Mountain Rocks Fall Down Block Marrakech Ouarzazate Road

Rabat – The Tizi N Tichka road between Marrakech and Ouarzazate was cut off on Sunday due to huge rocks which fell down from a mountain.Media outlets reported that road was blocked on both sides of the falling stones.Local sources attributed the falling of the rocks to the rainfalls a day before. The Ministry of Equipment and Transport started removing the rocks later on in the day.Stretched over 146 kilometers of mountainous range, the road has been known for being one of the deadliest in Morocco.In 2015, the road was enlarged in an attempt to curb the number of accidents taking place there. read more

Lakhdar Brahimi Says Morocco and Algeria Should Not Remain Foes

Rabat – Lakhdar Brahimi, a former Algerian foreign minister and UN diplomat,  commented positively on King Mohammed VI’s dialogue offer in an interview with Jeune Afrique.Brahimi said that he has been saying for “twenty years that there is no reason for the relations between Algeria and Morocco to be in this state.”He recalled the King’s offer of dialogue to Algeria, calling for a joint mechanism of consultations and frank dialogue to restore the bilateral ties between the two countries. “You know, now there has been this initiative of the King. There was also a very warm message from President Bouteflika to the King a few days ago,” said the former Algerian diplomat.King Mohammed VI made his offer to Algeria on November 6. Algeria has not responded to the offer yet, but Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika sent a formal message to King Mohammed VI to congratulate him on Independence Day, November 18.In his message, Bouteflika emphasized his country’s “firm determination” to improve bonds of fraternity and solidarity.Read Also: Algerian Politician: We Don’t Understand the Silence on Morocco’s ProposalMorocco, however, did not consider Bouteflika’s message a direct answer to King Mohammed VI’s message.In the midst of Algeria’s continuous silence, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita summoned the Algerian ambassador in Rabat to ask him for his country’s position on the King’s offer. The meeting did not result in any statement from Algeria.After the meeting, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, saying that the royal initiative “stems from a sincere desire to create a framework for direct and inclusive bilateral dialogue to resolve all disputes between the two countries.”Brahimi acknowledged that his country has not yet answered. “For the moment, there has been no answer from Algiers.” read more

Valeant misses expectations losing 89 million in Q4 and 116M for full

MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International expects that its $2.6 billion acquisition of U.S.-based dermatology company Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. will generate larger cost savings than previously forecast.“There is significantly more value for shareholders in this transaction than we originally modelled,” CEO Michael Pearson said Thursday during a conference call about its fourth-quarter and 2012 results.The Montreal-based company says the deal helps its plans to become a global leader in dermatology and complements its portfolio in the areas of acne medication and injectable dermal fillers in esthetic products.Valeant spent $105 million in restructuring costs related to Medicis in the fourth quarter, including $78 million in severances. Pre-acquisition costs were $181.7 million, mostly from stock-based compensation.Overall, the company is closing several facilities, including one on the outskirts of Montreal where it is consolidating operations in Laval. It’s unclear how many employees will be affected, but a company spokeswoman said many will likely relocate to Laval.Pearson said the company continues to eye more opportunities for growth even as it seeks to reduce its debt in the coming months.“We continue to be in active conversations for both large and small deals but the timing of deals is unpredictable so we’re not going to give any timing commitments,” he told analysts.Valeant missed expectations as it net loss grew in the fourth-quarter and full-year amid higher operating expenses and items related to restructuring and acquisitions.The pharmaceutical company, which is Canada’s largest publicly traded drug maker, said its net loss was $89.1 million or 29 cents per diluted share in the latest period.For the full year, the loss was $116 million or 38 cents per share.That compared with net earnings of $44.8 million or 18 cents in its fourth quarter a year ago and a full-year net profit of $159.6 million or 49 cents per share for 2011.Adjusting for one-time items, it earned $1.22 per share, two cents below analyst forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters, but better than 87 cents per share a year ago. Excluding interest expense for Medicis, its earnings increased 43 per cent to $1.34 per share.Valeant (TSX:VRX) completed the acquisition of Medicis Corp. on Dec. 11, but said its operations had no material impact on the results for the fourth quarter.It earned $4.14 per share in adjusted full-year profits, compared to $4.52 per share expected by analysts, but above the $2.64 per share reported in 2011.Revenue soared in both periods, up 43 per cent to $986.3 million in the quarter, rising to $3.55 billion for all of 2012 compared with $2.46 billion in 2011.Valeant said $423 million in adjusted cash flow from operations during the quarter raised the total to $1.3 billion for the year, at the high end of its earlier guidance.The company said all business units met or exceeded expectations as revenues excluding acquisitions grew about seven per cent in the quarter.“Consistent with our track record over the last five years, we have overdelivered on every key metric — revenue growth, cash EPS and adjusted cash flows from operations,” he added.“We are particularly pleased to report a return to growth for our neurology and other business (segment) after six quarters of decline.”Douglas Miehm of RBC Capital Markets said the results were in line with his expectations and reflect the closure of the Medicis deal and typical one-time items.“Valeant reported fourth-quarter results which were largely uneventful considering that the company provided guidance in early January when it gave 2013 guidance,” he wrote in a report.Valeant said its Canadian and Australian segment had negative organic product sales growth in the quarter as expected, due to the growth in a generic version of Casamet since last March. Excluding this drug, the segment’s organic sales grew by five per cent.The emerging markets segment’s pro forma organic product sales grew by 15 per cent, driven by growth in all geographic areas.Valeant Pharmaceuticals is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of products primarily in the areas of neurology, dermatology and branded generics.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares gained $1.30 or nearly two per cent to $69.55 on Thursday. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Valeant misses expectations, losing $89 million in Q4 and $116M for full year by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 28, 2013 8:28 am MDT read more

Commemorating Remembrance Day

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Wednesday 11 November people across the globe will take a minute’s silence at 11.00 am to commemorate Remembrance Day, and the end of World War I.On this day in 1918, four years, three months and two weeks of terror were called to an end.Though the war was centred in Europe, it was very much a global battle with allies including Britain, France, Japan, South Africa, India, Australia, Greece, the Russian Empire, and a number of others. Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance will hold a service at 10.30 am on Wednesday to remember the men and women who lost their lives and suffered not only in the First World War, but in all wars and peacekeeping operations throughout history. The commemorations will follow at the Sanctuary, where those gathered will witness the sun pass across the Stone of Remembrance, landing on the word ‘LOVE’ at 12 noon. Remembrance ceremonies will then take place every half hour from 12.30 pm, with the last ceremony held at 4.30 pm. The Flag Ceremony and Last Post will be conducted on the Shrine WWII Forecourt at 5.00 pm.last_img read more

Dems force 1week delay on panel vote on Supreme Court pick

first_imgWASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Monday forced a one-week delay in a committee vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who remains on track for confirmation with solid Republican backing.Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, announced that, as expected, Democrats have requested a postponement. The committee vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch now will be held April 3.At least 15 Democrats and independents, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have announced their opposition to the Denver-based appeals court judge, arguing that Gorsuch has ruled too often against workers and in favor of corporations.Several Democrats have expressed frustration with the lack of answers Gorsuch gave during two lengthy days of questioning at his confirmation hearing last week. They also expressed concerns that he wouldn’t be an independent voice from Trump, who nominated him in January.But the nominee is supported by all Republican senators, and the GOP has a 52-48 majority. Republicans praised Gorsuch’s testimony, saying he showed humility and a deep understanding of legal precedent and separation of powers.last_img read more

Premier Stiffer Penalties to Come for Persons Caught in Human Trafficking

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, May 25th 2017: Stiffer penalties to come for persons caught in human trafficking and in illegal trade. This as TCI needs to send a strong message as a country with laws in place to deal with illegal migrants. The message comes from Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson who is also cautioning persons caught harbouring illegal migrants of the hefty fine of $20,000 for such an offence.Her warning comes on the heels of reports circulating that a vessel with some 100 Haitians arrived on TCI shores early Thursday morning. While no official word on how many persons arrived on the boat, members of the Police Service together with the Immigration Task force apprehended several of the migrants, it is believed that a vast number remain at large. An appeal has been issued to residents of Providenciales to assist with information leading to the apprehension of others who traveled on this vessel, or any other illegal migrants within our borders.She adds that the summary conviction or term of imprisonment for the offence is four years, while persons acquiring status other than by birth convicted of the offense can face the possibility of their status in the Islands revoked, making them liable to deportation. A frustrated Premier, who is the acting Border Control Minister, says “It is a vexing experience as each time the country’s purse is taxed and monies that can be used elsewhere for our developmental needs are directed towards detention and repatriation”.The Premier in expressing understanding of the matter, as something previous governments have grappled with, she says the time had come to change the approach to the problem. As a result, she is promising to send a clear message to persons breaking the law as she intends to implement stronger penalties to come for those caught. The Premier underscored the message of the TCI as a country with laws.Premier Cartwright Robinson is currently acting Border Control Minister, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Border Control, Sean Astwood was in The Bahamas for the opening of Parliament.#MagneticMediaNews#StifferPenalitiesForIllegalMigrantsComing#TCIACountryWithLawslast_img read more

Google Ideas chief talks about how technology is changing world

first_imgJared Cohen hasn’t yet reached his 30th birthday, but he’s been a policy adviser in the Bush and Obama administrations, written two books, and is head of Google’s technology and policy think tank called Google Ideas. Cohen, based in New York, visited Portland Tuesday as a guest of Portland-based Mercy Corps to share insights about how technology is transforming the world’s security and political dynamics in unpredictable ways, feeding revolutionary fervor in this year’s Arab Spring uprisings and curbing corruption in the delivery of emergency services to refugees.He filled his talk at Portland’s First Congregational Church with anecdotes from his travels and interviews with young people in Iran, Egypt, and other nations in political turmoil. “Where young people had access to technology, they started realizing the power they had,” said Cohen, an adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who turns 30 next month. He followed with a cautionary note on the limits of technology: “Revolutions happen faster and are easier to start, but they are just as difficult to finish,” he said. “It’s just as hard to build a government back up. It’s not clear that technology is creating new leaders.”Cohen said he entered Stanford University as an anthropology major, but shifted to a focus on the interaction between technology and social change following a startling series of personal events. After completing research on the Maasai ethnic group in Africa, he traveled to Rwanda to see mountain gorillas and learned about the depth of that nation’s 1994 ethnic cleansing, which cost 800,000 lives in just 100 days.last_img read more

White House honors Sitkan as champion of fisheries

first_imgBehnken testifies before the Alaska State Board of Fisheries in 2015. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz,/KCAW)The White House today honored Sitkan Linda Behnken as a “Champion of Change” for her work to improve fishing sustainability.Listen Now Behnken directs the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association. She has been a commercial fisherman for more than 30 years. At a White House forum today, she said fishermen are great problem-solvers.“They have to be,” she said. “When you’re out on the water, 90 miles off shore and something breaks, you have to know how to fix it. And you have to know how to get yourself back to shore and keep your crew safe.”She says her organization and the national fishing coalitions she works with aim to harness that ingenuity. She’s worked to involve fishermen in research projects to ensure healthy fish populations and improve ocean science. Behnken says they also use their networks to help new fishermen get off to a good start.“So having people who are established, that know how to avoid sensitive habitat (and) know how to avoid bycatch hotspots, mentor young fishermen, share data with young fishermen and help them be successful, with running their businesses in ways that also sustain the fisheries for the future,” she said.Behnken was one of 12 people the White House honored as “Champions of Change” in seafood sustainability. The Obama White House created the “Champions of Change” awards as part of the president’s “Win the Future” initiative, a key theme in his 2011 State of the Union address.last_img read more

MITS receives prestigious AAA rating in Madanapalle

first_imgMadanapalle: Madanapalle Institute of Technology & Science once again was the proud recipient of the “AAA” rating at the National level, Dr C Yuvaraj , Principal, announced at the press meet on Sunday. The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, organised the award ceremony on Friday (July 26) and the award was presented by Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi – Chairman, NPTEL PIC, Director, IIT Madras to MITS coordinator, Dr. Arul Kumar. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us He said that the rating was awarded by the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in January and April 2019. This is the only achievement in the state of Andhra Pradesh,” he said. Dr N Vijaya Bhaskar Choudary, the Secretary and Correspondent of MITS stated that “MITS was selected as the winner and the award was given to our college because of the hard work of the students and we are grateful to them and their parents for their efforts in bringing laurels to the college.”last_img read more

Swedens negative interest rate shock

first_imgSweden’s negative interest rate shock352 viewsSweden’s negative interest rate shock352 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Sweden’s negative interest rate shock352 viewsBusinessIt’s not often Sweden shocks markets but the central bank’s decision to introduce negative interest rates wasn’t expected. Neither was the launch of a bond buying programme. The moves are a responseVentuno Web Player 4.50It’s not often Sweden shocks markets but the central bank’s decision to introduce negative interest rates wasn’t expected. Neither was the launch of a bond buying programme. The moves are a responselast_img read more

4 die in California hostage standoff

first_imgLaw enforcement personnel are seen near a building after an active shooter turned hostage situation at the Veterans Home of California on 9 March 2018 in Yountville, California. AFPA gunman and three women thought to be his hostages were found dead Friday at a California veterans home after an hours-long standoff with police.The assailant struck at 10:20am (1820 GMT) at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in the Napa Valley, the largest veterans’ home in the United States with around 1,000 former servicemen and women.“Shortly before 6:00pm this evening law enforcement personnel made entry into the room where we felt the hostages were being held by the suspect and unfortunately made the discovery of three deceased females and one deceased male suspect,” Captain Chris Childs of the California Highway Patrol told a news conference.“This is a tragic piece of news, one we were really hoping we wouldn’t have to come before the public to give.”The Napa County Sheriff’s Office had earlier issued an advisory on social media telling people to avoid the area following reports of gunfire, as the California Highway Patrol dispatched officers, air support and a SWAT team to the site.Childs said a sheriff’s deputy who was first on the scene exchanged fire with the suspect, adding that “we credit him with saving the lives of others in the area by eliminating the ability for the suspect to go out and find further victims.”The three victims were described by local media as employees of The Pathway Home, an on-site counselling service for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).It was not immediately clear whether they had been targeted or were chosen at random.The San Francisco Chronicle said the gunman-apparently a 36-year-old war veteran wearing “a stash of bullets” around his neck and waist-had been on the PTSD treatment program, adding that his weapon was a rifle.Gunman was calmIt quoted state senator Bill Dodd identifying the program’s executive director, Christine Loeber, as being one of the dead, although the victims’ names have not been officially released.Police did not say how they died, although local media, citing unnamed sources, reported that the assailant shot the three women before turning the gun on himself.Dodd, whose district includes the centre, said the gunman had been asked to leave several days earlier, according to the Chronicle.“It’s a residential program so guys live in the building, staff work in the building,” Larry Kamer, whose wife Devereaux Smith was working at the centre, told the local ABC7 News channel.Smith, a development director for The Pathway Home, was one of four women released by the gunman, said Kamer.“There was a going away party for a couple of the staff who were leaving today. They were having cake and toasting and all that and then he apparently just walked in with this rifle.”Kamer said the gunman was calm and talked to everyone present.The discovery came after several fruitless hours of trying to contact the man by the sheriff’s department, City of Napa Police and the FBI.California Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Vito Imbasciani said in a statement the agency was “devastated” by the deaths.“Our hearts are heavy for the entire Yountville Veterans Home community and the families and friends who are grieving for those who died,” he added.“Nothing matters more than caring for our veterans and employees during this difficult time. We appreciate the tremendous law enforcement response today and unfailing support of this community.”last_img read more

Take action against human traffickers JS body

first_imgIn the wake of death of Bangladeshis in recent boat capsize in the Mediterranean Sea, the relevant parliamentary standing committee on Wednesday suggested the foreign ministry to take action against those engaged in human trafficking, reports UNB.The parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs ministry came up with the recommendation at its 4th meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad with its chairman Muhammad Faruk Khan in the chair, said a handout.At the meeting, the committee expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Bangladeshis in the Mediterranean Sea along Tunisia on their way to Europe from Libya.The parliamentary watchdog asked the foreign ministry to identify the syndicates of those engaged in human trafficking and take measures against them.It also recommended the Bangladesh missions concerned to extend their cooperation to the Bangladeshi victims in the boat capsize.A boat carrying 70-80 people capsized in the sea some time on the night of 9 May.The ministry of foreign affairs on Wednesday released the identities of 39 Bangladeshis who went missing after the boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach Europe from Libya.Fourteen other Bangladesh nationals were rescued alive from the capsized boat.It also confirmed that 130 of the total 150 migrants on two boats were Bangladeshis. One boat reached safely and another, carrying 70-80 passengers, capsized in the sea.The parliamentary committee also discussed the plan and preparation of the foreign ministry for celebrating the Mujib Year (2020-2021) to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.Discussing the manpower crisis at Bangladeshi missions in different countries, the committee recommended quick recruitment of manpower and enhancement of ICT use to overcome the problem.The parliamentary body also suggested the ministry for taking measures for the committee’s visit to the training academy of the foreign ministry.Committee members foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Nurul Islam Nahid, Md Abdul Majid Khan, Nahim Razzaq and Nizam Uddin Jalil (John) attended the meeting.last_img read more

Can videogames promote emotional intelligence

first_imgWhile it’s commonly believed that video games are harmful for children, researchers have found that it can help them evaluate, express and manage emotions when used as part of an emotional intelligence training programme. “Video games may improve the expression of emotions, but awareness and coping strategies can’t be solely understood by games. Emotional intelligence can be better explained when there are emotions involved from both sides,” health experts said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAccording to the study published in the Games for Health Journal, researchers from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Italy developed an emotional intelligence training programme that integrated video games as experience-based learning tools. The researchers created EmotivaMente, a video game, to enhance emotional intelligence among adolescents, perhaps the group that could benefit the most. They analysed 121 adolescents who participated in eight sessions. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Games for health have been designed to address an increasing variety of issues. A relatively new health issue is emotional intelligence, which has implications for various health problems, including coping with stress,” said Tom Baranowski, Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US. The preliminary evaluation indicated that video games enhanced the students’ evaluation and expression of emotions. But some experts believe outdoor activities should be given more importance to develop emotional intelligence, which includes awareness of emotions, managing emotions effectively and maintaining relationships, in children. “In the modern day where interaction is increasingly becoming online and more time is spent indoors, the right way to build emotional intelligence is people-to-people interactions, spending quality time with peers and family, learning through experiences and feedback.”last_img read more

To iPad or Not to iPad

first_img This story appears in the August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 4 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Never mind that 1 million iPads were sold in just 28 days–less than half the time it took to sell the same number of iPhones. Or that RBC Capital Markets estimates that iPads outsell Apple Macs by a 2-1 ratio. But deciding to put your small business on the iPad magical mystery tour is not the no-brainer that pundits want it to be. Clear iPad pluses such as its cool factor, access to thousands of apps and fabulous battery life are marred by its lack of keyboard, small screen size and limited software targeted to small business. Not surprisingly, passionate camps have formed on both sides of the iPad question. Let the tablet smackdown begin.Can’t Live With ItChuck McHugh, president of Industrial Design Innovations, a Dearborn, Mich., automotive shipping and logistics businessThe iPad is the furthest thing from Chuck McHugh’s mind–which is remarkable, considering he has just spent $34,000 installing 10 design-focused computer imaging systems.”Not just the iPad, McHugh says. “Apple was not even part of the conversation.Industrial Design Innovations is a 26-person firm that creates shipping containers for specialty car parts for clients such as Ford, Toyota and Harley Davidson. The company’s aging design tool, called CATIA, was recently upgraded from a legacy UNIX Sun SPARC server. Ford, one of the firm’s biggest clients, dictated that Windows would be the platform.McHugh saw no need to use computers that could handle both Apple and Windows software. Instead, he saved about 70 percent on the cost of Macs by using traditional Dell notebooks and desktops. “We saw significant improvement in speed and overall performance with this system, he says.McHugh recently launched a second company within his firm called RF-IDI, which specializes in remotely tracking car parts. The system lets workers locate misplaced machine parts on factory floors using radio frequency identification tags matched to handheld computers. McHugh said the company considered many hardware and software options and landed on Panasonic Toughbooks, developing its own app out of standard languages like C++.”There would be nothing unique for the iPad to do here, McHugh says. Can’t Live Without ItBJ Farmer, CEO of CITOC, an IT consulting and business services firm in HoustonBJ Farmer is not ashamed of his lust for all things iPad.”I have staked my whole company on it, he says. “I told my development guys that I do not want to have a single application that does not work on an iPad.Farmer’s 18-person firm, which he started in 1995 after a career in accounting, specializes in web-based business process automation. He firmly believes that the iPad is the next bridge for even the smallest and most techno-phobic firms to step out onto the Internet business cloud.Farmer points out that an iPad is stable, rugged and can run all day without a recharge. Entrepreneurs may not be able to create a PowerPoint or Excel file on it, he says, but the unit is the best solution for updating company files. Factor in its wow appeal that closes deals and access to work force automation apps, and the iPad becomes Farmer’s small-business web access tool of choice.He admits the iPad is far from perfect: There is no camera, which limits the use of optical character recognition, and there is no projector output, which cuts into the tablet’s effectiveness as a demonstration tool. But those limitations don’t dampen Farmer’s enthusiasm. His firm is considering giving away iPads to customers to drive sales of its cloud-based products.”I figure once I hand these to a client and they can see what they can do, it will open doors to a whole new level of tools,” he says. July 19, 2010last_img read more

Cancun company staff bus engulfed in flames

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — A company staff bus was engulfed in flames Wednesday after an apparent electrical failure.Cancun company staff bus engulfed in flamesPhoto: Cancun Fire DepartmentThe bus, which was in the process of transporting employees to work, caught fire on the Arco Vial near the University of Quintana Roo. The early morning blaze had firefighters out to combat the flames.They received the call at 6:45 a.m. and quickly made their way to the burning bus. By the time they arrived, the bus was already completely engulfed in flames.Reports say the driver noticed a lot of smoke coming from the dashboard of his unit. He stopped the bus to tend to a possible short circuit, however, flames quickly took over. The bus was completely destroyed.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

All the pieces are coming together for St Vincent and the Grenadines

first_img Share “All the pieces are coming together” for St. Vincent and the Grenadines Kathryn Folliott TORONTO — With Mandarin Oriental just announcing its official debut on Canouan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, news of another new resort for the island chain, from a well-known brand, is expected be made public within the next few weeks.St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKie, in Toronto this week to meet with industry partners and media this week, said “all the pieces are coming together” and construction on the new-build resort, on the main island of St. Vincent, should begin within the next three months.Interest in the Caribbean destination, always something of an off-the-beaten-track gem, has ramped up with the debut of the new Argyle International Airport. Open since February 2017, the airport is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ years-long plan to attract international flights and – slowly but surely – boost its status as a tourism hotspot.Lift out of Canada for the 2018-19 winter season includes flights with Air Canada Rouge, with year-round nonstop Toronto to St. Vincent flights ramping up to twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays in high winter season. ACV’s just-released Sun Collection 2018-19 brochure offers seven hotels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.From the U.S., carriers servicing St. Vincent and the Grenadines include American Airlines out of Miami starting Dec. 15, and Caribbean Airlines ex New York (JFK).“We’re getting there slowly but surely,” says Glen Beache, CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority. “We’ve done well for our first year of operations [with Argyle International Airport]. We need to have the room stock too.”Glen Beache, CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority; Shelley John, Director of Sales, Canada for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Cecil McKieBeache adds: “I’ve never seen so much interest paid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as I have now, with the new airport.”More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionWhile the destination is keen on attracting new hotel development, the first priority, as Beache notes, is “to keep the hotels full and give everybody the best experience possible.”St. Vincent and the Grenadines isn’t exclusively an upscale destination, but with islands like Mustique and Canouan, it’s easy for travellers – and travel agents – to make that assumption. “I think in the past it was marketed [as a luxury destination] and I think that was a mistake,” says Beache. The goal now is to go in the direction of four-star resorts.Some of the most popular resorts on the islands and cays – there are 32 in all, but only nine are inhabited – are Palm Island Resort, Petit St. Vincent and Buccament Bay Resort.The ‘new’ Mandarin Oriental, Canouan is in fact the former Pink Sands Club, Canouan. Mandarin Oriental announced the rebranding and an extensive renovation back in October 2017, and just this week Mandarin Oriental announced that the resort’s transformation was officially complete.More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterMore rooms are on the way at Black Sands Resort, now under construction on St. Vincent with 40 villas and a 200-room hotel.Meanwhile agents should be on the lookout for more hotel news from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says McKie. “We welcome discussions with anyone with interests in our islands. The government has offered to partner with investors. We have an open door policy.”The islands also have plenty of draws for visitors, including a full list of festivals and events, kicking off at the beginning of the year with the Bequia Music Fest. In the summer Vincy Mas “is the hottest Carnival in the Caribbean, and the safest,” says McKie.Shelley John, Director of Sales, Canada for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Office, says travel agents can hear all the news from the islands at upcoming roadshow events in St. Catharines, Oakville, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal, taking place Sept. 24 – 28.For more details see Tags: St. Vincent and the Grenadines << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, July 26, 2018 Posted by About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019last_img read more

ARESEP announces pricing proposal for consumergenerated electricity

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Delays, excuses and gripes mark approaching deadline for distributed electricity generation in Costa Rica ICE could sell surplus electricity to neighboring countries Construction of Central America’s biggest hydroelectric dam is nearly finished in Costa Rica Benefits of solar energy on display at 2-day San José expo In the ongoing process to provide all electricity consumers in Costa Rica the ability to generate energy from small-scale renewable sources and exchange it on the national grid for kilowatt credits, the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) on Oct. 2 approved a methodology proposal for how to calculate rates at which those credits will be issued.Defining that methodology is a complex – yet crucial – step required of the regulatory agency for a nationwide, small-scale distributed generation system to get up and running.An April ARESEP directive, known by its Spanish acronym POASEN, set an Oct. 8 deadline – which expires today – for the country’s distributors to establish a system for net metering and grid interconnectivity.Many of those distributors with whom The Tico Times recently spoke mentioned the need for ARESEP to finish defining price methodology before they could move forward.According to ARESEP spokeswoman Carolina Mora, the proposal approved by ARESEP’s board of directors now must be evaluated in a public forum.No date for that public hearing has been announced yet, but once one is set, ARESEP will publish details in local newspapers and in the official government newspaper La Gaceta.Consumer-based distributed generation for personal consumption from wind, solar, biomass and other renewable sources allows consumers to tap into an electricity distributor’s network and use it as a type of “virtual battery.” Electricity is exported to the grid during peak production hours and exchanged for kilowatt credits. Consumers then can use those credits to extract electricity from the grid in low-production hours, such as at night.Distributors include the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the National Power and Light Company (CNFL), the Junta Administrativa del Servicios Eléctrico de Cartago (JASEC), the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH), the Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de Guanacaste (Coopeguanacaste), Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de San Carlos (Coopelesca), Cooperativa de Electrificación de Los Santos (Coopesantos) and Cooperativa de Electrificación de Alfaro Ruiz (Coopealfaro Ruiz).Recommended: Delays, excuses and gripes mark approaching deadline for distributed electricity generation in Costa RicaICE already offers net metering to many consumers through an ongoing pilot program. Other distributors have set target dates for December to begin offering customers kilowatt credit and grid interconnection service.According to Mora, an ad hoc commission created by ARESEP defined the methodology. The document that describes the agreement, “Acuerdo 06-56-2014,” a copy of which was obtained by The Tico Times, states that “structured information is not available to serve as a basis for calculating a price that responds to the activity’s cost structure.” (Download the document here.)In lieu of that technical information, ARESEP proposed to “set the price based on the prudent average annual cost of purchasing energy and power that distribution companies buy from generating companies, and the prudent average annual cost of its generation.”It is a complicated and technical mathematical equation, and there is little in the document to describe in layman’s terms how the tariff will be calculated.Following public discussion, the ad hoc commission must analyze any opposition to the methodology, and then elaborate a final proposal.For years, some of Costa Rica’s electricity distributors dragged their feet on small-scale, consumer-generated distributed energy projects, adopting a “wait-and-see” approach while ICE developed its pilot program.The requirements distributors must meet by today’s deadline include: technical requisites with which distributors must comply for interconnection, operational guarantees for systems, a definition of the procedure for installation and service, and the creation of a contract that will regulate service between consumers and distributors.Following is a list of distributors and their estimated dates for grid interconnection service:Junta Administrativa del Servicios Eléctrico de Cartago (JASEC): Dec. 6, 2014Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH): Dec. 31, 2014Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE): Dec. 31, 2014Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de Guanacaste (Coopeguanacaste): Dec. 31, 2014Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de San Carlos (Coopelesca): Dec. 31, 2014Cooperativa de Electrificación de Los Santos (Coopesantos): Dec. 31, 2014Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL): March 18, 2015Cooperativa de Electrificación de Alfaro Ruiz (Coopealfaro Ruiz): Pendinglast_img read more

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