (from the album “Made in Heaven’). Here, fans of Freddie Mercury can marvel at the countless souvenirs and eclectic wardrobe pieces of the eccentric musician,” says Mark.To commemorate the occasion, a book entitled “50 Summers of Music” will be published, featuring carefully chosen photographs that document the musical adventure over the half century; and an interactive video will take fans through the major highlights of the musical journey.For the Festival’s full program, events and tickets, head to www.montreuxjazzfestival.com. For more information on Montreux, its surrounds and Switzerland, visit www.myswitzerland.com. Montreux Jazz Festivaldiscover more here Switzerland Tourismdiscover my Switzerland here last_img read more

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AccorHotels launches Seoul Dragon City

first_imgAccorHotels launches Seoul Dragon CityAccorHotels launches Seoul Dragon City – Korea’s First ‘Lifestyle Hotel-Plex’Korea’s first ‘lifestyle hotel-plex’ Seoul Dragon City will open on 1 October, featuring  four AccorHotels brands, 1,700 rooms, 11 restaurants and bars, 17 meeting rooms, two multi-function grand ballrooms, and a world first: four full floors of entertainment in a Sky Bridge suspended between two of the towers.Featuring four distinct AccorHotels brands ranging from luxury to economy, Seoul Dragon City will cater to every demographic:Grand Mercure Ambassador Seoul Yongsan is designed for families and long-stay guests who enjoy an upscale lifestyle in a serviced residence, with 202 relaxing rooms featuring warm colours and locally inspired decorative motifs, prints, pictures and furniture.Novotel Suites Ambassador Seoul Yongsan is also ideal for long-stay business and leisure guests or those who like more space and flexibility, with 286 spacious modular suites featuring an ergonomic design for work and relaxation and non-partitioned space that can accommodate from one to four guests.Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan will appeal to business and leisure guests seeking a comfortable and easy stay, with 621 large fully-appointed rooms with a simple, modern design, and non-partitioned space that is ideal for individual guests and families.ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan features 591 colourful and inspiring rooms with a bold personality, making it the choice for business and leisure groups, airline crews, families, friends, and frequent individual travellers who prefer all-inclusive rates.“2017 has been a record-breaking year for AccorHotels in South Korea, highlighted by this launch of the largest project we have signed in the country featuring four hotel brands in the same complex, including the introduction of Grand Mercure and Novotel Suites in this market,” says Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia.“Together, the four brands can cater to the needs of every guest,” he adds. “Grand Mercure combines rich Korean culture with elegant service, making it a great option for long-stay guests who require full residence services. Our Novotel Suites will attract medium- to long-stay business travellers and families on urban holidays. By the end of this year, the group will have 24 hotels in South Korea, which will be followed by eight more in the next two years. We will also be diversifying our brand portfolio to the luxury segment in the near future.”Jerome Stubert, Cluster General Manager of Seoul Dragon City, adds, “Korea is a very promising market where the number of in-bound travellers is on a steady rise. Seoul Dragon City is Korea’s first-ever lifestyle hotel-complex and consists of four AccorHotels brands serving all types of guests and suiting every budget. Grand in its scale, the complex features the widest range of convention space in Seoul, multiple restaurants and bars, and the amazing Sky Bridge. Offering an ideal combination of globally recognised high-standard hospitality and unmatched facilities, Seoul Dragon City is positioned locally, regionally and internationally to be Korea’s global landmark”.The pièce de résistance is indeed the Sky Bridge, with highlights including:King’s Vacation – the only lounge bar in South Korea where guests can experience a European décor that reinterprets the royal vacation, with an innovative range of cuisine and beverages, an indoor miniature swimming pool, Skywalk, and performance stage.Sky Beach – where guests can experience a private beach club, with music and international cuisine amongst a setting reminiscent of the legendary beach clubs of Spain, Greece, Singapore and Las Vegas.Taking its name from the Yongsan District in which it stands – known in English as Dragon Mountain – the area has become a magnet for foreign travellers who gravitate to its shopping centres and nightlife. In Korean mythology, dragons were powerful yet benevolent creatures associated with wealth, fortune and success, who controlled the cosmos and became a symbol of a king of the Joseon Dynasty, which left a substantial legacy to modern Korea. Seoul Dragon City is a reinterpretation of the magnificent heritage of the Joseon Dynasty and all the symbolism of the dragon, blending Korean tradition with the authentic hospitality of AccorHotels.The new ‘lifestyle hotel-plex’ is strategically located in the centre of Seoul close to major business districts such as Yeouido and Gangnam, as well as commercial districts including Itaewon and Myeongdong. The complex is adjacent to malls and shopping centres, movie theatres, tourist attractions and embassies. It is 57km from Incheon International Airport and 22km from Gimpo International Airport.To celebrate the spectacular opening, each of the four AccorHotels at Seoul Dragon City has launched a ‘Seoul Dragon City Amazing Opening Offer’ at www.accorhotels.com Source = AccorHotelslast_img read more

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Dream Hotel Group signs Atlanta Georgia location

first_imgDream Atlanta, BuckheadDream Hotel Group signs Atlanta, Georgia locationPartners with Atlanta-based Cartel Properties to open 200-key Dream Hotel in 2021Renowned hotel and brand management company Dream Hotel Group today announced plans to debut Dream Atlanta, Buckhead in 2021.Designed by Atlanta-based architecture firm Cooper Carry, Dream Atlanta, Buckhead, will feature 200 guest rooms and suites, 90 private residences, a dynamic spa and wellness concept and five highly activated dining and nightlife venues, including a 17,000-square-foot rooftop pool bar and lounge. The dual-tower development will also include 80,000 square feet of additional office and retail space.“We found a great partner in Cartel Properties, a company that plays an important role in Atlanta’s history and transformation story,” said Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein. “Cartel Properties has made a big impact on revitalizing areas of Atlanta into vibrant neighborhoods, including Buckhead, a prospering community that’s known as a premier entertainment district. We are excited to collaborate with such a talented group who really understands and appreciates our authentic lifestyle brand.”“We’re thrilled to bring the Dream Hotels brand to Atlanta,” said John Frasier of Cartel Properties, Inc. “We have great synergy working together and look forward to bringing such an exciting development to Buckhead, a neighborhood currently undergoing a renaissance of its own. Dream Atlanta, Buckhead will be a community and cultural hub unique to the city for guests and locals alike.”Georgia’s capital city is known for its rich history, creative arts community, the world’s busiest airport in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, a Downtown boasting the nation’s third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and most recently the city has earned its space in the spotlight for its booming film industry. In 2017, film and television productions in Georgia generated nearly $10 billion, with a number of prominent movie studios and sound stage complexes based in Atlanta. Recent blockbuster movies filmed in and around Atlanta include “Hidden Figures,” “Marvel’s Black Panther,” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” three of the four “Hunger Games,” and more. The state’s film industry currently ranks third in the nation behind California and New York, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.Known as the “Beverly Hills of the East,” Buckhead is recognized for its stunning architecture, tree-lined streets and lively shopping districts. Dream Atlanta, Buckhead is located just north of the bustling intersection of Peachtree Road, Roswell Road and Paces Ferry in Buckhead Village, a district well-known for its walkability, modern boutique shopping and buzzing culinary scene.Underwritten by a design philosophy that is both surreal and contemporarily chic, Dream Hotels are individually curated properties that together comprise a unique narrative. With locations in the United States and abroad, the design and experience of each property is informed by its locale and taken to Dream status by a pool of world-renowned architects and interior designers. The result is a stay experience well-suited to the discerning traveler who seeks comfort in a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.With 18 hotels open today and another 20+ locations in various stages of development worldwide, Dream Hotel Group is on track to triple its existing portfolio by 2022. The signing of Dream Atlanta, Buckhead signals another exciting milestone in the continued growth and evolution of the company and its portfolio of lifestyle brands.About Dream Hotel GroupDream Hotel Group is a hotel brand and management company with a rich, 30-year history of managing properties in some of the world’s most highly competitive hotel environments. Home to its Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels brands, Dream Hotel Group, encompasses three business lines: Proprietary Brands, Hotel Management, and Dining & Nightlife. The company is committed to the philosophy that forward-thinking design, service and guest experiences should be available across all market segments. Dream Hotel Group is dedicated to offering travelers an authentic connection to their chosen destination through a truly original approach. For more information, please visit www.dreamhotelgroup.com and follow @dreamhotelgroup on Twitter.About Cartel PropertiesFounded by George Rohrig, Cartel Properties is a recognized and respected leader of urban development in Atlanta, Georgia, with a focus on the revitalization of under-utilized areas and transforming them into vibrant neighborhoods. Cartel has been a major contributor in the redevelopment of Atlanta’s most desirable districts: Buckhead, Midtown, West Midtown and Decatur. Through the establishment of restaurants, retail shops and housing, Cartel Properties has helped to transform these districts into lively pedestrian urban destinations. www.cartelproperties.comSource = Dream Hotel Grouplast_img read more

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Thai Airways launches Dreamliner

first_imgThai Airways is giving its customers a whole new in-flight experience with cabin enhancements, more seating comfort and almost limitless entertainment options with B787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. The Dreamliner will be flying on international routes from Bangkok to Delhi, Chennai, Seoul, Nagoya, Hong Kong, Singapore, Perth, Brisbane, Denpasar and Kuala Lumpur. From November 25 onwards one can fly from Delhi or Chennai to Bangkok on the Dreamliner and experience Thai’s unique and legendry service with a whole new in-flight experience with cabin enhancements, more seating comfort and almost limitless entertainment options.last_img read more

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Sherin Naiken

first_imgWe have seen phenomenal increase in awareness and number to Seychelles in the past two years of our operation in India. There is a lot of interest for the destination currently and we together with our hotel, airline and DMC partners are aggressively working at tapping this potential. OTM was a good way to start the year where we could meet the travel trade and inform them about the new developments and products Seychelles has in store. Our partners met some quality travel trade members and could do significant business.last_img read more

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Bahrain expects 15 million tourist arrivals by 2018

first_imgIn an effort to attract investment to the tourism sector, Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) recently participated in a roundtable session titled ‘Uncovering Bahrain’, on the sidelines of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai.A compound annual growth rate of 4.8% has been projected for Bahrain’s tourism market, reaching one billion dollar by 2020. Bahrain attracted a total of 11.6 million tourists in 2015, up 11 % from the previous year.The hotels and restaurants sector was the fastest-growing sector in the Kingdom for the past two years, expanding by 10% in 2014 and by 7.3% in 2015. Bahrain is home to 120 hotels including the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, Sofitel, ART Rotana, Marriott, Le Méridien and the Westin. Many are under development.Jerad Bachar, Executive Director of Tourism and Leisure, EDB, commented, “There is strong investment currently underway in Bahrain’s tourism sector, stemming from both private and public sector sources. The recently launched tourism brand identity ‘Ours. Yours. Bahrain’ has been launched to build the overall awareness of Bahrain as a tourism destination. Through collaboration with the greater tourism community, we aim to increase the country’s competitiveness and increase the economic contribution from tourism to the GDP.”Bahrain is investing heavily in large infrastructure projects including the one billion dollar Bahrain International Airport Modernisation Programme; the Avenues Mall and the One and Only Resort and Spa, both currently under construction.last_img read more

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International tourist arrivals grow by 6 in first six months of 2018

first_imgAccording to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s latest barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 6% in the first six months of 2018 after a record year of growth in 2017.All world regions enjoyed robust growth in tourist arrivals in January-June 2018. The increase was fuelled by strong demand from major source markets, supported by an upswing in the global economy. It comes after record year-round growth of 7% in 2017.“The release of international tourism data for the first half of 2018 serves as further proof of the sector’s resilience and relentless growth trajectory. We continue to work with our many partners to translate this growth into better jobs, more benefits to societies, and more opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and destinations”, said Zurab Pololikashvili, General Secretary, UNWTO.  By region, Europe and Asia and the Pacific led growth with a 7% increase in arrivals each. Southern Mediterranean Europe and South-East Asia had the strongest results in these regions, both welcoming 9% more international tourists.The Middle East and Africa also recorded sound results with arrivals growing at 5% and 4%, respectively, according to still-limited information available for destinations in these regions. The Americas saw 3% growth in arrivals over the six-month period, driven by South America 7% and North America 5%. The United States continued to fuel much growth in the region and beyond.On the demand side, France, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation all reported double-digit increases in outbound spending in Europe. India and the Republic of Korea drove growth in Asia and the Pacific, while the world’s top source market China reported similar spending as in the same period last year.last_img read more

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CMLA Proposes Legislation to Accommodate Community Lenders

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Dodd-Frank Investors Lenders & Servicers Regulation Service Providers 2013-06-10 Tory Barringer June 10, 2013 443 Views in Government CMLA Proposes Legislation to Accommodate Community Lenderscenter_img Share An advocacy group for small lenders has released its own proposed legislation to protect consumers from predatory practices without adversely affecting community banks.[IMAGE]The “”Community Mortgage Lenders of America””:http://thecmla.com/ (CMLA) unveiled the Community Mortgage Lenders Act of 2013, a piece of legislation designed to spur lending, maintain effective consumer protections, and remove what the group calls “”excessive regulations aimed for other parts of the market.””””The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] and other regulatory controls to crack down on pernicious lending practices and to improve the transparency in lending markets,”” said CMLA chair Mark McDougald. “”But, small community bankers and lenders were not responsible for the mortgage crisis, and should not face excessive regulatory oversight and additional cost burdens.””While we all agree that consumers deserve protection from abusive products and practices, we remain deeply concerned that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will significantly disadvantage small, community-based lenders that did not create the meltdown, and down have the resources to hire an additional staff to comply with rules aimed at larger institutions,”” he continued.Under the proposed legislation, “”responsible”” community lenders (defined as those who have no history or predatory or abusive loan practices and whose product predominantly falls under the qualified mortgage criteria) would be exempt from several rules, including the seven-day waiting period requirement, new servicing rules targeting impersonal shops, auditing of third-party vendors, and CFPB examination authority (unless a referral comes from a state or federal regulator). They would also be exempt from additional capital requirements called upon by Basel III.The legislation also provides exemptions from the costs of collecting “”non-consumer impacting data”” or conducting statistical analysis of disparate impact and other far-reaching and costly exercises.In addition, those lenders would receive relief from portions of current Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act standards as it applies to a bifurcated mortgage loan originator standards. Finally, to improve underwriting flexibility, community lenders’ entire book of business would receive qualified mortgage protection.””We believe this legislation affirms the original goal of Dodd-Frank, and at the same time, will ensure that regulators’ efforts focus on those aspects of the mortgage industry that need more comprehensive oversight,”” said Charles Ferraro, president at William Raveis Mortgage, a New England-based lender.last_img read more

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Mortgage Capital Management Announces SVP of Sales and Marketing

first_imgMortgage Capital Management Announces SVP of Sales and Marketing Share in Headlines, News, Uncategorized June 20, 2014 429 Views center_img Mortgage Capital Management Movers & Shakers 2014-06-20 Tory Barringer Mortgage Capital Management (MCM), a firm offering mortgage banking consulting and services, announced the hiring of Karen Herr as SVP for sales and marketing.An experienced mortgage veteran with more than 25 years under her belt, Herr began her career in mortgage servicing with a savings and loan before transitioning to capital markets at Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital. She also spent 15 years at Chase Home Mortgage, both as a successful producer and as a manager in the company’s first mortgage correspondent lending and wholesale home equity divisions.In her executive leadership role at MCM, Herr will lead the company’s efforts in growing new business while cultivating existing relationships through customer support, information, and guidance.Dean Brown, CEO of MCM, said Herr’s ability to build strong relationships makes her a “natural fit” for her new position.”Karen has a consultative approach that contributes to MCM’s strong client relationships,” Brown said. “When combined with her complete understanding of the mortgage lifecycle, she is well positioned to troubleshoot client issues, as well as offer profit and service improvements that will help minimize risk.”last_img read more

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Study Household Formations Now at PreRecession Levels

first_img New household formation in the United States has recovered from the widespread job losses that came with the recession, according to a new study from the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California.The study was conducted authored by Gary Painter, director of the Lusk Center, and doctoral candidate Jung Hyun Choi, to determine how long declines in household formation would last following a major economic shock such as a drop in employment that occurred during the recession.The study found that household formations consistently return to their previous levels in about three years regardless of whether employment has recovered at the same rate during that time.”This shows us that even a permanent increase in the unemployment rate will not have a permanent impact on housing formation,” Painter said. “As a result, policymakers and industry practitioners have a new level of predictability when it comes to how economic crises impact the rate of new households.”The researchers found in their study that household formations in the United States fell to almost zero during the recession’s peak years of 2008 to 2010, but then played three years of catch-up and have now recovered to pre-recession levels of about one million per year. Quarterly data from 1975 to 2011 showed that household recoveries typically lasted three years following periods of unemployment.”The freeze in formations is over and people are again moving out and forming households. This means that real estate professionals and policy makers should not keep waiting for pent-up demand,” Painter said. “So while a number of factors will continue to influence the housing recovery, household formation is no longer one of them.” Demand Household Formations Jobs Recovery Unemployment 2015-02-20 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News February 20, 2015 461 Views center_img Study: Household Formations Now at Pre-Recession Levels Sharelast_img read more

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American Homes 4 Rent and American Residential Properties Announce Merger

first_img December 3, 2015 616 Views in Headlines, News, Secondary Market, Technology American Homes 4 Rent American Residential Properties Single-Family Rental 2015-12-03 Staff Writer American Homes 4 Rent (AH4R) and American Residential Properties, Inc. (ARPI) both announced on Thursday morning plans to merge into a combined company that is expected to own and manage more than 47,000 residential single-family rental homes.The merger is expected to enhance the size of the largest publicly-traded single-family rental company, Agoura Hills, California-based American Homes 4 Rent, which prior to the merger owned approximately 38,000 SFR properties.“We are delighted to announce our agreement to combine with American Residential Properties, further establishing American Homes 4 Rent as the largest publicly-traded owner and operator of single family rental homes,” said David Singelyn, CEO of AH4R. “American Residential Properties has a high quality portfolio of homes which fit strategically in our markets, offering significant opportunities to capture further operating efficiencies on the combined platform. Moving ahead, we look forward to creating additional value for the shareholders of the combined company while strengthening our position as a premier company in the single-family rental sector.”The boards of both companies have approved a definitive agreement for a tax-free merger. The total value of the transaction is approximately $1.5 billion. The merger is expected to close sometime in the first half of 2016. The total SFR home inventory of the combined company, which is expected to be more than 47,000 properties, covers 22 states and is expected to have an equity market capitalization of approximately $5.5 billion and an aggregate real estate cost basis of more than $8 billion.The transaction was negotiated with a fixed exchange ratio of 1.135 shares of AH4R for each share of ARPI, and ARPI will merge into AH4R in a tax free exchange. ARPI shareholders will own about 13 percent of the combined company, according to the announcement from AH4R. Meanwhile, AH4R will retain its corporate headquarters in Agoura Hills, California, while maintaining a presence in the Phoenix, Arizona, market. AH4R senior executives will retain their roles and responsibilities after the merger is complete. ARPI Chairman and CEO Stephen G. Schmitz and ARPI’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Laurie Hawkes, will remain with the company until the merger closes. The merger is subject to majority approval by ARPI shareholders and customary closing conditions.“We are excited to join forces with one of the largest and most successful single family residential companies in our growing industry,” Schmitz said. “Over the past year, our management and Board have explored many options to enhance returns to our stockholders and we believe this strategic transaction is the best way to deliver long-term value to our stockholders. This merger provides American Residential Properties stockholders with a premium for their shares and the opportunity to benefit from participation in the upside potential of an efficient, larger platform that is well positioned in high growth markets and that will benefit from operating synergies.”The AH4R and ARPI transaction is the second major merger of single-family rental companies announced in the last three months. In September, Starwood Waypoint Residential and Colony American Homes announced a definitive merger agreement which would combine the two companies in a stock-for-stock transaction. That combined company, which will be managed internationally, is expected to own and manage more than 30,000 single-family homes nationwide and have an asset value of about $7.7 billion when the transaction closes sometime in the first quarter of 2016.Click here to see a presentation on the merger.center_img American Homes 4 Rent and American Residential Properties Announce Merger Sharelast_img read more

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