Rabat – 134 projects totaling MAD 39.1 billion were launched in the year 2016. All of the projects were undertaken as part of the new development model for the southern provinces, worth MAD 77 billion.The model was inaugurated by King Mohammed VI on the 40th anniversary of the Green March. Results for the year 2016 were announced by the interior minister on Wednesday in Laayoune.During a meeting, which was meant to examine the progress of the new development model for southern provinces a year after its launch, the interior minister stated that the rate of the launch of works related to economic projects is currently at 99%. This stands against 82% for infrastructure and territory development projects and 52% for social projects. The meeting was also attended by the delegate for the interior minister and the minister delegate for water. The official underlined the importance given to the Laâyoune-Sakiat El Hamra region within the framework of the new development model. The area received a budget of 41.6 billion dirhams. In 2016 the building works for 50 projects totaling MAD 23 billion were launched.The projects include a motorway, the “Phosboucraa” industrial development program, the Foum El Oued science and technology park project., as well as two solar energy units in Laâyoune and Boujdour. In addition to these undertakings, according to the interior minister, a number of social projects in the fields of education, culture, employment, and handicraft are slated for 2017.The new development model for the southern provinces was launched to encourage entrepreneurship and investment in the region with long-term sustainable development in mind. A comprehensive strategy is being employed to combat the region’s historically high unemployment rates by courting economic growth, supported by a social structure designed to enforce legal standards and uphold basic human rights.Considerable planning has also gone into strategies for maximizing the region’s resources without compromising their safety and ecological integrity. In a nutshell, the plan aims to turn the region into a critical economic hub for Morocco. In addition, it will also serve as a vital link between the Kingdom and the African continent.
MONTREAL — Bombardier Inc. is facing a possible ban from World Bank-financed projects after it received a show-cause letter related to a rail equipment deal plagued by corruption allegations.The letter is the latest development in an ongoing investigation into a roughly $340-million contract awarded to a Bombardier-led consortium in 2013 to supply signalling equipment for a 500-kilometre section of a rail corridor connecting Asia and Europe via Azerbaijan.A show-cause letter, which came from the bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency, typically requires a company or individual to make their case as to why disciplinary action should not be taken after alleged wrongdoing.Bombardier says it disagrees with the allegations in the letter, which include accusations the company engaged in delaying practices or obstructive behaviour regarding the audit. A spokesman for the Montreal-based company says the conclusions represent preliminary findings rather than formal accusations.The World Bank says it takes allegations of fraud and corruption seriously, but declined to comment on the ongoing probe.In one of the country’s biggest corruption cases to date, Sweden appealed in 2017 the acquittal of a Russian employee in Bombardier’s Swedish branch for aggravated bribery involving an Azerbaijan Railway Authority employee. The train maker says in its latest annual information form that an appeal trial is expected next year.Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to travel to China next week, officials say Canada is still contemplating the challenges associated with pursuing a free trade deal between the two countries, officials say.The prime minister leaves Saturday for his four-day trip — a return visit that at least one analyst says is shaping up to be a very “ordinary” excursion.“There are a number of considerations still to be had. The government is weighing the challenges and opportunities,” a government official who briefed journalists on Friday said when asked about the possibility of Trudeau launching trade talks in Beijing.Canada attempts to smooth Japan’s ruffled feathers after Trans-Pacific trade standoffTime for Canada-China trade talks as Trudeau trip nears, say Poloz and NaultThe officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with the terms of Friday’s briefing, say the focus of the trip will be deepening economic ties and attracting more Chinese investment to Canada.Trudeau will meet Monday with Chinese Premier Xi Jingang and will also have meetings with senior Canadian and Chinese executives.China is anxious to start formal free trade talks after several rounds of exploratory discussions, but Canada is still assessing its position, officials say.The government recently released the results of consultations with more than 600 businesses, academics and civil society groups.Some of those surveyed said a pact with China could kill Canadian jobs, including in manufacturing, and reduce the ability to compete against lax labour standards, lower environmental requirements and Chinese state subsidies.“The trip has to be understood as an ordinary trip in extraordinary times,” said Paul Evans of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.Evans said Canada is likely biding its time amid the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which reached an impasse earlier this fall when the United States tabled a series of proposals that Canada and Mexico deemed untenable.“Canada will try and tread water for a little time longer,” while the Chinese will be “increasingly frustrated on this,” Evans said.In announcing the trip earlier this week, Trudeau’s office made no mention of free trade, and government officials have said no decision has been made on whether to pursue such negotiations.“A strong relationship with China is essential to creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the Canadian economy,” Trudeau said in statement.“I look forward to meeting again with China’s leaders to strengthen our relationship and set the stage for even greater trade and investment co-operation.”Canada intends to continue frank dialogue with China on topics like human rights and good governance, the statement said.
Investigations found that the Sri Lankan had already been asked to leave the country but he had failed to do so. A Sri Lankan in Rome has been deported for having an expired residence visa, viterbonews24 reported.The Sri Lankan was detained in Rome during a special operation and he was deported to Sri Lanka after it was found his residence visa had expired.
Excessive crying affects one in five families and is a major factor in parents’ ability to cope in the first few weeks after birth.Scientists at Lund university divided 147 babies aged between two and 10 weeks into three groups, giving infants in the first group between two to five seconds standard minimal acupuncture at one point on the body.Babies in the second group were given tailored acupuncture at a maximum of five points for up to 30 seconds, and the final group received no acupuncture.The researchers found that the babies who received standard acupuncture were 49 per cent more likely to have stopped crying in the second week of treatment than those who received no treatment, and those who underwent the tailored acupuncture were 32 per cent more likely to have stopped.“Fussing and crying are normal communications for a baby, therefore a reduction to normal levels, rather than silence, is the goal of treatment,” wrote the researchers in the British Medical Journal. “For those infants that continue to cry for more than three hours a day, acupuncture may be an effective treatment option.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Acupuncture can have a potent effect in persuading babies to stop crying, new research has found.Doctors practised the ancient Chinese needle technique on a batch of babies who were crying for more than three hours a day and found they came through the condition, known as infantile colic, significantly quicker than those who received no acupuncture. For those infants that continue to cry for more than three hours a day, acupuncture may be an effective treatment optionLund University researchers
“Given the widely reported consequences of that leak I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to UK international relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice.”Mr Basu went on: “The investigation will be reviewed at every stage to ensure a proportionate investigation is undertaken.“I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious. However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission. You can stop this now. Turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.“Also, to anyone who knows or suspects those responsible, or who has any information, please come forward.“Exercise your public and civic duty and call the police on 0800 789321 without delay. That call will be treated in strictest confidence.“The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause may also be a criminal matter.“I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.” Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leaking of diplomatic emails involving Britain’s former ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch.The Met’s Counter Terror Command, which looks after allegations involving breaches of the Official Secrets Act, will lead the investigation.In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu urged the person responsible to hand themselves in and face the consequences.He said the leak had caused damage to the UK’s international relations and there was a clear public interest in bringing the personal responsible to justice.The leak of the diplomatic cables – in which Sir Kim was critical of President Trump – led to a spat between the White House and Britain.The US President branded Sir Kim a “very stupid guy” and said his administration would no longer cooperate with him. Sir Kim stepped down an ambassador to the US on Wednesday, saying it was “impossible” for him to continue. Setting out the terms of the criminal investigation, Mr Basu said: ““Following a cross-government investigation led by the Cabinet Office, a Gateway Process has occurred today with the Metropolitan Police into the alleged leaking of official communications involving Sir Kim Darroch.“As a result the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, who take national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, has launched a criminal investigation. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology recently provided updates on the status of its cutting technologies being used on Soil Machine Dynamics’ (SMD) designed and built undersea/submerged mining production tools, namely for Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 copper-gold marine mining project in PNG (see below for a Nautilus update), and the ¡VAMOS! project, where the mining vehicle has successfully been tested at the former kaolin mining pit of Lee Moor in the UK, which is being demobilised and for transport to the second test site in Bosnia and Herzegovina in spring 2018, where Sandvik’s cutter will face will face the granite bedrock of the Smreka iron open-pit.Sandvik, Damen (supplied the dredge pumps and valves) and Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) worked together on the marine mining project for Nautilus Minerals, where Sandvik provided the cutting units for the world’s first deep sea mining equipment that will be used in the Solwara 1 mining project in PNG. Nautilus recently provided an update on the project in its Q3 2017 results. The Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs) consisting of the Sandvik Auxiliary Cutter, Bulk Cutter, and Collecting Machine remained in PNG during the quarter undergoing submerged trials at a facility near Port Moresby. The objective of these trials is to demonstrate the equipment meets functional performance specifications with respect to stability, cutting efficiency, collection efficiency, and visualisation technology. The Collecting Machine trials were successfully completed indicating that the machine can perform to design specifications with no serious issues or fatal flaws emerging. The submerged trials for the Auxiliary Cutter commenced during the quarter. Papua New Guineans engaged to operate and maintain the SPTs have been gaining invaluable operating experience during the trials for which the supplier, Soil Machine Dynamics is providing vendor support.“The idea of ¡VAMOS! was inspired by the Nautilus project, which is one of the most important currently ongoing marine mining projects,” says Uwe Restner, Product and Commercial Manager, Hard Rock Continuous Mining and Mechanical Cutting at Sandvik. “As Sandvik wants to keep a foot in the door for the future submerged mining market, we were keen to participate in ¡VAMOS! as this is a project that pushes for further innovation in the mining equipment sector.” The initial proposal was that Sandvik should supply just the cutting equipment, but at an early stage SMD asked Sandvik to make the frame for the underwater mining vehicle as well. “While doing the frame we ended up supplying the whole base unit containing the frame, the cutting unit at the front and the back stabilisation,” Restner says.Sandvik says the manufacturing has required a lot of modifications to standards, but even if the partners are based in different countries there have been very few technical glitches, and nothing too big to rectify on site. “The technical coordination has been challenging, but the fact that a lot of new technology is involved is also a huge benefit,”Restner says. “¡VAMOS! is a technical demonstration of how different subsystems can work together. The result is a fully remote-controlled and reliable mining system with a built-in evacuation plan to make sure no equipment is lost in operation.”Besides being a testing ground for new mining technology, the project is expected to yield many other positive outcomes. Mining under water means minimal waste-removal cost compared with open-cut mining. There are minimal dewatering costs, minimum costs for barrier construction or barrier maintenance, and no drawdown on aquifers that can affect groundwater or neighbouring areas. “And there will be no blasting noise, no ground vibration, no dust nuisance, no personnel in the mine, and it will be a quicker set-up with cheaper capital costs than in an underground mine,” Restner says.
One of the problems with trying to play games using a retro console such as a NES, SNES, or Genesis on a modern HD TV is that the games don’t look great. That’s why the XRGB mini has proved so popular as it solves the problem. It’s also why the Retron 5 works so well because it also solves the display issue by default.Thankfully, Nintendo has taken the time to ensure the NES games included with the forthcoming NES Classic Mini all look great on a HD TV. But that’s not all. Julie Gagnon, communications manager at Nintendo of Canada, has given a French-language radio interview where she goes into more detail on the display options.It seems the Classic Mini will be a lot like the Retron 5 in terms of the display options you have available. As well as a standard HD-resolution output, the tiny NES will allow you to simulate the look of the game as you would experience it on a CRT. There will also be a 4:3 mode and a pixel-perfect mode where every pixel is a perfect square. So that’s all 30 games with multiple viewing options available.Gagnon also commented on game saves. There will be permanent save points within each game, but Nintendo has also added instant temporary saves. That means you’ll be able to stop playing at any point and return later without losing progress. The fact they are instant suggests the save may only last as long as the Classic Mini is powered on, where as the permanent saves are, well, permanent.The Nintendo Classic Mini is set to go on sale on November 11 for $59.99 including 30 games and one NES controller. 1/20Game Boy 1/20Game Boy Color 1/20Game Boy Advance 1/20Game Boy Advance SP 1/20Game Boy Micro 1/20Nintendo DS 1/20Nintendo DS Lite 1/20Nintendo DSi 1/20Nintendo DSi XL 1/20Nintendo 3DS 1/20Nintendo 3DS XL 1/20Nintendo 2DS 1/20New Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS XL 1/20Nintendo Entertainment System 1/20Super Nintendo Entertainment System 1/20GameCube 1/20Nintendo 64 1/20Wii 1/20Wii U 1/20Nintendo NX? <>
Antoine Griezmann’s solitary strike earned Atletico Madrid a first win of the Liga season on Saturday as they defeated local rivals Rayo Vallecano 1-0.Atletico Madrid endured a frustrating evening against their rivals before the Frenchman’s intervention on the hour mark wrapped up the win for Simeone’s side.A Stefan Savic’s header from close range following a corner in the 63rd minute was expertly turned in by Griezmann.Angel Correa had Atletico’s best opportunity in the first half, but Rayo keeper Alberto Garcia did well to keep the Argentine’s effort out.La Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…Shortly afterward, the Wanda Metropolitano got its first taste of VAR as Diego Costa’s screams for handball was confirmed to be false by referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez.Atletico will, however, be sweating on the fitness of fullback Juanfran, who hobbled off after half an hour with what the club described as a muscle problem.The win lifts the Europa League champions on to four points after two games, while Rayo is still without a point.
TEWKSBURY, MA — Ever wonder what’s making news next door in Tewksbury? Bill Gilman, editor of Your Tewksbury Today, has the answer!Below is a collection of top Tewksbury stories, primarily written by Gilman, that were recently published on his popular website.Top Tewksbury Stories (March 18-25):VIDEO: Candidates Night Gives Hopefuls A Chance To Make Their Case To VotersTewksbury Police Learn To Skate Program Will Take Place In LowellTewksbury Library To Hold Mini-Golf FundraiserTewksbury Attorney Ellen Wright Named A ‘Lawyer Of Distinction’Tewksbury Girls 7 Blue: Road To A ChampionshipTewksbury Tribune: Local Band Plays Huge Gig At Middle East Downstairs In Cambridge Your Tewksbury Today is Tewksbury’s premiere online hyperlocal news source. Follow YTT on Facebook and Twitter.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNEIGHBOR NEWS: What’s Making Headlines In Tewksbury?In “Community”NEIGHBOR NEWS: What’s Making Headlines In Tewksbury?In “Community”NEIGHBOR NEWS: What’s Making Headlines In Tewksbury?In “Community”
Amaravati: The alleged illegal sand mining operations led to disputes among the leaders of the YSR Congress Party and brought to the fore the differences.The disputes were brought to the notice of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. According to sources, the Chief Minister discussed with the party leaders over the issue and directed them to stop illegal sand mining operations immediately. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Tadikonda MLA V Sridevi and Bapatla MP Nandigam Suresh reportedly complained against each other on the issue. Already the followers of the two leaders lodged complaints against each other with the officials concerned by submitting evidence on illegal sand mining. MLA Sridevi asked the officials to stop illegal mining operations in her constituency limits. She questioned MP Suresh’s intervention on this issue. She complained against the MP also. In this backdrop, the Chief Minister’s office called him and discussed on the sand operations. Similar controversy erupted recently at Mylavaram constituency in Krishna district. The followers of Pedana MLA Jogi Ramesh and Mylavaram MLA Vasantha Krishna Prasad lodged complaints against each other on illegal sand operations. The followers of Vasantha questioned the intervention of followers of Pedana MLA.
Ubolratana Rajaka, Princess of Thailand, attends “Thailand Hub of Entertainment”, a film and entertainment industry event for investors, in Hong Kong on 24 March 2010. Reuters File PhotoThailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Friday moved to block his elder sister’s surprise bid to run for prime minister in March, calling her candidacy for a populist opposition party “inappropriate” and unconstitutional.Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, stunned the nation when she announced on Friday she would be the sole prime ministerial candidate for the party, which is loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, in the March election.Her candidacy instantly threatened to upend the first national ballot since a military coup in 2014 that ousted a government loyal to Thaksin, the figure at the centre of years of political turbulence and rival street protests that have riven Thai society.But her foray into politics looked to be short-lived after the public opposition from King Vajiralongkorn, which is likely to lead to the Election Commission disqualifying her or the princess dropping out of the race.Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but the royal family has wielded great influence and commands the devotion of millions.”Involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is an act that conflicts with the country’s traditions, customs, and culture, and therefore considered highly inappropriate,” the king said in a statement.The statement was issued by the palace and later read on air by a television announcer.King Vajiralongkorn also cited a provision in the constitution that states the monarch stays above politics and maintains political neutrality.”All royal family members adhere to the same principles … and cannot take any political office, because it contradicts the intention of the constitution.”Friday was the last day for parties to declare candidates.The Election Commission declined to comment when contacted by Reuters late on Friday night, with an official saying its members will hold a meeting on Monday.The princess’s nominating party, Thai Raksa Chart – an offshoot of the larger pro-Thaksin party that was ousted from power in the 2014 coup – could not be reached for comment.Prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was army chief when he led the 2014 coup and now heads the ruling junta, also announced his candidacy on Friday.Ubolratana, who has starred in Thai soap operas and a movie, relinquished most of her royal titles in 1972 when she married an American, a fellow student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Peter Jensen.She lived in the United States for more than 26 years before they divorced in 1998.She had earlier on Friday thanked her supporters in an Instagram post.”I have accepted the Thai Raksa Chart Party nomination for prime minister to show my rights and freedom without any privileges above other fellow Thai citizens under the constitution,” she said.Her Instagram account was silent immediately after the king’s statement.Nominating a member of the royal family had seemed a potential game-changer for the Thaksin loyalist parties that have been accused by their enemies of being opposed to the monarchy, charges they have always rejected.Rivalry between the Bangkok-centred, royalist elites and Thaksin and his rural-based supporters has brought street protests, military coups, and violent clashes over almost 15 years.Ubolratana’s announcement followed a long period of mourning for King Bhumibol, who died in October 2016, and as her brother establishes himself on the throne in preparation for an official coronation in May.Back-Up PartyThai Raksa Chart is an off-shoot of the main pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai party whose government, led by Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted in the 2014 coup. Thaksin himself was overthrown in a 2006 coup and both he and Yingluck now live in exile.Pheu Thai is also fielding candidates in the election, and Thai Raksa Chart was formed by Thaksin loyalists and the core leadership of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), or “red shirts” group, as a strategy to help Pheu Thai win seats, or to act as a back-up if the main party was disqualified.Junta leader Prayuth accepted his nomination from the Palang Pracharat Party, a new party set up by his loyalists, in an official statement.”I am not aiming to extend my power but I am doing this for the benefit of the country and the people,” he said.Ubolratana, the eldest child of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was born in Switzerland in 1951. She studied mathematics and bio-chemistry at MIT and earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles.She returned permanently to Thailand in 2001, performing royal duties but never regaining her full royal titles. She is referred to as “Tunkramom Ying”, which means “Daughter to the Queen Regent”, and is treated by officials as a member of the royal family.Her 21-year-old son was killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 while vacationing on a Thai island.
The ultimate aim of simulation games is to present a world that is as close to real life as possible, both in experience and visuals. With forthcoming racing title Project Cars, it looks as though developer Slightly Mad Studios hasn’t just matched real life with the visuals, they’ve exceeded it.Don’t believe that’s possible with current gaming hardware? Just watch the video below before making up your mind:The footage on the left was captured with a camera while driving around the real Laguna Seca Raceway in a BMW. The footage on the right is the same racetrack and car, but represents in-game footage from Project Cars. Sure, the camera capturing the track could have been better, but Project Cars looks stunning.As you’d expect for such high quality visuals, this is the PC version of the game running with ultra graphics setting and DirectX 11.1. The hardware used was a Core i5-3550 processor running at 3.7GHz, a Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 OC Edition with 2GB or memory, and 8GB of GSkill DDR3 1600MHz RAM.Project Cars is also set to see a release on Steam OS, PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U. The PS4 and Xbox One versions should come close to what we see on the PC. Steam OS also could, but you’re going to need the right hardware inside your pre-built or own build Steam Box. The Wii U version will most likely look the poorest simply due to the lack of hardware performance when compared to the other platforms.Based on this video footage alone, Project Cars certainly looks to be the most realistic racing game yet created. Let’s just hope it delivers this level of quality across the entire game when it launches in November.
That’s why anything that disrupts one’s ability to emote is cause for concern, particularly in an age when Botox and other cosmetic procedures that paralyze, stretch, plump or otherwise alter the face are commonplace. Permanently pouty lips and smooth brows might be good for selfies, but research suggests they flatten your affect, disconnecting you from your feelings and the feelings of others. But what if you couldn’t smile naturally, with the usual crinkles around your eyes and creases in your cheeks? There’s convincing scientific evidence that the same kind of mutual engagement and interplay — with infants, or anyone else — would be difficult to achieve. Experts say mirroring another person’s facial expressions is essential for not only recognizing emotion, but also feeling it. If you’re like most people, you reflexively smile back and your insides just melt. The baby might react by smiling even more broadly and maybe kicking its feet with delight, which will only deepen your smile and add to the warm feeling spreading in your chest. “Muscle movements in the face sustain interactions between people, and if you take that out, you’re working with a blank slate,” said Jeffrey Cohn, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, who studies the link between the lack of facial expressiveness and depression. “That’s not an effective way of maintaining rapport or establishing connection.” Read the whole story: The New York Times — Let’s say you’re walking down the street and coming toward you is someone pushing a baby in a stroller. The baby looks right at you and bursts into a big, gummy grin. What do you do?
Kolkata: The state government on Tuesday effected transfer of five IPS officers. Ajoy Kumar has been transferred as Inspector General (IG) I, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), from his present posting as Commissioner of Chandannagore while Santosh Pandey has been posted as DC (Traffic) from his position of DC (Cyber Crime) with the Kolkata Police.Akhilesh Chaturvedi, SP Darjeeling, has been posted as CP of Chandannagore while Amarnath K has become SP Darjeeling from his position of SP (Operation), Darjeeling. Harikrishna Pai who was acting Additional SP (Kurseong ) has been transferred as Additional SP (headquarters) Darjeeling. Apart from the IPS transfer, there was a single transfer in SDPO rank.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A It was a red carpet arrival for Voyager of the Seas last night when she sailed into Sydney Harbour for the first time ahead of her inaugural summer season down under. Flounced by fountains and pleasure craft, Voyager of the Seas awaited her sister-line ship Celebrity Millennium by Fort Denison as the vessels sounded their horns in welcome. Crew and passengers lined the decks of both ships for the occasion with a special appearance by the Dreamworks characters who will be entertaining guests aboard Voyager of the Seas this season. Click here to view the entire photo gallery of the meeting in the Harbour. Royal Caribbean’s Adam Armstrong and Gavin Smith toast Voyager of the Seas as she sails into Sydney Harbour for the first time.
Go back to the enewsletterAccorHotels and Luneng Group recently signed a memorandum of understanding forming a strategic partnership in China. The MOU outlines cooperation between the two companies to create a solid platform combining the management of hotels, luxury and upscale serviced apartments and timeshares in unique destinations in China. Broader opportunities across the luxury extended stay properties have also been flagged.Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer, AccorHotels, said: “We look forward to building a world-class leisure and holiday portfolio as well as strengthening our serviced apartment offerings through this strategic cooperation with Luneng Group. The cooperation will create a global leisure vacation collection with new products including timeshares, long-term rental apartments and leisure residences, which will build a new industry benchmark for leisure tourism in the market.”Rixos is one of the leading luxury destination branded resorts and hotels with world-class facilities, dining options and entertainment venues. Through the partnership with Luneng Group, Rixos will be introduced into the China market through the Luneng’s resort projects, offering guests all-inclusive, outstanding resort destination experiences which will also include world-class entertainment and sporting activities.This strategic partnership also opens the door to Luneng Group joining Accor Vacation Club, a premier holiday and lifestyle program in Asia. Accor Vacation Club members enjoy AccorHotels world-class accommodations and choice holiday destinations for a fraction of the cost of owning a holiday home.The two companies will further seek opportunities to explore luxury extended stays through AccorHotels’ premium brands including Raffles Serviced Residences, Fairmont Serviced Residences, Sofitel Serviced Residences and Swissôtel Living, and others.Gary Rosen, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels Greater China, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Luneng Group, one of China’s leading and most respected real estate developers.”This strategic partnership is a combination of two powerful companies with a shared vision and commitment to driving innovation within the hotel industry. Together we will further strengthen hospitality experiences across the China market with unique, world-class brands, products and services that guests are going to love.AccorHotels Greater China, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Gary RosenLi Jinghai, Senior Assistant to General Manager, General Manager of Commercial & Tourism Management Company, Vice Secretary of the CPC Party Committee, Luneng Group, states: “We are excited to collaborate with AccorHotels, a hospitality industry pioneer and trailblazer. The partnership reflects our company’s commitment to working with the best in class hotel operators and service providers, and to attracting new brands and offerings for the China market. Working with AccorHotels will bring our concept to a new level, and enrich vacation experiences for guests both in China and abroad.”AccorHotels, which celebrated reaching its 1,000th hotel in Asia Pacific milestone, operates more than 270 hotel properties in Greater China with more than 60,000 current serving guests. AccorHotels has a pipeline of over 150 new hotels in the coming years, adding more than 25,000 rooms to the region.Go back to the enewsletter
PAPHOS small business owners say they’re in dire straits as the massive renovation of the old town is causing tourists to avoid the area believing information from their holiday reps that the area is closed due to project works.Kathryn Swift, owner of ‘Boo-tea-licious tea rooms’ told the Sunday Mail she has only a matter of weeks left before she has to shut up shop for good, and has just had to make a decision to lay off a valued staff member in a bid to survive.“If people want to have a vibrant old town, they have to come and visit us, or there won’t be anything left to visit except empty shops, when the work is finally finished,” she said.Swift opened her tea room just over two years ago and was beginning to build a solid client base when major upgrading works in the town started to get underway. The businesses owner said long delays and a lack of interest and support from the authorities has left her and other businesses in the area desperate. She warned unless immediate measures are taken to ease the situation, many more premises will close down and remain empty.The tea rooms serve all sort of fresh home-made fayre, and on Monday also started home deliveries in a bid to stay open.Swift, who currently has no income from the shop and has spent her savings on trying to keep it afloat, said that she only needs around 20 customers a day to survive, but currently only a handful, if she’s lucky, visit each day.She and neighbouring arts and crafts shop owner, John Mann, both have shops on Kanari Street, and say it also desperately needs trees to provide some shade.In addition, they say that holiday reps are compounding the dire situation by informing holidaymakers that the old town is ‘closed.’“The reps are still telling people not to come and that’s it’s dangerous as work is still ongoing. This just isn’t true. A couple visited my shop this week and told me what their rep said. They have complained about it, as they loved all of the shops and the area,” said Swift, who has written an email to Thomson holidays to complain.“I asked them if they understand that it’s people livelihoods they are messing with, but I have yet to receive a reply,” she said.A spokeswoman for Thomson said they were focusing on helping stranded holidaymakers following the earthquake in the Aegean Sea on Friday, but added: “We will endeavour to look into the matter and respond as soon as possible.”Mann, who moved his popular Kato Paphos arts and crafts shop ‘Rainbow’s End’ to the old town last December, agrees with Swift.“We feel forgotten by everyone, the tourism board are no help at all and people are actively being told not to come by tourist reps; there is just no support,” he said.Mann was told that upgrading work in the area would be completed before he opened his shop last December, however, it’s now July 2017, and some roads still remain closed, creating an impression of inaccessibility, he said.Both agree that one of the biggest problems is that the main road of Aphroditi and Fellachoglou Street, which provides a way around the market and was previously a busy drop off point for buses, has been closed for months.“We need to get this open and buses running along here again. More information needs to be given to tourists about the old town and people that live here really need to come and support us all; it’s such a struggle,” she said.Granite paving slabs that were laid along the street were only down for a month before workers had to come back and replace them as they had been laid at the wrong depth, she said. Swift had to again close her shop for a week as there was no access to her front door.In 2015, €60 million worth of projects for Paphos, including the regeneration of the traditional shopping centre and Kennedy Square, the restoration of the municipal market, the upgrading of the Markideio theatre, and connecting and enhancing the squares of October 28, Kosti Palama and Dionysios Solomos around the town hall were announced by the president.“The mayor has visited the old town, but he never comes down our street or comes to meet us,” said the duo. Swift also noted that although refuse tax was cut by 50 per cent last year, it is the only consideration that has been offered by the authorities.There is no compensation available for businesses, Swift still pays her social insurance contribution, although she doesn’t take a wage, and for the last six months there hasn’t been a refuse bin available on the street. Businesses have to walk to a nearby car park to place rubbish in a bin, or alternatively, take it home to dispose of it, she said.“The car park close by is full of machinery and people think it’s closed and there’s nowhere to park. There is also a new car park behind the mosque, which is nearby, but no-one knows about it as it’s not even signposted,” said Mann.Swift added that she is passionate about the old town and urged residents to make the effort to visit and show their support of local businesses.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? 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