Ottawas Chateau Laurier hotel to undergo major expansion

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, September 15, 2016 Posted by Sharecenter_img OTTAWA — Major changes are in the works for the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in the national capital.The plan is to add as many as 200 long-term stay suites in the hotel just steps from Parliament Hill, in addition to an exterior courtyard and approximately 427 underground parking spaces.Shovels are expected to be in the ground in the fall of 2017, with the new suites expected to be ready in 2020.There was no immediate word on cost of the project.Public consultations will take place at a later date, but there has already been a flurry of negative reaction to online depictions of the planned expansion. Tags: Ottawa Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier hotel to undergo major expansionlast_img read more

National strike brings Italy to a halt for 24 hours

first_img Friday, October 21, 2016 National strike brings Italy to a halt for 24 hours Posted by Tags: Italy, Strike Share Travelweek Group ROME — Italy is dealing with a 24-hour general strike today, impacting not just flights but public transport and the public sector as well.Anyone flying to or from Italy is advised to check with their airline. Airports in Pisa (where there is an addition 24-hour industrial action) and Venice are expected to be hit hard by the strike action. Major airlines including British Airways are attempting to operate a normal schedule today but warn of baggage delays.Rome is also seeing major disruptions on its public transport routes, with two Metro lines stopped completely, and bus routes and commuter rail lines facing delays and stoppages as well.pics from today of strikes, demos and blockades as part of the #generalstrike across #Italy #scioperogenerale pic.twitter.com/ksTnDm2kPh— bethan bowett (@BethanBowett) October 21, 2016 @Ryanair do strikes in italy affect international flights (flying into Rome and out of it) ?#oct21 #strike in #italy pic.twitter.com/TMcSQh8qQo— Edrea20 (@edrea20) October 19, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Brazils largest airline adds new flights to Florida

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Share Tuesday, November 28, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: AZUL Brazilian Airlines Brazil’s largest airline adds new flights to Florida TORONTO — Azul Brazilian Airlines has expanded its international flight network with new flights from Brazil to Florida.Represented in Canada by AirlinePros as its GSA, the airline has announced new departures from its Fort Lauderdale gateway to Brazil. According to an official statement, this seat capacity increase will be of direct interest to travel industry players that have regular and/or specialized client itinerary requirements for Brazil.“With launch dates starting early in the current winter season, AZUL has now boosted its product offer from North America by 35%,” said Karl Müller, AirlinePros Canada Director. “New routes such as Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Belem (BEL), FLL to Recife (RED), in addition to the Orlando (MCO) to Belo Horizonte (CNF) services will help many travel consultants with itinerary fulfillment.”Fares and inventory have been loaded into all major GDS systems, except for Fort Lauderdale-Recife. Azul offers 7% commission on published international fares and is a full participant in BSP Canada.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthAzul is Brazil’s largest airline in terms of number of cities and departures, offering 755 daily flights to 104 destinations. It has a fleet of 118 aircraft and a network of 197 nonstop routes as of Sept. 30, 2017.last_img read more

Princess Cruises private island completes renos adds WiFi

first_img Friday, February 16, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises’ exclusive island destination, Princess Cays, has gotten an upgrade, complete with a new marina, more shore excursions and MedallionNet Wi-Fi, making it the only cruise industry private island to offer connectivity ashore.Ranked among the ‘Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations’ by Cruise Critic for 2017, the island is located on the southern tip of Eleuthera in the outer Bahamas and has been welcoming guests since 1992. It’s situated on approximately 40 acres and is a featured call on Princess’ Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.“For more than 25 years, Princess guests have lauded Princess Cays as one of their favourite spots on their Caribbean cruise,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “With new and improved island offerings and the addition of MedallionNet Wi-Fi ashore, guests enjoy a memorable beach experience and can easily share their adventures with friends and family back home, or stream their favourite show or sports event while relaxing beachside.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAdditional enhancements include:Shore excursions: A new ‘Lagoon Clear-Bottom Kayaking Adventure’ was introduced on Feb. 17 as a guided paddle through the island’s lagoon. Plus, the new ‘Stingray Beach Encounter’ allows guests to feed, touch and hold live stingrays.Shopping: Guests can visit the new nautical-themed and ‘pick-a-pearl’ jewelry section within the Bahama Treasure store.Marina: The newly completed marina expansion includes a new channel and turning basin depth, which can accommodate larger tenders and smoother disembarkation and embarkation of guests.Guest experience: There’s a new information booth with shaded waiting lounge area, as well as a new public announcement and music system. Extensive landscaping has been done in all guest areas, including newly planted palm trees.For more information go to princess.com. Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img Princess Cruises’ private island completes renos, adds Wi-Fi Share Tags: Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

Sunwings Springventory sale All vacations must go

first_imgSunwing’s ‘Spring-ventory’ sale: “All vacations must go” TORONTO — Sunwing is doing some spring cleaning with a half-price clearance sale on select vacations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.The ‘Spring-ventory’ sale runs until April 27 for departures between now and June. “All vacations must go”, says the company, so clients keen on getting a head start on summer should book now while deals last.Top-rated resorts included in the sale include the family-friendly Riu Dunamar in Playa Mujeres, Mexico. A stunning beachfront property that offers varied accommodation options including rooms that fit five, this new resort features all-day entertainment, land and watersport activities like kayaking and snorkelling, and unlimited access to the on-site Splash Water Park. Plus, guests enjoy exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited à la carte dining, spa discounts and more.Also included in the sale is the top-rated adults only resort, Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Featuring the only adults-only waterpark in the Caribbean, this all-inclusive property boasts eight pools, a Jacuzzi, wellness centre and nine restaurants.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterThere’s also the Grand Memories Varadero in Cuba, situated right on the beach. Amenities include two pools, kids club with supervised activities, snorkelling, beach volleyball, windsurfing and evening entertainment.For more go to sunwing.ca. Tags: Sunwing Posted by Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Monday, April 23, 2018 last_img read more

Progress reported on dengue vaccine

first_imgPARIS – Trials in Thailand with a candidate vaccine for dengue, a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease, have shown it to protect against three of the four virus strains, its French maker said last week.The first trials in humans proved the vaccine was safe and represented a key milestone in the quest for a dengue jab, vaccine-maker Sanofi Pasteur Executive Vice President Michel De Wilde said in a statement.“This is also an important development for global public health, since there is currently no specific treatment or prevention for dengue.”The World Health Organization says the disease infects between 50-100 million people every year and kills more than 20,000 – mainly in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Latin America, but is expanding rapidly including to parts of Europe.Researchers estimate that some 3 billion people live in regions susceptible to dengue contagion and another 20 million tourists pass through them.The disease caused by one of four virus serotypes results in fever, aches, rashes, vomiting and in rare cases death. Children are especially vulnerable.Sanofi Pasteur said its candidate vaccine was effective against three of the four virus serotypes and analyses were under way “to understand the lack of protection for the fourth.”The company conducted trials on 4,000 children aged 4-11 in Thailand’s Muang district, the results of which have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.Larger Phase III trials with 31,000 adults and children are taking place in 10 countries in Asia and Latin America. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

What keeps Johnny Araya awake at night

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Ex-President Abel Pacheco to back opposition candidate Solís Luis Guillermo Solís and Johnny Araya head to April 6 runoff after close Costa Rica vote Costa Rica elections demonstrate country’s democratic stability A victory for the ages After a disappointing finish in the first round of theCosta Rican national elections by the National Liberation Party, and the surprise victory of Luis Guillermo Solís, there is much to keep PLN presidential candidate Johnny Araya tossing and turning in his bed.The knowledge that Araya will face in a runoff the organizational and political savvy of the Citizen Action Party – which ran a brilliant mix of old-school door-to-door campaigning and high-tech social-media use – would be enough to interrupt Araya’s sleep under normal circumstances, but these circumstances are anything but normal.Anyone who saw Araya’s face when he learned that PAC had overtaken him in the vote on election night knew he would have much rather faced Broad Front Party’s José María Villalta on April 6. But Araya also faces the daunting realization that 70 percent of Costa Rican voters cast their ballots for other candidates, turning their backs on the 21-year veteran mayor of San José. More disconcerting for Araya is that he lost by a huge margin in the province of San José, where the voters know him best.Yet while seven out of 10 voters chose someone other than Araya, the same can be said of Solís. Only slightly more voters chose him over the others in the election; so, why is he likely sleeping better than Araya? The answer is Liberation’s win-at-all-cost strategy that gained Araya a place in the second round, but now handicaps him there. Relying on the same scare tactics used to narrowly win a 2008 free trade referendum, Araya and the PLN labeled Villalta a communist who would turn Costa Rica into a new Venezuela or Nicaragua. Despite this oft-repeated accusation, Villalta’s Broad Front Party still managed 17 percent of the vote and at least one member of the Legislative Assembly from each of Costa Rica’s seven provinces. PLN’s campaign of fear may have kept Villalta from the second round, but it also ensured that most of Broad Front’s voters likely will rally for PAC in April.So too will most of the votes of the Social Christian Unity Party. Their presidential candidate, Rodolfo Piza, has made his respect for Solís known throughout the election season, and the conflict-filled history between PUSC and PLN makes it likely many PUSC voters will support PAC in the next round.Because the Libertarian Movement Party has found affinities with Liberation in recent years, one might expect many of them to now join Araya. Perhaps they will, but after a bruising electoral season complete with daily insults and accusations between Araya and Libertarian candidate Otto Guevara, it is reasonable to assume that at least some ML voters may prefer abstention to a vote for PLN.Araya can expect little if any help from Broad Front’s 17 percent and PUSC’s 6 percent, and perhaps only half-hearted support from the ML’s 11 percent, making it hard for the ex-mayor to find an electoral majority. This political arithmetic would keep any presidential hopeful from a restful slumber.But what must really frighten Araya is the realization that his own 29 percent is not a base from which to build, but a castle built of sand. Thanks in large part to the very success of his own negative campaign strategy, Araya now enters a second round not knowing how many of his voters are actually excited and committed to an Araya presidency. Calling Villalta a communist was effective in winning votes for the PLN in the first round. Many who feared a Villalta victory saw Araya as the only alternative who could stop the Broad Front. But that same strategy means that many of Araya’s first-round voters did not vote for Araya, but rather against Villalta. And many will abandon him in the second round now that they see Solís as a viable choice. It is the realization that his own successful first-round strategy has all but made it impossible for him to win in the second round that must keep Johnny Araya awake at night.Gary L. Lehring is a professor of government at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. He is on sabbatical in Costa Rica.last_img read more

40 Costa Rican businesses called out for violating consumer law on exchangerate

first_imgRelated posts:Study shows that Auto Mercado is the most expensive grocery chain in the country Coming Holy Week brings huge price spikes in seafood Central Bank president warns political campaigns to stay away from the exchange rate Telecomm regulator warns mobile carriers to reduce wait times on customer service hotlines The Costa Rican Consumers Association filed complaints against 40 businesses for allegedly using dollar prices without visibly displaying the official exchange rate and for failing to use rates set by the Central Bank.The complaints were filed with the Economy Ministry earlier this week for alleged violations of Article 93 of the country’s consumer protection law, which stipulates that all prices of goods and services displayed in dollars must be calculated into colones using only the exchange rate established by the Central Bank. That rate also must be visibly displayed at businesses.Most of the complaints – 15 – were filed against auto dealerships. Eleven complaints were filed against tourism businesses, including hotels, car rental agencies and travel agencies.Seven construction companies also were on the list, as well as seven electronics and department stores.“We also detected cases of businesses using exchange rates set by other banks, which is absolutely illegal,” said Érick Ulate, president of the consumers association.Association members monitored the companies’ advertising in print and online media, Ulate said.The exchange rate usage law went into effect last September, and Ulate said his group believes the [six-month] interim period is sufficient for businesses to comply with the regulation.“There is no justification for [businesses] to keep breaching the law,” he said.The Economy Ministry will notify offending business owners and give them 10 days to make necessary changes. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to ₡9 million ($16,700 at today’s rate).Some business owners have been trying to cash in on sustained increases in the exchange rate this year. In the last five weeks, the dollar sale price has increased by almost ₡50, and the Central Bank was forced to intervene by buying dollars to prevent an even bigger increase. The official exchange rate on Thursday was ₡536.22 for buying and ₡550.77 for selling.The Consumers Association hosts a daily talk show at 8 a.m. on Radio Actual (107.1 FM), and complaints also can be posted on their Facebook page.Ulate said posts can be made in Spanish or English, and the group can help expats and tourists with advice on how to interact with the Economy Ministry.Consumers also can file complaints directly with the Economy Ministry by calling 800-CONSUMO, or filling out a complaint form on the ministry’s website or by email at consumo@meic.go.cr Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Corruption inequality remain key issues in Central Americas latest election cycle

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Panama’s economy will grow by 7 percent this year, but because of glaring inequality, most Panamanians will never see that prosperity. In Guatemala, corruption is rampant among the “klepto-dictatorship” that runs the country, and in El Salvador, gross domestic product stagnates as politicians stuff their pockets with money from violent gangs.Half a dozen experts speaking Feb. 10 at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center offered that rather bleak assessment during an event titled “Latin America’s Electoral Cycle 2014-15.” Harry Brown Araúz, president of Panama’s Centro de Iniciativas Democráticas (CIDEM) and a consultant for the United Nations Development Program, speaks Feb. 10 at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center during a panel on Central America’s 2014-15 electoral cycle. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesNearly 200 people attended the panel, which was moderated by Daniel Zovatto, Latin America director for the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Panelists included Evelyn Villareal of Costa Rica’s State of the Nation Program, Harry Brown Araúz, a Panamanian official with the United Nations Development Program, journalist and former diplomat Héctor Silva Ávalos of El Salvador and José Rubén Zamora Marroquín of Guatemala’s El Periódico newspaper.Panama, with 3.9 million inhabitants, is the smallest of Central America’s six Spanish-speaking republics. Last year its GDP expanded by 6 percent – faster than any other country in the Western Hemisphere – and the economy could grow even faster in 2015.“Since the 1999 return of the Panama Canal, the country’s productive forces have been unleashed, and that means more money to fund public policies,” said Brown. “But that also opens up more possibilities for corruption.”Last July, President Juan Carlos Varela took office following an election campaign based on four pillars: social inclusion, revitalization of democracy and public institutions, economic development and national security.Accusations of corruption and mismanagement routinely plagued Varela’s predecessor, Roberto Martinelli, which is why “Varela worked diligently towards the end of his term as Martinelli’s vice president to distance himself from the former president’s most fundamental positions,” according to a policy paper issued in September by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a Washington think tank. Héctor Silva Ávalos, former deputy chief of mission at El Salvador’s Embassy in the United States and now a research fellow at American University, speaks Feb. 10 at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center during a panel on Central America’s 2014-15 electoral cycle. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesIn late January, Panama’s Supreme Court voted to launch an investigation against Martinelli over allegations the ex-president inflated contracts worth $45 million to buy dehydrated food for a government social program. Martinelli, a billionaire supermarket magnate, denies the charges and says he’s the target of political persecution by Varela.Brown noted that while the proportion of Panamanians living below the poverty line has fallen from 48 percent in 2002 to 27 percent today, “inequality is high and continues to be high. It has not been reduced significantly.” He added that spending in the May 2014 election was outrageous by regional standards.Costs per vote came to $15 in the 2009 elections that put Martinelli in office, making it “the most expensive vote in all of Central America.” By the time of the May 2014 elections, that number had increased to $31 per vote, Brown said. And that didn’t take into account public financing, which pushed Panama’s per-vote expenditures past $40.“It was financially exorbitant and there was quite a lot of negativity, but often in Panamanian politics, negative campaigns are seen as a result of ill will among the candidates,” he said. “Many issues like the rights of indigenous people or same-sex marriage are not being debated. The issues are no longer important, and that’s where negative campaigning comes up in large measure.”Brown added that “very little is said about increasing conflict in Panama. It’s not like Peru or Bolivia, but it is explosive by Panamanian standards, and especially paradoxical since the economy is growing.” José Rubén Zamora Marroquín, founder and president of Guatemala’s El Periódico newspaper, speaks Feb. 10 at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center during a panel on Central America’s 2014-15 electoral cycle. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesNearly a year ago in El Salvador, presidential candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the leftist FMLN narrowly defeated rightist Arena candidate Norman Quijano – the former mayor of San Salvador – by a vote of 50.11 percent to 49.89 percent.“I must say that on a purely political sphere, it was an important leap forward. This has been a determining factor on the political map of El Salvador,” said Silva, former deputy chief of mission at El Salvador’s Embassy in Washington.Yet Sánchez Cerén’s margin of victory was less than 7,000 votes in a country of 6.4 million, meaning deep political divisions remain in the country. Many of those stem from the country’s 1980-92 civil war in which 75,000 people died, and during which time the current president was a guerrilla fighter known as Comandante Leonél González.“Governance in El Salvador has been attached to parties. The exception is the judiciary, which has unprecedented independence and has made landmark rulings,” Silva said.On March 1, Salvadorans will go to the polls again, this time to elect members of the country’s 84-member legislature, as well as mayors of El Salvador’s 262 municipalities.“All polls indicate that the status quo will remain,” Silva told his Wilson Center audience. “None of the parties will achieve a simple majority.” Evelyn Villarreal, research coordinator at Costa Rica’s State of the Nation Program, speaks Feb. 10 at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Center during a panel on Central America’s 2014-15 electoral cycle. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesFor now, said the blogger and former diplomat, El Salvador’s most urgent challenge is reducing its homicide rate, which had been falling in recent years but surged by 57 percent last year to reach 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – nearly as high as the 66 per 100,000 homicide rate registered by neighboring Honduras.“For 10 years we have been among the five most violent countries in the world,” he said. “These gangs are now sophisticated criminal organizations. They’re very deep-rooted in the community, more like the Medellín cartels. They have significant dialogue with the state, thanks to a truce which the state agreed to in 2012.”But the gangs’ influence is also thanks to the “penetration of organized crime” into the highest levels of government, he said.“These criminals use money to support candidates who favor them. They finance mayors, deputies and congressmen. There’s been economic stagnation because of this,” he claimed. “For almost two decades, El Salvador has not grown beyond 1.8 percent a year. It’s one of the most unequal economies in the region, and this has a direct, immediate effect on the United States. This is the basis for the growing migratory flow from Central America northward to the U.S. which created a crisis last year.”Guatemala, by comparison, enjoyed GDP growth of 4 percent last year – significantly higher than the regional average. But only 40,000 people, or one in five unemployed guatemaltecos, found jobs in the formal economy, said Zamora. That means the other 80 percent have no possibilities other than working informally or fleeing to the United States.“The majority of Guatemalans are excluded and live in poverty. Wealth continues to be held in a few hands,” he said. “Guatemala is the most unequal country in the hemisphere. Fifty percent of children under 5 suffer chronic malnutrition.”Zamora, speaking loudly and passionately, rallied against what he called the “klepto-dictatorship” of Gen. Otto Pérez Molina, who in 2011 became the country’s first ex-military man to be elected president since Guatemala’s return to democracy in 1986. Molina was preceded as president by leftist Álvaro Colom, who took office in 2008.“The last six years have been characterized by a new cycle of expansionist policies but with deficits in the medium and long term. Investments in public expenditures have no transparency, and there’s more opacity and corruption,” he complained. “There’s a sharp divorce between the political parties. They’re just electoral vehicles without any strategies or programs, nor do they have any idea what they’re supposed to do.”Nepotism and cronyism are rife in Guatemala, said Zamora, who was held hostage at his home in 2003, was beaten and kidnapped five years later and has been honored by the Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom watchdogs.Any presidential candidate needs at least $100 million to be taken seriously in Guatemala today. “This amount can only come from criminal mafias,” he said, drawing parallels between Central America’s largest country and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.“Guatemala has not fulfilled even one of the millennium objectives as it promised to do. Economic power is in the hands of the military, which hampers justice and persecutes its critics. Violence and insecurity are deeply rooted in society,” said Zamora, warning that the $1 billion Guatemala now seeks from the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama to stem the flow of immigrants to the United States “will do nothing to help the country.”See also: Guatemala’s indigenous peoples change strategy to seek more political representation Facebook Comments Related posts:Latin America sees the economic toll of corruption In Guatemala, anti-establishment presidential candidate benefits from corruption scandals Guatemalan legislative commission recommends lifting President Pérez Molina’s immunity Saving Central Americalast_img read more

Keylor Navas puts on a show in Real Madrid win

first_imgRelated posts:WATCH: Keylor Navas records another shutout for Real Madrid WATCH: Keylor Navas makes two incredible saves, extends historic shutout streak Keylor Navas’ coach at Real Madrid sacked, Spanish media report WATCH: Keylor Navas takes flight to make a miraculous diving save https://twitter.com/RMadridHome/status/657948728800735232The best move Real Madrid has made all season was not getting the paperwork in on time to trade Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican keeper continues to rise up in the discussions of the world’s best goalkeepers, as he has now led Real Madrid to sole ownership of first place in Spain’s La Liga.Navas made five saves on goal to secure a 3-1 Madrid win over Celta Vigo on Saturday. Early in the match, San Keylor made an incredible diving save to get enough of the ball to deflect its course from the goal.https://twitter.com/RMadridIsco/status/657948615621672960Celta Vigo had another opportunity on goal in the 43rd minute when a header coming off a well-placed free kick. But Navas, who may as well have been donning a red cape Saturday, dove to the right hash to knock away the would-be goal.In the second half, Celta had an easy try right in front of the net, but Navas again read the attacker and made another incredibly athletic save to keep the shutout going.https://vine.co/v/eVFwpKbrWKPNavas finally conceded a goal in the 85th minute, but fittingly, it took an absolute beauty to do so as Celta Vigo’s Nolito fired home a goal into the high left corner of the net to beat Navas.Real Madrid’s win gives it 21 points in La Liga’s standings, putting it ahead of a Celta Vigo club that remains in second place. Madrid will play next Saturday against Las Palmas to try and further its hold on the La Liga lead. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Barrio Amón plans Earth Day celebration to benefit Isla Chira

first_imgOn April 22, we will celebrate International Earth Day in Costa Rica witha special festival in Barrio Amón.This unique event includes workshops and exhibitions, yoga and dance classes, live music and soundscapes, a local farmer and artisan market, food trucks and lots of good vibes.Earth Day is a worldwide activity to raise consciousness about the planet’s diversity and threats, it is orchestrated through the Earth Day Network. The Costa Rican chapter is organized by A 01 in collaboration with Amón Solar. All profits from this event will go to the Chira Project, a multistakeholder approach for rural development in Costa Rica.As a first physical intervention of the Chira Project, the Recycling and Community Center of Chira will be built. The RCCC is a long-term project, considering both the required construction of infrastructure (or “hardware” as we tend to refer to it), as well as a sensibilization of the local culture (or “software”) to use the built interventions in the best way possible.Although Costa Rica is globally known for its achievements in sustainable development, the country is poorly organized in terms of its waste management. Rural areas in particular suffer from this situation, which can hinder economic development and threatens the environment.Chira is located in the Gulf of Nicoya; the island has no garbage collection whatsoever. The inhabitants burn or bury their waste or simply throw it into the sea, thus endangering their own livelihood: the population of approximately 3,000 people traditionally lives from fishing.The framework of the RCCC and the Chira Project intends to tackle the waste management issue and at the same time create resilience through a diversified economy including community based tourism and the artisan production of upcycled goods.The RCCC will be run by the Association of Women Working for the Environment (ADATA, according to its Spanish abbreviation). The members of ADATA were involved in all stages of the participatory project design. Moreover, they will be trained to organize waste management on the island and to apply the gained knowledge for the sake of the socio-economic and environmental development of the island.Through a series of courses for environmental education, ADATA will educate their fellow islanders on how to manage and, above all, avoid waste for the wellbeing of the community and the environment. In order to enable this process, a series of actors is involved in the overall development plan, including national and international universities and institutions, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Costa Rican Fab Lab and private investors, as well as the United Nations Development Programme.The bioclimatic design of the RCCC, which was exhibited at the renowned Architecture Biennale of Venice in 2016, is composed from a toolbox that has been developed by A 01 for different types of recycling centers in Costa Rica. Based on the local requirements, Chira serves as a first case study site.Due to its educational mandate, the project goes beyond the typical spatial requirements of a recycling center. Apart from the obligatory work areas, social spaces are accounted for in order to house the educational activities and local cultural expressions. In daytime, a series of diversified activities unfold around the central service core of the building. At night, the core can be closed to secure all machinery and valuables.The multifunctional RCCC combines traditional ways of living with modern building techniques, including the use of recyclables, renewable energies, and rainwater recollection. Local woods are used to contribute to the island’s economy, wastewater is biologically treated on site, an edible garden provides food for the managing staff and their families. The Recycling and Community Center blends with its natural surrounding; it intends to set a good example for the island and the country at large.After laying the foundations of the project in 2014, the construction was paused for some time in order to raise more funding and to optimize certain aspects of the design. In the meantime, a small laboratory for digital fabrication (Fab Lab) was included in the overall building layout and operations to support the making of upcycled goods as well as the process of environmental education. Also, a series of additional academic partnerships have been created with Veritas University from Costa Rica, the Prairie View Texas A&M University and their Community Development Studio, as well as the HafenCity University in Hamburg and their master programme in Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning (REAP). These partnerships add on to the quality and educational value of the long-term Chira Project.In the long run, the Chira Project proposes to implement different types of small-scale projects or “rural acupunctures” all over the island in order to stimulate an integral sustainable development with a focus on local economic development, social cohesion and environmental education.For more information on A 01’s Earth Day celebration, visit the event’s Facebook page. Facebook Comments Related posts:Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Jan. 4, 2019) Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Jan. 18, 2019) Letter to the Editor: Costa Rica reflections ‘School of second chances’ opens in Costa Ricalast_img read more

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Who is Óscar Arias? Luis Guillermo Solís says he is not seeking support from ex-President Oscar Arias Costa Rican ex-President Óscar Arias hospitalized for pacemaker adjustment Costa Rica’s ex-President Óscar Arias says the country is on the wrong path Costa Rica institutes gun control platform in face of rising homicides Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month.The event, scheduled for Nov. 9-11, will focus on creating “sustainable and inclusive strategies and policies to reduce gun violence in the Americas,” according to a press release for the event.It will feature Williams, civil rights experts, and youth leaders from the United States and Central America, who will convene in San José to address gun violence.On Friday, Nov. 9, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will host participants at his home to “create inclusive and sustainable youth-led solutions to gun violence using tools of diplomacy, advocacy, collaboration, civil discourse, civic tools, drafting of treaties, legislation, and campaigns.”The following day, Williams will lead a similarly themed summit at the University for Peace.center_img The PeaceJam Foundation is an international organization with a mission to empower youth through mentorship from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Katherine Stanley Obando, editor of The Tico Times, serves on its Board of Directors.Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her involvement in an international campaign against landmines. Arias had received the honor 10 years prior for helping draft a peace plan during a period of armed conflict throughout Central America.After November’s PeaceJam Youth Summit, the organization plans to reconvene participants this spring in Florida, where youth will launch a “call to action” to more than 700 attendees.The Costa Rican summit will be filmed, live streamed and promoted on social media.For information on partnering with PeaceJam or supporting the event, contact Dr. Kate Cumbo, Executive Director of PeaceJam Foundation at kate@peacejam.org. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Dutch court outlaws pedophile association

first_imgHowever, the organization’s website was shut down by its internet provider in 2004.Kuno Soerensen of the Danish chapter of Save the Children said some DanPedo members attempted to create new websites, but that these, too, were later shut down.“Every time we find one of these, we contact the Internet provider to tell them what kind of people are running these sites and they usually shut them down right away,” Soerensen said.Soerensen said a similar site also exists in Norway.____Associated Press writer Jan Olsen in Copenhagen contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Its chairman, Marthijn Uittenbogaard, called the decision “an attack on the freedom of expression.”“We are not happy and we are considering whether to appeal,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.The organization says on its website it was established in 1982 in the traditionally tolerant Netherlands as a “platform for discussion of pedophilia.” It was largely ignored for years, but has been under attack more recently from lawmakers and prosecutors who wanted it banned. Such groups are almost unknown elsewhere in Europe, despite many countries’ history of safeguarding freedom of expression.Martijn’s former chairman, Ad van den Berg, was convicted last year of child pornography possession and sentenced to three years in prison. Van den Berg claimed the images and films were for scientific research.The group said in a statement last month that the court should not honor the public prosecutor’s request for a ban, saying it had never committed a crime.“It is naive to think that banning Martijn will make pedophiles disappear,” the group, which claimed to have 60 Dutch members, said.Prosecutors who sought the ban said they were satisfied with the court’s decision, adding that it helps the Netherlands meet its international commitments to protect children from sexual predators. Associated PressTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A Dutch court outlawed a pedophile association Wednesday, saying its promotion of sexual contact between adults and children breaches the country’s generally accepted moral values.The civil court in Assen ordered the association, called Martijn, to immediately be dissolved.The court said in a statement that Martijn is a threat to public order because it “glorifies sexual contact (between adults and children) and presents it as something that should be normal and acceptable.” Top Stories center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Martijn also made headlines in 2007 when a member posted on the group’s website photos of the then 3-year-old Princess Amalia, daughter of the heir to the Dutch throne.The royal house went to court and won an injunction barring Martijn from publishing such photos on its site and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander harshly criticized the group for using the pictures.“I have no words for this kind of child abuse,” he said at the time. “Luckily, I didn’t see it, because if I had, I’d have gone crazy and probably would not have been able to react reasonably.”Members of Martijn also were involved in a 2006 move to create a political group called the Party for Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity to take part in national elections with a platform that included lowering the age of sexual consent to 12 and legalizing child pornography.The party failed to collect enough signatures from supporters to allow it to nominate candidates under Dutch electoral rules.The group would have needed around 60,000 votes to win a single seat in the 150-member Dutch parliament, and pollsters estimated it would have gotten fewer than 1,000 votes.In 2004, Denmark’s top prosecutor investigated whether a Danish group that openly supported pedophilia could be banned. The investigation concluded that the DanPedo organization, which existed under the constitution’s provision for freedom of speech and association, didn’t break any laws. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 0 Comments   Share   The vital role family plays in society More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

Island authorities denounce attack on tax police

first_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Local authorities on the Greek island of Hydra have denounced an attack by a local crowd on tax police after they detained a restaurant owner who did not provide receipts to clients.The Friday incident happened after the inspectors wanted to transport the restaurant owner to Athens, an hour’s ride away by fast boat. They were set upon by a local crowd, which also attacked the boat’s crew. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   center_img The police, along with the restaurant owner, had to retreat to the island’s police station, which was besieged until riot police arrived Saturday morning. Locals cut off the station’s electricity and water supplies. The owner was transported to Athens by coast guard ship Saturday.Debt-crippled Greece is attempting to crack down on endemic tax evasion, as it tries to put its finances in order.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Events in the life of Myanmars Aung San Suu Kyi

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (AP) – Aung San Suu Kyi’s life has been marked by family tragedy, world travel and a political mission that prompted her to choose Myanmar’s democracy struggle over her children, whom she left behind in England.Here are the key events in Suu Kyi’s life that aides and biographers say shaped the stoic, pragmatic, eloquent woman whose sacrifices and struggles have earned her a Nobel prize and international acclaim. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project _ Sept. 24, 1977: Second son Kim is born. The family keeps Oxford as a base but relocates regularly for work and academic research, spending time in Bhutan, Japan, India and back to England._ POLITICAL LIFE_ April 1988: Suu Kyi returns home to attend to her ailing mother just as pro-democracy protests erupt against the military junta. Her mother dies later that year._ September 1988: Suu Kyi helps found opposition party, the National League for Democracy._ July 1989: Suu Kyi, an increasingly outspoken critic of the junta, is put under house arrest, which continues on-and-off for 15 of the next 22 years. The junta says she can leave the country anytime but she refuses, fearing she won’t be allowed to return, and chooses to live apart from her husband and sons. Aris is allowed to visit her five times, the last visit during Christmas 1995._ October 1991: Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful struggle against the regime. Son Alexander, then 18, gives Oslo acceptance speech on her behalf._ March 1999: Aris dies of cancer in England at age 53. The junta repeatedly denied him visas to see his wife during the three years leading up to his death._May 30, 2003: Suu Kyi’s motorcade comes under attack by pro-government thugs in northern Myanmar, killing a number of her supporters and bringing to an end a brief calming in tensions between her party and the junta. Suu Kyi spends four months in Yangon’s Insein Prison before being returned to house arrest. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   _ FAMILY LIFE_ June 19, 1945: Born in Yangon, then called Rangoon. She is the third child and only daughter of national independence hero Gen. Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, also a prominent public figure._ July 1947: Aung San and six members of his interim government are assassinated by rivals. Suu Kyi is 2._ 1952: Suu Kyi’s favorite brother, Aung San Lin, drowns in a pond inside the family’s compound._ 1960: After finishing high school, Suu Kyi leaves for further study in New Delhi, where her mother is Burma’s ambassador._ 1964-1967. Suu Kyi studies philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University’s St. Hugh’s College, where she meets future husband and Himalayan scholar Michael Aris._ 1969-1971: Suu Kyi moves to New York for postgraduate studies at New York University but postpones academic career when a family friend helps get her a job at the United Nations._ 1970: Aris visits Suu Kyi in New York, after three years of exchanging letters, and they get engaged._ 1972: Suu Kyi and Michael Aris are married in London and move to Bhutan, where Aris is doing academic research._ April 12, 1973: Son Alexander born in London. Family soon moves to Nepal for a year for Aris’ work. Top Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home _ Nov. 7, 2010: Myanmar’s first elections in 20 years. Pro-junta party wins landslide victory in polls critics say were rigged and rampant with fraud._ Nov. 13, 2010: The last of various periods in Suu Kyi’s detention expires, and she is freed._ Nov. 23, 2010: Suu Kyi is reunited with son Kim Aris, now 33, for first time in 10 years. He was repeatedly denied visas since his last visit in December 2000._ April 1, 2012: Suu Kyi wins seat in Parliament, marking her first elected office after two decades as a symbolic opposition leader._ May 29-June 3, 2012. Suu Kyi makes her first trip abroad since she returned to Myanmar from London in April 1988 to nurse her dying mother. She visits neighboring Thailand, Myanmar’s second largest trade partner after China._ June 13-29, 2012: Suu Kyi takes first trip to Europe in 24 years, with stops in Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, England and France._ Sept. 17, 2012: Suu Kyi begins landmark visit to the U.S., taking in Washington D.C., and Fort Wayne, Ind., where thousands of Burmese refugees have settled since the ’88 uprising.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The vital role family plays in society 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Puerto Rico abandons plan to build gas pipeline

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – The government of Puerto Rico has formally withdrawn plans to build a natural gas pipeline after investing more than $50 million in a project that provoked strong opposition from islanders and environmentalists.Nancy Sticht, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Friday that the agency received a letter requesting the project be abandoned.The decision comes four months after a government-appointed committee rejected plans for the pipeline that would have bisected the island, and offered three alternatives. Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Gov. Luis Fortuno originally backed the project as a way to reduce dependence on oil. He said the 92-mile (148-kilometer) pipeline would have saved $1 billion a year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 64 percent.The pipeline would have originated in southern Puerto Rico and traversed 235 rivers and wetlands, bisecting the island as it veered east toward the capital of San Juan. Critics said it would have damaged fragile ecosystems and archaeological sites and exposed people to deadly explosions.Government officials said they will consider other natural gas alternatives and expect to choose a new project by mid-2013.Puerto Rico relies on petroleum to generate nearly 70 percent of its power, and electric bills are at least twice as expensive as those on the U.S. mainland. The government has thus made it a priority to attract more privately funded renewable energy projects to the U.S. territory.AES Solar, a Virginia-based company, this month began operating the Caribbean’s largest solar energy project. It features more than 101,000 solar panels in Puerto Rico’s southern region that is providing energy to more than 6,000 homes daily.Puerto Rico also expects to soon inaugurate what will be the Caribbean’s largest wind farm, a project that would feature 44 turbines on the island’s southern coast.last_img read more

Govt Building felled by NZ quake poorly built

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Associated PressSYDNEY (AP) – A six-story office building that collapsed and killed 115 people in New Zealand’s devastating earthquake last year was poorly designed by an inexperienced engineer, inadequately constructed and should never have been issued a building permit, a government report said Monday.The Canterbury Television (CTV) building crumbled to the ground during the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch on Feb. 22, 2011. The building’s collapse was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the 185 deaths from the quake. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Sponsored Stories The report said the structural design was completed by engineer David Harding, who had no experience designing multistory buildings like the CTV and was “working beyond his competence.” Yet Harding never sought assistance from his boss, Alan Reay. The report blamed Reay for leaving Harding to work unsupervised, despite knowing that Harding lacked experience.The report also found that Reay pressured city officials to approve the building despite them having some reservations about it.Harding’s lawyer, Michael Kirkland, said neither he nor his client had read through the report so they couldn’t comment. Reay also declined to comment.Mary-Anne Jackson, who fled the building seconds before it collapsed with a deafening boom, said she and other CTV workers had long felt unsafe in the building. She said it shook when trucks drove by and there were cracks in the walls. Jackson hopes Reay and others involved in the building’s design and construction will face criminal charges.“I want justice and accountability,” Jackson told The Associated Press. “It’s just devastating and it just never goes away. It’s always there and I’ll take it to the grave with me.” Monday’s report was the final release from the New Zealand government-ordered commission that spent months investigating the buildings damaged in the quake. Findings the commission released in February concluded that the CTV building was made of weak columns and concrete and did not meet standards when it was built in 1986. The building’s designer contested those findings.New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, said building failures were responsible for 175 of the 185 deaths from the quake.“We owed it to them, their loved ones left behind, and those people badly injured in the earthquake, to find answers as to why some buildings failed so severely,” Key said in a statement.The report found several deficiencies in the CTV building’s engineering design and said the city council should never have issued the building a permit because the design did not comply with the standards at the time. The commission also concluded that there were problems with the building’s construction.The commission blamed the engineers from Alan Reay Consultants Ltd. for developing an inadequate and noncompliant design and city officials for not noticing the problems. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “Now we know that there were many design deficiencies in the CTV building and we know who was responsible for these design deficiencies and why,” Alkaisi told the AP. “I don’t want to see this happening again, so we have to make sure that the recommendation made by the royal commission is adopted, that much better building standard is adopted and much better engineering practice is also adopted.”Brian Kennedy, whose wife Faye died when the building fell, said the report had brought him a measure of closure and that he was not interested in punishing the engineers or construction team involved.“I think (I’m) trying to look forward a little more positively now,” Kennedy told the AP. “Time heals a wee bit _ not everything, but it makes it a little easier.”___Associated Press writer Nick Perry in Bangkok contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   The commission noted that the building had been issued a “green sticker” following a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in September 2010, signaling authorities had given it the thumbs-up for people to continue using it.An investigation by the AP last year found that inspection checks routinely used across the world to verify the safety of buildings following earthquakes fail to account for how well those buildings will withstand future quakes. The AP found that building occupants and public officials in Christchurch did not understand that a “green sticker” doesn’t mean the building has undergone a thorough analysis of its structural health, nor that it will stay intact during future quakes.The commission’s report found that the CTV building was given a green sticker after being inspected by just three building officials, none of whom was an engineer. The commission recommended that in the future, only trained building safety evaluators be authorized to inspect buildings after earthquakes, and that government agencies should research how to account for aftershocks.Maan Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon Abbas died in the building’s collapse, praised the commission for its thorough investigation. Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Ukrainian lawmakers suspend military cooperation with Russia

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies The five cooperation agreements scrapped by the Verkhovna Rada include one giving the Russian military transit rights to reach Moldova, whose territory is partly controlled by a Moscow-supported separatist government.Relations between Russia and Ukraine plummeted after the overthrow in February 2014 of Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Kiev also accuses Moscow of arming and staffing separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine.Russia staunchly denies it is involved with the armed separatist insurgency in Ukraine.In turning away from Russia, Ukraine has increasingly reached out for assistance to NATO, an organization the current government hopes the country will eventually join.Russia has about 1,500 troops stationed in Trans-Dniester, a landlocked separatist strip of Moldova that borders Ukraine. Rescinding the transit rights for those troops creates a logistical problem for Russia and no solution was immediately apparent.“As it now stands, we have to think about it, find a way. We shouldn’t toss away Trans-Dniester and Moldova,” said Vladimir Komoedov, chairman of the defense committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, according to the Interfax news agency. Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img But he said Russia wouldn’t consider retaliatory measures for the time being.Also Thursday, Ukraine unveiled what it said was new evidence showing that Russian foreign intelligence services have played a decisive role in provoking unrest in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.Two Russian citizens captured there over the past week were active officers with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service counterintelligence chief Vitaliy Naida said at a press conference.The service published the names and pictures of 12 other people it said served in the same unit as the captured men.Naida said the unit ran sabotage operations, planned ambushes for Ukrainian troops, set mines and laid bombs targeting the civilian population.Russia has confirmed the two paraded on television by Ukrainian authorities are Russian citizens and that they were formerly in the military, but says they are no longer in active service and went to Ukraine as volunteers.In video statements posted by the Ukrainian Security Service, the men say they were taking part in a reconnaissance operation in the Luhansk region Saturday when they were fired on, wounded and captured. Both say they were members of an army brigade based in the Russian city of Togliatti and had been deployed in Ukraine for more than a month. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to suspend military cooperation with Russia in a long-anticipated move signaling a further break in relations between the once-close partners.Kiev also produced what it claimed was fresh confirmation of involvement by Russian intelligence in sowing unrest in breakaway eastern regions, saying it is evidence of continued Russian plans to destabilize Ukraine, Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Lithuania wants NATO battalion as security guarantee

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories If NATO decides to station a battalion in Lithuania, it would be near Russia’s westernmost enclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and has important military bases.In early December, Russia flexed its muscle by airlifting state-of-the art Iskander missiles, which can be fitted with nuclear or conventional warheads, to Kaliningrad for military drills. They were pulled back afterward, but the deployment clearly served as a demonstration of the Russian military’s readiness to quickly raise the ante in a crisis.Some observers contend that having a NATO battalion anywhere near Kaliningrad would be provocative, but Linkevicius countered with a laugh: “You know the existence of Lithuania is very provocative because it’s very close to Kaliningrad.”There had been some confidence-building measures between the two countries, including verification visits, but Russia cut the channels of communications, the minister said.Linkevicius said Lithuania would like to see confidence-building measures restored, stressing that both sides need to talk more, inform each other more, and explain what they’re doing.He said Lithuania is not intervening in events in any other country but is trying to assist Ukraine. The three Baltic States — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — are former Soviet republics that regained independence amid the collapse of the Soviet Union over two decades ago and are now members of NATO and the European Union. They have been alarmed by Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and the increasing activity of Russian forces in the Baltic Sea.Lithuania has been especially outspoken against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and has been equally outspoken in support of the current Ukrainian government’s decision to move toward Europe. Its request earlier this month, along with Latvia and Estonia, for a NATO battalion of 700-800 troops in each country, is also certain to anger Russia if approved.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the request would be “assessed carefully.”Linkevicius insisted the request is “not an escalation of tensions” with Russia. Rather, he said, it will implement the decision taken by NATO at its summit in Wales in September to increase the Western military alliance’s footprint in Eastern Europe, particularly the Baltic states.“It’s not because we are preparing for war,” Linkevicius said. “No. We are just trying to guarantee our security.” UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lithuania’s foreign minister says his government wants a NATO battalion deployed permanently in the country as a “security guarantee” — not a provocation against Russia which has stepped up military action in the Baltic states.Linas Linkevicius said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that Lithuania’s relations with Russia are “not simple, not easy,” but he expressed hope that the two countries can have “normal relations” in the future. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Comments   Share   “It’s a big European country with a vision to belong to Europe so we have to respect that vision and let’s help them,” Linkevicius said. “We are doing our best, but we are a small country. … Everyone should do their best in order to help them because their success would be the success of us, our values, and their failure would be respectively our failure.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more